Bruno Fabris

University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (115)390.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed at investigating the effects of genetic angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2 deficiency on glucose homeostasis in the pancreas and skeletal muscle and their reversibility following ACE inhibition. ACE2-knockout and C57bl6J mice were placed on a standard diet (SD) or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12weeks. An additional group of ACE2-knockout mice was fed a SD and treated with the ACE inhibitor, perindopril (2mgkg(-1)day(-1)). Glucose and insulin tolerance tests, indirect calorimetry measurements and EchoMRI were performed. Non-esterfied 'free' fatty acid oxidation rate in skeletal muscle was calculated by measuring the palmitate oxidation rate. β-cell mass was determined by immunostaining. Insulin, collectrin, glucose transporter protein, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ expression were analysed by RT-PCR. Markers of mithocondrial biogenesis/content were also evaluated. ACE2-knockout mice showed a β-cell defect associated with low insulin and collectrin levels and reduced compensatory hypertrophy in response to a HFD, which were not reversed by perindopril. On the other hand, ACE2 deficiency shifted energy metabolism towards glucose utilization, as it increased the respiratory exchange ratio, reduced palmitate oxidation and PCG-1α expression in the skeletal muscle, where it up-regulated glucose transport proteins. Treatment of ACE2-knockout mice with perindopril reversed the skeletal muscle changes, suggesting that these were dependent on Angiotensin II (Ang II). ACE2-knockout mice display a β-cell defect, which does not seem to be dependent on Ang II but may reflect the collectrin-like action of ACE2. This defect seemed to be compensated by the fact that ACE2-knockout mice shifted their energy consumption towards glucose utilisation via Ang II. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Metabolism: clinical and experimental 11/2014; · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • B Fabris, S Bernardi, C Trombetta
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    ABSTRACT: Gender identity is the sense one has of being male or female. Gender dysphoria (GD) refers to the distress caused by the incongruence between gender identity and biological sex in gender-nonconforming individuals. Cross-sex hormone therapy (CHT) aims at easing GD, improving well-being, and quality of life of gender-nonconforming individuals. This can be achieved by inducing and maintaining the desired-sex characteristics in accordance with the specific aspirations and expectations of each individual. Nevertheless, CHT can be associated with potentially serious long-term complications. Here, we review when, how, and how long to prescribe CHT to adult transsexuals as well as what to expect and monitor once it has been initiated. In recent years, transsexualism has become more and more recognized and depathologized. To manage GD, National and International Standards of Care have been established. Nevertheless, the needs of transgender patients can still be ignored or dismissed. Moreover, some questions remain unanswered because of the lack of specific retrospective or prospective studies on CHT. Education and culturally sensitive training must be supplied to healthcare professionals to overcome the existing issues on GD management and change the perspectives of transsexual people.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 11/2014; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Inflammation is believed to link obesity to insulin resistance, as in the setting of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a soluble protein that seems to exert proatherogenic and prodiabetogenic effects. This study aims at determining OPG levels in MetS and whether OPG might contribute to MetS development and progression. Methodology/principal findings Circulating OPG was measured in 46 patients with MetS and 63 controls, and was found significantly elevated in those with MetS. In addition, circulating and tissue OPG was significantly increased in high-fat diet (HFD) fed C57BL6 mice, which is one of the animal models for the study of MetS. To evaluate the consequences of OPG elevation, we delivered this protein to C57BL6 mice, finding that it promoted systemic and adipose tissue proinflammatory changes in association with metabolic abnormalities. Conclusions/significance These data suggest that OPG may trigger adipose tissue proinflammatory changes in MetS/HFD-induced obesity.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 08/2014; · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cushing's syndrome is associated with high cardiovascular morbility and mortality. Blood pressure (BP) variability within a 24-h period is increasingly recognized as an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk. The aim of our study was to investigate the short-term BP variability indices in Cushing's syndrome. Twenty-five patients with Cushing's syndrome (mean age 49 ± 13 years, 4 males; 21 Cushing's disease and 4 adrenal adenoma patients) underwent 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) and evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors. Cushing patients were divided into 8 normotensive (NOR-CUSH) and 17 hypertensive (HYP-CUSH) patients and were compared with 20 normotensive (NOR-CTR) and 20 hypertensive (HYP-CTR) age-, sex-, and BMI-matched control subjects. Short-term BP variability was derived from ABPM and calculated as the following: (1) standard deviation (SD) of 24-h, daytime, and nighttime BP; (2) 24-h weighted SD of BP; and (3) average real variability (ARV), i.e., the average of the absolute differences between consecutive BP measurements over 24 h. In comparison with controls, patients with Cushing's syndrome, either normotensive or hypertensive, had higher 24-h and daytime SD of BP, as well as higher 24-h weighted SD and ARV of BP (P = 0.03 to P < 0.0001). No difference in metabolic parameters was observed between NOR-CTR and NOR-CUSH or between HYP-CTR and HYP-CUSH subgroups. ABPM-derived short-term BP variability is increased in Cushing's syndrome, independent of BP elevation. It may represent an additional cardiovascular risk factor in this disease. The role of excess cortisol in BP variability has to be further clarified.
    Endocrine 01/2014; 47(2). · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Benign thyroid nodules are a common occurrence whose only remedy, in case of symptoms, has always been surgery until the advent of new techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This study aimed at evaluating RFA efficacy, tolerability, and costs and comparing them to hemithyroidectomy for the treatment of benign thyroid nodules. Design and Methods. 37 patients who underwent RFA were retrospectively compared to 74 patients surgically treated, either in a standard inpatient or in a short-stay surgical regimen. Efficacy, tolerability, and costs were compared. The contribution of final pathology was also taken into account. Results. RFA reduced nodular volume by 70% after 12 months and it was an effective method for treating nodule-related clinical problems, but it was not as effective as surgery for the treatment of hot nodules. RFA and surgery were both safe, although RFA had less complications and pain was rare. RFA costed €1,661.50, surgery costed €4,556.30, and short-stay surgery costed €4,139.40 per patient. RFA, however, did not allow for any pathologic analysis of the nodules, which, in 6 patients who had undergone surgery (8%), revealed that the nodules harboured malignant cells. Conclusions. RFA might transform our approach to benign thyroid nodules.
    International Journal of Endocrinology 01/2014; 2014:934595. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Menopause is associated with increased arterial stiffness, an independent marker of cardiovascular risk. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (N3-PUFAs) are thought to have multiple cardiovascular benefits, including prevention of arterial stiffness. We investigated whether treatment with N3-PUFA prevents increase in arterial stiffness in ovariectomized rats, an animal model of experimental menopause. A total of 43 Wistar rats, 2 months old, were divided into 3 groups, control, sham surgery, normal diet (CTRL, n = 15); ovariectomy, normal diet (OVX, n = 14); and ovariectomy with N3-PUFA supplementation (0.8 g/kg/d in daily gavages administration; OVX + O3, n = 14). Two months after surgery, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and arterial blood pressure (BP) were measured by carotid and femoral cannulation. Aortic morphometric measurements were performed after dissection. Ovariectomy caused a significant increase in BP (P < .05), PWV (P < .0001), and elastic modulus (P = .001) compared to CTRL. After ovariectomy, N3-PUFA supplementation completely prevented increase in arterial stiffness (P < .0001 vs OVX) and BP (P < .05 vs OVX) and resulted in a significant increase in body weight and aortic thickness. In an experimental model of menopause, N3-PUFA supplementation prevents arterial stiffening and other vascular changes induced by ovariectomy. These results represent a therapeutic benefit of N3-PUFAs in prevention of postmenopausal cardiovascular disease.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 09/2013; · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Menopause is associated with endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress. In this condition, reduced n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) contribute to cardiovascular disease. We investigated whether treatment with n-3 PUFA reverses endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in experimental menopause. Thirty female rats underwent either sham-surgery or bilateral ovariectomy or bilateral ovariectomy+oral n-3 PUFA (0.8 g kg(-1) day(-1) for 2 months). Ovariectomy caused endothelial dysfunction to acetylcholine, which was reversed by superoxide scavenger Tiron. Erythrocyte membrane lipid composition was characterized by reduced n-3 PUFA total content and omega-3 index, and by concomitant increase in n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio. Ovariectomy-related oxidative stress, demonstrated by both enhanced superoxide production and 3-nitrotyrosine expression in aorta, was associated with increased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase subunit NOX-4 protein expression. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) functional inhibition by l-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester, protein expression and activity did not change. In ovariectomized rats, treatment with n-3 PUFA increased n-3 PUFA total content and omega-3 index and decreased n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio in erythrocyte membrane, reversed vascular oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, aortic 3-nitrotyrosine and markedly lowered NOX-4 protein expression; eNOS protein expression also increased, paralleled by reversal of inhibitory binding to Caveolin-1, while ex-vivo functional inhibition and NOS synthesis were unchanged. These findings demonstrate in vivo a therapeutic benefit of n-3 PUFA on menopause-associated endothelial dysfunction by reversal of alterations in membrane lipid composition induced by ovariectomy and by reduction of vascular oxidative stress. In this setting they also identify NOX-4 as a potential target to reduce oxidative stress-mediated vascular complications.
    The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 11/2012; · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND AIM: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been found to be strongly related to an increased arterial stiffness in patients with essential hypertension, suggesting a pathophysiologic link between major cardiovascular and metabolic abnormalities associated with liver steatosis and the functional and structural alterations of the arterial wall. The aim of our study was to investigate, in a group of essential hypertensive patients without additional cardiovascular risk factors, the relationship between NAFLD and arterial stiffness. METHODS AND RESULTS: Sixty-eight consecutive patients with essential hypertension underwent 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) and were separated according to the presence (n = 40) or absence (n = 28) of NAFLD at liver ultrasonography. The Ambulatory Arterial Stiffness Index (AASI) and Symmetric AASI (Sym-AASI) were derived from ABPM tracings. Patients with diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidaemia or other risk factors for cardiovascular or liver disease were excluded. Hypertensive patients were compared with a normotensive control group.The two hypertensive groups had comparable age, sex distribution and clinic/ABPM blood pressure levels. In hypertensive patients with NAFLD, body mass index, fasting glucose, insulin, homeostasis model of assessment of insulin resistance index and triglyceride levels were higher, whereas plasma adiponectin was lower than in patients without NAFLD. In hypertensive patients, AASI and Sym-AASI were higher (P < 0.001) than in normotensive subjects, but both indices of vascular stiffness were comparable in patients with and without NAFLD. CONCLUSIONS: In essential hypertensive patients without additional cardiovascular risk factors, NAFLD is associated with insulin resistance but not with increased arterial stiffness.
    Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 07/2012; · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This review focuses on TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), also called Apo2 ligand, a protein belonging to the TNF superfamily. TRAIL can be found either in its transmembrane or circulating form, and its mostly studied peripheral effect is the induction of cellular apoptosis. Here, we discuss the evidences supporting the use of TRAIL as biomarker of cardiovascular diseases as well as the evidences showing the potential beneficial therapeutic effects of TRAIL on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
    Current drug targets 06/2012; 13(9):1215-21. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TRAIL [TNF (tumour necrosis factor)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand] has recently been shown to ameliorate the natural history of DM (diabetes mellitus). It has not been determined yet whether systemic TRAIL delivery would prevent the metabolic abnormalities due to an HFD [HF (high-fat) diet]. For this purpose, 27 male C57bl6 mice aged 8 weeks were randomly fed on a standard diet, HFD or HFD+TRAIL for 12 weeks. TRAIL was delivered weekly by intraperitoneal injection. Body composition was evaluated; indirect calorimetry studies, GTT (glucose tolerance test) and ITT (insulin tolerance test) were performed. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, together with adipose tissue gene expression and apoptosis, were measured. TRAIL treatment reduced significantly the increased adiposity associated with an HFD. Moreover, it reduced significantly hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia during a GTT and it improved significantly the peripheral response to insulin. TRAIL reversed the changes in substrate utilization induced by the HFD and ameliorated skeletal muscle non-esterified fatty acids oxidation rate. This was associated with a significant reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines together with a modulation of adipose tissue gene expression and apoptosis. These findings shed light on the possible anti-adipogenic and anti-inflammatory effects of TRAIL and open new therapeutic possibilities against obesity, systemic inflammation and T2DM (Type 2 DM).
    Clinical Science 05/2012; 123(9):547-55. · 5.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deficiency of ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), which degrades Ang (angiotensin) II, promotes the development of glomerular lesions. However, the mechanisms explaining why the reduction in ACE2 is associated with the development of glomerular lesions have still to be fully clarified. We hypothesized that ACE2 may regulate the renoprotective actions of ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of ACE2 deficiency on the renal production of ANP. We evaluated molecular and structural abnormalities, as well as the expression of ANP in the kidneys of ACE2-deficient mice and C57BL/6 mice. We also exposed renal tubular cells to AngII and Ang-(1-7) in the presence and absence of inhibitors and agonists of RAS (renin-angiotensin system) signalling. ACE2 deficiency resulted in increased oxidative stress, as well as pro-inflammatory and profibrotic changes. This was associated with a down-regulation of the gene and protein expression on the renal production of ANP. Consistent with a role for the ACE2 pathway in modulating ANP, exposing cells to either Ang-(1-7) or ACE2 or the Mas receptor agonist up-regulated ANP gene expression. This work demonstrates that ACE2 regulates renal ANP via the generation of Ang-(1-7). This is a new mechanism whereby ACE2 counterbalances the renal effects of AngII and which explains why targeting ACE2 may be a promising strategy against kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy.
    Clinical Science 01/2012; 123(1):29-37. · 5.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acromegaly is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and with specific heart and vascular abnormalities. The aim of our study was to investigate arterial stiffness using the ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) and symmetric AASI (Sym-AASI), two indexes derived from 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), in a group of normotensive and hypertensive patients with active acromegaly, compared with normotensive controls (NOR-CTR) or hypertensive controls (HYP-CTR). Ninety-six consecutive patients with active acromegaly (46 males, mean age 49±14 years) underwent 24-h ABPM and evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors. Based on ABPM measurement, acromegalic patients were divided into 64 normotensive (normotensive acromegalic patients (NOR-ACRO)) and 32 hypertensive (hypertensive acromegalic patients (HYP-ACRO)) patients, and were compared with 35 normotensive (NOR-CTR) and 34 hypertensive (HYP-CTR) age-, sex,- and ABPM-matched control subjects. The AASI and Sym-AASI indexes were significantly higher in acromegalic patients than in controls, either in the normotensive (NOR-ACRO vs NOR-CTR, P<0.0001 for AASI and P=0.005 for Sym-AASI) or in the hypertensive (HYP-ACRO vs HYP-CTR, P=0.01 for AASI and P=0.01 for Sym-AASI) group. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed a significant association of the highest AASI tertile with serum IGF1 (P=0.034) in the whole acromegalic group. AASIs are increased in acromegaly, independent of blood pressure (BP) elevation, and may have an important role in predicting cardiovascular risk in this disease.
    European Journal of Endocrinology 11/2011; 166(2):199-205. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The toxic effects of aldosterone on the vasculature, and in particular on the endothelial layer, have been proposed as having an important role in the cardiovascular pathology observed in mineralocorticoid-excess states. In order to characterize the genomic molecular mechanisms driving the aldosterone-induced endothelial dysfunction, we performed an expression microarray on transcripts obtained from both human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human coronary artery endothelial cells stimulated with 10 - 7 M aldosterone for 18 h. The results were then subjected to qRT-PCR confirmation, also including a group of genes known to be involved in the control of the endothelial function or previously described as regulated by aldosterone. The state of activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor was investigated by means of a luciferase-reporter assay using a plasmid encoding a mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid-sensitive promoter. Aldosterone did not determine any significant change in gene expression in either cell type both in the microarray and in the qRT-PCR analysis. The luciferase-reporter assay showed no activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor following aldosterone stimulation. The status of nonfunctionality of the mineralocorticoid receptor expressed in cultured human umbilical and coronary artery endothelial cells does not allow aldosterone to modify gene expression and provides evidence against either a beneficial or harmful genomic effect of aldosterone on healthy endothelial cells.
    Hormone and Metabolic Research 11/2011; 44(3):234-8. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new arm of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has been recently characterized; this includes angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)2 and angiotensin (Ang)1-7, a heptapeptide acting through the Mas receptor (MasR). Recent studies show that Ang1-7 has an antiproliferative action on lung adenocarcinoma cells. The aim of this study was to characterize RAS expression in human colon adenocarcinoma and to investigate whether Ang1-7 exerts an antiproliferative effect on human colon adenocarcinoma cells. Gene, protein expression and enzymatic activity of the main components of the RAS were determined on non-neoplastic colon mucosa as well as on the tumor mass and the mucosa taken 5 cm distant from it, both collected from patients with colon adenocarcinoma. Two different human colon cancer cell lines were treated with AngII and Ang1-7. The novel finding of this study was that MasR was significantly upregulated in colon adenocarcinoma compared with non-neoplastic colon mucosa, which showed little or no expression of it. ACE gene expression and enzymatic activity were also increased in the tumors. However, AngII and Ang1-7 did not have any pro-/antiproliferative effects in the cell lines studied. The data suggest that upregulation of the MasR could be used as a diagnostic marker of colon adenocarcinoma.
    Journal of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System 11/2011; 13(1):202-9. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiotensin II (AngII) contributes to salt-driven kidney damage. In this study, we aimed at investigating whether and how the renal damage associated with a high-salt diet could result from changes in the ratio between angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Forty-eight rats randomly allocated to three different dietary contents of salt were studied for 4 weeks after undergoing a left uninephrectomy. We focussed on kidney functional, structural and molecular changes. At the same time, we studied kidney molecular changes in 20 weeks old Ace2-knockout mice (Ace2KO), with and without ACE inhibition. A high salt content diet significantly increased the glomerular ACE/ACE2 ratio. This was associated with increased oxidative stress. To assess whether these events were related, we measured renal oxidative stress in Ace2KO, and found that the absence of ACE2 promoted oxidative stress, which could be prevented by ACE inhibition. One of the mechanisms by which a high-salt diet leads to renal damage seems to be the modulation of the ACE/ACE2 ratio which in turn is critical for the cause of oxidative stress, through AngII.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 10/2011; 27(5):1793-800. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytoma (PCC) is a challenging and life-threatening neoplasm. Herein, the authors report an interesting and unexpected solution for a clinical case concerning a patient with a PCC, who developed delayed ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone Cushing syndrome originating from the PCC. In addition, after a misleading I-labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography, an F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography, executed to confirm the diagnosis of PCC, showed a silent pulmonary nodule that unexpectedly turned out to be a lung nocardiasis.
    The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 08/2011; 342(5):429-32. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent clinical trials carried out in patients with advanced cancer have shown that recombinant TRAIL administration is usually safe and well tolerated when used either alone or in association with chemotherapeutic drugs. Notably, anticancer chemotherapy can be associated to cardiomiopathy. We have here demonstrated that TRAIL (administrated as either recombinant soluble TRAIL or as AAV-TRAIL expression viral vector) reduced the development of cardiomyopathy in the ApoE(-/-) diabetic mouse model. These data suggest, for the first time, that therapeutically administration of TRAIL might have a cardioprotective effect.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2011; 30(3):1257-60. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to evaluate the potential role of osteoprotegerin (OPG) in arterial fibrosis. Aortic samples were analyzed after in vivo treatment of ApoE(-/-) mice with recombinant human OPG. Mouse vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) were exposed in vitro to recombinant OPG and analyzed for markers of inflammation and fibrosis, such as fibronectin, collagen I, III, IV and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Conversely, the potential modulation of endogenous OPG expression and release by VSMC was analyzed in response to different pro-atherosclerotic cytokines, TGF-β1, platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) and angiogensin II (Ang II). In vivo treatment with human OPG induced signs of fibrosis and up-regulated the arterial expression of TGF-β1. Consistently, in vitro treatment of VSMC with human OPG induced the expression of fibronectin, collagen type I, III, IV, metalloprotein-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9, as well as of TGF-β1. On the other hand, exposure to recombinant TGF-β1 promoted the expression/release of endogenous OPG and mediated the increase of OPG release induced by PDGF and Ang II in VSMC. Taken together, these data support a pathogenic role for OPG in the development and progression of atherosclerotic lesions and suggest the existence of a vicious circle between TGF-β1 and OPG.
    Atherosclerosis 05/2011; 218(1):61-8. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of uraemia-induced atherosclerosis have not been fully delineated. The aims of this study were (i) to investigate the extent and the phenotype of atherosclerosis, including the activation of local renin-angiotensin system (RAS), in a mouse model of mild uraemia and (ii) to determine the effects of angiotensin II type1 (AT1) receptor blockade on the uraemic atherosclerosis, clarifying the mechanisms of its action. Mild uraemia was induced by 5/6 nephrectomy in 8-week-old apo E-deficient mice (apoE-KO). After nephrectomy, the animals received either treatment with candesartan or no treatment for 12-weeks. Sham-operated apoE-KO mice were used as controls. Uraemia led to a two-fold increase in aortic plaque area. This was associated with a significant upregulation of aortic angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), AT1 receptor, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1. Candesartan significantly reduced aortic atherosclerosis, prevented the upregulation of the uraemia-induced genes and led to changes predicting greater stability of the plaques, without influencing blood pressure or serum lipids. This study indicates that uraemia leads to an acceleration of aortic atherosclerosis. The upregulation of aortic RAS and the reduced atherosclerosis following AT1 receptor blocker treatment highlights the pivotal role of the local RAS in the development and acceleration of atherosclerosis in uraemia.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 03/2011; 26(3):832-8. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying the increased cardiovascular risk after menopause are poorly understood. Estrogens modulate the cardiac renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and influence cardiac adaptation to afterload. To investigate whether the loss of the natural inhibition of the RAS by estrogen may be linked to an increase of cardiac apoptosis, we studied 17β-estradiol (E2) and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor treatment effects on cardiomyocyte survival in ovariectomized spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Five groups of female SHRs were evaluated for 8 weeks. One group served as nonovariectomized control; the other four groups underwent bilateral ovariectomy and were randomized to receive 60-day-release pellets containing placebo or 0.5 mg of E2, the ACE inhibitor ramipril at the dosage of 2.5 mg/kg per day, or the combination of the two treatments. Ovariectomy increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis and induced proapoptotic changes of Bcl-2 and Bax genes and proteins. These modifications were associated with an upregulation of ACE and angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor genes. Ramipril was as effective as E2 in preventing cardiac apoptosis and in restoring cardiac brain natriuretic peptide in association with reduced cardiac ACE and AT1 receptor gene expression. In contrast to the ramipril treatment, the favorable effect of E2 on cardiac apoptosis occurred independently from changes in SBP. No synergistic effect was observed when the two treatments were combined. These data show that ovariectomy stimulates myocardium apoptosis by a mechanism involving Bax and Bcl-2 genes. The antiapoptotic effect of E2 and ACE inhibitor treatment was linked to a downregulation of cardiac RAS.
    Journal of Hypertension 02/2011; 29(2):273-81. · 4.22 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
390.52 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • University Hospital of Parma
      Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 1983–2014
    • Università degli Studi di Trieste
      • Department of Medical, Technological and Translational Sciences
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2006–2012
    • Universita degli studi di Ferrara
      • Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine
      Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2011
    • IRCCS Ospedale Infantile Burlo Garofolo
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
    • Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2007–2009
    • University-Hospital of Padova
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 2005–2008
    • University of Padova
      • Department of Medicine DIMED
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 1989–1991
    • Austin Health
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia