Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit

Santa Maria Nuova, Italy

Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit

Santa Maria Nuova, Italy
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Rubagotti S.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | Croci S.,Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit | Ferrari E.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Iori M.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | And 5 more authors.
International journal of molecular sciences | Year: 2016

Curcumin derivatives labelled with fluorine-18 or technetium-99m have recently shown their potential as diagnostic tools for Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, no study by exploiting the labelling with gallium-68 has been performed so far, in spite of its suitable properties (positron emitter, generator produced radionuclide). Herein, an evaluation of the affinity for synthetic β-amyloid fibrils and for amyloid plaques of three (nat/68)Ga-labelled curcumin analogues, namely curcumin curcumin (CUR), bis-dehydroxy-curcumin (bDHC) and diacetyl-curcumin (DAC), was performed. Affinity and specificity were tested in vitro on amyloid synthetic fibrils by using gallium-68 labelled compounds. Post-mortem brain cryosections from Tg2576 mice were used for the ex vivo visualization of amyloid plaques. The affinity of (68)Ga(CUR)₂⁺, (68)Ga(DAC)₂⁺, and (68)Ga(bDHC)₂⁺ for synthetic β-amyloid fibrils was moderate and their uptake could be observed in vitro. On the other hand, amyloid plaques could not be visualized on brain sections of Tg2576 mice after injection, probably due to the low stability of the complexes in vivo and of a hampered passage through the blood-brain barrier. Like curcumin, all (nat/68)Ga-curcuminoid complexes maintain a high affinity for β-amyloid plaques. However, structural modifications are still needed to improve their applicability as radiotracers in vivo.


Croci S.,Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit | Zerbini A.,Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit | Boiardi L.,Rheumatology Unit | Muratore F.,Rheumatology Unit | And 10 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2015

Objectives There is increasing evidence that microRNAs (miRNAs) are deregulated in autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. The present study aimed to identify if miRNAs are deregulated in giant cell arteritis (GCA), a vasculitis affecting large-sized and medium-sized arteries, and to determine if miRNA levels might allow to discriminate between patients with GCA and those without. Methods 58 patients who had temporal artery biopsy (TAB) for suspected GCA were included in the study and divided into three groups: patients with TAB-positive GCA showing a transmural inflammation (n=27), patients with TAB-negative GCA (n=8) and TAB-negative non-GCA patients with a final diagnosis different from GCA (n=23). To identify candidate miRNAs deregulated in GCA, we profiled the expression of 1209 miRNAs in inflamed TABs and normal TABs. Selected miRNAs were then validated by real-time PCRs and in situ hybridisation (ISH). Results MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -155, -150, -21 and -299-5p were significantly more expressed in inflamed TABs from patients with GCA. miRNAs were mainly deregulated at the tissue level because peripheral blood mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear cells from the three groups of patients and age-matched healthy controls had similar levels of miRNAs. ISH showed that miR-21 was mainly expressed by cells in the medial and intimal layers of inflamed TABs. Patients with TAB-negative GCA had a miRNA profile similar to TAB-negative non-GCA patients. Conclusions MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -21, -150, -155, -299-5p are overexpressed in the presence of inflammation in TABs from patients with GCA. © 2015 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism.


PubMed | University of Witwatersrand, Rheumatology Unit, Arcispedale S. M. Nuova IRCCS, Arcispedale S. M. Nuova.IRCCS and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: International ophthalmology | Year: 2017

The role of uveitis, an uncommon ocular disease, is often neglected in research and treatment of autoimmune conditions. The study described the spectrum of uveitis at a referral center in North Italy, and compared that to a previously published series of patients.We reviewed all patients with uveitis diagnosed from 2013 to 2015 at the Immunology Eye Unit, Arcispedale S. M. Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy. We examined patient characteristics, disease spectrum, and etiologies.In total, 990 cases of uveitis were identified, who were mostly female (59%) with a median age at presentation of 44years (interquartile range=29-57). Anterior uveitis was most frequent (53.5%), followed by panuveitis (22.8%), posterior (16.2%), and intermediate uveitis (5.5%). Anterior herpetic uveitis (15.6%), Fuchs uveitis (9.7%), and HLA-B27 positive anterior uveitis (7.7%) were the most common specific diagnoses. Compared with the previous series, we observed an increased incidence of uveitis, and a different pattern of diagnoses. Rates of herpetic, HLA-B27 positive uveitis, and presumed ocular tuberculosis were higher, but Fuchs uveitis was less frequent.The pattern of uveitis appears to be changing, very likely due to population-level increases in infectious diseases, to the availability of new diagnostic tests and to the interdisciplinary approach used in patient diagnosis.


PubMed | S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital, Malattie Infectious Disease Unit, University of Bologna, S Anna Hospital and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The new microbiologica | Year: 2016

It is crucial to establish the timing of infection and distinguish between early and long-lasting HIV-1 infections not only for partner notification and epidemiological surveillance, but also to offer early drug treatment and contain the spread of infection. This study analyzed serum and/or plasma samples with a first positive HIV antibody/antigen result coming from different Medical Centers in the Emilia Romagna Region, North East Italy, using the avidity assay, Western Blotting, RNA viral load, CD4 cell counts and genotyping assay. From May 2013 to May 2016, we certified 845 new HIV-1 infections, 18.7% of which were classified on the basis of avidity index as recent infections and 81.3% as long-lasting infections, with an estimated conversion time exceeding six months at the time of study. Western Blotting showed reactivity to only one or two HIV-1 proteins in recently infected patients (RIPs), while a complete pattern to gag, env and pol proteins was observed in most long-lasting infected patients (LLIPs). The median age, gender, nationality and risk transmission factors were comparable in RIPs and LLIPs. Phylogenetic analysis performed in available plasma disclosed B strains, non-B subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) in both groups of patients, with a major presence of CRFs in non-Italian HIV subjects. The large number of patients unaware of their HIV status makes it crucial to discover hidden epidemics and implement appropriate targeted public health interventions.


PubMed | Rheumatology Unit, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Pathology Unit, Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit and Ophthalmology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Annals of the rheumatic diseases | Year: 2016

There is increasing evidence that microRNAs (miRNAs) are deregulated in autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. The present study aimed to identify if miRNAs are deregulated in giant cell arteritis (GCA), a vasculitis affecting large-sized and medium-sized arteries, and to determine if miRNA levels might allow to discriminate between patients with GCA and those without.58 patients who had temporal artery biopsy (TAB) for suspected GCA were included in the study and divided into three groups: patients with TAB-positive GCA showing a transmural inflammation (n=27), patients with TAB-negative GCA (n=8) and TAB-negative non-GCA patients with a final diagnosis different from GCA (n=23). To identify candidate miRNAs deregulated in GCA, we profiled the expression of 1209 miRNAs in inflamed TABs and normal TABs. Selected miRNAs were then validated by real-time PCRs and in situ hybridisation (ISH).MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -155, -150, -21 and -299-5p were significantly more expressed in inflamed TABs from patients with GCA. miRNAs were mainly deregulated at the tissue level because peripheral blood mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear cells from the three groups of patients and age-matched healthy controls had similar levels of miRNAs. ISH showed that miR-21 was mainly expressed by cells in the medial and intimal layers of inflamed TABs. Patients with TAB-negative GCA had a miRNA profile similar to TAB-negative non-GCA patients.MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -21, -150, -155, -299-5p are overexpressed in the presence of inflammation in TABs from patients with GCA.


Cimino L.,Eye Unit | Aldigeri R.,University of Parma | Parmeggiani M.,Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit | Belloni L.,Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit | And 5 more authors.
Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology | Year: 2013

Background: To characterise the polyspecific intraocular antibody synthesis in aqueous humor of patients with Fuchs uveitis and other types of non-infectious uveitis. Methods: Aqueous and serum samples collected from 24 patients with Fuchs uveitis, 21 patients with non-infectious uveitis, and 27 healthy subjects undergoing elective cataract surgery (control group) were analysed. In addition, vitreous samples, collected from seven uveitis patients (five Fuchs and two panuveitis) during retinal surgery, were examined. Specific immunoglobulin G antibodies against cytomegalovirus (CMV), rubella virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and varicella zoster virus (VZV) were investigated, and Goldmann-Witmer coefficients (GWCs) were calculated. Real-time PCR was performed to detect viral genome for HSV, VZV, and CMV, while nested PCR was conducted to detect rubella RNA. Results: None of the control samples tested positive for any of the viral antibodies investigated. Intraocular antibody production was found in eight samples of patients affected by Fuchs uveitis (6/8 positive for rubella virus and 2/8 positive for herpes virus). Among patients with non-infectious uveitis, three tested positive for intraocular antibody production (one RV, one HSV and one for VZV). PCR was positive for RV in two patients with Fuchs uveitis, in three patients with non-infectious uveitis (one for RV and two for HSV), and in three control subjects (one for CMV and one for HSV). Conclusions: Our series confirmed the presence of specific viral antibodies, especially against rubella virus, in the subgroup of patients affected by Fuchs uveitis, suggesting that this virus may be responsible for this chronic inflammatory condition. Rubella virus is probably the main causative agent of Fuchs uveitis, but other viruses may also be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Ciccia F.,University of Palermo | Rizzo A.,Cervello | Maugeri R.,University of Palermo | Alessandro R.,University of Palermo | And 8 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2016

Objectives To investigate whether artery tertiary lymphoid organs (ATLOs) are present in giant cell arteritis (GCA) and that their formation is associated with the ectopic expression of constitutive lymphoid tissue-homing chemokines. Methods Reverse transcriptase PCR, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence analysis were used to determine the presence of ectopic ATLOs in GCA and the expression of chemokines/chemokine receptors and cytokines involved in lymphoneogenesis in the temporal artery samples obtained from 50 patients with GCA and 30 controls. The presence of lymphatic conduits, of follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) precursors and lymphoid tissue inducer cells was also investigated. Finally, expression of CXCL13, B cell activating factor (BAFF), a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and CCL21 by isolated myofibroblasts was evaluated before and after stimulation with Toll-like receptors (TLRs) agonists and cytokines. Results ATLOs were observed in the media layer of 60% of patients with GCA in close proximity to high endothelial venules and independently by the age of patients and the presence of atherosclerosis. ATLO formation was also accompanied by the expression of CXCL13, BAFF, a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), lymphotoxin (LT)-ß, interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-7, the presence of FDC precursors and of lymphoid conduits. Stimulation of myofibroblasts with TLR agonists and cytokines resulted in the upregulation of BAFF and CXCL13. Conclusions ATLOs occur in the inflamed arteries of patients with GCA possibly representing the immune sites where immune responses towards unknown arterial wall-derived antigens may be organised. © 2016 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism.


PubMed | University of Palermo, Cervello, Pathology Unit, Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit and Unita operativa di Reumatologia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Annals of the rheumatic diseases | Year: 2016

To investigate whether artery tertiary lymphoid organs (ATLOs) are present in giant cell arteritis (GCA) and that their formation is associated with the ectopic expression of constitutive lymphoid tissue-homing chemokines.Reverse transcriptase PCR, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence analysis were used to determine the presence of ectopic ATLOs in GCA and the expression of chemokines/chemokine receptors and cytokines involved in lymphoneogenesis in the temporal artery samples obtained from 50 patients with GCA and 30 controls. The presence of lymphatic conduits, of follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) precursors and lymphoid tissue inducer cells was also investigated. Finally, expression of CXCL13, B cell activating factor (BAFF), a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and CCL21 by isolated myofibroblasts was evaluated before and after stimulation with Toll-like receptors (TLRs) agonists and cytokines.ATLOs were observed in the media layer of 60% of patients with GCA in close proximity to high endothelial venules and independently by the age of patients and the presence of atherosclerosis. ATLO formation was also accompanied by the expression of CXCL13, BAFF, a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), lymphotoxin (LT)-, interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-7, the presence of FDC precursors and of lymphoid conduits. Stimulation of myofibroblasts with TLR agonists and cytokines resulted in the upregulation of BAFF and CXCL13.ATLOs occur in the inflamed arteries of patients with GCA possibly representing the immune sites where immune responses towards unknown arterial wall-derived antigens may be organised.


Asti M.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | Ferrari E.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Croci S.,Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit | Atti G.,Nuclear Medicine Unit | And 6 more authors.
Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2014

Curcumin (CUR) and curcuminoids complexes labeled with fluorine-18 or technetium-99m have recently shown their potential as diagnostic tools for Alzheimers disease. Gallium-68 is a positron-emitting, generator-produced radionuclide, and its properties can be exploited in situ in medical facilities without a cyclotron. Moreover, CUR showed a higher uptake in tumor cells compared to normal cells, suggesting potential diagnostic applications in this field. In spite of this, no studies using labeled CUR have been performed in this direction, so far. Herein, 68Ga-labeled complexes with CUR and two curcuminoids, namely diacetyl-curcumin (DAC) and bis(dehydroxy)curcumin (bDHC), were synthesized and characterized by means of experimental and theoretical approaches. Moreover, a first evaluation of their affinity to synthetic β-amyloid fibrils and uptake by A549 lung cancer cells was performed to show the potential application of these new labeled curcuminoids in these diagnostic fields. The radiotracers were prepared by reacting 68Ga3+ obtained from a 68Ge/68Ga generator with 1 mg/mL curcuminoids solutions. Reaction parameters (precursor amount, reaction temperature, and pH) were optimized to obtain high and reproducible radiochemical yield and purity. Stoichiometry and formation of the curcuminoid complexes were investigated by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, NMR, ultraviolet-visible, and fluorescence spectroscopy on the equivalent natGa-curcuminoids (nat = natural) complexes, and their structure was computed by theoretical density functional theory calculations. The analyses evidenced that CUR, DAC, and bDHC were predominantly in the keto-enol form and attested to Ga(L)2 + species formation. Identity of the 68Ga(L) 2 + complexes was confirmed by coelution with the equivalent natGa(L)2 + complexes in ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography analyses.68Ga(CUR) 2 +, 68Ga(DAC)2 +, and 68Ga(bDHC)2 + were highly (87 ± 4, 90 ± 1%) and moderately (48 ± 2%), respectively, retained by synthetic β-amyloid fibrils in vitro. All the Ga-curcuminoid complexes showed an uptake in A549 lung cancer cells, at least equivalent to the respective free curcuminoids, confirming potential applications as cancer-detecting radiotracers. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


PubMed | Nuclear Medicine Unit, University of Bologna, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of molecular sciences | Year: 2016

Curcumin derivatives labelled with fluorine-18 or technetium-99m have recently shown their potential as diagnostic tools for Alzheimers disease. Nevertheless, no study by exploiting the labelling with gallium-68 has been performed so far, in spite of its suitable properties (positron emitter, generator produced radionuclide). Herein, an evaluation of the affinity for synthetic -amyloid fibrils and for amyloid plaques of three (nat/68)Ga-labelled curcumin analogues, namely curcumin curcumin (CUR), bis-dehydroxy-curcumin (bDHC) and diacetyl-curcumin (DAC), was performed. Affinity and specificity were tested in vitro on amyloid synthetic fibrils by using gallium-68 labelled compounds. Post-mortem brain cryosections from Tg2576 mice were used for the ex vivo visualization of amyloid plaques. The affinity of (68)Ga(CUR), (68)Ga(DAC), and (68)Ga(bDHC) for synthetic -amyloid fibrils was moderate and their uptake could be observed in vitro. On the other hand, amyloid plaques could not be visualized on brain sections of Tg2576 mice after injection, probably due to the low stability of the complexes in vivo and of a hampered passage through the blood-brain barrier. Like curcumin, all (nat/68)Ga-curcuminoid complexes maintain a high affinity for -amyloid plaques. However, structural modifications are still needed to improve their applicability as radiotracers in vivo.

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