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Perini I.,Catholic University of Leuven | Elia I.,Catholic University of Leuven | Elia I.,Vesalius Research Center | Lo Nigro A.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 7 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2015

Abstract Met Activating Genetically Improved Chimeric Factor 1 (Magic-F1) is a human recombinant protein, derived from dimerization of the receptor-binding domain of hepatocyte growth factor. Previous experiments demonstrate that in transgenic mice, the skeletal muscle specific expression of Magic-F1 can induce a constitutive muscular hypertrophy, improving running performance and accelerating muscle regeneration after injury. In order to evaluate the therapeutic potential of Magic-F1, we tested its effect on multipotent and pluripotent stem cells. In murine mesoangioblasts (adult vessel-associated stem cells), the presence of Magic-F1 did not alter their osteogenic, adipogenic or smooth muscle differentiation ability. However, when analyzing their myogenic potential, mesoangioblasts expressing Magic-F1 differentiated spontaneously into myotubes. Finally, Magic-F1 inducible cassette was inserted into a murine embryonic stem cell line by homologous recombination. When embryonic stem cells were subjected to myogenic differentiation, the presence of Magic-F1 resulted in the upregulation of Pax3 and Pax7 that enhanced the myogenic commitment of transgenic pluripotent stem cells. Taken together our results candidate Magic-F1 as a potent myogenic stimulator, able to enhance muscular differentiation from both adult and pluripotent stem cells. © 2015 The Authors. Source

Pietrosi G.,Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies IRCCS ISMETT | Vizzini G.,Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies IRCCS ISMETT | Gerlach J.,McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine | Chinnici C.,Fondazione Ri.MED | And 10 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2015

Fetal hepatocytes have a high regenerative capacity. The aim of the study was to assess treatment safety and clinical efficacy of human fetal liver cell transplantation through splenic artery infusion. Patients with endstage chronic liver disease on the waiting list for liver transplantation were enrolled. A retrospectively selected contemporary matched-pair group served as control. Nonsorted raw fetal liver cell preparations were isolated from therapeutically aborted fetuses. The end points of the study were safety and improvement of the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) and Child-Pugh scores. Nine patients received a total of 13 intrasplenic infusions and were compared with 16 patients on standard therapy. There were no side effects related to the infusion procedure. At the end of follow-up, the MELD score (mean ± SD) in the treatment group remained stable from baseline (16.0 ± 2.9) to the last observation (15.7 ± 3.8), while it increased in the control group from 15.3 ± 2.5 to 19 ± 5.7 (p = 0.0437). The Child-Pugh score (mean ± SD) dropped from 10.1 ± 1.5 to 9.1 ± 1.4 in the treatment group and increased from 10.0 ± 1.2 to 11.1 ± 1.6 in the control group (p = 0.0076). All treated patients with history of recurrent portosystemic encephalopathy (PSE) had no further episodes during 1-year follow-up. No improvement was observed in the control group patients with PSE at study inclusion. Treatment was considered a failure in six of the nine patients (three deaths not liver related, one liver transplant, two MELD score increases) compared with 14 of the 16 patients in the control group (six deaths, five of which were caused by liver failure, four liver transplants, and four MELD score increases). Intrasplenic fetal liver cell infusion is a safe and well-tolerated procedure in patients with end-stage chronic liver disease. A positive effect on clinical scores and on encephalopathy emerged from this preliminary study. © 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Source

Iannolo G.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Iannolo G.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology IOM | Iannolo G.,Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies IRCCS ISMETT | Sciuto M.R.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology IOM | And 7 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2016

The epidermis is a stratified epithelium with a stem cell subpopulation in the basal layer that constantly replicates and periodically detaches from the base, undergoing a differentiation process that involves various developmental signals and regulatory pathways. During the last 10 years, a number of studies tried to elucidate the intricate scenario that maintains the epithelial shield during the entire life span. In our study, we investigated the role of Numb in the skin compartment and, in particular, its involvement in stem cell maintenance. Numb expression in the skin compartment was assessed by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry analysis. We evaluated Numb expression in primary epithelial cells at various differentiative stages. Moreover, we overexpressed Numb in the isolated population enriched for undifferentiated progenitors to establish its involvement in in vitro differentiation. We demonstrated that Numb in high-proliferating epithelial undifferentiated progenitors contributes to the maintenance of an undifferentiated state. This regulation involves the E3 ligases Itch binding. Moreover, the analysis of a cohort of cutaneous carcinomas showed that Numb is highly expressed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), where we observed a direct correlation between the expression of Numb and Ki-67. Our data indicate for the first time that Numb is involved in the maintenance of the undifferentiated proliferating stem cell pool in the epithelial basal layer and its expression could become a new marker in skin cancer. © 2016 Cognizant, LLC. Source

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