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author:("zero, Giulia")
1.  Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Polymorphisms in Iron Homeostasis Genes: New Insights from a Case-Control Study 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:834736.
Background. Even if various pathophysiological events have been proposed as explanations, the putative cause of sudden hearing loss remains unclear. Objectives. To investigate and to reveal associations (if any) between the main iron-related gene variants and idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Study Design. Case-control study. Materials and Methods. A total of 200 sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients (median age 63.65 years; range 10–92) were compared with 400 healthy control subjects. The following genetic variants were investigated: the polymorphism c.−8CG in the promoter of the ferroportin gene (FPN1; SLC40A1), the two isoforms C1 and C2 (p.P570S) of the transferrin protein (TF), the amino acidic substitutions p.H63D and p.C282Y in the hereditary hemochromatosis protein (HFE), and the polymorphism c.–582AG in the promoter of the HEPC gene, which encodes the protein hepcidin (HAMP). Results. The homozygous genotype c.−8GG of the SLC40A1 gene revealed an OR for ISSNHL risk of 4.27 (CI 95%, 2.65–6.89; P = 0.001), being overrepresented among cases. Conclusions. Our study indicates that the homozygous genotype FPN1 −8GG was significantly associated with increased risk of developing sudden hearing loss. These findings suggest new research should be conducted in the field of iron homeostasis in the inner ear.
PMCID: PMC4348611  PMID: 25789325
2.  Investigation of in vitro cytotoxicity of the redox state of ionic iron in neuroblastoma cells 
there is an intimate relation between transition metals and cell homeostasis due to the physiological necessity of metals in vivo. Particularly, iron (ferrous and ferric state) is utilized in many physiological processes of the cell but in excess has been linked with negative role contributing in many neurodegenerative processes.
the aim of this study was to investigate which oxidation state of ionic iron (Ferrous (II) versus Ferric (III)) is more toxic to neuronal cells (SHSY5Y).
Materials and Methods:
The neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cells were exposed to varying concentration of ferric and ferrous iron. Morphological studies using immunofluorescence staining and microscopic analysis as confirmed by intracellular glutathione (GSH) test demonstrated oxidative stress to cells in iron microenvironment. In addition, MTT assay was performed to evaluate the viability and metabolic state of the cells.
the results showed that ferrous form has significantly higher toxicity compared to the ferric ionic state of higher concentration. In addition, microscopic analysis shows cell fenestration at higher concentrations and swelling at intermediate ferric dosages as demonstrated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Interestingly, the addition of a differentiation inducing factor, trans-retinoic rcid (RA) retains significant viability and morphological features of the cells irrespective of the ionic state of the iron. AFM images revealed clustered aggregates arising from iron chelation with RA.
the results indicate that Fe (II) has more toxic effects on cells. In addition, it could be an interesting finding with respect to the antioxidant properties of RA as a chelating agent for the neurodegenerative therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3505322  PMID: 23188983
AFM; glutathione; immunostaining; metallomics; MRI
3.  Polymorphisms in the genes coding for iron binding and transporting proteins are associated with disability, severity, and early progression in multiple sclerosis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:70.
Iron involvement/imbalance is strongly suspected in multiple sclerosis (MS) etiopathogenesis, but its role is quite debated. Iron deposits encircle the veins in brain MS lesions, increasing local metal concentrations in brain parenchyma as documented by magnetic resonance imaging and histochemical studies. Conversely, systemic iron overload is not always observed. We explored the role of common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the main iron homeostasis genes in MS patients.
By the pyrosequencing technique, we investigated 414 MS cases [Relapsing-remitting (RR), n=273; Progressive, n=141, of which: Secondary (SP), n=103 and Primary (PP), n=38], and 414 matched healthy controls. Five SNPs in 4 genes were assessed: hemochromatosis (HFE: C282Y, H63D), ferroportin (FPN1: -8CG), hepcidin (HEPC: -582AG), and transferrin (TF: P570S).
The FPN1-8GG genotype was overrepresented in the whole MS population (OR=4.38; 95%CI, 1.89-10.1; P<0.0001) and a similar risk was found among patients with progressive forms. Conversely, the HEPC -582GG genotype was overrepresented only in progressive forms (OR=2.53; 95%CI, 1.34-4.78; P=0.006) so that SP and PP versus RR yielded significant outputs (P=0.009). For almost all SNPs, MS disability score (EDSS), severity score (MSSS), as well as progression index (PI) showed a significant increase when comparing homozygotes versus individuals carrying other genotypes: HEPC -582GG (EDSS, 4.24±2.87 vs 2.78±2.1; P=0.003; MSSS, 5.6±3.06 vs 3.79±2.6; P=0.001); FPN1-8GG (PI, 1.11±2.01 vs 0.6±1.31; P=0.01; MSSS, 5.08±2.98 vs 3.85±2.8; P=0.01); HFE 63DD (PI, 1.63±2.6 vs 0.6±0.86; P=0.009). Finally, HEPC -582G-carriers had a significantly higher chance to switch into the progressive form (HR=3.55; 1.83-6.84; log-rank P=0.00006).
Polymorphisms in the genes coding for iron binding and transporting proteins, in the presence of local iron overload, might be responsible for suboptimal iron handling. This might account for the significant variability peculiar to MS phenotypes, particularly affecting MS risk and progression paving the way for personalized pharmacogenetic applications in the clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3490944  PMID: 22883388
4.  Genetic Association and Altered Gene Expression of Mir-155 in Multiple Sclerosis Patients 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by chronic inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage. As microRNA (miRNA)-dependent alterations in gene expression in hematopoietic cells are critical for mounting an appropriate immune response, miRNA deregulation may result in defects in immune tolerance. In this frame, we sought to explore the possible involvement of miRNAs in MS pathogenesis by monitoring the differential expression of 22 immunity-related miRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of MS patients and healthy controls, by using a microbead-based technology. Three miRNAs resulted >2 folds up-regulated in MS vs controls, whereas none resulted down-regulated. Interestingly, the most up-regulated miRNA (mir-155; fold change = 3.30; P = 0.013) was previously reported to be up-regulated also in MS brain lesions. Mir-155 up-regulation was confirmed by qPCR experiments. The role of mir-155 in MS susceptibility was also investigated by genotyping four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mapping in the mir-155 genomic region. A haplotype of three SNPs, corresponding to a 12-kb region encompassing the last exon of BIC (the B-cell Integration Cluster non-coding RNA, from which mir-155 is processed), resulted associated with the disease status (P = 0.035; OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.05–1.77), suggesting that this locus strongly deserves further investigations.
PMCID: PMC3257096  PMID: 22272099
multiple sclerosis; miRNA; expression profile; mir-155; association analysis

Results 1-4 (4)