Publications by authors named "Agnese Salvade"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Tau affects P53 function and cell fate during the DNA damage response.

Commun Biol 2020 05 19;3(1):245. Epub 2020 May 19.

Neurodegeneration Research Group, Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences, Ente Cantonale Ospedaliero, Torricella-Taverne, Switzerland.

Cells are constantly exposed to DNA damaging insults. To protect the organism, cells developed a complex molecular response coordinated by P53, the master regulator of DNA repair, cell division and cell fate. DNA damage accumulation and abnormal cell fate decision may represent a pathomechanism shared by aging-associated disorders such as cancer and neurodegeneration. Here, we examined this hypothesis in the context of tauopathies, a neurodegenerative disorder group characterized by Tau protein deposition. For this, the response to an acute DNA damage was studied in neuroblastoma cells with depleted Tau, as a model of loss-of-function. Under these conditions, altered P53 stability and activity result in reduced cell death and increased cell senescence. This newly discovered function of Tau involves abnormal modification of P53 and its E3 ubiquitin ligase MDM2. Considering the medical need with vast social implications caused by neurodegeneration and cancer, our study may reform our approach to disease-modifying therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-0975-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7237658PMC
May 2020

Acute and Chronic Dopaminergic Depletion Differently Affect Motor Thalamic Function.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Apr 15;21(8). Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, 6900 Taverne, Switzerland.

The motor thalamus (MTh) plays a crucial role in the basal ganglia (BG)-cortical loop in motor information codification. Despite this, there is limited evidence of MTh functionality in normal and Parkinsonian conditions. To shed light on the functional properties of the MTh, we examined the effects of acute and chronic dopamine (DA) depletion on the neuronal firing of MTh neurons, cortical/MTh interplay and MTh extracellular concentrations of glutamate (GLU) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in two states of DA depletion: acute depletion induced by the tetrodotoxin (TTX) and chronic denervation obtained by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), both infused into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) in anesthetized rats. The acute TTX DA depletion caused a clear-cut reduction in MTh neuronal activity without changes in burst content, whereas the chronic 6-OHDA depletion did not modify the firing rate but increased the burst firing. The phase correlation analysis underscored that the 6-OHDA chronic DA depletion affected the MTh-cortical activity coupling compared to the acute TTX-induced DA depletion state. The TTX acute DA depletion caused a clear-cut increase of the MTh GABA concentration and no change of GLU levels. On the other hand, the 6-OHDA-induced chronic DA depletion led to a significant reduction of local GABA and an increase of GLU levels in the MTh. These data show that MTh is affected by DA depletion and support the hypothesis that a rebalancing of MTh in the chronic condition counterbalances the profound alteration arising after acute DA depletion state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082734DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215393PMC
April 2020

Phosphorylation of nuclear Tau is modulated by distinct cellular pathways.

Sci Rep 2018 12 7;8(1):17702. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Ente Cantonale Ospedaliero, Torricella-Taverne, Switzerland.

Post-translational protein modification controls the function of Tau as a scaffold protein linking a variety of molecular partners. This is most studied in the context of microtubules, where Tau regulates their stability as well as the distribution of cellular components to defined compartments. However, Tau is also located in the cell nucleus; and is found to protect DNA. Quantitative assessment of Tau modification in the nucleus when compared to the cytosol may elucidate how subcellular distribution and function of Tau is regulated. We undertook an unbiased approach by combing bimolecular fluorescent complementation and mass spectrometry in order to show that Tau phosphorylation at specific residues is increased in the nucleus of proliferating pluripotent neuronal C17.2 and neuroblastoma SY5Y cells. These findings were validated with the use of nuclear targeted Tau and subcellular fractionation, in particular for the phosphorylation at T, T and S. We also report that the DNA damaging drug Etoposide increases the translocation of Tau to the nucleus whilst reducing its phosphorylation. We propose that overt phosphorylation of Tau, a hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders defined as tauopathies, may negatively regulate the function of nuclear Tau in protecting against DNA damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36374-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6286375PMC
December 2018

Oscillatory Activity in the Cortex, Motor Thalamus and Nucleus Reticularis Thalami in Acute TTX and Chronic 6-OHDA Dopamine-Depleted Animals.

Front Neurol 2018 28;9:663. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Taverne, Switzerland.

The motor thalamus (MTh) and the nucleus reticularis thalami (NRT) have been largely neglected in Parkinson's disease (PD) research, despite their key role as interface between basal ganglia (BG) and cortex (Cx). In the present study, we investigated the oscillatory activity within the Cx, MTh, and NRT, in normal and different dopamine (DA)-deficient states. We performed our experiments in both acute and chronic DA-denervated rats by injecting into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) tetrodotoxin (TTX) or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), respectively. Interestingly, almost all the electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency bands changed in acute and/or chronic DA depletion, suggesting alteration of all oscillatory activities and not of a specific band. Overall, δ (2-4 Hz) and θ (4-8 Hz) band decreased in NRT and Cx in acute and chronic state, whilst, α (8-13 Hz) band decreased in acute and chronic states in the MTh and NRT but not in the Cx. The β (13-40 Hz) and γ (60-90 Hz) bands were enhanced in the Cx. In the NRT the β bands decreased, except for high-β (Hβ, 25-30 Hz) that increased in acute state. In the MTh, Lβ and Hβ decreased in acute DA depletion state and γ decreased in both TTX and 6-OHDA-treated animals. These results confirm that abnormal cortical β band are present in the established DA deficiency and it might be considered a hallmark of PD. The abnormal oscillatory activity in frequency interval of other bands, in particular the dampening of low frequencies in thalamic stations, in both states of DA depletion might also underlie PD motor and non-motor symptoms. Our data highlighted the effects of acute depletion of DA and the strict interplay in the oscillatory activity between the MTh and NRT in both acute and chronic stage of DA depletion. Moreover, our findings emphasize early alterations in the NRT, a crucial station for thalamic information processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122290PMC
August 2018

Split GFP technologies to structurally characterize and quantify functional biomolecular interactions of FTD-related proteins.

Sci Rep 2017 10 25;7(1):14013. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Torricella-Taverne, Switzerland.

Protein multimerization in physiological and pathological conditions constitutes an intrinsic trait of proteins related to neurodegeneration. Recent evidence shows that TDP-43, a RNA-binding protein associated with frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, exists in a physiological and functional nuclear oligomeric form, whose destabilization may represent a prerequisite for misfolding, toxicity and subsequent pathological deposition. Here we show the parallel implementation of two split GFP technologies, the GFP bimolecular and trimolecular fluorescence complementation (biFC and triFC) in the context of TDP-43 self-assembly. These techniques coupled to a variety of assays based on orthogonal readouts allowed us to define the structural determinants of TDP-43 oligomerization in a qualitative and quantitative manner. We highlight the versatility of the GFP biFC and triFC technologies for studying the localization and mechanisms of protein multimerization in the context of neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-14459-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5656600PMC
October 2017

Muscle Activity During Sleep in Human Subjects, Rats, and Mice: Towards Translational Models of REM Sleep Without Atonia.

Sleep 2017 04;40(4)

PRISM Laboratory, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Study Objectives: Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep without atonia (RSWA) is a marker of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and is common in narcolepsy. Available techniques for electromyogram (EMG) analysis are species-specific, limiting translational research on RSWA. We developed an automated technique based on distributions of normalized EMG values (DNE) to overcome this limitation. With DNE, we tested whether the control of neck and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles during sleep in wild-type rats and mice validly models the control of submentalis (chin) and TA muscles in healthy humans. We then applied DNE to REM sleep recordings of patients with idiopathic RBD and of mouse models of narcolepsy, testing for a common DNE signature of RSWA.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of sleep recordings from 20 idiopathic RBD patients, 34 control subjects, 8 wild-type rats, 21 orexin-neuron deficient mice, 8 orexin knock-out mice, and 22 wild-type mice.

Results: Neck EMG of rats and mice and human chin EMG progressively decreased from wakefulness to non-REM sleep and REM sleep, whereas the effects of sleep on TA EMG differed between rats, mice, and humans. DNE discriminated idiopathic RBD patients from controls based on higher median values of normalized chin EMG during REM sleep. The same parameter, computed on neck muscle EMG, discriminated narcoleptic mice from wild-type mice.

Conclusions: These results support the application of DNE in translational research on RSWA. Increased median values of normalized EMG of chin (humans) and neck (rats and mice) muscles may be a signature of RSWA in different species and pathological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsx029DOI Listing
April 2017

Distinct roles of cortical and pallidal β and γ frequencies in hemiparkinsonian and dyskinetic rats.

Exp Neurol 2016 Jan 10;275 Pt 1:199-208. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Laboratory for Biomedical Neuroscience (LBN), Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Lugano, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Enhanced β band (βB) activity, which is suppressed by levodopa (LD) treatment, has been demonstrated within the basal ganglia (BG) of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. However, some data suggest that Parkinsonian symptoms are not directly related to this brain frequency and therefore, its causative role remains questionable. A less explored phenomenon is the link between the γ band (γB) and PD phenomenology. Here, we monitored the development of the oscillatory activity during chronic LD depletion and LD treatment in Parkinsonian and levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) in rats. We found a significant and bilateral power increase in the high βB frequencies (20-30 Hz) within the first 10 days after 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion, which was in accordance with a significant depletion of dopaminergic fibers in the striatum. We also observed a clear-cut γB increase during LD treatment. The development of LID was characterized by a slight increase in the cumulative power of βB accompanied by a large augmentation in the γB frequency (60-80 Hz). This latter effect reached a plateau in the frontal cortex bilaterally and the left globus pallidus after the second week of LD treatment. Our data suggest that the βB parallels the emergence of Parkinsonian signs and can be taken as a predictive sign of DA depletion, matching TH-staining reduction. On the other hand, the γB is strictly correlated to the development of LID. LD treatment had an opposite effect on βB and γB, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.11.005DOI Listing
January 2016

Physiological time structure of the tibialis anterior motor activity during sleep in mice, rats and humans.

J Sleep Res 2015 Dec 25;24(6):695-701. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Experimental Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences and Sleep and Epilepsy Center, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Civic Hospital of Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland.

The validation of rodent models for restless legs syndrome (Willis-Ekbom disease) and periodic limb movements during sleep requires knowledge of physiological limb motor activity during sleep in rodents. This study aimed to determine the physiological time structure of tibialis anterior activity during sleep in mice and rats, and compare it with that of healthy humans. Wild-type mice (n = 9) and rats (n = 8) were instrumented with electrodes for recording the electroencephalogram and electromyogram of neck muscles and both tibialis anterior muscles. Healthy human subjects (31 ± 1 years, n = 21) underwent overnight polysomnography. An algorithm for automatic scoring of tibialis anterior electromyogram events of mice and rats during non-rapid eye movement sleep was developed and validated. Visual scoring assisted by this algorithm had inter-rater sensitivity of 92-95% and false-positive rates of 13-19% in mice and rats. The distribution of the time intervals between consecutive tibialis anterior electromyogram events during non-rapid eye movement sleep had a single peak extending up to 10 s in mice, rats and human subjects. The tibialis anterior electromyogram events separated by intervals <10 s mainly occurred in series of two-three events, their occurrence rate in humans being lower than in mice and similar to that in rats. In conclusion, this study proposes reliable rules for scoring tibialis anterior electromyogram events during non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice and rats, demonstrating that their physiological time structure is similar to that of healthy young human subjects. These results strengthen the basis for translational rodent models of periodic limb movements during sleep and restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12319DOI Listing
December 2015

Evidence of an association between sleep and levodopa-induced dyskinesia in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

Neurobiol Aging 2015 Mar 23;36(3):1577-89. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Experimental Laboratory, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Lugano, Switzerland; Parkinson Center, Center for Neurological Rehabilitation, Zihlschlacht, Switzerland.

Levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) represents a major challenge for clinicians treating patients affected by Parkinson's disease (PD). Although levodopa is the most effective treatment for PD, the remodeling effects induced by disease progression and the pharmacologic treatment itself cause a narrowing of the therapeutic window because of the development of LID. Although animal models of PD provide strong evidence that striatal plasticity underlies the development of dyskinetic movements, the pathogenesis of LID is not entirely understood. In recent years, slow homeostatic adjustment of intrinsic excitability occurring during sleep has been considered fundamental for network stabilization by gradually modifying plasticity thresholds. So far, how sleep affects on LID has not been investigated. Therefore, we measured synaptic downscaling across sleep episodes in a parkinsonian animal model showing dyskinetic movements similar to LID. Our electrophysiological, molecular, and behavioral results are consistent with an impaired synaptic homeostasis during sleep in animals showing dyskinesia. Accordingly, sleep deprivation causes an anticipation and worsening of LID supporting a link between sleep and the development of LID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.12.018DOI Listing
March 2015

Hurler disease bone marrow stromal cells exhibit altered ability to support osteoclast formation.

Stem Cells Dev 2012 Jun 2;21(9):1466-77. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Pediatric Department, Dulbecco Telethon Institute at Tettamanti Research Center, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS IH; Hurler syndrome) is a rare genetic disorder that is caused by mutations in the α-L-iduronidase (IDUA) gene, resulting in the deficiency of IDUA enzyme activity and intra-cellular accumulation of glycosaminoglycans. A characteristic skeletal phenotype is one of the many clinical manifestations in Hurler disease. Since the mechanism(s) underlying these skeletal defects are not completely understood, and bone and cartilage are mesenchymal lineages, we focused on the characterization of mesenchymal cells isolated from the bone marrow (BM) of 5 Hurler patients. IDUA-mutated BM stromal cells (BMSC) derived from MPS IH patients exhibited decreased IDUA activity, consistent with the disease genotype. The expansion rate, phenotype, telomerase activity, and differentiation capacity toward adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and smooth muscle cells in vitro of the MPS I BMSC lines were similar to those of BMSC from age-matched normal control donors. MPS I BMSC also had a similar in vivo osteogenic capacity as normal BMSC. However, MPS I BMSC displayed an increased capacity to support osteoclastogenesis, which may correlate with the up-regulation of the RANKL/RANK/OPG molecular pathway in MPS I BMSC compared with normal BMSC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2011.0555DOI Listing
June 2012

Multiple presentation of Scfv800E6 on silica nanospheres enhances targeting efficiency toward HER-2 receptor in breast cancer cells.

Bioconjug Chem 2011 Nov 31;22(11):2296-303. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Luigi Sacco, Università di Milano, Ospedale L. Sacco, Via G.B. Grassi 74, Milan, Italy.

Spherical silica nanoparticles (SNP) have been synthesized and functionalized with anti-HER-2 scFv800E6 antibody by both localized histidine-tag recognition, leading to an oriented protein ligation, and glutaraldehyde cross-linking, exploiting a statistical reactivity of lysine amine groups in the primary sequence of the molecule. The targeting efficiency of nanocomplexes in comparison with free scFv was evaluated by flow cytometry using a HER-2 antigen-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cell line, exhibiting a 4-fold increase in scFv binding efficacy, close to the affinity of intact anti-HER-2 monoclonal antibody, which suggests the effectiveness of presenting multiple scFv molecules on nanoparticles in improving antigen recognition. Unexpectedly, the conjugation method did not affect the binding efficacy of scFv, suggesting a structural role of lysines in the scFv molecule. Confocal laser scanning microscopy confirmed the binding of nanocomplexes to HER-2 and also provided evidence of their localization at the cell surface.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bc200352xDOI Listing
November 2011

Alpha sarcoglycan is required for FGF-dependent myogenic progenitor cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo.

Development 2011 Oct 8;138(20):4523-33. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Laboratory of Translational Cardiomyology, Stem Cell Interdepartmental Institute, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49 O&N1 bus 814, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Mice deficient in α-sarcoglycan (Sgca-null mice) develop progressive muscular dystrophy and serve as a model for human limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2D. Sgca-null mice suffer a more severe myopathy than that of mdx mice, the model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This is the opposite of what is observed in humans and the reason for this is unknown. In an attempt to understand the cellular basis of this severe muscular dystrophy, we isolated clonal populations of myogenic progenitor cells (MPCs), the resident postnatal muscle progenitors of dystrophic and wild-type mice. MPCs from Sgca-null mice generated much smaller clones than MPCs from wild-type or mdx dystrophic mice. Impaired proliferation of Sgca-null myogenic precursors was confirmed by single fiber analysis and this difference correlated with Sgca expression during MPC proliferation. In the absence of dystrophin and associated proteins, which are only expressed after differentiation, SGCA complexes with and stabilizes FGFR1. Deficiency of Sgca leads to an absence of FGFR1 expression at the membrane and impaired MPC proliferation in response to bFGF. The low proliferation rate of Sgca-null MPCs was rescued by transduction with Sgca-expressing lentiviral vectors. When transplanted into dystrophic muscle, Sgca-null MPCs exhibited reduced engraftment. The reduced proliferative ability of Sgca-null MPCs explains, at least in part, the severity of this muscular dystrophy and also why wild-type donor progenitor cells engraft efficiently and consequently ameliorate disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.070706DOI Listing
October 2011

Highly efficient production of anti-HER2 scFv antibody variant for targeting breast cancer cells.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2011 Aug 3;91(3):613-21. Epub 2011 May 3.

Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università di Milano-Bicocca, 20126 Milan, Italy.

The human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor overexpressed in 30% of human breast cancers. One of the mechanisms by which tumor cell proliferation can be inhibited consists in hampering HER2 dimerization by targeting its extracellular domain with specific antibodies. In recent clinical practice, a valuable alternative to entire IgGs resides in the use of smaller molecules, such as single-chain variable fragments (scFv), developed for selective molecular targeting. In this paper, we report on the production and purification of a soluble anti-HER2 scFv antibody secreted by Pichia pastoris. The gene encoding scFv800E6 with an additional 6× His-tag at the 3'-end was inserted into the expression vector pPICZα and transformed in P. pastoris. The highest expression level was obtained in presence of 0.5% methanol and 0.8% glycerol in the culture medium after 48 h of induction. The use of P. pastoris proved very valuable as an expression system, allowing the isolation of 10 mg/L of highly purified antibody, remarkably higher than previously reported data. The functionality of purified anti-HER2 scFv was assessed by cytofluorimetry and immunofluorescence on HER2-positive MCF7 breast cancer cells, showing good affinity and high selectivity for the target membrane receptor. These findings confirm that P. pastoris is a suitable host for high level expression of antibody fragments and highlight the potential role of scFv800E6 in diagnostic and therapeutic application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3306-3DOI Listing
August 2011

Investigating the structural biofunctionality of antibodies conjugated to magnetic nanoparticles.

Nanoscale 2011 Feb 29;3(2):387-90. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università di Milano-Bicocca, P.za della Scienza 2, 20126, Milano, Italy.

We present the synthesis of trastuzumab-functionalized pegylated iron oxide nanoparticles and provide an FTIR-based approach to gain a direct evidence of the actual conservation of the native structure of conjugated antibody. Their target-selectivity to specific cancer cell receptors has been also assessed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c0nr00436gDOI Listing
February 2011

Single-domain protein A-engineered magnetic nanoparticles: toward a universal strategy to site-specific labeling of antibodies for targeted detection of tumor cells.

ACS Nano 2010 Oct;4(10):5693-702

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Luigi Sacco, Università di Milano, Ospedale L. Sacco, via G.B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milano, Italy.

Highly monodisperse magnetite nanocrystals (MNC) were synthesized in organic media and transferred to the water phase by ultrasound-assisted ligand exchange with an iminodiacetic phosphonate. The resulting biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and magnetorelaxometry, indicating that this method allowed us to obtain stable particle dispersions with narrow size distribution and unusually high magnetic resonance T(2) contrast power. These nanoparticles were conjugated to a newly designed recombinant monodomain protein A variant, which exhibited a convincingly strong affinity for human and rabbit IgG molecules. Owing to the nature of antibody-protein A binding, tight antibody immobilization occurred through the Fc fragment thus taking full advantage of the targeting potential of bound IgGs. If necessary, monoclonal antibodies could be removed under controlled conditions regenerating the original IgG-conjugatable MNC. As a proof of concept of the utility of our paramagnetic labeling system of human IgGs for biomedical applications, anti-HER-2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab was immobilized on hybrid MNC (TMNC). TMNC were assessed by immunoprecipitation assay and confocal microscopy effected on HER-2-overexpressing MCF-7 breast cancer cells, demonstrating excellent recognition capability and selectivity for the target membrane receptor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn101307rDOI Listing
October 2010

Platelet-lysate-expanded mesenchymal stromal cells as a salvage therapy for severe resistant graft-versus-host disease in a pediatric population.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2010 Sep 27;16(9):1293-301. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Clinica Pediatrica, Università Milano Bicocca, Ospedale San Gerardo, Via Donizetti 106, Monza, MI, Italy.

Despite advances in graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) treatment, it is estimated that overall survival (OS) at 2 years for hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) recipients who experience steroid-resistant GVHD is 10%. Among recent therapeutic approaches for GVHD treatment, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) hold a key position. We describe a multicenter experience of 11 pediatric patients diagnosed with acute or chronic GVHD (aGVHD, cGVHD) treated for compassionate use with GMP-grade unrelated HLA-disparate donors' bone marrow-derived MSCs, expanded in platelet-lysate (PL)-containing medium. Eleven patients (aged 4-15 years) received intravenous (i.v.) MSCs for aGVHD or cGVHD, which was resistant to multiple lines of immunosuppression. The median dose was 1.2 x 10(6)/kg (range: 0.7-3.7 x 10(6)/kg). No acute side effects were observed, and no late side effects were reported at a median follow-up of 8 months (range: 4-18 months). Overall response was obtained in 71.4% of patients, with complete response in 23.8% of cases. None of our patients presented GVHD progression upon MSC administration, but 4 patients presented GVHD recurrence 2 to 5 months after infusion. Two patients developed chronic limited GVHD. This study underlines the safety of PL-expanded MSC use in children. MSC efficacy seems to be greater in aGVHD than in cGVHD, even after failure of multiple lines of immunosuppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.03.017DOI Listing
September 2010

Characterization of platelet lysate cultured mesenchymal stromal cells and their potential use in tissue-engineered osteogenic devices for the treatment of bone defects.

Tissue Eng Part C Methods 2010 Apr;16(2):201-14

Laboratory of Cell Therapy Stefano Verri, Pediatric Department, Matilde Tettamanti Research Center, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), seeded onto a scaffold and associated with platelet-gel, may represent an innovative treatment to improve bone repair. The preparation of MSCs for clinical use requires the fulfillment of Good Manufacturing Practice indications. The aim of this study was to validate a Good Manufacturing Practice-grade protocol of tissue engineering for bone regeneration, seeding platelet lysate (PL)-cultured MSCs onto an hydroxyapatite clinical-grade scaffold. Six large-scale experiments were performed. MSC expansions were performed comparing fetal bovine serum 10% and PL 5%. We demonstrated that PL lots contain high levels of growth factors possibly responsible of accelerated growth rate, since the number of colony-forming unit-fibroblast and population doublings were always significantly higher in PL cultures. MSCs were characterized for their phenotype and multilineage differentiation capacity, demonstrating appropriate features for both conditions. Gene expression analysis revealed higher expression of typical osteogenic genes of PL-cultured MSCs, when compared to fetal bovine serum MSCs. Cell transformation was excluded by analysis of karyotype, absence of growth without anchorage, and p53/c-myc gene expression. Scaffolds were precoated with retronectin before MSC seeding. MSC adhesion, distribution, and proliferation were demonstrated through the whole surface of the scaffold by scanning electron microscopy analysis or by immunofluorescence and MSC osteogenic differentiation through quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction of typical osteogenic genes. The present report offers a model of an MSC-based bioengineered device, using an hydroxyapatite clinical-grade scaffold, and supports its potential use in tissue engineering to repair bone defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEC.2008.0572DOI Listing
April 2010

The washouts of discarded bone marrow collection bags and filters are a very abundant source of hMSCs.

Cytotherapy 2009 ;11(4):403-13

Laboratory of Cell Therapy G. Lanzani, USC Hematology, Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy.

Background Aims: Human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC) are considered good candidates for a growing spectrum of cell therapies. We have validated a protocol that makes use of the washouts of discarded collection sets, left over at the end of the filtration of bone marrow (BM) explants performed for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation.

Methods: The method consists of direct plating of cells without density-gradient isolation followed by two detachment steps and expansion in 5% human platelet lysate (hPL).

Results: In a median of 26 days, 14 bags for adult patients and nine bags for pediatric patients for a standard dose of 1x10(6) hMSC/kg body weight could be prepared from the expansion of a fraction of the cells recovered from seven independent washouts. Moreover, 151 vials could be frozen from the remaining cells. The theoretical full expansion of all the frozen vials (validated by the expansion of two independent vials) could have allowed the production of 173 bags for adults and 348 bags for pediatric patients.

Conclusions: The washouts of discarded bags and filters left over at the end of routine BM explants filtration are a very abundant source of hMSC precursors that can be easily utilized for clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14653240902960437DOI Listing
September 2009