Increased sympathetic activity has been implicated in hypertension. Adenosine has been shown to play a role in blood flow regulation. In the present study, the endogenous adenosine neuromodulatory role, in mesenteric arteries from normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats, was investigated.
The performance of the cerebral state index (CSI) in reflecting different levels of isoflurane anaesthesia was evaluated in ten cats subjected to four end-tidal isoflurane concentrations (EtIso), each maintained for 15 minutes (0.8%, 1.2%, 1.6%, or 2.0% EtIso). The CSI, hemodynamic data, ocular reflexes, and eye position were recorded for each EtIso concentration. Pharmacodynamic analysis of CSI with EtIso was performed, as well as prediction probability analysis with a clinical scale based on the eye reflexes. The CSI values showed great variability. Between all parameters, burst suppression ratio showed the better fitting with the sigmoidal concentration-effect model (R (2) = 0.93) followed by CSI (R (2) = 0.82) and electromyographic activity (R (2) = 0.79). EtIso was the variable with better prediction of the clinical scale of anaesthesia (prediction probability value of 0.94). Although the CSI values decrease with increasing isoflurane concentrations, the huge variability in CSI values may be a strong limitation for its use in cats and it seems to be no better than EtIso as a predictor of clinical signs.
As a non-invasive route, intranasal administration offers patient comfort and compliance which are hurdled in parenteral drug therapy. In addition, the current recognition that the high permeability and vascularization of nasal mucosa coupled to the avoidance of the first-pass elimination and/or gastrointestinal decomposition ensure higher systemic drug absorption than oral route has contributed to the growing interest for intranasal delivery of drugs that require considerable systemic exposure to exert their therapeutic actions (systemic-acting drugs). Nevertheless, several features may hamper drug absorption through the nasal mucosa, particularly the drug molecular weight and intrinsic permeability, and, therefore, several strategies have been employed to improve it, propelling a constant challenge during nasal drug (formulation) development. This review will firstly provide an anatomical, histological and mechanistic overview of drug systemic absorption after nasal administration and the relevant aspects of the therapeutic interest and limitations of the intranasal systemic delivery. The current studies regarding the nasal application of systemic-acting small drugs (analgesic drugs, cardiovascular drugs and antiviral drugs) and biomacromolecular drugs (peptide/protein drugs and vaccines) will also be outlined, addressing drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic improvements.
The present study aimed to gather baseline information about chimpanzee nesting and density in Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park (LCNP), in Guinea-Bissau. Old and narrow trails were followed to estimate chimpanzee density through marked-nest counts and to test the effect of canopy closure (woodland savannah, forest with a sparse canopy, and forest with a dense canopy) on nest distribution. Chimpanzee abundance was estimated at 0.79 nest builders/km(2), the lowest among the areas of Guinea-Bissau with currently studied chimpanzee populations. Our data suggest that sub-humid forest with a dense canopy accounts for significantly higher chimpanzee nest abundance (1.50 nests/km of trail) than sub-humid forest with a sparse canopy (0.49 nests/km of trail) or woodland savannah (0.30 nests/km of trail). Dense-canopy forests play an important role in chimpanzee nesting in the patchy and highly humanized landscape of LCNP. The tree species most frequently used for nesting are Dialium guineense (46 %) and Elaeis guineensis (28 %). E. guineensis contain nests built higher in the canopy, while D. guineense contain nests built at lower heights. Nests observed during baseline sampling and replications suggest seasonal variations in the tree species used for nest building.
In the last decade, several third and fourth generation fluoroquinolones (FQs) have been approved for clinical use. These new agents exhibit a more potent and broader-spectrum antibacterial activity and improved pharmacokinetic properties in comparison to the earlier FQs. Although new FQs are generally safe and well tolerated, moderate-to-severe toxicity events have been reported for some of them, leading to their restriction, suspension or even withdrawal from the market. The most common FQ-related adverse effects (AEs) are usually mild and involve the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. nausea and diarrhea) and the central nervous system (e.g. headache and dizziness). Uncommon, but severe AEs (e.g. arthropathy, QTc interval prolongation, dysglycaemia and phototoxicity) and idiosyncratic reactions (e.g. hepatitis and hemolytic anemia) have also been reported and will be discussed throughout this paper. The evidence currently available suggests that AEs can be inherent to the FQ class or can be associated with a particular chemical moiety of the molecular structure of each FQ, thus varying in frequency, severity and nature. The main goal of this review is to provide a systematic evaluation of safety and tolerability data of the newer FQs with emphasis on those currently marketed.
The European clam, Ruditapes decussatus is a species with a high commercial importance in Portugal and other Southern European countries. Its production is almost exclusively based on natural recruitment, which is subject to high annual fluctuations. Increased knowledge of the natural reproductive cycle of R. decussatus and its molecular mechanisms would be particularly important in providing new highly valuable genomic information for better understanding the regulation of reproduction in this economically important aquaculture species. In this study, the transcriptomic bases of R. decussatus reproduction have been analysed using a custom oligonucleotide microarray representing 51,678 assembled contigs. Microarray analyses were performed in four gonadal maturation stages from two different Portuguese wild populations, characterized by different responses to spawning induction when used as progenitors in hatchery. A comparison between the two populations elucidated a specific pathway involved in the recognition signals and binding between the oocyte and components of the sperm plasma membrane. We suggest that this pathway can explain part of the differences in terms of spawning induction success between the two populations. In addition, sexes and reproductive stages were compared and a correlation between mRNA levels and gonadal area was investigated. The lists of differentially expressed genes revealed that sex explains most of the variance in gonadal gene expression. Additionally, genes like Foxl2, vitellogenin, condensing 2, mitotic apparatus protein p62, Cep57, sperm associated antigens 6, 16 and 17, motile sperm domain containing protein 2, sperm surface protein Sp17, sperm flagellar proteins 1 and 2 and dpy-30, were identified as being correlated with the gonad area and therefore supposedly with the number and/or the size of the gametes produced.
The mobility of health professionals in the European Union is a phenomenon which policy-makers must take into account to provide the conditions to adjust for demand and supply of health services. This paper presents the case of Portugal, a country which at the same time imports and exports health workers. Since the early 1990s Portugal became a destination country receiving foreign health care professionals. This situation is now changing with the current economic situation as fewer immigrants come and more Portuguese emigrate. Foreigners coming to Portugal do so in part for similar reasons that bring Portuguese to want to emigrate, mainly the search for better work conditions and professional development opportunities. The emigration of Portuguese health professionals is also stimulated by the difficulty for recently graduated nurses, dentists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians to find employment, low salaries in the public and private sectors, heavy workloads, remuneration not related to performance and poor career prospects. The paradoxes described in this study illustrate the consequences of the absence of a policy for the health professions. Strategies based on evidence, and on an integrated information system that captures the dynamic evolution of the workforce in health are not only necessary but also a good investment.
For the first time a simple, selective and sensitive liquid chromatography method was developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of levofloxacin (LEV), pazufloxacin (PAZ), gatifloxacin (GAT), moxifloxacin (MOX) and trovafloxacin (TRO) in human plasma. Samples were pre-treated with acetonitrile for precipitation of plasma proteins followed by evaporation and reconstitution steps. Chromatographic separation of the analytes and norfloxacin, used as internal standard (IS), was performed under gradient elution on a LiChroCART(®) Purospher Star C18 column (55mm×4mm, 3?m). The mobile phase comprised a mixture of 0.1% aqueous formic acid adjusted to pH 3.0 with triethylamine, acetonitrile and methanol pumped at a flow rate of 1.0mL/min. The detector was set at excitation/emission wavelengths of 260/455nm. Calibration curves were linear (r(2)?0.9923) in the ranges of 0.005-5?g/mL for GAT, 0.02-5?g/mL for LEV, PAZ and MOX and 0.04-5?g/mL for TRO. The intra and interday precision did not exceed 7.32% and the intra and interday accuracy ranged from -11.73 to 8.92%. The limits of quantification were established at 0.005?g/mL for GAT, 0.02?g/mL for LEV, PAZ and MOX and 0.04?g/mL for TRO. No endogenous or tested exogenous compounds were found to interfere at the retention times of the analytes and IS. Since the proposed method proved to be reliable for the quantitative determination of LEV, PAZ, GAT, MOX and TRO it may be a useful tool for routine analysis and to support clinical pharmacokinetic and toxicological studies involving these antibiotics.
Cantanhez National Park in southern Guinea-Bissau is a mosaic of forest, mangrove, savanna, and agricultural fields, with a high prevalence of oil-palm trees (Elaeis guineensis). It hosts many different animal species, including the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus). Very little is known about the ecology of chimpanzees inhabiting this area. The main aims of this study were to evaluate chimpanzee nesting behavior, define trends of habitat use, and estimate chimpanzee density in four separate forests by applying the marked nest counts methodology. From the 287 new nests counted, 92% were built in oil-palm trees with a significantly higher frequency of nests in the forest edge than in forest cores. Differences in nest detection rates were observed in the four monitored forests, with two forests being more important for chimpanzees nesting demands. The number of nests documented in the forests seemed to be correlated with the frequency of other signs of chimpanzee activity. Although chimpanzees selected nests on the forest edge, they were most frequently observed in forest core areas. Constraints associated with estimating chimpanzee density through oil-palm nest counting are discussed.
As add-on therapy, phase III clinical trials of eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) conducted in patients with refractory partial-onset seizures have shown good efficacy, safety, and tolerability, even in patients taking carbamazepine (CBZ) at baseline (approximately 60% of the enrolled patients). Thus, considering the pharmacological disadvantages of CBZ and the similar efficacy spectrum of CBZ and ESL, switching to ESL may be successful in many patients. As ESL is a prodrug almost instantaneously converted to S-licarbazepine (S-Lic; approximately 95%), an interest in therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of S-Lic is likely to develop in the future. This study investigated the plasma concentrations of S-Lic and R-licarbazepine (R-Lic) enantiomers in patients under CBZ long-term treatment to assess the potential interference of CBZ or its metabolites in the enantioselective TDM of ESL (using S-Lic concentrations). A chiral high-performance liquid chromatography assay with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV) previously developed and validated by our research group was used. Twenty-four patients admitted to the Coimbra University Hospital and supposedly receiving CBZ long-term treatment were identified. Blood samples were collected from patients and serum CBZ concentrations were measured by the usual TDM protocol. Aliquots of plasma from such patients were also submitted to a chiral HPLC-UV analysis. The bioanalytical data indicated that S-Lic and R-Lic were not present at detectable concentrations in plasma samples of the CBZ-treated patients. The chromatograms generated by the analysis of patient plasma samples, when compared with those obtained from blank plasma samples spiked with S-Lic and R-Lic, clearly showed the absence of interferences at the retention times of both Lic enantiomers. These data support the usefulness of the chiral HPLC-UV method used for the enantioselective TDM of ESL (using S-Lic) for programs in which switching from CBZ to ESL is implemented.
A simple and fast liquid chromatographic method coupled with fluorescence detection (LC-FD) is reported, for the first time, for the simultaneous quantification of norfloxacin (NOR), ciprofloxacin (CIP) and lomefloxacin (LOM) in human plasma, using levofloxacin as internal standard (IS). Sample preparation consists of a single-step precipitation of plasma proteins followed by vortex-mixing and centrifugation. Chromatographic separation was achieved within 7? min on a reversed-phase C(18) column with a mobile phase consisting of 0.1% aqueous formic acid (pH = 3.0, triethylamine)-methanol (82:18, v/v) pumped isocratically at 1.2 ?mL/min. The detector was set at excitation/emission wavelengths of 278/450? nm. Calibration curves were linear (r(2) ? 0.994) in the range of 0.02-5.0?µg/mL, and the limit of quantification was established at 0.02?µg/mL for all analytes (NOR, CIP and LOM). The overall precision did not exceed 8.19% and accuracy was within ±10.91%. NOR, CIP and LOM were extracted from human plasma with an overall mean recovery ranged from 90.1 to 111.5%. No interferences were observed at the retention times of the analytes and IS. This novel LC-FD method enables the reliable determination of NOR, CIP and LOM in a single chromatographic run, which may be suitable to support human pharmacokinetic-based studies with those antimicrobial agents.
For the first time, a simple, selective and accurate high-performance liquid chromatography method with ultraviolet detection was developed and validated to quantify simultaneously three structurally related antiepileptic drugs; carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and the recently launched eslicarbazepine acetate and their main metabolites, carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, 10,11-trans-dihydroxy-10,11-dihydro-carbamazepine, and licarbazepine. The method involves a solid-phase extraction and a reverse-phase C18 column with 5 cm length. The mobile phase consisting of water, methanol, and acetonitrile in the ratio 64:30:6 was selected as the best one and pumped at 1 mL/min at 40 degrees C. The use of this recent column and an aqueous mobile phase instead of buffers gives several advantages over the method herein developed; namely the fact that the chromatographic analysis takes only 9 min. The method was validated according to the guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration, showing to be accurate (bias within +/-12%), precise (coefficient variation <9%), selective and linear (r(2) > 0.997) over the concentration range of 0.05-30 microg/mL for carbamazepine; 0.05-20 microg/mL for oxcarbazepine; 0.15-4 microg/mL for eslicarbazepine acetate; 0.1-30 microg/mL for carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide; 0.1-10 microg/mL for 10,11-trans-dihydroxy-10,11-dihydro-carbamazepine, and 0.1-60 microg/mL for licarbazepine. It was also shown that this method can adequately be used for the therapeutic drug monitoring of the considered antiepileptic drugs, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, eslicarazepine acetate, and their metabolites.
The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of folate status on the uptake of several physiologically relevant substances by Caco-2 cells. For this, Caco-2 cells cultured in high-folate conditions (HF) and low-folate conditions (LF) were compared. Growth rates of HF and LF Caco-2 cells were similar. However, proliferation rate of LF cells was greater than that of HF cells during the first 2days of culture and slightly smaller thereafter, viability of LF cells was greater than that of HF cells, and apoptosis index was similar in both cell cultures. We verified that in LF cells, comparatively to HF cells: (1) uptake of [3H]folic acid is upregulated, via an increase in the Vmax of uptake; (2) uptake of [3H]deoxy-glucose, [3H]O-methyl-glucose and [3H]1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) is downregulated, via a decrease in the Vmax of uptake; additionally, a reduction in Km was observed for [3H]O-methyl-glucose; (3) uptake of [3H]5-hydroxytryptamine and [14C]butyrate is not changed; and (4) the steady-state mRNA levels of the folic acid transporters RFC (reduced folate carrier), PCFT (proton-coupled folate transporter) and FRalpha (folate receptor alpha), of the organic cation transporter OCT1 (organic cation transporter type 1), of the glucose transporter GLUT2 (facilitative glucose transporter type 2) and of the butyrate transporter MCT1 (monocarboxylate transporter type 1) were decreased. In conclusion, folate deficiency produces substrate-specific changes in the uptake of bioactive compounds by Caco-2 cells. Moreover, these changes are associated with alterations in the mRNA levels of specific transporters for these compounds.
Women with chronic hypertension are at higher risk of adverse obstetric outcomes. It is essential that the condition is identified and evaluated appropriately in early pregnancy. Therefore, an audit has been carried out to assess how well young pregnant women with chronic hypertension were investigated for secondary cause in South Auckland, compared with the recommendations of the Australasian Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy. The evaluation of chronic hypertension by history taking, physical examination, laboratory assessment and radiology tests was highly variable. Only 76% of women had appropriate follow-up for their hypertension. Screening for secondary causes was not consistent, and the majority had incomplete investigation.
Understanding the ecological consequences of roads and developing ways to mitigate their negative effects has become an important goal for many conservation biologists. Most mitigation measures are based on road mortality and barrier effects data. However, studying fine-scale individual spatial responses in roaded landscapes may help develop more cohesive road planning strategies for wildlife conservation.
Fluoroquinolones are one of the most promising and intensively studied drugs of contemporary anti-infective chemotherapy. New fluoroquinolone antibacterials with improved pharmacokinetic properties and a broad spectrum of activity have been developed, opening new windows of opportunity for clinical use. To our knowledge, no comprehensive and critical review of the analytical methods for the determination of these agents, which correspond to the third- and fourth-generation quinolones, has yet been published. This work summarizes for the first time most of the liquid chromatographic methods reported in the literature for the separation and quantification of the new fluoroquinolones in biological matrices and pharmaceutical formulations. A systematic and detailed survey of physicochemical properties, sample preparation procedures, and chromatographic and detection conditions is presented herein. In the course of this review several liquid chromatographic methods are discussed: reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), ion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography (IEX-HPLC), hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC), high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) and other chiral chromatographic methods. Their advantages, applicability and limitations are also examined.
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