Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 39, Issue: 6, Published: 2006
  • Understanding the mechanisms of lung mechanical stress Review

    Garcia, C.S.N.B.; Prota, L.F.M.; Morales, M.M.; Romero, P.V.; Zin, W.A.; Rocco, P.R.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Physical forces affect both the function and phenotype of cells in the lung. Bronchial, alveolar, and other parenchymal cells, as well as fibroblasts and macrophages, are normally subjected to a variety of passive and active mechanical forces associated with lung inflation and vascular perfusion as a result of the dynamic nature of lung function. These forces include changes in stress (force per unit area) or strain (any forced change in length in relation to the initial length) and shear stress (the stress component parallel to a given surface). The responses of cells to mechanical forces are the result of the cell's ability to sense and transduce these stimuli into intracellular signaling pathways able to communicate the information to its interior. This review will focus on the modulation of intracellular pathways by lung mechanical forces and the intercellular signaling. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which lung cells transduce physical forces into biochemical and biological signals is of key importance for identifying targets for the treatment and prevention of physical force-related disorders.
  • Epidemiological and functional implications of molecular variants of human papillomavirus Review

    Sichero, L.; Villa, L.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Human papillomavirus genomes are classified into molecular variants when they present more than 98% of similarity to the prototype sequence within the L1 gene. Comparative nucleotide sequence analyses of these viruses have elucidated some features of their phylogenetic relationship. In addition, human papillomavirus intratype variability has also been used as an important tool in epidemiological studies of viral transmission, persistence and progression to clinically relevant cervical lesions. Until the present, little has been published concerning the functional significance of molecular variants. It has been shown that nucleotide variability within the long control region leads to differences in the binding affinity of some cellular transcriptional factors and to the enhancement of the expression of E6 and E7 oncogenes. Furthermore, in vivo and in vitro studies revealed differences in E6 and E7 biochemical and biological properties among molecular variants. Nevertheless, further correlation with additional functional information is needed to evaluate the significance of genome intratypic variability. These results are also important for the development of vaccines and to determine the extent to which immunization with L1 virus-like particles of one variant could induce antibodies that cross-neutralize other variants.
  • A cost-effective melting temperature assay for the detection of single-nucleotide polymorphism in the MBL2 gene of HIV-1-infected children Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Arraes, L.C.; de Souza, P.R.; Bruneska, D.; Castelo Filho, A.; de Souza Cavada, B.; de Lima Filho, J.L.; Crovella, S.

    Abstract in English:

    We report a fast (less than 3 h) and cost-effective melting temperature assay method for the detection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the MBL2 gene. The protocol, which is based on the Corbett Rotor Gene real time PCR platform and SYBR Green I chemistry, yielded, in the cohorts studied, sensitive (100%) and specific (100%) PCR amplification without the use of costly fluorophore-labeled probes or post-PCR manipulation. At the end of the PCR, the dissociation protocol included a slow heating from 60º to 95ºC in 0.2ºC steps, with an 8-s interval between steps. Melting curve profiles were obtained using the dissociation software of the Rotor Gene-3000 apparatus. Samples were analyzed in duplicate and in different PCR runs to test the reproducibility of this technique. No supplementary data handling is required to determine the MBL2 genotype. MBL2 genotyping performed on a cohort of 164 HIV-1-positive Brazilian children and 150 healthy controls, matched for age and sex and ethnic origin, yielded reproducible results confirmed by direct sequencing of the amplicon performed in blind. The three MBL2 variants (Arg52Cys, Gly54Asp, Gly57Glu) were grouped together and called allele 0, while the combination of three wild-type alleles was called allele A. The frequency of the A/A homozygotes was significantly higher among healthy controls (0.68) than in HIV-infected children (0.55; P = 0.0234) and the frequency of MBL2 0/0 homozygotes was higher among HIV-1-infected children than healthy controls (P = 0.0296). The 0 allele was significantly more frequent among the 164 HIV-1-infected children (0.29) than among the 150 healthy controls (0.18; P = 0.0032). Our data confirm the association between the presence of the mutated MBL2 allele (allele 0) and HIV-1 infection in perinatally exposed children. Our results are in agreement with the literature data which indicate that the presence of the allele 0 confers a relative risk of 1.37 for HIV-1 infection through vertical transmission.
  • Identification of a new human mtDNA polymorphism (A14290G) in the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 gene Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Houshmand, M.; Mahmoudi, T.; Shafa Shariat Panahi, M.; Seyedena, Y.; Saber, S.; Ataei, M.

    Abstract in English:

    Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited form of retinal ganglion cell degeneration leading to optic atrophy in young adults. Several mutations in different genes can cause LHON (heterogeneity). The ND6 gene is one of the mitochondrial genes that encodes subunit 6 of complex I of the respiratory chain. This gene is a hot spot gene. Fourteen Persian LHON patients were analyzed with single-strand conformational polymorphism and DNA sequencing techniques. None of these patients had four primary mutations, G3460A, G11788A, T14484C, and G14459A, related to this disease. We identified twelve nucleotide substitutions, G13702C, T13879C, T14110C, C14167T, G14199T, A14233G, G14272C, A14290G, G14365C, G14368C, T14766C, and T14798C. Eleven of twelve nucleotide substitutions had already been reported as polymorphism. One of the nucleotide substitutions (A14290G) has not been reported. The A14290G nucleotide substitution does not change its amino acid (glutamic acid). We looked for base conservation using DNA star software (MEGALIGN program) as a criterion for pathogenic or nonpathogenic nucleotide substitution in A14290G. The results of ND6 gene alignment in humans and in other species (mouse, cow, elegans worm, and Neurospora crassa mold) revealed that the 14290th base was not conserved. Fifty normal controls were also investigated for this polymorphism in the Iranian population and two had A14290G polymorphism (4%). This study provides evidence that the mtDNA A14290G allele is a new nonpathogenic polymorphism. We suggest follow-up studies regarding this polymorphism in different populations.
  • Cytotoxicity of Marchantia convoluta leaf extracts to human liver and lung cancer cells Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Xiao, J.B.; Chen, X.Q.; Zhang, Y.W.; Jiang, X.Y.; Xu, M.

    Abstract in English:

    The cytotoxicity of three extracts (petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and n-butanol) from a plant used in folk medicine, Marchantia convoluta, to human non-small cell lung carcinoma (H1299) and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines was tested. After 72-h incubation of lung and liver cancer cell cultures with varying concentrations of extracts (15 to 200 µg/mL), cytotoxicity was determined by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and reported in terms of cell viability. The extracts that showed a significant cytotoxicity were subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis to identify the components. The ethyl acetate, but not the petroleum ether or n-butanol extract, had a significant cytotoxicity against lung and liver carcinoma cells with IC50 values of 100 and 30 µg/mL, respectively. A high concentration of ethyl acetate extract (100 µg/mL) rapidly reduced the number of H1299 cells. At lower concentrations of ethyl acetate extract (15, 30, and 40 µg/mL), the numbers of HepG2 cells started to decrease markedly. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the ethyl acetate extract revealed the presence of several compounds such as phytol (23.42%), 1,2,4-tripropylbenzene (13.09%), 9-cedranone (12.75%), ledene oxide (7.22%), caryophyllene (1.82%), and caryophyllene oxide (1.15%). HPLC analysis result showed that there were no flavonoids in ethyl acetate extract, but flavonoids are abundant in n-butanol extract. Further studies are needed regarding the identification, toxicity, and mechanism of action of active compounds.
  • Modulation of store-operated Ca2+ entry by cyclic-ADP-ribose Cell Biology

    Thompson, M.; White, T.; Chini, E.N.

    Abstract in English:

    Store-operated Ca2+ entry plays an important role in Ca2+ homeostasis in cells but the mechanisms of control of these channels are not completely understood. We describe an investigation of the role of the CD38-cyclic-ADP-ribose (cADPR)-ryanodine-channel (RyR) signaling pathway in store-operated Ca2+ entry in human smooth muscle. We observed that human myometrial cells have a functional store-operated Ca2+ entry mechanism. Furthermore, we observed the presence of transient receptor potential 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 ion channels in human myometrial cells. Store-operated Ca2+ transient was inhibited by at least 50-70% by several inhibitors of the RyR, including ryanodine (10 µM), dantrolene (10 µM), and ruthenium red (10 µM). Furthermore, the cell permeable inhibitor of the cADPR-system, 8-Br-cADPR (100 µM), is a potent inhibitor of the store-operated entry, decreasing the store operated entry by 80%. Pre-incubation of cells with 100 µM cADPR and the hydrolysis-resistant cADPR analog 3-deaza-cADPR (50 µM), but not with ADP-ribose (ADPR) leads to a 1.6-fold increase in the store-operated Ca2+ transient. In addition, we observed that nicotinamide (1-10 mM), an inhibitor of cADPR synthesis, also leads to inhibition of the store-operated Ca2+ transient by 50-80%. Finally, we observed that the transient receptor potential channels, RyR, and CD38 can be co-immunoprecipitated, indicating that they interact in vivo. Our observations clearly implicate the CD38-cADPR-ryanodine signaling pathway in the regulation of store-operated Ca2+ entry in human smooth muscle cells.
  • Enucleated L929 mouse fibroblasts support invasion and multiplication of Shigella flexneri 5a Cell Biology

    Yamamoto, D.; Coimbra, V.C.; Okuda, K.; Rabinovitch, M.

    Abstract in English:

    Invasive bacteria can induce their own uptake and specify their intracellular localization; hence it is commonly assumed that proximate modulation of host cell transcription is not required for infection. However, bacteria can also modulate, directly or indirectly, the transcription of many host cell genes, whose role in the infection may be difficult to determine by global gene expression. Is the host cell nucleus proximately required for intracellular infection and, if so, for which pathogens and at what stages of infection? Enucleated cells were previously infected with Toxoplasma gondii, Chlamydia psittaci, C. trachomatis, or Rickettsia prowazekii. We enucleated L929 mouse fibroblasts by centrifugation in the presence of cytochalasin B, and compared the infection with Shigella flexneri M90T 5a of nucleated and enucleated cells. Percent infection and bacterial loads were estimated with a gentamicin suppression assay in cultures fixed and stained at different times after infection. Enucleation reduced by about half the percent of infected cells, a finding that may reflect the reduced endocytic ability of L929 cytoplasts. However, average numbers of bacteria and frequency distributions of bacterial numbers per cell at different times were similar in enucleated and nucleated cells. Bacteria with actin-rich tails were detected in both cytoplasts and nucleated cells. Lastly, cytoplasts were similarly infected 2 and 24 h after enucleation, suggesting that short-lived mRNAs were not involved in the infection. Productive S. flexneri infection could thus take place in cells unable to modulate gene transcription, RNA processing, or nucleus-dependent signaling cascades.
  • Histopathological characteristics of a novel knock-in mouse prostate cancer model Experimental Biology

    Wu, G.; Wang, D.; Wang, H.; Yuan, J.; Xuan, J.W.

    Abstract in English:

    Prostate cancer is relatively unique to man. There is no naturally occurring prostate cancer in the mouse. Pre-clinical studies involve the establishment of a genetically engineered mouse prostate cancer model with features close to those of the human situation. A new knock-in mouse adenocarcinoma prostate (KIMAP) model was established, which showed close-to-human kinetics of tumor development. In order to determine if the similar kinetics is associated with heterogeneous tumor architecture similar to the human situation, we utilized a new mouse histological grading system (Gleason analogous grading system) similar to the Gleason human grading system and flow cytometry DNA analysis to measure and compare the adenocarcinoma of the KIMAP model with human prostate cancer. Sixty KIMAP prostate cancer samples from 60 mice were measured and compared with human prostate cancer. Flow cytometry DNA analysis was performed on malignant prostate tissues obtained from KIMAP models. Mice with prostate cancer from KIMAP models showed a 53.3% compound histological score rate, which was close to the human clinical average (50%) and showed a significant correlation with age (P = 0.001). Flow cytometry analyses demonstrated that most KIMAP tumor tissues were diploid, analogous to the human situation. The similarities of the KIMAP mouse model with tumors of the human prostate suggest the use of this experimental model to complement studies of human prostate cancer.
  • Peripheral markers of oxidative stress in chronic mercuric chloride intoxication Experimental Biology

    Gutierrez, L.L.P.; Mazzotti, N.G.; Araújo, A.S.R.; Klipel, R.B.; Fernandes, T.R.G.; Llesuy, S.F.; Belló-Klein, A.

    Abstract in English:

    The present study was designed to evaluate the time course changes in peripheral markers of oxidative stress in a chronic HgCl2 intoxication model. Twenty male adult Wistar rats were treated subcutaneously daily for 30 days and divided into two groups of 10 animals each: Hg, which received HgCl2 (0.16 mg kg-1 day-1), and control, receiving the same volume of saline solution. Blood was collected at the first, second and fourth weeks of Hg administration to evaluate lipid peroxidation (LPO), total radical trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP), and superoxide dismutase (Cu,Zn-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), and catalase (CAT). HgCl2 administration induced a rise (by 26%) in LPO compared to control (143 ± 10 cps/mg hemoglobin) in the second week and no difference was found at the end of the treatment. At that time, GST and GPx were higher (14 and 24%, respectively) in the Hg group, and Cu,Zn-SOD was lower (54%) compared to control. At the end of the treatment, Cu,Zn-SOD and CAT were higher (43 and 10%, respectively) in the Hg group compared to control (4.6 ± 0.3 U/mg protein; 37 ± 0.9 pmol/mg protein, respectively). TRAP was lower (69%) in the first week compared to control (43.8 ± 1.9 mM Trolox). These data provide evidence that HgCl2 administration is accompanied by systemic oxidative damage in the initial phase of the process, which leads to adaptive changes in the antioxidant reserve, thus decreasing the oxidative injury at the end of 30 days of HgCl2 administration. These results suggest that a preventive treatment with antioxidants would help to avoid oxidative damage in subjects with chronic intoxication.
  • The anti-IRBP IgG1 and IgG2a response does not correlate with susceptibility to experimental autoimmune uveitis Immunology

    Vieira de Moraes, L.; Martins, G.A.; Flangini, M.; Ibañez, O.M.; Sant'Anna, O.A.; Rizzo, L.V.

    Abstract in English:

    Susceptibility to experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) in inbred mice has been associated with a dominant Th1 response. Elevated anti-inter-photoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (anti-IRBP) IgG2a/IgG1 antibody ratios have been implicated as candidate markers to predict disease severity. In the present study, both the anti-IRBP antibody isotype and severity of EAU phenotypes were examined in 4 non-isogenic genetically selected mouse lines to determine if they can be used as general markers of disease. Mice between 8 and 12 weeks old selected for high (H III) or low (L III) antibody response and for maximum (AIR MAX) or minimum (AIR MIN) acute inflammatory reaction (AIR) were immunized with IRBP. Each experiment was performed with at least 5 mice per group. EAU was evaluated by histopathology 21 days after immunization and the minimal criterion was inflammatory cell infiltration of the ciliary body, choroid and retina. Serum IgG1- and IgG2a-specific antibodies were determined by ELISA. EAU was graded by histological examination of the enucleated eyes. The incidence of EAU was lower in AIR MIN mice whereas in the other strains approximately 40% of the animals developed the disease. Low responder animals did not produce anti-IRBP IgG2a antibodies or interferon-gamma. No correlation was observed between susceptibility to EAU and anti-IRBP isotype profiles. Susceptibility to EAU is related to the intrinsic capacity to mount higher inflammatory reactions and increased production of anti-IRBP IgG2a isotype is not necessarily a marker of this immunologic profile.
  • Effects of stress on catecholamine stores in central and peripheral tissues of long-term socially isolated rats Neurosciences And Behavior

    Dronjak, S.; Gavrilovic, L.

    Abstract in English:

    Both the peripheral sympatho-adrenomedullary and central catecholaminergic systems are activated by various psycho-social and physical stressors. Catecholamine stores in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, adrenal glands, and heart auricles of long-term socially isolated (21 days) and control 3-month-old male Wistar rats, as well as their response to immobilization of all 4 limbs and head fixed for 2 h and cold stress (4ºC, 2 h), were studied. A simultaneous single isotope radioenzymatic assay based on the conversion of catecholamines to the corresponding O-methylated derivatives by catechol-O-methyl-transferase in the presence of S-adenosyl-l-(³H-methyl)-methionine was used. The O-methylated derivatives were oxidized to ³H-vanilline and the radioactivity measured. Social isolation produced depletion of hypothalamic norepinephrine (about 18%) and hippocampal dopamine (about 20%) stores and no changes in peripheral tissues. Immobilization decreased catecholamine stores (approximately 39%) in central and peripheral tissues of control animals. However, in socially isolated rats, these reductions were observed only in the hippocampus and peripheral tissues. Cold did not affect hypothalamic catecholamine stores but reduced hippocampal dopamine (about 20%) as well as norepinephrine stores in peripheral tissues both in control and socially isolated rats, while epinephrine levels were unchanged. Thus, immobilization was more efficient in reducing catecholamine stores in control and chronically isolated rats compared to cold stress. The differences in rearing conditions appear to influence the response of adult animals to additional stress. In addition, the influence of previous exposure to a stressor on catecholaminergic activity in the brainstem depends on both the particular catecholaminergic area studied and the properties of additional acute stress. Therefore, the sensitivity of the catecholaminergic system to habituation appears to be tissue-specific.
  • Mesopic radial frequency contrast sensitivity function for young and older adults Neurosciences And Behavior

    Santos, N.A.; Oliveira, A.B.; Nogueira, R.M.T.B.L.; Simas, M.L.B.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to determine contrast sensitivity curves of concentric circular patterns with radial frequencies of 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 cycles per degree in young and older adult volunteers. These parameters were also compared with sensitivity contrasts for sine-wave gratings. All participants had normal acuity vision and were free of identifiable ocular illness. Contrast sensitivity was measured in 6 young adults aged 19 to 23 years and 6 older adults aged 60 to 69 years using the psychophysical forced-choice method. In this paradigm the volunteers had to decide which of two stimuli contained the above radial frequencies at low contrast levels. The other neutral stimulus was gray with homogeneous luminance. We detected a decline in contrast sensitivity for older adults at all radial frequencies compared to young adults. Also, contrast sensitivity for sine-wave gratings at all measured frequencies was better, as predicted, for all young adults. Maximum sensitivities in the radial frequency contrast sensitivity function and contrast sensitivity function occurred at 0.25 and 0.5 cycles per degree, respectively, for both young and older adults. These results suggest age-related changes in the contrast sensitivity function for concentric symmetrical stimuli.
  • A pyrazolyl-thiazole derivative causes antinociception in mice Pharmacology

    Prokopp, C.R.; Rubin, M.A.; Sauzem, P.D.; de Souza, A.H.; Berlese, D.B.; Lourega, R.V.; Muniz, M.N.; Bonacorso, H.G.; Zanatta, N.; Martins, M.A.P.; Mello, C.F.

    Abstract in English:

    The present study investigates the antinociceptive effect of the pyrazolyl-thiazole derivative 2-(5-trichloromethyl-5-hydroxy-3-phenyl-4,5-dihydro-1 H-pyrazol-1-yl)-4-(4-bromophenyl)-5-methylthiazole (B50) in mice. Male albino Swiss mice (30-40 g) were used in the acetic acid-induced abdominal writhes and tail-immersion tests. B50 caused dose-dependent antinociception (8, 23 and 80 µmol/kg, sc) in the acetic acid writhing assay (number of writhes: vehicle: 27.69 ± 6.15; B50 (8 µmol/kg): 16.92 ± 3.84; B50 (23 µmol/kg): 13.85 ± 3.84; B50 (80 µmol/kg): 9.54 ± 3.08; data are reported as means ± SEM for 9 animals per group). On the other hand, B50 did not cause antinociception in the tail immersion assay. Naloxone (2.75 µmol/kg, sc) prevented B50-induced antinociception (number of writhes: vehicle-saline: 31.11 ± 3.15; vehicle-naloxone: 27.41 ± 3.70; B50 (80 µmol/kg)-saline: 8.70 ± 3.33; B50 (80 µmol/kg)-naloxone: 31.84 ± 4.26; morphine-saline: 2.04 ± 3.52; morphine-naloxone: 21.11 ± 4.26; 8-9 animals per group). The removal of the methyl group of the thiazole ring of B50 or substitution of the bromo substituent with the methyl at position 4 of the phenyl group, which is attached to the thiazole ring of B50, resulted in loss of activity, suggesting that these substituents are important for antinociceptive activity. B50 had no effect on spontaneous locomotion or rotarod performance, indicating that the antinociceptive effect of B50 is not related to nonspecific motor effects. The antinociceptive profile of B50 seems to be closer to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs than to classic opioid agents, since it had no analgesic effect in a thermally motivated test.
  • In vivo growth-inhibition of Sarcoma 180 by piplartine and piperine, two alkaloid amides from Piper Pharmacology

    Bezerra, D.P.; Castro, F.O.; Alves, A.P.N.N.; Pessoa, C.; Moraes, M.O.; Silveira, E.R.; Lima, M.A.S.; Elmiro, F.J.M.; Costa-Lotufo, L.V.

    Abstract in English:

    Piplartine {5,6-dihydro-1-[1-oxo-3-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-2-propenyl]-2(1H)pyridinone} and piperine {1-5-(1,3)-benzodioxol-5-yl)-1-oxo-2,4-pentadienyl]piperidine} are alkaloid amides isolated from Piper. Both have been reported to show cytotoxic activity towards several tumor cell lines. In the present study, the in vivo antitumor activity of these compounds was evaluated in 60 female Swiss mice (N = 10 per group) transplanted with Sarcoma 180. Histopathological and morphological analyses of the tumor and the organs, including liver, spleen, and kidney, were performed in order to evaluate the toxicological aspects of the treatment with these amides. Administration of piplartine or piperine (50 or 100 mg kg-1 day-1 intraperitoneally for 7 days starting 1 day after inoculation) inhibited solid tumor development in mice transplanted with Sarcoma 180 cells. The inhibition rates were 28.7 and 52.3% for piplartine and 55.1 and 56.8% for piperine, after 7 days of treatment, at the lower and higher doses, respectively. The antitumor activity of piplartine was related to inhibition of the tumor proliferation rate, as observed by reduction of Ki67 staining, a nuclear antigen associated with G1, S, G2, and M cell cycle phases, in tumors from treated animals. However, piperine did not inhibit cell proliferation as observed in Ki67 immunohistochemical analysis. Histopathological analysis of liver and kidney showed that both organs were reversibly affected by piplartine and piperine treatment, but in a different way. Piperine was more toxic to the liver, leading to ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes, accompanied by microvesicular steatosis in some areas, than piplartine which, in turn, was more toxic to the kidney, leading to discrete hydropic changes of the proximal tubular and glomerular epithelium and tubular hemorrhage in treated animals.
  • Adaptive changes in thyroid function of female rats fed a high-fat and low-protein diet during gestation and lactation Physiology And Biophysics

    Brito, P.D.; Ramos, C.F.; Passos, M.C.F.; Moura, E.G.
  • Increased expression of p38 mitogen- activated protein kinase is related to the acute renal lesions induced by gentamicin Physiology And Biophysics

    Volpini, R.A.; Balbi, A.P.C.; Costa, R.S.; Coimbra, T.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) may be involved in the pathogenesis of acute renal failure. This study investigated the expression of p-p38 MAPK and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) in the renal cortex of rats treated with gentamicin. Twenty rats were injected with gentamicin, 40 mg/kg, im, twice a day for 9 days, 20 with gentamicin + pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC, an NF-kappaB inhibitor), 14 with 0.15 M NaCl, im, twice a day for 9 days, and 14 with 0.15 M NaCl , im, twice a day for 9 days and PDTC, 50 mg kg-1 day-1, ip, twice a day for 15 days. The animals were killed 5 and 30 days after the last of the injections and the kidneys were removed for histological, immunohistochemical and Western blot analysis and for nitrate determination. The results of the immunohistochemical study were evaluated by counting the p-p38 MAPK-positive cells per area of renal cortex measuring 0.05 mm². Creatinine was measured by the Jaffé method in blood samples collected 5 and 30 days after the end of the treatments. Gentamicin-treated rats presented a transitory increase in plasma creatinine levels. In addition, animals killed 5 days after the end of gentamicin treatment presented acute tubular necrosis and increased nitrate levels in the renal cortex. Increased expression of p-p38 MAPK and NF-kappaB was also observed in the kidneys from these animals. The animals killed 30 days after gentamicin treatment showed residual areas of interstitial fibrosis in the renal cortex, although the expression of p-p38 MAPK in their kidneys did not differ from control. Treatment with PDTC reduced the functional and structural changes induced by gentamicin as well as the expression of p-p38 MAPK and NF-kappaB. The increased expression of p-p38 MAPK and NF-kappaB observed in these rats suggests that these signaling molecules may be involved in the pathogenesis of tubulointerstitial nephritis induced by gentamicin.
  • Bioeffects of albumin-encapsulated microbubbles and real-time myocardial contrast echocardiography in an experimental canine model Physiology And Biophysics

    Dourado, P.M.M.; Tsutsui, J.M.; Santos, J.M.T.; Aiello, V.D.; Mathias Jr., W.; Ramires, A.F.; da Luz, P.L.; Chagas, A.C.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Myocardial contrast echocardiography has been used for assessing myocardial perfusion. Some concerns regarding its safety still remain, mainly regarding the induction of microvascular alterations. We sought to determine the bioeffects of microbubbles and real-time myocardial contrast echocardiography (RTMCE) in a closed-chest canine model. Eighteen mongrel dogs were randomly assigned to two groups. Nine were submitted to continuous intravenous infusion of perfluorocarbon-exposed sonicated dextrose albumin (PESDA) plus continuous imaging using power pulse inversion RTMCE for 180 min, associated with manually deflagrated high-mechanical index impulses. The control group consisted of 3 dogs submitted to continuous imaging using RTMCE without PESDA, 3 dogs received PESDA alone, and 3 dogs were sham-operated. Hemodynamics and cardiac rhythm were monitored continuously. Histological analysis was performed on cardiac and pulmonary tissues. No hemodynamic changes or cardiac arrhythmias were observed in any group. Normal left ventricular ejection fraction and myocardial perfusion were maintained throughout the protocol. Frequency of mild and focal microhemorrhage areas in myocardial and pulmonary tissue was similar in PESDA plus RTMCE and control groups. The percentages of positive microscopical fields in the myocardium were 0.4 and 0.7% (P = NS) in the PESDA plus RTMCE and control groups, respectively, and in the lungs they were 2.1 and 1.1%, respectively (P = NS). In this canine model, myocardial perfusion imaging obtained with PESDA and RTMCE was safe, with no alteration in cardiac rhythm or left ventricular function. Mild and focal myocardial and pulmonary microhemorrhages were observed in both groups, and may be attributed to surgical tissue manipulation.
  • Role of the cardiac nerve in the effect of a novel innocuous stimulus on the heart rate of Megalobulimus mogianensis Physiology And Biophysics

    Romero, S.M.B.; Hoffmann, A.

    Abstract in English:

    The effects of a brief jet of water delivered to the anterior portion of body-head on the heart rate of Megalobulimus mogianensis were determined in a group of intact snails (N = 8), previously prepared for electrocardiogram recording. The heart rate was significantly increased following stimulation. Nevertheless, with repetition of the stimulus there was a significant decrease in the magnitude of the heart rate variation and in the time for the basal heart rate to recover (first stimulus, 7.4 ± 1.2 bpm and 15.5 ± 1.8 min; second stimulus, 4.8 ± 1.0 bpm and 10.6 ± 1.5 min; third stimulus, 5.0 ± 0.3 bpm and 11.1 ± 1.8 min), indicating that this behavioral response undergoes early habituation. To determine the role of the cardiac nerve in mediating the heart rate alterations induced by the jet of water two other groups were tested: denervated animals (N = 8) and sham-operated control animals (N = 8). Although the innocuous stimulus caused the heart rate to increase significantly in both experimental groups, the mean increase in heart rate in denervated animals (3.2 ± 0.4 bpm) was 41% of the value obtained in sham-operated animals (7.8 ± 1.5 bpm), indicating that the cardiac nerve is responsible for 59% of the cardioacceleration induced by the innocuous stimulus. The increase in heart rate observed in denervated animals may be due to an increase in venous return promoted by the intense muscular activity associated with the retraction-protraction of the anterior part of the body induced by the jet of water.
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