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1.  ALDH1 is an immunohistochemical diagnostic marker for solitary fibrous tumours and haemangiopericytomas of the meninges emerging from gene profiling study 
Solitary Fibrous Tumours (SFT) and haemangiopericytomas (HPC) are rare meningeal tumours that have to be distinguished from meningiomas and more rarely from synovial sarcomas. We recently found that ALDH1A1 was overexpressed in SFT and HPC as compared to soft tissue sarcomas. Using whole-genome DNA microarrays, we defined the gene expression profiles of 16 SFT/HPC (9 HPC and 7 SFT). Expression profiles were compared to publicly available expression profiles of additional SFT or HPC, meningiomas and synovial sarcomas. We also performed an immunohistochemical (IHC) study with anti-ALDH1 and anti-CD34 antibodies on Tissue Micro-Arrays including 38 SFT (25 meningeal and 13 extrameningeal), 55 meningeal haemangiopericytomas (24 grade II, 31 grade III), 163 meningiomas (86 grade I, 62 grade II, 15 grade III) and 98 genetically confirmed synovial sarcomas.
ALDH1A1 gene was overexpressed in SFT/HPC, as compared to meningiomas and synovial sarcomas. These findings were confirmed at the protein level. 84% of the SFT and 85.4% of the HPC were positive with anti-ALDH1 antibody, while only 7.1% of synovial sarcomas and 1.2% of meningiomas showed consistent expression. Positivity was usually more diffuse in SFT/HPC compared to other tumours with more than 50% of tumour cells immunostained in 32% of SFT and 50.8% of HPC. ALDH1 was a sensitive and specific marker for the diagnosis of SFT (SE = 84%, SP = 98.8%) and HPC (SE = 84.5%, SP = 98.7%) of the meninges. In association with CD34, ALDH1 expression had a specificity and positive predictive value of 100%.
We show that ALDH1, a stem cell marker, is an accurate diagnostic marker for SFT and HPC, which improves the diagnostic value of CD34. ALDH1 could also be a new therapeutic target for these tumours which are not sensitive to conventional chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3893364  PMID: 24252471
Solitary fibrous tumours; Haemangiopericytomas; Meningiomas; Synovial sarcomas; ALDH1; Gene expression profile; Immunohistochemistry
2.  Short-term responses of unicellular planktonic eukaryotes to increases in temperature and UVB radiation 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:202.
Small size eukaryotes play a fundamental role in the functioning of coastal ecosystems, however, the way in which these micro-organisms respond to combined effects of water temperature, UVB radiations (UVBR) and nutrient availability is still poorly investigated.
We coupled molecular tools (18S rRNA gene sequencing and fingerprinting) with microscope-based identification and counting to experimentally investigate the short-term responses of small eukaryotes (<6 μm; from a coastal Mediterranean lagoon) to a warming treatment (+3°C) and UVB radiation increases (+20%) at two different nutrient levels. Interestingly, the increase in temperature resulted in higher pigmented eukaryotes abundances and in community structure changes clearly illustrated by molecular analyses. For most of the phylogenetic groups, some rearrangements occurred at the OTUs level even when their relative proportion (microscope counting) did not change significantly. Temperature explained almost 20% of the total variance of the small eukaryote community structure (while UVB explained only 8.4%). However, complex cumulative effects were detected. Some antagonistic or non additive effects were detected between temperature and nutrients, especially for Dinophyceae and Cryptophyceae.
This multifactorial experiment highlights the potential impacts, over short time scales, of changing environmental factors on the structure of various functional groups like small primary producers, parasites and saprotrophs which, in response, can modify energy flow in the planktonic food webs.
PMCID: PMC3478981  PMID: 22966751
Small eukaryotes; Molecular diversity; Temperature; UVB radiation; Microcosms experiment; Mediterranean lagoon
3.  Contrasted Effects of Diversity and Immigration on Ecological Insurance in Marine Bacterioplankton Communities 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e37620.
The ecological insurance hypothesis predicts a positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning in a variable environment. This effect stems from temporal and spatial complementarity among species within metacommunities coupled with optimal levels of dispersal. Despite its importance in the context of global change by human activities, empirical evidence for ecological insurance remains scarce and controversial. Here we use natural aquatic bacterial communities to explore some of the predictions of the spatial and temporal aspects of the ecological insurance hypothesis. Addressing ecological insurance with bacterioplankton is of strong relevance given their central role in fundamental ecosystem processes. Our experimental set up consisted of water and bacterioplankton communities from two contrasting coastal lagoons. In order to mimic environmental fluctuations, the bacterioplankton community from one lagoon was successively transferred between tanks containing water from each of the two lagoons. We manipulated initial bacterial diversity for experimental communities and immigration during the experiment. We found that the abundance and production of bacterioplankton communities was higher and more stable (lower temporal variance) for treatments with high initial bacterial diversity. Immigration was only marginally beneficial to bacterial communities, probably because microbial communities operate at different time scales compared to the frequency of perturbation selected in this study, and of their intrinsic high physiologic plasticity. Such local “physiological insurance” may have a strong significance for the maintenance of bacterial abundance and production in the face of environmental perturbations.
PMCID: PMC3373509  PMID: 22701572
4.  Low-grade extraskeletal osteosarcoma of the chest wall: case report and review of literature 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:645.
Low-grade extraskeletal osteosarcomas (ESOS) are extremely rare.
Case presentation
We present the first case of low-grade ESOS of the chest wall, which occurred in a 30-year-old man. Because of initial misdiagnosis and patient's refusal of surgery, the diagnosis was done after a 4-year history of a slowly growing mass in soft tissues, leading to a huge (30-cm diameter) calcified mass locally extended over the left chest wall. Final diagnosis was helped by molecular analysis of MDM2 and CDK4 oncogenes. Unfortunately, at this time, no surgical treatment was possible due to loco-regional extension, and despite chemotherapy, the patient died one year after diagnosis, five years after the first symptoms.
We describe the clinical, radiological and bio-pathological features of this unique case, and review the literature concerning low-grade ESOS. Our case highlights the diagnostic difficulties for such very rare tumours and the interest of molecular analysis in ambiguous cases.
PMCID: PMC2995804  PMID: 21106072
5.  Hidden chromosomal abnormalities in pleuropulmonary blastomas identified by multiplex FISH 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:4.
Pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB) is a rare childhood dysontogenetic intrathoracic neoplasm associated with an unfavourable clinical behaviour.
Cases presentation
We report pathological and cytogenetic findings in two cases of PPB at initial diagnosis and recurrence. Both tumors were classified as type III pneumoblastoma and histological findings were similar at diagnosis and relapse. In both cases, conventional cytogenetic techniques revealed complex numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities. Molecular cytogenetic analysis (interphase/metaphase FISH and multicolor FISH) identified accurately chromosomal aberrations. In one case, TP53 gene deletion was detected on metaphase FISH. To date, only few cytogenetic data have been published about PPB.
The PPB genetic profile remains to be established and compared to others embryonal neoplasia. Our cytogenetic data are discussed reviewing cytogenetics PPBs published cases, illustrating the contribution of multicolor FISH in order to identify pathogenetically important recurrent aberrations in PPB.
PMCID: PMC1361803  PMID: 16396677

Results 1-5 (5)