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1.  5-Lipoxygenase Activity Increases Susceptibility to Experimental Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Infection 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(4):1256-1266.
Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic mycosis caused by the thermodimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Leukotrienes and lipoxins are lipid mediators produced after 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) activation that exhibit pro- and anti-inflammatory roles, respectively. Here, we have investigated the contribution of 5-LO enzymatic activity in PCM using an experimental model of P. brasiliensis infection. B6.129 wild-type (B6.129) and 5-LO-deficient (5-LO−/−) mice were intravenously inoculated with a virulent strain of P. brasiliensis (Pb18), and the survival rate of the infected mice was investigated on different days after yeast infection. 5-LO−/− mice exhibited an increased survival rate associated with a decreased number of CFU. The resistance of 5-LO−/− during PCM was associated with augmented nitric oxide (NO) production and the formation of compact granulomas. In addition, the absence of 5-LO was associated with a diminished number of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells, higher levels of gamma interferon and interleukin-12, and increased T-bet (a T-box transcription factor that directs Th1 lineage commitment) mRNA levels in the lungs. Taken together, our results show for the first time that 5-LO enzymatic activity increases susceptibility to P. brasiliensis, suggesting that this pathway may be a potential target for therapeutic intervention during PCM.
PMCID: PMC3639621  PMID: 23381993
2.  Dynamics of bone healing after osteotomy with piezosurgery or conventional drilling – histomorphometrical, immunohistochemical, and molecular analysis 
Piezosurgery is an osteotomy system used in medical and dental surgery. Many studies have proven clinical advantages of piezosurgery in terms of quality of cut, maneuverability, ease of use, and safety. However, few investigations have tested its superiority over the traditional osteotomy systems in terms of dynamics of bone healing. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamics of bone healing after osteotomies with piezosurgery and to compare them with those associated to traditional bone drilling.
One hundred and ten rats were divided into two groups with 55 animals each. The animals were anesthetized and the tibiae were surgically exposed to create defects 2 mm in diameter by using piezosurgery (Piezo group) and conventional drilling (Drill group). Animals were sacrificed at 3, 7, 14, 30 and 60 days post-surgery. Bone samples were collected and processed for histological, histomorphometrical, immunohistochemical, and molecular analysis. The histological analysis was performed at all time points (n = 8) whereas the histomorphometrical analysis was performed at 7, 14, 30 and 60 days post-surgery (n = 8). The immunolabeling was performed to detect Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), Caspase-3 (CAS-3), Osteoprotegerin (OPG), Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor kappa-B Ligand (RANKL), and Osteocalcin (OC) at 3, 7, and 14 days (n = 3). For the molecular analysis, animals were sacrificed at 3, 7 and 14 days, total RNA was collected, and quantification of the expression of 21 genes related to BMP signaling, Wnt signaling, inflammation, osteogenenic and apoptotic pathways was performed by qRT-PCR (n = 5).
Histologically and histomorphometrically, bone healing was similar in both groups with the exception of a slightly higher amount of newly formed bone observed at 30 days after piezosurgery (p < 0.05). Immunohistochemical and qRT-PCR analyses didn’t detect significant differences in expression of all the proteins and most of the genes tested.
Based on the results of our study we conclude that in a rat tibial bone defect model the bone healing dynamics after piezosurgery are comparable to those observed with conventional drilling.
PMCID: PMC3868312  PMID: 24053147
Piezosurgery; Bone healing; Osteotomy system; Bone surgery; Bone drilling
3.  Effects of hyperbaric oxygen and N-acetylcysteine in survival of random pattern skin flaps in rats 
Our aim is to investigate the role of HBO (hyperbaric oxygen), NAC (N-acetylcysteine), and HBO plus NAC on the necrosis area of random rat's skin flaps of a modified McFarlane flap design.
Materials and Methods:
Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: G-S (sham: n = 8), G-NAC (NAC: n = 8), G-HBO (HBO: n = 8), and G-HN (HBO plus NAC: n = 8). A rectangular skin flap (2 × 8 cm2) was dissected from the muscular dorsal layer, preserving the cranial pedicle. Polyethylene film was placed over the muscular layer and an interrupted 3.0 nylon suture was employed to fix the flap into the original place. On the eighth day, full-thickness biopsy samples (2 × 1 cm2) were collected from the proximal, middle, and cranial areas of the skin flap, and in a site away from the flap labelled as the control area.
The measurements of necrotic areas in the groups were 18.3% in G-S, 24.3% in G-NAC, 12.6% in G-HBO, and 14.9% in G-HN. Significant difference was observed between the groups G-HBO and G-HN as well as G-NAC.
HBO is associated with reduced area of necrosis of skin flap. The G-NAC group was associated with poor results when examined in isolation. The association between HBO and NAC did not produce favourable results with respect to the use of HBO alone. These findings suggest that the diffusion of oxygen through the interstitial space was the determining factor of more favourable results of HBO.
PMCID: PMC3580342  PMID: 23450460
Acetylcysteine; hyperbaric oxygenation; necrosis; surgical flaps
4.  Cell-Free Antigens from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Drive IL-4 Production and Increase the Severity of Paracoccidioidomycosis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21423.
The thermally dimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (Pb) is the causative agent of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), one of the most frequent systemic mycosis that affects the rural population in Latin America. PCM is characterized by a chronic inflammatory granulomatous reaction, which is consequence of a Th1-mediated adaptive immune response. In the present study we investigated the mechanisms involved in the immunoregulation triggered after a prior contact with cell-free antigens (CFA) during a murine model of PCM. The results showed that the inoculation of CFA prior to the infection resulted in disorganized granulomatous lesions and increased fungal replication in the lungs, liver and spleen, that paralleled with the higher levels of IL-4 when compared with the control group. The role of IL-4 in facilitating the fungal growth was demonstrated in IL-4-deficient- and neutralizing anti-IL-4 mAb-treated mice. The injection of CFA did not affect the fungal growth in these mice, which, in fact, exhibited a significant diminished amount of fungus in the tissues and smaller granulomas. Considering that in vivo anti-IL-4-application started one week after the CFA-inoculum, it implicates that IL-4-CFA-induced is responsible by the mediation of the observed unresponsiveness. Further, the characterization of CFA indicated that a proteic fraction is required for triggering the immunosuppressive mechanisms, while glycosylation or glycosphingolipids moieties are not. Taken together, our data suggest that the prior contact with soluble Pb antigens leads to severe PCM in an IL-4 dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC3120880  PMID: 21731741

Results 1-4 (4)