CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology

Genova, Italy

CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology

Genova, Italy
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Abutalebi J.,University of Hong Kong | Abutalebi J.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Canini M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Canini M.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neurolinguistics | Year: 2015

It is a timely issue to understand the impact of bilingualism upon brain structure in healthy aging and upon cognitive decline given evidence of its neuroprotective effects. Plastic changes induced by bilingualism were reported in young adults in the left inferior parietal lobule (LIPL) and its right counterpart (RIPL) (Mechelli etal., 2004). Moreover, both age of second language (L2) acquisition and L2 proficiency correlated with increased grey matter (GM) in the LIPL/RIPL. However it is unknown whether such findings replicate in older bilinguals. We examined this question in an aging bilingual population from Hong Kong. Results from our Voxel Based Morphometry study show that elderly bilinguals relative to a matched monolingual control group also have increased GM volumes in the inferior parietal lobules underlining the neuroprotective effect of bilingualism. However, unlike younger adults, age of L2 acquisition did not predict GM volumes. Instead, LIPL and RIPL appear differentially sensitive to the effects of L2 proficiency and L2 exposure with LIPL more sensitive to the former and RIPL more sensitive to the latter. Our data also intimate that such differences may be more prominent for speakers of languages that are linguistically closer such as in Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals as compared to Cantonese-English bilinguals. © 2014 The Authors.


Branzi F.M.,University Pompeu Fabra | Della Rosa P.A.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Canini M.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Canini M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | And 2 more authors.
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2016

Language control refers to the cognitive mechanism that allows bilinguals to correctly speak in one language avoiding interference from the nontarget language. Bilinguals achieve this feat by engaging brain areas closely related to cognitive control. However, 2 questions still await resolution: whether this network is differently engaged when controlling nonlinguistic representations, and whether this network is differently engaged when control is exerted upon a restricted set of lexical representations that were previously used (i.e., local control) as opposed to control of the entire language system (i.e., global control). In the present event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated these 2 questions by employing linguistic and nonlinguistic blocked switching tasks in the same bilingual participants. We first report that the left prefrontal cortex is driven similarly for control of linguistic and nonlinguistic representations, suggesting its domain-general role in the implementation of response selection. Second, we propose that language control in bilinguals is hierarchically organized with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/presupplementary motor area acting as the supervisory attentional system, recruited for increased monitoring demands suchas local control inthe second language.Onthe other hand, prefrontal, inferior parietal areas and the caudate would act as the response selection system, tailored for language selection for both local and global control. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.


Salvatore C.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Cerasa A.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Battista P.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Gilardi M.C.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Determination of sensitive and specific markers of very early AD progression is intended to aid researchers and clinicians to develop new treatments and monitor their effectiveness, as well as to lessen the time and cost of clinical trials. Magnetic Resonance (MR)-related biomarkers have been recently identified by the use of machine learning methods for the in vivo differential diagnosis of AD. However, the vast majority of neuroimaging papers investigating this topic are focused on the difference between AD and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), not considering the impact of MCI patients who will (MCIc) or not convert (MCInc) to AD. Morphological T1-weighted MRIs of 137 AD, 76 MCIc, 134 MCInc, and 162 healthy controls (CN) selected from the Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative (ADNI) cohort, were used by an optimized machine learning algorithm. Voxels influencing the classification between these AD-related pre-clinical phases involved hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, basal ganglia, gyrus rectus, precuneus, and cerebellum, all critical regions known to be strongly involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of AD. Classification accuracy was 76% AD vs. CN, 72% MCIc vs. CN, 66% MCIc vs. MCInc (nested 20-fold cross validation). Our data encourage the application of computer-based diagnosis in clinical practice of AD opening new prospective in the early management of AD patients. © 2015 Salvatore, Cerasa, Battista, Gilardi, Quattrone and Castiglioni.


Rimoldi O.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Maranta F.,Ospedale San Raffaele IRCCS
Journal of Nuclear Cardiology | Year: 2017

Infiltrative heart diseases are characterized by myocardial tissue alterations leading to mechanical dysfunction which in turn develops into bi-ventricular congestive heart failure. Also the coronary microvasculature undergoes significant remodeling and dysfunction. The effects of the unbalance of the mechanical cross-talk between cardiac muscle and vessels and of the impairment of vasodilatory function can be measured non-invasively by means of positron emission tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance. © 2017 American Society of Nuclear Cardiology


Scalco E.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Fiorino C.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Cattaneo G.M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Sanguineti G.,Johns Hopkins University | Rizzo G.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology
Radiotherapy and Oncology | Year: 2013

Background and purpose During radiotherapy (RT) for head-and-neck cancer, parotid glands undergo significant anatomic, functional and structural changes which could characterize pre-clinical signs of an increased risk of xerostomia. Texture analysis is proposed to assess structural changes of parotids induced by RT, and to investigate whether early variations of textural parameters (such as mean intensity and fractal dimension) can predict parotid shrinkage at the end of treatment. Material and methods Textural parameters and volumes of 42 parotids from 21 patients treated with intensity-modulated RT for nasopharyngeal cancer were extracted from CT images. To individuate which parameters changed during RT, a Wilcoxon signed-rank test between textural indices (first and second RT week; first and last RT week) was performed. Discriminant analysis was applied to variations of these parameters in the first two weeks of RT to assess their power in predicting parotid shrinkage at the end of RT. Results A significant decrease in mean intensity (1.7 HU and 3.8 HU after the second and last weeks, respectively) and fractal dimension (0.016 and 0.021) was found. Discriminant analysis, based on volume and fractal dimension, was able to predict the final parotid shrinkage (accuracy of 71.4%). Conclusion Textural features could be used in combination with volume to characterize structural modifications on parotid glands and to predict parotid shrinkage at the end of RT. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Camici P.G.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | D'Amati G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Rimoldi O.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology
Nature Reviews Cardiology | Year: 2015

Obstructive disease of the epicardial coronary arteries was recognized as the cause of angina pectoris >2 centuries ago, and sudden thrombotic occlusion of an epicardial coronary artery has been established as the cause of acute myocardial infarction for >100 years. In the past 2 decades, dysfunction of the coronary microvasculature emerged as an additional mechanism of myocardial ischaemia that bears important prognostic implications. The coronary microvasculature (vessels <300 μm in diameter) cannot be directly imaged in vivo, but a number of invasive and noninvasive techniques, each with relative advantages and pitfalls, can be used to assess parameters that depend directly on coronary microvascular function. These methods include invasive or noninvasive measurement of Doppler-derived coronary blood flow velocity reserve, assessment of myocardial blood flow and flow reserve using noninvasive imaging, and calculation of microcirculatory resistance indexes during coronary catheterization. These advanced techniques for assessment of the coronary microvasculature have provided novel insights into the pathophysiological role of coronary microvascular dysfunction in the development of myocardial ischaemia in different clinical conditions. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Cerretelli P.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Gelfi C.,University of Milan
European Journal of Applied Physiology | Year: 2011

An holistic approach for interpreting classical data on the adaptation of the animal and, particularly, of the human body to hypoxic stress was promoted by the discovery of HIF-1, the "master regulator" of cell hypoxic signaling. Mitochondrial production of ROS stabilizes the O2- regulated HIF-1α subunit of the HIF-1 dimer promoting transaction functions in a large number of potential target genes, activating transcription of sequences into RNA and, eventually, protein production. The aim of the present preliminary study is to assess whether adaptive changes in oxygen sensing and metabolic signaling, particularly in the control of energy turnover known to occur in cultured cells exposed to hypoxia, are detectable also in the muscles of animals and man. For the present analysis, data obtained from the proteome of the rat gastrocnemius and of the vastus lateralis muscle of humans together with functional measurements were compared with homologous data from hypoxic cultured cells. In particular, the following variables were assessed: (1) the role of stress response proteins in the maintenance of ROS homeostasis, (2) the activity of the PDK1 gene on the shunting of pyruvate away from the TCA cycle in rodents and in humans, (3) the COX-4/COX-2 ratio in hypoxic rodents, (4) the overall efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation in humans during exercise in hypoxia, (5) some features of muscle mitochondrial autophagy in humans undergoing subchronic and chronic altitude exposure. Despite the limited number of observations and the differences in the experimental approach, some initial interesting results were obtained encouraging to pursue this innovative effort. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Alberghina L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gaglio D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gaglio D.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2014

Glutamine utilization promotes enhanced growth of cancer cells. We propose a new concept map of cancer metabolism in which mitochondrial NADH and NADPH, in the presence of a dysfunctional electron transfer chain, promote reductive carboxylation from glutamine. We also discuss why nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (NNT) is required in vivo for glutamine utilization by reductive carboxylation. Moreover, NADPH, generated by both the pentose phosphate pathway and the cancer-specific serine glycolytic diversion, appears to sustain glutamine utilization for amino-acid synthesis, lipid synthesis, and for ROS quenching. The fact that the supply of NAD+ precursors reduces tumor aggressiveness suggests experimental approaches to clarify the role of the NADH-driven redox network in cancer. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Salvatore C.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Battista P.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Castiglioni I.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology
Current Alzheimer Research | Year: 2016

The emergence of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) as a consequence of increasing aging population makes urgent the availability of methods for the early and accurate diagnosis. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be used as in vivo, non invasive tool to identify sensitive and specific markers of very early AD progression. In recent years, multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) and machine- learning algorithms have attracted strong interest within the neuroimaging community, as they allow automatic classification of imaging data with higher performance than univariate statistical analysis. An exhaustive search of PubMed, Web of Science and Medline records was performed in this work, in order to retrieve studies focused on the potential role of MRI in aiding the clinician in early diagnosis of AD by using Support Vector Machines (SVMs) as MVPA automated classification method. A total of 30 studies emerged, published from 2008 to date. This review aims to give a state-of-the-art overview about SVM for the early and differential diagnosis of AD-related pathologies by means of MRI data, starting from preliminary steps such as image pre-processing, feature extraction and feature selection, and ending with classification, validation strategies and extraction of MRI-related biomarkers. The main advantages and drawbacks of the different techniques were explored. Results obtained by the reviewed studies were reported in terms of classification performance and biomarker outcomes, in order to shed light on the parameters that accompany normal and pathological aging. Unresolved issues and possible future directions were finally pointed out. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers. All rights reserved.


Bertoli G.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Cava C.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | Castiglioni I.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology
Theranostics | Year: 2015

Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is involved in the initiation and progression of several human cancers, including breast cancer (BC), as strong evidence has been found that miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. This review presents the state of the art on the role of miRNAs in the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of BC. Based on the results obtained in the last decade, some miRNAs are emerging as biomarkers of BC for diagnosis (i.e., miR-9, miR-10b, and miR-17-5p), prognosis (i.e., miR-148a and miR-335), and prediction of therapeutic outcomes (i.e., miR-30c, miR-187, and miR-339-5p) and have important roles in the control of BC hallmark functions such as invasion, metastasis, proliferation, resting death, apoptosis, and genomic instability. Other miRNAs are of interest as new, easily accessible, affordable, non-invasive tools for the personalized management of patients with BC because they are circulating in body fluids (e.g., miR-155 and miR-210). In particular, circulating multiple miRNA profiles are showing better diagnostic and prognostic performance as well as better sensitivity than individual miRNAs in BC. New miRNA-based drugs are also promising therapy for BC (e.g., miR-9, miR-21, miR34a, miR145, and miR150), and other miRNAs are showing a fundamental role in modulation of the response to other non-miRNA treatments, being able to increase their efficacy (e.g., miR-21, miR34a, miR195, miR200c, and miR203 in combination with chemotherapy). © 2015 Ivyspring International Publisher.

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