Publications by authors named "Cristina Morsiani"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

MicroRNA profiles of human peripheral arteries and abdominal aorta in normal conditions: MicroRNAs-27a-5p, -139-5p and -155-5p emerge and in atheroma too.

Mech Ageing Dev 2021 Sep 28;198:111547. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

DIMES-Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Subcellular Nephro-Vascular Diagnostic Program, Pathology Unit, IRCCS, Policlinico S. Orsola Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

Atherosclerosis may starts early in life and each artery has peculiar characteristics likely affecting atherogenesis. The primary objective of the work was to underpin the microRNA (miR)-profiling differences in human normal femoral, abdominal aortic, and carotid arteries. The secondary aim was to investigate if those identified miRs, differently expressed in normal conditions, may also have a role in atherosclerotic arteries at adult ages. MiR-profiles were performed on normal tissues, revealing that aorta and carotid arteries are more similar than femoral arteries. MiRs emerging from profiling comparisons, i.e., miR-155-5p, -27a-5p, and -139-5p, were subjected to validation by RT-qPCR in normal arteries and also in pathological/atheroma counterparts, considering all the available 20 artery specimens. The three miRs were confirmed to be differentially expressed in normal femoral vs aorta/carotid arteries. Differential expression of those miRs was also observed in atherosclerotic arteries, together with some miR-target proteins, such as vimentin, CD44, E-cadherin and an additional marker SLUG. The different expression of miRs and targets/markers suggests that aorta/carotid and femoral arteries differently activate molecular drivers of pathological condition, thus conditioning the morphology of atheroma in adult life and likely suggesting the future use of artery-specific treatment to counteract atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2021.111547DOI Listing
September 2021

Circulating miR-19a-3p and miR-19b-3p characterize the human aging process and their isomiRs associate with healthy status at extreme ages.

Aging Cell 2021 07 23;20(7):e13409. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

DIMES-Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Blood circulating microRNAs (c-miRs) are potential biomarkers to trace aging and longevity trajectories to identify molecular targets for anti-aging therapies. Based on a cross-sectional study, a discovery phase was performed on 12 donors divided into four groups: young, old, healthy, and unhealthy centenarians. The identification of healthy and unhealthy phenotype was based on cognitive performance and capabilities to perform daily activities. Small RNA sequencing identified 79 differentially expressed c-miRs when comparing young, old, healthy centenarians, and unhealthy centenarians. Two miRs, that is, miR-19a-3p and miR-19b-3p, were found increased at old age but decreased at extreme age, as confirmed by RT-qPCR in 49 donors of validation phase. The significant decrease of those miR levels in healthy compared to unhealthy centenarians appears to be due to the presence of isomiRs, not detectable with RT-qPCR, but only with a high-resolution technique such as deep sequencing. Bioinformatically, three main common targets of miR-19a/b-3p were identified, that is, SMAD4, PTEN, and BCL2L11, converging into the FoxO signaling pathway, known to have a significant role in aging mechanisms. For the first time, this study shows the age-related increase of plasma miR-19a/b-3p in old subjects but a decrease in centenarians. This decrease is more pronounced in healthy centenarians and was confirmed by the modified pattern of isomiRs comparing healthy and unhealthy centenarians. Thus, our study paves the way for functional studies using c-miRs and isomiRs as additional parameter to track the onset of aging and age-related diseases using new potential biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13409DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8282272PMC
July 2021

Circulating perilipin 2 levels are associated with fat mass, inflammatory and metabolic markers and are higher in women than men.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 03 17;13(6):7931-7942. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Perilipin 2 (PLIN2) is a protein involved in lipid storage and metabolism in non-adipose tissues. Detectable levels of circulating PLIN2 (cPLIN2) have been reported to be associated with some types of cancer, but no systematic analysis of age-related modifications in cPLIN2 levels has ever been performed. We measured serum cPLIN2 in a group of old people including centenarians in comparison with young subjects and tested possible correlations with parameters of body composition, fat and glucose metabolism, and inflammation. We found that: i. levels of cPLIN2 do not change with age, but women have higher levels of cPLIN2 with respect to men; ii. cPLIN2 levels strongly correlate to BMI, as well as fat and lean mass; iii. cPLIN2 levels strongly correlate with the proinflammatory adipokine leptin. Due to the adipogenic activity of leptin, it is hypothesized that cPLIN2 is affected and possibly regulated by this pleiotropic adipokine. Moreover, these results suggest that cPLIN2 (possibly together with leptin) could be assumed as a proxy for body adiposity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034884PMC
March 2021

Distinct profile of CD34 cells and plasma-derived extracellular vesicles from triple-negative patients with Myelofibrosis reveals potential markers of aggressive disease.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2021 Feb 1;40(1):49. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, via Albertoni 15, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Myelofibrosis (MF) is a clonal disorder of hemopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) with high prevalence in elderly patients and mutations in three driver genes (JAK2, MPL, or CALR). Around 10-15% of patients are triple-negative (TN) for the three driver mutations and display significantly worse survival. Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a role in intercellular signaling and are increased in inflammation and cancer. To identify a biomolecular signature of TN patients, we comparatively evaluated the circulating HSPCs and their functional interplay with the microenvironment focusing on EV analysis.

Methods: Peripheral blood was collected from MF patients (n = 29; JAK2 mutation, n = 23; TN, n = 6) and healthy donors (HD, n = 10). Immunomagnetically isolated CD34 cells were characterized by gene expression profiling analysis (GEP), survival, migration, and clonogenic ability. EVs were purified from platelet-poor plasma by ultracentrifugation, quantified using the Nanosight technology and phenotypically characterized by flow cytometry together with microRNA expression. Migration and survival of CD34 cells from patients were also analyzed after in vitro treatments with selected inflammatory factors, i.e. (Interleukin (IL)-1β, Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α, IL6) or after co-culture with EVs from MF patients/HD.

Results: The absolute numbers of circulating CD34 cells were massively increased in TN patients. We found that TN CD34 cells show in vitro defective functions and are unresponsive to the inflammatory microenvironment. Of note, the plasma levels of crucial inflammatory cytokines are mostly within the normal range in TN patients. Compared to JAK2-mutated patients, the GEP of TN CD34 cells revealed distinct signatures in key pathways such as survival, cell adhesion, and inflammation. Importantly, we observed the presence of mitochondrial components within plasma EVs and a distinct phenotype in TN-derived EVs compared to the JAK2-mutated MF patients and HD counterparts. Notably, TN EVs promoted the survival of TN CD34 cells. Along with a specific microRNA signature, the circulating EVs from TN patients are enriched with miR-361-5p.

Conclusions: Distinct EV-driven signals from the microenvironment are capable to promote the TN malignant hemopoiesis and their further investigation paves the way toward novel therapeutic approaches for rare MF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-020-01776-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849077PMC
February 2021

The carotid plaque as paradigmatic case of site-specific acceleration of aging process: The microRNAs and the inflammaging contribution.

Ageing Res Rev 2020 08 28;61:101090. Epub 2020 May 28.

DIMES-Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Interdepartmental Center - Alma Mater Research Institute on Global Challenges and Climate Change - University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

Atherosclerosis is considered a chronic inflammatory disease of arteries associated with the aging process. Many risk factors have been identified and they are mainly related to life-styles, gene-environment interactions and socioeconomic status. Carotid and coronary artery diseases are the two major atherosclerotic conditions, being the primary cause of stroke and heart attack, respectively. Nevertheless, carotid plaque assumes particular aspects not only for the specific molecular mechanisms, but also for the types of atheroma which may be associated with a better or a worst prognosis. The identification of circulating blood biomarkers able to distinguish carotid plaque types (stable or vulnerable) is a crucial step for the improvement of adequate therapeutic approaches avoiding or delaying endarterectomy in the oldest old individuals (> 80 years), a population predicted to growth in the next years. The review highlights the most recent knowledge on carotid plaque molecular mechanisms, focusing on microRNAs (miRs), as a site-specific accelerated aging within the conceptual framework of Geroscience for new affordable therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2020.101090DOI Listing
August 2020

The peculiar aging of human liver: A geroscience perspective within transplant context.

Ageing Res Rev 2019 05 14;51:24-34. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; CIG-Interdepartmental Center "Galvani", University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; CSR-Centro di Studio per la Ricerca dell'Invecchiamento, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

An appraisal of recent data highlighting aspects inspired by the new Geroscience perspective are here discussed. The main findings are summarized as follows: i) liver has to be considered an immunological organ, and new studies suggest a role for the recently described cells named telocytes; ii) the liver-gut axis represents a crucial connection with environment and life style habits and may influence liver diseases onset; iii) the physiological aging of liver shows relatively modest alterations. Nevertheless, several molecular changes appear to be relevant: a) an increase of microRNA-31-5p; -141-3p; -200c-3p expressions after 60 years of age; b) a remodeling of genome-wide DNA methylation profile evident until 60 years of age and then plateauing; c) changes in transcriptome including the metabolic zones of hepatocyte lobules; d) liver undergoes an accelerated aging in presence of chronic inflammation/liver diseases in a sort of continuum, largely as a consequence of unhealthy life styles and exposure to environmental noxious agents. We argue that chronic liver inflammation has all the major characteristics of "inflammaging" and likely sustains the onset and progression of liver diseases. Finally, we propose to use a combination of parameters, mostly obtained by omics such as transcriptomics and epigenomics, to evaluate in deep both the biological age of liver (in comparison with the chronological age) and the effects of donor-recipient age-mismatches in the context of liver transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2019.02.002DOI Listing
May 2019

Recovery from 6-month spaceflight at the International Space Station: muscle-related stress into a proinflammatory setting.

FASEB J 2019 04 8;33(4):5168-5180. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany; and.

The Sarcolab pilot study of 2 crewmembers, investigated before and after a 6-mo International Space Station mission, has demonstrated the substantial muscle wasting and weakness, along with disruption of muscle's oxidative metabolism. The present work aimed at evaluating the pro/anti-inflammatory status in the same 2 crewmembers (A, B). Blood circulating (c-)microRNAs (miRs), c-proteasome, c-mitochondrial DNA, and cytokines were assessed by real-time quantitative PCR or ELISA tests. Time series analysis was performed ( i.e., before flight and after landing) at 1 and 15 d of recovery (R+1 and R+15, respectively). C-biomarkers were compared with an age-matched control population and with 2-dimensional proteomic analysis of the 2 crewmembers' muscle biopsies. Striking differences were observed between the 2 crewmembers at R+1, in terms of inflamma-miRs (c-miRs-21-5p, -126-3p, and -146a-5p), muscle specific (myo)-miR-206, c-proteasome, and IL-6/leptin, thus making the 2 astronauts dissimilar to each other. Final recovery levels of c-proteasome, c-inflamma-miRs, and c-myo-miR-206 were not reverted to the baseline values in crewmember A. In both crewmembers, myo-miR-206 changed significantly after recovery. Muscle biopsy of astronaut A showed an impressive 80% increase of α-1-antitrypsin, a target of miR-126-3p. These results point to a strong stress response induced by spaceflight involving muscle tissue and the proinflammatory setting, where inflamma-miRs and myo-miR-206 mediate the systemic recovery phase after landing.-Capri, M., Morsiani, C., Santoro, A., Moriggi, M., Conte, M., Martucci, M., Bellavista, E., Fabbri, C., Giampieri, E., Albracht, K., Flück, M., Ruoss, S., Brocca, L., Canepari, M., Longa, E., Di Giulio, I., Bottinelli, R., Cerretelli, P., Salvioli, S., Gelfi, C., Franceschi, C., Narici, M., Rittweger, J. Recovery from 6-month spaceflight at the International Space Station: muscle-related stress into a proinflammatory setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201801625RDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436655PMC
April 2019

Cell-free DNA as a biomarker of aging.

Aging Cell 2019 02 20;18(1):e12890. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is present in the circulating plasma and other body fluids and is known to originate mainly from apoptotic cells. Here, we provide the first in vivo evidence of global and local chromatin changes in human aging by analyzing cfDNA from the blood of individuals of different age groups. Our results show that nucleosome signals inferred from cfDNA are consistent with the redistribution of heterochromatin observed in cellular senescence and aging in other model systems. In addition, we detected a relative cfDNA loss at several genomic locations, such as transcription start and termination sites, 5'UTR of L1HS retrotransposons and dimeric AluY elements with age. Our results also revealed age and deteriorating health status correlate with increased enrichment of signals from cells in different tissues. In conclusion, our results show that the sequencing of circulating cfDNA from human blood plasma can be used as a noninvasive methodology to study age-associated changes to the epigenome in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12890DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6351822PMC
February 2019

The Continuum of Aging and Age-Related Diseases: Common Mechanisms but Different Rates.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2018 12;5:61. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Geroscience, the new interdisciplinary field that aims to understand the relationship between aging and chronic age-related diseases (ARDs) and geriatric syndromes (GSs), is based on epidemiological evidence and experimental data that aging is the major risk factor for such pathologies and assumes that aging and ARDs/GSs share a common set of basic biological mechanisms. A consequence is that the primary target of medicine is to combat aging instead of any single ARD/GSs one by one, as favored by the fragmentation into hundreds of specialties and sub-specialties. If the same molecular and cellular mechanisms underpin both aging and ARDs/GSs, a major question emerges: which is the difference, if any, between aging and ARDs/GSs? The hypothesis that ARDs and GSs such as frailty can be conceptualized as accelerated aging will be discussed by analyzing in particular frailty, sarcopenia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson as well as Down syndrome as an example of progeroid syndrome. According to this integrated view, aging and ARDs/GSs become part of a continuum where precise boundaries do not exist and the two extremes are represented by centenarians, who largely avoided or postponed most ARDs/GSs and are characterized by decelerated aging, and patients who suffered one or more severe ARDs in their 60s, 70s, and 80s and show signs of accelerated aging, respectively. In between these two extremes, there is a continuum of intermediate trajectories representing a sort of gray area. Thus, clinically different, classical ARDs/GSs are, indeed, the result of peculiar combinations of alterations regarding the same, limited set of basic mechanisms shared with the aging process. Whether an individual will follow a trajectory of accelerated or decelerated aging will depend on his/her genetic background interacting lifelong with environmental and lifestyle factors. If ARDs and GSs are manifestations of accelerated aging, it is urgent to identify markers capable of distinguishing between biological and chronological age to identify subjects at higher risk of developing ARDs and GSs. To this aim, we propose the use of DNA methylation, N-glycans profiling, and gut microbiota composition to complement the available disease-specific markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2018.00061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890129PMC
March 2018

Menopause and adipose tissue: miR-19a-3p is sensitive to hormonal replacement.

Oncotarget 2018 Jan 18;9(2):2279-2294. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

DIMES-Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Tissue-specific effects of 17β-estradiol are delivered via both estrogen receptors and microRNAs (miRs). Menopause is known to affect the whole-body fat distribution in women. This investigation aimed at identifying menopause- and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)-associated miR profiles and miR targets in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue and serum from the same women. A discovery phase using array technology was performed in 13 women, including monozygotic twin pairs discordant for HRT and premenopausal young controls. Seven miRs, expressed in both adipose tissue and serum, were selected for validation phase in 34 women from a different cohort. An age/menopause-related increase of miRs-16-5p, -451a, -223-3p, -18a-5p, -19a-3p,-486-5p and -363-3p was found in the adipose tissue, but not in serum. MiR-19a-3p, involved in adipocyte development and estrogen signaling, resulted to be higher in HRT users in comparison with non-users. Among the identified targets, AKT1, BCL-2 and BRAF proteins showed lower expression in both HRT and No HRT users in comparison with premenopausal women. Unexpectedly, ESR1 protein expression was not modified although its mRNA was lower in No HRT users compared to premenopausal women and HRT users. Thus, both HRT and menopause appear to affect adipose tissue homeostasis via miR-mediated mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788639PMC
January 2018

Regulatory T-cells from pancreatic lymphnodes of patients with type-1 diabetes express increased levels of microRNA miR-125a-5p that limits CCR2 expression.

Sci Rep 2017 07 31;7(1):6897. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

Diabetes Research Institute, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D) is thought to be caused by a defective immune regulation with regulatory T (Treg) cells playing a fundamental role in this process. Tolerance mechanisms depend on tunable responses that are sensitive to minor perturbations in the expression of molecules that can be carried out by multiple epigenetic mechanisms, including regulation by microRNAs. In this study, microRNA expression profile was investigated in Treg cells isolated from peripheral blood (PB) and from pancreatic draining lymph nodes (PLN) of T1D patients and non-diabetic subjects. Among 72 microRNAs analyzed, miR-125a-5p resulted specifically hyper-expressed in Treg cells purified from PLN of T1D patients. TNFR2 and CCR2 were identified as miR-125a-5p target genes. Elevated miR-125a-5p was detected in Treg cells isolated from PLN but not from PB of donors with T1D and was associated with reduced CCR2 expression. A specific beta-cell expression of the CCR2-ligand (CCL2) was observed in the pancreata of cadaveric donors, suggesting that beta-cells are prone to attract CCR2 Treg cells. These novel data propose a mechanism, occurring in PLNs of T1D patients, involving increased expression of miR-125a-5p on Treg cells which results into reduced expression of CCR2, thus limiting their migration and eventual function in the pancreas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07172-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537269PMC
July 2017

Identification of miR-31-5p, miR-141-3p, miR-200c-3p, and GLT1 as human liver aging markers sensitive to donor-recipient age-mismatch in transplants.

Aging Cell 2017 04 20;16(2):262-272. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Istituto Nazionale Tumori 'Regina Elena', Via Elio Chianesi 53, Roma, 00144, Italy.

To understand why livers from aged donors are successfully used for transplants, we looked for markers of liver aging in 71 biopsies from donors aged 12-92 years before transplants and in 11 biopsies after transplants with high donor-recipient age-mismatch. We also assessed liver function in 36 age-mismatched recipients. The major findings were the following: (i) miR-31-5p, miR-141-3p, and miR-200c-3p increased with age, as assessed by microRNAs (miRs) and mRNA transcript profiling in 12 biopsies and results were validated by RT-qPCR in a total of 58 biopsies; (ii) telomere length measured by qPCR in 45 samples showed a significant age-dependent shortage; (iii) a bioinformatic approach combining transcriptome and miRs data identified putative miRs targets, the most informative being GLT1, a glutamate transporter expressed in hepatocytes. GLT1 was demonstrated by luciferase assay to be a target of miR-31-5p and miR-200c-3p, and both its mRNA (RT-qPCR) and protein (immunohistochemistry) significantly decreased with age in liver biopsies and in hepatic centrilobular zone, respectively; (iv) miR-31-5p, miR-141-3p and miR-200c-3p expression was significantly affected by recipient age (older environment) as assessed in eleven cases of donor-recipient extreme age-mismatch; (v) the analysis of recipients plasma by N-glycans profiling, capable of assessing liver functions and biological age, showed that liver function recovered after transplants, independently of age-mismatch, and recipients apparently 'rejuvenated' according to their glycomic age. In conclusion, we identified new markers of aging in human liver, their relevance in donor-recipient age-mismatches in transplantation, and offered positive evidence for the use of organs from old donors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5334540PMC
April 2017

Circulating miRNAs and miRNA shuttles as biomarkers: Perspective trajectories of healthy and unhealthy aging.

Mech Ageing Dev 2017 07 13;165(Pt B):162-170. Epub 2016 Dec 13.

Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, United States.

Human aging is a lifelong process characterized by a continuous trade-off between pro-and anti-inflammatory responses, where the best-adapted and/or remodeled genetic/epigenetic profile may develop a longevity phenotype. Centenarians and their offspring represent such a phenotype and their comparison to patients with age-related diseases (ARDs) is expected to maximize the chance to unravel the genetic makeup that better associates with healthy aging trajectories. Seemingly, such comparison is expected to allow the discovery of new biomarkers of longevity together with risk factor for the most common ARDs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and their shuttles (extracellular vesicles in particular) are currently conceived as those endowed with the strongest ability to provide information about the trajectories of healthy and unhealthy aging. We review the available data on miRNAs in aging and underpin the evidence suggesting that circulating miRNAs (and cognate shuttles), especially those involved in the regulation of inflammation (inflamma-miRs) may constitute biomarkers capable of reliably depicting healthy and unhealthy aging trajectories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2016.12.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481482PMC
July 2017

Lack of the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPN22 strengthens transplant tolerance to pancreatic islets in mice.

Diabetologia 2015 Jun 7;58(6):1319-28. Epub 2015 Mar 7.

Division of Immunology Transplantation and Infectious Diseases, Diabetes Research Institute, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 58, 20132, Milan, Italy,

Aims/hypothesis: Protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor 22 (PTPN22) plays a central role in T cell, B cell and innate immune cell signalling. A genetic variation in Ptpn22 is considered a major risk factor for the development of type 1 diabetes and has been the subject of extensive study. While several reports have addressed how Ptpn22 might predispose to autoimmunity, its involvement in other immune-mediated diseases, such as allograft rejection, has not been explored.

Methods: To address a possible function for Ptpn22 in allograft rejection, we used a mouse model of pancreatic islet transplantation. We performed transplant tolerance experiments and determined how PTPN22 shapes tolerance induction and maintenance.

Results: Ptpn22 (-/-) recipient mice generate higher numbers of alloreactive T cells after allogeneic pancreatic islet transplantation compared with wild-type (WT) mice, but reject grafts with similar kinetics. This is not only due to their well-documented increase in forkhead box protein P3 (FOXP3)(+) T regulatory (Treg) cells but also to the expansion of T regulatory type 1 (Tr1) cells caused by the lack of PTPN22. In addition, a tolerogenic treatment known to induce transplant tolerance in WT mice via Tr1 cell generation is more effective in Ptpn22 (-/-) mice as a consequence of boosting both Tr1 and FOXP3(+) Treg cells.

Conclusions/interpretation: A lack of PTPN22 strengthens transplant tolerance to pancreatic islets by expanding both FOXP3(+) Treg and Tr1 cells. These data suggest that targeting PTPN22 could serve to boost transplant tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-015-3540-9DOI Listing
June 2015

Pre-Operative, High-IL-6 Blood Level is a Risk Factor of Post-Operative Delirium Onset in Old Patients.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2014 17;5:173. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna , Bologna , Italy ; Interdepartmental Center Galvani, University of Bologna , Bologna , Italy.

Background: Post-operative delirium (POD) is a common complication in elderly patients undergoing surgery, but the underpinning causes are not clear. We hypothesized that inflammaging, the subclinical low and chronic grade inflammation characteristic of old people, can contribute to POD onset. Accordingly, we investigated the association of pre-operative and circulating cytokines in elderly patients (>65 years), admitted for elective and emergency surgery.

Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a sub-cohort of patients belonging to a previous large case-control study, where 351 patients were clinically and cognitively thoroughly characterized, together with the assessment of POD (47 patients) by confusion assessment method and delirium rating scale. Seventy-four pre-operative plasma samples were selected from a larger bio-bank and they included 37 subjects with POD and 37 without POD. Inflammaging related cytokines, i.e., IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α, were assayed by ELISA in pre-operative blood samples; univariate and multivariable analyses have been applied to identify cytokines independently associated to POD. Associations of cytokine levels with functional status, cognitive decline, intra-hospital mortality, and comorbidity were also analyzed independently of POD onset.

Results: High IL-6 and low-IL-2 levels were significantly associated with POD. After adjustment for potential confounders in multivariate analysis, high level of pre-operative IL-6 was confirmed to be significantly associated with risk of POD onset. High level of IL-6 was also associated with several baseline features (including poor functional status, cognitive impairment, emergency admission, and higher comorbidity burden) and intra-hospital mortality.

Conclusion: Pre-operative, high-plasma level of IL-6 (≥9 pg/mL) was significantly associated with POD onset. We propose IL-6 as an additional risk factor of POD onset together with the previously identified factors. Discovery of all risk factors contributing to POD onset will permit to improve hospitalized patient management and the decrease of healthcare cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2014.00173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4201145PMC
November 2014
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