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Michetti F.,University Cattolica Sacro Cuore | Corvino V.,University Cattolica Sacro Cuore | Geloso M.C.,University Cattolica Sacro Cuore | Lattanzi W.,University Cattolica Sacro Cuore | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2012

S100B is a calcium-binding protein concentrated in glial cells, although it has also been detected in definite extra-neural cell types. Its biological role is still debated. When secreted, S100B is believed to have paracrine/autocrine trophic effects at physiological concentrations, but toxic effects at higher concentrations. Elevated S100B levels in biological fluids (CSF, blood, urine, saliva, amniotic fluid) are thus regarded as a biomarker of pathological conditions, including perinatal brain distress, acute brain injury, brain tumors, neuroinflammatory/neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric disorders. In the majority of these conditions, high S100B levels offer an indicator of cell damage when standard diagnostic procedures are still silent. The key question remains as to whether S100B is merely leaked from injured cells or is released in concomitance with both physiological and pathological conditions, participating at high concentrations in the events leading to cell injury. In this respect, S100B levels in biological fluids have been shown to increase in physiological conditions characterized by stressful physical and mental activity, suggesting that it may be physiologically regulated and raised during conditions of stress, with a putatively active role. This possibility makes this protein a candidate not only for a biomarker but also for a potential therapeutic target. © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

Gatti A.M.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Bosco P.,Institute For Research On Mental Retardation And Brain Aging Irccs Oasi Of Troina | Rivasi F.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Bianca S.,Fetal and Neonatal Health G. Garibaldi Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Bioscience - Elite | Year: 2011

The proliferation of the nanotechnologies with the production of engineered nanoparticles presents a dilemma to regulators regarding hazard identification mostly for human health. We investigated the presence of inorganic micro and nanosized contamination in fetal liver and kidney tissues by Field Emission Gun-Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (FEGESEM) innovative observations. An observational study in 16 fetuses, complicated (n=8) or not (n=8) by neural tube defects, whose mothers obtained the authorization for abortion between 21-23 weeks of gestation was carried out. Heavy metals concentrations in maternal blood were undetectable. FEGESEM assessment showed particles of iron, silicon, aluminum and magnesium in different tissues analyzed. The mean size and the number of the foreign bodies detected in kidney and liver tissues were higher in NTD fetuses as well as the number of total particles (P<0.05, for all). The present study shows first the presence of xenobiotic, nanoscaled contamination, not detectable in maternal blood in fetuses. Data are suggestive and open-up a new clue for further investigations to elucidate the relationship between pollution at nanoscale stage and multiorgan damage.

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