Publications by authors named "Aline Simoneti Fonseca"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Association Between COVID-19 Pregnant Women Symptoms Severity and Placental Morphologic Features.

Front Immunol 2021 26;12:685919. Epub 2021 May 26.

Postgraduate Program of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná-PUCPR, Curitiba, Brazil.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, few papers describe the placenta's morphological and morphometrical features in SARS-CoV-2-positive pregnant women. Alterations, such as low placental weight, accelerated villous maturation, decidual vasculopathy, infarcts, thrombosis of fetal placental vessels, and chronic histiocytic intervillositis (CHI), have been described.

Objective: To analyze clinical data and the placental morphological and morphometric changes of pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 group) in comparison with the placentas of non-infected pregnant women, matched for maternal age and comorbidities, besides gestational age of delivery (Control group).

Method: The patients in the COVID-19 and the Control group were matched for maternal age, gestational age, and comorbidities. The morphological analysis of placentas was performed using Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group Consensus Statement. The quantitative morphometric evaluation included perimeter diameter and number of tertiary villi, number of sprouts and knots, evaluation of deposition of villous fibrin, and deposition of intra-villous collagen I and III by Sirius Red. Additionally, Hofbauer cells (HC) were counted within villi by immunohistochemistry with CD68 marker.

Results: Compared to controls, symptomatic women in the COVID-19 group were more likely to have at least one comorbidity, to evolve to preterm labor and infant death, and to have positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing in their concepts. Compared to controls, placentas in the COVID-19 group were more likely to show features of maternal and fetal vascular malperfusion. In the COVID-19 group, placentas of symptomatic women were more likely to show CHI. No significant results were found after morphometric analysis.

Conclusion: Pregnant women with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly with the severe course, are more likely to exhibit an adverse fetal outcome, with slightly more frequent histopathologic findings of maternal and fetal vascular malperfusion, and CHI. The morphometric changes found in the placentas of the COVID-19 group do not seem to be different from those observed in the Control group, as far as maternal age, gestational age, and comorbidities are paired. Only the deposition of villous fibrin could be more accentuated in the COVID-19 group (p = 0.08 borderline). The number of HC/villous evaluated with CD68 immunohistochemistry did not show a difference between both groups.
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July 2021

ETV4 plays a role on the primary events during the adenoma-adenocarcinoma progression in colorectal cancer.

BMC Cancer 2021 Mar 1;21(1):207. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Genetics, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Av Bandeirantes, 3900, CEP: 14049-900, Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide; it is the fourth leading cause of death in the world and the third in Brazil. Mutations in the APC, DCC, KRAS and TP53 genes have been associated with the progression of sporadic CRC, occurring at defined pathological stages of the tumor progression and consequently modulating several genes in the corresponding signaling pathways. Therefore, the identification of gene signatures that occur at each stage during the CRC progression is critical and can present an impact on the diagnosis and prognosis of the patient. In this study, our main goal was to determine these signatures, by evaluating the gene expression of paired colorectal adenoma and adenocarcinoma samples to identify novel genetic markers in association to the adenoma-adenocarcinoma stage transition.

Methods: Ten paired adenoma and adenocarcinoma colorectal samples were subjected to microarray gene expression analysis. In addition, mutations in APC, KRAS and TP53 genes were investigated by DNA sequencing in paired samples of adenoma, adenocarcinoma, normal tissue, and peripheral blood from ten patients.

Results: Gene expression analysis revealed a signature of 689 differentially expressed genes (DEG) (fold-change> 2, p< 0.05), between the adenoma and adenocarcinoma paired samples analyzed. Gene pathway analysis using the 689 DEG identified important cancer pathways such as remodeling of the extracellular matrix and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Among these DEG, the ETV4 stood out as one of the most expressed in the adenocarcinoma samples, further confirmed in the adenocarcinoma set of samples from the TCGA database. Subsequent in vitro siRNA assays against ETV4 resulted in the decrease of cell proliferation, colony formation and cell migration in the HT29 and SW480 colorectal cell lines. DNA sequencing analysis revealed KRAS and TP53 gene pathogenic mutations, exclusively in the adenocarcinomas samples.

Conclusion: Our study identified a set of genes with high potential to be used as biomarkers in CRC, with a special emphasis on the ETV4 gene, which demonstrated involvement in proliferation and migration.
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March 2021

The role of the lectin pathway of the complement system in SARS-CoV-2 lung injury.

Transl Res 2021 05 20;231:55-63. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, School of Medicine, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná - PUCPR, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.

Although some evidence showed the activation of complement systems in COVID-19 patients, proinflammatory status and lectin pathway remain unclear. Thus, the present study aimed to demonstrate the role of MBL and ficolin-3 in the complement system activation and compared to pandemic Influenza A virus H1N1 subtype infection (H1N1pdm09) and control patients. A total of 27 lungs formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples (10 from H1N1 group, 6 from the COVID-19 group, and 11 from the control group) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using anti-IL-6, TNF-alfa, CD163, MBL e FCN3 antibodies. Genotyping of target polymorphisms in the MBL2 gene was performed by real-time PCR. Proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha presented higher tissue expression in the COVID-19 group compared to H1N1 and control groups. The same results were observed for ICAM-1 tissue expression. Increased expression of the FCN3 was observed in the COVID-19 group and H1N1 group compared to the control group. The MBL tissue expression was higher in the COVID-19 group compared to H1N1 and control groups. The genotypes AA for rs180040 (G/A), GG for rs1800451 (G/A) and CC for rs5030737 (T/C) showed a higher prevalence in the COVID-19 group. The intense activation of the lectin pathway, with particular emphasis on the MBL pathway, together with endothelial dysfunction and a massive proinflammatory cytokines production, possibly lead to a worse outcome in patients infected with SARS-Cov-2. Moreover, 3 SNPs of our study presented genotypes that might be correlated with high MBL tissue expression in the COVID-19 pulmonary samples.
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May 2021

HOX genes: potential candidates for the progression of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Tumour Biol 2016 Nov 22;37(11):15087-15096. Epub 2016 Sep 22.

Department of Genetics, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Avenida Bandeirantes 3900, Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, SP, CEP: 14049-900, Brazil.

Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is a very aggressive cancer, considered to be a subtype of the head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Despite significant advances in the understanding and treatment of cancer, prognosis of patients with LSCC has not improved recently. In the present study, we sought to understand better the genetic mechanisms underlying LSCC development. Thirty-two tumor samples were collected from patients undergoing surgical resection of LSCC. The samples were submitted to whole-genome cDNA microarray analysis aiming to identify genetic targets in LSCC. We also employed bioinformatic approaches to expand our findings using the TCGA database and further performed functional assays, using human HNSCC cell lines, to evaluate viability, cell proliferation, and cell migration after silencing of selected genes. Eight members of the homeobox gene family (HOX) were identified to be overexpressed in LSCC samples when compared to normal larynx tissue. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis validated the overexpression of HOX gene family members in LSCC. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) statistical method curve showed that the expression level of seven members of HOX gene family can distinguish tumor from nontumor tissue. Correlation analysis of clinical and gene expression data revealed that HOXC8 and HOXD11 genes were associated with the differentiation degree of tumors and regional lymph node metastases, respectively. Additionally, siRNA assays confirmed that HOXC8, HOXD10, and HOXD11 genes might be critical for cell colony proliferation and cell migration. According to our findings, several members of the HOX genes were overexpressed in LSCC samples and seem to be required in biological processes involved in tumor development. This suggests that HOX genes might play a critical role in the physiopathology of LSCC tumors.
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November 2016

Brief report: The lincRNA Hotair is required for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and stemness maintenance of cancer cell lines.

Stem Cells 2013 Dec;31(12):2827-32

Department of Genetics and, Ribeirão Preto Medical School University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; National Institute of Science and Technology in Stem Cell and Cell Therapy and Center For Cell Based Therapy, Ribeirao Preto, São Paulo, Brazil; Center for Integrative Systems Biology-CISBi, NAP/USP, Ribeirao Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Hotair is a member of the recently described class of noncoding RNAs called lincRNA (large intergenic noncoding RNA). Various studies suggest that Hotair acts regulating epigenetic states by recruiting chromatin-modifying complexes to specific target sequences that ultimately leads to suppression of several genes. Although Hotair has been associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in different tumor types, a deep characterization of its functions in cancer is still needed. Here, we investigated the role of Hotair in the scenario of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and in the arising and maintenance of cancer stem cells (CSCs). We found that treatment with TGF-β1 resulted in increased Hotair expression and triggered the EMT program. Interestingly, ablation of Hotair expression by siRNA prevented the EMT program stimulated by TGF-β1, and also the colony-forming capacity of colon and breast cancer cells. Furthermore, we observed that the colon CSC subpopulation (CD133(+)/CD44(+)) presents much higher levels of Hotair when compared with the non-stem cell subpopulation. These results indicate that Hotair acts as a key regulator that controls the multiple signaling mechanisms involved in EMT. Altogether, our data suggest that the role of Hotair in tumorigenesis occurs through EMT triggering and stemness acquisition.
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December 2013