Abstract in English:Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most abundant protein in the intravascular compartment. It possesses a single thiol, Cys34, which constitutes ~80% of the total thiols in plasma. This thiol is able to scavenge plasma oxidants. A central intermediate in this potential antioxidant activity of human serum albumin is sulfenic acid (HSA-SOH). Work from our laboratories has demonstrated the formation of a relatively stable sulfenic acid in albumin through complementary spectrophotometric and mass spectrometric approaches. Recently, we have been able to obtain quantitative data that allowed us to measure the rate constants of sulfenic acid reactions with molecules of analytical and biological interest. Kinetic considerations led us to conclude that the most likely fate for sulfenic acid formed in the plasma environment is the reaction with low molecular weight thiols to form mixed disulfides, a reversible modification that is actually observed in ~25% of circulating albumin. Another possible fate for sulfenic acid is further oxidation to sulfinic and sulfonic acids. These irreversible modifications are also detected in the circulation. Oxidized forms of albumin are increased in different pathophysiological conditions and sulfenic acid lies in a mechanistic junction, relating oxidizing species to final thiol oxidation products.
Abstract in English:Mycobacterium tuberculosis kills more people than any other single pathogen, with an estimated one-third of the world's population being infected. Among those infected, only 10% will develop the disease. There are several demonstrations that susceptibility to tuberculosis is linked to host genetic factors in twins, family and associated-based case control studies. In the past years, there has been dramatic improvement in our understanding of the role of innate and adaptive immunity in the human host defense to tuberculosis. To date, attention has been paid to the role of genetic host and parasitic factors in tuberculosis pathogenesis mainly regarding innate and adaptive immune responses and their complex interactions. Many studies have focused on the candidate genes for tuberculosis susceptibility ranging from those expressed in several cells from the innate or adaptive immune system such as Toll-like receptors, cytokines (TNF-α, TGF-β, IFN-γ, IL-1b, IL-1RA, IL-12, IL-10), nitric oxide synthase and vitamin D, both nuclear receptors and their carrier, the vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP). The identification of possible genes that can promote resistance or susceptibility to tuberculosis could be the first step to understanding disease pathogenesis and can help to identify new tools for treatment and vaccine development. Thus, in this mini-review, we summarize the current state of investigation on some of the genetic determinants, such as the candidate polymorphisms of vitamin D, VDBP, Toll-like receptor, nitric oxide synthase 2 and interferon-γ genes, to generate resistance or susceptibility to M. tuberculosis infection.
Abstract in English:Radiologic breast density is one of the predictive factors for breast cancer and the extent of the density is directly related to postmenopause. However, some patients have dense breasts even during postmenopause. This condition may be explained by the genes that codify for the proteins involved in the biosynthesis, as well as the activity and metabolism of steroid hormones. They are polymorphic, which could explain the variations of individual hormones and, consequently, breast density. The constant need to find markers that may assist in the primary prevention of breast cancer as well as in selecting high risk patients motived this study. We determined the influence of genetic polymorphism of CYP17 (cytochrome P450c17, the gene involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis), GSTM1 (glutathione S-transferase M1, an enzyme involved in estrogen metabolism) and PROGINS (progesterone receptor), for association with high breast density. One hundred and twenty-three postmenopausal patients who were not on hormone therapy and had no clinical or mammographic breast alterations were included in the present study. The results of this study reveal that there was no association between dense breasts and CYP17 or GSTM1. There was a trend, which was not statistically significant (P = 0.084), towards the association between PROGINS polymorphism and dense breasts. However, multivariate logistic regression showed that wild-type PROGINS and mutated CYP17, taken together, resulted in a 4.87 times higher chance of having dense breasts (P = 0.030). In conclusion, in the present study, we were able to identify an association among polymorphisms, involved in estradiol biosyntheses as well as progesterone response, and radiological mammary density.
Abstract in English:We microscopically and mechanically evaluated the femurs of rats subjected to hindlimb unloading (tail suspension) followed by treadmill training. Female Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups containing 12-14 rats: control I (118 days old), control II (139 days old), suspended (tail suspension for 28 days), suspended-released (released for 21 days after 28 days of suspension), and suspended-trained (trained for 21 days after 28 days of suspension). We measured bone resistance by bending-compression mechanical tests of the entire proximal half of the femur and three-point bending tests of diaphyseal cortical bone. We determined bone microstructure by tetracycline labeling of trabecular and cortical bone. We found that tail suspension weakened bone (ultimate load = 86.3 ± 13.5 N, tenacity modulus = 0.027 ± 0.011 MPa·m vs ultimate load = 101.5 ± 10.5 N, tenacity modulus = 0.019 ± 0.006 MPa·m in control I animals). The tenacity modulus for suspended and released animals was 0.023 ± 0.010 MPa·m vs 0.046 ± 0.018 MPa·m for trained animals and 0.035 ± 0.010 MPa·m for control animals. These data indicate that normal activity and training resulted in recovered bone resistance, but suspended-released rats presented femoral head flattening and earlier closure of the growth plate. Microscopically, we found that suspension inhibited new bone subperiosteal and endosteal formation. The bone disuse atrophy secondary to hypoactivity in rats can be reversed by an early regime of exercising, which is more advantageous than ordinary cage activities alone.
Abstract in English:We evaluated the effects of chronic allergic airway inflammation and of treadmill training (12 weeks) of low and moderate intensity on muscle fiber cross-sectional area and mRNA levels of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 in the mouse tibialis anterior muscle. Six 4-month-old male BALB/c mice (28.5 ± 0.8 g) per group were examined: 1) control, non-sensitized and non-trained (C); 2) ovalbumin sensitized (OA, 20 µg per mouse); 3) non-sensitized and trained at 50% maximum speed _ low intensity (PT50%); 4) non-sensitized and trained at 75% maximum speed _ moderate intensity (PT75%); 5) OA-sensitized and trained at 50% (OA+PT50%), 6) OA-sensitized and trained at 75% (OA+PT75%). There was no difference in muscle fiber cross-sectional area among groups and no difference in atrogin-1 and MuRF1 expression between C and OA groups. All exercised groups showed significantly decreased expression of atrogin-1 compared to C (1.01 ± 0.2-fold): PT50% = 0.71 ± 0.12-fold; OA+PT50% = 0.74 ± 0.03-fold; PT75% = 0.71 ± 0.09-fold; OA+PT75% = 0.74 ± 0.09-fold. Similarly significant results were obtained regarding MuRF1 gene expression compared to C (1.01 ± 0.23-fold): PT50% = 0.53 ± 0.20-fold; OA+PT50% = 0.55 ± 0.11-fold; PT75% = 0.35 ± 0.15-fold; OA+PT75% = 0.37 ± 0.08-fold. A short period of OA did not induce skeletal muscle atrophy in the mouse tibialis anterior muscle and aerobic training at low and moderate intensity negatively regulates the atrophy pathway in skeletal muscle of healthy mice or mice with allergic lung inflammation.
Abstract in English:Abstract <img border=0 id="_x0000_i1034" src="../img/back.gif"> The present study describes the in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of methanol and water extracts of sweet and bitter apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernels. The antioxidant properties of apricot kernels were evaluated by determining radical scavenging power, lipid peroxidation inhibition activity and total phenol content measured with a DPPH test, the thiocyanate method and the Folin method, respectively. In contrast to extracts of the bitter kernels, both the water and methanol extracts of sweet kernels have antioxidant potential. The highest percent inhibition of lipid peroxidation (69%) and total phenolic content (7.9 ± 0.2 µg/mL) were detected in the methanol extract of sweet kernels (Hasanbey) and in the water extract of the same cultivar, respectively. The antimicrobial activities of the above extracts were also tested against human pathogenic microorganisms using a disc-diffusion method, and the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of each active extract were determined. The most effective antibacterial activity was observed in the methanol and water extracts of bitter kernels and in the methanol extract of sweet kernels against the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, the methanol extracts of the bitter kernels were very potent against the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli (0.312 mg/mL MIC value). Significant anti-candida activity was also observed with the methanol extract of bitter apricot kernels against Candida albicans, consisting of a 14 mm in diameter of inhibition zone and a 0.625 mg/mL MIC value.
Abstract in English:The clinical heterogeneity observed in leptospirosis may be associated with host factors or bacteria virulence. Human serum mannose-binding lectin (MBL) recognizes many pathogens, and low levels of this lectin are associated with susceptibility to infection. MBL is also implicated in the modulation of the inflammatory process. We determined the levels of serum MBL during leptospirosis infection. A double-antibody sandwich ELISA was used to detect the immunoreactive serum MBL. The ELISA plates were coated with monoclonal antibody to MBL and bound MBL or recombinant human MBL were detected by rabbit anti-human MBL serum. HRPO-conjugated goat anti-rabbit antibody was used for detection of the reaction. Two groups of patients seen at referral hospitals in Recife, PE, Brazil, were divided according to the year of infection, 2001 (N = 61) or 2002 (N = 57) and compared in terms of disease severity and levels of serum MBL. A group of healthy volunteers (N = 97) matched by age, gender, and ethnic background was used as control. Patients infected in 2001 had more severe outcomes than those infected in 2002, including jaundice, hemorrhage, respiratory alteration, and renal complication (P = 0.0009; chi-square test). The frequency of patients producing serum MBL >1000 ng/mL was higher in the 2001 group than in the 2002 and control groups (P < 0.01), suggesting an association of MBL level with disease severity. The involvement of MBL and genetic variation of the MBL2 gene should be further evaluated to establish the role of this lectin in the pathogenesis of leptospirosis.
Abstract in English:Lactobacillus delbrueckii UFV-H2b20 has been shown to increase clearance of bacteria injected into the blood of germ-free mice. Moreover, it induces the production of type 1 cytokines by human peripheral mononuclear cells. The objective of the present study was to investigate the production of inflammatory cytokines [interleukin-12 (IL-12 p40), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interferon-γ (IFN-γ)] triggered in vitro by live, heat-killed or lysozyme-treated L. delbrueckii UFV-H2b20 and in vivo by a live preparation. Germ-free, L. delbrueckii-monoassociated and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-resistant C3H/HeJ mice were used as experimental models. UFV-H2b20 induced the production of IL-12 p40 and TNF-α by peritoneal cells and IFN-γ by spleen cells from germ-free or monoassociated Swiss/NIH mice and LPS-hyporesponsive mice (around 40 ng/mL for IL-12 p40, 200 pg/mL for TNF-α and 10 ng/mL for IFN-γ). Heat treatment of L. delbrueckii did not affect the production of these cytokines. Lysozyme treatment decreased IL-12 p40 production by peritoneal cells from C3H/HeJ mice, but did not affect TNF-α production by these cells or IFN-γ production by spleen cells from the same mouse strain. TNF-α production by peritoneal cells from Swiss/NIH L. delbrueckii-monoassociated mice was inhibited by lysozyme treatment. When testing IL-12 p40 and IFN-γ levels in sera from germ-free or monoassociated Swiss/NIH mice systemically challenged with Escherichia coli we observed that IL-12 p40 was produced at marginally higher levels by monoassociated mice than by germ-free mice (40 vs 60 ng/mL), but IFN-γ was produced earlier and at higher levels by monoassociated mice (monoassociated 4 and 14 ng/mL 4 and 8 h after infection, germfree 0 and 7.5 ng/mL at the same times). These results show that L. delbrueckii UFV-H2b20 stimulates the production of type 1 cytokines in vitro and in vivo, therefore suggesting that L. delbrueckii might have adjuvant properties in infection in which these cytokines play a major role.
Abstract in English:Reproductive fish behavior is affected by male-female interactions that stimulate physiological responses such as hormonal release and gonad development. During male-female interactions, visual and chemical communication can modulate fish reproduction. The aim of the present study was to test the effect of visual and chemical male-female interaction on the gonad development and reproductive behavior of the cichlid fish Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.). Fifty-six pairs were studied after being maintained for 5 days under one of the four conditions (N = 14 for each condition): 1) visual contact (V); 2) chemical contact (Ch); 3) chemical and visual contact (Ch+V); 4) no sensory contact (Iso) - males and females isolated. We compared the reproductive behavior (nesting, courtship and spawning) and gonadosomatic index (GSI) of pairs of fish under all four conditions. Visual communication enhanced the frequency of courtship in males (mean ± SEM; V: 24.79 ± 3.30, Ch+V: 20.74 ± 3.09, Ch: 0.1 ± 0.07, Iso: 4.68 ± 1.26 events/30 min; P < 0.05, two-way ANOVA with LSD post hoc test), induced spawning in females (3 spawning in V and also 3 in Ch+V condition), and increased GSI in males (mean ± SEM; V: 1.39 ± 0.08, Ch+V: 1.21 ± 0.08, Ch: 1.04 ± 0.07, Iso: 0.82 ± 0.07%; P < 0.05, two-way ANOVA with LSD post hoc test). Chemical communication did not affect the reproductive behavior of pairs nor did it enhance the effects of visual contact. Therefore, male-female visual communication is an effective cue, which stimulates reproduction among pairs of Nile tilapia.
Abstract in English:We determined the effect of an H1 receptor antagonist on the functional recovery of Carassius auratus submitted to telencephalic ablation. Five days after surgery the fish underwent a spatial-choice learning paradigm test. The fish, weighing 6-12 g, were divided into four groups: telencephalic ablation (A) or sham lesion (S) and saline (SAL) or chlorpheniramine (CPA, ip, 16 mg/kg). For eight consecutive days each animal was trained individually in sessions separated by 24 h (alternate days). Training trials (T1-T8) consisted of finding the food in one of the feeders, which were randomly blocked for each subject. Animals received an intraperitoneal injection of SAL or CPA 10 min after the training trials. The time spent by the animals in each group to find the food (latency) was analyzed separately at T1 and T8 by the Kruskal-Wallis test, followed by the Student Newman-Keuls test. At T1 the latencies (mean ± SEM) of the A-SAL (586.3 ± 13.6) and A-CPA (600 ± 0) groups were significantly longer than those of the S-SAL (226.14 ± 61.15) and S-CPA (356.33 ± 68.8) groups. At T8, the latencies of the A-CPA group (510.11 ± 62.2) remained higher than those of the other groups, all of which showed significantly shorter latencies (A-SAL = 301.91 ± 78.32; S-CPA = 191.58 ± 73.03; S-SAL = 90.28 ± 41) compared with T1. These results support evidence that training can lead to functional recovery of spatial-choice learning in telencephalonless fish and also that the antagonist of the H1 receptor impairs it.
Abstract in English:Skeletal muscle force production following repetitive contractions is preferentially reduced when muscle is evaluated with low-frequency stimulation. This selective impairment in force generation is called low-frequency fatigue (LFF) and could be dependent on the contraction type. The purpose of this study was to compare LFF after concentric and eccentric maximal and submaximal contractions of knee extensor muscles. Ten healthy male subjects (age: 23.6 ± 4.2 years; weight: 73.8 ± 7.7 kg; height: 1.79 ± 0.05 m) executed maximal voluntary contractions that were measured before a fatigue test (pre-exercise), immediately after (after-exercise) and after 1 h of recovery (after-recovery). The fatigue test consisted of 60 maximal (100%) or submaximal (40%) dynamic concentric or eccentric knee extensions at an angular velocity of 60°/s. The isometric torque produced by low- (20 Hz) and high- (100 Hz) frequency stimulation was also measured at these times and the 20:100 Hz ratio was calculated to assess LFF. One-way ANOVA for repeated measures followed by the Newman-Keuls post hoc test was used to determine significant (P < 0.05) differences. LFF was evident after-recovery in all trials except following submaximal eccentric contractions. LFF was not evident after-exercise, regardless of exercise intensity or contraction type. Our results suggest that low-frequency fatigue was evident after submaximal concentric but not submaximal eccentric contractions and was more pronounced after 1-h of recovery.
Abstract in English:The autonomic nervous system plays an important role in physiological and pathological conditions, and has been extensively evaluated by parametric and non-parametric spectral analysis. To compare the results obtained with fast Fourier transform (FFT) and the autoregressive (AR) method, we performed a comprehensive comparative study using data from humans and rats during pharmacological blockade (in rats), a postural test (in humans), and in the hypertensive state (in both humans and rats). Although postural hypotension in humans induced an increase in normalized low-frequency (LFnu) of systolic blood pressure, the increase in the ratio was detected only by AR. In rats, AR and FFT analysis did not agree for LFnu and high frequency (HFnu) under basal conditions and after vagal blockade. The increase in the LF/HF ratio of the pulse interval, induced by methylatropine, was detected only by FFT. In hypertensive patients, changes in LF and HF for systolic blood pressure were observed only by AR; FFT was able to detect the reduction in both blood pressure variance and total power. In hypertensive rats, AR presented different values of variance and total power for systolic blood pressure. Moreover, AR and FFT presented discordant results for LF, LFnu, HF, LF/HF ratio, and total power for pulse interval. We provide evidence for disagreement in 23% of the indices of blood pressure and heart rate variability in humans and 67% discordance in rats when these variables are evaluated by AR and FFT under physiological and pathological conditions. The overall disagreement between AR and FFT in this study was 43%.