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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 36, Issue: 12, Published: 2003
  • The use and misuse of the "impact factor" as a parameter for evaluation of scientific publication quality: a proposal to rationalize its application Concepts And Comments

    Coelho, P.M.Z.; Antunes, C.M.F.; Costa, H.M.A.; Kroon, E.G.; Sousa Lima, M.C.; Linardi, P.M.

    Abstract in English:

    We present a critical analysis of the generalized use of the "impact factor". By means of the Kruskal-Wallis test, it was shown that it is not possible to compare distinct disciplines using the impact factor without adjustments. After assigning the median journal the value of one (1.000), the impact factor value for each journal was calculated by the rule of three. The adjusted values were homogeneous, thus permitting comparison among distinct disciplines.
  • Neuroprotection by flavonoids Review

    Dajas, F.; Rivera-Megret, F.; Blasina, F.; Arredondo, F.; Abin-Carriquiry, J.A.; Costa, G.; Echeverry, C.; Lafon, L.; Heizen, H.; Ferreira, M.; Morquio, A.

    Abstract in English:

    The high morbidity, high socioeconomic costs and lack of specific treatments are key factors that define the relevance of brain pathology for human health and the importance of research on neuronal protective agents. Epidemiological studies have shown beneficial effects of flavonoids on arteriosclerosis-related pathology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. Flavonoids can protect the brain by their ability to modulate intracellular signals promoting cellular survival. Quercetin and structurally related flavonoids (myricetin, fisetin, luteolin) showed a marked cytoprotective capacity in in vitro experimental conditions in models of predominantly apoptotic death such as that induced by medium concentrations (200 µM) of H2O2 added to PC12 cells in culture. Nevertheless, quercetin did not protect substantia nigra neurons in vivo from an oxidative insult (6-hydroxydopamine), probably due to difficulties in crossing the blood-brain barrier. On the other hand, treatment of permanent focal ischemia with a lecithin/quercetin preparation decreased lesion volume, showing that preparations that help to cross the blood-brain barrier may be critical for the expression of the effects of flavonoids on the brain. The hypothesis is advanced that a group of quercetin-related flavonoids could become lead molecules for the development of neuroprotective compounds with multitarget anti-ischemic effects.
  • Characterization of ß-trypsin at acid pH by differential scanning calorimetry Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Bittar, E.R.; Caldeira, F.R.; Santos, A.M.C.; Günther, A.R.; Rogana, E.; Santoro, M.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Trypsin is a serino-protease with a polypeptide chain of 223 amino acid residues and contains six disulfide bridges. It is a globular protein with a predominance of antiparallel ß-sheet and helix in its secondary structure and has two domains with similar structures. We assessed the stability of ß-trypsin in the acid pH range using microcalorimetric (differential scanning calorimetry) techniques. Protein concentrations varied in the range of 0.05 to 2.30 mg/ml. Buffer solutions of 50.0 mM ß-alanine and 20.0 mM CaCl2 at different pH values (from 2.0 to 4.2) and concentrations of sorbitol (1.0 and 2.0 M), urea (0.5 M) or guanidinium hydrochloride (0.5 and 1.0 M) were used. The data suggest that we are studying the same conformational transition of the protein in all experimental situations using pH, sorbitol, urea and guanidinium hydrochloride as perturbing agents. The observed van't Hoff ratios (deltaHcal/deltaHvH) of 1.0 to 0.5 in the pH range of 3.2 to 4.2 suggest protein aggregation. In contrast, deltaHcal/deltaHvH ratios equal to one in the pH range of 2.0 to 3.2 suggest that the protein unfolds as a monomer. At pH 3.00, ß-trypsin unfolded with Tm = 54ºC and deltaH = 101.8 kcal/mol, and the change in heat capacity between the native and unfolded forms of the protein (deltaCp) was estimated to be 2.50 ± 0.07 kcal mol-1 K-1. The stability of ß-trypsin calculated at 298 K was deltaG D = 5.7 kcal/mol at pH 3.00 and deltaG D = 15.2 kcal/mol at pH 7.00, values in the range expected for a small globular protein.
  • Standard-curve competitive RT-PCR quantification of myogenic regulatory factors in chicken embryos Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Alvares, L.E.; Mantoani, A.; Corrente, J.E.; Coutinho, L.L.

    Abstract in English:

    The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the most sensitive method used to evaluate gene expression. Although many advances have been made since quantitative RT-PCR was first described, few reports deal with the mathematical bases of this technique. The aim of the present study was to develop and standardize a competitive PCR method using standard-curves to quantify transcripts of the myogenic regulatory factors MyoD, Myf-5, Myogenin and MRF4 in chicken embryos. Competitor cDNA molecules were constructed for each gene under study using deletion primers, which were designed to maintain the anchorage sites for the primers used to amplify target cDNAs. Standard-curves were prepared by co-amplification of different amounts of target cDNA with a constant amount of competitor. The content of specific mRNAs in embryo cDNAs was determined after PCR with a known amount of competitor and comparison to standard-curves. Transcripts of the housekeeping ß-actin gene were measured to normalize the results. As predicted by the model, most of the standard-curves showed a slope close to 1, while intercepts varied depending on the relative efficiency of competitor amplification. The sensitivity of the RT-PCR method permitted the detection of as few as 60 MyoD/Myf-5 molecules per reaction but approximately 600 molecules of MRF4/Myogenin mRNAS were necessary to produce a measurable signal. A coefficient of variation of 6 to 19% was estimated for the different genes analyzed (6 to 9 repetitions). The competitive RT-PCR assay described here is sensitive, precise and allows quantification of up to 9 transcripts from a single cDNA sample.
  • The secondary alcohol and aglycone metabolites of doxorubicin alter metabolism of human erythrocytes Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Misiti, F.; Giardina, B.; Mordente, A.; Clementi, M.E.

    Abstract in English:

    Anthracyclines, a class of antitumor drugs widely used for the treatment of solid and hematological malignancies, cause a cumulative dose-dependent cardiac toxicity whose biochemical basis is unclear. Recent studies of the role of the metabolites of anthracyclines, i.e., the alcohol metabolite doxorubicinol and aglycone metabolites, have suggested new hypotheses about the mechanisms of anthracycline cardiotoxicity. In the present study, human red blood cells were used as a cell model. Exposure (1 h at 37ºC) of intact human red blood cells to doxorubicinol (40 µM) and to aglycone derivatives of doxorubicin (40 µM) induced, compared with untreated red cells: i) a ~2-fold stimulation of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and ii) a marked inhibition of the red cell antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase (~20%) and superoxide dismutase (~60%). In contrast to doxorubicin-derived metabolites, doxorubicin itself induced a slighter PPP stimulation (~35%) and this metabolic event was not associated with any alteration in glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase or superoxide dismutase activity. Furthermore, the interaction of hemoglobin with doxorubicin and its metabolites induced a significant increase (~22%) in oxygen affinity compared with hemoglobin incubated without drugs. On the basis of the results obtained in the present study, a new hypothesis, involving doxorubicinol and aglycone metabolites, has been proposed to clarify the mechanisms responsible for the doxorubicin-induced red blood cell toxicity.
  • Age-related changes of the multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein function in normal human peripheral blood T lymphocytes Cell Biology

    Machado, C.G.; Calado, R.T.; Garcia, A.B.; Falcão, R.P.

    Abstract in English:

    The multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein is a transmembrane efflux pump expressed by lymphocytes and is involved in their cytolytic activity. In the present study, we investigated the age-related changes of P-glycoprotein function in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes. Blood samples from 90 normal volunteers (age range, 0 to 86 years) were analyzed. P-glycoprotein function was assessed by the flow cytometric rhodamine 123 assay. P-glycoprotein function was highest in cord blood and progressively declined with age in peripheral blood T CD4+ and CD8+ cells. In contrast, P-glycoprotein function did not vary with age in CD19+ B or CD16+CD56+ natural killer cells. These data suggest that the decline in P-glycoprotein function in T CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes as a function of age may contribute to the decrease in T cell cytolytic activity with aging.
  • Eye color as an indicator of social rank in the fish Nile tilapia Experimental Biology

    Volpato, G.L.; Luchiari, A.C.; Duarte, C.R.A.; Barreto, R.E.; Ramanzini, G.C.

    Abstract in English:

    We investigated the association of eye color with the dominant-subordinate relationship in the fish Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Eye color pattern was also examined in relation to the intensity of attacks. We paired 20 size-matched fish (intruder: 73.69 ± 11.49 g; resident: 75.42 ± 8.83 g) and evaluated eye color and fights. These fish were isolated in individual aquaria for 10 days and then their eye color was measured 5 min before pairing (basal values). Twenty minutes after pairing, eye color and fights were quantified for 10 min. Clear establishment of social hierarchy was observed in 7 of 10 pairs of fish. Number of attacks ranged from 1 to 168 among pairs. The quartile was calculated for these data and the pairs were then divided into two classes: low-attack (1 to 111 attacks - 2 lower quartiles) or high-attack (112 to 168 attacks - 2 higher quartiles). Dominance decreased the eye-darkening patterns of the fish after pairing, while subordinance increased darkening compared to dominance. Subordinate fish in low-attack confrontations presented a darker eye compared to dominant fish and to the basal condition. We also observed a paler eye pattern in dominants that shared low-attack interactions after pairing compared to the subordinates and within the group. However, we found no differences in the darkening pattern between dominants and subordinates from the high-attack groups. We conclude that eye color is associated with social rank in this species. Moreover, the association between eye color and social rank in the low-attack pairs may function to reduce aggression.
  • The role of complement in the modulation by fluid-phase IgG of the production of reactive oxygen species by polymorphonuclear leukocytes stimulated with IgG immune complexes Immunology

    Chedraoui-Silva, S.; Mantovani, B.

    Abstract in English:

    The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) can be induced by immune complexes and is an important component of phagocytosis in the killing of microorganisms, but can also be involved in inflammatory reactions when immune complexes are deposited in tissues. We have observed that fluid-phase IgG can inhibit the generation of ROS by rabbit PMN stimulated with precipitated immune complexes of IgG (ICIgG) in a dose-dependent manner, acting as a modulatory factor in the range of physiological IgG concentrations. This inhibitory effect is compatible with the known affinity (Kd) of monomeric IgG for the receptors involved (FcRII and FcRIII). The presence of complement components in the immune complexes results in a higher stimulation of ROS production. In this case, however, there is no inhibition by fluid-phase IgG. The effect of complement is strongly dependent on the presence of divalent cations (Ca2+ or Mg2+) in the medium, whereas the stimulation of ICIgG (without complement) does not depend on these cations. We have obtained some evidence indicating that iC3b should be the component involved in the effect of complement through interaction with the CR3 receptor. The absence of the inhibitory effect of fluid-phase IgG in ROS production when complement is present in the immune complex shows that complement may be important in vivo not only in the production of chemotactic factors for PMN, but also in the next phase of the process, i.e., the generation of ROS.
  • c-Fos expression induced by electroacupuncture at the Zusanli point in rats submitted to repeated immobilization Neurosciences And Behavior

    Medeiros, M.A.; Canteras, N.S.; Suchecki, D.; Mello, L.E.A.M.

    Abstract in English:

    In laboratory animals, acupuncture needs to be performed on either anesthetized or, if unanesthetized, restrained subjects. Both procedures up-regulate c-Fos expression in several areas of the central nervous system, representing therefore a major pitfall for the assessment of c-Fos expression induced by electroacupuncture. Thus, in order to reduce the effect of acute restraint we used a protocol of repeated restraint for the assessment of the brain areas activated by electroacupuncture in adult male Wistar rats weighing 180-230 g. Repeated immobilization protocols (6 days, 1 h/day and 13 days, 2 h/day) were used to reduce the effect of acute immobilization stress on the c-Fos expression induced by electroacupuncture at the Zusanli point (EA36S). Animals submitted to immobilization alone or to electroacupuncture (100 Hz, 2-4 V, faradic wave) in a non-point region were compared to animals submitted to electroacupuncture at EA36S (4 animals/subgroup). c-Fos expression was measured in 41 brain areas by simple counting of cells and the results are reported as number of c-Fos-immunoreactive cells/10,000 µm². The protocols of repeated immobilization significantly reduced the immobilization-induced c-Fos expression in most of the brain areas analyzed (P < 0.05). Animals of the EA36S groups had significantly higher levels of c-Fos expression in the dorsal raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus, posterior hypothalamus and central medial nucleus of the thalamus. Furthermore, the repeated immobilization protocols intensified the differences between the effects of 36S and non-point stimulation in the dorsal raphe nucleus (P < 0.05). These data suggest that high levels of stress can interact with and mask the evaluation of specific effects of acupuncture in unanesthetized animals.
  • Absence-like seizures in adult rats following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus early in life Neurosciences And Behavior

    Ferreira, B.L.C.; Valle, A.C.; Cavalheiro, E.A.; Timo-Iaria, C.

    Abstract in English:

    Administration of pilocarpine causes epilepsy in rats if status epilepticus (SE) is induced at an early age. To determine in detail the electrophysiological patterns of the epileptogenic activity in these animals, 46 Wistar rats, 7-17 days old, were subjected to SE induced by pilocarpine and electro-oscillograms from the cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus and hypothalamus, as well as head, rostrum and vibrissa, eye, ear and forelimb movements, were recorded 120 days later. Six control animals of the same age range did not show any signs of epilepsy. In all the rats subjected to SE, iterative spike-wave complexes (8.1 ± 0.5 Hz in frequency, 18.9 ± 9.1 s in duration) were recorded from the frontal cortex during absence fits. However, similar spike-wave discharges were always found also in the hippocampus and, less frequently, in the amygdala and in thalamic nuclei. Repetitive or single spikes were also detected in these same central structures. Clonic movements and single jerks were recorded from all the rats, either concomitantly with or independently of the spike-wave complexes and spikes. We conclude that rats made epileptic with pilocarpine develop absence seizures also occurring during paradoxical sleep, showing the characteristic spike-wave bursts in neocortical areas and also in the hippocampus. This is in contrast to the well-accepted statement that one of the main characteristics of absence-like fits in the rat is that spike-wave discharges are never recorded from the hippocampal fields.
  • Evidence that urocortin is absent from neurons of the Edinger-Westphal nucleus in pigeons Neurosciences And Behavior

    Cavani, J.A.; Reiner, A.; Cuthbertson, S.L.; Bittencourt, J.C.; Toledo, C.A.B.

    Abstract in English:

    The Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EWN) is a central preganglionic parasympathetic cell group that gives rise to cholinergic input to the ciliary ganglion, thereby regulating several neurovegetative ocular functions. Recently, the supposed presence of the neuropeptide urocortin (UCN) has been reported in EWN neurons in rodent brain. The purpose of the present study was to examine the distribution of UCN in avian brain and to investigate by immunohistochemical analysis the possible use of this substance as an EWN marker in a non-mammalian class of vertebrates. Brain tissue of pigeons was incubated with a specific antibody against UCN and the results showed labeling of many small neurons, forming a double wing in the dorsal mesodiencephalic transition area. Their size and shape, however, differed from those of EWN neurons, and they were preferentially located rostral to the EWN. Double-label experiments employing an antibody against the enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) showed that UCN is not localized to the cholinergic cells of the EWN and confirmed the rostral distributionof UCN never overlapping the ChAT+ EWN cells. Taken together, these results suggest that, at least in pigeons, the UCN+ population does not belong to the traditionally defined EWN.
  • The L-arginine/nitric oxide/cyclic-GMP pathway apparently mediates the peripheral antihyperalgesic action of fentanyl in rats Pharmacology

    Maegawa, F.A.B.; Tonussi, C.R.

    Abstract in English:

    There are only a few studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying the peripheral antihyperalgesic effect of opioids. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular bases of the peripheral antihyperalgesic effect of fentanyl in a model of prostaglandin-induced chemical hyperalgesia. Prostaglandin E2 (1.4 nmol) injected into one hind paw of male Wistar rats (200-250 g, N = 6 in each experimental or control group) pretreated with indomethacin (2.5 mg/kg) potentiated the nocifensive response to formalin (1%) injection made 60 min later. Drugs applied locally 30 min after prostaglandin E2 induced the following effects: fentanyl (0.1-1.0 nmol) caused a dose-dependent reversal of the hyperalgesic state, naloxone (2 nmol) co-injected with fentanyl (1 nmol) completely reversed the antihyperalgesic effect, Nomega-nitro-L-arginine (NOARG, 0.05-0.2 µmol) in combination with fentanyl (1.0 nmol) caused a dose-dependent inhibition of the antihyperalgesic effect of fentanyl, co-administration of L-arginine (0.5 µmol) with NOARG (0.2 µmol) plus fentanyl (1.0 nmol) fully restored the antihyperalgesic effect, and the cyclic-GMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor UK-114,542-27 (5-[2-ethoxy-5-(morpholinylacetyl) phenyl]-1,6-dihydro-1-methyl-3-propyl-7H-pyrazolo [4,3-d<FONT FACE=Symbol>]-</FONT>pyrimidin-7-one methanesulfonate monohydrate; 0.5-2.0 µmol) potentiated a subeffective dose of fentanyl (0.1 nmol) in a dose-dependent manner. However, UK-114,542-27 (2.0 µmol) injected alone did not produce this antihyperalgesic effect. Systemically administered fentanyl (1.0 nmol, sc) did not cause antinociception. Taken together, these results support the view that fentanyl reverses prostaglandin E2-induced hyperalgesia, probably by activating an opioid receptor at the periphery, and furthermore the L-arginine/nitric oxide/cyclic-GMP pathway may mediate this peripheral effect of fentanyl.
  • Effect of electrolytic lesion of the dorsal raphe nucleus on water intake and sodium appetite Physiology And Biophysics

    Olivares, E.L.; Costa-e-Sousa, R.H.; Cavalcante-Lima, H.R.; Lima, H.R.C.; Cedraz-Mercez, P.L.; Reis, L.C.

    Abstract in English:

    The present study determined the effect of an electrolytic lesion of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) on water intake and sodium appetite. Male Wistar rats weighing 290-320 g with a lesion of the DRN (L-DRN), performed two days before experiments and confirmed by histology at the end of the experiments, presented increased sensitivity to the dehydration induced by fluid deprivation. The cumulative water intake of L-DRN rats reached 23.3 ± 1.9 ml (a 79% increase, N = 9) while sham-lesioned rats (SL-DRN) did not exceed 13.0 ± 1.0 ml (N = 11, P < 0.0001) after 5 h. The L-DRN rats treated with isoproterenol (300 µg kg-1 ml-1, sc) exhibited an increase in water intake that persisted throughout the experimental period (L-DRN, 15.7 ± 1.47 ml, N = 9 vs SL-DRN, 9.3 ± 1.8 ml, N = 11, P < 0.05). The L-DRN rats also showed an increased spontaneous sodium appetite during the entire period of assessment. The intake of 0.3 M NaCl after 12, 24, 36 and 72 h by the L-DRN rats was always higher than 20.2 ± 4.45 ml (N = 10), while the intake by SL-DRN was always lower than 2.45 ± 0.86 ml (N = 10, P < 0.00001). Sodium- and water-depleted L-DRN rats also exhibited an increased sodium appetite (13.9 ± 2.0 ml, N = 11) compared to SL-DRN (4.6 ± 0.64 ml, N = 11) after 120 min of observation (P < 0.02). The sodium preference of L-DRN rats in both conditions was always higher than that of SL-DRN rats. These results suggest that electrolytic lesion of the DRN overcomes a tonic inhibitory component of sodium appetite.
  • Inhibition of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump with thapsigargin to estimate the contribution of Na+-Ca2+ exchange to ventricular myocyte relaxation Physiology And Biophysics

    Bassani, R.A.; Bassani, J.W.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Relaxation in the mammalian ventricle is initiated by Ca2+ removal from the cytosol, which is performed by three main transport systems: sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SR-A), Na+-Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) and the so-called slow mechanisms (sarcolemmal Ca2+-ATPase and mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake). To estimate the relative contribution of each system to twitch relaxation, SR Ca2+ accumulation must be selectively inhibited, usually by the application of high caffeine concentrations. However, caffeine has been reported to often cause changes in membrane potential due to NCX-generated inward current, which compromises the reliability of its use. In the present study, we estimated integrated Ca2+ fluxes carried by SR-A, NCX and slow mechanisms during twitch relaxation, and compared the results when using caffeine application (Cf-NT) and an electrically evoked twitch after inhibition of SR-A with thapsigargin (TG-TW). Ca2+ transients were measured in 20 isolated adult rat ventricular myocytes with indo-1. For transients in which one or more transporters were inhibited, Ca2+ fluxes were estimated from the measured free Ca2+ concentration and myocardial Ca2+ buffering characteristics. NCX-mediated integrated Ca2+ flux was significantly higher with TG-TW than with Cf-NT (12 vs 7 µM), whereas SR-dependent flux was lower with TG-TW (77 vs 81 µM). The relative participations of NCX (12.5 vs 8% with TG-TW and Cf-NT, respectively) and SR-A (85 vs 89.5% with TG-TW and Cf-NT, respectively) in total relaxation-associated Ca2+ flux were also significantly different. We thus propose TG-TW as a reliable alternative to estimate NCX contribution to twitch relaxation in this kind of analysis.
  • Effect of the establishment of dominance relationships on cortisol and other metabolic parameters in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Physiology And Biophysics

    Corrêa, S.A.; Fernandes, M.O.; Iseki, K.K.; Negrão, J.A.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of the establishment of dominance relationships and social stress on plasma cortisol and metabolite levels in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). During the 30-day experiment, the fish weighing 236 ± 29 g were kept in individual aquaria, except for two pairings lasting 6 h each. Blood samples were taken from the animals before and after pairing. Display, approach, attack, rebuff, chase flight, and coloration were carried out on days 16 and 30. Activities and behaviors characteristic of the establishment of dominance relationships were described. It was possible to classify all experimental fish (N = 30) as dominant or subordinate. No differences were detected between dominant (N = 15) and subordinate (N = 15) fish during isolation or after pairing in cortisol (isolated: 5.76 ± 0.98 vs 5.42 ± 0.63; paired: 10.94 ± 1.62 vs 11.21 ± 2.45 µg/dl), glucose (isolated: 60.02 ± 4.9 vs 67.85 ± 16.16; paired: 110.44 ± 15.72 vs 136.26 ± 22.46 mg/dl), triglyceride (isolated: 167.87 ± 5.06 vs 185.68 ± 7.24; paired: 210.85 ± 13.40 vs 221.82 ± 12.70 mg/dl) or total protein levels (isolated: 7.01 ± 0.42 vs 6.69 ± 0.59; paired: 9.21 ± 0.62 vs 9.51 ± 0.66 g/dl). However, when isolated (N = 30) and paired (N = 30) tilapia were compared, there were significant differences in cortisol and metabolite levels. The similar response presented by dominant and subordinate tilapia indicates that establishment of dominance relationships was a stressor for both groups.
  • Comparison of the efficacy of biodegradable and non-biodegradable scintillation liquids on the counting of tritium- and [14C]-labeled compounds Physiology And Biophysics

    Medeiros, R.B.; Godinho, R.O.; Mattos, M.F.S.S.

    Abstract in English:

    The widespread use of ³H and 14C in research has generated a large volume of waste mixed with scintillation liquid, requiring an effective control and appropriate storage of liquid radioactive waste. In the present study, we compared the efficacy of three commercially available scintillation liquids, Optiphase HiSafe 3, Ultima-Gold™ AB (biodegradable) and Insta-Gel-XF (non-biodegradable), in terms of [14C]-glucose and [³H]-thymidine counting efficiency. We also analyzed the effect of the relative amount of water (1.6 to 50%), radioisotope concentration (0.1 to 100 nCi/ml), pH (2 to 10) and color of the solutions (samples containing 0.1 to 1.0 mg/ml of Trypan blue) on the counting efficiency in the presence of these scintillation liquids. There were few significant differences in the efficiency of 14C and ³H counting obtained with biodegradable or non-biodegradable scintillation liquids. However, there was an 83 and 94% reduction in the efficiency of 14C and ³H counting, respectively, in samples colored with 1 mg/ml Trypan blue, but not with 0.1 mg/ml, independent of the scintillation liquid used. Considering the low cost of biodegradable scintillation cocktails and their efficacy, these results show that traditional hazardous scintillation fluids may be replaced with the new safe biodegradable fluids without impairment of ³H and 14C counting efficiency. The use of biodegradable scintillation cocktails minimizes both human and environmental exposure to hazardous solvents. In addition, some biodegradable scintillation liquids can be 40% less expensive than the traditional hazardous cocktails.
  • Transitory increased blood pressure after upper airway surgery for snoring and sleep apnea correlates with the apnea-hypopnea respiratory disturbance index Physiology And Biophysics

    Araújo, M.T.M.; Ouayoun, M.; Poirier, J.M.; Bayle, M.M.; Vasquez, E.C.; Fleury, B.

    Abstract in English:

    A transitory increase in blood pressure (BP) is observed following upper airway surgery for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome but the mechanisms implicated are not yet well understood. The objective of the present study was to evaluate changes in BP and heart rate (HR) and putative factors after uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and septoplasty in normotensive snorers. Patients (N = 10) were instrumented for 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring, nocturnal respiratory monitoring and urinary catecholamine level evaluation one day before surgery and on the day of surgery. The influence of postsurgery pain was prevented by analgesic therapy as confirmed using a visual analog scale of pain. Compared with preoperative values, there was a significant (P < 0.05) increase in nighttime but not daytime systolic BP (119 ± 5 vs 107 ± 3 mmHg), diastolic BP (72 ± 4 vs 67 ± 2 mmHg), HR (67 ± 4 vs 57 ± 2 bpm), respiratory disturbance index (RDI) characterized by apnea-hypopnea (30 ± 10 vs 13 ± 4 events/h of sleep) and norepinephrine levels (22.0 ± 4.7 vs 11.0 ± 1.3 µg l-1 12 h-1) after surgery. A positive correlation was found between individual variations of BP and individual variations of RDI (r = 0.81, P < 0.01) but not between BP or RDI and catecholamines. The visual analog scale of pain showed similar stress levels on the day before and after surgery (6.0 ± 0.8 vs 5.0 ± 0.9 cm, respectively). These data strongly suggest that the cardiovascular changes observed in patients who underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and septoplasty were due to the increased postoperative RDI.
  • Duration-controlled swimming exercise training induces cardiac hypertrophy in mice Physiology And Biophysics

    Evangelista, F.S.; Brum, P.C.; Krieger, J.E.

    Abstract in English:

    Exercise training associated with robust conditioning can be useful for the study of molecular mechanisms underlying exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy. A swimming apparatus is described to control training regimens in terms of duration, load, and frequency of exercise. Mice were submitted to 60- vs 90-min session/day, once vs twice a day, with 2 or 4% of the weight of the mouse or no workload attached to the tail, for 4 vs 6 weeks of exercise training. Blood pressure was unchanged in all groups while resting heart rate decreased in the trained groups (8-18%). Skeletal muscle citrate synthase activity, measured spectrophotometrically, increased (45-58%) only as a result of duration and frequency-controlled exercise training, indicating that endurance conditioning was obtained. In groups which received duration and endurance conditioning, cardiac weight (14-25%) and myocyte dimension (13-20%) increased. The best conditioning protocol to promote physiological hypertrophy, our primary goal in the present study, was 90 min, twice a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks with no overload attached to the body. Thus, duration- and frequency-controlled exercise training in mice induces a significant conditioning response qualitatively similar to that observed in humans.
  • Normal HC11 and ras-transformed mouse mammary cells are resistant to the antiproliferative effects of retinoic acid Hc-Fmusp: I Symposium On Advances In Medical Research, Institute Of Medical Investigation Laboratories, Hc-Fmusp

    Snitcovsky, I.; Katayama, M.L.H.; Folgueira, M.A.A.K.; Brentani, M.M.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of retinoic acid on the growth of the mouse mammary cells HC11 and HC11ras, which are a model for in vitro breast cancer progression. The expression of the two classes (RARs and RXRs) of retinoic acid receptor mRNAs was determined by Northern blot analysis. Receptor functional integrity was determined by testing whether RAR ß mRNA could be induced by retinoic acid. The effects of a 72-h exposure to 50 µM 13-cis retinoic acid on HC11 and HC11ras cell proliferation and HC11 cell differentiation were investigated by flow cytometric cell cycle analysis, and by determination of ß-casein mRNA expression, respectively. The possibility that retinoic acid would induce the expression of the vitamin D receptor and synergize with vitamin D, a known inhibitor of HC11 cell growth, was also investigated. HC11 cells expressed higher mRNA levels of both RAR a and RAR g when compared to HC11ras cells. In contrast, RAR ß, as well as RXR a, ß and g expression was low in both HC11 and HC11ras cells. In addition, RAR ß mRNA was induced by retinoic acid treatment in both cells. In spite of these observations, no effects were seen on cell proliferation or differentiation upon exposure to retinoic acid. Neither vitamin D receptor induction nor synergy with vitamin D on growth inhibition was observed. We conclude that the RAR expression profile could be related to the transformed state in HC11ras cells and that the retinoic acid resistance observed merits further investigation.
  • Erythrocytes may contain a ouabain-insensitive K+-ATPase which plays a role in internal K+ balance Hc-Fmusp: I Symposium On Advances In Medical Research, Institute Of Medical Investigation Laboratories, Hc-Fmusp

    Seguro, L.F.B.C.; Seguro, D.L.B.C.; Helou, C.M.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Erythrocytes are useful in evaluating K+ transport pathways involved in internal K+ balance. Several forms of H+,K+-ATPase have been described in nephron segments active in K+ transport. Furthermore, the activity of a ouabain-insensitive isoform of H+,K+-ATPase expressed in collecting duct cells may be modulated by acid-base status. Various assays were performed to determine if a ouabain-insensitive K+-ATPase is present in rat erythrocytes and, if so, whether it plays a role in internal K+ balance. Kinetic studies demonstrated that maximal stimulation of enzyme activity was achieved with 2.5 mM K+ at pH 7.4. Subsequent experiments were performed on erythrocyte membranes collected from animals submitted to varying degrees of K+ homeostasis: control rats, K+-depleted rats, K+-loaded rats, and rats rendered hyperkalemic due to acute renal failure. As observed in the collecting duct cell studies, there was a significant decrease in the activity of ouabain-insensitive K+-ATPase in the erythrocytes of both K+-loaded and metabolically alkalotic K+-depleted rats. However, this enzyme activity in erythrocyte membranes of rats with metabolic acidosis-related hyperkalemia was similar to that of control animals. This finding may be interpreted as resulting from two potentially modulating factors: the stimulating effect that metabolic acidosis has on K+-ATPase and the counteracting effect that hyperkalemia and uremia have on metabolic acidosis. In summary, we present evidence of a ouabain-insensitive K+-ATPase in erythrocytes, whose activity is modulated by acid-base status and K+ levels.
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