Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=0100-879X20150004&lang=pt vol. 48 num. 4 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[Effects of propofol on lipopolysaccharide-induced expression and release of HMGB1 in macrophages]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400286&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study aimed to determine the effects of different concentrations of propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced expression and release of high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) in mouse macrophages. Mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 cells were randomly divided into 5 treatment groups. Expression levels of HMGB1 mRNA were detected using RT-PCR, and cell culture supernatant HMGB1 protein levels were detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Translocation of HMGB1 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in macrophages was observed by Western blotting and activity of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) in the nucleus was detected using ELISA. HMGB1 mRNA expression levels increased significantly in the cell culture supernatant and in cells after 24 h of stimulating RAW264.7 cells with LPS (500 ng/mL). However, HMGB1 mRNA expression levels in the P2 and P3 groups, which received 500 ng/mL LPS with 25 or 50 μmol/mL propofol, respectively, were significantly lower than those in the group receiving LPS stimulation (P&lt;0.05). After stimulation by LPS, HMGB1 protein levels were reduced significantly in the nucleus but were increased in the cytoplasm (P&lt;0.05). Simultaneously, the activity of NF-κB was enhanced significantly (P&lt;0.05). After propofol intervention, HMGB1 translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and NF-κB activity were inhibited significantly (each P&lt;0.05). Thus, propofol can inhibit the LPS-induced expression and release of HMGB1 by inhibiting HMGB1 translocation and NF-κB activity in RAW264.7 cells, suggesting propofol may be protective in patients with sepsis. <![CDATA[The role of necroptosis in neurosurgical diseases]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400292&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Programmed necrosis or necroptosis is an alternative form of cell death that is executed through a caspase-independent pathway. Necroptosis has been implicated in many pathological conditions. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of necroptotic signaling has been shown to confer neuroprotection after traumatic and ischemic brain injury. Therefore, the necroptotic pathway represents a potential target for neurological diseases that are managed by neurosurgeons. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the understanding of necroptotic signaling pathways and explore the role of necroptotic cell death in craniocerebral trauma, brain tumors, and cerebrovascular diseases. <![CDATA[Neuropeptide Y, substance P, and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 stimulate human osteoblast osteogenic activity by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400299&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Bone homeostasis seems to be controlled by delicate and subtle “cross talk” between the nervous system and “osteo-neuromediators” that control bone remodeling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of interactions between neuropeptides and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (hBMP2) on human osteoblasts. We also investigated the effects of neuropeptides and hBMP2 on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). Osteoblasts were treated with neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), or hBMP2 at three concentrations. At various intervals after treatment, cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. In addition, cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin were determined by colorimetric assay and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The effects of NPY, SP and hBMP on GJIC were determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The viability of cells treated with neuropeptides and hBMP2 increased significantly in a time-dependent manner, but was inversely associated with the concentration of the treatments. ALP activity and osteocalcin were both reduced in osteoblasts exposed to the combination of neuropeptides and hBMP2. The GJIC of osteoblasts was significantly increased by the neuropeptides and hBMP2. These results suggest that osteoblast activity is increased by neuropeptides and hBMP2 through increased GJIC. Identification of the GJIC-mediated signal transduction capable of modulating the cellular activities of bone cells represents a novel approach to studying the biology of skeletal innervation. <![CDATA[<em>In vitro</em> biological screening of the anticholinesterase and antiproliferative activities of medicinal plants belonging to Annonaceae]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400308&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The aim of this research was to investigate the antiproliferative and anticholinesterase activities of 11 extracts from 5 Annonaceae species in vitro. Antiproliferative activity was assessed using 10 human cancer cell lines. Thin-layer chromatography and a microplate assay were used to screen the extracts for acetylcholinesterase (AchE) inhibitors using Ellman's reagent. The chemical compositions of the active extracts were investigated using high performance liquid chromatography. Eleven extracts obtained from five Annonaceae plant species were active and were particularly effective against the UA251, NCI-470 lung, HT-29, NCI/ADR, and K-562 cell lines with growth inhibition (GI50) values of 0.04-0.06, 0.02-0.50, 0.01-0.12, 0.10-0.27, and 0.02-0.04 µg/mL, respectively. In addition, the Annona crassiflora and A. coriacea seed extracts were the most active among the tested extracts and the most effective against the tumor cell lines, with GI50 values below 8.90 µg/mL. The A. cacans extract displayed the lowest activity. Based on the microplate assay, the percent AchE inhibition of the extracts ranged from 12 to 52%, and the A. coriacea seed extract resulted in the greatest inhibition (52%). Caffeic acid, sinapic acid, and rutin were present at higher concentrations in the A. crassiflora seed samples. The A. coriacea seeds contained ferulic and sinapic acid. Overall, the results indicated that A. crassiflora and A. coriacea extracts have antiproliferative and anticholinesterase properties, which opens up new possibilities for alternative pharmacotherapy drugs. <![CDATA[Interaction between affordance and handedness recognition: a chronometric study]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400316&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The visualization of tools and manipulable objects activates motor-related areas in the cortex, facilitating possible actions toward them. This pattern of activity may underlie the phenomenon of object affordance. Some cortical motor neurons are also covertly activated during the recognition of body parts such as hands. One hypothesis is that different subpopulations of motor neurons in the frontal cortex are activated in each motor program; for example, canonical neurons in the premotor cortex are responsible for the affordance of visual objects, while mirror neurons support motor imagery triggered during handedness recognition. However, the question remains whether these subpopulations work independently. This hypothesis can be tested with a manual reaction time (MRT) task with a priming paradigm to evaluate whether the view of a manipulable object interferes with the motor imagery of the subject's hand. The MRT provides a measure of the course of information processing in the brain and allows indirect evaluation of cognitive processes. Our results suggest that canonical and mirror neurons work together to create a motor plan involving hand movements to facilitate successful object manipulation. <![CDATA[The superoxide anion donor, potassium superoxide, induces pain and inflammation in mice through production of reactive oxygen species and cyclooxygenase-2]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400321&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is currently accepted that superoxide anion (O2•−) is an important mediator in pain and inflammation. The role of superoxide anion in pain and inflammation has been mainly determined indirectly by modulating its production and inactivation. Direct evidence using potassium superoxide (KO2), a superoxide anion donor, demonstrated that it induced thermal hyperalgesia, as assessed by the Hargreaves method. However, it remains to be determined whether KO2 is capable of inducing other inflammatory and nociceptive responses attributed to superoxide anion. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the nociceptive and inflammatory effects of KO2. The KO2-induced inflammatory responses evaluated in mice were: mechanical hyperalgesia (electronic version of von Frey filaments), thermal hyperalgesia (hot plate), edema (caliper rule), myeloperoxidase activity (colorimetric assay), overt pain-like behaviors (flinches, time spent licking and writhing score), leukocyte recruitment, oxidative stress, and cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA expression (quantitative PCR). Administration of KO2 induced mechanical hyperalgesia, thermal hyperalgesia, paw edema, leukocyte recruitment, the writhing response, paw flinching, and paw licking in a dose-dependent manner. KO2 also induced time-dependent cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA expression in the paw skin. The nociceptive, inflammatory, and oxidative stress components of KO2-induced responses were responsive to morphine (analgesic opioid), quercetin (antioxidant flavonoid), and/or celecoxib (anti-inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor) treatment. In conclusion, the well-established superoxide anion donor KO2 is a valuable tool for studying the mechanisms and pharmacological susceptibilities of superoxide anion-triggered nociceptive and inflammatory responses ranging from mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia to overt pain-like behaviors, edema, and leukocyte recruitment. <![CDATA[Exercise training prevents increased intraocular pressure and sympathetic vascular modulation in an experimental model of metabolic syndrome]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400332&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The present study aimed to study the effects of exercise training (ET) performed by rats on a 10-week high-fructose diet on metabolic, hemodynamic, and autonomic changes, as well as intraocular pressure (IOP). Male Wistar rats receiving fructose overload in drinking water (100 g/L) were concomitantly trained on a treadmill for 10 weeks (FT group) or kept sedentary (F group), and a control group (C) was kept in normal laboratory conditions. The metabolic evaluation comprised the Lee index, glycemia, and insulin tolerance test (KITT). Arterial pressure (AP) was measured directly, and systolic AP variability was performed to determine peripheral autonomic modulation. ET attenuated impaired metabolic parameters, AP, IOP, and ocular perfusion pressure (OPP) induced by fructose overload (FT vs F). The increase in peripheral sympathetic modulation in F rats, demonstrated by systolic AP variance and low frequency (LF) band (F: 37±2, 6.6±0.3 vs C: 26±3, 3.6±0.5 mmHg2), was prevented by ET (FT: 29±3, 3.4±0.7 mmHg2). Positive correlations were found between the LF band and right IOP (r=0.57, P=0.01) and left IOP (r=0.64, P=0.003). Negative correlations were noted between KITT values and right IOP (r=-0.55, P=0.01) and left IOP (r=-0.62, P=0.005). ET in rats effectively prevented metabolic abnormalities and AP and IOP increases promoted by a high-fructose diet. In addition, ocular benefits triggered by exercise training were associated with peripheral autonomic improvement. <![CDATA[Gene expression of estrogen and oxytocin receptors in the uterus of pregnant and parturient bitches]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400339&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the canine species, the precise mechanisms of pregnancy maintenance and the initiation of parturition are not completely understood. The expression of genes encoding the receptors for estrogen (ERα mRNA) and oxytocin (OTR mRNA) was studied in the endometrium and myometrium during pregnancy and parturition in dogs. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify the levels of ERα mRNA and OTR mRNA in the uterus of bitches during early (up to 20 days of gestation), mid (20 to 40 days) and late pregnancy (41 to 60 days), and parturition (first stage of labor). All tissues expressed ERα and OTR mRNA, and are thus possibly able to respond to eventual estrogen and oxytocin hormonal stimuli. No statistically significant differences in the expression of ERα mRNA were verified in the endometrium and myometrium throughout pregnancy and parturition, but expression of OTR mRNA increased at both parturition and late pregnancy. We concluded that the increase of endometrial and myometrial OTR mRNA expression in dogs is not an event dependent on estrogenic stimulation. Moreover, the contractility response of the canine uterus to oxytocin begins during pregnancy and maintains myometrial activity. The expression of OTR mRNA in canine uterine tissues varied over time, which supports an interpretation that the sensitivity and response to hormone therapy varies during the course of pregnancy and labor. Further studies are needed to elucidate the factors underlying the synthesis of uterine oxytocin receptors and the possible role of ERβ rather than ERα in the uterine tissues during pregnancy and parturition in dogs. <![CDATA[Dexamethasone and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose prevent postoperative intraperitoneal adhesions in rats]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400344&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt We aimed to evaluate the effects of the barrier agent sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (SCMC) with and without dexamethasone for the prevention of postoperative adhesion formation in a rat model of postoperative peritoneal adhesion. A total of 160 three-month old male and female Wistar rats underwent a laparotomy, and adhesions were induced by ileocecal abrasion. Rats were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n=40 each): group A, untreated; group B, treated with SCMC only; group C1, treated with SCMC + 3 mg dexamethasone, and group C2, treated with SCMC + 8 mg dexamethasone. After 12 days, adhesion formation and histopathological changes were compared. In groups A, B, C1, and C2, the mortality rates were 10, 5, 5, and 5%, respectively. In groups C1 and C2, the adhesions were filmy and easy to dissect and were milder compared with those in groups A and B. The total adhesion score in group C1 (3.38±0.49) was significantly lower than that of group B (6.01±0.57; P&lt;0.01) or group A (8.01±0.67; P&lt;0.05). There was no significant difference in adhesion formation between groups C1 and C2. Compared with groups A and B, groups C1 and C2 exhibited milder histopathological changes. SCMC in combination with dexamethasone can prevent adhesion formation and is a better barrier agent than SCMC alone. The safety and feasibility of SCMC in combination with dexamethasone to prevent adhesion formation after abdominal surgery warrants further clinical study. <![CDATA[Intensity and physiological responses to the 6-minute walk test in middle-aged and older adults: a comparison with cardiopulmonary exercise testing]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400349&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) is a simple field test that is widely used in clinical settings to assess functional exercise capacity. However, studies with healthy subjects are scarce. We hypothesized that the 6MWT might be useful to assess exercise capacity in healthy subjects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 6MWT intensity in middle-aged and older adults, as well as to develop a simple equation to predict oxygen uptake ( V ˙ O 2 ) from the 6-min walk distance (6MWD). Eighty-six participants, 40 men and 46 women, 40-74 years of age and with a mean body mass index of 28±6 kg/m2, performed the 6MWT according to American Thoracic Society guidelines. Physiological responses were evaluated during the 6MWT using a K4b2 Cosmed telemetry gas analyzer. On a different occasion, the subjects performed ramp protocol cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) on a treadmill. Peak V ˙ O 2 in the 6MWT corresponded to 78±13% of the peak V ˙ O 2 during CPET, and the maximum heart rate corresponded to 80±23% of that obtained in CPET. Peak V ˙ O 2 in CPET was adequately predicted by the 6MWD by a linear regression equation: V ˙ O 2 mL·min-1·kg-1 = -2.863 + (0.0563×6MWDm) (R2=0.76). The 6MWT represents a moderate-to-high intensity activity in middle-aged and older adults and proved to be useful for predicting cardiorespiratory fitness in the present study. Our results suggest that the 6MWT may also be useful in asymptomatic individuals, and its use in walk-based conditioning programs should be encouraged. <![CDATA[Effect of L-carnitine on exercise performance in patients with mitochondrial myopathy]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400354&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Exercise intolerance due to impaired oxidative metabolism is a prominent symptom in patients with mitochondrial myopathy (MM), but it is still uncertain whether L-carnitine supplementation is beneficial for patients with MM. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of L-carnitine on exercise performance in MM. Twelve MM subjects (mean age±SD=35.4±10.8 years) with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) were first compared to 10 healthy controls (mean age±SD=29±7.8 years) before they were randomly assigned to receive L-carnitine supplementation (3 g/daily) or placebo in a double-blind crossover design. Clinical status, body composition, respiratory function tests, peripheral muscle strength (isokinetic and isometric torque) and cardiopulmonary exercise tests (incremental to peak exercise and at 70% of maximal), constant work rate (CWR) exercise test, to the limit of tolerance [Tlim]) were assessed after 2 months of L-carnitine/placebo administration. Patients with MM presented with lower mean height, total body weight, fat-free mass, and peripheral muscle strength compared to controls in the pre-test evaluation. After L-carnitine supplementation, the patients with MM significantly improved their Tlim (14±1.9 vs 11±1.4 min) and oxygen consumption ( V ˙ O 2 ) at CWR exercise, both at isotime (1151±115 vs 1049±104 mL/min) and at Tlim (1223±114 vs 1060±108 mL/min). These results indicate that L-carnitine supplementation may improve aerobic capacity and exercise tolerance during high-intensity CWRs in MM patients with CPEO. <![CDATA[Reduction of blood nitric oxide levels is associated with clinical improvement of the chronic pelvic pain related to endometriosis]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400363&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The objective of this prospective study was to determine the plasma levels of nitric oxide (NO) in women with chronic pelvic pain secondary to endometriosis (n=24) and abdominal myofascial pain syndrome (n=16). NO levels were measured in plasma collected before and 1 month after treatment. Pretreatment NO levels (μM) were lower in healthy volunteers (47.0±12.7) than in women with myofascial pain (64.2±5.0, P=0.01) or endometriosis (99.5±12.9, P&lt;0.0001). After treatment, plasma NO levels were reduced only in the endometriosis group (99.5±12.9 vs 61.6±5.9, P=0.002). A correlation between reduction of pain intensity and reduction of NO level was observed in the endometriosis group [correlation = 0.67 (95%CI = 0.35 to 0.85), P&lt;0.0001]. Reduction of NO levels was associated with an increase of pain threshold in this group [correlation = -0.53 (-0.78 to -0.14), P&lt;0.0001]. NO levels appeared elevated in women with chronic pelvic pain diagnosed as secondary to endometriosis, and were directly associated with reduction in pain intensity and increase in pain threshold after treatment. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of NO in the pathophysiology of pain in women with endometriosis and its eventual association with central sensitization. <![CDATA[Effects of conventional <em>vs</em> high-dose rocuronium on the QTc interval during anesthesia induction and intubation in patients undergoing coronary artery surgery: a randomized, double-blind, parallel trial]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400370&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Myocardial ischemia, as well as the induction agents used in anesthesia, may cause corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation. The objective of this randomized, double-blind trial was to determine the effects of high- vs conventional-dose bolus rocuronium on QTc duration and the incidence of dysrhythmias following anesthesia induction and intubation. Fifty patients about to undergo coronary artery surgery were randomly allocated to receive conventional-dose (0.6 mg/kg, group C, n=25) or high-dose (1.2 mg/kg, group H, n=25) rocuronium after induction with etomidate and fentanyl. QTc, heart rate, and mean arterial pressure were recorded before induction (T0), after induction (T1), after rocuronium (just before laryngoscopy; T2), 2 min after intubation (T3), and 5 min after intubation (T4). The occurrence of dysrhythmias was recorded. In both groups, QTc was significantly longer at T3 than at baseline [475 vs 429 ms in group C (P=0.001), and 459 vs 434 ms in group H (P=0.005)]. The incidence of dysrhythmias in group C (28%) and in group H (24%) was similar. The QTc after high-dose rocuronium was not significantly longer than after conventional-dose rocuronium in patients about to undergo coronary artery surgery who were induced with etomidate and fentanyl. In both groups, compared with baseline, QTc was most prolonged at 2 min after intubation, suggesting that QTc prolongation may be due to the nociceptive stimulus of intubation. <![CDATA[Dexamethasone and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose prevent postoperative intraperitoneal adhesions in rats]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2015000400344&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt We aimed to evaluate the effects of the barrier agent sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (SCMC) with and without dexamethasone for the prevention of postoperative adhesion formation in a rat model of postoperative peritoneal adhesion. A total of 160 three-month old male and female Wistar rats underwent a laparotomy, and adhesions were induced by ileocecal abrasion. Rats were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n=40 each): group A, untreated; group B, treated with SCMC only; group C1, treated with SCMC + 3 mg dexamethasone, and group C2, treated with SCMC + 8 mg dexamethasone. After 12 days, adhesion formation and histopathological changes were compared. In groups A, B, C1, and C2, the mortality rates were 10, 5, 5, and 5%, respectively. In groups C1 and C2, the adhesions were filmy and easy to dissect and were milder compared with those in groups A and B. The total adhesion score in group C1 (3.38±0.49) was significantly lower than that of group B (6.01±0.57; P&lt;0.01) or group A (8.01±0.67; P&lt;0.05). There was no significant difference in adhesion formation between groups C1 and C2. Compared with groups A and B, groups C1 and C2 exhibited milder histopathological changes. SCMC in combination with dexamethasone can prevent adhesion formation and is a better barrier agent than SCMC alone. The safety and feasibility of SCMC in combination with dexamethasone to prevent adhesion formation after abdominal surgery warrants further clinical study.