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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

Grande R.,Microbiology Laboratory | Petrini G.,Immunohaematology and Transfusion Center | Silvani I.,Microbiology Laboratory | Simoneschi B.,Microbiology Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Blood Transfusion | Year: 2011

Background. Current European regulations require a deferral period of 6 months or 3 years, depending on the risk of exposure, for prospective blood donors at risk of malaria. This period may be reduced to 4 months if an immunological or molecular genomic test is negative at each donation, but Italian regulations have not adopted this provision. As cases of transfusion-transmitted malaria have been recorded in medical literature in blood donors deferred for 3 years and not tested, the Immunohaematology and Transfusion Centre of the Ca' Grande Polyclinic Hospital in Milan decided to introduce immunological testing for all donors at risk of malaria. Materials and methods. Four hundred and twelve blood donors at risk of malaria, who had lived in a malarial area during the first 5 years of life or for more than 6 consecutive months, were tested for malarial antibodies using an enzyme immunoassay kit. The kit (Malaria EIA, Newmarket, UK) uses four recombinant antigens specific for P. falciparum and P. vivax and with cross-reactivity for P. ovale and P. malariae. The kit detects total immunoglobulin antibodies against P. falciparum and P. vivax and shows 80% cross-reactivity with P. ovale and 67% with P. malariae. Antibody-positive samples were further checked by an immunochromatographic test for P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae antigens and by haemoscopy (thin film and thick smear). Results. Italian citizens accounted for 16.8% (69/412) of the whole group of donors examined. We found that 8.7% of the donors who were classified as being at risk of malaria were positive for total immunoglobulin antibodies. Only one Italian citizen resulted positive for the test. The positive candidates were deferred from blood donation. None of the antibody-positive donors was confirmed positive by the immunochromatographic test and by haemoscopy. Conclusion. The introduction of a malarial screening test in the assessment of blood donor eligibility may increase the safety of blood donations, but could further reduce blood availability. If immunological testing were to be accepted nationally as a valid method of assessing the risk of malaria, more than 90% of the donors who are currently deferred for 3 years could be accepted 4 months after their last visit to an endemic area, thus increasing the availability of blood. © SIMTI Servizi Srl.

Lonati D.,University of Pavia | Zancan A.,IRCCS Maugeri Foundation Clinical Institute | Pasi A.,Immunohaematology and Transfusion Center | Schreiber A.,IRCCS Maugeri Foundation Clinical Institute | And 6 more authors.
Dermatology | Year: 2014

Background: Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) may develop in susceptible patients after administration of different drugs. Only mild cutaneous reactions have been related to lomefloxacin. A correlation between human leucocyte antigen (HLA) and cutaneous adverse reaction has been identified. Case Report: Twenty-four hours after intake of lomefloxacin, a 30-year-old Caucasian woman developed a severe skin reaction with symptoms suggesting SJS/TEN. The fast onset reaction worsened with skin blisters and 20% body surface area skin detachment within 48 h. Burn unit admittance was required; corticosteroids and human immunoglobulins were administered. Complete recovery occurred within 3 months, except for epidermal discoloration. Molecular studies showed a peculiar profile characterized by HLA class I genotype rich of ligands for natural killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and HLA class II haplotype, HLA-DRB1∗03:01,DQB1∗02:01, prone to autoimmunity. Conclusion: While the HLA profile approaches our case to other well-documented drug-induced SJS/TEN, KIR involvement still remains puzzling. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Chiarini F.,University of Bologna | Grimaldi C.,University of Bologna | Ricci F.,Immunohaematology and Transfusion Center | Tazzari P.L.,Immunohaematology and Transfusion Center | And 11 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2010

Recent findings have highlighted that constitutively active phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling is a common feature of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), where it upregulates cell proliferation, survival, and drug resistance. These observations lend compelling weight to the application of PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors in the therapy of T-ALL. Here, we have analyzed the therapeutic potential of the novel dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235, an orally bioavailable imidazoquinoline derivative, which has entered clinical trials for solid tumors, on both T-ALL cell lines and patient samples. NVP-BEZ235 was cytotoxic to a panel of T-ALL cell lines as determined by MTT assays. NVP-BEZ235 treatment resulted in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Western blots showed a dose- and time-dependent dephosphorylation of Akt and mTORC1 downstream targets in response to NVP-BEZ235. Remarkably, NVP-BEZ235 targeted the side population of both T-ALL cell lines and patient lymphoblasts, which might correspond to leukemia-initiating cells, and synergized with chemotherapeutic agents (cyclophosphamide, cytarabine, dexamethasone) currently used for treating T-ALL patients. NVP-BEZ235 reduced chemoresistance to vincristine induced in Jurkat cells by coculturing with MS-5 stromal cells, which mimic the bone marrow microenvironment. NVP-BEZ235 was cytotoxic to T-ALL patient lymphoblasts displaying pathway activation, where the drug dephosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1, at variance with rapamycin. Taken together, our findings indicate that longitudinal inhibition at two nodes of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR network with NVP-BEZ235, either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs, may be an efficient treatment of those T-ALLs that have aberrant upregulation of this signaling pathway for their proliferation and survival. ©2010 AACR.

Bressanin D.,University of Bologna | Evangelisti C.,National Research Council Italy | Ricci F.,Immunohaematology and Transfusion Center | Tabellini G.,University of Brescia | And 9 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2012

T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive malignant hematological disorder arising in the thymus from T-cell progenitors. T-ALL mainly affects children and young adults, and remains fatal in 20% of adolescents and 50% of adults, despite progress in polychemotherapy protocols. Therefore, innovative targeted therapies are desperately needed for patients with a dismal prognosis. Aberrant activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling is a common event in T-ALL patients and portends a poor prognosis. Preclinical studies have highlighted that modulators of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling could have a therapeutic relevance in T-ALL. However, the best strategy for inhibiting this highly complex signal transduction pathway is still unclear, as the pharmaceutical companies have disclosed an impressive array of small molecules targeting this signaling network at different levels. Here, we demonstrate that a dual PI3K/PDK1 inhibitor, NVP-BAG956, displayed the most powerful cytotoxic effects against T-ALL cell lines and primary patients samples, when compared with a pan class I PI3K inhibitor (GDC-0941), an allosteric Akt inhibitor (MK-2206), an mTORC1 allosteric inhibitor (RAD-001), or an ATP-competitive mTORC1/mTORC2 inhibitor (KU-63794). Moreover, we also document that combinations of some of the aforementioned drugs strongly synergized against T-ALL cells at concentrations well below their respective IC50. This observation indicates that vertical inhibition at different levels of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR network could be considered as a future innovative strategy for treating T-ALL patients. © Bressanin et al.

Simioni C.,University of Ferrara | Neri L.M.,University of Ferrara | Tabellini G.,University of Brescia | Ricci F.,Immunohaematology and Transfusion Center | And 12 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2012

T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive neoplastic disorDer arising from T-cell progenitors. T-ALL accounts for 15% of newly diagnosed ALL cases in children and 25% in adults. Although the prognosis of T-ALL has improved, due to the use of polychemotherapy schemes, the outcome of relapsed/chemoresistant T-ALL cases is still poor. A signaling pathway that is frequently upregulated in T-ALL, is the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mTOR network. To explore whether Akt could represent a target for therapeutic intervention in T-ALL, we evaluated the effects of the novel allosteric Akt inhibitor, MK-2206, on a panel of human T-ALL cell lines and primary cells from T-ALL patients. MK-2206 decreased T-ALL cell line viability by blocking leukemic cells in the G 0 /G 1 phase of the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. MK-2206 also induced autophagy, as demonstrated by an increase in the 14-kDa form of LC3A/B. Western blotting analysis documented a concentration-dependent dephosphorylation of Akt and its downstream targets, GSK-3α/β and FOXO3A, in response to MK-2206. MK-2206 was cytotoxic to primary T-ALL cells and induced apoptosis in a T-ALL patient cell subset (CD34 /CD4 /CD7 ), which is enriched in leukemia-initiating cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that Akt inhibition may represent a potential therapeutic strategy in T-ALL. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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