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Barrientos G.,University of Buenos Aires | Toro A.,University of Buenos Aires | Moschansky P.,Medicine University | Cohen M.,Laboratoire dHormonologie | And 6 more authors.
Placenta | Year: 2015

Introduction The development of the human haemochorial placenta requires complex regulatory mechanisms to protect invasive trophoblast cells from cytotoxic responses elicited by maternal immune cells. Leptin, the adipocyte derived hormone encoded by the Lep gene, is synthesized by placental trophoblasts and exerts pleiotropic effects on the immune system, including the promotion of inflammation and the activation of T cell responses. Methods To address its possible involvement in the modulation of maternal immune responses during pregnancy, we investigated the effect of leptin on the expression of the class Ib histocompatibility antigen HLA-G as one of the chief immunosuppressive strategies used by trophoblast cells. Results In vitro incubation of the trophoblast derived Swan 71 and JEG-3 cell lines with 25-50 ng/ml recombinant leptin significantly boosted HLA-G mRNA and protein expression, and this effect was abrogated upon pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K-Akt and MEK-Erk signaling pathways. A similar stimulatory effect of leptin was observed in term placental tissue explants, though 10-fold higher doses were required for stimulation. Further, JEG-3 cells treated with a leptin antisense oligodeoxynucleotide displayed decreased HLA-G expression levels, which were partially recovered by addition of stimulating doses of exogenous hormone. Immunofluorescence and qPCR analysis confirmed leptin biosynthesis in placental tissue, further showing that invasive extravillous trophoblast cells were a main source of this hormone during the first trimester of normal pregnancies. Discussion Taken together, our results show that leptin acts as an autocrine/paracrine signal promoting HLA-G expression in placental trophoblasts suggesting an important role in the regulation of immune evasion mechanisms at the fetal maternal interface. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Toro A.R.,University of Buenos Aires | Maymo J.L.,University of Buenos Aires | Ibarbalz F.M.,University of Buenos Aires | Perez A.,University of Seville | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Leptin, a peripheral signal synthetized by the adipocyte to regulate energy metabolism, can also be produced by placenta, where it may work as an autocrine hormone. We have previously demonstrated that leptin promotes proliferation and survival of trophoblastic cells. In the present work, we aimed to study the molecular mechanisms that mediate the survival effect of leptin in placenta. We used the human placenta choriocarcinoma BeWo and first trimester Swan-71 cell lines, as well as human placental explants. We tested the late phase of apoptosis, triggered by serum deprivation, by studying the activation of Caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation. Recombinant human leptin added to BeWo cell line and human placental explants, showed a decrease on Caspase-3 activation. These effects were dose dependent. Maximal effect was achieved at 250 ng leptin/ml. Moreover, inhibition of endogenous leptin expression with 2 mM of an antisense oligonucleotide, reversed Caspase-3 diminution. We also found that the cleavage of Poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase-1 (PARP-1) was diminished in the presence of leptin. We analyzed the presence of low DNA fragments, products from apoptotic DNA cleavage. Placental explants cultivated in the absence of serum in the culture media increased the apoptotic cleavage of DNA and this effect was prevented by the addition of 100 ng leptin/ml. Taken together these results reinforce the survival effect exerted by leptin on placental cells. To improve the understanding of leptin mechanism in regulating the process of apoptosis we determined the expression of different intermediaries in the apoptosis cascade. We found that under serum deprivation conditions, leptin increased the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein expression, while downregulated the pro-apoptotic BAX and BID proteins expression in Swan-71 cells and placental explants. In both models leptin augmented BCL-2/BAX ratio. Moreover we have demonstrated that p53, one of the key cell cycle-signaling proteins, is downregulated in the presence of leptin under serum deprivation. On the other hand, we determined that leptin reduced the phosphorylation of Ser-46 p53 that plays a pivotal role for apoptotic signaling by p53. Our data suggest that the observed anti-apoptotic effect of leptin in placenta is in part mediated by the p53 pathway. In conclusion, we provide evidence that demonstrates that leptin is a trophic factor for trophoblastic cells. © 2014 Toro et al. Source

Pezzano S.C.,University of Buenos Aires | Torres C.,University of Buenos Aires | Alvarez E.,Hospital Nacional Profesor Alejandro Posadas | Campos R.H.,University of Buenos Aires | Mbayed V.A.,University of Buenos Aires
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2011

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is classified into eight major genotypes, A-H, which are geographically distributed worldwide. The aim of this work was to describe the clinical characteristics associated with the HBV genotypes circulating in Buenos Aires city. The study included 139 patients infected with HBV, whose clinical courses were classified as acute symptomatic self-limiting hepatitis, inactive carrier state and chronic active hepatitis (HBV e-antigen (HBeAg)-positive and HBeAg-negative). The HBV genotypes were determined in 128 patients by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and phylogenetic analysis. Biochemical, virological, clinical and histological features were analysed. A differential distribution of genotypes between acute symptomatic and chronic infections was found. Among the acute cases, genotype F was predominant (65.2%, 30/46) and genotype D was rare (4.3%, 2/46), whereas among the chronic infections, a homogeneous distribution of genotypes A (26.8%, 22/82), D (31.7%, 26/82) and F (36.6%, 30/82), with an unusual presence of genotypes B (1.2%, 1/82) and C (3.7%, 3/82), was observed. Regarding the liver histology of chronically infected patients, genotype F tended to display higher histological activity indexes. Mutations related to HBV surface antigen immunoreactivity, antiviral resistance and HBeAg-negative status were studied. This work constitutes, to our knowledge, the first description of the clinical characteristics related to HBV genotypes in Argentina, where the distribution of genotypes in patients with acute infection has not been reported previously. Finally, it was established that genotype F is the prevalent genotype among the acute symptomatic infections in Buenos Aires city, and that it shows a tendency to cause an adverse disease outcome among the chronic cases. © 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Source

Maymo J.L.,University of Buenos Aires | Perez Perez A.,University of Seville | Maskin B.,Hospital Nacional Profesor Alejandro Posadas | Duenas J.L.,Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Pleiotropic effects of leptin have been identified in reproduction and pregnancy, particularly in the placenta, where it works as an autocrine hormone. In this work, we demonstrated that human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) added to JEG-3 cell line or to placental explants induces endogenous leptin expression. We also found that hCG increased cAMP intracellular levels in BeWo cells in a dose-dependent manner, stimulated cAMP response element (CRE) activity and the cotransfection with an expression plasmid of a dominant negative mutant of CREB caused a significant inhibition of hCG stimulation of leptin promoter activity. These results demonstrate that hCG indeed activates cAMP/PKA pathway, and that this pathway is involved in leptin expression. Nevertheless, we found leptin induction by hCG is dependent on cAMP levels. Treatment with (Bu)2cAMP in combination with low and non stimulatory hCG concentrations led to an increase in leptin expression, whereas stimulatory concentrations showed the opposite effect. We found that specific PKA inhibition by H89 caused a significant increase of hCG leptin induction, suggesting that probably high cAMP levels might inhibit hCG effect. It was found that hCG enhancement of leptin mRNA expression involved the MAPK pathway. In this work, we demonstrated that hCG leptin induction through the MAPK signaling pathway is inhibited by PKA. We observed that ERK1/2 phosphorylation increased when hCG treatment was combined with H89. In view of these results, the involvement of the alternative cAMP/Epac signaling pathway was studied. We observed that a cAMP analogue that specifically activates Epac (CPT-OMe) stimulated leptin expression by hCG. In addition, the overexpression of Epac and Rap1 proteins increased leptin promoter activity and enhanced hCG. In conclusion, we provide evidence suggesting that hCG induction of leptin gene expression in placenta is mediated not only by activation of the MAPK signaling pathway but also by the alternative cAMP/Epac signaling pathway. © 2012 Maymó et al. Source

Given the few existing studies on research ethics committees (RECs) in Argentina, this paper aims to describe the structure and functioning of institutional RECs in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires. A descriptive, qualitative and quantitative research study was carried out using a survey conducted between March and July 2012. The sample was made up of 46 RECs. Forty percent of committee members were doctors and the age and sex distribution met standards. Inadequate numbers of methodologists, community representatives, lawyers and members external to the institution were identified, as well as shortcomings regarding administrative staff, fixed locations for meetings, budgets adequate to expenditures and training in research ethics. Some of those surveyed reported problems in their relationship with the institution and with researchers, in addition to difficulties regarding the time available to perform tasks. Source

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