Biomolecular investigations

In the laboratory investigations are carried out in order to identify the expression of soluble factors (inflammatory molecules, growth factors, etc.) on synovial, cartilage and bone biopsies and on dentin, using histochemical and immunohistochemical methods, and results are evaluated by means of computerized image analysis. Tests are performed on cell cultures, synovial fluid and serum or plasma obtained from patients affected by several joint diseases in order to evaluate the synthesis and secretion of factors such as cytokines, chemokines etc, both in spontaneous conditions and in the presence of pro-inflammatory molecules, anabolic factors, growth factors and drugs. In the laboratory, protein markers analyses are performed by flow cytometry; Real-Time PCR techniques allow to evaluate the expression of several genes of interest.

In the laboratory the following investigations are carried out: phenotypical and functional characterization tests on biological markers of activity and progression of some musculoskeletal diseases; ex vivo tests assessments to analyze the molecular mechanisms and cell populations involved in the development of inflammation and algic status in synovial tissues of patients with OA, RA and other joint diseases; analysis of new drug therapies to counteract cartilage pathologies onset and development. In the laboratory we perform functional evaluations of soluble factors, such as interleukins and leptins, released in the synovial fluid and important for the pathogenesis of RA and OA and genetic diseases affecting cartilage. There are also investigations for the identification of new therapeutic targets to treat several osteo-articular diseases and studies to evaluate the interactions between immune and bone cells.Figure 13. Synovial membrane in rheumatoid arthritis: inflammatory infiltrate with mononuclear cells (B and T lymphocytes and plasma cells) characterized by blood vessels proliferation. Specific immunostaining for vascular endothelial cells and different immune cell populations

Figure 14. Histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis performed on cartilage tissue from a patient with type A Morquio syndrome

Figure 15. Schematic representation of bone remodelling

Content updated 13/02/2015 - 16:00
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