João B Pesquero

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (230)937.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bradykinin (BK) is a nonapeptide important for several physiological processes such as vasodilatation, increase in vascular permeability and release of inflammatory mediators. BK performs its actions by coupling to and activating the B2 receptor, a family A G-protein coupled receptor. Using a strategy which allows systematical monitoring of BK R1 and R9 residues and B2 receptor acidic residues Glu5.35(226) and Asp6.58(298), our study aims at clarifying the BK interaction profile with the B2 receptor [receptor residue numbers are normalized according to Ballesteros and Weinstein, Methods Neurosci. 25 (1995), pp. 366-428) followed by receptor sequence numbering in brackets]. N- and C-terminal analogs of BK (-A1, -G1, -K1, -E1 and BK-A9) were tested against wild type B2, Glu5.35(226)Ala and Asp6.58(298)Ala B2 mutant receptors for their affinity and capability to elicit responses by mechanical recordings of isolated mice stomach fundus, measuring intracellular calcium mobilization, and competitive fluorimetric binding assays. BK showed 2- and 15-fold decreased potency for Glu5.35(226) and Asp6.58(298) B2 mutant receptors, respectively. In B2-Glu5.35(226)Ala BK analogs showed milder reduction in evaluated parameters. On the other hand, in the B2-Asp6.58(298)Ala mutant, no N-terminal analog was able to elicit any response. However, the BK-A9 analog presented higher affinity parameters than BK in the latter mutant. These findings provide enough support for defining a novel interaction role of BK-R9 and Asp6.58(298) receptor residues.
    Biological Chemistry 11/2015; DOI:10.1515/hsz-2015-0221 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Leishmania major, the causative agent of zoonotic leishmaniasis, is restricted to Old World countries. Molecular and biochemical techniques have been used to identify some L. major-like isolated in South America including Brazil. Here, two L. major-like strains, one virulent (BH49) and one non-virulent (BH121), were subjected to suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) technique in order to identify differentially expressed genes. SSH technique identified nine cDNA fragments exhibiting high homology to previously sequenced L. major genes. Five cDNAs (four specific for BH49 and one for BH121) were confirmed by RT-PCR. Among those differentially expressed subtracted genes, some were involved in physiological processes including metabolism, translation and destination of proteins, production of energy, virulence factors and unknown functions. Western-blot analysis confirmed a higher expression level of β-1,3 galactosyl residues in L. major-like lipophosphoglycan (LPG). This molecular analysis opens the possibility for identification of potential virulence factors not only in different strains, but also in others species of Leishmania.
    Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 11/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2015.10.005 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) with normal C1 inhibitor is associated with heterozygous mutations in the factor XII gene (FXII-HAE). We report two Brazilian FXII-HAE families segregating the mutation c.983 C>A (p.Thr328Lys). In each family, one patient with a homozygous mutation was found. The homozygous female patient in family 1 displayed a severe phenotype. However, this falls within the clinical phenotype spectrum reported for heterozygous female mutation carriers. The homozygous male patient in family 2 also showed a severe phenotype. This finding is intriguing, since to our knowledge it is the first such report for a male FXII-HAE mutation carrier. In the rare instances in which male mutation carriers are affected, a mild phenotype is typical. The present findings therefore suggest that homozygous FXII-HAE mutation status leads to a severe phenotype in females and males, and to an increased risk of manifest symptoms in the latter. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Allergy 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/all.12769 · 6.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by cognitive decline, presence of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) aggregates and neurofibrillary tangles. Kinins act through B1 and B2 G-protein coupled receptors (B1R and B2R). Chronic infusion of Aβ peptide leads to memory impairment and increases in densities of both kinin receptors in memory processing areas. Similar memory impairment was observed in C57BL/6 mice (WTAβ) but occurred earlier in mice lacking B2R (KOB2Aβ) and was absent in mice lacking B1R (KOB1Aβ). Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the participation of B1R and B2R in Aβ peptide induced cognitive deficits through the evaluation of densities of kinin receptors, synapses, cell bodies and number of Aβ deposits in brain ofWTAβ, KOB1Aβ and KOB2Aβ mice. An increase in B2R density was observed in both WTAβ and KOB1Aβ in memory processing related areas. KOB1Aβ showed a decrease in neuronal density and an increase in synaptic density and, in addition, an increase in Aβ deposits in KOB2Aβ was observed. In conclusion, memory preservation in KOB1Aβ, could be due to the increase in densities of B2R, suggesting a neuroprotective role for B2R, reinforced by the increased number of Aβ plaques in KOB2Aβ. Our data point to B2R as a potential therapeutic target in AD.
    Neuropeptides 09/2015; 53. DOI:10.1016/j.npep.2015.09.001 · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and car-diovascular diseases. Mitochondria is the main site of ATP production and its dysfunction leads to decreased oxidative phosphorylation, resulting in lipid accumulation and insulin resistance. Our group has demonstrated that kinins can modulate glucose and lipid metabolism as well as skeletal muscle mass. By using B2 receptor knockout mice (B2R-/-) we investigated whether kinin action affects weight gain and physical performance of the animals. Our results show that B2R-/-mice are resistant to high fat diet-induced obesity, have higher glucose tolerance as well as increased mitochondrial mass. These features are accompanied by higher energy expenditure and a lower feed efficiency associated with an increase in the proportion of type I fibers and intermediary fibers characterized by higher mitochondrial content and increased expression of genes related to oxidative metabolism. Additionally, the increased percentage of oxidative skeletal muscle fibers and mitochondrial apparatus in B2R-/-mice is coupled with a higher aerobic exercise performance. Taken together, our data give support to the involvement of kinins in skeletal muscle fiber type distribution and muscle metabolism, which ultimately protects against fat-induced obesity and improves aerobic exercise performance.
    PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134844 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The kinins bradykinin and des-arg(9) -bradykinin cleaved from kininogen precursors by kallikreins exert their biological actions by stimulating kinin-B2 and B1 receptors, respectively. In vitro models of neural differentiation such as P19 embryonal carcinoma cells and neural progenitor cells have suggested the involvement of B2 receptors in neural differentiation and phenotype determination; however, the involvement of B1 receptors in these processes has not been established. Here, we show that B1 and B2 receptors are differentially expressed in mouse embryonic E14Tg2A stem cells undergoing neural differentiation. Proliferation and differentiation assays, performed in the presence of receptor subtype-selective agonists and antagonists, revealed that B1 receptor activity is required for the proliferation of embryonic and differentiating cells as well as for neuronal maturation at later stages of differentiation, while the B2 receptor acts on neural phenotype choice, promoting neurogenesis over gliogenesis. Besides the elucidation of bradykinin functions in an in vitro model reflecting early embryogenesis and neurogenesis, this study contributes to the understanding of B1 receptor functions in this process. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
    Cytometry Part A 08/2015; DOI:10.1002/cyto.a.22726 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The kallikrein-kinin system is well known for its role in pain and inflammation, and has been shown recently by our group to have a role also in the regulation of energy expenditure. We have demonstrated that B1 receptor knockout (B1KO) mice are resistant to obesity induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) and that B1 receptor expression in adipocytes regulates glucose tolerance and predisposition to obesity. However, it is also known that in the absence of B1 receptor, the B2 receptor is overexpressed and can take over the function of its B1 counterpart, rendering uncertain the role of each kinin receptor in these metabolic effects. Therefore, we investigated the impact of ablation of each kinin receptor on energy metabolism using double kinin receptor knockout (B1B2KO) mice. Our data show that B1B2KO mice were resistant to HFD-induced obesity, with lower food intake and feed efficiency when compared with wild-type mice. They also had lower blood insulin and leptin levels and higher glucose tolerance after treatment with an HFD. Gene expression for tumor necrosis factor-alpha and C-reactive protein, which are important genes for insulin resistance, was reduced in white adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and the liver in B1B2KO mice after the HFD. In summary, our data show that disruption of kinin B1 and B2 receptors has a profound impact on metabolic homeostasis in mice, by improving glucose tolerance and preventing HFD-induced obesity. These novel findings could pave the way for development of new pharmacological strategies to treat metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and obesity.
    Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 08/2015; 8:399. DOI:10.2147/DMSO.S87635
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    ABSTRACT: Tonin is an enzyme that is able to generate angiotensin II (Ang II) from angiotensin I (Ang I) or directly from angiotensinogen. Our goal was to characterize the renal renin-angiotensin system in transgenic mice that express rat tonin (TGM`(rTon)). Mice were euthanized and the kidneys removed for analysis. Tonin activity was evaluated by radioimmunoassay and angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) activity by HPLC. Tonin, ACE and angiotensin II-converting enzyme (ACE2) expression was analyzed by Western blotting. Tonin activity was significantly increased in TGM`(rTon) compared to their respective wild-type (WT) littermates (1.7 ± 0.21 vs 0.11 ± 0.02 nmol of Ang II/min/mg of protein). Tonin activity had a strong positive correlation with tonin expression in both TGM`(rTon) and their respective wild-type littermates. The ACE activity and expression levels of 65-kDa N-domain angiotensin I-converting enzyme isoform were significantly increased in the TGM`(rTon) when compared with WT. ACE2 expression levels were statistically significantly higher in the TGM`(rTon) when compared with WT. Angiotensin 1-7 (Ang(1-7)) and Ang I levels were significantly lower in the TGM`(rTon). We suggest that the environment of tonin abundance may increase N-domain ACE activity liberated by a secretase able to cleave somatic ACE. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Journal of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System 07/2015; DOI:10.1177/1470320315595572 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kinins are vasoactive peptides involved in endothelial function and vascular tonus. The present study determined the influence of the kinin B1 receptor subtype on endothelial nitric oxide (NO) metabolism by using primary cultured cells obtained from B1 knockout (B 1−/−) and Wild Type (WT) mice. By using specific fluorescent dyes, NO and superoxide anion (\({\text{O}}_{2}^{ - }\) ∙) production was determined in absence or presence of ascorbate or tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). The activity of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) was determined by immune enzyme assay, and endothelial NOS (eNOS) activation was analyzed through expression of phospho-eNOS (p-eNOS, Ser1177) by western blot. The NO release [quantified by densitometry and expressed as arbitrary units (a.u.)] was markedly reduced in B 1−/− (35.8 ± 3.1* a.u.) when compared to WT cells (66.9 ± 3.2 a.u.); this impaired response was reversed by ascorbate (101.8 ± 6.0 a.u.) and BH4 (54.3 ± 1.7 a.u.). B 1−/− cells showed a marked increase in \({\text{O}}_{2}^{ - }\) ∙ production (77.1 ± 2.5* a.u.) versus WT (29.3 ± 6.9 a.u.), which was reversed by ascorbate (35.3 ± 6.4 a.u.), but not by BH4. SOD activity was similar between groups, and B 1−/− cells presented a significant reduction in the expression of p-eNOS. In conclusion, the reduced NO availability detected in B 1−/− cells appears to be related to a recurrent process involving BH4 oxidation, NOS uncoupling and further enhancement of NOS-derived \({\text{O}}_{2}^{ - }\) ∙. B1 receptor deletion also impairs the phosphorylation of eNOS at the Ser1177 residue, contributing to the deficient NO production at the endothelial level.
    International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics 06/2015; 21(2):135. DOI:10.1007/s10989-015-9466-8 · 0.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of kinin B1 receptor (B1 R) deletion were examined on femur bone regeneration in streptozotocin (STZ)-type 1 diabetes. Diabetes induction in wild-type C57/BL6 (WTC57BL6) mice led to decrease in body weight and hyperglycemia, compared to the non-diabetic group of the same strain. The lack of B1 R did not affect STZ-elicited body weight loss, but partially prevented hyperglycemia. Diabetic mice had a clear delay in bone regeneration, and displayed large areas of loose connective tissue within the defects, with a reduced expression of the mineralization-related protein osteonectin, when compared to the non-diabetic WTC57/BL6. The non-diabetic and diabetic B1 R knockout (B1 RKO) mice had bone regeneration levels and osteonectin expression comparable to that seen in control WTC57/BL6 mice. WTC57/BL6 STZ-diabetic mice also showed a marked reduction of collagen contents, with increased immunolabelling for the apoptosis marker caspase-3, whereas diabetic B1 RKO had collagen levels and caspase-3 activity comparable to those observed in non-diabetic WTC57/BL6 or B1 RKO mice. No significant difference was detected in the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-stained cells, or in RANK/RANKL/OPG system immunolabelling throughout the experimental groups. Data bring novel evidence on the relevance of kinin B1 R under type 1 diabetes with regards to its role in bone regeneration. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 05/2015; 230(12). DOI:10.1002/jcp.25034 · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated early programming of body mass in order to understand the multifactorial etiology of obesity. Considering that the renin-angiotensin system is expressed and functional in the white adipose tissue (WAT) and modulates its development, we reasoned whether early transitory inhibition of angiotensin-I converting enzyme activity after birth could modify late body mass development. Therefore, newborn Wistar rats were treated with enalapril (10 mg/kg of body mass) or saline, starting at the first day of life until the age of 16 days. Between days 90th and 180th, a group of these animals received high fat diet (HFD). Molecular, biochemical, histological and physiological data were collected. Enalapril treated animals presented hyperphagia, overweight and increased serum level of triglycerides, total cholesterol and leptin, in adult life. Body composition analyses revealed higher fat mass with increased adipocyte size in these animals. Molecular analyses revealed that enalapril treatment increases neuropeptide Y (NPY) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) gene expression in hypothalamus, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) gene expression in retroperitoneal WAT and decreases peroxixome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR) γ, PPARα, uncoupling protein (UCP) 2 and UCP3 gene expression in WAT. The results of the current study indicate that enalapril administration during early postnatal development increases body mass, adiposity and serum lipids in adulthood associated with enhanced food intake and decreased metabolic activity in WAT, predisposing to obesity in adulthood.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 04/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2015.00075 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    World Allergy Organization Journal 04/2015; 8(Suppl 1):A116. DOI:10.1186/1939-4551-8-S1-A116
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    ABSTRACT: The alpha-actinin-3 r577x polymorphism (rs1815739) is one of the most important polymorphisms associated with athletic performance. This single-nucleotide mutation leads to a premature stop codon, resulting in a nonfunctional protein product. The presence of the dominant R allele is associated with full power skeletal muscle contraction. Homozygosity for the X allele is correlated with more efficient energy disposure. Restriction fragment length polymorphism and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are the standard methods used to genotype this polymorphism, but they are expensive and require special equipments. Here, we present a simple and cost-efficient method to genotype the ACTN3 r577x polymorphism by a single PCR. External primers yield a 690-bp product that indicates the template quality. Internal primers produce a 413-bp product if the R allele is present and a 318-bp product if the X allele is present. Our four-primer genotyping PCR was validated by the standard real-time PCR, generally used to genotype this single-nucleotide polymorphism, demonstrating the accuracy of this method. This protocol is perfect for small- or large-scale cohort genotyping of the ACTN3 r577x polymorphism.
    Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 04/2015; 19(5). DOI:10.1089/gtmb.2014.0299 · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pompe disease is an autosomal recessive disorder linked to GAA gene that leads to a multi-system intralysosomal accumulation of glycogen. Mutation identification in the GAA gene can be very important for early diagnosis, correlation between genotype-phenotype and therapeutic intervention. For this purpose, peripheral blood from 57 individuals susceptible to Pompe disease was collected and all exons of GAA gene were amplified; the sequences and the mutations were analyzed in silico to predict possible impact on the structure and function of the human protein. In this study, 46 individuals presented 33 alterations in GAA gene sequence, among which five (c.547-67C>G, c.547-39T>G, p.R437H, p.L641V and p.L705P) have not been previously described in the literature. The alterations in the coding region included 15 missense mutations, three nonsense mutations and one deletion. One insertion and other 12 single base changes were found in the non-coding region. The mutation p.G611D was found in homozygosis in a one-year-old child, who presented low levels of GAA activity, hypotonia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Two patients presented the new mutation p.L705P in association with c.-32-13T>G. They had low levels of GAA activity and developed late onset Pompe disease. In our study, we observed alterations in the GAA gene originating from Asians, African-Americans and Caucasians, highlighting the high heterogeneity of Brazilian population. Considering that Pompe disease studies are not very common in Brazil, this study will help to better understand the potential pathogenic role of each change in the GAA gene. Furthermore, a precise and early molecular analysis improves genetic counseling besides allowing for a more efficient treatment in potential candidates. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Gene 02/2015; 561(1). DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2015.02.023 · 2.14 Impact Factor

  • Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 02/2015; 114(2):S67-S68. DOI:10.1016/j.ymgme.2014.12.144 · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Verify the role of the kinin B1 receptors (B1R) and the effect of ACE inhibitors (ACEi) on acute gout induced by monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in rodents. Methods Painful (overt pain and allodynia) and inflammatory parameters (joint oedema, leukocyte trafficking, interleukin-1β levels) of acute gout attacks were assessed several hours after an intra-articular injection of MSU (1.25 or 0.5 mg/articulation) into the ankle of rats or mice, respectively. The role of B1R was investigated using pharmacological antagonism or gene deletion. Additionally, B1R immunoreactivity in ankle tissue and sensory neurons, kininase I activity and des-Arg9-bradykinin synovial levels were also measured. Similar tools were used to investigate the effects of ACEi on a low dose of MSU (0.0125 mg/articulation)-induced inflammation. Results Kinin B1R antagonism or gene deletion largely reduced all painful and inflammatory signs of gout. Furthermore, MSU increased B1R expression in articular tissues, the content of the B1 agonist des-Arg9-bradykinin and the activity of the B1 agonist-forming enzyme kininase I. A low dose of MSU crystals, which did not induce inflammation in control animals, caused signs of acute gout attacks in ACEi-treated animals that were B1R-dependent. Conclusions Kinin B1R contributes to acute gouty attacks, including the ones facilitated by ACEi. Therefore, B1R is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment and prophylaxis of gout, especially in patients taking ACEi.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 10/2014; DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205739 · 10.38 Impact Factor

  • 25th International Complement Workshop; 10/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Several deleterious effects may occur when intense and exhaustive exercise (IE) is not well-planned. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a short duration IE on body chemical composition and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. C57Bl/6 mice were distributed into four groups (10 mice per group): control (C-4D and C-10D), 4 days (E-4D), and 10 days of IE (E-10D). IE program consisted of a daily running session at 85 % of maximum speed until the animal reached exhaustion. Body weight as well as total body water, fat and protein content were determined from animal carcasses. HPA activation was assessed by plasma corticosterone levels measured by radioimmunoassay and the weight of both the adrenal glands and thymus. Plasma corticosterone levels increased by 64 % in both the E-4D and E-10D groups. The weight of the adrenal glands augmented by 74 % and 45 %, at 4 and 10 days of IE, respectively, whereas thymus weight diminished by 15 % only in the E-10D group. Total carcass fat content decreased by 20 % only at 4 days IE, whereas protein content decreased by 20 % in both E-4D and E-10D groups. A relationship between corticosterone plasma levels and loss of body protein content in both E-4D and E-10D groups was observed (R(2)=0.999). We concluded that IE may be related to HPA axis activation associated with remodeling of body chemical composition in C57BL/6 mice.
    Physiological research / Academia Scientiarum Bohemoslovaca 06/2014; 63(5). · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current dominance of African runners in long-distance running is an intriguing phenomenon that highlights the close relationship between genetics and physical performance. Many factors in the interesting interaction between genotype and phenotype (eg, high cardiorespiratory fitness, higher hemoglobin concentration, good metabolic efficiency, muscle fiber composition, enzyme profile, diet, altitude training, and psychological aspects) have been proposed in the attempt to explain the extraordinary success of these runners. Increasing evidence shows that genetics may be a determining factor in physical and athletic performance. But, could this also be true for African long-distance runners? Based on this question, this brief review proposed the role of genetic factors (mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid, the Y chromosome, and the angiotensin-converting enzyme and the alpha-actinin-3 genes) in the amazing athletic performance observed in African runners, especially the Kenyans and Ethiopians, despite their environmental constraints.
    Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine 05/2014; 5:123-127. DOI:10.2147/OAJSM.S61361
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    ABSTRACT: Focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is one of the most important renal diseases related to end stage renal failure. Bradykinin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of renal inflammation whereas the role of its receptor 2 (B2RBK) in FSGS has not been studied. FSGS was induced in wild type and B2RBK KO mice by a single intravenous injection of Adriamycin (ADM). In order to further modulate the kinin receptors, animals were also treated with B2RBK antagonist HOE-140, and DALBK, B1RBK antagonist. Here, we show that the blockage of B2RBK with HOE-140 protects mice from FSGS development, including podocyte foot process effacement and reestablishment of slit diaphragm-related proteins. However, B2RBK KO mice were not protected from FSGS. These opposite results were due to B1RBK expression. B1RBK was up regulated after ADM injection and it was exacerbated in B2RBK KO animals. Further, HOE-140 treatment down regulated B1RBK receptor. The blockade of B1RBK in B2RBK KO animals promoted FSGS regression, with a less inflammatory phenotype. These results indicate a deleterious role of both kinin receptors in FSGS model and suggest a possible crosstalk of them in disease progression.
    Disease Models and Mechanisms 04/2014; 7(6). DOI:10.1242/dmm.014548 · 4.97 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
937.80 Total Impact Points


  • 1998-2015
    • Universidade Federal de São Paulo
      • Departamento de Biofísica
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2005-2007
    • CEP America
      Емеривил, California, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2004-2005
    • Federal University of Santa Catarina
      • Centro de Ciências Biológicas (CCB)
      Florianópolis, Estado de Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • 1999-2002
    • Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2000
    • Freie Universität Berlin
      • Division of Biochemistry
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 1992
    • Federal University of Minas Gerais
      Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil