Fondazione Humanitas per la Ricerca, Università degli Studi di Milano, FHR

Principal Investigators:
Alberto Mantovani, MD (PI, human and clinical studies)
Silvio Danese, MD (Gastroenterology)

Main tasks in the project and previous experience relevant to those tasks

Provision of new candidate biomarkers:
Pentraxins: role in autoimmunity and RA and clinical diagnostic potential. The long pentraxin PTX3 has been shown to be a potential marker of inflammation, its induction, production and source are different from the short pentraxin CRP, presently in use a marker for RA disease and response to therapy. In this project it will be investigated a) whether PTX3 can be a better marker of the RA disease; b) whether it can predict the outcome to the therapy; c) whether PTX3 polymorphisms correlate with incidence and outcome of RA and c) whether blood levels of anti-PTX3 antibodies in patients correlate with the severity of the disease, as very recently reported in SLE (Augusto et al. Rheumatology 2009;48:442–4; Bassi et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 May 3 -Epub ahead of print)

New potential biomarkers of the diseases at different stages of assessment: PTX4, regulators of TLR/ILR; chemoattractant receptors CCRL2 and D6; macrophage activation.

In addition the extensive expertise in intestinal mucosal primary cells such as of epithelial, vascular and lymphatic endothelial, lamina propria mononuclear and mesenchimal origin will allow advance in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of IBD and would allow identification of new target for therapeutic intervention.

Expertise. Original reagents for detection of PTX3 and novel potential biomarkers; intestinal mucosal primary cells.

Short profile of the staff who will carry out the work:

Cecilia Garlanda (regulators of TLR/ILR signaling and pentraxins)
Barbara Bottazzi (PTX3; ELISA for PTX3 in clinical samples)
Silvano Sozzani (atipical chemoattractant receptors)
Massimo Locati (atipical chemoattractant receptors)
Stefania Vetrano (leukocyte homing)