• DNA tests probe the genomic ancestry of Brazilians Review

    Pena, S.D.J.; Bastos-Rodrigues, L.; Pimenta, J.R.; Bydlowski, S.P.

    Abstract in English:

    We review studies from our laboratories using different molecular tools to characterize the ancestry of Brazilians in reference to their Amerindian, European and African roots. Initially we used uniparental DNA markers to investigate the contribution of distinct Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA lineages to present-day populations. High levels of genetic admixture and strong directional mating between European males and Amerindian and African females were unraveled. We next analyzed different types of biparental autosomal polymorphisms. Especially useful was a set of 40 insertion-deletion polymorphisms (indels) that when studied worldwide proved exquisitely sensitive in discriminating between Amerindians, Europeans and Sub-Saharan Africans. When applied to the study of Brazilians these markers confirmed extensive genomic admixture, but also demonstrated a strong imprint of the massive European immigration wave in the 19th and 20th centuries. The high individual ancestral variability observed suggests that each Brazilian has a singular proportion of Amerindian, European and African ancestries in his mosaic genome. In Brazil, one cannot predict the color of persons from their genomic ancestry nor the opposite. Brazilians should be assessed on a personal basis, as 190 million human beings, and not as members of color groups.
  • Genotyping of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates obtained in the Northeast region of Brazil Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Sousa-Junior, F.C. de; Silva-Carvalho, M.C.; Fernandes, M.J.B.C.; Vieira, M.F.P.; Pellegrino, F.L.P.C.; Figueiredo, A.M.S.; Melo, M.C.N. de; Milan, E.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major agent of hospital infections worldwide. In Brazil, a multiresistant MRSA lineage (ST239-SCCmecIIIA), the so-called Brazilian epidemic clone (BEC), has predominated in all regions. However, an increase in nosocomial infections caused by non-multiresistant MRSA clones has recently been observed. In the present study, 45 clinical isolates of MRSA obtained from a university hospital located in Natal city, Brazil, were identified by standard laboratory methods and molecularly characterized using staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec) typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was carried out using CLSI methods. The MRSA isolates studied displayed a total of 8 different pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns (types A to H) with predominance (73%) of pattern A (BEC-related). However, MRSA harboring SCCmec type IV were also identified, 3 (7%) of which were genetically related to the pediatric clone - USA800 (ST5-SCCmecIV). In addition, we found a considerable genetic diversity within BEC isolates. MRSA displaying SCCmecIV are frequently susceptible to the majority of non-β-lactam antibiotics. However, emergence of multiresistant variants of USA800 was detected.
  • High expression of the circadian gene mPer2 diminishes the radiosensitivity of NIH 3T3 cells Cell Biology

    Chang, L.; Liu, Y.Y.; Zhu, B.; Li, Y.; Hua, H.; Wang, Y.H.; Zhang, J.; Jiang, Z.; Wang, Z.R.

    Abstract in English:

    Period2 is a core circadian gene, which not only maintains the circadian rhythm of cells but also regulates some organic functions. We investigated the effects of mPeriod2 (mPer2) expression on radiosensitivity in normal mouse cells exposed to 60Co-γ-rays. NIH 3T3 cells were treated with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) to induce endogenous mPer2 expression or transfected with pcDNA3.1(+)-mPer2 and irradiated with 60Co-γ-rays, and then analyzed by several methods such as flow cytometry, colony formation assay, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry. Flow cytometry and colony formation assay revealed that irradiated NIH 3T3 cells expressing high levels of mPer2 showed a lower death rate (TPA: 24 h 4.3% vs 12 h 6.8% and control 9.4%; transfection: pcDNA3.1-mPer2 3.7% vs pcDNA3.1 11.3% and control 8.2%), more proliferation and clonogenic survival (TPA: 121.7 ± 6.51 vs 66.0 ± 3.51 and 67.7 ± 7.37; transfection: 121.7 ± 6.50 vs 65.3 ± 3.51 and 69.0 ± 4.58) both when treated with TPA and transfected with mPer2. RT-PCR analysis showed an increased expression of bax, bcl-2, p53, c-myc, mre11, and nbs1, and an increased proportionality of bcl-2/bax in the irradiated cells at peak mPer2 expression compared with cells at trough mPer2 expression and control cells. However, no significant difference in rad50 expression was observed among the three groups of cells. Immunohistochemistry also showed increased protein levels of P53, BAX and proliferating cell nuclear antigen in irradiated cells with peak mPer2 levels. Thus, high expression of the circadian gene mPer2 may reduce the radiosensitivity of NIH 3T3 cells. For this effect, mPer2 may directly or indirectly regulate the expressions of cell proliferation- and apoptosis-related genes and DNA repair-related genes.
  • Treatment of hemorrhagic shock with hypertonic saline solution modulates the inflammatory response to live bacteria in lungs Experimental Biology

    Fernandes, C.I.; Llimona, F.; Godoy, L.C.; Negri, E.M.; Pontieri, V.; Moretti, A.I.; Fernandes, T.R.; Soriano, F.G.; Velasco, I.T.; Souza, H.P.

    Abstract in English:

    Shock and resuscitation render patients more susceptible to acute lung injury due to an exacerbated immune response to subsequent inflammatory stimuli. To study the role of innate immunity in this situation, we investigated acute lung injury in an experimental model of ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) followed by an early challenge with live bacteria. Conscious rats (N = 8 in each group) were submitted to controlled hemorrhage and resuscitated with isotonic saline (SS, 0.9% NaCl) or hypertonic saline (HS, 7.5% NaCl) solution, followed by intratracheal or intraperitoneal inoculation of Escherichia coli. After infection, toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and 4 mRNA expression was monitored by RT-PCR in infected tissues. Plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor α and interleukins 6 and 10 were determined by ELISA. All animals showed similar hemodynamic variables, with mean arterial pressure decreasing to nearly 40 mmHg after bleeding. HS or SS used as resuscitation fluid yielded equal hemodynamic results. Intratracheal E. coli inoculation per se induced a marked neutrophil infiltration in septa and inside the alveoli, while intraperitoneal inoculation-associated neutrophils and edema were restricted to the interseptal space. Previous I-R enhanced lung neutrophil infiltration upon bacterial challenge when SS was used as reperfusion fluid, whereas neutrophil influx was unchanged in HS-treated animals. No difference in TLR expression or cytokine secretion was detected between groups receiving HS or SS. We conclude that HS is effective in reducing the early inflammatory response to infection after I-R, and that this phenomenon is achieved by modulation of factors other than expression of innate immunity components.
  • Ventricular performance and Na+-K+ ATPase activity are reduced early and late after myocardial infarction in rats Experimental Biology

    Stefanon, I.; Cade, J.R.; Fernandes, A.A.; Ribeiro Junior, R.F.; Targueta, G.P.; Mill, J.G.; Vassallo, D.V.

    Abstract in English:

    Myocardial infarction leads to compensatory ventricular remodeling. Disturbances in myocardial contractility depend on the active transport of Ca2+ and Na+, which are regulated by Na+-K+ ATPase. Inappropriate regulation of Na+-K+ ATPase activity leads to excessive loss of K+ and gain of Na+ by the cell. We determined the participation of Na+-K+ ATPase in ventricular performance early and late after myocardial infarction. Wistar rats (8-10 per group) underwent left coronary artery ligation (infarcted, Inf) or sham-operation (Sham). Ventricular performance was measured at 3 and 30 days after surgery using the Langendorff technique. Left ventricular systolic pressure was obtained under different ventricular diastolic pressures and increased extracellular Ca2+ concentrations (Ca2+e) and after low and high ouabain concentrations. The baseline coronary perfusion pressure increased 3 days after myocardial infarction and normalized by 30 days (Sham 3 = 88 ± 6; Inf 3 = 130 ± 9; Inf 30 = 92 ± 7 mmHg; P < 0.05). The inotropic response to Ca2+e and ouabain was reduced at 3 and 30 days after myocardial infarction (Ca2+ = 1.25 mM; Sham 3 = 70 ± 3; Inf 3 = 45 ± 2; Inf 30 = 29 ± 3 mmHg; P < 0.05), while the Frank-Starling mechanism was preserved. At 3 and 30 days after myocardial infarction, ventricular Na+-K+ ATPase activity and contractility were reduced. This Na+-K+ ATPase hypoactivity may modify the Na+, K+ and Ca2+ transport across the sarcolemma resulting in ventricular dysfunction.
  • Effect of cyhalothrin on Ehrlich tumor growth and macrophage activity in mice Experimental Biology

    Quinteiro-Filho, W.M.; Righi, D.A.; Palermo-Neto, J.

    Abstract in English:

    Cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, induces stress-like symptoms, increases c-fos immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and decreases innate immune responses in laboratory animals. Macrophages are key elements in cellular immune responses and operate at the tumor-host interface. This study investigated the relationship among cyhalothrin effects on Ehrlich tumor growth, serum corticosterone levels and peritoneal macrophage activity in mice. Three experiments were done with 10 experimental (single gavage administration of 3.0 mg/kg cyhalothrin daily for 7 days) and 10 control (single gavage administration of 1.0 mL/kg vehicle of cyhalothrin preparation daily for 7 days) isogenic BALB/c mice in each experiment. Cyhalothrin i) increased Ehrlich ascitic tumor growth after ip administration of 5.0 x 106 tumor cells, i.e., ascitic fluid volume (control = 1.97 ± 0.39 mL and experimental = 2.71 ± 0.92 mL; P < 0.05), concentration of tumor cells/mL in the ascitic fluid (control = 111.95 ± 16.73 x 106 and experimental = 144.60 ± 33.18 x 106; P < 0.05), and total number of tumor cells in the ascitic fluid (control = 226.91 ± 43.22 x 106 and experimental = 349.40 ± 106.38 x 106; P < 0.05); ii) increased serum corticosterone levels (control = 200.0 ± 48.3 ng/mL and experimental = 420.0 ± 75.5 ng/mL; P < 0.05), and iii) decreased the intensity of macrophage phagocytosis (control = 132.3 ± 19.7 and experimental = 116.2 ± 4.6; P < 0.05) and oxidative burst (control = 173.7 ± 40.8 and experimental= 99.58 ± 41.7; P < 0.05) in vitro in the presence of Staphylococcus aureus. These data provide evidence that cyhalothrin simultaneously alters host resistance to Ehrlich tumor growth, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis function, and peritoneal macrophage activity. The results are discussed in terms of data suggesting a link between stress, HPA axis activation and resistance to tumor growth.
  • In vitro larvicidal activity of geraniol and citronellal against Contracaecum sp (Nematoda: Anisakidae) Pharmacology

    Barros, L.A.; Yamanaka, A.R.; Silva, L.E.; Vanzeler, M.L.A.; Braum, D.T.; Bonaldo, J.

    Abstract in English:

    Human infection with fish parasites can result from the ingestion of incompletely cooked or raw fish, giving origin to parasitic diseases such as anisakiasis, caused by parasites of the Anisakidae family. The present study assessed the in vitro larvicidal effect of two monoterpene compounds, geraniol and citronellal, against Contracaecum sp (Nematoda: Anisakidae). Four hundred live larvae of Contracaecum sp obtained from "traíra" fish (Hoplias malabaricus, Bloch, 1974) were analyzed on 40 Petri dishes (10 larvae each) with the compounds to be tested. The final concentrations tested for each compound were 250, 125, 62.5, and 31.2 µg/mL and the evaluation was carried out at five different times (2, 4, 8, 24, and 48 h). The larvicidal action of geraniol and citronellal was statistically superior (P < 0.005) to the control (1% ethanol) at concentrations of 250 and 31.2 µg/mL (geraniol) and 250, 125, and 62.5 μg/mL (citronellal). However, no larvicidal activity was observed at concentrations of 125 and 62.5 µg/mL for geraniol and 31.2 µg/mL for citronellal. When the larvicidal action of geraniol was compared to that of citronellal, the former was found to be statistically superior (P < 0.05) to the latter at concentrations of 250 and 31.2 μg/mL. On the other hand, citronellal was statistically superior (P < 0.005) to geraniol at concentrations of 125 and 62.5 μg/mL. The larval mortality rate in terms of time (hours) was higher for geraniol with the passing of time at the 250 μg/mL concentration. At this concentration (in 48 h) the best larvicidal effect was observed with 90% lethality. The larvae were considered to be dead using no motility and loss of structural integrity as parameters. The data indicate that natural terpene compounds should be more explored for antihelminthic activity and can be useful for other studies about anisakiasis treatment.
  • Hind limb ischemic preconditioning induces an anti-inflammatory response by remote organs in rats Pharmacology

    Souza Filho, M.V.P.; Loiola, R.T.; Rocha, E.L.; Simão, A.F.L.; Gomes, A.S.; Souza, M.H.L.P.; Ribeiro, R.A.

    Abstract in English:

    Ischemic preconditioning (IPC), a strategy used to attenuate ischemia-reperfusion injury, consists of brief ischemic periods, each followed by reperfusion, prior to a sustained ischemic insult. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the local and systemic anti-inflammatory effects of hind limb IPC in male Wistar rat (200-250 g) models of acute inflammation. IPC was induced with right hind limb ischemia for 10 min by placing an elastic rubber band tourniquet on the proximal part of the limb followed by 30 min of reperfusion. Groups (N = 6-8) were submitted to right or left paw edema (PE) with carrageenan (100 µg) or Dextran (200 µg), hemorrhagic cystitis with ifosfamide (200 mg/kg, ip) or gastric injury (GI) with indomethacin (20 mg/kg, vo). Controls received similar treatments, without IPC (Sham-IPC). PE is reported as variation of paw volume (mL), vesical edema (VE) as vesical wet weight (mg), vascular permeability (VP) with Evans blue extravasation (µg), GI with the gastric lesion index (GLI; total length of all erosions, mm), and neutrophil migration (NM) from myeloperoxidase activity. The statistical significance (P < 0.05) was determined by ANOVA, followed by the Tukey test. Carrageenan or Dextran-induced PE and VP in either paw were reduced by IPC (42-58.7%). IPC inhibited VE (38.8%) and VP (54%) in ifosfamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis. GI and NM induced by indomethacin were inhibited by IPC (GLI: 90.3%; NM: 64%). This study shows for the first time that IPC produces local and systemic anti-inflammatory effects in models of acute inflammation other than ischemia-reperfusion injury.
  • Can the fractal dimension be applied for the early diagnosis of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy? Physiology and Biophysics

    Kunicki, A.C.B.; Oliveira, A.J.; Mendonça, M.B.M.; Barbosa, C.T.F.; Nogueira, R.A.

    Abstract in English:

    The fractal dimension has been employed as a useful parameter in the diagnosis of retinal disease. Avakian et al. (Curr Eye Res 2002; 24: 274-280), comparing the vascular pattern of normal patients with mild to moderate non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), found a significant difference between them only in the macular region. This significant difference in the box-counting fractal dimension of the macular region between normal and mild NPDR patients has been proposed as a method of precocious diagnosis of NPDR. The aim of the present study was to determine if fractal dimensions can really be used as a parameter for the early diagnosis of NPDR. Box-counting and information fractal dimensions were used to parameterize the vascular pattern of the human retina. The two methods were applied to the whole retina and to nine anatomical regions of the retina in 5 individuals with mild NPDR and in 28 diabetic but opthalmically normal individuals (controls), with age between 31 and 86 years. All images of retina were obtained from the Digital Retinal Images for Vessel Extraction (DRIVE) database. The results showed that the fractal dimension parameter was not sensitive enough to be of use for an early diagnosis of NPDR.
  • Reduced pancreatic β-cell mass is associated with decreased FoxO1 and Erk1/2 protein phosphorylation in low-protein malnourished rats Physiology and Biophysics

    Rafacho, A.; Giozzet, V.A.G.; Boschero, A.C.; Abrantes, J.L.F.; Cestari, T.M.; Carneiro, E.M.; Bosqueiro, J.R.

    Abstract in English:

    A low-protein diet leads to functional and structural pancreatic islet alterations, including islet hypotrophy. Insulin-signaling pathways are involved in several adaptive responses by pancreatic islets. We determined the levels of some insulin-signaling proteins related to pancreatic islet function and growth in malnourished rats. Adult male Wistar rats (N = 20 per group) were fed a 17% protein (normal-protein diet; NP) or 6% protein (low-protein diet; LP), for 8 weeks. At the end of this period, blood glucose and serum insulin and albumin levels were measured. The morphometric parameters of the endocrine pancreas and the content of some proteins in islet lysates were determined. The β-cell mass was significantly reduced (≅65%) in normoglycemic but hypoinsulinemic LP rats compared to NP rats. Associated with these alterations, a significant 30% reduction in insulin receptor substrate-1 and a 70% increase in insulin receptor substrate-2 protein content were observed in LP islets compared to NP islets. The phosphorylated serine-threonine protein kinase (pAkt)/Akt protein ratio was similar in LP and NP islets. The phosphorylated forkhead-O1 (pFoxO1)/FoxO1 protein ratio was decreased by 43% in LP islets compared to NP islets (P < 0.05). Finally, the ratio of phosphorylated-extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (pErk1/2) to total Erk1/2 protein levels was decreased by 71% in LP islets compared to NP islets (P < 0.05). Therefore, the reduced β-cell mass observed in LP rats is associated with the reduction of phosphorylation in mitogenic-related signals, FoxO1 and Erk proteins. The cause/effect basis of this association remains to be determined.
  • Tonic and reflex cardiovascular autonomic control in trained-female rats Physiology and Biophysics

    Sanches, I.C.; Sartori, M.; Jorge, L.; Irigoyen, M.C.; De Angelis, K.

    Abstract in English:

    The effects of exercise training on cardiovascular and autonomic functions were investigated in female rats. After an aerobic exercise training period (treadmill: 5 days/week for 8 weeks), conscious female Wistar (2 to 3 months) sedentary (S, N = 7) or trained rats (T, N = 7) were cannulated for direct arterial pressure (AP) recording in the non-ovulatory phases. Vagal (VT) and sympathetic tonus (ST) were evaluated by vagal (atropine) and sympathetic (propranolol) blockade. Baroreflex sensitivity was evaluated by the heart rate responses induced by AP changes. Cardiopulmonary reflex was measured by the bradycardic and hypotensive responses to serotonin. Resting bradycardia was observed in T (332 ± 7 bpm) compared with S animals (357 ± 10 bpm), whereas AP did not differ between groups. T animals exhibited depressed VT and ST (32 ± 7 and 15 ± 4 bpm) compared to S animals (55 ± 5 and 39 ± 10 bpm). The baroreflex and cardiopulmonary bradycardic responses were lower in T (-1.01 ± 0.27 bpm/mmHg and -17 ± 6 bpm) than in the S group (-1.47 ± 0.3 bpm/mmHg and -41 ± 9 bpm). Significant correlations were observed between VT and baroreflex (r = -0.72) and cardiopulmonary (r = -0.76) bradycardic responses. These data show that exercise training in healthy female rats induced resting bradycardia that was probably due to a reduced cardiac ST. Additionally, trained female rats presented attenuated bradycardic responses to baro- and cardiopulmonary receptor stimulation that were associated, at least in part, with exercise training-induced cardiac vagal reduction.
  • Effect of frequency of static stretching on flexibility, hamstring tightness and electromyographic activity Physiology and Biophysics

    Marques, A.P.; Vasconcelos, A.A.P.; Cabral, C.M.N.; Sacco, I.C.N.

    Abstract in English:

    We compared the effect of the number of weekly repetitions of a static stretching program on the flexibility, hamstring tightness and electromyographic activity of the hamstring and of the triceps surae muscles. Thirty-one healthy subjects with hamstring tightness, defined as the inability to perform total knee extension, and shortened triceps surae, defined by a tibiotarsal angle wider than 90° during trunk flexion, were divided into three groups: G1 performed the stretching exercises once a week; G2, three times a week, and G3, five times a week. The parameters were determined before and after the stretching program. Flexibility improved in all groups after intervention, from 7.65 ± 10.38 to 3.67 ± 12.08 in G1, from 10.73 ± 12.07 to 0.77 ± 10.45 in G2, and from 14.20 ± 10.75 to 6.85 ± 12.19 cm in G3 (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). The increase in flexibility was higher in G2 than in G1 (P = 0.018), while G2 and G3 showed no significant difference (G1: 4 ± 2.17, G2: 10 ± 5.27; G3: 7.5 ± 4.77 cm). Hamstring tightness improved in all groups, from 37.90 ± 6.44 to 29 ± 11.65 in G1, from 39.82 ± 9.63 to 21.91 ± 8.40 in G2, and from 37.20 ± 6.63 to 26.10 ± 5.72° in G3 (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). During stretching, a statistically significant difference was observed in electromyographic activity of biceps femoris muscle between G1 and G3 (P = 0.048) and G2 and G3 (P = 0.0009). No significant differences were found in electromyographic activity during maximal isometric contraction. Stretching exercises performed three times a week were sufficient to improve flexibility and range of motion compared to subjects exercising once a week, with results similar to those of subjects who exercised five times a week.
  • Evidence that blood pressure remains under the control of arterial baroreceptors in renal hypertensive rats Physiology and Biophysics

    Trindade Jr., A.S.; Moreira, E.D.; Silva, G.J.J.; Krieger, E.M.

    Abstract in English:

    The purpose of the present study was to determine the range of the influence of the baroreflex on blood pressure in chronic renal hypertensive rats. Supramaximal electrical stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve and section of the baroreceptor nerves (sinoaortic denervation) were used to obtain a global analysis of the baroreceptor-sympathetic reflex in normotensive control and in chronic (2 months) 1-kidney, 1-clip hypertensive rats. The fall in blood pressure produced by electrical baroreceptor stimulation was greater in renal hypertensive rats than in normotensive controls (right nerve: -47 ± 8 vs -23 ± 4 mmHg; left nerve: -51 ± 7 vs -30 ± 4 mmHg; and both right and left nerves: -50 ± 8 vs -30 ± 4 mmHg; P < 0.05). Furthermore, the increase in blood pressure level produced by baroreceptor denervation in chronic renal hypertensive rats was similar to that observed in control animals 2-5 h (control: 163 ± 5 vs 121 ± 1 mmHg; 1K-1C: 203 ± 7 vs 170 ± 5 mmHg; P < 0.05) and 24 h (control: 149 ± 3 vs 121 ± 1 mmHg; 1K-1C: 198 ± 8 vs 170 ± 5 mmHg; P < 0.05) after sinoaortic denervation. Taken together, these data indicate that the central and peripheral components of the baroreflex are acting efficiently at higher arterial pressure in renal hypertensive rats when the aortic nerve is maximally stimulated or the activity is abolished.
  • Does hepatocellular carcinoma in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis exist in cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients? Case Report

    Chagas, A.L.; Kikuchi, L.O.O.; Oliveira, C.P.M.S.; Vezozzo, D.C.P.; Mello, E.S.; Oliveira, A.C.; Cella, L.C.; Herman, P.; Bachella, T.; Caldwell, S.H.; Alves, V.A.F.; Carrilho, F.J.

    Abstract in English:

    Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has been associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) often arising in histologically advanced disease when steatohepatitis is not active (cryptogenic cirrhosis). Our objective was to characterize patients with HCC and active, histologically defined steatohepatitis. Among 394 patients with HCC detected by ultrasound imaging over 8 years and staged by the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) criteria, we identified 7 cases (1.7%) with HCC occurring in the setting of active biopsy-proven NASH. All were negative for other liver diseases such as hepatitis C, hepatitis B, autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson disease, and hemochromatosis. The patients (4 males and 3 females, age 63 ± 13 years) were either overweight (4) or obese (3); 57% were diabetic and 28.5% had dyslipidemia. Cirrhosis was present in 6 of 7 patients, but 1 patient had well-differentiated HCC in the setting of NASH without cirrhosis (fibrosis stage 1) based on repeated liver biopsies, the absence of portal hypertension by clinical and radiographic evaluations and by direct surgical inspection. Among the cirrhotic patients, 71.4% were clinically staged as Child A and 14.2% as Child B. Tumor size ranged from 1.0 to 5.2 cm and 5 of 7 patients were classified as early stage; 46% of all nodules were hyper-echoic and 57% were <3 cm. HCC was well differentiated in 1/6 and moderately differentiated in 5/6. Alpha-fetoprotein was <100 ng/mL in all patients. HCC in patients with active steatohepatitis is often multifocal, may precede clinically advanced disease and occurs without diagnostic levels of alpha-fetoprotein. Importantly, HCC may occur in NASH in the absence of cirrhosis. More aggressive screening of NASH patients may be warranted.
  • Celecoxib reduces symptoms in men with difficult chronic pelvic pain syndrome (Category IIIA) Infectious Agents and Diseases

    Zhao, W.P.; Zhang, Z.G.; Li, X.D.; Yu, D.; Rui, X.F.; Li, G.H.; Ding, G.Q.

    Abstract in English:

    We investigated the effectiveness of celecoxib in reducing symptoms in patients with difficult chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), NIH category IIIA. Sixty-four patients with category IIIA CPPS were randomized into two groups of 32 subjects each. One group was treated with celecoxib (200 mg daily) and the other with placebo. All patients underwent treatment for 6 weeks and were evaluated clinically before (baseline) and after 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of treatment. The evaluation included the NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) and a subjective global assessment (SGA). Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate treatment and time effects and their interaction. A decrease (means ± SD) in total NIH-CPSI score from 23.91 ± 5.27 to 15.88 ± 2.51 in the celecoxib group and from 24.25 ± 5.09 to 19.50 ± 2.50 in the placebo group was observed during treatment (0 to 6 weeks). A statistically significant decrease was observed in pain subscore (P < 0.006), quality of life subscore (P < 0.032) and total NIH-CPSI score (P < 0.015) after 2, 4 and 6 weeks, but not in urinary subscore. In addition, 38% of the celecoxib and 13% of the placebo subjects had at least a moderate improvement in SGA. The trend was similar for the NIH-CPSI scores. However, the response to treatment in terms of total NIH-CPSI score or subscore was not significantly different from placebo after interruption of treatment for 2 weeks. Our results show that celecoxib provides significant symptomatic improvement limited to the duration of the therapy in patients with difficult category IIIA CPPS compared to placebo.
  • Use of anti-PGL-1 antibodies to monitor therapy regimes in leprosy patients Infectious Agents and Diseases

    Zenha, E.M.R.; Ferreira, M.A.N.; Foss, N.T.

    Abstract in English:

    The suitability of IgM antibodies to PGL-1 for monitoring the response to multidrug therapy (MDT) was sequentially tested by ELISA in 105 leprosy patients, and bacterial indexes (BI) were also determined. Patients were divided into 3 groups: group 1, 34 multibacillary (MB) patients treated for 12 months with MDT-MB; group 2, 33 MB patients treated for 24 months with MDT-MB, and group 3, 38 paucibacillary (PB) patients treated for 6 months with MDT-PB. Untreated MB patients exhibited higher antibody levels (mean ± SEM): group 1 (6.95 ± 1.35) and group 2 (12.53 ± 2.02) than untreated PB patients (1.28 ± 0.35). There was a significant difference (P < 0.01) in anti-PGL-1 levels in group 1 patients: untreated (6.95 ± 1.35) and treated for 12 months (2.78 ± 0.69) and in group 2 patients: untreated (12.53 ± 2.02) and treated for 24 months (2.62 ± 0.79). There was no significant difference between untreated (1.28 ± 0.35) and treated (0.62 ± 0.12) PB patients. Antibody levels correlated with BI. The correlation coefficient (Pearson’s r) was 0.72 before and 0.23 (P < 0.05) after treatment in group 1 and 0.67 before and 0.96 (P < 0.05) after treatment in group 2. BI was significantly reduced (P < 0.01) after 12 and 24 months on MDT (group 1: 1.26-0.26; group 2: 1.66-0.36). Our data indicate that monitoring anti-PGL-1 levels during MDT may be a sensitive tool for evaluating treatment efficacy. These data also indicate that the control of leprosy infection can be obtained with 12 months of MDT in MB patients.
  • Neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis in São Paulo State, Brazil: a pilot study Neonatal Medicine, Growth and Development

    Rodrigues, R.; Magalhaes, P.K.R.; Fernandes, M.I.M.; Gabetta, C.S.; Ribeiro, A.F.; Pedro, K.P.; Valdetaro, F.; Santos, J.L.F.; Souza, R.M. de; Pazin Filho, A.; Maciel, L.M.Z.

    Abstract in English:

    Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common autosomal recessive hereditary diseases in the Caucasian population, with an incidence of 1:2000 to 1:3500 liveborns. More than 1000 mutations have been described with the most common being F508del. It has a prevalence of 23-55% within the Brazilian population. The lack of population-based studies evaluating the incidence of cystic fibrosis in São Paulo State, Brazil, and an analysis concerning the costs of implantation of a screening program motivated the present study. A total of 60,000 dried blood samples from Guthrie cards obtained from April 2005 to January 2006 for neonatal screening at 4 reference centers in São Paulo State were analyzed. The immunoreactive trypsinogen (IRT)/IRT protocol was used with the cut-off value being 70 ng/mL. A total of 532 children (0.9%) showed IRT >70 ng/mL and a 2nd sample was collected from 418 (80.3%) of these patients. Four affected children were detected at two centers, corresponding to an incidence of 1:8403. The average age at diagnosis was 69 days, and 3 of the children already showed severe symptoms of the disease. The rate of false-positive results was 95.2% and the positive predictive value for the test was 8%. The cost of detecting an affected subject was approximately US$8,000.00 when this cystic fibrosis program was added to an existing neonatal screening program. The present study clearly shows the difficulties involved in cystic fibrosis screening using the IRT/IRT protocol, particularly in a population with no long-term tradition of neonatal screening.
  • Prevalence of vascular-endothelial growth factor, matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in primary breast cancer Oncology

    Jobim, F.C.; Xavier, N.L.; Uchoa, D.M.; Cruz, D.B.; Saciloto, M.; Chemello, N.; Schwartsmann, G.

    Abstract in English:

    Our objective was to determine the presence of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 and specific tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) in tumor samples obtained from patients with primary breast cancer. We attempted to correlate these findings with the status of the sentinel lymph node (SLN) and clinical-pathological characteristics such as age, tumor size, histological type, histological grade, and vascular invasion. Tumor samples from 88 patients with primary breast cancer were analyzed. The immunoreactivity of VEGF, MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in tumors was correlated with clinical and pathological features, as well as SLN status. Nonparametric, Mann-Whittney, Kruskal-Wallis, and Spearmann tests were used. Categorical variables were analyzed by the Pearson test. No statistically significant correlation was found between the amount of VEGF, MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 and the presence of tumor cells in the SLN. However, larger tumor diameter (P < 0.01) and the presence of vascular invasion (P < 0.01) were correlated positively with a positive SLN. A significant correlation of higher VEGF levels (P = 0.04) and lower TIMP-1 levels (P = 0.04) with ductal histology was also observed. Furthermore, lower TIMP-2 levels showed a statistically significant correlation with younger age (<50 years) and larger tumor diameter (2.0-5.0 cm). A positive SLN correlated significantly with a larger tumor diameter and the presence of vascular invasion. Higher VEGF and lower TIMP-1 levels were observed in patients with ductal tumors, while higher TIMP-1 levels were observed in lobular tumors.
  • Cognitive performance of young and elderly subjects on the free word recall memory test: effect of presentation order on recall order Psychological Processes, Behavior and Mental Diseases

    Santos-Galduróz, R.F.; Oliveira, F.G.; Galduróz, J.C.F.; Bueno, O.F.A.

    Abstract in English:

    The influence of aging on memory has been extensively studied, but the importance of short-term memory and recall sequence has not. The objective of the current study was to examine the recall order of words presented on lists and to determine if age affects recall sequence. Physically and psychologically healthy male subjects were divided into two groups according to age, i.e., 23 young subjects (20 to 30 years) and 50 elderly subjects (60 to 70 years) submitted to the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised and the free word recall test. The order of word presentation significantly affected the 3rd and 4th words recalled (P < 0.01; F = 14.6). In addition, there was interaction between the presentation order and the type of list presented (P < 0.05; F = 9.7). Also, both groups recalled the last words presented from each list (words 13-15) significantly more times 3rd and 4th than words presented in all remaining positions (P < 0.01). The order of word presentation also significantly affected the 5th and 6th words recalled (P = 0.05; F = 7.5) and there was a significant interaction between the order of presentation and the type of list presented (P < 0.01; F = 20.8). The more developed the cognitive functions, resulting mainly from formal education, the greater the cognitive reserve, helping to minimize the effects of aging on the long-term memory (episodic declarative).
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