Luigi Ruco

His main research interest has been the immunopathology of macrophages and the pathogenesis of lymphoproliferative diseases. He gave a major contribution in the understanding of the mechanisms of macrophage activation against tumors. He has investigated the role of soluble factors (cytokines) in the development of lymphoproliferative diseases with particular emphasis to Hodgkin's lymphoma.  


Luigi Ruco, MD, is Professor and Chairman of Pathology of the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University,  Rome, Italy.

He was trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, USA. During this period his main research interest were the mechanisms  of macrophage activation for tumor cytotoxicity. His research provided the first evidence that macrophage activitation in the ultimate result of a series of short-lived events mediated by Interferon-gamma and bacterial edoxin. 

Back  in Italy he focused his attention on the pathogenesis of histiocytic and lymphoproliferative disorders including Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, Hodgkin's lymphoma and other diseases. His contribution consisted in the use of immunohistochemistry to demonstrate the production of cytokines in the diseased tissues. Another field of interest has been tha pathogenesis of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid; he provided evidence that overexpression of MET gene has significant role in determinig the invasiveness of tumor cells.

He is a member of the European Society of Pathology, of the European Society of Haematopathology, and of Società Italiana di Anatomia Patologica e Citologia (SIAPEC). Dr. Ruco has published over 170 original research articles on international journals.


Ruco, LP, Meltzer, MS: Macrophage activation for tumor cytotoxicity: induction of tumoricidal macrophages by supernatants of PPD-stimulated bacillus calmette-guerin immune spleen cell cultures. J. Immunol. 119:889-896, 1977.

Ruco, LP, Meltzer, MS: Defective tumoricidal capacity of macrophages from C3H/HeJ mice. J. Immunol. 120:329-334, 1978.

Ruco, LP, Meltzer, MS, Rosenstrich, DL: Macrophages activation for tumor cytotoxicity: control of macrophages tumoricidal capacity by the LPS gene. J. Immunol. 121:543-548, 1978.

Ruco, LP, Meltzer, MS: Macrophages activation for tumor cytotoxicity: dvelopment of macrophages cytotoxic activity requires completion of a sequence of short-lived intermediary reactions. J. Immunol. 121:2035-2042, 1978.

Meltzer, MS, Occhionero, M, Ruco, LP: Macrophages activation for tumor cytotoxicity: regulatory mechanisms for induction and control of cytotoxic activiy. Federation Proc. 41:2198-2205, 1982.

Uccini, S, Monardo, F, Ruco, LP, Baroni, CD, Faggioni, A, Aglianò, AM, Gradilone, A, Manzari, V, Vago, L, Costanzi, G, Carbone, A, Boiocchi, M, De Re, V: High frequency of EBV genome in Hodgkin's disease in HIV positive patients. Lancet 1: 1458, 1989.

Ruco, LP, Stoppacciaro, A, Pomponi, D, Boraschi, D, Santoni, A, Tagliabue, A, Uccini, S, Baroni, CD: Immunoreactivity for IL 1 beta and TNF alpha in human lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. Am. J. Pathol. 135: 889-897, 1989.

Ruco, LP, Pomponi, D, Pigott, R, Stoppacciaro, A, Monardo, F, Uccini, S, Boraschi, D, Tagliabue, A, Santoni, A, Dejana, E, Mantovani, A, Baroni, CD: Cytokine production (IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta and TNF alpha) and endothelial cell activation (ELAM and HLA-DR) in reactive lymphadenitis, Hodgkin's disease, and in non-Hodgkin's limphomas: an immunocytochemical study. Am. J. Pathol. 137: 1163-1171, 1990.

Ruco, LP, Pomponi, D, Pigott, R, Gearing, AJH, Baiocchini, A, Baroni, CD: Expression and cell distribution of the adhesion molecules ICAM-1, VCAM-1, ELAM-1 and EndoCAM (CD31) in reactive human lymph nodes and in Hodgkin's disease. Am. J. Pathol. 140: 1337-1344, 1992.

Mantovani, A, Bottazzi, B, Colotta, F, Sozzani, S Ruco, LP: The origin and function of tumor-associated macrophages. Immunol. Today 13: 265-270, 1992.

Ruco, LP, Paradiso, P, Pittiglio, M, Diodoro, MG, Gearing, AJH, Mainiero, F, Gismondi, A, Santoni, A, Baroni, CD: Tissue distribution of VLA/6 and VLA ligands in the normal thymus and in thymoma. Am. J. Pathol. 142: 765-772, 1993.

Ruco, LP, Pittiglio, R, Dejana, E, Baroni, CD: Vascular activation in the histopathogenesis of Hodgkin's disease: potential role of endothelial tissue in intra-vascular thrombosis and necrosis. J. pathol. 171: 131-136, 1993.

Ruco, LP, Ranalli, T, Marzullo, A, Bianco, P, Prat, M, Comoglio, MP, Baroni, CD: Expression of Met protein in thyroid tumors. J. Pathol. 180: 266-270, 1996.

Scarpino, S, Stoppacciaro, A, Colarossi, F, Marzullo, A, Marchesi, M, Biffoni, M, Prat, M, Comoglio, PM, Ruco, LP: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) stimulates tumor invasiveness in papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. J. Pathol. 189: 570-575, 1999.

Scarpino, S, Astoppacciaro, A, Ballarini, F, Colarossi, C, Marchesi, M, Prat, M, Stella, MC, Sozzani, S, Allavena, P, Mantovani, A, Ruco, LP: Papillary carcinoma of hte thyroid: hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) stimulates tumor cells to release chemokines active in recruiting dendritic cells. Am. J. Pathol. 156: 831-837, 2000.

Stassi, G, Di Liberto, D, Todaro, M, Zeuner, A, Ricci-Vitaini, L, Stoppacciaro, A, Ruco, LP, Farina, F, Zummo, G, De Maria, R: Control of target cell survival in thyroid and autoimmunity by helper cytokisen via regulation of apoptotic proteins. Nature Immunol 1: 483-488, 2000.

Rcu, LP, Stoppacciaro, A, Ballarini, F, Prat, M, Scarpino, S: Met protein and Hepatocyte Groewth Factor (HGF) in papillary carcinoma of the thyroid: Evidence for a pathogenetic role in tumourigenesis. Review. J. Pathol. 194: 4-8, 2001.

Scarpino, S, Cancellario D'Alena, F, Di Napoli, A, Marzullo, A, Ruco, LP: Papillary carcinoma of th thyroid: Increased expression of met protein is associated with upregulation of hipoxia inducicle factor-1 (HIF-1) in tumor cells. J. Pathol. 202: 352-358, 2004.

Petrocca, F, Visone, R, Onelli, MR, Shah, MH, Nicoloso, MS, De Martino, I, Iliopoulos, D, Pilozzi, E Liu, CG, Negrini, M, Cavazzini, L, Violinia, S, Alder H, Ruco, LP, Baldassarre, G, Croce, CM, Vecchione, A: E2F1- regulated microRNA impair TGFbeta-dependent cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in gastric cancer. Cancer Cell. 13: 272-286, 2008.

Scarpino, S, Duranti, E, Stoppacciaro, A, Pilozzi, E, Natoli, G, Sciacchitano, S, Lucani, E, Ruco, LP: COX-2 is induced by HGF stimulation in Met-positive thyroid papillary carcinoma cells and is involved in tumor invasiveness. J. Pathol. 218: 487-494, 2009.