Abstract in English:The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of oxidative damage in pancreatitis-induced hepatic injury. Thirty-five rats were divided into five groups (each of 7 rats): control, cerulein (100 µg/kg body weight), cerulein and pentoxifylline (12 mg/kg body weight), cerulein plus L-NAME (10 mg/kg body weight) and cerulein plus L-arginine (160 mg/kg body weight). The degree of hepatic cell degeneration differed significantly between groups. Mean malondialdehyde levels were 7.00 ± 2.29, 20.89 ± 10.13, 11.52 ± 4.60, 18.69 ± 8.56, and 8.58 ± 3.68 nmol/mg protein for the control, cerulein, pentoxifylline, L-NAME, and L-arginine groups, respectively. Mean catalase activity was 3.20 ± 0.83, 1.09 ± 0.35, 2.05 ± 0.91, 1.70 ± 0.60, and 2.85 ± 0.47 U/mg protein for the control, cerulein, pentoxifylline, L-NAME, and L-arginine groups, respectively, and mean glutathione peroxidase activity was 0.72 ± 0.25, 0.33 ± 0.09, 0.37 ± 0.04, 0.34 ± 0.07 and 0.42 ± 0.1 U/mg protein for the control, cerulein, pentoxifylline, L-NAME, and L-arginine groups, respectively. Cerulein-induced liver damage was accompanied by a significant increase in tissue malondialdehyde levels (P < 0.05) and a significant decrease in catalase (P < 0.05) and GPx activities (P < 0.05). L-arginine and pentoxifylline, but not L-NAME, protected against this damage. Oxidative injury plays an important role not only in the pathogenesis of AP but also in pancreatitis-induced hepatic damage.
Abstract in English:The α-MRE is the major regulatory element responsible for the expression of human α-like globin genes. It is genetically polymorphic, and six different haplotypes, named A to F, have been identified in some population groups from Europe, Africa and Asia and in native Indians from two Brazilian Indian tribes. Most of the mutations that constitute the α-MRE haplotypes are located in flanking sequences of binding sites for nuclear factors. To our knowledge, there are no experimental studies evaluating whether such variability may influence the α-MRE enhancer activity. We analyzed and compared the expression of luciferase of nine constructs containing different α-MRE elements as enhancers. Genomic DNA samples from controls with A (wild-type α-MRE) and B haplotypes were used to generate C-F haplotypes by site-directed mutagenesis. In addition, three other elements containing only the G→A polymorphism at positions +130, +199, and +209, separately, were also tested. The different α-MRE elements were amplified and cloned into a plasmid containing the luciferase reporter gene and the SV40 promoter and used to transiently transfect K562 cells. A noticeable reduction in luciferase expression was observed with all constructs compared with the A haplotype. The greatest reductions occurred with the F haplotype (+96, C→A) and the isolated polymorphism +209, both located near the SP1 protein-binding sites believed not to be active in vivo. These are the first analyses of α-MRE polymorphisms on gene expression and demonstrate that these single nucleotide polymorphisms, although outside the binding sites for nuclear factors, are able to influence in vitro gene expression.
Abstract in English:We determined the anti-inflammatory activity of standardized extracts of four medicinal plant species (Baccharis incarum, B. boliviensis, Chuquiraga atacamensis, Parastrephia lucida) that grow in the Argentine Puna (3800 m above sea level) and that are used to reduce oxidative stress and alleviate gout and arthritic pain. The extracts of plant aerial parts were standardized in terms of total phenolic compounds and flavone/flavanone content and free radical scavenging activity. All extracts showed high phenolic compound concentration (0.5-1.6 mg/mL), mainly flavones and flavonols (0.1-0.8 mg/mL). The extracts showed hydrogen donating ability (DPPH and ABTS) and reactive oxygen species scavenging activity (O2●-, OH-, H2O2). The ability of the extracts to inhibit cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) was determined by calculating percent inhibition of PGE2 production measured by enzyme immunoassay. All extracts inhibited both enzymes with IC50 values of 2.0 to 16.7 µg/mL. The anti-inflammatory activity of B. incarum and C. atacamensis extracts was higher than that of B. boliviensis and P. lucida. The IC50 values obtained for indomethacin were 0.11 and 0.78 µM for COX-1 and COX-2, respectively. The present results are consistent with the anecdotal use of these species in phytotherapic preparations.
Abstract in English:Amplification of the MYCN gene in neuroblastomas is a potent biological marker of highly aggressive tumors, which are invariably fatal unless sound clinical management is applied. To determine the usefulness of semi-quantitative differential PCR (SQ-PCR) for accurate quantification of MYCN gene copy number, we evaluated the analytical performance of this method by comparing the results obtained with it for 101 tumor samples of neuroblastoma to that obtained by absolute and relative real-time PCR. Similar results were obtained for 100 (99%) samples, no significant difference was detected between the median log10 MYCN copy number (1.53 by SQ-PCR versus 1.55 by absolute real-time PCR), and the results of the two assays correlated closely (r = 0.8, Pearson correlation; P < 0.001). In the comparison of SQ-PCR and relative real-time PCR, SQ-PCR versus relative real-time PCR concordant results were found in 100 (99%) samples, no significant difference was found in median log10 MYCN copy number (1.53 by SQ-PCR versus 1.27 by relative real-time PCR), and the results of the two assays correlated closely (r = 0.8, Pearson correlation; P < 0.001). These findings indicate that the performance of SQ-PCR was comparable to that of real-time PCR for the amplification and quantification of MYCN copy number. Thus, SQ-PCR can be reliably used as an alternative assay in laboratories without facilities for real-time PCR.
Abstract in English:Genes encoding lipoproteins LipL32, LipL41 and the outer-membrane protein OmpL1 of leptospira were recombined and cloned into a pVAX1 plasmid. BALB/c mice were immunized with LipL32 and recombined LipL32-41-OmpL1 using DNA-DNA, DNA-protein and protein-protein strategies, respectively. Prime immunization was on day 1, boost immunizations were on day 11 and day 21. Sera were collected from each mouse on day 35 for antibody, cytokine detection and microscopic agglutination test while spleen cells were collected for splenocyte proliferation assay. All experimental groups (N = 10 mice per group) showed statistically significant increases in antigen-specific antibodies, in cytokines IL-4 and IL-10, as well as in the microscopic agglutination test and splenocyte proliferation compared with the pVAX1 control group. The groups receiving the recombined LipL32-41-OmpL1 vaccine induced anti-LipL41 and anti-OmpL1 antibodies and yielded better splenocyte proliferation values than the groups receiving LipL32. DNA prime and protein boost immune strategies stimulated more antibodies than a DNA-DNA immune strategy and yielded greater cytokine and splenocyte proliferation than a protein-protein immune strategy. It is clear from these results that recombination of protective antigen genes lipL32, lipL41, and ompL1 and a DNA-protein immune strategy resulted in better immune responses against leptospira than single-component, LipL32, or single DNA or protein immunization.
Abstract in English:High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was discovered as a novel late-acting cytokine that contributes to acute lung injury (ALI). However, the contribution of HMGB1 to two-hit-induced ALI has not been investigated. To examine the participation of HMGB1 in the pathogenesis of ALI caused by the two-hit hypothesis, endotoxin was injected intratracheally in a hemorrhagic shock-primed ALI mouse model. Concentrations of HMGB1 in the lung of the shock group were markedly increased at 16 h (1.63 ± 0.05, compared to the control group: 1.02 ± 0.03; P < 0.05), with the highest concentration being observed at 24 h. In the sham/lipopolysaccharide group, lung HMGB1 concentrations were found to be markedly increased at 24 h (1.98 ± 0.08, compared to the control group: 1.07 ± 0.03; P < 0.05). Administration of lipopolysaccharide to the hemorrhagic shock group resulted in a notable HMGB1 increase by 4 h, with a further increase by 16 h. Intratracheal lipopolysaccharide injection after hemorrhagic shock resulted in the highest lung leak at 16 h (2.68 ± 0.08, compared to the control group: 1.05 ± 0.04; P < 0.05). Compared to the hemorrhagic shock/lipopolysaccharide mice, blockade of HMGB1 at the same time as lipopolysaccharide injection prevented significantly pulmonary tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta and myeloperoxidase. Lung leak was also markedly reduced at 16 h; blockade of HMGB1 24 h after lipopolysaccharide injection failed to alter lung leak or myeloperoxidase at 48 h. Our observations suggest that HMGB1 plays a key role as a late mediator when lipopolysaccharide is injected after hemorrhagic shock-primed ALI and the kinetics of its release differs from that of one-hit ALI. The therapeutic window to suppress HMGB1 activity should not be delayed to 24 h after the disease onset.
Abstract in English:A study was undertaken to investigate the effect of administering praziquantel (PZQ), focusing on the liver stereological findings of malnourished mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni. Thirty female Swiss Webster mice (age: 21 days; weight: 8-14 g) were fed either a low-protein diet (8%) or standard chow (22% protein) for 15 days. Five mice in each group were infected with 50 cercariae each of the BH strain (Brazil). PZQ therapy (80 mg/kg body weight, per day) was started on the 50th day of infection and consisted of daily administration for 5 days. Volume density (hepatocytes, sinusoids and hepatic fibrosis) was determined by stereology using a light microscope. Body weight gain and total serum albumin levels were always lower in undernourished mice. Our stereological study demonstrated that treatment increased both volume density of hepatocytes in mice fed standard chow (47.56%, treated group and 12.06%, control) and low-protein chow (30.98%, treated group and 21.44%, control), and hepatic sinusoids [standard chow (12.52%, treated group and 9.06%, control), low-protein chow (14.42%, treated group and 8.46%, control)], while hepatic fibrosis was reduced [standard chow (39.92%, treated group and 78.88%, control) and low-protein chow (54.60%, treated group and 70.10%, control)]. On the other hand, mice fed low-protein chow decreased density volume of hepatocytes and hepatic fibrosis. In conclusion, our findings indicate that treatment with PZQ ameliorates hepatic schistosomiasis pathology even in mice fed a low-protein diet.
Abstract in English:Pueraria mirifica is a Thai phytoestrogen-rich herb traditionally used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Pueraria lobata is also a phytoestrogen-rich herb traditionally used in Japan, Korea and China for the treatment of hypertension and alcoholism. We evaluated the mutagenic and antimutagenic activity of the two plant extracts using the Ames test preincubation method plus or minus the rat liver mixture S9 for metabolic activation using Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100 as indicator strains. The cytotoxicity of the two extracts to the two S. typhimurium indicators was evaluated before the mutagenic and antimutagenic tests. Both extracts at a final concentration of 2.5, 5, 10, or 20 mg/plate exhibited only mild cytotoxic effects. The plant extracts at the concentrations of 2.5, 5 and 10 mg/plate in the presence and absence of the S9 mixture were negative in the mutagenic Ames test. In contrast, both extracts were positive in the antimutagenic Ames test towards either one or both of the tested mutagens 2-(2-furyl)-3-(5-nitro-2-furyl)-acrylamide and benzo(a)pyrene. The absence of mutagenic and the presence of anti-mutagenic activities of the two plant extracts were confirmed in rec-assays and further supported by a micronucleus test where both plant extracts at doses up to 300 mg/kg body weight (equivalent to 16 g/kg body weight plant tuberous powder) failed to exhibit significant micronucleus formation in rats. The tests confirmed the non-mutagenic but reasonably antimutagenic activities of the two plant extracts, supporting their current use as safe dietary supplements and cosmetics.
Abstract in English:The generation of bradykinin (BK; Arg-Pro-Pro-Gly-Phe-Ser-Pro-Phe-Arg) in blood and kallidin (Lys-BK) in tissues by the action of the kallikrein-kinin system has received little attention in non-mammalian vertebrates. In mammals, kallidin can be generated by the coronary endothelium and myocytes in response to ischemia, mediating cardioprotective events. The plasma of birds lacks two key components of the kallikrein-kinin system: the low molecular weight kininogen and a prekallikrein activator analogous to mammalian factor XII, but treatment with bovine plasma kallikrein generates ornitho-kinin [Thr6,Leu8]-BK. The possible cardioprotective effect of ornitho-kinin infusion was investigated in an anesthetized, open-chest chicken model of acute coronary occlusion. A branch of the left main coronary artery was reversibly ligated to produce ischemia followed by reperfusion, after which the degree of myocardial necrosis (infarct size as a percent of area at risk) was assessed by tetrazolium staining. The iv injection of a low dose of ornitho-kinin (4 µg/kg) reduced mean arterial pressure from 88 ± 12 to 42 ± 7 mmHg and increased heart rate from 335 ± 38 to 402 ± 45 bpm (N = 5). The size of the infarct was reduced by pretreatment with ornitho-kinin (500 µg/kg infused over a period of 5 min) from 35 ± 3 to 10 ± 2% of the area at risk. These results suggest that the physiological role of the kallikrein-kinin system is preserved in this animal model in spite of the absence of two key components, i.e., low molecular weight kininogen and factor XII.
Abstract in English:Our objective was to determine whether the presence of the human leukocyte antigen HLA-DRB1 locus is associated with production of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP Abs) and to what extent they are associated with increased susceptibility to and severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Egyptian patients. Twenty-nine RA patients gave informed consent to participate in a case-control study that was approved by the Ain Shams University Medical Ethics Committee. RA disease activity and severity were determined using the simplified disease activity index and Larsen scores, respectively. We used a wide scale national study on the pattern of HLA typing in normal Egyptians as a control study. Anti-CCP Abs and HLA-DRB1 typing were determined for all subjects. The alleles most strongly associated with RA were HLA-DRB1 [*01 , *04 and *06] (41.4%). RA patients with serum anti-CCP Ab titers above 60 U/mL had a significantly higher frequency of HLA-DRB1*01 (58.3%) and HLA-DRB1*04 alleles (83.3%). Significant positive correlations were found between serum and synovial anti-CCP Ab titer, RA disease activity, and severity (r = 0.87, 0.66 and 0.63, respectively; P < 0.05). HLA-DRB1 SE+ alleles [*01 and *04] were highly expressed among Egyptian RA patients. The presence of these alleles was associated with higher anti-CCP Ab titer, active and severe RA disease. Early determination of HLA-DRB1 SE+ alleles and serum anti-CCP Ab could facilitate the prediction of the clinical course and prognosis of RA when first evaluated leading to better disease control.
Abstract in English:Studies have shown that the frequency or worsening of sleep disorders tends to increase with age and that the ability to perform circadian adjustments tends to decrease in individuals who work the night shift. This condition can cause consequences such as excessive sleepiness, which are often a factor in accidents that occur at work. The present study investigated the effects of age on the daytime and nighttime sleep patterns using polysomnography (PSG) of long-haul bus drivers working fixed night or day shifts. A total of 124 drivers, free of sleep disorders and grouped according to age (<45 years, N = 85, and ≥45 years, N = 39) and PSG timing (daytime (D) PSG, N = 60; nighttime (N) PSG, N = 64) participated in the study. We observed a significant effect of bedtime (D vs N) and found that the length of daytime sleep was shorter [D: <45 years (336.10 ± 73.75 min) vs N: <45 years (398 ± 78.79 min) and D: ≥45 years (346.57 ± 43.17 min) vs N: ≥45 years (386.44 ± 52.92 min); P ≤ 0.05]. Daytime sleep was less efficient compared to nighttime sleep [D: <45 years (78.86 ± 13.30%) vs N: <45 years (86.45 ± 9.77%) and D: ≥45 years (79.89 ± 9.45%) and N: ≥45 years (83.13 ± 9.13%); P ≤ 0.05]. An effect of age was observed for rapid eye movement sleep [D: <45 years (18.05 ± 6.12%) vs D: ≥45 years (15.48 ± 7.11%) and N: <45 years (23.88 ± 6.75%) vs N: ≥45 years (20.77 ± 5.64%); P ≤ 0.05], which was greater in younger drivers. These findings are inconsistent with the notion that older night workers are more adversely affected than younger night workers by the challenge of attempting to rest during the day.
Abstract in English:Multiple cell membrane alterations have been reported to be the cause of various forms of hypertension. The present study focuses on the lipid portion of the membranes, characterizing the microviscosity of membranes reconstituted with lipids extracted from the aorta and mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive control rat strains (WKY and NWR). Membrane-incorporated phospholipid spin labels were used to monitor the bilayer structure at different depths. The packing of lipids extracted from both aorta and mesenteric arteries of normotensive and hypertensive rats was similar. Lipid extract analysis showed similar phospholipid composition for all membranes. However, cholesterol content was lower in SHR arteries than in normotensive animal arteries. These findings contrast with the fact that the SHR aorta is hyporeactive while the SHR mesenteric artery is hyperreactive to vasopressor agents when compared to the vessels of normotensive animal strains. Hence, factors other than microviscosity of bulk lipids contribute to the vascular smooth muscle reactivity and hypertension of SHR. The excess cholesterol in the arteries of normotensive animal strains apparently is not dissolved in bulk lipids and is not directly related to vascular reactivity since it is present in both the aorta and mesenteric arteries. The lower cholesterol concentrations in SHR arteries may in fact result from metabolic differences due to the hypertensive state or to genes that co-segregate with those that determine hypertension during the process of strain selection.
Abstract in English:The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of the combination of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and adriamycin (ADM) on the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and to identify potential mechanisms of apoptosis. Cell viability was analyzed by the MTT assay and the synergistic effect was assessed by the Webb coefficient. Apoptosis was quantified using the annexin V-FITC and propidium iodide staining flow cytometry. The mRNA expression of TRAIL receptors was measured by RT-PCR. Changes in the quantities of Bax and caspase-9 proteins were determined by Western blot. MCF-7 cells were relatively resistant to TRAIL (IC50 >10 µg/mL), while MCF-7 cells were sensitive to ADM (IC50 <10 µg/mL). A subtoxic concentration of ADM (0.5 µg/mL) combined with 0.1, 1, or 10 µg/mL TRAIL had a synergistic cytotoxic effect on MCF-7 cells, which was more marked with the combination of TRAIL (0.1 µg/mL) and ADM (0.5 µg/mL). In addition, the combined treatment with TRAIL and ADM significantly increased cell apoptosis from 9.8% (TRAIL) or 17% (ADM) to 38.7%, resulting in a synergistic apoptotic effect, which is proposed to be mediated by up-regulation of DR4 and DR5 mRNA expression and increased expression of Bax and caspase-9 proteins. These results suggest that the combination of TRAIL and ADM might be a promising therapy for breast cancer.
Abstract in English:Both epidural and general anesthesia can impair thermoregulatory mechanisms during surgery. However, there is lack of information about the effects of different methods of anesthesia on newborn temperature. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are differences in newborn rectal temperature related to type of anesthesia. Sixty-three pregnant women were randomly assigned to receive general or epidural anesthesia. Maternal core temperature was measured three times with a rectal probe just before anesthesia, at the beginning of surgery and at delivery. In addition, umbilical vein blood was sampled for pH. The rectal temperatures of the babies were recorded immediately after delivery, and Apgar scores were determined 1, 5, and 10 min after birth. The duration of anesthesia and the volume of intravenous fluid given during the procedure (833 ± 144 vs 420 ± 215 mL) were significantly higher in the epidural group than in the general anesthesia group (P < 0.0001). Maternal rectal temperatures were not different in both groups at all measurements. In contrast, newborn rectal temperatures were lower in the epidural anesthesia group than in the general anesthesia group (37.4 ± 0.3 vs 37.6 ± 0.3°C; P < 0.05) immediately after birth. Furthermore, the umbilical vein pH value (7.31 ± 0.05 vs 7.33 ± 0.01; P < 0.05) and Apgar scores at the 1st-min measurement (8.0 ± 0.9 vs 8.5 ± 0.7; P < 0.05) were lower in the epidural anesthesia group than in the general anesthesia group. Since epidural anesthesia requires more iv fluid infusion and a longer time for cesarean section, it involves a risk of a mild temperature reduction for the baby which, however, did not reach the limits of hypothermia.