Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 39, Issue: 12, Published: 2006
  • The scientific production in health and biological sciences of the top 20 Brazilian universities Concepts And Comments

    Zorzetto, R.; Razzouk, D.; Dubugras, M.T.B.; Gerolin, J.; Schor, N.; Guimarães, J.A.; Mari, J.J.

    Abstract in English:

    Brazilian scientific output exhibited a 4-fold increase in the last two decades because of the stability of the investment in research and development activities and of changes in the policies of the main funding agencies. Most of this production is concentrated in public universities and research institutes located in the richest part of the country. Among all areas of knowledge, the most productive are Health and Biological Sciences. During the 1998-2002 period these areas presented heterogeneous growth ranging from 4.5% (Pharmacology) to 191% (Psychiatry), with a median growth rate of 47.2%. In order to identify and rank the 20 most prolific institutions in these areas, searches were made in three databases (DataCAPES, ISI and MEDLINE) which permitted the identification of 109,507 original articles produced by the 592 Graduate Programs in Health and Biological Sciences offered by 118 public universities and research institutes. The 20 most productive centers, ranked according to the total number of ISI-indexed articles published during the 1998-2003 period, produced 78.7% of the papers in these areas and are strongly concentrated in the Southern part of the country, mainly in São Paulo State.
  • Evolution and conservation of immunological activity Concepts And Comments

    Vaz, N.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Paraphrasing what Gregory Bateson says on evolution, we might say that: "Immunology has long been badly taught. In particular, students - and even professional immunologists - acquire theories of immunological activity without any deep understanding of what problems these theories attempt to solve."
  • Cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes and the infected placenta: a two-way pathway Review

    Costa, F.T.M.; Avril, M.; Nogueira, P.A.; Gysin, J.

    Abstract in English:

    Malaria is undoubtedly the world's most devastating parasitic disease, affecting 300 to 500 million people every year. Some cases of Plasmodium falciparum infection progress to the deadly forms of the disease responsible for 1 to 3 million deaths annually. P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes adhere to host receptors in the deep microvasculature of several organs. The cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes to placental syncytiotrophoblast receptors leads to pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM). This specific maternal-fetal syndrome causes maternal anemia, low birth weight and the death of 62,000 to 363,000 infants per year in sub-Saharan Africa, and thus has a poor outcome for both mother and fetus. However, PAM and non-PAM parasites have been shown to differ antigenically and genetically. After multiple pregnancies, women from different geographical areas develop adhesion-blocking antibodies that protect against placental parasitemia and clinical symptoms of PAM. The recent description of a new parasite ligand encoded by the var2CSA gene as the only gene up-regulated in PAM parasites renders the development of an anti-PAM vaccine more feasible. The search for a vaccine to prevent P. falciparum sequestration in the placenta by eliciting adhesion-blocking antibodies and a cellular immune response, and the development of new methods for evaluating such antibodies should be key priorities in mother-child health programs in areas of endemic malaria. This review summarizes the main molecular, immunological and physiopathological aspects of PAM, including findings related to new targets in the P. falciparum var gene family. Finally, we focus on a new methodology for mimicking cytoadhesion under blood flow conditions in human placental tissue.
  • Molecular and cellular pathogenesis of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease Review

    Menezes, L.F.; Onuchic, L.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is an inherited disease characterized by a malformation complex which includes cystically dilated tubules in the kidneys and ductal plate malformation in the liver. The disorder is observed primarily in infancy and childhood, being responsible for significant pediatric morbidity and mortality. All typical forms of ARPKD are caused by mutations in a single gene, PKHD1 (polycystic kidney and hepatic disease 1). This gene has a minimum of 86 exons, assembled into multiple differentially spliced transcripts and has its highest level of expression in kidney, pancreas and liver. Mutational analyses revealed that all patients with both mutations associated with truncation of the longest open reading frame-encoded protein displayed the severe phenotype. This product, polyductin, is a 4,074-amino acid protein expressed in the cytoplasm, plasma membrane and primary apical cilia, a structure that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of different polycystic kidney diseases. In fact, cholangiocytes isolated from an ARPKD rat model develop shorter and dysmorphic cilia, suggesting polyductin to be important for normal ciliary morphology. Polyductin seems also to participate in tubule morphogenesis and cell mitotic orientation along the tubular axis. The recent advances in the understanding of in vitro and animal models of polycystic kidney diseases have shed light on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cyst formation and progression, allowing the initiation of therapeutic strategy designing and promising perspectives for ARPKD patients. It is notable that vasopressin V2 receptor antagonists can inhibit/halt the renal cystic disease progression in an orthologous rat model of human ARPKD.
  • Proteomic inventory of myocardial proteins from patients with chronic Chagas' cardiomyopathy Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Teixeira, P.C.; Iwai, L.K.; Kuramoto, A.C.K.; Honorato, R.; Fiorelli, A.; Stolf, N.; Kalil, J.; Cunha-Neto, E.

    Abstract in English:

    Chronic Chagas' disease cardiomyopathy (CCC) is an often fatal outcome of Trypanosoma cruzi infection, with a poorer prognosis than other cardiomyopathies. CCC is refractory to heart failure treatments, and is the major indication of heart transplantation in Latin America. A diffuse myocarditis, plus intense myocardial hypertrophy, damage and fibrosis, in the presence of very few T. cruzi forms, are the histopathological hallmarks of CCC. To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of CCC, we analyzed the protein profile in the affected CCC myocardium. Homogenates from left ventricular myocardial samples of end-stage CCC hearts explanted during heart transplantation were subjected to two-dimensional electrophoresis with Coomassie blue staining; protein identification was performed by MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry and peptide mass fingerprinting. The identification of selected proteins was confirmed by immunoblotting. We demonstrated that 246 proteins matched in gels from two CCC patients. They corresponded to 112 distinct proteins. Along with structural/contractile and metabolism proteins, we also identified proteins involved in apoptosis (caspase 8, caspase 2), immune system (T cell receptor ß chain, granzyme A, HLA class I) and stress processes (heat shock proteins, superoxide dismutases, and other oxidative stress proteins). Proteins involved in cell signaling and transcriptional factors were also identified. The identification of caspases and oxidative stress proteins suggests the occurrence of active apoptosis and significant oxidative stress in CCC myocardium. These results generated an inventory of myocardial proteins in CCC that should contribute to the generation of hypothesis-driven experiments designed on the basis of the classes of proteins identified here.
  • DNA damage by ochratoxin A in rat kidney assessed by the alkaline comet assay Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Zeljezic, D.; Domijan, A.-M.; Peraica, M.

    Abstract in English:

    There are few studies of ochratoxin A (OTA) genotoxicity in experimental animals and the results obtained with cell cultures are inconsistent, although the carcinogenic potential of OTA for the kidney of experimental animals has been well established. We studied the genotoxic potential of OTA in the kidney of adult female Wistar rats (5 in each group) treated intraperitoneally with OTA (0.5 mg kg body weight-1 day-1 for 7, 14, and 21 days) measuring DNA mobility on agarose gel stained with ethidium-bromide using standard alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay). Negative control animals were treated with solvent (Tris buffer, 1.0 mg/kg) and positive control animals were treated with methyl methanesulfonate (40 mg/kg) according to the same schedule. OTA concentrations in plasma and kidney homogenates in 7-, 14-, and 21-day treated animals were 4.86 ± 0.53, 7.52 ± 3.32, 7.85 ± 2.24 µg/mL, and 0.87 ± 0.09, 0.99 ± 0.06, 1.09 ± 0.15 µg/g, respectively. In all OTA-treated groups, the tail length, tail intensity, and tail moment in kidney tissue were significantly higher than in controls (P < 0.05). The tail length and tail moment were higher after 14 days than after 7 days of treatment (P < 0.05), and still higher after 21 days (P < 0.05). The highest tail intensity was observed in animals treated for 21 days, and it differed significantly from animals treated for 7 and 14 days (P < 0.05). OTA concentrations in plasma and kidney tissue increased steadily and OTA concentration in kidney tissue strongly correlated with tail intensity and tail moment values. These results confirm the genotoxic potential of OTA, and show that the severity of DNA lesions in kidney correlates with OTA concentration.
  • CYP1A1 and GSTP1 polymorphisms in an oral cancer case-control study Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Leichsenring, A.; Losi-Guembarovski, R.; Maciel, M.E.; Losi-Guembarovski, A.; Oliveira, B.W.; Ramos, G.; Cavalcanti, T.C.S.; Bicalho, M.G.; Cavalli, I.J.; Cólus, I.M.S.; Ribeiro, E.M.S.F.

    Abstract in English:

    CYP1A1 and GSTP1 polymorphisms have been associated with a higher risk to develop several cancers, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), which is closely related to tobacco and alcohol consumption. Both genes code for enzymes that have an important role in activating or detoxifying carcinogenic elements found in tobacco and other compounds, and polymorphic variants of these genes may result in alterations of the enzymatic activity. The CYP1A1 gene codes for the enzyme aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase, which is responsible for the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The investigated polymorphism, Ile/Val, seems to increase the activity of the enzyme in homozygous individuals, leading to an accumulation of carcinogens. The Ile/Val polymorphism occurs because of an A->G transition at exon 7, resulting in the CYP1A1*2B allele. The GSTP1*B variant shows an A->G transition at exon 5, changing the amino acid Ile to Val, with a reduced catalytic activity of the enzyme. Due to this reduction, the carriers of mutant alleles lost the capability to metabolize carcinogens, which could be responsible for a higher susceptibility to cancer. We conducted a case-control study in a group of 72 cases with newly diagnosed OSCC and 60 healthy controls matched for age, gender, smoking habits, and ethnicity. We used PCR methods to identify the allelic variants CYP1A1*2B and GSTP1*B. The data obtained showed no statistically significant association of allelic or genotypic variants of CYP1A1*2B (OR = 1.06; 95% CI = 0.49-2.29) and GSTP1*B (OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 0.70-2.79) with OSCC.
  • HFE gene mutations in Brazilian thalassemic patients Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Oliveira, T.M.; Souza, F.P.; Jardim, A.C.G.; Cordeiro, J.A.; Pinho, J.R.R.; Sitnik, R.; Estevão, I.F.; Bonini-Domingos, C.R.; Rahal, P.

    Abstract in English:

    Hereditary hemochromatosis is a disorder of iron metabolism characterized by increased iron intake and progressive storage and is related to mutations in the HFE gene. Interactions between thalassemia and hemochromatosis may further increase iron overload. The ethnic background of the Brazilian population is heterogeneous and studies analyzing the simultaneous presence of HFE and thalassemia-related mutations have not been carried out. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the H63D, S65C and C282Y mutations in the HFE gene among 102 individuals with alpha-thalassemia and 168 beta-thalassemia heterozygotes and to compare them with 173 control individuals without hemoglobinopathies. The allelic frequencies found in these three groups were 0.98, 2.38, and 0.29% for the C282Y mutation, 13.72, 13.70, and 9.54% for the H63D mutation, and 0, 0.60, and 0.87% for the S65C mutation, respectively. The chi-square test for multiple independent individuals indicated a significant difference among groups for the C282Y mutation, which was shown to be significant between the beta-thalassemia heterozygote and the control group by the Fisher exact test (P value = 0.009). The higher frequency of inheritance of the C282Y mutation in the HFE gene among beta-thalassemic patients may contribute to worsen the clinical picture of these individuals. In view of the characteristics of the Brazilian population, the present results emphasize the need to screen for HFE mutations in beta-thalassemia carriers.
  • Immunoglobulin production is impaired in protein-deprived mice and can be restored by dietary protein supplementation Immunology

    Amaral, J.F.; Foschetti, D.A.; Assis, F.A.; Menezes, J.S.; Vaz, N.M.; Faria, A.M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Most contacts with food protein and microbiota antigens occur at the level of the gut mucosa. In animal models where this natural stimulation is absent, such as germ-free and antigen-free mice, the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and systemic immunological activities are underdeveloped. We have shown that food proteins play a critical role in the full development of the immune system. C57BL/6 mice weaned to a diet in which intact proteins are replaced by equivalent amounts of amino acids (Aa diet) have a poorly developed GALT as well as low levels of serum immunoglobulins (total Ig, IgG, and IgA, but not IgM). In the present study, we evaluated whether the introduction of a protein-containing diet in 10 adult Aa-fed C57BL/6 mice could restore their immunoglobulin levels and whether this recovery was dependent on the amount of dietary protein. After the introduction of a casein-containing diet, Aa-fed mice presented a fast recovery (after 7 days) of secretory IgA (from 0.33 to 0.75 mg/mL, while in casein-fed mice this value was 0.81 mg/mL) and serum immunoglobulin levels (from 5.39 to 10.25 mg/mL of total Ig). Five percent dietary casein was enough to promote the restoration of secretory IgA and serum immunoglobulin levels to a normal range after 30 days feeding casein diet (as in casein-fed mice - 15% by weight of diet). These data suggest that the defect detected in the immunoglobulin levels was a reversible result of the absence of food proteins as an antigenic stimulus. They also indicate that the deleterious consequences of malnutrition at an early age for some immune functions may be restored by therapeutic intervention later in life.
  • Antibody response to pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide vaccine in Down syndrome patients Immunology

    Costa-Carvalho, B.T.; Martinez, R.M.A.; Dias, A.T.N.; Kubo, C.A.; Barros-Nunes, P.; Leiva, L.; Solé, D.; Carneiro-Sampaio, M.M.S.; Naspitz, C.K.; Sorensen, R.U.

    Abstract in English:

    The majority of children with Down syndrome (DS) tend to have frequent bacterial infections including recurrent respiratory infections. Our objective was to evaluate the production of antibodies to pneumococcal polysaccharide antigens after active immunization in DS subjects. IgG antibodies to pneumococcal serotypes (1, 3, 6B, 9V, and 14) were measured before and 6 weeks after immunization with a 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumo23®, Pasteur-Merrieux) in 6- to 13-year-old DS children (N = 17) and in aged-matched normal controls (N = 30). An adequate response was defined as a 4-fold increase over baseline or a post-immunization level of specific pneumococcal serotype antibody > or = 1.3 µg/mL. After immunization, all DS children had an increase in post-immunization levels against all serotypes analyzed. A 4-fold or more increase was observed in all DS children concerning serotypes 1 and 14, in 90% of subjects for serotypes 3 and 9V, and in 65% for serotype 6B. Regarding this increase, 8 of the 17 DS children had an adequate response to all serotypes analyzed, 8/17 patients to 4 serotypes and 1/17 to 3 serotypes. However, when we compared post-immunization levels between DS children and controls, we observed lower levels in the former group (P < 0.05) for all serotypes except serotype 3. We conclude that pneumococcal polysaccharide immunization could be beneficial for these DS children.
  • Use of magnitude-squared coherence to identify the maximum driving response band of the somatosensory evoked potential Neurosciences And Behavior

    Infantosi, A.F.C.; Melges, D.B.; Tierra-Criollo, C.J.

    Abstract in English:

    The present study proposes to apply magnitude-squared coherence (MSC) to the somatosensory evoked potential for identifying the maximum driving response band. EEG signals, leads [Fpz'-Cz'] and [C3'-C4'], were collected from two groups of normal volunteers, stimulated at the rate of 4.91 (G1: 26 volunteers) and 5.13 Hz (G2: 18 volunteers). About 1400 stimuli were applied to the right tibial nerve at the motor threshold level. After applying the anti-aliasing filter, the signals were digitized and then further low-pass filtered (200 Hz, 6th order Butterworth and zero-phase). Based on the rejection of the null hypothesis of response absence (MSC(f) > 0.0060 with 500 epochs and the level of significance set at a = 0.05), the beta and gamma bands, 15-66 Hz, were identified as the maximum driving response band. Taking both leads together ("logical-OR detector", with a false-alarm rate of a = 0.05, and hence a = 0.0253 for each derivation), the detection exceeded 70% for all multiples of the stimulation frequency within this range. Similar performance was achieved for MSC of both leads but at 15, 25, 35, and 40 Hz. Moreover, the response was detected in [C3'-C4'] at 35.9 Hz and in [Fpz'-Cz'] at 46.2 Hz for all members of G2. Using the "logical-OR detector" procedure, the response was detected at the 7th multiple of the stimulation frequency for the series as a whole (considering both groups). Based on these findings, the MSC technique may be used for monitoring purposes.
  • Stress responses of the fish Nile tilapia subjected to electroshock and social stressors Neurosciences And Behavior

    Barreto, R.E.; Volpato, G.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Plasma cortisol and glucose levels were measured in 36 adult Nile tilapia males, Oreochromis niloticus (standard length, mean ± SD, 14.38 ± 1.31 cm), subjected to electroshock and social stressors. Pre-stressor levels were determined 5 days after the adjustment of the fish to the experimental aquaria (1 fish/aquarium). Five days later, the effects of stressors on both cortisol and glucose levels were assessed. The following stressors were imposed for 60 min: pairing with a larger resident animal (social stressor), or a gentle electroshock (AC, 20 V, 15 mA, 100 Hz for 1 min every 4 min). Each stressor was tested in two independent groups, one in which stress was quantified immediately after the end of the 60-min stressor imposition (T60) and the other in which stress was quantified 30 min later (T90). Pre-stressor values for cortisol and glucose were not statistically different between groups. Plasma cortisol levels increased significantly and were of similar magnitude for both electroshock and the social stressor (mean ± SD for basal and final samples were: electroshock T60 = 65.47 ± 15.3, 177.0 ± 30.3; T90 = 54.8 ± 16.0, 196.2 ± 57.8; social stress T60 = 47.1 ± 9.0, 187.6 ± 61.7; T90 = 41.6 ± 8.1, 112.3 ± 26.8, respectively). Plasma glucose levels increased significantly for electroshock at both time points (T60 and T90), but only at T90 for the social stressor. Initial and final mean (± SD) values are: electroshock T60 = 52.5 ± 9.2, 115.0 ± 15.7; T90 = 35.5 ± 1.1, 146.3 ± 13.3; social stress T60 = 54.8 ± 8.8, 84.4 ± 15.0; T90 = 34.5 ± 5.6, 116.3 ± 13.6, respectively. Therefore, electroshock induced an increase in glucose more rapidly than did the social stressor. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation between cortisol and glucose was detected only at T90 for the social stressor. These results indicate that a fish species responds differently to different stressors, thus suggesting specificity of fish stress response to a stressor.
  • Behavioral and physiological methods for early quantitative assessment of spinal cord injury and prognosis in rats Neurosciences And Behavior

    Giglio, C.A.; Defino, H.L.A.; da-Silva, C.A.; de-Souza, A.S.; Del Bel, E.A.

    Abstract in English:

    Methods for reliable evaluation of spinal cord (SC) injury in rats at short periods (2 and 24 h) after lesion were tested to characterize the mechanisms implicated in primary SC damage. We measured the physiological changes occurring after several procedures for producing SC injury, with particular emphasis on sensorimotor functions. Segmental and suprasegmental reflexes were tested in 39 male Wistar rats weighing 250-300 g divided into three control groups that were subjected to a) anesthesia, b) dissection of soft prevertebral tissue, and c) laminectomy of the vertebral segments between T10 and L1. In the lesion group the SC was completely transected, hemisected or subjected to vertebral compression. All animals were evaluated 2 and 24 h after the experimental procedure by the hind limb motility index, Bohlman motor score, open-field, hot-plate, tail flick, and paw compression tests. The locomotion scale proved to be less sensitive than the sensorimotor tests. A reduction in exploratory movements was detected in the animals 24 h after the procedures. The hot-plate was the most sensitive test for detecting sensorimotor deficiencies following light, moderate or severe SC injury. The most sensitive and simplest test of reflex function was the hot-plate. The hemisection model promoted reproducible moderate SC injury which allowed us to quantify the resulting behavior and analyze the evolution of the lesion and its consequences during the first 24 h after injury. We conclude that hemisection permitted the quantitation of behavioral responses for evaluation of the development of deficits after lesions. Hind limb evaluation scores and spontaneous exploration events provided a sensitive index of immediate injury effects after SC lesion at 2 and 24 h. Taken together, locomotion scales, open-field, and hot-plate tests represent reproducible, quantitatively sensitive methods for detecting functional deficiencies within short periods of time, indicating their potential for the study of cellular mechanisms of primary injury and repair after traumatic SC injury.
  • Behavioral changes induced by cocaine in mice are modified by a hyperlipidic diet or recombinant leptin Pharmacology

    Erhardt, E.; Zibetti, L.C.E.; Godinho, J.M.; Bacchieri, B.; Barros, H.M.T.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to determine if the acute behavioral effects of cocaine acutely administered intraperitoneally (ip) at doses of 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg on white male CF1 mice, 90 days of age, would be influenced by leptin acutely administered ip (at doses of 5, 10 and 20 µg/kg) or by endogenous leptin production enhanced by a high-fat diet. The acute behavioral effects of cocaine were evaluated in open-field, elevated plus-maze and forced swimming tests. Results were compared between a group of 80 mice consuming a balanced diet and a high-fat diet, and a group of 80 mice fed a commercially available rodent chow formula (Ralston Purina) but receiving recombinant leptin (rLeptin) or saline ip. Both the high-fat-fed and rLeptin-treated mice showed decreased locomotion in the open-field test, spent more time in the open arms of the elevated plus-maze and showed less immobility time in the forced swimming test (F(1,68) = 7.834, P = 0.007). There was an interaction between diets and cocaine/saline treatments in locomotion (F(3,34) = 3.751, P = 0.020) and exploration (F(3,34) = 3.581, P = 0.024). These results suggest that anxiolytic effects and increased general activity were induced by leptin in cocaine-treated mice and that low leptin levels are associated with behavioral depression. Chronic changes in diet composition producing high leptin levels or rLeptin treatment may result in an altered response to cocaine in ethologic tests that measure degrees of anxiety and depression, which could be attributed to an antagonistic effect of leptin.
  • Cardiovascular risk factors in a population of Brazilian schoolchildren Physiology And Biophysics

    Rodrigues, A.N.; Moyses, M.R.; Bissoli, N.S.; Pires, J.G.P.; Abreu, G.R.

    Abstract in English:

    Epidemiological and clinical evidence suggests that a judicious diet, regular physical activity and blood pressure (BP) monitoring must start in early childhood to minimize the impact of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. This study was designed to evaluate BP and metabolic parameters of schoolchildren from Vitória, Espírito Santo State, Brazil, and correlate them with cardiovascular risk factors. The study was conducted on 380 students aged 10-14 years (177 boys, 203 girls) enrolled in public schools. Baseline measurements included body mass index, BP and heart rate. The students were submitted to exercise spirometry on a treadmill. VO2max was obtained from exercise testing to voluntary exhaustion. Fasting serum total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides (TG), and glucose were measured. Nine point nine percent of the boys and 11.7% of the girls were hypertensive or had pre-hypertensive levels. There was no significant correlation between VO2max and TC, LDL-C, or TG in prepubertal children, but a slight negative correlation was detected in post-pubertal boys for HDL-C and TG. In addition, children with hypertension (3.4%) or pre-hypertensive levels (6.6%) also had comorbidity for overweight and blood lipid abnormalities (14% for triglycerides, 44.7% for TC, 25.9% for LDL-C, 52% for low HDL-C). The present study shows for the first time high correlations between prehypertensive blood pressure levels and the cardiovascular risk factors high TC, high LDL-C, low HDL-C in schoolchildren. These are important for the formulation of public health policies and strategies.
  • Impact of acute exposure to air pollution on the cardiorespiratory performance of military firemen Physiology And Biophysics

    Oliveira, R.S.; Barros Neto, T.L.; Braga, A.L.F.; Raso, V.; Pereira, L.A.A.; Morette, S.R.; Carneiro, R.C.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to determine the impact of acute short-term exposure to air pollution on the cardiorespiratory performance of military fireman living and working in the city of Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil. Twenty-five healthy non-smoking firemen aged 24 to 45 years had about 1 h of exposure to low and high levels of air pollution. The tests consisted of two phases: phase A, in Bertioga, a town with low levels of air pollution, and phase B, in Cubatão, a polluted town, with a 7-day interval between phases. The volunteers remained in the cities (Bertioga/Cubatão) only for the time required to perform the tests. Cumulative load 10 ± 2 min-long exertion tests were performed on a treadmill, consisting of a 2-min stage at a load of 7 km/h, followed by increasing exertion of 1 km h-1 min-1 until the maximum individual limit. There were statistically significant differences (P < 0.05) in anaerobic threshold (AT) between Cubatão (35.04 ± 4.91 mL kg-1 min-1) and Bertioga (36.98 ± 5.62 mL kg-1 min-1; P = 0.01), in the heart rate at AT (AT HR; Cubatão 152.08 ± 14.86 bpm, Bertioga 157.44 ± 13.64 bpm; P = 0.001), and in percent maximal oxygen consumption at AT (AT%VO2max; Cubatão 64.56 ± 6.55%, Bertioga 67.40 ± 5.35%; P = 0.03). However, there were no differences in VO2max, maximal heart rate or velocity at AT (ATvel) observed in firemen between towns. The acute exposure to pollutants in Cubatão, SP, caused a significant reduction in the performance at submaximal levels of physical exertion.
  • Effect of age on upper and lower eyelid saccades Physiology And Biophysics

    Leite, L.V.O.; Cruz, A.A.V.; Messias, A.; Malbouisson, J.M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    To study the effect of age on the metrics of upper and lower eyelid saccades, eyelid movement of two groups of 30 subjects each were measured using computed image analysis. The patients were divided on the basis of age into a younger group (20-30 years) and an older group (60-91 years). Eyelid saccade functions were fitted by the damped harmonic oscillator model. Amplitude and peak velocity were used to compare the effect of age on the saccades of the upper and lower eyelid. There was no statistically significant difference in saccade amplitude between groups for the upper eyelid (mean ± SEM; upward, young = 9.18 ± 0.32 mm, older = 8.93 ± 0.31 mm, t = 0.56, P = 0.58; downward, young = 9.11 ± 0.27 mm, older = 8.86 ± 0.32 mm, t = 0.58, P = 0.56) However, there was a clear decline in the peak velocity of the upper eyelid saccades of older subjects (upward, young = 59.06 ± 2.34 mm/s, older = 50.12 ± 1.95 mm/s, t = 2.93, P = 0.005; downward, young = 71.78 ± 1.78 mm/s, older = 60.29 ± 2.62 mm/s, t = 3.63, P = 0.0006). In contrast, for the lower eyelid there was a clear increase of saccade amplitude in the elderly group (upward, young = 2.27 ± 0.09 mm, older = 2.98 ± 0.15 mm, t = 4.33, P < 0.0001; downward, young = 2.21 ± 0.10 mm, older = 2.96 ± 0.17 mm, t = 3.85, P < 0.001). These data suggest that the aging process affects the metrics of the lid saccades in a different manner according to the eyelid. In the upper eyelid the lower tension exerted by a weak aponeurosis is reflected only on the peak velocity of the saccades. In the lower eyelid, age is accompanied by an increase in saccade amplitude which indicates that the force transmission to the lid is not affected in the elderly.
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