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Sample records for agouti dasyprocta leporina

  1. Interactions Among Different Devices and Electrical Stimulus on the Electroejaculation of Captive Agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina).

    PubMed

    Castelo, T S; Souza, A L P; Lima, G L; Peixoto, G C X; Campos, L B; Oliveira, M F; Silva, A R

    2015-06-01

    The interactions among different electroejaculation devices associated with serial or continuous stimuli were investigated to improve the efficiency of the electroejaculation for semen collection in agoutis. Ten sexually matured male Dasyprocta leporina were restrained by the intramuscular administration of xylazine-ketamine association. Each individual was randomly subjected to four electroejaculation protocols, by combining two devices (one presenting longitudinal electrodes emitting square waves and other presenting ring electrodes emitting sine waves) and two electrical stimuli protocols (serial or continuous). A total of 40 attempts for electroejaculation were conducted in agoutis, being 10 per treatment. The most efficient treatment in providing ejaculates containing sperm (p < 0.05) was that using and electroejaculator connected to a probe with ring electrodes and associated with serial stimuli (4/7; 57%). In spite of semen parameters obtained by sine waves were adequate for using the samples for assisted reproduction, higher values for sperm motility and functional membrane integrity were obtained in the use of the square wave, independently of the electric stimulation protocol used (p < 0.05). In conclusion, we verified that the use of a device presenting a probe with ring electrodes and emitting sine waves, associated with a serial stimuli protocol, improves the efficiency for semen obtaining by electroejaculation in adults D. leporina. PMID:25800458

  2. Comparison among different cryoprotectants for cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti (Dasyprocta leporina).

    PubMed

    Castelo, T S; Silva, A M; Bezerra, L G P; Costa, C Y M; Lago, A E A; Bezerra, J A B; Campos, L B; Praxedes, E C G; Silva, A R

    2015-12-01

    We verify the effects of different cryoprotectants on the cryopreservation of agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) epididymal sperm. We used 16 pairs of testes-epididymis complexes of sexually mature animals. We immediately evaluated epididymal sperm obtained by retrograde flushing for concentration, motility, vigor, viability, osmotic response, and morphology. Samples were extended in a coconut water extender plus 20% egg yolk, containing glycerol, ethylene glycol, dimethylsulfoxide - DMSO, or dimethylformamide. Finally, samples were stored in 0.25 mL straws, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and thawed after one week, being reevaluated and assessed for membrane integrity using fluorescent probes. The higher values for postthawing sperm motility, vigor, and membrane integrity were achieved by the usage of glycerol, when compared to ethylene glycol and dimethylformamide (P < 0.05); however, no differences were found between glycerol and DMSO (P > 0.05). All cryoprotectants provided a similar effect on the preservation of sperm morphology, osmotic response, and viability (P > 0.05). Therefore, here onwards, there was testing of glycerol and DMSO at 3 and 6% concentrations using the same freezing-thawing protocol reported previously. As the main result, DMSO at 6% concentration provided a decrease in sperm parameters, as well as in the chromatin integrity and in the binding capability of sperm. In conclusion, glycerol 3 or 6% and DMSO 3% can be used as alternative cryoprotectants for agouti epididymal sperm cryopreservation. PMID:26408846

  3. Liquid and Frozen Storage of Agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) Semen Extended with UHT Milk, Unpasteurized Coconut Water, and Pasteurized Coconut Water

    PubMed Central

    Mollineau, W. M.; Adogwa, A. O.; Garcia, G. W.

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of semen extension and storage on forward progressive motility % (FPM%) in agouti semen. Three extenders were used; sterilized whole cow's milk (UHT Milk), unpasteurized (CW) and pasteurized coconut water (PCW), and diluted to 50, 100, 150, and 200 × 106 spermatozoa/ml. Experiment 1: 200 ejaculates were extended for liquid storage at 5∘C and evaluated every day for 5 days to determine FPM% and its rate of deterioration. Experiment 2: 150 ejaculates were extended for storage as frozen pellets in liquid nitrogen at −195∘C, thawed at 30∘ to 70∘C for 20 to 50 seconds after 5 days and evaluated for FPM% and its rate of deterioration. Samples treated with UHT milk and storage at concentrations of 100 × 106 spermatozoa/ml produced the highest means for FPM% and the slowest rates of deterioration during Experiment 1. During Experiment 2 samples thawed at 30∘C for 20 seconds exhibited the highest means for FPM% (12.18 ± 1.33%), 85% rate of deterioration. However, samples were incompletely thawed. This was attributed to the diameter of the frozen pellets which was 1 cm. It was concluded that the liquid storage method was better for short term storage. PMID:20871831

  4. Fatal anemia and dermatitis in captive agoutis (Dasyprocta mexicana) infested with Echidnophaga fleas.

    PubMed

    Cucchi-Stefanoni, Karina; Juan-Sallés, Carles; Parás, Alberto; Garner, Michael M

    2008-08-17

    Two captive agoutis (Dasyprocta mexicana) died of anemia with centrilobular hepatocellular necrosis (2/2), severe flea ectoparasitism (2/2), and cardiomegaly attributed to anemia (1/2). Other agoutis were similarly parasitized and one had anemia. Fleas were manually removed and all agoutis treated topically with propoxur and selamectin and moved to another enclosure. No additional cases of fatal anemia were seen. Cutaneous lesions suggestive of hypersensitivity were observed in three additional agoutis with dorsal alopecia (3/3), a penetrating wound associated with pruritus and self-mutilation in the flank (2/3), flea ectoparasitism at the time of morphologic diagnosis (1/3), and hyperplastic perivascular dermatitis (3/3). One of these died of bacterial infection of the wound. Similar but milder skin disease was seen in 3 out of over 30 maras (Dolichotis patagonum) housed in the same exhibit. Fleas collected from all the fatal agouti cases and maras were classified in the genus Echidnophaga based on the angular front margin of head, contracted thorax, absence of genal and pronotal combs, and the fact that fleas did not jump. These findings suggest that flea ectoparasitism may be an important cause of morbidity and mortality in captive rodents. PMID:18556127

  5. [Infection induced in wild rodents Dasyprocta leporina (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae), with larval eggs of Lagochilascaris minor (Nematoda: Ascarididae)].

    PubMed

    Volcán, G S; Medrano, C E

    1990-01-01

    Specimens of Dasyprocta leporina (Linnaeus, 1758) were raised out their natural environment. At three to four months of age they were orally inoculated with Lagochilascaris minor (Leiper, 1909) eggs obtained from a native patient. The eggs were incubated for more than 80 days so that it was possible to obtain, by mechanical compression, larvae that could be maintained alive in liquid medium for 48 hours or more. The animals were sacrificed 14-46 days after infection and tangled larva in inflammatory nodules were found in skeletal muscle without foreign body reaction, abscess formation or calcification. The development of the nodules did not seem to affect the hosts. The larvae obtained were similar to those described by SPRENT as the third stage of these helminths. When white mice were inoculated with similar material it was not possible to recuperate larva from their tissues nor were nodules found. Based on these results it is postulated that the helminth does not present a pulmonary cycle and that its development requires an intermediary host. PMID:2135484

  6. Morphological and morphometric characterization of agoutis' peripheral blood cells (Dasyprocta prymnolopha, Wagler, 1831) raised in captivity.

    PubMed

    Conde Júnior, Airton Mendes; De Moura Fortes, Eunice Anita; De Menezes, Danilo José Ayres; De Oliveira Lopes, Luana; De Carvalho, Maria Acelina Martins

    2012-03-01

    Thirty adult agoutis (Dasyprocta primnolopha) from the Nucleus of Study and Preservation of Wild Animals at the Federal University of Piauí were used. Blood scrubs of these animals were colored by the Leishman method and analyzed in light microscopy. The cells had been measured using programs that analyze images (Leica QWin - Image Processing and Analysis Software). Mature erythrocytes, basophil reticulocytes, lymphocytes, eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes, and thrombocytes were identified. Agoutis' erythrocytes presented elliptical form, without nucleus with an average diameter of 5.64 micromeres ± 0.38. The lymphocytes are spherical cells with scarce cytoplasm, dense and with a very centralized rounded nucleus measuring an average diameter of 13.20 micromeres ± 0.35. The monocytes are slightly basophilic, with a spherical nucleus, central constriction, and an average diameter of 20.59 micromeres ± 0.32. The neutrophils are spherical, with a polymorphic lobulated nucleus, with an average diameter of 11.2 micromeres ± 0.20. The eosinophils are spherical with lobulated nucleus and with an average diameter of 14.25 micromeres ± 0.36. Only five basophils were observed, with abundance of cytoplasmic granules with 9.8 micrometers of diameter ± 0.30. Thrombocytopenic pleomorphism was frequent. There were similarities in the cellular constituents in peripheral blood of agoutis and of other rodents and humans. The cellular types from the peripheral blood, the morphology, and morphometry of the blood's cells did not vary according to sex. PMID:21898666

  7. Structural and ultrastructural features of the agouti tongue (Dasyprocta aguti Linnaeus, 1766)

    PubMed Central

    Ciena, Adriano Polican; Bolina, Cristina de Sousa; de Almeida, Sonia Regina Yokomizo; Rici, Rose Eli Grassi; de Oliveira, Moacir Franco; da da Silva, Marcelo Cavenaghi Pereira; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Watanabe, Ii-sei

    2013-01-01

    The agouti (Dasyprocta aguti Linnaeus, 1766) is a wild rodent belonging to the family Dasyproctidae that is found throughout Brazil and feeds on fruits and seeds. The aim of the present study was to describe the following features of the tongue of agouti: its morphological structures, the three-dimensional characteristics of the lingual papillae surface, the connective tissue cores (CTCs) and the epithelial cell ultrastructure. Four types of papillae were observed on the dorsal surface of the tongue with a triangular shape: filiform, fungiform, foliate and vallate. Filiform papillae were distributed throughout the tongue surface, and removal of the epithelial surface revealed conical CTCs and multifilaments. Fungiform papillae were observed in the rostral and middle regions, whereas foliate papillae developed in pairs on the lateral margin of the caudal region. Removal of the epithelium in these regions revealed CTCs with parallel laminar conformation. Vallate papillae were arranged in a V-shape in the caudal region, and their CTCs ranged in shape from elongate to ovoid. The ultrastructural components of the dorsal epithelium were the basal, spinous, granular and keratinised layers. A broad area with cytoplasmic projections was identified in the interface region between the lamina propria and the basal layer. Flattened cells with intermediate filaments were observed in the transitional region between spinous and granular layers. The keratinised layer was composed of superimposed epithelial cells where desmosomes and cell-surface microridges were observed. These structural features, including the three-dimensional aspects of the lingual papillae, the CTCs and the epithelial ultrastructure, indicate that when compared with other animals, particularly other rodent species, the morphological features of the tongue of agouti are relatively well developed, especially regarding foliate and vallate papillae. PMID:23701183

  8. CARDIOTHORACIC RATIO AND VERTEBRAL HEART SCALE IN CLINICALLY NORMAL BLACK-RUMPED AGOUTIS (DASYPROCTA PRYMNOLOPHA, WAGLER 1831).

    PubMed

    de Moura, Charlys Rhands Coelho; das Neves Diniz, Anaemilia; da Silva Moura, Laecio; das Chagas Araújo Sousa, Francisco; Baltazar, Pollyana Irene; Freire, Larisse Danielle; Guerra, Porfírio Candanedo; de Sousa, João Macedo; Giglio, Robson Fortes; Pessoa, Gerson Tavares; de Sá, Renan Paraguassu; Alves, Flávio Ribeiro

    2015-06-01

    Wild rodents, such as the lowland paca (Cuniculus paca), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), rock cavy (Kerodon rupestris), guinea pig (Cavia aperea), and black-rumped agouti (Dasyprocta prymnolopha) are intensely hunted throughout Amazonia and at the semiarid regions of northeastern Brazil. To contribute to the preservation of these species, more information about their anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology is needed. The aim of this study was to standardize the vertebral heart scale (VHS) and cardiothoracic ratio (CTR) in clinically normal black-rumped agouti, as well as to compare the results of these two methods, which are commonly used to evaluate the cardiac silhouette in domestic animals. Twelve healthy black-rumped agoutis, divided into two groups (six males and six females), obtained from the Nucleus for Wild Animal Studies and Conservation at the Federal University of Piauí, were radiographed in right and left lateral and dorsoventral projections. The values of the VHS were 8.00±0.31v (the number of thoracic vertebral length spanned by each dimension, starting at T4) for males and 8.11±0.41v for females, and there was no statistical difference between the decubitus (right and left) or between males and females (P>0.05). The CTR mean values obtained were 0.51±0.03 for males, and 0.52±0.02 for females, and there was no statistical difference between the genders (P>0.05). However, there was positive correlation between VHS and CTR (r=0.77 right decubitus and r=0.82 left decubitus). The thoracic and heart diameter had mean values of 6.72±0.61 and 3.48±0.30 cm (males), and for the females, it was 6.61±0.51 and 3.5±0.30 cm, respectively, and there was statistical difference between the genders. The results demonstrated high correlation between the VHS and CTR producing similar results, indicating similar clinical precision for assessing the size of the cardiac silhouette in the black-rumped agoutis. PMID:26056885

  9. Agouti polypeptide compositions

    DOEpatents

    Woychik, Richard P.; Bultman, Scott J.; Michaud, Edward J.

    2001-10-30

    Disclosed are methods and compositions comprising novel agouti polypeptides and the polynucleotides which encode them. Also disclosed are DNA segments encoding these proteins derived from human and murine cell lines, and the use of these polynucleotides and polypeptides in a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Methods, compositions, kits, and devices are also provided for identifying compounds which are inhibitors of agouti activity, and for altering fatty acid synthetase activity and intracellular calcium levels in transformed cells.

  10. Morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) (Diptera: Hypodermatinae) from wild plateau pikas(Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yong; Li, Wei; Duo, Hong; Guo, Zhihong; Dang, Zhisheng; Shen, Xiuying; Peng, Mao; Zhang, Yanming

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this article was to investigate the morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) from wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China. The third-stage larvae of O. leporina were examined by scanning electron microscopy revealing morphology characteristics of the spines on the cephalic, the thoracic segments, the abdominal segments and the spiracular plates. The coding regions of 25 cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes of O. leporina were investigated. Eighty-one variable sites and 21 haplotypes were identified and the nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.04456 and 0.9767, respectively, indicating a rich genetic diversity in O. leporina. Phylogenetic analysis utilizing sequences of COI revealed two distinct lineages. These findings revealed ultrastructure and molecular characterization among the O. leporina from plateau pikas in Qinghai province, China and had implications for studying morphological identification, molecular epidemiology and population genetics of O. leporina. PMID:26708934

  11. Agouti polynucleotide compositions and methods of use

    DOEpatents

    Woychik, Richard P.; Bultman, Scott J.; Michaud, Edward J.

    2003-02-04

    Disclosed are methods and compositions comprising novel agouti polypeptides and the polynucleotides which encode them. Also disclosed are DNA segments encoding these proteins derived from human and murine cell lines, and the use of these polynucleotides and polypeptides in a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Methods, compositions, kits, and devices are also provided for identifying compounds which are inhibitors of agouti activity, and for altering fatty acid synthetase activity and intracellular calcium levels in transformed cells.

  12. Genetic organization of the agouti region of the mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Siracusa, L.D.; Russell, L.B.; Eicher, E.M.; Corrow, D.J.; Copeland, N.G.; Jenkins, N.A.

    1987-09-01

    The agouti locus on mouse chromosome 2 acts via the hair follicle to control the melanic type and distribution of hair pigments. The diverse phenotypes associated with various agouti mutations have led to speculation about the organization of the agouti locus. Earlier studies indicated that two presumed agouti alleles, lethal yellow (A/sup y/) and lethal light-bellied nonagouti (a/sup x/), are pseudoallelic. The authors present genetic data showing probable recombination between A/sup y/ and three agouti mutations (a/sup t/, a, and a/sup x/), which suggest that A/sup y/ is a pseudoallele of the agouti locus. The close linkage of an endogenous ecotropic murine leukemia provirus, Emv-15, to A/sup y/ provides a molecular access to genes at or near the agouti locus. However, previous studies suggested that the Emv-15 locus can recombine with some agouti alleles and therefore they analyzed mice from recombinant inbred strains and backcrosses to measure the genetic distance between various agouti alleles and the Emv-15 locus. The data indicate that the Emv-15 locus is less the 0.3 cM from the agouti locus. These experiments provide a conceptual framework for initiating chromosome walking experiments designed to retrieve sequences from the agouti locus and give new insight into the genetic organization of the agouti region.

  13. Splenic melanosis in agouti and black mice.

    PubMed

    Michalczyk-Wetula, Dominika; Wieczorek, Justyna; Płonka, Przemysław M

    2015-01-01

    An interesting example of extradermal deposition of melanin in vertebrates, notably in mammals, is splenic melanosis. In particular, if the phenomenon of splenic melanosis is correlated with hair or skin pigmentation, it must reflect the amount and perhaps the quality of pigment produced in hair follicle melanocytes. The present paper is our first study on splenic pigmentation in mice of phenotype agouti. We used untreated mixed background mice C57BL/6;129/SvJ (black - a/a, agouti - A/a, A/A), and as a control - black C57BL/6 and agouti fur from 129/SvJ mice, Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) and golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). After euthanasia skin and spleen was evaluated macroscopically, photographed and collected for further analysis using Fontana-Masson and hematoxylin-eosin staining and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) at X-band. Spleens of the agouti mice revealed splenic melanosis but were slightly weaker pigmented than their black counterparts, while the presence of pheomelanin was difficult to determine. The fur of both phenotypes was of similar melanin content, with the same tendency as in the spleens. The contribution of pheomelanin in the agouti fur was on the border of detectability by EPR. Histological and EPR analysis confirmed the presence of melanin in the melanotic spleens. The shape of the EPR signal showed a dominance of eumelanin in fur and in melanized spleens in both phenotypes of mice. Therefore, splenic melanosis does reflect the hair follicle pigmentation not only in black, but also in agouti mice. PMID:26291042

  14. A Transgenic Mouse Assay for Agouti Protein Activity

    PubMed Central

    Perry, W. L.; Hustad, C. M.; Swing, D. A.; Jenkins, N. A.; Copeland, N. G.

    1995-01-01

    The mouse agouti gene encodes an 131 amino acid paracrine signaling molecule that instructs hair follicle melanocytes to switch from making black to yellow pigment. Expression of agouti during the middle part of the hair growth cycle in wild-type mice produces a yellow band on an otherwise black hair. The ubiquitous unregulated expression of agouti in mice carrying dominant yellow alleles is associated with pleiotropic effects including increased yellow pigment in the coat, obesity, diabetes and increased tumor susceptibility. Agouti shows no significant homology to known genes, and the molecular analysis of agouti alleles has shed little new light on the important functional elements of the agouti protein. In this paper, we show that agouti expression driven by the human β-ACTIN promoter produces obese yellow transgenic mice and that this can be used as an assay for agouti activity. We used this assay to evaluate a point mutation associated with the a(16H) allele within the region encoding agouti's putative signal sequence and our results suggest that this mutation is sufficient to cause the a(16H) phenotype. Thus, in vitro mutagenesis followed by the generation of transgenic mice should allow us to identify important functional elements of the agouti protein. PMID:7635291

  15. Structures of the agouti signaling protein.

    PubMed

    McNulty, Joseph C; Jackson, Pilgrim J; Thompson, Darren A; Chai, Biaoxin; Gantz, Ira; Barsh, Gregory S; Dawson, Philip E; Millhauser, Glenn L

    2005-03-01

    Expression of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) during hair growth produces the red/yellow pigment pheomelanin. ASIP, and its neuropeptide homolog the agouti-related protein (AgRP) involved in energy balance, are novel, paracrine signaling molecules that act as inverse agonists at distinct subsets of melanocortin receptors. Ubiquitous ASIP expression in mice gives rise to a pleiotropic phenotype characterized by a uniform yellow coat color, obesity, overgrowth, and metabolic derangements similar to type II diabetes in humans. Here we report the synthesis and NMR structure of ASIP's active, cysteine-rich, C-terminal domain. ASIP adopts the inhibitor cystine knot fold and, along with AgRP, are the only known mammalian proteins in this structure class. Moreover, ASIP populates two distinct conformers resulting from a cis peptide bond at Pro102-Pro103 and a coexistence of cis/trans isomers of Ala104-Pro105. Pharmacologic studies of Pro-->Ala mutants demonstrate that the minor conformation with two cis peptide bonds is responsible for activity at all MCRs. The loop containing the heterogeneous Ala-Pro peptide bond is conserved in mammals, and suggests that ASIP is either trapped by evolution in this unusual configuration or possesses function outside of strict MCR antagonism. PMID:15701517

  16. Analysis of the function of the agouti gene in obesity and diabetes

    SciTech Connect

    Mynatt, R.L.; Miltenberger, R.J.; Klebig, M.L.

    1996-09-01

    This chapter discusses the agouti gene and dominant mutations in that gene that lead to agouti-induced obesity, and recent work with transgenic mice to elucidate the role of agouti in obesity. Agouti was cloned in 1992 by the lab of Rick Woychik at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, making it the first of many recently cloned mouse obesity genes. Sequence analysis predicted that mouse agouti is a secreted protein of 131 amino acids. The mature protein has a basic central region (lys57-arg85), a proline-rich domain (pro86-pro91) and a C-terminal region (cys 92-cys 13 1) containing 10 cysteine residues which form 5 disulfide bonds. The human homologue of agouti has also been cloned by the Woychik lab and maps to human chromosome 20q 11.2. Human agouti is 132 amino acids long and is 85% similar to the mouse agouti protein and is normally expressed in adipose tissue. The researchers have been able to recapitulate obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperglycemia with the ubiquitous expression of agouti. Agouti expression in either liver and adipose tissue alone does not cause obesity, and there`s a dose-dependent effect of agouti on body weight, food efficiency, body temperature, and insulin and glucose levels.

  17. Melanism in Peromyscus Is Caused by Independent Mutations in Agouti

    PubMed Central

    Kingsley, Evan P.; Manceau, Marie; Wiley, Christopher D.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2009-01-01

    Identifying the molecular basis of phenotypes that have evolved independently can provide insight into the ways genetic and developmental constraints influence the maintenance of phenotypic diversity. Melanic (darkly pigmented) phenotypes in mammals provide a potent system in which to study the genetic basis of naturally occurring mutant phenotypes because melanism occurs in many mammals, and the mammalian pigmentation pathway is well understood. Spontaneous alleles of a few key pigmentation loci are known to cause melanism in domestic or laboratory populations of mammals, but in natural populations, mutations at one gene, the melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r), have been implicated in the vast majority of cases, possibly due to its minimal pleiotropic effects. To investigate whether mutations in this or other genes cause melanism in the wild, we investigated the genetic basis of melanism in the rodent genus Peromyscus, in which melanic mice have been reported in several populations. We focused on two genes known to cause melanism in other taxa, Mc1r and its antagonist, the agouti signaling protein (Agouti). While variation in the Mc1r coding region does not correlate with melanism in any population, in a New Hampshire population, we find that a 125-kb deletion, which includes the upstream regulatory region and exons 1 and 2 of Agouti, results in a loss of Agouti expression and is perfectly associated with melanic color. In a second population from Alaska, we find that a premature stop codon in exon 3 of Agouti is associated with a similar melanic phenotype. These results show that melanism has evolved independently in these populations through mutations in the same gene, and suggest that melanism produced by mutations in genes other than Mc1r may be more common than previously thought. PMID:19649329

  18. Isolation and characterization of Agouti: a diabetes/obesity related gene

    DOEpatents

    Woychik, Richard P.

    1998-01-01

    The present invention relates to the cloning and expression of the Agouti gene and analogous genes in transformed, transfected and transgenic mice. The present invention provides an animal model for the study of diabetes, obesity and tumors for the testing of potential therapeutic agents. The present invention provides oligonucleotide probes for the detection of the Agouti gene and mutations in the gene. The present invention also relates to the isolation and recombinant production of the Agouti gene product, production of antibodies to the Agouti gene product and their use as diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

  19. Isolation and characterization of Agouti: a diabetes/obesity related gene

    DOEpatents

    Woychik, Richard P.

    2000-06-27

    The present invention relates to the cloning and expression of the Agouti gene and analogous genes in transformed, transfected and transgenic mice. The present invention provides an animal model for the study of diabetes, obesity and tumors for the testing of potential therapeutic agents. The present invention provides oligonucleotide probes for the detection of the Agouti gene and mutations in the gene. The present invention also relates to the isolation and recombinant production of the Agouti gene product, production of antibodies to the Agouti gene product and their use as diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

  20. Agouti signaling protein stimulates cell division in "viable yellow" (A vy/a) mouse liver

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Enhanced linear growth, hyperplasia, and tumorigenesis are well-known characteristics of "viable yellow" agouti Avy/- mice (1); however, the functional basis for this aspect of the phenotype is unknown. In the present study, we ascertained whether agouti signaling protein (ASIP) levels in Avy/a or a...

  1. Overexpression of agouti protein and stress responsiveness in mice.

    PubMed

    Harris, R B; Zhou, J; Shi, M; Redmann, S; Mynatt, R L; Ryan, D H

    2001-07-01

    Ectopic overexpression of agouti protein, an endogenous antagonist of melanocortin receptors' linked to the beta-actin promoter (BAPa) in mice, produces a phenotype of yellow coat color, Type II diabetes, obesity and increased somatic growth. Spontaneous overexpression of agouti increases stress-induced weight loss. In these experiments, other aspects of stress responsiveness were tested in 12-week-old male wild-type mice and BAPa mice. Two hours of restraint on three consecutive days produced greater increases in corticosterone and post-stress weight loss in BAPa than wild-type mice. In Experiment 2, anxiety-type behavior was measured immediately after 12 min of restraint. This mild stress did not produce many changes indicative of anxiety, but BAPa mice spent more time in the dark side of a light-dark box and less time in the open arms of an elevated plus maze than restrained wild-type mice. In a defensive withdrawal test, grooming was increased by restraint in all mice, but the duration of each event was substantially shorter in BAPa mice, possibly due to direct antagonism of the MC4-R by agouti protein. Thus, BAPa mice showed exaggerated endocrine and energetic responses to restraint stress with small differences in anxiety-type behavior compared with wild-type mice. These results are consistent with observations in other transgenic mice in which the melanocortin system is disrupted, but contrast with reports that acute blockade of central melanocortin receptors inhibits stress-induced hypophagia. Thus, the increased stress responsiveness in BAPa mice may be a developmental compensation for chronic inhibition of melanocortin receptors. PMID:11495665

  2. Molecular analysis of the mouse agouti gene and the role of dominant agouti-locus mutations in obesity and insulin resistance

    SciTech Connect

    Klebig, M.L.; Woychik, R.P.; Wilkinson, J.E.

    1994-09-01

    The lethal yellow (A{sup y/-}) and viable yellow (A{sup vy/-}) mouse agouti mutants have a predominantly yellow pelage and display a complex syndrome that includes obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance, hallmark features of obesity-associated noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in humans. A new dominant agouti allele, A{sup iapy}, has recently been identified; like the A{sup vy} allele, it is homozygous viable and confers obesity and yellow fur in heterozygotes. The agouti gene was cloned and characterized at the molecular level. The gene is expressed in the skin during hair growth and is predicted to encode a 131 amino acid protein, that is likely to be a secreted factor. In both Ay/- and A{sup iapy}/- mice, the obesity and other dominant pleiotropic effects are associated with an ectopic expression of agouti in many tissues where the gene product is normally not produced. In Ay, a 170-kb deletion has occurred that causes an upstream promoter to drive the ectopic expression of the wild-type agouti coding exons. In A{sup iapy}, the coding region of the gene is expressed from a cryptic promoter within the LTR of an intracisternal A-particle (IAP), which has integrated within the region just upstream of the first agouti coding exon. Transgenic mice ubiquitously expressing the cloned agouti gene under the influence of the beta-actin and phosphoglycerate kinase promoters display obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and yellow coat color. This demonstrates unequivocally that ectopic expression of agouti is responsible for the yellow obese syndrome.

  3. Experimental heteroxenous cycle of Lagochilascaris minor Leiper, 1909 (Nematoda: Ascarididae) in white mice and in cats.

    PubMed

    Volcan, G S; Medrano, C E; Payares, G

    1992-01-01

    Reports of natural infections of sylvatic carnivores by adult worms of species similar to Lagochilascaris minor in the Neotropical region led to attempts to establish experimental cycles in laboratory mice and in cats. Also, larval development was seen in the skeletal muscle of an agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) infected per os with incubated eggs of the parasite obtained from a human case. In cats, adult worms develop and fertile eggs are expelled in the feces; in mice, larval stages of the parasite develop, and are encapsulate in the skeletal muscle, and in the adipose and subcutaneous connective tissue. From our observations, we conclude that the larva infective for the mouse is the early 3rd stage, while for the final host the infective form is the later 3rd stage. A single moult was seen in the mouse, giving rise to a small population of 4th stage larvae, long after the initial infection. PMID:1343667

  4. Molecular structure and chromosomal mapping of the human homolog of the agouti gene

    SciTech Connect

    Kwon, H.Y.; Woychik, R.P.; Bultman, S.J. |; Loeffler, C.; Hansmann, I.; Chen, W.J.; Furdon, P.J.; Wilkison, W.; Powell, J.G.; Usala, A.L.

    1994-10-11

    The agouti (a) locus in mouse chromosome 2 normally regulates coat color pigmentation. The mouse agouti gene was recently cloned and shown to encode a distinctive 131-amino acid protein with a consensus signal peptide. Here the authors describe the cloning of the human homolog of the mouse agouti gene using an interspecies DNA-hybridization approach. Sequence analysis revealed that the coding region of the human agouti gene is 85% identical to the mouse gene and has the potential to encode a protein of 132 amino acids with a consensus signal peptide. Chromosomal assignment using somatic-cell-hybrid mapping panels and fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated that the human agouti gene maps to chromosome band 20q11.2. This result revealed that the human agouti gene is closely linked to several traits, including a locus called MODY (for maturity onset diabetes of the young) and another region that is associated with the development of myeloid leukemia. Initial expression studies with RNA from several adult human tissues showed that the human agouti gene is expressed in adipose tissue and testis.

  5. Coupled Site-Directed Mutagenesis/Transgenesis Identifies Important Functional Domains of the Mouse Agouti Protein

    PubMed Central

    Perry, W. L.; Nakamura, T.; Swing, D. A.; Secrest, L.; Eagleson, B.; Hustad, C. M.; Copeland, N. G.; Jenkins, N. A.

    1996-01-01

    The agouti locus encodes a novel paracrine signaling molecule containing a signal sequence, an N-linked glycosylation site, a central lysine-rich basic domain, and a C-terminal tail containing 10 cysteine (Cys) residues capable of forming five disulfide bonds. When overexpressed, agouti causes a number of pleiotropic effects including yellow coat and adult-onset obesity. Numerous studies suggest that agouti causes yellow coat color by antagonizing the binding of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) to the α-MSH-(melanocortin-1) receptor. With the goal of identifying functional domains of agouti important for its diverse biological activities, we have generated 14 agouti mutations by in vitro site-directed mutagenesis and analyzed these mutations in transgenic mice for their effects on coat color and obesity. These studies demonstrate that the signal sequence, the N-linked glycosylation site, and the C-terminal Cys residues are important for full biological activity, while at least a portion of the lysine-rich basic domain is dispensable for normal function. They also show that the same functional domains of agouti important in coat color determination are important for inducing obesity, consistent with the hypothesis that agouti induces obesity by antagonizing melanocortin binding to other melanocortin receptors. PMID:8878691

  6. Diet-induced hypermethylation at agouti viable yellow is not inherited transgenerationally through the female

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of nonmutagenic environmental exposures can sometimes be transmitted for several generations, suggesting transgenerational inheritance of induced epigenetic variation. Methyl donor supplementation of female mice during pregnancy induces CpG hypermethylation at the agouti viable yellow (A...

  7. Molecular and phenotypic analysis of 25 recessive, homozygous-viable alleles at the mouse agouti locus.

    PubMed Central

    Miltenberger, Rosalynn J; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Woychik, Richard P; Russell, Liane B; Michaud, Edward J

    2002-01-01

    Agouti is a paracrine-acting, transient antagonist of melanocortin 1 receptors that specifies the subapical band of yellow on otherwise black hairs of the wild-type coat. To better understand both agouti structure/function and the germline damage caused by chemicals and radiation, an allelic series of 25 recessive, homozygous-viable agouti mutations generated in specific-locus tests were characterized. Visual inspection of fur, augmented by quantifiable chemical analysis of hair melanins, suggested four phenotypic categories (mild, moderate, umbrous-like, severe) for the 18 hypomorphs and a single category for the 7 amorphs (null). Molecular analysis indicated protein-coding alterations in 8 hypomorphs and 6 amorphs, with mild-moderate phenotypes correlating with signal peptide or basic domain mutations, and more devastating phenotypes resulting from C-terminal lesions. Ten hypomorphs and one null demonstrated wild-type coding potential, suggesting that they contain mutations elsewhere in the > or = 125-kb agouti locus that either reduce the level or alter the temporal/spatial distribution of agouti transcripts. Beyond the notable contributions to the field of mouse germ cell mutagenesis, analysis of this allelic series illustrates that complete abrogation of agouti function in vivo occurs most often through protein-coding lesions, whereas partial loss of function occurs slightly more frequently at the level of gene expression control. PMID:11861569

  8. Agouti regulation of intracellular calcium: Role in the insulin resistance of viable yellow mice

    SciTech Connect

    Zemel, M.B.; Kim, J.H.; Woychik, R.P.; Michaud, E.J.; Hadwell, S.H.; Patel, I.R.; Wilkison, W.O.

    1995-05-23

    Several dominant mutations at the agouti locus in the mouse cause a syndrome of marked obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance. Although it is known that the agouti gene is expressed in an ectopic manner in these mutants, the precise mechanism by which the agouti gene product mediates these effects is unclear. Since intracellular Ca{sup 2+} is believed to play a role in mediating insulin action and dysregulation of Ca{sup 2+} flux is observed in diabetic animals and humans, we examined the status of intracellular Ca{sup 2+} in mice carrying the dominant agouti allele, viable yellow (A{sup vy}). We show here that in mice carrying this mutation, the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) is elevated in skeletal muscle, and the degree of elevation is closely correlated with the degree to which the mutant traits are expressed in individual animals. Moreover, we demonstrate that the agouti gene product is capable of inducing increased [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} in cultured and freshly isolated skeletal muscle myocytes from wild-type mice. Based on these findings, we present a model in which we propose that the agouti polypeptide promotes insulin resistance in mutant animals through its ability to increase [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}. 36 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  9. Molecular Genetic Characterization of Six Recessive Viable Alleles of the Mouse Agouti Locus

    PubMed Central

    Hustad, C. M.; Perry, W. L.; Siracusa, L. D.; Rasberry, C.; Cobb, L.; Cattanach, B. M.; Kovatch, R.; Copeland, N. G.; Jenkins, N. A.

    1995-01-01

    The agouti locus on mouse chromosome 2 encodes a secreted cysteine-rich protein of 131 amino acids that acts as a molecular switch to instruct the melanocyte to make either yellow pigment (phaeomelanin) or black pigment (eumelanin). Mutations that up-regulate agouti expression are dominant to those causing decreased expression and result in yellow coat color. Other associated effects are obesity, diabetes, and increased susceptibility to tumors. To try to define important functional domains of the agouti protein, we have analyzed the molecular defects present in a series of recessive viable agouti mutations. In total, six alleles (a(mJ), a(u), a(da), a(16H), a(18H), a(e)) were examined at both the RNA and DNA level. Two of the alleles, a(16H) and a(e), result from mutations in the agouti coding region. Four alleles (a(mJ), a(u), a(18H), and a(da)) appear to represent regulatory mutations that down-regulate agouti expression. Interestingly, one of these mutations, a(18H), also appears to cause an immunological defect in the homozygous condition. This immunological defect is somewhat analogous to that observed in motheaten (me) mutant mice. Short and long-range restriction enzyme analyses of homozygous a(18H) DNA are consistent with the hypothesis that a(18H) results from a paracentric inversion where one end of the inversion maps in the 5' regulatory region of agouti and the other end in or near a gene that is required for normal immunological function. Cloning the breakpoints of this putative inversion should allow us to identify the gene that confers this interesting immunological disorder. PMID:7635290

  10. Identification of Distant Agouti-Like Sequences and Re-Evaluation of the Evolutionary History of the Agouti-Related Peptide (AgRP)

    PubMed Central

    Västermark, Åke; Krishnan, Arunkumar; Houle, Michael E.; Fredriksson, Robert; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Schiöth, Helgi B.

    2012-01-01

    The Agouti-like peptides including AgRP, ASIP and the teleost-specific A2 (ASIP2 and AgRP2) peptides have potent and diverse functional roles in feeding, pigmentation and background adaptation mechanisms. There are contradictory theories about the evolution of the Agouti-like peptide family as well the nomenclature. Here we performed comprehensive mining and annotation of vertebrate Agouti-like sequences. We identified A2 sequences from salmon, trout, seabass, cod, cichlid, tilapia, gilt-headed sea bream, Antarctic toothfish, rainbow smelt, common carp, channel catfish and interestingly also in lobe-finned fish. Moreover, we surprisingly found eight novel homologues from the kingdom of arthropods and three from fungi, some sharing the characteristic C-x(6)-C-C motif which are present in the Agouti-like sequences, as well as approximate sequence length (130 amino acids), positioning of the motif sequence and sharing of exon-intron structures that are similar to the other Agouti-like peptides providing further support for the common origin of these sequences. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the AgRP sequences cluster basally in the tree, suggesting that these sequences split from a cluster containing both the ASIP and the A2 sequences. We also used a novel approach to determine the statistical evidence for synteny, a sinusoidal Hough transform pattern recognition technique. Our analysis shows that the teleost AgRP2 resides in a chromosomal region that has synteny with Hsa 8, but we found no convincing synteny between the regions that A2, AgRP and ASIP reside in, which would support that the Agouti-like peptides were formed by whole genome tetraplodization events. Here we suggest that the Agouti-like peptide genes were formed through classical subsequent gene duplications where the AgRP is the most distantly related to the three other members of that group, first splitting from a common ancestor to ASIP and A2, and then later the A2 split from ASIP followed by a

  11. The effects of calcium channel blockade on agouti-induced obesity

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jung Han; Moustaid, N.; Zemel, M.B.

    1996-12-01

    We have previously observed that obese viable yellow (A{sup vy}/a) mice exhibit increased intracellular Ca{sup 2+} ([Ca{sup 2+}]i) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) gene expression; further, recombinant agouti protein increases in cultured adipocytes and these effects are inhibited by Ca{sup 2+} channel blockade. Accordingly, we determined the effect of Ca{sup 2+} channel blockade (nifedipine for 4 wk) on FAS and obesity in transgenic mice expressing the agouti gene in a ubiquitous manner. The transgenic mice initially were significantly heavier (30.5 {+-} 0.6 vs. 27.3 {+-} 0.3 g; P<0.001) and exhibited a 0.81{degrees}C lower initial core temperature (P<0.0005), an approximately twofold increase in fat pad weights (P=0.002), a sevenfold increase in adipose FAS activity (P=0.009), and a twofold increase in plasma insulin level (P<0.05) compared to control mice. Nifedipine treatment resulted in an 18% decrease in fat pad weights (P<0.007) and a 74% decrease in adipose FAS activity (P=0.03), normalized circulating insulin levels and insulin sensitivity (P,0.05), and transiently elevated core temperature in the transgenic mice, but was without effect in the control mice. These data suggest that agouti regulates FAS, fat storage, and possibly thermogenesis, at least partially, via a [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}-dependent mechanism, and that Ca{sup 2+} channel blockade may partially attenuate agouti-induced obesity. 42 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Agouti C57BL/6N embryonic stem cells for mouse genetic resources

    PubMed Central

    Pettitt, Stephen J.; Liang, Qi; Rairdan, Xin Y.; Moran, Jennifer L.; Prosser, Haydn M.; Beier, David R.; Lloyd, Kent; Bradley, Allan; Skarnes, William C.

    2010-01-01

    We report the characterization of a highly germline competent C57BL/6N mouse embryonic stem cell line, JM8. To simplify breeding schemes, the dominant Agouti coat color gene was restored in JM8 cells by targeted repair of the C57BL/6 nonagouti mutation. These cells provide a robust foundation for large-scale mouse knockout programs that aim to provide a public resource of targeted mutations in the C57BL/6 genetic background. PMID:19525957

  13. Characterization of the dog Agouti gene and a nonagoutimutation in German Shepherd Dogs.

    PubMed

    Kerns, Julie A; Newton, J; Berryere, Tom G; Rubin, Edward M; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Schmutz, Sheila M; Barsh, Gregory S

    2004-10-01

    The interaction between two genes, Agouti and Melanocortin-1 receptor ( Mc1r), produces diverse pigment patterns in mammals by regulating the type, amount, and distribution pattern of the two pigment types found in mammalian hair: eumelanin (brown/black) and pheomelanin (yellow/red). In domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris), there is a tremendous variation in coat color patterns between and within breeds; however, previous studies suggest that the molecular genetics of pigment-type switching in dogs may differ from that of other mammals. Here we report the identification and characterization of the Agouti gene from domestic dogs, predicted to encode a 131-amino-acid secreted protein 98% identical to the fox homolog, and which maps to chromosome CFA24 in a region of conserved linkage. Comparative analysis of the Doberman Pinscher Agouti cDNA, the fox cDNA, and 180 kb of Doberman Pinscher genomic DNA suggests that, as with laboratory mice, different pigment-type-switching patterns in the canine family are controlled by alternative usage of different promoters and untranslated first exons. A small survey of Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, Australian Shepherds, and German Shepherd Dogs did not uncover any polymorphisms, but we identified a single nucleotide variant in black German Shepherd Dogs predicted to cause an Arg-to-Cys substitution at codon 96, which is likely to account for recessive inheritance of a uniform black coat. PMID:15520882

  14. Characterization of the dog agouti gene and a nonagouti mutation in german shepherd dogs

    SciTech Connect

    Kerns, Julie A.; Newton, J.; Berryere, Tom G.; Rubin, Edward M.; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Schmutz, Sheila M.; Barsh, Gregory S.

    2004-07-08

    The interaction between two genes, Agouti and Melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r), produces diverse pigment patterns in mammals by regulating the type, amount, and distribution pattern of the two pigment types found in mammalian hair: eumelanin (brown/black) and pheomelanin (yellow/red). In domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), there is a tremendous variation in coat color patterns between and within breeds; however, previous studies suggest that the molecular genetics of pigment-type switching in dogs may differ from that of other mammals. Here we report the identification and characterization of the Agouti gene from domestic dogs, predicted to encode a 131-amino-acid secreted protein 98 percent identical to the fox homolog, and which maps to chromosome CFA24 in a region of conserved linkage. Comparative analysis of the Doberman Pinscher Agouti cDNA, the fox cDNA, and 180 kb of Doberman Pinscher genomic DNA suggests that, as with laboratory mice, different pigment-type-switching patterns in the canine family are controlled by alternative usage of different promoters and untranslated first exons. A small survey of Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, Australian Shepherds, and German Shepherd Dogs did not uncover any polymorphisms, but we identified a single nucleotide variant in black German Shepherd Dogs predicted to cause an Arg-to-Cys substitution at codon 96, which is likely to account for recessive inheritance of a uniform black coat.

  15. The early origin of melanocortin receptors, agouti-related peptide, agouti signalling peptide, and melanocortin receptor-accessory proteins, with emphasis on pufferfishes, elephant shark, lampreys, and amphioxus.

    PubMed

    Västermark, Ake; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2011-06-11

    There are conflicting theories about the evolution of melanocortin MC receptors while only few studies have addressed the evolution of agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and agouti signalling peptide (ASIP), which are antagonists at the melanocortin receptors (MCRs), or the melanocortin MC(2) receptor accessory proteins (MRAP1 and MRAP2). Previously we have cloned melanocortin MC receptors (MC(a) and MC(b)) genes in river lamprey and here we identify orthologues to these melanocortin MC receptor sequences in the sea lamprey. We investigate the putative presence of the melanocortin MC receptor genes in lancelet (amphioxus; Branchiostoma floridae) but we find it unlikely that such gene exists, due to a sharp drop in sequence similarity beyond sequence clusters of known receptors. We show the presence of AgRP and ASIP in elephant shark, a cartilaginous fish belonging to the subclass of Elasmobranchii. However, we do not find any of these genes in lamprey or lancelet after detailed analysis of both targeted and whole proteome regular expression scans. We found MRAP2, but not MRAP1, to be present in elephant shark and sea lamprey while Fugu (T. rubripes) has both genes. This study shows that the most ancient presence of these melanocortin-related sequences is found in elephant shark and lampreys considering the current available sequence data. PMID:21208605

  16. Maternal epigenetics and methyl supplements affect agouti gene expression in A{sup vy}/a mice

    SciTech Connect

    Wolff, G.L.

    1998-08-01

    Viable yellow (A{sup vy}/a) mice are larger, obese, hyperinsulinemic, more susceptible to cancer, and, on average, shorter lived than their non-yellow siblings. They are epigenetic mosaics ranging from a yellow phenotype with maximum ectopic agouti overexpression, through a continuum of mottled agouti/yellow phenotypes with partial agouti overexpression, to a pseudoagouti phenotype with minimal ectopic expression. Pseudoagouti A{sup vy}/a mice are lean, healthy, and longer lived than their yellow siblings. Here the authors report that feeding pregnant black a/a dams methyl-supplemented diets alters epigenetic regulation of agouti expression in their offspring, as indicated by increased agouti/black mottling in the direction of the pseudoagouti phenotype. They also present confirmatory evidence that epigenetic phenotypes are maternally heritable. Thus A{sup vy} expression, already known to be modulated by imprinting, strain-specific modification, and maternal epigenetic inheritance, is also modulated by maternal diet. These observations suggest, at least in this special case, that maternal dietary supplementation may positively affect health and longevity of the offspring. Therefore, this experimental system should be useful for identifying maternal factors that modulate epigenetic mechanisms, especially DNA methylation, in developing embryos.

  17. Ectopic expression of the agouti gene in transgenic mice causes obesity, features of type II diabetes, and yellow fur

    SciTech Connect

    Klebig, M.L.; Woychik, R.P.; Wilkinson, J.E.; Geisler, J.G. |

    1995-05-23

    Mice that carry the lethal yellow (A{sup y}) or viable yellow (A{sup vy}) mutation, two dominant mutations of the agouti (a) gene in mouse chromosome 2, exhibit a phenotype that includes yellow fur, marked obesity, a form of type II diabetes associated with insulin resistance, and an increased susceptibility to tumor development. Molecular analyses of these and several other dominant {open_quotes}obese yellow{close_quotes} a-locus mutations suggested that ectopic expression of the normal agouti protein gives rise to this complex pleiotropic phenotype. We have now tested this hypothesis directly by generating transgenic mice that ectopically express an agouti cDNA clone encoding the normal agouti protein in all tissues examined. Transgenic mice of both sexes have yellow fur, become obese, and develop hyperinsulinemia. In addition, male transgenic mice develop hyperglycemia by 12-20 weeks of age. These results demonstrate conclusively that the ectopic agouti expression is responsible for most, if not all, of the phenotypic traits of the dominant, obese yellow mutants. 42 refs., 5 figs.

  18. Molecular basis of the pleiotropic phenotype of mice carrying the hypervariable yellow (A{sup hvy}) mutation at the agouti locus

    SciTech Connect

    Argeson, A.C.; Nelson, K.K.; Siracusa, L.D.

    1996-02-01

    The murine agouti locus regulates a switch in pigment synthesis between eumelanin (black/brown pigment) and phaeomelanin (yellow/red pigment) by hair bulb melanocytes. We recently described a spontaneous mutation, hypervariable yellow (A{sup hvy}) and demonstrated that A{sup hvy} is responsible for the largest range of phenotypes yet identified at the agouti locus, producing mice that are obese with yellow coats to mice that are of normal weight with black coats. Here, we show that agouti expression is altered both temporally and spatially in A{sup hvy} mutants. Agouti expression levels are positively correlated with the degree of yellow pigmentation in individual A{sup hvy} mice, consistent with results from other dominant yellow agouti mutations. Sequencing of 5{prime} RACE and genomic PCR products revealed that A{sup hvy} resulted from the integration of an intracisternal A particle (IAP) in an antisense orientation within the 5{prime} untranslated agouti exon 1C. This retrovirus-like element is responsible for deregulating agouti expression in A{sup hvy} mice; agouti expression is correlated with the methylation state of CpG residues in the IAP long terminal repeat as well as in host genomic DNA. In addition, the data suggest that the variable phenotype of A{sup hvy} offspring is influenced in part by the phenotype of their A{sup hvy} female parent. 42 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  19. [Methyl-containing diet of mothers affects the AGOUTI gene expression in the offspring of rats with various behavioral types].

    PubMed

    Prasolova, L A; Os'kina, I N; Pliusnina, I Z; Trut, L N

    2009-05-01

    The effects of selection of agouti rats (with genotype AAHH) on the tame and aggressive behavior and dietary methyl given to females from the eighth day of pregnancy to the fifth day after the birth of the offspring on the intensity of the agouti coat color in the offspring have been studied. The morphometric parameters of hair determining the darkness of the agouti color (the total length of guard hairs, the lengths of their eumelanin end and pheomelanin band, the ratio between the lengths of the eumelanin and pheomelanin portions of the hair, the total length of the awn hairs, and the relative length of their widened "lanceolate" upper end) have been compared. It has been found that selection of agouti rats for aggressive behavior is accompanied by darkening of the coat color compared to tame rats due to an increase in the ratio of the length of the black eumelanin end of the guard hairs to the length of the yellow pheomelanin band. Methyl-containing additives to the diet of females affect the intensity of the agouti coat color in the offsprings with both types of behavior, but to different extents. Aggressive offspring is more sensitive to the mother's methyl-containing diet: the percentage of animals that are darker than control rats is higher among aggressive animals than among tame ones due to a greater increase in the ratio between dark and light portions of hairs. The possible mechanisms of differences in the phenotypic modifications of coat color in control and experimental agouti rats with different types of behavior are discussed. PMID:19534427

  20. An obesity-dependent lactation defect in the viable yellow agouti mouse is associated with mammary inflammation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maternal obesity is known to delay lactogenesis in breast-feeding women, as well as negatively impact lactation in other species. Obesity is also understood to be associated with inflammation. Work with the viable yellow agouti (Avy) mouse in our laboratory has documented a lactation defect in obese...

  1. Liver-specific expression of the agouti gene in transgenic mice promotes liver carcinogenesis in the absence of obesity and diabetes

    SciTech Connect

    Kuklin, Alexander; Mynatt, Randall; Klebig, Mitch; Kiefer, Laura; Wilkison, William O; Woychik, Richard P; Michaud III, Edward J

    2004-01-01

    Background: The agouti protein is a paracrine factor that is normally present in the skin of many species of mammals. Agouti regulates the switch between black and yellow hair pigmentation by signalling through the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) on melanocytes. Lethal yellow (Ay) and viable yellow (Avy) are dominant regulatory mutations in the mouse agouti gene that cause the wild- ype protein to be produced at abnormally high levels throughout the body. Mice harboring these mutations exhibit a pleiotropic syndrome characterized by yellow coat color, obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and increased susceptibility to hyperplasia and carcinogenesis in numerous tissues, including the liver. The goal of this research was to determine if ectopic expression of the agouti gene in the liver alone is sufficient to recapitulate any aspect of this syndrome. For this purpose, we generated lines of transgenic mice expressing high levels of agouti in the liver under the regulatory control of the albumin promoter. Expression levels of the agouti transgene in the liver were quantified by Northern blot analysis. Functional agouti protein in the liver of transgenic mice was assayed by its ability to inhibit binding of the -melanocyte stimulating hormone ( MSH) to the Mc1r. Body weight, plasma insulin and blood glucose levels were analyzed in control and transgenic mice. Control and transgenic male mice were given a single intraperitoneal injection (10 mg/kg) of the hepatocellular carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine (DEN), at 15 days of age. Mice were euthanized at 36 or 40 weeks after DEN injection and the number of tumors per liver and total liver weights were recorded. Results: The albumin-agouti transgene was expressed at high levels in the livers of mice and produced a functional agouti protein. Albumin-agouti transgenic mice had normal body weights and normal levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin, but responded to chemical initiation of the liver with an increased number

  2. Brown coat color in Icelandic cattle produced by the loci Extension and Agouti.

    PubMed

    Adalsteinsson, S; Bjarnadottir, S; Vage, D I; Jonmundsson, J V

    1995-01-01

    Inheritance of the colors black, brown, and red in Icelandic cattle was studied. The three colors are produced by two loci, Extension (E) and Agouti (A), with three alleles at the E locus: E(d) for dominant black; E+, intermediate, which allows expression of A locus alleles; and e for recessive red color. Two alleles are postulated at the A locus: A+, producing brown, and a, producing recessive black (nonagouti) when homozygous in E+/- animals. The dominant and recessive types of black are indistinguishable from each other phenotypically. The A alleles are only able to express their effect in E+/- genotypes. The E and A loci in cattle are postulated to be homologous to the E and A loci in the mouse. PMID:7560875

  3. Microscopic characterization of teeth of pacas bred in captivity (Agouti paca, Linnaeus, 1766).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, F S; Canola, J C; Oliveira, P T; Pécora, J D; Capelli, A

    2007-10-01

    The microscopic description of the teeth of pacas (Agouti paca) bred in captivity was developed for providing biological data on one of the largest American wild rodents, as not many references exist in the literature about this species. Two newborn males, two adult males (9 and 72 months old), one newborn female and two adult females (30 and 54 months old) were used after death due to fights, neonatal cannibalism or unknown causes. Animals were radiographed, and their teeth were extracted and put on an acrylic resin block, cut on a diamond-like disc microtome and diaphanized. It was noted that enamel surrounds the coronary dentine and projects to the root region, besides being present as internal laminae, arranged in a parallel way and in the vestibulolingual direction. The dentine is located between the enamel laminae and surrounds the pulp horns. The cementum is located internal to the enamel laminae. From scanning electronic microscopy, we find that the enamel is the outer element on the vestibular surface, and it is in direct contact with the dentine. On the lingual surface, the cementum and dentine are the outer elements. PMID:17845228

  4. Agouti-related peptide neural circuits mediate adaptive behaviors in the starved state.

    PubMed

    Padilla, Stephanie L; Qiu, Jian; Soden, Marta E; Sanz, Elisenda; Nestor, Casey C; Barker, Forrest D; Quintana, Albert; Zweifel, Larry S; Rønnekleiv, Oline K; Kelly, Martin J; Palmiter, Richard D

    2016-05-01

    In the face of starvation, animals will engage in high-risk behaviors that would normally be considered maladaptive. Starving rodents, for example, will forage in areas that are more susceptible to predators and will also modulate aggressive behavior within a territory of limited or depleted nutrients. The neural basis of these adaptive behaviors likely involves circuits that link innate feeding, aggression and fear. Hypothalamic agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons are critically important for driving feeding and project axons to brain regions implicated in aggression and fear. Using circuit-mapping techniques in mice, we define a disynaptic network originating from a subset of AgRP neurons that project to the medial nucleus of the amygdala and then to the principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, which suppresses territorial aggression and reduces contextual fear. We propose that AgRP neurons serve as a master switch capable of coordinating behavioral decisions relative to internal state and environmental cues. PMID:27019015

  5. Agouti signalling protein (ASIP) gene: molecular cloning, sequence characterisation and tissue distribution in domestic goose.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Wang, C; Liu, Y; Liu, J; Wang, H Y; Liu, A F; He, D Q

    2016-06-01

    Agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is an endogenous antagonist of melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) and is involved in the regulation of pigmentation in mammals. The objective of this study was to identify and characterise the ASIP gene in domestic goose. The goose ASIP cDNA consisted of a 44-nucleotide 5'-terminal untranslated region (UTR), a 390-nucleotide open-reading frame (ORF) and a 45-nucleotide 3'-UTR. The length of goose ASIP genomic DNA was 6176 bp, including three coding exons and two introns. Bioinformatic analysis indicated that the ORF encodes a protein of 130 amino-acid residues with a molecular weight of 14.88 kDa and an isoelectric point of 9.73. Multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic analysis showed that the amino-acid sequence of ASIP was conserved in vertebrates, especially in the avian species. RT-qPCR showed that the goose ASIP mRNA was differentially expressed in the pigment deposition tissues, including eye, foot, feather follicle, skin of the back, as well as in skin of the abdomen. The expression level of the ASIP gene in skin of the abdomen was higher than that in skin of the back. Those findings will contribute to further understanding the functions of the ASIP gene in geese plumage colouring. PMID:26750999

  6. Elaborate color patterns of individual chicken feathers may be formed by the agouti signaling protein.

    PubMed

    Yoshihara, Chihiro; Fukao, Ayaka; Ando, Keita; Tashiro, Yuichi; Taniuchi, Shusuke; Takahashi, Sumio; Takeuchi, Sakae

    2012-02-01

    Hair and feather pigmentation is mainly determined by the distribution of two kinds of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, which produce brown to black and yellow to red colorations, respectively. The agouti signaling protein (ASIP) acts as an antagonist or an inverse agonist of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a G protein-coupled receptor for α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). This antagonism of the MC1R by ASIP on melanocytes initiates a switch of melanin synthesis from eumelanogenesis to pheomelanogenesis in mammals. In the present study, we isolated multiple ASIP mRNA variants generated by alternative splicing and promoters in chicken feather follicles. The mRNA variants showed a discrete tissue distribution. However, mRNAs were expressed predominantly in the feather pulp of follicles. Paralleling mRNA distribution, ASIP immunoreactivity was observed in feather pulp. Interestingly, ASIP was stained with pheomelanin but not eumelanin in pulp areas that face developing barbs. We suggest that the elaborate color pattern of individual feathers is formed in part by the antagonistic action of ASIP that is produced by multiple mRNA variants in chicken feather follicles. PMID:22202606

  7. Conserved distal promoter of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene controls sexual dichromatism in chickens.

    PubMed

    Oribe, Eri; Fukao, Ayaka; Yoshihara, Chihiro; Mendori, Misa; Rosal, Karen G; Takahashi, Sumio; Takeuchi, Sakae

    2012-06-01

    Brilliant plumage is typical of male birds, thus sexual plumage dichromatism is seen in many avian species; however, the molecular mechanism underlying this remains unclear. The agouti signaling protein (ASIP) is a paracrine factor that stimulates yellow/red pigment (pheomelanin) synthesis and inhibits black/brown pigment (eumelanin) synthesis in follicular melanocytes. In mammals, the distal promoter of the ASIP gene acts exclusively on the ventral side of the body to create a countershading pigmentation pattern by stimulating pheomelanin synthesis in the ventrum. Here, we examined the role of the distal ASIP promoter in controlling estrogen-dependent sexual dichromatism in chickens. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that ASIP class 1 mRNAs transcribed by the distal promoter were expressed exclusively on the ventral side of chicks and adult females displaying countershading. In showy adult males, the ASIP class 1 mRNAs were expressed in gold-colored ornamental feathers grown on the back. In the presence of estrogen, males molted into female-like plumage and ASIP class 1 mRNAs expression was altered to female patterns. These results suggest that the distal ASIP promoter produces countershading in chicks and adult females, similar to the ventral-specific ASIP promoter in mammals. In addition, the class 1 promoter plays an important role for creating sexual plumage dichromatism controlled by estrogen. This is the first evidence for a pigmentation gene having been modified in its expression during evolution to develop phenotypic diversity between individuals of different sexes. PMID:22554923

  8. A polymorphism in the agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with decreased levels of mRNA.

    PubMed

    Voisey, J; Gomez-Cabrera, M Del C; Smit, D J; Leonard, J H; Sturm, R A; van Daal, A

    2006-06-01

    To date, a role for agouti signalling protein (ASIP) in human pigmentation has not been well characterized. It is known that agouti plays a pivotal role in the pigment switch from the dark eumelanin to the light pheomelanin in the mouse. However, because humans do not have an agouti banded hair pattern, its role in human pigmentation has been questioned. We previously identified a single polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of ASIP that was found at a higher frequency in African-Americans compared with other population groups. To compare allele frequencies between European-Australians and indigenous Australians, the g.8818A --> G polymorphism was genotyped. Significant differences were seen in allele frequencies between these groups (P < 0.0001) with carriage of the G allele highest in Australian Aborigines. In the Caucasian sample set a strong association was observed between the G allele and dark hair colour (P = 0.004) (odds ratio 4.6; 95% CI 1.4-15.27). The functional consequences of this polymorphism are not known but it was postulated that it might result in message instability and premature degradation of the transcript. To test this hypothesis, ASIP mRNA levels were quantified in melanocytes carrying the variant and non-variant alleles. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction the mean ASIP mRNA ratio of the AA genotype to the AG genotype was 12 (P < 0.05). This study suggests that the 3'-UTR polymorphism results in decreased levels of ASIP and therefore less pheomelanin production. PMID:16704456

  9. Biased signaling initiated by agouti-related peptide through human melanocortin-3 and -4 receptors.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhao; Tao, Ya-Xiong

    2016-09-01

    The neural melanocortin receptors (MCRs), melanocortin-3 and -4 receptors (MC3R and MC4R), have been increasingly recognized as important regulators of energy homeostasis. The orexigenic agouti-related peptide (AgRP), initially identified as an endogenous antagonist for both neural MCRs, has been suggested to be a biased agonist of MC4R independent of its antagonizing effects. In the present study, we sought to determine the potential of AgRP to regulate the activation of intracellular kinases, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), AKT and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), through neural MCRs. We showed that AgRP acted as a biased agonist in human MC3R (hMC3R), decreasing cAMP activity of constitutively active mutant (F347A) hMC3R but stimulating ERK1/2 activation in both wide type and F347A hMC3Rs. AgRP-stimulated ERK1/2 phosphorylation through MC3R was abolished by protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H-89 but not Rp-cAMPS, whereas AgRP-initiated ERK1/2 activation through MC4R was inhibited by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002. Both NDP-MSH and AgRP treatment induced significant AKT phosphorylation in GT1-7 cells but not in MC3R- or MC4R-transfected HEK293T cells. The phosphorylated AMPK levels in both GT1-7 cells and HERK293T cells transfected with neural MCRs were significantly decreased upon stimulation with NDP-MSH but not with AgRP. In summary, we provided novel data for AgRP-initiated multiple intracellular signaling pathways, demonstrating biased agonism of AgRP in both neural MCRs, leading to a better understanding of neural MCR pharmacology. PMID:27208795

  10. Transient Ectopic Overexpression of Agouti-Signalling Protein 1 (Asip1) Induces Pigment Anomalies in Flatfish

    PubMed Central

    Cal, Rosa; Rotllant, Josep; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel

    2012-01-01

    While flatfish in the wild exhibit a pronounced countershading of the dorso-ventral pigment pattern, malpigmentation is commonly observed in reared animals. In fish, the dorso-ventral pigment polarity is achieved because a melanization inhibition factor (MIF) inhibits melanoblast differentiation and encourages iridophore proliferation in the ventrum. A previous work of our group suggested that asip1 is the uncharacterized MIF concerned. In order to further support this hypothesis, we have characterized asip1 mRNAs in both turbot and sole and used deduced peptide alignments to analyze the evolutionary history of the agouti-family of peptides. The putative asip precursors have the characteristics of a secreted protein, displaying a putative hydrophobic signal. Processing of the potential signal peptide produces mature proteins that include an N-terminal region, a basic central domain with a high proportion of lysine residues as well as a proline-rich region that immediately precedes the C-terminal poly-cysteine domain. The expression of asip1 mRNA in the ventral area was significantly higher than in the dorsal region. Similarly, the expression of asip1 within the unpigmented patches in the dorsal skin of pseudoalbino fish was higher than in the pigmented dorsal regions but similar to those levels observed in the ventral skin. In addition, the injection/electroporation of asip1 capped mRNA in both species induced long term dorsal skin paling, suggesting the inhibition of the melanogenic pathways. The data suggest that fish asip1 is involved in the dorsal-ventral pigment patterning in adult fish, where it induces the regulatory asymmetry involved in precursor differentiation into mature chromatophore. Adult dorsal pseudoalbinism seems to be the consequence of the expression of normal developmental pathways in an inaccurate position that results in unbalanced asip1 production levels. This, in turn, generates a ventral-like differentiation environment in dorsal regions

  11. Molecular characterization of a region of DNA associated with mutations at the agouti locus in the mouse.

    PubMed Central

    Bultman, S J; Russell, L B; Gutierrez-Espeleta, G A; Woychik, R P

    1991-01-01

    Molecular characterization of a radiation-induced agouti (a)-locus mutation has resulted in the isolation of a segment of DNA that maps at or near the a locus on chromosome 2 in the mouse. This region of DNA is deleted in several radiation- or chemical-induced homozygous-lethal a-locus mutations and is associated with specific DNA structural alterations in two viable a-locus mutations. We propose that DNA probes from this region of chromosome 2 will be useful for ultimately characterizing the individual gene or genes associated with a-locus function. Images PMID:1896452

  12. A novel radiofluorinated agouti-related protein for tumor angiogenesis imaging.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Han; Moore, Sarah J; Liu, Shuanglong; Liu, Hongguang; Miao, Zheng; Cochran, Frank V; Liu, Yang; Tian, Mei; Cochran, Jennifer R; Zhang, Hong; Cheng, Zhen

    2013-02-01

    A novel protein scaffold based on the cystine knot domain of the agouti-related protein (AgRP) has been used to engineer mutants that can bind to the α(v)β(3) integrin receptor with high affinity and specificity. In the current study, an (18)F-labeled AgRP mutant (7C) was prepared and evaluated as a positron emission tomography (PET) probe for imaging tumor angiogenesis. AgRP-7C was synthesized by solid phase peptide synthesis and site-specifically conjugated with 4-nitrophenyl 2-(18/19)F-fluoropropionate ((18/19)F-NFP) to produce the fluorinated peptide, (18/19)F-FP-AgRP-7C. Competition binding assays were used to measure the relative affinities of AgRP-7C and (19)F-FP-AgRP-7C to human glioblastoma U87MG cells that overexpress α(v)β(3) integrin. In addition, biodistribution, metabolic stability, and small animal PET imaging studies were conducted with (18)F-FP-AgRP-7C using U87MG tumor-bearing mice. Both AgRP-7C and (19)F-FP-AgRP-7C specifically competed with (125)I-echistatin for binding to U87MG cells with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) values of 9.40 and 8.37 nM, respectively. Non-invasive small animal PET imaging revealed that (18)F-FP-AgRP-7C exhibited rapid and good tumor uptake (3.24 percentage injected dose per gram [% ID/g] at 0.5 h post injection [p.i.]). The probe was rapidly cleared from the blood and from most organs, resulting in excellent tumor-to-normal tissue contrasts. Tumor uptake and rapid clearance were further confirmed with biodistribution studies. Furthermore, co-injection of (18)F-FP-AgRP-7C with a large molar excess of blocking peptide c(RGDyK) significantly inhibited tumor uptake in U87MG xenograft models, demonstrating the integrin-targeting specificity of the probe. Metabolite assays showed that the probe had high stability, making it suitable for in vivo applications. (18)F-FP-AgRP-7C exhibits promising in vivo properties such as rapid tumor targeting, good tumor uptake, and excellent tumor-to-normal tissue ratios

  13. Age-related changes in spleen of Dark Agouti rats immunized for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Djikić, Jasmina; Nacka-Aleksić, Mirjana; Pilipović, Ivan; Kosec, Duško; Arsenović-Ranin, Nevena; Stojić-Vukanić, Zorica; Dimitrijević, Mirjana; Leposavić, Gordana

    2015-01-15

    The study was undertaken considering age-related changes in susceptibility to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and a putative role of spleen in pathogenesis of this disease. The phenotypic and functional characteristics of T splenocytes were examined in young (3-month-old), middle-aged (8-month-old) and aged (26-month-old) Dark Agouti rats immunized for EAE with rat spinal cord in complete Freund's adjuvant. The rat susceptibility to EAE induction, as well as the number of activated CD4+CD134+ lymphocytes retrieved from their spinal cords progressively decreased with aging. To the contrary, in rats immunized for EAE the number of activated CD4+ splenocytes, i.e., CD4+CD134+, CD4+CD25+FoxP3- and CD4+CD40L+ cells, progressively increased with aging. This was associated with age-related increase in (i) CD4+ splenocyte surface expression of CD44, the molecule suggested to be involved in limiting emigration of encephalitogenic CD4+ cells from spleen into blood and (ii) frequency of regulatory T cells, including CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ cells, which are also shown to control encephalitogenic cell migration from spleen into the central nervous system. In favor of expansion of T-regulatory cell pool in aged rats was the greater concentration of IL-10 in unstimulated, Concanavalin A (ConA)- and myelin basic protein (MBP)-stimulated splenocyte cultures from aged rats compared with the corresponding cultures from young ones. Consistent with the age-related increase in the expression of CD44, which is shown to favor Th1 effector cell survival by interfering with CD95-mediated signaling, the frequency of apoptotic cells among CD4+ splenocytes, despite the greater frequency of CD95+ cells, was diminished in splenocyte cultures from aged compared with young rats. In addition, in control, as well as in ConA- and MBP-stimulated splenocyte cultures from aged rats, despite of impaired CD4+ cell proliferation, IFN-γ concentrations were greater than in corresponding cultures

  14. Who's behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat's Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed.

    PubMed

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-12-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (A(P) (be) ) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats. PMID:25143047

  15. Regulation of the mesocorticolimbic and mesostriatal dopamine systems by α-melanocyte stimulating hormone and agouti-related protein.

    PubMed

    Roseberry, Aaron G; Stuhrman, Katherine; Dunigan, Anna I

    2015-09-01

    The melanocortin system of the hypothalamus, including the neuropeptides α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH) and agouti-related protein (AgRP), and their receptors, the melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R) and melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R), have been well-studied for their roles in the central control of feeding and body weight. In this review, we discuss the evidence demonstrating that αMSH and AgRP also act on the mesocorticolimbic and mesostriatal dopamine systems to regulate a wide variety of behaviors. In addition to the well described ability of αMSH to increase dopamine transmission and to increase grooming and rearing when injected directly into the ventral tegmental area, a growing body of evidence indicates that αMSH and AgRP can also act on dopamine pathways to regulate feeding and drug abuse, including reward-related behaviors toward food and drugs. Increasing our understanding of how αMSH and AgRP act on dopamine pathways to affect behavior may allow for identification of new strategies to combat disorders involving dysfunction of dopamine pathways, such as obesity and drug abuse. PMID:26116876

  16. Neuropeptide Y and Agouti-Related Peptide Mediate Complementary Functions of Hyperphagia and Reduced Energy Expenditure in Leptin Receptor Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Na; Marcelin, Genevieve; Liu, Shun Mei; Schwartz, Gary

    2011-01-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AGRP) can produce hyperphagia, reduce energy expenditure, and promote triglyceride deposition in adipose depots. As these two neuropeptides are coexpressed within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and mediate a major portion of the obesity caused by leptin signaling deficiency, we sought to determine whether the two neuropeptides mediated identical or complementary actions. Because of separate neuropeptide receptors and signal transduction mechanisms, there is a possibility of distinct encoding systems for the feeding and energy expenditure aspects of leptin-regulated metabolism. We have genetically added NPY deficiency and/or AGRP deficiency to LEPR deficiency isolated to AGRP cells. Our results indicate that the obesity of LEPR deficiency in AGRP/NPY neurons can produce obesity with either AGRP or NPY alone with AGRP producing hyperphagia while NPY promotes reduced energy expenditure. The absence of both NPY and AGRP prevents the development of obesity attributable to isolated LEPR deficiency in AGRP/NPY neurons. Operant behavioral testing indicated that there were no alterations in the reward for a food pellet from the AGRP-specific LEPR deficiency. PMID:21285324

  17. Hypothalamic Expression of Melanocortin-4 Receptor and Agouti-related Peptide mRNAs During the Estrous Cycle of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Zandi, Mohammad Reza; Jafarzadeh Shirazi, Mohammad Reza; Tamadon, Amin; Akhlaghi, Amir; Salehi, Mohammad Saied; Niazi, Ali; Moghadam, Ali

    2014-01-01

    Melanocortin- 4 receptor (MC4R) and agouti- related peptide (AgRP) are involved in energy homeostasis in rats. According to MC4R and AgRP effects on luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, they may influence the estrous cycle of rats. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the expression of MC4R and AgRP mRNAs at different stages of estrous cycle in the rat’s hypothalamus. The estrous cycle stages (proestrus, estrus, metestrus and diestrus) were determined in 20 adult female rats using vaginal smears. The rats were divided into four equal groups (n=5). Four ovariectomized rats were selected as controls two weeks after surgery. Using real- time PCR, relative expressions (compared to controls) of MC4R and AgRP mRNAs in the hypothalamus of rats were compared in four different groups of estrous cycle. The relative expression of MC4R mRNA in the hypothalamus of female rats during proestrus stage was higher than those in other stages (P=0.001). Despite a lower mean of relative expression of AgRP mRNA at proestrus stage, the relative expression of AgRP mRNA of the four stages of estrous cycle did not differ (P>0.05). In conclusion, changes in the relative expression of MC4R and AgRP mRNAs in four stages of rat estrous cycle indicated a stimulatory role of MC4R in the proestrus and preovulatory stages and an inhibitory role of AgRP in gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and LH secretions. PMID:25317405

  18. Long-Term Effects of (-)-Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) on Pristane-Induced Arthritis (PIA) in Female Dark Agouti Rats.

    PubMed

    Leichsenring, Anna; Bäcker, Ingo; Furtmüller, Paul G; Obinger, Christian; Lange, Franziska; Flemmig, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-a widespread chronic inflammatory disease in industrialized countries-is characterized by a persistent and progressive joint destruction. The chronic pro-inflammatory state results from a mutual activation of the innate and the adaptive immune system, while the exact pathogenesis mechanism is still under discussion. New data suggest a role of the innate immune system and especially polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMNs, neutrophils) not only during onset and the destructive phase of RA but also at the chronification of the disease. Thereby the enzymatic activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO), a peroxidase strongly abundant in neutrophils, may be important: While its peroxidase activity is known to contribute to cartilage destruction at later stages of RA the almost MPO-specific oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is also discussed for certain anti-inflammatory effects. In this study we used pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) in Dark Agouti rats as a model for the chronic course of RA in man. We were able to shown that a specific detection of the HOCl-producing MPO activity provides a sensitive new marker to evaluate the actual systemic inflammatory status which is only partially detectable by the evaluation of clinical symptoms (joint swelling and redness measurements). Moreover, we evaluated the long-term pharmacological effect of the well-known anti-inflammatory flavonoid epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Thereby only upon early and continuous oral application of this polyphenol the arthritic symptoms were considerably diminished both in the acute and in the chronic phase of the disease. The obtained results were comparable to the treatment control (application of methotrexate, MTX). As revealed by stopped-flow kinetic measurements, EGCG may regenerate the HOCl-production of MPO which is known to be impaired at chronic inflammatory diseases like RA. It can be speculated that this MPO activity-promoting effect of EGCG may contribute to the

  19. Phosphodiesterase inhibitor-dependent inverse agonism of agouti-related protein on melanocortin 4 receptor in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Elisa; Rubio, Vera Cruz; Thompson, Darren; Metz, Juriaan; Flik, Gert; Millhauser, Glenn L.; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel

    2009-01-01

    The melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) is a G protein-coupled receptor mainly expressed in the central nervous system of vertebrates. Activation of the MC4R leads to a decrease in food intake, whereas inactivating mutations are a genetic cause of obesity. The binding of agouti-related protein (AGRP) reduces not only agonist-stimulated cAMP production (competitive antagonist) but also the basal activity of the receptor, as an inverse agonist. Transgenic zebrafish overexpressing AGRP display increased food intake and linear growth, indicative of a physiological role for the melanocortin system in the control of the energy balance in fish. We report on the cloning, pharmacological characterization, tissue distribution, and detailed brain mapping of a sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) MC4R ortholog. Sea bass MC4R is profusely expressed within food intake-controlling pathways of the fish brain. However, the activity of the melanocortin system during progressive fasting does not depend on the hypothalamic/pituitary proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and MC4R expression, which suggests that sea bass MC4R is constitutively activated and regulated by AGRP binding. We demonstrate that AGRP acts as competitive antagonist and reduces MTII-induced cAMP production. AGRP also decreases the basal activity of the receptor as an inverse agonist. This observation suggests that MC4R is constitutively active and supports the evolutionary conservation of the AGRP/MC4R interactions. The inverse agonism, but not the competitive antagonism, depends on the presence of a phosphodiesterase inhibitor (IBMX). This suggests that inverse agonism and competitive antagonism operate through different intracellular signaling pathways, a view that opens up new targets for the treatment of melanocortin-induced metabolic syndrome. PMID:19225141

  20. Proopiomelanocortin, agouti-related protein, and leptin in human cerebrospinal fluid: correlations with body weight and adiposity.

    PubMed

    Page-Wilson, Gabrielle; Meece, Kana; White, Anne; Rosenbaum, Michael; Leibel, Rudolph L; Smiley, Richard; Wardlaw, Sharon L

    2015-09-01

    Leptin and its neuronal targets, which produce proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP), regulate energy balance. This study characterized leptin, POMC, and AgRP in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 47 healthy human subjects, 23 lean and 24 overweight/obese (OW/OB), as related to BMI, adiposity, plasma leptin, soluble leptin receptor (s-OB-R), and insulin. POMC was measured since the POMC prohormone is the predominant POMC peptide in CSF and correlates with hypothalamic POMC in rodents. Plasma AgRP was similarly characterized. CSF leptin was 83-fold lower than in plasma and correlated strongly with BMI, body fat, and insulin. The relative amount of leptin transported into CSF declined with increasing BMI, ranging from 4.5 to 0.52%, consistent with a saturable transport mechanism. CSF sOB-R was 78-fold lower than in plasma and correlated negatively with plasma and CSF leptin. CSF POMC was higher in lean vs. OW/OB subjects (P < 0.001) and correlated negatively with CSF leptin (r = -0.60, P < 0.001) and with plasma leptin, insulin, BMI, and adiposity. CSF AgRP was not different in lean vs. OW/OB; however, plasma AgRP was higher in lean subjects (P = 0.001) and correlated negatively with BMI, adiposity, leptin, insulin, and HOMA (P < 0.005). Thus, CSF measurements may provide useful biomarkers for brain leptin and POMC activity. The striking negative correlation between CSF leptin and POMC could be secondary to leptin resistance and/or neuronal changes associated with obesity but may also indicate that POMC plays a primary role in regulating body weight and adiposity. The role of plasma AgRP as a neuroendocrine biomarker deserves further study. PMID:26152765

  1. Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Peptide mRNA is Elevated During Natural and Stress-Induced Anorexia.

    PubMed

    Dunn, I C; Wilson, P W; D'Eath, R B; Boswell, T

    2015-09-01

    As part of their natural lives, animals can undergo periods of voluntarily reduced food intake and body weight (i.e. animal anorexias) that are beneficial for survival or breeding, such as during territorial behaviour, hibernation, migration and incubation of eggs. For incubation, a change in the defended level of body weight or 'sliding set point' appears to be involved, although the neural mechanisms reponsible for this are unknown. We investigated how neuropeptide gene expression in the arcuate nucleus of the domestic chicken responded to a 60-70% voluntary reduction in food intake measured both after incubation and after an environmental stressor involving transfer to unfamiliar housing. We hypothesised that gene expression would not change in these circumstances because the reduced food intake and body weight represented a defended level in birds with free access to food. Unexpectedly, we observed increased gene expression of the orexigenic peptide agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in both incubating and transferred animals compared to controls. Also pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA was higher in incubating hens and significantly increased 6 days after exposure to the stressor. Conversely expression of neuropeptide Y and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript gene was unchanged in both experimental situations. We conclude that AgRP expression remains sensitive to the level of energy stores during natural anorexias, which is of adaptive advantage, although its normal orexigenic effects are over-ridden by inhibitory signals. In the case of stress-induced anorexia, increased POMC may contribute to this inhibitory role, whereas, for incubation, reduced feeding may also be associated with increased expression in the hypothalamus of the anorexigenic peptide vasoactive intestinal peptide. PMID:26017156

  2. Electroacupuncture Improves Insulin Resistance by Reducing Neuroprotein Y/Agouti-Related Protein Levels and Inhibiting Expression of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B in Diet-induced Obese Rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xia; He, Jun-Feng; Qu, Ya-Ting; Liu, Zhi-Jun; Pu, Qing-Yang; Guo, Sheng-Tong; Du, Jia; Jiang, Peng-Fei

    2016-04-01

    Electroacupuncture (EA) has been shown to exert beneficial effects on obesity, but the mechanism is unclear. This study investigated the effects of EA on diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into low-fat diet (LFD, 10 rats) and high-fat diet (HFD, 40 rats) groups. After the DIO models had been established, successful model rats were randomly divided into HFD, EA, and orlistat (OLST) groups. The EA group received EA at Zusanli (ST36) and Quchi (LI11) for 20 minutes once per day for 28 days. The OLST group was treated with orlistat by gavage. The body weight, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index, adipocyte diameters, and neuroprotein Y/agouti-related protein and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B levels were significantly lower in the EA group than in the HFD group. The rats of the OLST group showed watery stools and yellow hairs whereas those of the EA group had regular stools and sleek coats. The effect of EA on weight loss may be related to improved insulin resistance caused by changes in the adipocyte size and by reductions in the expressions of neuroprotein Y/agouti-related protein and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B. This study indicates that EA may be a better method of alternative therapy for treating obesity and other metabolic diseases. PMID:27079226

  3. Agouti Revisited: Transcript Quantification of the ASIP Gene in Bovine Tissues Related to Protein Expression and Localization

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Elke; Komolka, Katrin; Kuzinski, Judith; Maak, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    Beside its role in melanogenesis, the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) has been related to obesity. The potentially crucial role in adipocyte development makes it a tempting candidate for economic relevant, fat related traits in farm animals. The objective of our study was to characterize the mRNA expression of different ASIP transcripts and of putative targets in different bovine tissues, as well as to study consequences on protein abundance and localization. ASIP mRNA abundance was determined by RT-qPCR in adipose and further tissues of cattle representing different breeds and crosses. ASIP mRNA was up-regulated more than 9-fold in intramuscular fat of Japanese Black cattle compared to Holstein (p<0.001). Further analyses revealed that a transposon-derived transcript was solely responsible for the increased ASIP mRNA abundance. This transcript was observed in single individuals of different breeds indicating a wide spread occurrence of this insertion at the ASIP locus in cattle. The protein was detected in different adipose tissues, skin, lung and liver, but not in skeletal muscle by Western blot with a bovine-specific ASIP antibody. However, the protein abundance was not related to the observed ASIP mRNA over-expression. Immuno-histochemical analyses revealed a putative nuclear localization of ASIP additionally to the expected cytosolic signal in different cell types. The expression of melanocortin receptors (MCR) 1 to 5 as potential targets for ASIP was analyzed by RT-PCR in subcutaneous fat. Only MC1R and MC4R were detected indicating a similar receptor expression like in human adipose tissue. Our results provide evidence for a widespread expression of ASIP in bovine tissues at mRNA and, for the first time, at protein level. ASIP protein is detectable in adipocytes as well as in further cells of adipose tissue. We generated a basis for a more detailed investigation of ASIP function in peripheral tissues of various mammalian species. PMID:22530003

  4. Agouti revisited: transcript quantification of the ASIP gene in bovine tissues related to protein expression and localization.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Elke; Komolka, Katrin; Kuzinski, Judith; Maak, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    Beside its role in melanogenesis, the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) has been related to obesity. The potentially crucial role in adipocyte development makes it a tempting candidate for economic relevant, fat related traits in farm animals. The objective of our study was to characterize the mRNA expression of different ASIP transcripts and of putative targets in different bovine tissues, as well as to study consequences on protein abundance and localization. ASIP mRNA abundance was determined by RT-qPCR in adipose and further tissues of cattle representing different breeds and crosses. ASIP mRNA was up-regulated more than 9-fold in intramuscular fat of Japanese Black cattle compared to Holstein (p<0.001). Further analyses revealed that a transposon-derived transcript was solely responsible for the increased ASIP mRNA abundance. This transcript was observed in single individuals of different breeds indicating a wide spread occurrence of this insertion at the ASIP locus in cattle. The protein was detected in different adipose tissues, skin, lung and liver, but not in skeletal muscle by Western blot with a bovine-specific ASIP antibody. However, the protein abundance was not related to the observed ASIP mRNA over-expression. Immuno-histochemical analyses revealed a putative nuclear localization of ASIP additionally to the expected cytosolic signal in different cell types. The expression of melanocortin receptors (MCR) 1 to 5 as potential targets for ASIP was analyzed by RT-PCR in subcutaneous fat. Only MC1R and MC4R were detected indicating a similar receptor expression like in human adipose tissue. Our results provide evidence for a widespread expression of ASIP in bovine tissues at mRNA and, for the first time, at protein level. ASIP protein is detectable in adipocytes as well as in further cells of adipose tissue. We generated a basis for a more detailed investigation of ASIP function in peripheral tissues of various mammalian species. PMID:22530003

  5. Ablation of neurons expressing agouti-related protein, but not melanin concentrating hormone, in leptin-deficient mice restores metabolic functions and fertility

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qi; Whiddon, Benjamin B.; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leptin-deficient (Lepob/ob) mice are obese, diabetic, and infertile. Ablation of neurons that make agouti-related protein (AgRP) in moderately obese adult Lepob/ob mice caused severe anorexia. The mice stopped eating for 2 wk and then gradually recovered. Their body weight fell to within a normal range for WT mice, at which point food intake and glucose tolerance were restored to that of WT mice. Remarkably, both male and female Lepob/ob mice became fertile. Ablation of neurons that express melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in adult Lepob/ob mice had no effect on food intake, body weight, or fertility, but resulted in improved glucose tolerance. We conclude that AgRP-expressing neurons play a critical role in mediating the metabolic syndrome and infertility of Lepob/ob mice, whereas MCH-expressing neurons have only a minor role. PMID:22232663

  6. Agouti signalling protein is an inverse agonist to the wildtype and agonist to the melanic variant of the melanocortin-1 receptor in the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).

    PubMed

    McRobie, Helen R; King, Linda M; Fanutti, Cristina; Symmons, Martyn F; Coussons, Peter J

    2014-06-27

    The melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) is a key regulator of mammalian pigmentation. Melanism in the grey squirrel is associated with an eight amino acid deletion in the mutant melanocortin-1 receptor with 24 base pair deletion (MC1RΔ24) variant. We demonstrate that the MC1RΔ24 exhibits a higher basal activity than the wildtype MC1R (MC1R-wt). We demonstrate that agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is an inverse agonist to the MC1R-wt but is an agonist to the MC1RΔ24. We conclude that the deletion in the MC1RΔ24 leads to a receptor with a high basal activity which is further activated by ASIP. This is the first report of ASIP acting as an agonist to MC1R. PMID:24879893

  7. Association between diencephalic thyroliberin and arterial blood pressure in agouti-yellow and ob/ob mice may be mediated by leptin.

    PubMed

    Burgueño, Adriana L; Landa, Maria S; Schuman, Mariano L; Alvarez, Azucena L; Carabelli, Julieta; García, Silvia I; Pirola, Carlos J

    2007-10-01

    Leptin, a hormone secreted by the adipose tissue, stimulates anorexigenic peptides and also inhibits orexigenic peptides in hypothalamic arcuate nuclei-located neurons. It also counteracts the starvation-induced suppression of thyroid hormones by up-regulating the expression of preproTRH gene. On the other hand, in addition to its role as a modulator of the thyroid-hypothalamic-hypophysial axis, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) acts as a modulator of the cardiovascular system. In fact, we reported that overexpression of diencephalic TRH (dTRH) induces hypertension. We have recently shown that, in rats with obesity-induced hypertension, hyperleptinemia may produce an increase of dTRH together with an elevation of arterial blood pressure (ABP) through an increase of sympathetic activity and that these alterations were reversed by antisense oligonucleotide and small interfering RNA against preproTRH treatments. Here we explore the possible role of dTRH as a mediator involved in leptin-induced hypertension in 2 obesity mouse models: agouti-yellow mice, which are hyperleptinemic and hypertensive, and ob/ob mice, which lack functional circulating leptin. These 2 models share some characteristics, but ob/ob mice show lower ABP and plasma catecholamines levels. Then, for the first time, we report that there is a clear association between ABP and dTRH levels in both mouse models, as we have found that dTRH content was elevated in agouti-yellow mice and diminished in ob/ob mice compared with their controls. We also show that, after 3 days of subcutaneous leptin injections (10 microg/12 hours), ABP and dTRH increased significantly in ob/ob mice with no alterations of thyroid hormone levels. These results add evidence to the putative molecular mechanisms for the strong association between obesity and hypertension. PMID:17884458

  8. Gene structure of the goldfish agouti-signaling protein: a putative role in the dorsal-ventral pigment pattern of fish.

    PubMed

    Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Haitina, Tatjana; Schiöth, Helgi Birgir; Peter, Richard Ector

    2005-03-01

    One of the most successful chromatic adaptations in vertebrates is the dorsal-ventral pigment pattern in which the dorsal skin is darkly colored, whereas the ventrum is light. In fish, the latter pattern is achieved because a melanization inhibition factor inhibits melanoblast differentiation and supports iridophore proliferation in the ventrum. In rodents, the patterned pigmentation results from regional production of the agouti-signaling protein (ASP). This peptide controls the switch between production of eumelanin and pheomelanin by antagonizing alphaMSH effects on melanocortin receptor (MCR) 1 in the melanocytes. In addition, ASP inhibits the differentiation and proliferation of melanoblast. Thus, the mammalian ASP may be homologous to the poikilotherm melanization inhibition factor. By screening of a genomic library, we deduced the amino acid sequence of goldfish ASP. The ASP gene is a four-exon gene spanning 3097 bp that encodes a 125-amino acid precursor. Northern blot analysis identified two different ASP mRNAs in ventral skin of red- and black-pigmented and albino fish, but no expression levels were observed in the dorsal skin of the same fish. The dorsal-ventral expression polarity was also detected in both black dorsally pigmented fish and albino fish. Pharmacological studies demonstrate that goldfish ASP acts as a melanocortin antagonist at Fugu MC1R and goldfish MC4R. In addition, goldfish ASP inhibited Nle4, D-Phe7-MSH-stimulated pigment dispersion in medaka melanophores. Our studies support agouti signaling protein as the melanization inhibition factor, a key factor in the development of the dorsal-ventral pigment pattern in fish. PMID:15591139

  9. Solid-Phase Peptide Head-to-Side Chain Cyclodimerization: Discovery of C2-Symmetric Cyclic Lactam Hybrid α-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (MSH)/Agouti-Signaling Protein (ASIP) Analogues with Potent Activities at the Human Melanocortin Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mayorov, Alexander V.; Cai, Minying; Palmer, Erin S.; Liu, Zhihua; Cain, James P.; Vagner, Josef; Trivedi, Dev; Hruby, Victor J.

    2011-01-01

    A novel hybrid melanocortin pharmacophore was designed based on the pharmacophores of the Agouti signaling protein (ASIP), an endogenous melanocortin antagonist, and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), an endogenous melanocortin agonist. The designed hybrid ASIP/MSH pharmacophore was explored in monomeric cyclic, and cyclodimeric templates. The monomeric cyclic disulfide series yielded peptides with hMC3R-selective non-competitive binding affinities. The direct on-resin peptide lactam cyclodimerization yielded nanomolar range (25-120 nM) hMC1R-selective full and partial agonists in the cyclodimeric lactam series which demonstrates an improvement over the previous attempts at hybridization of MSH and agouti protein sequences. The secondary structure-oriented pharmacophore hybridization strategy will prove useful in development of unique allosteric and orthosteric melanocortin receptor modulators. This report also illustrates the utility of peptide cyclodimerization for the development of novel GPCR peptide ligands. PMID:20688117

  10. Co-infections of the cestode Echinococcus vogeli and the nematode Calodium hepaticum in the hystricomorphic rodent Agouti paca from a forest reserve in Acre, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, F; Caldas, R; Corrêa, C; Rodrigues-Silva, R; Siqueira, N; Machado-Silva, J R

    2013-12-01

    The helminth fauna of Agouti paca (Linnaeus, 1766) has seldom been studied. In this paper, we report an unusual mixed infection of Echinococcus vogeli Rausch & Bernstein, 1972 and Calodium hepaticum (syn. Capillaria hepatica Bancroft, 1863) in free-ranging paca from a forested region in Acre (Brazil). Gross morphological examination revealed that paca liver contained multiple spherical to subspherical white or translucent lesions, which were isolated or frequently contiguous and partially covered by Glisson's capsule. Microscopic examination revealed unilocular cystic structures that contained abundant brood capsules in which numerous protoscolices budded from the inner surface. The protoscolices possessed rostellar hooks (33-41 μm in length), a morphological characteristic of the blade and calcareous corpuscles that is consistent with the metacestode E. vogeli. The diagnosis of C. hepaticum infection was based on the morphology and morphometry of the egg-shaped ellipsoids with bipolar plugs (44.8 ± 1.9 μm (length) × 24.4 ± 2.0 μm (width)) and liver histopathology. This finding expands the known range of C. hepaticum hosts in South America and, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first case of a mixed infection of E. vogeli and C. hepaticum. Furthermore, our data provide evidence that wild animal meat may be a source of C. hepaticum infection. PMID:23072769

  11. Immediate and prolonged patterns of Agouti-related peptide-(83--132)-induced c-Fos activation in hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic sites.

    PubMed

    Hagan, M M; Benoit, S C; Rushing, P A; Pritchard, L M; Woods, S C; Seeley, R J

    2001-03-01

    Several lines of evidence substantiate the important role of the central nervous system melanocortin 3- and 4-receptor (MC3/4-R) system in the control of food intake and energy balance. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP), an endogenous antagonist of these receptors, produces a robust and unique pattern of increased food intake that lasts up to 7 days after a single injection. Little is known about brain regions that may mediate this powerful effect of AgRP on food intake. To this end we compared c-Fos-like immunoreactivity (c-FLI) in several brain sites of rats injected intracerebroventricularly with 1 nmol AgRP-(83--132) 2 and 24 h before death and compared c-FLI patterns to those induced by another potent orexigenic peptide, neuropeptide Y (NPY). Although both NPY and AgRP induced c-FLI in hypothalamic areas, AgRP also produced increased c-FLI in the accumbens shell and lateral septum. Although NPY elicited no changes in c-FLI 24 h after administration, AgRP induced c-FLI in the accumbens shell, nucleus of the solitary tract, central amygdala, and lateral hypothalamus. These results indicate that an NPY-like hypothalamic circuit mediates the short-term effects of AgRP, but that the unique sustained effect of AgRP on food intake involves a complex circuit of key extrahypothalamic reward and feeding regulatory nuclei. PMID:11181518

  12. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ controls ingestive behavior, agouti-related protein, and neuropeptide Y mRNA in the arcuate hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Garretson, John T; Teubner, Brett J W; Grove, Kevin L; Vazdarjanova, Almira; Ryu, Vitaly; Bartness, Timothy J

    2015-03-18

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is clinically targeted for type II diabetes treatment; however, rosiglitazone (ROSI), a PPARγ agonist, increases food intake and body/fat mass as side-effects. Mechanisms for these effects and the role of PPARγ in feeding are not understood. Therefore, we tested this role in Siberian hamsters, a model of human energy balance, and C57BL/6 mice. We tested the following: (1) how ROSI and/or GW9662 (2-chloro-5-nitro-N-phenylbenzamide; PPARγ antagonist) injected intraperitoneally or into the third ventricle (3V) affected Siberian hamster feeding behaviors; (2) whether food deprivation (FD) co-increases agouti-related protein (AgRP) and PPARγ mRNA expression in Siberian hamsters and mice; (3) whether intraperitoneally administered ROSI increases AgRP and NPY in ad libitum-fed animals; (4) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ antagonism blocks FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY; and finally, (5) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ modulation affects plasma ghrelin. Third ventricular and intraperitoneally administered ROSI increased food hoarding and intake for 7 d, an effect attenuated by 3V GW9662, and also prevented (intraperitoneal) FD-induced feeding. FD hamsters and mice increased AgRP within the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus with concomitant increases in PPARγ exclusively within AgRP/NPY neurons. ROSI increased AgRP and NPY similarly to FD, and GW9662 prevented FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY in both species. Neither ROSI nor GW9662 affected plasma ghrelin. Thus, we demonstrated that PPARγ activation is sufficient to trigger food hoarding/intake, increase AgRP/NPY, and possibly is necessary for FD-induced increases in feeding and AgRP/NPY. These findings provide initial evidence that FD-induced increases in AgRP/NPY may be a direct PPARγ-dependent process that controls ingestive behaviors. PMID:25788674

  13. White button and shiitake mushrooms reduce the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in dilute brown non-agouti mice.

    PubMed

    Chandra, Lawrance; Alexander, Heather; Traoré, Djibril; Lucas, Edralin A; Clarke, Stephen L; Smith, Brenda J; Lightfoot, Stanley A; Kuvibidila, Solo

    2011-01-01

    Exotic mushrooms have been used in ancient Chinese medicine due to their immunomodulatory properties for the treatment and/or prevention of chronic diseases. However, only limited data exist on the health benefits of white button mushrooms (WBM), the most common in the American diet. In the current study, we investigated the effects of WBM and shiitake mushrooms (SM) on collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) using a 2 x 3 factorial design in 8-wk-old female dilute brown non-agouti mice that were fed a control diet (n = 37) or the same diet supplemented with 5% lyophilized WBM or SM (n = 27) for 6 wk. CIA was induced by immunizing mice with 100 µg bovine collagen followed by 50 µg LPS on d 20 post-collagen injection. CIA was assessed by mononuclear cell infiltration, bone erosion, plasma IL-6, TNFα, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) concentrations. Compared with the control diet, WBM and SM tended to reduce the CIA index from 5.11 ± 0.82 to 3.15 ± 0.95 (P = 0.06) (median, 6-9 to 1-2) 31 d post-collagen injection. Whereas 58% of control mice had a CIA index ≥ 7, only 23% of WBM and 29% of SM mice did (P = 0.1). Although both types of mushrooms reduced plasma TNFα (34%, WBM; 64%, SM), only SM increased plasma IL-6 by 1.3-fold (P < 0.05). The CIA index was positively correlated with sICAM1 (r = 0.55; P < 0.05) but negatively correlated with TNFα (r = 0.34; P < 0.05). Whether mushrooms are beneficial for arthritis management remains to be investigated. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating a possible health benefit of WBM in arthritis treatment. PMID:21106932

  14. Strain differences in cytochrome P450 mRNA and protein expression, and enzymatic activity among Sprague Dawley, Wistar, Brown Norway and Dark Agouti rats

    PubMed Central

    NISHIYAMA, Yoshihiro; NAKAYAMA, Shouta M.M.; WATANABE, Kensuke P.; KAWAI, Yusuke K.; OHNO, Marumi; IKENAKA, Yoshinori; ISHIZUKA, Mayumi

    2016-01-01

    Rat cytochrome P450 (CYP) exhibits inter-strain differences, but their analysis has been scattered across studies under different conditions. To identify these strain differences in CYP more comprehensively, mRNA expression, protein expression and metabolic activity among Wistar (WI), Sprague Dawley (SD), Dark Agouti (DA) and Brown Norway (BN) rats were compared. The mRNA level and enzymatic activity of CYP1A1 were highest in SD rats. The rank order of Cyp3a2 mRNA expression mirrored its protein expression, i.e., DA>BN>SD>WI, and was similar to the CYP3A2-dependent warfarin metabolic activity, i.e., DA>SD>BN>WI. These results suggest that the strain differences in CYP3A2 enzymatic activity are caused by differences in mRNA expression. Cyp2b1 mRNA levels, which were higher in DA rats, did not correlate with its protein expression or enzymatic activity. This suggests that the strain differences in enzymatic activity are not related to Cyp2b1 mRNA expression. In conclusion, WI rats tended to have the lowest CYP1A1, 2B1 and 3A2 mRNA expression, protein expression and enzymatic activity among the strains. In addition, SD rats had the highest CYP1A1 mRNA expression and activity, while DA rats had higher CYP2B1 and CYP3A2 mRNA and protein expression. These inter-strain differences in CYP could influence pharmacokinetic considerations in preclinical toxicological studies. PMID:26806536

  15. Effects of prophylactic and therapeutic teriflunomide in transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced motor-evoked potentials in the dark agouti rat model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Iglesias-Bregna, Deborah; Hanak, Susan; Ji, Zhongqi; Petty, Margaret; Liu, Li; Zhang, Donghui; McMonagle-Strucko, Kathleen

    2013-10-01

    Teriflunomide is a once-daily oral immunomodulatory agent recently approved in the United States for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS). This study investigated neurophysiological deficits in descending spinal cord motor tracts during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE; a model of multiple sclerosis) and the functional effectiveness of prophylactic or therapeutic teriflunomide treatment in preventing the debilitating paralysis observed in this model. Relapsing-remitting EAE was induced in Dark Agouti rats using rat spinal cord homogenate. Animals were treated with oral teriflunomide (10 mg/kg daily) prophylactically, therapeutically, or with vehicle (control). Transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potentials were measured throughout the disease to provide quantitative assessment of the neurophysiological status of descending motor tracts. Axonal damage was quantified histologically by silver staining. Both prophylactic and therapeutic teriflunomide treatment significantly reduced maximum EAE disease scores (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0001, respectively) compared with vehicle-treated rats. Electrophysiological recordings demonstrated that both teriflunomide treatment regimens prevented a delay in wave-form latency and a decrease in wave-form amplitude compared with that observed in vehicle-treated animals. A significant reduction in axonal loss was observed with both teriflunomide treatment regimens compared with vehicle (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0014, respectively). The results of this study suggest that therapeutic teriflunomide can prevent the deficits observed in this animal model in descending spinal cord motor tracts. The mechanism behind reduced axonal loss and improved motor function may be primarily the reduced inflammation and consequent demyelination observed in these animals through the known effects of teriflunomide on impairing proliferation of stimulated T cells. These findings may have significant implications for patients with RMS

  16. Hypothalamic agouti-related protein expression is affected by both acute and chronic experience of food restriction and re-feeding in chickens.

    PubMed

    Dunn, I C; Wilson, P W; Smulders, T V; Sandilands, V; D'Eath, R B; Boswell, T

    2013-10-01

    The central melanocortin system is conserved across vertebrates. However, in birds, little is known about how energy balance influences orexigenic agouti-related protein (AGRP) and anorexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) expression, despite the fact that commercial food restriction is critical to the efficient production of poultry meat. To enable contrasts to be made, in broiler-breeder chickens, between levels of food restriction, between birds with the same body weight but different feeding experience, and between birds moved from restricted feeding to ad lib. feeding for different periods, five groups of hens were established between 6 and 12 weeks of age with different combinations of food restriction and release from restriction. AGRP and neuropeptide Y expression in the basal hypothalamus was significantly increased by chronic restriction but only AGRP mRNA levels reflected recent feeding experience: hens at the same body weight that had recently been on ad lib. feeding showed lower expression than restricted birds. AGRP expression also distinguished between hens released from restriction to ad lib. feeding for different periods. By contrast, POMC and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript mRNA levels were not different. These results showed that AGRP mRNA not only reflected differences between a bird's weight and its potential weight or set point, but also discriminated between differing feeding histories of birds at the same body weight. Therefore, AGRP expression potentially provides an integrated measure of food intake experience and an objective tool to assess a bird's perception of satiety in feeding regimes for improved poultry welfare. PMID:23957836

  17. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Controls Ingestive Behavior, Agouti-Related Protein, and Neuropeptide Y mRNA in the Arcuate Hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Garretson, John T.; Teubner, Brett J.W.; Grove, Kevin L.; Vazdarjanova, Almira; Ryu, Vitaly

    2015-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is clinically targeted for type II diabetes treatment; however, rosiglitazone (ROSI), a PPARγ agonist, increases food intake and body/fat mass as side-effects. Mechanisms for these effects and the role of PPARγ in feeding are not understood. Therefore, we tested this role in Siberian hamsters, a model of human energy balance, and C57BL/6 mice. We tested the following: (1) how ROSI and/or GW9662 (2-chloro-5-nitro-N-phenylbenzamide; PPARγ antagonist) injected intraperitoneally or into the third ventricle (3V) affected Siberian hamster feeding behaviors; (2) whether food deprivation (FD) co-increases agouti-related protein (AgRP) and PPARγ mRNA expression in Siberian hamsters and mice; (3) whether intraperitoneally administered ROSI increases AgRP and NPY in ad libitum-fed animals; (4) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ antagonism blocks FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY; and finally, (5) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ modulation affects plasma ghrelin. Third ventricular and intraperitoneally administered ROSI increased food hoarding and intake for 7 d, an effect attenuated by 3V GW9662, and also prevented (intraperitoneal) FD-induced feeding. FD hamsters and mice increased AgRP within the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus with concomitant increases in PPARγ exclusively within AgRP/NPY neurons. ROSI increased AgRP and NPY similarly to FD, and GW9662 prevented FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY in both species. Neither ROSI nor GW9662 affected plasma ghrelin. Thus, we demonstrated that PPARγ activation is sufficient to trigger food hoarding/intake, increase AgRP/NPY, and possibly is necessary for FD-induced increases in feeding and AgRP/NPY. These findings provide initial evidence that FD-induced increases in AgRP/NPY may be a direct PPARγ-dependent process that controls ingestive behaviors. PMID:25788674

  18. Long-Term Effects of (–)-Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) on Pristane-Induced Arthritis (PIA) in Female Dark Agouti Rats

    PubMed Central

    Leichsenring, Anna; Bäcker, Ingo; Furtmüller, Paul G.; Obinger, Christian; Lange, Franziska; Flemmig, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—a widespread chronic inflammatory disease in industrialized countries—is characterized by a persistent and progressive joint destruction. The chronic pro-inflammatory state results from a mutual activation of the innate and the adaptive immune system, while the exact pathogenesis mechanism is still under discussion. New data suggest a role of the innate immune system and especially polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMNs, neutrophils) not only during onset and the destructive phase of RA but also at the chronification of the disease. Thereby the enzymatic activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO), a peroxidase strongly abundant in neutrophils, may be important: While its peroxidase activity is known to contribute to cartilage destruction at later stages of RA the almost MPO-specific oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is also discussed for certain anti-inflammatory effects. In this study we used pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) in Dark Agouti rats as a model for the chronic course of RA in man. We were able to shown that a specific detection of the HOCl-producing MPO activity provides a sensitive new marker to evaluate the actual systemic inflammatory status which is only partially detectable by the evaluation of clinical symptoms (joint swelling and redness measurements). Moreover, we evaluated the long-term pharmacological effect of the well-known anti-inflammatory flavonoid epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Thereby only upon early and continuous oral application of this polyphenol the arthritic symptoms were considerably diminished both in the acute and in the chronic phase of the disease. The obtained results were comparable to the treatment control (application of methotrexate, MTX). As revealed by stopped-flow kinetic measurements, EGCG may regenerate the HOCl-production of MPO which is known to be impaired at chronic inflammatory diseases like RA. It can be speculated that this MPO activity-promoting effect of EGCG may contribute to the

  19. Obese gene expression: reduction by fasting and stimulation by insulin and glucose in lean mice, and persistent elevation in acquired (diet-induced) and genetic (yellow agouti) obesity.

    PubMed Central

    Mizuno, T M; Bergen, H; Funabashi, T; Kleopoulos, S P; Zhong, Y G; Bauman, W A; Mobbs, C V

    1996-01-01

    Mutations in the obese (ob) gene lead to obesity. This gene has been recently cloned, but the factors regulating its expression have not been elucidated. To address the regulation of the ob gene with regard to body weight and nutritional factors, Northern blot analysis was used to assess ob mRNA in adipose tissue from mice [lean, obese due to diet, or genetically (yellow agouti) obese] under different nutritional conditions. ob mRNA was elevated in both forms of obesity, compared to lean controls, correlated with elevations in plasma insulin and body weight, but not plasma glucose. In lean C57BL/6J mice, but not in mice with diet-induced obesity, ob mRNA decreased after a 48-hr fast. Similarly, in lean C57BL/6J controls, but not in obese yellow mice, i.p. glucose injection significantly increased ob mRNA. For up to 30 min after glucose injection, ob mRNA in lean mice significantly correlated with plasma glucose, but not with plasma insulin. In a separate study with only lean mice, ob mRNA was inhibited >90% by fasting, and elevated approximately 2-fold 30 min after i.p. injection of either glucose or insulin. These results suggest that in lean animals glucose and insulin enhance ob gene expression. In contrast to our results in lean mice, in obese animals ob mRNA is elevated and relatively insensitive to nutritional state, possibly due to chronic exposure to elevated plasma insulin and/or glucose. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 4 PMID:8622953

  20. Maternal exposure to bisphenol A and genistein has minimal effect on A(vy)/a offspring coat color but favors birth of agouti over nonagouti mice.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, Cheryl S; Sieli, Paizlee T; Warzak, Denise A; Ellersieck, Mark R; Pennington, Kathleen A; Roberts, R Michael

    2013-01-01

    Reports that maternal diet influences coat color in mouse offspring carrying the agouti A(vy) allele have received considerable attention because the range, from pseudoagouti (brown) to yellow, predicts adult health outcomes, especially disposition toward obesity and diabetes, in yellower mice. Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting compound with estrogenic properties, fed to a/a dams harboring A(vy)/a conceptuses has been reported to induce a significant shift toward yellower mice, whereas consumption of either genistein (G) alone or in combination with BPA led to greater numbers of healthy, brown offspring. Groups of C57/B6 a/a females, which are nonagouti, were fed either a phytoestrogen-free control diet or one of six experimental diets: diets 1-3 contained BPA (50 mg, 5 mg, and 50 μg BPA/kg food, respectively); diet 4 contained G (250 mg/kg food); diet 5 contained G plus BPA (250 and 50 mg/kg food, respectively); and diet 6 contained 0.1 μg of ethinyl estradiol (EE)/kg food. Mice were bred to A(vy)/a males over multiple parities. In all, 2,824 pups from 426 litters were born. None of the diets provided any significant differences in relative numbers of brown, yellow, or intermediate coat color A(vy)/a offspring. However, BPA plus G (P < 0.0001) and EE diets (P = 0.005), but not the four others, decreased the percentage of black (a/a) to A(vy)/a offspring from the expected Mendelian ratio of 1:1. Data suggest that A(vy)/a conceptuses, which may possess a so-called "thrifty genotype," are at a competitive advantage over a/a conceptuses in certain uterine environments. PMID:23267115

  1. Alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone and Agouti-Related Protein: Do They Play a Role in Appetite Regulation in Childhood Obesity?

    PubMed Central

    Vehapoğlu, Aysel; Türkmen, Serdar; Terzioğlu, Şule

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The hypothalamus plays a crucial role in the regulation of feeding behavior. The anorexigenic neuropeptide alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and the orexigenic neuropeptide agouti-related protein (AgRP) are among the major peptides produced in the hypothalamus. This study investigated the plasma concentrations of α-MSH and AgRP in underweight and obese children and their healthy peers. The associations between α-MSH and AgRP levels and anthropometric and nutritional markers of malnutrition and obesity were also assessed. Methods: Healthy sex-matched subjects aged 2 to 12 years were divided into 3 groups, as underweight (n=57), obese (n=61), and of normal weight (n=57). Plasma fasting concentrations of α-MSH and AgRP were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The differences between the three groups as to the relationships between plasma concentrations of α-MSH and AgRP and anthropometric data, serum biochemical parameters and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance were evaluated. Results: Obese children had significantly lower α-MSH levels than underweight (1194±865 vs. 1904±1312 ng/mL, p=0.006) and normal weight (1194±865 vs. 1762±1463 ng/mL, p=0.036) children; there were no significant differences in the α-MSH levels between the underweight and normal weight children (p=0.811). Also, no significant differences were observed between the underweight and obese children regarding the AgRP levels (742±352 vs. 828±417 ng/mL, p=0.125). We found a significant positive correlation between plasma α-MSH and AgRP levels across the entire sample. Conclusion: This study is the first to demonstrate body weight-related differences in α-MSH and AgRP levels in children. Circulating plasma α-MSH levels in obese children were markedly lower than those of underweight and normal-weight children. This suggests that α-MSH could play a role in appetite regulation. PMID:26758700

  2. A combination of probiotics and whey proteins enhances anti-obesity effects of calcium and dairy products during nutritional energy restriction in aP2-agouti transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Yoda, Kazutoyo; Sun, Xiaocum; Kawase, Manabu; Kubota, Akira; Miyazawa, Kenji; Harata, Gaku; Hosoda, Masataka; Hiramatsu, Masaru; He, Fang; Zemel, Michael B

    2015-06-14

    Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus paracasei TMC0409, Streptococcus thermophilus TMC1543 and whey proteins were used to prepare fermented milk. For the experiment aP2- agouti transgenic mice were pre-treated with a high-sucrose/high-fat diet for 6 weeks to induce obesity. The obese mice were fed a diet containing 1·2% Ca and either non-fat dried milk (NFDM) or probiotic-fermented milk (PFM) with nutritional energy restriction for 6 weeks. The animals were examined after the treatment for changes in body weight, fat pad weight, fatty acid synthase (FAS) activity, lypolysis, the expression levels of genes related to lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity in adipocytes and skeletal muscle and the presence of biomarkers for oxidative and inflammatory stress in plasma. It was found that the PFM diet significantly reduced body weight, fat accumulation, and adipocyte FAS activity, and increased adipocyte lipolysis as compared with the effects of the NFDM diet (P<0·05). The adipose tissue gene expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (11β-HSD1) was significantly suppressed in mice that were fed PFM as compared with those that were fed NFDM (P<0·05). PFM caused a greater up-regulation of skeletal muscle PPARα, PPARδ, uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) and GLUT4 expression and a significant decrease in the plasma concentration of insulin, malondialdehyde, TNF-α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and C-reactive protein as compared with the effects of NFDM (P<0·05). Fermentation of milk with selected probiotics and supplementation of milk with whey proteins may thus enhance anti-obesity effects of Ca and dairy products by the suppression of adipose tissue lipogenesis, activation of fat oxidation in skeletal muscle and reduction of oxidative and inflammatory stress. PMID:25871498

  3. Placentation in the paca (Agouti paca L)

    PubMed Central

    Bonatelli, Marina; Carter, Anthony M; Machado, Marcia R Fernandes; De Oliveira, Moacir F; de Lima, Marcelo Cardoso; Miglino, Maria Angelica

    2005-01-01

    Background The paca is a South American rodent with potential as a commercial food animal. We examined paca placenta as part of a wider effort to understand the reproductive biology of this species. Methods Thirteen specimens between midgestation and term of pregnancy were studied by light and transmission electron microscopy. Results The placenta is divided into several lobes separated by interlobular trophoblast. Maternal arterial channels and fetal veins are found at the centre of each lobe. In the labyrinth, maternal blood flows through trophoblast-lined lacunae in close proximity to the fetal capillaries. The interhaemal barrier is of the haemomonochorial type with a single layer of syncytiotrophoblast. Caveolae occur in the apical membrane of the syncytiotrophoblast and recesses in the basal membrane, but there is no evidence of transtrophoblastic channels. The interlobular areas consist of cords of syncytiotrophoblast defining maternal blood channels that drain the labyrinth. Yolk sac endoderm covers much of the fetal surface of the placenta. The subplacenta comprises cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast. There are dilated intercellular spaces between the cytotrophoblasts and lacunae lined by syncytiotrophoblast. In the junctional zone between subplacenta and decidua, there are nests of multinucleated giant cells with vacuolated cytoplasm. The entire placenta rests on a pedicle of maternal tissue. An inverted yolk sac placenta is also present. The presence of small vesicles and tubules in the apical membrane of the yolk sac endoderm and larger vesicles in the supranuclear region suggest that the yolk sac placenta participates in maternal-fetal transfer of protein. Conclusion The paca placenta closely resembles that of other hystricomorph rodents. The lobulated structure allows for a larger exchange area and the development of precocial young. PMID:15737234

  4. Discovery of a β-Hairpin Octapeptide, c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Dap-Ala-Phe-DPro], Mimetic of Agouti-Related Protein(87-132) [AGRP(87-132)] with Equipotent Mouse Melanocortin-4 Receptor (mMC4R) Antagonist Pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mark D; Wilczynski, Andrzej; Sorensen, Nicholas B; Xiang, Zhimin; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie

    2015-06-11

    Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is a potent orexigenic peptide that antagonizes the melanocortin-3 and -4 receptors (MC3R and MC4R). While the C-terminal domain of AGRP, AGRP(87-132), is equipotent to the full-length peptide, further truncation decreases potency at the MC3R and MC4R. Herein, we report AGRP-derived peptides designed to mimic the active β-hairpin secondary structure that contains the hypothesized Arg-Phe-Phe pharmacophore. The most potent scaffold, c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe-DPro], comprised the hexa-peptide β-hairpin loop from AGRP cyclized through a DPro-Pro motif. A 20 compound library was synthesized from this scaffold for further structure-activity relationship studies. The most potent peptide from this library was an asparagine to diaminopropionic acid substitution that possessed sub-nanomolar antagonist activity at the mMC4R and was greater than 160-fold selective for the mMC4R versus the mMC3R. The reported ligands may serve as probes to characterize the melanocortin receptors in vivo and leads in the development of novel therapeutics. PMID:25898270

  5. Ecological Relationships of Meso-Scale Distribution in 25 Neotropical Vertebrate Species

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  6. Zygomycetes From Herbivore Dung in the Ecological Reserve of Dois IrmÃOs, Northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Azevedo Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro; Botelho Trufem, Sandra Farto; Malosso, Elaine; Dos Santos, Paulo Jorge Parreira; de Queiroz Cavalcanti, Maria Auxiliadora

    2011-01-01

    Thirty-eight taxa of Zygomycetes distributed in 15 genera were recorded from tapir (Tapirus terrestris), camel (Camelus bactrianus), horse (Equus caballus), deer (Cervus elaphus), agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), donkey (Equus asinus), llama (Llama glama) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) dung collected at the Reserva Ecológica de Dois Irmãos located in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. The samples were collected on a monthly basis from June 2005 to May 2006, taken to the laboratory and incubated in moist chambers. Higher number of taxa was observed in the excrements of tapir, followed by deer and donkey. The highest number of species was detected for Mucor, followed by Pilobolus. Statistical analyses showed significant differences in richness of Zygomycetes taxa between the herbivore dung types. Differences of species composition, however, were weak. Seasonality influenced the Zygomycetes species composition but not its richness. Variations in taxa composition between ruminants and non-ruminants dung were non significant. PMID:24031609

  7. Zygomycetes From Herbivore Dung in the Ecological Reserve of Dois IrmÃOs, Northeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    de Azevedo Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro; Botelho Trufem, Sandra Farto; Malosso, Elaine; dos Santos, Paulo Jorge Parreira; de Queiroz Cavalcanti, Maria Auxiliadora

    2011-01-01

    Thirty-eight taxa of Zygomycetes distributed in 15 genera were recorded from tapir (Tapirus terrestris), camel (Camelus bactrianus), horse (Equus caballus), deer (Cervus elaphus), agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), donkey (Equus asinus), llama (Llama glama) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) dung collected at the Reserva Ecológica de Dois Irmãos located in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. The samples were collected on a monthly basis from June 2005 to May 2006, taken to the laboratory and incubated in moist chambers. Higher number of taxa was observed in the excrements of tapir, followed by deer and donkey. The highest number of species was detected for Mucor, followed by Pilobolus. Statistical analyses showed significant differences in richness of Zygomycetes taxa between the herbivore dung types. Differences of species composition, however, were weak. Seasonality influenced the Zygomycetes species composition but not its richness. Variations in taxa composition between ruminants and non-ruminants dung were non significant. PMID:24031609

  8. Compartmentalization of cerebral cortical germinal zones in a lissencephalic primate and gyrencephalic rodent.

    PubMed

    García-Moreno, Fernando; Vasistha, Navneet A; Trevia, Nonata; Bourne, James A; Molnár, Zoltán

    2012-02-01

    Previous studies of macaque and human cortices identified cytoarchitectonically distinct germinal zones; the ventricular zone inner subventricular zone (ISVZ), and outer subventricular zone (OSVZ). To date, the OSVZ has only been described in gyrencephalic brains, separated from the ISVZ by an inner fiber layer and considered a milestone that triggered increased neocortical neurogenesis. However, this observation has only been assessed in a handful of species without the identification of the different progenitor populations. We examined the Amazonian rodent agouti (Dasyprocta agouti) and the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) to further understand relationships among progenitor compartmentalization, proportions of various cortical progenitors, and degree of cortical folding. We identified a similar cytoarchitectonic distinction between the OSVZ and ISVZ at midgestation in both species. In the marmoset, we quantified the ventricular and abventricular divisions and observed similar proportions as previously described for the human and ferret brains. The proportions of radial glia, intermediate progenitors, and outer radial glial cell (oRG) populations were similar in midgestation lissencephalic marmoset as in gyrencephalic human or ferret. Our findings suggest that cytoarchitectonic subdivisions of SVZ are an evolutionary trend and not a primate specific feature, and a large population of oRG can be seen regardless of cortical folding. PMID:22114081

  9. Scatter Hoarding of Seeds Confers Survival Advantages and Disadvantages to Large-Seeded Tropical Plants at Different Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Kuprewicz, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  10. Systematic, Cross-Cortex Variation in Neuron Numbers in Rodents and Primates

    PubMed Central

    Charvet, Christine J.; Cahalane, Diarmuid J.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2015-01-01

    Uniformity, local variability, and systematic variation in neuron numbers per unit of cortical surface area across species and cortical areas have been claimed to characterize the isocortex. Resolving these claims has been difficult, because species, techniques, and cortical areas vary across studies. We present a stereological assessment of neuron numbers in layers II–IV and V–VI per unit of cortical surface area across the isocortex in rodents (hamster, Mesocricetus auratus; agouti, Dasyprocta azarae; paca, Cuniculus paca) and primates (owl monkey, Aotus trivigratus; tamarin, Saguinus midas; capuchin, Cebus apella); these chosen to vary systematically in cortical size. The contributions of species, cortical areas, and techniques (stereology, “isotropic fractionator”) to neuron estimates were assessed. Neurons per unit of cortical surface area increase across the rostro-caudal (RC) axis in primates (varying by a factor of 1.64–2.13 across the rostral and caudal poles) but less in rodents (varying by a factor of 1.15–1.54). Layer II–IV neurons account for most of this variation. When integrated into the context of species variation, and this RC gradient in neuron numbers, conflicts between studies can be accounted for. The RC variation in isocortical neurons in adulthood mirrors the gradients in neurogenesis duration in development. PMID:23960207

  11. Molecular identification of trypanosomatids in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Tenório, M S; Oliveira e Sousa, L; Alves-Martin, M F; Paixão, M S; Rodrigues, M V; Starke-Buzetti, W A; Araújo Junior, J P; Lucheis, S B

    2014-06-16

    Diverse wild animal species can be reservoirs of zoonotic flagellate parasites, which can cause pathologic Chagas disease. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of flagellate parasites through direct microscopic examination of the parasites in blood samples and through PCR of whole blood and blood culture (haemoculture) samples from 38 captive and 65 free-living wild animals in the Centre for Conservation of Wild Fauna (CCWF), an area endemic for leishmaniasis. For this study, PCR was accomplished using primers for the ribosomal region (ITS-1) of the flagellate parasites. The amplified fragments were cloned and sequenced to identify DNA of the Trypanosomatid parasite species, observed in blood cultures from 3.9% (04/103) of the animals. Through these techniques, Trypanosoma cruzi was identified in haemoculture samples of the following three free-living species: common agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), and nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). Furthermore, Trypanosoma minasense was identified in whole blood samples from 01 (0.9%) captive animal (black howler monkey-Alouatta caraya). These results demonstrated the first report of T. cruzi isolation in wild species from the CCWF using blood culture, which can be applied in addition to molecular tools for epidemiological studies and to identify trypanosomatids in wild animals. PMID:24636787

  12. Rhizobium grahamii sp. nov., from nodules of Dalea leporina, Leucaena leucocephala and Clitoria ternatea, and Rhizobium mesoamericanum sp. nov., from nodules of Phaseolus vulgaris, siratro, cowpea and Mimosa pudica.

    PubMed

    López-López, Aline; Rogel-Hernández, Marco A; Barois, Isabelle; Ortiz Ceballos, Angel I; Martínez, Julio; Ormeño-Orrillo, Ernesto; Martínez-Romero, Esperanza

    2012-09-01

    Two novel related Rhizobium species, Rhizobium grahamii sp. nov. and Rhizobium mesoamericanum sp. nov., were identified by a polyphasic approach using DNA-DNA hybridization, whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic and phenotypic characterization including nodulation of Leucaena leucocephala and Phaseolus vulgaris (bean). As similar bacteria were found in the Los Tuxtlas rainforest in Mexico and in Central America, we suggest the existence of a Mesoamerican microbiological corridor. The type strain of Rhizobium grahamii sp. nov. is CCGE 502(T) (= ATCC BAA-2124(T) = CFN 242(T) = Dal4(T) = HAMBI 3152(T)) and that of Rhizobium mesoamericanum sp. nov. is CCGE 501(T) (= ATCC BAA-2123(T) = HAMBI 3151(T) = CIP 110148(T) = 1847(T)). PMID:22081714

  13. [Seasonal evaluation of mammal species richness and abundance in the "Mário Viana" municipal reserve, Mato Grosso, Brasil].

    PubMed

    Rocha, Ednaldo Cândido; Silva, Elias; Martins, Sebastião Venâncio; Barreto, Francisco Cândido Cardoso

    2006-09-01

    We evaluated seasonal species presence and richness, and abundance of medium and large sized mammalian terrestrial fauna in the "Mário Viana" Municipal Biological Reserve, Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil. During 2001, two monthly visits were made to an established transect, 2,820 m in length. Records of 22 mammal species were obtained and individual footprint sequences quantified for seasonal calculation of species richness and relative abundance index (x footprints/km traveled). All 22 species occurred during the rainy season, but only 18 during the dry season. Pseudalopex vetulus (Lund, 1842) (hoary fox), Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758) (tayra), Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771) (cougar) and Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1766) (capybara) were only registered during the rainy season. The species diversity estimated using the Jackknife procedure in the dry season (19.83, CI = 2.73) was smaller than in the rainy season (25.67, CI = 3.43). Among the 18 species common in the two seasons, only four presented significantly different abundance indexes: Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 (nine-banded armadillo), Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) (six-banded armadillo), Dasyprocta azarae Lichtenstein, 1823 (Azara's Agouti) and Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) (tapir). On the other hand, Priodontes maximus (Kerr, 1792) (giant armadillo) and Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) (ocelot) had identical abundance index over the two seasons. Distribution of species abundance in the sampled area followed the expected pattern for communities in equilibrium, especially in the rainy season, suggesting that the environment still maintains good characteristics for mammal conservation. The present study shows that the reserve, although only 470 ha in size, plays an important role for conservation of mastofauna of the area as a refuge in an environment full of anthropic influence (mainly cattle breeding in exotic pasture). PMID:18491629

  14. Increased food intake in growth hormone-transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) may be mediated by upregulating Agouti-related protein (AgRP).

    PubMed

    Zhong, Chengrong; Song, Yanlong; Wang, Yaping; Zhang, Tanglin; Duan, Ming; Li, Yongming; Liao, Lanjie; Zhu, Zuoyan; Hu, Wei

    2013-10-01

    In fish, food intake and feeding behavior are crucial for survival, competition, growth and reproduction. Growth hormone (GH)-transgenic common carp exhibit an enhanced growth rate, increased food intake and higher feed conversion rate. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of feeding regulation in GH-transgenic (TG) fish are not clear. In this study, we observed feeding behavior of TG and non-transgenic (NT) common carp, and analyzed the mRNA expression levels of NPY, AgRP I, orexin, POMC, CCK, and CART I in the hypothalamus and telencephalon after behavioral observation. We detected similar gene expression levels in the hypothalamus of TG and NT common carp, which had been cultured in the field at the same age. Furthermore, we tested the effects of GH on hypothalamus fragments in vitro to confirm our findings. We demonstrated that TG common carp displayed increased food intake and reduced food consumption time, which were associated with a marked increase in hypothalamic AgRP I mRNA expression. Our results suggest that elevated GH levels may influence food intake and feeding behavior by upregulating the hypothalamic orexigenic factor AgRP I in GH-transgenic common carp. PMID:23583469

  15. Maternal obesity in the agouti viable yellow (Avy) mouse produces defective secretory activation that is associated with mammary inflammation and activation of adrenocorticosteroid-dependent gene expression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maternal obesity is known to interfere with normal lactation in women, rodents, and dairy animals. Obesity is also correlated with profound changes in an array of endocrine factors and is causally linked with inflammation and insulin resistance. Recent work suggests that elevated aldosterone actin...

  16. In Utero exposure to soy protein isolate does not produce epigenetic changes in heterozygous viable yellow agouti (Avy/a) mice offspring, but does alter body composition and prevents hepatosteatosis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of pregnant women, fetuses and neonates have been exposed to soy foods containing phytoestrogen isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein for generations in Asia and for decades in the USA. Despite this long history, there are concerns about potential adverse developmental effects of soy ...

  17. Exposure to Soy Protein Isolate From Conception Fails to Induce Epigenetic Changes in Viable Yellow Agouti (Avy/a) Mice, But Partially Blocks Hepatosteatosis and Altered Body Composition in Mice and Rats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Both beneficial and adverse health effects have been attributed to soy food consumption. Epigenetic programming through hypermethlylation of CpG sites on promoter regions may be a potential mechanism. Virgin a/a female and Avy/a male mice were fed AIN-93G diets made with either casein or soy protein...

  18. Genetic Studies of the Mouse Mutations Mahogany and Mahoganoid

    PubMed Central

    Miller, K. A.; Gunn, T. M.; Carrasquillo, M. M.; Lamoreux, M. L.; Galbraith, D. B.; Barsh, G. S.

    1997-01-01

    The mouse mutations mahogany (mg) and mahoganoid (md) are negative modifiers of the Agouti coat color gene, which encodes a paracrine signaling molecule that induces a switch in melanin synthesis from eumelanin to pheomelanin. Animals mutant for md or mg synthesize very little or no pheomelanin depending on Agouti gene background. The Agouti protein is normally expressed in the skin and acts as an antagonist of the melanocyte receptor for α-MSH (Mc1r); however, ectopic expression of Agouti causes obesity, possibly by antagonizing melanocortin receptors expressed in the brain. To investigate where md and mg lie in a genetic pathway with regard to Agouti and Mc1r signaling, we determined the effects of these mutations in animals that carried either a loss-of-function Mc1r mutation (recessive yellow, Mc1r(e)) or a gain-of-function Agouti mutation (lethal yellow, A(y)). We found that the Mc1r(e) mutation suppressed the effects of md and mg, but that md and mg suppressed the effects of A(y) on both coat color and obesity. Plasma levels of α-MSH and of ACTH were unaffected by md or mg. These results suggest that md and mg interfere directly with Agouti signaling, possibly at the level of protein production or receptor regulation. PMID:9258683

  19. A molecular model for the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of the mouse lethal yellow (A{sup y}) mutation

    SciTech Connect

    Michaud, E.J.; Klebig, M.L.; Stubbs, L.J.; Russell, L.B.; Woychik, R.P.; Bultman, S.J. |; Vugt, M.J. van |

    1994-03-29

    Lethal yellow (A{sup y}) is a mutation at the mouse agouti locus in chromosome 2 that causes a number of dominant pleiotropic effects, including a completely yellow coat color, obesity, an insulin-resistant type II diabetic condition, and an increased propensity to develop a variety of spontaneous and induced tumors. Additionally, homozygosity for A{sup y} results in preimplantation lethality, which terminates development by the blastocyst stage. The A{sup y} mutation is the result of a 170-kb deletion that removes all but the promoter and noncoding first exon of another gene called Raly, which lies in the same transcriptional orientation as agouti and maps 280 kb proximal to the 3{prime} end of the agouti gene. The authors present a model for the structure of the A{sub y} allele that can explain the dominant pleiotropic effects associated with this mutation, as well as the recessive lethality, which is unrelated to the agouti gene.

  20. The mouse pink-eyed dilution allele of the P-gene greatly inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Hirobe, Tomohisa; Ito, Shosuke; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2011-02-01

    The mouse pink-eyed dilution (p) locus is known to control eumelanin synthesis, melanosome morphology, and tyrosinase activity in melanocytes. However, it has not been fully determined whether the mutant allele, p affects pheomelanin synthesis. Effects of the p allele on eumelanin and phemelanin synthesis were investigated by chemical analysis of dorsal hairs of 5-week-old mice obtained from the F(2) generations (black, pink-eyed black, recessive yellow, pink-eyed recessive yellow, agouti, and pink-eyed agouti) between C57BL/10JHir (B10)-congenic pink-eyed black mice (B10-p/p) and recessive yellow (B10-Mc1r(e)/Mc1r(e)) or agouti (B10-A/A) mice. The eumelanin content was dramatically (>20-fold) decreased in pink-eyed black and pink-eyed agouti mice, whereas the pheomelanin content did not decrease in pink-eyed black, pink-eyed recessive yellow, or pink-eyed agouti mice compared to the corresponding P/- mice. These results suggest that the pink-eyed dilution allele greatly inhibits eumelanin synthesis, but not pheomelanin synthesis. PMID:21232027

  1. On The Origin and Spread Of an Adaptive Allele In Deer Mice*

    PubMed Central

    Linnen, Catherine R.; Kingsley, Evan P.; Jensen, Jeffrey D.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2009-01-01

    Adaptation is a central focus of biology, although it can be difficult to identify both the strength and agent of selection and the underlying molecular mechanisms causing change. We studied cryptically colored deer mice living on the Nebraska Sand Hills and show that their light coloration stems from a novel banding pattern on individual hairs produced by an increase in Agouti expression caused by cis-acting mutation(s), which either is, or is closely linked to, a single amino acid deletion in Agouti that appears to be under selection. Furthermore, our data suggest that this derived Agouti allele arose de novo after the formation of the Sand Hills. These findings reveal one means by which genetic, developmental, and evolutionary mechanisms can drive rapid adaptation under ecological pressure. PMID:19713521

  2. The melanocortin system in leukocyte biology.

    PubMed

    Catania, Anna

    2007-02-01

    The melanocortin system is composed of the melanocortin peptides, adrenocorticotropic hormone and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, the melanocortin receptors (MCRs), and the endogenous antagonists agouti- and agouti-related protein. Melanocortin peptides exert multiple effects upon the host, including anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Leukocytes are a source of melanocortins and a major target for these peptides. Because of reduced translocation of the nuclear factor NF-kappaB to the nucleus, MCR activation by their ligands causes a collective reduction of the most important molecules involved in the inflammatory process. This review examines how melanocortin peptides and their receptors participate in leukocyte biology. PMID:17041004

  3. Regulation and Role of Leptin: Pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent findings demonstrate that numerous genes i.e., relaxin, interleukins and other cytokines and biologically active substances such as leptin, insulin- like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and Agouti protein are produced by porcine adipose tissue, which could have a profound effect on appetite, immune...

  4. MATERNAL DIETARY METHYL DONOR SUPPLEMENTATION OF "AXIN(FU)/+" MICE PREVENTS TAIL KINKS BY TAIL-SPECIFIC CPG HYPERMETHYLATION AT "AXIN(FU)"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methyl donor supplementation of the maternal diet alters coat color phenotype of viable yellow agouti "(A[vy]/a)" offspring by a locus-specific increase in CpG methylation. To test the hypothesis that metastable epialleles such as "A[vy]" are, in general, susceptible to early nutritional influences...

  5. Thieving rodents as substitute dispersers of megafaunal seeds

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Patrick A.; Hirsch, Ben T.; Emsens, Willem-Jan; Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica; Wikelski, Martin; Kays, Roland

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropics have many plant species that seem to be adapted for seed dispersal by megafauna that went extinct in the late Pleistocene. Given the crucial importance of seed dispersal for plant persistence, it remains a mystery how these plants have survived more than 10,000 y without their mutualist dispersers. Here we present support for the hypothesis that secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents has facilitated the persistence of these large-seeded species. We used miniature radio transmitters to track the dispersal of reputedly megafaunal seeds by Central American agoutis, which scatter-hoard seeds in shallow caches in the soil throughout the forest. We found that seeds were initially cached at mostly short distances and then quickly dug up again. However, rather than eating the recovered seeds, agoutis continued to move and recache the seeds, up to 36 times. Agoutis dispersed an estimated 35% of seeds for >100 m. An estimated 14% of the cached seeds survived to the next year, when a new fruit crop became available to the rodents. Serial video-monitoring of cached seeds revealed that the stepwise dispersal was caused by agoutis repeatedly stealing and recaching each other’s buried seeds. Although previous studies suggest that rodents are poor dispersers, we demonstrate that communities of rodents can in fact provide highly effective long-distance seed dispersal. Our findings suggest that thieving scatter-hoarding rodents could substitute for extinct megafaunal seed dispersers of tropical large-seeded trees. PMID:22802644

  6. Apolipoprotein A-IV inhibits AgRP/NPY neurons and activates POMC neurons in the arcuate nucleus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV) in the brain potently suppresses food intake. However the mechanisms underlying its anorexigenic effects remain to be identified. We first examined the effects of apoA-IV on cellular activities in hypothalamic neurons that co-express agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and ne...

  7. The mouse ruby-eye 2(d) (ru2(d) /Hps5(ru2-d) ) allele inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Hirobe, Tomohisa; Ito, Shosuke; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-09-01

    The novel mutation named ru2(d) /Hps5(ru2-d) , characterized by light-colored coats and ruby-eyes, prohibits differentiation of melanocytes by inhibiting tyrosinase (Tyr) activity, expression of Tyr, Tyr-related protein 1 (Tyrp1), Tyrp2, and Kit. However, it is not known whether the ru2(d) allele affects pheomelanin synthesis in recessive yellow (e/Mc1r(e) ) or in pheomelanic stage in agouti (A) mice. In this study, effects of the ru2(d) allele on pheomelanin synthesis were investigated by chemical analysis of melanin present in dorsal hairs of 5-week-old mice from F2 generation between C57BL/10JHir (B10)-co-isogenic ruby-eye 2(d) and B10-congenic recessive yellow or agouti. Eumelanin content was decreased in ruby-eye 2(d) and ruby-eye 2(d) agouti mice, whereas pheomelanin content in ruby-eye 2(d) recessive yellow and ruby-eye 2(d) agouti mice did not differ from the corresponding Ru2(d) /- mice, suggesting that the ru2(d) allele inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis. PMID:23672590

  8. Soy protein isolate reduces hepatosteatosis in yellow Avy/a mice without altering coat color phenotype

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agouti (Avy/a) mice fed an AIN-93G diet containing the soy isoflavone genistein (GEN) prior to and during pregnancy were reported to shift coat color and body composition phenotypes from obese-yellow towards lean pseudoagouti, suggesting epigenetic programming. Human consumption of purified GEN is r...

  9. Adaptive Variation in Beach Mice Produced by Two Interacting Pigmentation Genes

    PubMed Central

    Steiner, Cynthia C; Weber, Jesse N; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about the genetic basis of ecologically important morphological variation such as the diverse color patterns of mammals. Here we identify genetic changes contributing to an adaptive difference in color pattern between two subspecies of oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus). One mainland subspecies has a cryptic dark brown dorsal coat, while a younger beach-dwelling subspecies has a lighter coat produced by natural selection for camouflage on pale coastal sand dunes. Using genome-wide linkage mapping, we identified three chromosomal regions (two of major and one of minor effect) associated with differences in pigmentation traits. Two candidate genes, the melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r) and its antagonist, the Agouti signaling protein (Agouti), map to independent regions that together are responsible for most of the difference in pigmentation between subspecies. A derived mutation in the coding region of Mc1r, rather than change in its expression level, contributes to light pigmentation. Conversely, beach mice have a derived increase in Agouti mRNA expression but no changes in protein sequence. These two genes also interact epistatically: the phenotypic effects of Mc1r are visible only in genetic backgrounds containing the derived Agouti allele. These results demonstrate that cryptic coloration can be based largely on a few interacting genes of major effect. PMID:17696646

  10. Arborescent palm seed morphology and seedling distribution.

    PubMed

    Salm, Rodolfo

    2005-11-01

    This study examines how the seed morphology of two large arborescent palms, Attalea maripa (Aubl.) Mart. and Astrocaryum aculeatum G. Mey, may affect their seed shadow in a seasonally dry Amazonian forest. In addition to being smaller and produced in larger numbers than those of A. aculeatum, A. maripa seeds also presented a substantially lower amount of nutritional reserves available for the embryo. However, A. maripa seedlings were found in much higher numbers than those of A. aculeatum. The results suggest that, within the spatial scale considered, the seed rain of A. maripa is more restricted to the area surrounding around reproductive conspecifics than that of A. aculeatum. Furthermore, in comparison with those of A. aculeatum, the smaller seeds of A. maripa might be less attractive to scatterhoarding rodents (e.g. Dasyprocta aguti). The pattern observed emphasizes the importance of scatterhoarding rodents as dispersers of large-seeded plant species in Neotropical forests. PMID:16532195

  11. Tail suspension increases energy expenditure independently of the melanocortin system in mice.

    PubMed

    Lew, Pei San; Wong, Davie; Yamaguchi, Takafumi; Leckstrom, Arnold; Schwartz, Jacquie; Dodd, Janice G; Mizuno, Tooru M

    2009-10-01

    Space travelers experience anorexia and body weight loss in a microgravity environment, and microgravity-like situations cause changes in hypothalamic activity. Hypothalamic melanocortins play a critical role in the regulation of metabolism. Therefore, we hypothesized that microgravity affects metabolism through alterations in specific hypothalamic signaling pathways, including melanocortin signaling. To address this hypothesis, the microgravity-like situation was produced by an antiorthostatic tail suspension in wild-type and agouti mice, and the effect of tail suspension on energy expenditure and hypothalamic gene expression was examined. Energy expenditure was measured using indirect calorimetry before and during the tail suspension protocol. Hypothalamic tissues were collected for gene expression analysis at the end of the 3 h tail suspension period. Tail suspension significantly increased oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and heat production in wild-type mice. Tail suspension-induced increases in energy expenditure were not attenuated in agouti mice. Although tail suspension did not alter hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) mRNA levels, it significantly increased hypothalamic interleukin 6 (Il-6) mRNA levels. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that microgravity increases energy expenditure and suggest that these effects are mediated through hypothalamic signaling pathways that are independent of melanocortins, but possibly used by Il-6. PMID:20052010

  12. Agent-based modeling for the landuse change of hunter-gather societies and the impacts on biodiversity in Guyana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamura, T.; Fragoso, J.; Lambin, E.

    2012-12-01

    The interactions with animals are vital to the Amerindian, indigenous people, of Rupunini savannah-forest in Guyana. Their connections extend from basic energy and protein resource to spiritual bonding through "paring" to a certain animal in the forest. We collected extensive dataset of 23 indigenous communities for 3.5 years, consisting 9900 individuals from 1307 households, as well as animal observation data in 8 transects per communities (47,000 data entries). In this presentation, our research interest is to model the driver of land use change of the indigenous communities and its impacts on the ecosystem in the Rupunini area under global change. Overarching question we would like to answer with this program is to find how and why "tipping-point" from hunting gathering society to the agricultural society occurs in the future. Secondary question is what is the implication of the change to agricultural society in terms of biodiversity and carbon stock in the area, and eventually the well-being of Rupunini people. To answer the questions regarding the society shift in agriculture activities, we built as simulation with Agent-Based Modeling (Multi Agents Simulation). We developed this simulation by using Netlogo, the programming environment specialized for spatially explicit agent-based modeling (ABM). This simulation consists of four different process in the Rupunini landscape; forest succession, animal population growth, hunting of animals, and land clearing for agriculture. All of these processes are carried out by a set of computational unit, called "agents". In this program, there are four types of agents - patches, villages, households, and animals. Here, we describe the impacts of hunting on the biodiversity based on actual demographic data from one village named Crush Water. Animal population within the hunting territory of the village stabilized but Agouti/Paca dominates the landscape with little population of armadillos and peccaries. White-tailed deers

  13. Characterization of Rhizobium grahamii extrachromosomal replicons and their transfer among rhizobia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Rhizobium grahamii belongs to a new phylogenetic group of rhizobia together with Rhizobium mesoamericanum and other species. R. grahamii has a broad-host-range that includes Leucaena leucocephala and Phaseolus vulgaris, although it is a poor competitor for P. vulgaris nodulation in the presence of Rhizobium etli or Rhizobium phaseoli strains. This work analyzed the genome sequence and transfer properties of R. grahamii plasmids. Results Genome sequence was obtained from R. grahamii CCGE502 type strain isolated from Dalea leporina in Mexico. The CCGE502 genome comprises one chromosome and two extrachromosomal replicons (ERs), pRgrCCGE502a and pRgrCCGE502b. Additionally, a plasmid integrated in the CCGE502 chromosome was found. The genomic comparison of ERs from this group showed that gene content is more variable than average nucleotide identity (ANI). Well conserved nod and nif genes were found in R. grahamii and R. mesoamericanum with some differences. R. phaseoli Ch24-10 genes expressed in bacterial cells in roots were found to be conserved in pRgrCCGE502b. Regarding conjugative transfer we were unable to transfer the R. grahamii CCGE502 symbiotic plasmid and its megaplasmid to other rhizobial hosts but we could transfer the symbiotic plasmid to Agrobacterium tumefaciens with transfer dependent on homoserine lactones. Conclusion Variable degrees of nucleotide identity and gene content conservation were found among the different R. grahamii CCGE502 replicons in comparison to R. mesoamericanum genomes. The extrachromosomal replicons from R. grahamii were more similar to those found in phylogenetically related Rhizobium species. However, limited similarities of R. grahamii CCGE502 symbiotic plasmid and megaplasmid were observed in other more distant Rhizobium species. The set of conserved genes in R. grahamii comprises some of those that are highly expressed in R. phaseoli on plant roots, suggesting that they play an important role in root colonization

  14. A monograph of Otidea (Pyronemataceae, Pezizomycetes).

    PubMed

    Olariaga, I; Van Vooren, N; Carbone, M; Hansen, K

    2015-12-01

    The easily recognised genus Otidea is subjected to numerous problems in species identification. A number of old names have undergone various interpretations, materials from different continents have not been compared and misidentifications occur commonly. In this context, Otidea is monographed, based on our multiple gene phylogenies assessing species boundaries and comparative morphological characters (see Hansen & Olariaga 2015). All names combined in or synonymised with Otidea are dealt with. Thirty-three species are treated, with full descriptions and colour illustrations provided for 25 of these. Five new species are described, viz. O. borealis, O. brunneoparva, O. oregonensis, O. pseudoleporina and O. subformicarum. Otidea cantharella var. minor and O. onotica var. brevispora are elevated to species rank. Otideopsis kaushalii is combined in the genus Otidea. A key to the species of Otidea is given. An LSU dataset containing 167 sequences (with 44 newly generated in this study) is analysed to place collections and determine whether the named Otidea sequences in GenBank were identified correctly. Fourty-nine new ITS sequences were generated in this study. The ITS region is too variable to align across Otidea, but had low intraspecific variation and it aided in species identifications. Thirty type collections were studied, and ITS and LSU sequences are provided for 12 of these. A neotype is designated for O. cantharella and epitypes for O. concinna, O. leporina and O. onotica, along with several lectotypifications. The apothecial colour and shape, and spore characters are important for species identification. We conclude that to distinguish closely related or morphologically similar species, a combination of additional features are needed, i.e. the shape of the paraphyses, ectal excipulum structure, types of ectal excipulum resinous exudates and their reactions in Melzer's reagent and KOH, tomentum and basal mycelium colours and exudates. The KOH reaction of

  15. Comprehensive Assessment of Oxidatively Induced Modifications of DNA in a Rat Model of Human Wilson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yang; Guerrero, Candace R; Liu, Shuo; Amato, Nicholas J; Sharma, Yogeshwar; Gupta, Sanjeev; Wang, Yinsheng

    2016-03-01

    Defective copper excretion from hepatocytes in Wilson's disease causes accumulation of copper ions with increased generation of reactive oxygen species via the Fenton-type reaction. Here we developed a nanoflow liquid chromatography-nanoelectrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry coupled with the isotope-dilution method for the simultaneous quantification of oxidatively induced DNA modifications. This method enabled measurement, in microgram quantities of DNA, of four oxidative stress-induced lesions, including direct ROS-induced purine cyclonucleosides (cPus) and two exocyclic adducts induced by byproducts of lipid peroxidation, i.e. 1,N(6)-etheno-2'-deoxyadenosine (εdA) and 1,N(2)-etheno-2'-deoxyguanosine (εdG). Analysis of liver tissues of Long-Evans Cinnamon rats, which constitute an animal model of human Wilson's disease, and their healthy counterparts [i.e. Long-Evans Agouti rats] showed significantly higher levels of all four DNA lesions in Long-Evans Cinnamon than Long-Evans Agouti rats. Moreover, cPus were present at much higher levels than εdA and εdG lesions. In contrast, the level of 5-hydroxymethyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5-HmdC), an oxidation product of 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5-mdC), was markedly lower in the liver tissues of Long-Evans Cinnamon than Long-Evans Agouti rats, though no differences were observed for the levels of 5-mdC. In vitro biochemical assay showed that Cu(2+) ions could directly inhibit the activity of Tet enzymes. Together, these results suggest that aberrant copper accumulation may perturb genomic stability by elevating oxidatively induced DNA lesions, and by altering epigenetic pathways of gene regulation. PMID:26362317

  16. Astrocyte Leptin Receptor (ObR) and Leptin Transport in Adult-Onset Obese Mice

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Weihong; Hsuchou, Hung; He, Yi; Sakharkar, Amul; Cain, Courtney; Yu, Chuanhui; Kastin, Abba J.

    2008-01-01

    The agouti viable yellow (Avy) spontaneous mutation generates an unusual mouse phenotype of agouti-colored coat and adult-onset obesity with metabolic syndrome. Persistent production of agouti signaling protein in Avy mice antagonizes melanocortin receptors in the hypothalamus. To determine how this disruption of neuroendocrine circuits affects leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), we measured leptin influx in Avy and B6 control mice after the development of obesity, hyperleptinemia, and increased adiposity. After iv bolus injection, 125I-leptin crossed the BBB significantly faster in young (2 month old) B6 mice than in young Avy mice or in older (8 month old) mice of either strain. This difference was not observed by in situ brain perfusion studies, indicating the cause being circulating factors, such as elevated leptin levels or soluble receptors. Thus, Avy mice showed peripheral leptin resistance. ObRa, the main transporting receptor for leptin at the BBB, showed no change in mRNA expression in the cerebral microvessels between the age-matched (2 month old) Avy and B6 mice. Higher ObRb mRNA was seen in the Avy microvasculature with unknown significance. Immunofluorescent staining unexpectedly revealed that many of the ObR(+) cells were astrocytes and that the Avy mice showed significantly more ObR(+) astrocytes in the hypothalamus than the B6 mice. Although leptin permeation from the circulation was slower in the Avy mice, the increased ObR expression in astrocytes and increased ObRb mRNA in microvessels suggest the possibility of heightened central nervous system sensitivity to circulating leptin. PMID:18292187

  17. Platinum coat color locus in the deer mouse.

    PubMed

    Dodson, K M; Dawson, W D; Van Ooteghem, S O; Cushing, B S; Haigh, G R

    1987-01-01

    Platinum coat color in the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, is an autosomal recessive trait marking a locus, pt, distinct from silver (si), albino (c), blonde (bl), brown (b), and agouti (a). Platinum deer mice are conspicuously pale, with light ears and tail stripe. The pewter trait is allelic with and phenotypically identical to platinum, and represents an independent recurrence of this mutant. The rate of recoveries of coat color mutations from wild deer mice is consistent with available data for recurring mutation rates balanced by strong selection against the recessive phenotype. PMID:3611714

  18. Adjuvant oils induce arthritis in the DA rat. I. Characterization of the disease and evidence for an immunological involvement.

    PubMed

    Kleinau, S; Erlandsson, H; Holmdahl, R; Klareskog, L

    1991-12-01

    An intradermal injection of Freund's incomplete adjuvant oil (FIA) without further additives was shown to induce erosive polyarthritis in dark Agouti (DA) rats, but not in Lewis rats. Histological examination revealed joint inflammation, first with polymorphonuclear cells and synovial hyperplasia, and subsequently, with multinucleated giant cells. Both constituents of FIA, mineral oil and Arlacel A, as well as Pristane oil were arthritogenic, whereas vegetable oil were not. Re-administration of adjuvant oil after recovery failed to induce arthritis, thus making possible a role of specific immunity in this new form of arthritis in rats. PMID:1812893

  19. The Use of Mouse Models to Study Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Blewitt, Marnie; Whitelaw, Emma

    2013-01-01

    Much of what we know about the role of epigenetics in the determination of phenotype has come from studies of inbred mice. Some unusual expression patterns arising from endogenous and transgenic murine alleles, such as the Agouti coat color alleles, have allowed the study of variegation, variable expressivity, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, parent-of-origin effects, and position effects. These phenomena have taught us much about gene silencing and the probabilistic nature of epigenetic processes. Based on some of these alleles, large-scale mutagenesis screens have broadened our knowledge of epigenetic control by identifying and characterizing novel genes involved in these processes. PMID:24186070

  20. Hunting and use of terrestrial fauna used by Caiçaras from the Atlantic Forest coast (Brazil)

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is considered one of the hotspots for conservation, comprising remnants of rain forest along the eastern Brazilian coast. Its native inhabitants in the Southeastern coast include the Caiçaras (descendants from Amerindians and European colonizers), with a deep knowledge on the natural resources used for their livelihood. Methods We studied the use of the terrestrial fauna in three Caiçara communities, through open-ended interviews with 116 native residents. Data were checked through systematic observations and collection of zoological material. Results The dependence on the terrestrial fauna by Caiçaras is especially for food and medicine. The main species used are Didelphis spp., Dasyprocta azarae, Dasypus novemcinctus, and small birds (several species of Turdidae). Contrasting with a high dependency on terrestrial fauna resources by native Amazonians, the Caiçaras do not show a constant dependency on these resources. Nevertheless, the occasional hunting of native animals represents a complimentary source of animal protein. Conclusion Indigenous or local knowledge on native resources is important in order to promote local development in a sustainable way, and can help to conserve biodiversity, particularly if the resource is sporadically used and not commercially exploited. PMID:19930595

  1. A gene duplication affecting expression of the ovine ASIP gene is responsible for white and black sheep

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Belinda J.; Whan, Vicki A.

    2008-01-01

    Agouti signaling protein (ASIP) functions to regulate pigmentation in mice, while its role in many other animals and in humans has not been fully determined. In this study, we identify a 190-kb tandem duplication encompassing the ovine ASIP and AHCY coding regions and the ITCH promoter region as the genetic cause of white coat color of dominant white/tan (AWt) agouti sheep. The duplication 5′ breakpoint is located upstream of the ASIP coding sequence. Ubiquitous expression of a second copy of the ASIP coding sequence regulated by a duplicated copy of the nearby ITCH promoter causes the white sheep phenotype. A single copy ASIP gene with a silenced ASIP promoter occurs in recessive black sheep. In contrast, a single copy functional wild-type (A+) ASIP is responsible for the ancient Barbary sheep coat color phenotype. The gene duplication was facilitated by homologous recombination between two non-LTR SINE sequences flanking the duplicated segment. This is the first sheep trait attributable to gene duplication and shows nonallelic homologous recombination and gene conversion events at the ovine ASIP locus could have an important role in the evolution of sheep pigmentation. PMID:18493018

  2. Behind melanocortin antagonist overexpression in the zebrafish brain: A behavioral and transcriptomic approach.

    PubMed

    Guillot, Raúl; Cortés, Raúl; Navarro, Sandra; Mischitelli, Morena; García-Herranz, Víctor; Sánchez, Elisa; Cal, Laura; Navarro, Juan Carlos; Míguez, Jesús M; Afanasyev, Sergey; Krasnov, Aleksei; Cone, Roger D; Rotllant, Josep; Cerdá-Reverter, Jose Miguel

    2016-06-01

    Melanocortin signaling is regulated by the binding of naturally occurring antagonists, agouti-signaling protein (ASIP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) that compete with melanocortin peptides by binding to melanocortin receptors to regulate energy balance and growth. Using a transgenic model overexpressing ASIP, we studied the involvement of melanocortin system in the feeding behaviour, growth and stress response of zebrafish. Our data demonstrate that ASIP overexpression results in enhanced growth but not obesity. The differential growth is explained by increased food intake and feeding efficiency mediated by a differential sensitivity of the satiety system that seems to involve the cocaine- and amphetamine- related transcript (CART). Stress response was similar in both genotypes. Brain transcriptome of transgenic (ASIP) vs wild type (WT) fish was compared using microarrays. WT females and males exhibited 255 genes differentially expressed (DEG) but this difference was reduced to 31 after ASIP overexpression. Statistical analysis revealed 1122 DEG when considering only fish genotype but 1066 and 981 DEG when comparing ASIP males or females with their WT counterparts, respectively. Interaction between genotype and sex significantly affected the expression of 97 genes. Several neuronal systems involved in the control of food intake were identified which displayed a differential expression according to the genotype of the fish that unravelling the flow of melanocortinergic information through the central pathways that controls the energy balance. The information provided herein will help to elucidate new central systems involved in control of obesity and should be of invaluable use for sustaining fish production systems. PMID:27156808

  3. Behavioral and color variations between rat lines developed for differential alcohol sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, J D; Viitamaa, T; Hyytiä, P

    1987-01-01

    The AT and ANT rat lines, outbred for differential sensitivity to ethanol-induced motor impairment, also show a difference in their sober behavior. It is not manifested in an escapable-shock test or an amphetamine-stress test, but is shown as significantly more activity by the alcohol-insensitive ATs in a low-stress (33 degrees C) modification of the forced-swimming test. The correlation between alcohol sensitivity and swimming-test activity is, however, not significant in unselected Long Evans rats. Differences in coat color have also developed in the AT and ANT lines; it was possible to estimate whether these changes are independent of ethanol sensitivity with computer simulations. They showed, for example, that the probability of the observed loss of the agouti color in the ATs being by chance is about 0.53 and the probability is nearly 0.50 for there being a spurious line difference, i.e., unrelated to ethanol sensitivity, in which only line had lost the agouti allele. More generally, these and other simulations showed that permanently maintaining selected lines is not the optimal method for finding genetically-based factors related to ethanol sensitivity or other characteristics for which lines have been developed. Nor is either revitalization or replicate lines optimal. The best method apparently would be perpetual restarting of lines. PMID:3426714

  4. Monitoring the status and trends of tropical forest terrestrial vertebrate communities from camera trap data: a tool for conservation.

    PubMed

    Ahumada, Jorge A; Hurtado, Johanna; Lizcano, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the loss of biodiversity is key to ensure the future well being of the planet. Indicators to measure the state of biodiversity should come from primary data that are collected using consistent field methods across several sites, longitudinal, and derived using sound statistical methods that correct for observation/detection bias. In this paper we analyze camera trap data collected between 2008 and 2012 at a site in Costa Rica (Volcan Barva transect) as part of an ongoing tropical forest global monitoring network (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network). We estimated occupancy dynamics for 13 species of mammals, using a hierarchical modeling approach. We calculated detection-corrected species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index, a promising new indicator derived from camera trap data that measures changes in biodiversity from the occupancy estimates of individual species. Our results show that 3 out of 13 species showed significant declines in occupancy over 5 years (lowland paca, Central American agouti, nine-banded armadillo). We hypothesize that hunting, competition and/or increased predation for paca and agouti might explain these patterns. Species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index are relatively stable at the site, but small herbivores that are hunted showed a decline in diversity of about 25%. We demonstrate the usefulness of longitudinal camera trap deployments coupled with modern statistical methods and advocate for the use of this approach in monitoring and developing global and national indicators for biodiversity change. PMID:24023898

  5. Monitoring the Status and Trends of Tropical Forest Terrestrial Vertebrate Communities from Camera Trap Data: A Tool for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Ahumada, Jorge A.; Hurtado, Johanna; Lizcano, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the loss of biodiversity is key to ensure the future well being of the planet. Indicators to measure the state of biodiversity should come from primary data that are collected using consistent field methods across several sites, longitudinal, and derived using sound statistical methods that correct for observation/detection bias. In this paper we analyze camera trap data collected between 2008 and 2012 at a site in Costa Rica (Volcan Barva transect) as part of an ongoing tropical forest global monitoring network (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network). We estimated occupancy dynamics for 13 species of mammals, using a hierarchical modeling approach. We calculated detection-corrected species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index, a promising new indicator derived from camera trap data that measures changes in biodiversity from the occupancy estimates of individual species. Our results show that 3 out of 13 species showed significant declines in occupancy over 5 years (lowland paca, Central American agouti, nine-banded armadillo). We hypothesize that hunting, competition and/or increased predation for paca and agouti might explain these patterns. Species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index are relatively stable at the site, but small herbivores that are hunted showed a decline in diversity of about 25%. We demonstrate the usefulness of longitudinal camera trap deployments coupled with modern statistical methods and advocate for the use of this approach in monitoring and developing global and national indicators for biodiversity change. PMID:24023898

  6. Natural Genetic Variation Underlying Differences in Peromyscus Repetitive & Social/Aggressive Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, Kimberly R.; Owen, Amy; Anderson, Vanessa; Hall-South, April C.; Hayford, Samantha; Cakora, Patricia; Crossland, Janet P.; Georgi, Velina R. M.; Perkins, Amy; Kelly, Sandra J.; Felder, Michael R.; Vrana, Paul B.

    2014-01-01

    Peromyscus maniculatus (BW) and P. polionotus (PO) are interfertile North American species that differ in many characteristics. For example, PO exhibit monogamy and BW animals are susceptible to repetitive behaviors and thus a model for neurobehavioral disorders such as Autism. We analyzed these two stocks as well as their hybrids, a BW YPO consomic line (previously shown to alter glucose homeostasis) and a natural P. maniculatus agouti variant (ANb = wide band agouti). We show that PO animals engage in far less repetitive behavior than BW animals, that this trait is dominant, and that trait distribution in both species is bi-modal. The ANb allele also reduces such behaviors, particularly in females. PO, F1, and ANb animals all dig significantly more than BW. Increased self-grooming is also a PO dominant trait, and there is a bimodal trait distribution in all groups except BW. The inter-stock differences in self-grooming are greater between males, and the consomic data suggest the Y chromosome plays a role. The monogamous PO animals engage in more social behavior than BW; hybrid animals exhibit intermediate levels. Surprisingly, ANb animals are also more social than BW animals, although ANb interactions led to aggressive interactions at higher levels than any other group. PO animals exhibited the lowest incidence of aggressive behaviors, while the hybrids exhibited BW levels. Thus this group exhibits natural, genetically tractable variation in several biomedically relevant traits. PMID:24407381

  7. Molecular and Functional Analysis of Human β-Defensin 3 Action at Melanocortin Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Matthew A.; Kaelin, Christopher B.; Ta, Tina; Weis, Allison; Morton, Gregory J.; Barsh, Gregory S.; Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The β-defensins are a class of small, cationic proteins first recognized as antimicrobial components of the innate and adaptive immune system. More recently, one of the major β-defensins produced in skin, β-defensin 3, has been discovered to function as a melanocortin receptor ligand in vivo and in vitro, but its biophysical and pharmacological basis of action has been enigmatic. Here we report functional and biochemical studies focused on human β-defensin 3 (HBD3) and melanocortin receptors 1 and 4. Genetic and pharmacologic studies indicate that HBD3 acts as a neutral melanocortin receptor antagonist, capable of blocking the action of either stimulatory agonists, such as α-melanocyte stimulating hormone, or inhibitory inverse agonists such as Agouti signaling protein (Asip) and Agouti-related protein (Agrp). A comprehensive structure-function analysis demonstrates that two patches of positively charged residues, located on opposite poles of HBD3 and spatially organized by the compact β-defensin fold, are primarily responsible for high affinity binding to melanocortin receptors. These findings identify a distinct mode of melanocortin receptor-ligand interactions based primarily on electrostatic complementarity, with implications for designing ligands that target melanocortin and potentially other seven transmembrane receptors. PMID:23790489

  8. Polyspecific associations between squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and other primates in eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Tatyana; Ferrari, Stephen F; Lopes, Maria Aparecida

    2011-11-01

    One of the most common types of polyspecific association observed in Neotropical primate communities is that between squirrel monkeys (Saimiri) and capuchins (Cebus). The present study focused on association patterns in two Saimiri sciureus groups in eastern Brazilian Amazonia, between March and October, 2009. The associations were analyzed in terms of the species involved, the degree of association, and niche breadth and overlap. The study involved two S. sciureus groups (B4 and GI) on the right and left bank of the Tocantins River, respectively, within the area of the Tucuruí reservoir in southeastern Pará. Relations between species were classified as associations (individuals within 50 m and moving in the same direction), and encounters (individuals within 50 m and no coordinated movement). Group B4 was in association with Cebus apella during 100% of monitoring, and with Chiropotes satanas in 20.2%. By contrast, Group GI associated with Cebus 54.8% of the time, and with Chiropotes utahickae 2.5%. Encounters with Alouatta belzebul and Saguinus niger were recorded at both sites, with Aotus azarae and Dasyprocta prymnolopha at B4, and with Callicebus moloch, Dasyproct aleporina, Mazama gouazoubira, and Nasua nasua at GI. Overall, Saimiri had a broader niche than Cebus in terms of vertical spacing and diet, but not for substrate use. This pattern did not appear to be affected by association. While group GI spent significantly (P < 0.05) more time in association with Cebus during the wet season, group B4 associated with Chiropotes more during the dry season. Despite the higher association rates, niche overlap was greater for all variables at B4. This may reflect differences in the ranging and foraging patterns at the two sites, and the varying potential benefits of association for Saimiri. PMID:21809365

  9. Generation of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Merkle, Florian T.; Maroof, Asif; Wataya, Takafumi; Sasai, Yoshiki; Studer, Lorenz; Eggan, Kevin; Schier, Alexander F.

    2015-01-01

    Hypothalamic neurons orchestrate many essential physiological and behavioral processes via secreted neuropeptides, and are relevant to human diseases such as obesity, narcolepsy and infertility. We report the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into many of the major types of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons, including those producing pro-opiolemelanocortin, agouti-related peptide, hypocretin/orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) or thyrotropin-releasing hormone. Hypothalamic neurons can be generated using a ‘self-patterning’ strategy that yields a broad array of cell types, or via a more reproducible directed differentiation approach. Stem cell-derived human hypothalamic neurons share characteristic morphological properties and gene expression patterns with their counterparts in vivo, and are able to integrate into the mouse brain. These neurons could form the basis of cellular models, chemical screens or cellular therapies to study and treat common human diseases. PMID:25670790

  10. NEUROENDOCRINE ACTIONS AND REGULATION OF HYPOTHALAMIC NEUROPEPTIDE Y DURING LACTATION

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, W,R.; Ramoz, G.; Torto, R.; Keefe, K.A.; Wang, J. J.; Kalra, S. P.

    2007-01-01

    The expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its co-messenger, agouti-related peptide (AgRP), in arcuate neurons of the hypothalamus is increased during lactation in rats. Our research has been addressing the questions of the physiological actions of these peptides during lactation and the physiological signals associated with lactation that result in increased expression of their genes. Our studies indicate that NPY and AgRP exert pleiotropic actions during lactation that help integrate neuroendocrine regulation of energy balance with controls over anterior and posterior pituitary hormone secretion. Further, reciprocal signaling to the NPY/AgRP system by leptin and ghrelin is responsible for the changes in expression of these hypothalamic peptides in lactating animals, and thus, may contribute to regulation of food intake and the various neuroendocrine adaptations of lactation. PMID:17241697

  11. Determinants of body weight regulation in humans.

    PubMed

    Moehlecke, Milene; Canani, Luis Henrique; Silva, Lucas Oliveira Junqueira E; Trindade, Manoel Roberto Maciel; Friedman, Rogerio; Leitão, Cristiane Bauermann

    2016-04-01

    Body weight is regulated by the ability of hypothalamic neurons to orchestrate behavioral, endocrine and autonomic responses via afferent and efferent pathways to the brainstem and the periphery. Weight maintenance requires a balance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Although several components that participate in energy homeostasis have been identified, there is a need to know in more detail their actions as well as their interactions with environmental and psychosocial factors in the development of human obesity. In this review, we examine the role of systemic mediators such as leptin, ghrelin and insulin, which act in the central nervous system by activating or inhibiting neuropeptide Y, Agouti-related peptide protein, melanocortin, transcript related to cocaine and amphetamine, and others. As a result, modifications in energy homeostasis occur through regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. We also examine compensatory changes in the circulating levels of several peripheral hormones after diet-induced weight loss. PMID:26910628

  12. AGRP neurons are sufficient to orchestrate feeding behavior rapidly and without training

    PubMed Central

    Aponte, Yexica; Atasoy, Deniz; Sternson, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    Two intermingled hypothalamic neuron populations, specified by expression of agouti-related peptide (AGRP) or pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), positively and negatively influence feeding behavior respectively, possibly by reciprocally regulating downstream melanocortin receptors. However, the sufficiency of these neurons to control behavior, and the relationship of their activity to the magnitude and dynamics of feeding are unknown. To measure this, we used channelrhodopsin-2 for cell type-specific photostimulation. Activation of only 800 AGRP neurons in mice evoked voracious feeding within minutes. The behavioral response increased with photoexcitable neuron number, photostimulation frequency, and stimulus duration. Conversely, POMC neuron stimulation reduced food intake and body weight, which required melanocortin receptor signaling. However, AGRP neuron-mediated feeding was not dependent on suppressing this melanocortin pathway, indicating that AGRP neurons directly engage feeding circuits. Furthermore, feeding was evoked selectively over drinking without training or prior photostimulus exposure, which suggests that AGRP neurons serve a dedicated role coordinating this complex behavior. PMID:21209617

  13. Leptin signaling in GFAP-expressing adult glia cells regulates hypothalamic neuronal circuits and feeding

    PubMed Central

    Kim1, Jae Geun; Suyama, Shigetomo; Koch, Marco; Jin, Sungho; Argente-Arizon, Pilar; Argente, Jesus; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Zimmer, Marcelo R.; Jeong, Jin Kwon; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Gao, Yuanqing; Garcia-Caceres, Cristina; Yi, Chun-Xia; Salmaso, Natalina; Vaccarino, Flora M.; Chowen, Julie; Diano, Sabrina; Dietrich, Marcelo O; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Horvath, Tamas L.

    2014-01-01

    We have shown that synaptic re-organization of hypothalamic feeding circuits in response to metabolic shifts involves astrocytes, cells that can directly respond to the metabolic hormone, leptin, in vitro. It is not known whether the role of glia cells in hypothalamic synaptic adaptions is active or passive. Here we show that leptin receptors are expressed in hypothalamic astrocytes and that conditional, adult deletion of leptin receptors in astrocytes leads to altered glial morphology, decreased glial coverage and elevated synaptic inputs onto pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)- and Agouti-related protein (AgRP)-producing neurons. Leptin-induced suppression of feeding was diminished, while rebound feeding after fasting or ghrelin administration was elevated in mice with astrocyte-specific leptin receptor deficiency. These data unmask an active role of glial cells in the initiation of hypothalamic synaptic plasticity and neuroendocrine control of feeding by leptin. PMID:24880214

  14. GPR17 gene disruption does not alter food intake or glucose homeostasis in mice

    PubMed Central

    Mastaitis, Jason; Min, Soo; Elvert, Ralf; Kannt, Aimo; Xin, Yurong; Ochoa, Francisca; Gale, Nicholas W.; Valenzuela, David M.; Murphy, Andrew J.; Yancopoulos, George D.; Gromada, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptor 17 (GPR17) was recently reported to be a Foxo1 target in agouti-related peptide (AGRP) neurons. Intracerebroventricular injection of GPR17 agonists induced food intake, whereas administration of an antagonist to the receptor reduced feeding. These data lead to the conclusion that pharmacological modulation of GPR17 has therapeutic potential to treat obesity. Here we report that mice deficient in Gpr17 (Gpr17−/−) have similar food intake and body weight compared with their wild-type littermates. Gpr17−/− mice have normal hypothalamic Agrp mRNA expression, AGRP plasma levels, and metabolic rate. GPR17 deficiency in mice did not affect glucose homeostasis or prevent fat-induced insulin resistance. These data do not support a role for GPR17 in the control of food intake, body weight, or glycemic control. PMID:25624481

  15. Tyrosinase Depletion Prevents the Maturation of Melanosomes in the Mouse Hair Follicle

    PubMed Central

    Paterson, Elyse K.; Fielder, Thomas J.; MacGregor, Grant R.; Ito, Shosuke; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Gillen, Daniel L.; Eby, Victoria; Boissy, Raymond E.; Ganesan, Anand K.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms that lead to variation in human skin and hair color are not fully understood. To better understand the molecular control of skin and hair color variation, we modulated the expression of Tyrosinase (Tyr), which controls the rate-limiting step of melanogenesis, by expressing a single-copy, tetracycline-inducible shRNA against Tyr in mice. Moderate depletion of TYR was sufficient to alter the appearance of the mouse coat in black, agouti, and yellow coat color backgrounds, even though TYR depletion did not significantly inhibit accumulation of melanin within the mouse hair. Ultra-structural studies revealed that the reduction of Tyr inhibited the accumulation of terminal melanosomes, and inhibited the expression of genes that regulate melanogenesis. These results indicate that color in skin and hair is determined not only by the total amount of melanin within the hair, but also by the relative accumulation of mature melanosomes. PMID:26619124

  16. Insights into Obesity and Diabetes at the Intersection of Mouse and Human Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Kebede, Melkam A.; Attie, Alan D.

    2014-01-01

    Many of our insights into obesity and diabetes come from studies in mice carrying natural or induced mutations. In parallel, genome-wide association studies in humans have identified numerous genes that are causally associated with obesity and diabetes, but discovering the underlying mechanisms required in-depth studies in mice. We discuss the advantages of studying natural variation in mice and summarize several examples where the combination of human and mouse genetics opened windows into fundamental physiological pathways. A noteworthy example is the melanocortin-4 receptor and its role in energy balance. The pathway was delineated by discovering the gene responsible for the Agouti mutation in mice. With more targeted phenotyping, we predict that additional pathways relevant to human pathophysiology will discovered. PMID:25034129

  17. Epigenomic Adaptation to Low Dose Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Gould, Michael N.

    2015-06-30

    The overall hypothesis of this grant application is that the adaptive responses elicited by low dose ionizing radiation (LDIR) result in part from heritable DNA methylation changes in the epigenome. In the final budget period at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we will specifically address this hypothesis by determining if the epigenetically labile, differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that regulate parental-specific expression of imprinted genes are deregulated in agouti mice by low dose radiation exposure during gestation. This information is particularly important to ascertain given the 1) increased human exposure to medical sources of radiation; 2) increased number of people predicted to live and work in space; and 3) enhanced citizen concern about radiation exposure from nuclear power plant accidents and terrorist ‘dirty bombs.’

  18. Technical note: a novel method for routine genotyping of horse coat color gene polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Royo, L J; Fernández, I; Azor, P J; Alvarez, I; Pérez-Pardal, L; Goyache, F

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this note is to describe a reliable, fast, and cost-effective real-time PCR method for routine genotyping of mutations responsible for most coat color variation in horses. The melanocortin-1 receptor, Agouti-signaling peptide, and membrane-associated transporter protein alleles were simultaneously determined using 2 PCR protocols. The assay described here is an alternative method for routine genotyping of a defined number of polymorphisms. Allelic variants are detected in real time and no post-PCR manipulations are required, therefore limiting costs and possible carryover contamination. Data can be copied to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for semiautomatic determination of the genotype using a macro freely available at http://www.igijon.com/personales/fgoyache/software_i.htm (last accessed February 26, 2007). The performance of the method is demonstrated on 156 Spanish Purebred horses. PMID:18310485

  19. Network of hypothalamic neurons that control appetite

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Jong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) controls food intake and energy expenditure via tight coordinations between multiple neuronal populations. Specifically, two distinct neuronal populations exist in the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus (ARH): the anorexigenic (appetite-suppressing) pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and the orexigenic (appetite-increasing) neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons. The coordinated regulation of neuronal circuit involving these neurons is essential in properly maintaining energy balance, and any disturbance therein may result in hyperphagia/obesity or hypophagia/starvation. Thus, adequate knowledge of the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuron physiology is mandatory to understand the pathophysiology of obesity and related metabolic diseases. This review will discuss the history and recent updates on the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuronal circuits, as well as the general anorexigenic and orexigenic circuits in the CNS. [BMB Reports 2015; 48(4): 229-233] PMID:25560696

  20. Topology of feather melanocyte progenitor niche allows complex pigment patterns to emerge.

    PubMed

    Lin, S J; Foley, J; Jiang, T X; Yeh, C Y; Wu, P; Foley, A; Yen, C M; Huang, Y C; Cheng, H C; Chen, C F; Reeder, B; Jee, S H; Widelitz, R B; Chuong, C M

    2013-06-21

    Color patterns of bird plumage affect animal behavior and speciation. Diverse patterns are present in different species and within the individual. Here, we study the cellular and molecular basis of feather pigment pattern formation. Melanocyte progenitors are distributed as a horizontal ring in the proximal follicle, sending melanocytes vertically up into the epithelial cylinder, which gradually emerges as feathers grow. Different pigment patterns form by modulating the presence, arrangement, or differentiation of melanocytes. A layer of peripheral pulp further regulates pigmentation via patterned agouti expression. Lifetime feather cyclic regeneration resets pigment patterns for physiological needs. Thus, the evolution of stem cell niche topology allows complex pigment patterning through combinatorial co-option of simple regulatory mechanisms. PMID:23618762

  1. Tyrosinase Depletion Prevents the Maturation of Melanosomes in the Mouse Hair Follicle.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Elyse K; Fielder, Thomas J; MacGregor, Grant R; Ito, Shosuke; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Gillen, Daniel L; Eby, Victoria; Boissy, Raymond E; Ganesan, Anand K

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms that lead to variation in human skin and hair color are not fully understood. To better understand the molecular control of skin and hair color variation, we modulated the expression of Tyrosinase (Tyr), which controls the rate-limiting step of melanogenesis, by expressing a single-copy, tetracycline-inducible shRNA against Tyr in mice. Moderate depletion of TYR was sufficient to alter the appearance of the mouse coat in black, agouti, and yellow coat color backgrounds, even though TYR depletion did not significantly inhibit accumulation of melanin within the mouse hair. Ultra-structural studies revealed that the reduction of Tyr inhibited the accumulation of terminal melanosomes, and inhibited the expression of genes that regulate melanogenesis. These results indicate that color in skin and hair is determined not only by the total amount of melanin within the hair, but also by the relative accumulation of mature melanosomes. PMID:26619124

  2. Cortical grey matter demyelination can be induced by elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines in the subarachnoid space of MOG-immunized rats.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Christopher; Magliozzi, Roberta; Durrenberger, Pascal F; Howell, Owain W; Rundle, Jon; Reynolds, Richard

    2013-12-01

    A substantial proportion of cases with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis have extensive inflammation in the leptomeninges that is associated with increased subpial demyelination, neuronal loss and an exacerbated disease course. However, the mechanisms underlying this extensive subpial pathology are poorly understood. We hypothesize that pro-inflammatory cytokine production within the meninges may be a key to this process. Post-mortem cerebrospinal fluid and dissected cerebral leptomeningeal tissue from patients with multiple sclerosis were used to study the presence of tumour necrosis factor and interferon gamma protein and messenger RNA levels. A novel model of subpial cortical grey matter demyelination was set up in Dark Agouti rats and analysed using quantitative immunohistochemistry. Increased expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor and interferon gamma was found in the meninges of cases with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis exhibiting tertiary lymphoid-like structures. Injection of tumour necrosis factor and interferon gamma into the subarachnoid space of female Dark Agouti rats pre-immunized with a subclinical dose of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein mimicked the pathology seen in multiple sclerosis, including infiltration of lymphocytes (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and CD79+ B cells) into the meninges and extensive subpial demyelination. Extensive microglial/macrophage activation was present in a gradient from the pial surface to deeper cortical layers. Demyelination did not occur in control animals immunized with incomplete Freund's adjuvant and injected with cytokines. These results support the hypothesis that pro-inflammatory molecules produced in the meninges play a major role in cortical demyelination in multiple sclerosis, but also emphasize the involvement of an anti-myelin immune response. PMID:24176976

  3. Plumage Genes and Little Else Distinguish the Genomes of Hybridizing Warblers.

    PubMed

    Toews, David P L; Taylor, Scott A; Vallender, Rachel; Brelsford, Alan; Butcher, Bronwyn G; Messer, Philipp W; Lovette, Irby J

    2016-09-12

    When related taxa hybridize extensively, their genomes may become increasingly homogenized over time. This mixing via hybridization creates conservation challenges when it reduces genetic or phenotypic diversity and when it endangers previously distinct species via genetic swamping [1]. However, hybridization also facilitates admixture mapping of traits that distinguish each species and the associated genes that maintain distinctiveness despite ongoing gene flow [2]. We address these dual aspects of hybridization in the golden-winged/blue-winged warbler complex, two phenotypically divergent warblers that are indistinguishable using traditional molecular markers and that draw substantial conservation attention [3-5]. Whole-genome comparisons show that differentiation is extremely low: only six small genomic regions exhibit strong differences. Four of these divergence peaks occur in proximity to genes known to be involved in feather development or pigmentation: agouti signaling protein (ASIP), follistatin (FST), ecodysplasin (EDA), wingless-related integration site (Wnt), and beta-carotene oxygenase 2 (BCO2). Throat coloration-the most striking plumage difference between these warblers-is perfectly associated with the promoter region of agouti, and genotypes at this locus obey simple Mendelian recessive inheritance of the black-throated phenotype characteristic of golden-winged warblers. The more general pattern of genomic similarity between these warblers likely results from a protracted period of hybridization, contradicting the broadly accepted hypothesis that admixture results from solely anthropogenic habitat change in the past two centuries [4]. Considered in concert, these results are relevant to both the genetic architecture of avian feather pigmentation and the evolutionary history and conservation challenges associated with these declining songbirds. PMID:27546575

  4. Candidate Gene Analysis Suggests Untapped Genetic Complexity in Melanin-Based Pigmentation in Birds.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Yann X C; Bertrand, Joris A M; Delahaie, Boris; Cornuault, Josselin; Duval, Thomas; Milá, Borja; Thébaud, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    Studies on melanin-based color variation in a context of natural selection have provided a wealth of information on the link between phenotypic and genetic variation. Here, we evaluated associations between melanic plumage patterns and genetic polymorphism in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a species in which mutations on MC1R do not seem to play any role in explaining melanic variation. This species exhibits 5 plumage color variants that can be grouped into 3 color forms which occupy discrete geographic regions in the lowlands of Réunion, and a fourth high-elevation form which comprises 2 color morphs (grey and brown) and represents a true color polymorphism. We conducted a comprehensive survey of sequence variation in 96 individuals at a series of 7 candidate genes other than MC1R that have been previously shown to influence melanin-based color patterns in vertebrates, including genes that have rarely been studied in a wild bird species before: POMC, Agouti, TYR, TYRP1, DCT, Corin, and SLC24A5 Of these 7 genes, 2 (Corin and TYRP1) displayed an interesting shift in allele frequencies between lowland and highland forms and a departure from mutation-drift equilibrium consistent with balancing selection in the polymorphic highland form only. Sequence variation at Agouti, a gene frequently involved in melanin-based pigmentation patterning, was not associated with color forms or morphs. Thus, we suggest that functionally important changes in loci other than those classically studied are involved in the color polymorphism exhibited by the Réunion grey white-eye and possibly many other nonmodel species. PMID:26995742

  5. Detection of Mycobacterium ulcerans DNA in the Environment, Ivory Coast

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Roger Bi Diangoné; Niamké, Sébastian; Tissot-Dupont, Hervé; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Background Ivory Coast is a West African country with the highest reported cases of Buruli ulcer, a disabling subcutaneous infection due to Mycobacterium ulcerans. However, the prevalence of environmental M. ulcerans is poorly known in this country. Methods We collected 496 environmental specimens consisting of soil (n = 100), stagnant water (n = 200), plants (n = 100) and animal feces (n = 96) in Ivory Coast over five months in the dry and wet seasons in regions which are free of Buruli ulcer (control group A; 250 specimens) and in regions where the Buruli ulcer is endemic (group B; 246 specimens). After appropriate total DNA extraction incorporating an internal control, the M. ulcerans IS2404 and KR-B gene were amplified by real-time PCR in samples. In parallel, a calibration curve was done for M. ulcerans Agy99 IS2404 and KR-B gene. Results Of 460 samples free of PCR inhibition, a positive real-time PCR detection of insertion sequence IS2404 and KR-B gene was observed in 1/230 specimens in control group A versus 9/230 specimens in group B (P = 0.02; Fisher exact test). Positive specimens comprised seven stagnant water specimens, two feces specimens confirmed to be of Thryonomys swinderianus (agouti) origin by real-time PCR of the cytb gene; and one soil specimen. Extrapolation from the calibration curves indicated low inoculums ranging from 1 to 102 mycobacteria/mL. Conclusion This study confirms the presence of M. ulcerans in the watery environment surrounding patients with Buruli ulcer in Ivory Coast. It suggests that the agouti, which is in close contacts with populations, could play a role in the environmental cycle of M. ulcerans, as previously suggested for the closely related possums in Australia. PMID:26982581

  6. Genetic identification of a neural circuit that suppresses appetite.

    PubMed

    Carter, Matthew E; Soden, Marta E; Zweifel, Larry S; Palmiter, Richard D

    2013-11-01

    Appetite suppression occurs after a meal and in conditions when it is unfavourable to eat, such as during illness or exposure to toxins. A brain region proposed to play a role in appetite suppression is the parabrachial nucleus, a heterogeneous population of neurons surrounding the superior cerebellar peduncle in the brainstem. The parabrachial nucleus is thought to mediate the suppression of appetite induced by the anorectic hormones amylin and cholecystokinin, as well as by lithium chloride and lipopolysaccharide, compounds that mimic the effects of toxic foods and bacterial infections, respectively. Hyperactivity of the parabrachial nucleus is also thought to cause starvation after ablation of orexigenic agouti-related peptide neurons in adult mice. However, the identities of neurons in the parabrachial nucleus that regulate feeding are unknown, as are the functionally relevant downstream projections. Here we identify calcitonin gene-related peptide-expressing neurons in the outer external lateral subdivision of the parabrachial nucleus that project to the laterocapsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala as forming a functionally important circuit for suppressing appetite. Using genetically encoded anatomical, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic tools, we demonstrate that activation of these neurons projecting to the central nucleus of the amygdala suppresses appetite. In contrast, inhibition of these neurons increases food intake in circumstances when mice do not normally eat and prevents starvation in adult mice whose agouti-related peptide neurons are ablated. Taken together, our data demonstrate that this neural circuit from the parabrachial nucleus to the central nucleus of the amygdala mediates appetite suppression in conditions when it is unfavourable to eat. This neural circuit may provide targets for therapeutic intervention to overcome or promote appetite. PMID:24121436

  7. Hypothalamic Non-AgRP, Non-POMC GABAergic Neurons Are Required for Postweaning Feeding and NPY Hyperphagia

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eun Ran; Wu, Zhaofei; Sun, Hao; Xu, Yuanzhong; Mangieri, Leandra R.; Xu, Yong

    2015-01-01

    The hypothalamus is critical for feeding and body weight regulation. Prevailing studies focus on hypothalamic neurons that are defined by selectively expressing transcription factors or neuropeptides including those expressing proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptides (AgRP). The Cre expression driven by the pancreas-duodenum homeobox 1 promoter is abundant in several hypothalamic nuclei but not in AgRP or POMC neurons. Using this line, we generated mice with disruption of GABA release from a major subset of non-POMC, non-AgRP GABAergic neurons in the hypothalamus. These mice exhibited a reduction in postweaning feeding and growth, and disrupted hyperphagic responses to NPY. Disruption of GABA release severely diminished GABAergic input to the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH). Furthermore, disruption of GABA-A receptor function in the PVH also reduced postweaning feeding and blunted NPY-induced hyperphagia. Given the limited knowledge on postweaning feeding, our results are significant in identifying GABA release from a major subset of less appreciated hypothalamic neurons as a key mediator for postweaning feeding and NPY hyperphagia, and the PVH as one major downstream site that contributes significantly to the GABA action. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prevalent studies on feeding in the hypothalamus focus on well characterized, selective groups neurons [e.g., proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons], and as a result, the role of the majority of other hypothalamic neurons is largely neglected. Here, we demonstrated an important role for GABAergic projections from non-POMC non-AgRP neurons to the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus in promoting postweaning (mainly nocturnal) feeding and mediating NPY-induced hyperphagia. Thus, these results signify an importance to study those yet to be defined hypothalamic neurons in the regulation of energy balance and reveal a neural basis for postweaning (nocturnal) feeding and NPY

  8. Species limits and relationships within Otidea inferred from multiple gene phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Hansen, K; Olariaga, I

    2015-12-01

    The genus Otidea is one of the more conspicuous members of the Pyronemataceae, with high species diversity in hemiboreal and boreal forests. The genus is morphologically coherent and in previous higher-level multi-gene analyses it formed a highly supported monophyletic group. Species delimitation within Otidea is controversial and much confusion has prevailed in the naming of taxa. To provide a phylogenetic hypothesis of Otidea, elucidate species diversity and limits we compiled a four-gene dataset including the nuclear LSU rDNA and three nuclear protein-coding genes (RPB1, RPB2 and EF-1α) for 89 specimens (total 4 877 nucleotides). These were selected from a larger sample of material studied using morphology and 146 ITS (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) and 168 LSU rDNA sequences to represent the full genetic diversity. Using genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR), Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses of the individual datasets resolved 25 species of Otidea. An additional eight singletons are considered to be distinct species, because they were genetically divergent from their sisters. Sequences of multiple genes were included from 13 holotypes, one neotype and three epitypes. Otidea angusta, O. myosotis and O. papillata f. pallidefurfuracea are nested within O. nannfeldtii, O. leporina and O. tuomikoskii, respectively and are considered synonyms. Otidea cantharella var. minor is shown to be a distinct species. Five new species were discovered: O. oregonensis and O. pseudoleporina for North America; and O. borealis, O. brunneoparva and O. subformicarum for Europe. The analyses of the individual four gene datasets yielded phylogenies that were highly concordant topologically, except for the RPB1 that showed supported conflict for some nodes in Bayesian analysis. Excluding the RPB1 from the combined analyses produced an identical topology to the four-gene phylogeny, but with higher support for several basal nodes and lower support for several shallow

  9. [Frugivory and seed dispersal Oenocarpus bataua palm (Arecaceae) in a forest from the Colombian Andes].

    PubMed

    Rojas-Robles, Rosario; Stiles, F Gary; Muñoz-Saba, Yaneth

    2012-12-01

    Seed dispersal is a key process that determines the spatial structure and dynamics of populations of plants, establishes the potential area of recruitment and in this way, the basis for subsequent processes such as predation, germination, competition and growth. The purpose of this research was to identify the guild of frugivores of the Oenocapus bataua palm in fragments of Andean forest, determine the effective dispersers and relate the spatial distribution of palm populations with the dispersion of seeds. To this end, between August 2005-June 2006, observations of the removal of fruits from eight clusters were done, and counting of consumption of fruits beneath 78 palms with mature fruits was undertaken; focal observations of 13 individuals during 90 hours; registration of frugivory with photographic traps during 165 days/nights for a total of 195 photographs and 144 consumption events; experiments with dispersion using 751 perforated fruits/seeds attached to strings and finally, plots to determine spatial distribution all were carried out. In the study area at least five species of mammals ate, dispersed, buried (Sciurus granatensis, Microsciurus mimulus, Dasyprocta punctata y Proechimys sp.), cover (Marmosa robinsoni) and carried the fruits of O. bataua off to caves (Marmosa robinsoni y Proechimys sp.) without damaging the seed. A 21.7% of the fruits were dispersed, 13.2 gnawed or peeled, 5.6% covered, buried and carried to caves. The average distance of removal of seeds and fruits was 3.1m although in a lesser proportion, dispersion events of >50m were recorded. The abundant production of fruits, their size and weight, their intense removal by frugivores, the short dispersion distances, the absence of large size frugivores (reduced by hunting and fragmentation), that might perform long-distance dispersion, and the increase of rodents, especially squirrels, that strongly pressure the fruit resource, generate a spatially restricted seed rain of seeds responsible

  10. Neuropeptide co-expression in hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons of laboratory animals and the human

    PubMed Central

    Skrapits, Katalin; Borsay, Beáta Á.; Herczeg, László; Ciofi, Philippe; Liposits, Zsolt; Hrabovszky, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Hypothalamic peptidergic neurons using kisspeptin (KP) and its co-transmitters for communication are critically involved in the regulation of mammalian reproduction and puberty. This article provides an overview of neuropeptides present in KP neurons, with a focus on the human species. Immunohistochemical studies reveal that large subsets of human KP neurons synthesize neurokinin B, as also shown in laboratory animals. In contrast, dynorphin described in KP neurons of rodents and sheep is found rarely in KP cells of human males and postmenopausal females. Similarly, galanin is detectable in mouse, but not human, KP cells, whereas substance P, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and proenkephalin-derived opioids are expressed in varying subsets of KP neurons in humans, but not reported in ARC of other species. Human KP neurons do not contain neurotensin, cholecystokinin, proopiomelanocortin-derivatives, agouti-related protein, neuropeptide Y, somatostatin or tyrosine hydroxylase (dopamine). These data identify the possible co-transmitters of human KP cells. Neurochemical properties distinct from those of laboratory species indicate that humans use considerably different neurotransmitter mechanisms to regulate fertility. PMID:25713511

  11. Sympathetic Neurotransmitters Modulate Osteoclastogenesis and Osteoclast Activity in the Context of Collagen-Induced Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Muschter, Dominique; Schäfer, Nicole; Stangl, Hubert; Straub, Rainer H.; Grässel, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Excessive synovial osteoclastogenesis is a hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Concomitantly, local synovial changes comprise neuronal components of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. Here, we wanted to analyze if collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) alters bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMM) osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast activity, and how sympathetic neurotransmitters participate in this process. Therefore, BMMs from Dark Agouti rats at different CIA stages were differentiated into osteoclasts in vitro and osteoclast number, cathepsin K activity, matrix resorption and apoptosis were analyzed in the presence of acetylcholine (ACh), noradrenaline (NA) vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and assay-dependent, adenylyl cyclase activator NKH477. We observed modulation of neurotransmitter receptor mRNA expression in CIA osteoclasts without affecting protein level. CIA stage-dependently altered marker gene expression associated with osteoclast differentiation and activity without affecting osteoclast number or activity. Neurotransmitter stimulation modulated osteoclast differentiation, apoptosis and activity. VIP, NA and adenylyl cyclase activator NKH477 inhibited cathepsin K activity and osteoclastogenesis (NKH477, 10-6M NA) whereas ACh mostly acted pro-osteoclastogenic. We conclude that CIA alone does not affect metabolism of in vitro generated osteoclasts whereas stimulation with NA, VIP plus specific activation of adenylyl cyclase induced anti-resorptive effects probably mediated via cAMP signaling. Contrary, we suggest pro-osteoclastogenic and pro-resorptive properties of ACh mediated via muscarinic receptors. PMID:26431344

  12. Gut-associated lymphoid tissue, gut microbes and susceptibility to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Stanisavljević, S; Lukić, J; Momčilović, M; Miljković, M; Jevtić, B; Kojić, M; Golić, N; Mostarica Stojković, M; Miljković, D

    2016-06-01

    Gut microbiota and gut-associated lymphoid tissue have been increasingly appreciated as important players in pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model of multiple sclerosis that can be induced with an injection of spinal cord homogenate emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant in Dark Agouti (DA) rats, but not in Albino Oxford (AO) rats. In this study, mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN), Peyer's patches (PP) and gut microbiota were analysed in these two rat strains. There was higher proportion of CD4(+) T cells and regulatory T cells in non-immunised DA rats in comparison to AO rats. Also, DA rat MLN and PP cells were higher producers of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ and interleukin-17. Finally, microbial analyses showed that uncultivated species of Turicibacter and Atopostipes genus were exclusively present in AO rats, in faeces and intestinal tissue, respectively. Thus, it is clear that in comparison of an EAE-susceptible with an EAE-resistant strain of rats, various discrepancies at the level of gut associated lymphoid tissue, as well as at the level of gut microbiota can be observed. Future studies should determine if the differences have functional significance for EAE pathogenesis. PMID:26839070

  13. Effects of altered glucose supply and adiposity on expression of hypothalamic energy balance regulatory genes in late gestation growth restricted ovine fetuses.

    PubMed

    Adam, C L; Bake, T; Findlay, P A; Milne, J S; Aitken, R P; Wallace, J M

    2011-11-01

    Intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) predisposes obesity in adulthood. This may be due to altered fetal nutrition causing sustained changes within the developing hypothalamic energy balance regulatory system. Using our established ovine model of IUGR, 130-day singleton fetuses (term=147 days) were obtained from growing adolescent mothers on control dietary intake (C), high intake (H) or H with growth hormone administration during either early (H+early GH) or late gestation (H+late GH) (n=6/group). GH increased maternal glycemia for the duration of treatment. H and H+early GH fetuses showed IUGR compared with C fetuses; body weight was partially restored in H+late GH fetuses, with 40% increased adiposity. In the fetal hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript mRNA (anorexigenic) was decreased in H fetuses and correlated across all groups with total fetal liver glycogen. Neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide (orexigenic) and proopiomelanocortin (anorexigenic) mRNAs were not different between groups. Insulin receptor mRNA in the ARC was increased in H, H+early GH and H+late GH fetuses and correlated negatively with fetal plasma insulin. Leptin receptor mRNA in the ARC correlated positively with fetal plasma leptin concentration and fetal fat content. Therefore, in IUGR fetuses, a key anorexigenic neuropeptide is sensitive to altered glucose supply and the hypothalamic leptin-signaling pathway is altered prenatally by increased adiposity and leptinemia. These changes could impact on postnatal energy balance regulation. PMID:21616134

  14. Effect of graft preservation and acute rejection on hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in rat cardiac allografts.

    PubMed

    Keränen, M A I; Nykänen, A I; Krebs, R; Tuuminen, R; Sandelin, H; Koskinen, P K; Lemström, K B

    2006-12-01

    Hypoxia plays an integral part in cardiac transplantation as prolonged graft preservation is an individual risk factor for the development of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). In this study we characterized the role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) during prolonged graft preservation, ischemia-reperfusion (I/R), acute rejection, and chronic rejection. Heart transplantations were performed from Dark Agouti (DA) to Wister-Furth (allo) or DA to DA (syn) rats, without immunosuppression (acute rejection model, harvested at day 5) or with cyclosporine (chronic rejection model, harvested at day 60). To study the effect of preservation on HIF-1 regulation, normal DA hearts were subjected to different cold ischemia times with or without 45 minutes of additional warm ischemia. The role of I/R was studied by harvesting syngrafts at different time points after reperfusion. Real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction quantified total HIF-1 mRNA, while enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemistry quantified and localized HIF-1 protein. Our results show that HIF-1 nuclear immunoreactivity is increased during graft preservation and I/R leads to loss of nuclear HIF-1 immunoreactivity. Acute rejection induced HIF-1 in mRNA level. Our findings thus indicated that HIF-1 is activated during transplantation and suggested that manipulation of the HIF-1 pathway might reveal new therapeutic options to manage CAV. PMID:17175275

  15. Ex vivo intracoronary gene transfer of adeno-associated virus 2 leads to superior transduction over serotypes 8 and 9 in rat heart transplants.

    PubMed

    Raissadati, Alireza; Jokinen, Janne J; Syrjälä, Simo O; Keränen, Mikko A I; Krebs, Rainer; Tuuminen, Raimo; Arnaudova, Ralica; Rouvinen, Eeva; Anisimov, Andrey; Soronen, Jarkko; Pajusola, Katri; Alitalo, Kari; Nykänen, Antti I; Lemström, Karl

    2013-11-01

    Heart transplant gene therapy requires vectors with long-lasting gene expression, high cardiotropism, and minimal pathological effects. Here, we examined transduction properties of ex vivo intracoronary delivery of adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 2, 8, and 9 in rat syngenic and allogenic heart transplants. Adult Dark Agouti (DA) rat hearts were intracoronarily perfused ex vivo with AAV2, AAV8, or AAV9 encoding firefly luciferase and transplanted heterotopically into the abdomen of syngenic DA or allogenic Wistar-Furth (WF) recipients. Serial in vivo bioluminescent imaging of syngraft and allograft recipients was performed for 6 months and 4 weeks, respectively. Grafts were removed for PCR-, RT-PCR, and luminometer analysis. In vivo bioluminescent imaging of recipients showed that AAV9 induced a prominent and stable luciferase activity in the abdomen, when compared with AAV2 and AAV8. However, ex vivo analyses revealed that intracoronary perfusion with AAV2 resulted in the highest heart transplant transduction levels in syngrafts and allografts. Ex vivo intracoronary delivery of AAV2 resulted in efficient transgene expression in heart transplants, whereas intracoronary AAV9 escapes into adjacent tissues. In terms of cardiac transduction, these results suggest AAV2 as a potential vector for gene therapy in preclinical heart transplants studies, and highlight the importance of delivery route in gene transfer studies. PMID:24102821

  16. An animal model of human cytomegalovirus infection.

    PubMed

    Gao, L; Qian, S; Zeng, L; Wang, R; Wei, G; Fan, J; Zheng, S

    2007-12-01

    To develop a rat model that allowed in vivo progressive human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection, allogeneic liver transplantation was performed across a rat combination of Dark Agouti (DA) to Brown Norway (BN). AD169, a well-characterized laboratory strain of HCMV, was used to establish a rat model of HCMV infection by injection of 0.4 mL (30.0 logTCID50) supernate into the rat peritoneum. Histological and blood specimens were obtained from animals sacrificed at predetermined timepoints. We performed immunohistochemical staining in liver, heart, kidney, spleen, and lung for HCMV immediate-early antigen (IE), lower matrix protein (pp65) detection in peripheral blood leukocytes, and HCMV early antigen (EA) and late antigen (LA). We compared survival rates. Our results showed positive HCMV IE and pp65 antigenemia detected in peripheral blood leukocytes in transplanted recipients from day 1 to day 30. Positive HCMV EA and LA staining cells were only detected in sections 10 days after liver transplantation, namely, in hepatocytes, mononuclear cells, bile duct epithelial cells, and endothelial cells. Successful HCMV replication was due to the combination of liver transplantation and cyclosporine (CsA) immunosuppression. Survival analysis showed no significant differences between the HCMV-infected group and HCMV-uninfected group. This new rat model of HCMV infection may be helpful to understand immune system modulation of HCMV infection. PMID:18089401

  17. Mobilization of host stem cells enables long-term liver transplant acceptance in a strongly rejecting rat strain combination.

    PubMed

    Okabayashi, T; Cameron, A M; Hisada, M; Montgomery, R A; Williams, G M; Sun, Z

    2011-10-01

    Careful examination of liver, kidney and heart transplants in human recipients has revealed small numbers of host bone marrow derived stem cells in the graft. If the limited recipient repopulation of a donor graft that is currently observed could be facilitated, it is possible that conversion to a predominantly host phenotype would permit long-term graft function without immunosuppression. We proposed to "engineer" repopulation after transplant in a strain combination (dark agouti [DA] to Lewis green fluorescent protein+[LEW GFP+]) which rejects liver grafts strongly, a model that more closely resembles the situation in humans. Treatment on days 0, 1, 2, 3 and 7 after transplantation with low-dose (0.1 mg/kg) tacrolimus (T) designed to blunt rejection combined with plerixafor (P) to mobilize host stem cells resulted in greater than 180 days graft survival with extensive albeit spotty conversion of a small (50%) DA graft to the recipient LEW GFP+ genotype. Subsequent skin grafting revealed donor-specific graft prolongation. The T plus P treatment resulted in higher levels of Lin-Thy1+CD34+CD133+ stem cells and Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in the blood and liver at day 7. Thus, pharmacological mobilization of host stem cells sustains liver allografts by two mechanisms: repopulation of injured donor cells and regulation of the immune response. PMID:21883903

  18. Human C-reactive protein impedes entry of leptin into the CNS and attenuates its physiological actions in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Li, Jie; Wei, Dong; McCrory, Mark A; Szalai, Alexander J; Yang, Gangyi; Li, Ling; Li, Fanghong; Zhao, Allan Z

    2016-05-01

    Defective central leptin signalling and impaired leptin entry into the CNS (central nervous system) represent two important aspects of leptin resistance in obesity. In the present study, we tested whether circulating human CRP (C-reactive protein) not only diminishes signalling of leptin within the CNS, but also impedes this adipokine's access to the CNS. Peripheral infusion of human CRP together with co-infused human leptin was associated with significantly decreased leptin content in the CSF of ob/ob mice. Furthermore, following peripheral infusion of human leptin, the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) concentration of leptin in transgenic mice overexpressing human CRP was sharply lower than that achieved in similarly infused wild-type mice. Administration of LPS (lipopolysaccharide) to human CRP-transgenic mice dramatically elevated the concentrations of human CRP in the CSF. The i.c.v. (intracerebroventricular) delivery of human CRP into the lateral ventricles of ob/ob mice blocked the satiety and weight-reducing actions of human leptin, but not those of mouse leptin. I.c.v. injection of human CRP abolished hypothalamic signalling by human leptin, and ameliorated the effects of leptin on the expression of NPY (neuropeptide Y), AgRP (Agouti-related protein), POMC (pro-opiomelanocortin) and SOCS-3 (suppressor of cytokine signalling 3). Human CRP can impede the access of leptin to the CNS, and elevation of human CRP within the CNS can have a negative impact on the physiological actions of leptin. PMID:26933237

  19. Sexual dimorphism in the aged rat CD4+ T lymphocyte-mediated immune response elicited by inoculation with spinal cord homogenate.

    PubMed

    Nacka-Aleksić, Mirjana; Pilipović, Ivan; Stojić-Vukanić, Zorica; Kosec, Duško; Bufan, Biljana; Vujnović, Ivana; Arsenović-Ranin, Nevena; Dimitrijević, Mirjana; Leposavić, Gordana

    2015-12-01

    Considering the crucial pathogenic role of CD4+ T cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and the opposite direction of the sexual dimorphism in the severity of the disease in 22-24-and 3-month-old dark agouti rats, sex differences in CD4+ T-cell-mediated immune response in aged rats immunized for EAE were examined and compared with those in young animals. In the inductive phase of EAE, fewer activated CD4+ lymphocytes were retrieved from draining lymph nodes of male (developing less severe disease) compared with female rats, due, at least partly, to their lesser expansion. The former reflected a greater suppressive capacity of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ cells. Consequently, CD4+ lymphocyte infiltration into the spinal cord of aged male rats was diminished. At the peak of EAE, the frequency of reactivated cells was lower, whereas that of the regulatory CD4+ cells was higher in male rat spinal cord. Consistently, microglial activation and the expression of proinflammatory/damaging cytokines in male rat spinal cord mononuclear cells were diminished. Additionally, the frequency of the highly pathogenic IL-17+IFN-γ+ T lymphocytes infiltrating their spinal cord was lower. Together, these results point to (i) an age-specificity in CD4+ cell-mediated immune response and (ii) mechanisms underlying the sex differences in this response in aged rats. PMID:26408399

  20. Neuroregulation of nonexercise activity thermogenesis and obesity resistance.

    PubMed

    Kotz, Catherine M; Teske, Jennifer A; Billington, Charles J

    2008-03-01

    High levels of spontaneous physical activity in lean people and the nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) derived from that activity appear to protect lean people from obesity during caloric challenge, while obesity in humans is characterized by dramatically reduced spontaneous physical activity. We have similarly demonstrated that obesity-resistant rats have significantly greater spontaneous physical activity than obesity-prone rats, and that spontaneous physical activity predicts body weight gain. Although the energetic cost of activity varies between types of activity and may be regulated, individual level of spontaneous physical activity is important in determining propensity for obesity. We review the current status of knowledge about the brain mechanisms involved in controlling the level of spontaneous physical activity and the NEAT so generated. Focus is on potential neural mediators of spontaneous physical activity and NEAT, including orexin A (also known as hypocretin 1), agouti-related protein, ghrelin, and neuromedin U, in addition to brief mention of neuropeptide Y, corticotrophin releasing hormone, cholecystokinin, estrogen, leptin, and dopamine effects on spontaneous physical activity. We further review evidence that strain differences in orexin stimulation pathways for spontaneous physical activity and NEAT appear to track with the body weight phenotype, thus providing a potential mechanistic explanation for reduced activity and weight gain. PMID:18160530

  1. Hypothalamic AgRP-neurons control peripheral substrate utilization and nutrient partitioning

    PubMed Central

    Joly-Amado, Aurélie; Denis, Raphaël G P; Castel, Julien; Lacombe, Amélie; Cansell, Céline; Rouch, Claude; Kassis, Nadim; Dairou, Julien; Cani, Patrice D; Ventura-Clapier, Renée; Prola, Alexandre; Flamment, Melissa; Foufelle, Fabienne; Magnan, Christophe; Luquet, Serge

    2012-01-01

    Obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and dyslipidemia result from metabolic alterations including the defective conversion, storage and utilization of nutrients, but the central mechanisms that regulate this process of nutrient partitioning remain elusive. As positive regulators of feeding behaviour, agouti-related protein (AgRP) producing neurons are indispensible for the hypothalamic integration of energy balance. Here, we demonstrate a role for AgRP-neurons in the control of nutrient partitioning. We report that ablation of AgRP-neurons leads to a change in autonomic output onto liver, muscle and pancreas affecting the relative balance between lipids and carbohydrates metabolism. As a consequence, mice lacking AgRP-neurons become obese and hyperinsulinemic on regular chow but display reduced body weight gain and paradoxical improvement in glucose tolerance on high-fat diet. These results provide a direct demonstration of a role for AgRP-neurons in the coordination of efferent organ activity and nutrient partitioning, providing a mechanistic link between obesity and obesity-related disorders. PMID:22990237

  2. The functional requirements of mammalian hair: a compromise between crypsis and thermoregulation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wacker, Chris B.; McAllan, Bronwyn M.; Körtner, Gerhard; Geiser, Fritz

    2016-08-01

    Mammalian fur often shows agouti banding with a proximal dark band near the skin and a lighter distal band. We examined the function of both bands in relation to camouflage, thermal properties of pelts, and thermal energetics of dunnarts ( Sminthopsis crassicaudata), which are known to use torpor and basking. Although the distal band of dunnart fur darkened with increasing latitude, which is important for camouflage, it did not affect the thermal properties and the length of the dark band and total hair length were not correlated. In contrast, the length of the proximal dark band of preserved pelts exposed to sunlight was positively correlated ( r 2 = 0.59) with the temperature underneath the pelt ( T pelt). All dunnarts offered radiant heat basked by exposing the dark band of the hair during both rest and torpor. Basking dunnarts with longer dark bands had lower resting metabolism ( r 2 = 0.69), warmed faster from torpor ( r 2 = 0.77), required less energy to do so ( r 2 = 0.32), and reached a higher subcutaneous temperature ( T sub) at the end of rewarming ( r 2 = 0.75). We provide the first experimental evidence on the possible dual function of the color banding of mammalian fur. The distal colored band appears to be important for camouflage, whereas the length of the dark proximal hair band facilitates heat gain for energy conservation and allows animals to rewarm quickly and economically from torpor.

  3. Effects of pregnane glycosides on food intake depend on stimulation of the melanocortin pathway and BDNF in an animal model.

    PubMed

    Komarnytsky, Slavko; Esposito, Debora; Rathinasabapathy, Thirumurugan; Poulev, Alexander; Raskin, Ilya

    2013-02-27

    Pregnane glycosides appear to modulate food intake by possibly affecting the hypothalamic feeding circuits; however, the mechanisms of the appetite-regulating effect of pregnane glycosides remain obscure. Here, we show that pregnane glycoside-enriched extracts from swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata at 25-100 mg/kg daily attenuated food intake (up to 47.1 ± 8.5% less than controls) and body weight gain in rats (10% for males and 9% for females, respectively) by activating melanocortin signaling and inhibiting gastric emptying. The major milkweed pregnane glycoside, ikemagenin, exerted its appetite-regulating effect by decreasing levels of agouti-related protein (0.6-fold) but not NPY satiety peptides. Ikemagenin treatment also increased secretion of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) downstream of melanocortin receptors in the hypothalamus (1.4-fold) and in the C6 rat glioma cell culture in vitro (up to 6-fold). These results support the multimodal effects of pregnane glycosides on feeding regulation, which depends on the activity of the melanocortin signaling pathway and BDNF. PMID:23308358

  4. Cell type-specific transcriptomics of hypothalamic energy-sensing neuron responses to weight-loss

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Fredrick E; Sugino, Ken; Tozer, Adam; Branco, Tiago; Sternson, Scott M

    2015-01-01

    Molecular and cellular processes in neurons are critical for sensing and responding to energy deficit states, such as during weight-loss. Agouti related protein (AGRP)-expressing neurons are a key hypothalamic population that is activated during energy deficit and increases appetite and weight-gain. Cell type-specific transcriptomics can be used to identify pathways that counteract weight-loss, and here we report high-quality gene expression profiles of AGRP neurons from well-fed and food-deprived young adult mice. For comparison, we also analyzed Proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons, an intermingled population that suppresses appetite and body weight. We find that AGRP neurons are considerably more sensitive to energy deficit than POMC neurons. Furthermore, we identify cell type-specific pathways involving endoplasmic reticulum-stress, circadian signaling, ion channels, neuropeptides, and receptors. Combined with methods to validate and manipulate these pathways, this resource greatly expands molecular insight into neuronal regulation of body weight, and may be useful for devising therapeutic strategies for obesity and eating disorders. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09800.001 PMID:26329458

  5. Increased hypothalamic 5-HT2A receptor gene expression and effects of pharmacologic 5-HT2A receptor inactivation in obese A{sup y} mice

    SciTech Connect

    Nonogaki, Katsunori . E-mail: knonogaki-tky@umin.ac.jp; Nozue, Kana; Oka, Yoshitomo

    2006-12-29

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) 2A receptors contribute to the effects of 5-HT on platelet aggregation and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, and are reportedly involved in decreases in plasma levels of adiponectin, an adipokine, in diabetic subjects. Here, we report that systemic administration of sarpogrelate, a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, suppressed appetite and increased hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, corticotropin releasing hormone, 5-HT2C, and 5-HT1B receptor gene expression. A{sup y} mice, which have ectopic expression of the agouti protein, significantly increased hypothalamic 5-HT2A receptor gene expression in association with obesity compared with wild-type mice matched for age. Systemic administration of sarpogrelate suppressed overfeeding, body weight gain, and hyperglycemia in obese A{sup y} mice, whereas it did not increase plasma adiponectin levels. These results suggest that obesity increases hypothalamic 5-HT2A receptor gene expression, and pharmacologic inactivation of 5-HT2A receptors inhibits overfeeding and obesity in A{sup y} mice, but did not increase plasma adiponectin levels.

  6. The Alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone Suppresses TLR2-Mediated Functional Responses through IRAK-M in Normal Human Keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Sunhyo; Johnson, Andrew; Park, Yoonkyung; Kim, Beomjoon; Norris, David; Armstrong, Cheryl A.; Song, Peter I.

    2015-01-01

    Alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a highly conserved 13-aa neuropeptide derived from pro-opiomelanocortin by post-translational processing, which has been reported to exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activity and a wide range of immunosuppressive activities in the skin. However, the regulatory effect of α-MSH is not completely clear in cutaneous innate immunity. In this study, we investigate the functional regulation of α-MSH in TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses in normal human keratinocytes (HKs). α-MSH pretreatment down-regulated the Staphylococcus aureus LTA-induced expression of both TLR2 and IL-8 as well as NF-κB nuclear translocation in HK cells. The inhibitory effect of α-MSH was blocked by agouti signaling protein (ASP), an α-MSH receptor-1 antagonist. To investigate the mechanism of this response in more detail, siRNA of IRAK-M, a negative regulator of TLR signaling, was utilized in these studies. The α-MSH suppressive effect on IL-8 production and NF-κB transactivation was inhibited by IRAK-M siRNA transfection in HK cells. These results indicate that α-MSH is capable of suppressing keratinocyte TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses induced by S. aureus-LTA, thus demonstrating another novel immunomodulatory activity of α-MSH in normal human keratinocytes. PMID:26309029

  7. Neuroendorine and Epigentic Mechanisms Subserving Autonomic Imbalance and HPA Dysfunction in the Metabolic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lemche, Erwin; Chaban, Oleg S; Lemche, Alexandra V

    2016-01-01

    Impact of environmental stress upon pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been substantiated by epidemiological, psychophysiological, and endocrinological studies. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of causative roles of nutritional factors, sympathomedullo-adrenal (SMA) and hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axes, and adipose tissue chronic low-grade inflammation processes in MetS. Disturbances in the neuroendocrine systems for leptin, melanocortin, and neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related protein systems have been found resulting directly in MetS-like conditions. The review identifies candidate risk genes from factors shown critical for the functioning of each of these neuroendocrine signaling cascades. In its meta-analytic part, recent studies in epigenetic modification (histone methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination) and posttranscriptional gene regulation by microRNAs are evaluated. Several studies suggest modification mechanisms of early life stress (ELS) and diet-induced obesity (DIO) programming in the hypothalamic regions with populations of POMC-expressing neurons. Epigenetic modifications were found in cortisol (here HSD11B1 expression), melanocortin, leptin, NPY, and adiponectin genes. With respect to adiposity genes, epigenetic modifications were documented for fat mass gene cluster APOA1/C3/A4/A5, and the lipolysis gene LIPE. With regard to inflammatory, immune and subcellular metabolism, PPARG, NKBF1, TNFA, TCF7C2, and those genes expressing cytochrome P450 family enzymes involved in steroidogenesis and in hepatic lipoproteins were documented for epigenetic modifications. PMID:27147943

  8. Common commercial cosmetic products induce arthritis in the DA rat.

    PubMed Central

    Sverdrup, B; Klareskog, L; Kleinau, S

    1998-01-01

    Many different agents, including mineral oil and silicone, have the capacity to act as immunological adjuvants, i.e., they can contribute to the activation of the immune system. Some adjuvants, including mineral oil, are known to induce arthritis in certain strains of rats after intradermal injection or percutaneous application. The aim of this study was to determine if common commercial cosmetic products containing mineral oil could induce arthritis in the highly susceptible DA (Dark Agouti) rat. Intradermal injection of five out of eight assayed cosmetic products without further additives resulted in arthritis with synovitis. One of the products induced a very aggressive arthritis, which had declined after 5-9 weeks. When this product was also assayed for arthritogenicity upon percutaneous administration, it induced a mild and transient arthritis in 5 out of 10 DA rats, whereas control animals showed no clinical signs of joint involvement. No arthritic reaction was seen in rats after peroral feeding with the most arthritogenic product or by intravaginal application of Freund's adjuvants. Silicone gel implants in DA rats did not cause arthritis. We conclude that mineral oils included in common commercially available products retain their adjuvant properties and are arthritogenic in the presently investigated arthritis-prone rat strain. There is yet no evidence that mineral oils present in cosmetics may contribute to arthritis in humans, but we suggest that this question should be subject to further investigation. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:9417771

  9. Donor Heart Treatment With COMP-Ang1 Limits Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury and Rejection of Cardiac Allografts.

    PubMed

    Syrjälä, S O; Nykänen, A I; Tuuminen, R; Raissadati, A; Keränen, M A I; Arnaudova, R; Krebs, R; Koh, G Y; Alitalo, K; Lemström, K B

    2015-08-01

    The major cause of death during the first year after heart transplantation is primary graft dysfunction due to preservation and ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Angiopoietin-1 is a Tie2 receptor-binding paracrine growth factor with anti-inflammatory properties and indispensable roles in vascular development and stability. We used a stable variant of angiopoietin-1 (COMP-Ang1) to test whether ex vivo intracoronary treatment with a single dose of COMP-Ang1 in donor Dark Agouti rat heart subjected to 4-h cold ischemia would prevent microvascular dysfunction and inflammatory responses in the fully allogeneic recipient Wistar Furth rat. COMP-Ang1 reduced endothelial cell-cell junction disruption of the donor heart in transmission electron microscopy during 4-h cold ischemia, improved myocardial reflow, and reduced microvascular leakage and cardiomyocyte injury of transplanted allografts during IRI. Concurrently, the treatment reduced expression of danger signals, dendritic cell maturation markers, endothelial cell adhesion molecule VCAM-1 and RhoA/Rho-associated protein kinase activation and the influx of macrophages and neutrophils. Furthermore, COMP-Ang1 treatment provided sustained anti-inflammatory effects during acute rejection and prevented the development of cardiac fibrosis and allograft vasculopathy. These results suggest donor heart treatment with COMP-Ang1 having important clinical implications in the prevention of primary and subsequent long-term injury and dysfunction in cardiac allografts. PMID:25932532

  10. A 6-bp deletion in exon 8 and two mutations in introns of TYRP1 are associated with blond coat color in Liangshan pigs.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaoqian; Zhang, Yi; Shen, Linyuan; Du, Jingjing; Luo, Jia; Liu, Chendong; Pu, Qiang; Yang, Runlin; Li, Xuewei; Bai, Lin; Tang, Guoqing; Zhang, Shunhua; Zhu, Li

    2016-03-01

    Melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R), Agouti signaling protein (ASIP), and Tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1) are reported critical genes that regulate pheomelanin and eumelanin synthesis in mammals. Liangshan pig is a special Chinese indigenous pig breed with two completely different coat colors, solid black and blond. In this study, we detected polymorphisms of the above three genes and assessed the relationships between the variations and coat color phenotypes in Liangshan pigs. The findings revealed that the blond phenotype of Liangshan pig was related to dominant mutations in TYRP1, but not related to mutations in MC1R or ASIP. We found three closely linked mutations in TYRP1, g.8406G>A in intron 4, g.11100A>G in intron 5, and g.17599_17604del in exon 8, that were completely associated with blond coat color in Liangshan pigs. Further analysis revealed that a 6-bp deletion mutation resulted in deletion of Met and Gly residues at positions 495 and 496 in TYRP1 protein, and altered the structure of transmembrane domain of TYRP1. Together, our findings indicated that these three mutations in TYRP1 cause the blond phenotype in Liangshan pigs. PMID:26680103

  11. Understanding how discrete populations of hypothalamic neurons orchestrate complicated behavioral states

    PubMed Central

    Graebner, Allison K.; Iyer, Manasi; Carter, Matthew E.

    2015-01-01

    A major question in systems neuroscience is how a single population of neurons can interact with the rest of the brain to orchestrate complex behavioral states. The hypothalamus contains many such discrete neuronal populations that individually regulate arousal, feeding, and drinking. For example, hypothalamic neurons that express hypocretin (Hcrt) neuropeptides can sense homeostatic and metabolic factors affecting wakefulness and orchestrate organismal arousal. Neurons that express agouti-related protein (AgRP) can sense the metabolic needs of the body and orchestrate a state of hunger. The organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) can detect the hypertonicity of blood and orchestrate a state of thirst. Each hypothalamic population is sufficient to generate complicated behavioral states through the combined efforts of distinct efferent projections. The principal challenge to understanding these brain systems is therefore to determine the individual roles of each downstream projection for each behavioral state. In recent years, the development and application of temporally precise, genetically encoded tools has greatly improved our understanding of the structure and function of these neural systems. This review will survey recent advances in our understanding of how these individual hypothalamic populations can orchestrate complicated behavioral states due to the combined efforts of individual downstream projections. PMID:26300745

  12. Plasticity of the Melanocortin System: Determinants and Possible Consequences on Food Intake

    PubMed Central

    Nuzzaci, Danaé; Laderrière, Amélie; Lemoine, Aleth; Nédélec, Emmanuelle; Pénicaud, Luc; Rigault, Caroline; Benani, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    The melanocortin system is one of the most important neuronal pathways involved in the regulation of food intake and is probably the best characterized. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) expressing neurons located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus are the key elements of this system. These two neuronal populations are sensitive to circulating molecules and receive many excitatory and inhibitory inputs from various brain areas. According to sensory and metabolic information they integrate, these neurons control different aspects of feeding behavior and orchestrate autonomic responses aimed at maintaining energy homeostasis. Interestingly, composition and abundance of pre-synaptic inputs onto arcuate AgRP and POMC neurons vary in the adult hypothalamus in response to changes in the metabolic state, a phenomenon that can be recapitulated by treatment with hormones, such as leptin or ghrelin. As described in other neuroendrocrine systems, glia might be determinant to shift the synaptic configuration of AgRP and POMC neurons. Here, we discuss the physiological outcome of the synaptic plasticity of the melanocortin system, and more particularly its contribution to the control of energy balance. The discovery of this attribute has changed how we view obesity and related disorders, and opens new perspectives for their management. PMID:26441833

  13. Effect of fasting on cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript, neuropeptide Y, and leptin receptor expression in the non-human primate hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Van Vugt, Dean A; Lujan, Marla E; Froats, Mark; Krzemien, Alicja; Couceyro, Pastor R; Reid, Robert L

    2006-01-01

    Leptin is a cytokine produced by white adipose tissue that circulates in direct proportion to adiposity and is an important signal of energy balance. Leptin inhibits food intake in rodents by inhibiting the orexigenic neuropetides neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti regulated peptide (AgRP) and stimulating the anorexigenic neuropeptides alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) and cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). In order to extend our understanding of neuroendocrine regulation of appetite in the primate, we determined the effect of a metabolic challenge on CART, NPY, and leptin receptor (Ob-R) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in the nonhuman primate (NHP) hypothalamus. Ten adult female rhesus monkeys were either maintained on a regular diet or fasted for two days before euthanasia. CART, NPY, and Ob-R mRNA were measured by in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH). A 2-day fast decreased CART expression in the ARC, increased NPY gene expression in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and increased Ob-R expression in the ventromedial nucleus (VMN). This is the first report that fasting inhibits CART expression and stimulates Ob-R expression in monkeys. Increased NPY expression in the SON and PVN, but not the ARC of fasted monkeys also is novel. With some exceptions, our observations are confirmatory of findings in rodent studies. Similarities in the neuroendocrine responses to a metabolic challenge in monkeys and rodents support extending existing hypotheses of neuroendocrine control of energy homeostasis to primates. PMID:17124379

  14. Goldfish Leptin-AI and Leptin-AII: Function and Central Mechanism in Feeding Control

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Ai-Fen; Chen, Ting; Chen, Shuang; Ren, Chun-Hua; Hu, Chao-Qun; Cai, Yi-Ming; Liu, Fang; Tang, Dong-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, leptin is a peripheral satiety factor that inhibits feeding by regulating a variety of appetite-related hormones in the brain. However, most of the previous studies examining leptin in fish feeding were performed with mammalian leptins, which share very low sequence homologies with fish leptins. To elucidate the function and mechanism of endogenous fish leptins in feeding regulation, recombinant goldfish leptin-AI and leptin-AII were expressed in methylotrophic yeast and purified by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). By intraperitoneal (IP) injection, both leptin-AI and leptin-AII were shown to inhibit the feeding behavior and to reduce the food consumption of goldfish in 2 h. In addition, co-treatment of leptin-AI or leptin-AII could block the feeding behavior and reduce the food consumption induced by neuropeptide Y (NPY) injection. High levels of leptin receptor (lepR) mRNA were detected in the hypothalamus, telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of the goldfish brain. The appetite inhibitory effects of leptins were mediated by downregulating the mRNA levels of orexigenic NPY, agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and orexin and upregulating the mRNA levels of anorexigenic cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), cholecystokinin (CCK), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in different areas of the goldfish brain. Our study, as a whole, provides new insights into the functions and mechanisms of leptins in appetite control in a fish model. PMID:27249000

  15. Eumelanin- and pheomelanin-based colour advertise resistance to oxidative stress in opposite ways.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Almasi, B; Meichtry-Stier, K S; Jenni, L

    2011-10-01

    The control mechanisms and information content of melanin-based colourations are still debated among evolutionary biologists. Recent hypotheses contend that molecules involved in melanogenesis alter other physiological processes, thereby generating covariation between melanin-based colouration and other phenotypic attributes. Interestingly, several molecules such as agouti and glutathione that trigger the production of reddish-brown pheomelanin have an inhibitory effect on the production of black/grey eumelanin, whereas other hormones, such as melanocortins, have the opposite effect. We therefore propose the hypothesis that phenotypic traits positively correlated with the degree of eumelanin-based colouration may be negatively correlated with the degree of pheomelanin-based colouration, or vice versa. Given the role played by the melanocortin system and glutathione on melanogenesis and resistance to oxidative stress, we examined the prediction that resistance to oxidative stress is positively correlated with the degree of black colouration but negatively with the degree of reddish colouration. Using the barn owl (Tyto alba) as a model organism, we swapped eggs between randomly chosen nests to allocate genotypes randomly among environments and then we measured resistance to oxidative stress using the KRL assay in nestlings raised by foster parents. As predicted, the degree of black and reddish pigmentations was positively and negatively correlated, respectively, with resistance to oxidative stress. Our results reveal that eumelanin- and pheomelanin-based colourations can be redundant signals of resistance to oxidative stress. PMID:21745253

  16. Low susceptibility to N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-induced transplacental carcinogenesis in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats.

    PubMed

    Tsuchigauchi, Takeshi; Takahashi, Tetsuyuki; Ohnishi, Takamasa; Ogawa, Hirohisa; Bando, Yoshimi; Uehara, Hisanori; Takizawa, Tamotsu; Kaneda, Shinya; Nakai, Tokiko; Shiota, Hiroshi; Izumi, Keisuke

    2009-08-01

    The Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rat, an animal model of Wilson's disease, is resistant to a variety of chemical carcinogenesis except liver and colon. In the present study, N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced transplacental carcinogenesis was examined in male and female LEC, Long-Evans Agouti (LEA), a sibling line of the LEC rat, and F344 rats (n=21). ENU was administered to pregnant rats as a single s.c. injection at a dose of 60 mg/kg body weight on the 17th day after conception. Cerebral/spinal gliomas and trigeminal/spinal nerve schwannomas developed in both LEA and F344 rats at 30 weeks of age, but no nervous system tumors developed in LEC rats, the difference being statistically significant. Lung adenomas also developed in LEA and F344 rats, but not in LEC rats. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that metallothionein (MT)1a, MT2 and O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) mRNA levels in the liver of LEC rats were higher than those in F344 and LEA rats. In addition, Western blot analysis showed that MT (MT1 plus MT2) in the liver of LEC rats was also higher than that in other strains. Present results suggest that high levels of MT and/or MGMT contribute to the resistance to nitrosamine-induced carcinogenesis in LEC rats. PMID:19763020

  17. Effects of food deprivation on the hypothalamic feeding-regulating peptides gene expressions in serotonin depleted rats.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Mitsuhiro; Hagimoto, Marina; Matsuura, Takanori; Ohkubo, Junichi; Ohno, Motoko; Maruyama, Takashi; Ishikura, Toru; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Kakuma, Tetsuya; Yoshimatsu, Hironobu; Terawaki, Kiyoshi; Uezono, Yasuhito; Toyohira, Yumiko; Yanagihara, Nobuyuki; Ueta, Yoichi

    2014-03-01

    We examined the effects of serotonin (5-HT) depletion induced by peripheral injection of 5-HT synthesis inhibitor p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) on the expression of feeding-regulating peptides expressions by using in situ hybridization histochemistry in adult male Wistar rats. PCPA pretreatment had no significant effect on basal levels of oxytocin, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), neuropeptide-Y (NPY), agouti-related protein (AgRP), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) or orexin in the hypothalamus. Food deprivation for 48 h caused a significant decrease in CRH, TRH, POMC, and CART, and a significant increase in NPY, AgRP and MCH. After PCPA treatment, POMC and CART did not decrease despite food deprivation. NPY was significantly increased by food deprivation with PCPA, but was attenuated compared to food deprivation without PCPA. These results suggest that the serotonergic system in the hypothalamus may be involved in the gene expression of POMC, CART, and NPY related to feeding behavior. PMID:24162946

  18. The odor of Osmanthus fragrans attenuates food intake.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Takashi; Inui, Tadashi; Tsuji, Tadataka

    2013-01-01

    Odors have been shown to exert an influence on various physiological and behavioral activities. However, little is known whether or not odor stimulation directly affects the levels of feeding-related neuropeptides. Here we show that the neural transmission by Osmanthus fragrans (OSM) decreased the mRNA expression of orexigenic neuropeptides, such as agouti-related protein, neuropeptide Y, melanin-concentrating hormone and prepro-orexin, while increased anorexigenic neuropeptides, such as cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and proopiomelanocortin in rats. The decreased number of orexin-immunoreactive neurons in the hypothalamus coincided well with the OSM-induced decreases in the expression of prepro-orexin mRNA. This study demonstrates that the OSM odor, which is known to have a mild sedative effect, decreases the motivation to eat, food intake and body weight, accompanied by sluggish masticatory movements. The data suggest that these effects are due to suppression of orexigenic neuropeptides and activation of anorexigenic neuropeptides in the hypothalamus. PMID:23519146

  19. Effects of risperidone treatment on the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptide in appetite regulation in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Kursungoz, Canan; Ak, Mehmet; Yanik, Tulin

    2015-01-30

    Although the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs has been successful in the treatment of schizophrenia, they can cause some complications in the long-term use, including weight gain. Patients using these drugs tend to disrupt treatment primarily due to side effects. The atypical antipsychotic mechanism of action regulates a number of highly disrupted neurotransmitter pathways in the brains of psychotic patients but may also cause impairment of neurohormonal pathways in different brain areas. In this study, we investigated the circulating levels of hypothalamic neurohormones, which are related to appetite regulation; neuropeptide Y (NPY); alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH); cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART); agouti-related peptide (AgRP); and leptin in male Wistar rats, which were treated with risperidone, a serotonin antagonist, for four weeks. Alterations in the mRNA expression levels of these candidate genes in the hypothalamus were also analyzed. We hypothesized that risperidone treatment might alter both hypothalamic and circulating levels of neuropeptides through serotonergic antagonism, resulting in weight gain. Gene expression studies revealed that the mRNA expression levels of proopiomelanocortin (POMC), AgRP, and NPY decreased as well as their plasma levels, except for NPY. Unexpectedly, CART mRNA levels increased when their plasma levels decreased. Because POMC neurons express the serotonin receptor (5HT2C), the serotonergic antagonism of risperidone on POMC neurons may cause an increase in appetite and thus increase food consumption even in a short-term trial in rats. PMID:25449893

  20. Defining the contribution of MC1R physiological ligands to ATR phosphorylation at Ser435, a predictor of DNA repair in melanocytes

    PubMed Central

    Jarrett, Stuart G.; Wolf Horrell, Erin M.; Boulanger, Mary C.; D’Orazio, John A.

    2015-01-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a GS-coupled receptor that signals through cAMP and PKA, regulates pigmentation, adaptive tanning, and melanoma resistance. MC1R-cAMP signaling promotes PKA-mediated phosphorylation of ataxia telangiectasia and rad3-related (ATR) at Ser435 (ATR-pS435), a modification that enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER) by facilitating recruitment of the XPA protein to sites of UV-induced DNA damage. High-throughput methods were developed to quantify ATR-pS435, measure XPA-photodamage interactions and assess NER function. We report that melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) induce ATR-pS435, enhance XPA’s association with UV-damaged DNA and optimize melanocytic NER. In contrast, MC1R antagonists agouti signaling protein (ASIP) or human β-defensin 3 (HBD3) interfere with ATR-pS435 generation, impair the XPA-DNA interaction and reduce DNA repair. Although ASIP and HBD3 each blocked α-MSH-mediated induction of the signaling pathway, only ASIP depleted basal ATR-pS435. Our findings confirm that ASIP diminishes agonist-independent MC1R basal signaling whereas HBD3 is a neutral MC1R antagonist that blocks activation by melanocortins. Furthermore, our data suggest that ATR-pS435 may be a useful biomarker for the DNA repair-deficient MC1R phenotype. PMID:26168232

  1. CRFR1 in AgRP Neurons Modulates Sympathetic Nervous System Activity to Adapt to Cold Stress and Fasting.

    PubMed

    Kuperman, Yael; Weiss, Meira; Dine, Julien; Staikin, Katy; Golani, Ofra; Ramot, Assaf; Nahum, Tali; Kühne, Claudia; Shemesh, Yair; Wurst, Wolfgang; Harmelin, Alon; Deussing, Jan M; Eder, Matthias; Chen, Alon

    2016-06-14

    Signaling by the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 1 (CRFR1) plays an important role in mediating the autonomic response to stressful challenges. Multiple hypothalamic nuclei regulate sympathetic outflow. Although CRFR1 is highly expressed in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) of the hypothalamus, the identity of these neurons and the role of CRFR1 here are presently unknown. Our studies show that nearly half of Arc-CRFR1 neurons coexpress agouti-related peptide (AgRP), half of which originate from POMC precursors. Arc-CRFR1 neurons are innervated by CRF neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, and CRF application decreases AgRP(+)CRFR1(+) neurons' excitability. Despite similar anatomy in both sexes, only female mice selectively lacking CRFR1 in AgRP neurons showed a maladaptive thermogenic response to cold and reduced hepatic glucose production during fasting. Thus, CRFR1, in a subset of AgRP neurons, plays a regulatory role that enables appropriate sympathetic nervous system activation and consequently protects the organism from hypothermia and hypoglycemia. PMID:27211900

  2. Chemical identity of hypothalamic neurons engaged by leptin in reproductive control.

    PubMed

    Ratra, Dhirender V; Elias, Carol F

    2014-11-01

    The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin plays a critical role as a metabolic cue for the reproductive system. Conditions of low leptin levels observed in negative energy balance and loss-of-function mutations of leptin or leptin receptor genes are characterized by decreased fertility. In recent years, advances have been made for identifying possible hypothalamic neurons relaying leptin's neuroendocrine control of reproductive function. Studies from different laboratories have demonstrated that leptin action in the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis is exerted via hypothalamic interneurons regulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) cells, oppose to direct action on GnRH neurons. Following this observation, studies focused on identifying leptin responsive interneurons. Using a Cre-loxP system to re-express or delete the leptin receptor long form (LepRb) from kisspeptin neurons, our laboratory found that leptin's action on kiss1 cells is neither required nor sufficient for leptin's role in reproductive function. Endogenous re-expression of LepRb however, in glutamatergic neurons of the ventral premammilary nucleus (PMV) or ablation of agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons from leptin signaling-deficient mice are both sufficient to induce puberty and improve fertility. Recent studies have also shown that leptin action in first order GABAergic neurons is required for fertility. Together, these studies begin to delineate key neuronal populations involved in leptin's action in reproduction. In this review, we discuss recent advances made in the field and highlight the questions yet to be answered. PMID:24915437

  3. Melanocortin-1 receptor-mediated signalling pathways activated by NDP-MSH and HBD3 ligands

    PubMed Central

    Beaumont, Kimberley A.; Smit, Darren J.; Liu, Yan Yan; Chai, Eric; Patel, Mira P.; Millhauser, Glenn L.; Smith, Jennifer J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Sturm, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Binding of melanocortin peptide agonists to the melanocortin-1 receptor of melanocytes results in eumelanin production, whereas binding of the agouti signalling protein inverse agonist results in pheomelanin synthesis. Recently, a novel melanocortin-1 receptor ligand was reported. A β-defensin gene mutation was found to beresponsible for black coat colour in domestic dogs. Notably, the human equivalent, β-defensin 3, was found to bind with high affinity to the melanocortin-1 receptor; however, the action of β-defensin as an agonist or antagonist was unknown. Here, we use in vitro assays to show that β-defensin 3 is able to act as a weak partial agonist for cAMP signalling in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells expressing human melanocortin-1receptor. β-defensin 3 is also able to activate MAPK signalling in HEK cells stably expressing either wild type or variant melanocortin-1 receptors. We suggest that β-defensin 3 may be a novel melanocortin-1 receptor agonist involved in regulating melanocyte responses in humans. PMID:22364200

  4. High-fat diet-induced met-hemoglobin formation in rats prone (WOKW) or resistant (DA) to the metabolic syndrome: effect of CoQ10 supplementation.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Patrick; Silvestri, Sonia; Brugè, Francesca; Tiano, Luca; Kloting, Ingrid; Falcioni, Giancarlo; Polidori, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) on oxidative indexes in WistarOttawaKarlsburg W (WOKW) rats used as a model of metabolic syndrome in comparison with Dark Agouti (DA) rats used as a control strain. This syndrome is defined by the occurrence of two or more risk factors including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. Forty rats were used in the study and the effect of HFD was evaluated in terms of body weight and both hemoglobin and CoQ oxidative status. Moreover, 16 rats (8 of each strain) were supplemented with 3 mg/100 g b.w. of CoQ10 for 1 month in view of its beneficial properties in cardiovascular disease due to its antioxidant activity in the lipid environment. HFD promoted an increase in body weight, in particular in WOKW males, and in the methemoglobin (met-Hb) index in both strains. Moreover, HFD promoted endogenous CoQ10 oxidation. CoQ10 supplementation was able to efficiently counteract the HFD pro-oxidant effects, preventing met-Hb formation and CoQ oxidation. PMID:25428841

  5. Transgenic n-3 PUFAs enrichment leads to weight loss via modulating neuropeptides in hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Ma, Shuangshuang; Ge, Yinlin; Gai, Xiaoying; Xue, Meilan; Li, Ning; Kang, Jingxuan; Wan, Jianbo; Zhang, Jinyu

    2016-01-12

    Body weight is related to fat mass, which is associated with obesity. Our study explored the effect of fat-1 gene on body weight in fat-1 transgenic mice. In present study, we observed that the weight/length ratio of fat-1 transgenic mice was lower than that of wild-type mice. The serum levels of triglycerides (TG), cholesterol (CT), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and blood glucose (BG) in fat-1 transgenic mice were all decreased. The weights of peri-bowels fat, perirenal fat and peri-testicular fat in fat-1 transgenic mice were reduced. We hypothesized that increase of n-3 PUFAs might alter the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptide genes and lead to loss of body weight in fat-1 transgenic mice. Therefore, we measured mRNA levels of appetite neuropeptides, Neuropeptide Y (NPY), Agouti-related peptides (AgRP), Proopiomelanocortin (POMC), Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART), ghrelin and nesfatin-1 in hypothalamus by real-time PCR. Compared with wild-type mice, the mRNA levels of CART, POMC and ghrelin were higher, while the mRNA levels of NPY, AgRP and nesfatin-1 were lower in fat-1 transgenic mice. The results indicate that fat-1 gene or n-3 PUFAs participates in regulation of body weight, and the mechanism of this phenomenon involves the expression of appetite neuropeptides and lipoproteins in fat-1 transgenic mice. PMID:26610903

  6. Effects of Pregnane Glycosides on Food Intake Depend on Stimulation of the Melanocortin Pathway and BDNF in an Animal Model

    PubMed Central

    Komarnytsky, Slavko; Esposito, Debora; Rathinasabapathy, Thirumurugan; Poulev, Alexander; Raskin, Ilya

    2013-01-01

    Pregnane glycosides appear to modulate food intake by possibly affecting the hypothalamic feeding circuits; however, the mechanisms of the appetite-regulating effect of pregnane glycosides remain obscure. Here, we show that pregnane glycoside-enriched extracts from swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata at 25–100 mg/kg daily attenuated food intake (up to 47.1 ± 8.5% less than controls) and body weight gain in rats (10% for males and 9% for females, respectively) by activating melanocortin signaling and inhibiting gastric emptying. The major milkweed pregnane glycoside, ikemagenin, exerted its appetite-regulating effect by decreasing levels of agouti-related protein (0.6-fold) but not NPY satiety peptides. Ikemagenin treatment also increased secretion of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) downstream of melanocortin receptors in the hypothalamus (1.4-fold) and in the C6 rat glioma cell culture in vitro (up to 6-fold). These results support the multimodal effects of pregnane glycosides on feeding regulation, which depends on the activity of the melanocortin signaling pathway and BDNF. PMID:23308358

  7. The Alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone Suppresses TLR2-Mediated Functional Responses through IRAK-M in Normal Human Keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Sunhyo; Johnson, Andrew; Park, Yoonkyung; Kim, Beomjoon; Norris, David; Armstrong, Cheryl A; Song, Peter I

    2015-01-01

    Alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a highly conserved 13-aa neuropeptide derived from pro-opiomelanocortin by post-translational processing, which has been reported to exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activity and a wide range of immunosuppressive activities in the skin. However, the regulatory effect of α-MSH is not completely clear in cutaneous innate immunity. In this study, we investigate the functional regulation of α-MSH in TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses in normal human keratinocytes (HKs). α-MSH pretreatment down-regulated the Staphylococcus aureus LTA-induced expression of both TLR2 and IL-8 as well as NF-κB nuclear translocation in HK cells. The inhibitory effect of α-MSH was blocked by agouti signaling protein (ASP), an α-MSH receptor-1 antagonist. To investigate the mechanism of this response in more detail, siRNA of IRAK-M, a negative regulator of TLR signaling, was utilized in these studies. The α-MSH suppressive effect on IL-8 production and NF-κB transactivation was inhibited by IRAK-M siRNA transfection in HK cells. These results indicate that α-MSH is capable of suppressing keratinocyte TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses induced by S. aureus-LTA, thus demonstrating another novel immunomodulatory activity of α-MSH in normal human keratinocytes. PMID:26309029

  8. Lack of Apoptosis of Infiltrating Cells as the Mechanism of High Susceptibility to EAE in DA Rats

    PubMed Central

    Mensah-Brown, Eric; Galadari, Sehamuddin; Shahin, Allen

    2001-01-01

    Dark Agouti (DA) rats are highly susceptible to induction of Th-l-mediated autoimmunity disease, including experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). In contrast to other susceptible rat strains in which disease is induced only with encephalitogen emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvants (CFA), in DA rats EAE develops after injection of encephalitogen in incomplete Freund's adjuvants (IFA) or Titermax, putative Th-2 directed adjuvant. Lymph node cells derived from immunized DA rats and stimulated in vitro produce significantly more Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) than resistant Albino Oxford (AO) rats. However, cells derived from both strains produce large amounts of IL-10 but not IL-4. Immunized lymph node cells derived from EAE susceptible (AO × DA) F1rats induce clinical signs of disease in sublethally irradiated parental DA but not AO rats. The pathohistology of the target tissue in these recipients clearly demonstrated infiltration of mononuclear cells in both parental strains. However, the number of CD4+ cells was significantly higher and number of apoptotic cells significantly lower in DA rats sacrificed 8 days after passive transfer. We postulate that in addition to higher IFN-γ and TNF-α production, resistance to early apoptosis of the invading cells in the target tissue possibly due to lack of downregulation by TGF-β leads to exceptional susceptibility to EAE in DA rats. PMID:11785669

  9. Modulation of leptin resistance by food compounds.

    PubMed

    Aragonès, Gerard; Ardid-Ruiz, Andrea; Ibars, Maria; Suárez, Manuel; Bladé, Cinta

    2016-08-01

    Leptin is mainly secreted by white adipose tissue and regulates energy homeostasis by inhibiting food intake and stimulating energy expenditure through its action in neuronal circuits in the brain, particularly in the hypothalamus. However, hyperleptinemia coexists with the loss of responsiveness to leptin in common obese conditions. This phenomenon has been defined as leptin resistance and the restoration of leptin sensitivity is considered to be a useful strategy to treat obesity. This review summarizes the existing literature on potentially valuable nutrients and food components to reverse leptin resistance. Notably, several food compounds, such as teasaponins, resveratrol, celastrol, caffeine, and taurine among others, are able to restore the leptin signaling in neurons by overexpressing anorexigenic peptides (proopiomelanocortin) and/or repressing orexigenic peptides (neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide), thus decreasing food intake. Additionally, some nutrients, such as vitamins A and D, can improve leptin transport through the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, food components can improve leptin resistance by acting at different levels of the leptin pathway; moreover, some compounds are able to target more than one feature of leptin resistance. However, systematic studies are necessary to define the actual effectiveness of each compound. PMID:26842874

  10. Arcuate hypothalamic AgRP and putative POMC neurons show opposite changes in spiking across multiple timescales

    PubMed Central

    Mandelblat-Cerf, Yael; Ramesh, Rohan N; Burgess, Christian R; Patella, Paola; Yang, Zongfang; Lowell, Bradford B; Andermann, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    Agouti-related-peptide (AgRP) neurons—interoceptive neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC)—are both necessary and sufficient for driving feeding behavior. To better understand the functional roles of AgRP neurons, we performed optetrode electrophysiological recordings from AgRP neurons in awake, behaving AgRP-IRES-Cre mice. In free-feeding mice, we observed a fivefold increase in AgRP neuron firing with mounting caloric deficit in afternoon vs morning recordings. In food-restricted mice, as food became available, AgRP neuron firing dropped, yet remained elevated as compared to firing in sated mice. The rapid drop in spiking activity of AgRP neurons at meal onset may reflect a termination of the drive to find food, while residual, persistent spiking may reflect a sustained drive to consume food. Moreover, nearby neurons inhibited by AgRP neuron photostimulation, likely including satiety-promoting pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, demonstrated opposite changes in spiking. Finally, firing of ARC neurons was also rapidly modulated within seconds of individual licks for liquid food. These findings suggest novel roles for antagonistic AgRP and POMC neurons in the regulation of feeding behaviors across multiple timescales. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07122.001 PMID:26159614

  11. Genes influencing spinal bone mineral density in inbred F344, LEW, COP, and DA rats

    PubMed Central

    Alam, Imranul; Sun, Qiwei; Koller, Daniel L.; Liu, Lixiang; Liu, Yunlong; Edenberg, Howard J.; Foroud, Tatiana

    2009-01-01

    Previously, we identified the regions of chromosomes 10q12–q31 and 15p16–q21 harbor quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for lumbar volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) in female F2 rats derived from Fischer 344 (F344) × Lewis (LEW) and Copenhagen 2331 (COP) × Dark Agouti (DA) crosses. The purpose of this study is to identify the candidate genes within these QTL regions contributing to the variation in lumbar vBMD. RNA was extracted from bone tissue of F344, LEW, COP, and DA rats. Microarray analysis was performed using Affymetrix Rat Genome 230 2.0 Arrays. Genes differentially expressed among the rat strains were then ranked based on the strength of the correlation with lumbar vBMD in F2 animals derived from these rats. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis was performed to confirm the prioritized candidate genes. A total of 285 genes were differentially expressed among all strains of rats with a false discovery rate less than 10%. Among these genes, 18 candidate genes were prioritized based on their strong correlation (r2 > 0.90) with lumbar vBMD. Of these, 14 genes (Akap1, Asgr2, Esd, Fam101b, Irf1, Lcp1, Ltc4s, Mdp-1, Pdhb, Plxdc1, Rabep1, Rhot1, Slc2a4, Xpo4) were confirmed by qPCR. We identified several novel candidate genes influencing spinal vBMD in rats. PMID:19841953

  12. Inhibition of myeloid differentiation factor 88 signaling mediated by histidine-grafted poly(β-amino ester) ester nanovector induces donor-specific liver allograft tolerance.

    PubMed

    Hu, Fanguo; Wang, Hanjie; Zhang, Shuangnan; Peng, Yao; Su, Lin; Chang, Jin; Liu, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) activate biochemical pathways that evoke activation of innate immunity, which leads to dendritic cell maturation and initiation of adaptive immune responses that provoke allograft rejection. We aimed to prolong allograft survival by selectively inhibiting expression of myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), which is an essential adaptor in TLR signaling. We designed and synthesized a novel histidine-grafted poly(β-amino ester) (HGPAE) nanovector, which was shown to be safe and efficient both in vitro and in vivo for the delivery of a plasmid containing shRNA targeting MyD88 (pMyD88). We also demonstrated that the pMyD88/HGPAE complex mediated remarkable inhibition of MyD88 expression in rat liver in vivo. We transplanted Dark Agouti rat livers lacking MyD88 as result of transfection with the pMyD88/HGPAE complex into Lewis rats. The recipients survived longer and graft rejection of the donor liver as well as serum levels of IL-2 and IFN-γ in the recipient were significantly reduced. PMID:26185440

  13. Peptides: Basic determinants of reproductive functions.

    PubMed

    Celik, Onder; Aydin, Suleyman; Celik, Nilufer; Yilmaz, Musa

    2015-10-01

    Mammalian reproduction is a costly process in terms of energy consumption. The critical information regarding metabolic status is signaled to the hypothalamus mainly through peripheral peptides from the adipose tissue and gastrointestinal tract. Changes in energy stores produce fluctuations in leptin, insulin, ghrelin and glucose signals that feedback mainly to the hypothalamus to regulate metabolism and fertility. In near future, possible effects of the nutritional status on GnRH regulation can be evaluated by measuring serum or tissue levels of leptin and ghrelin in patiens suffering from infertility. The fact that leptin and ghrelin are antagonistic in their effects on GnRH neurons, their respective agonistic and antagonistic roles make them ideal candidates to use instead of GnRH agonist and antagonist. Similarly, kisspeptin expressing neurons are likely to mediate the well-established link between energy balance and reproductive functions. Exogenous kisspeptin can be used for physiological ovarian hyperstimulation for in-vitro fertilization. Moreover, kisspeptin antagonist therapy can be used for the treatment of postmenapousal women, precocious puberty, PCOS, endometriosis and uterine fibroids. In this review, we will analyze the central mechanisms involved in the integration of metabolic information and their contribution to the control of the reproductive function. Particular attention will be paid to summarize the participation of leptin, kisspeptin, ghrelin, NPY, orexin, urocortin, VIP, insulin, galanin, galanin like peptide, oxytocin, agouti gene-related peptide, and POMC neurons in this process and their possible interactions to contribute to the metabolic control of reproduction. PMID:26074346

  14. Teriflunomide, an inhibitor of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase for the potential oral treatment of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Alan M

    2010-11-01

    Teriflunomide, being developed as a potential oral treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) by sanofi-aventis, is the active metabolite of the rheumatoid arthritis drug leflunomide. Both teriflunomide and leflunomide are inhibitors of the mitochondrial enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, which is critically involved in pyrimidine synthesis. The production of activated T-cells largely depends on de novo pyrimidine synthesis, and thus pyrimidine depletion is thought to result in the inhibition of immune cell proliferation. Therapeutic efficacy of teriflunomide has been demonstrated in vivo in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model of MS using Dark Agouti rats. In a phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of patients with relapsing-remitting MS, treatment with teriflunomide reduced the number of active lesions in the brain and preliminary evidence indicated a slowing in the development of disability. Recently reported data from the phase III TEMSO clinical trial support these initial findings. Compared with current therapies, teriflunomide has the advantage of oral administration. Thus, if good efficacy is demonstrated, teriflunomide may have a role to play in the future treatment of MS. PMID:21157651

  15. Probiotic factors partially improve parameters of 5-fluorouracil-induced intestinal mucositis in rats.

    PubMed

    Prisciandaro, Luca D; Geier, Mark S; Butler, Ross N; Cummins, Adrian G; Howarth, Gordon S

    2011-04-01

    Certain live bacteria have demonstrated preliminary indications of efficacy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis. However, probiotic derived supernatants (SN) have yet to be investigated in the mucositis setting. We evaluated SN from Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) and Lactobacillus fermentum BR11 (BR11) for their capacity to decrease 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced damage in vivo. Female Dark Agouti rats were gavaged with 1 mL of either SN or vehicle daily (days 0-8) and intraperitoneally injected with 5-FU (150 mg/kg) on day 5 to induce mucositis. On day 9, animals were culled and intestinal tissues collected. Significantly lower histological damage scores were apparent in the jejunum of 5-FU treated rats receiving SN compared to 5-FU controls. Myeloperoxidase levels in the jejunum of 5-FU treated rats were increased in vehicle and BR11 SN treatments compared to untreated controls, whereas no significant increase was observed after EcN SN treatment. 5-FU treatment significantly reduced villus height and crypt depth in the jejunum compared to normal controls; however no significant reduction in these parameters was observed in 5-FU treated rats receiving either SN. We conclude that bacterial SN, especially EcN, partially protect the intestine from 5-FU mucositis. Further studies are required to define specific mechanisms by which SN exert their beneficial effects. PMID:21307648

  16. Gs-coupled GPCR signalling in AgRP neurons triggers sustained increase in food intake

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Ken-ichiro; Cui, Zhenzhong; Li, Chia; Meister, Jaroslawna; Cui, Yinghong; Fu, Ou; Smith, Adam S.; Jain, Shalini; Lowell, Bradford B.; Krashes, Michael J.; Wess, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons of the hypothalamus play a key role in regulating food intake and body weight, by releasing three different orexigenic molecules: AgRP; GABA; and neuropeptide Y. AgRP neurons express various G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with different coupling properties, including Gs-linked GPCRs. At present, the potential role of Gs-coupled GPCRs in regulating the activity of AgRP neurons remains unknown. Here we show that the activation of Gs-coupled receptors expressed by AgRP neurons leads to a robust and sustained increase in food intake. We also provide detailed mechanistic data linking the stimulation of this class of receptors to the observed feeding phenotype. Moreover, we show that this pathway is clearly distinct from other GPCR signalling cascades that are operative in AgRP neurons. Our data suggest that drugs able to inhibit this signalling pathway may become useful for the treatment of obesity. PMID:26743492

  17. The role of leptin in striped hamsters subjected to food restriction and refeeding.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhi-Jun; Liu, Yong-An; Xing, Jing-Ya; Zhang, Mao-Lun; Ni, Xiao-Ying; Cao, Jing

    2014-07-01

    Food restriction (FR) and refeeding (Re) have been suggested to impair body mass regulation and thereby making it easier to regain the lost weight and develop over-weight when FR ends. However, it is unclear if this is the case in small mammals showing seasonal forging behaviors. In the present study, energy budget, body fat and serum leptin level were measured in striped hamsters that were exposed to FR-Re. The effects of leptin on food intake, body fat and genes expressions of several hypothalamus neuropeptides were determined. Body mass, fat content and serum leptin level decreased during FR and then increased during Re. Leptin supplement significantly attenuated the increase in food intake during Re, decreased genes expressions of neuropepetide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) of hypothalamus and leptin of white adipose tissue (WAT). Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) gene expression of WAT increased in leptin-treated hamsters that were fed ad libitum, but decreased in FR-Re hamsters. This indicates that the adaptive regulation of WAT HSL gene expression may be involved in the mobilization of fat storage during Re, which partly contributes to the resistance to FR-Re-induced overweight. Leptin may be involved in the down regulations of hypothalamus orexigenic peptides gene expression and consequently plays a crucial role in controlling food intake when FR ends. PMID:25017744

  18. Regenerative metamorphosis in hairs and feathers: follicle as a programmable biological printer

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Ji Won; Lin, Sung-Jan; Plikus, Maksim V.

    2015-01-01

    Present-day hairs and feathers are marvels of biological engineering perfected over 200 million years of convergent evolution. Prominently, both follicle types coevolved regenerative cycling, wherein active filament making (anagen) is intermitted by a phase of relative quiescence (telogen). Such regenerative cycling enables follicles to “reload” their morphogenetic program and make qualitatively different filaments in the consecutive cycles. Indeed, many species of mammals and birds undergo regenerative metamorphosis, prominently changing their integument between juvenile and adult forms. This phenomenon is inconspicuous in mice, which led to the conventional perception that hair type is hardwired during follicle morphogenesis and cannot switch. A series of recent works by Chi and Morgan change this perception, and show that many mouse follicles naturally switch hair morphologies, for instance from “wavy” zigzag to straight awl, in the second growth cycle. A series of observations and genetic experiments show that back and forth hair type switching depends on the number of cells in the follicle's dermal papilla, with the critical threshold being around 40-50 cells. Pigmentation is another parameter that hair and feather follicles can reload between cycles, and even midway through anagen. Recent works show that hair and feather pigmentation “printing” programs coevolved to rely on pulsed expression of Agouti, a melanocortin receptor-1 antagonist, in the follicular mesenchyme. Here, we discuss broader implications of hair and feather regenerative plasticity. PMID:25557541

  19. Control of Energy Balance by Hypothalamic Gene Circuitry Involving Two Nuclear Receptors, Neuron-Derived Orphan Receptor 1 and Glucocorticoid Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sun-Gyun; Lee, Bora; Kim, Dae-Hwan; Kim, Juhee; Lee, Soo-Kyung

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) regulate diverse physiological processes, including the central nervous system control of energy balance. However, the molecular mechanisms for the central actions of NRs in energy balance remain relatively poorly defined. Here we report a hypothalamic gene network involving two NRs, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NOR1) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which directs the regulated expression of orexigenic neuropeptides agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in response to peripheral signals. Our results suggest that the anorexigenic signal leptin induces NOR1 expression likely via the transcription factor cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), while the orexigenic signal glucocorticoid mobilizes GR to inhibit NOR1 expression by antagonizing the action of CREB. Also, NOR1 suppresses glucocorticoid-dependent expression of AgRP and NPY. Consistently, relative to wild-type mice, NOR1-null mice showed significantly higher levels of AgRP and NPY and were less responsive to leptin in decreasing the expression of AgRP and NPY. These results identify mutual antagonism between NOR1 and GR to be a key rheostat for peripheral metabolic signals to centrally control energy balance. PMID:23897430

  20. Control of energy balance by hypothalamic gene circuitry involving two nuclear receptors, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 and glucocorticoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sun-Gyun; Lee, Bora; Kim, Dae-Hwan; Kim, Juhee; Lee, Seunghee; Lee, Soo-Kyung; Lee, Jae W

    2013-10-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) regulate diverse physiological processes, including the central nervous system control of energy balance. However, the molecular mechanisms for the central actions of NRs in energy balance remain relatively poorly defined. Here we report a hypothalamic gene network involving two NRs, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NOR1) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which directs the regulated expression of orexigenic neuropeptides agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in response to peripheral signals. Our results suggest that the anorexigenic signal leptin induces NOR1 expression likely via the transcription factor cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), while the orexigenic signal glucocorticoid mobilizes GR to inhibit NOR1 expression by antagonizing the action of CREB. Also, NOR1 suppresses glucocorticoid-dependent expression of AgRP and NPY. Consistently, relative to wild-type mice, NOR1-null mice showed significantly higher levels of AgRP and NPY and were less responsive to leptin in decreasing the expression of AgRP and NPY. These results identify mutual antagonism between NOR1 and GR to be a key rheostat for peripheral metabolic signals to centrally control energy balance. PMID:23897430

  1. Palatability Can Drive Feeding Independent of AgRP Neurons.

    PubMed

    Denis, Raphaël G P; Joly-Amado, Aurélie; Webber, Emily; Langlet, Fanny; Schaeffer, Marie; Padilla, Stéphanie L; Cansell, Céline; Dehouck, Bénédicte; Castel, Julien; Delbès, Anne-Sophie; Martinez, Sarah; Lacombe, Amélie; Rouch, Claude; Kassis, Nadim; Fehrentz, Jean-Alain; Martinez, Jean; Verdié, Pascal; Hnasko, Thomas S; Palmiter, Richard D; Krashes, Michael J; Güler, Ali D; Magnan, Christophe; Luquet, Serge

    2015-10-01

    Feeding behavior is exquisitely regulated by homeostatic and hedonic neural substrates that integrate energy demand as well as the reinforcing and rewarding aspects of food. Understanding the net contribution of homeostatic and reward-driven feeding has become critical because of the ubiquitous source of energy-dense foods and the consequent obesity epidemic. Hypothalamic agouti-related peptide-secreting neurons (AgRP neurons) provide the primary orexigenic drive of homeostatic feeding. Using models of neuronal inhibition or ablation, we demonstrate that the feeding response to a fast ghrelin or serotonin receptor agonist relies on AgRP neurons. However, when palatable food is provided, AgRP neurons are dispensable for an appropriate feeding response. In addition, AgRP-ablated mice present exacerbated stress-induced anorexia and palatable food intake--a hallmark of comfort feeding. These results suggest that, when AgRP neuron activity is impaired, neural circuits sensitive to emotion and stress are engaged and modulated by food palatability and dopamine signaling. PMID:26278050

  2. Hypothalamic POMC Deficiency Improves Glucose Tolerance Despite Insulin Resistance by Increasing Glycosuria.

    PubMed

    Chhabra, Kavaljit H; Adams, Jessica M; Fagel, Brian; Lam, Daniel D; Qi, Nathan; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Low, Malcolm J

    2016-03-01

    Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is essential for the physiological regulation of energy balance; however, its role in glucose homeostasis remains less clear. We show that hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (Arc)POMC-deficient mice, which develop severe obesity and insulin resistance, unexpectedly exhibit improved glucose tolerance and remain protected from hyperglycemia. To explain these paradoxical phenotypes, we hypothesized that an insulin-independent pathway is responsible for the enhanced glucose tolerance. Indeed, the mutant mice demonstrated increased glucose effectiveness and exaggerated glycosuria relative to wild-type littermate controls at comparable blood glucose concentrations. Central administration of the melanocortin receptor agonist melanotan II in mutant mice reversed alterations in glucose tolerance and glycosuria, whereas, conversely, administration of the antagonist Agouti-related peptide (Agrp) to wild-type mice enhanced glucose tolerance. The glycosuria of ArcPOMC-deficient mice was due to decreased levels of renal GLUT 2 (rGLUT2) but not sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 and was associated with reduced renal catecholamine content. Epinephrine treatment abolished the genotype differences in glucose tolerance and rGLUT2 levels, suggesting that reduced renal sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity is the underlying mechanism for the observed glycosuria and improved glucose tolerance in ArcPOMC-deficient mice. Therefore, the ArcPOMC-SNS-rGLUT2 axis is potentially an insulin-independent therapeutic target to control diabetes. PMID:26467632

  3. Inflammation severely alters thyroid hormone signaling in the central nervous system during experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in rat: Direct impact on OPCs differentiation failure.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Mercedes; Baldassarro, Vito A; Sivilia, Sandra; Giardino, Luciana; Calzà, Laura

    2016-09-01

    Differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) into myelinating oligodendrocytes is severely impaired by inflammatory cytokines and this could lead to remyelination failure in inflammatory/demyelinating diseases. Due to the role of thyroid hormone in the maturation of OPCs and developmental myelination, in this study we investigated (i) the possible occurrence of dysregulation of thyroid hormone signaling in the CNS tissue during experimental neuroinflammation; (ii) the possible impact of inflammatory cytokines on thyroid hormone signaling and OPCs differentiation in vitro. The disease model is the experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in female Dark-Agouti rats, whereas in vitro experiments were carried out in OPCs derived from neural stem cells. The main results are the following: (i) a strong upregulation of cytokine mRNA expression level was found in the spinal cord during experimental allergic encephalomyelitis; (ii) thyroid hormone signaling in the spinal cord (thyroid hormone receptors; deiodinase; thyroid hormone membrane transporter) is substantially downregulated, due to the upregulation of the thyroid hormone inactivating enzyme deiodinase 3 and the downregulation of thyroid hormone receptors, as investigated at mRNA expression level; (iii) when exposed to inflammatory cytokines, deiodinase 3 is upregulated in OPCs as well, and OPCs differentiation is blocked; (iv) deiodinase 3 inhibition by iopanoic acid recovers OPCs differentiation in the presence on inflammatory cytokines. These data suggest that cellular hypothyroidism occurs during experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, possibly impacting on thyroid hormone-dependent cellular processes, including maturation of OPCs into myelinating oligodendrocytes. GLIA 2016;64:1573-1589. PMID:27404574

  4. Hepatic Expression of Metallothionein I/II, Glycoprotein 96, IL-6, and TGF-β in Rat Strains with Different Susceptibilities to Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Grubić-Kezele, Tanja; Blagojević Zagorac, Gordana; Jakovac, Hrvoje; Domitrović, Robert; Milin, Čedomila; Radošević-Stašić, Biserka

    2013-01-01

    In a search of peripheral factors that could be responsible for the discrepancy in susceptibility to EAE in Albino Oxford (AO) and Dark Agouti (DA) rats, we estimated the expression of metallothioneins I/II (MT), heat shock protein-gp96, interleukin (IL)-6, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β in the livers of these animals. Rats were immunized with bovine brain homogenate (BBH) emulsified in complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) or only with CFA. Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses were done on day 12 after the immunization, as well as in intact rats. The data have shown that during the first attack of EAE only the EAE prone-DA rats markedly upregulated the hepatic MTs, gp96, IL-6, and TGF-β. In contrast, AO rats had a significantly higher expression of MT I/II, IL-6, and TGF-β in intact liver (P < 0,001), suggesting that the greater constitutive expression of these proteins contributed to the resistance of EAE. Besides, since previously we found that AO rats reacted on immunization by an early upregulation of TGF-β on several hepatic structures (vascular endothelium, Kupffer cells, and hepatocytes), the data suggest that the specific hepatic microenvironment might contribute also to the faster recovery of these rats from EAE. PMID:24489578

  5. Alternative Splicing and Transcriptome Profiling of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Using Genome-Wide Exon Arrays

    PubMed Central

    Gillett, Alan; Maratou, Klio; Fewings, Chris; Harris, Robert A.; Jagodic, Maja; Aitman, Tim; Olsson, Tomas

    2009-01-01

    Background Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease causing demyelination and nerve loss in the central nervous system. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model of MS that is widely used to investigate complex pathogenic mechanisms. Transcriptional control through isoform selection and mRNA levels determines pathway activation and ultimately susceptibility to disease. Methodology/Principal Findings We have studied the role of alternative splicing and differential expression in lymph node cells from EAE-susceptible Dark Agouti (DA) and EAE-resistant Piebald Virol Glaxo.AV1 (PVG) inbred rat strains using Affymetrix Gene Chip Rat Exon 1.0 ST Arrays. Comparing the two strains, we identified 11 differentially spliced and 206 differentially expressed genes at day 7 post-immunization, as well as 9 differentially spliced and 144 differentially expressed genes upon autoantigen re-stimulation. Functional clustering and pathway analysis implicate genes for glycosylation, lymphocyte activation, potassium channel activity and cellular differentiation in EAE susceptibility. Conclusions/Significance Our results demonstrate that alternative splicing occurs during complex disease and may govern EAE susceptibility. Additionally, transcriptome analysis not only identified previously defined EAE pathways regulating the immune system, but also novel mechanisms. Furthermore, several identified genes overlap known quantitative trait loci, providing novel causative candidate targets governing EAE. PMID:19915720

  6. Entire litters developed from transferred eggs in whole body x-irradiated female mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, T.P.

    1980-07-01

    The sensitivity of mouse eggs to sublethal x-irradiation was determined in vitro and in vivo with regard to the development of donor litters in foster mothers. One thousand seven hundred fifty-eight unfertilized eggs of agouti dark-eyed donor mice were transferred into 293 unirradiated or x-irradiated, mated female pink-eyed mice. Two hundred thirty-nine recipients became pregnant; of these 35 produced litters containing solely dark-eyed fetuses. Sublethal doses of x-radiation administered to donor eggs in vitro before transferring into unirradiated recipients did not influence significantly the number of litters of exclusively dark-eyed fetuses produced. However, recipients irradiated by 250 roentgens (r) produced more solely dark-eyed litters than did those irradiated with 100 r. In 21 pregnant females irradiated by 100 r, only 3 (14%) developed solely dark-eyed fetuses as compared to 22 pregnant females irradiated by 250 r, of which 13 (59%) developed solely dark-eyed fetuses, all from unirradiated, transferred eggs. Of another group of 22 pregnant females which received 250 r body irradiation and subsequently received eggs also irradiated by 250 r, only 7 (32%) produced litters of dark-eyed fetuses. No one female of these three groups carried native fetuses. Such radiation-induced infertility resulting from damage of native eggs rather than loss of mother's ability to carry a pregnancy, is frequently remedied by egg transfer.

  7. Effects of Hypothalamic Neurodegeneration on Energy Balance

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Normal aging in humans and rodents is accompanied by a progressive increase in adiposity. To investigate the role of hypothalamic neuronal circuits in this process, we used a Cre-lox strategy to create mice with specific and progressive degeneration of hypothalamic neurons that express agouti-related protein (Agrp) or proopiomelanocortin (Pomc), neuropeptides that promote positive or negative energy balance, respectively, through their opposing effects on melanocortin receptor signaling. In previous studies, Pomc mutant mice became obese, but Agrp mutant mice were surprisingly normal, suggesting potential compensation by neuronal circuits or genetic redundancy. Here we find that Pomc-ablation mice develop obesity similar to that described for Pomc knockout mice, but also exhibit defects in compensatory hyperphagia similar to what occurs during normal aging. Agrp-ablation female mice exhibit reduced adiposity with normal compensatory hyperphagia, while animals ablated for both Pomc and Agrp neurons exhibit an additive interaction phenotype. These findings provide new insight into the roles of hypothalamic neurons in energy balance regulation, and provide a model for understanding defects in human energy balance associated with neurodegeneration and aging. PMID:16296893

  8. Altered regulation of energy homeostasis in older rats in response to thyroid hormone administration.

    PubMed

    Walrand, Stephane; Short, Kevin R; Heemstra, Lydia A; Novak, Colleen M; Levine, James A; Coenen-Schimke, Jill M; Nair, K Sreekumaran

    2014-03-01

    Hyperthyroidism causes increased energy intake and expenditure, although anorexia and higher weight loss have been reported in elderly individuals with hyperthyroidism. To determine the effect of age on energy homeostasis in response to experimental hyperthyroidism, we administered 200 μg tri-iodothyronine (T3) in 7- and 27-mo-old rats for 14 d. T3 increased energy expenditure (EE) in both the young and the old rats, although the old rats lost more weight (147 g) than the young rats (58 g) because of the discordant effect of T3 on food intake, with a 40% increase in the young rats, but a 40% decrease in the old ones. The increased food intake in the young rats corresponded with a T3-mediated increase in the appetite-regulating proteins agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y, and uncoupling protein 2 in the hypothalamus, but no increase occurred in the old rats. Evidence of mitochondrial biogenesis in response to T3 was similar in the soleus muscle and heart of the young and old animals, but less consistent in old plantaris muscle and liver. Despite the comparable increase in EE, T3's effect on mitochondrial function was modulated by age in a tissue-specific manner. We conclude that older rats lack compensatory mechanisms to increase caloric intake in response to a T3-induced increase in EE, demonstrating a detrimental effect of age on energy homeostasis. PMID:24344330

  9. Inhibition of hypothalamic Foxo1 expression reduced food intake in diet-induced obesity rats

    PubMed Central

    Ropelle, Eduardo R; Pauli, José R; Prada, Patrícia; Cintra, Dennys E; Rocha, Guilherme Z; Moraes, Juliana C; Frederico, Marisa J S; da Luz, Gabrielle; Pinho, Ricardo A; Carvalheira, José B C; Velloso, Licio A; Saad, Mario A; De Souza, Cláudio T

    2009-01-01

    Insulin signalling in the hypothalamus plays a role in maintaining body weight. The forkhead transcription factor Foxo1 is an important mediator of insulin signalling in the hypothalamus. Foxo1 stimulates the transcription of the orexigenic neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signalling pathway, but the role of hypothalamic Foxo1 in insulin resistance and obesity remains unclear. Here, we identify that a high-fat diet impaired insulin-induced hypothalamic Foxo1 phosphorylation and degradation, increasing the nuclear Foxo1 activity and hyperphagic response in rats. Thus, we investigated the effects of the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) microinfusion of Foxo1-antisense oligonucleotide (Foxo1-ASO) and evaluated the food consumption and weight gain in normal and diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Three days of Foxo1-ASO microinfusion reduced the hypothalamic Foxo1 expression by about 85%. i.c.v. infusion of Foxo1-ASO reduced the cumulative food intake (21%), body weight change (28%), epididymal fat pad weight (22%) and fasting serum insulin levels (19%) and increased the insulin sensitivity (34%) in DIO but not in control animals. Collectively, these data showed that the Foxo1-ASO treatment blocked the orexigenic effects of Foxo1 and prevented the hyperphagic response in obese rats. Thus, pharmacological manipulation of Foxo1 may be used to prevent or treat obesity. PMID:19332486

  10. Regulatory Alterations of Energy Homeostasis in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR).

    PubMed

    Furedi, Nora; Miko, Alexandra; Aubrecht, Bianka; Gaszner, Balazs; Feller, Diana; Rostas, Ildiko; Tenk, Judit; Soos, Szilvia; Balasko, Marta; Balogh, Andras; Pap, Marianna; Petervari, Erika

    2016-08-01

    Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have high sympathetic tone and progressive hypertension. Chronic calorie-restriction prevents hypertension. Their food intake (FI) and body weight are lower than in normotensive (NT) controls, even on a high-fat diet, suggesting a dysregulation of energy homeostasis. We assumed enhanced activity of hypothalamic anorexigenic melanocortins and diminished tone of orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the background. FI of male SHR and NT Wistar rats was recorded in a FeedScale system upon intracerebroventricular injection of NPY, melanocortin ligands alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) or during a 7-day intracerebroventricular infusion of melanocortin antagonist HS024. Alpha-MSH, NPY, and AgRP immunoreactivities were semi-quantified in the arcuate (ARC) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei of the hypothalamus in NT vs. SHR. Proopiomelanocortin gene expression was also assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in the ARC. Melanocortin-induced anorexia was stronger, FI induced by NPY or HS024 was smaller and delayed in SHR. Cellular alpha-MSH-specific signal density was higher in the ARC of SHR as evaluated by immunofluerescence, which was supported by PCR data. In the PVN, no differences in alpha-MSH-, NPY-, or AgRP-immunosignal were observed. Our results suggest that a higher melanocortin production/responsiveness and lower NPY responsiveness may contribute to the body weight dysregulation of SHR. PMID:27339773

  11. Hippuric acid and methyl hippuric acid in rat hair: possible monitoring of xylene and toluene exposure.

    PubMed

    Saito, Takeshi; Kusakabe, Takahiko; Takeichi, Sanae

    2003-04-23

    Thinner is mainly composed of toluene and xylenes, and we studied the incorporation of the main metabolites of toluene and xylenes, hippuric acid (HA) and o-, m-, and p-methyl hippuric acids (o-, m-, p-MHA), in dark agouti rats' hair. Rat black hair was shaved before any exposure with an electric shaver designed for animals. Studies were performed in vivo with exposures of 30 min per day at three different concentrations (100, 300, and 1000 ppm) of toluene and o-, m-, and p-xylene for a total of 10 times over 2 weeks. Newly grown hair was tweezed out from the root with tweezers at seventh of the last exposure. Hair samples were then washed, extracted, derivatized, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). HA and o-, m-, and p-MHA were not detected (ND) in the unexposed rat hair. After exposure, the metabolite concentration in the hair changed depending on the exposure concentration. Mean concentrations ranged from ND to 7.6 ng/mg, from ND to 13.8 ng/mg, from ND to 10.1 ng/mg, and from ND to 9.2 ng/ml hair for HA, o-, m-, and p-MHA, respectively. These results indicate that the metabolites concentrations in hair are effective indices of thinner exposure. PMID:12742703

  12. Fto colocalizes with a satiety mediator oxytocin in the brain and upregulates oxytocin gene expression

    SciTech Connect

    Olszewski, Pawel K.; Fredriksson, Robert; Eriksson, Jenny D.; Mitra, Anaya; Radomska, Katarzyna J.; Gosnell, Blake A.; Solvang, Maria N.; Levine, Allen S.; Schioeth, Helgi B.

    2011-05-13

    Highlights: {yields} The majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto. {yields} The level of colocalization is similar in the male and female brain. {yields} Fto overexpression in hypothalamic neurons increases oxytocin mRNA levels by 50%. {yields} Oxytocin does not affect Fto expression through negative feedback mechanisms. -- Abstract: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with obesity in humans. Alterations in Fto expression in transgenic animals affect body weight, energy expenditure and food intake. Fto, a nuclear protein and proposed transcription co-factor, has been speculated to affect energy balance through a functional relationship with specific genes encoding feeding-related peptides. Herein, we employed double immunohistochemistry and showed that the majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto in the brain of male and female mice. We then overexpressed Fto in a murine hypothalamic cell line and, using qPCR, detected a 50% increase in the level of oxytocin mRNA. Expression levels of several other feeding-related genes, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP), were unaffected by the FTO transfection. Addition of 10 and 100 nmol oxytocin to the cell culture medium did not affect Fto expression in hypothalamic cells. We conclude that Fto, a proposed transcription co-factor, influences expression of the gene encoding a satiety mediator, oxytocin.

  13. A neural basis for melanocortin-4 receptor regulated appetite

    PubMed Central

    Garfield, Alastair S.; Li, Chia; Madara, Joseph C.; Shah, Bhavik P.; Webber, Emily; Steger, Jennifer S.; Campbell, John N.; Gavrilova, Oksana; Lee, Charlotte E.; Olson, David P.; Elmquist, Joel K.; Tannous, Bakhos A.; Krashes, Michael J.; Lowell, Bradford B.

    2015-01-01

    Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)- and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons are oppositely regulated by caloric depletion and co-ordinately stimulate and inhibit homeostatic satiety, respectively. This bimodality is principally underscored by the antagonistic actions of these ligands at downstream melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Although this population is critical to energy balance the underlying neural circuitry remains unknown. Enabled by mice expressing Cre-recombinase in MC4R neurons, we demonstrate bidirectional control of feeding following real-time activation and inhibition of PVHMC4R neurons and further identify these cells as a functional exponent of ARCAgRP neuron-driven hunger. Moreover, we reveal this function to be mediated by a PVHMC4R→lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN) pathway. Activation of this circuit encodes positive valence, but only in calorically depleted mice. Thus, the satiating and appetitive nature of PVHMC4R→LPBN neurons supports the principles of drive reduction and highlights this circuit as a promising target for anti-obesity drug development. PMID:25915476

  14. Neonatal insulin action impairs hypothalamic neurocircuit formation in response to maternal high-fat feeding.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Merly C; Paeger, Lars; Hess, Simon; Steculorum, Sophie M; Awazawa, Motoharu; Hampel, Brigitte; Neupert, Susanne; Nicholls, Hayley T; Mauer, Jan; Hausen, A Christine; Predel, Reinhard; Kloppenburg, Peter; Horvath, Tamas L; Brüning, Jens C

    2014-01-30

    Maternal metabolic homeostasis exerts long-term effects on the offspring's health outcomes. Here, we demonstrate that maternal high-fat diet (HFD) feeding during lactation predisposes the offspring for obesity and impaired glucose homeostasis in mice, which is associated with an impairment of the hypothalamic melanocortin circuitry. Whereas the number and neuropeptide expression of anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and orexigenic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons, electrophysiological properties of POMC neurons, and posttranslational processing of POMC remain unaffected in response to maternal HFD feeding during lactation, the formation of POMC and AgRP projections to hypothalamic target sites is severely impaired. Abrogating insulin action in POMC neurons of the offspring prevents altered POMC projections to the preautonomic paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH), pancreatic parasympathetic innervation, and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in response to maternal overnutrition. These experiments reveal a critical timing, when altered maternal metabolism disrupts metabolic homeostasis in the offspring via impairing neuronal projections, and show that abnormal insulin signaling contributes to this effect. PMID:24462248

  15. Failure to upregulate Agrp and Orexin in response to activity based anorexia in weight loss vulnerable rats characterized by passive stress coping and prenatal stress experience.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Gretha J; Liang, Nu-Chu; Lee, Richard S; Albertz, Jennifer D; Kastelein, Anneke; Moody, Laura A; Aryal, Shivani; Moran, Timothy H; Tamashiro, Kellie L

    2016-05-01

    We hypothesize that anorexia nervosa (AN) poses a physiological stress. Therefore, the way an individual copes with stress may affect AN vulnerability. Since prenatal stress (PNS) exposure alters stress responsivity in offspring this may increase their risk of developing AN. We tested this hypothesis using the activity based anorexia (ABA) rat model in control and PNS rats that were characterized by either proactive or passive stress-coping behavior. We found that PNS passively coping rats ate less and lost more weight during the ABA paradigm. Exposure to ABA resulted in higher baseline corticosterone and lower insulin levels in all groups. However, leptin levels were only decreased in rats with a proactive stress-coping style. Similarly, ghrelin levels were increased only in proactively coping ABA rats. Neuropeptide Y (Npy) expression was increased and proopiomelanocortin (Pomc) expression was decreased in all rats exposed to ABA. In contrast, agouti-related peptide (Agrp) and orexin (Hctr) expression were increased in all but the PNS passively coping ABA rats. Furthermore, DNA methylation of the orexin gene was increased after ABA in proactive coping rats and not in passive coping rats. Overall our study suggests that passive PNS rats have innate impairments in leptin and ghrelin in responses to starvation combined with prenatal stress associated impairments in Agrp and orexin expression in response to starvation. These impairments may underlie decreased food intake and associated heightened body weight loss during ABA in the passively coping PNS rats. PMID:26907996

  16. Hypothalamic lipophagy and energetic balance.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rajat

    2011-10-01

    Autophagy is a conserved cellular turnover process that degrades unwanted cytoplasmic material within lysosomes. Through "in bulk" degradation of cytoplasmic proteins and organelles, including lipid droplets, autophagy helps provide an alternative fuel source, in particular, when nutrients are scarce. Recent work demonstrates a role for autophagy in hypothalamic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons in regulation of food intake and energy balance. The induction of autophagy in hypothalamic neurons during starvation mobilizes neuronal neutral lipids to generate neuron-intrinsic free fatty acids that serve to upregulate fasting-induced AgRP levels. Blocking autophagy in AgRP neurons in mice reduces fasting-induced food intake, and increases constitutive levels of anorexigenic hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin and its cleavage product α-melanocyte stimulating hormone. The energetic consequences of these molecular events are decreased body weight and reduced adiposity. The present article discusses this recent finding, as well as considers possible future directions that may help better understand how neuronal autophagy, and its possible reduction during aging, may affect whole body energy balance. PMID:22024462

  17. Peripheral chemerin administration modulates hypothalamic control of feeding.

    PubMed

    Brunetti, Luigi; Orlando, Giustino; Ferrante, Claudio; Recinella, Lucia; Leone, Sheila; Chiavaroli, Annalisa; Di Nisio, Chiara; Shohreh, Rugia; Manippa, Fabio; Ricciuti, Adriana; Vacca, Michele

    2014-01-01

    Chemerin is a recently identified adipokine that is involved in the regulation of adipogenesis, energy metabolism, and inflammation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of chemerin on food intake, body weight and hypothalamic peptidergic and aminergic modulators which play a pivotal role in feeding regulation in rats. Male adult Wistar rats were intraperitoneally injected, daily for 17 days at 9.00am, with either vehicle (saline; N=12) or chemerin (8μg/kg; N=12) and (16μg/kg; N=12). Food intake was recorded 24h after each administration. Animals were sacrificed 24h after the last injection. Total RNA was extracted from hypothalami and reverse transcribed to evaluate gene expression of agouti-related peptide (AgRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), orexin-A, corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of chemerin on dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin steady state concentrations in rat hypothalamus homogenate, and monoamine release from rat hypothalamic synaptosomes. Chemerin administration (8 and 16μg/kg) decreased both food intake and body weight compared to vehicle, possibly associated with a significant increase in serotonin synthesis and release, in the hypothalamus. On the other hand, the pattern of gene expression following chemerin administration indicates a minor role played by chemerin as a peripheral appetite-regulating signal. PMID:24269538

  18. An excitatory paraventricular nucleus to AgRP neuron circuit that drives hunger.

    PubMed

    Krashes, Michael J; Shah, Bhavik P; Madara, Joseph C; Olson, David P; Strochlic, David E; Garfield, Alastair S; Vong, Linh; Pei, Hongjuan; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko; Uchida, Naoshige; Liberles, Stephen D; Lowell, Bradford B

    2014-03-13

    Hunger is a hard-wired motivational state essential for survival. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) at the base of the hypothalamus are crucial to the control of hunger. They are activated by caloric deficiency and, when naturally or artificially stimulated, they potently induce intense hunger and subsequent food intake. Consistent with their obligatory role in regulating appetite, genetic ablation or chemogenetic inhibition of AgRP neurons decreases feeding. Excitatory input to AgRP neurons is important in caloric-deficiency-induced activation, and is notable for its remarkable degree of caloric-state-dependent synaptic plasticity. Despite the important role of excitatory input, its source(s) has been unknown. Here, through the use of Cre-recombinase-enabled, cell-specific neuron mapping techniques in mice, we have discovered strong excitatory drive that, unexpectedly, emanates from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, specifically from subsets of neurons expressing thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP, also known as ADCYAP1). Chemogenetic stimulation of these afferent neurons in sated mice markedly activates AgRP neurons and induces intense feeding. Conversely, acute inhibition in mice with caloric-deficiency-induced hunger decreases feeding. Discovery of these afferent neurons capable of triggering hunger advances understanding of how this intense motivational state is regulated. PMID:24487620

  19. Tachykinin-1 in the Central Nervous System Regulates Adiposity in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Chitrang; Shan, Xiaoye; Tung, Yi-Chun Loraine; Kabra, Dhiraj; Holland, Jenna; Amburgy, Sarah; Heppner, Kristy; Kirchner, Henriette; Yeo, Giles S. H.

    2015-01-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating hormone that targets the central nervous system to regulate feeding and adiposity. The best-characterized neural system that mediates the effects of ghrelin on energy balance involves the activation of neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide neurons, expressed exclusively in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. However, ghrelin receptors are expressed in other neuronal populations involved in the control of energy balance. We combined laser capture microdissection of several nuclei of the central nervous system expressing the ghrelin receptor (GH secretagoge receptor) with microarray gene expression analysis to identify additional neuronal systems involved in the control of central nervous system-ghrelin action. We identified tachykinin-1 (Tac1) as a gene negatively regulated by ghrelin in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, we identified neuropeptide k as the TAC1-derived peptide with more prominent activity, inducing negative energy balance when delivered directly into the brain. Conversely, loss of Tac1 expression enhances the effectiveness of ghrelin promoting fat mass gain both in male and in female mice and increases the susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in ovariectomized mice. Taken together, our data demonstrate a role TAC1 in the control energy balance by regulating the levels of adiposity in response to ghrelin administration and to changes in the status of the gonadal function. PMID:25751638

  20. AgRP Neurons Control Systemic Insulin Sensitivity via Myostatin Expression in Brown Adipose Tissue.

    PubMed

    Steculorum, Sophie M; Ruud, Johan; Karakasilioti, Ismene; Backes, Heiko; Engström Ruud, Linda; Timper, Katharina; Hess, Martin E; Tsaousidou, Eva; Mauer, Jan; Vogt, Merly C; Paeger, Lars; Bremser, Stephan; Klein, Andreas C; Morgan, Donald A; Frommolt, Peter; Brinkkötter, Paul T; Hammerschmidt, Philipp; Benzing, Thomas; Rahmouni, Kamal; Wunderlich, F Thomas; Kloppenburg, Peter; Brüning, Jens C

    2016-03-24

    Activation of Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons potently promotes feeding, and chronically altering their activity also affects peripheral glucose homeostasis. We demonstrate that acute activation of AgRP neurons causes insulin resistance through impairment of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake into brown adipose tissue (BAT). AgRP neuron activation acutely reprograms gene expression in BAT toward a myogenic signature, including increased expression of myostatin. Interference with myostatin activity improves insulin sensitivity that was impaired by AgRP neurons activation. Optogenetic circuitry mapping reveals that feeding and insulin sensitivity are controlled by both distinct and overlapping projections. Stimulation of AgRP → LHA projections impairs insulin sensitivity and promotes feeding while activation of AgRP → anterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (aBNST)vl projections, distinct from AgRP → aBNSTdm projections controlling feeding, mediate the effect of AgRP neuron activation on BAT-myostatin expression and insulin sensitivity. Collectively, our results suggest that AgRP neurons in mice induce not only eating, but also insulin resistance by stimulating expression of muscle-related genes in BAT, revealing a mechanism by which these neurons rapidly coordinate hunger states with glucose homeostasis. PMID:27015310

  1. Juvenile-onset loss of lipid-raft domains in attractin-deficient mice

    SciTech Connect

    Azouz, Abdallah; Gunn, Teresa M.; Duke-Cohan, Jonathan S. . E-mail: Jonathan_Duke-Cohan@dfci.harvard.edu

    2007-02-15

    Mutations at the attractin (Atrn) locus in mice result in altered pigmentation on an agouti background, higher basal metabolic rate and juvenile-onset hypomyelination leading to neurodegeneration, while studies on human immune cells indicate a chemotaxis regulatory function. The underlying biochemical defect remains elusive. In this report we identify a role for attractin in plasma membrane maintenance. In attractin's absence there is a decline in plasma membrane glycolipid-enriched rafts from normal levels at 8 weeks to a complete absence by 24 weeks. The structural integrity of lipid rafts depends upon cholesterol and sphingomyelin, and can be identified by partitioning within of ganglioside GM{sub 1}. Despite a significant fall in cellular cholesterol with maturity, and a lesser fall in both membrane and total cellular GM{sub 1}, these parameters lag behind raft loss, and are normal when hypomyelination/neurodegeneration has already begun thus supporting consequence rather than cause. These findings can be recapitulated in Atrn-deficient cell lines propagated in vitro. Further, signal transduction through complex membrane receptor assemblies is not grossly disturbed despite the complete absence of lipid rafts. We find these results compatible with a role for attractin in plasma membrane maintenance and consistent with the proposal that the juvenile-onset hypomyelination and neurodegeneration represent a defect in attractin-mediated raft-dependent myelin biogenesis.

  2. A High-Throughput Fluorescence-Based Assay System for Appetite-Regulating Gene and Drug Screening

    PubMed Central

    Shimada, Yasuhito; Hirano, Minoru; Nishimura, Yuhei; Tanaka, Toshio

    2012-01-01

    The increasing number of people suffering from metabolic syndrome and obesity is becoming a serious problem not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries. However, there are few agents currently approved for the treatment of obesity. Those that are available are mainly appetite suppressants and gastrointestinal fat blockers. We have developed a simple and rapid method for the measurement of the feeding volume of Danio rerio (zebrafish). This assay can be used to screen appetite suppressants and enhancers. In this study, zebrafish were fed viable paramecia that were fluorescently-labeled, and feeding volume was measured using a 96-well microplate reader. Gene expression analysis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf), knockdown of appetite-regulating genes (neuropeptide Y, preproinsulin, melanocortin 4 receptor, agouti related protein, and cannabinoid receptor 1), and the administration of clinical appetite suppressants (fluoxetine, sibutramine, mazindol, phentermine, and rimonabant) revealed the similarity among mechanisms regulating appetite in zebrafish and mammals. In combination with behavioral analysis, we were able to evaluate adverse effects on locomotor activities from gene knockdown and chemical treatments. In conclusion, we have developed an assay that uses zebrafish, which can be applied to high-throughput screening and target gene discovery for appetite suppressants and enhancers. PMID:23300705

  3. Defining the Contribution of MC1R Physiological Ligands to ATR Phosphorylation at Ser435, a Predictor of DNA Repair in Melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Jarrett, Stuart G; Wolf Horrell, Erin M; Boulanger, Mary C; D'Orazio, John A

    2015-12-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a GS-coupled receptor that signals through cAMP and protein kinase A (PKA), regulates pigmentation, adaptive tanning, and melanoma resistance. MC1R-cAMP signaling promotes PKA-mediated phosphorylation of ataxia telangiectasia and rad3-related (ATR) at Ser435 (ATR-pS435), a modification that enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER) by facilitating recruitment of the XPA protein to sites of UV-induced DNA damage. High-throughput methods were developed to quantify ATR-pS435, measure XPA-photodamage interactions, and assess NER function. We report that melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) or ACTH induce ATR-pS435, enhance XPA's association with UV-damaged DNA and optimize melanocytic NER. In contrast, MC1R antagonists agouti signaling protein (ASIP) or human β-defensin 3 (HBD3) interfere with ATR-pS435 generation, impair the XPA-DNA interaction, and reduce DNA repair. Although ASIP and HBD3 each blocked α-MSH-mediated induction of the signaling pathway, only ASIP depleted basal ATR-pS435. Our findings confirm that ASIP diminishes agonist-independent MC1R basal signaling whereas HBD3 is a neutral MC1R antagonist that blocks activation by melanocortins. Furthermore, our data suggest that ATR-pS435 may be a useful biomarker for the DNA repair-deficient MC1R phenotype. PMID:26168232

  4. Genetics of Sex-linked yellow in the Syrian Hamster

    PubMed Central

    Alizadeh, Azita; Hong, Lewis Z.; Kaelin, Christopher B.; Raudsepp, Terje; Manuel, Hermogenes; Barsh, Gregory S.

    2009-01-01

    Alternating patches of black and yellow pigment are a ubiquitous feature of mammalian color variation that contributes to camouflage, species recognition, and morphologic diversity. X-linked determinants of this pattern—recognized by variegation in females but not in males—have been described in the domestic cat as Orange, and in the Syrian hamster as Sex-linked yellow (Sly), but are curiously absent from other vertebrate species. Using a comparative genomic approach, we develop molecular markers and a linkage map for the euchromatic region of the Syrian hamster X chromosome that places Sly in a region homologous to the centromere-proximal region of human Xp. Comparison to analogous work carried out for Orange in domestic cats indicates, surprisingly, that the cat and hamster mutations lie in nonhomologous regions of the X chromosome. We also identify the molecular cause of recessively inherited black coat color in hamsters (historically referred to as nonagouti) as a Cys115Tyr mutation in the Agouti gene. Animals doubly mutant for Sly and nonagouti exhibit a Sly phenotype. Our results indicate that Sly represents a melanocortin pathway component that acts similarly to, but is genetically distinct from, Mc1r and that has implications for understanding both the evolutionary history and the mutational mechanisms of pigment-type switching. PMID:19189957

  5. A Postsynaptic AMPK→p21-Activated Kinase Pathway Drives Fasting-Induced Synaptic Plasticity in AgRP Neurons.

    PubMed

    Kong, Dong; Dagon, Yossi; Campbell, John N; Guo, Yikun; Yang, Zongfang; Yi, Xinchi; Aryal, Pratik; Wellenstein, Kerry; Kahn, Barbara B; Sabatini, Bernardo L; Lowell, Bradford B

    2016-07-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays an important role in regulating food intake. The downstream AMPK substrates and neurobiological mechanisms responsible for this, however, are ill defined. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons in the arcuate nucleus regulate hunger. Their firing increases with fasting, and once engaged they cause feeding. AgRP neuron activity is regulated by state-dependent synaptic plasticity: fasting increases dendritic spines and excitatory synaptic activity; feeding does the opposite. The signaling mechanisms underlying this, however, are also unknown. Using neuron-specific approaches to measure and manipulate kinase activity specifically within AgRP neurons, we establish that fasting increases AMPK activity in AgRP neurons, that increased AMPK activity in AgRP neurons is both necessary and sufficient for fasting-induced spinogenesis and excitatory synaptic activity, and that the AMPK phosphorylation target mediating this plasticity is p21-activated kinase. This provides a signaling and neurobiological basis for both AMPK regulation of energy balance and AgRP neuron state-dependent plasticity. PMID:27321921

  6. The challenges and importance of structural variation detection in livestock

    PubMed Central

    Bickhart, Derek M.; Liu, George E.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in humans and other model organisms have demonstrated that structural variants (SVs) comprise a substantial proportion of variation among individuals of each species. Many of these variants have been linked to debilitating diseases in humans, thereby cementing the importance of refining methods for their detection. Despite progress in the field, reliable detection of SVs still remains a problem even for human subjects. Many of the underlying problems that make SVs difficult to detect in humans are amplified in livestock species, whose lower quality genome assemblies and incomplete gene annotation can often give rise to false positive SV discoveries. Regardless of the challenges, SV detection is just as important for livestock researchers as it is for human researchers, given that several productive traits and diseases have been linked to copy number variations (CNVs) in cattle, sheep, and pig. Already, there is evidence that many beneficial SVs have been artificially selected in livestock such as a duplication of the agouti signaling protein gene that causes white coat color in sheep. In this review, we will list current SV and CNV discoveries in livestock and discuss the problems that hinder routine discovery and tracking of these polymorphisms. We will also discuss the impacts of selective breeding on CNV and SV frequencies and mention how SV genotyping could be used in the future to improve genetic selection. PMID:24600474

  7. Strain differences of cadmium-induced toxicity in rats: Insight from spleen and lung immune responses.

    PubMed

    Demenesku, Jelena; Popov Aleksandrov, Aleksandra; Mirkov, Ivana; Ninkov, Marina; Zolotarevski, Lidija; Kataranovski, Dragan; Brceski, Ilija; Kataranovski, Milena

    2016-08-10

    The impact of genetic background on effects of acute i.p. cadmium administration (0.5mg/kg and 1mg/kg) on basic immune activity of spleen and lungs was examined in two rat strains, Albino Oxford (AO) and Dark Agouti (DA), known to react differently to chemicals. More pronounced inhibition of Concanavalin A (ConA)-induced and Interleukin (IL)-2 stimulated spleen cell proliferation as well as higher levels of nitric oxide (known to decrease cell's proliferative ability) in DA rats at 1mg/kg, along with greater inhibition of ConA-induced Interferon (IFN-γ)-production by total and mononuclear (MNC) spleen cells and IL-17 production by spleen MNC in DA vs. AO rats at this dose show greater susceptibility of this strain to Cd effects on spleen cells response. More pronounced infiltration of neutrophils/CD11b(+) cells to lungs of DA rats treated with 1mg/kg of Cd and decreased IL-17 lung cell responses noted solely in DA rats speaks in favor of their higher susceptibility to this metal. However, lack of strain disparity in lung cells IFN-γ responses show that there are regional differences as well. Novel data from this study depict complexity of the influence of genetic background on the effects of cadmium on host immune reactivity. PMID:27234498

  8. Pre- and post-weaning cold exposure does not lead to an obese phenotype in adult Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, De-Hua

    2011-07-01

    Evidence has shown that postnatal undernutrition, overnutrition and cold stress are associated with imbalanced metabolic regulation as rodents achieve adulthood. In this study, we used a breeding colony of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), a wild rodent species from the Inner Mongolia grasslands in China, to examine the effects of pre- and post-weaning cold exposure on the adult body (fat) mass, serum hormones and hypothalamic neuropeptides. Unlike laboratory rodents, vole offspring exposed to pre-weaning cold did not exhibit overweight or obese phenotypes in adulthood compared with unexposed controls. Moreover, adult male voles that remained in colder conditions had less body mass and lower serum leptin levels despite having higher food intake compared to other groups. To understand the mechanism of this unexpected regulation, hypothalamic gene expression was assessed for pre- and post-weaning cold exposure. Voles exposed to cold before weaning increased hypothalamic, orexigenic agouti-related protein (AgRP) and decreased anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression at weaning. These expression changes were associated with hyperphagia and catch-up growth after weaning. Interestingly, these changes in hypothalamic neuropeptides were short lasting because in adult voles these differences were no longer apparent, which might explain why the pre-weaning, cold-exposed voles did not become obese in adulthood. These data suggest that some species do not develop an obese phenotype in response to early life cold stress. PMID:21635895

  9. New inducible genetic method reveals critical roles of GABA in the control of feeding and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fantao; Han, Yong; Srisai, Dollada; Belakhov, Valery; Farias, Monica; Xu, Yong; Palmiter, Richard D; Baasov, Timor; Wu, Qi

    2016-03-29

    Currently available inducible Cre/loxP systems, despite their considerable utility in gene manipulation, have pitfalls in certain scenarios, such as unsatisfactory recombination rates and deleterious effects on physiology and behavior. To overcome these limitations, we designed a new, inducible gene-targeting system by introducing an in-frame nonsense mutation into the coding sequence of Cre recombinase (nsCre). Mutant mRNAs transcribed from nsCre transgene can be efficiently translated into full-length, functional Cre recombinase in the presence of nonsense suppressors such as aminoglycosides. In a proof-of-concept model, GABA signaling from hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) was genetically inactivated within 4 d after treatment with a synthetic aminoglycoside. Disruption of GABA synthesis in AgRP neurons in young adult mice led to a dramatic loss of body weight due to reduced food intake and elevated energy expenditure; they also manifested glucose intolerance. In contrast, older mice with genetic inactivation of GABA signaling by AgRP neurons had only transient reduction of feeding and body weight; their energy expenditure and glucose tolerance were unaffected. These results indicate that GABAergic signaling from AgRP neurons plays a key role in the control of feeding and metabolism through an age-dependent mechanism. This new genetic technique will augment current tools used to elucidate mechanisms underlying many physiological and neurological processes. PMID:26976589

  10. Development of injury in a rat model of chronic renal allograft rejection: effect of dietary protein restriction.

    PubMed

    Bombas, A; Stein-Oakley, A N; Baxter, K; Thomson, N M; Jablonski, P

    1999-01-01

    Non-allogeneic factors such as increased nephron "workload" may contribute to chronic renal allograft rejection. Reducing dietary protein from 20% to 8% was tested in a model of chronic rejection: Dark Agouti kidney to Albino Surgery recipient, "tolerised" by previous donor blood transfusions. Survival, weight gain, serum creatinine concentration and creatinine clearance were similar for both groups at all times. Urinary protein was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the low-protein (LP) group 1 month after transplantation. After 3 and 6 months, both groups demonstrated mild chronic rejection. After 6 months, tubular atrophy was significantly (P < 0.05) less in the LP group and interstitial fibrosis was marginally reduced. Glomerular hypertrophy, glomerular sclerosis, tubular dilatation, leucocyte infiltration, adhesion molecule expression and TGF-beta1 mRNA expression were similarly increased in both groups. Thus, reducing dietary protein to 8% lowered urinary protein, but did not significantly affect the development of chronic rejection in renal allografts beyond affording a degree of protection from tubulointerstitial damage. PMID:10080402

  11. A SINE insertion causes the black-and-tan and saddle tan phenotypes in domestic dogs.

    PubMed

    Dreger, Dayna L; Schmutz, Sheila M

    2011-01-01

    Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) controls the localized expression of red and black pigment in the domestic dog through interaction with other genes, such as Melanocortin 1 Receptor and Beta-Defensin 103. Specific ASIP alleles are necessary for many of the coat color patterns, such as black-and-tan and saddle tan. Mutations in 2 ASIP alleles, a(y) and a, have previously been identified. Here, we characterize a mutation consisting of a short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) insertion in intron 1 of ASIP that allows for the differentiation of the a(w) wolf sable and a(t) black-and-tan alleles. The SINE insertion is present in dogs with the a(t) and a alleles but absent from dogs with the a(w) and a(y) alleles. Dogs with the saddle tan phenotype were all a(t)/a(t). Schnauzers were all a(w)/a(w). Genotypes of 201 dogs of 35 breeds suggest that there are only 4 ASIP alleles, as opposed to the 5 or 6 predicted in previous literature. These data demonstrate that the dominance hierarchy of ASIP is a(y) > a(w) > a(t) > a. PMID:21846741

  12. Identification of a mutation that is associated with the saddle tan and black-and-tan phenotypes in Basset Hounds and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

    PubMed

    Dreger, Dayna L; Parker, Heidi G; Ostrander, Elaine A; Schmutz, Sheila M

    2013-01-01

    The causative mutation for the black-and-tan (a (t) ) phenotype in dogs was previously shown to be a SINE insertion in the 5' region of Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP). Dogs with the black-and-tan phenotype, as well as dogs with the saddle tan phenotype, genotype as a (t) /_ at this locus. We have identified a 16-bp duplication (g.1875_1890dupCCCCAGGTCAGAGTTT) in an intron of hnRNP associated with lethal yellow (RALY), which segregates with the black-and-tan phenotype in a group of 99 saddle tan and black-and-tan Basset Hounds and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. In these breeds, all dogs with the saddle tan phenotype had RALY genotypes of +/+ or +/dup, whereas dogs with the black-and-tan phenotype were homozygous for the duplication. The presence of an a (y) /_ fawn or e/e red genotype is epistatic to the +/_ saddle tan genotype. Genotypes from 10 wolves and 1 coyote indicated that the saddle tan (+) allele is the ancestral allele, suggesting that black-and-tan is a modification of saddle tan. An additional 95 dogs from breeds that never have the saddle tan phenotype have all three of the possible RALY genotypes. We suggest that a multi-gene interaction involving ASIP, RALY, MC1R, DEFB103, and a yet-unidentified modifier gene is required for expression of saddle tan. PMID:23519866

  13. Ribosomal S6K1 in POMC and AgRP Neurons Regulates Glucose Homeostasis but Not Feeding Behavior in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Mark A.; Katsouri, Loukia; Irvine, Elaine E.; Hankir, Mohammed K.; Pedroni, Silvia M.A.; Voshol, Peter J.; Gordon, Matthew W.; Choudhury, Agharul I.; Woods, Angela; Vidal-Puig, Antonio; Carling, David; Withers, Dominic J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Hypothalamic ribosomal S6K1 has been suggested as a point of convergence for hormonal and nutrient signals in the regulation of feeding behavior, bodyweight, and glucose metabolism. However, the long-term effects of manipulating hypothalamic S6K1 signaling on energy homeostasis and the cellular mechanisms underlying these roles are unclear. We therefore inactivated S6K1 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons, key regulators of energy homeostasis, but in contrast to the current view, we found no evidence that S6K1 regulates food intake and bodyweight. In contrast, S6K1 signaling in POMC neurons regulated hepatic glucose production and peripheral lipid metabolism and modulated neuronal excitability. S6K1 signaling in AgRP neurons regulated skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and was required for glucose sensing by these neurons. Our findings suggest that S6K1 signaling is not a general integrator of energy homeostasis in the mediobasal hypothalamus but has distinct roles in the regulation of glucose homeostasis by POMC and AgRP neurons. PMID:25865886

  14. The odor of Osmanthus fragrans attenuates food intake

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Takashi; Inui, Tadashi; Tsuji, Tadataka

    2013-01-01

    Odors have been shown to exert an influence on various physiological and behavioral activities. However, little is known whether or not odor stimulation directly affects the levels of feeding-related neuropeptides. Here we show that the neural transmission by Osmanthus fragrans (OSM) decreased the mRNA expression of orexigenic neuropeptides, such as agouti-related protein, neuropeptide Y, melanin-concentrating hormone and prepro-orexin, while increased anorexigenic neuropeptides, such as cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and proopiomelanocortin in rats. The decreased number of orexin-immunoreactive neurons in the hypothalamus coincided well with the OSM-induced decreases in the expression of prepro-orexin mRNA. This study demonstrates that the OSM odor, which is known to have a mild sedative effect, decreases the motivation to eat, food intake and body weight, accompanied by sluggish masticatory movements. The data suggest that these effects are due to suppression of orexigenic neuropeptides and activation of anorexigenic neuropeptides in the hypothalamus. PMID:23519146

  15. Neuroendocrine control of satiation.

    PubMed

    Asarian, Lori; Bächler, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    Abstract Eating is a simple behavior with complex functions. The unconscious neuroendocrine process that stops eating and brings a meal to its end is called satiation. Energy homeostasis is mediated accomplished through the control of meal size via satiation. It involves neural integrations of phasic negative-feedback signals related to ingested food and tonic signals, such as those related to adipose tissue mass. Energy homeostasis is accomplished through adjustments in meal size brought about by changes in these satiation signals. The best understood meal-derived satiation signals arise from gastrointestinal nutrient sensing. Gastrointestinal hormones secreted during the meal, including cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and PYY, mediate most of these. Other physiological signals arise from activation of metabolic-sensing neurons, mainly in the hypothalamus and caudal brainstem. We review both classes of satiation signal and their integration in the brain, including their processing by melanocortin, neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide, serotonin, noradrenaline, and oxytocin neurons. Our review is not comprehensive; rather, we discuss only what we consider the best-understood mechanisms of satiation, with a special focus on normally operating physiological mechanisms. PMID:25390024

  16. Chronic central serotonin depletion attenuates ventilation and body temperature in young but not adult Tph2 knockout rats.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Kara; Echert, Ashley E; Massat, Ben; Puissant, Madeleine M; Palygin, Oleg; Geurts, Aron M; Hodges, Matthew R

    2016-05-01

    Genetic deletion of brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in mice leads to ventilatory deficits and increased neonatal mortality during development. However, it is unclear if the loss of the 5-HT neurons or the loss of the neurochemical 5-HT led to the observed physiologic deficits. Herein, we generated a mutant rat model with constitutive central nervous system (CNS) 5-HT depletion by mutation of the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) gene in dark agouti (DA(Tph2-/-)) rats. DA(Tph2-/-) rats lacked TPH immunoreactivity and brain 5-HT but retain dopa decarboxylase-expressing raphe neurons. Mutant rats were also smaller, had relatively high mortality (∼50%), and compared with controls had reduced room air ventilation and body temperatures at specific postnatal ages. In adult rats, breathing at rest and hypoxic and hypercapnic chemoreflexes were unaltered in adult male and female DA(Tph2-/-) rats. Body temperature was also maintained in adult DA(Tph2-/-) rats exposed to 4°C, indicating unaltered ventilatory and/or thermoregulatory control mechanisms. Finally, DA(Tph2-/-) rats treated with the 5-HT precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) partially restored CNS 5-HT and showed increased ventilation (P < 0.05) at a developmental age when it was otherwise attenuated in the mutants. We conclude that constitutive CNS production of 5-HT is critically important to fundamental homeostatic control systems for breathing and temperature during postnatal development in the rat. PMID:26869713

  17. The acute effect in rats of 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA, "eve") on body temperature and long term degeneration of 5-HT neurones in brain: a comparison with MDMA ("ecstasy").

    PubMed

    Colado, M I; Granados, R; O'Shea, E; Esteban, B; Green, A R

    1999-06-01

    Administration of a single dose of the recreationally used drug 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA or "eve") to Dark Agouti rats resulted in an acute dose-dependent hyperthermic response. The peak effect and duration of hyperthermia of a dose of MDEA of 35 mg/kg intraperitoneally was similar to a dose of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") of 15 mg/kg intraperitoneally. Seven days later this dose of MDMA produced a marked (approximately 50%) loss of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-HIAA in cortex, hippocampus and striatum and a similar loss of [3H]-paroxetine binding in cortex: these losses reflecting the MDMA-induced neurotoxic degeneration of 5-HT nerve endings. In contrast, administration of MDEA (15, 25 or 35 mg/kg), even at the highest dose, produced only a 20% loss in cortex and hippocampus and no decrease in striatum. The neurotoxic effect of MDEA was only weakly dose-dependent. Neither MDEA (35 mg/kg) nor MDMA (15 mg/kg) altered striatal dopamine content 7 days later. MDEA appeared to have about half the potency of MDMA in inducing acute hyperthermia and 25% of the potency in inducing degeneration of cerebral 5-HT neurones. However since higher doses of MDEA (compared to MDMA) are probably necessary to induce mood changing effects, these data do not support any contention that this compound is a "safer" recreational drug than MDMA in terms of either acute toxicity or long term neurodegeneration. PMID:10401727

  18. Goldfish Leptin-AI and Leptin-AII: Function and Central Mechanism in Feeding Control.

    PubMed

    Yan, Ai-Fen; Chen, Ting; Chen, Shuang; Ren, Chun-Hua; Hu, Chao-Qun; Cai, Yi-Ming; Liu, Fang; Tang, Dong-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, leptin is a peripheral satiety factor that inhibits feeding by regulating a variety of appetite-related hormones in the brain. However, most of the previous studies examining leptin in fish feeding were performed with mammalian leptins, which share very low sequence homologies with fish leptins. To elucidate the function and mechanism of endogenous fish leptins in feeding regulation, recombinant goldfish leptin-AI and leptin-AII were expressed in methylotrophic yeast and purified by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). By intraperitoneal (IP) injection, both leptin-AI and leptin-AII were shown to inhibit the feeding behavior and to reduce the food consumption of goldfish in 2 h. In addition, co-treatment of leptin-AI or leptin-AII could block the feeding behavior and reduce the food consumption induced by neuropeptide Y (NPY) injection. High levels of leptin receptor (lepR) mRNA were detected in the hypothalamus, telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of the goldfish brain. The appetite inhibitory effects of leptins were mediated by downregulating the mRNA levels of orexigenic NPY, agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and orexin and upregulating the mRNA levels of anorexigenic cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), cholecystokinin (CCK), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in different areas of the goldfish brain. Our study, as a whole, provides new insights into the functions and mechanisms of leptins in appetite control in a fish model. PMID:27249000

  19. Identification of a small-molecule ligand that activates the neuropeptide receptor GPR171 and increases food intake.

    PubMed

    Wardman, Jonathan H; Gomes, Ivone; Bobeck, Erin N; Stockert, Jennifer A; Kapoor, Abhijeet; Bisignano, Paola; Gupta, Achla; Mezei, Mihaly; Kumar, Sanjai; Filizola, Marta; Devi, Lakshmi A

    2016-01-01

    Several neuropeptide systems in the hypothalamus, including neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (AgRP), control food intake. Peptides derived from proSAAS, a precursor implicated in the regulation of body weight, also control food intake. GPR171 is a heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptor (GPCR) for BigLEN (b-LEN), a peptide derived from proSAAS. To facilitate studies exploring the physiological role of GPR171, we sought to identify small-molecule ligands for this receptor by performing a virtual screen of a compound library for interaction with a homology model of GPR171. We identified MS0015203 as an agonist of GPR171 and demonstrated the selectivity of MS0015203 for GPR171 by testing the binding of this compound to 80 other membrane proteins, including family A GPCRs. Reducing the expression of GPR171 by shRNA (short hairpin RNA)-mediated knockdown blunted the cellular and tissue response to MS0015203. Peripheral injection of MS0015203 into mice increased food intake and body weight, and these responses were significantly attenuated in mice with decreased expression of GPR171 in the hypothalamus. Together, these results suggest that MS0015203 is a useful tool to probe the pharmacological and functional properties of GPR171 and that ligands targeting GPR171 may eventually lead to therapeutics for food-related disorders. PMID:27245612

  20. Interactions between SNP alleles at multiple loci contribute to skin color differences between caucasoid and mongoloid subjects.

    PubMed

    Anno, Sumiko; Abe, Takashi; Yamamoto, Takushi

    2008-01-01

    This study aimed to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) alleles at multiple loci associated with racial differences in skin color using SNP genotyping. A total of 122 Caucasians in Toledo, Ohio and 100 Mongoloids in Japan were genotyped for 20 SNPs in 7 candidate genes, encoding the Agouti signaling protein (ASIP), tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1), tyrosinase (TYR), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), and myosin VA (MYO5A). Data were used to analyze associations between the 20 SNP alleles using linkage disequilibrium (LD). Combinations of SNP alleles were jointly tested under LD for associations with racial groups by performing a chi(2) test for independence. Results showed that SNP alleles at multiple loci can be considered the haplotype that contributes to significant differences between the two population groups and suggest a high probability of LD. Confirmation of these findings requires further study with other ethnic groups to analyze the associations between SNP alleles at multiple loci and skin color variation among races. PMID:18392143

  1. Regulation of eumelanin / pheomelanin synthesis and visible pigmentation in melanocytes by ligands of the melanocortin 1 receptor

    PubMed Central

    Le Pape, Elodie; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wolber, Rainer; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2008-01-01

    The production of melanin in the hair and skin is tightly regulated by the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) whose activation is controlled by 2 secreted ligands, α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH) and agouti signal protein (ASP). Since melanin is extremely stable, lasting years in biological tissues, the mechanism underlying the relatively rapid decrease in visible pigmentation elicited by ASP is of obvious interest. In this study, the effects of ASP and αMSH on the regulation of melanin synthesis and on visible pigmentation were assessed in normal murine melanocytes and were compared with the quick depigmenting effect of the tyrosinase inhibitor, phenylthiourea (PTU). αMSH increased pheomelanin levels prior to increasing eumelanin content over 4 days of treatment. Conversely, ASP switched off the pigment synthesis pathway, reducing eu- and pheo- melanin synthesis within 1 day of treatment that was proportional to the decrease in tyrosinase protein level and activity. These results demonstrate that the visible depigmentation of melanocytes induced by ASP does not require the degradation of existing melanin but rather is due to the dilution of existing melanin by melanocyte turnover, which emphasizes the importance of pigment distribution to visible color. PMID:18627531

  2. DNA methylation, an epigenetic mechanism connecting folate to healthy embryonic development and aging

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyong-chol; Friso, Simonetta; Choi, Sang-Woon

    2009-01-01

    Experimental studies demonstrated that maternal exposure to certain environmental and dietary factors during early embryonic development can influence the phenotype of offspring as well as the risk of disease development at the later life. DNA methylation, an epigenetic phenomenon, has been suggested as a mechanism by which maternal nutrients affect the phenotype of their offspring in both honeybee and agouti mouse models. Phenotypic changes through DNA methylation can be linked to folate metabolism by the knowledge that folate, a coenzyme of one-carbon metabolism, is directly involved in methyl group transfer for DNA methylation. During the fetal period, organ-specific DNA methylation patterns are established through epigenetic reprogramming. However, established DNA methylation patterns are not immutable and can be modified during our life time by the environment. Aberrant changes in DNA methylation with diet may lead to the development of age-associated diseases including cancer. It is also known that the aging process by itself is accompanied by alterations in DNA methylation. Diminished activity of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) can be a potential mechanism for the decreased genomic DNA methylation during aging, along with reduced folate intake and altered folate metabolism. Progressive hypermethylation in promoter regions of certain genes is observed throughout aging and repression of tumor suppressors induced by this epigenetic mechanism appears to be associated with cancer development. In this review we address the effect of folate on early development and aging through an epigenetic mechanism, DNA methylation. PMID:19733471

  3. Epigenomic Disruption: The Effects of Early Developmental Exposures

    PubMed Central

    Bernal, Autumn J.; Jirtle, Randy L.

    2010-01-01

    Through DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small regulatory RNAs the epigenome systematically controls gene expression during development-- both in utero and throughout life. The epigenome is also a very reactionary system; its labile nature allows it to sense and respond to environmental perturbations to ensure survival during fetal growth. This pliability can lead to aberrant epigenetic modifications that persist into later life and induce numerous disease states. Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are ubiquitous chemicals that interfere with growth and development. Several EDCs also interfere with epigenetic programming. The investigation of the epigenotoxic effects of bisphenol A (BPA), an EDC used in the production of plastics and resins, has further raised concern for the impact of EDCs on the epigenome. Using the Agouti viable yellow (Avy) mouse model, dietary BPA exposure was shown to hypomethylate both the Avy and the CabpIAP metastable epialleles. This hypomethylating effect was counteracted with dietary supplementation of methyl donors or genistein. These results are consistent with reports of BPA and other EDCs causing epigenetic effects. Epigenotoxicity could lead to numerous developmental, metabolic, and behavioral disorders in exposed populations. The heritable nature of epigenetic changes also increases the risk for transgenerational inheritance of phenotypes. Thus, epigenotoxicity must be considered when assessing these compounds for safety. PMID:20568270

  4. Developmental Changes in Synaptic Distribution in Arcuate Nucleus Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kirigiti, Melissa A.; Baquero, Karalee C.; Lee, Shin J.; Smith, M. Susan; Grove, Kevin L.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons coexpressing neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, and GABA (NAG) play an important role in ingestive behavior and are located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. NAG neurons receive both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic inputs, however, the developmental time course of synaptic input organization of NAG neurons in mice is unknown. In this study, we show that these neurons have low numbers of GABAergic synapses and that GABA is inhibitory to NAG neurons during early postnatal period. In contrast, glutamatergic inputs onto NAG neurons are relatively abundant by P13 and are comparatively similar to the levels observed in the adult. As mice reach adulthood (9–10 weeks), GABAergic tone onto NAG neurons increases. At this age, NAG neurons received similar numbers of inhibitory and EPSCs. To further differentiate age-associated changes in synaptic distribution, 17- to 18-week-old lean and diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice were studied. Surprisingly, NAG neurons from lean adult mice exhibit a reduction in the GABAergic synapses compared with younger adults. Conversely, DIO mice display reductions in the number of GABAergic and glutamatergic inputs onto NAG neurons. Based on these experiments, we propose that synaptic distribution in NAG neurons is continuously restructuring throughout development to accommodate the animals' energy requirements. PMID:26041922

  5. Changes in mRNA expression of arcuate nucleus appetite-regulating peptides during lactation in rats

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yoshihiro; Nakahara, Keiko; Maruyama, Keisuke; Okame, Rieko; Ensho, Takuya; Inoue, Yoshiyuki; Murakami, Noboru

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of hypothalamic appetite-regulating peptides to further hyperphagia accompanying the course of lactation in rats was investigated by using PCR array and real-time PCR. Furthermore, changes in the mRNA expression for appetite-regulating peptides in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) were analyzed at all stages of pregnancy and lactation, and also after weaning. Food intake was significantly higher during pregnancy, lactation, and after weaning than during non-lactation periods. During lactation, ARC expression of mRNAs for agouti-related protein (AgRP) and peptide YY was increased, whereas that of mRNAs for proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cholecystokinin (CCK) was decreased, in comparison with non-lactation periods. The increase in AgRP mRNA expression during lactation was especially marked. The plasma level of leptin was significantly decreased during the course of lactation, whereas that of acyl-ghrelin was unchanged. In addition, food intake was negatively correlated with the plasma leptin level during lactation. This study has clarified synchronous changes in the expression of many appetite-regulating peptides in ARC of rats during lactation. Our results suggest that hyperphagia during lactation in rats is caused by decreases in POMC and CCK expression and increases in AgRP expression in ARC, the latter being most notable. Together with the decrease in the blood leptin level, such changes in mRNA expression may explain the further hyperphagia accompanying the course of lactation. PMID:24299740

  6. Long-term orexigenic effects of AgRP-(83---132) involve mechanisms other than melanocortin receptor blockade.

    PubMed

    Hagan, M M; Rushing, P A; Pritchard, L M; Schwartz, M W; Strack, A M; Van Der Ploeg, L H; Woods, S C; Seeley, R J

    2000-07-01

    Overexpression of agouti-related peptide (AgRP), an endogenous melanocortin (MC) 3 and 4 receptor antagonist (MC3/4-R), causes obesity. Exogenous AgRP-(83---132) increases food intake, but its duration and mode of action are unknown. We report herein that doses as low as 10 pmol can have a potent effect on food intake of rats over a 24-h period after intracerebroventricular injection. Additionally, a single third ventricular dose as low as 100 pmol in rats produces a robust increase in food intake that persists for an entire week. AgRP-(83---132) completely blocks the anorectic effect of MTII (MC3/4-R agonist), given simultaneously, consistent with a competitive antagonist action. However, when given 24 h prior to MTII, AgRP-(83---132) is ineffective at reversing the anorectic effects of the agonist. These results support a critical role of MC tone in limiting food intake and indicate that the orexigenic effects of AgRP-(83---132) are initially mediated by competitive antagonism at MC receptors but are sustained by alternate mechanisms. PMID:10896863

  7. The effect of physical exercise on orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides and its role on long-term feeding control.

    PubMed

    Benite-Ribeiro, Sandra Aparecida; Putt, David A; Santos, Júlia Matzenbacher

    2016-08-01

    Over the past decades, life-styles changing have led to exacerbated food and caloric intake and a reduction in energy expenditure. Obesity, main outcome of these changes, increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, the leading cause of death in adult and middle age population. Body weight and energy homeostasis are maintained via complex interactions between orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides that take place predominantly in the hypothalamus. Overeating may disrupt the mechanisms of feeding control, by decreasing the expression of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and increasing orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP), which leads to a disturbance in appetite control and energy balance. Studies have shown that regular physical exercise might decrease body-weight, food intake and improve the metabolic profile, however until the currently there is no consensus about its effects on the expression of orexigenic/anorexigenic neuropeptides expression. Therefore, we propose that the type and length of physical exercise affect POMC/αMSH and NPY/AgRP systems differently and plays an important role in feeding behavior. Moreover, based on the present reports, we hypothesize that increased POMC/αMSH overcome NPY/AgRP expression decreasing food intake in long term physical exercise and that results in amelioration of several conditions related to overweight and obesity. PMID:27372853

  8. Genetics of Sex-linked yellow in the Syrian hamster.

    PubMed

    Alizadeh, Azita; Hong, Lewis Z; Kaelin, Christopher B; Raudsepp, Terje; Manuel, Hermogenes; Barsh, Gregory S

    2009-04-01

    Alternating patches of black and yellow pigment are a ubiquitous feature of mammalian color variation that contributes to camouflage, species recognition, and morphologic diversity. X-linked determinants of this pattern--recognized by variegation in females but not in males--have been described in the domestic cat as Orange, and in the Syrian hamster as Sex-linked yellow (Sly), but are curiously absent from other vertebrate species. Using a comparative genomic approach, we develop molecular markers and a linkage map for the euchromatic region of the Syrian hamster X chromosome that places Sly in a region homologous to the centromere-proximal region of human Xp. Comparison to analogous work carried out for Orange in domestic cats indicates, surprisingly, that the cat and hamster mutations lie in nonhomologous regions of the X chromosome. We also identify the molecular cause of recessively inherited black coat color in hamsters (historically referred to as nonagouti) as a Cys115Tyr mutation in the Agouti gene. Animals doubly mutant for Sly and nonagouti exhibit a Sly phenotype. Our results indicate that Sly represents a melanocortin pathway component that acts similarly to, but is genetically distinct from, Mc1r and that has implications for understanding both the evolutionary history and the mutational mechanisms of pigment-type switching. PMID:19189957

  9. Melanocortin 1 Receptor: Structure, Function, and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wolf Horrell, Erin M.; Boulanger, Mary C.; D’Orazio, John A.

    2016-01-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is a melanocytic Gs protein coupled receptor that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk. It is a highly polymorphic gene, and loss of function correlates with a fair, UV-sensitive, and melanoma-prone phenotype due to defective epidermal melanization and sub-optimal DNA repair. MC1R signaling, achieved through adenylyl cyclase activation and generation of the second messenger cAMP, is hormonally controlled by the positive agonist melanocortin, the negative agonist agouti signaling protein, and the neutral antagonist β-defensin 3. Activation of cAMP signaling up-regulates melanin production and deposition in the epidermis which functions to limit UV penetration into the skin and enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER), the genomic stability pathway responsible for clearing UV photolesions from DNA to avoid mutagenesis. Herein we review MC1R structure and function and summarize our laboratory’s findings on the molecular mechanisms by which MC1R signaling impacts NER. PMID:27303435

  10. How the Leopard Hides Its Spots: ASIP Mutations and Melanism in Wild Cats

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A.; Johnson, Warren E.; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Barsh, Gregory S.; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the ‘black panther’ and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism. PMID:23251368