• Genotoxic, neurotoxic and neuroprotective activities of apomorphine and its oxidized derivative 8-oxo-apomorphine Review

    Picada, J.N.; Roesler, R.; Henriques, J.A.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Apomorphine is a dopamine receptor agonist proposed to be a neuroprotective agent in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease. Both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that apomorphine displays both antioxidant and pro-oxidant actions, and might have either neuroprotective or neurotoxic effects on the central nervous system. Some of the neurotoxic effects of apomorphine are mediated by its oxidation derivatives. In the present review, we discuss recent studies from our laboratory in which the molecular, cellular and neurobehavioral effects of apomorphine and its oxidized derivative, 8-oxo-apomorphine-semiquinone (8-OASQ), were evaluated in different experimental models, i.e., in vitro genotoxicity in Salmonella/microsome assay and WP2 Mutoxitest, sensitivity assay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, neurobehavioral procedures (inhibition avoidance task, open field behavior, and habituation) in rats, stereotyped behavior in mice, and Comet assay and oxidative stress analyses in mouse brain. Our results show that apomorphine and 8-OASQ induce differential mutagenic, neurochemical and neurobehavioral effects. 8-OASQ displays cytotoxic effects and oxidative and frameshift mutagenic activities, while apomorphine shows antimutagenic and antioxidant effects in vitro. 8-OASQ induces a significant increase of DNA damage in mouse brain tissue. Both apomorphine and 8-OASQ impair memory for aversive training in rats, although the two drugs showed a different dose-response pattern. 8-OASQ fails to induce stereotyped behaviors in mice. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of evidence from studies by other groups. We propose that the neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects of dopamine agonists might be mediated, in part, by their oxidized metabolites.
  • Early effects of estrogen on the rat ventral prostate Review

    García-Flórez, M.; Oliveira, C.A.; Carvalho, H.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Complex interactions between androgen and estrogen (E2) regulate prostatic development and physiology. We analyzed the early effects of a high single dose of E2 (25 mg/kg body weight) and castration (separately or combined) on the adult 90-day-old male Wistar rat ventral prostate. Androgen levels, prostate weight, and the variation in the relative and absolute volume of tissue compartments and apoptotic indices were determined for 7 days. Castration and exogenous E2 markedly reduced ventral prostate weight (about 50% of the control), with a significant reduction in the epithelial compartment and increased stroma. The final volume of the epithelium was identical at day 7 for all treatments (58.5% of the control). However, E2 had an immediate effect, causing a reduction in epithelial volume as early as day 1. An increase in smooth muscle cell volume resulted from the concentration of these cells around the regressing epithelium. The treatments resulted in differential kinetics in epithelial cell apoptosis. Castration led to a peak in apoptosis at day 3, with 5% of the epithelial cells presenting signs of apoptosis, whereas E2 caused an immediate increase (observed on day 1) and a sustained (up to day 7) effect. E2 administration to castrated rats significantly increased the level of apoptosis by day 3, reaching 9% of the epithelial cells. The divergent kinetics between treatments resulted in the same levels of epithelial regression after 7 days (~30% of control). These results show that E2 has an immediate and possibly direct effect on the prostate, and anticipates epithelial cell death before reducing testosterone to levels as low as those of castrated rats. In addition, E2 and androgen deprivation apparently cause epithelial cell death by distinct and independent pathways.
  • Cardiovascular actions of angiotensin-(1-7) Review

    Ferreira, A.J.; Santos, R.A.S.

    Abstract in English:

    Angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)) is now considered to be a biologically active member of the renin-angiotensin system. The functions of Ang-(1-7) are often opposite to those attributed to the main effector component of the renin-angiotensin system, Ang II. Chronic administration of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) increases 10- to 25-fold the plasma levels of this peptide, suggesting that part of the beneficial effects of ACEI could be mediated by Ang-(1-7). Ang-(1-7) can be formed from Ang II or directly from Ang I. Other enzymatic pathways for Ang-(1-7) generation have been recently described involving the novel ACE homologue ACE2. This enzyme can form Ang-(1-7) from Ang II or less efficiently by the hydrolysis of Ang I to Ang-(1-9) with subsequent Ang-(1-7) formation. The biological relevance of Ang-(1-7) has been recently reinforced by the identification of its receptor, the G-protein-coupled receptor Mas. Heart and blood vessels are important targets for the formation and actions of Ang-(1-7). In this review we will discuss recent findings concerning the biological role of Ang-(1-7) in the heart and blood vessels, taking into account aspects related to its formation and effects on these tissues. In addition, we will discuss the potential of Ang-(1-7) and its receptor as a target for the development of new cardiovascular drugs.
  • Recombinant viruses as vaccines against viral diseases Review

    Souza, A.P.D.; Haut, L.; Reyes-Sandoval, A.; Pinto, A.R.

    Abstract in English:

    Vaccine approaches to infectious diseases are widely applied and appreciated. Amongst them, vectors based on recombinant viruses have shown great promise and play an important role in the development of new vaccines. Many viruses have been investigated for their ability to express proteins from foreign pathogens and induce specific immunological responses against these antigens in vivo. Generally, gene-based vaccines can stimulate potent humoral and cellular immune responses and viral vectors might be an effective strategy for both the delivery of antigen-encoding genes and the facilitation and enhancement of antigen presentation. In order to be utilized as a vaccine carrier, the ideal viral vector should be safe and enable efficient presentation of required pathogen-specific antigens to the immune system. It should also exhibit low intrinsic immunogenicity to allow for its re-administration in order to boost relevant specific immune responses. Furthermore, the vector system must meet criteria that enable its production on a large-scale basis. Several viral vaccine vectors have thus emerged to date, all of them having relative advantages and limits depending on the proposed application, and thus far none of them have proven to be ideal vaccine carriers. In this review we describe the potential, as well as some of the foreseeable obstacles associated with viral vaccine vectors and their use in preventive medicine.
  • Partial characterization and anticoagulant activity of a heterofucan from the brown seaweed Padina gymnospora Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Silva, T.M.A.; Alves, L.G.; Queiroz, K.C.S. de; Santos, M.G.L.; Marques, C.T.; Chavante, S.F.; Rocha, H.A.O.; Leite, E.L.

    Abstract in English:

    The brown algae Padina gymnospora contain different fucans. Powdered algae were submitted to proteolysis with the proteolytic enzyme maxataze. The first extract of the algae was constituted of polysaccharides contaminated with lipids, phenols, etc. Fractionation of the fucans with increasing concentrations of acetone produced fractions with different proportions of fucose, xylose, uronic acid, galactose, and sulfate. One of the fractions, precipitated with 50% acetone (v/v), contained an 18-kDa heterofucan (PF1), which was further purified by gel-permeation chromatography on Sephadex G-75 using 0.2 M acetic acid as eluent and characterized by agarose gel electrophoresis in 0.05 M 1,3 diaminopropane/acetate buffer at pH 9.0, methylation and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Structural analysis indicates that this fucan has a central core consisting mainly of 3-ß-D-glucuronic acid 1-> or 4-ß-D-glucuronic acid 1 ->, substituted at C-2 with alpha-L-fucose or ß-D-xylose. Sulfate groups were only detected at C-3 of 4-alpha-L-fucose 1-> units. The anticoagulant activity of the PF1 (only 2.5-fold lesser than low molecular weight heparin) estimated by activated partial thromboplastin time was completely abolished upon desulfation by solvolysis in dimethyl sulfoxide, indicating that 3-O-sulfation at C-3 of 4-alpha-L-fucose 1-> units is responsible for the anticoagulant activity of the polymer.
  • APOA1/C3/A4 gene cluster variability and lipid levels in Brazilian children Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    França, E. de; Alves, J.G.B.; Hutz, M.H.

    Abstract in English:

    Genetic studies have suggested that polymorphisms of genes coding for apolipoproteins are significant determinants of serum lipoprotein and lipid levels in adults. However, only a few studies have investigated the association of these polymorphisms in children. Therefore, in the present investigation we studied the distribution of APOA1 -75 G>A, +83 C>T, APOC3 -482 C>T, -455 T>C and 3238 C>G, and APOA4 Q360H and T347S polymorphisms and their influence on plasma lipoprotein levels in children from a Brazilian northeastern admixed population. The seven polymorphic sites were genotyped in 414 children aged 5 to 15 years (mean 8.9 ± 2.9). The genotypes of the seven polymorphic sites were assessed by PCR-RFLP methods. The frequencies of the less common alleles were, in general, intermediate among parental populations, as expected. Strong linkage disequilibrium was detected between polymorphisms at the APOA1, APOC3 and APOA4 loci in this admixed population sample. Overall the genotype effects seen in adults were weaker or absent in children. The APOC3/-455 and APOA4 T347S variants showed significant effects on HDL cholesterol in girls (P = 0.033 and P = 0.016, respectively). Significantly higher plasma total (P = 0.003) and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.004) levels were observed in boys who were carriers of the 3238G allele at the APOC3/3238 C>G site. These results disclosed an overall absence of associations between these polymorphisms and lipids in children. This finding is not unexpected because expression of the effect of these polymorphisms might depend on the interaction with environmental variables both internal and external to the individual.
  • Effect of therapeutic plasma concentrations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the production of reactive oxygen species by activated rat neutrophils Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Paino, I.M.M.; Ximenes, V.F.; Fonseca, L.M. da; Kanegae, M.P.P.; Khalil, N.M.; Brunetti, I.L.

    Abstract in English:

    The release of reactive oxygen specie (ROS) by activated neutrophil is involved in both the antimicrobial and deleterious effects in chronic inflammation. The objective of the present investigation was to determine the effect of therapeutic plasma concentrations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the production of ROS by stimulated rat neutrophils. Diclofenac (3.6 µM), indomethacin (12 µM), naproxen (160 µM), piroxicam (13 µM), and tenoxicam (30 µM) were incubated at 37ºC in PBS (10 mM), pH 7.4, for 30 min with rat neutrophils (1 x 10(6) cells/ml) stimulated by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (100 nM). The ROS production was measured by luminol and lucigenin-dependent chemiluminescence. Except for naproxen, NSAIDs reduced ROS production: 58 ± 2% diclofenac, 90 ± 2% indomethacin, 33 ± 3% piroxicam, and 45 ± 6% tenoxicam (N = 6). For the lucigenin assay, naproxen, piroxicam and tenoxicam were ineffective. For indomethacin the inhibition was 52 ± 5% and diclofenac showed amplification in the light emission of 181 ± 60% (N = 6). Using the myeloperoxidase (MPO)/H2O2/luminol system, the effects of NSAIDs on MPO activity were also screened. We found that NSAIDs inhibited both the peroxidation and chlorinating activity of MPO as follows: diclofenac (36 ± 10, 45 ± 3%), indomethacin (97 ± 2, 100 ± 1%), naproxen (56 ± 8, 76 ± 3%), piroxicam (77 ± 5, 99 ± 1%), and tenoxicam (90 ± 2, 100 ± 1%), respectively (N = 3). These results show that therapeutic levels of NSAIDs are able to suppress the oxygen-dependent antimicrobial or oxidative functions of neutrophils by inhibiting the generation of hypochlorous acid.
  • Morphological changes induced by testosterone in the mammary glands of female Wistar rats Experimental Biology

    Chambô-Filho, A.; Camargos, A.F.; Pereira, F.E.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Increased levels of androgens in postmenopausal women are considered to be a risk factor for breast cancer. Testosterone, alone or in combination with estrogen, induces epithelial dysplasia and mammary tumors in Noble rats. Since this model of hormone-induced neoplasia has not been reported in other rat strains, we studied the effect of testosterone on the mammary gland morphology of female Wistar rats. Sixty adult, non-castrated, female Wistar rats were implanted in the dorsum midline with a silicone tube containing 50 mg testosterone (testosterone propionate in 30 animals and non-esterified testosterone in the remaining 30 animals) and 20 additional animals were implanted with empty tubes and used as control. Five animals per group were killed 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 days after implantation, and the mammary glands were dissected, fixed and embedded in paraffin. Histological sections were then stained with hematoxylin and eosin and picrosyrius red for collagen visualization. Morphological and morphometric analysis demonstrated ductal proliferation and acinotubular differentiation with secretory activity in all treated animals, peaking at 90 days of androgen exposure. After 90 days the proliferation of acinar epithelial cells was evident, but there was a progressive reduction of secretory differentiation and an increase in intralobular collagen fibers. There was no morphological evidence of dysplastic changes or other pre-neoplastic lesions. Testosterone treatment applied to adult, non-castrated female Wistar rats induced a mammary gland hyperplasia resembling the lactating differentiation, with progressive reduction in secretory differentiation.
  • Cyclosporin A preferentially attenuates skeletal slow-twitch muscle regeneration Experimental Biology

    Miyabara, E.H.; Aoki, M.S.; Moriscot, A.S.

    Abstract in English:

    Calcineurin, a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, is associated with muscle regeneration via NFATc1/GATA2-dependent pathways. However, it is not clear whether calcineurin preferentially affects the regeneration of slow- or fast-twitch muscles. We investigated the effect of a calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporin A (CsA), on the morphology and fiber diameter of regenerating slow- and fast-twitch muscles. Adult Wistar rats (259.5 ± 9 g) maintained under standard conditions were treated with CsA (20 mg/kg body weight, ip) for 5 days, submitted to cryolesion of soleus and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles on the 6th day, and then treated with CsA for an additional 21 days. The muscles were removed, weighed, frozen, and stored in liquid nitrogen. Cryolesion did not alter the body weight gain of the animals after 21 days of regeneration (P = 0.001) and CsA significantly reduced the body weight gain (15.5%; P = 0.01) during the same period. All treated TA and soleus muscles showed decreased weights (17 and 29%, respectively, P < 0.05). CsA treatment decreased the cross-sectional area of both soleus and TA muscles of cryoinjured animals (TA: 2108 ± 930 vs 792 ± 640 µm²; soleus: 2209 ± 322 vs 764 ± 439 m²; P < 0.001). Histological sections of both muscles stained with Toluidine blue revealed similar regenerative responses after cryolesion. In addition, CsA was able to minimize these responses, i.e., centralized nuclei and split fibers, more efficiently so in TA muscle. These results indicate that calcineurin preferentially plays a role in regeneration of slow-twitch muscle.
  • Relationships between fetal body weight of Wistar rats at term and the extent of skeletal ossification Experimental Biology

    Chahoud, I.; Paumgartten, F.J.R.

    Abstract in English:

    We investigated the relationship between fetal body weight at term (pregnancy day 21) and the extent of ossification of sternum, metacarpus, metatarsus, phalanges (proximal, medial and distal) of fore- and hindlimbs and cervical and coccygeal vertebrae in Wistar rats. The relationships between fetal body weight and sex, intrauterine position, uterine horn, horn size, and litter size were determined using historical control data (7594 fetuses; 769 litters) of untreated rats. Relationships between body weight and degree of ossification were examined in a subset of 1484 historical control fetuses (154 litters) which were subsequently cleared and stained with alizarin red S. Fetal weight was independent of horn size, uterine horn side (left or right) or intrauterine position. Males were heavier than females and fetal weight decreased with increasing litter size. Evaluation of the skeleton showed that ossification of sternum, metacarpus and metatarsus was extensively complete and independent of fetal weight on pregnancy day 21. In contrast, the extent of ossification of fore- and hindlimb phalanges and of cervical and sacrococcygeal vertebrae was dependent on fetal body weight. The strongest correlation between body weight and degree of ossification was found for hindlimb, medial and proximal phalanges. Our data therefore suggest that, in full-term rat fetuses (day 21), reduced ossification of sternum, metacarpus and metatarsus results from a localized impairment of bone calcification (i.e., a malformation or variation) rather than from general growth retardation and that ossification of hindlimb (medial and proximal) phalanges is a good indicator of treatment-induced fetal growth retardation.
  • Effect of an isotonic rehydration sports drink and exercise on urolithiasis in rats Experimental Biology

    Abreu, N.P.; Bergamaschi, C.T.; di Marco, G.S.; Razvickas, C.V.; Schor, N.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the role of physical exercise as well as the influence of hydration with an isotonic sports drink on renal function in male Wistar rats. Four groups were studied over a period of 42 days: 1) control (N = 9); 2) physical exercise (Exe, N = 7); 3) isotonic drink (Drink, N = 8); 4) physical exercise + isotonic drink (Exe + Drink, N = 8). Physical exercise consisted of running on a motor-driven treadmill for 1 h/day, at 20 m/min, 5 days a week. The isotonic sports drink was a commercial solution used by athletes for rehydration after physical activity, 2 ml administered by gavage twice a day. Urine cultures were performed in all animals. Twenty-four-hour urine samples were collected in metabolic cages at the beginning and at the end of the protocol period. Urinary and plasma parameters (sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, calcium) did not differ among groups. However, an amorphous material was observed in the bladders of animals in the Exe + Drink and Drink groups. Characterization of the material by Western blot revealed the presence of Tamm-Horsfall protein and angiotensin converting enzyme. Physical exercise and the isotonic drink did not change the plasma or urinary parameters measured. However, the isotonic drink induced the formation of intravesical matrix, suggesting a potential lithogenic risk.
  • Can organic and transgenic soy be used as a substitute for animal protein by rats? Experimental Biology

    Soares, L.L.; Lucas, A.M.M.; Boaventura, G.T.

    Abstract in English:

    We evaluated the protein quality of organic and transgenic soy fed to rats throughout life. Thirty female Wistar rats were divided into three groups (N = 10): organic soy group (OSG) receiving organic soy-based diet, genetically modified soy group (GMSG) receiving transgenic soy-based diet, and a control group (CG) receiving casein-based diet. All animals received water and isocaloric diet (10% protein), ad libitum for 291 days. After this, the weight of GMSG animals (290.9 ± 9.1 g) was significantly lower (P <= 0.04) than CG (323.2 ± 7.9 g). The weight of OSG (302.2 ± 8.7 g) was between that of the GMSG and the CG. Protein intake was similar for OSG (308.4 ± 6.8 g) and GMSG (301.5 ± 2.5 g), and significantly lower (P <= 0.0005) than the CG (358.4 ± 8.1 g). Growth rate was similar for all groups: OSG (0.80 ± 0.02 g), GMSG (0.81 ± 0.03 g) and CG (0.75 ± 0.02 g). In addition to providing a good protein intake and inducing less weight gain, both types of soy were utilized in a manner similar to that of casein, suggesting that the protein quality of soy is similar to that of the standard protein casein. The groups fed soy-based diet gained less weight, which may be considered to be beneficial for health. We conclude that organic and transgenic soy can be fed throughout life to rats in place of animal protein, because contain high quality protein and do not cause a marked increase in body weight.
  • Humoral response to low molecular weight antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by tuberculosis patients and contacts Immunology

    Beck, S.T.; Leite, O.M.; Arruda, R.S.; Ferreira, A.W.

    Abstract in English:

    Much effort has been devoted to the identification of immunologically important antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and to the combination of target antigens to which antibodies from serum of tuberculous patients could react specifically. We searched for IgG antibodies specific for antigens of 45 to 6 kDa obtained after sonication of the well-characterized wild M. tuberculosis strain in order to detect differences in the antibody response to low molecular weight antigens from M. tuberculosis between patients with pulmonary tuberculosis and contacts. Specific IgG antibodies for these antigens were detected by Western blot analysis of 153 serum samples collected from 51 patients with confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis. Three samples were collected from each patient: before therapy, and after 2 and 6 months of treatment. We also analyzed 25 samples obtained from contacts, as well as 30 samples from healthy individuals with known tuberculin status, 50 samples from patients with other lung diseases and 200 samples from healthy blood donors. The positive predictive value for associated IgG reactivity against the 6-kDa and 16-kDa antigens, 6 and 38 kDa, and 16 and 38 kDa was 100% since simultaneous reactivity for these antigens was absent in healthy individuals and individuals with other lung diseases. This association was observed in 67% of the patients, but in only 8% of the contacts. The humoral response against antigens of 16 and 6 kDa seems to be important for the detection of latent tuberculosis since the associated reactivity to these antigens is mainly present in individuals with active disease.
  • Maternal aggression in Wistar rats: effect of 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist and antagonist microinjected into the dorsal periaqueductal gray matter and medial septum Neurosciences and Behavior

    Almeida, R.M.M. de; Giovenardi, M.; Silva, S.P. da; Oliveira, V.P. de; Stein, D.J.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to assess the role of the 5-HT2A/2C receptor at two specific brain sites, i.e., the dorsal periaqueductal gray matter (DPAG) and the medial septal (MS) area, in maternal aggressive behavior after the microinjection of either a 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist or antagonist. Female Wistar rats were microinjected on the 7th postpartum day with the selective agonist alpha-methyl-5-hydroxytryptamine maleate (5-HT2A/2C) or the antagonist 5-HT2A/2C, ketanserin. The agonist was injected into the DPAG at 0.2 (N = 9), 0.5 (N = 10), and 1.0 µg/0.2 µl (N = 9), and the antagonist was injected at 1.0 µg/0.2 µl (N = 9). The agonist was injected into the medial septal area (MS) at 0.2 (N = 9), 0.5 (N = 7), and 1.0 µg/0.2 µl (N = 6) and the antagonist was injected at 1.0 µg/0.2 µl (N = 5). For the control, saline was injected into the DPAG (N = 7) and the MS (N = 12). Both areas are related to aggressive behavior and contain a high density of 5-HT receptors. Non-aggressive behaviors such as horizontal locomotion (walking) and social investigation and aggressive behaviors such as lateral threat (aggressive posture), attacks (frontal and lateral), and biting the intruder were analyzed when a male intruder was placed into the female resident's cage. For each brain area studied, the frequency of the behaviors was compared among the various treatments by analysis of variance. The results showed a decrease in maternal aggressive behavior (number of bites directed at the intruder) after microinjection of the agonist at 0.2 and 1.0 µg/0.2 µl (1.6 ± 0.7 and 0.9 ± 0.3) into the DPAG compared to the saline group (5.5 ± 1.1). There was no dose-response relationship with the agonist. The present findings suggest that the 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist has an inhibitory effect on maternal aggressive behavior when microinjected into the DPAG and no effect when microinjected into the MS. Ketanserin (1.0 µg/0.2 µl) decreased locomotion when microinjected into the DPAG and MS, but did not affect aggressive behavior. We interpret these findings as evidence for a specific role of 5-HT2A/2C receptors in the DPAG in the inhibition of female aggressive behavior, dissociated from those on motor activity.
  • Influence of melatonin on the development of functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in cultured chick retinal cells Pharmacology

    Sampaio, L.F.S.; Hamassaki-Britto, D.E.; Markus, R.P.

    Abstract in English:

    The influence of melatonin on the developmental pattern of functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was investigated in embryonic 8-day-old chick retinal cells in culture. The functional response to acetylcholine was measured in cultured retina cells by microphysiometry. The maximal functional response to acetylcholine increased 2.7 times between the 4th and 5th day in vitro (DIV4, DIV5), while the Bmax value for [125I]-alpha-bungarotoxin was reduced. Despite the presence of alpha8-like immunoreactivity at DIV4, functional responses mediated by alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors were observed only at DIV5. Mecamylamine (100 µM) was essentially without effect at DIV4 and DIV5, while dihydro-ß-erythroidine (10-100 µM) blocked the response to acetylcholine (3.0 nM-2.0 µM) only at DIV4, with no effect at DIV5. Inhibition of melatonin receptors with the antagonist luzindole, or melatonin synthesis by stimulation of D4 dopamine receptors blocked the appearance of the alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive response at DIV5. Therefore, alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive receptors were expressed in retinal cells as early as at DIV4, but they reacted to acetylcholine only after DIV5. The development of an alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive response is dependent on the production of melatonin by the retinal culture. Melatonin, which is produced in a tonic manner by this culture, and is a key hormone in the temporal organization of vertebrates, also potentiates responses mediated by alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive receptors in rat vas deferens and cerebellum. This common pattern of action on different cell models that express alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive receptors probably reflects a more general mechanism of regulation of these receptors.
  • A routine electrocardiogram cannot be used to determine the size of myocardial infarction in the rat Pharmacology

    Bonilha, A.M.M.; Saraiva, R.M.; Kanashiro, R.M.; Portes, L.A.; Antonio, E.L.; Tucci, P.J.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Nine lead electrocardiograms of non-infarcted (N = 61) and infarcted (N = 71) female Wistar rats (200-250 g) were analyzed in order to distinguish left ventricle myocardial infarction (MI) larger than 40% (LMI) from MI smaller than 40% (SMI). MI larger than 40% clearly caused a deviation of ÂQRS and ÂT from normal values of 270-360 degrees to 90-270 degrees. Infarcted rats showed Q wave in D1 larger than 1 mm with 94% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The sum of QRS positivity in V1, V2 and V6 lower than 10 mm identified MI with 82% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The data showed that MI can be easily and reliably diagnosed by electrocardiogram in the rat. However, contradicting what is frequently believed, when specificity and sensitivity were analyzed focusing on MI size, none of these current electrocardiographic indices of MI size adequately discriminates LMI from SMI.
  • Subacute effects of a maximal exercise bout on endothelium-mediated vasodilation in healthy subjects Physiology and Biophysics

    Bousquet-Santos, K.; Soares, P.P.S.; Nóbrega, A.C.L.

    Abstract in English:

    We evaluated vascular reactivity after a maximal exercise test in order to determine whether the effect of exercise on the circulation persists even after interruption of the exercise. Eleven healthy sedentary volunteers (six women, age 28 ± 5 years) were evaluated before and after (10, 60, and 120 min) a maximal exercise test on a treadmill. Forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography before and during reactive hyperemia (RH). Baseline FBF, analyzed by the area under the curve, increased only at 10 min after exercise (P = 0.01). FBF in response to RH increased both at 10 and 60 min vs baseline (P = 0.004). Total excess flow for RH above baseline showed that vascular reactivity was increased up to 60 min after exercise (mean ± SEM, before: 526.4 ± 48.8; 10 min: 1053.0 ± 168.2; 60 min: 659.4 ± 44.1 ml 100 ml-1 min-1 . s; P = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively, vs before exercise). The changes in FBF were due to increased vascular conductance since mean arterial blood pressure did not change. In a time control group (N = 5, 34 ± 3 years, three women) that did not exercise, FBF and RH did not change significantly (P = 0.07 and 0.7, respectively). These results suggest that the increased vascular reactivity caused by chronic exercise may result, at least in part, from a summation of the subacute effects of successive exercise bouts.
  • Effect of aging on carotid artery stiffness and baroreflex sensitivity during head-out water immersion in man Physiology and Biophysics

    Ueno, L.M.; Miyachi, M.; Matsui, T.; Takahashi, K.; Yamazaki, K.; Hayashi, K.; Onodera, S.; Moritani, T.

    Abstract in English:

    To examine the possible age-related blood pressure (BP) deregulation in response to central hypervolemia, we measured spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (SBRS), carotid arterial compliance (CC), and R-R interval coefficient of variation (RRICV) during basal and thermoneutral resting head-out-of-water immersion (HOWI) in 7 young (YG = 24.0 ± 0.8 years) and 6 middle-aged/older (OL = 59.3 ± 1.3 years) healthy men. Compared with basal conditions (YG = 19.6 ± 4.0 vs OL = 6.1 ± 1.5 ms/mmHg, P < 0.05), SBRS remained higher in YG than OL during rest HOWI (YG = 23.6 ± 6.6 vs OL = 9.3 ± 2.1 ms/mmHg, P < 0.05). The RRICV was significantly different between groups (YG = 6.5 ± 1.4 vs OL = 2.8 ± 0.4%, P < 0.05) under HOWI. The OL group had no increase in CC, but a significant increase in systolic BP (basal = 115.3 ± 4.4 vs water = 129.3 ± 5.3 mmHg, P < 0.05) under HOWI. In contrast, the YG group had a significant increase in CC (basal = 0.16 ± 0.01 vs water = 0.17 ± 0.02 mm²/mmHg, P < 0.05) with no changes in systolic BP. SBRS was positively related to CC (r = 0.58, P < 0.05 for basal vs r = 0.62, P < 0.05 for water). Our data suggest that age-related vagal dysfunction and reduced CC may be associated with SBRS differences between YG and OL groups, and with BP elevation during HOWI in healthy older men.
  • Heart rate variability in athletes and nonathletes at rest and during head-up tilt Physiology and Biophysics

    Martinelli, F.S.; Chacon-Mikahil, M.P.T.; Martins, L.E.B.; Lima-Filho, E.C.; Golfetti, R.; Paschoal, M.A.; Gallo-Junior, L.

    Abstract in English:

    The purpose of the present study was to determine if autonomic heart rate modulation, indicated by heart rate variability (HRV), differs during supine rest and head-up tilt (HUT) when sedentary and endurance-trained cyclists are compared. Eleven sedentary young men (S) and 10 trained cyclists (C) were studied. The volunteers were submitted to a dynamic ECG Holter to calculate HRV at rest and during a 70º HUT. The major aerobic capacity of athletes was expressed by higher values of <img src="/img/revistas/bjmbr/v38n4/Vo.gif">at anaerobic threshold and peak conditions (P < 0.05). At rest the athletes had lower heart rates (P < 0.05) and higher values in the time domain of HRV compared with controls (SD of normal RR interval, SDNN, medians): 59.1 ms (S) vs 89.9 ms (C), P < 0.05. During tilt athletes also had higher values in the time domain of HRV compared with controls (SDNN, medians): 55.7 ms (S) vs 69.7 ms (C), P < 0.05. No differences in power spectral components of HRV at rest or during HUT were detected between groups. Based on the analysis of data by the frequency domain method, we conclude that in athletes the resting bradycardia seems to be much more related to changes in intrinsic mechanisms than to modifications in autonomic control. Also, HUT caused comparable changes in sympathetic and parasympathetic modulation of the sinus node in both groups.
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