Institute of Clinical Pathology

Udine, Italy

Institute of Clinical Pathology

Udine, Italy
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Bramswig K.H.,Comprehensive Cancer Center | Poettler M.,Comprehensive Cancer Center | Unseld M.,Comprehensive Cancer Center | Wrba F.,Institute of Clinical Pathology | And 4 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA, CD66e, CEACAM-5) is a cell-surface-bound glycoprotein overexpressed and released by many solid tumors that has an autocrine function in cancer cell survival and differentiation. Soluble CEA released by tumors is present in the circulation of patients with cancer, where it is used as a marker for cancer progression, but whether this form of CEA exerts any effects in the tumor microenvironment is unknown. Here, we present evidence that soluble CEA is suf ficient to induce proangiogenic endothelial cell behaviors, including adhesion, spreading, proliferation, and migration in vitro and tumor microvascularization in vivo. CEA-induced activation of endothelial cells was dependent on integrin β-3 signals that activate the focal-adhesion kinase and c-Src kinase and their downstream MAP-ERK kinase/extracellular signal regulated kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt effector effector pathways. Notably, while interference with VEGF signaling had no effect on CEA-induced endothelial cell activation, downregulation with the CEA receptor in endothelial cells attenuated CEA-induced signaling and tumor angiogenesis. Corroborating these results clinically, we found that tumor microvascularization was higher in patients with colorectal cancer exhibiting higher serum levels of soluble CEA. Together, our results elucidate a novel function for soluble CEA in tumor angiogenesis. ©2013 AACR.


Zlobec I.,University of Basel | Molinari F.,Institute of Pathology | Kovac M.,University of Basel | Bihl M.P.,University of Basel | And 15 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: Our aim was to investigate the prognostic and predictive value of the oncogenic MAPKK-like protein T-cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK) stratified by KRAS and BRAF mutations in patients with sporadic, hereditary and metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) treated with anti-EGFR therapy.Methods: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for TOPK was performed on four study groups. Group 1 included two subgroups of 543 and 501 sporadic CRC patients used to test the reliability of TOPK expression by IHC. In Group 2, representing an additional 222 sporadic CRCs, the prognostic effect of TOPK stratified by KRAS and BRAF was assessed. The prognostic effect of TOPK was further analysed in Group 3, representing 71 hereditary Lynch syndrome-associated CRC patients. In Group 4, the predictive and prognostic value of TOPK was analysed on 45 metastatic patients treated with cetuximab or panitumumab stratified by KRAS and BRAF gene status.Results: In both sporadic CRC subgroups (Group 1), associations of diffuse TOPK expression with clinicopathological features were reproducible. Molecular analysis of sporadic CRCs in Group 2 showed that diffuse TOPK expression was associated with KRAS and BRAF mutations (p0.001) and with poor outcome in patients with either mutation in univariate and multivariate analysis (P0.017). In hereditary patients (Group 3), diffuse TOPK was linked to advanced pT stage. In metastatic patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy (Group 4), diffuse TOPK expression was linked to dismal outcome despite objective response to treatment (P0.01).Conclusions: TOPK expression is an unfavourable prognostic indicator in sporadic patients with KRAS or BRAF mutations and also in patients with metastatic disease experiencing a response to anti-EGFR therapies. The inhibition of TOPK, which could benefit 30-40% of CRC patients, may represent a new avenue of investigation for targeted therapy. © 2010 Cancer Research UK All rights reserved.


Quartuccio L.,University of Santa María in Ecuador | Fabris M.,University of Santa María in Ecuador | Fabris M.,Institute of Clinical Pathology | Pontarini E.,University of Santa María in Ecuador | And 25 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2014

Objective: The polymorphism 158V/F of Fc fragment of IgG (FCGR) type 3A may influence the response to rituximab (RTX) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the FCG3A polymorphism in a large cohort of RA patients treated with RTX, also by considering the possible loss of response from month +4 to +6 after RTX and the presence of established predictors of response. Methods: The study analysed 212 RA patients. European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response was evaluated at months +4 and +6 after the first RTX infusion. The FCGR3A polymorphism was analysed by PCR followed by Sanger sequencing. Results: The FCGR3A genotypes were associated with EULAR response (good or moderate) at month +6 (response in 34/38 (89.5%) VV vs 70/106 (66%) VF and in 51/77 (66.2%) FF patients; p=0.01), but not at month +4 (response in 32/37 (86.5%) VV vs 69/102 (67.6%) VF and 53/73 (72.6%) FF patients; p=0.09). Loss of response was observed only in VF and FF carriers ((VV vs VF vs FF: 0/37 (0%) vs 11/102 (10.8%) vs 12/73 (16.4%); p=0.02)). Probability of response at month +6 was very high when at least two of the three following items selected by multivariate analysis were present: positive rheumatoid factor and/or anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, previous treatment with ≤1 anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agent, and 158VV FCGR3A genotype (p<0.0001; OR 7.9, 95% CI 4.1 to 15.1). Conclusions: The 158VV FCGR3A genotype was associated with response to RTX in a large cohort of RA patients. Patient genotyping may be helpful to plan RTX treatment, and may be integrated with clinical predictors.


Seleznik G.M.,Institute of Neuropathology | Reding T.,University of Zürich | Romrig F.,TU Munich | Saito Y.,University of Zürich | And 26 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Background & Aims: Little is known about the pathogenic mechanisms of autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP), an increasingly recognized, immune-mediated form of chronic pancreatitis. Current treatment options are limited and disease relapse is frequent. We investigated factors that contribute to the development of AIP and new therapeutic strategies. Methods: We used quantitative polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemical, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent analyses to measure the expression of cytokines and chemokines in tissue and serum samples from patients with and without AIP. We created a mouse model of human AIP by overexpressing lymphotoxin (LT)α and β specifically in acinar cells (Ela1-LTab mice). Results: Messenger RNA levels of LTα and β were increased in pancreatic tissues from patients with AIP, compared with controls, and expression of chemokines (CXCL13, CCL19, CCL21, CCL1, and B-cell-activating factor) was increased in pancreatic and serum samples from patients. Up-regulation of these factors was not affected by corticosteroid treatment. Acinar-specific overexpression of LTαβ (Ela1-LTαβ) in mice led to an autoimmune disorder with various features of AIP. Chronic inflammation developed only in the pancreas but was sufficient to cause systemic autoimmunity. Acinar-specific overexpression of LTαβ did not cause autoimmunity in mice without lymphocytes (Ela1-LTab/Rag1-/-); moreover, lack of proinflammatory monocytes (Ela1-LTab/Ccr2-/-) failed to prevent AIP but prevented early pancreatic tissue damage. Administration of corticosteroids reduced pancreatitis but did not affect production of autoantibodies, such as antipancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor in Ela1-LTab mice. In contrast, inhibition of LTβR signaling reduced chemokine expression, renal immune-complex deposition, and features of AIP in Ela1-LTab mice. Conclusions: Overexpression of LTαβ specifically in acinar cells of mice causes features of AIP. Reagents that neutralize LTβR ligands might be used to treat patients with AIP. © 2012 AGA Institute.


Quartuccio L.,Rheumatology Clinic | Maset M.,Rheumatology Clinic | De maglio G.,Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria S. Maria della Misericordia | Pontarini E.,Rheumatology Clinic | And 6 more authors.
Rheumatology (United Kingdom) | Year: 2012

Objective. Glucocorticoid (GC)-related adverse events greatly contribute to the outcome in giant cell arteritis (GCA). CYC was investigated as a steroid-sparing agent in GCA.Methods. Nineteen patients treated with CYC were retrospectively analysed. CYC was administered in 15 of the 19 patients after failure of high doses of GC or relapse during medium to high doses of GC, with or without MTX, while CYC was used ab initio in 4 of the 19 patients, all with type 2 diabetes. Follow-up ranged from 1 month to nearly 9 years after the end of CYC treatment.Results. The efficacy of CYC was observed in 15 of the 19 patients, and remission was still present 6-12 months after CYC suspension in 12 of the 13 patients. GCs were suspended in 6 of the 15 patients, and they were continued at a dose ≤ 5 mg/day of prednisone in all the remaining responders. Relapse occurred in 4 of the 15 patients, usually >12 months after CYC suspension. Suspension of GC daily dose or reduction to ≤ 5 mg/day of prednisone occurred within the first 6 months of follow-up after the beginning of CYC in 10 of the 15 patients. Ten adverse events were registered in nine patients, with recovery usually soon after the suspension of CYC or dose reduction. However, one death occurred due to acute hepatitis. Disappearance of the inflammatory infiltrate could be demonstrated when temporal artery biopsy was repeated 3 months after CYC in one patient.Conclusion. CYC may represent a useful option for patients requiring prolonged medium- to high-dose GC therapy and at high risk of GC-related side effects. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved.


Rolfs F.,ETH Zurich | Huber M.,University of Lausanne | Gruber F.,Medical University of Vienna | Bohm F.,Institute of Clinical Pathology | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

The antioxidant enzyme peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6) is a key regulator of the cellular redox balance, particularly under stress conditions. We identified Prdx6 as an important player in different phases of skin carcinogenesis. Loss of Prdx6 in mice enhanced the susceptibility to skin tumorigenesis, whereas overexpression of Prdx6 in keratinocytes of transgenic mice had the opposite effect. The tumor-preventive effect of Prdx6, which was observed in a human papilloma virus 8-induced and a chemically induced tumor model, was not due to alterations in keratinocyte proliferation, apoptosis, or in the inflammatory response. Rather, endogenous and overexpressed Prdx6 reduced oxidative stress as reflected by the lower levels of oxidized phospholipids in the protumorigenic skin of Prdx6 transgenic mice and the higher levels in Prdx6-knockout mice than in control animals. In contrast to its beneficial effect in tumor prevention, overexpression of Prdx6 led to an acceleration of malignant progression of existing tumors, revealing a dual function of this enzyme in the pathogenesis of skin cancer. Finally, we found strong expression of PRDX6 in keratinocytes of normal human skin and in the tumor cells of squamous cell carcinomas, indicating a role of Prdx6 in human skin carcinogenesis. Taken together, our data point to the potential usefulness of Prdx6 activators or inhibitors for controlling different stages of skin carcinogenesis. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


Pinent M.,University of Graz | Pinent M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Prokesch A.,University of Graz | Hackl H.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 9 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Proteins of the activator protein-1 family are known to have roles in many physiological processes such as proliferation, apoptosis, and inflammation. However, their role in fat metabolism has yet to be defined in more detail. Here we study the impact of JunB deficiency on the metabolic state of mice. JunB knockout (JunB-KO) mice show markedly decreased weight gain, reduced fat mass, and a low survival rate compared with control mice. If fed a high-fat diet, the weight gain of JunB-KO mice is comparable to control mice and the survival rate improves dramatically. Along with normal expression of adipogenic marker genes in white adipose tissue (WAT) of JunB-KO mice, this suggests that adipogenesis per se is not affected by JunB deficiency. This is supported by in vitro data, because neither JunB-silenced 3T3-L1 cells nor mouse embryonic fibroblasts from JunB-KO mice show a change in adipogenic potential. Interestingly, the key enzymes of lipolysis, adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase, were significantly increased in WAT of fasted JunB-KO mice. Concomitantly, the ratio of plasma free fatty acids per gram fat mass was increased, suggesting an elevated lipolytic rate under fasting conditions. Furthermore, up-regulation of TNFα and reduced expression of perilipin indicate that this pathway is also involved in increased lipolytic rate in these mice. Additionally, JunB-KO mice are more insulin sensitive than controls and show up-regulation of lipogenic genes in skeletal muscle, indicating a shuttling of energy substrates from WAT to skeletal muscle. In summary, this study provides valuable insights into the impact of JunB deficiency on the metabolic state of mice. Copyright © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.


Leeb C.,Ludwig Boltzmann Research Institute | Jurga M.,Cell Therapy Research Institute CTI LYON | McGuckin C.,Cell Therapy Research Institute CTI LYON | Moriggl R.,Ludwig Boltzmann Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Stem Cell Reviews and Reports | Year: 2010

Recent findings have placed stem cell research at the forefront of biomedical sciences. Basic research on embryonic stem cells (ESCs) has contributed to our knowledge about the developmental potential and plasticity of stem cells. Furthermore, it has raised hope to use these cells as potential source for regenerative medicine and tissue replacement after injury or disease. Unfortunately, ESCs can also form tumors and they are ethically controversial because they originate from human embryos. This review summarizes findings and therapeutic applications of ESCs and their alternatives: adult stem cells and iPS cells. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009.


Heesen L.,University of Cologne | Heesen L.,University of Bonn | Peitz M.,University of Bonn | Peitz M.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | And 20 more authors.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2016

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating motoneuron (MN) disorder caused by homozygous loss of SMN1. Rarely, SMN1-deleted individuals are fully asymptomatic despite carrying identical SMN2 copies as their SMA III-affected siblings suggesting protection by genetic modifiers other than SMN2. High plastin 3 (PLS3) expression has previously been found in lymphoblastoid cells but not in fibroblasts of asymptomatic compared to symptomatic siblings. To find out whether PLS3 is also upregulated in MNs of asymptomatic individuals and thus a convincing SMA protective modifier, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from fibroblasts of three asymptomatic and three SMA III-affected siblings from two families and compared these to iPSCs from a SMA I patient and control individuals. MNs were differentiated from iPSC-derived small molecule neural precursor cells (smNPCs). All four genotype classes showed similar capacity to differentiate into MNs at day 8. However, SMA I-derived MN survival was significantly decreased while SMA III- and asymptomatic-derived MN survival was moderately reduced compared to controls at day 27. SMN expression levels and concomitant gem numbers broadly matched SMN2 copy number distribution; SMA I presented the lowest levels, whereas SMA III and asymptomatic showed similar levels. In contrast, PLS3 was significantly upregulated in mixed MN cultures from asymptomatic individuals pinpointing a tissue-specific regulation. Evidence for strong PLS3 accumulation in shaft and rim of growth cones in MN cultures from asymptomatic individuals implies an important role in neuromuscular synapse formation and maintenance. These findings provide strong evidence that PLS3 is a genuine SMA protective modifier. © 2015 Springer Basel.


PubMed | Institute of Clinical Pathology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Clinical and experimental rheumatology | Year: 2011

Recent evidence indicates that Chlamydophila psittaci (Cp) may establish chronic infections, which may promote autoimmunity and/or B cell lymphoproliferation.The presence of a subclinical Cp infection was investigated in 293 patients with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis, including 175 patients with rheumatoid factor (RF)-positive and/or anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 118 with seronegative polyarthritis (46 RF-negative/anti-CCP-negative RA, 36 psoriatic arthritis and 36 undifferentiated spondyloarthritis). One hundred and eighty-five healthy controls were also investigated. The presence of Cp infection was assessed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells using several PCR protocols targeting different regions of the Cp genome (16S-23S spacer rRNA, OMP-A, and Gro-EL). The DNA of other Chlamydia species (C. Pneumoniae and C. Trachomatis) was also investigated. Amplicons were sequenced to confirm the specificity of PCR products.The presence of a subclinical chronic Cp infection was observed in a significantly higher percentage of patients with chronic polyarthritis (38/293; 13%) compared to healthy controls (1/185, 0.5%; OR=27.4, 95%CI:3.73-201.6, p<0.0001). Furthermore, the prevalence of Cp was higher in seronegative polyarthritis (23/118; 19.5%) than in seropositive RA patients (15/175; 7.4%; OR=2.58, 95%CI: 1.28-5.19, p=0.0078). The highest prevalence of Cp infection was found in RF/anti-CCP double-negative RA patients (13/46, 28.3%), followed by patients with psoriatic arthritis (6/36; 16.7%). No differences in age, sex, disease duration and undergoing therapies were noticed between Cp-positive and Cp-negative patients; nor between seropositive and seronegative patients.Cp may be an infectious trigger possibly involved in the pathogenesis of a fraction of inflammatory polyarthritis, particularly in seronegative patients.

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