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San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

Pasini A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sinibaldi L.,Mendel Laboratory | Paloscia C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Paloscia C.,Association for Therapy and Research in Developmental Age and Adults Clinical Center | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology | Year: 2013

The variable number of tandem repeat polymorphism in the 3′-untranslated region of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT) may influence the variability of the therapeutic response to methylphenidate (MPH) in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For this reason we evaluated the neuropsychological functioning after a prolonged period of MPH treatment and after a specific time from MPH suspension. Relationship between DAT VNTR genotypes and neurocognitive response to MPH was analyzed in a sample of 108 drug-naive ADHD patients. The performance of children with ADHD on measures of working memory, inhibition and planning was assessed at 4, 8 and 24 weeks and at 8 weeks after MPH withdrawal. Patients with 9/9 genotype evidenced an improvement in response inhibition and working memory only at 4 weeks of treatment, in planning at 24 weeks of therapy and after 8 weeks of MPH suspension. Patients with 9/10 showed an improvement in response inhibition at 4, 8 and 24 weeks of treatment, in planning at 24 weeks and after 8 weeks of MPH suspension. Patients with 10/10 evidenced an improvement in response inhibition and working memory at 4, 8 and 24 weeks of treatment and in planning at 4, 8 and 24 weeks of treatment and after 8 weeks of suspension. These results indicate that the 9/9 ADHD genotype has a different response at 24 weeks treatment with MPH. 10/10 DAT allele seems to be associated with an increased expression level of the dopamine transporter and seems to mediate the MPH treatment response in ADHD patients. © 2013 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Limana F.,Centro Cardiologico Monzino Istituto Of Ricovero ra rattere Scientifico Irccs | Esposito G.,Laboratorio Of Patologia Vascolare | D'Arcangelo D.,Laboratorio Of Patologia Vascolare | Di Carlo A.,Laboratorio Of Patologia Vascolare | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Aims: HMGB1 injection into the mouse heart, acutely after myocardial infarction (MI), improves left ventricular (LV) function and prevents remodeling. Here, we examined the effect of HMGB1 in chronically failing hearts. Methods and Results: Adult C57 BL16 female mice underwent coronary artery ligation; three weeks later 200 ng HMGB1 or denatured HMGB1 (control) were injected in the peri-infarcted region of mouse failing hearts. Four weeks after treatment, both echocardiography and hemodynamics demonstrated a significant improvement in LV function in HMGB1-treated mice. Further, HMGB1-treated mice exhibited a ~23% reduction in LV volume, a ~48% increase in infarcted wall thickness and a ~14% reduction in collagen deposition. HMGB1 induced cardiac regeneration and, within the infarcted region, it was found a ~2-fold increase in c-kit+ cell number, a ~13-fold increase in newly formed myocytes and a ~2-fold increase in arteriole length density. HMGB1 also enhanced MMP2 and MMP9 activity and decreased TIMP-3 levels. Importantly, miR-206 expression 3 days after HMGB1 treatment was 4-5-fold higher than in control hearts and 20-25 fold higher that in sham operated hearts. HMGB1 ability to increase miR-206 was confirmed in vitro, in cardiac fibroblasts. TIMP3 was identified as a potential miR-206 target by TargetScan prediction analysis; further, in cultured cardiac fibroblasts, miR-206 gain- and loss-of-function studies and luciferase reporter assays showed that TIMP3 is a direct target of miR-206. Conclusions: HMGB1 injected into chronically failing hearts enhanced LV function and attenuated LV remodelling; these effects were associated with cardiac regeneration, increased collagenolytic activity, miR-206 overexpression and miR-206 -mediated inhibition of TIMP-3. © 2011 Limana et al.

De Leo A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Arena G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Arena G.,Mendel Laboratory | Stecca C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Resveratrol (3,4′,5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene), a polyphenolic natural product, shows chemopreventive properties against several cancers, heart diseases, inflammation, and viral infections. Epstein Barr virus (EBV), a g-herpesvirus, contributes to the development of several human cancers including Burkitt's lymphoma (BL). In this study, we asked whether treatment with resveratrol would affect the viability of EBV-positive BL cells displaying different forms of latency. We report here that resveratrol, regardless of EBV status, induces caspase-dependent apoptosis by arresting cell-cycle progression in G 1 phase. However, resveratrol strongly induced apoptosis in EBV(-) and latency I EBV(+) cells, whereas latency II and latency III EBV(+) BL cells showed a survival advantage that increased with the extent of the pattern of viral gene expression. Resveratrol-induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis occurred in association with induction of p38 MAPK phosphorylation and suppression of ERK1/2 signaling pathway. Moreover, NF-κB DNA-binding activity was inhibited in all BL lines except EBV (+) latency III cells. LMP1 oncogene, which is expressed in latency III phenotype, is involved with the higher resistance to the antiproliferative effect of resveratrol because siRNA-mediated inhibition of LMP1 greatly increased the sensitivity of latency III BL cells as well as that of lymphoblastoid cell lines to the polyphenol. We propose that a combined resveratrol/siRNA strategy may be a novel approach for the treatment of EBV-associated B-cell malignancies in which the viral pattern of gene expression has been defined. ©2011 AACR.

Caputo V.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Caputo V.,European Brain Research Institute | Sinibaldi L.,Mendel Laboratory | Fiorentino A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin that plays an essential role in neuronal development and plasticity. MicroRNA (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs of about 22-nucleotides in length regulating gene expression at post-transcriptional level. In this study we explore the role of miRNAs as post-transcriptional inhibitors of BDNF and the effect of 3'UTR sequence variations on miRNAs binding capacity. Using an in silico approach we identified a group of miRNAs putatively regulating BDNF expression and binding to BDNF 3'UTR polymorphic sequences. Luciferase assays demonstrated that these miRNAs (miR-26a1/2 and miR-26b) downregulates BDNF expression and that the presence of the variant alleles of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs11030100 and rs11030099) mapping in BDNF 3'UTR specifically abrogates miRNAs targeting. Furthermore we found a high linkage disequilibrium rate between rs11030100, rs11030099 and the non-synonymous coding variant rs6265 (Val66Met), which modulates BDNF mRNA localization and protein intracellular trafficking. Such observation led to hypothesize that miR-26s mediated regulation could extend to rs6265 leading to an allelic imbalance with potentially functional effects, such as peptide's localization and activity-dependent secretion. Since rs6265 has been previously implicated in various neuropsychiatric disorders, we evaluated the distribution of rs11030100, rs11030099 and rs6265 both in a control and schizophrenic group, but no significant difference in allele frequencies emerged. In conclusion, in the present study we identified two novel miRNAs regulating BDNF expression and the first BDNF 3'UTR functional variants altering miRNAs-BDNF binding. © 2011 Caputo et al.

Battaglia A.,Stella Maris Clinical Research Institute for Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry | Doccini V.,Stella Maris Clinical Research Institute for Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry | Bernardini L.,Mendel Laboratory | Novelli A.,Mendel Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology | Year: 2013

Background and objectives: Submicroscopic chromosomal rearrangements are the most common identifiable causes of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders associated with dysmorphic features. Chromosomal microarray (CMA) can detect copy number variants <1 Mb and identifies size and presence of known genes. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the usefulness of CMA, as a first-tier tool in detecting the etiology of unexplained intellectual disability/autism spectrum disorders (ID/ASDs) associated with dysmorphic features in a large cohort of pediatric patients. Patients and methods: We studied 349 individuals; 223 males, 126 females, aged 5 months-19 years. Blood samples were analyzed with CMA at a resolution ranging from 1 Mb to 40 Kb. The imbalance was confirmed by FISH or qPCR. We considered copy number variants (CNVs) causative if the variant was responsible for a known syndrome, encompassed gene/s of known function, occurred de novo or, if inherited, the parent was variably affected, and/or the involved gene/s had been reported in association with ID/ASDs in dedicated databases. Results: 91 CNVs were detected in 77 (22.06%) patients: 5 (6.49%) of those presenting with borderline cognitive impairment, 54 (70.13%) with a variable degree of DD/ID, and 18/77 (23.38%) with ID of variable degree and ASDs. 16/77 (20.8%) patients had two different rearrangements. Deletions exceeded duplications (58 versus 33); 45.05% (41/91) of the detected CNVs were de novo, 45.05% (41/91) inherited, and 9.9% (9/91) unknown. The CNVs caused the phenotype in 57/77 (74%) patients; 12/57 (21.05%) had ASDs/ID, and 45/57 (78.95%) had DD/ID. Conclusions: Our study provides further evidence of the high diagnostic yield of CMA for genetic testing in children with unexplained ID/ASDs who had dysmorphic features. We confirm the value of CMA as the first-tier tool in the assessment of those conditions in the pediatric setting. © 2013 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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