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2.  Primary coenzyme Q10 deficiency presenting as fatal neonatal multiorgan failure 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2015;23(9):1254-1258.
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder, with manifestations that may range from fatal neonatal multisystem failure, to adult-onset encephalopathy. We report a patient who presented at birth with severe lactic acidosis, proteinuria, dicarboxylic aciduria, and hepatic insufficiency. She also had dilation of left ventricle on echocardiography. Her neurological condition rapidly worsened and despite aggressive care she died at 23 h of life. Muscle histology displayed lipid accumulation. Electron microscopy showed markedly swollen mitochondria with fragmented cristae. Respiratory-chain enzymatic assays showed a reduction of combined activities of complex I+III and II+III with normal activities of isolated complexes. The defect was confirmed in fibroblasts, where it could be rescued by supplementing the culture medium with 10 μM coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 levels were reduced (28% of controls) in these cells. We performed exome sequencing and focused the analysis on genes involved in coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis. The patient harbored a homozygous c.545T>G, p.(Met182Arg) alteration in COQ2, which was validated by functional complementation in yeast. In this case the biochemical and morphological features were essential to direct the genetic diagnosis. The parents had another pregnancy after the biochemical diagnosis was established, but before the identification of the genetic defect. Because of the potentially high recurrence risk, and given the importance of early CoQ10 supplementation, we decided to treat with CoQ10 the newborn child pending the results of the biochemical assays. Clinicians should consider a similar management in siblings of patients with CoQ10 deficiency without a genetic diagnosis.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.277
PMCID: PMC4430297  PMID: 25564041
3.  Clinical and ultrastructural spectrum of diffuse lung disease associated with surfactant protein C mutations 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2015;23(8):1033-1041.
Genetic defects of surfactant metabolism are associated with a broad range of clinical manifestations, from neonatal respiratory distress syndrome to adult interstitial lung disease. Early therapies may improve symptoms but diagnosis is often delayed owing to phenotype and genotype variability. Our objective was to characterize the cellular/ultrastructural correlates of surfactant protein C (SP-C) mutations in children with idiopathic diffuse lung diseases. We sequenced SFTPC – the gene encoding SP-C – SFTPB and ABCA3, and analyzed morphology, ultrastructure and SP expression in lung tissue when available. We identified eight subjects who were heterozygous for SP-C mutations. Median age at onset and clinical course were variable. None of the mutations were located in the mature peptide-encoding region, but were either in the pro-protein BRICHOS or linker C-terminal domains. Although lung morphology was similar to other genetic surfactant metabolism disorders, electron microscopy studies showed specific anomalies, suggesting surfactant homeostasis disruption, plus trafficking defects in the four subjects with linker domain mutation and protein misfolding in the single BRICHOS mutation carrier in whom material was available. Immunolabeling studies showed increased proSP-C staining in all cases. In two cases, amyloid deposits could be identified. Immunochemistry and ultrastructural studies may be useful for diagnostic purposes and for genotype interpretation.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.45
PMCID: PMC4795107  PMID: 25782673
4.  Lipolysis and lipophagy in lipid storage myopathies 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2016;1862(7):1367-1373.
Aims
Triglycerides droplets are massively stored in muscle in Lipid Storage Myopathies (LSM). We studied in muscle regulators of lipophagy, the expression of the transcription factor-EB (TFEB) (a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis), and markers of autophagy which are induced by starvation and exert a transcriptional control on lipid catabolism.
Methods
We investigated the factors that regulate lipophagy in muscle biopsies from 6 patients with different types of LSM: 2 cases of riboflavin-responsive multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD), 1 case of primary carnitine deficiency (CD), 2 cases of neutral lipid storage myopathy (NLSD-M), 1 case of carnitine–palmitoyl-transferase-II (CPT) deficiency.
Results
Conventional morphology and electron microscopy documented the lipid accumulation and its dramatic resolution after treatment. Muscle immunofluorescence showed that while in MADD and NLSD-M there was a co-localized expression of TFEB and p62-SQSTM1 (marker of protein aggregates) in some atrophic fibers, in CD and CPT-II deficiency the reaction was almost normal. In regenerating fibers, TFEB localized in the cytoplasm (inactive form), whereas in atrophic fibers it localized in the nuclei (active form). Lipid-accumulated/atrophic fibers did not display p62-positive protein aggregates, indicating, together with the LC3-II (marker of autophagosomes) and p62-SQSTM1 analysis, that the autophagic flux is often preserved and lipophagy occurs.
Conclusion
In atrophic and regenerating fibers of patients with NLSD-M we observed TFEB over-expression; in other conditions autophagy markers are increased, suggesting lipophagy active role on human lipid metabolism.
Highlights
•Fatty acid disorders are due to defective oxidation or transport in mitochondria.•Lipophagy mobilizes fatty acids from lipid droplets within muscle fibers.•Lipophagy has a role in utilization of triglycerides from lipid droplets.•LC3-II and p62-SQSTM1 accumulate in atrophic fibers in lipid storage myopathies.•TFEB, a regulator of lipophagy, is increased when lipophagy or oxidation is blocked.
doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.04.008
PMCID: PMC4879869  PMID: 27085974
ATGL, adipose triglyceride lipase; ATP-ase, adenosine tri-phosphatase; CD, carnitine deficiency; CK, creatine kinase; COX, cytochrome oxidase; CPT, carnitine-palmitoyl-transferase; DAPI, 4′,6-diamidin-2-phenylindole; EMG, electromyography; ETF, electron transfer flavoprotein; FOXO, fork head box protein; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HSL, hormone-sensitive lipase; LC3, microtubule-associated proteins light chain-3; LSM, lipid storage myopathy; MADD, multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency; MCT, medium chain triglyceride; NADH-TR, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase tetrazolium reductase; NLSD-M, neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy; OCTN2, carnitine organic cation transporter-2; p62-SQSTM1, p62-sequestosome-1; PAS, perjodic acid Schiff; PPARα, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ-coactivator-1α; SDH, succinate dehydrogenase; TFEB, transcription factor-EB; Lipid storage myopathy; MADD; NLSD-M; Carnitine deficiency; TFEB
5.  Primary coenzyme Q10 deficiency presenting as fatal neonatal multiorgan failure 
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder, with manifestations that may range from fatal neonatal multisystem failure, to adult-onset encephalopathy. We report a patient who presented at birth with severe lactic acidosis, proteinuria, dicarboxylic aciduria, and hepatic insufficiency. She also had dilation of left ventricle on echocardiography. Her neurological condition rapidly worsened and despite aggressive care she died at 23 hours of life. Muscle histology displayed lipid accumulation. Electron microscopy showed markedly swollen mitochondria with fragmented cristae. Respiratory chain enzymatic assays showed a reduction of combined activities of complex I+III and II+III with normal activities of isolated complexes. The defect was confirmed in fibroblasts, where it could be rescued by supplementing the culture medium with 10 μM coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 levels were reduced (28% of controls) in these cells.
We performed exome sequencing and focused the analysis on genes involved in coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis. The patient harbored a homozygous c.545T>G, p.(Met182Arg) alteration in COQ2, which was validated by functional complementation in yeast.
In this case the biochemical and morphological features were essential to direct the genetic diagnosis.
The parents had another pregnancy after the biochemical diagnosis was established, but before the identification of the genetic defect. Because of the potentially high recurrence risk, and given the importance of early CoQ10 supplementation, we decided to treat with CoQ10 the newborn child pending the results of the biochemical assays. Clinicians should consider a similar management in siblings of patients with CoQ10 deficiency without a genetic diagnosis.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.277
PMCID: PMC4430297  PMID: 25564041
6.  Proteomic analysis of extracellular vesicles from medullospheres reveals a role for iron in the cancer progression of medulloblastoma 
Background
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant childhood brain tumor with the propensity to disseminate at an early stage, and is associated with high morbidity. New treatment strategies are needed to improve cure rates and to reduce life-long cognitive and functional deficits associated with current therapies. Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) are important players in cell-to-cell communication in health and diseases. A clearer understanding of cell-to-cell communication in tumors can be achieved by studying EV secretion in medullospheres. This can reveal subtle modifications induced by the passage from adherent to non-adherent growth, as spheres may account for the adaptation of tumor cells to the mutated environment.
Methods
Formation of medullospheres from MB cell lines stabilized in adherent conditions was obtained through culture conditioning based on low attachment flasks and specialized medium. EVs collected by ultracentrifugation, in adherent conditions and as spheres, were subjected to electron microscopy, NanoSight measurements and proteomics.
Results
Interestingly, iron carrier proteins were only found in EVs shed by CSC-enriched tumor cell population of spheres. We used iron chelators when culturing MB cell lines as spheres. Iron chelators induced a decrease in number/size of spheres and in stem cell populations able to initiate in vitro spheres formation.
Conclusions
This work suggests a not yet identified role of iron metabolism in MB progression and invasion and opens the possibility to use chelators as adjuvants in anti-tumoral chemotherapy.
doi:10.1186/s40591-015-0045-3
PMCID: PMC4603768  PMID: 26464805
7.  A mutation in the CASQ1 gene causes a vacuolar myopathy with accumulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum protein aggregates 
Human mutation  2014;35(10):1163-1170.
A missense mutation in the calsequestrin-1 gene (CASQ1) was found in a group of patients with a myopathy characterized by weakness, fatigue and the presence of large vacuoles containing characteristic inclusions resulting from the aggregation of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) proteins. The mutation affects a conserved aspartic acid in position 244 (p.Asp244Gly) located in one of the high-affinity Ca2+ binding sites of CASQ1 and alters the kinetics of Ca2+ release in muscle fibers. Expression of the mutated CASQ1 protein in COS-7 cells showed a markedly reduced ability in forming elongated polymers, while both in cultured myotubes and in in-vivo mouse fibers induced the formation of electron-dense SR vacuoles containing aggregates of the mutant CASQ1 protein that resemble those observed in muscle biopsies of patients. Altogether, these results support the view that a single missense mutation in the CASQ1 gene causes the formation of abnormal SR vacuoles containing aggregates of CASQ1 and other SR proteins, results in altered Ca2+ release in skeletal muscle fibers and, hence, is responsible for the clinical phenotype observed in these patients.
doi:10.1002/humu.22631
PMCID: PMC4177304  PMID: 25116801
aggregate myopathy; CASQ1; calsequestrin; sarcoplasmic reticulum; skeletal muscle
8.  Sclerosing Paraganglioma of the Carotid Body: A Potential Pitfall of Malignancy 
Head and Neck Pathology  2014;9(2):300-304.
Paragangliomas (PGs) of the head and neck region are typically benign, slow-growing neuroendocrine tumours. At times, they may exhibit unusual histological features, such as prominent stromal sclerosis (sclerosing PG), which may raise concerns of malignancy. We describe a case of sclerosing PG of the carotid body, emphasizing the value of immunohistochemical stains for differential diagnosis. A 43-year-old woman presented with a painless lump on the neck. A magnetic resonance imaging scan demonstrated a hypervascular lesion of the carotid body, which was surgically excised. Grossly, the lesion measured 1.8 cm at maximum diameter. On microscopic examination, irregular nests and tiny bundles of neoplastic cells were found between thick bands of fibrous tissue. Focal nuclear cytomegaly and marked pleomorphism were noted. Neoplastic cells proved to be immunoreactive for chromogranin, synaptophysin and neuron specific enolase, but negative for cytokeratins, smooth muscle actin and CD34. Ultrastructurally, numerous mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum structures and endocrine granules were seen in the cytoplasm of the tumour cells. On consideration of the above-mentioned clinico-pathological and ultrastructural findings a diagnosis of sclerosing PG was established. Sclerosing PG is a rare entity which may mimic a malignant neoplasm. The recognition of this unusual morphological variant of PG, together with appropriate immunostains, leads to the correct diagnosis.
doi:10.1007/s12105-014-0569-x
PMCID: PMC4424208  PMID: 25194351
Paraganglioma; Sclerosing paraganglioma; Head and neck paraganglioma; Carotid body tumour
9.  Primary coenzyme Q10 deficiency presenting as fatal neonatal multiorgan failure 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2015;23(9):1254-1258.
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder, with manifestations that may range from fatal neonatal multisystem failure, to adult-onset encephalopathy. We report a patient who presented at birth with severe lactic acidosis, proteinuria, dicarboxylic aciduria, and hepatic insufficiency. She also had dilation of left ventricle on echocardiography. Her neurological condition rapidly worsened and despite aggressive care she died at 23 h of life. Muscle histology displayed lipid accumulation. Electron microscopy showed markedly swollen mitochondria with fragmented cristae. Respiratory-chain enzymatic assays showed a reduction of combined activities of complex I+III and II+III with normal activities of isolated complexes. The defect was confirmed in fibroblasts, where it could be rescued by supplementing the culture medium with 10 μM coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 levels were reduced (28% of controls) in these cells. We performed exome sequencing and focused the analysis on genes involved in coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis. The patient harbored a homozygous c.545T>G, p.(Met182Arg) alteration in COQ2, which was validated by functional complementation in yeast. In this case the biochemical and morphological features were essential to direct the genetic diagnosis. The parents had another pregnancy after the biochemical diagnosis was established, but before the identification of the genetic defect. Because of the potentially high recurrence risk, and given the importance of early CoQ10 supplementation, we decided to treat with CoQ10 the newborn child pending the results of the biochemical assays. Clinicians should consider a similar management in siblings of patients with CoQ10 deficiency without a genetic diagnosis.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.277
PMCID: PMC4430297  PMID: 25564041
10.  Homozygous NOTCH3 null mutation and impaired NOTCH3 signaling in recessive early-onset arteriopathy and cavitating leukoencephalopathy 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2015;7(6):848-858.
Notch signaling is essential for vascular physiology. Neomorphic heterozygous mutations in NOTCH3, one of the four human NOTCH receptors, cause cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). Hypomorphic heterozygous alleles have been occasionally described in association with a spectrum of cerebrovascular phenotypes overlapping CADASIL, but their pathogenic potential is unclear. We describe a patient with childhood-onset arteriopathy, cavitating leukoencephalopathy with cerebral white matter abnormalities presented as diffuse cavitations, multiple lacunar infarctions and disseminated microbleeds. We identified a novel homozygous c.C2898A (p.C966*) null mutation in NOTCH3 abolishing NOTCH3 expression and causing NOTCH3 signaling impairment. NOTCH3 targets acting in the regulation of arterial tone (KCNA5) or expressed in the vasculature (CDH6) were downregulated. Patient's vessels were characterized by smooth muscle degeneration as in CADASIL, but without deposition of granular osmiophilic material (GOM), the CADASIL hallmark. The heterozygous parents displayed similar but less dramatic trends in decrease in the expression of NOTCH3 and its targets, as well as in vessel degeneration. This study suggests a functional link between NOTCH3 deficiency and pathogenesis of vascular leukoencephalopathies.
doi:10.15252/emmm.201404399
PMCID: PMC4459822  PMID: 25870235
CADASIL; cerebral arteriopathy; exome; leukoencephalopathy; NOTCH3
11.  XAV939-Mediated ARTD Activity Inhibition in Human MB Cell Lines 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124149.
Diphtheria toxin-like ADP-ribosyltransferases 1 and 5 (ARTD-1, ARTD-5) are poly ADP-ribose enzymes (PARP) involved in non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), which is the major pathway of double-strand break (DSB) repair. In addition, ARTD-5, or Tankyrase (TNKS), is a positive regulator of the WNT signaling implicated in the development and biological behavior of many neoplasms, such as Medulloblastoma (MB), in which radiotherapy is an essential part of the treatment. The use of radiosensitizing agents may improve the therapeutic index in MB patients by increasing the efficacy of radiotherapy, while reducing toxicity to the neuroaxis. ARTD-5 seems to be a good molecular target for improving the current treatment of MB. In this study, we used the small molecule XAV939, a potent ARTD-5 inhibitor with a slight affinity for ARTD-1, in different human MB cell lines. XAV939 inhibited the WNT pathway and DNA-PKcs in our MB cells, with many biological consequences. The co-administration of XAV939 and ionizing radiations (IR) inhibited MB cells proliferation and clonogenic capacity, decreased their efficacy in repairing DNA damage, and increased IR-induced cell mortality. In conclusion, our in vitro data show that XAV939 could be a very promising small molecule in MB treatment, and these results lay the basis for further in vivo studies with the aim of improving the current therapy available for MB patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124149
PMCID: PMC4383513  PMID: 25835728
12.  Liver as a Source for Thymidine Phosphorylase Replacement in Mitochondrial Neurogastrointestinal Encephalomyopathy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96692.
Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE) is a rare autosomal recessive mitochondrial disease associated with mutations in the nuclear TYMP gene. As a result, the thymidine phosphorylase (TP) enzyme activity is markedly reduced leading to toxic accumulation of thymidine and therefore altered mitochondrial DNA. MNGIE is characterized by severe gastrointestinal dysmotility, neurological impairment, reduced life expectancy and poor quality of life. There are limited therapeutic options for MNGIE. In the attempt to restore TP activity, allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been used as cellular source of TP. The results of this approach on ∼20 MNGIE patients showed gastrointestinal and neurological improvement, although the 5-year mortality rate is about 70%. In this study we tested whether the liver may serve as an alternative source of TP. We investigated 11 patients (7M; 35–55 years) who underwent hepatic resection for focal disorders. Margins of normal liver tissue were processed to identify, quantify and localize the TP protein by Western Blot, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry, and to evaluate TYMP mRNA expression by qPCR. Western Blot identified TP in liver with a TP/GAPDH ratio of 0.9±0.5. ELISA estimated TP content as 0.5±0.07 ng/μg of total protein. TP was identified in both nuclei and cytoplasm of hepatocytes and sinusoidal lining cells. Finally, TYMP mRNA was expressed in the liver. Overall, our study demonstrates that the liver is an important source of TP. Orthotopic liver transplantation may be considered as a therapeutic alternative for MNGIE patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096692
PMCID: PMC4011889  PMID: 24802030
13.  Medullospheres from DAOY, UW228 and ONS-76 Cells: Increased Stem Cell Population and Proteomic Modifications 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63748.
Background
Medulloblastoma (MB) is an aggressive pediatric tumor of the Central Nervous System (CNS) usually treated according to a refined risk stratification. The study of cancer stem cells (CSC) in MB is a promising approach aimed at finding new treatment strategies.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The CSC compartment was studied in three characterized MB cell lines (DAOY, UW228 and ONS-76) grown in standard adhesion as well as being grown as spheres, which enables expansion of the CSC population. MB cell lines, grown in adherence and as spheres, were subjected to morphologic analysis at the light and electron microscopic level, as well as cytofluorimetric determinations. Medullospheres (MBS) were shown to express increasingly immature features, along with the stem cells markers: CD133, Nestin and β-catenin. Proteomic analysis highlighted the differences between MB cell lines, demonstrating a unique protein profile for each cell line, and minor differences when grown as spheres. In MBS, MALDI-TOF also identified some proteins, that have been linked to tumor progression and resistance, such as Nucleophosmin (NPM). In addition, immunocytochemistry detected Sox-2 as a stemness marker of MBS, as well as confirming high NPM expression.
Conclusions/Significance
Culture conditioning based on low attachment flasks and specialized medium may provide new data on the staminal compartment of CNS tumors, although a proteomic profile of CSC is still elusive for MB.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063748
PMCID: PMC3663798  PMID: 23717474
14.  Response of human chondrocytes and mesenchymal stromal cells to a decellularized human dermis 
Background
Although progress has been made in the treatment of articular cartilage lesions, they are still a major challenge because current techniques do not provide satisfactory long-term outcomes. Tissue engineering and the use of functional biomaterials might be an alternative regenerative strategy and fulfill clinical needs. Decellularized extracellular matrices have generated interest as functional biologic scaffolds, but there are few studies on cartilage regeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro the biological influence of a newly developed decellularized human dermal extracellular matrix on two human primary cultures.
Methods
Normal human articular chondrocytes (NHAC-kn) and human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC) from healthy donors were seeded in polystyrene wells as controls (CTR), and on decellularized human dermis batches (HDM_derm) for 7 and 14 days. Cellular proliferation and differentiation, and anabolic and catabolic synthetic activity were quantified at each experimental time. Histology and scanning electron microscopy were used to evaluate morphology and ultrastructure.
Results
Both cell cultures had a similar proliferation rate that increased significantly (p < 0.0005) at 14 days. In comparison with CTR, at 14 days NHAC-kn enhanced procollagen type II (CPII, p < 0.05) and aggrecan synthesis (p < 0.0005), whereas hMSC significantly enhanced aggrecan synthesis (p < 0.0005) and transforming growth factor-beta1 release (TGF-β1, p < 0.0005) at both experimental times. Neither inflammatory stimulus nor catabolic activity induction was observed. By comparing data of the two primary cells, NHAC-kn synthesized significantly more CPII than did hMSC at both experimental times (p < 0.005), whereas hMSC synthesized more aggrecan at 7 days (p < 0.005) and TGF-β1 at both experimental times than did NHAC-kn (p < 0.005).
Conclusions
The results obtained showed that in in vitro conditions HDM_derm behaves as a suitable scaffold for the growth of both well-differentiated chondrocytes and undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, thus ensuring a biocompatible and bioactive substrate. Further studies are mandatory to test the use of HDM_derm with tissue engineering to assess its therapeutic and functional effectiveness in cartilage regeneration.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-12
PMCID: PMC3547812  PMID: 23294867
Articular chondrocytes; Mesenchymal bone marrow stromal cells; Decellularized dermis; Bioactivity; In vitro study; Cartilage tissue engineering
15.  The empowerment of translational research: lessons from laminopathies 
The need for a collaborative approach to complex inherited diseases collectively referred to as laminopathies, encouraged Italian researchers, geneticists, physicians and patients to join in the Italian Network for Laminopathies, in 2009. Here, we highlight the advantages and added value of such a multidisciplinary effort to understand pathogenesis, clinical aspects and try to find a cure for Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, Mandibuloacral dysplasia, Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria and forms of lamin-linked cardiomyopathy, neuropathy and lipodystrophy.
doi:10.1186/1750-1172-7-37
PMCID: PMC3458975  PMID: 22691392
Laminopathies; Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy; Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Conduction Defects; Mandibuloacral Dysplasia; Familial Partial Lipodystrophy Type 2; Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome; Rare Diseases; Networking activity; interdisciplinary approach to diseases
16.  Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Pancreatic Islets and Bone Marrow into Islet-Like Cell Phenotype 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28175.
Background
Regarding regenerative medicine for diabetes, accessible sources of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) for induction of insular beta cell differentiation may be as important as mastering the differentiation process itself.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In the present work, stem cells from pancreatic islets (human islet-mesenchymal stem cells, HI-MSCs) and from human bone marrow (bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, BM-MSCs) were cultured in custom-made serum-free medium, using suitable conditions in order to induce differentiation into Islet-like Cells (ILCs). HI-MSCs and BM-MSCs were positive for the MSC markers CD105, CD73, CD90, CD29. Following this induction, HI-MSC and BM-MSC formed evident islet-like structures in the culture flasks. To investigate functional modifications after induction to ILCs, ultrastructural analysis and immunofluorescence were performed. PDX1 (pancreatic duodenal homeobox gene-1), insulin, C peptide and Glut-2 were detected in HI-ILCs whereas BM-ILCs only expressed Glut-2 and insulin. Insulin was also detected in the culture medium following glucose stimulation, confirming an initial differentiation that resulted in glucose-sensitive endocrine secretion. In order to identify proteins that were modified following differentiation from basal MSC (HI-MSCs and BM-MSCs) to their HI-ILCs and BM-ILCs counterparts, proteomic analysis was performed. Three new proteins (APOA1, ATL2 and SODM) were present in both ILC types, while other detected proteins were verified to be unique to the single individual differentiated cells lines. Hierarchical analysis underscored the limited similarities between HI-MSCs and BM-MSCs after induction of differentiation, and the persistence of relevant differences related to cells of different origin.
Conclusions/Significance
Proteomic analysis highlighted differences in the MSCs according to site of origin, reflecting spontaneous differentiation and commitment. A more detailed understanding of protein assets may provide insights required to master the differentiation process of HI-MSCs to functional beta cells based only upon culture conditioning. These findings may open new strategies for the clinical use of BM-MSCs in diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028175
PMCID: PMC3241623  PMID: 22194812
17.  Esophageal cell proliferation in gastroesophageal reflux disease: Clinical-morphological data before and after pantoprazole 
AIM: To evaluate esophageal mucosal defense mechanisms at an epithelial level to establish if pantoprazole treatment can induce ultrastructural healing and improvement in the proliferation activity of the esophageal epithelium in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
METHODS: This was a single-blinded study for pH-monitoring, and histological, ultrastructural and MIB1 immunostaining evaluation. Fifty eight patients with GERD were enrolled and underwent 24 h pH-monitoring and endoscopy. Patients were treated for 12 and 24 mo with pantoprazole. Esophageal specimens were taken for histological and ultrastructural evaluation, before and after the treatment.
RESULTS: With transmission electron microscopy, all patients with GERD showed ultrastructural signs of damage with dilation of intercellular spaces (DIS). After 3 mo of therapy the mean DIS values showed a significant reduction and the mean MIB1-LI values of GERD showed an increase in cell proliferation. A further 3 mo of therapy significantly increased cell proliferation only in the erosive esophagitis (ERD) group.
CONCLUSION: Three months of pantoprazole therapy induced ultrastructural healing of mucosal damage in 89% and 93% of ERD and non-erosion patients, respectively. Moreover, long-term pantoprazole treatment may be helpful in increasing the capability for esophageal cell proliferation in GERD, particularly in ERD patients.
doi:10.3748/wjg.15.936
PMCID: PMC2653394  PMID: 19248192
Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Esophagitis; Cell proliferation; Electron microscopy; Pantoprazole
18.  Effect of omeprazole on symptoms and ultrastructural esophageal damage in acid bile reflux 
AIM: To value whether omeprazole could induce the healing of DIS and regression of symptoms in patients with DGER.
METHODS: We enrolled 15 symptomatic patients with a pathological esophageal 24-h pH-metry and bilimetry. Patients underwent endoscopy and biopsies were taken from the distal esophagus. Specimens were analyzed at histology and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Patients were treated with omeprazole 40 mg/d for 3 mo and then endoscopy with biopsies was repeated. Patients with persistent heartburn and/or with an incomplete recovery of DIS were treated for 3 more months and endoscopy with biopsies was performed.
RESULTS: Nine patients had a non-erosive reflux disease at endoscopy (NERD) while 6 had erosive esophagitis (ERD). At histology, of the 6 patients with erosive esophagitis, 5 had mild esophagitis and 1 moderate esophagitis. No patients with NERD showed histological signs of esophagitis. After 3 mo of therapy, 13/15 patients (86.7%, P<0.01) showed a complete recovery of DIS and disappearance of heartburn. Of the 2 patients treated for 3 more months, complete recovery of DIS and heartburn were achieved in one.
CONCLUSION: Three or 6 mo of omeprazole therapy led to a complete regression of the ultrastructural esophageal damage in 86.7% and in 93% of patients with DGER, NERD and ERD respectively. The ultrastructural recovery of the epithelium was accompanied by regression of heartburn in all cases.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v11.i12.1876
PMCID: PMC4305895  PMID: 15793885
Duodenogastroesophageal reflux; Gastroeso-phageal reflux disease; Transmission Electron Microscopy; Dilated Intercellular Spaces; Non-erosive reflux disease

Results 1-18 (18)