Alessio Alesci

Alessio Alesci
Università degli Studi di Messina | UNIME · Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche e Ambientali

PhD

About

40
Publications
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580
Citations

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
In December 2019, a new single-stranded RNA coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, appeared in China and quickly spread around the world leading to a pandemic. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 generates symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to severe, occasionally requiring hospitalization in intensive care units, and, in more severe cases, leading to death. Scientists an...
Article
Full-text available
Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that regulate the beginning of adaptive immune responses. The mechanisms of tolerance to antigens moving through the digestive tract are known to be regulated by intestinal DCs. Agnatha and Gnathostoma are descendants of a common ancestor. The Ostracoderms gave rise to Cyclostomes, whereas t...
Poster
Full-text available
The Giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) is one of the main species of Oxudercini living in tropical and subtropical countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, India, and Africa. The mudskippers are evolved teleost fishes that have adapted to the amphibious life and can move on muddy expanses and resist changes in saltiness. These...
Poster
Full-text available
Eptatretus cirrhatus (New Zealand hagfish) is a member of the Myxinidae family, together with the lampreys form the group of primitive jawless fishes (Agnatha). The fish intestinal epithelium consists mainly of enterocytes (absorbing columnar cells), endocrine cells, immune cells and goblet cells that produce viscous mucus. The mucins, highly glyco...
Poster
Full-text available
The Giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) is an amphibious fish living in the muddy plains and mangrove forests of Indian and Pacific Oceans. P. schlosseri spending more than 90% of the time out of the water. These fishes have the peculiarity of breathing oxygen in the air, through the mucosa of the buccal-pharyngeal cavity and through the...
Conference Paper
The immune system of fishes presents cellular and molecular defense mechanisms highly conserved in the phylogenesis of vertebrates. It is equipped with specialized cells in order to implement an effective defensive response following exposure to pollutants, chemical or biological contaminants, and contact with parasites, micro-organisms, and pathog...
Article
Full-text available
The immune system is highly dynamic and susceptible to many alterations throughout pregnancy. Since December 2019, a pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has swept the globe. To contain the spread of COVID-19, immediate measures such as quarantine and isolation were implemented. These containment measures have contributed to exacerb...
Article
The immune system of teleosts offers many ideas to deepen the immune mechanisms and cells in general. The use of zebrafish as an experimental model is increased in recent years, thanks to its genetic and anatomical characteristics. It is known that several natural compounds exert an action on the immune system, boosting it. Spirulina, a non-toxic b...
Article
Full-text available
Industrialization has resulted in a massive increase in garbage output, which is frequently discharged or stored in waterways like rivers and seas. Due to their toxicity, durability, bioaccumulation, and biomagnification, heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium, and lead) have been identified as strong biological poisons. Their presence in the aquat...
Article
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The endostyle is the first component of the ascidian digestive tract, it is shaped like a through and is located in the pharynx's ventral wall. This organ is divided longitudinally into nine zones that are parallel to each other. Each zone's cells are physically and functionally distinct. Support elements are found in zones 1, 3, and 5, while mucop...
Article
Full-text available
Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic intestinal inflammation considered to be a major entity of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), affecting different segments of the whole gastrointestinal tract. Peripheral serotonin (5‐HT), a bioactive amine predominantly produced by gut enterochromaffin cells (ECs), is crucial in gastrointestinal functions, includ...
Article
Full-text available
Psoriasis is one of the most widespread chronic inflammatory skin diseases, affecting about 2%–3% of the worldwide adult population. The pathogenesis of this disease is quite complex, but an in-teraction between genetic and environmental factors has been recognized with an essential modulation of inflammatory and immune responses in affected patien...
Article
Rodlet cells (RCs) have always been an enigma for scientists. RCs have been given a variety of activities over the years, including ion transport, osmoregulation, and sensory function. These cells, presumably as members of the granulocyte line, are present only in teleosts and play a role in the innate immune response. RCs are migratory cells found...
Article
The common goldfish is the most widespread teleosts in the world. Due to its peculiar characteristics, such as the high resistance, easy availability, and stabulation, and for its evolutionary characteristics, this fish lends itself to be one of the most used experimental models. This study aimed to characterize the mast cells in the intestine of C...
Article
Full-text available
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are found widespread in nature and possess antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. Due to their multifunctional properties, these peptides are a focus of growing body of interest and have been characterized in several fish species. Due to their similarities in amino-acid composition and amphipathic design, it ha...
Article
Full-text available
Ach, represents the old neurotransmitter in central and peripheral nervous system. Its muscarinic and nicotinic receptors (mAChRs and nAChRs) constitute an independent cholinergic system that is found in immune cells and playsa key role in regulation of the immune function and cytokine production. Gas exchanging surfaces of the gills and air‐breath...
Article
Full-text available
The use of polyphenols as adjuvants in lowering risk factors for various debilitating diseases has been investigated in recent years due to their possible antioxidant action. Polyphenols represent a fascinating and relatively new subject of research in nutraceuticals and nutrition, with interest rapidly expanding since they can help maintain health...
Article
Full-text available
Acetylcholine (Ach) represents the old neurotransmitter in central and peripheral nervous system. Its muscarinic and nicotinic receptors (mAChRs and nAChRs) constitute an independent cholinergic system that is found in immune cells and play a key role in the regulation of the immune function and cytokine production. Gas exchanging surfaces of the g...
Article
Neurodegeneration is a degenerative process characterized by the progressive loss of the structure and function of neurons that involves several immune cells. It is the primary cause of dementia and other several syndromes, known as neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders are age-related and it is estimated that by 2040 there will be approximat...
Article
in recent years, the use of natural compounds as adjuvant treatments and alternatives to traditional pharmacological therapies has become increasingly popular. These compounds have a wide range of biological effects, such as: antioxidant, anti-aging, hypocholesterolizing, hypoglycemic, antitumoral, antidepressant, anxiolytic activity, etc. Almost a...
Article
Neurodegenerative diseases afflict a significant percentage of the world's population. The human nervous system is unable to regenerate after an insult, or due to senility, while low vertebrates still exhibit this ability. Comparative neurobiology can increase knowledge about neuronal degeneration and regeneration. Anamni vertebrates retain the abi...
Article
The Olea europaea L. is a very well-known and widely used plant, especially for its nutritional qualities. Its extracts from leaves and fruits are widely used in contrasting and preventing various path-ologies. In this review, the collected data highlight important chemical analyses and biological effects of this plant extracts. It exhibits cholest...
Article
The tunicate, Styela plicata (Lesueur, 1823) present an open circulator system with a tubular heart and blood flowing in lacunae among organs, bathing the tissues directly. Blood vascular lacunae are present in the tunica that is situated outside the epidermis and present a fibrous structure. The cells of the tunic are in straight contact with the...
Article
Viral diseases have always played an important role in public and individual health. Since December 2019, the world is facing a pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that results in a syndrome known as COVID-19. Several studies were conducted to implement antiviral drug therapy, until the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Numerous scientific investig...
Article
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that can affect people of worldwide. In contrast with Crohn's disease, that can relate the entire thickness of the bowel wall, the inflammation of ulcerative colitis is limited to the colonic mucosa. Immune cells including activated T cells, plasma cells, mast cell...
Article
Full-text available
Alcohol and its metabolites are responsible for damage both within the gastrointestinal tract and other organs. Alcohol abuse promote intestinal inflammation, that may be the cause of multiple organ dysfunctions and chronic disorders. In this research, the effect of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant with several biological effects, on alcohol dam...
Article
Langerhans cells (LCs) are specialized dendritic cells (DCs) that play a defense role in recognizing foreign antigens, in tissue where antigenic exposures occur, as in the skin and mucous membranes. LCs are able to continuously move within the tissues thanks to dendritic contraction and distension performing their surveillance and/or phagocytosis r...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Exposure to environmental contaminants during pregnancy is one of the determinants of child’s future health outcomes. The effect of environmental pollution on pregnant women living in heavily polluted areas is of special interest and, in this context, the Neonatal Environment and Health Outcomes (NEHO) cohort will focus on the investig...
Article
Mudskippers are amphibious fishes living in mudflats and mangroves. These fishes hold air in their large buc-copharyngeal-opercular cavities where respiratory gas exchange takes place via the gills and higher vascular-ized epithelium lining the cavities and also the skin epidermis. Although aerial ventilation response to changes in ambient gas conc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) originally grown in South America and in Mediterranean area. Opuntia conteins several important macromolecules like polyphenols, antioxidants, caroteinoids, that own ipolipidemic, ipoglycidic, antitumoral antibacteric properties. Recent studies show that the blood glucose levels decrease after eating Opuntia's cladode. Aim...
Article
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a group of pattern recognition molecules that play a crucial role in innate immunity. The structural conservation of the archaic TLR system suggests that the regulation of the immune response might be similar in fish and mammals. Several TLRs (TLR-1, -2, and -4) are expressed by activated macrophages, “foam cells” in...
Presentation
Aim of this study was to prove an evaluation of biological effect of the Opuntia’s cladodes on the liver of goldfish Carassius auratus (L.) fed with a hyperglycemic diet. At the end of experimental period, specimens were anaesthetized. Liver was dissected and prepared in accordance with protocol for optical microscopy. The results suggest the benef...
Article
This study describes the distribution and the coexpression of specific neurochemical markers in both neuroendocrine-like cells (NEC-like) and polymorphous granular cells (PGCs) that populate the mucociliated epithelium of the lung in the air-breathing fish Polypterus senegalus, using confocal immunohistochemistry. Using confocal immunohistochemistr...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of astaxanthin (3,3'-dihydroxy-s-carotene-4,4'-dione) on alcohol-induced morphological changes in Carassius auratus, as an experimental model, was determined. The yeast Phaffia rhodozyma was used as a source of astaxanthin. The animals were divided into three groups for 30 days: one group was treated with ethanol at a dose of 1.5% mixed...
Article
An immunohistochemical study of the cutaneous glands of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans was conducted. Analyses of nerve fibres revealed that adrenergic and galanin-positive axons innervate the MECs and mediate their contraction. These glands may represent one of the main targets of the adrenergic ganglion cells and reflect the prominent pregangl...
Article
Full-text available
The present research aims to evaluate the beneficial effects of polyphenols derived from waste water from a olive mill, obtained by non-plastic molecular imprinting device, in a hypercholesterolemic diet on Carassius auratus, commonly known as goldfish that was selected as experimental model. The study was conducted with morphological and histochem...
Article
The structure and physiology of enteric system are very similar in all classes of vertebrates, although they have been investigated only occasionally in non-mammalian vertebrates. Very little is known about the distribution of the neurotransmitters in the gut of actinopterygian fishes. Anatomical and physiological studies of enteric nervous systems...
Article
Full-text available
The skin is the primary interface between the body and the environment, and has a central role in host defence. In the epidermis, Langerhans’ cells form an interconnecting network of dendritic cells, that play a central role within inflammatory and immune responses of terrestrial and aquatic mammals, but few studies aimed at their characterization...

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Projects (3)
Project
I enclose the banner to promote Fishes. Thanks for the above Special issue, the Impact Factor of the journal " Fishes " increased to 3.9. CiteScore 3.9.
Project
The aim of the project is a special issue on the state-of-the-art of the structure and function of the air-breathing organs in fishes 1.- A cytological perspective on pulmonary diversity among tetrapods Markus Lambertz, Steven F. Perry Contact address: lambertz@uni-bonn.de The capability to breathe atmospheric oxygen evolved numerous times among the different animal lineages. Alone among vertebrates the use of air as a respiratory medium has arisen independently more than two dozens times. The most prominent organ for air breathing in vertebrates undoubtedly is the lung, the evolutionary origin of which still is not fully resolved. Although all lungs fulfil the same primary function – gas exchange – they exhibit an exceptional structural diversity and not all evolutionary transformations are completely understood. Recent comparative anatomical and embryological data revealed that among amniotes the often purported scenario that increased complexity of primary pulmonary structure simply evolved independently in conjunction with increased terrestriality is actually not as straightforward as it appears. Lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), for instance, could be demonstrated to have undergone a fundamental secondary macroscopical simplification of their lungs, which is assumed to have been a key adaptation for the entire lineage's survival. But what happened on the microscopical level? On the cellular level we actually do see a progressive complexity in cell type composition of the lungs towards the fully terrestrial lineages. Specializations of the pulmonary cells resulted in a division of labour that enhances the efficiency of respiratory performance. With the present review article we summarize the cellular diversity that makes up the different tetrapod lungs on the histological and ultrastructural levels. Expanding our knowledge especially to the genetic identity of the various cell types present in vertebrate lungs will be instrumental in understanding the evolutionary origin and the diversification of this remarkable organ as a whole, as it will serve as a yet to be explored source of information for remaining homology problems. 2.- Lungs and gas bladders: morphological insights. Jose M. Icardo Contact address: icardojm@unican.es Lungs and physostomous gas bladders appear as pharyngeal derivatives implicated in oxygen transfer between the air and the blood. The structure of these organs is revisited in holosteans and polypteriformes. Information on lungfishes is also included. Attention is focused on the layered structure of the organ wall, the composition of the air-blood barrier, the presence of ciliated and non-ciliated areas and the identification of special cell types that may be implicated in the control of both, gas interchange and organ motion. 3.- The functional design of the respiratory organs of the African catfish, Clarias mossambicus, with comparative observations John N. Maina Contact address: jmaina@uj.ac.za The transition from water to land was a pivotal event in the evolution of animal life. By developing certain adaptations, some extant still animals display bimodal breathing, i.e., capacity of extracting oxygen from both water and air, depending on environmental circumstances. Fish like mudskippers and the catfishes, are important taxa that display the mode of breathing. Focusing on the respiratory organs of the African catfish, Clarias mosambicus, the structure of the respiratory organs in different species of fish will be outlined in the chapter. 4.- Insights into the evolution of polymodal chemoreceptors. Michael G. Jonz Contact address: mjonz@uottawa.ca Respiratory chemoreceptors are specialized cells that detect chemical changes in the environment or arterial blood supply and initiate autonomic responses, such as hyperventilation or changes in heart rate, to improve oxygen uptake and delivery to tissues. In all vertebrates, these chemoreceptors are sensitive to O2, CO2 and/or H+. In fish and mammals, respiratory chemoreceptors are additionally sensitive to ammonia and hypoglycemia, respectively. Moreover, there is also evidence that mechanoreceptors may participate in ventilatory control. Thus, chemoreceptors that affect respiration respond to different types of stimuli (or modalities) and are considered to be "polymodal". I will review the polymodal nature of respiratory chemoreceptors in vertebrates with a particular emphasis in fish. This will provide a background for a greater understanding of putative respiratory chemoreceptors in air-breathing fish, for which physiological data is lacking. 5.- Nerves and neurotransmitters in the fish air-breathing organs and the skin. Giacomo Zaccone Contact address: gzaccone@unime.it The aim of this review is to present the most recent investigation on the respiratory structures in air-breathing fishes including the gills, the skin and the air-breathing organs, with particular reference to recent evidence for chemosensory neuroepithelial cells (NECs) in ancient fishes and most advanced teleosts adapted for amphibious life (mudskippers). However, the roles of these receptors and their innervation in the control of breathing and acid-base regulation are not determined. 6.- Neuronal control of breathing. William K. Milsom Contact address: milsom@zoology.ubc.ca The diversity of sites and surfaces that are utilized for gas transfer from air to blood in fish is remarkable. While a few species do utilize their gills for gas exchange in air, this is a rare occurrence and most air-breathing fish utilize other surfaces (air-breathing organs). At present almost nothing is known about the sites of central rhythm generation for air breathing although hypothesis can be put forward based on our rudimentary understanding of the sites involved in water and air breathing in lampreys, teleost fishes and amphibians. The pumps involved in producing both water and air breathing are highly conserved, the buccal pump usually exclusively produces both forms of ventilation. What varies between species are the manner in which air breaths are produced (in two versus four phases), and the ‘valving’ involved in producing water flow over the gills versus air flow into an air-breathing organ. The latter suggests that the major step in the evolution of air breathing was not so much the evolution of the exchange sites but the evolution of the mechanisms that control the flow of the respiratory medium. 7.- Control of ventilation in air-breathing fishes: Central and peripheral receptors L.-H. Florindo, D.J. McKenzie, F.T. Rantin Contact address: ftrantin@gmail.com Introduction: This will introduce the topic, with a brief analysis of the evolution of air-breathing from pre-existing reflexes, such as aquatic surface respiration (ASR). It will place the current review in the context of recent reviews (e.g; Milsom 2012) and what is new since these. Reflex air-breathing responses: This section will review what is known about factors that stimulate reflex air-breathing responses in fishes. One focus will be on environmental factors such as aquatic hypoxia, hypercarbia, temperature, and also irritants such as H2S. A second focus will be on systemic factors, such as metabolic demand during rest and aerobic exercise. In doing this, it will consider patterns of routine breathing in facultative versus obligate air breathing fishes. Peripheral receptors mediating air-breathing responses: This section will review what is known about peripheral receptors that stimulate air breathing reflexes. It will consider their stimulus modality (O2, CO2, pH, mechanical, etc.), their putative sites (gills, air-breathing organs) and their innervation. Central receptors mediating air-breathing responses: This section will consider the evidence for such receptors. It will also review the evidence that higher order inputs can modulate air-breathing reflexes. 8.- The morphological and functional significance of the NOS/NO system in the heart and respiratory organs of air-breathing fishes Bruno Tota, Filippo Garofalo, Daniela Amelio Contact address: bruno.tota@unical.it Our contribution aims to describe the adjustments of NOS/NO system, which occur in the heart, gills and lungs of air breathing fish of the genus Protopterus, in relation to the critical changes during the switch from freshwater condition to aestivation, and vice-versa. Indeed, the NOS/NO system can be regarded as a key component of the stress-induced signal transduction/integration networks that allows the lungfish to overcome the dramatic environmental challenges experienced at the beginning, during, and at the end of the dry season. 9.- Cardiovascular adaptations to air breathing. Atsushi Ishimatsu Contact address: a-ishima@nagasaki-u.ac.jp   Aquatic air-breathing fishes show a variety of cardiovascular designsat gross morphological levels that deviate from that of typical teleost pattern. However, a very few show modifications toward the separation of oxygen-rich blood from the air-breathing organ and oxygen-poor blood from the tissues. In comparison, none of amphibious iar-breathing fishes show any deviation of cardiovascular design but have developed respiratory capillaries on outer surface of the body. Nonetheless, it is the latter group of fish that emerse from water but not the former. This chapter will discuss the importance of the evolution of double circulation in the context of land invasion by early vertebrates though considering the cardiovascular anatomies of modern air-breathing fishes. 10.- Ionoregulatory and oxidative stress issues associated with the  evolution of air-breathing. Bernd Pelster, Chris M. Wood bernd.pelster@uibk.ac.at Aquatic areas frequently face hypoxic conditions. In order to get sufficient oxygen to support aerobic metabolism, a number of freshwater fish refer to aerial respiration to supplement gill respiration especially in situations with reduced oxygen availability in the water. In many species a concomitant reduction in gill surface area or in gill perfusion reduces possible loss of aerial acquired oxygen to the water at the gills, but it also compromises the ion regulatory capacity of gill tissue. In addition, tissues frequently exposed to environmental air encounter much higher oxygen partial pressures than typically observed in fish tissues, resulting in an increase in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In air-breathing fish therefore the gut may gain importance for the uptake of ions from freshwater, and the ROS defense capacity of air-exposed tissues is improved. 11.-  Air-breathing and excretory nitrogen metabolism Yuen K. Ip, Shit F. Chew Contact address: dbsipyk@nus.edu.sg In fishes, ammonia is mainly produced through amino acid catabolism. Ingested proteins are hydrolyzed to amino acids, and the catabolism of excess amino acids leads to the release of ammonia. Ammonia is toxic, and aquatic fishes keep body ammonia levels low by excreting excess ammonia produced through digestion and metabolism. Ammonia is excreted mainly as NH3 across the body surface of fish, usually the gills, into the surrounding water. Air-breathing fishes usually have modified gill morphology and morphometry, which would reduce branchial ammonia excretion in water. With the development of air-breathing capabilities, some fishes can emerge from water, make excursion onto land, or even burrow into mud during drought. Since ammonia is toxic, air-breathing fishes, especially amphibious ones, are equipped with mechanisms to ameliorate ammonia toxicity during emersion or ammonia exposure. The mechanisms involved in the defence against ammonia toxicity are many and varied, determined by the behaviour of the fish and the nature of the environment in which it lives. This review describes and discusses various mechanisms adopted by air-breathing fishes to ameliorate ammonia toxicity in relation to their air-breathing abilities.