Maria Luisa Biondi

University of Milan, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (66)281.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether the presence of specific polymorphism in the gene promoter of collagen and some matrix metalloproteinases was associated with the risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse. A case-control study was carried on 233 women: 137 were cases with ≥ stage II pelvic organ prolapse and 96 were matched controls without pelvic pathologies. Allele and genotype frequencies related to polymorphisms at the Sp1 site of type I collagen and some functional polymorphisms in the promoters of metalloproteinases-1, -3 and -9 have been compared between groups. It has been shown that these single-insertions/deletions polymorphisms located in the promoter region of the genes have a functional significance in the regulation of their transcriptional level and local expression. Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequence analysis. SPSS 14.0 software was used for data analysis. Probability values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant. No difference between groups was found in the genotype distribution polymorphisms for COL1A1, metalloproteinases-9 and -3, while the distribution of the polymorphism of metalloproteinases-1 was significantly increased in the cases when compared with controls (p = 0.04). Our findings suggest that the polymorphism of metalloproteinases-1 might have a role in mediating susceptibility to pelvic organ prolapse.
    Archives of Gynecology 12/2011; 285(6):1581-6. · 0.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High resolution melting (HRM) analysis of PCR amplicons was recently introduced as a closed-tube, rapid, and inexpensive method of genotyping. This study evaluated this system as an option for detecting the three most common mutations in the HFE gene (C282Y, H63D, S65C), accounting for the main form of hereditary haemochromatosis. Ninety samples, previously screened by direct sequencing, and 27 controls were used. The analysis were performed on the Rotor Gene Q, using the commercial HRM mix containing the Eva Green dye (Qiagen). Specific primers allowed the amplification of the regions of interest in the HFE gene. Following amplification, a HRM analysis was conducted to detect DNA variants. The thermal denaturation profiles of the samples were compared with those of the controls. One hundred percent of heterozygous and homozygous samples were readily identified. Heterozygotes were easily identified because heteroduplexes altered the shape of the melting curves, but significant differences were also present in the melting curves of the homozygous carries compared with those of the wild-type subjects. HRM analysis is an appealing technology for HFE gene screening. It is a robust technique that can be widely adopted in diagnostic laboratories to facilitate gene mutation screening.
    Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 06/2011; 49(9):1453-7. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 03/2011; 56(3):e96-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of Rheumatology 12/2010; 37(12):2638-9. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The very high cardiovascular (CV) mortality and morbidity rates in hemodialysis (HD) patients are greatly related to atherosclerosis. CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor/CTGF) is a profibrotic factor that is secreted by endothelial cells, involved in atherogenesis, promoting fibroblast proliferation and matrix production. CCN2 protein is significantly increased in complicated fibrous plaques and enhances monocyte migration into atherosclerotic lesions. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible association between CCN2 gene polymorphism and CV morbidity and mortality in HD patients. 98 HD patients, followed for 24 months, were genotyped for the common polymorphism on the CCN2 gene (G-945C). HD patient characteristics were: age 64 ± 13 years, males 64%, diabetes 24%, hypertension 62%, smokers 38%, dyslipidemia 28%, all undergoing standard HD three times weekly. All-cause mortality was not associated with CCN2 polymorphism (G-945C). In contrast, however, the GG genotype was strongly associated with CV mortality: OR 13 (1.49-155), p = 0.0048. Interestingly, the GG genotype was also greatly associated with the serious CV events of stroke and myocardial infarction in surviving HD patients: OR 13.3 (2.5-87.08), p = 0.0001. We demonstrate for the first time that CCN2 gene polymorphism is a prognostic risk factor for CV morbidity and mortality in HD patients. These data may have important implications for better understanding the link between accelerated atherosclerosis and increased mortality in HD population.
    Blood Purification 11/2010; 30(4):272-6. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac extracellular matrix structure is largely under the control of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) whose activity maintains a balance between connective tissue synthesis and degradation. MMP gene polymorphisms, by modifying the level of gene expression, may affect atrial structural remodelling and atrial fibrillation recurrence rate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between MMP-1 and MMP-3 polymorphisms and arrhythmia recurrence. We studied 74 persistent atrial fibrillation patients who underwent electrical cardioversion to restore sinus rhythm. In both patient and reference control groups, identification of MMP-1 and MMP-3 gene polymorphisms was performed by means of polymerase chain reaction according to standard techniques. Distribution of MMP-1 and MMP-3 genotypes and alleles were similar in atrial fibrillation patients and controls. During a 3-week follow-up period, 37 patients showed atrial fibrillation recurrences. Risk for atrial fibrillation recurrence significantly differed among groups (P = 0.0139) according to 5A and 1G allele presence. In particular, atrial fibrillation recurred in 62% of the patients carrying both 5A and 1G alleles (reference group) compared with no recurrence in patients carrying neither of them. We observed a significant relationship between MMP-1 and MMP-3 polymorphism and atrial fibrillation recurrences in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. These findings suggest that genetic factors contribute to determine arrhythmic recurrence rate in persistent atrial fibrillation.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 10/2010; 12(1):37-42. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification and accelerated atherosclerosis are major causes of death in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation may be crucial determinants of cellular behavior in uremic conditions, determining an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The common polymorphisms on different gene promoters have been related to increased coronary artery calcification and associated with cardiovascular outcome in HD population. In this review, we reported the gene polymorphisms of different proteins as negative prognostic risk factors for all-cause mortality in HD patients, independent of traditional risk factors. These data may have important implications for better understanding the pathogenesis of the increased mortality in this population.
    Blood Purification 03/2010; 29(4):347-51. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification and accelerated atherosclerosis are major causes of death in haemodialysis (HD) patients. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of enzymes, involved in the biology of extracellular matrix and in atherogenesis. MMP1 and MMP3 contribute to the enlargement and instability of atherosclerotic plaque, respectively. The common polymorphisms on MMP1 (2G/2G) and MMP3 (6A/6A) gene promoters have been related to increased coronary artery calcification and to carotid artery stenosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of MMP1 and MMP3 polymorphisms with end-stage renal failure (ESRD) and all-cause mortality risk in HD. Ninety-nine HD patients, followed-up for 36 months, and 133 matched controls were genotyped for the two polymorphisms. HD patients' characteristics were age 64 +/- 13 years, males 64%, diabetic 24%, hypertensive 62%, smokers 38%, dyslipidaemic 28%, all undergoing standard HD thrice weekly. ESRD was strongly associated with the combination of 2G/2G and 6A/6A homozygosity: OR 2.57 (0.95-7.4), P = 0.037, but not with isolated 2G/2G and 6A/6A homozygosity (P = 0.09 and P = 0.11, respectively). Isolated 2G/2G was associated with all-cause mortality risk independently from age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, dyslipidaemia, C-reactive protein, albumin, dialysis vintage and history of cardio-vascular disease: HR 2.96 (1.29-6.80), P = 0.01. A trend for the association of mortality and isolated 6A/6A homozygosity was also observed: HR 3.01 (0.88-10.26), P = 0.078. Combination of 2G/2G and 6A/6A homozygosity significantly increased the mortality risk in the same Cox regression model: HR 4.69 (1.72-12.81), P = 0.003. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that MMP-1 and MMP-3 gene polymorphisms are negative prognostic risk factors for all-cause mortality in HD patients, independently from traditional risk factors. These data may have important implications for better understanding the pathogenesis of the increased mortality in HD patients.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 03/2009; 24(7):2207-12. · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Rheumatology 12/2008; 28(2):241-2. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether stromelysin, a candidate gene in atherogenesis, plays a role in atherogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a leading cause of mortality in SLE. A genetic study using polymorphism located in the promoter region of stromelysin was performed in 55 Italian patients with SLE. Carotid intimal-medial thickness (IMT) was evaluated by B mode ultrasonography. All patients with an "abnormal" (> or =0.9 mm) IMT carried at least one 6A allele, and the degree of IMT was significantly greater in patients carrying at least one 6A allele (0.63 +/- 0.22 vs 0.43 +/- 0.04 mm, 5A/6A + 6A/6A vs 5A/5A, p = 0.018). Our data show that polymorphism of stromelysin promoter may be relevant for SLE-related cardiovascular disease.
    Journal of Clinical Immunology 03/2008; 28(2):131-3. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Chemokines and chemokine receptors are known to be involved in atherogenesis. Common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affect transcription in response to inflammatory stimuli. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between MCP-1, RANTES, SDF-1, CCR2, and CCR5 gene polymorphisms with increased risk of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis. Hundred and twelve patients, consecutively recruited for ICA occlusive disease, and 282 controls were genotyped for MCP-1-2518G, RANTES-403A, CCR5Delta32, CCR2 V64I, and SDF-1-801A polymorphisms. The frequency of the SDF-1A allele was significantly different between cases and controls: 0.32 vs. 0.20, respectively (OR 1.81; 95% CI 1.25-2.60; p=0.007). The frequency of the RANTES-403G allele was significantly higher in patients with stenosis >70% (OR, 2.45; 95% CI 1.12-5.71; p=0.015). No significant differences were observed with the other polymorphisms. The reported results seem to correlate the polymorphisms of the genes encoding for SDF-1, RANTES with pathogenesis and progression of ICA occlusive disease. Although suggestive, these results need confirmation in prospective cross-sectional studies.
    Cytokine 01/2008; 41(1):24-8. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    Journal of the International AIDS Society 01/2008; 11:1-1. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 02/2007; 22(1):290-1. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification (VC) and accelerated atherosclerosis are major causes of cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality in haemodialysis (HD) patients. Inhibitory proteins are associated with reduced VC and may play a key role in preventing CV in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Fetuin-A, also known as alpha(2)-Heremans-Schmid glycoprotein (AHSG), is a circulating plasma protein with inhibitory effects on VC that has been associated with inflammation and CV mortality in HD patients. In the present study, we investigated the associations between serum fetuin-A levels and its gene (AHSG) polymorphisms in an Italian HD population. Ninety-six patients on stable chronic HD treatment and 57 healthy controls were genotyped for the common polymorphisms on the AHSG (T256S). In addition, serum fetuin-A levels were tested. In this study, serum fetuin-A levels were lower in HD patients (0.35 +/- 0.11 g/l) compared with healthy controls (0.62 +/- 0.31 g/l, p < 0.05). In both HD patients and the control group, the distribution of the AHSG gene did not show significant association between low serum fetuin-A levels and the Ser/Ser genotype, known to be associated with a higher CV mortality risk in the HD population. Moreover, the distribution of AHSG gene polymorphisms in HD patients and in healthy controls was similar. In contrast with previous reports, this study suggests that CKD patients on HD treatment have a similar polymorphism distribution of the AHSG gene compared with the normal population and that the reduction in serum fetuin-A levels in Italian HD patients is not associated with an alteration in the distribution of AHSG T256S polymorphisms.
    American Journal of Nephrology 01/2007; 27(6):639-42. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In patients on dialysis coronary artery calcification (CAC) rapidly proceeds due to impaired mineral metabolism and/or exogenous calcium load. Progression has not been assessed in patients with chronic kidney disease not yet requiring dialysis (CKD patients). In this study, rate and determinants of CAC progression have been evaluated in CKD patients who are exposed to minor derangement of mineral metabolism and calcium load. Consecutive patients were enrolled. Exclusion criteria were: symptomatic coronary disease, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, and diabetes. Serum calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, homocysteine, C-reactive protein, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were serially measured. Fetuin-A was assessed at entry into the study. CAC progression was detected by measuring total calcium score (TCS) with computed tomography. Initial and final scans were obtained. Predictive factors of progression were investigated. Fifty-three patients had CKD (stage 3-5 CKD; K-DOQI classification) not yet requiring dialysis, and 60 patients had normal renal function (NRF patients). Follow-up lasted 24 +/- 4.2 months (mean +/- SE). Patients with CAC were older with lower serum fetuin-A. TCS increased from 73 +/- 17 to 80 +/- 20 (mean +/- SE; p = NS) in NRF patients, and from 384 +/- 116 to 602 +/- 140 (mean +/- SE; p < 0.01) in CKD patients. Serum phosphorus [OR = 1.97 (1.14-3.41, 95% CI); p = 0.015] was the only variable that was associated with CAC progression. Cardiovascular events occurred in CKD patients with CAC. CAC progression was prominent in CKD patients and correlated with serum phosphorus. Fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events were more frequent in CKD patients. Studies are required to ascertain whether the attainment of serum phosphorus concentration lower than that suggested by current guidelines may reduce CAC progression and ultimately mortality.
    American Journal of Nephrology 01/2007; 27(2):152-8. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pro12Ala variant of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-gamma2 (PPAR-gamma2) may be linked to insulin sensitivity. This study examined whether an association of PPAR-gamma2 Pro12Ala with insulin resistance and plasma LCPUFAs may exist in obese children. One hundred and forty Italian normolipidemic obese children (58 girls and 82 boys, mean age [SD], 10.2 [2.7] y) entered the study. Obesity was defined according to International Obesity Task Force. BMI Z-scores were calculated. Fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipids and plasma fatty acids were measured. Insulin resistance was estimated by the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR). The frequency of Ala allele was 9%. Mean [SD] values of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR in Pro/Pro versus Pro12Ala groups were: 19.3 [10.6] versus 14.1 [10.4] microU/mL (p = 0.017) and 4.2 [2.3] versus 3.0 [2.3] (p = 0.022). Mean [SD] values of plasma C20:3n-9 and of C20:4n-6, C20:5n-3, C22:6n-3 and n-6/n-3 LCPUFA in phospholipds in Pro/Pro versus Pro12Ala groups were: 0.15 [0.07] versus 0.12 [0.08] % (p = 0.014), 8.9 [1.9] versus 10.2 [2.6] % (p = 0.023), 0.34 [0.15] versus 0.42 [0.11] % (p = 0.005), 2.1 [0.9] versus 2.6 [0.9] % (p = 0.032) and 4.8 [1.2] versus 4.2 [0.7] (p = 0.017). Pro12Ala may be associated with higher insulin sensitivity and higher LCPUFAs, particularly n-3, levels in plasma phosholipids of obese children.
    Pediatric Research 11/2006; 60(4):485-9. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Matrix metalloproteinases are a family of proteolytic enzymes that can degrade extracellular matrix components and have been implicated in connective tissue remodeling associated with cancer invasion and metastasis. These proteins are also involved in the invasive events underlying endometriotic lesion formation and aggressive behavior. Given the established genetic background of endometriosis, the aim of this study was to examine the potential impact of two polymorphisms in the gene promoter region of two of these enzymes, matrix metalloproteinases 1 and 3, on predisposition and severity of the disease. Genomic DNA was obtained from 56 Italian Caucasian women with a surgical diagnosis of endometriosis and a control group of 71 age-matched Caucasian healthy female blood donors. In control women, endometriosis was ruled out by evaluation of the medical history, gynecologic examinations, and ultrasound scanning. Two polymorphisms have been specifically investigated: 1. a single insertion polymorphism (2G) in the matrix metalloproteinase-1 promoter region known to elevate transcriptional level of matrix metalloproteinase-1; and 2. a single insertion/deletion polymorphism (5A/6A) located in the promoter of the matrix metalloproteinase-3 gene with functional significance in the regulation of its expression. Genotypes were determined by PCR amplification and sequence analysis. Allele and genotype frequencies of both polymorphisms did not significantly differ between endometriosis and control groups. Moreover, no significant difference for both polymorphisms was observed in relation to the clinical stage and recurrence status of the disease. This is the first study that has evaluated the possibility that gene variants of matrix metalloproteinases might be involved in the susceptibility to endometriosis. However, these results suggest that matrix metalloproteinases 1 and 3 promoter polymorphism do not constitute an important factor for the genetic predisposition to endometriosis and its invasive behavior in the Italian population.
    Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica 02/2006; 85(2):212-7. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    Clinical Chemistry 01/2006; 51(12):2411-4. · 7.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in hemodialysis (HD). An elevated incidence of cardiovascular calcifications (CVC) is observed in HD. Fetuin-A is an important inhibitor of CVC. Reduced fetuin-A levels associate with inflammation and increased cardiovascular (CV) mortality in HD. In this study we investigated the association of fetuin-A levels and CVC. We evaluated a cohort of 115 patients (67 males), aged 63 +/- 16 years with a HD vintage >or=9 months. Presence of CVC was assessed by ultrasound imaging of the abdominal aorta, common carotid arteries, bilateral ilio-femoral axis, aortic and mitral cardiac valves. The presence of CVC was analyzed as a CVC score (CVCS) (0-7) according to the number of CVC sites. Patients were arbitrary stratified in three groups: group I (CVCS = 0), group II (0 < CVCS < 6) and group III (CVCS >or= 6). Patients without CVC were younger, non-diabetic and with a negative history for CV events. Patients with evidence of CVC in more than 5 sites had lower serum fetuin-A levels (0.41 +/- 0.22 g/l) compared to patients with CVCS = 0 (0.51 +/- 0.17 g/l, p = 0.048). In addition a worse CVCS was associated with higher serum levels of C-reactive protein (p = 0.002) and fibrinogen (p < 0.001). Serum fetuin-A levels lower than 0.290 g/l were associated with higher risk of a worse CVCS, independently from traditional risk factors. Chronic inflammation in HD patients leads to lower serum fetuin-A levels. The present study confirms the independent and significant association between reduced serum fetuin-A levels and multi-site CVC in HD.
    American Journal of Nephrology 01/2006; 26(5):423-9. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fractalkine (FKN) and its receptor CX3CR1 are critical mediators in the vascular and tissue damage of several chronic diseases, including systemic sclerosis (SSc) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Interestingly, the V249I and T280M genetic polymorphisms influence CX3CR1 expression and function. We investigated whether these polymorphisms are associated with PAH secondary to SSc. CX3CR1 genotypes were analyzed by PCR and sequencing in 76 patients with limited SSc and 204 healthy controls. PAH was defined by colorDoppler echocardiography. Homozygosity for 249II as well as the combined presence of 249II and 280MM were significantly more frequent in patients with SSc compared to controls (17 vs 6%, p = 0.0034 and 5 vs 1%, p = 0.0027, respectively). The 249I and 280M alleles were associated with PAH (odd ratio [OR] 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-4.75, p = 0.028 and OR 7.37, 95%CI: 2.45-24.60, p = 0.0001, respectively). In conclusion, the increased frequencies of 249I and 280M CX3CR1 alleles in a subgroup of patients with SSc-associated PAH suggest a role for the fractalkine system in the pathogenesis of this condition. Further, the 249I allele might be associated with susceptibility to SSc.
    Clinical and Developmental Immunology 01/2006; 12(4):275-9. · 3.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

889 Citations
281.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1986–2011
    • University of Milan
      • Department of Health Science - DISS
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2008
    • Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS
      Rozzano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2003–2008
    • Azienda Ospedaliera San Paolo - Polo Universitario
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1988–1991
    • Università degli Studi del Sannio
      Benevento, Campania, Italy