Angelomaria Di Santo

Lexington VA Medical Center, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

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Publications (12)51.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Roflumilast, an oral selective phosphodiesterase type-4 (PDE4) inhibitor, is approved for treatment of severe COPD. A recent meta-analysis of trials in COPD revealed that treatment with roflumilast was associated with a significant reduction of the rate of major cardiovascular events. The mechanisms of this effect remain unknown. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that roflumilast N-oxide (RNO), the active metabolite of roflumilast, curbs the molecular mechanisms required for leukocyte-platelet (PLT) interactions and prevents prothrombotic functions of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) and monocytes (MN). Methods: Using well characterized in vitro models, the efficacy of RNO was analysed on: i) PMN adhesiveness, ii) release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), iii) tissue factor expression in MN. Key biochemical events underlying the inhibitory effect of RNO were defined. Results and conclusions: In PMN, RNO prevented phosphoinositide-(3) kinase (PI(3)K)-dependent phosphorylation of Akt on Ser-473 and Src family kinases (SFK)-mediated Pyk2 phosphorylation on Tyr579-580, while inducing protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation of C-terminal Src kinase, the major negative regulator of SFK. Modulation of these signaling pathways by RNO resulted in a significant impairment of PMN adhesion to activated PLT or HUVEC mainly mediated by inhibition of Mac-1 adhesive function. Moreover RNO curbed SFK/PI(3)K-mediated NETs release by PMN adherent on fibrinogen-coated surfaces. In MN interacting with activated PLT, RNO curbed PI(3)K-mediated expression of tissue factor. The efficacy of RNO was significantly potentiated by formoterol, a long acting β-adrenergic receptor agonist. This study discovers novel antithrombotic activities by which roflumilast may exert protective effects against cardiovascular comorbodities in COPD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Platelet-neutrophil interactions play a key role in cardiovascular disease and inflammatory processes. Src family kinases mediate P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1-Mac-1 cross talk necessary for firm platelet-neutrophil adhesion. Because Src family kinase activity can be regulated by cAMP-dependent pathways, in this work, we evaluated the role of phosphodiesterases in the signaling events that are required to sustain platelet-neutrophil interactions and neutrophil recruitment at the site of vascular injury. Approach and results: In neutrophils exposed to P-selectin, selective phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibition prevented Src family kinase-mediated phosphorylation of the proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 on Tyr579/Tyr580. The effects of PDE4 inhibition required protein kinase A, likely through protein kinase A-mediated activation of COOH-terminal Src kinase, a major negative regulator of Src family kinases. PDE4, but not other phosphodiesterase inhibitors, reduced platelet-neutrophil conjugates as well as neutrophil firm adhesion on spread platelets under flow conditions. The effect of PDE4 inhibition on neutrophil adhesion was primarily mediated by downregulation of P-selectin-induced activation of Mac-1. In a murine model of endovascular injury, selective inhibition of PDE4 significantly reduced neutrophil recruitment at the site of vascular damage. Conclusions: This study identifies PDE4 as a central node in the signaling network that mediates platelet-neutrophil adhesion and suggests that pharmacological inhibition of PDE4 may represent a novel therapeutic avenue for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Prasugrel, through its active metabolite, reduces atherothrombosis and its clinical manifestations by inhibiting platelet activation and aggregation. Platelets also contribute to inflammation through interaction with different classes of leukocytes. We investigated whether the inhibitory effect of prasugrel on platelets also counteract inflammatory responses. The effect of prasugrel active metabolite, R-138727, was investigated on platelet P-selectin expression, platelet adhesion to polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) and monocytes (MN) and Mac-1 expression in PMN and MN, in vitro, in human cells. The ex vivo effect of prasugrel administration on P-selectin, thromboxane (TXB)2 formation, platelet-PMN conjugates and Mac-1 expression in PMN triggered by PAR-4 agonist peptide was examined in whole blood from healthy mice as well as from mice in which an acute inflammatory reaction was induced by treatment with endotoxin. The effect of prasugrel on inflammatory markers in endotoxin-treated animals was also tested in vivo. R-138727 inhibited agonist-stimulated expression of platelet P-selectin, platelet-PMN and platelet-MN adhesion and platelet-dependent Mac-1 expression in leukocytes. Addition of aspirin did not modify the inhibitory effect elicited by R-138727. Treatment of mice with prasugrel resulted in a profound inhibition of platelet P-selectin expression, TXB2 production, platelet-PMN adhesion and Mac-1 expression in PMN induced by ex vivo stimulation with PAR-4 agonist peptide of whole blood from healthy or endotoxin-treated mice. Measurement of markers revealed that prasugrel reduced TXB2 and tumour necrosis factor-α synthesis and increased nitric oxide metabolites in endotoxin-treated mice in vivo. In conclusion, prasugrel reduces platelet interactions with PMN and MN. Through these effects prasugrel may curb platelet-mediated inflammatory responses.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Thrombosis and Haemostasis
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    ABSTRACT: The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) promotes angiogenesis and growth of neoplastic cells. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor AT1 blockers may protect against cancer. Tissue factor (TF), for its involvement in tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis is considered a hallmark of cancer progression. In this study we evaluated whether RAS blockade modulates TF constitutive expression by the metastatic breast carcinoma MDA-MB-231 cell line. Cell TF activity was assessed by one stage clotting time, TF and VEGF antigens and mRNA levels by ELISA and RT-PCR, respectively. AT(1) was detected by flow-cytometry and angiotensin-II levels by EIA. Captopril reduced in a concentration-dependent way both the strong constitutive TF activity (983.2±55.2 vs. 686.7±135.1U/5×10(5) cells with 10μg/ml captopril) and antigen (32.3±5.9 vs. 13.2±6.6ng/ml) in MDA-MB-231. Similar results were observed with enalapril. AT1 was present on cell membrane and losartan, a competitive inhibitor of AT1, reduced TF expression to a degree similar as that exerted by ACE inhibitors. Moreover, captopril and losartan downregulated the constitutive mRNA TF expression by ~35%. Similar results were observed with anti-AT1 and angiotensin II antibodies. In addition, the constitutive VEGF antigen and mRNA levels were reduced in the presence of captopril or losartan, and an anti-VEGF antibody downregulated cell TF activity by ~40%. These results could, at least in part, contribute to the discussion about the possible effects of ACE inhibitors and AT1 receptor antagonists in malignancy, and offer new clues to support their use for tumor control.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Thrombosis Research
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    ABSTRACT: Paclitaxel, a microtubule-stabilising compound with potent anti-tumour activity, has been clinically used in a wide variety of malignancies. Tissue factor (TF) is often expressed by tumour-associated endothelial and inflammatory cells, as well as by cancer cells themselves, and it is considered a hallmark of cancer progression. We investigated whether paclitaxel could modulate TF in human mononuclear (MN) cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and the metastatic breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231. Cells were incubated with or without paclitaxel at 37 degrees C. At the end of incubation, cells were disrupted and tested for procoagulant activity by a one-stage clotting assay, for TF antigen levels by ELISA and TF mRNA by real-time RT-PCR. IL-6 and IL-1beta were tested by ELISA in conditioned medium. Both the strong TF activity and antigen constitutively expressed by MDA-MB-231 and the TF induced by LPS, TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in MN cells and HUVEC were significantly reduced by paclitaxel. In the presence of paclitaxel, lower TF mRNA levels were also detected. Since paclitaxel has been shown to induce the expression of inflammatory genes in monocytes and tumour cells, we tested whether paclitaxel could influence IL-6 and IL-1beta release from the cells used in this paper. Neither the constitutive expression of IL-6 and IL-1beta by MDA-MB-231 nor the basal and LPS-induced release from MN cells and HUVEC was affected. Our data support the hypothesis that the anti-tumour effects of paclitaxel may, at least in part, be mediated by the capacity of this drug to modulate the procoagulant potential of cancer and host cells.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2008 · European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990)
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    ABSTRACT: The mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA), an ubiquitous contaminant of food products endowed with a wide spectrum of toxicity, affects several functions of mononuclear leukocytes. Monocytes/macrophages play a major role in fibrin accumulation associated with immune-inflammatory processes through the production of tissue factor (TF) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 2 (PAI-2). We studied the effect of OTA on TF and PAI-2 production by human blood mononuclear cells (MNC). The cells were incubated for 3 or 18 h at 37 degrees C with non toxic OTA concentrations in the absence and in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or other inflammatory agents. TF activity was measured by a one-stage clotting test. Antigen assays were performed by specific ELISAs in cell extracts or conditioned media and specific mRNAs were assessed by RT-PCR. OTA had no direct effect on TF and PAI-2 production by MNC. However, OTA caused a dose-dependent reduction in LPS-induced TF (activity, antigen and mRNA) and PAI-2 (antigen and mRNA) production with >85% inhibition at 1 mug/ml. Similar results were obtained when monocyte-enriched preparations were used instead of MNC. TF production was also impaired by OTA (1 mug/ml) when MNC were stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate (98% inhibition), IL-1beta (83%) or TNF-alpha (62%). The inhibition of TF and PAI-2 induction might represent a hitherto unrecognized mechanism whereby OTA exerts immunosuppressant activity.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Clopidogrel is considered to be an important therapeutic advance in anti-platelet therapy. We investigated whether inhibition by clopidogrel results in a reduced capacity of platelets to adhere and stimulate pro-atherothrombotic and inflammatory functions in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) and in monocytes (MN). An eventual effect on these processes could further substantiate anti-atherothrombotic properties of this drug. The effects of clopidogrel or of its active metabolite were investigated on ADP or thrombin receptor-induced platelet activation and on platelet-leukocyte interactions ex vivo in the mouse or in vitro in isolated human cells or whole blood, respectively. Clopidogrel inhibited platelet aggregation, expression of P-selectin, platelet-PMN adhesion and platelet-dependent ROS production in mouse PMN. Similarly pretreatment of human platelets with the active metabolite of clopidogrel in vitro resulted in a profound inhibition of platelet P-selectin expression, platelet-PMN adhesion and production of ROS by PMN. Pretreatment with the active metabolite of clopidogrel significantly impaired the ability of platelets to up-regulate the expression of TF procoagulant activity in MN, in a washed cell system. Moreover, the active metabolite of clopidogrel inhibited rapidTF exposure on platelet as well as on leukocyte surfaces in whole blood. By reducing platelet-dependent up-regulation of inflammatory and pro-atherothrombotic functions in leukocytes, clopidogrel may reduce inflammation that underlies the chronic process of atherosclerosis and its acute complications.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2005 · Thrombosis and Haemostasis
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    ABSTRACT: Pentraxin-3 (PTX3), an acute-phase protein that belongs to the family of the PTXs, is found elevated in septic shock and increased in patients with acute myocardial infarction. As tissue factor (TF) plays a key role in thrombosis and inflammation associated with atherosclerosis and as we have recently reported that PTX3 increases TF synthesis in endothelial cells, we tested whether PTX3 could modulate TF expression in monocytes. Monocytes from peripheral blood of healthy donors were incubated with highly purified PTX3 with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cells were then disrupted, and procoagulant activity was assessed by a one-stage clotting time. PTX3 enhanced TF activity and antigen from LPS-stimulated monocytes in a dose-dependent way. The effect was specific, as other PTXs, such as C-reactive protein and serum amyloid P component, were ineffective. Moreover, the increase in activity was specific for LPS, as in the presence of other TF-inducing agents such as interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha, PTX3 was not effective. The increase in TF activity requires mRNA synthesis, as assessed by polymerase chain reaction. The mechanism by which PTX3 modulates TF synthesis resides in an enhanced IkappaB, alpha phosphorylation and degradation and increased migration of the transacting factor c-Rel/p65 into the nucleus, as determined by Western blot and electro-mobility shift assay. These results show that PTX3 is an enhancer of the expression of TF by mononuclear cells. In the area of vascular injury, during the inflammatory response, cell-mediated fibrin deposition takes place. PTX3 increases TF expression, thus potentially playing a role in thrombogenesis and wound healing.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · Journal of Leukocyte Biology
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    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Primary cultures of cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) were prepared from 8-day-old Wistar rats, and maintained in an appropriate medium containing a high (25 mM) concentration of KCl. To induce apoptosis, culture medium was replaced with serum-free medium (containing 5mM KCl) 8 days after plating. Apoptosis was measured by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-fluorescein nick end-labeling (TUNEL) method, and by flow cytometry. Since there is evidence that an increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is involved in the apoptosis induced by low K(+) (5mM) concentrations, the potential anti-apoptotic effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a potent flavonoid antioxidant, was tested in this experimental model. It was found that CAPE (10 microg/ml) promoted cell survival and was capable of blocking the apoptotic process as assayed by both TUNEL and flow cytometric methods. The same concentration of CAPE prevented the formation of ROS induced by low K(+). Since there is evidence that low K(+)-induced apoptosis in CGNs is associated with a drop in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)), activation of the cell death effector proteases caspase-3 and caspase-9, and of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB), the interference of CAPE with these purported mediators of apoptosis was also evaluated. It was found that CAPE did not interfere with the marked decrease in [Ca(2+)](i) induced by low K(+), whereas it completely blocked caspase-3, caspase-9, and NF-kappaB activation. It is concluded that CAPE could exert its anti-apoptotic effect in CGNs by blocking ROS formation and by inhibiting caspase activity.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2003 · International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation is a major contributing factor to atherosclerotic plaque development and ischemic heart disease. PTX3 is a long pentraxin that was recently found to be increased in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Because tissue factor (TF), the in vivo trigger of blood coagulation, plays a dominant role in thrombus formation after plaque rupture, we tested the possibility that PTX3 could modulate TF expression. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells, incubated with endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) or the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, expressed TF. The presence of PTX3 increased TF activity and antigen severalfold in a dose-dependent fashion. PTX3 exerted its effect at the transcription level, inasmuch as the increased levels of TF mRNA, mediated by the stimuli, were enhanced in its presence. The increase in mRNA determined by PTX3 originated from an enhanced nuclear binding activity of the transacting factor c-Rel/p65, which was mediated by the agonists and measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The mechanism underlying the increased c-Rel/p65 activity resided in an enhanced degradation of the c-Rel/p65 inhibitory protein IkappaBalpha. In the area of vascular injury, during the inflammatory response, cell-mediated fibrin deposition takes place. Our results suggest that PTX3, by increasing TF expression, potentially plays a role in thrombogenesis and ischemic vascular disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2002 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

  • No preview · Article · Aug 1993 · Thrombosis Research

Publication Stats

351 Citations
51.15 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Lexington VA Medical Center
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2008-2012
    • CMNS Consorzio Mario Negri Sud
      • Laboratory of Vascular Biology and Pharmacology
      Santa Maria Imbaro, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2003-2011
    • Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
      • Laboratory of Neurobiology of Prions
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy