Federica D'Aurizio

University of Udine, Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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Publications (17)75.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cellular senescence processes affecting tissue resident stem cells are considered, at present, an hallmark of both aging and age-related pathologies. Therefore it is mandatory to address this problem with adequate techniques that could highlight the molecular alterations associated with this complex cellular response to stressors. Here we describe methods to characterize cardiac stem cell (CSC) senescence from a molecular and functional standpoint.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 976:81-97. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Periosteum contains mesenchymal stem cells (Pe-MSCs) that contribute to normal bone growth, healing, and turnover; understanding Pe-MSC capabilities may shed light over the treatment of bone defects using tissue engineering. Bone tissue regeneration needs in vitro bone precursors or stem cell coculture onto specific scaffolds but, despite extensive research in the field, very little is known about the matrix structure of the tissue-engineered tissues and the scaffold's effects on cell differentiation. To this purpose we have selected a clonal population (murine Pe-MSCs) that was seeded and differentiated onto an acellular bone scaffold. Cell differentiation was assessed after 3 months and 1 year by molecular, histological, biochemical, and biophysical analyses and results were compared with the same osteoinduced clonal cells cultured as cellular aggregates. Our data show that Pe-MSCs cultured onto acellular bone scaffold develop a complex three-dimensional matrix and an osteoblastic phenotype but do not produce hydroxyapatite (HA); moreover, they seem able to reabsorb the colonized bone scaffold. On the contrary, cells cultured as three-dimensional aggregates differentiate and produce osteoblastic markers and HA nanocrystals.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 04/2012; 18(13-14):1509-19. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the role played by the core transcription factor network, which includes c-Myc, Klf4, Nanog, and Oct4, in the maintenance of embryonic stem cell (ES) pluripotency and in the reprogramming of adult cells is well established, its persistence and function in adult stem cells are still debated. To verify its persistence and clarify the role played by these molecules in adult stem cell function, we investigated the expression pattern of embryonic and adult stem cell markers in undifferentiated and fully differentiated dental pulp stem cells (DPSC). A particular attention was devoted to the expression pattern and intracellular localization of the stemness-associated isoform A of Oct4 (Oct4A). Our data demonstrate that: Oct4, Nanog, Klf4 and c-Myc are expressed in adult stem cells and, with the exception of c-Myc, they are significantly down-regulated following differentiation. Cell differentiation was also associated with a significant reduction in the fraction of DPSC expressing the stem cell markers CD10, CD29 and CD117. Moreover, a nuclear to cytoplasm shuttling of Oct4A was identified in differentiated cells, which was associated with Oct4A phosphorylation. The present study would highlight the importance of the post-translational modifications in DPSC stemness maintenance, by which stem cells balance self-renewal versus differentiation. Understanding and controlling these mechanisms may be of great importance for stemness maintenance and stem cells clinical use, as well as for cancer research.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41774. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Danon disease is an X-linked systemic disorder characterized by left ventricular hypertrophy, mental retardation, and skeletal myopathy affecting young men. Electrocardiogram usually displays a Wolff-Parkinson-White preexcitation pattern. Less has been reported about the phenotype in women, although later-onset cardiac symptoms have been described. The aim of this study was to expand the knowledge of the phenotype of Danon disease in women. We clinically followed and evaluated with echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI), and genetic testing a family affected by Danon disease in which 2 men and 6 women showed a severe arrhythmogenic phenotype. Affected family members carried a nucleotide substitution at position 294 in exon 3 (c.294 G → A) that changed a tryptophan residue to a stop codon at position W98X in the lysosome-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2) gene. Four women died suddenly (1 aborted) at 37 to 54 years of age. Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern with atrioventricular block was detected in 2 of 6 women. Four had successful pregnancies without symptoms of heart failure. cMRI showed late gadolinium enhancement areas in a clinically healthy woman who was a mutation carrier. Two patients underwent heart transplantation; histology of explanted hearts demonstrated severe interstitial fibrosis, hypertrophic cardiomyocytes with cytoplasmic vacuoles, and myofibrillar disarray. In conclusion, LAMP2 mutation can cause a severe arrhythmogenic phenotype in women that includes a high risk of sudden death. cMRI may be useful in women harboring LAMP2 mutations to permit early detection of cardiac involvement and guide timely considerations of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy. Heart transplantation should be considered at onset of heart failure symptoms owing to rapid progression of the disease.
    The American journal of cardiology 11/2011; 109(3):406-11. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, it is unknown whether defects in stem cell growth and differentiation contribute to myocardial aging and chronic heart failure (CHF), and whether a compartment of functional human cardiac stem cells (hCSCs) persists in the decompensated heart. To determine whether aging and CHF are critical determinants of the loss in growth reserve of the heart, the properties of hCSCs were evaluated in 18 control and 23 explanted hearts. Age and CHF showed a progressive decrease in functionally competent hCSCs. Chronological age was a major predictor of five biomarkers of hCSC senescence: telomeric shortening, attenuated telomerase activity, telomere dysfunction-induced foci, and p21(Cip1) and p16(INK4a) expression. CHF had similar consequences for hCSCs, suggesting that defects in the balance between cardiomyocyte mass and the pool of nonsenescent hCSCs may condition the evolution of the decompensated myopathy. A correlation was found previously between telomere length in circulating bone marrow cells and cardiovascular diseases, but that analysis was restricted to average telomere length in a cell population, neglecting the fact that telomere attrition does not occur uniformly in all cells. The present study provides the first demonstration that dysfunctional telomeres in hCSCs are biomarkers of aging and heart failure. The biomarkers of cellular senescence identified here can be used to define the birth date of hCSCs and to sort young cells with potential therapeutic efficacy.
    American Journal Of Pathology 07/2011; 179(1):349-66. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tooth morphogenesis requires sequential and reciprocal interactions between the cranial neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells and the stomadial epithelium, which regulate tooth morphogenesis and differentiation. We show how mesenchyme-derived single stem cell populations can be induced to transdifferentiate in vitro in a structure similar to a dental bud. The presence of stem cells in the adipose tissue has been previously reported. We incubated primary cultures of human adipose tissue-derived stem cells in a dental-inducing medium and cultured the aggregates in three-dimensional conditions. Four weeks later, cells formed a three-dimensional organized structure similar to a dental bud. Expression of dental tissue-related markers was tested assaying lineage-specific mRNA and proteins by RT-PCR, immunoblot, IHC, and physical-chemical analysis. In the induction medium, cells were positive for ameloblastic and odontoblastic markers as both mRNAs and proteins. Also, cells expressed epithelial, mesenchymal, and basement membrane markers with a positional relationship similar to the physiologic dental morphogenesis. Physical-chemical analysis revealed 200-nm and 50-nm oriented hydroxyapatite crystals as displayed in vivo by enamel and dentin, respectively. In conclusion, we show that adipose tissue-derived stem cells in vitro can transdifferentiate to produce a specific three-dimensional organization and phenotype resembling a dental bud even in the absence of structural matrix or scaffold to guide the developmental process.
    American Journal Of Pathology 05/2011; 178(5):2299-310. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Bone 01/2011; 48. · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Grafts of tissue-engineered bone represent a promising alternative in the treatment of large and small bone defects. Current approaches are often badly tolerated by patients because of invasiveness, ethical problems, culture, and possibility of infection. Autologous grafts have been indicated as a solution to such problems. Because of tissue availability, many have proposed the use of cultured cells derived from bone marrow expanded in culture and induced to differentiate in bone tissue. Data reported in the literature show that it is possible to produce tissue substitutes in vitro indeed, but results are not always concordant regarding the in vitro produced bone quality. In the present work, we investigated bone formation in aggregates of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells induced to differentiate in bone. After osteoinduction we characterized the mineral matrix produced using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction. Cells were obtained from bone marrow, subjected to immunodepletion for CD3, CD11b, CD14, CD16, CD19, CD56, CD66b, and glycophorin A using RosetteSep and cultured in a new formulation of medium for four passages and then were allowed to form spontaneous aggregates. At the end of proliferation before aggregation, cells were analyzed by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS) for markers routinely used to characterize expanded mesenchymal stem cells and were found to be remarkably homogeneous for CD29 (99% ± 1%), CD73 (99% ± 1%), CD90 (95% ± 4%), CD105 (96% ± 4%), and CD133 (0% ± 1%) expression. Our results show that not only aggregated cells express the major markers of osteogenic differentiation, such as osteocalcin, osteonectin, osteopontin, and bone sialoprotein, but also the inorganic matrix is made of an apatite structurally and morphologically similar to native bone even without a scaffold.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 12/2010; 16(12):3657-67. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the peripheral blood in humans contains a population of multipotent progenitor cells (MPCs), products of leukapheresis were obtained from healthy donor volunteers following the administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Small clusters of adherent proliferating cells were collected, and these cells continued to divide up to 40 population doublings without reaching replicative senescence and growth arrest. MPCs were positive for the transcription factors Nanog, Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4 and expressed several antigens characteristic of mesenchymal stem cells. However, they were negative for markers of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and bone marrow cell lineages. MPCs had a cloning efficiency of approximately 3%, and following their expansion, retained a highly immature phenotype. Under permissive culture conditions, MPCs differentiated into neurons, glial cells, hepatocytes, cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and osteoblasts. Moreover, the gene expression profile of MPCs partially overlapped with that of neural and embryonic stem cells, further demonstrating their primitive, uncommitted phenotype. Following subcutaneous transplantation in nonimmunosuppressed mice, MPCs migrated to distant organs and integrated structurally and functionally within the new tissue, acquiring the identity of resident parenchymal cells. In conclusion, undifferentiated cells with properties of embryonic stem cells can be isolated and expanded from human peripheral blood after granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration. This cell pool may constitute a unique source of autologous cells with critical clinical import.
    Circulation Research 05/2009; 104(10):1225-34. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although several studies have shown that the serum levels of osteoprotegerin (OPG) are significantly elevated in patients affected with atherosclerotic lesions in coronary and peripheral arteries, the cellular source and the role of OPG in the physiopathology of atherosclerosis are not completely defined. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the potential contribution of mesenchymal stem cells in the production/release of OPG. OPG was detectable by immunohistochemistry in aortic and coronary atherosclerotic plaques, within or in proximity of intimal vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC). In addition, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived vascular SMC as well as primary aortic SMC released in the culture supernatant significantly higher levels of OPG with respect to MSC-derived endothelial cells (EC) or primary aortic EC. On the other hand, in vitro exposure to full-length human recombinant OPG significantly increased the proliferation rate of aortic SMC cultures, as monitored by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. Taken together, these data suggest that OPG acts as an autocrine/paracrine growth factor for vascular SMC, which might contribute to the progression of atherosclerotic lesions.
    European journal of histochemistry: EJH 03/2009; 53(1):19-24. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adult multipotent stromal cells (MSCs), also known as mesenchymal stem cells, represent an important source of cells for the repair of a number of damaged tissues. Both bone marrow (BM)-derived and amniotic MSCs expressed detectable surface levels of two (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 2 [TRAIL-R2] and TRAIL-R4) of four transmembrane TRAIL receptors. Although the best-characterized activity of TRAIL-R2 is the transduction of apoptotic signals, neither recombinant TRAIL (rTRAIL) nor infection with an adenovirus-expressing TRAIL induced cytotoxic effects on MSCs. Moreover, whereas rTRAIL did not affect proliferation or differentiation of MSCs along the osteogenic and adipogenic lineages, it significantly promoted the migration of human MSCs in range of concentrations comparable to that of soluble TRAIL in human plasma (100 pg/ml). Since rTRAIL induced the rapid phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in MSC cultures and pretreatment with pharmacological inhibitors of the ERK1/2 pathway efficiently counteracted the rTRAIL-induced human MSC migration, these data indicate that ERK1/2 is involved in mediating the ability of rTRAIL to stimulate MSC migration. Taking into consideration that the soluble factors able to induce MSC migration have not been extensively characterized, our current data indicate that the TRAIL/TRAIL-R system might play an important role in the biology of MSCs. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
    Stem Cells 10/2008; 26(11):2955-63. · 7.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Periostin is a secreted adhesion protein, normally expressed in mesenchime-derived cells. Aberrant expression of the periostin gene in epithelial tumours seems to play a role in angiogenesis and metastases. To investigate periostin expression in a consecutive series of breast carcinomas and correlate it with established biological and prognostic factors. A consecutive series of 206 breast carcinomas was investigated by immunohistochemistry with a specific antiperiostin antibody. Immunohistochemical expression of oestrogen and progesterone receptors, Ki-67 (MIB-1), HER-2/neu, VEGF-A, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 was analysed. Periostin expression was also investigated in MCF-7 and MDA-468 cell lines by immunohistochemistry, western blot and quantitative RT-PCR. Localisation of periostin was investigated in MCF-7 cells by the green fluorescent protein (GFP) approach. Periostin was highly expressed in carcinoma cells, but not in normal breast tissues. The pattern of expression was mainly cytoplasmic. However, in 12% of cases a nuclear reactivity was observed. Nuclear periostin significantly correlated with tumour size, and with expression of oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, VEGF-A, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2. A nuclear localisation of periostin was also observed in MCF-7 and MDA-468 cell lines. In MCF-7 cells the nuclear localisation of periostin was also shown by transfection of a vector expressing a GFP-periostin chimeric protein. Results indicate that the aberrant gene expression of periostin in breast cancer cells is associated with an abnormal nuclear localisation of the protein. The nuclear localisation of periostin in breast cancer may induce significant biological effects.
    Journal of clinical pathology 05/2008; 61(4):494-8. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of our study were to verify whether it was possible to generate in vitro, from different adult human tissues, a population of cells that behaved, in culture, as multipotent stem cells and if these latter shared common properties. To this purpose, we grew and cloned finite cell lines obtained from adult human liver, heart, and bone marrow and named them human multipotent adult stem cells (hMASCs). Cloned hMASCs, obtained from the 3 different tissues, expressed the pluripotent state-specific transcription factors Oct-4, NANOG, and REX1, displayed telomerase activity, and exhibited a wide range of differentiation potential, as shown both at a morphologic and functional level. hMASCs maintained a human diploid DNA content, and shared a common gene expression signature, compared with several somatic cell lines and irrespectively of the tissue of isolation. In particular, the pathways regulating stem cell self-renewal/maintenance, such as Wnt, Hedgehog, and Notch, were transcriptionally active. Our findings demonstrate that we have optimized an in vitro protocol to generate and expand cells from multiple organs that could be induced to acquire morphologic and functional features of mature cells even embryologically not related to the tissue of origin.
    Blood 12/2007; 110(9):3438-46. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress is a condition occurring in liver disorders and causing liver damage due to ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) during liver transplantation. Several markers of chronic oxidative stress are well known; however, early protein targets of oxidative injury are not well defined. To identify them, we used a differential proteomics approach to HepG2 human liver cells that has been treated for 10 minutes with 500 micromol/L H(2)O(2). By differential proteomic analysis, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we identified four proteins sensitive to H(2)O(2) treatment that underwent posttranslational modification of native polypeptides. Three of the proteins belong to the Peroxiredoxin family of hydroperoxide scavengers, PrxI, PrxII, and Prx VI, that showed changes in their pI as result of hyperoxidation. Mass mapping experiments demonstrated specific modification of the peroxiredoxins active site thiol into sulphinic and/or sulphonic acid, thus explaining an increased negative charge. The oxidation kinetics of all peroxiredoxins were extremely rapid and sensitive, occurring at H(2)O(2) doses unable to affect common markers of cellular oxidative stress. A differential proteomics approach was also applied to liver needle biopsies after cold (T(1)) and warm (T(2)) ischemia. Proteomic analysis of this material was related to histological changes and immunophenotypic expression of APE1/Ref-1. Hyperoxidation of PrxI occurring during I/R upon liver transplantation is dependent on the time of warm ischemia. Histological changes and APE1/Ref-1 expression parallel Peroxiredoxin changes. Our present data may be relevant to better graft preservation and evaluation for transplantation.
    Transplantation Proceedings 01/2007; 39(6):1755-60. · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDACs) activate the sodium iodide symporter (NIS) expression in thyroid tumor cells. In this study, mechanisms accounting for these effects were investigated. Various human thyroid tumor cell lines (ARO, BCPAP, FRO, TPC-1) were treated with the HDAC inhibitors Na butyrate (NaB) and tricostatin A (TSA), and the effects on the expression of NIS and several thyroid-specific transcription factors together with the activity of NIS promoter were evaluated. TSA and NaB increased NIS mRNA levels in all cell lines. Among thyroid-specific transcription factors, only expression of PAX8 in ARO cells was increased. Down-regulation of thyroid-specific transcription factor-1 expression was observed in BCPAP and TPC-1 cell lines. Thyroid-specific transcription factor-2 mRNA was reduced in FRO, BCPAP, and TPC-1 cells. Histone acetylation had no significant effects on HEX expression. Altogether, these data indicate that the increase of NIS expression is not mediated by modification of expression of thyroid-specific transcription factors. Accordingly, in transfection experiments performed in the HeLa cell line (which does not express thyroid-specific transcription factors), treatment with TSA and NaB increased NIS promoter activity. Stimulation of NIS promoter activity was also obtained by overexpressing histone acetylating proteins pCAF and p300 in HeLa cells. Conversely, overexpression of the HDAC 1 enzyme inhibited basal activity of the NIS promoter. Effects of TSA and NaB on NIS expression were also evaluated in nonthyroid cell lines MCF-7, Hep-G2, and SAOS-2. In all cell lines TSA and NaB greatly increased NIS mRNA levels. We concluded that control of NIS expression by inhibition of HDAC appears not to be mediated by cell-specific mechanisms, suggesting it as a potential strategy to induce radioiodine sensitivity in different human tumors.
    Endocrinology 10/2005; 146(9):3967-74. · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • Pathologica 09/2005; 97(4):185.
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress is one of the most relevant contributors of cataractogenesis. To identify early protein targets of oxidative stress in lens cells, we used a differential proteomics approach to CD5A human epithelial lens cells treated with 500 microM H2O2 for 30 min. This dose of H2O2 was assayed to induce efficiently a block of cellular proliferation and to activate the oxidative stress-early inducible transcription factor EGR-1 (early growth response gene product 1), previously reported as stimulated factor in a model of cataractogenesis [Nakajima, Nakajima, Fukiage, Azuma and Shearer (2002) Exp. Eye Res. 74, 231-236]. We identified nine proteins, which sensitively reacted to H2O2 treatment by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laserdesorption ionization-time-of-flight-MS. In addition to cytoskeletal proteins (tubulin 1alpha and vimentin) and enzymes (phosphoglycerate kinase 1, ATP synthase beta, enolase alpha, nucleophosmin and heat-shock cognate 54 kDa protein), which presented quantitative differences in expression profiles, peroxiredoxin and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase showed changes in pI as a result of overoxidation. Mass-mapping experiments demonstrated the specific modification of peroxiredoxin I active-site cysteine into cysteic acid, thus providing an explanation for the increase in negative charge measured for this protein. With respect to other global differential approaches based on gene expression analysis, our results allowed us to identify novel molecular targets of oxidative stress in lens cells. These results indicate that a combination of different approaches is required for a complete functional understanding of the biological events triggered by oxidative stress.
    Biochemical Journal 04/2004; 378(Pt 3):929-37. · 4.65 Impact Factor