55 research outputs found

    Simultaneous determination of triazines and their main transformation products in surface and urban wastewater by ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry

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    This work describes the optimization, validation and application to real samples of an ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method for the quantification and confirmation of 11 compounds (atrazine, simazine, terbuthylazine, terbumeton, terbutryn and their main transformation products) in surface and wastewater samples. Most of these analytes are included in the list of priority substances in the framework on European Water Policy. The application of this method to water samples reveals that the most relevant transformation products (TPs) should be incorporated into current analytical methods (which are focused mainly on the determination of unchanged compounds), to obtain a more realistic knowledge on water quality regarding pesticide contamination. TPs are generally more polar and mobile than the parents and they can be transported to the aquatic environment more rapidly than their precursors. Additionally, they can present some degree of toxicity and in fact TPs are also included within the legislation on drinking water as pesticide derivatives. To efficiently combine UHPLC with MS/MS, a fast-acquisition triple quadrupole mass analyzer was used. Working in selected reaction monitoring mode, up to three simultaneous transitions per compound were acquired allowing a reliable identification at ng/L levels. The method developed includes a pre-concentration step based on solid-phase extraction (OASIS HLB cartridges). Satisfactory recoveries (70-120%) and relative standard deviations (<20%) were obtained for all compounds in different water samples types spiked at two concentration levels (0.025 and 0.1 ÎĽg/L). The optimized method was found to have excellent sensitivity with instrumental detection limits as low as 50 fg. In addition, the influences of the matrix constituents on ionization efficiency and extraction recovery have been studied in different types of Italian and Spanish surface and urban wastewater. Signal suppressions were observed for all compounds, especially for influent wastewater. The use of isotope-labelled internal standards was found to be the best approach to assure an accurate quantification in all matrix sample

    The molecular signature of therapeutic mesenchymal stem cells exposes the architecture of the hematopoietic stem cell niche synapse

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    BACKGROUND: The hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) niche of the bone marrow is comprised of HSCs, osteoblasts, endothelial cells and a stromal component of non-hematopoietic multipotent cells of mesenchymal origin named "mesenchymal stem cells" (MSCs). RESULTS: Here we studied the global transcriptional profile of murine MSCs with immuno-therapeutic potential and compared it with that of 486 publicly available microarray datasets from 12 other mouse tissues or cell types. Principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering identified a unique pattern of gene expression capable of distinctively classifying MSCs from other tissues and cells. We then performed an analysis aimed to identify absolute and relative abundance of transcripts in all cell types. We found that the set of transcripts uniquely expressed by MSCs is enriched in transcription factors and components of the Wnt signaling pathway. The analysis of differentially expressed genes also identified a set of genes specifically involved in the HSC niche and is complemented by functional studies that confirm the findings. Interestingly, some of these genes play a role in the maintenance of HSCs in a quiescent state supporting their survival and preventing them from proliferating and differentiating. We also show that MSCs modulate T cell functions in vitro and, upon in vivo administration, ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). CONCLUSION: Altogether, these findings provide novel and important insights on the mechanisms of T cell function regulation by MSCs and help to cement the rationale for their application in the treatment of autoimmune diseases

    Intratumoral delivery of recombinant vaccinia virus encoding for ErbB2/Neu inhibits the growth of salivary gland carcinoma cells

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    The antitumor activity induced by intratumoral vaccination with poxvirus expressing a tumor antigen was shown to be superior to that induced by subcutaneous vaccination. Salivary gland carcinomas overexpress ErbB2. Trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody to ErbB2, was proposed for salivary gland tumors treatment. We explored the effectiveness of intratumoral vaccination with the recombinant vaccinia virus ErbB2/Neu (rV-neuT) vaccine in hampering the growth of transplanted Neu-overexpressing BALB-neuT salivary gland cancer cells (SALTO) in BALB-neuT mice

    Arcobacter spp. in raw milk from vending machines in Piedmont and occurrence of virulence genes in isolates

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    Arcobacter spp. has been recognized as an emerging foodborne pathogen and a hazard to human health. In the dairy chain, it has been isolated from different sources, nevertheless data on Arcobacter occurrence in raw milk provided by vending machines are few. This study aimed to identify potentially pathogenic Arcobacter spp. in raw milk intended for human consumption sold through vending machines located in Piedmont. In an 8-month period, 37 raw milk samples were collected from 24 dairy farms: 12 (32,4%) were collected directly in farm from bulk tank milk and 25 (67,6%) from vending machines. Eight (21,6%) out of the 37 milk samples and 7 (29,2%) out of the 24 dairy farms were positive for Arcobacter spp. by culture examination. Four (16%) out of the 25 samples from vending machines and 4 (33,3%) out of the 12 samples from bulk tank milk were positive. All 8 isolates were identified as A. butzleri both by MALDI-TOF MS and multiplex end-point PCR. According to the detection of virulence genes, a total of four Patho-types were highlighted: 5 isolates in P-type 1 and only one isolate for each of the P-types 2-3-4. A. butzleri isolates carrying encoding virulence factors genes were isolated from raw milk intended for human consumption: these findings strengthen the compulsory consumption after boiling as required by current legislation and suggest the need of enlarging the analytical investigations to other microorganisms not yet included in the food safety criteria

    Extracellular NAD + Is an Agonist of the Human P2Y 11 Purinergic Receptor in Human Granulocytes

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    Micromolar concentrations of extracellular beta-NAD+ (NAD(e)+) activate human granulocytes (superoxide and NO generation and chemotaxis) by triggering: (i) overproduction of cAMP, (ii) activation of protein kinase A, (iii) stimulation of ADP-ribosyl cyclase and overproduction of cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR), a universal Ca2+ mobilizer, and (iv) influx of extracellular Ca2+. Here we demonstrate that exposure of granulocytes to millimolar rather than to micromolar NAD(e)+ generates both inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) and cAMP, with a two-step elevation of intracellular calcium levels ([Ca2+]i): a rapid, IP3-mediated Ca2+ release, followed by a sustained influx of extracellular Ca2+ mediated by cADPR. Suramin, an inhibitor of P2Y receptors, abrogated NAD(e)+-induced intracellular increases of IP3, cAMP, cADPR, and [Ca2+]i, suggesting a role for a P2Y receptor coupled to both phospholipase C and adenylyl cyclase. The P2Y(11) receptor is the only known member of the P2Y receptor subfamily coupled to both phospholipase C and adenylyl cyclase. Therefore, we performed experiments on hP2Y(11)-transfected 1321N1 astrocytoma cells: micromolar NAD(e)+ promoted a two-step elevation of the [Ca2+]i due to the enhanced intracellular production of IP3, cAMP, and cADPR in 1321N1-hP2Y(11) but not in untransfected 1321N1 cells. In human granulocytes NF157, a selective and potent inhibitor of P2Y(11), and the down-regulation of P2Y(11) expression by short interference RNA prevented NAD(e)+-induced intracellular increases of [Ca2+]i and chemotaxis. These results demonstrate that beta-NAD(e)+ is an agonist of the P2Y(11) purinoceptor and that P2Y(11) is the endogenous receptor in granulocytes mediating the sustained [Ca2+]i increase responsible for their functional activation

    Candidate biomarkers from the integration of methylation and gene expression in discordant autistic sibling pairs

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    While the genetics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been intensively studied, resulting in the identification of over 100 putative risk genes, the epigenetics of ASD has received less attention, and results have been inconsistent across studies. We aimed to investigate the contribution of DNA methylation (DNAm) to the risk of ASD and identify candidate biomarkers arising from the interaction of epigenetic mechanisms with genotype, gene expression, and cellular proportions. We performed DNAm differential analysis using whole blood samples from 75 discordant sibling pairs of the Italian Autism Network collection and estimated their cellular composition. We studied the correlation between DNAm and gene expression accounting for the potential effects of different genotypes on DNAm. We showed that the proportion of NK cells was significantly reduced in ASD siblings suggesting an imbalance in their immune system. We identified differentially methylated regions (DMRs) involved in neurogenesis and synaptic organization. Among candidate loci for ASD, we detected a DMR mapping to CLEC11A (neighboring SHANK1) where DNAm and gene expression were significantly and negatively correlated, independently from genotype effects. As reported in previous studies, we confirmed the involvement of immune functions in the pathophysiology of ASD. Notwithstanding the complexity of the disorder, suitable biomarkers such as CLEC11A and its neighbor SHANK1 can be discovered using integrative analyses even with peripheral tissues

    Catastrophic NAD+ Depletion in Activated T Lymphocytes through Nampt Inhibition Reduces Demyelination and Disability in EAE

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    Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) inhibitors such as FK866 are potent inhibitors of NAD+ synthesis that show promise for the treatment of different forms of cancer. Based on Nampt upregulation in activated T lymphocytes and on preliminary reports of lymphopenia in FK866 treated patients, we have investigated FK866 for its capacity to interfere with T lymphocyte function and survival. Intracellular pyridine nucleotides, ATP, mitochondrial function, viability, proliferation, activation markers and cytokine secretion were assessed in resting and in activated human T lymphocytes. In addition, we used experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a model of T-cell mediated autoimmune disease to assess FK866 efficacy in vivo. We show that activated, but not resting, T lymphocytes undergo massive NAD+ depletion upon FK866-mediated Nampt inhibition. As a consequence, impaired proliferation, reduced IFN-γ and TNF-α production, and finally autophagic cell demise result. We demonstrate that upregulation of the NAD+-degrading enzyme poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase (PARP) by activated T cells enhances their susceptibility to NAD+ depletion. In addition, we relate defective IFN-γ and TNF-α production in response to FK866 to impaired Sirt6 activity. Finally, we show that FK866 strikingly reduces the neurological damage and the clinical manifestations of EAE. In conclusion, Nampt inhibitors (and possibly Sirt6 inhibitors) could be used to modulate T cell-mediated immune responses and thereby be beneficial in immune-mediated disorders

    DAL TRAUMA AL REATO. RIFLESSIONI SULL’IMPATTO DELLE ESPERIENZE TRAUMATICHE SUI PERCORSI DI CURA DEI PAZIENTI REMS

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    Increasing evidences support a link between childhood traumatic experiences and adulthood violent conduct. In our clinical sample, 26inpatients from REMS of Bologna (Residenza per l’Esecuzione delle Misure di Sicurezza, a secure residential unit for “not guilty byreason of insanity and socially dangerous” offenders), we found an alarming prevalence of mistreatment, abuse, neglect and other traumaticevents during childhood and adolescence. The co-occurrence of different traumatic events seems to correlate with more severe psychiatricsymptoms but not with more serious crime. In our hypothesis, traumatic events occurring in childhood and/or adolescence often resultin insecure attachment patterns and post-traumatic syndromes (e.g. PTSD-complex), worsening prognosis as well as social outcomes thatare likely key issues in the pathway to violent offending.We wonder if trauma and attachment oriented therapy and care, both in residential and community-based setting, could lead to morespecific treatment and better outcomes for forensic psychiatric patients.Numerose evidenze scientifiche sottolineano la correlazione fra esperienze traumatiche precoci ed agiti violenti in età adulta. Fra i pazientipsichiatrico-giudiziari sinora ospitati nella REMS di Bologna abbiamo rilevato un’allarmante prevalenza di maltrattamenti, abusi, neglected altri eventi traumatici. Nel campione esaminato la convergenza di diverse tipologie di traumi nel medesimo paziente pare correlarsialla gravità del quadro psicopatologico (intesa come soprattutto scarsa risposta ai trattamenti farmacologici e psicoterapeutici), all’abuso disostanze ma non alla gravità del reato. Ipotizziamo che le esperienze infantili avverse partecipino (assieme ad altri fattori di rischio di tipogenetico, ambientale, ecc…) nel determinare tali quadri. In particolare tali eventi possono determinare pattern patologici di attaccamentoe sindromi post-traumatiche, che peggiorano l’espressione clinica, la prognosi psichiatrica e l’outcome sociale favorendo così l’emergeredi comportamenti violenti. Sulla base dell’esperienza maturata con un progetto di formazione sul trattamento residenziale secondo iprincipi della Schema-Therapy, cui ha partecipato tutto lo staff della REMS, ci interroghiamo se una presa in carico e terapie incentrateanche sulle esperienze traumatiche sofferte da questi pazienti possano migliorare la prognosi e portare a trattamenti più efficaci
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