38 research outputs found

    The effects of chronic lifelong activation of the AHR pathway by industrial chemical pollutants on female human reproduction

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    Environmental chemicals, such as heavy metals, affect female reproductive function. A biological sensor of the signals of many toxic chemical compounds seems to be the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Previous studies demonstrated the environmental of heavy metals in Taranto city (Italy), an area that has been influenced by anthropogenic factors such as industrial activities and waste treatments since 1986. However, the impact of these elements on female fertility in this geographic area has never been analyzed. Thus, in the present study, we evaluated the AHR pathway, sex steroid receptor pattern and apoptotic process in granulosa cells (GCs) retrieved from 30 women, born and living in Taranto, and 30 women who are living in non-contaminated areas (control group), who were undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocol. In follicular fluids (FFs) of both groups the toxic and essential heavy metals, such as chromiun (Cr), Manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), were also analyzed. Higher levels of Cr, Fe, Zn and Pb were found in the FFs of the women from Taranto as compared to the control group, as were the levels of AHR and AHR-dependent cytochrome P450 1A1 and 1B1; while CYP19A1 expression was decreased. The anti-apoptotic process found in the GCs of women fromTaranto was associated with the highest levels of progesterone receptor membrane component 1(PGRMC1), a novel progesterone receptor, the expression of which is subjected to AHR activated by its highest affinity ligands (e.g., dioxins) or indirectly by other environmental pollutants, such as heavy metals. In conclusion, decreased production of estradiol and decreased number of retrieved mature oocytes found in women from Taranto could be due to chronic exposure to heavy metals, in particular to Cr and Pb

    The polymorphism L412F in TLR3 inhibits autophagy and is a marker of severe COVID-19 in males

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    The polymorphism L412F in TLR3 has been associated with several infectious diseases. However, the mechanism underlying this association is still unexplored. Here, we show that the L412F polymorphism in TLR3 is a marker of severity in COVID-19. This association increases in the sub-cohort of males. Impaired macroautophagy/autophagy and reduced TNF/TNFα production was demonstrated in HEK293 cells transfected with TLR3L412F-encoding plasmid and stimulated with specific agonist poly(I:C). A statistically significant reduced survival at 28 days was shown in L412F COVID-19 patients treated with the autophagy-inhibitor hydroxychloroquine (p = 0.038). An increased frequency of autoimmune disorders such as co-morbidity was found in L412F COVID-19 males with specific class II HLA haplotypes prone to autoantigen presentation. Our analyses indicate that L412F polymorphism makes males at risk of severe COVID-19 and provides a rationale for reinterpreting clinical trials considering autophagy pathways. Abbreviations: AP: autophagosome; AUC: area under the curve; BafA1: bafilomycin A1; COVID-19: coronavirus disease-2019; HCQ: hydroxychloroquine; RAP: rapamycin; ROC: receiver operating characteristic; SARS-CoV-2: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; TLR: toll like receptor; TNF/TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor

    Characterization of a rare nonpathogenic sequence variant (c.1905C>T) of the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene (DPYD)

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    In the era of precision medicine, the suitability of fluoropyrimidine therapies in clinical oncology can be checked by pharmacogenetic investigations of single patients, thus optimizing resources and indicating the appropriate drugs to personalize their chemotherapy. For example, the presence of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene (DPYD) polymorphisms in cancer patients may lead to adverse effects when adopting fluoropyrimidine-based therapies

    Human microRNA expression in sporadic and FAP-associated desmoid tumors and correlation with beta-catenin mutations.

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    Desmoid tumors (DT) are rare, benign, fibroblastic neoplasm with challenging histological diagnosis. DTs can occur sporadically or associated with the familial adenomatous polyposis coli (FAP). Most sporadic DTs are associated with β-catenin gene (CTNNB1) mutations, while mutated APC gene causes FAP disease. microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in many human carcinogenesis.The miRNA profile was analyzed by microarray in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens of 12 patients (8 sporadic, 4 FAP-associated) and 4 healthy controls. One hundred and one mRNAs resulted dysregulated, of which 98 in sporadic DTs and 8 in FAP-associated DTs, 5 were shared by both tumors. Twenty-six miRNAs were then validated by RT-qPCR in 23 sporadic and 7 FAP-associated DT samples matched with healthy controls. The qPCR method was also used to evaluate the CTNNB1 mutational status in sporadic DTs. The correlation between sporadic DTs and miRNA expression showed that miR-21-3p increased in mutated versus wild-type DTs, while miR-197-3p was decreased. The mRNA expression of Tetraspanin3 and Serpin family A member 3, as miR-21-3p targets, and L1 Cell Adhesion Molecule, as miR-197-3p target, was also evaluate. CTNNB1 mutations associated to miRNA dysregulation could affect the genesis and the progression of this disease and help histological diagnosis of sporadic DTs