Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel

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Livadhja, Albania
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Hoxha M.,Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel | Hoxha M.,University of Milan | Rovati G.E.,University of Milan | Cavanillas A.B.,University of Granada
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology | Year: 2017

Background: Cysteinyl leukotrienes (LTC4, LTD4, and LTE4) are pro-inflammatory mediators of the 5-lipooxygenase (5-LO) pathway, that play an important role in bronchoconstriction, but can also enhance endothelial cell permeability and myocardial contractility, and are involved in many other inflammatory conditions. In the late 1990s, leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) were introduced in therapy for asthma and later on, approved for the relief of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and urticaria. In addition, it has been shown that LTRAs may have a potential role in preventing atherosclerosis progression. Purpose: The aims of this short review are to delineate the potential cardiovascular protective role of a LTRA, montelukast, beyond its traditional use, and to foster the design of appropriate clinical trials to test this hypothesis. Results and Conclusions: (Table presented.) © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Hoxha M.,Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel | Hoxha M.,University of Milan
Advances in Medical Sciences | Year: 2018

Background Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the production of eicosanoids, cytokines, adhesion molecules, infiltration of T and B lymphocytes in the synovium and oxygen reduction accompanied by the cartilage degradation. Eicosanoids are responsible for the progressive destruction of cartilage and bone, however neither steroids, nor the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cannot slow down cartilage and bone destruction providing only symptomatic improvement. The current rheumatoid arthritis treatment options include mainly the use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, the corticosteroids, the NSAIDs and biological agents. Methods PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase electronic database were used as the main sources for extracting several articles, reviews, original papers in English for further review and analysis on the implication of arachidonic acid metabolites with rheumatoid arthritis and different strategies of targeting arachidonic acid metabolites, different enzymes or receptors for improving the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Results We first focused on the role of individual prostaglandins and leukotrienes, in the inflammatory process of arthritis, concluding with an outline of the current clinical situation of rheumatoid arthritis and novel treatment strategies targeting the arachidonic acid pathway. Conclusions Extended research is necessary for the development of these novel compounds targeting the eicosanoid pathway, by increasing the levels of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids (PGD2,15dPGJ2), by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (PGE2, LTB4, PGI2) involved in rheumatoid arthritis or also by developing dual compounds displaying both the COX-2 inhibitor/TP antagonist activity within a single compound. © 2017 Medical University of Bialystok


Capogrosso R.F.,University of Bari | Capogrosso R.F.,Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel | Cozzoli A.,University of Bari | Mantuano P.,University of Bari | And 9 more authors.
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2016

Antioxidants have a great potential as adjuvant therapeutics in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, although systematic comparisons at pre-clinical level are limited. The present study is a head-to-head assessment, in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD, of natural compounds, resveratrol and apocynin, and of the amino acid taurine, in comparison with the gold standard α-methyl prednisolone (PDN). The rationale was to target the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via disease-related pathways that are worsened by mechanical-metabolic impairment such as inflammation and over-activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX) (taurine and apocynin, respectively) or the failing ROS detoxification mechanisms via sirtuin-1 (SIRT1)-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) (resveratrol). Resveratrol (100 mg/kg i.p. 5 days/week), apocynin (38 mg/kg/day per os), taurine (1 g/kg/day per os), and PDN (1 mg/kg i.p., 5 days/week) were administered for 4-5 weeks to mdx mice in parallel with a standard protocol of treadmill exercise and the outcome was evaluated with a multidisciplinary approach in vivo and ex vivo on pathology-related end-points and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratrol ≥ taurine > apocynin enhanced in vivo mouse force similarly to PDN. All the compounds reduced the production of superoxide anion, assessed by dihydroethidium staining, with apocynin being as effective as PDN, and ameliorated electrophysiological biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratrol also significantly reduced plasma levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. Force of isolated muscles was little ameliorated. However, the three compounds improved histopathology of gastrocnemius muscle more than PDN. Taurine > apocynin > PDN significantly decreased activated NF-kB positive myofibers. Thus, compounds targeting NOX-ROS or SIRT1/PGC-1α pathways differently modulate clinically relevant DMD-related endpoints according to their mechanism of action. With the caution needed in translational research, the results show that the parallel assessment can help the identification of best adjuvant therapies. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel, University of Rome Tor Vergata, National Institute of Health and University Hospital Mother Tereza
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical virology | Year: 2016

Human Bocavirus (HBoV) has been recently identified in association with acute viral gastroenteritis (AGE). The objective of this work was to investigate the prevalence of HBoV in children with AGE in Albania. Stool specimens collected from 142 children were analyzed by amplification of partial NP1 and Vp1/Vp2 genes. HBoV was detected in 13 samples (9.1%), 12 HBoV-1 and one HBoV-2. All HBoV-positive patients were co-infected with rotavirus and/or adenovirus, a finding which might indicate that there is no clear causal association of this agent with diarrhea. Further investigation is needed to assess the pathogenic role of HBoV in childhood diarrhea.


PubMed | University of Rome Tor Vergata and Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2015

The use of Dermal Regeneration Template (DRT) can be a valid alternative for scalp reconstruction, especially in elderly patients where a rapid procedure with an acceptable aesthetic and reliable functional outcome is required. We reviewed the surgical outcome of 20 patients, 14 (70%) males and 6 (30%) females, who underwent application of DRT for scalp reconstruction for small defects (group A: mean defect size of 12.51cm(2)) and for large defects (group B: mean defect size of 28.7cm(2)) after wide excision of scalp neoplasm (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). In group A, the excisions were performed to the galeal layer avoiding pericranium, and in group B the excisions were performed including pericranium layer with subsequent coverage of the exposed bone with local pericranial flap. In both the groups (A and B) after the excision of the tumor, the wound bed was covered with Dermal Regeneration Template. In 3 weeks we observed the complete healing of the wound bed by secondary intention with acceptable cosmetic results and stable scars. Scalp reconstruction using a DRT is a valid coverage technique for minor and major scalp defects and it can be conducted with good results in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities.


PubMed | University of Turin, Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Antiviral research | Year: 2016

The control of smallpox was achieved using live vaccinia virus (VV) vaccine, which successfully eradicated the disease worldwide. As the variola virus no longer exists as a natural infection agent, mass vaccination was discontinued after 1980. However, emergence of smallpox outbreaks caused by accidental or deliberate release of variola virus has stimulated new research for second-generation vaccine development based on attenuated VV strains. Considering the closely related animal poxviruses that also arise as zoonoses, and the increasing number of unvaccinated or immunocompromised people, a safer and more effective vaccine is still required. With this aim, new vectors based on avian poxviruses that cannot replicate in mammals should improve the safety of conventional vaccines, and protect from zoonotic orthopoxvirus diseases, such as cowpox and monkeypox. In this study, DNA and fowlpox (FP) recombinants that expressed the VV L1R, A27L, A33R, and B5R genes were generated (4DNAmix, 4FPmix, respectively) and tested in mice using novel administration routes. Mice were primed with 4DNAmix by electroporation, and boosted with 4FPmix applied intranasally. The lethal VV


Antioxidants have a great potential as adjuvant therapeutics in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, although systematic comparisons at pre-clinical level are limited. The present study is a head-to-head assessment, in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD, of natural compounds, resveratrol and apocynin, and of the amino acid taurine, in comparison with the gold standard -methyl prednisolone (PDN). The rationale was to target the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via disease-related pathways that are worsened by mechanical-metabolic impairment such as inflammation and over-activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX) (taurine and apocynin, respectively) or the failing ROS detoxification mechanisms via sirtuin-1 (SIRT1)-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator 1 (PGC-1) (resveratrol). Resveratrol (100mg/kg i.p. 5days/week), apocynin (38mg/kg/day per os), taurine (1g/kg/day per os), and PDN (1mg/kg i.p., 5days/week) were administered for 4-5 weeks to mdx mice in parallel with a standard protocol of treadmill exercise and the outcome was evaluated with a multidisciplinary approach in vivo and ex vivo on pathology-related end-points and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratroltaurine>apocynin enhanced in vivo mouse force similarly to PDN. All the compounds reduced the production of superoxide anion, assessed by dihydroethidium staining, with apocynin being as effective as PDN, and ameliorated electrophysiological biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratrol also significantly reduced plasma levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. Force of isolated muscles was little ameliorated. However, the three compounds improved histopathology of gastrocnemius muscle more than PDN. Taurine>apocynin>PDN significantly decreased activated NF-kB positive myofibers. Thus, compounds targeting NOX-ROS or SIRT1/PGC-1 pathways differently modulate clinically relevant DMD-related endpoints according to their mechanism of action. With the caution needed in translational research, the results show that the parallel assessment can help the identification of best adjuvant therapies.


PubMed | Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel, University of Milan Bicocca, Polytechnic of Milan and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Chemosphere | Year: 2016

The emergence and diffusion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been a major public health problem for many years now. In this study, antibiotic-resistance of coliforms and Escherichia coli were investigated after their isolation from samples collected in a municipal wastewater treatment plant in the Milan area (Italy) along different points of the treatment sequence: inflow to biological treatment; outflow from biological treatment following rapid sand filtration; and outflow from peracetic acid disinfection. The presence of E.coli that showed resistance to ampicillin (AMP) and chloramphenicol (CAF), used as representative antibiotics for the efficacy against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, was evaluated. After determining E.coli survival using increasing AMP and CAF concentrations, specific single-resistant (AMP


PubMed | Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel
Type: | Journal: World neurosurgery | Year: 2016

Legs burning for treating lumbar radicular pain are still in use nowadays in low socioeconomical environments. They are dangerous as the case we report shows clearly.A 49-year-old man came to our attention with severe flaccid paraparesis occurred 10 days before, almost immediately after he had immersed his legs in boiling water to treat his severe left lumbocrural pain. This was known to be due to a right L3/4 herniated disk diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging. At the examination he showed severe motor paresis and absent reflexes of his lower limbs, while crural pain was mild and sensation and urinary function were unaffected. The results of his neurologic examination led us to suspect an acute motor axon degeneration related to thermal shock. Lumbar magnetic resonance imaging, performed before the planned electromyogram as an exception to the established routine, showed instead a giant 5- 5.5-cm, herniated disk compressing the dural sac at L3.Prompt surgical decompression led to rapid improvement. We discuss here the pathophysiology of this unusual case and point out how medieval practices for treating sciatica-like pain are not only unjustified from a medical viewpoint but also potentially dangerous.


PubMed | Regina Elena Cancer Institute, ENEA, Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Virus research | Year: 2016

The therapeutic antitumor potency of a prime-boost vaccination strategy was explored, based on the mutated, nontransforming forms of the E6 (E6

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