M Baldini

The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States

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Publications (29)99.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The presence of selected toxic heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg), was investigated in fish and seafood products, namely, blue mussel, carpet shell clam, European squid, veined squid, deep-water rose shrimp, red mullet, European seabass, gilthead seabream, Atlantic cod, European hake, Atlantic bluefin tuna and swordfish so as to assess their human exposure through diet. Metals were detected by quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Q-ICP-MS) and hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (Hg-AAS). Measurements of Cd, Pb and Hg were performed by means of analytical methods validated in compliance with UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025 [2005. General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Milano (Italy): UNI Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione]. The exposure assessment was undertaken matching the levels of Cd, Pb and total Hg with consumption data related to fish and seafood products selected for this purpose. In order to establish human health implications, the estimated weekly intakes (EWIs) for Cd, Pb and Hg were compared with the standard tolerable weekly intakes (TWI) for Cd and provisional tolerable weekly intakes (PTWIs) for Pb and Hg stipulated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The found metal concentrations were largely below the maximum levels (MLs) established at the European Union level with the exception of Cd. This metal exceeded the MLs in squid, red mullet, European hake and Atlantic cod. Squid and blue mussel showed the highest Pb concentrations which accounted for 60% and 10% of the MLs, respectively. Highest Hg levels were found in predatory fish. The concentrations of Hg in swordfish, Atlantic bluefin tuna and red mullet accounted for 50%, 30% and 30% of the MLs, respectively. The EWIs for Cd, Pb and Hg related to the consumption of fish and seafood products by the median of the Italian total population accounted for 20%, 1.5% and 10% of the standard TWI for Cd as well as PTWIs for Pb and Hg, respectively. Furthermore, the EWIs estimated using consumption data concerning Italian consumers did not exceed the standard TWI and PTWIs, except for Cd at 95th percentile.
    Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment 09/2012; 29(12). DOI:10.1080/19440049.2012.719644 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A polymorphism in the promoter region of the CD14 gene, C-159T, has been shown to be associated with increased levels of soluble CD14 (sCD14) and decreased serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and the expression of a more severe atopic phenotype in previous studies. To test if these associations are consistently found in different populations and different age groups, we genotyped 2048 children of different age groups as well as 888 adults from different regions of Germany for the CD14 C-159T polymorphism. While an association between this promoter polymorphism and levels of sCD14 could be confirmed in our study population (CC: 1017 ng/ml vs TT: 1370 ng/ml, P = 0.03), no association between CD14 C-159T genotypes and IgE levels or the prevalence of atopic diseases was seen. The lack of association between CD14 genotypes and IgE as well as atopic outcomes in this large German study population seems to indicate that CD14 genotypes may not directly be involved in the development of allergies during childhood.
    Allergy 06/2004; 59(5):520-5. DOI:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00439.x · 6.03 Impact Factor
  • C Sengler · A Haider · C Sommerfeld · S Lau · M Baldini · F Martinez · U Wahn · R Nickel ·
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple genetic studies have shown linkage of atopy-related phenotypes to chromosome 5q31. In this region several candidate genes for atopy are localized such as the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, but also CD14, a receptor for LPS. Recently, a functional CD14 promoter polymorphism was related to total and specific IgE responsiveness. The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in a large German birth cohort. Atopy-related phenotypes were longitudinally carefully evaluated in over 800 children from birth to the age of 10 years. Yearly visits included standardized interviews, physical examinations and determination of total and specific IgE antibodies. Pulmonary function tests and histamine provocations were performed at the age of seven. Eight-hundred and seventy-two children of the Multicenter Allergy Study (MAS) cohort were genotyped using melting curve and restriction digest analyses. CD14-159 allele frequencies were consistent with previous reports, however, no association of the SNP with asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, total or specific IgE levels could be observed. The CD14-159 SNP might not play a major role in the development of atopy in German children.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 03/2003; 33(2):166-9. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2222.2003.01549.x · 4.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although widely practiced for over 80 years, the role of specific immunotherapy (SIT) in pediatric asthma treatment is still controversial. We assessed the effects of a 3-year period of subcutaneous administration of a standardized preparation of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D pt) on the respiratory health in a group of asthmatic children monosensitized to house dust mite (HDM). A randomized clinical trial was performed after 1-year run-in period. Fifteen children receiving SIT for HDM and 14 controls (four drop-outs), matched for age, allergen sensitization, asthma severity, lung function, and non-specific bronchial reactivity (BHR), were studied during the 3-year treatment period. During the whole trial, respiratory symptoms, pharmacological and respiratory function parameters were regularly evaluated. Skin prick tests and methacholine challenge were performed at the beginning and end of the study. In the SIT group significant improvement in asthmatic symptoms and marked reduction in drug intake was observed. The SIT group also showed a significant decrease in non-specific bronchial BHR. No new sensitivity occurred during the study period in the SIT group only. No major local or systemic side-effects were reported during the study. Our results confirm that SIT is effective in asthmatic children sensitive to mites. It is associated with a decrease in BHR and it may prevent the development of new sensitizations in monosensitized subjects.
    Allergy 10/2002; 57(9):785-90. DOI:10.1034/j.1398-9995.2002.23498.x · 6.03 Impact Factor
  • M Baldini · D Vercelli · F D Martinez ·

    Allergy 04/2002; 57(3):188-92. · 6.03 Impact Factor
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    M. Baldini · D. Vercelli · F. D. Martinez ·

    Allergy 03/2002; 57(3):188 - 192. DOI:10.1034/j.1398-9995.2002.1r152.x · 6.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sample contamination as a consequence of abrasion of grinding tools during the homogenization of food materials to be analysed for trace elements was addressed. The possible release of 15 trace elements (Al, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Sn, V, Zn) from six different grinding and milling devices, operating either continuously or discontinuously, was evaluated. All the devices were commercially available and were representative of models usually employed in food and agricultural laboratories. Wheat grains belonging to one soft and one durum cultivar were used as test material. The determination of the analyte concentrations in subsamples submitted to the different preparation treatments was performed by quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Q-ICP-MS). Accordingly, a suitable digestion method was developed and the ArC+ interference affecting Cr determination was evaluated and corrected. Statistical differences with respect to the control were detected for 10 elements (Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb) and in most cases contamination of the samples was traced back to the composition of the grinding equipment. None of the investigated devices was contamination-free with respect to all of the quantified elements. Abrasion of the grinding tools was higher with durum wheat than with soft wheat as a consequence of their different hardiness.
    Food Additives and Contaminants 10/2001; 18(9):778-87. DOI:10.1080/02652030120630 · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The theoretical risk of exceeding the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for sulphites has mostly been examined on the basis of a worst-case scenario. In order to examine the real situation the determination of residue sulphite levels in ready-to-consume foods is required. The aim of this paper is to assess the actual sulphite content of diets obtained from a combination of realistic meals high in sulphite-containing foods. Food products available in Italy containing added sulphites were identified. Overall, 211 samples of foods and beverages (including 85 samples of wine) were collected. The determination of sulphite residues was carried out on the foods which were prepared according to normal domestic practice. It was shown that the diets obtained from these foods would lead to an intake of 23 mg/day in children and 50 mg/day in adults (both slightly above the ADI for respectively a 30 kg child and a 60 kg adult). Among all sulphite-containing foods, the highest contributors to the intake were dried fruit and wine, both ingested without further treatment. The analysis of specific consumption data confirmed the existence of a risk of exceeding the ADI related to sulphite residue levels in wine.
    Food Additives and Contaminants 01/2001; 17(12):979-89. DOI:10.1080/02652030010014402 · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cadmium content of muscle, liver, kidney and blood samples from 62 horses slaughtered in Italy was investigated. Cadmium was determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) after wet digestion of the samples. The mean and median contents of all samples were (on a fresh weight basis) 75 and 41 micrograms kg-1 for muscle, 2.46 and 2.10 mg kg-1 for liver, 20.0 and 13.5 mg kg-1 for kidney. The cadmium level in blood samples was always below 6 micrograms l-1. The cadmium concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney were found to be related to the life span of the specimens and increased with age. Females exhibited higher levels than males, but this difference was significant only in the case of muscle tissue. The geographical origin was recognized as the main factor influencing the cadmium content of the equine specimens analysed. The differences between horses coming from the three main breeding countries considered in this study (Poland, Lithuania, Hungary) were marked and statistically significant. The average intake of cadmium from equine meat was estimated for the general population and for population groups resident in areas with high consumption of this food item. While the cadmium intake from equine meat for the average consumer accounts for about 1% of the total cadmium intake estimated for Italy, in the latter case the enhanced consumption of equine muscle is often accompanied with the consumption of substantial quantities of equine liver and this may lead to high cadmium intakes.
    Food Additives and Contaminants 09/2000; 17(8):679-87. DOI:10.1080/02652030050083204 · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether CT-guided mucociliary clearance studies allow differentiation between bronchiectasis associated with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and those unrelated to congenital or genetically transmitted defects. Fifteen children aged 4-18 years with a CT diagnosis of bronchiectasis were included in the study. Six had PCD, while in nine cases no congenital disorder was demonstrated. CT showed bronchiectasis in 26 (29%) of 90 lung regions. Radiolabelled aerosol studies were conducted globally for each lung and on the regions affected by bronchiectasis. Global half-time of activity (t 1/2) values of patients with PCD were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than those with bronchiectasis unrelated to congenital disorders. Among the 26 lung regions in which CT demonstrated bronchiectasis, regional clearance was abnormal in 24 cases. Patients with PCD showed no statistically significant difference between regional and global t 1/2 values. Patients with bronchiectasis unrelated to congenital disorders showed significantly higher regional t 1/2 values in the affected regions with respect to the corresponding global pulmonary t 1/2 (P < 0.06). The combination of morphological CT information with functional data concerning the clearance of radiolabelled aerosol adds to our understanding of pulmonary impairment in children with bronchiectasis. In particular, regional studies allow the recognition of different mucociliary clearance patterns in bronchiectasis associated with PCD and those unrelated to congenital or genetically transmitted defects.
    Pediatric Radiology 09/2000; 30(9):632-7. DOI:10.1007/s002470000274 · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to estimate the lead intake from crystalware resulting from short-term contacts with beverages, under conditions that are likely to occur to a consumer. The extraction ability of different kinds of beverages was estimated by comparison with 4% acetic acid under conditions of continuous contact for 3 h. It was found that lead release increased in the following order: cola drink > HAc > whisky > white wine. Under conditions of repeated use under different scenarios, lead release showed a steep decrease with increasing number of contacts, for both wine and cola drink. The maximum lead intake resulted from the cola drink, corresponding to an ingestion of 14.5 micrograms Pb for consumption of 350 ml beverage. Assuming a fixed contribution from the diet of 71 micrograms/day, in the six scenarios taken into consideration, total daily lead intake levels ranged from a minimum of about 76 micrograms up to a maximum of 86 micrograms lead. As these values, converted on a weekly basis, would correspond to 35% and 40% PTWI respectively, significant health risks resulting from the ingestion of beverages in contact with crystalware can be excluded. Finally it was found that the use of a dishwater did not affect significantly the release of lead into wine, while release into cola drink was slightly but significantly increased after the third cycle.
    Food Additives and Contaminants 03/2000; 17(3):205-18. DOI:10.1080/026520300283469 · 2.13 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 01/2000; 105(1). DOI:10.1016/S0091-6749(00)90620-1 · 11.48 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 01/2000; 105(1). DOI:10.1016/S0091-6749(00)90529-3 · 11.48 Impact Factor

  • Clinical Genetics 09/1999; 56(2):164-5. DOI:10.1034/j.1399-0004.1999.560213.x · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • M Baldini · I C Lohman · M Halonen · R P Erickson · P G Holt · F D Martinez ·
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    ABSTRACT: Total serum immunoglobulin (Ig)E levels are genetically regulated, but the mechanism of inheritance is not well understood. Cytokines produced by T-helper (Th)1 and Th2 lymphocytes control IgE synthesis. Bacterial antigens may favor the development of Th1 cells from naive CD4-positive T cells through a CD14-dependent pathway. CD14 is constitutively expressed on the surface of monocytes and macrophages, and is also present in serum in a soluble form (sCD14). The CD14 gene maps to chromosome 5q31.1, a candidate region for loci regulating total serum IgE. We hypothesized that genetic variants in the CD14 gene could influence Th-cell differentiation and thus total serum IgE. We identified a C-to-T transition at base pair -159 from the major transcription start site (CD14/-159). Among 481 children recruited from a general population sample, frequency of allele C was 51.4%. TT homozygotes had significantly higher sCD14 levels than did carriers of both the CC and CT genotypes (P = 0.01). TT homozygotes also had significantly lower levels of IgE than did carriers of the other two genotypes, but differences were significant only among children who were skin test-positive to local aeroallergens (P = 0.004). There was no association between CD14/-159 and either interleukin (IL)-4 or interferon (IFN)-gamma responses by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. However, IFN-gamma and IL-4 responses were positively and negatively correlated, respectively, with serum sCD14 levels. We conclude that CD14/-159 plays a significant role in regulating serum sCD14 levels and total serum IgE levels.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 06/1999; 20(5):976-83. DOI:10.1165/ajrcmb.20.5.3494 · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • Francesco Cubadda · Paolo Stacchini · Massimo Baldini ·
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    ABSTRACT: Review the state of the art on the chemical contamination of seafood and on the human intake of contaminants through these commodities in the Adriatic area
  • Guadagnino E · Gramiccioni L · Denaro M · Baldini M ·
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    ABSTRACT: The Istituto Superiore di Sanità promoted a study on lead availability from crystalware. The study was conducted in collaboration with a glass research Institute, on glass articles provided by two of the major Italian lead crystal producers. The whole spectrum of lead-bearing glasses from 7 up to 32% PbO was investigated. Short-term extraction tests carried out with 4% acetic acid on three sets of 24% PbO stemware of different composition, show that lead release is closely related to the hydrolytic resistance of the glass. A linear correlation was found between sodium released from the bulk glass and lead released from the surface at any time after the first leach. Experiments of repeated leaching with wine and brandy showed that lead release decreases with increasing number of extractions, similarly to the decrease observed with 4% acetic acid. Long-term experiments carried out with brandy on a set of six decanters for three months at room temperature confirmed the well-known square root dependence of lead release with time. On the basis of these results an estimation of the risk associated with the conditions of consumer use is attempted. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Packaging Technology and Science 03/1998; 11(2):45-57. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1522(199803/04)11:2<45::AID-PTS417>3.0.CO;2-2 · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • E. Guadagnino · L. Gramiccioni · M. Denaro · M. Baldini ·

    Packaging Technology and Science 01/1998; 11(2):45-57. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1522(199803/04)11:23.0.CO;2-2 · 1.71 Impact Factor

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    F D Martinez · P E Graves · M Baldini · S Solomon · R Erickson ·
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    ABSTRACT: The beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) agonists are the most widely used agents in the treatment of asthma, but the genetic determinants of responsiveness to these agents are unknown. Two polymorphic loci within the coding region of the beta2AR have been recently described at amino acids 16 and 27. It has been reported that glycine at codon 16 (Gly-16) is associated with increased agonist-promoted downregulation of the beta2AR as compared with arginine-16 (Arg-16). The form of the receptor with glutamic acid at codon 27 (Glu-27), on the other hand, has been shown to be resistant to downregulation when compared with glutamine-27 (Gln-27), but only when coexpressed with Arg-16. To assess if different genotypes of these two polymorphisms would show differential responses to inhaled beta2AR agonists, we genotyped 269 children who were participants in a longitudinal study of asthma. Spirometry was performed before and after administration of 180 microg of albuterol, and a positive response was considered an increase of >15.3% predicted FEV1. There was marked linkage disequilibrium between the two polymorphisms, with 97.8% of all chromosomes that carried Arg-16 also carrying Gln-27. When compared to homozygotes for Gly-16, homozygotes for Arg-16 were 5.3 times (95% confidence interval 1.6-17.7) and heterozygotes for beta2AR-16 were 2.3 times (1.3-4.2) more likely to respond to albuterol, respectively. Similar trends were observed for asthmatic and nonasthmatic children, and results were independent of baseline lung function, ethnic origin, and previous use of antiasthma medication. No association was found between the beta2AR-27 polymorphism and response to albuterol. These results may explain some of the variability in response to therapeutic doses of albuterol in children.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 12/1997; 100(12):3184-8. DOI:10.1172/JCI119874 · 13.22 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
99.43 Total Impact Points


  • 2002-2004
    • The University of Arizona
      • • Respiratory Center
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 2000-2002
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Biology
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1989-2000
    • Istituto Superiore di Sanità
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1999
    • Swansea University
      • Experimental Medicine Unit
      Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom