Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 39, Issue: 2, Published: 2006
  • <a name="home"></a>Specific structural features of syndecans and heparan sulfate chains are needed for cell signaling Review

    Lopes, C.C.; Dietrich, C.P.; Nader, H.B.

    Abstract in English:

    The syndecans, heparan sulfate proteoglycans, are abundant molecules associated with the cell surface and extracellular matrix and consist of a protein core to which heparan sulfate chains are covalently attached. Each of the syndecan core proteins has a short cytoplasmic domain that binds cytosolic regulatory factors. The syndecans also contain highly conserved transmembrane domains and extracellular domains for which important activities are becoming known. These protein domains locate the syndecan on cell surface sites during development and tumor formation where they interact with other receptors to regulate signaling and cytoskeletal organization. The functions of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan have been centered on the role of heparan sulfate chains, located on the outer side of the cell surface, in the binding of a wide array of ligands, including extracellular matrix proteins and soluble growth factors. More recently, the core proteins of the syndecan family transmembrane proteoglycans have also been shown to be involved in cell signaling through interaction with integrins and tyrosine kinase receptors.
  • <a name="home"></a>Pim-1 kinase inhibits the activation of reporter gene expression in Elk-1 and c-Fos reporting systems but not the endogenous gene expression: an artifact of the reporter gene assay by transient co-transfection Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Yan, B.; Wang, H.; Kon, T.; Li, C.-Y.

    Abstract in English:

    We have studied the molecular mechanism and signal transduction of pim-1, an oncogene encoding a serine-threonine kinase. This is a true oncogene which prolongs survival and inhibits apoptosis of hematopoietic cells. In order to determine whether the effects of Pim-1 occur by regulation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, we used a transcriptional reporter assay by transient co-transfection as a screening method. In this study, we found that Pim-1 inhibited the Elk-1 and NFkappaB transcriptional activities induced by activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade in reporter gene assays. However, Western blots showed that the induction of Elk-1-regulated expression of endogenous c-Fos was not affected by Pim-1. The phosphorylation and activation of neither Erk1/2 nor Elk-1 was influenced by Pim-1. Also, in the gel shift assay, the pattern of endogenous NFkappaB binding to its probe was not changed in any manner by Pim-1. These data indicate that Pim-1 does not regulate the activation of Erk1/2, Elk-1 or NFkappaB. These contrasting results suggest a pitfall of the transient co-transfection reporter assay in analyzing the regulation of transcription factors outside of the chromosome context. It ensures that results from reporter gene expression assay should be verified by study of endogenous gene expression.
  • <a name="home"></a>Infection with human papillomaviruses of sexual partners of women having cervical intraepithelial neoplasia Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Rombaldi, R.L.; Serafini, E.P.; Villa, L.L.; Vanni, A.C.; Baréa, F.; Frassini, R.; Xavier, M.; Paesi, S.

    Abstract in English:

    Epidemiological studies show that human papillomaviruses (HPV) are strongly related to cervical cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN). Unlike the case for women, there are no consistent data on the natural history of HPV in the male population even though these viruses are prevalent in males. We carried out a prospective study to assess the prevalence of HPV in males as well as the factors that determine such infections in 99 male sexual partners of women with CIN. The genitalia of the males were physically examined and subjected to peniscopy for the collection of scrapings which were subjected to the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism to detect HPV. Of the 99 males sampled, 54 (54.5%) were positive for HPV DNA, 24% of whom presented normal peniscopy, 28% presented evident clinical lesions and 48% isolated lesions consistent with subclinical infection. In the HPV-negative group, 53% showed normal peniscopy, 4% presented evident clinical lesions and 42% isolated lesions consistent with subclinical infection. The study detected a statistically significant association (P < 0.02, Pearson chi-square test) between HPV infection and both the mean number of sexual partners which a male had during his life and the mean number of sexual partners in the year prior to testing. Viral types 6 and 11 were most frequently encountered. The study shows that infection with HPV was frequent in male sexual partners of women with CIN.
  • <a name="home"></a>Liver mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of experimental nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Oliveira, C.P.M.S.; Coelho, A.M.M.; Barbeiro, H.V.; Lima, V.M.R.; Soriano, F.; Ribeiro, C.; Molan, N.A.T.; Alves, V.A.F.; Souza, H.P.; Machado, M.C.C.; Carrilho, F.J.

    Abstract in English:

    Oxidative stress and hepatic mitochondria play a role in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of the disease. Fatty liver was induced in Wistar rats with a choline-deficient diet (CD; N = 7) or a high-fat diet enriched with PUFAs-omega-3 (H; N = 7) for 4 weeks. The control group (N = 7) was fed a standard diet. Liver mitochondrial oxidation and phosphorylation were measured polarographically and oxidative stress was estimated on the basis of malondialdehyde and glutathione concentrations. Moderate macrovacuolar liver steatosis was observed in the CD group and mild liver steatosis was observed in the periportal area in the H group. There was an increase in the oxygen consumption rate by liver mitochondria in respiratory state 4 (S4) and a decrease in respiratory control rate (RCR) in the CD group (S4: 32.70 ± 3.35; RCR: 2.55 ± 0.15 ng atoms of O2 min-1 mg protein-1) when compared to the H and control groups (S4: 23.09 ± 1.53, 17.04 ± 2.03, RCR: 3.15 ± 0.15, 3.68 ± 0.15 ng atoms of O2 min-1 mg protein-1, respectively), P < 0.05. Hepatic lipoperoxide concentrations were significantly increased and the concentration of reduced glutathione was significantly reduced in the CD group. A choline-deficient diet causes moderate steatosis with disruption of liver mitochondrial function and increased oxidative stress. These data suggest that lipid peroxidation products can impair the flow of electrons along the respiratory chain, causing overreduction of respiratory chain components and enhanced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. These findings are important in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • <a name="home"></a>CYP2A6 and CYP2E1 polymorphisms in a Brazilian population living in Rio de Janeiro Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Rossini, A.; Soares Lima, S.; Rapozo, D.C.M.; Faria, M.; Albano, R.M.; Ribeiro Pinto, L.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is a superfamily of enzymes involved in the metabolism of endogenous compounds and xenobiotics. CYP2A6 catalyzes the oxidation of nicotine and the activation of carcinogens such as aflatoxin B1 and nitrosamines. CYP2E1 metabolizes ethanol and other low-molecular weight compounds and can also activate nitrosamines. The CYP2A6 and CYP2E1 genes are polymorphic, altering their catalytic activities and susceptibility to cancer and other diseases. A number of polymorphisms described are ethnic-dependent. In the present study, we determined the genotype and allele frequencies of the main CYP2A6 and CYP2E1 polymorphisms in a group of 289 volunteers recruited at the Central Laboratory of Hospital Universitário Pedro Ernesto. They had been residing in the city of Rio de Janeiro for at least 6 months and were divided into two groups according to skin color (white and non-white). The alleles were determined by allele specific PCR (CYP2A6) or by PCR-RFLP (CYP2E1). The frequencies of the CYP2A6*1B and CYP2A6*2 alleles were 0.29 and 0.02 for white individuals and 0.24 and 0.01 for non-white individuals, respectively. The CYP2A6*5 allele was not found in the population studied. Regarding the CYP2E1*5B allele, we found a frequency of 0.07 in white individuals, which was statistically different (P < 0.05) from that present in non-white individuals (0.03). CYP2E1*6 allele frequency was the same (0.08) in both groups. The frequencies of CYP2A6*1B, CYP2A6*2 and CYP2E1*6 alleles in Brazilians are similar to those found in Caucasians and African-Americans, but the frequency of the CYP2E1*5B allele is higher in Brazilians.
  • <a name="home"></a>Lycopene and ß-carotene protect in vivo iron-induced oxidative stress damage in rat prostate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Matos, H.R.; Marques, S.A.; Gomes, O.F.; Silva, A.A.; Heimann, J.C.; Di Mascio, P.; Medeiros, M.H.G.

    Abstract in English:

    It has been suggested that iron overload may be carcinogenic. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of plasma and prostate carotenoid concentration on oxidative DNA damage in 12-week-old Wistar rats treated with intraperitoneal (ip) ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA) (10 mg Fe/kg). Plasma ß-carotene and lycopene concentrations were measured as a function of time after ip injection of carotenoids (10 mg kg-1 day-1 ß-carotene or lycopene) in rats. The highest total plasma concentration was reached 3 and 6 h after ip injection of lycopene or ß-carotene, respectively. After 5 days of carotenoid treatment, lycopene and ß-carotene were present in the 0.10-0.51 nmol/g wet tissue range in the prostate. Using a sensitive method to detected 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodGuo) by HPLC/EC, the level of 8-oxodGuo in rat prostate DNA was significantly higher (6.3 ± 0.6 residues/10(6) dGuo) 3 h after Fe-NTA injection compared with control rats (1.7 ± 0.3 residues/10(6) dGuo). Rats supplemented with lycopene or ß-carotene for 5 days prior to Fe-NTA treatment showed a reduction of about 70% in 8-oxodGuo levels to almost control levels. Compared with control rats, the prostate of Fe-NTA-treated animals showed a 78% increase in malondialdehyde accumulation. Lycopene or ß-carotene pre-treatment almost completely prevented lipid damage. Epidemiological studies have suggested a lower risk of prostate cancer in men reporting a higher consumption of tomato products. However, before associating this effect with tomato sauce constituents, more information is required. The results described here may contribute to the understanding of the protective effects of carotenoids against iron-induced oxidative stress.
  • <a name="home"></a>High expression of human carboxypeptidase M in Pichia pastoris: Purification and partial characterization Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Craveiro, R.B.; Ramalho, J.D.; Chagas, J.R.; Wang, P.H.M.; Casarini, D.E.; Pesquero, J.L.; Araújo, R.C.; Pesquero, J.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Carboxypeptidase M (CPM) is an extracellular glycosylphosphatidyl-inositol-anchored membrane glycoprotein, which removes the C-terminal basic residues, lysine and arginine, from peptides and proteins at neutral pH. CPM plays an important role in the control of peptide hormones and growth factor activity on the cell surface. The present study was carried out to clone and express human CPM in the yeast Pichia pastoris in order to evaluate the importance of this enzyme in physiological and pathological processes. The cDNA for the enzyme was amplified from total placental RNA by RT-PCR and cloned in the vector pPIC9, which uses the methanol oxidase promoter and drives the expression of high levels of heterologous proteins in P. pastoris. The cpm gene, after cloning and transfection, was integrated into the yeast genome, which produced the active protein. The recombinant protein was secreted into the medium and the enzymatic activity was measured using the fluorescent substrate dansyl-Ala-Arg. The enzyme was purified by a two-step protocol including gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography, resulting in a 1753-fold purified active protein (16474 RFU mg protein-1 min-1). This purification protocol permitted us to obtain 410 mg of the purified protein per liter of fermentation medium. SDS-PAGE showed that recombinant CPM migrated as a single band with a molecular mass similar to that of native placental enzyme (62 kDa), suggesting that the expression of a glycosylated protein had occurred. These results demonstrate for the first time the establishment of a method using P. pastoris to express human CPM necessary to the development of specific antibodies and antagonists, and the analysis of the involvement of this peptidase in different physiological and pathological processes
  • <a name="home"></a>Prevalence of the A1555G (12S rRNA) and tRNA Ser(UCN) mitochondrial mutations in hearing-impaired Brazilian patients Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Abreu-Silva, R.S.; Lezirovitz, K.; Braga, M.C.C.; Spinelli, M.; Pirana, S.; Della-Rosa, V.A.; Otto, P.A.; Mingroni-Netto, R.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Mitochondrial mutations are responsible for at least 1% of the cases of hereditary deafness, but the contribution of each mutation has not yet been defined in African-derived or native American genetic backgrounds. A total of 203 unselected hearing-impaired patients were screened for the presence of the mitochondrial mutation A1555G in the 12S rRNA gene and mutations in the tRNA Ser(UCN) gene in order to assess their frequency in the ethnically admixed Brazilian population. We found four individuals with A1555G mutation (2%), which is a frequency similar to those reported for European-derived populations in unselected samples. On the other hand, complete sequencing of the tRNA Ser(UCN) did not reveal reported pathogenic substitutions, namely A7445G, 7472insC, T7510C, or T7511C. Instead, other rare substitutions were found such as T1291C, A7569G, and G7444A. To evaluate the significance of these findings, 110 "European-Brazilians" and 190 "African-Brazilians" unrelated hearing controls were screened. The T1291C, A7569G and G7444A substitutions were each found in about 1% (2/190) of individuals of African ancestry, suggesting that they are probably polymorphic. Our results indicate that screening for the A1555G mutation is recommended among all Brazilian deaf patients, while testing for mutations in the tRNA Ser(UCN) gene should be considered only when other frequent deafness-causing mutations have been excluded or in the presence of a maternal transmission pattern.
  • <a name="home"></a>Effects of gamma-radiation on cell growth, cycle arrest, death, and superoxide dismutase expression by DU 145 human prostate cancer cells Cell Biology

    Vucic, V.; Isenovic, E.R.; Adzic, M.; Ruzdijic, S.; Radojcic, M.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Gamma-irradiation (gamma-IR) is extensively used in the treatment of hormone-resistant prostate carcinoma. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of 60Co gamma-IR on the growth, cell cycle arrest and cell death of the human prostate cancer cell line DU 145. The viability of DU 145 cells was measured by the Trypan blue exclusion assay and the 3(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5,diphenyltetrazolium bromide test. Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation was used for the determination of cell proliferation. Cell cycle arrest and cell death were analyzed by flow cytometry. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), specifically CuZnSOD and MnSOD protein expression, after 10 Gy gamma-IR, was determined by Western immunoblotting analysis. gamma-IR treatment had a significant (P < 0.001) antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect on DU 145 cells. Both effects were time and dose dependent. Also, the dose of gamma-IR which inhibited DNA synthesis and cell proliferation by 50% was 9.7 Gy. Furthermore, gamma-IR induced cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase and the percentage of cells in the G2/M phase was increased from 15% (control) to 49% (IR cells), with a nonsignificant induction of apoptosis. Treatment with 10 Gy gamma-IR for 24, 48, and 72 h stimulated CuZnSOD and MnSOD protein expression in a time-dependent manner, approximately by 3- to 3.5-fold. These data suggest that CuZnSOD and MnSOD enzymes may play an important role in the gamma-IR-induced changes in DU 145 cell growth, cell cycle arrest and cell death.
  • <a name="home"></a>The P48T germline mutation and polymorphism in the CDKN2A gene of patients with melanoma Cell Biology

    Huber, J.; Ramos, E.S.

    Abstract in English:

    CDKN2A has been implicated as a melanoma susceptibility gene in some kindreds with a family history of this disease. Mutations in CDKN2A may produce an imbalance between functional p16ink4a and cyclin D causing abnormal cell growth. We searched for germline mutations in this gene in 22 patients with clinical criteria of hereditary cancer (early onset, presence of multiple primary melanoma or 1 or more first- or second-degree relatives affected) by secondary structural content prediction, a mutation scanning method that relies on the propensity for single-strand DNA to take on a three-dimensional structure that is highly sequence dependent, and sequencing the samples with alterations in the electrophoretic mobility. The prevalence of CDKN2A mutation in our study was 4.5% (1/22) and there was a correlation between family history and probability of mutation detection. We found the P48T mutation in 1 patient with 2 melanoma-affected relatives. The patient descends from Italian families and this mutation has been reported previously only in Italian families in two independent studies. This leads us to suggest the presence of a mutational "hotspot" within this gene or a founder mutation. We also detected a high prevalence (59.1%) of polymorphisms, mainly alleles 500 C/G (7/31.8%) or 540 C/T (6/27.3%), in the 3' untranslated region of exon 3. This result reinforces the idea that these rare polymorphic alleles have been significantly associated with the risk of developing melanoma.
  • <a name="home"></a>Cyclosporin-A does not affect skeletal muscle mass during disuse and recovery Experimental Biology

    Aoki, M.S.; Miyabara, E.H.; Soares, A.G.; Salvini, T.F.; Moriscot, A.S.

    Abstract in English:

    Cyclosporin-A (CsA) is an immunosuppressive drug that acts as an inhibitor of calcineurin, a calcium phosphatase that has been suggested to play a role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of CsA administration (25 mg kg-1 day-1) on skeletal muscle mass and phenotype during disuse and recovery. Male Wistar rats received vehicle (N = 8) or CsA (N = 8) during hind limb immobilization (N = 8) and recovery (N = 8). Muscle weight (dry/wet) and cross-sectional area were evaluated to verify the effect of CsA treatment on muscle mass. Muscle phenotype was assessed by histochemistry of myosin ATPase. CsA administration during immobilization and recovery did not change muscle/body weight ratio in the soleus (SOL) or plantaris (PL). Regarding muscle phenotype, we observed a consistent slow-to-fast shift in all experimental groups (immobilized only, receiving CsA only, and immobilized receiving CsA) as compared to control in both SOL and PL (P < 0.05). During recovery, no difference was observed in SOL or PL fiber type composition between the experimental recovered group and recovered group receiving CsA compared to their respective controls. Considering the muscle/body weight ratio, CsA administration does not maximize muscle mass loss induced by immobilization. Our results also indicate that CsA fails to block skeletal muscle regrowth after disuse. The present data suggest that calcineurin inhibition by CsA modulates muscle phenotype rather than muscle mass.
  • <a name="home"></a>The role of IFN-gamma and IL-4 in gastric mucosa inflammation associated with Helicobacter heilmannii type 1 infection Experimental Biology

    Cinque, S.M.S.; Rocha, G.A.; Correa-Oliveira, R.; Soares, T.F.; Moura, S.B.; Rocha, A.M.C.; Nogueira, A.M.M.F.; Cabral, M.M.D.A.; Vieira, L.Q.; Martins-Filho, O.A.; Queiroz, D.M.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Although Helicobacter heilmannii infection is less common than H. pylori infection in humans, it is considered to be of medical importance because of its association with gastritis, gastric ulcer, carcinoma, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma of the stomach. However, there have been no studies evaluating the role of the Th cell response in H. heilmannii gastric infection. We evaluated the participation of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IFN-gamma and IL-4, in H. heilmannii gastric infection in genetically IFN-gamma- or IL-4-deficient mice. The serum IFN-gamma and IL-4 concentrations were determined by ELISA. The gastric polymorphonuclear infiltrate was higher (P = 0.007) in H. heilmannii-positive than in H. heilmannii-negative wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice, whereas no significant inflammation was demonstrable in the stomach of H. heilmannii-positive IFN-gamma-/- C57BL/6 mice. The degree of gastric inflammatory cells, especially in oxyntic mucosa, was also higher (P = 0.007) in infected IL-4-/- than in WT BALB/c mice. Serum IFN-gamma levels were significantly higher in IL-4-/- than in WT BALB/c mice, independently of H. heilmannii-positive or -negative status. Although no difference in serum IFN-gamma levels was seen between H. heilmannii-positive (11.3 ± 3.07 pg/mL, mean ± SD) and -negative (11.07 ± 3.5 pg/mL) WT BALB/c mice, in the group of IL-4-/- animals, the serum concentration of IFN-g was significantly higher in the infected ones (38.16 ± 10.5 pg/mL, P = 0.04). In contrast, serum IL-4 levels were significantly decreased in H. heilmannii-positive (N = 10) WT BALB/c animals compared to the negative (N = 10) animals. In conclusion, H. heilmannii infection induces a predominantly Th1 immune response, with IFN-gamma playing a central role in gastric inflammation.
  • <a name="home"></a>Effect of Erythrina velutina and Erythrina mulungu in rats submitted to animal models of anxiety and depression Neurosciences and Behavior

    Ribeiro, M.D.; Onusic, G.M.; Poltronieri, S.C.; Viana, M.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Erythrina velutina (EV) and Erythrina mulungu (EM), popularly used in Brazil as tranquilizing agents, were studied. The effects of acute and chronic oral treatment with a water:alcohol extract of EV (7:3, plant grounded stem bark; acute = 100, 200, 400 mg/kg; chronic = 50, 100, 200 mg/kg) were evaluated in rats (N = 11-12) submitted to the elevated T-maze (for avoidance and escape measurements) model of anxiety. This model was selected for its presumed capacity to elicit specific subtypes of anxiety disorders recognized in clinical practice: avoidance has been related to generalized anxiety and escape to panic. Additionally, animals were treated with the same doses of EV and EM (water:alcohol 7:3, inflorescence extract) and submitted to the forced swim test for the evaluation of antidepressant activity (N = 7-10). Both treatment regimens with EV impaired elevated T-maze avoidance latencies, without altering escape, in a way similar to the reference drug diazepam (avoidance 1, mean ± SEM, acute study: 131.1 ± 45.5 (control), 9.0 ± 3.3 (diazepam), 12.7 ± 2.9 (200 mg/kg), 28.8 ± 15.3 (400 mg/kg); chronic study: 131.7 ± 46.9 (control), 35.8 ± 29.7 (diazepam), 24.4 ± 10.4 (50 mg/kg), 29.7 ± 11.5 (200 mg/kg)). Neither EV nor EM altered measurements performed in the forced swim test, in contrast to the reference drug imipramine that significantly decreased immobility time after chronic treatment. These results were not due to motor alterations since no significant effects were detected in an open field. These observations suggest that EV exerts anxiolytic-like effects on a specific subset of defensive behaviors which have been associated with generalized anxiety disorder.
  • <a name="home"></a>Activation of neural cholecystokinin-1 receptors induces relaxation of the isolated rat duodenum which is reduced by nitric oxide synthase inhibitors Pharmacology

    Martins, S.R.; de Oliveira, R.B.; Ballejo, G.

    Abstract in English:

    Cholecystokinin (CCK) influences gastrointestinal motility, by acting on central and peripheral receptors. The aim of the present study was to determine whether CCK has any effect on isolated duodenum longitudinal muscle activity and to characterize the mechanisms involved. Isolated segments of the rat proximal duodenum were mounted for the recording of isometric contractions of longitudinal muscle in the presence of atropine and guanethidine. CCK-8S (EC50: 39; 95% CI: 4.1-152 nM) and cerulein (EC50: 58; 95% CI: 18-281 nM) induced a concentration-dependent and tetrodotoxin-sensitive relaxation. Nomeganitro-L-arginine (L-NOARG) reduced CCK-8S- and cerulein-induced relaxation (IC50: 5.2; 95% CI: 2.5-18 µM) in a concentration-dependent manner. The magnitude of 300 nM CCK-8S-induced relaxation was reduced by 100 µM L-NOARG from 73 ± 5.1 to 19 ± 3.5% in an L-arginine but not D-arginine preventable manner. The CCK-1 receptor antagonists proglumide, lorglumide and devazepide, but not the CCK-2 receptor antagonist L-365,260, antagonized CCK-8S-induced relaxation in a concentration-dependent manner. These findings suggest that CCK-8S and cerulein activate intrinsic nitrergic nerves acting on CCK-1 receptors in order to cause relaxation of the rat duodenum longitudinal muscle.
  • <a name="home"></a>Effect of topical dorzolamide on rabbit central corneal thickness Pharmacology

    Almeida Jr., G.C.; Faria e Souza, S.J.

    Abstract in English:

    Our objective was to study the effect of dorzolamide on corneal hydration in an 18-week controlled experiment using ultrasonic pachymetry. Twenty-eight male rabbits were divided randomly into four groups. The 7 rabbits in each group received eye drops containing either 2% (w/v) dorzolamide or placebo in their right eye, or in their left eye. The 2% dorzolamide rabbits were treated every 8 h. Fellow eyes are defined as eyes which did not receive either dorzolamide or placebo. The study was blind for both the person who applied the drug and the one who performed the pachymetry. The effect of treatments is reported on the basis of the percentage of pachymetric variation compared to the measurement made before drug application. There was no significant difference (P = 0.061) in pachymetric variation between dorzolamide (-4.42 ± 11.71%) and placebo (2.48 ± 9.63%). However, there was a significant difference (P = 0.0034) in pachymetric variation between the dorzolamide fellow eyes (-7.56 ± 10.50%) and the placebo (-4.42 ± 11.71%). In conclusion, dorzolamide did not increase the corneal thickness in rabbits.
  • <a name="home"></a>Protective effects of phosphodiesterase inhibitors on lung function and remodeling in a murine model of chronic asthma Physiology and Biophysics

    Campos, H.S.; Xisto, D.G.; Oliveira, M.B.G.; Teixeira, I.; Negri, E.M.; Mauad, T.; Carnielli, D.; Lima, L.M.; Barreiro, E.J.; Faffe, D.S.; Zin, W.A.; Lapa e Silva, J.R.; Rocco, P.R.M.

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of a novel phosphodiesterase 4 and 5 inhibitor, LASSBio596, with that of dexamethasone in a murine model of chronic asthma. Lung mechanics (airway resistance, viscoelastic pressure, and static elastance), histology, and airway and lung parenchyma remodeling (quantitative analysis of collagen and elastic fiber) were analyzed. Thirty-three BALB/c mice were randomly assigned to four groups. In the asthma group (N = 9), mice were immunized with 10 µg ovalbumin (OVA, ip) on 7 alternate days, and after day 40 they were challenged with three intratracheal instillations of 20 µg OVA at 3-day intervals. Control mice (N = 8) received saline under the same protocol. In the dexamethasone (N = 8) and LASSBio596 (N = 8) groups, the animals of the asthma group were treated with 1 mg/kg dexamethasone disodium phosphate (0.1 mL, ip) or 10 mg/kg LASSBio596 dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (0.2 mL, ip) 24 h before the first intratracheal instillation of OVA, for 8 days. Airway resistance, viscoelastic pressure and static elastance increased significantly in the asthma group (77, 56, and 76%, respectively) compared to the control group. The asthma group presented more intense alveolar collapse, bronchoconstriction, and eosinophil and neutrophil infiltration than the control group. Both LASSBio596 and dexamethasone inhibited the changes in lung mechanics, tissue cellularity, bronchoconstriction, as well as airway and lung parenchyma remodeling. In conclusion, LASSBio596 at a dose of 10 mg/kg effectively prevented lung mechanical and morphometrical changes and had the potential to block fibroproliferation in a BALB/c mouse model of asthma.
  • <a name="home"></a>Fecal estradiol and progesterone metabolite levels in the three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus) Physiology and Biophysics

    Mühlbauer, M.; Duarte, D.P.F.; Gilmore, D.P.; da Costa, C.P.

    Abstract in English:

    The present study was carried out to assess the possibility of measuring fecal steroid hormone metabolites as a noninvasive technique for monitoring reproductive function in the three-toed sloth, Bradypus variegatus. Levels of the estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) metabolites were measured by radioimmunoassay in fecal samples collected over 12 weeks from 4 captive female B. variegatus sloths. The validation of the radioimmunoassay for evaluation of fecal steroid metabolites was carried out by collecting 10 blood samples on the same day as defecation. There was a significant direct correlation between the plasma and fecal E2 and P4 levels (P < 0.05, Pearson's test), thereby validating this noninvasive technique for the study of the estrous cycle in these animals. Ovulation was detected in two sloths (SL03 and SL04) whose E2 levels reached 2237.43 and 6713.26 pg/g wet feces weight, respectively, for over four weeks, followed by an increase in P4 metabolites reaching 33.54 and 3242.68 ng/g wet feces weight, respectively. Interestingly, SL04, which presented higher levels of E2 and P4 metabolites, later gave birth to a healthy baby sloth. The results obtained indicate that this is a reliable technique for recording gonadal steroid secretion and thereby reproduction in sloths.
  • <a name="home"></a>The decreased oxygen uptake during progressive exercise in ischemia-induced heart failure is due to reduced cardiac output rate Physiology and Biophysics

    Rolim, N.P.L.; Mattos, K.C.; Brum, P.C.; Baldo, M.V.C.; Middlekauff, H.R.; Negrão, C.E.

    Abstract in English:

    We tested the hypothesis that the inability to increase cardiac output during exercise would explain the decreased rate of oxygen uptake (VO2) in recent onset, ischemia-induced heart failure rats. Nine normal control rats and 6 rats with ischemic heart failure were studied. Myocardial infarction was induced by coronary ligation. VO2 was measured during a ramp protocol test on a treadmill using a metabolic mask. Cardiac output was measured with a flow probe placed around the ascending aorta. Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was higher in ischemic heart failure rats compared with normal control rats (17 ± 0.4 vs 8 ± 0.8 mmHg, P = 0.0001). Resting cardiac index (CI) tended to be lower in ischemic heart failure rats (P = 0.07). Resting heart rate (HR) and stroke volume index (SVI) did not differ significantly between ischemic heart failure rats and normal control rats. Peak VO2 was lower in ischemic heart failure rats (73.72 ± 7.37 vs 109.02 ± 27.87 mL min-1 kg-1, P = 0.005). The VO2 and CI responses during exercise were significantly lower in ischemic heart failure rats than in normal control rats. The temporal response of SVI, but not of HR, was significantly lower in ischemic heart failure rats than in normal control rats. Peak CI, HR, and SVI were lower in ischemic heart failure rats. The reduction in VO2 response during incremental exercise in an ischemic model of heart failure is due to the decreased cardiac output response, largely caused by depressed stroke volume kinetics.
  • <a name="home"></a>Effect of unsaturated fatty acids on myocardial performance, metabolism and morphology Physiology and Biophysics

    Pinotti, M.F.; Silva, M.D.P.; Sugizaki, M.M.; Diniz, Y.S.; Sant'Ana, L.S.; Aragon, F.F.; Padovani, C.R.; Novelli, E.L.B.; Cicogna, A.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Diets rich in saturated fatty acids are one of the most important causes of atherosclerosis in men, and have been replaced with diets rich in unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) for the prevention of this disorder. However, the effect of UFA on myocardial performance, metabolism and morphology has not been completely characterized. The objective of the present investigation was to evaluate the effects of a UFA-rich diet on cardiac muscle function, oxidative stress, and morphology. Sixty-day-old male Wistar rats were fed a control (N = 8) or a UFA-rich diet (N = 8) for 60 days. Myocardial performance was studied in isolated papillary muscle by isometric and isotonic contractions under basal conditions after calcium chloride (5.2 mM) and ß-adrenergic stimulation with 1.0 µM isoproterenol. Fragments of the left ventricle free wall were used to study oxidative stress and were analyzed by light microscopy, and the myocardial ultrastructure was examined in left ventricle papillary muscle. After 60 days the UFA-rich diet did not change myocardial function. However, it caused high lipid hydroperoxide (176 ± 5 vs 158 ± 5, P < 0.0005) and low catalase (7 ± 1 vs 9 ± 1, P < 0.005) and superoxide-dismutase (18 ± 2 vs 27 ± 5, P < 0.005) levels, and discrete morphological changes in UFA-rich diet hearts such as lipid deposits and mitochondrial membrane alterations compared to control rats. These data show that a UFA-rich diet caused myocardial oxidative stress and mild structural alterations, but did not change mechanical function.
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