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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Evaluation of bone marrow as a metastatic site of human neuroblastoma.
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 10-16-2014
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Arising from neural crest cells, neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial pediatric solid tumor. The clinical presentation of NB is heterogeneous, ranging from patients with asymptomatic tumor masses, who require minimal treatment, to patients with metastatic disease who are treated with multimodal therapies. Clinical outcome is also variable, with overall survival ranging from 98% to 100% in infants with stage 1 NB, to less than 30% in patients with stage 4 MYCN-amplified NB. More than 50% of patients show metastasis at diagnosis, with the involvement of different vascularized tissues, including the bone marrow (BM). In this paper, we focus on BM infiltration by NB cells, which is considered an adverse prognostic factor. In particular, we discuss the role of different biological factors that may favor the dissemination of NB cells in the BM, such as chromosomic abnormalities, gene amplification, transcription factors, cell-surface receptors, products of oncogenes, and, more importantly, cytokines and chemokines. In addition, we analyze different techniques to evaluate BM infiltration by malignant cells (i.e., flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction). Finally, we review recent data regarding phenotypic and genetic characterization of BM-infiltrating malignant cells and characterization of the BM microenvironment in NB patients compared to healthy subjects.
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Unraveling the contribution of ectoenzymes to myeloma life and survival in the bone marrow niche.
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2014
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The bone marrow provides a protected environment for generating a vast array of cell types. Bones are thus a dynamic source of structural components and soluble factors used either locally or at a distance from their site of production. We discuss the role of ectoenzymes in the bone niche where human myeloma grows. Selected ectoenzymes have been tested for their ability to promote production of substrates involved in signaling, synthesis of growth factors and hormones, and modulation of the immune response. Because of the difficulty of simultaneously tracking all these activities, we narrow our focus to events potentially influencing synthesis of adenosine (ADO), an important regulator of multiple biological functions, including local immunological tolerance. Our working hypothesis, to be discussed and partially tested herein, is that CD38, and likely BST1/CD157-both NAD(+) -consuming enzymes, are active in the myeloma niche and lead a discontinuous chain of ectoenzymes whose final products are exploited by the neoplastic plasma cell as part of its local survival strategy. Coadjuvant ectoenzymes include PC-1/CD203a, CD39, and CD73, which control the production of ADO. Results discussed here and from ongoing experiments indicate that the myeloma niche hosts the canonical, as well as alternative, pathways of ADO generation. Other possibilities are presented and discussed.
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Failure of anti tumor-derived endothelial cell immunotherapy depends on augmentation of tumor hypoxia.
Oncotarget
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2014
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 We have previously demonstrated that Tenascin-C (TNC)+ human neuroblastoma (NB) cells transdifferentiate into tumor-derived endothelial cells (TDEC), which have been detected both in primary tumors and in tumors formed by human NB cell lines in immunodeficient mice. TDEC are genetically unstable and may favor tumor progression, suggesting that their elimination could reduce tumor growth and dissemination. So far, TDEC have never been targeted by antibody-mediated immunotherapy in any of the tumor models investigated. To address this issue, immunodeficient mice carrying orthotopic NB formed by the HTLA-230 human cell line were treated with TDEC-targeting cytotoxic human (h)CD31, that spares host-derived endothelial cells, or isotype-matched mAbs. hCD31 mAb treatment did not affect survival of NB-bearing mice, but increased significantly hypoxia in tumor microenvironment, where apoptotic and proliferating TDEC coexisted, indicating the occurrence of vascular remodeling. Tumor cells from hCD31 mAb treated mice showed i) up-regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related and vascular mimicry (VM)-related gene expression, ii) expression of endothelial (i.e. CD31 and VE-cadherin) and EMT-associated (i.e. Twist-1, N-cadherin and TNC) immunophenotypic markers, and iii) up-regulation of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1) expression. In vitro experiments with two NB cell lines showed that hypoxia was the common driver of all the above phenomena and that human recombinant HMGB-1 amplified EMT and TDEC trans-differentiation. In conclusion, TDEC targeting with hCD31 mAb increases tumor hypoxia, setting the stage for the occurrence of EMT and of new waves of TDEC trans-differentiation. These adaptive responses to the changes induced by immunotherapy in the tumor microenvironment allow tumor cells to escape from the effects of hCD31 mAb.
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Role of fractalkine/CX3CL1 and its receptor in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and malignant diseases with emphasis on B cell malignancies.
Mediators Inflamm.
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2014
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Fractalkine/CX3CL1, the only member of the CX3C chemokine family, exists as a membrane-anchored molecule as well as in soluble form, each mediating different biological activities. It is constitutively expressed in many hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic tissues such as endothelial and epithelial cells, lymphocytes, neurons, microglial osteoblasts. The biological activities of CX3CL1 are mediated by CX3CR1, that is expressed on different cell types such as NK cells, CD14(+) monocytes, cytotoxic effector T cells, B cells, neurons, microglia, smooth muscle cells, and tumor cells. The CX3CL1/CX3CR1 axis is involved in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory cancer including various B cell malignancies. In tumors the interaction between cancer cells and cellular microenvironment creates a context that may promote tumor growth, increase tumor survival, and facilitate metastasis. Therefore the role of the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 has attracted interest as to the development of potential therapeutic approaches. Here we review the different effects of the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 axis in several inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases and in cancer, with emphasis on human B cell lymphomas.
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Telomere shortening and increased oxidative stress are restricted to venous tissue in patients with varicose veins: A merely local disease?
Vasc Med
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2014
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Shortened telomere length (TL) and oxidative stress have been described in several vascular disorders at both the tissue and circulating level. However, to our knowledge, there are no reports about TL associated with varicose vein (VV) disease. This paper aimed to evaluate, at the tissue and circulating level, TL and oxidative stress in VV disease, compared to the corresponding counterparts from abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients and control healthy subjects. TL was measured using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH). Oxidative stress was evaluated by measuring the malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration by thiobarbituric acid reactive substance/s (TBARS) assay. At the vascular tissue level, VV patients had shortened TL and a high MDA concentration, similarly to AAA patients. Conversely, blood lymphocytes and epidermal cells from VV patients had a TL similar to healthy controls and significantly longer than the same cells from AAA patients. Moreover, the MDA concentration in plasma from VV patients was significantly lower than from the AAA group. Linear regression analysis showed a statistically significant inverse correlation between the blood lymphocyte TL and plasma MDA level. Our results suggest that, unlike AAA, telomere attrition in VV tissue is not a systemic phenomenon but it may be attributable to tissue microenvironment conditions and possibly to high local oxidative stress.
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IL-27 in human secondary lymphoid organs attracts myeloid dendritic cells and impairs HLA class I-restricted antigen presentation.
J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2014
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Different cytokines play crucial roles in inflammation and in polarizing immune responses, including IL-27 that exerts pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. Although the activity of IL-27 is well characterized in murine immune cells, only limited information is available regarding the natural cellular sources of IL-27 in humans and its effects on human immune cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent professional APCs that in the immature state are positioned throughout peripheral tissues by acting as sentinels, sensing the presence of Ags. Activated DCs migrate into the lymph nodes and direct Ag-specific T cell responses, thus acting as key players in both adaptive and innate immunity. In this study we asked whether IL-27 is produced by human secondary lymphoid organs and what is its functional role on human DCs. To our knowledge, we provide the first evidence that 1) in lymph nodes, macrophages are the major source for IL-27; 2) immature and mature human DCs express functional IL-27R; 3) IL-27 exerts immunosuppressive activity by crippling the Ag processing machinery in immature DCs under steady-state conditions and after pulsing with a viral Ag; and 4) IL-27 is chemotactic for human DCs. Our findings highlight novel mechanisms underlying the immunosuppressive activity of IL-27, suggesting that this cytokine may function as a homeostatic cytokine in secondary lymphoid organs by limiting duration and/or intensity of ongoing adaptive immune responses. The results presented in this study pave the way to future studies aimed at investigating whether dysregulation of IL-27 expression and function may be involved in pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and cancer.
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The emerging role of soluble HLA-G in the control of chemotaxis.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev.
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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HLA-G is an immunosuppressive molecule, that impairs the function of different immune cell populations, both in physiological and pathological conditions. Here, we have analyzed data obtained by our group and others regarding sHLA-G concentration in plasma from patients with different diseases. Next, we have summarized novel data regarding the impairment of chemotaxis of different immune effector cells mediated by sHLA-G. Finally, we have discussed the impact of this function on the immune response during cancer, viral infection, autoimmunity, and on B cell differentiation in secondary lymphoid organs. In conclusion, we have delineated a role of sHLA-G in the control of chemotaxis of immune effector cells, that may be relevant to modulate immune responses in different settings.
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Binding of HLA-G to ITIM-bearing Ig-like transcript 2 receptor suppresses B cell responses.
J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2014
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Inhibition of B cells constitutes a rational approach for treating B cell-mediated disorders. We demonstrate in this article that the engagement of the surface Ig-like transcript 2 (ILT2) inhibitory receptor with its preferential ligand HLA-G is critical to inhibit B cell functions. Indeed, ILT2-HLA-G interaction impedes both naive and memory B cell functions in vitro and in vivo. Particularly, HLA-G inhibits B cell proliferation, differentiation, and Ig secretion in both T cell-dependent and -independent models of B cell activation. HLA-G mediates phenotypic and functional downregulation of CXCR4 and CXCR5 chemokine receptors on germinal center B cells. In-depth analysis of the molecular mechanisms mediated by ILT2-HLA-G interaction showed a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest through dephosphorylation of AKT, GSK-3?, c-Raf, and Foxo proteins. Crucially, we provide in vivo evidence that HLA-G acts as a negative B cell regulator in modulating B cell Ab secretion in a xenograft mouse model. This B cell regulatory mechanism involving ILT2-HLA-G interaction brings important insight to design future B cell-targeted therapies aimed at reducing inappropriate immune reaction in allotransplantation and autoimmune diseases.
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Unveiling the role of TNF-? in mesenchymal stromal cell-mediated immunosuppression.
Eur. J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2014
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Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitors of mesodermal origin that not only differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, connective stromal cells, and adipocytes, but also exert immunoregulatory activities, usually induced by soluble molecules released during the cross-talk between MSCs and their target immune cell populations. In this issue of the European Journal of Immunology, Dorronsoro et al. [Eur. J. Immunol. 2014. 44: 480-488] demonstrate for the first time that TNF-? released by activated T cells confers immunosuppressive properties upon MSCs by binding to TNF-R1 and activating the NF-kB pathway. Such findings may improve our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the reported efficacy of human MSCs administered locally or systemically to patients with autoimmune/inflammatory disorders, such as Crohn's disease and graft versus host disease, as discussed in this commentary.
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IL-27 driven upregulation of surface HLA-E expression on monocytes inhibits IFN-? release by autologous NK cells.
J Immunol Res
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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HLA-G and HLA-E are HLA-Ib molecules with several immunoregulatory properties. Their cell surface expression can be modulated by different cytokines. Since IL-27 and IL-30 may either stimulate or regulate immune responses, we have here tested whether these cytokines may modulate HLA-G and -E expression and function on human monocytes. Monocytes expressed gp130 and WSX-1, the two chains of IL27 receptor (R), and IL6R? (that serves as IL-30R, in combination with gp130). However, only IL27R appeared to be functional, as witnessed by IL-27 driven STAT1/ STAT3 phosphorylation. IL-27, but not IL-30, significantly upregulated HLA-E (but not HLA-G) expression on monocytes. IFN-?; secretion by activated NK cells was dampened when the latter cells were cocultured with IL-27 pretreated autologous monocytes. Such effect was not achieved using untreated or IL-30 pretreated monocytes, thus indicating that IL-27 driven HLA-E upregulation might be involved, possibly through the interaction of this molecule with CD94/NKG2A inhibitory receptor on NK cells. In contrast, cytotoxic granules release by NK cell in response to K562 cells was unaffected in the presence of IL-27 pretreated monocytes. In conclusion, we delineated a novel immunoregulatory function of IL-27 involving HLA-E upregulation on monocytes that might in turn indirectly impair some NK cell functions.
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CD38 and bone marrow microenvironment.
Front Biosci (Landmark Ed)
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2014
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This review summarizes the events ruled by CD38 shaping the bone marrow environment, recapitulating old and new aspects derived from the body of knowledge on the molecule. The disease models considered were myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CD38 has been analyzed considering its twin function as receptor and enzyme, roles usually not considered in clinics, where it is used as a routine marker. Another aspect pertaining basic science concerns the role of the molecule as a member of an ectoenzyme network, potentially metabolizing soluble factors not yet analyzed (e.g., NAD+, ATP, NAM) or influencing hormone secretion (e.g., oxytocin). The last point is focused on the use of CD38 as a target of an antibody-mediated therapeutic approach in myeloma and CLL. A recent observation is that CD38 may run an escape circuit leading to the production of adenosine. The generation of local anergy may be blocked by using anti-CD38 antibodies. Consequently, not only might CD38 be a prime target for mAb-mediated therapy, but its functional block may contribute to general improvement in cancer immunotherapy and outcomes.
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Interactions between HLA-G and HLA-E in Physiological and Pathological Conditions.
Front Immunol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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HLA-G and HLA-E are immunoregulatory molecules that belong to HLA-Ib family. The role of these molecules in the control of the immune response has been extensively analyzed, both in physiological and pathological conditions. We have here summarized data present in the literature regarding the interaction of these molecules in different settings. These data suggested that HLA-G and -E co-operate in physiological conditions (i.e., establishment of an immune tolerance at maternal/fetal interface during pregnancy), whereas their role in the course of tumors or autoimmune/inflammatory diseases may be different or even opposite. Future studies aimed at investigating the interaction between HLA-G and HLA-E will help to clarify mechanism(s) underlying the regulation of immune effector cells in health and disease.
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Natural killer cells and neuroblastoma: tumor recognition, escape mechanisms, and possible novel immunotherapeutic approaches.
Front Immunol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood and arises from developing sympathetic nervous system. Most primary tumors localize in the abdomen, the adrenal gland, or lumbar sympathetic ganglia. Amplification in tumor cells of MYCN, the major oncogenic driver, patients' age over 18?months, and the presence at diagnosis of a metastatic disease (stage IV, M) identify NB at high risk of treatment failure. Conventional therapies did not significantly improve the overall survival of these patients. Moreover, the limited landscape of somatic mutations detected in NB is hampering the development of novel pharmacological approaches. Major efforts aim to identify novel NB-associated surface molecules that activate immune responses and/or direct drugs to tumor cells and tumor-associated vessels. PVR (Poliovirus Receptor) and B7-H3 are promising targets, since they are expressed by most high-risk NB, are upregulated in tumor vasculature and are essential for tumor survival/invasiveness. PVR is a ligand of DNAM-1 activating receptor that triggers the cytolytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells against NB. In animal models, targeting of PVR with an attenuated oncolytic poliovirus induced tumor regression and elimination. Also B7-H3 was successfully targeted in preclinical studies and is now being tested in phase I/II clinical trials. B7-H3 down-regulates NK cytotoxicity, providing NB with a mechanism of escape from immune response. The immunosuppressive potential of NB can be enhanced by the release of soluble factors that impair NK cell function and/or recruitment. Among these, TGF-?1 modulates the cytotoxicity receptors and the chemokine receptor repertoire of NK cells. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the main cell surface molecules and soluble mediators that modulate the function of NK cells in NB, considering the pros and cons that must be taken into account in the design of novel NK cell-based immunotherapeutic approaches.
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Plasma Levels of Soluble HLA-E and HLA-F at Diagnosis May Predict Overall Survival of Neuroblastoma Patients.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2013
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The purpose of this study was to identify the plasma/serum biomarkers that are able to predict overall survival (OS) of neuroblastoma (NB) patients. Concentration of soluble (s) biomarkers was evaluated in plasma (sHLA-E, sHLA-F, chromogranin, and B7H3) or serum (calprotectin) samples from NB patients or healthy children. The levels of biomarkers that were significantly higher in NB patients were then analyzed considering localized or metastatic subsets. Finally, biomarkers that were significantly different in these two subsets were correlated with patients outcome. With the exception of B7H3, levels of all molecules were significantly higher in NB patients than those in controls. However, only chromogranin, sHLA-E, and sHLA-F levels were different between patients with metastatic and localized tumors. sHLA-E and -F levels correlated with each other but not chromogranin. Chromogranin levels correlated with different event-free survival (EFS), whereas sHLA-E and -F levels also correlated with different OS. Association with OS was also detected considering only patients with metastatic disease. In conclusion, low levels of sHLA-E and -F significantly associated with worse EFS/OS in the whole cohort of NB patients and in patients with metastatic NB. Thus, these molecules deserve to be tested in prospective studies to evaluate their predictive power for high-risk NB patients.
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Ch14.18 antibody produced in CHO cells in relapsed or refractory Stage 4 neuroblastoma patients: a SIOPEN Phase 1 study.
MAbs
PUBLISHED: 05-31-2013
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This study aimed to assess the safety, pharmacokinetic and activity profiles of the human-mouse chimeric monoclonal anti-disialoganglioside GD2 antibody ch14.18 produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells (ch14.18/CHO).
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Role of BAFF in Opsoclonus-Myoclonus syndrome, a bridge between cancer and autoimmunity.
J. Leukoc. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 04-22-2013
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OMS is a rare paraneoplastic disorder that affects adults and children. Pediatric OMS is often associated with NB, a common, solid tumor of childhood, derived from the sympathetic nervous system. The detection of autoantibodies and lymphocytic infiltration in NB patients led to advance an autoimmune hypothesis for the pathogenesis of OMS-related NB. BAFF is a potent modulator of B cell growth and survival upon interaction with its receptors BAFF-R and BCMA. The aim of this study was to investigate mechanism(s) involved in ectopic lymphoid neogenesis in OMS-associated NB. We investigated BAFF, BAFF-R, and BCMA expression in NB tumors associated or not with OMS. Furthermore, we evaluated BAFF expression and secretion in NB cell lines, treated or untreated with differentiating agents. Immunohistochemically, lymphocytes infiltrating NB tumors from patients, with or without OMS, expressed BAFF, BAFF-R, and BCMA, whereas neuroblasts expressed BAFF and BCMA but not BAFF-R. By flow cytometry, BAFF was found to be consistently expressed in NB cell lines. Similarly to the results obtained in tissue lesions, BCMA but not BAFF-R was detected on the surface of all NB cell lines under basal conditions. De novo synthesis of BAFF-R and up-regulation of BCMA were observed in NB cell lines upon treatment with IFN-? or 13-cis retinoic acid. This study provides new insights in the mechanisms driving the neogenesis of lymphoid follicles and in the functional interactions between tumor and immune cells in OMS-associated NB.
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Enhanced anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic efficacy of a novel liposomal fenretinide on human neuroblastoma.
J Control Release
PUBLISHED: 04-04-2013
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Neuroblastoma is an embryonal tumor originating from the simpatico-adrenal lineage of the neural crest. It approximately accounts for about 15% of all pediatric oncology deaths. Despite advances in multimodal therapy, metastatic neuroblastoma tumors at diagnosis remain a clinical challenge. Retinoids are a class of compounds known to induce both terminal differentiation and apoptosis/necrosis of neuroblastoma cells. Among them, fenretinide (HPR) has been considered one of the most promising anti-tumor agent but it is partially efficacious due to both poor aqueous solubility and rapid metabolism. Here, we have developed a novel HPR formulation, by which the drug was encapsulated into sterically stabilized nanoliposomes (NL[HPR]) according to the Reverse Phase Evaporation method. This procedure led to a higher structural integrity of liposomes in organic fluids for a longer period of time, in comparison with our previous liposomal formulation developed by the film method. Moreover, NL[HPR] were further coupled with NGR peptides for targeting the tumor endothelial cell marker, aminopeptidase N (NGR-NL[HPR]). Orthotopically xenografted neuroblastoma-bearing mice treated with NGR-NL[HPR] lived statistically longer than mice untreated or treated with free HPR (NGR-NL[HPR] vs both control and HPR: P<0.0001). Also, NL[HPR] resulted in a statistically improved survival (NL[HPR] vs both control and HPR: P<0.001) but to a less extent if compared with that obtained with NGR-NL[HPR] (NGR-NL[HPR] vs NL[HPR]: P<0.01). Staining of tumor sections with antibodies specific for neuroblastoma and for either pericytes or endothelial cells evidenced that HPR reduced neuroblastoma growth through both anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effects, mainly when delivered by NGR-NL[HPR]. Indeed, in this group of mice a marked reduction of tumor progression, of intra-tumoral vessel counts and VEGF expression, together with a marked down-modulation of matrix metalloproteinases MMP2 and MMP9, was observed. In conclusion, the use of this novel targeted delivery system for the apoptotic and antiangiogenic drug, fenretinide, could be considered as an adjuvant tool in the future treatment of neuroblastoma patients.
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Mechanisms of the antitumor activity of human V?9V?2 T cells in combination with zoledronic acid in a preclinical model of neuroblastoma.
Mol. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2013
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Low expression of surface major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules and defects in antigen processing machinery make human neuroblastoma (NB) cells appropriate targets for MHC unrestricted immunotherapeutic approaches. Human T-cell receptor (TCR) V?9V?2 lymphocytes exert MHC-unrestricted antitumor activity and are activated by phosphoantigens, whose expression in cancer cells is increased by aminobisphosphonates. With this background, we have investigated the in vivo anti-NB activity of human V?9V?2 lymphocytes and zoledronic acid (ZOL). SH-SY-5Y human NB cells were injected in the adrenal gland of immunodeficient mice. After 3 days, mice received ZOL or human V?9V?2 T cells or both agents by intravenous administration once a week for 4 weeks. A significantly improved overall survival was observed in mice receiving V?9V?2 T cells in combination with ZOL. Inhibition of tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, and increased tumor cell apoptosis were detected. V?9V?2 T lymphocytes were attracted to NB-tumor masses of mice receiving ZOL where they actively modified tumor microenvironment by producing interferon-? (IFN-?), that in turn induced CXCL10 expression in NB cells. This study shows that human V?9V?2 T cells and ZOL in combination inhibit NB growth in vivo and may provide the rationale for a phase I clinical trial in patients with high-risk NB.
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CCL5-glutamate interaction in central nervous system: Early and acute presynaptic defects in EAE mice.
Neuropharmacology
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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We investigated the CCL5-glutamate interaction in the cortex and in the spinal cord from mice with Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) at 13 and 21/30 days post immunization (d.p.i.), representing the onset and the peak of the disease, respectively. An early reduction of the KCl-evoked glutamate release was observed in cortical terminals from EAE mice at 13 d.p.i., persisting until 21/30 d.p.i. A concomitant reduction of the depolarization-evoked cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), but not of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) cortical production also occurred at 13 d.p.i, that still was detectable at the acute stage of disease (21 dp.i.). Inasmuch, the CCL5-mediated inhibition of glutamate exocytosis observed in control mice turned to facilitation in EAE mouse cortex at 13 d.p.i., then becoming undetectable at 21/30 d.p.i. Differently, glutamate exocytosis, as well as IP3 and cAMP productions were unaltered in spinal cord synaptosomes from EAE mice at 13 d.p.i., but significantly increased at 21/30 d.p.i., while the presynaptic CCL5-mediated facilitation of glutamate exocytosis observed in control mice remained unchanged. In both CNS regions, the presynaptic defects were parallelled by increased CCL5 availability. Inasmuch, the presynaptic defects so far described in EAE mice were reminiscent of the effects acute CCL5 exerts in control conditions. Based on these observations we propose that increased CCL5 bioavailability could have a role in determining the abovedescribed impaired presynaptic impairments in both CNS regions. These presynaptic defects could be relevant to the onset of early cognitive impairments and acute neuroinflammation and demyelinating processes observed in multiple sclerosis patients.
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Intrathecal soluble HLA-E correlates with disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis and may cooperate with soluble HLA-G in the resolution of neuroinflammation.
J Neuroimmune Pharmacol
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2013
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Expression and function of the immunoregulatory molecule HLA-E was investigated in patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS). Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) soluble (s)HLA-E and -G levels were measured by ELISA in 80 RRMS patients. Controls were patients with other inflammatory neurological disorders (OIND, n?=?81) and noninflammatory neurological disorders (NIND, n?=?86). Serum sHLA-E concentrations were higher in RRMS than in NIND patients only. CSF sHLA-E concentrations were higher in RRMS than controls. Increased CSF sHLA-E levels were detected in MRI inactive and clinically stable RRMS patients. sHLA-E intrathecal synthesis (ITS) was higher in RRMS than controls, and the number of patients with sHLA-E ITS above cut-off was higher i) in MS than controls, and ii) in clinically stable than clinically active MS patients. sHLA-E CSF levels and ITS correlated with i) the same sHLA-G parameters, and ii) disease duration. HLA-E expression and co-expression with CD markers were investigated in MS plaques from three different cases by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy, respectively. Infiltrating T lymphocytes and macrophages, as well as resident microglial cells and astrocytes expressed HLA-E. CSF samples from MS patients were finally tested for inhibitory activity of in vitro CTL and NK cell mediated cytotoxicity. sHLA-E? were more effective than sHLA-E? CSF samples in such inhibition. Maximum inhibition was achieved with sHLA-E?/sHLA-G? CSF samples In conclusion, increased sHLA-E CSF levels may play an immunomodulatory role in MS, contributing to the inhibition of intrathecal inflammatory response. The potential of sHLA-E as biomarker of MS activity warrants further investigation.
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Immunological profile of Fanconi anemia: a multicentric retrospective analysis of 61 patients.
Am. J. Hematol.
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2013
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In this study, the immunological status of 61 patients with Fanconi anemia (FA) with advanced marrow failure before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was analyzed by assessing the phenotype of peripheral blood lymphocytes, serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels, and inflammatory cytokines. In patients with FA, total absolute lymphocytes (P < 0.0001), B cells (P < 0.0001), and NK cells (P = 0.003) were reduced when compared with normal controls. T cells (CD3), that is, cytotoxic T cells, naïve T cells, and regulatory T cells, showed a relative increase when compared with controls. Serum levels of IgG (P < 0.0001) and IgM (P = 0.004) were significantly lower, whereas IgA level was higher (P < 0.0001) than in normal controls. TGF-? (P = 0.007) and interleukin (IL)-6 (P = 0.0007) levels were increased in the serum of patients when compared with controls, whereas sCD40L level decreases (P < 0.0001). No differences were noted in the serum levels of IL-1?, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17, and IL-23 between FA subjects and controls. This comprehensive immunological study shows that patients with FA with advanced marrow failure have an altered immune status. This is in accordance with some characteristics of FA such as the proinflammatory and proapoptotic status. In addition, B lymphocyte failure may make tight and early immunological monitoring advisable.
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Use of the Uteroglobin Platform for the Expression of a Bivalent Antibody against Oncofetal Fibronectin in Escherichia coli.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Escherichia coli is a robust, economic and rapid expression system for the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins. However, the expression in bacterial systems of complex molecules such as antibodies and fusion proteins is still affected by several drawbacks. We have previously described a procedure based on uteroglobin (UG) for the engineering of very soluble and stable polyvalent and polyspecific fusion proteins in mammalian cells (Ventura et al. 2009. J. Biol. Chem. 284?26646-26654.) Here, we applied the UG platform to achieve the expression in E. coli of a bivalent human recombinant antibody (L19) toward the oncofetal fibronectin (B-FN), a pan-tumor target. Purified bacterial L19-UG was highly soluble, stable, and, in all molecules, the L19 moiety maintained its immunoreactivity. About 50-70% of the molecules were covalent homodimer, however after refolding with the redox couple reduced-glutathione/oxidized-glutathione (GSH/GSSG), 100% of molecules were covalent dimers. Mass spectrometry studies showed that the proteins produced by E. coli and mammalian cells have an identical molecular mass and that both proteins are not glycosylated. L19-UG from bacteria can be freeze-dried without any loss of protein and immunoreactivity. In vivo, in tumor-bearing mice, radio-iodinated L19-UG selectively accumulated in neoplastic tissues showing the same performance of L19-UG from mammalian cells. The UG-platform may represent a general procedure for production of various biological therapeutics in E. coli.
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Proteome profiling of neuroblastoma-derived exosomes reveal the expression of proteins potentially involved in tumor progression.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor in childhood, with grim prognosis in a half of patients. Exosomes are nanometer-sized membrane vesicles derived from the multivesicular bodies (MVBs) of the endocytic pathway and released by normal and neoplastic cells. Tumor-derived exosomes have been shown in different model systems to carry molecules that promote cancer growth and dissemination. In this respect, we have here performed the first characterization and proteomic analysis of exosomes isolated from human NB cell lines by filtration and ultracentrifugation. Electron microscopy demonstrated that NB-derived exosomes exhibited the characteristic cup-shaped morphology. Dynamic light scattering studies showed a bell-shaped curve and a polydispersity factor consistent with those of exosomes. Zeta potential values suggested a good nanoparticle stability. We performed proteomic analysis of NB-derived exosomes by two dimension liquid chromatography separation and mass spectrometry analyses using the multidimensional protein identification technology strategy. We found that the large majority of the proteins identified in NB derived exosomes are present in Exocarta database including tetraspanins, fibronectin, heat shock proteins, MVB proteins, cytoskeleton-related proteins, prominin-1 (CD133), basigin (CD147) and B7-H3 (CD276). Expression of the CD9, CD63 and CD81 tetraspanins, fibronectin, CD133, CD147 and CD276 was validated by flow cytometry. Noteworthy, flow cytometric analysis showed that NB-derived exosomes expressed the GD2 disialoganglioside, the most specific marker of NB. In conclusion, this study shows that NB-derived exosomes express a discrete set of molecules involved in defense response, cell differentiation, cell proliferation and regulation of other important biological process. Thus, NB-derived exosomes may play an important role in the modulation of tumor microenvironment and represent potential tumor biomarkers.
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Immunosuppressive microenvironment in neuroblastoma.
Front Oncol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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According to the cancer immunoediting model, the interplay between tumor cells and the host immune system is crucial for the control of tumor growth. NB is a pediatric tumor that presents with metastatic disease at diagnosis in about 50% of the cases, the majority of which have poor prognosis. In this Review article, immune escape pathways adopted by human neuroblastoma (NB) cells are reviewed. These include intrinsic defects of tumor cells such impaired expression of the HLA class I related antigen processing machinery and functional alterations of the tumor microenvironment (TM) induced by NB cell-derived immunosuppressive molecules as MICA and HLA-G. Finally, examples of therapeutic interventions targeting the TM are discussed to emphasize the concept that successful cancer treatment may be achieved using this strategy.
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Enhanced anti-neuroblastoma activity of a fenretinide complexed form after intravenous administration.
J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 11-18-2011
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The major limitation to successful chemotherapy of neuroblastoma (NB) is the toxicity and the poor bioavailability of traditional drugs.
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Soluble HLA-G dampens CD94/NKG2A expression and function and differentially modulates chemotaxis and cytokine and chemokine secretion in CD56bright and CD56dim NK cells.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2011
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Soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) inhibits natural killer (NK) cell functions. Here, we investigated sHLA-G-mediated modulation of (1) chemokine receptor and NK receptor expression and function and (2) cytokine and chemokine secretion in CD56bright and CD56dim NK cells. sHLA-G-treated or untreated peripheral blood (PB) and tonsil NK cells were analyzed for chemokine receptor and NK receptor expression by flow cytometry. sHLA-G down-modulated (1) CXCR3 on PB and tonsil CD56bright and CD56dim, (2) CCR2 on PB and tonsil CD56bright, (3) CX3CR1 on PB CD56dim, (4) CXCR5 on tonsil CD56dim, and (5) CD94/NKG2A on PB and tonsil CD56brigh) and CD56dim NK cells. Such sHLA-G-mediated down-modulations were reverted by adding anti-HLA-G or anti-ILT2 mAbs. sHLA-G inhibited chemotaxis of (1) PB NK cells toward CXCL10, CXCL11, and CX3CL1 and (2) PB CD56bright NK cells toward CCL2 and CXCL10. IFN-? secretion induced by NKp46 engagement was inhibited by NKG2A engagement in untreated but not in sHLA-G-treated NK cells. sHLA-G up-regulated secretion of (1) CCL22 in CD56bright and CD56dim and (2) CCL2, CCL8, and CXCL2-CXCL3 in CD56dim PB NK cells. Signal transduction experiments showed sHLA-G-mediated down-modulation of Stat5 phosphorylation in PB NK cells. In conclusion, our data delineated novel mechanisms of sHLA-G-mediated inhibition of NK-cell functions.
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Frizzled receptor 6 marks rare, highly tumourigenic stem-like cells in mouse and human neuroblastomas.
Oncotarget
PUBLISHED: 09-28-2011
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Wnt signalling is an important component of vertebrate development, required for specification of the neural crest. Ten Wnt receptors [Frizzled receptor 1-10 (Fzd1-10)] have been identified so far, some of which are expressed in the developing nervous system and the neural crest. Here we show that expression of one such receptors, Fzd6, predicts poor survival in neuroblastoma patients and marks rare, HIF1/2 ?-positive cells in tumour hypoxic areas. Fzd6 positive neuroblastoma cells form neurospheres with high efficiency, are resistant to doxorubicin killing and express high levels of mesenchymal markers such as Twist1 and Notch1. Expression of Fzd6 is required for the expression of genes of the non-canonical Wnt pathway and the spheres forming activity. When transplanted into immunodeficient mice, neuroblastoma cells expressing the Fzd6 marker grow more aggressively than their Fzd6 negative counterparts. We conclude that Fzd6 is a new surface marker of aggressive neuroblastoma cells with stem cell-like features.
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Anti-leukemic properties of IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27: differences and similarities in the control of pediatric B acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Crit. Rev. Oncol. Hematol.
PUBLISHED: 09-05-2011
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B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common pediatric hematologic malignancy. Although patient cure has reached an excellent rate, a minority of cases relapse and need novel therapies. IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27 belong to the IL-12 superfamily and exert immunological and anti-tumor functions. The latter can be mediated by activation of immune responses or by the direct activity on cancer cells. Recently, the role of IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27 in the control of pediatric B-ALL has been unveiled. Here, we discuss in a translational perspective the role of IL-12 family cytokines in pediatric B-ALL, highlighting similarities and differences in their mechanisms of action.
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Cytokines in neuroblastoma: from pathogenesis to treatment.
Immunotherapy
PUBLISHED: 07-15-2011
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Cytokines released by cancer cells or by cells of the tumor microenvironment stimulate angiogenesis, act as autocrine or paracrine growth factors for malignant cells, promote tumor cell migration and metastasis or create an immunosuppressive microenvironment. These tumor-promoting effects of cytokines also apply to neuroblastoma (NB), a pediatric neuroectodermal malignancy with frequent metastatic presentation at diagnosis and poor prognosis. IL-6 and VEGF are the best characterized cytokines that stimulated tumor growth and metastasis, while others such as IFN-? can exert anti-NB activity by inducing tumor cell apoptosis and inhibiting angiogenesis. On the other hand, cytokines are part of the anti-NB therapeutic armamentarium, as exemplified by IL-2 and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor that potentiate the activity of anti-NB antibodies. These recent results raise hope for more efficacious treatment of this ominous pediatric malignancy.
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Damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and mesenchymal stem cells: a matter of attraction and excitement.
Eur. J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 06-28-2011
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Necrotic cell death is a typical feature of solid tumors leading to the release of necrotic products, also known as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), that enhance angiogenesis and prime the immune response. Among the DAMPs, particular attention has been focused on the DNA-binding molecule high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB-1) that can act as a chemoattractant and activator of granulocytes. Here, we discuss an article in this issue of the European Journal of Immunology that demonstrates that DAMPs promote both proliferation and trafficking of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), identifying HMGB-1 as a key factor in the regulation of these processes. Moreover, the study shows that DAMPs interfere with the expression of the immunosuppressive molecule indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase in MSCs, and that the biological activity of HMGB-1 toward MSCs is abolished when HMGB-1 is oxidized. Based on the data from this, and other studies, we depict a model in which DAMPs released from necrotic tumor cells attract and stimulate local proliferation of MSCs that differentiate into tumor-associated fibroblasts promoting tumor growth and angiogenesis. Importantly, the hypoxic conditions of the tumor microenvironment may protect DAMPs from oxidation and thereby preserve their functionality.
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Immunosuppressive cells and tumour microenvironment: focus on mesenchymal stem cells and myeloid derived suppressor cells.
Histol. Histopathol.
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2011
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Tumours have been compared to unhealed wounds that produce large amounts of inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. These molecules participate in the formation of a rich and heterogeneous microenvironment by attracting non malignant cells that promote tumour progression and dissemination. Tumour infiltrating cells include macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and TIE2-expressing monocytes. Most of them are bone marrow-derived, although MSC are present in virtually every tissue. This review focuses on MDSCs and MSCs, both of which can exert pro-tumorigenic effects through negative regulation of immune responses. MDSCs represent a heterogeneous population of cells of myeloid origin that are expanded and activated in response to growth factors and cytokines released by tumours. Once MDSCs are activated, they accumulate in lymphoid organs and tumours where they exert T cell immunosuppression. Like MDSCs, MSCs can be mobilized from the bone marrow into the bloodstream and home in the tumour stroma, where they either help or hinder tumour growth. Here, we will discuss the origin, the functions and the mechanisms of action of MSCs and MDSCs, as well as the strategies to target these cells for the therapeutic benefit of cancer patients.
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Bone marrow of neuroblastoma patients shows downregulation of CXCL12 expression and presence of IFN signature.
Pediatr Blood Cancer
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2011
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At diagnosis, children with neuroblastoma (NB) present with either localized or metastatic disease. Since the mechanisms responsible for BM invasion are not well known, we investigated the transcriptome of resident BM cells from NB patients as compared to healthy children.
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Receptor activator of NF- ?B ligand (RANKL) increases the release of neutrophil products associated with coronary vulnerability.
Thromb. Haemost.
PUBLISHED: 05-11-2011
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The "blood vulnerability", resulting from the complex balance between serum molecules and inflammatory cell atherosclerotic activities, is a major determinant in the evaluation of the "global patient cardiovascular vulnerability". In the present study, we focused on the role of the soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-?B) ligand (RANKL, a potential marker of coronary calcification and vulnerability) in the release of neutrophilic proteases. Then, the association between these mediators and the degree of coronary calcification (assessed by coronary calcium score [CCS]) was investigated in 20 subjects (aged ?65 years) asymptomatic for cardiovascular disease. Results showed that RANKL dose-dependently induced matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-8 and MMP-9 release from human primary neutrophils cultured in Teflon dishes (suspension condition, mimicking cells circulating in the blood stream). Conversely, when adherent to polystyrene, neutrophils became unresponsive to RANKL. RANKL did not influence the release of other neutrophilic products in suspension and adherence cultures as well as neutrophil migration. RANKL-induced release of MMPs was dependent on the activation of defined intracellular signalling pathways (PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2). In asymptomatic subjects, serum levels of RANKL, MMP-8 and MMP-9 positively correlated with CCS, reflecting a potential relationship between circulating RANKL and coronary calcification. In conclusion, RANKL increased the release of neutrophilic products potentially related to the "blood" vulnerability via defined intracellular pathways. Serum levels of RANKL might represent a potential biomarker of coronary calcification and related cardiovascular risk.
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Dexamethasone prophylaxis in pediatric open heart surgery is associated with increased blood long pentraxin PTX3: potential clinical implications.
Clin. Dev. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2011
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Glucocorticoid administration before cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) can reduce the systemic inflammatory response and improve clinical outcome. Long pentraxin PTX3 is a novel inflammatory parameter that could play a protective cardiovascular role by regulating inflammation. Twenty-nine children undergoing open heart surgery were enrolled in the study. Fourteen received dexamethasone (1st dose 1.5? mg/Kg i.v. or i.m. the evening before surgery; 2nd dose 1.5 ?mg/kg i.v. before starting bypass) and fifteen children served as control. Blood PTX3, short pentraxin C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-1 receptor II (IL-1RII), fibrinogen and partial thromboplastin time (PTT) were assayed at different times. PTX3 levels significantly increased during CPB in dexamethasone-treated (+D) and dexamethasone-untreated (-D) subjects, but were significantly higher in +D than -D patients. CRP levels significantly increased both in +D and -D patients in the postoperative days, with values significantly higher in -D than +D patients. Fibrinogen and PTT values were significantly higher in -D than +D patients in the 1st postoperative day. IL-1RII plasma levels increased in the postoperative period in both groups. Dexamethasone prophylaxis in pediatric patients undergoing CPB for cardiac surgery is associated with a significant increase of blood PTX3 that could contribute to decreasing inflammatory parameters and improving patient clinical outcome.
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Serum levels of cytoplasmic melanoma-associated antigen at diagnosis may predict clinical relapse in neuroblastoma patients.
Cancer Immunol. Immunother.
PUBLISHED: 03-30-2011
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The high molecular weight melanoma-associated antigen (HMW-MAA) and the cytoplasmic melanoma-associated antigen (cyt-MAA/LGALS3BP) are expressed in melanoma. Their serum levels are increased in melanoma patients and correlate with clinical outcome. We investigated whether these molecules can serve as prognostic markers for neuroblastoma (NB) patients. Expression of cyt-MAA and HMW-MAA was evaluated by flow cytometry in NB cell lines, patients neuroblasts ((FI)-NB), and short-term cultures of these latter cells (cNB). LGALS3BP gene expression was evaluated by RT-qPCR on (FI)-NB, cNB, and primary tumor specimens. Soluble HMW-MAA and cyt-MAA were tested by ELISA. Cyt-MAA and HMW-MAA were expressed in NB cell lines, cNB, and (FI)-NB samples. LGALS3BP gene expression was higher in primary tumors and cNB than in (FI)-NB samples. Soluble cyt-MAA, but not HMW-MAA, was detected in NB cell lines and cNBs supernatants. NB patients serum levels of both antigens were higher than those of the healthy children. High cyt-MAA serum levels at diagnosis associated with higher incidence of relapse, independently from other known risk factors. In conclusion, both HMW-MAA and cyt-MAA antigens, and LGALS3BP gene, were expressed by NB cell lines and patients neuroblasts, and both antigens serum levels were increased in NB patients. Elevated serum levels of cyt-MAA at diagnosis correlated with relapse, supporting that cyt-MAA may serve as early serological biomarker to individuate patients at higher risk of relapse that may require a more careful follow-up, after being validated in a larger cohort of patients at different time-points during follow-up. Given its immunogenicity, cyt-MAA may also be a potential target for NB immunotherapy.
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Ciclesonide modulates in vitro allergen-driven activation of blood mononuclear cells and allergen-specific T-cell blasts.
Immunol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2011
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Ciclesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid with almost no affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor, is highly effective in downregulating in vitro pro-inflammatory activities of airway parenchymal cells when converted into the active metabolite desisobutyryl-ciclesonide.
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Oct-4+/Tenascin C+ neuroblastoma cells serve as progenitors of tumor-derived endothelial cells.
Cell Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2011
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Neuroblastoma (NB)-associated endothelial microvessels (EMs) may be lined by tumor-derived endothelial cells (TECs), that are genetically unstable and chemoresistant. Here we have addressed the identification of TEC progenitors in NB by focusing on Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct-4) as a putative marker. Oct-4(+) cells were detected in primary NB samples (n = 23), metastatic bone marrow aspirates (n = 10), NB cell lines (n = 4), and orthotopic tumors (n = 10) formed by the HTLA-230 NB cell line in immunodeficient mice. Most Oct-4(+) cells showed a perivascular distribution, with 5% of them homing in perinecrotic areas. All Oct-4(+) cells were tumor-derived since they shared amplification of MYCN oncogene with malignant cells. Perivascular Oct-4(+) cells expressed stem cell-related, neural progenitor-related and NB-related markers, including surface Tenascin C (TNC), that was absent from perinecrotic Oct-4(+) cells and bulk tumor cells. TNC(+) but not TNC(-) HTLA-230 cells differentiated in vitro into endothelial-like cells expressing vascular-endothelial-cadherin, prostate-specific membrane antigen and CD31 upon culture in medium containing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). TNC(+) but not TNC(-) HTLA-230 cells formed neurospheres when cultured in serum-free medium. Both cell fractions were tumorigenic, but only tumors formed by TNC(+) cells contained EMs lined by TECs. In conclusion, we have identified in NB tumors two putative niches containing Oct-4(+) tumor cells. Oct-4(+)/TNC(+) perivascular NB cells displayed a high degree of plasticity and served as progenitors of TECs. Therapeutic targeting of Oct4(+)/TNC(+) progenitors may counteract the contribution of NB-derived ECs to tumor relapse and chemoresistance.
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Response to rituximab in 3 children with opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome resistant to conventional treatments.
Eur. J. Paediatr. Neurol.
PUBLISHED: 03-03-2011
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We report the 1 year follow-up of 3 children affected by non-paraneoplastic Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS) resistant to conventional therapies (steroids, ACTH and intravenous immunoglobulins) who were treated with an anti CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab). Treatment response was recorded on the basis of an international score at 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Despite the long disease duration and the numerous previously administered treatments, all patients underwent rapid and persistent neurological recovery following rituximab administration, thus suggesting a potential role of this drug even in pre-treated patients.
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Loss of 10q26.1-q26.3 in association with 7q34-q36.3 gain or 17q24.3-q25.3 gain predict poor outcome in pediatric medulloblastoma.
Cancer Lett.
PUBLISHED: 02-24-2011
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Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood. We have investigated for novel chromosomal imbalances and prognostic markers of pediatric MB. Forty MBs out of 64, were analyzed using high resolution prometaphase comparative genomic hybridization. Chromosome 10q26.1-q26.3 loss combined with 17q24.3-q25.3 gain and/or 7q34-q36.3 gain in tumors predicted poor patients survival. A minimal deleted region of 14.12cM at 10q26.1-q26.3 was refined by LOH analysis. We propose a new prognostic marker for pediatric MB patient risk stratification based on the presence of 10q26.1-q26.3 loss plus 17q24.3-q25.3 gain and/or 7q34-q36.3 gain associations.
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Identification of novel prognostic markers in relapsing localized resectable neuroblastoma.
OMICS
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2011
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Patients with localized resectable neuroblastoma (NB) generally have an excellent prognosis and can be treated by surgery alone, but approximately 10% of them develop local recurrences or metastatic progression. The known predictive risk factors are important for the identification of localized resectable NB patients at risk of relapse and/or progression, who may benefit from early and aggressive treatment. These factors, however, identify only a subset of patients at risk, and the search for novel prognostic markers is warranted. This review focuses on the recent advances in the identification of new prognostic markers. Recently we addressed the search of novel genetic prognostic markers in a selected cohort of patients with stroma-poor localized resectable NB who underwent disease relapse or progression (group 1) or complete remission (group 2). High-resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) DNA copy-number analysis technology was used. Chromosome 1p36.22p36.32 loss and 1q22qter gain, detected almost exclusively in group 1 patients, were significantly associated with poor event-free survival (EFS). Increasing evidence points to anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) as a fundamental oncogene associated with NB. The immunohistochemical analysis of sporadic NB localized resectable primary tumors (stage 1-2) showed a correlation between aberrant ALK level of expression and tumor progression and clinical outcome. Moreover, other factors that might influence the clinical behavior of these tumors will be reviewed.
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Multiple target molecular monitoring of bone marrow and peripheral blood samples from patients with localized neuroblastoma and healthy donors.
Pediatr Blood Cancer
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2011
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Multiple target molecular monitoring of minimal residual disease in neuroblastoma (NB) patients may increase sensitivity and overcome tumor heterogeneity. However, multiple target analysis is costly and time consuming, thus improvement with respect to single target monitoring needs to be achieved.
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Synergistic interactions between HDAC and sirtuin inhibitors in human leukemia cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2011
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Aberrant histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity is frequent in human leukemias. However, while classical, NAD(+)-independent HDACs are an established therapeutic target, the relevance of NAD(+)-dependent HDACs (sirtuins) in leukemia treatment remains unclear. Here, we assessed the antileukemic activity of sirtuin inhibitors and of the NAD(+)-lowering drug FK866, alone and in combination with traditional HDAC inhibitors. Primary leukemia cells, leukemia cell lines, healthy leukocytes and hematopoietic progenitors were treated with sirtuin inhibitors (sirtinol, cambinol, EX527) and with FK866, with or without addition of the HDAC inhibitors valproic acid, sodium butyrate, and vorinostat. Cell death was quantified by propidium iodide cell staining and subsequent flow-cytometry. Apoptosis induction was monitored by cell staining with FITC-Annexin-V/propidium iodide or with TMRE followed by flow-cytometric analysis, and by measuring caspase3/7 activity. Intracellular Bax was detected by flow-cytometry and western blotting. Cellular NAD(+) levels were measured by enzymatic cycling assays. Bax was overexpressed by retroviral transduction. Bax and SIRT1 were silenced by RNA-interference. Sirtuin inhibitors and FK866 synergistically enhanced HDAC inhibitor activity in leukemia cells, but not in healthy leukocytes and hematopoietic progenitors. In leukemia cells, HDAC inhibitors were found to induce upregulation of Bax, a pro-apoptotic Bcl2 family-member whose translocation to mitochondria is normally prevented by SIRT1. As a result, leukemia cells become sensitized to sirtuin inhibitor-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, NAD(+)-independent HDACs and sirtuins cooperate in leukemia cells to avoid apoptosis. Combining sirtuin with HDAC inhibitors results in synergistic antileukemic activity that could be therapeutically exploited.
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HLA-G and HLA-E in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Rheumatology (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 12-23-2010
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To investigate the expression and release of HLA-G and HLA-E in JIA.
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Dose finding study for the use of subcutaneous recombinant interleukin-2 to augment natural killer cell numbers in an outpatient setting for stage 4 neuroblastoma after megatherapy and autologous stem-cell reinfusion.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 12-13-2010
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To establish a safe dose of subcutaneous (SC) recombinant interleukin 2 (rIL-2) in an outpatient setting for children with stage 4 neuroblastoma after megatherapy (MGT) and autologous stem-cell reinfusion (ASCR) that is able to sustain an increase of natural-killer cells (NKCs) above the level previously reported for immunomodulatory potency.
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HLA-G in organ transplantation: towards clinical applications.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci.
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2010
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HLA-G plays a particular role during pregnancy in which its expression at the feto-maternal barrier participates into the tolerance of the allogenic foetus. HLA-G has also been demonstrated to be expressed in some transplanted patients, suggesting that it regulates the allogenic response. In vitro data indicate that HLA-G modulates NK cells, T cells, and DC maturation through its interactions with various inhibitory receptors. In this paper, we will review the data reporting the HLA-G involvement of HLA-G in human organ transplantation, then factors that can modulate HLA-G, and finally the use of HLA-G as a therapeutic tool in organ transplantation.
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Emerging topics and new perspectives on HLA-G.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci.
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2010
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Following the Fifth International Conference on non-classical HLA-G antigens (HLA-G), held in Paris in July 2009, we selected some topics which focus on emerging aspects in the setting of HLA-G functions. In particular, HLA-G molecules could play a role in: (1) various inflammatory disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, intracerebral hemorrhage, gastrointestinal, skin and rheumatic diseases, and asthma, where they may act as immunoregulatory factors; (2) the mechanisms to escape immune surveillance utilized by several viruses, such as human cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus type 1, rabies virus, hepatitis C virus, influenza virus type A and human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1); and (3) cytokine/chemokine network and stem cell transplantation, since they seem to modulate cell migration by the downregulation of chemokine receptor expression and mesenchymal stem cell activity blocking of effector cell functions and the generation of regulatory T cells. However, the immunomodulatory circuits mediated by HLA-G proteins still remain to be clarified.
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Therapeutic targeting of TLR9 inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in neuroblastoma.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-08-2010
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The Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) evolved to cope with pathogens, but it is expressed in a variety of tumors for reasons that are unclear. In this study, we report that neuroblastoma (NB) cells express functional TLR9. Liposome-complexed CpG oligonucleotides inhibited the proliferation of TLR9-expressing NB cells and induced caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death. Inhibitory oligonucleotides (iODNs) abrogated these effects. RNA interference reduced TLR9 expression but not to the level where functional responses to CpG were abolished. Compared with free CpG, liposomal formulations of NB-targeted CpG (TL-CpG) significantly prolonged the survival of mice bearing NB tumor xenografts. While CpG alone lacked antitumor efficacy in NOD/SCID/IL2rg(-/-) mice, TL-CpG retained significant efficacy related to direct effects on tumor cells. TLR9 expression in primary human NB specimens was found to correlate inversely with disease stage. Our findings establish functional expression of TLR9 in NB and suggest that TLR9 may represent a novel theranostic target in this disease.
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Fibroblast growth factor 2 and platelet-derived growth factor, but not platelet lysate, induce proliferation-dependent, functional class II major histocompatibility complex antigen in human mesenchymal stem cells.
Arthritis Rheum.
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2010
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To document the specificity and the mechanism of induction of a novel class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigen by mitogenic growth factors in human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) expanded in vitro for translational applications.
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Systemic and intraplaque mediators of inflammation are increased in patients symptomatic for ischemic stroke.
Stroke
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2010
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The concept of "vulnerable plaque" has been extended to the more recent definition of the "cardiovascular vulnerable patient," in which "intraplaque" and "systemic" factors contribute to the cumulative risk of acute cardiovascular events. Thus, we investigated the possible role of systemic and intraplaque inflammation in patients asymptomatic versus symptomatic for ischemic stroke.
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Direct inhibition of human acute myeloid leukemia cell growth by IL-12.
Immunol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 06-09-2010
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Acute myeloid leukemia is a haematopoietic malignancy originating from the transformation of myeloid progenitors that proliferate and accumulate in the bone marrow. In AML patients the survival rate at 5 years is 40-50% highlighting the need for novel therapies. In this study we have asked whether IL-12, an immuno-modulatory cytokine with anti-tumor activity, may inhibit directly AML cell growth. We show that the human AML cell lines U937, K562 and THP-1 expressed both chains of the IL-12 receptor (R), i.e. IL-12R?1 and IL-12R?2. IL-12 inhibited the angiogenic potential of AML cells in vitro, but did not affect their survival or proliferation. In vivo experiments were performed using SCID-NOD mice injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with the human U937 AML cell line and subsequently treated with human recombinant IL-12 or PBS i.p. Histological, immunohistochemical and flow cytometric analyses on explanted tumors revealed that IL-12 reduced new vessel formation, induced apoptosis and inhibited tumor cell proliferation. Studies on a panel of angiogenesis related genes in explanted tumors using PCR arrays showed significantly down-regulated expression of numerous pro-angiogenic genes including VEGF-C, IL-6, IL-8, CXCL1, CXCL6 and alanyl aminopeptidase in IL-12 vs PBS treated mice. This study shows for the first time that IL-12 targets directly AML cell growth and paves the way to further investigation of IL-12 as potential drug for AML treatment.
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Detection of cell-free RNA in children with neuroblastoma and comparison with that of whole blood cell RNA.
Pediatr Blood Cancer
PUBLISHED: 04-21-2010
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Since there is no validated assay to monitor disease in children with neuroblastoma (NB), we tested whether NB specific cell-free RNA could be detected in their plasma samples. Moreover, with the aim of reducing patients discomfort, we compared this assay to a recently standardized procedure that uses a larger amount of whole blood.
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Potential of mesenchymal stem cells for the therapy of autoimmune diseases.
Expert Rev Clin Immunol
PUBLISHED: 04-21-2010
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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous population of stromal cells that are usually isolated from the bone marrow and differentiate into cells of mesodermal lineage. MSCs exert immunosuppressive activities by suppressing T- and B-cell proliferation, dampening the generation of mature myeloid dendritic cells, and inhibiting the proliferation, cytokine production and cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells. Their immunomodulatory features, together with their tissue-trophic properties, make MSCs good candidates to treat autoimmune disorders (ADs). Different preclinical models of ADs clearly demonstrate the beneficial effects of MSCs on injured tissues by inhibiting immune inflammation and promoting tissue repair through trophic and anti-apoptotic mechanisms. Although these results pave the way toward the design of clinical trials with MSCs in AD patients, studies published so far are few in number. However, it appears from these studies that administration of MSCs is safe and feasible.
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A novel mechanism of soluble HLA-G mediated immune modulation: downregulation of T cell chemokine receptor expression and impairment of chemotaxis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2010
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In recent years, many immunoregulatory functions have been ascribed to soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G). Since chemotaxis is crucial for an efficient immune response, we have investigated for the first time the effects of sHLA-G on chemokine receptor expression and function in different human T cell populations.
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Grb7 upregulation is a molecular adaptation to HER2 signaling inhibition due to removal of Akt-mediated gene repression.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2010
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The efficacy of anti-HER2 therapeutics, such as lapatinib and trastuzumab, is limited by primary and acquired resistance. Cellular adaptations that allow breast cancer cell to survive prolonged HER2 inhibition include de-repression of the transcription factor FOXO3A with consequent estrogen receptor activation, and/or increased HER3 signaling. Here, we used low-density arrays, quantitative PCR, and western blotting to determine how HER2 signaling inhibition with lapatinib or PI3K inhibitors affects the expression of genes involved in breast cancer metastatic spread and overall prognosis. Retroviral transgenesis was used to express constitutively active forms of Akt in the HER2(+) breast cancer cell line SKBR3, and Grb7 in MCF7 cells. Specific gene silencing was obtained by siRNAs transfection. A murine BT474 xenograft cancer model was used to assess the effect of lapatinib on gene expression in vivo. We found that lapatinib induces upregulation of Grb7, an adaptor protein involved in receptor tyrosine kinase signaling and promoting cell survival and cell migration. Grb7 upregulation induced by lapatinib was found to occur in cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate that Grb7 upregulation is recreated by PI3K inhibitors while being prevented by constitutively active Akt. Thus, Grb7 is repressed by PI3K signaling and lapatinib-mediated Akt inhibition is responsible for Grb7 de-repression. Finally, we show that Grb7 removal by RNA-interference reduces breast cancer cell viability and increases the activity of lapatinib. In conclusion, Grb7 upregulation is a potentially adverse consequence of HER2 signaling inhibition. Preventing Grb7 accumulation and/or its interaction with receptor tyrosine kinases may increase the benefit of HER2-targeting drugs.
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Mutation-independent anaplastic lymphoma kinase overexpression in poor prognosis neuroblastoma patients.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2009
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Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is a receptor tyrosine kinase predominantly expressed in the developing nervous system. Recently, mutated ALK has been identified as a major oncogene associated with familial and sporadic neuroblastomas (NBL). Yet, a direct correlation between endogenous expression level of the ALK protein, oncogenic potential, and clinical outcome has not been established. We investigated ALK genetic mutations, protein expression/phosphorylation, and functional inhibition both in NBL-derived cell lines and in 34 localized and 48 advanced/metastatic NBL patients. ALK constitutive phosphorylation/activation was observed in high-ALK expressing cells, harboring either a mutated or a wild-type receptor. No activation was found in cell lines with low expression of wild-type ALK. After 72 hours of treatments, small molecule ALK inhibitor CEP-14083 (60 nmol/L) induced growth arrest and cell death in NBL cells overexpressing wild-type (viability: ALK(high) 12.8%, ALK(low) 73%, P = 0.0035; cell death: ALK(high) 56.4%, ALK(low) 16.2%, P = 0.0001) or mutated ALK. ALK protein expression was significantly up-regulated in advanced/metastatic compared with localized NBLs (ALK overexpressing patients: stage 1-2, 23.5%; stage 3-4, 77%; P < 0.0001). Interestingly, protein levels did not always correlate with ALK genetic alterations and/or mRNA abundance. Both mutated and wild-type ALK receptor can exert oncogenic activity in NBL cells. However, wild-type ALK receptor requires a critical threshold of expression to achieve oncogenic activation. Overexpression of either mutated or wild-type ALK defines poor prognosis patients. Alternative mechanisms other than direct mutations and/or gene amplification regulate the ALK level of expression in NBL cells. Wild-type ALK is a potential therapeutic target for advanced/metastatic NBLs.
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Interleukin-12 receptor beta2: from cytokine receptor to gatekeeper gene in human B-cell malignancies.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2009
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Interleukin (IL) -12 is a cytokine that has been extensively characterized for its immunoregulatory activities. IL-12 binds to a heterodimeric receptor composed of the beta1 and beta2 chains. In this review article, we discuss recent findings on the expression and function of IL-12 receptor (IL-12R) in malignant B cells frozen at various stages of differentiation and in their normal counterparts. These studies, together with others performed in Il12rb2 knockout mice, have established the concept that the IL-12Rbeta2 gene is a gatekeeper from cancer. We will delineate three paradigms reflecting the differential expression of IL-12Rbeta2 in different groups of malignant B cells and discuss the therapeutic perspectives stemming from these studies.
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Reciprocal interactions between human mesenchymal stem cells and gammadelta T cells or invariant natural killer T cells.
Stem Cells
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2009
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The immunomodulatory activities of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) provide a rational basis for their application in the treatment of immune-mediated diseases, such as graft versus host disease and multiple sclerosis. The effects of MSCs on invariant natural killer T (iNKT) and gammadelta T cells, both involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, are unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of MSCs on in vitro expansion of these unconventional T-cell populations. MSCs inhibited iNKT (Valpha24(+)Vbeta11(+)) and gammadelta T (Vdelta2(+)) cell expansion from peripheral blood mononuclear cells in both cell-to-cell contact and transwell systems. Such inhibition was partially counteracted by indomethacin, a prostaglandin E(2) inhibitor. Block of indoleamine 2,3-deoxygenase and transforming growth factor beta1 did not affect Valpha24(+)Vbeta11(+) and Vdelta2(+) cell expansion. MSCs inhibited interferon-gamma production by activated Valpha24(+)Vbeta11(+) and impaired CD3-mediated proliferation of activated Valpha24(+)Vbeta11(+) and Vdelta2(+) T cells, without affecting their cytotoxic potential. MSCs did not inhibit antigen processing/presentation by activated Vdelta2(+) T cells to CD4(+) T cells. In contrast, MSCs were lysed by activated Vdelta2(+) T cells through a T-cell receptor-dependent mechanism. These results are translationally relevant in view of the increasing interest in MSC-based therapy of autoimmune diseases.
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CX3CR1 is expressed by human B lymphocytes and mediates [corrected] CX3CL1 driven chemotaxis of tonsil centrocytes.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 07-27-2009
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Fractalkine/CX(3)CL1, a surface chemokine, binds to CX(3)CR1 expressed by different lymphocyte subsets. Since CX(3)CL1 has been detected in the germinal centres of secondary lymphoid tissue, in this study we have investigated CX(3)CR1 expression and function in human naïve, germinal centre and memory B cells isolated from tonsil or peripheral blood.
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Changes in cytokine profile pre- and post-immunosuppression in acquired aplastic anemia.
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 07-07-2009
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Cytokine expression assessed by flow cytometry in 53 acquired aplastic anemia patients before and after combined immunosuppression (EBMT WPSAA protocols) showed that CD3(+) marrow cells containing TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and IL4 were similar in subjects with disease at onset (DO) and responsive to treatment who had more CD3(+)/TNF-alpha(+) and CD 3(+)/IFN-gamma(+) cells than normal controls. In vitro block of TNF-alpha and/or IFN-gamma significantly increased BFU-e over baseline in 28 patients. In responsive to treatment patients only TNF-alpha block significantly incremented colonies over normal controls. Absolute marrow CD3(+)/TNF-alpha(+) and CD3(+)/IFN-gamma(+) cells prospectively tested in a group of 21 subjects declined significantly more in Responders than in Non Responders to immunosuppression at Response Evaluation Time respect to Diagnosis. Both in Responders and in Non Responders these cells remained higher than in normal controls. This study suggests that immunosuppression does not fully clear excess TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma from marrow of patients with good outcome and raises the hypothesis that additional cytokine blockade might be useful in immunosuppression for acquired aplastic anemia.
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Immunological mechanisms in opsoclonus-myoclonus associated neuroblastoma.
Eur. J. Paediatr. Neurol.
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2009
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Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is a rare paraneoplastic disorder, often associated with malignancies including neuroblastoma (NB), the most common solid tumor of childhood derived from the sympathetic nervous system. The pathogenesis of this syndrome is still undefined but is suspected to be the result of an autoimmune response. In this respect, different autoantibodies binding to neurons or cerebellar Purkinje cells have been detected in OMS-associated NB. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis of NB affecting children with OMS demonstrated the presence of interstitial or perivascular lymphoid infiltrates resembling secondary lymphoid follicles. Immunophenotyping of these lymphoid cells showed the existence of a mesh of CD21(+) follicular dendritic cells, numerous CD20(+) B lymphocytes in the germinal center and the mantle zone of the follicle and few CD3(+) T lymphocytes in a perifollicular area. Since information is lacking about the mechanism involved in ectopic lymphoid neogenesis of OMS-associated NB, we are currently investigating the role of different chemokines and their cognate receptors in the recruitment of lymphoid cells within tumor mass of OMS-associated NB. Here, we review some recent data about the pathogenesis of OMS-associated with NB.
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New perspectives for melanoma immunotherapy: role of IL-12.
Curr. Mol. Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2009
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Metastatic melanoma is a poor prognosis skin cancer. Since conventional treatments including surgery and chemotherapy often fail, novel therapeutic strategies are needed. In particular, identification of melanoma associated antigen has fostered the progress of both active (vaccines) and adoptive immunotherapy. Some promising results have been obtained, but most melanoma patients are not yet cured possibly because of different immune-escape mechanisms operated by tumor cells. Several studies have addressed the use of interleukin (IL)-12 for melanoma therapy due to its immunoregulatory function and anti-tumor activity mediated by stimulation of T and NK effector cells. Unfortunately, IL-12 has shown considerable toxicity. We [1] have recently demonstrated that IL-12 exerts a direct anti-tumor activity on murine B16 melanoma cells expressing a functional IL-12 receptor (R). In our model low levels of endogenous IL-12 reduced proliferation, increased apoptosis, and defective microvessel formation of tumor cells. This review summarizes information about melanoma immunotherapy and highlights a novel mechanism of IL-12-mediated anti-tumor activity based upon the direct effect of the cytokine on IL-12R(+) tumor cells. In this view, new therapeutic approaches may be planned including: i) pre-screening of melanoma patients for IL-12Rbeta2 expression to identify potential responders, ii) administration of small and less frequent doses of IL-12 to avoid toxicity and iii) targeting of IL-12 to IL-12R(+) tumor cells, such as local administration in patients with skin tumors or injection of IL-12 fused to an antibody specific to tumor cells.
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Chemokines in neuroectodermal tumour progression and metastasis.
Semin. Cancer Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2009
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Chemokines and their receptors have emerged as pivotal regulators of tumour growth, progression, and metastasis. Here we review the current knowledge on chemokines and receptors likely involved in the development of metastasis of neuroectodermal tumours, with emphasis on neuroblastoma. In this respect, we discuss the controversial role of the CXCR4/CXCL12 axis in bone marrow localization of neuroblastoma cells. In addition, we focus on the ability of neuroblastoma-derived chemokines such as CCL2 and CX3CL1 to attract lymphoid cells to the tumour site. Finally, chemokine receptor and function in other neuroectodermal tumours of adulthood (i.e. melanoma and small cell lung cancer) are discussed.
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Presence of 1q gain and absence of 7p gain are new predictors of local or metastatic relapse in localized resectable neuroblastoma.
Neuro-oncology
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2009
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We have addressed the search of novel genetic prognostic markers in a selected cohort of patients with stroma-poor localized resectable neuroblastoma (NB) who underwent relapse or progression (group 1) or complete remission (group 2) over a minimum follow-up of 32 months from diagnosis. Twenty-three Italian patients with localized resectable NB (stages 1 and 2) diagnosed from 1994 through 2005 were studied. All patients received surgical treatment. Chemotherapy was administered only to the three stage 2 patients who had MYCN-amplified tumors. High-resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) DNA copy-number analysis technology was used to identify novel prognostic markers. Chromosome 1p36.22p36.32 loss and 1q22qter gain, detected almost exclusively in group 1 patients, were significantly associated with poor event-free survival (EFS) (p = 0.0024 and p = 0.024, respectively). In contrast, patients with 7p11.2p22 gain, who belonged predominantly to group 2, had a significantly better EFS (p = 0.015). The frequency of 17q gain or 3p and 11q losses did not differ significantly in group 1 versus group 2 NBs. The sensitive technique allowed us to define the smallest region of 1p deletion. In conclusion, 1q22qter gain and 7p11.2p22 gain might represent new prognostic markers in localized resectable NB, but the small study size and the retrospective nature of the findings warrant further validation of the results in larger studies.
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IL-21: a new player in the control of isotype switch in Peyers patches.
J. Leukoc. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2009
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Peyers patches (PP) are lymphoid follicles of the small intestine containing predominantly IgA(+) B cells. In this JLB issue, IL-21 is reported to dampen TGF-beta1-induced IgG2b but not IgA production by mouse B cells, possibly explaining why IgA(+) B cells predominate in PP.
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Disseminated Mycobacterium scrofulaceum infection in a child with interferon-gamma receptor 1 deficiency.
Int. J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2009
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Disseminated disease caused by non-tuberculous, environmental mycobacteria (EM) reflects impaired host immunity. Disseminated disease caused by Mycobacterium scrofulaceum has primarily been reported in patients with AIDS. Moreover, observing M. scrofulaceum as the agent of localized disease in childhood has become increasingly rare. We report the first case of disseminated disease caused by M. scrofulaceum in a child with inherited interferon-gamma receptor 1 (IFN-gammaR1) complete deficiency. As in this case, mycobacterial bone infections in IFN-gammaR1 deficiency can sometimes mimic the clinical picture of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis.
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Etanercept as a salvage treatment for refractory aplastic anemia.
Pediatr Blood Cancer
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2009
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About 10-15% of patients with acquired aplastic anemia (AAA) have resistant/recurrent disease not eligible for standard treatment like hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and/or combined immunosuppression. We report a 17-year-old male with an 11 years history of AAA who, after two courses of immunosuppression, was red cell transfusion-dependent, severely thrombocytopenic, refractory to platelet transfusion, had iron overload and post-transfusion HCV infection. This patient achieved transfusion independence from platelets and normalized Hb after treatment with the anti-TNF agent Etanercept. Over a 12 months follow-up he experienced only transient increase of liver transaminases.
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Multiple relapses of visceral leishmaniasis in an adolescent with idiopathic CD4+ lymphocytopenia associated with novel immunophenotypic and molecular features.
Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J.
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2009
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An adolescent with idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia suffered from 4 visceral leishmaniasis relapses despite appropriate treatment. CD8 lymphocytopenia and abnormal expansion of TCRalphabeta, CD4, CD8 cells were consistently detected together with reduced export of mature T cells from thymus. This novel form of idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia may predispose to multiple visceral leishmaniasis relapses.
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IL-12 can target human lung adenocarcinoma cells and normal bronchial epithelial cells surrounding tumor lesions.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2009
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Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading cause of cancer death. We have shown previously that IL-12rb2 KO mice develop spontaneously lung adenocarcinomas or bronchioalveolar carcinomas. Aim of the study was to investigate i) IL-12Rbeta2 expression in human primary lung adenocarcinomas and in their counterparts, i.e. normal bronchial epithelial cells (NBEC), ii) the direct anti-tumor activity of IL-12 on lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and vivo, and the mechanisms involved, and iii) IL-12 activity on NBEC.
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Anti-IL-10R antibody improves the therapeutic efficacy of targeted liposomal oligonucleotides.
J Control Release
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2009
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High-risk Neuroblastoma (NB) has still a poor prognosis. Liposomes targeted to NB cells and encapsulating antisense CpG-containing oligonucleotides (TL-asCpG) had increased anti-tumour efficacy in NB xenografts compared to free asCpG. Interleukin 10 (IL-10) suppresses antigen presenting cell activation contributing to tumour-mediated immune suppression. In principle, combination of TL-asCpG and antibodies against IL-10 receptor (aIL-10R) could prolong immune system activation, leading to better therapeutic results. Mice treated with TL-asCpG 4 h after human NB cell inoculation survived significantly longer than controls. An increased life span was achieved also in mice receiving TL-asCpG 24 and 72 h after NB cell challenge. The addition of aIL-10R to TL-asCpG in the 4-h protocol significantly increased the percentage of long term survivors compared to TL-asCpG only. Surviving mice treated with the combined strategy were completely cured. In contrast, long term surviving mice treated only with TL-asCpG presented lymph node infiltration with NB cells. TL-asCpG plus aIL-10R treatment was significantly superior to TL-asCpG alone also for the 24-h protocol. Ex vivo experiments demonstrated that the combined therapy evoked a stronger and more prolonged immune system activation compared to monotherapy. These results support the feasibility of a clinical trial with TL-asCpG and aIL-10R in advanced NB patients.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.