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Gualandi F.,University of Ferrara | Curci R.,CNR Institute of Molecular Genetics | Sabatelli P.,CNR Institute of Molecular Genetics | Martoni E.,University of Ferrara | And 4 more authors.
Muscle and Nerve | Year: 2011

Introduction: Collagen VI expression was tested in peripheral blood macrophages from patients with collagen VI-related myopathies and compared with muscle biopsy. Methods: RNA and protein studies were performed in blood macrophages from 5 patients previously diagnosed with either Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy (UCMD) or Bethlem myopathy (BM). The full spectrum of possible genotypes was considered, including both dominant and recessive UCMD and BM cases. Results: In the dominant BM patient, no collagen VI alterations were detectable in macrophages or muscle biopsy. In the remaining patients, the protein defect caused by the selected mutations, as well as the transcriptional abnormalities, were readily detectable in macrophages, at levels comparable to those observed in muscle biopsy samples and cultured skin fibroblasts. Conclusions: Our data support the suitability of peripheral blood macrophages as a reliable, minimally invasive tool for supplementing or replacing muscle/skin biopsies in the diagnosis and monitoring of collagen VI-related myopathies. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Evangelisti C.,University of Bologna | Ricci F.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Tazzari P.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Chiarini F.,University of Bologna | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2011

Over the past 20 years, survival rates of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients have improved, mainly because of advances in polychemotherapy protocols. Despite these improvements, we still need novel and less toxic treatment strategies targeting aberrantly activated signaling networks which increase proliferation, survival, and drug resistance of T-ALL cells. One such network is represented by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt axis. PI3K inhibitors have displayed some promising effects in preclinical models of T-ALL. Here, we have analyzed the therapeutic potential of the Akt inhibitor, triciribine, in T-ALL cell lines. Triciribine caused cell cycle arrest and caspase-dependent apoptosis. Western blots demonstrated a dose-dependent dephosphorylation of Akt1/Akt2, and of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 downstream targets in response to triciribine. Triciribine induced autophagy, which could be interpreted as a defensive mechanism, because an autophagy inhibitor (chloroquine) increased triciribine-induced apoptosis. Triciribine synergized with vincristine, a chemotherapeutic drug employed for treating T-ALL patients, and targeted the side population of T-ALL cell lines, which might correspond to leukemia initiating cells. Our findings indicate that Akt inhibition, either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs, may serve as an efficient treatment towards T-ALL cells requiring upregulation of this signaling pathway for their proliferation and survival. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Bianchi M.,Laboratorio NanoBiotecnologie NaBi | Russo A.,Laboratorio NanoBiotecnologie NaBi | Russo A.,Laboratorio Of Biomeccanica E Innovazione Tecnologica | Lopomo N.,Laboratorio NanoBiotecnologie NaBi | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry B | Year: 2013

Wear of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been recognized as the main cause for long-term revision in joint arthroplasty. A new approach to overcome this detrimental issue is here presented: zirconia (ZrO2) thin films were directly deposited onto the surface of UHMWPE by Pulsed Plasma Deposition (PPD) technique. The obtained films were structurally, morphologically and mechanically characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and nanoindentation tests, respectively. The critical fracture load was estimated by the analysis of the indenter footprints, while the adhesion degree was evaluated by a cross-cut tape test. Zirconia films exhibited a fully cubic structure, with densely packed grains, whereas mechanical tests showed that hard, tough and well-adherent films were deposited. These preliminary results suggested the feasibility of pursuing this alternative route to improve UHMPWE performances while preserving its well-established mechanical properties. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Roberts M.,Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust | Kishnani P.S.,Duke University | van der Ploeg A.T.,Erasmus Medical Center | Muller-Felber W.,Friedrich Bauer Institute And Dr Von Hauner Childrens Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism | Year: 2011

Pompe disease is a rare, autosomal recessive, progressively debilitating, and often fatal neuromuscular disorder. While scoliosis is common in many other neuromuscular disorders, there is little information on its prevalence and impact in Pompe disease. To further our understanding, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of data from the Pompe Registry, a multinational, long-term observational program that contains the largest collection of data in the world of patients with Pompe disease. In this analysis, patients were categorized by age during the natural history period (defined as the time when patients never received enzyme replacement therapy) and by age at onset of symptoms as infants (≤ 0 to < 2. years of age); children (≥ 2 to < 13. years of age); juveniles (≥ 13 to < 20. years of age); and adults (≥ 20. years of age). Scoliosis was defined by clinical assessment, X-ray of the spine, or both. Data on scoliosis were available in the majority of patients enrolled in the registry as of September 2010 (711/873, 81.4%). Scoliosis was present in a third of all patients with scoliosis data (235/711, 33%) in the Pompe Disease Registry. Scoliosis was found more frequently in patients with onset of Pompe symptoms as children (57.0%) and juveniles (52.9%) than in patients with onset of symptoms as adults (24.8%). Only 18.4% (38/206) of patients with onset of symptoms as infants were reported as having scoliosis. Scoliosis was reported in the majority (62.5%) of wheelchair users for all age groups. A larger percentage of patients with scoliosis required respiratory support than patients without scoliosis (44% vs 27.2%, respectively), and pulmonary function in those with scoliosis was consistently reduced in the 3 older age groups compared to those without scoliosis, with the largest differences demonstrated in juveniles. Patients with scoliosis had been diagnosed with Pompe disease for a mean of 1.2 (± 14.34) years before the first reporting of scoliosis. As with other registry analyses, data were collected from multiple sites in different countries and assessments of scoliosis therefore may not be based on consistent criteria. However, the observed occurrence of scoliosis across all age groups of patients with Pompe disease and its association with increased clinical morbidity, underscores the need for clinical assessment of scoliosis in all patients with Pompe disease. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Russo A.,Laboratorio Of Nanobiotechnologie Nabi | Russo A.,Laboratorio Of Biomeccanica Ed Innovazione Tecnologica | Bianchi M.,Laboratorio Of Nanobiotechnologie Nabi | Sartori M.,Laboratorio Of Biocompatibilita Innovazioni Tecnologiche E Terapie Avanzate Bitta | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine | Year: 2016

The fascinating prospect to direct tissue regeneration by magnetic activation has been recently explored. In this study we investigate the possibility to boost bone regeneration in an experimental defect in rabbit femoral condyle by combining static magnetic fields and magnetic biomaterials. NdFeB permanent magnets are implanted close to biomimetic collagen/hydroxyapatite resorbable scaffolds magnetized according to two different protocols. Permanent magnet only or non-magnetic scaffolds are used as controls. Bone tissue regeneration is evaluated at 12 weeks from surgery from a histological, histomorphometric and biomechanical point of view. The reorganization of the magnetized collagen fibers under the effect of the static magnetic field generated by the permanent magnet produces a highly-peculiar bone pattern, with highly-interconnected trabeculae orthogonally oriented with respect to the magnetic field lines. In contrast, only partial defect healing is achieved within the control groups. We ascribe the peculiar bone regeneration to the transfer of micro-environmental information, mediated by collagen fibrils magnetized by magnetic nanoparticles, under the effect of the static magnetic field. These results open new perspectives on the possibility to improve implant fixation and control the morphology and maturity of regenerated bone providing “in site” forces by synergically combining static magnetic fields and biomaterials. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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