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]
- Expression analysis of miRNA and target mRNAs in esophageal cancer
Abstract: We aimed to investigate miRNAs and related mRNAs through a network-based approach in order to learn the crucial role that they play in the biological processes of esophageal cancer. Esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC) and adenocarcinoma (EAC)-related miRNA and gene expression data were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, and differentially expressed miRNAs and genes were selected. Target genes of differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted and their regulatory networks were constructed. Differentially expressed miRNA analysis selected four miRNAs associated with EAC and ESCC, among which hsa-miR-21 and hsa-miR-202 were shared by both diseases. hsa-miR-202 was reported for the first time to be associated with esophageal cancer in the present study. Differentially expressed miRNA target genes were mainly involved in cancer-related and signal-transduction pathways. Functional categories of these target genes were related to transcriptional regulation. The results may indicate potential target miRNAs and genes for future investigations of esophageal cancer.
- Prevalence and conditions associated with chronic pelvic pain in women
from São Luís, Brazil
Abstract: The objective of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of chronic pelvic pain in the community of São Luís, capital of the State of Maranhão, Northeastern Brazil, and to identify independent conditions associated with it. A cross-sectional study was conducted, including a sample of 1470 women older than 14 years predominantly served by the public health system. The interviews were held in the subject's home by trained interviewers not affiliated with the public health services of the municipality. The homes were visited at random according to the city map and the prevalence of the condition was estimated. To identify the associated conditions, the significant variables (P=0.10) were selected and entered in a multivariate analysis model. Data are reported as odds ratio and 95% confidence interval, with the level of significance set at 0.05. The prevalence of chronic pelvic pain was 19.0%. The independent conditions associated with this diagnosis were: dyspareunia (OR=3.94), premenopausal status (OR=2.95), depressive symptoms (OR=2.33), dysmenorrhea (OR=1.77), smoking (OR=1.72), irregular menstrual flow (OR=1.62), and irritative bladder symptoms (OR=1.90). The prevalence of chronic pelvic pain in Sao Luís is high and is associated with the conditions cited above. Guidelines based on prevention and/or early identification of risk factors may reduce the prevalence of chronic pelvic pain in São Luís, Brazil.
- A meta-analysis of probiotics for preventing necrotizing enterocolitis in
Abstract: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the most common acquired diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants. Some randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) have indicated that probiotics may potentially lower the incidence of NEC and mortality. However, debate still remains about the safety of probiotics and their influence on normal infant growth. We performed this meta-analysis to assess the safety and benefits of probiotic supplementation in preterm infants. We searched in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases for English references, and in Wanfang, VIP, and CNKI databases for Chinese references. Ultimately, 27 RCTs (including 9 Chinese articles) were incorporated into this meta-analysis. Relative risk (RR) and weighted mean difference (WMD) were calculated using a random-effects or fixed-effects model, depending on the data type and heterogeneity. A total of 6655 preterm infants, including the probiotic group (n=3298) and the placebo group (n=3357), were eligible for inclusion in this meta-analysis. For Bell stage ≥I and gestational age <37 weeks, risk of NEC incidence was significantly lower in the probiotic group [RR=0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.27-0.44, P<0.00001]. For Bell stage ≥II or gestational age <34 weeks, there were likewise significant differences between the probiotic and placebo groups concerning NEC incidence (RR=0.34, 95%CI=0.25-0.48, P<0.00001; and RR=0.39, 95%CI=0.27-0.56, P<0.00001). Risk of death was significantly reduced in the probiotic group (RR=0.58, 95%CI=0.46-0.75, P<0.0001). In contrast, there was no significant difference concerning the risk of sepsis (RR=0.94, 95%CI=0.83-1.06, P=0.31). With respect to weight gain and the age at which infants reached full feeds, no significant differences were found between the probiotic and placebo groups (WMD=1.07, 95%CI=−0.21-2.34, P=0.10; and WMD=−1.66, 95%CI=−3.6-0.27, P=0.09). This meta-analysis has shown that, regardless of gestational age and NEC stage, probiotic supplementation could significantly reduce the risk of NEC in preterm infants. Analysis also indicated that such supplementation did not increase the incidence risk of sepsis or of mortality. Finally, the study showed that probiotic supplementation may have no adverse effect on normal feeding and growth.
- Inhibition of PKC-dependent extracellular Ca2+ entry
contributes to the depression of contractile activity in long-term
pressure-overloaded endothelium-denuded rat aortas
Abstract: We examined the contractile responsiveness of rat thoracic aortas under pressure overload after long-term suprarenal abdominal aortic coarctation (lt-Srac). Endothelium-dependent angiotensin II (ANG II) type 2 receptor (AT2R)-mediated depression of contractions to ANG II has been reported in short-term (1 week) pressure-overloaded rat aortas. Contractility was evaluated in the aortic rings of rats subjected to lt-Srac or sham surgery (Sham) for 8 weeks. ANG I and II levels and AT2R protein expression in the aortas of lt-Srac and Sham rats were also evaluated. lt-Srac attenuated the contractions of ANG II and phenylephrine in the aortas in an endothelium-independent manner. However, lt-Srac did not influence the transient contractions induced in endothelium-denuded aortic rings by ANG II, phenylephrine, or caffeine in Ca2+-free medium or the subsequent tonic constrictions induced by the addition of Ca2+ in the absence of agonists. Thus, the contractions induced by Ca2+ release from intracellular stores and Ca2+ influx through stored-operated channels were not inhibited in the aortas of lt-Srac rats. Potassium-elicited contractions in endothelium-denuded aortic rings of lt-Srac rats remained unaltered compared with control tissues. Consequently, the contractile depression observed in aortic tissues of lt-Srac rats cannot be explained by direct inhibition of voltage-operated Ca2+ channels. Interestingly, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced contractions in endothelium-denuded aortic rings of lt-Srac rats were depressed in the presence but not in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. Neither levels of angiotensins nor of AT2R were modified in the aortas after lt-Srac. The results suggest that, in rat thoracic aortas, lt-Srac selectively inhibited protein kinase C-mediated activation of contraction that is dependent on extracellular Ca2+ entry.
- Prenatal management, pregnancy and pediatric outcomes in fetuses with
septated cystic hygroma
Abstract: It has been reported that, compared with simple increased nuchal translucency, fetal cases with septated cystic hygroma (CH) are more likely to face perinatal handicaps. However, pediatric outcomes and proper prenatal counseling for this anomaly have not yet been truly defined. We performed this study to determine pregnancy and pediatric outcomes of fetuses with septated CH. We searched records for cases with septated CH and collected data for structural abnormalities, karyotype analysis, and pregnancy outcomes. Fetuses born with septated CH were also evaluated for their pediatric outcomes. Sixty-nine fetuses with septated CH were enrolled in the study. Results showed that chromosomal abnormalities were present in 28 fetuses (40.6%), and the most common aneuploidy was Turner syndrome (n=14, 20.3%); 16 (23.2%) of the remaining cases, in which aneuploidy was not found, had coexistent structural malformations; 25 (36.2%) cases had normal karyotype and morphology. The total number of live births and infants with unfavorable neurologic follow-up were 13 (18.8%) and 2 (2.9%), respectively. Septated CH is associated with poor perinatal outcomes; therefore, karyotype analysis and ultrasonographic anomaly screening should be performed as initial steps, and expectant management should be offered to couples with euploid fetuses that have normal morphology.
- Beneficial effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on insulin signaling
cascade, dyslipidemia, and body adiposity of diet-induced obese rats
Abstract: Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) has been indicated as an efficient medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2. It remains unclear if its effects are due to an improvement of the insulin signaling cascade, especially in obese subjects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of GbE on insulin tolerance, food intake, body adiposity, lipid profile, fasting insulin, and muscle levels of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1), protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B), and protein kinase B (Akt), as well as Akt phosphorylation, in diet-induced obese rats. Rats were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) or a normal fat diet (NFD) for 8 weeks. After that, the HFD group was divided into two groups: rats gavaged with a saline vehicle (HFD+V), and rats gavaged with 500 mg/kg of GbE diluted in the saline vehicle (HFD+Gb). NFD rats were gavaged with the saline vehicle only. At the end of the treatment, the rats were anesthetized, insulin was injected into the portal vein, and after 90s, the gastrocnemius muscle was removed. The quantification of IRS-1, Akt, and Akt phosphorylation was performed using Western blotting. Serum levels of fasting insulin and glucose, triacylglycerols and total cholesterol, and LDL and HDL fractions were measured. An insulin tolerance test was also performed. Ingestion of a hyperlipidic diet promoted loss of insulin sensitivity and also resulted in a significant increase in body adiposity, plasma triacylglycerol, and glucose levels. In addition, GbE treatment significantly reduced food intake and body adiposity while it protected against hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in diet-induced obesity rats. It also enhanced insulin sensitivity in comparison to HFD+V rats, while it restored insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation, increased IRS-1, and reduced PTP-1B levels in gastrocnemius muscle. The present findings suggest that G. biloba might be efficient in preventing and treating obesity-induced insulin signaling impairment.
- A combination of methylprednisolone and quercetin is effective for the
treatment of cardiac contusion following blunt chest trauma in rats
Abstract: Cardiac contusion is a potentially fatal complication of blunt chest trauma. The effects of a combination of quercetin and methylprednisolone against trauma-induced cardiac contusion were studied. Thirty-five female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups (n=7) as follows: sham, cardiac contusion with no therapy, treated with methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg on the first day, and 3 mg/kg on the following days), treated with quercetin (50 mg·kg−1·day−1), and treated with a combination of methylprednisolone and quercetin. Serum troponin I (Tn-I) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels and cardiac histopathological findings were evaluated. Tn-I and TNF-α levels were elevated after contusion (P=0.001 and P=0.001). Seven days later, Tn-I and TNF-α levels decreased in the rats treated with methylprednisolone, quercetin, and the combination of methylprednisolone and quercetin compared to the rats without therapy, but a statistical significance was found only with the combination therapy (P=0.001 and P=0.011, respectively). Histopathological degeneration and necrosis scores were statistically lower in the methylprednisolone and quercetin combination group compared to the group treated only with methylprednisolone (P=0.017 and P=0.007, respectively). However, only degeneration scores were lower in the combination therapy group compared to the group treated only with quercetin (P=0.017). Inducible nitric oxide synthase positivity scores were decreased in all treatment groups compared to the untreated groups (P=0.097, P=0.026, and P=0.004, respectively). We conclude that a combination of quercetin and methylprednisolone can be used for the specific treatment of cardiac contusion.
- ERKs and mitochondria-related pathways are essential for glycyrrhizic
acid-mediated neuroprotection against glutamate-induced toxicity in
differentiated PC12 cells
Abstract: The present study focuses on the neuroprotective effect of glycyrrhizic acid (GA, a major compound separated from Glycyrrhiza Radix, which is a crude Chinese traditional drug) against glutamate-induced cytotoxicity in differentiated PC12 (DPC12) cells. The results showed that GA treatment improved cell viability and ameliorated abnormal glutamate-induced alterations in mitochondria in DPC12 cells. GA reversed glutamate-suppressed B-cell lymphoma 2 levels, inhibited glutamate-enhanced expressions of Bax and cleaved caspase 3, and reduced cytochrome C (Cyto C) release. Exposure to glutamate strongly inhibited phosphorylation of AKT (protein kinase B) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs); however, GA pretreatment enhanced activation of ERKs but not AKT. The presence of PD98059 (a mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase [MEK] inhibitor) but not LY294002 (a phosphoinositide 3-kinase [PI3K] inhibitor) diminished the potency of GA for improving viability of glutamate-exposed DPC12 cells. These results indicated that ERKs and mitochondria-related pathways are essential for the neuroprotective effect of GA against glutamate-induced toxicity in DPC12 cells. The present study provides experimental evidence supporting GA as a potential therapeutic agent for use in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis of GH, GHR, and
IGF-1 genes in minipigs
Abstract: Tibetan (TB) and Bama (BM) miniature pigs are two popular pig breeds that are used as experimental animals in China due to their small body size. Here, we analyzed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in gene fragments that are closely related to growth traits [growth hormone (GH), growth hormone receptor (GHR), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1)] in these pig breeds and a large white (LW) control pig breed. On the basis of the analysis of 100 BMs, 108 TBs, and 50 LWs, the polymorphic distribution levels of GH, GHR, and IGF-1 were significantly different among these three pig breeds. According to correlation analyses between SNPs and five growth traits - body weight (BW), body length (BL), withers height (WH), chest circumference (CC), and abdomen circumference (AC) - three SNP loci in BMs and four SNP loci in TBs significantly affected growth traits. Three SNP sites in BMs and four SNP sites in TBs significantly affected growth traits. SNPs located in the GH gene fragment significantly affected BL and CC at locus 12 and BL at locus 45 in BMs, and also BW, WH, CC, and AC at locus 45 and WH and CC at locus 93 in TBs. One SNP at locus 85 in the BM GHR gene fragment significantly affected all growth traits. All indices were significantly reduced with a mixture of alleles at locus 85. These results provide more information regarding the genetic background of these minipig species and indicate useful selection markers for pig breeding programs.
- Serotonin regulates osteoblast proliferation and function in
Abstract: The monoamine serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), a well-known neurotransmitter, also has important functions outside the central nervous system. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of 5-HT in the proliferation, differentiation, and function of osteoblasts in vitro. We treated rat primary calvarial osteoblasts with various concentrations of 5-HT (1 nM to 10 µM) and assessed the rate of osteoblast proliferation, expression levels of osteoblast-specific proteins and genes, and the ability to form mineralized nodules. Next, we detected which 5-HT receptor subtypes were expressed in rat osteoblasts at different stages of osteoblast differentiation. We found that 5-HT could inhibit osteoblast proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization at low concentrations, but this inhibitory effect was mitigated at relatively high concentrations. Six of the 5-HT receptor subtypes (5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, and 5-HT2C) were found to exist in rat osteoblasts. Of these, 5-HT2A and 5-HT1B receptors had the highest expression levels, at both early and late stages of differentiation. Our results indicated that 5-HT can regulate osteoblast proliferation and function in vitro.
- Association among genetic predisposition, gut microbiota, and host immune
response in the etiopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease
Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a chronic disorder that affects thousands of people around the world. These diseases are characterized by exacerbated uncontrolled intestinal inflammation that leads to poor quality of life in affected patients. Although the exact cause of IBD still remains unknown, compelling evidence suggests that the interplay among immune deregulation, environmental factors, and genetic polymorphisms contributes to the multifactorial nature of the disease. Therefore, in this review we present classical and novel findings regarding IBD etiopathogenesis. Considering the genetic causes of the diseases, alterations in about 100 genes or allelic variants, most of them in components of the immune system, have been related to IBD susceptibility. Dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota also plays a role in the initiation or perpetuation of gut inflammation, which develops under altered or impaired immune responses. In this context, unbalanced innate and especially adaptive immunity has been considered one of the major contributing factors to IBD development, with the involvement of the Th1, Th2, and Th17 effector population in addition to impaired regulatory responses in CD or UC. Finally, an understanding of the interplay among pathogenic triggers of IBD will improve knowledge about the immunological mechanisms of gut inflammation, thus providing novel tools for IBD control.
- Putative role of ischemic postconditioning in a rat model of limb ischemia
and reperfusion: involvement of hypoxia-inducible factor-1' expression
Abstract: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is one of the most potent angiogenic growth factors. It improves angiogenesis and tissue perfusion in ischemic skeletal muscle. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that ischemic postconditioning is effective for salvaging ischemic skeletal muscle resulting from limb ischemia-reperfusion injury, and that the mechanism involves expression of HIF-1α. Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups (n=36 each): sham-operated (group S), hindlimb ischemia-reperfusion (group IR), and ischemic postconditioning (group IPO). Each group was divided into subgroups (n=6) according to reperfusion time: immediate (0 h, T0), 1 h (T1), 3 h (T3), 6 h (T6), 12 h (T12), and 24 h (T24). In the IPO group, three cycles of 30-s reperfusion and 30-s femoral aortic reocclusion were carried out before reperfusion. At all reperfusion times (T0-T24), serum creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities, as well as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) concentrations, were measured in rats after they were killed. Histological and immunohistochemical methods were used to assess the skeletal muscle damage and HIF-1α expression in skeletal muscle ischemia. In groups IR and IPO, serum LDH and CK activities and TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10 concentrations were all significantly increased compared to group S, and HIF-1α expression was up-regulated (P<0.05 or P<0.01). In group IPO, serum LDH and CK activities and TNF-α and IL-6 concentrations were significantly decreased, IL-10 concentration was increased, HlF-1α expression was down-regulated (P<0.05 or P<0.01), and the pathological changes were reduced compared to group IR. The present study suggests that ischemic postconditioning can reduce skeletal muscle damage caused by limb ischemia-reperfusion and that its mechanisms may be related to the involvement of HlF-1α in the limb ischemia-reperfusion injury-triggered inflammatory response.
- Effect of physical training on liver expression of activin A and
follistatin in a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease model in rats
Abstract: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by fat accumulation in the liver and is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Activin A is a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF)-β superfamily and inhibits hepatocyte growth. Follistatin antagonizes the biological actions of activin. Exercise is an important therapeutic strategy to reduce the metabolic effects of obesity. We evaluated the pattern of activin A and follistatin liver expression in obese rats subjected to swimming exercise. Control rats (C) and high-fat (HF) diet-fed rats were randomly assigned to a swimming training group (C-Swim and HF-Swim) or a sedentary group (C-Sed and HF-Sed). Activin βA subunit mRNA expression was significantly higher in HF-Swim than in HF-Sed rats. Follistatin mRNA expression was significantly lower in C-Swim and HF-Swim than in either C-Sed or HF-Sed animals. There was no evidence of steatosis or inflammation in C rats. In contrast, in HF animals the severity of steatosis ranged from grade 1 to grade 3. The extent of liver parenchyma damage was less in HF-Swim animals, with the severity of steatosis ranging from grade 0 to grade 1. These data showed that exercise may reduce the deleterious effects of a high-fat diet on the liver, suggesting that the local expression of activin-follistatin may be involved.