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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Alisi A.,Unit of Liver Research | De Vito R.,Unit of Pathology | Monti L.,Bambino Ges Childrens Hospital | Nobili V.,Unit of Liver Research
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Numerous paediatric liver diseases from different origins may be complicated by development of liver fibrosis and progression to cirrhosis. Although fibrogenesis, which represents a major driving force for the development of liver fibrosis, has common tracts whatever the aetiology, liver fibrosis has different histopathological patterns in paediatric liver disease. In these diseases management choices may depend upon the stage of liver fibrosis. Thus, the accurate estimation of histological pattern of liver fibrosis is important for the prevention of the subsequent complications. Liver biopsy has long been considered as a gold standard diagnostic method for assessing liver fibrosis. However, due to its several disadvantages, in the last decades alternative and accurate non-invasive means to estimate fibrosis are developed. In this review, we characterised the most frequent histological patterns of liver fibrosis in paediatric liver diseases. Furthermore, we describe use of liver biopsy in diagnosis and staging of liver fibrosis, list the alternative non-invasive techniques that have an emerging role in the assessment of liver fibrosis, and propose a management algorithm. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Corso G.,University of Siena | Marrelli D.,University of Siena | Pascale V.,University of Siena | Vindigni C.,Unit of Pathology | Roviello F.,University of Siena
BMC Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: The frequency of E-cadherin germline mutations in countries with different incidence rates for gastric carcinoma has not been well established. The goal of this study was to assess the worldwide frequency of CDH1 germline mutations in gastric cancers coming from low- and high-risk areas.Methods: English articles using MEDLINE access (from 1998 to 2011). Search terms included CDH1, E-cadherin, germline mutation, gastric cancer, hereditary, familial and diffuse histotype.The study included all E-cadherin germline mutations identified in gastric cancer patients; somatic mutations and germline mutations reported in other tumors were excluded.The method of this study was scheduled in accordance with the "PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses". Countries were classified as low- or middle/high risk-areas for gastric carcinoma incidence. Statistical analysis was performed to correlate the CDH1 mutation frequency with gastric cancer incidence areas.Results: A total of 122 E-cadherin germline mutations have been identified; the majority (87.5%) occurred in gastric cancers coming from low-risk areas. In high-risk areas, we identified 16 mutations in which missense mutations were predominant. (68.8%). We verified a significant association between the mutation frequency and the gastric cancer risk area (p < 0.001: overall identified mutations in low- vs. middle/high-risk areas).Conclusions: E-cadherin genetic screenings performed in low-risk areas for gastric cancer identified a higher frequency of CDH1 germline mutations. This data could open new approaches in the gastric cancer prevention test; before proposing a proband candidate for the CDH1 genetic screening, geographic variability, alongside the family history should be considered. © 2012 Corso et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd..

Eterno V.,Laboratory of Experimental Oncology and Pharmacogenomics | Zambelli A.,Laboratory of Experimental Oncology and Pharmacogenomics | Pavesi L.,Laboratory of Experimental Oncology and Pharmacogenomics | Villani L.,Unit of Pathology | And 5 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Adipose tissue is a reservoir of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells, ASCs), endowed with regenerative properties. Fat graft was proposed for breast reconstruction in post-surgery cancer patients achieving good aesthetic results and tissues regeneration. However, recent findings highlight a potential tumorigenic role that ASCs may have in cancer recurrence, raising some concerns about their safety in clinical application. To address this issue, we established a model where autologous ASCs were combined with primary normal or cancer cells from breast of human donors, in order to evaluate potential effects of their interactions, in vitro and in vivo. Surprisingly, we found that ASCs are not tumorigenic per sè, as they are not able to induce a neoplastic transformation of normal mammary cells, however they could exhacerbate tumorigenic behaviour of c-Met-expressing breast cancer cells, creating an inflammatory microenvironment which sustained tumor growth and angiogenesis. Pharmacological c-Met inhibition showed that a HGF/c-Met crosstalk between ASCs and breast cancer cells enhanced tumor cells migration, acquiring a metastatic signature, and sustained tumor self-renewal. The master role of HGF/c-Met pathway in cancer recurrence was further confirmed by c-Met immunostaining in primary breast cancer from human donors, revealing a strong positivity in patients displaying a recurrent pathology after fat grafts and a weak/moderate staining in patients without signs of recurrence. Altogether our findings, for the first time, suggest c-Met expression, as predictive to evaluate risk of cancer recurrence after autologous fat graft in post-surgery breast cancer patients, increasing the safety of fat graft in clinical application.

Nobili V.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs | Carpino G.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Alisi A.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs | Franchitto A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 6 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2012

Hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) play a major role in liver repair and regeneration. We evaluated HPC involvement in pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (pNAFLD). Thirty biopsies of consecutive children and adolescents with untreated NAFLD (19 with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH] and 11 without NASH) were studied using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. HPCs and HPC-expressing adipokines (e.g., adiponectin, resistin, and glucagon-like peptide 1 [GLP-1]) were counted and correlated with steatosis, inflammation, hepatocyte ballooning, fibrosis, and NAFLD activity score (NAS). The HPC compartment was expanded in pNAFLD, especially in children with NASH, and was independently associated with degree of fibrosis (r = 0.303; P = 0.033). NASH livers were also characterized by increased hepatocyte apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest, and an expanded pool of intermediate hepatocytes. Adiponectin expression in HPCs of pNAFLD patients was down-regulated with respect to the healthy liver, and this expression was inversely correlated with NAS score (r = -0.792; P < 0.001) and steatosis (r = -0.769; P < 0.001). Resistin expression in HPCs increased in pNAFLD and was related to degree of fibrosis (r = 0.432; P < 0.05). GLP-1 was overexpressed in HPCs of pNAFLD patients, and GLP-1 expression was related to degree of steatosis (r = 0.577; P < 0.05) and NAS (r = 0.594; P < 0.01). Conclusions: HPC activation is involved in the response of the liver to oxidative stress in pNAFLD and is correlated with fibrosis and the progression toward NASH. HPCs express adiponectin, resistin, and GLP-1, which become available to resident liver cells and are strongly associated with the severity of NAFLD. These results may have important pathophysiological implications in the modulation of hepatic insulin resistance and the progression of liver injury. © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Nobili V.,Unit of Liver Research | Carpino G.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Alisi A.,Unit of Liver Research | De Vito R.,Unit of Pathology | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Introduction: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most important causes of liver-related morbidity and mortality in children. Recently, we have reported the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the major dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, in children with NAFLD. DHA exerts a potent anti-inflammatory activity through the G protein-coupled receptor (GPR)120. Our aim was to investigate in pediatric NAFLD the mechanisms underlying the effects of DHA administration on histo-pathological aspects, GPR120 expression, hepatic progenitor cell activation and macrophage pool. Patients and Methods: 20 children with untreated NAFLD were included. Children were treated with DHA for 18 months. Liver biopsies before and after the treatment were analyzed. Hepatic progenitor cell activation, macrophage pool and GPR120 expression were evaluated and correlated with clinical and histo-pathological parameters. Results: GPR120 was expressed by hepatocytes, liver macrophages, and hepatic progenitor cells. After DHA treatment, the following modifications were present: i) the improvement of histo-pathological parameters such as NAFLD activity score, ballooning, and steatosis; ii) the reduction of hepatic progenitor cell activation in correlation with histo-pathological parameters; iii) the reduction of the number of inflammatory macrophages; iv) the increase of GPR120 expression in hepatocytes; v) the reduction of serine-311-phosphorylated nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) nuclear translocation in hepatocytes and macrophages in correlation with serum inflammatory cytokines. Conclusions: DHA could modulate hepatic progenitor cell activation, hepatocyte survival and macrophage polarization through the interaction with GPR120 and NF-kB repression. In this scenario, the modulation of GPR120 exploits a novel crucial role in the regulation of the cell-to-cell cross-talk that drives inflammatory response, hepatic progenitor cell activation and hepatocyte survival. © 2014 Nobili et al.

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