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Busnelli M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Busnelli M.,University of Milan | Rimoldi V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Rimoldi V.,University of Milan | And 5 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2010

Objective: To assess the expression of the oxytocin receptor (OTR) and the role of oxytocin (OT) in the proliferation of myometrial and leiomyoma cells. Design: Prospective laboratory study. Setting: Research laboratory at the Italian National Research Council. Patient(s): Twenty-two women who underwent therapeutic myomectomy for fibroids. Intervention(s): Primary cultures of leiomyoma and myometrium cells were established from eutopic and ectopic myometrial tissues. An immortalized myometrial cell line (h-TERTmyo) and a leiomyosarcoma cell line (SK-UT-1) were also characterized. Main Outcome Measure(s): Expression of OTR and desmin mRNA was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Cell growth was determined by 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H tetrazolium assay. Apoptosis was determined by annexin V cell staining and flow cytometry analysis. Result(s): Oxytocin stimulated proliferation of primary myometrial and leiomyoma cells but inhibited the proliferation of h-TERTmyo and SK-UT-1, indicating a change in phenotype during immortalization. A progressive and rapid decrease in desmin and OTR mRNA was observed in primary cultures, indicating that myometrial cells dedifferentiate very rapidly in culture. The relative expression of OTR mRNA varied widely in both myometrial and leiomyoma smooth muscle cells, but there was no significant difference. Conclusion(s): These results indicate that OT stimulates the proliferation of both myometrial and leiomyoma cells, demonstrating that the OT/OTR system plays an important role in regulating uterine cell growth and providing a rationale for evaluating the use of OTR antagonists in managing uterine myomas. Copyright © 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Published by Elsevier Inc.


Calebiro D.,University of Milan | Calebiro D.,Laboratory of Experimental Endocrinology | Porazzi P.,University of Milan | Porazzi P.,Laboratory of Experimental Endocrinology | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation | Year: 2011

Background: Mutations in the SLC26A4 gene, coding for the anion transporter pendrin, are responsible for Pendred syndrome, characterized by congenital sensorineural deafness and dyshormonogenic goiter. The physiological role of pendrin in the thyroid is still unclear and the lack of a thyroid phenotype in some patients with SLC26A4 mutations and in Slc26a4 (-/-) mice indicate the existence of environmental or individual modifiers able to compensate for pendrin inactivation in the thyroid. Since pendrin can transport iodide in vitro, variations in iodide supply have been claimed to account for the thyroid phenotype associated with pendrin defects. Aim: The Slc26a4 (-/-) mouse model was used to test the hypothesis that iodide supply may influence the penetrance and expressivity of SLC26A4 mutations. Materials and methods: Slc26a4 (-/-) and (+/+) mice were fed up to 6 months on a standard or low iodine diet and were evaluated for thyroid structural abnormalities or biochemical hypothyroidism. Results: A 27-fold iodide restriction induced similar modifications in thyroid histology, but no differences in thyroid size, T 4 or TSH levels were observed between between Slc26a4 (-/-) and (+/+) mice, either in standard conditions and during iodine restriction. Conclusions: Iodide restriction is not able to induce a thyroid phenotype in Slc26a4 (-/-) mice. These experimental data, together with those coming from a review of familial Pendred cases leaving in regions either with low or sufficient iodide supply, support the idea that the expression of thyroid phenotype in Pendred syndrome is more powerfully influenced by individual factors than by dietary iodide. ©2011, Editrice Kurtis.


Dicitore A.,Laboratory of Experimental Endocrinology | Caraglia M.,The Second University of Naples | Colao A.,University of Naples Federico II | Zappavigna S.,The Second University of Naples | And 7 more authors.
Current Cancer Drug Targets | Year: 2013

Pancreas cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death due to the limited treatment success rate. The wide number of signalling pathway aberrations contributing to tumorigenesis, progression and drug resistance, is the main reason for unsuccessful treatments in pancreatic cancer. An additional and still under-investigated intracellular cancer target is the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ). Several studies have shown the in vitro antitumor activity of PPAR-γ agonists in cancer cells but, if used in monotherapy, they were poorly effective in cancer treatment. The present review will focus on the potential therapeutic role of PPAR-γ agonists in combination with other drugs (type I interferons, gemcitabine and COX-2 inhibitors), highlighting molecular interactions and signalling pathways involved in pancreatic cancer cells. Understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms and survival pathways activated in cancer cells should promote the development of more successful strategies based on the specific targeting of molecular pathways involved in the resistance to anti-cancer agents. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.


Vannucchi G.,University of Milan | Vannucchi G.,Endocrine Unit | Campi I.,University of Milan | Campi I.,Endocrine Unit | And 14 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Immunology | Year: 2010

Summary In active Graves' orbitopathy (GO), proinflammatory cytokines predominate. Circulating thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)-receptor antibodies (TRAb) have been correlated with GO clinical activity and severity. In preliminary studies rituximab (RTX), an anti-CD 20 monoclonal antibody, has induced clinical improvement of active GO without a change in serum anti-thyroid antibodies. We have studied whether RTX in GO acts by affecting proinflammatory cytokines and thyroid and orbital-directed antibodies. Ten patients with GO were treated with RTX, administered twice intravenously (i.v.) (1000 mg) at days 1 and 15, and 20 with methylprednisolone, administered weekly i.v. (500 mg), for 16 weeks. Patients were studied before treatment, at B cell depletion and at 4, 8, 16, 20, 30 and 50 weeks. Peripheral lymphocytes, serum interleukin (sIL)-6, sIL-6r, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 10 (CXCL10), TRAb and stimulating antibodies (TSAb) and autoantibodies against orbital calsequestrin, collagen XIII and flavoprotein subunit of succinate dehydrogenase (FP-SDH) were measured at baseline and after treatment. Serum IL-6 and sIL-6R concentrations did not change after RTX [P = not significant (n.s.)]. Serum CXCL10 increased after RTX at B cell depletion and at 30 weeks (P < 0·003). Serum TSAb did not change in relation to TRAb, nor did antibodies against orbital antigens (P = n.s.). In conclusion, this study shows that RTX in GO does not affect humoral reactions. The observed increase of serum CXCL10 concentrations at B cell depletion may result from cell lysis. We suggest that RTX may exert its effect in GO by inhibiting B cell antigen presentation. © 2010 British Society for Immunology.


Muzza M.,University of Milan | Cordella D.,Laboratory of Experimental Endocrinology | Bombled J.,University Paris - Sud | Paillerets B.B.-D.,University Paris - Sud | And 8 more authors.
European Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2010

Context: Most germline-activating mutations of the RET proto-oncogene associated with inherited medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) are localized in exons 10, 11 and 13-15. Four novel RET variants, located in the extracellular domain (p.A510V, p.E511K and p.C531R) coded by exon 8 and in the intracellular juxtamembrane region (p.K666N) coded by exon 11, were identified on the leukocyte DNA from apparently sporadic cases. Methods: Plasmids carrying Ret9-wild-type (Ret9-WT), Ret9-C634R and all Ret9 variants were transfected, and the phosphorylation levels of RET and ERK were evaluated by western blot analyses. The transforming potentials were assessed by the focus formation assay. Results: The p.A510V, p.E511K and p.C531R variants were found to generate RET and ERK phosphorylation levels and to have a transforming activity higher than that of Ret9-WT variant, but lower than that of Ret9-C634R variant. Differently, the p.K666N variant, located immediately downstream of the transmembrane domain, and involving a conserved residue, displayed high kinase and transforming activities. Computational analysis predicted non-conservative alterations in the mutant proteins consistent with putative modifications of the receptor conformation. Conclusions: The molecular analyses revealed an oncogenic potential for all the novel germline RET variants. Therefore, the prevalence of exon 8 genomic variations with an oncogenic potential may be higher than previously thought, and the analysis of this exon should be considered after the exclusion of mutations in the classical hotspots. In addition, on the basis of these functional data, it is advisable to extend the genetic screening to all the first-degree relatives of the MTC patients, and to perform a strict follow-up of familial carriers. © 2010 European Society of Endocrinology.

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