Laura Comini

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Oxidative stress is a condition in which oxidant metabolites exert toxic effects because of their increased production or an altered cellular mechanism of protection. The heart needs oxygen but it is also susceptible to oxidative stress, which occurs during post-ischaemic reperfusion, for example. Ischaemia causes alterations in the defence mechanisms(More)
We evaluated the feasibility of a home-based rehabilitation programme, which was designed to resemble an in-hospital rehabilitation programme. Patients who underwent cardiac surgery (EuroSCORE 0-10) followed a one-month home rehabilitation programme supervised by a nurse-tutor and a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy was performed at home with calisthenic(More)
BACKGROUND Apoptosis contributes to cell loss after ischemia/reperfusion injury in the heart. This study describes the time course and level of apoptosis in different cell types in the intact heart during ischemia/reperfusion injury. METHODS AND RESULTS Isolated Langendorff-perfused rat hearts were subjected to perfusion alone (control) or to 35 minutes(More)
Despite originally identified in neurones, the neuronal type of nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is present also in cardiac and skeletal myocytes. Whether nNOS is functionally expressed in human endothelial cells--as the endothelial enzyme (eNOS)--is unknown. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were studied under control culture conditions and after(More)
Apoptosis contributes, with necrosis, to the cardiac cell loss after ischemia/reperfusion injury. The apoptotic cascade is initiated either by mitochondrial damage and activation of caspase-9 or by death receptor ligation and activation of caspase-8. In the present study, performed in the isolated rat heart exposed either to ischemia alone or ischemia(More)
The endothelium controls vascular smooth muscle tone by secreting substances that cause relaxation and contraction. Under physiological, basal conditions the endothelium constantly releases nitric oxide, a process closely regulated by the effect of shear stress on endothelial cells. Recent data raise the possibility that, among many other substances,(More)
BACKGROUND Exercise rehabilitation after cardiac surgery has beneficial effects, especially on a long-term basis. Rehabilitative programs with telemedicine plus appropriate technology might satisfy the needs of performing rehabilitation at home. OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to compare exercise capacity after home-based cardiac rehabilitation(More)
BACKGROUND Cytokine activation and endothelial dysfunction are typical phenomena of congestive heart failure (CHF). We tested the hypothesis that incubating human umbilical vein endothelial cells with serum from patients with CHF will downregulate endothelial constitutive nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and induce apoptosis. METHODS AND RESULTS We studied 21(More)
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors exert some cardiovascular benefits by improving endothelial function. We evaluated the effects of chronic treatment with quinapril (Q) on the l -arginine/nitric oxide (NO) pathway in normotensive rats under baseline and inflammatory conditions. The role of bradykinin was also investigated. The animals received(More)
BACKGROUND Urocortin is a novel cardioprotective agent that can protect cardiac myocytes from the damaging effects of ischemia/reperfusion both in culture and in the intact heart and is effective when given at reperfusion. METHODS AND RESULTS We have analyzed global changes in gene expression in cardiac myocytes after urocortin treatment using gene chip(More)