Francesco Perna

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The wide range of phenotypic abnormalities seen in the leptin-deficient ob/ob mouse and their reversibility by leptin administration provide compelling evidence for the existence of multiple physiological functions of this hormone in rodents. In contrast, information regarding the roles of this hormone in humans is limited. Three morbidly obese children,(More)
The human intestinal microbiota plays a pivotal role in human nutrition and health by promoting the supply of nutrients, preventing pathogen colonization and shaping and maintaining normal mucosal immunity. The depletion of the individual microbiota can result in a higher susceptibility to enteropathogenic bacteria infection. In order to reduce this risk,(More)
We analyzed the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leptin secretion and the interaction between serum leptin and CD4(+)CD25+ regulatory T cells (T(Regs)) in naive-to-therapy relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients. Leptin production was significantly increased in both serum and CSF of RRMS patients and correlated with IFN-gamma secretion in(More)
BACKGROUND A single family has been described in which obesity results from a mutation in the leptin-receptor gene (LEPR), but the prevalence of such mutations in severe, early-onset obesity has not been systematically examined. METHODS We sequenced LEPR in 300 subjects with hyperphagia and severe early-onset obesity, including 90 probands from(More)
To elucidate whether the role of leptin in regulating neuroendocrine and immune function during short-term starvation in healthy humans is permissive, i.e., occurs only when circulating leptin levels are below a critical threshold level, we studied seven normal-weight women during a normoleptinemic-fed state and two states of relative hypoleptinemia induced(More)
Clinical manifestations of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) may depend on a complex interaction between the host and the pathogen. Clinical outcomes of pulmonary tuberculosis are variable, ranging from asymptomatic lifelong infection to parenchymal lung destruction, resulting in cavitary lesions. To investigate the hypothesis that local cellular immune response(More)
This study addresses the analysis of the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) allele distribution in 54 historical and in 68 recently diagnosed tuberculosis (TB) patients. The historical cohort was characterized by the presence of large fibrocavernous lesions effectively treated with therapeutic pneumothorax during the period 1950-55. Patients and healthy controls(More)
Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that controls food intake and reproductive and immune functions in rodents. In uncontrolled human studies, low leptin levels are associated with impaired immune responses and reduced T-cell counts; however, the effects of leptin replacement on the adaptive immune system have not yet been reported in the context of(More)
Screening of latent infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (LTBI) and treatment of positive subjects is the key point in the prevention of TB; such a strategy should be performed mainly among individuals with risk of progression. Progression from LTBI to active TB is highest both in recent contacts of patients with active TB, and in immunocompromised(More)
Human thymoma is a neoplasm of thymic epithelial cells associated with several clinical syndromes ranging from autoimmune disease to immunodeficiency. The aim of our research was to investigate T cell-mediated immune response in patients with thymoma. Initially eight patients were enrolled in this study. Four patients underwent surgical removal of the(More)