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Brescia, Italy

Sacchetti E.,University of Brescia | Scassellati C.,Genetic Unit | Minelli A.,Viale Europa | Valsecchi P.,University of Brescia | And 5 more authors.
BMC Medical Genetics | Year: 2013

Background: Recent studies supported associations between four NMDA-receptor-mediated signalling genes (D-amino acid oxidase, DAO; D-amino acid oxidase activator, DAOA; protein phosphatase 3 catalytic subunit gamma isoform, PPP3CC; dystrobrevin-binding protein 1, DTNBP1) and schizophrenia susceptibility, even though with contrasting results. Methods: In an attempt to replicate these findings for the first time in an Italian population, a panel of 32 tagSNPs was analysed in a representative case-control sample involving 879 subjects. Results: An association in the allele frequency was observed for the estimated PPP3CC CAG triplotype in the SNP window rs4872499 T/C-rs11780915 A/G-rs13271367 G/A (pcorrect = 0.001). Similarly, the clustered genotype frequencies of the estimated/phased CAG triplotype differed between cases and controls (p = 0.004), with the carriers having a higher frequency in the control population (p = 0.002, odd ratio OR = 0.59, 95% confident interval CI: 0.43-0.82).Following the phenotypic dissection strategy, the analysis of single SNPs evidenced a protective effect in males of rs11780915 and rs13271367 in PPP3CC gene (pcorrect = 0.02, pcorrect = 0.04 respectively). Moreover the estimated/phased GT diplotype (rs2070586A/G-rs3741775G/T) carriers of the DAO gene were more highly represented in female controls (p = 0.017, OR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.37-0.90), as were the estimated/phased CAG triplotype carriers of the PPP3CC gene in females (p = 0.01, OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.32-0.87). In addition, we performed an interaction analysis, and a 66% (p = 0.003, OR = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.17-0.70) lower risk of developing schizophrenia for female (CAG + GT) carriers versus non-CAG or -GT carriers was observed. For DTNBP1, we found a protective effect in males for the rs6459409 (pcorrect = 0.02) and the estimated/phased CT diplotype (rs6459409-rs9476886) carriers (p = 3x10-4, OR = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.30-0.70).In relation to diagnostic subtypes, the estimated/phased DAO GT diplotype and PPP3CC CAG triplotype female carriers were found to show relative risk ratio (RRR) values of 0.52 and 0.54 lower risk for a paranoid phenotype respectively. Conclusions: Although the results are preliminary and needed replication in a larger sample, this study suggests that NMDA receptor-mediated signalling genes (DAO, PPP3CC, DTNBP1) might be involved in schizophrenia pathogenic mechanisms related to gender. © 2013 Sacchetti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Sala V.,University of Milan | Gusmara C.,University of Milan | Ostanello F.,University of Bologna | Brignoli P.,Viale Europa
Journal of Central European Agriculture | Year: 2011

The decline of pig health status is the effect of a bad air quality inside breeding facilities related to the concentration of biogases derived from the action of faecal microbial flora on urine nitrogen. Bioactivation of the environment with bacterial-enzymatic mixtures is able to reduce this chemical emanation. An experimental trial has been performed to evaluate the efficacy of the bioactivation treatment to prevent mycoplasmal pneumonia in finishing pigs. Treated and untreated groups, different treatment schemes and different floors have been compared. The ammonia concentration was checked by a chemical method. M. hyopneumoniae infection was evaluated through seroprevalence and by a quantitative lung-scoring system. For all slaughter-lots average carcass weight was recorded. The decrease of the environmental ammonia concentration resulted in lower lung-scores and higher carcass weight. Source

Rezzani R.,Viale Europa | Nardo L.,University of California at San Francisco | Favero G.,Viale Europa | Peroni M.,Viale Europa | Rodella L.F.,Viale Europa
Age | Year: 2014

Aging is a continuous process that induces many alterations in the cytoarchitecture of different organs and systems both in humans and animals. Moreover, it is associated with increased susceptibility to infectious, autoimmune, and neoplastic processes. The thymus is a primary lymphoid organ responsible for the production of immunocompetent T cells and, with aging, it atrophies and declines in functions. Universality of thymic involution in all species possessing thymus, including human, indicates it as a long-standing evolutionary event. Although it is accepted that many factors contribute to age-associated thymic involution, little is known about the mechanisms involved in the process. The exact time point of the initiation is not well defined. To address the issue, we report the exact age of thymus throughout the review so that readers can have a nicely pictured synoptic view of the process. Focusing our attention on the different stages of the development of the thymus gland (natal, postnatal, adult, and old), we describe chronologically the morphological changes of the gland. We report that the thymic morphology and cell types are evolutionarily preserved in several vertebrate species. This finding is important in understanding the similar problems caused by senescence and other diseases. Another point that we considered very important is to indicate the assessment of the thymus through radiological images to highlight its variability in shape, size, and anatomical conformation. © American Aging Association 2013. Source

Zambito Marsala S.,Viale Europa | Pistacchi M.,Neurology Service | Tocco P.,University of Verona | Gioulis M.,Viale Europa | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences | Year: 2015

Background Depression and pain may sometimes be related conditions. Occasionally, depression may be associated with physical symptoms, such as back pain and headache. Moreover, depression may impair the subjective response to pain and is likely to influence the pain feeling. Conversely, chronic pain may represent an emotional condition as well as physical sensation, and can influence both the mood and behaviour. Aim To better understand the relationship between pain and depression, we therefore assessed the pain threshold and the tolerance pain threshold in patients with depressive disorders. Materials and methods We conducted a case-control study and selected patients who had recently received a diagnosis of major depression (DSM-IV), before treatment, and without any significant pain complaints. Age- and sex-matched healthy controls were also included. Tactile and pain thresholds were assessed in all subjects through an electrical stimulation test. All results were compared between the groups. Results 27 patients and 27 age-matched healthy controls were included in the study. Tactile, pain and tolerance thresholds were evaluated in all subjects. The pain threshold and pain tolerance were lower in patients with major depression than controls. All differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Conclusion These results suggest the abnormal processing of pain stimuli in depressive disorders. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

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