Publications by authors named "Daniel Gitai"

33 Publications

Maternal crack cocaine use in rats leads to depressive- and anxiety-like behavior, memory impairment, and increased seizure susceptibility in the offspring.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2021 Mar 14;44:34-50. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Physiology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health of Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil. Electronic address:

Crack users suffer the effects of cocaine present in the drug and the action of other active compounds from its pyrolysis. An emergent fact is an increase in the number of pregnant crack cocaine users. Studies suggest that crack cocaine and its metabolites cross the placenta, promoting premature birth, fever, irritability, sweating, and seizures in the early months of life. In children, the effects of crack cocaine have been associated with cognitive deficits, difficulty in verbalization, aggressiveness, and depression, besides enhancing the susceptibility to epileptic seizures, including status epilepticus (SE) in adulthood. Therefore, we investigated the effect of maternal exposure to smoke crack cocaine on several behavioral parameters in the offspring during adulthood. A series of behavioral tests and intrahippocampal pilocarpine (H-PILO) microinjection at sub-convulsive and convulsive doses in a rat model demonstrated that exposure to crack cocaine during the embryonic period leads to anxiogenic-like behavior and long-term memory impairment in both genders and promotes depressive-like behavior in the female. Besides, crack cocaine offspring exposed to a sub-convulsive H-PILO dose showed higher susceptibility to SE, increased seizure frequency, and neurodegeneration, while animals that received a convulsive dose of H-PILO displayed no alteration in SE severity. Taken together, our data suggest that crack cocaine exposure during the gestational period leads to an increased predilection for anxiety and depression, long-term memory deficits, and reduction in the threshold for developing epileptic seizures associated with neuronal death, which predispose crack cocaine babies to develop neuropsychological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.12.011DOI Listing
March 2021

Revisiting the clinical impact of variants in EFHC1 in patients with different phenotypes of genetic generalized epilepsy.

Epilepsy Behav 2020 11 29;112:107469. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil; The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology (BRAINN), Campinas, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

The most common form of genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) is juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), which accounts for 5 to 10% of all epilepsy cases. The gene EFHC1 has been implicated as a putative cause of JME. However, it remains debatable whether testing for EFHC1 mutations should be included in the diagnostic epilepsy gene panels. To investigate the clinical utility of EFHC1 testing, we studied 125 individuals: 100 with JME and 25 with other GGEs. We amplified and sequenced all EFHC1 coding exons. Then, we predicted the pathogenicity or benign impact of the variants using the analyses proposed by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)/Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP). Mutation screening revealed 11 missense variants in 44 probands with JME (44%) and one of the seven individuals with generalized tonic-clonic seizures on awakening (14%). Six of the 11 variants (54%) were classified as 'benign,' and the remaining variants were considered variants of uncertain significance (VUS). There is currently a limitation to test for genes that predispose an individual to complex, nonmonogenic phenotypes. Thus, we show suggestive evidence that EFHC1 testing lacks a scientific foundation based on the disputed nature of the gene-disease relationship and should be currently limited to research purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107469DOI Listing
November 2020

Role of Modulation of Hippocampal Glucose Following Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus.

Mol Neurobiol 2021 Mar 29;58(3):1217-1236. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Physiology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), Maceió, AL, Brazil.

Status epilepticus (SE) is defined as continuous and self-sustaining seizures, which trigger hippocampal neurodegeneration, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and energy failure. During SE, the neurons become overexcited, increasing energy consumption. Glucose uptake is increased via the sodium glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1) in the hippocampus under epileptic conditions. In addition, modulation of glucose can prevent neuronal damage caused by SE. Here, we evaluated the effect of increased glucose availability in behavior of limbic seizures, memory dysfunction, neurodegeneration process, neuronal activity, and SGLT1 expression. Vehicle (VEH, saline 0.9%, 1 μL) or glucose (GLU; 1, 2 or 3 mM, 1 μL) were administered into hippocampus of male Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus) before or after pilocarpine to induce SE. Behavioral analysis of seizures was performed for 90 min during SE. The memory and learning processes were analyzed by the inhibitory avoidance test. After 24 h of SE, neurodegeneration process, neuronal activity, and SGLT1 expression were evaluated in hippocampal and extrahippocampal regions. Modulation of hippocampal glucose did not protect memory dysfunction followed by SE. Our results showed that the administration of glucose after pilocarpine reduced the severity of seizures, as well as the number of limbic seizures. Similarly, glucose after SE reduced cell death and neuronal activity in hippocampus, subiculum, thalamus, amygdala, and cortical areas. Finally, glucose infusion elevated the SGLT1 expression in hippocampus. Taken together our data suggest that possibly the administration of intrahippocampal glucose protects brain in the earlier stage of epileptogenic processes via an important support of SGLT1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02173-0DOI Listing
March 2021

Modulation of Glucose Availability and Effects of Hypo- and Hyperglycemia on Status Epilepticus: What We Do Not Know Yet?

Mol Neurobiol 2021 Feb 25;58(2):505-519. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Physiology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), Av. Lourival de Melo Mota, km 14, Campus A. C. Simões, Cidade Universitária, Maceió, AL, CEP 57072-970, Brazil.

Status epilepticus (SE) can lead to serious neuronal damage and act as an initial trigger for epileptogenic processes that may lead to temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Besides promoting neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and abnormal neurogenesis, SE can generate an extensive hypometabolism in several brain areas and, consequently, reduce intracellular energy supply, such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules. Although some antiepileptic drugs show efficiency to terminate or reduce epileptic seizures, approximately 30% of TLE patients are refractory to regular antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Modulation of glucose availability may provide a novel and robust alternative for treating seizures and neuronal damage that occurs during epileptogenesis; however, more detailed information remains unknown, especially under hypo- and hyperglycemic conditions. Here, we review several pathways of glucose metabolism activated during and after SE, as well as the effects of hypo- and hyperglycemia in the generation of self-sustained limbic seizures. Furthermore, this study suggests the control of glucose availability as a potential therapeutic tool for SE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02133-8DOI Listing
February 2021

Extracellular vesicles from human iPSC-derived neural stem cells: miRNA and protein signatures, and anti-inflammatory and neurogenic properties.

J Extracell Vesicles 2020 Aug 26;9(1):1809064. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, Texas, USA.

Grafting of neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) has shown promise for brain repair after injury or disease, but safety issues have hindered their clinical application. Employing nano-sized extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from hiPSC-NSCs appears to be a safer alternative because they likely have similar neuroreparative properties as NSCs and are amenable for non-invasive administration as an autologous or allogeneic off-the-shelf product. However, reliable methods for isolation, characterization and testing the biological properties of EVs are critically needed for translation. We investigated signatures of miRNAs and proteins and the biological activity of EVs, isolated from hiPSC-NSCs through a combination of anion-exchange chromatography (AEC) and size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). AEC and SEC facilitated the isolation of EVs with intact ultrastructure and expressing CD9, CD63, CD81, ALIX and TSG 101. Small RNA sequencing, proteomic analysis, pathway analysis and validation of select miRNAs and proteins revealed that EVs were enriched with miRNAs and proteins involved in neuroprotective, anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood-brain barrier repairing, neurogenic and Aβ reducing activities. Besides, EVs comprised miRNAs and/or proteins capable of promoting synaptogenesis, synaptic plasticity and better cognitive function. Investigations using an macrophage assay and a mouse model of status epilepticus confirmed the anti-inflammatory activity of EVs. Furthermore, the intranasal administration of EVs resulted in the incorporation of EVs by neurons, microglia and astrocytes in virtually all adult rat and mouse brain regions, and enhancement of hippocampal neurogenesis. Thus, biologically active EVs containing miRNAs and proteins relevant to brain repair could be isolated from hiPSC-NSC cultures, making them a suitable biologic for treating neurodegenerative disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20013078.2020.1809064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480597PMC
August 2020

Environmental temperature as a mediator on the association between photoperiod at birth and chronotype.

Chronobiol Int 2020 11 23;37(11):1662-1668. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Circadian Medicine Center, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Alagoas , Maceió, Brazil.

The association between chronotypes and season of birth (SOB) remains an inconclusive issue due, in some extension, to the lack of investigations of mediation mechanisms. We evaluated the association of photoperiod at birth (PAB) with chronotypes and sleep duration in Brazil (n = 810), and the mediating effect of meteorological factors, sex, age and rs4753426 polymorphism in the melatonin receptor MTNR1B. Longer PAB was associated with a delayed mid-sleep phase with a suppressive effect of maximum environmental temperature. No significant interactions were identified for the other variables. These findings suggest that photoperiod and environmental temperature modulate chronotype development at early stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2020.1773843DOI Listing
November 2020

Caffeine improves various aspects of athletic performance in adolescents independent of their 163 C > A CYP1A2 genotypes.

Scand J Med Sci Sports 2020 Oct 13;30(10):1869-1877. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Postgraduate Program in Nutrition - PPGNUT, Federal University of Alagoas, Alagoas, Brazil.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether variations in 163 C > A CYP1A2 genotypes (rs 762 551) (AA, AC, and CC) modify the ergogenic effects of caffeine (CAF) on strength, power, muscular endurance, agility, and endurance in adolescent athletes.

Methods: One hundred adolescents (age = 15 ± 2 years) were recruited. Participants ingested CAF (6 mg.kg ) or placebo (PLA, 300 mg of cellulose) 1 hour before performing a sequence of physical tests: handgrip strength, vertical jumps, agility test, sit-ups, push-ups, and the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1).

Results: Compared to PLA, CAF enhanced (P < .05) sit-up (CAF = 37 ± 9; PLA = 35 ± 8 repetitions) and push-up repetitions (CAF = 26 ± 11; PLA = 24 ± 11 repetitions), and increased distance covered in Yo-Yo IR1 test (CAF = 1010.4 ± 378.9; PLA = 903.2 ± 325.7 m). There was no influence of CAF on handgrip strength (CAF = 35.1 ± 8.9; PLA = 33.7 ± 8.7 kgf), countermovement jump height (CAF = 49.3 ± 12.6; PLA = 47.9 ± 13.8 cm), spike jump height (CAF = 54.2 ± 13.6; PLA = 52.9 ± 14.5 cm), and time in agility test (CAF = 15.8 ± 1.1; PLA = 15.9 ± 1.3 s, P > .05). When present, the ergogenic effect of CAF was not dependent of genotype.

Conclusion: CAF improves muscular endurance and aerobic performance in adolescent athletes, regardless of their 163 C > A CYP1A2 genotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sms.13749DOI Listing
October 2020

Intranasally Administered Human MSC-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Pervasively Incorporate into Neurons and Microglia in both Intact and Status Epilepticus Injured Forebrain.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Dec 26;21(1). Epub 2019 Dec 26.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, 1114 TAMU, College Station, TX 77842, USA.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have great promise as biologics to treat neurological and neurodegenerative conditions due to their robust antiinflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Besides, intranasal (IN) administration of EVs has caught much attention because the procedure is noninvasive, amenable for repetitive dispensation, and leads to a quick penetration of EVs into multiple regions of the forebrain. Nonetheless, it is unknown whether brain injury-induced signals are essential for the entry of IN-administered EVs into different brain regions. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the distribution of IN-administered hMSC-derived EVs into neurons and microglia in the intact and status epilepticus (SE) injured rat forebrain. Ten billion EVs labeled with PKH26 were dispensed unilaterally into the left nostril of naïve rats, and rats that experienced two hours of kainate-induced SE. Six hours later, PKH26 + EVs were quantified from multiple forebrain regions using serial brain sections processed for different neural cell markers and confocal microscopy. Remarkably, EVs were seen bilaterally in virtually all regions of intact and SE-injured forebrain. The percentage of neurons incorporating EVs were comparable for most forebrain regions. However, in animals that underwent SE, a higher percentage of neurons incorporated EVs in the hippocampal CA1 subfield and the entorhinal cortex, the regions that typically display neurodegeneration after SE. In contrast, the incorporation of EVs by microglia was highly comparable in every region of the forebrain measured. Thus, unilateral IN administration of EVs is efficient for delivering EVs bilaterally into neurons and microglia in multiple regions in the intact or injured forebrain. Furthermore, incorporation of EVs by neurons is higher in areas of brain injury, implying that injury-related signals likely play a role in targeting of EVs into neurons, which may be beneficial for EV therapy in various neurodegenerative conditions including traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981466PMC
December 2019

Extracellular Vesicles in the Forebrain Display Reduced miR-346 and miR-331-3p in a Rat Model of Chronic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Mol Neurobiol 2020 Mar 7;57(3):1674-1687. Epub 2019 Dec 7.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, 1114 TAMU, 206 Olsen Boulevard, College Station, TX, 77843, USA.

An initial precipitating injury in the brain, such as after status epilepticus (SE), evolves into chronic temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We investigated changes in the miRNA composition of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the forebrain after the establishment of SE-induced chronic TLE. We induced SE in young Fischer 344 rats through graded intraperitoneal injections of kainic acid, which resulted in consistent spontaneous recurrent seizures at ~ 3 months post-SE. We isolated EVs from the entire forebrain of chronically epileptic rats and age-matched naïve control animals through an ultracentrifugation method and performed miRNA-sequencing studies to discern changes in the miRNA composition of forebrain-derived EVs in chronic epilepsy. EVs from both naïve and epileptic forebrains displayed spherical or cup-shaped morphology, a comparable size range, and CD63 expression but lacked the expression of a deep cellular marker GM130. However, miRNA-sequencing studies suggested downregulation of 3 miRNAs (miR-187-5p, miR-346, and miR-331-3p) and upregulation of 4 miRNAs (miR-490-5p, miR-376b-3p, miR-493-5p, and miR-124-5p) in EVs from epileptic forebrains with fold changes ranging from 1.5 to 2.4 (p < 0.0006; FDR < 0.05). By using geNorm and Normfinder software, we identified miR-487 and miR-221 as the best combination of reference genes for measurement of altered miRNAs found in the epileptic forebrain through qRT-PCR studies. The validation revealed that only miR-346 and miR-331-3p were significantly downregulated in EVs from the epileptic forebrain. The enrichment pathway analysis of these miRNAs showed an overrepresentation of signaling pathways that are linked to molecular mechanisms underlying chronic epilepsy, including GABA-ergic (miR-346 targets) and mTOR (miR-331-3p targets) systems. Thus, the packaging of two miRNAs into EVs in neural cells is considerably altered in chronic epilepsy. Functional studies on these two miRNAs may uncover their role in the pathophysiology and treatment of TLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-01797-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011947PMC
March 2020

A Model of Chronic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Presenting Constantly Rhythmic and Robust Spontaneous Seizures, Co-morbidities and Hippocampal Neuropathology.

Aging Dis 2019 Oct 1;10(5):915-936. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA.

Many animal prototypes illustrating the various attributes of human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) are available. These models have been invaluable for comprehending multiple epileptogenic processes, modifications in electrophysiological properties, neuronal hyperexcitability, neurodegeneration, neural plasticity, and chronic neuroinflammation in TLE. Some models have also uncovered the efficacy of new antiepileptic drugs or biologics for alleviating epileptogenesis, cognitive impairments, or spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS). Nonetheless, the suitability of these models for testing candidate therapeutics in conditions such as chronic TLE is debatable because of a lower frequency of SRS and an inconsistent pattern of SRS activity over days, weeks or months. An ideal prototype of chronic TLE for investigating novel therapeutics would need to display a large number of SRS with a dependable frequency and severity and related co-morbidities. This study presents a new kainic acid (KA) model of chronic TLE generated through induction of status epilepticus (SE) in 6-8 weeks old male F344 rats. A rigorous characterization in the chronic epilepsy period validated that the animal prototype mimicked the most salient features of robust chronic TLE. Animals displayed a constant frequency and intensity of SRS across weeks and months in the 5th and 6th month after SE, as well as cognitive and mood impairments. Moreover, SRS frequency displayed a rhythmic pattern with 24-hour periodicity and a consistently higher number of SRS in the daylight period. Besides, the model showed many neuropathological features of chronic TLE, which include a partial loss of inhibitory interneurons, reduced neurogenesis with persistent aberrant migration of newly born neurons, chronic neuroinflammation typified by hypertrophied astrocytes and rod-shaped microglia, and a significant aberrant mossy fiber sprouting in the hippocampus. This consistent chronic seizure model is ideal for investigating the efficacy of various antiepileptic drugs and biologics as well as understanding multiple pathophysiological mechanisms underlying chronic epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14336/AD.2019.0720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6764729PMC
October 2019

Neuroinflammation in Gulf War Illness is linked with HMGB1 and complement activation, which can be discerned from brain-derived extracellular vesicles in the blood.

Brain Behav Immun 2019 10 27;81:430-443. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Cognitive dysfunction and neuroinflammation are conspicuously observed in Gulf War Illness (GWI). We investigated whether brain inflammation in GWI is associated with activation of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) and complement-related proteins in neurons and astrocytes, and brain inflammation can be tracked through neuron-derived extracellular vesicles (NDEVs) and astrocyte-derived EVs (ADEVs) found in the circulating blood. We exposed animals to GWI-related chemicals pyridostigmine bromide, DEET and permethrin, and moderate stress for 28 days. We performed behavioral tests 10 months post-exposure and quantified activated microglia and reactive astrocytes in the cerebral cortex. Then, we measured the concentration of HMGB1, proinflammatory cytokines, and complement activation-related proteins in the cerebral cortex, and NDEVs and ADEVs in the circulating blood. Cognitive impairments persisted in GWI rats at 10 months post-exposure, which were associated with increased density of activated microglia and reactive astrocytes in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, the level of HMGB1 was elevated in the cerebral cortex with altered expression in the cytoplasm of neuronal soma and dendrites as well as the extracellular space. Also, higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNFa, IL-1b, and IL-6), and complement activation-related proteins (C3 and TccC5b-9) were seen in the cerebral cortex. Remarkably, increased levels of HMGB1 and proinflammatory cytokines observed in the cerebral cortex of GWI rats could also be found in NDEVs isolated from the blood. Similarly, elevated levels of complement proteins seen in the cerebral cortex could be found in ADEVs. The results provide new evidence that persistent cognitive dysfunction and chronic neuroinflammation in a model of GWI are linked with elevated HMGB1 concentration and complement activation. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that multiple biomarkers of neuroinflammation could be tracked reliably via analyses of NDEVs and ADEVs in the circulating blood. Execution of such a liquid biopsy approach is especially useful in clinical trials for monitoring the remission, persistence or progression of brain inflammation in GWI patients with drug treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2019.06.040DOI Listing
October 2019

Melatonin receptor 1B -1193T>C polymorphism is associated with diurnal preference and sleep habits.

Sleep Med 2019 01 13;53:106-114. Epub 2018 Oct 13.

Laboratory of Molecular Chronobiology, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), Alagoas, Brazil; Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), Alagoas, Brazil. Electronic address:

Background: Melatonin modulates the master circadian clock through the activation of G-protein-coupled receptors MT1 and MT2. It is presumed, therefore, that genetic variations in melatonin receptors can affect both sleep and circadian phase. We investigated whether the -1193T > C (rs4753426) polymorphism in the promoter of MT2 receptor gene (MTNR1B) is associated with diurnal preference and sleep habits. This polymorphism was previously associated with sunshine duration, suggesting a role in circadian entrainment.

Methods: A total of 814 subjects who completed the Morningness-Eveningness and the Munich Chronotype questionnaires were genotyped for the selected polymorphism. Linear and multinomial regression were performed to test the interaction between gene variants and diurnal preference/sleep habits.

Results: The -1193C variant was associated with the extreme morningness phenotype in a codominant model (C/C vs. T/T), recessive model (C/C + C/T vs. T/T) and alleles (C vs. T). A negative correlation was found between -1193C alleles and social jetlag scores. The frequency of -1193T allele was higher in the group that stay in bed more than 8 h/night compared to the group that stay in bed less than 8 h/night on weekends.

Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, these data provide the first insights into the role of MTNR1B gene in the regulation of sleep, biological rhythms, and entrainment in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2018.09.023DOI Listing
January 2019

Rhythms of Core Clock Genes and Spontaneous Locomotor Activity in Post- Model of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Front Neurol 2018 2;9:632. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil.

The interaction of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (mTLE) with the circadian system control is apparent from an oscillatory pattern of limbic seizures, daytime's effect on seizure onset and the efficacy of antiepileptic drugs. Moreover, seizures can interfere with the biological rhythm output, including circadian oscillation of body temperature, locomotor activity, EEG pattern as well as the transcriptome. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this cross-talk remain unclear. In this study, we systematically evaluated the temporal expression of seven core circadian transcripts (, and ) and the spontaneous locomotor activity (SLA) in post- (SE) model of mTLE. Twenty-four hour oscillating SLA remained intact in post-SE groups although the circadian phase and the amount and intensity of activity were changed in early post-SE and epileptic phases. The acrophase of the SLA rhythm was delayed during epileptogenesis, a fragmented 24 h rhythmicity and extended active phase length appeared in the epileptic phase. The temporal expression of circadian transcripts , and was also substantially altered. The oscillatory expression of was maintained in rats imperiled to SE, but with lower amplitude (A = 0.2) and an advanced acrophase in the epileptic phase. The diurnal rhythm of and was absent in the early post-SE but was recovered in the epileptic phase. and rhythmic expression were disrupted in post-SE groups while presented an arrhythmic profile in the epileptic phase, only. The expression of did not display rhythmic pattern in any condition. These oscillating patterns of core clock genes may contribute to hippocampal 24 h cycling and, consequently to seizure periodicity. Furthermore, by using a pool of samples collected at 6 different Zeitgeber Times (ZT), we found that all clock transcripts were significantly dysregulated after SE induction, except and . Collectively, altered SLA rhythm in early post-SE and epileptic phases implies a possible role for seizure as a nonphotic cue, which is likely linked to activation of hippocampal-accumbens pathway. On the other hand, altered temporal expression of the clock genes after SE suggests their involvement in the MTLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082935PMC
August 2018

Maternal, fetal and neonatal consequences associated with the use of crack cocaine during the gestational period: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Arch Gynecol Obstet 2018 09 27;298(3):487-503. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), Av. Lourival de Melo Mota, km 14, Campus A. C. Simões, Cidade Universitária, Maceió, AL, CEP 57072-970, Brazil.

Objective: Crack cocaine consumption is one of the main public health challenges with a growing number of children intoxicated by crack cocaine during the gestational period. The primary goal is to evaluate the accumulating findings and to provide an updated perspective on this field of research.

Methods: Meta-analyses were performed using the random effects model, odds ratio (OR) for categorical variables and mean difference for continuous variables. Statistical heterogeneity was assessed using the I-squared statistic and risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. Ten studies met eligibility criteria and were used for data extraction.

Results: The crack cocaine use during pregnancy was associated with significantly higher odds of preterm delivery [odds ratio (OR), 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.59-3.10], placental displacement (OR, 2.03; 95% CI 1.66-2.48), reduced head circumference (- 1.65 cm; 95% CI - 3.12 to - 0.19), small for gestational age (SGA) (OR, 4.00; 95% CI 1.74-9.18) and low birth weight (LBW) (OR, 2.80; 95% CI 2.39-3.27).

Conclusion: This analysis provides clear evidence that crack cocaine contributes to adverse perinatal outcomes. The exposure of maternal or prenatal crack cocaine is pointedly linked to LBW, preterm delivery, placental displacement and smaller head circumference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00404-018-4833-2DOI Listing
September 2018

Using Postmortem hippocampi tissue can interfere with differential gene expression analysis of the epileptogenic process.

PLoS One 2017 4;12(8):e0182765. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil.

Neuropathological studies often use autopsy brain tissue as controls to evaluate changes in protein or RNA levels in several diseases. In mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), several genes are up or down regulated throughout the epileptogenic and chronic stages of the disease. Given that postmortem changes in several gene transcripts could impact the detection of changes in case-control studies, we evaluated the effect of using autopsy specimens with different postmortem intervals (PMI) on differential gene expression of the Pilocarpine (PILO)induced Status Epilepticus (SE) of MTLE. For this, we selected six genes (Gfap, Ppia, Gad65, Gad67, Npy, and Tnf-α) whose expression patterns in the hippocampus of PILO-injected rats are well known. Initially, we compared hippocampal expression of naïve rats whose hippocampi were harvested immediately after death (0h-PMI) with those harvested at 6h postmortem interval (6h-PMI): Npy and Ppia transcripts increased and Tnf-α transcripts decreased in the 6h-PMI group (p<0.05). We then investigated if these PMI-related changes in gene expression have the potential to adulterate or mask RT-qPCR results obtained with PILO-injected rats euthanized at acute or chronic phases. In the acute group, Npy transcript was significantly higher when compared with 0h-PMI rats, whereas Ppia transcript was lower than 6h-PMI group. When we used epileptic rats (chronic group), the RT-qPCR results showed higher Tnf-α only when compared to 6h-PMI group. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that PMI influences gene transcription and can mask changes in gene transcription seen during epileptogenesis in the PILO-SE model. Thus, to avoid erroneous conclusions, we strongly recommend that researchers account for changes in postmortem gene expression in their experimental design.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0182765PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5544225PMC
October 2017

Genetic susceptibility in Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy: Systematic review of genetic association studies.

PLoS One 2017 21;12(6):e0179629. Epub 2017 Jun 21.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil.

Background: Several genetic association investigations have been performed over the last three decades to identify variants underlying Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME). Here, we evaluate the accumulating findings and provide an updated perspective of these studies.

Methodology: A systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Lilacs, epiGAD, Google Scholar and Sigle up to February 12, 2016. The quality of the included studies was assessed by a score and classified as low and high quality. Beyond outcome measures, information was extracted on the setting for each study, characteristics of population samples and polymorphisms.

Results: Fifty studies met eligibility criteria and were used for data extraction. With a single exception, all studies used a candidate gene approach, providing data on 229 polymorphisms in or near 55 different genes. Of variants investigating in independent data sets, only rs2029461 SNP in GRM4, rs3743123 in CX36 and rs3918149 in BRD2 showed a significant association with JME in at least two different background populations. The lack of consistent associations might be due to variations in experimental design and/or limitations of the approach.

Conclusions: Thus, despite intense research evidence established, specific genetic variants in JME susceptibility remain inconclusive. We discussed several issues that may compromise the quality of the results, including methodological bias, endophenotype and potential involvement of epigenetic factors.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42016036063.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0179629PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5479548PMC
September 2017

Inhibition of sodium glucose cotransporters following status epilepticus induced by intrahippocampal pilocarpine affects neurodegeneration process in hippocampus.

Epilepsy Behav 2016 08 16;61:258-268. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), Maceio, AL, Brazil. Electronic address:

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures, starting from secondary functional disorders due to several insults, including self-sustaining continuous seizures identified as status epilepticus (SE). Although hypoglycemia has been associated with SE, the effect of inhibition of the Na(+)/glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) on hippocampus during SE is still unknown. Here we evaluated the functional role of SGLT in the pattern of limbic seizures and neurodegeneration process after pilocarpine (PILO)-induced SE. Vehicle (VEH, 1μL) or phlorizin, a specific SGLT inhibitor (PZN, 1μL, 50μg/μL), was administered in the hippocampus of rats 30min before PILO (VEH+PILO or PZN+PILO, respectively). The limbic seizures were classified using the Racine's scale, and the amount of wet dog shakes (WDS) was quantified before and during SE. Neurodegeneration process was evaluated by Fluoro-Jade C (FJ-C), and FJ-C-positive neurons (FJ-C+) were counted 24h and 15days after SE. The PZN-treated rats showed higher (p<0.05) number of WDS when compared with VEH+PILO. There was no difference in seizure severity between PZN+PILO and VEH+PILO groups. However, the pattern of limbic seizures significantly changed in PZN+PILO. Indeed, the class 5 seizures repeated themselves more times (p<0.05) than the other classes in the PZN group at 50min after SE induction. The PZN+PILO animals had a higher (p<0.05) number of FJ-C+ cells in the dentate gyrus (DG), hilus, and CA3 and CA1 of hippocampus, when compared with VEH+PILO. The PZN+PILO animals had a decreased number (p<0.05) of FJ-C+ cells in CA1 compared with VEH+PILO 15days after SE induction. Taken together, our data suggest that SGLT inhibition with PZN increased the severity of limbic seizures during SE and increased neurodegeneration in hippocampus 24h after SE, suggesting that SGLT1 and SGLT2 could participate in the modulation of earlier stages of epileptogenic processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.05.026DOI Listing
August 2016

Diurnal Variation Has Effect on Differential Gene Expression Analysis in the Hippocampus of the Pilocarpine-Induced Model of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

PLoS One 2015 16;10(10):e0141121. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil.

The molecular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis have been widely investigated by differential gene expression approach, especially RT-qPCR methodology. However, controversial findings highlight the occurrence of unpredictable sources of variance in the experimental designs. Here, we investigated if diurnal rhythms of transcript's levels may impact on differential gene expression analysis in hippocampus of rats with experimental epilepsy. For this, we have selected six core clock genes (Per1, Per3, Bmal1, Clock, Cry1 and Cry2), whose rhythmic expression pattern in hippocampus had been previously reported. Initially, we identified Tubb2a/Rplp1 and Tubb2a/Ppia as suitable normalizers for circadian studies in hippocampus of rats maintained to 12:12 hour light:dark (LD) cycle. Next, we confirmed the temporal profiling of Per1, Per3, Bmal1, Cry1 and Cry2 mRNA levels in the hippocampus of naive rats by both Acrophase and CircWave statistical tests for circadian analysis. Finally, we showed that temporal differences of sampling can change experimental results for Per1, Per3, Bmal1, Cry1 and Cry2, but not for Clock, which was consistently decreased in rats with epilepsy in all comparison to the naive group. In conclusion, our study demonstrates it is mandatory to consider diurnal oscillations, in order to avoid erroneous conclusions in gene expression analysis in hippocampus of rats with epilepsy. Investigators, therefore, should be aware that genes with circadian expression could be out of phase in different animals of experimental and control groups. Moreover, our results indicate that a sub-expression of Clock may be involved in epileptogenicity, although the functional significance of this remains to be investigated.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141121PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608695PMC
June 2016

Lack of association between the prothrombin rs1799963 polymorphism and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2015 Apr 1;73(4):289-92. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Departamento de Biologia Celular Molecular e Genética, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceió, AL, Brazil.

Unlabelled: Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) accounts for 26% of generalized idiopathic epileptic syndromes. The highest levels of thrombin activity are closely involved in the development of neurological diseases, including epilepsy. The prothrombin c.20210G>A (rs1799963) variation, which alters prothrombin mRNA stability, is associated with high plasma prothrombin levels.

Objective: The present study was designed to investigate whether the SNP rs1799963 is a risk factor for JME in the northeastern Brazilian population.

Results: The polymorphism was genotyped in 207 controls and 123 patients using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. No significant differences were observed in the genotype and allele frequencies of this polymorphism between cases and controls.

Conclusion: These results present no evidence for an association of rs1799963 with JME. Further studies including other types of epilepsy are required to investigate the involvement of prothrombin gene in the genetic susceptibility to chronic seizure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0004-282X20150010DOI Listing
April 2015

Daily variations in the expression of miR-16 and miR-181a in human leukocytes.

Blood Cells Mol Dis 2015 Apr 17;54(4):364-8. Epub 2015 Jan 17.

Laboratory of Molecular Chronobiology, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Campus Arapiraca, Alagoas, Brazil. Electronic address:

Circadian rhythms are controlled by a molecular mechanism that is organized in transcriptional and translational feedback loops of gene expression. Recent studies have been demonstrating the involvement of microRNAs (miRs) in post-transcriptional/translational control of circadian rhythms. In the present study we aimed to analyze the daily variations of miR-16 and miR-181a expression in human leukocytes. These miRs were independently associated with hematopoiesis and circadian rhythms in previous studies using experimental models. Peripheral blood from 6 subjects was sampled in a 24 hour period for expression analysis using quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). Initially, we evaluated the expression stability of RNU6-2, RNU1A-1, RNU5A-1, SNORD-25, SCARNA-17 and SNORA-73A as candidate genes for normalization of RT-qPCR data. The combination of the four most stable genes (SNORA-73A/SCARNA-17/SNORD-25/RNU6-2) was indicated to provide a better normalization of miRs expressions. The results show a daily variation of miR-181a and miR-16 expression in human leukocytes, suggesting a potential participation of these genes in the modulation of the circadian rhythms present in blood cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcmd.2015.01.004DOI Listing
April 2015

Identification of endogenous reference genes for the analysis of microRNA expression in the hippocampus of the pilocarpine-induced model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

PLoS One 2014 25;9(6):e100529. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Department of Cell, Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil.

Real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) is one of the most powerful techniques for analyzing miRNA expression because of its sensitivity and specificity. However, in this type of analysis, a suitable normalizer is required to ensure that gene expression is unaffected by the experimental condition. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reported studies that performed a detailed identification and validation of suitable reference genes for miRNA qPCR during the epileptogenic process. Here, using a pilocarpine (PILO) model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), we investigated five potential reference genes, performing a stability expression analysis using geNorm and NormFinder softwares. As a validation strategy, we used each one of the candidate reference genes to measure PILO-induced changes in microRNA-146a levels, a gene whose expression pattern variation in the PILO injected model is known. Our results indicated U6SnRNA and SnoRNA as the most stable candidate reference genes. By geNorm analysis, the normalization factor should preferably contain at least two of the best candidate reference genes (snoRNA and U6SnRNA). In fact, when normalized using the best combination of reference genes, microRNA-146a transcripts were found to be significantly increased in chronic stage, which is consistent with the pattern reported in different models. Conversely, when reference genes were individually employed for normalization, we failed to detect up-regulation of the microRNA-146a gene in the hippocampus of epileptic rats. The data presented here support that the combination of snoRNA and U6SnRNA was the minimum necessary for an accurate normalization of gene expression at the different stages of epileptogenesis that we tested.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0100529PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070922PMC
February 2015

PER2 rs2304672, CLOCK rs1801260, and PER3 rs57875989 polymorphisms are not associated with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

Epilepsy Behav 2014 Jul 2;36:82-5. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Department of Cell, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, AL, Brazil. Electronic address:

Sleep disturbance is common in several epilepsy types, such as juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). Genetic background could increase susceptibility to seizure and sleep abnormalities. From this perspective, a susceptibility gene for sleep disturbance or chronotype could contribute to the genetic susceptibility threshold for epilepsy and vice versa. Accordingly, we investigated whether functional clock gene polymorphisms (PER2 111C>G, CLOCK 3111T>C, and PER3 VNTR) might influence the risk for JME. All these polymorphisms have recently been reported to be associated with sleep disturbance, diurnal variation, and neurological diseases. The polymorphisms were genotyped in 97 patients and 212 controls using polymerase chain reaction or restriction fragment length polymorphism methods. No significant differences were observed in the genotypic and allelic frequencies of these polymorphisms between cases and controls even when analyses were restricted to patients that presented a diurnal preferential seizure occurrence. We also tested for interactions between polymorphisms by multifactor dimensionality reduction analysis. None of the combined genotypes differed significantly between the groups. These results present no evidence for an association of these polymorphisms with JME. Further studies including other types of epilepsy and/or other functional polymorphisms are required to investigate the possible relationship between clock genes and the genetic susceptibility to chronic seizure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.04.024DOI Listing
July 2014

Validation of suitable reference genes for expression studies in different pilocarpine-induced models of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

PLoS One 2013 23;8(8):e71892. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Department of Cell, Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, AL, Brazil.

It is well recognized that the reference gene in a RT-qPCR should be properly validated to ensure that gene expression is unaffected by the experimental condition. We investigated eight potential reference genes in two different pilocarpine PILO-models of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) performing a stability expression analysis using geNorm, NormFinder and BestKepeer softwares. Then, as a validation strategy, we conducted a relative expression analysis of the Gfap gene. Our results indicate that in the systemic PILO-model Actb, Gapdh, Rplp1, Tubb2a and Polr1a mRNAs were highly stable in hippocampus of rats from all experimental and control groups, whereas Gusb revealed to be the most variable one. In fact, we observed that using Gusb for normalization, the relative mRNA levels of the Gfap gene differed from those obtained with stable genes. On the contrary, in the intrahippocampal PILO-model, all softwares included Gusb as a stable gene, whereas B2m was indicated as the worst candidate gene. The results obtained for the other reference genes were comparable to those observed for the systemic Pilo-model. The validation of these data by the analysis of the relative expression of Gfap showed that the upregulation of the Gfap gene in the hippocampus of rats sacrificed 24 hours after status epilepticus (SE) was undetected only when B2m was used as the normalizer. These findings emphasize that a gene that is stable in one pathology model may not be stable in a different experimental condition related to the same pathology and therefore, the choice of reference genes depends on study design.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071892PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3751890PMC
April 2014

Predicted microRNAs for mammalian circadian rhythms.

J Biol Rhythms 2013 Apr;28(2):107-16

Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Gene Expression Analysis, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Campus Arapiraca, Alagoas, Brazil.

There is little evidence for the involvement of microRNAs (miRs) in the regulation of circadian rhythms, despite the potential relevance of these elements in the posttranscriptional regulation of the clock machinery. The present work aimed to identify miRs targeting circadian genes through a predictive analysis of conserved miRs in mammals. Besides 23 miRs previously associated with circadian rhythms, we found a number of interesting candidate genes, equally predicted by the 3 software programs used, including miR-9, miR-24, miR25, miR-26, miR-27, miR-29, miR-93, miR-211, miR-302, and miR-346. Moreover, several miRs are predicted to be regulated by circadian transcription factors, such as CLOCK/BMAL, DEC2, and REV-ERBalpha. Using real-time PCR we demonstrated that the selected candidate miR-27b showed a daily variation in human leukocytes. This study presents predicted feedback loops for mammalian molecular clock and the first description of an miR with in vivo daily variation in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0748730413476827DOI Listing
April 2013

Lack of association between rs211037 of the GABRG2 gene and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in Brazilian population.

Neurol India 2012 Nov-Dec;60(6):585-8

Department of Cell, Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, AL, Brazil.

Background: Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) is an idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndrome with genetic basis and accounts for 10% of all forms of epilepsy. Despite the existence of rare mutations responsible for some familial forms inherited in a Mendelian pattern, the genetics of JME is complex and probably involves multiple genes. Because of widespread distribution in the central nervous system (CNS) and their ability to produce postsynaptic inhibition, GABA (A) receptor subunits (GABRs) encoding genes represent high ranking candidates for epilepsy susceptibility.

Aim: This case/control study was designed to investigate whether the rs211037 of the GABRG2 gene is a risk factor for JME in the Brazilian population.

Materials And Methods: The polymorphism was genotyped in 98 patients and 130 controls using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Descriptive and statistical analyses were performed using SNP stat software.

Results: Genotype proportions and allele frequencies for the rs211037 polymorphism of the GABARG2 gene did not differ significantly between the groups, even when the odds ratio was adjusted for clinical variables.

Conclusion: These results present no evidence for an association of rs211037 with JME. Further studies are required to investigate the involvement of the GABRG2 gene in the genetic susceptibility to this epileptic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0028-3886.105191DOI Listing
March 2015

Wound infection by multiresistant Staphylococcus sciuri identified by molecular methods.

New Microbiol 2011 Oct 31;34(4):425-7. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Bom Sucesso, Arapiraca-Alagoas, Brasil.

We describe a case of wound infection by multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus sciuri in a patient admitted to hospital for injuries in Agreste Alagoas, Brazil, identified through broad-spectrum PCR and sequencing of 16S rDNA gene. Due to its high resistance profile, the infection was characterized as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus presenting sensitive only to vancomycin and chloramphenicol. The injury resulting from trauma associated with infection resulted in amputation of the infected limb.
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October 2011

Functional characterization of the sciarid BhC4-1 core promoter in transgenic Drosophila.

BMC Mol Biol 2011 Aug 1;12:32. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Toxicológicas e Bromatológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil, 14040-903.

Background: Core promoters are cis-regulatory modules to which bind the basal transcriptional machinery and which participate in the regulation of transcription initiation. Although core promoters have not been extensively investigated through functional assays in a chromosomal context, the available data suggested that the response of a given core promoter might vary depending on the promoter context. Previous studies suggest that a (-57/+40) fragment constitutes the core promoter of the BhC4-1 gene which is located in DNA puff C4 of the sciarid fly Bradysia hygida. Here we tested this (-57/+40) fragment in distinct regulatory contexts in order to verify if promoter context affects its core promoter activity.

Results: Consistent with the activity of a core promoter, we showed that in the absence of upstream regulatory sequences the (-57/+40) fragment drives low levels of reporter gene mRNA expression throughout development in transgenic Drosophila. By assaying the (-57/+40) fragment in two distinct regulatory contexts, either downstream of the previously characterized Fbp1 enhancer or downstream of the UAS element, we showed that the BhC4-1 core promoter drives regulated transcription in both the germline and in various tissues throughout development. Furthermore, the use of the BhC4-1 core promoter in a UAS construct significantly reduced salivary gland ectopic expression in third instar larvae, which was previously described to occur in the context of the GAL4/UAS system.

Conclusions: Our results from functional analysis in transgenic Drosophila show that the BhC4-1 core promoter drives gene expression regardless of the promoter context that was assayed. New insights into the functioning of the GAL4/UAS system in Drosophila were obtained, indicating that the presence of the SV40 sequence in the 3' UTR of a UAS construct does not preclude expression in the germline. Furthermore, our analysis indicated that ectopic salivary gland expression in the GAL4/UAS system does not depend only on sequences present in the GAL4 construct, but can also be affected by the core promoter sequences in the UAS construct. In this context, we propose that the sciarid BhC4-1 core promoter constitutes a valuable core promoter which can be employed in functional assays in insects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2199-12-32DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3160885PMC
August 2011

The non-coding RNA BC1 is down-regulated in the hippocampus of Wistar Audiogenic Rat (WAR) strain after audiogenic kindling.

Brain Res 2011 Jan 23;1367:114-21. Epub 2010 Oct 23.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to identify molecular pathways involved in audiogenic seizures in the epilepsy-prone Wistar Audiogenic Rat (WAR). For this, we used a suppression-subtractive hybridization (SSH) library from the hippocampus of WARs coupled to microarray comparative gene expression analysis, followed by Northern blot validation of individual genes. We discovered that the levels of the non-protein coding (npc) RNA BC1 were significantly reduced in the hippocampus of WARs submitted to repeated audiogenic seizures (audiogenic kindling) when compared to Wistar resistant rats and to both naive WARs and Wistars. By quantitative in situ hybridization, we verified lower levels of BC1 RNA in the GD-hilus and significant signal ratio reduction in the stratum radiatum and stratum pyramidale of hippocampal CA3 subfield of audiogenic kindled animals. Functional results recently obtained in a BC1⁻/⁻ mouse model and our current data are supportive of a potential disruption in signaling pathways, upstream of BC1, associated with the seizure susceptibility of WARs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.10.069DOI Listing
January 2011

Increased expression of GluR2-flip in the hippocampus of the Wistar audiogenic rat strain after acute and kindled seizures.

Hippocampus 2010 Jan;20(1):125-33

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

The Wistar Audiogenic Rat (WAR) is an epileptic-prone strain developed by genetic selection from a Wistar progenitor based on the pattern of behavioral response to sound stimulation. Chronic acoustic stimulation protocols of WARs (audiogenic kindling) generate limbic epileptogenesis, confirmed by ictal semiology, amygdale, and hippocampal EEG, accompanied by hippocampal and amygdala cell loss, as well as neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG). In an effort to identify genes involved in molecular mechanisms underlying epileptic process, we used suppression-subtractive hybridization to construct normalized cDNA library enriched for transcripts expressed in the hippocampus of WARs. The most represented gene among the 133 clones sequenced was the ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit II (GluR2), a member of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazoleopropionic acid (AMPA) receptor. Although semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis shows that the hippocampal levels of the GluR2 subunits do not differ between naïve WARs and their Wistar counterparts, we observed that the expression of the transcript encoding the splice-variant GluR2-flip is increased in the hippocampus of WARs submitted to both acute and kindled audiogenic seizures. Moreover, using in situ hybridization, we verified upregulation of GluR2-flip mainly in the CA1 region, among the hippocampal subfields of audiogenic kindled WARs. Our findings on differential upregulation of GluR2-flip isoform in the hippocampus of WARs displaying audiogenic seizures is original and agree with and extend previous immunohistochemical for GluR2 data obtained in the Chinese P77PMC audiogenic rat strain, reinforcing the association of limbic AMPA alterations with epileptic seizures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hipo.20590DOI Listing
January 2010

[Genes and epilepsy II: differential gene expression in epilepsy].

Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992) 2008 Sep-Oct;54(5):461-6

Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirao Preto, SP.

We introduce some investigative approaches and findings on differential gene expression in human epileptic time as well as in animal models of epilepsy. Molecular alterations observed in the epileptic brain suggest that they may disclose different psychopathological stages. It is possible that different gene expression combinations involved in cell death, reactive oxygen metabolism, synaptic transmission and immune response and of neurotrophins reflect distinct functional properties of different neuronal and glial populations, which determine specific brain region responses. Understanding the molecular patterns of gene expression following epileptogenic insults will be of great importance for the development of treatments aiming to reduce neurotoxicity and subtle synaptic dyfunctions present in the early stages as well as during the chronic phase of epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0104-42302008000500022DOI Listing
July 2009
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