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Giovambattista De Sarro - Top 30 Publications

QUERCETIN PROTECTS AGAINST RADIOCONTRAST MEDIUM TOXICITY IN HUMAN RENAL PROXIMAL TUBULAR CELLS.

Radiocontrast media (RCM)-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is a major clinical problem whose, pathophysiology is not well understood. Direct toxic effects on renal cells, possibly mediated by reactive oxygen species, have been postulated as contributing to CI-AKI. We investigated the effect of quercetin on human renal proximal tubular (HK-2) cells treated with the radiocontrast medium (RCM) sodium diatrizoate. Quercetin is the most widely studied flavonoid, and the most abundant flavonol present in foods. It has been suggested to have many health benefits, including angioprotective properties and anti-cancer effects. These beneficial effects have been attributed to its antioxidant properties and its ability to modulate cell signaling pathways. Incubation of HK-2 cells with 100μM quercetin caused a decrease in cell viability and pre-treatment of HK-2 cells with 100μM quercetin followed by incubation with 75mgI/ml sodium diatrizoate for 2h caused a decrease in cell viability which was worse than in cells treated with diatrizoate alone. However, further incubation of the cells (for 22 h) after removal of the diatrizoate and quercetin caused a recovery in cell viability in those cells previously treated with quercetin+diatrizoate and quercetin alone. Analysis of signaling molecules by Western blotting showed that in RCM-treated cells receiving initial pre-treatment with quercetin, followed by its removal, an increase in phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473), pSTAT3 (Tyr705) and FoxO3a (Thr32) as well as an induction of Pim-1 and decrease in PARP1 cleavage were observed. Quercetin may alleviate the longer-term toxic effects of RCM toxicity and its possible beneficial effects should be further investigated. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Biologic drugs in adult onset Still's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Biological drugs, mainly interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 antagonists, but also tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, have been used in the treatment of adult onset Still's disease patients (AOSD).

Prevalence of type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis: Results from a cross-sectional study.

Although the better management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has significantly improved the long-term outcome of affected patients, a significant proportion of these may develop associated comorbidities including cardiometabolic complications. However, it must be pointed out that a comprehensive cardiometabolic evaluation is still poorly integrated into the management of RA patients, due to a limited awareness of the problem, a lack of appropriate clinical studies, and optimal strategies for cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction in RA. In addition, although several studies investigated the possible association between traditional CV risk factors and RA, conflicting results are still available.On this basis, we planned this cross-sectional study, aimed at investigating the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in RA patients compared with age- and gender- matched control individuals. Furthermore, we analyzed the role of both traditional and RA-related CV risk factors in predicting T2D and IFG.We observed an increased prevalence of T2D in RA patients when compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Regression analyses demonstrated that the presence of high blood pressure (HBP), a longer disease duration, and exposure to corticosteroids (CCS) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of being classified as T2D. In addition, we observed an increased prevalence of IFG in RA patients when compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Regression analyses demonstrated that a higher body mass index (BMI), the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), higher levels of total cholesterol, the presence of radiographic damage, and higher serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of presenting IFG.In this cross-sectional study, we observed an increased prevalence of T2D and IFG in an Italian cohort of RA patients when compared with age- and gender-matched control individuals. Interestingly, both RA-specific features, such as disease duration, CCS exposure, and radiographic damage, and traditional CV risk factors, such as HBP and MetS, were significantly associated with glucose metabolism abnormalities.

Safety profile of the newest antiepileptic drugs: a curated literature review.

Despite the introduction of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), the quality of life and therapeutic response for patients with epilepsy remain unsatisfactory. In addition, whilst several antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have been approved and consequently marketed in recent years, little is known about their long-term safety and tolerability. Availability of the newest AEDs, characterized by improved pharmacokinetic profiles, has positively impacted the treatment approach for patients with partial seizures in clinical practice. However, the main cause of treatment failure is still poor patient compliance due to the occurrence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) that lead to treatment withdrawal in about 25% of cases before achieving maximal efficacy, and is associated with increasing health care costs.

Complement C3 and fatty liver disease in Rheumatoid arthritis patients: a cross-sectional study.

Recent evidence suggested a potential role of complement fraction C3 as a biomarker of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the general population. Aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of C3 for prediction of NAFLD in RA patients.

Methodological issues associated with clinical trials in epilepsy.

despite methodological advances in epilepsy clinical trials, the proportion of patients reaching seizure-freedom has not substantially changed over the years. We review the main methodological limitations of current trials, the possible strategies to overcome these limits, and the issues that need to be addressed in next future. Area covered: references were identified by PubMed search until March 2017 and unpublished literature was searched on ClinicalTrials.gov. Add-on trials mainly involve refractory epilepsy subjects, reducing overall response to the investigational drug. The inclusion of subjects with earlier disease from less developed countries has partially allowed overcoming this limitation, but has introduced more random variability of results. Monotherapy trials rise methodological, economical, and ethical concerns with different regulatory requirements in European Union and in the United States of America. Newer trial designs, such as futility trials or 'time-to-event' design, have been implemented. Moreover, both add-on and monotherapy trials results might be affected by patient's ability to recognize and record seizures, and by randomness of seizures occurrence over time. Possible strategies to achieve more reliable outcomes are detailed. Expert commentary: clinical trial methodology needs to be optimized to better address regulatory agencies requirements and to encounter both patients' and clinicians' needs.

Anti-TNF-alpha agents and endothelial function in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been associated with endothelial dysfunction, a pathophysiological feature of atherosclerosis. Our aim was to determine whether TNF-α blockade has a beneficial effect on endothelial function in RA. We performed a systematic review with meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of anti-TNF-α agents on endothelial function in RA patients. MedLine, Cochrane CENTRAL and SCOPUS were searched up to March 2016. Inclusion criteria were: 1) randomised controlled trial (RCT), quasi-RCT, before-after cohort study; 2) including RA patients; 3) treatment with anti-TNF-α medications; 4) evaluating the change from baseline in endothelial function. The search strategy retrieved 180 records, of which 20 studies were included in the systematic review. Pooled analysis using a random-effects model demonstrated a significant improvement in endothelial function following anti-TNF-α treatment (SDM 0.987, 95%CI [0.64-1.33], p < 0.0001). Generalisation of the results of the meta-analysis may be limited due to the presence of heterogeneity (I2 = 82.65%, p < 0.001) and evidence of possible publication bias. Meta-regression showed that endothelial function measurement technique was a significant contributor to heterogeneity. In conclusion, although limited by the methodological quality of the included studies, our meta-analysis suggests that anti-TNF-α treatment may improve endothelial function in RA patients.

Poor clinical response in rheumatoid arthritis is the main risk factor for diabetes development in the short-term: A 1-year, single-centre, longitudinal study.

Despite of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) provided different sets of recommendations for the management of cardiovascular risk in inflammatory arthritis patients, it must be pointed out that cardiometabolic comorbidity, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), remains still underdiagnosed and undertreated in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Fingolimod Exerts only Temporary Antiepileptogenic Effects but Longer-Lasting Positive Effects on Behavior in the WAG/Rij Rat Absence Epilepsy Model.

One of the major challenges in the epilepsy field is identifying disease-modifying drugs in order to prevent or delay spontaneous recurrent seizure onset or to cure already established epilepsy. It has been recently reported that fingolimod, currently approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, has demonstrated antiepileptogenic effects in 2 different preclinical models of acquired epilepsy. However, to date, no data exist regarding the role of fingolimod against genetic epilepsy. Therefore, we have addressed this issue by studying the effects of fingolimod in Wistar Albino Glaxo/Rijswijk (WAG/Rij) rats, a well-established genetic model of absence epilepsy, epileptogenesis, and neuropsychiatric comorbidity. Our results have demonstrated that an early long-term treatment with fingolimod (1 mg/kg/day), started before absence seizure onset, has both antiepileptogenic and antidepressant-like effects in WAG/Rij rats. However, these effects were transitory, as 5 months after treatment discontinuation, both absence seizure and depressive like-behavior returned to control levels. Furthermore, a temporary reduction of mTOR signaling pathway activity, indicated by reduced phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin and phosphorylated p70S6k levels, and by increased phosphorylated Akt in WAG/Rij rats of 6 months of age accompanied the transitory antiepileptogenic effects of fingolimod. Surprisingly, fingolimod has demonstrated longer-lasting positive effects on cognitive decline in this strain. This effect was accompanied by an increased acetylation of lysine 8 of histone H4 (at both 6 and 10 months of age). In conclusion, our results support the antiepileptogenic effects of fingolimod. However, the antiepileptogenic effects were transitory. Moreover, fingolimod might also have a positive impact on animal behavior and particularly in protecting the development of memory decline.

Adverse Drug Reactions Related to Drug Administration in Hospitalized Patients.

Drug treatment may be related to the development of adverse drug reactions (ADRs).

Update on the renal toxicity of iodinated contrast drugs used in clinical medicine.

An important side effect of diagnostic contrast drugs is contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI; a sudden decrease in renal function) occurring 48-72 hours after injection of a contrast drug that cannot be attributed to other causes. Its existence has recently been challenged, because of some retrospective studies in which the incidence of AKI was not different between subjects who received a contrast drug and those who did not, even using propensity score matching to prevent selection bias. For some authors, only patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) are at significant risk of CI-AKI. Most agree that when renal function is normal, there is no CI-AKI risk. Many experimental studies, however, are in favor of the existence of CI-AKI. Contrast drugs have been shown to cause the following changes: renal vasoconstriction, resulting in a rise in intrarenal resistance (decrease in renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate and medullary hypoxia); epithelial vacuolization and dilatation and necrosis of proximal tubules; potentiation of angiotensin II effects, reducing nitric oxide (NO) and causing direct constriction of descending vasa recta, leading to formation of reactive oxygen species in isolated descending vasa recta of rats microperfused with a solution of iodixanol; increasing active sodium reabsorption in the thick ascending limbs of Henle's loop (increasing O2 demand and consequently medullary hypoxia); direct cytotoxic effects on endothelial and tubular epithelial cells (decrease in release of NO in vasa recta); and reducing cell survival, due to decreased activation of Akt and ERK1/2, kinases involved in cell survival/proliferation. Prevention is mainly based on extracellular volume expansion, statins, and N-acetylcysteine; conflicting results have been obtained with nebivolol, furosemide, calcium-channel blockers, theophylline, and hemodialysis.

Vitamin D deficiency in systemic sclerosis: a possible role of subclinical liver fibrosis? Retrospective analysis from an Italian cohort.

Current role of perampanel in pediatric epilepsy.

Perampanel is among the latest AEDs approved, indicated for the treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondary generalization, and for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, in patients aged 12 years and older. This paper summarizes the clinical recommendations on the current role of perampanel in the treatment of pediatric epilepsies and future directions for research. The optimal dosage should be comprised between 4 and 12 mg/day, with 8 mg/day being the most common dosage used. The rate and severity of adverse events, including psychiatric symptoms, can be decreased by starting at low doses, and titrating slowly. Overall, perampanel presents an acceptable risk/benefit ratio, but special caution should be made to the risk of seizure aggravation and behavioral problems. The favorable cognitive profile, the ease of use of the titration scheme and the once-daily formulation offer advantage over other AEDs and make this drug particularly suitable for adolescent population. Perampanel is a welcome addition to the armamentarium of the existing AEDs, as it represents a new approach in the management of epilepsy, with a novel mechanism of action and a potential to have a considerable impact on the treatment of adolescents with epilepsy.

Adverse drug reactions reporting in Calabria (Southern Italy) in the four-year period 2011-2014: impact of a regional pharmacovigilance project in light of the new European Legislation.

The number of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) yearly submitted to the Italian Network of Pharmacovigilance (RNF) has progressively increased after the new European Pharmacovigilance legislation (July 2012). These results have mostly reflected the agreements between Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) and Italian Regions, enabling the implementation of active pharmacovigilance projects. A project was funded by the AIFA in Calabria region (Southern Italy) in 2010 to increase ADRs reporting and promote a safer medicines' use. Based on this background, we investigated the trend of ADRs in Calabria in 2011-2014, trying to analyze the possible entailments of the new law.

Plantar fascia enthesopathy is highly prevalent in diabetic patients without peripheral neuropathy and correlates with retinopathy and impaired kidney function.

Aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of plantar fascia (PF) enthesopathy in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients without distal peripheral neuropathy (DPN).

9-cis Retinoic acid modulates myotrophin expression and its miR in physiological and pathophysiological cell models.

Functional studies indicate that essential cellular processes are controlled by Vitamin A derivatives. Among these the retinoic acid isoforms, all-trans- and 9-cis (9cRA), regulate the expression of various genes in both physiological and pathological conditions. Using several in vitro experimental models such as pancreatic β-cells, pre-adipocytes and breast cancer cells with different phenotypes, we demonstrated the capability of 9cRA to modulate myotrophin (Mtpn) and miR-375 expressions. The 9cRA effect in pancreatic β-cells line INS-1 832/13 point out a decreased expression of Mptn at both mRNA and protein levels associated to a concomitant increase of miR-375. We also studied the effect of this molecule on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes cells demonstrating a down-regulation of Mtpn and a dramatic increase of miR-375. Moreover, in the in vitro breast cancer model such as MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, 9cRA showed different effect on both Mtpn and miR-375 expression. In INS-1 832/13, 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes and MCF-7 but not in MDA-MB-231, the effect of 9cRA on Mptn gene expression and its miR was under the control of RARs and RXRs receptors, as revealed by the exposure of these cell line to LE540 or HX603 receptor antagonists. In our findings 9cRA emerges has a hormone with a regulatory action on miR-375 that in most cases interfere with Mtpn expression.

Cerebral small vessel disease predisposes to temporal lobe epilepsy in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

The link between cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) and epilepsy has been poorly investigated. Some reports suggest that CSVD may predispose to temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Aim of this study was to evaluate whether spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), an established model of systemic hypertension and CSVD, have a propensity to develop TLE more than generalized seizures. To this aim, amygdala kindling, as a model of TLE, and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced kindling, as a model of generalized seizures, have been used to ascertain whether SHRs are more prone to TLE as compared to Wistar Kyoto control rats. While young SHRs (without CSVD) do not differ from their age-matched controls in both models, old SHRs (with CSVD) develop stage 5 seizures in the amygdala kindling model (TLE) faster than age-matched control rats without CSVD. At odds, no differences between old SHRs and age-matched controls was observed in the development of PTZ kindling. Enalapril pre-treatment prevented the development of CSVD and normalized kindling development to control levels in SHRs. No difference was observed in the response to pharmacological treatment with carbamazepine or losartan. Overall, our study suggests that uncontrolled hypertension leading to CSVD might represent a risk factor for TLE. Further experimental studies are needed to unravel other risk factors that, along with CSVD, may predispose to TLE.

P060. Vitamin D deficiency in episodic migraine, chronic migraine and medication-overuse headache patients.

Liraglutide prevents cognitive decline in a rat model of streptozotocin-induced diabetes independently from its peripheral metabolic effects.

Diabetes has been identified as a risk factor for cognitive dysfunctions. Glucagone like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have neuroprotective effects in preclinical animal models. We evaluated the effects of GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide (LIR), on cognitive decline associated with diabetes. Furthermore, we studied LIR effects against hippocampal neurodegeneration induced by streptozotocin (STZ), a well-validated animal model of diabetes and neurodegeneration associated with cognitive decline. Diabetes and/or cognitive decline were induced in Wistar rats by intraperitoneal or intracerebroventricular injection of STZ and then rats were treated with LIR (300μg/kg daily subcutaneously) for 6 weeks. Rats underwent behavioral tests: Morris water maze, passive avoidance, forced swimming (FST), open field, elevated plus maze, rotarod tests. Furthermore, LIR effects on hippocampal neurodegeneration and mTOR pathway (AKT, AMPK, ERK and p70S6K) were assessed. LIR improved learning and memory only in STZ-treated animals. Anxiolytic effects were observed in all LIR-treated groups but pro-depressant effects in CTRL rats were observed. At a cellular/molecular level, intracerebroventricular STZ induced hippocampal neurodegeneration accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of AMPK, AKT, ERK and p70S6K. LIR reduced hippocampal neuronal death and prevented the decreased phosphorylation of AKT and p70S6K; AMPK was hyper-phosphorylated in comparison to CTRL group, while LIR had no effects on ERK. LIR reduced animal endurance in the rotarod test and this effect might be also linked to a reduction in locomotor activity during only the last two minutes of the FST. LIR had protective effects on cognitive functions in addition to its effects on blood glucose levels. LIR effects in the brain also comprised anxiolytic and pro-depressant actions (although influenced by reduced endurance). Finally, LIR protected from diabetes-dependent hippocampal neurodegeneration likely through an effect on mTOR pathway.

Perampanel effects in the WAG/Rij rat model of epileptogenesis, absence epilepsy, and comorbid depressive-like behavior.

Perampanel (PER), a selective non-competitive α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-receptor antagonist, exhibits broad-spectrum anticonvulsant activity in several seizure models, but its potential disease-modifying effects have not been investigated. Because of the relevance of AMPA receptors in epileptogenesis and psychiatric comorbidities, we studied the effects of PER in the WAG/Rij rat model of epileptogenesis, absence epilepsy, and depressive-like comorbidity.

Serum complement C3 strongly correlates with whole-body insulin sensitivity in rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by an excess of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk, attributable to a synergy between under-diagnosed traditional risk factors (i.e. insulin resistance) and inflammatory disease activity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the correlation between inflammatory measures and insulin sensitivity in RA patients.

Mast Cells Density Positive to Tryptase Correlate with Microvascular Density in both Primary Gastric Cancer Tissue and Loco-Regional Lymph Node Metastases from Patients That Have Undergone Radical Surgery.

Mast Cells (MCs) play a role in immune responses and more recently MCs have been involved in tumoral angiogenesis. In particular MCs can release tryptase, a potent in vivo and in vitro pro-angiogenic factor via proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) activation and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation. MCs can release tryptase following c-Kit receptor activation. Nevertheless, no data are available concerning the relationship among MCs Density Positive to Tryptase (MCDPT) and Microvascular Density (MVD) in both primary gastric cancer tissue and loco-regional lymph node metastases. A series of 75 GC patients with stage T2-3N2-3M₀ (by AJCC for Gastric Cancer Seventh Edition) undergone to radical surgery were selected for the study. MCDPT and MVD were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and by image analysis system and results were correlated each to other in primary tumor tissue and in metastatic lymph nodes harvested. Furthermore, tissue parameters were correlated with important clinico-pathological features. A significant correlation between MCDPT and MVD was found in primary gastric cancer tissue and lymph node metastases. Pearson t-test analysis (r ranged from 0.74 to 0.79; p-value ranged from 0.001 to 0.003). These preliminary data suggest that MCDPT play a role in angiogenesis in both primary tumor and in lymph node metastases from GC. We suggest that MCs and tryptase could be further evaluated as novel targets for anti-angiogenic therapies.

The Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Signaling Pathway in Epilepsy: A Possible Role for the Immunomodulator Drug Fingolimod in Epilepsy Treatment.

It is currently known that erythrocytes are the major source of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) in the body. S1P acts both extracellularly as a cellular mediator and intracellularly as an important second messenger molecule. Its effects are mediated by interaction with five specific types of G proteincoupled S1P receptor. Fingolimod, is a recognized modulator of S1P receptors, and is the first orally active disease-modifying therapy that has been approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Magnetic resonance imaging data suggest that fingolimod may be effective in multiple sclerosis by preventing blood-brain barrier disruption and brain atrophy. Fingolimod might also possess S1P receptorindependent effects and exerts both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In the therapeutic management of epilepsy, there are a great number of antiepileptic drugs, but there is still a need for others that are more effective and safer. S1P and its receptors might represent a suitable novel target also in light of their involvement in neuroinflammation, a well-known process underlying seizures and epileptogenesis. The objective of this manuscript is to review the biological role of S1P and its receptors, focusing on their expression, effects and possible involvement in epilepsy; furthermore, we summarize the possible anti-seizure properties of fingolimod and discuss its possible usefulness in epilepsy treatment. We conclude that fingolimod, being already commercially available, might be easily tested for its possible therapeutic effectiveness in epileptic patients, both after a more comprehensive evaluation of the real potential of this drug and following a clear evaluation of the potential role of its main targets, including the S1P signaling pathway in epilepsy.

Upholding WAG/Rij rats as a model of absence epileptogenesis: Hidden mechanisms and a new theory on seizure development.

The WAG/Rij rat model has recently gathered attention as a suitable animal model of absence epileptogenesis. This latter term has a broad definition encompassing any possible cause that determines the development of spontaneous seizures; however, most of, if not all, preclinical knowledge on epileptogenesis is confined to the study of post-brain insult models such as traumatic brain injury or post-status epilepticus models. WAG/Rij rats, but also synapsin 2 knockout, Kv7 current-deficient mice represent the first examples of genetic models where an efficacious antiepileptogenic treatment (ethosuximide) was started before seizure onset. In this review, we have critically reconsidered all articles published regarding WAG/Rij rats, from the perspective that the period before SWD onset is considered as the latent period. In our new theory on seizure development, it is proposed that genes might be considered as the initial 'insult' responsible for all plastic changes underpinning the development of spontaneous seizures. According to this idea, in WAG/Rij rats, genetic predisposition would lead to the development of abnormal bilateral cortical epileptic foci, which would then non-genetically stimulate the rest of the brain to rearrange networks in order to phenotypically develop seizures similarly to what happens during electrical kindling.

Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic influence of N-palmitoylethanolamine, arachidonyl-2'-chloroethylamide and WIN 55,212-2 on the anticonvulsant activity of antiepileptic drugs against audiogenic seizures in DBA/2 mice.

We evaluated the effects of ACEA (selective cannabinoid (CB)1 receptor agonist), WIN 55,212-2 mesylate (WIN; non-selective CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist) and N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA; an endogenous fatty acid of ethanolamide) in DBA/2 mice, a genetic model of reflex audiogenic epilepsy. PEA, ACEA or WIN intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration decreased the severity of tonic-clonic seizures. We also studied the effects of PEA, WIN or ACEA after co-administration with NIDA-41020 (CB1 receptor antagonist) or GW6471 (PPAR-α antagonist) and compared the effects of WIN, ACEA and PEA in order to clarify their mechanisms of action. PEA has anticonvulsant features in DBA/2 mice mainly through PPAR-α and likely indirectly on CB1 receptors, whereas ACEA and WIN act through CB1 receptors. The co-administration of ineffective doses of ACEA, PEA and WIN with some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) was examined in order to identify potential pharmacological interactions in DBA/2 mice. We found that PEA, ACEA and WIN co-administration potentiated the efficacy of carbamazepine, diazepam, felbamate, gabapentin, phenobarbital, topiramate and valproate and PEA only also that of oxcarbazepine and lamotrigine whereas, their co-administration with levetiracetam and phenytoin did not have effects. PEA, ACEA or WIN administration did not significantly influence the total plasma and brain levels of AEDs; therefore, it can be concluded that the observed potentiation was only of pharmacodynamic nature. In conclusion, PEA, ACEA and WIN show anticonvulsant effects in DBA/2 mice and potentiate the effects several AEDs suggesting a possible therapeutic relevance of these drugs and their mechanisms of action.

Palmitoylethanolamide protects mice against 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity and endoplasmic reticulum stress: In vivo and in vitro evidence.

Several pathogenetic factors have been involved in the onset and progression of Parkinson's disease (PD), including inflammation, oxidative stress, unfolded protein accumulation, and apoptosis. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endogenous N-acylethanolamine, has been shown to be a neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory molecule, acting as a peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-α agonist. In this study we investigated the effects of PEA on behavioral alterations and the underlying pathogenic mechanisms in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced model of PD in male mice. Additionally, we showed the involvement of PPAR-α in PEA protective effect on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma against 6-OHDA damage. Here, we report that PEA (3-30mg/kg/days.c.) improved behavioral impairments induced by unilateral intrastriatal injection of 6-OHDA. This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in tyrosine hydroxylase expression at striatal level, indicating PEA preserving effect on dopaminergic neurons. Moreover, we found a reduction in the expression of pro-inflammatory enzymes, i.e. inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2, a modulation between pro- and anti-apoptotic markers, suggestive of PEA capability in controlling neuroinflammation and cell death. Interestingly, PEA also showed protective scavenging effect, through superoxide dismutase induction, and dampened unfolding protein response, interfering on glucose-regulated protein 78 expression and PERK-eIF2α pathway. Similar data were found in in vitro studies, where PEA treatment was found to rescue SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells from 6-OHDA-induced damage and death, partly by inhibiting endoplasmic reticulum stress detrimental response. Therefore, PEA, counteracting the pathogenetic aspects involved in the development of PD, showed its therapeutic potential, possibly integrating current treatments correcting dopaminergic deficits and motor dysfunction.

Managing epilepsy in the third millenium: Recent achievements and future perspectives.

Development and Validation of an HPLC-UV Assay for the Therapeutic Monitoring of the New Antiepileptic Drug Perampanel in Human Plasma.

Perampanel, a new specific non-competitive α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor antagonist, has been recently approved in the United States and the European Union for the adjunctive treatment of focal seizures and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. A positive relationship between plasma perampanel concentration and improvement in seizure control has been identified in regulatory trials, suggesting that therapeutic drug monitoring could be useful in optimizing clinical response in patients with epilepsy treated with perampanel. The development of a simple and broadly applicable method for measuring plasma perampanel concentrations is desirable to permit the use of TDM for this drug in clinical practice.

A Case of Interstitial Lung Disease Probably Related to Rituximab Treatment.

A 44-year-old male developed interstitial lung disease (ILD) during treatment with rituximab (375 mg/m(2) weekly intravenous × 4 weeks) for the management of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). After 1 month of treatment he developed dyspnea, fever (38.9 °C), an increase of C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cells with hypoxemia, and decreased platelets. Chest X-ray and high-resolution computed tomography revealed diffuse bilateral lung infiltrates. He was diagnosed with severe ILD; rituximab was discontinued, and treatment with fluticasone combined with salmeterol, methylprednisolone, and omeprazole was started, with an improvement of symptoms over 15 days with normalization in CRP at 30 days. A Naranjo assessment score of 6 was obtained, indicating a probable relationship between the patient's symptoms and the suspect drug. In conclusion, in ITP patients treated with rituximab, we suggest evaluating pulmonary endpoints through pharmaco-epidemiological observational studies.

High Prevalence of Achilles Tendon Enthesopathic Changes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Without Peripheral Neuropathy.

Metabolic disorders are known to alter the mechanical properties of tendons. We sought to evaluate the prevalence of asymptomatic Achilles tendon enthesopathic changes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) without peripheral neuropathy.