Maria Ferraro

National Research Council, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (45)161.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Leptin is involved in the lung epithelial homeostasis. Its role in the nasal tract is largely unknown. Allergic rhinitis (AR) is induced by the allergen exposure leading to consequential structural abnormalities in the nasal epithelium. Topical corticosteroids are recommended as first-line therapy in AR. Parietaria pollen is one of the most important allergenic sources in the southern Europe. In vitro, in human nasal epithelial cell line RPMI 2650, we aimed to determine whether allergen stimulation acts on leptin/leptin receptor pathway and how fluticasone furoate (FF) influences this pathway. The effects of the major allergen recombinant Par j 1 (rPar j 1), of FF, of leptin, and of TGF-β1 on cell proliferation, on leptin/leptin receptor expression and modulation (by clonogenic test, by RT-q-RT-PCR, by immunocytochemistry and by flow-cytometry), and on STAT-3 activation (assessing nuclear translocation by western blot analysis) were assessed. We found that rPar j 1 and TGF-β1 significantly decreased cell proliferation and down-regulated the leptin/leptin receptor pathway, whereas FF and leptin reverted them, both alone and in combination. Furthermore, rPar j 1 reduced, while leptin and FF increased STAT-3 activation. In conclusion, FF and leptin itself are able to preserve nasal epithelial homeostasis restoring the leptin/leptin receptor pathway altered by rPar j 1 exposure.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 07/2014; · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Airway epithelium is a regulator of innate immune responses to a variety of insults including cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke alters the expression and the activation of Toll Like Receptor 4 (TLR4), an innate immunity receptor. IL-33, an alarmin, increases innate immunity Th2 responses. The aims of this study were to explore whether mini-bronchoalveolar lavage (mini-BAL) or sera from smokers have altered concentrations of IL-33 and whether cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) alter both intracellular expression (mRNA and protein) and release of IL-33 in bronchial epithelial cells. The role of TLR4 in the expression of IL-33 was also explored. Mini-BALs, but not sera, from smokers show reduced concentrations of IL-33. The expression of IL-33 was increased also in bronchial epithelium from smokers. 20% CSE reduced IL-33 release but increased the mRNA for IL-33 by real time PCR and the intracellular expression of IL-33 in bronchial epithelial cells as confirmed by flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry and by western blot analysis. The effect of CSE on IL-33 expression was also observed in primary bronchial epithelial cells. IL-33 expression was mainly concentrated within the cytoplasm of the cells. LPS, an agonist of TLR4, reduced IL-33 expression, and an inhibitor of TLR4 increased the intracellular expression of IL-33. In conclusion, the release of IL-33 is tightly controlled and, in smokers, an altered activation of TLR4 may lead to an increased intracellular expression of IL-33 with a limited IL-33 release.
    Biochimica et biophysica acta. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Airway epithelium is a regulator of innate immune responses to a variety of insults including cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke alters the expression and the activation of Toll Like Receptor 4 (TLR4), an innate immunity receptor. IL-33, an alarmin, increases innate immunity Th2 responses. The aims of this study were to explore whether mini-bronchoalveolar lavage (mini-BAL) or sera from smokers have altered concentrations of IL-33 and whether cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) alter both intracellular expression (mRNA and protein) and release of IL-33 in bronchial epithelial cells. The role of TLR4 in the expression of IL-33 was also explored. Mini-BALs, but not sera, from smokers show reduced concentrations of IL-33. The expression of IL-33 was increased also in bronchial epithelium from smokers. 20% CSE reduced IL-33 release but increased the mRNA for IL-33 by real time PCR and the intracellular expression of IL-33 in bronchial epithelial cells as confirmed by flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry and western blot analysis. The effect of CSE on IL-33 expression was also observed in primary bronchial epithelial cells. IL-33 expression was mainly concentrated within the cytoplasm of the cells. LPS, an agonist of TLR4, reduced IL-33 expression, and an inhibitor of TLR4 increased the intracellular expression of IL-33. In conclusion, the release of IL-33 is tightly controlled and, in smokers, an altered activation of TLR4 may lead to an increased intracellular expression of IL-33 with a limited IL-33 release.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 01/2014; · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) may play a significant role in diseases of the upper airway including chronic rhinosinusitis. Even short term exposure of cigarette smoke has adverse effects on mitochondrial functions and redox homeostasis in tissues which may progress to further complications associated with chronic smoking. Cigarette smoke alters Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression and activation in bronchial epithelial cells. Carbocysteine is an anti-oxidant and mucolytic agent. The effects of carbocysteine on CSE induced oxidative stress and on associated innate immune and inflammatory responses in nasal epithelial cells are largely unknown.The present study was aimed to assess in CSE stimulated nasal epithelial cells (RPMI 2650) the effects of carbocysteine (10(-4) M) on: cell survival, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, TLR4 expression, LPS binding and neutrophil chemotaxis (actin reorganization). We found that CSE increased ROS production, TLR4 expression, LPS binding and neutrophil chemotaxis and all these events were counteracted by pre-incubating CSE stimulated RPMI 2650 cells with carbocysteine. In conclusion, the present study provides compelling evidence that carbocysteine may be considered a promising therapeutic strategy in chronic inflammatory nasal diseases.
    Toxicology in Vitro 11/2013; · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gemcitabine is a chemotherapy agent commonly used in the treatment of NSCLC which has been demonstrated to induce apoptosis in NSCLC cells by increasing functionally active Fas expression. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Fas/FasL system involvement in gemcitabine-induced lung cancer cell killing. NSCLC H292 cells were cultured in presence or absence of gemcitabine. FasL mRNA and protein were evaluated by real-time PCR, and by western blot and flow cytometry, respectively. Apoptosis of FasL expressing cells was evaluated by flow cytometry, and caspase-8 and-3 activation by western blot and by a colorimetric assay. Cytotoxicity of LAK cells and malignant pleural fluid (PF) lymphocytes against H292 cells was analyzed in presence or absence of the neutralizing anti-Fas ZB4 antibody, by flow cytometry. Gemcitabine increased FasL mRNA and total protein expression, the percentage of H292 cells bearing membrane-bound FasL (mFasL) and of mFasL positive apoptotic H292 cells, as well as caspase-8 and-3 cleavage. Moreover, gemcitabine increased CH11-induced caspase-8 and-3 cleavage and proteolytic activity. Cytotoxicity of LAK cells and PF lymphocytes was increased against gemcitabine-treated H292 cells and was partially inhibited by ZB4 antibody. These results demonstrate that gemcitabine: 1) induces an up-regulation of FasL in lung cancer cells triggering cell apoptosis via an autocrine/paracrine loop; 2) induces a Fas-dependent apoptosis mediated by caspase-8 and-3 activation; 3) enhances the sensitivity of lung cancer cells to cytotoxic activity of LAK cells and malignant PF lymphocytes, partially via Fas/FasL pathway. Our data strongly suggest an active involvement of Fas/FasL system in gemcitabine-induced lung cancer cell killing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Immunology 10/2013; · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke represents the major risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) alter TLR4 expression and activation in bronchial epithelial cells. Carbocysteine, an anti-oxidant and mucolytic agent, is effective in reducing the severity and the rate of exacerbations in COPD patients. The effects of carbocysteine on TLR4 expression and on the TLR4 activation downstream events are largely unknown. This study was aimed to explore whether carbocysteine, in a human bronchial epithelial cell line (16-HBE), counteracted some pro-inflammatory CSE-mediated effects. In particular, TLR4 expression, LPS binding, p21 (a senescence marker), IL-8 mRNA and release in CSE-stimulated 16-HBE as well as actin reorganization in neutrophils cultured with supernatants from bronchial epithelial cells which were stimulated with CSE and/or carbocysteine were assessed. TLR4 expression, LPS binding, and p21 expression were assessed by flow cytometry, IL-8 mRNA by Real Time PCR and IL-8 release by ELISA. Actin reorganization, a prerequisite for cell migration, was determined using Atto 488 phalloidin in neutrophils by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. CSE increased: 1) TLR4, LPS binding and p21 expression; 2) IL-8 mRNA and IL-8 release due to IL-1 stimulation; 3) neutrophil migration. Carbocysteine in CSE stimulated bronchial epithelial cells, reduced: 1) TLR4, LPS binding and p21; 2) IL-8 mRNA and IL-8 release due to IL-1 stimulation; 3) neutrophil chemotactic migration. In conclusion, the present study provides compelling evidences that carbocysteine may contribute to control the inflammatory and senescence processes present in smokers.
    Toxicology Letters 09/2013; · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Airway epithelium alterations, including squamous cell metaplasia, characterize smokers with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The p21 regulates cell apoptosis and differentiation and its role in COPD is largely unknown. AIMS: Molecules regulating apoptosis (cytoplasmic p21, caspase-3), cell cycle (nuclear p21), proliferation (ki67/PCNA), and metaplasia (survivin) in central airways from Smokers (S), Smokers-COPD (s-COPD) and non-smokers (Controls) were studied. The role of cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) in p21, survivin, apoptosis (caspase-3 and annexin-V binding) and proliferation was assessed in a bronchial epithelial cell line(16-HBE). METHODS AND RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry, image analysis in surgical samples and flow-cytometry and Carboxy Fluorescein Succinimidyl Ester proliferative assay in 16-HBE with/without CSE were applied. Cytoplasmic and nuclear p21, survivin, and Ki67 expression significantly increased in large airway epithelium in S and in s-COPD in comparison to Controls. Caspase-3 was similar in all the studied groups. p21 correlated with epithelial metaplasia, PCNA, and ki67 expression. CSE increased cytoplasmic p21 and survivin expression but not apoptosis and inhibited the cell proliferation in 16HBE. CONCLUSIONS: In large airway epithelium of smokers with and without COPD, the cytoplasmic p21 inhibits cell apoptosis, promotes cell proliferation and correlates with squamous cell metaplasia thus representing a potential pre-oncogenic hallmark.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) induce oxidative stress, an important feature in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and oxidative stress contributes to the poor clinical efficacy of corticosteroids in COPD patients. Carbocysteine, an antioxidant and mucolytic agent, is effective in reducing the severity and the rate of exacerbations in COPD patients. The effects of carbocysteine on CSE-induced oxidative stress in bronchial epithelial cells as well as the comparison of these antioxidant effects of carbocysteine with those of fluticasone propionate are unknown. The present study was aimed to assess the effects of carbocysteine (10(-4) M) in cell survival and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production (by flow cytometry) as well as total glutathione (GSH), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), nuclear-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC-2) expression/activation in CSE-stimulated bronchial epithelial cells (16-HBE) and to compare these effects with those of fluticasone propionate (10(-8) M). CSE, carbocysteine or fluticasone propionate did not induce cell necrosis (propidium positive cells) or cell apoptosis (annexin V-positive/propidium-negative cells) in 16-HBE. CSE increased ROS production, nuclear Nrf2 and HO-1 in 16-HBE. Fluticasone propionate did not modify intracellular ROS production, GSH and HDCA-2 but reduced Nrf2 and HO-1 in CSE-stimulated 16-HBE. Carbocysteine reduced ROS production and increased GSH, HO-1, Nrf2 and HDAC-2 nuclear expression/activity in CSE-stimulated cells and was more effective than fluticasone propionate in modulating the CSE-mediated effects. In conclusion, the present study provides compelling evidences that the use of carbocysteine may be considered a promising strategy in diseases associated with corticosteroid resistance.
    Cell Stress and Chaperones 04/2013; · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Chronic bronchitis (CB) is a risk factor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for accelerated lung function decline and increased mortality. The lung and systemic inflammatory and immunological profile of COPD patients with CB which acutely experience respiratory failure upon a disease exacerbation is unknown. Methods: In this study, we explored the expression of Foxp3 by western blot analysis, TLR4 by immunocytochemistry and the concentrations of IP-10 and IL-8 by ELISA in the mini-bronchoalveolar lavages (mini-BAL) and in the peripheral blood of patients with respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. The recruited subjects were separated into three different groups: smokers with CB and COPD (COPD, n = 18), smokers with CB but without COPD (S, n = 8) and patients without CB and without COPD (C, n = 10). Results: In mini-BAL of COPD group, Foxp3 and IP-10 were significantly reduced while TLR4 was significantly increased in comparison to C. TLR4 was also increased in mini-BAL of S. In COPD peripheral blood, Foxp3 was reduced in comparison to C but no significant differences were observed for TLR4 and for IP-10. No significant differences were observed for IL-8 concentrations in the mini-BAL and in the blood of the recruited patients. The mini-BAL TLR4 expression correlated with the Clinical Infective Pulmonary Score. Conclusions: In exacerbated COPD patients with respiratory failure, lung and systemic reduced immune regulatory events (low Foxp3 expression) and lung increased innate immunity responses (high TLR4 expression) occur. These events may contribute to the increased inflammatory events leading to respiratory failure.
    COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 03/2013; · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: LTB(4) is a neutrophil chemotactic molecule importantly involved in the inflammatory responses of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Airway epithelium is emerging as a regulator of innate immune responses to a variety of insults including cigarette smoke, the major risk factor for COPD. In this study we have explored whether cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) or soluble mediators present in distal lung fluid samples (mini-BALs) from smokers alter the expression of the LTB(4) receptors BLT2 and PPAR-α in bronchial epithelial cells. We also evaluated the effects of CSE on the expression of ICAM-1 and on the binding of STAT-1 to ICAM-1 promoter as well as the adhesiveness of neutrophils to bronchial epithelial cells. CSE and mini-BALs from smokers increased BLT2 and ICAM-1 expression as well as the adhesiveness of neutrophils to bronchial epithelial cells and decreased PPAR-α expression. CSE induced the activation of STAT-1 and its binding to ICAM-1 promoter. These findings suggest that, in bronchial epithelial cells, CSE promote a prevalent induction of pro-inflammatory BLT2 receptors and activate mechanisms leading to increased neutrophil adhesion, a mechanism which contributes to airway neutrophilia and to tissue damage. © 2013 The Authors. Immunology © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Immunology 01/2013; · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases 08/2012; · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV) and myelofibrosis share the same acquired genetic lesion, JAK2V617F. It is believed that cytokines participate in the activation of JAK2V617F. In this study, we analyzed the plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-23, IL-10 and IL-22 in patients with PV and ET. In the same subjects we also performed analysis of the JAK2(V617F) mutation, and evaluated a possible relationship between interleukin levels and thrombotic complications or with the symptom pruritus. Plasma levels of IL-23 were significantly increased in all patients with MPN in comparison to controls. Moreover, there was a significant difference between the levels of IL-23 in patients affected by PV and those measured in controls (8.57±3.69pg/mL vs. 6.55±4.125pg/mL; p<0.03). No difference was found between IL-23 levels in ET patients and controls. No statistically significant differences were found between the levels of IL-23, Il-22 or IL-10 in PV or ET subjects with or without thrombosis, in patients with or without pruritus, or according the JAK2V617F burden. In PV patients the JAK2 burden and Hb levels correlated with occurrence of pruritus. Our study seems to point out a possible involvement of IL-23 in the pathogenesis of PV.
    Cellular Immunology 07/2012; 278(1-2):91-4. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an inflammation of the nose and of the paranasal sinuses. The involvement of the respiratory epithelium in the mechanisms of CRS is poorly understood. Among proteins expressed by nasal epithelial cells in CRS, IL-19 may have key functions. We here aimed to determine the expression and regulation of IL-19. Nasal biopsies from normal subjects (n = 12), subjects with CRS but without nasal polyps (NP) (CRSsNP, n = 12) and with CRS with NP (CRSwNP, n = 15) were collected. Human Asthma Gene Array and real-time PCR were used to evaluate gene expression, western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry for protein expression. Results for IL-19 were confirmed by real-time PCR. The constitutive and stimulated (LPS, TGF β) expression of IL-19 and cell proliferation were evaluated in a nasal epithelial cell line (RPMI 2650). Human Asthma Gene Array showed an increased IL-19 gene expression in NP from patients with CRS in comparison with normal subjects. Real-time PCR confirmed the IL-19 mRNA up-regulation in patients with CRSwNP and showed an up-regulation of IL-19, at lower extent, in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps (CRSsNP) in comparison with normal subjects. Western blot analysis confirmed that IL-19 is increased also at protein level in patients with CRSwNP in comparison with normal subjects. In NP, IL-19 is highly expressed in the metaplastic nasal epithelium when compared to normal or hyperplastic epithelium. LPS stimulation increased IL-19 expression, and recombinant IL-19 increased cell proliferation in nasal epithelial cells. IL-19 is overexpressed in the epithelium in CRSwNP and increases epithelial cell proliferation.
    Allergy 05/2012; 67(7):878-86. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We quantified TGF-β1 and acetylcholine (ACh) concentrations in induced sputum supernatants (ISSs) from 18 healthy controls (HC), 22 healthy smokers (HS) and 21 COPDs. ISSs from HC, HS and COPD as well as rhTGF-β1 were also tested in neutrophil adhesion and in mAChR2, mAChR3 and ChAT expression experiments in human bronchial epithelial cells (16-HBE). Finally, we evaluated the effects of Olodaterol (a novel inhaled β(2)-adrenoceptor agonist) and Tiotropium Spiriva®, alone or in combination, on neutrophil adhesion and mAChRs and ChAT expression in stimulated 16-HBE. The results showed that 1) TGF-β1 and ACh concentrations are increased in ISSs from COPD in comparison to HC and HS, and TGF-β1 in HS is higher than in HC; 2) ISSs from COPD and HS caused increased neutrophil adhesion to 16-HBE when compared to ISSs from HC. The effect of ISSs from COPD was significantly reduced by TGF-β1 depletion or by the pretreatment with Olodaterol or Tiotropium alone or in combination, while the effect of ISSs from HS was significantly reduced by the pretreatment with Olodaterol alone; 3) mAChR2, mAChR3 and ChAT expression was increased in 16-HBE stimulated with ISSs from COPD and TGF-β1 depletion significantly reduced this effect on mAChR3 and ChAT expression; 4) rhTGF-β1 increased mAChR2, mAChR3 and ChAT expression in 16-HBE; 5) Olodaterol did not affect the expression of mAChRs and ChAT in 16-HBE. Our findings support the use of β₂ long-acting and anticholinergic drugs to control the bronchoconstriction and TGF-β1-mediated neutrophilic inflammation in COPD.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2012; 1822(7):1079-89. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about specific IL-23 alterations associated with breast cancer and the data available are still controversial. Therefore, the evaluation of changes in serum IL-23 levels may add further information on the role of this cytokine in breast cancer patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate prospectively the prognostic importance of circulating IL-23 in patients with untreated breast cancer, respect to healthy controls, and the association with clinico-pathological variables. The study involved 50 women diagnosed with stages I-IV breast cancer and 38 healthy controls. Of the 50 breast cancer patients, 37 women were recruited prior to their initial adjuvant chemotherapy and 13 prior to receive first line chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Adjuvant chemotherapy patients were at least in their 4th week post-surgery. IL-23 serum concentrations were measured by a quantitative enzyme immunoassay technique. We found a statistically significant higher systemic cytokine value in women with cancer in comparison with the control group (14.52±11.39 pg/ml vs. 6.35±4.63 pg/ml, P<0.0001). Patients with shorter overall survival presented higher IL-23 values, suggesting a negative prognostic correlation. There was no significant differences in IL-23 levels among patients according to the biomolecular characteristics, the different subtypes and the presence of metastatic disease. This work investigated, for the first time, the role of IL-23 in breast cancer patients showing a significant increase respect the control group. However, further validations are needed in larger studies to better investigate the implications of IL-23 increase in these patients.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 02/2012; 113(6):2122-5. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased activation and increased survival of T lymphocytes characterise bronchial asthma. In this study the effect of budesonide on T cell survival, on inducible co-stimulator T cells (ICOS), on Foxp3 and on IL-10 molecules in T lymphocyte sub-populations was assessed. Cell survival (by annexin V binding) and ICOS in total lymphocytes, in CD4+/CD25+ and in CD4+/CD25- and Foxp3 and IL-10 in CD4+/CD25+ and in CD4+/CD25-cells was evaluated, by cytofluorimetric analysis, in mild intermittent asthmatics (n = 19) and in controls (n = 15). Allergen induced T lymphocyte proliferation and the in vivo effects of budesonide in mild persistent asthmatics (n = 6) were also explored. Foxp3 was reduced in CD4+/CD25- and in CD4+/CD25+ cells and ICOS was reduced in CD4+/CD25+ cells but it was increased in CD4+CD25-in asthmatics when compared to controls. In asthmatics, in vitro, budesonide was able to: 1) increase annexin V binding and to reduce ICOS in total lymphocytes; 2) increase annexin V binding and Foxp3 and to reduce ICOS in CD4+/CD25- cells; 3) reduce annexin V binding and to increase IL-10 and ICOS in CD4+/CD25+ cells; 4) reduce cell allergen induced proliferation. In vivo, budesonide increased ICOS in CD4+/CD25+ while it increased Foxp3 and IL-10 in CD4+/CD25+ and in CD4+/CD25- cells. Budesonide modulates T cell survival, ICOS, Foxp3 and IL-10 molecules differently in T lymphocyte sub-populations. The findings provided shed light on new mechanisms by which corticosteroids, drugs widely used for the clinical management of bronchial asthma, control T lymphocyte activation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e48816. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Altered pulmonary defenses in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may promote distal airways bacterial colonization. The expression/activation of Toll Like receptors (TLR) and beta 2 defensin (HBD2) release by epithelial cells crucially affect pulmonary defence mechanisms. The epithelial expression of TLR4 and of HBD2 was assessed in surgical specimens from current smokers COPD (s-COPD; n = 17), ex-smokers COPD (ex-s-COPD; n = 8), smokers without COPD (S; n = 12), and from non-smoker non-COPD subjects (C; n = 13). In distal airways, s-COPD highly expressed TLR4 and HBD2. In central airways, S and s-COPD showed increased TLR4 expression. Lower HBD2 expression was observed in central airways of s-COPD when compared to S and to ex-s-COPD. s-COPD had a reduced HBD2 gene expression as demonstrated by real-time PCR on micro-dissected bronchial epithelial cells. Furthermore, HBD2 expression positively correlated with FEV1/FVC ratio and inversely correlated with the cigarette smoke exposure. In a bronchial epithelial cell line (16 HBE) IL-1β significantly induced the HBD2 mRNA expression and cigarette smoke extracts significantly counteracted this IL-1 mediated effect reducing both the activation of NFkB pathway and the interaction between NFkB and HBD2 promoter. This study provides new insights on the possible mechanisms involved in the alteration of innate immunity mechanisms in COPD.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33601. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2011; 51(3):406-8. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel pharmacological strategies are aimed at the resolution of systemic inflammation in COPD potentiating peripheral blood T-cell (PBT-cell) apoptosis. Although muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) M(3) and choline-acetyltransferase (ChAT) participate in the airway inflammation of COPD, their role in PBT-cell apoptosis remains unexplained. We evaluated in PBT-cells from COPD patients, smoker (S) and control (C) subjects: (1) apoptosis (by annexin V binding), (2) mAChR M(3) and ChAT expression, acetylcholine (ACh)-binding; (3) choline levels in serum and PBT-cells extracts. We tested the effects of Tiotropium (Spiriva(®)) and hemicholinium-3 (HCh-3) on apoptosis, NFκB pathway, caspases 3 and 8 activity and choline levels, in PBT-cells from COPD patients. We showed that: (1) apoptosis, mAChR M(3) and ChAT expression and the CD3+ and CD8+ ACh-binding are increased in PBT-cells from COPD patients when compared to C subjects, while CD4+/CD8+ ratio of ACh-binding to PBT cells was reduced in COPD; (2) choline levels are higher in serum and PBT-cells extracts from COPD patients than in S and C; (3) Tiotropium and HCh-3 reduced CD4+ and increased CD8+ apoptosis via caspases 3 and 8 activities and via IκB mediated mechanisms in COPD patients. This study suggests the involvement of non-neuronal components of cholinergic system in the regulation of PBT-cell apoptosis in COPD and demonstrates that Tiotropium regulates CD4+ and CD8+ PBT-cell apoptosis. It provides novel putative pharmacological targets for the resolution of systemic inflammation in COPD.
    Immunobiology 08/2011; 217(3):345-53. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acetylcholine (ACh) is synthesized by Choline Acetyl-Transferase (ChAT) that exerts its physiological effects in airway epithelial cells via muscarinic receptor (MR) activation. We evaluate the effect of ACh stimulation on human bronchial epithelial cells (16-HBE) and test whether cigarette smoke extract (CSE) can modify the basal cellular response to ACh affecting the non-neuronal cholinergic system signalling. ACh stimulated 16-HBE were tested for ACh-binding, Leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) release and ERK1/2 and NFkB pathway activation. Additionally, we investigated all the aforementioned parameters as well as ChAT and MR proteins and mRNA expression and endogenous ACh production in CSE-treated 16-HBE. We showed that ACh induced in 16-HBE, in a concentration-dependent manner, LTB(4) release via the activation of ERK1/2 and NFkB pathways. The addition of Tiotropium (Spiriva®), Gallamine, Telenzepine and 4-DAMP (muscarinic receptor antagonists), as well as of PD 098059 (MAPKK inhibitor) and BAY117082 (inhibitor of IkBα phosphorilation), down-regulated the ACh-induced effects. Additionally, CSE treatment of 16-HBE increased the binding of ACh, and shifted the LTB4 release from the concentration ACh 1μM to 10nM. Finally, we observed that the treatment of 16-HBE with CSE increased the expression of ChAT, M(2) and M(3) and of endogenous ACh production in 16-HBE. Tiotropium regulated the LTB4 release and ACh production in CSE treated 16-HBE. CSE increases the pro-inflammatory activity of human bronchial epithelial cells, and promotes the cellular response to lower concentrations of ACh, by affecting the expression of ChAT and MRs. Tiotropium might prevent pro-inflammatory events generated by ACh together with CSE.
    Life sciences 07/2011; 89(1-2):36-43. · 2.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

377 Citations
161.38 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2013
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology "Alberto Monroy" IBIM
      Roma, Latium, Italy
    • The University of Calgary
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2012
    • Università degli Studi di Messina
      • Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale
      Messina, Sicily, Italy
  • 2008
    • Università degli Studi di Palermo
      • Department of internal medicine and medical specialties (DIMIS)
      Palermo, Sicily, Italy