Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 47 num. 12 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Use of conventional PCR and smear microscopy to diagnose pulmonary tuberculosis in the Amazonian rainforest area]]> The diagnostic usefulness of Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN)-stained sputum smears combined with conventional polymerase chain reaction (ZN/PCR) to amplify IS6110 region DNA extracted from ZN slides was evaluated. The objective was to verify if this association could improve tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in patients at remote sites. The study was carried out in 89 patients with culture-confirmed pulmonary TB as defined by the Brazilian Manual for TB Treatment. The participants were recruited in a reference unit for TB treatment in Rondônia, a state in the Amazonian area in northern Brazil. ZN, PCR, and culture performed in the sputum samples from these patients were analyzed in different combinations (i.e., ZN plus PCR and ZN plus culture). The prevalence rates of pulmonary TB in these patients were 32.6 and 28.1% considering culture and ZN/PCR, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of ZN/PCR were 86 and 93%, respectively. ZN/PCR was able to detect more TB cases than ZN alone. This method could offer a new approach for accurate tuberculosis diagnosis, especially in remote regions of the world where culture is not available. <![CDATA[DNA methylation regulates expression of VEGF-C, and S-adenosylmethionine is effective for VEGF-C methylation and for inhibiting cancer growth]]> DNA hypomethylation may activate oncogene transcription, thus promoting carcinogenesis and tumor development. S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is a methyl donor in numerous methylation reactions and acts as an inhibitor of intracellular demethylase activity, which results in hypermethylation of DNA. The main objectives of this study were to determine whether DNA hypomethylation correlated with vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression, and the effect of SAM on VEGF-C methylation and gastric cancer growth inhibition. VEGF-C expression was assayed by Western blotting and RT-qPCR in gastric cancer cells, and by immunohistochemistry in tumor xenografts. VEGF-C methylation was assayed by bisulfite DNA sequencing. The effect of SAM on cell apoptosis was assayed by flow cytometry analyses and its effect on cancer growth was assessed in nude mice. The VEGF-C promoters of MGC-803, BGC-823, and SGC-7901 gastric cancer cells, which normally express VEGF-C, were nearly unmethylated. After SAM treatment, the VEGF-C promoters in these cells were highly methylated and VEGF-C expression was downregulated. SAM also significantly inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. DNA methylation regulates expression of VEGF-C. SAM can effectively induce VEGF-C methylation, reduce the expression of VEGF-C, and inhibit tumor growth. SAM has potential as a drug therapy to silence oncogenes and block the progression of gastric cancer. <![CDATA[Stability of <em>XIST</em> repression in relation to genomic imprinting following global genome demethylation in a human cell line]]> DNA methylation is essential in X chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting, maintaining repression of XIST in the active X chromosome and monoallelic repression of imprinted genes. Disruption of the DNA methyltransferase genes DNMT1 and DNMT3B in the HCT116 cell line (DKO cells) leads to global DNA hypomethylation and biallelic expression of the imprinted gene IGF2 but does not lead to reactivation of XIST expression, suggesting that XIST repression is due to a more stable epigenetic mark than imprinting. To test this hypothesis, we induced acute hypomethylation in HCT116 cells by 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR) treatment (HCT116-5-aza-CdR) and compared that to DKO cells, evaluating DNA methylation by microarray and monitoring the expression of XIST and imprinted genes IGF2, H19, and PEG10. Whereas imprinted genes showed biallelic expression in HCT116-5-aza-CdR and DKO cells, the XIST locus was hypomethylated and weakly expressed only under acute hypomethylation conditions, indicating the importance of XIST repression in the active X to cell survival. Given that DNMT3A is the only active DNMT in DKO cells, it may be responsible for ensuring the repression of XIST in those cells. Taken together, our data suggest that XIST repression is more tightly controlled than genomic imprinting and, at least in part, is due to DNMT3A. <![CDATA[Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptor (RAGE) induce apoptosis of periodontal ligament fibroblasts]]> Diabetics have an increased prevalence of periodontitis, and diabetes is one of the causative factors of severe periodontitis. Apoptosis is thought to be involved in this pathogenic relationship. The aim of this study was to investigate apoptosis in human periodontal ligament (PDL) fibroblasts induced by advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptor (RAGE). We examined the roles of apoptosis, AGEs, and RAGE during periodontitis in diabetes mellitus using cultured PDL fibroblasts that were treated by AGE-modified bovine serum albumin (AGE-BSA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) alone, or given no treatment (control). Microscopy and real-time quantitative PCR indicated that PDL fibroblasts treated with AGE-BSA were deformed and expressed higher levels of RAGE and caspase 3. Cell viability assays and flow cytometry indicated that AGE-BSA reduced cell viability (69.80±5.50%, P&lt;0.01) and increased apoptosis (11.31±1.73%, P&lt;0.05). Hoechst 33258 staining and terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling revealed that AGE-BSA significantly increased apoptosis of PDL fibroblasts. The results showed that the changes in PDL fibroblasts induced by AGE-BSA may explain how AGE-RAGE participates in and exacerbates periodontium destruction. <![CDATA[Targeting <em>PPM1D</em> by lentivirus-mediated RNA interference inhibits the tumorigenicity of bladder cancer cells]]> Protein phosphatase magnesium/manganese-dependent 1D (PPM1D) is a p53-induced phosphatase that functions as a negative regulator of stress response pathways and has oncogenic properties. However, the functional role of PPM1D in bladder cancer (BC) remains largely unknown. In the present study, lentivirus vectors carrying small hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting PPM1D were used to explore the effects of PPM1D knockdown on BC cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. shRNA-mediated knockdown of PPM1D significantly inhibited cell growth and colony forming ability in the BC cell lines 5637 and T24. Flow cytometric analysis showed that PPM1D silencing increased the proportion of cells in the G0/G1 phase. Downregulation of PPM1D also inhibited 5637 cell tumorigenicity in nude mice. The results of the present study suggest that PPM1D plays a potentially important role in BC tumorigenicity, and lentivirus-mediated delivery of shRNA against PPM1D might be a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of BC. <![CDATA[Possible roles of COX-1 in learning and memory impairment induced by traumatic brain injury in mice]]> People who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) often experience cognitive deficits in spatial reference and working memory. The possible roles of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) in learning and memory impairment in mice with TBI are far from well known. Adult mice subjected to TBI were treated with the COX-1 selective inhibitor SC560. Performance in the open field and on the beam walk was then used to assess motor and behavioral function 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 days following injury. Acquisition of spatial learning and memory retention was assessed using the Morris water maze on day 15 post-TBI. The expressions of COX-1, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), interleukin (IL)-6, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB), synapsin-I, and synaptophysin were detected in TBI mice. Administration of SC560 improved performance of beam walk tasks as well as spatial learning and memory after TBI. SC560 also reduced expressions of inflammatory markers IL-6 and PGE2, and reversed the expressions of COX-1, BDNF, PDGF-BB, synapsin-I, and synaptophysin in TBI mice. The present findings demonstrated that COX-1 might play an important role in cognitive deficits after TBI and that selective COX-1 inhibition should be further investigated as a potential therapeutic approach for TBI. <![CDATA[Acute stress-induced antinociception is cGMP-dependent but heme oxygenase-independent]]> Endogenous carbon monoxide (CO), which is produced by the enzyme heme oxygenase (HO), participates as a neuromodulator in physiological processes such as thermoregulation and nociception by stimulating the formation of 3′,5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). In particular, the acute physical restraint-induced fever of rats can be blocked by inhibiting the enzyme HO. A previous study reported that the HO-CO-cGMP pathway plays a key phasic antinociceptive role in modulating noninflammatory acute pain. Thus, this study evaluated the involvement of the HO-CO-cGMP pathway in antinociception induced by acute stress in male Wistar rats (250-300 g; n=8/group) using the analgesia index (AI) in the tail flick test. The results showed that antinociception induced by acute stress was not dependent on the HO-CO-cGMP pathway, as neither treatment with the HO inhibitor ZnDBPG nor heme-lysinate altered the AI. However, antinociception was dependent on cGMP activity because pretreatment with the guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4] oxadiazolo [4,3-a] quinoxaline-1-one (ODQ) blocked the increase in the AI induced by acute stress. <![CDATA[Propofol pretreatment attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in rats by activating the phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt pathway]]> The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of propofol pretreatment on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury (ALI) and the role of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) pathway in this procedure. Survival was determined 48 h after LPS injection. At 1 h after LPS challenge, the lung wet- to dry-weight ratio was examined, and concentrations of protein, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were determined using the bicinchoninic acid method or ELISA. Lung injury was assayed via lung histological examination. PI3K and p-Akt expression levels in the lung tissue were determined by Western blotting. Propofol pretreatment prolonged survival, decreased the concentrations of protein, TNF-α, and IL-6 in BALF, attenuated ALI, and increased PI3K and p-Akt expression in the lung tissue of LPS-challenged rats, whereas treatment with wortmannin, a PI3K/Akt pathway specific inhibitor, blunted this effect. Our study indicates that propofol pretreatment attenuated LPS-induced ALI, partly by activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. <![CDATA[Modulatory effects of taurine on jejunal contractility]]> Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is widely distributed in animal tissues and has diverse pharmacological effects. However, the role of taurine in modulating smooth muscle contractility is still controversial. We propose that taurine (5-80 mM) can exert bidirectional modulation on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments. Different low and high contractile states were induced in isolated jejunal segments of rats to observe the effects of taurine and the associated mechanisms. Taurine induced stimulatory effects on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments at 3 different low contractile states, and inhibitory effects at 3 different high contractile states. Bidirectional modulation was not observed in the presence of verapamil or tetrodotoxin, suggesting that taurine-induced bidirectional modulation is Ca2+ dependent and requires the presence of the enteric nervous system. The stimulatory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments was blocked by atropine but not by diphenhydramine or by cimetidine, suggesting that muscarinic-linked activation was involved in the stimulatory effects when isolated jejunal segments were in a low contractile state. The inhibitory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments were blocked by propranolol and L-NG-nitroarginine but not by phentolamine, suggesting that adrenergic β receptors and a nitric oxide relaxing mechanism were involved when isolated jejunal segments were in high contractile states. No bidirectional effects of taurine on myosin phosphorylation were observed. The contractile states of jejunal segments determine taurine-induced stimulatory or inhibitory effects, which are associated with muscarinic receptors and adrenergic β receptors, and a nitric oxide associated relaxing mechanism. <![CDATA[Role of high mobility group box-1 and protection of growth hormone and somatostatin in severe acute pancreatitis]]> In this study, we investigated the potential role of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) in severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) and the effects of growth hormone (G) and somatostatin (S) in SAP rats. The rats were randomly divided into 6 groups of 20 each: sham-operated, SAP, SAP+saline, SAP+G, SAP+S and SAP+G+S. Ileum and pancreas tissues of rats in each group were evaluated histologically. HMGB1 mRNA expression was measured by reverse transcription-PCR. Levels of circulating TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and endotoxin were also measured. In the SAP group, interstitial congestion and edema, inflammatory cell infiltration, and interstitial hemorrhage occurred in ileum and pancreas tissues. The levels of HMGB1, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6 and endotoxin were significantly up-regulated in the SAP group compared with those in the sham-operated group, and the 7-day survival rate was 0%. In the SAP+G and SAP+S groups, the inflammatory response of the morphological structures was alleviated, the levels of HMGB1, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and endotoxin were significantly decreased compared with those in the SAP group, and the survival rate was increased. Moreover, in the SAP+G+S group, all histological scores were significantly improved and the survival rate was significantly higher compared with the SAP group. In conclusion, HMGB1 might participate in pancreas and ileum injury in SAP. Growth hormone and somatostatin might play a therapeutic role in the inflammatory response of SAP. <![CDATA[Factors associated with <em>Clostridium difficile</em> diarrhea in a hospital in Beijing, China]]> Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea in patients treated with antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents, and other drugs that alter the normal equilibrium of the intestinal flora. A better understanding of the risk factors for C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD) could be used to reduce the incidence of CDAD and the costs associated with its treatment. The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors for CDAD in a cohort of Chinese patients in a Beijing hospital. Medical charts of a total of 130 inpatients (62 males and 68 females) with hospital-acquired diarrhea (45 with CDAD; 85 without CDAD) were retrospectively reviewed. C. difficile toxins A and B were detected in fecal samples using enzyme-linked fluorescence assays. The drugs used by patients with and without CDAD before the onset of diarrhea were compared. Factors that differed significantly between the two groups by univariate analysis were analyzed by multivariate analysis using a logistic regression model. Multivariate analysis showed that cephalosporin treatment was associated with a significantly higher risk of CDAD in hospitalized patients, while treatment with glycopeptides was significantly associated with a reduction in CDAD (P&lt;0.001 for cephalosporin; P=0.013 for glycopeptides). Our data confirmed previous findings that empirical treatment with cephalosporins is positively associated with CDAD compared to individuals using other CDAD-related drugs. Additionally, we showed that treatment with glycopeptides was negatively associated with CDAD, compared to individuals using other CDAD-related drugs. <![CDATA[Changes in epidemiology of rotavirus in the Tri├óngulo Mineiro region of Brazil: lack of two consecutive rotavirus seasons]]> Rotaviruses are the main cause of infantile acute diarrhea, and a monovalent (G1P[8]) vaccine against the virus was introduced into the Brazilian National Immunization Program for all infants in March 2006. The objectives of this study were to determine the rate and genotype distribution of rotavirus causing infantile diarrhea in the Triângulo Mineiro region of Brazil during 2011-2012 and to assess the impact of local vaccination. Fecal specimens were analyzed for detection and characterization of rotavirus using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, reverse transcription followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and PCR-genotyping assays. Overall, rotavirus was diagnosed in 1.7% (6/348) of cases. Rotavirus positivity rates decreased 88% [95% confidence intervals (CI)=15.2, 98.3%; P=0.026] in 2011 and 78% (95%CI=30.6, 93.0%; P=0.007) in 2012 when compared with available data for baseline years (2005/2006) in Uberaba. In Uberlândia, reductions of 95.3% (95%CI=66.0, 99.4%; P=0.002) in 2011, and 94.2% (95%CI=56.4, 99.2%; P=0.004) in 2012 were also observed compared with data for 2008. The circulation of rotavirus G2P[4] strains decreased during the period under study, and strains related to the P[8] genotype reemerged in the region. This study showed a marked and sustained reduction of rotavirus-related cases, with a lack of rotavirus in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, suggesting a positive impact of the vaccination program. <![CDATA[A combination of STI571 and BCR-ABL1 siRNA with overexpressed p15INK4B induced enhanced proliferation inhibition and apoptosis in chronic myeloid leukemia]]> p15INK4B, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, has been recognized as a tumor suppressor. Loss of or methylation of the p15INK4B gene in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells enhances myeloid progenitor formation from common myeloid progenitors. Therefore, we examined the effects of overexpressed p15INK4B on proliferation and apoptosis of CML cells. Overexpression of p15INK4B inhibited the growth of K562 cells by downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) and cyclin D1 expression. Overexpression of p15INK4B also induced apoptosis of K562 cells by upregulating Bax expression and downregulating Bcl-2 expression. Overexpression of p15INK4B together with STI571 (imatinib) or BCR-ABL1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) also enhanced growth inhibition and apoptosis induction of K562 cells. The enhanced effect was also mediated by reduction of cyclin D1 and CDK4 and regulation of Bax and Bcl-2. In conclusion, our study may provide new insights into the role of p15INK4B in CML and a potential therapeutic target for overcoming tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance in CML. <![CDATA[Psoriasis severity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function: results from the CALIPSO study]]> Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that significantly impacts life quality, being associated with stress and mental disorders. We investigated whether the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was associated with psoriasis severity, daily life stress and anxiety, and depressive symptoms. In this ancillary study, which was part of the CALIPSO (coronary artery calcium in psoriasis) study, saliva was collected from 102 patients with psoriasis immediately upon awakening, 30, and 60 min after awakening, at 2:00 pm and at bedtime (five time points) to determine salivary cortisol levels. We used Pearson's correlation coefficient to evaluate the association of clinical and psychopathological variables with HPA activity. We found a direct correlation between bedtime cortisol and psoriasis severity evaluated by the psoriasis area severity index (PASI; r=0.39, P&lt;0.001). No correlations between other clinical and psychopathological variables or with other cortisol assessments were observed. The findings indicated that HPA dysfunction may be present in psoriasis, as bedtime cortisol was correlated with psoriasis severity. Our study is limited by the lack of a control group; therefore, we were not able to explore whether these cortisol values were different compared with a concurrent, healthy sample.