Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 49 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Hormonal therapy with estradiol and drospirenone improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the coronary bed of ovariectomized spontaneously hypertensive rats]]> Drospirenone (DRSP) is a progestin with anti-aldosterone properties and it reduces blood pressure in hypertensive women. However, the effects of DRSP on endothelium-dependent coronary vasodilation have not been evaluated. This study investigated the effects of combined therapy with estrogen (E2) and DRSP on endothelium-dependent vasodilation of the coronary bed of ovariectomized (OVX) spontaneously hypertensive rats. Female spontaneously hypertensive rats (n=87) at 12 weeks of age were randomly divided into sham operated (Sham), OVX, OVX treated with E2 (E2), and OVX treated with E2 and DRSP (E2+DRSP) groups. Hemodynamic parameters were directly evaluated by catheter insertion into the femoral artery. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation in response to bradykinin in the coronary arterial bed was assessed using isolated hearts according to a modified Langendorff method. Coronary protein expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α) was assessed by Western blotting. Histological slices of coronary arteries were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and morphometric parameters were analyzed. Oxidative stress was assessed in situ by dihydroethidium fluorescence. Ovariectomy increased systolic blood pressure, which was only prevented by E2+DRSP treatment. Estrogen deficiency caused endothelial dysfunction, which was prevented by both treatments. However, the vasodilator response in the E2+DRSP group was significantly higher at the three highest concentrations compared with the OVX group. Reduced ER-α expression in OVX rats was restored by both treatments. Morphometric parameters and oxidative stress were augmented by OVX and reduced by E2 and E2+DRSP treatments. Hormonal therapy with E2 and DRSP may be an important therapeutic option in the prevention of coronary heart disease in hypertensive post-menopausal women. <![CDATA[Negative emotions affect postoperative scores for evaluating functional knee recovery and quality of life after total knee replacement]]> This study aimed to determine whether psychological factors affect health-related quality of life (HRQL) and recovery of knee function in total knee replacement (TKR) patients. A total of 119 TKR patients (male: 38; female: 81) completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-revised (EPQR-S), Knee Society Score (KSS), and HRQL (SF-36). At 1 and 6 months after surgery, anxiety, depression, and KSS scores in TKR patients were significantly better compared with those preoperatively (P&lt;0.05). SF-36 scores at the sixth month after surgery were significantly improved compared with preoperative scores (P&lt;0.001). Preoperative Physical Component Summary Scale (PCS) and Mental Component Summary Scale (MCS) scores were negatively associated with extraversion (E score) (B=-0.986 and -0.967, respectively, both P&lt;0.05). Postoperative PCS and State Anxiety Inventory (SAI) scores were negatively associated with neuroticism (N score; B=-0.137 and -0.991, respectively, both P&lt;0.05). Postoperative MCS, SAI, Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI), and BAI scores were also negatively associated with the N score (B=-0.367, -0.107, -0.281, and -0.851, respectively, all P&lt;0.05). The KSS function score at the sixth month after surgery was negatively associated with TAI and N scores (B=-0.315 and -0.532, respectively, both P&lt;0.05), but positively associated with the E score (B=0.215, P&lt;0.05). The postoperative KSS joint score was positively associated with postoperative PCS (B=0.356, P&lt;0.05). In conclusion, for TKR patients, the scores used for evaluating recovery of knee function and HRQL after 6 months are inversely associated with the presence of negative emotions. <![CDATA[Microglia and neurons in the hippocampus of migratory sandpipers]]> The semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla and the spotted sandpiper Actitis macularia are long- and short-distance migrants, respectively. C. pusilla breeds in the sub-arctic and mid-arctic tundra of Canada and Alaska and winters on the north and east coasts of South America. A. macularia breeds in a broad distribution across most of North America from the treeline to the southern United States. It winters in the southern United States, and Central and South America. The autumn migration route of C. pusilla includes a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean, whereas autumn route of A. macularia is largely over land. Because of this difference in their migratory paths and the visuo-spatial recognition tasks involved, we hypothesized that hippocampal volume and neuronal and glial numbers would differ between these two species. A. macularia did not differ from C. pusilla in the total number of hippocampal neurons, but the species had a larger hippocampal formation and more hippocampal microglia. It remains to be investigated whether these differences indicate interspecies differences or neural specializations associated with different strategies of orientation and navigation. <![CDATA[Diabetes mellitus affects the biomechanical function of the callus and the expression of TGF-beta1 and BMP2 in an early stage of fracture healing]]> Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) are important regulators of bone repair and regeneration. In this study, we examined whether TGF-β1 and BMP-2 expressions were delayed during bone healing in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Tibial fractures were created in 95 diabetic and 95 control adult male Wistar rats of 10 weeks of age. At 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks after fracture induction, five rats were sacrificed from each group. The expressions of TGF-β1 and BMP2 in the fractured tibias were measured by immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, weekly for the first 5 weeks post-fracture. Mechanical parameters (bending rigidity, torsional rigidity, destruction torque) of the healing bones were also assessed at 3, 4, and 5 weeks post-fracture, after the rats were sacrificed. The bending rigidity, torsional rigidity and destruction torque of the two groups increased continuously during the healing process. The diabetes group had lower mean values for bending rigidity, torsional rigidity and destruction torque compared with the control group (P&lt;0.05). TGF-β1 and BMP-2 expression were significantly lower (P&lt;0.05) in the control group than in the diabetes group at postoperative weeks 1, 2, and 3. Peak levels of TGF-β1 and BMP-2 expression were delayed by 1 week in the diabetes group compared with the control group. Our results demonstrate that there was a delayed recovery in the biomechanical function of the fractured bones in diabetic rats. This delay may be associated with a delayed expression of the growth factors TGF-β1 and BMP-2. <![CDATA[Overexpression of myeloid differentiation protein 88 in mice induces mild cardiac dysfunction, but no deficit in heart morphology]]> Cardiac remodeling involves changes in heart shape, size, structure, and function after injury to the myocardium. The proinflammatory adaptor protein myeloid differentiation protein 88 (MyD88) contributes to cardiac remodeling. To investigate whether excessive MyD88 levels initiate spontaneous cardiac remodeling at the whole-organism level, we generated a transgenic MyD88 mouse model with a cardiac-specific promoter. MyD88 mice (male, 20-30 g, n=∼80) were born at the expected Mendelian ratio and demonstrated similar morphology of the heart and cardiomyocytes with that of wild-type controls. Although heart weight was unaffected, cardiac contractility of MyD88 hearts was mildly reduced, as shown by echocardiographic examination, compared with wild-type controls. Moreover, the cardiac dysfunction phenotype was associated with elevation of ANF and BNP expression. Collectively, our data provide novel evidence of the critical role of balanced MyD88 signaling in maintaining physiological function in the adult heart. <![CDATA[Concomitant stress potentiates the preference for, and consumption of, ethanol induced by chronic pre-exposure to ethanol]]> Ethanol abuse is linked to several acute and chronic injuries that can lead to health problems. Ethanol addiction is one of the most severe diseases linked to the abuse of this drug. Symptoms of ethanol addiction include compulsive substance intake and withdrawal syndrome. Stress exposure has an important role in addictive behavior for many drugs of abuse (including ethanol), but the consequences of stress and ethanol in the organism when these factors are concomitant results in a complex interaction. We investigated the effects of concomitant, chronic administration of ethanol and stress exposure on the withdrawal and consumption of, as well as the preference for, ethanol in mice. Male Swiss mice (30–35 g, 8-10 per group) were exposed to an ethanol liquid diet as the only source of food for 15 days. In the final 5 days, they were exposed to forced swimming stress. Twelve hours after removal of the ethanol liquid diet, animals were evaluated for ethanol withdrawal by measuring anxiety-related behaviors and locomotor activity. Twenty-four hours after evaluation of ethanol withdrawal, they were evaluated for voluntary consumption of ethanol in a “three-bottle choice” paradigm. Mice exposed to chronic consumption of ethanol had decreased locomotor activity during withdrawal. Contrary to our expectations, a concomitant forced swimming stress did not aggravate ethanol withdrawal. Nevertheless, simultaneous ethanol administration and stress exposure increased voluntary consumption of ethanol, mainly solutions containing high concentrations of ethanol. These results showed that stressful situations during ethanol intake may aggravate specific addiction-related behaviors. <![CDATA[Effect of (+)-dehydrofukinone on GABA<sub>A</sub> receptors and stress response in fish model]]> (+)-Dehydrofukinone (DHF) is a major component of the essential oil of Nectandra grandiflora (Lauraceae), and exerts a depressant effect on the central nervous system of fish. However, the neuronal mechanism underlying DHF action remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the action of DHF on GABAA receptors using a silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) model. Additionally, we investigated the effect of DHF exposure on stress-induced cortisol modulation. Chemical identification was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and purity was evaluated using gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. To an aquarium, we applied between 2.5 and 50 mg/L DHF diluted in ethanol, in combination with 42.7 mg/L diazepam. DHF within the range of 10-20 mg/L acted collaboratively in combination with diazepam, but the sedative action of DHF was reversed by 3 mg/L flumazenil. Additionally, fish exposed for 24 h to 2.5-20 mg/L DHF showed no side effects and there was sustained sedation during the first 12 h of drug exposure with 10-20 mg/L DHF. DHF pretreatment did not increase plasma cortisol levels in fish subjected to a stress protocol. Moreover, the stress-induced cortisol peak was absent following pretreatment with 20 mg/L DHF. DHF proved to be a relatively safe sedative or anesthetic, which interacts with GABAergic and cortisol pathways in fish. <![CDATA[Poor sleep in middle-aged women is not associated with menopause <em>per se</em>]]> Whether sleep problems of menopausal women are associated with vasomotor symptoms and/or changes in estrogen levels associated with menopause or age-related changes in sleep architecture is unclear. This study aimed to determine if poor sleep in middle-aged women is correlated with menopause. This study recruited women seeking care for the first time at the menopause outpatient department of our hospital. Inclusion criteria were an age ≥40 years, not taking any medications for menopausal symptoms, and no sleeping problems or depression. Patients were assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), modified Kupperman Index (KI), and Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). A PSQI score of &lt;7 indicated no sleep disorder and ≥7 indicated a sleep disorder. Blood specimens were analyzed for follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol levels. A total of 244 women were included in the study; 103 (42.2%) were identified as having a sleep disorder and 141 as not having one. In addition, 156 (64%) women were postmenopausal and 88 (36%) were not menopausal. Follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol levels were similar between the groups. Patients with a sleep disorder had a significantly higher total modified KI score and total MRS score (both, P&lt;0.001) compared with those without a sleep disorder. Correlations of the PSQI total score with the KI and MRS were similar in menopausal and non-menopausal women. These results do not support that menopause per se specifically contributes to sleep problems. <![CDATA[Assessment of indicators of vitamin A status in non-cirrhotic chronic hepatitis C patients]]> Subjects with chronic liver disease are susceptible to hypovitaminosis A due to several factors. Therefore, identifying patients with vitamin deficiency and a requirement for vitamin supplementation is important. Most studies assessing vitamin A in the context of hepatic disorders are conducted using cirrhotic patients. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 43 non-cirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis C to evaluate markers of vitamin A status represented by serum retinol, liver retinol, and serum retinol-binding protein levels. We also performed the relative dose-response test, which provides an indirect estimate of hepatic vitamin A reserves. These vitamin A indicators were assessed according to the stage of liver fibrosis using the METAVIR score and the body mass index. The sample study was predominantly composed of male subjects (63%) with mild liver fibrosis (F1). The relative dose-response test was &lt;20% in all subjects, indicating vitamin A sufficiency. Overweight or obese patients had higher serum retinol levels than those with a normal body mass index (2.6 and 1.9 µmol/L, respectively; P&lt;0.01). Subjects with moderate liver fibrosis (F2) showed lower levels of serum retinol (1.9 vs 2.5 µmol/L, P=0.01) and retinol-binding protein levels compared with those with mild fibrosis (F1) (46.3 vs 67.7 µg/mL, P&lt;0.01). These results suggested an effect of being overweight on serum retinol levels. Furthermore, more advanced stages of liver fibrosis were related to a decrease in serum vitamin A levels. <![CDATA[Is a contrast study really necessary prior to ureteroscopy?]]> This study aimed to evaluate the effect of preoperative imaging techniques on the success and complication rates of ureteroscopy. We performed a retrospective analysis of 736 patients (455 males and 281 females), with a mean age of 45.5±15.2 years (range, 1-88 years), who underwent rigid ureteroscopic procedures for removal of ureteral stones. Patients were divided into 4 groups according to the type of imaging modality used: group I, intravenous urography (n=116); group II, computed tomography (n=381); group III, computed tomography and intravenous urography (n=91), and group IV, ultrasonography and abdominal plain film (n=148). Patients’ demographics, stone size and location, prior shock wave lithotripsy, lithotripsy technique, operation time, success rate, and rate of intraoperative complications were compared among the groups. There were no significant differences in success and complication rates among the groups. The stone-free rate after primary ureteroscopy was 87.1% in group I, 88.2% in group II, 96.7% in group III, and 89.9% in group IV (P=0.093). The overall incidence of intraoperative complications was 11.8%. According to the modified Satava classification system, 6.1% of patients had grade 1, 5.1% had grade 2, and 0.54% had grade 3 complications. Intraoperative complications developed in 12.1% of patients in group I, 12.6% of patients in group II, 7.7% of patients in group III, and 12.2% of patients in group IV (P=0.625). Our findings clearly demonstrate that ureteroscopic treatment of ureteral stones can be safely and effectively performed with no use of contrast study imaging, except in doubtful cases of anatomical abnormalities. <![CDATA[Assessment of the diagnostic value of diffusion tensor imaging in patients with spinal cord compression: a meta-analysis]]> We investigated the diagnostic value of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) of magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in patients with spinal cord compression (SCC) using a meta-analysis framework. Multiple scientific literature databases were exhaustively searched to identify articles relevant to this study. Mean values and standardized mean differences (SMDs) were calculated for the ADC and FA in normal and diseased tissues. The STATA version 12.0 software was used for statistical analysis. Of the 41 articles initially retrieved through database searches, 11 case-control studies were eligible for the meta-analysis and contained a combined total of 645 human subjects (394 patients with SCC and 251 healthy controls). All 11 studies reported data on FA, and 9 contained data related to the ADC. The combined SMDs of the ADC and FA showed that the ADC was significantly higher and the FA was lower in patients with SCC than in healthy controls. Subgroup analysis based on the b value showed higher ADCs in patients with SCC than in healthy controls at b values of both ≤500 and &gt;500 s/mm2. In summary, the main findings of this meta-analysis revealed an increased ADC and decreased FA in patients with SCC, indicating that DTI is an important diagnostic imaging tool to assess patients suspected to have SCC. <![CDATA[Personality traits and psychiatric comorbidities in alcohol dependence]]> Non-adaptive personality traits may constitute risk factors for development of psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. We aim to evaluate associations and the predictive value of personality traits among alcohol-dependent individuals, with or without psychiatric comorbidities. The convenience sample comprised two groups of males over 18 years of age: one with subjects who had an alcohol dependence diagnosis (AG, n=110), and a control group without abuse and/or alcohol dependence diagnosis (CG, n=110). The groups were assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview DSM-IV (SCID-IV). AG participants were recruited among outpatients from the university hospital, whereas CG participants were recruited from a primary healthcare program. Data collection was done individually with self-assessment instruments. Parametric statistics were performed, and a significance level of P=0.05 was adopted. A positive correlation was observed between openness and the length of time that alcohol has been consumed, as were significant and negative correlations between conscientiousness and both the length of time alcohol has been consumed and the number of doses. For alcoholics, extraversion emerged as a protective factor against depression development (P=0.008) and tobacco abuse (P=0.007), whereas openness worked as a protective factor against anxiety (P=0.02). The findings point to specific deficits presented by alcoholics in relation to personality traits with or without psychiatric comorbidities and to the understanding that therapeutic approaches should favor procedures and/or preventive measures that allow more refined awareness about the disorder. <![CDATA[Prognostic effect of high-flux hemodialysis in patients with chronic kidney disease]]> We investigated the prognostic effects of high-flux hemodialysis (HFHD) and low-flux hemodialysis (LFHD) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Both an electronic and a manual search were performed based on our rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria to retrieve high-quality, relevant clinical studies from various scientific literature databases. Comprehensive meta-analysis 2.0 (CMA 2.0) was used for the quantitative analysis. We initially retrieved 227 studies from the database search. Following a multi-step screening process, eight high-quality studies were selected for our meta-analysis. These eight studies included 4967 patients with CKD (2416 patients in the HFHD group, 2551 patients in the LFHD group). The results of our meta-analysis showed that the all-cause death rate in the HFHD group was significantly lower than that in the LFHD group (OR=0.704, 95%CI=0.533-0.929, P=0.013). Additionally, the cardiovascular death rate in the HFHD group was significantly lower than that in the LFHD group (OR=0.731, 95%CI=0.616-0.866, P&lt;0.001). The results of this meta-analysis clearly showed that HFHD decreases all-cause death and cardiovascular death rates in patients with CKD and that HFHD can therefore be implemented as one of the first therapy choices for CKD.