Publications by authors named "Valeriana Sblendorio"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Assessment of resveratrol, apocynin and taurine on mechanical-metabolic uncoupling and oxidative stress in a mouse model of duchenne muscular dystrophy: A comparison with the gold standard, α-methyl prednisolone.

Pharmacol Res 2016 Apr 27;106:101-113. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy & Drug Sciences, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Antioxidants have a great potential as adjuvant therapeutics in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, although systematic comparisons at pre-clinical level are limited. The present study is a head-to-head assessment, in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD, of natural compounds, resveratrol and apocynin, and of the amino acid taurine, in comparison with the gold standard α-methyl prednisolone (PDN). The rationale was to target the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via disease-related pathways that are worsened by mechanical-metabolic impairment such as inflammation and over-activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX) (taurine and apocynin, respectively) or the failing ROS detoxification mechanisms via sirtuin-1 (SIRT1)-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) (resveratrol). Resveratrol (100mg/kg i.p. 5days/week), apocynin (38mg/kg/day per os), taurine (1g/kg/day per os), and PDN (1mg/kg i.p., 5days/week) were administered for 4-5 weeks to mdx mice in parallel with a standard protocol of treadmill exercise and the outcome was evaluated with a multidisciplinary approach in vivo and ex vivo on pathology-related end-points and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratrol≥taurine>apocynin enhanced in vivo mouse force similarly to PDN. All the compounds reduced the production of superoxide anion, assessed by dihydroethidium staining, with apocynin being as effective as PDN, and ameliorated electrophysiological biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratrol also significantly reduced plasma levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. Force of isolated muscles was little ameliorated. However, the three compounds improved histopathology of gastrocnemius muscle more than PDN. Taurine>apocynin>PDN significantly decreased activated NF-kB positive myofibers. Thus, compounds targeting NOX-ROS or SIRT1/PGC-1α pathways differently modulate clinically relevant DMD-related endpoints according to their mechanism of action. With the caution needed in translational research, the results show that the parallel assessment can help the identification of best adjuvant therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2016.02.016DOI Listing
April 2016

Effects of pleiotrophin overexpression on mouse skeletal muscles in normal loading and in actual and simulated microgravity.

PLoS One 2013 28;8(8):e72028. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy & Drug Sciences, University of Bari - Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a widespread cytokine involved in bone formation, neurite outgrowth, and angiogenesis. In skeletal muscle, PTN is upregulated during myogenesis, post-synaptic induction, and regeneration after crushing, but little is known regarding its effects on muscle function. Here, we describe the effects of PTN on the slow-twitch soleus and fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles in mice over-expressing PTN under the control of a bone promoter. The mice were maintained in normal loading or disuse condition, induced by hindlimb unloading (HU) for 14 days. Effects of exposition to near-zero gravity during a 3-months spaceflight (SF) into the Mice Drawer System are also reported. In normal loading, PTN overexpression had no effect on muscle fiber cross-sectional area, but shifted soleus muscle toward a slower phenotype, as shown by an increased number of oxidative type 1 fibers, and increased gene expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV and citrate synthase. The cytokine increased soleus and EDL capillary-to-fiber ratio. PTN overexpression did not prevent soleus muscle atrophy, slow-to-fast transition, and capillary regression induced by SF and HU. Nevertheless, PTN exerted various effects on sarcolemma ion channel expression/function and resting cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration in soleus and EDL muscles, in normal loading and after HU. In conclusion, the results show very similar effects of HU and SF on mouse soleus muscle, including activation of specific gene programs. The EDL muscle is able to counterbalance this latter, probably by activating compensatory mechanisms. The numerous effects of PTN on muscle gene expression and functional parameters demonstrate the sensitivity of muscle fibers to the cytokine. Although little benefit was found in HU muscle disuse, PTN may emerge useful in various muscle diseases, because it exerts synergetic actions on muscle fibers and vessels, which could enforce oxidative metabolism and ameliorate muscle performance.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0072028PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3756024PMC
May 2014

Growth hormone secretagogues exert differential effects on skeletal muscle calcium homeostasis in male rats depending on the peptidyl/nonpeptidyl structure.

Endocrinology 2013 Oct 8;154(10):3764-75. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy-Drug Sciences, University of Bari, Via Orabona, 4, Campus, I-70125 Bari, Italy.

The orexigenic and anabolic effects induced by ghrelin and the synthetic GH secretagogues (GHSs) are thought to positively contribute to therapeutic approaches and the adjunct treatment of a number of diseases associated with muscle wasting such as cachexia and sarcopenia. However, many questions about the potential utility and safety of GHSs in both therapy and skeletal muscle function remain unanswered. By using fura-2 cytofluorimetric technique, we determined the acute effects of ghrelin, as well as of peptidyl and nonpeptidyl synthetic GHSs on calcium homeostasis, a critical biomarker of muscle function, in isolated tendon-to-tendon male rat skeletal muscle fibers. The synthetic nonpeptidyl GHSs, but not peptidyl ghrelin and hexarelin, were able to significantly increase resting cytosolic calcium [Ca²⁺]i. The nonpeptidyl GHS-induced [Ca²⁺]i increase was independent of GHS-receptor 1a but was antagonized by both thapsigargin/caffeine and cyclosporine A, indicating the involvement of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Evaluation of the effects of a pseudopeptidyl GHS and a nonpeptidyl antagonist of the GHS-receptor 1a together with a drug-modeling study suggest the conclusion that the lipophilic nonpeptidyl structure of the tested compounds is the key chemical feature crucial for the GHS-induced calcium alterations in the skeletal muscle. Thus, synthetic GHSs can have different effects on skeletal muscle fibers depending on their molecular structures. The calcium homeostasis dysregulation specifically induced by the nonpeptidyl GHSs used in this study could potentially counteract the beneficial effects associated with these drugs in the treatment of muscle wasting of cachexia- or other age-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2013-1334DOI Listing
October 2013

Effects of prednisolone on the dystrophin-associated proteins in the blood-brain barrier and skeletal muscle of dystrophic mdx mice.

Lab Invest 2013 May 25;93(5):592-610. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sensory Organs, Section of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari Medical School, Bari, Italy.

The mdx mouse, the most widely used animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), develops a seriously impaired blood-brain barrier (BBB). As glucocorticoids are used clinically to delay the progression of DMD, we evaluated the effects of chronic treatment with α-methyl-prednisolone (PDN) on the expression of structural proteins and markers in the brain and skeletal muscle of the mdx mouse. We analyzed the immunocytochemical and biochemical expression of four BBB markers, including endothelial ZO-1 and occludin, desmin in pericytes, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in glial cells, and the expression of the short dystrophin isoform Dp 71, the dystrophin-associated proteins (DAPs), and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and α-β dystroglycan (DG) in the brain. We evaluated the BBB integrity of mdx and PDN-treated mdx mice by means of intravascular injection of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The expression of DAPs was also assessed in gastrocnemius muscles and correlated with utrophin expression, and laminin content was measured in the muscle and brain. PDN treatment induced a significant increase in the mRNA and protein content of the BBB markers; a reduction in the phosphorylation of occludin in the brain and of AQP4/β DG in both tissues; an increase of Dp71 protein content; and an increase of both mRNA and protein levels of the AQP4/α-β DG complex. The latter was associated with enhanced laminin and utrophin in the muscle. The HRP assay demonstrated functional restoration of the BBB in the PDN-treated mdx mice. Specifically, mdx mice showed extensive perivascular labeling due to escape of the marker, while HRP was exclusively intravascular in the PDN-treated mice and the controls. These data illustrate for the first time that PDN reverses the BBB alterations in the mdx mouse and re-establishes the proper expression and phosphorylation of β-DG in both the BBB and skeletal muscle. Further, PDN partially protects against muscle damage. The reduction in AQP4 and occludin phosphorylation, coupled with their anchoring to glial and endothelial membranes in PDN-treated mice, suggests that the drug may target the glial and endothelial cells. Our results suggest a novel mechanism for PDN action on cerebral and muscular function, restoring the link between DAPs and the extracellular matrix, most likely through protein kinase inactivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.2013.46DOI Listing
May 2013

GLPG0492, a novel selective androgen receptor modulator, improves muscle performance in the exercised-mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy.

Pharmacol Res 2013 Jun 22;72:9-24. Epub 2013 Mar 22.

Sezione di Farmacologia, Dipartimento di Farmacia - Scienze del Farmaco, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Anabolic drugs may counteract muscle wasting and dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); however, steroids have unwanted side effects. We focused on GLPG0492, a new non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator that is currently under development for musculo-skeletal diseases such as sarcopenia and cachexia. GLPG0492 was tested in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD in a 4-week trial at a single high dose (30 mg/kg, 6 day/week s.c.), and the results were compared with those from the administration of α-methylprednisolone (PDN; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) and nandrolone (NAND, 5 mg/kg, s.c.). This assessment was followed by a 12-week dose-dependence study (0.3-30 mg/kg s.c.). The outcomes were evaluated in vivo and ex vivo on functional, histological and biochemical parameters. Similar to PDN and NAND, GLPG0492 significantly increased mouse strength. In acute exhaustion tests, a surrogate of the 6-min walking test used in DMD patients, GLPG0492 preserved running performance, whereas vehicle- or comparator-treated animals showed a significant increase in fatigue (30-50%). Ex vivo, all drugs resulted in a modest but significant increase of diaphragm force. In parallel, a decrease in the non-muscle area and markers of fibrosis was observed in GLPG0492- and NAND-treated mice. The drugs exerted minor effects on limb muscles; however, electrophysiological biomarkers were ameliorated in extensor digitorum longus muscle. The longer dose-dependence study confirmed the effect on mdx mouse strength and resistance to fatigue and demonstrated the efficacy of lower drug doses on in vivo and ex vivo functional parameters. These results support the interest of further studies of GLPG0492 as a potential treatment for DMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2013.03.003DOI Listing
June 2013

Atherosclerosis: from biology to pharmacological treatment.

J Geriatr Cardiol 2012 Sep;9(3):305-17

Cardiology Unit, San Camillo de Lellis Hospital, Manfredonia, Via Isonzo 71043 Manfredonia (FG), Italy.

A recent explosion in the amount of cardiovascular risk has swept across the globe. Primary prevention is the preferred method to lower cardiovascular risk. Lowering the prevalence of obesity is the most urgent matter, and is pleiotropic since it affects blood pressure, lipid profiles, glucose metabolism, inflammation, and atherothrombotic disease progression. Given the current obstacles, success of primary prevention remains uncertain. At the same time, the consequences of delay and inaction will inevitably be disastrous, and the sense of urgency mounts. Pathological and epidemiological data confirm that atherosclerosis begins in early childhood, and advances seamlessly and inexorably throughout life. Risk factors in childhood are similar to those in adults, and track between stages of life. When indicated, aggressive treatment should begin at the earliest indication, and be continued for many years. For those patients at intermediate risk according to global risk scores, C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcium, and carotid intima-media thickness are available for further stratification. Using statins for primary prevention is recommended by guidelines, is prevalent, but remains under prescribed. Statin drugs are unrivaled, evidence-based, major weapons to lower cardiovascular risk. Even when low density lipoprotein cholesterol targets are attained, over half of patients continue to have disease progression and clinical events. Though clinical evidence is incomplete, altering or raising the blood high density lipoprotein cholesterol level continues to be pursued. The aim of this review is to point out the attention of key aspects of vulnerable plaques regarding their pathogenesis and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3724/SP.J.1263.2012.02132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3470030PMC
September 2012

Dietary fibers and cardiometabolic diseases.

Int J Mol Sci 2012 2;13(2):1524-40. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Cardiology Unit, San Camillo de Lellis Hospital, Manfredonia, Foggia, 71043, Italy.

The high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is largely attributable to the contemporary lifestyle that is often sedentary and includes a diet high in saturated fats and sugars and low ingestion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), fruit, vegetables, and fiber. Experimental data from both animals and humans suggest an association between increased dietary fiber (DF) intakes and improved plasma lipid profiles, including reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations. These observations underline that the intake of DF may protect against heart disease and stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms13021524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291975PMC
July 2015

Enalapril treatment discloses an early role of angiotensin II in inflammation- and oxidative stress-related muscle damage in dystrophic mdx mice.

Pharmacol Res 2011 Nov 13;64(5):482-92. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Unit of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaco-biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Bari, Italy.

Inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) are clinically used to control cardiomyopathy in patients of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Various evidences suggest potential usefulness of long-term treatment with ACE inhibitors to reduce advanced fibrosis of dystrophic muscle in the mdx mouse model. However, angiotensin II is known to exert pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative actions that might contribute to early events of dystrophic muscle degeneration. The present study has been aimed at evaluating the effects of an early treatment with enalapril on the pathology signs of exercised mdx mouse model. The effects of 1 and 5 mg/kg enalapril i.p. for 4-8 weeks have been compared with those of 1 mg/kg α-methyl-prednisolone (PDN), as positive control. Enalapril caused a dose-dependent increase in fore limb strength, the highest dose leading to a recovery score similar to that observed with PDN. A dose-dependent reduction of superoxide anion production was observed by dihydroethidium staining in tibialis anterior muscle of enalapril-treated mice, approaching the effect observed with PND. In parallel, a significant reduction of the activated form of the pro-inflammatory Nuclear Factor-kB has been observed in gastrocnemious muscle. Histologically, 5 mg/kg enalapril reduced the area of muscle necrosis in both gastrocnemious muscle and diaphragm, without significant effect on non-muscle area. In parallel no significant changes have been observed in both muscle TGF-β1 and myonuclei positive to phosphorylated Smad2/3. Myofiber functional indices were also monitored by microelectrodes recordings. A dose-dependent recovery of macroscopic chloride conductance has been observed upon enalapril treatment in EDL muscle, with minor effects being exerted in diaphragm. However a modest effect, if any, was found on mechanical threshold, a functional index of calcium homeostasis. No recovery was observed in creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. Finally the results suggest the ability of enalapril to blunt angiotensin-II dependent activation of pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant pathways which may be earlier events with respect to the pro-fibrotic ones, and may in part account for both functional impairment and muscle necrosis. The PDN-like profile may corroborate the combined use of the two classes of drugs in DMD patients so to potentiate the beneficial effects at skeletal muscle level, while reducing both spontaneous and PDN-aggravated cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2011.06.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184479PMC
November 2011

Current status of measuring oxidative stress.

Methods Mol Biol 2010 ;594:3-17

Department of General Surgery and Surgical Specialties, Surgical Clinic, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Although the healthcare field is increasingly aware of the importance of free radicals and oxidative stress, screening and monitoring has not yet become a routine test, since, dangerously, there are no symptoms of this condition. Therefore, in very few cases is oxidative stress addressed. Paradoxically, patients are often advised supplementation with antioxidants and or diets with increased antioxidant profile, which ranges from vitamins to minerals and acts against oxidative stress states; even more so, no test is advised to assess whether the patient is under attack by free radicals or has a depleted antioxidant capacity. Oxidative stress i s an imbalance between free radicals (ROS, reactive oxygen species) production and existing antioxidant capacity (AC); living organisms have a complex antioxidant power. A decrease in ROS formation is often due to an increase in antioxidant capacity, while a decrease in the AC may be associated to increased ROS values. But, this is not always apparently so. Test kits for photometric determinations that are applicable to small laboratories are increasingly available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-411-1_1DOI Listing
April 2010

Seminal plasma total antioxidant capacity and semen parameters in patients with varicocele.

Reprod Biomed Online 2009 May;18(5):617-21

Mother-Infant Department, Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was evaluated in the seminal plasma of infertile patients with varicocele in relation to their semen parameters. The study recruited 60 patients affected by varicocele and 10 fertile non-varicocele subjects as controls. Controls had normal semen parameters and proven fertility. On the basis of semen parameters, patients with varicocele were grouped into normozoospermic (n = 12), asthenozoospermic (n = 8), oligoasthenozoospermic (n = 40). The group with oligosthenozoospermia was divided into mild (<20 x 10(6)/ml; > or =15 x 10(6)/ml), moderate (<15 x 10(6)/ml; > or =5 x 10(6)/ml), and severe (<5 x 10(6)/ml), based on sperm count. Antioxidant activity was measured in seminal plasma and peripheral blood using the free oxygen radicals defence test. No significant differences were observed in peripheral blood TAC concentrations between controls and groups. In patients with varicocele and moderate oligoasthenozoospermia or severe oligoasthenozoospermia, seminal plasma TAC concentrations were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in controls and normozoospermic patients with varicocele. Moreover, in patients with severe oligosthenozoospermia, seminal plasma TAC concentrations were also significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in asthenozoozpermic patients with varicocele. In all subjects, concentrations of TAC showed a positive correlation with sperm concentration (r = 0.93, P < 0.05) and motility (r = 0.92, P < 0.05).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1472-6483(10)60004-1DOI Listing
May 2009

Multiple pathological events in exercised dystrophic mdx mice are targeted by pentoxifylline: outcome of a large array of in vivo and ex vivo tests.

J Appl Physiol (1985) 2009 Apr 8;106(4):1311-24. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

Unit of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaco-biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

The phosphodiesterases inhibitor pentoxifylline gained attention for Duchenne muscular dystrophy therapy for its claimed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifibrotic action. A recent finding also showed that pentoxifylline counteracts the abnormal overactivity of a voltage-independent calcium channel in myofibers of dystrophic mdx mice. The possible link between workload, altered calcium homeostasis, and oxidative stress pushed toward a more detailed investigation. Thus a 4- to 8-wk treatment with pentoxifylline (50 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1) ip) was performed in mdx mice, undergoing or not a chronic exercise on treadmill. In vivo, the treatment partially increased forelimb strength and enhanced resistance to treadmill running in exercised animals. Ex vivo, pentoxifylline restored the mechanical threshold, an electrophysiological index of calcium homeostasis, and reduced resting cytosolic calcium in extensor digitorum longus muscle fibers. Mn quenching and patch-clamp technique confirmed that this effect was paralleled by a drug-induced reduction of membrane permeability to calcium. The treatment also significantly enhanced isometric tetanic tension in mdx diaphragm. The plasma levels of creatine kinase and reactive oxygen species were both significantly reduced in treated-exercised animals. Dihydroethidium staining, used as an indicator of reactive oxygen species production, showed that pentoxifylline significantly reduced the exercise-induced increase in fluorescence in the mdx tibialis anterior muscle. A significant decrease in connective tissue area and profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor-beta(1) was solely found in tibialis anterior muscle. In both diaphragm and gastrocnemius muscle, a significant increase in neural cell adhesion molecule-positive area was instead observed. This data supports the interest toward pentoxifylline and allows insight in the level of cross talk between pathogenetic events in workloaded dystrophic muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.90985.2008DOI Listing
April 2009

Securebox: a multibiopsy sample container for specimen identification and transport.

Acta Cytol 2008 Nov-Dec;52(6):691-6

Department of General Surgery and Surgical Specialties, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Medical School, Surgical Clinic, Modena, Italy.

Objective: To describe an original multicompartment disposable container for tissue surgical specimens or serial biopsy samples (Securebox).

Study Design: The increasing number of pathology samples from a single patient required for an accurate diagnosis led us to design and manufacture a unique container with 4 boxes; in each box 1 or more biopsy samples can be lodged. A magnification lens on a convex segment of the plastic framework allows inspection of macroscopic details of the recovered specimens. We investigated 400 randomly selected cases (compared with 400 controls) who underwent multiple biopsies from January 2006 to January 2007 to evaluate compliance with the new procedure and detect errors resulting from missing some of the multiple specimens or to technical mistakes during the procedure or delivery that might have compromised the final diagnosis.

Results: Using our Securebox, the percentage of oatients whose diagnosis failed or could not be reached was O.5% compared to 4% with the traditional method (p = 0.0012). Moreover, the percentage of medical and nursing staff who were satisfied with the Securebox compared to the traditional methodwas 85% vs. 15%, respectively (p < 0.0001). The average number of days spent bto reach a proper diagnosis based on the usage of the Securebox was 3.38 +/- 1.16 SD compared to 6.76 +/- 0.52 SD with the traditional method (p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: The compact Securebox makes it safer and easier to introduce the specimens and to ship them to the pathology laboratories, reducing the risk of error.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000325623DOI Listing
January 2009

[Duchenne muscular dystrophy: perspectives of treatment].

Recenti Prog Med 2006 Sep;97(9):448-58

Clinica Chirurgica, Divisione Chirurgia I, Dipartimento Misto di Chirurgia Generale e Specialità Chirurgiche, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia.

Although the cloning of the dystrophin gene has led to major advances in the knowledge of the molecular, genetic basis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD), and other muscular dystrophies, with mutations of genes encoding the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex, an effective therapy is still lacking. This review reports some of the most promising pharmacological, molecular and cellular approaches to DMD/BMD. All together, these exciting developments are just puzzling work hypothesis whose clinical developments is on the way.
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September 2006

[Duchenne muscular dystrophy: rational basis, state of the art].

Recenti Prog Med 2006 Sep;97(9):441-7

Clinica Chirurgica, Divisione Chirurgia I, Dipartimento Misto di Chirurgia Generale e Specialith Chirurgiche, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disease that affects approximately 1 in 3500 male births. Boys with Duchenne have a progressive and predictable muscle deterioration: muscles lack dystrophin, a protein essential for membrane stability, whose absence induces contraction-related membrane damage and activation of the inflammatory cascade leading to muscle failure, necrosis, fibrosis. Although DMD is present at birth, clinical symptoms are not evident until 2-6 years of age. Initial symptoms include leg weakness, increasing spine kyphosis, and a waddle-like gait. Continuous muscle wasting leads to progressively weaker muscles, usually leading DMD patients on wheelchair by the age of 8-12. Scoliosis develops in 90% of boys who use a wheelchair full-time. Progression of muscle degeneration and worsening clinical symptoms lead to death in the late twenties from respiratory/cardiac failure.
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September 2006

Glucoraphanin, the bioprecursor of the widely extolled chemopreventive agent sulforaphane found in broccoli, induces phase-I xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and increases free radical generation in rat liver.

Mutat Res 2006 Mar;595(1-2):125-36

Department of Experimental Pathology, Cancerology Section, viale Filopanti 22, I-40126, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Epidemiological and animal studies linking high fruit and vegetable consumption to lower cancer risk have strengthened the belief that long-term administration of isolated naturally occurring dietary constituents could reduce the risk of cancer. In recent years, metabolites derived from phytoalexins, such as glucoraphanin found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae), have gained much attention as potential cancer chemopreventive agents. The protective effect of these micronutrients is assumed to be due to the inhibition of Phase-I carcinogen-bioactivating enzymes and/or induction of Phase-II detoxifying enzymes, an assumption that still remains uncertain. The protective effect of glucoraphanin is thought to be due to sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate metabolite produced from glucoraphanin by myrosinase. Here we show, in rat liver, that while glucoraphanin slightly induces Phase-II enzymes, it powerfully boosts Phase-I enzymes, including activators of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrosamines and olefins. Induction of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms CYP1A1/2, CYP3A1/2 and CYP2E1 was confirmed by Western immunoblotting. CYP induction was paralleled by an increase in the corresponding mRNA levels. Concomitant with this Phase-I induction, we also found that glucoraphanin generated large amount of various reactive radical species, as determined by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometry coupled to a radical-probe technique. This suggests that long-term uncontrolled administration of glucoraphanin could actually pose a potential health hazard.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2005.11.007DOI Listing
March 2006