Publications by authors named "Antonella Fiorita"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence of signs and symptoms of temporo-mandibular disorder in patients with sleep apnea.

Sleep Breath 2021 Mar 5. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Institute of Dental Clinic and Maxillofacial Surgery, A. Gemelli University Policlinic IRCCS, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to detect the prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in patients with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and to compare the results with healthy controls, matched for sex and age.

Methods: Forty-one consecutive patients with OSA were prospectively recruited from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the A. Gemelli Hospital prior to undergoing any treatment for OSA and independently of OSA severity. All patients underwent a complete TMD examination according to the diagnostic criteria for temporomandibular disorders (DC/TMD) protocol. The same examination was performed on 41 healthy controls matched for sex and age. Chi-squared test was used to compare results between the two groups.

Results: Of the 41 patients with OSA, 21 (51%) presented signs and/or symptoms of TMD compared to 13 of 41 subjects (32%) from the control group. Headache attributed to TMD and disc displacement with reduction were the most common diagnoses, with a statistically significant difference between the two groups (p<0.05).

Conclusions: The prevalence of TMD signs and symptoms is significantly higher in untreated patients with OSA compared to healthy controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11325-021-02337-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Postural control and disability in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2021 Jan 7. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may affect the postural control through abnormal sensory inputs and impaired motor responses. Sensory Organization Test (SOT) objectively evaluates contribution of different sensorial afferences in postural control. The aim of the study is to assess mechanisms of postural instability and their relations with disability and disease characteristics in an early RA(ERA) cohort.

Methods: The equilibrium scores were assessed in 30 ERA patients and 30 age- and sex-matched controls. The somatosensory (SOM), visual (VIS) and vestibular (VEST) ratios were computed to assess the use of different sensory and the composite equilibrium score (CES) as a measure of global balance performance.

Results: ERA patients had lower CES (78.4±6.0% vs. 83.4±5.0%, p=0.002), SOM ratio (98.5±1.8% vs. 99.6±2.1%, p=0.035), VIS ratio (85.2±7.6% vs. 91.5±6.0%, p=0.001) and VEST ratio (70.8±10.0% vs. 80.3±7.8%, p<0.001) compared to controls. The presence of ankle arthritis correlated negatively to both SOM (r=-0.369, p=0.045) and VIS ratio (r=0.470, p=0.009), pain severity to CES (r=-0.389, p=0.045) and VIS ratio (r=-0.385, p=0.048) and HAQ-DI to CES (r=-0.591, p=0.001), SOM (r=-0.510, p=0.004) and VIS ratio (r=-0.390, p=0.033.). Patients-reported postural instability was associated with lower CES (75.4±5.4% vs. 80.7±5.5%, p=0.016) and VEST ratios (66.5±10.1% vs. 74.1±8.8%, p=0.036). SOT outcomes did not differ according to acute phase reactants, disease activity or autoantibody positivity.

Conclusions: RA patients showed an early impairment of postural control related to the degree of disability and subjective postural instability. Our data suggest that the lack of balance could result from both impaired motor response and abnormal sensory organisation.
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January 2021

HPLC-ESI-MS top-down analysis of salivary peptides of preterm newborns evidenced high activity of some exopeptidases and convertases during late fetal development.

Talanta 2021 Jan 25;222:121429. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Laboratorio di Proteomica, Centro Europeo di Ricerca Sul Cervello, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

To have information on the proteolytic activity of convertases and exo-peptidases on human salivary proteins, this study investigated the relative amounts of the truncated proteoforms in the saliva of preterm newborns and compared them with the relative amounts measured in saliva of at-term newborns, of babies (0-10 years old) and of adults. Results indicated that convertase(s), acting on acidic proline-rich proteins and histatin 3, and carboxypeptidase(s) acting on acidic proline-rich proteins, P-C peptide, histatin 6 and statherin were many folds more active in preterm newborns than in the other groups. Conversely, the aminopeptidase responsible for the removal of the N-terminal Asp residue of statherin was not active in preterm newborns, becoming active only several months after the normal term of delivery. The high activity of convertases determined in preterm newborns suggests that it is required for the molecular events connected to the fetus development, and encourages further studies devoted to the characterization of their specific substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2020.121429DOI Listing
January 2021

Efficacy and long-term follow-up of positional therapy by vibrotactile neck-based device in the management of positional OSA.

J Clin Sleep Med 2020 10;16(10):1711-1719

Unit of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli" - IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Study Objectives: Different therapeutic strategies have been investigated for the treatment of positional obstructive sleep apnea, but more evidence is needed about efficacy and compliance. The objective of this study was to describe the efficacy of vibrotactile neck-based treatment in patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea with different degrees of obstructive sleep apnea severity who were followed for 6 months.

Methods: This is a retrospective study including 162 patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea undergoing vibrotactile neck-based positional therapy. We compared polysomnographic data obtained at baseline and during positional therapy after 1 month. We performed a subgroup analysis based on obstructive sleep apnea severity. Furthermore, we analyzed follow-up data in 84/162 (51.8%) patients with particular focus on discontinuation and complications related to the device.

Results: We observed a significant difference between mean baseline obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (OAHI; 21.9 ± 9.9 events/h) and during positional therapy (12 ± 9.2 events/h; P < .01). Moreover, 87/162 (54.9%) patients showed a reduced baseline OAHI of at least 50% and 38/162 (23.4%) achieved complete disease control (OAHI < 5 events/h). At subgroup analysis, at least 50% reduction from baseline OAHI was observed in 56.8% of patients with mild, 55% with moderate, and 47.4% with severe OAHI, whereas complete control of disease was achieved in 50% of patients with mild, 22.5% with moderate, and 7.9% with severe OAHI. At a 6-month follow-up, only 35/84 patients (41.6%) were regularly using the device, with a mean of 5.9 ± 1.2 days per week.

Conclusions: Our results on the efficacy and long-term adherence to vibrotactile neck-based positional therapy showed that positional therapy can be an efficient first-line treatment option for mild positional obstructive sleep apnea and in selected cases of moderate disease. Long-term compliance is limited because of complications and low satisfaction in some patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.8664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7954025PMC
October 2020

Relationship between Subjective Tinnitus Perception and Psychiatric Discomfort.

Int Tinnitus J 2017 Apr 19;20(2):76-82. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Department Head and Neck Surgery - Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart. Rome, Italy.

Introduction: Tinnitus patients have higher risk of developing anxiety-depressive disorders and decreased quality of life. The reasons why selected patients are able to cope with chronic tinnitus, whereas it represents a disabling symptom for others remain under discussion.

Objectives: the objective of the study was to determine the tinnitus-related degree of distress along with the prevalence of anxiety-depression disorders in a sample of eighty patients referring for chronic tinnitus at the Department of Otolaryngology of Catholic University of Rome from March to September 2015.

Materials And Methods: We administered to all patients the Italian versions of Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Furthermore we investigated the correlation among patient's discomfort, severity of hearing loss and age.

Results: Average THI score was 40.85, meaning moderate degree of discomfort; 57.5% of the patients showed HADS scores consistent with high risk of psychiatric comorbidities. A significant linear correlation between THI and HADS scores was demonstrated.

Conclusion: We suggest that patients with severe tinnitus-related distress are routinely invited to accomplish psychometric questionnaires, to assess the possibility of a neuropsychiatric evaluation and/or specific pharmacological planning. At this purpose we recommend the administration of HADS, as a reliable and quick instrument.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/0946-5448.20160015DOI Listing
April 2017

Chrono-proteomics of human saliva: variations of the salivary proteome during human development.

J Proteome Res 2015 Apr 19;14(4):1666-77. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

§Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche, Università di Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato, S. P. Monserrato Sestu Km 0.700, Monserrato (CA) 09042, Italy.

An important contribution to the variability of any proteome is given by the time dimension that should be carefully considered to define physiological modifications. To this purpose, whole saliva proteome was investigated in a wide age range. Whole saliva was collected from 17 preterm newborns with a postconceptional age at birth of 178-217 days. In these subjects sample collection was performed serially starting immediately after birth and within about 1 year follow-up, gathering a total of 111 specimens. Furthermore, whole saliva was collected from 182 subjects aged between 0 and 17 years and from 23 adults aged between 27 and 57 years. The naturally occurring intact salivary proteome of the 316 samples was analyzed by low- and high-resolution HPLC-ESI-MS platforms. Proteins peculiar of the adults appeared in saliva with different time courses during human development. Acidic proline-rich proteins encoded by PRH2 locus and glycosylated basic proline-rich proteins encoded by PRB3 locus appeared following 180 days of postconceptional age, followed at 7 months (±2 weeks) by histatin 1, statherin, and P-B peptide. The other histatins and acidic proline-rich proteins encoded by PRH1 locus appeared in whole saliva of babies from 1 to 3 weeks after the normal term of delivery, S-type cystatins appeared at 1 year (±3 months), and basic proline-rich proteins appeared at 4 years (±1 year) of age. All of the proteinases involved in the maturation of salivary proteins were more active in preterm than in at-term newborns, on the basis of the truncated forms detected. The activity of the Fam20C kinase, involved in the phosphorylation of various proteins, started around 180 days of postconceptional age, slowly increased reaching values comparable to adults at about 2 years (±6 months) of age. Instead, MAPK14 involved in the phosphorylation of S100A9 was fully active since birth also in preterm newborns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr501270xDOI Listing
April 2015

Top-down platform for deciphering the human salivary proteome.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2012 Oct;25(Suppl 5):27-43

Istituto di Biochimica e Biochimica Clinica, Facoltà di Medicina, Università Cattolica, Largo Francesco Vito 1, Rome, Italy.

Proteomic platforms can be classified in bottom-up strategies, which analyze the sample after proteolytic digestion, and top-down strategies, which analyze the intact naturally occurring proteome. Bottom-up platforms are high-throughput because they can investigate a large number of proteins, regardless of their dimension. Nonetheless, information on post-translational modifications (PTMs) can be lost, especially those regarding naturally occurring cleavages and alternative splicing. Top-down platforms cannot cover vast proteomes, however, they can disclose subtle structural variations occurring during protein maturation and allow label-free relative quantifications in an unlimited number of samples. A repertoire of 256 masses belonging to naturally occurring proteins and peptides consistently detected by RP-HPLC-ESI-MS analysis of the acidic soluble fraction of human whole saliva is presented in this study. Of them, 233 have been identified, while 23 are still pending for the definitive characterization. The present review reports average and mono-isotopic masses of the peptides and proteins detected, RP-HPLC elution times, PTMs, origin and quali-quantitative variations observed in several physiological and pathological conditions. The information reported can be a reference for users of top-down RP-HPLC-ESI-MS proteomic platforms applied to the study of the human salivary proteome as well as of other human bodily fluids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14767058.2012.714647DOI Listing
October 2012

Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in children affected by myelomeningocele.

Childs Nerv Syst 2012 Oct 5;28(10):1761-5. Epub 2012 May 5.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: The aim of the present study is to establish if the vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) could be used as a clinical test for the evaluation of vestibular function in children affected by myelomeningocele (MMC).

Materials And Methods: Fifteen children, aged between 3 and 17 years, who had been affected by MMC were investigated. Data obtained from these children were compared with normal data from healthy children of the same age. Electromyographic activity of sternocleidomastoid muscle was recorded, while children were laid supine and asked to raise their head off the bed in order to activate their neck flexors bilaterally. The saccular receptors were acoustically stimulated with a logon of 500 Hz at an intensity of 130 dB peSPL presented monaurally through earphones. In each recording, we analyzed latencies and amplitudes of the p13-and n23 waves and the amplitude ratio between the two ears.

Results: VEMPs were detected to be normal in 13 patients. In particular, the mean p13 and mean n23 latencies were 15.7 (±1.4) and 21.7 (±1.1) ms, respectively; the mean amplitude value was 84.7 (±36.6), while the mean amplitude ratio was 17.4 (±12). A comparison of latencies and amplitude ratios between the children and healthy control group did not reveal any significant difference. On the contrary, a comparison of amplitude values between the two groups showed significant differences.

Conclusion: In conclusion, vestibulocollic reflex is normal in patients affected by MMC, and VEMPs could represent a valid and noninvasive technique eligible to investigate the vestibular functions in these children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-012-1779-8DOI Listing
October 2012

RP-HPLC-ESI-MS evidenced that salivary cystatin B is detectable in adult human whole saliva mostly as S-modified derivatives: S-Glutathionyl, S-cysteinyl and S-S 2-mer.

J Proteomics 2012 Jan 22;75(3):908-13. Epub 2011 Oct 22.

Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente, Università di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.

An HPLC-ESI-MS analysis of adult human whole saliva evidenced three protein masses (M average 11,487±2, 11,301±2 and 22,362±3Da) eluting in the 32.5-35.0min range. Treatment in reducing conditions allowed establishing that they are S-derivatives of N-terminal acetylated cystatin B, namely its S-glutathionyl, S-cysteinyl and S-S dimer. The identification was confirmed by high resolution HPLC-ESI-MS-MS experiments on the intact naturally occurring proteins and their tryptic digests. S-unmodified cystatin B is rarely detectable in whole saliva of healthy adults (5 subjects out of 65) and its percentage does not overcome approximately 20% of total cystatin B (11±9%). In the majority of subjects (60 out of 65) the mean percentages of the S-modified derivatives were S-glutathionyl 53±13%, S-cysteinyl 15±5%, S-S 2-mer 32±13%. Variations of the percentages of these S-modified derivatives of cystatin B could be indicative of oral oxidative stress. As we are aware, this is the first time that S-glutathionylation and S-cysteinylation were described as extensive PTM of a salivary protein and the first time that these PTMs were detected in naturally occurring cystatin B.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2011.10.006DOI Listing
January 2012

Structural characterization of a new statherin from pig parotid granules.

J Pept Sci 2010 Jun;16(6):269-75

Dipartimento di Scienze Applicate ai Biosistemi, Università di Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, Monserrato, CA, Italy.

This study describes the identification and structural characterization of Sus scrofa statherin. HPLC-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry analysis on pig parotid secretory granule extracts evidenced a peptide with a molecular mass value of 5381.1 +/- 0.6 Da and its truncated form, devoid of the C-terminal Ala residue, with a molecular mass value of 5310.1 +/- 0.6 Da. The complete sequence of pig statherin gene was determined by sequencing the full-length cDNA obtained by rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The gene is 549 base pairs long and contains an open reading frame of 185 nucleotides, encoding a 42-amino acid secretory polypeptide with a signal peptide of 19 residues. This sequence presents some typical features of the four statherins characterized till now, showing the highest degree of amino acid identity with bovine (57%) and human statherin (39%). Pig statherin is mono-phoshorylated on Ser-3, while primate statherins already characterized are di-phosphorylated on Ser-2 and Ser-3. This difference, probably connected to the Asp-4 --> Glu substitution, suggests the involvement of the Golgi-casein kinase, which strictly recognizes the SX(E/pS) consensus sequence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psc.1232DOI Listing
June 2010

Expression, purification, phosphorylation and characterization of recombinant human statherin.

Protein Expr Purif 2010 Feb 3;69(2):219-25. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Dipartimento di Scienze Applicate ai Biosistemi, Sezione di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Università di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.

This work reports the successful recombinant expression of human statherin in Escherichia coli, its purification and in vitro phosphorylation. Human statherin is a 43-residue peptide, secreted by parotid and submandibular glands and phosphorylated on serine 2 and 3. The codon-optimized statherin gene was synthesized and cloned into commercial pTYB11 plasmid to allow expression of statherin as a fusion protein with intein containing a chitin-binding domain. The plasmid was transformed into E. coli strains and cultured in Luria-Bertani medium, which gave productivity of soluble statherin fusion protein of up to 47mg per liter of cell culture, while 112mg of fusion protein were in the form of inclusion bodies. No significant refolded target protein was obtained from inclusion bodies. The amount of r-h-statherin purified by RP-HPLC corresponded to 0.6mg per liter of cell culture. Attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy experiments performed on human statherin isolated from saliva and r-h-statherin assessed the correct folding of the recombinant peptide. Recombinant statherin was transformed into the diphosphorylated biologically active form by in vitro phosphorylation using the Golgi-enriched fraction of pig parotid gland containing the Golgi-casein kinase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pep.2009.07.015DOI Listing
February 2010

Water-soluble Coenzyme Q10 formulation (Q-ter) promotes outer hair cell survival in a guinea pig model of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Brain Res 2009 Feb 24;1257:108-16. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Institute of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Rome, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy.

The mitochondrial respiratory chain is a powerful source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) also in noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) and anti-oxidants and free-radicals scavengers have been shown to attenuate the damage. Coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)) or ubiquinone has a bioenergetic role as a component of the mithocondrial respiratory chain, it inhibits mitochondrial lipid peroxidation, inducing ATP production and it is involved in ROS removal and prevention of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. However the therapeutic application of CoQ(10) is limited by the lack of solubility and poor bio- availability, therefore it is a challenge to improve its water solubility in order to ameliorate the efficacy in tissues and fluids. This study was conducted in a model of acoustic trauma in the guinea pig where the effectiveness of CoQ(10) was compared with a soluble formulation of CoQ(10) (multicomposite CoQ(10) Terclatrate, Q-ter) given intraperitoneally 1 h before and once daily for 3 days after pure tone noise exposure (6 kHz for 1 h at 120 dB SPL). Functional and morphological studies were carried out by measuring auditory brainstem responses, scanning electron microscopy for hair cell loss count, active caspase 3 staining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP labelling assay in order to identify initial signs of apoptosis. Treatments decreased active caspase 3 expression and the number of apoptotic cells, but animals injected with Q-ter showed a greater degree of activity in preventing apoptosis and thus in improving hearing. These data confirm that solubility of Coenzyme Q(10) improves the ability of CoQ(10) in preventing oxidative injuries that result from mitochondrial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2008.12.027DOI Listing
February 2009

HPLC-ESI-MS analysis of oral human fluids reveals that gingival crevicular fluid is the main source of oral thymosins beta(4) and beta(10).

J Sep Sci 2009 Jan;32(1):57-63

Istituto di Biochimica e di Biochimica Clinica, Università Cattolica and Istituto per la Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare, CNR, Istituto Scientifico Internazionale (ISI) Paolo VI, Roma, Italy.

Thymosin beta(4) (Tbeta(4)), its sulfoxide, and thymosin beta(10 )(Tbeta(10)) were detected in human saliva and identified by different strategies based on RP HPLC coupled to electrospray multidimensional IT MS. Tbeta(4 )was almost always detected in whole saliva, its sulfoxide sporadically, Tbeta(10) rarely. Tbeta(4) was undetectable in parotid saliva and less concentrated in submandibular/sublingual saliva than in whole saliva. Analysis of gingival crevicular fluid revealed high relative amounts of Tbeta(4), Tbeta(4) sulfoxide, and Tbeta(10) in all the samples. Tbeta(4) mean concentration was 200 times higher in crevicular fluid (20 micromol/L, N = 9) than in whole saliva (0.1 micromol/L, N = 9). Crevicular fluid concentration of Tbeta(4 )(ca. 5% represented by its sulfoxide) and beta(10 )significantly correlated (r = 0.856; N = 9), and their ratio was about 5. A significant correlation was also observed between Tbeta(4 )concentrations in whole saliva and gingival crevicular fluid (r = 0.738; N = 9). Immunohistochemical analysis of the major salivary glands showed that immunoreactivity for Tbeta(4) is restricted to ductal cells, with minor degree of focal positivity in some acinar cells. On the whole, results indicate that gingival sulcus is a main, although not the sole, source for oral Tbeta(4 )and Tbeta(10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jssc.200800496DOI Listing
January 2009

Mass spectrometry strategies applied to the characterization of proline-rich peptides from secretory parotid granules of pig (Sus scrofa).

J Sep Sci 2008 Feb;31(3):516-22

Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Catholic University, Largo F. Vito, Rome, Italy.

Basic proline-rich proteins (bPRPs) are a class of proteins widely present in saliva of humans and other mammals. They are synthesized as preproproteins and enzymatically cleaved into small peptides before secretion from the salivary glands. Recently, we characterized two proline-rich peptides (SP-A and SP-B) in parotid secretory granules of pig (Sus Scrofa) that are derived from three isoforms of a PRP proprotein (Swiss-Prot data bank: Q95JC9-1, Q95JC9-2 and Q95JC9-3). Together the coding regions for SP-A and SP-B, which are repeated many times, account for 52-70% of the coding regions of the PRP proproteins. This study was undertaken to identify peptides encoded by unassigned regions of the PRP proproteins. RP-HPLC-ESI-IT-MS analysis of enriched granule preparations from pig parotid glands by two different analytical strategies identified ten new proline-rich peptides derived from the three proproteins. Together with the coding regions for SP-A and SP-B already identified it was possible to assign 68-75% of the proproteins coding regions. The peptide sequences indicated a number of unusual proteolytic cleavage sites suggesting the presence of unknown proprotein convertases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jssc.200700343DOI Listing
February 2008

Trafficking and postsecretory events responsible for the formation of secreted human salivary peptides: a proteomics approach.

Mol Cell Proteomics 2008 May 9;7(5):911-26. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

Dipartimento di Scienze Applicate ai Biosistemi, Università di Cagliari, I-09042 Cagliari, Italy.

To elucidate the localization of post-translational modifications of different classes of human salivary proteins and peptides (acidic and basic proline-rich proteins (PRPs), Histatins, Statherin, P-B peptide, and "S type" Cystatins) a comparative reversed phase HPLC-ESI-MS analysis on intact proteins of enriched granule preparations from parotid and submandibular glands as well as parotid, submandibular/sublingual (Sm/Sl), and whole saliva was performed. The main results of this study indicate the following. (i) Phosphorylation of all salivary peptides, sulfation of Histatin 1, proteolytic cleavages of acidic and precursor basic PRPs occur before granule storage. (ii) In agreement with previous studies, basic PRPs are secreted by the parotid gland only, whereas all isoforms of acidic PRPs (aPRPs) are secreted by both parotid and Sm/Sl glands. (iii) Phosphorylation levels of aPRPs, Histatin 1, and Statherin are higher in the parotid gland, whereas the extent of cleavage of aPRP is higher in Sm/Sl glands. (iv) O-Sulfation of tyrosines of Histatin 1 is a post-translational modification specific for the submandibular gland. (v) The concentration of Histatin 3, Histatin 5, and Histatin 6, but not Histatin 1, is higher in parotid saliva. (vi) Histatin 3 is submitted to the first proteolytic cleavage (generating Histatins 6 and 5) during granule maturation, and it occurs to the same relative extent in both glands. (vii) The proteolytic cleavages of Histatin 5 and 6, generating a cascade of Histatin 3 fragments, take place after granule secretion and are more extensive in parotid secretion. (viii) Basic PRPs are cleaved in the oral cavity by unknown peptidases, generating various small proline-rich peptides. (ix) C-terminal removal from Statherin is more extensive in parotid saliva. (x) P-B peptide is secreted by both glands, and its relative quantity is higher in submandibular/sublingual secretion. (xi) In agreement with previous studies, S type Cystatins are mainly the product of Sm/Sl glands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M700501-MCP200DOI Listing
May 2008

Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in children.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2007 Jan 22;71(1):29-33. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Objective: The aim of this work is to establish if the vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) could be used as a clinical test of vestibular function in children.

Materials And Methods: Forty normal hearing children, aged between 3 and 15 years, and classified in preschool and scholar group, have been investigated in order to study normal development of vestibular potentials and to define fundamental parameters of VEMPs, establishing normal data of latencies and amplitude ratio. Electromyographic activity of sternocleidomastoid muscle was recorded while children were laid supine on a bed and asked to raise their head off of the bed in order to activate their neck flexors bilaterally. The saccular receptors were acoustically stimulated with a logon of 500Hz at an intensity of 130dB peSPL presented monaurally through earphones. In each recording, we analysed latencies and amplitudes of the p13 and n23 waves and the amplitude ratio between the two ears.

Results: VEMPs were normally detected in all subjects. In preschool group mean p13 and mean n23 latencies were, respectively, 16.13 (+/-2.12)ms and 21.17 (+/-2.77)ms; mean amplitude ratio was 28.49 (+/-18.10). In scholar group mean p13 and n23 were respectively 16.14 (+/-3.48)ms and 21.78 (+/-3.39)ms, while mean amplitude ratio 20.44 (+/-13.24). Comparison of latencies and amplitude ratio between the children groups and control adult group did not showed any significant differences.

Conclusion: In conclusion, VEMPs could represent a valid and non-invasive technique able to investigate vestibular function in children and, in particular, vestibulo collic reflex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2006.08.021DOI Listing
January 2007

Erbium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser application in stapedotomy.

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005 Dec;133(6):923-8

Institute of Otolaryngology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To assess clinical safety and efficacy of the erbium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG) laser in the stapes surgery; to define and optimize parameters that render the procedure safe for the inner ear.

Study Design: Retrospective study.

Material And Methods: A microscope-integrated Er:YAG laser stapedotomy was performed on 29 patients and a conventional stapedotomy on 41 patients. An early (within 1 to 3 days after stapes surgery) and late (at least 6 weeks) pure-tone bone-conduction threshold audiogram was obtained.

Results: No statistically significant differences were found by Student's t test over all measured frequencies between pre- and postoperative bone-conduction thresholds in each group. There was no statistically significant difference for all frequencies between early (3 days) and late postoperative mean bone-conduction thresholds.

Conclusions: The results of our preliminary clinical study showed that erbium laser poses no risk to inner ear function. However, the lack of standardization obliges further investigation to establish safe clinical parameters of the Er:YAG laser.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.otohns.2005.04.007DOI Listing
December 2005

VEMPs and dynamic posturography after intratympanic gentamycin in Menière's disease.

J Vestib Res 2005 ;15(3):161-8

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

In this study, we investigated whether vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) and dynamic posturography (DP) are useful in the evaluation of the vestibular function in patients affected by active monoaural Menière's disease (MD) treated with intratympanic gentamycin. Twelve subjects affected by monoaural MD were treated with weekly intratympanic injections of 0.5 ml of gentamycin at a concentration of 20 mg/ml. VEMPs were used to test saccular function, while postural control was analyzed by DP. The results obtained with these two techniques were compared with those obtained by using bithermal caloric test. The mean follow-up was 15.3 months (6--28 months). Therapy resulted in complete absence of the caloric response in six subjects (50) and in caloric test-induced asymmetry in the remaining individuals, ranging from 83 to 27. At follow-up, eleven patients (91.6%) were free of vertigo, while one patient had two vertigo spells 9 months after treatment. Before treatment, VEMPs were present in the affected ear of eleven patients. After treatment VEMPs were absent in all the patients. At the end of follow-up, reappearance of VEMPs was observed in two patients, with no changes in latency values and amplitude ratio. DP demonstrated a reduction of the Composite Score (CS) one week after therapy, with a prevalent reduction of the vestibular component. After 6 months, there was an improvement of the CS and, in particular, of the vestibular component. The present study demonstrates that bithermal caloric test and VEMPs allow for the functional evaluation of both the horizontal semicircular canal and the sacculus, suggesting that these techniques might be used together to monitor the efficacy of intratympanic gentamycin therapy. In addition, our data indicate that DP might provide important information on compensation phenomena and show that intratympanic gentamycin can improve postural control in MD patients.
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November 2005