M L Manca Bitti

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (35)119.02 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an autosomal recessive disorder mainly caused by defects in the 21-hydroxylase gene (CYP21A2), coding for the enzyme 21-hydroxylase (21-OH). About 95% of the mutations arise from gene conversion between CYP21A2 and the inactive pseudogene CYP21A1P: only 5% are novel CYP21A2 mutations, in which functional analysis of mutant enzymes has been helpful to correlate genotype-phenotype. In the present study, we describe 3 novel point mutations (p.L122P, p.Q481X, and p.E161X) in 3 Italian patients with CAH: the fourth mutation (p.M150R) was found in the carrier state. Molecular modeling suggests a major impact on 21-hydroxylase activity, and functional analysis after expression in COS-7 cells confirms reduced enzymatic activity of the mutant enzymes. Only the p.M150R mutation affected the activity to a minor extent, associated with NC CAH. CYP21A2 genotyping and functional characterization of each disease-causing mutation has relevance both for treatment and genetic counseling to the patients.
    Hormone and Metabolic Research 05/2014; · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are several pieces of evidence indicating that Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) infection is linked to type 1 diabetes (T1D) in Sardinian patients. An association between MAP and T1D was recently observed in an Italian cohort of pediatric T1D individuals, characterized by a different genetic background. It is interesting to confirm the prevalence of anti-MAP antibodies (Abs) in another pediatric population from continental Italy, looking at several markers of MAP presence. New-onset T1D children, compared to age-matched healthy controls (HCs), were tested by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of Abs toward the immunodominant MAP3865c/ZnT8 homologues epitopes, the recently identified C-terminal MAP3865c281-287 epitope and MAP-specific protein MptD. Abs against MAP and ZnT8 epitopes were more prevalent in the sera of new-onset T1D children compared to HCs. These findings support the view that MAP3865c/ZnT8 cross-reactivity is involved in the pathogenesis of T1D, and addition of Abs against these peptides to the panel of existing T1D biomarkers should be considered. It is important now to investigate the timing of MAP infection during prospective follow-up in at-risk children to elucidate whether Ab-titers against these MAP/ZnT8 epitopes are present before T1D onset and if so if they wane after diagnosis.
    Acta Diabetologica 02/2014; · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interstitial deletions of the long arm of chromosome 13 (13q) are related with variable phenotypes, according to the size and the location of the deleted region. The main clinical features are moderate/severe mental and growth retardation, cranio-facial dysmorphism, variable congenital defects and increased susceptibility to tumors. Here we report a 3-year-old girl carrying a de novo 13q13.3-21.32 interstitial deletion. She showed developmental delay, growth retardation and mild dysmorphism including curly hair, high forehead, short nose, thin upper lip and long philtrum. An abnormal mass was surgically removed from her liver resulting in a hemangioendothelioma. Array analysis allowed us to define a deleted region of about 27.87 Mb, which includes the RB1 gene. This is the first report of a 13q deletion associated with infantile hemangioendothelioma of the liver.
    Italian Journal of Pediatrics 01/2014; 40(1):5. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether the PTPN22 C1858T polymorphism is associated with the autoimmune conditions present in the family of a child affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) carrying the TT genotype (index patient) and the potential immunological effect of the variant. We found that nine family members carried the CT genotype and five suffered from autoimmunity. Interestingly, anti-ZnT8 antibodies were detected in T1D patients and in three healthy relatives. In the TT patient, we showed diminished T-cell proliferation and reduced interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) production. A marked reduction of IL-2 was also observed for all CT relatives with autoimmunity and a lack of IFN-γ production was observed for the younger brother of the index patient, heterozygous for the polymorphism. In this family, the C1858T variant might confer a high risk of autoimmunity. Moreover, our data confirm that impaired IL-2 production upon T-cell receptor stimulation is associated with autoimmunity in the carriers of the polymorphism. This study might prompt to extend the panel of risk markers in relatives of subjects affected by T1D.
    Pediatric Diabetes 07/2012; · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the etiological agent of Johne's disease in ruminants. Recent studies have linked MAP to type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the Sardinian population. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of MAP infection in a T1D cohort from continental Italy compared with healthy control subjects. 247 T1D subjects and 110 healthy controls were tested for the presence of MAP. MAP DNA was detected using IS900-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The presence of antibodies towards a MAP antigen, heparin binding hemoagglutinin (HBHA), was detected by ELISA. We demonstrated a higher MAP DNA prevalence in plasma samples from T1D patients and a stronger immune response towards MAP HBHA, compared with healthy control subjects. Moreover, in the recent onset patients, we observed an association between anti-MAP antibodies and HLA DQ2 (DQA1 0201/DQB1 0202). These findings taken together support the hypothesis of MAP as an environmental risk factor for the development of T1D in genetically predisposed subjects, probably involving a mechanism of molecular mimicry between MAP antigens and pancreatic islet β-cells.
    Clinical and Developmental Immunology 01/2012; 2012:785262. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) p53 pathways are up-regulated and there is an increased susceptibility to apoptosis. The hypothesis is that p53 codon 72 polymorphism could be associated with T1D. A total of 286 children with T1D and a control sample of 730 subjects were studied. p53 codon 72 polymorphism was analysed by polymerase chain reaction. A large increase of p53 *Arg/*Arg was observed in T1D patients with age at onset < 6 years. A strong linear correlation between *Arg/*Arg genotype and age at onset was observed in females. The involvement of the *Arg/*Arg genotype in apoptosis suggests that during the autoimmune process leading to T1D, genetic factors that favor apoptosis may contribute to the onset of overt disease.
    Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 01/2011; 24(7-8):437-9. · 0.71 Impact Factor
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    Diabetes care 11/2010; 33(11):e140. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A missense C1858T single nucleotide polymorphism in the PTPN22 gene recently emerged as a major risk factor for human autoimmunity. PTPN22 encodes the lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase (LYP), which forms a complex with the kinase Csk and is a critical negative regulator of signaling through the T cell receptor. The C1858T single nucleotide polymorphism results in the LYP-R620W variation within the LYP-Csk interaction motif. LYP-W620 exhibits a greatly reduced interaction with Csk and is a gain-of-function inhibitor of signaling. Here we show that LYP constitutively interacts with its substrate Lck in a Csk-dependent manner. T cell receptor-induced phosphorylation of LYP by Lck on an inhibitory tyrosine residue releases tonic inhibition of signaling by LYP. The R620W variation disrupts the interaction between Lck and LYP, leading to reduced phosphorylation of LYP, which ultimately contributes to gain-of-function inhibition of T cell signaling.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2010; 285(34):26506-18. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 03/2010; 23(3):291-2. · 0.71 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 12/2009; 152A(1):258-61. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ACP1 (acid phosphatase locus 1, a cytosolic low-molecular-weight phosphotyrosin phosphatase) and ADA1 (adenosine deaminase locus 1) are two polymorphic systems involved in immune reactions. Observed interactions at the biochemical and clinical levels between the two systems prompted this investigation of a possible interaction concerning susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. Two hundred eighty-seven children admitted consecutively to the hospital for type 1 diabetes and 727 healthy newborn infants were studied. All were from the Caucasian Italian population living in the central area of Italy. ACP1 and ADA1 genotypes were determined by DNA analysis. In the type 1 diabetics the distribution of ACP1 genotypes was dependent on the ADA1 genotypes, showing an excess of the low-activity *A/*A and *A/*B genotypes in the ADA1*2 carriers compared with the ADA1*1/*1 subjects (OR: 2.200, 95%CI: 1.133-4.298). Such an association was not present in the healthy newborn infants. This investigation based on the biological effects of ACP1 and ADA1 on the immune system and on the known biochemical interaction between the two systems showed a significant interaction between the two system concerning susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. The low-activity ACP1 genotypes *A/*A and *A/*B carrying the low-activity ADA1*2 allele were more common in type 1 diabetic than in healthy newborns (OR: 1.699 95%CI: 1.066-2.702).
    Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 10/2009; 15(10):CR511-517. · 1.22 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Immunology 01/2009; 131. · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The missense PTPN22 C1858T polymorphism recently emerged as an important population-independent risk factor for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and other autoimmune diseases. The PTPN22 gene encodes the lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase (LYP), a negative regulator of signal transduction through the T-cell receptor. Although the frequency of the polymorphism is variable among different ethnic groups, the association between PTPN22 *T1858 and T1D has been replicated in several populations. Here, we contribute the first replication of the association between PTPN22 and T1D in populations from continental Italy, carried out in two independent samples of T1D patients (N = 216 and 82) and controls (N = 271 and 89). Our data also suggest that T1D carriers of the *T1858 allele could be at increased risk for other comorbid autoimmune disorders.
    Tissue Antigens 04/2008; 71(3):234-7. · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Immunology - CLIN IMMUNOL. 01/2008; 127.
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of dendritic cells (DC) in the activation of T cells and in the maintenance of self-tolerance is well known. We investigated whether alterations in phenotype and function of DC may contribute to the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Mature DC (mDC) from 18 children with T1DM and 10 age-matched healthy children were tested. mDC, derived from peripheral blood monocytes cultured for 6 days in presence of interleukin (IL)-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for the last 24 h, were phenotyped for the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules B7.1 and B7.2. In six patients and six controls allogenic mixed leucocyte reaction (AMLR) was performed using mDC and cord blood-derived naive T cells at a DC/T naive ratio of 1 : 200. Proliferation was assessed on day 7 by [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation assay. Mature DC derived from patients showed, compared with controls, a reduced expression of B7.1 [mean of fluorescence intensity (MFI): 36.2 +/- 14.3 versus 72.9 +/- 34.5; P = 0.004] and B7.2 (MFI: 122.7 +/- 67.5 versus 259.6 +/- 154.1; P = 0.02). We did not find differences in the HLA-DR expression (P = 0.07). Moreover, proliferative response of allogenic naive T cells cultured with mDC was impaired in the patients (13471 +/- 9917.2 versus 40976 +/- 24527.2 cpm, P = 0.04). We also measured IL-10 and IL-12 concentration in the supernatant of DC cultures. Interestingly, we observed in the patients a sevenfold higher level of IL-10 (P = 0.07) and a ninefold lower level of IL-12 (P = 0.01). Our data show a defect in the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules and an impairment of DC priming function, events that might contribute to T1DM pathogenesis.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 12/2005; 142(2):341-6. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various adjuvant therapies have been introduced along with intensive insulin therapy in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes. Nicotinamide (NA), administered at diagnosis of the disease, can have beneficial effects on the clinical remission rate, improve metabolic control and preserve or slightly increase beta-cell function, probably by reducing toxicity due to free oxygen radicals. Vitamin E, a known antioxidant, inhibits lipid peroxidation; this can lead to protection of islet beta cells from the combined effects of interleukin 1, tumor necrosis factor and gamma interferon. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the addition of vitamin E to NA could improve metabolic control and the residual beta-cell function, as measured by C-peptide secretion, in children and adolescents with recent onset type 1 diabetes; patients were followed-up for 2 years after diagnosis. Recent onset type 1 diabetes patients (n=64, mean age 8.8 years) were recruited by participating centres of the IMDIAB group. Thirty-two patients were randomized to NA (25 mg/kg body weight) plus vitamin E (15 mg/kg body weight); 32 patients acted as controls and received NA only at the same dose as above. Intensive insulin therapy was applied to both treatment groups. There were three drop outs during the 2-year follow-up period. Overall, patients assigned to the NA+vitamin E group or the NA group did not significantly differ in terms of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, insulin requirement or baseline C-peptide secretion. Patients diagnosed at an age of less than 9 years showed significantly reduced C-peptide levels compared with those aged over 9 years at diagnosis and at the 2-year follow-up but there were no differences between the NA and NA+vitamin E treated groups. However at 6 months, patients over 9 years of age treated with NA+vitamin E showed significantly higher C-peptide compared with the NA group (P<0.003). In both age groups and in the different treatment groups, C-peptide levels found at diagnosis were preserved 2 years later. The use of NA alone, or in combination with vitamin E, along with intensive insulin therapy is able to preserve baseline C-peptide secretion for up to 2 years after diagnosis. This finding is of particular interest for pre-pubertal children with type 1 diabetes and has never been reported before.
    European Journal of Endocrinology 06/2004; 150(5):719-24. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    The Lancet 11/2000; 356(9240):1521. · 39.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of tolerance to insulin is achievable in animal models of Type I (insulin-dependent) Diabetes mellitus by oral treatment with this hormone, which can lead to prevention of the disease. In the Diabetes Prevention Trial of Type I diabetes (DPT-1), oral insulin is given with the aim of preventing disease insurgence. We investigated whether if given at diagnosis of Type I diabetes in humans, oral insulin can still act as a tolerogen and therefore preserve residual beta-cell function, which is known to be substantial at diagnosis. A double-blind trial was carried out in patients (mean age +/- SD: 14 +/- 8 years) with recent-onset Type I diabetes to whom oral insulin (5 mg daily) or placebo was given for 12 months in addition to intensive subcutaneous insulin therapy. A total of 82 patients with clinical Type I diabetes ( < 4 weeks duration) were studied. Basal C peptide and glycated haemoglobin were measured and the insulin requirement monitored every 3 months up to 1 year. Insulin antibodies were also measured in 27 patients treated with oral insulin and in 18 patients receiving placebo at the beginning of the trial and after 3, 6 and 12 months of treatment. The trial was completed by 80 patients. Overall and without distinction between age at diagnosis, at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months baseline mean C-peptide secretion in patients treated with oral insulin did not differ from that of those patients treated with placebo. In patients younger than 15 years a tendency for lower C-peptide values at 9 and 12 months was observed in the oral insulin group. Insulin requirement at 1 year was similar between the two groups as well as the percentage of glycated haemoglobin. Finally, IgG insulin antibodies were similar in the two groups at each time point. The results of this study indicate that the addition of 5 mg of oral insulin does not modify the course of the disease in the first year after diagnosis and probably does not statistically affect the humoral immune response against insulin.
    Diabetologia 08/2000; 43(8):1000-4. · 6.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was the assessment of the urinary iodine excretion and the evaluation of thyroid volume compared with clinical examination in 1040 schoolchildren (6-14 years old), living in Rome. Mean urinary iodine excretion was 98.52 +/- 49.81 micrograms/l (median 92 micrograms/l). Thyroid enlargement, as assessed by palpation, was found to be grade 1A in 35.4% of the children, grade 1B in 9.6% and grade 2 in 0.2%. Thyroid volume, determined by ultrasound, increased with age, was significantly correlated with body surface area and was significantly higher in females, as compared to males, in the 11 and 12 years old group. Eleven children (1.9%) were negative at palpation (grade 0) but showed thyroid enlargement by ultrasound. The prevalence of goiter determined by ultrasound resulted to be 4.7%.
    Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita 02/1998; 34(3):409-12. · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The measurement of serum immunoreactive IGFBP-3 levels has been proposed as a screening test to identify children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). We tested the sensitivity and specificity of the IGFBP-3 assessment in comparison with the measurement of IGF-I. We assessed the IGFBP-3 and IGF-I circulating levels in normal subjects and patients with GHD or idiopathic short stature (ISS). Eighty-two normal subjects, 16 GHD, and 10 children with ISS were studied. Controls were divided into three age groups: group A, 1-4 years (n = 16); group B, 5-9 years (n = 35), and group C, 10-14 years (n = 31). All subjects underwent standard anthropometry. In short patients, GH secretory status was assessed by clonidine and arginine stimulation tests. IGFBP-3 and IGF-I circulating levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. IGFBP-3 and IGF-I levels were closely related (r = 0.51, P < 0.0001) and IGFBP-3 was less age dependent than IGF-I (r = 0.57, P < 0.02 vs r = 0.64, P = 0.0001). Sensitivity (true positive ratio) and specificity (true negative ratio) of IGFBP-3 measurement were 50 and 92% respectively, whereas sensitivity and specificity of IGF-I assessment were 75 and 90% respectively. Below the age of 5 years, sensitivity was 20% for IGFBP-3 and 40% for IGF-I; specificity was 94% for IGFBP-3 and 88% for IGF-I. IGFBP-3 measurement had poor sensitivity in detecting growth hormone deficient patients, offering no diagnostic advantage over IGF-I, even in the first years of life, although, due to the high specificity, the finding of subnormal levels of IGFBP-3 was strongly suggestive of growth hormone deficiency. The presence of low IGFBP-3 and IGF-I levels in a short child with normal GH response to provocative tests should prompt further investigations, such as the determination of spontaneous GH secretion or assessment of the GH binding proteins together with an IGF-I and/or IGFBP-3 generation test, in order to identify neurosecretory dysfunction or GH receptor deficiency. Finally, we believe that there is no definitive test for diagnosing or excluding growth hormone deficiency and detailed analysis of the results of endocrine tests, clinical findings and other laboratory and radiological information is necessary to maximize diagnostic accuracy.
    Clinical Endocrinology 08/1995; 43(1):43-7. · 3.35 Impact Factor