Mauro Finicelli

Biological Scientist, PhD

Name Mauro
Surname Finicelli
Institution National Research Council (CNR)
Telephone +39 081 613 25 69
Address Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology (IBAF)-CNR, Naples, Italy
Mauro Finicelli


  • DNA damage and repair in a model of rat vascular injury.

    Publication Date: 01/04/2010 on Clinical science (London, England : 1979)
    by Forte A, Finicelli M, Grossi M, Vicchio M, Alessio N, Santé P, De Feo M, Cotrufo M, Berrino L, Rossi F, Galderisi U, Cipollaro M
    DOI: 10.1042/CS20090416

    Restenosis rate following vascular interventions still limits their long-term success. Oxidative stress plays a relevant role in this pathophysiological phenomenon, but less attention has been devoted to its effects on DNA damage and to the subsequent mechanisms of repair. We analysed in a model of arteriotomy-induced stenosis in rat carotids the time-dependent expression of DNA damage markers and of DNA repair genes, together with the assessment of proliferation and apoptosis indexes. The expression of the oxidative DNA damage marker 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine was increased at 3 and 7 days after arteriotomy, with immunostaining distributed in the injured vascular wall and in perivascular tissue. The expression of the DNA damage marker phospho-H2A.X was less relevant but increasing from 4 hrs to 7 days after arteriotomy, with immunostaining prevalently present in the adventitia and, to a lesser extent, in medial smooth muscle cells at the injury site. RT-PCR indicated a decrease of 8 out of 12 genes of the DNA repair machinery we selected from 4 hrs to 7 days after arteriotomy with the exception of increased Muyth and Slk genes (p<0.05). Western Blot revealed a decrease of p53 and catalase at 3 days after arteriotomy (p<0.05). A maximal 7% of BrdU-positive cells in endothelium and media occurred at 7 days after arteriotomy, while the apoptotic index peaked at 3 days after injury (p<0.05). Our results highlight a persistent DNA damage presumably related to a temporary decreased expression of the DNA repair machinery and of the antioxidant enzyme catalase, playing a role in stenosis progression.

  • Expression pattern of stemness-related genes in human endometrial and endometriotic tissues.

    Publication Date: 01/11/2009 on Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.)
    by Forte A, Schettino MT, Finicelli M, Cipollaro M, Colacurci N, Cobellis L, Galderisi U
    DOI: 10.2119/molmed.2009.00068

    Endometriosis is a chronic disease characterized by the presence of ectopic endometrial tissue outside of the uterus with mixed traits of benign and malignant pathology. In this study we analyzed in endometrial and endometriotic tissues the differential expression of a panel of genes that are involved in preservation of stemness status and consequently considered as markers of stem cell presence. The expression profiles of a panel of 13 genes (SOX2, SOX15, ERAS, SALL4, OCT4, NANOG, UTF1, DPPA2, BMI1, GDF3, ZFP42, KLF4, TCL1) were analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in human endometriotic (n = 12) and endometrial samples (n = 14). The expression of SALL4 and OCT4 was further analyzed by immunohistochemical methods. Genes UTF1, TCL1, and ZFP42 showed a trend for higher frequency of expression in endometriosis than in endometrium (P < 0.05 for UTF1), whereas GDF3 showed a higher frequency of expression in endometrial samples. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that SALL4 was expressed in endometriotic samples but not in endometrium samples, despite the expression of the corresponding mRNA in both the sample groups. This study highlights a differential expression of stemness-related genes in ectopic and eutopic endometrium and suggests a possible role of SALL4-positive cells in the pathogenesis of endometriosis.

  • Injury to rat carotid arteries causes time-dependent changes in gene expression in contralateral uninjured arteries.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2009 on Clinical science (London, England : 1979)
    by Forte A, Finicelli M, De Luca P, Nordström I, Onorati F, Quarto C, Santè P, Renzulli A, Galderisi U, Berrino L, De Feo M, Hellstrand P, Rossi F, Cotrufo M, Cascino A, Cipollaro M
    DOI: 10.1042/CS20080080

    Vascular surgery aimed at stenosis removal induces local reactions often leading to restenosis. Although extensive analysis has been focused on pathways activated in injured arteries, little attention has been devoted to associated systemic vascular reactions. The aim of the present study was to analyse changes occurring in contralateral uninjured rat carotid arteries in the acute phase following unilateral injury. WKY (Wistar-Kyoto) rats were subjected to unilateral carotid arteriotomy. Contralateral uninjured carotid arteries were harvested from 4 h to 7 days after injury. Carotid arteries were also harvested from sham-operated rats and uninjured rats. Carotid morphology and morphometry were examined. Affymetrix microarrays were used for differential analysis of gene expression. A subset of data was validated by real-time RT-PCR (reverse transcription-PCR) and verified at the protein level by Western blotting. A total of 1011 genes were differentially regulated in contralateral uninjured carotid arteries from 4 h to 7 days after arteriotomy (P<0.0001; fold change, >or=2) and were classified into 19 gene ontology functional categories. To a lesser extent, mRNA variations also occurred in carotid arteries of sham-operated rats. Among the changes, up-regulation of members of the RAS (renin-angiotensin system) was detected, with possible implications for vasocompensative mechanisms induced by arteriotomy. In particular, a selective increase in the 69 kDa isoform of the N-domain of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme), and not the classical somatic 195 kDa isoform, was observed in contralateral uninjured carotid arteries, suggesting that this 69 kDa isoenzyme could influence local AngII (angiotensin II) production. In conclusion, systemic reactions to injury occur in the vasculature, with potential clinical relevance, and suggest that caution is needed in the choice of controls during experimental design in vivo.

  • Mesenchymal stem cells effectively reduce surgically induced stenosis in rat carotids.

    Publication Date: 01/12/2008 on Journal of cellular physiology
    by Forte A, Finicelli M, Mattia M, Berrino L, Rossi F, De Feo M, Cotrufo M, Cipollaro M, Cascino A, Galderisi U
    DOI: 10.1002/jcp.21559

    Restenosis following vascular injury remains a pressing clinical problem. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) promise as a main actor of cell-based therapeutic strategies. The possible therapeutic role of MSCs in vascular stenosis in vivo has been poorly investigated so far. We tested the effectiveness of allogenic bone marrow-derived MSCs in reduction of stenosis in a model of rat carotid arteriotomy. MSCs were expanded in vitro retaining their proliferative and differentiation potentiality. MSCs were able to differentiate into adipocyte and osteocyte mesenchymal lineage cells, retained specific antigens CD73, CD90, and CD105, expressed smooth muscle alpha-actin, were mainly in proliferative phase of cell cycle and showed limited senescence. WKY rats were submitted to carotid arteriotomy and to venous administration with 5 x 10(6) MSCs. MSCs in vivo homed in injured carotids since 3 days after arteriotomy but not in contralateral uninjured carotids. Lumen area in MSC-treated carotids was 36% greater than in control arteries (P = 0.016) and inward remodeling was limited in MSC-treated carotids (P = 0.030) 30 days after arteriotomy. MSC treatment affected the expression level of inflammation-related genes, inducing a decrease of IL-1beta and Mcp-1 and an increase of TGF-beta in injured carotids at 3 and 7 days after arteriotomy (P < 0.05). Taken together, these results indicate that allogenic MSC administration limits stenosis in injured rat carotids and plays a local immunomodulatory action.

  • Expression profiles in surgically-induced carotid stenosis: a combined transcriptomic and proteomic investigation.

    Publication Date: 01/10/2008 on Journal of cellular and molecular medicine
    by Forte A, Finicelli M, De Luca P, Quarto C, Onorati F, Santè P, Renzulli A, Galderisi U, Berrino L, De Feo M, Rossi F, Cotrufo M, Cascino A, Cipollaro M
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00212.x

    Vascular injury aimed at stenosis removal induces local reactions often leading to restenosis. The aim of this study was a concerted transcriptomic-proteomics analysis of molecular variations in a model of rat carotid arteriotomy, to dissect the molecular pathways triggered by vascular surgical injury and to identify new potential anti-restenosis targets. RNA and proteins extracted from inbred Wistar Kyoro (WKY) rat carotids harvested 4 hrs, 48 hrs and 7 days after arteriotomy were analysed by Affymetrix rat microarrays and by bidimensional electrophoresis followed by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry, using as reference the RNA and the proteins extracted from uninjured rat carotids. Results were classified according to their biological function, and the most significant Kyoro Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were identified. A total of 1163 mRNAs were differentially regulated in arteriotomy-injured carotids 4 hrs, 48 hrs and 7 days after injury (P < 0.0001, fold-change > or =2), while 48 spots exhibited significant changes after carotid arteriotomy (P < 0.05, fold-change > or =2). Among them, 16 spots were successfully identified and resulted to correspond to a set of 19 proteins. mRNAs were mainly involved in signal transduction, oxidative stress/inflammation and remodelling, including many new potential targets for limitation of surgically induced (re)stenosis (e.g. Arginase I, Kruppel like factors). Proteome analysis confirmed and extended the microrarray data, revealing time-dependent post-translational modifications of Hsp27, haptoglobin and contrapsin-like protease inhibitor 6, and the differential expression of proteins mainly involved in contractility. Transcriptomic and proteomic methods revealed functional categories with different preferences, related to the experimental sensitivity and to mechanisms of regulation. The comparative analysis revealed correlation between transcriptional and translational expression for 47% of identified proteins. Exceptions from this correlation confirm the complementarities of these approaches.