UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore

Castelfranco Emilia, Italy

UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore

Castelfranco Emilia, Italy
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Campia U.,Northwestern University | Tesauro M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cardillo C.,UniversitaCattolica Del Sacro Cuore
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Obesity is an ongoing worldwide epidemic. Besides being a medical condition in itself, obesity dramatically increases the risk of development of metabolic and cardiovascular disease. This risk appears to stem from multiple abnormalities in adipose tissue function leading to a chronic inflammatory state and to dysregulation of the endocrine and paracrine actions of adipocyte-derived factors. These, in turn, disrupt vascular homeostasis by causing an imbalance between the NO pathway and the endothelin 1 system, with impaired insulin-stimulated endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Importantly, emerging evidence suggests that the vascular dysfunction of obesity is not just limited to the endothelium, but also involves the other layers of the vessel wall. In particular, obesity-related changes in medial smooth muscle cells seem to disrupt the physiological facilitatory action of insulin on the responsiveness to vasodilator stimuli, whereas the adventitia and perivascular fat appear to be a source of pro-inflammatory and vasoactive factors that may contribute to endothelial and smooth muscle cell dysfunction, and to the pathogenesis of vascular disease. While obesity-induced vascular dysfunction appears to be reversible, at least in part, with weight control strategies, these have not proved sufficient to prevent the metabolic and cardiovascular complication of obesity on a large scale. While a number of currently available drugs have shown potentially beneficial vascular effects in patients with obesity and the metabolic syndrome, elucidation of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying vascular damage in obese patients is necessary to identify additional pharmacologic targets to prevent the cardiovascular complications of obesity, and their human and economic costs. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Fat and Vascular Responsiveness. To view the other articles in this section visit © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.


Tesauro M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Rovella V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Mores N.,UniversitaCattolica Del Sacro Cuore
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2011

Objectives: Angiotensin (Ang) II type 1 (AT1) receptors mediate the majority of cardiovascular effects of Ang II, whereas the role of type 2 (AT2) receptors is still controversial. The present study, therefore, investigated regional hemodynamic responses mediated by AT2 receptors in humans. Methods: Studies were performed in 20 healthy individuals (eight men; mean age 37±3 years) through intra-arterial infusion of agonists and antagonists of Ang II receptors by use of strain-gauge plethysmography. Results: Selective blockade of either AT1 or AT2 receptors by telmisartan or PD 123319, respectively, resulted in mild forearm blood flow increase (15±5% and 10±4, respectively; both P>0.05); combined AT1 and AT2 receptor antagonism, however, was associated with greater vasodilator response (25±5%; P=0.02). This effect was unrelated to increased nitric oxide activity, being unaffected (27±5%; P=0.65) by a ' nitric oxide clamp' (coinfusion of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NMMA and the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside). Graded doses of Ang II induced a progressive vasoconstrictor response that was blunted not only by telmisartan, but also by PD 123319 and by the combination of PD 123319 and telmisartan (all P<0.001 vs. Ang II alone). AT2 receptor stimulation by CGP 42112A resulted in a dose-dependent vasodilation (P<0.001 vs. baseline), that was abolished by the nitric oxide clamp and by PD 123319 (both P<0.001 vs. CGP 42112A alone). Conclusion:: In the human forearm, vasoconstrictor AT2 receptors coexist with AT2 receptors mediating nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation. These findings suggest that imbalance between these opposing hemodynamic actions may affect vascular homeostasis and foster further investigation about the role of AT2 receptors in human disease. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Grassi M.,University of Brescia | Grassi M.,Applicate | Lodigiani C.,University of Pavia | Patella R.,IRCCS Instituto Clinico Humanitas | And 16 more authors.
Stroke | Year: 2011

Background and Purpose-The mechanisms underlying the relationship between migraine and ischemic stroke remain uncertain. The aim of the present study was to investigate the predictive value of major cardiovascular risk factors, cardiac interatrial abnormalities, and additional biological markers on migraine subtypes in young adults with ischemic stroke. Methods-Ischemic stroke patients aged 45 years or younger were consecutively enrolled as part of the Italian Project on Stroke in Young Adults. A comprehensive evaluation was performed including assessment of self-reported migraine and cardiovascular risk factors, interatrial right-to-left shunt, and genotyping to detect factor V Leiden and the G20210A mutation in the prothrombin gene. Results-Nine hundred eighty-one patients (mean age, 36.0±7.6 years; 50.7% women) were included. The risk of migraine with aura increased with decreasing number of cardiovascular risk factors (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.24-0.99 for 2 factors or more), increasing number of thrombophilic variants (OR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.05- 4.68 for carriers of at least 1 of the 2), and the presence of right-to-left shunt (OR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.37-3.45), as compared to patients without migraine. None of these factors had influence on the risk of migraine without aura. Conclusions-In young adults with ischemic stroke, low cardiovascular risk profile, right-to-left shunt, and an underlying procoagulant state are predictors of migraine with aura. The biological effects of these factors should be considered in future studies aimed at investigating the mechanisms linking migraine to brain ischemia. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.


Bencini P.L.,Iclid Instituto Of Chirurgia E Laserchirurgia In Dermatologia | Tourlaki A.,Iclid Instituto Of Chirurgia E Laserchirurgia In Dermatologia | Galimberti M.,Iclid Instituto Of Chirurgia E Laserchirurgia In Dermatologia | Longo C.,Dermatology Unit | And 3 more authors.
Dermatologic Therapy | Year: 2012

Fractional photothermolysis has been shown to improve various types of scarring, including atrophic acne scars. The aim of the present authors was to assess the efficacy and safety of the nonablative fractional photothermolysis in the treatment of moderate and severe acne scars. Eighty-seven patients with moderate or severe acne scarring were treated with six sessions with a 1540-nm Erbium glass fiber laser at 3-week intervals. Six months after the final session, 7/87 (8%) patients showed a moderate improvement, whereas 80/87 (92%) patients had a marked improvement. In a subset of patients, the present authors also applied in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy to highlight the relevant microscopic changes. Hence, early and late posttreatment findings, most importantly the replacement of a coarser collagen with a new one, similar to the collagen seen in healthy skin, were observed. In accordance to previous studies, the present authors conclude that nonablative fractional photothermolysis is a safe and effective treatment for moderate or severe acne scarring. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Mancuso M.,ENEA | Leonardi S.,ENEA | Ceccarelli M.,ENEA | Pasquali E.,ENEA | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common pediatric tumor of the CNS, representing ∼20% of all childhood CNS tumors. Although in recent years many molecular mechanisms that control MB development have been clarified, the effects of biological factors such as sex on this tumor remain to be explained. Epidemiological data, in fact, indicate a significant difference in the incidence of MB between the 2 sexes, with considerably higher susceptibility of males than females. Besides this different susceptibility, female sex is also a significant favorable prognostic factor in MB, with girls having a much better outcome. Despite these literature data, there has been little investigation into estrogen influence on MB development. In our study, we evaluated how hormone deficiency resulting from ovariectomy and hormone replacement influences the development of early and advanced MB stages in Patched1 heterozygous mice, a well-characterized mouse model of radiation-induced MB. Susceptibility to MB development was significantly increased in ovariectomized Ptch1+/- females and restored to levels observed in control mice after estrogen replacement. We next investigated the molecular mechanisms by which estrogen might influence tumor progression and show that ERβ, but not ERα, is involved in modulation of MB development by estrogens. Finally, our study shows that a functional interaction between estrogen-and IGF-I-mediated pathways may be responsible for the effects observed. © 2010 UICC.


Chiappini E.,UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore | Salerno G.,University of Perugia | Berzolla A.,UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore | Iacovone A.,University of Perugia | And 2 more authors.
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata | Year: 2012

Recent investigations conducted on several tritrophic systems have demonstrated that egg parasitoids, when searching for host eggs, may exploit plant synomones that have been induced as a consequence of host oviposition. In this article we show that, in a system characterized by host eggs embedded in the plant tissue, naïve females of the egg parasitoid Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) responded in a Y-tube olfactometer to volatiles from leaves of Carex riparia Curtis (Cyperaceae) containing eggs of one of its hosts, Cicadella viridis (L.) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). The wasp did not respond to host eggs or to clean leaves from non-infested plants compared with clean air, whereas it showed a strong preference for the olfactometer arm containing volatiles of leaves with embedded host eggs, compared with the arm containing volatiles of leaves from a non-infested plant or host eggs extracted from the plant. When the eggs were removed from an infested leaf, the parasitoid preference was observed only if eggs were added aside, suggesting a synergistic effect of a local plant synomone and an egg kairomone. The parasitoid also responded to clean leaves from an egg-infested plant when compared with leaves from a non-infested plant, indicating a systemic effect of volatile induction. © 2012 The Authors Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata © 2012 The Netherlands Entomological Society.


Boccaccio A.,Polytechnic of Bari | Lamberti L.,Polytechnic of Bari | Papi M.,UniversitaCattolica Del Sacro Cuore | De Spirito M.,UniversitaCattolica Del Sacro Cuore | Pappalettere C.,Polytechnic of Bari
Nanotechnology | Year: 2015

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation is very suited for nano- and microscale mechanical characterization of soft materials. Although the structural response of polymeric networks that form soft matter depends on viscous effects caused by the relative slippage of polymeric chains, the usual assumption made in the AFM-based characterization is that the specimen behaves as a purely elastic material and viscous forces are negligible. However, for each geometric configuration of the AFM tip, there will be a limit indentation rate above which viscous effects must be taken into account to correctly determine mechanical properties. A parametric finite element study conducted on 12 geometric configurations of a blunt cone AFM tip (overall, the study included about 200 finite element analyses) allowed us to determine the limit indentation rate for each configuration. The selected tip dimensions cover commercially available products and account for changes in tip geometry caused by serial measurements. Nanoindentation rates cover typical experimental conditions set in AFM bio-measurements on soft matter. Viscous effects appear to be more significant in the case of sharper tips. This implies that, if quantitative data on sample viscosity are not available, using a rounded indenter and carrying out experiments below the limit indentation rate will allow errors in the determination of mechanical properties to be minimized. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Iavicoli I.,UniversitaCattolica Del Sacro Cuore | Bocca B.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Fontana L.,UniversitaCattolica Del Sacro Cuore | Caimi S.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | And 2 more authors.
Toxicology and Industrial Health | Year: 2010

This study determined the distribution in internal organs and the elimination routes in rats after oral administration of potassium hexachloro-palladate. Forty male Wistar rats were exposed for 90 days to 0, 10, 100 and 250 ng/mL of the palladium (Pd) salt in drinking water. Samples of urine and feces were collected on days 1, 30, 60 and 90, while organs (kidney, liver, lung, spleen and bones) and blood were collected at the end of the experiment. Quantification method was based on the sector-field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results indicated that Pd ions were rapidly eliminated from the body. The principal excretion was through the feces (650 ± 72.7 ng/g dry weight, at the Pd dose of 250 ng/mL), but at the higher dosing Pd was also eliminated through the urine (6.16 ± 1.91 ng/mL for the Pd intake of 250 ng/mL). A clear relationship between the Pd ingested dose and the Pd excretion amount was observed mainly in the feces. Absorbed Pd was mostly found in the kidney of rats (124.4 ± 23.0 ng/g dry weight, following the highest dose), while liver, lung, spleen and bones did not accumulate the metal. At the higher dosing, Pd content in the kidney raised proportionally with the Pd dose. Our findings may be useful to help in the understanding of the health impact of Pd dispersed in the environment as well as in identifying appropriate biological indices of Pd exposure. © The Author(s) 2010.


Iavicoli I.,UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore | Fontana L.,UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore | Leso V.,UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore | Bergamaschi A.,UniversitaCattolica del Sacro Cuore
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2013

In recent years, nanoparticles have been increasingly used in several industrial, consumer and medical applications because of their unique physico-chemical properties. However, in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that these properties are also closely associated with detrimental health effects. There is a serious lack of information on the potential nanoparticle hazard to human health, particularly on their possible toxic effects on the endocrine system. This topic is of primary importance since the disruption of endocrine functions is associated with severe adverse effects on human health. Consequently, in order to gather information on the hazardous effects of nanoparticles on endocrine organs, we reviewed the data available in the literature regarding the endocrine effects of in vitro and in vivo exposure to different types of nanoparticles. Our aim was to understand the potential endocrine disrupting risks posed by nanoparticles, to assess their underlying mechanisms of action and identify areas in which further investigation is needed in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the role of nanoparticles as endocrine disruptors. Current data support the notion that different types of nanoparticles are capable of altering the normal and physiological activity of the endocrine system. However, a critical evaluation of these findings suggests the need to interpret these results with caution since information on potential endocrine interactions and the toxicity of nanoparticles is quite limited. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Lenstra J.A.,University Utrecht | Groeneveld L.F.,Institute of Farm Animal Genetics | Eding H.,Animal Evaluations Unit | Kantanen J.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | And 10 more authors.
Animal Genetics | Year: 2012

Genetic studies of livestock populations focus on questions of domestication, within- and among-breed diversity, breed history and adaptive variation. In this review, we describe the use of different molecular markers and methods for data analysis used to address these questions. There is a clear trend towards the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms and whole-genome sequence information, the application of Bayesian or Approximate Bayesian analysis and the use of adaptive next to neutral diversity to support decisions on conservation. © 2012 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2012 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

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