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Synthesis and Influence of Two Quinoxalinone Derivatives on Anxiety- and Depressive-Like Responses in Wistar Rat  [PDF]
Redouan Nakache, Brahim Lakhrissi, Fatima Zahra El Mrabet, Aboubaker Elhessni, Ali Ouichou, Bouchra Benazzouz, Abdelhalem Mesfioui
Neuroscience & Medicine (NM) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/nm.2012.34039
Abstract: Two new quinoxalinone derivatives have been synthesized adopting the HONG method, and investigated for some neuropharmacological effects (anxiety- and depressive-like responses) in rats. The present experiment sought to determine whether treatment with these compounds produces changes in affective responses. We found that the chronic injection of 6-nitro-2(1H)-quinoxalinone (NQu) showed obvious anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects, respectively, measured in the behavioral tests of Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) and Forced Swim Test (FST). At the dose of 30 mg/kg, NQu showed a comparative anxiolytic-like effect in rats as diazepam (Dz) (1 mg/kg), and a comparative antidepressant effect as clomipramine (Clmp) (2 mg/kg; i.p). The 2(1H)-quinoxalinone (Qu) significantly reduced depressive-like responses as evaluated in FST, whereas no anxiolytic-like effect was found as measured by open field test (OF). Additionally, the locomotor activity levels were unaffected by treatment as measured by OF and EPM.
Evaluation of Acute Toxicity and Sedative Effects of Ethylic Extract of Thymelaea lythroides in Wistar Rats  [PDF]
Inssaf Berkiks, Abdelhalem Mesfioui, Abdrahim Kribii, Ali Ouichou, Bouchra Benazzouz, Aboubaker El Hessni
Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science (JBBS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2014.43016
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acute toxicity and sedative effect of the ethylic extract of Thymelaea lythroides (Tl) on Wistar rats. The study was based on the gavage administration of the ethylic extract of Tl with different doses (i.e. 200, 400, 500 and 5000 mg/kg), where the toxicity and the sedative activity of the plant were observed and the obtained results were analyzed using the ANOVA test followed by the Bonferroni test. The main results of this study showed that the lethal dose of the ethylic extract of Tl was higher than the 5000 mg/kg dose. Moreover, when compared to the control rats, the animals treated with 5000 mg/kg of the extract exhibited significant reduction in appetite for food and water in the first week. Furthermore, results of the psychotropic test conducted during this study showed visible effects on the exploratory activity of the rats. The dose of 5000 mg/kg was also found to have a significant central nervous system effect; the locomotor activities of the animals decreased in a manner similar to those administered with Zepam as control.
Does Argan Oil Supplementation Affect Metabolic Parameters and Behavior in Wistar Rats?  [PDF]
Rim Bousalham, Laila Jahidi Rhazali, Amal Harmouch, Hamid Lotfi, Bouchra Benazzouz, Aboubaker El Hessni, Ali Ouichou, Omar Akhouayri, Abdelhalem Mesfioui
Food and Nutrition Sciences (FNS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/fns.2015.69085
Abstract: Argan oil is renowned for its particular biochemical profile: high-fat oleic and linoleic acids, tocopherols, sterols, polyphenols. This composition gives it nutritional, therapeutic and preventive properties against dermatological, metabolic and proliferative diseases. The composition of argan oil assigns its benefits to mental health; it would be provided with possible effects on the prevention and/or cure of stress related disorder. This work aims to evaluate the impact of argan oil dietary on the behavioral response, biochemical and hematological constants and histological profiles of adrenal involved in emotional responses to stress. The variation of these parameters was evaluated in Wistar rats receiving dietary 10 ml/Kg/day of argan oil, starting from weaning, for 13 weeks. Our results show that supplementation has resulted in an increase in locomotor activity, reduced sensitivity to frightening environments with sex dependent variation. Moreover, lipid markers, corticosterone and lymphocytes show a rising trend. If the important role of argan oil diet in cardio-metabolic health is generally well recognized; for mental health, it is the first study that needs further investigation linking between the nervous system, inflammation parameters and metabolism.
Variability in the Precore and Core Promoter Regions of HBV Strains in Morocco: Characterization and Impact on Liver Disease Progression
Bouchra Kitab, Abdellah Essaid El Feydi, Rajaa Afifi, Christian Trepo, Mustapha Benazzouz, Wafaa Essamri, Fabien Zoulim, Isabelle Chemin, Hanane Salih Alj, Sayeh Ezzikouri, Soumaya Benjelloun
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042891
Abstract: Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the most common human pathogens that cause aggressive hepatitis and advanced liver disease (AdLD), including liver cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. The persistence of active HBV replication and liver damage after the loss of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) has been frequently associated with mutations in the pre-core (pre-C) and core promoter (CP) regions of HBV genome that abolish or reduce HBeAg expression. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of pre-C and CP mutations and their impact on the subsequent course of liver disease in Morocco. Methods/Principal Findings A cohort of 186 patients with HBeAg-negative chronic HBV infection was studied (81 inactive carriers, 69 with active chronic hepatitis, 36 with AdLD). Pre-C and CP mutations were analyzed by PCR-direct sequencing method. The pre-C stop codon G1896A mutation was the most frequent (83.9%) and was associated with a lower risk of AdLD development (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.15–1.04; p = 0.04). HBV-DNA levels in patients with G1896A were not significantly different from the other patients carrying wild-type strains (p = 0.84). CP mutations C1653T, T1753V, A1762T/G1764A, and C1766T/T1768A were associated with higher HBV-DNA level and increased liver disease severity. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that older age (≥40 years), male sex, high viral load (>4.3 log10 IU/mL) and CP mutations C1653T, T1753V, A1762T/G1764A, and C1766T/T1768A were independent risk factors for AdLD development. Combination of these mutations was significantly associated with AdLD (OR, 7.52; 95% CI, 4.8–8; p<0.0001). Conclusions This study shows for the first time the association of HBV viral load and CP mutations with the severity of liver disease in Moroccan HBV chronic carriers. The examination of CP mutations alone or in combination could be helpful for prediction of the clinical outcome.
Noradrenaline and Parkinson's Disease
Abdelhamid Benazzouz
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience , 2011, DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2011.00031
Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and motor symptoms including bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor at rest. These symptoms are exhibited when striatal dopamine concentration has decreased by around 70%. In addition to motor deficits, PD is also characterized by the non-motor symptoms. However, depletion of DA alone in animal models has failed to simultaneously elicit both the motor and non-motor deficits of PD, possibly because the disease is a multi-system disorder that features a profound loss in other neurotransmitter systems. There is growing evidence that additional loss of noradrenaline (NA) neurons of the locus coeruleus, the principal source of NA in the brain, could be involved in the clinical expression of motor as well as in non-motor deficits. In the present review, we analyze the latest evidence for the implication of NA in the pathophysiology of PD obtained from animal models of parkinsonism and from parkinsonian patients. Recent studies have shown that NA depletion alone, or combined with DA depletion, results in motor as well as in non-motor dysfunctions. In addition, by using selective agonists and antagonists of noradrenaline alpha receptors we, and others, have shown that α2 receptors are implicated in the control of motor activity and that α2 receptor antagonists can improve PD motor symptoms as well as L-Dopa-induced dyskinesia. In this review we argue that the loss of NA neurons in PD has an impact on all PD symptoms and that the addition of NAergic agents to dopaminergic medication could be beneficial in the treatment of the disease.
Fault Detection and Isolation Based on Neural Networks Case Study: Steam Turbine  [PDF]
D. Benazzouz, S. Benammar, S. Adjerid
Energy and Power Engineering (EPE) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/epe.2011.34062
Abstract: The real-time fault diagnosis system is very important for steam turbine generator set due serious fault results in a reduced amount of electricity supply in power plant. A novel real-time fault diagnosis system is proposed by using Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm related to tuning parameters of Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The model of novel fault diagnosis system by using ANN are built and analyzed. Cases of the diagnosis are simulated. The results show that the real-time fault diagnosis system is of high accuracy and quick convergence. It is also found that this model is feasible in real-time fault diagnosis. The steam turbine is used as a power generator by SONELGAZ, an Algerian company located at Cap Djinet town in Boumerdes district. We used this turbine as our main target for the purpose of this analysis. After deep investigation, while keeping our focus on the most sensitive parts within the turbine, the weakest and the strongest points of the system were identified. Those are the points mostly adequate for failure simulations and at which the designed system will be better positioned for irregularities detection during the production process.
Identification of an extracellular infection-induced glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase of the phytopathogenic proteobacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000  [PDF]
Bouchra Elkhalfi, Aurelio Serrano, Abdelaziz Soukri
Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology (ABB) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/abb.2014.53026

According to molecular biology, genomic and proteomic data, the phytopathogenic gamma-proteobacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 produces a number of proteins that may promote infection and draw nutrients from plants. Remarkably, P. syringae DC3000 strain possesses three paralogous gap genes encoding glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) enzymes with different predicted molecular sizes and metabolic functions. As GAPDH was shown to be a virulence factor in other microbial pathogens, in the current study, we analyzed the expression levels of each paralogous gap gene by realtime PCR to understand the actual impact of their protein products on P. syringae virulence. We found that all of them were strongly induced during the infection process. Nevertheless, proteomic analysis of culture supernatants revealed that only Class I GAPDH1 encoded by the gap1 gene was identified as an extracellular protein in infective cells. These results strongly suggest that this GAPDH should play a role in the infective process, including its well-know enzymatic function in the glycolytic metabolic pathway.

Investment Sensitivity to Stock Prices and Analyst Coverage  [PDF]
Ahmed Marhfor, Rachid Ghilal, Bouchra M’Zali
American Journal of Industrial and Business Management (AJIBM) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.53010
Abstract: This study examines whether more analyst coverage mitigates the informational risk borne by small investors. Using the investment-price sensitivity as a proxy for stock price informativeness, we find evidence that analysts do not specialize in the production of firm-specific information and substitute for other corporate governance mechanisms. Our results suggest that analysts are out-siders who have less access to firm-level information. The main findings are robust to many aspects of our methodology.
The Monitoring Role of Financial Analysts: An International Evidence  [PDF]
Ahmed Marhfor, Rachid Ghilal, Bouchra M’Zali
American Journal of Industrial and Business Management (AJIBM) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.55027
Abstract: This study investigates whether high analyst coverage improves the quality of reported accounting numbers. Using conservatism in financial reporting as a proxy for the quality of reported earnings, we find evidence that analysts’ activities are not positively associated with accounting conservatism. The findings indicate that firms choose less conservative accounting methods when they are covered by more analysts. They are consistent with the notion that analysts’ activities do not substitute for other corporate governance mechanisms.
A Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility: Different Signals in Different Industries  [PDF]
Homayoon Shalchian, Kais Bouslah, Bouchra M’Zali
Journal of Financial Risk Management (JFRM) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/jfrm.2015.42009
Abstract: This study investigates the relation between individual dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance in different industries. Using Kinder, Lydenberg and Domini (KLD) social ratings, we find that investors seem to be more sensitive to the dimension “Environment” in mining and manufacturing sectors while they seem to be more sensitive to the dimension “Employees’ welfare” in the service industry. Our results also suggest that investors perceive an additional financial risk from firm’s irresponsible behavior and consequently, they are more pre-occupied by eventual losses caused by firms’ social irresponsibility than by potential financial gains from corporate social performance.
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