47 research outputs found

    Tumor targeting by monoclonal antibody functionalized magnetic nanoparticles

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    Tumor-targeted drug-loaded nanocarriers represent innovative and attractive tools for cancer therapy. Several magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were analyzed as potential tumor-targeted drug-loaded nanocarriers after functionalization with anti-Met oncogene (anti-Met/HGFR) monoclonal antibody (mAb) and doxorubicin (DOXO). Their cytocompatibility, stability, immunocompetence (immunoprecipitation), and their interactions with cancer cells in vitro (Perl's staining, confocal microscopy, cytotoxic assays: MTT, real time toxicity) and with tumors in vivo (Perl's staining) were evaluated. The simplest silica- and calcium-free mAb-loaded MNPs were the most cytocompatible, the most stable, and showed the best immunocompetence and specificity. These mAb-functionalized MNPs specifically interacted with the surface of Met/HGFR-positive cells, and not with Met/HGFR-negative cells; they were not internalized, but they discharged in the targeted cells DOXO, which reached the nucleus, exerting cytotoxicity. The presence of mAbs on DOXO-MNPs significantly increased their cytotoxicity on Met/HGFR-positive cells, while no such effect was detectable on Met/HGFR-negative cells. Bare MNPs were biocompatible in vivo; mAb presence on MNPs induced a better dispersion within the tumor mass when injected in situ in Met/HGFR-positive xenotumors in NOD/SCID-Îłnull mice. These MNPs may represent a new and promising carrier for in vivo targeted drug delivery, in which applied gradient and alternating magnetic fields can enhance targeting and induce hyperthermia respectively

    A Gut-Ex-Vivo System to Study Gut Inflammation Associated to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex, chronic, and dysregulated inflammatory condition which etiology is still largely unknown. Its prognosis and disease progression are highly variable and unpredictable. IBD comprises several heterogeneous inflammatory conditions ranging from Ulcerative Colitis (UC) to Crohn's Disease (CD). Importantly, a definite, well-established, and effective clinical treatment for these pathologies is still lacking. The urgent need for treatment is further supported by the notion that patients affected by UC or CD are also at risk of developing cancer. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the basis of IBD development and progression is strictly required to design new and efficient therapeutic regimens. Although the development of animal models has undoubtedly facilitated the study of IBD, such in vivo approaches are often expensive and time-consuming. Here we propose an organ ex vivo culture (Gut-Ex-Vivo system, GEVS) based on colon from Balb/c mice cultivated in a dynamic condition, able to model the biochemical and morphological features of the mouse models exposed to DNBS (5-12 days), in 5 h. Indeed, upon DNBS exposure, we observed a dose-dependent: (i) up-regulation of the stress-related protein transglutaminase 2 (TG2); (ii) increased intestinal permeability associated with deregulated tight junction protein expression; (iii) increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNFα, IFNγ, IL1β, IL6, IL17A, and IL15; (iv) down-regulation of the anti-inflammatory IL10; and (v) induction of Endoplasmic Reticulum stress (ER stress), all markers of IBD. Altogether, these data indicate that the proposed model can be efficiently used to study the pathogenesis of IBD, in a time- and cost-effective manner

    Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors Protect Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells Against Oxidation by Modulating Nitric Oxide Release and Autophagy

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    Background/Aims: the anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF), Aflibercept and Ranibizumab, are used for the treatment of macular degeneration. Here we examined the involvement of nitric oxide (NO), mitochondria function and of apoptosis/autophagy in their antioxidant effects in human retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). Methods: RPE were exposed to Ranibizumab/Aflibercept in the absence or presence of NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor and of autophagy activator/blocker, rapamicyn/3-methyladenine. Specific kits were used for cell viability, NO and reactive oxygen species detection and mitochondrial membrane potential measurement, whereas Western Blot was performed for apoptosis/ autophagy markers and other kinases detection. Results: In RPE cultured in physiological conditions, Aflibercept/Ranibizumab increased NO release in a dose and time-dependent way. Opposite results were obtained in RPE pretreated with hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, both the anti-VEGF agents were able to prevent the fall of cell viability and of mitochondrial membrane potential. Those effects were reduced by the NOS inhibitor and 3-methyladenine and were potentiated by rapamycin. Finally, Aflibercept and Ranibizumab counteracted the changes of apoptosis/autophagy markers, NOS, Phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase/Protein Kinase B and Extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1/2 caused by peroxidation. Conclusion: Aflibercept and Ranibizumab protect RPE against peroxidation through the modulation of NO release, apoptosis and autophagy

    Osteopontin at the Crossroads of Inflammation and Tumor Progression.

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    Complex interactions between tumor and host cells regulate systemic tumor dissemination, a process that begins early at the primary tumor site and goes on until tumor cells detach themselves from the tumor mass and start migrating into blood or lymphatic vessels. Metastatic cells colonize target organs and are capable of surviving and growing at distant sites. In this context, osteopontin (OPN) appears to be a key determinant of the cross-talk between cancer cells and the host microenvironment, which in turn modulates immune evasion. OPN is overexpressed in several human carcinomas and has been implicated in inflammation, tumor progression, and metastasis. Thus, it represents one of the most attracting targets for cancer therapy. Within the tumor mass, OPN is secreted in various forms either by the tumor itself or by stroma cells, and it can exert either pro- or anti-tumorigenic effects according to cell type and tumor microenvironment. Thus, targeting OPN for therapeutic purposes needs to take into account the heterogeneous functions of the multiple OPN forms with regard to cancer formation and progression. In this review, we will describe the role of systemic, tumor-derived, and stroma-derived OPN, highlighting its pivotal role at the crossroads of inflammation and tumor progression

    Paclitaxel-Loaded Nanosponges Inhibit Growth and Angiogenesis in Melanoma Cell Models

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    This study investigated the effects of free paclitaxel (PTX) and PTX-loaded in pyromellitic nanosponges (PTX-PNS) in reducing in vitro and in vivo melanoma cell growth and invasivity, and in inhibiting angiogenesis. To test the response of cells to the two PTX formulations, the cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay in seven continuous cell lines, in primary melanoma cells, both in 2D and 3D cultures, and in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) after exposure to different concentrations of PTX or PTX-PNS. Cell motility was assessed by a scratch assay or Boyden chamber assay, evaluating cell migration in presence or absence of diverse concentrations of PTX or PTX-PNS. The effect of PTX and PTX-PNS on angiogenesis was evaluated as endothelial tube formation assay, a test able to estimate the formation of three-dimensional vessels in vitro. To assess the anticancer effect of PTX and PTX-PNS in in vivo experiments, the two drug formulations were tested in a melanoma mouse model obtained by B16-BL6 cell implantation in C57/BL6 mice. Results obtained were as follows: 1) MTT analysis revealed that cell proliferation was more affected by PTX-PNS than by PTX in all tested cell lines, in both 2D and 3D cultures; 2) the analysis of the cell migration showed that PTX-PNS acted at very lower concentrations than PTX; 3) tube formation assay showed that PTX-PNS were more effective in inhibiting tube formation than free PTX; and 4) in vivo experiments demonstrated that tumor weights, volumes, and growth were significantly reduced by PTX-PNS treatment with respect to PTX; the angiogenesis and the cell proliferation, detected in the tumor samples with CD31 and Ki-67 antibodies, respectively, indicated that, in the PTX-PNS-treated tumors, the tube formation was inhibited, and a low amount of proliferating cells was present. Taken together, our data demonstrated that our new PTX nanoformulation can respond to some important issues related to PTX treatment, lowering the anti-tumor effective doses and increasing the effectiveness in inhibiting melanoma growth in vivo

    Longitudinal assessment of transorbital sonography, visual acuity, and biomarkers for inflammation and axonal injury in optic neuritis

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    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between optic nerve sheath diameter, optic nerve diameter, visual acuity and osteopontin, and neurofilament heavy chain in patients with acute optic neuritis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sonographic and visual acuity assessment and biomarker measurements were executed in 23 patients with unilateral optic neuritis and in 19 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. RESULTS: ONSD was thicker on the affected side at symptom onset (median 6.3\u2009mm; interquartile range 6.0-6.5) than after 12 months (5.3\u2009mm; 4.9-5.6; p < 0.001) or than in controls (5.2\u2009mm; 4.8-5.5; p < 0.001). OND was significantly increased in the affected side (3.4\u2009mm; 2.9-3.8) compared to healthy controls (2.7\u2009mm; 2.5-2.9; p < 0.001) and was thicker at baseline than after 12 months (2.8\u2009mm; 2.7-3.0; p < 0.01). Visual acuity improved significantly after 12 months (1.00; 0.90-1.00) compared to onset of symptoms (0.80; 0.40-1.00; p < 0.001). OPN levels were significantly higher in patients at presentation (median 6.44\u2009ng/ml; 2.05-10.06) compared to healthy controls (3.21\u2009ng/ml, 1.34-4.34; p < 0.03). Concentrations of NfH were significantly higher in patients than in controls. CONCLUSION: ONSD and OND are increased in the affected eye. OPN and NfH are elevated in patients, confirming the presence of any underlying inflammation and axonal injury

    Enhanced cytotoxic effect of camptothecin nanosponges in anaplastic thyroid cancer cellsin vitroandin vivoon orthotopic xenograft tumors

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    Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid (ATC) is a lethal human malignant cancer with median survival of 6 months. To date, no treatment has substantially changed its course, which makes urgent need for the development of novel drugs or novel formulations for drug delivery. Nanomedicine has enormous potential to improve the accuracy of cancer therapy by enhancing availability and stability, decreasing effective doses and reducing side effects of drugs. Camptothecin (CPT) is an inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase-I with several anticancer properties but has poor solubility and a high degradation rate. Previously, we reported that CPT encapsulated in β-cyclodextrin-nanosponges (CN-CPT) increased solubility, was protected from degradation and inhibited the growth of prostate tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this study was to extend that work by assessing the CN-CPT effectiveness on ATC both in vitro and in vivo. Results showed that CN-CPT significantly inhibited viability, clonogenic capacity and cell-cycle progression of ATC cell lines showing a faster and enhanced effect compared to free CPT. Moreover, CN-CPT inhibited tumor cell adhesion to vascular endothelial cells, migration, secretion of pro-angiogenic factors (IL-8 and VEGF-α), expression of β-PIX, belonging to the Rho family activators, and phosphorylation of the Erk1/2 MAPK. Finally, CN-CPT significantly inhibited the growth, the metastatization and the vascularization of orthotopic ATC xenografts in SCID/beige mice without apparent toxic effects in vivo. This work extends the previous insight showing that β-cyclodextrin-nanosponges are a promising tool for the treatment of ATC

    Role of anti-osteopontin antibodies in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

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    Osteopontin (OPN) is highly expressed in demyelinating lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS) and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). OPN is cleaved by thrombin into N- (OPN-N) and C-terminal (OPN-C) fragments with different ligands and functions. In EAE, administering recombinant OPN induces relapses, whereas treatment with anti-OPN antibodies ameliorates the disease. Anti-OPN autoantibodies (autoAbs) are spontaneously produced during EAE but have never been detected in MS. The aim of the study was to evaluate anti-OPN autoAbs in the serum of MS patients, correlate them with disease course, and recapitulate the human findings in EAE. We performed ELISA in the serum of 122 patients collected cross-sectionally, and 50 patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) disease collected at diagnosis and followed longitudinally for 10 years. In the cross-sectional patients, the autoAb levels were higher in the RR patients than in the primary- and secondary-progressive MS and healthy control groups, and they were highest in the initial stages of the disease. In the longitudinal group, the levels at diagnosis directly correlated with the number of relapses during the following 10 years. Moreover, in patients with active disease, who underwent disease-modifying treatments, autoAbs were higher than in untreated patients and were associated with low MS severity score. The autoAb displayed neutralizing activity and mainly recognized OPN-C rather than OPN-N. To confirm the clinical effect of these autoAbs in vivo, EAE was induced using myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein MOG35-55 in C57BL/6 mice pre-vaccinated with ovalbumin (OVA)-linked OPN or OVA alone. We then evaluated the titer of antibodies to OPN, the clinical scores and in vitro cytokine secretion by spleen lymphocytes. Vaccination significantly induced antibodies against OPN during EAE, decreased disease severity, and the protective effect was correlated with decreased T cell secretion of interleukin 17 and interferon-\u3b3 ex vivo. The best effect was obtained with OPN-C, which induced significantly faster and more complete remission than other OPN vaccines. In conclusion, these data suggest that production of anti-OPN autoAbs may favor remission in both MS and EAE. Novel strategies boosting their levels, such as vaccination or passive immunization, may be proposed as a future strategy in personalized MS therapy
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