Silvio De Flora

Silvio De Flora
Università degli Studi di Genova | UNIGE · Dipartimento di Scienze della salute (DISSAL)

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382
Publications
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Publications

Publications (382)
Article
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Oxidative mechanisms are not only involved in chronic degenerative diseases but also in infectious diseases, among which viral respiratory diseases. Antioxidants have the capability to counteract the action of oxidants by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and by inhibiting oxidant generating enzymes. Overproduction of ROS and deprivation of...
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Introduction: Chronic infections and infestations represent one of the leading causes of cancer. Eleven agents have been categorized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Group 1, 3 in Group 2A and 4 in Group 2B. We previously estimated that the incidence of cancers associated with infectious agents accounted for the 8.5% of...
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Cigarette smoke (CS) and ethanol (EtOH) are known to synergize in the causation of cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract and of the liver. Little is known about possible interactions between these agents in other organs. These premises prompted us to evaluate the clastogenic effects resulting from the inhalation for 3 weeks of mainstream CS and...
Article
Both ethanol and cigarette smoke are classified as human carcinogens. They can synergize, especially in tissues of the upper aerodigestive tract that are targeted by both agents. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the individual and combined effects of ethanol and smoke in the respiratory tract, either following transplacental...
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Cigarette smoke (CS) is known to dysregulate microRNA expression profiles in the lungs of mice, rats, and humans, thereby modulating several pathways involved in lung carcinogenesis and other CS-related diseases. We designed a study aimed at evaluating (a) the expression of 1135 microRNAs in the lung of Swiss H mice exposed to mainstream CS during...
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To extend previous models of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] reduction by gastric fluid (GF), ex vivo experiments were conducted to address data gaps and limitations identified with respect to (1) GF dilution in the model; (2) reduction of Cr(VI) in fed human GF samples; (3) the number of Cr(VI) reduction pools present in human GF under fed, fasted, a...
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Evaluation of the reducing capacity of human gastric fluid from healthy individuals, under fasted and fed conditions, is critical for assessing the cancer hazard posed by ingested hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] and for developing quantitative physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models used in risk assessment. In the present study, the patterns of C...
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Infectious and parasitic diseases represent the third cause of cancer worldwide. A number of infectious and parasitic agents have been suspected or recognized to be associated with human cancers, including DNA viruses, such as papillomaviruses (several HPV types), herpesviruses (EBV and KSHV), polyomaviruses (SV40, MCV, BK, and JCV), and hepadnavir...
Article
Many drugs in common use possess pleiotropic properties that make them capable of interfering with carcinogenesis mechanisms. We discuss here the ability of pharmacological agents to mitigate the pulmonary carcinogenicity of mainstream cigarette smoke. The evaluated agents include anti-inflammatory drugs (budesonide, celecoxib, aspirin, naproxen, l...
Article
Juveniles (50 days post hatch) of a native cyprinid fish (Barbus plebejus) were exposed for 7 months to sediments from the River Lambro, a polluted tributary impairing the quality of the River Po for tens of kilometers from their confluence. Sediments were collected upstream of the city of Milan and downstream at the closure of the drainage basin o...
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Chronic infections and infestations represent major causes of cancer. Overall, Helicobacter pylori, HPV, HBV, and HCV are estimated to account for 15% of all human cancers. We have estimated that cancers associated with 6 pathogens in Italy account for 31,000 yearly cases, 42.0%of which is attributable to H. pylori, 34.7%to HBV and HCV, 19.8%to HPV...
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Chemoprevention provides an important strategy for cancer control in passive smokers. Due to the crucial role played by smoke-related chronic inflammation in lung carcinogenesis, of special interest are extensively used pharmacological agents, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). We evaluated the ability of aspirin and naproxen, i...
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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been extensively investigated and employed for industrial use because of their peculiar physical properties, which make them ideal for many industrial applications. However, rapid growth of CNT employment raises concerns about the potential risks and toxicities for public health, environment, and workers associated with...
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The role of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in smoke-related lung carcinogenesis is still controversial. We have developed and validated a murine model for evaluating the tumorigenicity of mainstream cigarette smoke (MCS) and its modulation by chemopreventive agents. In the present study, the protective effects of the nonselective cyc...
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Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in cigarette smoke-related carcinogenesis. Accordingly, anti-inflammatory agents, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provide a rational strategy in cancer chemoprevention. We assayed celecoxib, a selective cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitor, and licofelone, an inhibitor of COX-1, COX-2, an...
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Lapatinib, a dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), is prescribed for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer overexpressing HER-2. Involvement of this drug in pulmonary carcinogenesis has been poorly investigated. We used murine mode...
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The anti-diabetic drug metformin is endowed with anti-cancer properties. Epidemiological and experimental studies, however, did not provide univocal results regarding its role in pulmonary carcinogenesis. We used Swiss H mice of both genders in order to detect early molecular alterations and tumors induced by mainstream cigarette smoke. Based on a...
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Tobacco smoke plays a dominant role in the epidemiology of lung cancer, cancer at other sites, and a variety of other chronic diseases. It is the leading cause of death in developed countries, and the global burden of cancer is escalating in less developed regions. For a rational implementation of strategies exploitable for the prevention smoking-r...
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The broad application of nanotechnology in medicine, biology, and pharmacology is leading to a dramatic increase of the risk of direct contact of nanoproducts, among which gold nanoparticles (AuNP), with the human organism. The present study aimed at evaluating in vivo the genotoxicity of AuNPs with average size of 40nm and 100nm. A single intraper...
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Assessing the correlation between molecular end-points and cancer induction or prevention aims at validating the use of intermediate biomarkers. We previously developed murine models that are suitable to detect both the carcinogenicity of mainstream cigarette smoke (MCS) and the induction of molecular alterations. In the present study, we used 931...
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Birth and early life stages are critical periods characterized by severe alterations of the redox balance and by "physiological" genomic changes in lung cells, which may be responsible for cancer and other diseases in adulthood. Oxidative stress is a major mechanism accounting for the carcinogenicity of cigarette smoke (CS), which becomes more pote...
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The light delivered by artificial illumination systems, and in particular by halogen quartz bulbs, contains UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation, is genotoxic to both bacterial and human cells and is potently carcinogenic to hairless mice. Since IARC has classified UV radiation in Group 1, any source of UV light poses a carcinogenic hazard to humans. Suitab...
Article
Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) has important consequences on gene and protein expression since a single miRNA targets a number of genes simultaneously. This article provides a review of published data and ongoing studies regarding the effects of cigarette smoke (CS), either mainstream (MCS) or environmental (ECS), on the expression of miRNAs a...
Article
Cigarette smoke (CS) and dietary factors play a major role in cancer epidemiology. At the same time, however, the diet is the richest source of anticancer agents. Berries possess a broad array of health protective properties and were found to attenuate the yield of tumors induced by individual carcinogens in the rodent digestive tract and mammary g...
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Cigarette smoke (CS) is convincingly carcinogenic in mice when exposure starts at birth. We investigated the induction and modulation of alterations in the kidney and urinary bladder of CS-exposed mice. A total of 484 strain H Swiss mice were either sham-exposed or exposed since birth to mainstream CS (MCS) for 4 months. Dietary agents, including m...
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A large proportion of the population carries restorative dental fillings containing either classic Hg-based amalgams and/or the more frequently used methacrylates. Both Hg- and resin-based materials have been shown to be released into the buccal cavity and to be spread systemically. In addition, they induce toxic and genotoxic alterations in experi...
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Chemotherapy-induced hair loss is one of the most serious and feared adverse effects of cancer therapy. Almost all traditional chemotherapeutic agents induce a more or less severe alopecia. At present, there is no effective treatment capable of preventing this damage. Several different experimental approaches, using various animal models, have been...
Article
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in many biological processes, cancer, and other diseases. In addition, miRNAs are dysregulated following exposure to toxic and genotoxic agents. Here we review studies evaluating modulation of miRNAs by dietary and pharmacological agents, which could potentially be exploited for inhibition of mutagenesis and...
Article
Cigarette smoke (CS) plays a dominant role in the epidemiology of human cancer. However, it is difficult to reproduce its carcinogenicity in laboratory animals. Recently, we showed that CS becomes a potent carcinogen in mice when exposure starts soon after birth. In our study, we comparatively evaluated the carcinogenic response to mainstream CS in...
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Birth is characterized by an intense oxidative stress resulting in nucleotide alterations and gene overexpression in mouse lung. We showed that cigarette smoke (CS) is carcinogenic when exposure starts soon after birth and applied this bioassay to evaluate the efficacy of chemopreventive agents. The present study evaluated whether administration of...
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The prenatal and perinatal periods of brain development are especially vulnerable to insults by environmental agents. Early life exposure to cigarette smoke (CS), which contains both genotoxicants and oxidants, is considered an important risk factor for both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Yet, little is known regarding the unde...
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Carcinogenesis can be visualized either as a multistep process (initiation, promotion, progression, invasion, and metastasis) or as a continuum of mutagenic and mitogenic events, with the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms. The exponential growth of the neoplastic mass explains the importance of secondary prevention (early diagnosis) and of tert...
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The abilities of 5,6-benzoflavone (5,6-BF, a synthetic flavonoid), indole-3-carbinol (I3C, a plant derived product) or diindolylmethane (DIM, a condensation product of I3C) to alter the induction of mammary cancers induced by the carcinogens 7,12-dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA) or N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) were evaluated. Interestingly, the first...
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Among endocrine disruptors, the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA) deserves particular attention due to widespread human exposure. Besides hormonal effects, BPA has been suspected to be involved in breast and prostate carcinogenesis, which share similar estrogen-related mechanisms. We previously demonstrated that administration of BPA to female mice re...
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The micronucleus test detects both structural and numerical chromosomal aberrations caused by environmental agents. However, this test is poorly sensitive to detect the clastogenicity of cigarette smoke (CS) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. At variance with peripheral blood lymphocytes and other cells outside the lower respiratory tract, pulm...
Article
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Collectively, chronic viral and bacterial infections and trematode infestations have been estimated to be associated with approximately one of five human cancers worldwide. The fraction attributable to each one of the chronic infections caused by hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV), human papillomaviruses (HPV) and Helicobacter pylori, is ∼5%....
Article
We identify trends over the past decades in membership in societies affiliated with the International Association of Environmental Mutagen Societies (IAEMS), and we also highlight findings in a recent review by Claxton et al. [Environ Health Perspect, in press] regarding the numbers of papers published per year using genetic toxicology assays. Thes...
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Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the leading causes of death in most countries. These diseases share many common risk factors as well as pathogenetic determinants, and their incidence is related to age in an exponential manner. Furthermore, it has become apparent that several treatments used in therapy or even in prevention of cancer can impa...
Article
Our previous studies demonstrated that exposure to cigarette smoke (CS), either mainstream or environmental, results in a remarkable downregulation of microRNA expression in the lung of both mice and rats. The goals of the present study were to evaluate the dose responsiveness to CS and the persistence of microRNA alterations after smoking cessatio...
Article
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Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that it is possible to prevent lung cancer and other smoke-related diseases by avoiding exposures to tobacco smoke. A complementary strategy is chemoprevention, which is based on the administration of dietary and pharmacological agents, which is addressed to (a) addicted active smokers, who are unable to qu...
Article
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Cancer and other mutation-related diseases can be prevented at three levels: primary prevention, which is addressed to healthy individuals in order to prevent occurrence of the disease; secondary prevention, which is addressed to early stage patients in order to prevent progression of the disease; and tertiary prevention, which is addressed to pati...
Article
Oil fly ash (OFA), containing high amounts of transition metals, is among the most reactive airborne particulate matter emissions, which have been associated with several diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), lung cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate mitochondrial alterations i...
Article
We have investigated alterations of microRNA expression profiles in the apparently healthy lung of mice and rats as an early response to exposure to cigarette smoke, either mainstream (MCS) or environmental, and/or to treatment with chemopreventive agents. Further on, we evaluated microRNA alterations at a later stage, when lung tumors were detecta...
Article
Among endocrine disruptors, the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA) is of particular interest due to the very high production and widespread environmental contamination. We recently demonstrated that the oral administration of BPA to mice results in the formation of DNA adducts not only in liver but also in mammary tissue. The present study aimed at eva...
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Although microRNAs (miRNA) have extensively been investigated in cancer research, less attention has been paid to their regulation by carcinogens and/or protective factors in early stages of the carcinogenesis process. The present study was designed to evaluate the modulation of mRNA expression as related to exposure of neonatal mice to environment...
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We previously showed that exposure to environmental cigarette smoke (ECS) for 28 days causes extensive downregulation of microRNA expression in the lungs of rats, resulting in the overexpression of multiple genes and proteins. In the present study, we evaluated by microarray the expression of 484 microRNAs in the lungs of either ECS-free or ECS-exp...
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Due to the aging of the populations of developed countries and a common occurrence of risk factors, it is increasingly probable that a patient may have both cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, cytotoxic agents and targeted therapies used to treat cancer, including classic chemotherapeutic agents, monoclonal antibodies that target tyrosi...
Article
Lung cancer is the most important cause of death among neoplastic diseases worldwide, and cigarette smoke (CS) is the major risk factor for cancer. Complementarily to avoidance of exposure to CS, chemoprevention will lower the risk of cancer in passive smokers, ex-smokers, and addicted current smokers who fail to quit smoking. Unfortunately, chemop...
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Mice are particularly susceptible to carcinogens when exposure starts early in life. We evaluated the expression of stem cell antigen-1 (Sca-1) gene in the lung of variously aged CD-1 mice, either untreated or exposed to environmental cigarette smoke (ECS) and/or to a light source. Sca-1 expression progressively decreased with age. The expression o...
Article
Endocrine disruptors (EDs) represent a major toxicological and public health issue, and the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA) has received much attention due to its high production volume and widespread human exposure. Also, due to its similarity to diethylstilbestrol, a known human carcinogen, BPA has been investigated for its genotoxic and carcinoge...
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Our discovery that the perinatal period involves nucleotide modifications and gene overexpression in mouse lung prompted us to evaluate whether mice may become more susceptible to cigarette smoke when exposure starts immediately after birth. We previously showed that mainstream cigarette smoke is a quite potent carcinogen in neonatal mice. Further...
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Certain adult diseases may have their origin early in life, and perinatal exposures may contribute to cancers both during childhood and later in life. We recently demonstrated that mainstream cigarette smoke (MCS) induces a potent carcinogenic response in mice when exposure starts soon after birth. We also showed that the antioxidant N-acetylcystei...
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MicroRNAs provide a formidable tool not only in cancer research but also to investigate physiological mechanisms and to assess the effect of environmental exposures in healthy tissues. Collectively, cigarette smoke and sunlight have been estimated to account for 40% of all human cancers, and not only smoke but also, surprisingly, UV light induced g...
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Chemoprevention by dietary and pharmacological means provides a strategy for attenuating the health risks resulting from cigarette smoking and in particular from passive exposure to environmental cigarette smoke (ECS). We evaluated the ability of the glucocorticoid budesonide and of the natural agent phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) to affect DNA d...
Article
Genomic and postgenomic changes are extensively investigated in cancer research. Similar alterations, affecting genome, transcriptome, mirnome and/or proteome end-points, have been detected in a variety of other chronic degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis, degenerative heart diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, neurological...