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Prior mechanistic studies in rodents showed decreased levels of the pivotal mitochondrial metabolite acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) in relation to cognitive deficits and depressive-like behavior (Neuron 2017, 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.020, PNAS 2013, 10.1073/pnas.1216100110), providing the basis for the current translational study.
The main objective of this work was to ascertain the role of this specific mitochondrial signaling pathway in subjects with cognitive impairments (CI), and potential sex differences in these mechanisms.
We used computational approaches, ultraperformance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) and available plasma samples from a well-characterized cohort of 71 subjects, including subjects with CI and age- and sex-matched cognitively healthy controls (HC).
Our newest findings showed decreased levels of LAC in subjects with CI as compared to age- and sex-matched HC. We also found important sex differences in carnitine levels in relation to cognitive function as assessed by using the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE). Specifically, the degree of carnitine deficiency reflected the severity of cognitive dysfunction in a sex-specific manner. Using computational approaches, we found that the integration of these mitochondrial measures with canonical biomarkers improves diagnostic accuracy.
The current findings of sex differences in carnitine deficiency in subjects with CI suggest a possible sex-specific mitochondrial phenotype of vulnerability to cognitive dysfunction, and point to LAC-related mitochondrial metabolism as a new signaling pathway of cognitive regulation.
This study evaluated the effect of roughage:concentrate (R:C) ratio associated with a variable particle size of physically effective neutral detergent fibre (peNDF8) in the forage (Tifton-85 hay) on the performance, carcass traits and meat quality of lambs. Seventy-two 4-month-old, non-castrated Santa Ines male lambs (23.5 ± 2.32 kg BW) were distributed in a completely randomized design, in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement [two peNDF8 hay particle sizes (13 and 6 mm) and two R:C ratios (700:300 and 500:500 g/kg DM total)]. DMI, DM, NFC and TDN digestibility's, N-intake and N-faecal excretion were affected by the R:C ratio (P < 0.05). However, the N-retained was not affected by the studied variables (P > 0.05). It was observed an interaction (P < 0.05) between the peNDF8 and R:C ratios for final BW, average daily gain (ADG), colour parameters and pH 24 h. The lower roughage ratio provided greater (P < 0.05) concentrations of C14:1, C16:1–cis9, C18:1–cis9, ΣMUFA, Σn–6:Σn–3 and hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic index, enzymatic activity Δ9desaturase-C16 and -C18. Lambs fed a lower roughage diet had improved performance and feed efficiency, however, presented reduced polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) concentrations in the meat, especially Σn–3 family. Higher roughage diet and larger peNDF8 particle size improved the concentrations of PUFA while decreased Σn–6:Σn–3 ratio in meat. Larger peNDF8 particle size associated with higher roughage proportion, have reduced animal performance however, it increased protein concentration, a* and C* colour parameter without affecting fatty acids profile of Longissimus lumborum muscle.
The production of specialty coffee has several factors and parameters that are added up in the course of production, so that the quality is expressed in the act of consumption. Based on this scenario, this study included the analysis of ten genotypes of arabica coffee, the materials being subjected to irrigated and rainfed water regimes, in a low altitude region, to identify responses for sensory and physical–chemical quality. The genotypes were evaluated in a split-plot scheme with a randomized block design, with three replications. Arabica coffee fruits were harvested with 80% cherry seeds and processed by the wet method. Subsequently, the characteristics related to physical–chemical and sensory analyses were evaluated. The genotypes of the Paraíso group showed great variability for the physical–chemical and sensory variables for rainfed and irrigated regimes. The genotypes of the Catuaí group, however, showed less variability for sensory characteristics in both cultivation environments and for physical–chemical characteristics in the irrigated regime. In the sensorial data set, the genotypes Catuaí 144 CCF and Catuaí 144 SFC (when irrigated) and Paraíso H 419-3-3-7-16-2, Paraíso H 419-3-3-7-16-11 and Catucaí 24-137 (rainfed cultivation), are more favourable to the production of specialty coffee at low altitude.
Subclinical atherosclerosis in childhood can be evaluated by carotid intima-media thickness, which is considered a surrogate marker for atherosclerotic disease in adulthood. The aims of this study were to evaluate carotid intima-media thickness and, to investigate associated factors.
Cross-sectional study with children and adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD). Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were assessed. Subclinical atherosclerosis was evaluated by carotid intima-media thickness. Cardiovascular risk factors, such as physical activity, screen time, passive smoke, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, dietary intake, lipid parameters, glycaemia, and C-reactive protein, were also assessed. Factors associated with carotid intima-media thickness were analysed using multiple logistic regression.
The mean carotid intima-media thickness was 0.518 mm and 46.7% had subclinical atherosclerosis (carotid intima-media thickness ≥ 97th percentile). After adjusting for confounding factors, cyanotic CHD (odds ratio: 0.40; 95% confidence interval: 0.20; 0.78), cardiac surgery (odds ratio: 3.17; 95% confidence interval: 1.35; 7.48), and be hospitalised to treat infections (odds ratio: 1.92; 95% confidence interval: 1.04; 3.54) were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis.
Clinical characteristics related to CHD were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. This finding suggests that the presence of CHD itself is a risk factor for subclinical atherosclerosis. Therefore, the screen and control of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors should be made early and intensively to prevent atherosclerosis.
Milk production is an important economic and social activity in Brazil. Failure to meet institutional and market demands for quality and sustainability has led farmers, particularly small-scale farmers, to leave agriculture. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the sustainability of dairy farms in Paraná, Brazil. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 75 dairy farm operators. Sustainability indicators were generated on the basis of economic, environmental and social data using exploratory factor analysis. Factor scores were subjected to hierarchical clustering, which resulted in the formation of three groups of dairy farms. Groups 1, 2 and 3 had high, intermediate and low levels of sustainability, respectively. Group 1 comprised large-scale dairy farms with high productivity. Dairy farms with intermediate sustainability (group 2) had medium production capacity, and farms with low sustainability (group 1) had the smallest production scale and capacity. Large-scale dairy farms have greater economic, environmental and social sustainability and are, therefore, more likely to survive in the medium and long term.
Emotional facial expression paradigms of adults have been very used in the literature; however, studies with baby's emotional faces are very few.
To study the psychometric validity and reliability of a series of basic emotions faces of babies stimuli.
We used 72 photographs of 12 baby faces (6–12 months), both sex and different ethnic groups, expressing basic emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and neutral) elicited in the laboratory by pre-task defined. A total of 119 subjects of both sexes (63% women) in different age groups (18–65 years) and ethnicities, were invited to evaluate the facial emotional stimuli presented by the computer program SuperLab. They should choose the emotion represented by the photograph. Furthermore, 31 subjects were randomly selected to perform a test-retest assessment after an interval of 20 days.
It was observed that 35 stimuli presented hit rate exceeding 70% and 11 between 60% and 50%. The facial emotion of happiness was the most easily recognized, while fear was associated with the lower success rates. Only seven stimuli presented a hit rate lower than 20% (fear). All stimuli, except for one, showed a good reliability test/retest (McNemar test > 0.05).
The study offers a series of baby emotional facial stimuli with good validity and reliability for research setting. However, the 30% of stimuli without satisfactory success rate may be problems with stimuli or stimulating task, as it becomes difficult to distinguish the emotion face on the baby.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Oxytocin has been related to traumas and sociability.
To do a systematic review on the relationship between oxytocin and early (ET), current trauma (CT) and PTSD.
The Pubmed, Psycinfo, Web of Science, Lilacs and Scielo database were researched until to April 2016, using the keywords: oxytocin, early trauma, childhood maltreatment, emotional trauma, emotional stress, neglect, adversity, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse and PTSD, and Boolean operators. We used a priori protocol based on PRISMA to select observational and quasi/experimental studies in both gender subjects, who suffer ET, CT, or PSTD. A full review was done, and meta-analysis was carried out when possible to estimate the strength of the association. Strobe, trend and consort statements were used for qualitative assessment.
Twenty-eight studies where included:15 observational, 3 quasi/experimental and 10 RCT. Quality assessment was 60–70%. Due heterogeneity between studies we analysed them in four groups. Meta/analysis of studies of oxytocin endogenous concentration showed a negative correlation with ET (r = -0.35; 95%CI = -0.46/–0.22). Association studies of genetic polymorphism of oxytocin gene receptor (rs53576) showed that subjects with ET, CT and GG genotype had higher vulnerability to develop later psychopathology (P < 0.05). Quasi/experimental studies measuring pre/post oxytocin concentration after a stress reactivity test in subject with ET, CT or PTSD showed any significant results. Finally, RCT studies showed that acute administration of oxytocin increased the levels of anxiety and flashback in subjects with CT; and decreased in PTSD or ET. These results were in parallel with brain and connectivity activation.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
Solitary Tinamou Tinamus solitarius is a threatened Brazilian bird, and very little is known about its ecology and behaviour. In this study we aimed to verify the use of habitats in different stages of plant succession and the circadian activity pattern of the species. The study was conducted in Santa Catarina state (27º43’S, 48º49’W). Six camera traps were used to record the species in three areas of different successional stages during a 12-month period. Traps remained at each sample site for two months, after which they were moved to a new site, a minimum distance of 100 m apart. A total of 76 independent records of Solitary Tinamou were obtained, and its habitat use was found to be different within the three successional stages (P = 0.02). The majority of 54 independent records were obtained in the secondary forest; not one photo of the species was taken in the most degraded area. Solitary Tinamou exhibited a crepuscular pattern of activity, with most records (n = 38) taken at 07h00 and 06h00, and it appears to be sensitive to forest clearance.
Circulating antibodies in chagasic patients interact with myocardial β adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors, triggering intracellular signals that alter cardiac function along the course of the disease. However, until now, experimental data in models of chronically infected chagasic mice linking the effects on myocardial β adrenergic and muscarinic receptors to cardiopulmonary dysfunction is lacking. Thus, we studied C57BL/6 mice 8 months after intraperitoneal injection of 100 trypomastigote forms of the Colombian strain of T. cruzi. Uninfected mice, matched in age, were used as controls. Histopathological analyses (inflammation and fibrosis) and radio-ligand binding assays for estimation of muscarinic and adrenergic receptor density were performed in myocardium tissue samples. When compared to controls, infected mice had electrical conduction disturbances, diastolic dysfunction, lower O2 consumption and anaerobic threshold. In addition, hearts of chronic chagasic mice had intense inflammation and fibrosis, and decreased β adrenergic and increased muscarinic receptor densities than normal controls. Our data suggest that chronic T. cruzi infection causes alterations in cardiac receptor density and fibrosis deposition which can be associated with cardiac conduction abnormalities, diastolic dysfunction and lower exercise capacity, associating for the first time all these functional and histopathological alterations in chagasic mice.
Previous studies on infection of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve population of wild free-ranging Leontopithecus rosalia have shown the presence of genotype T. cruzi II, associated in Brazil with human disease. Herein, this study has been extended, the infection being evaluated in L. rosalia of 3 different tamarin populations, inhabiting distinct forest areas located in the same Atlantic Coastal Rainforest. Edentata, Marsupialia, Rodentia and Chiroptera were examined exclusively in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve. Excluding Chiroptera, T. cruzi infection was found in all orders. Biochemical and molecular characterization demonstrated that golden lion tamarins maintained stable infections by T. cruzi II. The isolates from the other mammals corresponded to T. cruzi I, suggesting independent transmission cycles occurring among the sylvatic mammals inside Poço das Antas Biological Reserve. Significant differences in the infection patterns presented by the 3 populations of wild and captive-born golden lion tamarins were noticed. In Poço das Antas a considerably higher number of positive haemocultures from tamarins with positive serological titres was observed in comparison to those obtained from other areas. The implications for conservation and public health of an active sylvatic cycle in the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest of Rio de Janeiro are discussed.
An aspartic proteinase precursor, herein named BYC
(Boophilus Yolk pro-Cathepsin) was isolated from eggs of the hard
tick, Boophilus microplus. As judged by electrophoresis on sodium
dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide slab gel (SDS–PAGE),
purified BYC presented 2 bands of 54 and 49 kDa, bearing the same
NH2-terminal amino acid sequence. By Western blot
analysis, BYC was also found in the haemolymph, indicating an extraovarian
site of synthesis. Several organs were incubated in culture medium with
[35S] methionine, and only the gut and fat body
showed synthesis of BYC polypeptides.
Protein sequencing of both the NH2-terminal and an internal
sequence obtained after cyanogen bromide (CNBr) cleavage
of BYC revealed homology with several aspartic proteinase precursors.
Incubation at pH 3·5 resulted in autoproteolysis of
BYC, which produced the mature form of the enzyme, that displayed
pepstatin-sensitive hydrolytic activity against
haemoglobin. Western blot analysis using anti-BYC monoclonal antibodies
showed proteolytic processing of BYC during
embryogenesis and suggested activation of the enzyme during development.
role of BYC in degradation of vitellin, the
major yolk protein of tick eggs, is discussed.
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