Antonio Uccelli
Date
All
Search in:AllTitleAbstractAuthor name
Publications
(113)
Patents
Grants
Pathways
Clinical trials
Publication
Journal: European Radiology
March/13/2020
Abstract
To retrospectively evaluate the different performances of T1-SE and T1-GE sequences in detecting hypointense lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS), to quantify the degree of microstructural damage within lesions and to correlate them with patient clinical status.Sixty clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and MS patients underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 1.5-T and 3-T scanners. We identified T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery hyperintense lesions with no hypointense signal on T1-SE/T1-GE (a), hypointense lesions only on T1-GE (b), and hypointense lesions on both T1-SE and T1-GE sequences (c). We compared mean lesion number (LN) and volume (LV) identified on T1-SE and T1-GE sequences, correlating them with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS); fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values inside each lesion type were extracted and normal-appearing white matter (NAWM).Thirty-five patients were female. Mean age was 39.2 (± 7.8); median EDSS was 3 (± 2). There were 23 CIS, 21 relapsing-remitting (RR), and 16 progressive MS. T1-GE and T1-SE LN and LV were significantly different (p < 0.001), both correlating with EDSS. Both FA and MD metrics resulted significantly different among the three lesion groups and NAWM (p < 0.001). FA and MD values extracted from (b) and (c) showed statistically significant differences (p < 0.001), while for (a) and (b), the differences were not significant (p = 0.31 for FA and p = 0.62 for MD).T1-SE hypointense lesions demonstrated a more pronounced degree of microstructural damage. T1-weighted sequence type must be more carefully evaluated in clinical and research settings.• T1-weighted spin-echo (T1-SE) images detect chronic hypointense lesions (so called black holes) associated with more severe microstructural changes. • In the last years, three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted gradient-echo (T1-GE) sequences are often utilized in lieu of T1-SE acquisition, more so at 3 T or higher fields. • T1-weighted sequence type must be more carefully evaluated in clinical and research settings in the definition of "black holes" in MS, in order to avoid the overestimation of the effective severe tissue damage.
Publication
Journal: Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
October/15/2019
Abstract
<AbstractText>To evaluate disease activity according to rituximab (RTX) induction and maintenance regimens in a multicenter real-life dataset of NMOSD patients.</AbstractText><AbstractText>This is an observational-retrospective multicentre study including patients with NMOSD treated with RTX in 21 Italian and 1 Swiss centers. Demographics, relapse rate and adverse events over the follow-up were summarized taking into account induction strategy (two-1 g infusions at a 15-day interval (IND-A) vs. 375 mg/m2/week infusions for one month (IND-B)) and maintenance therapy (regimen A (M-A) with fixed time-points infusions vs. regimen B (M-B) based on cytofluorimetric driven reinfusion regimens, the least further subdivided according to CD19+ B cells (M-B1) or CD27+ memory B cells (M-B2) monitoring).</AbstractText><AbstractText>131 subjects were enrolled, 127 patients completed the induction regimen and 119 patients had at least one follow-up visit and were included in the outcome analysis. Median follow-up was 1.7 years (range 0.1-11.6). Annualized relapse rate (ARR) was 1.7 in the year before RTX start and decreased to 0.19 during the follow-up. Both ARR and Time to first relapse (TTFR) analysis showed a trend toward an increased disease activity for IND-B and M-A. No patients with MT-B2 experienced relapses during the follow-up. Number of relapses in the year before RTX initiation and having received a previous treatment were significantly associated with higher ARR and reduced TTFR in the multivariate analysis.</AbstractText><AbstractText>We confirm RTX efficacy in NMOSD patients. Use of specific induction and maintenance protocols is warranted in order to foster RTX efficacy and to reduce costs and side effects.</AbstractText>
Publication
Journal: Multiple Sclerosis
October/2/2019
Abstract
Rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody leading to B lymphocyte depletion, is increasingly used as an off-label treatment option for multiple sclerosis (MS).To investigate the effectiveness and safety of rituximab in relapsing-remitting (RR) and progressive MS.This is a multicenter, retrospective study on consecutive MS patients treated off-label with rituximab in 22 Italian and 1 Swiss MS centers. Relapse rate, time to first relapse, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) progression, incidence of adverse events, and radiological outcomes from 2009 to 2019 were analyzed.

RESULTS
A total of 355/451 enrolled subjects had at least one follow-up visit and were included in the outcome analysis. Annualized relapse rate significantly decreases after rituximab initiation versus the pre-rituximab start year in RRMS (from 0.86 to 0.09, p < .0001) and in secondary-progressive (SP) MS (from 0.34 to 0.06, p < .0001) and had a slight decrease in primary-progressive (PP) MS patients (from 0.12 to 0.07, p = 0.45). After 3 years from rituximab start, the proportion of patients with a confirmed EDSS progression was 14.6% in the RRMS group, 24.7% in the SPMS group, and 41.5% in the PPMS group. No major safety concerns arose.

Consistently with other observational studies, our data show effectiveness of rituximab in reducing disease activity in patients with MS.
Publication
Journal: Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
August/28/2019
Abstract
<AbstractText>To investigate whether inner nuclear layer (INL) thickness as assessed with optical coherence tomography differs between patients with progressive MS (P-MS) according to age and disease activity.</AbstractText><p><div><b>METHODS</b></div>In this retrospective longitudinal analysis, differences in terms of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL), ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer (GCIPL), INL and T1/T2 lesion volumes (T1LV/T2LV) were assessed between 84 patients with P-MS and 36 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HCs) and between patients stratified according to age (cut-off: 51 years) and evidence of clinical/MRI activity in the previous 12 months RESULTS: pRNFL and GCIPL thickness were significantly lower in patients with P-MS than in HCs (<i>p</i> = 0.003 and <i>p</i> < 0.0001, respectively). INL was significantly thicker in patients aged < 51 years compared to the older ones and HCs (38.2 vs 36.5 and 36.7 μm; <i>p</i> = 0.038 and <i>p</i> = 0.04, respectively) and in those who presented MRI activity (new T2/gadolinium-enhancing lesions) in the previous 12 months compared to the ones who did not and HCs (39.5 vs 36.4 and 36.7 μm; <i>p</i> = 0.003 and <i>p</i> = 0.008, respectively). Recent MRI activity was significantly predicted by greater INL thickness (Nagelkerke R<sup>2</sup> 0.36, <i>p</i> = 0.001).</p><AbstractText>INL thickness was higher in younger patients with P-MS with recent MRI activity, a criterion used in previous studies to identify a specific subset of patients with P-MS who best responded to disease-modifying treatment. If this finding is confirmed, we suggest that INL thickness might be a useful tool in stratification of patients with P-MS for current and experimental treatment choice.</AbstractText>
Publication
Journal: Acta Neuropathologica
August/1/2019
Abstract
Microglia are highly plastic immune cells which exist in a continuum of activation states. By shaping the function of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), the brain cells which differentiate to myelin-forming cells, microglia participate in both myelin injury and remyelination during multiple sclerosis. However, the mode(s) of action of microglia in supporting or inhibiting myelin repair is still largely unclear. Here, we analysed the effects of extracellular vesicles (EVs) produced in vitro by either pro-inflammatory or pro-regenerative microglia on OPCs at demyelinated lesions caused by lysolecithin injection in the mouse corpus callosum. Immunolabelling for myelin proteins and electron microscopy showed that EVs released by pro-inflammatory microglia blocked remyelination, whereas EVs produced by microglia co-cultured with immunosuppressive mesenchymal stem cells promoted OPC recruitment and myelin repair. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the harmful and beneficial EV actions were dissected in primary OPC cultures. By exposing OPCs, cultured either alone or with astrocytes, to inflammatory EVs, we observed a blockade of OPC maturation only in the presence of astrocytes, implicating these cells in remyelination failure. Biochemical fractionation revealed that astrocytes may be converted into harmful cells by the inflammatory EV cargo, as indicated by immunohistochemical and qPCR analyses, whereas surface lipid components of EVs promote OPC migration and/or differentiation, linking EV lipids to myelin repair. Although the mechanisms through which the lipid species enhance OPC maturation still remain to be fully defined, we provide the first demonstration that vesicular sphingosine 1 phosphate stimulates OPC migration, the first fundamental step in myelin repair. From this study, microglial EVs emerge as multimodal and multitarget signalling mediators able to influence both OPCs and astrocytes around myelin lesions, which may be exploited to develop novel approaches for myelin repair not only in multiple sclerosis, but also in neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases characterized by demyelination.
Publication
Journal: Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
May/16/2019
Abstract
To analyze MRI images in patients with MS who experienced worsening of neurologic status (WNS) after stopping fingolimod (FTY).In this retrospective study, demographic, clinical, and radiologic data of patients with MS who experienced WNS after stopping FTY were retrospectively collected. We introduced the "δExpanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)-ratio" to identify patients who, after FTY withdrawal, showed an inflammatory flare-up exceeding the highest lifetime disease activity level. Patients with δEDSS-ratio > 1 were enrolled in the study.Eight patients were identified. The mean (SD) age of the 8 (7 female) patients was 35.3 (4.9) years. The mean FTY treatment duration was 3.1 (0.8) years. The mean FTY discontinuation-WNS interval was 4 (0.9) months. The 4 patients with δEDSS-ratio ≥ 2 developed severe monophasic WNS (EDSS score above 8.5), characterized by clinical features and MRI findings not typical of MS, which we classified as "tumefactive demyelination pattern" (TDL) and "Punctuated pattern" (PL). Conversely, patients whose δEDSS-ratio was between 1 and 2 had clinical features and brain MRI compatible with a more typical, even if aggressive, MS relapse. In patients with TDL and PL, the flare-up of inflammatory activity led to severe tissue damage resulting in T2 but also T1 lesion volume increase at 6-month follow-up.Peculiar MRI features (TDL and PL), different from a typical MS flare-up, might occur in some patients who experienced WNS after stopping FTY. Further studies, also involving immunologic biomarkers, are necessary to investigate TDL or PL pathophysiology.
Publication
Journal: Trials
May/11/2019
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system with a degenerative component, leading to irreversible disability. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been shown to prevent inflammation and neurodegeneration in animal models of MS, but no large phase II clinical trials have yet assessed the exploratory efficacy of MSC for MS.This is an academic, investigator-initiated, randomized, double-blind, placebo-compared phase I/II clinical trial with autologous, bone-marrow derived MSC in MS. Enrolled subjects will receive autologous MSC at either baseline or at week 24, through a cross-over design. Primary co-objectives are to test safety and efficacy of MSC treatment compared to placebo at 6 months. Secondary objectives will evaluate the efficacy of MSC at clinical and MRI levels. In order to overcome funding constraints, the MEsenchymal StEm cells for Multiple Sclerosis (MESEMS) study has been designed to merge partially independent clinical trials, following harmonized protocols and sharing some key centralized procedures, including data collection and analyses.Results will provide patients and the scientific community with data on the safety and efficacy of MSC for MS. The innovative approach utilized to obtain funds to support the MESEMS trial could represent a new model to circumvent limitation of funds encountered by academic trials.Andalusia: NCT01745783 , registered on Dec 10, 2012. Badalona: NCT02035514 EudraCT, 2010-024081-21. Registered on 2012. Canada: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02239393 . Registered on September 12, 2014. Copenhagen: EudraCT, 2012-000518-13 . Registered on June 21, 2012. Italy: EudraCT, 2011-001295-19, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01854957 . Retrospectively registered on May 16, 2013. London: Eudra CT 2012-002357-35, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01606215 . Registered on May 25, 2012. Salzburg: EudraCT, 2015-000137-78 . Registered on September 15, 2015. Stockholm: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01730547 . Registered on November 21, 2012. Toulouse: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02403947 . Registered on March 31, 2015.
Publication
Journal: JAMA Neurology
April/9/2019
Publication
Journal: Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
April/7/2019
Abstract
<AbstractText>A periventricular gradient of normal appearing white matter (NAWM) damage has been described in multiple sclerosis (MS), including subjects with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). The pathological mechanisms underlying this gradient is not currently understood.</AbstractText><AbstractText>34 CIS subjects were enrolled and underwent cerebrospinal fluid oligo-clonal bands (CSF-OCB) evaluation. Moreover, all CIS subjects and 24 healthy controls underwent a brain MRI scan. Diffusion weighted imaging was used to compute mean diffusivity (MD) values in periventricular and deep NAWM for all groups.</AbstractText><p><div><b>RESULTS</b></div>CSF-OCB were present in 24 CIS subjects (CSF-OCB+) out of 34 tested. Periventricular NAWM MD values were significantly higher in CIS subjects with than in those without CSF-OCB (0.78 ± 0.06 mm<sup>3</sup>/10<sup>-3</sup> vs. 0.72 ± 0.06 mm<sup>3</sup>/10<sup>-3</sup>; p = 0.01), while there was no difference between groups in deep NAWM MD values. The periventricular gradient of damage, expressed in z score based on healthy controls data, was more marked in CSF-OCB+ than in CSF-OCB- (0.65 ± 0.05 vs. 0.17 ± 0.04 p < 0.001). There was no difference in periventricular lesion load between the two groups.</p><AbstractText>In CIS, the presence of CSF-OCB is associated with the severity of periventricular NAWM damage gradient. Intrathecal inflammation could play a role in NAWM damage distribution.</AbstractText>
Publication
Journal: PLoS ONE
March/15/2019
Abstract
During experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for multiple sclerosis associated with blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) overexpress proteoglycan nerve/glial antigen 2 (NG2), proliferate, and make contacts with the microvessel wall. To explore whether OPCs may actually be recruited within the neurovascular unit (NVU), de facto intervening in its cellular and molecular composition, we quantified by immunoconfocal morphometry the presence of OPCs in contact with brain microvessels, during postnatal cerebral cortex vascularization at postnatal day 6, in wild-type (WT) and NG2 knock-out (NG2KO) mice, and in the cortex of adult naïve and EAE-affected WT and NG2KO mice. As observed in WT mice during postnatal development, a higher number of juxtavascular and perivascular OPCs was revealed in adult WT mice during EAE compared to adult naïve WT mice. In EAE-affected mice, OPCs were mostly associated with microvessels that showed altered claudin-5 and occludin tight junction (TJ) staining patterns and barrier leakage. In contrast, EAE-affected NG2KO mice, which did not show any significant increase in vessel-associated OPCs, seemed to retain better preserved TJs and BBB integrity. As expected, absence of NG2, in both OPCs and pericytes, led to a reduced content of vessel basal lamina molecules, laminin, collagen VI, and collagen IV. In addition, analysis of the major ligand/receptor systems known to promote OPC proliferation and migration indicated that vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), platelet-derived growth factor-AA (PDGF-AA), and the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) were the molecules most likely involved in proliferation and recruitment of vascular OPCs during EAE. These results were confirmed by real time-PCR that showed Fgf2, Pdgfa and Tgfb expression on isolated cerebral cortex microvessels and by dual RNAscope-immunohistochemistry/in situ hybridization (IHC/ISH), which detected Vegfa and Vegfr2 transcripts on cerebral cortex sections. Overall, this study suggests that vascular OPCs, in virtue of their developmental arrangement and response to neuroinflammation and growth factors, could be integrated among the classical NVU cell components. Moreover, the synchronized activation of vascular OPCs and pericytes during both BBB development and dysfunction, points to NG2 as a key regulator of vascular interactions.
Publication
Journal: Cell Death and Disease
January/30/2019
Abstract
Administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), at both clinical and neuropathological levels. The therapeutic properties of MSC in EAE are mainly mediated by the modulation of pathogenic immune response, but other neurotropic effects, including decreased demyelination and axonal loss as well as promotion of tissue repair, play also a role. Properly controlled phase II clinical trials to explore the potential of MSC transplantation as a treatment for MS are underway. Interferon beta (IFNβ) is an approved treatment for relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive MS. Here, we explored the possibility that IFNβ might influence the therapeutic potential of MSC, in view of possible synergistic effects as add-on therapy. IFNβ enhanced the immunomodulatory functions of MSC and induced the expression of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (Slpi) and hepatocyte growth factor (Hgf), two soluble mediators involved in immune and regenerative functions of MSC. At molecular level, IFNβ induced a rapid and transient phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3, the transcription factors responsible for Slpi and Hgf induction. Concomitantly, IFNβ dynamically affected the activity of mTOR, a key checkpoint in the control of metabolic pathways. Indeed, the impairment of mTOR activity observed early upon exposure to IFNβ, was followed by a long-lasting induction of mTOR signaling, that was associated with an increased glycolytic capacity in MSC. When induced to switch their energetic metabolism towards glycolysis, MSC showed an improved ability to control T-cell proliferation. These results suggest that modifications of MSC energetic metabolism induced by IFNβ may contribute to promote MSC immunomodulatory function and support a role for metabolic pathways in the therapeutic function of MSC. Altogether, these findings support the idea of a combined treatment for MS, in which the immunomodulatory and possibly regenerative activity of MSC could be enhanced by the administration of IFNβ.
Publication
Journal: Multiple Sclerosis
November/15/2018
Abstract
Isolated cognitive relapses (ICRs) are transient deficits in cognitive performance that are the only presentation of a multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse. Here, we evaluated the impact of ICRs on cognitive difficulties in daily activities (assessed with the Multiple Sclerosis Neuropsychological Screening Questionnaire, Informant Version (MSNQ-I)) to characterize ICRs' clinical relevance. We used 2-year-long retrospective data to compare 15 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients with ICRs with 57 RRMS patients presenting an asymptomatic gadolinium enhancing lesion (and no-ICRs). ICRs were associated not only with neuropsychological performance decline but also with an increase in the daily cognitive difficulties. These findings support the ecological relevance of ICRs.
Related with
Publication
Journal: NeuroImage
November/11/2018
Abstract
Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with aberrant production of beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide depositing in brain as amyloid plaques. While animal models allow investigation of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy, technology to fully dissect the pathological mechanisms of this complex disease at cellular and vascular levels is lacking. X-ray phase contrast tomography (XPCT) is an advanced non-destructive 3D multi-scale direct imaging from the cell through to the whole brain, with exceptional spatial and contrast resolution. We exploit XPCT to simultaneously analyse disease-relevant vascular and neuronal networks in AD mouse brain, without sectioning and staining. The findings clearly show the different typologies and internal structures of Aβ plaques, together with their interaction with patho/physiological cellular and neuro-vascular microenvironment. XPCT enables for the first time a detailed visualization of amyloid-angiopathy at capillary level, which is impossible to achieve with other approaches. XPCT emerges as added-value technology to explore AD mouse brain as a whole, preserving tissue chemistry and structure, enabling the comparison of physiological vs. pathological states at the level of crucial disease targets. In-vivo translation will permit to monitor emerging therapeutic approaches and possibly shed new light on pathological mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.
Related with
Publication
Journal: Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology
July/31/2018
Abstract
Autoinflammatory diseases (AIDs) are a distinct group of diseases characterised by a dysregulation of the innate immune response leading to systemic inflammation. The clinical spectrum of these conditions is extremely variable and possibly every system and tissue can be involved, including the central nervous system (CNS). Indeed, neurological manifestations may dominate the clinical picture from disease onset in some rare conditions. However, the involvement of the CNS in AIDs is not a disease in itself, but represents a rare complication which is consequent to a systemic or local immune response, mainly involving cells of the innate immunity. This review will describe neurological manifestations associated with AIDs, including: chronic aseptic meningitis and brain atrophy, sensori-neural hearing loss, early-onset haemorrhagic and ischaemic strokes, mental retardation, cerebellitis, and ataxia, and severe encephalopathy with brain calcifications.
Publication
Journal: Multiple Sclerosis
June/20/2018
Abstract
We present the neuropathological description of an autoptic case of fatal rebound of disease activity after fingolimod discontinuation in a multiple sclerosis patient. MRI prior to the fatal outcome showed several large tumefactive demyelinating lesions. These lesions were characterized by prominent astrocytic gliosis, with a remarkable preponderance of large hypertrophic reactive astrocytes showing intense expression of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1. Prominent astrocytic gliosis was also diffusely observed in the normal-appearing white matter. Dysregulated sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling on astrocytes following fingolimod withdrawal might represent a possible contributing mechanism to disease rebound and might account for the unusual radiological and neuropathological features observed in the present case.
Publication
Journal: Neurology
March/6/2018
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To assess fetal risk after pregnancy exposure to natalizumab in women with multiple sclerosis (MS), with a specific focus on spontaneous abortion (SA) and congenital anomalies (CA).
METHODS
Data of all pregnancies occurring between 2009 and 2015 in patients with MS treated with natalizumab and referring to 19 participating sites were collected and compared with those of pregnancies in untreated patients and patients treated with injectable immunomodulatory agents. Rates of SA and CA were also compared with those reported in the Italian population. Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were performed.
RESULTS
A total of 92 pregnancies were tracked in 83 women. In the multivariable analysis, natalizumab exposure was associated with SA (odds ratio [OR] 3.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9-8.5, p < 0.001). However, the rate of SA (17.4%) was within the estimates for the general population, as well as the rate of major CA (3.7%). Moreover, exposure to natalizumab and interferon-β (IFN-β) was associated with lower length and weight of the babies (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS
Our results showed that natalizumab exposure to up 12 weeks of gestation is associated with an increased risk of SA, although within the limits expected in the general population, whereas the risk of CA needs further investigation. Taking into account the high risk of disease reactivation after natalizumab suspension, pregnancy could be planned continuing natalizumab while strictly monitoring conception.
METHODS
This study provides Class III evidence that in women with MS, natalizumab exposure increases the risk of spontaneous abortion as compared to IFN-β-exposed or untreated patients (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.9-8.5).
Publication
Journal: Neurology
March/6/2018
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To assess the risk of disease reactivation during pregnancy after natalizumab suspension in women with multiple sclerosis (MS).
METHODS
Data of all pregnancies occurring between 2009 and 2015 in patients with MS treated with natalizumab and referring to 19 participating sites were collected and compared with those of pregnancies in untreated patients and patients treated with injectable immunomodulatory agents through a 2-factor repeated measures analysis. Predictors of disease activity were assessed through stepwise multivariable logistic regression models.
RESULTS
A total of 92 pregnancies were tracked in 83 women receiving natalizumab. Among these pregnancies, 74 in 70 women resulted in live births, with a postpartum follow-up of at least 1 year, and were compared with 350 previously published pregnancies. Relapse rate during and after pregnancy was higher in women treated with natalizumab (p < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, longer natalizumab washout period was the only predictor of relapse occurrence during pregnancy (p = 0.001). Relapses in the postpartum year were related to relapses during pregnancy (p = 0.019) and early reintroduction of disease-modifying drugs (DMD; p = 0.021). Disability progression occurred in 16.2% of patients and was reduced by early reintroduction of DMD (p = 0.024).
CONCLUSIONS
Taken as a whole, our findings indicate that the combination of avoiding natalizumab washout and the early resumption of DMD after delivery could be the best option in the perspective of maternal risk. This approach must take into account possible fetal risks that need to be discussed with the mother and require further investigation.
METHODS
This study provides Class IV evidence that in women with MS, the risk of relapses during pregnancy is higher in those who had been using natalizumab as compared to those who had been using interferon-β or no treatment.
Publication
Journal: Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental
November/14/2017
Abstract
Metabolic reprogramming is shaped to support specific cell functions since cellular metabolism controls the final outcome of immune response. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease resulting from loss of immune tolerance against central nervous system (CNS) myelin. Metabolic alterations of T cells occurring during MS are not yet well understood and their studies could have relevance in the comprehension of the pathogenetic events leading to loss of immune tolerance to self and to develop novel therapeutic strategies aimed at limiting MS progression.
In this report, we observed that extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) and oxygen consumption rate (OCR), indicators of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, respectively, were impaired during T cell activation in naïve-to-treatment relapsing remitting (RR)MS patients when compared with healthy controls. These results were also corroborated at biochemical level by a reduced expression of the glycolitic enzymes aldolase, enolase 1, hexokinase I, and by reduction of Krebs cycle enzymes dihydrolipoamide-S-acetyl transferase (DLAT) and dihydrolipoamide-S-succinyl transferase (DLST). Treatment of RRMS patients with interferon beta-1a (IFN beta-1a) was able to restore T cell glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration as well as the amount of the metabolic enzymes to a level comparable to that of healthy controls. These changes associated with an up-regulation of the glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1), a key element in intracellular transport of glucose.
Our data suggest that T cells from RRMS patients display a reduced engagement of glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration, reversible upon IFN beta-1a treatment, thus suggesting an involvement of an altered metabolism in the pathogenesis of MS.
Publication
Journal: Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
November/1/2017
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To study the immunomodulatory effect of teriflunomide on innate and adaptive immune cell populations through a pilot, open-label, observational study in a cohort of patients with relapsing-remitting MS.
METHODS
Blood lymphocytes were isolated from 10 patients with MS before and after 3 or 12 months of treatment. Adaptive and innate immune cell subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry as follows: B cells (memory, regulatory, and mature subsets), T cells (effector and regulatory subsets), and natural killer (NK) cells (CD56dim and CD56bright subsets).
RESULTS
Our results show that teriflunomide significantly reduces absolute counts of total CD19+ B cells and mature and regulatory B-cell subsets. T cells were affected to a lesser extent, with a trend in reduction of absolute counts for both T effector CD4+ cells (Th1, Th17 and Th1/17) and T regulatory CD8+ and CD4+ cells. Teriflunomide had no detectable effect on NK-cell numbers.
CONCLUSIONS
In our small cohort, teriflunomide treatment affects mainly and significantly on B-cell numbers, while having a milder effect on T-cell numbers. Larger cohorts are necessary to confirm these findings and understand the effect of teriflunomide on the functionality of these cells.
Publication
Journal: Neurological Sciences
October/18/2017
Publication
Journal: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
August/18/2017
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) display a therapeutic plasticity because of their ability to modulate immunity, foster tissue repair, and differentiate into mesodermal cells. IFN-γ has been described to differently affect human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) and mouse mesenchymal stem cell (mMSC) immunomodulation and differentiation, depending on the inflammatory milieu.
OBJECTIVE
We aimed at dissecting the relevant intracellular pathways through which IFN-γ affects MSC plasticity and the consequence of their manipulation on MSC functions.
METHODS
Modification of relevant IFN-γ-dependent pathways in mMSCs was carried out in vitro through gene silencing or chemical inhibition of key components. Functional outcomes were assessed by means of Western blotting, real-time PCR, differentiation, and proliferation assays on MSCs. The effect on T cells was addressed by T-cell proliferation assays; the effect of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) manipulation in MSCs was studied in vivo in a mouse model of delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. To address whether similar mechanisms are involved also in hMSCs on IFN-γ stimulation, the effect of chemical inhibition on the same intracellular pathways was assessed by means of Western blotting, and the final outcome on immunomodulatory properties was evaluated based on real-time PCR and T-cell proliferation.
RESULTS
We revealed that in mMSCs IFN-γ-induced immunoregulation is mediated by early phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1 and STAT3, which is significantly enhanced by an extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2-dependent mTOR inhibition, thereby promoting pSTAT1 nuclear translocation. Accordingly, after intracellular mTOR inhibition, MSCs augmented their ability to inhibit T-cell proliferation and control delayed-type hypersensitivity in vivo. Similarly, on mTOR blockade, hMSCs also enhanced their immunoregulatory features. A sustained exposure to IFN-γ led to inhibition of STAT3 activity, which in mMSCs resulted in an impaired proliferation and differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS
These results provide new insights about MSC intracellular pathways affected by IFN-γ, demonstrating that pharmacologic or genetic manipulation of MSCs can enhance their immunomodulatory functions, which could be translated into novel therapeutic approaches.
Publication
Journal: Frontiers in Immunology
August/16/2017
Abstract
There is increasing evidence that natural killer (NK) cells exhibit regulatory features. Among them, CD56bright NK cells have been suggested to play a major role in controlling T cell responses and maintaining homeostasis. Dysfunction in NK cell-mediated regulatory features has been recently described in untreated multiple sclerosis (MS), suggesting a contribution to MS pathogenesis. Moreover, biological disease-modifying treatments effective in MS apparently enhance the frequencies and/or regulatory function of NK cells, further pointing toward an immunoprotective role of NK cells in MS. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the regulatory functions of NK cells, based on their interactions with other cells belonging to the innate compartment, as well as with adaptive effector cells. We review the more recent data reporting disruption of NK cell/T cell interactions in MS and discuss how disease-modifying treatments for MS affect NK cells.
Publication
Journal: Patient Preference and Adherence
August/16/2017
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Managing multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment presents challenges for both patients and health care professionals. Effective communication between patients with MS and their neurologist is important for improving clinical outcomes and quality of life.
METHODS
A closed-ended online market research survey was used to assess the current state of MS care from the perspective of both patients with MS (≥18 years of age) and neurologists who treat MS from Europe and the US and to gain insight into perceptions of treatment expectations/goals, treatment decisions, treatment challenges, communication, and satisfaction with care, based on current clinical practice.
RESULTS
A total of 900 neurologists and 982 patients completed the survey, of whom 46% self-identified as having remitting-relapsing MS, 29% secondary progressive MS, and 11% primary progressive MS. Overall, patients felt satisfied with their disease-modifying therapy (DMT); satisfaction related to comfort in speaking with their neurologist and participation in their DMT decision-making process. Patients who self-identified as having relapsing-remitting MS were more likely to be very satisfied with their treatment. Top challenges identified by patients in managing their DMT were cost, side effects/tolerability of treatment, and uncertainty if treatment was working. Half of the patients reported skipping doses, but only 68% told their health care provider that they did so.
CONCLUSIONS
Several important differences in perception were identified between patients and neurologists concerning treatment selection, satisfaction, expectations, goals, and comfort discussing symptoms, as well as treatment challenges and skipped doses. The study results emphasize that patient/neurologist communication and patient input into the treatment decision-making process likely influence patient satisfaction with treatment.
Publication
Journal: Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
August/16/2017
load more...