Umberto Galderisi

Professor of Molecular Biology

Name Umberto
Surname Galderisi
Institution Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
Telephone +39 081 566 75 85
Address Dept. of Experimental Medicine, Via Luigi De Crecchio 7 – 80138 Napoli, Italy
Umberto Galderisi


  • Dual role of parathyroid hormone in endothelial progenitor cells and marrow stromal mesenchymal stem cells.

    Publication Date: 01/02/2010 on Journal of cellular physiology
    by Di Bernardo G, Galderisi U, Fiorito C, Squillaro T, Cito L, Cipollaro M, Giordano A, Napoli C
    DOI: 10.1002/jcp.21976

    Hematopoietic stem cells derive regulatory information also from parathyroid hormone (PTH). To explore the possibility that PTH may have a role in regulation of other stem cells residing in bone marrow, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) we assessed the effect of this hormone on the in vitro behavior of MSCs and EPCs. We evidenced that MSCs were much more responsive to PTH than EPCs. PTH increased the proliferation rate of MSCs with a diminution of senescence and apoptosis. Taken together, our results may suggest a protective effect of PTH on MSCs that reduces stress phenomena and preserve genome integrity. At the opposite, PTH did not modify the fate of EPCs in culture.

  • 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.

  • In vitro senescence of rat mesenchymal stem cells is accompanied by downregulation of stemness-related and DNA damage repair genes.

    Publication Date: 01/09/2009 on Stem cells and development
    by Galderisi U, Helmbold H, Squillaro T, Alessio N, Komm N, Khadang B, Cipollaro M, Bohn W, Giordano A
    DOI: 10.1089/scd.2008.0324

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are of particular interest because they are being tested using cell and gene therapies for a number of human diseases. MSCs represent a rare population in tissues. Therefore, it is essential to grow MSCs in vitro before putting them into therapeutic use. This is compromised by senescence, limiting the proliferative capacity of MSCs. We analyzed the in vitro senescence of rat MSCs, because this animal is a widespread model for preclinical cell therapy studies. After initial expansion, MSCs showed an increased growth doubling time, lost telomerase activity, and expressed senescence-associated beta-galactosidase. Senescence was accompanied by downregulation of several genes involved in stem cell self-renewal. Of interest, several genes involved in DNA repair also showed a significant downregulation. Entry into senescence occurred with characteristic changes in Retinoblastoma (RB) expression patterns. Rb1 and p107 genes expression decreased during in vitro cultivation. In contrast, pRb2/p130 became the prominent RB protein. This suggests that RB2/P130 could be a marker of senescence or that it even plays a role in triggering the process in MSCs.

  • Mesenchymal stem cells: a good candidate for restenosis therapy?

    Publication Date: 01/07/2009 on Current vascular pharmacology
    by Forte A, Galderisi U, Cipollaro M, Cascino A

    Restenosis is a pathophysiological phenomenon that can occur in patients submitted to revascularization procedures (bypass, endarterectomy, angioplasty), possibly resulting in new narrowing of injured vessels. Vascular restenosis remains a pressing clinical problem, despite the therapeutic strategies and devices developed so far. Stem cells hold a great potential for the regeneration of damaged tissues in cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies clearly indicated that different stem cell populations contribute to vascular remodeling after injury. Nevertheless, the exact role of vascular cell precursors in restenosis pathophysiology is not yet well defined, as heterogeneous and contrasting data are currently available. Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) are non-hematopoietic multi-potent stem-like cells able of differentiating into both mesenchymal and non-mesenchymal lineages. MSCs offer a series of advantages: a) they can be isolated from a small aspirate of bone marrow; b) extensively proliferate in vitro while preserving a normal karyotype and telomerase activity on several passages; c) express low immunogenicity and hence their use should not require a pharmacological immunosuppression. MSCs have an intrinsic ability to differentiate into functional cell types able to repair the diseased or injured tissue in which they are localised. For this reason, MSCs are currently under scrutiny for treatment of different cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, it has not yet been clearly determined whether MSCs can substantially contribute to a positive resolution of restenosis after vascular injury. This review will provide information about the mechanisms at the basis of vascular restenosis and the current knowledge of the role, positive or negative, played by MSCs in restenosis progression as highlighted by recent experimental protocols.

  • Ancient DNA and family relationships in a Pompeian house.

    Publication Date: 01/07/2009 on Annals of human genetics
    by Di Bernardo G, Del Gaudio S, Galderisi U, Cascino A, Cipollaro M
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2009.00520.x

    Archaeological, anthropological and pathological data suggest that thirteen skeletons found in a house at the Pompeii archaeological site, dated to 79 A.D., belong to one family. To verify this and to identify the relationships between these individuals, we analyzed DNA extracted from bone specimens. Specifically, hypervariable segment 1 (HVS1) of the human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region was amplified in two overlapping polymerase chain reactions and the sequences were compared to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence. As independent controls, other polymorphic sites in HVS1, HVS2 and in the coding region were analyzed. We also amplified some short tandem repeats of the thirteen specimens. This study revealed that six of the thirteen individuals are indeed closely related.

  • Genes involved in regulation of stem cell properties: studies on their expression in a small cohort of neuroblastoma patients.

    Publication Date: 01/07/2009 on Cancer biology & therapy
    by Melone MA, Giuliano M, Squillaro T, Alessio N, Casale F, Mattioli E, Cipollaro M, Giordano A, Galderisi U

    Cancer stem cells have been isolated from many tumors. Several evidences prove that neuroblastoma contains its own stem cell-like cancer cells. We chose to analyze 20 neuroblastoma tumor samples in the expression of 13 genes involved in the regulation of stem cell properties to evaluate if their misregulation could have a clinical relevance. In several specimens we detected the expression of genes belonging to the OCT3/SOX2/NANOG/KLF4 core circuitry that acts at the highest level in regulating stem cell biology. This result is in agreement with studies showing the existence of malignant stem cells in neuroblastoma. We also observed differences in the expression of some stemness-related genes that may be useful for developing new prognostic analyses. In fact, preliminary data suggests that the presence/absence of UTF1 along with differences in BMI1 mRNA levels could distinguish low grade neuroblastomas from IV stage tumors.

  • Histone deacetylase inhibitors promote apoptosis and senescence in human mesenchymal stem cells.

    Publication Date: 01/05/2009 on Stem cells and development
    by Di Bernardo G, Squillaro T, Dell'Aversana C, Miceli M, Cipollaro M, Cascino A, Altucci L, Galderisi U
    DOI: 10.1089/scd.2008.0172

    Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have received a great amount of attention for their antitumoral properties. Suberoyl anilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and MS-275 are among the more promising HDACi for cancer treatments. Although these HDACi compounds exert low toxicity on normal cells, the therapies based on these molecules can cause side effects that can greatly impair the functions of the bone marrow microenvironment. This is a complex system that contains several types of stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We conducted comparative studies on the effects of SAHA and MS-275 on human MSCs in order to ascertain if these compounds can impair the physiology of MSCs. Both SAHA and MS-275 induced an arrest in the cell cycle along with the induction of apoptotic pathways as evidenced by flow cytometry, annexin assay, detection of activated caspase 9, and molecular analysis of Bax/Bcl-2 expression. The MS-275 treatment induced an increase of senescent cells, whereas in cells treated with SAHA, we detected a reduction of senescent cells compared to the control. We hypothesize that SAHA preferentially transactivates apoptotic genes, thereby inducing a great majority of the damaged cells to die by programmed cell death rather than senescence. Following the HDACi treatment, we observed a decrease in the expression of some genes that are involved in the regulation of stem cell properties. This suggests that SAHA and MS-275 could also be involved in the impairment of the stemness characteristics of MSCs. The phenomena that were induced by HDACi treatment were associated with an upregulation of several cyclin kinase inhibitors. By contrast, the p53-p21 pathway is apparently not involved in these processes.

  • 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.