Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Biological Research]]> vol. 41 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Mejorando la gestión editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Código de Ética de la Sociedad de Biología de Chile</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Growth, delayed fluorescence and pigment composition of four <i>Prorocentrum minimum </i>strains growing at two salinities</b>]]> Prorocentrum minimum is a potentially harmful and widely distributed marine dinoflagellate. Several P. minimum strains have already been studied, showing phylogenetical relations of strains isolated from the same geographical regions. Similarity among the strains was further examined on the basis of their physiology. Pigment composition and concentration, as well as delayed fluorescence (DF) decay kinetics and intensity, were measured in four P. minimum strains isolated from the Baltic and Adriatic Seas. The strains were grown at two salinities characteristic of the Baltic (8 PSU) and North Adriatic Seas (32 PSU). Strain differences in DF decay kinetics and growth did not always follow their genetic relations. While two strains showed similarities to the previously described strains from the Baltic and Adriatic Seas in DF parameters, the other two strains seemed to be specific. The differences among strains isolated from the same sea could stem from adaptations to conditions in the specific habitats. Cluster analysis based on the ratio of individual carotenoid pigments concentrations to the chlorophyll a concentration or to total carotenoids were not conclusive in showing relations among the strains. Among the measured pigments, only peridinin concentration depended on salinity in all st <![CDATA[<b>Plant regeneration of natural tetraploid <i>Trifolium  Hum pratense </i>L</b>]]> The regeneration of natural tetraploid T. pratense, originated from Erzurum-Turkey, is reported in this study. This plant has low seed setting and hard seed problems due to polyploidy. Hypocotyl, cotyledon, apical meristems, epicotyl and young primary leaves were inoculated on MS and PC-L2 media containing different concentrations of BAP and NAA as growth regulators. The best shoot formation has been observed on explants initiated from apical meristem placed on PC-L2 medium that includes 2 mg dm-3 BAP and 1 mg dm-3 NAA. 94.4% of the shoots originated from calli were rooted on PC-L2 medium with 1 mg dm-3 NAA. In vitro organogénesis has been accomplished in the natural tetraploid T. pratense regenerated plants successively transferred to the field <![CDATA[<b>Discrimination of bile acids by the rainbow trout olfactory system</b>: <b>Evidence as potential pheromone</b>]]> Electro-olfactogram recording was used to determine whether the olfactory epithelium of adult rainbow trout is specifically sensitive to bile acids, some of which have been hypothesized to function as pheromones. Of 38 bile acids that had been pre-screened for olfactory activity, 6 were selected. The rainbow trout-specific bile acids, taurocholic acid (TCA), and taurolithocholic acid 3-sulfate (TLS) were the most potent compounds tested. TLS had a distinctive dose-response curve. Cross-adaptation experiments demonstrated that sensitivity to bile acids is attributable to at least 3 independent classes of olfactory receptor sites. Our data suggest that bile acids are discriminated by olfaction in rainbow trout, supporting the possibility that these compounds function as pheromones <![CDATA[<b>Biological evaluation of novel 6-Arylbenzimidazo [1,2-c] quinazoline derivatives as inhibitors of LPS-induced TNF- alpha secretion</b>]]> This study describes the effect of novel 6-Arylbenzimidazo [1,2-c] quinazoline derivatives as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-á) production inhibitors. The newly synthesized compounds were tested for their in vitro ability to inhibit the lipolysaccharide (LPS) induced TNF-á secretion in the human promyelocytic cell line HL-60. The compound 6-Phenyl-benzimidazo [1,2-c] quinazoline, coded as Gl, resulted as the most potent inhibitor and with no significant cytotoxic activity. Thus, 6-Arylbenzimidazo [1,2-c] quinazoline derivatives may have a potential as anti-inflammatory agents <![CDATA[<b>Chronobiologic blood pressure assessment</b>: <b>Maturation of the daily rhythm in newborn foals</b>]]> Circadian rhythmicity of physiological processes in animals has been described for some variables. In order to investigate the daily rhythmicity of blood pressure, seven foals (Equus caballus) were used for 40 days after birth. Measurements of blood pressure were done by means of an oscillometric apparatus (Argus TM-7, Schiller, Barr Switzerland) with the foals in a standing position and the cuff placed around the tail. Blood pressure was recorded twice a day, 1 hour before dawn and 1 hour before dusk for the first 10 days of life, every 2 days from the 11th to the 32nd day, on the 36th and on the 40th day. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to determine statistically significant differences between the mean values recorded at dawn and dusk during the study. Analysis of variance showed a significant effect of time (p<0.0001), during the first 40 days of life. This study confirms a strong correlation between age and blood pressure in horse and the absence of blood pressure maturation in foals 40 days old. The results on the maturation of the daily rhythm of blood pressure in foals is a contribution to the study of the development of circadian rhythms in mammals. These results are also useful for the chronophysiological assessment of blood pressure in the horse <![CDATA[<b>Effects of weight loss on liver and erythrocyte polyunsaturated fatty acid pattern and oxidative stress status in obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease</b>]]> Our aim was to study the influence of weight loss on the fatty acid (FA) composition of liver and erythrocyte phospholipids and oxidative stress status in obese, non-alcoholic, fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. Seven obese NAFLD patients who underwent subtotal gastrectomy with a gastro-jejunal anastomosis in roux and Y were studied immediately and 3 months after surgery. Seven non-obese patients who underwent anti-reflux surgery constituted the control group. Serum F2-isoprostane levels were measured by GS/NICI-MS/MS and FA composition was determined by GC. At the time of surgery, controls and obese patients exhibited a hepatic polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) pattern that correlated with that of erythrocytes. Three months after surgery, NAFLD patients lost 21% of initial body weight; serum F2-isoprostane levels decreased by 76%; total PUFA, long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA), n-3 PUFA, and n-3 LCPUFA increased by 22, 29, 81, and 93%, respectively; n-6/n-3 LCPUFA ratio decreased by 51%; docosahexaenoic acid/docosapentaenoic acid ratio increased by 19-fold; and the n-3 product/precursor ratio (20: 5 + 22: 5 + 22: 6)/18: 3 increased by 164% (p<0.05). It is concluded that weight loss improves the n-3 LCPUFA status of obese patients in association with significant amelioration in the biomarkers of oxidative stress, membrane FA insaturation, and n-3 LCPUFA biosynthesis capacity, thus representing a central therapeutic issue in the improvement of obesity-related metabolic alterations involved in the mechanism of hepatic steatosis <![CDATA[<b>Characterization of the long-terminal repeat single-strand tail-binding site of Moloney-MuLV integrase by crosslinking</b>]]> Processing of viral DNA by retroviral integrase leaves a dinucleotide single-strand overhang in the unprocessed strand. Previous studies have stressed the importance of the 5' single-stranded (ss) tail in the integration process. To characterize the ss-tail binding site on M-MuLV integrase, we carried out crosslinking studies utilizing a disintegration substrate that mimics the covalent intermediate formed during integration. This substrate carried reactive groups at the 5' ss tail. A bromoacetyl derivative with a side chain of 6 A was crosslinked to the mutant IN 106-404, which lacks the N-terminal domain, yielding a crosslinked complex of 50 kDa. Treatment of IN 106-404 with N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) prevented crosslinking, suggesting that Cys209 was involved in the reaction. The reactivity of Cys209 was confirmed by crosslinking of a more specific derivative carrying maleimide groups that spans 8A approximately. In contrast, WT IN was not reactive, suggesting that the N-terminal domain modifies the reactivity of the Cys209 or the positioning of the crosslinker side chain. A similar oligonucleotide-carrying iodouridine at the 5'ss tail reacted with both IN 106-404 and WT IN upon UV irradiation. This reaction was also prevented by NEM, suggesting that the ss-tail positions near a peptide region that includes Cys209 <![CDATA[<b>Study of Cytochrome P450 2E1 and its allele Variants in Liver Injury of Nondiabetic, Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Obese Women</b>]]> CYP2E1 enzyme is related to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) due to its ability for reactive oxygen species production, which can be influenced by polymorphisms in the gene. The aim of this study was to investigate hepatic levels, activity, and polymorphisms of the CYP2E1 gene to correlate it with clinical and histological features in 48 female obese NASH patients. Subjects were divided into three groups: (i) normal; (ii) steatosis; and (iii) steatohepatitis. CYP2E1 protein level was assayed in microsomes from liver biopsies, and in vivo chlorzoxazone hydroxylation was determined by HPLC. Genomic DNA was isolated for genotype analysis through PCR. The results showed that liver CYP2E1 content was significantly higher in the steatohepatitis (45%; p=0.024) and steatosis (22%; p=0.032) group compared with normal group. Chlorzoxazone hydroxylase activity showed significant enhancement in the steatohepatitis group (15%, p=0.027) compared with the normal group. c2 rare allele of RsallPstl polymorphisms but no C allele of Dral polymorphism was positively associated with CHZ hydroxylation, which in turn is correlated with liver CYP2E1 content (r=0.59; p=0.026). In conclusion, c2 allele is positively associated with liver injury in NASH. This allele may determine a higher transcriptional activity of the gene, with consequent enhancement in pro-oxidant activity of CYP2E1 thus affording liver toxicity <![CDATA[<b>Genomic organization of the structural genes controlling the astaxanthin biosynthesis pathway of <i>Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous</i></b>]]> The cloning and nucleotide sequence of the genes (idi, crtE, crtYB, crtl and crtS) controlling the astaxanthin biosynthesis pathway of the wild-type ATCC 24230 strain of Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous in their genomic and cDNA version were obtained. The idi, crtE, crtYB, crtl and crtS genes were cloned, as fragments of 10.9, 11.5, 15.8, 5.9 and 4 kb respectively. The nucleotide sequence data analysis indicates that the idi, crtE, crtYB, crtl and crtS genes have 4, 8,4, 11, and 17 introns and 5, 9, 5, 12 and 18 exons respectively. In addition, a highly efficient site-directed mutagenesis system was developed by transformation by integration, followed by mitotic recombination (the double recombinant method). Heterozygote idi (idi+ / idi-::hph), crtE (crtE+ / crtE -::hph), crtYB (crtYB + / crtYB -::hph), crtI (crtI+ / crtI-::hph) and crtS (crtS +/crtS -::hph) and homozygote mutants crtYB (crtYB -::hph/crtYB -::hph), crtI (crtI -::hph/crtI -::hph) and crtS (crtS -::hph / crtS -::hph) were constructed. All the heterozygote mutants have a pale phenotype and produce less carotenoids than the wild-type strain. The genetic analysis of the crtYB, crtl and crtS loci in the wild-type, heterozygote, and homozygote give evidence of the diploid constitution of ATCC 24230 strains. In addition, the cloning of a truncated form of the crtYB that lacks 153 amino acids of the N-terminal region derived from alternatively spliced mRNA was obtained. Their heterologous expression in Escherichia coli carrying the carotenogenic cluster of Erwinia uredovora result in trans-complementation and give evidence of its functionality in this bacterium, maintaining its phytoene synthase activity but not the lycopene cyclase activity <![CDATA[<b>Friend erythroleukemia cells induce angiogenesis in chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane and in human umbilical vein endothelial cells</b>]]> The effects of Friend erythroleukemia cells on angiogenesis were studied in chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay and in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In chorioallantoic membrane assay, the conditioned medium of Friend cells stimulated in vivo angiogenesis to an extent comparable to that observed with Prostaglandin El, used as positive control. Prostaglandin El added to conditioned medium of Friend cells did not further increase angiogenesis. Conditioned medium of Friend erythroleukemia cells also stimulated proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells to an extent comparable to that observed with fetal bovine serum, used as positive control. Conditioned medium and fetal bovine serum together did not affect human umbilical vein endothelial cells proliferation, as compared to that observed when tested separately. These results seem to indicate that Friend erythroleukemia cells produce and secrete factors stimulating angiogenesis. These findings extend and confirm the hypothesis that successful angiogenesis is necessary for development of leukemias <![CDATA[<b>Bioethics and animal research</b>: <b>A personal perspective and a note on the contribution of Fritz Jahr</b>]]> Reviewing fundamental aspects of bioethics and outlining the work of the Bioethics Program of the Pan American Health Organization, this paper draws attention to the work of a forgotten pioneer- Fritz Jahr- who coined the term bioethics in 1927 and anticipated many of the arguments and discussions now current in biological research involving animals