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1.  Activation of human neutrophils by Esenbeckia leiocarpa: comparison between the crude hydroalcoholic extract (CHE) and an alkaloid (Alk) fraction 
Esenbeckia leiocarpa, a wide spread native Brazilian tree, was reported recently to possess anti-inflammatory effects in vivo, but the mechanisms involved are still not fully understood and its role in neutrophils is poorly documented. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a crude hydroalcoholic extract (CHE) and an alkaloid-enriched (Alk) fraction obtained from Esenbeckia leiocarpa bark on human neutrophils by investigating the effect of each fraction alone or in a mixture with classical neutrophil agonists. CHE inhibited intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production but increased the extracellular superoxide (O2-) production, while Alk increased the former and also slightly increased O2- production. We found that CHE and Alk also induced phagocytosis accompanied by Syk activation, adhesion and degranulation. However, neither CHE nor Alk potentiated the effect of classical neutrophil agonists, namely the cytokines GM-CSF for phagocytosis and TNF-α for adhesion or N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) for degranulation. In addition, based on catalase treatment, CHE and Alk induced neutrophil apoptosis by a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-dependent mechanism. Since the elimination of apoptotic neutrophils by professional phagocytes is important for the resolution of inflammation, the ability of CHE and Alk to induce neutrophil apoptosis has to be considered as one possible mechanism associated with the anti-inflammatory activity of these fractions previously reported in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3403994  PMID: 22640922
Plant extracts; Esenbeckia leiocarpa; Inflammation; Neutrophils
2.  Activation of Human Neutrophils by the Anti-Inflammatory Mediator Esenbeckia leiocarpa Leads to Atypical Apoptosis 
Mediators of Inflammation  2012;2012:198382.
Despite the fact that Esenbeckia leiocarpa, a Brazilian plant, possesses potential anti-inflammatory properties, its effect in neutrophils, key players in inflammation, has never been investigated. In this study, a crude hydroalcoholic extract (CHE) was used to evaluate the potential toxic or agonistic effect of E. leiocarpa in human neutrophils. At a noncytotoxic concentration of 500 μg/mL, CHE increased actin polymerization and cell signaling events, especially p38 MAPK. Its modulatory activity on neutrophil cell apoptosis was investigated by cytology and by flow cytometry and, although CHE increased the apoptotic rate (by cytology) and increased annexin-V binding, it did not, unexpectedly, increase CD16 shedding. CHE increased the degradation of the cytoskeletal proteins gelsolin and paxillin but, surprisingly, not of vimentin. The proapoptotic activity of CHE was reversed by a pan-caspase inhibitor but not by a p38 inhibitor. We conclude that CHE is a novel human neutrophil agonist that induces apoptosis by a caspase-dependent and p38-independent mechanism in an atypical fashion based on its lack of effect on CD16 shedding and vimentin degradation. Since the resolution of inflammation occurs by elimination of apoptotic neutrophils, the ability of CHE to induce neutrophil apoptosis correlates well with its anti-inflammatory properties, as previously reported.
PMCID: PMC3356978  PMID: 22649276
3.  The Inflammatory Process in Response to Nanoparticles 
TheScientificWorldJournal  2011;11:2442-2443.
PMCID: PMC3251797  PMID: 22235176
4.  Activation of Neutrophils by Nanoparticles 
TheScientificWorldJournal  2011;11:1877-1885.
The use of nanoparticles (NPs) has increased in the past few years in various fields, including defence, aerospace, electronics, biology, medicine, and so forth. and in applications such as diagnostic technology, bioimaging, and drug/gene delivery. Thus, human exposure to NPs and nanomaterials is unavoidable and will certainly expand in the future resulting in a growing interest in nanotoxicology, the study of toxicity of nanomaterials. A number of studies have reported the effects of NPs in respect to pulmonary inflammation by investigating in vitro activation of pulmonary cells with NPs and in vivo in a variety of models in which neutrophils appear to be the predominant leukocyte cell type in lungs and in bronchoalveolar lavages following inhalation or intratracheal instillation of NPs. Despite the fact that several studies have reported an increased number of neutrophils, the literature dealing with the direct activation of neutrophils by a given NP is poorly documented. This paper will summarize the current literature in this latter area of research and will end with a perspective view in which our laboratory will be involved in the following years.
PMCID: PMC3217611  PMID: 22125444
inflammation; nanotoxicology; neutrophils; nanoparticles

Results 1-4 (4)