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Publications (12)37.47 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are thought to induce immunotolerance in melanoma. They have not yet been investigated in the entire spectrum of melanocytic cutaneous lesions within a tumour site. To evaluate CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs among tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes in cutaneous melanocytic lesions. We analysed 128 lesions (10 benign junctional common naevi, 10 benign compound common naevi, 10 compound Spitz naevi, 10 junctional atypical naevi, 20 compound atypical naevi, 20 radial growth phase melanomas, 30 vertical growth phase melanomas and 18 melanoma metastases). Tregs were identified by CD25-FOXP3 double immunostains. This study indicates that CD4+/CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs are present in all groups of lesions. Junctional atypical naevi, compound atypical naevi and radial growth phase melanomas showed the highest percentages of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs (junctional atypical naevi vs. junctional common naevi, compound common naevi, compound Spitz naevi, melanoma metastases: P < 0.0001; junctional atypical naevi vs. vertical growth phase melanomas: P = 0.001; compound atypical naevi vs. junctional common naevi, compound common naevi: P < 0.0001; compound atypical naevi vs. compound Spitz naevi, melanoma metastases: P = 0.002; compound atypical naevi vs. vertical growth phase melanomas: P = 0.02; radial growth phase melanomas vs. junctional common naevi, compound common naevi, compound Spitz naevi, melanoma metastases: P < 0.0001; radial growth phase melanomas vs. vertical growth phase melanomas: P = 0.008). The strong prevalence of CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs both in junctional and compound atypical naevi and radial growth phase melanomas, suggests that they induce immunotolerance early during melanoma genesis, favouring melanoma growth. Their evaluation within a tumour site could be useful for prognostic and therapeutic purposes.
    British Journal of Dermatology 09/2007; 157(3):531-9. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We set out to analyze the presence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)/human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) in different neoplasms occurring in East Africa, a region characterized by a high KSHV/HHV-8 seroprevalence rate and endemic Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Our results suggest that, in endemic regions of Africa, KSHV/HHV-8 is predominantly associated with KS, independently of HIV status. During the course of this study, other important information came to light. We found the presence of KSHV/HHV-8 in 2 cases of lymph nodes partially involved by Burkitt's lymphoma and KS and in 1 case of multicentric Castleman disease. Our immunophenotypic and molecular data seem to suggest 2 different mechanisms of viral infection are at work in lymphoid cells. On one hand, when B cells show a latent phase infection with KSHV/HHV-8, after the germinal center reaction, naive B cells become resting memory B cells, similarly to Epstein-Barr virus-infected B cells. On the other hand, when lytic genes such as vIL6 are expressed in naive B cells, they may be driven to differentiate into plasmablasts without undergoing germinal center reaction. Interestingly, among KSHV/HHV-8-positive cases, in those in which there was also lymphoma, the neoplastic cells were negative for KSHV/HHV-8. This further confirms that KSHV/HHV-8 is involved in the neoplastic transformation of only certain types of lymphoma, probably in relation to their precursor infected cell. In conclusion, the maturation stage of KSHV/HHV-8-positive B cells as well as the type of viral infection may well determine the morphological, phenotypic, and clinical characteristics of KSHV/HHV-8-associated lymphomas.
    Human Pathlogy 02/2006; 37(1):23-31. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The correct interaction of a costimulatory molecule such as CD40L with its contrareceptor CD40 expressed on the membrane of professional APCs, provides transmembrane signaling that leads to APC activation. This process can be exploited to significantly improve the efficacy of cancer vaccines and the outcome of a possible cancer vaccine-induced, Ag-specific CTL response. Therefore, we investigated whether a novel intranasal delivery of immune-reconstituted influenza virosomes (IRIV), assembled with the CD40L gene (CD40L/IRIV), could be used to improve protective immunity and the Ag-specific CTL response against carcinoembryonic Ag (CEA) generated with a novel vaccine constituted of IRIV assembled with the CEA gene (CEA/IRIV). Our results suggest that CD40L/IRIV was able to augment CEA-specific CTL activity and CEA-specific protective immunity induced by CEA/IRIV most likely through the induction of a CTL response associated with a Th1 phenotype. In conclusion, we provide evidence that CD40L/IRIV, by acting through the CD40L/CD40 signaling pathway, acts as an immune-adjuvant that could increase the efficacy of a CEA-specific cancer vaccine, which could provide an efficacious new strategy for cancer therapy.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2005; 174(11):7210-6. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrations of genes/proteins regulating cell cycle and growth, increased proliferation and telomerase activity (TA) are documentable in glioblastoma multiforme. TA is more frequently detectable in secondary glioblastoma, which is also characterized by p53 mutation/overexpression. Discordant telomere (Te) length values have been reported in glioblastomas with and without TA. In 31 glioblastomas, in which pre-existing astrocytoma was not documented, we compared cases with and without TA for the expression of p53, EGFR, c-Myc, MIB-1 and Topoisomerase IIalpha; p53 mutations were also investigated by SSCP-PCR. Correlations were made with Te parameters [TePs: number (TeNo), length and area] as evaluated by image analysis in interphase nuclei of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)-processed sections. We found no differences in the expression of the proteins evaluated and in TePs, except Te/nuclear area %, which was significantly lower in TA+ cases (p=0.02). TePs were, instead, inversely correlated with TA (p=0.0001). TA was positively correlated with MIB1 staining index in the TA+ cases (p=0.033), which also showed a positive correlation between TeNo and EGFR expression (p=0.042), and a trend towards a negative correlation between TeNo and p53 expression (p=0.05). Tumors overexpressing EGFR had a significantly shorter lifetime (p=0.0001). TeNo seems to be inversely correlated to tumor proliferation and lifetime in glioblastoma multiforme.
    International Journal of Oncology 01/2004; 23(6):1529-35. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test CD-34 immunoreactivity in stromal cornea cells in normal and pathologic samples obtained from penetrating keratoplasty. Prospective, consecutive histopathologic human tissue study. One hundred two cornea buttons from patients with different diseases, submitted for cornea transplant, were examined. Controls were expired corneas from healthy donor patients who died (n = 4), and globes enucleated for primitive intraocular neoplasias, that is, retinoblastomas (n = 8), and malignant choroidal melanomas (n = 2). The expression of CD-34 in stromal cornea cells was examined by immunohistochemistry analysis. Other immunohistochemical stains included an endothelial cell marker (CD-31), common leukocyte antigen, and alpha-smooth muscle actin. Different diseases that may cause blindness and require penetrating keratoplasty have been tested for CD-34 immunoreactivity. In control corneas, keratocytes present strong and consistent CD-34 immunoreactivity. Diseases leading to the loss of transparency and penetrating keratoplasty, such as keratoconus, herpes keratitis, trauma, and heredofamilial dystrophies, are associated with focal or diffuse loss of CD-34 expression, whereas pseudophakic bullous keratopathy and Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy show normal CD-34 immunoreactivity in most cases and patchy unstained stromal areas in a few cases. Scar tissue formation in the cornea, as in herpes keratitis and trauma, is always associated with loss of CD-34 immunoreactivity, which may otherwise be a primary event in keratoconus and heredofamilial dystrophies. Both in the pseudophakic bullous keratopathy and Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy, CD-34 immunoreactivity may be normal or lost, hence these two diseases may be considered as one and part of the same group with regard to CD-34 expression, as revealed by immunohistochemistry analysis.
    Ophthalmology 07/2002; 109(6):1167-71. · 5.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Benign lymphoepithelial lesions (BLEL) are usually found in salivary glands in autoimmune disorders. Some LEL are recognized to already be, or may progress to become, lymphomas. Skin lesions similar to LEL have been described in lymphomas, and are caused by neoplastic lymphocytes which infiltrate adnexal structures. To date, BLEL have not widely been recognized in the skin. We describe skin lesions similar to BLELs, at the periphery of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) in 8 healthy patients, in one of whom the lesion recurred. Immunocharacterization of both epithelial and lymphocytic components and molecular genetic investigation was performed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was done to detect IgH chain gene, and T-cell receptor beta and gamma gene rearrangements. Association with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was also tested by in situ hybridization (ISH) for EBV-encoded RNAs (EBERs). Epithelial cells showed the immunophenotype of eccrine sweat gland ducts. Infiltrating lymphocytes expressed overwhelming B antigens and CD5. Neither clonal B and/or T proliferations nor EBERs signals were demonstrable. We observed skin lesions similar to BLELs, showing modifications of sweat gland duct and CD5+, B lymphocytic expansion. In our cases there were no associated autoimmune disorders; the local immunoresponse to SCC might have caused BLEL.
    Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 02/2002; 29(1):33-7. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To test CD-34 immunoreactivity in stromal cornea cells in normal and pathologic samples obtained from penetrating keratoplasty.
    Ophthalmology 01/2002; 109(6):1167-1171. · 5.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two cases of vulvar Paget's disease are described in two women aged 75 and 60 years, with onset several years earlier as eczema-like manifestations, and evolving into erosive, slightly infiltrative lesions. In both cases immunohistochemical examination revealed positivity for cytokeratins CK7 and CK20. This finding suggested the diagnosis of primitive vulvar Paget's disease, a relatively benign form, unlike the aggressive and rapidly progressive secondary vulvar Paget's disease.
    Minerva ginecologica 11/2001; 53(5):363-6.
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the expression of p53 (wild-type and mutated form) and bcl-2 in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and PCR-SSCP and correlated with cellular kinetic parameters, i.e., mitotic index (MI) and apoptotic index (AI). The results showed a significant inverse correlation between p53 and bcl-2 expression in all cases of DCIS and IDC. In the DCIS group, two subgroups with different kinetic characteristics were identified. The first group was characterized by p53 positivity, bcl-2 negativity and high values of MI and AI; the other group was characterized by p53 negativity, bcl-2 positivity and low values of MI and AI. Conversely, in IDC some cases were p53 negative, bcl-2 positive and with high values of AI and MI, other cases were p53 positive, bcl-2 negative and with low AI and MI. Molecular biological analysis showed that p53 was wild-type in DCIS, while it was in the mutated form in IDC. These results suggest that in IDC mutated p53 contributes to a change in cellular kinetics and the selection of genetically aberrant cells, thereby favouring neoplastic progression. The coexistence of bcl-2 positivity and high AI could be explained by the presence of of apoptosis that work independently of bcl-2.
    Oncology Reports 01/2000; 7(3):473-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Formation of vascularized membranes inside the vitreous leads to retinal detachment and blindness. In this paper it is shown that vitreal membranes are composed of newly formed vessels and myofibroblasts, immersed in a loose stroma with sparse histocytes. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is clearly present in cellular constituents of the membranes and, therefore, represents a fundamental cytokine in their formation, while transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) are not. Considering that the composition of vitreal membranes clearly resembles scar tissue, the absence of TGF-beta in the membranes could explain their peculiar histological appearance.
    Journal of submicroscopic cytology and pathology 08/1999; 31(3):363-6.
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the levels and the enzymatic characteristics of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity (11beta-HSD) of chorionic villi isolated from first trimester human placenta. The results demonstrated a predominant expression of the NAD-dependent dehydrogenase isoform (11beta-HSD2) over the NADP-dependent oxoreductase (11beta-HSD1). Thus, in tissue homogenates exogenous NAD increased the conversion of corticosterone to 11-dehydrocorticosterone of about 14-fold while NADP was ineffective. There was no conversion of 11-dehydrocorticosterone to corticosterone either with NADH or NADPH demonstrating the lack of reductase activity. In keeping with these results, RT-PCR analysis indicated a mRNA for 11beta-HSD2 in villous tissue while 11beta-HSD1 mRNA levels were undetectable. In addition, immunohistochemical staining localized the 11beta-HSD2 protein to syncytiotrophoblasts and cell columns of the chorionic villi. These results suggest roles for the trophoblast-associated 11beta-HSD2 oxidative activity in modulating the exposure of the embryo to active glucocorticoids in the early gestation and in regulating trophoblasts invasion of the uterine wall.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 07/1998; 141(1-2):13-20. · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One recently described form of congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) is associated with deficiency of the alpha 2-chain of laminin, an extracellular matrix protein that is specifically located in the basement membrane of placental villi, Schwann cells and skeletal muscle in healthy humans. This laminin is also normally present in the skin, kidney and basement membrane of blood vessels of the CNS, though it is absent from the blood vessel walls in other tissues. In this immunohistochemical study, we have explored the presence of the alpha 1, alpha 2, beta 1 and gamma 1 chains of laminin in the normal human retina, which are all localized in the basement membrane of blood vessels. This study adds to the growing evidence that the alpha 2-chain of laminin is selectively expressed in certain tissues, and suggests that CMD associated with a lack of this protein may be a multisystem disorder, with possible direct involvement of the visual system.
    Neuromuscular Disorders 02/1997; 7(1):21-5. · 3.46 Impact Factor