Bianca Serio

Università degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano, Campania, Italy

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Publications (20)74.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hypocellular or hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndromes (HMDS) are a distinct subgroup accounting for 10–15% of all MDS patients, that are characterized by the presence of bone marrow (BM) hypocellularity, various degree of dysmyelopoiesis and sometimes abnormal karyotype. Laboratory and clinical evidence suggest that HMDS share several immune-mediated pathogenic mechanisms with acquired idiopathic aplastic anemia (AA). Different immune-mediated mechanisms have been documented in the damage of marrow hematopoietic progenitors occurring in HMDS; they include oligoclonal expansion of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), polyclonal expansion of various subtypes of T helper lymphocytes, overexpression of FAS-L and of the TNF–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), underexpression of Flice-like inhibitory protein long isoform (FLIP L) in marrow cells as well as higher release of Th1 cytokines, such as interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). It has also been documented that some HMDS patients have higher frequency of polymorphisms linked both to high production of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and transforming growth factor-β and to the inhibition of T-cell mediated immune responses such as interleukin-10, further suggesting that immune-mediated mechanisms similar to those seen in AA patients may also operate in HMDS. Clinically, the strongest evidence for immune–mediated hematopoietic suppression in some HMDS is the response to immunosuppression including mainly cyclosporine, anti-thymocyte globulin and/or cyclosporine, or alemtuzumab. Here we review all these immune mechanisms as well as the influence of this deranged cellular and humoral immunologic mileau on the initiation and possible progression of MDS. All these observations are pivotal not only for a better understanding of MDS pathophysiology, but also for their immediate clinical implications, eventually leading to the identification of MDS patients who may benefit from immunosuppression. Keywords: hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome, immune system, bone marrow microenvironment I. OVERLAPPING AND DIFFERENCIAL FEATURES BETWEEN APLASTIC ANEMIA, HYPOCELLULAR AND NORMO/HYPERCELLULAR MDS Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by impairment of cellular differentiation (also defined as ineffective hematopoiesis) progressive peripheral cytopenias and increased risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML) [1]. Although the French-American-British (FAB) and World Health Organization (WHO) classification systems do not take into account hypoplastic or hypocellular myelodysplastic syndromes (HMDS) as a defined category of MDS, being HMDS probably considered the expression of a transitional status of other MDS categories, they appear to be a distinct clinicopathologic entity [2]. HMDS accounts for 10–15% of all MDS [3-5] and are characterized by the following features: age-corrected bone marrow hypoplasia (ie cellularity less than 30% under age of 60 years or cellularity less than 20% for older than 60 years) [4], marked dyserythropoiesis, both dysgranulopoiesis and dysmegakariopoiesis [4,5], macro-cytosis, severe neutropenia and thrombocytopenia [3-6], frequent abnormal karyotype [6-8], low rate of progression to acute leukemia, and poor response to conventional therapeutic approach for MDS [6]. Recently, Bennett and Orazi described several others marrow morphological criteria, detectable by bone biopsy histological analysis, useful to help HMDS diagnosis, such as the presence of dysplastic megakaryocytes [4-5] within the disorganized microarchitecture of MDS marrow [4], the detection of fibrosis [4,8], and the immunohistochemical identification of aggregates or clusters of blasts in the central intertrabecular region of marrow, also defined as abnormally localized immature myeloid precursor cells (ALIP) [4,5,9-10]. According to FAB and WHO classification systems, the majority of HMDS cases fall into refractory anemia (RA) and refractory cytopenias with multilineage dysplasia (RCMD) categories [3-8]. In comparison to RA and RCMD, HMDS patients typically are younger, more frequently display a severe neutropenia and thrombocytopenia and a lower percentage of blasts, as well as even less frequently show karyotypically abnormal dysplastic marrow cells. Although Tuzuner et al. documented no difference in prognosis between HMDS and normo-/hypercellular MDS [11], several other studies have reported a more favorable overall survival in the subgroup of HMDS patients [6,8,12]. The distinction between HMDS and AA is even more problematic than that with RA and RCMD when marrow is sparcely cellular with an overall cellularity less than 20% and when these findings are associated with the presence of mast cells and reactive lymphocytes, sometimes organized in small lymphoid clusters, similar to those observed in AA bone marrow biopsies [4,5]. The presence of a clear dysmegakaryopoiesis and dysgranulopoiesis, but not of a mild isolated dyserythropoiesis, usually also found in AA, the detection of karyotypic and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) Immunological derangement in Hypocellular Myelodysplastic Syndromes
    Translational Medicine @ UniSa. 01/2014; 8(5):31-42.
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    ABSTRACT: Compartments of white pulp involved in protective antimicrobial functions: a) periarteriolar lymphoid sheats (PALS) through secretion of T-dependent immunoglobulins (Ig) and antigen presentation to T-Lymphocyte by marginal zone (MZ) macrophages; b) follicles through MZ macrophage-mediated activation of B lymphocytes and plasmacells and production of antibodies, complement and opsonins; c) marginal zone through opsonin-independent phagocytosis mediated by MZ macrophages, presentation of particulate antigens by MZ macrophages to CD27+IgM+ B cells, rapid release of antibodies by CD27+IgM+ memory B cells, opsonin-dependent phagocytosis by MZ macrophages. Red pulp exerts anti-microbial protective functions mainly through blood-borne pathogens filtering, culling and pitting of red blood cells (RBC) and rapid GM-CSF release via innate response activator (IRA) and antibodies by B cells and plasmacells.
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis and avascular necrosis (AVN) are long-lasting and debilitating complications of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We describe the magnitude of bone loss, AVN and impairment in osteogenic cell compartment following autologous (auto) and allogeneic (allo) HSCT, through the retrospective bone damage revaluation of 100 (50 auto- and 50 allo-HSCT) long-term survivors up to 15 years after transplant. Current treatment options for the management of these complications are also outlined. We found that auto- and allo-HSCT recipients show accelerated bone mineral loss and micro-architectural deterioration during the first years after transplant. Bone mass density (BMD) at the lumbar spine, but not at the femur neck, may improve in some patients after HSCT, suggesting more prolonged bone damage in cortical bone. Phalangeal BMD values remained low for even more years, suggesting persistent bone micro-architectural alterations after transplant. The incidence of AVN was higher in allo-HSCT recipients compared to auto-HSCT recipients. Steroid treatment length, but not its cumulative dose was associated with a higher incidence of bone loss. Allo-HSCT recipients affected by chronic graft versus host disease seem to be at greater risk of continuous bone loss and AVN development. Reduced BMD and higher incidence of AVN was partly related to a reduced regenerating capacity of the normal marrow osteogenic cell compartment. Our results suggest that all patients after auto-HSCT and allo-HSCT should be evaluated for their bone status and treated with anti-resorptive therapy as soon as abnormalities are detected.
    Translational medicine @ UniSa. 01/2013; 5:7-13.
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    ABSTRACT: Overwhelming post-splenectomy infection (OPSI) is a rare medical emergency, mainly caused by encapsulated bacteria, shortly progressing from a mild flu-like syndrome to a fulminant, potentially fatal, sepsis. The risk of OPSI is higher in children and in patients with underlying benign or malignant hematological disorders. We retrospectively assessed OPSI magnitude in a high risk cohort of 162 adult splenectomized patients with malignant (19%) and non malignant (81%) hematological diseases, over a 25-year period: 59 of them splenectomized after immunization against encapsulated bacteria, and 103, splenectomized in the previous 12-year study, receiving only life-long oral penicillin prophylaxis. The influence of splenectomy on the immune system, as well as the incidence, diagnosis, risk factors, preventive measures and management of OPSI are also outlined. OPSI occurred in 7 patients (4%) with a median age of 37 years at time interval from splenectomy ranging from 10 days to 12 years. All OPSIs occurred in non immunized patients, except one fatal Staphylococcus aureus -mediated OPSI in a patient adequately immunized before splenectomy. Our analysis further provides evidence that OPSI is a lifelong risk and that current immune prophylaxis significantly decreases OPSI development. Improvement in patients' education about long-term risk of OPSI and increased physician awareness to face a potentially lethal medical emergency, according to the current surviving sepsis guidelines, represent mandatory strategies for preventing and managing OPSI appropriately.
    Translational medicine @ UniSa. 01/2013; 6:2-10.
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy and safety of low dose oral valgancyclovir (VGCV) as cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation prophylaxis was retrospectively evaluated in 32 consecutive patients which underwent allogeneic HLA-matched related and unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thirty HSCT recipients showed pretransplant CMV seropositivity. Fifteen received a myeloablative conditioning regimen, while seventeen patients received a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. Twenty-one patients received graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with cyclosporin A (CsA) and methotrexate (MTX), and the others CsA with MTX and anti-thymocyte globulin. CMV infection was monitored weekly using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). VGCV was administered orally at a dose of 450 mg daily for six months. Six patients developed a positive CMV-PCR on average 56 days after HSCT successfully treated with VGCV at 1800 mg/day, except one who developed fatal gastrointestinal CMV disease. At the time of CMV reactivation, four patients had been affected by grade II-IV acute GVHD and two by an extensive chronic GVHD. No significant specific VGCV-related toxicity was encountered. Seven patients presented hematological toxicity which did not require drug discontinuation. Our data suggest that low dose VGCV is safe and effective as CMV reactivation prophylaxis in allogeneic HSCT recipients. These results require further validation in prospective randomized studies.
    Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive 10/2012; 20 Suppl 2:26-34.
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    ABSTRACT: Mucormycosis is an increasingly recognized invasive fungal infection (IFI) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and after allogeneic (allo) stem cell transplantation (HSCT); it is mainly due to the severe and prolonged neutropenia related to high-dose chemotherapy. In such patients, the lung is the most frequently involved site in mucormycosis. Since rapidly progressive dissemination may occur after pulmonary mucormycosis in hematologic malignancies, early diagnosis and prompt initiation of an effective antifungal therapy is mandatory for a successful outcome. We report the case of a young AML patient who developed, early after the onset of neutropenia in the first induction phase of chemotherapy, a rapidly progressive pulmonary IFI, successfully treated with liposomal Amphotericin-B (LAmB) and then with a limited open toracothomy biopsy, clearly establishing diagnosis of mucormycosis and removing lung infiltrate. Secondary prophylaxis with LamB, applied during both consolidation therapy and myeloablative sibling allogeneic HSCT, was effective to prevent IFI recurrence despite the development of grade I acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and limited chronic GVHD requiring immunosuppressive treatment. Our case report further provide evidence that the combined surgical and LAmB therapy is an effective and safe choice for the management of pulmonary mucormycosis in hematological immunocompromised patients.
    Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive 10/2012; 20 Suppl 2:43-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Acquired bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS) are a heterogeneous group of hematological disorders characterized by impaired bone marrow function and subsequent cytopenia of one or more blood cell lineages [1,2]. The well-accepted pathogenic mechanism of the typical bone marrow failure - aplastic anemia (AA)- is a T cell mediated immune attack targeting the hematopoietic tissue [3]. This pathogenic mechanism is at least partially shared by other bone marrow failure syndromes, such as lineage-restricted aplasias and some myelodysplastic syndromes. Thus, for these disorders immunosuppression (IS) is the pivotal etiologic treatment. While the standard IS regimen include the heterologous anti-thymocyte globulin [4], here we review the recent data on the anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab as a novel IS agent for marrow failures. Alemtuzumab led to objective responses in aplastic anemia patients in 3 recent prospective studies, with overall response rates ranging between 37% and 72%. Adverse events were irrelevant, ruling out even the concerns about the risk of infectious complications. Alemtuzumab was effective even for the treatment of lineage-restricted marrow failure, with very acceptable toxicity and excellent response rates (as high as 80%). More recently, even patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndromes showed a remarkable hematological response to alemtuzumab-based IS treatment. Thus, alemtuzumab is a novel IS agent representing an excellent alternative to ATG for all immune-mediated marrow failure syndromes. Even if the dose and the schedule may still require further refining, the available data support the need of large prospective trials comparing alemtuzumab to current standard IS regimens.
    Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 06/2011; 11(6):536-43. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore whether predisposition to bone marrow failure syndromes (BMF), such aplastic anemia (AA), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and myelosysplastic syndromes (MDS), is found in killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligand (KIR-L) gene variations or cytokine polymorphisms. We studied a cohort of 77 patients with AA, 129 with MDS and 285 healthy controls for the frequencies of KIR-L and KIR genotypes and 22 selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within 10 cytokine (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL12, IFN- γ, TNF- α, TGF- β) and 3 cytokine receptor (IL-1R, IL-1RA, IL-4Rα) genes. In AA we found a decreased frequency of inhibitory KIR-2DL3 genes. In MDS, no difference in the frequency of KIR genotype was identified; however, a decreased frequency of 2DL3 was found in hypocellular MDS. Analysis of the KIR genotype in correlation with the corresponding KIR-L profile, revealed a decreased frequency of stimulatory 2DS1/C2 mismatch both in AA and MDS. In AA and MDS cohorts, compared to controls, we found a higher frequency of TT codon 10 variant and of GG codon 25 variant of TGF- β gene, consistent with a high secretory phenotype. This relationship was even more pronounced in PNH and hypocellular MDS. We confirm that the hypersecretory genotype T/T at position -874 of INF-γ gene was overrepresented only in AA and correlates with presence of a PNH clone. Instead in MDS patients, the frequency of G/A polymorphism at position -308 on the TNF- α gene promoter, which correlates with higher TNF- α production, was found significantly higher. Moreover, hypocellular MDS was characterized by a higher prevalence of IL-10 GCC/GCC haplotype, which is functionally associated with a low secretor phenotype. Our findings suggest that alterations in KIR/KIR-L matching, such as increased 3DL2 and decreased 2DS1 mismatch, and in the polymorphisms of TGFβ1, IFN-γ, TNF- α and IL-10 may account for the propensity to immunemediated killing of hematopoietic stem cells and/or ineffective hematopoiesis characteristic of AA and MDS. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether these immunogenetic traits may be involved in increased risk of developing immune-mediated BMF.
    Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 06/2011; 11(6):544-52. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An alemtuzumab-based experimental immunosuppressive treatment (IST) regimen was investigated in 35 patients with severe aplastic anaemia (SAA), pure red cell (PRCA) or pure white cell aplasia (PWCA). Alemtuzumab total dose was 73-103 mg s.c., followed by cyclosporine. No serious toxicity due to the regimen was observed. Adverse events were clinically irrelevant; infectious events were rare. The total response rate was 58%, 84% and 100% in SAA, PRCA and PWCA, respectively, with corresponding 6 months cumulative response probabilities of 84%, 84% and 100%. Subcutaneous alemtuzumab is a feasible and sufficiently safe IST regimen for patients suffering from immune-mediated marrow failures.
    British Journal of Haematology 12/2009; 148(5):791-6. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    Annals of Hematology 06/2009; 88(12):1261-2. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) hemolytic anemia is due mainly to deficiency of the complement regulator CD59 on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). Eculizumab, an antibody that targets complement fraction 5 (C5), has proven highly effective in abolishing complement-mediated intravascular hemolysis in PNH; however, the hematologic benefit varies considerably among patients. In the aim to understand the basis for this variable response, we have investigated by flow cytometry the binding of complement fraction 3 (C3) on RBCs from PNH patients before and during eculizumab treatment. There was no evidence of C3 on RBCs of untreated PNH patients; by contrast, in all patients on eculizumab (n = 41) a substantial fraction of RBCs had C3 bound on their surface, and this was entirely restricted to RBCs with the PNH phenotype (CD59(-)). The proportion of C3(+) RBCs correlated significantly with the reticulocyte count and with the hematologic response to eculizumab. In 3 patients in whom (51)Cr labeling of RBCs was carried out while on eculizumab, we have demonstrated reduced RBC half-life in vivo, with excess (51)Cr uptake in spleen and in liver. Binding of C3 by PNH RBCs may constitute an additional disease mechanism in PNH, strongly enhanced by eculizumab treatment and producing a variable degree of extravascular hemolysis.
    Blood 02/2009; 113(17):4094-100. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Double-negative (DN) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are specialized T lymphocytes involved in the down-modulation of immune responses, resulting in allotolerance after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Most of the properties of DN Tregs were identified in murine models, including the unique ability to suppress alloreactive syngeneic effector T cells in an antigen-specific manner via Fas/Fas-ligand interactions. We investigated the behaviour of DN Tregs following human allogeneic HSCT with regard to occurrence of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and restoration of T-cell receptor repertoire in a cohort of 40 patients. The frequency of DN Tregs and CD4/CD8 TCR repertoire was measured serially and at the time of diagnosis of GvHD by flow cytometry. Analysis demonstrated a positive correlation between degree of alloreactivity, as measured by grade of GvHD, and the number of variable beta chain (Vbeta) family expansions in both T-cell populations. We also found that a deficiency of DN Tregs was associated with an increased number of Vbeta family expansions, and most importantly, with the occurrence of GvHD. All individuals who demonstrated more than 1% DN Tregs did not develop GvHD, providing evidence that DN Tregs participate in peripheral tolerance to prevent GvHD when expanded after allogeneic HSCT.
    British Journal of Haematology 05/2008; 141(2):170-8. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We observed increased ferritin levels in newly diagnosed MDS-RARS patients without transfusional iron-overload. Hence, we hypothesized RARS patients may harbor hemochromatosis-related mutations, which could contribute to the pathophysiology of this myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) subset. We studied a cohort of 140 MDS patients: 42 with RARS, 10 with increased ringed sideroblasts, and 96 with other forms of MDS (43 RA, 27 RAEB, 17 RAEB-T, 8 MDS/MPD, 1 CMML). Patients were genotyped using restriction fragment length polymorphism, designed to detect C282Y and H63D mutations of the HFE gene. We found significantly higher frequency of heterozygosity for C282Y mutation in RARS patients compared with a large control population of matched race individuals (21 vs. 9.8% in controls, P = 0.03); H63D genotype was not significantly increased. Frequency of HFE variation in other MDS subtypes failed to differ significantly from controls. Within this group, we included patients with a rare form of MDS, provisionally subclassified by WHO as RARS with thrombocytosis (RARSt). 10/14 RARSt patients were carriers of either C282Y or H63D allele significantly increased compared with the combined prevalence in a healthy population (71 vs. 33%, P < 0.01). We found expected distribution of mutant HFE alleles in patients with other forms of MDS (9.1 vs. 9.8%, P = 0.82). Increased prevalence of HFE gene mutations is not a generalized feature of MDS, but some subgroups of MDS, especially those characterized by excessive accumulation of ringed sideroblasts, exhibit C282Y mutations at a higher frequency than in other forms of MDS and healthy controls.
    American Journal of Hematology 12/2007; 82(12):1076-9. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the involvement of the urokinase-type plasminogen-activator receptor (uPAR) in granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-induced mobilization of CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from 16 healthy donors. Analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) showed an increased uPAR expression after G-CSF treatment in CD33+ myeloid and CD14+ monocytic cells, whereas mobilized CD34+ HSCs remained uPAR negative. G-CSF treatment also induced an increase in serum levels of soluble uPAR (suPAR). Cleaved forms of suPAR (c-suPAR) were released in vitro by PBMNCs and were also detected in the serum of G-CSF-treated donors. c-suPAR was able to chemoattract CD34+ KG1 leukemia cells and CD34+ HSCs, as documented by their in vitro migratory response to a chemotactic suPAR-derived peptide (uPAR84-95). uPAR84-95 induced CD34+ KG1 and CD34+ HSC migration by activating the high-affinity fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP) receptor (FPR). In addition, uPAR84-95 inhibited CD34+ KG1 and CD34+ HSC in vitro migration toward the stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF1), thus suggesting the heterologous desensitization of its receptor, CXCR4. Finally, uPAR84-95 treatment significantly increased the output of clonogenic progenitors from long-term cultures of CD34+ HSCs. Our findings demonstrate that G-CSF-induced upregulation of uPAR on circulating CD33+ and CD14+ cells is associated with increased uPAR shedding, which leads to the appearance of serum c-suPAR. c-suPAR could contribute to the mobilization of HSCs by promoting their FPR-mediated migration and by inducing CXCR4 desensitization.
    Blood 04/2005; 105(5):2198-205. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although osteoporosis is a relatively common complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation, the role of bisphosphonates in its management has not yet been completely established. Thirty-two patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation were prospectively evaluated for bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) after a median period of 12.2 months. Then, 15 of the patients with osteoporosis or rapidly progressing osteopenia (bone loss > 5%/yr) received three monthly doses of 4 mg zoledronic acid iv. Fifteen patients were followed up without treatment, and all 30 patients were reevaluated after 12 months for BMD and bone turnover markers. By using enriched mesenchymal stem cells in the colony-forming units fibroblast (CFU-F) assay, we evaluated the osteogenic stromal lineage. This procedure was performed in both groups of patients at study entry and after 12 months. The average BMD loss was 3.42% at LS and 3.8% at FN during a 1-yr longitudinal evaluation in 32 patients. Subsequently, BMD increased at both LS and FN (9.8 and 6.4%, respectively) in the zoledronic acid-treated cohort. Hydroxyproline excretion decreased, and serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase increased significantly, whereas serum osteocalcin increase did not reach the limit of significance. A significant increase in CFU-F growth in vitro was induced by in vivo zoledronic acid administration. In the untreated group, no significant change was observed in bone turnover markers, LS BMD (-2.1%), FN BMD (-2.3%), and CFU-F colony number. In conclusion, short-term zoledronic acid treatment consistently improved both LS and FN BMD in transplanted patients who were at high risk for fast and/or persistent bone loss, partly by increasing the osteogenic progenitors in the stromal cell compartment.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 02/2005; 90(2):627-34. · 6.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased serum leptin has been described after various organ transplants, with a mechanism that is still unclear. We measured serum leptin in 60 patients before and after allogeneic (allo) or autologous (auto) stem cell transplant (SCT) and in 60 healthy controls, matched for age and body mass index (BMI). Serum leptin was higher in patients after SCT than before and in controls. Leptin production was higher after allo- than after auto-SCT; the presence of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) was associated with the highest values. The physiological correlation with BMI was lost in the allogeneic setting, indicating a strong influence of factors other than the nutritional status on circulating leptin. No relationship was found between serum leptin levels and time from transplant, age, cortisol, C-reactive protein, and T-lymphocyte CD4-to-CD8 ratio. Among the cytokines secreted by type-1/type-2 T-helper lymphocytes, only serum interferon-gamma significantly correlated with serum leptin levels. Anti-leptin blocking antibodies partially inhibited T-cell activation in mixed lymphocyte reaction, suggesting a link between leptin and T-lymphocyte activation in the allo-SCT setting. Taken together, these findings suggest that increased serum leptin concentrations may contribute to T-cell activation during development of cGVHD.
    Transplantation 12/2004; 78(9):1376-83. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) relapsed at 111 and 84 months after achievement of complete remission (CR) induced by a combination of all- trans retinoic acid and chemotherapy. In both patients molecular remission, obtained after consolidation, had been confirmed at 60 months from CR achievement. At relapse, morphological, immunophenotypic, cytogenetic, and molecular analyses showed findings identical to those at diagnosis. Hematological and molecular remission was induced with the identical treatment applied at diagnosis. We conclude that, although infrequently, patients with APL treated with modern combination therapy can experience very late relapse and can be rescued with treatment similar to that administered at diagnosis.
    Annals of Hematology 08/2004; 83(7):484-6. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of action of farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) has not been fully clarified. We investigated the cytotoxic effects of various FTIs in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), using LAMA cells and marrow cells from 40 CML patients in chronic phase. FTI-mediated cytotoxic effect was observed in LAMA cells and in 65% of primary CML cells, whereas marrow cells from controls were only weakly affected. Cytotoxic effects were partially related to enhanced apoptosis; however, Fas-receptor (FasR) and Fas-ligand (FasL) expression were not modified by FTIs. Susceptibility to FTI-mediated inhibition did not correlate with FasR/FasL expression in CD34+ CML cells. Moreover, intra-cellular activation of caspase-1 and -8 were not altered by FTIs, and their blockade did not reverse FTI toxicity. However, we observed FTI-induced activation of caspase-3, and its inhibition partially reverted FTI-induced apoptosis. FTIs did not modulate bcl2, bclxL, and bclxS expression, whereas they increased inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) mRNA and protein levels, resulting in higher NO production. Furthermore, C3 exoenzyme, a Rho inhibitor, significantly increased iNOS expression in CML cells, suggesting that FTIs may up-regulate NO formation at least partially through FTI-mediated inhibition of Rho. We conclude that FTIs induce selective apoptosis in CML cells via activation of iNOS and caspase-3.
    Blood 09/2003; 102(4):1490-8. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most debilitating skeletal complication of stem cell transplantation (SCT) is avascular necrosis (AVN). Two hundred seven consecutive patients were evaluated prospectively for AVN. They survived disease free for more than 180 days after autologous or allogeneic SCT for hematologic malignancies. The diagnosis of AVN in suspicious cases was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging. Possible correlations with treatments, bone mineral density (BMD), graft versus host disease (GVHD), and in vitro growth of fibroblast progenitors were investigated. Bone mineral density was evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in 100 transplanted patients, and the in vitro growth of fibroblast progenitors was monitored by a fibroblast colony-forming unit (CFU-F) assay in 30 patients after allogeneic SCT. Twelve patients developed AVN 3-114 months (median, 26 months) following SCT: 10 (10%) after allogeneic SCT and 2 (1.9%) after autologous SCT (P = 0.04). Twenty-five joints were affected by AVN. All patients had femoral head involvement, which was managed with hip replacement in six of them. All but one patient who developed AVN after allogeneic SCT suffered from chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Avascular necrosis occurred 1-4 months after exacerbation or progression of cGVHD. Cumulative dose of steroids was similar in both SCT groups (including steroids given pretransplant for the basic disease), whereas treatment duration was significantly longer in the allogeneic SCT group. Avascular necrosis was related to the decreased number of bone marrow CFU-F colonies in vitro, but not to BMD values. Avascular necrosis is a skeletal complication that occurs more often after allogeneic than after autologous SCT. Occurrence of AVN symptoms after clinical follow-up of cGVHD suggests that cGVHD requiring long-term steroid therapy is one of the main risk factors for AVN. Avascular necrosis may be facilitated by a severe deficit in the repopulating capacity of bone marrow stromal stem cells after SCT.
    Cancer 06/2003; 97(10):2453-61. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone complications after allogeneic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT) include osteoporosis, fractures, and osteonecrosis. We investigated bone abnormalities in long-term survivors after busulfan cyclophosphamide-conditioning regimen, followed by human leukocyte antigen-identical sibling SCT. Bone density was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) and phalangeal osteosonogrammetry (OSG) in 41 patients 1-10 yr after allo-SCT. Using colony-forming units-fibroblast (CFU-F) assay, we analyzed the repopulating capacity of clonogenic fibroblast progenitors belonging to the osteogenic stromal lineage. LS and FN bone mineral density (BMD) and phalangeal densitometric values were significantly reduced, compared with 188 healthy controls (P < 0.001). Decrease in T-score less than 1 SD was documented in 29% and 52% of patients at the LS and FN, respectively. OSG detected densitometric values with a T-score less than 1 SD in 68% of transplanted patients. The patients examined within the first 3 yr after transplant showed low BMD, which remained stable at FN and improved at LS. Phalangeal densitometry was low up to 10 yr after transplant. CFU-F was found permanently depressed and unable to give rise to a confluent stroma. Low serum osteocalcin levels were present throughout the whole follow-up period. A significant correlation was found between densitometric values detected by both techniques and CFU-F growth in vitro. Osteonecrosis was associated with lower FN BMD, and phalangeal densitometry correlated inversely with duration of amenorrhea and chronic graft vs. host disease requiring long-lasting steroid therapy. In conclusion, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and phalangeal OSG may provide complementary information on bone density after allo-SCT. Prolonged severe impairment of femoral BMD and phalangeal densitometry suggest that bone loss may persist for many years after transplant. Inability to regenerate a normal number of osteoblastic precursors in the stromal stem cell compartment may in part account for severe long-lasting posttransplant decrease in bone mass.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 12/2002; 87(11):5058-65. · 6.43 Impact Factor

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271 Citations
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74.37 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2013
    • Università degli Studi di Salerno
      • Department of Medicine and Surgery
      Fisciano, Campania, Italy
  • 2002–2009
    • University of Naples Federico II
      • Department of Molecular Medicine and Health Biotechnology
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 2004
    • Cardarelli Hospital
      Napoli, Campania, Italy