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Benelli R.,University of Genoa | Vene R.,Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit | Minghelli S.,Instituto Giannina Gaslini | Carlone S.,Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit | And 2 more authors.
Cancer Letters | Year: 2013

The COX-2 inhibitor Celecoxib, tested in phase III trials for the prevention of sporadic colon adenomas, reduced the appearance of new adenomas, but was unable to affect the incidence of colon cancer. Moreover the 5. years follow-up showed that patients discontinuing Celecoxib treatment had an increased incidence of adenomas as compared to the placebo arm. In the APC(min/+) mouse model short term treatment with Celecoxib reduced gut adenomas, but a prolonged administration of the drug induced fibroblast activation and intestinal fibrosis with a final tumor burden. The way Celecoxib could directly activate human colon myofibroblasts (MF) has not yet been investigated. We found that MF are activated by non toxic doses of Celecoxib. Celecoxib induces erk1-2 and Akt phosphorylation within 5'. This short term activation is apparently insufficient to cause phenotypic changes, but the contemporary triggering of EGFR causes an impressive synergic effect inducing MF proliferation and the neo-expression and release of Amphiregulin (AREG), a well known EGFR agonist involved in colon cancer progression. As a confirm to these observations, the erk inhibitor U0126 and the EGFR inhibitors Tyrphostin and Cetuximab were able to contrast AREG induction. Our data provide evidence that Celecoxib directly activates MF empowering EGFR signaling. According to these results the association with EGFR (or erk1-2) inhibitors could abolish the off-target activity of Celecoxib, possibly extending the potential of this drug for colon cancer prevention. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Poggi A.,Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit | Zocchi M.R.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2014

Increasing evidences have pointed out the relevance of natural killer (NK) cells in organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases. NK cells bear a plethora of activating and inhibiting receptors that can play a role in regulating reactivity with autologous cells. The activating receptors recognize natural ligands up-regulated on virus-infected or stressed or neoplastic cells. Of note, several autoimmune diseases are thought to be linked to viral infections as one of the first event in inducing autoimmunity. Also, it is conceivable that autoimmunity can be triggered when a dysregulation of innate immunity occurs, activating T and B lymphocytes to react with self-components. This would imply that NK cells can play a regulatory role during adaptive immunity; indeed, innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), comprising the classical CD56+ NK cells, have a role in maintaining or alternating tissue homeostasis secreting protective and/or pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, NK cells display activating receptors involved in natural cytotoxicity and the activating isoforms of receptors for HLA class I that can interact with healthy host cells and induce damage without any evidence of viral infection or neoplastic-induced alteration. In this context, the interrelationship among ILC, extracellular-matrix components, and mesenchymal stromal cells can be considered a key point for the control of homeostasis. Herein, we summarize evidences for a role of NK cells in autoimmune diseases and will give a point of view of the interplay between NK cells and self-cells in triggering autoimmunity. © 2014 Poggi and Zocchi.


PubMed | San Raffaele Scientific Institute and Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in immunology | Year: 2014

Increasing evidences have pointed out the relevance of natural killer (NK) cells in organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases. NK cells bear a plethora of activating and inhibiting receptors that can play a role in regulating reactivity with autologous cells. The activating receptors recognize natural ligands up-regulated on virus-infected or stressed or neoplastic cells. Of note, several autoimmune diseases are thought to be linked to viral infections as one of the first event in inducing autoimmunity. Also, it is conceivable that autoimmunity can be triggered when a dysregulation of innate immunity occurs, activating T and B lymphocytes to react with self-components. This would imply that NK cells can play a regulatory role during adaptive immunity; indeed, innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), comprising the classical CD56(+) NK cells, have a role in maintaining or alternating tissue homeostasis secreting protective and/or pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, NK cells display activating receptors involved in natural cytotoxicity and the activating isoforms of receptors for HLA class I that can interact with healthy host cells and induce damage without any evidence of viral infection or neoplastic-induced alteration. In this context, the interrelationship among ILC, extracellular-matrix components, and mesenchymal stromal cells can be considered a key point for the control of homeostasis. Herein, we summarize evidences for a role of NK cells in autoimmune diseases and will give a point of view of the interplay between NK cells and self-cells in triggering autoimmunity.


PubMed | University of Genoa and Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in immunology | Year: 2016

Autologous chondrocyte implantation is the current gold standard cell therapy for cartilage lesions. However, in some instances, the heavily compromised health of the patient can either impair or limit the recovery of the autologous chondrocytes and a satisfactory outcome of the implant. Allogeneic human articular chondrocytes (hAC) could be a good alternative, but the possible immunological incompatibility between recipient and hAC donor should be considered. Herein, we report that allogeneic hAC inhibited T lymphocyte response to antigen-dependent and -independent proliferative stimuli. This effect was maximal when T cells and hAC were in contact and it was not relieved by the addition of exogenous lymphocyte growth factor interleukin (IL)-2. More important, hAC impaired the differentiation of peripheral blood monocytes induced with granulocyte monocyte colony-stimulating factor and IL-4 (Mo) to professional antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells (DC). Indeed, a marked inhibition of the onset of the CD1a expression and an ineffective downregulation of CD14 antigens was observed in Mo-hAC co-cultures. Furthermore, compared to immature or mature DC, Mo from Mo-hAC co-cultures did not trigger an efficacious allo-response. The prostaglandin (PG) E


Poggi A.,Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit | Musso A.,Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit | Dapino I.,Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit | Zocchi M.R.,Instituto Scientifico San Raffaele Milan
Immunology Letters | Year: 2014

Tumor microenvironment represents the site where the tumor tries to survive and escape from immune system-mediated recognition. Indeed, to proliferate tumor cells can divert the immune response inducing the generation of myeloid derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells which can limit the efficiency of effector antitumor lymphocytes in eliminating neoplastic cells. Many components of the tumor microenvironment can serve as a double sword for the tumor and the host. Several types of fibroblast-like cells, which herein we define mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), secrete extracellular matrix components and surrounding the tumor mass can limit the expansion of the tumor. On the other hand, MSC can interfere with the immune recognition of tumor cells producing immunoregulatory cytokines as transforming growth factor (TGF)β, releasing soluble ligands of the activating receptors expressed on cytolytic effector cells as decoy molecules, affecting the correct interaction among lymphocytes and tumor cells. MSC can also serve as target for the same anti-tumor effector lymphocytes or simply impede the interaction between these lymphocytes and neoplastic cells. Thus, several evidences point out the role of MSC, both in epithelial solid tumors and hematological malignancies, in regulating tumor cell growth and immune response. Herein, we review these evidences and suggest that MSC can be a suitable target for a more efficient anti-tumor therapy. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Luxembourg Institute of Health and Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis Unit
Type: Review | Journal: Vaccines | Year: 2016

The tumor microenvironment is a good target for therapy in solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Indeed, solid tumor cells growth and expansion can influence neighboring cells behavior, leading to a modulation of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) activities and remodeling of extracellular matrix components. This leads to an altered microenvironment, where reparative mechanisms, in the presence of sub-acute inflammation, are not able to reconstitute healthy tissue. Carcinoma cells can undergo epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key step to generate metastasis; these mesenchymal-like cells display the functional behavior of MSC. Furthermore, MSC can support the survival and growth of leukemic cells within bone marrow participating in the leukemic cell niche. Notably, MSC can inhibit the anti-tumor immune response through either carcinoma-associated fibroblasts or bone marrow stromal cells. Experimental data have indicated their relevance in regulating cytolytic effector lymphocytes of the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. Herein, we will discuss some of the evidence in hematological malignancies and solid tumors. In particular, we will focus our attention on the means by which it is conceivable to inhibit MSC-mediated immune suppression and trigger anti-tumor innate immunity.

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