Caraffa di Catanzaro, Italy

University of Catanzaro
Caraffa di Catanzaro, Italy

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Vaiarelli A.,University of Catanzaro
Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The opportunity to use gonadotropins to stimulate the growth of antral follicles coming from different follicular waves available in different moment of the menstrual cycle allowed the implementation of innovative protocols in assisted reproductive technologies. The purpose of this review is to explore the possible advantages related to these new controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) strategies. RECENT FINDINGS: Women exhibit major and minor wave patterns of ovarian follicular development during the menstrual cycle, as it is in animal species. These observations led to the introduction of two new strategies for COS: the random start and the double ovarian stimulation within a single menstrual cycle. SUMMARY: The use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist COS protocols, started randomly at any day of the menstrual cycle, is today a standard procedure in those cases where obtaining oocytes is an urgent task, such as in case of fertility preservation for malignant diseases or other medical indications.On the other hand, in poor prognosis patients, double ovarian stimulation has been suggested with the aim of maximizing the number of oocytes retrieved within a single menstrual cycle and, in turn increasing the chance to obtain a reproductively competent embryo. Randomized control trials are necessary to confirm these preliminary findings. Copyright © 2017 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2013

The objective is to deliver a trans-European network of industrially oriented specialists fully trained in the development and application of microbioreactor (MBR) technology to support development of innovative bio-based manufacturing processes. The specialistis will be trained by leaders in the field and with state of the art equipment and methodologies. MBRs are a promising tool for screening and scale-up of fermentation and biocatalysis processes due to their low production cost, small working volumes, flexibility and their potential for information-rich experiments under well-controlled experimental conditions. In this consortium, we will further develop MBRs for chemical and biochemical screening, paying special attention to MBR parallelization and applicability for different applications. In addition, characterization of experimental uncertainty, development of reactant feeding strategies at micro-scale and coupling of microscale experimentation to automated design of experiments (DoE) will document applicability of MBRs for chemical and biochemical research. To enhance the applicability of microfluidic enzymatic reactors for organic synthesis, we will establish microfluidic chemo-biocatalytic reaction systems that enable rapid characterization of biosynthetic pathways and chemo-enzymatic conversions. This will be underpinned with immobilization methods that permit rapid and reversible binding of a range of biocatalysts and modeling that relates the kinetic data with results from larger scales. Complemented with precisely positioned fluorescence-based sensor arrays, novel nanosensor particle concepts, and integrated Raman and NIR probes, the MBRs will deliver the data-rich experimentation needed for industrial applications. Data processing and information management will be accomplished by developing CFD and mathematical modeling methods that permit prediction and interpretation of fermentation and biocatalytic processes in MBRs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.43M | Year: 2009

Future breakthroughs in the understanding of fundamental biological processes causing major diseases are expected from the development of miniaturized probes or microscopes able to detect and identify a single or a small number of molecules. The SingleMoleculeDetection (SMD) proposal will develop a unique device able to perform simultaneously and in a dynamic way force and spectroscopic measurements. We will design and fabricate novel devices for the generation of plasmon polaritons as well as combine photonic crystals and plasmonic nanolenses. These new devices will be able to detect few/single molecules through Raman, InfraRed and Terahertz (THz) signals and in combination with Atomic Force Microscopy and Optical Tweezer force spectroscopy with a spatial resolution in the sub-10 nm for Raman and IR and sub-100 nm for the THz region. The complete characterization of single unknown molecule will be demonstrated through: i- investigations on the chemical and physical properties of membrane receptors, such as rhodopsin, odorant receptors and ionic channels; ii- identification of new molecules involved in cancer development and metastasis. The new devices will allow the acquisition of THz images and we will explore the possibilities of this new spectral region for biomedical scanning. The SMD proposal is based on an original idea of the coordinator, prof. E. di Fabrizio and will be exploited thanks to the complementary expertise present in the different sites and to a tight coordination between the various groups. The design, fabrication and testing will be performed at UMG, TASC and CBM Integration in a single instrument will be carried out at TASC, CBM, IIT Nanotec, RUB. Validation activities will be performed by all the partners taking advantage of the world leading expertise of the TUDO and the STRATH- AC in spectroscopy of natural and artificial biological systems. The SME NANOTEC and CBM will provide the commercial exploitation of the obtained results.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-4 | Award Amount: 4.32M | Year: 2012

MEDIGENE project will study genetic and environmental (G x E) determinants of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in recent immigrants in Europe by a novel approach integrating ancestry of Mediterranean populations in epidemiology, locus refining and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). West Mediterranean shores are place of pre-historical termini of population expansion from Southern Europe and North Africa. Archaeogenetic studies in Europe indicated that Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA patterns or Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) revealed a close relationship between genetic and geographic distances able to locate an individual DNA within few hundred kilometers. The project will use this information in mapping the genetic basis of insulin resistance, cardiovascular and metabolic complications in immigrants (Albanians, Romanians, Turkish, Tunisians, Algerians and Morocco) in host countries France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Ancestry markers and studies on ancient DNA from Roman historical migration in Catalonia will help to give a better picture of the genetic landscape of Europe and North Africa. Genes for MetS will be studied in existing samples from host and home countries by GWAS, locus refining by next-generation sequencing and haplotype mapping. Informative filtered SNPs will be then used in epidemiology and novel DNA samples to reveal G x E interactions and specificities of the pathogenesis of MetS. Genetic findings will be replicated in home countries (Anatolia and North Africa) in the goal to develop markers ethnic specific and significant at a clinical scale. Major impact is expected from dissemination of our findings to prevent the occurrence of MetS and obesity in children and adolescents or in descendants of modern immigration, understanding variability clinical manifestations of MetS in the context of malnutrition and from the novel approach of GWAS strategies by ameliorating the association signal and bursting R&D activities of SMEs.

Bronchodilators are the cornerstone of the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In particular, the most commonly used drugs are inhaled long-acting agents, including long-acting β2-adrenergic agonists (LABAs) and long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists (LAMAs). The combination of a LABA with a LAMA, i.e. of molecules characterized by different mechanisms of action, results in a synergistic enhancement of their clinical and functional effects. Therefore, this combined treatment can be implemented in a number of cases in which disease control is not adequately achieved by a single active agent such as a LABA or a LAMA. Several LABA/LAMA fixed-dose combinations, mainly made up of newly developed compounds, are currently in advanced phases of experimental evaluation. Within such a context, the aim of this review is to outline the pharmacological basis of dual bronchodilation as well as to discuss the results of the main trials carried out using the drug combination consisting of indacaterol and glycopyrronium, a LABA and a LAMA recently introduced in the treatment of COPD. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel Copyright © 2014, S. Karger AG. All rights reserved.

Malaguarnera R.,University of Catanzaro | Belfiore A.,University of Catanzaro
Frontiers in Endocrinology | Year: 2014

Cancer cells frequently exploit the IGF signaling, a fundamental pathway mediating development, cell growth, and survival. As a consequence, several components of the IGF signaling are deregulated in cancer and sustain cancer progression. However, specific targeting of IGF-IR in humans has resulted efficacious only in small subsets of cancers, making researches wondering whether IGF system targeting is still worth pursuing in the clinical setting. Although no definite answer is yet available, it has become increasingly clear that other components of the IGF signaling pathway, such as IR-A, may substitute for the lack of IGF-IR, and induce cancer resistance and/or clonal selection. Moreover, accumulating evidence now indicates that IGF signaling is a central player in the induction/maintenance of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cell stemness, two strictly related programs, which play a key role in metastatic spread and resistance to cancer treatments. Here we review the evidences indicating that IGF signaling enhances the expression of transcription factors implicated in the EMT program and has extensive cross-talk with specific pathways involved in cell pluripotency and stemness maintenance. In turn, EMT and cell stemness activate positive feed-back mechanisms causing up-regulation of various IGF signaling components. These findings may have novel translational implications. © 2014 Malaguarnera and Belfiore.

Pietropaolo A.,University of Catanzaro | Nakano T.,Hokkaido University
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

Helical polymers with switchable screw sense are versatile frameworks for chiral functional materials. In this work, we reconstructed the free energy landscape of helical poly(2,7-bis(4-tert-butylphenyl)fluoren-9-yl acrylate) [poly(BBPFA)], as its racemization is selectively driven by light without any rearrangement of chemical bonds. The chirality inversion was enforced by atomistic free energy simulations using chirality indices as reaction coordinates. The free energy landscape reproduced the experimental electronic circular dichroism spectra. We propose that the chirality inversion of poly(BBPFA) proceeds from a left-handed 31 helix via multistate free energy pathways to reach the right-handed 31 helix. The inversion is triggered by the rotation of biphenyl units with an activation barrier of 38 kcal/mol. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the chiral inversion mechanism of a helical polymer determined in a quantitative way in the framework of atomistic free energy simulations. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

The epidemiological status of HCV in Europe, and in particular in Mediterranean countries, is continuously evolving. The genotype distribution is related to improvement of healthcare conditions, expansion of intravenous drug use and immigration. We review and characterize the epidemiology of the distribution of HCV genotypes within Calabria, an area of Southern Italy. We focus on the pattern of distinct HCV genotype changes over the last 16 years; particularly subtype 1b and genotype 4. We collected data by evaluating a hospital-based cohort of chronic hepatitis C patients; in addition, we report an update including new patients enrolled during last eight months.

Small S.L.,University of California at Irvine | Buccino G.,University of Catanzaro | Solodkin A.,University of California at Irvine
Nature Reviews Neurology | Year: 2013

Following stroke, patients are commonly left with debilitating motor and speech impairments. This article reviews the state of the art in neurological repair for stroke and proposes a new model for the future. We suggest that stroke treatment - from the time of the ictus itself to living with the consequences - must be fundamentally neurological, from limiting the extent of injury at the outset, to repairing the consequent damage. Our model links brain and behaviour by targeting brain circuits, and we illustrate the model though action observation treatment, which aims to enhance brain network connectivity. The model is based on the assumptions that the mechanisms of neural repair inherently involve cellular and circuit plasticity, that brain plasticity is a synaptic phenomenon that is largely stimulus-dependent, and that brain repair required both physical and behavioural interventions that are tailored to reorganize specific brain circuits. We review current approaches to brain repair after stroke and present our new model, and discuss the biological foundations, rationales, and data to support our novel approach to upper-extremity and language rehabilitation. We believe that by enhancing plasticity at the level of brain network interactions, this neurological model for brain repair could ultimately lead to a cure for stroke. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Torella D.,University of Catanzaro
Journal of the American Heart Association | Year: 2014

Diabetes mellitus (DM) has multifactorial detrimental effects on myocardial tissue. Recently, carbonic anhydrases (CAs) have been shown to play a major role in diabetic microangiopathy but their role in the diabetic cardiomyopathy is still unknown. We obtained left ventricular samples from patients with DM type 2 (DM-T2) and nondiabetic (NDM) patients with postinfarct heart failure who were undergoing surgical coronary revascularization. Myocardial levels of CA-I and CA-II were 6- and 11-fold higher, respectively, in DM-T2 versus NDM patients. Elevated CA-I expression was mainly localized in the cardiac interstitium and endothelial cells. CA-I induced by high glucose levels hampers endothelial cell permeability and determines endothelial cell apoptosis in vitro. Accordingly, capillary density was significantly lower in the DM-T2 myocardial samples (mean±SE=2152±146 versus 4545±211/mm(2)). On the other hand, CA-II was mainly upregulated in cardiomyocytes. The latter was associated with sodium-hydrogen exchanger-1 hyperphosphorylation, exaggerated myocyte hypertrophy (cross-sectional area 565±34 versus 412±27 μm(2)), and apoptotic death (830±54 versus 470±34 per 10(6) myocytes) in DM-T2 versus NDM patients. CA-II is activated by high glucose levels and directly induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and death in vitro, which are prevented by sodium-hydrogen exchanger-1 inhibition. CA-II was shown to be a direct target for repression by microRNA-23b, which was downregulated in myocardial samples from DM-T2 patients. MicroRNA-23b is regulated by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and it modulates high-glucose CA-II-dependent effects on cardiomyocyte survival in vitro. Myocardial CA activation is significantly elevated in human diabetic ischemic cardiomyopathy. These data may open new avenues for targeted treatment of diabetic heart failure.

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