Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 47 num. 11 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Chronic granulomatous disease: why an inflammatory disease?]]> Chronic granulomatous disease is a primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the genes encoding subunits of the phagocytic NADPH oxidase system. Patients can present with severe, recurrent infections and noninfectious conditions. Among the latter, inflammatory manifestations are predominant, especially granulomas and colitis. In this article, we systematically review the possible mechanisms of hyperinflammation in this rare primary immunodeficiency condition and their correlations with clinical aspects. <![CDATA[Epidermal growth factor receptor (<em>EGFR</em>) mutations in lung cancer: preclinical and clinical data]]> Lung cancer leads cancer-related mortality worldwide. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most prevalent subtype of this recalcitrant cancer, is usually diagnosed at advanced stages, and available systemic therapies are mostly palliative. The probing of the NSCLC kinome has identified numerous nonoverlapping driver genomic events, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations. This review provides a synopsis of preclinical and clinical data on EGFR mutated NSCLC and EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Classic somatic EGFR kinase domain mutations (such as L858R and exon 19 deletions) make tumors addicted to their signaling cascades and generate a therapeutic window for the use of ATP-mimetic EGFR TKIs. The latter inhibit these kinases and their downstream effectors, and induce apoptosis in preclinical models. The aforementioned EGFR mutations are stout predictors of response and augmentation of progression-free survival when gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib are used for patients with advanced NSCLC. The benefits associated with these EGFR TKIs are limited by the mechanisms of tumor resistance, such as the gatekeeper EGFR-T790M mutation, and bypass activation of signaling cascades. Ongoing preclinical efforts for treating resistance have started to translate into patient care (including clinical trials of the covalent EGFR-T790M TKIs AZD9291 and CO-1686) and hold promise to further boost the median survival of patients with EGFR mutated NSCLC. <![CDATA[Hepatic inducible nitric oxide synthase expression increases upon exposure to hypergravity]]> Stimulation by a number of conditions, including infection, cytokines, mechanical injury, and hypoxia, can upregulate inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in hepatocytes. We observed that exposure to hypergravity significantly upregulated the transcription of the hepatic iNOS gene. The aim of this study was to confirm our preliminary data, and to further investigate the distribution of the iNOS protein in the livers of mice exposed to hypergravity. ICR mice were exposed to +3 Gz for 1 h. We investigated the time course of change in the iNOS expression. Hepatic iNOS mRNA expression progressively increased in centrifuged mice from 0 to 12 h, and then decreased rapidly by 18 h. iNOS mRNA levels in the livers of centrifuged mice was significantly higher at 3, 6, and 12 h than in uncentrifuged control mice. The pattern of iNOS protein expression paralleled that of the mRNA expression. At 0 and 1 h, weak cytoplasmic iNOS immunoreactivity was found in some hepatocytes surrounding terminal hepatic venules. It was noted that at 6 h there was an increase in the number of perivenular hepatocytes with moderate to strong cytoplasmic immunoreactivity. The number of iNOS-positive hepatocytes was maximally increased at 12 h. The majority of positively stained cells showed a strong intensity of iNOS expression. The expression levels of iNOS mRNA and protein were significantly increased in the livers of mice exposed to hypergravity. These results suggest that exposure to hypergravity significantly upregulates iNOS at both transcriptional and translational levels. <![CDATA[Therapeutic mechanism of treating SMMC-7721 liver cancer cells with magnetic fluid hyperthermia using Fe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> nanoparticles]]> This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic mechanism of treating SMMC-7721 liver cancer cells with magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) using Fe2O3 nanoparticles. Hepatocarcinoma SMMC-7721 cells cultured in vitro were treated with ferrofluid containing Fe2O3 nanoparticles and irradiated with an alternating radio frequency magnetic field. The influence of the treatment on the cells was examined by inverted microscopy, MTT and flow cytometry. To study the therapeutic mechanism of the Fe2O3 MFH, Hsp70, Bax, Bcl-2 and p53 were detected by immunocytochemistry and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). It was shown that Fe2O3 MFH could cause cellular necrosis, induce cellular apoptosis, and significantly inhibit cellular growth, all of which appeared to be dependent on the concentration of the Fe2O3 nanoparticles. Immunocytochemistry results showed that MFH could induce high expression of Hsp70 and Bax, decrease the expression of mutant p53, and had little effect on Bcl-2. RT-PCR indicated that Hsp70 expression was high in the early stage of MFH (&lt;24 h) and became low or absent after 24 h of MFH treatment. It can be concluded that Fe2O3 MFH significantly inhibited the proliferation of in vitro cultured liver cancer cells (SMMC-7721), induced cell apoptosis and arrested the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. Fe2O3 MFH can induce high Hsp70 expression at an early stage, enhance the expression of Bax, and decrease the expression of mutant p53, which promotes the apoptosis of tumor cells. <![CDATA[Effect of exercise training on Ca<sup>2+</sup> release units of left ventricular myocytes of spontaneously hypertensive rats]]> In cardiomyocytes, calcium (Ca2+) release units comprise clusters of intracellular Ca2+ release channels located on the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and hypertension is well established as a cause of defects in calcium release unit function. Our objective was to determine whether endurance exercise training could attenuate the deleterious effects of hypertension on calcium release unit components and Ca2+ sparks in left ventricular myocytes of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Male Wistar and spontaneously hypertensive rats (4 months of age) were divided into 4 groups: normotensive (NC) and hypertensive control (HC), and normotensive (NT) and hypertensive trained (HT) animals (7 rats per group). NC and HC rats were submitted to a low-intensity treadmill running protocol (5 days/week, 1 h/day, 0% grade, and 50-60% of maximal running speed) for 8 weeks. Gene expression of the ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2) and FK506 binding protein (FKBP12.6) increased (270%) and decreased (88%), respectively, in HC compared to NC rats. Endurance exercise training reversed these changes by reducing RyR2 (230%) and normalizing FKBP12.6 gene expression (112%). Hypertension also increased the frequency of Ca2+ sparks (HC=7.61±0.26 vs NC=4.79±0.19 per 100 µm/s) and decreased its amplitude (HC=0.260±0.08 vs NC=0.324±0.10 ΔF/F0), full width at half-maximum amplitude (HC=1.05±0.08 vs NC=1.26±0.01 µm), total duration (HC=11.51±0.12 vs NC=14.97±0.24 ms), time to peak (HC=4.84±0.06 vs NC=6.31±0.14 ms), and time constant of decay (HC=8.68±0.12 vs NC=10.21±0.22 ms). These changes were partially reversed in HT rats (frequency of Ca2+ sparks=6.26±0.19 µm/s, amplitude=0.282±0.10 ΔF/F0, full width at half-maximum amplitude=1.14±0.01 µm, total duration=13.34±0.17 ms, time to peak=5.43±0.08 ms, and time constant of decay=9.43±0.15 ms). Endurance exercise training attenuated the deleterious effects of hypertension on calcium release units of left ventricular myocytes. <![CDATA[Erythropoietin reduces the expression of myostatin in mdx dystrophic mice]]> Erythropoietin (EPO) has been well characterized as a renal glycoprotein hormone regulating red blood cell production by inhibiting apoptosis of erythrocyte progenitors in hematopoietic tissues. EPO exerts regulatory effects in cardiac and skeletal muscles. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal degenerative disorder of skeletal and cardiac muscle. In this study, we tested the possible therapeutic beneficial effect of recombinant EPO (rhEPO) in dystrophic muscles in mdx mice. Total strength was measured using a force transducer coupled to a computer. Gene expression for myostatin, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was determined by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. Myostatin expression was significantly decreased in quadriceps from mdx mice treated with rhEPO (rhEPO=0.60±0.11, control=1.07±0.11). On the other hand, rhEPO had no significant effect on the expression of TGF-β1 (rhEPO=0.95±0.14, control=1.05±0.16) and TNF-α (rhEPO=0.73±0.20, control=1.01±0.09). These results may help to clarify some of the direct actions of EPO on skeletal muscle. <![CDATA[Intercostal and forearm muscle deoxygenation during respiratory fatigue in patients with heart failure: potential role of a respiratory muscle metaboreflex]]> The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of respiratory muscle fatigue on intercostal and forearm muscle perfusion and oxygenation in patients with heart failure. Five clinically stable heart failure patients with respiratory muscle weakness (age, 66±12 years; left ventricle ejection fraction, 34±3%) and nine matched healthy controls underwent a respiratory muscle fatigue protocol, breathing against a fixed resistance at 60% of their maximal inspiratory pressure for as long as they could sustain the predetermined inspiratory pressure. Intercostal and forearm muscle blood volume and oxygenation were continuously monitored by near-infrared spectroscopy with transducers placed on the seventh left intercostal space and the left forearm. Data were compared by two-way ANOVA and Bonferroni correction. Respiratory fatigue occurred at 5.1±1.3 min in heart failure patients and at 9.3±1.4 min in controls (P&lt;0.05), but perceived effort, changes in heart rate, and in systolic blood pressure were similar between groups (P&gt;0.05). Respiratory fatigue in heart failure reduced intercostal and forearm muscle blood volume (P&lt;0.05) along with decreased tissue oxygenation both in intercostal (heart failure, -2.6±1.6%; controls, +1.6±0.5%; P&lt;0.05) and in forearm muscles (heart failure, -4.5±0.5%; controls, +0.5±0.8%; P&lt;0.05). These results suggest that respiratory fatigue in patients with heart failure causes an oxygen demand/delivery mismatch in respiratory muscles, probably leading to a reflex reduction in peripheral limb muscle perfusion, featuring a respiratory metaboreflex. <![CDATA[Estimating the average length of hospitalization due to pneumonia: a fuzzy approach]]> Exposure to air pollutants is associated with hospitalizations due to pneumonia in children. We hypothesized the length of hospitalization due to pneumonia may be dependent on air pollutant concentrations. Therefore, we built a computational model using fuzzy logic tools to predict the mean time of hospitalization due to pneumonia in children living in São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil. The model was built with four inputs related to pollutant concentrations and effective temperature, and the output was related to the mean length of hospitalization. Each input had two membership functions and the output had four membership functions, generating 16 rules. The model was validated against real data, and a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was constructed to evaluate model performance. The values predicted by the model were significantly correlated with real data. Sulfur dioxide and particulate matter significantly predicted the mean length of hospitalization in lags 0, 1, and 2. This model can contribute to the care provided to children with pneumonia. <![CDATA[Relationship between pulmonary function and indoor air pollution from coal combustion among adult residents in an inner-city area of southwest China]]> Few studies evaluate the amount of particulate matter less than 2.5 mm in diameter (PM2.5) in relation to a change in lung function among adults in a population. The aim of this study was to assess the association of coal as a domestic energy source to pulmonary function in an adult population in inner-city areas of Zunyi city in China where coal use is common. In a cross-sectional study of 104 households, pulmonary function measurements were assessed and compared in 110 coal users and 121 non-coal users (≥18 years old) who were all nonsmokers. Several sociodemographic factors were assessed by questionnaire, and ventilatory function measurements including forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), the FEV1/FVC ratio, and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were compared between the 2 groups. The amount of PM2.5 was also measured in all residences. There was a significant increase in the relative concentration of PM2.5 in the indoor kitchens and living rooms of the coal-exposed group compared to the non-coal-exposed group. In multivariate analysis, current exposure to coal smoke was associated with a 31.7% decrease in FVC, a 42.0% decrease in FEV1, a 7.46% decrease in the FEV1/FVC ratio, and a 23.1% decrease in PEFR in adult residents. The slope of lung function decrease for Chinese adults is approximately a 2-L decrease in FVC, a 3-L decrease in FEV1, and an 8 L/s decrease in PEFR per count per minute of PM2.5 exposure. These results demonstrate the harmful effects of indoor air pollution from coal smoke on the lung function of adult residents and emphasize the need for public health efforts to decrease exposure to coal smoke. <![CDATA[Occult hepatitis B virus infection in liver transplant patients in a Brazilian referral center]]> Estimates of occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection prevalence varies among different studies depending on the prevalence of HBV infection in the study population and on the sensitivity of the assay used to detect HBV DNA. We investigated the prevalence of occult HBV infection in cirrhotic patients undergoing liver transplantation in a Brazilian referral center. Frozen liver samples from 68 adults were analyzed using a nested polymerase chain reaction assay for HBV DNA. The specificity of the amplified HBV sequences was confirmed by direct sequencing of the amplicons. The patient population comprised 49 (72.1%) males and 19 (27.9%) females with a median age of 53 years (range=18-67 years). Occult HBV infection was diagnosed in three (4.4%) patients. The etiologies of the underlying chronic liver disease in these cases were alcohol abuse, HBV infection, and cryptogenic cirrhosis. Two of the patients with cryptic HBV infection also presented hepatocellular carcinoma. Markers of previous HBV infection were available in two patients with occult HBV infection and were negative in both. In conclusion, using a sensitive nested polymerase chain reaction assay to detect HBV DNA in frozen liver tissue, we found a low prevalence of occult HBV infection in cirrhotic patients undergoing liver transplant, probably due to the low prevalence of HBV infection in our population. <![CDATA[Elevated levels of plasma osteoprotegerin are associated with all-cause mortality risk and atherosclerosis in patients with stages 3 to 5 chronic kidney disease]]> Osteoprotegerin (OPG) regulates bone mass by inhibiting osteoclast differentiation and activation, and plays a role in vascular calcification. We evaluated the relationship between osteoprotegerin levels and inflammatory markers, atherosclerosis, and mortality in patients with stages 3-5 chronic kidney disease. A total of 145 subjects (median age 61 years, 61% men; 36 patients on hemodialysis, 55 patients on peritoneal dialysis, and 54 patients with stages 3-5 chronic kidney disease) were studied. Clinical characteristics, markers of mineral metabolism (including fibroblast growth factor-23 [FGF-23]) and inflammation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hsCRP] and interleukin-6 [IL-6]), and the intima-media thickness (IMT) in the common carotid arteries were measured at baseline. Cardiac function was assessed by color tissue Doppler echocardiography. After 36 months follow-up, the survival rate by Kaplan-Meier analysis was significantly different according to OPG levels (χ 2=14.33; P=0.002). Increased OPG levels were positively associated with IL-6 (r=0.38, P&lt;0.001), FGF-23 (r=0.26, P&lt;0.001) and hsCRP (r=0.0.24, P=0.003). In addition, OPG was positively associated with troponin I (r=0.54, P&lt;0.001) and IMT (r=0.39, P&lt;0.0001). Finally, in Cox analysis, only OPG (HR=1.07, 95%CI=1.02-1.13) and hsCRP (HR=1.02, 95%CI=1.01-1.04) were independently associated with increased risk of death. These results suggested that elevated levels of serum OPG might be associated with atherosclerosis and all-cause mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease. <![CDATA[Relationship between deep venous thrombosis and inflammatory cytokines in postoperative patients with malignant abdominal tumors]]> Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a common surgical complication in cancer patients and evidence that inflammation plays a role in the occurrence of DVT is increasing. We studied a population of cancer patients with abdominal malignancies with the aim of investigating whether the levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines were associated with postoperative DVT, and to determine the levels in DVT diagnoses. The serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukins (IL)-6 and IL-10, nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB) and E-selectin (E-Sel) were determined in 120 individuals, who were divided into 3 groups: healthy controls, patients with and patients without DVT after surgery for an abdominal malignancy. Data were analyzed by ANOVA, Dunnet's T3 test, chi-square test, and univariate and multivariate logistic regression as needed. The CRP, IL-6, NF-κB, and E-Sel levels in patients with DVT were significantly higher than those in the other groups (P&lt;0.05). The IL-10 level was higher in patients with DVT than in controls but lower than in patients without DVT. Univariate analysis revealed that CRP, IL-6, NF-κB, and E-Sel were statistically associated with the risk of DVT (OR=1.98, P=0.002; OR=1.17, P=0.000; OR=1.03, P=0.042; and OR=1.38, P=0.003; respectively), whereas IL-10 had a protective effect (OR=0.94, P=0.011). Multivariate analysis showed that E-Sel was an independent risk factor (OR=1.41, P=0.000). Thus, this study indicated that an increased serum level of E-Sel was associated with increased DVT risk in postoperative patients with abdominal malignancy, indicating that E-Sel may be a useful predictor of diagnosis of DVT. <![CDATA[Determination of <em>CYP2D6 *3, *4</em>, and <em>*10</em> frequency in women with breast cancer in São Luís, Brazil, and its association with prognostic factors and disease-free survival]]> The CYP2D6 enzyme is crucial for the metabolism of tamoxifen. The CYP2D6 gene is highly polymorphic, and individuals can be extensive, intermediate, or poor tamoxifen metabolizers. The aim of this study was to determine the frequencies of the CYP2D6 *3, *4, and *10 alleles in women with breast cancer who were treated with tamoxifen and analyze the association of enzyme activity with prognostic factors and disease-free survival. We observed a high frequency of CYP2D6 *10, with an allelic frequency of 0.14 (14.4%). The *3 allele was not present in the studied population, and *4 had an allelic frequency of 0.13 (13.8%). We conclude that patients with reduced CYP2D6 activity did not present worse tumor characteristics or decreased disease-free survival than women with normal enzyme activity, as the difference was not statistically significant. We also observed a high frequency of CYP2D6 *10, which had not been previously described in this specific population. This study is the first in north-northeastern Brazil that aimed to contribute to the knowledge of the Brazilian regional profile for CYP2D6 polymorphisms and their phenotypes. These findings add to the knowledge of the distribution of different polymorphic CYP2D6 alleles and the potential role of CYP2D6 genotyping in clinical practice prior to choosing therapeutic protocols.