Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, whose full name in Spanish is Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina "Santa María de los Buenos Aires", also known as Universidad Católica Argentina , is a university in Argentina with campuses in the cities of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Rosario, Paraná, Mendoza and Pergamino. The main campus is located in Puerto Madero, one of the most modern neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.It is considered, according to a 2011 study by the Spanish Ministry of Education as one of the best private universities in Latin America. It is the second university preferred by Argentine employers and the sixth in all Latin America.Its predecessor, the Catholic University of Buenos Aires was founded by the Argentine episcopate in 1910, but their degrees, in law, were not recognized by the Argentine government, and the institution was closed in 1922.In 1955, Decree 6403 concerning the freedom of education enabled the creation of private universities with the authority to deliver academic qualifications. In 1956 the bishops decided to create the Catholic University of Argentina, formally founded on March 7, 1958.Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was UCA's Grand Chancellor, by virtue of his office as Primate of Argentina and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, until his election in 2013 as Pope Francis to succeed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. When Mario Aurelio Poli was named Archbishop of Buenos Aires by Pope Francis later in 2013, he became Grand Chancellor of the University. In May 2013 Pope Francis named Victor Manuel Fernández, the University's President , as titular archbishop of Tiburnia. Wikipedia.

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Dubocovich M.L.,State University of New York at Buffalo | Dubocovich M.L.,Northwestern University | Delagrange P.,Institute Of Recherches Servier | Krause D.N.,University of California at Irvine | And 3 more authors.
Pharmacological Reviews | Year: 2010

The hormone melatonin (5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine) is synthesized primarily in the pineal gland and retina, and in several peripheral tissues and organs. In the circulation, the concentration of melatonin follows a circadian rhythm, with high levels at night providing timing cues to target tissues endowed with melatonin receptors. Melatonin receptors receive and translate melatonin's message to influence daily and seasonal rhythms of physiology and behavior. The melatonin message is translated through activation of two G protein-coupled receptors, MT1 and MT2, that are potential therapeutic targets in disorders ranging from insomnia and circadian sleep disorders to depression, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. This review summarizes the steps taken since melatonin's discovery by Aaron Lerner in 1958 to functionally characterize, clone, and localize receptors in mammalian tissues. The pharmacological and molecular properties of the receptors are described as well as current efforts to discover and develop ligands for treatment of a number of illnesses, including sleep disorders, depression, and cancer. Copyright © 2010 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Garcia-Burgos D.,University of Granada | Zamora M.C.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
Appetite | Year: 2013

Differences in food consumption among body-weight statuses (e.g., higher fruit intake linked with lower body mass index (BMI) and energy-dense products with higher BMI) has raised the question of why people who are overweight or are at risk of becoming overweight eat differently from thinner peopl>e. One explanation, in terms of sensitivity to affective properties of food, suggests that palatability-driven consumption is likely to be an important contributor to food intake, and therefore body weight. Extending this approach to unpalatable tastes, we examined the relationship between aversive reactions to foods and BMI. We hypothesized that people who have a high BMI will show more negative affective reactions to bitter-tasting stimuli, even after controlling for sensory perception differences. Given that hedonic reactions may influence consumption even without conscious feelings of pleasure/displeasure, the facial expressions were included in order to provide more direct access to affective systems than subjective reports. Forty adults (28 females, 12 males) participated voluntarily. Their ages ranged from 18 to 46. years (M=24.2, SD=5.8). On the basis of BMI, participants were classified as low BMI (BMI. <. 20; n=20) and high BMI (BMI. >. 23; n=20). The mean BMI was 19.1 for low BMI (SD=0.7) and 25.2 for high BMI participants (SD=1.8). Each subject tasted 5. mL of a grapefruit juice drink and a bitter chocolate drink. Subjects rated the drinks' hedonic and incentive value, familiarity and bitter intensity immediately after each stimulus presentation. The results indicated that high BMI participants reacted to bitter stimuli showing more profound changes from baseline in neutral and disgust facial expressions compared with low BMI. No differences between groups were detected for the subjective pleasantness and familiarity. The research here is the first to examine how affective facial reactions to bitter food, apart from taste responsiveness, can predict differences in BMI. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Valdivieso A.G.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
Analytical biochemistry | Year: 2011

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a frequent autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations that impair the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein function. CFTR is a chloride channel activated by cyclic AMP (cAMP) via protein kinase A (PKA) and ATP hydrolysis. We describe here a method to measure CFTR activity in a monolayer of cultured cells using a fluorescence spectrophotometer and the chloride-sensitive probe 6-methoxy-N-(3-sulfopropyl)quinolinium (SPQ). Modifying a slice holder, the spectrophotometer quartz cuvette was converted in a perfusion chamber, allowing measurement of CFTR activity in real time, in a monolayer of T84 colon carcinoma cells. The SPQ Stern-Volmer constant (K(Cl(-))) for chloride in water solution was 115.0 ± 2.8M(-1), whereas the intracellular (K(Cl(-))) was 17.8 ± 0.8 M(-1), for T84 cells. A functional analysis was performed by measuring CFTR activity in T84 cells. The CFTR transport inhibitors CFTR(inh)-172 (5 μM) and glibenclamide (100 μM) showed a significant reduction (P<0.05) in CFTR activity. This simple method allows measuring CFTR activity in a very simple, reproducible, and sensitive way. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Cardinali D.P.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Pagano E.S.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Scacchi Bernasconi P.A.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Reynoso R.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Scacchi P.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2013

This article is part of a Special Issue "Hormones & Neurotrauma".Cell death and survival are critical events for neurodegeneration, mitochondria being increasingly seen as important determinants of both. Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered a major causative factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Increased free radical generation, enhanced mitochondrial inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase activity and NO production, and disrupted electron transport system and mitochondrial permeability transition, have all been involved in impaired mitochondrial function. Melatonin, the major secretory product of the pineal gland, is an antioxidant and an effective protector of mitochondrial bioenergetic function. Both in vitro and in vivo, melatonin was effective to prevent oxidative stress/nitrosative stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction seen in experimental models of AD, PD and HD. These effects are seen at doses 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than those required to affect sleep and circadian rhythms, both conspicuous targets of melatonin action. Melatonin is selectively taken up by mitochondria, a function not shared by other antioxidants. A limited number of clinical studies indicate that melatonin can improve sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in PD and AD patients. More recently, attention has been focused on the development of potent melatonin analogs with prolonged effects which were employed in clinical trials in sleep-disturbed or depressed patients in doses considerably higher than those employed for melatonin. In view that the relative potencies of the analogs are higher than that of the natural compound, clinical trials employing melatonin in the range of 50-100. mg/day are needed to assess its therapeutic validity in neurodegenerative disorders. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Symoneaux R.,University of Angers | Galmarini M.V.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Galmarini M.V.,CONICET | Mehinagic E.,University of Angers
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2012

This study compares the analysis of consumer's comments resulting from a hedonic test as an alternative to the traditional internal preference mapping. During a consumer test, 87 apple consumers first evaluated six different Golden apple batches on a hedonic scale and then answered to the non-mandatory open-ended questions stating separately what they liked and disliked from each batch. In parallel, an expert panel described the sensory profiles of the studied products. To compare the results obtained by the two studied methods the RV coefficient was calculated and was found to be 0.8656 (p= 0.011). Therefore, the information obtained by the comment analysis of likes and dislikes was similar to that resulting from sensory characterization done by the trained panel. With both methods, crunchiness and sweetness appeared as main sensory preference key drivers, while mealiness was not appreciated. At the same time, some characteristics such as juiciness appeared important for consumers but it was not a significant discriminant attribute for the trained panel. A new method, the Chi-square per cell, was used to deeply analyze the contingency table of the main modalities used by consumers allowing the identification of the significant modalities which described each apple liking. Finally, the distinction between likes and dislikes made the transcription of consumers' opinions easier, without a need of interpretation on behalf of the transcoder. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Barrantes F.J.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Synapse efficacy heavily relies on the number of neurotransmitter receptors available at a given time. In addition to the equilibrium between the biosynthetic production, exocytic delivery and recycling of receptors on the one hand, and the endocytic internalization on the other, lateral diffusion and clustering of receptors at the cell membrane play key roles in determining the amount of active receptors at the synapse. Mobile receptors traffic between reservoir compartments and the synapse by thermally driven Brownian motion, and become immobilized at the peri-synaptic region or the synapse by: (a) clustering mediated by homotropic inter-molecular receptor-receptor associations; (b) heterotropic associations with non-receptor scaffolding proteins or the subjacent cytoskeletal meshwork, leading to diffusional "trapping," and (c) protein-lipid interactions, particularly with the neutral lipid cholesterol. This review assesses the contribution of some of these mechanisms to the supramolecular organization and dynamics of the paradigm neurotransmitter receptor of muscle and neuronal cells -the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Currently available information stemming from various complementary biophysical techniques commonly used to interrogate the dynamics of cell-surface components is critically discussed. The translational mobility of nAChRs at the cell surface differs between muscle and neuronal receptors in terms of diffusion coefficients and residence intervals at the synapse, which cover an ample range of time regimes. A peculiar feature of brain a7 nAChR is its ability to spend much of its time confined peri-synaptically, vicinal to glutamatergic (excitatory) and GABAergic (inhibitory) synapses. An important function of the a7 nAChR may thus be visiting the territories of other neurotransmitter receptors, differentially regulating the dynamic equilibrium between excitation and inhibition, depending on its residence time in each domain. © 2014 Barrantes.

Garcia-Garcia F.,University of Veracruz | Juarez-Aguilar E.,University of Veracruz | Santiago-Garcia J.,University of Veracruz | Cardinali D.P.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
Sleep Medicine Reviews | Year: 2014

Several studies have shown that ghrelin administration promotes wakefulness in rodents, while in human males it induces sleep but has no effect in women. Ghrelin also plays an important role in metabolism and appetite regulation, and as described in this review may participate in the energy balance during sleep. In this review, we summarize some of the effects induced by ghrelin administration on the sleep-wake cycle in relation to the effects of other hormones, such as growth hormone, leptin, and orexin. Finally we discuss the relationship between sleep deprivation, obesity and ghrelin secretion pattern. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agosta E.A.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Agosta E.A.,CONICET
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2014

This work shows statistical evidence for lunar nodal cycle influence on the low-frequency summer rainfall variability over the plains to the east of subtropical Andes, in South America, through long-term sea surface temperature (SST) variations induced by the nodal amplitude of diurnal tides over southwestern South Atlantic (SWSA). In years of strong (weak) diurnal tides, tide-induced diapycnal mixing makes SST cooler (warmer) together with low (high) air pressures in the surroundings of the Malvinas/Falklands Islands in the SWSA, possibly through mean tropospheric baroclinicity variations. As the low-level tropospheric circulation anomalies directly affect the interannual summer rainfall variability, such an influence can be extended to the bi-decadal variability present in the summer rainfall owing to the nodal modulation effect observed in the tropospheric circulation. The identification of the nodal periodicity in the summer rainfall variability is statistically robust. © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society.

Hardeland R.,University of Gottingen | Cardinali D.P.,Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina | Brown G.M.,University of Toronto | Pandi-Perumal S.R.,New York University
Progress in Neurobiology | Year: 2015

Melatonin is known to possess several properties of value for healthy aging, as a direct and indirect antioxidant, protectant and modulator of mitochondrial function, antiexcitotoxic agent, enhancer of circadian amplitudes, immune modulator and neuroprotectant. It is levels tend to decrease in the course of senescence and are more strongly reduced in several neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer's disease, and in diseases related to insulin resistance such as diabetes type 2. Although the role of melatonin in aging and age-related diseases has been repeatedly discussed, the newly emerged concept of inflammaging, that is, the contribution of low-grade inflammation to senescence progression has not yet been the focus of melatonin research. This review addresses the multiple protective actions of melatonin and its kynuramine metabolites that are relevant to the attenuation of inflammatory responses and progression of inflammaging in the brain, i.e. avoidance of excitotoxicity, reduction of free radical formation by support of mitochondrial electron flux, prevention of NADPH oxidase activation and suppression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, as well as downregulation of proinflammatory cytokines. The experimental evidence is primarily discussed on the basis of aging and senescence-accelerated animals, actions in the immune system, and the relationship between melatonin and sirtuins, having properties of aging suppressors. Sirtuins act either as accessory components or downstream factors of circadian oscillators, which are also under control by melatonin. Inflammaging is assumed to strongly contribute to neurodegeneration of the circadian master clock observed in advanced senescence and, even more, in Alzheimer's disease, a change that affects countless physiological functions. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

News Article | January 19, 2016
Site: www.sciencenews.org

When you see a bad moon rising, expect an ever-so-slightly wetter day. The lunar gravitational pull imperceptibly boosts rainfall when the moon is on the horizon and somewhat reduces rainfall when the moon is overhead or on the opposite side of the Earth, a new analysis of global rainfall concludes. The cause is the atmospheric equivalent of ocean tides, researchers propose in a paper to be published in Geophysical Research Letters. Air gathers on Earth’s moon-facing side and on the opposite end of the globe. Scientists noticed that this pileup increases atmospheric pressure and predicted that atmospheric tides could alter precipitation rates as well. Scouring 15 years of global precipitation data, the researchers have discovered that the effect is present, but tiny: an approximately one micrometer per hour change in rainfall rate. “No one should carry an umbrella just because the moon is rising,” says lead author Tsubasa Kohyama, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. The effect’s meager size may be an asset, however: The relationship between the moon’s tug and rainfall could serve as a useful test of how accurately weather simulations handle small external forces, Kohyama says. The moon’s gravitational pull, which is responsible for ocean tides, also creates atmospheric tides. As more air gathers during atmospheric high tide, atmospheric pressure increases. In 1969, scientists proposed that these rises and falls in atmospheric pressure could also cause changes in relative humidity and rainfall. A lack of global weather data at the time meant that this prediction would go unconfirmed for nearly half a century. Satellites now offer global coverage of where and when rain falls. Kohyama and climate scientist John M. Wallace, also of the University of Washington, compiled 15 years of weather data from across the tropics collected eight times a day. The researchers separated typical weather variations from those that came and went periodically alongside the moon’s monthly loop. The data revealed that during atmospheric high tide, rising air pressure slightly increases air temperature. That temperature boost allows the air to hold more water vapor, lowering the relative humidity and making rain less likely. During low tide, pressures drop slightly, cooling the air, raising the relative humidity and making rain more likely. This effect amounts to about a hundredth that of the typical background weather variability, Kohyama says. Understanding the lunar influence on rainfall won’t change how we predict the weather, says Eduardo Agosta Scarel, a climate scientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires. The effect is so small that it quickly disappears into the background noise with time, he notes.

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