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The aim of this review was to identify anti-inflammatory and antioxidant therapeutic agents and their effects on patients with chagasic myocarditis. A systematic review of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, WEB OF SCIENCE, SCOPUS, LILACS and CENTRAL databases (Cochrane Library) was carried out without language restrictions. The descriptors used were: ‘Chagas cardiomyopathy’, ‘treatment’, ‘Chagas disease’, ‘anti-inflammatory agents’, ‘Trypanosoma cruzi’ and ‘antioxidants’. A total of 4,138 articles was identified, six of which were selected for data extraction. Of these, four were related to antioxidant therapy with vitamins C and E supplementation, and two using anti-inflammatory therapy. The studies were carried out in Brazil and were published between 2002 and 2017. Antioxidant therapy with vitamin C and E supplementation increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes and reduces the oxidative markers. There is no conclusive data to support the use of vitamin supplementation and anti-inflammatory therapy in the treatment of chagasic cardiomyopathy. However, the studies indicate the possibility of vitamin supplementation as a new approach to the treatment of Chagas disease. Antioxidant therapy was proven to be a viable alternative for attenuating the oxidative damage caused by chronic chagasic cardiopathy, leading to a better prognosis for patients.
Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
By using methods of subordinacy theory, we study packing continuity properties of spectral measures of discrete one-dimensional Schrödinger operators acting on the whole line. Then we apply these methods to Sturmian operators with rotation numbers of quasibounded density to show that they have purely
-packing continuous spectrum. A dimensional stability result is also mentioned.
For more than four decades after the introduction of cv. Italia (Vitis vinifera L.) in Brazil, several somatic mutations in the genome of cv. Italia and its somatic mutants gave rise to phenotypes which generated at least five new cultivars of fine table grapes. Since no molecular marker proved to be effective in discriminating cv. Italia (V. vinifera L.) and its coloured mutants (Rubi, Benitaka, Brasil, Black Star), primers for the long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences were developed to analyse Inter Retrotransposon Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP) and Retrotransposon-Microsatellite Amplified Polymorphism (REMAP), and investigate how the coloured cultivars derived from clonal propagations of somatic mutations are genetically structured. Primers for LTR sequences of IRAP and REMAP markers were edited from grape sequence databases available at a GenBank. Twenty-four primers, denominated DKS001–DKS024, were edited. Three hundred and forty-nine DNA segments were amplified by individual DKS primers and DKS/ISSR (Inter Simple Sequence Repeats) primer combinations, at an average of 13.96 amplicons per primer pair. High genetic divergence between the five cultivars was inferred from polymorphism in retrotransposons IRAP and REMAP. The analysis of polymorphism of IRAP and REMAP retrotransposons was crucial to show that clonal propagation of somatic mutations may lead towards the formation of genetically divergent cultivars by the formation of genetically structured vineyards and show the mixture of genomes within each cultivar.
To compare cognitive function among frail and prefrail older adults.
Cross-sectional clinical study.
Fifty-one non-institutionalized older individuals participated in this study.
Cognitive functions were evaluated through Mini-Mental State Examination (Global Cognition), Digit Span Forward (short-term memory), Digit Span Backward (working memory), Verbal Fluency Test (semantic memory/executive function). Data were compared using parametric and non-parametric bivariate tests. Binary logistic regression was used to test a frailty prediction model. Statistical significance was defined as p ≤ 0.01 to compare groups. In the regression model, the p value was set to be ≤0.05.
Statistically significant differences were observed in global cognition, and short-term memory between frail and prefrail individuals (p ≤ 0.01). Global cognition explained 14–19% of frailty's model.
According to our findings, the evaluation of cognitive functions among older persons with frailty and prefrailty provides important complementary information to better manage frailty and its progression.
Cannabinoid signalling modulates several aspects of brain function, including the generation and survival of neurons during embryonic and adult periods. The present review intended to summarise evidence supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system on the control of neurogenesis and neurogenesis-dependent functions. Studies reporting participation of cannabinoids on the regulation of any step of neurogenesis and the effects of cannabinoid compounds on animal models possessing neurogenesis-dependent features were selected from Medline. Qualitative evaluation of the selected studies indicated that activation of cannabinoid receptors may change neurogenesis in embryonic or adult nervous systems alongside rescue of phenotypes in animal models of different psychiatric and neurological disorders. The text offers an overview on the effects of cannabinoids on central nervous system development and the possible links with psychiatric and neurological disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, brain ischaemia/stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. An understanding of the mechanisms by which cannabinoid signalling influences developmental and adult neurogenesis will help foster the development of new therapeutic strategies for neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Recent evidence has shown that most tropical species are declining as a result of global change. Under this scenario, the prevalence of tolerant species to disturbances has driven many biological communities towards biotic homogenization (BH). However, the mechanisms that drive communities towards BH are not yet thoroughly understood. We tested effects of recurring wildfires on woody species richness and composition in six seasonally flooded Amazonian forests and whether these fires reduce species composition (i.e., taxonomic homogenization) over short periods of time. Our results show that these forests are undergoing taxonomic homogenization in response to recurring fire events. Species richness decreased as a result of local extinctions and floristic similarity increased among forest communities. Fire was selecting tolerant (‘winner’) species and eliminating the more sensitive (‘loser’) species. BH leads to biodiversity erosion, which can deeply alter ecosystem processes such as productivity, nutrient cycling and decomposition, resulting in important consequences for conservation.
Isotopic composition of leaf carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) is determined by biotic and abiotic factors. In order to determine the influence of leaf habit and site on leaf δ13C and δ15N in the understorey of two Atlantic forests in Brazil that differ in annual precipitation (1200 and 1900 mm), we measured these isotopes in the shaded understorey of 38 tropical tree species (20 in the 1200-mm site and 18 in the 1900-mm site). Mean site values for δ15N were significantly lower at the 1200-mm site (−1.4‰) compared with the 1900-mm site (+3.0‰), and δ13C was significantly greater in the 1200-mm site (−30.4‰) than in the 1900-mm site (−31.6‰). Leaf C concentration was greater and leaf N concentration was lower at 1200-mm than at 1900-mm. Leaf δ15N was negatively correlated with δ13C across the two sites. Leaf δ13C and δ15N of evergreen and deciduous species were not significantly different within a site. No significant phylogenetic signal for any traits among the study species was found. Overall, site differences were the main factor distinguishing traits among species, suggesting strong functional convergence to local climate and soils within each site for individuals in the shaded understorey.
200 μm thick solution annealed AISI 316L stainless steel foils were implanted with Ar ions to produce a 0.25 at. % concentration-depth plateau extending from the near surface to a depth of ≈ 250 nm, and then annealed at 550°C for 2 hours to form small Ar bubbles and Ar-vacancy clusters. Distinct sets of samples (including control ones without Ar) were irradiated at the temperature of 550 °C with Au ions accelerated at 5 MeV to produce an average damage content about ≈36 dpa at the region containing the Ar plateau. These samples were investigated by transmission electron microscopy using plan-view specimens prepared by ion milling. In contrast with the control samples where the irradiation causes the formation of a high concentration of extended defects and large cavities, carbonite precipitation of 1:1 metal-carbon (MC) content with a cubic structure occurs only in the samples containing the Ar bubbles. This precipitation phenomenon is not commonly observed in the literature. The results are interpreted considering that the precipitate growth process requires the emission of vacancies which are synergistically absorbed by the growth of the Ar bubbles.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can induce deleterious changes in the modulatory ability of the vascular endothelium, contributing to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in the long term. However, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Emerging evidence has suggested the potential role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular health and repair. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of IUGR on vascular reactivity and EPCs derived from the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) in vitro. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed an ad libitum diet (control group) or 50% of the ad libitum diet (restricted group) throughout gestation. We determined vascular reactivity, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression by evaluating the thoracic aorta of adult male offspring from both groups (aged: 19–20 weeks). Moreover, the amount, functional capacity, and senescence of EPCs were assessed in vitro. Our results indicated that IUGR reduced vasodilation via acetylcholine in aorta rings, decreased NO levels, and increased eNOS phosphorylation at Thr495. The amount of EPCs was similar between both groups; however, IUGR decreased the functional capacity of EPCs from the PB and BM. Furthermore, the senescence process was accelerated in BM-derived EPCs from IUGR rats. In summary, our findings demonstrated the deleterious changes in EPCs from IUGR rats, such as reduced EPC function and accelerated senescence in vitro. These findings may contribute towards elucidating the possible mechanisms involved in endothelial dysfunction induced by fetal programming.
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
We apply a mean-value inequality for positive subsolutions of the
-heat operator, obtained from a Sobolev embedding, to prove a nonexistence result concerning complete noncompact
-maximal spacelike hypersurfaces in a class of weighted Lorentzian manifolds. Furthermore, we establish a new Calabi–Bernstein result for complete noncompact maximal spacelike hypersurfaces in a Lorentzian product space.
Previous investigations suggested that elevated cell-free DNA (cfDNA) can indicate non-healthy states. However, the potential association between cfDNA seminal plasma levels and fertility sperm parameters has not yet been determined. Therefore, the present study evaluated the association between seminal cfDNA levels and sperm fertility criteria to determine the use of seminal cfDNA quantification. An in vivo protocol quantified cfDNA levels of semen samples obtained from 163 male patients using fluorescent PicoGreen dye staining. To confirm if semen cfDNA quantification is realistic, an in vitro complementary test was performed using three or four semen samples. The fresh sperm samples were exposed to paraquat that generates high levels of superoxide anion causing oxidative stress and cell mortality. The results showed significant association between dsDNA levels and several sperm fertility parameters, such as low viability and alterations of motility and morphology. The in vitro analysis confirmed the association between dsDNA levels and sperm viability. Together, these results suggest that dsDNA levels could be an important biomarker to test sperm fertility.
It has been demonstrated that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can program increase cardiometabolic risk. There are also evidences of the correlation between IUGR with low-grade inflammation and, thus can contribute to development of several cardiometabolic comorbidities. Therefore, we investigated the influence of IUGR on circulating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)/Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and TNF-α expression in adult offspring. Considering that the aerobic training has anti-inflammatory actions, we also investigated whether aerobic training would improve these inflammatory factors. Pregnant Wistar rats received ad libitum or 50% of ad libitum diet throughout gestation. At 8 weeks of age, male offspring from both groups were randomly assigned to control, trained control, restricted and trained restricted. Aerobic training protocol was performed on a treadmill and after that, we evaluated circulating mtDNA, cardiac protein expression of TLR9, plasma and cardiac TNF-α levels, and left ventricle (LV) mass. We found that IUGR promoted an increase in the circulating mtDNA, TLR9 expression and plasma TNF-α levels. Further, our results revealed that aerobic training can restore mtDNA/TLR9 content and plasma levels of TNF-α among restricted rats. The cardiac TNF-α content and LV mass were not influenced either by IUGR or aerobic training. In conclusion, IUGR can program mtDNA/TLR9 content, which may lead to high levels of TNF-α. However, aerobic training was able to normalize these alterations. These findings evidenced that the association of IUGR and aerobic training seems to exert an important interaction effect regarding pro-inflammatory condition and, aerobic training may be used as a strategy to reduce deleterious adaptations in IUGR offspring.
Early Archaic human skeletal remains found in a burial context in Lapa do
Santo in east-central Brazil provide a rare glimpse into the lives of
hunter-gatherer communities in South America, including their rituals for
dealing with the dead. These included the reduction of the body by means of
mutilation, defleshing, tooth removal, exposure to fire and possibly
cannibalism, followed by the secondary burial of the remains according to
strict rules. In a later period, pits were filled with disarticulated bones
of a single individual without signs of body manipulation, demonstrating
that the region was inhabited by dynamic groups in constant transformation
over a period of centuries.
Ilex paraguariensis (yerba mate) has a beneficial effect in the management of obesity. Here, we studied the effects of yerba mate on hypothalamic changes in leptin and insulin signalling, oxidative stress and liver morphology and metabolism in postnatal early overfeeding (EO) Wistar rats. To induce EO, the litter size was reduced to three pups per dam, and litters with 10 pups per dam were used as a control (10 litters each). On postnatal day (PN) 150, EO offspring were subdivided into EO and EO+mate groups (10 animals each), which were treated with water or mate tea [1 g/kg body weight (BW)/day, by gavage], respectively, for 30 days. The C offspring received water. On PN180, yerba mate treatment prevented BW gain and reduced total body fat, visceral fat and food intake in comparison with the EO group. Leptin and insulin signalling in the hypothalamus measured by Western blotting was reduced only in the EO group. Yerba mate treatment had a greater impact on insulin signalling normalization. In the liver, yerba mate treatment normalized antioxidant enzyme activities and, consequently, decreased lipid peroxidation, determined by malondialdehyde content. In addition, the steatosis level and the liver triglyceride content were also restored. Thus, for the first time, yerba mate was demonstrated to increase antioxidant defences and improve liver metabolism in adult rats that were overfed during lactation, possibly through improvements in the hypothalamic action of insulin. These findings may be important for the treatment of obesity-related disorders.