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This study describes changes in oxidative stress (OS) parameters in mice experimentally infected with Angiostrongylus costaricensis, which causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis. For this, 28 Swiss mice were used, divided into two groups (G1 and G2), with 14 animals each. Of these, eight were infected with ten infective larvae each, by gavage, and six were used as a control group. Mice from G1 and G2 were euthanized at 14 days and 24 days post-infection, respectively. Tissue samples were used for histopathological analysis and blood (serum) samples were taken to assess the levels of proteins, non-protein thiols (NPTs) and nitric oxide (NO), from centrifugation and subsequent collection of aliquots of the supernatant. Among OS parameters, infected mice in both groups had higher NO levels than the control group, due to the presence of: eosinophil infiltrate in the liver and intestine; pancreatitis; and intestinal granuloma. However, the infected mice of both groups showed a reduction in the levels of NPTs, in relation to the control group, due to the presence of: eosinophilic infiltrate in the liver and intestine; and intestinal granuloma. Our results suggest that A. costaricensis infection has important effects on the intestine, liver and pancreas, and the analyses were performed from the tissue of these organs. The mechanisms for these changes are related to the decrease in the body's main antioxidant defences, as demonstrated by the reduction of NPTs, thus contributing to the development of more severe tissue damage. Thus, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between histopathological lesions and markers for OS.
Mucositis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa resulting from high doses of radio/chemotherapy treatment and may lead to interruption of antineoplasic therapy. Soluble fibres, like pectin, increase SCFA production, which play a role in gut homoeostasis and inflammation suppression. Due to the properties of pectin, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a high-fibre (HF) diet on chemotherapy-induced mucositis in a murine model. C57/BL6 mice received control (AIN93M), HF, low/zero fibre (LF) diets for 10 d prior to mucositis challenging with irinotecan (75 mg/kg), or they were treated with acetate added to drinking water 5 d prior to and during the mucositis induction. Mice that received the HF diet showed decreased immune cells influx and improved histopathological parameters in the intestine, compared with mice that received the normal diet. Furthermore, the HF diet decreased intestinal permeability induced in the mucositis model when compared with the control group. This effect was not observed for acetate alone, which did not improve gut permeability. For instance, mice that received the LF diet had worsened gut permeability, compared with mice that received the normal diet and mucositis. The effects of the HF and LF diets were shown to modulate the intestinal microbiota, in which the LF diet increased the levels of Enterobacteriaceae, a group associated with gut inflammation, whereas the HF diet decreased this group and increased Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (SCFA producers) levels. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the importance of dietary fibre intake in the modulation of gut microbiota composition and homoeostasis maintenance during mucositis in this model.
One of the most debated topics in pig production is the need to study, understand and change the production system in order to improve nutrient efficiency, becoming more environmentally friendly. The nitrogen excretion has highly deleterious effects on the environment, and it is necessary to develop tools that help to reduce the excretion of this compound without compromising productivity. Therefore, two models were generated to estimate the efficiency of weight gain in relation to excreted nitrogen in post-weaning piglets. Data for testing these models were obtained from previous master and PhD studies carried out at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Animal Science Laboratory using piglets in the post-weaning phase with results for performance and digestibility. The database that was constructed was composed of raw data from 10 studies carried out between 2000 and 2016, on a total of 726 piglets weaned at ages between 17 and 28 days, and to which 62 different treatments were applied. An exploratory analysis of the data was done by evaluating scatter plots and histograms, and variables representing different treatments were used in a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis, with the F-test used as the selection criterion. Two models were generated that either considered the nitrogen retained or not, to estimate the ratio between weight gain and excreted nitrogen using generalized linear model procedure. The authors analyzed the behavior of each variable to evaluate whether the equation generated was biologically coherent. Weight gain, dry matter intake, nitrogen intake, metabolizable energy intake, retained nitrogen and urinary nitrogen were all significant (P<0.001) variables in model I, and in model II the variable fecal nitrogen was also included. The models had high coefficients of determination (R2 of model I and II were 0.9013 and 0.8271, respectively), and the nitrogen ingested variable was the one that most strongly influenced growth efficiency. When the retained nitrogen variable was removed from the model, there was a reduction in the fit of the equations. It was possible to conclude that both of the two models generated could be applied and the amount of nitrogen ingested had the greatest influence on growth efficiency related to nitrogen excretion.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Quasars are the choicest objects to define a quasi-inertial reference frame. At the same time, they are active galactic nuclei powered by a massive black hole. As the astrometric precision of ground-based optical observations approaches the limit set by the forthcoming GAIA mission, astrometric stability can be investigated. Though the optical emission from the core region usually exceeds the other components by a factor of a hundred, the variability of those components must surely imply some measure of variability of the astrometric baricenter. Whether this is confirmed or not, it puts important constraints on the relationship of the quasar's central engine to the surrounding distribution of matter. To investigate the correlation between long-term optical variability and what is dubbed as the “random walk” of the astrometric center, a program is being pursued at the WFI/ESO 2.2m. The sample was selected from quasars known to undergo large-amplitude and long-term optical variations (Smith et al. 1993; Teerikorpi 2000). The observations are typically made every two months. The treatment is differential, comparing the quasar position and brightness against a sample of selected stars for which the average relative distances and magnitudes remain constant. The provisional results for four objects bring strong support to the hypothesis of a relationship between astrometric and photometric variability. A full account is provided by Andrei et al. (2009).
The resolution of pairs of objects closer than the scale of seeing, and of difference of magnitude larger than ten percent is unreliable by direct imaging. The resulting image FWHM differs from a true PSF by no more than four percent. Yet, the peak of the associated Gaussian is shifted to a larger proportion.
The main results are the description of the FWHM and peak location shifts as function of the seeing scale, the centers separation, and of the magnitudes difference. Analytically, the estimators of variation were the resulting Gaussian amplitude, mean value, and standard deviation. The later is shown to be the most reliable estimator.
Gaia photometric capabilities should distinguish quasars to a high degree of certainty. With this, they should also be able to deliver a clean sample of quasars with a negligible trace of stellar contaminants. However, a purely photometric sample could miss a non negligible percentage of ICRF sources counterparts - and this interface is required to align with the ICRS and de-rotate the GCRF (Gaia Celestial Reference Frame), on grounds of continuity. To prepare a minimum clean sample forming the initial quasar catalogue for the Gaia mission, an all sky ensemble was formed containing 128,257 candidates. Among them there is at least one redshift determination for 98.75%, and at least one magnitude determination for 99.20% of the targets. The sources were collected from different optical and radio lists. We analyze the redshift, magnitude, and color distributions, their relationships, as well as their degree of completeness.
Complementary, the candidate sources enable to form an optical representation of the ICRS from first principles, namely, kinematically non-rotating with respect to the ensemble of distant extragalactic objects, aligned to the mean equator and dynamical equinox of J2000, and realized by a list of adopted coordinates of extragalactic sources.
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