Francesco Testa

Professor of Ophtalmology

Name Francesco
Surname Testa
Institution Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
E-Mail francesco.testa@unicampania.it
Address Eye Clinic, Multidisciplinary Department of Medical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

Member PUBLICATIONS

  • Activation of Melanocortin Receptors MC 1 and MC 5 Attenuates Retinal Damage in Experimental Diabetic Retinopathy.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2016 on Mediators of inflammation
    by Rossi S, Maisto R, Gesualdo C, Trotta MC, Ferraraccio F, Kaneva MK, Getting SJ, Surace E, Testa F, Simonelli F, Grieco P, Merlino F, Perretti M, D'Amico M, Di Filippo C
    DOI: 10.1155/2016/7368389

    We hypothesize that melanocortin receptors (MC) could activate tissue protective circuit in a model of streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic retinopathy (DR) in mice. At 12-16 weeks after diabetes induction, fluorescein angiography (FAG) revealed an approximate incidence of 80% microvascular changes, typical of DR, in the animals, without signs of vascular leakage. Occludin progressively decreased in the retina of mice developing retinopathy. qPCR of murine retina revealed expression of two MC receptors, Mc1r and Mc5r. The intravitreal injection (5 μL) of the selective MC1 small molecule agonist BMS-470539 (33 μmol) and the MC5 peptidomimetic agonist PG-901 (7.32 nM) elicited significant protection with regular course and caliber of retinal vessels, as quantified at weeks 12 and 16 after diabetes induction. Mouse retina homogenate settings indicated an augmented release of IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, MIP-1α, MIP-2α, MIP-3α, and VEGF from diabetic compared to nondiabetic mice. Application of PG20N or AGRP and MC5 and MC1 antagonist, respectively, augmented the release of cytokines, while the agonists BMS-470539 and PG-901 almost restored normal pattern of these mediators back to nondiabetic values. Similar changes were quantified with respect to Ki-67 staining. Finally, application of MC3-MC4 agonist/antagonists resulted to be inactive with respect to all parameters under assessment.

  • Evaluation of Ocular Gene Therapy in an Italian Patient Affected by Congenital Leber Amaurosis Type 2 Treated in Both Eyes.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2016 on Advances in experimental medicine and biology
    by Testa F, Maguire AM, Rossi S, Marshall K, Auricchio A, Melillo P, Bennett J, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_71

    Gene therapy clinical trials with gene augmentation therapy for Leber Congenital Amaurosis have shown partial reversal of retinal dysfunction. Most studies described the effect of treatment in a single eye and limited evidence is reported in literature about patients treated in both eyes. In this chapter, we present the findings of a young patient treated in both eyes. Efficacy of the treatment was assessed with Best Corrected Visual Acuity, Goldman Visual Field testing, Esterman computerized binocular visual field and Microperimetric testing. Post-treatment results showed improvement of visual function in both eyes, in particular, a strong amelioration was observed after the first injection, by using conventional monocular tests. Moreover, the treatment in the second eye resulted in a further improvement of binocular visual functionality, as easily detected by computerized binocular visual field. In conclusion, our data suggest that gene therapy can inhibit retinal degeneration and can be safe and effective in restoring visual functionality in young subjects treated in both eyes. Finally, new outcome measurements, in particular binocular computerized visual field parameters, can therefore be useful to quantify overall visual gain in patients undergoing gene therapy in both eyes.

  • Cerebral Involvement in Stargardt's Disease: A VBM and TBSS Study.

    Publication Date: 01/11/2015 on Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
    by Olivo G, Melillo P, Cocozza S, D'Alterio FM, Prinster A, Testa F, Brunetti A, Simonelli F, Quarantelli M
    DOI: 10.1167/iovs.15-16899

    To assess whether and to what extent macro- and/or microstructural modifications are present in the brain of patients with selective central visual loss due to a juvenile macular degeneration, Stargardt's disease (STGD), taking advantage of the complementary information provided by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

  • Ocriplasmin use in a selected case with preserved visual acuity.

    Publication Date: 29/10/2015 on BMC ophthalmology
    by Rossi S, Orrico A, Melillo P, Testa F, Simonelli F, Della Corte M
    DOI: 10.1186/s12886-015-0141-9

    Previous studies described cases of Ocriplasmin injections in patients with vitreo-macular traction and reduced central visual acuity. We describe the first case of a patient with 20/20 visual acuity and vitreo-macular traction treated with Ocriplasmin, and, for the first time in literature, we evaluated the functional changes of the macula in response to pharmacological treatment through multifocal-electroretinogram.

  • A pilot study for development of a novel tool for clinical decision making to identify fallers among ophthalmic patients.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2015 on BMC medical informatics and decision making
    by Melillo P, Orrico A, Attanasio M, Rossi S, Pecchia L, Chirico F, Testa F, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1186/1472-6947-15-S3-S6

    Falls in the elderly is a major problem. Although falls have a multifactorial etiology, a commonly cited cause of falls in older people is poor vision. This study proposes a method to discriminate fallers and non-fallers among ophthalmic patients, based on data-mining algorithms applied to health and socio-demographic information.

  • Interplay between Intravitreal RvD1 and Local Endogenous Sirtuin-1 in the Protection from Endotoxin-Induced Uveitis in Rats.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2015 on Mediators of inflammation
    by Rossi S, Di Filippo C, Gesualdo C, Testa F, Trotta MC, Maisto R, Ferraro B, Ferraraccio F, Accardo M, Simonelli F, D'Amico M
    DOI: 10.1155/2015/126408

    Rat endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU) is a well-established model of human uveitis. In this model, intravitreal injection of resolvin D1 (RvD1, 10-100-1000 ng/kg) 1 hour after subcutaneous treatment of Sprague-Dawley rats with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 200 μg/rat) significantly prevented the development of uveitis into the eye. RvD1 dose-dependently increased the expression of sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) within the eye, while it decreased the expression of acetyl-p53 and acetyl-FOXO1. These effects were accompanied by local downregulation of some microRNAs related to the expression and activity of SIRT1. These were miR-195-5p, miR-200a-3p, miR-34a-5p, and miR-145-5p. An increase of manganese superoxide dismutase and decrease of caspase 3 were evident after RvD1 treatment. In another set of experiments, the protective effects of RvD1 (1000 ng/kg) were partly abolished by the pretreatment of the rats with EX527 (10 mg/kg/day, i.p.), a specific inhibitor of SIRT1 activity, for 7 days prior to the induction of EIU in rats. Similarly, the effects of RvD1 (1000 ng/kg) on the SIRT1 protein expression were abolished by Boc2, N-t-butoxycarbonyl-PLPLP, a specific formyl-peptide receptor type 2/lipoxin A receptor antagonist. Therefore, an interplay of the SIRT1 activity on the RvD1 mediated resolution of EIU is argued.

  • Photorefractive keratectomy on purely refractive accommodative esotropia.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2015 on Seminars in ophthalmology
    by Rossi S, Testa F, Santamaria C, Orrico A, Attanasio M, Simonelli F, De Rosa G
    DOI: 10.3109/08820538.2013.810286

    Results on refractive keratectomy of the treatment of young patients with purely refractive accommodative esotropia.

  • Analysis of the ABCA4 genomic locus in Stargardt disease.

    Publication Date: 20/12/2014 on Human molecular genetics
    by Zernant J, Xie YA, Ayuso C, Riveiro-Alvarez R, Lopez-Martinez MA, Simonelli F, Testa F, Gorin MB, Strom SP, Bertelsen M, Rosenberg T, Boone PM, Yuan B, Ayyagari R, Nagy PL, Tsang SH, Gouras P, Collison FT, Lupski JR, Fishman GA, Allikmets R
    DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddu396

    Autosomal recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1, MIM 248200) is caused by mutations in the ABCA4 gene. Complete sequencing of ABCA4 in STGD patients identifies compound heterozygous or homozygous disease-associated alleles in 65-70% of patients and only one mutation in 15-20% of patients. This study was designed to find the missing disease-causing ABCA4 variation by a combination of next-generation sequencing (NGS), array-Comparative Genome Hybridization (aCGH) screening, familial segregation and in silico analyses. The entire 140 kb ABCA4 genomic locus was sequenced in 114 STGD patients with one known ABCA4 exonic mutation revealing, on average, 200 intronic variants per sample. Filtering of these data resulted in 141 candidates for new mutations. Two variants were detected in four samples, two in three samples, and 20 variants in two samples, the remaining 117 new variants were detected only once. Multimodal analysis suggested 12 new likely pathogenic intronic ABCA4 variants, some of which were specific to (isolated) ethnic groups. No copy number variation (large deletions and insertions) was detected in any patient suggesting that it is a very rare event in the ABCA4 locus. Many variants were excluded since they were not conserved in non-human primates, were frequent in African populations and, therefore, represented ancestral, and not disease-associated, variants. The sequence variability in the ABCA4 locus is extensive and the non-coding sequences do not harbor frequent mutations in STGD patients of European-American descent. Defining disease-associated alleles in the ABCA4 locus requires exceptionally well characterized large cohorts and extensive analyses by a combination of various approaches.

  • Macular function and morphologic features in juvenile stargardt disease: longitudinal study.

    Publication Date: 01/12/2014 on Ophthalmology
    by Testa F, Melillo P, Di Iorio V, Orrico A, Attanasio M, Rossi S, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.06.032

    To evaluate disease progression in a cohort of patients with a clinical and genetic diagnosis of Stargardt disease.

  • Macular abnormalities in Italian patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

    Publication Date: 01/07/2014 on The British journal of ophthalmology
    by Testa F, Rossi S, Colucci R, Gallo B, Di Iorio V, della Corte M, Azzolini C, Melillo P, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304082

    To investigate the prevalence of macular abnormalities in a large Caucasian cohort of patients affected by retinitis pigmentosa (RP).