Ana Paula Santana de Vasconcellos

Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Pôrto de São Francisco dos Casaes, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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Publications (8)19.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effects of chronic stress and lithium treatments on oxidative stress parameters in hippocampus, hypothalamus, and frontal cortex. Adult male Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and submitted to chronic variate stress, and subdivided into treated or not with LiCl. After 40 days, rats were killed, and lipoperoxidation, production free radicals, total antioxidant reactivity (TAR) levels, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were evaluated. The results showed that stress increased lipoperoxidation and that lithium decreased free radicals production in hippocampus; both treatments increased TAR. In hypothalamus, lithium increased TAR and no effect was observed in the frontal cortex. Stress increased SOD activity in hippocampus; while lithium increased GPx in hippocampus and SOD in hypothalamus. We concluded that lithium presented antioxidant properties, but is not able to prevent oxidative damage induced by chronic variate stress.
    Neurochemical Research 10/2006; 31(9):1141-51. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pleasant and unpleasant flavors and odors can modulate pain perception, and the efficacy of sweet flavors in reducing pain seems to be related to its hedonic value. Chronic variate stress paradigm is a model of depression, and is suggested to induce anhedonia. We observed previously that lithium may prevent behavioral and neurochemical alterations induced by chronic stress; so we hypothesized that chronically stressed animals may present different nociceptive response to pleasant and unpleasant tastes that could be prevented by lithium treatment. Adult male Wistar rats were divided into four groups, control and stressed, treated or not with lithium. A Chronic Variate Stress paradigm was used, and lithium was added to the chow. After 40 days of treatment, the tail flick latency of the animals was evaluated, and rats were immediately placed in a box with access to a 5% acetic acid solution (acid flavor). After 5 min, tail flick latency was measured again. On the following day, animals were submitted to the same procedure, with the substitution of acetic acid by condensed sweet milk (sweet flavor). The stressed group was the only group who did not present analgesia after sweet taste exposition. All groups, except the control group, presented increased tail flick latency after exposition to the acid flavor. These results indicate that pleasant and unpleasant flavors present different relevance for the induction of antinociception in stressed animals, and the absence of sweet flavor-induced analgesia may represent an anhedonic effect of the chronic variate stress paradigm. On the other hand, perception of different flavors may be more prominent in animals treated with lithium.
    Physiology & Behavior 08/2006; 88(4-5):382-8. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to verify the effects of chronic stress and lithium treatments on the hippocampal Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity of rats, as well as to investigate the effects of stress interruption and post-stress lithium treatment on this enzyme activity and on spatial memory. Two experiments were carried out; in the first experiment, adult male Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and submitted to a chronic variate stress paradigm, and subdivided into treated or not with LiCl. After 40 days of treatment, rats were killed, and Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity was determined. In the second experiment, rats were stressed during 40 days, and their performance was evaluated in the Water Maze task. The stressed group was then subdivided into four groups, with continued or interrupted stress treatment and treated or not with lithium for 30 additional days. After a second evaluation of performance in the Water Maze, rats were killed and Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity was also measured. Results showed an impairment in Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity and in Water Maze performance of chronically stressed rats, which were prevented by lithium treatment and reversed by lithium treatment and by stress interruption. These results suggest that the modulation of Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity may be one of the mechanisms of action of lithium in the treatment of mood disorders.
    Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 10/2005; 84(2):102-10. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been shown that emotional stress may induce oxidative damage, and considerably change the balance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant factors in the brain. The aim of this study was to verify the effect of repeated restraint stress (RRS; 1 h/day during 40 days) on several parameters of oxidative stress in the hippocampus of adult Wistar rats. We evaluated the lipid peroxide levels (assessed by TBARS levels), the production of free radicals (evaluated by the DCF test), the total radical-trapping potential (TRAP) and the total antioxidant reactivity (TAR) levels, and antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, GPx and CAT) in hippocampus of rats. The results showed that RRS induced an increase in TBARS levels and in GPx activity, while TAR was reduced. We concluded that RRS induces oxidative stress in the rat hippocampus, and that these alterations may contribute to the deleterious effects observed after prolonged stress.
    Neurochemical Research 02/2005; 30(1):105-11. · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • A P S Vasconcellos, A S Tabajara, C Ferrari, E Rocha, C Dalmaz
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    ABSTRACT: Stress is known to alter cognitive functions, such as memory, and it has been linked to the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders. Chronic lithium treatment is used in some psychiatric disorders and has been suggested to act upon mechanisms which can enhance neuronal viability. The purpose of this work is to investigate a possible effect of lithium treatment in a chronic stress model. Adult male Wistar rats were divided in two groups, control and chronically stressed, treated either with normal chow or with chow containing LiCl for 40 days. Stress treatment was a chronic variable stress model, consisting of different stressors which were applied in a random fashion, once a day, every day. Memory was assessed by using the water maze task. The results demonstrated a marked decrease in reference memory in the water maze task in chronically stressed rats. This effect was attenuated by lithium treatment in all the parameters considered. No effect was observed in the working memory. These results indicate that lithium treatment may counteract some effects of chronic stress situations, particularly concerning spatial memory.
    Physiology & Behavior 08/2003; 79(2):143-9. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Different effects upon the nociceptive response have been observed with exposure to acute and chronic stress in rats. In the present study we repeatedly submitted rats to restraint for 40 days, inducing hyperalgesia using the tail-flick test. A new session of acute stress was applied at the end of 40 days period, and the chronically-stressed animals demonstrated analgesia after forced swimming, but not after restraint. The effect of stress interruption for 14 or 28 days on the nociceptive threshold was then investigated. The basal tail-flick latency remained decreased for at least 28 days (hyperalgesic effect). Following the periods of suspension, the animals were submitted to new session of acute restraint, and stress-induced analgesia was observed only after 28 days of stress interruption. Thus, the mechanisms involved in the long-lasting hyperalgesia presented in this study are not exactly the same as those responsible for the analgesia induced by acute stressors. After 40 days of chronic stress treatment, morphine was injected i.p. (1.0, 5.0 mg/kg or saline). The repeatedly stressed rats displayed decreased morphine effects on nociception compared to unstressed controls. The tolerance of the response to morphine agrees with previous studies suggesting that chronic restraint stress could modify the activity of opioid systems.
    Neuroscience Research 04/2003; 45(3):277-83. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monoaminergic systems are important modulators of the responses to stress. Stress may influence feeding behavior, and the involvement of monoamines in the control of food intake is well recognized. We investigated the effects induced by chronic-restraint stress, 1 h a day, for 40 days, on eating behavior and on monoamines in distinct brain structures. Increased consumption of sweet pellets, and not of peanuts, was observed. Dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and their metabolites were measured by HPLC-EC. After chronic restraint, the results observed were decreased 5-HT in hippocampus, with increased 5-HIAA/5-HT; decreased 5-HIAA levels in cortex; reduction in DA in hippocampus, and increased levels in amygdala and hypothalamus; HVA increased in cortex, as well as HVA/DA ratio, while DOPAC/DA decreased. HVA decreased in hypothalamus, as well as HVA/DA, and DOPAC/DA and HVA/DA decreased in the amygdala. These results suggest that restraint stress differentially affects the activity of central dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons, and this may be related to the effects observed in eating behavior.
    Neurochemical Research 07/2002; 27(6):519-25. · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • I L Torres, A P Vasconcellos, S N Silveira Cucco, C Dalmaz
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    ABSTRACT: There is extensive evidence that acute stress induces an analgesic response in rats. On the other hand, repeatedly stressed animals may present the opposite effect, i.e., hyperalgesia. Furthermore, exposure to novelty is known to induce antinociception. The effects of repeated restraint stress on nociception after exposure to novelty, as measured by the tail-flick latency (TFL), were studied in adult male rats. The animals were stressed by restraint 1 h daily, 5 days a week for 40 days. The control group was not submitted to restraint. Nociception was assessed with a tail-flick apparatus. After being familiarized with the TFL apparatus, each group was subdivided into two other groups, i.e., with or without novelty. Animals were subjected to the TFL measurement twice. For the animals exposed to novelty, the first TFL measurement was made immediately before, and the second 2 min after a 2-min exposure to a new environment. While the control group presented an increased TFL after exposure to a novel environment, chronically stressed animals did not show this effect. These results suggest that repeated restraint stress induces an alteration in the nociceptive response, perhaps as a result of an alteration in endogenous opioids in these animals.
    Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 03/2001; 34(2):241-4. · 1.14 Impact Factor