Universitą degli studi di Pavia


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Tarantola research activity

Biliary complications are considered the Achille’s heel of liver transplantation. Given the scarcity of donors, fatty livers are currently being used as grafts, notwithstanding their poor tolerance to conventional cold preservation. Our group has developed an alternative method of preservation called Subnormothermic Machine Perfusion (20°C). My research activity consists in the analysis of adequate markers to test liver conditions during phases of transplantation on Wistar (as controls), lean and obese Zucker rats. Obese Zucker rats are frequently used as models of obesity and insulin-resistance because they are homozygous for a spontaneous mutation (fa/fa) of leptin receptors, so they cannot respond to the satiety stimulus becaming obese and hyperinsulinemic. Lean Zucker Rats are heterozygous for the allele fa (fa/+) and maintain a lean phenotype. In particular I am studying the activity and the expression of Dipeptidylpeptidase-IV (DPP-IV) in all the structures of biliary tree: bile canaliculi, Hering canals, bile ducts. DPP-IV activity was demonstrated with an azocoupling method, protein expression with immunohistochemistry and gene expression with PCR. Another marker, γ-glutamyl-transpeptidase (γ-GT), actually is in phase of experimentation.
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