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Le Grazie di Ancona, Italy

Palma L.D.,Marche Polytechnic University | Marinelli M.,Marche Polytechnic University | Pavan M.,Marche Polytechnic University | Bertoni-Freddari C.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory
Romanian Journal of Morphology and Embryology | Year: 2011

Background: The muscle-tendon junction (MTJ) is a physiologically vital tissue interface and a highly specialized region in the muscle- tendon unit. It is the weakest point in the muscle-tendon unit, making it susceptible to strain injuries. Nonetheless, knowledge of the pathological changes affecting this region and of its response to the atrophy process is very limited. The aim of the study was to examine MTJ ultrastructural morphology in patients with different conditions that induce skeletal muscle atrophy and to attempt a grading of the atrophy process. Materials and Methods: Fifteen patients undergoing amputation in the distal or proximal third of the lower leg due to chronic or acute conditions were divided into two groups. Specimens of gastrocnemius muscle collected at the time of surgery were analyzed by histology and electron microscopy. The contact between muscle and tendon was measured using a dedicated software that calculated semi-automatically the base (B) and perimeter (P) of muscle cell finger-like processes at the MTJ. Results: Electron microscopy. The cells in the atrophic muscle of the chronic group were shallow and bulky. In the acute group, the myotendinous endings differed significantly in their structure from those of the chronic group. In atrophic muscle, the contact between muscle and tendon was reduced by quantitative and qualitative changes in the myotendinous endings. The B/P ratio allowed definition of three grades of myotendinous ending degeneration. Discussion: It is unclear whether degenerative changes induced by immobilization in muscle and, specifically, the MTJ are temporary and reversible or permanent. Conclusions: This preliminary study suggested a classification of ultrastructural MTJ changes into grade 0, reflecting a quite normal MTJ; grade 1, an intermediate process that might lead to irreversible atrophy or to recovery, spontaneously or with drug therapy; and grade 2, irreversible process with complete structural alteration.

Alvarez-Suarez J.M.,Marche Polytechnic University | Giampieri F.,Marche Polytechnic University | Tulipani S.,Research Laboratory | Casoli T.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry | Year: 2014

Strawberries are an important fruit in the Mediterranean diet because of their high content of essential nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals, which seem to exert beneficial effects in human health. Healthy volunteers were supplemented daily with 500 g of strawberries for 1 month. Plasma lipid profile, circulating and cellular markers of antioxidant status, oxidative stress and platelet function were evaluated at baseline, after 30 days of strawberry consumption and 15 days after the end of the study. A high concentration of vitamin C and anthocyanins was found in the fruits. Strawberry consumption beneficially influenced the lipid profile by significantly reducing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides levels (-8.78%, -13.72% and -20.80%, respectively; P < .05) compared with baseline period, while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol remained unchanged. Strawberry supplementation also significant decreased serum malondialdehyde, urinary 8-OHdG and isoprostanes levels (-31.40%, -29.67%, -27.90%, respectively; P < .05). All the parameters returned to baseline values after the washout period. A significant increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity measured by both ferric reducing ability of plasma and oxygen radical absorbance capacity assays and vitamin C levels (+24.97%, +41.18%, +41.36%, respectively; P < .05) was observed after strawberry consumption. Moreover, the spontaneous and oxidative hemolysis were significant reduced (-31.7% and -39.03%, respectively; P < .05), compared to the baseline point, which remained stable after the washout period. Finally, strawberry intake significant decrease (P < .05) the number of activated platelets, compared to both baseline and washout values. Strawberries consumption improves plasma lipids profile, biomarkers of antioxidant status, antihemolytic defenses and platelet function in healthy subjects, encouraging further evaluation on a population with higher cardiovascular disease risk. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Balietti M.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | Balietti M.,Cellular Bioenergetics Laboratory | Casoli T.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | Di Stefano G.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Ageing Research Reviews | Year: 2010

Ketogenic diets (KDs), successfully used in the therapy of paediatric epilepsy for nearly a century, have recently shown beneficial effects also in cancer, obesity, diabetes, GLUT 1 deficiencies, hypoxia-ischemia, traumatic brain injuries, and neurodegeneration. The latter achievement designates aged individuals as optimal recipients, but concerns derive from possible age-dependent differences in KDs effectiveness. Indeed, the main factors influencing ketone bodies utilization by the brain (blood levels, transport mechanisms, catabolic enzymes) undergo developmental changes, although several reports indicate that KDs maintain some efficacy during adulthood and even during advanced aging. Encouraging results obtained in patients affected by age-related neurodegenerative diseases have prompted new interest on KDs' effect on the aging brain, also considering the poor efficacy of therapies currently used. However, recent morphological evidence in synapses of late-adult rats indicates that KDs consequences may be even opposite in different brain regions, likely depending on neuronal vulnerability to age. Thus, further studies are needed to design KDs specifically indicated for single neurodegenerative diseases, and to ameliorate the balance between beneficial and adverse effects in aged subjects. Here we review clinical and experimental data on KDs treatments, focusing on their possible use during pathological aging. Proposed mechanisms of action are also reported and discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Casoli T.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | Di Stefano G.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | Fattoretti P.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | Fattoretti P.,Cellular Bioenergetics Laboratory | And 7 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2012

Previous studies have shown that messenger RNA (mRNA) of the dynamin-binding protein (DNMBP), a scaffold protein regulating actin cytoskeleton and synaptic vesicle pools, is lower in neuropathologically-confirmed Alzheimer's brains. Here we investigated whether a deficit in long term memory formation during physiological aging is also associated with lower DNMBP expression. Hippocampal DNMBP mRNA was quantified by quantitative real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) following inhibitory avoidance task in aged (26- to 27-month-old) rats that, according to memory performance, were ranked as good responders (GR) and bad responders (BR), in adult (3-month-old), late-adult (19-month-old), and aged (26-27-month-old) naive animals. We found that DNMBP mRNA levels were significantly higher in naive adults versus late adult and aged naive rats, in GR versus BR, and in pooled GR and BR versus aged-matched controls. Our data provide the first evidence that hippocampal DNMBP mRNA expression is reduced during physiological aging, and suggest that the capability to increase the expression of this mRNA may be a requirement for preserving long term memory formation during aging. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Tamagnini F.,University of Bologna | Burattini C.,University of Bologna | Casoli T.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | Balietti M.,Neurobiology of Aging Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Rejuvenation Research | Year: 2012

Visual recognition memory is early impaired in Alzheimer's disease. Long-term depression of synaptic transmission in the perirhinal cortex is critically involved in this form of memory. We found that synaptic transmission was impaired in perirhinal cortex slices obtained from 3-month-old Tg2576 mice, and that 3,000 pulses at 5Hz induced long-term depression in perirhinal cortex slices from age-matched control mice, but not in those from Tg2576 mice. To our knowledge, these data provide the first evidence of synaptic transmission and long-term depression impairment in the perirhinal cortex in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease, and the earliest synaptic deficit in Tg2576 mice. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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