The aim of Citro's research project is to study and to characterize the interaction and engraftment between endocrine cells and organ microenvironment with a dedicated focus on cell to extracellular matrix interaction in physio/patological settings. The understanding of the precise interactions and integrations among the components of the endocrine pancreas will open new perspectives in the field of diabetes and drug discovery.
In particular, the research will be based on different technological platforms, such as organ decellularization, bioreactor customization and 3D perfusion designed technologies. The research will take advantage of these technologies to recapitulate ex vivo the pancreatic native microenvironment with a direct impact on the in vivo application. Indeed, as proof of principle, he demonstrated the feasibility of this approach engineering the first prototype of Vascularized Islet Organ for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes based on decellularized organ repopulated with pancreatic islets and human endothelial cells. The functional assessment of this new technology spans from ex vivo validation to in vivo function.
Antonio Citro will use this prototype technology as a template to model ex vivo the endocrine pancreas for drug discovery studies and to design more bio-compatible devices for in vivo application.
Citro A, Pellegrini S, Dugnani E, Eulberg D, Klussmann S, Piemonti L. CCL2/MCP-1 and CXCL12/SDF-1 blockade by L-aptamers improve pancreatic islet engraftment and survival in mouse. Am J Transplant. 2019 Jul 3 (PMID:31267721)
Citro A, Moser PT, Dugnani E, Rajab TK, Ren X, Evangelista-Leite D, Charest JM, Peloso A, Podesser BK, Manenti F, Pellegrini S, Piemonti L, Ott HC. Biofabrication of a vascularized islet organ for type 1 diabetes. Biomaterials. 2019 Apr (PMID:30735895)
Citro A, Ott HC. Can We Re-Engineer the Endocrine Pancreas? Curr Diab Rep. 2018 Oct 2 (PMID:30280279)
A. Citro, E. Cantarelli, S. Pellegrini, E. Dugnani, L. Piemonti. Anti-Inflammatory Strategies in Intrahepatic Islet Transplantation: A Comparative Study in Preclinical Models. Transplantation. 2018 Feb IF: 4.59 (PMID:28902069)
Citro A., Valle A, Cantarelli E, Mercalli A, Pellegrini S, Liberati D, Daffonchio L, Kastsiuchenka O, Ruffini PA, Battaglia M, Allegretti M, Piemonti L. CXCR1/2 Inhibition Blocks and Reverts Type 1 Diabetes in Mice, Diabetes Oct. 2015. IF: 8.78 (PMID: 25315007)
Citro A., Cantarelli E., Maffi P., Nano R., Melzi R., Mercalli A., Dugnani E., Sordi V., Magistretti P., Daffonchio L., Ruffini P.A., Allegretti M., Secchi A., Bonifacio E., Piemonti L.CXCR1/2 inhibition enhances pancreatic islet survival after transplantation, Journal of Clin. Invest. 2012 Oct 1 IF: 12.81 (PMID:22996693)