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Alessandra Magenta, Reggio Lorde, Sunayana Begum Syed, Maurizio C Capogrossi, Annibale Puca, and Paolo Madeddu

Regenerative medicine is a new therapeutic modality that aims to mend tissue damage by encouraging the reconstitution of physiological integrity. It represents an advancement over conventional therapies that allow reducing the damage but result in disease chronicization. Age-related decline in spontaneous capacity of repair, especially in organs like the heart that have very limited proliferative capacity, contributes in reducing the benefit of conventional therapy. ncRNAs are emerging as key epigenetic regulators of cardiovascular regeneration. Inhibition or replacement of miRNAs may offer reparative solutions to cardiovascular disease. The first part of this review article is devoted to illustrating novel therapies emerging from research on miRNAs. In the second part, we develop new therapeutic concepts emerging from genetics of longevity. Prolonged survival, as in supercentenarians, denotes an exceptional capacity to repair and cope with risk factors and diseases. These characteristics are shared with offspring, suggesting that the regenerative phenotype is heritable. New evidence indicates that genetic traits responsible for prolongation of health span in humans can be passed to and benefit the outcomes of animal models of cardiovascular disease. Genetic studies have also focused on determinants of accelerated senescence and related druggable targets. Evolutionary genetics assessing the genetic basis of adaptation and comparing successful and unsuccessful genetic changes in response to selection within populations represent a powerful basis to develop novel therapies aiming to prolong cardiovascular and whole organism health.

Open access

Laura Monteonofrio, Maria Cristina Florio, Majd AlGhatrif, Edward G Lakatta, and Maurizio C Capogrossi

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 is frequently characterized by a marked inflammatory response with severe pneumonia and respiratory failure associated with multiorgan involvement. Some risk factors predispose patients to develop a more severe infection and to an increased mortality; among them, advanced age and male gender have been identified as major and independent risk factors for COVID-19 poor outcome. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is strictly involved in COVID-19 because angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the host receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and also converts pro-inflammatory angiotensin (Ang) II into anti-inflammatory Ang(1–7). In this review, we have addressed the effect of aging and gender on RAAS with emphasis on ACE2, pro-inflammatory Ang II/Ang II receptor 1 axis and anti-inflammatory Ang(1–7)/Mas receptor axis.