Publications by authors named "Maria Serena Piccinno"

8 Publications

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Microfragmented adipose tissue is associated with improved ex vivo performance linked to HOXB7 and b-FGF expression.

Stem Cell Res Ther 2021 08 28;12(1):481. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children and Adults, University-Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Introduction: Adipose tissue (AT) has become a source of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC) for regenerative medicine applications, in particular skeletal disorders. Several enzymatic or mechanical procedures have been proposed to process AT with the aim to isolate cells that can be locally implanted. How AT is processed may impact its properties. Thus, we compared AT processed by centrifugation (C-AT) to microfragmentation (MF-AT). Focusing on MF-AT, we subsequently assessed the impact of synovial fluid (SF) alone on both MF-AT and isolated AT-MSC to better understand their cartilage repair mechanisms.

Materials And Methods: MF-AT and C-AT from the same donors were compared by histology and qRT-PCR immediately after isolation or as ex vivo cultures using a micro-tissue pellet system. The in vitro impact of SF on MF-AT and AT-MSC was assessed by histological staining and molecular analysis.

Results: The main AT histological features (i.e., increased extracellular matrix and cellularity) of the freshly isolated or ex vivo-cultured MF-AT persisted compared to C-AT, which rapidly deteriorated during culture. Based on our previous studies of HOX genes in MSC, we investigated the involvement of Homeobox Protein HOX-B7 (HOXB7) and its target basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) in the molecular mechanism underlying the improved performance of MF-AT. Indeed, both these biomarkers were more prominent in freshly isolated MF-AT compared to C-AT. SF alone preserved the AT histological features of MF-AT, together with HOXB7 and bFGF expression. Increased cell performance was also observed in isolated AT-MSC after SF treatment concomitant with enhanced HOXB7 expression, although there was no apparent association with bFGF.

Conclusions: Our findings show that MF has a positive effect on the maintenance of AT histology and may trigger the expression of trophic factors that improve tissue repair by processed AT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13287-021-02540-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8399787PMC
August 2021

Characteristics and Potentiality of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (hASCs) Obtained from Enzymatic Digestion of Fat Graft.

Cells 2019 03 25;8(3). Epub 2019 Mar 25.

The Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery Breast Unit, Oncology Department, Careggi University Hospital, Firenze 50134, Italy.

Human adipose-derived stem cells localize in the stromal-vascular portion, and can be ex vivo isolated using a combination of washing steps and enzymatic digestion. For this study, we undertook a histological evaluation of traditional fat graft compared with fat graft enriched with stromal vascular fraction cells isolated by the Celution™ system to assess the interactions between cells and adipose tissue before the breast injection. In addition, we reported on histological analyses of biopsies derived from fat grafted (traditional or enriched with SVFs) in the breast in order to assess the quality of the adipose tissue, fibrosis and vessels. The hASCs derived from enzymatic digestion were systematically characterized for growth features, phenotype and multi-potent differentiation potential. They fulfill the definition of mesenchymal stem cells, albeit with a higher neural phenotype profile. These cells also express genes that constitute the core circuitry of self-renewal such as OCT4, SOX2, NANOG and neurogenic lineage genes such as NEUROD1, PAX6 and SOX3. Such findings support the hypothesis that hASCs may have a potential usefulness in neurodegenerative conditions. These data can be helpful for the development of new therapeutic approaches in personalized medicine to assess safety and efficacy of the breast reconstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8030282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6469026PMC
March 2019

Soluble TRAIL Armed Human MSC As Gene Therapy For Pancreatic Cancer.

Sci Rep 2019 02 11;9(1):1788. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Division of Oncology, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University-Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is still one of the most aggressive adult cancers with an unacceptable prognosis. For this reason novel therapies accounting for PDAC peculiarities, such as the relevant stromal reaction, are urgently needed. Here adipose mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (AD-MSC) have been armed to constantly release a soluble trimeric and multimeric variant of the known anti-cancer TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (sTRAIL). This cancer gene therapy strategy was in vitro challenged demonstrating that sTRAIL was thermally stable and able to induce apoptosis in the PDAC lines BxPC-3, MIA PaCa-2 and against primary PDAC cells. sTRAIL released by AD-MSC relocated into the tumor stroma was able to significantly counteract tumor growth in vivo with a significant reduction in tumor size, in cytokeratin-7+ cells and by an anti-angiogenic effect. In parallel, histology on PDAC specimens form patients (n = 19) was performed to investigate the levels of TRAIL DR4, DR5 and OPG receptors generating promising insights on the possible clinical translation of our approach. These results indicate that adipose MSC can very efficiently vehicle a novel TRAIL variant opening unexplored opportunities for PDAC treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37433-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6370785PMC
February 2019

Label-free toxicology screening of primary human mesenchymal cells and iPS-derived neurons.

PLoS One 2018 4;13(9):e0201671. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Science & Technology Park for Medicine (TPM), Mirandola, Italy.

The high-throughput, label-free Corning Epic assay has applications in drug discovery, pharmacogenomics, cell receptor signaling, cell migration, and viral titration. The utility of Epic technology for biocompatibility testing has not been well established. In manufacturing of medical devices, in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility assessments are mandatory, according to ISO 10993. The new medical device regulation MDR 745/2017 specifies that ex vivo assays that can closely recapitulate in vivo scenarios are needed to better evaluate biomedical devices. We propose herein that Epic technology-which enables detection of variations in cell mass distribution-is suitable for biocompatibility screening of compounds. In this study, we challenged primary human osteoblasts, endothelial cells, and neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells with specific concentrations of methyl methacrylate (MMA). Polymeric MMA has long been applied in cranioplasty, where it makes contact with multiple cell types. Application of Epic technology yielded real-time cytotoxicity profiles for all considered cell types. The results were compared with those from microscopic observation of the same culture plate used in the Epic analyses. The Epic assay should be further examined for its utility for cell biology, genomics, and proteomics companion assays. Our results suggest that Epic technology can be applied to biocompatibility evaluation of human cells in medical device development.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0201671PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122932PMC
February 2019

An Alternative Approach to Investigate Biofilm in Medical Devices: A Feasibility Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017 12 18;14(12). Epub 2017 Dec 18.

Science and Technology Park for Medicine, via 29 Maggio 6, 41037 Mirandola, Modena, Italy.

Biofilms are assemblages of bacterial cells irreversibly associated with a surface where moisture is present. In particular, they retain a relevant impact on public health since through biofilms bacteria are able to survive and populate biomedical devices causing severe nosocomial infections that are generally resistant to antimicrobial agents. Therefore, controlling biofilm formation is a mandatory feature during medical device manufacturing and during their use. In this study, combining a crystal violet staining together with advanced stereomicroscopy, we report an alternative rapid protocol for both qualitative and semi-quantitative biofilm determination having high specificity, high repeatability, and low variability. The suggested approach represents a reliable and versatile method to detect, monitor, and measure biofilm colonization by an easy, more affordable, and reproducible method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751004PMC
December 2017

Mesenchymal progenitors aging highlights a miR-196 switch targeting HOXB7 as master regulator of proliferation and osteogenesis.

Stem Cells 2015 Mar;33(3):939-50

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University-Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Human aging is associated with a decrease in tissue functions combined with a decline in stem cells frequency and activity followed by a loss of regenerative capacity. The molecular mechanisms behind this senescence remain largely obscure, precluding targeted approaches to counteract aging. Focusing on mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC) as known adult progenitors, we identified a specific switch in miRNA expression during aging, revealing a miR-196a upregulation which was inversely correlated with MSC proliferation through HOXB7 targeting. A forced HOXB7 expression was associated with an improved cell growth, a reduction of senescence, and an improved osteogenesis linked to a dramatic increase of autocrine basic fibroblast growth factor secretion. These findings, along with the progressive decrease of HOXB7 levels observed during skeletal aging in mice, indicate HOXB7 as a master factor driving progenitors behavior lifetime, providing a better understanding of bone senescence and leading to an optimization of MSC performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.1897DOI Listing
March 2015

Transportation conditions for prompt use of ex vivo expanded and freshly harvested clinical-grade bone marrow mesenchymal stromal/stem cells for bone regeneration.

Tissue Eng Part C Methods 2014 Mar 20;20(3):239-51. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

1 Laboratory of Cell Biology and Advanced Cancer Therapies, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia , Modena, Italy .

Successful preliminary studies have encouraged a more translational phase for stem cell research. Nevertheless, advances in the culture of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (hBM-MSC) and osteoconductive qualities of combined biomaterials can be undermined if necessary cell transportation procedures prove unviable. We aimed at evaluating the effect of transportation conditions on cell function, including the ability to form bone in vivo, using procedures suited to clinical application. hBM-MSC expanded in current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facilities (cGMP-hBM-MSC) to numbers suitable for therapy were transported overnight within syringes and subsequently tested for viability. Scaled-down experiments mimicking shipment for 18 h at 4°C tested the influence of three different clinical-grade transportation buffers (0.9% saline alone or with 4% human serum albumin [HSA] from two independent sources) compared with cell maintenance medium. Cell viability after shipment was >80% in all cases, enabling evaluation of (1) adhesion to plastic flasks and hydroxyapatite tricalcium phosphate osteoconductive biomaterial (HA/β-TCP 3D scaffold); (2) proliferation rate; (3) ex vivo osteogenic differentiation in contexts of 2D monolayers on plastic and 3D HA/β-TCP scaffolds; and (4) in vivo ectopic bone formation after subcutaneous implantation of cells with HA/β-TCP scaffold into NOD/SCID mice. Von Kossa staining was used to assess ex vivo osteogenic differentiation in 3D cultures, providing a quantifiable test of 3D biomineralization ex vivo as a rapid, cost-effective potency assay. Near-equivalent capacities for cell survival, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation were found for all transportation buffers. Moreover, cGMP-hBM-MSC transported from a production facility under clinical-grade conditions of 4% HSA in 0.9% saline to a destination 18 h away showed prompt adhesion to HA/β-TCP 3D scaffold and subsequent in vivo bone formation. A successfully validated transportation protocol extends the applicability of fresh stem cells involving multicentric trials for regenerative medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEC.2013.0250DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936497PMC
March 2014

Adipose stromal/stem cells assist fat transplantation reducing necrosis and increasing graft performance.

Apoptosis 2013 Oct;18(10):1274-89

Division of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Marrow Transplantation, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena Policlinic, Modena, 41100, Italy.

Autologous fat transfer (AFT) is a procedure for adipose tissue (AT) repair after trauma, burns, post-tumor resections and lipodystrophies still negatively impacted by the lack of graft persistence. The reasons behind this poor outcome are unclear and seem to involve damages in either harvested/transplanted mature adipocytes or on their mesenchymal progenitors, namely adipose stromal/stem cells (ASC), and due to post-transplant AT apoptosis and involution. A rabbit subcutaneous AT regeneration model was here developed to first evaluate graft quality at different times after implant focusing on related parameters, such as necrosis and vasculogenesis. Standard AFT was compared with a strategy where purified autologous ASC, combined with hyaluronic acid (HA), assisted AFT. Five million of autologous ex vivo isolated CD29+, CD90+, CD49e+ ASC, loaded into HA, enriched 1 ml of AT generating an early significant protective effect in reducing AFT necrosis and increasing vasculogenesis with a preservation of transplanted AT architecture. This beneficial impact of ASC assisted AFT was then confirmed at three months with a robust lipopreservation and no signs of cellular transformation. By a novel ASC assisted AFT approach we ensure a reduction in early cell death favoring an enduring graft performance possibly for a more stable benefit in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10495-013-0878-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775159PMC
October 2013
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