Publications by authors named "Matteo Francavilla"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Sublingual AKBA Exerts Antidepressant Effects in the Aβ-Treated Mouse Model.

Biomolecules 2021 05 3;11(5). Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

The 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) is the most active compound of proposed for treating neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized in its early phase by alteration in mood. Accordingly, we have previously demonstrated that an intracerebroventricular injection of soluble amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide evokes a depressive-like phenotype in rats. We tested the protective effects of AKBA in the mouse model of an Aβ-induced depressive-like phenotype. We evaluated the depressive-like behavior by using the tail suspension test (TST) and the splash test (ST). Behavioral analyses were accompanied by neurochemical quantifications, such as glutamate (GLU), kynurenine (KYN) and monoamines, and by biochemical measurements, such as glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP), CD11b and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), in mice prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HIPP). AKBA prevented the depressive-like behaviors induced by Aβ administration, since we recorded a reduction in latency to initiate self-care and total time spent to perform self-care in the ST and reduced time of immobility in the TST. Likewise, the increase in GLU and KYN levels in PFC and HIPP induced by the peptide injection were reverted by AKBA administration, as well as the displayed increase in levels of GFAP and NF-kB in both PFC and HIPP, but not in CD11b. Therefore, AKBA might represent a food supplement suitable as an adjuvant for therapy of depression in early-stage AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11050686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170916PMC
May 2021

Maxwell parallel imaging.

Magn Reson Med 2021 09 18;86(3):1573-1585. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Q Bio Inc., San Carlos, CA, USA.

Purpose: To develop a general framework for parallel imaging (PI) with the use of Maxwell regularization for the estimation of the sensitivity maps (SMs) and constrained optimization for the parameter-free image reconstruction.

Theory And Methods: Certain characteristics of both the SMs and the images are routinely used to regularize the otherwise ill-posed optimization-based joint reconstruction from highly accelerated PI data. In this paper, we rely on a fundamental property of SMs-they are solutions of Maxwell equations-we construct the subspace of all possible SM distributions supported in a given field-of-view, and we promote solutions of SMs that belong in this subspace. In addition, we propose a constrained optimization scheme for the image reconstruction, as a second step, once an accurate estimation of the SMs is available. The resulting method, dubbed Maxwell parallel imaging (MPI), works for both 2D and 3D, with Cartesian and radial trajectories, and minimal calibration signals.

Results: The effectiveness of MPI is illustrated for various undersampling schemes, including radial, variable-density Poisson-disc, and Cartesian, and is compared against the state-of-the-art PI methods. Finally, we include some numerical experiments that demonstrate the memory footprint reduction of the constructed Maxwell basis with the help of tensor decomposition, thus allowing the use of MPI for full 3D image reconstructions.

Conclusion: The MPI framework provides a physics-inspired optimization method for the accurate and efficient image reconstruction from arbitrary accelerated scans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.28718DOI Listing
September 2021

Artichoke Biorefinery: From Food to Advanced Technological Applications.

Foods 2021 Jan 7;10(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

STAR Research Group, Department of Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering (DAFNE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

A sequential extraction process has been designed for valorizing globe artichoke plant residues and waste (heads, leaves, stalks, and roots left in the field) by means of green extraction techniques according to a biorefinery approach. We investigated two cascading extractions based on microwave-assisted extractions (MAE) and green solvents (water and ethanol) that have been optimized for varying temperature, solvent and extraction time. In the first step, phenols were extracted with yields that ranged between 6.94 mg g dw (in leaves) and 3.28 mg g dw (in roots), and a phenols productivity of 175.74 Kg Ha. In the second step, inulin was extracted with impressive yields (42% dw), higher than other conventional inulin sources, corresponding to an inulin productivity of 4883.58 Kg Ha. The remaining residues were found to be valuable feedstocks both for bioenergy production and green manure (back to the field), closing the loop according to the Circular Economy paradigm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10010112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827807PMC
January 2021

Extracts from Microalga Exert an Anti-Proliferative Effect and Modulate Cytokines in Sheep Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Jan 30;9(2). Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71121 Foggia, Italy.

The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of the unsaponified fraction (UP), the acetylated unsaponified fraction (AUP), and the total lipid fraction (TL) extracted and purified from (CS) on the proliferation and cytokine profile of sheep peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Cells were cultured with 0.4 mg/mL and 0.8 mg/mL concentrations of each extract (UP, AUP, and TL fractions) and activated with 5 μg/mL concanavalin A (ConA) and 1 μg/mL lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 37 °C for 24 h. PBMCs cultured with ConA and LPS represented the stimulated cells (SC), and PBMCs without ConA and LPS represented the unstimulated cells (USC). Cell-free supernatants were collected to determine IL-10, IL-1β, and IL-6 secretions; on cells, measurement of proliferation was performed. All the extracts tested significantly decreased the cell proliferation; in particular, the UP fraction at 0.4 mg/mL showed the lowest proliferative response. Furthermore, at 0.8 mg/mL, the UP fraction enhanced IL-10 secretion. On the contrary, the TL fraction at 0.4 mg/mL induced an increase in IL-10, IL-6, and, to a lesser extent, IL-1β secretions by cells. The AUP fraction did not change cytokine secretion. The results demonstrated that CS extracts could be useful ingredients in animal feed in order to minimize the use of antibiotics by modulating cell proliferation and cytokine response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9020045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406596PMC
January 2019

Phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta Reduce Cell Proliferation in Sheep Fed Flaxseed during Post Partum.

Mar Drugs 2017 Jul 6;15(7). Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121 Foggia, Italy.

The post partum period is characterized by immunosuppression and increased disease susceptibility. Both phytosterols from microalga and dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) influence cell proliferation and cytokine release during inflammation. The objective of this paper was the evaluation of the effects of physterols, extracted and purified from , on the in vitro immune responses of ewes supplemented with flaxseed during post partum. Twenty Comisana parturient ewes were divided in two balanced groups, and supplemented with flaxseed (FS, 250 g/day) or fed with a conventional diet (CON). Blood samples (15 mL) were collected for five weeks, starting from lambing, in order to isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Stimulated PBMC were treated with a total sterols fraction from (TS), a mix of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol (purified extract, PE), and a mix of acetylated ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol (acetylated purified extract, AcPE), extracted and purified from at two concentrations (0.4 and 0.8 mg/mL). Results of the experiment demonstrated that n-3 PUFA from flaxseed induced an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, with an increase of both IL-10, IL-6 and a decrease of IL-1β. TS, PE, and AcPE purified from showed an anti-proliferative effect on sheep PBMC regardless their chemical composition and concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md15070216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532658PMC
July 2017

Chlorella sorokiniana Extract Improves Short-Term Memory in Rats.

Molecules 2016 Sep 29;21(10). Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia 71121, Italy.

Increasing evidence shows that eukaryotic microalgae and, in particular, the green microalga , can be used as natural sources to obtain a whole variety of compounds, such as omega (ω)-3 and ω-6 polyunsatured fatty acids (PUFAs). Although either beneficial or toxic effects of have been mainly attributed to its specific ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs content, the underlying molecular pathways remain to be elucidated yet. Here, we investigate the effects of an acute oral administration of a lipid extract of , containing mainly ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs, on cognitive, emotional and social behaviour in rats, analysing possible underlying neurochemical alterations. Our results showed improved short-term memory in -treated rats compared to controls, without any differences in exploratory performance, locomotor activity, anxiety profile and depressive-like behaviour. On the other hand, while the social behaviour of -treated animals was significantly decreased, no effects on aggressivity were observed. Neurochemical investigations showed region-specific effects, consisting in an elevation of noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5-HT) content in hippocampus, but not in the prefrontal cortex and striatum. In conclusion, our results point towards a beneficial effect of extract on short-term memory, but also highlight the need of caution in the use of this natural supplement due to its possible masked toxic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules21101311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274193PMC
September 2016

Inoculum pre-treatment affects the fermentative activity of hydrogen-producing communities in the presence of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2016 Jan 1;100(1):493-504. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Foggia, Via Napoli 25, Foggia, Italy.

To enhance the productivity of mixed microbial cultures for fermentative bio-hydrogen production, chemical-physical pre-treatments of the original seed are needed to suppress the activity of hydrogen (H2)-consuming microbes. This approach might influence negatively the composition and diversity of the hydrogen-producing community with consequences on the functional stability of the H2-producing systems in case of perturbations. In this study, we aimed at investigating the effect of different types of pre-treatment on the performance of hydrogen production systems in the presence of an inhibitor, such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). The efficiency and the microbial community structure of batch reactors amended with HMF and inoculated with non-pretreated and pretreated (acid, heat shock, and aeration) anaerobic sludge were evaluated and compared with control systems. The type of pre-treatments influenced the microbial community assembly and activity in inhibited systems, with significant effect on the performance. Cumulative H2 production tests showed that the pre-aerated systems (control and HMF inhibited) were the most efficient, while the difference of the lag phase of the pre-acidified control and HMF-added test was negligible. Analyses of the structure of the enriched microbial community in the systems through PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) followed by band sequencing revealed that the differences in performance were mostly related to shifts in the metabolic pathways rather than in the predominant species. In conclusion, the findings suggest that the use of specific inoculum pre-treatment could contribute to regulate the metabolic activity of the fermentative H2-producing bacteria in order to enhance the bio-energy production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-015-7002-6DOI Listing
January 2016

The red seaweed Gracilaria gracilis as a multi products source.

Mar Drugs 2013 Sep 30;11(10):3754-76. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

STAR-Agroenergy Research Group, University of Foggia, via Gramsci 89/91, Foggia 71121, Italy.

In recent years seaweeds have increasingly attracted interest in the search for new drugs and have been shown to be a primary source of bioactive natural compounds and biomaterials. In the present investigation, the biochemical composition of the red seaweed Gracilaria gracilis, collected seasonally in the Lesina Lagoon (Southern Adriatic Sea, Lesina, Italy), was assayed by means of advanced analytical techniques, such as gas-chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and spectrophotometric tests. In particular, analysis of lipids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins, phycobiliproteins and carbohydrates as well as phenolic content, antioxidant and radical scavenging activity were performed. In winter extracts of G. gracilis, a high content of R-phycoerythrin together with other valuable products such as arachidonic acid (PUFA ω-6), proteins and carbohydrates was observed. High antioxidant and radical scavenging activities were also detected in summer extracts of the seaweed together with a high content of total phenols. In conclusion, this study points out the possibility of using Gracilaria gracilis as a multi products source for biotechnological, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications even although more investigations are required for separating, purifying and characterizing these bioactive compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md11103754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3826134PMC
September 2013

Natural porous agar materials from macroalgae.

Carbohydr Polym 2013 Feb 10;92(2):1555-60. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council (CNR), via Pola 4, 71010 Lesina, Italy.

Porous agar materials have been prepared from marine macroalgae species using a simple microwave-assisted extraction/drying methodology, providing a new family of polysaccharide derived porous solids. The microwave-assisted extraction allows a more efficient and less time-consuming extraction of the polysaccharide compared to conventional extraction protocols based on conventional heating. DRIFT and (13)C NMR results indicated that the internal agar structure (based on d-galactose and 3,6-anhydro-l-galactose linked units) was preserved after the extraction methodology, which opens a wide range of future possibilities and applications for this new family of porous polysaccharides. The extracted agar materials, which have already applications per se due to their high purities, could be subsequently transformed into a novel family of attractive mesoporous agar materials that could be used as natural templates for the production of nanocrystals of metal oxides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.11.005DOI Listing
February 2013

A mixture of phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta affects proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and cytokine production in sheep.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2012 Nov 13;150(1-2):27-35. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Department of Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

The aim of this study was to investigate the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory role of a mixture of phytosterols extracted from the microalga Dunaliella tertiolecta on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) isolated from sheep. PBMC were treated to determine cell proliferation and cytokine production with different sterols: ergosterol (E), a mixture of eleven Algae sterols extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta (Algae Extract, AE), a mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta (Purified Extract, PE). Cytokine production (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-10) was evaluated after cell treatment with Concanavalin A (Con A) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta showed a suppressive effect on cell proliferation, and a reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines production. Furthermore, a stimulatory effect on the production of the regulatory cytokine IL-10 was found. The immunosuppressive effect exerted by the mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol from D. tertiolecta was dose-dependent both in suppressing cell proliferation and in stimulating IL-10 production. Present results showed that the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities were more apparent in the purified extract characterized by the mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol, and might depend on the existence of a synergic effect of the structures of the two phytosterols. Furthermore, findings from our study suggest that the purified extract characterized by the mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol from D. tertiolecta could be used to reduce immune reactions resulting from inflammatory diseases in sheep production systems, and could have innovative implications on the modulation of sheep immune system when used as feed supplements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2012.08.002DOI Listing
November 2012

Phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta and Dunaliella salina: a potentially novel industrial application.

Bioresour Technol 2010 Jun 27;101(11):4144-50. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council (CNR), Via Pola 4, 71010 Lesina, Italy.

Sterols have been extracted and analysed from Dunaliellatertiolecta and Dunaliella salina, in order to evaluate a potentially novel industrial exploitation of these microalgae as source of phytosterols. The effect of salt concentration on sterols yields has been studied varying the quantities of NaCl into culture medium. Twelve sterols were identified by Gas-chromatographic MS/MS analysis for both algal strains. The most abundant phytosterols were (22E,24R)-methylcholesta-5,7,22-trien-3beta-ol (ergosterol) and (22E,24R)-ethylcholesta-5,7,22-trien-3beta-ol (7-dehydroporiferasterol). The whole sterol fraction consisted mainly of phytosterols (C(28) and C(29) sterols). Good yields of total sterols were achieved at lower salt concentration (1.3% and 0.89% of dry weight in D. tertiolecta and D. salina, respectively, at 0.6M NaCl), while an increase in salt concentration resulted in a significant decrease in total sterols yield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2009.12.139DOI Listing
June 2010
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