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CONTEXT Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior and BDNF levels are decreased in the brain and plasma of suicide subjects. So far, the mechanisms leading to downregulation of BDNF expression are poorly understood. OBJECTIVES To test the hypothesis that alterations of DNA methylation could(More)
BACKGROUND This study evaluated the relationship between the G(-866)A polymorphism of the uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) gene and high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP) plasma levels in diabetic patients. METHODS We studied 383 unrelated people with type 2 diabetes aged 40-70 years. Anthropometry, fasting lipids, glucose, HbA1c, and hs-CRP were(More)
Many decades of scientific investigation have proved the role of selective pressure in Homo Sapiens at least at the level of individual genes or loci. Nevertheless, there are examples of polygenic traits that are bound to be under selection, but studies devoted to apply population genetics methods to unveil such occurrence are still lacking. Stature(More)
OBJECTIVE Friedreich's ataxia patients are homozygous for expanded alleles of a GAA triplet-repeat sequence in the FXN gene. Patients develop progressive ataxia due to primary neurodegeneration involving the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). The selective neurodegeneration is due to the sensitivity of DRGs to frataxin deficiency; however, the progressive nature(More)
Friedreich's ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease due to frataxin deficiency, and thus, drugs increasing the frataxin amount are excellent candidates for therapy. By screening Gene Expression Omnibus profiles, we identified records showing a frataxin response to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma (PPAR-gamma) agonist rosiglitazone. We(More)
BACKGROUND Cells from individuals with Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) show reduced activities of antioxidant enzymes and cannot up-regulate their expression when exposed to oxidative stress. This blunted antioxidant response may play a central role in the pathogenesis. We previously reported that Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma (PPARgamma)(More)
Friedreich's ataxia is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease that is due to the loss of function of the frataxin protein. The molecular basis of this disease is still a matter of debate and treatments have so far focused on managing symptoms. Drugs that can increase the amount of frataxin protein offer a possible therapy for the disease. One such(More)
Genetic differences both between individuals and populations are studied for their evolutionary relevance and for their potential medical applications. Most of the genetic differentiation among populations are caused by random drift that should affect all loci across the genome in a similar manner. When a locus shows extraordinary high or low levels of(More)
BACKGROUND Many natural phenomena are directly or indirectly related to latitude. Living at different latitudes, indeed, has its consequences with being exposed to different climates, diets, light/dark cycles, etc. In humans, one of the best known examples of genetic traits following a latitudinal gradient is skin pigmentation. Nevertheless, also several(More)
Friedreich ataxia is caused by the expansion of a polymorphic and unstable GAA triplet repeat in the FRDA gene, but the mechanisms for its instability are poorly understood. Replication of (GAA*TTC)n sequences (9-105 triplets) in plasmids propagated in Escherichia coli displayed length- and orientation-dependent instability. There were small length(More)