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We analyzed the role of six common polymorphisms in folate metabolizing genes as possible risk factors for having a child with Down syndrome (DS) in 94 Italian mothers of a DS child (MDS) and 113 matched control mothers, both aged less than 35 years at conception. Investigated polymorphisms include methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C>T and(More)
We recently reported isolation of viable rat amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells [1]. Here, we tested the therapeutic benefits of AFS cells in a rodent model of ischemic stroke. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats received a 60-minute middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Thirty-five days later, animals exhibiting significant motor deficits received(More)
Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) assay is a recently developed technique able to evidence variations in the copy number of several human genes. Due to this ability, MLPA can be used in the molecular diagnosis of several genetic diseases whose pathogenesis is related to the presence of deletions or duplications of specific genes.(More)
We performed a large case–control study and a meta-analysis of the literature to address the role of the methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) c.66A>G polymorphism as a maternal risk factor for the birth of a child with Down Syndrome (DS) among Caucasian women. A total of 253 mothers of a DS child (MDS) and 298 control mothers of Italian origin were included(More)
The C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene has been associated to maternal risk of Down syndrome, due to the detection of an higher prevalence of the T allele among mothers of children with trisomy 21, compared to control mothers. In order to confirm this association, we studied the presence of the C677T in 64 mothers of Down syndrome children and 112(More)
The correlation between epigenetics and human reproduction represents a very interesting field of study, mainly due to the possible transgenerational effects related to epigenetic modifications of male and female gametes. In the present review, we focused our attention to the role played by epigenetics on male reproduction, evidencing at least four(More)
Stem cells isolated from amniotic fluid are known to be able to differentiate into different cells types, thus being considered as a powerful tool for cellular therapy of different human diseases. In the last 4 years, amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells have been shown to express embryonic and adult stem cell markers. These cells can be considered an(More)
Gene therapy has been proposed as a definitive cure of beta-thalassemia. We applied a gene targeting approach, based on the introduction of small DNA fragments (SDF) into erythroid progenitor cells, to specifically modify the beta-globin gene sequence at codon 39. The strategy was first tested in normal individuals by delivering mutant SDF that were able to(More)
BACKGROUND About 10% of cases of male infertility are due to the presence of microdeletions within the long arm of the Y chromosome (Yq). Despite the large literature covering this critical issue, very little is known about the pathogenic mechanism leading to spermatogenesis disruption in patients carrying these microdeletions. In order to identify the(More)
Methionine synthase (MTR) is required for the conversion of homocysteine (hcy) to methionine in the one-carbon metabolic pathway. Previous studies investigating a common MTR 2756A>G polymorphism as a maternal risk factor for the birth of a child with Down syndrome (DS) are conflicting and limited by small case–control cohorts, and its contribution to(More)