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1.
Front Aging Neurosci ; 13: 663837, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34248600

RESUMO

A worldwide increase in longevity is bringing novel challenges to public health and health care professionals. Cognitive impairment in the elderly may compromise living conditions and precede Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent form of dementia. Therefore, finding molecular markers associated with cognitive impairment is of crucial importance. Lipocalin 2 (LCN2), an iron-related protein, has been suggested as a potential marker for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. This study aimed at investigating the association between LCN2 measured in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with cognitive impairment. A cross-sectional design based on two aging cohorts was used: individuals diagnosed with subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), MCI, and AD from a Swedish memory clinic-based cohort, and individuals diagnosed with SCC and AD from a Portuguese cohort. Binary logistic [for the outcome cognitive impairment (MCI + AD) in the Swedish cohort and AD in the Portuguese cohort] and multinomial logistic (for the outcomes MCI and AD) regression analyses were used. No associations were found in both cohorts when controlling for sex, education, and age. This explanatory study suggests that the association between serum and CSF LCN2 concentrations with cognitive impairment reported in the literature must be further analyzed for confounders.

2.
Violence Vict ; 36(3): 363-380, 2021 Jun 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34103412

RESUMO

In the last two decades, the problem of violence in the family sphere in particular and in intimate relationships in general has been on the agenda for Portuguese governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Several initiatives and campaigns have been launched, which are aimed at reducing occurrence of this violence, particularly among teenagers. This present study aims to assess the evolution in adolescents' attitudes and behaviors concerning intimate partner violence. We collected data from a sample of adolescents (n = 913) to compare with corresponding data collected 7 years ago by Neves and Nogueira (2010) in a sample that had identical sociodemographic characteristics (n = 899). Both cohorts resided in the same areas in the northeastern region of Portugal. The instruments used were the Scale of Beliefs about Marital Violence (ECVC) and the Marital Violence Inventory (IVC; Neves & Nogueira, 2010). The results indicate that although respondents tend to reject traditional beliefs on marital violence more now than in the past, especially male and older respondents, the percentage of dating violence reports has not decreased. Among girls, there was even an increase in perpetration of emotional and mild physical violence. We discuss possible reasons for this discrepancy between the evolution of attitudes and behaviors and make suggestions for improvement in the actions implemented among teenagers to increase their effectiveness.

3.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 655052, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33995074

RESUMO

A genuine and functional lymphatic vascular system is found in the meninges that sheath the central nervous system (CNS). This unexpected (re)discovery led to a reevaluation of CNS fluid and solute drainage mechanisms, neuroimmune interactions and the involvement of meningeal lymphatics in the initiation and progression of neurological disorders. In this manuscript, we provide an overview of the development, morphology and unique functional features of meningeal lymphatics. An outline of the different factors that affect meningeal lymphatic function, such as growth factor signaling and aging, and their impact on the continuous drainage of brain-derived molecules and meningeal immune cells into the cervical lymph nodes is also provided. We also highlight the most recent discoveries about the roles of the CNS-draining lymphatic vasculature in different pathologies that have a strong neuroinflammatory component, including brain trauma, tumors, and aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Lastly, we provide a critical appraisal of the conundrums, challenges and exciting questions involving the meningeal lymphatic system that ought to be investigated in years to come.

4.
Aggress Behav ; 47(3): 354-363, 2021 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33611803

RESUMO

Despite the efforts of recent decades to reduce gender inequality, sexism is still prevalent among adolescents. The objective of this study was to identify the main socioeconomic characteristics, personal experiences, resources, and competencies associated with sexism in a sample of adolescents from different European countries. Baseline data from the Lights4Violence project included 1555 students ages 12-17 from secondary schools in six European countries (Spain, Italy, Romania, United Kingdom, Portugal, and Poland). Linear regression models were carried out, stratified by sex for benevolent (BS) and hostile (HS) dimensions of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory. The average age of the sample was 14.3 years (SD = 1.5), 59.3% were girls. Boys scored higher on the measure of sexism (mean BS = 29.7; HS = 29.1) than girls (BS = 27.5, HS = 23.0; p < .001). Girls whose mothers had a university degree reported lower BS (ß = -0.113; p = .023) (reference: lower education). Girls who had experienced dating violence reported higher HS (ß = .080; p = .010) than those who had never been in an intimate relationship. For both sexes, high aggressiveness was associated with high levels of HS, and high aggressiveness was related to high levels of BS in boys. High assertiveness was associated with high levels of BS in both sexes and with high levels of HS in boys. A high level of problem-solving ability was associated with lower HS in both sexes. The study reinforces the need to invest in school programs aimed at preventing dating violence and promoting positive youth development.


Assuntos
Sexismo , Adolescente , Criança , Europa (Continente) , Feminino , Humanos , Itália/epidemiologia , Masculino , Portugal/epidemiologia , Espanha , Reino Unido
5.
J Adolesc Health ; 68(5): 922-929, 2021 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33067152

RESUMO

PURPOSE: To analyze the potential association between social support, experiences of violence, and sociodemographic characteristics of adolescents and the likelihood of acceptance of violence and machismo in different European countries. METHODS: Cross-sectional design. We recruited 1,555 participants ages 13-16 from secondary schools in Alicante (Spain), Rome (Italy), Iasi (Romania), Matosinhos (Portugal), Poznan (Poland), and Cardiff (UK). We used linear regression models to identify how social support from teachers and parents, experiences of violence-dating violence, bullying, cyberbullying, abuse in childhood-and sociodemographic characteristics were associated with violent thinking, specifically: machismo and acceptance of violence. The analysis was stratified by sex. RESULTS: Acceptance of violence was higher for those who had lower perceived social support from parents (ßgirls = -154, p < .001; ßboys = -.114, p = .019) for both sexes. Perpetration of bullying and/or cyberbullying was associated with higher scores for machismo and acceptance of violence for both sexes (ßgirls = .067, p = .035; ßboys = .225, p < .001; (ßgirls = .118, p < .001; ßboys = .210, p < .001). Being the victim of dating violence, having suffered physical and/or sexual abuse in childhood, and lower perceived social support from teachers were associated with higher scores for both machismo and acceptance of violence. These associations differed between girls and boys. CONCLUSIONS: Machismo and acceptance of violence are widely present amongst adolescents in different European countries. Our results suggest the importance of providing educational/psycho-educational interventions with boys and girls to prevent these attitudes and, in turn, prevent interpersonal violence, including bullying and dating violence.


Assuntos
Comportamento do Adolescente , Bullying , Vítimas de Crime , Violência por Parceiro Íntimo , Adolescente , Criança , Estudos Transversais , Europa (Continente) , Feminino , Humanos , Itália , Masculino , Portugal , Apoio Social , Violência
6.
Glia ; 69(6): 1341-1368, 2021 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33247866

RESUMO

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects about 2.5 million people worldwide. In MS, the patients' immune system starts to attack the myelin sheath, leading to demyelination, neurodegeneration, and, ultimately, loss of vital neurological functions such as walking. There is currently no cure for MS and the available treatments only slow the initial phases of the disease. The later-disease mechanisms are poorly understood and do not directly correlate with the activity of immune system cells, the main target of the available treatments. Instead, evidence suggests that disease progression and disability are better correlated with the maintenance of a persistent low-grade inflammation inside the CNS, driven by local glial cells, like astrocytes and microglia. Depending on the context, astrocytes can (a) exacerbate inflammation or (b) promote immunosuppression and tissue repair. In this review, we will address the present knowledge that exists regarding the role of astrocytes in MS and experimental animal models of the disease.

7.
Antioxidants (Basel) ; 9(12)2020 Nov 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33256145

RESUMO

In this study, we examined the effect of six months of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) red blood cell (RBC) proteome by two dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) - based proteomics followed by Western blotting (WB) validation. The discovered dysregulated proteins/proteoforms are associated with cell death, H2O2 catabolic/metabolic process, stress response, and protein oligomerization. Validation by nonreducing WB was performed for peroxiredoxin-2 (PRDX2) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) by using antibodies against the sulfinylated/sulfonylated cysteine of these proteins to better evaluate their redox-oligomeric states under OSA and/or in response to PAP therapy. The results indicated that the redox-oligomeric state of GAPDH and PRDX2 involving overoxidation by sulfinic/sulfonic acids were differentially modulated in OSA RBC, which might be compromising RBC homeostasis. PAP therapy by restoring this modulation induced a higher oligomerization of overoxidized GAPDH and PRDX2 in some patients that could be associated with eryptosis and the chaperone "gain" of function, respectively. This varied response following PAP may result from the complex interplay between OSA and OSA metabolic comorbidity. Hence, information on the redox status of PRDX2 and GAPDH in RBC will help to better recognize OSA subtypes and predict the therapeutic response in these patients. GAPDH monomer combined with body mass index (BMI) and PRDX2 S-S dimer combined with homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) showed to be very promising biomarkers to predict OSA and OSA severity, respectively.

8.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33271817

RESUMO

The aim of the article is to show the role of school social support and school social climate in dating violence victimization prevention among adolescents in Europe. Study participants were students from secondary schools (age 13-16) in Spain, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Poland and UK. The analysis in this text concern student with dating experience (n = 993) (57.2% of girls and 66.5% of boys). School social support was measured by School Social Climate, Factor 1 Scale (CECSCE) and by Student Social Support Scale (CASSS), subscales teachers and classmates. The association between school social support and different types of dating victimization (physical and/or sexual dating violence, control dating violence and fear) was measured by calculating the prevalence ratios and their 95% confidence intervals, estimated by Poisson regression models with robust variance. All the models were adjusted by country and by sociodemographic variables. The results show that the average values of all types of social support are significantly lower in young people who have suffered any type of dating violence or were scared of their partner. The likelihood of suffering physical and/or sexual dating violence decreased when school social support increased [PR (CI 95%): 0.96 (0.92; 0.99)]. In the same way, the likelihood of fear decreased when school social climate increased [PR (CI 95%): 0.98 (0.96; 0.99)].There is an association between school social support and school social climate and experiences of being victim of dating violence among adolescents in Europe. Our results suggest that in the prevention of dating violence building a supportive climate at schools and building/using the support of peers and teachers is important.


Assuntos
Comportamento do Adolescente , Vítimas de Crime , Violência por Parceiro Íntimo , Apoio Social , Adolescente , Europa (Continente) , Feminino , Humanos , Itália , Masculino , Polônia , Portugal , Romênia , Instituições Acadêmicas , Espanha
9.
Rev. psicol. clín. niños adolesc ; 7(2): 22-31, mayo 2020. tab, graf
Artigo em Inglês | IBECS | ID: ibc-193690

RESUMO

Children and adolescents living in residential childcare have a higher prevalence of mental health problems as a result of a history of adverse childhood experiences. Therefore, this population should be a priority target for mental health preventive interventions. The current study analyses the effectiveness of the Wave by Wavesurf therapy program, that combines surfing with a psychological group intervention, through a randomized controlled trial. Seventy-three youth (7-17 years) living in residential care participated in the study. Main mental health outcomes (adjustment problems, depression, anxiety, and wellbeing) and secondary outcomes (self-efficacy, self-regulation, sleep quality, physical activity, pro-social behavior, and social connectivity) were assessed at pre- and post-intervention. The results indicated a significant impact of the intervention on mental health outcomes reported by the key residential worker, with medium to large effect sizes. Specifically, after the intervention, there was a significant reduction in the total emotional and behavioural problems, and a significant increase of youth pro-social behaviour and quality of life that was not observed for the waiting list group. There were no significant effects on other measures reported by the children (e.g., depression and anxiety, self-esteem, emotion regulation, social connectedness, sleep quality, physical activity) and on executive functions measures. The Wave by Wave program seems to be an effective intervention to reduce behavior problems and to promote pro-social behavior in a high-risk sample. The absence of significant effects on other dimensions may indicate the need of some complementary support to address specific difficulties of this population


Los niños y adolescentes que viven en acogimiento residencial tienen una mayor prevalencia de problemas de salud mental. Por lo tanto, esta población debe ser un objetivo prioritario para las intervenciones preventivas de salud mental. El estudio actual analiza la efectividad del programa Wave by Wave, que combina el surf con una intervención psicológica grupal, a través de un ensayo controlado aleatorio. Setenta y tres jóvenes (7-17 años) que viven en acogimiento residencial participaron en el estudio. Los principales resultados de salud mental (problemas de ajuste, depresión, ansiedad y bienestar) y los resultados secundarios (autoeficacia, autorregulación, calidad del sueño, actividad física, comportamiento prosocial y conectividad social) se evaluaron antes y después de intervención. Los resultados indicaron un impacto significativo de la intervención sobre los resultados de salud mental reportados por el cuidador en la residencia. Específicamente, después de la intervención, hubo una reducción significativa en los problemas emocionales y conductuales totales, y un aumento significativo del comportamiento prosocial de los jóvenes y de la calidad de vida que no se observó en el grupo control. No hubo efectos significativos en otras medidas reportadas por los niños (ex., depresión y ansiedad, autoestima) y en las medidas de las funciones ejecutivas. El programa Wave by Wave parece ser una intervención efectiva para reducir los problemas de comportamiento y promover el comportamiento prosocial en una muestra de alto riesgo. La ausencia de efectos significativos en otras dimensiones puede indicar la necesidad de algún apoyo complementario para abordar las dificultades específicas de esta población


Assuntos
Humanos , Masculino , Feminino , Criança , Adolescente , Transtornos do Comportamento Infantil/terapia , Instituições Residenciais , Criança Abandonada/psicologia , Acolhimento , Comportamento do Adolescente/psicologia , Prevenção Primária/métodos , Resultado do Tratamento
10.
J Neuroimmunol ; 340: 577163, 2020 03 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31982706

RESUMO

In multiple sclerosis (MS), cognitive dysfunction is common but difficult to treat. We analyzed the impact of dimethyl fumarate, an MS drug with neuroprotective properties, in spatial memory performance in a mouse model of MS and looked for structural correlates in the hippocampus. Treated mice presented better cognitive performance which was not associated with structural hippocampal damage but with decreased demyelination in the fimbria. Dimethyl fumarate, even if initiated after hindlimb paralysis, ameliorated memory deficits in the MS mouse model due, at least in part, to its positive impact in the demyelination of the main hippocampal output pathway.


Assuntos
Cognição/efeitos dos fármacos , Fumarato de Dimetilo/farmacologia , Encefalomielite Autoimune Experimental/patologia , Hipocampo/efeitos dos fármacos , Fármacos Neuroprotetores/farmacologia , Animais , Feminino , Hipocampo/patologia , Camundongos , Camundongos Endogâmicos C57BL
12.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 2005, 2019 02 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30765864

RESUMO

Aging is associated with cognitive decline. Herein, we studied a large cohort of old age and young adult male rats and confirmed that, as a group, old  rats display poorer spatial learning and behavioral flexibility than younger adults. Surprisingly, when animals were clustered as good and bad performers, our data revealed that while in younger animals better cognitive performance was associated with longer dendritic trees and increased levels of synaptic markers in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, the opposite was found in the older group, in which better performance was associated with shorter dendrites and lower levels of synaptic markers. Additionally, in old, but not young individuals, worse performance correlated with increased levels of BDNF and the autophagy substrate p62, but decreased levels of the autophagy complex protein LC3. In summary, while for younger individuals "bigger is better", "smaller is better" is a more appropriate aphorism for older subjects.


Assuntos
Envelhecimento Cognitivo/fisiologia , Animais , Autofagia , Fator Neurotrófico Derivado do Encéfalo/metabolismo , Estudos de Coortes , Masculino , Neurônios/citologia , Ratos , Ratos Wistar , Sinapses/metabolismo
13.
Neurobiol Aging ; 76: 125-132, 2019 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30711675

RESUMO

Cumulative data suggest that neuroinflammation plays a prominent role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. The purpose of this work was to assess if patients with AD present a specific cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytokine profile and if it correlates to disease progression. We determined the levels of 27 cytokines in CSF of patients with AD and compared them with patients with frontotemporal dementia and nondemented controls. In addition, we correlated the cytokine levels with cognitive status and disease progression after 12 months. Patients with AD had higher levels of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines (eotaxin, interleukin [IL]-1ra, IL-4, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-15, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, monocyte chemotactic protein 1, platelet-derived growth factor, tumor necrosis factor alfa) compared to nondemented controls. There was a negative correlation between the disease progression and the levels of several cytokines (IL-1ß, IL-4, IL-6, IL-9, IL-17A, basic fibroblast growth factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon gamma, macrophage inflammatory proteins-1ß). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting a "protective" role of the upregulation of specific intrathecal cytokine levels in AD. This finding supports that a fine "rebalancing" of the immune system represents a new target in AD therapeutic approach.


Assuntos
Doença de Alzheimer/diagnóstico , Doença de Alzheimer/imunologia , Cognição , Disfunção Cognitiva/diagnóstico , Disfunção Cognitiva/imunologia , Citocinas/líquido cefalorraquidiano , Mediadores da Inflamação/líquido cefalorraquidiano , Idoso , Doença de Alzheimer/psicologia , Biomarcadores/líquido cefalorraquidiano , Disfunção Cognitiva/psicologia , Progressão da Doença , Feminino , Humanos , Inflamação , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Estudos Prospectivos , Regulação para Cima
15.
Psicol. teor. pesqui ; 35: e3549, 2019. tab
Artigo em Inglês | LILACS-Express | LILACS | ID: biblio-1012885

RESUMO

Abstract This research sought to determine the prevalence of intimate partner violence, characterize attitudes toward violence, analyse relations between perceptions of intimate partner acceptance-rejection and practices of violence and examine relations between intimate partner acceptance-rejection and beliefs and attitudes toward intimate partner violence among Cape Verdean students that lives in Portugal. One hundred and sixteen participants, aged 15 to 25 years, from three professional schools, four secondary schools and one university, completed the Scale of Beliefs about Marital Violence, Marital Violence Inventory, Dating Violence Scales and Intimate Partner Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire. Significant positive correlations were found between beliefs about marital violence, dating violence attitudes and intimate partner rejection. Regressions showed intimate partner rejection predicted marital violence beliefs and dating violence attitudes.


Resumo O estudo procurou determinar a prevalência da violência na intimidade, caracterizar atitudes face à violência, analisar relações entre as percepções de aceitação pelo parceiro íntimo e a violência, averiguando relações entre a percepção de aceitação com as atitudes e crenças relativas à violência em alunos Cabo-verdianos residentes em Portugal. Cento e 16 participantes, entre os 15 e os 25 anos, oriundos de três escolas profissionais, quatro escolas secundárias e uma universidade, preencheram a Escala de Crenças sobre Violência Conjugal, Inventário de Violência Conjugal, Escalas de Violência no Namoro e Questionário de Aceitação-Rejeição pelo Par Amoroso. Encontraram-se correlações positivas significativas entre crenças, atitudes e rejeição pelo par amoroso. Regressões evidenciaram que a rejeição prediz crenças e atitudes relativas à violência.

16.
Front Immunol ; 9: 2335, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30369926

RESUMO

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, immune-mediated, demyelinating disease that affects the neurons of the central nervous system. Activated T cells, specific for myelin epitopes, cross the brain barriers, and react against the myelin sheath, leading to demyelination. Since T cells are generated within the thymus, here we explored, in mice, the alterations occurring in this organ throughout the different phases of the disease. We induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in C57BL/6 females and sacrifice them at the onset (day 16) and chronic phases of disease (day 23), along with non-induced controls. We observed thymic atrophy in EAE mice at the onset that remained until the chronic phase of disease. This atrophy was associated with a preferential loss of the CD4+CD8+ double positive thymocytes, an intermediate population between the more immature CD4-CD8- double negative and the most mature single positive thymocytes. This was accompanied by an increase in the thymic medullary/cortical ratio and by an altered expression levels of genes important for T cell survival. During the chronic phase, the thymi remained atrophic, but reacquired the normal proportion of the main four thymocyte populations and the normal medullary/cortical ratio. Importantly, at the onset phase, and accompanying these thymic alterations, EAE animals presented an increased percentage of demyelinating lesion area in the cerebellum, and an increased expression of interferon gamma (Ifng), interleukin (Il) 12a, and Il17a. This study suggests dynamic thymic alterations occurring in response to EAE, from the induction to the chronic phase, that might help to elucidate the MS pathophysiology.


Assuntos
Autoimunidade , Imunidade , Glicoproteína Mielina-Oligodendrócito/imunologia , Timo/imunologia , Animais , Atrofia , Biomarcadores , Diferenciação Celular/imunologia , Cerebelo/imunologia , Cerebelo/metabolismo , Cerebelo/patologia , Citocinas/metabolismo , Modelos Animais de Doenças , Encefalomielite Autoimune Experimental/imunologia , Feminino , Expressão Gênica , Imunofenotipagem , Mediadores da Inflamação/metabolismo , Camundongos , Esclerose Múltipla/imunologia , Esclerose Múltipla/metabolismo , Esclerose Múltipla/patologia , Timócitos/imunologia , Timócitos/metabolismo , Timo/metabolismo , Timo/patologia
19.
Front Behav Neurosci ; 11: 192, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29089877

RESUMO

In rodents, dexterity is commonly analyzed in preference paradigms in which animals are given the chance to use either the left or the right front paws to manipulate food. However, paw preference and dexterity at population and individual levels are controversial as results are incongruent across paradigms. We have therefore developed a semi-quantitative method-the pawdeness trait test (PaTRaT)-to evaluate paw preference degree in rats. The PaTRaT consists in a classification system, ranging from +4 to -4 where increasingly positive and negative values reflect the bias for left or right paw use, respectively. Sprague-Dawley male rats were confined into a metal rectangular mesh cylinder, from which they can see, smell and reach sugared rewards with their paws. Due to its size, the reward could only cross the mesh if aligned with its diagonal, imposing additional coordination. Animals were allowed to retrieve 10 rewards per session in a total of four sessions while their behavior was recorded. PaTRaT was repeated 4 and 8 weeks after the first evaluation. To exclude potential bias, rats were also tested for paw fine movement and general locomotion in other behavioral paradigms as well as impulsivity (variable delay-to-signal, VDS), memory and cognitive flexibility (water maze). At the population level 54% of the animals presented a rightward bias. Individually, all animals presented marked side-preferences, >2 and <-2 for left- and right-sided bias, respectively, and this preference was stable across the three evaluations. Inter-rater consistency was very high between two experienced raters and substantial when two additional inexperienced raters were included. Left- and right-biased animals presented no differences in the ability to perform fine movements with any of the forelimbs (staircase) and general locomotor performance. Additionally, these groups performed similarly in executive function and memory tasks. In conclusion, PaTRaT is able to reliably classify rats' pawedness direction and degree.

20.
Brain Struct Funct ; 222(4): 1989-1999, 2017 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27696155

RESUMO

Astrocytes display important features that allow them to maintain a close dialog with neurons, ultimately impacting brain function. The complex morphological structure of astrocytes is crucial to the role of astrocytes in brain networks. Therefore, assessing morphologic features of astrocytes will help provide insights into their physiological relevance in healthy and pathological conditions. Currently available tools that allow the tridimensional reconstruction of astrocytes present a number of disadvantages, including the need for advanced computational skills and powerful hardware, and are either time-consuming or costly. In this study, we optimized and validated the FIJI-ImageJ, Simple Neurite Tracer (SNT) plugin, an open-source software that aids in the reconstruction of GFAP-stained structure of astrocytes. We describe (1) the loading of confocal microscopy Z-stacks, (2) the selection criteria, (3) the reconstruction process, and (4) the post-reconstruction analysis of morphological features (process length, number, thickness, and arbor complexity). SNT allows the quantification of astrocyte morphometric parameters in a simple, efficient, and semi-automated manner. While SNT is simple to learn, and does not require advanced computational skills, it provides reproducible results, in different brain regions or pathophysiological states.


Assuntos
Astrócitos/citologia , Encéfalo/citologia , Imageamento Tridimensional , Microscopia Confocal , Animais , Astrócitos/metabolismo , Proteína Glial Fibrilar Ácida/análise , Camundongos Endogâmicos C57BL , Ratos Wistar , Software
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