PUBLICACIONES
Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 315 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE), 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Nicholas Kassebaum, Amador Goodridge, Christopher Murray and GBD 2015 DALYs and HALE Collaborators.
Lancet. 2016 Oct 8;388(10053):1603-1658. Abstract BACKGROUND: Healthy life expectancy (HALE) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) provide summary measures of health across geographies and time that can inform assessments of epidemiological patterns and health system performance, help to prioritise investments in research and development, and monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to provide updated HALE and DALYs for geographies worldwide and evaluate how disease burden changes with development.
METHODS: We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for each geography, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using the Sullivan method, which draws from age-specific death rates and YLDs per capita. We then assessed how observed levels of DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends calculated with the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator constructed from measures of income per capita, average years of schooling, and total fertility rate.
FINDINGS: Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2015, with decreases in communicable, neonatal, maternal, and nutritional (Group 1) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of this epidemiological transition was caused by changes in population growth and ageing, but it was accelerated by widespread improvements in SDI that also correlated strongly with the increasing importance of NCDs. Both total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most Group 1 causes significantly decreased by 2015, and although total burden climbed for the majority of NCDs, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined. Nonetheless, age-standardised DALY rates due to several high-burden NCDs (including osteoarthritis, drug use disorders, depression, diabetes, congenital birth defects, and skin, oral, and sense organ diseases) either increased or remained unchanged, leading to increases in their relative ranking in many geographies. From 2005 to 2015, HALE at birth increased by an average of 2.9 years (95% uncertainty interval 2.9-3.0) for men and 3.5 years (3.4-3.7) for women, while HALE at age 65 years improved by 0.85 years (0.78-0.92) and 1.2 years (1.1-1.3), respectively. Rising SDI was associated with consistently higher HALE and a somewhat smaller proportion of life spent with functional health loss; however, rising SDI was related to increases in total disability. Many countries and territories in central America and eastern sub-Saharan Africa had increasingly lower rates of disease burden than expected given their SDI. At the same time, a subset of geographies recorded a growing gap between observed and expected levels of DALYs, a trend driven mainly by rising burden due to war, interpersonal violence, and various NCDs.
INTERPRETATION: Health is improving globally, but this means more populations are spending more time with functional health loss, an absolute expansion of morbidity. The proportion of life spent in ill health decreases somewhat with increasing SDI, a relative compression of morbidity, which supports continued efforts to elevate personal income, improve education, and limit fertility. Our analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework on which to benchmark geography-specific health performance and SDG progress. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform financial and research investments, prevention efforts, health policies, and health system improvement initiatives for all countries along the development continuum.
MICA Expression Is Regulated by Cell Adhesion and Contact in a FAK/Src-Dependent Manner. Moncayo G, Lin D, McCarthy MT, Watson AA, O’Callaghan CA.
Front Immunol. 2017 Jan 19;7:687. doi: 10.3389
Abstract MICA is a major ligand for the NKG2D immune receptor, which plays a key role in activating natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T cells. We analyzed NKG2D ligand expression on a range of cell types and could demonstrate that MICA expression levels were closely linked to cellular growth mode. While the expression of other NKG2D ligands was largely independent of cell growth mode, MICA expression was mainly found on cells cultured as adherent cells. In addition, MICA surface expression was reduced through increase in cell-cell contact or loss of cell-matrix adherence. Furthermore, we found that the reduction in MICA expression was modulated by focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/Src signaling and associated with increased susceptibility to NK cell-mediated killing. While the mechanisms of tumor immune evasion are not fully understood, the reduction of MICA expression following loss of attachment poises a potential way by which metastasizing tumor cells avoid immune detection. The role of FAK/Src in this process indicates a potential therapeutic approach to modulate MICA expression and immune recognition of tumor cells during metastasis.
Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Stephen Lim, Amador Goodridge, Christopher Murray and GBD 2015 SDG Collaborators.
Lancet. 2016 Oct 8;388 (10053):1813-1850. Abstract BACKGROUND: In September, 2015, the UN General Assembly established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs specify 17 universal goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators leading up to 2030. We provide an analysis of 33 health-related SDG indicators based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015).
METHODS: We applied statistical methods to systematically compiled data to estimate the performance of 33 health-related SDG indicators for 188 countries from 1990 to 2015. We rescaled each indicator on a scale from 0 (worst observed value between 1990 and 2015) to 100 (best observed). Indices representing all 33 health-related SDG indicators (health-related SDG index), health-related SDG indicators included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG index), and health-related indicators not included in the MDGs (non-MDG index) were computed as the geometric mean of the rescaled indicators by SDG target. We used spline regressions to examine the relations between the Socio-demographic Index (SDI, a summary measure based on average income per person, educational attainment, and total fertility rate) and each of the health-related SDG indicators and indices.
FINDINGS: In 2015, the median health-related SDG index was 59.3 (95% uncertainty interval 56.8-61.8) and varied widely by country, ranging from 85.5 (84.2-86.5) in Iceland to 20.4 (15.4-24.9) in Central African Republic. SDI was a good predictor of the health-related SDG index (r(2)=0.88) and the MDG index (r(2)=0.92), whereas the non-MDG index had a weaker relation with SDI (r(2)=0.79). Between 2000 and 2015, the health-related SDG index improved by a median of 7.9 (IQR 5.0-10.4), and gains on the MDG index (a median change of 10.0 [6.7-13.1]) exceeded that of the non-MDG index (a median change of 5.5 [2.1-8.9]). Since 2000, pronounced progress occurred for indicators such as met need with modern contraception, under-5 mortality, and neonatal mortality, as well as the indicator for universal health coverage tracer interventions. Moderate improvements were found for indicators such as HIV and tuberculosis incidence, minimal changes for hepatitis B incidence took place, and childhood overweight considerably worsened.
INTERPRETATION: GBD provides an independent, comparable avenue for monitoring progress towards the health-related SDGs. Our analysis not only highlights the importance of income, education, and fertility as drivers of health improvement but also emphasises that investments in these areas alone will not be sufficient. Although considerable progress on the health-related MDG indicators has been made, these gains will need to be sustained and, in many cases, accelerated to achieve the ambitious SDG targets. The minimal improvement in or worsening of health-related indicators beyond the MDGs highlight the need for additional resources to effectively address the expanded scope of the health-related SDGs.
Volatile organic compounds associated with Plasmodium falciparum infection in vitro. Ricardo Correa, Lorena M. Coronado, Anette C. Garrido, Armando A. Durant-Archibold, Carmenza Spadafora.
Parasites and Vectors (2017 - In Press). Abstract Background
In order to identify new ways to prevent transmission of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, efforts have been made to understand how insects are attracted to humans. Vector–host interaction studies have shown that several volatile compounds play an important role in attracting mosquitoes to human targets. A headspace solid-phase micro-extraction/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HSPME GC-MS) analysis of the volatile organic composition of extracellular vesicles (EVs) and supernatants of ultracentrifugation (SNUs) was carried out in Plasmodium falciparum-infected cultures with high and low parasitemias. Results
A list of 18 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was obtained from the EVs of both infected and uninfected RBCs with 1,2,3-Propantriol-1,3-diacetate (diacetin) increased in the infected EVs, regardless of the parasitemia of the culture. The supernatant analysis, however, gave off 56 VOCs, with pentane 2,2,4-trimethyl being present in all the SNUs of uninfected erythrocytes but absent from the parasite-infected ones. Standing out in this study was hexanal, a reported insect attractant, which was the only VOC present in all samples from SNUs from infected erythrocytes and absent from uninfected ones, suggesting that it originates during the parasite infection.
Conclusions
The hexanal compound, reportedly a low-level component found in healthy human samples such as breath and plasma, had not been found in previous analyses of P. falciparum-infected patients or cultures. This compound has been reported as an Anopheles gambiae attractant in plants. While the compound could be produced during infection by the malaria parasite in human erythrocytes, the A. gambiae attraction could be used by the parasite as a strategy for transmission.
Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 Theo Vos, Amador Goodridge, Christopher Murray and the GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators.
Lancet. 2016 Oct 8;388 (10053):1545-1602. Abstract BACKGROUND: Non-fatal outcomes of disease and injury increasingly detract from the ability of the world’s population to live in full health, a trend largely attributable to an epidemiological transition in many countries from causes affecting children, to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) more common in adults. For the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we estimated the incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for diseases and injuries at the global, regional, and national scale over the period of 1990 to 2015.
METHODS: We estimated incidence and prevalence by age, sex, cause, year, and geography with a wide range of updated and standardised analytical procedures. Improvements from GBD 2013 included the addition of new data sources, updates to literature reviews for 85 causes, and the identification and inclusion of additional studies published up to November, 2015, to expand the database used for estimation of non-fatal outcomes to 60 900 unique data sources. Prevalence and incidence by cause and sequelae were determined with DisMod-MR 2.1, an improved version of the DisMod-MR Bayesian meta-regression tool first developed for GBD 2010 and GBD 2013. For some causes, we used alternative modeling strategies where the complexity of the disease was not suited to DisMod-MR 2.1 or where incidence and prevalence needed to be determined from other data. For GBD 2015 we created a summary indicator that combines measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility (the Socio-demographic Index [SDI]) and used it to compare observed patterns of health loss to the expected pattern for countries or locations with similar SDI scores.
FINDINGS: We generated 9.3 billion estimates from the various combinations of prevalence, incidence, and YLDs for causes, sequelae, and impairments by age, sex, geography, and year. In 2015, two causes had acute incidences in excess of 1 billion: upper respiratory infections (17.2 billion, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 15.4-19.2 billion) and diarrhoeal diseases (2.39 billion, 2.30-2.50 billion). Eight causes of chronic disease and injury each affected more than 10% of the world’s population in 2015: permanent caries, tension-type headache, iron-deficiency anaemia, age-related and other hearing loss, migraine, genital herpes, refraction and accommodation disorders, and ascariasis. The impairment that affected the greatest number of people in 2015 was anaemia, with 2.36 billion (2.35-2.37 billion) individuals affected. The second and third leading impairments by number of individuals affected were hearing loss and vision loss, respectively. Between 2005 and 2015, there was little change in the leading causes of years lived with disability (YLDs) on a global basis. NCDs accounted for 18 of the leading 20 causes of age-standardised YLDs on a global scale. Where rates were decreasing, the rate of decrease for YLDs was slower than that of years of life lost (YLLs) for nearly every cause included in our analysis. For low SDI geographies, Group 1 causes typically accounted for 20-30% of total disability, largely attributable to nutritional deficiencies, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Lower back and neck pain was the
leading global cause of disability in 2015 in most countries. The leading cause was sense organ disorders in 22 countries in Asia and Africa and one in central Latin America; diabetes in four countries in Oceania; HIV/AIDS in three southern sub-Saharan African countries; collective violence and legal intervention in two north African and Middle Eastern countries; iron-deficiency anaemia in Somalia and Venezuela; depression in Uganda; onchoceriasis in Liberia; and other neglected tropical diseases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. INTERPRETATION: Ageing of the world’s population is increasing the number of people living with sequelae of diseases and injuries. Shifts in the epidemiological profile driven by socioeconomic change also contribute to the continued increase in years lived with disability (YLDs) as well as the rate of increase in YLDs. Despite limitations imposed by gaps in data availability and the variable quality of the data available, the standardised and comprehensive approach of the GBD study provides opportunities to examine broad trends, compare those trends between countries or subnational geographies, benchmark against locations at similar stages of development, and gauge the strength or weakness of the estimates available.
Identification of Inhibitors of CD36-Amyloid Beta Binding as Potential Agents for Alzheimer’s Disease Deborah Doens, Pedro A. Valiente, Adelphe M. Mfuh, Anh X. T. Vo, Adilia Tristan, Lizmar Carreño, Mario Quijada, Vu T. Nguyen, George Perry, Oleg V. Larionov, Ricardo Lleonart, and Patricia L. Fernández.
ACS Chem Neurosci. 2017 Feb 15. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00386. [Epub ahead of print]PMID:28150942 Abstract Neuroinflammation is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Amyloid β has a central role in microglia activation and the subsequent secretion of inflammatory mediators that are associated with neuronal toxicity. The recognition of amyloid β by microglia depends on the expression of several receptors implicated in the clearance of amyloid and in cell activation. CD36 receptor expressed on microglia interacts with fibrils of amyloid inducing the release of proinflammatory cytokines and amyloid internalization. The interruption of the interaction CD36-amyloid β compromises the activation of microglia cells. We have developed and validated a new colorimetric assay to identify potential inhibitors of the binding of amyloid β to CD36. We have found seven molecules, structural analogues of the Trichodermamide family of natural products that interfere with the interaction CD36-amyloid β. By combining molecular docking and dynamics simulations, we suggested the second fatty acids binding site within the large luminal hydrophobic tunnel, present in the extracellular domain of CD36, as the binding pocket of these compounds. Free energy calculations predicted the nonpolar component as the driving force for the binding of these inhibitors. These molecules also inhibited the production of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β by peritoneal macrophages stimulated with fibrils of amyloid β. This work serves as a platform for the identification of new potential anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Toxins and pharmacologically active compounds from species of the family Bufonidae (Amphibia, Anura) Candelario Rodríguez, Louise Rollins-Smith, Roberto Ibáñez, Armando A. Durant-Archibold, Marcelino Gutiérrez.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2017, 198: 235-254. Abstract Ethnopharmacological relevance: Among amphibians, 15 of the 47 species reported to be used in traditional medicines belong to the family Bufonidae, which demonstrates their potential in pharmacological and natural products research. For example, Asian and American tribes use the skin and the parotoid gland secretions of some common toads in the treatment of hemorrhages, bites and stings from venomous animals, skin and stomach disorders, as well as several types of cancers.
Overarching objective: In addition to reviewing the occurrence of chemical constituents present in the family Bufonidae, the cytotoxic and biomedical potential of the active compounds produced by different taxa are presented.
Methodology: Available information on bioactive compounds isolated from species of the family Bufonidae was obtained from ACS Publications, Google, Google Scholar, Pubmed, Sciendirect and Springer. Papers written in Chinese, English, German and Spanish were considered.
Results: Recent reports show more than 30% of amphibians are in decline and some of bufonid species are considered to be extinct. For centuries, bufonids have been used as traditional folk remedies to treat allergies, inflammation, cancer, infections and other ailments, highlighting their importance as a prolific source for novel drugs and therapies. Toxins and bioactive chemical constituents from skin and parotid gland secretions of bufonid species can be grouped in five families, the guanidine alkaloids isolated and characterized from Atelopus, the lipophilic alkaloids isolated from Melanophryniscus, the indole alkaloids and bufadienolides known to be synthesized by species of bufonids, and peptides and proteins isolated from the skin and gastrointestinal extracts of some common toads. Overall, the bioactive secretions of this family of anurans may have antimicrobial, protease inhibitor and anticancer properties, as well as being active at the neuromuscular level.
Conclusion: In this article, the traditional uses, toxicity and pharmacological potential of chemical compounds from bufonids have been summarized. In spite of being reported to be used to treat several diseases, neither extracts nor metabolites from bufonids have been tested in such illness like acne, osteoporosis, arthritis and other illnesses. However, the cytotoxicity of these metabolites needs to be evaluated on adequate animal models due to the limited conditions of in vitro assays. Novel qualitative and quantitative tools based on MS spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy is now available to study the complex secretions of bufonids.
Séroprévalence de Toxoplasma gondii chez les animaux domestiques des régions métropolitaines du Panama. Claudia Rengifo-Herrera, Edwin Pila, Anabel García, Alexander Pérez, Dimas Pérez, Felicia K. Nguyen, Valli de la Guardia, Rima Mcleod and Zuleima Caballero.
Parasites (2017 - In Press). Abstract Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease but information regarding domestic animals in Central America is scarce and fragmented. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in domestic cats and dogs in different metropolitan regions of Panama. A total of 576 samples were collected; sera from 120 cats and 456 dogs were tested using a commercial indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The overall seroprevalence of IgG antibodies was 30.73%. There is high seroprevalence of T. gondii in cats and dogs in the metropolitan regions around the Panama Canal; however, differences between these species were not significant. Statistical analysis indicated that there are relevant variables, such as the age of animals, with a direct positive relationship with seroprevalence. None of the variables related to animal welfare (veterinary attention provided, type of dwelling, and access to green areas and drinking water) were associated with seropositivity.
New curcumin-loaded chitosan-nanocapsules: in vivo evaluation. Edgar Marin, Maria Isabel Briceño, Alicia Torres, Catherina Caballero-George.
Planta Med. 2017 Mar 6. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-104633. [Epub ahead of print] Abstract The medicinal applications of curcumin, the major component of Curcuma longa, are limited by its poor solubility and low oral bioavailability. In order to overcome this limitation, a method to produce nanocapsules of chitosan loaded with curcumin was developed. Three different molecular weight and deacetilation degrees chitosan polymers were used in the formulation in order to prepare curcumin-loaded nanocapsules (mass ratio 1:1.4). The best results were achieved using chitosan-Bi with a molecular weight of 710,000 Da. A bimodal distribution was observed in samples; moreover, Chitosan-Bi produced the lowest particle size (197 nm). The entrapment efficacy of all chitosan-nanocapsules produced reached values between 75% and 92%. Their rate of drug release at different pH (2.0 and 7.4) showed a fast onset of curcumin release. Swiss mice were used to determine oral and total bioavailability of the new curcumin loaded nanocapsules. Remarkably, the bioavailability of curcumin nanoformulated increased by 9 folds compared with no formulated curcumin. These nanocapsules have the ability to cross blood brain barrier, and its production is an easy to scale up procedure using non-toxic materials.
Selection of chemical markers for the quality control of medicinal plants of the genus Cecropia. Andrés Rivera-Mondragón, Orlando O. Ortíz, Sebastiaan Bijttebier, Arnold Vlietinck, Sandra Apers, Luc Pieters & Catherina Caballero-George.
Pharmaceutical Biology, 55:1, 1500-1512,2017 DOI: 10.1080/13880209.2017.1307421 Abstract Context: Several Cecropia (Cecropiaceae) species are traditionally used in Latin America for the treatment of a variety of diseases including diabetes, arterial hypertension, asthma, bronchitis, nxiety, and inflammation.
At present, a number of commercial products based on these plants have been introduced into the market with very little information on methods for guaranteeing their quality and safety.
Objective: This work proposes potential chemical markers for the quality control of the raw materials of Cecropia obtusifolia Bertol., Cecropia peltata L., Cecropia glaziovii Snethl., Cecropia pachystachya Trecul, and Cecropia hololeuca Miq. Methods: The Herbal Chemical Marker Ranking System (HerbMaRS) developed by the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at the University of Western Sydney was used for selecting chemical markers for the quality control of selected medicinal species of Cecropia. This review covers the period from 1982 to 2016.
Results: Chlorogenic acid, flavonoidal glycosides (orientin, isoorientin, vitexin, isovitexin, and rutin), catechin, epicatechin, procyanidins (B2, B5, and C1), steroids (b-sitosterol), and triterpenoids (a-amyrin, pomolic, tormentic and ursolic acids) were selected as chemical markers for the quality control of the leaves.
Conclusion: It is necessary to establish comprehensive standards for guaranteeing quality, safety and efficacy of herbal drugs. The selection of adequate chemical markers for quality control purposes requires a good knowledge about the chemical composition of medicinal plants and their associated biological properties.
To the best of our knowledge this review article is the first to address the identification and quantitative determination of the chemical markers for the genus Cecropia.
Root oxygen loss from Raphia taedigera palms mediates greenhouse gas emissions in lowland neotropical peatlands. Jorge Hoyos-Santillan, Jim Craigon, Barry H. Lomax, Omar R. Lopez, Benjamin L. Turner, Sofie Sjögersten.
Plant and Soil, July 2016, Volume 404, Issue 1, pp 47–60
Abstract Aims: Little is known about the influence of vegetation on the timing and quantities of greenhouse gas fluxes from lowland Neotropical peatlands to the atmosphere. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated if palm forests moderate greenhouse gas fluxes from tropical peatlands due to radial oxygen loss from roots into the peat matrix. Methods: We compared the diurnal pattern of greenhouse gas fluxes from peat monoliths with and without seedlings of Raphia taedigera palm, and monitored the effect of land use change on greenhouse gas fluxes from R. taedigera palm and monitored the effect of land use change on greenhouse gas fluxes from R. taedigera palm swamps in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Results: CH fluxes from peat monoliths with R. taedigera seedlings varied diurnally, with the greatest emissions during daytime. Radial oxygen loss from the roots of R. taedigera seedlings partially supressed CH emissions at midday; this suppression increased as seedlings grew. On a larger scale, removal of R. taedigera palms or agriculture increased CH and N O fluxes, but decreased CO fluxes when compared to nearby intact palm forest. The net impact of forest clearance was a doubling of the radiative forcing. Conclusions: R. taedigera palm forest influences the emission of greenhouse gases from lowland tropical peatlands through radial oxygen loss into the rhizosphere.

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High permeability explains the vulnerability of the carbon store in drained tropical peatlands. Andy J. Baird, Robert Low, Dylan Young, Graeme T. Swindles, Omar R. Lopez and Susan Page.
Parasites (2017 - In Press). Abstract Tropical peatlands are an important global carbon (C) store but are threatened by drainage for palm oil and wood pulp production. The store’s stability depends on the dynamics of the peatland water table, which in turn depend on peat permeability. We found that an example of the most abundant type of tropical peatland—ombrotrophic domes—has an unexpectedly high permeability similar to that of gravel.
Using computer simulations of a natural peat dome (NPD) and a ditch-drained peat dome (DPD) we explored how such high permeability affects water tables and peat decay. High permeability has little effect on NPD water tables because of low hydraulic gradients from the center to the margin of the peatland. In contrast, DPD water tables are consistently deep, leaving the upper meter of peat exposed to rapid decay. Our results reveal why ditch drainage precipitates a rapid destabilization of the tropical peatland C store.
Assessment of Novel Curcumin Derivatives as Potent Inhibitors of Inflammation and β-Amyloid Aggregation in Alzheimer’s Disease Johant Lakey-Beitia, Yisett González, Deborah Doens, David E. Stephens, Ricardo Santamaría, Enrique Murillo, Marcelino Gutiérrez, Patricia L. Fernández, K. S. Rao, Oleg V. Larionov, Armando A. Durant-Archibold.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (2017 - In Press). Abstract Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting the elderly population worldwide. Brain inflammation plays a key role in the progression of AD. Deposition of senile plaques in the brain stimulates an inflammatory response with the overexpression of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as the neuroinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-6. Curcumin has been revealed to be a potential agent for treating AD following different neuroprotective mechanisms, such as inhibition of aggregation and decrease in brain inflammation. We synthesized new curcumin derivatives with the aim of providing good anti-aggregation capacity but also improved anti-inflammatory activity. Nine curcumin derivatives were synthesized by etherification and esterification of the aromatic region. From these derivatives, compound 8 exhibited an anti-inflammatory effect similar to curcumin, while compounds 3, 4 and 10 were more potent. Moreover, when the anti-aggregation activity is considered compounds 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 showed biological activity in vitro. Compound 4 exhibited a strong anti-aggregation effect higher than curcumin. Monofunctionalized curcumin derivatives showed better bioactivity than difunctionalized compounds. Moreover, the presence of bulky groups in the chemical structure of curcumin derivatives decreased bioactivity.
Sources of variation in foliar secondary chemistry in a tropical forest tree community. Brian E. Sedio, Juan C. Rojas Echeverri, Cristopher A. Boya P., and S. Joseph Wright.
Ecology, 98(3), 2017, pp. 616–623 Abstract Specialist herbivores and pathogens could induce negative conspecific density dependence among their hosts and thereby contribute to the diversity of plant communities. A small number of hyperdiverse genera comprise a large portion of tree diversity in tropical forests. These closely related congeners are likely to share natural enemies. Diverse defenses could still allow congeners to partition niche space defined by natural enemies, but interspecific differences in defenses would have to exceed intraspecific variation in defenses. We ask whether interspecific variation in secondary chemistry exceeds intraspecific variation for species from four hyperdiverse tropical tree genera. We used novel methods to quantify chemical structural similarity for all compounds present in methanol extracts of leaf tissue. We sought to maximize intraspecific variation by selecting conspecific leaves from different ontogenetic stages (expanding immature vs. fully hardened mature), different light environments (deep understory shade vs. large forest gaps), and different seasons (dry vs. wet). Chemical structural similarity differed with ontogeny, light environment, and season, but interspecific differences including those among congeneric species were much larger. Our results suggest that species differences in secondary chemistry are large relative to within-species variation, perhaps sufficiently large to permit niche segregation among congeneric tree species based on chemical defenses.
Cognitive Deficits after Cerebral Ischemia and Underlying Dysfunctional Plasticity: Potential Targets for Recovery of Cognition. Holly M. Stradecki-Cohan, Charles H. Cohan, Ami P. Ravala, Kunjan R. Davea, Diego Reginensi, Rolando A. Gittens, Mehdi Youbi, and Miguel A. Perez-Pinzon.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Diseases (2017 - In Press). Abstract Cerebral ischemia affects millions of people worldwide and survivors suffer from long-term functional and cognitive deficits. While stroke and cardiac arrest are typically considered when discussing ischemic brain injuries, there is much evidence that smaller ischemic insults underlie neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. The “regenerative” capacity of the brain relies on several aspects of plasticity that are crucial for normal functioning; less affected brain areas may take over function previously performed by irreversibly damaged tissue. To harness the endogenous plasticity mechanisms of the brain to provide recovery of cognitive function, we must first understand how these mechanisms are altered after damage, such as cerebral ischemia. In this review, we discuss the long-term cognitive changes that result after cerebral ischemia and how ischemia alters several plasticity processes. We conclude with a discussion of how current and prospective therapies may restore brain plasticity and allow for recovery of cognitive function which may be applicable to more disorders that have a disruption of cognitive processing including traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutrient Availability in Tropical Rain Forests: The Paradigm of Phosphorus Limitation. James W. Dalling, Katherine Heineman, Omar R. Lopez, S. Joseph Wright, Benjamin L. Turner.
Tropical Tree Physiology, Volume 6 of the series Tree Physiology pp 261-273 Abstract A long-standing paradigm in tropical ecology is that phosphorus (P) availability limits the productivity of most lowland forests, with the largest pool of plant-available P resident in biomass . Evidence that P limits components of productivity is particularly strong for sites in Panama and the Amazon basin. Analyses of forest communities in Panama also show that tree species distributions are strongly affected by P availability at the regional scale, but that their local distributions in a single site on Barro Colorado Island (BCI) are as frequently correlated with base cations as with P. Traits associated with species sensitivity to P availability require more detailed exploration, but appear to show little similarity with those associated with N limitation in temperate forests. Recent research indicates that a large fraction of P in tropical forests exists as organic and microbial P in the soil; plant adaptations to access organic P, including the synthesis of phosphatase enzymes, likely represent critical adaptations to low P environments. Plants also cope with low P availability through increases in P use-efficiency resulting from increased retention time of P in biomass and decreased tissue P concentration. Although foliar P responds strongly to P addition, we show here that foliar P and N:P are highly variable within communities, and at BCI correlate with regional species distributional affinity for P. An improved understanding of P limitation, and in particular the plasticity of responses to P availability, will be critical to predicting community and ecosystem responses of tropical forests to climate change.
Method to Produce Curcumin Oil-in-Water Nanoemulsions as Templates
for Drug Carriers. Marin E, Briceño MI and Caballero-George C.
Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials 2016, 6:4 Abstract Curcumin has a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological activities, which could be better exploited in numerous medical applications if it were not for its poor water-solubility. In this study, we describe a new method to improve curcumin solubility, using a combination of paraffin oil and ethanol. Further, we describe a systematic and efficient procedure to develop a formulation and a scalable mixing method in order to produce curcumin loaded oil-in-water nanoemulsions that can be used as nanocapsule templates with potential biomedical applications.
Individual and sex differences in high and low responder phenotypes. María B. Carreira, Ricardo Cossio, Gabrielle B. Britton.
Behavioural Processes 136 (2017) 20–27 Abstract Individual differences in responses to a novel environment are an important tool to predict predisposition to neuropsychiatric disorders. One way to examine individual differences involves classifying animals based on locomotion in a novel context. In this study we focused on individual and sex differences by categorizing female and male mice as high (HR) or low responders (LR) on the basis of open field loco-motion. We then assessed whether groups differed on behavioral measures of spontaneous alternations, anxiety, depression and contextual fear conditioning. In the Y-maze, we observed no differences across HR/LR or sex on spontaneous alternations, but HR displayed more locomotion. HR male mice showed less anxiety-like behavior in the light-dark test but not the elevated plus maze. We observed no differences in the forced swim test across HR/LR, although males exhibited greater depression-like behavior overall. HR mice exhibited less contextual fear memory compared to LR regardless of sex. Principal component analyses suggested sex-specific patterns of behaviors across tests, with female responses within individual tests tending to load together. In females anxiety- and depression-like behaviors explained a large part of the variance observed across tests in our battery, whereas male behavior was primarily explained by variables related to locomotion.
EDICIÓN ACTUAL SUSCRÍBETE
1ra Edición 2017
DONACIONES Usted puede donar para apoyar becas de investigación, becas para estudiantes de escuelas, puede ser patrocinador del programa de conciencia pública, de laboratorios de ciencias de innovación para niños, un laboratorio puede llevar el nombre de usted o de alguna persona de su familia que valore donando y también se puede donar para apoyar diversas actividades educativas. Todas las donaciones son libres de impuestos. Para mayor información contactar al Dr. Jagannatha Rao
Correo: jrao@indicasat.org.pa kjr5n2009@gmail.com

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