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Perseghin P.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Marchetti M.,Unita di Ematologia | Pierelli L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Olivieri A.,Marche Polytechnic University | And 6 more authors.
Transfusion | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) requires collection and cryopreservation of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs), which in turn may be partially or never reinfused. Thus, HPC storage has become a logistic, ethical, and economic issue. SIDEM, GITMO, and CNT/ISS endorsed a project aimed to define national criteria for HPC disposal aimed to guarantee appropriateness and equity. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A multidisciplinary panel was convened including HPC harvest and manipulation experts from apheresis units, hematologists with clinical expertise in ASCT, a representative of the national health authority, and a bioethicist. An analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was carried out to select disposal criteria. RESULTS: The AHP selected two criteria for prompt disposal of freshly collected HPCs: an abnormal freezing procedure causing highly reduced viability or major microbiology contamination. Moreover, AHP selected six major criteria, each one of them allowing for the disposal of stored HPC units: patient death, withdrawal of consent to ASCT, contraindications or loss of indications to ASCT, a damaged label that prevents correct identification of the unit, and time elapsed since harvest longer than 10 years. Three minor criteria were additionally identified that allowed to anticipate disposal only provided that viability levels are below the limit of acceptance: a documented cold chain interruption, loss of bag integrity, and total amount of stored CD34+ cells lower than 1 × 106/kg or lower than 2 × 106/kg in patients with a successfully completed stem cell transplantation program. CONCLUSIONS: A formal consensus process allowed SIDEM and GITMO to propose a policy for autologous HPC disposal that fulfills clinical, ethical, and economic criteria. © 2014 AABB.


Brigotti M.,University of Bologna | Tazzari P.L.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Ravanelli E.,University of Bologna | Carnicelli D.,University of Bologna | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Leukocyte Biology | Year: 2010

The endothelial damage induced by Stx represents the main pathogenic event in the HUS associated with STEC infections in humans. Stx, released in the gut by bacteria, enter the bloodstream and are targeted to renal endothelia. The role of PMN as a toxin carrier has been the object of controversy. In this paper, we con-firm the binding of Stx1 to PMN, also showing its degranulating effects on full-loaded leukocytes, and support the carrier role of PMN by using a two-chamber transmigration device, in which PMN, loaded in vitro with different amounts of Stx1, transmigrated through confluent monolayers of endothelial cells, mimicking the toxin-induced renal endothelial injury. Stx1 was transferred during PMN transmigration, impairing protein synthesis and triggering production of proinflammatory cytokines in endothelial cells. PMN, carrying low toxin amounts, induced the release of high levels of cytokines in viable endothelial cells, whereas cytokine production was blocked in cells challenged with PMN fully loaded with Stx as a result of an almost total impairment of translation and of the activation of the apoptotic program. In agreement with previous unexplained observations in animal models, the results obtained with our experimental setting suggest that a self-amplifying circle triggered by low doses of toxin may lead to the production of proinflammatory mediators of renal damage in HUS. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.


Brigotti M.,University of Bologna | Tazzari P.L.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Ravanelli E.,University of Bologna | Carnicelli D.,University of Bologna | And 13 more authors.
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal | Year: 2011

Background: Intestinal infections with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in children can lead to the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Shiga toxins (Stx) released in the gut by bacteria enter the blood stream and target the kidney causing endothelial injury. Free toxins have never been detected in the blood of HUS patients, but they have been found on the surface of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). Methods: With respect to their clinical features, the clinical relevance of the amounts of serum Stx (cytotoxicity assay with human endothelial cells) and PMN-bound Stx (cytofluorimetric assay) in 46 patients with STEC-associated HUS was evaluated. Results: Stx-positive PMN were found in 60% of patients, whereas negligible amounts of free Stx were detected in the sera. Patients with high amounts of Stx on PMN showed preserved or slightly impaired renal function (incomplete form of HUS), whereas cases with low amounts of Stx usually presented evidence of acute renal failure. Conclusions: These observations suggest that the extent of renal damage in children with STEC-associated HUS could depend on the concentration of Stx present on their PMN and presumably delivered by them to the kidney. As previously shown by experimental models from our laboratory, high amounts of Stx could induce a reduced release of cytokines by the renal endothelium, with a consequent lower degree of inflammation. Conversely, low toxin amounts can trigger the cytokine cascade, provoking inflammation, thereby leading to tissue damage. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Evangelisti C.,University of Bologna | Ricci F.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Tazzari P.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Chiarini F.,University of Bologna | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2011

Over the past 20 years, survival rates of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients have improved, mainly because of advances in polychemotherapy protocols. Despite these improvements, we still need novel and less toxic treatment strategies targeting aberrantly activated signaling networks which increase proliferation, survival, and drug resistance of T-ALL cells. One such network is represented by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt axis. PI3K inhibitors have displayed some promising effects in preclinical models of T-ALL. Here, we have analyzed the therapeutic potential of the Akt inhibitor, triciribine, in T-ALL cell lines. Triciribine caused cell cycle arrest and caspase-dependent apoptosis. Western blots demonstrated a dose-dependent dephosphorylation of Akt1/Akt2, and of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 downstream targets in response to triciribine. Triciribine induced autophagy, which could be interpreted as a defensive mechanism, because an autophagy inhibitor (chloroquine) increased triciribine-induced apoptosis. Triciribine synergized with vincristine, a chemotherapeutic drug employed for treating T-ALL patients, and targeted the side population of T-ALL cell lines, which might correspond to leukemia initiating cells. Our findings indicate that Akt inhibition, either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs, may serve as an efficient treatment towards T-ALL cells requiring upregulation of this signaling pathway for their proliferation and survival. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Carnicelli D.,University of Bologna | Arfilli V.,University of Bologna | Ricci F.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Velati C.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Immunology | Year: 2016

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is the life-threatenig sequela of intestinal infections by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in children. Human neutrophils specifically bind Stx through TLR4, the receptor of LPS. The binding could be considered protective (Stx sequestration) or harmful (toxin delivery to target organs). The amount of Stx on neutrophils is in equilibrium with the amount of Stx present in the gut, and it is also related to renal and neurologic symptoms. The TLR4-mediated interaction of LPS with innate immune cells is hampered by the well-known antibiotic polymyxin B. In this study, we show that the same antibiotic impairs the binding of Stx to neutrophils, also blocking their functional effects (release of CXCL8, formation of neutrophil/platelet aggregates) involved in HUS pathogenesis. Controls for contaminating LPS in Stx-induced neutrophil responses inhibited by polymyxin B were performed. Stx interact with human neutrophils through their A chain, since these leukocytes do not express globotriaosylceramide, the specific receptor for Stx B chains. Consistently, polymyxin B blocked the enzymatic activity of Stx1, Stx2, Stx1 A chain, and the analogous plant protein gelonin, whereas the antibiotic did not show any protective effect on Stx-induced cytotoxicity in globotriaosylceramide-expressing Raji cells. Antibiotic administration is not recommended in human STEC infections during the prodromal intestinal phase, and the toxicity of polymyxin B could further discourage its therapeutic use. However, nontoxic, nonbactericidal polymyxin derivatives have been developed and might be used in animal models of STEC infection to study their efficacy in preventing the onset of HUS during the systemic blood phase of Stx. © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


Brigotti M.,University of Bologna | Carnicelli D.,University of Bologna | Arfilli V.,University of Bologna | Rocchi L.,University of Bologna | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Shiga toxins (Stx) play an important role in the pathogenesis of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening renal sequela of human intestinal infection caused by specific Escherichia coli strains. Stx target a restricted subset of human endothelial cells that possess the globotriaosylceramide receptor, like that in renal glomeruli. The toxins, composed of five B chains and a single enzymaticAchain, by removing adenines from ribosomes and DNA, trigger apoptosis and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in target cells. Because bacteria are confined to the gut, the toxins move to the kidney through the circulation. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) have been indicated as the carriers that "piggyback" shuttle toxins to the kidney. However, there is no consensus on this topic, because not all laboratories have been able to reproduce the Stx/PMN interaction. Here, we demonstrate that conformational changes of Shiga toxin 1, with reduction of α-helix content and exposition to solvent of hydrophobic tryptophan residues, cause a loss of PMN binding activity. The partially unfolded toxin was found to express both enzymatic and globotriaosylceramide binding activities being fully active in intoxicating human endothelial cells; this suggests the presence of a distinct PMN-binding domain. By reviewing functional and structural data, we suggest that A chain moieties close to Trp-203 are recognized by PMN. Our findings could help explain the conflicting results regarding Stx/PMN interactions, especially as the groups reporting positive results obtained Stx by single-step affinity chromatography, which could have preserved the correct folding of Stx with respect to more complicated multi-step purification methods. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Brigotti M.,University of Bologna | Carnicelli D.,University of Bologna | Arfilli V.,University of Bologna | Tamassia N.,University of Verona | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Immunology | Year: 2013

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by intestinal Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections is a worldwide health problem, as dramatically exemplified by the German outbreak occurred in summer 2011 and by a constant burden of cases in children. Shiga toxins (Stx) play a pivotal role in HUS by triggering endothelial damage in kidney and brain through globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer) receptor targeting. Moreover, Stx interact with human neutrophils, as experimentally demonstrated in vitro and as observed in patients with HUS. A neutrophil-protective role on endothelial damage (sequestration of circulating toxins) and a causative role in toxin delivery from the gut to the kidney (piggyback transport) have been suggested in different studies. However, the receptor that recognizes Stx in human neutrophils, which do not express Gb3Cer, has not been identified. In this study, by competition and functional experiments with appropriate agonists and antagonists (LPS, anti-TLR4 Abs, respectively), we have identified TLR4 as the receptor that specifically recognizes Stx1 and Stx2 in human neutrophils. Accordingly, these treatments displaced both toxin variants from neutrophils and, upon challenge with Stx1 or Stx2, neutrophils displayed the same pattern of cytokine expression as in response to LPS (assessed by quantitative RT-PCR, ELISA, or multiplexed Luminexbased immunoassays). Moreover, data were supported by adequate controls excluding any potential interference of contaminating LPS in Stx-binding and activation of neutrophils. The identification of the Stx-receptor on neutrophils provides additional elements to foster the understanding of the pathophysiology of HUS and could have an important effect on the development of therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2013 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


Arfilli V.,University of Bologna | Carnicelli D.,University of Bologna | Rocchi L.,University of Bologna | Ricci F.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | And 3 more authors.
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2010

The main cause of acute renal failure in children is HUS (haemolytic uraemic syndrome), a consequence of intestinal infections with Escherichia coli strains producing Stx (Shiga toxins). Stx released in the gut by the non-invasive bacteria reach the bloodstream and are targeted to cerebral and renal endothelium triggering HUS. PMN (polymorphonuclear leucocytes) seem to be involved in Stx delivery through an unidentified membrane receptor (K d = 10 -8 M; 2 × 10 5 binding sites) which does not allow internalization. Some experts in the field have defined the Stx-PMN interaction as non-specific and of little biological significance. In the present study, we show that the A chain of ricin, the well-known plant RIP (ribosome-inactivating protein), interacts with PMN (K d = 10 -9 M; 2 × 10 5 binding sites) competing for the same receptor that recognizes Stx, whereas diphtheria toxin and several agonists of TLRs (Toll-like receptors) or the mannose receptor were ineffective. No toxic effects of ricin A chain on PMN were observed, as assessed bymeasuring protein synthesis and the rate of spontaneous apoptosis of leucocytes. Moreover, two single-chain RIPs (gelonin and saporin S6) had the same competing effect. Thus RIPs and Stx1 share structural similarities, the same enzymatic activity and a common receptor on PMN. These observations reveal that the Stx-PMN interaction is specific, confirming that PMN recognize molecular patterns common to different foreign molecules. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Biochemical Society.


Pierelli L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Berto P.,PBE consulting | Accorsi P.,Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale | Milone G.,Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit | And 6 more authors.
Transfusion and Apheresis Science | Year: 2013

Scarce information is available about the cost of mobilisation/collection of peripheral blood stem cells for patients undergoing autologous transplant for relapsed Lymphoma or Multiple Myeloma. This paper reports the consumption of resources and costs collected through a survey among Italian Centres who adhere to the GITMO and SIdEM scientific societies. General transplant information was extracted from the European Promise database. Resources used alongside the phases of mobilisation/collection were retrieved. Resources for each of the process phases were quantified and averaged across centres and a unit cost value was attributed, based on administrative data from 3 centres, tariffs and market values. 25/89 Centres (34% of 2009 Promise transplants) provided data according to their standard practice. The mean cost/patient of the process of cell mobilisation/collection was €6830. ±. 1802 for Multiple Myeloma and €7304. ±. 1542 for Lymphoma. The organisational path for PBSC mobilisation/collection appears complex and cumbersome, spread amongst different treatment settings, with many different healthcare professionals being involved and considerable amounts of time and resources being currently dedicated to the management of patients requiring autologous transplantation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale and University of Bologna
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) | Year: 2016

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is the life-threatenig sequela of intestinal infections by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in children. Human neutrophils specifically bind Stx through TLR4, the receptor of LPS. The binding could be considered protective (Stx sequestration) or harmful (toxin delivery to target organs). The amount of Stx on neutrophils is in equilibrium with the amount of Stx present in the gut, and it is also related to renal and neurologic symptoms. The TLR4-mediated interaction of LPS with innate immune cells is hampered by the well-known antibiotic polymyxin B. In this study, we show that the same antibiotic impairs the binding of Stx to neutrophils, also blocking their functional effects (release of CXCL8, formation of neutrophil/platelet aggregates) involved in HUS pathogenesis. Controls for contaminating LPS in Stx-induced neutrophil responses inhibited by polymyxin B were performed. Stx interact with human neutrophils through their A chain, since these leukocytes do not express globotriaosylceramide, the specific receptor for Stx B chains. Consistently, polymyxin B blocked the enzymatic activity of Stx1, Stx2, Stx1 A chain, and the analogous plant protein gelonin, whereas the antibiotic did not show any protective effect on Stx-induced cytotoxicity in globotriaosylceramide-expressing Raji cells. Antibiotic administration is not recommended in human STEC infections during the prodromal intestinal phase, and the toxicity of polymyxin B could further discourage its therapeutic use. However, nontoxic, nonbactericidal polymyxin derivatives have been developed and might be used in animal models of STEC infection to study their efficacy in preventing the onset of HUS during the systemic blood phase of Stx.

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