Piero Portincasa

Piero Portincasa
Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro | Università di Bari · Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche ed Oncologia Umana (DIMO)

MD, PhD, Internist, Laureate Univ Cluj, Bucharest

About

638
Publications
116,416
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Introduction
MISSION: TO ENCOURAGE EXCELLENT, HONEST, HIGHLY INNOVATIVE AND SOUND SCIENCE ACHIEVED THROUGH COLLABORATIONS AND MOBILITY OF YOUNG INVESTIGATORS ACROSS EUROPE AND WORLDWIDE. • Research interests: Gastrointestinal motility & functional diagnostics, Hepato-biliary pathophysiology and gallstone disease, intestinal water transport and lipid homeostasis
Additional affiliations
May 1991 - present
Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Gastrointestinal patophysiology, lipid disorders, liver disease, cholelithiasis, gastrointetinal motility, familial mediterranean fever

Publications

Publications (638)
Article
Fructose intolerance (FI) is a widespread non-genetic condition in which the incomplete absorption of fructose leads to gastro-intestinal disorders. The crucial role of microbial dysbiosis on the onset of these intolerance symptoms together with their persistence under free fructose diets are driving the scientific community towards the use of prob...
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Previous ecological studies suggest the existence of possible interplays between the exposure to air pollutants and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Confirmations at individual level, however, are lacking. To explore the relationships between previous exposure to particulate matter < 10 μm (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the clinical outcome following hosp...
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Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. HPV infection has a strong relationship with the onset of cervix uteri, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx, but also tonsils and tongue cancers. Some epidemiological data indicate that except for gynecologic cancers, HPV infection can be one of the ris...
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Obesity is a major risk factor for metabolic dysfunction such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The NAFLD spectrum ranges from simple steatosis, to steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The aim of this study is to characterize the grade of steatosis being associated with overnutrition and obesity, both at the level of single hepatoc...
Article
Potential “Bullet points” summarizing key messages Academic medicine fosters research that moves from discovery to translation, at the same time as promoting education of the next generation of professionals. In the field of obesity, the supposed integration of knowledge, discovery and translation research to clinical care is being particularly ham...
Chapter
This chapter offers diverse images that provide an overview of gallstones and aims to provide a synopsis through pictures and illustrations rather than through text. Gallstones are composed of cholesterol monohydrate crystals, mucin gel, calcium bilirubinate, and proteins in the biliary system. Based on chemical composition, gallstones are often cl...
Article
The obesity epidemic shows no signs of abatement. Genetics and overnutrition together with a dramatic decline in physical activity are the alleged main causes for this pandemic. While they undoubtedly represent the main contributors to the obesity problem, they are not able to fully explain all cases and current trends. In this context, a body of k...
Article
Background Carvacrol, a plant phenolic monoterpene, is largely employed as food additive and phytochemical. Objective We aimed to assess the lipid lowering and protective effects of carvacrol in vitro using cellular models of hepatic steatosis and endothelial dysfunction. We also investigated if and how the binding of carvacrol to albumin, the phy...
Article
NAFLD is the most frequent liver disease worldwide. Gut microbiota can play a role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD since dysbiosis is associated with reduced bacterial diversity, altered Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, a relative abundance of alcohol-producing bacteria, or other specific genera. Changes can promote disrupted intestinal barrier and hyp...
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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer with an increasing worldwide mortality rate. Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is the second most common primary liver cancer. In both types of cancers, early detection is very important. Biomarkers are a relevant part of diagnosis, enabling non-invasive detection and control of cancer r...
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Interest in plant-based food has grown in recent years due to their primary prevention potential. Za’atar, an ancient and popular Lebanese herbal mixture, might disclose relevant clinical interest, due to the well-known intrinsic properties of its individual components. Za’atar mixture contain Origanum syriacum (Lebanese thyme), Thymbra spicata (Wi...
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD) are the most common liver disorders worldwide and the major causes of non-viral liver cirrhosis in the general population. In NAFLD, metabolic abnormalities, obesity, and metabolic syndrome are the driving factors for liver damage with no or minimal alcohol consumption. ALD...
Article
Background COVID-19 pandemic has generated a million deaths worldwide. The efficiency of the immune system can modulate individual vulnerability with variable outcomes. However, the relationships between disease severity and the titer of antibodies produced against SARS-CoV-2 in non-vaccinated, recently infected subjects need to be fully elucidated...
Chapter
Gallstones are solid conglomerates of different sizes made of cholesterol monohydrate crystals, mucin gel, calcium bilirubinate, and proteins, forming in the biliary tract and gallbladder. Based on their location, gallstones are usually classified as intrahepatic, gallbladder, and bile duct stones. Gallstone disease is one of the most prevalent and...
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Gut microbiota encompasses a wide variety of commensal microorganisms consisting of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This microbial population coexists in symbiosis with the host, and related metabolites have profound effects on human health. In this respect, gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in the regulation of metabolic, endocrine, a...
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Consumption of natural products such as herbs, spices, plant-derived compounds, and foods is on the rise globally. The use of these substances is widely recognized as an integral part of culture and tradition, with the philosophy being “no benefit is no harm”. The utility of medicinal plants and extracts is under scrutiny, and the scientific commun...
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The largest surface of the human body exposed to the external environment is the gut. At this level, the intestinal barrier includes luminal microbes, the mucin layer, gastrointestinal motility and secretion, enterocytes, immune cells, gut vascular barrier, and liver barrier. A healthy intestinal barrier is characterized by the selective permeabili...
Article
Background The prevalence and severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increase in women after menopause. This narrative review discusses the causes and consequences of NAFLD in postmenopausal women and describes how physical activity can contribute to its prevention. Methods The authors followed the narrative review method to perform...
Article
Sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) is a commonly used spice in the Mediterranean region and considered as healthy food ingredients. The beneficial value of sumac is well documented in folk medicine. Accumulating data explored the phytochemical, nutritional and therapeutic proprieties suggesting sumac as a potential functional food. Here, we discuss the gener...
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Erratum for An international genome-wide meta-analysis of primary biliary cholangitis: Novel risk loci and candidate drugs. Cordell HJ, Fryett JJ, Ueno K, Darlay R, Aiba Y, Hitomi Y, Kawashima M, Nishida N, Khor SS, Gervais O, Kawai Y, Nagasaki M, Tokunaga K, Tang R, Shi Y, Li Z, Juran BD, Atkinson EJ, Gerussi A, Carbone M, Asselta R, Cheung A, de...
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Some metabolic pathways involve two different cell components, for instance, cytosol and mitochondria, with metabolites traffic occurring from cytosol to mitochondria and vice versa, as seen in both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. However, the knowledge on the role of mitochondrial transport within these two glucose metabolic pathways remains poorl...
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Background Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a worldwide increasing syndrome, which, by promoting endothelial dysfunction, contributes to extend the cardiovascular risk. We evaluated the cardiovascular risk in a group of OSA patients. Methods A total of 185 OSA subjects (19 normal weight, 57 overweight, 109 obese), who entered the Ambulatory of Sle...
Article
Background COVID-19 is generating clinical challenges, lifestyle changes, economic consequences. The pandemic imposes to familiarize with concepts as prevention, vulnerability, and resilience. Methods We analyzed and reviewed the most relevant papers in MEDLINE database on syndemic, noncommunicable diseases, pandemic, climate changes, pollution, r...
Article
Thyroid diseases are progressively increasing, mainly in terms of congenital hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, and childhood thyrotoxicosis. A rapid increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents has also been observed in the last decades, mirroring the incidence trend observed in adults. This epidemiologic tendency is parallele...
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Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is most known to cause a wide spectrum of gastrointestinal impairments; however, an increasing number of studies indicates that H. pylori infection might be involved in numerous extragastric diseases such as neurological, dermatological, hematologic, ocular, cardiovascular, metabolic, hepatobiliary, or even allergic...
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Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurrent chronic abdominal pain and impaired bowel habits, which affects daily activity and work productivity, and is associated with a significant healthcare economic burden as well as an impaired quality of life and psycho-affective profile. Management of...
Article
Background and aims Several chronic multifactorial diseases originate from energy unbalance between food intake and body energy expenditure, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders. Vascular endothelium plays a central role in body homeostasis, and NAFLD is often associated with endothelial dysfun...
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The liver plays a key role in systemic metabolic processes, which include detoxification, synthesis, storage, and export of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. The raising trends of obesity and metabolic disorders worldwide is often associated with the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which has become the most frequent type of chronic liv...
Chapter
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most frequent metabolic chronic liver diseases in developed countries and puts the populations at risk of progression to liver necro-inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the onset of NAFLD and contributes to the progression fr...
Chapter
The liver is at the crossroad of key metabolic processes, which include detoxification, glycolipidic storage and export, and protein synthesis. The gut–liver axis, moreover, provides hepatocytes with a series of bacterial products and metabolites, which contribute to maintain liver function in health and disease. Breath tests (BTs) are developed as...
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease and represents the hepatic expression of several metabolic abnormalities of high epidemiologic relevance. Fat accumulation in the hepatocytes results in cellular fragility and risk of progression toward necroinflammation, i.e., nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fib...
Article
Background: Type 1 diabetes originates from gene-environment interactions, with increasing incidence over time. Aim: To identify correlates of childhood type 1 diabetes in European countries using an ecological approach. Several environmental variables potentially influencing the onset of type 1 diabetes have been previously evaluated. However,...
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Proteolytic dysbiosis of the gut microbiota has been recognized as both a typical feature of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and a risk factor for its progression. Blood accumulation of gut-derived uremic toxins (UTs) like indoxyl sulfate (IS) and p-cresyl sulfate (PCS), intestinal permeability and constipation are typical features accompanying CKD pr...
Article
Background Social containment measures imposed in Europe during the lockdown to face COVID-19 pandemic can generate long-term potential threats for metabolic health. Methods A cohort of 494 non-COVID-19 subjects living in 21 EU countries were interviewed by an anonymous questionnaire exploring anthropometric and lifestyle changes during 1-month lo...
Article
Background Bile acids (BAs) are the major lipid components of bile. They are synthesized from cholesterol in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. BAs have gained attention as drug candidates to control obesity and/or diabetic condition due to their role in lipid and glucose metabolism. Objective This study aimed to evaluate the antisteatotic a...
Article
Obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are high prevalence, inter-related conditions at increased risk for advanced liver diseases and related mortality. Adiponectin and leptin have divergent roles in the pathogenesis of fat accumulation and NAFLD. However, the relationships between body and liver fat accumulation, early modification...
Preprint
Background Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a worldwide increasing syndrome, which, by promoting endothelial dysfunction, contributes to extend the cardiovascular risk. We evaluated the cardiovascular risk in a group of OSA patients. Methods A total of 185 OSA subjects (19 normal weight, 57 overweight, 109 obeses), seen at the Ambulatory of Sleep D...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study is aimed at assessing the prevalence of pulmonary artery filling defects (PAFDs) consistent with pulmonary artery embolism (PAE) in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and at investigating possible radiological or clinical predictors. Materials and methods: Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiographies (CTPAs) from 43 consecutiv...
Article
Malignant hypertension is a rare condition characterized by severe hypertension and multi-organ ischemic damage. Marked activation of renin-angiotensin system is observed in many patients, but its persistence over time is not known. We report a case of 42-year-old woman presented with severe hypertension and multi-organ damage. Initial evaluation s...
Article
Aims Adipocyte hypertrophy is the main cause of obesity. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating adipocyte dysfunction may help to plan strategies to treat/prevent obesity and its metabolic complications. Here, we investigated in vitro the molecular alterations associated with early adipocyte hypertrophy, focusing on mitochond...
Chapter
Hormones produce profound systemic effects and ensure a myriad of body functions and metabolic pathways in health. Hormones also finely and continuously tune the functions of the gastrointestinal tract during fasting and digestion. Excesses or deficiencies of hormones will contribute to several endocrine disorders, which will also have a significan...
Chapter
The key role of the liver in systemic homeostatic processes and metabolic functions make unavoidable that this vital organ is a privileged target for a number of endocrine disorders. This is true also considering the wide panel of functional relationships with multiple endocrine organs. Impaired liver functions, on the other hand, pave the way to d...
Book
This work offers a comprehensive reference guide to help clinicians in the field of Internal Medicine addressing common aspects of endocrinological disorders in their daily practice. The exponential growth in our knowledge of biomedicine calls for continuous multidisciplinary approaches across specialists and disciplines. In this volume, recognized...
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Hypercholesterolemia represents one key pathophysiological factor predisposing to increasing risk of developing cardiovascular disease worldwide. Controlling plasma cholesterol levels and other metabolic risk factors is of paramount importance to prevent the overall burden of disease emerging from cardiovascular-disease-related morbidity and mortal...
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Gastric cancer constitutes one of the most prevalent malignancies in both sexes; it is currently the fourth major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The pathogenesis of gastric cancer is associated with the interaction between genetic and environmental factors, among which infection by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is of major importance....
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Bile acids (BA) are amphiphilic molecules synthesized in the liver from cholesterol. BA undergo continuous enterohepatic recycling through intestinal biotransformation by gut microbiome and reabsorption into the portal tract for uptake by hepatocytes. BA are detergent molecules aiding the digestion and absorption of dietary fat and fat-soluble vita...
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The cholecystokinin A receptor (CCKAR) is expressed predominantly in the gallbladder and small intestine in the digestive system, where it is responsible for CCK’s regulation of gallbladder and small intestinal motility. The effect of CCKAR on small intestinal transit is a physiological response for regulating intestinal cholesterol absorption. The...
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Background: The efficacy of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) on patients with chronic refractory slow-transit constipation is controversial and its mechanism of action on gastrointestinal motility and transit is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to document the effects of temporary SNS on the gastrointestinal and biliary tract motility...
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We aim to systematically review the efficacy of prebiotics in reducing anthropometric and biochemical parameters in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). A systematic search using PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, clinicaltrials.gov, Cinahl, and Web of Science of articles published up to 20 March 2020 was performed for randomized contro...
Article
Background & Aims Obesity has worldwide epidemic proportions, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide. NAFLD is due to the presence of hepatic steatosis without other causes for secondary hepatic fat accumulation, and is usually associated with visceral, metabolically-active obesity. The effe...
Chapter
Environmental pollution is able to affect the balance of multiple endocrine axes in humans. This negative outcome occurs because of the effects of artificial chemicals, which are widely diffused. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are ubiquitous and are able to mimic hormones, to block hormones, or to modulate their synthesis, metabolism, tr...
Article
The purpose of our cohort study was to quantify olfactory deficits in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients using Sniffin’ Sticks and a pre-post design to evaluate olfactory recovery. Thirty adult patients with laboratory-confirmed mild to moderate forms of COVID-19 underwent a quantitative olfactory test performed with the Sniffin’ Sticks t...
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The prevalence of obesity has doubled in the last half-century and continues to rise globally. However, a clear definition of this pathological condition, based on standardized clinically relevant variables, is still missing. Even the body mass index (BMI), which has been used for decades, has never emerged over traditional risk factors. Rather, th...
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The gastrointestinal tract hosts the natural reservoir of microbiota since birth. The microbiota includes various bacteria that establish a progressively mutual relationship with the host. Of note, the composition of gut microbiota is rather individual-specific and, normally, depends on both the host genotype and environmental factors. The study of...
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Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) and COVID-19 show a remarkable overlap of clinical symptoms and similar laboratory findings. Both are characterized by fever, abdominal/chest pain, elevation of C-reactive protein, and leukocytosis. In addition, colchicine and IL-1 inhibitors treatments that are effective in controlling inflammation in FMF patient...
Article
Stopped-Flow Light Scattering (SFLS) is a method devised to analyze the kinetics of fast chemical reactions that result in a significant change of the average molecular weight and/or in the shape of the reaction substrates. Several modifications of the original stopped-flow system have been made leading to a significant extension of its technical a...
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The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing worldwide and parallels comorbidities such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. Recent studies describe the presence of NAFLD in non-obese individuals, with mechanisms partially independent from excessive caloric intake. Increasing evidences, in particu...
Chapter
Cardiovascular disease is characterized by lipid accumulation, inflammatory response, cell death, and fibrosis in the arterial wall and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Cholesterol gallstone disease is caused by complex genetic and environmental factors and is one of the most prevalent and costly digestive diseases in the...
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Dear Editor, The recent and explosive worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 leads many scientists and clinicians to identify the most responsible triggering risk factors in individuals without comorbidities, as well as potential prognostic factors. A notable field of research has been conducted on the role of smoking, which has been initially hypothesize...