77 research outputs found

    Thrombopoietin as Biomarker and Mediator of Cardiovascular Damage in Critical Diseases

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    Thrombopoietin (TPO) is a humoral growth factor originally identified for its ability to stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of megakaryocytes. In addition to its actions on thrombopoiesis, TPO directly modulates the homeostatic potential of mature platelets by influencing their response to several stimuli. In particular, TPO does not induce platelet aggregation per se but is able to enhance platelet aggregation in response to different agonists (“priming effect”). Our research group was actively involved, in the last years, in characterizing the effects of TPO in several human critical diseases. In particular, we found that TPO enhances platelet activation and monocyte-platelet interaction in patients with unstable angina, chronic cigarette smokers, and patients with burn injury and burn injury complicated with sepsis. Moreover, we showed that TPO negatively modulates myocardial contractility by stimulating its receptor c-Mpl on cardiomyocytes and the subsequent production of NO, and it mediates the cardiodepressant activity exerted in vitro by serum of septic shock patients by cooperating with TNF-α and IL-1β. This paper will summarize the most recent results obtained by our research group on the pathogenic role of elevated TPO levels in these diseases and discuss them together with other recently published important studies on this topic

    Platelets and multi-organ failure in sepsis

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    Platelets have received increasing attention for their role in the pathophysiology of infectious disease, inflammation, and immunity. In sepsis, a low platelet count is a well-known biomarker for disease severity and more recently authors have focused their attention on the active role of platelets in the pathogenesis of multi-organ failure. Septic shock is characterised by a dysregulated inflammatory response, which can impair the microcirculation and lead to organ injury. Being at the crossroads between the immune system, clotting cascade, and endothelial cells, platelets seem to be an appealing central mediator and possible therapeutic target in sepsis. This review focuses on the pathogenic role of platelets in septic organ dysfunction in humans and animal models

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ-deficient hearts are protected from the PAF-dependent depression of cardiac contractility

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    Objectives: Following an ischemic insult, cardiac contractile recovery might be perturbed by the release of autacoids, like platelet-activating factor (PAF), that depress heart function by acting through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The signaling events downstream the PAF receptor that lead to the negative inotropic effect are still obscure. We thus investigated whether the GPCR-activated phosphoisositide 3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ) could play a role in the cardiac response to PAF. Methods: The negative inotropic effect of PAF was studied ex vivo, in isolated electrically driven atria and in Langendorff-perfused whole hearts derived from wild-type and PI3Kγ-null mice. Postischemic recovery of contractility was analyzed in normal and mutant whole hearts subjected to 30 min of ischemia and 40 min of reperfusion in the presence or absence of a PAF receptor antagonist. Results: While wild-type hearts stimulated with PAF showed increased nitric oxide (NO) production and a consequent decreased cardiac contractility, PI3Kγ-null hearts displayed reduced phosphorylation of nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), blunted nitric oxide production and a complete protection from the PAF-induced negative inotropism. In addition, Langendorff-perfused PI3Kγ-null hearts showed a better contractile recovery after ischemia/reperfusion, a condition where PAF is known to be an important player in depressing contractility. In agreement with a role of PI3Kγ in this PAF-mediated signaling, postischemic contractile recovery in PI3Kγ-null mice appeared overlapping with that of normal hearts treated with the PAF receptor antagonist WEB 2170. Conclusion: These data indicate a novel PAF-dependent signaling pathway that, involving PI3Kγ and NOS3, contributes to postischemic contractile depressio

    Blockade of thrombopoietin reduces organ damage in experimental endotoxemia and polymicrobial sepsis

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    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Thrombopoietin (TPO), a growth factor primarily involved in thrombopoiesis may also have a role in the pathophysiology of sepsis. In patients with sepsis, indeed, TPO levels are markedly increased, with disease severity being the major independent determinant of TPO concentrations. Moreover, TPO increases and correlates with ex vivo indices of platelet activation in patients with burn injury upon sepsis development, and may contribute to depress cardiac contractility in septic shock. Still, the role of TPO in sepsis pathophysiology remains controversial, given the protective role of TPO in other experimental disease models, for instance in doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity and myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. The aim of our study was to define the contribution of TPO in the development of organ damage induced by endotoxemia or sepsis, and to investigate the effects of inhibiting TPO in these conditions. METHODS:We synthesized a chimeric protein able to inhibit TPO, mTPOR-MBP, and studied its effect in two murine experimental models, acute endotoxemia and cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model. RESULTS:In both models, TPO levels markedly increased, from 289.80±27.87 pg/mL to 465.60±45.92 pg/mL at 3 hours in the LPS model (P<0.01), and from 265.00±26.02 pg/mL to 373.70±26.20 pg/mL in the CLP model (P<0.05), respectively. Paralleling TPO levels, also platelet-monocyte aggregates increased, from 32.86±2.48% to 46.13±1.39% at 3 hours in the LPS model (P<0.01), and from 43.68±1.69% to 56.52±4.66% in the CLP model (P<0.05). Blockade of TPO by mTPOR-MBP administration reduced histological damage in target organs, namely lung, liver, and gut. In particular, neutrophil infiltration and lung septal thickening were reduced from a score of 1.86±0.34 to 0.60±0.27 (P<0.01) and from 1.43±0.37 to 0.40±0.16 (P<0.05), respectively, in the LPS model at 3 hours, and from a score of 1.75±0.37 to 0.38±0.18 (P<0.01) and from 1.25±0.31 to 0.13±0.13 (P<0.001), respectively, in the CLP model. Similarly, the number of hepatic microabscesses was decreased from 14.14±1.41 to 3.64±0.56 in the LPS model at 3 hours (P<0.001), and from 1.71±0.29 to 0.13±0.13 in the CLP model (P<0.001). Finally, the diameter of intestinal villi decreased from 90.69±3.95 μm to 70.74±3.60 μm in the LPS model at 3 hours (P<0.01), and from 74.29±4.29 μm to 57.50±1.89 μm in the CLP model (P<0.01). This protective effect was associated with the blunting of the increase in platelet-monocyte adhesion, and, on the contrary, with increased platelet-neutrophil aggregates in the circulation, which may be related to decreased neutrophil sequestration into the inflamed tissues. Conversely, circulating cytokine levels were not significantly changed, in both models, by mTPOR-MBP administration. CONCLUSION:Our results demonstrate that TPO participates in the development of organ damage induced by experimental endotoxemia or polymicrobial sepsis via a mechanism involving increased platelet-leukocyte adhesion, but not cytokine release, and suggest that blocking TPO may be useful in preventing organ damage in patients affected by systemic inflammatory response or sepsis

    Targeting Taxanes to Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Cells by Nanobubbles and Extracorporeal Shock Waves

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    To target taxanes to castration-resistant prostate cancer cells, glycol-chitosan nanobubbles loaded with paclitaxel and docetaxel were constructed. The loaded nanobubbles were then combined with Extracorporeal Shock Waves, acoustic waves widely used in urology and orthopedics, with no side effects. Nanobubbles, with an average diameter of 353.3 ± 15.5 nm, entered two different castration-resistant prostate cancer cells (PC3 and DU145) as demonstrated by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence. The shock waves applied increased the amount of intracellular nanobubbles. Loading nanobubbles with paclitaxel and docetaxel and combining them with shock waves generated the highest cytotoxic effects, resulting in a paclitaxel GI50 reduction of about 55% and in a docetaxel GI50 reduction of about 45% respectively. Combined treatment also affected cell migration. Paclitaxel-loaded nanobubbles and shock waves reduced cell migration by more than 85% with respect to paclitaxel alone; whereas docetaxel-loaded nanobubbles and shock waves reduced cell migration by more than 82% with respect to docetaxel alone. The present data suggest that nanobubbles can act as a stable taxane reservoir in castration-resistant prostate cancer cells and shock waves can further increase drug release from nanobubbles leading to higher cytotoxic and anti-migration effect