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Panfoli I.,University of Genoa | Cassanello M.,Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | Bruschettini M.,Lund University | Colella M.,Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | And 5 more authors.
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2016

Our preliminary data show high levels of adenosine in the blood of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, positively correlating to their prematurity (i.e. body weight class). This prompted us to look for a mechanism promoting such impressive adenosine increase. We hypothesized a correlation with oxygen challenge. In fact, it is recognized that either oxygen lack or its excess contribute to the pathogenesis of the injuries of prematurity, such as retinopathy (ROP) and periventricular white matter lesions (PWMI). The optimal concentration of oxygen for resuscitation of VLBW infants is currently under revision. We propose that the elevated adenosine blood concentrations of VLBW infants recognizes two sources. The first could be its activity-dependent release from unmyelinated brain axons. Adenosine in this respect would be an end-product of the hypometabolic VLBW newborn unmyelinated axon intensely firing in response to the environmental stimuli consequent to premature birth. Adenosine would be eventually found in the blood due to blood-brain barrier immaturity. In fact, adenosine is the primary activity-dependent signal promoting differentiation of premyelinating oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC) into myelinating cells in the Central Nervous System, while inhibiting their proliferation and inhibiting synaptic function. The second, would be the ecto-cellular ATP synthesized by the endothelial cell plasmalemma exposed to ambient oxygen concentrations due to premature breathing, especially in lung. ATP would be rapidly transformed into adenosine by the ectonucleotidase activities such as NTPDase I (CD39), and NT5E (CD73). An ectopic extra-mitochondrial aerobic ATP synthetic ability was reported in many cell plasma-membranes, among which endothelial cells. The potential implications of the cited hypotheses for the neonatology area would be great. The amount of oxygen administration for reviving of newborns would find a molecular basis for its assessment. VLBW infants may be regarded as those in which premature exposure to ambient oxygen concentrations and oxidative stress causes a premature functioning of the extra-mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation primarily in axons and endothelium. Adenosine may become a biomarker of prematurity risk, whose implications further studies may assess. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Podesta M.,Laboratorio Cellule Staminali Post Natali e Terapie Cellulari | Bruschettini M.,Lund University | Cossu C.,Laboratorio Cellule Staminali Post Natali e Terapie Cellulari | Sabatini F.,Laboratorio Cellule Staminali Post Natali e Terapie Cellulari | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Cord blood contains high number of hematopoietic cells that after birth disappear. In this paper we have studied the functional properties of the umbilical cord blood progenitor cells collected from term and preterm neonates to establish whether quantitative and/or qualitative differences exist between the two groups. Methods and Results: Our results indicate that the percentage of total CD34+ cells was significantly higher in preterm infants compared to full term: 0.61% (range 0.15-4.8) vs 0.3% (0.032-2.23) p = 0.0001 and in neonates <32 weeks of gestational age (GA) compared to those >32 wks GA: 0.95% (range 0.18-4.8) and 0.36% (0.15-3.2) respectively p = 0.0025. The majority of CD34+ cells co-expressed CD71 antigen (p<0.05 preterm vs term) and grew in vitro large BFU-E, mostly in the second generation. The subpopulations CD34+CD38- and CD34 +CD45-resulted more represented in preterm samples compared to term, conversely, Side Population (SP) did not show any difference between the two group. The absolute number of preterm colonies (CFCs/10microL) resulted higher compared to term (p = 0.004) and these progenitors were able to grow until the third generation maintaining an higher proportion of CD34+ cells (p = 0.0017). The number of colony also inversely correlated with the gestational age (Pearson r = -0.3001 p<0.0168). Conclusions: We found no differences in the isolation and expansion capacity of Endothelial Colony Forming Cells (ECFCs) from cord blood of term and preterm neonates: both groups grew in vitro large number of endothelial cells until the third generation and showed a transitional phenotype between mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial progenitors (CD73, CD31, CD34 and CD144) The presence, in the cord blood of preterm babies, of high number of immature hematopoietic progenitors and endothelial/mesenchymal stem cells with high proliferative potential makes this tissue an important source of cells for developing new cells therapies.

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