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Publications (9)27.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cell therapy for neurological disorders has advanced, and neural precursor cells (NPC) may become the ideal candidates for neural transplantation in a wide range of diseases. However, additional work has to be done to determine either the ideal culture environment for NPC expansion in vitro, without altering their plasticity, or the FGF-2 and EGF mechanisms of cell signaling in neurospheres growth, survival and differentiation. In this work we evaluated mouse neurospheres cultured with and without FGF-2 and EGF containing medium and showed that those growth factors are responsible for NPC proliferation. It is also demonstrated that endogenous production of growth factors shifts from FGF-2 to IGF-1/PDGFb upon EGF and FGF-2 withdrawal. Mouse NPC cultured in suspension showed different patterns of neuronal localization (core versus shell) for both EGF and FGF-2 withdrawal and control groups. Taken together, these results show that EGF and FGF-2 removal play an important role in NPC differentiation and may contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms of NPC differentiation. Our findings suggest that depriving NPC of growth factors prior to grafting might enhance their chance to effectively integrate into the host.
    Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 10/2009; 81(3):443-52. · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we evaluated whether administration of stem cells of neural origin (neural precursor cells, NPCs) could be protective against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). We hypothesized that stem cell outcomes are not tissue-specific and that NPCs can improve tissue damage through paracrine mechanisms, especially due to immunomodulation. To this end, Wistar rats (200-250 g) were submitted to 1-hour ischemia and treated with NPCs (4 x 10(6) cells/animal) at 4 h of reperfusion. To serve as controls, ischemic animals were treated with cerebellum homogenate harvested from adult rat brain. All groups were sacrificed at 24 h of reperfusion. NPCs were isolated from rat fetus telencephalon and cultured until neurosphere formation (7 days). Before administration, NPCs were labeled with carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimydylester (CFSE). Kidneys were harvested for analysis of cytokine profile and macrophage infiltration. At 24 h, NPC treatment resulted in a significant reduction in serum creatinine (IRI + NPC 1.21 + 0.18 vs. IRI 3.33 + 0.14 and IRI + cerebellum 2.95 + 0.78 mg/dl, p < 0.05) and acute tubular necrosis (IRI + NPC 46.0 + 2.4% vs. IRI 79.7 + 14.2%, p < 0.05). NPC-CFSE and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells (astrocyte marker) were found exclusively in renal parenchyma, which also presented GFAP and SOX-2 (an embryonic neural stem cell marker) mRNA expression. NPC treatment resulted in lower renal proinflammatory IL1-beta and TNF-alpha expression and higher anti-inflammatory IL-4 and IL-10 transcription. NPC-treated animals also had less macrophage infiltration and decreased serum proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1beta, TNF-alpha and INF-gamma). Our data suggested that NPC therapy improved renal function by influencing immunological responses.
    Nephron Experimental Nephrology 04/2009; 112(1):e20-8. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A major effort of the scientific community has been to obtain complete pictures of the genomes of many organisms. This has been accomplished mainly by annotation of structural and functional elements in the genome sequence, a process that has been centred in the gene concept and, as a consequence, biased toward protein coding sequences. Recently, the explosion of transcriptome data generated and the discovery of many functional non-protein coding RNAs have painted a more detailed and complex scenario for the genome. Here we analyzed the mouse carboxypeptidase M locus in this broader perspective in order to define the mouse CPM gene structure and evaluate the existence of other transcripts from the same genomic region. Bioinformatic analysis of nucleotide sequences that map to the mouse CPM locus suggests that, in addition to the mouse CPM mRNA, it expresses at least 33 different transcripts, many of which seem to be non-coding RNAs. We randomly chose to evaluate experimentally four of these extra transcripts. They are expressed in a tissue specific manner, indicating that they are not artefacts or transcriptional noise. Furthermore, one of these four extra transcripts shows expression patterns that differed considerably from the other ones and from the mouse CPM gene, suggesting that there may be more than one transcriptional unit in this locus. In addition, we have confirmed the mouse CPM gene RefSeq sequence by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and directional cloning. This study supports the recent view that the majority of the genome is transcribed and that many of the resulting transcripts seem to be non-coding RNAs from introns of genes or from independent transcriptional units. Although some of the information on the transcriptome of many organisms may actually be artefacts or transcriptional noise, we argue that it can be experimentally evaluated and used to find and define biological functional elements on the genome. Furthermore, the transcription of other functional RNAs besides the protein coding RNA from a specific genomic locus imposes extra care when designing and interpreting experiments involving genetic manipulations or expression detection and quantification.
    BMC Molecular Biology 03/2009; 10:7. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of adult rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) by means of chemical compounds (beta-mercaptoethanol, dimethyl sulfoxide and butylated hydroxyanizole) has been proposed to lead to neuronal transdifferentiation, and this protocol has been broadly used by several laboratories worldwide. Only a few hours of MSC chemical induction using this protocol is sufficient for the acquisition of neuronal-like morphology and neuronal protein expression. However, given that cell death is abundant, we hypothesize that, rather than true neuronal differentiation, this particular protocol leads to cellular toxic effects. We confirm that the induced cells with neuronal-like morphology positively stained for NF-200, S100, beta-tubulin III, NSE and MAP-2 proteins. However, the morphological and molecular changes after chemical induction are also associated with an increase in the apoptosis of over 50% of the plated cells after 24 h. Moreover, increased intracellular cysteine after treatment indicates an impairment of redox circuitry during chemical induction, and in vitro electrophysiological recordings (patch-clamp) of the chemically induced MSC did not indicate neuronal properties as these cells do not exhibit Na(+) or K(+) currents and do not fire action potentials. Our findings suggest that a disruption of redox circuitry plays an important role in this specific chemical induction protocol, which might result in cytoskeletal alterations and loss of functional ion-gated channels followed by cell death. Despite the neuronal-like morphology and neural protein expression, induced rat bone marrow MSC do not have basic functional neuronal properties, although it is still plausible that other methods of induction and/or sources of MSC can achieve a successful neuronal differentiation in vitro.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(4):e5222. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GCN2 is one of the four mammalian kinases that phosphorylate the alpha subunit of the translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2alpha) in a variety of stress situations, resulting in protein synthesis inhibition. GCN2 is involved in regulating metabolism, feeding behavior and memory in rodents. We show here that, relative to other cells, the beta isoform of the GCN2 transcript and the GCN2 protein are highly abundant in unfertilized mouse eggs. In addition, GCN2 in these cells is active, resulting in elevated levels of phosphorylated eIF2alpha. After fertilization, eIF2alpha phosphorylation decreases drastically. These results suggest that GCN2 mediated translational control may contribute to regulatory mechanisms operating during oocyte maturation.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2008; 378(1):41-4. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human factor IX is synthesized in the liver and secreted in the blood, where it participates in a group of reactions involving coagulation factors and proteins that permit sanguinary coagulation. In this work two lines of transgenic mice were developed to express the FIX gene in the mammalian glands under control of milk beta-casein promoter. The founding females secreted the FIX in their milk (3% total soluble protein). The stable integration of transgene was confirmed by southern blot analysis. The presence of the FIX recombinant protein in the milk of transgenic females was confirmed by western blot and the clotting activity was revealed in blood-clotting assays. The coagulation activity in human blood treated with recombinant FIX increased while the time of coagulation decreased. Our results confirm the production of a large amount of recombinant biologically active FIX in the mammary gland of transgenic mice.
    Biotechnology Letters 09/2008; 30(12):2063-9. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated that B-1b cells can undergo differentiation to acquire a mononuclear phagocyte phenotype upon attachment to substrate in vitro. Here we followed the expression of surface markers and transcription factors during this differentiation. B-1b cells spontaneously express both myeloid and lymphoid restricted transcription factors. When induced to differentiate into a phagocyte, the lymphoid genes E box protein (E2A), early B-cell factor (EBF), paired box 5 (Pax5) are down-modulated, while expression of genes related to myeloid commitment is sustained. Furthermore, B-1b cell-derived phagocytes (B-1CDPs) decrease immunoglobulin M (IgM) expression but retain the expression of the heavy chain variable gene VH11 or VH12, an immunoglobulin gene rearrangement predominantly expressed by B-1 cells. The maintenance of lymphoid characteristics in B-1CDPs characterizes a unique type of phagocyte, not related to monocyte-derived macrophages.
    Immunology 09/2008; 126(1):114-22. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neural progenitor cells were isolated from rat fetal telencephalon and proliferate as neurospheres in the presence of EGF, FGF-2, and heparin. In the absence of these growth factors, neurospheres differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Using an embryonal carcinoma cell line as in vitro differentiation model, we have already demonstrated the presence of an autocrine loop system between kinin-B2 receptor activity and secretion of its ligand bradykinin (BK) as prerequisites for final neuronal differentiation (Martins et al., J Biol Chem 2005; 280: 19576-19586). The aim of this study was to verify the activity of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) during neural progenitor cell differentiation. Immunofluorescence studies and flow cytometry analysis revealed increases in glial fibrillary acidic protein and beta-3 tubulin expression and decrease in the number of nestin-positive cells along neurospheres differentiation, indicating the transition of neural progenitor cells to astrocytes and neurons. Kinin-B2 receptor expression and activity, secretion of BK into the medium, and presence of high-molecular weight kininogen suggest the participation of the KKS in neurosphere differentiation. Functional kinin-B2 receptors and BK secretion indicate an autocrine loop during neurosphere differentiation to neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, reflecting events occurring during early brain development.
    Cytometry Part A 05/2008; 73(4):361-8. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relevance of kinin B(1) (B(1)R) and B(2) (B(2)R) receptors in the brachial plexus avulsion (BPA) model was evaluated in mice, by means of genetic and pharmacological tools. BPA-induced hypernociception was absent in B(1)R, but not in B(2)R, knock-out mice. Local or intraperitoneal administration of the B(2)R antagonist Hoe 140 failed to affect BPA-induced mechanical hypernociception. Interestingly, local or intraperitoneal treatment with B(1)R antagonists, R-715 or SSR240612, dosed at the time of surgery, significantly reduced BPA-evoked mechanical hypernociception. Intrathecal or intracerebroventricular administration of these antagonists, at the surgery moment, did not prevent the hypernociception. Both antagonists, dosed by intraperitoneal or intrathecal routes (but not intracerebroventricularly) 4 d after the surgery, significantly inhibited the mechanical hypernociception. At 30 d after the BPA, only the intracerebroventricular treatment effectively reduced the hypernociception. A marked increase in B(1)R mRNA was observed in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, thalamus, and cortex at 4 d after BPA and only in the hypothalamus and cortex at 30 d. In the spinal cord, a slight increase in B(1)R mRNA expression was observed as early as at 2 d. Finally, an enhancement of B(1)R protein expression was found in all the analyzed brain structures at 4 and 30 d after the BPA, whereas in the spinal cord, this parameter was augmented only at 4 d. The data provide new evidence on the role of peripheral and central kinin B(1)R in the BPA model of neuropathic pain. Selective B(1)R antagonists might well represent valuable tools for the management of neuropathic pain.
    Journal of Neuroscience 04/2008; 28(11):2856-63. · 6.91 Impact Factor