In JoVE (1)

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Articles by Mineko Shibayama in JoVE

 JoVE Medicine

Analyzing Beneficial Effects of Nutritional Supplements on Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Functions During Experimental Colitis

1Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, 2Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neurosciences, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, 3Department of Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute

JoVE 55095

Other articles by Mineko Shibayama on PubMed

Interaction of Secretory Immunoglobulin A Antibodies with Naegleria Fowleri Trophozoites and Collagen Type I

Canadian Journal of Microbiology. Mar, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12795402

In this work, we analyzed the in vitro interaction of human secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) antibodies with Naegleria fowleri trophozoites and the capacity of these antibodies to inhibit amoeba adherence to collagen type I. We also studied N. fowleri antigens that are recognized by sIgA, using immunoblot assays. Immunocytochemical analysis of the interaction showed a redistribution of antigens on the surface of trophozoites by sIgA antibodies. Ultrastructural analysis of antibody-amoeba interaction showed that besides the patching and cap formation, parasites were capable of eliminating the antigen-antibody complex produced on the surface. sIgA antibodies were capable of inhibiting the in vitro adhesion of trophozoites to collagen type I. We suggest that nonsymptomatic infections by N. fowleri may stimulate a local specific immunity that prevents trophozoite adhesion and invasion of nasal mucosa.

Thalidomide Ameliorates Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Cirrhosis in the Rat

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Sep, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12923366

Thalidomide has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha and anti-collagen activities. Cirrhosis is characterized by inflammation and fibrosis. Thus, thalidomide was evaluated in an experimental model of liver cirrhosis.

Structured HCV Nucleocapsids Composed of P21 Core Protein Assemble Primary in the Nucleus of Pichia Pastoris Yeast

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Oct, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 14511646

The relationship between HCV core protein (HCcAg) processing and the structural composition and morphogenesis of nucleocapsid-like particles (NLPs) produced in Pichia pastoris cells was studied. At early stages of heterologous expression, data suggest that HCcAg (in the P21 form) was transported soon after its synthesis in the cytoplasm into the nucleus. HCcAg assembly into nucleocapsid-like particles with 20-30 nm in diameter took place primary in the cell nucleus. However, at later stages, when P21 and P23 forms were co-detected, data suggest that new assembly of nucleocapsid particles containing P21 possibly occurs at ER membranes and in the cytoplasm. This is the first report showing that structured HCV NLPs composed of P21 core protein assemble primary in the nucleus of P. pastoris yeast.

Nuclear Localization of Nucleocapsid-like Particles and HCV Core Protein in Hepatocytes of a Chronically HCV-infected Patient

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Oct, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 14511647

Little is known about the life cycle of hepatitis C virus. Determination of the subcellular localization of HCV proteins may contribute to our understanding of the in vivo functions of the viral proteins. HCV core protein regulates multiple functions in host cells and it has been detected both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus using different expression systems. In this study, nucleocapsid-like particles were observed in the nucleus of hepatocytes from a chronically HCV-infected patient. They were similar in size and shape to those of HCV core-like particles purified from recombinant Pichia pastoris cells. In addition the HCV core protein was detected not only in the cytoplasm but also in the nucleus and nucleolus of hepatocytes by immunoelectron microscopy. This is the first report showing nuclear localization of HCV core protein and nucleocapsid-like particles in hepatocytes during in vivo HCV infection.

Nitric Oxide Synthase in Entamoeba Histolytica: Its Effect on Rat Aortic Rings

Experimental Parasitology. Jul-Aug, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 14552855

NADPH-diaphorase activity has been considered as a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) marker. Therefore, the presence of NADPH-d activity in Entamoeba histolytica suggests that they have NOS activity. The aim of this work was to provide support for this contention. The amebic culture medium or amebic purified proteins induced relaxation of endothelium-denuded rat aortic rings pre-contracted with phenylephrine (10(-6) M), which was inhibited when the amebas were incubated with NG-monomethyl-L-arginine or aminoguanidine (NOS inhibitors), or by pretreatment of the aortic rings with methylene blue. L-Arginine reverted the L-NAME inhibitory effect. In addition, trophozoites produce NO in culture and they have proteins which were recognized by antibodies specific to NOS and show activity of NO synthase. In conclusion, our results provide evidence about the production of NO by trophozoites. This molecule may be responsible for the relaxation elicited by the amebic culture medium and may participate in the pathogenesis of the invasive amebiasis. Index Descriptors and Abbreviations: Entamoeba histolytica; NO, nitric oxide; NOS, nitric oxide synthase; iNOS, inducible nitric oxide synthase; ecNOS, endothelial nitric oxide synthase; NADPH-d, NADPH-diaphorase enzyme; beta-NADPH, beta-nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide; L-NAME, N-omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride; NBT, nitobluetetrazolium; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

In Vitro and in Vivo Interaction of Entamoeba Histolytica Gal/GalNAc Lectin with Various Target Cells: an Immunocytochemical Analysis

Parasitology International. Mar, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14984834

The Gal/GalNAc lectin of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites plays an important role in adhesion. The distribution and final destiny of the lectin during the interaction with host cells are poorly understood. Using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against the lectin we studied by immunocytochemistry the in vitro and in vivo interaction of E. histolytica trophozoites with human and hamster hepatocytes. We also analyzed the presence and distribution of the lectin in a mouse model of intestinal amoebiasis. In all cases, trophozoites were highly labeled by anti-lectin antibodies. Cultured human and hamster hepatocytes in contact with, or localized at the vicinity of parasites were also labeled by anti-lectin antibodies. Most of the labeled hepatocytes showed variable degrees of cell damage. Hepatocytes distantly localized from the parasites were also stained with the anti-lectin antibodies. Immunolabeling of tissue sections from different stages of the development of experimental amoebic liver abscess in hamsters showed inflammatory foci containing lectin-labeled trophozoites, hepatocytes, and sinusoidal and inflammatory cells. Lectin-containing hepatocytes had vacuolated cytoplasm with some nuclei with a condensed appearance. Damaged intestinal epithelium also was labeled with anti-lectin antibodies in a mouse model of intestinal amoebiasis. Electron microscopy of axenically cultured trophozoites using gold-labeled monoclonal and polyclonal anti-lectin antibody showed that plasma membrane, vacuole membranes and areas of cell cytosol were labeled. Higher deposits of gold particles in plasma membrane suggestive of cell secretion were observed. Our results demonstrated that Gal/GalNAc lectin was bound and captured by different target cells, and that host cells containing the lectin showed signs of cell damage. The contribution of lectin transfer to host cells in adherence and cell injury remains to be determined.

Induction of Morphological and Electrophysiological Changes in Hamster Cornea After in Vitro Interaction with Trophozoites of Acanthamoeba Spp

Infection and Immunity. Jun, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15155626

Acanthamoeba castellani and Acanthamoeba polyphaga are free-living amebae that cause keratitis and granulomatous encephalitis in humans. We have analyzed the early morphological and electrophysiological changes occurring during the in vitro interaction of cultured amebae with intact or physically damaged corneas obtained from hamsters. Both species of Acanthamoeba produced similar cytopathic changes, as seen by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. After adhesion to the epithelial surface, trophozoites formed clumps and migrated toward the cell borders, causing the separation of adjacent cells at 1 h of coculture. At later stages (2 to 4 h), some amebae were found under desquamating epithelial cells whereas others were seen associated with damaged cells or forming amebostome-like structures to ingest detached epithelial cells. Control corneas incubated in culture medium conditioned with amebae showed a cytoplasmic vacuolization and blurring of the epithelial-stromal junction. The early stages of corneal epithelial damage caused by amebae were also analyzed by measuring the transepithelial resistance changes in corneas mounted in Ussing chambers. Both species of Acanthamoeba caused a rapid decrease in electrical resistance. The present observations demonstrate that under in vitro conditions, Acanthamoeba trophozoites rapidly cause significant damage to the corneal epithelium. Furthermore, in our experimental model, previous physical damage to the corneas was not a prerequisite for the development of amebic corneal ulcerations.

Immunosuppressive Treatment Inhibits the Development of Amebic Liver Abscesses in Hamsters

Medical Science Monitor : International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research. Sep, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15328476

The aim of the present study was to determine if the inflammation and/or immunosuppression induced by Entamoeba histolytica may contribute to amebic invasion.

Antiamoebic and Toxicity Studies of a Carbamic Acid Derivative and Its Therapeutic Effect in a Hamster Model of Hepatic Amoebiasis

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Mar, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15728919

Amoebiasis is an important public health problem in developing countries. Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent of amoebiasis, may develop resistance to nitroimidazoles, a group of drugs considered to be the most effective against this parasitic disease. Therefore, research on new drugs for the treatment of this common infection still constitutes an important therapeutic demand. In the present study we determined the effects of a carbamate derivative, ethyl 4-chlorophenylcarbamate (C4), on trophozoites of E. histolytica strain HM-1:IMSS. C4 was subject to various toxicity tests, including the determination of mutagenicity for bacterial DNA and changes in the enzymatic activities of eukaryotic cells. Genotoxicity studies were performed by the mutagenicity Ames test (plate incorporation and preincubation methods) with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, with or without metabolic activation produced by the S9 fraction of rat liver. C4 toxicity studies were performed by measuring enzymatic activity in eukaryotic cells by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide-formazan test with Fischer 344 rat hepatocytes. C4 did not induce either frame-shift mutations in S. enterica serovar Typhimurium TA97 or TA98 or base pair substitutions in strains TA100 and TA102. The compound was not toxic for cultured rat hepatic cells. Trophozoites treated with 100 microg of C4 per ml were inhibited 97.88% at 48 h of culture; moreover, damage to the amoebae was also confirmed by electron microscopy. The antiamoebic activity of C4 was evaluated by using an in vivo model of amoebic liver abscess in hamsters. Doses of 75 and 100 mg/100 g of body weight reduced the extent of the amoebic liver abscess by 84 and 94%, respectively. These results justify further studies to clearly validate whether C4 is a new suitable antiamoebic drug.

HCV Core Protein Localizes in the Nuclei of Nonparenchymal Liver Cells from Chronically HCV-infected Patients

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Apr, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15766571

Understanding the mechanism of hepatitis C virus (HCV) pathogenesis is an important part of HCV research. Recent experimental evidence suggests that the HCV core protein (HCcAg) has numerous functional activities. These properties suggest that HCcAg, in concert with cellular factors, may contribute to pathogenesis during persistent HCV infection. HCV is capable of infecting cells other than hepatocytes. Although the extrahepatic cellular tropism of HCV may play a role in the pathophysiology of this infection, the precise biological significance of the presence of HCV components in different liver cell types presently remains to be established. In this study, HCcAg was detected in nonparenchymal liver cells of six patients out of eight positive for serum HCV RNA. Immunostaining with anti-HCcAg mAbs revealed the presence of this protein in different liver cell types such as lymphocytes, Kupffer, polymorphonuclear, pit, endothelial, stellate, and fibroblast-like cells. Interestingly, HCcAg was immunolabeled not only in the cytoplasm but also in the nucleus of these cells. Remarkably, HCcAg co-localized with large lipid droplets present in stellate cells and with collagen fibers in the extracellular matrix. Moreover, HCcAg was immunolabeled in bile canaliculus suggesting the involvement of the biliary system in the pathobiology of HCV. Data suggest that nonparenchymal liver cells may constitute a reservoir for HCV replication. Besides, HCcAg may contribute to modulate immune function and fibrosis in the liver as well as steatosis.

Experimental Amebiasis: a Selected Review of Some in Vivo Models

Archives of Medical Research. Feb, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16380321

The use of in vivo animal models in amebiasis has contributed significantly to the knowledge of this common human parasitic disease. Although there is no animal model that mimics the whole cycle of the human disease, the use of different susceptible and resistant laboratory animals and the availability for many years of techniques for the axenic culture of trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica have allowed a better understanding of the parasite and the host-parasite relationship. The recent introduction of frontier methodologies in biology has increased our comprehension of this parasite. New information on the cellular and molecular biology and genetics of this organism has been extensively reported, and much of this has clearly required the more frequent use of animal models to verify specific facts. Based on experimental animals characterized previously, the introduction of new animal models with genetic or surgical modifications, especially in mice, has allowed a more adequate analysis of the mechanisms of pathogenesis. Multiple factors have been considered in the promotion of the invasiveness and virulence of E. histolytica. Additionally, the immunological and physiological responses of the host, depending on the environmental conditions, lead to the establishment or the rejection of the parasite. The role of inflammatory reaction to amebic infection constitutes one of the controversies that has been studied by several authors. In susceptible animals (hamsters and gerbils), inflammatory cell damage seems to be related to target cell lysis, while in resistant animals (mice), inflammatory cells appear to protect the host by lysing the parasite. Presently, the involvement of various substances in the development of lesions including lectins, proteases, amebapores, promoters of apoptosis, cytokines, nitric oxide, etc., is being examined using different in vivo models.

Protease Activities of Acanthamoeba Polyphaga and Acanthamoeba Castellanii

Canadian Journal of Microbiology. Jan, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16541155

Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amoebae that cause amoebic granulomatous encephalitis, skin lesions, and ocular amoebic keratitis in humans. Several authors have suggested that proteases could play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases. In the present work, we performed a partial biochemical characterization of proteases in crude extracts of Acanthamoeba spp. and in conditioned medium using 7.5% SDS-PAGE copolymerized with 0.1% m/v gelatin as substrate. We distinguished a total of 17 bands with proteolytic activity distributed in two species of Acanthamoeba. The bands ranged from 30 to 188 kDa in A. castellanii and from 34 to 144 kDa in A. polyphaga. Additionally, we showed that the pattern of protease activity differed in the two species of Acanthamoeba when pH was altered. By using protease inhibitors, we found that the proteolytic activities belonged mostly to the serine protease family and secondly to cysteine proteases and that the proteolytic activities from A. castellanii were higher than those in A. polyphaga. Furthermore, aprotinin was found to inhibit crude extract protease activity on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) monolayers. These data suggest that protease patterns could be more complex than previously reported.

Chronic Bile Duct Obstruction Induces Changes in Plasma and Hepatic Levels of Cytokines and Nitric Oxide in the Rat

Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology : Official Journal of the Gesellschaft Fur Toxikologische Pathologie. Aug, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16617007

Chronic bile duct ligation (BDL) is a useful model of cirrhosis. However, its parallel plasma and liver changes in levels of cytokines and nitric oxide (NO), involved in liver damage, remain unknown. The aims of this work were to quantify both the plasma and hepatic levels of five cytokines and NO in cirrhotic rats, 28 days after bile BDL, and to analyze their relationship with liver damage markers. One group of male Wistar rats was bile duct ligated and another group was sham operated, both groups were sacrificed 28 days after BDL. Plasma and liver cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6, -1beta, -10 (IL-6, -1beta, -10) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), were measured by ELISA. Plasma and hepatic NO was determined as NO(2)(-)+NO(3)(-) by an enzymatic method. Alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine aminotransferase and bilirubins were determined in plasma. Collagen, lipid peroxidation and glycogen were quantified in liver. Two histopathological staining techniques were performed. BDL-induced cirrhosis was corroborated by the elevated liver damage markers and histopathological analysis. Chronic BDL significantly increased (P<0.05) most of plasma and hepatic cytokine levels and diminished the hepatic IFN-gamma amount. NO was increased in both tissues, but such change was only significant in plasma. Biliary cirrhosis produces interesting changes in plasma and hepatic levels of cytokines and NO. This finding in chronic BDL model in rats has not been previously described in both tissues for such cytokines and NO. Cytokines and NO imbalance favor establishment and perpetuation of cirrhosis.

Curcumin Protects Against Acute Liver Damage in the Rat by Inhibiting NF-kappaB, Proinflammatory Cytokines Production and Oxidative Stress

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Jun, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17383825

Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound, was evaluated for its ability to suppress acute carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage. Acute hepatotoxicity was induced by oral administration of CCl4 (4 g/kg, p.o.). Curcumin treatment (200 mg/kg, p.o.) was given before and 2 h after CCl4 administration. Indicators of necrosis (alanine aminotransferase) and cholestasis (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and bilirubins) resulted in significant increases after CCl4 intoxication, but these effects were prevented by curcumin treatment. As an indicator of oxidative stress, GSH was oxidized and the GSH/GSSG ratio decreased significantly by CCl4, but was preserved within normal values by curcumin. In addition to its antioxidants properties, curcumin is capable of preventing NF-kappaB activation and therefore to prevent the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, in this study we determined the concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) mRNA, and NF-kappaB activation. CCl4-administered rats depicted significant increases in TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 production, while curcumin remarkably suppressed these mediators of inflammation in liver damage. These results were confirmed by measuring TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta protein production using Western Blot analysis. Accordingly, these proteins were increased by CCl4 and this effect was abolished by curcumin. Administration of CCl4 induced the translocation of NF-kappaB to the nucleus; CCl4 induced NF-kappaB DNA binding activity was blocked by curcumin treatment. These findings suggest that curcumin prevents acute liver damage by at least two mechanisms: acting as an antioxidant and by inhibiting NF-kappaB activation and thus production of proinflammatory cytokines.

A Brazilian Species of Entamoeba Dispar (ADO) Produces Amoebic Liver Abscess in Hamsters

Annals of Hepatology. Apr-Jun, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17519836

A Biochemical Comparison of Proteases from Pathogenic Naegleria Fowleri and Non-pathogenic Naegleria Gruberi

The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. Sep-Oct, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17910685

Naegleria fowleri is the etiologic agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Proteases have been suggested to be involved in tissue invasion and destruction during infection. We analyzed and compared the complete protease profiles of total crude extract and conditioned medium of both pathogenic N. fowleri and non-pathogenic Naegleria gruberi trophozoites. Using SDS-PAGE, we found differences in the number and molecular weight of proteolytic bands between the two strains. The proteases showed optimal activity at pH 7.0 and 35 degrees C for both strains. Inhibition assays showed that the main proteolytic activity in both strains is due to cysteine proteases although serine proteases were also detected. Both N. fowleri and N. gruberi have a variety of different protease activities at different pH levels and temperatures. These proteases may allow the amoebae to acquire nutrients from different sources, including those from the host. Although, the role of the amoebic proteases in the pathogenesis of PAM is not clearly defined, it seems that proteases and other molecules of the parasite as well as those from the host, could be participating in the damage to the human central nervous system.

Programmed Cell Death in Entamoeba Histolytica Induced by the Aminoglycoside G418

Microbiology (Reading, England). Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17975094

This study presents morphological and biochemical evidence of programmed cell death (PCD) in Entamoeba histolytica induced by exposure of trophozoites to the aminoglycoside antibiotic G418. Morphological characteristics of PCD, including cell shrinkage, reduced cellular volume, nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation and vacuolization were observed, with preservation of trophozoite membrane integrity. PCD is orchestrated biochemically by alterations in intracellular ion fluxes. In G418-treated trophozoites, overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), decreased intracellular K+, increased cytosolic calcium, and decreased intracellular pH levels were observed. However, externalization of phosphatidylserine was not detected. These results suggest that amoebae can undergo PCD under stress conditions, and that this PCD shares several properties with PCD reported in mammals and in a variety of unicellular organisms.

Characterization of Naegleria Fowleri Strains Isolated from Human Cases of Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis in Mexico

Revista De Investigacion Clinica; Organo Del Hospital De Enfermedades De La Nutricion. Sep-Oct, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 18268889

The protozoon Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri) is a free-living amoeba that produces primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is an acute and frequently fatal infection of the central nervous system. We characterized the strains of N. fowleri isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of two cases presented in northwestern Mexico. The strains were isolated and cultured in 2% bactocasitone medium. Enflagellation assays, ultrastructural analysis, protein and protease electrophoresis patterns, and PCR were performed as confirmatory tests. Virulence tests were done using in Balb/c mice. Light microscopy analysis of brain tissue showed amoebae with abundant inflammatory reaction and extensive necrotic and hemorrhagic areas. The enflagellation assay was positive and the electron microscopy showed trophozoites with morphologic features typical of the genus. Protein and protease profiles of the isolated strains were identical to the reference strain. Finally, a 1500-bp PCR product was found in all three strains. Based on all the analyses performed, we concluded that the etiologic agent of both PAM cases was N. fowleri. The need for better epidemiological information and educational programs about basic clinical and pathological aspects of free-living amoebae provided by the health authorities are emphasized.

Resveratrol Prevents Fibrosis, NF-kappaB Activation and TGF-beta Increases Induced by Chronic CCl4 Treatment in Rats

Journal of Applied Toxicology : JAT. Jan, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 17429801

Resveratrol is a nonflavonoid polyphenol with antioxidant, anticancer and antiinflammatory properties. Moreover, it has been reported that this compound inhibits NF-kappaB, which regulates the transcription of several genes including cytokines such as the profibrogenic TGF-beta. The aim of this work was to evaluate the pharmacological effects of resveratrol on CCl(4)-induced cirrhosis in the rat. Four groups were formed: the control group that received the vehicles only; the CCl(4) group that received the toxin (0.4 g kg(-1), i.p., three times a week, for 8 weeks); the CCl(4) plus resveratrol (10 mg kg(-1), daily) group; and the resveratrol alone group. Alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubins were increased by CCl(4), but resveratrol afforded some degree of protection. Glycogen was decreased markedly by CCl(4) and resveratrol prevented almost completely this effect. No antioxidant effect of resveratrol was observed. One of the most prominent effects was on fibrosis which increased near 5-fold (hydroxyproline) in the CCl(4) group; resveratrol preserved the content of collagen. These results were corroborated by histopathology. To elucidate the antifibrogenic mechanism of resveratrol, the activation of NF-kappaB and the production of TGF-beta were measured; in both cases CCl(4) increased them and resveratrol abolished them; however, changes in NF-kappaB were modest and did not reach statistical significance, while the increase in TGF-beta was about three fold and resveratrol decreased it under control values. Together, the present results indicate that resveratrol possesses a strong antifibrogenic effect at least in the CCl(4) model of cirrhosis. Moreover, the action mechanism is probably associated with its ability to reduce NF-kappaB activation and TGF-beta content.

Resveratrol and Trimethylated Resveratrol Protect from Acute Liver Damage Induced by CCl4 in the Rat

Journal of Applied Toxicology : JAT. Mar, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 17541932

The importance of hydroxyl groups in the antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties of resveratrol was investigated. To achieve this, resveratrol or its trimethylated analog were administered (10 mg kg(-1), p.o.) to male Wistar rats and liver damage was induced by acute administration of CCl4 (4 g kg(-1), p.o.); appropriate controls were performed. The animals were killed 24 h after CCl4 intoxication. The amount of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the liver was not modified by any treatment; interestingly, the GSH/GSSG (oxidized glutathione) ratio decreased in the groups receiving CCl4 and resveratrol associated with an increase in GSSG. In blood GSH and the GSH/GSSG ratio were decreased by CCl4; both effects were completely prevented by any of the compounds tested. Lipid peroxidation and the activity of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase were increased significantly after CCl4. Resveratrol partially prevented these increases and surprisingly, trimethylated resveratrol completely prevented the increase of these markers. Both compounds partially but significantly prevented the increase in the activity of alanine aminotransferase; this result agrees with observations in the histological analysis. Both tested compounds administered alone produced no effect. The results of the present study suggest that OH groups are important for the antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties of the molecule of resveratrol; nevertheless, these effects can be improved by replacing hydrogen by a methyl in these groups. The differences in the antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of these compounds could be due to the possibility that the trimethylated resveratrol acts like a prodrug, prolonging, probably, the half-life of the original compound.

Characterization of Brain Inflammation During Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis

Parasitology International. Sep, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18374627

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living amoeba and the etiologic agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Trophozoites reach the brain by penetrating the olfactory epithelium, and invasion of the olfactory bulbs results in an intense inflammatory reaction. The contribution of the inflammatory response to brain damage in experimental PAM has not been delineated. Using both optical and electron microscopy, we analyzed the morphologic changes in the brain parenchyma due to inflammation during experimental PAM. Several N. fowleri trophozoites were observed in the olfactory bulbs 72 h post-inoculation, and the number of amoebae increased rapidly over the next 24 h. Eosinophils and neutrophils surrounding the amoebae were then noted at later times during infection. Electron microscopic examination of the increased numbers of neutrophils and the interactions with trophozoites indicated an active attempt to eliminate the amoebae. The extent of inflammation increased over time, with a predominant neutrophil response indicating important signs of damage and necrosis of the parenchyma. These data suggest a probable role of inflammation in tissue damage. To test the former hypothesis, we used CD38-/- knockout mice with deficiencies in chemotaxis to compare the rate of mortality with the parental strain, C57BL/6J. The results showed that inflammation and mortality were delayed in the knockout mice. Based on these results, we suggest that the host inflammatory response and polymorphonuclear cell lysis contribute to a great extent to the central nervous system tissue damage.

Methyl Palmitate Prevents CCl(4)-induced Liver Fibrosis

Journal of Applied Toxicology : JAT. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18626905

Liver fibrosis is characterized by an excess of collagen fiber deposition, and it is known that Kupffer cells play an important role by immunomodulation of the toxic response. Methyl palmitate (MP) is an effective Kupffer cell inhibitor. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of MP on experimental liver fibrosis. Four groups were formed: the control group, which received the vehicles only; CCl(4) group (0.4 g kg(-1), i.p., three times a week, for eight weeks); CCl(4) plus MP (300 mg kg(-1), i.p., daily); and MP alone. Alanine aminotransferase was increased by CCl(4), and MP did not prevent this increase. Lipid peroxidation was increased markedly by CCl(4); again, MP was not able to prevent this effect. Fibrosis increased nearly 6-fold (measured as liver hydroxyproline content) in the CCl(4) group; MP preserved the normal content of collagen. These results were corroborated by histopathology. To elucidate the antifibrogenic mechanism of MP, we measured the production of TGF-beta; CCl(4) increased this cytokine several-fold, and MP abolished this increase. Collectively the present results indicate that MP possesses a strong antifibrogenic effect at least in the CCl(4) model of fibrosis. The antifibrotic effect of MP is probably associated with its ability to reduce TGF-beta content, maybe by immunomodulation of Kupffer cells functioning.

Curcumin Prevents and Reverses Cirrhosis Induced by Bile Duct Obstruction or CCl4 in Rats: Role of TGF-beta Modulation and Oxidative Stress

Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology. Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18705752

Curcumin is a phytophenolic compound, which is highly efficacious for treating several inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of curcumin in preventing or reversing liver cirrhosis. A 4-week bile duct ligation (BDL) rat model was used to test the ability of curcumin (100 mg/kg, p.o., daily) to prevent cirrhosis. To reverse cirrhosis, CCl(4) was administered chronically for 3 months, and then it was withdrawn and curcumin administered for 2 months. Alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, liver histopathology, bilirubin, glycogen, reduced and oxidized glutathione, and TGF-beta (mRNA and protein) levels were assessed. Curcumin preserved normal values of markers of liver damage in BDL rats. Fibrosis, assessed by measuring hydroxyproline levels and histopathology, increased nearly fivefold after BDL and this effect was partially but significantly prevented by curcumin. BDL increased transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) levels (mRNA and proteins), while curcumin partially suppressed this mediator of fibrosis. Curcumin also partially reversed the fibrosis induced by CCl(4). Curcumin was effective in preventing and reversing cirrhosis, probably by its ability of reducing TGF-beta expression. These data suggest that curcumin might be an effective antifibrotic and fibrolitic drug in the treatment of chronic hepatic diseases.

Trolox Down-regulates Transforming Growth Factor-beta and Prevents Experimental Cirrhosis

Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18811677

Cirrhosis is a very common disease and its treatment is limited due to lack of effective drugs. Some studies indicate that this disease is associated with oxidative stress. Therefore, we decided to study the effect of trolox, an effective antioxidant, on experimental cirrhosis. Cirrhosis was induced by CCl4 administration (0.4 g/kg, intraperitoneally, three times per week, for 8 weeks) to Wistar male rats. Trolox was administered daily (50 mg/kg, orally). Fibrosis was assessed histologically and by measuring liver hydroxyproline content. Glutathione, lipid peroxidation and glycogen were measured in liver; serum markers of liver damage were also quantified. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was determined by Western blot and quantified densitometrically. Alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and alanine aminotransferase increased in the group receiving CCl4; trolox completely or partially prevented these alterations. Glycogen was almost depleted by CCl4 but was partially preserved by trolox. Lipid peroxidation increased while glutathione decreased by CCl4 administration; trolox corrected both effects. Histology showed thick bands of collagen, necrosis and distortion of the hepatic parenchyma in the CCl4 group, such effects were prevented by trolox. Hydroxyproline content increased 5-fold by CCl4, while the group receiving both CCl4 and trolox showed no significant difference compared to the control group. CCl4 increased 3-fold TGF-beta, while trolox completely prevented this increase. We found that trolox effectively prevented cirrhosis induced with CCl4 in the rat. Our results suggest that the beneficial effects of trolox may be associated to its antioxidant properties and to its ability to reduce the profibrogenic cytokine TGF-beta expression.

Mucins in the Host Defence Against Naegleria Fowleri and Mucinolytic Activity As a Possible Means of Evasion

Microbiology (Reading, England). Dec, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19047756

Naegleria fowleri is the aetiological agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This parasite invades its host by penetrating the olfactory mucosa. During the initial stages of infection, the host response is initiated by the secretion of mucus that traps the trophozoites. Despite this response, some trophozoites are able to reach, adhere to and penetrate the epithelium. In the present work, we evaluated the effect of mucins on amoebic adherence and cytotoxicity to Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and the MUC5AC-inducing cell line NCI-H292. We showed that mucins inhibited the adhesion of amoebae to both cell lines; however, this inhibition was overcome in a time-dependent manner. N. fowleri re-established the capacity to adhere faster than N. gruberi. Moreover, mucins reduced the cytotoxicity to target cells and the progression of the illness in mice. In addition, we demonstrated mucinolytic activity in both Naegleria strains and identified a 37 kDa protein with mucinolytic activity. The activity of this protein was inhibited by cysteine protease inhibitors. Based on these results, we suggest that mucus, including its major mucin component, may act as an effective protective barrier that prevents most cases of PAM; however, when the number of amoebae is sufficient to overwhelm the innate immune response, the parasites may evade the mucus by degrading mucins via a proteolytic mechanism.

Innate Immunity Prevents Tissue Invasion by Entamoeba Histolytica

Canadian Journal of Microbiology. Dec, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19096458

Although innate and adaptive immunity both play a role in amoebiasis, the mechanisms involved in the elimination of Entamoeba histolytica are poorly understood. To provide more information about the innate immune mechanisms that may confer protection against invasive amoebiasis, we administered inflammatory substances (bacillus Calmette-Guérin, lipopolysaccharide, complete Freund's adjuvant, or mineral oil) into the peritoneum of hamsters. The animals were then challenged with pathogenic trophozoites of E. histolytica and, after 7 days, the protective host response was analysed. We found that the nonspecific inflammatory response induced in the peritoneum was sufficient to prevent liver invasion by E. histolytica. In vitro experiments showed that the killing of trophozoites was mediated by peritoneal macrophages and a protein of 68 kDa with peroxidase activity.

The Thalidomide Analog 3-phthalimido-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-propanoic Acid Improves the Biliary Cirrhosis in the Rat

Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology : Official Journal of the Gesellschaft Fur Toxikologische Pathologie. Sep, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19095429

Chronic cholestasis and cholangitis may lead to the last phase known as biliary cirrhosis, characterized by cellular necrosis, apoptosis, tissue damage, local regeneration, inflammation and fibrosis. Such events are mediated by cytokines. Thalidomide and its analogs have shown to be effective immunomodulatory and hepatoprotective agents. The aim of this work was to evaluate the hepatoprotective properties of a thalidomide analog, the 3-phthalimido-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-propanoic acid (PDA), on bile duct obstruction-induced cirrhosis. Vehicle or PDA (67 mg/kg) was orally administered twice a day to sham (Sham) or bile duct-ligated (BDL) male Wistar rats. The animals were sacrificed 28 days after treatments. Alkaline phosphatase (AP), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzyme activities as well as direct and total bilirubins concentration were determined in plasma. Lipid peroxidation (LP), glycogen and collagen were quantified in liver; in addition, histopathology was performed. PDA improved cholestasis, necrosis and fibrosis by significantly diminishing most of liver injury markers (P<0.05). Histopathology also showed remarkable liver damage amelioration. PDA effectiveness may be due to its water-solubility, stability, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitory and immunomodulatory actions. Thalidomide and its analogs seem to be promising drugs for further treatment of biliary cirrhosis.

Differential Expression of Surface Glycoconjugates on Entamoeba Histolytica and Entamoeba Dispar

Parasitology International. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19269346

The human large intestine can harbor two morphologically similar amoebae; the invasive Entamoeba histolytica and the non-invasive Entamoeba dispar. Whereas E. histolytica can produce intestinal and extra-intestinal lesions, E. dispar is present in non-symptomatic carriers. Although biochemical, genetic and proteomic studies have identified clear differences between these Entamoebae, it has become clear that several molecules, once assumed to be involved in tissue destruction, exist in both the virulent and the avirulent species. As surface molecules may play a role in invasion and could therefore determine which amoebae are invasive, we analyzed the glycoconjugate composition of E. histolytica and E. dispar using lectins. There was a significant difference between E. histolytica and E. dispar in the expression of glycoconjugates containing d-mannose and N-acetyl-alpha-D-galactosamine residues, but not between virulent and avirulent strains of E. histolytica. N-glycoconjugates with terminal alpha (1-3)-linked mannose residues participate in the adhesion and subsequent cytotoxicity of E. histolytica to cultured hamster hepatocytes. One of them probably is the Gal/GalNAc lectin.

N-acetylcysteine Prevents Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Liver Cirrhosis: Role of Liver Transforming Growth Factor-beta and Oxidative Stress

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Aug, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19398917

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant, a precursor of reduced glutathione, and an inhibitor of the profibrotic cytokine liver transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) cirrhosis is characterized by oxidative stress and fibrosis. Therefore, the aim of this work was to study the effect of NAC on experimental cirrhosis.

Naegleria Fowleri Induces MUC5AC and Pro-inflammatory Cytokines in Human Epithelial Cells Via ROS Production and EGFR Activation

Microbiology (Reading, England). Nov, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19661176

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeboflagellate responsible for the fatal central nervous system (CNS) disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This amoeba gains access to the CNS by invading the olfactory mucosa and crossing the cribriform plate. Studies using a mouse model of infection have shown that the host secretes mucus during the very early stages of infection, and this event is followed by an infiltration of neutrophils into the nasal cavity. In this study, we investigated the role of N. fowleri trophozoites in inducing the expression and secretion of airway mucin and pro-inflammatory mediators. Using the human mucoepidermal cell line NCI-H292, we demonstrated that N. fowleri induced the expression of the MUC5AC gene and protein and the pro-inflammatory mediators interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), but not tumour necrosis factor-alpha or chemokine c-c motif ligand 11 (eotaxin). Since the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a common phenomenon involved in the signalling pathways of these molecules, we analysed if trophozoites were capable of causing ROS production in NCI-H292 cells by detecting oxidation of the fluorescent probe 2,7-dichlorofluorescein diacetate. NCI-H292 cells generated ROS after 15-30 min of trophozoite stimulation. Furthermore, the expression of MUC5AC, IL-8 and IL-1 beta was inhibited in the presence of the ROS scavenger DMSO. In addition, the use of an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor decreased the expression of MUC5AC and IL-8, but not IL-1 beta. We conclude that N. fowleri induces the expression of some host innate defence mechanisms, such as mucin secretion (MUC5AC) and local inflammation (IL-8 and IL-1 beta) in respiratory epithelial cells via ROS production and suggest that these innate immune mechanisms probably prevent most PAM infections.

Differences Between Naegleria Fowleri and Naegleria Gruberi in Expression of Mannose and Fucose Glycoconjugates

Parasitology Research. Feb, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20098997

Naegleria fowleri is the etiologic agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rapidly fatal parasitic disease of humans. The adherence of Naegleria trophozoites to the host cell is one of the most important steps in the establishment and invasiveness of this infectious disease. Currently, little is known about the surface molecules that may participate in the interaction of N. fowleri with their target cells. In the present study, we investigated the composition of glycoconjugates present on the surface of trophozoites of the pathogenic N. fowleri and the nonpathogenic Naegleria gruberi. With the use of biotinylated lectins in western blot and flow cytometric analysis, we showed that N. fowleri trophozoites present high levels of surface glycoconjugates that contain alpha-D-mannose, alpha-D-glucose, and terminal alpha-L-fucose residues. A significant difference in the expression of these glycoconjugates was observed between N. fowleri and the nonpathogenic N. gruberi. Furthermore, we suggest that glycoconjugates that contain D-mannose and L-fucose residues participate in the adhesion of N. fowleri and subsequent damage to MDCK cells.

Antifibrotic and Fibrolytic Properties of Celecoxib in Liver Damage Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride in the Rat

Liver International : Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver. Aug, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20524983

Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) plays a pivotal role in liver fibrosis, because it activates hepatic stellate cells, stimulating extracellular matrix deposition. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) has been associated with TGF-beta because its inhibition decreases TGF-beta expression and collagen production in some cultured cell types.

Human Amebiasis: Breaking the Paradigm?

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20617021

For over 30 years it has been established that the Entamoeba histolytica protozoan included two biologically and genetically different species, one with a pathogenic phenotype called E. histolytica and the other with a non-pathogenic phenotype called Entamoeba dispar. Both of these amoebae species can infect humans. E. histolytica has been considered as a potential pathogen that can cause serious damage to the large intestine (colitis, dysentery) and other extraintestinal organs, mainly the liver (amebic liver abscess), whereas E. dispar is a species that interacts with humans in a commensal relationship, causing no symptoms or any tissue damage. This paradigm, however, should be reconsidered or re-evaluated. In the present work, we report the detection and genotyping of E. dispar sequences of DNA obtained from patients with amebic liver abscesses, including the genotyping of an isolate obtained from a Brazilian patient with a clinical diagnosis of intestinal amebiasis that was previously characterized as an E. dispar species. The genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis performed by our group has shown the existence of several different genotypes of E. dispar that can be associated to, or be potentiality responsible for intestinal or liver tissue damage, similar to that observed with E. histolytica.

Effect of Phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol Liposomes on Entamoeba Histolytica Virulence

Canadian Journal of Microbiology. Dec, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21164568

Trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica HM-1:IMSS become less virulent after long-term maintenance in axenic cultures. The factors responsible for the loss of virulence during in vitro cultivation remain unclear. However, it is known that in vitro cultivation of amoeba in culture medium supplemented with cholesterol restores their virulence. In this study, we analyzed the effect of adding phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol (PC-Chol) liposomes to the culture medium and evaluated the effect of this lipid on various biochemical and biological functions of E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS in terms of its virulence. The addition of PC-Chol liposomes to the culture medium maintained the virulence of these parasites against hamster liver at the same level as the original virulent E. histolytica strain, even though these amoebae were maintained without passage through hamster liver for 18 months. The trophozoites also showed increased endocytosis, erythrophagocytosis, and carbohydrate residue expression on the amoebic surface. Protease activities were also modified by the presence of cholesterol in the culture medium. These findings indicate the capacity of cholesterol to preserve amoeba virulence and provide an alternative method for the maintenance of virulent E. histolytica trophozoites without the need for in vivo procedures.

Entamoeba Histolytica Calreticulin: an Endoplasmic Reticulum Protein Expressed by Trophozoites into Experimentally Induced Amoebic Liver Abscesses

Parasitology Research. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 20922421

Entamoeba histolytica calreticulin (EhCRT) is remarkably immunogenic in humans (90-100% of invasive amoebiasis patients). Nevertheless, the study of calreticulin in this protozoan is still in its early stages. The exact location, biological functions, and its role in pathogenesis are yet to be fully understood. The aim of the present work is to determine the location of EhCRT in virulent trophozoites in vivo and the expression of the Ehcrt gene during the development of experimentally induced amoebic liver abscesses (ALA) in hamsters. Antibodies against recombinant EhCRT were used for the immunolocalization of EhCRT in trophozoites through confocal microscopy; immunohistochemical assays were also performed on tissue sections of ALAs at different times after intrahepatic inoculation. The expression of the Ehcrt gene during the development of ALA was estimated through both in situ RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR. Confocal assays of virulent trophozoites showed a distribution of EhCRT in the cytoplasmic vesicles of different sizes. Apparently, EhCRT is not exported into the hepatic tissue. Real-time RT-PCR demonstrated an over-expression of the Ehcrt gene at 30 min after trophozoite inoculation, reaching a peak at 1-2 h; thereafter, the expression fell sharply to its original levels. These results demonstrate for the first time in an in vivo model of ALA, the expression of Ehcrt gene in E. histolytica trophozoites and add evidence that support CRT as a resident protein of the ER in E. histolytica species. The in vivo experiments suggest that CRT may play an important role during the early stages of the host-parasite relationship, when the parasite is adapting to a new environment, although the protein seems to be constitutively synthesized. Moreover, trophozoites apparently do not export EhCRT into the hepatic tissue in ALA.

Cell Wall Glycoproteins Participate in the Adhesion of Sporothrix Schenckii to Epithelial Cells

Mycopathologia. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21082256

Sporothrix schenckii is the etiologic agent of sporotrichosis. This fungal infection is an emerging disease potentially fatal in immunocompromised patients. The adhesion to host cells is a crucial early event related with the dissemination of pathogens. In order to clarify the mechanisms of adhesion of S. schenckii yeast cell to epithelial cells, we studied the biochemical basis of this process. The electrophoretic analysis of cell wall protein from S. schenckii coupled at ConA and stained with HRP, revealed nine different proteins with MW ≥ 180, 115, 90, 80, 58, 40, 36, 22 and 18 kDa. Using ligand-like assay with biotinylated S. schenckii surface proteins, five proteins with MW ≥ 190, 180, 115, 90 and 80 kDa which have affinity to epithelial cells were identified. The adhesion of yeast to epithelial monolayer was significantly inhibited when S. schenckii was pretreated with concanavalinA (ConA) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) lectins, alkali, periodate, trypsin, endoglycosidase H (EndoH), salt solutions and detergents. The ability of adhesion of S. schenckii yeast was recovered by blocking the lectin with sugar complementary. These data suggest that surface glycoprotein with mannose and glucose residue could be participate in the process of fungal adhesion to epithelial cells.

In Vivo Programmed Cell Death of Entamoeba Histolytica Trophozoites in a Hamster Model of Amoebic Liver Abscess

Microbiology (Reading, England). May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21349978

Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites can induce host cell apoptosis, which correlates with the virulence of the parasite. This phenomenon has been seen during the resolution of an inflammatory response and the survival of the parasites. Other studies have shown that E. histolytica trophozoites undergo programmed cell death (PCD) in vitro, but how this process occurs within the mammalian host cell remains unclear. Here, we studied the PCD of E. histolytica trophozoites as part of an in vivo event related to the inflammatory reaction and the host-parasite interaction. Morphological study of amoebic liver abscesses showed only a few E. histolytica trophozoites with peroxidase-positive nuclei identified by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase enzyme-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL). To better understand PCD following the interaction between amoebae and inflammatory cells, we designed a novel in vivo model using a dialysis bag containing E. histolytica trophozoites, which was surgically placed inside the peritoneal cavity of a hamster and left to interact with the host's exudate components. Amoebae collected from bags were then examined by TUNEL assay, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and transmission electron microscopy. Nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation of E. histolytica trophozoites were observed after exposure to peritoneal exudates, which were mainly composed of neutrophils and macrophages. Our results suggest that production of nitric oxide by inflammatory cells could be involved in PCD of trophozoites. In this modified in vivo system, PCD appears to play a prominent role in the host-parasite interaction and parasite cell death.

Coffee Prevents CCl(4)-induced Liver Cirrhosis in the Rat

Hepatology International. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21484136

Previous clinical observations suggested that coffee may have beneficial effects on the liver. In fact, an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and liver cirrhosis has been reported in humans. However, the causative role of coffee has not been established; therefore, the aim of this work was to study the effect of coffee in an experimental model of liver damage.

Silencing Survivin Splice Variant 2B Leads to Antitumor Activity in Taxane--resistant Ovarian Cancer

Clinical Cancer Research : an Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21512144

To study the role of survivin and its splice variants in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer.

A Novel Fluorinated Stilbene Exerts Hepatoprotective Properties in CCl(4)-induced Acute Liver Damage

Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21923234

There has been a recently increase in the development of novel stilbene-based compounds with in vitro anti-inflamatory properties. For this study, we synthesized and evaluated the anti-inflammatory properties of 2 fluorinated stilbenes on carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄)-induced acute liver damage. To achieve this, CCl₄ (4 g·kg(-1), per os) was administered to male Wistar rats, followed by either 2-fluoro-4'-methoxystilbene (FME) or 2,3-difluoro-4'-methoxystilbene (DFME) (10 mg·kg(-1), per os). We found that although both of the latter compounds prevented cholestatic damage (γ-glutamyl transpeptidase activity), only DFME showed partial but consistent results in the prevention of necrosis, as assessed by both alanine aminotransferase activity and histological analysis. Since inflammatory responses are mediated by cytokines, mainly tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α), we used the Western blot technique to determine the action of FME and DFME on the expression level of this cytokine. The observed increase in the level of TNF-α caused by CCl₄ administration was only prevented by treatment with DFME, in agreement with our biochemical findings. This result was confirmed by measuring interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, since the expression of this protein depends on the level of TNF-α. In this case, DFME completely blocked the CCl₄-induced increase of IL-6. Our results suggest that DFME possesses greater anti-inflammatory properties in vivo than FME. DFME constitutes a possible therapeutic agent for liver disease and could serve as a template for structure optimization.

Effects of Acetyl Salycilic Acid and Ibuprofen in Chronic Liver Damage Induced by CCl4

Journal of Applied Toxicology : JAT. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21360558

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are drugs used primarily to treat inflammation, pain and fever. Their main mechanism of action is cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition, and this enzyme has been linked to hepatotoxicity. The association of COX and liver injury has been, in part, due to the presence of COX-2 isoform in damaged liver and the possible induction of this enzyme by profibrotic molecules like Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β). The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of two of the most used NSAIDs, acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) and ibuprofen (IBP), on experimental liver fibrosis. We formed experimental groups of rats including vehicle and drug controls, damage induced by chronic CCl4 (0.4 g kg(-1) , i.p., three times per week, for 8 weeks) administration, and CCl4 plus ASA (100 mg kg(-1) , p.o., daily) or IBP (30 mg kg(-1) , p.o., daily). Both drugs showed important antifibrotic properties. They inhibited COX-2 activity, prevented oxidative stress measured as lipid peroxidation and glutathione content, and ASA inhibited partially and IBP totally increased TGF-β expression and collagen content. ASA and IBP prevented translocation of NFκB to the nucleus and, interestingly, ASA induced MMP-2 and MMP-13 whereas IBP induced MMP-2, MMP-9 and MMP-13. As a whole, these effects explain the beneficial effects of ASA and IBP on experimental liver fibrosis.

Protective Effects of Allopurinol Against Acute Liver Damage and Cirrhosis Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride: Modulation of NF-κB, Cytokine Production and Oxidative Stress

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22056511

The aim of this work was to evaluate the hepatoprotective ability of allopurinol to prevent the liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)).

Amoebic Liver Abscess Production by Entamoeba Dispar

Annals of Hepatology. Jan-Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22166569

Although Entamoeba dispar displays a similar morphology to Entamoeba histolytica, cellular and molecular studies have revealed significant differences between these two amoebae, including the former being characterized as non-pathogenic and the later as pathogenic. However, recent in vivo and in vitro experiments have shown that E. dispar strains of different origin are capable of causing liver damage and destroying cell culture lines in the presence of common intestinal bacteria. These results suggested that E. dispar may present pathogenic behavior according to the specific E. dispar strain, culture and environmental conditions. To investigate this possibility, we carried out in vivo and in vitro studies using a xenic strain E. dispar (ICB-ADO) isolated from a symptomatic non-dysenteric Brazilian patient. This strain was able to induce liver necrosis in a hamster model that was more severe than that produced by E. histolytica. The ICB-ADO isolate also caused significantly more destruction of cultured MDCK cells and increased loss of transepithelial resistance than did the E. histolytica. Xenic E. dispar exhibited high proteolytic activity, which was partially inhibited by the addition of cysteine-protease inhibitors. Based on our biochemical and molecular characterization of E. dispar (ICB-ADO) xenic culture and its ability to produce liver abscesses, we conclude that this specific strain can indeed produce tissue damage, distinct from the frequently used non- pathogenic E. dispar SAW 760 strain.

Corifungin, a New Drug Lead Against Naegleria, Identified from a High-throughput Screen

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22869574

Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a rapidly fatal infection caused by the free-living ameba Naegleria fowleri. The drug of choice in treating PAM is the antifungal antibiotic amphotericin B, but its use is associated with severe adverse effects. Moreover, few patients treated with amphotericin B have survived PAM. Therefore, fast-acting and efficient drugs are urgently needed for the treatment of PAM. To facilitate drug screening for this pathogen, an automated, high-throughput screening methodology was developed and validated for the closely related species Naegleria gruberi. Five kinase inhibitors and an NF-kappaB inhibitor were hits identified in primary screens of three compound libraries. Most importantly for a preclinical drug discovery pipeline, we identified corifungin, a water-soluble polyene macrolide with a higher activity against Naegleria than that of amphotericin B. Transmission electron microscopy of N. fowleri trophozoites incubated with different concentrations of corifungin showed disruption of cytoplasmic and plasma membranes and alterations in mitochondria, followed by complete lysis of amebae. In vivo efficacy of corifungin in a mouse model of PAM was confirmed by an absence of detectable amebae in the brain and 100% survival of mice for 17 days postinfection for a single daily intraperitoneal dose of 9 mg/kg of body weight given for 10 days. The same dose of amphotericin B did not reduce ameba growth, and mouse survival was compromised. Based on these results, the U.S. FDA has approved orphan drug status for corifungin for the treatment of PAM.

Tumor-associated Macrophages and Angiogenesis: a Statistical Correlation That Could Reflect a Critical Relationship in Ameloblastoma

Pathology, Research and Practice. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23041027

Neoplasm growth is determined not only by the tumor cells themselves, but also by the tumor microenvironment. Increased densities of macrophages and activation of angiogenesis have been identified as common events in the progression of several neoplasms. Ameloblastoma is one of the most frequent odontogenic tumors and an excellent model for the study of neoplasm progression due to the different clinical variants that it exhibits. Here, by immunohistochemical studies using antibodies against CD68 and CD34, we evaluated the density of macrophages and microvessels associated to 45 paraffin-embedded ameloblastomas. In solid/multicystic ameloblastoma (SMA), we observed significantly higher densities of both macrophages and microvessels than in unicystic (UA) and desmoplastic (DA) ameloblastomas. Likewise, higher densities of macrophages and microvessels were found in UA than in DA. Furthermore, a predominance of intratumoral and peritumoral macrophage infiltrates was seen in SMA, while in UA, both macrophages and microvessels were also detected in the wall of the cysts. In contrast, DA had scant macrophages and microvessels, mainly situated distant from tumoral cells. In addition, a high correlation between macrophage and microvessel densities was observed in the samples (r=0.9623). Our results suggest that these two tumor microenvironmental elements could have an important role during ameloblastoma progression.

Secondary Biliary Cirrhosis in the Rat is Prevented by Decreasing NF-κB Nuclear Translocation and TGF-β Expression Using Allopurinol, an Inhibitor of Xanthine Oxidase

Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23181275

Allopurinol is an inhibitor of xanthine oxidase (XO), and XO is an enzyme that generates great amounts of reactive oxygen species. The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficacy of allopurinol to prevent experimental cirrhosis. Fibrosis and cirrhosis were induced by common bile duct ligation (BDL) for 4 weeks in rats. Animals were divided into 4 groups: sham-operated rats (SHAM); BDL group; BDL plus allopurinol (100 mg·kg⁻¹, p.o.), and SHAM plus allopurinol treatment. Alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, and alkaline phosphatase were increased in BDL rats but were preserved normal by allopurinol. XO activity was prevented by allopurinol; however, lipophilic and hydrophilic oxidative stress was not prevented by the drug. Allopurinol partially suppresses nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) nuclear translocation and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) expression, and increased the active form of matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13). Moreover, collagen production induced by BDL was partially but significantly reduced by allopurinol. These findings suggest that allopurinol possesses a hepatoprotective effect probably by modulating proteins such as NF-κB, TGF-β, and MMP-13, helping to protect against liver damage induced by chronic cholestasis and a mechanism independent of oxidative stress.

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Enhances CCl4-induced Hepatotoxicity in an Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-dependent Manner

Xenobiotica; the Fate of Foreign Compounds in Biological Systems. Feb, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 22834477

Cytochrome P4502E1 (CYP2E1) is involved in the biotransformation of several low molecular weight chemicals and plays an important role in the metabolic activation of carcinogens and hepatotoxins such as CCl(4). Induction of CYP2E1 is exerted mainly at posttranscriptional levels through mRNA and protein stabilization, and there is little evidence of xenobiotic induction at the transcriptional level. Previously, we reported microarray analysis data suggesting a decrease in Cyp2e1 gene expression on Ahr-null livers when compared to wild-type mouse livers. The goal of the present study was to determine whether 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) increased mouse CYP2E1 levels in an AhR-dependent manner and the impact on CCl(4)-induced hepatotoxicity. TCDD treatment induced CYP2E1 mRNA and protein levels in mouse liver, and this effect was aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent. Moreover, TCDD pre-treatment increased the CCl(4)-induced alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, the extent of CCl(4)-induced necrosis, and the number of sinusoidal cells in wild-type animals, while this potentiating effect was not observed in Ahr-null mice. In conclusion, this study revealed that TCDD, probably in an AhR-dependent manner, exacerbated CCl(4)-induced hepatotoxicity through induction of CYP2E1.

Disruption of MDCK Cell Tight Junctions by the Free-living Amoeba Naegleria Fowleri

Microbiology (Reading, England). Feb, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23258265

Naegleria fowleri is the aetiological agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This parasite invades its host by penetrating the olfactory mucosa. However, the mechanism of epithelium penetration is not well understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of N. fowleri trophozoites and the non-pathogenic Naegleria gruberi on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) tight junction proteins, including claudin-1, occludin and ZO-1, as well as on the actin cytoskeleton. Trophozoites from each of the free-living amoeba species were co-cultured with MDCK cells in a 1 : 1 ratio for 1, 3, 6 or 10 h. Light microscopy revealed that N. fowleri caused morphological changes as early as 3 h post-infection in an epithelial MDCK monolayer. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that after 10 h of co-culture, N. fowleri trophozoites induced epithelial cell damage, which was characterized by changes in the actin apical ring and disruption of the ZO-1 and claudin-1 proteins but not occludin. Western blot assays revealed gradual degradation of ZO-1 and claudin-1 as early as 3 h post-infection. Likewise, there was a drop in transepithelial electrical resistance that resulted in increased epithelial permeability and facilitated the invasion of N. fowleri trophozoites by a paracellular route. In contrast, N. gruberi did not induce alterations in MDCK cells even at 10 h post-infection. Based on these results, we suggest that N. fowleri trophozoites disrupt epithelial monolayers, which could enable their penetration of the olfactory epithelium and subsequent invasion of the central nervous system.

Allopurinol Reverses Liver Damage Induced by Chronic Carbon Tetrachloride Treatment by Decreasing Oxidative Stress, TGF-β Production and NF-κB Nuclear Translocation

Pharmacology. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24008378

Allopurinol is an inhibitor of xanthine oxidase. The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficacy of allopurinol to reverse the experimental cirrhosis induced by CCl4. Rats received CCl4 for 8 weeks, and immediately after allopurinol was administered for 4 weeks more. Allopurinol reversed all markers of liver damage and oxidative stress to normal values, restoring the metabolic capacity of the liver. Chronic injury by CCl4 induced significant overexpression of profibrogenic cytokine TGF-β, while allopurinol decreased this production and consequently decreased the collagen content. Moreover, allopurinol is capable of partially inhibiting NF-κB. These findings suggest that allopurinol is capable of reversing the cirrhosis induced by CCl4, modulating oxidative stress, TGF-β expression and NF-κB nuclear translocation.

Caffeine Prevents Experimental Liver Fibrosis by Blocking the Expression of TGF-β

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 23903851

There is a growing body of evidence that caffeine exerts beneficial effects on the liver; however, the molecular mechanisms by which caffeine exerts beneficial effects on the liver are poorly defined.

Restoration of Albumin Production by Nucleoside Analogue Therapy in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B

Medical Molecular Morphology. Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24326379

The clinical course of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CH-B) was greatly changed by the introduction of nucleoside analogues. We often encounter patients where the serum level of albumin recovers quickly following the treatment. In this study, we focused carefully on the changes in serum albumin level noted during nucleoside analogue therapy, in an effort to clarify the mechanism behind the restoration of albumin production. We observed changes in serum albumin levels during nucleoside analogue therapy in 12 patients with CH-B and studied the mechanism behind the restoration of albumin production following the therapy. The serum level of albumin was significantly increased very soon after the treatment was started. Prior to treatment with nucleoside analogues, the albumin signal for mRNA was only slightly seen in the peri-portal area, whereas 12 months after the treatment, the liver tissue presented an obvious signal of albumin mRNA. Serum levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were significantly decreased 12 months after the treatment. In this study, we demonstrated that nucleoside analogues decrease HGF through the suppression of hepatocyte damage, leading to the restoration of albumin production in patients with CH-B.

In Vitro Efficacy of Corifungin Against Acanthamoeba Castellanii Trophozoites and Cysts

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24366747

Painful blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous amebic encephalitis are caused by the free-living amebae Acanthamoeba spp. Several prescription eye medications are used to treat Acanthamoeba keratitis, but the infection can be difficult to control because of recurrence of infection. For the treatment of encephalitis, no single drug was found useful, and in spite of the use of a combination of multiple drugs, the mortality rate remains high. Therefore, efficient, novel drugs are urgently needed for the treatment of amebic keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis. In this study, we identified corifungin, a water-soluble polyene macrolide, as amebicidal. In vitro, it was effective against both the trophozoites and the cysts. Transmission electron microscopy of Acanthamoeba castellanii incubated with corifungin showed the presence of swollen mitochondria, electron-dense granules, degeneration of cytoplasm architecture, and loss of nuclear chromatin structure. These changes were followed by lysis of amebae. Corifungin also induced the encystment process of A. castellanii. There were alterations in the cyst cell wall followed by lysis of the cysts. Corifungin is a promising therapeutic option for keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis.

Immunomodulatory Effects by Oral Contraceptives in Normal and Cholestatic Female Rats: Role of Cytokines

International Immunopharmacology. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24746750

Oral contraceptives (OC) may cause intrahepatic cholestasis or increase a pre-established liver damage. OC effects on hepatic injury biochemical markers remain contradictory and the role of cytokines in those processes is fairly unknown. Two doses, simple or double, of the OC combination ethinylestradiol/norgestrel were administered during 14 or 28 days to normal and cholestatic female rats. Liver damage markers and the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) were determined in plasma and liver. OC caused ambiguous results on cholestasis indicators, even more in cholestatic rats. Necrosis rose during cholestasis while OC lowered it in normal rats. Fibrosis was induced by cholestasis but OC double dose or intake time diminished that. Cholestasis depleted glycogen while OC did not alter it. Double dose or time of administration of OC significantly elevated the lipid peroxidation. Cholestasis modified plasma and liver cytokines but OC remarkably altered them in normal and cholestatic animals. TNF-α as well as IL-10 were increased in both tissues by OC, such rise was higher in normal rats. TGF-β was augmented by OC and more in cholestatic rats receiving double dose. Thus, OC modified most liver injury markers in normal rats although more pronouncedly in cholestatic ones, as well as increased hepatic oxidative stress. Liver fibrosis was decreased and corroborated by histological analysis even when TGF-β is elevated by OC. OC strongly immunomodulate cytokines that mediate liver damage or worsen a prior hepatopathy; those processes are influenced by dose, administration time and OC formulation.

Entamoeba Histolytica and E. Dispar Calreticulin: Inhibition of Classical Complement Pathway and Differences in the Level of Expression in Amoebic Liver Abscess

BioMed Research International. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24860808

The role of calreticulin (CRT) in host-parasite interactions has recently become an important area of research. Information about the functions of calreticulin and its relevance to the physiology of Entamoeba parasites is limited. The present work demonstrates that CRT of both pathogenic E. histolytica and nonpathogenic E. dispar species specifically interacted with human C1q inhibiting the activation of the classical complement pathway. Using recombinant EhCRT protein, we demonstrate that CRT interaction site and human C1q is located at the N-terminal region of EhCRT. The immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy experiments show that CRT and human C1q colocalize in the cytoplasmic vesicles and near to the surface membrane of previously permeabilized trophozoites or are incubated with normal human serum which is known to destroy trophozoites. In the presence of peripheral mononuclear blood cells, the distribution of EhCRT and C1q is clearly over the surface membrane of trophozoites. Nevertheless, the level of expression of CRT in situ in lesions of amoebic liver abscess (ALA) in the hamster model is different in both Entamoeba species; this molecule is expressed in higher levels in E. histolytica than in E. dispar. This result suggests that EhCRT may modulate some functions during the early moments of the host-parasite relationship.

Hesperidin Prevents Liver Fibrosis in Rats by Decreasing the Expression of Nuclear Factor-κB, Transforming Growth Factor-β and Connective Tissue Growth Factor

Pharmacology. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25226844

To evaluate the antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antinecrotic and antifibrotic effects of hesperidin on CCl4-induced cirrhosis.

Acanthamoeba Castellanii Proteases Are Capable of Degrading Iron-Binding Proteins As a Possible Mechanism of Pathogenicity

The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. Sep-Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25737266

Acanthamoeba castellanii, a free-living amoeba, is an amphizoic organism that can behave as an opportunistic pathogen, causing granulomatous amoebic encephalitis in immunocompromised patients or infecting immunocompetent individuals via cutaneous lesions, sinusoidal infections, or amoebic keratitis. Therefore, this amoeba could be in contact with different iron-binding proteins, such as lactoferrin in tears and mucosa and transferrin and hemoglobin in blood. Iron is a vital and necessary element for host metabolism but also for parasite survival. Accordingly, parasites have developed iron uptake mechanisms, one of which is the utilization of proteases to degrade host iron-binding proteins. In this work, we performed a partial biochemical characterization of A. castellanii proteases at different pHs and utilizing protease inhibitors with 10% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and copolymerized with different iron-binding proteins. We describe for the first time the presence of several cysteine proteases in a total A. castellanii crude extract and in conditioned culture medium precipitated with ethanol. These amoebic peptidases degraded human holo-lactoferrin, holo-transferrin, hemoglobin, and horse spleen ferritin; some of these proteases were substrate specific, and others degraded multiple substrates. These proteases could be considered virulence factors that promote iron acquisition from the host.

CD40 Ligand Deficient C57BL/6 Mouse Is a Potential Surrogate Model of Human X-Linked Hyper IgM (X-HIGM) Syndrome for Characterizing Immune Responses Against Pathogens

BioMed Research International. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26064940

Individuals with X-HIGM syndrome fail to express functional CD40 ligand; consequently they cannot mount effective protective antibody responses against pathogenic bacteria. We evaluated, compared, and characterized the humoral immune response of wild type (WT) and C57-CD40L deficient (C57-CD40L(-/-)) mice infected with Citrobacter rodentium. Basal serum isotype levels were similar for IgM and IgG3 among mice, while total IgG and IgG2b concentrations were significantly lower in C57-CD40L(-/-) mice compared with WT. Essentially IgG1 and IgG2c levels were detectable only in WT mice. C57-CD40L(-/-) animals, orally inoculated with 2 × 10(9) CFU, presented several clinical manifestations since the second week of infection and eventually died. In contrast at this time point no clinical manifestations were observed among C57-CD40L(-/-) mice infected with 1 × 10(7) CFU. Infection was subclinical in WT mice inoculated with either bacterial dose. The serum samples from infected mice (1 × 10(7) CFU), collected at day 14 after infection, had similar C. rodentium-specific IgM titres. Although C57-CD40L(-/-) animals had lower IgG and IgG2b titres than WT mice, C57-CD40L(-/-) mice sera displayed complement-mediated bactericidal activity against C. rodentium. C. rodentium-infected C57-CD40L(-/-) mice are capable of producing antibodies that are protective. C57-CD40L(-/-) mouse is a useful surrogate model of X-HIGM syndrome for studying immune responses elicited against pathogens.

Iron-Binding Protein Degradation by Cysteine Proteases of Naegleria Fowleri

BioMed Research International. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26090408

Naegleria fowleri causes acute and fulminant primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This microorganism invades its host by penetrating the olfactory mucosa and then traveling up the mesaxonal spaces and crossing the cribriform plate; finally, the trophozoites invade the olfactory bulbs. During its invasion, the protozoan obtains nutrients such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and cationic ions (e.g., iron, calcium, and sodium) from the host. However, the mechanism by which these ions are obtained, particularly iron, is poorly understood. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of N. fowleri to degrade iron-binding proteins, including hololactoferrin, transferrin, ferritin, and hemoglobin. Zymography assays were performed for each substrate under physiological conditions (pH 7 at 37°C) employing conditioned medium (CM) and total crude extracts (TCEs) of N. fowleri. Different degradation patterns with CM were observed for hololactoferrin, transferrin, and hemoglobin; however, CM did not cause ferritin degradation. In contrast, the TCEs degraded only hololactoferrin and transferrin. Inhibition assays revealed that cysteine proteases were involved in this process. Based on these results, we suggest that CM and TCEs of N. fowleri degrade iron-binding proteins by employing cysteine proteases, which enables the parasite to obtain iron to survive while invading the central nervous system.

Nicotinic Acid Prevents Experimental Liver Fibrosis by Attenuating the Prooxidant Process

International Immunopharmacology. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26093271

Liver fibrosis is the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins that occurs in most chronic liver diseases. Nicotinamide treatment has been shown to prevent collagen accumulation and fibrogenesis in a bleomycin model of lung fibrosis. In this study, we evaluated the effects of nicotinic acid (NA) on experimental liver fibrosis and investigated its underlying mechanism.

Exposure to Bisphenol A in Young Adult Mice Does Not Alter Ovulation but Does Alter the Fertilization Ability of Oocytes

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26493930

Follicle growth culminates in ovulation, which allows for the expulsion of fertilizable oocytes and the formation of corpora lutea. Bisphenol A (BPA) is present in many consumer products, and it has been suggested that BPA impairs ovulation; however, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Therefore, this study first evaluated whether BPA alters ovulation by affecting folliculogenesis, the number of corpora lutea or eggs shed to the oviduct, ovarian gonadotropin responsiveness, hormone levels, and estrous cyclicity. Because it has been suggested (but not directly confirmed) that BPA exerts toxic effects on the fertilization ability of oocytes, a second aim was to evaluate whether BPA impacts the oocyte fertilization rate using an in vitro fertilization assay and mating. The possible effects on early zygote development were also examined. Young adult female C57BL/6J mice (39 days old) were orally dosed with corn oil (vehicle) or 50 μg/kgbw/day BPA for a period encompassing the first three reproductive cycles (12-15 days). BPA exposure did not alter any parameters related to ovulation. Moreover, BPA exposure reduced the percentage of fertilized oocytes after either in vitro fertilization or mating, but it did not alter the zygotic stages. The data indicate that exposure to the reference dose of BPA does not impact ovulation but that it does influence the oocyte quality in terms of its fertilization ability.

Double Staining of β-galactosidase with Fibrosis and Cancer Markers Reveals the Chronological Appearance of Senescence in Liver Carcinogenesis Induced by Diethylnitrosamine

Toxicology Letters. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26589970

Cellular senescence is characterized by irreversible cell arrest and is associated with the development of chronic diseases, including cancer. Here, we investigated the induction of cellular senescence during liver carcinogenesis. Liver cancer was induced in Fischer 344 rats with a weekly intraperitoneal injection of diethylnitrosamine (50mg/kg body weight) for 16 weeks. Double-detection of β-galactosidase with Ki67 for cell proliferation; a-SMA and Pdgfrb for cell specificity; p53, p21, p16, and cyclin D1, CDK2, and CDK4 for senescence-associated molecular pathways and γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) for hepatocarcinogenesis was assessed to determine the association of these markers with cellular senescence. DNA damage was measured through senescence-associated heterochromatin foci (SAHF) detection. Progressive cellular senescence was observed in both fibrotic septa and hepatocytes from week 10 to 18. The maximum peak of positive senescent and fibrotic cells was observed at week 16 and decreased at week 18, but cell proliferation remained high. Whereas the increased p16 expression and SAHF were concomitant with that of β-galactosidase, those of p53 and p21 were barely detected. Furthermore, β-galactosidase positive myofibroblast-like cells were mainly surrounding GGT-positive tumors. Our findings showed that in hepatocarcinogenesis by diethylnitrosamine, cellular senescence is associated with p16 pathway activation and is mainly localized in myofibroblast-like cells.

Resveratrol Induces Apoptosis-Like Death and Prevents In Vitro and In Vivo Virulence of Entamoeba Histolytica

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26731663

Entamoeba histolytica causes amoebiasis, an infection that kills 100,000 individuals each year. Metronidazole and its derivatives are currently used against this protozoan, but these drugs present adverse effects on human health. Here, we investigated the effect of resveratrol (a natural compound) on E. histolytica trophozoites viability, as well as its influence on the parasite virulence. Trophozoites growth was arrested by 72 μM resveratrol and the IC50 was determined as 220 μM at 48 h. Cells appeared smaller, rounded and in clusters, with debris-containing vacuoles and with abnormally condensed chromatin. Resveratrol triggered reactive oxygen species production. It caused lipid peroxidation and produced phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation this latter evidenced by TUNEL assays. It also provoked an increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration, activated calpain and decreased superoxide dismutase activity, indicating that an apoptosis-like event occurred; however, autophagy was not detected. Cytopathic activity, phagocytosis, encystment and in vivo virulence were diminished dramatically by pre-incubation of trophozoites with resveratrol, evidencing that resveratrol attenuated the trophozoite virulence in vitro. Interestingly, after the inoculation of virulent trophozoites, animals treated with the drug did not develop or developed very small abscesses. Our findings propose that resveratrol could be an alternative to contend amoebiasis.

Experimental Colitis Is Attenuated by Cardioprotective Diet Supplementation That Reduces Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Mucosal Damage

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26881044

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) are multifactorial, relapsing disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. However, the etiology is still poorly understood but involves altered immune responses, epithelial dysfunction, environmental factors, and nutrition. Recently, we have shown that the diet supplement corabion has cardioprotective effects due to reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation. Since oxidative stress and inflammation are also prominent risk factors in IBD, we speculated that corabion also has beneficial effects on experimental colitis. Colitis was induced in male mice by administration of 3.5% (w/v) dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in drinking water for a period of 3 or 7 days with or without daily gavage feeding of corabion consisting of vitamin C, vitamin E, L-arginine, and eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid. We found that corabion administration attenuated DSS-induced colon shortening, tissue damage, and disease activity index during the onset of colitis. Mechanistically, these effects could be explained by reduced neutrophil recruitment, oxidative stress, production of proinflammatory cytokines, and internalization of the junctional proteins ZO-1 and E-cadherin leading to less edema formation. Thus, corabion may be a useful diet supplement for the management of chronic inflammatory intestinal disorders such as IBD.

Naegleria Fowleri After 50 Years: Is It a Neglected Pathogen?

Journal of Medical Microbiology. Jul, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27381464

It has been 50 years since the first case of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) an acute and rapidly fatal disease of the central nervous system (CNS) was reported in Australia. It is now known that the etiological agent of PAM is Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that is commonly known as "the brain-eating amoeba". N. fowleri infects humans of different ages which are in contact with contaminated water with this microorganism. N. fowleri is distributed worldwide and is found growing in bodies of freshwater in tropical and subtropical environments. The number of PAM cases has recently increased, and the rate of recovery from PAM has been estimated at only 5%. Amphotericin B has been used to treat patients with PAM. However, it is important to note that there is no specific treatment for PAM. Moreover, this amoeba is considered a neglected microorganism. Researchers have exerted great effort to design effective drugs to treat PAM and to understand the pathogenesis on PAM over the last 50 years, such as its pathology, molecular and cellular biology, diagnosis and prevention, and its biological implications, including its pathogenic genotypes, its distribution, and its ecology. Given the rapid progression of PAM and its high mortality rate, it is important that investigations continue and that researchers collaborate to gain better understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease and, consequently, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this devastating infection of the CNS.

Liver Histological Changes and Lipid Peroxidation in the Amphibian Ambystoma Mexicanum Induced by Sediment Elutriates from the Lake Xochimilco

Journal of Environmental Sciences (China). Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27521947

Lacustrine sediments accumulate pollutants that input from the lake watershed and can be released to the water column by sediment resuspension; thus, pollutants can change their bioavailability and exert adverse effects to aquatic biota. Shallow-urban lakes are particularly susceptible to receive pollutants from urban discharges and sediment resuspension. Lake Xochimilco, in Mexico City, an urban-shallow lake, faces multiple problems: urban sprawl, overexploitation of aquifers, drying of springs, discharge of wastewater from treatment plants, and sediment resuspension. The aquatic biota living in this ecosystem is continuously exposed to the release of pollutants from the sediments. We assessed the risk that pollutants released from sediments from Lake Xochimilco, Touristic (TZ) and Agriculture zone (AZ), can exert on a native amphibian species of the lake (Ambystoma mexicanum) through exposure bioassays to sediment elutriates. We evaluate alterations in the amphibian by three approaches: biochemical (level of lipid peroxidation, LPO), cellular (ultrastructure) and the liver histology of A. mexicanum and we compare them with a batch control. Additionally, we assessed heavy metals (Pb, Cd and Hg) in elutriates. Elutriates from TZ showed the highest concentrations of the metals assessed. Organisms exposed to sediment elutriates from either study sites showed higher LPO values than control organisms (p<0.05). Organisms exposed to elutriates from the TZ showed the most conspicuous damages: hepatic vasodilation of sinusoids, capillaries with erythrocytes, leukocyte infiltration and cytoplasmic vacuolation in hepatocytes. The biological responses assessed reflected the risk that faces A. mexicanum when is exposed for prolonged periods to sediment resuspension in Lake Xochimilco.

Entamoeba Histolytica: Overexpression of the Gal/galnac Lectin, Ehcp2 and Ehcp5 Genes in an in Vivo Model of Amebiasis

Parasitology International. Dec, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27616150

The parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes intestinal amebiasis and amebic liver abscess as its main extraintestinal manifestation. To study the in vivo events related to inflammation and the interactions between hosts and parasites during amebiasis, we designed a novel model of host-parasite interactions using cellulose membrane dialysis bags containing E. histolytica trophozoites. A bag is placed into the hamster peritoneal cavity, as has been reported in previous studies of programmed cell death (PCD) in E. histolytica trophozoites. To determine if virulence factors such as cysteine proteinases (EhCP2 and EhCP5) and Gal/GalNAc lectin could be involved in the host-parasite interaction using this model, we examined the relative expression of the ehcp2 and ehcp5 genes and the carbohydrate recognition domain (crd) of Gal/GalNAc lectin using real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR). All analyzed genes were over-expressed 0.5h after the initiation of the host-parasite interaction and were then progressively down-regulated. However, Gal/GalNAc lectin had the greatest increase in gene expression 1.5h after host-parasite interaction; Gal/GalNAc lectin had a 250-fold increase with respect to the axenically grown trophozoites, which over-express Gal/GalNAc lectin in in vivo models. These results support the important role of these molecules in the initiation of cell damage by E. histolytica.

Ubiquitin-like Atg8 Protein is Expressed During Autophagy and the Encystation Process in Naegleria Gruberi

Parasitology Research. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27796560

Members of the Naegleria genus are free-living amoebae, and the only pathogenic specie described to date for humans is N. fowleri. However, as the complete genome of this specie has not been reported, non-pathogenic N. gruberi is employed to describe molecular pathways in N. fowleri. Regardless, certain mechanisms, such as autophagy, have not yet been characterized in N. gruberi. Autophagy is involved in different cellular processes in some protozoa, including the recycling of unnecessary organelles, development, and cell differentiation. In this work, we characterized autophagy in N. gruberi using the specific inducer rapamycin. The formation of autophagy vacuoles in treated trophozoites was observed by ultrastructural analysis, and real time quantitative PCR demonstrated overexpression of the atg8 gene. In addition, we detected an increase in the vacuolar acidification of treated amoebae using the LysoTracker. Finally, confocal microscopy was utilized to identify Atg8 protein signal in the cytoplasm of N. gruberi trophozoites induced with rapamycin and even in trophozoites induced to encyst. In conclusion, N. gruberi possesses an Atg8 protein homolog that is overexpressed during the autophagic mechanism induced by rapamycin and also during encystation of this free-living amoeba.

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