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Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation, expressed by increased sympathetic activity and decreased heart rate variability, have an important relationship with the onset of lethal cardiac phenomena. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiac autonomic behaviour in young people according to their level of physical activity. Through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 55 healthy young non-smokers with no history of previous diseases and whose parents did not suffer from metabolic syndrome were assessed and divided into groups: sedentary (n=12), insufficiently active (n=16), active (n=14), and very active (n=13). We collected respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and body mass index. Subjects remained supine at rest, and without mental stress for 15 minutes in a controlled environment. Using a cardiofrequency meter (Polar® RS800CX), data were analysed in the time domain, frequency domain, and detrended fluctuation analysis. For the sedentary group, the mean RR and rMSSD were significantly lower, and the insufficiently active group showed higher means, but significantly only for rMSSD. The insufficiently active group showed in the detrended fluctuation analysis that α2 was significantly lower compared with the sedentary, active, and very active groups. We conclude that young, healthy, sedentary individuals present an increased heart rate and that insufficiently active individuals present a decreased fractal correlation and increased parasympathetic activity.
Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with inflammation and immunosenescence, as well as hyporeactivity of the HPA axis. Because the immune system and the HPA axis are tightly intertwined around the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), we examined peripheral GR functionality in the EpiPath cohort among participants who either had been exposed to ELA (separation from parents and/or institutionalization followed by adoption; n = 40) or had been reared by their biological parents (n = 72).
Expression of the strict GR target genes FKBP5 and GILZ as well as total and 1F and 1H GR transcripts were similar between groups. Furthermore, there were no differences in GR sensitivity, examined by the effects of dexamethasone on IL6 production in LPS-stimulated whole blood. Although we did not find differences in methylation at the GR 1F exon or promoter region, we identified a region of the GR 1H promoter (CpG 1-9) that showed lower methylation levels in ELA.
Our results suggest that peripheral GR signaling was unperturbed in our cohort and the observed immune phenotype does not appear to be secondary to an altered GR response to the perturbed HPA axis and glucocorticoid (GC) profile, although we are limited in our measures of GR activity and time points.
Cancer diagnosis affects patients, their families, and their caregivers in particular. This study focused on the validation of the CareGiver Oncology Quality of Life (CarGOQoL) questionnaire in Portuguese caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma, from the caregiver's point of view.
This was a cross-sectional study with 146 caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma from outpatient medical oncology and clinical hematology consultations from five hospitals in north and central Portugal. Participants were assessed on quality of life (QoL), psychological morbidity and social support.
The Portuguese version maintains 17 of the original 29 items version, maintaining general coherence and a dimensional structure that is clinically interpretable. Reliability findings indicated good internal consistency for the total scale (0.86) and respective subscales (0.75 to 0.88), which is in agreement with the alpha values from the previous CarGOQoL validation study for the corresponding subscales (0.74 to 0.89) and total scale (0.90).
Significance of results
The CarGOQoL is a reliable and valid tool for clinical trials and intervention programs to assess QoL in caregivers of myeloma patients. Future studies should validate the adapted version in caregivers of other types of cancer patients including other chronic diseases.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
It is suggested that bovine enteroviruses (BEV) are involved in the aetiology of enteric infections, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders and infertility. In this study, bovine faecal samples collected in different Brazilian states were subjected to RNA extraction, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis and partial sequencing of the 5′-terminal portion of BEV. One hundred and three samples were tested with an overall positivity of 14.5%. Phylogenetic analysis clustered these BEV Brazilian samples into the Enterovirus F clade. Our results bring an important update of the virus presence in Brazil and contribute to a better understanding of the distribution and characterisation of BEV in cattle.
Gill histopathology is a valuable tool to evaluate ecosystems health, because the gill is a key site of waterborne pollutant uptake and the first target organ to their toxicity. Consequently, this makes it important in biomonitoring programs. This study aims to evaluate gill histopathological differences in Douro basin native fish species and determine possible associations with water quality and the ecological status classifications. Two native fish species (Pseudochondrostoma duriense and Luciobarbus bocagei) were sampled in four points of the Douro basin: two reference points, Ameixiosa (Paiva River) and Covelas (Bestança River), both classified with an excellent ecological status; and two disturbed points, Castro Daire (Paiva River) and Alvações do Corgo (Corgo River), categorized with a good and a moderate ecological status, respectively. Gill histopathological differences were qualitative and quantitatively analyzed. The histological analysis showed that, in all sampling locations, both species presented some degree of gill differences, such as epithelial lifting, lamellar fusion, and/or necrosis. The histopathological differences evaluation emphasized some variances in the responses between the two species. In nase, the filament and lamellar epithelium proliferation were the histopathological differences that better reflected the river ecological status classification, proving their usefulness in biomonitoring programs.
Hepatocytes constitute the majority of hepatic cells, and play a key role in controlling systemic innate immunity, via pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and by synthesizing complement and acute phase proteins. Leishmania infantum, a protozoan parasite that causes human and canine leishmaniasis, infects liver by establishing inside the Kupffer cells. The current study proposes the elucidation of the immune response generated by dog hepatocytes when exposed to L. infantum. Additionally, the impact of adding leishmanicidal compound, meglumine antimoniate (MgA), to parasite-exposed hepatocytes was also addressed. L. infantum presents a high tropism to hepatocytes, establishing strong membrane interactions. The possibility of L. infantum internalization by hepatocytes was raised, but not confirmed. Hepatocytes were able to recognize parasite presence, inducing PRRs [nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)1, NOD2 and Toll-like receptor (TLR)2] gene expression and generating a mix pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine response. Reduction of cytochrome P 450s enzyme activity was also observed concomitant with the inflammatory response. Addition of MgA increased NOD2, TLR4 and interleukin 10 gene expression, indicating an immunomodulatory role for MgA. Hepatocytes seem to have a major role in coordinating liver's innate immune response against L. infantum infection, activating inflammatory mechanisms, but always balancing the inflammatory response in order to avoid cell damage.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether dietary reduction and sex class affect nutrient intake, digestibility, purine derivative (PD) excretion and heat tolerance coefficient in lambs. Thirty-five hair lambs (14.5 ± 0.89 kg initial body weight (BW), 2 months old) were used in a completely randomized study with a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, three sex classes (11 intact males, 12 castrated males and 12 females) and three levels of feeding (ad libitum, 300 and 600 g/kg/dry matter (DM) feed restriction) for 120 days. Intact and castrated males showed higher intakes of DM and neutral detergent fibre corrected for ash and protein (NDFap) than females. At 300 g/kg/DM feed restriction, NDFap digestibility was lower in intact males than in other classes; however, no differences were found between classes when subjected to ad libitum feeding or 600 g/kg/DM. The basal endogenous nitrogen and endogenous urinary losses were highest in intact males. Allantoin, uric acid and PD excretion, as well as PD absorption and microbial protein production were lowest in the animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. Microbial protein synthesis (MPS) was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The lowest temperatures were observed in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The heat tolerance coefficient was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. In conclusion, feed restriction reduced the time spent on feeding and rumination but increased the digestibility of DM. The restriction level of 600 g/kg/DM maximized MPS and infrared thermography indicated an elevated heat tolerance coefficient.
This article extends the research focusing on the early origins of psychopathology into the prenatal period, by exploring the association between maternal prenatal depression and offspring (fetal and infant) neurobehavior. The sample is recruited from a rural population in South India where women in the third trimester of pregnancy were assessed for depression and the heart rate responses of their fetuses to extrinsically applied vibroacoustic stimuli were studied. At 2 months postbirth, infant temperament and cortisol responsivity to immunization were assessed. The association between maternal prenatal depression and fetal responsivity to vibroacoustic stimulation, and infant responsivity to immunization, was U shaped with higher levels of responsivity noted in the offspring of mothers with very high and very low depression scores, and lower levels noted in the offspring of mothers with moderate depression scores. Maternal prenatal depression was not associated with infant temperament. The findings highlight the importance of environmental influences in the developmental origins of neurobehavior, suggesting that such differences, not evident at baseline, may emerge upon exposure to stressors. The study also emphasizes the need for further investigation in low- and middle-income contexts by providing preliminary evidence of the differing patterns of association observed between high- and low-income populations.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are increasingly taking advantage of active materials, allowing to provide specific clues to the cells. In particular, the use of electroactive polymers that deliver an electrical signal to the cells upon mechanical solicitation, open new scientific and technological opportunities, as they in fact mimic signals and effects that occur in living tissues, allowing the development of suitable microenvironments for tissue regeneration. Thus, a novel overall strategy for bone and muscle tissue engineering was developed based on the fact that these cells type are subjected to mechano-electrical stimuli in their in vivo microenvironment and that piezo- and magnetoelectric polymers, used as scaffolds, are suitable for delivering those cues. The processing and functional characterizations of piezoelectric and magnetoelectric polymers based on poly(vinylindene fluoride) and poly-L-lactic acid in a variety of shapes, from microspheres to electrospun mats and three dimensional scaffolds, are shown as well as their performance in the development of novel bone and muscle tissue engineering.
Indium oxide (InOx) and indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited on glass substrates by plasma enhanced reactive thermal evaporation (PERTE) at different substrate temperatures. The films were then submitted to two etching solutions with different chemical reactivity: i) HNO3 (6%), at room temperature; ii) HCl (35%): (40 °Bé) FeCl3 (1:1), at 40 °C. The dependence of the etchability of the films on the structural and deposition conditions is discussed. Previously to etching, structural characterization was made. X-ray diffraction showed the appearance of a peak around 2θ=31° as the deposition temperature increases from room temperature to 190 °C, both for ITO and InOx. AFM surface topography and SEM micrographs of the deposited films are consistent with the structural properties suggested by X-ray spectra: as the deposition temperature increases, the surface changes from a finely grained structure to a material with a larger-sized grain or/and agglomerate structure of the order of 250-300 nm. The roughness Rq varies from 0.74 nm for the amorphous tissue to a maximum of 10.83 nm for the sample with the biggest crystalline grains. Raman spectra are also presented.
Sexual dimorphism is common in many extant animals, but it is difficult to demonstrate in fossil species. Working with material from the Late Cretaceous of the U.S. Coastal Plain, we herein analyze sexual dimorphism in ostracodes from the superfamily Cytheroidea, a group whose extant members have males that are relatively more elongate than females. We digitized outlines of more than 6000 individual ostracode valves or carapaces, extracted size (area) and shape (length-to-height ratio) information, and used finite mixture models to assess hypotheses of sexual dimorphism. Male and female clusters can be discerned in nearly all populations with sufficient data, resulting in estimates of size and shape dimorphism for 142 populations across 106 species; an additional nine samples are interpreted to consist only of females. Dimorphism patterns varied across taxa, especially for body size: males range from 30% larger to 20% smaller than females. Magnitudes of sexual dimorphism are generally stable within species across time and space; we can demonstrate substantial evolutionary changes in dimorphism in only one species, Haplocytheridea renfroensis. Several lines of evidence indicate that patterns of sexual dimorphism in these ostracodes reflect male investment in reproduction, suggesting that this study system has the potential to capture variation in sexual selection through the fossil record.
We present a detailed study of the warmers phase in a starburst as a scenario for AGN (Terlevich & Melnick 1985). A numerical code (“ET”) was developed to compute the time evolution of the total spectrum of an ionizing cluster. ET is based in Maeder & Meynet (1988) and Maeder (1990) tracks and in model atmospheres. The ionizing spectra were input into the photoionization code Aangaba (Gruenwald & Viegas 1991) to calculate the nebular emission for a grid of models covering different densities, ionization parameters, metallicities and cluster ages. The emission line spectrum go through an “active phase” beginning at ≍ 3 Myrs, which lasts for about 3 Myrs, when the population of warmers disapears. Metallicities between 1/2 and 2 Z⊙ are necessary to generate AGN line ratios. The lower limmit is due to the fact that fewer warmers occur in metal poor regions (due to the smaller mass loss rates) and even if some do occur the line ratios would resemble an HII galaxy rather than a Seyfert 2 or a LINER. The upper limmit is set by strong line cooling of the emission nebula. The chemical pollution of the gas by the processed stellar winds from the very massive stars produce straightforwardly a N overabundance as that observed in many AGN. In Figure 1a and b, we show the process of heavy element enrichment as a function of time parametrized by γ—a quantity which measures the mass ejected by stars relative to the mass of gas surrounding the stellar association (see Cid Fernandes et al. 1991). The chemical yields were taken from Maeder (1990) models.
Recent studies with Nile tilapia have shown divergent results regarding the possibility of selecting on morphometric measurements to promote indirect genetic gains in fillet yield (FY). The use of indirect selection for fillet traits is important as these traits are only measurable after harvesting. Random regression models are a powerful tool in association studies to identify the best time point to measure and select animals. Random regression models can also be applied in a multiple trait approach to analyze indirect response to selection, which would avoid the need to sacrifice candidate fish. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships between several body measurements, weight and fillet traits throughout the growth period and to evaluate the possibility of indirect selection for fillet traits in Nile tilapia. Data were collected from 2042 fish and was divided into two subsets. The first subset was used to estimate genetic parameters, including the permanent environmental effect for BW and body measurements (8758 records for each body measurement, as each fish was individually weighed and measured a maximum of six times). The second subset (2042 records for each trait) was used to estimate genetic correlations and heritabilities, which enabled the calculation of correlated response efficiencies between body measurements and the fillet traits. Heritability estimates across ages ranged from 0.05 to 0.5 for height, 0.02 to 0.48 for corrected length (CL), 0.05 to 0.68 for width, 0.08 to 0.57 for fillet weight (FW) and 0.12 to 0.42 for FY. All genetic correlation estimates between body measurements and FW were positive and strong (0.64 to 0.98). The estimates of genetic correlation between body measurements and FY were positive (except for CL at some ages), but weak to moderate (−0.08 to 0.68). These estimates resulted in strong and favorable correlated response efficiencies for FW and positive, but moderate for FY. These results indicate the possibility of achieving indirect genetic gains for FW and by selecting for morphometric traits, but low efficiency for FY when compared with direct selection.
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.
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.
The thermomechanical processing of NiTi shape memory alloys usually involves several steps of hot and/or cold deformation. The present work presents the structural characterization of a Ni-rich NiTi alloy bar, produced by vacuum-induced melting and thermomechanical processing in laboratory scale, aiming at massive production in the future. This study focused on the first step of hot working at 800 °C during rotary forging. Microstructural characterization was performed using differential scanning calorimetry, high- and low-temperature X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a laboratory source and synchrotron XRD. Thus, it was possible to obtain the phase transformation characteristics of the material: the transformation temperatures and the transformation sequence. Proposed thermomechanical processing is intended for production of bars and wires that will be subsequently drawn to get thin wires, for different applications, including orthodontic arch wires.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prediction ability of models that cope with longevity phenotypic expression as uncensored and censored in Nellore cattle. Longevity was defined as the difference between the dates of last weaned calf and cow birth. There were information of 77 353 females, being 61 097 cows with uncensored phenotypic information and 16 256 cows with censored records. These data were analyzed considering three different models: (1) Gaussian linear model (LM), in which only uncensored records were considered; and two models that consider both uncensored and censored records: (2) Censored Gaussian linear model (CLM); and (3) Weibull frailty hazard model (WM). For the model prediction ability comparisons, the data set was randomly divided into training and validation sets, containing 80% and 20% of the records, respectively. There were considered 10 repetitions applying the following restrictions: (a) at least three animals per contemporary group in the training set; and (b) sires with more than 10 progenies with uncensored records (352 sires) should have daughters in the training and validation sets. The variance components estimated using the whole data set in each model were used as true values in the prediction of breeding values of the animals in the training set. The WM model showed the best prediction ability, providing the lowest χ2 average and the highest number of sets in which a model had the smallest value of χ2 statistics. The CLM and LM models showed prediction abilities 2.6% and 3.7% less efficient than WM, respectively. In addition, the accuracies of sire breeding values for LM and CLM were lower than those obtained for WM. The percentages of bulls in common, considering only 10% of sires with the highest breeding values, were around 75% and 54%, respectively, between LM–CLM and LM–WM models, considering all sires, and 75% between LM–CLM and LM–WM, when only sires with more than 10 progenies with uncensored records were taken into account. These results are indicative of reranking of animals in terms of genetic merit between LM, CLM and WM. The model in which censored records of longevity were excluded from the analysis showed the lowest prediction ability. The WM provides the best predictive performance, therefore this model would be recommended to perform genetic evaluation of longevity in this population.
This study was aimed to investigate associations between birth weight and multiple adiposity indicators in youth, and to examine potential mediating effects by biological maturation. This was a school-based study involving 981 Brazilian adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years. Birth weight was reported retrospectively by mothers. Maturation was estimated by age of peak height velocity. Adiposity indicators included body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and percent body fat estimated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Multilevel mediation analyses were performed using the Sobel test, adjusted for chronological age, gestational age, cardiorespiratory fitness and socio-economic status. Except for body fat in girls, biological maturation partly or fully mediated (P<0.05) positive relationships between birth weight with all other obesity indicators in both sexes with their respective values of indirect effects with 95% confidence intervals: BMI [boys: 0.44 (0.06–0.82); girls: 0.38 (0.13–0.64)], waist circumference [boys: 1.14 (0.22–2.05); girls: 0.87 (0.26–1.48)] and body fat [boys: 0.60 (0.13–1.07)]. To conclude, birth weight is associated with elevated obesity risk in adolescence and biological maturation seems to at least partly mediate this relationship.