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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

Mastrocola R.,University of Turin | Collino M.,University of Turin | Penna C.,University of Turin | Nigro D.,University of Turin | And 7 more authors.
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity | Year: 2016

Excessive fatty acids and sugars intake is known to affect the development of cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction. However, the underlying mechanisms are ill defined. Here we investigated the balance between prosurvival and detrimental pathways within the heart of C57Bl/6 male mice fed a standard diet (SD) or a high-fat high-fructose diet (HFHF) for 12 weeks and exposed to cardiac ex vivo ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Dietary manipulation evokes a maladaptive response in heart mice, as demonstrated by the shift of myosin heavy chain isoform content from α to β, the increased expression of the Nlrp3 inflammasome and markers of oxidative metabolism, and the downregulation of the hypoxia inducible factor- (HIF-)2α and members of the Reperfusion Injury Salvage Kinases (RISK) pathway. When exposed to IR, HFHF mice hearts showed greater infarct size and lactic dehydrogenase release in comparison with SD mice. These effects were associated with an exacerbated overexpression of Nlrp3 inflammasome, resulting in marked caspase-1 activation and a compromised activation of the cardioprotective RISK/HIF-2α pathways. The common mechanisms of damage here reported lead to a better understanding of the cross-talk among prosurvival and detrimental pathways leading to the development of cardiovascular disorders associated with metabolic diseases. © 2016 Raffaella Mastrocola et al.


Pasini A.,University of Bologna | Bonafe F.,University of Bologna | Govoni M.,University of Bologna | Guarnieri C.,University of Bologna | And 5 more authors.
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics | Year: 2013

Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are stromal mesenchymal stem cells isolated from lipoaspirates, and they display a broad potential to differentiate toward different lineages. The role of epigenetics in regulating the expression of their lineage-specific genes is under evaluation, however till date virtually nothing is known about the relative significance of cardiac-specific transcription factor genes in human ADSCs. The aim of this study was to investigate DNA promoter methylation and relevant histone modifications involving MEF-2C, GATA-4, and Nkx2.5 in native human ADSCs. CpG sites at the transcription start in their promoters were found unmethylated using methylation-specific PCR. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed low levels of total acetylated H3 histone (acH3) and high levels of trimethylated lysine 27 in H3 histone (H3K27me3) which were associated with both GATA-4 and Nkx2.5 promoters, indicating their transcriptional repressive chromatin arrangement. On the other hand, the opposite was apparent for MEF-2C promoter. Accordingly, MEF-2C-but not GATA-4 and Nkx2.5-transcripts were evidenced in native human ADSCs. These results suggest that the chromatin arrangement of these early cardiac regulatory genes could be explored as a level of intervention to address the differentiation of human ADSCs toward the cardiac lineage. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Cetrullo S.,University of Bologna | Tantini B.,University of Bologna | Facchini A.,University of Bologna | Pignatti C.,University of Bologna | And 3 more authors.
Amino Acids | Year: 2011

Recent studies report that the primary transmitter of sympathetic nervous system norepinephrine (NE), which is actively produced in failing human heart, is able to induce apoptosis of rat cardiomyocytes. Apoptotic cell death of cardiomyocytes is involved in several cardiovascular diseases including ischemia, hypertrophy and heart failure, therefore representing a potential therapeutic target. The natural occurring polyamines, putrescine, spermidine and spermine, are biogenic amines involved in many cellular processes, including apoptosis. Thus, we have studied the involvement of polyamines in the apoptosis of cardiac cells induced by the treatment with NE. The results indicate that NE caused an early induction of the activity of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the first enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis, followed by a later increase of apoptotic cell death. This effect was prevented in the presence of α-difluoromethylornithine, an irreversible inhibitor of ODC. Moreover, the study of some key signal transduction pathways revealed an involvement of AMP-activated protein kinase, AKT and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases, in the modulation by polyamines of the response of cardiomyocytes to NE. In fact, polyamine-depleted cells showed an altered activation pattern of these kinases that may contrast apoptosis and appeared to result from a differential effect on the specific phosphatases that dephosphorylate and switch off these signaling proteins. In conclusion, these results indicate that in cardiac cells polyamines are involved in the execution of the death program activated by NE, and suggest that their apoptosis facilitating action is mediated by a network of specific phosphatases and kinases. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Cetrullo S.,University of Bologna | Tantini B.,University of Bologna | Flamigni F.,University of Bologna | Pazzini C.,University of Bologna | And 4 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2012

Apoptosis is a programmed cell death that plays a critical role in cell homeostasis. In particular, apoptosis in cardiomyocytes is involved in several cardiovascular diseases including heart failure. Recently autophagy has emerged as an important modulator of programmed cell death pathway. Recent evidence indicates that saturated fatty acids induce cell death through apoptosis and this effect is specific for palmitate. On the other hand, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been implicated in the protection against cardiovascular diseases, cardiac ischemic damage and myocardial dysfunction. In the present study we show that n-3 PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) treatment to culture medium of H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts protects cells against palmitate-induced apoptosis, as well as counteracts palmitate-mediated increase of autophagy. Further investigation is required to establish whether the antiautophagic effect of EPA may be involved in its cytoprotective outcome and to explore the underlying biochemical mechanisms through which palmitate and EPA control the fate of cardiac cells. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Fornero S.,University of Turin | Bassino E.,University of Turin | Ramella R.,University of Turin | Gallina C.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
BioMed Research International | Year: 2014

The chromogranin-A peptide catestatin modulates a wide range of processes, such as cardiovascular functions, innate immunity, inflammation, and metabolism. We recently found that the cardiac antiadrenergic action of catestatin requires a PI3K-dependent NO release from endothelial cells, although the receptor involved is yet to be identified. In the present work, based on the cationic properties of catestatin, we tested the hypothesis of its interaction with membrane heparan sulphate proteoglycans, resulting in the activation of a caveolae-dependent endocytosis. Experiments were performed on bovine aortic endothelial cells. Endocytotic vesicles trafficking was quantified by confocal microscopy using a water-soluble membrane dye; catestatin colocalization with heparan sulphate proteoglycans and caveolin 1 internalization were studied by fluorimetric measurements in live cells. Modulation of the catestatin-dependent eNOS activation was assessed by immunofluorescence and immunoblot analysis. Our results demonstrate that catestatin (5 nM) colocalizes with heparan sulphate proteoglycans and induces a remarkable increase in the caveolae-dependent endocytosis and caveolin 1 internalization, which were significantly reduced by both heparinase and wortmannin. Moreover, catestatin was unable to induce Ser1179 eNOS phosphorylation after pretreatments with heparinase and methyl-β-cyclodextrin. Taken together, these results highlight the obligatory role for proteoglycans and caveolae internalization in the catestatin-dependent eNOS activation in endothelial cells. © 2014 Sara Fornero et al.

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