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1.  Long-Term Aerobic Exercise Protects against Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity by Modulating the Expression of IL-6 and HO-1 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108543.
Nephrotoxicity is substantial side effect for 30% of patients undergoing cancer therapy with cisplatin and may force them to change or even abandon the treatment. Studies regarding aerobic exercise have shown its efficacy for the treatment of many types of diseases and its capacity to reduce tumors. However, little is known about the impact of physical exercise on cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury (AKI). In the present study, our aim was to investigate the role of physical exercise in AKI induced by cisplatin. We submitted C57Bl6 male mice to seven weeks of chronic exercise on a training treadmill and treated them with single i.p. injection of cisplatin (20 mg/kg) in the last week. Exercise efficacy was confirmed by an increased capillary-to-fiber ratio in the gastrocnemius muscle of exercised groups (EX and CIS-EX). The group submitted to exercise before cisplatin administration (CIS-EX) exhibited less weight loss and decreased serum urea levels compared to the cisplatin group (CIS). Exercise also showed a protective role against cisplatin-induced cell death in the kidney. The CIS-EX group showed a lower inflammatory response, with less TNF and IL-10 expression in the kidney and serum. In the same group, we observed an increase of IL-6 and HO-1 expression in the kidney. Taken together, our results indicate that chronic aerobic exercise is able to attenuate AKI by inducing IL-6 and HO-1 production, which results in lower inflammatory and apoptotic profiles in the kidney.
PMCID: PMC4182716  PMID: 25272046
2.  Effects of Exercise Training on Circulating and Skeletal Muscle Renin-Angiotensin System in Chronic Heart Failure Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98012.
Accumulated evidence shows that the ACE-AngII-AT1 axis of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is markedly activated in chronic heart failure (CHF). Recent studies provide information that Angiotensin (Ang)-(1–7), a metabolite of AngII, counteracts the effects of AngII. However, this balance between AngII and Ang-(1–7) is still little understood in CHF. We investigated the effects of exercise training on circulating and skeletal muscle RAS in the ischemic model of CHF.
Methods/Main Results
Male Wistar rats underwent left coronary artery ligation or a Sham operation. They were divided into four groups: 1) Sedentary Sham (Sham-S), 2) exercise-trained Sham (Sham-Ex), sedentary CHF (CHF-S), and exercise-trained CHF (CHF-Ex). Angiotensin concentrations and ACE and ACE2 activity in the circulation and skeletal muscle (soleus and plantaris) were quantified. Skeletal muscle ACE and ACE2 protein expression, and AT1, AT2, and Mas receptor gene expression were also evaluated. CHF reduced ACE2 serum activity. Exercise training restored ACE2 and reduced ACE activity in CHF. Exercise training reduced plasma AngII concentration in both Sham and CHF rats and increased the Ang-(1–7)/AngII ratio in CHF rats. CHF and exercise training did not change skeletal muscle ACE and ACE2 activity and protein expression. CHF increased AngII levels in both soleus and plantaris muscle, and exercise training normalized them. Exercise training increased Ang-(1–7) in the plantaris muscle of CHF rats. The AT1 receptor was only increased in the soleus muscle of CHF rats, and exercise training normalized it. Exercise training increased the expression of the Mas receptor in the soleus muscle of both exercise-trained groups, and normalized it in plantaris muscle.
Exercise training causes a shift in RAS towards the Ang-(1–7)-Mas axis in skeletal muscle, which can be influenced by skeletal muscle metabolic characteristics. The changes in RAS circulation do not necessarily reflect the changes occurring in the RAS of skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC4032232  PMID: 24859374
3.  Exercise training prior to myocardial infarction attenuates cardiac deterioration and cardiomyocyte dysfunction in rats 
Clinics  2013;68(4):549-556.
The present study was performed to investigate 1) whether aerobic exercise training prior to myocardial infarction would prevent cardiac dysfunction and structural deterioration and 2) whether the potential cardiac benefits of aerobic exercise training would be associated with preserved morphological and contractile properties of cardiomyocytes in post-infarct remodeled myocardium.
Male Wistar rats underwent an aerobic exercise training protocol for eight weeks. The rats were then assigned to sham surgery (SHAM), sedentary lifestyle and myocardial infarction or exercise training and myocardial infarction groups and were evaluated 15 days after the surgery. Left ventricular tissue was analyzed histologically, and the contractile function of isolated myocytes was measured. Student's t-test was used to analyze infarct size and ventricular wall thickness, and the other parameters were analyzed by the Kruskal-Wallis test followed by Dunn's test or a one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey's test (p<0.05).
Myocardial infarctions in exercise-trained animals resulted in a smaller myocardial infarction extension, a thicker infarcted wall and less collagen accumulation as compared to myocardial infarctions in sedentary animals. Myocardial infarction-induced left ventricular dilation and cardiac dysfunction, as evaluated by +dP/dt and -dP/dt, were both prevented by previous aerobic exercise training. Moreover, aerobic exercise training preserved cardiac myocyte shortening, improved the maximum shortening and relengthening velocities in infarcted hearts and enhanced responsiveness to calcium.
Previous aerobic exercise training attenuated the cardiac dysfunction and structural deterioration promoted by myocardial infarction, and such benefits were associated with preserved cardiomyocyte morphological and contractile properties.
PMCID: PMC3634970  PMID: 23778353
Cardiac Function; Cardiac Myocyte; Cardiac Remodeling; Physical Activity, Myocardial Infarction; Cardioprotection
4.  βIIPKC and εPKC isozymes as potential pharmacological targets in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure 
Cardiac hypertrophy is a complex adaptive response to mechanical and neurohumoral stimuli and under continual stressor, it contributes to maladaptive responses, heart failure and death. Protein kinase C (PKC) and several other kinases play a role in the maladaptative cardiac responses, including cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, myocardial fibrosis and inflammation. Identifying specific therapies that regulate these kinases is a major focus of current research. PKC, a family of serine/threonine kinases, has emerged as potential mediators of hypertrophic stimuli associated with neurohumoral hyperactivity in heart failure. In this review, we describe the role of PKC isozymes that are involved in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
PMCID: PMC3135714  PMID: 21035454
PKC signaling pathways; cardiac remodeling; heart failure
5.  Combined Effect of AMPK/PPAR Agonists and Exercise Training in mdx Mice Functional Performance 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45699.
The present investigation was undertaken to test whether exercise training (ET) associated with AMPK/PPAR agonists (EM) would improve skeletal muscle function in mdx mice. These drugs have the potential to improve oxidative metabolism. This is of particular interest because oxidative muscle fibers are less affected in the course of the disease than glycolitic counterparts. Therefore, a cohort of 34 male congenic C57Bl/10J mdx mice included in this study was randomly assigned into four groups: vehicle solution (V), EM [AICAR (AMPK agonist, 50 mg/, ip) and GW 1516 (PPARδ agonist, 2.5 mg/, gavage)], ET (voluntary running on activity wheel) and EM+ET. Functional performance (grip meter and rotarod), aerobic capacity (running test), muscle histopathology, serum creatine kinase (CK), levels of ubiquitined proteins, oxidative metabolism protein expression (AMPK, PPAR, myoglobin and SCD) and intracellular calcium handling (DHPR, SERCA and NCX) protein expression were analyzed. Treatments started when the animals were two months old and were maintained for one month. A significant functional improvement (p<0.05) was observed in animals submitted to the combination of ET and EM. CK levels were decreased and the expression of proteins related to oxidative metabolism was increased in this group. There were no differences among the groups in the intracellular calcium handling protein expression. To our knowledge, this is the first study that tested the association of ET with EM in an experimental model of muscular dystrophy. Our results suggest that the association of ET and EM should be further tested as a potential therapeutic approach in muscular dystrophies.
PMCID: PMC3448675  PMID: 23029189
6.  PKCβII inhibition attenuates myocardial infarction induced heart failure and is associated with a reduction of fibrosis and pro-inflammatory responses 
Protein kinase C βII (PKCβII) levels increase in the myocardium of patients with end-stage heart failure (HF). Also targeted over-expression of PKCβII in the myocardium of mice leads to dilated cardiomyopathy associated with inflammation, fibrosis and myocardial dysfunction. These reports suggest a deleterious role of PKCβII in HF development. Using a post-myocardial infarction (MI) model of heart failure in rats, we determined the benefit of chronic inhibition of PKCβII on the progression of heart failure over a period of 6 weeks after the onset of symptoms and the cellular basis for these effects. Four weeks after MI, rats with HF signs that were treated for 6 weeks with the PKCβII selective inhibitor (βIIV5-3 conjugated to TAT47-57 alone) (3mg/kg/day) showed improved fractional shortening (from 21% to 35%) compared to control (TAT47-57 alone). Formalin-fixed mid-ventricle tissue sections stained with picrosirius red, hematoxylin-eosin and toluidine blue dyes exhibited a 150% decrease in collagen deposition, a two-fold decrease in inflammation and a 30% reduction in mast cell degranulation, respectively, in rat hearts treated with the selective PKCβII inhibitor. Further, a 90% decrease in active TGFβ1 and a significant reduction in SMAD2/3 phosphorylation indicated that the selective inhibition of PKCβII attenuates cardiac remodeling mediated by the TGF-SMAD signaling pathway. Therefore, sustained selective inhibition of PKCβII in a post-MI HF rat model improves cardiac function and is associated with inhibition of pathological myocardial remodeling.
PMCID: PMC3136735  PMID: 20874717
Protein kinase; PKCβII inhibitor peptide; cardiac remodeling; heart failure; myocardial infarction; mast cells, myocardial fibrosis; inflammation
7.  Protein Quality Control Disruption by PKCβII in Heart Failure; Rescue by the Selective PKCβII Inhibitor, βIIV5-3 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33175.
Myocardial remodeling and heart failure (HF) are common sequelae of many forms of cardiovascular disease and a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Accumulation of damaged cardiac proteins in heart failure has been described. However, how protein quality control (PQC) is regulated and its contribution to HF development are not known. Here, we describe a novel role for activated protein kinase C isoform βII (PKCβII) in disrupting PQC. We show that active PKCβII directly phosphorylated the proteasome and inhibited proteasomal activity in vitro and in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. Importantly, inhibition of PKCβII, using a selective PKCβII peptide inhibitor (βIIV5-3), improved proteasomal activity and conferred protection in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. We also show that sustained inhibition of PKCβII increased proteasomal activity, decreased accumulation of damaged and misfolded proteins and increased animal survival in two rat models of HF. Interestingly, βIIV5-3-mediated protection was blunted by sustained proteasomal inhibition in HF. Finally, increased cardiac PKCβII activity and accumulation of misfolded proteins associated with decreased proteasomal function were found also in remodeled and failing human hearts, indicating a potential clinical relevance of our findings. Together, our data highlights PKCβII as a novel inhibitor of proteasomal function. PQC disruption by increased PKCβII activity in vivo appears to contribute to the pathophysiology of heart failure, suggesting that PKCβII inhibition may benefit patients with heart failure. (218 words)
PMCID: PMC3316563  PMID: 22479367
8.  Pivotal Role of Toll-Like Receptors 2 and 4, Its Adaptor Molecule MyD88, and Inflammasome Complex in Experimental Tubule-Interstitial Nephritis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29004.
Tubule-interstitial nephritis (TIN) results in decreased renal function and interstitial inflammation, which ultimately leads to fibrosis. Excessive adenine intake can cause TIN because xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) can convert this purine into an insoluble compound, which precipitates in the tubuli. Innate immune sensors, such as Toll-like receptors (TLR) and inflammasome complex, play a crucial role in the initiation of inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the roles of TLR-2 and -4, Myd88 and inflammasome complex in an experimental model of TIN. Here, we show that wild-type (WT) mice fed adenine-enriched food exhibited significant renal dysfunction and enhanced cellular infiltration accompanied by collagen deposition. They also presented higher gene and protein expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In contrast, TLR-2, -4, MyD88, ASC and Caspase-1 KO mice showed renoprotection associated with expression of inflammatory molecules at levels comparable to controls. Furthermore, treatment of WT animals with allopurinol, an XDH inhibitor, led to reduced levels of uric acid, oxidative stress, collagen deposition and a downregulation of the NF-kB signaling pathway. We concluded that MyD88 signaling and inflammasome participate in the development of TIN. Furthermore, inhibition of XDH seems to be a promising way to therapeutically target the developing inflammatory process.
PMCID: PMC3237574  PMID: 22194975

Results 1-8 (8)