G Azan

University of Pavia, Pavia, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (8)29.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Many patients with classic congenital muscular dystrophy have been found to have partial or total deficiency of the alpha2 chain of laminin 2 (merosin). This deficiency has mostly been studied using only 1 antibody against a fragment of the protein. To characterize the expression of laminin alpha2 in the skeletal muscle of patients with laminin alpha2 deficiency using antibodies against 2 different portions of the protein and to correlate the immunochemical findings with clinical phenotype. We studied 4 patients with total lack of laminin alpha2 and 12 with partial laminin alpha2 deficiency with immunohistochemical techniques and Western blot analysis. We used antibodies recognizing an 80-kd fragment toward the C-terminus and a 300-kd fragment toward the amino-terminal. Patient characteristics examined were functional compromise, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography of the brain, electromyography, evoked potentials, and creatine kinase levels. In 4 patients, immunohistochemical analysis revealed no reactivity to either antibody; in 2 patients, the 300-kd fragment alone was partially expressed; in 2 patients, the 80-kd fragment alone was partially expressed; and in 8 patients, both fragments were partially expressed. Immunoblot analysis revealed bands of reduced intensity and normal molecular weight generally corresponding to the immunohistochemical findings. Absence of both fragments or of one with reduction of the other always produced a severe clinical phenotype, while a milder clinical phenotype was observed when both fragments were partially expressed. Extent of laminin alpha2 deficiency in most cases correlates with clinical phenotype but not with peripheral and central white matter abnormalities. Skin biopsy specimens may reveal laminin alpha2 deficiency in patients who have normal laminin alpha2 levels in muscle biopsy specimens.
    JAMA Neurology 03/1999; 56(2):209-15. · 7.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified three novel mutations in four non-Ashkenazi Italian patients with muscle phosphofructokinase (PFK-M) deficiency (Tarui disease). Patient 1 was homozygous for an A-to-C substitution at the 3' end of intron 6 of the PFK-M gene, changing the consensus splice-junction sequence AG to CG. The mutation leads to activation of two cryptic splice sites in exon 7, resulting in one 5 bp- and one 12 bp-deleted transcript. An affected brother was also homozygous, and both parents were heterozygous, for the splice-junction mutation. Patient 2 was homozygous for a G-to-C substitution at codon 39, changing an encoded arginine (CGA) to proline (CCA). Patient 3 was heterozygous for an A-to-C substitution at codon 543, changing an encoded aspartate (GAC) to alanine (GCC); the PFK-M gene on the other allele was not expressed, but sequencing of the reported regulatory region of the gene did not reveal any mutation.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/1994; 54(5):812-9. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A neurologically asymptomatic 32-yr-old man recently transplanted for end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy presented with progressively increasing serum creatine kinase level (hyperCKemia) while receiving cyclosporin and simvastatine treatment. Revised family history led to suspicion of X-linked inherited myopathy, then confirmed by muscle biopsy findings showing myopathic dystrophic changes, a patchy distribution of immunoreactivity on the sarcolemma of several muscle fibres with anti-dystrophin antibodies and a double dystrophin band of normal and lower molecular weight on immunoblot analysis. A molecular genetic study demonstrated a deletion spanning over exons 45-47 at Xp21 locus. Routine neurological evaluation and currently available laboratory investigation may lead to early diagnosis of otherwise unrecognized Xp21 BMD among patients presenting with dilated cardiomyopathy alone, thus avoiding subsequent diagnostic difficulties.
    Neuromuscular Disorders 04/1994; 4(2):143-6. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: According to experimental models suggesting that overproduction of oxygen free-radicals may occur when the electron transport in the respiratory chain is impaired, we searched for in vivo biological markers of oxidative stress in 11 patients affected by histologically proven mitochondrial myopathy with progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO) and partial cytochrome c oxidase deficiency in muscle fibres. Six of the patients carried large-scale deletions of mitochondrial DNA. Biochemical assays included the determination of plasma and erythrocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration, plasma malondialdehyde, fluorescent adducts of aldehydes with plasma proteins, and serum level of lipid peroxides. In patients with PEO the mean values of lipid peroxides and of the fluorescent adducts of aldehydes with plasma proteins were significantly higher with respect to normal controls, while the mean values of plasma and erythrocyte GSH concentration were significantly lower. The reported data indicate an increase of lipid peroxidation indexes along with the reduction of one of the most important antioxidant systems and suggest the hypothesis that overproduction of reduced oxygen species might be an adjunctive cause of cell damage in mitochondrial myopathies and encephalomyopathies associated with defects of oxidative phosphorylation.
    Journal of the Neurological Sciences 10/1991; 105(1):57-60. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multimodal evoked potentials were studied in 13 patients affected by progressive external ophthalmoplegia with histologically proven mitochondrial myopathy. Progressive external ophthalmoplegia occurred with craniosomatic spreading in all the patients and with a varying degree of nervous and/or other system involvement in most of them. In all but one of the subjects, at least one evoked potential modality was abnormal; 11 of them demonstrated an abnormal visual evoked potential, but this finding might have been influenced by concurrent retinal dysfunction. Abnormalities in brainstem auditory evoked potentials and/or somatosensory evoked potentials, revealing an impairment of central sensory pathways, were detected in 7 subjects, 5 of whom lacked clinical evidence of central nervous system involvement. Thus, evoked potentials represent an useful tool for the detection of subclinical central nervous system involvement in patients affected by progressive external ophthalmoplegia with mitochondrial myopathy.
    Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 09/1991; 84(2):107-10. · 2.47 Impact Factor
  • G Azan, A Romani, V Cosi
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    ABSTRACT: Somatosensory evoked potentials by tibial nerve stimulation were obtained in ten New Zealand rabbits. The subcortical or cortical source of the three negative and three positive peaks present in the first 55 ms is discussed viewing the results obtained by different surface electrode locations and by stereotaxic recordings. The authors report interanimal, interhemispheric and test-retest variability of latencies and amplitudes of subcortical and cortical components.
    Bollettino della Società italiana di biologia sperimentale 03/1989; 65(2):171-8.
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    ABSTRACT: A sample of hospitalized MS patients was selected according to clinical and demographic criteria with the aim of establishing prognostic factors. The sample included 52 patients with first hospitalization from 1 January, 1975, to 31 December, 1976. At follow-up after 12 years a malignant course was observed in 33 patients (death in 13, severe disability in 20 patients). The malignant course was related to age at onset (greater than or equal to 35 years) and higher disability, progressive course and cerebellar symptoms at onset. One half of patients with a relapsing-remitting course entered into a progressive phase of the disease after a mean duration of 7.3 years.
    Neuroepidemiology 02/1989; 8(5):249-53. · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • A Romani, G Azan, V Cosi
    Bollettino della Società italiana di biologia sperimentale 02/1988; 64(1):47-54.