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The present study investigated the association between eating frequency (EF), diet quality and nutritional status of fifty-five women with breast cancer (BC) undergoing chemotherapy (CT), with three follow-ups, before the first cycle (T0), after the intermediate cycle (T1) and after the last cycle of CT (T2). Dietary data were obtained by nine 24-h dietary recalls (24HR), and the Brazilian Healthy Eating Index Revised (BHEI-R) was used for qualitative analysis of diet. The average EF was established by adding the number of daily eating episodes in the three 24HR of each time. Anthropometric variables were obtained at three times. Women who reported higher EF (equal to or above median value (T0 and T1: 4·67; T2: 4·33 eating episodes)) presented better anthropometric parameters, in T0 and T1, as well as higher scores for BHEI-R specific groups and BHEI-R Total score in T1 and T2. In generalised linear models, the continuous variable EF was negatively associated with all the anthropometric variables in T0 and with the waist:height ratio in T1. There were positive associations for the BHEI-R groups at the three times: Total Fruit; Whole Fruit; Total Vegetables; Dark Green and Orange Vegetables and Legumes. At T1 and T2 the EF was positively associated with the BHEI-R Total score, and also with Whole Grains in T1. The results suggest that a higher EF was associated with a better diet quality during CT in women with BC. In contrast, an inverse association was observed between EF and anthropometric parameters before the first cycle of treatment.
This study evaluated the effects of oocyte meiosis inhibitors roscovitine (ROS) and butyrolactone I (BL-I) on in vitro production of bovine embryos. Bovine oocytes were maintained in pre in vitro maturation (pre-IVM) with 25 µM ROS or 100 µM BL-I for 24 h to delay meiosis and for 24 h in in vitro maturation (IVM). Following this treatment, the nuclear maturation index was evaluated. All embryos degenerated following this procedure. In the second set of experiments, oocytes were maintained for 6 or 12 h in pre-IVM with the following three treatments: ROS (25 µM or 12.5 µM), BL-I (100 µM or 50 µM) or a combination of both drugs (6.25 µM ROS and 12.5 µM BL-I). Oocytes were cultivated for 18 or 12 h in IVM. When a meiosis-inducing agent was used during pre-IVM for 24 h, more degenerated oocytes were observed at the end of the IVM period. This effect decreased when the meiotic blocking period was reduced to 6 or 12 h. No significant differences were observed in the blastocyst production rate of oocytes in pre-IVM for 6 h with ROS, BL-I, or ROS + BL-I compared with that of the control group (P > 0.05). However, inhibition of oocytes for 12 h resulted in decreased embryo production compared with that in the controls (P < 0.05). There was no difference in the post-vitrification embryo re-expansion rate between the study groups, showing that the meiotic inhibition for 6 or 12 h did not alter the embryo cryopreservation process.
This research communication addresses the hypothesis that the association of dietary vitamin E and Yerba Mate could help to prevent or decrease oxidation of milk enriched in unsaturated fatty acids (UFA). Four multiparous lactating Holstein cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square. Treatments were: (1) control diet with no Yerba Mate or vitamin E; (2) diet containing 375 IU/kg vitamin E; (3) diet containing 30 g/kg Yerba Mate; and (4) diet containing 375 IU/kg vitamin E and 30 g/kg Yerba Mate. To increase unsaturated fatty acids in milk, cows were fed 172 g/kg soybean seeds (on a dry matter basis). There was no interaction between vitamin E and Yerba Mate supplementation for milk antioxidant-related (polyphenols, reducing power, conjugated dienes, and TBARS) analyses. Milk reducing power was increased when cows were supplemented with Yerba Mate. Our results suggest that the association of dietary vitamin E and Yerba Mate does not help to prevent or decrease oxidation of milk in UFA.
The aim of this study was to optimize protocols for electroporation (EP) and polyfection (PLF) using polyethyleneimine (PEI) for pig sperm transfection and to determine which method was the most efficient. For EP standardization, different voltages, amounts and times of electric pulses were tested using propidium iodide (PI) as reporter. For PLF standardization, different concentrations of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled PEI (PEI/FITC) were incubated with sperm for different periods of time. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate the best protocol in terms of cell viability, including cytoplasmic membrane, acrosome, chromatin integrities and mitochondrial potential using the FITC probe, PI, acridine orange (AO) and JC1. Transfections with the plasmid pmhyGENIE-5 were carried out under optimum conditions for each procedure (EP: 500 volts, 500 μs and two pulses; PLF: PEI 0.5 mg/ml and incubation time 10 min). Transfection efficacy was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A lower transfection rate was observed for sperm in the control group (17.8%) compared with EP (36.7%), with PLF (76.8%) being the most efficient. These results suggest that the EP and PEI could be an efficient and low cost transfection method for swine sperm. Notably, treated cells showed higher plasmatic the membrane damage (PMD) and/or acrosome damage (AD) indexes, therefore the combination of this procedure with biotechniques that facilitate fecundation (i.e. in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection) or even inclusion of antioxidant or anti-apoptotic drugs to improve spermatozoa viability would be important.
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.
Evaluating the occurrence of diseases in aquatic mustelids is a priority in the conservation strategies for the Neotropical river otter and giant otter. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the frequency of infection caused by Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia sp. in both host species in northern Brazil. The collection of biological samples was carried out in the states of Amapá, Amazonas, Pará and Rondônia, totalling 337 faecal samples of these species, which were processed using Kinyoun's technique for the identification of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts, and centrifugal flotation in zinc sulphate solution for visualization of Giardia sp. cysts. All samples were also tested by direct immunofluorescence. The frequency of infection by Cryptosporidium spp. was higher than Giardia sp., in the two otter species. In the analysed samples co-infection by both protozoa was also found in 4.47% (14/313) of Neotropical river otter and 20.83% (5/24) of giant otter samples. Oocysts and cysts of Cryptosporidium and Giardia, respectively, may remain infectious within specific environmental conditions for long periods of time. The current identification of Neotropical and giant otters as hosts of these protozoa increases the possibility of infection in this species and the transmission of those agents to other aquatic and terrestrial organisms, as well as to human populations. The findings of this study represent the first description of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia sp. affecting Lontra longicaudis and Pteronura brasiliensis.
In South America, visceral leishmaniasis is frequently caused by Leishmania infantum and, at an unknown frequency, by Leishmania amazonensis. Therefore, mixed infections with these organisms are possible. Mixed infections might affect the clinical course, immune response, diagnosis, treatment and epidemiology of the disease. Here we describe the clinical course of mixed infections with L. amazonensis and L. infantum in a hamster model. We show that mixed infections are associated with more severe clinical disease than infection with L. amazonensis or L. infantum alone. In spleens with mixed infections, L. infantum outcompeted L. amazonensis in the tissue, but not in culture from tissue. We found increased levels of IgG in animals infected with L. infantum. Although more than 30 bands were revealed in a Western blot, the highest immunogenicity was observed with proteins having molecular masses of 95 and 90 kDa, whereas proteins with molecular masses of lower than 50 kDa were reactive frequently with serum from hamsters infected with L. amazonensis, and proteins with molecular masses of 80 and 70 kDa were reactive only with serum from hamsters infected with L. infantum. This finding has important implications regarding the biology of Leishmania and humoral immune responses to infections with these organisms.
Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, including Brazil. We performed a nationwide population-based study including all deaths in Brazil from 2000 to 2011, in which STHs (ascariasis, trichuriasis and/or hookworm infection) were mentioned on death certificates, either as underlying or as associated causes of death. Epidemiological characteristics, time trends and spatial analysis of STH-related mortality were analysed. STHs was identified on 853/12 491 280 death certificates: 827 (97·0%) deaths related to ascariasis, 25 (2·9%) to hookworm infections, and 1 (0·1%) to trichuriasis. The average annual age-adjusted mortality rate was 0·34/1 000 000 inhabitants (95% confidence interval: 0·27–0·44). Females, children <10 years of age, indigenous ethnic groups and residents in the Northeast region had highest STH-related mortality rates. Nationwide mortality decreased significantly over time (annual percent change: −5·7%; 95% CI: −6·9 to −4·4), with regional differences. We identified spatial high-risk clusters for STH-related mortality mainly in the North, Northeast and South regions. Diseases of the digestive system and infectious/parasitic diseases were the most commonly associated causes of death mentioned in the STH-related deaths. Despite decreasing mortality in Brazil, a considerable number of deaths is caused by STHs, with ascariasis responsible for the vast majority. There were marked regional differences, affecting mainly children and vulnerable populations.
The aim of this study was to compare serum lipid profiles and ovarian gene expression between aged and younger female mice fed a control or a high-fat diet for 2 months. For this 16 female mice (C57BL/6) of 4 months (Young, n = 8) or 13 months (Old, n = 8) of age were used. The females were divided into four groups: (i) young females fed a normal diet; (ii) young females fed a high-fat diet; (iii) old females fed a normal diet; and (iv) old females fed a high-fat diet. Food intake was reduced (P < 0.05) in mice fed with a high-fat (2.9 ± 0.1 g) diet in comparison with control mice (3.9 ± 0.1 g). Body weight was higher for old females on the high-fat diet (35.1 ± 0.3 g) than for young females on the same diet (23.3 ± 0.4 g; P < 0.05). PON1 activity was lower in the high-fat than control diet group (114.3 ± 5.8 vs. 78.1 ± 6.0 kU/L, respectively) and was higher in older than younger females (85.9 ± 6.4 vs. 106.5 ± 5.3; P < 0.05, respectively). Females fed a high-fat diet had lower expression of Igf1 mRNA (P = 0.04). There was an interaction between age and diet for the expression of Gdf9 and Survivin, with lower expression in older females in both diets and young females that received the high-fat diet (P < 0.05). Concluding, the high-fat diet reduced the expression of ovarian Igf1 mRNA, and Gdf9 and Survivin mRNA in younger females, which can indicate lower fertility rates. High-density lipoprotein concentration and PON1 activity were higher in aged female mice.
Two mimotopes of Leishmania infantum identified by phage display were evaluated as vaccine candidates in BALB/c mice against Leishmania amazonensis infection. The epitope-based immunogens, namely B10 and C01, presented as phage-fused peptides; were used without association of a Th1 adjuvant, and they were administered isolated or in combination into animals. Both clones showed a specific production of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin-12 (IL-12) and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) after in vitro spleen cells stimulation, and they were able to induce a partial protection against infection. Significant reductions of parasite load in the infected footpads, liver, spleen, bone marrow and paws’ draining lymph nodes were observed in the immunized mice, in comparison with the control groups (saline, saponin, wild-type and non-relevant clones). Protection was associated with an IL-12-dependent production of IFN-γ, mediated mainly by CD8+ T cells, against parasite proteins. Protected mice also presented low levels of IL-4 and IL-10, as well as increased levels of parasite-specific IgG2a antibodies. The association of both clones resulted in an improved protection in relation to their individual use. More importantly, the absence of adjuvant did not diminish the cross-protective efficacy against Leishmania spp. infection. This study describes for the first time two epitope-based immunogens selected by phage display technology against L. infantum infected dogs sera, which induced a partial protection in BALB/c mice infected with L. amazonensis.
To analyse the relationship between different heart rate variability indices, resting heart rate, and cardiovascular markers in adolescents.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with information from an ongoing cohort study. The sample was composed of 99 adolescents who complied with the following inclusion criteria: aged between 11 and 14 years; enrolled in a school unit of elementary education; absence of any known diseases; no drug consumption; and a formal consent signed by the parents or legal guardians. Weight, height, heart rate variability, lipid profile, inflammatory markers, blood pressure, resting heart rate, intima-media thickness, blood flow, and trunk fatness were measured. Partial correlation and linear regression (expressed by β and 95% confidence intervals [95%CI]) analyses were used to analyse the relationships between the variables.
In the linear regression analysis, even after adjustments for sex, age, trunk fatness, and somatic maturation, parasympathetic activity presented significant correlations with maximum carotid artery blood flow (β=−0.111 [95%CI=−0.216; −0.007]), systolic blood pressure (β=−0.319 [95%CI=−0.638; −0.001]), and resting heat rate (β=−0.005 [95%CI=−0.009; −0.002]).
Parasympathetic activity at rest is inversely related to maximum and minimum blood flow, triacylglycerol levels, and systolic blood pressure. These findings suggest that heart rate variability has the potential to discriminate pre-pubertal adolescents at increased risk.
The inhibition of nuclear maturation allows time for the oocyte to accumulate molecules that are important for embryonic development. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of blocking oocyte meiosis with the addition of forskolin, an efficient inhibitor of nuclear maturation, in in vitro maturation (IVM) medium. Forskolin was added to the IVM medium for 6 h at concentrations of 0.1 mM, 0.05 mM or 0.025 mM, then the oocytes were allowed to mature in drug-free medium for 18 h. The oocytes were assessed for the stage of nuclear maturation, the activity and distribution of mitochondria, oocyte ultrastructure, the number of viable cells and the apoptosis rate. After forskolin treatment, the oocytes were fertilized in vitro and cultured for 7 days. On day 7, the blastocyst rate, the ultrastructure, the number of intact cells and the apoptosis rate of the blastocysts were measured. No differences were observed for the stage of nuclear maturation of the oocyte, the mitochondrial activity and distribution, the blastocyst rate or total number of intact cells. However, a higher rate of apoptosis was observed in the blastocysts produced from oocytes blocked for 6 h with the higher concentration of forskolin (P < 0.05). We conclude that all the experimental groups reached the MII stage after the addition of forskolin and that the highest concentration of forskolin caused cellular degeneration without harming embryo production on the 7th day.
Models for galaxy clusters abundance and their spatial distribution are sensitive to cosmological parameters. Present and future surveys will provide high-redshift sample of clusters, such as Dark Energy Survey (z ⩽ 1.3), making cluster number counts one of the most promising cosmological probes. In the literature, some cosmological analyses are carried out using small cluster catalogs (tens to hundreds), like in Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) surveys. However, it is not guaranteed that maximum likelihood estimators of cosmological parameters are unbiased in this scenario. In this work we study different estimators of the cold dark matter density parameter Ωc, σ8 and the dark energy equation of state parameter w0 obtained from cluster abundance. Using an unbinned likelihood for cluster number counts and the Monte Carlo approach, we determine the presence of bias and how it varies with the size of the sample. Our fiducial models are based on the South Pole Telescope (SPT). We show that the biases from SZ estimators do not go away with increasing sample sizes and they may become the dominant source of error for an all sky survey at the SPT sensitivity.
Three specimens of the genus Corambe were found in the intertidal zone of Santos, São Paulo (Brazil); two of them were identified as C. evelinae and one as C. carambola. Both species are reported for the first time since more than about 40 years ago.
We propose a counting dimension for subsets of
and prove that, under certain conditions on E,F ⊂
, for Lebesgue almost every λ ∈
the counting dimension of E + ⌊λF⌋ is at least the minimum between 1 and the sum of the counting dimensions of E and F. Furthermore, if the sum of the counting dimensions of E and F is larger than 1, then E + ⌊λF⌋ has positive upper Banach density for Lebesgue almost every λ ∈
. The result has direct consequences when E,F are arithmetic sets, e.g., the integer values of a polynomial with integer coefficients.
A sediment core was studied to characterize the influences of Holocene sea-level variations in the Barra Seca River valley, in the Atlantic rainforest, Linhares, Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Biological proxies (pollen, spores, and sponge spicules), 14C dating, granulometry, δ13C, δ15N, C/N and major chemical elements revealed the establishment and the evolution of a paleo-estuary during the interval from ∼7700–585 cal BP. During the interval ∼7700–7000 cal BP, the study site was occupied by a bay-head delta, the inner portion of the paleo-estuary, presenting the most dense mangrove coverage of the entire record. In the interval ∼7000–3200 cal BP, the site was occupied by the central basin, possibly a consequence of the landward migration of the paleo-estuary. This interval presents reduced mangrove coverage, probably due to the permanent flooding of the valley. From ∼3200 cal BP, the marine influence at the site decreased probably as result of the seaward migration of the coast line. From ∼600 cal BP, the modern floodplain and freshwater lake were established. This interpretation is in agreement with the sea-level curves for the southeastern Brazilian coast, except for the fact that evidence of sea levels lower than the present at ∼4000 and ∼2500 cal BP as suggested by some authors were not found.
Analysis of biological proxies in lake sediment and geochemical analysis of soil profiles reveal natural vegetation dynamics, with climate inferences, since the late Pleistocene in a fragment of the pristine lowland Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil. Carbon isotopes from soil organic matter and 14C ages from the humin fraction indicate the dominance of C3 plants since ∼17,000 cal BP. Palynological analysis of a sediment core indicates the presence of Atlantic Forest vegetation since 7700 cal BP. Changes in the relative abundance of tree ferns and palms suggest the predominance of a humid period from ∼7000–4000 cal BP and establishment of the modern seasonal climate at ∼4000 cal BP. Data indicate maintenance of the regional forest coverage since the late Pleistocene, corroborating previous suggestions that this region was a forest refuge during less humid periods of the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Some plant taxa with currently divided distributions between Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest colonized the region since at least 7500 cal BP, indicating an earlier connection between Amazonia and Atlantic Forest.
We address current needs for neogenomics-based theoretical and computational approaches for several neuroscience research fields, from investigations of heritability properties, passing by investigations of spatiotemporal dynamics in the neuromodulatory microcircuits involved in perceptual learning and attentional shifts, to the application of genetic algorithms to create robots exhibiting ongoing emergence.
Chromatic polymorphisms in shells may be associated with adaptive characteristics in molluscs. Colouring among Hastula cinerea reveals different patterns in large aggregations of individuals. Although the impacts of temperature are considered critical in the intertidal region, selective effects associated with colouring in H. cinerea shells, in addition to possible physiological consequences, remain an open issue. In this context, H. cinerea is a viable evolutionary model for investigating selective processes related to chromatic polymorphism in shells given its abundance and biological characteristics. Individuals from the same population were classified into three groups according to shell colour: light, reddish and dark. They were then examined with regard to frequency of colour morphs and morphological patterns in each group. Reddish and light-coloured specimens were the most abundant, while those with dark coloration were less common and morphologically distinct from the first two colour morphs. Morphological differences in the anterior region of dark shells, which may be associated with movement ability and lower frequencies in these specimens, suggest possible selective effects on types that are less reflective to light in the intertidal zone.
Background: People with dementia report lower quality of life, but we know little about what interventions might improve it.
Methods: We systematically reviewed 20 randomized controlled trials reporting the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions in improving quality of life or well-being of people with dementia meeting predetermined criteria. We rated study validity with a checklist. We contacted authors for additional data. We calculated standardized mean differences (SMD) and, for studies reporting similar interventions, pooled standardized effect sizes (SES).
Results: Pooled analyses found that family carer coping strategy-based interventions (four studies, which did not individually achieve significance; n = 420; SES 0.24 (range 0.03–0.45)) and combined patient activity and family carer coping interventions (two studies, not individually significant; n = 191; SES 0.84 (range 0.54–1.14)) might improve quality of life. In one high-quality study, a care management system improved quality of life of people with dementia living at home. Group Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (GCST) improved quality of life of people with dementia in care homes.
Conclusion: Preliminary evidence indicated that coping strategy-based family carer therapy with or without a patient activity intervention improved quality of life of people with dementia living at home. GCST was the only effective intervention in a higher quality trial for those in care homes, but we did not find such evidence in the community. Few studies explored whether effects continued after the intervention stopped. Future research should explore the longer-term impact of interventions on, and devise strategies to increase, life quality of people with dementia living in care homes or at home without a family carer.