Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 47 num. 7 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)-based scaffolds for tissue engineering]]> Development and selection of an ideal scaffold is of importance for tissue engineering. Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx) is a biocompatible bioresorbable copolymer that belongs to the polyhydroxyalkanoate family. Because of its good biocompatibility, PHBHHx has been widely used as a cell scaffold for tissue engineering. This review focuses on the utilization of PHBHHx-based scaffolds in tissue engineering. Advances in the preparation, modification, and application of PHBHHx scaffolds are discussed. <![CDATA[Expression, production, and renaturation of a functional single-chain variable antibody fragment (scFv) against human ICAM-1]]> Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is an important factor in the progression of inflammatory responses in vivo. To develop a new anti-inflammatory drug to block the biological activity of ICAM-1, we produced a monoclonal antibody (Ka=4.19×10−8 M) against human ICAM-1. The anti-ICAM-1 single-chain variable antibody fragment (scFv) was expressed at a high level as inclusion bodies in Escherichia coli. We refolded the scFv (Ka=2.35×10−7 M) by ion-exchange chromatography, dialysis, and dilution. The results showed that column chromatography refolding by high-performance Q Sepharose had remarkable advantages over conventional dilution and dialysis methods. Furthermore, the anti-ICAM-1 scFv yield of about 60 mg/L was higher with this method. The purity of the final product was greater than 90%, as shown by denaturing gel electrophoresis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, cell culture, and animal experiments were used to assess the immunological properties and biological activities of the renatured scFv. <![CDATA[Downregulation of survivin by siRNA inhibits invasion and promotes apoptosis in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells]]> Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor that occurs mainly in children. Malignant neuroblastomas have a poor prognosis because conventional chemotherapeutic agents are not very effective. Survivin, a member of the inhibitor of the apoptosis protein family, plays a significant role in cell division, inhibition of apoptosis, and promotion of cell proliferation and invasion. Previous studies found that survivin is highly expressed in some malignant neuroblastomas and is correlated with poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether survivin could serve as a potential therapeutic target of human neuroblastoma. We employed RNA interference to reduce survivin expression in the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line and analyzed the effect of RNA interference on cell proliferation and invasion in vitro and in vivo. RNA interference of survivin led to a significant decrease in invasiveness and proliferation and increased apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells in vitro. RNA interference of survivin inhibited tumor growth in vivo by 68±13% (P=0.002) and increased the number of apoptotic cells by 9.8±1.2% (P=0.001) compared with negative small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment controls. Moreover, RNA interference of survivin inhibited the formation of lung metastases by 92% (P=0.002) and reduced microvascular density by 60% (P=0.0003). Survivin siRNA resulted in significant downregulation of survivin mRNA and protein expression both in vitro and in vivo compared with negative siRNA treatment controls. RNA interference of survivin was found to be a potent inhibitor of SH-SY5Y tumor growth and metastasis formation. These results support further clinical development of RNA interference of survivin as a treatment of neuroblastoma and other cancer types. <![CDATA[Effects of acute administration of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on sympathetic nerve activity]]> Serotonergic mechanisms have an important function in the central control of circulation. Here, the acute effects of three selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on autonomic and cardiorespiratory variables were measured in rats. Although SSRIs require 2-3 weeks to achieve their full antidepressant effects, it has been shown that they cause an immediate inhibition of 5-HT reuptake. Seventy male Wistar rats were anesthetized with urethane and instrumented to record blood pressure, heart rate, renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), and respiratory frequency. At lower doses, the acute cardiovascular effects of fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline administered intravenously were insignificant and variable. At middle and higher doses, a general pattern was observed, with significant reductions in sympathetic nerve activity. At 10 min, fluoxetine (3 and 10 mg/kg) reduced RSNA by -33±4.7 and -31±5.4%, respectively, without changes in blood pressure; 3 and 10 mg/kg paroxetine reduced RSNA by -35±5.4 and -31±5.5%, respectively, with an increase in blood pressure +26.3±2.5; 3 mg/kg sertraline reduced RSNA by -59.4±8.6%, without changes in blood pressure. Sympathoinhibition began 5 min after injection and lasted approximately 30 min. For fluoxetine and sertraline, but not paroxetine, there was a reduction in heart rate that was nearly parallel to the sympathoinhibition. The effect of these drugs on the other variables was insignificant. In conclusion, acute peripheral administration of SSRIs caused early autonomic cardiovascular effects, particularly sympathoinhibition, as measured by RSNA. Although a peripheral action cannot be ruled out, such effects are presumably mostly central. <![CDATA[Evaluation of cardiovascular toxicity of carbon nanotubes functionalized with sodium hyaluronate in oral regenerative medicine]]> It has been demonstrated that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) associated with sodium hyaluronate (HY-CNTs) accelerate bone repair in the tooth sockets of rats. Before clinical application of HY-CNTs, it is important to assess their biocompatibility. Moreover, cardiac toxicity may be caused by the translocation of these particles to the blood stream. The aim of this study was to evaluate possible changes in cardiovascular function in male Wistar rats whose tooth sockets were treated with either CNTs or HY-CNTs (100 μg/mL, 0.1 mL). Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored in conscious rats 7 days after treatment. Cardiac function was evaluated using the Langendorff perfusion technique. The data showed no changes in blood pressure or heart rate in rats treated with either CNTs or HY-CNTs, and no significant changes in cardiac function were found in any of the groups. To confirm these findings, experiments were conducted in rats injected intraperitoneally with a high concentration of either CNTs or HY-CNTs (0.75 mg/kg). The same parameters were analyzed and similar results were observed. The results obtained 7 days following injection indicate that the administration of low concentrations of CNTs or HY-CNTs directly into tooth sockets did not cause any significant change in cardiovascular function in the rats. The present findings support the possibility of using these biocomposites in humans. <![CDATA[Modeling pulmonary fibrosis by abnormal expression of telomerase/apoptosis/collagen V in experimental usual interstitial pneumonia]]> Limitations on tissue proliferation capacity determined by telomerase/apoptosis balance have been implicated in pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, collagen V shows promise as an inductor of apoptosis. We evaluated the quantitative relationship between the telomerase/apoptosis index, collagen V synthesis, and epithelial/fibroblast replication in mice exposed to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) at high oxygen concentration. Two groups of mice were analyzed: 20 mice received BHT, and 10 control mice received corn oil. Telomerase expression, apoptosis, collagen I, III, and V fibers, and hydroxyproline were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, in situ detection of apoptosis, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and histomorphometry. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of increased alveolar epithelial cells type 1 (AEC1) in apoptosis. Immunostaining showed increased nuclear expression of telomerase in AEC type 2 (AEC2) between normal and chronic scarring areas of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). Control lungs and normal areas from UIP lungs showed weak green birefringence of type I and III collagens in the alveolar wall and type V collagen in the basement membrane of alveolar capillaries. The increase in collagen V was greater than collagens I and III in scarring areas of UIP. A significant direct association was found between collagen V and AEC2 apoptosis. We concluded that telomerase, collagen V fiber density, and apoptosis evaluation in experimental UIP offers the potential to control reepithelization of alveolar septa and fibroblast proliferation. Strategies aimed at preventing high rates of collagen V synthesis, or local responses to high rates of cell apoptosis, may have a significant impact in pulmonary fibrosis. <![CDATA[Attentional bias modulation by reappraisal in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: an event-related potential study]]> Affective states influence subsequent attention allocation. We evaluated emotional negativity bias modulation by reappraisal in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) relative to normal controls. Event-related potential (ERP) recordings were obtained, and changes in P200 and P300 amplitudes in response to negative or neutral words were noted after decreasing negative emotion or establishing a neutral condition. We found that in GAD patients only, the mean P200 amplitude after negative word presentation was much higher than after the presentation of neutral words. In normal controls, after downregulation of negative emotion, the mean P300 amplitude in response to negative words was much lower than after neutral words, and this was significant in both the left and right regions. In GAD patients, the negative bias remained prominent and was not affected by reappraisal at the early stage. Reappraisal was observed to have a lateralized effect at the late stage. <![CDATA[Cyst infection in hospital-admitted autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease patients is predominantly multifocal and associated with kidney and liver volume]]> Positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has improved cyst infection (CI) management in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The determinants of kidney and/or liver involvement, however, remain uncertain. In this study, we evaluated clinical and imaging factors associated with CI in kidney (KCI) and liver (LCI) in ADPKD. A retrospective cohort study was performed in hospital-admitted ADPKD patients with suspected CI. Clinical, imaging and surgical data were analyzed. Features of infected cysts were evaluated by PET/CT. Total kidney (TKV) and liver (TLV) volumes were measured by CT-derived multiplanar reconstruction. CI was detected in 18 patients who experienced 24 episodes during an interval of 30 months (LCI in 12, KCI in 10 and concomitant infection in 2). Sensitivities of CT, magnetic resonance imaging and PET/CT were 25.0, 71.4, and 95.0%. Dysuria (P&lt;0.05), positive urine culture (P&lt;0.01), and previous hematuria (P&lt;0.05) were associated with KCI. Weight loss (P&lt;0.01) and increased C-reactive protein levels (P&lt;0.05) were associated with LCI. PET/CT revealed that three or more infected cysts were present in 70% of the episodes. TKV was higher in kidney-affected than in LCI patients (AUC=0.91, P&lt;0.05), with a cut-off of 2502 mL (72.7% sensitivity, 100.0% specificity). TLV was higher in liver-affected than in KCI patients (AUC=0.89, P&lt;0.01) with a cut-off of 2815 mL (80.0% sensitivity, 87.5% specificity). A greater need for invasive procedures was observed in LCI (P&lt;0.01), and the overall mortality was 20.8%. This study supports PET/CT as the most sensitive imaging method for diagnosis of cyst infection, confirms the multifocal nature of most hospital-admitted episodes, and reveals an association of kidney and liver volumes with this complication. <![CDATA[Expression of ?-catenin and c-myc during human common bile duct development: a possible role in the morphogenesis of the common bile duct]]> β-catenin and c-myc play important roles in the development of tissues and organs. However, little is known about their expression patterns during the development of the human common bile duct. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect β-catenin and c-myc expression in common bile duct samples from postmortem tissues of 14 premature infants and 6 spontaneously aborted fetuses. The expression of β-catenin and c-myc was also analyzed by Western blot. The samples were divided into four groups based on the stage of human fetal development: 12, 13-27, 28-37, and &gt;37 weeks. The Image-Pro Plus v. 6.0 image analysis software was used to calculate the mean qualifying score (MQS). At fetal stages 12, 13-27, 28-37, and &gt;37 weeks, MQS of β-catenin were 612.52±262.13, 818.38±311.73, 706.33±157.19, and 350.69±110.19, respectively. There was a significant difference in MQS among the four groups (ANOVA, P=0.0155) and between the scores at &gt;37 and 13-27 weeks (Student-Newman-Keuls, P&lt;0.05). At fetal stages 12, 13-27, 28-37, and &gt;37 weeks, the MQS of c-myc were 1376.64±330.04, 1224.18±171.66, 1270.24±320.75, and 741.04±219.19, respectively. There was a significant difference in MQS among the four groups (ANOVA, P=0.0087) and between the scores at &gt;37 and 12 weeks, &gt;37 and 13-27 weeks, and &gt;37 and 28-37 weeks (all P&lt;0.05, Student-Newman-Keuls). Western blots showed that β-catenin and c-myc expression were significantly higher in fetal than in postnatal control duct tissue (P&lt;0.05). c-myc and β-catenin are involved in the normal development of the human common bile duct. <![CDATA[Relationship of inflammatory markers and pain in patients with head and neck cancer prior to anticancer therapy]]> Pain is a common symptom in patients with cancer, including those with head and neck cancer (HNC). While studies suggest an association between chronic inflammation and pain, levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), have not been correlated with pain in HNC patients who are not currently undergoing anticancer treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between these inflammatory markers and perceived pain in HNC patients prior to anticancer therapy. The study group consisted of 127 HNC patients and 9 healthy controls. Pain was assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), and serum levels of CRP and TNF-α were determined using the particle-enhanced turbidimetric immunoassay (PETIA) and ELISA techniques, respectively. Patients experiencing pain had significantly higher levels of CRP (P&lt;0.01) and TNF-α (P&lt;0.05) compared with controls and with patients reporting no pain. There were significantly positive associations between pain, CRP level, and tumor stage. This is the first study to report a positive association between perceived pain and CRP in HNC patients at the time of diagnosis. The current findings suggest important associations between pain and inflammatory processes in HNC patients, with potential implications for future treatment strategies. <![CDATA[Meta-analysis on the efficacy and tolerability of the augmentation of antidepressants with atypical antipsychotics in patients with major depressive disorder]]> We assessed the efficacy and tolerability of the augmentation of antidepressants (ATDs) with atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) to treat patients with major depressive disorder. A retrograde study to identify relevant patient data included databases of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects. Data from 17 trials, involving 3807 participants, were identified. The remission rate (RR) and overall response rate (ORR) of adjunctive treatment with AAPs were significantly higher than placebo treatment: RR=1.90 (95%CI=1.61-2.23, z=7.74, P&lt;0.00001) and ORR=1.68 (95%CI=1.45-1.94, z=7.07, P&lt;0.00001). We found that the short-term (4 weeks) treatment [ORR=1.70 (95%CI=0.98-2.95, Z=1.89, P=0.06)] was significantly different from the long-term (6-12 weeks) treatment [ORR=1.68 (95%CI=1.45-1.94, z=7.07, P&lt;0.00001)]. No significant difference in ORR was observed between groups with or without sedative drugs. The discontinuation rate due to adverse effects was higher for adjunctive treatment with AAPs: ORR=3.32 (95%CI=2.35-4.70, z=6.78, P&lt;0.00001). These results demonstrate that the augmentation of ATDs with AAPs (olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole, and risperidone) was more effective than a placebo in improving response and remission rates, although associated with a higher discontinuation rate due to adverse effects. <![CDATA[Mortality rate after open Roux-in-Y gastric bypass: a 10-year follow-up]]> The prevalence of obesity has increased to epidemic status worldwide. Thousands of morbidly obese individuals undergo bariatric surgery for sustained weight loss; however, mid- and long-term outcomes of this surgery are still uncertain. Our objective was to estimate the 10-year mortality rate, and determine risk factors associated with death in young morbidly obese adults who underwent bariatric surgery. All patients who underwent open Roux-in-Y gastric bypass surgery between 2001 and 2010, covered by an insurance company, were analyzed to determine possible associations between risk factors present at the time of surgery and deaths related and unrelated to the surgery. Among the 4344 patients included in the study, 79% were female with a median age of 34.9 years and median body mass index (BMI) of 42 kg/m2. The 30-day and 10-year mortality rates were 0.55 and 3.34%, respectively, and 53.7% of deaths were related to early or late complications following bariatric surgery. Among these, 42.7% of the deaths were due to sepsis and 24.3% to cardiovascular complications. Male gender, age ≥50 years, BMI ≥50 kg/m2, and hypertension significantly increased the hazard for all deaths (P&lt;0.001). Age ≥50 years, BMI ≥50 kg/m2, and surgeon inexperience elevated the hazard of death from causes related to surgery. Male gender and age ≥50 years were the factors associated with increased mortality from death not related to surgery. The overall risk of death after bariatric surgery was quite low, and half of the deaths were related to the surgery. Older patients and superobese patients were at greater risk of surgery-related deaths, as were patients operated on by less experienced surgeons.