Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 47 num. 10 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Vascular O-GlcNAcylation augments reactivity to constrictor stimuli by prolonging phosphorylated levels of the myosin light chain]]> O-GlcNAcylation is a modification that alters the function of numerous proteins. We hypothesized that augmented O-GlcNAcylation levels enhance myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) and reduce myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP) activity, leading to increased vascular contractile responsiveness. The vascular responses were measured by isometric force displacement. Thoracic aorta and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from rats were incubated with vehicle or with PugNAc, which increases O-GlcNAcylation. In addition, we determined whether proteins that play an important role in the regulation of MLCK and MLCP activity are directly affected by O-GlcNAcylation. PugNAc enhanced phenylephrine (PE) responses in rat aortas (maximal effect, 14.2±2 vs 7.9±1 mN for vehicle, n=7). Treatment with an MLCP inhibitor (calyculin A) augmented vascular responses to PE (13.4±2 mN) and abolished the differences in PE-response between the groups. The effect of PugNAc was not observed when vessels were preincubated with ML-9, an MLCK inhibitor (7.3±2 vs 7.5±2 mN for vehicle, n=5). Furthermore, our data showed that differences in the PE-induced contractile response between the groups were abolished by the activator of AMP-activated protein kinase (AICAR; 6.1±2 vs 7.4±2 mN for vehicle, n=5). PugNAc increased phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 (MYPT-1) and protein kinase C-potentiated inhibitor protein of 17 kDa (CPI-17), which are involved in RhoA/Rho-kinase-mediated inhibition of myosin phosphatase activity. PugNAc incubation produced a time-dependent increase in vascular phosphorylation of myosin light chain and decreased phosphorylation levels of AMP-activated protein kinase, which decreased the affinity of MLCK for Ca2+/calmodulin. Our data suggest that proteins that play an important role in the regulation of MLCK and MLCP activity are directly affected by O-GlcNAcylation, favoring vascular contraction. <![CDATA[Bioinformatics analysis of biomarkers and transcriptional factor motifs in Down syndrome]]> In this study, biomarkers and transcriptional factor motifs were identified in order to investigate the etiology and phenotypic severity of Down syndrome. GSE 1281, GSE 1611, and GSE 5390 were downloaded from the gene expression ominibus (GEO). A robust multiarray analysis (RMA) algorithm was applied to detect differentially expressed genes (DEGs). In order to screen for biological pathways and to interrogate the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway database, the database for annotation, visualization, and integrated discovery (DAVID) was used to carry out a gene ontology (GO) function enrichment for DEGs. Finally, a transcriptional regulatory network was constructed, and a hypergeometric distribution test was applied to select for significantly enriched transcriptional factor motifs. CBR1, DYRK1A, HMGN1, ITSN1, RCAN1, SON, TMEM50B, and TTC3 were each up-regulated two-fold in Down syndrome samples compared to normal samples; of these, SON and TTC3 were newly reported. CBR1, DYRK1A, HMGN1, ITSN1, RCAN1, SON, TMEM50B, and TTC3 were located on human chromosome 21 (mouse chromosome 16). The DEGs were significantly enriched in macromolecular complex subunit organization and focal adhesion pathways. Eleven significantly enriched transcription factor motifs (PAX5, EGR1, XBP1, SREBP1, OLF1, MZF1, NFY, NFKAPPAB, MYCMAX, NFE2, and RP58) were identified. The DEGs and transcription factor motifs identified in our study provide biomarkers for the understanding of Down syndrome pathogenesis and progression. <![CDATA[Effects of immobilization and remobilization on the ankle joint in Wistar rats]]> A sprained ankle is a common musculoskeletal sports injury and it is often treated by immobilization of the joint. Despite the beneficial effects of this therapeutic measure, the high prevalence of residual symptoms affects the quality of life, and remobilization of the joint can reverse this situation. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of immobilization and remobilization on the ankle joint of Wistar rats. Eighteen male rats had their right hindlimb immobilized for 15 days, and were divided into the following groups: G1, immobilized; G2, remobilized freely for 14 days; and G3, remobilized by swimming and jumping in water for 14 days, performed on alternate days, with progression of time and a series of exercises. The contralateral limb was the control. After the experimental period, the ankle joints were processed for microscopic analysis. Histomorphometry did not show any significant differences between the control and immobilized/remobilized groups and members, in terms of number of chondrocytes and thickness of the articular cartilage of the tibia and talus. Morphological analysis of animals from G1 showed significant degenerative lesions in the talus, such as exposure of the subchondral bone, flocculation, and cracks between the anterior and mid-regions of the articular cartilage and the synovial membrane. Remobilization by therapeutic exercise in water led to recovery in the articular cartilage and synovial membrane of the ankle joint when compared with free remobilization, and it was shown to be an effective therapeutic measure in the recovery of the ankle joint. <![CDATA[Dynamic expression of <em>desmin</em>, <em>α-SMA</em> and <em>TGF-β1</em> during hepatic fibrogenesis induced by selective bile duct ligation in young rats]]> We previously described a selective bile duct ligation model to elucidate the process of hepatic fibrogenesis in children with biliary atresia or intrahepatic biliary stenosis. Using this model, we identified changes in the expression of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) both in the obstructed parenchyma and in the hepatic parenchyma adjacent to the obstruction. However, the expression profiles of desmin and TGF-β1, molecules known to be involved in hepatic fibrogenesis, were unchanged when analyzed by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Thus, the molecular mechanisms involved in the modulation of liver fibrosis in this experimental model are not fully understood. This study aimed to evaluate the molecular changes in an experimental model of selective bile duct ligation and to compare the gene expression changes observed in RT-PCR and in real-time quantitative PCR (qRT‐PCR). Twenty-eight Wistar rats of both sexes and weaning age (21-23 days old) were used. The rats were separated into groups that were assessed 7 or 60 days after selective biliary duct ligation. The expression of desmin, α-SMA and TGF-β1 was examined in tissue from hepatic parenchyma with biliary obstruction (BO) and in hepatic parenchyma without biliary obstruction (WBO), using RT-PCR and qRT‐PCR. The results obtained in this study using these two methods were significantly different. The BO parenchyma had a more severe fibrogenic reaction, with increased α-SMA and TGF-β1 expression after 7 days. The WBO parenchyma presented a later, fibrotic response, with increased desmin expression 7 days after surgery and increased α-SMA 60 days after surgery. The qRT‐PCR technique was more sensitive to expression changes than the semiquantitative method. <![CDATA[A forced running wheel system with a microcontroller that provides high-intensity exercise training in an animal ischemic stroke model]]> We developed a forced non-electric-shock running wheel (FNESRW) system that provides rats with high-intensity exercise training using automatic exercise training patterns that are controlled by a microcontroller. The proposed system successfully makes a breakthrough in the traditional motorized running wheel to allow rats to perform high-intensity training and to enable comparisons with the treadmill at the same exercise intensity without any electric shock. A polyvinyl chloride runway with a rough rubber surface was coated on the periphery of the wheel so as to permit automatic acceleration training, and which allowed the rats to run consistently at high speeds (30 m/min for 1 h). An animal ischemic stroke model was used to validate the proposed system. FNESRW, treadmill, control, and sham groups were studied. The FNESRW and treadmill groups underwent 3 weeks of endurance running training. After 3 weeks, the experiments of middle cerebral artery occlusion, the modified neurological severity score (mNSS), an inclined plane test, and triphenyltetrazolium chloride were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed platform. The proposed platform showed that enhancement of motor function, mNSS, and infarct volumes was significantly stronger in the FNESRW group than the control group (P&lt;0.05) and similar to the treadmill group. The experimental data demonstrated that the proposed platform can be applied to test the benefit of exercise-preconditioning-induced neuroprotection using the animal stroke model. Additional advantages of the FNESRW system include stand-alone capability, independence of subjective human adjustment, and ease of use. <![CDATA[Association of <em>NOS3</em> gene variants and clinical contributors of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy]]> The aim of this study was to analyze the association of different clinical contributors of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy with NOS3 gene polymorphisms. A total of 110 children with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and 128 control children were selected for this study. Association of gender, gestational age, birth weight, Apgar score, cranial ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging findings with genotypic data of six haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms and the most commonly investigated rs1800779 and rs2070744 polymorphisms was analyzed. The TGT haplotype of rs1800783, rs1800779, and rs2070744 polymorphisms was associated with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Children with the TGT haplotype were infants below 32 weeks of gestation and they had the most severe brain damage. Increased incidence of the TT genotype of the NOS3 rs1808593 SNP was found in the group of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy patients with medium and severe brain damage. The probability of brain damage was twice as high in children with the TT genotype than in children with the TG genotype of the same polymorphism. Furthermore, the T allele of the same polymorphism was twice as frequent in children with lower Apgar scores. This study strongly suggests associations of NOS3 gene polymorphism with intensity of brain damage and severity of the clinical picture in affected children. <![CDATA[Pharmacological characterization of the relaxant effect induced by adrenomedullin in rat cavernosal smooth muscle]]> The aim of the present study was to determine the mechanisms underlying the relaxant effect of adrenomedullin (AM) in rat cavernosal smooth muscle (CSM) and the expression of AM system components in this tissue. Functional assays using standard muscle bath procedures were performed in CSM isolated from male Wistar rats. Protein and mRNA levels of pre-pro-AM, calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR), and Subtypes 1, 2 and 3 of the receptor activity-modifying protein (RAMP) family were assessed by Western immunoblotting and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Nitrate and 6-keto-prostaglandin F1α (6-keto-PGF1α; a stable product of prostacyclin) levels were determined using commercially available kits. Protein and mRNA of AM, CRLR, and RAMP 1, -2, and -3 were detected in rat CSM. Immunohistochemical assays demonstrated that AM and CRLR were expressed in rat CSM. AM relaxed CSM strips in a concentration-dependent manner. AM22-52, a selective antagonist for AM receptors, reduced the relaxation induced by AM. Conversely, CGRP8-37, a selective antagonist for calcitonin gene-related peptide receptors, did not affect AM-induced relaxation. Preincubation of CSM strips with NG-nitro-L-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor), 1H-(1,2,4)oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, quanylyl cyclase inhibitor), Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS (cGMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor), SC560 [5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-3-trifluoromethyl pyrazole, selective cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitor], and 4-aminopyridine (voltage-dependent K+ channel blocker) reduced AM-induced relaxation. On the other hand, 7-nitroindazole (selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor), wortmannin (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor), H89 (protein kinase A inhibitor), SQ22536 [9-(tetrahydro-2-furanyl)-9H-purin-6-amine, adenylate cyclase inhibitor], glibenclamide (selective blocker of ATP-sensitive K+ channels), and apamin (Ca2+-activated channel blocker) did not affect AM-induced relaxation. AM increased nitrate levels and 6-keto-PGF1α in rat CSM. The major new contribution of this research is that it demonstrated expression of AM and its receptor in rat CSM. Moreover, we provided evidence that AM-induced relaxation in this tissue is mediated by AM receptors by a mechanism that involves the nitric oxide-cGMP pathway, a vasodilator prostanoid, and the opening of voltage-dependent K+ channels. <![CDATA[Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing human basic fibroblast growth factor increase vasculogenesis in ischemic rats]]> Administration or expression of growth factors, as well as implantation of autologous bone marrow cells, promote in vivo angiogenesis. This study investigated the angiogenic potential of combining both approaches through the allogenic transplantation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) expressing human basic fibroblast growth factor (hbFGF). After establishing a hind limb ischemia model in Sprague Dawley rats, the animals were randomly divided into four treatment groups: MSCs expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP-MSC), MSCs expressing hbFGF (hbFGF-MSC), MSC controls, and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) controls. After 2 weeks, MSC survival and differentiation, hbFGF and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, and microvessel density of ischemic muscles were determined. Stable hbFGF expression was observed in the hbFGF-MSC group after 2 weeks. More hbFGF-MSCs than GFP-MSCs survived and differentiated into vascular endothelial cells (P&lt;0.001); however, their differentiation rates were similar. Moreover, allogenic transplantation of hbFGF-MSCs increased VEGF expression (P=0.008) and microvessel density (P&lt;0.001). Transplantation of hbFGF-expressing MSCs promoted angiogenesis in an in vivo hind limb ischemia model by increasing the survival of transplanted cells that subsequently differentiated into vascular endothelial cells. This study showed the therapeutic potential of combining cell-based therapy with gene therapy to treat ischemic disease. <![CDATA[Associations between <em>CD36</em> gene polymorphisms and susceptibility to coronary artery heart disease]]> Associations between polymorphisms of the CD36 gene and susceptibility to coronary artery heart disease (CHD) are not clear. We assessed allele frequencies and genotype distributions of CD36 gene polymorphisms in 112 CHD patients and 129 control patients using semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Additionally, we detected CD36 mRNA expression by real-time quantitative PCR, and we quantified plasma levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). There were no significant differences between the two groups (P&gt;0.05) in allele frequencies of rs1761667 or in genotype distribution and allele frequencies of rs3173798. The genotype distribution of rs1761667 significantly differed between CHD patients and controls (P=0.034), with a significantly higher frequency of the AG genotype in the CHD group compared to the control group (P=0.011). The plasma levels of ox-LDL in patients with the AG genotype were remarkably higher than those with the GG and AA genotypes (P=0.010). In a randomized sample taken from patients in the two groups, the CD36 mRNA expression of the CHD patients was higher than that of the controls. In CHD patients, the CD36 mRNA expression in AG genotype patients was remarkably higher than in those with an AA genotype (P=0.005). After adjusted logistic regression analysis, the AG genotype of rs1761667 was associated with an increased risk of CHD (OR=2.337, 95% CI=1.336-4.087, P=0.003). In conclusion, the rs1761667 polymorphism may be closely associated with developing CHD in the Chongqing Han population of China, and an AG genotype may be a genetic susceptibility factor for CHD. <![CDATA[Pulmonary hypertension due to acute respiratory distress syndrome]]> Our aims were to describe the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), to characterize their hemodynamic cardiopulmonary profiles, and to correlate these parameters with outcome. All consecutive patients over 16 years of age who were in the intensive care unit with a diagnosis of ARDS and an in situ pulmonary artery catheter for hemodynamic monitoring were studied. Pulmonary hypertension was diagnosed when the mean pulmonary artery pressure was &gt;25 mmHg at rest with a pulmonary artery occlusion pressure or left atrial pressure &lt;15 mmHg. During the study period, 30 of 402 critically ill patients (7.46%) who were admitted to the ICU fulfilled the criteria for ARDS. Of the 30 patients with ARDS, 14 met the criteria for pulmonary hypertension, a prevalence of 46.6% (95% CI; 28-66%). The most common cause of ARDS was pneumonia (56.3%). The overall mortality was 36.6% and was similar in patients with and without pulmonary hypertension. Differences in patients' hemodynamic profiles were influenced by the presence of pulmonary hypertension. The levels of positive end-expiratory pressure and peak pressure were higher in patients with pulmonary hypertension, and the PaCO2 was higher in those who died. The level of airway pressure seemed to influence the onset of pulmonary hypertension. Survival was determined by the severity of organ failure at admission to the intensive care unit. <![CDATA[Effects of bromopride on expression of metalloproteinases and interleukins in left colonic anastomoses: an experimental study]]> Anastomotic dehiscence is the most severe complication of colorectal surgery. Metalloproteinases (MMPs) and interleukins (ILs) can be used to analyze the healing process of anastomosis. To evaluate the effects of bromopride on MMP and cytokine gene expression in left colonic anastomoses in rats with or without induced abdominal sepsis, 80 rats were divided into two groups for euthanasia on the third or seventh postoperative day (POD). They were then divided into subgroups of 20 rats for sepsis induction or not, and then into subgroups of 10 rats for administration of bromopride or saline. Left colonic anastomosis was performed and abdominal sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture. A colonic segment containing the anastomosis was removed for analysis of gene expression of MMP-1α, MMP-8, MMP-13, IL-β, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interferon-γ (IFN-γ). On the third POD, bromopride was associated with increased MMP-1α, MMP-13, IL-6, IFN-γ, and IL-10 gene expression. On the seventh POD, all MMP transcripts became negatively modulated and all IL transcripts became positively modulated. In the presence of sepsis, bromopride administration increased MMP-8 and IFN-γ gene expression and decreased MMP-1, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10 gene expression on the third POD. On the seventh POD, we observed increased expression of MMP-13 and all cytokines, except for TNF-α. In conclusion, bromopride interferes with MMP and IL gene expression during anastomotic healing. Further studies are needed to correlate these changes with the healing process. <![CDATA[Serum uric acid and disorders of glucose metabolism: the role of glycosuria]]> Hyperuricemia has been associated with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. We studied the association between hyperuricemia and glycemic status in a nonrandomized sample of primary care patients. This was a cross-sectional study of adults ≥20 years old who were members of a community-based health care program. Hyperuricemia was defined as a value &gt;7.0 mg/dL for men and &gt;6.0 mg/dL for women. The sample comprised 720 participants including controls (n=257) and patients who were hypertensive and euglycemic (n=118), prediabetic (n=222), or diabetic (n=123). The mean age was 42.4±12.5 years, 45% were male, and 30% were white. The prevalence of hyperuricemia increased from controls (3.9%) to euglycemic hypertension (7.6%) and prediabetic state (14.0%), with values in prediabetic patients being statistically different from controls. Overall, diabetic patients had an 11.4% prevalence of hyperuricemia, which was also statistically different from controls. Of note, diabetic subjects with glycosuria, who represented 24% of the diabetic participants, had a null prevalence of hyperuricemia, and statistically higher values for fractional excretion of uric acid, Na excretion index, and prevalence of microalbuminuria than those without glycosuria. Participants who were prediabetic or diabetic but without glycosuria had a similarly elevated prevalence of hyperuricemia. In contrast, diabetic patients with glycosuria had a null prevalence of hyperuricemia and excreted more uric acid and Na than diabetic subjects without glycosuria. The findings can be explained by enhanced proximal tubule reabsorption early in the course of dysglycemia that decreases with the ensuing glycosuria at the late stage of the disorder.