Abstract. Although the nephropathy of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is known both in humans and dogs, histopathologic alterations have not been thoroughly studied. We examined renal alterations in 55 dogs with naturally acquired VL compared with five noninfected dogs from an endemic area in northeastern Brazil. Glomerulonephritis was found in 55 dogs, interstitial alterations in 53 dogs, and tubular changes in 43 dogs with VL. The glomerular alterations found were minor glomerular abnormalities (n ϭ 8, 14.5%), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (n ϭ 10, 18.2%), mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (n ϭ 17, 32.7%), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis ,(n ϭ 18, 30.9%), crescentic glomerulonephritis (n ϭ 1, 1.8%), and chronic glomerulonephritis (n ϭ 1, 1.8%). Morphometric and ultrastructural studies complemented the analysis. The five control animals exhibited no glomerular alterations. The glomerular lesions were related to functional alterations. Considering that the alterations of canine and human nephropathy in VL are very similar, the data obtained in this study constitute an important contribution to the understanding of canine and human VL nephropathy.Key words: Dogs; glomerulonephritis; morphometry; renal pathology; ultrastructure; visceral leishmaniasis.Canine visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a highly prevalent infection encountered throughout the world. In Brazil, VL results from infection by the protozoan Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi, which occurs in 18 of 27 Brazilian states. 20,22,26 VL is endemic to northeastern Brazil, and in Teresina, in the State of Piaui, some 1,600 dogs presenting naturally acquired VL were known when this study was initiated. At present, VL is also spreading to other urban areas in the southern and southeast regions, where the disease was not previously endemic. 31 In the infectious cycle of VL, the dog is the most important domestic reservoir and exhibits chronic evolution of the disease. 1,8,21 Leishmania is an obligatory intracellular parasite of mononuclear phagocytes. During infection, various host organs are affected including the kidney. Although VL-related nephropathy is known both in humans and dogs, the histopathologic patterns of the lesions present in VL have not been clearly established because most studies are based on very few cases and mainly because well-defined, lesion classification criteria were not used. 3,4,9,10,24,37,38 In human VL, glomerulosclerosis, mesangial cell proliferation, and interstitial nephritis have been reported. 3,9,10,16,18,38 Renal involvement in canine VL is also frequent, and the renal changes are similar to those seen in humans. 2,5,8,23,32 This similarity renders the study of canine VL nephropathy of interest with regard to human pathology. The renal lesion itself does not lead to renal insufficiency. However, when moderate or severe renal lesions are present, VL patients with systemic complications such as secondary infections, sepsis, and hypotension do develop renal insufficiency. 16 Furthermore, glomerular lesions appare...
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease encompasses a spectrum of liver diseases, including simple steatosis, steatohepatitis, liver fibrosis and cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is currently the most dominant chronic liver disease in Western countries due to the fact that hepatic steatosis is associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, metabolic syndrome and drug-induced injury. A variety of chemicals, mainly drugs, and diets is known to cause hepatic steatosis in humans and rodents. Experimental non-alcoholic fatty liver disease models rely on the application of a diet or the administration of drugs to laboratory animals or the exposure of hepatic cell lines to these drugs. More recently, genetically modified rodents or zebrafish have been introduced as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease models. Considerable interest now lies in the discovery and development of novel non-invasive biomarkers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, with specific focus on hepatic steatosis. Experimental diagnostic biomarkers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, such as (epi)genetic parameters and '-omics'-based read-outs are still in their infancy, but show great promise. In this paper, the array of tools and models for the study of liver steatosis is discussed. Furthermore, the current state-of-art regarding experimental biomarkers such as epigenetic, genetic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabonomic biomarkers will be reviewed.
In view of recent studies incriminating several species of anophelines, besides Anopheles darlingi, as malaria vectors in the Brazilian Amazon, we performed an anopheline survey in four localities - Ariquemes, Cujubim, Machadinho and Itapoã do Oeste - in Rondônia, the most malarious State in the Country. Twenty species were found. An. darlingi was, by far, the dominant species and the only one whose density coincided with that of malaria. On human baits it was more numerous in the immediate vincinity of houses than indoors whre, however, it was almost the only species encountered. On both situations it fed mostly at sunset and during the first half of the night. It was less numerous far from houses and scarce inside the forest. Other species (An. triannulatus, An. evansae, An. albitarsis, An. strodei) appeared in appreciable numbers only in Ariquemes, both in areas with and without malaria. The remaining species were scanty. An. darlingi was confirmed as the primary local vector.
Gap junction intercellular communication capacity and connexin expression are reportedly decreased in human lung cancer. The mechanisms by which connexins, the gap junction proteins, act as tumor suppressors are unclear. In order to understand the involvement of connexins in tumorigenesis, we analyzed the effect of the heterologous deletion of Gja1 [the connexin43 (Cx43) gene] on the development of lung adenomas in mice. Heterozygous (Cx43(+/-)) and wild-type mice (Cx43(+/+)) were treated or not with single doses of urethane at 15 and 17 days after birth. Twenty-five weeks later, both the number and size of nodules were increased in Cx43(+/-) mice as compared with Cx43(+/+) mice. Moreover, the lesions were histologically more aggressive in the heterozygous mice. However, no increase in spontaneous lesions was observed in the lungs of untreated Cx43(+/-) mice. Heterozygous mice effectively presented lower expression of Cx43 genes and decreased amounts of Cx43. In conclusion, our results indicate that deletion of one allele of the Cx43 gene clearly favors the carcinogenic effect of urethane administration and results in a higher susceptibility to lung adenoma formation in mice.
Background and aims Being goalkeepers of liver homeostasis, gap junctions are also involved in hepatotoxicity. However, their role in this process is ambiguous, as gap junctions can act as both targets and effectors of liver toxicity. This particularly holds true for drug-induced liver insults. In the present study, the involvement of connexin 26, connexin32 and connexin43, the building blocks of liver gap junctions, was investigated in acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. Methods C57BL/6 mice were overdosed with 300 mg/kg body weight acetaminophen followed by analysis of the expression and localization of connexins as well as monitoring of hepatic gap junction functionality. Furthermore, acetaminophen-induced liver injury was compared between mice genetically deficient in connexin43 and wild type littermates. Evaluation of the toxicological response was based on a set of clinically relevant parameters, including protein adduct formation, measurement of alanine aminotransferase activity, cytokines and glutathione. Results It was found that gap junction communication deteriorates upon acetaminophen intoxication in wild type mice, which is associated with a switch in mRNA and protein production from connexin32 and connexin26 to connexin43. The upregulation of connexin43 expression is due, at least in part, to de novo production by hepatocytes. Connexin43-deficient animals tended to show increased liver cell death, inflammation and oxidative stress in comparison with wild type counterparts. Conclusion These results suggest that hepatic connexin43-based signaling may protect against acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity.
Background Cellular channels composed of connexin 43 are known to act as key players in the life cycle of the skin and consequently to underlie skin repair. Objective This study was specifically set up to investigate the suite of molecular mechanisms driven by connexin 43-based channels on wound healing. Methods To this end, a battery of parameters, including re-epithelialization, neovascularization, collagen deposition and extracellular matrix remodeling, was monitored over time during experimentally induced skin repair in heterozygous connexin 43 knockout mice. Results It was found that connexin 43 deficiency accelerates re-epithelialization and wound closure, increases proliferation and activation of dermal fibroblasts, and enhances the expression of extracellular matrix remodeling mediators. Conclusion These data substantiate the notion that connexin 43 may represent an interesting therapeutic target in dermal wound healing.
Gap junction channels, formed by connexins (Cx), are involved in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, cell growth, differentiation, and development. Several studies have shown that Cx43 is involved in the control of wound healing in dermal tissue. However, it remains unknown whether Cx43 plays a role in the control of liver fibrogenesis. Our study investigated the roles of Cx43 heterologous deletion on carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced hepatic fibrosis in mice. We administered CCl(4) to both Cx43-deficient (Cx43(+/-)) and wild-type mice and examined hepatocellular injury and collagen deposition by histological and ultrastructural analyses. Serum biochemical analysis was performed to quantify liver injury. Hepatocyte proliferation was analyzed immunohistochemically. Protein and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of liver connexins were evaluated using immunohistochemistry as well as immunoblotting analysis and quantitative real-time PCR. We demonstrated that Cx43(+/-) mice developed excessive liver fibrosis compared with wild-type mice after CCl(4) -induced chronic hepatic injury, with thick and irregular collagen fibers. Histopathological evaluation showed that Cx43(+/-) mice present less necroinflammatory lesions in liver parenchyma and consequent reduction of serum aminotransferase activity. Hepatocyte cell proliferation was reduced in Cx43(+/-) mice. There was no difference in Cx32 and Cx26 protein or mRNA expression in fibrotic mice. Protein expression of Cx43 increased in CCl(4)-treated mice, although with aberrant protein location on cytoplasm of perisinusoidal cells. Our results demonstrate that Cx43 plays an important role in the control and regulation of hepatic fibrogenesis.
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