Ezio Laconi


Department of Biomedical SciencesLaconi

Telephone: +39 070675 8342-8348

Fax: +39 070662574

E-mail: elaconi@unica.it

Personal webpage: here

Principal areas of expertise: Carcinogenesis; Liver regenerative medicine


♦ Main research topics and approaches

(1)  Mechanisms of carcinogenesis, with emphasis on:

  1. the pathogenesis of focal proliferative lesions
  2. the role of the tissue microenvironment
  3. the role of the tumor microenvironment
  4. the role of alterations in growth pattern

 (2)  Liver regenerative medicine:

  1. hepatocyte transplantation
  2. models of liver repopulation
  3. hepatocyte differentiation from stem/progenitor cells


Given that we consider cancer as a disease of tissues, not solely of cells, our approaches to the analysis of carcinogenesis is biological and molecular. An orthotopic transplantation system developed in our laboratory allows us to analyze the biological fate of normal, preneoplastic and neoplastic cell populations, giving a unique opportunity to dissect the molecular bases of their different biological behavior. In this context, the role of the tissue microenvironment can be analyzed with great accuracy. We are currently studying how aging and modulation of caloric intake can affect various stages of carcinogenesis, with specific emphasis on alterations induced in the tissue microenvironment.  

Key publications:

Marongiu F, Doratiotto S, Sini M, Serra MP and Laconi E (2012) Cancer as a disease of tissue pattern formation. Progr Histochem Cytochem 47: 175-207

Serra MP, Marongiu F, Sini M and Laconi E (2012) Hepatocyte senescence in vivo following preconditioning for liver repopulation. Hepatology 56: 760-768

Alison MR, Marongiu F, Laconi E (2012) Transplanted hepatocytes: Wiped out or washed out? J Hepatol 56: 996-997

Laconi E (2007) The evolving concept of tumor microenvironments. BioEssays 29: 738-744

Pasciu D, Montisci S, Greco M, Doratiotto S, Pitzalis S, Pani P, Laconi S, Laconi E (2006) Aging is associated with increased clonogenic potential in rat liver in vivo. Aging Cell 5: 373-377

Laconi S, Laconi E (2002) Principles of hepatocyte transplantation. Sem Cell Dev Biol 13: 433-438

Laconi S, Pani P, Pillai S, Pasciu D, Sarma DSR, Laconi E (2001) A growth constrained environment drives tumor progression in vivo.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98: 7806-7811

Laconi S, Pillai S, Porcu PP, Shafritz DA, Pani P, Laconi E (2001) Massive liver replacement by transplanted hepatocytes in the absence of exogenous growth stimuli in rats treated with retrorsine. Am J Pathol 158: 771-777



From Laconi et al., Sem Cancer Biol 18: 322-329, 2008

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