Maria João Valente

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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)
The recent publication of the apo-, closed-state 3D crystal structure of zebrafish (zf) P2X4.1 has not only revolutionized the P2X research field, but also highlighted the need for further crystal structures, of receptors in different activation states, so that we can gain a complete molecular understanding of ion channel function. zfP2X4.1 was selected as(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)
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)
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)
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)
N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP) are two synthetic phenylpiperazine analogues that have been frequently commercialized in combination as an alternative to ecstasy (‘Legal X’). Despite reports of several clinical complications following the use of these drugs in association, few studies have been conducted so far to(More)
Recently, great interest has been focused on synthetic cathinones since their consumption has increased exponentially. All synthetic cathinones exist as chiral molecules; the biological and/or toxicological properties of cathinones generally differ according to the enantiomers in human body. In this study, a chiral liquid chromatography method was developed(More)
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