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Villanova di Camposampiero, Italy

Parmeggiani F.,University of Ferrara | Campa C.,University of Ferrara | Campa C.,University of Liverpool | Costagliola C.,University of Molise | And 6 more authors.
Mediators of Inflammation | Year: 2010

Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a common and severe complication in heterogeneous diseases affecting the posterior segment of the eye, the most frequent being represented by age-related macular degeneration. Although the term may suggest just a vascular pathological condition, CNV is more properly definable as an aberrant tissue invasion of endothelial and inflammatory cells, in which both angiogenesis and inflammation are involved. Experimental and clinical evidences show that vascular endothelial growth factor is a key signal in promoting angiogenesis. However, many other molecules, distinctive of the inflammatory response, act as neovascular activators in CNV. These include fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor, tumor necrosis factor, interleukins, and complement. This paper reviews the role of inflammatory mediators and angiogenic factors in the development of CNV, proposing pathogenetic assumptions of mutual interaction. As an extension of this concept, new therapeutic approaches geared to have an effect on both the vascular and the extravascular components of CNV are discussed. © 2010 Claudio Campa et al. Source

Chizzolini M.,Center for Retinitis Pigmentosa of Veneto Region | Galan A.,Eye Clinic | Milan E.,Center for Retinitis Pigmentosa of Veneto Region | Sebastiani A.,University of Ferrara | And 2 more authors.
Current Genomics | Year: 2011

Inherited retinal dystrophies, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), include a group of relatively rare hereditary diseases caused by mutations in genes that code for proteins involved in the maintenance and function of the photoreceptor cells (cones and rods). The different forms of RP consist of progressive neurodegenerative disorders which are generally related to various and severe limitations of visual performances. In the course of typical RP (rod-cone dystrophy), the affected individuals first experience night-blindness and/or visual field constriction (secondary to rod dysfunctions), followed by variable alterations of the central vision (due to cone damages). On the other hand, during the atypical form of RP (cone-rod dystrophy), the cone's functionalities are prevalently disrupted in comparison with the rod's ones. The basic diagnosis of RP relies upon the documentation of unremitting loss in photoreceptor activity by electroretinogram and/or visual field testing. The prevalence of all RP typologies is variably reported in about one case for each 3000-5000 individuals, with a total of about two millions of affected persons worldwide. The inherited retinal dystrophies are sometimes the epiphenomenon of a complex framework (syndromic RP), but more often they represent an isolated disorder (about 85-90% of cases). Although 200 causative RP mutations have been hitherto detected in more than 100 different genes, the molecular defect is identifiable in just about the 50% of the analyzed patients with RP. Not only the RP genotypes are very heterogeneous, but also the patients with the same mutation can be affected by different phenotypic manifestations. RP can be inherited as autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked trait, and many sporadic forms are diagnosed in patients with no affected relatives. Dissecting the clinico-genetic complexity of RP has become an attainable objective by means of large-scale research projects, in which the collaboration between ophthalmologists, geneticists, and epidemiologists becomes a crucial aspect. In the present review, the main issues regarding clinical phenotyping and epidemiologic criticisms of RP are focused, especially highlighting the importance of both standardization of the diagnostic protocols and appropriateness of the disease's registration systems. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Source

Parmeggiani F.,University of Ferrara | Sorrentino F.S.,University of Ferrara | Romano M.R.,Istituto Clinico Humanitas | Romano M.R.,University of Molise | And 11 more authors.
Mediators of Inflammation | Year: 2013

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over 50 years of age, accounting for up to 50% of all cases of legal blindness in Western countries. Although the aging represents the main determinant of AMD, it must be considered a multifaceted disease caused by interactions among environmental risk factors and genetic backgrounds. Mounting evidence and/or arguments document the crucial role of inflammation and immune-mediated processes in the pathogenesis of AMD. Proinflammatory effects secondary to chronic inflammation (e.g., alternative complement activation) and heterogeneous types of oxidative stress (e.g., impaired cholesterol homeostasis) can result in degenerative damages at the level of crucial macular structures, that is photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and Bruch's membrane. In the most recent years, the association of AMD with genes, directly or indirectly, involved in immunoinflammatory pathways is increasingly becoming an essential core for AMD knowledge. Starting from the key basic-research notions detectable at the root of AMD pathogenesis, the present up-to-date paper reviews the best-known and/or the most attractive genetic findings linked to the mechanisms of inflammation of this complex disease. © 2013 Francesco Parmeggiani et al. Source

Parmeggiani F.,University of Ferrara | Sato G.,Eye Clinic | De Nadai K.,University of Ferrara | De Nadai K.,Center for Retinitis Pigmentosa of Veneto Region | And 3 more authors.
Current Genomics | Year: 2011

The term retinitis pigmentosa (RP) indicates a heterogeneous group of genetic rare ocular diseases in which either rods or cones are prevalently damaged. RP represents the most common hereditary cause of blindness in people from 20 to 60 years old. In general, the different RP forms consist of progressive photo-receptorial neuro-degenerations, which are characterized by variable visual disabilities and considerable socio-sanitary burden. Sometimes, RP patients do not become visually impaired or legally blind until their 40-50 years of age and/or maintain a quite acceptable sight for all their life. Other individuals with RP become completely blind very early or in middle childhood. Although there is no treatment that can effectively cure RP, in some case-series the disease's progression seems to be reducible by specific preventive approaches. In the most part of RP patients, the quality of vision can be considerably increased by means of nanometer-controlled filters. In the present review, the main aspects of the routine clinical and rehabilitative managements for RP patients are described, particularly focusing on the importance of specific referral Centers to practice a real multidisciplinary governance of these dramatic diseases. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Source

Parmeggiani F.,University of Ferrara | Romano M.R.,University of Molise | Costagliola C.,University of Molise | Semeraro F.,University of Brescia | And 7 more authors.
Mediators of Inflammation | Year: 2012

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease that represents the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over the age of 50 in Europe, the United States, and Australia, accounting for up to 50 of all cases of central blindness. Risk factors of AMD are heterogeneous, mainly including increasing age and different genetic predispositions, together with several environmental/epigenetic factors, that is, cigarette smoking, dietary habits, and phototoxic exposure. In the aging retina, free radicals and oxidized lipoproteins are considered to be major causes of tissue stress resulting in local triggers for parainflammation, a chronic status which contributes to initiation and/or progression of many human neurodegenerative diseases such as AMD. Experimental and clinical evidences strongly indicate the pathogenetic role of immunologic processes in AMD occurrence, consisting of production of inflammatory related molecules, recruitment of macrophages, complement activation, microglial activation and accumulation within those structures that compose an essential area of the retina known as macula lutea. This paper reviews some attractive aspects of the literature about the mechanisms of inflammation in AMD, especially focusing on those findings or arguments more directly translatable to improve the clinical management of patients with AMD and to prevent the severe vision loss caused by this disease. © 2012 Francesco Parmeggiani et al. Source

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