Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 37, Issue: 6, Published: 2004
  • Biochemical characterization of the GM2 gangliosidosis B1 variant Review

    Tutor, J.C.

    Abstract in English:

    The deficiency of the A isoenzyme of ß-hexosaminidase (Hex) produced by different mutations of the gene that codes for the alpha subunit (Tay-Sachs disease) has two variants with enzymological differences: the B variant consists of the absence of Hex A isoenzyme and the B1 variant produces an inactive Hex A isoenzyme for the hydrolysis of the GM2 ganglioside and synthetic substrates with negative charge. In contrast to the early childhood form of the B variant, the B1 variant appears at a later clinical stage (3 to 7 years of age) with neurodegenerative symptoms leading to the death of the patient in the second decade of life. The most frequent mutation responsible for the GM2 gangliosidosis B1 variant is R178H, which has a widespread geographic and ethnic distribution. The highest incidence has been described in Portugal, which has been suggested as the point of origin of this mutation. Biochemical characterization of this lysosomal disease is carried out using negatively charged synthetic alpha subunit-specific sulfated substrates, since Hex A isoenzyme heat-inactivation assays are not applicable. However, the determination of the apparent activation energy of Hex using the neutral substrate 3,3'-dichlorophenolsulfonphthaleinyl N-acetyl-ß-D-glucosaminide, may offer a valid alternative. The presence of an alpha subunit in the alphaß heterodimer Hex A means that its activation energy (41.8 kJ/mol) is significantly lower than that of the ßß homodimer Hex B (75.1 kJ/mol); however, as mutation inactivates the alpha subunit, the Hex A of the B1 variant presents an activation energy that is similar to that of the Hex B isoenzyme.
  • A calcineurin inhibitory protein overexpressed in Down's syndrome interacts with the product of a ubiquitously expressed transcript Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Silveira, H.C.S.; Sommer, C.A.; Soares-Costa, A.; Henrique-Silva, F.

    Abstract in English:

    The Down's syndrome candidate region 1 (DSCR1) protein, encoded by a gene located in the human chromosome 21, interacts with calcineurin and is overexpressed in Down's syndrome patients. As an approach to clarifying a putative function for this protein, in the present study we used the yeast two-hybrid system to identify DSCR1 partners. The two-hybrid system is a method that allows the identification of protein-protein interactions through reconstitution of the activity of the yeast GAL 4 transcriptional activator. The gene DSCR1 fused to the GAL 4 binding domain (BD) was used to screen a human fetal brain cDNA library cloned in fusion with the GAL 4 activation domain (AD). Three positive clones were found and sequence analysis revealed that all the plasmids coded for the ubiquitously expressed transcript (UXT). UXT, which is encoded in human Xp11, is a 157-amino acid protein present in both cytosol and nucleus of the cells. This positive interaction of DSCR1 and UXT was confirmed in vivo by mating the yeast strain AH109 (MATa<FONT FACE=Symbol>)</FONT>expressing AD-UXT with the strain Y187 (MATalpha) expressing BD-DSCR1, and in vitro by co-immunoprecipitation experiments. These results may help elucidate a new function for DSCR1 and its participation in Down's syndrome pathogenesis.
  • Different stress modalities result in distinct steroid hormone responses by male rats Experimental Biology

    Andersen, M.L.; Bignotto, M.; Machado, R.B.; Tufik, S.

    Abstract in English:

    Since both paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) and stress alter male reproductive function, the purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of PSD and other stressors (restraint, electrical footshock, cold and forced swimming, N = 10 per group) on steroid hormones in adult Wistar male rats. Rats were submitted to chronic stress for four days. The stressors (footshock, cold and forced swimming) were applied twice a day, for periods of 1 h at 9:00 and 16:00 h. Restrained animals were maintained in plastic cylinders for 22 h/day whereas PSD was continuous. Hormone determination was measured by chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay (testosterone), competitive immunoassay (progesterone) and by radioimmunoassay (corticosterone, estradiol, estrone). The findings indicate that PSD (13.7 ng/dl), footshock (31.7 ng/dl) and cold (35.2 ng/dl) led to lower testosterone levels compared to the swimming (370.4 ng/dl) and control (371.4 ng/dl) groups. However, progesterone levels were elevated in the footshock (4.5 ng/ml) and PSD (5.4 ng/ml) groups compared to control (1.6 ng/ml), swimming (1.1 ng/ml), cold (2.3 ng/ml), and restrained (1.2 ng/ml) animals. Estrone and estradiol levels were reduced in the PSD, footshock and restraint groups compared to the control, swimming and cold groups. A significant increase in corticosterone levels was found only in the PSD (299.8 ng/ml) and footshock (169.6 ng/ml) groups. These changes may be thought to be the full steroidal response to stress of significant intensity. Thus, the data suggest that different stress modalities result in distinct steroid hormone responses, with PSD and footshock being the most similar.
  • The Shiga toxin 2 B subunit inhibits net fluid absorption in human colon and elicits fluid accumulation in rat colon loops Experimental Biology

    Creydt, V. Pistone; Miyakawa, M. Fernandez; Martín, F.; Zotta, E.; Silberstein, C.; Ibarra, C.

    Abstract in English:

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) colonizes the large intestine causing a spectrum of disorders, including watery diarrhea, bloody diarrhea (hemorrhagic colitis), and hemolytic-uremic syndrome. It is estimated that hemolytic-uremic syndrome is the most common cause of acute renal failure in infants in Argentina. Stx is a multimeric toxin composed of one A subunit and five B subunits. In this study we demonstrate that the Stx2 B subunit inhibits the water absorption (Jw) across the human and rat colonic mucosa without altering the electrical parameters measured as transepithelial potential difference and short circuit current. The time-course Jw inhibition by 400 ng/ml purified Stx2 B subunit was similar to that obtained using 12 ng/ml Stx2 holotoxin suggesting that both, A and B subunits of Stx2 contributed to inhibit the Jw. Moreover, non-hemorrhagic fluid accumulation was observed in rat colon loops after 16 h of treatment with 3 and 30 ng/ml Stx2 B subunit. These changes indicate that Stx2 B subunit induces fluid accumulation independently of A subunit activity by altering the usual balance of intestinal absorption and secretion toward net secretion. In conclusion, our results suggest that the Stx2 B subunit, which is non-toxic for Vero cells, may contribute to the watery diarrhea observed in STEC infection. Further studies will be necessary to determine whether the toxicity of Stx2 B subunit may have pathogenic consequences when it is used as a component in an acellular STEC vaccine or as a vector in cancer vaccines.
  • A model of chronic IgE-mediated food allergy in ovalbumin-sensitized mice Immunology

    Saldanha, J.C.S.; Gargiulo, D.L.; Silva, S.S.; Carmo-Pinto, F.H.; Andrade, M.C.; Alvarez-Leite, J.I.; Teixeira, M.M.; Cara, D.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Food allergy is most frequently the result of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Here, we describe a chronic model in which some of the intestinal and systemic consequences of continuous egg white solution ingestion by ovalbumin-sensitized eight-week-old BALB/c mice, 6 animals per group, of both sexes, were investigated. There was a 20% loss of body weight that began one week after antigen exposure and persisted throughout the experiment (3 weeks). The sensitization procedure induced the production of anti-ovalbumin IgG1 and IgE, which were enhanced by oral antigen exposure (129% for IgG1 and 164% for IgE, compared to sensitization values). Intestinal changes were determined by jejunum edema at 6 h (45% Evans blue extravasation) and by a significant eosinophil infiltration with a peak at 48 h. By day 21 of continuous antigen exposure, histological findings were mild, with mast cell hyperplasia (100%) and increased mucus production (483%). Altogether, our data clearly demonstrate that, although immune stimulation was persistently occurring in response to continuous oral antigen exposure, regulatory mechanisms were occurring in the intestinal mucosa, preventing overt pathology. The experimental model described here reproduces the clinical and pathological changes of mild chronic food allergy and may be useful for mechanistic studies of this common clinical condition.
  • IgA response in serum and gut secretion in sensitized mice fed with the dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus extract Immunology

    Maciel, M.; Fusaro, A.E.; Oliveira, C.R.; Futata, E.A.; Duarte, A.J.S.; Sato, M.N.

    Abstract in English:

    Induced oral tolerance to mucosal-exposed antigens in immunized animals is of particular interest for the development of immunotherapeutic approaches to human allergic diseases. This is a unique feature of mucosal surfaces which represent the main contact interface with the external environment. However, the influence of oral tolerance on specific and natural polyreactive IgA antibodies, the major defense mechanism of the mucosa, is unknown. We have shown that oral administration of an extract of the dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dp) to primed mice caused down-regulation of IgE responses and an increase in tumor growth factor-ß secretion. In the present study, we observed that primed inbred female A/Sn mice (8 to 10 weeks old) fed by gavage a total weight of 1.0-mg Dp extract on the 6th, 7th and 8th days post-immunization presented normal secretion of IL-4 and IL-10 in gut-associated lymphoid tissue and a decreased production of interferon gamma induced by Dp in the draining lymph nodes (13,340 ± 3,519 vs 29,280 ± 2,971 pg/ml). Mice fed the Dp extract also showed higher levels of serum anti-Dp IgA antibodies and an increase of IgA-secreting cells in mesenteric lymph nodes (N = 10), reflecting an increase in total fecal IgA antibodies (N = 10). The levels of secretory anti-Dp IgA antibodies increased after re-immunization regardless of Dp extract feeding. Oral tolerance did not interfere with serum or secretory IgA antibody reactivity related to self and non-self antigens. These results suggest that induction of oral tolerance to a Dp extract in sensitized mice triggered different regulatory mechanisms which inhibited the IgE response and stimulated systemic and secretory IgA responses, preserving the natural polyreactive IgA antibody production.
  • Abnormalities of hippocampal signal intensity in patients with familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy Neurosciences And Behavior

    Coan, A.C.; Kobayashi, E.; Lopes-Cendes, I.; Li, L.M.; Cendes, F.

    Abstract in English:

    Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is associated with hippocampal atrophy and hippocampal signal abnormalities. In our series of familial MTLE (FMTLE), we found a high proportion of hippocampal abnormalities. To quantify signal abnormalities in patients with FMTLE we studied 152 individuals (46 of them asymptomatic) with FMTLE. We used NIH-Image® for volumetry and signal quantification in coronal T1 inversion recovery and T2 for all cross-sections of the hippocampus. Values diverging by 2 or more SD from the control mean were considered abnormal. T2 hippocampal signal abnormalities were found in 52% of all individuals: 54% of affected subjects and 48% of asymptomatic subjects. T1 hippocampal signal changes were found in 34% of all individuals: 42.5% of affected subjects and 15% of asymptomatic subjects. Analysis of the hippocampal head (first three slices) revealed T2 abnormalities in 73% of all individuals (74% of affected subjects and 72% of asymptomatic subjects) and T1 abnormalities in 59% (67% of affected subjects and 41% of asymptomatic subjects). Affected individuals had smaller volumes than controls (P < 0.0001). There was no difference in hippocampal volumes between asymptomatic subjects and controls, although 39% of asymptomatic patients had hippocampal atrophy. Patients with an abnormal hippocampal signal (133 individuals) had smaller ipsilateral volume, but no linear correlation could be determined. Hippocampal signal abnormalities in FMTLE were more frequently found in the hippocampal head in both affected and asymptomatic family members, including those with normal volumes. These results indicate that subtle abnormalities leading to an abnormal hippocampal signal in FMTLE are not necessarily related to seizures and may be determined by genetic factors.
  • Social condition affects hormone secretion and exploratory behavior in rats Neurosciences And Behavior

    Genaro, G.; Schmidek, W.R.; Franci, C.R.

    Abstract in English:

    Studies of behavior, endocrinology and physiology have described experiments in which animals housed in groups or in isolation were normally tested individually. The isolation of the animal from its group for testing is perhaps the most common situation used today in experimental procedures, i.e., there is no consideration of the acute stress which occurs when the animal is submitted to a situation different from that it is normally accustomed to, i.e., group living. In the present study, we used 90 male 120-day-old rats (Rattus norvegicus) divided into 5 groups of 18 animals, which were housed 3 per cage, in a total of 6 cages. The animals were tested individually or with their groups for exploratory behavior. Hormones were determined by radioimmunoassay using specific kits. The results showed statistically significant differences between testing conditions in terms of behavior and of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH: from 116.8 ± 15.27 to 88.77 ± 18.74 when in group and to 159.6 ± 11.53 pg/ml when isolated), corticosterone (from 561.01 ± 77.04 to 1036.47 ± 79.81 when in group and to 784.71 ± 55.88 ng/ml when isolated), luteinizing hormone (from 0.84 ± 0.09 to 0.58 ± 0.05 when in group and to 0.52 ± 0.06 ng/ml when isolated) and prolactin (from 5.18 ± 0.33 to 9.37 ± 0.96 when in group and to 10.18 ± 1.23 ng/ml when isolated) secretion, but not in terms of follicle-stimulating hormone or testosterone secretion. The most important feature observed was that in each cage there was one animal with higher ACTH levels than the other two; furthermore, the exploratory behavior of this animal was different, indicating the occurrence of almost constant higher vigilance in this animal (latency to leave the den in group: 99.17 ± 34.95 and isolated: 675.3 ± 145.3 s). The data indicate that in each group there is an animal in a peculiar situation and its behavior can be detected by ACTH determination in addition to behavioral performance.
  • Can calories from ethanol contribute to body weight preservation by malnourished rats? Neurosciences And Behavior

    Aguiar, A.S.; Da-Silva, V.A.; Boaventura, G.T.

    Abstract in English:

    Our objective was to compare the use of calories from ethanol by well-nourished and malnourished rats in terms of body weight. Female Wistar rats weighing 170-180 g at the beginning of the study were used. The animals were divided into two groups (N = 12 each): group W received water ad libitum and group E an ethanol solution ad libitum as the only source of liquid throughout the experiment. The concentration of ethanol was increased weekly from 0 to 5, 10, 20 and 40% (v/v). In the well-nourished phase (A), all rats received food ad libitum (AW and AE). Ethanol treatment (AE) was then interrupted and water was offered to both groups. After 2 weeks both AW and AE rats were submitted to food restriction (50% of group AW food consumption), thus initiating the malnutrition phase (M). Liquid was offered as described before to the same W (MW) and E (ME) groups. The weight gain during the 1-week treatment of AE rats was similar to that of AW animals only when AE rats received the 5% (v/v) ethanol solution (9.16 vs 10.47 g). Weight loss was observed after exposure to 10% ethanol (P < 0.05) in spite of maintenance of caloric intake. Malnourished rats presented weight loss, which was attenuated by ethanol intake up to the 20% (v/v) solution and was related to an increased caloric offer. This effect was not observed with the 40% ethanol solution (-9.98 g). These data suggest that calories from ethanol were used to maintain body weight up to the concentration of 10% (v/v) (well-nourished) and 20% (v/v) (malnourished) and that ethanol has a toxic profile which depends on nutritional status.
  • Female novelty and the courtship behavior of male guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) Neurosciences And Behavior

    Cohn, D.W.H.; Tokumaru, R.S.; Ades, C.

    Abstract in English:

    In several rodent species, an increase or recovery of sexual behavior can be observed when sexually satiated males are placed in contact with a novel mate. In order to assess the influence of female novelty on the courtship behavior of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), four adult males were observed during four daily 15-min sessions while interacting with the same pregnant female (same-female sessions). A new female was presented during the fifth session (switched-female session). The duration of behavioral categories was obtained from videotape records using an observational software. From the first to the second session, all males decreased the time allocated to investigating (sniffing and licking), following, and mounting the female, and that response did not recover by the end of the same-female sessions. No similar decreasing tendencies were detected in the circling or rumba categories. A marked increase of investigating occurred in all males from the last same-female session (8.1, 11.9, 15.1 and 17.3 percent session time) to the switched-female one (16.4, 18.4, 37.1 and 28.9 percent session time, respectively). Increases in following and circling were recorded in three of four males, and full-blown recovery of mounting in one male. No consistent changes in the females' responses to males (following or attacking) were observed throughout testing. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that guinea pig males recognize individual females and that courtship responses may suffer a habituation/recovery process controlled by mate novelty.
  • The control of deliberate waiting strategies in a stop-signal task Neurosciences And Behavior

    Sylwan, R.P.

    Abstract in English:

    To inhibit an ongoing flow of thoughts or actions has been largely considered to be a crucial executive function, and the stop-signal paradigm makes inhibitory control measurable. Stop-signal tasks usually combine two concurrent tasks, i.e., manual responses to a primary task (go-task) are occasionally countermanded by a stimulus which signals participants to inhibit their response in that trial (stop-task). Participants are always instructed not to wait for the stop-signal, since waiting strategies cause the response times to be unstable, invalidating the data. The aim of the present study was to experimentally control the strategies of waiting deliberately for the stop-signal in a stop-task by means of an algorithm that measured the variation in the reaction times to go-stimuli on-line, and displayed a warning legend urging participants to be faster when their reaction times were more than two standard deviations of the mean. Thirty-four university students performed a stop-task with go- and stop-stimuli, both of which were delivered in the visual modality and were lateralized within the visual field. The participants were divided into two groups (group A, without the algorithm, vs group B, with the algorithm). Group B exhibited lower variability of reaction times to go-stimuli, whereas no significant between-group differences were found in any of the measures of inhibitory control, showing that the algorithm succeeded in controlling the deliberate waiting strategies. Differences between deliberate and unintentional waiting strategies, and anxiety as a probable factor responsible for individual differences in deliberate waiting behavior, are discussed.
  • Is avoidant disorder part of the social phobia spectrum in a referred sample of Brazilian children and adolescents? Neurosciences And Behavior

    Denardin, D.; Silva, T.L.; Pianca, T.G.; Rohde, L.A.

    Abstract in English:

    The diagnosis of avoidant disorder was deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders - fourth edition (DSM-IV) based on a `committee decision' suggesting that avoidant disorder is part of the social phobia spectrum. The objective of the present study was to examine the nature of this clinical association in a referred sample of Brazilian children and adolescents. We assessed a referred sample of 375 youths using semi-structured diagnostic interview methodology. Demographic (age at admission to the study and sex) and clinical (level of impairment, age at onset of symptoms and pattern of comorbidity) data were assessed in subsamples of children with avoidant disorder (N = 7), social phobia (N = 26), and comorbidity between both disorders (N = 24). Although a significant difference in the male/female ratio was detected among groups (P = 0.03), none of the other clinical variables differed significantly among subjects that presented each condition separately or in combination. Most of the children with avoidant disorder fulfilled criteria for social phobia. Thus, our findings support the validity of the conceptualization of avoidant disorder as part of the social phobia spectrum in a clinical sample.
  • Expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the developing superficial layers of the rat superior colliculus Neurosciences And Behavior

    Giraldi-Guimarães, A.; Bittencourt-Navarrete, R.E.; Mendez-Otero, R.

    Abstract in English:

    We investigated the level of expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the retinorecipient layers of the rat superior colliculus during early postnatal development. Male and female Lister rats ranging in age between the day of birth (P0) and the fourth postnatal week were used in the present study. Two biochemical methods were used, i.e., in vitro measurement of NOS specific activity by the conversion of [³H]-arginine to [³H]-citrulline, and analysis of Western blotting immunoreactive bands from superior colliculus homogenates. As revealed by Western blotting, very weak immunoreactive bands were observed as early as P0-2, and their intensity increased progressively at least until P21. The analysis of specific activity of NOS showed similar results. There was a progressive increase in enzymatic activity until near the end of the second postnatal week, and a nonsignificant tendency to an increase until the end of the third week was also observed. Thus, these results indicated an increase in the amount of nNOS during the first weeks after birth. Our results confirm and extend previous reports using histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase and immunocytochemistry for nNOS, which showed a progressive increase in the number of stained cells in the superficial layers during the first two postnatal weeks, reaching an adult pattern at the end of the third week. Furthermore, our results suggested that nNOS is present in an active form in the rat superior colliculus during the period of refinement of the retinocollicular pathway.
  • Topographic aspects of photic driving in the electroencephalogram of children and adolescents Neurosciences And Behavior

    Lazarev, V.V.; Infantosi, A.F.C.; Valencio-de-Campos, D.; Azevedo, L.C. de

    Abstract in English:

    The electroencephalogram amplitude spectra at 11 fixed frequencies of intermittent photic stimulation of 3 to 24 Hz were combined into driving "profiles" for 14 scalp points in 8 male and 7 female normal subjects aged 9 to 17 years. The driving response varied over frequency and was detected in 70 to 100% of cases in the occipital areas (maximum) and in 27 to 77% of cases in the frontal areas (minimum) using as a criterion peak amplitude 20% higher than those of the neighbors. Each subject responded, on average, to 9.7 ± 1.15 intermittent photic stimulation frequencies in the right occipital area and to 6.8 ± 1.97 frequencies in the right frontal area. Most of the driving responses (in relation to the previous background) were significant according to the spectral F-test (a = 0.05), which also detected changes in some cases of low amplitude responses not revealed by the peak criterion. The profiles had two maxima in the alpha and theta bands in all leads. The latter was not present in the background spectra in the posterior areas and was less pronounced in the anterior ones. The weight of the profile theta maximum increased towards the frontal areas where the two maxima were similar, while the profile amplitudes decreased. The profiles repeated the shape of the background spectra, except for the theta band. The interhemispheric correlation between profiles was high. The theta driving detected in all areas recorded suggests a generalized influence of the theta generators in prepubertal and pubertal subjects.
  • Cardiac and vascular effects of diltiazem, dobutamine and amrinone, drugs used after myocardial revascularization Pharmacology

    Gómez-Alvis, A.; Rebolledo, A.; Milesi, V.; Raingo, J.; Sanz, N.; Tommasi, J.; Drago, A.; Rinaldi, G.; Grassi, A.

    Abstract in English:

    Hemodynamic care during postoperative management of myocardial revascularization should include vasorelaxing drugs to insure adequate graft and coronary flow, and stimulation of stroke volume to maintain vascular perfusion pressure. We tested the cardiac (inotropic and lusitropic) and vascular (relaxant) effects of diltiazem (0.1 nM to 0.1 mM), dobutamine (10 µM to 10 mM) and amrinone (10 µM to 1 mM) on isolated rat atria and thoracic aorta, and also on isolated human saphenous vein (HSV) and human mammary artery (HMA). Dobutamine produced a maximal positive inotropic effect (+dF/dt max = 29 ± 7%) at its ED50 for aortic relaxation (88 ± 7 µM). Conversely, at their ED50 for aortic relaxation diltiazem depressed myocardial contractility and amrinone did not exhibit myocardial effects. In HSV and HMA contracted with 80 mM potassium, diltiazem and dobutamine (but not amrinone) had a vasorelaxant activity similar to that in rat aorta. Norepinephrine-contracted human vessels were significantly more sensitive than potassium-contracted vessels to the relaxant effect of amrinone (ED50 HMA = 15 ± 5 µM, ED50 HSV = 72 ± 31 µM, P < 0.05). We conclude that at concentrations still devoid of myocardial effects dobutamine and amrinone are effective dilators in graft segment vessels and rat aorta contracted by membrane depolarization. If the difference between aortic and myocardial tissue still holds in human tissues, at the appropriate concentrations these drugs should be expected to improve cardiac performance while still contributing to the maintenance of graft patency.
  • Biological activity and binding of estradiol to SK-Mel 23 human melanoma cells Pharmacology

    Sarti, M.S.M.V.; Visconti, M.A.; Castrucci, A.M.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Patients expressing estradiol receptors in melanoma cells have been reported to have a better prognosis. We therefore decided to investigate the in vitro effects of ß-estradiol and tamoxifen on the growth and tyrosinase activity of SK-Mel 23 human melanoma cells. Twenty-four-hour treatment with 0.4 nM ß-estradiol inhibited cell proliferation in 30% (0.70 ± 0.03 x 10(5) cells) and increased tyrosinase activity in 50% (7130.5 ± 376.5 cpm/10(5) cells), as compared to untreated cells (1.0 ± 0.05 x 10(5) cells and 4769 ± 25.5 cpm/10(5) cells, respectively). Both responses were completely (100%) blocked by 1 µM tamoxifen. Higher concentrations (up to 1.6 nM) or longer treatments (up to 72 h) did not result in a larger effect of the hormone on proliferation or tyrosinase activity. Competition binding assays demonstrated the presence of binding sites to [2,4,6,7-³H]-ß-estradiol, and that the tritiated analogue was displaced by the unlabeled hormone (1 nM to 100 µM, Kd = 0.14 µM, maximal displacement of 93%) or by 10 µM tamoxifen (displacement of 60%). ß-estradiol also increased the phosphorylated state of two proteins of 16 and 46 kDa, after 4-h treatment, as determined by Western blot. The absorbance of each band was 1.9- and 4-fold the controls, respectively, as determined with Image-Pro Plus software. Shorter incubation periods with ß-estradiol did not enhance phosporylation; after 6-h treatment with the hormone, the two proteins returned to the control phosphorylation levels. The growth inhibition promoted by estradiol may explain the better prognosis of melanoma-bearing women as compared to men, and open new perspectives for drug therapy.
  • Effect of strenuous maternal exercise before and during pregnancy on rat progeny renal function Physiology And Biophysics

    Oliveira, A.O.; Fileto, C.; Melis, M.S.

    Abstract in English:

    The effects of strenuous exercise before and during pregnancy on the renal function and morphological alterations of the progeny were determined in a study on female Wistar rats. This research was done based on a previous study carried out in our laboratory, which showed morphological alterations in rats submitted to this kind of exercise. As the form is related to the function, the physiological relevance of submitting a pregnant female to a high-intensity exercise training regimen could be explained by the fact that morphological alterations can influence kidney function. The animals were assigned to one of two groups: control animals that did not exercise during pregnancy and trained animals that swam for 120 min 5 days a week for 8 weeks before pregnancy and daily for 60 min over a period of 8 weeks starting on the second day of pregnancy. Seven rats of each group were analyzed for morphological alterations and for renal function. The progeny of the rats used for morphological evaluation were born by cesarean section and the progeny of the animals used to evaluate renal function were born normally. The progeny were two months old when renal function was evaluated. Fertility and morbidity were the same for both groups. Strenuous maternal exercise had no significant influence on glomerular filtration rate (GFR) but renal plasma flow was lower in the progeny of the trained group (mean ± SD, 16.65 ± 3.77 ml min-1 kg-1) compared to the progeny of the control group (33.42 ± 2.56 ml min-1 kg-1). Antidiuretic and antinatriuretic effects on the progeny of the trained group were observed, since urine flow as percentage of GFR and the fraction of urinary sodium excretion were lower in this group (1.38 ± 0.10 and 0.60 ± 0.04%, respectively) compared to the progeny of the control group (2.36 ± 0.11 and 1.55 ± 0.20%, respectively). Moreover, in this exercise program, fetuses from trained animals were small-sized (2.45 ± 0.19 vs 4.66 ± 2.45 g for control animals) and showed lower differentiation compared to fetuses from the control group. These effects were probably caused by caloric restriction, hypoxia and reduction of umbilical cord length.
  • Follicle profile and plasma gonadotropin concentration in pubertal female ponies Physiology And Biophysics

    Nogueira, G.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Twelve female ponies were examined daily for 30 days and classified as ovulating (OV; N = 6; 197 ± 6 kg) or prepubertal (PP; N = 6; 196 ± 9 kg). Follicles were detected by ultrasound and gonadotropins quantified by radioimmunoassay. The mean diameter of the largest follicles was significantly larger in OV (38 ± 1 mm) than in PP (26 ± 2 mm) but there was no difference between groups in the size of the second largest follicle. There were more small follicles (<24 mm) in the PP than in the OV group, but PP fillies had a smaller number of follicles >29 mm than the OV fillies. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels did not differ between groups but PP fillies had lower luteinizing hormone (LH) peak (8 ± 1 ng/ml) and basal (4 ± 0.5 ng/ml) levels, lower peak magnitude (2 ± 0.2 ng/ml) and period average (5 ± 0.6 ng/ml) than OV fillies (32 ± 4.5, 8 ± 1.2, 17.1 ± 6, and 15 ± 2.3 ng/ml, respectively). The PP group, in contrast to the OV group, showed no relationship between FSH surge and follicle wave emergence. We conclude that an LH concentration higher than 8 ng/ml is needed for follicle growth to a preovulatory size. Wave emergence and FSH secretion seem to be independent events, probably due to an inhibitory neural system in these PP animals. PP fillies may provide a physiological model for the study of follicle wave emergence which apparently does not depend on gonadotropin levels.
  • Hypercaloric cafeteria-like diet induced UCP3 gene expression in skeletal muscle is impaired by hypothyroidism Physiology And Biophysics

    Christoffolete, M.A.; Moriscot, A.S.

    Abstract in English:

    The uncoupling protein UCP3 belongs to a family of mitochondrial carriers located in the inner mitochondrial membrane of certain cell types. It is expressed almost exclusively at high levels in skeletal muscle and its physiological role has not been fully determined in this tissue. In the present study we have addressed the possible interaction between a hypercaloric diet and thyroid hormone (T3), which are strong stimulators of UCP3 gene expression in skeletal muscle. Male Wistar rats weighing 180 ± 20 g were rendered hypothyroid by thyroidectomy and the addition of methimazole (0.05%; w/v) to drinking water after surgery. The rats were fed a hypercaloric cafeteria diet (68% carbohydrates, 13% protein and 18% lipids) for 10 days and sacrificed by decapitation. Subsequently, the gastrocnemius muscle was dissected, total RNA was isolated with Trizol™ and UCP3 gene expression was determined by Northern blotting using a specific probe. Statistical analysis was performed by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Student-Newman-Keuls post-test. Skeletal muscle UCP3 gene expression was decreased by 60% in hypothyroid rats and UCP3 mRNA expression was increased 70% in euthyroid cafeteria-fed rats compared to euthyroid chow-fed animals, confirming previous studies. Interestingly, the cafeteria diet was unable to stimulate UCP3 gene expression in hypothyroid animals (40% lower as compared to euthyroid cafeteria-fed animals). The results show that a hypercaloric diet is a strong stimulator of UCP3 gene expression in skeletal muscle and requires T3 for an adequate action.
  • CaV 3.1 and CaV 3.3 account for T-type Ca2+ current in GH3 cells Physiology And Biophysics

    Mudado, M.A.; Rodrigues, A.L.; Prado, V.F.; Beirão, P.S.L.; Cruz, J.S.

    Abstract in English:

    T-type Ca2+ channels are important for cell signaling by a variety of cells. We report here the electrophysiological and molecular characteristics of the whole-cell Ca2+ current in GH3 clonal pituitary cells. The current inactivation at 0 mV was described by a single exponential function with a time constant of 18.32 ± 1.87 ms (N = 16). The I-V relationship measured with Ca2+ as a charge carrier was shifted to the left when we applied a conditioning pre-pulse of up to -120 mV, indicating that a low voltage-activated current may be present in GH3 cells. Transient currents were first activated at -50 mV and peaked around -20 mV. The half-maximal voltage activation and the slope factors for the two conditions are -35.02 ± 2.4 and 6.7 ± 0.3 mV (pre-pulse of -120 mV, N = 15), and -27.0 ± 0.97 and 7.5 ± 0.7 mV (pre-pulse of -40 mV, N = 9). The 8-mV shift in the activation mid-point was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The tail currents decayed bi-exponentially suggesting two different T-type Ca2+ channel populations. RT-PCR revealed the presence of a1G (CaV3.1) and a1I (CaV3.3) T-type Ca2+ channel mRNA transcripts.
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