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Carsetti R.,Immunology Unit | Carsetti R.,Diagnostic Immunology Unit | Valentini D.,Pediatric and Infectious Disease Unit | Marcellini V.,Immunology Unit | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2015

Children with Down syndrome (DS) have increased susceptibility to infections and a high frequency of leukemia and autoimmune disorders, suggesting that immunodeficiency and immune dysfunction are integral parts of the syndrome. A reduction in B-cell numbers has been reported, associated with moderate immunodeficiency and normal immunoglobulin levels. Here, we compared B-cell populations of 19 children with DS with those in healthy age-matched controls. We found that all steps of peripheral B-cell development are altered in DS, with a more severe defect during the later stages of B-cell development. Transitional and mature-naïve B-cell numbers are reduced by 50% whereas switched memory B cells represent 10-15% of the numbers in age-matched controls. Serum IgM levels were slightly reduced, but all other immunoglobulin isotypes were in the normal range. The frequency of switched memory B cells specific for vaccine antigens was significantly lower in affected children than in their equivalently vaccinated siblings. In vitro switched memory B cells of patients with DS have an increased ability to differentiate into antibody-forming cells in response to TLR9 signals. Tailored vaccination schedules increasing the number of switched memory B cells may improve protection and reduce the risk of death from infection in DS. © 2014 The Authors. European Journal of Immunology published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Mussa A.,University of Turin | Russo S.,Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics | de Crescenzo A.,The Second University of Naples | Freschi A.,The Second University of Naples | And 18 more authors.
Clinical Genetics | Year: 2016

We provide data on fetal growth pattern on the molecular subtypes of Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome (BWS): IC1 gain of methylation (IC1-GoM), IC2 loss of methylation (IC2-LoM), 11p15.5 paternal uniparental disomy (UPD), and CDKN1C mutation. In this observational study, gestational ages and neonatal growth parameters of 247 BWS patients were compared by calculating gestational age-corrected standard deviation scores (SDS) and proportionality indexes to search for differences among IC1-GoM (n = 21), UPD (n = 87), IC2-LoM (n = 147), and CDKN1C mutation (n = 11) patients. In IC1-GoM subgroup, weight and length are higher than in other subgroups. Body proportionality indexes display the following pattern: highest in IC1-GoM patients, lowest in IC2-LoM/CDKN1C patients, intermediate in UPD ones. Prematurity was significantly more prevalent in the CDKN1C (64%) and IC2-LoM subgroups (37%). Fetal growth patterns are different in the four molecular subtypes of BWS and remarkably consistent with altered gene expression primed by the respective molecular mechanisms. IC1-GoM cases show extreme macrosomia and severe disproportion between weight and length excess. In IC2-LoM/CDKN1C patients, macrosomia is less common and associated with more proportionate weight/length ratios with excess of preterm birth. UPD patients show growth patterns closer to those of IC2-LoM, but manifest a body mass disproportion rather similar to that seen in IC1-GoM cases. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


Mussa A.,University of Turin | Russo S.,Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics | De Crescenzo A.,The Second University of Naples | Freschi A.,The Second University of Naples | And 19 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is characterized by cancer predisposition, overgrowth and highly variable association of macroglossia, abdominal wall defects, nephrourological anomalies, nevus flammeus, ear malformations, hypoglycemia, hemihyperplasia, and organomegaly. BWS molecular defects, causing alteration of expression or activity of the genes regulated by two imprinting centres (IC) in the 11p15 chromosomal region, are also heterogeneous. In this paper we define (epi)genotype-phenotype correlations in molecularly confirmed BWS patients. The characteristics of 318 BWS patients with proven molecular defect were compared among the main four molecular subclasses: IC2 loss of methylation (IC2-LoM, n=190), IC1 gain of methylation (IC1-GoM, n=31), chromosome 11p15 paternal uniparental disomy (UPD, n=87), and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C gene (CDKN1C) variants (n=10). A characteristic growth pattern was found in each group; neonatal macrosomia was almost constant in IC1-GoM, postnatal overgrowth in IC2-LoM, and hemihyperplasia more common in UPD (P<0.001). Exomphalos was more common in IC2/CDKN1C patients (P<0.001). Renal defects were typical of UPD/IC1 patients, uretheral malformations of IC1-GoM cases (P<0.001). Ear anomalies and nevus flammeus were associated with IC2/CDKN1C genotype (P<0.001). Macroglossia was less common among UPD patients (P<0.001). Wilms' tumor was associated with IC1-GoM or UPD and never observed in IC2-LoM patients (P<0.001). Hepatoblastoma occurred only in UPD cases. Cancer risk was lower in IC2/CDKN1C, intermediate in UPD, and very high in IC1 cases (P=0.009). In conclusion, (epi)genotype-phenotype correlations define four different phenotypic BWS profiles with some degree of clinical overlap. These observations impact clinical care allowing to move toward (epi) genotype-based follow-up and cancer screening. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Macchiaiolo M.,Rare Disease and Medical Genetics Unit | Mennini M.,Rare Disease and Medical Genetics Unit | Digilio M.C.,Rare Disease and Medical Genetics Unit | Buonuomo P.S.,Rare Disease and Medical Genetics Unit | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2014

Trichorhinophalangeal syndrome (TRPS) is a rare, autosomal dominant malformation syndrome characterized by hair, craniofacial and skeletal abnormalities, skin laxity, deformation of phalanges and anomalies of pelvis, femurs, and tibias. Three subtypes have been described: TRPS I, caused by mutations in TRPS1 gene on chromosome 8; TRPS II, a microdeletion syndrome affecting the TRPS1 and EXT1 genes; and TRPS III, a form with severe brachydactyly, due to short metacarpals, and severe short stature, but without exostoses. We present the case of a 7-year-old boy, affected by TRPS with a severe osteoporosis and several spontaneous bone fractures, an association described only once in the literature, successfully treated with biphosphonates. Bone mineral density (BMD) at dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) was of 0.331g/cm2 at lumbar spine with. He had four spontaneous femoral fractures in a year, and for this reason he was been operated for positioning intramedullary osteosynthesis and orthopedic supports. Due to the severity of the clinical and radiological pattern it was established, after approval of the Ethical Committee, to begin off-label therapy with infusions of neridronate at a dose of 2mg/kg IV every 3 months. The treatment was, in this patient, effective both in terms of clinical (absence of new fractures) and mineralomethric (+45% BMD ath the lumbar level). We therefore suggest that treatment with biphosponates can be taken in account as a possible therapeutic option in case of bone fragility in patients with TRPSI. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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