Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 31, Issue: 8, Published: 1998
  • Radioautographology: the proposal of a new concept Review

    Nagata, T.

    Abstract in English:

    A new concept termed "radioautographology" is advocated. This term was synthesized from "radioautography" and "ology", expressing a new science derived from radioautography. The concept of radioautographology (RAGology) is that of a science whose objective is to localize radioactive substances in the biological structure of objects and to analyze and study the significance of these substances in the biological structure. On the other hand, the old term radioautography (RAG) is the technique used to demonstrate the pattern of localization of various radiolabeled compounds in specimens. The specimens used in biology and medicine are cells and tissues. They are fixed, sectioned and placed in contact with the radioautographic emulsions, which are exposed and developed to produce metallic silver grains. Such specimens are designated as radioautographs and the patterns of pictures made of silver grains are named radioautograms. The technicians who produce radioautographs are named radioautographers, while those who study RAGology are scientists and should be called radioautographologists. The science of RAGology can be divided into two parts, general RAGology and special RAGology, as most natural sciences usually can. General RAGology is the technology of RAG which consists of three fields of science, i.e., physics concerning radioactivity, histochemistry for the treatment of cells and tissues, and photochemistry dealing with the photographic emulsions. Special RAGology, on the other hand, consists of applications of general RAGology. The applications can be classified into several scientific fields, i.e., cellular and molecular biology, anatomy, histology, embryology, pathology and pharmacology. Studies carried out in our laboratory are summarized and reviewed. All the results obtained from such applications should be systematized as a new field of science in the future.
  • E. coli <FONT FACE=Symbol>a</FONT>-hemolysin: a membrane-active protein toxin Review

    Goñi, F.M.; Ostolaza, H.

    Abstract in English:

    Alpha-Hemolysin is synthesized as a 1024-amino acid polypeptide, then intracellularly activated by specific fatty acylation. A second activation step takes place in the extracellular medium through binding of Ca2+ ions. Even in the absence of fatty acids and Ca2+ HlyA is an amphipathic protein, with a tendency to self-aggregation. However, Ca2+-binding appears to expose hydrophobic patches on the protein surface, facilitating both self-aggregation and irreversible insertion into membranes. The protein may somehow bind membranes in the absence of divalent cations, but only when Ca2+ (or Sr2+, or Ba2+) is bound to the toxin in aqueous suspensions, i.e., prior to its interaction with bilayers, can <FONT FACE="Symbol">a</FONT>-hemolysin bind irreversibly model or cell membranes in such a way that the integrity of the membrane barrier is lost, and cell or vesicle leakage ensues. Leakage is not due to the formation of proteinaceous pores, but rather to the transient disruption of the bilayer, due to the protein insertion into the outer membrane monolayer, and subsequent perturbations in the bilayer lateral tension. Protein or glycoprotein receptors for <FONT FACE="Symbol">a</FONT>-hemolysin may exist on the cell surface, but the toxin is also active on pure lipid bilayers.
  • The use of non-human primates as animal models for the study of hepatitis viruses Review

    Vitral, C.L.; Yoshida, C.F.T.; Gaspar, A.M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Hepatitis viruses belong to different families and have in common a striking hepatotropism and restrictions for propagation in cell culture. The transmissibility of hepatitis is in great part limited to non-human primates. Enterically transmitted hepatitis viruses (hepatitis A virus and hepatitis E virus) can induce hepatitis in a number of Old World and New World monkey species, while the host range of non-human primates susceptible to hepatitis viruses transmitted by the parenteral route (hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and hepatitis delta virus) is restricted to few species of Old World monkeys, especially the chimpanzee. Experimental studies on non-human primates have provided an invaluable source of information regarding the biology and pathogenesis of these viruses, and represent a still indispensable tool for vaccine and drug testing.
  • Involvement of the actin cytoskeleton and p21rho-family GTPases in the pathogenesis of the human protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica Review

    Godbold, G.D.; Mann, B.J.

    Abstract in English:

    It has been estimated that infection with the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica kills more than 50,000 people a year. Central to the pathogenesis of this organism is its ability to directly lyse host cells and cause tissue destruction. Amebic lesions show evidence of cell lysis, tissue necrosis, and damage to the extracellular matrix. The specific molecular mechanisms by which these events are initiated, transmitted, and effected are just beginning to be uncovered. In this article we review what is known about host cell adherence and contact-dependent cytolysis. We cover the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton and small GTP-binding proteins of the p21rho-family in the process of cell killing and phagocytosis, and also look at how amebic interactions with molecules of the extracellular matrix contribute to its cytopathic effects.
  • Effect of hypoxia on the activity and binding of glycolytic and associated enzymes in sea scorpion tissues Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Lushchak, V.I.; Bahnjukova, T.V.; Storey, K.B.

    Abstract in English:

    The effect of hypoxia on the levels of glycogen, glucose and lactate as well as the activities and binding of glycolytic and associated enzymes to subcellular structures was studied in brain, liver and white muscle of the teleost fish, Scorpaena porcus. Hypoxia exposure decreased glucose levels in liver from 2.53 to 1.70 µmol/g wet weight and in muscle led to its increase from 3.64 to 25.1 µmol/g wet weight. Maximal activities of several enzymes in brain were increased by hypoxia: hexokinase by 23%, phosphoglucoisomerase by 47% and phosphofructokinase (PFK) by 56%. However, activities of other enzymes in brain as well as enzymes in liver and white muscle were largely unchanged or decreased during experimental hypoxia. Glycolytic enzymes in all three tissues were partitioned between soluble and particulate-bound forms. In several cases, the percentage of bound enzymes was reduced during hypoxia; bound aldolase in brain was reduced from 36.4 to 30.3% whereas glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase fell from 55.7 to 28.7% bound. In muscle PFK was reduced from 57.4 to 41.7% bound. Oppositely, the proportion of bound aldolase and triosephosphate isomerase increased in hypoxic muscle. Phosphoglucomutase did not appear to occur in a bound form in liver and bound phosphoglucomutase disappeared in muscle during hypoxia exposure. Anoxia exposure also led to the disappearance of bound fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase in liver, whereas a bound fraction of this enzyme appeared in white muscle of anoxic animals. The possible function of reversible binding of glycolytic enzymes to subcellular structures as a regulatory mechanism of carbohydrate metabolism is discussed.
  • Annual changes in serum calcium and inorganic phosphate levels and correlation with gonadal status of a freshwater murrel, Channa punctatus (Bloch) Experimental Biology

    Srivastav, S.K.; Srivastav, A.K.

    Abstract in English:

    Adult Channa punctatus murrels of both sexes (60-80 g) were collected locally from Ramgarh Lake during the second week of every month (10 individuals of each sex/month) throughout the year. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for serum calcium and phosphate levels by the methods of Trinder (1960) and Fiske and Subbarow (1925), respectively. Gonads were fixed to judge the state of maturation of the fish. Males exhibited no change in serum calcium levels throughout the year in correlation with testicular maturation. However, serum phosphate levels exhibited a rise in correlation with the increased gonadosomatic index. Females showed marked seasonal changes in serum calcium and phosphate levels which were associated with ovarian maturation (vitellogenesis).
  • Antioxidant activity of the microalga Spirulina maxima Experimental Biology

    Miranda, M.S.; Cintra, R.G.; Barros, S.B.M.; Mancini-Filho, J.

    Abstract in English:

    Spirulina maxima, which is used as a food additive, is a microalga rich in protein and other essential nutrients. Spirulina contains phenolic acids, tocopherols and ß-carotene which are known to exhibit antioxidant properties. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of a Spirulina extract. The antioxidant activity of a methanolic extract of Spirulina was determined in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro antioxidant capacity was tested on a brain homogenate incubated with and without the extract at 37oC. The IC50 (concentration which causes a 50% reduction of oxidation) of the extract in this system was 0.18 mg/ml. The in vivo antioxidant capacity was evaluated in plasma and liver of animals receiving a daily dose of 5 mg for 2 and 7 weeks. Plasma antioxidant capacity was measured in brain homogenate incubated for 1 h at 37oC. The production of oxidized compounds in liver after 2 h of incubation at 37oC was measured in terms of thiobarbituric acid reactant substances (TBARS) in control and experimental groups. Upon treatment, the antioxidant capacity of plasma was 71% for the experimental group and 54% for the control group. Data from liver spontaneous peroxidation studies were not significantly different between groups. The amounts of phenolic acids, <FONT FACE="Symbol">a</FONT>-tocopherol and ß-carotene were determined in Spirulina extracts. The results obtained indicate that Spirulina provides some antioxidant protection for both in vitro and in vivo systems.
  • Improvement of the indirect hemagglutination test for the detection of antibodies to Streptococcus pyogenes Immunology

    Rubinsky-Elefant, G.; Hoshino-Shimizu, S.; Mamizuka, E.M.; Asciutti, M.M.R.

    Abstract in English:

    An indirect hemagglutination test for a seroepidemiological survey of Streptococcus pyogenes infection was standardized. This is an improved modification of the indirect hemagglutination test which utilizes an unstable reagent prepared with fresh blood cells. Two types of bacterial antigens represented by extracellular products and purified streptolysin O were assayed, but only the former antigen gave good results. Pretreatment of the bacterial antigen with 0.15 M NaOH and neutralization to pH 5.5, as well as postfixation of sensitized red cells with 0.1% glutaraldehyde at 56oC for 30 min were found to be essential to give long stability to the reagent in liquid suspension, at least 9 months at 4oC. A total of 564 serum samples with high, moderate and low anti-streptolysin O antibodies as determined by the neutralization assay were studied by the indirect hemagglutination test using the new reagent. The sensitivity, specificity, efficiency, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the test in relation to the neutralization assay were 0.950, 0.975, 0.963, 0.973, and 0.955, respectively. The kappa agreement index between the two techniques was high (0.926) and ranked as "almost perfect". Antibody levels detected by both techniques also presented a high positive correlation (rs = 0.726). Five reagent batches successively produced proved to be reproducible. Thus, the improved indirect hemagglutination test seems to be useful for public health laboratories.
  • Anterograde effects of a single electroconvulsive shock on inhibitory avoidance and on cued fear conditioning Neurosciences And Behavior

    Oliveira, M.G.M.; Bueno, O.F.A.; Gugliano, E.B.

    Abstract in English:

    A single electroconvulsive shock (ECS) or a sham ECS was administered to male 3-4-month-old Wistar rats 1, 2, and 4 h before training in an inhibitory avoidance test and in cued classical fear conditioning (measured by means of freezing time in a new environment). ECS impaired inhibitory avoidance at all times and, at 1 or 2 h before training, reduced freezing time before and after re-presentation of the ECS. These results are interpreted as a transient conditioned stimulus (CS)-induced anxiolytic or analgesic effect lasting about 2 h after a single treatment, in addition to the known amnesic effect of the stimulus. This suggests that the effect of anterograde learning impairment is demonstrated unequivocally only when the analgesic/anxiolytic effect is over (about 4 h after ECS administration) and that this impairment of learning is selective, affecting inhibitory avoidance but not classical fear conditioning to a discrete stimulus.
  • The radioprotective effect of a new aminothiol (20-PRA) Pharmacology

    Dolabela, M.F.; Pereira, M.T.; Salas, C.E.; Steffani, G.M.; Nelson, D.L.; Piló-Veloso, D.; Lopes, M.T.P.

    Abstract in English:

    We examined the radioprotective effect of aminothiol 2-N-propylamine-cyclo-hexanethiol (20-PRA) on a human leukemic cell line (K562) following various radiation doses (5, 7.5 and 20 Gy) using a source of 60Co <FONT FACE="Symbol">g</FONT>-rays. At 5 Gy and 1 nM 20-PRA, a substantial protective effect (58%) was seen 24 h after irradiation, followed by a decrease at 48 h (11%). At the high radiation dose (20 Gy) a low protective effect was also seen (35%). In addition, the antitumorigenic potential of 10 nM 20-PRA was shown by the inhibition of crown gall formation induced by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The radioprotective potency of 20-PRA is 105-106 times higher than that of the aminothiol WR-1065 (N-(2-mercaptoethyl)-1,3-diaminopropane) whose protective effect is in the 0.1 to 1.0 mM range.
  • High dietary calcium decreases blood pressure in normotensive rats Physiology And Biophysics

    Buassi, N.

    Abstract in English:

    This study evaluates the influence of different concentrations of calcium on blood pressure of normotensive rats. Four groups of Wistar rats (A, B, C and D) had free access to modified isocaloric and isoproteic diets containing 0.2, 0.5, 2 and 4 g% calcium as calcium carbonate for a period of 30 days. Systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressures were monitored in awake rats by the indirect tail cuff method using a Physiograph equipped with transducers and preamplifiers. Body weight and length and food intake were monitored. Under the conditions of the present experiment, the systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressures of group D rats fed a diet containing 4 g% calcium were significantly (P<0.05) lower compared to rats of the other groups.
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