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The anti-leishmania effects of HIV peptidase inhibitors (PIs) have been widely reported; however, the biochemical target and mode of action are still a matter of controversy in Leishmania parasites. Considering the possibility that HIV-PIs induce lipid accumulation in Leishmania amazonensis, we analysed the effects of lopinavir on the lipid metabolism of L. amazonensis promastigotes. To this end, parasites were treated with lopinavir at different concentrations and analysed by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry, using a fluorescent lipophilic marker. Then, the cellular ultrastructure of treated and control parasites was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the lipid composition was investigated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Finally, the sterol content was assayed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). TEM analysis revealed an increased number of lipid inclusions in lopinavir-treated cells, which was accompanied by an increase in the lipophilic content, in a dose-dependent manner. TLC and GC–MS analysis revealed a marked increase of cholesterol-esters and cholesterol. In conclusion, lopinavir-induced lipid accumulation and affected lipid composition in L. amazonensis in a concentration–response manner. These data contribute to a better understanding of the possible mechanisms of action of this HIV-PI in L. amazonensis promastigotes. The concerted action of lopinavir on this and other cellular processes, such as the direct inhibition of an aspartyl peptidase, may be responsible for the arrested development of the parasite.
The present study aimed to (i) assess the appetitive drives evoked by the visual cues of ultra-processed food and drink products and (ii) investigate whether text warnings reduce appetitive drives and consumers’ reported intentions to eat or drink ultra-processed products.
In Study I, a well-established psychometric tool was applied to estimate the appetitive drives associated with ultra-processed products using sixty-four image representations. Sixteen product types with four exemplars of a given product were included. Pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) served as controls. The two exemplars of each product type rated as more appetitive were selected for investigation in the second study. Study II assessed the impact of textual warnings on the appetitive drive towards these thirty-two exemplars. Each participant was exposed to two picture exemplars of the same product type preceded by a text warning or a control text. After viewing each displayed picture, the participants reported their emotional reactions and their intention to consume the product.
Controlled classroom experiments
Undergraduate students (Study I: n 215, 135 women; Study II: n 98, 52 women).
In Study I, the pictures of ultra-processed products prompted an appetitive motivation associated with the products’ nutritional content. In Study II, text warnings were effective in reducing the intention to consume and the appetitive drive evoked by ultra-processed products.
This research provides initial evidence favouring the use of text warnings as a public policy tool to curb the powerful influence of highly appetitive ultra-processed food cues.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
Zika virus infection was declared a public health emergency of international concern in February 2016 in response to the outbreak in Brazil and its suspected link with congenital anomalies. In this study, we use notification data and disease natural history parameters to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) of Zika in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also obtain estimates of R0 of dengue from time series of dengue cases in the outbreaks registered in 2002 and 2012 in the city, when DENV-3 and DENV-4 serotypes, respectively, had just emerged. Our estimates of the basic reproduction number for Zika in Rio de Janeiro based on surveillance notifications (R0 = 2·33, 95% CI: 1·97–2·97) were higher than those obtained for dengue in the city (year 2002: R0 = 1·70 [1·50–2·02]; year 2012: R0 = 1·25 [1·18–1·36]). Given the role of Aedes aegypti as vector of both the Zika and dengue viruses, we also derive R0 of Zika as a function of both dengue reproduction number and entomological and epidemiological parameters for dengue and Zika. Using the dengue outbreaks from previous years allowed us to estimate the potential R0 of Zika. Our estimates were closely in agreement with our first Zika's R0 estimation from notification data. Hence, these results validate deriving the potential risk of Zika transmission in areas with recurring dengue outbreaks. Whether transmission routes other than vector-based can sustain a Zika epidemic still deserves attention, but our results suggest that the Zika outbreak in Rio de Janeiro emerged due to population susceptibility and ubiquitous presence of Ae. aegypti.
The Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil, has been successfully applying the zinc reduction method for graphitization of carbon samples since the development of its early protocols in 2009. Successive methodological research aiming to improve and, ultimately, optimize the precision and accuracy of our results indicates that graphitization temperatures as low as 460°C promote erratic 13C isotopic fractionation, but an approximately constant fractionation of about –5‰ is achieved at 520°C. In this work, we present isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) δ13C results for 14C reference materials graphitized at 550°C with variable amounts of zinc. Based on the results obtained from the addition of 20, 35, and 50 mg of zinc, we conclude that a slightly lower variation in 13C isotope fractionation during graphitization is obtained with less zinc. Moreover, the average isotopic fractionation is not altered by increasing the graphitization temperature from 520°C to 550°C.
This study, which was carried out in the southern Brazilian Amazon region (Rondônia state and Humaitá, Southern Amazon state), presents and discusses the significance of carbon isotope data measured in soil profiles collected across natural boundaries of forest to savanna vegetation. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the expansion-regression dynamics of these vegetation units in relation to climate changes during the Holocene. 14C data from charcoal, soil organic matter (SOM) and its component humin fraction indicate that the organic matter in the studied soils is essentially Holocene in origin. 13C data indicate that C3 type plants were the dominant vegetation at all study areas in the early Holocene, and during the entire Holocene, in the forest sites of Central Rondônia state and in the forest site 50 km from the city of Humaitá. 13C data also indicate that C4 plants have influenced significantly the vegetation at the transitional forest and the Cerrado (wooded savanna) sites of Southern Rondônia state and the forest ecosystem located 20 km from the Humaitá city. These typical C4 type isotopic signatures probably reflect a drier climate during the mid-Holocene. The 13C records representing probably the last 3000 yr show an expansion of the forest, due to a climatic improvement, in areas previously occupied by savanna vegetation. These results and other published data for the Amazon region indicate that the areas representing today's forest-savanna boundaries have been determined by significant vegetation changes during the Holocene. The boundary between forest and savanna vegetation seems to be quite sensitive to climatic change and should be the focus of more extensive research to correlate climate and past vegetation dynamics in the Amazon region.
We present prehistoric mercury accumulation rates in a dated sediment core from Lagoa da Pata, a remote lake in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, northern Amazon. The sediment samples were subdivided for mercury and radiocarbon analyses. A group of 18 samples have been prepared at ANU for 14C dating by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The dating results show a good correlation with depth in the core, down to 41,500 BP. Three distinct sections are clearly identified in the core. They consist of upper and lower organic-rich layers, separated by an inorganic layer which represents a short period of rapid accumulation around 18 ka BP. The mercury accumulation rate is found to be larger in the upper layer (18 ka to present) than in the lower one (41 ka to 25 ka), by a factor of three. The larger accumulation rate of mercury is probably associated with warmer temperatures and a higher frequency of forest fires during the Holocene.
The sulfentrazone is regularly applied to sugarcane crop harvest residue for PRE control of weedy species, especially in the dry season during the year, but little is known about how rainfall timing or crop residue mass affect the release of sulfentrazone into the soil and its subsequent effectiveness. Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of sugarcane residue mass (5, 10, 15, and 20 t ha−1) and rainfall timing (1, 30, and 60 d after herbicide application) on sulfentrazone retention. Rainfall volumes were simulated at 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 35, 50, and 100 mm. A 20-mm rainfall volume was simulated at 7 and 14 d after the first simulated event. The water passing through the straw was collected after each rainfall simulation. The concentration of sulfentrazone was measured by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The initial 20 mm of rain released the maximum mass of sulfentrazone from the sugarcane residue. The mass of sugarcane residue affected the amount of sulfentrazone recovered. The amount of sulfentrazone released from the residue was significantly reduced by the persistence on the residue surface for long periods before the occurrence of rain. During periods of low rainfall, recommendations for sulfentrazone rate must take into account losses that occur when applied over the harvest residues to design a weed-management plan that does not compromise efficacy and duration of the residual effects.
After 22 yr of the low-level liquid scintillation counting 14C laboratory at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA) at São Paulo University (USP), Piracicaba, Brazil, and several collaborative projects with Brazilian and international researchers from distinct scientific areas, the first 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory in Latin America was installed at the Physics Institute of the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil. A 250kV single stage accelerator produced by National Electrostatics Corporation began its operation in 2012. In this work, we compare measurements performed at the AMS Radiocarbon Laboratory at UFF (LAC-UFF) with those performed at CENA and the University of Georgia (UGAMS), Georgia, USA. All the results obtained from distinct inorganic and organic samples were in very good agreement.
In tropical regions, protein supplementation is a common practice in dairy and beef farming. However, the effect of highly degradable protein in ruminal fermentation and microbial community composition has not yet been investigated in a systematic manner. In this work, we aimed to investigate the impact of casein supplementation on volatile fatty acids (VFA) production, specific activity of deamination (SAD), ammonia concentration and bacterial and archaeal community composition. The experimental design was a 4×4 Latin square balanced for residual effects, with four animals (average initial weight of 280±10 kg) and four experimental periods, each with duration of 29 days. The diet comprised Tifton 85 (Cynodon sp.) hay with an average CP content of 9.8%, on a dry matter basis. Animals received basal forage (control) or infusions of pure casein (230 g) administered direct into the rumen, abomasum or divided (50 : 50 ratio) in the rumen/abomasum. There was no differences (P>0.05) in ruminal pH and microbial protein concentration between supplemented v. non-supplemented animals. However, in steers receiving ruminal infusion of casein the SAD and ruminal ammonia concentration increased 33% and 76%, respectively, compared with the control. The total concentration of VFA increased (P<0.05) in steers receiving rumen infusion of casein. SAD and the microbial protein concentration did not vary significantly among treatments during the feeding cycle, but mean SAD values were greater in steers supplemented in the rumen and rumen/abomasum. Ruminal ammonia concentration was positively correlated with SAD in animals receiving ruminal infusion of casein. Polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis revealed low similarity between treatments, animals and time of sample collection. Richness analysis and determination of the Shannon–Wiener index indicated no differences (P>0.05) in species richness and diversity of γ-proteobacteria, firmicutes and archaea between non-supplemented Nellore steers and steers receiving casein supplementation in the rumen. However, species richness and the Shannon–Wiener index were lower (P<0.05) for the phylum bacteroidetes in steers supplemented with casein in the rumen compared with non-supplemented animals. Venn diagrams indicated that the number of unique bands varied considerably among individual animals and was usually higher in number for non-supplemented steers compared with supplemented animals. These results add new knowledge about the effects of ruminal and postruminal protein supplementation on metabolic activities of rumen microbes and the composition of bacterial and archaeal communities in the rumen of steers.
Animal by-product meals have large variability in crude protein (CP) content and digestibility. In vivo digestibility procedures are precise but laborious, and in vitro methods could be an alternative to evaluate and classify these ingredients. The present study reports prediction equations to estimate the CP digestibility of meat and bone meal (MBM) and poultry by-product meal (PM) using the protein solubility in pepsin method (PSP). Total tract CP digestibility of eight MBM and eight PM samples was determined in dogs by the substitution method. A basal diet was formulated for dog maintenance, and sixteen diets were produced by mixing 70 % of the basal diet and 30 % of each tested meal. Six dogs per diet were used to determine ingredient digestibility. In addition, PSP of the MBM and PM samples was determined using three pepsin concentrations: 0·02, 0·002 and 0·0002 %. The CP content of MBM and PM ranged from 39 to 46 % and 57 to 69 %, respectively, and their mean CP digestibility by dogs was 76 (2·4) and 85 (2·6) %, respectively. The pepsin concentration with higher Pearson correlation coefficients with the in vivo results were 0·0002 % for MBM (r 0·380; P = 0·008) and 0·02 % for PM (r 0·482; P = 0·005). The relationship between the in vivo and in vitro results was better explained by the following equations: CP digestibility of MBM = 61·7 + 0·2644 × PSP at 0·0002 % (P = 0·008; R2 0·126); and CP digestibility of PM = 54·1 + 0·3833 × PSP at 0·02 % (P = 0·005; R2 0·216). Although significant, the coefficients of determination were low, indicating that the models were weak and need to be used with caution.
Inkjet printing is a well-accepted deposition technology for functional materials in the area of printed electronics. It allows the precise deposition of patterned functional layers on both, rigid and flexible substrates. Furthermore, inkjet printing is considered as up-scalable technology towards industrial applications. Many electronic devices manufactured with inkjet printing have been reported in the recent years. Some of the evident examples are capacitors, resistors, organic thin film transistors and rectifying Schottky diodes. [1, 2, 3] In this paper we report on the manufacturing of an inkjet-printed metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) diode on flexible plastic substrate. The structure is comprised of an insulating and a polymeric semiconducting layer sandwiched between two silver electrodes. The current vs. voltage characteristics are rectifying with rectification ratio up to 100 at |4 V|. Furthermore, they can carry high current densities (up to mA/cm2) and have a low capacitance which makes them attractive for high frequency rectifying circuits. They are also an ideal candidate to replace conventional Schottky diodes for which the fabrication remains a challenge. This is because inkjet printing of Schottky diodes require additional processing steps such as intense pulsed light sintering (IPL sintering)  or post-treatments at high temperatures. The deposition of two different metal layers using inkjet printing e.g. Cu or Al with Ag is possible. However, the mentioned post treatment technologies might be incompatible with the already existing layer stack– e.g. it could degrade the organic semiconductor or can damage insulator which in this case is present in the MIS diode architecture.
Since the discovery of the piezoelectric character of bone, the suitability of some piezoelectric materials have been studied for bone repair; they are thought to act like transducers converting the mechanical energy of skeletal deformation in electrical stimuli capable of controlling osteogenic growth. The mechanisms underlying this process are far from being understood and systematic studies at a local scale are required. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a unique way to observe phenomena at the nanoscale and liquid imaging provides a unique tool to assess biological phenomena at the nanoscale. So in this study, aiming at a better understanding of the role of piezoelectricity in the osteogenic growth, the interaction between a poled piezoelectric material, in this case poly (L-lactic) acid and an adhesion promoting protein, the fibronectin, and bone-like cells is evaluated by scanning probe microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).
This study aimed to investigate myocardial injuries in mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni and fed a high-fat chow. Sections of myocardial tissue from S. mansoni-infected mice, and controls that had been killed 9 and 17 weeks post-infection, were stained with H&E and Picrosirius red. Histopathological examination, stereological design-based method (optical disector) and morphometry (vessels, cardiomyocytes and an amount of collagen) were used. Data were analysed using two-way ANOVA. Regardless of time of infection, myocardial tissue from the infected mice fed high-fat chow showed myocarditis characterized by a higher number of inflammatory foci, several areas displaying coagulation of cardiac fibres, a greater loss of cardiomyocytes and fibroblast proliferation than in the standard chow control. Comparing infected mice from acute and chronic infections, a higher cardiomyocyte hyperplasia (P < 0·0001) and higher amounts of collagen (P < 0·05) were observed than in standard chow control. In addition, all animals fed high-fat chow showed lower numerical density and total number of cardiomyocytes (P < 0·05), thicker vessel walls and narrowed luminal intramyocardial vessels (P > 0·05) than in the standard chow control. Altogether the data supported the view that a double burden has a synergistic deleterious effect on the myocardial tissue.
Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a mental illness associated with higher rates of suicide. The present study aims to investigate the brain mitochondrial respiratory chain activity in an animal model of mania induced by ouabain.
Methods: Adult male Wistar rats received a single intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain (10−3 and 10−2 M) or vehicle. Locomotor activity was measured using the open field test. Mitochondrial respiratory chain activity was measured in the brain of rats 1 h and 7 days after ouabain administration.
Results: Our results showed that spontaneous locomotion was increased 1 h and 7 days after ouabain administration. Complexes I, III and IV activities were increased in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum immediately after the administration of ouabain, at the concentration of 10−3 and 10−2 M. Moreover, complex II activity was increased only in the prefrontal cortex at the concentration of 10−2 M. On the other hand, no significant alterations were observed in complex I activity 7 days after ouabain administration. However, an increase in complexes II, III and IV activities was observed only in the prefrontal cortex at the concentration of 10−2 M.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest an increase in the activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain in this model of mania. A possible explanation is that these findings occur as a rebound effect trying to compensate for a decrease of ATP deprivation in BD. The present findings suggest that this model may present good face validity and a limitation in construct validity.
The aim of this work is to study the uses of electrodialysis to bentonitics clays dispersions from Boa Vista City, PB, to improve the rheological properties. The dispersions were prepared with natural clay in the concentration of 4.86% w/w and submitted to electrodialysis process by using cationic polymeric membranes. Following, the dispersions were treated with Na2CO3. After cure, it was evaluated apparent (AV) and plastic (PV) viscosity and water loss (WL). The tests was setting up according to 22 experimental design, with three measures in the central point, to estimate the best applied voltage and time and the influence on AV, PV and WL. The results showed that variables (voltage and time) have significant influence on the rheological properties. It was observed an increase in PV and decrease in WL, with values that satisfy the specifications for water based drilling fluids.
We report on the efficient photoluminescence up-conversion in colloidally synthesized CdTe nanocrystals. We demonstrate that the efficiency of photon energy up-conversion and magnitude of spectral shift can be controlled: (i) by the size of the nanocrystals; (ii) by the temperature dependence of the excited state absorption coefficient; (iii) by the dependence on excitation intensity. From the analysis of the experimental data we can suggest that intrinsic gap states are involved as intermediate states in the photoluminescence up-conversion rather than nonlinear two-photon absorption or Auger processes.