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Group: Experimental and Translational Pathology

Key members: Fiorella Biasi (, Paola Gamba (, Gabriella Leonarduzzi (, Giuseppe Poli (, Barbara Sottero (


Research activity: our translational studies aim to turn fundamental discoveries in the basic and preclinical sciences into improvements in human health.

Main projects in the lab concern the role of food- and endogenously-derived oxysterols and lipid peroxidation end-products aldehydes (in particular, 4-hydroxynonenal) in human pathologies, such as inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease, which are associated with oxidative stress and inflammatory/immune response.This group has focused its research on signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell survival that can be affected by lipid metabolism disturbance. Another aim is to identify new biomarkers for an early diagnosis of these pathologies.

The use of natural phenolic compounds (with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), specific inhibitors, and gene silencing techniques represents another main target of our studies in order to develop new therapeutic/preventative strategies in clinical practice.


Our interest covers:

-  Inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases and cancer - contact person:FiorellaBiasi

- Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s diseases - contact person: Gabriella Leonarduzzi


Fiorella Biasi - Selected recent publications:


1: Sottero B, Rossin D, Poli G, Biasi F. Lipid oxidation products in the pathogenesis of inflammation-related gut diseases. Curr Med Chem. 2018;25(11):1311-1326. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170619104105.


2: Deiana M, Calfapietra S, Incani A, Atzeri A, Rossin D, Loi R, Sottero B,  Iaia N, Poli G, Biasi F. Derangement of intestinal epithelial cell monolayer by dietary cholesterol oxidation products. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Dec;113:539-550. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.10.390.


3: Rossin D, Calfapietra S, Sottero B, Poli G, Biasi F. HNE and cholesterol oxidation products in colorectal inflammation and carcinogenesis. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Oct;111:186-195. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.01.017.


4: Poli G, Biasi F. Potential modulation of cancer progression by oxysterols. Mol Aspects Med. 2016 Jun;49:47-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2016.04.002.


5: Pizzimenti S, Daga M, Ciamporcero E, Toaldo C, Pettazzoni P, Osella-Abate S, Novelli M, Minelli R, Bisazza A, Gamba P, Testa G, Ullio C, Ferruti P, Ranucci E, Bernengo MG, Ferretti C, Dianzani C, Biasi F, Barrera G, Cavalli R. Improved

Anti-Tumoral Therapeutic Efficacy of 4-Hydroxynonenal Incorporated in Novel Lipid Nanocapsules in 2D and 3D Models. J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2015 Dec;11(12):2169-85.


6: Guina T, Deiana M, Calfapietra S, Cabboi B, Maina M, Tuberoso CI, Leonarduzzi G, Gamba P, Gargiulo S, Testa G, Poli G, Biasi F. The role of p38 MAPK in the induction of intestinal inflammation by dietary oxysterols: modulation by wine

phenolics. Food Funct. 2015 Apr;6(4):1218-28. doi: 10.1039/c4fo01116c.


7: Guina T, Biasi F, Calfapietra S, Nano M, Poli G. Inflammatory and redox reactions in colorectal carcinogenesis. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015 Mar;1340:95-103. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12734.


8: Biasi F, Deiana M, Guina T, Gamba P, Leonarduzzi G, Poli G. Wine consumption and intestinal redox homeostasis. Redox Biol. 2014 Jun 18;2:795-802. doi:10.1016/j.redox.2014.06.008. eCollection 2014.


9: Poli G, Biasi F, Leonarduzzi G. Oxysterols in the pathogenesis of major chronic diseases. Redox Biol. 2013 Jan 31;1:125-30. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2012.12.001.


10: Biasi F, Guina T, Maina M, Cabboi B, Deiana M, Tuberoso CI, Calfapietra S, Chiarpotto E, Sottero B, Gamba P, Gargiulo S, Brunetto V, Testa G, Dessì MA, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Phenolic compounds present in Sardinian wine extracts protect against the production of inflammatory cytokines induced by oxysterols in CaCo-2 human enterocyte-like cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Jul 1;86(1):138-45. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2013.03.024.


11: Biasi F, Leonarduzzi G, Oteiza PI, Poli G. Inflammatory bowel disease: mechanisms, redox considerations, and therapeutic targets. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Nov 10;19(14):1711-47. doi: 10.1089/ars.2012.4530.


12: Biasi F, Chiarpotto E, Sottero B, Maina M, Mascia C, Guina T, Gamba P, Gargiulo S, Testa G, Leonarduzzi G, Poli G. Evidence of cell damage induced by major components of a diet-compatible mixture of oxysterols in human colon cancer

CaCo-2 cell line. Biochimie. 2013 Mar;95(3):632-40. doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2012.10.011.



Gabriella  Leonarduzzi- Selected recent publications:


1. Gargiulo S, Testa G, Gamba P, Staurenghi E, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Oxysterols and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal contribute to atherosclerotic plaque destabilization. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Oct;111:140-150. doi:



2. Testa G, Staurenghi E, Zerbinati C, Gargiulo S, Iuliano L, Giaccone G, Fantò F, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G*, Gamba P. Changes in brain oxysterols at different stages of Alzheimer's disease: Their involvement in neuroinflammation. Redox Biol, 10:24-33, 2016. (* co-Last authors and Corresponding author).


3. Gargiulo S, Gamba P, Testa G, Leonarduzzi G, Poli G. The role of oxysterols in vascular aging. J Physiol, 594:2095-2113, 2016


4. Gamba P, Testa G, Gargiulo S, Staurenghi E, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Oxidized cholesterol as the driving force behind the development of Alzheimer's disease. Front Aging Neurosci, 7:119, 2015.


5. Gargiulo S, Gamba P, Testa G, Rossin D, Biasi F, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Relation between TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway activation by 27-hydroxycholesterol and 4-hydroxynonenal, and atherosclerotic plaque instability. Aging Cell, 14:569-581, 2015.


6. Testa G, Gamba P, Badilli U, Gargiulo S, Maina M, Guina T, Calfapietra S, Biasi F, Cavalli R, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G*. Loading into nanoparticles improves quercetin’s efficacy in preventing neuroinflammation induced by oxysterols. Plos One, 9(5): e96795, 2014. (* Corresponding author).


7. Gamba P, Guglielmotto M, Testa G, Monteleone D, Zerbinati C, Gargiulo S, Biasi F, Iuliano L, Giaccone G, Mauro A, Poli G, Tamagno E, Leonarduzzi G. Up-regulation of β-amyloidogenesis in neuron-like human cells by both 24- and 27-hydroxycholesterol: protective effect of N-acetylcysteine. Aging Cell, 13:561-572, 2014.


8. Gargiulo S, Gamba P, Testa G, Sottero B, Maina M, Guina T, Biasi F, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Molecular Signaling Involved in Oxysterol-Induced β1-Integrin Over-Expression in Human Macrophages. Int J Mol Sci, 13:14278-93, 2012.


9. Testa G, Gamba P, Di Scipio F, Elio Sprio A, Salamone P, Gargiulo S, Sottero B, Biasi F, Berta GN, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Potentiation of amyloid-β peptide neurotoxicity in human dental-pulp neuron-like cells by the membrane lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal. Free Radic Biol Med, 53:1708-1717, 2012.


10. Gamba P, Testa G, Sottero B, Gargiulo S, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. The link between altered cholesterol metabolism and Alzheimer’s disease. Ann NY Acad Sci, 1259:54-64, 2012.


11. Gargiulo S, Sottero B, Gamba P, Chiarpotto E, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G. Plaque oxysterols induce imbalanced upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in macrophagic cells through redox-sensitive signaling pathways: Implications on the vulnerability of atherosclerotic lesions. Free Radic Biol Med, 51:844-855, 2011.


12. Gamba P, Leonarduzzi G*, Tamagno E, Guglielmotto M, Testa G, Sottero B, Gargiulo S, Biasi F, Mauro A, Vina J, Poli G. Interaction between 24-hydroxycholesterol, oxidative stress and amyloid-β in amplifying neuronal damage in Alzheimer’s disease: three partners in crime. Aging Cell, 10:403-17, 2011. (* co-First author).


13. Leonarduzzi G, Gargiulo S, Gamba P, Perrelli MG, Castellano I, Sapino A, Sottero B, Poli G. Molecular signaling operated by a diet-compatible mixture of oxysterols in up-regulating CD36 receptor in CD68 positive cells. Mol Nutr Food Res, 54 Suppl 1:S31-41, 2010.

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