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Paglia G.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Lovino A.R.,University of Foggia | Astarita G.,Waters Corporation | Astarita G.,Georgetown University | Corso G.,University of Foggia
Exposure and Health | Year: 2016

Human exposure to elements is a process difficult to control and monitor. Studies on this topic usually rely on single spot urine sample to assess exposure, with the risk of ignoring variability over a longer period. In this work, we measured the urinary excretion of toxic and essential elements during 1 year with the overall goal of exploring the variability caused by seasonality on their concentration. Seven participants were recruited, and first morning urines were collected three times for each season, during November, January, April and July. Participants followed the same balanced diet during the week of collection. We then monitored nineteen essential and toxic elements in urines by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Unsupervised multivariate statistical analysis separated samples collected during summer from the ones collected during other seasons. Twelve elements had a significant seasonal variation (ANOVA test, p < 0.05) and their levels resulted increased during summer. These elements were both contaminants, such as Ni, Hg, Cd and Tl, and essential elements such as Se and Cu. However, none of these elements was detected at toxic concentration. In this study, we point out for the first time the variability of urine element concentration due to seasonality and we propose that the season of collection should be considered when providing urinary reference values of elements. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Source


Paglia G.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Paglia G.,University of Iceland | Stocchero M.,Ferrari | Cacciatore S.,Imperial College London | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Proteome Research | Year: 2016

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of adult dementia. Yet the complete set of molecular changes accompanying this inexorable, neurodegenerative disease remains elusive. Here we adopted an unbiased lipidomics and metabolomics approach to surveying frozen frontal cortex samples from clinically characterized AD patients (n = 21) and age-matched controls (n = 19), revealing marked molecular differences between them. Then, by means of metabolomic pathway analysis, we incorporated the novel molecular information into the known biochemical pathways and compared it with the results of a metabolomics meta-analysis of previously published AD research. We found six metabolic pathways of the central metabolism as well as glycerophospholipid metabolism predominantly altered in AD brains. Using targeted metabolomics approaches and MS imaging, we confirmed a marked dysregulation of mitochondrial aspartate metabolism. The altered metabolic pathways were further integrated with clinical data, showing various degrees of correlation with parameters of dementia and AD pathology. Our study highlights specific, altered biochemical pathways in the brains of individuals with AD compared with those of control subjects, emphasizing dysregulation of mitochondrial aspartate metabolism and supporting future venues of investigation. © 2015 American Chemical Society. Source


Kirsch A.H.,Medical University of Graz | Kirsch A.,Medical University of Graz | Artinger K.,Medical University of Graz | Schabhutl C.,Medical University of Graz | And 12 more authors.
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation | Year: 2015

Background. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is strongly associated with arterial calcification of the tunica media, decreased vascular compliance and sudden cardiac death. Here, we analysed the distribution pattern of uraemic media calcification and concomitant inflammation in mice and men. Methods. Uraemia was induced in DBA/2 mice with highphosphate diet. Subsequently, we analysed arterial medial calcification using histology, mass spectrometry, and wire myography. Gene expression was quantified using a whole transcriptome array and quantitative PCR. In a cohort of 36 consecutive patients with CKD stage 4-5, we measured the calcium score of the coronary arteries, the ascending thoracic aorta and the infrarenal abdominal aorta using computed tomography scans. Results. Uraemic DBA/2 mice showed only minor calcifications in thoracic aortas, whereas there was overt media calcification in abdominal aortas. The transcriptional profile and immunohistochemistry revealed induction of Vcam1 expression by vascular smooth muscle cells in uraemic abdominal aortas. Macrophages infiltrated the tunica media of the abdominal aorta. Anti-inflammatory treatment did not improve uraemic media calcification in our animal model. Arterial calcifications in ESRD patients showed a similar distribution pattern in computed tomography scans, with higher calcium scores of the abdominal aorta when compared with the thoracic aorta. Conclusion. Taken together, there was a similar heterogeneous pattern of calcification in both mice and humans, where the abdominal aorta was more prone to media calcification when compared with the thoracic aorta. In uraemia, smooth muscle cells of the abdominal aorta showed a phenotypic switch to an inflammatory and osteoblastic phenotype. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. Source


Luth C.,University of Innsbruck | Tasser E.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Niedrist G.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Via J.D.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Tappeiner U.,University of Innsbruck
Flora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants | Year: 2011

Apart from forests, the landscape of the Alps is dominated by grasslands, where they account for up to 40% of the agricultural area. This study focuses on the main man-made grassland plant communities of the Eastern Alps, shows their current spatial distribution and examines how strongly the influence of land use and site factors determines the communities. Discriminant analysis was used to harmonize the phytosociological classification of 1502 vegetation relevés from the literature and 375 own recorded inventories from Western Austria and Northern Italy. Land-use intensity, altitude, slope and pH were also recorded, in order to assess the impact of the factors to plant communities, as calculated in nonmetric multidimensional scaling. We identified 39 plant communities and generated a table with the main ecological and floristic parameters as well as a map showing their present spatial distribution. Contrary to the literature, the pasture communities Crepido-Festucetum commutatae, Deschampsio cespitosae-Poetum alpinae and Rumicetum alpini occur also in fertilized meadows. On the other hand we found meadow communities occurring in pastures, such as the Angelico-Cirsietum oleracei, the Pastinaco-Arrhenatheretum, the Ranunculo repentis-Alopecuretum pratensis and the Trisetetum flavescentis. The most species-rich communities - the Caricetum ferruginei and the Seslerio-Caricetum sempervirentis - occur in unfertilized meadows above calcareous bedrock. Further species-rich communities - the Campanulo scheuchzeri-Festucetum noricae, the Gentianello anisodontae-Festucetum variae, the Pulsatillo alpinae-Festucetum noricae, the Trifolio thallii-Festucetum nigricantis and the Hypochoerido uniflorae-Festucetum paniculatae - are endangered: they are regionally restricted and depend on the absence of fertilizer and on mowing once annually or every second or third year. Therefore agri-environmental measures should focus on unfertilized mountain meadows, in order to conserve these rare grassland communities. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. Source


Luth C.,University of Innsbruck | Tasser E.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Niedrist G.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Dalla Via J.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | And 2 more authors.
Plant Ecology | Year: 2011

The Sieversio montanae-Nardetum strictae is one of the most widespread plant communities in (sub-) alpine regions of the Alps. Our study examines the composition, ecology and distribution of this plant community in the Eastern Alps and addresses the issue of how the community is to be classified in the phytosociological system of Nardus-rich grasslands. Therefore, 357 vegetation relevés were taken from the literature and 115 from our own inventories were recorded from 2005 to 2007 in Western Austria (mostly Tyrol) and Northern Italy (mostly South Tyrol). Additionally, indicator values of Ellenberg and land-use information were used to help better interpret the ecological site conditions of the subgroups. The HCA revealed there the existence of four groups of the Sieversio montanae-Nardetum strictae, which were classified to subassociations: (1) typicum, (2) vaccinietosum, (3) trifolietosum pratensis, and (4) seslerietosum albicantis. Besides the specific plant composition, altitude specifies the first, land-use intensity the second and third, and the pH of the topsoil the fourth subassociation. For the Eastern Alps, the plant community of the Sieversio montanae-Nardetum strictae should now be reclassified in the order of Nardetalia and the class of Calluno-Ulicetea. Finally, this plant community can be further classified by using the four above-mentioned subassociations. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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