Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 49 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Clinical and pathological challenges in the diagnosis of late-onset biliary atresia: four case studies]]> Biliary atresia (BA) is classically described at the neonatal age. However, rare cases of BA in older infants have also been reported. We report four cases of late-onset BA in infants older than 4 weeks (3 males, 1 female), and describe the diagnostic and management difficulties. One of the cases had a late-onset (29 weeks) presentation with a successful surgical procedure. We highlight the importance of this unusual differential diagnosis in infants with cholestatic syndrome, who may benefit from Kasai surgery, regardless of age. <![CDATA[Gene expression profiling analysis of lung adenocarcinoma]]> The present study screened potential genes related to lung adenocarcinoma, with the aim of further understanding disease pathogenesis. The GSE2514 dataset including 20 lung adenocarcinoma and 19 adjacent normal tissue samples from 10 patients with lung adenocarcinoma aged 45-73 years was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the two groups were screened using the t-test. Potential gene functions were predicted using functional and pathway enrichment analysis, and protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks obtained from the STRING database were constructed with Cytoscape. Module analysis of PPI networks was performed through MCODE in Cytoscape. In total, 535 upregulated and 465 downregulated DEGs were identified. These included ATP5D, UQCRC2, UQCR11 and genes encoding nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), which are mainly associated with mitochondrial ATP synthesis coupled electron transport, and which were enriched in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. Other DEGs were associated with DNA replication (PRIM1, MCM3, and RNASEH2A), cell surface receptor-linked signal transduction and the enzyme-linked receptor protein signaling pathway (MAPK1, STAT3, RAF1, and JAK1), and regulation of the cytoskeleton and phosphatidylinositol signaling system (PIP5K1B, PIP5K1C, and PIP4K2B). Our findings suggest that DEGs encoding subunits of NADH, PRIM1, MCM3, MAPK1, STAT3, RAF1, and JAK1 might be associated with the development of lung adenocarcinoma. <![CDATA[Ghrelin attenuates the growth of HO-8910 ovarian cancer cells through the ERK pathway]]> Ovarian cancer is one of the most common causes of death from gynecologic tumors and is an important public health issue. Ghrelin is a recently discovered bioactive peptide that acts as a natural endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). Several studies have identified the protective effects of ghrelin on the mammalian reproductive system. However, little research has been done on the effects of ghrelin on ovarian cancer cells, and the underlying mechanisms of these effects. We sought to understand the potential involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in ghrelin-mediated inhibition of growth of the ovarian line HO-8910. We applied different concentrations of ghrelin and an inhibitor of the ghrelin receptor (D-Lys3-GHRP-6) to HO-8910 cells and observed the growth rate of cells and changes in phosphorylation of the MAPKs ERK1/2, JNK and p38. We discovered that ghrelin-induced apoptosis of HO-8910 cells was though phosphorylated ERK1/2, and that this phosphorylation (as well as p90rsk phosphorylation) was mediated by the GHSR. The ERK1/2 pathway is known to play an essential part in the ghrelin-mediated apoptosis of HO-8910 cells. Hence, our study suggests that ghrelin inhibits the growth of HO-8910 cells primarily through the GHSR/ERK pathway. <![CDATA[Effect of selective β-adrenoceptor blockade and surgical resection of the celiac-superior mesenteric ganglion complex on delayed liquid gastric emptying induced by dipyrone, 4-aminoantipyrine, and antipyrine in rats]]> There is evidence for participation of peripheral β-adrenoceptors in delayed liquid gastric emptying (GE) induced in rats by dipyrone (Dp), 4-aminoantipyrine (AA), and antipyrine (At). The present study aimed to determine whether β-adrenoceptors are involved in delayed GE induced by phenylpyrazole derivatives and the role of the prevertebral sympathetic nervous system in this condition. Male Wistar rats weighing 220-280 g were used in the study. In the first experiment rats were intravenously pretreated with vehicle (V), atenolol 30 mg/kg (ATE, β1-adrenergic antagonist), or butoxamine 25 mg/kg (BUT, β2-adrenergic antagonist). In the second experiment, rats were pretreated with V or SR59230A 2 mg/kg (SRA, β3-adrenergic antagonist). In the third experiment, rats were subjected to surgical resection of the celiac-superior mesenteric ganglion complex or to sham surgery. The groups were intravenously treated with saline (S), 240 µmol/kg Dp, AA, or At, 15 min after pretreatment with the antagonists or V and nine days after surgery. GE was determined 10 min later by measuring the percentage of gastric retention (%GR) of saline labeled with phenol red 10 min after gavage. The %GR (means±SE, n=6) values indicated that BUT abolished the effect of Dp (BUT+Dp vs V+Dp: 35.0%±5.1% vs 56.4%±2.7%) and At (BUT+At vs V+At: 33.5%±4.7% vs 52.9%±2.6%) on GE, and significantly reduced (P&lt;0.05) the effect of AA (BUT+AA vs V+AA: 48.0%±5.0% vs 65.2%±3.8%). ATE, SRA, and sympathectomy did not modify the effects of treatments. These results suggest that β2-adrenoceptor activation occurred in delayed liquid gastric emptying induced by the phenylpyrazole derivatives dipyrone, 4-aminoantipyrine, and antipyrine. Additionally, the released neurotransmitter did not originate in the celiac-superior mesenteric ganglion complex. <![CDATA[Combined treatment with caffeic and ferulic acid from <em>Baccharis uncinella</em> C. DC. (Asteraceae) protects against metabolic syndrome in mice]]> Fractionation of the EtOH extract from aerial parts of Baccharis uncinella C. DC. (Asteraceae) led to isolation of caffeic and ferulic acids, which were identified from spectroscopic and spectrometric evidence. These compounds exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be effective in the prevention/treatment of metabolic syndrome. This study investigated whether the combined treatment of caffeic and ferulic acids exhibits a more significant beneficial effect in a mouse model with metabolic syndrome. The combination treatment with caffeic and ferulic acids was tested for 60 days in C57 mice kept on a high-fat (40%) diet. The data obtained indicated that treatment with caffeic and ferulic acids prevented gain in body weight induced by the high-fat diet and improved hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. The expression of a number of metabolically relevant genes was affected in the liver of these animals, showing that caffeic and ferulic acid treatment results in increased cholesterol uptake and reduced hepatic triglyceride synthesis in the liver, which is a likely explanation for the prevention of hepatic steatosis. In conclusion, the combined treatment of caffeic and ferulic acids displayed major positive effects towards prevention of multiple aspects of the metabolic syndrome and liver steatosis in an obese mouse model. <![CDATA[High-impact exercise in rats prior to and during suspension can prevent bone loss]]> High-impact exercise has been considered an important method for treating bone loss in osteopenic experimental models. In this study, we investigated the effects of osteopenia caused by inactivity in femora and tibiae of rats subjected to jump training using the rat tail suspension model. Eight-week-old female Wistar rats were divided into five groups (n=10 each group): jump training for 2 weeks before suspension and training during 3 weeks of suspension; jump training for 2 weeks before suspension; jump training only during suspension; suspension without any training; and a control group. The exercise protocol consisted of 20 jumps/day, 5 days/week, with a jump height of 40 cm. The bone mineral density of the femora and tibiae was measured by double energy X-ray absorptiometry and the same bones were evaluated by mechanical tests. Bone microarchitecture was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. One-way ANOVA was used to compare groups. Significance was determined as P&lt;0.05. Regarding bone mineral density, mechanical properties and bone microarchitecture, the beneficial effects were greater in the bones of animals subjected to pre-suspension training and subsequently to training during suspension, compared with the bones of animals subjected to pre-suspension training or to training during suspension. Our results indicate that a period of high impact exercise prior to tail suspension in rats can prevent the installation of osteopenia if there is also training during the tail suspension. <![CDATA[Inflammatory cytokines and plasma redox status responses in hypertensive subjects after heat exposure]]> Hypertension is characterized by a pro-inflammatory status, including redox imbalance and increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may be exacerbated after heat exposure. However, the effects of heat exposure, specifically in individuals with inflammatory chronic diseases such as hypertension, are complex and not well understood. This study compared the effects of heat exposure on plasma cytokine levels and redox status parameters in 8 hypertensive (H) and 8 normotensive (N) subjects (age: 46.5±1.3 and 45.6±1.4 years old, body mass index: 25.8±0.8 and 25.6±0.6 kg/m2, mean arterial pressure: 98.0±2.8 and 86.0±2.3 mmHg, respectively). They remained at rest in a sitting position for 10 min in a thermoneutral environment (22°C) followed by 30 min in a heated environmental chamber (38°C and 60% relative humidity). Blood samples were collected before and after heat exposure. Plasma cytokine levels were measured using sandwich ELISA kits. Plasma redox status was determined by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels and ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP). Hypertensive subjects showed higher plasma levels of IL-10 at baseline (P&lt;0.05), although levels of this cytokine were similar between groups after heat exposure. Moreover, after heat exposure, hypertensive individuals showed higher plasma levels of soluble TNF receptor (sTNFR1) and lower TBARS (P&lt;0.01) and FRAP (P&lt;0.05) levels. Controlled hypertensive subjects, who use angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitors), present an anti-inflammatory status and balanced redox status. Nevertheless, exposure to a heat stress condition seems to cause an imbalance in the redox status and an unregulated inflammatory response. <![CDATA[Correlation between heart rate variability and pulmonary function adjusted by confounding factors in healthy adults]]> The autonomic nervous system maintains homeostasis, which is the state of balance in the body. That balance can be determined simply and noninvasively by evaluating heart rate variability (HRV). However, independently of autonomic control of the heart, HRV can be influenced by other factors, such as respiratory parameters. Little is known about the relationship between HRV and spirometric indices. In this study, our objective was to determine whether HRV correlates with spirometric indices in adults without cardiopulmonary disease, considering the main confounders (e.g., smoking and physical inactivity). In a sample of 119 asymptomatic adults (age 20-80 years), we evaluated forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). We evaluated resting HRV indices within a 5-min window in the middle of a 10-min recording period, thereafter analyzing time and frequency domains. To evaluate daily physical activity, we instructed participants to use a triaxial accelerometer for 7 days. Physical inactivity was defined as &lt;150 min/week of moderate to intense physical activity. We found that FVC and FEV1, respectively, correlated significantly with the following aspects of the RR interval: standard deviation of the RR intervals (r =0.31 and 0.35), low-frequency component (r =0.38 and 0.40), and Poincaré plot SD2 (r =0.34 and 0.36). Multivariate regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, smoking, physical inactivity, and cardiovascular risk, identified the SD2 and dyslipidemia as independent predictors of FVC and FEV1 (R2=0.125 and 0.180, respectively, for both). We conclude that pulmonary function is influenced by autonomic control of cardiovascular function, independently of the main confounders. <![CDATA[Risk factors for pulmonary hypertension in patients receiving maintenance peritoneal dialysis]]> We investigated the risk factors for pulmonary hypertension (PH) in patients receiving maintenance peritoneal dialysis (MPD). A group of 180 end-stage renal disease patients (124 men and 56 women; mean age: 56.43±8.36) were enrolled in our study, which was conducted between January 2009 and June 2014. All of the patients received MPD treatment in the Dialysis Center of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University. Clinical data, laboratory indices, and echocardiographic data from these patients were collected, and follow-ups were scheduled bi-monthly. The incidence and relevant risk factors of PH were analyzed. The differences in measurement data were compared by t-test and enumeration data were compared with the χ2 test. Among the 180 patients receiving MPD, 60 were diagnosed with PH. The remaining 120 were regarded as the non-PH group. Significant differences were observed in the clinical data, laboratory indices, and echocardiographic data between the PH and non-PH patients (all P&lt;0.05). Furthermore, hypertensive nephropathy patients on MPD showed a significantly higher incidence of PH compared with non-hypertensive nephropathy patients (P&lt;0.05). Logistic regression analysis showed that the proportion of internal arteriovenous fistula, C-reactive protein levels, and ejection fraction were the highest risk factors for PH in patients receiving MPD. Our study shows that there is a high incidence of PH in patients receiving MPD and hypertensive nephropathy patients have an increased susceptibility to PH. <![CDATA[Effects of intracutaneous injections of sterile water in patients with acute low back pain: a randomized, controlled, clinical trial]]> Intracutaneous sterile water injection (ISWI) is used for relief of low back pain during labor, acute attacks of urolithiasis, chronic neck and shoulder pain following whiplash injuries, and chronic myofascial pain syndrome. We conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effect of ISWI for relief of acute low back pain (aLBP). A total of 68 patients (41 females and 27 males) between 18 and 55 years old experiencing aLBP with moderate to severe pain (scores ≥5 on an 11-point visual analogue scale [VAS]) were recruited and randomly assigned to receive either ISWIs (n=34) or intracutaneous isotonic saline injections (placebo treatment; n=34). The primary outcome was improvement in pain intensity using the VAS at 10, 45, and 90 min and 1 day after treatment. The secondary outcome was functional improvement, which was assessed using the Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) 1 day after treatment. The mean VAS score was significantly lower in the ISWI group than in the control group at 10, 45, and 90 min, and 1 day after injection (P&lt;0.05, t-test). The mean increment in PSFS score of the ISWI group was 2.9±2.2 1 day after treatment, while that in the control group was 0.9±2.2. Our study showed that ISWI was effective for relieving pain and improving function in aLBP patients at short-term follow-up. ISWI might be an alternative treatment for aLBP patients, especially in areas where medications are not available, as well as in specific patients (e.g., those who are pregnant or have asthma), who are unable to receive medications or other forms of analgesia because of side effects. <![CDATA[Prevalence of child malnutrition at a university hospital using the World Health Organization criteria and bioelectrical impedance data]]> Malnutrition constitutes a major public health concern worldwide and serves as an indicator of hospitalized patients’ prognosis. Although various methods with which to conduct nutritional assessments exist, large hospitals seldom employ them to diagnose malnutrition. The aim of this study was to understand the prevalence of child malnutrition at the University Hospital of the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São, Brazil. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to compare the nutritional status of 292 hospitalized children with that of a healthy control group (n=234). Information regarding patients’ weight, height, and bioelectrical impedance (i.e., bioelectrical impedance vector analysis) was obtained, and the phase angle was calculated. Using the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, 35.27% of the patients presented with malnutrition; specifically, 16.10% had undernutrition and 19.17% were overweight. Classification according to the bioelectrical impedance results of nutritional status was more sensitive than the WHO criteria: of the 55.45% of patients with malnutrition, 51.25% exhibited undernutrition and 4.20% were overweight. After applying the WHO criteria in the unpaired control group (n=234), we observed that 100.00% of the subjects were eutrophic; however, 23.34% of the controls were malnourished according to impedance analysis. The phase angle was significantly lower in the hospitalized group than in the control group (P&lt;0.05). Therefore, this study suggests that a protocol to obtain patients’ weight and height must be followed, and bioimpedance data must be examined upon hospital admission of all children. <![CDATA[Expression of BAFF and BR3 in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus]]> The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between the expression of B cell activating factor (BAFF) and BAFF receptor in patients with disease activity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Real-time RT-PCR was used to examine BAFF mRNA expression in peripheral blood monocytes of active and stable SLE patients and healthy controls. The percentage of BAFF receptor 3 (BR3) on B lymphocytes was measured by flow cytometry. Soluble BAFF levels in serum were assayed by ELISA. Microalbumin levels were assayed by an automatic immune analysis machine. BAFF mRNA and soluble BAFF levels were highest in the active SLE group, followed by the stable SLE group, and controls (P&lt;0.01). The percentage of BR3 on B lymphocytes was downregulated in the active SLE group compared with the stable SLE group and controls (P&lt;0.01). BAFF mRNA levels and soluble BAFF levels were higher in patients who were positive for proteinuria than in those who were negative (P&lt;0.01). The percentage of BR3 on B lymphocytes was lower in patients who were positive for proteinuria than in those who were negative (P&lt;0.01). The BAFF/BR3 axis may be over-activated in SLE patients. BAFF and BR3 levels may be useful parameters for evaluating treatment. <![CDATA[Contact force-guided catheter ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials]]> Contact force (CF) sensing technology allows real-time monitoring during catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the effect of CF sensing technology on procedural parameters and clinical outcomes still needs clarification. Because of the inconsistent results thus far in this area, we performed a meta-analysis to determine whether CF sensing technology can improve procedural parameters and clinical outcomes for the treatment of AF. Studies examining the benefits of CF sensing technology were identified in English-language articles by searching the MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases (inception to May 2015). Ten randomized, controlled trials involving 1834 patients (1263 males, 571 females) were included in the meta-analysis (681 in the CF group, 1153 in the control group). Overall, the ablation time was significantly decreased by 7.34 min (95%CI=-12.21 to -2.46; P=0.003, Z test) in the CF group compared with the control group. CF sensing technology was associated with significantly improved freedom from AF after 12 months (OR=1.55, 95%CI=1.20 to 1.99; P=0.0007) and complications were significantly lower in the CF group than in the control group (OR=0.50, 95%CI=0.29 to 0.87; P=0.01). However, fluoroscopy time analysis showed no significantly decreased trend associated with CF-guided catheter ablation (weighted mean difference: -2.59; 95%CI=-9.06 to 3.88; P=0.43). The present meta-analysis shows improvement in ablation time and freedom from AF after 12 months in AF patients treated with CF-guided catheter ablation. However, CF-guided catheter ablation does not decrease fluoroscopy time. <![CDATA[Analysis of fracture healing in osteopenic bone caused by disuse: experimental study]]> Osteoporosis has become a serious global public health issue. Hence, osteoporotic fracture healing has been investigated in several previous studies because there is still controversy over the effect osteoporosis has on the healing process. The current study aimed to analyze two different periods of bone healing in normal and osteopenic rats. Sixty, 7-week-old female Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: unrestricted and immobilized for 2 weeks after osteotomy (OU2), suspended and immobilized for 2 weeks after osteotomy (OS2), unrestricted and immobilized for 6 weeks after osteotomy (OU6), and suspended and immobilized for 6 weeks after osteotomy (OS6). Osteotomy was performed in the middle third of the right tibia 21 days after tail suspension, when the osteopenic condition was already set. The fractured limb was then immobilized by orthosis. Tibias were collected 2 and 6 weeks after osteotomy, and were analyzed by bone densitometry, mechanical testing, and histomorphometry. Bone mineral density values from bony calluses were significantly lower in the 2-week post-osteotomy groups compared with the 6-week post-osteotomy groups (multivariate general linear model analysis, P&lt;0.000). Similarly, the mechanical properties showed that animals had stronger bones 6 weeks after osteotomy compared with 2 weeks after osteotomy (multivariate general linear model analysis, P&lt;0.000). Histomorphometry indicated gradual bone healing. Results showed that osteopenia did not influence the bone healing process, and that time was an independent determinant factor regardless of whether the fracture was osteopenic. This suggests that the body is able to compensate for the negative effects of suspension.