Publications by authors named "Julio Beltrame Daleprane"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Green banana flour supplementation improves obesity-associated systemic inflammation and regulates gut microbiota profile in high-fat diet-fed mice.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2021 Jun 30. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Rio de Janeiro State University, 28130, Basic and Experimental, São Francisco Xavier 524, 12° andar 12150F, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20550-900;

This study evaluated the effect of green banana flour (GBF) consumption on obesity-related conditions in mice fed high-fat diets. GBF was prepared using stage 1 green banana pulp, which was dehydrated and milled. Mice were fed a control diet (n=20; 10% of energy from lipids) or a high-fat diet (n=20; 50% of energy from lipids). After 10 weeks, mice were divided into four groups based on feed: standard chow (n=10, "SC"), standard with 15% GBF (n=10, "SB"), high-fat diet (n=10, "HF") and high-fat diet with 15% GBF (n=10, "HFB") for 4 weeks. HFB exhibited lower gains in body weight (-21%; p<0.01) and in all fat pads (p<0.01) compared with the HF group. SC, SB, and HFB showed smaller retroperitoneal white adipose tissue diameters (p<0.001). SB and HFB-treated mice showed lower levels of leptin, IL-6, and TNF-α compared with the SC and HF groups (p<0.01). In the GBF-fed groups, there was a reduction in the abundance of Firmicutes (SB: -22%; HFB: -23%) and an increase in Bacteroidetes (SB: +25%; HFB: +29%) compared to their counterparts. We demonstrated that GBF consumption attenuated inflammation and improved metabolic status, adipose tissue remodeling, and the gut microbiota profile of obese mice. Novelty • Green banana flour (GBF) consumption, rich in resistant starch, regulates body weight in mice fed high-fat diets • GBF consumption improves fat pad distribution in mice fed high-fat diets • GBF improves obesity-associated systemic inflammation and regulates gut microbiota profile in mice fed high-fat diets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2021-0288DOI Listing
June 2021

A rise in Proteobacteria is an indicator of gut-liver axis-mediated nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in high-fructose-fed adult mice.

Nutr Res 2021 Jul 21;91:26-35. Epub 2021 May 21.

Laboratory of Morphometry, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, Biomedical Center, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:

Current evidence suggests that high fructose intake results in gut dysbiosis, leading to endotoxemia and NAFLD onset. Thus, the hypothesis of the study was that an enhanced Proteobacteria proportion in the cecal microbiota could be the most prominent trigger of NAFLD through enhanced endotoxin (LPS) in adult high-fructose-fed C57BL/6 mice. Male C57BL/6 mice received a control diet (n = 10, C: 76% of energy as carbohydrates, 0% as fructose) or high-fructose diet (n = 10, HFRU: 76% of energy as carbohydrate, 50% as fructose) for 12 weeks. Outcomes included biochemical analyses, 16S rDNA PCR amplification, hepatic stereology, and RT-qPCR. The groups showed similar body masses during the whole experiment. However, the HFRU group showed greater water intake and blood pressure than the C group. The HFRU group showed a significantly lower amount of Bacteroidetes and a predominant rise in Proteobacteria, implying increased LPS. The HFRU group also showed enhanced de novo lipogenesis (Chrebp expression), while beta-oxidation was decreased (Ppar-alpha expression). These results agree with the deposition of fat droplets within hepatocytes and the enhanced hepatic triacylglycerol concentrations, as observed in the photomicrographs, where the HFRU group had a higher volume density of steatosis than the C group. Thus, we confirmed that a rise in the Proteobacteria phylum proportion was the most prominent alteration in gut-liver axis-induced hepatic steatosis in HFRU-fed C57BL/6 mice. Gut dysbiosis and fatty liver were observed even in the absence of overweight in this dietary adult mouse model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2021.04.008DOI Listing
July 2021

Consumption of phenolic-rich jabuticaba () powder ameliorates obesity-related disorders in mice.

Br J Nutr 2021 Mar 31:1-9. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Laboratory for Studies of Interactions between Nutrition and Genetics, LEING, Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524, 112.150 bloco F, 20550-900 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Accumulating evidence indicates that dietary phenolic compounds can prevent obesity-related disorders. We investigated whether the consumption of polyphenol-rich jabuticaba peel and seed powder (JPSP) could ameliorate the progression of diet-induced obesity in mice. Male mice were fed a control diet or a high-fat (HF) diet for 9 weeks. After this period, mice were fed control, HF or HF diets supplemented with 5 % (HF-J5), 10 % (HF-J10) or 15 % (HF-J15) of JPSP, for 4 additional weeks. Supplementation with JPSP not only attenuated HF-induced weight gain and fat accumulation but also ameliorated the pro-inflammatory response associated with obesity, as evidenced by the absence of mast cells in the visceral depot accompanied by lower IL-6 and TNF-α at the tissue and circulating levels. JPSP-supplemented mice also exhibited smaller-sized adipocytes, reduced levels of leptin and higher levels of adiponectin, concomitant with improved glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. The magnitude of the observed effects was dependent on JPSP concentration with HF-J10- and HF-J15-fed mice showing metabolic profiles similar to control. This study reveals that the consumption of JPSP protects against the dysfunction of the adipose tissue and metabolic disturbances in obese mice. Thus, these findings indicate the therapeutic potential of the phenolic-rich JPSP in preventing obesity-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114521001136DOI Listing
March 2021

Phenolic-rich smoothie consumption ameliorates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obesity mice by increasing antioxidant response.

Chem Biol Interact 2021 Feb 7;336:109369. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Laboratory for Studies of Interactions Between Nutrition and Genetics, LEING, Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:

Consumption of foods rich in phenolic compounds can be beneficial for health. This study aimed to examine whether the consumption of a phenolic-rich smoothie, based on juçara, strawberry and banana, ameliorates metabolic status and liver damage of diet-induced obese mice. Forty male C57BL/6J mice were assigned into four groups (n = 10) and fed control diet with free access to water (C) or phenolic-rich smoothie (C-S), or fed high-fat diet with free access to water (HF) or phenolic-rich smoothie (HF-S) for five weeks. HF and HF-S groups had higher body weight gains than the C group, however the HF had a greater adipose index, higher plasma levels of glucose, insulin and leptin, as well as higher plasma and hepatic steatosis than C, C-S and HF-S groups. The liver oxidative stress markers were reduced in C-S and HF-S groups and the activity of catalase and glutathione peroxidase were higher compared with their counterparts. The present study suggests that regular consumption of a phenolic-rich smoothie improves the liver antioxidant status, prevents metabolic disorders and ameliorates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease caused by high-fat diet consumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbi.2021.109369DOI Listing
February 2021

Therapeutic effects of açaí seed extract on hepatic steatosis in high-fat diet-induced obesity in male mice: a comparative effect with rosuvastatin.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2020 Dec 27;72(12):1921-1932. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Objectives: Obesity is considered a risk factor for the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The hydroalcoholic extract obtained from the açai seed (ASE), rich in proanthocyanidins, has been shown a potential body weight regulator with antioxidant properties. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effect of ASE in obesity-associated NAFLD and compare it with Rosuvastatin.

Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice received a high-fat diet or standard diet for 12 weeks. The treatments with ASE (300 mg/kg per day) or rosuvastatin (20 mg/kg per day) began in the eighth week until the 12th week.

Key Findings: Our data show that the treatments with ASE and rosuvastatin reduced body weight and hyperglycaemia, improved lipid profile and attenuated hepatic steatosis in HFD mice. ASE and Rosuvastatin reduced HMGCoA-Reductase and SREBP-1C and increased ABGC8 and pAMPK expressions in the liver. Additionally, ASE, but not Rosuvastatin, reduced NPC1L1 and increased ABCG5 and PPAR-α expressions. ASE and rosuvastatin increased SIRT-1 expression and antioxidant defence, although only ASE was able to decrease the oxidative damage in hepatic tissue.

Conclusions: The therapeutic effect of ASE was similar to that of rosuvastatin in reducing dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis but was better in reducing oxidative damage and hyperglycaemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jphp.13356DOI Listing
December 2020

Gut-liver axis modulation in fructose-fed mice: a role for PPAR-alpha and linagliptin.

J Endocrinol 2020 10;247(1):11-24

Laboratory of Morphometry, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, Biomedical Center, Institute of Biology, The University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fructose dietary intake affects the composition of the intestinal microbiota and influences the development of hepatic steatosis. Endotoxins produced by gram-negative bacteria alter intestinal permeability and cause bacterial translocation. This study evaluated the effects of gut microbiota modulation by a purified PPAR-alpha agonist (WY14643), a DPP-4 inhibitor (linagliptin), or their association on intestinal barrier integrity, endotoxemia, and hepatic energy metabolism in high-fructose-fed C57BL/6 mice. Fifty mice were divided to receive the control diet (C group) or the high-fructose diet (HFRU) for 12 weeks. Subsequently, the HFRU group was divided to initiate the treatment with PPAR-alpha agonist (3.5 mg/kg/BM) and DPP-4 inhibitor (15 mg/kg/BM). The HFRU group had glucose intolerance, endotoxemia, and dysbiosis (with increased Proteobacteria) without changes in body mass in comparison with the C group. HFRU group showed damaged intestinal ultrastructure, which led to liver inflammation and marked hepatic steatosis in the HFRU group when compared to the C group. PPAR-alpha activation and DPP-4 inhibition countered glucose intolerance, endotoxemia, and dysbiosis, ameliorating the ultrastructure of the intestinal barrier and reducing Tlr4 expression in the liver of treated animals. These beneficial effects suppressed lipogenesis and mitigated hepatic steatosis. In conclusion, the results herein propose a role for PPAR-alpha activation, DPP-4 inhibition, and their association in attenuating hepatic steatosis by gut-liver axis modulation in high-fructose mice model. These observations suggest these treatments as potential targets to treat hepatic steatosis and avoid its progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JOE-20-0139DOI Listing
October 2020

Uraemic toxin-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in human endothelial cells: protective effect of polyphenol-rich extract from açaí.

Exp Physiol 2020 03 30;105(3):542-551. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, Basic and Experimental Nutrition Department, Institute of Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Does a polyphenol-rich extract from açaí have a potential role in preventing uraemic toxin-induced endothelial cell dysfunction? What is the main finding and its importance? Polyphenols from açaí prevented cell death, restored migratory capacity, protected from inflammation and contributed to the restoration of the antioxidant response in endothelial cells exposed to uraemic toxins. The protective role of açaí against toxic effects exerted by uraemic toxins presents a potential new therapeutic target in endothelial cells.

Abstract: In chronic kidney disease (CKD), progressive loss of kidney function results in the accumulation of protein-bound uraemic toxins such as p-cresyl sulfate (pCS) and indoxyl sulfate (IS). Among strategies to ameliorate the harmful actions of uraemic toxins, phenolic compounds have been extensively studied. The main goal of this work was to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of phenolic-rich açaí seed extract (ASE) in response to endothelial dysfunction induced by IS and pCS, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Cells were treated with ASE (10 µg ml ) in the presence or absence of IS (61 µg ml ) and pCS (40 µg ml ). Cell viability, cell death, cell migratory capacity and inflammatory biomarker expression were evaluated. Cellular antioxidant response was measured through the activity and expression of antioxidant enzymes, and oxidative damage was evaluated. IS and pCS lowered cell viability, triggered cell death and lowered the migratory capacity in endothelial cells (P < 0.05). ASE prevented cell death and restored the migratory capacity in cells exposed to IS. Both toxins up-regulated pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, and ASE was able to beneficially counteract this effect. Tumour necrosis factor-α secretion was greater in uraemic toxin-treated cells and ASE reversed this phenomenon in cells treated with both toxins concomitantly (P < 0.05). With regard to the antioxidant response, superoxide dismutase expression was strikingly lower in cells treated with both toxins, and ASE inhibited this harmful effect (P < 0.05). From the results, we conclude that ASE exerted protective effects on inflammation and oxidative stress caused by uraemic toxins (particularly by IS) in human endothelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/EP088080DOI Listing
March 2020

Resistant starch from green banana (Musa sp.) attenuates non-alcoholic fat liver accumulation and increases short-chain fatty acids production in high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Feb 13;145:1066-1072. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Laboratory for Studies of Interactions Between Nutrition and Genetics, LEING, Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study aimed to investigate the effect of resistant starch from green banana (GB) on steatosis and short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) production in high fat diet-induced obesity in mice. High-fat green banana group (HFB) exhibited lower gains in BM (body mass; -6%; P < 0.01) compared with High-fat diet group (HF). Additionally, HFB mice showed reduction in liver steatosis (-28%, P < 0.01) with reduction of 93% in hepatic triacylglycerol (P < 0.01) compared to HF-diet-fed mice. In addition, the protein abundance of AMPKp/AMPK, HMGCoA-r and FAS were downregulated in livers of HFB mice (P < 0.01), relatively to the HF-diet-fed mice. ABCG8 and ABCG5 were up-regulated in HFB group compared to HF group (P < 0.01). Furthermore, the HFB fed-mice produced the highest amount of SCFAs (p < 0.05) compared to its counterpart HFD. In conclusion, we demonstrated that resistant starch from GB improved metabolic parameters by modulating the expression of key proteins involved in liver lipid metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.09.199DOI Listing
February 2020

Antiadipogenic effects of açai seed extract on high fat diet-fed mice and 3T3-L1 adipocytes: A potential mechanism of action.

Life Sci 2019 Jul 22;228:316-322. Epub 2019 Apr 22.

Laboratory for Studies of Interactions Between Nutrition and Genetics, LEING, Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:

Body adiposity is an important risk factor for the development of chronic non-transmissible diseases. Studies on the process of adipogenesis have been extensively performed in vivo and in vitro models to describe the molecular and cellular bases of adipose tissue development and the effect of natural products in this process. The açai seed extract (ASE) has been evidenced as a potential regulator of body mass. In our work high-fat diet-fed mice treated with ASE (300 mg/Kg/d) (HFD-ASE) showed a lower adipose index (-32.63%, p < 0.001) than the high-fat diet-fed mice group (HFD) and the adipocytes from the HFD group were considerably enlarged (p < 0.001) compared to those in the control group (CG) and HFD-ASE group (+175% and +123%, respectively). We also evaluated the effects of ASE on the modulation of adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells. ASE exposure (25 and 100 μg/mL) led to a decrease of 26.6 (p < 0.05) in proliferation and also inhibited pre-adipocyte differentiation through the decreasing expression (p < 0.05) of transcription factors and adipogenic proteins such as PPARɣ, SREBP-1, and FAS. These results show that the ASE reduce adipogenesis and suppress lipid accumulation in the in vivo model and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and reinforce ASE as a potential strategy to modulate adipogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2019.04.051DOI Listing
July 2019

Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) seed flour prevents obesity-induced hepatic steatosis regulating lipid metabolism by increasing cholesterol excretion in high-fat diet-fed mice.

Food Res Int 2018 09 24;111:408-415. Epub 2018 May 24.

Laboratory for studies of Interactions between Nutrition and Genetics, LEING, Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.05.043DOI Listing
September 2018

Weight loss enhances hepatic antioxidant status in a NAFLD model induced by high-fat diet.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2018 Jan 23;43(1):23-29. Epub 2017 Aug 23.

a Department of Pharmacology and Psychobiology, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20551-030, Brazil.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a benign condition that can progress to more severe liver damage in a process mediated, in part, by disturbances in redox balance. Additionally, some argue that it is set to become the main cause of end-stage liver disease in the near future. Here, we investigated whether diet-induced weight loss is able to reverse hepatic lipid accumulation and reduce oxidative stress in liver from C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat (HF) diet. Male C57BL/6 mice were divided into 4 groups: standard chow (SC; 10% energy from fat, 16 weeks); HF (50% energy from fat, 16 weeks); SC-HF (SC for 8 weeks followed by HF for 8 weeks); and HF-SC (HF for 8 weeks followed by SC for 8 weeks). The HF diet during 8 (SC-HF) and 16 weeks (HF) downregulated messenger RNA levels and protein expression of Nrf2 and endogenous antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase) in the liver; caused liver steatosis; affected liver function markers; increased intra-abdominal and subcutaneous adipose tissue; and induced glucose intolerance and hypercholesterolemia compared with controls (SC). Diet-induced weight loss significantly reduced the intrahepatic lipid accumulation, improved glucose tolerance, and restored both gene and protein expression of the antioxidant enzymes. Our findings suggest that a dietary intervention aimed to induce weight loss may exert protective effects in NAFLD as it can reduce hepatic oxidative stress and intrahepatic lipid accumulation, which can hinder the progression of this condition to more severe states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2017-0317DOI Listing
January 2018

Brazilian red propolis improves cutaneous wound healing suppressing inflammation-associated transcription factor NFκB.

Biomed Pharmacother 2017 Feb 12;86:162-171. Epub 2016 Dec 12.

Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, 20550-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:

The use of natural products in wound healing has been extensively studied in the context of complementary and alternative medicine. Propolis, a natural product, is a polyphenol-rich resin used for this purpose. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Brazilian Red Propolis Extract (BRPE) on inflammation and wound healing in mice, using a tissue repair model. The BRPE polyphenol content was analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC/MS). A full-thickness excision lesion was created, and mice were treated orally with daily doses of vehicle solution (water-alcohol solution containing 2% of ethanol, control group) or 100mg/kg of BRPE (P100 group) during nine consecutive days. BRPE chemical composition analysis showed that this complex matrix contains several phenolic compounds such as phenolic acids, phenolic terpenes and flavonoids (especially catechins, flavonols, chalcones, isoflavones, isoflavans, pterocarpans and bioflavonoids). After BRPE administration, it was observed that, when compared to the control group, P100 group presented faster wound closure (p<0.001); less neutrophils per mm (p<0.05) and macrophages (p<0.01) in tissue analyses, down regulation of the inflammatory transcription factor pNF-κB protein expression, and reduced production of inflammatory cytokine, such as TGF-β, TNF-α (p<0.0001), and IL-6 (p<0.001). These findings suggest a positive role of BRPE oral administration in the wound healing process via suppressing the inflammatory response during tissue repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2016.12.018DOI Listing
February 2017

Is it possible to identify underlying cardiovascular risk in young trained military?

J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2016 Jan-Feb;56(1-2):125-32. Epub 2014 Nov 4.

Institute of Nutrition, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -

Background: Exercise is an important tool in the prevention of cardiovascular risk. Counter-intuitively, elite athletes and military have been found to have high cardiovascular risk. This study aimed to identify underlying cardiovascular risk in young trained military using different parameters including the leptin: adiponectin (L:A) ratio.

Methods: Healthy military males (N.=54) participated in this study. Anthropometric and body composition were measured. After overnight fasting, the following parameters were determined: plasma lipid profile, electronegative-LDL, leptin and adiponectin concentrations. Data were expressed as median (25th and 75th percentiles). The relationship between variables was tested using the Spearman correlation test, with statistical significance set at P<0.05.

Results: Total cholesterol (143 [130-157] mg/dL), triglycerides (TG; 88.5 [63-116] mg/dL) and LDL cholesterol (77.6 [68.8-94.5] mg/dL) plasma levels were adequate. However, all participants were found to have HDL cholesterol below 60 mg/dL (43 [40-49] mg/dL) and 44% (N.=24) had a TG:HDL ratio (2.0 [1.4-2.9]) above 2.0. The L:A ratio was higher than 0.32 for 29% (N.=16) of the participants. The main correlations observed were between waist circumference (WC) and WC:height ratio, with TG (r=0.37; r=0.56), TG:HDL ratio (r=0.41; r=0.36), HDL (r= -0.344; r= -0.26), and L:A ratio (r=0.25; r=0.46).

Conclusions: Trained military men could be classified as at borderline cardiovascular risk when considering only their lipid profiles. However, this observation may be misleading, since lipid profiles are altered by very intense and long exercise. The L:A ratio be should be monitored more closely to establish whether a relationship exists between WC and WC:height and the L:A ratio has potential diagnostic.
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October 2016

Physical exercise restores microvascular function in obese rats with metabolic syndrome.

Metab Syndr Relat Disord 2014 Nov 19;12(9):484-92. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

1 Laboratory of Cardiovascular Investigation, Oswaldo Cruz Institute , FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil .

Background: Obesity and metabolic syndrome are related to systemic functional microvascular alterations, including a significant reduction in microvessel density. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of exercise training on functional capillary density in the skeletal muscle and skin of obese rats with metabolic syndrome.

Methods: We used male Wistar-Kyoto rats that had been fed a standard commercial diet (CON) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 32 weeks. Animals receiving the HFD were randomly divided into sedentary (HFD+SED) and training groups (HFD+TR) at the 20(th) week. After 12 weeks of aerobic treadmill training, the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max); hemodynamic, biochemical, and anthropometric parameters; and functional capillary density were assessed. In addition, a maximal exercise test was performed.

Results: Exercise training increased the VO2max (69 ± 3 mL/kg per min) and exercise tolerance (30 ± 1 min) compared with the HFD+SED (41 ± 6 mL/kg per min, P < 0.05 and 16 ± 1 min, P < 0.001) and with the CON (52 ± 7 mL/kg per min and 18 ± 1 min, P < 0.05) groups. The HFD+TR group also showed reduced retroperitoneal fat (0.03 ± 0.00 vs. 0.05 ± 0.00 gram/gram, P < 0.001), epididymal fat (0.01 ± 0.00 vs. 0.02 ± 0.00 gram/gram, P < 0.001), and systolic blood pressure (127 ± 2 vs. 150 ± 2 mmHg, P<0.001). The HFD+TR group also demonstrated improved glucose tolerance, as evaluated by an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test, fasting plasma glucose levels (5.0 ± 0.1 vs. 6.4 ± 0.2 mmol/L, P<0.001) and fasting plasma insulin levels (26.5 ± 2.3 vs. 38.9 ± 3.7 μIU/mL, P < 0.05). Glucose tolerance did not differ between HFD+TR and CON groups. Exercise training also increased the number of spontaneously perfused capillaries in the skeletal muscle (252 ± 9 vs. 207 ± 9 capillaries/mm(2)) of the training group compared with that in the sedentary animals (260 ± 15 capillaries/mm(2)).

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that exercise training reverses capillary rarefaction in our experimental model of metabolic syndrome and obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/met.2014.0040DOI Listing
November 2014

Protective effect of Euterpe oleracea Mart (açaí) extract on programmed changes in the adult rat offspring caused by maternal protein restriction during pregnancy.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2014 Sep 14;66(9):1328-38. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Objectives: This study examined the effect of açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) seed extract (ASE) on cardiovascular and renal alterations in adult offspring, whose mothers were fed a low-protein (LP) diet during pregnancy.

Methods: Four groups of rats were fed: control diet (20% protein); ASE (200 mg/kg per day); and LP (6% protein); LP + ASE (6% protein + ASE) during pregnancy. After weaning, all male offspring were fed a control diet and sacrificed at 4 months old. We evaluated the blood pressure, vascular function, serum and urinary parameters, plasma and kidney oxidative damage, and antioxidant activity and renal structural changes.

Key Findings: Hypertension and the reduced acetylcholine-induced vasodilation in the LP group were prevented by ASE. Serum levels of urea, creatinine and fractional excretion of sodium were increased in LP and reduced in LP + ASE. ASE improved nitrite levels and the superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity in LP, with a corresponding decrease of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl levels. Kidney volume and glomeruli number were reduced and glomerular volume was increased in LP. These renal alterations were prevented by ASE.

Conclusions: Treatment of protein-restricted dams with ASE provides protection from later-life hypertension, oxidative stress, renal functional and structural changes, probably through a vasodilator and antioxidant activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jphp.12258DOI Listing
September 2014

Fish oil has beneficial effects on allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperreactivity in mice.

PLoS One 2013 6;8(9):e75059. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Laboratory of Morphometry, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, Biomedical Center, Institute of Biology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Background: Fish oil (FO) is rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which have been suggested to be anti-inflammatory and are associated with improvement of several inflammatory diseases. In this study, we investigated the influence of FO on allergen-induced lung inflammation and airway hyperreactivity in mice.

Methods: Male A/J mice were fed either a standard-chow (SC) or a FO diet (FO) for 8 weeks. After 4 weeks, each group was further randomized for ovalbumin (SC-OVA and FO-OVA) or saline (SC-SAL and FO-SAL) challenge. Resistance and elastance were measured at baseline and after aerosolized methacholine, 24h after the last challenge. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed for leukocyte counts. Lung tissue mucus deposition, peribronchiolar matrix deposition and eosinophil infiltration were quantified. Serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgG1 (ref 2.2), lung IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17, INFγ and eotaxin-1 and 2 were detected by ELISA and nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), GATA-3 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) expression was measured by Western blot.

Results: Levels of serum IgE and IgG1 were significantly higher in OVA sensitized mice. OVA challenge resulted in increased eosinophil infiltration, increased inflammatory cytokine production, peribronchiolar matrix and mucus deposition and airway hyperreactivity to aerosolized methacholine. Elevated lung NFκB and GATA-3 expression was noted in OVA-challenged mice. These changes were attenuated in mice fed with FO diet. Higher PPARγ expression was also detected in the lungs from the FO-fed groups.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that FO intake attenuated classical asthma features by suppressing the systemic sensitization, thus providing evidence that FO might be a prophylactic alternative for asthma prevention.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0075059PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765396PMC
July 2014

Emerging roles of propolis: antioxidant, cardioprotective, and antiangiogenic actions.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013 8;2013:175135. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

Department of Basic and Experimental Nutrition, Institute of Nutrition, State University of Rio de Janeiro, 20559-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

Propolis has attracted attention in recent years due to its beneficial effects, which make it a potential preventive and therapeutic agent as well as a useful additive in food and cosmetics. The aim of this review is to discuss the growing evidence that propolis may, via a diverse array of biological actions, assist in the prevention of some inflammation-mediated pathologies including cardiovascular disease. The active components of propolis that have been identified so far include polyphenols and flavonoids. These compounds have cardioprotective, vasoprotective, antioxidant, antiatherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic actions. Many studies have been undertaken to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which propolis acts, which involve cellular signaling targets and interactions at the genomic level. This review will highlight the effects of propolis that may assist in the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/175135DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3638596PMC
May 2013

Anti-atherogenic and anti-angiogenic activities of polyphenols from propolis.

J Nutr Biochem 2012 Jun 20;23(6):557-66. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Department of Food and Experimental Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Propolis is a polyphenol-rich resinous substance extensively used to improve health and prevent diseases. The effects of polyphenols from different sources of propolis on atherosclerotic lesions and inflammatory and angiogenic factors were investigated in LDL receptor gene (LDLr-/-) knockout mice. The animals received a cholesterol-enriched diet to induce the initial atherosclerotic lesions (IALs) or advanced atherosclerotic lesions (AALs). The IAL or AAL animals were divided into three groups, each receiving polyphenols from either the green, red or brown propolis (250 mg/kg per day) by gavage. After 4 weeks of polyphenol treatment, the animals were sacrificed and their blood was collected for lipid profile analysis. The atheromatous lesions at the aortic root were also analyzed for gene expression of inflammatory and angiogenic factors by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. All three polyphenol extracts improved the lipid profile and decreased the atherosclerotic lesion area in IAL animals. However, only polyphenols from the red propolis induced favorable changes in the lipid profiles and reduced the lesion areas in AAL mice. In IAL groups, VCAM, MCP-1, FGF, PDGF, VEGF, PECAM and MMP-9 gene expression was down-regulated, while the metalloproteinase inhibitor TIMP-1 gene was up-regulated by all polyphenol extracts. In contrast, for advanced lesions, only the polyphenols from red propolis induced the down-regulation of CD36 and the up-regulation of HO-1 and TIMP-1 when compared to polyphenols from the other two types of propolis. In conclusion, polyphenols from propolis, particularly red propolis, are able to reduce atherosclerotic lesions through mechanisms including the modulation of inflammatory and angiogenic factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.02.012DOI Listing
June 2012

Organic and genetically modified soybean diets: consequences in growth and in hematological indicators of aged rats.

Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2009 Mar;64(1):1-5

College of Medicine, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the protein quality of organic and genetically modified soy by feeding specific diets to rats. Three groups of Wistar rats (n=10) were used, and each group was named according to the food that they ate. There was an organic soy group (OG), a genetically modified soy group (GG), and a control group (CG). All animals received water and diet ad libitum for 455 days. At the end of this period, the weight of the GG group was the same as that of the OG, and both were higher than CG. Protein intake was similar for the OG and GG, which were significantly lower (p<0.0005) than the CG. The growth rate (GR) of the rats, albumin levels, and total levels of serum protein were comparable for all groups. Hematocrit (p<0.04) and hemoglobin (p<0.03) for the OG and GG were less than the CG. Although the OG and GG demonstrated reduced hematocrit and hemoglobin, both types of soy were utilized in a way similar to casein. This result suggests that the protein quality of soy is parallel to the standard protein casein in terms of growth promotion but not hematological indicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11130-008-0101-0DOI Listing
March 2009
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