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Hurtado A.Q.,Integrated Services for the Development of Aquaculture and Fisheries | Montano M.N.E.,University of the Philippines | Martinez-Goss M.R.,Institute of Biological Science
Journal of Applied Phycology | Year: 2013

An abundance of marine algae along the Philippines' long, irregular coastline (36,289 km) has made it inevitable for Filipinos to exploit algae for food, feeds, medicine, or other purposes. Among the most popular of these algae are the carrageenophytes, which include four genera, six species, and 21 morphotypes/varieties/cultivars under the Family Solieriaceae. However, commercial production did not begin until 1973. The development of carrageenophyte farming for commercial purposes evolved from simple fixed-bottom monoline farming by coastal farmers, who refined the technology themselves, with the help and guidance of local and international scientists, which has led to a commercially viable industry with a maximum estimated production of 97,000-102,820 dry, metric tons in 2004. Farm gate revenues for that year were estimated at US$ 82.45-87.4 million (four croppings year-1), whose main recipients were the local seaweed farmers. However, in 2008, production started to decline, which was brought primarily by the deteriorating quality of propagules and the perennial occurrence of "ice-ice" and harmful endophytes caused by environmental stresses due to unfavorable weather conditions, and secondarily, the peace and order problem in the major producing areas like Zamboanga, Maguindanao, Basilan, and Sulu in Mindanao and insufficient government support. This paper aims to assess the present situation and suggest how to possibly reverse the situation to its usual productive periods. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Teixeira A.L.,Institute of Biological Science
NeuroMolecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the most widely distributed neurotrophin in the central nervous system where it plays several pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. As a consequence, BDNF became a key target in the physiopathology of several neurological and psychiatric diseases. Recent studies have reported altered levels of BDNF in the circulation, i.e. serum or plasma, of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and low BDNF levels in the CSF as predictor of future cognitive decline in healthy older subjects. Altered BDNF circulating levels have also been reported in other neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, hampering its use as a specific biomarker for AD. Therefore, BDNF seems to be an unspecific biomarker of neuropsy-chiatric disorders marked by neurodegenerative changes. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011. Source

Ribeiro F.M.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Camargos E.R.S.,Institute of Biological Science | De Souza L.C.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Teixeira A.L.,Federal University of Minas Gerais
Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria | Year: 2013

The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), increases with age, and the number of affected patients is expected to increase worldwide in the next decades. Accurately understanding the etiopathogenic mechanisms of these diseases is a crucial step for developing disease-modifying drugs able to preclude their emergence or at least slow their progression. Animal models contribute to increase the knowledge on the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. These models reproduce different aspects of a given disease, as well as the histopathological lesions and its main symptoms. The purpose of this review is to present the main animal models for AD, PD, and Huntington's disease. © 2013 Associação Brasileira de Psiquiatria. Source

Saito V.M.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Rezende R.M.,Institute of Biological Science | Teixeira A.L.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Teixeira A.L.,Neurology Group
Current Neuropharmacology | Year: 2012

In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of the endocannabinoid system. The isolation of Cannabis sativa main psychotropic compound, Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has led to the discovery of an atypical neurotransmission system that modulates the release of other neurotransmitters and participates in many biological processes, including the cascade of inflammatory responses. In this context, cannabinoids have been studied for their possible therapeutic properties in neuroinflammatory diseases. In this review, historic and biochemical aspects of cannabinoids are discussed, as well as their function as modulators of inflammatory processes and therapeutic perspectives for neurodegenerative disorders, particularly, multiple sclerosis. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers. Source

Rothan H.A.,University of Malaya | Mohamed Z.,Institute of Biological Science | Suhaeb A.M.,University Hospital | Rahman N.A.,University of Malaya | Yusof R.,University of Malaya
OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology | Year: 2013

Dengue virus infects millions of people worldwide, and there is no vaccine or anti-dengue therapeutic available. Antimicrobial peptides have been shown to possess effective antiviral activity against various viruses. One of the main limitations of developing these peptides as potent antiviral drugs is the high cost of production. In this study, high yield production of biologically active plectasin peptide was inexpensively achieved by producing tandem plectasin peptides as inclusion bodies in E. coli. Antiviral activity of the recombinant peptide towards dengue serotype-2 NS2B-NS3 protease (DENV2 NS2B-NS3pro) was assessed as a target to inhibit dengue virus replication in Vero cells. Single units of recombinant plectasin were collected after applying consecutive steps of refolding, cleaving by Factor Xa, and nickel column purification to obtain recombinant proteins of high purity. The maximal nontoxic dose (MNTD) of the recombinant peptide against Vero cells was 20 lM (100 lg/mL). The reaction velocity of DENV2 NS2B-NS3pro decreased significantly after increasing concentrations of recombinant plectasin were applied to the reaction mixture. Plectasin peptide noncompetitively inhibited DENV2 NS2BNS3pro at Ki value of 5.03 - 0.98 lM. The percentage of viral inhibition was more than 80% at the MNTD value of plectasin. In this study, biologically active recombinant plectasin which was able to inhibit dengue protease and viral replication in Vero cells was successfully produced in E. coli in a time-and cost-effective method. These findings are potentially important in the development of potent therapeutics against dengue infection. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

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