Abstract in English:A successful gene therapy clinical trial that also encountered serious adverse effects has sparked extensive study and debate about the future directions for retrovirus-mediated interventions. Treatment of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency with an oncoretrovirus harboring a normal copy of the gc gene was applied in two clinical trials, essentially curing 13 of 16 infants, restoring a normal immune system without the need for additional immune-related therapies. Approximately 3 years after their gene therapy, tragically, 3 of these children, all from the same trial, developed leukemia as a result of this experimental treatment. The current understanding of the mechanism behind this leukemogenesis involves three critical and cooperating factors, i.e., viral integration, oncogene activation, and the function of the therapeutic gene. In this review, we will explore the causes of this unwanted event and some of the possibilities for reducing the risk of its reoccurrence.
Abstract in English:The pipeline for macro- and microarray analyses (PMmA) is a set of scripts with a web interface developed to analyze DNA array data generated by array image quantification software. PMmA is designed for use with single- or double-color array data and to work as a pipeline in five classes (data format, normalization, data analysis, clustering, and array maps). It can also be used as a plugin in the BioArray Software Environment, an open-source database for array analysis, or used in a local version of the web service. All scripts in PMmA were developed in the PERL programming language and statistical analysis functions were implemented in the R statistical language. Consequently, our package is a platform-independent software. Our algorithms can correctly select almost 90% of the differentially expressed genes, showing a superior performance compared to other methods of analysis. The pipeline software has been applied to 1536 expressed sequence tags macroarray public data of sugarcane exposed to cold for 3 to 48 h. PMmA identified thirty cold-responsive genes previously unidentified in this public dataset. Fourteen genes were up-regulated, two had a variable expression and the other fourteen were down-regulated in the treatments. These new findings certainly were a consequence of using a superior statistical analysis approach, since the original study did not take into account the dependence of data variability on the average signal intensity of each gene. The web interface, supplementary information, and the package source code are available, free, to non-commercial users at http://ipe.cbmeg.unicamp.br/pub/PMmA.
Abstract in English:The tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 is a multifunctional protein which is not only an inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) but also to have a possible "cytokine-like" action. Here, we first compared mRNA expression of TIMP-1 and MMP-9 in BEL-7402 (a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line), L-02 (a normal liver cell line) and QSG-7701 (a cell line derived from peripheral tissue of liver carcinoma) using real-time quantitative RT-PCR. By evaluating the variation of the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio as an index of reciprocal changes of the expression of the two genes, we observed that the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio was about 13- and 5-fold higher in BEL-7402 than in L-02 and QSG-7701, respectively. Significantly, overexpression of TIMP-1 decreased the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio in BEL-7402 and then inhibited the cell growth to 60% and reduced the migration to about 30%. Meanwhile, our data showed that interleukin-6 (IL-6) (100 ng/mL) could also inhibited the cell growth of BEL-7402. Further studies indicated that TIMP-1 mediated the inhibitory effect of IL-6 on BEL-7402 cell proliferation in a STAT3-dependent manner, which could further accelerate the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. A dominant negative STAT3 mutant totally abolished IL-6-induced TIMP-1 expression and its biological functions. The present results demonstrate that TIMP-1 may be one of the mediators that regulate the inhibitory effect of IL-6 on BEL-7402 proliferation in which STAT3 signal transduction and p21 up-regulation also play important roles.
Abstract in English:The objective of the present study was to determine whether sleep deprivation (SD) would promote changes in lymphocyte numbers in a type 1 diabetes model (non-obese diabetic, NOD, mouse strain) and to determine whether SD would affect female and male NOD compared to Swiss mice. The number of lymphocytes in peripheral blood after 24 and 96 h of SD (by multiple platform method) or equivalent period of time in home-cage controls was examined prior to the onset of diabetes. SD for 96 h significantly reduced lymphocytes in male Swiss mice compared to control (8.6 ± 2.1 vs 4.1 ± 0.7 10³/µL; P < 0.02). In male NOD animals, 24- and 96-h SD caused a significant decrease of lymphocytes compared to control (4.4 ± 0.3 vs 1.6 ± 0.5; P < 0.001 and 4.4 ± 0.3 vs 0.9 ± 0.1 10³/µL; P < 0.00001, respectively). Both 24- and 96-h SD induced a reduction in the number of lymphocytes in female Swiss (7.5 ± 0.5 vs 4.5 ± 0.5, 4.4 ± 0.6 10³/µL; P < 0.001, respectively) and NOD mice (4 ± 0.6 vs 1.8 ± 0.2, 1.2 ± 0.4 10³/µL; P < 0.01, respectively) compared to the respective controls. Loss of sleep induced lymphopenia in peripheral blood in both genders and strains used. Since many cases of autoimmunity present reduced numbers of lymphocytes and, in this study, it was more evident in the NOD strain, our results suggest that SD should be considered a risk factor in the onset of autoimmune disorders.
Abstract in English:Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) seem to form a severity continuum with no clear-cut boundary. However, since the American Psychiatric Association proposed the research criteria for PMDD in 1994, there has been no agreement about the symptomatic constellation that constitutes this syndrome. The objective of the present study was to establish the core latent structure of PMDD symptoms in a non-clinical sample. Data concerning PMDD symptoms were obtained from 632 regularly menstruating college students (mean age 24.4 years, SD 5.9, range 17 to 49). For the first random half (N = 316), we performed principal component analysis (PCA) and for the remaining half (N = 316), we tested three theory-derived competing models of PMDD by confirmatory factor analysis. PCA allowed us to extract two correlated factors, i.e., dysphoric-somatic and behavioral-impairment factors. The two-dimensional latent model derived from PCA showed the best overall fit among three models tested by confirmatory factor analysis (c²53 = 64.39, P = 0.13; goodness-of-fit indices = 0.96; adjusted goodness-of-fit indices = 0.95; root mean square residual = 0.05; root mean square error of approximation = 0.03; 90%CI = 0.00 to 0.05; Akaike's information criterion = -41.61). The items "out of control" and "physical symptoms" loaded conspicuously on the first factor and "interpersonal impairment" loaded higher on the second factor. The construct validity for PMDD was accounted for by two highly correlated dimensions. These results support the argument for focusing on the core psychopathological dimension of PMDD in future studies.
Abstract in English:Previous studies have shown that the vascular reactivity of the mouse aorta differs substantially from that of the rat aorta in response to several agonists such as angiotensin II, endothelin-1 and isoproterenol. However, no information is available about the agonists bradykinin (BK) and DesArg9BK (DBK). Our aim was to determine the potential expression of kinin B1 and B2 receptors in the abdominal mouse aorta isolated from C57BL/6 mice. Contraction and relaxation responses to BK and DBK were investigated using isometric recordings. The kinins were unable to induce relaxation but concentration-contraction response curves were obtained by applying increasing concentrations of the agonists BK and DBK. These effects were blocked by the antagonists Icatibant and R-715, respectively. The potency (pD2) calculated from the curves was 7.0 ± 0.1 for BK and 7.3 ± 0.2 for DBK. The efficacy was 51 ± 2% for BK and 30 ± 1% for DBK when compared to 1 µM norepinephrine. The concentration-dependent responses of BK and DBK were markedly inhibited by the arachidonic acid inhibitor indomethacin (1 µM), suggesting a mediation by the cyclooxygenase pathway. These contractile responses were not potentiated in the presence of the NOS inhibitor L-NAME (1 mM) or endothelium-denuded aorta, indicating that the NO pathway is not involved. We conclude that the mouse aorta constitutively contains B1 and B2 subtypes of kinin receptors and that stimulation with BK and DBK induces contractile effect mediated by endothelium-independent vasoconstrictor prostanoids.
Abstract in English:The effects of schistosomiasis on microsomal enzymes were studied on post-infection day 90 when accumulated damage and fibrosis are most intense but granulomatous reaction around the eggs harbored in the liver is smaller than during the earlier phases. Swiss Webster (SW) and DBA/2 mice of either sex (N = 12 per sex per group) were infected with 100 Schistosoma mansoni cercariae on postnatal day 10 and killed on post-infection day 90. Cytochrome P-450 (CYP) concentration and alkoxyresorufin-O-dealkylases (EROD, MROD, BROD, and PROD), p-nitrophenol-hydroxylase (PNPH), coumarin-7-hydroxylase (COH), and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) activities were measured in hepatic microsomes. Age-matched mice of the same sex and strain were used as controls. In S. mansoni-infected mice, CYP1A- and 2B-mediated activities (control = 100%) were reduced in SW (EROD: male (M) 36%, female (F) 38%; MROD: M 38%, F 39%; BROD: M 46%, F 19%; PROD: M 50%, F 28%) and DBA/2 mice (EROD: M 64%, F 58%; MROD: M 60%; BROD: F 49%; PROD: M 73%) while PNPH (CYP2E1) was decreased in SW (M 31%, F 38%) but not in DBA/2 mice. COH did not differ between infected and control DBA/2 and UGT, a phase-2 enzyme, was not altered by infection. In conclusion, chronic S. mansoni infection reduced total CYP content and all CYP-mediated activities evaluated in SW mice, including those catalyzed by CYP2E1 (PNPH), CYP1A (EROD, MROD) and 2B (BROD, PROD). In DBA/2 mice, however, CYP2A5- and 2E1-mediated activities remained unchanged while total CYP content and activities mediated by other CYP isoforms were depressed during chronic schistosomiasis.
Abstract in English:Ampelozizyphus amazonicus Ducke is a tree commonly found in the Amazon region and an extract of its stem bark is popularly used as an antimalarial and anti-inflammatory agent and as an antidote to snake venom. Ursolic acid; five lupane type triterpenes: betulin, betulinic acid, lupenone, 3ß-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene-27,28-dioic acid, and 2a,3ß-dihydroxylup-20(29)-ene-27,28-dioic acid, and three phytosteroids: stigmasterol, sitosterol and campesterol, have been isolated from stem extracts of A. amazonicus Ducke. Their structures were characterized by spectral data including COSY and HMQC. In an in vitro biological screening of the isolated compounds, 3ß-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene-27,28-dioic acid was cytotoxic against the SKBR-3 human adenocarcinoma cell line (1 to 10 mg/mL), while 2a,3ß-dihydroxylup-20(29)-ene-27,28-dioic acid exhibited cytotoxicity against both SKBR-3 human adenocarcinoma and C-8161 human melanoma tumor cell lines (>0.1 mg/mL). In the present study, different extracts and some fractions of this plant were also investigated for trypanocidal activity due to the presence of pentacyclic triterpenes. The triterpene classes are potent against Trypanosoma cruzi. The bioassays were carried out using blood collected from Swiss albino mice by cardiac puncture during the parasitemic peak (7th day) after infection with the Y strain of T. cruzi. The results obtained showed that A. amazonicus is a potential source of bioactive compounds since its extracts and fractions isolated from it exhibited in vitro parasite lysis against trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi at concentrations >100 µg/mL. Fractions containing mainly betulin, lupenone, 3ß-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene-27,28-dioic acid, and 2a,3ß-dihydroxylup-20(29)-ene-27,28-dioic acid showed more activity than crude extracts.
Abstract in English:The objective of the present study was to evaluate the production of cytokines, interferon-g (INF-g) and interleukin-10 (IL-10), in cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients and to correlate it with inadequate and adequate metabolic control. We studied 11 type 1 and 13 type 2 diabetic patients and 21 healthy individuals divided into two groups (N = 11 and 10) paired by sex and age with type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients. The PBMC cultures were stimulated with concanavalin-A to measure INF-g and IL-10 supernatant concentration by ELISA. For patients with inadequate metabolic control, the cultures were performed on the first day of hospitalization and again after intensive treatment to achieve adequate control. INF-g levels in the supernatants of type 1 diabetic patient cultures were higher compared to type 2 diabetic patients with adequate metabolic control (P < 0.001). Additionally, INF-g and IL-10 tended to increase the liberation of PBMC from type 1 and 2 diabetic patients with adequate metabolic control (P = 0.009 and 0.09, respectively). The increased levels of INF-g and IL-10 released from PBMC of type 1 and 2 diabetic patients with adequate metabolic control suggest that diabetic control improves the capacity of activation and maintenance of the immune response, reducing the susceptibility to infections.
Abstract in English:Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) is the main intracellular substrate for both insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) receptors and is critical for cell mitogenesis. Thyrotropin is able to induce thyroid cell proliferation through the cyclic AMP intracellular cascade; however, the presence of either insulin or IGF-I is required for the mitogenic effect of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to occur. The aim of the present study was to determine whether thyroid IRS-1 content is modulated by TSH in vivo. Strikingly, hypothyroid goitrous rats, which have chronically high serum TSH levels (control, C = 2.31 ± 0.28; methimazole (MMI) 21d = 51.02 ± 6.02 ng/mL, N = 12 rats), when treated with 0.03% MMI in drinking water for 21 days, showed significantly reduced thyroid IRS-1 mRNA content. Since goiter was already established in these animals by MMI for 21 days, we also evaluated IRS-1 expression during goitrogenesis. Animals treated with MMI for different periods of time showed a progressive increase in thyroid weight (C = 22.18 ± 1.21; MMI 5d = 32.83 ± 1.48; MMI 7d = 31.1 ± 3.25; MMI 10d = 33.8 ± 1.25; MMI 14d = 45.5 ± 2.56; MMI 18d = 53.0 ± 3.01; MMI 21d = 61.9 ± 3.92 mg, N = 9-15 animals per group) and serum TSH levels (C = 1.57 ± 0.2; MMI 5d = 9.95 ± 0.74; MMI 7d = 10.38 ± 0.84; MMI 10d = 17.72 ± 1.47; MMI 14d = 25.65 ± 1.23; MMI 18d = 35.38 ± 3.69; MMI 21d = 31.3 ± 2.7 ng/mL, N = 9-15 animals per group). Thyroid IRS-1 mRNA expression increased progressively during goitrogenesis, being significantly higher by the 14th day of MMI treatment, and then started to decline, reaching the lowest values by the 21st day, when a significant reduction was detected. In the liver of these animals, however, a significant decrease of IRS-1 mRNA was detected after 14 days of MMI treatment, a mechanism probably involved in the insulin resistance that occurs in hypothyroidism. The increase in IRS-1 expression during goitrogenesis may represent an important event associated with the increased rate of cell mitosis promoted by TSH and indicates that insulin and IGF-I are important co-mitogenic factors in vivo, possibly acting through the activation of IRS-1.
Abstract in English:The interaction between H+ extrusion via H+-ATPase and Cl- conductance was studied in the C11 clone of MDCK cells, akin to the intercalated cells of the collecting duct. Cell pH (pHi) was measured by fluorescence microscopy using the fluorescein-derived probe BCECF-AM. Control recovery rate measured after a 20 mM NH4Cl acid pulse was 0.136 ± 0.008 pH units/min (dpHi/dt) in Na+ Ringer and 0.032 ± 0.003 in the absence of Na+ (0 Na+). With 0 Na+ plus the Cl- channel inhibitor NPPB (10 µM), recovery was reduced to 0.014 ± 0.001 dpHi/dt. 8-Br-cAMP, known to activate CFTR Cl- channels, increased dpHi/dt in 0 Na+ to 0.061 ± 0.009 and also in the presence of 46 nM concanamycin and 50 µM Schering 28080. Since it is thought that the Cl- dependence of H+-ATPase might be due to its electrogenic nature and the establishment of a +PD (potential difference) across the cell membrane, the effect of 10 µM valinomycin at high (100 mM) K+ was tested in our cells. In Na+ Ringer, dpHi/dt was increased, but no effect was detected in 0 Na+ Ringer in the presence of NPPB, indicating that in intact C11 cells the effect of blocking Cl- channels on dpHi/dt was not due to an adverse electrical gradient. The effect of 100 µM ATP was studied in 0 Na+ Ringer solution; this treatment caused a significant inhibition of dpHi/dt, reversed by 50 µM Bapta. We have shown that H+-ATPase present in MDCK C11 cells depends on Cl- ions and their channels, being regulated by cAMP and ATP, but not by the electrical gradient established by electrogenic H+ transport.
Abstract in English:Central angiotensin II (AngII) stimulates water and salt solution intake. Pretreatment with low-dose mineralocorticoid (DOCA) enhances this AngII-induced intake of salt solutions (the synergy theory) in Wistar and Sprague Dawley rats but not in Fischer rats. This response is mediated via the AT-1 receptor. Electrophysiological experiments using iontophoretic application of AngII and the AT-1 receptor-specific non-peptide antagonist losartan showed excitation of neurons in the preoptic/medial septum region of urethane-anesthetized male Wistar rats. DOCA pretreatment further enhances this neuronal excitation in response to AngII and reduces the responses to losartan. This generated the hypothesis that DOCA-enhanced AngII-induced neuronal excitation is the neural support for the synergy theory. AT-2 receptors modulate these intake responses depending on sodium in the diet, and diuretic-induced dehydration during pregnancy produces a higher salt intake in the offspring. AngII-induced salt and water intakes were tested in offspring from Sprague Dawley mothers with only 1.8% NaCl to drink in which half were treated with furosemide. The important observations were a) the AT-1 antagonist alone suppressed intakes in offspring from mothers not treated with furosemide, b) both AT-1 and AT-2 antagonists suppressed intakes in offspring from furosemide-treated mothers, and c) combined administration of AT-1 and AT-2 antagonists greatly suppressed water intake in offspring from mothers not treated with furosemide. These results suggest that AT-1 and AT-2 receptors have variable properties (receptor number and/or second messengers). Furthermore, the activity and function of these central AngII receptors depend on the background mineralocorticoid levels. The exact mechanism of this influence, however, remains to be determined.
Abstract in English:Water deprivation-induced thirst is explained by the double-depletion hypothesis, which predicts that dehydration of the two major body fluid compartments, the extracellular and intracellular compartments, activates signals that combine centrally to induce water intake. However, sodium appetite is also elicited by water deprivation. In this brief review, we stress the importance of the water-depletion and partial extracellular fluid-repletion protocol which permits the distinction between sodium appetite and thirst. Consistent enhancement or a de novo production of sodium intake induced by deactivation of inhibitory nuclei (e.g., lateral parabrachial nucleus) or hormones (oxytocin, atrial natriuretic peptide), in water-deprived, extracellular-dehydrated or, contrary to tradition, intracellular-dehydrated rats, suggests that sodium appetite and thirst share more mechanisms than previously thought. Water deprivation has physiological and health effects in humans that might be related to the salt craving shown by our species.
Abstract in English:Several studies of the quantitative relationship between sodium need and sodium intake in rats are reviewed. Using acute diuretic treatment 24 h beforehand, intake matches need fairly accurately when intake is spread out in time by using a hypotonic solution of NaCl. In contrast, using a hypertonic solution, intake is typically double the need. Using the same diuretic treatment, although the natriuresis occurs within ~1 h, the appetite appears only slowly over 24 h. Increased plasma levels of aldosterone parallel the increased intake; however, treatment with metyrapone blocks the rise in aldosterone but has no effect on appetite. Satiation of sodium appetite was studied in rats using sodium loss induced by chronic diuretic treatment and daily salt consumption sessions. When a simulated foraging cost was imposed on NaCl access in the form of a progressive ratio lever press task, rats showed satiation for NaCl (break point) after consuming an amount close to their estimated deficit. The chronic diuretic regimen produced hypovolemia and large increases in plasma aldosterone concentration and renin activity. These parameters were reversed to or toward non-depleted control values at the time of behavioral satiation in the progressive ratio protocol. Satiation mechanisms for sodium appetite thus do appear to exist. However, they do not operate quantitatively when concentrated salt is available at no effort, but instead allow overconsumption. There are reasons to believe that such a bias toward overconsumption may have been beneficial over evolutionary time, but such biasing for salt and other commodities is maladaptive in a resource-rich environment.
Abstract in English:Popular science has emphasized the risks of high sodium intake and many studies have confirmed that salt intake is closely related to hypertension. The present mini-review summarizes experiments about salt taste sensitivity and its relationship with blood pressure (BP) and other variables of clinical and familial relevance. Children and adolescents from control parents (N = 72) or with at least one essential hypertensive (EHT) parent (N = 51) were investigated. Maternal questionnaires on eating habits and vomiting episodes were collected. Offspring, anthropometric, BP, and salt taste sensitivity values were recorded and blood samples analyzed. Most mothers declared that they added "little salt" when cooking. Salt taste sensitivity was inversely correlated with systolic BP (SBP) in control youngsters (r = -0.33; P = 0.015). In the EHT group, SBP values were similar to control and a lower salt taste sensitivity threshold. Obese offspring of EHT parents showed higher SBP and C-reactive protein values but no differences in renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activity. Salt taste sensitivity was correlated with SBP only in the non-obese EHT group (N = 41; r = 0.37; P = 0.02). Salt taste sensitivity was correlated with SBP in healthy, normotensive children and adolescents whose mothers reported significant vomiting during the first trimester (N = 18; r = -0.66; P < 0.005), but not in "non-vomiter offspring" (N = 54; r = -0.18; nonsignificant). There is evidence for a linkage between high blood pressure, salt intake and sensitivity, perinatal environment and obesity, with potential physiopathological implications in humans. This relationship has not been studied comprehensively using homogeneous methods and therefore more research is needed in this field.
Abstract in English:Sex differences in the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease have been described in humans and in animal models. In this paper we will review some of our studies which have as their emphasis the examination of the role of sex differences and sex steroids in modulating the central actions of angiotensin II (ANG II) via interactions with free radicals and nitric oxide, generating pathways within brain circumventricular organs and in central sympathomodulatory systems. Our studies indicate that low-dose infusions of ANG II result in hypertension in wild-type male mice but not in intact wild-type females. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that ANG II-induced hypertension in males is blocked by central infusions of the androgen receptor antagonist, flutamide, and by central infusions of the superoxide dismutase mimetic, tempol. We have also found that, in comparison to females, males show greater levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species in circumventricular organ neurons following long-term ANG II infusions. In female mice, ovariectomy, central blockade of estrogen receptors or total knockout of estrogen a receptors augments the pressor effects of ANG II. Finally, in females but not in males, central blockade of nitric oxide synthase increases the pressor effects of ANG II. Taken together, these results suggest that sex differences and estrogen and testosterone play important roles in the development of ANG II-induced hypertension.
Abstract in English:The role of acetylcholine in the central and peripheral nervous systems is well established in adults. Cholinergic modulation of vascular functions and body fluid balance has been extensively studied. In the embryo-fetus, cholinergic receptors are widespread in the peripheral and central systems, including smooth muscle and the epithelial lining of the cardiovascular, digestive, and urinary systems, as well as in the brain. Fetal nicotine and muscarinic receptors develop in a pattern (e.g., amount and distribution) related to gestational periods. Cholinergic mechanisms have been found to be relatively intact and functional in the control of vascular homeostasis during fetal life in utero at least during the last third of gestation. This review focuses on the development of fetal nicotine and muscarinic receptors, and provides information indicating that central cholinergic systems are well developed in the control of fetal blood pressure and body fluid balance before birth. Therefore, the development of cholinergic systems in utero plays an important role in fetal vascular regulation, gastrointestinal motility, and urinary control.