Maria João Valente

Learn More
For centuries, ‘khat sessions’ have played a key role in the social and cultural traditions among several communities around Saudi Arabia and most East African countries. The identification of cathinone as the main psychoactive compound of khat leaves, exhibiting amphetamine-like pharmacological properties, resulted in the synthesis of several derivatives(More)
Piperazine derived drugs emerged on the drug market in the last decade. The aim of this study was to investigate in vitro the potential hepatotoxicity of the designer drugs N-benzylpiperazine (BZP), 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP), 1-(4-methoxyphenyl)piperazine (MeOPP) and 1-(3,4-methylenedioxybenzyl)piperazine (MDBP) in two human hepatic cell(More)
This study reports for the first time the biological properties of Portuguese propolis. The antioxidant potential of propolis samples from Bornes (Northeast) and Fundão (Centre) regions of Portugal was evaluated by their ability to inhibit the 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH)-induced oxidative hemolysis and lipid peroxidation in human(More)
The world’s status quo on recreational drugs has dramatically changed in recent years due to the rapid emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS), represented by new narcotic or psychotropic drugs, in pure form or in preparation, which are not controlled by international conventions, but that may pose a public health threat comparable with that posed by(More)
Synthetic cathinones have emerged in recreational drug markets as legal alternatives for classical amphetamines. Though currently banned in several countries, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is one of the most commonly abused cathinone derivatives worldwide. We have recently reported the potential of MDPV to induce hepatocellular damage, but the(More)
Cocaine is a potent psychoactive illicit substance and its abuse represents a major health burden worldwide. The pharmacodynamics and toxicity of cocaine have been extensively documented, and are generally associated to its affinity towards neurotransmitters transporters and several receptors. However, drug-related formation of reactive compounds, as is the(More)
BACKGROUND Lipoxins (LXs) are proresolving and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids whose role in chronic heart failure (CHF) pathogenesis has never been investigated. This study evaluated levels of LXs in CHF patients, its relationship with disease severity and correlation with established CHF biomarkers. The effect of low-dose aspirin [acetylsalicylic acid(More)
Renal failure resulting from cocaine abuse has been well documented, although the underlying mechanisms remain to be investigated. In the present study, primary cultured human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HPTECs) of the kidney were used to investigate its ability to metabolize cocaine, as well as the cytotoxicity induced by cocaine and its metabolites(More)
The kidney is a target organ for the toxicity of several xenobiotics and is also highly susceptible to the development of malignant tumors. In both cases, in vitro studies provide insight to cellular damage, and represent adequate models to study either the mechanisms underlying the toxic effects of several nephrotoxicants or therapeutic approaches in renal(More)
Acute renal failure is a common finding in cocaine abusers. While cocaine metabolism may contribute to its nephrotoxic mechanisms, its pharmacokinetics in kidney cells is hitherto to be clarified. Primary cultures of human proximal tubular cells (HPTCs) provide a well-characterized in vitro model, phenotypically representative of HPTCs in vivo. Thus, the(More)