Cardiovascular Biology

NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES / Cardiovascular Disorders

Research Interests

Cell-cell interactions and cross-talk in angiogenesis, cancer and cardiac disease

Description of Research

Research projects focus on angiogenesis and aim to identify the mechanisms by which endothelial cells interact and comunicate with the other cell types composing the cardiovascular system. Particular interest is dedicated to the cross-talk between endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes in the heart. Thanks to established collaborations with multiple clinical units, the laboratory is particularly dedicated to the use of cellular and animal models of human diseases, as well as of viral and non-viral gene transfer approaches, to eventually develop novel therapeutic approaches for tissue revascularization and cancer treatment.

A second interest of the Group is in the field of laser light, where the major interest is in understanding how light interact with cells and tissue and in exploiting light to develop innovative therapeutic opportunities.

Recent Publications

Pradella D, Deflorian G, Pezzotta A, Di Matteo A, Belloni E, Campolungo D, Paradisi A, Bugatti M, Vermi W, Campioni M, Chiapparino A, Scietti L, Forneris F, Giampietro C, Volf N, Rehman M, Zacchigna S, Paronetto MP, Pistocchi A, Eichmann A, Mehlen P, Ghigna C.A ligand-insensitive UNC5B splicing isoform regulates angiogenesis by promoting apoptosis. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 11;12(1):4872. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24998-6. PubMed

Ciccarelli M, Dawson D, Falcao-Pires I, Giacca M, Hamdani N, Heymans S, Hooghiemstra A, Leeuwis A, Hermkens D, Tocchetti CG, van der Velden J, Zacchigna S, Thum T.Reciprocal organ interactions during heart failure-a position paper from the ESC working group on myocardial function. PubMed

Di Matteo A, Belloni E, Pradella D, Cappelletto A, Volf N, Zacchigna S, Ghigna C.Alternative splicing in endothelial cells: novel therapeutic opportunities in cancer angiogenesis. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Dec 7;39(1):275. doi: 10.1186/s13046-020-01753-1. PMID: 33287867. PubMed

Bussani R, Schneider E, Zentilin L, Collesi C, Ali H, Braga L, Volpe MC, Colliva A, Zanconati F, Berlot G, Silvestri F, Zacchigna S, Giacca M. Persistence of viral RNA, pneumocyte syncytia and thrombosis are hallmarks of advanced COVID-19 pathology. EBioMedicine. 2020 Nov;61:103104. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103104. Epub 2020 Nov 3. PMID: 33158808. PubMed

Zacchigna S, Paldino A, Falcão-Pires I, Daskalopoulos EP, Dal Ferro M, Vodret S, Lesizza P, Cannatà A, Miranda-Silva D, Lourenço AP, Pinamonti B, Sinagra G, Weinberger F, Eschenhagen T, Carrier L, Kehat I, Tocchetti CG, Russo M, Ghigo A, Cimino J, Hirsch E, Dawson D, Ciccarelli M, Oliveti M,  Linke WA, Cuijpers I, Heymans S, Hamdani N, de Boer M, Duncker D, Kuster D, van der Velden J, Beauloye C, Bertrand L, Mayr M, Giacca M, Leuschner F, Backs J, Thum T on behalf of the Working  Group on Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology. Towards standardization of echocardiography for the evaluation of left ventricular function in adult rodents: a position paper of the ESC Working Group on Myocardial Function. Cardiovasc Res 2020, May 4:cvaa110. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvaa110. PubMed

Kocijan, T, Rehman  M, Colliva A, Leban M, Vodret S, Volf N, Zucca G, Cappelletto A, Zhou B, Adams R, Zentilin L, Giacca M and Zacchigna S. Genetic lineage tracing reveals poor angiogenic potential of cardiac endothelial cells. Cardiovasc Res 2020 Jan 30:cvaa012. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvaa012. PubMed