Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 47, Issue: 3, Published: 2014
  • From Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxin to mammalian endogenous guanylin hormones Reviews

    Lima, A.A.M.; Fonteles, M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    The isolation of heat-stable enterotoxin (STa) from Escherichia coli and cholera toxin from Vibrio cholerae has increased our knowledge of specific mechanisms of action that could be used as pharmacological tools to understand the guanylyl cyclase-C and the adenylyl cyclase enzymatic systems. These discoveries have also been instrumental in increasing our understanding of the basic mechanisms that control the electrolyte and water balance in the gut, kidney, and urinary tracts under normal conditions and in disease. Herein, we review the evolution of genes of the guanylin family and STa genes from bacteria to fish and mammals. We also describe new developments and perspectives regarding these novel bacterial compounds and peptide hormones that act in electrolyte and water balance. The available data point toward new therapeutic perspectives for pathological features such as functional gastrointestinal disorders associated with constipation, colorectal cancer, cystic fibrosis, asthma, hypertension, gastrointestinal barrier function damage associated with enteropathy, enteric infection, malnutrition, satiety, food preferences, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and effects on behavior and brain disorders such as attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia.
  • New concepts in white adipose tissue physiology Reviews

    Proença, A.R.G.; Sertié, R.A.L.; Oliveira, A.C.; Campaãa, A.B.; Caminhotto, R.O.; Chimin, P.; Lima, F.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Numerous studies address the physiology of adipose tissue (AT). The interest surrounding the physiology of AT is primarily the result of the epidemic outburst of obesity in various contemporary societies. Briefly, the two primary metabolic activities of white AT include lipogenesis and lipolysis. Throughout the last two decades, a new model of AT physiology has emerged. Although AT was considered to be primarily an abundant energy source, it is currently considered to be a prolific producer of biologically active substances, and, consequently, is now recognized as an endocrine organ. In addition to leptin, other biologically active substances secreted by AT, generally classified as cytokines, include adiponectin, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, resistin, vaspin, visfatin, and many others now collectively referred to as adipokines. The secretion of such biologically active substances by AT indicates its importance as a metabolic regulator. Cell turnover of AT has also recently been investigated in terms of its biological role in adipogenesis. Consequently, the objective of this review is to provide a comprehensive critical review of the current literature concerning the metabolic (lipolysis, lipogenesis) and endocrine actions of AT.
  • The role of oxytocin in cardiovascular regulation Reviews

    Gutkowska, J.; Jankowski, M.; Antunes-Rodrigues, J.

    Abstract in English:

    Studies of body volume expansion have indicated that lesions of the anteroventral third ventricle and median eminence block the release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) into the circulation. Detailed analysis of the lesions showed that activation of oxytocin (OT)-ergic neurons is responsible for ANP release, and it has become clear that activation of neuronal circuitry elicits OT secretion into the circulation, activating atrial OT receptors and ANP release from the heart. Subsequently, we have uncovered the entire functional OT system in the rat and the human heart. An abundance of OT has been observed in the early development of the fetal heart, and the capacity of OT to generate cardiomyocytes (CMs) has been demonstrated in various types of stem cells. OT treatment of mesenchymal stem cells stimulates paracrine factors beneficial for cardioprotection. Cardiovascular actions of OT include: i) lowering blood pressure, ii) negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, iii) parasympathetic neuromodulation, iv) vasodilatation, v) anti-inflammatory activity, vi) antioxidant activity, and vii) metabolic effects. OT actions are mediated by nitric oxide and ANP. The beneficial actions of OT may include the increase in glucose uptake by CMs and stem cells, reduction in CM hypertrophy, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial protection of several cell types. In experimentally induced myocardial infarction in rats, continuous in vivo OT delivery improves cardiac healing and cardiac work, reduces inflammation, and stimulates angiogenesis. Because OT plays anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective roles and improves vascular and metabolic functions, it demonstrates potential for therapeutic use in various pathologic conditions.
  • Mutations in the HFE gene and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis risk: a meta-analysis of observational studies Biomedical Sciences

    Li, M.; Wang, L.; Wang, W.; Qi, X.L.; Tang, Z.Y.

    Abstract in English:

    Iron homeostasis dysregulation has been regarded as an important mechanism in neurodegenerative diseases. The H63D and C282Y polymorphisms in theHFE gene may be involved in the development of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through the disruption of iron homeostasis. However, studies investigating the relationship between ALS and these two polymorphisms have yielded contradictory outcomes. We performed a meta-analysis to assess the roles of the H63D and C282Y polymorphisms of HFEin ALS susceptibility. PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched to identify relevant studies. Strict selection criteria and exclusion criteria were applied. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the strength of associations. A fixed- or random-effect model was selected, depending on the results of the heterogeneity test. Fourteen studies were included in the meta-analysis (six studies with 1692 cases and 8359 controls for C282Y; 14 studies with 5849 cases and 13,710 controls for H63D). For the C282Y polymorphism, significant associations were observed in the allele model (Y vs C: OR=0.76, 95%CI=0.62-0.92, P=0.005) and the dominant model (YY+CYvs CC: OR=0.75, 95%CI=0.61-0.92, P=0.006). No associations were found for any genetic model for the H63D polymorphism. The C282Y polymorphism in HFE could be a potential protective factor for ALS in Caucasians. However, the H63D polymorphism does not appear to be associated with ALS.
  • Salt-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in Dahl salt-sensitive rats is dependent on elevated blood pressure Biomedical Sciences

    Wang, Y.; Mu, J.J.; Liu, F.Q.; Ren, K.Y.; Xiao, H.Y.; Yang, Z.; Yuan, Z.Y.

    Abstract in English:

    Dietary salt intake has been linked to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Accumulating evidence has indicated that salt-sensitive individuals on high salt intake are more likely to develop renal fibrosis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) participates in the development and progression of renal fibrosis in humans and animals. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of a high-salt diet on EMT in Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats. Twenty-four male SS and consomic SS-13BN rats were randomized to a normal diet or a high-salt diet. After 4 weeks, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and albuminuria were analyzed, and renal fibrosis was histopathologically evaluated. Tubular EMT was evaluated using immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR with E-cadherin and alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). After 4 weeks, SBP and albuminuria were significantly increased in the SS high-salt group compared with the normal diet group. Dietary salt intake induced renal fibrosis and tubular EMT as identified by reduced expression of E-cadherin and enhanced expression of α-SMA in SS rats. Both blood pressure and renal interstitial fibrosis were negatively correlated with E-cadherin but positively correlated with α-SMA. Salt intake induced tubular EMT and renal injury in SS rats, and this relationship might depend on the increase in blood pressure.
  • Edaravone protects endotoxin-induced liver injury by inhibiting apoptosis and reducing proinflammatory cytokines Biomedical Sciences

    Zong, L.; Yu, Q.H.; Du, Y.X.; Deng, X.M.

    Abstract in English:

    Studies have shown that edaravone may prevent liver injury. This study aimed to investigate the effects of edaravone on the liver injury induced by D-galactosamine (GalN) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in female BALB/c mice. Edaravone was injected into mice 30 min before and 4 h after GalN/LPS injection. The survival rate was determined within the first 24 h. Animals were killed 8 h after GalN/LPS injection, and liver injury was biochemically and histologically assessed. Hepatocyte apoptosis was measured by TUNEL staining; proinflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6)] in the liver were assayed by ELISA; expression of caspase-8 and caspase-3 proteins was detected by Western blot assay; and caspase-3 activity was also determined. Results showed that GalN/LPS induced marked elevations in serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Edaravone significantly inhibited elevation of serum AST and ALT, accompanied by an improvement in histological findings. Edaravone lowered the levels of TNF-α and IL-6 and reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells. In addition, 24 h after edaravone treatment, caspase-3 activity and mortality were reduced. Edaravone may effectively ameliorate GalN/LPS-induced liver injury in mice by reducing proinflammatory cytokines and inhibiting apoptosis.
  • Changes in tau phosphorylation levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex following chronic stress Biomedical Sciences

    Yang, C.; Guo, X.; Wang, G.H.; Wang, H.L.; Liu, Z.C.; Liu, H.; Zhu, Z.X.; Li, Y.

    Abstract in English:

    Studies have indicated that early-life or early-onset depression is associated with a 2- to 4-fold increased risk of developing Alzheimers disease (AD). In AD, aggregation of an abnormally phosphorylated form of the tau protein may be a key pathological event. Tau is known to play a major role in promoting microtubule assembly and stabilization, and in maintaining the normal morphology of neurons. Several studies have reported that stress may induce tau phosphorylation. The main aim of the present study was to investigate possible alterations in the tau protein in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of 32 male Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and then re-exposed to CUMS to mimic depression and the recurrence of depression, respectively, in humans. We evaluated the effects of CUMS, fluoxetine, and CUMS re-exposure on tau and phospho-tau. Our results showed that a single exposure to CUMS caused a significant reduction in sucrose preference, indicating a state of anhedonia. The change in behavior was accompanied by specific alterations in phospho-tau protein levels, but fluoxetine treatment reversed the CUMS-induced impairments. Moreover, changes in sucrose preference and phospho-tau were more pronounced in rats re-exposed to CUMS than in those subjected to a single exposure. Our results suggest that changes in tau phosphorylation may contribute to the link between depression and AD.
  • Effects of single-dose atorvastatin on interleukin-6, interferon gamma, and myocardial no-reflow in a rabbit model of acute myocardial infarction and reperfusion Biomedical Sciences

    Zhao, X.J.; Liu, X.L.; He, G.X.; Xu, H.P.

    Abstract in English:

    The mechanisms of statins relieving the no-reflow phenomenon and the effects of single-dose statins on it are not well known. This study sought to investigate the effects of inflammation on the no-reflow phenomenon in a rabbit model of acute myocardial infarction and reperfusion (AMI/R) and to evaluate the effects of single-dose atorvastatin on inflammation and myocardial no-reflow. Twenty-four New Zealand white male rabbits (5-6 months old) were randomized to three groups of eight: a sham-operated group, an AMI/R group, and an atorvastatin-treated group (10 mg/kg). Animals in the latter two groups were subjected to 4 h of coronary occlusion followed by 2 h of reperfusion. Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The expression of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in normal and infarcted (reflow and no-reflow) myocardial tissue was determined by immunohistochemical methods. The area of no-reflow and necrosis was evaluated pathologically. Levels of serum IL-6 were significantly lower in the atorvastatin group than in the AMI/R group (P<0.01). Expression of IFN-γ in infarcted reflow and no-reflow myocardial tissue was also significantly lower in the atorvastatin group than in the AMI/R group. The mean area of no-reflow [47.01% of ligation area (LA)] was significantly smaller in the atorvastatin group than in the AMI/R group (85.67% of LA; P<0.01). The necrosis area was also significantly smaller in the atorvastatin group (85.94% of LA) than in the AMI/R group (96.56% of LA; P<0.01). In a secondary analysis, rabbits in the atorvastatin and AMI/R groups were divided into two groups based on necrosis area (90% of LA): a small group (<90% of LA) and a large group (>90% of LA). There was no significant difference in the area of no-reflow between the small (61.40% of LA) and large groups (69.87% of LA; P>0.05). Single-dose atorvastatin protected against inflammation and myocardial no-reflow and reduced infarct size during AMI/R in rabbits. No-reflow was not dependent on the reduction of infarct size.
  • Expression of beclin 1 in primary salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma and its relation to Bcl-2 and p53 and prognosis Clinical Investigation

    Jiang, L.C.; Huang, S.Y.; Zhang, D.S.; Zhang, S.H.; Li, W.G.; Zheng, P.H.; Chen, Z.W.

    Abstract in English:

    Beclin 1 plays a critical role in autophagy and functions as a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor. The expression and prognostic significance of beclin 1 in head and neck adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) are largely unexplored. Therefore, we investigated the expression of beclin 1, Bcl-2, and p53 in head and neck ACC tissue. Tissue samples from 35 cases (15 females, 20 males) of head and neck ACC were utilized for immunohistochemistry. Beclin 1 expression was observed in 32 cases (91.4%) and considered to be high in 15 cases (42.9%) and low in 20 cases (57.1%). Beclin 1 expression was significantly correlated with a histological growth pattern (P=0.046) and histological grade (P=0.037). Beclin 1 expression was inversely correlated with Bcl-2 expression (P=0.013) and significantly associated with overall survival (P=0.006). Bcl-2 and p53 expression were observed in 21 cases (60.0%) and 16 cases (45.7%). Bcl-2 expression was significantly correlated with perineural invasion (P=0.041) and not associated with overall survival (P=0.053). p53 expression was directly correlated with beclin 1 expression (P=0.044). Our results indicated that beclin 1 may be a novel, promising prognostic factor for clinical outcome in head and neck ACC patients and may play a part in the development of head and neck ACC by interacting with Bcl-2 and p53.
  • Application of continuous positive airway pressure in the delivery room: a multicenter randomized clinical trial Clinical Investigation

    Gonçalves-Ferri, W.A.; Martinez, F.E.; Caldas, J.P.S.; Marba, S.T.M.; Fekete, S.; Rugolo, L.; Tanuri, C.; Leone, C.; Sancho, G.A.; Almeida, M.F.B.; Guinsburg, R.

    Abstract in English:

    This study evaluated whether the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in the delivery room alters the need for mechanical ventilation and surfactant during the first 5 days of life and modifies the incidence of respiratory morbidity and mortality during the hospital stay. The study was a multicenter randomized clinical trial conducted in five public university hospitals in Brazil, from June 2008 to December 2009. Participants were 197 infants with birth weight of 1000-1500 g and without major birth defects. They were treated according to the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP). Infants not intubated or extubated less than 15 min after birth were randomized for two treatments, routine or CPAP, and were followed until hospital discharge. The routine (n=99) and CPAP (n=98) infants studied presented no statistically significant differences regarding birth characteristics, complications during the prenatal period, the need for mechanical ventilation during the first 5 days of life (19.2 vs 23.4%, P=0.50), use of surfactant (18.2 vs 17.3% P=0.92), or respiratory morbidity and mortality until discharge. The CPAP group required a greater number of doses of surfactant (1.5 vs 1.0, P=0.02). When CPAP was applied to the routine group, it was installed within a median time of 30 min. We found that CPAP applied less than 15 min after birth was not able to reduce the need for ventilator support and was associated with a higher number of doses of surfactant when compared to CPAP applied as clinically indicated within a median time of 30 min.
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