Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0100-879X - ISSN (Online) 1414-431X
Published by SciELO [680 journals] [SJR: 0.213] [H-I: 56]
- Low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in children and
adolescents with systemic lupus erythematosus
Abstract: We evaluated the concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in children and adolescents with juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) and associated them with disease duration and activity, use of medication (chloroquine and glucocorticoids), vitamin D intake, calcium and alkaline phosphatase levels, and bone mineral density. Thirty patients with JSLE were evaluated and compared to 30 healthy individuals, who were age and gender matched. Assessment was performed of clinical status, disease activity, anthropometry, laboratory markers, and bone mineral density. The 30 patients included 25 (83.3%) females and 16 (53.3%) Caucasians, with a mean age of 13.7 years. The mean age at diagnosis was 10.5 years and mean disease duration was 3.4 years. Mean levels of calcium, albumin, and alkaline phosphatase were significantly lower in patients with JSLE compared with controls (P<0.001, P=0.006, and P<0.001, respectively). Twenty-nine patients (97%) and 23 controls (77%) had 25(OH)D concentrations lower than 32 ng/mL, with significant differences between them (P<0.001). Fifteen patients (50%) had vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL and 14 had vitamin D levels between 20 and 32 ng/mL. However, these values were not associated with greater disease activity, higher levels of parathormone, medication intake, or bone mineral density. Vitamin D concentrations were similar with regard to ethnic group, body mass index, height for age, and pubertal stage. Significantly more frequently than in controls, we observed insufficient serum concentrations of 25(OH)D in patients with JSLE; however, we did not observe any association with disease activity, higher levels of parathormone, lower levels of alkaline phosphatase, use of medications, or bone mineral density alterations.
- An animal experimental study of porous magnesium scaffold degradation and
Abstract: Our objective was to observe the biodegradable and osteogenic properties of magnesium scaffolding under in vivo conditions. Twelve 6-month-old male New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into two groups. The chosen operation site was the femoral condyle on the right side. The experimental group was implanted with porous magnesium scaffolds, while the control group was implanted with hydroxyapatite scaffolds. X-ray and blood tests, which included serum magnesium, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), creatinine (CREA), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were performed serially at 1, 2, and 3 weeks, and 1, 2, and 3 months. All rabbits were killed 3 months postoperatively, and the heart, kidney, spleen, and liver were analyzed with hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. The bone samples were subjected to microcomputed tomography scanning (micro-CT) and hard tissue biopsy. SPSS 13.0 (USA) was used for data analysis, and values of P<0.05 were considered to be significant. Bubbles appeared in the X-ray of the experimental group after 2 weeks, whereas there was no gas in the control group. There were no statistical differences for the serum magnesium concentrations, ALT, BUN, and CREA between the two groups (P>0.05). All HE-stained slices were normal, which suggested good biocompatibility of the scaffold. Micro-CT showed that magnesium scaffolds degraded mainly from the outside to inside, and new bone was ingrown following the degradation of magnesium scaffolds. The hydroxyapatite scaffold was not degraded and had fewer osteoblasts scattered on its surface. There was a significant difference in the new bone formation and scaffold bioabsorption between the two groups (9.29±1.27 vs 1.40±0.49 and 7.80±0.50 vs 0.00±0.00 mm3, respectively; P<0.05). The magnesium scaffold performed well in degradation and osteogenesis, and is a promising material for orthopedics.
- Influence of exercise modality on agreement between gas exchange and heart
rate variability thresholds
Abstract: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the level of agreement between the gas exchange threshold (GET) and heart rate variability threshold (HRVT) during maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) using three different exercise modalities. A further aim was to establish whether there was a 1:1 relationship between the percentage heart rate reserve (%HRR) and percentage oxygen uptake reserve ( % V ˙ O 2 R ) at intensities corresponding to GET and HRVT. Sixteen apparently healthy men 17 to 28 years of age performed three maximal CPETs (cycling, walking, and running). Mean heart rate and V ˙ O 2 at GET and HRVT were 16 bpm (P<0.001) and 5.2 mL·kg-1·min-1 (P=0.001) higher in running than cycling, but no significant differences were observed between running and walking, or cycling and walking (P>0.05). There was a strong relationship between GET and HRVT, with R2 ranging from 0.69 to 0.90. A 1:1 relationship between %HRR and % V ˙ O 2 R was not observed at GET and HRVT. The %HRR was higher during cycling (GET mean difference=7%; HRVT mean difference=11%; both P<0.001), walking (GET mean difference=13%; HRVT mean difference=13%; both P<0.001), or running (GET mean difference=11%; HRVT mean difference=10%; both P<0.001). Therefore, using HRVT to prescribe aerobic exercise intensity appears to be valid. However, to assume a 1:1 relationship between %HRR and % V ˙ O 2 R at HRVT would probably result in overestimation of the energy expenditure during the bout of exercise.
- Coronary artery plaque burden and calcium scores in healthy men adhering
to long-term wine drinking or alcohol abstinence
Abstract: Observational studies suggest there are clinical benefits to moderate red wine (RW) consumption. However, the effects on coronary vasculature and overall lifestyle are unclear. We investigated whether a lifestyle of regular long-term RW consumption is associated with changes in coronary plaque burden, calcium score, carotid intima/media thickness, endothelial function, and metabolic variables, compared with alcohol abstinence. Healthy volunteers were evaluated by coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) as well as carotid and brachial artery ultrasound. Nutritional status, psychological status, and metabolic variables were assessed. The study included 101 drinkers [aged 58.9±7.3 years (means±SD)], from wine brotherhoods, and 104 abstainers, from Anglican, Evangelical and Catholic churches both in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. No significant differences in demographics were noted. Lesion prevalence per patient assessed by coronary CTA and classified as absent (0), 1-25, 26-49, and ≥50% stenosis was similar between groups. When analyzed by individual arteries, i.e., left anterior descending, circumflex, and right coronary, prevalence was also not different. On the other hand, calcium scores were higher among drinkers than abstainers (144.4±362.2 vs 122.0±370.3; P<0.01). However, drinkers reported less history of diabetes and exercised more. RW drinkers consumed 2127.9±387.7 kcal/day while abstainers consumed 1836.0±305.0 (P<0.0001). HDL cholesterol was significantly higher among drinkers compared to abstainers (46.9±10.9 vs 39.5±9.0 mg/dL; P<0.001), while fasting plasma glucose was lower (97.6±18.2 vs 118.4±29.6 mg/dL; P<0.02). Liver enzymes were normal in both groups. In conclusion, long-term wine drinkers displayed a similar plaque burden but greater calcium score than abstainers, despite a more atherogenic diet, and the mechanisms for the increased calcium scores in the former remain speculative.
- A time series analysis of meteorological factors and hospital outpatient
admissions for cardiovascular disease in the Northern district of Guizhou
Abstract: Findings on the effects of weather on health, especially the effects of ambient temperature on overall morbidity, remain inconsistent. We conducted a time series study to examine the acute effects of meteorological factors (mainly air temperature) on daily hospital outpatient admissions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Zunyi City, China, from January 1, 2007 to November 30, 2009. We used the generalized additive model with penalized splines to analyze hospital outpatient admissions, climatic parameters, and covariate data. Results show that, in Zunyi, air temperature was associated with hospital outpatient admission for CVD. When air temperature was less than 10°C, hospital outpatient admissions for CVD increased 1.07-fold with each increase of 1°C, and when air temperature was more than 10°C, an increase in air temperature by 1°C was associated with a 0.99-fold decrease in hospital outpatient admissions for CVD over the previous year. Our analyses provided statistically significant evidence that in China meteorological factors have adverse effects on the health of the general population. Further research with consistent methodology is needed to clarify the magnitude of these effects and to show which populations and individuals are vulnerable.
- Association between the increase in brain temperature and physical
performance at different exercise intensities and protocols in a temperate
Abstract: There is evidence that brain temperature (Tbrain) provides a more sensitive index than other core body temperatures in determining physical performance. However, no study has addressed whether the association between performance and increases in Tbrain in a temperate environment is dependent upon exercise intensity, and this was the primary aim of the present study. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to constant exercise at three different speeds (18, 21, and 24 m/min) until the onset of volitional fatigue. Tbrain was continuously measured by a thermistor inserted through a brain guide cannula. Exercise induced a speed-dependent increase in Tbrain, with the fastest speed associated with a higher rate of Tbrain increase. Rats subjected to constant exercise had similar Tbrain values at the time of fatigue, although a pronounced individual variability was observed (38.7-41.7°C). There were negative correlations between the rate of Tbrain increase and performance for all speeds that were studied. These results indicate that performance during constant exercise is negatively associated with the increase in Tbrain, particularly with its rate of increase. We then investigated how an incremental-speed protocol affected the association between the increase in Tbrain and performance. At volitional fatigue, Tbrain was lower during incremental exercise compared with the Tbrain resulting from constant exercise (39.3±0.3 vs 40.3±0.1°C; P<0.05), and no association between the rate of Tbrain increase and performance was observed. These findings suggest that the influence of Tbrain on performance under temperate conditions is dependent on exercise protocol.
- Imbalanced expression of functional surface molecules in regulatory and
effector T cells in systemic lupus erythematosus
Abstract: Regulatory T (TREG) cells play an important role in maintaining immune tolerance and avoiding autoimmunity. We analyzed the expression of membrane molecules in TREG and effector T cells in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). TREG and effector T cells were analyzed for the expression of CTLA-4, PD1, CD28, CD95, GITR, HLA-DR, OX40, CD40L, and CD45RO in 26 patients with active disease, 31 with inactive disease, and 26 healthy controls. TREG cells were defined as CD25+/highCD127Ø/lowFoxP3+, and effector T cells were defined as CD25+CD127+FoxP3Ø. The ratio of TREG to effector T cells expressing GITR, PD1, HLA-DR, OX40, CD40L, and CD45RO was determined in the three groups. The frequency of TREG cells was similar in patients with SLE and controls. However, SLE patients had a decreased frequency of CTLA-4+TREG and CD28+TREG cells and an increased frequency of CD40L+TREG cells. There was a decrease in the TREG/effector-T ratio for GITR+, HLA-DR+, OX40+, and CD45RO+ cells, and an increased ratio of TREG/effector-T CD40L+ cells in patients with SLE. In addition, CD40L+TREG cell frequency correlated with the SLE disease activity index (P=0.0163). In conclusion, our findings showed several abnormalities in the expression of functionally critical surface molecules in TREG and effector T cells in SLE that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of this disease.
- Neonatal hyper- and hypothyroidism alter the myoglobin gene expression
program in adulthood
Abstract: Myoglobin acts as an oxygen store and a reactive oxygen species acceptor in muscles. We examined myoglobin mRNA in rat cardiac ventricle and skeletal muscles during the first 42 days of life and the impact of transient neonatal hypo- and hyperthyroidism on the myoglobin gene expression pattern. Cardiac ventricle and skeletal muscles of Wistar rats at 7-42 days of life were quickly removed, and myoglobin mRNA was determined by Northern blot analysis. Rats were treated with propylthiouracil (5-10 mg/100 g) and triiodothyronine (0.5-50 µg/100 g) for 5, 15, or 30 days after birth to induce hypo- and hyperthyroidism and euthanized either just after treatment or at 90 days. During postnatal (P) days 7-28, the ventricle myoglobin mRNA remained unchanged, but it gradually increased in skeletal muscle (12-fold). Triiodothyronine treatment, from days P0-P5, increased the skeletal muscle myoglobin mRNA 1.5- to 4.5-fold; a 2.5-fold increase was observed in ventricle muscle, but only when triiodothyronine treatment was extended to day P15. Conversely, hypothyroidism at P5 markedly decreased (60%) ventricular myoglobin mRNA. Moreover, transient hyperthyroidism in the neonatal period increased ventricle myoglobin mRNA (2-fold), and decreased heart rate (5%), fast muscle myoglobin mRNA (30%) and body weight (20%) in adulthood. Transient hypothyroidism in the neonatal period also permanently decreased fast muscle myoglobin mRNA (30%) and body weight (14%). These results indicated that changes in triiodothyronine supply in the neonatal period alter the myoglobin expression program in ventricle and skeletal muscle, leading to specific physiological repercussions and alterations in other parameters in adulthood.
- Inhibitory effect of liposomal quercetin on acute hepatitis and hepatic
fibrosis induced by concanavalin A
Abstract: Immune response plays an important role in the development of hepatic fibrosis. In the present study, we investigated the effects of quercetin on hepatitis and hepatic fibrosis induced by immunological mechanism. In the acute hepatitis model, quercetin (2.5 mg/kg) was injected iv into mice 30 min after concanavalin A (Con A) challenge. Mice were sacrificed 4 or 24 h after Con A injection, and aminotransferase tests and histopathological sections were performed. Treatment with quercetin significantly decreased the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Consistent with this observation, treatment with quercetin markedly attenuated the pathologic changes in the liver. A hepatic fibrosis model was also generated in mice by Con A challenge once a week for 6 consecutive weeks. Mice in the experimental group were treated with daily iv injections of quercetin (0.5 mg/kg). Histopathological analyses revealed that treatment with quercetin markedly decreased collagen deposition, pseudolobuli development, and hepatic stellate cells activation. We also examined the effects of quercetin on the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathways by immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). NF-κB and TGF-β production was decreased after treatment with quercetin, indicating that the antifibrotic effect of quercetin is associated with its ability to modulate NF-κB and TGF-β production. These results suggest that quercetin may be an effective therapeutic strategy in the treatment of patients with liver damage and fibrosis.
- Changes in cardiac aldosterone and its synthase in rats with chronic heart
failure: an intervention study of long-term treatment with recombinant
human brain natriuretic peptide
Abstract: The physiological mechanisms involved in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced chronic heart failure (CHF) are not fully understood. In this study, we investigated local changes in cardiac aldosterone and its synthase in rats with ISO-induced CHF, and evaluated the effects of treatment with recombinant human brain natriuretic peptide (rhBNP). Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 different groups. Fifty rats received subcutaneous ISO injections to induce CHF and the control group (n=10) received equal volumes of saline. After establishing the rat model, 9 CHF rats received no further treatment, rats in the low-dose group (n=8) received 22.5 μg/kg rhBNP and those in the high-dose group (n=8) received 45 μg/kg rhBNP daily for 1 month. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiographic and hemodynamic analysis. Collagen volume fraction (CVF) was determined. Plasma and myocardial aldosterone concentrations were determined using radioimmunoassay. Myocardial aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) was detected by quantitative real-time PCR. Cardiac function was significantly lower in the CHF group than in the control group (P<0.01), whereas CVF, plasma and myocardial aldosterone, and CYP11B2 transcription were significantly higher than in the control group (P<0.05). Low and high doses of rhBNP significantly improved hemodynamics (P<0.01) and cardiac function (P<0.05) and reduced CVF, plasma and myocardial aldosterone, and CYP11B2 transcription (P<0.05). There were no significant differences between the rhBNP dose groups (P>0.05). Elevated cardiac aldosterone and upregulation of aldosterone synthase expression were detected in rats with ISO-induced CHF. Administration of rhBNP improved hemodynamics and ventricular remodeling and reduced myocardial fibrosis, possibly by downregulating CYP11B2 transcription and reducing myocardial aldosterone synthesis.
- Influence of population and exercise protocol characteristics on
hemodynamic determinants of post-aerobic exercise hypotension
Abstract: Due to differences in study populations and protocols, the hemodynamic determinants of post-aerobic exercise hypotension (PAEH) are controversial. This review analyzed the factors that might influence PAEH hemodynamic determinants, through a search on PubMed using the following key words: “postexercise” or “post-exercise” combined with “hypotension”, “blood pressure”, “cardiac output”, and “peripheral vascular resistance”, and “aerobic exercise” combined only with “blood pressure”. Forty-seven studies were selected, and the following characteristics were analyzed: age, gender, training status, body mass index status, blood pressure status, exercise intensity, duration and mode (continuous or interval), time of day, and recovery position. Data analysis showed that 1) most postexercise hypotension cases are due to a reduction in systemic vascular resistance; 2) age, body mass index, and blood pressure status influence postexercise hemodynamics, favoring cardiac output decrease in elderly, overweight, and hypertensive subjects; 3) gender and training status do not have an isolated influence; 4) exercise duration, intensity, and mode also do not affect postexercise hemodynamics; 5) time of day might have an influence, but more data are needed; and 6) recovery in the supine position facilitates systemic vascular resistance decrease. In conclusion, many factors may influence postexercise hypotension hemodynamics, and future studies should directly address these specific influences because different combinations may explain the observed variability in postexercise hemodynamic studies.
- Effect of JJYMD-C, a novel synthetic derivative of gallic acid, on
proliferation and phenotype maintenance in rabbit articular chondrocytes
Abstract: Tissue engineering encapsulated cells such as chondrocytes in the carrier matrix have been widely used to repair cartilage defects. However, chondrocyte phenotype is easily lost when chondrocytes are expanded in vitro by a process defined as “dedifferentiation”. To ensure successful therapy, an effective pro-chondrogenic agent is necessary to overcome the obstacle of limited cell numbers in the restoration process, and dedifferentiation is a prerequisite. Gallic acid (GA) has been used in the treatment of arthritis, but its biocompatibility is inferior to that of other compounds. In this study, we modified GA by incorporating sulfamonomethoxine sodium and synthesized a sulfonamido-based gallate, JJYMD-C, and evaluated its effect on chondrocyte metabolism. Our results showed that JJYMD-C could effectively increase the levels of the collagen II, Sox9, and aggrecan genes, promote chondrocyte growth, and enhance secretion and synthesis of cartilage extracellular matrix. On the other hand, expression of the collagen I gene was effectively down-regulated, demonstrating inhibition of chondrocyte dedifferentiation by JJYMD-C. Hypertrophy, as a characteristic of chondrocyte ossification, was undetectable in the JJYMD-C groups. We used JJYMD-C at doses of 0.125, 0.25, and 0.5 µg/mL, and the strongest response was observed with 0.25 µg/mL. This study provides a basis for further studies on a novel agent in the treatment of articular cartilage defects.