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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 34, Issue: 6, Published: 2001
  • Microencapsulation and tissue engineering as an alternative treatment of diabetes Review

    Maria-Engler, S.S.; Mares-Guia, M.; Correa, M.L.C.; Oliveira, E.M.C.; Aita, C.A.M.; Krogh, K.; Genzini, T.; Miranda, M.P.; Ribeiro, M.; Vilela, L.; Noronha, I.L.; Eliaschewitz, F.G.; Sogayar, M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    In the 70's, pancreatic islet transplantation arose as an attractive alternative to restore normoglycemia; however, the scarcity of donors and difficulties with allotransplants, even under immunosuppressive treatment, greatly hampered the use of this alternative. Several materials and devices have been developed to circumvent the problem of islet rejection by the recipient, but, so far, none has proved to be totally effective. A major barrier to transpose is the highly organized islet architecture and its physical and chemical setting in the pancreatic parenchyma. In order to tackle this problem, we assembled a multidisciplinary team that has been working towards setting up the Human Pancreatic Islets Unit at the Chemistry Institute of the University of São Paulo, to collect and process pancreas from human donors, upon consent, in order to produce purified, viable and functional islets to be used in transplants. Collaboration with the private enterprise has allowed access to the latest developed biomaterials for islet encapsulation and immunoisolation. Reasoning that the natural islet microenvironment should be mimicked for optimum viability and function, we set out to isolate extracellular matrix components from human pancreas, not only for analytical purposes, but also to be used as supplementary components of encapsulating materials. A protocol was designed to routinely culture different pancreatic tissues (islets, parenchyma and ducts) in the presence of several pancreatic extracellular matrix components and peptide growth factors to enrich the beta cell population in vitro before transplantation into patients. In addition to representing a therapeutic promise, this initiative is an example of productive partnership between the medical and scientific sectors of the university and private enterprises.
  • Development of new heparin-like compounds and other antithrombotic drugs and their interaction with vascular endothelial cells Review

    Nader, H.B.; Pinhal, M.A.S.; Baú, E.C.; Castro, R.A.B.; Medeiros, G.F.; Chavante, S.F.; Leite, E.L.; Trindade, E.S.; Shinjo, S.K.; Rocha, H.A.O.; Tersariol, I.L.S.; Mendes, A.; Dietrich, C.P.

    Abstract in English:

    The anticlotting and antithrombotic activities of heparin, heparan sulfate, low molecular weight heparins, heparin and heparin-like compounds from various sources used in clinical practice or under development are briefly reviewed. Heparin isolated from shrimp mimics the pharmacological activities of low molecular weight heparins. A heparan sulfate from Artemia franciscana and a dermatan sulfate from tuna fish show a potent heparin cofactor II activity. A heparan sulfate derived from bovine pancreas has a potent antithrombotic activity in an arterial and venous thrombosis model with a negligible activity upon the serine proteases of the coagulation cascade. It is suggested that the antithrombotic activity of heparin and other antithrombotic agents is due at least in part to their action on endothelial cells stimulating the synthesis of an antithrombotic heparan sulfate.
  • P-selectin, carcinoma metastasis and heparin: novel mechanistic connections with therapeutic implications Review

    Varki, A.; Varki, N.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Metastasis is a multistep cascade initiated when malignant cells penetrate the tissue surrounding the primary tumor and enter the bloodstream. Classic studies indicated that blood platelets form complexes around tumor cells in the circulation and facilitate metastases. In other work, the anticoagulant drug heparin diminished metastasis in murine models, as well is in preliminary human studies. However, attempts to follow up the latter observation using vitamin K antagonists failed, indicating that the primary mechanism of heparin action was unrelated to its anticoagulant properties. Other studies showed that the overexpression of sialylated fucosylated glycans in human carcinomas is associated with a poor prognosis. We have now brought all these observations together into one mechanistic explanation, which has therapeutic implications. Carcinoma cells expressing sialylated fucosylated mucins can interact with platelets, leukocytes and endothelium via the selectin family of cell adhesion molecules. The initial organ colonization of intravenously injected carcinoma cells is attenuated in P-selectin-deficient mice, in mice receiving tumor cells pretreated with O-sialoglycoprotease (to selectively remove mucins from cell surfaces), or in mice receiving a single dose of heparin prior to tumor cell injection. In each case, we found that formation of a platelet coating on cancer cells was impeded, allowing increased access of leukocytes to the tumor cells. Several weeks later, all animals showed a decrease in the extent of established metastasis, indicating a long-lasting effect of the short-term intervention. The absence of obvious synergism amongst the three treatments suggests that they all act via a common pathway. Thus, a major mechanism of heparin action in cancer may be inhibition of P-selectin-mediated platelet coating of tumor cells during the initial phase of the metastatic process. We therefore suggest that heparin use in cancer be re-explored, specifically during the time interval between initial visualization of a primary tumor until just after definitive surgical removal.
  • Influence of season and pollution on the antioxidant defenses of the cichlid fish acará (Geophagus brasiliensis) Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Wilhelm Filho, D.; Torres, M.A.; Tribess, T.B.; Pedrosa, R.C.; Soares, C.H.L.

    Abstract in English:

    The livers of Geophagus brasiliensis collected from both a non-polluted site and a polluted site were analyzed for different antioxidant defenses, O2 consumption, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) levels, and histological damage. Compared to controls (116.6 ± 26.1 nmol g-1), TBARS levels were enhanced at the polluted site (284.2 ± 25.6 nmol g-1), as also was oxygen consumption (86.6 ± 11.3 and 128.5 ± 9.8 µmol O2 min-1 g-1, respectively). With respect to enzymatic antioxidants, increased catalase activities (8.7 ± 1.3 and 29.2 ± 2.4 mmol min-1 g-1, respectively), unchanged superoxide dismutase activities (767.2 ± 113.3 and 563.3 ± 70.2 U g-1, respectively), and diminished glutathione S-transferase activities (29.0 ± 3.2 and 14.9 ± 3.2 µmol min-1 g-1, respectively) were detected. Reduced glutathione (1.91 ± 0.17 and 1.37 ± 0.25 mM, respectively), oxidized glutathione (1.50 ± 0.20 and 0.73 ± 0.17 mM, respectively), and total glutathione (3.40 ± 0.26 and 2.07 ± 0.27 mM, respectively) concentrations were also below control values at the polluted site. Nevertheless, the observed ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activities (1.34 ± 0.11 and 16.7 ± 0.21 pmol min-1 mg-1, respectively) showed enhanced values at the polluted site. The main histological damage observed in the hepatocytes from fish collected at the polluted site was characterized by heavy lipid infiltration. Fish collected at the end of spring showed higher O2 consumption, higher superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase activities, and higher total and oxidized glutathione concentrations compared to the beginning of autumn. No seasonal changes were observed in catalase activities, glutathione or TBARS levels. Fish chronically exposed to relatively high pollution levels seem to be unable to set up adequate antioxidant defenses, probably due to severe injury to their hepatocytes. The higher antioxidant defenses found at the end of spring are probably related to the enhanced activities during high temperature periods in thermoconforming organisms.
  • Low frequency of p53 mutations in cervical carcinomas among Brazilian women Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Pinheiro, N.A.; Villa, L.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections of the high-risk types are strongly linked to the development of cervical carcinoma. The HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7 are thought to play a crucial role in this process through their interactions with the p53 protein and the retinoblastoma susceptibility gene product pRb, respectively. E6 binds to p53 protein promoting its degradation. This is considered to contribute to the oncogenesis of HPV-associated anogenital cancer. On the other hand, in HPV-negative cervical carcinoma, p53 mutations are thought to have a role in the transformation process. A total of 122 HPV-positive cervical carcinoma tissue samples were evaluated for the presence of mutations in exons 5-8 of the p53 gene by single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. Only four missense point mutations were detected. These findings suggest that other mechanisms independent of p53 inactivation may play a role in the genesis of cervical carcinomas.
  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia: the study of t(15;17) translocation by fluorescent in situ hybridization, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and cytogenetic techniques Clinical Investigation

    Chauffaille, M.L.L.F.; Figueiredo, M.S.; Beltrani, R.; Antunes, S.V.; Yamamoto, M.; Kerbauy, J.

    Abstract in English:

    Acute promyelocytic leukemia (AML M3) is a well-defined subtype of leukemia with specific and peculiar characteristics. Immediate identification of t(15;17) or the PML/RARA gene rearrangement is fundamental for treatment. The objective of the present study was to compare fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and karyotyping in 18 samples (12 at diagnosis and 6 after treatment) from 13 AML M3 patients. Bone marrow samples were submitted to karyotype G-banding, FISH and RT-PCR. At diagnosis, cytogenetics was successful in 10 of 12 samples, 8 with t(15;17) and 2 without. FISH was positive in 11/12 cases (one had no cells for analysis) and positivity varied from 25 to 93% (mean: 56%). RT-PCR was done in 6/12 cases and all were positive. Four of 8 patients with t(15;17) presented positive RT-PCR as well as 2 without metaphases. The lack of RT-PCR results in the other samples was due to poor quality RNA. When the three tests were compared at diagnosis, karyotyping presented the translocation in 80% of the tested samples while FISH and RT-PCR showed the PML/RARA rearrangement in 100% of them. Of 6 samples evaluated after treatment, 3 showed a normal karyotype, 1 persistence of an abnormal clone and 2 no metaphases. FISH was negative in 4 samples studied and 2 had no material for analysis. RT-PCR was positive in 4 (2 of which showed negative FISH, indicating residual disease) and negative in 2. When the three tests were compared after treatment, they showed concordance in 2 of 6 samples or, when there were not enough cells for all tests, concordance between karyotype and RT-PCR in one. At remission, RT-PCR was the most sensitive test in detecting residual disease, as expected (positive in 4/6 samples). An incidence of about 40% of 5' breaks and 60% of 3' breaks, i.e., bcr3 and bcr1/bcr2, respectively, was observed.
  • Scintigraphy and Doppler ultrasonography for the evaluation of obstructive urinary calculi Clinical Investigation

    Gandolpho, L.; Sevillano, M.; Barbieri, A.; Ajzen, S.; Schor, N.; Ortiz, V.; Heilberg, I.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Forty-seven patients with unilateral obstructive calculi (12 males and 35 females) were submitted to 99mTc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) or 99mTc-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scans for assessment of renal function. The scans revealed unilateral functional deficit in 68 and 66% of the patients, respectively. A calculus size of 1.1 to 2.0 cm was significantly associated with deficit detected by DTPA, but duration of obstruction and calculus localization were not. After relief of the obstruction, the mean percent renal function of the affected kidney was found to be significantly increased from 25 ± 12% to 29 ± 12% in DTPA and from 21 ± 15% to 24 ± 12% in DMSA. Initial Doppler ultrasonography performed in 35 patients detected an increased resistive index in 10 (29%). In the remaining patients with a normal resistive index, ureteral urinary jet was observed, indicating partial obstruction. The high frequency of renal function impairment detected by DTPA and of tubulointerstitial damage detected by DMSA as well as the slight amelioration of unilateral renal function after relief of obstruction suggest that scintigraphy assessment may help evaluate the unilateral percentage of renal function and monitor renal function recovery when it occurs. The presence of a urinary jet detected by Doppler ultrasonography further indicates the severity of obstruction and the recovery prognosis.
  • Eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with duodenal ulcer and non-ulcer dyspepsia and analysis of one-year reinfection rates Clinical Investigation

    Della Libera, E.; Rohr, M.R.S.; Moraes, M.; Siqueira, E.S.; Ferrari Jr., A.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection is endemic worldwide. The proposed treatment is expensive and there are few reports regarding reinfection rates in Brazil. The aim of this study was to compare the eradication rates obtained with two therapeutic options and to evaluate reinfection one year after treatment. This was a prospective randomized trial with 55 patients. Thirty-nine patients had active duodenal ulcer (DU) and 16 non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD), and all tested positive for HP. Diagnosis was based on at least two positive tests: ultrarapid urease test, histology and/or culture. Patients were randomized to two groups: group OMC treated with 40 mg omeprazole (once a day), 500 mg metronidazole and 250 mg clarithromycin (twice daily) for 7 days, or group NA treated with 300 mg nizatidine (once a day) and 1000 mg amoxicillin (twice daily) for 14 days. Those patients in whom HP was eradicated were followed up for one year to evaluate reinfection. Twenty-five patients were randomized for OMC and 30 for NA. HP eradication occurred in 20/25 patients (80%) treated with OMC and 13/30 (43%) treated with NA (P = 0.01). After reallocation because of initial treatment failure, the overall eradication rate was 44/51 patients (86%). After an average follow-up of one year, we evaluated 34 patients (23 with DU and 11 with NUD). Reinfection occurred in 3/34 patients (7.6%). We conclude that OMC is effective for HP eradication, and that NA should not be used. Reinfection occurs in 7.6% of the patients in the first year after eradication.
  • High prevalence of alpha-thalassemia among individuals with microcytosis and hypochromia without anemia Clinical Investigation

    Borges, E.; Wenning, M.R.S.C.; Kimura, E.M.; Gervásio, S.A.; Costa, F.F.; Sonati, M.F.

    Abstract in English:

    In order to determine the contribution of alpha-thalassemia to microcytosis and hypochromia, 339 adult outpatients seen at Unicamp University Hospital (with the exception of the Clinical Hematology outpatient clinics), who showed normal hemoglobin (Hb) levels and reduced mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin, were analyzed. Ninety-eight were Blacks (28.9%) and 241 were Caucasians (71.1%). In all cases, Hb A2 and F levels were either normal or low. The most common deletional and nondeletional forms of alpha-thalassemia [-alpha3.7, -alpha4.2, --MED, -(alpha)20.5, alphaHphIalpha, alphaNcoIalpha, <FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT>NcoI and alphaTSAUDI] were investigated by PCR and restriction enzyme analyses. A total of 169 individuals (49.9%) presented alpha-thalassemia: 145 (42.8%) were heterozygous for the -alpha3.7 deletion (-alpha3.7/<FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT>) and 18 (5.3%) homozygous (-alpha3.7/-alpha3.7), 5 (1.5%) were heterozygous for the nondeletional form alphaHphIalpha (alphaHphIalpha/<FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT>), and 1 (0.3%) was a --MED carrier (--MED/<FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT>). Among the Blacks, 56 (57.1%) showed the -alpha3.7/<FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT> genotype, whereas 12 (12.2%) were -alpha3.7/-alpha3.7 and 1 (1.0%) was an alphaHphIalpha carrier; among the Caucasians, 89 (36.9%) were -alpha3.7/<FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT>, 6 (2.5%) had the -alpha3.7/-alpha3.7 genotype, 4 (1.7%) presented the nondeletional form (alphaHphIalpha/<FONT FACE="Symbol">aa</FONT>), and 1 (0.4%) was a --MED carrier. These results demonstrate that alpha-thalassemia, mainly through the -alpha3.7 deletion, is an important cause of microcytosis and hypochromia in individuals without anemia. These data are of clinical relevance since these hematological alterations are often interpreted as indicators of iron deficiency.
  • Detection of somatic mutations of the PIG-A gene in Brazilian patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria Clinical Investigation

    Franco de Carvalho, R.; Arruda, V.R.; Saad, S.T.O.; Costa, F.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is an acquired clonal syndrome characterized by intravascular hemolysis mediated by complement, thrombotic events and alterations in hematopoiesis. Basically, the molecular events which underlie the complexity of the syndrome consist of the absence of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor as a consequence of somatic mutations in the PIG-A gene, located on the X chromosome. The GPI group is responsible for the attachment of many proteins to the cytoplasmic membrane. Two of them, CD55 and CD59, have a major role in the inhibition of the action of complement on the cellular membrane of blood cells. The absence of GPI biosynthesis can lead to PNH. Since mutations in the PIG-A gene are always present in patients with PNH, the aim of this study was to characterize the mutations in the PIG-A gene in Brazilian patients. The analysis of the PIG-A gene was performed using DNA samples derived from bone marrow and peripheral blood. Conformation-sensitive gel electrophoresis was used for screening the mutation and sequencing methods were used to identify the mutations. Molecular analysis permitted the identification of three point mutations in three patients: one G->A transition in the 5' portion of the second intron, one T->A substitution in the second base of codon 430 (Leu430->stop), and one deletion deltaA in the third base of codon 63. This study represents the first description of mutations in the PIG-A gene in a Brazilian population.
  • In situ variation of cervical mucus pH during exposure to atmospheric air Clinical Investigation

    Correa, C.H.M.; Mattos, A.L.G.; Ferrari, A.N.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to determine if exposure of cervical mucus to air during specular examination could modify mucus pH. Detection of changes is justified because of their possible interference with sperm-mucus interaction, since an acidic pH is unfavorable to sperm penetration and is associated with infertility due to the cervical factor. Twenty women with good quality mucus were evaluated. pH measurements of ecto- and endocervical mucus were made in situ using a glass electrode after 0-, 5- and 10-min exposure to air. There was a progressive alkalinization of mucus pH. Mean values of ectocervical mucus pH were 6.91, 7.16 and 7.27, while mean values of endocervical mucus pH were 7.09, 7.34 and 7.46 at 0, 5 and 10 min, respectively. Significant differences were found between the mean values obtained at 0 and 5 min, and at 0 and 10 min (P<0.05), whereas the differences in mean values at 5 and 10 min were not significant at either site. We conclude that 5 to 10 min of exposure to atmospheric air affects cervical mucus pH in a significant way. Since tests used to evaluate sperm-mucus interaction generally have not considered this possibility, we suggest that they should be performed immediately after mucus collection in order to avoid misinterpretation of the results.
  • Rat liver responsiveness to gluconeogenic substrates during insulin-induced hypoglycemia Experimental Biology

    de Souza, H.M.; Borba-Murad, G.R.; Ceddia, R.B.; Curi, R.; Vardanega-Peicher, M.; Bazotte, R.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Hepatic responsiveness to gluconeogenic substrates during insulin-induced hypoglycemia was investigated. For this purpose, livers were perfused with a saturating concentration of 2 mM glycerol, 5 mM L-alanine or 5 mM L-glutamine as gluconeogenic substrates. All experiments were performed 1 h after an ip injection of saline (CN group) or 1 IU/kg of insulin (IN group). The IN group showed higher (P<0.05) hepatic glucose production from glycerol, L-alanine and L-glutamine and higher (P<0.05) production of L-lactate, pyruvate and urea from L-alanine and L-glutamine. In addition, ip injection of 100 mg/kg glycerol, L-alanine and L-glutamine promoted glucose recovery. The results indicate that the hepatic capacity to produce glucose from gluconeogenic precursors was increased during insulin-induced hypoglycemia.
  • Expression of CD40 ligand, interferon-gamma and Fas ligand genes in endomyocardial biopsies of human cardiac allografts: correlation with acute rejection Immunology

    Shulzhenko, N.; Morgun, A.; Franco, M.; Souza, M.M.; Almeida, D.R.; Diniz, R.V.Z.; Carvalho, A.C.C.; Pacheco-Silva, A.; Gerbase-DeLima, M.

    Abstract in English:

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the expression (mRNA) of CD40 ligand (CD40L), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and Fas ligand (FasL) genes in human cardiac allografts in relation to the occurrence of acute cardiac allograft rejection as well as its possible value in predicting acute rejection. The mRNA levels were determined by a semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction method in 39 samples of endomyocardial biopsies obtained from 10 adult cardiac transplant recipients within the first six months after transplantation. Biopsies with ongoing acute rejection showed significantly higher CD40L, IFN-gamma and FasL mRNA expression than biopsies without rejection. The median values of mRNA expression in biopsies with and without rejection were 0.116 and zero for CD40L (P<0.003), 0.080 and zero for IFN-gamma (P<0.0009), and 0.156 and zero for FasL (P<0.002), respectively. In addition, the levels of IFN-gamma mRNA were significantly increased 7 to 15 days before the appearance of histological evidence of rejection (median of 0.086 in pre-rejection biopsies), i.e., they presented a predictive value. This study provides further evidence of heightened expression of immune activation genes during rejection and shows that some of these markers may present predictive value for the occurrence of acute rejection.
  • Effects of lead and/or zinc exposure during the second stage of rapid postnatal brain growth on delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase and negative geotaxis of suckling rats Neurosciences And Behavior

    Goulart, E.C.; Pereira, C.A.T.; Garcia, R.C.; Giacomelli, M.B.O.; Rodrigues, A.L.S.

    Abstract in English:

    Lead has been shown to produce cognitive and motor deficits in young rats that could be mediated, at least in part, by inhibition of the zinc-containing heme biosynthetic enzyme delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase (ALA-D). In the present study we investigated the effects of lead and/or zinc treatment during the second stage of rapid postnatal brain development on brain, kidney and blood ALA-D specific activity, as well as the negative geotaxis behavior of rats. Eight-day-old Wistar rats were injected intraperitoneally with saline, lead acetate (8 mg/kg) and/or zinc chloride (2 mg/kg) daily for five consecutive days. Twenty-four hours after treatment, ALA-D activity was determined in the absence and presence of DL-dithiothreitol (DTT). The negative geotaxis behavior was assessed in 9- to 13-day-old rats. Treatment with lead and/or zinc did not affect body, brain or kidney weights or brain- or kidney-to-body weight ratios of the animals. In spite of the absence of effect of any treatment on ALA-D specific activity in brain, kidney and blood, the reactivation index with DTT was higher in the groups treated with lead or lead + zinc than in the control group, in brain, kidney and blood (mean ± SEM; brain: 33.33 ± 4.34, 38.90 ± 8.24, 13.67 ± 3.41; kidney: 33.50 ± 2.97, 37.60 ± 2.67, 15.80 ± 2.66; blood: 63.95 ± 3.73, 56.43 ± 5.93, 31.07 ± 4.61, respectively, N = 9-11). The negative geotaxis response behavior was not affected by lead and/or zinc treatment. The results indicate that lead and/or zinc treatment during the second stage of rapid postnatal brain growth affected ALA-D, but zinc was not sufficient to protect the enzyme from the effects of lead in brain, kidney and blood.
  • Effect of the intracerebroventricular administration of GR 113808, a selective 5-HT4 antagonist, on water intake during hyperosmolarity and hypovolemia Neurosciences And Behavior

    Castro, L.; Varjão, B.; Silva, I.; Duque, B.; Batista, A.; Santana, R.; Luz, P.; Rocha Junior, M.A.; Fregoneze, J.B.; De Castro-e-Silva, E.

    Abstract in English:

    We demonstrate here that acute third ventricle injections of GR 113808, a highly selective 5-HT4 antagonist, decrease water intake induced by a previous salt load while potentiating drinking elicited by hypovolemia induced by previous subcutaneous administration of polyethylene glycol in male Wistar rats (200 ± 20 g). At the dose of 160 nmol/rat, third ventricle injections of GR 113808 induced a significant reduction of water intake in salt-loaded animals after 120 min as compared to salt-loaded animals receiving third ventricle injections of saline (salt load + GR = 3.44 ± 0.41 ml, N = 12; salt load + saline = 5.74 ± 0.40 ml, N = 9). At the dose of 80 nmol/rat, GR 113808 significantly enhanced water intake in hypovolemic animals after 120 min as compared to hypovolemic animals receiving third ventricle injections of saline (hypovol + GR = 4.01 ± 0.27 ml, N = 8; hypovol + saline = 2.41 ± 0.23 ml, N = 12). We suggest that central 5-HT4 receptors may exert a positive drive on water intake due to hyperosmolarity and a negative input on drinking provoked by hypovolemia.
  • Behavioral and electroencephalographic analysis of seizures induced by intrahippocampal injection of granulitoxin, a neurotoxic peptide from the sea anemone Bunodosoma granulifera Neurosciences And Behavior

    Santana, A.N.C.; Trindade-Filho, E.M.; Cunha, R.B.; Sousa, M.V.; Cavalheiro, E.A.; Carvalho, K.M.

    Abstract in English:

    In this study, the behavioral and electroencephalographic (EEG) analysis of seizures induced by the intrahippocampal injection in rats of granulitoxin, a neurotoxic peptide from the sea anemone Bunodosoma granulifera, was determined. The first alterations occurred during microinjection of granulitoxin (8 µg) into the dorsal hippocampus and consisted of seizure activity that began in the hippocampus and spread rapidly to the occipital cortex. This activity lasted 20-30 s, and during this period the rats presented immobility. During the first 40-50 min after its administration, three to four other similar short EEG seizure periods occurred and the rats presented the following behavioral alterations: akinesia, facial automatisms, head tremor, salivation, rearing, jumping, barrel-rolling, wet dog shakes and forelimb clonic movements. Within 40-50 min, the status epilepticus was established and lasted 8-12 h. These results are similar to those observed in the acute phase of the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy and suggest that granulitoxin may be a useful tool not only to study the sodium channels, but also to develop a new experimental model of status epilepticus.
  • The early facilitatory effect of a peripheral spatially noninformative prime stimulus depends on target stimulus features Neurosciences And Behavior

    Azevedo, E.L.; Squella, S.A.F.; Ribeiro-do-Valle, L.E.

    Abstract in English:

    We investigated the dependency of the early facilitatory effect of a prime stimulus (S1) on the physical characteristics of the target stimulus (S2). A go-no go reaction time paradigm was used. The S1 was a gray ring and the S2s were a white vertical line, a white horizontal line, a white cross and a white small ring, all inside a white ring with the same dimensions as the S1. S1 onset-S2 onset asynchrony was 100 ms. The stimuli appeared randomly in any one of the quadrants of a monitor screen. The S2 could occur at the same position as the S1 or at a different one. We observed a strong facilitatory effect when the vertical line or the horizontal line was the go stimulus and no effect when the cross was the go stimulus. These results show that the features of the target stimulus can be decisive for the appearance of the facilitatory effect of a peripheral spatially noninformative prime stimulus.
  • Central injection of captopril inhibits the blood pressure response to intracerebroventricular choline Pharmacology

    Isbil-Buyukcoskun, N.; Gulec, G.; Ozluk, K.; Ulus, I.H.

    Abstract in English:

    In the present study, we investigated the involvement of the brain renin-angiotensin system in the effects of central cholinergic stimulation on blood pressure in conscious, freely moving normotensive rats. In the first step, we determined the effects of intracerebroventricular (icv) choline (50, 100 and 150 µg) on blood pressure. Choline increased blood pressure in a dose-dependent manner. In order to investigate the effects of brain renin-angiotensin system blockade on blood pressure increase induced by choline (150 µg, icv), an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, captopril (25 and 50 µg, icv), was administered 3 min before choline. Twenty-five µg captopril did not block the pressor effect of choline, while 50 µg captopril blocked it significantly. Our results suggest that the central renin-angiotensin system may participate in the increase in blood pressure induced by icv choline in normotensive rats.
  • Comparison of the quantification of caffeine in human plasma by gas chromatography and ELISA Pharmacology

    Carregaro, A.B.; Woods, W.E.; Tobin, T.; Queiroz-Neto, A.

    Abstract in English:

    In the present study we evaluated the precision of the ELISA method to quantify caffeine in human plasma and compared the results with those obtained by gas chromatography. A total of 58 samples were analyzed by gas chromatography using a nitrogen-phosphorus detector and routine techniques. For the ELISA test, the samples were diluted to obtain a concentration corresponding to 50% of the absorbance of the standard curve. To determine whether the proximity between the I50 of the standard curve and that of the sample would bring about a more precise result, the samples were divided into three blocks according to the criterion of difference, in modulus, of the I50 of the standard curve and of the I50 of the sample. The samples were classified into three groups. The first was composed of 20 samples with I50 up to 1.5 ng/ml, the second consisted of 21 samples with I50 ranging from 1.51 to 3 ng/ml, and the third of 17 samples with I50 ranging from 3.01 to 13 ng/ml. The determination coefficient (R² = 0.999) showed that the data obtained by gas chromatography represented a reliable basis. The results obtained by ELISA were also reliable, with an estimated Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.82 between the two methods. This coefficient for the different groups (0.88, 0.79 and 0.49 for groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively) showed greater reliability for the test with dilutions closer to I50.
  • Effects of L-arginine on the diaphragm muscle twitches elicited at different frequencies of nerve stimulation Pharmacology

    Queiroz, R.N.; Alves-Do-Prado, Wilson

    Abstract in English:

    In rats, the nitric oxide (NO)-synthase pathway is present in skeletal muscle, vascular smooth muscle, and motor nerve terminals. Effects of NO were previously studied in rat neuromuscular preparations receiving low (0.2 Hz) or high (200 Hz) frequencies of stimulation. The latter frequency has always induced tetanic fade. However, in these previous studies we did not determine whether NO facilitates or impairs the neuromuscular transmission in preparations indirectly stimulated at frequencies which facilitate neuromuscular transmission. Thus, the present study was carried out to examine the effects of NO in rat neuromuscular preparations indirectly stimulated at 5 and 50 Hz. The amplitude of muscular contraction observed at the end (B) of a 10-s stimulation was taken as the ratio (R) of that obtained at the start (A) (R = B/A). S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (200 µM), superoxide dismutase (78 U/ml) and L-arginine (4.7 mM), but not D-arginine (4.7-9.4 mM), produced an increase in R (facilitation of neurotransmission) at 5 Hz. However, reduction in the R value (fade of transmission) was observed at 50 Hz. N G-nitro-L-arginine (8.0 mM) antagonized both the facilitatory and inhibitory effects of L-arginine (4.7 mM). The results suggest that NO may modulate the release of acetylcholine by motor nerve terminals.
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