Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

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ISSN / EISSN : 0100-879X / 1414-431X
Total articles ≅ 7,061
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F S Erthal, A F Bastos, C Vaccariello, A T S Madeira, T S Santos, J B Stariolo, L Oliveira, , , C Hedin-Pereira, et al.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x2020e11026

Abstract:
Gender equity is far from being achieved in most academic institutions worldwide. Women representation in scientific leadership faces multiple obstacles. Implicit bias and stereotype threat are considered important driving forces concerning gender disparities. Negative cultural stereotypes of weak scientific performance, unrelated to true capacity, are implicitly associated with women and other social groups, influencing, without awareness, attitudes and judgments towards them. Meetings of scientific societies are the forum in which members from all stages of scientific careers are brought together. Visibility in the scientific community stems partly from presenting research as a speaker. Here, we investigated gender disparities in the Brazilian Society of Neuroscience and Behavior (SBNeC). Across the 15 mandates (1978-2020), women occupied 30% of the directory board posts, and only twice was a woman president. We evaluated six meetings held between 2010 and 2019. During this period, the membership of women outnumbered that of men in all categories. A total of 57.50% of faculty members, representing the potential pool of speakers and chairs, were female. Compared to this expected value, female speakers across the six meetings were scarce in full conferences (χ2(5)=173.54, P<0.001) and low in symposia (χ2(5)=36.92, P<0.001). Additionally, women chaired fewer symposia (χ2(5)=47.83, P<0.001). Furthermore, men-chaired symposia had significantly fewer women speakers than women-chaired symposia (χ2(1)=56.44, P<0.001). The gender disparities observed here are similar to those in other scientific societies worldwide, urging them to lead actions to pursue gender balance and diversity. Diversity leads not only to fairness but also to higher-quality science.
Wen-Lin Lai, , , Xiao-Fan Huang, Chia-Yu Li, Chien-Ju Lee, Chun-Yu Wu, ,
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x2020e10891

Abstract:
Juniperus communis (JCo) is a well-known traditional Chinese medicinal plant that has been used to treat wounds, fever, swelling, and rheumatism. However, the mechanism underlying the anticancer effect of JCo extract on colorectal cancer (CRC) has not yet been elucidated. This study investigated the anticancer effects of JCo extract in vitro and in vivo as well as the precise molecular mechanisms. Cell viability was evaluated using the MTT assay. Cell cycle distribution was examined by flow cytometry analysis, and cell apoptosis was determined by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Protein expression was analyzed using western blotting. The in vivo activity of the JCo extract was evaluated using a xenograft BALB/c mouse model. The tumors and organs were examined through hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that JCo extract exhibited higher cytotoxicity against CRC cells than against normal cells and showed synergistic effects when combined with 5-fluorouracil. JCo extract induced cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase via regulation of p53/p21 and CDK4/cyclin D1 and induced cell apoptosis via the extrinsic (FasL/Fas/caspase-8) and intrinsic (Bax/Bcl-2/caspase-9) apoptotic pathways. In vivo studies revealed that JCo extract suppressed tumor growth through the inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. In addition, there was no obvious change in body weight or histological morphology of normal organs after treatment. JCo extract suppressed CRC progression by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, suggesting the potential application of JCo extract in the treatment of CRC.
R S Marinho, S P Jürgensen, , , P B Dos Santos, , , C R de Oliveira, ,
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x2020e10514

Abstract:
Exercise intolerance is the hallmark consequence of advanced chronic heart failure (HF). The six-minute step test (6MST) has been considered an option for the six-minute walk test because it is safe, inexpensive, and can be applied in small places. However, its reliability and concurrent validity has still not been investigated in participants with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Clinically stable HFrEF participants were included. Reliability and error measurement were calculated by comparing the first with the second 6MST result. Forty-eight hours after participants underwent the 6MST, they were invited to perform a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) on a cycle ergometer. Concurrent validity was assessed by correlation between number of steps and peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2 peak) at CPET. Twenty-seven participants with HFrEF (60±8 years old and left ventricle ejection fraction of 41±6%) undertook a mean of 94±30 steps in the 6MST. Intra-rater reliability was excellent for 6MST (ICC=0.9), with mean error of 4.85 steps and superior and inferior limits of agreement of 30.6 and -20.9 steps, respectively. In addition, strong correlations between number of steps and CPET workload (r=0.76, P<0.01) and peak V̇O2 (r=0.71, P<0.01) were observed. From simple linear regression the following predictive equations were obtained with 6MST results: V̇O2 peak (mL/min) = 350.22 + (7.333 × number of steps), with R2=0.51, and peak workload (W) = 4.044 + (0.772 × number of steps), with R2=0.58. The 6MST was a reliable and valid tool to assess functional capacity in HFrEF participants and may moderately predict peak workload and oxygen uptake of a CPET.
, M L Rolim Neto,
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x2020e10380

Abstract:
Depression is a common disorder in the population, but some people are more vulnerable to this condition. Groups at higher risk of developing psychic suffering include black children and adolescents living in vulnerable socioeconomic conditions. This study aimed to analyze race and life conditions as determinants of depression in children and adolescents. This was a systematic review with meta-analysis. The study sources were MEDLINE Ovid, Web of Science, Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Information database, Science Citation Index-Expanded, PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus. The following keywords were used: Child, Adolescent, Stress, Psychological, Depression, and African Continental Ancestry Group, using the logical operators AND and OR. The general criteria were observational studies published in the last 20 years. Language was not restricted to avoid possible bias in the selection of articles. Studies with a high risk of bias were excluded. General analysis was conducted with RStudio 3.0 software using odds ratio analysis with a 95% confidence interval and 0.05 significance level. We firstly found 654 studies, of which 18 met the criteria and were included in this review. Race and life conditions were determinants of depression in children and adolescents, with a negative impact for the black population.
, , G.P.T. Arêas, P.B. Dos Santos, P.F. Camargo, L.C.S. De Carvalho, , ,
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x202010084

Abstract:
The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-heart failure (HF) coexistence on linear and nonlinear dynamics of heart rate variability (HRV). Forty-one patients (14 with COPD-HF and 27 HF) were enrolled and underwent pulmonary function and echocardiography evaluation to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Heart rate (HR) and R-R intervals (iRR) were collected during active postural maneuver (APM) [supine (10 min) to orthostasis (10 min)], respiratory sinus arrhythmia maneuver (RSA-M) (4 min), and analysis of frequency domain, time domain, and nonlinear HRV. We found expected autonomic response during orthostatic changes with reduction of mean iRR, root mean square of successive differences between heart beats (RMSSD), RR tri index, and high-frequency [HF (nu)] and an increased mean HR, low-frequency [LF (nu)], and LF/HF (nu) compared with supine only in HF patients (P<0.05). Patients with COPD-HF coexistence did not respond to postural change. In addition, in the orthostatic position, higher HF nu and lower LF nu and LF/HF (nu) were observed in COPD-HF compared with HF patients. HF patients showed an opposite response during RSA-M, with increased sympathetic modulation (LF nu) and reduced parasympathetic modulation (HF nu) (P<0.05) compared with COPD-HF patients. COPD-HF directly influenced cardiac autonomic modulation during active postural change and controlled breathing, demonstrating an autonomic imbalance during sympathetic and parasympathetic maneuvers compared with isolated HF.
, , P.R.H. Rocha, , , F. Lamy-Filho, M.A. Barbieri, H. Bettiol
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x202010120

Abstract:
This study aimed to estimate and compare racial inequality in low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth (PTB), and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in two Brazilian birth cohorts. This was a cross-sectional study nested within two birth cohorts in Ribeirão Preto (RP) and São Luís (SL), whose mothers were interviewed from January to December 2010. In all, 7430 (RP) and 4995 (SL) mothers were interviewed. The maternal skin color was the exposure variable. Associations were adjusted for socioeconomic and biological covariates: maternal education, per capita family income, family economic classification, household head occupation, maternal age, parity, marital status, prenatal care, type of delivery, maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, hypertension, hypertension during pregnancy, and smoking during pregnancy collected from questionnaires applied at birth. Statistical analysis was done with the chi-squared test and logistic regression. In RP, newborns from mothers with black skin color had a higher risk of LBW and IUGR, even after adjusting for socioeconomic and biological variables (P<0.001). In SL, skin color was not a risk factor for LBW (P=0.859), PTB (P=0.220), and IUGR (P=0.062), before or after adjustment for socioeconomic and biological variables. The detection of racial inequality in these perinatal outcomes only in the RP cohort after adjustment for socioeconomic and biological factors may be reflecting the existence of racial discrimination in the RP society. In contrast, the greater miscegenation present in São Luís may be reflecting less racial discrimination of black and brown women in this city.
, R. Alves-Soares, , Y.A. Gomes-Vasconcelos, P.J.C. Souza, T. Santos-Nascimento, K.A. Oliveira, L.R.L. Diniz, J. Guimarães-Pereira,
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x20209422

Abstract:
Hyptis crenata, commonly known as "salva-do-Marajó", "hortelã-do-campo", and "hortelãzinha", is used in folk medicine in Northeast Brazil as tea or infusion to treat inflammatory diseases. Due to the pharmacological efficacy and the low toxicity of the essential oil of Hyptis crenata (EOHc), we decided to investigate the EOHc antiedematogenic effect in experimental models of inflammation. EOHc was administrated orally at doses of 10-300 mg/kg to male Swiss albino mice. Paw edema was induced by subcutaneous injection in the right hind paw of inflammatory stimuli (carrageenan, dextran, histamine, serotonin, and bradykinin) 60 min after administration of EOHc. EOHc significantly inhibited the induced edema. The inhibitory effect of EOHc on dextran-induced edema extended throughout the experimental time. For the 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg doses of EOHc, the inhibition was of 40.28±1.70, 51.18±2.69, and 59.24±2.13%, respectively. The EOHc inhibitory effect on carrageenan-induced edema started at 10 mg/kg at the second hour (h) and was maintained throughout the observation period. At 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg doses the inhibition started earlier, from 30 min. At the edema peak of 180 min, 56, 76, and 82% inhibition was observed for 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg doses, respectively. Additionally, the effect of EOHc on carrageenan-induced paw edema was influenced by the time of administration. The EOHc also inhibited myeloperoxidase activity. In conclusion, the EOHc showed a potent effect, both preventing and reversing the edema, consistent with its anti-inflammatory use in folk medicine.
Lizhu Zeng, Huagen Zhang, Yongjun He, Bifa Lai, Zhen Huang, Li Lin, ,
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x202010426

Abstract:
The prognosis of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is usually poor when it occurs in aged adults or in patients with chronic diseases, which brought a great challenge to clinical practice. Furthermore, widespread depression, anxiety, and panic related to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2) infection affected treatment compliance and recovery. Here we report the successful treatment of a 57-year-old male with severe COVID-19, schizophrenia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. The patient's negative emotions (such as tension, panic, and anxiety), particularly his aggression and paranoia, seriously hindered treatment, leading to a deteriorating condition. Psychological counseling and supportive psychotherapy were given but the effect was weak. To improve adherence, risperidone and quetiapine fumarate were replaced by olanzapine for anti-schizophrenic treatment to reduce insomnia and anxiety side effects, associated with sedative-hypnotic drugs as well as psychological counseling. The treatment compliance of the patient improved significantly. The patient's serum alanine aminotransferase increased abnormally in the late stage of hospitalization, suggesting potential liver damage after complex medication strategies. We also monitored the changes of lymphocyte subsets and retrospectively analyzed the virus-specific antibody response. The results suggested that dynamic monitoring of lymphocyte subsets and virus-specific antibody response could facilitate disease progression evaluation and timely treatment plan adjustments. An effective psychotropic drug intervention associated with psychological counselling and psychotherapy are essential for the successful adherence, treatment, and rehabilitation of psychiatric disorders in COVID-19 patients.
, A.D. Rocha-Lima, B.B. Ferrari, F.M. da Silva, L.A. Machado, , C.O. Brandão, , L.L. dos Santos-Neto
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x202010428

Abstract:
There is increasing evidence that neurofilament light chain (NF-L) can be considered as a biomarker for neuro-axonal damage. This polypeptide can be released into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the blood, where it can be quantified. The concentration of NF-L is elevated in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and psychiatric disorders. We aimed to investigate the NF-L levels in the CSF from treated MS patients and the relationship with depression or anxiety. The study involved three groups: control group (individuals without inflammation), the relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)-untreated group, and the RRMS-Fingo group (RRMS patients who were treated with fingolimod). MS disability was assessed by the Expanded Disability Status Scale, and depression and anxiety were evaluated by a neuropsychologist, using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Individual CSF samples were collected to measure NF-L levels. The results of the statistical analysis on levels of NF-L in the CSF of control subjects, RRMS-untreated patients, and RRMS-Fingo patients were significant. The relationship between depression and anxiety in RRMS-Fingo patients and NF-L levels was not statistically significant. In conclusion, MS events such as anxiety and depression appear to contribute to the onset of clinical relapses, subclinical cases, and neurodegeneration.
Lei Sun, Xin Zhou, Qian Jiang, Yiping Zhuang, Dongzheng Li
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume 54; https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431x202010394

Abstract:
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been indicated to be frequently dysregulated in various cancers and promising biomarkers for colon cancer. The present study aimed to assess the prognostic significance and biological function of miR-1273a in colon cancer. The expression levels of miR-1273a was estimated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox regression analysis were used to evaluate the prognostic value of miR-1273a in patients of colon cancer. The effects of miR-1273a on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion were investigated by cell experiments. The expression of miR-1273a was downregulated in colon cancer tissues and tumor cell lines compared with the normal controls (all P<0.001). The aberrant expression of miR-1273a was associated with vascular invasion (P=0.005), differentiation (P=0.023), lymph node metastasis (P=0.021), and TNM stage (P=0.004). The patients with low miR-1273a expression had low overall survival compared with the patients with high miR-1273a expression (log-rank P=0.002). miR-1273a was detected to be an independent prognostic biomarker for patients. Furthermore, the results of cell experiments revealed that miR-1273a downregulation promoted, while miR-1273a upregulation suppressed the cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. In conclusion, all data indicated that a downregulated expression of miR-1273a predicted poor prognosis for colon cancer and enhanced tumor cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Thus, we suggest that methods to promote miR-1273a expression may serve as novel therapeutic strategies in colon cancer.
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