Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 48 num. 6 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Expression of intronic miRNAs and their host gene <em>Igf2</em> in a murine unilateral ureteral obstruction model]]> The objective of this study was to determine the expression of miR-483 and miR-483* and the relationship among them, their host gene (Igf2), and other cytokines in a murine model of renal fibrosis. The extent of renal fibrosis was visualized using Masson staining, and fibrosis was scored 3 days and 1 and 2 weeks after unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Expression of miR-483, miR-483* and various cytokine mRNAs was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Expression of miR-483 and miR-483* was significantly upregulated in the UUO model, particularly miR-483 expression was the greatest 2 weeks after surgery. Additionally, miR-483 and miR-483* expression negatively correlated with Bmp7 expression and positively correlated with Igf2, Tgfβ, Hgf, and Ctgf expression, as determined by Pearson's correlation analysis. Hgf expression significantly increased at 1 and 2 weeks after the surgery compared to the control group. This study showed that miR-483 and miR-483* expression was upregulated in a murine UUO model. These data suggest that miR-483 and miR-483* play a role in renal fibrosis and that miR-483* may interact with miR-483 in renal fibrosis. Thus, these miRNAs may play a role in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis and coexpression of their host gene Igf2. <![CDATA[Alanyl-glutamine attenuates 5-fluorouracil-induced intestinal mucositis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice]]> Apolipoprotein E (APOE=gene, apoE=protein) is a known factor regulating the inflammatory response that may have regenerative effects during tissue recovery from injury. We investigated whether apoE deficiency reduces the healing effect of alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln) treatment, a recognized gut-trophic nutrient, during tissue recovery after 5-FU-induced intestinal mucositis. APOE-knockout (APOE-/-) and wild-type (APOE+/+) C57BL6J male and female mice (N=86) were given either Ala-Gln (100 mM) or phosphate buffered saline (PBS) by gavage 3 days before and 5 days after a 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) challenge (450 mg/kg, via intraperitoneal injection). Mouse body weight was monitored daily. The 5-FU cytotoxic effect was evaluated by leukometry. Intestinal villus height, villus/crypt ratio, and villin expression were monitored to assess recovery of the intestinal absorptive surface area. Crypt length, mitotic, apoptotic, and necrotic crypt indexes, and quantitative real-time PCR for insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) intestinal mRNA transcripts were used to evaluate intestinal epithelial cell turnover. 5-FU challenge caused significant weight loss and leukopenia (P&lt;0.001) in both mouse strains, which was not improved by Ala-Gln. Villus blunting, crypt hyperplasia, and reduced villus/crypt ratio (P&lt;0.05) were found in all 5-FU-challenged mice but not in PBS controls. Ala-Gln improved villus/crypt ratio, crypt length and mitotic index in all challenged mice, compared with PBS controls. Ala-Gln improved villus height only in APOE-/- mice. Crypt cell apoptosis and necrotic scores were increased in all mice challenged by 5-FU, compared with untreated controls. Those scores were significantly lower in Ala-Gln-treated APOE+/+ mice than in controls. Bcl-2 and IGF-1 mRNA transcripts were reduced only in the APOE-/--challenged mice. Altogether our findings suggest APOE-independent Ala-Gln regenerative effects after 5-FU challenge. <![CDATA[Caffeic acid improves cell viability and protects against DNA damage: involvement of reactive oxygen species and extracellular signal-regulated kinase]]> Hormesis is an adaptive response to a variety of oxidative stresses that renders cells resistant to harmful doses of stressing agents. Caffeic acid (CaA) is an important antioxidant that has protective effects against DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, whether CaA-induced protection is a hormetic effect remains unknown, as is the molecular mechanism that is involved. We found that a low concentration (10 μM) of CaA increased human liver L-02 cell viability, attenuated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-mediated decreases in cell viability, and decreased the extent of H2O2-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In L-02 cells exposed to H2O2, CaA treatment reduced ROS levels, which might have played a protective role. CaA also activated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signal pathway in a time-dependent manner. Inhibition of ERK by its inhibitor U0126 or by its specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) blocked the CaA-induced improvement in cell viability and the protective effects against H2O2-mediated DNA damage. This study adds to the understanding of the antioxidant effects of CaA by identifying a novel molecular mechanism of enhanced cell viability and protection against DNA damage. <![CDATA[Circulating endothelial cells are increased in chronic myeloid leukemia blast crisis]]> We measured circulating endothelial precursor cells (EPCs), activated circulating endothelial cells (aCECs), and mature circulating endothelial cells (mCECs) using four-color multiparametric flow cytometry in the peripheral blood of 84 chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients and 65 healthy controls; and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by quantitative real-time PCR in 50 CML patients and 32 healthy controls. Because of an increase in mCECs, the median percentage of CECs in CML blast crisis (0.0146%) was significantly higher than in healthy subjects (0.0059%, P&lt;0.01) and in the accelerated phase (0.0059%, P=0.01). There were no significant differences in the percentages of CECs in chronic- or active-phase patients and healthy subjects (P&gt;0.05). In addition, VEGF gene expression was significantly higher in all phases of CML: 0.245 in blast crisis, 0.320 in the active phase, and 0.330 in chronic phase patients than it was in healthy subjects (0.145). In conclusion, CML in blast crisis had increased levels of CECs and VEGF gene expression, which may serve as markers of disease progression and may become targets for the management of CML. <![CDATA[Puerarin protects against damage to spatial learning and memory ability in mice with chronic alcohol poisoning]]> We evaluated the effect of puerarin on spatial learning and memory ability of mice with chronic alcohol poisoning. A total of 30 male C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into model, puerarin, and control groups (n=10 each). The model group received 60% (v/v) ethanol by intragastric administration followed by intraperitoneal injection of normal saline 30 min later. The puerarin group received intragastric 60% ethanol followed by intraperitoneal puerarin 30 min later, and the control group received intragastric saline followed by intraperitoneal saline. Six weeks after treatment, the Morris water maze and Tru Scan behavioral tests and immunofluorescence staining of cerebral cortex and hippocampal neurons (by Neu-N) and microglia (by Ib1) were conducted. Glutamic acid (Glu) and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) in the cortex and hippocampus were assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β were determined by ELISA. Compared with mice in the control group, escape latency and distance were prolonged, and spontaneous movement distance was shortened (P&lt;0.05) by puerarin. The number of microglia was increased in both the cortex and hippocampal dentate gyrus (P&lt;0.01), and neurons were reduced only in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (P&lt;0.01) in puerarin-treated mice. In the model group, Glu and GABA levels decreased (P&lt;0.05), and Glu/GABA, TNF-α, and IL-1β increased (P&lt;0.01) with puerarin treatment, returning to near normal levels. In conclusion, puerarin protected against the effects of chronic alcohol poisoning on spatial learning and memory ability primarily because of anti-inflammatory activity and regulation of the balance of Glu and GABA. <![CDATA[Dynamic resistance training decreases sympathetic tone in hypertensive ovariectomized rats]]> The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of resistance exercise training on hemodynamics and cardiac autonomic control in ovariectomized spontaneously hypertensive rats. Female rats were divided into 4 groups: sedentary control (SC), sedentary hypertensive (SH), sedentary hypertensive ovariectomized (SHO), and resistance-trained hypertensive ovariectomized (RTHO). Resistance exercise training was performed on a vertical ladder (5 days/week, 8 weeks) at 40-60% maximal load. Direct arterial pressure was recorded. Vagal and sympathetic tones were measured by heart rate (HR) responses to methylatropine (3 mg/kg, iv) and propranolol (4 mg/kg, iv). Ovariectomy resulted in additional increases in blood pressure in hypertensive rats and was associated with decreased vagal tone. Resistance exercise trained rats had lower mean arterial pressure than untrained rats (RTHO: 159±2.2 vs SHO: 177±3.4 mmHg), as well as resting bradycardia (RTHO: 332±9.0 vs SHO: 356±5 bpm). Sympathetic tone was also lower in the trained group. Moreover, sympathetic tone was positively correlated with resting HR (r=0.7, P&lt;0.05). The additional arterial pressure increase in hypertensive rats caused by ovarian hormone deprivation was attenuated by moderate-intensity dynamic resistance training. This benefit may be associated with resting bradycardia and reduced cardiac sympathetic tone after training, which suggests potential benefits of resistance exercise for the management of hypertension after ovarian hormone deprivation. <![CDATA[Role of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel-mediated PKC-ε in delayed protection against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in isolated hearts of sevoflurane-preconditioned rats]]> This study aimed to determine the role of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium (mitoKATP) channels and protein kinase C (PKC)-ε in the delayed protective effects of sevoflurane preconditioning using Langendorff isolated heart perfusion models. Fifty-four isolated perfused rat hearts were randomly divided into 6 groups (n=9). The rats were exposed for 60 min to 2.5% sevoflurane (the second window of protection group, SWOP group) or 33% oxygen inhalation (I/R group) 24 h before coronary occlusion. The control group (CON) and the sevoflurane group (SEVO) group were exposed to 33% oxygen and 2.5% sevoflurane for 60 min, respectively, without coronary occlusion. The mitoKATP channel inhibitor 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD) was given 30 min before sevoflurane preconditioning (5-HD+SWOP group). Cardiac function indices, infarct sizes, serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations, and the expression levels of phosphorylated PKC-ε (p-PKC-ε) and caspase-8 were measured. Cardiac function was unchanged, p-PKC-ε expression was upregulated, caspase-8 expression was downregulated, cTnI concentrations were decreased, and the infarcts were significantly smaller (P&lt;0.05) in the SWOP group compared with the I/R group. Cardiac function was worse, p-PKC-ε expression was downregulated, caspase-8 expression was upregulated, cTnI concentration was increased and infarcts were larger in the 5-HD+SWOP group (P&lt;0.05) compared with the SWOP group. The results suggest that mitoKATP channels are involved in the myocardial protective effects of sevoflurane in preconditioning against I/R injury, by regulating PKC-ε phosphorylation before ischemia, and by downregulating caspase-8 during reperfusion. <![CDATA[Mechanisms involved in the vasorelaxant effects produced by the acute application of amfepramone <em>in vitro</em> to rat aortic rings]]> Amfepramone (diethylpropion) is an appetite-suppressant drug used for the treatment of overweight and obesity. It has been suggested that the systemic and central activity of amfepramone produces cardiovascular effects such as transient ischemic attacks and primary pulmonary hypertension. However, it is not known whether amfepramone produces immediate vascular effects when applied in vitro to rat aortic rings and, if so, what mechanisms may be involved. We analyzed the effect of amfepramone on phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings with or without endothelium and the influence of inhibitors or blockers on this effect. Amfepramone produced a concentration-dependent vasorelaxation in phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings that was not affected by the vehicle, atropine, 4-AP, glibenclamide, indomethacin, clotrimazole, or cycloheximide. The vasorelaxant effect of amfepramone was significantly attenuated by NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and tetraethylammonium (TEA), and was blocked by removal of the vascular endothelium. These results suggest that amfepramone had a direct vasorelaxant effect on phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings, and that inhibition of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and the opening of Ca2+-activated K+ channels were involved in this effect. <![CDATA[Protective roles of pulmonary rehabilitation mixture in experimental pulmonary fibrosis <em>in vitro</em> and <em>in vivo</em>]]> Abnormal high mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) activation is involved in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary rehabilitation mixture (PRM), which combines extracts from eight traditional Chinese medicines, has very good lung protection in clinical use. However, it is not known if PRM has anti-fibrotic activity. In this study, we investigated the effects of PRM on transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-mediated and bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis in vitro and in vivo. The effects of PRM on TGF-β1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in A549 cells, on the proliferation of human lung fibroblasts (HLF-1) in vitro, and on BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis in vivo were investigated. PRM treatment resulted in a reduction of EMT in A549 cells that was associated with attenuating an increase of vimentin and a decrease of E-cadherin. PRM inhibited the proliferation of HLF-1 at an IC50 of 0.51 µg/mL. PRM ameliorated BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rats, with reduction of histopathological scores and collagen deposition, and a decrease in α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and HMGB1 expression. An increase in receptor for advanced glycation end-product (RAGE) expression was found in BLM-instilled lungs. PRM significantly decreased EMT and prevented pulmonary fibrosis through decreasing HMGB1 and regulating RAGE in vitro and in vivo. PRM inhibited TGF-β1-induced EMT via decreased HMGB1 and vimentin and increased RAGE and E-cadherin levels. In summary, PRM prevented experimental pulmonary fibrosis by modulating the HMGB1/RAGE pathway. <![CDATA[Hepatitis B virus DNA stability in plasma samples under short-term storage at 42°C]]> We evaluated the stability of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in plasma samples stored at 42°C for external quality assessment (EQA) panels of viral load. To assess the stability of plasma samples containing different concentrations of HBV DNA, serial dilutions of HBV-infected samples with a viral load of 6.40 log(10) IU/mL were made to yield viral loads of 5, 4, and 3 log(10) IU/mL. These were incubated at 42°C for up to 7 days and then frozen at -70°C. Viral load testing for HBV DNA was performed for all samples using COBAS¯ AmpliPrep/COBAS¯ TaqMan¯ HBV Test (v.2.0, Roche, Switzerland). Results were compared with fresh frozen plasma samples as a benchmark to establish acceptable measurements on the days following sample collection. Although the results of this study demonstrated a decrease in HBV DNA viral load ranging from 0.005 to 0.30 log(10) IU/mL after storage at 42°C for up to 7 days, these values did not exceed 0.5 log(10), which is the estimated intra-assay variation for molecular tests. Thus, the insignificant decrease in viral load suggests that shipment of HBV in plasma samples at temperatures of up to 42°C is permissible if they are frozen within 7 days. <![CDATA[Tissue hyaluronan expression, as reflected in the sputum of lung cancer patients, is an indicator of malignancy]]> Hyaluronan (HA) shows promise for detecting cancerous change in pleural effusion and urine. However, there is uncertainty about the localization of HA in tumor tissue and its relationship with different histological types and other components of the extracellular matrix, such as angiogenesis. We evaluated the association between HA and degree of malignancy through expression in lung tumor tissue and sputum. Tumoral tissue had significantly increased HA compared to normal tissue. Strong HA staining intensity associated with cancer cells was significant in squamous cell carcinoma compared to adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. A significant direct association was found between tumors with a high percentage of HA and MVD (microvessel density) in tumoral stroma. Similarly significant was the direct association between N1 tumors and high levels of HA in cancer cells. Cox multivariate analysis showed significant association between better survival and low HA. HA increased in sputum from lung cancer patients compared to cancer-free and healthy volunteers and a significant correlation was found between HA in sputum and HA in cancer tissue. Localization of HA in tumor tissue was related to malignancy and reflected in sputum, making this an emerging factor for an important diagnostic procedure in patients suspected to have lung cancer. Further study in additional patients in a randomized prospective trial is required to finalize these results and to validate our quantitative assessment of HA, as well as to couple it to gold standard sputum cytology. <![CDATA[Long-term, regular remote ischemic preconditioning improves endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease]]> Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPre) can prevent myocardial injury. The purpose of this study was to assess the beneficial effects of long-term regular RIPre on human arteries. Forty patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery were assigned randomly to a RIPre group (n=20) or coronary heart disease (CHD) group (n=20). Twenty patients scheduled for mastectomy were enrolled as a control group. RIPre was achieved by occluding arterial blood flow 5 min with a mercury sphygmomanometer followed by a 5-min reperfusion period, and this was repeated 4 times. The RIPre procedure was repeated 3 times a day for 20 days. In all patients, arterial fragments discarded during surgery were collected to evaluate endothelial function by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), CD34+ monocyte count, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS expression). Phosphorylation levels of STAT-3 and Akt were also assayed to explore the underlying mechanisms. Compared with the CHD group, long-term regular RIPre significantly improved FMD after 20 days (8.5±2.4 vs 4.9±4.2%, P&lt;0.05) and significantly reduced troponin after CABG surgery (0.72±0.31 and 1.64±0.19, P&lt;0.05). RIPre activated STAT-3 and increased CD34+ endothelial progenitor cell counts found in arteries. Long-term, regular RIPre improved endothelial function in patients with CHD, possibly due to STAT-3 activation, and this may have led to an increase in endothelial progenitor cells. <![CDATA[Adult male circumcision with a circular stapler versus conventional circumcision: A prospective randomized clinical trial]]> Male circumcision is the most frequently performed procedure by urologists. Safety and efficacy of the circumcision procedure requires continual improvement. In the present study, we investigated the safety and efficacy of a new male circumcision technique involving the use of a circular stapler. In total, 879 consecutive adult male patients were randomly divided into 2 groups: 441 underwent stapler circumcision, and 438 underwent conventional circumcision. The operative time, pain score, blood loss volume, healing time, treatment costs, and postoperative complications were compared between the two groups. The operative time and blood loss volume were significantly lower in the stapler group than in the conventional group (6.8 ± 3.1 vs 24.2 ± 3.2 min and 1.8 ± 1.8 vs 9.4 ± 1.5 mL, respectively; P&lt;0.01 for both). The intraoperative and postoperative pain scores were significantly lower in the stapler group than in the conventional group (0.8 ± 0.5 vs 2.4 ± 0.8 and 4.0 ±0.9 vs 5.8 ± 1.0, respectively; P&lt;0.01 for both). Additionally, the stapler group had significantly fewer complications than the conventional group (2.7% vs 7.8%, respectively; P&lt;0.01). However, the treatment costs in the stapler group were much higher than those in the conventional group (US$356.60 ± 8.20 vs US$126.50 ± 7.00, respectively; P&lt;0.01). Most patients (388/441, 88.0%) who underwent stapler circumcision required removal of residual staple nails. Overall, the present study has shown that stapler circumcision is a time-efficient and safe male circumcision technique, although it requires further improvement.