Maria E C Amaral

Centro Universitário Hermínio Ometto (UNIARARAS), ৱারারাস, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (38)131.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The treatment of burn wounds has been a challenge due to their severity and associated multiple complications, and represents a major public health problem. This study investigated the effects of 670 nm InGaP laser irradiation and microcurrent (10 µA) stimulation on the healing of second-degree burns inflicted on the back of Wistar rats. Seventy-two animals were divided into four groups: no treatment (C); animals irradiated with a 670 nm InGaP laser (L); animals receiving microcurrent stimulation (10 µA/3 min) (MC); animals receiving 670 nm InGaP laser therapy and microcurrent stimulation (10 µA/3 min) on alternate days (MCL). Wound samples were collected on days 7, 14 and 21 of treatment for structural and morphometric analysis and for Western blotting to quantify the expression of TGF-β1 and VEGF. The applied alone and alternate of laser and microcurrent reduced the number of inflammatory cells and increased the number of newly formed vessels and fibroblasts, collagen fiber content and fiber reorganization. The two treatments also favorably modified the expression of VEGF and TGF-β1, inducing angiogenesis and decreasing the inflammation time.
    Laser Physics 02/2015; 25(2):025602. DOI:10.1088/1054-660X/25/2/025602 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapies that accelerate the healing of burn injuries, improving the quality of life of the patient and reducing the cost of treatment are important. This study evaluated the effects of InGaP 670-nm laser therapy combined with a hydroalcoholic extract of Solidago chilensis leaves on burn wound healing in rats. Seventy-two rats were divided randomly into four groups: control untreated (C), treated with InGaP 670-nm laser with power density of 0.41 W/cm(2) and energy density of 4.93 J/cm(2) (L), treated with S. chilensis extract (S) and treated with S. chilensis extract and laser (LS). Second-degree burns were produced on the back of the animals with metal plate. Wound samples were collected on days 7, 14 and 21 of treatment for structural analysis, morphometry and Western blotting to quantify the expression of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The results showed that InGaP laser irradiation at 670 nm alone and combined with extract of S. chilensis promoted significant tissue repair responses in this experimental model, increasing the number of fibroblasts, collagen fibres and newly formed blood vessels throughout the experimental period and decreasing the number of granulocytes in burn wounds of second degree in all treated groups. Exclusive treatment of burn wounds with the hydroalcoholic extract of S. chilensis provided similar quantitative results to those seen in the untreated group throughout the experimental period. Therefore, it was observed in the L and LS groups different responses in the expression of TGF-β1 and VEGF. The application of 670-nm laser alone or combined with the extract of S. chilensis promoted favourable responses in tissue repair of second-degree burns in this experimental model.
    Lasers in Medical Science 01/2015; 30(3). DOI:10.1007/s10103-014-1707-0 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Consequences of gestational protein restriction (GPR) on liver metabolism in rat offspring were investigated. Pregnant dams were divided into groups: normal (NP, 17 % casein) or low-protein diet (LP, 6 % casein). Livers were collected from 30-day-old offspring (d30) for analysis or isolation of mitochondria. At d30, hepatic and muscle glycogen was increased in LP group. Mitochondrial swelling and oxygen uptake (recorded with a Clark-type electrode) were significantly reduced in NP female and LP pups. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances production was lower in females (NP or LP), suggesting significant inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Measurement of mitochondrial respiration (states 3 and 4 stimulated by succinate) showed a higher ADP/O ratio in LP pups, particularly females, suggesting higher phosphorylation efficiency. In the 1st month of life, under our experimental conditions, GPR protects liver mitochondria against oxidative stress and females seem to be more resistant or more suitable for survival.
    The Journal of Physiological Sciences 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12576-014-0325-8 · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Skin-wound healing is a complex and dynamic biological process involving inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. Recent studies have shown that statins are new therapeutical options because of their actions, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, on vasodilation, endothelial dysfunction and neoangiogenesis, which are independent of their lipid-lowering action. Our aim was to investigate the effect of atorvastatin on tissue repair after acute injury in healthy animals. Rats were divided into four groups: placebo-treated (P), topical atorvastatin-treated (AT), oral atorvastatin-treated (AO), topical and oral atorvastatin-treated (ATO). Under anesthesia, rats were wounded with an 8-mm punch in the dorsal region. Lesions were photographed on Days 0, 1, 3, 7, 10, 12, and 14 post-injury and samples taken on Days 1, 3, 7, and 14 for protein-expression analysis of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (Akt), glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), interleukin (IL)-10, IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Upon macroscopic examination, we observed significant reductions of lesion areas in groups AT, AO, and ATO compared to the P group. Additionally, AT and AO groups showed increased expression of IRS-1, PI3K, Akt, GSK-3, and IL-10 on Days 1 and 3 when compared with the P group. All atorvastatin-treated groups showed higher expression of IRS-1, PI3K, Akt, GSK-3, IL-10, eNOS, VEGF, and ERK on Day 7. On Days 1, 3, and 7, all atorvastatin-treated groups showed lower expression of IL-6 and TNF-α when compared with the P group. We conclude that atorvastatin accelerated tissue repair of acute lesions in rats and modulated expressions of proteins and cytokines associated with cell-growth pathways.
    Biological Research for Nursing 06/2014; 17(2). DOI:10.1177/1099800414537348 · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effects of 670-nm indium gallium phosphide (InGaP) and 830-nm gallium aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs) laser therapy on second-degree burns induced on the back of Wistar rats. Sixty-three male Wistar rats were anesthetized, and second-degree burns were made on their back. The animals were then divided randomly into three groups: control (C), animals treated with 670-nm InGaP laser (LIn), and animals treated with 830-nm GaAlAs laser (LGa). The wound areas were removed after 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 days of treatment and submitted to structural and morphometric analysis. The following parameters were studied: total number of granulocytes and fibroblasts, number of newly formed blood vessels, and percentage of birefringent collagen fibers in the repair area. Morphometric analysis showed that different lasers 670-nm InGaP and 830-nm GaAlAs reduced the number of granulocytes and an increase of newly formed vessels in radiated lesions. The 670-nm InGaP laser therapy was more effective in increasing the number of fibroblasts. The different treatments modified the expression of VEGF and TGF-β1, when compared with lesions not irradiated. The different types of light sources showed similar effects, improved the healing of second-degree burns and can help for treating this type of injury. Despite the large number of studies with LLTI application in second-degree burns, there is still divergence about the best irradiation parameters to be used. Further studies are needed for developing a protocol effective in treating this type of injury.
    Lasers in Medical Science 04/2014; 29(5). DOI:10.1007/s10103-014-1573-9 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The occurrence of metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and hypertension, increases with age. Inappropriate food intake, when combined with genetic and hormonal factors, can trigger the occurrence of these diseases in aged organisms. This study investigated whether short-term calorie restriction (CR; 40% of the intake of control animals (CTL) for 21 days) benefits 1-year-old (CR1yr) and 2-year-old (CR2yr) Wistar rats, with regard to insulin secretion and action. Plasma insulin and the insulin secreted by isolated islets were measured with radioimmunoassay, and the insulin sensitivity of peripheral tissues was assessed with the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT), intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test, and hepatic and muscle adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation measurements. Body weight, epididymal fat pad, epididymal fat pad/body weight index, plasma glucose, and insulin were lower in the CR1yr than in the control (CTL1yr) rats. Serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and protein, as well as hepatic and muscle glycogen content, were similar between the CR and CTL groups. The IPGTT was higher in CR2yr and CTL2yr rats than in CR1yr and CTL1yr rats, and insulin sensitivity was higher in CR1yr and CR2yr rats than in their respective CTLs. This was associated with an increase in hepatic and muscle AMPK phosphorylation. No differences in glucose-induced insulin secretion in the isolated islets were observed between CRs and their respective CTL rats. In conclusion, short-term calorie restriction provoked more severe alterations in CR1yr than CR2yr rats. The normoglycemia observed in both CR groups seems to be due to an increase in insulin sensitivity, with the involvement of liver and muscle AMPK.
    Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 02/2014; 39(8):1-7. DOI:10.1139/apnm-2013-0520 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The placenta acts a regulator of nutrient composition and supply from mother to fetus and is the source of hormonal signals that affect maternal and fetal metabolism. Thus, appropriate development of the placenta is crucial for normal fetal development. We investigated the effect of gestational protein restriction (GPR) on placental morphology and mitochondrial function on day 19 of gestation. Pregnant dams were divided into two groups: normal (NP 17 % casein) or low-protein diet (LP 6 % casein). The placentas were processed for biochemical, histomorphometric and ultrastructural analysis. The integrity of rat placental mitochondria (RPM) isolated by conventional differential centrifugation was measured by oxygen uptake (Clark-type electrode). LP animals presented an increase in adipose tissue and triacylglycerol and a decrease in serum insulin levels. No alterations were observed in body, liver, fetus, or placenta weight. There was also no change in serum glucose, total protein, or lipid content. Gestational protein restriction had tissue-specific respiratory effects, with the observation of a small change in liver respiration (~13 %) and considerable respiratory inhibition in placenta samples (~37 %). The higher oxygen uptake by RPM in the LP groups suggests uncoupling between respiration and oxidative phosphorylation. In addition, ultrastructural analysis of junctional zone giant cells from LP placenta showed a disorganized cytoplasm, with loss of integrity of most organelles and intense vacuolization. The present results led us to hypothesize that GPR alters placental structure and morphology, induces sensitivity to insulin, mitochondrial abnormalities and suggests premature aging of the placenta. Further studies are needed to test this hypothesis.
    Journal of molecular histology 07/2013; DOI:10.1007/s10735-013-9522-7 · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effects of microcurrent application and 670 nm InGaP laser irradiation on wound healing in healthy and alloxan diabetic rats. The animals were divided into eight groups: healthy control (HC); diabetic control (DC); healthy treated with microcurrent (HMC); diabetic treated with microcurrent (DMC); healthy irradiated with laser (HL); diabetic irradiated with laser (DL); healthy receiving laser and microcurrent application (HLMC) and diabetic receiving laser and microcurrent application (DLMC). Wound samples were collected on days 2, 6, 10 and 14 of treatment for structural analysis, morphometry, and Western blotting to quantify the expression of TGF-β1 and VEGF. Comparison of animals receiving laser and microcurrent therapy showed a reduction in the number of inflammatory cells in diabetic animals, as well as an increase of fibroblasts in healthy animals and of newly formed vessels in healthy and diabetic animals. Expression of TGF-β1 was increased on day 6 in all groups, especially diabetic animals. A reduction in the expression of this protein was observed on day 10 in all groups. VEGF expression was higher on day 6 in treated and control diabetic animals when compared to healthy animals. Analysis of VEGF expression in the laser- and microcurrent-treated groups on day 10 showed a decrease in diabetic animals and an increase in healthy animals. In conclusion, laser therapy and microcurrent stimulation exert beneficial effects on wound healing in both healthy and diabetic animals.
    Laser Physics 02/2013; 23(3):035604. DOI:10.1088/1054-660X/23/3/035604 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of CAPE on the insulin signaling and inflammatory pathway in the liver of mice with high fat diet induced obesity. Swiss mice were fed with standard chow or high-fat diet for 12-week. After the eighth week, animals in the HFD group with serum glucose levels higher than 200mg/dL were divided into two groups, HFD and HFD receiving 30mg/kg of CAPE for 4weeks. After 12weeks, the blood samples could be collected and liver tissue extracted for hormonal and biochemical measurements, and insulin signaling and inflammatory pathway analyzes. The high-fat diet group exhibited more weight gain, glucose intolerance, and hepatic steatosis compared with standard diet group. The CAPE treatment showed improvement in glucose sensitivity characterized by an area under glucose curve similar to the control group in an oral glucose tolerance test Furthermore, CAPE treatment promoted amelioration in hepatic steatosis compared with the high-fat diet group. The increase in glucose sensitivity was associated with the improvement in insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of the insulin receptor substrate-2, followed by an increase in Akt phosphorylation. In addition, it was observed that CAPE reduced the induction of the inflammatory pathway, c-jun-N- terminal kinase, the nuclear factor kappa B, and cyclooxygenase-2 expression, respectively. Overall, these findings indicate that CAPE exhibited anti-inflammatory activity that partly restores normal metabolism, reduces the molecular changes observed in obesity and insulin resistance, and therefore has a potential as a therapeutic agent in obesity.
    Metabolism: clinical and experimental 05/2012; 61(11):1606-14. DOI:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.04.006 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is one of the most widespread endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) used as the base compound in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. Although evidence points to consider exposure to BPA as a risk factor for insulin resistance, its actions on whole body metabolism and on insulin-sensitive tissues are still unclear. The aim of the present work was to study the effects of low doses of BPA in insulin-sensitive peripheral tissues and whole body metabolism in adult mice. Adult mice were treated with subcutaneous injection of 100 µg/kg BPA or vehicle for 8 days. Whole body energy homeostasis was assessed with in vivo indirect calorimetry. Insulin signaling assays were conducted by western blot analysis. Mice treated with BPA were insulin resistant and had increased glucose-stimulated insulin release. BPA-treated mice had decreased food intake, lower body temperature and locomotor activity compared to control. In skeletal muscle, insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor β subunit was impaired in BPA-treated mice. This impairment was associated with a reduced insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation in the Thr308 residue. Both skeletal muscle and liver displayed an upregulation of IRS-1 protein by BPA. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway was also impaired in the skeletal muscle from BPA-treated mice. In the liver, BPA effects were of lesser intensity with decreased insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor β subunit. In conclusion, short-term treatment with low doses of BPA slows down whole body energy metabolism and disrupts insulin signaling in peripheral tissues. Thus, our findings support the notion that BPA can be considered a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.
    PLoS ONE 03/2012; 7(3):e33814. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0033814 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alterations in food intake such as caloric restriction modulate the expression of SIRT1 and SIRT4 proteins that are involved in pancreatic β-cell function. Here, we search for a possible relationship between insulin secretion and the expression of SIRT1, SIRT4, PKC and PKA in islets from adult rats submitted to CR for 21 days. Rats were fed with an isocaloric diet (CTL) or received 60% (CR) of the food ingested by CTL. The dose-response curve of insulin secretion to glucose was shifted to the right in the CR compared with CTL islets (EC(50) of 15.1±0.17 and 10.5±0.11 mmol/L glucose). Insulin release by the depolarizing agents arginine and KCl was reduced in CR compared with CTL islets. Total islet insulin content and glucose oxidation were also reduced in CR islets. Leucine-stimulated secretion was similar in both groups, slightly reduced in CR islets stimulated by leucine plus glutamine but higher in CR islets stimulated by ketoisocaproate (KIC). Insulin secretion was also higher in CR islets stimulated by carbachol, compared with CTL islets. No differences in the rise of cytosolic Ca(2+) concentrations stimulated by either glucose or KCl were observed between groups of islets. Finally, SIRT1, but not SIRT4, protein expression was lower in CR compared with CTL islets, whereas no differences in the expression of PKC and PKA proteins were observed. In conclusion, the lower insulin secretion in islets from CR rats was, at least in part, due to an imbalance between the expression of SIRT1 and SIRT4.
    The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 06/2011; 22(6):554-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.04.010 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In animal models of diet-induced obesity, the activation of an inflammatory response in the hypothalamus produces molecular and functional resistance to the anorexigenic hormones insulin and leptin. The primary events triggered by dietary fats that ultimately lead to hypothalamic cytokine expression and inflammatory signaling are unknown. Here, we test the hypothesis that dietary fats act through the activation of toll-like receptors 2/4 and endoplasmic reticulum stress to induce cytokine expression in the hypothalamus of rodents. According to our results, long-chain saturated fatty acids activate predominantly toll-like receptor 4 signaling, which determines not only the induction of local cytokine expression but also promotes endoplasmic reticulum stress. Rats fed on a monounsaturated fat-rich diet do not develop hypothalamic leptin resistance, whereas toll-like receptor 4 loss-of-function mutation and immunopharmacological inhibition of toll-like receptor 4 protects mice from diet-induced obesity. Thus, toll-like receptor 4 acts as a predominant molecular target for saturated fatty acids in the hypothalamus, triggering the intracellular signaling network that induces an inflammatory response, and determines the resistance to anorexigenic signals.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 02/2009; 29(2):359-70. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2760-08.2009 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently described that hypertriglyceridemic apolipoprotein (apo) CIII transgenic mice show increased whole body metabolic rate. In this study, we used these apo CIII-expressing mice, combined or not with the expression of the natural promoter-driven CETP gene, to test the hypothesis that both proteins modulate diet-induced obesity. Mice expressing apo CIII, CIII/CETP, CETP and nontransgenic (NonTg) mice were maintained on a high-fat diet (14% fat by weight) during 20 weeks after weaning. At the end of this period, all groups exhibited the expected lipemic phenotype. Fasting glucose levels were neither affected by the high-fat diet nor by the distinct genotypes. However, apo CIII mice showed significantly higher glycemia ( approximately 35%) and lower insulin levels ( approximately 45%) in the fed state, compared with the NonTg mice. The apo CIII mice presented significantly increased body weight, lipid content of the carcass ( approximately 25%), visceral adipose tissue mass (about twofold) and adipocyte size ( approximately 25%) compared with the CETP and NonTg mice. The CETP expression in the apo CIII background normalized the subcutaneous adipose depot and visceral adipocyte size to the levels of NonTg mice. Plasma leptin levels were lower in CETP groups (25-50%) and higher in the apo CIII mice. Similar core body temperature in all groups and similar liver mitochondrial resting respiration rates in CIII and NonTg mice indicate no differences in basal energy expenditure rates among these mice fed a high-fat diet. The elevation of plasma apo CIII levels aggravates diet-induced obesity and the expression of physiological levels of circulating CETP reverses this adipogenic effect, indicating a novel role for CETP in modulating adiposity.
    International Journal of Obesity 11/2007; 31(10):1586-95. DOI:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803646 · 5.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acting in the hypothalamus, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) produces a potent anorexigenic effect. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are poorly characterized. In this study, we investigate the capacity of TNF-alpha to activate signal transduction in the hypothalamus through elements of the pathways employed by the anorexigenic hormones insulin and leptin. High dose TNF-alpha promotes a reduction of 25% in 12h food intake, which is an inhibitory effect that is marginally inferior to that produced by insulin and leptin. In addition, high dose TNF-alpha increases body temperature and respiratory quotient, effects not reproduced by insulin or leptin. TNF-alpha, predominantly at the high dose, is also capable of activating canonical pro-inflammatory signal transduction in the hypothalamus, inducing JNK, p38, and NFkappaB, which results in the transcription of early responsive genes and expression of proteins of the SOCS family. Also, TNF-alpha activates signal transduction through JAK-2 and STAT-3, but does not activate signal transduction through early and intermediary elements of the insulin/leptin signaling pathways such as IRS-2, Akt, ERK and FOXO1. When co-injected with insulin or leptin, TNF-alpha, at both high and low doses, partially impairs signal transduction through IRS-2, Akt, ERK and FOXO1 but not through JAK-2 and STAT-3. This effect is accompanied by the partial inhibition of the anorexigenic effects of insulin and leptin, when the low, but not the high dose of TNF-alpha is employed. In conclusion, TNF-alpha, on a dose-dependent way, modulates insulin and leptin signaling and action in the hypothalamus.
    Peptides 06/2007; 28(5):1050-8. DOI:10.1016/j.peptides.2007.03.006 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cytokine-like hormone leptin is known to exert important functions on the modulation of immune responses. Some of these effects are dependent on the property of leptin to modulate the apoptosis of thymic cells. In the present study, we used Wistar rats to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in leptin-dependent control of apoptosis in thymus. Apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry and ELISA for nucleosome determination, whereas signal transduction was evaluated by immunoprecipitation, immunoblot, and confocal microscopy. The Ob receptor (ObR) was expressed in most thymic cells and its relative amount reduced progressively during thymocyte maturation. ObR expression was colocalized with Janus kinase (JAK)-2 and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, and an acute, in vivo, injection of leptin promoted the tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK-2 and the engagement of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3. The treatment with leptin also led to the tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and serine phosphorylation of Akt. Chronic treatment with leptin reduced thymic apoptosis, an effect that was not inhibited by the JAK inhibitor AG(490) but was significantly inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY(294002) and an antisense oligonucleotide to IRS-1. Thus, leptin inhibits the apoptosis of thymic cells through a mechanism that is independent of the activation of JAK-2 but depends on the engagement of the IRS-1/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway.
    Endocrinology 12/2006; 147(11):5470-9. DOI:10.1210/en.2006-0223 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TNF-alpha acts on the hypothalamus modulating food intake and energy expenditure through mechanisms incompletely elucidated. Here, we explore the hypothesis that, to modulate insulin-induced anorexigenic signaling in hypothalamus, TNF-alpha requires the synthesis of NO. TNF-alpha activates signal transduction through JNK and p38 in hypothalamus, peaking at 10(-8) M. This is accompanied by the induction of expression of the inducible and neuronal forms of NOS, in both cases peaking at 10(-12) M. In addition, TNF-alpha stimulates NOS catalytic activity. Pre-treatment with TNF-alpha at a low dose (10(-12) M) inhibits insulin-dependent anorexigenic signaling, and this effect is abolished in iNOS but not in nNOS knockout mice.
    FEBS Letters 09/2006; 580(19):4625-31. DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2006.07.042 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is known to participate in the wastage syndrome that accompanies cancer and severe infectious diseases. More recently, a role for TNF-alpha in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity has been shown. Much of the regulatory action exerted by TNF-alpha upon the control of energy stores depends on its action on the hypothalamus. In this study, we show that TNF-alpha activates canonical pro-inflammatory signal transduction pathways in the hypothalamus of rats. These signaling events lead to the transcriptional activation of an early responsive gene and to the induction of expression of cytokines and a cytokine responsive protein such as interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6, interleukin-10 and suppressor of cytokine signalling-3, respectively. In addition, TNF-alpha induces the expression of neurotransmitters involved in the control of feeding and thermogenesis. Thus, TNF-alpha may act directly in the hypothalamus inducing a pro-inflammatory response and the modulation of expression of neurotransmitters involved in energy homeostasis.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 08/2006; 98(1):203-12. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.03857.x · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The adaptation of pancreatic islets to pregnancy includes increased beta cell proliferation, expansion of islet mass, and increased insulin synthesis and secretion. Most of these adaptations are induced by prolactin (PRL). We have previously described that in vitro PRL treatment increases ERK3 expression in isolated rat pancreatic islets. This study shows that ERK3 is also upregulated during pregnancy. Islets from pregnant rats treated with antisense oligonucleotide targeted to the PRL receptor displayed a significant reduction in ERK3 expression. Immunohistochemical double-staining showed that ERK3 expression is restricted to pancreatic beta cells. Transfection with antisense oligonucleotide targeted to ERK3 abolished the insulin secretion stimulated by glucose in rat islets and by PMA in RINm5F cells. Therefore, we examined the participation of ERK3 in the activation of a cellular target involved in secretory events, the microtubule associated protein MAP2. PMA induced ERK3 phosphorylation that was companied by an increase in ERK3/MAP2 association and MAP2 phosphorylation. These observations provide evidence that ERK3 is involved in the regulation of stimulus-secretion coupling in pancreatic beta cells.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 07/2006; 251(1-2):33-41. DOI:10.1016/j.mce.2006.02.012 · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During pregnancy and the perinatal period of life, prolactin (PRL) and other lactogenic substances induce adaptation and maturation of the stimulus-secretion coupling system in pancreatic beta-cells. Since the SNARE molecules, SNAP-25, syntaxin 1, VAMP-2, and synaptotagmins participate in insulin secretion, we investigated whether the improved secretory response to glucose during these periods involves alteration in the expression of these proteins. mRNA was extracted from neonatal rat islets cultured for 5 days in the presence of PRL and from pregnant rats (17th-18th days of pregnancy) and reverse transcribed. The expression of genes was analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR assay. The expression of proteins was analyzed by Western blotting and confocal microscopy. Transcription and expression of all SNARE genes and proteins were increased in islets from pregnant and PRL-treated neonatal rats when compared with controls. The only exception was VAMP-2 production in islets from pregnant rats. Increased mRNA and protein expression of synaptotagmin IV, but not the isoform I, also was observed in islets from pregnant and PRL-treated rats. This effect was not inhibited by wortmannin or PD098059, inhibitors of the PI3-kinase and MAPK pathways, respectively. As revealed by confocal laser microscopy, both syntaxin 1A and synaptotagmin IV were immunolocated in islet cells, including the insulin-containing cells. These results indicate that PRL modulates the final steps of insulin secretion by increasing the expression of proteins involved in membrane fusion.
    Biological research 02/2006; 39(3):555-66. DOI:10.4067/S0716-97602006000300016 · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which diet-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance are not well established, and no study has until now integrated, in a temporal manner, functional insulin action data with insulin signaling in key insulin-sensitive tissues, including the hypothalamus. In this study, we evaluated the regulation of insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedures and insulin signaling, c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1(ser307) phosphorylation in liver, muscle, adipose tissue, and hypothalamus, by immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting, in rats fed on a Western diet (WD) or control diet for 10 or 30 d. WD increased visceral adiposity, serum triacylglycerol, and insulin levels and reduced whole-body glucose use. After 10 d of WD (WD10) there was a decrease in IRS-1/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B pathway in hypothalamus and muscle, associated with an attenuation of the anorexigenic effect of insulin in the former and reduced glucose transport in the latter. In WD10, there was an increased glucose transport in adipose tissue in parallel to increased insulin signaling in this tissue. After 30 d of WD, insulin was less effective in suppressing hepatic glucose production, and this was associated with a decrease in insulin signaling in the liver. JNK activity and IRS-1(ser307) phosphorylation were higher in insulin-resistant tissues. In summary, the insulin resistance induced by WD is tissue specific and installs first in hypothalamus and muscle and later in liver, accompanied by activation of JNK and IRS-1(ser307) phosphorylation. The impairment of the insulin signaling in these tissues, but not in adipose tissue, may lead to increased adiposity and insulin resistance in the WD rats.
    Endocrinology 04/2005; 146(3):1576-87. DOI:10.1210/en.2004-0767 · 4.64 Impact Factor