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Prof. Lucyna Woźniak’s visit in Bologna
September 22, 2015

The aim of the visit was to discuss the experimental results derived in ISOF-CNR Bologna following the stay of two employees of the Department of Structural Biology, Medical University of Łódź, in Dr. Carla Ferreri’s lab.

The aim of their stay was to run a collaborative research project concerning the description of the changes in the lipidomic profile of pregnant women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) and the comparison of the profile with the one of healthy pregnant women. The selection of the research groups and the detailed criteria have already been described [1].


Gestational diabetes was diagnosed according to WHO criteria. GDM comprises a threat to the mother and child’s health and is the most often diagnosed  metabolic disorder which can lead to numerous complications e.g. pre-eclampsia, premature birth or hypertension [2] and most of all can significantly increase the risk of child’s developing type 2 diabetes in later life. Some of the complications a child might be exposed to are: the increased risk of obesity and susceptibility to metabolic disorders.


Dr. Carla Ferreri and Dr. Chryssostomos Chatgilialoglu’s unique experience and knowledge was used in the course of the project as they are world-renowned experts in the research of structure, damage, and remodelling of cell membrane.

Our Italian partners have been successful in creating a personalized approach to the repair (remodelling) of the damaged cell membranes based on the supplementation of individually selected mixes of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids which can exhibit efficacy in the cases of autistic children [4], patients with arrhythmia [5] or cancer [6].

The aim of the visit was to conduct a lipidomic (lipidomic profile) analysis of the blood samples  of pregnant women with diagnosed gestational diabetes.

The control sample of that research consisted of the blood samples of normoglycemic pregnant women.


During Prof. Woźniak’s stay, an analysis of the conducted experiments was carried out. The obtained results underwent statistical analysis, in which statistical significant differences were described, which will be further analyzed using biostatistical methods with the use of the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software (IPA) (in the Department of Structural Biology of Medical University of Łódź). It will allow to draw connections between the observed changes of the composition of cell membranes (erythrocytes and neutrophils) with specific metabolic pathways.

The method of publishing the obtained results (two joint original papers and one review are planned) and application for a collaborative research grant to the National Science Centre in Poland (Symfonia December 2015) have been agreed on.


The programme of further research collaboration has been laid down, which includes Dr. Ferreri’s visits during workshops in Łódź (the date of the workshops is still under negotiations due to Dr. Ferreri’s numerous international obligations) as well applications to the research project Horizon 2020 in cooperation with, among others, Dr. Chryssostomos Chatgiliaglu’s team (National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos, Athens,) and Prof. Shlomo Sassoon from Hebrew University (Jerusalem).


[1] Wojcik M., Zieleniak A., Mac-Marcjanek K., Wozniak L.A., Cypryk K. The elevated gene expression level of the A2B adenosine receptor is associated with hyperglycemia in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2014; 30: 42–53.

[2] Forsbach-Sánchez G., Tamez-Peréz H.E., Vazquez-Lara J. Diabetes and pregnancy. Arch. Med. Res. 2005; 36: 291–299

[3] Metzger BE. Long-term outcomes in mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus and their offspring. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2007; 50: 972–979.

[4] Ghezzo A., Visconti P., Abruzzo P.M., Bolotta A., Ferreri C., Gobbi G., Malisardi G., Manfredini S., Marini M., NanettiL., Pipitone E., Raffaelli F., Resca F., Vignini A., Mazzanti L. Oxidative Stress and Erythrocyte Membrane Alterations in Children with Autism: Correlation with Clinical Features. PLoS ONE, 2013

[5] Viviani Anselmi C, Ferreri C, Novelli V, Roncarati R, Bronzini R, Marchese G, Somalvico F, Condorelli G, Montenero AS, Puca AA. Fatty acid percentage in erythrocyte membranes of atrial flutter/fibrillation patients and controls. J. Interv. Card. Electrophysiol. 2010, 27, 95–99

[6] Cort A., Ozben T., Sansone A., Barata-Vallejo S., Chatgilialoglu Ch., Ferreri C. Bleomycin-induced trans lipid formation in cell membranes and in liposome models. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015; 13, 1100–1105

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