[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sarcoglycan complex consists of a group of single-pass transmembrane glycoproteins that are essential to maintain the integrity of muscle membranes. Any mutation in each sarcoglycan gene causes a series of recessive autosomal dystrophin-positive muscular dystrophies. Negative fibres for sarcoglycans have never been found in healthy humans and animals. In this study, we have investigated whether the social ranking has an influence on the expression of sarcoglycans in the skeletal muscles of healthy baboons. Biopsies of masseter and sternocleidomastoid muscles were processed for confocal immunohistochemical detection of sarcoglycans. Our findings showed that baboons from different social rankings exhibited different sarcoglycan expression profiles. While in dominant baboons almost all muscles were stained for sarcoglycans, only 55% of muscle fibres showed a significant staining. This different expression pattern is likely to be due to the living conditions of these primates. Sarcoglycans which play a key role in muscle activity by controlling contractile forces may influence the phenotype of muscle fibres, thus determining an adaptation to functional conditions. We hypothesize that this intraspecies variation reflects an epigenetic modification of the muscular protein network that allows baboons to adapt progressively to a different social status.
European journal of histochemistry: EJH 04/2015; 59(2). DOI:10.4081/ejh.2015.2509 · 2.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dentin is a vital, hydrated composite tissue with structural components and properties that vary in the different topographic portions of the teeth. These variations have a significant implication for biomechanical teeth properties and for the adhesive systems utilized in conservative dentistry. The aim of this study is to analyse the root canal dentin going from coronal to apical zone to find the ratio between the intertubular dentin area and the surface occupied by dentin tubules varies. Observations were conducted on 30 healthy premolar teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons in patients aged between 10 and 14. A SEM analysis of the data obtained in different canal portions showed that, in the coronal zone, dentinal tubules had a greater diameter (4.32 í µí¼m) than the middle zone (3.74 í µí¼m) and the apical zone (1.73 í µí¼m). The average number of dentinal tubules (in an area of 1 mm 2) was similar in coronal zone (46, 798 ± 10, 644) and apical zone (45, 192 ± 10, 888), while in the middle zone they were lower in number (30, 940 ± 7, 651). However, intertubular dentin area was bigger going from apical to coronal portion. The differences between the analysed areas must be considered for the choice of the adhesive system.
BioMed Research International 01/2015; 2015(4). DOI:10.1155/2015/164065 · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteonecrosis of the jaw is an adverse outcome associated with bisphosphonate treatment. Bisphosphonates are used in conjunction with antineoplastic chemotherapy for the treatment of hypercalcaemia associated with malignancy, lytic bone metastasis and multiple myeloma. However, it is not known if the osteonecrosis of the jaw lesion originates in the bone or whether it initiates in the gingival epithelium. Two bisphosphonates are commonly used in cancer treatment. One of these is pamidronate disodium, a second-generation bisphosphonate that differs from the first-generation drug because it inhibits bone resorption at a dose that does not affect bone mineralization. The other widely used BP, zoledronate, is a third-generation drug that is the most potent bisphosphonate in clinical use, showing strong anti-osteoclastic activity, similar to pamidronate. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the modifications of human oral mucosa and underlying bone in patients after treatment with these nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates for 24 and 36 months. We analyzed the structural damage of the oral mucosa and damage of the perilesional mandibular bone observing possible correlations from them. Our results allow to express two hypotheses about the mechanism responsible for these results relating to mandible matrix necrosis; first, an increased skeletal microdamage associated with turnover suppression occurred early in treatment and progress with longer treatment duration, second, opening damage in osteonecrosis of the jaw modifies structural morphology of gingival epithelium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation and bone loss. The balance between inflammatory mediators and their counter-regulatory molecules may be fundamental for determining the outcome of immune pathology of periodontal disease. Cytokines play crucial roles in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, a process which requires a delicate balance between anabolic and catabolic activities. In particular, two families of growth factors-such as transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are thought to play important roles in modulating the proliferation and/or migration of structural cells involved in inflammation and regulation of immune responses. The aim of this work was to analyze gingival samples and periodontal tissue specimens collected from thirty-eight patients with chronic periodontal disease and from forty healthy individuals, in order to detect the expression and distribution of TGF-β1 and VEGF between the two groups. TGF-β1 and VEGF expression levels were detected using immunohistochemical analysis and computer-assisted morphometric analysis. The findings presented here suggest that biomarker such as TGF-β1 and VEGF have an important regulating role in the orchestration of the immune response, which in turn influence the outcome of disease establishment and evolution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation and bone loss. The balance between inflammatory mediators and their counter-regulatory molecules may be fundamental for determining the outcome of immune pathology of periodontal disease. Cytokines play crucial roles in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, a process which requires a delicate balance between anabolic and catabolic activities. In particular, two families of growth factors-such as transforming growth factor-ÃŸl (TGF- ÃŸl) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are thought to play important roles in modulating the proliferation and/or migration of structural cells involved in inflammation and regulation of immune responses. The aim of this work was to analyze gingival samples and periodontal tissue specimens collected from thirty-eight patients with chronic periodontal disease and from forty healthy individuals, in order to detect the expression and distribution of TGF-ÃŸl and VEGF between the two groups. TGF-ÃŸl and VEGF expression levels were detected using immunohistochemical analysis and computer-assisted morphometric analysis. The findings presented here suggest that biomarker such as TGF-ÃŸl and VEGF have an important regulating role in the orchestration of the immune response, which in turn influence the outcome of disease establishment and evolution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to analyze three-dimensional images of the arterial supply to the temporomandibular joint.
Ten patients (five men and five women, mean age 36 years) without signs or symptoms of temporomandibular disorders, who underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomographic (CT) scanning with intravenous contrast, were studied. The direct volume rendering technique of CT images was used, and a data set of images to visualize the vasculature of the human temporomandibular joint in three dimensions was created. After elaboration of the data through post-processing, the arterial supply of the temporomandibular joint was studied.
The analysis revealed the superficial temporal artery, the anterior tympanic artery, the deep temporal artery, the auricular posterior artery, the transverse facial artery, the middle meningeal artery, and the maxillary artery with their branches as the main arterial sources for the lateral and medial temporomandibular joint.
The direct volume rendering technique was found to be successful in the assessment of the arterial supply to the temporomandibular joint. The superficial temporal artery and maxillary artery ran along the lateral and medial sides of the condylar neck, suggesting that these arteries are at increased risk during soft-tissue procedures such as an elective arthroplasty of the temporomandibular joint.
Imaging Science in Dentistry 03/2013; 43(1):37-44. DOI:10.5624/isd.2013.43.1.37
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Morphological and volumetric variabilities of lateral ventricles are considered indirect indicators of age-and gender-related reductions of white and gray matter. However, no studies have classified lateral ventricles with different morphologies or showed its asymmetric shapes in healthy subjects. We performed an analysis on living subjects, using 3D volume rendering techniques. Eighty-five healthy Caucasian volunteers (49 women and 36 men aged 19-69 years) were scanned by a Philips Achieva 3T R2.6. Three-dimensional reconstruction allowed us to identify three main morphological shapes in living subjects and to show asymmetries between horns. We also assessed the surface deformation of the cerebral ventricles to identify region-specific shape differences in aging healthy adults. Statistical analysis showed significant gender- and age-related volume differences. An increase in lateral ventricle volume appears to be a constant, linear function of age throughout adult life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biofilms are a serious problem, cause of severe inconvenience in the biomedical, food and industrial environment. Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis are important pathogenic bacteria able to form thick and resistant biofilms on various surfaces. Therefore, strategies aimed at preventing or at least interfering with the initial adhesion and subsequent biofilm formation are a considerable achievement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of alkaline pH on bacterial adhesion and further biofilm formation of S. aureus and S. epidermidis strains by biofilm biomass, cell-surface hydrophobicity, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) analysis. The results demonstrated that the amount of biofilm biomass formed and the surface hydrophobicity were significantly less than what were observed at higher levels of pH. SEM and CLSM images revealed a poorly structured and very thin biofilm (2.5-3 times thinner than that of the controls). The inhibiting effect of the alkaline pH on the bacterial attachment impaired the normal development of biofilm that arrested at the microcolony stage. Alkaline formulations could be promising towards the control of bacterial colonization and therefore the reduction of the biofilm-related hazard. In the clinical setting, alkaline solutions or cleaners could be promising to prevent the bacterial colonization, by treating surfaces such as catheters or indwelling medical devices, reducing the risk of biofilm related infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sarcoglycan sub-complex is a protein system which plays a key role in sarcolemma stabilization during muscle activity. Although numerous studies have been conducted on this system, there are few data about its localization in non-muscular tissues. On this basis we carried out an indirect immunofluorescence study on normal rat cerebral and cerebellar cortex. In particular, we carried out single localization reactions to analyze if these proteins are present in brain and double localization reactions between sarcoglycans and either SMI-32 or GFAP to verify if they are expressed both in neurons and glial cells. We found that all tested sarcoglycans are present both in cerebral and cerebellar cortex and that they are expressed both in neurons and glial cells. The typical staining pattern of all sarcoglycans is represented by "spot-like" fluorescence, with spots of 0.5-2 microm average diameter laid out mainly around the soma of the cells. The main difference about sarcoglycans expression between cerebral and cerebellar cortex is that in the cerebellar cortex the sarcoglycans positivity is detectable only in an area which is likely to correspond to Purkinje cells layer. The presence of sarcoglycans in cerebral and cerebellar cortex and their disposition mainly around the soma of the cells suggest a role of these proteins in cellular signalling and in regulating postsynaptic receptor assembly mainly in axo-somatic synapses.
Italian journal of anatomy and embryology = Archivio italiano di anatomia ed embriologia 08/2012; 117(1):54-64.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether hepatitis B virus (HBV) preS/S gene variability has any impact on serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels and to analyze the replication capacity of naturally occurring preS/S variants, sera from 40 untreated patients with HBV-related chronic liver disease (hepatitis B e antigen [HBeAg]-positive, n = 11; HBeAg-negative, n = 29) were virologically characterized. Additionally, phenotypic analysis of three different preS/S variant isolates (carrying a 183-nucleotide deletion within the preS1 region, the deletion of preS2 start codon, and a stop signal at codon 182 within the S gene, respectively) was performed. HBV infecting 14 (35%) patients had single or multiple preS/S genomic mutations (i.e., preS1 and/or preS2 deletions, preS2 start codon mutations, C-terminally truncated and/or "a" determinant mutated S protein). Presence of preS/S variants negatively correlated with HBsAg titers (r = -0.431; P = 0.005) and its prevalence did not significantly differ between HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative patients. No correlation was found between HBsAg and HBV DNA levels in patients infected with preS/S mutants, whereas a significant correlation was found between HBsAg and viremia levels (r = 0.607; P = 0.001) in patients infected with wild-type HBV strains. HepG2 cells replicating the above-mentioned three preS/S variants showed significant reduction of HBsAg secretion, retention of envelope proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum, less efficient virion secretion and nuclear accumulation of significantly higher amounts of covalently closed circular DNA compared with wild-type HBV replicating cells. CONCLUSION: In patients infected with preS/S variants, HBV DNA replication and HBsAg synthesis/secretion appear to be dissociated. Therefore, the use of HBsAg titer as diagnostic/prognostic tool has to take into account the frequent emergence of preS/S variants in chronic HBV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sarcoglycan (SG) complex (SGC) is a subcomplex within the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) and is composed of several transmembrane proteins (α, β, δ, γ, ε and ζ). The DGC supplies a transmembranous connection between the subsarcolemmal cytoskeleton networks and the basal lamina in order to protect the lipid bilayer and to provide a scaffold for signaling molecules in all muscle cells. In addition to its role in muscle tissue, dystrophin and some DGC components are expressed in neurons and glia. Very little is known about the SG subunits in the central nervous system (CNS) and some data suggested the presence of ε and ζ subunits only. In fact, mutations in the ε-SG gene cause myoclonus-dystonia, indicating its importance for brain function. To determine the presence and localization of SGC in the human cerebral cortex, we performed an investigation using immunofluorescence, immunoblotting and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that all SG subunits are expressed in the human cerebral cortex, particularly in large neurons but also in astrocytes. These data suggest that the SG subcomplex may be involved in the organization of CNS synapses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation and bone loss. The balance between inflammatory mediators and their counter-regulatory molecules may be fundamental for determining the outcome of the immune pathology of periodontal disease. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) represent a family of polypeptide proteins involved in the inflammation and regulation of immune responses, especially in rheumatic disease. The relationship between these growth factors and periodontitis has resulted in a new field of osteoimmunology and provides a context for better understanding the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the protein expression profile of these inflammatory mediators in 90 patients divided in three groups: healthy control, chronic periodontitis and in rheumatic disease, scleroderma. The findings presented here highlight that biomarkers, such as TGF-β1 and VEGF, play a key role in the evolution of the immune response, which in turn influences the outcome of disease establishment.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 06/2012; 30(3):502-8. DOI:10.3892/ijmm.2012.1024 · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrins are heterodimeric cell surface membrane proteins linking the extracellular matrix to actin. α7B integrin is detected in proliferating and adult myofibers, whereas α7A plays a role in regenerating muscle fibers with a minor function in mature muscle fibers. The expression levels of β1A appear to be very low, whereas β1D appears to be the predominant integrin form in mature muscle. Considering the important features of masseter muscle we have studied integrin expression in masseter muscle specimens of surgical patients with posterior right crossbite and comparing them to left side masseter muscle specimens. Our results showed that the expression of integrins was significantly lower in the crossbite side muscle. Furthermore, the most important finding is that β1A is clearly detectable in adult masseter muscle. This behavior could be due to the particular composition of masseter, since it contains hybrid fibers showing the capacity to modify the contractile properties to optimize the energy efficiency or the action of the muscle during contraction. Moreover, masseter is characterized by a high turnover of muscle fibers producing a regeneration process. This may indicate a longer time to heal, justifying the loss of β1D and the consequential increase of β1A. Thus, our data provide the first suggestion that integrins in masseter muscle play a key role regulating the functional activity of muscle and allowing the optimization of contractile forces.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 04/2012; 30(2):235-42. DOI:10.3892/ijmm.2012.986 · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Costameres encircle the myocyte perpendicular to its long axis, and comprise two protein complexes: the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) and the vinculin-talin-integrin system. They participate in signaling functions and protect muscle cells from damage induced by workload. The behaviour of those proteins has been a focus of study starting from skeletal and smooth muscle cells to cardiomyocytes, and still represents a topical subject for cardiovascular translational research. This review summarizes the past and present novel approaches of our and other groups of work on this subject of research.
Annales de cardiologie et d'angeiologie 02/2012; 61(1):55-60. DOI:10.1016/j.ancard.2011.12.003 · 0.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The jaw is a horseshoe shaped structure with a concavity that runs dorsally. It presents an anterior and a posterior side. The jaw ramii are quadrilateral expansions that run obliquely upwards and downwards and are compressed on the lateromedial side. The mandible, which has a membranous origin, develops in the first branchial arch, where there is already a cartilaginous skeleton. A relative increase in mechanical stimulation of the jaw results in the marked neodeposition of osseous tissue that is more intensively and rapidly reabsorbed at sites not subjected to pressure. Mandibular bone is subject to normal turnover that is manifested as bone remodeling. While remodelling also involves the gingival tissue, it is unclear whether osteonecrosis of the jaw, such as occurs in patients treated with bisphosphonates, originates in the bone or in the oral mucosa. However, it has been shown that oral mucosal cells with disrupted talin function are unable to form focal adhesions and exhibit spreading defects, whereas cells with vinculin disruption can form focal adhesions but display a reduced ability to spread and an increase in cell motility.
Bisphosphonates and Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 01/2012: pages 59-71; , ISBN: 978-88-470-2082-5
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sarcoglycan complex, consisting of α-, β-, γ-, δ- and ε-sarcoglycans, is a multimember transmembrane system providing a mechanosignaling connection from the cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix. Whereas the expression of α- and γ-sarcoglycan is restricted to striated muscle, other sarcoglycans are widely expressed. Although many studies have investigated sarcoglycans in all muscle types, insufficient data are available on the distribution of the sarcoglycan complex in nonmuscle tissue. On this basis, we used immunohistochemical and RT-PCR techniques to study preliminarily the sarcoglycans in normal glandular breast tissue (which has never been studied in the literature on these proteins) to verify the effective wider distribution of this complex. Moreover, to understand the role of sarcoglycans, we also tested samples obtained from patients affected by fibrocystic mastopathy and breast fibroadenoma. Our data showed, for the first time, that all sarcoglycans are always detectable in all normal samples both in epithelial and myoepithelial cells; in pathological breast tissue, all sarcoglycans appeared severely reduced. These data demonstrated that all sarcoglycans, not only β-, δ-, and ε-sarcoglycans, have a wider distribution, implying a new unknown role for these proteins. Moreover, in breast diseases, sarcoglycans containing cadherin domain homologs could provoke a loss of strong adhesion between epithelial cells, permitting and facilitating the degeneration of these benign breast tumors into malignant tumors. Consequently, sarcoglycans could play an important and intriguing role in many breast diseases and in particular in tumor progression from benign to malignant.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ureteropelvic junction obstruction is one of the most common causes of hydronephrosis in children. A malfunction of smooth muscle cells is believed to be the underlying mechanism causing obstruction. We investigated the expression of some integrins, talin and β-dystroglycan, considered the main compound of smooth muscle cell cytoskeleton, and active caspase 3 at the level of the ureteropelvic junction obstruction.
Specimens were obtained at pyeloplasty in 12 children with ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Six control specimens were obtained during organ explantation. Specimens were divided into renal pelvis, ureteropelvic junction and ureter below the obstruction. Western blot analysis of active caspase 3, and immunofluorescence and polymerase chain reaction analysis were performed for α7A, β1A, α7B and β1D integrins, talin and β-dystroglycan.
Talin and β-dystroglycan were slightly impaired in ureteropelvic junction obstruction, while α7B and β1D integrins were severely reduced, and α7A, β1A and active caspase 3 were significantly enhanced compared to controls.
We demonstrated activation of apoptosis and a critical alteration of cytoskeleton that might explain the altered function and the increased apoptosis in smooth muscle cells in ureteropelvic junction obstruction. The delayed rearrangement of the cytoskeleton of smooth muscle cells in ureteropelvic junction obstruction might be linked to a postnatal splicing from α7A and β1A to α7B and β1D integrins, respectively. This relationship could explain the common clinical scenario of spontaneous improvement of hydronephrosis in children with suspected ureteropelvic junction obstruction.
The Journal of urology 06/2011; 185(6):2314-9. DOI:10.1016/j.juro.2011.02.045 · 4.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this report was to highlight lateral ventricle morphology and volume differences between schizophrenia patients and matched controls. Subjects identified as suitable for analysis comprised 15 schizophrenia patients and 15 healthy subjects. The method applied is three-dimensional (3D) volume rendering starting from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of selected ventricular regions. Differences between groups relative to the global ventricular system and its subdivisions were found. Total lateral ventricle volume, right ventricle volume and left ventricle volume were all higher in schizophrenia patients than in controls; unilateral differences between the two groups were also outlined (right ventricle volume>left ventricle volume in schizophrenia patients vs. healthy subjects). Furthermore, occipital and frontal horn enlargement was found in schizophrenia patients compared with normal controls, but the difference in the temporal horn was not statistically significant. A substantial difference was noted in lateral ventricle morphology between the two groups. Our findings were consistent with the literature and may shed light on some of the discrepancies in previous reports on differences in lateral ventricle volume enlargement.
Psychiatry Research 07/2010; 183(1):52-8. DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.01.014 · 2.47 Impact Factor