Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 48 num. 5 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Chronic kidney disease in disadvantaged populations]]> The increased burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in disadvantaged populations is due to both global factors and population-specific issues. Low socioeconomic status and poor access to care contribute to health care disparities and exacerbate the negative effects of genetic or biological predisposition. Provision of appropriate renal care to these populations requires a two-pronged approach: expanding the reach of dialysis through development of low-cost alternatives that can be practiced in remote locations, and implementation and evaluation of cost-effective prevention strategies. Kidney transplantation should be promoted by expansion of deceased donor transplant programs and use of inexpensive, generic immunosuppressive drugs. The message of World Kidney Day 2015 is that a concerted attack against the diseases that lead to end-stage renal disease, by increasing community outreach, better education, improved economic opportunity, and access to preventive medicine for those at highest risk, could end the unacceptable relationship between CKD and disadvantage in these communities. <![CDATA[Cell cycle synchronization and BrdU incorporation as a tool to study the possible selective elimination of <em>ErbB1</em> gene in the micronuclei in A549 cells]]> Lung cancer often exhibits molecular changes, such as the overexpression of the ErbB1 gene that encodes epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). ErbB1 amplification and mutation are associated with tumor aggressiveness and low response to therapy. The aim of the present study was to design a schedule to synchronize the cell cycle of A549 cell line (a non-small cell lung cancer) and to analyze the possible association between the micronuclei (MNs) and the extrusion of ErbB1 gene extra-copies. After double blocking, by the process of fetal bovine serum deprivation and vincristine treatment, MNs formation was monitored with 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, which is an S-phase marker. Statistical analyses allowed us to infer that MNs may arise both in mitosis as well as in interphase. The MNs were able to replicate their DNA and this process seemed to be non-synchronous with the main cell nuclei. The presence of ErbB1 gene in the MNs was evaluated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). ErbB1 sequences were detected in the MNs, but a relation between the MNs formation and extrusion of amplified ErbB1could not be established. The present study sought to elucidate the meaning of MNs formation and its association with the elimination of oncogenes or other amplified sequences from the tumor cells. <![CDATA[Manipulation of a quasi-natural cell block for high-efficiency transplantation of adherent somatic cells]]> Recent advances have raised hope that transplantation of adherent somatic cells could provide dramatic new therapies for various diseases. However, current methods for transplanting adherent somatic cells are not efficient enough for therapeutic applications. Here, we report the development of a novel method to generate quasi-natural cell blocks for high-efficiency transplantation of adherent somatic cells. The blocks were created by providing a unique environment in which cultured cells generated their own extracellular matrix. Initially, stromal cells isolated from mice were expanded in vitro in liquid cell culture medium followed by transferring the cells into a hydrogel shell. After incubation for 1 day with mechanical agitation, the encapsulated cell mass was perforated with a thin needle and then incubated for an additional 6 days to form a quasi-natural cell block. Allograft transplantation of the cell block into C57BL/6 mice resulted in perfect adaptation of the allograft and complete integration into the tissue of the recipient. This method could be widely applied for repairing damaged cells or tissues, stem cell transplantation, ex vivo gene therapy, or plastic surgery. <![CDATA[Propofol inhibits burn injury-induced hyperpermeability through an apoptotic signal pathway in microvascular endothelial cells]]> Recent studies have revealed that an intrinsic apoptotic signaling cascade is involved in vascular hyperpermeability and endothelial barrier dysfunction. Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) has also been reported to inhibit apoptotic signaling by regulating mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening and caspase-3 activation. Here, we investigated whether propofol could alleviate burn serum-induced endothelial hyperpermeability through the inhibition of the intrinsic apoptotic signaling cascade. Rat lung microvascular endothelial cells (RLMVECs) were pretreated with propofol at various concentrations, followed by stimulation with burn serum, obtained from burn-injury rats. Monolayer permeability was determined by transendothelial electrical resistance. Mitochondrial release of cytochrome C was measured by ELISA. Bax and Bcl-2 expression and mitochondrial release of second mitochondrial-derived activator of caspases (smac) were detected by Western blotting. Caspase-3 activity was assessed by fluorometric assay; mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) was determined with JC-1 (a potential-sensitive fluorescent dye). Intracellular ATP content was assayed using a commercial kit, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured by dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA). Burn serum significantly increased monolayer permeability (P&lt;0.05), and this effect could be inhibited by propofol (P&lt;0.05). Compared with a sham treatment group, intrinsic apoptotic signaling activation - indicated by Bax overexpression, Bcl-2 downregulation, Δψm reduction, decreased intracellular ATP level, increased cytosolic cytochrome C and smac, and caspase-3 activation - was observed in the vehicle group. Propofol not only attenuated these alterations (P&lt;0.05 for all), but also significantly decreased burn-induced ROS production (P&lt;0.05). Propofol attenuated burn-induced RLMVEC monolayer hyperpermeability by regulating the intrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway. <![CDATA[Sorafenib prevents liver fibrosis in a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) rodent model]]> Liver fibrosis occurring as an outcome of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can precede the development of cirrhosis. We investigated the effects of sorafenib in preventing liver fibrosis in a rodent model of NASH. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a choline-deficient high-fat diet and exposed to diethylnitrosamine for 6 weeks. The NASH group (n=10) received vehicle and the sorafenib group (n=10) received 2.5 mg·kg-1·day-1 by gavage. A control group (n=4) received only standard diet and vehicle. Following treatment, animals were sacrificed and liver tissue was collected for histologic examination, mRNA isolation, and analysis of mitochondrial function. Genes related to fibrosis (MMP9, TIMP1, TIMP2), oxidative stress (HSP60, HSP90, GST), and mitochondrial biogenesis (PGC1α) were evaluated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Liver mitochondrial oxidation activity was measured by a polarographic method, and cytokines by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Sorafenib treatment restored mitochondrial function and reduced collagen deposition by nearly 63% compared to the NASH group. Sorafenib upregulated PGC1α and MMP9 and reduced TIMP1 and TIMP2 mRNA and IL-6 and IL-10 protein expression. There were no differences in HSP60, HSP90 and GST expression. Sorafenib modulated PGC1α expression, improved mitochondrial respiration and prevented collagen deposition. It may, therefore, be useful in the treatment of liver fibrosis in NASH. <![CDATA[Abundant immunohistochemical expression of dopamine D<sub>2</sub> receptor and p53 protein in meningiomas: follow-up, relation to gender, age, tumor grade, and recurrence]]> Meningiomas are common, usually benign tumors, with a high postoperative recurrence rate. However, the genesis and development of these tumors remain controversial. We aimed to investigate the presence and implications of a mutated p53 protein and dopamine D2 receptor in a representative series of meningiomas and to correlate these findings with age, gender, tumor grade, and recurrence. Tumor tissue samples of 157 patients diagnosed with meningioma (37 males and 120 females, mean age 53.6±14.3 years) who underwent surgical resection between 2003 and 2012 at our institution were immunohistochemically evaluated for the presence of p53 protein and dopamine D2 receptor and were followed-up to analyze tumor recurrence or regrowth. Tumors were classified as grades I (n=141, 89.8%), II (n=13, 8.3%), or grade III (n=3, 1.9%). Dopamine D2 receptor and p53 protein expression were positive in 93.6% and 49.7% of the cases, respectively. Neither of the markers showed significant expression differences among different tumor grades or recurrence or regrowth statuses. Our findings highlight the potential role of p53 protein in meningioma development and/or progression. The high positivity of dopamine D2 receptor observed in this study warrants further investigation of the therapeutic potential of dopamine agonists in the evolution of meningiomas. <![CDATA[Comparative pathogenicity of Coxsackievirus A16 circulating and noncirculating strains <em>in vitro</em> and in a neonatal mouse model]]> An enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccine for the prevention of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HMFD) is available, but it is not known whether the EV71 vaccine cross-protects against Coxsackievirus (CV) infection. Furthermore, although an inactivated circulating CVA16 Changchun 024 (CC024) strain vaccine candidate is effective in newborn mice, the CC024 strain causes severe lesions in muscle and lung tissues. Therefore, an effective CV vaccine with improved pathogenic safety is needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vivo safety and in vitro replication capability of a noncirculating CVA16 SHZH05 strain. The replication capacity of circulating CVA16 strains CC024, CC045, CC090 and CC163 and the noncirculating SHZH05 strain was evaluated by cytopathic effect in different cell lines. The replication capacity and pathogenicity of the CC024 and SHZH05 strains were also evaluated in a neonatal mouse model. Histopathological and viral load analyses demonstrated that the SHZH05 strain had an in vitro replication capacity comparable to the four CC strains. The CC024, but not the SHZH05 strain, became distributed in a variety of tissues and caused severe lesions and mortality in neonatal mice. The differences in replication capacity and in vivo pathogenicity of the CC024 and SHZH05 strains may result from differences in the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of viral functional polyproteins P1, P2 and P3. Our findings suggest that the noncirculating SHZH05 strain may be a safer CV vaccine candidate than the CC024 strain. <![CDATA[IL-6 and TNF-α serum levels are associated with early death in community-acquired pneumonia patients]]> Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is amongst the leading causes of death worldwide. As inflammatory markers, cytokines can predict outcomes, if interpreted together with clinical data and scoring systems such as CURB-65, CRB, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II). The aim of this study was to determine the impact of inflammatory biomarkers on the early mortality of hospitalized CAP patients. Twenty-seven CAP patients needing hospitalization were enrolled for the study and samples of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), and homocystein were collected at the time of admission (day 1) as well as on the seventh day of the treatment. There was a significant reduction in the levels of IL-6 between the first and the second collections. Median IL-6 values decreased from 24 pg/mL (day 1) to 8 pg/mL (day 7) (P=0.016). The median levels of TNF-α were higher in patients: i) with acute kidney injury (AKI) (P=0.045), ii) requiring mechanical ventilation (P=0.040), iii) with short hospital stays (P=0.009), iv) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (P=0.040), v) who died early (P=0.003), and vi) with worse CRB scores (P=0.013). In summary, IL-6 and TNF-α levels were associated with early mortality of CAP patients. Longer admission levels demonstrated greater likelihood of early death and overall mortality, necessity of mechanical ventilation, and AKI. <![CDATA[Voluntary exercise prior to traumatic brain injury alters miRNA expression in the injured mouse cerebral cortex]]> MicroRNAs (miRNAs) may be important mediators of the profound molecular and cellular changes that occur after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the changes and possible roles of miRNAs induced by voluntary exercise prior to TBI are still not known. In this report, the microarray method was used to demonstrate alterations in miRNA expression levels in the cerebral cortex of TBI mice that were pretrained on a running wheel (RW). Voluntary RW exercise prior to TBI: i) significantly decreased the mortality rate and improved the recovery of the righting reflex in TBI mice, and ii) differentially changed the levels of several miRNAs, upregulating some and downregulating others. Furthermore, we revealed global upregulation of miR-21, miR-92a, and miR-874 and downregulation of miR-138, let-7c, and miR-124 expression among the sham-non-runner, TBI-non-runner, and TBI-runner groups. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction data (RT-qPCR) indicated good consistency with the microarray results. Our microarray-based analysis of miRNA expression in mice cerebral cortex after TBI revealed that some miRNAs such as miR-21, miR-92a, miR-874, miR-138, let-7c, and miR-124 could be involved in the prevention and protection afforded by voluntary exercise in a TBI model. <![CDATA[Silibinin improves palmitate-induced insulin resistance in C2C12 myotubes by attenuating IRS-1/PI3K/Akt pathway inhibition]]> The present study investigated the effect of silibinin, the principal potential anti-inflammatory flavonoid contained in silymarin, a mixture of flavonolignans extracted from Silybum marianum seeds, on palmitate-induced insulin resistance in C2C12 myotubes and its potential molecular mechanisms. Silibinin prevented the decrease of insulin-stimulated 2-NBDG (2-[N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino]-2-deoxy-D-glucose) uptake and the downregulation of glutamate transporter type 4 (GLUT4) translocation in C2C12 myotubes induced by palmitate. Meanwhile, silibinin suppressed the palmitate-induced decrease of insulin-stimulated Akt Ser473 phosphorylation, which was reversed by wortmannin, a specific inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). We also found that palmitate downregulated insulin-stimulated Tyr632 phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) and up-regulated IRS-1 Ser307 phosphorylation. These effects were rebalanced by silibinin. Considering several serine/threonine kinases reported to phosphorylate IRS-1 at Ser307, treatment with silibinin downregulated the phosphorylation of both c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and nuclear factor-κB kinase β (IKKβ), which was increased by palmitate in C2C12 myotubes mediating inflammatory status, whereas the phosphorylation of PKC-θ was not significantly modulated by silibinin. Collectively, the results indicated that silibinin prevented inhibition of the IRS-1/PI3K/Akt pathway, thus ameliorating palmitate-induced insulin resistance in C2C12 myotubes. <![CDATA[Vagotomy ameliorates islet morphofunction and body metabolic homeostasis in MSG-obese rats]]> The parasympathetic nervous system is important for β-cell secretion and mass regulation. Here, we characterized involvement of the vagus nerve in pancreatic β-cell morphofunctional regulation and body nutrient homeostasis in 90-day-old monosodium glutamate (MSG)-obese rats. Male newborn Wistar rats received MSG (4 g/kg body weight) or saline [control (CTL) group] during the first 5 days of life. At 30 days of age, both groups of rats were submitted to sham-surgery (CTL and MSG groups) or subdiaphragmatic vagotomy (Cvag and Mvag groups). The 90-day-old MSG rats presented obesity, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and hypertriglyceridemia. Their pancreatic islets hypersecreted insulin in response to glucose but did not increase insulin release upon carbachol (Cch) stimulus, despite a higher intracellular Ca2+ mobilization. Furthermore, while the pancreas weight was 34% lower in MSG rats, no alteration in islet and β-cell mass was observed. However, in the MSG pancreas, increases of 51% and 55% were observed in the total islet and β-cell area/pancreas section, respectively. Also, the β-cell number per β-cell area was 19% higher in MSG rat pancreas than in CTL pancreas. Vagotomy prevented obesity, reducing 25% of body fat stores and ameliorated glucose homeostasis in Mvag rats. Mvag islets demonstrated partially reduced insulin secretion in response to 11.1 mM glucose and presented normalization of Cch-induced Ca2+ mobilization and insulin release. All morphometric parameters were similar among Mvag and CTL rat pancreases. Therefore, the higher insulin release in MSG rats was associated with greater β-cell/islet numbers and not due to hypertrophy. Vagotomy improved whole body nutrient homeostasis and endocrine pancreatic morphofunction in Mvag rats. <![CDATA[Contractile profile of esophageal and gastric fundus strips in experimental doxorubicin-induced esophageal atresia]]> Esophageal atresia (EA) is characterized by esophageal and gastric motility changes secondary to developmental and postsurgical damage. This study evaluated the in vitro contractile profile of the distal esophagus and gastric fundus in an experimental model of EA induced by doxorubicin (DOXO). Wistar pregnant rats received DOXO 2.2 mg/kg on the 8th and 9th gestational days. On day 21.5, fetuses were collected, sacrificed, and divided into groups: control, DOXO without EA (DOXO-EA), and DOXO with EA (DOXO+EA). Strips from the distal esophagus and gastric fundus were mounted on a wire myograph and isolated organ-bath system, respectively, and subjected to increasing concentrations of carbamylcholine chloride (carbachol, CCh). The isolated esophagus was also stimulated with increasing concentrations of KCl. In esophagus, the concentration-effect curves were reduced in response to CCh in the DOXO+EA and DOXO-EA groups compared to the control group (P&lt;0.05). The maximum effect values (Emax) for DOXO+EA and DOXO-EA were significantly lower than control (P&lt;0.05), but the half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) values were not significantly different when the three groups were compared (P&gt;0.05). In response to KCl, the distal esophagus samples in the three groups were not statistically different with regard to Emax or EC50 values (P&gt;0.05). No significant difference was noted for EC50 or Emax values in fundic strips stimulated with CCh (P&gt;0.05). In conclusion, exposure of dams to DOXO during gestation inhibited the contractile behavior of esophageal strips from offspring in response to CCh but not KCl, regardless of EA induction. The gastric fundus of DOXO-exposed offspring did not have altered contractile responsiveness to cholinergic stimulation. <![CDATA[Peroxiredoxin isoforms are associated with cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus]]> The production of oxygen free radicals in type 2 diabetes mellitus contributes to the development of complications, especially the cardiovascular-related ones. Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are antioxidant enzymes that combat oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between the levels of PRDX isoforms (1, 2, 4, and 6) and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fifty-three patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (28F/25M) and 25 healthy control subjects (7F/18M) were enrolled. We measured the plasma levels of each PRDX isoform and analyzed their correlations with cardiovascular risk factors. The plasma PRDX1, -2, -4, and -6 levels were higher in the diabetic patients than in the healthy control subjects. PRDX2 and -6 levels were negatively correlated with diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1c. In contrast, PRDX1 levels were positively correlated with low-density lipoprotein and C-reactive protein levels. PRDX4 levels were negatively correlated with triglycerides. In conclusion, PRDX1, -2, -4, and -6 showed differential correlations with a variety of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. These results should encourage further research into the crosstalk between PRDX isoforms and cardiovascular risk factors. <![CDATA[Sequence analysis of the 5′ third of glycoprotein C gene of South American bovine herpesviruses 1 and 5]]> Bovine herpesviruses 1 (BoHV-1) and 5 (BoHV-5) share high genetic and antigenic similarities, but exhibit marked differences in tissue tropism and neurovirulence. The amino-terminal region of glycoprotein C (gC), which is markedly different in each of the viruses, is involved in virus binding to cellular receptors and in interactions with the immune system. This study investigated the genetic and antigenic differences of the 5′ region of the gC (5′ gC) gene (amino-terminal) of South American BoHV-1 (n=19) and BoHV-5 (n=25) isolates. Sequence alignments of 374 nucleotides (104 amino acids) revealed mean similarity levels of 97.3 and 94.2% among BoHV-1 gC (gC1), respectively, 96.8 and 95.6% among BoHV-5 gC (gC5), and 62 and 53.3% between gC1 and gC5. Differences included the absence of 40 amino acid residues (27 encompassing predicted linear epitopes) scattered throughout 5′ gC1 compared to 5′ gC5. Virus neutralizing assays testing BoHV-1 and BoHV-5 antisera against each isolate revealed a high degree of cross-neutralization between the viruses, yet some isolates were neutralized at very low titers by heterologous sera, and a few BoHV-5 isolates reacted weakly with either sera. The virus neutralization differences observed within the same viral species, and more pronounced between BoHV-1 and BoHV-5, likely reflect sequence differences in neutralizing epitopes. These results demonstrate that the 5′ gC region is well conserved within each viral species but is divergent between BoHV-1 and BoHV-5, likely contributing to their biological and antigenic differences. <![CDATA[Metronomic chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting: results of two parallel feasibility trials (TraQme and TAME) in patients with HER2+ and HER2− locally advanced breast cancer]]> Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has practical and theoretical advantages over adjuvant chemotherapy strategy in breast cancer (BC) management. Moreover, metronomic delivery has a more favorable toxicity profile. The present study examined the feasibility of neoadjuvant metronomic chemotherapy in two cohorts [HER2+ (TraQme) and HER2− (TAME)] of locally advanced BC. Twenty patients were prospectively enrolled (TraQme, n=9; TAME, n=11). Both cohorts received weekly paclitaxel at 100 mg/m2 during 8 weeks followed by weekly doxorubicin at 24 mg/m2 for 9 weeks in combination with oral cyclophosphamide at 100 mg/day (fixed dose). The HER2+ cohort received weekly trastuzumab. The study was interrupted because of safety issues. Thirty-six percent of patients in the TAME cohort and all patients from the TraQme cohort had stage III BC. Of note, 33% from the TraQme cohort and 66% from the TAME cohort displayed hormone receptor positivity in tumor tissue. The pathological complete response rates were 55% and 18% among patients enrolled in the TraQme and TAME cohorts, respectively. Patients in the TraQme cohort had more advanced BC stages at diagnosis, higher-grade pathological classification, and more tumors lacking hormone receptor expression, compared to the TAME cohort. The toxicity profile was also different. Two patients in the TraQme cohort developed pneumonitis, and in the TAME cohort we observed more hematological toxicity and hand-foot syndrome. The neoadjuvant metronomic chemotherapy regimen evaluated in this trial was highly effective in achieving a tumor response, especially in the HER2+ cohort. Pneumonitis was a serious, unexpected adverse event observed in this group. Further larger and randomized trials are warranted to evaluate the association between metronomic chemotherapy and trastuzumab treatment.