R Pasquali

Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (151)588.34 Total impact

  • R Pasquali, A Gambineri
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    ABSTRACT: The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common hyperandrogenic disorder affecting 4-7% of women, is often associated with metabolic alterations, chiefly insulin resistance and obesity. Based on available scientific evidence, PCOS should be regarded as an independent risk for the development of glucose intolerance states. This short review summarizes the available literature on the prevalence and incidence of impaired glucose tolerance and Type 2 diabetes in this disorder. In addition, some insights on potential factors responsible for individual susceptibility are discussed. Targeted intervention studies focused on prevention and treatment of glucose intolerance states in PCOS are warranted.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 09/2013; 36(8):648-653. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prelamin A processing impairment is a common feature of a restricted group of rare genetic alterations/disorders associated with a wide range of clinical phenotypes. Changes in histone posttranslational modifications, alterations in non-histone chromatin proteins and chromatin disorganization have been specifically linked to impairment of specific, distinct prelamin A processing steps, but the molecular mechanism involved in these processes is not yet understood . In this study, we show that the accumulation of wild-type prelamin A detected in restrictive dermopathy (RD), as well as the accumulation of mutated forms of prelamin A identified in familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD) and mandibuloacral dysplasia (MADA), affect the nuclear localization of barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF), a protein able to link lamin A precursor to chromatin remodeling functions. Our findings, in accordance with previously described results, support the hypothesis of a prelamin A involvement in BAF nuclear recruitment and suggest BAF-prelamin A complex as a protein platform usually activated in prelamin A-accumulating diseases. Finally, we demonstrate the involvement of the inner nuclear membrane protein emerin in the proper localization of BAF-prelamin A complex.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 08/2012; 11(19):3568-77. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: Do different dosages of metformin account for different clinical and biochemical outcomes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and do basal anthropometric and metabolic characteristics of the patients provide any indications regarding the dose required to reach the target effect? SUMMARY ANSWER: Different doses of metformin exerted the same effects on clinical, biochemical and metabolic parameters in patients affected by PCOS. WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Since the insulin-sensitizing agents came into use in the management of PCOS, metformin has shown a positive benefits-risks ratio. Nonetheless, therapeutic schedules are not well standardized. This is the first study which systematically analyses the effect of different doses of metformin on clinical, hormonal and metabolic features of PCOS. On the basis of our results, higher doses are no more effective than lower doses. DESIGN: A multicentric cohort prospective study. A total of 250 PCOS women were enrolled, 49 lost to follow-up. Menstrual cyclicity, hormonal assays, oral glucose tolerance test, lipid profile and ultrasonographic pelvic examination were evaluated at the baseline and after 6 months of metformin treatment at different doses (1000, 1500 and 1700 mg). PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: A total of 201 PCOS patients completed the study without protocol violations in three university hospitals: seventy-three patients from Centre A (treated with metformin 500 mg twice a day), 60 patients from Centre B (treated with metformin 500 mg three times a day) and 68 patients from Centre C (treated with metformin 850 mg twice a day). MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Metformin exerted an overall positive effect on the clinical and endocrine-metabolic features of PCOS. The degree of these effects was independent of the administered dosage in every range of basal body mass index (BMI). When patients were stratified according to their insulinaemic status, scattered inter-doses differences were found in some of the outcome measures. Patients who exhibited an increase of >2 menstrual cycles/year were considered as responders to treatment. Responders had a higher basal BMI than non-responders and showed a greater reduction in plasma testosterone levels after metformin treatment, but other outcome measures did not differ significantly. Total insulin secretion in the 180 min following the glucose tolerance test before metformin treatment (basal AUC-I) was significantly correlated with the decrease in insulin secretion induced by metformin in both the whole group and in responders, but only correlated with the variation in the number of cycles in responders. BIAS, CONFOUNDING AND OTHER REASONS FOR CAUTION: The different doses were administered in different centres, and between-centre variation is a potential confounding factor. GENERALIZABILITY TO OTHER POPULATIONS: The paradigm of using the minimum effective dose of metformin could be pursued in other pathological conditions characterized by insulin resistance. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): No funding or competing interests to declare.
    Human Reproduction 07/2012; 27(10):3057-66. · 4.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The need for a collaborative approach to complex inherited diseases collectively referred to as laminopathies, encouraged Italian researchers, geneticists, physicians and patients to join in the Italian Network for Laminopathies, in 2009. Here, we highlight the advantages and added value of such a multidisciplinary effort to understand pathogenesis, clinical aspects and try to find a cure for Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, Mandibuloacral dysplasia, Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria and forms of lamin-linked cardiomyopathy, neuropathy and lipodystrophy.
    Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 06/2012; 7:37. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    Renato Pasquali
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity, particularly the abdominal phenotype, has been ascribed to an individual maladaptation to chronic environmental stress exposure mediated by a dysregulation of related neuroendocrine axes. Alterations in the control and action of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis play a major role in this context, with the participation of the sympathetic nervous system. The ability to adapt to chronic stress may differ according to sex, with specific pathophysiological events leading to the development of stress-related chronic diseases. This seems to be influenced by the regulatory effects of sex hormones, particularly androgens. Stress may also disrupt the control of feeding, with some differences according to sex. Finally, the amount of experimental data in both animals and humans may help to shed more light on specific phenotypes of obesity, strictly related to the chronic exposure to stress. This challenge may potentially imply a different pathophysiological perspective and, possibly, a specific treatment.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 05/2012; 1264(1):20-35. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women. On the contrary, the prevalences of other disorders of androgen excess such as idiopathic hyperandrogenism and idiopathic hirsutism remain unknown. We aimed to obtain an unbiased estimate of the prevalence in premenopausal women of (i) signs of androgen excess and (ii) PCOS, idiopathic hyperandrogenism and idiopathic hirsutism. A multicenter prevalence survey included 592 consecutive premenopausal women (393 from Madrid, Spain and 199 from Bologna, Italy) reporting spontaneously for blood donation. Immediately before donation, we conducted clinical and biochemical phenotyping for androgen excess disorders. We determined the prevalence of (i) hirsutism, acne and alopecia as clinical signs of androgen excess and (ii) functional disorders of androgen excess, including PCOS, defined by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institute of Health criteria, idiopathic hyperandrogenism and idiopathic hirsutism. Regarding clinical signs of hyperandrogenism, hirsutism and acne were equally frequent [12.2% prevalence; 95% confidence interval (CI): 9.5-14.8%], whereas alopecia was uncommon (1.7% prevalence, 95% CI: 0.7-2.7%). Regarding functional disorders of androgen excess, PCOS and idiopathic hirsutism were equally frequent (5.4% prevalence, 95% CI: 3.6-7.2) followed by idiopathic hyperandrogenism (3.9% prevalence, 95% CI: 2.3-5.4). Clinical signs of hyperandrogenism and functional disorders of androgen excess show a high prevalence in premenopausal women. The prevalences of idiopathic hyperandrogenism and idiopathic hirsutism are similar to that of PCOS, highlighting the need for further research on the pathophysiology, consequences for health and clinical implications of these functional forms of androgen excess.
    Human Reproduction 02/2012; 27(4):1209-16. · 4.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: Is there an association between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) rs1799941, rs6257, rs6259 and rs727428 variants in a large series of Mediterranean women? SUMMARY ANSWER: The rs727428 and rs6259 variants are associated with PCOS in Mediterranean women. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: The level of SHBG, the primary plasma transport protein for sex steroids, which regulates the bioavailability of these hormones to target tissues, is reduced in patients with PCOS. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the SHBG gene influence circulating SHBG levels in American patients with PCOS and may predict the development of type 2 diabetes. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE AND DURATION: This was a genetic case-control association study including 1004 premenopausal Mediterranean women. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING AND METHODS: In an Academic setting, we genotyped a clinical cohort consisting of 281 patients with PCOS and 142 women without any evidence of androgen excess, and a population-based cohort comprised of 581 unselected female blood donors from Spain and Italy. The latter included 31 patients with PCOS and 550 controls, of whom 298 had no evidence of any androgen excess disorder and were considered hyper-normal controls. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Mutant alleles of the rs727428 variant were more frequent in patients with PCOS compared with controls and with hyper-normal controls. This association was independent of obesity. Carrying mutant alleles of rs727428 was found to be associated with a 1.29 odds ratio (OR) for PCOS, whereas carrying mutant alleles of rs6259 associated with a 0.68 OR for PCOS. The rs1799941 and rs6257 variants were not associated with PCOS. None of the SHBG variants influenced serum SHBG concentrations. LIMITATIONS AND REASONS FOR CAUTION: The associations found here were relatively weak and, arising from a case-control study, do not necessarily indicate a causative role of the SHBG variants in the development of PCOS. Also, we studied different patients and controls from different sources, making some of the interpretations difficult. Finally, the rs1799941 variant was not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the small group of patients with PCOS recruited from the general population, yet this variant was not associated with PCOS. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: SHBG variants that influenced circulating SHBG levels in American patients with PCOS are also associated with this syndrome in Mediterranean women, pointing to SHBG as a candidate gene for PCOS. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was supported by grants PI080944 and PI110357 from Instituto de Investigacion Carlos III, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. CIBERDEM is also an initiative of Instituto de Investigacion Carlos III. The Authors have no competing interests to declare.
    Hum Reprod. 01/2012; 27(12):3569-76.
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    Acta myologica: myopathies and cardiomyopathies: official journal of the Mediterranean Society of Myology / edited by the Gaetano Conte Academy for the study of striated muscle diseases 10/2011; 30(2):138-43.
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of the study were to understand the association between insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3) and functional ovarian hyperandrogenism (FOH) in PCOS and the regulatory role played by LH. Fifteen PCOS women were classified as FOH (FOH-PCOS, no.=8) and non-FOH (NFOH-PCOS, no.=7) according to the response of 17OH-progesterone to buserelin (a GnRH analogue) with respect to 15 controls. FOH-PCOS and NFOH-PCOS were compared for basal INSL3 levels. In addition, the effect of buserelin on INSL3 concentrations and the relationship between basal and buserelin-stimulated LH and 17OH-progesterone and INSL3 were evaluated. Basal INSL3 levels were higher in FOH-PCOS than NFOH-PCOS (p=0.001) and controls (p=0.001), whereas they did not differ between NFOHPCOS and controls. In addition, FOH-PCOS had a higher response of LH to buserelin with respect to NFOH-PCOS. Within all PCOS women the levels of INSL3 positively correlated with free testosterone (p=0.022) and negatively with SHBG (r= p=0.031). Moreover, positive correlations with the absolute increase of 17OH-progesterone (p<0.001) and with the LH area under the curve (p=0.001) after buserelin administration were found. In the multiple regression analysis INSL3 persisted significantly correlated only with 17OH-progesterone response to buserelin. Finally, INSL3 was not significantly modified after buserelin administration either in FOHPCOS or in NFOH-PCOS. These data suggest that INSL3 is related to FOH in PCOS women, but this association seems not to be mediated by LH, further reinforcing the concept that a pathophysiological heterogeneity for ovarian hyperandrogenism in PCOS exists.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 05/2011; 34(9):685-91. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • F Guaraldi, R Pasquali
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 05/2011; 34(5):410. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Testosterone administered alone or in combination with progestogens in male contraception induces reversible oligo-azoospermia, but its effects on body composition and metabolism are less known. We analysed anthropometric and metabolic parameters in five groups of 10 males: four receiving testosterone undecanoate (TU: 1000 mg) plus norethisterone enanthate (NETE: 200 mg) at different intervals (every 8 weeks: NETE-8; every 12 weeks: NETE-12; every 6 weeks for 12 weeks and then every 12 weeks: NETE-6/12; every 6 weeks for 12 weeks and then TU plus placebo every 12 weeks: NETE-6/12/0) and one placebo (NETE-0/0) for a total of 48 weeks. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference did not change in any groups except for the NETE-8 in which BMI increased significantly (p = 0.02) at the end of the treatment period. Lean body mass (MAMC or AMA) increased significantly in the highest hormonal dose groups (p = 0.04, NETE-6/12; p = 0.004, NETE-8). No differences were observed in glucose levels, insulin sensitivity index and lipid profile as well as in biochemical and cell count parameters in any groups. In conclusion, NETE and TU for 48 weeks were not accompanied by any metabolic changes and any adverse effects. The weight gain of the highest NETE plus TU dosage was mainly because of gain in muscle mass.
    International Journal of Andrology 11/2010; 34(6 Pt 1):548-55. · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • F Guaraldi, R Pasquali
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 03/2010; 33(4):286. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • The Lancet 06/2009; 373(9681):2125-35. · 39.21 Impact Factor
  • R Pasquali, R Vettor, S Cinti
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 06/2009; 32(9):789-90. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Lancet. 06/2009; 373(9681):2125-35.
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    ABSTRACT: The main objective was to evaluate the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Caucasian women with PCOS, using either of the currently proposed definitions (NCEP/ATPIII, IDF and AHA/NHLBI) and, therefore, to estimate the concordance between these three classifications. Secondary objectives were to evaluate: i) which individual criterion of the metabolic syndrome is most strongly associated with PCOS; and ii) whether the severity of hyperandrogenemia, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance may influence the presence of the metabolic syndrome in PCOS women. The metabolic syndrome was assessed in 200 Caucasian women with PCOS and in 200 Caucasian controls, matched for age and BMI, considering the NCEP/ATPIII, IDF and AHA/NHLBI definitions. PCOS women had an increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome compared with controls: 32 versus 23% with the NCEP/ATPIII, 39 versus 25% with the IDF and 37 versus 24% with the AHA/NHLBI, respectively (Cohen's Kappa index between the three classifications, P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regressions revealed that among the individual criteria of the metabolic syndrome, only low HDL-cholesterol levels were significantly associated with PCOS (P < 0.001) which, in turn, are related to insulin(AUC) (P = 0.029) but not to androgens. This case-control study indicates a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Caucasian PCOS women that is independent of the diagnostic classification used. Furthermore, it shows that low HDL-cholesterol is the criterion which best explains the high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in PCOS subjects which, in turn, is influenced by hyperinsulinemia, rather than by hyperandrogenemia.
    Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 05/2009; 19(11):797-804. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased peripheral metabolism of cortisol may explain compensatory ACTH-dependent adrenal steroidogenesis and hence hyperandrogenism in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Previous studies have described an increased 5alpha-reduction of cortisol or impaired regeneration of cortisol by 11beta-HSD1 in PCOS. However, these observations may be confounded by obesity. Moreover, the relationship between alterations in cortisol metabolism and the extent of adrenal androgen hyper-secretion in response to ACTH has not been established. This study aimed to examine the association between cortisol metabolism and ACTH-dependent adrenal hyperandrogenism in PCOS, independently of obesity. We compared 90 PCOS women (age 18-45 yr) stratified by adrenal androgen responses to ACTH1-24 and 45 controls matched for age and body weight. PCOS women were stratified as normal responders (NR), intermediate responders (IR), and high responders (HR) to 250 microg ACTH1-24: NR (no.=27) had androstenedione and DHEA responses within 2 SD of the mean in controls; IR (no.=43) had DHEA responses >2 SD above controls; HR (no.=20) had both androstenedione and DHEA responses >2 SD above controls. Results: All groups were similar for age, body weight, and body fat distribution. Basal testosterone, androstenedione, and 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone plasma levels were similarly elevated among the 3 groups of PCOS compared with controls, whereas basal DHEA-S was higher in HR (2.8+/-1.2 microg/ml) and IR (2.4+/-1.1 microg/ml) than in NR (1.8+/-0.8 microg/ml) and controls (1.7+/-0.6 microg/ml). The HR group had the lowest basal plasma cortisol levels (101+/-36 ng/ml vs IR 135+/-42 ng/ml, NR 144+/-48 ng/ml, and controls 165+/-48 ng/ml; all p<0.01), but the greatest cortisol response to ACTH1-24 (Delta(60-0)cortisol 173+/-60 ng/ml vs IR 136+/-51 ng/ml, NR 114+/-50 ng/ml, and controls 127+/-50 ng/ml; all p<0.01), and the highest urinary excretion of total and 5beta-reduced cortisol metabolites (eg 5beta-tetrahydrocortisol/ cortisol ratio 25.2+/-15.3 vs IR 18.8+/-10.7, NR 19.7+/-11.4, and controls 17.2+/-13.7; all p<0.05). There were no differences in urinary excretion of 5alpha-reduced cortisol metabolites or in 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone/testosterone ratio between groups. Adrenal androgen excess in PCOS is associated with increased inactivation of cortisol by 5beta-reductase that may lower cortisol blood levels and stimulate ACTH-dependent steroidogenesis.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 03/2009; 32(3):210-8. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To summarize current evidence on lifestyle management (dietary, exercise, or behavioral interventions) of obesity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), to indicate gaps in knowledge, and to review the medical and surgical alternatives for weight management. Expert panel appointed by the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society (AEPCOS Society) to review the literature and draft the initial report after a consensus process via electronic communication. The initial report was reviewed and critiqued by all expert panel members and the AEPCOS Society Board of Directors and modified based on their comments. Lifestyle management should be used as the primary therapy in overweight and obese women with PCOS for the treatment of metabolic complications. For reproductive abnormalities, lifestyle modification may improve ovulatory function and pregnancy. Data are preliminary for improvement in pregnancy and live-birth rates, and further research is needed. There is currently no evidence that modifying dietary macronutrient composition offers additional benefits over conventional dietary approaches for weight loss, and further research is needed. Emerging evidence suggests that exercise offers additional benefits to dietary energy restriction for reproductive features of PCOS.
    Fertility and sterility 01/2009; 92(6):1966-82. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In response to increasing interest of the European Commission on large-scale genotyping for complex diseases, including variability in ethnic minorities in Europe, (HEALTH-2009-4.3.3-1), at the end of 2008 we composed the HAPLOGENDIS consortium with partners from Russia and European Countries. A first program (SICA) was proposed in cooperation with Russian Federal Agency for Science and Innovation, focusing on comparative population genetics oil diseases accompanied by insulin resistance. Beside the specificity in analyzing the human genome with SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) and defining haplotype structure of genes, the program rises new hypotheses which directly link colonization of Europe at the Neolithic period from Eastern Ukraine or Anatolia with the development of agriculture and major dietary and life style changes that may have an impact oil the genome. Although there will be many occasions to review both genetic and clinical detailed aspects, this short note will expose some unifying ideas that joint these partners
    Acta Endocrinologica-Bucharest. 01/2009; 5(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity, particularly its abdominal phenotype, a harbinger of the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), is becoming one of the most significant public health problems worldwide. Among many other potential factors, derangement of multiple hormone systems have increasingly been considered for their potential importance in the pathophysiology of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, with particular reference to glucocorticoids and sex hormones. These systems have a fundamental and coordinating role in the physiology of intermediate metabolism and cardiovascular function, and in the response to acute and chronic stress challenge. Abdominal obesity is associated with a hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and impaired androgen balance, although these alterations differ according to sex. As there is also increasing evidence that there are many differences between the sexes in the susceptibility and development of obesity, T2D and CVDs, we support the hypothesis that alterations of the HPA axis and androgen balance may have an important function in this context. This is further supported by the fact that there are important differences between males and females in their ability to adapt to both internal and particularly to environmental (external) stressors. In addition, there is also evidence that, in both physiological and pathological conditions, a close cross talk exists between sex hormones and glucocorticoids at both neuroendocrine and peripheral level, again with different specificities according to sex.
    International journal of obesity (2005) 11/2008; 32(12):1764-79. · 5.22 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
588.34 Total Impact Points


  • 1997–2013
    • Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi
      Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 1981–2012
    • University of Bologna
      • • Division of Endocrinology
      • • Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine DIMES
      • • Institute of Genetic Medicine
      Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2011
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2003
    • Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1999
    • Università degli Studi di Torino
      • Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy
  • 1998
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
      Richmond, Virginia, United States
  • 1989
    • Ospedale Maggiore Carlo Alberto Pizzardi di Bologna
      Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy