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Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder of unclear etiology. The consistent finding of platelet hyperserotonemia in a proportion of patients and its heritability within affected families suggest that genes involved in the serotonin system play a role in this disorder. The role in autism etiology of seven candidate genes in the serotonin metabolic and(More)
Hepatic and renal concentrations of iron, magnesium, zinc, lead, copper, manganese, mercury, cadmium, molybdenum, chromium, and nickel were quantified in shrews (Crocidura russula) inhabiting a pyrite mine site in Portugal. Several morphological parameters (body weight, residual index, and relative weights) were also examined to clarify the physiological(More)
Different pathways contribute to the turnover of connexins, the main structural components of gap junctions (GJs). The cellular pool of connexins targeted to each pathway and the functional consequences of degradation through these degradative pathways are unknown. In this work, we focused on the contribution of macroautophagy to connexin degradation. Using(More)
Gap junctions are specialized cell-cell contacts that provide direct intercellular communication between eukaryotic cells. The tyrosine-sorting signal (YXXØ), present at amino acids 286-289 of Cx43 (connexin43), has been implicated in the internalization of the protein. In recent years, ubiquitination of Cx43 has also been proposed to regulate gap junction(More)
An excessive lipid content in embryo cells is a consequence of embryo culture in the presence of serum which is suggested to be responsible for their high susceptibility to cryopreservation. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of supplementing serum-containing culture media with trans-10 cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (10t,12c(More)
The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and identify its clinical characterization, and medical conditions in a paediatric population in Portugal. A school survey was conducted in elementary schools, targeting 332,808 school-aged children in the mainland and 10,910 in the Azores islands. Referred(More)
Cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos is a crucial step for the widespread and conservation of animal genetic resources. However, oocytes and early embryos are very sensitive to chilling and cryopreservation and although new advances have been achieved in the past few years the perfect protocol has not yet been established. All oocytes and embryos suffer(More)
As a consequence of human activities, large amounts of cadmium, lead and zinc are released in the environment, often simultaneously. The aim of this study was to investigate under experimental conditions the DNA damage induced in Algerian mice (Mus spretus) exposed to cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) separately, or in selected combinations. Three(More)
The bioenergetic strategies of house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) from the island of Porto Santo were investigated and compared with those of mice from mainland Portugal. Energy obtained from food ingestion was 18.2% lower in Porto Santo mice than in mainland mice (1.53 vs. 1.87 kJ/g/day). The same pattern was observed for metabolisable energy intake,(More)
The decision of stressed cells to die or to survive is made by integrating signals at different levels through multiple check points. However, initiation and continued progression toward cell death by apoptosis in cancer cells may be blocked by mutation of the tumor suppressor p53 or overexpression of members of the bcl-2 family of proteins. The existence(More)