C Tassi

Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Umbria, Italy

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Publications (50)78.21 Total impact

  • Enrico Capodicasa · Antonio Angelini · Carmelo Tassi
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    ABSTRACT: Urinary N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) activity has been found to increase during normal uncomplicated pregnancy and such behavior could limit the diagnostic value of this enzyme for detection of subclinical tubular injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate urinary NAG activity and isoenzyme A in normal pregnant women at 30th week of pregnancy and in healthy women, to discriminate between physiological and lesional enzymuria. Enzyme activities in first morning fasting urine samples from 20 nonpregnant control and 20 normal pregnant women at 30th gestational week were evaluated by fluorometric methods. Both total and isoenzyme A activity was significantly higher ( p < 0.01) in urines of normal pregnant women compared with control urines, whereas ratio between these two parameters was significantly lower ( p < 0.001). The increase of urinary NAG activity during normal uncomplicated pregnancy appears to be characterized by a prevalent increase in isoenzyme A form, a finding associated with functional (not lesional) enzymuria. The fluorometric assays may represent a simple and rapid method to evaluate whether increase in urinary NAG activity represents a renal physiological adaptation during pregnancy.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Renal Failure
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown a genetic association between glucocerebrosidase deficiencies and Parkinson's disease (PD). To further explore this issue the activity of beta-glucocerebrosidase and the activities of other lysosomal enzymes, alpha-mannosidase, beta-mannosidase, beta-hexosaminidase, and beta-galactosidase have been evaluated in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of PD patients. The activities of alpha-mannosidase, beta-mannosidase, beta-glucocerebrosidase, and beta-hexosaminidase were substantially decreased in the CSF of PD patients, while levels of beta-galactosidase were essentially identical to controls. This study indicates that in PD several lysosomal hydrolases have decreased activities, further supporting a possible link between pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PD and lysosomal hydrolases.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2007 · Movement Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: It has been shown that lysosomes are involved in B cell apoptosis but lysosomal glycohydrolases have never been investigated during this event. In this study we determined the enzymatic activities of some lysosomal glycohydrolases in human tonsil B lymphocytes (TBL) undergoing in vitro spontaneous apoptosis. Fluorimetric methods were used to evaluate the activities of beta-hexosaminidases, alpha-mannosidase, beta-mannosidase, alpha-galactosidase, beta-glucuronidase and alpha-fucosidase. Results show that in TBL during spontaneous apoptosis, there is a significant increase in the activity of beta-hexosaminidases, alpha-mannosidase, beta-mannosidase and beta-galactosidase. Also beta-glucuronidase and alpha-fucosidase activities increase but not in a significant manner. Further studies on beta-hexosaminidases revealed that also mRNA expression of the alpha- and beta-subunits, which constitute these enzymes, increases during spontaneous TBL apoptosis. When TBL are protected from apoptosis by the thiol molecule N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), there is no longer any increase in glycohydrolase activities and mRNA expression of beta-hexosaminidase alpha- and beta-subunits. This study demonstrates for the first time that the activities and expression of some lysosomal glycohydrolases are enhanced in TBL during spontaneous apoptosis and that these increases are prevented when TBL apoptosis is inhibited.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2007 · International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: The activity and isoenzyme composition of N-acetyl-beta-D-hexosaminidase (EC.3.2.1.52) in seminal plasma of fertile and infertile men have been evaluated. However, no data are available on the isoenzyme content in seminal plasma from patients with secretory azoospermia. The activity and isoenzyme composition of seminal plasma from 15 normozoospermic controls and 18 patients with secretory azoospermia were determined by fluorimetric methods. 4-Methylumbelliferil-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranoside and 4-methylumbelliferil-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranoside-6-sulfate were used as fluorigenic substrates. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic efficiency of the assays. No significant difference was found in total enzyme activity between the two groups, while isoenzyme A activity was significantly lower (p=0.004) and the ratio between total enzyme activity and isoenzyme A activity was significantly higher (p=0.04) in azoospermic patients compared to controls. The diagnostic efficiency of these evaluations was low (< or =75.7%). Our findings show that the isoenzyme composition of N-acetyl-beta-D-hexosaminidase in seminal plasma from patients with secretory azoospermia is significantly different from controls, but this difference does not represent a useful marker of secretory azoospermia. The fluorimetric assays are simple and rapid methods for evaluating the isoenzyme composition.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2006 · Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: This study was performed to define the clinical relevance of early changes of capillary 3beta-hydroxybutyrate (3betaOHB), for detection of metabolic deterioration before occurrence of overt diabetic ketoacidosis following interruption of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII). An open clinical trial was performed with eight patients with type 1 diabetes on CSII therapy. After an overnight fast, at 8 a.m. (T0) CSII was interrupted for 4 h. At noon (T240) CSII was re-established, and at 4 p.m. (T480) the study was ended. Blood glucose (BG) and capillary and plasma 3betaOHB were measured at 30-min intervals, plasma insulin at 60-min intervals, and urinary ketones at 120-min intervals. After CSII interruption mean BG increased from 149.8+/-54.4 mg/dL at T0 to 224.8+/-56.2 mg/dL at T240 (P<0.05), and mean capillary 3betaOHB increased from 0.1+/-0.1 mmol/L at T0 to 0.9+/-0.6 mmol/L at T240 (P<0.001). The rate of increase of capillary 3betaOHB was faster and significantly more relevant than that of BG (P<0.05). The restoration of CSII produced a significant reduction of mean BG and capillary 3betaOHB (T480, 119.5+/-24 mg/dL and 0.2+/-0.2 mmol/L, respectively; P<0.05 for both vs. T240). The recovery of capillary 3betaOHB was significantly faster than that of BG (P=0.03). The dynamic evaluation of changes of capillary 3betaOHB levels can represent a useful support to home BG monitoring in the event of CSII interruption, providing faster information on early metabolic deterioration due to insulin deprivation and allowing preventative action for avoiding the evolution towards overt diabetic ketoacidosis. After reintroduction of insulin infusion the monitoring of the faster recovery of 3betaOHB relative to BG can provide useful information for the prevention of late hypoglycemia due to insulin overinfusion.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) activity has emerged as potentially useful early marker of renal tubular injury. This activity is usually evaluated in random urine samples and is related to urinary creatinine concentration. Reports about the lack of correlation between NAG activity of 24-h urines and activity of random urine samples in some clinical and experimental situations led us to study the correlation existing between different procedures for expressing urinary NAG in patients with chronic renal insufficiency. Thirty samples of 24-h urine and 30 random urine samples from chronic renal insufficiency patients were collected. The activity of urinary NAG was examined fluorimetrically. The following correlations were observed: (1) r = 0.431 (P = 0.017) for activity in random urine samples and total activity in 24-h urines); (2) r = 0.281 (P = 0.005) for activity in random samples and activity, expressed as U/l, in 24-h urines. The data show that collection of urine excreted over the whole day and evaluation of total daily excretion of NAG seems the method of choice, at least for patients with chronic renal insufficiency.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2004 · Clinica Chimica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: Dental personnel is exposed to several potential nephrotoxic agents. Urinary N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase (U-NAG) activity has emerged as a sensitive marker of early nephrotoxicity. U-NAG was evaluated, by fluorimetric assay, in urine from 30 healthy subjects and 30 dental personnels. The median value of U-NAG activity (133.5 U/mmol urinary creatinine (U-Cr) in urines of dental personnel was not statistically different (P>0.05) from activity (100.7 U/mmol U-Cr) of control urines. The results suggest that, for dental personnel, exposure to potential nephrotoxic agents is not usually high enough to increase U-NAG activity.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · Clinica Chimica Acta
  • C Tassi
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Dental personnel is exposed to several potential nephrotoxic agents. Urinary N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (U-NAG) activity has emerged as a sensitive marker of early nephrotoxicity. Methods: U-NAG was evaluated, by fluorimetric assay, in urine from 30 healthy subjects and 30 dental personnels. Results: The median value of U-NAG activity (133.5 U/mmol urinary creatinine (U-Cr) in urines of dental personnel was not statistically different (P>0.05) from activity (100.7 U/mmol U-Cr) of control urines. Conclusions: The results suggest that, for dental personnel, exposure to potential nephrotoxic agents is not usually high enough to increase U-NAG activity.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2004 · Clinica Chimica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: Physical exercise is known to induce immunological changes, mainly leukocytosis and neutrophil activation. However, it is not known to what extent the leukocytosis, observed after exertion, is associated with an increase in plasma neutrophil elastase, an early marker of inflammatory response and neutrophil degranulation. In the present study changes in circulating leukocyte and neutrophil counts and human neutrophil elastase plasma levels were evaluated in volley-ball players before and after 2 h and 12 h prolonged training, during a competition season. For comparison, the same parameters were evaluated in untrained subjects before and after a jogging session. Basal white blood cell WBC, polymorpho nuclear PMN, and human polymorpho nuclear-elastase PMN-ELA values were within the normal healthy reference range and no significant differences were found between the two groups studied. Venous blood samples of nine volley-ball players showed a statistically significant increase in blood WBCs after 2 h exercise. This effect was paralleled by a statistically significant increase in PMN-ELA concentration compared to the values observed in the same individuals at rest. The exercise did not significantly change the basal correlation parameters between PMN level and PMN-ELA concentration. More pronounced WBC, PMN, and PMN-ELA increases were observed in the seven inactive subjects after 2 h jogging. There was no linear correlation between increased PMN counts and increased PMN-ELA concentrations in untrained subjects after exercise. The results show that not only the leukocyte count but also PMN-ELA plasma levels can be higher after physical effort. This has a practical significance as regards differential diagnosis demonstrating that determination of these two laboratory parameters can give abnormally high values even in the absence of an existing inflammatory process. Besides, lack of correlation between PMN count and PMN-ELA plasma levels in the untrained group suggest a state in which activation of the neutrophils is not connected with their number in peripheral blood.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2003 · Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
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    ABSTRACT: Lysosomes play an important role in the immune system functioning and are involved in different aspects of inflammatory reaction, repair processes and tissue damage at various levels. Among various effects, it is known that physical exercise influences the release of different lysosomal components. The aim of this study was to evaluate enzyme activity and isoenzymatic profile of beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase both in kidney and urine of normal and trained rats. Enzyme activity was measured by fluorimetric assay while beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase isoenzymes were separated using DEAE-cellulose chromatography. Hexosaminidase specific activity was significantly increased in urine of trained rats whereas there was no increase in the kidneys of trained rats. Indeed, no significant differences were observed in the isoenzyme profile of kidney and urine extracts from normal and trained rats. Our findings suggest the exercise-induced release of lysosomal enzymes is a functional effect and not due to disruption of lysosomal membranes.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2001 · Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
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    ABSTRACT: The plasma levels of endothelin-1 and big endothelin-1 were evaluated in blood of rats in the superior and inferior vena cava, in normal posture (synchronous controls), and after 12 days head-down suspension and 1 day recovery in normal posture. In synchronous controls, the mean plasma concentration of endothelin-1 in inferior vena cava or superior vena cava was almost the same (5.89+/-0.63 pmol/l and 5.67+/-0.64 pmol/l, respectively), whereas the mean plasma concentration of big endothelin-1 was higher (p<0.05) in superior vena cava compared to inferior vena cava (5.49+/-0.75 pmol/l and 1.39+/-0.15 pmol/l, respectively). In samples from superior vena cava of head-down suspended rats big endothelin-1 levels were significantly lower (p<0.05) up to day 9 of suspension, compared to non-suspended synchronous controls, whereas endothelin-1 values were higher (p<0.05). Big endothelin-1 concentration was higher (p<0.05) in inferior vena cava compared to non-suspended synchronous controls. The behaviour of endothelin-1 was more complex, endothelin-1 levels were lower (p<0.05) on day 1 of head-down suspension and higher (p<0.05) in samples taken on days 9 and 12. After 1 day recovery endothelin-1 and big endothelin-1 concentrations returned to normal in both superior vena cava and inferior vena cava. These data indicate that the endothelial system involvement for the two venous beds is different and suggest that local rather than systemic evaluation could better explain endothelial involvement and the contribution of different anatomic sites to the biosynthesis, conversion and clearance of the various involved molecules.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2001 · Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The activity of beta-hexosaminidase, determined with 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-N-acetylglucopyranoside substrate, and of beta-D-mannosidase was significantly higher in the serum of patients with carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein (CDG) syndrome type IA (phosphomannomutase deficiency) than in controls. No significant differences were observed in the activity of beta-hexosaminidase, determined using 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-N-acetylglucopyranoside-6-sulphate as substrate, and the activity of alpha-D-mannosidase. Using DEAE-cellulose chromatography, a greater amount of hexosaminidase B than hexosaminidase A was detected in CDG serum. In CDG serum, hexosaminidase A was eluted in a more basic position in the salt gradient. An isoenzyme of alpha-D-mannosidase and beta-D-mannosidase was identified in control and CDG sera. alpha-D-Mannosidase isoenzyme was eluted in a slightly more basic position in CDG serum than in control serum, whereas beta-D-mannosidase isoenzyme was eluted in the same position.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2001 · Clinica Chimica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: The urinary excretion of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (U-NAG) and urinary Cadmium (U-Cd) concentration, a measure of the metal load in the body, were evaluated in 28 workers exposed to Cd, to determine the relation between the two parameters. In urine from 22 exposed workers with U-Cd<2 microg/g creatinine (Cr) there was no significant difference in U-NAG value (0.98+/-0.59 U/gCr) compared to non-exposed (0.73+/-0.48 U/gCr). In the six workers with 2 microg/gCr < or =U-Cd<10 microg/gCr the U-NAG (2.32+/-0.61 U/gCr) was statistically (P<0.05) higher than in other workers. In both the U-Cd intervals examined there were no altered values of beta2-microglobulin from urine of exposed workers compared to non-exposed (<0.30 mg/l). The U-NAG isoenzymes were separated by DEAE-cellulose chromatography from urine of non-exposed subjects and exposed workers. The U-NAG isoenzyme profile in urine of non-exposed subjects showed a high percentage (about 95%) of the A (acid) form, a much lower percentage (about 4.5%) of B (basic) form and a negligible percentage (about 0.5%) of I (intermediate) form. In the urine of 22 exposed workers with U-Cd<2 microg/gCr, the percentages of U-NAG isoenzymes were not different from non-exposed. In the urine of six workers with 2 microg/gCr< or =U-Cd<10 microg/gCr the percentage (8.34+/-0.91) of isoenzyme B (U-NAG-B), a marker of lesional enzymuria, was statistically increased (P<0.05) compared to non-exposed (4.42+/-0.56). These results suggest that adopting a biological limit for U-Cd equal to 10 microg/gCr might not be sufficiently protective. The increase in U-NAG-B content at 2 microg/gCr<U-Cd</=10 microg/gCr is probably due to a lesion of the proximal tubule caused by the metal which might follow an induction of the apoptotic process.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2000 · Clinica Chimica Acta
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    S Eramo · C Tassi · P Negri · M Manta · M Fraschini · F Pedetta
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    ABSTRACT: The presence in saliva of cotinine, the main and inactive metabolite of nicotine, reflects the extent of systemic distribution of nicotine and explains the increased susceptibility to periodontal disease in smokers. The aim of this study was to investigate the comparative amount of cotinine in the saliva of habitual cigarette smokers, non-smokers and passive smokers. Saliva sample were obtained from 14 cigarette smokers and 13 non-smokers (8 passive-smokers), all without periodontal disease, and analyzed by Microplate EIA (a variation of ELISA based on cross-reactivity of cotinine with anti-cotinine antibody revealed by absorbance in spectrophotometry) to determine the presence and the amount of cotinine. Cotinine was detected in the saliva of smokers with a mean of 92.3 +/- 4.15 ng/ml and, unexpectedly, there was evidence of cotinine also in the saliva of non-smokers (mean 5.4 +/- 1.22 ng/ml), particularly, in passive-smokers (mean 12.9 +/- 6.67 ng/ml). The salivary concentration of cotinine can be used to estimate nicotine intake and its possible role in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease also in passive-smokers.
    Full-text · Article · May 2000 · Minerva stomatologica
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    ABSTRACT: Specific activities of beta-D-hexosaminidase, alpha-D-mannosidase, beta-D-galactosidase and beta-D-glucuronidase were determined in fibroblasts of patients with writer's cramp and torticollis. These diseases show degenerative neurological disorders similar to those observed in lysosomal diseases. Hexosaminidase specific activities, determined using 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-N-acetylglucopyranoside and 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-N-acetylglucopyranoside-6-sulphate as substrates, were significantly higher in the fibroblasts of patients than in controls. No significant differences were observed in the specific activities of the other lysosomal enzymes. The increased hexosaminidase specific activities in torticollis and writer's cramp may be additional markers for these diseases.
    No preview · Article · Nov 1999 · Clinica Chimica Acta

  • No preview · Article · Jan 1999
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    ABSTRACT: Beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase is expressed as a single protein in Trichinella spiralis and has catalytic properties similar to the alpha- and beta-subunits of human and mouse isoenzymes A and B. It can hydrolyze the artificial substrates, 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-glucosamine and 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-glucosamine-6-sulphate which are respectively hydrolyzed by the beta- and alpha-subunits. The enzyme is thermostable, has a basic isoelectric point, and thus is similar to the B isoenzyme. Northern blotting experiments indicate that the enzyme is encoded by a single gene. Hexosaminidase from Trichinella spiralis shows that the substrate specificities of alpha- and beta-subunits precede the duplication of their genes.
    No preview · Article · Oct 1997 · Cellular and molecular biology
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    ABSTRACT: In an experimental model with rats in head-down suspension, plasma levels and urinary excretion of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and urinary excretion of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (EC 3.2.1.30; NAG) were determined. Significant variations in time in the effective plasma ET-1 levels in the superior and inferior cava vessel blood of animals maintained for 6 days in hypogravity with respect to controls were observed. We not only found a transient increase in urinary NAG activity but also that the levels of U-ET-1 increased during head-down suspension. The simultaneous evaluation at urinary level of these two parameters could be an indication that there are different sites of renal parenchymal involvement or injury during antiorthostatic hypokinesis.
    No preview · Article · May 1997 · Clinica Chimica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: β-Hexosaminidase isoenzymes were separated by DEAE-cellulose chromatography in the serum of 23 patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus at different stage of the disease. Forms corresponding to hexosaminidase B, I and A were present in pathological sera. There is an increase in the percentage of hexosaminidase I in pathological sera, that could be used as an additional marker to monitor the clinical stage of the disease. Furthermore, total activities of some lysosomal enzymes were determined in these sera. Activities of β-hexosaminidase, determined with 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-N-acetylglucopyranoside substrate, α-mannosidase and β-mannosidase were significantly higher in the serum of patients at the C3 stage of disease than in controls. No significant differences were observed in the activity of β-hexosaminidase, determined with 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-N-acetylglucopyranoside-6-sulphate substrate, β-glucuronidase and β-galactosidase.
    No preview · Article · Dec 1996 · Clinica Chimica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: The head-down suspension (i.e. antiorthostatic hypokinesia) rat is used to simulate weightlessness. However, little is known about cardiovascular and organ adaptation responses which, over a long time, can become pathologically significant. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate regional changes in the hematology parameters. Endotheline-1 (ET-1) concentration and urinary excretion of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (EC 3.2.1.30) (NAG) in an experimental antiorthostatic rat model. The data indicate significant variations in the plasma ET-1 level in time, in the superior and inferior cava vessel blood of animals maintained for 10 days in hypogravity with respect to controls. These changes do not seem to be due to hemoconcentration. The increase in urinary NAG was observed during the first 24h of experiment, indicating renal stress, probably due to adverse blood flow variations within the organ. We conclude that the plasma ET-1 level changes could be responsible, overall for the blood flow variations in the kidney and renal stress could be the consequence of extended antiorthostatic hypokinesia. The ET-1 behaviour and urinary NAG excretion in rats exposed to antiorthostatic hypokinetic hydynamia offer possibilities for understanding if these changes might be reversible or when they become pathological. This could give some relevant information about the effects of prolonged hypogravity during the space voyage.
    No preview · Article · Nov 1995 · Acta Astronautica