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1.  Hypothalamic expression of Peg3 gene is associated with maternal care differences between SM/J and LG/J mouse strains 
Brain and Behavior  2012;2(4):365-376.
Maternal care is essential in mammals, and variations in the environment provided by mothers may directly influence the viability of newborns and emotional behavior later in life. A previous study investigated genetic variations associated with maternal care in an intercross of LG/J and SM/J inbred mouse strains and identified two single-locus QTLs (quantitative trait loci). Here, we selected three candidate genes located within these QTLs intervals; Oxt on chromosome 2, and FosB and Peg3 on chromosome 7 and tested their association with maternal care. LG/J females showed impaired postpartum nest building and pup retrieval, a one-day delay in milk ejection, reduced exploratory activity, and higher anxiety-like behavior when compared to SM/J females. The nucleotide sequences of Oxt and FosB were similar between strains, as were their hypothalamic expression levels. Conversely, Peg3 nucleotide sequences showed four nonsynonymous replacement substitutions on LG/J dams, T11062G, G13744A, A13808G, and G13813A, and a 30 base pair (10 aa) in tandem repeat in the coding region with three copies in SM/J and five copies in LG/J. Maternal care impaired LG/J mothers express 37% lower Peg3 mRNA levels in the hypothalamus on the second postpartum day. We also found an association of the Peg3 repeat-variant and poor maternal care in F2 heterozygote females derived from a LG/J × SM/J intercross. These results may suggest that the maternally imprinted Peg3 gene is responsible for the single-locus QTL on chromosome 7 that has been shown to influence maternal care in these strains. Furthermore, these data provide additional support for an epigenetic regulation of maternal behavior.
PMCID: PMC3432959  PMID: 22950040
Chromosome; epigenetic; FosB; gene expression; gene variation; hypothalamus; imprinting; maternal behavior; Oxt; QTL
2.  Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitor Improves De Novo and Long-Term l-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia in Hemiparkinsonian Rats 
Inhibitors of neuronal and endothelial nitric oxide synthase decrease l-3,4-dihidroxifenilalanine (l-DOPA)-induced dyskinesias in rodents. The mechanism of nitric oxide inhibitor action is unknown. The aims of the present study were to investigate the decrease of l-DOPA-induced abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs) in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rats by nitric oxide inhibitors following either acute or chronic treatment. The primary findings of this study were that NG-nitro-l-Arginine, an inhibitor of endothelial and neuronal nitric oxide synthase, attenuated AIMs induced by chronic and acute l-DOPA. In contrast, rotational behavior was attenuated only after chronic l-DOPA. The 6-OHDA lesion and the l-DOPA treatment induced a bilateral increase (1.5 times) in the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) protein and nNOS mRNA in the striatum and in the frontal cortex. There was a parallel increase, bilaterally, of the FosB/ΔFosB, primarily in the ipsilateral striatum. The exception was in the contralateral striatum and the ipsilateral frontal cortex, where chronic l-DOPA treatment induced an increase of approximately 10 times the nNOS mRNA. Our results provided further evidence of an anti-dyskinetic effect of NOS inhibitor. The effect appeared under l-DOPA acute and chronic treatment. The l-DOPA treatment also revealed an over-expression of the neuronal NOS in the frontal cortex and striatum. Our results corroborated findings that l-DOPA-induced rotation differs between acute and chronic treatment. The effect of the NOS inhibitor conceivably relied on the l-DOPA structural modifications in the Parkinsonian brain. Taken together, these data provided a rationale for further evaluation of NOS inhibitors in the treatment of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.
PMCID: PMC3114204  PMID: 21713068
nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; Parkinson's disease; l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia; nitric oxide synthase inhibitors; FosB/ΔFosB; abnormal involuntary movements; striatum
3.  Hemodynamic, Morphometric and Autonomic Patterns in Hypertensive Rats - Renin-Angiotensin System Modulation 
Clinics  2010;65(1):85-92.
Spontaneously hypertensive rats develop left ventricular hypertrophy, increased blood pressure and blood pressure variability, which are important determinants of heart damage, like the activation of renin-angiotensin system.
To investigate the effects of the time-course of hypertension over 1) hemodynamic and autonomic patterns (blood pressure; blood pressure variability; heart rate); 2) left ventricular hypertrophy; and 3) local and systemic Renin-angiotensin system of the spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Male spontaneously hypertensive rats were randomized into two groups: young (n=13) and adult (n=12). Hemodynamic signals (blood pressure, heart rate), blood pressure variability (BPV) and spectral analysis of the autonomic components of blood pressure were analyzed. LEFT ventricular hypertrophy was measured by the ratio of LV mass to body weight (mg/g), by myocyte diameter (μm) and by relative fibrosis area (RFA, %). ACE and ACE2 activities were measured by fluorometry (UF/min), and plasma renin activity (PRA) was assessed by a radioimmunoassay (ng/mL/h). Cardiac gene expressions of Agt, Ace and Ace2 were quantified by RT-PCR (AU).
The time-course of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats increased BPV and reduced the alpha index in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats. Adult rats showed increases in left ventricular hypertrophy and in RFA. Compared to young spontaneously hypertensive rats, adult spontaneously hypertensive rats had lower cardiac ACE and ACE2 activities, and high levels of PRA. No change was observed in gene expression of Renin-angiotensin system components.
The observed autonomic dysfunction and modulation of Renin-angiotensin system activity are contributing factors to end-organ damage in hypertension and could be interacting. Our findings suggest that the management of hypertensive disease must start before blood pressure reaches the highest stable levels and the consequent established end-organ damage is reached.
PMCID: PMC2815287  PMID: 20126350
SHR; Hypertension; Blood pressure variability; RAS; LVH

Results 1-3 (3)