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Sample records for gene-rich vertebrate regions

  1. Comparative analysis of chicken chromosome 28 provides new clues to the evolutionary fragility of gene-rich vertebrate regions

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Laurie; Yang, Shan; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary; Baggott, Dan; Christensen, Mari; Hamilton, Aaron; Crooijmans, Richard; Groenen, Martien; Lucas, Susan; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Stubbs, Lisa

    2007-01-01

    The chicken genome draft sequence has provided a valuable resource for studies of an important agricultural and experimental model species and an important data set for comparative analysis. However, some of the most gene-rich segments are missing from chicken genome draft assemblies, limiting the analysis of a substantial number of genes and preventing a closer look at regions that are especially prone to syntenic rearrangements. To facilitate the functional and evolutionary analysis of one especially gene-rich, rearrangement-prone genomic region, we analyzed sequence from BAC clones spanning chicken microchromosome GGA28; as a complement we also analyzed a gene-sparse, stable region from GGA11. In these two regions we documented the conservation and lineage-specific gain and loss of protein-coding genes and precisely mapped the locations of 31 major human-chicken syntenic breakpoints. Altogether, we identified 72 lineage-specific genes, many of which are found at or near syntenic breaks, implicating evolutionary breakpoint regions as major sites of genetic innovation and change. Twenty-two of the 31 breakpoint regions have been reused repeatedly as rearrangement breakpoints in vertebrate evolution. Compared with stable GC-matched regions, GGA28 is highly enriched in CpG islands, as are break-prone intervals identified elsewhere in the chicken genome; evolutionary breakpoints are further enriched in GC content and CpG islands, highlighting a potential role for these features in genome instability. These data support the hypothesis that chromosome rearrangements have not occurred randomly over the course of vertebrate evolution but are focused preferentially within “fragile” regions with unusual DNA sequence characteristics. PMID:17921355

  2. Leukemia breakpoint region in 3q21 is gene rich.

    PubMed

    Rynditch, A; Pekarsky, Y; Schnittger, S; Gardiner, K

    1997-07-01

    Rearrangements of the long arm of human chromosome 3, including reciprocal translocations, inversions and deletion/duplication of bands 3q21-3q26, as well as deletions of 3q21 and reciprocal translocations between 3q21 and other chromosomes, are well documented in leukemia. Previous studies showed that the breakpoints within 3q21 cluster within a 10-40 kb region but no candidate genes were described. In this work, we have identified partial cDNAs corresponding to five to nine new transcripts from an 80 kb P1 clone that spans ten breakpoints. These transcripts, with one exception, appear to be expressed only at low levels in the set of cancer cell lines examined. Four transcripts are located between the previously mapped Ribophorin I gene and the most centromeric breakpoint; three map directly within the 20 kb spanning nine independent breakpoints. These data (i) show that among characterized leukemia breakpoint regions 3q21 is unusually gene rich, (ii) provide new candidates for relevance to leukemia in 3q21, and (iii) suggest possibilities for chromatin configuration effects. PMID:9249066

  3. Saturation mapping of a gene-rich recombination hot spot region in wheat.

    PubMed Central

    Faris, J D; Haen, K M; Gill, B S

    2000-01-01

    Physical mapping of wheat chromosomes has revealed small chromosome segments of high gene density and frequent recombination interspersed with relatively large regions of low gene density and infrequent recombination. We constructed a detailed genetic and physical map of one highly recombinant region on the long arm of chromosome 5B. This distally located region accounts for 4% of the physical size of the long arm and at least 30% of the recombination along the entire chromosome. Multiple crossovers occurred within this region, and the degree of recombination is at least 11-fold greater than the genomic average. Characteristics of the region such as gene order and frequency of recombination appear to be conserved throughout the evolution of the Triticeae. The region is more prone to chromosome breakage by gametocidal gene action than gene-poor regions, and evidence for genomic instability was implied by loss of gene collinearity for six loci among the homeologous regions. These data suggest that a unique level of chromatin organization exists within gene-rich recombination hot spots. The many agronomically important genes in this region should be accessible by positional cloning. PMID:10655233

  4. Comparative genomics of Lupinus angustifolius gene-rich regions: BAC library exploration, genetic mapping and cytogenetics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The narrow-leafed lupin, Lupinus angustifolius L., is a grain legume species with a relatively compact genome. The species has 2n = 40 chromosomes and its genome size is 960 Mbp/1C. During the last decade, L. angustifolius genomic studies have achieved several milestones, such as molecular-marker development, linkage maps, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries. Here, these resources were integratively used to identify and sequence two gene-rich regions (GRRs) of the genome. Results The genome was screened with a probe representing the sequence of a microsatellite fragment length polymorphism (MFLP) marker linked to Phomopsis stem blight resistance. BAC clones selected by hybridization were subjected to restriction fingerprinting and contig assembly, and 232 BAC-ends were sequenced and annotated. BAC fluorescence in situ hybridization (BAC-FISH) identified eight single-locus clones. Based on physical mapping, cytogenetic localization, and BAC-end annotation, five clones were chosen for sequencing. Within the sequences of clones that hybridized in FISH to a single-locus, two large GRRs were identified. The GRRs showed strong and conserved synteny to Glycine max duplicated genome regions, illustrated by both identical gene order and parallel orientation. In contrast, in the clones with dispersed FISH signals, more than one-third of sequences were transposable elements. Sequenced, single-locus clones were used to develop 12 genetic markers, increasing the number of L. angustifolius chromosomes linked to appropriate linkage groups by five pairs. Conclusions In general, probes originating from MFLP sequences can assist genome screening and gene discovery. However, such probes are not useful for positional cloning, because they tend to hybridize to numerous loci. GRRs identified in L. angustifolius contained a low number of interspersed repeats and had a high level of synteny to the genome of the model legume G. max. Our results showed that

  5. Gene-rich chromosomal regions are preferentially localized in the lamin B deficient nuclear blebs of atypical progeria cells

    PubMed Central

    Bercht Pfleghaar, Katrin; Taimen, Pekka; Butin-Israeli, Veronika; Shimi, Takeshi; Langer-Freitag, Sabine; Markaki, Yolanda; Goldman, Anne E; Wehnert, Manfred; Goldman, Robert D

    2015-01-01

    More than 20 mutations in the gene encoding A-type lamins (LMNA) cause progeria, a rare premature aging disorder. The major pathognomonic hallmarks of progeria cells are seen as nuclear deformations or blebs that are related to the redistribution of A- and B-type lamins within the nuclear lamina. However, the functional significance of these progeria-associated blebs remains unknown. We have carried out an analysis of the structural and functional consequences of progeria-associated nuclear blebs in dermal fibroblasts from a progeria patient carrying a rare point mutation p.S143F (C428T) in lamin A/C. These blebs form microdomains that are devoid of major structural components of the nuclear envelope (NE)/lamina including B-type lamins and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) and are enriched in A-type lamins. Using laser capture microdissection and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analyses, we show that, while these domains are devoid of centromeric heterochromatin and gene-poor regions of chromosomes, they are enriched in gene-rich chromosomal regions. The active form of RNA polymerase II is also greatly enriched in blebs as well as nascent RNA but the nuclear co-activator SKIP is significantly reduced in blebs compared to other transcription factors. Our results suggest that the p.S143F progeria mutation has a severe impact not only on the structure of the lamina but also on the organization of interphase chromatin domains and transcription. These structural defects are likely to contribute to gene expression changes reported in progeria and other types of laminopathies. PMID:25738644

  6. Identification and physical localization of useful genes and markers to a major gene-rich region on wheat group 1S chromosomes.

    PubMed Central

    Sandhu, D; Champoux, J A; Bondareva, S N; Gill, K S

    2001-01-01

    The short arm of Triticeae homeologous group 1 chromosomes is known to contain many agronomically important genes. The objectives of this study were to physically localize gene-containing regions of the group 1 short arm, enrich these regions with markers, and study the distribution of genes and recombination. We focused on the major gene-rich region ("1S0.8 region") and identified 75 useful genes along with 93 RFLP markers by comparing 35 different maps of Poaceae species. The RFLP markers were tested by gel blot DNA analysis of wheat group 1 nullisomic-tetrasomic lines, ditelosomic lines, and four single-break deletion lines for chromosome arm 1BS. Seventy-three of the 93 markers mapped to group 1 and detected 91 loci on chromosome 1B. Fifty-one of these markers mapped to two major gene-rich regions physically encompassing 14% of the short arm. Forty-one marker loci mapped to the 1S0.8 region and 10 to 1S0.5 region. Two cDNA markers mapped in the centromeric region and the remaining 24 loci were on the long arm. About 82% of short arm recombination was observed in the 1S0.8 region and 17% in the 1S0.5 region. Less than 1% recombination was observed for the remaining 85% of the physical arm length. PMID:11290727

  7. Fine structure mapping of a gene-rich region of wheat carrying Ph1, a suppressor of crossing over between homoeologous chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Gaganpreet K.; Rustgi, Sachin; Shafqat, Mustafa N.; von Wettstein, Diter; Gill, Kulvinder S.

    2008-01-01

    The wheat gene-rich region (GRR) 5L0.5 contains many important genes, including Ph1, the principal regulator of chromosome pairing. Comparative marker analysis identified 32 genes for the GRR controlling important agronomic traits. Detailed characterization of this region was accomplished by first physically localizing 213 wheat group 5L-specific markers, using group 5 nulli-tetrasomics, three Ph1 gene deletion/insertion mutants, and nine terminal deletion lines with their breakpoints around the 5L0.5 region. The Ph1 gene was localized to a much smaller region within the GRR (Ph1 gene region). Of the 61 markers that mapped in the four subregions of the GRR, 9 mapped in the Ph1 gene region. High stringency sequence comparison (e < 1 ×10−25) of 157 group 5L-specific wheat ESTs identified orthologs for 80% sequences in rice and 71% in Arabidopsis. Rice orthologs were present on all rice chromosomes, although most (34%) were on rice chromosome 9 (R9). No single collinear region was identified in Arabidopsis even for a smaller region, such as the Ph1 gene region. Seven of the nine Ph1 gene region markers mapped within a 450-kb region on R9 with the same gene order. Detailed domain/motif analysis of the 91 putative genes present in the 450-kb region identified 26 candidates for the Ph1 gene, including genes involved in chromatin reorganization, microtubule attachment, acetyltransferases, methyltransferases, DNA binding, and meiosis/anther specific proteins. Five of these genes shared common domains/motifs with the meiosis specific genes Zip1, Scp1, Cor1, RAD50, RAD51, and RAD57. Wheat and Arabidopsis homologs for these rice genes were identified. PMID:18398005

  8. Identification and high-density mapping of gene-rich regions in chromosome group 1 of wheat.

    PubMed

    Gill, K S; Gill, B S; Endo, T R; Taylor, T

    1996-12-01

    We studied the distribution of genes and recombination in wheat (Triticum aestivum) group 1 chromosomes by comparing high-density physical and genetic maps. Physical maps of chromosomes 1A, 1B, and 1D were generated by mapping 50 DNA markers on 56 single-break deletion lines. A consensus physical map was compared with the 1D genetic map of Triticum tauschii (68 markers) and a Triticeae group 1 consensus map (288 markers) to generate a cytogenetic ladder map (CLM). Most group 1 markers (86%) were present in five clusters that encompassed only 10% of the group 1 chromosome. This distribution may reflect that of genes because more than half of the probes were cDNA clones and 30% were PstI genomic. All 14 agronomically important genes in group 1 chromosomes were present in these clusters. Most recombination occurred in gene-cluster regions. Markers fell at an average distance of 244 kb in these regions. The CLM involving the Triticeae consensus genetic map revealed that the above distribution of genes and recombination is the same in other Triticeae species. Because of a significant number of common markers, our CLM can be used for comparative mapping and to estimate physical distances among markers in many Poaceae species including rice and maize. PMID:8978071

  9. Male-specific region of the bovine Y chromosome is gene rich with a high transcriptomic activity in testis development.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ti-Cheng; Yang, Yang; Retzel, Ernest F; Liu, Wan-Sheng

    2013-07-23

    The male-specific region of the mammalian Y chromosome (MSY) contains clusters of genes essential for male reproduction. The highly repetitive and degenerative nature of the Y chromosome impedes genomic and transcriptomic characterization. Although the Y chromosome sequence is available for the human, chimpanzee, and macaque, little is known about the annotation and transcriptome of nonprimate MSY. Here, we investigated the transcriptome of the MSY in cattle by direct testis cDNA selection and RNA-seq approaches. The bovine MSY differs radically from the primate Y chromosomes with respect to its structure, gene content, and density. Among the 28 protein-coding genes/families identified on the bovine MSY (12 single- and 16 multicopy genes), 16 are bovid specific. The 1,274 genes identified in this study made the bovine MSY gene density the highest in the genome; in comparison, primate MSYs have only 31-78 genes. Our results, along with the highly transcriptional activities observed from these Y-chromosome genes and 375 additional noncoding RNAs, challenge the widely accepted hypothesis that the MSY is gene poor and transcriptionally inert. The bovine MSY genes are predominantly expressed and are differentially regulated during the testicular development. Synonymous substitution rate analyses of the multicopy MSY genes indicated that two major periods of expansion occurred during the Miocene and Pliocene, contributing to the adaptive radiation of bovids. The massive amplification and vigorous transcription suggest that the MSY serves as a genomic niche regulating male reproduction during bovid expansion. PMID:23842086

  10. Regions identity between the genome of vertebrates and non-retroviral families of insect viruses

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The scope of our understanding of the evolutionary history between viruses and animals is limited. The fact that the recent availability of many complete insect virus genomes and vertebrate genomes as well as the ability to screen these sequences makes it possible to gain a new perspective insight into the evolutionary interaction between insect viruses and vertebrates. This study is to determine the possibility of existence of sequence identity between the genomes of insect viruses and vertebrates, attempt to explain this phenomenon in term of genetic mobile element, and try to investigate the evolutionary relationship between these short regions of identity among these species. Results Some of studied insect viruses contain variable numbers of short regions of sequence identity to the genomes of vertebrate with nucleotide sequence length from 28 bp to 124 bp. They are found to locate in multiple sites of the vertebrate genomes. The ontology of animal genes with identical regions involves in several processes including chromatin remodeling, regulation of apoptosis, signaling pathway, nerve system development and some enzyme-like catalysis. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that at least some short regions of sequence identity in the genomes of vertebrate are derived the ancestral of insect viruses. Conclusion Short regions of sequence identity were found in the vertebrates and insect viruses. These sequences played an important role not only in the long-term evolution of vertebrates, but also in promotion of insect virus. This typical win-win strategy may come from natural selection. PMID:22073942

  11. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    DOE Data Explorer

    Loots, Gabriela G. [LLNL; Ovcharenko, I. [LLNL

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. This database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a comprehensive collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes generated using multiple sources of gene annotation. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) in evolutionary conserved and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and fugu genomes. (taken from paper in Journal: Bioinformatics, November 7, 2006, pp. 122-124

  12. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. We have created a database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes entitled ECRbase that is constructed from a collection of pairwise vertebrate genome alignments produced by the ECR Browser database. ECRbase features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes presented in the database. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in all ECRs and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and two pufferfish genomes. It is freely accessible at http://ECRbase.dcode.org.

  13. The evolution of vertebrate somatostatin receptors and their gene regions involves extensive chromosomal rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Somatostatin and its related neuroendocrine peptides have a wide variety of physiological functions that are mediated by five somatostatin receptors with gene names SSTR1-5 in mammals. To resolve their evolution in vertebrates we have investigated the SSTR genes and a large number of adjacent gene families by phylogeny and conserved synteny analyses in a broad range of vertebrate species. Results We find that the SSTRs form two families that belong to distinct paralogons. We observe not only chromosomal similarities reflecting the paralogy relationships between the SSTR-bearing chromosome regions, but also extensive rearrangements between these regions in teleost fish genomes, including fusions and translocations followed by reshuffling through intrachromosomal rearrangements. These events obscure the paralogy relationships but are still tractable thanks to the many genomes now available. We have identified a previously unrecognized SSTR subtype, SSTR6, previously misidentified as either SSTR1 or SSTR4. Conclusions Two ancestral SSTR-bearing chromosome regions were duplicated in the two basal vertebrate tetraploidizations (2R). One of these ancestral SSTR genes generated SSTR2, -3 and -5, the other gave rise to SSTR1, -4 and -6. Subsequently SSTR6 was lost in tetrapods and SSTR4 in teleosts. Our study shows that extensive chromosomal rearrangements have taken place between related chromosome regions in teleosts, but that these events can be resolved by investigating several distantly related species. PMID:23194088

  14. Evidence from cyclostomes for complex regionalization of the ancestral vertebrate brain.

    PubMed

    Sugahara, Fumiaki; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Aota, Shin-ichi; Adachi, Noritaka; Takagi, Wataru; Hirai, Tamami; Sato, Noboru; Murakami, Yasunori; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2016-03-01

    The vertebrate brain is highly complex, but its evolutionary origin remains elusive. Because of the absence of certain developmental domains generally marked by the expression of regulatory genes, the embryonic brain of the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate, had been regarded as representing a less complex, ancestral state of the vertebrate brain. Specifically, the absence of a Hedgehog- and Nkx2.1-positive domain in the lamprey subpallium was thought to be similar to mouse mutants in which the suppression of Nkx2-1 leads to a loss of the medial ganglionic eminence. Here we show that the brain of the inshore hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri), another cyclostome group, develops domains equivalent to the medial ganglionic eminence and rhombic lip, resembling the gnathostome brain. Moreover, further investigation of lamprey larvae revealed that these domains are also present, ruling out the possibility of convergent evolution between hagfish and gnathostomes. Thus, brain regionalization as seen in crown gnathostomes is not an evolutionary innovation of this group, but dates back to the latest vertebrate ancestor before the divergence of cyclostomes and gnathostomes more than 500 million years ago. PMID:26878236

  15. Early vertebrate chromosome duplications and the evolution of the neuropeptide Y receptor gene regions

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background One of the many gene families that expanded in early vertebrate evolution is the neuropeptide (NPY) receptor family of G-protein coupled receptors. Earlier work by our lab suggested that several of the NPY receptor genes found in extant vertebrates resulted from two genome duplications before the origin of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) and one additional genome duplication in the actinopterygian lineage, based on their location on chromosomes sharing several gene families. In this study we have investigated, in five vertebrate genomes, 45 gene families with members close to the NPY receptor genes in the compact genomes of the teleost fishes Tetraodon nigroviridis and Takifugu rubripes. These correspond to Homo sapiens chromosomes 4, 5, 8 and 10. Results Chromosome regions with conserved synteny were identified and confirmed by phylogenetic analyses in H. sapiens, M. musculus, D. rerio, T. rubripes and T. nigroviridis. 26 gene families, including the NPY receptor genes, (plus 3 described recently by other labs) showed a tree topology consistent with duplications in early vertebrate evolution and in the actinopterygian lineage, thereby supporting expansion through block duplications. Eight gene families had complications that precluded analysis (such as short sequence length or variable number of repeated domains) and another eight families did not support block duplications (because the paralogs in these families seem to have originated in another time window than the proposed genome duplication events). RT-PCR carried out with several tissues in T. rubripes revealed that all five NPY receptors were expressed in the brain and subtypes Y2, Y4 and Y8 were also expressed in peripheral organs. Conclusion We conclude that the phylogenetic analyses and chromosomal locations of these gene families support duplications of large blocks of genes or even entire chromosomes. Thus, these results are consistent with two early vertebrate tetraploidizations forming a

  16. Regional variations in the compressive properties of lumbar vertebral trabeculae. Effects of disc degeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, T.S.; Hansson, T.H.; Abram, A.C.; Spengler, D.M.; Panjabi, M.M. )

    1989-09-01

    The compressive mechanical properties of human lumbar vertebral trabeculae were examined on the basis of anatomic origin, bone density, and intervertebral disc properties. Trabecular bone compressive strength and stiffness increased with increasing bone density, the latter proportional to strength and stiffness to the one-half power. Regional variations within each segment were found, the most prevalent differences occurring in regions of bone overlying the disc nucleus in comparison with bone overlying the disc anulus. For normal discs, the ratio of strength of bone overlying the disc nucleus to bone overlying the disc anulus was 1.25, decreasing to 1.0 for moderately degenerated discs. These results suggest that an interdependency of trabecular bone properties and intervertebral disc properties may exist.

  17. Evolution of the vertebrate genome as reflected in paralogous chromosomal regions in man and the house mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Lundin, L.G. )

    1993-04-01

    Gene constellations on several human chromosomes are interpreted as indications of large regional duplications that took place during evolution of the vertebrate genome. Four groups of paralogous chromosomal regions in man and the house mouse are suggested and are believed to be conserved remnants of the two or three rounds of tetraploidization that are likely to have occurred during evolution of the vertebrates. The phenomenon of differential silencing of genes is described. The importance of conservation of linkage of particular genes is discussed in relation to genetic regulation and cell differentiation. 120 refs., 5 tabs.

  18. A procephalic territory in Drosophila exhibiting similarities and dissimilarities compared to the vertebrate midbrain/hindbrain boundary region

    PubMed Central

    Urbach, Rolf

    2007-01-01

    Background In vertebrates, the primordium of the brain is subdivided by the expression of Otx genes (forebrain/anterior midbrain), Hox genes (posterior hindbrain), and the genes Pax2, Pax5 and Pax8 (intervening region). The latter includes the midbrain/hindbrain boundary (MHB), which acts as a key organizer during brain patterning. Recent studies in Drosophila revealed that orthologous sets of genes are expressed in a similar tripartite pattern in the late embryonic brain, which suggested correspondence between the Drosophila deutocerebral/tritocerebral boundary region and the vertebrate MHB. To gain more insight into the evolution of brain regions, and particularly the MHB, I examined the expression of a comprehensive array of MHB-specific gene orthologs in the procephalic neuroectoderm and in individually identified neuroblasts during early embryonic stages 8–11, at which the segmental organization of the brain is most clearly displayed. Results and conclusion I show that the early embryonic brain exhibits an anterior Otx/otd domain and a posterior Hox1/lab domain, but that Pax2/5/8 orthologs are not expressed in the neuroectoderm and neuroblasts of the intervening territory. Furthermore, the expression domains of Otx/otd and Gbx/unpg exhibit a small common interface within the anterior deutocerebrum. In contrast to vertebrates, Fgf8-related genes are not expressed posterior to the otd/unpg interface. However, at the otd/unpg interface the early expression of other MHB-specific genes (including btd, wg, en), and of dorsoventral patterning genes, closely resembles the situation at the vertebrate MHB. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of an ancestral territory within the primordium of the deutocerebrum and adjacent protocerebrum, which might be the evolutionary equivalent of the region of the vertebrate MHB. However, lack of expression of Pax2/5/8 and Fgf8-related genes, and significant differences in the expression onset of other key regulators at

  19. Photoelastic analisys in the lower region of vertebral body L4

    PubMed Central

    Fakhouri, Sarah Fakher; Zamarioli, Ariane; Shimano, Marcos Massao; Defino, Helton Luiz Aparecido; Araujo, Cleudmar Amaral; Shimano, Antonio Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Objective To analyze the shear forces on the vertebral body L4 when submitted to a compression force by means of transmission photoelasticity. Methods Twelve photoelastic models were divided into three groups, with four models per group, according to the positioning of the sagittal section vertebrae L4-L5 (sections A, B and C). The simulation was performed using a 15N compression force, and the fringe orders were evaluated in the vertebral body L4 by the Tardy compensation method. Results Photoelastic analysis showed, in general, a homogeneous distribution in the vertebral bodies. The shear forces were higher in section C than B, and higher in B than A. Conclusion The posterior area of L4, mainly in section C, showed higher shear concentrations, corresponding to a more susceptible area for bone fracture and spondylolisthesis. Economic and Decision Analyses - Development of an Economic or Decision Model. Level I PMID:24453574

  20. Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. M.; Suárez, M.

    Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiapó, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

  1. HNK-1 immunoreactivity during early morphogenesis of the head region in a nonmodel vertebrate, crocodile embryo.

    PubMed

    Kundrát, Martin

    2008-11-01

    The present study examines HNK-1 immunoidentification of a population of the neural crest (NC) during early head morphogenesis in the nonmodel vertebrate, the crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) embryos. Although HNK-1 is not an exclusive NC marker among vertebrates, temporospatial immunoreactive patterns found in the crocodile are almost consistent with NC patterns derived from gene expression studies known in birds (the closest living relatives of crocodiles) and mammals. In contrast to birds, the HNK-1 epitope is immunoreactive in NC cells at the neural fold level in crocodile embryos and therefore provides sufficient base to assess early migratory events of the cephalic NC. I found that crocodile NC forms three classic migratory pathways in the head: mandibular, hyoid, and branchial. Further, I demonstrate that, besides this classic phenotype, there is also a forebrain-derived migratory population, which consolidates into a premandibular stream in the crocodile. In contrast to the closely related chick model, crocodilian premandibular and mandibular NC cells arise from the open neural tube suggesting that species-specific heterochronic behavior of NC may be involved in the formation of different vertebrate facial phenotypes. PMID:18668221

  2. HNK-1 immunoreactivity during early morphogenesis of the head region in a nonmodel vertebrate, crocodile embryo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundrát, Martin

    2008-11-01

    The present study examines HNK-1 immunoidentification of a population of the neural crest (NC) during early head morphogenesis in the nonmodel vertebrate, the crocodile ( Crocodylus niloticus) embryos. Although HNK-1 is not an exclusive NC marker among vertebrates, temporospatial immunoreactive patterns found in the crocodile are almost consistent with NC patterns derived from gene expression studies known in birds (the closest living relatives of crocodiles) and mammals. In contrast to birds, the HNK-1 epitope is immunoreactive in NC cells at the neural fold level in crocodile embryos and therefore provides sufficient base to assess early migratory events of the cephalic NC. I found that crocodile NC forms three classic migratory pathways in the head: mandibular, hyoid, and branchial. Further, I demonstrate that, besides this classic phenotype, there is also a forebrain-derived migratory population, which consolidates into a premandibular stream in the crocodile. In contrast to the closely related chick model, crocodilian premandibular and mandibular NC cells arise from the open neural tube suggesting that species-specific heterochronic behavior of NC may be involved in the formation of different vertebrate facial phenotypes.

  3. The vertebrate ancestral repertoire of visual opsins, transducin alpha subunits and oxytocin/vasopressin receptors was established by duplication of their shared genomic region in the two rounds of early vertebrate genome duplications

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Vertebrate color vision is dependent on four major color opsin subtypes: RH2 (green opsin), SWS1 (ultraviolet opsin), SWS2 (blue opsin), and LWS (red opsin). Together with the dim-light receptor rhodopsin (RH1), these form the family of vertebrate visual opsins. Vertebrate genomes contain many multi-membered gene families that can largely be explained by the two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in the vertebrate ancestor (2R) followed by a third round in the teleost ancestor (3R). Related chromosome regions resulting from WGD or block duplications are said to form a paralogon. We describe here a paralogon containing the genes for visual opsins, the G-protein alpha subunit families for transducin (GNAT) and adenylyl cyclase inhibition (GNAI), the oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OT/VP-R), and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CACNA1-L). Results Sequence-based phylogenies and analyses of conserved synteny show that the above-mentioned gene families, and many neighboring gene families, expanded in the early vertebrate WGDs. This allows us to deduce the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate ancestor had a chromosome containing the genes for two visual opsins, one GNAT, one GNAI, two OT/VP-Rs and one CACNA1-L gene. This chromosome was quadrupled in 2R. Subsequent gene losses resulted in a set of five visual opsin genes, three GNAT and GNAI genes, six OT/VP-R genes and four CACNA1-L genes. These regions were duplicated again in 3R resulting in additional teleost genes for some of the families. Major chromosomal rearrangements have taken place in the teleost genomes. By comparison with the corresponding chromosomal regions in the spotted gar, which diverged prior to 3R, we could time these rearrangements to post-3R. Conclusions We present an extensive analysis of the paralogon housing the visual opsin, GNAT and GNAI, OT/VP-R, and CACNA1-L gene families. The combined data imply that the early vertebrate WGD events contributed to the

  4. Solving a sequencing problem in the vertebrate mitochondrial control region using phylogenetic comparisons.

    PubMed

    Feinstein, Julie; Cracraft, Joel

    2004-01-01

    The mitochondrial control region (mtCR) of the bird-of-paradise, Phonygammus keraudrenii, the Trumpet Manucode, contains a unique arrangement of homopolymers and short tandem repeats. Homopolymers occur within a few hundred bases of each other, trapping sequence information between unsequenceable barriers. A comparative strategy, involving other manucode species, allowed the prediction of primer sites in the inaccessible region. The method is suggested for similar sequencing problems. PMID:15621664

  5. Vertebral Morphometry.

    PubMed

    Chou, Sharon H; Vokes, Tamara

    2016-01-01

    There is as yet no agreement about the criteria by which to arrive at an imaging diagnosis of a vertebral fracture. Because high-grade fractures result in alterations in vertebral shape, 1 possible avenue of diagnosis has been to quantitate changes in vertebral shape. The result has been a variety of methods for the relative and absolute measurements of vertebral dimensions. Such measurements have also lent themselves to automated computed analysis. The number of techniques reflects the absence of any consensus about the best. The semiquantitative technique proposed by Genant has become the most widely used and has served the field well for comparative purposes. Its use in higher grade fractures has been widely endorsed, if some concepts (e.g., short vertebral height-vertebrae) are at variance with lower grades of fracturing. Vertebral morphometry may be the only recourse in high volume epidemiological and interventional studies. PMID:26349790

  6. Salamander Hox clusters contain repetitive DNA and expanded non-coding regions: a typical Hox structure for non-mammalian tetrapod vertebrates?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Hox genes encode transcription factors that regulate embryonic and post-embryonic developmental processes. The expression of Hox genes is regulated in part by the tight, spatial arrangement of conserved coding and non-coding sequences. The potential for evolutionary changes in Hox cluster structure is thought to be low among vertebrates; however, recent studies of a few non-mammalian taxa suggest greater variation than originally thought. Using next generation sequencing of large genomic fragments (>100 kb) from the red spotted newt (Notophthalamus viridescens), we found that the arrangement of Hox cluster genes was conserved relative to orthologous regions from other vertebrates, but the length of introns and intergenic regions varied. In particular, the distance between hoxd13 and hoxd11 is longer in newt than orthologous regions from vertebrate species with expanded Hox clusters and is predicted to exceed the length of the entire HoxD clusters (hoxd13–hoxd4) of humans, mice, and frogs. Many repetitive DNA sequences were identified for newt Hox clusters, including an enrichment of DNA transposon-like sequences relative to non-coding genomic fragments. Our results suggest that Hox cluster expansion and transposon accumulation are common features of non-mammalian tetrapod vertebrates. PMID:23561734

  7. Vertebrate Dissimilarity Due to Turnover and Richness Differences in a Highly Beta-Diverse Region: The Role of Spatial Grain Size, Dispersal Ability and Distance

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Moreno, Claudia E.; Pineda-López, Rubén; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2013-01-01

    We explore the influence of spatial grain size, dispersal ability, and geographic distance on the patterns of species dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, separating the dissimilarity explained by species replacement (turnover) from that resulting from richness differences. With data for 905 species of terrestrial vertebrates distributed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, classified into five groups according to their taxonomy and dispersal ability, we calculated total dissimilarity and its additive partitioning as two components: dissimilarity derived from turnover and dissimilarity derived from richness differences. These indices were compared using fine (10 x 10 km), intermediate (20 x 20 km) and coarse (40 x 40 km) grain grids, and were tested for any correlations with geographic distance. The results showed that total dissimilarity is high for the terrestrial vertebrates in this region. Total dissimilarity, and dissimilarity due to turnover are correlated with geographic distance, and the patterns are clearer when the grain is fine, which is consistent with the distance-decay pattern of similarity. For all terrestrial vertebrates tested on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both the dissimilarity derived from turnover and the dissimilarity resulting from richness differences make important contributions to total dissimilarity, and dispersal ability does not seem to influence the dissimilarity patterns. These findings support the idea that conservation efforts in this region require a system of interconnected protected areas that embrace the environmental, climatic and biogeographic heterogeneity of the area. PMID:24324840

  8. Phylogeography of a widespread terrestrial vertebrate in a barely-studied Palearctic region: green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) indicate glacial refugia in Eastern Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Jun; Stöck, Matthias; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Xiu-Ling; Zhou, Hui; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2008-11-01

    The phylogeography of western Palearctic species is relatively well studied, but data on Eastern Central Asia are scarce. We present one of the first data sets from a widespread terrestrial vertebrate (Bufo pewzowi) inhabiting Eastern Central Asian mountains and deserts to gain knowledge on its phylogeography in this region. We applied combined phylogenetic and demographic analyses to understand the evolutionary history using mitochondrial DNA D-loop variation of toads from 37 locations. Genetic structure of Bufo pewzowi is strongly affected by landscape: we found three haplotype groups in eastern Kazakhstan, Dzungaria and Tarim Basin, divided by the Tian Shan and Dzungarian Alatau ranges. A vicariant hypothesis may explain divergence among groups. The divergence time of the three major clades was estimated about 0.9 million years ago (confidence interval 0.5-1.4), and is discussed with respect to Quaternary uplifting and glaciation in the Tian Shan. Demographic analyses provided evidence for both historical bottlenecks and population expansions and suggested Pleistocene signatures. Glacial refugia were inferred in the Tarim Basin (around the Turpan depression), in southern Dzungaria (Urumqui region), at the northern foot of the Tian Shan (Gongnaisi) and perhaps at the Altai range (Terekti). Regional Post-Last Glacial Maximum dispersal patterns are proposed. A taxonomic hypothesis is presented. This study provides a detailed history of how a widespread terrestrial vertebrate responded to geological change and Quaternary glacial events in Eastern Central Asia and may have significance for future phylogeographic research in this understudied region. PMID:18301990

  9. Evolution of vertebrate IgM: complete amino acid sequence of the constant region of Ambystoma mexicanum mu chain deduced from cDNA sequence.

    PubMed

    Fellah, J S; Wiles, M V; Charlemagne, J; Schwager, J

    1992-10-01

    cDNA clones coding for the constant region of the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) mu heavy immunoglobulin chain were selected from total spleen RNA, using a cDNA polymerase chain reaction technique. The specific 5'-end primer was an oligonucleotide homologous to the JH segment of Xenopus laevis mu chain. One of the clones, JHA/3, corresponded to the complete constant region of the axolotl mu chain, consisting of a 1362-nucleotide sequence coding for a polypeptide of 454 amino acids followed in 3' direction by a 179-nucleotide untranslated region and a polyA+ tail. The axolotl C mu is divided into four typical domains (C mu 1-C mu 4) and can be aligned with the Xenopus C mu with an overall identity of 56% at the nucleotide level. Percent identities were particularly high between C mu 1 (59%) and C mu 4 (71%). The C-terminal 20-amino acid segment which constitutes the secretory part of the mu chain is strongly homologous to the equivalent sequences of chondrichthyans and of other tetrapods, including a conserved N-linked oligosaccharide, the penultimate cysteine and the C-terminal lysine. The four C mu domains of 13 vertebrate species ranging from chondrichthyans to mammals were aligned and compared at the amino acid level. The significant number of mu-specific residues which are conserved into each of the four C mu domains argues for a continuous line of evolution of the vertebrate mu chain. This notion was confirmed by the ability to reconstitute a consistent vertebrate evolution tree based on the phylogenic parsimony analysis of the C mu 4 sequences. PMID:1382992

  10. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control

  11. DNA Sequence Characterization of a Gene-rich Region in Rye

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aluminum toxicity, affecting approximately half of the world’s arable land, severely hinders the ability of crop plants to utilize moisture and nutrients by restricting root growth and function. Among the cultivated cereals, rye is the most Al-tolerant of the cereals and represents an important pote...

  12. Vertebrate Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kornbluth, Sally; Fissore, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    Vertebrate reproduction requires a myriad of precisely orchestrated events-in particular, the maternal production of oocytes, the paternal production of sperm, successful fertilization, and initiation of early embryonic cell divisions. These processes are governed by a host of signaling pathways. Protein kinase and phosphatase signaling pathways involving Mos, CDK1, RSK, and PP2A regulate meiosis during maturation of the oocyte. Steroid signals-specifically testosterone-regulate spermatogenesis, as does signaling by G-protein-coupled hormone receptors. Finally, calcium signaling is essential for both sperm motility and fertilization. Altogether, this signaling symphony ensures the production of viable offspring, offering a chance of genetic immortality. PMID:26430215

  13. Vertebrate skeletogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Véronique; Bhattaram, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrate skeletogenesis consists in elaborating an edifice of more than 200 pieces of bone and cartilage. Each skeletal piece is crafted at a distinct location in the body, is articulated with others, and reaches a specific size, shape, and tissue composition according to both species instructions and individual determinants. This complex, customized body frame fulfills multiple essential tasks. It confers morphological features, allows controlled postures and movements, protects vital organs, houses hematopoiesis, stores minerals, and adsorbs toxins. This review provides an overview of the multiple facets of this ingenious process for experts as well as nonexperts of skeletogenesis. We explain how the developing vertebrate uses both specific and ubiquitously expressed genes to generate multipotent mesenchymal cells, specify them to a skeletogenic fate, control their survival and proliferation, and direct their differentiation into cartilage, bone, and joint cells. We review milestone discoveries made toward uncovering the intricate networks of regulatory factors that are involved in these processes, with an emphasis on signaling pathways and transcription factors. We describe numerous skeletal malformation and degeneration diseases that occur in humans as a result of mutations in regulatory genes, and explain how these diseases both help and motivate us to further decipher skeletogenic processes. Upon discussing current knowledge and gaps in knowledge in the control of skeletogenesis, we highlight ultimate research goals and propose research priorities and approaches for future endeavors. PMID:20691853

  14. Three-dimensional structure of the M-region (bare zone) of vertebrate striated muscle myosin filaments by single-particle analysis.

    PubMed

    Al-Khayat, Hind A; Kensler, Robert W; Morris, Edward P; Squire, John M

    2010-11-12

    The rods of anti-parallel myosin molecules overlap at the centre of bipolar myosin filaments to produce an M-region (bare zone) that is free of myosin heads. Beyond the M-region edges, myosin molecules aggregate in a parallel fashion to yield the bridge regions of the myosin filaments. Adjacent myosin filaments in striated muscle A-bands are cross-linked by the M-band. Vertebrate striated muscle myosin filaments have a 3-fold rotational symmetry around their long axes. In addition, at the centre of the M-region, there are three 2-fold axes perpendicular to the filament long axis, giving the whole filament dihedral 32-point group symmetry. Here we describe the three-dimensional structure obtained by a single-particle analysis of the M-region of myosin filaments from goldfish skeletal muscle under relaxing conditions and as viewed in negative stain. This is the first single-particle reconstruction of isolated M-regions. The resulting three-dimensional reconstruction reveals details to about 55 Å resolution of the density distribution in the five main nonmyosin densities in the M-band (M6', M4', M1, M4 and M6) and in the myosin head crowns (P1, P2 and P3) at the M-region edges. The outermost crowns in the reconstruction were identified specifically by their close similarity to the corresponding crown levels in our previously published bridge region reconstructions. The packing of myosin molecules into the M-region structure is discussed, and some unidentified densities are highlighted. PMID:20851129

  15. Conserved localization of Pax6 and Pax7 transcripts in the brain of representatives of sarcopterygian vertebrates during development supports homologous brain regionalization

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Nerea; Joven, Alberto; Morona, Ruth; Bandín, Sandra; López, Jesús M.; González, Agustín

    2014-01-01

    Many of the genes involved in brain patterning during development are highly conserved in vertebrates and similarities in their expression patterns help to recognize homologous cell types or brain regions. Among these genes, Pax6 and Pax7 are expressed in regionally restricted patterns in the brain and are essential for its development. In the present immunohistochemical study we analyzed the distribution of Pax6 and Pax7 cells in the brain of six representative species of tetrapods and lungfishes, the closest living relatives of tetrapods, at several developmental stages. The distribution patterns of these transcription factors were largely comparable across species. In all species only Pax6 was expressed in the telencephalon, including the olfactory bulbs, septum, striatum, and amygdaloid complex. In the diencephalon, Pax6 and Pax7 were distinct in the alar and basal parts, mainly in prosomeres 1 and 3. Pax7 specifically labeled cells in the optic tectum (superior colliculus) and Pax6, but not Pax7, cells were found in the tegmentum. Pax6 was found in most granule cells of the cerebellum and Pax7 labeling was detected in cells of the ventricular zone of the rostral alar plate and in migrated cells in the basal plate, including the griseum centrale and the interpeduncular nucleus. Caudally, Pax6 cells formed a column, whereas the ventricular zone of the alar plate expressed Pax7. Since the observed Pax6 and Pax7 expression patterns are largely conserved they can be used to identify subdivisions in the brain across vertebrates that are not clearly discernible with classical techniques. PMID:25147506

  16. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    to scoliosis in humans. Finally, the subsequent regional differentiation of the precursors of the vertebrae is controlled by Hox genes, whose collinear expression controls both gastrulation of somite precursors and their subsequent patterning into region-specific types of structures. Therefore somite development provides an outstanding paradigm to study patterning and differentiation in vertebrate embryos.

  17. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  18. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. PMID:26564847

  19. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton. PMID:23580532

  20. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review. PMID:11550762

  1. [Vertebral hydatidosis: case report].

    PubMed

    Varela, R; Santelices, J P; Cuzmar, D; Aldunate, J T; Plaza-Guzmán, N; Lizama-Calvo, P

    2015-01-01

    Hydatidosis caused by echinococcus granulosus may affect any organ in the body, with the lungs and the liver as the most commonly affected organs. Vertebral compromise resulting from echinococcus granulosus has a low prevalence and accounts for less than 1% of bone compromise. We report the case of a 50 year-old female who presented at the Trauma Service with progressive low back pain with 5 months of duration that irradiated to the right lower limb, and led to neurologic compromise of the limb. Imaging studies showed spondylodiscitis at T12-L1, confirmed by a biopsy. Treatment of this condition is both orthopedic and surgical. The recurrence rate is high, between 30 and 40%. The objective of describing this case is to propose the differential diagnosis of a vertebral mass of unknown origin and provide details as to how to manage this condition. PMID:27012085

  2. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  3. [A vertebral arteriovenous fistula diagnosed by auscultation].

    PubMed

    Iglesias Escalera, G; Diaz-Delgado Peñas, R; Carrasco Marina, M Ll; Maraña Perez, A; Ialeggio, D

    2015-01-01

    Cervical artery fistulas are rare arteriovenous malformations. The etiology of the vertebral arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) can be traumatic or spontaneous. They tend to be asymptomatic or palpation or continuous vibration in the cervical region. An arteriography is necessary for a definitive diagnosis. The treatment is complete embolization of the fistula. We present the case of a two year-old male, where the mother described it «like a washing machine in his head». On palpation during the physical examination, there was a continuous vibration, and a continuous murmur in left cervical region. A vascular malformation in vertebral region was clinically suspected, and confirmed with angio-MRI and arteriography. AVF are rare in childhood. They should be suspected in the presence of noises, palpation or continuous vibration in the cervical region. Early diagnosis can prevent severe complications in asymptomatic children. PMID:24598790

  4. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored. PMID:25943906

  5. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  6. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  7. Mechanotransduction During Vertebrate Neurulation.

    PubMed

    Sokol, Sergei Y

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate neural tube formation is a complex morphogenetic process, which involves hundreds of genes dynamically coordinating various behaviors in different cell populations of neural tissue. The challenge remains to determine the relative contributions of physical forces and biochemical signaling events to neural tube closure and accompanying cell fate specification. Planar cell polarity (PCP) molecules are prime candidate factors for the production of actomyosin-dependent mechanical signals necessary for morphogenesis. Conversely, physical forces may contribute to the polarized distribution of PCP proteins. Understanding mechanosensory and mechanotransducing properties of diverse molecules should help define the direction and amplitude of physical stresses that are critical for neurulation. PMID:26969989

  8. Non-contiguous multifocal vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jen Xin; Li, Jordan Yuanzhi; Yong, Tuck Yean

    2015-03-01

    Serratia marcescens is a common nosocomial infection but a rare cause of osteomyelitis and more so of vertebral osteomyelitis. Vertebral osteomyelitis caused by this organism has been reported in few studies. We report a case of S. marcescens vertebral discitis and osteomyelitis affecting multiple non-contiguous vertebras. Although Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of vertebral osteomyelitis, rare causes, such as S. marcescens, need to be considered, especially when risk factors such as intravenous heroin use, post-spinal surgery and immunosuppression are present. Therefore, blood culture and where necessary biopsy of the infected region should be undertaken to establish the causative organism and determine appropriate antibiotic susceptibility. Prompt diagnosis of S. marcescens vertebral osteomyelitis followed by the appropriate treatment can achieve successful outcomes. PMID:24533544

  9. Vertebral Angiosarcoma. Case Study.

    PubMed

    Guzik, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    Bone angiosarcomas, especially vertebral angiosarcomas, are very rare. There are no studies based on large clinical samples in the literature, and only a few single case reports can be found. The symptoms of the disease are not specific. It is usually detected incidentally or at a late stage when pathological vertebral fractures or neurological complications occur. Diagnostic imaging and history help to recognize the tumour behind the symptoms, but do not allow accurate clinical diagnosis. The basis for a diagnosis is the histopathological examination supported by immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays. The case of a 26-year-old woman with an angiosarcoma involving the eighth thoracic vertebra we report reflects diagnostic problems adversely affecting the efficacy and accuracy of treatment offered to patients. The patient underwent three surgeries of the spine, including two biopsies. A needle biopsy did not provide sufficient information for the diagnosis. An open excisional biopsy, which at the same time temporarily reduced neurological deficits in the patient, was the only chance to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The third surgery was posterior decompression of the spinal cord due to the rapidly escalating paraparesis. It was not until 8 weeks later that the final diagnosis was established. At that time, the patient could not be qualified for any supplementary treatment. The patient died in hospital 6 months after the onset of disease. PMID:26468177

  10. Height and body mass index in Oslo, Norway, compared to other regions of Europe: do they explain differences in the incidence of hip fracture? European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Meyer, H E; Falch, J A; O'Neill, T; Tverdal, A; Varlow, J

    1995-10-01

    Lean body stature and tallness have both been identified as risk factors for hip fracture. In this study, height and weight data from a multinational multicenter study were used to compare Oslo, which has some of the highest incidence rates of hip fracture ever reported, to other regions of Europe, with respect to height and body mass index. More than 17,000 subjects in six age strata (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+ years) from 36 centers in 19 European countries were enrolled in the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS), which included standardized height and weight measurements. We found that men in Oslo were 4.3 cm taller than men in western Europe, 5.0 cm taller than men in eastern Europe, and 8.6 cm taller than men in southern Europe. Oslo women were also taller, by 2.2 cm compared to women in western Europe, 2.7 cm compared to women in eastern Europe, and 5.2 cm compared to women in southern Europe. In all age groups, except women aged 55-59 years, mean body mass index (BMI) was lowest in Oslo. Nearly twice as many had a BMI less than 22.0 kg/m2 in Oslo compared to the other regions combined (11.1% vs. 6.6% in men and 19.2% vs. 9.9% in women). This study indicates that the people of Oslo are taller and leaner than people in other regions of Europe. This may in part explain the higher incidence of hip fracture in the population of Oslo. PMID:8573406

  11. The epidemiology of vertebral fractures. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Cooper, C; O'Neill, T; Silman, A

    1993-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are recognised as a hallmark of osteoporosis, yet little is known of their epidemiology. This deficiency limits accurate characterisation of the public health importance of osteoporosis. Assessment of the impact of vertebral fractures has been hampered by the absence of formal criteria for identifying fractures on a thoracolumbar radiograph. Initial methods relying upon subjective radiological assessments have given way to morphometric measurements of vertebral heights, with deformities defined according to various algorithms. These methods have been used in a series of studies performed in Rochester, MN, to determine the incidence, outcome, and time trends of vertebral deformities. The results suggest a prevalence rate of vertebral deformity of 25.3 per 100 Rochester women aged 50 years and over (95% CI, 22.3-28.2), with an estimated incidence of 17.8 per 1,000 person-years. The incidence of clinically diagnosed vertebral fractures among women in the same population was 5.3 per 1,000 person-years, suggesting that around 30% of such deformities in women receive clinical attention. Morphometric measurement on the radiographs of women with clinically diagnosed fractures revealed that 80% had grade 2 ( > 4 SD) deformities. Comparable data on the occurrence and health impact of vertebral deformities throughout Europe are urgently required. The European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS) is a multicentre epidemiological study that aims to address this issue. It is designed as a radiographic prevalence study in 34 European centres.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8110529

  12. Vertebral fracture classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijne, Marleen; Pettersen, Paola C.; Tankó, László B.; Nielsen, Mads

    2007-03-01

    A novel method for classification and quantification of vertebral fractures from X-ray images is presented. Using pairwise conditional shape models trained on a set of healthy spines, the most likely unfractured shape is estimated for each of the vertebrae in the image. The difference between the true shape and the reconstructed normal shape is an indicator for the shape abnormality. A statistical classification scheme with the two shapes as features is applied to detect, classify, and grade various types of deformities. In contrast with the current (semi-)quantitative grading strategies this method takes the full shape into account, it uses a patient-specific reference by combining population-based information on biological variation in vertebra shape and vertebra interrelations, and it provides a continuous measure of deformity. Good agreement with manual classification and grading is demonstrated on 204 lateral spine radiographs with in total 89 fractures.

  13. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  14. A revised metric for quantifying body shape in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Reynaga, Crystal M; Ward, Andrea B; Mehta, Rita S

    2013-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit tremendous diversity in body shape, though quantifying this variation has been challenging. In the past, researchers have used simplified metrics that either describe overall shape but reveal little about its anatomical basis or that characterize only a subset of the morphological features that contribute to shape variation. Here, we present a revised metric of body shape, the vertebrate shape index (VSI), which combines the four primary morphological components that lead to shape diversity in vertebrates: head shape, length of the second major body axis (depth or width), and shape of the precaudal and caudal regions of the vertebral column. We illustrate the usefulness of VSI on a data set of 194 species, primarily representing five major vertebrate clades: Actinopterygii, Lissamphibia, Squamata, Aves, and Mammalia. We quantify VSI diversity within each of these clades and, in the course of doing so, show how measurements of the morphological components of VSI can be obtained from radiographs, articulated skeletons, and cleared and stained specimens. We also demonstrate that head shape, secondary body axis, and vertebral characteristics are important independent contributors to body shape diversity, though their importance varies across vertebrate groups. Finally, we present a functional application of VSI to test a hypothesized relationship between body shape and the degree of axial bending associated with locomotor modes in ray-finned fishes. Altogether, our study highlights the promise VSI holds for identifying the morphological variation underlying body shape diversity as well as the selective factors driving shape evolution. PMID:23746908

  15. Thyroglobulin Represents a Novel Molecular Architecture of Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Holzer, Guillaume; Morishita, Yoshiaki; Fini, Jean-Baptiste; Lorin, Thibault; Gillet, Benjamin; Hughes, Sandrine; Tohmé, Marie; Deléage, Gilbert; Demeneix, Barbara; Arvan, Peter; Laudet, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Thyroid hormones modulate not only multiple functions in vertebrates (energy metabolism, central nervous system function, seasonal changes in physiology, and behavior) but also in some non-vertebrates where they control critical post-embryonic developmental transitions such as metamorphosis. Despite their obvious biological importance, the thyroid hormone precursor protein, thyroglobulin (Tg), has been experimentally investigated only in mammals. This may bias our view of how thyroid hormones are produced in other organisms. In this study we searched genomic databases and found Tg orthologs in all vertebrates including the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). We cloned a full-size Tg coding sequence from western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) and zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comparisons between the representative mammal, amphibian, teleost fish, and basal vertebrate indicate that all of the different domains of Tg, as well as Tg regional structure, are conserved throughout the vertebrates. Indeed, in Xenopus, zebrafish, and lamprey Tgs, key residues, including the hormonogenic tyrosines and the disulfide bond-forming cysteines critical for Tg function, are well conserved despite overall divergence of amino acid sequences. We uncovered upstream sequences that include start codons of zebrafish and Xenopus Tgs and experimentally proved that these are full-length secreted proteins, which are specifically recognized by antibodies against rat Tg. By contrast, we have not been able to find any orthologs of Tg among non-vertebrate species. Thus, Tg appears to be a novel protein elaborated as a single event at the base of vertebrates and virtually unchanged thereafter. PMID:27311711

  16. Vertebral osteomyelitis: disk hypodensity on CT

    SciTech Connect

    Larde, D.; Mathieu, D.; Frija, J.; Gaston, A.; Vasile, N.

    1982-11-01

    The importance and role of computed tomography (CT) are discussed on the basis of 36 cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. The bone images themselves, the detection of lumbar disk hypodensity, and the exploration of soft paraspinal regions in the search for an abscess are factors that contribute to the superiority of this method in difficult cases. In cases where the diagnosis is already known, CT offers an excellent method to assess the extent of the lesions. Its accuracy, coupled with its rapidity and noninvasive nature, affects the role of conventional tomography, a method that is incomplete and involves higher radiation doses. CT offers an excellent method for follow-up after treatment of vertebral osteomyelitis.

  17. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  18. An amphioxus Krox gene: insights into vertebrate hindbrain evolution.

    PubMed

    Knight, R D; Panopoulou, G D; Holland, P W; Shimeld, S M

    2000-10-01

    The transcription factor Krox-20 has roles in the maintenance of segmentation and specification of segment identity in the vertebrate hindbrain. Overt hindbrain segmentation is a vertebrate novelty, and is not seen in invertebrate chordates such as amphioxus and tunicates. To test if the roles of Krox-20 are also derived, we cloned a Krox-20 related gene, AmphiKrox, from amphioxus. AmphiKrox is related to a small family of vertebrate Krox genes and is expressed in the most anterior region of the amphioxus brain and in the club shaped gland, a secretory organ that develops in the anterior pharynx. Neither expression domain overlaps with the expression of AmphiHox-1, -2, -3 or -4, suggesting that the roles of Krox-20 in hindbrain segmentation and in Hox gene regulation were acquired concomitant with the duplication of Krox genes in vertebrate evolution. PMID:11180801

  19. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression. PMID:23640588

  20. Automatic vertebral identification using surface-based registration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herring, Jeannette L.; Dawant, Benoit M.

    2000-06-01

    This work introduces an enhancement to currently existing methods of intra-operative vertebral registration by allowing the portion of the spinal column surface that correctly matches a set of physical vertebral points to be automatically selected from several possible choices. Automatic selection is made possible by the shape variations that exist among lumbar vertebrae. In our experiments, we register vertebral points representing physical space to spinal column surfaces extracted from computed tomography images. The vertebral points are taken from the posterior elements of a single vertebra to represent the region of surgical interest. The surface is extracted using an improved version of the fully automatic marching cubes algorithm, which results in a triangulated surface that contains multiple vertebrae. We find the correct portion of the surface by registering the set of physical points to multiple surface areas, including all vertebral surfaces that potentially match the physical point set. We then compute the standard deviation of the surface error for the set of points registered to each vertebral surface that is a possible match, and the registration that corresponds to the lowest standard deviation designates the correct match. We have performed our current experiments on two plastic spine phantoms and one patient.

  1. Health impact associated with vertebral deformities: results from the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS).

    PubMed

    Matthis, C; Weber, U; O'Neill, T W; Raspe, H

    1998-01-01

    To study the association between vertebral deformities and subjective health outcome indicators, including back pain and disability, a cross-sectional survey with spinal radiographs and personal interviews was carried out in 36 study centres in 19 European countries on a total of 15,570 men and women aged 50-79 years (population-based stratified random samples). No interventions were done. The main outcome measures were the presence and intensity of current and previous back pain, functional capacity (ADL questionnaire) and overall subjective health. The presence and intensity of back pain and functional and health impairments varied within wide ranges with no obvious regional pattern. However, the associations between negative health outcomes and vertebral deformity were homogeneous between countries and between centres within countries. In logistic regression analyses weak but significant associations between the presence of vertebral deformities and various health indicators were demonstrated. The magnitude of the associations increased with severity and number of deformities. Compared with subjects without deformities those with low-grade deformities had no or only a weakly elevated risk for back pain, disability and impaired subjective health (odds ratios (OR) 1.2-1.3). The odds ratios increased for individuals with single severe deformities (OR 1.3-2.1) and were highest in those with multiple severe deformities (OR 1.7-4.2). The associations between vertebral deformities and negative health outcomes were stronger in men than in women. In this cross-sectional study radiologically assessed vertebral deformities were therefore weakly associated with both current and previous back pain as well as with functional and health impairments in both women and men. Multiple severe deformities were associated with severe and disabling back pain with stronger effects in men. PMID:10024907

  2. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H.; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G.; Prosser, Haydn M.; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P.; Tabin, Clifford J.; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-01-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3′ UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae. PMID:26283362

  3. Recombination Drives Vertebrate Genome Contraction

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Selective and/or neutral processes may govern variation in DNA content and, ultimately, genome size. The observation in several organisms of a negative correlation between recombination rate and intron size could be compatible with a neutral model in which recombination is mutagenic for length changes. We used whole-genome data on small insertions and deletions within transposable elements from chicken and zebra finch to demonstrate clear links between recombination rate and a number of attributes of reduced DNA content. Recombination rate was negatively correlated with the length of introns, transposable elements, and intergenic spacer and with the rate of short insertions. Importantly, it was positively correlated with gene density, the rate of short deletions, the deletion bias, and the net change in sequence length. All these observations point at a pattern of more condensed genome structure in regions of high recombination. Based on the observed rates of small insertions and deletions and assuming that these rates are representative for the whole genome, we estimate that the genome of the most recent common ancestor of birds and lizards has lost nearly 20% of its DNA content up until the present. Expansion of transposable elements can counteract the effect of deletions in an equilibrium mutation model; however, since the activity of transposable elements has been low in the avian lineage, the deletion bias is likely to have had a significant effect on genome size evolution in dinosaurs and birds, contributing to the maintenance of a small genome. We also demonstrate that most of the observed correlations between recombination rate and genome contraction parameters are seen in the human genome, including for segregating indel polymorphisms. Our data are compatible with a neutral model in which recombination drives vertebrate genome size evolution and gives no direct support for a role of natural selection in this process. PMID:22570634

  4. Evolution of vertebrate retinal photoreception

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent findings shed light on the steps underlying the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors and retina. Vertebrate ciliary photoreceptors are not as wholly distinct from invertebrate rhabdomeric photoreceptors as is sometimes thought. Recent information on the phylogenies of ciliary and rhabdomeric opsins has helped in constructing the likely routes followed during evolution. Clues to the factors that led the early vertebrate retina to become invaginated can be obtained by combining recent knowledge about the origin of the pathway for dark re-isomerization of retinoids with knowledge of the inability of ciliary opsins to undergo photoreversal, along with consideration of the constraints imposed under the very low light levels in the deep ocean. Investigation of the origin of cell classes in the vertebrate retina provides support for the notion that cones, rods and bipolar cells all originated from a primordial ciliary photoreceptor, whereas ganglion cells, amacrine cells and horizontal cells all originated from rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Knowledge of the molecular differences between cones and rods, together with knowledge of the scotopic signalling pathway, provides an understanding of the evolution of rods and of the rods' retinal circuitry. Accordingly, it has been possible to propose a plausible scenario for the sequence of evolutionary steps that led to the emergence of vertebrate photoreceptors and retina. PMID:19720653

  5. Medical treatment of vertebral osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Lippuner, K

    2003-10-01

    Although osteoporosis is a systemic disease, vertebral fractures due to spinal bone loss are a frequent, sometimes early and often neglected complication of the disease, generally associated with considerable disability and pain. As osteoporotic vertebral fractures are an important predictor of future fracture risk, including at the hip, medical management is targeted at reducing fracture risk. A literature search for randomized, double-blind, prospective, controlled clinical studies addressing medical treatment possibilities of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal Caucasian women was performed on the leading medical databases. For each publication, the number of patients with at least one new vertebral fracture and the number of randomized patients by treatment arm was retrieved. The relative risk (RR) and the number needed to treat (NNT, i.e. the number of patients to be treated to avoid one radiological vertebral fracture over the duration of the study), together with the respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for each study. Treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis and treatment of osteoporosis in men were reviewed separately, based on the low number of publications available. Forty-five publications matched with the search criteria, allowing for analysis of 15 different substances tested regarding their anti-fracture efficacy at the vertebral level. Bisphosphonates, mainly alendronate and risedronate, were reported to have consistently reduced the risk of a vertebral fracture over up to 50 months of treatment in four (alendronate) and two (risedronate) publications. Raloxifene reduced vertebral fracture risk in one study over 36 months, which was confirmed by 48 months' follow-up data. Parathormone (PTH) showed a drastic reduction in vertebral fracture risk in early studies, while calcitonin may also be a treatment option to reduce fracture risk. For other substances published data are conflicting (calcitriol, fluoride) or insufficient

  6. De Novo Genesis of Enhancers in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Eichenlaub, Michael P.; Ettwiller, Laurence

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary innovation relies partially on changes in gene regulation. While a growing body of evidence demonstrates that such innovation is generated by functional changes or translocation of regulatory elements via mobile genetic elements, the de novo generation of enhancers from non-regulatory/non-mobile sequences has, to our knowledge, not previously been demonstrated. Here we show evidence for the de novo genesis of enhancers in vertebrates. For this, we took advantage of the massive gene loss following the last whole genome duplication in teleosts to systematically identify regions that have lost their coding capacity but retain sequence conservation with mammals. We found that these regions show enhancer activity while the orthologous coding regions have no regulatory activity. These results demonstrate that these enhancers have been de novo generated in fish. By revealing that minor changes in non-regulatory sequences are sufficient to generate new enhancers, our study highlights an important playground for creating new regulatory variability and evolutionary innovation. PMID:22069375

  7. Cystic Abnormalities of the Spinal Cord and Vertebral Column.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Ronaldo C; Cook, Laurie B

    2016-03-01

    Cystic lesions of the vertebral column and spinal cord are important differential diagnoses in dogs with signs of spinal cord disease. Synovial cysts are commonly associated with degenerative joint disease and usually affect the cervical and lumbosacral regions. Arachnoid diverticulum (previously known as cyst) is seen in the cervical region of large breed dogs and thoracolumbar region of small breed dogs. This article reviews the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of these and other, less common, cystic lesions. PMID:26706913

  8. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  9. Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Bradford J

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty were developed to reduce pain and improve quality of life for patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, the use of vertebral augmentation has been debated and questioned since its inception. This article addresses some of these issues. PMID:26490134

  10. Conserved and Divergent Patterns of DNA Methylation in Higher Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ning; Wang, Lin; Chen, Jing; Wang, Luwen; Leach, Lindsey; Luo, Zewei

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation in the genome plays a fundamental role in the regulation of gene expression and is widespread in the genome of eukaryotic species. For example, in higher vertebrates, there is a “global” methylation pattern involving complete methylation of CpG sites genome-wide, except in promoter regions that are typically enriched for CpG dinucleotides, or so called “CpG islands.” Here, we comprehensively examined and compared the distribution of CpG sites within ten model eukaryotic species and linked the observed patterns to the role of DNA methylation in controlling gene transcription. The analysis revealed two distinct but conserved methylation patterns for gene promoters in human and mouse genomes, involving genes with distinct distributions of promoter CpGs and gene expression patterns. Comparative analysis with four other higher vertebrates revealed that the primary regulatory role of the DNA methylation system is highly conserved in higher vertebrates. PMID:25355807

  11. Active DNA demethylation at enhancers during the vertebrate phylotypic period.

    PubMed

    Bogdanović, Ozren; Smits, Arne H; de la Calle Mustienes, Elisa; Tena, Juan J; Ford, Ethan; Williams, Ruth; Senanayake, Upeka; Schultz, Matthew D; Hontelez, Saartje; van Kruijsbergen, Ila; Rayon, Teresa; Gnerlich, Felix; Carell, Thomas; Veenstra, Gert Jan C; Manzanares, Miguel; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Ecker, Joseph R; Vermeulen, Michiel; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis; Lister, Ryan

    2016-04-01

    The vertebrate body plan and organs are shaped during a conserved embryonic phase called the phylotypic stage. However, the mechanisms that guide the epigenome through this transition and their evolutionary conservation remain elusive. Here we report widespread DNA demethylation of enhancers during the phylotypic period in zebrafish, Xenopus tropicalis and mouse. These enhancers are linked to developmental genes that display coordinated transcriptional and epigenomic changes in the diverse vertebrates during embryogenesis. Binding of Tet proteins to (hydroxy)methylated DNA and enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in these regions implicated active DNA demethylation in this process. Furthermore, loss of function of Tet1, Tet2 and Tet3 in zebrafish reduced chromatin accessibility and increased methylation levels specifically at these enhancers, indicative of DNA methylation being an upstream regulator of phylotypic enhancer function. Overall, our study highlights a regulatory module associated with the most conserved phase of vertebrate embryogenesis and suggests an ancient developmental role for Tet dioxygenases. PMID:26928226

  12. Neural induction and early patterning in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ozair, Mohammad Zeeshan; Kintner, Chris; Brivanlou, Ali H

    2013-07-01

    In vertebrates, the development of the nervous system is triggered by signals from a powerful 'organizing' region of the early embryo during gastrulation. This phenomenon--neural induction--was originally discovered and given conceptual definition by experimental embryologists working with amphibian embryos. Work on the molecular circuitry underlying neural induction, also in the same model system, demonstrated that elimination of ongoing transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling in the ectoderm is the hallmark of anterior neural-fate acquisition. This observation is the basis of the 'default' model of neural induction. Endogenous neural inducers are secreted proteins that act to inhibit TGFβ ligands in the dorsal ectoderm. In the ventral ectoderm, where the signaling ligands escape the inhibitors, a non-neural fate is induced. Inhibition of the TGFβ pathway has now been demonstrated to be sufficient to directly induce neural fate in mammalian embryos as well as pluripotent mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Hence the molecular process that delineates neural from non-neural ectoderm is conserved across a broad range of organisms in the evolutionary tree. The availability of embryonic stem cells from mouse, primates, and humans will facilitate further understanding of the role of signaling pathways and their downstream mediators in neural induction in vertebrate embryos. PMID:24014419

  13. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, C Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M

    2016-05-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  14. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, C. Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D.; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  15. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  16. Vertebral Fractures: Clinical Importance and Management.

    PubMed

    Kendler, D L; Bauer, D C; Davison, K S; Dian, L; Hanley, D A; Harris, S T; McClung, M R; Miller, P D; Schousboe, J T; Yuen, C K; Lewiecki, E M

    2016-02-01

    Vertebral fractures are common and can result in acute and chronic pain, decreases in quality of life, and diminished lifespan. The identification of vertebral fractures is important because they are robust predictors of future fractures. The majority of vertebral fractures do not come to clinical attention. Numerous modalities exist for visualizing suspected vertebral fracture. Although differing definitions of vertebral fracture may present challenges in comparing data between different investigations, at least 1 in 5 men and women aged >50 years have one or more vertebral fractures. There is clinical guidance to target spine imaging to individuals with a high probability of vertebral fracture. Radiology reports of vertebral fracture need to clearly state that the patient has a "fracture," with further pertinent details such as the number, recency, and severity of vertebral fracture, each of which is associated with risk of future fractures. Patients with vertebral fracture should be considered for antifracture therapy. Physical and pharmacologic modalities of pain control and exercises or physiotherapy to maintain spinal movement and strength are important components in the care of vertebral fracture patients. PMID:26524708

  17. Bilateral mechanical rotational vertebral artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Dargon, Phong T; Liang, Conrad W; Kohal, Anmol; Dogan, Aclan; Barnwell, Stanley L; Landry, Gregory J

    2013-10-01

    Rotational vertebral artery occlusion, or bow hunter's stroke, is reversible, positional symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia. The typical mechanism of action is obstruction of a dominant vertebral artery with contralateral head rotation in the setting of baseline ipsilateral vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion. Here we present a rare case of mechanical occlusion of bilateral patent vertebral arteries manifesting as near syncope with rightward head rotation. Diagnostic cerebral angiography showed dynamic right C5 vertebral occlusion and left C2 vertebral occlusion. The patient underwent right C4/5 transverse process decompression. Postoperative angiogram showed patent flow through the right vertebral artery in neutral position and with head turn with resultant resolution of symptoms. PMID:23465174

  18. Prevalence of osteoporotic vertebral fracture in Spanish women over age 45.

    PubMed

    Herrera, Antonio; Mateo, Jesús; Gil-Albarova, Jorge; Lobo-Escolar, Antonio; Artigas, José M; López-Prats, Fernando; Mesa, Manuel; Ibarz, Elena; Gracia, Luis

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this work is to study the prevalence of osteoporotic vertebral fractures in Spanish women over 45 years of age, based on the selection of a nationwide sample. An observational, cross-sectional, multicenter study was conducted during 2006, in all of Spain's regions. The sample analyzed was of 5000 individuals, representative of the female population over age 45 in Spain. A questionnaire was used to determine which factors are most often associated with vertebral fractures. We also assessed whether the Prevalent Vertebral Fracture Index, proposed by Vogt, is useful in indicating a possible osteoporotic vertebral fracture. Five hundred orthopedic surgeons, from various Spanish regions, were trained in different aspects of the study: inclusion and exclusion criteria, management of the risk factor questionnaire, and implementation of the Vogt questionnaire. The number of fracture cases was 1549 (31.79%). 528 Women (34.08%) had a single vertebral fracture, and 1021 (65.92%) had multiple vertebral fractures. The following factors were statistically significantly associated with vertebral fracture: age, late menarche, early menopause, diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, height loss, daily physical activity, corticosteroid therapy, personal history of osteoporotic fracture and previous diagnosis of osteoporosis. The differences in Vogt score according to age and fracture status were statistically significant. The conclusion of the study is that vertebral osteoporotic fracture in the female Spanish population is frequent. The high prevalence in the Spanish population older than 60 years is probably related to malnutrition in the period from 1936 to 1952. PMID:25577153

  19. Ewing's sarcoma of the vertebral column

    SciTech Connect

    Pilepich, M.V.; Vietti, T.J.; Nesbit, M.E.; Tefft, M.; Kissane, J.; Burgert, O.; Pritchard, D.; Gehan, E.A.

    1981-01-01

    Twenty-two patients with vertebral primaries were registered in the Intergroup Ewing's Sarcoma Study between 1973 and 1977. The radiation doses to the primary tumors ranged between 3800 and 6200 rad. All patients received intensive combination chemotherapy. After a followup ranging between 14 and 62 months, 14 patients remained disease-free. All patients with primary tumor of the cervical and dorsal spine remained disease-free. Of eight patients with lesions in the distal spine, (sacrococcygeal region) six developed recurrence, in three a local recurrence was observed despite doses of 6000 rad or higher. Doses of 5000 rad or less (in addition to combination chemotherapy as used in the Intergroup Ewing's Study) appear adequate in controlling the primary tumors of the proximal segments of the spinal column.

  20. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, C; Genovesi, P; Jeschke, J M

    2016-01-27

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. PMID:26817767

  1. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  2. Adaptive evolution of Hoxc13 genes in the origin and diversification of the vertebrate integument.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianghong; Husile; Sun, Hailian; Wang, Feng; Li, Yurong; Zhao, Cunfa; Zhang, Wenguang

    2013-11-01

    The problem of origination and diversification of integument derivatives in vertebrates is still a challenge. The homeobox (Hox) genes Hoxc13 control integument formation in vertebrate. Hoxc13 show strong expression in the integument development, are highly conserved across vertebrates, and show mutations that are associated with skin and appendages. To test whether the evolution of the integument is associated with positive selection or relaxation of Hoxc13, we obtained these genes in a wide range of vertebrates. In Hoxc13, we found evidence of diversifying selection after speciation during the origin of vertebrates. In addition, we found the glycine-rich regions in Hoxc13 protein in mammals, but not among non-mammalian taxa. Our results strongly implicate that Hoxc13 genes could have played an important role in the evolution of integument structure. PMID:25961277

  3. Variance in the treatment of vertebral haemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Rawat, Sheh; Nangia, S; Ezhilalan, R B; Bansal, A K; Ghosh, D

    2007-01-01

    Vertebral haemangiomas constitute an infrequently encounterd entity in clinical practice. Although x-ray, computerised tomography scan and magnetic resonance Imaging scan provide a pathognomic picture confirming the diagnosis of vertebral haemangiomas, angiography constitutes an important tool for diagnosis and helps in deciding and execution of treatment. Various treatment modalities like surgery, radiotherapy, pre-operative embolisation, percutaneous vertebroplasty and intralesional ethanol have been discussed in the setting of asymptomatic vertebral haemangiomas to those presenting with features of cord compression. PMID:17802977

  4. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Eve R; Gracheva, Elena O; Bagriantsev, Slav N

    2016-05-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates. PMID:27053733

  5. General management of vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Rapado, A

    1996-03-01

    Vertebral fractures cause pain and disability. Four concepts should guide their comprehensive management: treat the patient, not the skeleton; use a multidisciplinary approach; engage the patient and his or her family in the treatment; and provide appropriate goals, education, encouragement, and support. The goals include procuring bone mass and preventing injury: back support, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychosocial support, and prevention of falls. Initial treatment includes bed rest, pain management with local and systemic analgesia, bracing to improve comfort, and patient reassurance. Long-term management includes spinal stretching exercises and continuing ordinary activities within limits permitted by pain. A back school program is an effective addition to conventional concepts using physiotherapy exclusively. In certain selected patients, the indication for operative treatment of vertebral fracture depends on the additional injury, and extent and characteristics of cord compression; stability of the fracture; and the amount of deformity. Vertebroplasty can be effective in the control of pain and in obtaining stability of the spine. PMID:8777087

  6. Centrosome positioning in vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Nan; Marshall, Wallace F.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The centrosome, a major organizer of microtubules, has important functions in regulating cell shape, polarity, cilia formation and intracellular transport as well as the position of cellular structures, including the mitotic spindle. By means of these activities, centrosomes have important roles during animal development by regulating polarized cell behaviors, such as cell migration or neurite outgrowth, as well as mitotic spindle orientation. In recent years, the pace of discovery regarding the structure and composition of centrosomes has continuously accelerated. At the same time, functional studies have revealed the importance of centrosomes in controlling both morphogenesis and cell fate decision during tissue and organ development. Here, we review examples of centrosome and centriole positioning with a particular emphasis on vertebrate developmental systems, and discuss the roles of centrosome positioning, the cues that determine positioning and the mechanisms by which centrosomes respond to these cues. The studies reviewed here suggest that centrosome functions extend to the development of tissues and organs in vertebrates. PMID:23277534

  7. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  8. A descending dopamine pathway conserved from basal vertebrates to mammals

    PubMed Central

    Ryczko, Dimitri; Cone, Jackson J.; Alpert, Michael H.; Goetz, Laurent; Auclair, François; Dubé, Catherine; Parent, Martin; Roitman, Mitchell F.; Alford, Simon; Dubuc, Réjean

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons are classically known to modulate locomotion indirectly through ascending projections to the basal ganglia that project down to brainstem locomotor networks. Their loss in Parkinson’s disease is devastating. In lampreys, we recently showed that brainstem networks also receive direct descending dopaminergic inputs that potentiate locomotor output. Here, we provide evidence that this descending dopaminergic pathway is conserved to higher vertebrates, including mammals. In salamanders, dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum or brainstem locomotor networks were partly intermingled. Stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked dopamine release in brainstem locomotor networks and concurrent reticulospinal activity. In rats, some dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum also innervated the pedunculopontine nucleus, a known locomotor center, and stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked pedunculopontine dopamine release in vivo. Finally, we found dopaminergic fibers in the human pedunculopontine nucleus. The conservation of a descending dopaminergic pathway across vertebrates warrants re-evaluating dopamine’s role in locomotion. PMID:27071118

  9. A descending dopamine pathway conserved from basal vertebrates to mammals.

    PubMed

    Ryczko, Dimitri; Cone, Jackson J; Alpert, Michael H; Goetz, Laurent; Auclair, François; Dubé, Catherine; Parent, Martin; Roitman, Mitchell F; Alford, Simon; Dubuc, Réjean

    2016-04-26

    Dopamine neurons are classically known to modulate locomotion indirectly through ascending projections to the basal ganglia that project down to brainstem locomotor networks. Their loss in Parkinson's disease is devastating. In lampreys, we recently showed that brainstem networks also receive direct descending dopaminergic inputs that potentiate locomotor output. Here, we provide evidence that this descending dopaminergic pathway is conserved to higher vertebrates, including mammals. In salamanders, dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum or brainstem locomotor networks were partly intermingled. Stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked dopamine release in brainstem locomotor networks and concurrent reticulospinal activity. In rats, some dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum also innervated the pedunculopontine nucleus, a known locomotor center, and stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked pedunculopontine dopamine release in vivo. Finally, we found dopaminergic fibers in the human pedunculopontine nucleus. The conservation of a descending dopaminergic pathway across vertebrates warrants re-evaluating dopamine's role in locomotion. PMID:27071118

  10. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning. PMID:25968309

  11. Evolution and Functional Classification of Vertebrate Gene Deserts

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Nobrega, M; Hardison, R; Miller, W; Stubbs, L

    2004-07-14

    Gene deserts, long stretches of DNA sequence devoid of protein coding genes, span approximately one quarter of the human genome. Through human-chicken genome comparisons we were able to characterized one third of human gene deserts as evolutionarily stable - they are highly conserved in vertebrates, resist chromosomal rearrangements, and contain multiple conserved non-coding elements physically linked to their neighboring genes. A linear relationship was observed between human and chicken orthologous stable gene deserts, where the human deserts appear to have expanded homogeneously by a uniform accumulation of repetitive elements. Stable gene deserts are associated with key vertebrate genes that construct the framework of vertebrate development; many of which encode transcription factors. We show that the regulatory machinery governing genes associated with stable gene deserts operates differently from other regions in the human genome and relies heavily on distant regulatory elements. The regulation guided by these elements is independent of the distance between the gene and its distant regulatory element, or the distance between two distant regulatory cassettes. The location of gene deserts and their associated genes in the genome is independent of chromosomal length or content presenting these regions as well-bounded regions evolving separately from the rest of the genome.

  12. Evolutionary Transition of Promoter and Gene Body DNA Methylation across Invertebrate–Vertebrate Boundary

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Thomas E.; Han, Priscilla; Yi, Soojin V.

    2016-01-01

    Genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates exhibit highly divergent patterns of DNA methylation. Invertebrate genomes tend to be sparsely methylated, and DNA methylation is mostly targeted to a subset of transcription units (gene bodies). In a drastic contrast, vertebrate genomes are generally globally and heavily methylated, punctuated by the limited local hypo-methylation of putative regulatory regions such as promoters. These genomic differences also translate into functional differences in DNA methylation and gene regulation. Although promoter DNA methylation is an important regulatory component of vertebrate gene expression, its role in invertebrate gene regulation has been little explored. Instead, gene body DNA methylation is associated with expression of invertebrate genes. However, the evolutionary steps leading to the differentiation of invertebrate and vertebrate genomic DNA methylation remain unresolved. Here we analyzed experimentally determined DNA methylation maps of several species across the invertebrate–vertebrate boundary, to elucidate how vertebrate gene methylation has evolved. We show that, in contrast to the prevailing idea, a substantial number of promoters in an invertebrate basal chordate Ciona intestinalis are methylated. Moreover, gene expression data indicate significant, epigenomic context-dependent associations between promoter methylation and expression in C. intestinalis. However, there is no evidence that promoter methylation in invertebrate chordate has been evolutionarily maintained across the invertebrate–vertebrate boundary. Rather, body-methylated invertebrate genes preferentially obtain hypo-methylated promoters among vertebrates. Conversely, promoter methylation is preferentially found in lineage- and tissue-specific vertebrate genes. These results provide important insights into the evolutionary origin of epigenetic regulation of vertebrate gene expression. PMID:26715626

  13. Problems with six-point vertebral morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Jill C.; Yaffe, Laurence G.; Johansen, Jennifer M.; von Ingersleben, Gabriel; Chestnut, Charles H., III

    1998-06-01

    In this study we have examined errors in measurements of vertebral heights and vertebral area resulting from spin rotation and projection effects in x-ray images. Measurement errors were evaluated with phantom images, and simulated rotations of a 3D spine model. An active contour model (snake) was used for measurements of vertebral area. The model contained two pressure parameters which were needed to obtain good fits of the snake to upper and lower edges (endplates) of rotated vertebral bodies. Details of the snake model are included in this report. The results of this study indicate that six point vertebral morphometry can result to significant measurement errors, representing an overestimation of vertebral height and area, in cases showing projection effects and concealed endplate contours. In serial studies, such errors could produce the erroneous appearance of `growing' vertebral bodies. One can improve the accuracy of the morphometric analysis by using additional fiducial points placed on corresponding endplate contours. Additional useful information on fracture and vertebral deformity can be obtained by accurately tracking edge contours, using an active contour model, or comparable techniques.

  14. [Vertebral changes in histiocytosis x (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Greinacher, I; Gutjahr, P

    1978-06-01

    Manifestations of histiocytosis X in the vertebral column occurred in 3 of 15 children. Pathological alterations showed a marked variability. Especially a vertebra plana should be considered as eosinophilic granuloma, until another cause is proven. Bone scans were positive in all three cases. Even in most severe cases with vertebral destruction neurological abnormalities were absent. PMID:308238

  15. Duplication and maintenance of the Myb genes of vertebrate animals

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Colin J.; Guthrie, Erin E.; Lipsick, Joseph S.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Gene duplication is an important means of generating new genes. The major mechanisms by which duplicated genes are preserved in the face of purifying selection are thought to be neofunctionalization, subfunctionalization, and increased gene dosage. However, very few duplicated gene families in vertebrate species have been analyzed by functional tests in vivo. We have therefore examined the three vertebrate Myb genes (c-Myb, A-Myb, and B-Myb) by cytogenetic map analysis, by sequence analysis, and by ectopic expression in Drosophila. We provide evidence that the vertebrate Myb genes arose by two rounds of regional genomic duplication. We found that ubiquitous expression of c-Myb and A-Myb, but not of B-Myb or Drosophila Myb, was lethal in Drosophila. Expression of any of these genes during early larval eye development was well tolerated. However, expression of c-Myb and A-Myb, but not of B-Myb or Drosophila Myb, during late larval eye development caused drastic alterations in adult eye morphology. Mosaic analysis implied that this eye phenotype was cell-autonomous. Interestingly, some of the eye phenotypes caused by the retroviral v-Myb oncogene and the normal c-Myb proto-oncogene from which v-Myb arose were quite distinct. Finally, we found that post-translational modifications of c-Myb by the GSK-3 protein kinase and by the Ubc9 SUMO-conjugating enzyme that normally occur in vertebrate cells can modify the eye phenotype caused by c-Myb in Drosophila. These results support a model in which the three Myb genes of vertebrates arose by two sequential duplications. The first duplication was followed by a subfunctionalization of gene expression, then neofunctionalization of protein function to yield a c/A-Myb progenitor. The duplication of this progenitor was followed by subfunctionalization of gene expression to give rise to tissue-specific c-Myb and A-Myb genes. PMID:23431116

  16. EGR1 and EGR2 involvement in vertebrate tendon differentiation.

    PubMed

    Lejard, Véronique; Blais, Frédéric; Guerquin, Marie-Justine; Bonnet, Aline; Bonnin, Marie-Ange; Havis, Emmanuelle; Malbouyres, Maryline; Bidaud, Christelle Bonod; Maro, Géraldine; Gilardi-Hebenstreit, Pascale; Rossert, Jérome; Ruggiero, Florence; Duprez, Delphine

    2011-02-18

    The molecules involved in vertebrate tendon formation during development remain largely unknown. To date, only two DNA-binding proteins have been identified as being involved in vertebrate tendon formation, the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Scleraxis and, recently, the Mohawk homeobox gene. We investigated the involvement of the early growth response transcription factors Egr1 and Egr2 in vertebrate tendon formation. We established that Egr1 and Egr2 expression in tendon cells was correlated with the increase of collagen expression during tendon cell differentiation in embryonic limbs. Vertebrate tendon differentiation relies on a muscle-derived FGF (fibroblast growth factor) signal. FGF4 was able to activate the expression of Egr genes and that of the tendon-associated collagens in chick limbs. Egr gene misexpression experiments using the chick model allowed us to establish that either Egr gene has the ability to induce de novo expression of the reference tendon marker scleraxis, the main tendon collagen Col1a1, and other tendon-associated collagens Col3a1, Col5a1, Col12a1, and Col14a1. Mouse mutants for Egr1 or Egr2 displayed reduced amounts of Col1a1 transcripts and a decrease in the number of collagen fibrils in embryonic tendons. Moreover, EGR1 and EGR2 trans-activated the mouse Col1a1 proximal promoter and were recruited to the tendon regulatory regions of this promoter. These results identify EGRs as novel DNA-binding proteins involved in vertebrate tendon differentiation by regulating type I collagen production. PMID:21173153

  17. The evolutionary origins of chordate hematopoiesis and vertebrate endothelia.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Albuixech-Crespo, Beatriz; Somorjai, Ildikó Maureen Lara; Carmona, Rita; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Alvarez, Susana; Kuratani, Shigeru; Muñoz-Chápuli, Ramón; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi

    2013-03-15

    The vertebrate circulatory system is the most complex vascular system among those of metazoans, with key innovations including a multi-chambered heart and highly specialized blood cells. Invertebrate vessels, on the other hand, consist of hemal spaces between the basal laminae of epithelia. How the evolutionary transition from an invertebrate-type system to the complex vertebrate one occurred is, however, poorly understood. We investigate here the development of the cardiovascular system of the cephalochordate amphioxus Branchiostoma lanceolatum in order to gain insight into the origin of the vertebrate cardiovascular system. The cardiac markers Hand, Csx (Nkx2-5) and Tbx4/5 reveal a broad cardiac-like domain in amphioxus; such a decentralized organization during development parallels that seen in the adult anatomy. Our data therefore support the hypothesis that amphioxus never possessed a proper heart, even transiently during development. We also define a putative hematopoietic domain, supported by the expression of the hematopoietic markers Scl and Pdvegfr. We show that this area is closed to the dorsal aorta anlages, partially linked to excretory tissues, and that its development is regulated by retinoic acid, thus recalling the aorta-gonads-mesonephros (AGM) area of vertebrates. This region probably produces Pdvegfr+ hemal cells, with an important role in amphioxus vessel formation, since treatments with an inhibitor of PDGFR/VEGFR lead to a decrease of Laminin in the basal laminae of developing vessels. Our results point to a chordate origin of hematopoiesis in an AGM-like area from where hemal Pdvegfr+ cells are produced. These Pdvegfr+ cells probably resemble the ancestral chordate blood cells from which the vertebrate endothelium later originated. PMID:23201012

  18. Variation in vertebral number and its morphological implication in Galaxias platei.

    PubMed

    Barriga, J P; Milano, D; Cussac, V E

    2013-11-01

    Variation in the vertebral number of the puyen grande Galaxias platei was examined for specimens from 22 localities that span the entire distribution range of the species (from 40° to 55° S). The mean vertebral number (NMW ) increases towards high latitudes, i.e. Jordan's rule is applicable to this species. Owing to the wide geographic variation of the species, not only in latitude but also in altitude, the most explicative variable for NMW was mean winter air temperature, showing negative dependence. Morphological data suggest that the increment in vertebral number lies in the pre-pelvic region of the trunk and in the caudal region, but not in the segment between pelvic-fin insertion and the origin of the anal fin. As these alterations in body shape have important consequences for hydrodynamics and swimming performance, vertebral number variation in G. platei also holds implications for both individual and population fitness. PMID:24124792

  19. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  20. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  1. Variation in anthropoid vertebral formulae: implications for homology and homoplasy in hominoid evolution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A

    2012-03-01

    Variation in vertebral formulae within and among hominoid species has complicated our understanding of hominoid vertebral evolution. Here, variation is quantified using diversity and similarity indices derived from population genetics. These indices allow for testing models of hominoid vertebral evolution that call for disparate amounts of homoplasy, and by inference, different patterns of evolution. Results are interpreted in light of "short-backed" (J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 302B:241-267) and "long-backed" (J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 314B:123-134) ancestries proposed in different models of hominin vertebral evolution. Under the long-back model, we should expect reduced variation in vertebral formulae associated with adaptively driven homoplasy (independently and repeatedly reduced lumbar regions) and the relatively strong directional selection presumably associated with it, especially in closely related taxa that diverged relatively recently (e.g., Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus). Instead, high amounts of intraspecific variation are observed among all hominoids except humans and eastern gorillas, taxa that have likely experienced strong stabilizing selection on vertebral formulae associated with locomotor and habitat specializations. Furthermore, analyses of interspecific similarity support an evolutionary scenario in which the vertebral formulae observed in western gorillas and chimpanzees represent a reasonable approximation of the ancestral condition for great apes and humans, from which eastern gorillas, humans, and bonobos derived their unique vertebral profiles. Therefore, these results support the short-back model and are compatible with a scenario of homology of reduced lumbar regions in hominoid primates. Fossil hominin vertebral columns are discussed and shown to support, rather than contradict, the short-back model. PMID:22532475

  2. Evolutionary Diversification of the Vertebrate Transferrin Multi-gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.; Friedman, Robert

    2014-01-01

    In a phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate transferrins (TFs), six major clades (subfamilies) were identified: (1) S, the mammalian serotransferrins; (2) ICA, the mammalian inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase (ICA) homologs; (3) L, the mammalian lactoferrins; (4) O, the ovotransferrins of birds and reptiles; (4) M, the melanotransferrins of bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; and (5) M-like, a newly identified TF subfamily found in bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. A phylogenetic tree based on the joint alignment of N-lobes and C-lobes supported the hypothesis that three separate events of internal duplication occurred in vertebrate TFs: (1) in the common ancestor of the M subfamily; (2) in the common ancestor of the M-like subfamily; and (3) in the common ancestor of other vertebrate TFs. The S, ICA, and L subfamilies were found only in placental mammals, and the phylogenetic analysis supported the hypothesis that these three subfamilies arose by gene duplication after the divergence of placental mammals from marsupials. The M-like subfamily was unusual in several respects, including the presence of a uniquely high proportion of clade-specific conserved residues, including distinctive but conserved residues in the sites homologous to those functioning in carbonate binding of human serotransferrin. The M-like family also showed a unusually high proportion of cationic residues in the positively charged region corresponding to human lactoferrampin, suggesting a distinctive role of this region in the M-like subfamily, perhaps in antimicrobial defense. PMID:25142446

  3. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Knobloch, H. Sophie; Grinevich, Valery

    2014-01-01

    The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians), magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing homologs of oxytocin reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds, and mammals) into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei (AN) between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots. PMID:24592219

  4. Increased complexity of gene structure and base composition in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ying; Yuan, Huizhong; Tan, Shengjun; Chen, Jian-Qun; Tian, Dacheng; Yang, Haiwang

    2011-07-20

    How the structure and base composition of genes changed with the evolution of vertebrates remains a puzzling question. Here we analyzed 895 orthologous protein-coding genes in six multicellular animals: human, chicken, zebrafish, sea squirt, fruit fly, and worm. Our analyses reveal that many gene regions, particularly intron and 3' UTR, gradually expanded throughout the evolution of vertebrates from their invertebrate ancestors, and that the number of exons per gene increased. Studies based on all protein-coding genes in each genome provide consistent results. We also find that GC-content increased in many gene regions (especially 5' UTR) in the evolution of endotherms, except in coding-exons. Analysis of individual genomes shows that 3' UTR demonstrated stronger length and GC-content correlation with intron than 5' UTR, and gene with large intron in all six species demonstrated relatively similar GC-content. Our data indicates a great increase in complexity in vertebrate genes and we propose that the requirement for morphological and functional changes is probably the driving force behind the evolution of structure and base composition complexity in multicellular animal genes. PMID:21777854

  5. Contribution of the vertebral artery to cerebral circulation in the rat snake Elaphe obsoleta

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zippel, K. C.; Lillywhite, H. B.; Mladinich, C. R.; Hargens, A. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Blood supplying the brain in vertebrates is carried primarily by the carotid vasculature. In most mammals, cerebral blood flow is supplemented by the vertebral arteries, which anastomose with the carotids at the base of the brain. In other tetrapods, cerebral blood is generally believed to be supplied exclusively by the carotid vasculature, and the vertebral arteries are usually described as disappearing into the dorsal musculature between the heart and head. There have been several reports of a vertebral artery connection with the cephalic vasculature in snakes. We measured regional blood flows using fluorescently labeled microspheres and demonstrated that the vertebral artery contributes a small but significant fraction of cerebral blood flow (approximately 13% of total) in the rat snake Elaphe obsoleta. Vascular casts of the anterior vessels revealed that the vertebral artery connection is indirect, through multiple anastomoses with the inferior spinal artery, which connects with the carotid vasculature near the base of the skull. Using digital subtraction angiography, fluoroscopy, and direct observations of flow in isolated vessels, we confirmed that blood in the inferior spinal artery flows craniad from a point anterior to the vertebral artery connections. Such collateral blood supply could potentially contribute to the maintenance of cerebral circulation during circumstances when craniad blood flow is compromised, e.g., during the gravitational stress of climbing.

  6. Phylostratigraphic Profiles in Zebrafish Uncover Chordate Origins of the Vertebrate Brain

    PubMed Central

    Šestak, Martin Sebastijan; Domazet-Lošo, Tomislav

    2015-01-01

    An elaborated tripartite brain is considered one of the important innovations of vertebrates. Other extant chordate groups have a more basic brain organization. For instance, cephalochordates possess a relatively simple brain possibly homologous to the vertebrate forebrain and hindbrain, whereas tunicates display the tripartite organization, but without the specialized brain centers. The difference in anatomical complexity is even more pronounced if one compares chordates with other deuterostomes that have only a diffuse nerve net or alternatively a rather simple central nervous system. To gain a new perspective on the evolutionary roots of the complex vertebrate brain, we made here a phylostratigraphic analysis of gene expression patterns in the developing zebrafish (Danio rerio). The recovered adaptive landscape revealed three important periods in the evolutionary history of the zebrafish brain. The oldest period corresponds to preadaptive events in the first metazoans and the emergence of the nervous system at the metazoan–eumetazoan transition. The origin of chordates marks the next phase, where we found the overall strongest adaptive imprint in almost all analyzed brain regions. This finding supports the idea that the vertebrate brain evolved independently of the brains within the protostome lineage. Finally, at the origin of vertebrates we detected a pronounced signal coming from the dorsal telencephalon, in agreement with classical theories that consider this part of the cerebrum a genuine vertebrate innovation. Taken together, these results reveal a stepwise adaptive history of the vertebrate brain where most of its extant organization was already present in the chordate ancestor. PMID:25415965

  7. Phylostratigraphic profiles in zebrafish uncover chordate origins of the vertebrate brain.

    PubMed

    Šestak, Martin Sebastijan; Domazet-Lošo, Tomislav

    2015-02-01

    An elaborated tripartite brain is considered one of the important innovations of vertebrates. Other extant chordate groups have a more basic brain organization. For instance, cephalochordates possess a relatively simple brain possibly homologous to the vertebrate forebrain and hindbrain, whereas tunicates display the tripartite organization, but without the specialized brain centers. The difference in anatomical complexity is even more pronounced if one compares chordates with other deuterostomes that have only a diffuse nerve net or alternatively a rather simple central nervous system. To gain a new perspective on the evolutionary roots of the complex vertebrate brain, we made here a phylostratigraphic analysis of gene expression patterns in the developing zebrafish (Danio rerio). The recovered adaptive landscape revealed three important periods in the evolutionary history of the zebrafish brain. The oldest period corresponds to preadaptive events in the first metazoans and the emergence of the nervous system at the metazoan-eumetazoan transition. The origin of chordates marks the next phase, where we found the overall strongest adaptive imprint in almost all analyzed brain regions. This finding supports the idea that the vertebrate brain evolved independently of the brains within the protostome lineage. Finally, at the origin of vertebrates we detected a pronounced signal coming from the dorsal telencephalon, in agreement with classical theories that consider this part of the cerebrum a genuine vertebrate innovation. Taken together, these results reveal a stepwise adaptive history of the vertebrate brain where most of its extant organization was already present in the chordate ancestor. PMID:25415965

  8. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years. PMID:17691425

  9. New insights into the vertebral Hox code of archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Variation in axial formulae (i.e., number and identity of vertebrae) is an important feature in the evolution of vertebrates. Vertebrae at different axial positions exhibit a region-specific morphology. Key determinants for the establishment of particular vertebral shapes are the highly conserved Hox genes. Here, we analyzed Hox gene expression in the presacral vertebral column in the Nile crocodile in order to complement and extend a previous examination in the alligator and thus establish a Hox code for the axial skeleton of crocodilians in general. The newly determined expression of HoxA-4, C-5, B-7, and B-8 all revealed a crocodilian-specific pattern. HoxA-4 and HoxC-5 characterize cervical morphologies and the latter furthermore is associated with the position of the forelimb relative to the axial skeleton. HoxB-7 and HoxB-8 map exclusively to the dorsal vertebral region. The resulting expression patterns of these two Hox genes is the first description of their exact expression in the archosaurian embryo. Our comparative analyses of the Hox code in several amniote taxa provide new evidence that evolutionary differences in the axial skeleton correspond to changes in Hox gene expression domains. We detect two general processes: (i) expansion of a Hox gene's expression domain as well as (ii) a shift of gene expression. We infer that the ancestral archosaur Hox code may have resembled that of the crocodile. In association with the evolution of morphological traits, it may have been modified to patterns that can be observed in birds. PMID:26372060

  10. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  11. Toward understanding the evolution of vertebrate gene regulatory networks: comparative genomics and epigenomic approaches.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Morales, Juan R

    2016-07-01

    Vertebrates, as most animal phyla, originated >500 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, and progressively radiated into the extant classes. Inferring the evolutionary history of the group requires understanding the architecture of the developmental programs that constrain the vertebrate anatomy. Here, I review recent comparative genomic and epigenomic studies, based on ChIP-seq and chromatin accessibility, which focus on the identification of functionally equivalent cis-regulatory modules among species. This pioneer work, primarily centered in the mammalian lineage, has set the groundwork for further studies in representative vertebrate and chordate species. Mapping of active regulatory regions across lineages will shed new light on the evolutionary forces stabilizing ancestral developmental programs, as well as allowing their variation to sustain morphological adaptations on the inherited vertebrate body plan. PMID:26293604

  12. Cervical vertebral strain measurements under axial and eccentric loading.

    PubMed

    Pintar, F A; Yoganandan, N; Pesigan, M; Reinartz, J; Sances, A; Cusick, J F

    1995-11-01

    The mid to lower cervical spine is a common site for compression related injury. In the present study, we determined the patterns of localized strain distribution in the anterior aspect of the vertebral body and in the lateral masses of lower cervical three-segment units. Miniature strain gages were mounted to human cadaveric vertebrae. Each preparation was line-loaded using a knife-edge oriented in the coronal plane that was moved incrementally from anterior to posterior to induce compression-flexion or compression-extension loading. Uniform compressive loading and failure runs were also conducted. Failure tests indicated strain shifting to "restabilize" the preparation after failure of a component. Under these various compressive loading vectors, the location which resulted in the least amount of deformation for a given force application (i.e., stiffest axis) was quantified to be in the region between 0.5- 1.0 cm anterior to the posterior longitudinal ligament. The location in which line-loading produced no rotation (i.e., balance point) was in this region; it was also close to where the vertebral body strains change from compressive to tensile. Strain values from line loading in this region produced similar strains as recorded under uniform compressive loading, and this was also the region of minimum strain. The region of minimum strain was also more pronounced under higher magnitudes of loading, suggesting that as the maximum load carrying capacity is reached the stiffest axis becomes more well defined. PMID:8748531

  13. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-01

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern. PMID:27503913

  14. Vertebrate eye development as modeled in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Wawersik, S; Maas, R L

    2000-04-12

    Pax6, a member of the paired-box family of transcription factors, is critical for oculogenesis in both vertebrates and insects. Identification of potential vertebrate Pax6 targets has been guided by studies in Drosophila, where the Pax6 homologs eyeless ( ey ) and twin of eyeless ( toy ) function within a network of genes that synergistically pattern the developing fly eye. These targets, which share homology with the fly genes sine oculis, eyes absent and dachshund, exist in mice and humans as the Six, Eya and Dach gene families. Members of these gene families are present in the developing vertebrate eye, and preliminary studies suggest that they may function in a network analogous to that in the fly. Thus, despite radically different architecture, a similar molecular scaffold underlies both vertebrate and fly eye patterning, suggesting that the considerable power of Drosophila genetics can be harnessed to study mammalian ocular development. PMID:10767315

  15. Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2000-08-01

    Although herbivory probably first appeared over 300 million years ago, it only became established as a common feeding strategy during Late Permian times. Subsequently, herbivory evolved in numerous lineages of terrestrial vertebrates, and the acquisition of this mode of feeding was frequently associated with considerable evolutionary diversification in those lineages. This book represents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of herbivory in land-dwelling amniote tetrapods in recent years. In Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates, leading experts review the evolutionary history and structural adaptations required for feeding on plants in the major groups of land-dwelling vertebrates, especially dinosaurs and ungulate mammals. As such, this volume will be the definitive reference source on this topic for evolutionary biologists and vertebrate paleontologists.

  16. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  17. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  18. Update of vertebral cementoplasty in porotic patients

    PubMed Central

    Masala, Salvatore; Muto, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Vertebroplasty (VP) is a percutaneous mini-invasive technique developed in the late 1980s as antalgic and stabilizing treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral fracture due to porotic disease, traumatic injury and primary or secondary vertebral spine tumors. The technique consists of a simple metameric injection of an inert cement (poly-methyl-methacrylate, PMMA), through a needle by trans-peduncular, parapeduncular or trans-somatic approach obtaining a vertebral augmentation and stabilization effect associated with pain relief. The technique is simple and fast, and should be performed under fluoroscopy or CT guidance in order to obtain a good result with low complication rate. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the utility of VP, the indications-contraindications criteria, how to technically perform the technique using imaging guidance, and the results and complications of this treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral compression fracture. PMID:26015527

  19. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states. PMID:22640621

  20. Innate immunity in vertebrates: an overview.

    PubMed

    Riera Romo, Mario; Pérez-Martínez, Dayana; Castillo Ferrer, Camila

    2016-06-01

    Innate immunity is a semi-specific and widely distributed form of immunity, which represents the first line of defence against pathogens. This type of immunity is critical to maintain homeostasis and prevent microbe invasion, eliminating a great variety of pathogens and contributing with the activation of the adaptive immune response. The components of innate immunity include physical and chemical barriers, humoral and cell-mediated components, which are present in all jawed vertebrates. The understanding of innate defence mechanisms in non-mammalian vertebrates is the key to comprehend the general picture of vertebrate innate immunity and its evolutionary history. This is also essential for the identification of new molecules with applications in immunopharmacology and immunotherapy. In this review, we describe and discuss the main elements of vertebrate innate immunity, presenting core findings in this field and identifying areas that need further investigation. PMID:26878338

  1. [Vertebral osteomyelitis associated with epidural block].

    PubMed

    Carrillo Esper, R; Cruz-Bautista, I

    2001-01-01

    Infectious complications after epidural anesthesia are infrequent and the most common are epidural and subdural abscess. We report one rare case of vertebral osteomyelitus associated with an epidural catheter and review the literature. PMID:11381807

  2. Vertebral artery occlusion and oral contraceptives.

    PubMed Central

    Ask-Upmark, E; Bickerstaff, E R

    1976-01-01

    If vertebral artery occlusion occurs in degenerative arterial disease it is almost invariably left-sided, but in vertebral artery deficiency syndromes associated with oral contraceptives a striking preponderance of right-sided involvement has been shown. This observation adds support to the view that causes other than changes in the wall of the vessel at the site of occlusion must be sought as an explanation of the occlusion. PMID:1252812

  3. Vertebrate Cells Express Protozoan Antigen after Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Mark St. J.; Dvorak, James A.

    1980-04-01

    Epimastigotes, the invertebrate host stage of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite causing Chagas' disease in man, were fused with vertebrate cells by using polyethylene glycol. Hybrid cells were selected on the basis of T. cruzi DNA complementation of biochemical deficiencies in the vertebrate cells. Some clones of the hybrid cells expressed T. cruzi-specific antigen. It might be possible to use selected antigens obtained from the hybrids as vaccines for immunodiagnosis or for elucidation of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease.

  4. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  5. Cilia in vertebrate development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Edwin C.; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Through the combined study of model organisms, cell biology, cell signaling and medical genetics we have significantly increased our understanding of the structure and functions of the vertebrate cilium. This ancient organelle has now emerged as a crucial component of certain signaling and sensory perception pathways in both developmental and homeostatic contexts. Here, we provide a snapshot of the structure, function and distribution of the vertebrate cilium and of the pathologies that are associated with its dysfunction. PMID:22223675

  6. Cervical vertebral fusion with anterior meningocele

    PubMed Central

    Chavredakis, Emmanuel; Carter, David; Bhojak, Manesh; Jenkinson, Michael D; Clark, Simon R

    2015-01-01

    We present the first described case of cervical vertebral fusion associated with anterior meningocele and syringomyelia. A 45-year-old woman presented with minor trauma, and plain cervical spine radiographs highlighted a congenital deformity of the cervical vertebral bodies. She had a normal neurological examination; however, further imaging revealed a meningocele and syringomyelia. This case highlights the importance of thorough imaging investigation when presented with a congenital deformity in order to detect and prevent development of degenerative spinal cord pathologies. PMID:25923673

  7. Risk factors for vertebral deformities in men: relationship to number of vertebral deformities. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Ismail, A A; O'Neill, T W; Cooper, C; Silman, A J

    2000-02-01

    Recent epidemiological studies suggest a similar overall prevalence of vertebral deformity in men to that in women, though the influence of increasing age on the prevalence of vertebral deformity is less marked in men. However, most affected men have only a single or two vertebral deformities, which may be unrelated to osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to examine the role of risk factors, previously demonstrated to be associated with vertebral osteoporosis in females, in men with single/dual deformities compared to those with multiple deformities. Age stratified random samples of men aged 50 years and over were recruited from population registers in 30 European centers as part of the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS). Subjects had a lateral spinal radiograph and the presence of vertebral deformity was determined using the McCloskey algorithm. Lifestyle and other risk factor data were obtained from an interviewer-administered questionnaire. In all 6937 men with a mean age of 64.4 (SD = 8.5) years were studied of whom 738 (10.6%) subjects had one or two deformities, and 109 (1.6%) subjects had three or more deformities. There was a marked increase in the prevalence of multiple vertebral deformities with increasing age, but only a modest effect of age on the prevalence of single deformities. Associations between various risk factors for osteoporosis and vertebral deformity were analyzed separately in men with single/dual vertebral deformity from those with three or more deformities using logistic regression. After adjustment for age, there were statistically significant associations between the following risk factors and multiple deformities: previous hip fracture (odds ratio [OR] 10.5), lack of regular physical activity (OR 2.9), low body mass (OR 2.5), and previous steroid use (OR 2.3). By contrast, there were only weak associations with these same variables in males with single/dual deformities and, apart from poor self-reported general health, all

  8. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  9. Evolution and development of interhemispheric connections in the vertebrate forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Gobius, Ilan; Richards, Linda J.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal connections between the left and right sides of the brain are crucial for bilateral integration of lateralized sensory, motor, and associative functions. Throughout vertebrate species, forebrain commissures share a conserved developmental plan, a similar position relative to each other within the brain and similar patterns of connectivity. However, major events in the evolution of the vertebrate brain, such as the expansion of the telencephalon in tetrapods and the origin of the six-layered isocortex in mammals, resulted in the emergence and diversification of new commissural routes. These new interhemispheric connections include the pallial commissure, which appeared in the ancestors of tetrapods and connects the left and right sides of the medial pallium (hippocampus in mammals), and the corpus callosum, which is exclusive to eutherian (placental) mammals and connects both isocortical hemispheres. A comparative analysis of commissural systems in vertebrates reveals that the emergence of new commissural routes may have involved co-option of developmental mechanisms and anatomical substrates of preexistent commissural pathways. One of the embryonic regions of interest for studying these processes is the commissural plate, a portion of the early telencephalic midline that provides molecular specification and a cellular scaffold for the development of commissural axons. Further investigations into these embryonic processes in carefully selected species will provide insights not only into the mechanisms driving commissural evolution, but also regarding more general biological problems such as the role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary change. PMID:25071525

  10. Quantitative vertebral compression fracture evaluation using a height compass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Jianhua; Burns, Joseph E.; Wiese, Tatjana; Summers, Ronald M.

    2012-03-01

    Vertebral compression fractures can be caused by even minor trauma in patients with pathological conditions such as osteoporosis, varying greatly in vertebral body location and compression geometry. The location and morphology of the compression injury can guide decision making for treatment modality (vertebroplasty versus surgical fixation), and can be important for pre-surgical planning. We propose a height compass to evaluate the axial plane spatial distribution of compression injury (anterior, posterior, lateral, and central), and distinguish it from physiologic height variations of normal vertebrae. The method includes four steps: spine segmentation and partition, endplate detection, height compass computation and compression fracture evaluation. A height compass is computed for each vertebra, where the vertebral body is partitioned in the axial plane into 17 cells oriented about concentric rings. In the compass structure, a crown-like geometry is produced by three concentric rings which are divided into 8 equal length arcs by rays which are subtended by 8 common central angles. The radius of each ring increases multiplicatively, with resultant structure of a central node and two concentric surrounding bands of cells, each divided into octants. The height value for each octant is calculated and plotted against octants in neighboring vertebrae. The height compass shows intuitive display of the height distribution and can be used to easily identify the fracture regions. Our technique was evaluated on 8 thoraco-abdominal CT scans of patients with reported compression fractures and showed statistically significant differences in height value at the sites of the fractures.

  11. CRDB: database of chemosensory receptor gene families in vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Dong, Dong; Jin, Ke; Wu, Xiaoli; Zhong, Yang

    2012-01-01

    Chemosensory receptors (CR) are crucial for animals to sense the environmental changes and survive on earth. The emergence of whole-genome sequences provides us an opportunity to identify the entire CR gene repertoires. To completely gain more insight into the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates, we identified the nearly all CR genes in 25 vertebrates using homology-based approaches. Among these CR gene repertoires, nearly half of them were identified for the first time in those previously uncharacterized species, such as the guinea pig, giant panda and elephant, etc. Consistent with previous findings, we found that the numbers of CR genes vary extensively among different species, suggesting an extreme form of 'birth-and-death' evolution. For the purpose of facilitating CR gene analysis, we constructed a database with the goals to provide a resource for CR genes annotation and a web tool for exploring their evolutionary patterns. Besides a search engine for the gene extraction from a specific chromosome region, an easy-to-use phylogenetic analysis tool was also provided to facilitate online phylogeny study of CR genes. Our work can provide a rigorous platform for further study on the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates. PMID:22393364

  12. Homeotic effects, somitogenesis and the evolution of vertebral numbers in recent and fossil amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Johannes; Scheyer, Torsten M.; Head, Jason J.; Barrett, Paul M.; Werneburg, Ingmar; Ericson, Per G. P.; Pol, Diego; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2010-01-01

    The development of distinct regions in the amniote vertebral column results from somite formation and Hox gene expression, with the adult morphology displaying remarkable variation among lineages. Mammalian regionalization is reportedly very conservative or even constrained, but there has been no study investigating vertebral count variation across Amniota as a whole, undermining attempts to understand the phylogenetic, ecological, and developmental factors affecting vertebral column variation. Here, we show that the mammalian (synapsid) and reptilian lineages show early in their evolutionary histories clear divergences in axial developmental plasticity, in terms of both regionalization and meristic change, with basal synapsids sharing the conserved axial configuration of crown mammals, and basal reptiles demonstrating the plasticity of extant taxa. We conducted a comprehensive survey of presacral vertebral counts across 436 recent and extinct amniote taxa. Vertebral counts were mapped onto a generalized amniote phylogeny as well as individual ingroup trees, and ancestral states were reconstructed by using squared-change parsimony. We also calculated the relationship between presacral and cervical numbers to infer the relative influence of homeotic effects and meristic changes and found no correlation between somitogenesis and Hox-mediated regionalization. Although conservatism in presacral numbers characterized early synapsid lineages, in some cases reptiles and synapsids exhibit the same developmental innovations in response to similar selective pressures. Conversely, increases in body mass are not coupled with meristic or homeotic changes, but mostly occur in concert with postembryonic somatic growth. Our study highlights the importance of fossils in large-scale investigations of evolutionary developmental processes. PMID:20080660

  13. Complete sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome: Early establishment of the vertebrate genome organization

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.J.; Kocher, T.D.

    1995-02-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome has been determined. The lamprey genome is 16,201 bp in length and contains genes for 13 proteins, two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and two major noncoding regions. The order and transcriptional polarities of protein-coding genes are basically identical to those of other chordate mtDNAs, demonstrating that the common mitochondrial gene organization of vertebrates was established at early stage of vertebrate evolution. The two major noncoding regions are separated by two tRNA genes. The first region probably functions as the control region because it contains distinctive conserved sequence blocks (CSB-II and III) common to other vertebrate control regions. The central conserved domain observed in other vertebrate control regions is not found in the lamprey, suggesting that it is a recently evolved functional domain in vertebrates. Noncoding segments are not found in the expected position of the origin of replication for the second strand, suggesting either that one of the tRNA genes has a dual function or that the second noncoding region may function as the second-strand origin. The base composition at the wobble positions of fourfold degenerate codon families is highly biased toward thymine (32.7%). Values of GC- and AT-skew are typical of vertebrate mitochondrial genomes. 38 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.

  14. Global patterns of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and conservation.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Pimm, Stuart L; Joppa, Lucas N

    2013-07-01

    Identifying priority areas for biodiversity is essential for directing conservation resources. Fundamentally, we must know where individual species live, which ones are vulnerable, where human actions threaten them, and their levels of protection. As conservation knowledge and threats change, we must reevaluate priorities. We mapped priority areas for vertebrates using newly updated data on >21,000 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds. For each taxon, we identified centers of richness for all species, small-ranged species, and threatened species listed with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Importantly, all analyses were at a spatial grain of 10 × 10 km, 100 times finer than previous assessments. This fine scale is a significant methodological improvement, because it brings mapping to scales comparable with regional decisions on where to place protected areas. We also mapped recent species discoveries, because they suggest where as-yet-unknown species might be living. To assess the protection of the priority areas, we calculated the percentage of priority areas within protected areas using the latest data from the World Database of Protected Areas, providing a snapshot of how well the planet's protected area system encompasses vertebrate biodiversity. Although the priority areas do have more protection than the global average, the level of protection still is insufficient given the importance of these areas for preventing vertebrate extinctions. We also found substantial differences between our identified vertebrate priorities and the leading map of global conservation priorities, the biodiversity hotspots. Our findings suggest a need to reassess the global allocation of conservation resources to reflect today's improved knowledge of biodiversity and conservation. PMID:23803854

  15. Development and evolution of the vertebrate primary mouth.

    PubMed

    Soukup, Vladimír; Horácek, Ivan; Cerny, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The vertebrate oral region represents a key interface between outer and inner environments, and its structural and functional design is among the limiting factors for survival of its owners. Both formation of the respective oral opening (primary mouth) and establishment of the food-processing apparatus (secondary mouth) require interplay between several embryonic tissues and complex embryonic rearrangements. Although many aspects of the secondary mouth formation, including development of the jaws, teeth or taste buds, are known in considerable detail, general knowledge about primary mouth formation is regrettably low. In this paper, primary mouth formation is reviewed from a comparative point of view in order to reveal its underestimated morphogenetic diversity among, and also within, particular vertebrate clades. In general, three main developmental modes were identified. The most common is characterized by primary mouth formation via a deeply invaginated ectodermal stomodeum and subsequent rupture of the bilaminar oral membrane. However, in salamander, lungfish and also in some frog species, the mouth develops alternatively via stomodeal collar formation contributed both by the ecto- and endoderm. In ray-finned fishes, on the other hand, the mouth forms via an ectoderm wedge and later horizontal detachment of the initially compressed oral epithelia with probably a mixed germ-layer derivation. A very intriguing situation can be seen in agnathan fishes: whereas lampreys develop their primary mouth in a manner similar to the most common gnathostome pattern, hagfishes seem to undergo a unique oropharyngeal morphogenesis when compared with other vertebrates. In discussing the early formative embryonic correlates of primary mouth formation likely to be responsible for evolutionary-developmental modifications of this area, we stress an essential role of four factors: first, positioning and amount of yolk tissue; closely related to, second, endoderm formation during

  16. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tuzigoot National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, E.W.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, P.; Docherty, K.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary From 2002 to 2004, we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tuzigoot National Monument (NM) and adjacent areas in Arizona. This was the first effort of its kind in the area and was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to our own surveys, we also compiled a complete list of species that have been found by previous studies. We found 330 species, including 142 that had not previously been recorded at the monument (Table 1). We found 39 species of non-native plants, 11 non-native fishes, three non-native birds, and one non-native species each of amphibian and mammal. Based on our work and that of others, there have been 597 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. The bird community at the monument had the highest species richness of any national park unit in central and southern Arizona. We found all other taxa to have intermediate species richness compared to other park units in the region. This extraordinary species richness observed for birds, as well as for some other taxa, is due primarily to Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River, two critical sources of perennial water, which provide habitat for many regionally rare or uncommon species. The location of the monument at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert and at the southern edge of the Mogollon Rim also plays an important role in determining the distribution and community composition of the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our findings, we believe the high number of non-native species, especially fish and plants, should be of particular management concern. We detail other management challenges, most notably the rapid increase in housing and associated commercial development near the monument, which will continue to impact the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our data and a review of past studies, we believe the

  17. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins. PMID:25853054

  18. Dysplasia of the caudal vertebral articular facets in four dogs: results of radiographic, myelographic and magnetic resonance imaging investigations.

    PubMed

    Penderis, J; Schwarz, T; McConnell, J F; Garosi, L S; Thomson, C E; Dennis, R

    2005-05-01

    Congenital anomalies of the vertebral column associated with aberrations of one of the primary vertebral ossification centres have been frequently described in the veterinary literature, but clinically significant abnormalities of secondary vertebral ossification centres, particularly involving the caudal articular processes, are much less frequently reported. This paper describes three dogs with aplasia and one dog with hypoplasia of the caudal vertebral articular processes. Thoracolumbar spinal cord compression and ataxia was evident in the three dogs with aplasia but no clinical signs were evident in the dog with hypoplasia. The radiographic appearance was similar in all four cases, with aplasia or hypoplasia of the caudal articular facets at one or more intervertebral joints in the thoracolumbar region. Bone proliferation was evident secondary to an associated degenerative joint disease. Compensatory hyperplasia of the adjacent cranial articular facets and ligamentum flavum protruded into the vertebral canal, resulting in a compressive myelopathy observed by myelography and magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:15879540

  19. Spatially Explicit Trends in the Global Conservation Status of Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N.

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) – Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries – most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar – performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries – United States and Australia – fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  20. Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana S L; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) - Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries - most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar - performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries - United States and Australia - fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  1. Conserved or lost: molecular evolution of the key gene GULO in vertebrate vitamin C biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hongwen

    2013-06-01

    L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase (GULO) catalyzes the final step in vertebrate vitamin C biosynthesis. Vitamin C-incapable vertebrates lack the GULO gene. Gene structure and phylogenetic analyses showed that vertebrate GULO genes are 64-95% identical at the amino acid level and consist of 11 conserved exons. GULO pseudogenes have multiple indel mutations and premature stop codons in higher primates, guinea pigs, and some bats. No GULO-like sequences were identified in teleost fishes. During animal GULO evolution, exon F was subdivided into F1 and F2. Additional GULO retropseudogenes were identified in dogs, cats, and giant pandas. GULO-flanking genome regions acquired frequent segment translocations and inversions during vertebrate evolution. Purifying selection was detected across vertebrate GULO genes (d(N)/d(S) = 0.069), except for some positively selected sites identified in sharks and frogs. These positive sites demonstrated little functional significance when mapped onto the three-dimensional GULO protein structure. Vertebrate GULO genes are conserved except for those that are lost. PMID:23404229

  2. Comparative studies of vertebrate lipoprotein lipase: a key enzyme of very low density lipoprotein metabolism.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S; Vandeberg, John L; Cox, Laura A

    2011-06-01

    Lipoprotein lipase (LIPL or LPL; E.C.3.1.1.34) serves a dual function as a triglyceride lipase of circulating chylomicrons and very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and facilitates receptor-mediated lipoprotein uptake into heart, muscle and adipose tissue. Comparative LPL amino acid sequences and protein structures and LPL gene locations were examined using data from several vertebrate genome projects. Mammalian LPL genes usually contained 9 coding exons on the positive strand. Vertebrate LPL sequences shared 58-99% identity as compared with 33-49% sequence identities with other vascular triglyceride lipases, hepatic lipase (HL) and endothelial lipase (EL). Two human LPL N-glycosylation sites were conserved among seven predicted sites for the vertebrate LPL sequences examined. Sequence alignments, key amino acid residues and conserved predicted secondary and tertiary structures were also studied. A CpG island was identified within the 5'-untranslated region of the human LPL gene which may contribute to the higher than average (×4.5 times) level of expression reported. Phylogenetic analyses examined the relationships and potential evolutionary origins of vertebrate lipase genes, LPL, LIPG (encoding EL) and LIPC (encoding HL) which suggested that these have been derived from gene duplication events of an ancestral neutral lipase gene, prior to the appearance of fish during vertebrate evolution. Comparative divergence rates for these vertebrate sequences indicated that LPL is evolving more slowly (2-3 times) than for LIPC and LIPG genes and proteins. PMID:21561822

  3. Epigenetic conservation at gene regulatory elements revealed by non-methylated DNA profiling in seven vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Long, Hannah K; Sims, David; Heger, Andreas; Blackledge, Neil P; Kutter, Claudia; Wright, Megan L; Grützner, Frank; Odom, Duncan T; Patient, Roger; Ponting, Chris P; Klose, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Two-thirds of gene promoters in mammals are associated with regions of non-methylated DNA, called CpG islands (CGIs), which counteract the repressive effects of DNA methylation on chromatin. In cold-blooded vertebrates, computational CGI predictions often reside away from gene promoters, suggesting a major divergence in gene promoter architecture across vertebrates. By experimentally identifying non-methylated DNA in the genomes of seven diverse vertebrates, we instead reveal that non-methylated islands (NMIs) of DNA are a central feature of vertebrate gene promoters. Furthermore, NMIs are present at orthologous genes across vast evolutionary distances, revealing a surprising level of conservation in this epigenetic feature. By profiling NMIs in different tissues and developmental stages we uncover a unifying set of features that are central to the function of NMIs in vertebrates. Together these findings demonstrate an ancient logic for NMI usage at gene promoters and reveal an unprecedented level of epigenetic conservation across vertebrate evolution. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00348.001. PMID:23467541

  4. Branch management: mechanisms of axon branching in the developing vertebrate CNS

    PubMed Central

    Kalil, Katherine; Dent, Erik W.

    2014-01-01

    The remarkable ability of a single axon to extend multiple branches and form terminal arbors allows vertebrate neurons to integrate information from divergent regions of the nervous system. Axons select appropriate pathways during development, but it is the branches that extend interstitially from the axon shaft and arborize at specific targets that are responsible for virtually all of the synaptic connectivity in the vertebrate CNS. How do axons form branches at specific target regions? Recent studies have identified molecular cues that activate intracellular signalling pathways in axons and mediate dynamic reorganization of the cytoskeleton to promote the formation of axon branches. PMID:24356070

  5. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals. PMID:11277086

  6. Enhancer turnover and conserved regulatory function in vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Domené, Sabina; Bumaschny, Viviana F.; de Souza, Flávio S. J.; Franchini, Lucía F.; Nasif, Sofía; Low, Malcolm J.; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in regulatory regions including enhancers are an important source of variation and innovation during evolution. Enhancers can evolve by changes in the sequence, arrangement and repertoire of transcription factor binding sites, but whole enhancers can also be lost or gained in certain lineages in a process of turnover. The proopiomelanocortin gene (Pomc), which encodes a prohormone, is expressed in the pituitary and hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates. We have previously described that hypothalamic Pomc expression in mammals is controlled by two enhancers—nPE1 and nPE2—that are derived from transposable elements and that presumably replaced the ancestral neuronal Pomc regulatory regions. Here, we show that nPE1 and nPE2, even though they are mammalian novelties with no homologous counterpart in other vertebrates, nevertheless can drive gene expression specifically to POMC neurons in the hypothalamus of larval and adult transgenic zebrafish. This indicates that when neuronal Pomc enhancers originated de novo during early mammalian evolution, the newly created cis- and trans-codes were similar to the ancestral ones. We also identify the neuronal regulatory region of zebrafish pomca and confirm that it is not homologous to the mammalian enhancers. Our work sheds light on the process of gene regulatory evolution by showing how a locus can undergo enhancer turnover and nevertheless maintain the ancestral transcriptional output. PMID:24218639

  7. Vertebral Development in Paleozoic and Mesozoic Tetrapods Revealed by Paleohistological Data

    PubMed Central

    Danto, Marylène; Witzmann, Florian; Fröbisch, Nadia B.

    2016-01-01

    Basal tetrapods display a wide spectrum of vertebral centrum morphologies that can be used to distinguish different tetrapod groups. The vertebral types range from multipartite centra in stem-tetrapods, temnospondyls, and seymouriamorphs up to monospondylous centra in lepospondyls and have been drawn upon for reconstructing major evolutionary trends in tetrapods that are now considered textbook knowledge. Two modes of vertebral formation have been postulated: the multipartite vertebrae formed first as cartilaginous elements with subsequent ossification. The monospondylous centrum, in contrast, was formed by direct ossification without a cartilaginous precursor. This study describes centrum morphogenesis in basal tetrapods for the first time, based on bone histology. Our results show that the intercentra of the investigated stem-tetrapods consist of a small band of periosteal bone and a dense network of endochondral bone. In stereospondyl temnospondyls, high amounts of calcified cartilage are preserved in the endochondral trabeculae. Notably, the periosteal region is thickened and highly vascularized in the plagiosaurid stereospondyls. Among “microsaur” lepospondyls, the thickened periosteal region is composed of compact bone and the notochordal canal is surrounded by large cell lacunae. In nectridean lepospondyls, the periosteal region has a spongy structure with large intertrabecular spaces, whereas the endochondral region has a highly cancellous structure. Our observations indicate that regardless of whether multipartite or monospondylous, the centra of basal tetrapods display first endochondral and subsequently periosteal ossification. A high interspecific variability is observed in growth rate, organization, and initiation of periosteal ossification. Moreover, vertebral development and structure reflect different lifestyles. The bottom-dwelling Plagiosauridae increase their skeletal mass by hyperplasy of the periosteal region. In nectrideans, the skeletal

  8. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  9. [Amphioxus: how to become a vertebrate].

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Stéphanie; Camasses, Alain; Escriva, Hector

    2007-01-01

    Evo-devo is a young disciplin, which aims to explain the morphological evolution of organisms through developmental mechanisms and genes networks. A major question within this discipline is the origin of vertebrates. It seems now admitted that vertebrates derive from an invertebrate chordate ancestor. Several models among living chordate representatives are used today to answer this question. The small world of evo-evo interested in the emergence of vertebrates is ebullient about the advent of several totally sequenced genomes allowing comparative analyses to become evermore reliable. Furthermore "non classical" models are developed which can be submitted to refined developmental analysis. One of these is amphioxus (genus Branchyostoma), "a peaceful anchory fillet to illuminate chordate evolution" (Garcia-Fernandez, 2006a, b). The features of this model are described in this review. PMID:17762824

  10. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  11. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  12. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.

    2009-01-01

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654

  13. Effort required to finish shotgun-generated genome sequences differs significantly among vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The approaches for shotgun-based sequencing of vertebrate genomes are now well-established, and have resulted in the generation of numerous draft whole-genome sequence assemblies. In contrast, the process of refining those assemblies to improve contiguity and increase accuracy (known as 'sequence finishing') remains tedious, labor-intensive, and expensive. As a result, the vast majority of vertebrate genome sequences generated to date remain at a draft stage. Results To date, our genome sequencing efforts have focused on comparative studies of targeted genomic regions, requiring sequence finishing of large blocks of orthologous sequence (average size 0.5-2 Mb) from various subsets of 75 vertebrates. This experience has provided a unique opportunity to compare the relative effort required to finish shotgun-generated genome sequence assemblies from different species, which we report here. Importantly, we found that the sequence assemblies generated for the same orthologous regions from various vertebrates show substantial variation with respect to misassemblies and, in particular, the frequency and characteristics of sequence gaps. As a consequence, the work required to finish different species' sequences varied greatly. Application of the same standardized methods for finishing provided a novel opportunity to "assay" characteristics of genome sequences among many vertebrate species. It is important to note that many of the problems we have encountered during sequence finishing reflect unique architectural features of a particular vertebrate's genome, which in some cases may have important functional and/or evolutionary implications. Finally, based on our analyses, we have been able to improve our procedures to overcome some of these problems and to increase the overall efficiency of the sequence-finishing process, although significant challenges still remain. Conclusion Our findings have important implications for the eventual finishing of the draft whole

  14. Pediatric congenital vertebral artery arteriovenous malformation.

    PubMed

    Shownkeen, Harish; Bova, Davide; Chenelle, Andrew G; Origitano, Thomas C

    2003-05-01

    Vertebral arteriovenous fistulas are rare in children and the congenital form has been seldom reported in the literature. Prior to using endovascular therapy techniques, only surgery was the main treatment. The most common endovascular treatment is through the use of detachable balloons. This report describes the clinical and radiological findings of a congenital vertebral artery fistula in a 20-month-old child. Balloons could not be safely employed; therefore, embolization was performed with Guglielmi detachable microcoils. We review the history and treatment of these lesions, their clinical presentation, and imaging features, including their outcome, with particular attention to the pediatric population. PMID:12695869

  15. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation for painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Anselmetti, Giovanni C; Tutton, Sean M; Facchini, Francis R; Miller, Larry E; Block, Jon E

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Vertebral metastases are associated with significant pain, disability, and morbidity. Open surgery for fracture stabilization is often inappropriate in this population due to a poor risk-benefit profile, particularly if life expectancy is short. Percutaneous vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are appealing adjunctive procedures in patients with malignancy for alleviation of intractable pain. However, these patients have higher risk of serious complications, notably cement extravasation. Described in this report is a case of a painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis that was successfully treated by a novel percutaneous vertebral augmentation system. Case presentation A 42-year-old Caucasian female presented with a history of metastatic lung cancer unresponsive to radiation and chemotherapy with symptoms inadequately controlled by opiates over the previous 6 months. Magnetic resonance imaging and spiral computed tomography with two-dimensional reconstruction showed an osteolytic vertebral metastasis with complete involvement of the T10 vertebral body, extending to the cortical vertebral wall anteriorly and posteriorly. The patient was treated with percutaneous vertebral augmentation (Kiva® VCF Treatment System, Benvenue Medical, Inc, Santa Clara, CA) utilizing a novel coil-shaped polyetheretherketone implant designed to minimize the risk of cement extravasation. After the minimally invasive procedure, bone cement distribution within the vertebral body was ideal, with no observed cement extravasation. No complications were reported, pain completely resolved within 24 hours, and use of intravenous narcotics was progressively diminished within 1 week. Complete pain relief was maintained throughout 4 months of follow-up. Conclusion The Kiva System represents a novel and effective minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from severe pain due to osteolytic vertebral metastasis. PMID:23754917

  16. Transposon-mediated Genome Manipulations in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ivics, Zoltán; Li, Meng Amy; Mátés, Lajos; Boeke, Jef D.; Bradley, Allan; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna

    2010-01-01

    Transposable elements are segments of DNA with the unique ability to move about in the genome. This inherent feature can be exploited to harness these elements as gene vectors for diverse genome manipulations. Transposon-based genetic strategies have been established in vertebrate species over the last decade, and current progress in this field indicates that transposable elements will serve as indispensable tools in the genetic toolkit of vertebrate models. In particular, transposons can be applied as vectors for somatic and germline transgenesis, and as insertional mutagens in both loss-of-function and gain-of-function forward mutagenesis screens. The major advantage of using transposons as genetic tools is that they facilitate analysis of gene function in an easy, controlled and scalable manner. Transposon-based technologies are beginning to be exploited to link sequence information to gene functions in vertebrate models. In this article, we provide an overview of transposon-based methods used in vertebrate model organisms, and highlight the most important considerations concerning genetic applications of the transposon systems. PMID:19478801

  17. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  18. Vertebral osteomyelitis combined streptococcal viridans endocarditis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kuo-Chen; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Lin, Chih-Yuan; Tsai, Chien-Sung

    2003-01-01

    Endocarditis may be difficult to diagnose in patients with osteomyelitis in an early stage because they usually are treated for fever, bone pain and stiffness in the outpatient department. Herein we report an uncommon patient who developed severe lower back pain sustained for 2 months, and streptococcal viridans infected vertebral osteomyelitis combined endocarditis were diagnosed and cured. PMID:12493523

  19. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  20. Vertebral Osteomyelitis Caused by Helicobacter cinaedi

    PubMed Central

    Yoshizaki, Aisa; Takegawa, Hiroshi; Doi, Asako; Mizuno, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter cinaedi causes bacteremia, cellulitis, and gastroenteritis. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by H. cinaedi in an elderly man with low back pain and fever. The pathogen was detected in blood and lumbar disc, and the infection was successfully treated with oral doxycycline for 11 weeks. PMID:26109448

  1. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  2. Diagnosis and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Jason; Davis, Amy

    2016-07-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common complication of osteoporosis, affecting more than 700,000 Americans annually. Fracture risk increases with age, with four in 10 white women older than 50 years experiencing a hip, spine, or vertebral fracture in their lifetime. VCFs can lead to chronic pain, disfigurement, height loss, impaired activities of daily living, increased risk of pressure sores, pneumonia, and psychological distress. Patients with an acute VCF may report abrupt onset of back pain with position changes, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. Physical examination findings are often normal, but can demonstrate kyphosis and midline spine tenderness. More than two-thirds of patients are asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally on plain radiography. Acute VCFs may be treated with analgesics such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, and calcitonin. Physicians must be mindful of medication adverse effects in older patients. Other conservative therapeutic options include limited bed rest, bracing, physical therapy, nerve root blocks, and epidural injections. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation, including vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, is controversial, but can be considered in patients with inadequate pain relief with nonsurgical care or when persistent pain substantially affects quality of life. Family physicians can help prevent vertebral fractures through management of risk factors and the treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:27386723

  3. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  4. A differential staining technique for vertebrate histology.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, T K

    1979-03-01

    A staining method is described for studying micro-anatomy of different vertebrate tissues in the light microscope. A staining sequence of celestin blue--erythrosin--orange G--fast green with mordanting in phosphomolybdic acid yields a satisfactory differentiation and fine colour contrast in various tissues. The efficacy of the method was tested on different avian and mammalian tissues. PMID:86938

  5. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  6. Search for conserved amino acid residues of the [Formula: see text]-crystallin proteins of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Shiliaev, Nikita G; Selivanova, Olga M; Galzitskaya, Oxana V

    2016-04-01

    [Formula: see text]-crystallin is the major eye lens protein and a member of the small heat-shock protein (sHsp) family. [Formula: see text]-crystallins have been shown to support lens clarity by preventing the aggregation of lens proteins. We performed the bioinformatics analysis of [Formula: see text]-crystallin sequences from vertebrates to find conserved amino acid residues as the three-dimensional (3D) structure of [Formula: see text]-crystallin is not identified yet. We are the first who demonstrated that the N-terminal region is conservative along with the central domain for vertebrate organisms. We have found that there is correlation between the conserved and structured regions. Moreover, amyloidogenic regions also correspond to the structured regions. We analyzed the amino acid composition of [Formula: see text]-crystallin A and B chains. Analyzing the occurrence of each individual amino acid residue, we have found that such amino acid residues as leucine, serine, lysine, proline, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, glutamic acid, and valine change their content simultaneously in A and B chains in different classes of vertebrates. Aromatic amino acids occur more often in [Formula: see text]-crystallins from vertebrates than on the average in proteins among 17 animal proteomes. We obtained that the identity between A and B chains in the mammalian group is 0.35, which is lower than the published 0.60. PMID:26972563

  7. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  8. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats.

    PubMed

    Free, C L; Baxter, G S; Dickman, C R; Lisle, A; Leung, L K-P

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  9. Whole Genome Duplications Shaped the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Repertoire of Jawed Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brunet, Frédéric G.; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene family, involved primarily in cell growth and differentiation, comprises proteins with a common enzymatic tyrosine kinase intracellular domain adjacent to a transmembrane region. The amino-terminal portion of RTKs is extracellular and made of different domains, the combination of which characterizes each of the 20 RTK subfamilies among mammals. We analyzed a total of 7,376 RTK sequences among 143 vertebrate species to provide here the first comprehensive census of the jawed vertebrate repertoire. We ascertained the 58 genes previously described in the human and mouse genomes and established their phylogenetic relationships. We also identified five additional RTKs amounting to a total of 63 genes in jawed vertebrates. We found that the vertebrate RTK gene family has been shaped by the two successive rounds of whole genome duplications (WGD) called 1R and 2R (1R/2R) that occurred at the base of the vertebrates. In addition, the Vegfr and Ephrin receptor subfamilies were expanded by single gene duplications. In teleost fish, 23 additional RTK genes have been retained after another expansion through the fish-specific third round (3R) of WGD. Several lineage-specific gene losses were observed. For instance, birds have lost three RTKs, and different genes are missing in several fish sublineages. The RTK gene family presents an unusual high gene retention rate from the vertebrate WGDs (58.75% after 1R/2R, 64.4% after 3R), resulting in an expansion that might be correlated with the evolution of complexity of vertebrate cellular communication and intracellular signaling. PMID:27260203

  10. Whole Genome Duplications Shaped the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Repertoire of Jawed Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Frédéric G; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene family, involved primarily in cell growth and differentiation, comprises proteins with a common enzymatic tyrosine kinase intracellular domain adjacent to a transmembrane region. The amino-terminal portion of RTKs is extracellular and made of different domains, the combination of which characterizes each of the 20 RTK subfamilies among mammals. We analyzed a total of 7,376 RTK sequences among 143 vertebrate species to provide here the first comprehensive census of the jawed vertebrate repertoire. We ascertained the 58 genes previously described in the human and mouse genomes and established their phylogenetic relationships. We also identified five additional RTKs amounting to a total of 63 genes in jawed vertebrates. We found that the vertebrate RTK gene family has been shaped by the two successive rounds of whole genome duplications (WGD) called 1R and 2R (1R/2R) that occurred at the base of the vertebrates. In addition, the Vegfr and Ephrin receptor subfamilies were expanded by single gene duplications. In teleost fish, 23 additional RTK genes have been retained after another expansion through the fish-specific third round (3R) of WGD. Several lineage-specific gene losses were observed. For instance, birds have lost three RTKs, and different genes are missing in several fish sublineages. The RTK gene family presents an unusual high gene retention rate from the vertebrate WGDs (58.75% after 1R/2R, 64.4% after 3R), resulting in an expansion that might be correlated with the evolution of complexity of vertebrate cellular communication and intracellular signaling. PMID:27260203

  11. Prevalent Vertebral Fractures among Children Initiating Glucocorticoid Therapy for the Treatment of Rheumatic Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Huber, A.M.; Gaboury, I.; Cabral, D.A.; Lang, B.; Ni, A.; Stephure, D.; Taback, S.; Dent, P.; Ellsworth, J.; LeBlanc, C.; Saint-Cyr, C.; Scuccimarri, R.; Hay, J.; Lentle, B.; Matzinger, M.; Shenouda, N.; Moher, D.; Rauch, F.; Siminoski, K.; Ward, L.M.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Vertebral fractures are an under-recognized problem in children with inflammatory disorders. We studied spine health among 134 children (87 girls) with rheumatic conditions (median age 10 years) within 30 days of initiating glucocorticoid (GC) therapy. Methods Children were categorized as follows: juvenile dermatomyositis (juvenile DM, N=30), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; N=28), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and related conditions (N=26), systemic arthritis (N=22), systemic vasculitis (N=16), and other conditions (N=12). Thoracolumbar spine radiograph and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry for lumbar spine areal bone mineral density (LS BMD) were performed within 30 days of GC initiation. Genant semi-quantitative grading was used for vertebral morphometry. Second metacarpal morphometry was carried out on a hand radiograph. Clinical factors including disease and physical activity, calcium and vitamin D intake, cumulative GC dose, underlying diagnosis, LS BMD Z-score and back pain were analyzed for association with vertebral fracture. Results Thirteen vertebral fractures were noted in 9 children (7%). Six patients had a single vertebral fracture and three patients had two to three fractures. Fractures were clustered in the mid-thoracic region (69%). Three vertebral fractures (23%) were moderate (Grade 2); the others were mild (Grade 1). For the entire cohort, mean (±SD) LS BMD Z-score was significantly different from zero (−0.55±1.2, p<0.001) despite a mean height Z-score that was similar to the healthy average (0.02±1.0, p=0.825). Back pain was highly associated with increased odds for fracture (OR 10.6, 95% CI 2.1 to 53.8, p=0.004). Conclusions In pediatric rheumatic conditions, vertebral fractures can be present prior to prolonged GC exposure. PMID:20391507

  12. Determination of vertebral pose in 3D by minimization of vertebral asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrtovec, Tomaž; Pernuš, Franjo; Likar, Boštjan

    2011-03-01

    The vertebral pose in three dimensions (3D) may provide valuable information for quantitative clinical measurements or aid the initialization of image analysis techniques. We propose a method for automated determination of the vertebral pose in 3D that, in an iterative registration scheme, estimates the position and rotation of the vertebral coordinate system in 3D images. By searching for the hypothetical points, which are located where the boundaries of anatomical structures would have maximal symmetrical correspondences when mirrored over the vertebral planes, the asymmetry of vertebral anatomical structures is minimized. The method was evaluated on 14 normal and 14 scoliotic vertebrae in images acquired by computed tomography (CT). For each vertebra, 1000 randomly initialized experiments were performed. The results show that the vertebral pose can be successfully determined in 3D with mean accuracy of 0.5mm and 0.6° and mean precision of 0.17mm and 0.17. according to the 3D position and 3D rotation, respectively.

  13. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  14. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  15. The variety of vertebrate mechanisms of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Trukhina, Antonina V; Lukina, Natalia A; Wackerow-Kouzova, Natalia D; Smirnov, Alexander F

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with features of sex determination in vertebrates. The mechanisms of sex determination are compared between fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, and mammals. We focus on structural and functional differences in the role of sex-determining genes in different vertebrates. Special attention is paid to the role of estrogens in sex determination in nonmammalian vertebrates. PMID:24369014

  16. Intra-arterial Onyx Embolization of Vertebral Body Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Sedora-Roman, Neda I.; Reddy, Arra Suresh; Ogilvy, Christopher S.; Thomas, Ajith J.

    2013-01-01

    While Onyx embolization of cerebrospinal arteriovenous shunts is well-established, clinical researchers continue to broaden applications to other vascular lesions of the neuraxis. This report illustrates the application of Onyx (eV3, Plymouth, MN) embolization to vertebral body lesions, specifically, a vertebral hemangioma and renal cell carcinoma vertebral body metastatic lesion. PMID:24729960

  17. Evolution of vertebrate mechanosensory hair cells and inner ears: toward identifying stimuli that select mutation driven altered morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Among the major distance senses of vertebrates, the ear is unique in its complex morphological changes during evolution. Conceivably, these changes enable the ear to adapt toward sensing various physically well-characterized stimuli. This review develops a scenario that integrates sensory cell with organ evolution. We propose that molecular and cellular evolution of the vertebrate hair cells occurred prior to the formation of the vertebrate ear. We previously proposed that the genes driving hair cell differentiation, were aggregated in the otic region through developmental re-patterning that generated a unique vertebrate embryonic structure, the otic placode. In agreement with the presence of graviceptive receptors in many vertebrate outgroups, it is likely that the vertebrate ear originally functioned as a simple gravity-sensing organ. Based on the rare occurrence of angular acceleration receptors in vertebrate outgroups, we further propose that the canal system evolved with a more sophisticated ear morphogenesis. This evolving morphogenesis obviously turned the initial otocyst into a complex set of canals and recesses, harboring multiple sensory epithelia each adapted to the acquisition of a specific aspect of a given physical stimulus. As support for this evolutionary progression, we provide several details of the molecular basis of ear development. PMID:24281353

  18. New Findings Concerning Vertebrate Porin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thinnes, Friedrich P.; Reymann, Susanne

    Eukaryotic porin can be considered to be a good candidate for forming the channel component of the protein complex which, depending on the approach used, may realize its expression either as the outwardly-rectifying depolarization-induced chloride channel or as the volume-sensitive organic osmolyte-anion channel. As a basis for this proposition, we point to a series of correspondences in properties between mammalian porin and the ORDIC channel complex. Specifically, mammalian porin is expressed in the plasmalemma of different cells and chloride channels can be blocked by anti-human porin antibodies in astrocytes and endothelial cells. There is an indication of colocalisation of human porin and the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene product, CFTR, in the apical region of epithelial cells. The primary structure of porin from a CF patient was found to be normal. Cytosol and amniotic fluid fractions influence the channel characteristics of mammalian porin. Channel-active mammalian porin binds ATP and the stilbene disulphonate grouping of the chloride channel inhibitor DIDS. Human porin in black membranes is a pathway for taurine, and biogenic polyamines reduce the voltage dependence of human porin. Assuming the relationship between human porin and the ORDIC channel/VSOAC complex, studies on plasmalemma-integrated human porin have a relevance for CF research. In addition, we refer to a case study on a child with encephalomyopathy in which porin could not be detected using monoclonal anti-human porin antibodies. Our studies were based on purified and sequenced human porin from different cells and from different cell compartments. In addition, we raised antibodies against mature human porin or synthetic parts of the molecule. This provided a firm foundation for our topochemical work with which we were able to establish the multi-topological expression of eukaryotic porin channels. The data are summarized and discussed.

  19. The ancestral role of nodal signalling in breaking L/R symmetry in the vertebrate forebrain.

    PubMed

    Lagadec, Ronan; Laguerre, Laurent; Menuet, Arnaud; Amara, Anis; Rocancourt, Claire; Péricard, Pierre; Godard, Benoît G; Rodicio, Maria Celina; Rodriguez-Moldes, Isabel; Mayeur, Hélène; Rougemont, Quentin; Mazan, Sylvie; Boutet, Agnès

    2015-01-01

    Left-right asymmetries in the epithalamic region of the brain are widespread across vertebrates, but their magnitude and laterality varies among species. Whether these differences reflect independent origins of forebrain asymmetries or taxa-specific diversifications of an ancient vertebrate feature remains unknown. Here we show that the catshark Scyliorhinus canicula and the lampreys Petromyzon marinus and Lampetra planeri exhibit conserved molecular asymmetries between the left and right developing habenulae. Long-term pharmacological treatments in these species show that nodal signalling is essential to their generation, rather than their directionality as in teleosts. Moreover, in contrast to zebrafish, habenular left-right differences are observed in the absence of overt asymmetry of the adjacent pineal field. These data support an ancient origin of epithalamic asymmetry, and suggest that a nodal-dependent asymmetry programme operated in the forebrain of ancestral vertebrates before evolving into a variable trait in bony fish. PMID:25819227

  20. Mid-Wisconsinan vertebrates and their environment from January Cave, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, James A.

    1991-01-01

    January Cave, in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta, has yielded vertebrate remains from a coprocenosis of mid-Wisconsinan-age. Taphonomic analysis indicates accumulation by raptors, mostly owls, and mammalian carnivores. The vertebrate record, together with pollen analysis, indicates that cool, dry conditions prevailed in an extensive tundra-like environment, with prairie elements in the valleys below. Thirty-four mammalian taxa have been recovered from January Cave. Today, some of these species (e.g., Lemmus sibiricus and Dicrostonyx torquatus) do not coexist with others (e.g., Cynomys sp., Mustela nigripes, Vulpes velox, and Lagurus curtatus). Therefore, the January Cave local fauna represents a "nonanalog" mammalian community characteristic of the late Pleistocene. It suggests that the region enjoyed an equable climate, with reduced climatic extremes but still cool, further supporting a mid-Wisconsinan age estimate for the fauna. It is the first major, small vertebrate fauna of its age to be reported from Alberta.

  1. Loss of col8a1a function during zebrafish embryogenesis results in congenital vertebral malformations.

    PubMed

    Gray, Ryan S; Wilm, Thomas P; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-02-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles ((m531, vu41, vu105)) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. PMID:24333517

  2. Cellular automata segmentation of the boundary between the compacta of vertebral bodies and surrounding structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egger, Jan; Nimsky, Christopher

    2016-03-01

    Due to the aging population, spinal diseases get more and more common nowadays; e.g., lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture is 40% for white women and 13% for white men in the United States. Thus the numbers of surgical spinal procedures are also increasing with the aging population and precise diagnosis plays a vital role in reducing complication and recurrence of symptoms. Spinal imaging of vertebral column is a tedious process subjected to interpretation errors. In this contribution, we aim to reduce time and error for vertebral interpretation by applying and studying the GrowCut - algorithm for boundary segmentation between vertebral body compacta and surrounding structures. GrowCut is a competitive region growing algorithm using cellular automata. For our study, vertebral T2-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans were first manually outlined by neurosurgeons. Then, the vertebral bodies were segmented in the medical images by a GrowCut-trained physician using the semi-automated GrowCut-algorithm. Afterwards, results of both segmentation processes were compared using the Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) and the Hausdorff Distance (HD) which yielded to a DSC of 82.99+/-5.03% and a HD of 18.91+/-7.2 voxel, respectively. In addition, the times have been measured during the manual and the GrowCut segmentations, showing that a GrowCutsegmentation - with an average time of less than six minutes (5.77+/-0.73) - is significantly shorter than a pure manual outlining.

  3. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: An Economic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Untreated vertebral compression fractures can have serious clinical consequences and impose a considerable impact on patients' quality of life and on caregivers. Since non-surgical management of these fractures has limited effectiveness, vertebral augmentation procedures are gaining acceptance in clinical practice for pain control and fracture stabilization. The objective of this analysis was to determine the cost-effectiveness and budgetary impact of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in patients with cancer. Methods We performed a systematic review of health economic studies to identify relevant studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in adults with cancer. We also performed a primary cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the clinical benefits and costs of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management in the same population. We developed a Markov model to forecast benefits and harms of treatments, and corresponding quality-adjusted life years and costs. Clinical data and utility data were derived from published sources, while costing data were derived using Ontario administrative sources. We performed sensitivity analyses to examine the robustness of the results. In addition, a 1-year budget impact analysis was performed using data from Ontario administrative sources. Two scenarios were explored: (a) an increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario, maintaining the current proportion of kyphoplasty versus vertebroplasty; and (b) no increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario but an increase in the proportion of kyphoplasties versus vertebroplasties. Results The base case considered each of

  4. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. Methods We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures published from January 1, 2000, to October 2014; abstracts were screened by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Owing to the heterogeneity of the clinical reports, we performed a narrative synthesis based on an analytical framework constructed for the type of cancer-related vertebral fractures and the diversity of the vertebral augmentation interventions. Results The evidence review identified 3,391 citations, of which 111 clinical reports (4,235 patients) evaluated the effectiveness of vertebroplasty (78 reports, 2,545 patients) or kyphoplasty (33 reports, 1,690 patients) for patients with mixed primary spinal metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma, or hemangiomas. Overall the mean pain intensity scores often reported within 48 hours of vertebral augmentation (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), were significantly reduced. Analgesic use, although variably reported, usually involved parallel decreases, particularly in opioids, and mean pain-related disability scores were also significantly improved. In a randomized controlled

  5. Major African contributions to Palaeozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate palaeontology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand, J. F.

    2005-10-01

    Over more than two centuries, Africa has been an important source of knowledge with regard to the origins, evolution and distribution of important animal taxa. Not only did Africa south of the Sahara contain a second zoogeographical region virtually unknown four centuries ago, but also gave the world the first insight into the palaeontological wealth and the existence of Gondwana. The section on Agnatha includes a discussion on conodonts from South Africa, considered to be the some of the oldest and best-preserved vertebrate fossils in the world. The section on the Gnathostomata includes a very brief overview of the most important fish taxa from the Palaeozoic to Mesozoic of Africa. The section on the Tetrapoda includes an overview of the major taxa found in the fossil record of the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic of Africa. The Permian and Triassic tetrapod fossils that indicate the evolution and radiation of the parareptiles, eureptiles and synapsids are highlighted. The most important vertebrate fossils from Africa that contributed to our understanding of the radiation of evolutionary important groups such as the fish, tetrapods, tortoises, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs and mammals are discussed. The Jurassic and Cretaceous assemblages containing dinosaur and mammal remains, deposited after the break up of Gondwana, are discussed. Finally a perspective on the importance of Africa as fossil repository and the limitations of palaeontological endeavour in Africa is given.

  6. Anterior-posterior patterning and segmentation of the vertebrate head

    PubMed Central

    Schilling, Thomas F.

    2008-01-01

    Segmentation of the vertebrate head emerges out of earlier processes that establish the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis. Recent genetic studies and comparisons across species have led to a better understanding of the links between A-P patterning and segmentation. These point to similar signals acting on both head and trunk, such as retinoic acid and fibroblast growth factors. These form interacting networks of diffusible morphogen gradients that pattern both hindbrain rhombomeres and mesodermal somites. New computational models, particularly for retinoic acid, have revealed how morphogen gradients are established and made robust to changes in signaling levels. However, the orientations of these gradients, as well as how they interact to generate segments, differ remarkably between germ layers and body regions. Thus, the vertebrate head is, in part, built through modifications of the same processes that link A-P patterning and segmentation in the trunk, but fundamental differences in how these processes are deployed lend further doubt to the notion that head and trunk segments are homologous. PMID:21669823

  7. Thoracic and lumbar vertebral bone mineral density changes in a natural occurring dog model of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.

    PubMed

    De Decker, Steven; Lam, Richard; Packer, Rowena M A; Gielen, Ingrid M V L; Volk, Holger A

    2015-01-01

    Ankylosing spinal disorders can be associated with alterations in vertebral bone mineral density (BMD). There is however controversy about vertebral BMD in patients wuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). DISH in Boxer dogs has been considered a natural occurring disease model for DISH in people. The purpose of this study was to compare vertebral BMD between Boxers with and without DISH. Fifty-nine Boxers with (n=30) or without (n=29) DISH that underwent computed tomography were included. Vertebral BMD was calculated for each thoracic and lumbar vertebra by using an earlier reported and validated protocol. For each vertebral body, a region of interest was drawn on the axial computed tomographic images at three separate locations: immediately inferior to the superior end plate, in the middle of the vertebral body, and superior to the inferior end plate. Values from the three axial slices were averaged to give a mean Hounsfield Unit value for each vertebral body. Univariate statistical analysis was performed to identify factors to be included in a multivariate model. The multivariate model including all dogs demonstrated that vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 24.63; 95% CI 16.07 to 33.19; p <0.001), lumbar vertebrae (Coefficient -17.25; 95% CI -23.42 to -11.09; p < 0.01), and to a lesser extent higher age (Coefficient -0.56; 95% CI -1.07 to -0.05; p = 0.03) were significant predictors for vertebral BMD. When the multivariate model was repeated using only dogs with DISH, vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 20.67; 95% CI, 10.98 to 30.37; p < 0.001) and lumbar anatomical region (Coefficient -38.24; 95% CI, -47.75 to -28.73; p < 0.001) were again predictors for vertebral BMD but age was not. The results of this study indicate that DISH can be associated with decreased vertebral BMD. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the clinical importance and pathophysiology of this finding. PMID:25898128

  8. Thoracic and Lumbar Vertebral Bone Mineral Density Changes in a Natural Occurring Dog Model of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis

    PubMed Central

    De Decker, Steven; Lam, Richard; Packer, Rowena M. A.; Gielen, Ingrid M. V. L.; Volk, Holger A.

    2015-01-01

    Ankylosing spinal disorders can be associated with alterations in vertebral bone mineral density (BMD). There is however controversy about vertebral BMD in patients wuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). DISH in Boxer dogs has been considered a natural occurring disease model for DISH in people. The purpose of this study was to compare vertebral BMD between Boxers with and without DISH. Fifty-nine Boxers with (n=30) or without (n=29) DISH that underwent computed tomography were included. Vertebral BMD was calculated for each thoracic and lumbar vertebra by using an earlier reported and validated protocol. For each vertebral body, a region of interest was drawn on the axial computed tomographic images at three separate locations: immediately inferior to the superior end plate, in the middle of the vertebral body, and superior to the inferior end plate. Values from the three axial slices were averaged to give a mean Hounsfield Unit value for each vertebral body. Univariate statistical analysis was performed to identify factors to be included in a multivariate model. The multivariate model including all dogs demonstrated that vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 24.63; 95% CI 16.07 to 33.19; p <0.001), lumbar vertebrae (Coefficient -17.25; 95% CI -23.42 to -11.09; p < 0.01), and to a lesser extent higher age (Coefficient -0.56; 95% CI -1.07 to -0.05; p = 0.03) were significant predictors for vertebral BMD. When the multivariate model was repeated using only dogs with DISH, vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 20.67; 95% CI, 10.98 to 30.37; p < 0.001) and lumbar anatomical region (Coefficient -38.24; 95% CI, -47.75 to -28.73; p < 0.001) were again predictors for vertebral BMD but age was not. The results of this study indicate that DISH can be associated with decreased vertebral BMD. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the clinical importance and pathophysiology of this finding. PMID:25898128

  9. Mineralization and collagen orientation throughout aging at the vertebral endplate in the human lumbar spine.

    PubMed

    Paietta, Rachel C; Burger, Evalina L; Ferguson, Virginia L

    2013-11-01

    The human vertebral body and intervertebral disc interface forms the region where the cartilaginous endplate, annulus fibrosis and bone of the vertebral body are connected through an intermediate calcified cartilage layer. While properties of both the vertebral body and components of the disc have been extensively studied, limited quantitative data exists describing the microstructure of the vertebral body-intervertebral disc interface in the spine throughout development and degeneration. Quantitative backscattered scanning electron and second harmonic generation confocal imaging were used to collect quantitative data describing the mineral content and collagen fiber orientation across the interface, respectively. Specimens spanned ages 56 days to 84 years and measurements were taken across the vertebral endplate at the outer annulus, inner annulus and nucleus pulposis. In mature and healthy endplates, collagen fibers span the calcified cartilage layer in all regions, including the endplate adjacent to the central nucleus pulposis. We also observed an abrupt transition from high mineral volume fractions (35-50%) to 0% over short distances measuring 3-15 microns in width across the transition from calcified cartilage to unmineralized cartilage. The alignment of collagen fibers at the outer annulus and thickness of the CC layer indicated that collagen fiber mineralization adjacent to the bone may serve to anchor the soft tissue without a gradual change in material properties. Combining backscattered scanning electron microscopy and second harmonic generation imaging on the same sections thus enable a novel assessment of morphology and properties in both mineralized and soft tissues at the vertebral body-intervertebral disc throughout development and aging. PMID:23999190

  10. Dynamic epithelia of the developing vertebrate face

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Chong Pyo; Crump, J. Gage

    2015-01-01

    A segmental series of endoderm-derived pouch and ectoderm-derived cleft epithelia act as signaling centers in the developing face. Their precise morphogenesis is therefore essential for proper patterning of the vertebrate head. Intercellular adhesion and polarity are highly dynamic within developing facial epithelial cells, with signaling from the adjacent mesenchyme controlling both epithelial character and directional migration. Endodermal and ectodermal epithelia fuse to form the primary mouth and gill slits, which involves basement membrane dissolution, cell intercalations, and apoptosis, as well as undergo further morphogenesis to generate the middle ear cavity and glands of the neck. Recent studies of facial epithelia are revealing both core programs of epithelial morphogenesis and insights into the coordinated assembly of the vertebrate head. PMID:25748249

  11. Clinical Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Miller, Paul D

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCF's) are the most common form of osteoporotic fractures. Whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, they both represent a high risk for not only vertebral but also nonvertebral fractures in untreated populations. This high risk of future fracture after a VCF is independent of the T-score because bone strength is a combination of bone mineral density and bone quality. VCFs are the single greatest risk for future fractures at all other skeletal sites in untreated populations, including hip fractures. They are often unrecognized despite their exceptionally high prevalence in all genders and most ethnic groups as age increases. This article highlights some of the key messages about VCF's, and how assessment for their presence and then management will reduce the risk of all osteoporotic fractures. PMID:26439186

  12. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  13. Turning Heads: Development of Vertebrate Branchiomotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2007-01-01

    The cranial motor neurons innervate muscles that control eye, jaw, and facial movements of the vertebrate head and parasympathetic neurons that innervate certain glands and organs. These efferent neurons develop at characteristic locations in the brainstem, and their axons exit the neural tube in well-defined trajectories to innervate target tissues. This review is focused on a subset of cranial motor neurons called the branchiomotor neurons, which innervate muscles derived from the branchial (pharyngeal) arches. First, the organization of the branchiomotor pathways in zebrafish, chick, and mouse embryos will be compared, and the underlying axon guidance mechanisms will be addressed. Next, the molecular mechanisms that generate branchiomotor neurons and specify their identities will be discussed. Finally, the caudally directed or tangential migration of facial branchiomotor neurons will be examined. Given the advances in the characterization and analysis of vertebrate genomes, we can expect rapid progress in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these vital neuronal networks. PMID:14699587

  14. Population momentum across vertebrate life histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koons, D.N.; Grand, J.B.; Arnold, J.M.

    2006-01-01

    Population abundance is critically important in conservation, management, and demographic theory. Thus, to better understand how perturbations to the life history affect long-term population size, we examined population momentum for four vertebrate classes with different life history strategies. In a series of demographic experiments we show that population momentum generally has a larger effect on long-term population size for organisms with long generation times than for organisms with short generation times. However, patterns between population momentum and generation time varied across taxonomic groups and according to the life history parameter that was changed. Our findings indicate that momentum may be an especially important aspect of population dynamics for long-lived vertebrates, and deserves greater attention in life history studies. Further, we discuss the importance of population momentum in natural resource management, pest control, and conservation arenas. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Vertebral destruction due to abdominal aortic aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez Viseu Pinheiro, J.F.; Blanco Blanco, J.F.; Pescador Hernández, D.; García García, F.J.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Low back pain is a common cause of medical consultation, and usually supposes a non-malignant prognostic. Presentation of case We report an atypical appearance of low back pain associated to shock and pulsatile abdominal mass that made us diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm as reason of vertebral lysis and pain. Discusion Surgical repair of contained AAA should be directed to secondary re-rupture prevention, with an approximate survival near to 100% at selected patients for elective surgery. Consequently, orthopedic surgery for back spine stabilization has to be elective in those cases when vertebral destruction is above 30% and clinic is directly related to spine instability. Conclusion We should consider AAA as other cause of low back pain and routinely examine the abdomen and seek complementary imaging proves when risk factors for AAA are present. PMID:25569196

  16. Acute compressive myelopathy due to vertebral haemangioma

    PubMed Central

    Macki, Mohamed; Bydon, Mohamad; Kaloostian, Paul; Bydon, Ali

    2014-01-01

    A 47-year-old woman with a history of anaemia presented to the emergency room with an acute onset of leg weakness. Physical examination of the bilateral lower extremities was significant for 0/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups with decreased pinprick and temperature sensation. A sensory level at the umbilicus was appreciated. Fine touch and proprioception were preserved. Bowel and bladder function were intact. CT revealed several thoracic, vertebral haemangiomatas. An MRI was suggestive of an epidural clot at the T8–T10-weighted posterior epidural space. At the level of the lesion, the cerebrospinal fluid space was completely effaced, and the flattened spinal cord exhibited signs of oedema and compressive myelopathy. The patient immediately underwent surgical decompression of the spinal cord. An epidural clot and vessel conglomeration were identified. A postoperative spinal angiogram confirmed the diagnosis of vertebral haemangioma. At 1-month follow-up, the patient regained strength and sensation. PMID:24777075

  17. The Timing of Timezyme Diversification in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2′paralogs, the 2′ isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  18. Light sensitivity in a vertebrate mechanoreceptor?

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Gary E.; de Grip, Willem J.; Turton, Michael; Wagner, Hans-Joachim; Foster, Russell G.; Douglas, Ron H.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis, we demonstrate that melanopsin is localised in cells around the central pore of lateral line neuromasts in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Since melanopsin is a known photoreceptor pigment with diverse functions in vertebrates, we suggest that the lateral line of Xenopus laevis, which is primarily a mechanoreceptor, might also be light sensitive. Potential functions of such photosensitivity are discussed, including its role in mediating locomotor responses following dermal illumination. PMID:26206352

  19. Transmission of Ranavirus between Ectothermic Vertebrate Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Brenes, Roberto; Gray, Matthew J.; Waltzek, Thomas B.; Wilkes, Rebecca P.; Miller, Debra L.

    2014-01-01

    Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed) individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively), but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen’s persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance. PMID:24667325

  20. The timing of Timezyme diversification in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2'paralogs, the 2' isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  1. Pyogenic Vertebral Osteomyelitis in Heroin Addicts

    PubMed Central

    Fishbach, Ronald S.; Rosenblatt, Jon E.; Dahlgren, James G.

    1973-01-01

    The diagnosis of pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis was made in seven narcotic addicts between 1967 and 1972. Vertebrae involved were either cervical or lumbar. Bacteriologic diagnosis was made in each case by percutaneous needle biopsy and aspiration. Staphylococcus aureus was cultured in two patients. Five patients had infections due to Gram-negative bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter. All patients were cured by treatment with antibiotics and immobilization. PMID:4199351

  2. Common normal variants of pediatric vertebral development that mimic fractures: a pictorial review from a national longitudinal bone health study

    PubMed Central

    Jaremko, Jacob Lester; Siminoski, Kerry; Firth, Gregory; Matzinger, Mary Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Konji, Victor N.; Roth, Johannes; Sbrocchi, Anne Marie; Reed, Martin; O’Brien, Kathleen; Nadel, Helen; McKillop, Scott; Kloiber, Reinhard; Dubois, Josée; Coblentz, Craig; Charron, Martin; Ward, Leanne M.

    2015-01-01

    Children with glucocorticoid-treated illnesses are at risk for osteoporotic vertebral fractures and growing awareness has led to increased monitoring for these fractures. However scant literature describes developmental changes in vertebral morphology that can mimic fractures. The goal of this paper is to aid in distinguishing between normal variants and fractures. We illustrate differences using lateral spine radiographs obtained annually from children recruited to the Canada-wide STeroid-Associated Osteoporosis in the Pediatric Population (STOPP) observational study, in which 400 children with glucocorticoid-treated leukemia, rheumatic disorders, and nephrotic syndrome were enrolled near glucocorticoid initiation and followed prospectively for 6 years. Normal variants mimicking fractures exist in all regions of the spine and fall into two groups. The first group comprises variants mimicking pathological vertebral height loss, including not-yet-ossified vertebral apophyses superiorly and inferiorly which can lead to a vertebral shape easily over-interpreted as anterior wedge fracture, physiologic beaking, and spondylolisthesis associated with shortened posterior vertebral height. The second group includes variants mimicking other radiologic signs of fractures: anterior vertebral artery groove resembling an anterior buckle fracture, Cupid’s bow balloon disk morphology, Schmorl nodes mimicking concave endplate fractures, and parallax artifact resembling endplate interruption or biconcavity. If an unexpected vertebral body contour is detected, careful attention to its location, detailed morphology, and (if available) serial changes over time may clarify whether it is a fracture requiring change in management or simply a normal variant. Awareness of the variants described in this paper can improve accuracy in the diagnosis of pediatric vertebral fractures. PMID:25828359

  3. Common normal variants of pediatric vertebral development that mimic fractures: a pictorial review from a national longitudinal bone health study.

    PubMed

    Jaremko, Jacob L; Siminoski, Kerry; Firth, Gregory B; Matzinger, Mary Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Konji, Victor N; Roth, Johannes; Sbrocchi, Anne Marie; Reed, Martin H; O'Brien, Mary Kathleen; Nadel, Helen; McKillop, Scott; Kloiber, Reinhard; Dubois, Josée; Coblentz, Craig; Charron, Martin; Ward, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Children with glucocorticoid-treated illnesses are at risk for osteoporotic vertebral fractures, and growing awareness of this has led to increased monitoring for these fractures. However scant literature describes developmental changes in vertebral morphology that can mimic fractures. The goal of this paper is to aid in distinguishing between normal variants and fractures. We illustrate differences using lateral spine radiographs obtained annually from children recruited to the Canada-wide STeroid-Associated Osteoporosis in the Pediatric Population (STOPP) observational study, in which 400 children with glucocorticoid-treated leukemia, rheumatic disorders, and nephrotic syndrome were enrolled near glucocorticoid initiation and followed prospectively for 6 years. Normal variants mimicking fractures exist in all regions of the spine and fall into two groups. The first group comprises variants mimicking pathological vertebral height loss, including not-yet-ossified vertebral apophyses superiorly and inferiorly, which can lead to a vertebral shape easily over-interpreted as anterior wedge fracture, physiological beaking, or spondylolisthesis associated with shortened posterior vertebral height. The second group includes variants mimicking other radiologic signs of fractures: anterior vertebral artery groove resembling an anterior buckle fracture, Cupid's bow balloon disk morphology, Schmorl nodes mimicking concave endplate fractures, and parallax artifact resembling endplate interruption or biconcavity. If an unexpected vertebral body contour is detected, careful attention to its location, detailed morphology, and (if available) serial changes over time may clarify whether it is a fracture requiring change in management or simply a normal variant. Awareness of the variants described in this paper can improve accuracy in the diagnosis of pediatric vertebral fractures. PMID:25828359

  4. T-cell receptors in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S; De Guerra, A; Kerfourn, F; Partula, S

    1998-12-01

    The structure and expression of genes encoding molecules homologous to mammalian T-cell receptors (TCR) have been recently studied in ectothermic vertebrate species representative of chondrychthians, teleosts, and amphibians. The overall TCR chain structure is well conserved in phylogeny: TCR beta- and TCR alpha-like chains were detected in all the species analyzed; TCR gamma- and TCR delta-like chains were also present in a chondrychthian species. The diversity potential of the variable (V) and joining (J) segments is rather large and, as in mammals, conserved diversity (D) segments are associated to the TCR beta and TCR delta chains. An important level of junctional diversity occurred at the V-(D)-J junctions, with the potential addition of N- and P-nucleotides. Thus, the conservation of the structure and of the potential of diversity of TCR molecules have been under a permanent selective pressure during vertebrate evolution. The structure of MHC class I and class II molecules was also well conserved in jawed vertebrates. TCR and MHC molecules are strongly functionally linked and play a determinant role in the initiation and the regulation of the specific immune responses; thus, it is not surprising that their structures have been reciprocally frozen during evolution. PMID:9914905

  5. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight. PMID:27030773

  6. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  7. Effects of hypoxia on vertebrate blood vessels.

    PubMed

    Russell, Michael J; Dombkowski, Ryan A; Olson, Kenneth R

    2008-03-01

    Hypoxia contracts mammalian respiratory vessels and increases vascular resistance in respiratory tissues of many vertebrates. In systemic vessels these responses vary, hypoxia relaxes mammalian vessels and contracts systemic arteries from cyclostomes. It has been proposed that hypoxic vasoconstriction in cyclostome systemic arteries is the antecedent to mammalian hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, however, phylogenetic characterization of hypoxic responses is lacking. In this study, we characterized the hypoxic response of isolated systemic and respiratory vessels from a variety of vertebrates using standard myography. Pre-gill/respiratory (ventral aorta, afferent branchial artery, pulmonary artery) and post-gill/systemic (dorsal and thoracic aortas, efferent branchial artery) from lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus), chicken (Gallus domesticus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) were exposed to hypoxia at rest or during pre-stimulation (elevated extracellular potassium, epinephrine or norepinephrine). Hypoxia produced a relaxation or transient contraction followed by relaxation in all pre-gill vessels, except for contraction in lamprey, and vasoconstriction or tri-phasic constriction-dilation-constriction in all pulmonary vessels. Hypoxia contracted systemic vessels from all animals except shark and rat and in pre-contracted rat aortas it produced a transient contraction followed by relaxation. These results show that while the classic "systemic hypoxic vasodilation and pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction" may occur in the microcirculation, the hypoxic response of the vertebrate macrocirculation is quite variable. These findings also suggest that hypoxic vasoconstriction is a phylogenetically ancient response. PMID:18214862

  8. Fungal osteomyelitis with vertebral re-ossification

    PubMed Central

    O′Guinn, Devon J.; Serletis, Demitre; Kazemi, Noojan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction We present a rare case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis secondary to pulmonary Blastomyces dermatitides. Presentation of case A 27-year-old male presented with three months of chest pains and non-productive cough. Examination revealed diminished breath sounds on the right. CT/MR imaging confirmed a right-sided pre-/paravertebral soft tissue mass and destructive lytic lesions from T2 to T6. CT-guided needle biopsy confirmed granulomatous pulmonary Blastomycosis. Conservative management with antifungal therapy was initiated. Neurosurgical review confirmed no clinical or profound radiographic instability, and the patient was stabilized with TLSO bracing. Serial imaging 3 months later revealed near-resolution of the thoracic soft tissue mass, with vertebral re-ossification from T2 to T6. Discussion Fungal osteomyelitis presents a rare entity in the spectrum of spinal infections. In such cases, lytic spinal lesions are classically seen in association with a large paraspinous mass. Fungal infections of the spinal column may be treated conservatively, with surgical intervention reserved for progressive cases manifesting with neurological compromise and/or spinal column instability. Here, we found unexpected evidence for vertebral re-ossification across the affected thoracic levels (T2-6) in response to IV antibiotic therapy and conservative bracing, nearly 3 months later. PMID:26692163

  9. The Immunoglobulins of Cold-Blooded Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more “conventional” mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  10. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans

    PubMed Central

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  11. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J

    2016-02-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  12. Vertebrate paralogous conserved noncoding sequences may be related to gene expressions in brain.

    PubMed

    Matsunami, Masatoshi; Saitou, Naruya

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate genomes include gene regulatory elements in protein-noncoding regions. A part of gene regulatory elements are expected to be conserved according to their functional importance, so that evolutionarily conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) might be good candidates for those elements. In addition, paralogous CNSs, which are highly conserved among both orthologous loci and paralogous loci, have the possibility of controlling overlapping expression patterns of their adjacent paralogous protein-coding genes. The two-round whole-genome duplications (2R WGDs), which most probably occurred in the vertebrate common ancestors, generated large numbers of paralogous protein-coding genes and their regulatory elements. These events could contribute to the emergence of vertebrate features. However, the evolutionary history and influences of the 2R WGDs are still unclear, especially in noncoding regions. To address this issue, we identified paralogous CNSs. Region-focused Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) search of each synteny block revealed 7,924 orthologous CNSs and 309 paralogous CNSs conserved among eight high-quality vertebrate genomes. Paralogous CNSs we found contained 115 previously reported ones and newly detected 194 ones. Through comparisons with VISTA Enhancer Browser and available ChIP-seq data, one-third (103) of paralogous CNSs detected in this study showed gene regulatory activity in the brain at several developmental stages. Their genomic locations are highly enriched near the transcription factor-coding regions, which are expressed in brain and neural systems. These results suggest that paralogous CNSs are conserved mainly because of maintaining gene expression in the vertebrate brain. PMID:23267051

  13. FRAX and the effect of teriparatide on vertebral and non-vertebral fracture

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Nicholas C; Kanis, John A; Odén, Anders; Burge, Russel T; Mitlak, Bruce H; Johansson, Helena; McCloskey, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Summary Daily teriparatide injections have been shown to reduce vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Here we demonstrate that the magnitude of fracture risk reduction is independent of baseline fracture probability assessed by FRAX. Background Daily administration of 20μg or 40μg teriparatide has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fracture compared with placebo. The aim of the present study was to evaluate fracture risk assessed at baseline using the FRAX® tool and to determine the efficacy of teriparatide as a function of baseline fracture risk. Methods 1637 postmenopausal women in the pivotal phase 3 trial, randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=544), teriparatide 20 μg per day (n=541) or teriparatide 40 μg per day (n=552), were studied. Baseline clinical risk factors were entered into country-specific FRAX models to compute the 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures with or without input of femoral neck BMD. Because there was no difference in effect of 20 and 40μg teriparatide daily on fracture occurrence, the two active groups were merged. The interaction between probability of a major fracture and treatment efficacy was examined by Poisson regression. Results The 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures (with BMD) ranged from 2.2-67.2%. Treatment with teriparatide was associated with a 37% decrease in all non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:10-56 %) and a 56% decrease in low energy non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:24-75%) compared with placebo. The risk of morphometric vertebral fractures decreased significantly by 66% (95% CI:50-77%). Hazard ratios for the effect of teriparatide on the fracture outcome did not change significantly with increasing fracture probability (p>0.30). Similar findings were noted for the interaction when BMD was excluded from the FRAX model, or when probability of hip fracture was used as the marker of baseline risk. Conclusion We conclude that teriparatide

  14. Prospective Single-Site Experience with Radiofrequency-Targeted Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture

    PubMed Central

    Moser, Franklin G.; Maya, Marcel M.; Blaszkiewicz, Laura; Scicli, Andrea; Miller, Larry E.; Block, Jon E.

    2013-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures are widely used to treat osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). We report our initial experience with radiofrequency-targeted vertebral augmentation (RF-TVA) in 20 patients aged 50 to 90 years with single-level, symptomatic osteoporotic VCF between T10 and L5, back pain severity > 4 on a 0 to 10 scale, Oswestry Disability Index ≥ 21%, 20% to 90% vertebral height loss compared to adjacent vertebral body, and fracture age < 6 months. After treatment, patients were followed through hospital discharge and returned for visits after 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months. Back pain severity improved 66% (P < 0.001), from 7.9 (95% CI: 7.1 to 8.6) at pretreatment to 2.7 (95% CI: 1.5 to 4.0) at 3 months. Back function improved 46% (P < 0.001), from 74 (95% CI: 69% to 79%) at pretreatment to 40 (95% CI: 33% to 47%) at 3 months. The percentage of patients regularly consuming pain medication was 70% at pretreatment and only 21% at 3 months. No adverse events related to the device or procedure were reported. RF-TVA reduces back pain severity, improves back function, and reduces pain medication requirements with no observed complications in patients with osteoporotic VCF. PMID:24228187

  15. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  16. Reliability of vertebral fracture assessment using multidetector CT lateral scout views: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study

    PubMed Central

    Samelson, E. J.; Christiansen, B. A.; Demissie, S.; Broe, K. E.; Zhou, Y.; Meng, C. A.; Yu, W.; Cheng, X.; O’Donnell, C. J.; Hoffmann, U.; Genant, H. K.; Kiel, D. P.; Bouxsein, M. L.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Two radiologists evaluated images of the spine from computed tomography (CT) scans on two occasions to diagnose vertebral fracture in 100 individuals. Agreement was fair to good for mild fractures, and agreement was good to excellent for more severe fractures. CT scout views are useful to assess vertebral fracture. Introduction We investigated inter-reader agreement between two radiologists and intra-reader agreement between duplicate readings for each radiologist, in assessment of vertebral fracture using a semi-quantitative method from lateral scout views obtained by CT. Methods Participants included 50 women and 50 men (age 50-87 years, mean 70 years) in the Framingham Study. T4-L4 vertebrae were assessed independently by two radiologists on two occasions using a semi-quantitative scale as normal, mild, moderate, or severe fracture. Results Vertebra-specific prevalence of grade ≥1 (mild) fracture ranged from 3% to 5%. We found fair (κ=56-59%) inter-reader agreement for grade ≥1 vertebral fractures and good (κ=68-72%) inter-reader agreement for grade ≥2 fractures. Intra-reader agreement for grade ≥1 vertebral fracture was fair (κ=55%) for one reader and excellent for another reader (κ=77%), whereas intra-reader agreement for grade ≥2 vertebral fracture was excellent for both readers (κ=76% and 98%). Thoracic vertebrae were more difficult to evaluate than the lumbar region, and agreement was lowest (inter-reader κ=43%) for fracture at the upper (T4-T9) thoracic levels and highest (inter-reader κ=76-78%) for the lumbar spine (L1-L4). Conclusions Based on a semi-quantitative method to classify vertebral fractures using CT scout views, agreement within and between readers was fair to good, with the greatest source of variation occurring for fractures of mild severity and for the upper thoracic region. Agreement was good to excellent for fractures of at least moderate severity. Lateral CT scout views can be useful in clinical research settings

  17. Proliferation, neurogenesis and regeneration in the non-mammalian vertebrate brain.

    PubMed

    Kaslin, Jan; Ganz, Julia; Brand, Michael

    2008-01-12

    Post-embryonic neurogenesis is a fundamental feature of the vertebrate brain. However, the level of adult neurogenesis decreases significantly with phylogeny. In the first part of this review, a comparative analysis of adult neurogenesis and its putative roles in vertebrates are discussed. Adult neurogenesis in mammals is restricted to two telencephalic constitutively active zones. On the contrary, non-mammalian vertebrates display a considerable amount of adult neurogenesis in many brain regions. The phylogenetic differences in adult neurogenesis are poorly understood. However, a common feature of vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles) that display a widespread adult neurogenesis is the substantial post-embryonic brain growth in contrast to birds and mammals. It is probable that the adult neurogenesis in fish, frogs and reptiles is related to the coordinated growth of sensory systems and corresponding sensory brain regions. Likewise, neurons are substantially added to the olfactory bulb in smell-oriented mammals in contrast to more visually oriented primates and songbirds, where much fewer neurons are added to the olfactory bulb. The second part of this review focuses on the differences in brain plasticity and regeneration in vertebrates. Interestingly, several recent studies show that neurogenesis is suppressed in the adult mammalian brain. In mammals, neurogenesis can be induced in the constitutively neurogenic brain regions as well as ectopically in response to injury, disease or experimental manipulations. Furthermore, multipotent progenitor cells can be isolated and differentiated in vitro from several otherwise silent regions of the mammalian brain. This indicates that the potential to recruit or generate neurons in non-neurogenic brain areas is not completely lost in mammals. The level of adult neurogenesis in vertebrates correlates with the capacity to regenerate injury, for example fish and amphibians exhibit the most widespread adult neurogenesis

  18. Insect Tc-six4 marks a unit with similarity to vertebrate placodes.

    PubMed

    Posnien, Nico; Koniszewski, Nikolaus; Bucher, Gregor

    2011-02-01

    Cranial placodes are specialized ectodermal regions in the developing vertebrate head that give rise to both neural and non-neural cell types of the neuroendocrine system and the sense organs of the visual, olfactory and acoustic systems. The cranial placodes develop from a panplacodal region which is specifically marked by genes of the eyes absent/eya and two "six homeobox" family members (sine oculis/six1 and six4). It had been believed that cranial placodes are evolutionary novelties of vertebrates. However, data from non-vertebrate chordates suggest that placode-like structures evolved in the chordate ancestor already. Here, we identify a morphological structure in the embryonic head of the beetle Tribolium castaneum with placode-like features. It is marked by the orthologs of the panplacodal markers Tc-six4, Tc-eya and Tc-sine oculis/six1 (Tc-six1) and expresses several genes known to be involved in adenohypophyseal placode development in vertebrates. Moreover, it contributes to both epidermal and neural tissues. We identify Tc-six4 as a specific marker for this structure that we term the insect head placode. Finally, we reveal the regulatory gene network of the panplacodal genes Tc-six4, Tc-eya and Tc-six1 and identify them as head epidermis patterning genes. Our finding of a placode-like structure in an insect suggests that a placode precursor was already present in the last common ancestor of bilaterian animals. PMID:21034730

  19. Anthropometric measurements and vertebral deformities. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS) Group.

    PubMed

    Johnell, O; O'Neill, T; Felsenberg, D; Kanis, J; Cooper, C; Silman, A J

    1997-08-15

    To investigate the association between anthropometric indices and morphometrically determined vertebral deformity, the authors carried out a cross-sectional study using data from the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS), a population-based study of vertebral osteoporosis in 36 European centers from 19 countries. A total of 16,047 EVOS subjects were included in this analysis, of whom 1,973 subjects (915 males, 1,058 females) (12.3%) aged 50 years or over had one or more vertebral deformities ("cases"). The cases were compared with the 14,074 subjects (6,539 males, 7,535 females) with morphometrically normal spines ("controls"). Data were collected on self-reported height at age 25 years and minimum weight after age 25 years, as well as on current measured height and weight. Body mass index (BMI) and height and weight change were calculated from these data. The relations between these variables and vertebral deformity were examined separately by sex with logistic regression adjusting for age, smoking, and physical activity. In females, there was a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing quintile of current weight, current BMI, and weight gain since age 25 years. In males, subjects in the lightest quintile for these measures were at increased risk but there was no evidence of a trend. An ecologic analysis by country revealed a negative correlation between mean BMI and the prevalence of deformity in females but not in males. The authors conclude that low body weight is associated with presence of vertebral deformity. PMID:9270407

  20. Early Bone Marrow Edema Pattern of the Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture : Can Be Predictor of Vertebral Deformity Types and Prognosis?

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Sung Eun; Park, Ji Seon; Jin, Wook; Park, So Young; Kim, Sung Bum

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate whether an early bone marrow edema pattern predicts vertebral deformity types and prognosis in osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF). Methods This retrospective study enrolled 64 patients with 75 acute OVCFs who underwent early MRI and followed up MRI. On early MRI, the low SI pattern of OVCF on T1WI were assessed and classified into 3 types (diffuse, globular or patchy, band-like). On followed up MRI, the vertebral deformity types (anterior wedge, biconcave, crush), degree of vertebral body height loss, incidence of vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis were assessed for each vertebral fracture types. Results According to the early bone marrow edema pattern on T1WI, 26 vertebrae were type 1, 14 vertebrae were type 2 and 35 vertebrae were type 3. On followed up MRI, the crush-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 1 OVCFs, the biconcave-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 2 OVCFs and the anterior wedge-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 3 OVCFs (p<0.001). In addition, type 1 early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI were associated with higher incidence of severe degree vertebral body height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis on the follow up MRI. Conclusion Early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI, significant correlated with vertebral deformity types on the follow up MRI. The severe degree of vertebral height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis, and spinal stenosis were more frequent in patients with diffuse low SI pattern. PMID:26962419

  1. A Hox regulatory network of hindbrain segmentation is conserved to the base of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Parker, Hugo J; Bronner, Marianne E; Krumlauf, Robb

    2014-10-23

    A defining feature governing head patterning of jawed vertebrates is a highly conserved gene regulatory network that integrates hindbrain segmentation with segmentally restricted domains of Hox gene expression. Although non-vertebrate chordates display nested domains of axial Hox expression, they lack hindbrain segmentation. The sea lamprey, a jawless fish, can provide unique insights into vertebrate origins owing to its phylogenetic position at the base of the vertebrate tree. It has been suggested that lamprey may represent an intermediate state where nested Hox expression has not been coupled to the process of hindbrain segmentation. However, little is known about the regulatory network underlying Hox expression in lamprey or its relationship to hindbrain segmentation. Here, using a novel tool that allows cross-species comparisons of regulatory elements between jawed and jawless vertebrates, we report deep conservation of both upstream regulators and segmental activity of enhancer elements across these distant species. Regulatory regions from diverse gnathostomes drive segmental reporter expression in the lamprey hindbrain and require the same transcriptional inputs (for example, Kreisler (also known as Mafba), Krox20 (also known as Egr2a)) in both lamprey and zebrafish. We find that lamprey hox genes display dynamic segmentally restricted domains of expression; we also isolated a conserved exonic hox2 enhancer from lamprey that drives segmental expression in rhombomeres 2 and 4. Our results show that coupling of Hox gene expression to segmentation of the hindbrain is an ancient trait with origin at the base of vertebrates that probably led to the formation of rhombomeric compartments with an underlying Hox code. PMID:25219855

  2. Comparative morphometric study of the australopithecine vertebral series Stw-H8/H41.

    PubMed

    Sanders, W J

    1998-03-01

    Lower spinal structure correlates well with positional behavior among mammals. Nonetheless, the functional morphology of the axial post-crania of australopithecines has received less attention than their appendicular skeletons. This paper presents a detailed description and comparative morphometric analysis of the australopithecine thoracolumbar vertebral series Stw-H8/H41, and examines spinal mechanics in early hominids. Stw-H8/H41 is an important specimen, as the australopithecine vertebral sample is small, and vertebral series are more useful than isolated elements for the interpretation of spinal function. Results of the study support the interpretation that australopithecine species are highly sexually dimorphic. The study also reveals a considerable amount of morphometric variation other than size among australopithecine vertebrae, though the sample is too small and incomplete to ascertain whether this indicates significant interspecific differences in spinal function. Most importantly, structural and metric observations confirm that the morphology of the lower spine in australopithecines has no modern analogue in its entirety. Aspects of zygapophyseal structure, numerical composition of the lumbar region, and centrum wedging suggest that the australopithecine vertebral column was adapted to human-like intrinsic lumbar lordosis and stable balance of the trunk over the pelvis in sustained bipedal locomotion. However, relative centrum size in australopithecines indicates that either they had a different mechanism for channeling vertical forces through the vertebral column than humans, or differed behaviorally from humans in ways that produced smaller increments of compression across their centra. These findings have important implications for hypotheses of australopithecine positional behavior, and demonstrate that larger samples and more complete vertebral series are needed to improve our understanding of australopithecine spinal function. PMID:9547457

  3. Number and type of vertebral deformities: epidemiological characteristics and relation to back pain and height loss. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Ismail, A A; Cooper, C; Felsenberg, D; Varlow, J; Kanis, J A; Silman, A J; O'Neill, T W

    1999-01-01

    Vertebral deformity is the classical hallmark of osteoporosis. Three types of vertebral deformity are usually described: crush, wedge and biconcave deformities. However, there are few data concerning the descriptive epidemiology of the individual deformity types, and differences in their underlying pathogenesis and clinical impact remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to compare the epidemiological characteristics of the three types of vertebral deformity and to explore the relationships of the number and type of deformity with back pain and height loss. Age-stratified random samples of men and women aged 50 years and over were recruited from population registers in 30 European centers (EVOS study). Subjects were invited to attend for an interviewer-administered questionnaire and lateral spinal radiographs. The presence, type and number of vertebral deformities was determined using the McCloskey-Kanis algorithm. A total of 13,562 men and women were studied; mean age in men was 64.4 years (SD 8.5), and in women 63.8 years (SD 8.5 years). There was evidence of variation in the occurrence of wedge, crush and biconcave deformity by age, sex and vertebral level. Wedge deformities were the most frequent deformity and tended to cluster at the mid-thoracic and thoraco-lumbar regions of the spine in both men and women. Similar predilection for these sites was observed for crush and to a lesser extent biconcave deformities though this was much less marked than for wedge deformities. In both sexes the frequency of biconcave deformities was higher in the lumbar than the thoracic spine and unlike the other deformity types it did not decline in frequency at lower lumbar vertebral levels. The prevalence of all three types of vertebral deformity increased with age and was more marked in women. There were no important differences in the effect of age on the different deformity types. All types of deformity were associated with height loss, which was greatest for individuals

  4. Vertebral Body Growth After Craniospinal Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Hartley, Katherine A.; Li Chenghong; Laningham, Fred H.; Krasin, Matthew J.; Xiong Xiaoping; Merchant, Thomas E.

    2008-04-01

    Purpose: To estimate the effects of radiotherapy and clinical factors on vertebral growth in patients with medulloblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors treated with craniospinal irradiation (CSI) and chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The height of eight individual or grouped vertebral bodies (C3, C3-C4, T4, T4-T5, C6-T3, T4-T7, L3, L1-L5) was measured before and after CSI (23.4 or 36-39.6 Gy) in 61 patients. Of the 61 patients, 40 were boys and 21 were girls (median age, 7 years; range, 3-13 years), treated between October 1996 and October 2003. Sagittal T{sub 1}-weighted magnetic resonance images were used for the craniocaudal measurements. The measurements numbered 275 (median, 5/patient; range, 3-7). The median follow-up after CSI was 44.1 months (range, 13.8-74.9 months). Results: Significant growth was observed in all measured vertebrae. Excluding C3-C4, the growth rate of the grouped vertebrae was affected by age, gender, and CSI dose (risk classification). The risk classification alone affected the growth rates of C3 (p = 0.002) and L3 (p = 0.02). Before CSI, the length of all vertebral bodies was an increasing function of age (p <0.0001). The C3 length before CSI was affected by gender and risk classification: C3 was longer for female (p = 0.07) and high-risk (p = 0.07) patients. Conclusion: All vertebrae grew significantly after CSI, with the vertebrae of the boys and younger patients growing at a rate greater than that of their counterparts. The effect of age was similar across all vertebrae, and gender had the greatest effect on the growth of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. The effect of the risk classification was greatest in the lumbar spine by a factor of {<=}10.

  5. DEVELOPMENTAL PALEOBIOLOGY OF THE VERTEBRATE SKELETON

    PubMed Central

    RÜCKLIN, MARTIN; DONOGHUE, PHILIP C. J.; CUNNINGHAM, JOHN A.; MARONE, FEDERICA; STAMPANONI, MARCO

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the development of organisms can reveal crucial information on homology of structures. Developmental data are not peculiar to living organisms, and they are routinely preserved in the mineralized tissues that comprise the vertebrate skeleton, allowing us to obtain direct insight into the developmental evolution of this most formative of vertebrate innovations. The pattern of developmental processes is recorded in fossils as successive stages inferred from the gross morphology of multiple specimens and, more reliably and routinely, through the ontogenetic stages of development seen in the skeletal histology of individuals. Traditional techniques are destructive and restricted to a 2-D plane with the third dimension inferred. Effective non-invasive methods of visualizing paleohistology to reconstruct developmental stages of the skeleton are necessary. In a brief survey of paleohistological techniques we discuss the pros and cons of these methods. The use of tomographic methods to reconstruct development of organs is exemplified by the study of the placoderm dentition. Testing evidence for the presence of teeth in placoderms, the first jawed vertebrates, we compare the methods that have been used. These include inferring the development from morphology, and using serial sectioning, microCT or synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to reconstruct growth stages and directions of growth. The ensuing developmental interpretations are biased by the methods and degree of inference. The most direct and reliable method is using SRXTM data to trace sclerochronology. The resulting developmental data can be used to resolve homology and test hypotheses on the origin of evolutionary novelties. PMID:26306050

  6. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C.; Davies, Wayne I. L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Collin, Shaun P.; Hunt, David M.

    2016-01-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  7. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Trevor D; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C; Davies, Wayne I L; Hart, Nathan S; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2016-08-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  8. Vertebrate gravity sensors as dynamic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    This paper considers verterbrate gravity receptors as dynamic sensors. That is, it is hypothesized that gravity is a constant force to which an acceleration-sensing system would readily adapt. Premises are considered in light of the presence of kinocilia on hair cells of vertebrate gravity sensors; differences in loading of the sensors among species; and of possible reduction in loading by inclusion of much organic material in otoconia. Moreover, organic-inorganic interfaces may confer a piezoelectric property upon otoconia, which increase the sensitivity of the sensory system to small accelerations. Comparisons with man-made accelerometers are briefly taken up.

  9. Quaternary vertebrates from Greenland: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennike, Ole

    Remains of fishes, birds and mammals are rarely reported from Quaternary deposits in Greenland. The oldest remains come from Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene deposits and comprise Atlantic cod, hare, rabbit and ringed seal. Interglacial and interstadial deposits have yielded remains of cod, little auk, collared lemming, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. Early and Mid-Holocene finds include capelin, polar cod, red fish, sculpin, three-spined stickleback, Lapland longspur, Arctic hare, collared lemming, wolf, walrus, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. It is considered unlikely that vertebrates could survive in Greenland during the peak of the last glaciation, but many species had probably already immigrated in the Early Holocene.

  10. Evaluation and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Alexandru, Daniela; So, William

    2012-01-01

    Compression fractures affect many individuals worldwide. An estimated 1.5 million vertebral compression fractures occur every year in the US. They are common in elderly populations, and 25% of postmenopausal women are affected by a compression fracture during their lifetime. Although these fractures rarely require hospital admission, they have the potential to cause significant disability and morbidity, often causing incapacitating back pain for many months. This review provides information on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of compression fractures, as well as clinical manifestations and treatment options. Among the available treatment options, kyphoplasty and percutaneous vertebroplasty are two minimally invasive techniques to alleviate pain and correct the sagittal imbalance of the spine. PMID:23251117

  11. Life-long accumulation of 137Cs and 40K in the vertebral column of a cow.

    PubMed

    Pichl, Elke; Rabitsch, Herbert

    2013-01-01

    We have investigated the accumulation of (137)Cs and (40)K in all the tissues and organs of an adult slaughtered Austrian "mountain pasture cow". In this paper we present measured (137)Cs- and (40)K-activity concentrations in different tissues of the vertebral bodies, in their other bony components and in all the vertebrae forming the vertebral column. Data are also given for activity concentrations of adherent tissues, and for activities of both the components and the whole vertebral column. The dairy cow was born in a highly contaminated region of Styria, Austria, at the time of the radioactive fallout following the Chernobyl accident. Both radionuclides were incorporated during life-long ingestion and their accumulation in all the vertebrae up to the day of slaughtering was determined by high-purity germanium detectors. Our results show considerable variations of (137)Cs- and (40)K-activity concentrations in the components of a certain vertebra, within vertebrae of a particular region, and between vertebrae of different regions of the vertebral column. Particularly, the courses of (137)Cs- and (40)K-activity concentrations in trabecular bone, cortical bone and intervertebral discs of thoracic vertebral bodies are subdivided by a strong drop into two sections. Mean values of (137)Cs-concentration in vertebral bodies of these subsections vary by a factor 4. Compared with corresponding quantities for the skeleton, total mass, as well as total (137)Cs- and (40)K-activities of the whole vertebral column came to 14%, and approximately 38% for each (137)Cs and (40)K, respectively. PMID:22943884

  12. Evolution of vertebrate forebrain development: how many different mechanisms?

    PubMed Central

    FOLEY, ANN C.; STERN, CLAUDIO D.

    2001-01-01

    Over the past 50 years and more, many models have been proposed to explain how the nervous system is initially induced and how it becomes subdivided into gross regions such as forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain and spinal cord. Among these models is the 2-signal model of Nieuwkoop & Nigtevecht (1954), who suggested that an initial signal (‘activation’) from the organiser both neuralises and specifies the forebrain, while later signals (‘transformation’) from the same region progressively caudalise portions of this initial territory. An opposing idea emerged from the work of Otto Mangold (1933) and other members of the Spemann laboratory: 2 or more distinct organisers, emitting different signals, were proposed to be responsible for inducing the head, trunk and tail regions. Since then, evidence has accumulated that supports one or the other model, but it has been very difficult to distinguish between them. Recently, a considerable body of work from mouse embryos has been interpreted as favouring the latter model, and as suggesting that a ‘head organiser’, required for the induction of the forebrain, is spatially separate from the classic organiser (Hensen's node). An extraembryonic tissue, the ‘anterior visceral endoderm’ (AVE), was proposed to be the source of forebrain-inducing signals. It is difficult to find tissues that are directly equivalent embryologically or functionally to the AVE in other vertebrates, which led some (e.g. Kessel, 1998) to propose that mammals have evolved a new way of patterning the head. We will present evidence from the chick embryo showing that the hypoblast is embryologically and functionally equivalent to the mouse AVE. Like the latter, the hypoblast also plays a role in head development. However, it does not act like a true organiser. It induces pre-neural and pre-forebrain markers, but only transiently. Further development of neural and forebrain phenotypes requires additional signals not provided by the hypoblast. In

  13. Axial allometry in a neutrally buoyant environment: effects of the terrestrial-aquatic transition on vertebral scaling.

    PubMed

    Jones, K E; Pierce, S E

    2016-03-01

    Ecological diversification into new environments presents new mechanical challenges for locomotion. An extreme example of this is the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle. Here, we examine the implications of life in a neutrally buoyant environment on adaptations of the axial skeleton to evolutionary increases in body size. On land, mammals must use their thoracolumbar vertebral column for body support against gravity and thus exhibit increasing stabilization of the trunk as body size increases. Conversely, in water, the role of the axial skeleton in body support is reduced, and, in aquatic mammals, the vertebral column functions primarily in locomotion. Therefore, we hypothesize that the allometric stabilization associated with increasing body size in terrestrial mammals will be minimized in secondarily aquatic mammals. We test this by comparing the scaling exponent (slope) of vertebral measures from 57 terrestrial species (23 felids, 34 bovids) to 23 semi-aquatic species (pinnipeds), using phylogenetically corrected regressions. Terrestrial taxa meet predictions of allometric stabilization, with posterior vertebral column (lumbar region) shortening, increased vertebral height compared to width, and shorter, more disc-shaped centra. In contrast, pinniped vertebral proportions (e.g. length, width, height) scale with isometry, and in some cases, centra even become more spool-shaped with increasing size, suggesting increased flexibility. Our results demonstrate that evolution of a secondarily aquatic lifestyle has modified the mechanical constraints associated with evolutionary increases in body size, relative to terrestrial taxa. PMID:26679743

  14. A kind of specific osteolytic destruction of the vertebral bodies

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Baogan; Chen, Jinhong; Pang, Xiaodong; Hei, Yan

    2012-01-01

    This report describes two young patients with osteolytic destruction in two adjacent vertebral bodies along with the intervertebral disc, and reveals its possible mechanism. A lateral radiograph and CT scan displayed a giant osteolytic cavity in the L4 vertebral body. An MRI or CT scan with a two-dimensional reconstruction displayed the same changes in the L4 vertebral body and lower endplate erosion in the L3 vertebral body. A comprehensive preoperative evaluation did not identify a specific cause of vertebral destruction. Both patients underwent anterior lumbar fusion surgery. The lesions were removed for histological and immunohistochemical examination. Histopathological study of the destructed vertebral bodies in the two patients revealed the disruption or atrophy of bone trabeculae with infiltration of a large amount of B-lymphocytes and macrophages into the marrow cavities. Studies of its pathogenesis reveal that it is likely to be a B-lymphocyte-mediated local immune inflammatory reaction in the lumbar spine. PMID:22675148

  15. Skeletal morphogenesis of the vertebral column of the miniature hylid frog Acris crepitans, with comments on anomalies.

    PubMed

    Pugener, L Analía; Maglia, Anne M

    2009-01-01

    Although the vertebral columns of anurans have received much study in the last 150 years, few detailed descriptions exist of the skeletal morphogenesis of this anatomical unit. Herein, the ontogeny of the vertebral skeleton of the hylid frog Acris crepitans is described based on cleared and double-stained specimens, radiographs, and 3D reconstructions generated from synchrotron microCT scans. The adult axial formula is 1-7-1-1, and the vertebral centra are epichordal and procoelous. The neural arches are nonimbricate, and there is a medial articulation between the laminae of Presacrals I and II. Free ribs are absent. The sacral diapophyses are uniform in width or slightly expanded distally. The urostyle is slender, round in cross section, and about equal in length to the presacral region. Presacral vertebrae are the first to form, developing in a cephalic-to-caudal sequence. However, development and growth are decoupled and growth is fastest initially in the posterior presacrals and sacrum. In addition, there is a time lag between the formation of the presacral/sacral region and the postsacral region. More than 8.5% of the specimens examined have vertebral anomalies, and about 50% display small variants from the typical vertebral column morphology. However, these malformations do not seem to have been so severe as to have affected survival. PMID:18946872

  16. Crossveinless-2 is required for the relocalization of Chordin protein within the vertebral field in mouse embryos

    PubMed Central

    Zakin, Lise; Chang, Ellen Y.; Plouhinec, Jean-Louis; De Robertis, E. M.

    2010-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), as well as the BMP-binding molecules Chordin (Chd), Crossveinless-2 (CV2) and Twisted Gastrulation (Tsg), are essential for axial skeletal development in the mouse embryo. We previously reported a strong genetic interaction between CV2 and Tsg and proposed a role for this interaction in the shaping of the BMP morphogenetic field during vertebral development. In the present study we investigated the roles of CV2 and Chd in the formation of the vertebral morphogenetic field. We performed immunostainings for CV2 and Chd protein on wild-type, CV2−/− or Chd−/− mouse embryo sections at the stage of onset of the vertebral phenotypes. By comparing mRNA and protein localizations we found that CV2 does not diffuse away from its place of synthesis, the vertebral body. The most interesting finding of this study was that Chd synthesized in the intervertebral disc accumulates in the vertebral body. This relocalization does not take place in CV2−/− mutants. Instead, Chd was found to accumulate at its site of synthesis in CV2−/− embryos. These results indicate a CV2-dependent flow of Chd protein from the intervertebral disc to the vertebral body. Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation was decreased in CV2−/−vertebral bodies. This impaired BMP signaling may result from the decreased levels of Chd/BMP complexes diffusing from the intervertebral region. The data indicate a role for CV2 and Chd in the establishment of the vertebral morphogenetic field through the long-range relocalization of Chd/BMP complexes. The results may have general implications for the formation of embryonic organ-forming morphogenetic fields. PMID:20807528

  17. The Vertebrate Primary Cilium in Development, Homeostasis, and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gerdes, Jantje M.; Davis, Erica E.; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Cilia are complex structures that have garnered interest because of their roles in vertebrate development and their involvement in human genetic disorders. In contrast to multicellular invertebrates in which cilia are restricted to specific cell types, these organelles are found almost ubiquitously in vertebrate cells, where they serve a diverse set of signaling functions. Here, we highlight properties of vertebrate cilia, with particular emphasis on their relationship with other subcellular structures, and explore the physiological consequences of ciliary dysfunction. PMID:19345185

  18. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Marjorie; Reynaert, Nicole; Chávez, Myra N; Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L; Egaña, José T

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  19. Vertebrate helentrons and other novel Helitrons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Russell T M; Goodwin, Timothy J D; Butler, Margaret I

    2003-08-14

    Helitrons, a novel class of eukaryote mobile genetic elements, are distinguished from other transposable elements by encoding a 'rolling circle' replication (RCR) protein (Rep) and a helicase. Helitrons have recently been described from Arabidopsis, rice and the nematode Caenorhabditis. We now report the discovery of Helitron-like elements in vertebrates, specifically in the genomes of the fish Danio rerio and Sphoeroides nephelus. We also describe Helitrons from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and from the Anopheles genome. Many of the fish Helitrons have an uncorrupted open reading frame encoding both the RCR Rep protein and a helicase. These fish elements are of particular interest because they also encode, within the single open reading frame, an apurinic-apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease most closely related to those of certain non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons. As they invariably carry an endonuclease and also form a very distinct clade, we have named these vertebrate elements 'helentrons'. It is likely that these helentrons are still active. PMID:12957391

  20. Degenerative diseases of the vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Resnick, D

    1985-07-01

    Several distinct degenerative processes affect the articulations of the vertebral column; each is associated with characteristic radiographic and pathologic abnormalities, and many are accompanied by significant clinical manifestations. A discussion of these processes is best accomplished according to the type of joint that is involved. With regard to cartilaginous articulations, of which the intervertebral disk is most important, intervertebral (osteo)chondrosis, spondylosis deformans, and, in the cervical spine, uncovertebral arthrosis are the major degenerative disorders. Osteoarthritis (osteoarthrosis) affects any of the synovium-lined joints of the vertebral column, including the apophyseal, costovertebral, transitional lumbosacral, median atlantoaxial, and sacroiliac articulations. Fibrous articulations, ligaments, or entheses (sites of tendon or ligament attachment to bone) are involved in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, ossification of the posterior spinal ligaments, and Baastrup disease. Of the many complications of these degenerative processes, alignment abnormalities (including segmental instability, degenerative spondylolisthesis, senile kyphosis, and degenerative scoliosis), intervertebral disk displacement, calcification or ossification, and spinal stenosis are the most important. PMID:3923556

  1. What can vertebrates tell us about segmentation?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Segmentation is a feature of the body plans of a number of diverse animal groupings, including the annelids, arthropods and chordates. However, it has been unclear whether or not these different manifestations of segmentation are independently derived or have a common origin. Central to this issue is whether or not there are common developmental mechanisms that establish segmentation and the evolutionary origins of these processes. A fruitful way to address this issue is to consider how segmentation in vertebrates is directed. During vertebrate development three different segmental systems are established: the somites, the rhombomeres and the pharyngeal arches. In each an iteration of parts along the long axis is established. However, it is clear that the formation of the somites, rhombomeres or pharyngeal arches have little in common, and as such there is no single segmentation process. These different segmental systems also have distinct evolutionary histories, thus highlighting the fact that segmentation can and does evolve independently at multiple points. We conclude that the term segmentation indicates nothing more than a morphological description and that it implies no mechanistic similarity. Thus it is probable that segmentation has arisen repeatedly during animal evolution. PMID:25009737

  2. The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution. PMID:19273128

  3. Identifying Synonymous Regulatory Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Nobrega, M A

    2005-02-07

    Synonymous gene regulation, defined as driving shared temporal and/or spatial expression of groups of genes, is likely predicated on genomic elements that contain similar modules of certain transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). We have developed a method to scan vertebrate genomes for evolutionary conserved modules of TFBS in a predefined configuration, and created a tool, named SynoR that identify synonymous regulatory elements (SREs) in vertebrate genomes. SynoR performs de novo identification of SREs utilizing known patterns of TFBS in active regulatory elements (REs) as seeds for genome scans. Layers of multiple-species conservation allow the use of differential phylogenetic sequence conservation filters in the search of SREs and the results are displayed as to provide an extensive annotation of genes containing detected REs. Gene Ontology categories are utilized to further functionally classify the identified genes, and integrated GNF Expression Atlas 2 data allow the cataloging of tissue-specificities of the predicted SREs. We illustrate how this new tool can be used to establish a linkage between human diseases and noncoding genomic content. SynoR is publicly available at http://synor.dcode.org.

  4. The origins and evolution of vertebrate metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Laudet, Vincent

    2011-09-27

    Metamorphosis, classically defined as a spectacular post-embryonic transition, is well exemplified by the transformation of a tadpole into a frog. It implies the appearance of new body parts (such as the limbs), the resorption of larval features (such as the tail) and the remodelling of many organs (such as the skin or the intestine). In vertebrates, metamorphosis has been well characterized in anuran amphibians, where thyroid hormones orchestrate the intricate and seemingly contradictory changes observed at the cellular and tissue levels. Thyroid hormones control a complex hierarchical cascade of target genes via binding to specific receptors, TRα and TRβ, ligand-activated transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. Metamorphosis is actually widespread in the vertebrates, though quite diverse in the way it manifests in a particular species. Furthermore, evolutionary and ecological variations of this key event, from paedomorphosis to direct development, provide an excellent illustration of how tinkering with a control pathway can lead to divergent life histories. The study of invertebrate chordates has also shed light on the origin of metamorphosis. The available data suggest that post-embryonic remodelling governed by thyroid hormones is an ancestral feature of chordates. According to this view, metamorphosis of the anurans is an extreme example of a widespread life history transition. PMID:21959163

  5. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  6. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes

    PubMed Central

    Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-01-01

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from pre-mRNA transcripts. However, some long D. melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, called a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing1,2. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis remain unclear. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of a “RS-exon” that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform due to competition with a reconstituted 5′ splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic exons or promoters that are prevalent in long introns, but which fail to reconstitute an efficient 5′ splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion may decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling inclusion of cryptic elements with RS-exons. PMID:25970246

  7. Gene expression throughout a vertebrate's embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Describing the patterns of gene expression during embryonic development has broadened our understanding of the processes and patterns that define morphogenesis. Yet gene expression patterns have not been described throughout vertebrate embryogenesis. This study presents statistical analyses of gene expression during all 40 developmental stages in the teleost Fundulus heteroclitus using four biological replicates per stage. Results Patterns of gene expression for 7,000 genes appear to be important as they recapitulate developmental timing. Among the 45% of genes with significant expression differences between pairs of temporally adjacent stages, significant differences in gene expression vary from as few as five to more than 660. Five adjacent stages have disproportionately more significant changes in gene expression (> 200 genes) relative to other stages: four to eight and eight to sixteen cell stages, onset of circulation, pre and post-hatch, and during complete yolk absorption. The fewest differences among adjacent stages occur during gastrulation. Yet, at stage 16, (pre-mid-gastrulation) the largest number of genes has peak expression. This stage has an over representation of genes in oxidative respiration and protein expression (ribosomes, translational genes and proteases). Unexpectedly, among all ribosomal genes, both strong positive and negative correlations occur. Similar correlated patterns of expression occur among all significant genes. Conclusions These data provide statistical support for the temporal dynamics of developmental gene expression during all stages of vertebrate development. PMID:21356103

  8. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes.

    PubMed

    Sibley, Christopher R; Emmett, Warren; Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-05-21

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from precursor messenger RNA transcripts. However, some long Drosophila melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, known as a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis have not been examined. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of an 'RS-exon' that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform owing to competition with a reconstituted 5' splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic promoters or exons that fail to reconstitute an efficient 5' splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion can decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling cryptic elements with inclusion of RS-exons. PMID:25970246

  9. The characters of Palaeozoic jawed vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brazeau, Martin D; Friedman, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils from the Silurian and Devonian periods are beginning to challenge embedded perceptions about the origin and early diversification of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Nevertheless, an explicit cladistic framework for the relationships of these fossils relative to the principal crown lineages of the jawed vertebrates (osteichthyans: bony fishes and tetrapods; chondrichthyans: sharks, batoids, and chimaeras) remains elusive. We critically review the systematics and character distributions of early gnathostomes and provide a clearly stated hierarchy of synapomorphies covering the jaw-bearing stem gnathostomes and osteichthyan and chondrichthyan stem groups. We show that character lists, designed to support the monophyly of putative groups, tend to overstate their strength and lack cladistic corroboration. By contrast, synapomorphic hierarchies are more open to refutation and must explicitly confront conflicting evidence. Our proposed synapomorphy scheme is used to evaluate the status of the problematic fossil groups Acanthodii and Placodermi, and suggest profitable avenues for future research. We interpret placoderms as a paraphyletic array of stem-group gnathostomes, and suggest what we regard as two equally plausible placements of acanthodians: exclusively on the chondrichthyan stem, or distributed on both the chondrichthyan and osteichthyan stems. PMID:25750460

  10. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras

    PubMed Central

    Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L.; Egaña, José T.

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  11. Sensing and surviving hypoxia in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jonz, Michael G; Buck, Leslie T; Perry, Steve F; Schwerte, Thorsten; Zaccone, Giacomo

    2016-02-01

    Surviving hypoxia is one of the most critical challenges faced by vertebrates. Most species have adapted to changing levels of oxygen in their environment with specialized organs that sense hypoxia, while only few have been uniquely adapted to survive prolonged periods of anoxia. The goal of this review is to present the most recent research on oxygen sensing, adaptation to hypoxia, and mechanisms of anoxia tolerance in nonmammalian vertebrates. We discuss the respiratory structures in fish, including the skin, gills, and air-breathing organs, and recent evidence for chemosensory neuroepithelial cells (NECs) in these tissues that initiate reflex responses to hypoxia. The use of the zebrafish as a genetic and developmental model has allowed observation of the ontogenesis of respiratory and chemosensory systems, demonstration of a putative intracellular O2 sensor in chemoreceptors that may initiate transduction of the hypoxia signal, and investigation into the effects of extreme hypoxia on cardiorespiratory development. Other organisms, such as goldfish and freshwater turtles, display a high degree of anoxia tolerance, and these models are revealing important adaptations at the cellular level, such as the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in defense of homeostasis in central neurons. PMID:25959851

  12. TRPM7 regulates gastrulation during vertebrate embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei; Su, Li-Ting; Khadka, Deepak K.; Mezzacappa, Courtney; Komiya, Yuko; Sato, Akira; Habas, Raymond; Runnels, Loren W.

    2010-01-01

    During gastrulation, cells in the dorsal marginal zone polarize, elongate, align and intercalate to establish the physical body axis of the developing embryo. Here we demonstrate that the bifunctional channel-kinase TRPM7 is specifically required for vertebrate gastrulation. TRPM7 is temporally expressed maternally and throughout development, and is spatially enriched in tissues undergoing convergent extension during gastrulation. Functional studies reveal that TRPM7’s ion channel, but not its kinase, specifically affects cell polarity and convergent extension movements during gastrulation, independent of mesodermal specification. During gastrulation, the non-canonical Wnt pathway via Dishevelled (Dvl) orchestrates the activities of the GTPases Rho and Rac to control convergent extension movements. We find that TRPM7 functions synergistically with non-canonical Wnt signaling to regulate Rac activity. The phenotype caused by depletion of the Ca2+- and Mg2+-permeant TRPM7 is suppressed by expression of a dominant negative form of Rac, as well as by Mg2+ supplementation or by expression of the Mg2+ transporter SLC41A2. Together, these studies demonstrate an essential role for the ion channel TRPM7 and Mg2+ in Rac-dependent polarized cell movements during vertebrate gastrulation. PMID:21145885

  13. Dominance in vertebrate broods and litters.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Hugh

    2006-03-01

    Drawing on the concepts and theory of dominance in adult vertebrates, this article categorizes the relationships of dominance between infant siblings, identifies the behavioral mechanisms that give rise to those relationships, and proposes a model to explain their evolution. Dominance relationships in avian broods can be classified according to the agonistic roles of dominants and subordinates as "aggression-submission," "aggression-resistance," "aggression-aggression," "aggression-avoidance," "rotating dominance," and "flock dominance." These relationships differ mainly in the submissiveness/pugnacity of subordinates, which is pivotal, and in the specificity/generality of the learning processes that underlie them. As in the dominance hierarchies of adult vertebrates, agonistic roles are engendered and maintained by several mechanisms, including differential fighting ability, assessment, trained winning and losing (especially in altricial species), learned individual relationships (especially in precocial species), site-specific learning, and probably group-level effects. An evolutionary framework in which the species-typical dominance relationship is determined by feeding mode, confinement, cost of subordination, and capacity for individual recognition, can be extended to mammalian litters and account for the aggression-submission and aggression-resistance observed in distinct populations of spotted hyenas and the "site-specific dominance" (teat ownership) of some pigs, felids, and hyraxes. Little is known about agonism in the litters of other mammals or broods of poikilotherms, but some species of fish and crocodilians have the potential for dominance among broodmates. PMID:16602272

  14. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders.

    PubMed

    Gopinathan, Anusha; Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-04-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  15. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  16. The cat vertebral column: stance configuration and range of motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macpherson, J. M.; Ye, Y.; Peterson, B. W. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    This study examined the configuration of the vertebral column of the cat during independent stance and in various flexed positions. The range of motion in the sagittal plane is similar across most thoracic and lumbar joints, with the exception of a lesser range at the transition region from thoracic-type to lumbar-type vertebrae. The upper thoracic column exhibits most of its range in dorsiflexion and the lower thoracic and lumbar in ventroflexion. Lateral flexion is limited to less than 5 degrees at all segments. The range in torsion is almost 180 degrees and occurs primarily in the midthoracic region, T4-T11. Contrary to the depiction in most atlases, the standing cat exhibits several curvatures, including a mild dorsiflexion in the lower lumbar segments, a marked ventroflexion in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar segments, and a profound dorsiflexion in the upper thoracic (above T9) and cervical segments. The curvatures are not significantly changed by altering stance distance but are affected by head posture. During stance, the top of the scapula lies well above the spines of the thoracic vertebrae, and the glenohumeral joint is just below the bodies of vertebrae T3-T5. Using a simple static model of the vertebral column in the sagittal plane, it was estimated that the bending moment due to gravity is bimodal with a dorsiflexion moment in the lower thoracic and lumbar region and a ventroflexion moment in the upper thoracic and cervical region. Given the bending moments and the position of the scapula during stance, it is proposed that two groups of scapular muscles provide the major antigravity support for the head and anterior trunk. Levator scapulae and serratus ventralis form the lateral group, inserting on the lateral processes of cervical vertebrae and on the ribs. The major and minor rhomboids form the medial group, inserting on the spinous tips of vertebrae from C4 to T4. It is also proposed that the hypaxial muscles, psoas major, minor, and quadratus

  17. Vertebral microanatomy in squamates: structure, growth and ecological correlates

    PubMed Central

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Mazurier, Arnaud; Herrel, Anthony; Volpato, Virginie; Tafforeau, Paul; Boistel, Renaud; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2010-01-01

    The histological study of vertebrae in extant squamates shows that the internal vertebral structure in this group differs from that of other tetrapods. Squamate vertebrae are lightly built and basically composed of two roughly concentric osseous tubes – one surrounding the neural canal and the other constituting the peripheral cortex of the vertebra – connected by few thin trabeculae. This structure, which characteristically evokes that of a tubular bone, results from a peculiar remodelling process characterised by an imbalance between local bone resorption and redeposition; in both periosteal and endosteo-endochondral territories, bone is extensively resorbed but not reconstructed in the same proportion by secondary deposits. This process is particularly intense in the deep region of the centrum, where originally compact cortices are made cancellous, and where the endochondral spongiosa is very loose. This remodelling process starts at an early stage of development and remains active throughout subsequent growth. The growth of squamate centra is also strongly asymmetrical, with the posterior (condylar) part growing much faster than the anterior (cotylar) part. Preliminary analyses testing for associations between vertebral structure and habitat use suggest that vertebrae of fossorial taxa are denser than those of terrestrial taxa, those in aquatic taxa being of intermediate density. However, phylogenetically informed analyses do not corroborate these findings, thus suggesting a strong phylogenetic signal in the data. As our analyses demonstrate that vertebrae in snakes are generally denser than those of lizards sensu stricto, this may drive the presence of a phylogenetic signal in the data. More comprehensive sampling of fossorial and aquatic lizards is clearly needed to more rigorously evaluate these patterns. PMID:21039477

  18. Functional significance of the taper of vertebrate cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors are commonly distinguished based on the shape of their outer segments: those of cones taper, whereas the ones from rods do not. The functional advantages of cone taper, a common occurrence in vertebrate retinas, remain elusive. In this study, we investigate this topic using theoretical analyses aimed at revealing structure–function relationships in photoreceptors. Geometrical optics combined with spectrophotometric and morphological data are used to support the analyses and to test predictions. Three functions are considered for correlations between taper and functionality. The first function proposes that outer segment taper serves to compensate for self-screening of the visual pigment contained within. The second function links outer segment taper to compensation for a signal-to-noise ratio decline along the longitudinal dimension. Both functions are supported by the data: real cones taper more than required for these compensatory roles. The third function relates outer segment taper to the optical properties of the inner compartment whereby the primary determinant is the inner segment’s ability to concentrate light via its ellipsoid. In support of this idea, the rod/cone ratios of primarily diurnal animals are predicted based on a principle of equal light flux gathering between photoreceptors. In addition, ellipsoid concentration factor, a measure of ellipsoid ability to concentrate light onto the outer segment, correlates positively with outer segment taper expressed as a ratio of characteristic lengths, where critical taper is the yardstick. Depending on a light-funneling property and the presence of focusing organelles such as oil droplets, cone outer segments can be reduced in size to various degrees. We conclude that outer segment taper is but one component of a miniaturization process that reduces metabolic costs while improving signal detection. Compromise solutions in the various retinas and retinal regions occur between

  19. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Coronado National Memorial

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Cecilia A., (Edited By); Powell, Brian F.; Swann, Don E.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted inventories for amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals; and summarized past inventories for vascular plants at Coronado National Memorial (NM) in Arizona. We used our data as well as data from previous research to compile species lists for the memorial, assess inventory completeness, and make suggestions on future monitoring efforts. There have been 940 species of plants and vertebrates recorded at Coronado NM (Table 1), of which 46 (5%) are non-native. The species richness of the memorial is one of the highest in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units, third only to park units that are two and one-half (Chiricahua National Monument), 19 (Saguaro National Park) and 70 (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) times larger in area. The high species diversities are due to the large elevational gradient, overlap of bigeographical regions, wide range of geology and soils, and diverse vegetation communities present at the memorial. Changes in species composition have occurred at the memorial over the last 20 years in all major taxonomic groups. These changes are likely due to increases in grassy plant species (both native and non-native) at the lower elevations of the memorial. We suspect that grassy plant cover has increased because of changes in grazing intensity, introduction of some non-native species, and a recent fire. All recent vertebrate inventories have yielded grassland obligate species not previously recorded at the memorial. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa, except bats, is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will likely be added with additional survey effort.

  20. Placoderms (Armored Fish): Dominant Vertebrates of the Devonian Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Gavin C.

    2010-05-01

    Placoderms, the most diverse group of Devonian fishes, were globally distributed in all habitable freshwater and marine environments, like teleost fishes in the modern fauna. Their known evolutionary history (Early Silurian-Late Devonian) spanned at least 70 million years. Known diversity (335 genera) will increase when diverse assemblages from new areas are described. Placoderms first occur in the Early Silurian of China, but their diversity remained low until their main evolutionary radiation in the Early Devonian, after which they became the dominant vertebrates of Devonian seas. Most current placoderm data are derived from the second half of the group's evolutionary history, and recent claims that they form a paraphyletic group are based on highly derived Late Devonian forms; 16 shared derived characters are proposed here to support placoderm monophyly. Interrelationships of seven placoderm orders are unresolved because Silurian forms from China are still poorly known. The relationship of placoderms to the two major extant groups of jawed fishes—osteichthyans (bony fishes) and chondrichthyans (cartilaginous sharks, rays, and chimaeras)—remains uncertain, but the detailed preservation of placoderm internal braincase structures provides insights into the ancestral gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) condition. Placoderms provide the most complex morphological and biogeographic data set for the Middle Paleozoic; marked discrepancies in stratigraphic occurrence between different continental regions indicate strongly endemic faunas that were probably constrained by marine barriers until changes in paleogeography permitted range enlargement into new areas. Placoderm distributions in time and space indicate major faunal interchange between Gondwana and Laurussia near the Frasnian-Famennian boundary; closure of the Devonian equatorial ocean is a possible explanation.

  1. Evolutionary study of vertebrate and invertebrate members of the dystrophin and utrophin gene family

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, R.G.; Nicholson, L.; Bobrow, M.

    1994-09-01

    Vertebrates express two members of the dystrophin gene family. The prototype, dystrophin, is expressed in muscle and neural tissue, and is defective in the human disorders Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD, BMD). The dystrophin homologue utrophin is more generally expressed but has not yet been associated with a genetic disorder. The function of neither protein is clear. A comparison of human utrophin with the known dystrophins (human, mouse, chicken, Torpedo) suggests that dystrophin and utrophin diverged before the vertebrate radiation. We have used reverse-transcript PCR (RT-PCR) directed by degenerate primers to characterize dystrophin and utrophin transcripts from a range of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Our results suggest that the duplication leading to distinct dystrophin and utrophin genes occurred close to the point of divergence of urochordates from the cephalochordate-vertebrate lineage. This divergence may have occurred to fulfill a novel role which arose at this point, or may reflect a need for separate regulation of the neuromuscular and other functions of the ancient dystrophin. Our data include sequences of the first non-human utrophins to be characterized, and show these to be substantially more divergent than their cognate dystrophins. In addition, our results provide a large body of information regarding the tolerance of amino acid positions in the cysteine-rich and C-terminal domains to substitution. This will aid the interpretations of DMD and BMD missense mutations in these regions.

  2. Vertebral column deformities in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Bertulli, Chiara G; Galatius, Anders; Kinze, Carl C; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul; Vedder, Elisabeth J; Sánchez Contreras, Guillermo J; Sabin, Richard C; Watson, Alastair

    2015-09-17

    Five white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris with outwardly vertebral kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis or lordosis were identified during a photo-identification survey of over 400 individuals (2002-2013) in Faxaflói and Skjálfandi Bays, Iceland. In addition, 3 stranding reports from Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK were analysed, providing both external observation and post mortem details of axial deviations of the vertebral column in this species. Two of the free-ranging cases and 2 of the stranded specimens appeared to have an acquired disease, either as a direct result of trauma, or indirectly from trauma/wound and subsequent infection and bony proliferation, although we were unable to specifically identify the causes. Our data represent a starting point to understand vertebral column deformations and their implications in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic. We recommend for future necropsy cases to conduct macro- and microscopic evaluation of muscle from both sides of the deformed region, in order to assess chronic or acute conditions related to the vertebral deformations and cause of death. PMID:26378408

  3. Early Chordate Origin of the Vertebrate Integrin αI Domains

    PubMed Central

    Chouhan, Bhanupratap Singh; Käpylä, Jarmo; Denessiouk, Konstantin; Denesyuk, Alexander; Heino, Jyrki; Johnson, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Half of the 18 human integrins α subunits have an inserted αI domain yet none have been observed in species that have diverged prior to the appearance of the urochordates (ascidians). The urochordate integrin αI domains are not human orthologues but paralogues, but orthologues of human αI domains extend throughout later-diverging vertebrates and are observed in the bony fish with duplicate isoforms. Here, we report evidence for orthologues of human integrins with αI domains in the agnathostomes (jawless vertebrates) and later diverging species. Sequence comparisons, phylogenetic analyses and molecular modeling show that one nearly full-length sequence from lamprey and two additional fragments include the entire integrin αI domain region, have the hallmarks of collagen-binding integrin αI domains, and we show that the corresponding recombinant proteins recognize the collagen GFOGER motifs in a metal dependent manner, unlike the α1I domain of the ascidian C. intestinalis. The presence of a functional collagen receptor integrin αI domain supports the origin of orthologues of the human integrins with αI domains prior to the earliest diverging extant vertebrates, a domain that has been conserved and diversified throughout the vertebrate lineage. PMID:25409021

  4. Expression and evolution of Tiki1 and Tiki2 genes in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    FEISTEL, KERSTIN; BRITO, JOSE M.; AMADO, NATHALIA G.; XU, CHIWEI; ABREU, JOSE G.; HE, XI

    2015-01-01

    Tiki1 is a Wnt protease and antagonist specifically expressed in the Spemann-Mangold Organizer and is required for head formation in Xenopus embryos. Here we report neighbor-joining phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate Tiki genes and their mRNA expression patterns in chick, mouse, and rabbit embryos. Tiki1 and Tiki2 orthologues are highly conserved, and exhibit similar but also different developmental expression patterns among the vertebrate/mammalian species analyzed. The Tiki1 gene is noticeably absent in the rodent lineage, but is present in lagomorphs and all other vertebrate/mammalian species examined. Expression in Hensen’s node, the equivalent of the Xenopus Organizer, was observed for Chick Tiki2 and Rabbit Tiki1 and Tiki2. Mouse Tiki2 was detected at low levels at gastrulation and head fold stages, but not in the node. Mouse Tiki2 and chick Tiki1 display similar expression in the dorsal spinal cord. Chick Tiki1 expression was also detected in the surface ectoderm and maxillary bud, while chick Tiki2 was found in the anterior intestinal portal, head mensenchyme and primitive atrium. Our expression analyses provide evidence that Tiki1 and Tiki2 are evolutionary conserved among vertebrate species and their expression in the Organizer and other regions suggests contributions of these Wnt inhibitors to embryonic patterning as well as organogenesis. Our analyses further reveal mis-regulation of TIKI1 and TIKI2 in human cancer and diseases. PMID:25354456

  5. Nervous systems and scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition.

    PubMed

    Holland, Nicholas D

    2016-01-01

    Older evolutionary scenarios for the origin of vertebrates often gave nervous systems top billing in accordance with the notion that a big-brained Homo sapiens crowned a tree of life shaped mainly by progressive evolution. Now, however, tree thinking positions all extant organisms equidistant from the tree's root, and molecular phylogenies indicate that regressive evolution is more common than previously suspected. Even so, contemporary theories of vertebrate origin still focus on the nervous system because of its functional importance, its richness in characters for comparative biology, and its central position in the two currently prominent scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition, which grew out of the markedly neurocentric annelid and enteropneust theories of the nineteenth century. Both these scenarios compare phyla with diverse overall body plans. This diversity, exacerbated by the scarcity of relevant fossil data, makes it challenging to establish plausible homologies between component parts (e.g. nervous system regions). In addition, our current understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype is too preliminary to permit us to convert gene network data into structural features in any simple way. These issues are discussed here with special reference to the evolution of nervous systems during proposed transitions from invertebrates to vertebrates. PMID:26598728

  6. An Immune Effector System in the Protochordate Gut Sheds Light on Fundamental Aspects of Vertebrate Immunity.

    PubMed

    Liberti, Assunta; Leigh, Brittany; De Santis, Rosaria; Pinto, Maria Rosaria; Cannon, John P; Dishaw, Larry J; Litman, Gary W

    2015-01-01

    A variety of germline and somatic immune mechanisms have evolved in vertebrate and invertebrate species to detect a wide array of pathogenic invaders. The gut is a particularly significant site in terms of distinguishing pathogens from potentially beneficial microbes. Ciona intestinalis, a filter-feeding marine protochordate that is ancestral to the vertebrate form, possesses variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins (VCBPs), a family of innate immune receptors, which recognize bacteria through an immunoglobulin-type variable region. The manner in which VCBPs mediate immune recognition appears to be related to the development and bacterial colonization of the gut, and it is likely that these molecules are critical elements in achieving overall immune and physiological homeostasis. PMID:26537381

  7. Control of Vertebrate Skeletal Mineralization by Polyphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Omelon, Sidney; Georgiou, John; Henneman, Zachary J.; Wise, Lisa M.; Sukhu, Balram; Hunt, Tanya; Wynnyckyj, Chrystia; Holmyard, Douglas; Bielecki, Ryszard; Grynpas, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Skeletons are formed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and compositions of organic and mineral components. Many invertebrate skeletons are constructed from carbonate or silicate minerals, whereas vertebrate skeletons are instead composed of a calcium phosphate mineral known as apatite. No one yet knows why the dynamic vertebrate skeleton, which is continually rebuilt, repaired, and resorbed during growth and normal remodeling, is composed of apatite. Nor is the control of bone and calcifying cartilage mineralization well understood, though it is thought to be associated with phosphate-cleaving proteins. Researchers have assumed that skeletal mineralization is also associated with non-crystalline, calcium- and phosphate-containing electron-dense granules that have been detected in vertebrate skeletal tissue prepared under non-aqueous conditions. Again, however, the role of these granules remains poorly understood. Here, we review bone and growth plate mineralization before showing that polymers of phosphate ions (polyphosphates: (PO3−)n) are co-located with mineralizing cartilage and resorbing bone. We propose that the electron-dense granules contain polyphosphates, and explain how these polyphosphates may play an important role in apatite biomineralization. Principal Findings/Methodology The enzymatic formation (condensation) and destruction (hydrolytic degradation) of polyphosphates offers a simple mechanism for enzymatic control of phosphate accumulation and the relative saturation of apatite. Under circumstances in which apatite mineral formation is undesirable, such as within cartilage tissue or during bone resorption, the production of polyphosphates reduces the free orthophosphate (PO43−) concentration while permitting the accumulation of a high total PO43− concentration. Sequestering calcium into amorphous calcium polyphosphate complexes can reduce the concentration of free calcium. The resulting reduction of both free PO43− and free

  8. Routine needle biopsy during vertebral augmentation procedures. Is it necessary?

    PubMed

    Pneumaticos, Spiros G; Chatziioannou, Sofia N; Savvidou, Christiana; Pilichou, Anastasia; Rontogianni, Dimitra; Korres, Dimitrios S

    2010-11-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures are currently widely performed to treat vertebral compression fractures. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of underlying previously unrecognized etiology in a consecutive series of patients undergoing kyphoplasty to treat vertebral compression fractures. A prospective histological evaluation of vertebral body biopsy specimens from presumed osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures were performed in order to identify aforementioned causes. Over a 2-year period, vertebral body biopsies from 154 vertebral levels were performed in 75 patients undergoing kyphoplasty for vertebral compression fractures. All patients received a preoperative workup that included plain radiographs, MRI, whole body bone scan, and laboratory examinations. Bone specimens were obtained from affected vertebral bodies and submitted for histologic evaluation to identify the prevalence of an underlying cause. All specimens demonstrated fragmented bone with variable amounts of unmineralised bone, signs of bone-remodeling and/or fracture-healing. In 11 patients underlying pathology other than osteoporosis was identified (prostate cancer, 1; pancreatic cancer, 1; colon cancer, 1; breast cancer, 2; multiple myeloma, 3; leukemia, 1; and lung cancer, 2). In all but one patient the results of the biopsy confirmed the diagnosis suspected from the preoperative workup. For the last patient, namely the one with pancreatic cancer, the workup did not identify the origin of the primary tumor, although the patient was considered to have a compression fracture secondary to metastatic disease of unknown origin, the vertebral biopsy suggested the presence of adenocarcinoma which eventually was proven to be pancreatic cancer. In augmentation procedures for vertebral compression fractures, bone biopsy should be reserved for the patients where the preoperative evaluation raises the suspicion of a non-osteoporotic etiology. PMID:20372942

  9. Expression of temperature-sensitive ion channel TRPM8 in sperm cells correlates with vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Majhi, Rakesh Kumar; Saha, Somdatta; Kumar, Ashutosh; Ghosh, Arijit; Swain, Nirlipta; Goswami, Luna; Mohapatra, Pratyush; Maity, Apratim; Kumar Sahoo, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    Transient Receptor Potential cation channel, subfamily Melastatin, member 8 (TRPM8) is involved in detection of cold temperature, different noxious compounds and in execution of thermo- as well as chemo-sensitive responses at cellular levels. Here we explored the molecular evolution of TRPM8 by analyzing sequences from various species. We elucidate that several regions of TRPM8 had different levels of selection pressure but the 4th–5th transmembrane regions remain highly conserved. Analysis of synteny suggests that since vertebrate origin, TRPM8 gene is linked with SPP2, a bone morphogen. TRPM8, especially the N-terminal region of it, seems to be highly variable in human population. We found 16,656 TRPM8 variants in 1092 human genomes with top variations being SNPs, insertions and deletions. A total of 692 missense mutations are also mapped to human TRPM8 protein of which 509 seem to be delateroiours in nature as supported by Polyphen V2, SIFT and Grantham deviation score. Using a highly specific antibody, we demonstrate that TRPM8 is expressed endogenously in the testis of rat and sperm cells of different vertebrates ranging from fish to higher mammals. We hypothesize that TRPM8 had emerged during vertebrate evolution (ca 450 MYA). We propose that expression of TRPM8 in sperm cell and its role in regulating sperm function are important factors that have guided its molecular evolution, and that these understandings may have medical importance. PMID:26500819

  10. Ischemic stroke: carotid and vertebral artery disease.

    PubMed

    Vilela, P; Goulão, A

    2005-03-01

    Ischemic strokes may have distinct aetiologies, including several different intrinsic arterial pathological disorders. The diagnosis and understanding of these arterial diseases is critical for the correct management of stroke as different treatment approaches are undertaken according to the aetiology. Atherosclerosis is by far the most common arterial disease among adults, and other pathological processes include arterial dissection, small vessel disease, inflammatory and non-inflammatory vasculopathy and vasomotor disorders. In children, there are several vasculopathies responsible for vaso-occlusive disease such as sickle-cell anemia, acute regressive angiopathy and Moya-Moya disease, neurofibromatosis, dissections, vasculitis associated with intracranial and systemic infections. An overview of the major carotid and vertebral pathological diseases responsible for ischemic stroke in adults and children, highlighting the accuracy of the different imaging modalities for its diagnosis and the imaging appearance of these diseases, is given. PMID:15657789

  11. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle.

    PubMed

    Haines, L; Currie, P D

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  12. Control of segment number in vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Ozbudak, Ertuğrul M; Wunderlich, Joshua; Baumann, Diana; Lewis, Julian; Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-07-17

    The vertebrate body axis is subdivided into repeated segments, best exemplified by the vertebrae that derive from embryonic somites. The number of somites is precisely defined for any given species but varies widely from one species to another. To determine the mechanism controlling somite number, we have compared somitogenesis in zebrafish, chicken, mouse and corn snake embryos. Here we present evidence that in all of these species a similar 'clock-and-wavefront' mechanism operates to control somitogenesis; in all of them, somitogenesis is brought to an end through a process in which the presomitic mesoderm, having first increased in size, gradually shrinks until it is exhausted, terminating somite formation. In snake embryos, however, the segmentation clock rate is much faster relative to developmental rate than in other amniotes, leading to a greatly increased number of smaller-sized somites. PMID:18563087

  13. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art.

    PubMed

    Sebaaly, Amer; Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-04-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  14. Salmonella Typhi Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Epidural Abscess

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Ying Ying; Chen, John L. T.

    2016-01-01

    Salmonella vertebral osteomyelitis is an uncommon complication of Salmonella infection. We report a case of a 57-year-old transgender male who presented with lower back pain for a period of one month following a fall. Physical examination only revealed tenderness over the lower back with no neurological deficits. MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed a spondylodiscitis at T10-T11 and T12-L1 and right posterior epidural collection at the T9-T10 level. He underwent decompression laminectomy with segmental instrumentation and fusion of T8 to L3 vertebrae. Intraoperatively, he was found to have acute-on-chronic osteomyelitis in T10 and T11, epidural abscess, and discitis in T12-L1. Tissue and wound culture grew Salmonella Typhi and with antibiotics susceptibility guidance he was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for a period of six weeks. He recovered well with no neurological deficits. PMID:27034871

  15. Spontaneous resolution of lumbar vertebral eosinophilic granuloma.

    PubMed

    Bavbek, M; Atalay, B; Altinörs, N; Caner, H

    2004-02-01

    Eosinophilic granuloma (EG) is a rare disease but is more common in adults than children. It's often self-limiting. Spinal involvement is rare. It is the localized and most benign form of Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (previously known as histiocytosis X), characterised by lytic lesions in one or more bones. Spontaneous resolution of vertebral body lesions is very rare. In this case, the patient had one EG in a cervical vertebra and a similar lesion in a lumbar vertebra. This case is important because it featured a symptomatic lesion in the cervical spine accompanied by an asymptomatic lesion in a lumbar vertebra. We treated the cervical lesion by surgical fusion and followed the lumbar lesion up conservatively, with the patient in a corset. After 8 years of follow-up, control MRI showed that the lumbar lesion had spontaneously resolved. PMID:14963750

  16. Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA) Signaling in Vertebrate Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xiaoqin; Chun, Jerold

    2009-01-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a cell membrane phospholipid metabolite that can act as an extracellular signal. Its effects are mediated through at least five G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), LPA1-5, and likely others as well. Studies in multiple species including LPA receptor-deficient mice and humans have identified or implicated important roles for receptor-mediated LPA signaling in multiple aspects of vertebrate reproduction. These include ovarian function, spermatogenesis, fertilization, early embryo development, embryo implantation, embryo spacing, decidualization, pregnancy maintenance, and parturition. LPA signaling may also have pathological consequences, influencing aspects of endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Here we review recent progress in LPA signaling research relevant to female and male reproduction. PMID:19836970

  17. Magnetic Susceptibility in the Vertebral Column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, F.; Nagele, T.; Lutz, O.; Pfeffer, K.; Giehl, J.

    1994-01-01

    A magnetic resonance method is described which provides good-quality field-mapping images of the spine, although the in vivo signals from red bone marrow of the vertebral bodies exhibit similar fractions of lipid and water protons with their chemical-shift difference of 3.4 ppm. The susceptibilities of bone marrow and intervertebral disks were examined in 20 cadaveric human spines, 9 healthy volunteers, and 9 patients with degenerative disk alterations. The influence of geometrical properties was studied in cylindrical spine phantoms of different size and contents with different susceptibility. The measurements reveal interindividual differences of the susceptibility of the intervertebral disks in healthy subjects. Three out of nine degenerated disks with low signal in T2-weighted spin-echo images showed irregularities of the field distribution within the nucleus pulposus.

  18. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art

    PubMed Central

    Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  19. Estrogen receptor signaling during vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Bondesson, Maria; Hao, Ruixin; Lin, Chin-Yo; Williams, Cecilia; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen receptors are expressed and their cognate ligands produced in all vertebrates, indicative of important and conserved functions. Through evolution estrogen has been involved in controlling reproduction, affecting both the development of reproductive organs and reproductive behavior. This review broadly describes the synthesis of estrogens and the expression patterns of aromatase and the estrogen receptors, in relation to estrogen functions in the developing fetus and child. We focus on the role of estrogens for development of reproductive tissues, as well as non-reproductive effects on the developing brain. We collate data from human, rodent, bird and fish studies and highlight common and species-specific effects of estrogen signaling on fetal development. Morphological malformations originating from perturbed estrogen signaling in estrogen receptor and aromatase knockout mice are discussed, as well as the clinical manifestations of rare estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase gene mutations in humans. PMID:24954179

  20. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle

    PubMed Central

    HAINES, LYNN; CURRIE, PETER D.

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  1. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications. PMID:12629209

  2. A systematic approach to vertebral hemangioma.

    PubMed

    Gaudino, Simona; Martucci, Matia; Colantonio, Raffaella; Lozupone, Emilio; Visconti, Emiliano; Leone, Antonio; Colosimo, Cesare

    2015-01-01

    Vertebral hemangiomas (VHs) are a frequent and often incidental finding on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the spine. When their imaging appearance is "typical" (coarsened vertical trabeculae on radiographic and CT images, hyperintensity on T1- and T2-weighted MR images), the radiological diagnosis is straightforward. Nonetheless, VHs might also display an "atypical" appearance on MR imaging because of their histological features (amount of fat, vessels, and interstitial edema). Although the majority of VHs are asymptomatic and quiescent lesions, they can exhibit active behaviors, including growing quickly, extending beyond the vertebral body, and invading the paravertebral and/or epidural space with possible compression of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots ("aggressive" VHs). These "atypical" and "aggressive" VHs are a radiological challenge since they can mimic primary bony malignancies or metastases. CT plays a central role in the workup of atypical VHs, being the most appropriate imaging modality to highlight the polka-dot appearance that is representative of them. When aggressive VHs are suspected, both CT and MR are needed. MR is the best imaging modality to characterize the epidural and/or soft-tissue component, helping in the differential diagnosis. Angiography is a useful imaging adjunct for evaluating and even treating aggressive VHs. The primary objectives of this review article are to summarize the clinical, pathological, and imaging features of VHs, as well as the treatment options, and to provide a practical guide for the differential diagnosis, focusing on the rationale assessment of the findings from radiography, CT, and MR imaging. PMID:25348558

  3. Gangliosides of the Vertebrate Nervous System.

    PubMed

    Schnaar, Ronald L

    2016-08-14

    Gangliosides, sialylated glycosphingolipids, found on all vertebrate cells and tissues, are major molecular determinants on the surfaces of vertebrate nerve cells. Composed of a sialylated glycan attached to a ceramide lipid, the same four structures-GM1, GD1a, GD1b, and GT1b-represent the vast majority (>90%) of gangliosides in the brains of all mammals and birds. Primarily found on the outer surface of the plasma membrane with their glycans facing outward, gangliosides associate laterally with each other, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, and select proteins in lipid rafts-the dynamic functional subdomains of the plasma membrane. The functions of gangliosides in the human nervous system are revealed by congenital mutations in ganglioside biosynthetic genes. Mutations in ST3GAL5, which codes for an enzyme early in brain ganglioside biosynthesis, result in an early-onset seizure disorder with profound motor and cognitive decay, whereas mutations in B4GALNT1, a gene encoding a later step, result in hereditary spastic paraplegia accompanied by intellectual deficits. The molecular functions of brain gangliosides include regulation of receptors in the same membrane via lateral (cis) associations and regulation of cell-cell recognition by trans interaction with ganglioside binding proteins on apposing cells. Gangliosides also affect the aggregation of Aβ (Alzheimer's disease) and α-synuclein (Parkinson's Disease). As analytical, biochemical, and genetic tools advance, research on gangliosides promises to reveal mechanisms of molecular control related to nerve and glial cell differentiation, neuronal excitability, axon outgrowth after nervous system injury, and protein folding in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27261254

  4. Collection & Processing of Vertebrate Specimens for Arbovirus Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudia, W. Daniel; And Others

    Described are techniques used by the National Communicable Disease Center in obtaining blood and tissues from man and other vertebrates for arbovirus isolation and antibody studies. Also included are techniques for capturing and handling vertebrates; banding and marking; restraining and bleeding; storing of specimens to preserve antibody and…

  5. Vertebrate Osmoregulation: A Student Laboratory Exercise Using Teleost Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boily P.; Rees, B. B.; Williamson, L. A. C.

    2007-01-01

    Here, we describe a laboratory experiment as part of an upper-level vertebrate physiology course for biology majors to investigate the physiological response of vertebrates to osmoregulatory challenges. The experiment involves measuring plasma osmolality and Na[superscript +] -K[superscript +] -ATPase activity in gill tissue of teleost fish…

  6. Percutaneous pediculoplasty: polymethylmethacrylate injection into lytic vertebral pedicle lesions.

    PubMed

    Gailloud, Philippe; Beauchamp, Norman J; Martin, Jean-Baptiste; Murphy, Kieran J

    2002-05-01

    Two patients with painful lytic lesions of the vertebral pedicle were treated with percutaneous pediculoplasty. This technique, similar to vertebroplasty but with increased procedural risks because of the immediate vicinity of neural structures, was performed under high-quality biplane fluoroscopic guidance. For lesions involving both the pedicle and the vertebral body, a double-needle unipedicular technique is advocated. PMID:11997361

  7. Thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis: an unusual complication of Crohn's disease.

    PubMed

    Ajayi, Olushola; Mayooran, Nithiananthan; Iqbal, Nasir

    2014-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis complicating Crohn's disease is a rare occurrence and mostly occurred in patients with Crohn's disease complicated by an abscess or fistulising disease. We report a case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis, occurring in a refractory Crohn's disease without contiguous abscess or fistula with the bowel. PMID:24916975

  8. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate HOX gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-31

    Due to their high degree of conservation, comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly-related genomes permit to identify functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are optimal candidate sequences for comparative genome analyses, because they are extremely conserved in vertebrates and occur in clusters. We aligned (Pipmaker) the nucleotide sequences of HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human and mouse (over 500 million years of evolutionary distance). We identified several highly conserved intergenic sequences, likely to be important in gene regulation. Only a few of these putative regulatory elements have been previously described as being involved in the regulation of Hox genes, while several others are new elements that might have regulatory functions. The majority of these newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac). The conserved intergenic regions located between the most rostrally expressed genes in the developing embryo are longer and better retained through evolution. We document that presumed regulatory sequences are retained differentially in either A or A clusters resulting from a genome duplication in the fish lineage. This observation supports both the hypothesis that the conserved elements are involved in gene regulation and the Duplication-Deletion-Complementation model.

  9. Response of thoracolumbar vertebral bodies to high rate compressive loading - biomed 2013.

    PubMed

    Dooley, C J; Wester, B A; Wing, I D; Voo, L M; Armiger, R S; Merkle, A C

    2013-01-01

    Underbody blast (UBB) events created by improvised explosive devices are threats to warfighter survivability. High intensity blast waves emitted from these devices transfer large forces through vehicle structures to occupants, often resulting in injuries including debilitating spinal fractures. The vertical loading vector through the spine generates significant compressive forces at high strain rates. To better understand injury mechanisms and ultimately better protect vehicle occupants against UBB attacks, high-fidelity computational models are being developed to predict the human response to dynamic loading characteristic of these events. This effort details the results from a series of 23 high-rate compression tests on vertebral body specimen. A high-rate servo-hydraulic test system applied a range of compressive loading rates (.01 mm/s to 1238 mm/s) to vertebral bodies in the thoracolumbar region (T7-L5). The force-deflection curves generated indicate rate dependent sensitivity of vertebral stiffness, ultimate load and ultimate deflection. Specimen subjected to high-rate dynamic loading to failure experienced critical structural damage at 5.5% ± 2.1% deflection. Compared to quasi-static loading, vertebral bodies had greater stiffness, greater force to failure, and lower ultimate failure deflection at high rates. Post-failure, an average loss in height of 15% was observed, along with a mean reduction in strength of 48%. The resulting data from these tests will allow for enhanced biofidelity of computational models by characterizing the vertebral stiffness response and ultimate deflection at rates representative of UBB events. PMID:23686197

  10. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  11. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  12. Evolutionary Genomics and Adaptive Evolution of the Hedgehog Gene Family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog – Shh; Indian hedgehog – Ihh; and Desert hedgehog – Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  13. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  14. Computer Based Assessment of Cervical Vertebral Maturation Stages Using Digital Lateral Cephalograms

    PubMed Central

    Dzemidzic, Vildana; Sokic, Emir; Tiro, Alisa; Nakas, Enita

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study was aimed to investigate the reliability of a computer application for assessment of the stages of cervical vertebra maturation in order to determine the stage of skeletal maturity. Material and methods: For this study, digital lateral cephalograms of 99 subjects (52 females and 47 males) were examined. The following selection criteria were used during the sample composition: age between 9 and 16 years, absence of anomalies of the vertebrae, good general health, no history of trauma at the cervical region. Subjects with lateral cephalograms of low quality were excluded from the study. For the purpose of this study a computer application Cephalometar HF V1 was developed. This application was used to mark the contours of the second, third and fourth cervical vertebrae on the digital lateral cephalograms, which enabled a computer to determine the stage of cervical vertebral maturation. The assessment of the stages of cervical vertebral maturation was carried out by an experienced orthodontist. The assessment was conducted according to the principles of the method proposed by authors Hassel and Farman. The degree of the agreement between the computer application and the researcher was analyzed using by statistical Cohen Kappa test. Results: The results of this study showed the agreement between the computer assessment and the researcher assessment of the cervical vertebral maturation stages, where the value of the Cohen Kappa coefficient was 0.985. Conclusion: The computer application Cephalometar HF V1 proved to be a reliable method for assessing the stages of cervical vertebral maturation. This program could help the orthodontists to identify the stage of cervical vertebral maturation when planning the orthodontic treatment for the patients with skeletal disharmonies. PMID:26862247

  15. Applications of memory alloy stent in vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Yimin, Yang; Zhi, Zhang; ZhiWei, Ren; Wei, Ma; Jha, Rajiv Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of treating vertebral compression fractures using an autonomously developed nitinol memory alloy vertebral stent. Material/Methods Thoracolumbar vertebral specimens from adult human cadavers were made into models of compression fractures. The models were divided into group A, which received percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP), balloon dilation, and nitinol memory alloy vertebral stent implantation (PKP + nitinol stent group); group B, which received percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) and direct implantation of a nitinol memory alloy vertebral stent (PVP + nitinol stent group); and group C, which received PKP, balloon dilation, and bone cement vertebroplasty (PKP + polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) group). Vertebral heights were measured before and after the surgery and the water bath incubation to compare the impact of the 3 different surgical approaches on reducing vertebral compression. Results The 3 surgical groups could all significantly restore the heights of compressed vertebral bodies. The vertebral heights of the PKP + nitinol stent group, PVP + nitinol stent group, and PKP + PMMA group were changed from the preoperative levels of (1.59±0.08) cm, (1.68±0.08) cm, and (1.66±0.11) cm to the postoperative levels of (2.00±0.09) cm, (1.87±0.04) cm, and (1.99±0.09) cm, respectively. After the water bath, the vertebral heights of each group were changed to (2.10±0.07) cm, (1.98±0.09) cm, and (2.00±0.10) cm, respectively. Pairwise comparison of the differences between the preoperative and postoperative vertebral heights showed that group A and group B differed significantly (P=0.000); group B and group C differed significantly (P=0.003); and group A and group C had no significant difference (P=0.172). Pairwise comparison of the differences in the vertebral heights before and after the water bath showed that group A and group C differed significantly (P=0.000); group B and group C differed significantly

  16. Midterm Follow-Up of Vertebral Geometry and Remodeling of the Vertebral Bidisk Unit (VDU) After Percutaneous Vertebroplasty of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Pitton, Michael Bernhard Koch, Ulrike; Drees, Philip; Dueber, Christoph

    2009-09-15

    The purpose of this study was to investigate geometrical stability and preservation of height gain of vertebral bodies after percutaneous vertebroplasty during 2 years' follow-up and to elucidate the geometric remodeling process of the vertebral bidisk unit (VDU) of the affected segment. Patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with pain resistant to analgetic drugs were treated with polymethylmethacrylate vertebroplasty. Mean {+-} standard error cement volume was 5.1 {+-} 2.0 ml. Vertebral geometry was documented by sagittal and coronal reformations from multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and lateral vertebral heights, end plate angles, and compression index (CI = anterior/posterior height). Additionally, the VDU (vertebral bodies plus both adjacent disk spaces) was calculated from the multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and both lateral aspects. Patients were assigned to two groups: moderate compression with CI of >0.75 (group 1) and severe compression with CI of <0.75 (group 2). A total of 83 vertebral bodies of 30 patients (7 men, 23 women, age 70.7 {+-} 9.7 years, range 40-82 years) were treated with vertebroplasty and prospectively followed for 24 months. In the moderate compression group (group 1), the vertebral heights were stabilized over time at the preinterventional levels. Compared with group 1, group 2 showed a greater anterior height gain (+2.8 {+-} 2.2 mm vs. +0.8 {+-} 2.0 mm, P < 0.001), better reduction of end plate angle (-4.9 {+-} 4.8{sup o} vs. -1.0 {+-} 2.7{sup o}, P < 0.01), and improved CI (+0.12 {+-} 0.13 vs. +0.02 {+-} 0.07, P < 0.01) and demonstrated preserved anterior height gain at 2 years (+1.2 {+-} 3.2 mm, P < 0.01) as well as improved end plate angles (-5.2 {+-} 5.0{sup o}, P < 0.01) and compression indices (+0.11 {+-} 0.15, P < 0.01). Thus, posterior height loss of vertebrae and adjacent intervertebral disk spaces contributed to a remodeling of the VDU

  17. Evolution of the Vertebrate Cranium: Viewed from Hagfish Developmental Studies.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Ota, Kinya G

    2016-06-01

    Our knowledge of vertebrate cranium evolution has relied largely on the study of gnathostomes. Recent evolutionary and developmental studies of cyclostomes have shed new light on the history of the vertebrate skull. The recent ability to obtain embryos of the hagfish, Eptatretus burgeri, has enabled new studies which have suggested an embryonic morphological pattern (the "cyclostome pattern") of craniofacial development. This pattern is shared by cyclostomes, but not by modern jawed vertebrates. Because this pattern of embryonic head development is thought to be present in some stem gnathostomes (ostracoderms), it is possible that the cyclostome pattern represents the vertebrate ancestral pattern. The study of cyclostomes may thus lead to an understanding of the most ancestral basis of craniofacial development. In this review, we summarize the development of the hagfish chondrocranium in light of the cyclostome pattern, present an updated comparison of the cyclostome chondrocranium, and discuss several aspects of the evolution and development of the vertebrate skull. PMID:27268976

  18. Management of Vertebral Stenosis Complicated by Presence of Acute Thrombus

    SciTech Connect

    Canyigit, Murat; Arat, Anil Cil, Barbaros E.; Sahin, Gurdal; Turkbey, Baris; Elibol, Bulent

    2007-04-15

    A 44-year-old male presented with multiple punctate acute infarcts of the vertebrobasilar circulation and a computed tomographic angiogram showing stenosis of the right vertebral origin. A digital subtraction angiogram demonstrated a new intraluminal filling defect at the origin of the stenotic vertebral artery where antegrade flow was maintained. This filling defect was accepted to be an acute thrombus of the vertebral origin, most likely due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The patient was treated with intravenous heparin. A control angiogram revealed dissolution of the acute thrombus under anticoagulation and the patient was treated with stenting with distal protection. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no additional acute ischemic lesions. We were unable to find a similar report in the English literature documenting successful management of an acute vertebral ostial thrombus with anticoagulation. Anticoagulation might be considered prior to endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral stenoses complicated by the presence of acute thrombus.

  19. Nuisance arthropods, nonhost odors, and vertebrate chemical aposematism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldon, Paul J.

    2010-05-01

    Mosquitoes, ticks, and other ectoparasitic arthropods use chemoreception to avoid vertebrates that are known or presumed to be dangerous or otherwise unprofitable hosts. Nonhosts may belong to a species that is regularly unaccepted or one that includes both accepted and unaccepted individuals. A diverse array of qualities including immunocompetence, vigilant grooming behavior, mechanical inaccessibility, and toxicity have been proposed as the features that render vertebrate chemical emitters unsuitable as hosts for arthropods. In addition to advantages accrued by ectoparasitic arthropods that avoid nonhosts, vertebrates that are not accepted as hosts benefit by evading injurious ectoparasites and the infectious agents they transmit. The conferral of advantages to both chemical receivers (ectoparasitic arthropods) and emitters (unpreferred vertebrates) in these interactions renders nonhost odors aposematic. Chemical aposematism involving ectoparasites selects for vertebrates that emit distinctive odors. In addition, chemical mimicry, where vulnerable organisms benefit when misidentified as nonhosts, may be accommodated by duped ectoparasites.

  20. The generation of vertebral segmental patterning in the chick embryo

    PubMed Central

    Senthinathan, Biruntha; Sousa, Cátia; Tannahill, David; Keynes, Roger

    2012-01-01

    We have carried out a series of experimental manipulations in the chick embryo to assess whether the notochord, neural tube and spinal nerves influence segmental patterning of the vertebral column. Using Pax1 expression in the somite-derived sclerotomes as a marker for segmentation of the developing intervertebral disc, our results exclude such an influence. In contrast to certain teleost species, where the notochord has been shown to generate segmentation of the vertebral bodies (chordacentra), these experiments indicate that segmental patterning of the avian vertebral column arises autonomously in the somite mesoderm. We suggest that in amniotes, the subdivision of each sclerotome into non-miscible anterior and posterior halves plays a critical role in establishing vertebral segmentation, and in maintaining left/right alignment of the developing vertebral elements at the body midline. PMID:22458512

  1. Shuffling of cis-regulatory elements is a pervasive feature of the vertebrate lineage

    PubMed Central

    Sanges, Remo; Kalmar, Eva; Claudiani, Pamela; D'Amato, Maria; Muller, Ferenc; Stupka, Elia

    2006-01-01

    Background All vertebrates share a remarkable degree of similarity in their development as well as in the basic functions of their cells. Despite this, attempts at unearthing genome-wide regulatory elements conserved throughout the vertebrate lineage using BLAST-like approaches have thus far detected noncoding conservation in only a few hundred genes, mostly associated with regulation of transcription and development. Results We used a unique combination of tools to obtain regional global-local alignments of orthologous loci. This approach takes into account shuffling of regulatory regions that are likely to occur over evolutionary distances greater than those separating mammalian genomes. This approach revealed one order of magnitude more vertebrate conserved elements than was previously reported in over 2,000 genes, including a high number of genes found in the membrane and extracellular regions. Our analysis revealed that 72% of the elements identified have undergone shuffling. We tested the ability of the elements identified to enhance transcription in zebrafish embryos and compared their activity with a set of control fragments. We found that more than 80% of the elements tested were able to enhance transcription significantly, prevalently in a tissue-restricted manner corresponding to the expression domain of the neighboring gene. Conclusion Our work elucidates the importance of shuffling in the detection of cis-regulatory elements. It also elucidates how similarities across the vertebrate lineage, which go well beyond development, can be explained not only within the realm of coding genes but also in that of the sequences that ultimately govern their expression. PMID:16859531

  2. Segmentation of the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images.

    PubMed

    Berton, Florian; Cheriet, Farida; Miron, Marie-Claude; Laporte, Catherine

    2016-05-01

    Spinal ultrasound imaging is emerging as a low-cost, radiation-free alternative to conventional X-ray imaging for the clinical follow-up of patients with scoliosis. Currently, deformity measurement relies almost entirely on manual identification of key vertebral landmarks. However, the interpretation of vertebral ultrasound images is challenging, primarily because acoustic waves are entirely reflected by bone. To alleviate this problem, we propose an algorithm to segment these images into three regions: the spinous process, its acoustic shadow and other tissues. This method consists, first, in the extraction of several image features and the selection of the most relevant ones for the discrimination of the three regions. Then, using this set of features and linear discriminant analysis, each pixel of the image is classified as belonging to one of the three regions. Finally, the image is segmented by regularizing the pixel-wise classification results to account for some geometrical properties of vertebrae. The feature set was first validated by analyzing the classification results across a learning database. The database contained 107 vertebral ultrasound images acquired with convex and linear probes. Classification rates of 84%, 92% and 91% were achieved for the spinous process, the acoustic shadow and other tissues, respectively. Dice similarity coefficients of 0.72 and 0.88 were obtained respectively for the spinous process and acoustic shadow, confirming that the proposed method accurately segments the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images. Furthermore, the centroid of the automatically segmented spinous process was located at an average distance of 0.38 mm from that of the manually labeled spinous process, which is on the order of image resolution. This suggests that the proposed method is a promising tool for the measurement of the Spinous Process Angle and, more generally, for assisting ultrasound-based assessment of scoliosis

  3. The Lamprey: A jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits

    PubMed Central

    Green, Stephen A.; Bronner, Marianne E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates. PMID:24560767

  4. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  5. Cloning and characterization of two vertebrate homologs of the Drosophila eyes absent gene.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, J E; Bui, Q T; Steingrímsson, E; Nagle, D L; Fu, W; Genin, A; Spinner, N B; Copeland, N G; Jenkins, N A; Bucan, M; Bonini, N M

    1997-02-01

    The Drosophila eyes absent (eya) gene plays an essential role in the events that lead to proper development of the fly eye and embryo. Here we report the analysis of two human and two mouse homologs of the fly eya gene. Sequence comparison reveals a large domain of approximately 270 amino acids in the carboxyl terminus of the predicted mammalian proteins that shows 53% identity between the fly sequence and all of the vertebrate homologs. This Eya-homology domain is of novel sequence, with no previously identified motifs. RNA hybridization studies indicate that the mouse genes are expressed during embryogenesis and in select tissues of the adult. Both mouse Eya genes are expressed in the eye, suggesting that these genes may function in eye development in vertebrates as eya does in the fly. The mouse Eya2 gene maps to chromosome 2 in the region syntenic with human chromosome 20q13, and the mouse Eya2 gene maps to chromosome 4 in the region syntenic with human chromosome 1p36. Our findings support the notion that several families of genes (Pax-6/eyeless, Six-3/sine oculis, and Eya) play related and critical roles in the eye for both files and vertebrates. PMID:9049631

  6. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  7. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  8. Investigation of biomechanical behavior of lumbar vertebral segments with dynamic stabilization device using finite element approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deoghare, Ashish B.; Kashyap, Siddharth; Padole, Pramod M.

    2013-03-01

    Degenerative disc disease is a major source of lower back pain and significantly alters the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. Dynamic stabilization device is a remedial technique which uses flexible materials to stabilize the affected lumbar region while preserving the natural anatomy of the spine. The main objective of this research work is to investigate the stiffness variation of dynamic stabilization device under various loading conditions under compression, axial rotation and flexion. Three dimensional model of the two segment lumbar spine is developed using computed tomography (CT) scan images. The lumbar structure developed is analyzed in ANSYS workbench. Two types of dynamic stabilization are considered: one with stabilizing device as pedicle instrumentation and second with stabilization device inserted around the inter-vertebral disc. Analysis suggests that proper positioning of the dynamic stabilization device is of paramount significance prior to the surgery. Inserting the device in the posterior region indicates the adverse effects as it shows increase in the deformation of the inter-vertebral disc. Analysis executed by positioning stabilizing device around the inter-vertebral disc yields better result for various stiffness values under compression and other loadings. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  9. Do lower vertebrates suffer from motion sickness?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lychakov, Dmitri

    The poster presents literature data and results of the author’s studies with the goal to find out whether the lower animals are susceptible to motion sickness (Lychakov, 2012). In our studies, fish and amphibians were tested for 2 h and more by using a rotating device (f = 0.24 Hz, a _{centrifugal} = 0.144 g) and a parallel swing (f = 0.2 Hz, a _{horizontal} = 0.059 g). The performed studies did not revealed in 4 fish species and in toads any characteristic reactions of the motion sickness (sopite syndrome, prodromal preparatory behavior, vomiting). At the same time, in toads there appeared characteristic stress reactions (escape response, an increase of the number of urinations, inhibition of appetite), as well as some other reactions not associated with motion sickness (regular head movements, eye retractions). In trout fry the used stimulation promoted division of the individuals into the groups differing by locomotor reaction to stress, as well as the individuals with the well-expressed compensatory reaction that we called the otolithotropic reaction. Analysis of results obtained by other authors confirms our conclusions. Thus, the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals, are immune to motion sickness either under the land conditions or under conditions of weightlessness. On the basis of available experimental data and theoretical concepts of mechanisms of development the motion sickness, formulated in several hypotheses (mismatch hypothesis, Traisman‘ s hypothesis, resonance hypothesis), there presented the synthetic hypothesis of motion sickness that has the conceptual significance. According to the hypothesis, the unusual stimulation producing sensor-motor or sensor-sensor conflict or an action of vestibular and visual stimuli of frequency of about 0.2 Hz is perceived by CNS as poisoning and causes the corresponding reactions. The motion sickness actually is a byproduct of technical evolution. It is suggested that in the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals

  10. Biodiversity and endemism of the Silurian vertebrates in the Siberian palaeocraton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Žigaitä-, Živilä--

    2010-05-01

    Vertebrate fossil record in the Silurian successions of northwestern Mongolia, Tuva, central and southern parts of the East Siberia between Yenisey and Lena rivers (Siberian platform) comprises large diversity of endemic fish species and genera. All this present day terrirories are infered to have been existed as united Siberian palaeocraton, an independent geological terrane in the Palaeozoic. Comparative isolation of the Siberian palaeocontinent throughout the Palaeozoic also meant that the area was colonised by marine faunas, which are not found elsewhere on Earth (Cocks & Torsvik, 2007). A separate palaeobiogeographical province has been suggested, and can be confirmed by the abundance, content, and distribution of early fish. Majority of vertebrate groups, such as thelodonts and acanthodians, reported from the region (Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1978; Karatajūtė-Talimaa & Smith, 2003; Žigaitė, in press) are diverse, abundant and restricted to the province, showing palaeobiogeographical unity of the territory. Distinct in their taxonomic content, but less common are chondrichthyans (Žigaitė & Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 2008). Finally, the most peculiar types of early vertebrates as mongolepids, tesakoviaspids, and tesserated galeaspids (Afanasieva & Janvier, 1985; Karatajūtė-Talimaa et al., 1990; Karatajūtė-Talimaa & Smith, 2004; Karatajūtė-Talimaa & Žigaitė, 2005), also specific heterostracans refer the region to strong faunal endemism and favours consideration of the separate palaeobiogeographical province. The biodiversity of vertebrates indicates warm and productive palaeobasins, which most likely have been existed as well connected epeiric seas on the integral Siberian palaeocraton. It might have been a proper place for origin and radiation of at least some early vertebrates in the Silurian (Žigaitė & Blieck, 2006). Nevertheless, recent palaeogeographical studies place Siberia at high northern latitudes, inferring the inherent endemic brachiopod

  11. [Advances in congenital vertebral malformation caused by genomic copy number variation].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenlei; Wu, Nan; Wu, Zhihong; Zuo, Yuzhi; Qiu, Guixing

    2016-04-01

    Congenital vertebral malformation (CVM) is a congenital vertebral structural deformity caused by abnormal somitogenesis during embryonic development, of which the reason lies in gene mutation or abnormal regulation of the genes that coordinate somitogenesis during embryonic period. ICVAS had proposed a new classification algorithm for CVM, which facilitated exploration for its genetic etiology. Genomic Copy Number Variation (CNV) is a kind of DNA mutation, which is important for human evolution, phenotype polymorphism and diseases. Series of advances have been made on genetic causes of CVM, especially on CVM caused by CNV. CNVs of chromosome 16p11.2, 10q24.31, 17p11.2, 20p11, 22q11.2 and a few other regions are associated with CVM, indicating that gene dosage may play important roles in the development of the spinal cord. PMID:27029207

  12. Gravity and the Adaptation of Form and Function in Lower Vertebrates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillywhite, Harvey B.

    1994-01-01

    Comparative data emphasizing lower vertebrates will be used to justify the following generalized conclusions or expectations: 1) Gravitational stress produces adaptive increases in arterial pressure. 2) Gravitational stress produces adaptive reorganization of anatomy. 3) Natural selection favors small body size in high G-stress environments. 4) Gravitational stress produces low-compliant perivascular tissues (morphological antigravity suit). 5) Gradients or regional zonation of vascular characters evolve along the length of elongate vertebrates living in high G-stress environments. Presentation of information will include new data gathered by the author and Dr. Alan Hargens while the author was a NRC Senior Research Associate at NASA Ames Research Center. While there is no published abstract provided at the meeting, a symposium manuscript will be published in a special volume of Journal of Experimental Zoology.

  13. Fatal Vertebral Artery Injury in Penetrating Cervical Spine Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Tannoury, Chadi; Degiacomo, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Study Design. This case illustrates complications to a vertebral artery injury (VAI) resulting from penetrating cervical spine trauma. Objectives. To discuss the management of both VAI and cervical spine trauma after penetrating gunshot wound to the neck. Summary of Background Data. Vertebral artery injury following cervical spine trauma is infrequent, and a unilateral VAI often occurs without neurologic sequela. Nevertheless, devastating complications of stroke and death do occur. Methods. A gunshot wound to the neck resulted in a C6 vertebral body fracture and C5–C7 transverse foramina fractures. Neck CT angiogram identified a left vertebral artery occlusion. A cerebral angiography confirmed occlusion of the left extracranial vertebral artery and patency of the remaining cerebrovascular system. Following anterior cervical corpectomy and stabilization, brainstem infarction occurred and resulted in death. Results. A fatal outcome resulted from vertebral artery thrombus propagation with occlusion of the basilar artery triggering basilar ischemia and subsequent brainstem and cerebellar infarction. Conclusions. Vertebral artery injury secondary to cervical spine trauma can lead to potentially devastating neurologic sequela. Early surgical stabilization, along with anticoagulation therapy, contributes towards managing the combination of injuries. Unfortunately, despite efforts, a poor outcome is sometimes inevitable when cervical spine trauma is coupled with a VAI. PMID:26640731

  14. A unified anatomy ontology of the vertebrate skeletal system.

    PubMed

    Dahdul, Wasila M; Balhoff, James P; Blackburn, David C; Diehl, Alexander D; Haendel, Melissa A; Hall, Brian K; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G; Mungall, Christopher J; Ringwald, Martin; Segerdell, Erik; Van Slyke, Ceri E; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M

    2012-01-01

    The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO), to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish) and multispecies (teleost, amphibian) vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages), and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), Gene Ontology (GO), Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL), and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity. PMID:23251424

  15. A Unified Anatomy Ontology of the Vertebrate Skeletal System

    PubMed Central

    Dahdul, Wasila M.; Balhoff, James P.; Blackburn, David C.; Diehl, Alexander D.; Haendel, Melissa A.; Hall, Brian K.; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Ringwald, Martin; Segerdell, Erik; Van Slyke, Ceri E.; Vickaryous, Matthew K.; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M.

    2012-01-01

    The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO), to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish) and multispecies (teleost, amphibian) vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages), and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), Gene Ontology (GO), Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL), and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity. PMID:23251424

  16. Timing of genome duplications relative to the origin of the vertebrates: did cyclostomes diverge before or after?

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Meyer, Axel; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2009-01-01

    Two rounds of whole-genome duplications are thought to have played an important role in the establishment of gene repertoires in vertebrates. These events occurred during chordate evolution after the split of the urochordate and cephalochordate lineages but before the radiation of extant gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates). During this interval, diverse agnathans (jawless fishes), including cyclostomes (hagfishes and lampreys), diverged. However, there is no solid evidence for the timing of these genome duplications in relation to the divergence of cyclostomes from the gnathostome lineage. We conducted cDNA sequencing in diverse early vertebrates for members of homeobox-containing (Dlx and ParaHox) and other gene families that would serve as landmarks for genome duplications. Including these new sequences, we performed a molecular phylogenetic census using the maximum likelihood method for 55 gene families. In most of these gene families, we detected many more gene duplications before the cyclostome-gnathostome split, than after. Many of these gene families (e.g., visual opsins, RAR, Notch) have multiple paralogs in conserved, syntenic genomic regions that must have been generated by large-scale duplication events. Taken together, this indicates that the genome duplications occurred before the cyclostome-gnathostome split. We propose that the redundancy in gene repertoires possessed by all vertebrates, including hagfishes and lampreys, was introduced primarily by genome duplications. Apart from subsequent lineage-specific modifications, these ancient genome duplication events might serve generally to distinguish vertebrates from invertebrates at the genomic level. PMID:18842688

  17. Observer agreement in pediatric semi-quantitative vertebral fracture diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Siminoski, Kerry; Lentle, Brian; Matzinger, Mary-Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Ward, Leanne M.

    2013-01-01

    Background The Genant semi-quantitative (GSQ) method has been a standard procedure for diagnosis of vertebral fractures in adults, but has only recently been shown to be of clinical utility in pediatrics. Observer agreement using the GSQ method in this age group has not been described. Objective To evaluate observer agreement on vertebral readability and vertebral fracture diagnosis using the GSQ method in pediatric vertebral morphometry. Materials and methods Spine radiographs of 186 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia were evaluated independently by three radiologists using the same GSQ methodology as in adults. A subset of 100 radiographs was evaluated on two occasions. Results An average of 4.7% of vertebrae were unreadable for the three radiologists. Intraobserver Cohen’s kappa (κ) on readability ranged from 0.434 to 0.648 at the vertebral level and from 0.416 to 0.611 at the patient level, while interobserver κ for readability had a range of 0.330 to 0.504 at the vertebral level and 0.295 to 0.467 at the patient level. Intraobserver κ for the presence of vertebral fracture had a range of 0.529 to 0.726 at the vertebral level and was 0.528 to 0.767 at the patient level. Interobserver κ for fracture at the vertebral level ranged from 0.455 to 0.548 and from 0.433 to 0.486 at the patient level. Conclusion Most κ values for both intra- and interobserver agreement in applying the GSQ method to pediatric spine radiographs were in the moderate to substantial range, comparable to the performance of the technique in adult studies. The GSQ method should be considered for use in pediatric research and clinical practice. PMID:24323185

  18. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. PMID:26668540

  19. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  20. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  1. Gut Melatonin in Vertebrates: Chronobiology and Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Sourav; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin, following discovery in the bovine pineal gland, has been detected in several extra-pineal sources including gastrointestinal tract or gut. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is the key regulator of its biosynthesis. Melatonin in pineal is rhythmically produced with a nocturnal peak in synchronization with environmental light–dark cycle. A recent study on carp reported first that melatonin levels and intensity of a ~23 kDa AANAT protein in each gut segment also exhibit significant daily variations but, unlike pineal, show a peak at midday in all seasons. Extensive experimental studies ruled out direct role of light–dark conditions in determining temporal pattern of gut melatoninergic system in carp, and opened up possible role of environmental non-photic cue(s) as its synchronizer. Based on mammalian findings, physiological significance of gut-derived melatonin also appears unique because its actions at local levels sharing paracrine and/or autocrine functions have been emphasized. The purpose of this mini review is to summarize the existing data on the chronobiology and physiology of gut melatonin and to emphasize their relation with the same hormone derived in the pineal in vertebrates including fish. PMID:26257705

  2. Earth orbital variations and vertebrate bioevolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclean, Dewey M.

    1988-01-01

    Cause of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition mammalian extinctions at the end of the last age is the subject of debate between those advocating human predation and climate change. Identification of an ambient air temperature (AAT)-uterine blood flow (UBF) coupling phenomenon supports climate change as a factor in the extinctions, and couples the extinctions to earth orbital variations that drive ice age climatology. The AAT-UBF phenomenon couples mammalian bioevolution directly to climate change via effects of environmental heat upon blood flow to the female uterus and damage to developing embryos. Extinctions were in progress during climatic warming before the Younger Dryas event, and after, at times when the AAT-UBF couple would have been operative; however, impact of a sudden short-term cooling on mammals in the process of adapting to smaller size and relatively larger S/V would have been severe. Variations in earth's orbit, and orbital forcing of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, were causes of the succession of Pleistocene ice ages. Coincidence of mammalian extinctions with terminations of the more intense cold stages links mammalian bioevolution to variations in earth's orbit. Earth orbital variations are a driving source of vertebrate bioevolution.

  3. Mathematical modeling of vertebrate limb development.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Tao; Alber, Mark S; Newman, Stuart A

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we review the major mathematical and computational models of vertebrate limb development and their roles in accounting for different aspects of this process. The main aspects of limb development that have been modeled include outgrowth and shaping of the limb bud, establishment of molecular gradients within the bud, and formation of the skeleton. These processes occur interdependently during development, although (as described in this review), there are various interpretations of the biological relationships among them. A wide range of mathematical and computational methods have been used to study these processes, including ordinary and partial differential equation systems, cellular automata and discrete, stochastic models, finite difference methods, finite element methods, the immersed boundary method, and various combinations of the above. Multiscale mathematical modeling and associated computational simulation have become integrated into the study of limb morphogenesis and pattern formation to an extent with few parallels in the field of developmental biology. These methods have contributed to the design and analysis of experiments employing microsurgical and genetic manipulations, evaluation of hypotheses for limb bud outgrowth, interpretation of the effects of natural mutations, and the formulation of scenarios for the origination and evolution of the limb skeleton. PMID:23219575

  4. Microtubules, polarity and vertebrate neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cearns, Michael D; Escuin, Sarah; Alexandre, Paula; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2016-07-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are key cellular components, long known to participate in morphogenetic events that shape the developing embryo. However, the links between the cellular functions of MTs, their effects on cell shape and polarity, and their role in large-scale morphogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, these relationships were examined with respect to two strategies for generating the vertebrate neural tube: bending and closure of the mammalian neural plate; and cavitation of the teleost neural rod. The latter process has been compared with 'secondary' neurulation that generates the caudal spinal cord in mammals. MTs align along the apico-basal axis of the mammalian neuroepithelium early in neural tube closure, participating functionally in interkinetic nuclear migration, which indirectly impacts on cell shape. Whether MTs play other functional roles in mammalian neurulation remains unclear. In the zebrafish, MTs are important for defining the neural rod midline prior to its cavitation, both by localizing apical proteins at the tissue midline and by orienting cell division through a mirror-symmetric MT apparatus that helps to further define the medial localization of apical polarity proteins. Par proteins have been implicated in centrosome positioning in neuroepithelia as well as in the control of polarized morphogenetic movements in the neural rod. Understanding of MT functions during early nervous system development has so far been limited, partly by techniques that fail to distinguish 'cause' from 'effect'. Future developments will likely rely on novel ways to selectively impair MT function in order to investigate the roles they play. PMID:27025884

  5. Blurring the Edges in Vertebrate Sex Determination

    PubMed Central

    Barske, Lindsey A.

    2009-01-01

    Summary of recent advances Sex in vertebrates is determined by genetic- or environmentally-based signals. These signals initiate molecular cascades and cell-cell interactions within the gonad that lead to the adoption of the male or female fate. Previously, genetic- and environmentally-based mechanisms were thought to be distinct, but this idea is fading as a result of the unexpected discovery of coincident genetic and thermal influences within single species. Together with accumulating phylogenetic evidence of frequent transitions between sex-determining mechanisms, these findings suggest that genetic and environmental sex determination actually represent points on a continuum rather than discrete categories, and that populations may shift in one direction or the other in response to mutations or changing ecological conditions. Elucidation of the underlying molecular basis of sex determination in mice has yielded a bistable model of mutually antagonistic signaling pathways and feedback regulatory loops. This system would be highly responsive to changes in the upstream primary signal and may provide a basis for the rapid evolution of and transitions between different methods of sex determination. PMID:19152784

  6. Evolution and development of the vertebrate ear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.

    2001-01-01

    This review outlines major aspects of development and evolution of the ear, specifically addressing issues of cell fate commitment and the emerging molecular governance of these decisions. Available data support the notion of homology of subsets of mechanosensors across phyla (proprioreceptive mechanosensory neurons in insects, hair cells in vertebrates). It is argued that this conservation is primarily related to the specific transducing environment needed to achieve mechanosensation. Achieving this requires highly conserved transcription factors that regulate the expression of the relevant structural genes for mechanosensory transduction. While conserved at the level of some cell fate assignment genes (atonal and its mammalian homologue), the ear has also radically reorganized its development by implementing genes used for cell fate assignment in other parts of the developing nervous systems (e.g., neurogenin 1) and by evolving novel sets of genes specifically associated with the novel formation of sensory neurons that contact hair cells (neurotrophins and their receptors). Numerous genes have been identified that regulate morphogenesis, but there is only one common feature that emerges at the moment: the ear appears to have co-opted genes from a large variety of other parts of the developing body (forebrain, limbs, kidneys) and establishes, in combination with existing transcription factors, an environment in which those genes govern novel, ear-related morphogenetic aspects. The ear thus represents a unique mix of highly conserved developmental elements combined with co-opted and newly evolved developmental elements.

  7. Cell death in the developing vertebrate retina.

    PubMed

    Vecino, Elena; Hernández, María; García, Mónica

    2004-01-01

    Programmed cell death occurs naturally, as a physiological process, during the embryonic development of multicellular organisms. In the retina, which belongs to the central nervous system, at least two phases of cell death have been reported to occur during development. An early phase takes place concomitant with the processes of neurogenesis, cell migration and cell differentiation. A later phase affecting mainly neurons occurs when connections are established and synapses are formed, resulting in selective elimination of inappropriate connections. This pattern of cell death in the developing retina is common among different vertebrates. However, the timing and magnitude of retinal cell death varies among species. In addition, a precise regulation of apoptosis during retinal development has been described. Factors such as neurotrophins, among many others, and electrical activity influence the survival of retinal cells during the course of development. In this paper, we present a summary of these different aspects of programmed cell death during retinal development, and examine how these differ among different species. PMID:15558487

  8. Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease: Vertebrate Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yunjong; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex genetic disorder that is associated with environmental risk factors and aging. Vertebrate genetic models, especially mice, have aided the study of autosomal-dominant and autosomal-recessive PD. Mice are capable of showing a broad range of phenotypes and, coupled with their conserved genetic and anatomical structures, provide unparalleled molecular and pathological tools to model human disease. These models used in combination with aging and PD-associated toxins have expanded our understanding of PD pathogenesis. Attempts to refine PD animal models using conditional approaches have yielded in vivo nigrostriatal degeneration that is instructive in ordering pathogenic signaling and in developing therapeutic strategies to cure or halt the disease. Here, we provide an overview of the generation and characterization of transgenic and knockout mice used to study PD followed by a review of the molecular insights that have been gleaned from current PD mouse models. Finally, potential approaches to refine and improve current models are discussed. PMID:22960626

  9. Vertebral heart size in retired racing Greyhounds.

    PubMed

    Marin, Liliana M; Brown, Jamie; McBrien, Chas; Baumwart, Ryan; Samii, Valerie F; Couto, C Guillermo

    2007-01-01

    The vertebral heart size (VHS) is used to objectively assess cardiac dimensions on thoracic radiographs. A high VHS suggest the presence of cardiac pathology, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, degenerative atrioventricular valvular disease, pericardial effusion, pericardioperitoneal diaphragmatic hernia, tricuspid dysplasia, ventricular septal defect, or patent ductus arteriosus, among others. However, breed or body conformation can influence the VHS. Because Greyhounds have a high prevalence of physiologic systolic murmurs associated with high aortic velocity, and large cardiac dimensions when compared with dogs of similar size, they are frequently suspected of having heart disease. The purpose of this study was to compare the VHS in normal Greyhounds with those in Rottweilers, and a group of dogs from various other breeds using both analog and digital radiology. The VHS was significantly higher in Greyhounds (P< 0.0001), when compared with Rottweilers and to other dog breeds. The mean VHS on lateral radiographs for Greyhounds was 10.5 +/- 0.1, for Rottweilers it was 9.8 +/- 0.1, and for mixed breed dogs it was 10.1 +/- 0.2. This study confirms that the relative cardiomegaly reported in necropsy and echocardiographic studies in Greyhounds is easily detected using plain radiography and the VHS. PMID:17691632

  10. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  11. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  12. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F.; Eskridge, Pamela H.; Hoss, Shannon K.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Schuett, Gordon W.

    2012-01-01

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)—asexual reproduction by bisexual species—has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes—the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted. PMID:22977071

  13. DiGeorge syndrome with vertebral and rib dysplasia

    SciTech Connect

    Puno-Cocuzza, C.; David, K.; Kogekar, N.

    1994-09-01

    DiGeorge syndrome results from defect in the development of the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, and is characterized by conotruncal heart defects, aplasia or hypoplasia of thymus and parathyroid glands resulting in immune deficiency and hypocalcemia. Other associated abnormalities include renal, thyroid and diaphragmatic defects, oral clefting, etc. Etiologically, it is heterogeneous, with a microdeletion of 22q11 present in over 80% of cases. Our patient was born following a pregnancy complicated by insulin dependent gestational diabetes. There was truncus arteriosus type 2, absense of thymic shadow on CXR with severe deficiency of T cell function, and persistent hypocalcemia with low parathormone. Right kidney was absent. Dysplastic ribs including fused and bifid ribs were noted. Hypoplastic vertebrae and hemivertebrae were present through thoracic and lumbar regions. Chromosome analysis was normal, and metaphase FISH analysis with probe N25 representing locus D22S75 did not show any deletion of 22q11.2. The skeletal findings similar to these have not been previously reported in association with DiGeorge syndrome to our knowledge. Vertebral and rib abnormalities are known to occur with pregestational maternal diabetes. Maternal diabetes has also been suggested to be a possible etiology in a very small proportion of DiGeorge syndrome cases. It is possible that these findings occured together on account of gestational maternal diabetes in our case.

  14. Novel Nuclear Localization Signal Regulated by Ambient Tonicity in Vertebrates*

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Min Seong; Lee, Sang Do; Kim, Jeong-Ah; Colla, Emanuela; Choi, Yu Jeong; Suh, Pann-Ghil; Kwon, H. Moo

    2008-01-01

    TonEBP is a Rel domain-containing transcription factor implicated in adaptive immunity, viral replication, and cancer. In the mammalian kidney, TonEBP is a central regulator of water homeostasis. Animals deficient in TonEBP suffer from life-threatening dehydration due to renal water loss. Ambient tonicity (effective osmolality) is the prominent signal for TonEBP in a bidirectional manner; TonEBP activity decreases in hypotonicity, whereas it increases in hypertonicity. Here we found that TonEBP displayed nuclear export in response to hypotonicity and nuclear import in response to hypertonicity. The nuclear export of TonEBP was not mediated by the nuclear export receptor CRM1 or discrete nuclear export signal. In contrast, a dominant nuclear localization signal (NLS) was found in a small region of 16 amino acid residues. When short peptides containing the NLS were fused to constitutively cytoplasmic proteins, the fusion proteins displayed tonicity-dependent nucleocytoplasmic trafficking like TonEBP. Thus, tonicity-dependent activation of the NLS is crucial in the nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of TonEBP. The novel NLS is present only in the vertebrates, indicating that it developed late in evolution. PMID:18579527

  15. Checklist of the terrestrial vertebrates of the Guiana Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Distributions are given for 1850 species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Guiana Shield region of northeastern South America, with introductory text by the authors of each section. Distributions cover the three Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana), and the states of the Venezuelan Guayna (Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro), and in some cases the states of the Brazilian portion of the Guiana Shield (Amazonas, Roraima, Para, and Amapa), and the Colombian portion of the Guiana Shield. The first section is a checklist of amphibians of the Guiana Shield, by J. Celsa Sefiaris and Ross MacCulloch, detailing the distribution of 269 species. The second section is a checklist of the reptiles of the Guiana Shield by Teresa C. S. de Avila Pires, detailing the distribution of 295 species. The third section is a checklist of the birds of the Guiana Shield, by Chris Milensky, Wiltshire Hinds, Alexandre Aleixo, and Maria de Fatima C. Lima, detailing the distribution of 1004 species. The fourth section is a checklist of the mammals of the Guiana Shield, by Burton K. Lim, Mark D. Engstrom, and Jose Ochoa G., detailing the distribution of 282 species.

  16. A Structural Overview of the Vertebrate Prion Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pastore, Annalisa

    2007-01-01

    Among the diseases caused by protein misfolding is the family associated with the prion protein (PrP). This is a small extracellular membrane-anchored molecule of yet unknown function. Understanding how PrP folds both into its cellular and pathological forms is thought to be crucial for explaining protein misfolding in general and the specific role of PrP in disease. Since the first structure determination, an increasing number of structural studies of PrP have become available, showing that the protein is formed by a flexible N-terminal region and a highly conserved globular C-terminal domain. We review here the current knowledge on PrP structure. We focus on vertebrate PrPs and analyse in detail the similarities and the differences among the coordinates of the C-terminal domain of PrP from different species, in search for understanding the mechanism of disease-causing mutations and the molecular bases of species barrier. PMID:19164911

  17. GLOBAL PATTERNS OF LEPTOSPIRA PREVALENCE IN VERTEBRATE RESERVOIR HOSTS.

    PubMed

    Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie U; Pipper, Christian; Jensen, Per M

    2016-07-01

    Leptospirosis is a widespread emerging bacterial zoonosis. As the transmission is believed to be predominantly waterborne, human incidence is expected to increase in conjunction with global climate change and associated extreme weather events. Providing more accurate predictions of human leptospirosis requires more detailed information on animal reservoirs that are the source of human infection. We evaluated the prevalence of Leptospira in vertebrates worldwide and its association with taxonomy, geographic region, host biology, ambient temperature, and precipitation patterns. A multivariate regression analysis with a meta-analysis-like approach was used to analyze compiled data extracted from 300 Leptospira-related peer reviewed papers. A fairly uniform Leptospira infection prevalence of about 15% was found in the majority of mammalian families. Higher prevalence was frequently associated with species occupying urban habitats, and this may explain why climatic factors were not significantly correlated with prevalence as consistently as expected. Across different approaches of the multiple regression analyses, the variables most frequently correlated with Leptospira infection prevalence were the host's ability to swim, minimum ambient temperature, and methodologic quality of the study. Prevalence in carnivores was not associated with any climatic variable, and the importance of environmental risk factors were indicated to be of lesser consequence in nonhuman mammals. The dataset is made available for further analysis. PMID:27187029

  18. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions. PMID:23678097

  19. Decay of vertebrate characters in hagfish and lamprey (Cyclostomata) and the implications for the vertebrate fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Sansom, Robert S.; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Purnell, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The timing and sequence of events underlying the origin and early evolution of vertebrates remains poorly understood. The palaeontological evidence should shed light on these issues, but difficulties in interpretation of the non-biomineralized fossil record make this problematic. Here we present an experimental analysis of decay of vertebrate characters based on the extant jawless vertebrates (Lampetra and Myxine). This provides a framework for the interpretation of the anatomy of soft-bodied fossil vertebrates and putative cyclostomes, and a context for reading the fossil record of non-biomineralized vertebrate characters. Decay results in transformation and non-random loss of characters. In both lamprey and hagfish, different types of cartilage decay at different rates, resulting in taphonomic bias towards loss of ‘soft’ cartilages containing vertebrate-specific Col2α1 extracellular matrix proteins; phylogenetically informative soft-tissue characters decay before more plesiomorphic characters. As such, synapomorphic decay bias, previously recognized in early chordates, is more pervasive, and needs to be taken into account when interpreting the anatomy of any non-biomineralized fossil vertebrate, such as Haikouichthys, Mayomyzon and Hardistiella. PMID:20947532

  20. Early Vertebrate Evolution of the Host Restriction Factor Tetherin

    PubMed Central

    Heusinger, Elena; Kluge, Silvia F.; Kirchhoff, Frank

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Tetherin is an interferon-inducible restriction factor targeting a broad range of enveloped viruses. Its antiviral activity depends on an unusual topology comprising an N-terminal transmembrane domain (TMD) followed by an extracellular coiled-coil region and a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. One of the two membrane anchors is inserted into assembling virions, while the other remains in the plasma membrane of the infected cell. Thus, tetherin entraps budding viruses by physically bridging viral and cellular membranes. Although tetherin restricts the release of a large variety of diverse human and animal viruses, only mammalian orthologs have been described to date. Here, we examined the evolutionary origin of this protein and demonstrate that tetherin orthologs are also found in fish, reptiles, and birds. Notably, alligator tetherin efficiently blocks the release of retroviral particles. Thus, tetherin emerged early during vertebrate evolution and acquired its antiviral activity before the mammal/reptile divergence. Although there is only limited sequence homology, all orthologs share the typical topology. Two unrelated proteins of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum also adopt a tetherin-like configuration with an N-terminal TMD and a C-terminal GPI anchor. However, these proteins showed no evidence for convergent evolution and failed to inhibit virion release. In summary, our findings demonstrate that tetherin emerged at least 450 million years ago and is more widespread than previously anticipated. The early evolution of antiviral activity together with the high topology conservation but low sequence homology suggests that restriction of virus release is the primary function of tetherin. IMPORTANCE The continuous arms race with viruses has driven the evolution of a variety of cell-intrinsic immunity factors that inhibit different steps of the viral replication cycle. One of these restriction factors, tetherin, inhibits the

  1. The effect of teriparatide to alleviate pain and to prevent vertebral collapse after fresh osteoporotic vertebral fracture.

    PubMed

    Tsuchie, Hiroyuki; Miyakoshi, Naohisa; Kasukawa, Yuji; Nishi, Tomio; Abe, Hidekazu; Segawa, Toyohito; Shimada, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fracture is often seen in osteoporotic patients. Teriparatide is expected to promote bone union. Therefore, we evaluated the action of vertebral collapse prevention by administering teriparatide to vertebral fracture patients. Thirty-four patients with fresh vertebral fracture (48 vertebrae) participated in this study. They were administered either teriparatide (daily 20 µg/day or weekly 56.5 µg/week) or risedronate (17.5 mg/week): ten patients (20 vertebrae) received teriparatide daily (Daily group), 11 patients (15 vertebrae) received teriparatide weekly (Weekly group), and 13 patients (14 vertebrae) received risedronate (RIS group). We compared some laboratory examination items, visual analogue scale (VAS) of low back pain, vertebral collapse rate and local kyphotic angle, and the cleft frequency. In addition, we evaluated 22 vertebral fracture patients (24 vertebrae) who did not take any osteoporotic medicines (Control group). There was no significant difference in any of the scores at the start of treatment. At 8 and 12 weeks after the initial visit, VAS scores in the Daily and Weekly groups were significantly lower than in the RIS group (p < 0.05). At 8 and 12 weeks, the vertebral collapse rate and local kyphotic angle in the Daily group were significantly lower than in the RIS and Control groups (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), and those in the Weekly group were significantly lower than in the Control group (p < 0.05). The cleft frequency in the Daily group was significantly lower than in the RIS group (p < 0.05). Teriparatide is promising for the prevention of vertebral collapse progression after vertebral fracture. PMID:25773046

  2. T-cell receptor gene homologs are present in the most primitive jawed vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Rast, J P; Litman, G W

    1994-01-01

    The phylogenetic origins of T-cell immunity and T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) genes have not been established. A PCR approach using short, minimally degenerate oligodeoxynucleotide primers complementing conserved variable region segments amplifies TCR-like products from the genomic DNA of Heterodontus francisci (horned shark), a representative phylogenetically primitive cartilaginous fish. One of these products has been used as a probe to screen a Heterodontus spleen cDNA library and a clone was identified that is most related at the nucleotide sequence and predicted peptide levels to higher vertebrate TCR beta-chain genes. Genomic analyses of the TCR homologs indicate that recombining variable and joining region segments as well as constant region exons are encoded by extensive gene families, organized in the multicluster form, characteristic of both the immunoglobulin heavy- and light-chain gene loci in the cartilaginous fishes. Greater numbers of homologous products were identified when a probe complementing the putative constant region of the TCR homolog was used to screen the same cDNA library. A high degree of intergenic variation is associated with the putative variable region segments of these isolates. Direct evidence is presented for TCR-like genes, which presumably are associated with T-cell function, at the earliest stages in the phylogenetic emergence of jawed vertebrates. Images PMID:7937749

  3. Understanding Balloon Kyphoplasty and Myeloma-Induced Vertebral Compression Fractures

    MedlinePlus

    ... back and the ribs. More often than not, back pain and generalized weakness are what bring many undiagnosed ... the doctor in the first place. Sudden severe back pain can indicate that the vertebral body *Words appearing ...

  4. GENETIC VARIATION IN CLONAL VERTEBRATES DETECTED BY SIMPLE SEQUENCE FINGERPRINTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Measurement of clonal heterogeneity is central to understanding evolutionary and population genetics of roughly 50 species of vertebrates lack effective genetic recombination. imple-sequence DNA fingerprinting with oligonucleotide probes (CAG)5 and (GACA)4 was used to detect hete...

  5. Relevant signs of stable and unstable thoracolumbar vertebral column trauma

    SciTech Connect

    Gehweiler, J.A.; Daffner, R.H.; Osborne, R.L.

    1981-12-01

    One-hundred and seventeen patients with acute thoracolumbar vertebral column fracture or fracture-dislocations were analyzed and classified into stable (36%) and unstable (64%). Eight helpful roentgen signs were observed that may serve to direct attention to serious underlying, often occult, fractures and dislocations. The changes fall into four principal groups: abnormal soft tissues, abnormal vertebral alignment, abnormal joints, and widened vertebral canal. All stable and unstable lesions showed abnormal soft tissues, while 70% demonstrated kyphosis and/or scoliosis, and an abnormal adjacent intervertebral disk space. All unstable lesions showed one or more of the following signs: displaced vertebra, widened interspinous space, abnormal apophyseal joint(s), and widened vertebral canal.

  6. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32 000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  7. A Common Fold Mediates Vertebrate Defense and Bacterial Attack

    SciTech Connect

    Rosado, Carlos J.; Buckle, Ashley M.; Law, Ruby H.P.; Butcher, Rebecca E.; Kan, Wan-Ting; Bird, Catherina H.; Ung, Kheng; Browne, Kylie A.; Baran, Katherine; Bashtannyk-Puhalovich, Tanya A.; Faux, Noel G.; Wong, Wilson; Porter, Corrine J.; Pike, Robert N.; Ellisdon, Andrew M.; Pearce, Mary C.; Bottomley, Stephen P.; Emsley, Jonas; Smith, A. Ian; Rossjohn, Jamie; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Voskoboinik, Ilia; Trapani, Joseph A.; Bird, Phillip I.; Dunstone, Michelle A.; Whisstock, James C.

    2008-10-02

    Proteins containing membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domains play important roles in vertebrate immunity, embryonic development, and neural-cell migration. In vertebrates, the ninth component of complement and perforin form oligomeric pores that lyse bacteria and kill virus-infected cells, respectively. However, the mechanism of MACPF function is unknown. We determined the crystal structure of a bacterial MACPF protein, Plu-MACPF from Photorhabdus luminescens, to 2.0 angstrom resolution. The MACPF domain reveals structural similarity with poreforming cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) from Gram-positive bacteria. This suggests that lytic MACPF proteins may use a CDC-like mechanism to form pores and disrupt cell membranes. Sequence similarity between bacterial and vertebrate MACPF domains suggests that the fold of the CDCs, a family of proteins important for bacterial pathogenesis, is probably used by vertebrates for defense against infection.

  8. Do Vertebrate Gut Metagenomes Confer Rapid Ecological Adaptation?

    PubMed

    Alberdi, Antton; Aizpurua, Ostaizka; Bohmann, Kristine; Zepeda-Mendoza, Marie Lisandra; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2016-09-01

    During times of rapid environmental change, survival of most vertebrate populations depends on their phenomic plasticity. Although differential gene-expression and post-transcriptional processes of the host genome receive focus as the main molecular mechanisms, growing evidence points to the gut microbiota as a key driver defining hosts' phenotypes. We propose that the plasticity of the gut microbiota might be an essential factor determining phenomic plasticity of vertebrates, and that it might play a pivotal role when vertebrates acclimate and adapt to fast environmental variation. We contemplate some key questions and suggest methodological approaches and experimental designs that can be used to evaluate whether gut microorganisms provide a boost of plasticity to vertebrates' phenomes, thereby increasing their acclimation and adaptation capacity. PMID:27453351

  9. Experiment K307: Vertebral body strength of rat spinal columns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazarian, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of space flight on vertebral body bone strength excised were investigated. Comparative biomechanical investigations of vertebral body strength for flight, synchronous, and vivarium rats following spacecraft recovery (R+0), at R+6 and R+29 days post flight recovery are presented. Statistical analyses are presented for the mechanical properties of stiffness, ultimate load, displacement to ultimate load, and energy to ultimate load. At R+0 all of the above properties show that the vertebral body exhibits an increasing susceptibility to fracture. The reduction of bone strength is inhomogeneous and dependent on vertebral level. The R+6 recovery data was inconclusive since it varied above and below the R+0 data. At R+29 ultimate load values showed a statistically significant increase in bone strength approaching that of the vivarium or control group.

  10. The evolutionary landscape of alternative splicing in vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Barbosa-Morais, Nuno L; Irimia, Manuel; Pan, Qun; Xiong, Hui Y; Gueroussov, Serge; Lee, Leo J; Slobodeniuc, Valentina; Kutter, Claudia; Watt, Stephen; Colak, Recep; Kim, TaeHyung; Misquitta-Ali, Christine M; Wilson, Michael D; Kim, Philip M; Odom, Duncan T; Frey, Brendan J; Blencowe, Benjamin J

    2012-12-21

    How species with similar repertoires of protein-coding genes differ so markedly at the phenotypic level is poorly understood. By comparing organ transcriptomes from vertebrate species spanning ~350 million years of evolution, we observed significant differences in alternative splicing complexity between vertebrate lineages, with the highest complexity in primates. Within 6 million years, the splicing profiles of physiologically equivalent organs diverged such that they are more strongly related to the identity of a species than they are to organ type. Most vertebrate species-specific splicing patterns are cis-directed. However, a subset of pronounced splicing changes are predicted to remodel protein interactions involving trans-acting regulators. These events likely further contributed to the diversification of splicing and other transcriptomic changes that underlie phenotypic differences among vertebrate species. PMID:23258890

  11. [About evolution of sleep-wakefulness cycle in vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Oganesian, G A; Aristakesian, E A; Vataev, S I

    2012-10-01

    Data about behavioral, somato-vegetative and neurophysiological parameters of sleep and wakefulness in insects, cold- and warm-blooded vertebrates are provided. Hypotheses existing now about evolutionary formation of separate sleep phases and stages in vertebrates are considered. In the review are shown the data about correlations of quantitative characteristics of sleep and wake in some mammals with basic metabolic rate, lifestyle, environmental habits. The original experimental results at formation of neurophysiological characteristics of sleep and wake in vertebrates, phylogeny and in ontogeny of mature and immature mammals are provided in detail. On the basis of own concepts about evolutionary development of sleep-wakefulness cycle in vertebrates the interactions of telencephalic, diencephalic and rhombencepalic parts of brain in the processes of cycle wakefulness cycle integration are discussed. PMID:23401913

  12. Duplications of hox gene clusters and the emergence of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Soshnikova, Natalia; Dewaele, Romain; Janvier, Philippe; Krumlauf, Robb; Duboule, Denis

    2013-06-15

    The vertebrate body plan is characterized by an increased complexity relative to that of all other chordates and large-scale gene amplifications have been associated with key morphological innovations leading to their remarkable evolutionary success. Here, we use compound full Hox clusters deletions to investigate how Hox genes duplications may have contributed to the emergence of vertebrate-specific innovations. We show that the combined deletion of HoxA and HoxB leads to an atavistic heart phenotype, suggesting that the ancestral HoxA/B cluster was co-opted to help in diversifying the complex organ in vertebrates. Other phenotypic effects observed seem to illustrate the resurgence of ancestral (plesiomorphic) features. This indicates that the duplications of Hox clusters were associated with the recruitment or formation of novel cis-regulatory controls, which were key to the evolution of many vertebrate features and hence to the evolutionary radiation of this group. PMID:23501471

  13. Case Study: Giant Cell Arteritis with Vertebral Artery Stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Daniel Chomlak, R.; Ghazanfari, Farshad; Datta, Mineesh

    2016-01-01

    In giant cell arteritis (GCA), involvement of the vertebral arteries is rare with reported rates of 3%–4% for ischemic events secondary to vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion for those patients with GCA. This case study describes a patient who initially presented with acute onset of vertigo but was also found to have transient, side-alternating upper limb neurological findings. While initial imaging showed no vascular abnormalities, it was not until GCA was eventually confirmed with a temporal artery biopsy that the initial scans were shown to have bilateral narrowing of the vertebral arteries. While rare, vertebral artery involvement is an important complication to consider in the setting of GCA due to the high rate of associated mortality, despite immunosuppressive therapy. PMID:27279753

  14. Tetrameric organization of vertebrate centromeric nucleosomes

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriadis, Emilios K.; Weber, Christian; Gill, Rajbir K.; Diekmann, Stephan; Dalal, Yamini

    2010-01-01

    Mitosis ensures equal genome segregation in the eukaryotic lineage. This process is facilitated by microtubule attachment to each chromosome via its centromere. In centromeres, canonical histone H3 is replaced in nucleosomes by a centromere-specific histone H3 variant (CENH3), providing the unique epigenetic signature required for microtubule binding. Due to recent findings of alternative CENH3 nucleosomal forms in invertebrate centromeres, it has been debated whether the classical octameric nucleosomal arrangement of two copies of CENH3, H4, H2A, and H2B forms the basis of the vertebrate centromere. To address this question directly, we examined CENH3 [centromere protein A (CENP-A)] nucleosomal organization in human cells, using a combination of nucleosome component analysis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and immunoelectron microscopy (immuno-EM). We report that native CENP-A nucleosomes contain centromeric alpha satellite DNA, have equimolar amounts of H2A, H2B, CENP-A, and H4, and bind kinetochore proteins. These nucleosomes, when measured by AFM, yield one-half the dimensions of canonical octameric nucleosomes. Using immuno-EM, we find that one copy of CENP-A, H2A, H2B, and H4 coexist in CENP-A nucleosomes, in which internal C-terminal domains are accessible. Our observations indicate that CENP-A nucleosomes are organized as asymmetric heterotypic tetramers, rather than canonical octamers. Such altered nucleosomes form a chromatin fiber with distinct folding characteristics, which we utilize to discriminate tetramers directly within bulk chromatin. We discuss implications of our observations in the context of universal epigenetic and mechanical requirements for functional centromeres. PMID:21059934

  15. Treatment of Ruptured Vertebral Artery Dissecting Aneurysms

    PubMed Central

    Hamasaki, Osamu; Ikawa, Fusao; Hidaka, Toshikazu; Kurokawa, Yasuharu; Yonezawa, Ushio

    2014-01-01

    Summary We evaluated the outcomes of endovascular or surgical treatment of ruptured vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms (VADAs), and investigated the relations between treatment complications and the development and location of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). We treated 14 patients (12 men, two women; mean age, 56.2 years) with ruptured VADAs between March 1999 and June 2012 at our hospital. Six and eight patients had Hunt and Hess grades 1-3 and 4-5, respectively. Twelve patients underwent internal endovascular trapping, one underwent proximal endovascular occlusion alone, and one underwent proximal endovascular occlusion in the acute stage and occipital artery (OA)-PICA anastomosis and surgical trapping in the chronic stage. The types of VADA based on their location relative to the ipsilateral PICA were distal, PICA-involved, and non-PICA in nine, two, and three patients, respectively. The types of PICA based on their development and location were bilateral anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA)-PICA, ipsilateral AICA-PICA, extradural, and intradural type in one, two, two, and nine patients, respectively. Two patients with high anatomical risk developed medullary infarction, but their midterm outcomes were better than in previous reports. The modified Rankin scale indicated grades 0-2, 3-5, and 6 in eight, three, and three patients, respectively. A good outcome is often obtained in the treatment of ruptured VADA using internal endovascular trapping, except in the PICA-involved type, even with high-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage. Treatment of the PICA-involved type is controversial. The anatomical location and development of PICA may be predicted by complications with postoperative medullary infarction. PMID:24976093

  16. The 'Tully monster' is a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Victoria E; Saupe, Erin E; Lamsdell, James C; Tarhan, Lidya G; McMahon, Sean; Lidgard, Scott; Mayer, Paul; Whalen, Christopher D; Soriano, Carmen; Finney, Lydia; Vogt, Stefan; Clark, Elizabeth G; Anderson, Ross P; Petermann, Holger; Locatelli, Emma R; Briggs, Derek E G

    2016-04-28

    Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years. PMID:26982721

  17. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). PMID:25784036

  18. Functionally conserved enhancers with divergent sequences in distant vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Song; Oksenberg, Nir; Takayama, Sachiko; Heo, Seok -Jin; Poliakov, Alexander; Ahituv, Nadav; Dubchak, Inna; Boffelli, Dario

    2015-10-30

    To examine the contributions of sequence and function conservation in the evolution of enhancers, we systematically identified enhancers whose sequences are not conserved among distant groups of vertebrate species, but have homologous function and are likely to be derived from a common ancestral sequence. In conclusion, our approach combined comparative genomics and epigenomics to identify potential enhancer sequences in the genomes of three groups of distantly related vertebrate species.

  19. Diabetic foot complicated by vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscess

    PubMed Central

    Trombetta, Maddalena; Imbriaco, Chiara; Rigolon, Riccardo; Mingolla, Lucia; Zamboni, Federica; Dal Molin, Francesca; Cioccoloni, Dario; Sanga, Viola; Bruti, Massimiliano; Brocco, Enrico; Conti, Michela; Ravenna, Giorgio; Perrone, Fabrizia; Stoico, Vincenzo; Bonora, Enzo

    2016-01-01

    Summary Vertebral osteomyelitis (or spondylodiscitis) is steadily increasing in Western countries and often results from hematogenous seeding, direct inoculation during spinal surgery, or contiguous spread from an infection in the adjacent soft tissue. We present the case of a 67-year-old white patient with type 2 diabetes who went to Hospital for high fever, back pain, and worsening of known infected ulcers in the left foot. Despite intravenous antibiotic treatment and surgical debridement of the foot infection, high fever and lower back pain continued. Bone biopsy and two consecutive blood cultures were positive for Staphylococcus aureus. A spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed, revealing serious osteomyelitis in L4 and L5 complicated by an epidural abscess. Contiguous or other distant focuses of infection were not identified. In this case, diabetic foot could be considered as a primary distant focus for vertebral osteomyelitis. Clinicians should consider vertebral osteomyelitis as a ‘possible’ diagnosis in patients with type 2 diabetes complicated by foot infection that is associated with fever and lower back pain. Learning points Vertebral osteomyelitis is increasing in Western countries, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes. The primary focus of infection is the genitourinary tract followed by skin, soft tissue, endocarditis, bursitis, septic arthritis, and intravascular access. Diabetic foot could be a rare primary focus of infection for vertebral osteomyelitis, and, however, vertebral osteomyelitis could be a serious, albeit rare, complication of diabetic foot. Clinicians should keep in mind the many potential complications of diabetic foot ulcerations and consider vertebral osteomyelitis as a “possible” diagnosis in patients with type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers associated with nonspecific symptoms such as lower back pain. Early diagnosis and correct management of vertebral osteomyelitis are crucial to improve clinical outcomes

  20. The pre-vertebrate origins of neurogenic placodes.

    PubMed

    Abitua, Philip Barron; Gainous, T Blair; Kaczmarczyk, Angela N; Winchell, Christopher J; Hudson, Clare; Kamata, Kaori; Nakagawa, Masashi; Tsuda, Motoyuki; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Levine, Michael

    2015-08-27

    The sudden appearance of the neural crest and neurogenic placodes in early branching vertebrates has puzzled biologists for over a century. These embryonic tissues contribute to the development of the cranium and associated sensory organs, which were crucial for the evolution of the vertebrate "new head". A previous study suggests that rudimentary neural crest cells existed in ancestral chordates. However, the evolutionary origins of neurogenic placodes have remained obscure owing to a paucity of embryonic data from tunicates, the closest living relatives to those early vertebrates. Here we show that the tunicate Ciona intestinalis exhibits a proto-placodal ectoderm (PPE) that requires inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and expresses the key regulatory determinant Six1/2 and its co-factor Eya, a developmental process conserved across vertebrates. The Ciona PPE is shown to produce ciliated neurons that express genes for gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a G-protein-coupled receptor for relaxin-3 (RXFP3) and a functional cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGA), which suggests dual chemosensory and neurosecretory activities. These observations provide evidence that Ciona has a neurogenic proto-placode, which forms neurons that appear to be related to those derived from the olfactory placode and hypothalamic neurons of vertebrates. We discuss the possibility that the PPE-derived GnRH neurons of Ciona resemble an ancestral cell type, a progenitor to the complex neuronal circuit that integrates sensory information and neuroendocrine functions in vertebrates. PMID:26258298

  1. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  2. Amphioxus FGF signaling predicts the acquisition of vertebrate morphological traits

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Stephanie; Camasses, Alain; Somorjai, Ildiko; Belgacem, Mohamed R.; Chabrol, Olivier; Escande, Marie-Line; Pontarotti, Pierre; Escriva, Hector

    2011-01-01

    FGF signaling is one of the few cell–cell signaling pathways conserved among all metazoans. The diversity of FGF gene content among different phyla suggests that evolution of FGF signaling may have participated in generating the current variety of animal forms. Vertebrates possess the greatest number of FGF genes, the functional evolution of which may have been implicated in the acquisition of vertebrate-specific morphological traits. In this study, we have investigated the roles of the FGF signal during embryogenesis of the cephalochordate amphioxus, the best proxy for the chordate ancestor. We first isolate the full FGF gene complement and determine the evolutionary relationships between amphioxus and vertebrate FGFs via phylogenetic and synteny conservation analysis. Using pharmacological treatments, we inhibit the FGF signaling pathway in amphioxus embryos in different time windows. Our results show that the requirement for FGF signaling during gastrulation is a conserved character among chordates, whereas this signal is not necessary for neural induction in amphioxus, in contrast to what is known in vertebrates. We also show that FGF signal, acting through the MAPK pathway, is necessary for the formation of the most anterior somites in amphioxus, whereas more posterior somite formation is not FGF-dependent. This result leads us to propose that modification of the FGF signal function in the anterior paraxial mesoderm in an amphioxus-like vertebrate ancestor might have contributed to the loss of segmentation in the preotic paraxial mesoderm of the vertebrate head. PMID:21571634

  3. Violet Fox: A Clinical View of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    McKiernan, Fergus E

    2016-01-01

    Had Violet's abdominal MR not been performed, or its findings not appreciated, the cause of her clinical event might never have been known because our current concept of osteoporotic vertebral fracture (VF) is substantially predicated on a change in either vertebral height or shape on lateral or sagittal spine imaging. The intention of this commentary is to stimulate a multidisciplinary conversation of osteoporotic VFs from an integrated clinical, physiological, and imaging perspective. For research and epidemiological purposes, osteoporotic VFs have been defined as a reduction in anterior, middle, or posterior vertebral height although the required minimum height reduction (e.g., 15% or 20%) varies among definition schemes. We further classify osteoporotic VFs to be "clinical" when they are accompanied by back pain and "morphometric" when they are not, and we have generally accepted the assertion that most of the osteoporotic VFs are painless, that is, morphometric. This dichotomous VF definition scheme has been the foundation of osteoporosis epidemiology and the primary endpoint in most pivotal osteoporosis pharmaceutical trials. Although, having served the osteoporosis community well, our clinical experience, refined by recent insights into vertebral anatomy and spinal biomechanics, advances in vertebral imaging, and 2 decades of vertebral augmentation suggest that the spectrum of osteoporotic VFs is more complicated than this scheme suggests. PMID:26356546

  4. The origin of conodonts and of vertebrate mineralized skeletons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murdock, Duncan J.E.; Dong, Xi-Ping; Repetski, John E.; Marone, Federica; Stampanoni, Marco; Donoghue, Philip C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Conodonts are an extinct group of jawless vertebrates whose tooth-like elements are the earliest instance of a mineralized skeleton in the vertebrate lineage, inspiring the ‘inside-out’ hypothesis that teeth evolved independently of the vertebrate dermal skeleton and before the origin of jaws. However, these propositions have been based on evidence from derived euconodonts. Here we test hypotheses of a paraconodont ancestry of euconodonts using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy to characterize and compare the microstructure of morphologically similar euconodont and paraconodont elements. Paraconodonts exhibit a range of grades of structural differentiation, including tissues and a pattern of growth common to euconodont basal bodies. The different grades of structural differentiation exhibited by paraconodonts demonstrate the stepwise acquisition of euconodont characters, resolving debate over the relationship between these two groups. By implication, the putative homology of euconodont crown tissue and vertebrate enamel must be rejected as these tissues have evolved independently and convergently. Thus, the precise ontogenetic, structural and topological similarities between conodont elements and vertebrate odontodes appear to be a remarkable instance of convergence. The last common ancestor of conodonts and jawed vertebrates probably lacked mineralized skeletal tissues. The hypothesis that teeth evolved before jaws and the inside-out hypothesis of dental evolution must be rejected; teeth seem to have evolved through the extension of odontogenic competence from the external dermis to internal epithelium soon after the origin of jaws.

  5. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  6. Bow hunter's syndrome secondary to bilateral dynamic vertebral artery compression.

    PubMed

    Healy, Andrew T; Lee, Bryan S; Walsh, Kevin; Bain, Mark D; Krishnaney, Ajit A

    2015-01-01

    Bow hunter's syndrome is a condition in which vertebrobasilar insufficiency is resultant from head rotation, clinically manifested by presyncopal sensation, syncope, dizziness, and nausea. It is usually diagnosed clinically, with supporting vascular imaging demonstrating an occluded or at the very least compromised unilateral vertebral artery, while the dominant vertebral artery remains patent in the neutral position. Dynamic imaging is utilized to confirm the rotational compression of the dominant vertebral artery. We present the rare case of a patient with typical Bow hunter's symptoms, bilaterally patent vertebral arteries on neutral imaging, and bilateral compromise with head rotation. Our patient underwent posterior decompression of the culprit atlanto-axial transverse foramen and subaxial cervical fusion, with resolution of his symptoms. Our patient exemplifies the possibility of bilateral dynamic vertebral artery occlusion. We show that Bow hunter's syndrome cannot be ruled out in the setting of bilaterally patent vertebral arteries on neutral imaging and that severe cervical spondylosis should impart further clinical suspicion of this unusual phenomenon. PMID:25070633

  7. Phylogenetic analysis and positive-selection site detecting of vascular endothelial growth factor family in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    He, Wenwu; Tang, Yanyan; Qi, Bin; Lu, Chuansen; Qin, Chao; Wei, Yunfei; Yi, Jiachao; Chen, Mingwu

    2014-02-10

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), known to play an important role in vascular homeostasis, vascular integrity and angiogenesis, is little known about the evolutionary relationship of its five members especially the role of gene duplication and natural selection in the evolution of the VEGF family. In this study, seventy-five full-length cDNA sequences from 33 vertebrate species were extracted from the NCBI's GenBank, UniProt protein database and the Ensembl database. By phylogenetic analyses, we investigated the origin, conservation, and evolution of the VEGFs. Five VEGF family members in vertebrates might be formed by gene duplication. The inferred evolutionary transitions that separate members which belong to different gene clusters correlated with changes in functional properties. Selection analysis and protein structure analysis were combined to explain the relationship of the site-specific evolution in the vertebrate VEGF family. Eleven positive selection sites, one transmembrane region and the active sites were detected in this process. PMID:24200960

  8. GC skew is a conserved property of unmethylated CpG island promoters across vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Hartono, Stella R.; Korf, Ian F.; Chédin, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    GC skew is a measure of the strand asymmetry in the distribution of guanines and cytosines. GC skew favors R-loops, a type of three stranded nucleic acid structures that form upon annealing of an RNA strand to one strand of DNA, creating a persistent RNA:DNA hybrid. Previous studies show that GC skew is prevalent at thousands of human CpG island (CGI) promoters and transcription termination regions, which correspond to hotspots of R-loop formation. Here, we investigated the conservation of GC skew patterns in 60 sequenced chordates genomes. We report that GC skew is a conserved sequence characteristic of the CGI promoter class in vertebrates. Furthermore, we reveal that promoter GC skew peaks at the exon 1/ intron1 junction and that it is highly correlated with gene age and CGI promoter strength. Our data also show that GC skew is predictive of unmethylated CGI promoters in a range of vertebrate species and that it imparts significant DNA hypomethylation for promoters with intermediate CpG densities. Finally, we observed that terminal GC skew is conserved for a subset of vertebrate genes that tend to be located significantly closer to their downstream neighbors, consistent with a role for R-loop formation in transcription termination. PMID:26253743

  9. Cis-regulatory programs in the development and evolution of vertebrate paired appendages.

    PubMed

    Gehrke, Andrew R; Shubin, Neil H

    2016-09-01

    Differential gene expression is the core of development, mediating the genetic changes necessary for determining cell identity. The regulation of gene activity by cis-acting elements (e.g., enhancers) is a crucial mechanism for determining differential gene activity by precise control of gene expression in embryonic space and time. Modifications to regulatory regions can have profound impacts on phenotype, and therefore developmental and evolutionary biologists have increasingly focused on elucidating the transcriptional control of genes that build and pattern body plans. Here, we trace the evolutionary history of transcriptional control of three loci key to vertebrate appendage development (Fgf8, Shh, and HoxD/A). Within and across these regulatory modules, we find both complex and flexible regulation in contrast with more fixed enhancers that appear unchanged over vast timescales of vertebrate evolution. The transcriptional control of vertebrate appendage development was likely already incredibly complex in the common ancestor of fish, implying that subtle changes to regulatory networks were more likely responsible for alterations in phenotype rather than the de novo addition of whole regulatory domains. Finally, we discuss the dangers of relying on inter-species transgenesis when testing enhancer function, and call for more controlled regulatory swap experiments when inferring the evolutionary history of enhancer elements. PMID:26783722

  10. Medullary ischemia due to vertebral arteritis associated with Behçet syndrome: a case report.

    PubMed

    Kaido, Takanobu; Otsuki, Taisuke; Ogawa, Masafumi; Takahashi, Akio; Kaneko, Yuu; Yamamoto, Toshiyuki; Nakata, Yasuhiro

    2012-09-01

    Here we report an extremely rare case of Behçet syndrome (BS) that showed acute onset of Wallenberg syndrome and was treated successfully by corticosteroids. A 51-year-old woman with BS had a sudden onset of Wallenberg syndrome. Three days after the onset, she was transferred to our institute. In the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study on admission, T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images showed a high intensity area in the left paramedian region of the medulla oblongata. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images showed enhancement in the vessel wall of the left vertebral artery. We diagnosed her as having Wallenberg syndrome due to the acute vertebral arteritis associated with BS. After initiation of high-dose steroid therapy, her symptoms gradually improved. Two months after admission, she was discharged from our institute with mild hemihypesthesia. We hypothesized that vertebral arteritis due to BS had caused hypoperfusion of the medullary perforators causing Wallenberg syndrome in our patient. PMID:23156855

  11. Deep learning for automatic localization, identification, and segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzani, Amin; Rasoulian, Abtin; Seitel, Alexander; Fels, Sidney; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang

    2015-03-01

    This paper proposes an automatic method for vertebra localization, labeling, and segmentation in multi-slice Magnetic Resonance (MR) images. Prior work in this area on MR images mostly requires user interaction while our method is fully automatic. Cubic intensity-based features are extracted from image voxels. A deep learning approach is used for simultaneous localization and identification of vertebrae. The localized points are refined by local thresholding in the region of the detected vertebral column. Thereafter, a statistical multi-vertebrae model is initialized on the localized vertebrae. An iterative Expectation Maximization technique is used to register the vertebral body of the model to the image edges and obtain a segmentation of the lumbar vertebral bodies. The method is evaluated by applying to nine volumetric MR images of the spine. The results demonstrate 100% vertebra identification and a mean surface error of below 2.8 mm for 3D segmentation. Computation time is less than three minutes per high-resolution volumetric image.

  12. Fishing for jaws in early vertebrate evolution: a new hypothesis of mandibular confinement.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Tetsuto

    2016-08-01

    The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate jaw persists as a deeply puzzling mystery. More than 99% of living vertebrates have jaws, but the evolutionary sequence that ultimately gave rise to this highly successful innovation remains controversial. A synthesis of recent fossil and embryological findings offers a novel solution to this enduring puzzle. The Mandibular Confinement Hypothesis proposes that the jaw evolved via spatial confinement of the mandibular arch (the most anterior pharyngeal arch within which the jaw arose). Fossil and anatomical evidence reveals: (i) the mandibular region was initially extensive and distinct among the pharyngeal arches; and (ii) with spatial confinement, the mandibular arch acquired a common pharyngeal pattern only at the origin of the jaw. The confinement occurred via a shift of a domain boundary that restricted the space the mesenchymal cells of the mandibular arch could occupy. As the surrounding domains replaced mandibular structures at the periphery, this shift allowed neural crest cells and mesodermal mesenchyme of the mandibular arch to acquire patterning programs that operate in the more posterior arches. The mesenchymal population within the mandibular arch was therefore no longer required to differentiate into specialized feeding and ventilation structures, and was remodelled into a jaw. Embryological evidence corroborates that the mandibular arch must be spatially confined for a jaw to develop. This new interpretation suggests neural crest as a key facilitator in correlating elements of the classically recognized vertebrate head 'segmentation'. PMID:25899041

  13. Two Rounds of Whole Genome Duplication in the AncestralVertebrate

    SciTech Connect

    Dehal, Paramvir; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-04-12

    The hypothesis that the relatively large and complex vertebrate genome was created by two ancient, whole genome duplications has been hotly debated, but remains unresolved. We reconstructed the evolutionary relationships of all gene families from the complete gene sets of a tunicate, fish, mouse, and human, then determined when each gene duplicated relative to the evolutionary tree of the organisms. We confirmed the results of earlier studies that there remains little signal of these events in numbers of duplicated genes, gene tree topology, or the number of genes per multigene family. However, when we plotted the genomic map positions of only the subset of paralogous genes that were duplicated prior to the fish-tetrapod split, their global physical organization provides unmistakable evidence of two distinct genome duplication events early in vertebrate evolution indicated by clear patterns of 4-way paralogous regions covering a large part of the human genome. Our results highlight the potential for these large-scale genomic events to have driven the evolutionary success of the vertebrate lineage.

  14. Comparative genetic diversity of Lyme disease bacteria in Northern Californian ticks and their vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Swei, Andrea; Bowie, Verna C; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2015-04-01

    Vector-borne pathogens are transmitted between vertebrate hosts and arthropod vectors, two immensely different environments for the pathogen. There is further differentiation among vertebrate hosts that often have complex, species-specific immunological responses to the pathogen. All this presents a heterogeneous environmental and immunological landscape with possible consequences on the population genetic structure of the pathogen. We evaluated the differential genetic diversity of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, in its vector, the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus), and in its mammal host community using the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region. We found differences in haplotype distribution of B. burgdorferi in tick populations from two counties in California as well as between a sympatric tick and vertebrate host community. In addition, we found that three closely related haplotypes consistently occurred in high frequency in all sample types. Lastly, our study found lower species diversity of the B. burgdorferi species complex, known as B. burgdorferi sensu lato, in small mammal hosts versus the tick populations in a sympatric study area. PMID:25843810

  15. GC skew is a conserved property of unmethylated CpG island promoters across vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hartono, Stella R; Korf, Ian F; Chédin, Frédéric

    2015-11-16

    GC skew is a measure of the strand asymmetry in the distribution of guanines and cytosines. GC skew favors R-loops, a type of three stranded nucleic acid structures that form upon annealing of an RNA strand to one strand of DNA, creating a persistent RNA:DNA hybrid. Previous studies show that GC skew is prevalent at thousands of human CpG island (CGI) promoters and transcription termination regions, which correspond to hotspots of R-loop formation. Here, we investigated the conservation of GC skew patterns in 60 sequenced chordates genomes. We report that GC skew is a conserved sequence characteristic of the CGI promoter class in vertebrates. Furthermore, we reveal that promoter GC skew peaks at the exon 1/ intron1 junction and that it is highly correlated with gene age and CGI promoter strength. Our data also show that GC skew is predictive of unmethylated CGI promoters in a range of vertebrate species and that it imparts significant DNA hypomethylation for promoters with intermediate CpG densities. Finally, we observed that terminal GC skew is conserved for a subset of vertebrate genes that tend to be located significantly closer to their downstream neighbors, consistent with a role for R-loop formation in transcription termination. PMID:26253743

  16. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  17. A Novel Vertebral Stabilization Method for Producing Contusive Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y. Ping; Shields, Lisa B. E.; Shields, Christopher B.; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Clinically-relevant animal cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) models are essential for developing and testing potential therapies; however, producing reliable cervical SCI is difficult due to lack of satisfactory methods of vertebral stabilization. The conventional method to stabilize the spine is to suspend the rostral and caudal cervical spine via clamps attached to cervical spinous processes.  However, this method of stabilization fails to prevent tissue yielding during the contusion as the cervical spinal processes are too short to be effectively secured by the clamps (Figure 1).  Here we introduce a new method to completely stabilize the cervical vertebra at the same level of the impact injury.  This method effectively minimizes movement of the spinal column at the site of impact, which greatly improves the production of consistent SCIs.  We provide visual description of the equipment (Figure 2-4), methods, and a step-by-step protocol for the stabilization of the cervical 5 vertebra (C5) of adult rats, to perform laminectomy (Figure 5) and produce a contusive SCI thereafter.  Although we only demonstrate a cervical hemi-contusion using the NYU/MASCIS impactor device, this vertebral stabilization technique can be applied to other regions of the spinal cord, or be adapted to other SCI devices.  Improving spinal cord exposure and fixation through vertebral stabilization may be valuable for producing consistent and reliable injuries to the spinal cord.  This vertebral stabilization method can also be used for stereotactic injections of cells and tracers, and for imaging using two-photon microscopy in various neurobiological studies. PMID:25590284

  18. Divergence pattern and selective mode in protein evolution: the example of vertebrate myoglobins and hemoglobin chains.

    PubMed

    Otsuka, J; Miyazaki, K; Horimoto, K

    1993-02-01

    The evolutionary relation of vertebrate myoglobin and the hemoglobin chains including the agnathan hemoglobin chain is investigated on the basis of a new view of amino acid changes that is developed by canonical discriminant analysis of amino acid residues at individual sites. In contrast to the clear discrimination of amino acid residues between myoglobin, hemoglobin alpha chain, and hemoglobin beta chain in warm-blood vertebrates, the three types of globins in the lower class of vertebrates show so much variation that they are not well discriminated. This is seen particularly at the sites that are ascertained in mammals to carry the amino acid residues participating in stabilizing the monomeric structure in myoglobin and the residues forming the subunit contacts in hemoglobin. At these sites, agnathan hemoglobin chains are evaluated to be intermediate between the myoglobin and hemoglobin chains of gnathostomes. The variation in the phylogenetically lower class of globins is also seen in the internal region; there the amino acid residues of myoglobin and hemoglobin chains in the phylogenetically higher class exhibit an example of parallel evolution at the molecular level. New quantities, the distance of sequence property between discriminated groups and the variation within each group, are derived from the values of discriminant functions along the peptide chain, and this set of quantities simply describes an overall feature of globins such that the distinction between the three types of globins has been clearer as the vertebrates have evolved to become jawed, landed, and warm-blooded. This result strongly suggests that the functional constraint on the amino acid sequence of a protein is changed by living conditions and that severe conditions constitute a driving force that creates a distinctive protein from a less-constrained protein. PMID:8433384

  19. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  20. The nature of cumulative impacts on biotic diversity of wetland vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Larry D.

    1988-09-01

    There is no longer any doubt that cumulative impacts have important effects on wetland vertebrates. Interactions of species diversity and community structure produce a complex pattern in which environmental impacts can play a highly significant role. Various examples show how wetlands maintain the biotic diversity within and among vertebrate populations, and some of the ways that environmental perturbations can interact to reduce this diversity. The trophic and habitat pyramids are useful organizing concepts. Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects at all levels, reducing the usable range of the larger habitat generalists while threatening the genetic integrity of small, isolated populations. The complexity of trophic interactions, and the propensity, or necessity, of vertebrates to switch from one food source to another—something we know little about—makes using food chain support as a variable for predicting environmental impacts very questionable. Historical instances illustrate the effects of the accumulation of impacts on vertebrates. At present it is nearly impossible to predict the result of three or more different kinds of perturbations, although long-range effects can be observed. One case in point is waterfowl; while their ingestion of lead shot, harvesting by hunters during migration, and loss of habitat have caused waterfowl populations to decline, the proportional responsibility of these factors has not been determined. Further examples show multiplicative effects of similar actions, effects with long time lags, diffuse processes in the landscape that may have concentrated effects on a component subsystem, and a variety of other interactions of increasing complexity. Not only is more information needed at all levels; impacts must be assessed on a landscape or regional scale to produce informed management decisions. I conclude that a system of replicate wetland reserves that are allowed to interact naturally with the surrounding landscape will

  1. DNA Editing of LTR Retrotransposons Reveals the Impact of APOBECs on Vertebrate Genomes.

    PubMed

    Knisbacher, Binyamin A; Levanon, Erez Y

    2016-02-01

    Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR) are widespread in vertebrates and their dynamism facilitates genome evolution. However, these endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) must be restricted to maintain genomic stability. The APOBECs, a protein family that can edit C-to-U in DNA, do so by interfering with reverse transcription and hypermutating retrotransposon DNA. In some cases, a retrotransposon may integrate into the genome despite being hypermutated. Such an event introduces a unique sequence into the genome, increasing retrotransposon diversity and the probability of developing new function at the locus of insertion. The prevalence of this phenomenon and its effects on vertebrate genomes are still unclear. In this study, we screened ERV sequences in the genomes of 123 diverse species and identified hundreds of thousands of edited sites in multiple vertebrate lineages, including placental mammals, marsupials, and birds. Numerous edited ERVs carry high mutation loads, some with greater than 350 edited sites, profoundly damaging their open-reading frames. For many of the species studied, this is the first evidence that APOBECs are active players in their innate immune system. Unexpectedly, some birds and especially zebra finch and medium ground-finch (one of Darwin's finches) are exceptionally enriched in DNA editing. We demonstrate that edited retrotransposons may be preferentially retained in active genomic regions, as reflected from their enrichment in genes, exons, promoters, and transcription start sites, thereby raising the probability of their exaptation for novel function. In conclusion, DNA editing of retrotransposons by APOBECs has a substantial role in vertebrate innate immunity and may boost genome evolution. PMID:26541172

  2. DNA Editing of LTR Retrotransposons Reveals the Impact of APOBECs on Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Knisbacher, Binyamin A.; Levanon, Erez Y.

    2016-01-01

    Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR) are widespread in vertebrates and their dynamism facilitates genome evolution. However, these endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) must be restricted to maintain genomic stability. The APOBECs, a protein family that can edit C-to-U in DNA, do so by interfering with reverse transcription and hypermutating retrotransposon DNA. In some cases, a retrotransposon may integrate into the genome despite being hypermutated. Such an event introduces a unique sequence into the genome, increasing retrotransposon diversity and the probability of developing new function at the locus of insertion. The prevalence of this phenomenon and its effects on vertebrate genomes are still unclear. In this study, we screened ERV sequences in the genomes of 123 diverse species and identified hundreds of thousands of edited sites in multiple vertebrate lineages, including placental mammals, marsupials, and birds. Numerous edited ERVs carry high mutation loads, some with greater than 350 edited sites, profoundly damaging their open-reading frames. For many of the species studied, this is the first evidence that APOBECs are active players in their innate immune system. Unexpectedly, some birds and especially zebra finch and medium ground-finch (one of Darwin’s finches) are exceptionally enriched in DNA editing. We demonstrate that edited retrotransposons may be preferentially retained in active genomic regions, as reflected from their enrichment in genes, exons, promoters, and transcription start sites, thereby raising the probability of their exaptation for novel function. In conclusion, DNA editing of retrotransposons by APOBECs has a substantial role in vertebrate innate immunity and may boost genome evolution. PMID:26541172

  3. Osteolytic mass bridging two cervical vertebrae: Unusual presentation of a vertebral body hemangioma

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Dane; Sag, Alan Alper; Krishnan, Anant; Silbergleit, Richard; Roy, Anindya; Dulai, Mohanpal

    2015-01-01

    Vertebral hemangioma is the most common spinal axis tumor. This rare presentation of a vertebral hemangioma extended contiguously from one cervical vertebra to another, encasing the vertebral artery, and thereby mimicking other tumors of the spine. We discuss the differential diagnosis of bridging vertebral masses. PMID:27190555

  4. Effects of reconstruction of a pre-European vertebrate assemblage on ground-dwelling arachnids in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Silvey, Colin J; Hayward, Matthew W; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-06-01

    Species loss can result in changes in assemblage structure and ecosystem function through ecological cascades. Australian vertebrate assemblages changed significantly following European colonisation, which resulted in the establishment of invasive vertebrates and the loss of native marsupials, many of which consume invertebrates. Conservation focusses on the removal of invasive carnivores and the reintroduction of regionally extinct species to fenced sites, resulting in what could be considered a reconstruction of pre-European vertebrate assemblages. In semi-arid Australian spinifex mallee ecosystems, we asked: (1) what is the effect of reconstructed pre-European vertebrate assemblages on native arachnid assemblages? and (2) what direct or indirect mechanisms (predation, disturbance and/or competition) could plausibly be responsible for these effects? We compared sites with reconstructed vertebrate assemblages with paired control sites. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall trapping and direct searching. Hypotheses regarding mechanisms were tested using scat analysis (predation) and by comparing burrow depth (disturbance) and scorpion mass (competition) between control and reconstructed sites. The dominant dune scorpion, Urodacus yaschenkoi, was less abundant and a wolf spider (Lycosa gibsoni species group) more abundant in reconstructed sites. Differences in spider assemblage composition were marginally non-significant. Scat analysis confirmed native vertebrate predation on scorpions and we found no evidence that competition or disturbance affected scorpions. We, thus, suggest that changes in spider assemblages may have resulted from ecological cascades via decreases in dune scorpions. The loss of omnivorous mammals and other changes associated with the invasion of carnivores may, therefore, have had broad-reaching consequences for native arachnid assemblages in Australian ecosystems. PMID:25874858

  5. An experimental and morphometric test of the relationship between vertebral morphology and joint stiffness in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Hutchinson, John R

    2014-03-01

    Despite their semi-aquatic mode of life, modern crocodylians use a wide range of terrestrial locomotor behaviours, including asymmetrical gaits otherwise only found in mammals. The key to these diverse abilities may lie in the axial skeleton. Correlations between vertebral morphology and both intervertebral joint stiffness and locomotor behaviour have been found in other animals, but the vertebral mechanics of crocodylians have not yet been experimentally and quantitatively tested. We measured the passive mechanics and morphology of the thoracolumbar vertebral column in Crocodylus niloticus in order to validate a method to infer intervertebral joint stiffness based on morphology. Passive stiffness of eight thoracic and lumbar joints was tested in dorsal extension, ventral flexion and mediolateral flexion using cadaveric specimens. Fifteen measurements that we deemed to be potential correlates of stiffness were taken from each vertebra and statistically tested for correlation with joint stiffness. We found that the vertebral column of C. niloticus is stiffer in dorsoventral flexion than in lateral flexion and, in contrast to that of many mammals, shows an increase in joint stiffness in the lumbar region. Our findings suggest that the role of the axial column in crocodylian locomotion may be functionally different from that in mammals, even during analogous gaits. A moderate proportion of variation in joint stiffness (R(2)=0.279-0.520) was predicted by centrum width and height, neural spine angle and lamina width. These results support the possible utility of some vertebral morphometrics in predicting mechanical properties of the vertebral column in crocodiles, which also should be useful for forming functional hypotheses of axial motion during locomotion in extinct archosaurs. PMID:24574389

  6. Environmental contaminant exposure data and monitoring priorities for wild terrestrial vertebrates at national parks in coastal and estuarine habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.; Eisenreich, K.M.; McKernan, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses the exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on select species and habitats in the United States. One of the many BEST Project activities entails the development of decision-support tools to assist in the identification of chemical threats to species and lands under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. Although there are many ecotoxicological monitoring programs that focus on aquatic species and habitats, there are currently no large-scale efforts that are focused on terrestrial vertebrates in the United States. Nonetheless, organochlorine contaminants, metals, and new pollutants continue to pose hazards to terrestrial vertebrates at many spatial scales (ranging from small hazardous-waste-site point sources to entire watersheds). To evaluate and prioritize pollutant hazards for terrestrial vertebrates, a ?Contaminant Exposure and EffectsTerrestrial Vertebrates? (CEE-TV) database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was developed. The CEE-TV database has been used to conduct simple searches for exposure and biological effects information for a given species or location, identification of temporal contaminant exposure trends, information gap analyses for national wildlife refuge and national park units, and ranking of terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological information needs based on data density and water quality problems. Despite widespread concerns about environmental contamination, during the past decade only about one-half of the coastal National Park units appear to have terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data. Based upon known environmental contaminant hazards, it is recommended that regionalized monitoring programs or efforts focused on lands managed by the Department of the Interior should be undertaken to prevent serious natural resource problems.

  7. Distinct modes of recruitment of the CCR4-NOT complex by Drosophila and vertebrate Nanos.

    PubMed

    Raisch, Tobias; Bhandari, Dipankar; Sabath, Kevin; Helms, Sigrun; Valkov, Eugene; Weichenrieder, Oliver; Izaurralde, Elisa

    2016-05-01

    Nanos proteins repress the expression of target mRNAs by recruiting effector complexes through non-conserved N-terminal regions. In vertebrates, Nanos proteins interact with the NOT1 subunit of the CCR4-NOT effector complex through a NOT1 interacting motif (NIM), which is absent in Nanos orthologs from several invertebrate species. Therefore, it has remained unclear whether the Nanos repressive mechanism is conserved and whether it also involves direct interactions with the CCR4-NOT deadenylase complex in invertebrates. Here, we identify an effector domain (NED) that is necessary for the Drosophila melanogaster (Dm) Nanos to repress mRNA targets. The NED recruits the CCR4-NOT complex through multiple and redundant binding sites, including a central region that interacts with the NOT module, which comprises the C-terminal domains of NOT1-3. The crystal structure of the NED central region bound to the NOT module reveals an unanticipated bipartite binding interface that contacts NOT1 and NOT3 and is distinct from the NIM of vertebrate Nanos. Thus, despite the absence of sequence conservation, the N-terminal regions of Nanos proteins recruit CCR4-NOT to assemble analogous repressive complexes. PMID:26968986

  8. Molecular signatures that are distinctive characteristics of the vertebrates and chordates and supporting a grouping of vertebrates with the tunicates.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Radhey S

    2016-01-01

    Members of the phylum Chordata and the subphylum Vertebrata are presently distinguished solely on the basis of morphological characteristics. The relationship of the vertebrates to the two non-vertebrate chordate subphyla is also a subject of debate. Analyses of protein sequences have identified multiple conserved signature indels (CSIs) that are specific for Chordata or for Vertebrata. Five CSIs in 4 important proteins are specific for the Vertebrata, whereas two other CSIs are uniquely found in all sequenced chordate species including Ciona intestinalis and Oikapleura dioica (Tunicates) as well as Branchiostoma floridae (Cephalochordates). The shared presence of these molecular signatures by all vertebrates/chordate species, but in no other animal taxa, strongly indicates that the genetic changes represented by the identified CSIs diagnose monophyletic groups. Two other discovered CSIs are uniquely shared by different vertebrate species and by either one (Ciona intestinalis) or both tunicate (Ciona and Oikapleura) species, but they are not found in Branchiostoma or other animal species. Specific presence of these CSIs in different vertebrates and either one or both tunicate species provides strong independent evidence that the vertebrate species are more closely related to the urochordates (tunicates) than to the cephalochordates. PMID:26419477

  9. Computer Simulation and Analysis on Flow Characteristics and Distribution Patterns of Polymethylmethacrylate in Lumbar Vertebral Body and Vertebral Pedicle

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Da; Liu, Xu-li; Zhang, Bo; Liao, Dong-fa; Li, Zhi-qiang; Zhou, Jiang-jun; Kang, Xia; Zheng, Wei; Lei, Wei

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to analyze the flow and distribution of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in vertebral body through computer simulation. Cadaveric lumbar vertebrae were scanned through electron beam tomography (EBT). The data was imported into Mimics software to build computational model. Vertebral body center and junction of pedicle and vertebral body were chosen as injection points. Silicone oil with viscosity of 100,000 cSt matching with PMMA bone cement was chosen for injection. The flow and distribution of silicone oil were analyzed using Fluent software. In vertebral body, silicone oil formed a circle-like shape centered by injection point on transverse and longitudinal sections, finally forming a sphere-like shape as a whole. Silicone oil diffused along lateral and posterior walls forming a circle-like shape on transverse section centered by injection point in pedicle, eventually forming a sphere-like shape as a whole. This study demonstrated that silicone oil flowed and diffused into a circle-like shape centered by injection point and finally formed a sphere-like shape as a whole in both vertebral body and pedicle. The flow and distribution of silicon oil in computational model could simulate PMMA distribution in vertebral body. It may provide theoretical evidence to reduce PMMA leakage risk during percutaneous vertebroplasty. PMID:26770969

  10. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    species richness. Plant species richness should be included with other variables such as area and climate when considering strategies to manage and conserve species in US National Parks. It is not always appropriate to draw conclusions about analyses of taxonomic surrogates from one area to another. Two patterns evident from the linear regressions were the increase in species richness with the increase of park area and with increase of vascular plant species richness. To test whether there were differences in these patterns among networks, we used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Differences among networks were detected only in bird species richness versus plant species richness and for all taxa except mammals for vertebrate species richness versus park area. Some of these results may be due to small sample size among networks, and therefore, low statistical power. Other factors that could have contributed to these results were differences in average park area and habitat heterogeneity among networks, latitudinal gradients, low variation in mean annual precipitation, and different use of vegetation by migratory species. Based on these results we recommend that management of biodiversity be approached from local and site specific criteria rather than applying management directives derived from other regions of the US. It is also recommended that analyses similar to those presented here be conducted for all national parks, once data become available for all networks in the US, to gain a better understanding of how vascular plant species richness, area, and vertebrate species richness are related in the US.

  11. Caribbean biogeography: molecular evidence for dispersal in West Indian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Hass, C A; Maxson, L R

    1992-01-01

    The geological association of the Greater Antilles with North and South America in the late Cretaceous led to the hypothesis that the present Antillean biota reflects those ancient land connections. Molecular data from diverse West Indian amphibians and reptiles and their mainland relatives support a more recent derivation of the Antillean vertebrate fauna by overwater dispersal. The catastrophic bolide impact in the Caribbean region at the close of the Cretaceous provides a proximate cause for the absence of an ancient West Indian biota. PMID:11607282

  12. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  13. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Alves, Maria Alice S.; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M.

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world’s megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  14. High Serum SHBG Predicts Incident Vertebral Fractures in Elderly Men

    PubMed Central

    Vandenput, Liesbeth; Mellström, Dan; Kindmark, Andreas; Johansson, Helena; Lorentzon, Mattias; Leung, Jason; Redlund‐Johnell, Inga; Rosengren, Björn E; Karlsson, Magnus K; Wang, Yi‐Xiang; Kwok, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Previous prospective cohort studies have shown that serum levels of sex steroids and sex hormone‐binding globulin (SHBG) associate with nonvertebral fracture risk in men. The predictive value of sex hormones and SHBG for vertebral fracture risk specifically is, however, less studied. Elderly men (aged ≥65 years) from Sweden and Hong Kong participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study had baseline estradiol and testosterone analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC‐MS) and SHBG by immunoradiometric assay (IRMA). Incident clinical vertebral fractures (n = 242 cases) were evaluated in 4324 men during an average follow‐up of 9.1 years. In a subsample of these men (n = 2256), spine X‐rays were obtained at baseline and after an average follow‐up of 4.3 years to identify incident radiographic vertebral fractures (n = 157 cases). The likelihood of incident clinical and radiographic vertebral fractures was estimated by Cox proportional hazards models and logistic regression models, respectively. Neither serum estradiol (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increase = 0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80–1.08) nor testosterone (1.05, 0.91–1.21) predicted incident clinical vertebral fractures in age‐adjusted models in the combined data set. High serum SHBG, however, associated with increased clinical vertebral fracture risk (1.24, 1.12–1.37). This association remained significant after further adjustment for FRAX with or without bone mineral density (BMD). SHBG also associated with increased incident radiographic vertebral fracture risk (combined data set; odds ratio [OR] per SD increase = 1.23, 95% CI 1.05–1.44). This association remained significant after adjustment for FRAX with or without BMD. In conclusion, high SHBG predicts incident clinical and radiographic vertebral fractures in elderly men and adds moderate information beyond FRAX with BMD for vertebral fracture risk prediction. © 2015 The

  15. Corticotropin-releasing hormone: Mediator of vertebrate life stage transitions?

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yugo; Grommen, Sylvia V H; De Groef, Bert

    2016-03-01

    Hormones, particularly thyroid hormones and corticosteroids, play critical roles in vertebrate life stage transitions such as amphibian metamorphosis, hatching in precocial birds, and smoltification in salmonids. Since they synergistically regulate several metabolic and developmental processes that accompany vertebrate life stage transitions, the existence of extensive cross-communication between the adrenal/interrenal and thyroidal axes is not surprising. Synergies of corticosteroids and thyroid hormones are based on effects at the level of tissue hormone sensitivity and gene regulation. In addition, in representative nonmammalian vertebrates, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulates hypophyseal thyrotropin secretion, and thus functions as a common regulator of both the adrenal/interrenal and thyroidal axes to release corticosteroids and thyroid hormones. The dual function of CRH has been speculated to control or affect the timing of vertebrate life history transitions across taxa. After a brief overview of recent insights in the molecular mechanisms behind the synergic actions of thyroid hormones and corticosteroids during life stage transitions, this review examines the evidence for a possible role of CRH in controlling vertebrate life stage transitions. PMID:26874222

  16. Vertebral Artery Hypoplasia in a Black Kenyan Population

    PubMed Central

    Ogeng'o, Julius; Olabu, Beda; Sinkeet, Rankeet; Ogeng'o, Nafula M.; Elbusaid, Hemedi

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the characteristics of vertebral artery hypoplasia in 346 arteries of adult black Kenyans. The circumference was measured on haematoxylin/eosin stained microscopic sections of the distal one-third of the intracranial vertebral arteries using scion image analyser. Internal diameter was calculated in millimetre. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16.0. Vertebral artery hypoplasia (diameter < 2.0 mm) occurred in 100 (28.9%) arteries. Sixty of these (17.3%) were on the left and 40 (11.6%) on the right. Sixty (17.3%) were in females while 40 (11.6%) were in males. The side and gender differences were statistically significant at confidence interval of 95%. Frequency of vertebral artery hypoplasia was higher than in most other populations studied. The condition differs from that in other populations because it is more common on the left side and in females. We recommend ultrasound, angio-CT, or angio-MRI evaluation of vertebral arterial system before diagnostic or interventional procedures on posterior circulation.

  17. The amphioxus genome illuminates vertebrate origins and cephalochordate biology

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Linda Z.; Albalat, Ricard; Azumi, Kaoru; Benito-Gutiérrez, Èlia; Blow, Matthew J.; Bronner-Fraser, Marianne; Brunet, Frederic; Butts, Thomas; Candiani, Simona; Dishaw, Larry J.; Ferrier, David E.K.; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Gibson-Brown, Jeremy J.; Gissi, Carmela; Godzik, Adam; Hallböök, Finn; Hirose, Dan; Hosomichi, Kazuyoshi; Ikuta, Tetsuro; Inoko, Hidetoshi; Kasahara, Masanori; Kasamatsu, Jun; Kawashima, Takeshi; Kimura, Ayuko; Kobayashi, Masaaki; Kozmik, Zbynek; Kubokawa, Kaoru; Laudet, Vincent; Litman, Gary W.; McHardy, Alice C.; Meulemans, Daniel; Nonaka, Masaru; Olinski, Robert P.; Pancer, Zeev; Pennacchio, Len A.; Pestarino, Mario; Rast, Jonathan P.; Rigoutsos, Isidore; Robinson-Rechavi, Marc; Roch, Graeme; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Sasakura, Yasunori; Satake, Masanobu; Satou, Yutaka; Schubert, Michael; Sherwood, Nancy; Shiina, Takashi; Takatori, Naohito; Tello, Javier; Vopalensky, Pavel; Wada, Shuichi; Xu, Anlong; Ye, Yuzhen; Yoshida, Keita; Yoshizaki, Fumiko; Yu, Jr-Kai; Zhang, Qing; Zmasek, Christian M.; de Jong, Pieter J.; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Satoh, Noriyuki; Holland, Peter W.H.

    2008-01-01

    Cephalochordates, urochordates, and vertebrates evolved from a common ancestor over 520 million years ago. To improve our understanding of chordate evolution and the origin of vertebrates, we intensively searched for particular genes, gene families, and conserved noncoding elements in the sequenced genome of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae, commonly called amphioxus or lancelets. Special attention was given to homeobox genes, opsin genes, genes involved in neural crest development, nuclear receptor genes, genes encoding components of the endocrine and immune systems, and conserved cis-regulatory enhancers. The amphioxus genome contains a basic set of chordate genes involved in development and cell signaling, including a fifteenth Hox gene. This set includes many genes that were co-opted in vertebrates for new roles in neural crest development and adaptive immunity. However, where amphioxus has a single gene, vertebrates often have two, three, or four paralogs derived from two whole-genome duplication events. In addition, several transcriptional enhancers are conserved between amphioxus and vertebrates—a very wide phylogenetic distance. In contrast, urochordate genomes have lost many genes, including a diversity of homeobox families and genes involved in steroid hormone function. The amphioxus genome also exhibits derived features, including duplications of opsins and genes proposed to function in innate immunity and endocrine systems. Our results indicate that the amphioxus genome is elemental to an understanding of the biology and evolution of nonchordate deuterostomes, invertebrate chordates, and vertebrates. PMID:18562680

  18. Unexpected Inheritance: Multiple Integrations of Ancient Bornavirus and Ebolavirus/Marburgvirus Sequences in Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Belyi, Vladimir A.; Levine, Arnold J.; Skalka, Anna Marie

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrate genomes contain numerous copies of retroviral sequences, acquired over the course of evolution. Until recently they were thought to be the only type of RNA viruses to be so represented, because integration of a DNA copy of their genome is required for their replication. In this study, an extensive sequence comparison was conducted in which 5,666 viral genes from all known non-retroviral families with single-stranded RNA genomes were matched against the germline genomes of 48 vertebrate species, to determine if such viruses could also contribute to the vertebrate genetic heritage. In 19 of the tested vertebrate species, we discovered as many as 80 high-confidence examples of genomic DNA sequences that appear to be derived, as long ago as 40 million years, from ancestral members of 4 currently circulating virus families with single strand RNA genomes. Surprisingly, almost all of the sequences are related to only two families in the Order Mononegavirales: the Bornaviruses and the Filoviruses, which cause lethal neurological disease and hemorrhagic fevers, respectively. Based on signature landmarks some, and perhaps all, of the endogenous virus-like DNA sequences appear to be LINE element-facilitated integrations derived from viral mRNAs. The integrations represent genes that encode viral nucleocapsid, RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase, matrix and, possibly, glycoproteins. Integrations are generally limited to one or very few copies of a related viral gene per species, suggesting that once the initial germline integration was obtained (or selected), later integrations failed or provided little advantage to the host. The conservation of relatively long open reading frames for several of the endogenous sequences, the virus-like protein regions represented, and a potential correlation between their presence and a species' resistance to the diseases caused by these pathogens, are consistent with the notion that their products provide some important biological

  19. Semi-automatic segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images using a statistical shape+pose model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzani, Amin; Rasoulian, Abtin; Fels, Sidney; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang

    2014-03-01

    Segmentation of vertebral structures in magnetic resonance (MR) images is challenging because of poor con­trast between bone surfaces and surrounding soft tissue. This paper describes a semi-automatic method for segmenting vertebral bodies in multi-slice MR images. In order to achieve a fast and reliable segmentation, the method takes advantage of the correlation between shape and pose of different vertebrae in the same patient by using a statistical multi-vertebrae anatomical shape+pose model. Given a set of MR images of the spine, we initially reduce the intensity inhomogeneity in the images by using an intensity-correction algorithm. Then a 3D anisotropic diffusion filter smooths the images. Afterwards, we extract edges from a relatively small region of the pre-processed image with a simple user interaction. Subsequently, an iterative Expectation Maximization tech­nique is used to register the statistical multi-vertebrae anatomical model to the extracted edge points in order to achieve a fast and reliable segmentation for lumbar vertebral bodies. We evaluate our method in terms of speed and accuracy by applying it to volumetric MR images of the spine acquired from nine patients. Quantitative and visual results demonstrate that the method is promising for segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images.

  20. Cement Leakage into Adjacent Vertebral Body Following Percutaneous Vertebroplasty

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jae Hoo; Kim, Hyeun Sung

    2016-01-01

    Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) is a minimally invasive procedure for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional conservative treatment. It significantly improves intolerable back pain within hours, and has a low complication rate. Although rare, PV is not free of complications, most of which are directly related to cement leakage. Because of its association with new adjacent fracture, the importance of cement leakage into the adjacent disc space is paramount. Here, we report an interesting case of cement leakage into the adjacent upper vertebral body as well as disc space following PV. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no report of cement leakage into the adjacent vertebral body following PV. This rare case is presented along with a review of the literature. PMID:27437018

  1. Translational control of tropomyosin expression in vertebrate hearts.

    PubMed

    Dube, Dipak K; McLean, Matthew D; Dube, Syamalima; Poiesz, Bernard J

    2014-09-01

    The tropomyosin (TM) gene family produces a set of related TM proteins with important functions in striated and smooth muscle, and nonmuscle cells. In vertebrate striated muscle, the thin filament consists largely of actin, TM, the troponin (Tn) complex (Tn-I, Tn-C and Tn-T), and tropomodulin (Tmod) and is responsible for mediating Ca(2+) control of muscle contraction and relaxation. There are four known genes (designated as TPM1, TPM2, TPM3, and TPM4) for TM in vertebrates. The four TM genes generate a multitude of tissue- and developmental-specific isoforms through the use of different promoters, alternative mRNA splicing, different 3'-end mRNA processing and tissue-specific translational control. In this review, we have focused mainly on the regulation of TM expression in striated muscles, primarily in vertebrate hearts with special emphasis on translational control using mouse and Mexican axolotl animal models. PMID:25125172

  2. The largest Silurian vertebrate and its palaeoecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Choo, Brian; Zhu, Min; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liaotao; Zhu, You'an

    2014-01-01

    An apparent absence of Silurian fishes more than half-a-metre in length has been viewed as evidence that gnathostomes were restricted in size and diversity prior to the Devonian. Here we describe the largest pre-Devonian vertebrate (Megamastax amblyodus gen. et sp. nov.), a predatory marine osteichthyan from the Silurian Kuanti Formation (late Ludlow, ~423 million years ago) of Yunnan, China, with an estimated length of about 1 meter. The unusual dentition of the new form suggests a durophagous diet which, combined with its large size, indicates a considerable degree of trophic specialisation among early osteichthyans. The lack of large Silurian vertebrates has recently been used as constraint in palaeoatmospheric modelling, with purported lower oxygen levels imposing a physiological size limit. Regardless of the exact causal relationship between oxygen availability and evolutionary success, this finding refutes the assumption that pre-Emsian vertebrates were restricted to small body sizes. PMID:24921626

  3. A comparative view of regenerative neurogenesis in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Alunni, Alessandro; Bally-Cuif, Laure

    2016-03-01

    In all vertebrate species studied thus far, the adult central nervous system harbors neural stem cells that sustain constitutive neurogenesis, as well as latent neural progenitors that can be awakened in lesional contexts. In spite of this common theme, many species differ dramatically in their ability to recruit constitutive progenitors, to awaken latent progenitors, or to enhance or bias neural progenitor fate to achieve successful neuronal repair. This Review summarizes the striking similarities in the essential molecular and cellular properties of adult neural stem cells between different vertebrate species, both under physiological and reparative conditions. It also emphasizes the differences in the reparative process across evolution and how the study of non-mammalian models can provide insights into both basic neural stem cell properties and stimulatory cues shared between vertebrates, and subsequent neurogenic events, which are abortive under reparative conditions in mammals. PMID:26932669

  4. Evolution of lung breathing from a lungless primitive vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, M; Taylor, B E; Harris, M B

    2016-04-01

    Air breathing was critical to the terrestrial radiation and evolution of tetrapods and arose in fish. The vertebrate lung originated from a progenitor structure present in primitive boney fish. The origin of the neural substrates, which are sensitive to metabolically produced CO2 and which rhythmically activate respiratory muscles to match lung ventilation to metabolic demand, is enigmatic. We have found that a distinct periodic centrally generated rhythm, described as "cough" and occurring in lamprey in vivo and in vitro, is modulated by central sensitivity to CO2. This suggests that elements critical for the evolution of breathing in tetrapods, were present in the most basal vertebrate ancestors prior to the evolution of the lung. We propose that the evolution of breathing in all vertebrates occurred through exaptations derived from these critical basal elements. PMID:26476056

  5. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans: a sugar code for vertebrate development?

    PubMed

    Poulain, Fabienne E; Yost, H Joseph

    2015-10-15

    Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have long been implicated in a wide range of cell-cell signaling and cell-matrix interactions, both in vitro and in vivo in invertebrate models. Although many of the genes that encode HSPG core proteins and the biosynthetic enzymes that generate and modify HSPG sugar chains have not yet been analyzed by genetics in vertebrates, recent studies have shown that HSPGs do indeed mediate a wide range of functions in early vertebrate development, for example during left-right patterning and in cardiovascular and neural development. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the various roles of HSPGs in these systems and explore the concept of an instructive heparan sulfate sugar code for modulating vertebrate development. PMID:26487777

  6. The evolution and development of vertebrate lateral line electroreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Clare V. H.; Modrell, Melinda S.; Gillis, J. Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Summary Electroreception is an ancient vertebrate sense with a fascinating evolutionary history involving multiple losses as well as independent evolution at least twice within teleosts. We review the phylogenetic distribution of electroreception and the morphology and innervation of electroreceptors in different vertebrate groups. We summarise recent work from our laboratory that has confirmed the homology of ampullary electroreceptors in non-teleost jawed vertebrates by showing, in conjunction with previously published work, that these are derived embryonically from lateral line placodes. Finally, we review hypotheses to explain the distribution of electroreception within teleosts, including the hypothesis that teleost ampullary and tuberous electroreceptors evolved via the modification of mechanosensory hair cells in lateral line neuromasts. We conclude that further experimental work on teleost electroreceptor development is needed to test such hypotheses. PMID:23761476

  7. Early Chordate Origins of the Vertebrate Second Heart Field

    PubMed Central

    Stolfi, Alberto; Gainous, T. Blair; Young, John J.; Mori, Alessandro; Levine, Michael; Christiaen, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate heart is formed from diverse embryonic territories, including the first and second heart fields. The second heart field (SHF) gives rise to the right ventricle and outflow tract, yet its evolutionary origins are unclear. We found that heart progenitor cells of the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis also generate precursors of the atrial siphon muscles (ASMs). These precursors express Islet and Tbx1/10, evocative of the splanchnic mesoderm that produces the lower jaw muscles and SHF of vertebrates. Evidence is presented that the transcription factor COE is a critical determinant of ASM fate. We propose that the last common ancestor of tunicates and vertebrates possessed multipotent cardiopharyngeal muscle precursors, and that their reallocation might have contributed to the emergence of the SHF. PMID:20671188

  8. A comparative view of regenerative neurogenesis in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Alunni, Alessandro; Bally-Cuif, Laure

    2016-01-01

    In all vertebrate species studied thus far, the adult central nervous system harbors neural stem cells that sustain constitutive neurogenesis, as well as latent neural progenitors that can be awakened in lesional contexts. In spite of this common theme, many species differ dramatically in their ability to recruit constitutive progenitors, to awaken latent progenitors, or to enhance or bias neural progenitor fate to achieve successful neuronal repair. This Review summarizes the striking similarities in the essential molecular and cellular properties of adult neural stem cells between different vertebrate species, both under physiological and reparative conditions. It also emphasizes the differences in the reparative process across evolution and how the study of non-mammalian models can provide insights into both basic neural stem cell properties and stimulatory cues shared between vertebrates, and subsequent neurogenic events, which are abortive under reparative conditions in mammals. PMID:26932669

  9. Evolutionary perspectives on clonal reproduction in vertebrate animals

    PubMed Central

    Avise, John C.

    2015-01-01

    A synopsis is provided of different expressions of whole-animal vertebrate clonality (asexual organismal-level reproduction), both in the laboratory and in nature. For vertebrate taxa, such clonal phenomena include the following: human-mediated cloning via artificial nuclear transfer; intergenerational clonality in nature via parthenogenesis and gynogenesis; intergenerational hemiclonality via hybridogenesis and kleptogenesis; intragenerational clonality via polyembryony; and what in effect qualifies as clonal replication via self-fertilization and intense inbreeding by simultaneous hermaphrodites. Each of these clonal or quasi-clonal mechanisms is described, and its evolutionary genetic ramifications are addressed. By affording an atypical vantage on standard vertebrate reproduction, clonality offers fresh perspectives on the evolutionary and ecological significance of recombination-derived genetic variety. PMID:26195735

  10. Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia into the twenty-first century

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Jacqueline M. T.; Molak, Martyna; Black, Karen H.; Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Travouillon, Kenny J.; Ho, Simon Y. W.

    2011-01-01

    The 13th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics (CAVEPS) took place in Perth, Western Australia, from 27 to 30 April 2011. This biennial meeting was jointly hosted by Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia. Researchers from diverse disciplines addressed many aspects of vertebrate evolution, including functional morphology, phylogeny, ecology and extinctions. New additions to the fossil record were reported, especially from hitherto under-represented ages and clades. Yet, application of new techniques in palaeobiological analyses dominated, such as dental microwear and geochronology, and technological advances, including computed tomography and ancient biomolecules. This signals a shift towards increased emphasis in interpreting broader evolutionary patterns and processes. Nonetheless, further field exploration for new fossils and systematic descriptions will continue to shape our understanding of vertebrate evolution in this little-studied, but most unusual, part of the globe. PMID:21715395

  11. Identification of chemosensory receptor genes from vertebrate genomes.

    PubMed

    Niimura, Yoshihito

    2013-01-01

    Chemical senses are essential for the survival of animals. In vertebrates, mainly three different types of receptors, olfactory receptors (ORs), vomeronasal receptors type 1 (V1Rs), and vomeronasal receptors type 2 (V2Rs), are responsible for the detection of chemicals in the environment. Mouse or rat genomes contain >1,000 OR genes, forming the largest multigene family in vertebrates, and have >100 V1R and V2R genes as well. Recent advancement in genome sequencing enabled us to computationally identify nearly complete repertories of OR, V1R, and V2R genes from various organisms, revealing that the numbers of these genes are highly variable among different organisms depending on each species' living environment. Here I would explain bioinformatic methods to identify the entire repertoires of OR, V1R, and V2R genes from vertebrate genome sequences. PMID:24014356

  12. GONAD MORPHOGENESIS IN VERTEBRATES: DIVERGENT MEANS TO A CONVERGENT END

    PubMed Central

    DeFalco, Tony; Capel, Blanche

    2015-01-01

    A critical element of successful sexual reproduction is the generation of sexually dimorphic adult reproductive organs, the testis and ovary, which produce functional gametes. The examination of different vertebrate species shows that the adult gonad is remarkably similar in its morphology across different phylogenetic classes. Surprisingly, however, the cellular and molecular programs employed to create similar organs are not evolutionarily conserved. We highlight the mechanisms used by different vertebrate model systems to generate the somatic architecture necessary to support gametogenesis. In addition, we examine the different vertebrate patterns of germ cell migration from their site of origin to colonize the gonad, and highlight their roles in sex-specific morphogenesis. We also discuss the plasticity of the adult gonad and consider how different genetic and environmental conditions can induce transitions between testis and ovary morphology. PMID:19807280

  13. Do global diversity patterns of vertebrates reflect those of monocots?

    PubMed

    McInnes, Lynsey; Jones, F Andrew; Orme, C David L; Sobkowiak, Benjamin; Barraclough, Timothy G; Chase, Mark W; Govaerts, Rafaël; Soltis, Douglas E; Soltis, Pamela S; Savolainen, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Few studies of global diversity gradients in plants exist, largely because the data are not available for all species involved. Instead, most global studies have focussed on vertebrates, as these taxa have historically been associated with the most complete data. Here, we address this shortfall by first investigating global diversity gradients in monocots, a morphologically and functionally diverse clade representing a quarter of flowering plant diversity, and then assessing congruence between monocot and vertebrate diversity patterns. To do this, we create a new dataset that merges biome-level associations for all monocot genera with country-level associations for almost all ∼70,000 species. We then assess the evidence for direct versus indirect effects of this plant diversity on vertebrate diversity using a combination of linear regression and structural equation modelling (SEM). Finally, we also calculate overlap of diversity hotspots for monocots and each vertebrate taxon. Monocots follow a latitudinal gradient although with pockets of extra-tropical diversity, mirroring patterns in vertebrates. Monocot diversity is positively associated with vertebrate diversity, but the strength of correlation varies depending on the clades being compared. Monocot diversity explains marginal amounts of variance (<10%) after environmental factors have been accounted for. However, correlations remain among model residuals, and SEMs apparently reveal some direct effects of monocot richness. Our results suggest that collinear responses to environmental gradients are behind much of the congruence observed, but that there is some evidence for direct effects of producer diversity on consumer diversity. Much remains to be done before broad-scale diversity gradients among taxa are fully explained. Our dataset of monocot distributions will aid in this endeavour. PMID:23658679

  14. Prevalent Morphometric Vertebral Fractures in Professional Male Rugby Players

    PubMed Central

    Hind, Karen; Birrell, Fraser; Beck, Belinda

    2014-01-01

    There is an ongoing concern about the risk of injury to the spine in professional rugby players. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of vertebral fracture using vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) imaging in professional male rugby players. Ninety five professional rugby league (n = 52) and union (n = 43) players (n = 95; age 25.9 (SD 4.3) years; BMI: 29.5 (SD 2.9) kg.m2) participated in the research. Each participant received one VFA, and one total body and lumbar spine DXA scan (GE Lunar iDXA). One hundred and twenty vertebral fractures were identified in over half of the sample by VFA. Seventy four were graded mild (grade 1), 40 moderate (grade 2) and 6 severe (grade 3). Multiple vertebral fractures (≥2) were found in 37 players (39%). There were no differences in prevalence between codes, or between forwards and backs (both 1.2 v 1.4; p>0.05). The most common sites of fracture were T8 (n = 23), T9 (n = 18) and T10 (n = 21). The mean (SD) lumbar spine bone mineral density Z-score was 2.7 (1.3) indicating high player bone mass in comparison with age- and sex-matched norms. We observed a high number of vertebral fractures using DXA VFA in professional rugby players of both codes. The incidence, aetiology and consequences of vertebral fractures in professional rugby players are unclear, and warrant timely, prospective investigation. PMID:24846310

  15. The Intriguing Dual Lattices of the Myosin Filaments in Vertebrate Striated Muscles: Evolution and Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Luther, Pradeep K.; Squire, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscle have a long roughly cylindrical backbone with cross-bridge projections on the surfaces of both halves except for a short central bare zone. In the middle of this central region the filaments are cross-linked by the M-band which holds them in a well-defined hexagonal lattice in the muscle A-band. During muscular contraction the M-band-defined rotation of the myosin filaments around their long axes influences the interactions that the cross-bridges can make with the neighbouring actin filaments. We can visualise this filament rotation by electron microscopy of thin cross-sections in the bare-region immediately adjacent to the M-band where the filament profiles are distinctly triangular. In the muscles of teleost fishes, the thick filament triangular profiles have a single orientation giving what we call the simple lattice. In other vertebrates, for example all the tetrapods, the thick filaments have one of two orientations where the triangles point in opposite directions (they are rotated by 60° or 180°) according to set rules. Such a distribution cannot be developed in an ordered fashion across a large 2D lattice, but there are small domains of superlattice such that the next-nearest neighbouring thick filaments often have the same orientation. We believe that this difference in the lattice forms can lead to different contractile behaviours. Here we provide a historical review, and when appropriate cite recent work related to the emergence of the simple and superlattice forms by examining the muscles of several species ranging back to primitive vertebrates and we discuss the functional differences that the two lattice forms may have. PMID:25478994

  16. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, Pamela; Docherty, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park (NHP) in southern Arizona. These surveys were part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. From 2000 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tumacacori NHP to document presence of species within the administrative boundaries of the park's three units. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, these inventories can serve as the first step in a long-term monitoring program. We recorded 591 species at Tumacacori NHP, significantly increasing the number of known species for the park (Table 1). Species of note in each taxonomic group include: * Plants: second record in Arizona of muster John Henry, a non-native species that is ranked a 'Class A noxious weed' in California; * Amphibian: Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad; * Reptiles: eastern fence lizard and Sonoran mud turtle; * Birds: yellow-billed cuckoo, green kingfisher, and one observation of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher; * Fishes: four native species including an important population of the endangered Gila topminnow in the Tumacacori Channel; * Mammals: black bear and all four species of skunk known to occur in Arizona. We recorded 79 non-native species (Table E.S.1), many of which are of management concern, including: Bermudagrass, tamarisk, western mosquitofish, largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, American bullfrog, feral cats and dogs, and cattle. We also noted an abundance of crayfish (a non-native invertebrate). We review some of the important non-native species and make recommendations to remove them or to minimize their impacts on the native biota of the park. Based on the observed species richness, Tumacacori NHP possesses high biological diversity of plants, fish

  17. Nucleic Acid Templated Chemical Reaction in a Live Vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Nucleic acid templated reactions are enabled by the hybridization of probe-reagent conjugates resulting in high effective reagent concentration and fast chemical transformation. We have developed a reaction that harnesses cellular microRNA (miRNA) to yield the cleavage of a linker releasing fluorogenic rhodamine in a live vertebrate. The reaction is based on the catalytic photoreduction of an azide by a ruthenium complex. We showed that this system reports specific expression of miRNA in living tissues of a vertebrate. PMID:27413783

  18. How can mathematics help us explore vertebrate segmentation?

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Ruth E.; Schnell, Santiago

    2009-01-01

    Since the discovery of gene products oscillating during the formation of vertebral segments, much attention has been directed toward eluciating the molecular basis of the so-called segmentation clock. What research has told us is, that even in the most simple vertebrates, enormously complicated gene networks act in each cell to give rise to oscillations, and that cell-cell communication synchronizes these oscillations between neighboring cells. A number of theories have been proposed to explain both the initiation and maintenance of oscillations in a single cell and the synchronization of such oscillations between cells. We discuss these theories in this Commentary. PMID:19649154

  19. Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godfrey, Stephen J.; Smith, Joshua B.

    2010-05-01

    Coprolites (fossilized feces) preserve a wide range of biogenic components, from bacteria and spores to a variety of vertebrate tissues. Two coprolites from the Calvert Cliffs outcrop belt (Miocene-aged Chesapeake Group), MD, USA, preserve shark tooth impressions in the form of partial dental arcades. The specimens are the first known coprolites to preserve vertebrate tooth marks. They provide another example of trace fossils providing evidence of prehistoric animal behaviors that cannot be directly approached through the study of body fossils. Shark behaviors that could account for these impressions include: (1) aborted coprophagy, (2) benthic or nektonic exploration, or (3) predation.

  20. Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Smith, Joshua B

    2010-05-01

    Coprolites (fossilized feces) preserve a wide range of biogenic components, from bacteria and spores to a variety of vertebrate tissues. Two coprolites from the Calvert Cliffs outcrop belt (Miocene-aged Chesapeake Group), MD, USA, preserve shark tooth impressions in the form of partial dental arcades. The specimens are the first known coprolites to preserve vertebrate tooth marks. They provide another example of trace fossils providing evidence of prehistoric animal behaviors that cannot be directly approached through the study of body fossils. Shark behaviors that could account for these impressions include: (1) aborted coprophagy, (2) benthic or nektonic exploration, or (3) predation. PMID:20213300

  1. Increase in vertebral body size in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Briot, K; Kolta, S; Fechtenbaum, J; Said-Nahal, R; Benhamou, C L; Roux, C

    2010-08-01

    Bone geometry plays a prominent role in bone strength. Cross-sectional studies have shown that advancing age is associated with increasing diameter of long bones, related to both periostal apposition and endosteal resorption. However, there are few data provided by prospective studies, especially concerning the changes in vertebral body dimensions. The objective of this prospective study was to measure the changes occurring in the vertebral body size of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Three-year data from placebo groups of the SOTI and TROPOS trials, performed in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, were used for this study. In these trials, patients underwent lateral radiographs of the thoracic and lumbar spine at baseline and annually over 3 years, according to standardized procedures. Six-point digitization method was used: the four corner points of the vertebral body from T4 to L4 are marked, as well as an additional point in the middle of the upper and lower endplates. From these 6 points, the vertebral body perimeter, area and depth were measured at baseline and at 3 years. The analysis excluded all vertebrae with prevalent or incident fracture. A total of 2017 postmenopausal women (mean age 73.4+/-6.1 years) with a mean lumbar spine T score of -3.1+/-1.5, and a mean femoral neck T score of -3.0+/-0.7 are included in the analysis. Vertebral body dimensions increased over 3 years, by 2.1+/-5.5% (mean depth+/-SD), by 1.7+/-8.3% (mean area+/-SD) and by 1.5+/-4.9% (mean perimeter+/-SD) at the thoracic level (T4 to T12). At the lumbar level (L1 to L4), these dimensions increased as well: 1.4+/-3.6% (mean depth+/-SD), 1.4+/-5.7% (mean area+/-SD), 0.7+/-2.9% (mean perimeter+/-SD). A significant increase in vertebral body size was observed for each vertebral level from T5 to L4 for each of these parameters (p<0.01). These prospective results demonstrate that vertebral body dimensions increase over 3 years in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. PMID

  2. Transient Cortical Blindness Following Vertebral Angiography: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Ho Fung; Ma, Ka Fai; Cheng, Lik Fai; Chan, Tony KT

    2015-01-01

    Transient cortical blindness (TCB) is a rare but well-known complication of cerebral angiography. Its pathophysiology remains uncertain. We would like to report a case of TCB in a patient during a follow up vertebral angiogram for post-coil embolization of left posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm. Patient's vision was resumed spontaneously within 24 hours after angiography, with no residual neurological deficit in subsequent clinical follow up. Multi-modality imaging evaluation including vertebral angiography, brain CT and MRI performed on same day are presented. PMID:25763297

  3. Molecular genetics and the evolution of ultraviolet vision in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yongsheng; Radlwimmer, F. Bernhard; Yokoyama, Shozo

    2001-01-01

    Despite the biological importance of UV vision, its molecular bases are not well understood. Here, we present evidence that UV vision in vertebrates is determined by eight specific amino acids in the UV pigments. Amino acid sequence analyses show that contemporary UV pigments inherited their UV sensitivities from the vertebrate ancestor by retaining most of these eight amino acids. In the avian lineage, the ancestral pigment lost UV sensitivity, but some descendants regained it by one amino acid change. Our results also strongly support the hypothesis that UV pigments have an unprotonated Schiff base-linked chromophore. PMID:11573008

  4. Changes in the adult vertebrate auditory sensory epithelium after trauma.

    PubMed

    Oesterle, Elizabeth C

    2013-03-01

    Auditory hair cells transduce sound vibrations into membrane potential changes, ultimately leading to changes in neuronal firing and sound perception. This review provides an overview of the characteristics and repair capabilities of traumatized auditory sensory epithelium in the adult vertebrate ear. Injured mammalian auditory epithelium repairs itself by forming permanent scars but is unable to regenerate replacement hair cells. In contrast, injured non-mammalian vertebrate ear generates replacement hair cells to restore hearing functions. Non-sensory support cells within the auditory epithelium play key roles in the repair processes. PMID:23178236

  5. Age of sex-determining mechanisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    WITSCHI, E

    1959-08-14

    Certain characteristic patterns of physiologic sex determination are not causally linked with types of genic and chromosomal constitution (XX-XY or ZW-ZZ). The observed widespread but not universal parallelism in the distribution of genetic and physiologic patterns among vertebrate groups expresses genealogic relationship. On the basis of this interpretation one may estimate the approximate evolutionary age of the mechanism of genetic sex determination. It is concluded that in all tetrapod vertebrates these mechanisms originated during the Jurassic period. Environmental conditions seem to affect the progress of this evolution. PMID:13675759

  6. Continuum theory of gene expression waves during vertebrate segmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jörg, David J.; Morelli, Luis G.; Soroldoni, Daniele; Oates, Andrew C.; Jülicher, Frank

    2015-09-01

    The segmentation of the vertebrate body plan during embryonic development is a rhythmic and sequential process governed by genetic oscillations. These genetic oscillations give rise to traveling waves of gene expression in the segmenting tissue. Here we present a minimal continuum theory of vertebrate segmentation that captures the key principles governing the dynamic patterns of gene expression including the effects of shortening of the oscillating tissue. We show that our theory can quantitatively account for the key features of segmentation observed in zebrafish, in particular the shape of the wave patterns, the period of segmentation and the segment length as a function of time.

  7. Spastic Quadriparesis Caused by Anomalous Vertebral Artery Compression of Spinal Cord at the Cervico-Medullary Junction

    PubMed Central

    Rajesh, S; Adkatalwar, Vijayendra; Shiva, Meyyappan; Agrawal, Nitesh; Ramakrishnan, K G

    2015-01-01

    Vascular compression of medulla or spinal cord at the cervico-medullary junction has been commonly described in the literature and is often attributed to dolichoectasia of the vertebrobasilar arteries. We describe a case of anomalous course of the cervical segments of the bilateral vertebral arteries which were seen entering the spinal canal directly after exiting the transverse foramen of axis and causing significant cord compression at the cervico-medullary region leading to spastic quadriparesis. PMID:25924176

  8. Gratkorn - A new late Middle Miocene vertebrate fauna from Styria (Late Sarmatian, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, M.; Böhme, M.; Prieto, J.

    2009-04-01

    Integrated stratigraphic approaches provide precise correlations of global standard stages with regional Paratethys stages. Nevertheless, higher resolution stratigraphic matching of terrestrial deposits remains challenging due to the lack of a practical continental biostratigraphy. The mostly used tool for biostratigraphic correlation of non-marine deposits in the Old World is still the concept of Neogene Mammal-zones (MN-zones). However, at higher biostratigraphic resolution (<1 million years) this concept looses its practicability and has to be replaced by a taxon-range-zonation. To solve this problem a higher number of independently dated small-mammal localities are needed. This is especially crucial for the late Middle to earliest Late Miocene, for which vertebrate faunas in the (Central-)Paratethyan area rare. Recently, a new vertebrate fauna was discovered at the locality Gratkorn (clay pit St. Stefan) just beyond the northwestern margin of the Styrian Basin (Gratkorn Basin; 10 km NW Graz; 15°20'55"E/47°08'15"N). The fauna originates from a c. 0.5 m thick hydromorphic paleosol, underlain by fluvial sands and gravels and topped by c. 15 m thick limnic pelites (Gross, 2008). Sedimentological data as well as the gastropod (Harzhauser et al., 2008) and vertebrate faunas point to a highly structured, more or less vegetated alluvial fan/braided river landscape. Active and abandoned fluvial channels, moist floodplain-soils and ephemeral ponds but also nearby dryer open areas and limestone screes of the up-lifting Palaeozoic basement offered a wide range of habitats. The occurrence of xero- and thermophile terrestrial gastropods and ectothermic vertebrates correspond well with the late Middle/early Late Miocene dry-spell in Central Europe (Böhme et al., 2008). Furthermore, an overall semiarid climate is supported by the development of a calcrete horizon c. 0.6 m below the fossiliferous horizon. The vertebrate remains are irregularly distributed throughout the

  9. The clinical effect of percutaneous kyphoplasty for the treatment of multiple osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures and the prevention of new vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Weifeng; Jia, Yongwei; Wang, Jianjie; Cheng, Liming; Zeng, Zhili; Yu, Yan; Chen, Lei

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the clinical effect of percutaneous kyphoplasty and the precautions against adjacent vertebral refractures in the treatment of multiple osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. 54 cases (128 vertebrae) with multiple osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures from July 2007 to December 2013 treated with percutaneous kyphoplasty were retrospectively reviewed. 36 cases of them suffered from bi-segment vertebral fractures, 16 cases with tri-segment vertebral fractures and 2 cases with quadri-segment vertebral fractures. The operative effect was evaluated by visual analogue scale (VAS) score and oswestry disability index (ODI) score. Then the reasons for adjacent vertebral refractures were analyzed and the precautions were proposed. 54 cases (128 vertebrae) were admitted with percutaneous kyphoplasty successfully. No pulmonary embolism, spinal cord injury and other serious complications were found. The follow-up took 3-33 months with the average of 12 months. There was significant difference of VAS scores and ODI scores between pre-operation and post-operation (P<0.05). Bone cement leakage occurred in 23 vertebrae, and the incidence rate was 18.0%. 8 cases sustained adjacent vertebral refractures including 3 cases in the contiguous vertebral bodies and 5 cases in the interval vertebral bodies, and the incidence rate was 14.8%. 5 cases gained fracture healing after additional percutaneous kyphoplasty procedures while the other 3 cases were healed basically after conservative treatment for three months. In conclusion, percutaneous kyphoplasty is safe and effective to treat multiple osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, the risk of new adjacent vertebral fractures in the multiple osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures is higher than that in the single osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture. Timely and proper treatment can reduce refractures. PMID:26550284

  10. RNA viruses can hijack vertebrate microRNAs to suppress innate immunity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trobaugh, Derek W.; Gardner, Christina L.; Sun, Chengqun; Haddow, Andrew D.; Wang, Eryu; Chapnik, Elik; Mildner, Alexander; Weaver, Scott C.; Ryman, Kate D.; Klimstra, William B.

    2014-02-01

    Currently, there is little evidence for a notable role of the vertebrate microRNA (miRNA) system in the pathogenesis of RNA viruses. This is primarily attributed to the ease with which these viruses mutate to disrupt recognition and growth suppression by host miRNAs. Here we report that the haematopoietic-cell-specific miRNA miR-142-3p potently restricts the replication of the mosquito-borne North American eastern equine encephalitis virus in myeloid-lineage cells by binding to sites in the 3' non-translated region of its RNA genome. However, by limiting myeloid cell tropism and consequent innate immunity induction, this restriction directly promotes neurologic disease manifestations characteristic of eastern equine encephalitis virus infection in humans. Furthermore, the region containing the miR-142-3p binding sites is essential for efficient virus infection of mosquito vectors. We propose that RNA viruses can adapt to use antiviral properties of vertebrate miRNAs to limit replication in particular cell types and that this restriction can lead to exacerbation of disease severity.

  11. Microsatellite analyses across three diverse vertebrate transcriptomes (Acipenser fulvescens, Ambystoma tigrinum, and Dipodomys spectabilis).

    PubMed

    Doyle, Jacqueline M; Siegmund, Gregor; Ruhl, Joseph D; Eo, Soo Hyung; Hale, Matthew C; Marra, Nicholas J; Waser, Peter M; Dewoody, J Andrew

    2013-07-01

    Historically, many population genetics studies have utilized microsatellite markers sampled at random from the genome and presumed to be selectively neutral. Recent studies, however, have shown that microsatellites can occur in transcribed regions, where they are more likely to be under selection. In this study, we mined microsatellites from transcriptomes generated by 454-pyrosequencing for three vertebrate species: lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis). We evaluated (i) the occurrence of microsatellites across species; (ii) whether particular gene ontology terms were over-represented in genes that contained microsatellites; (iii) whether repeat motifs were located in untranslated regions or coding sequences of genes; and (iv) in silico polymorphism. Microsatellites were less common in tiger salamanders than in either lake sturgeon or kangaroo rats. Across libraries, trinucleotides were found more frequently than any other motif type, presumably because they do not cause frameshift mutations. By evaluating variation across reads assembled to a given contig, we were able to identify repeat motifs likely to be polymorphic. Our study represents one of the first comparative data sets on the distribution of vertebrate microsatellites within expressed genes. Our results reinforce the idea that microsatellites do not always occur in noncoding DNA, but commonly occur in expressed genes. PMID:24099393

  12. Sampling diverse characters improves phylogenies: Craniodental and postcranial characters of vertebrates often imply different trees.

    PubMed

    Mounce, Ross C P; Sansom, Robert; Wills, Matthew A

    2016-03-01

    Morphological cladograms of vertebrates are often inferred from greater numbers of characters describing the skull and teeth than from postcranial characters. This is either because the skull is believed to yield characters with a stronger phylogenetic signal (i.e., contain less homoplasy), because morphological variation therein is more readily atomized, or because craniodental material is more widely available (particularly in the palaeontological case). An analysis of 85 vertebrate datasets published between 2000 and 2013 confirms that craniodental characters are significantly more numerous than postcranial characters, but finds no evidence that levels of homoplasy differ in the two partitions. However, a new partition test, based on tree-to-tree distances (as measured by the Robinson Foulds metric) rather than tree length, reveals that relationships inferred from the partitions are significantly different about one time in three, much more often than expected. Such differences may reflect divergent selective pressures in different body regions, resulting in different localized patterns of homoplasy. Most systematists attempt to sample characters broadly across body regions, but this is not always possible. We conclude that trees inferred largely from either craniodental or postcranial characters in isolation may differ significantly from those that would result from a more holistic approach. We urge the latter. PMID:26899622

  13. Optimal sample volumes of human trabecular bone in μCT analysis within vertebral body and femoral head

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Xin-Xin; Zong, Chun-Lin; Xu, Chao; Ma, Xiang-Yu; Wang, Fa-Qi; Feng, Ya-Fei; Yan, Ya-Bo; Lei, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Trabecular bones of different skeletal sites have different bone morphologies. How to select an appropriate volume of region of interest (ROI) to reflect the microarchitecture of trabecular bone in different skeletal sites was an interesting problem. Therefore, in this study, the optimal volumes of ROI within vertebral body and femoral head, and if the relationships between volumes of ROI and microarchitectural parameters were affected by trabecular bone morphology were studied. Within vertebral body and femoral head, different cubic volumes of ROI (from (1 mm)3 to (20 mm)3) were set to compare with control groups(whole volume of trabecular bone). Five microarchitectural parameters (BV/TV, Tb.N, Tb.Th, Tb.Sp, and BS/BV) were obtained. Nonlinear curve fitting functions were used to explore the relationships between the microarchitectural parameters and the volumes of ROI. The volumes of ROI could affect the microarchitectural parameters when the volume was smaller than (8 mm)3 within the vertebral body and smaller than (13 mm)3 within the femoral head. As the volume increased, the variable tendencies of BV/TV, Tb.N, and Tb.Sp were different between these two skeletal sites. The curve fitting functions between these two sites were also different. The relationships between volumes of ROI and microarchitectural parameters were affected by the different trabecular bone morphologies within lumbar vertebral body and femoral head. When depicting the microarchitecture of human trabecular bone within lumbar vertebral body and femoral head, the volume of ROI would be larger than (8 mm)3 and (13 mm)3. PMID:26770381

  14. Rate-dependent fracture characteristics of lumbar vertebral bodies.

    PubMed

    Stemper, Brian D; Yoganandan, Narayan; Baisden, Jamie L; Umale, Sagar; Shah, Alok S; Shender, Barry S; Paskoff, Glenn R

    2015-01-01

    Experimental testing incorporating lumbar columns and isolated components is essential to advance the understanding of injury tolerance and for the development of safety enhancements. This study incorporated a whole column axial acceleration model and an isolated vertebral body model to quantify compression rates during realistic loading and compressive tolerance of vertebrae. Eight lumbar columns and 53 vertebral bodies from 23 PMHS were used. Three-factor ANOVA was used to determine significant differences (p<0.05) in physiologic and failure biomechanics based on compression rate, spinal level, and gender. Results demonstrated a significant increase in ultimate force (i.e., fracture) from lower to higher compression rates. Ultimate stress also increased with compression rate. Displacement and strain to failure were consistent at both compression rates. Differences in ultimate mechanics between vertebral bodies obtained from males and females demonstrated non-significant trends, with female vertebral bodies having lower ultimate force that would be associated with decreased injury tolerance. This was likely a result of smaller vertebrae in that population. Combined with existing literature, results presented in this manuscript contribute to the understanding of lumbar spine tolerance during axial loading events that occur in both military and civilian environments with regard to effects of compression rate and gender. PMID:25154535

  15. The molecular evolution of the vertebrate behavioural repertoire.

    PubMed

    Grant, Seth G N

    2016-01-01

    How the sophisticated vertebrate behavioural repertoire evolved remains a major question in biology. The behavioural repertoire encompasses the set of individual behavioural components that an organism uses when adapting and responding to changes in its external world. Although unicellular organisms, invertebrates and vertebrates share simple reflex responses, the fundamental mechanisms that resulted in the complexity and sophistication that is characteristic of vertebrate behaviours have only recently been examined. A series of behavioural genetic experiments in mice and humans support a theory that posited the importance of synapse proteome expansion in generating complexity in the behavioural repertoire. Genome duplication events, approximately 550 Ma, produced expansion in the synapse proteome that resulted in increased complexity in synapse signalling mechanisms that regulate components of the behavioural repertoire. The experiments demonstrate the importance to behaviour of the gene duplication events, the diversification of paralogues and sequence constraint. They also confirm the significance of comparative proteomic and genomic studies that identified the molecular origins of synapses in unicellular eukaryotes and the vertebrate expansion in proteome complexity. These molecular mechanisms have general importance for understanding the repertoire of behaviours in different species and for human behavioural disorders arising from synapse gene mutations. PMID:26598730

  16. Vertebral hemangioma coincident with metastasis of colon adenocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Zapałowicz, Krzysztof; Bierzyńska-Macyszyn, Grażyna; Stasiów, Bartłomiej; Krzan, Aleksandra; Wierzycka, Beata; Kopycka, Anna

    2016-03-01

    The authors report on colon cancer metastasis to the L-3 vertebra, which had been previously found to be involved by an asymptomatic hemangioma. A 61-year-old female patient was admitted after onset of lumbar axial pain and weakness of the right quadriceps muscle. Her medical history included colon cancer that had been diagnosed 3 years earlier and was treated via a right hemicolectomy followed by chemotherapy. Presurgical imaging revealed an asymptomatic hemangioma in the L-3 vertebral body. Computed tomography and MRI of the spine were performed after admission and revealed a hemangioma in the L-3 vertebral body as well as a soft-tissue mass protruding from the L-3 vertebral body to the spinal canal. Treatment consisted of vertebroplasty of the hemangioma, left L-3 hemilaminectomy, and removal of the pathological mass from the spinal canal and the L-3 vertebral body. Histopathological examination revealed the presence of colon cancer metastasis and a hemangioma in the same vertebra. PMID:26588498

  17. Trends in Children's Concepts of Vertebrate and Invertebrate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braund, Martin

    1998-01-01

    Presents the results of a cross-age study of 7- to 15-year-old children on their thinking about vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Suggests experiences that could be included in the school science curriculum and argues for more classroom work relating structure with function in order to address students' conceptual difficulties. (Contains 18…

  18. Asymptomatic Lumbar Vertebral Erosion from Inferior Vena Cava Filter Perforation

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Wayne Hieb, Robert A.; Olson, Eric; Carrera, Guillermo F.

    2007-06-15

    In 2002, a 24-year-old female trauma patient underwent prophylactic inferior vena cava filter placement. Recurrent bouts of renal stones prompted serial CT imaging in 2004. In this brief report, we describe erosion and ossification of the L3 vertebral body by a Greenfield filter strut.

  19. Facultative parthenogenesis in a critically endangered wild vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Fields, Andrew T; Feldheim, Kevin A; Poulakis, Gregg R; Chapman, Demian D

    2015-06-01

    Facultative parthenogenesis - the ability of sexually reproducing species to sometimes produce offspring asexually - is known from a wide range of ordinarily sexually reproducing vertebrates in captivity, including some birds, reptiles and sharks [1-3]. Despite this, free-living parthenogens have never been observed in any of these taxa in the wild, although two free-living snakes were recently discovered each gestating a single parthenogen - one copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and one cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) [1]. Vertebrate parthenogens are characterized as being of the homogametic sex (e.g., females in sharks, males in birds) and by having elevated homozygosity compared to their mother [1-3], which may reduce their viability [4]. Although it is unknown if either of the parthenogenetic snakes would have been carried to term or survived in the wild, facultative parthenogenesis might have adaptive significance [1]. If this is true, it is reasonable to hypothesize that parthenogenesis would be found most often at low population density, when females risk reproductive failure because finding mates is difficult [5]. Here, we document the first examples of viable parthenogens living in a normally sexually reproducing wild vertebrate, the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). We also provide a simple approach to screen any microsatellite DNA database for parthenogens, which will enable hypothesis-driven research on the significance of vertebrate parthenogenesis in the wild. PMID:26035783

  20. Overview of Vertebrate Animal Models of Fungal Infection

    PubMed Central

    Hohl, Tobias M.

    2014-01-01

    Fungi represent emerging infectious threats to human populations worldwide. Mice and other laboratory animals have proved invaluable in modeling clinical syndromes associated with superficial and life-threatening invasive mycoses. This review outlines salient features of common vertebrate animal model systems to study fungal pathogenesis, host antifungal immune responses, and antifungal compounds. PMID:24709390

  1. [Revision surgery after implantation of a vertebral disc prosthesis].

    PubMed

    Hopf, C

    2008-04-01

    Assessment of the revisability of surgery after the endoprosthetic replacement of vertebral discs shows that the surgical approach depends on the time of revision surgery and the reason why it is carried out. Our experience is based on nine revision operations out of 152 cervical vertebra prostheses of the Bryan and Prodisc C types implanted from 2003 to 2007 and 312 endoprostheses of the Charité and Prodisc types implanted from 1999 to 2007. Our own results show differing approaches in perioperative or late postoperative revision operations. Operations to exchange implants were not possible, whereas a change of surgical procedure is the rule. The same access route can usually be selected in the cervical spine, but in the lumbar spine this can only be done perioperatively; if revision surgery is carried out at a later date, an alternative access route must be used. Using strict indications for the primary implant is the only way to prevent postoperative revision surgery that is due to an inaccurate primary assessment and not to the vertebral endoprosthesis (e.g. post-discotomy syndrome, facet joint arthropathy, rotation instability, vertebral slip). The next generation of vertebral disc endoprostheses must incorporate reduced load of the zygapophyseal joints and improved revisability. PMID:18340432

  2. Bilateral carotid and bilateral vertebral artery dissection following facial massage.

    PubMed

    Chakrapani, Andrea L; Zink, Walter; Zimmerman, Robert; Riina, Howard; Benitez, Ronald

    A 50-year-old woman underwent facial massage. After 13 days, she experienced left retro-orbital pain, ptosis, and miosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed stenotic dissection of bilateral cervical internal carotid and vertebral arteries. The intracranial vasculature was intact. She was treated conservatively with long-term oral anticoagulation and remains asymptomatic 18 months later. PMID:18388028

  3. The origin of the myelination program in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Zalc, B; Goujet, D; Colman, D

    2008-06-24

    The myelin sheath was a transformative vertebrate acquisition, enabling great increases in impulse propagation velocity along axons. Not all vertebrates possess myelinated axons, however, and when myelin first appeared in the vertebrate lineage is an important open question. It has been suggested that the dual, apparently unrelated acquisitions of myelin and the hinged jaw were actually coupled in evolution [1,2]. If so, it would be expected that myelin was first acquired during the Devonian period by the oldest jawed fish, the placoderms [3]. Although myelin itself is not retained in the fossil record, within the skulls of fossilized Paleozoic vertebrate fish are exquisitely preserved imprints of cranial nerves and the foramina they traversed. Examination of these structures now suggests how the nerves functioned in vivo. In placoderms, the first hinge-jawed fish, oculomotor nerve diameters remained constant, but nerve lengths were ten times longer than in the jawless osteostraci. We infer that to accommodate this ten-fold increase in length, while maintaining a constant diameter, the oculomotor system in placoderms must have been myelinated to function as a rapidly conducting motor pathway. Placoderms were the first fish with hinged jaws and some can grow to formidable lengths, requiring a rapid conduction system, so it is highly likely that they were the first organisms with myelinated axons in the craniate lineage. PMID:18579089

  4. Testing the evolutionary conservation of vocal motoneurons in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Albersheim-Carter, Jacob; Blubaum, Aleksandar; Ballagh, Irene H; Missaghi, Kianoush; Siuda, Edward R; McMurray, George; Bass, Andrew H; Dubuc, Réjean; Kelley, Darcy B; Schmidt, Marc F; Wilson, Richard J A; Gray, Paul A

    2016-04-01

    Medullary motoneurons drive vocalization in many vertebrate lineages including fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The developmental history of vocal motoneuron populations in each of these lineages remains largely unknown. The highly conserved transcription factor Paired-like Homeobox 2b (Phox2b) is presumed to be expressed in all vertebrate hindbrain branchial motoneurons, including laryngeal motoneurons essential for vocalization in humans. We used immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to examine Phox2b protein and mRNA expression in caudal hindbrain and rostral spinal cord motoneuron populations in seven species across five chordate classes. Phox2b was present in motoneurons dedicated to sound production in mice and frogs (bullfrog, African clawed frog), but not those in bird (zebra finch) or bony fish (midshipman, channel catfish). Overall, the pattern of caudal medullary motoneuron Phox2b expression was conserved across vertebrates and similar to expression in sea lamprey. These observations suggest that motoneurons dedicated to sound production in vertebrates are not derived from a single developmentally or evolutionarily conserved progenitor pool. PMID:26160673

  5. Shifted magnetic alignment in vertebrates: Evidence for neural lateralization?

    PubMed

    Malkemper, E Pascal; Painter, Michael S; Landler, Lukas

    2016-06-21

    A wealth of evidence provides support for magnetic alignment (MA) behavior in a variety of disparate species within the animal kingdom, in which an animal, or a group of animals, show a tendency to align the body axis in a consistent orientation relative to the geomagnetic field lines. Interestingly, among vertebrates, MA typically coincides with the north-south magnetic axis, however, the mean directional preferences of an individual or group of organisms is often rotated clockwise from the north-south axis. We hypothesize that this shift is not a coincidence, and future studies of this subtle, yet consistent phenomenon may help to reveal some properties of the underlying sensory or processing mechanisms, that, to date, are not well understood. Furthermore, characterizing the fine structure exhibited in MA behaviors may provide key insights to the biophysical substrates mediating magnetoreception in vertebrates. Therefore, in order to determine if a consistent shift is exhibited in taxonomically diverse vertebrates, we performed a meta-analysis on published MA datasets from 23 vertebrate species that exhibited an axial north-south preference. This analysis revealed a significant clockwise shift from the north-south magnetic axis. We summarize and discuss possible competing hypotheses regarding the proximate mechanisms underlying the clockwise shifted MA and conclude that the most likely cause of such a shift would be a lateralization in central processing of magnetic information. PMID:27059891

  6. Reservoir Competence of Vertebrate Hosts for Anaplasma phagocytophilum

    PubMed Central

    Hersh, Michelle H.; Tibbetts, Michael; McHenry, Diana J.; Duerr, Shannon; Brunner, Jesse; Killilea, Mary; LoGiudice, Kathleen; Schmidt, Kenneth A.; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2012-01-01

    Fourteen vertebrate species (10 mammals and 4 birds) were assessed for their ability to transmit Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the bacterium that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis, to uninfected feeding ixodid ticks. Small mammals were most likely to infect ticks but all species assessed were capable of transmitting the bacterium, in contrast to previous findings. PMID:23171835

  7. Structural aspects of the calcification process of lower vertebrate collagen.

    PubMed

    Bigi, A; Koch, M H; Panzavolta, S; Roveri, N; Rubini, K

    2000-01-01

    In order to investigate the structural relationship between inorganic phase and collagen fibrils in the calcified tissues of lower vertebrates we have carried out a wide and small angle X-ray diffraction investigation on carp scales and bone samples. The small angle patterns from decalcified bone and scales, as well as uncalcified tendon samples from carp are very similar to that of type I collagen from higher vertebrates. The D-axial period, 67 nm, is the same as that of higher vertebrate type I collagen, while the most significant difference is the relatively low intensity of the first order reflection, which is, however, the most intense. The relative intensity distributions of the meridional reflections recorded from fish bone and scales are in agreement with an electron density distribution according to a step function. The calculated step length is very close to the values previously reported for calcified tissues from higher vertebrates. The small angle reflections from calcified, as well as decalcified, scales display different directions of orientation, which could be in agreement with a plywood arrangement of collagen fibrils in successive sheets parallel to the plane of the scale. PMID:10826707

  8. The Vertebral Fracture Cascade: Etiology and Clinical Implications.

    PubMed

    Broy, Susan B

    2016-01-01

    A vertebral fracture is a marker of bone fragility and is associated with a downward spiral of recurrent fractures known as the vertebral fracture cascade. Etiology of this unfortunate cascade includes bone and muscle loss from immobility, changes in spinal mechanics causing increased loading on adjacent vertebrae, and the development of an increased thoracic kyphosis (hyperkyphosis [HK]). Degenerative disc disease, common in osteoporotic patients, can also cause HK. HK of any etiology has been associated with decreased thoracic extensor muscle strength, unstable gait, increased body sway, decreased physical and pulmonary functions, chronic pain, and increased spinal loads contributing to the vertebral fracture cascade. Preventing this downward spiral requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes early identification, consideration of pharmacologic treatment, early mobilization of the fracture patient, appropriate exercise, and back protection. Exercise should include weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening activities, but caution is needed to avoid undue stress on the back. Physical therapy can be particularly helpful by teaching the patient how to safely perform daily activities and can assist the patient in establishing a safe exercise program that avoids flexion but promotes back extension and weight-bearing activities. Hopefully, these measures will decrease pain, prevent falls, improve posture, prevent additional bone and muscle loss, and potentially abort the devastating downward spiral of the vertebral fracture cascade. PMID:26363627

  9. Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrate fauna, North Slope, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Clemens, W.A.; Allison, C.W.

    1985-01-01

    Closely related terrestrial vertebrates in Cretaceous mid-latitude (30/sup 0/ to 50/sup 0/) faunas of North America and Asia as well as scattered occurrences of footprints and skin impressions suggested that in the Late Mesozoic the Alaskan North Slope supported a diverse fauna. In 1961 abundant skeletal elements of Cretaceous, Alaskan dinosaurs (hadrosaurids) were discovered by the late R.L. Liscomb. This material is being described by K.L. Davies. Additional fossils collected by E.M. Brouwers and her associates include skeletal elements of hadrosaurid and carnosaurian (.tyrannosaurid) dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The fossil locality on the North Slope is not at about 70/sup 0/N. In the Late Cretaceous the members of this fauna were subject to the daylight regime and environment at a paleolatitude closer to 80/sup 0/N. Current hypotheses attributing extinctions of dinosaurs and some other terrestrial vertebrates to impact of an extraterrestrial object cite periods of darkness, decreased temperature (possibly followed by extreme warming) and acid rain as the direct causes of their demise. Unless members of this North Slope fauna undertook long-distance migrations, their high latitude occurrence indicates groups of dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertebrates regularly tolerated months of darkness.

  10. Complex Vertebral Arteriovenous Fistula and Ruptured Aneurysm in Neurofibromatosis

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Tori C.; Manness, Wayne K; Hershey, Beverly L.; Yazdi, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    The objective and importance of this study was to describe the challenges encountered with treating a high-flow vertebral arteriovenous fistula (AVF) and ruptured aneurysm in a patient with life-threatening hemorrhage. A 36-year-old female with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) presented 2 weeks after uneventful cesarean section with a rapidly expanding pulsatile neck mass. Angiography demonstrated a complex left vertebral AVF and multiple associated vertebral artery aneurysms. Emergent endovascular coil embolization was performed using a retrograde and antegrade approach to occlude the fistulas and trap the ruptured aneurysm, successfully treating the acute hemorrhage. Subsequent definitive therapy was accomplished utilizing a combined neurointerventional and neurosurgical strategy of direct-puncture acrylic embolization and ligation of the vertebral artery. Recent advances in neurointerventional technology allow novel approaches in the primary and/or preoperative treatment of complex vascular lesions such as those seen in NF1. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2Figure 3Figure 4Figure 5p40-b PMID:17171099

  11. The molecular evolution of the vertebrate behavioural repertoire

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    How the sophisticated vertebrate behavioural repertoire evolved remains a major question in biology. The behavioural repertoire encompasses the set of individual behavioural components that an organism uses when adapting and responding to changes in its external world. Although unicellular organisms, invertebrates and vertebrates share simple reflex responses, the fundamental mechanisms that resulted in the complexity and sophistication that is characteristic of vertebrate behaviours have only recently been examined. A series of behavioural genetic experiments in mice and humans support a theory that posited the importance of synapse proteome expansion in generating complexity in the behavioural repertoire. Genome duplication events, approximately 550 Ma, produced expansion in the synapse proteome that resulted in increased complexity in synapse signalling mechanisms that regulate components of the behavioural repertoire. The experiments demonstrate the importance to behaviour of the gene duplication events, the diversification of paralogues and sequence constraint. They also confirm the significance of comparative proteomic and genomic studies that identified the molecular origins of synapses in unicellular eukaryotes and the vertebrate expansion in proteome complexity. These molecular mechanisms have general importance for understanding the repertoire of behaviours in different species and for human behavioural disorders arising from synapse gene mutations. PMID:26598730

  12. Evidence for Evolution from the Vertebrate Fossil Record.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gingerich, Philip D.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses three examples of evolutionary transition in the vertebrate fossil record, considering evolutionary transitions at the species level. Uses archaic squirrel-like Paleocine primates, the earliest primates of modern aspect, as examples. Also reviews new evidence on the origin of whales and their transition from land to sea. (JN)

  13. NATURE OF CUMULATIVE IMPACTS ON BIOTIC DIVERSITY OF WETLAND VERTEBRATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is no longer any doubt that cumulative impacts have important effects on wetland vertebrates. he interactions of species diversity and community structure produce a complex pattern in which environmental impacts can play a highly significant role. ariety of examples shows h...

  14. Recommended nomenclature for the vertebrate alcohol dehydrogenase gene family.

    PubMed

    Duester, G; Farrés, J; Felder, M R; Holmes, R S; Höög, J O; Parés, X; Plapp, B V; Yin, S J; Jörnvall, H

    1999-08-01

    The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene family encodes enzymes that metabolize a wide variety of substrates, including ethanol, retinol, other aliphatic alcohols, hydroxysteroids, and lipid peroxidation products. Studies on 19 vertebrate animals have identified ADH orthologs across several species, and this has now led to questions of how best to name ADH proteins and genes. Seven distinct classes of vertebrate ADH encoded by non-orthologous genes have been defined based upon sequence homology as well as unique catalytic properties or gene expression patterns. Each class of vertebrate ADH shares <70% sequence identity with other classes of ADH in the same species. Classes may be further divided into multiple closely related isoenzymes sharing >80% sequence identity such as the case for class I ADH where humans have three class I ADH genes, horses have two, and mice have only one. Presented here is a nomenclature that uses the widely accepted vertebrate ADH class system as its basis. It follows the guidelines of human and mouse gene nomenclature committees, which recommend coordinating names across species boundaries and eliminating Roman numerals and Greek symbols. We recommend that enzyme subunits be referred to by the symbol "ADH" (alcohol dehydrogenase) followed by an Arabic number denoting the class; i.e. ADH1 for class I ADH. For genes we recommend the italicized root symbol "ADH" for human and "Adh" for mouse, followed by the appropriate Arabic number for the class; i.e. ADH1 or Adh1 for class I ADH genes. For organisms where multiple species-specific isoenzymes exist within a class, we recommend adding a capital letter after the Arabic number; i.e. ADH1A, ADH1B, and ADH1C for human alpha, beta, and gamma class I ADHs, respectively. This nomenclature will accommodate newly discovered members of the vertebrate ADH family, and will facilitate functional and evolutionary studies. PMID:10424757

  15. Subfunctionalization and neofunctionalization of vertebrate Lef/Tcf transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Klingel, Susanne; Morath, Iris; Strietz, Juliane; Menzel, Katharina; Holstein, Thomas W; Gradl, Dietmar

    2012-08-01

    Invertebrates express a multitude of Wnt ligands and all Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways converge to only one nuclear Lef/Tcf. In vertebrates, however, four distinct Lef/Tcfs, i.e. Tcf-1, Lef, Tcf-3, and Tcf-4 fulfill this function. At present, it is largely unknown to what extent the various Lef/Tcfs are functionally similar or diversified in vertebrates. In particular, it is not known which domains are responsible for the Tcf subtype specific functions. We investigated the conserved and non-conserved functions of the various Tcfs by using Xenopus laevis as a model organism and testing Tcfs from Hydra magnipapillata, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In order to identify domains relevant for the individual properties we created series of chimeric constructs consisting of parts of XTcf-3, XTcf-1 and HyTcf. Rescue experiments in Xenopus morphants revealed that the three invertebrate Tcfs tested compensated the loss of distinct Xenopus Tcfs: Drosophila Tcf (Pangolin) can substitute for the loss of XTcf-1, XTcf-3 and XTcf-4. By comparison, Caenorhabditis Tcf (Pop-1) and Hydra Tcf (HyTcf) can substitute for the loss of only XTcf-3 and XTcf-4, respectively. The domain, which is responsible for subtype specific functions is the regulatory CRD domain. A phylogenetic analysis separates Tcf-1/Lef-1 from the sister group Tcf-3/4 in the vertebrate lineage. We propose that the vertebrate specific diversification of Tcfs in vertebrates resulted in subfunctionalization of a Tcf that already united most of the Lef/Tcf functions. PMID:22641013

  16. Spatial mismatch of phylogenetic diversity across three vertebrate groups and protected areas in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Zupan, Laure; Cabeza, Mar; Maiorano, Luigi; Roquet, Cristina; Devictor, Vincent; Lavergne, Sébastien; Mouillot, David; Mouquet, Nicolas; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Aim We investigate patterns of phylogenetic diversity in relation to species diversity for European birds, mammals and amphibians, to evaluate their congruence and highlight areas of particular evolutionary history. We estimate the extent to which the European network of protected areas (PAs) network retains interesting evolutionary history areas for the three groups separately and simultaneously. Location Europe Methods Phylogenetic (QEPD) and species diversity (SD) were estimated using the Rao’s quadratic entropy at 10′ resolution. We determined the regional relationship between QEPD and SD for each taxa with a spatial regression model and used the tails of the residuals (QERES) distribution to identify areas of higher and lower QEPD than predicted. Spatial congruence of biodiversity between groups was assessed with Pearson’s correlation. A simple classification scheme allowed building a convergence map where a convergent pixel equalled to a QERES value of the same sign for the 3 groups. This convergence map was overlaid to the current PAs network to estimate the level of protection in convergent pixels and compared it to a null expectation built on 1000 randomization of PAs over the landscape. Results QERES patterns across vertebrates show a strong spatial mismatch highlighting different evolutionary histories. Convergent areas represent only 2.7% of the Western Palearctic, with only 8.4% of these areas being covered by the current PAs network while a random distribution would retain 10.4% of them. QERES are unequally represented within PAs: areas with higher QEPD than predicted are better covered than expected, while low QEPD areas are undersampled. Main conclusions Patterns of diversity strongly diverge between groups of vertebrates in Europe. Although Europe has the world’s most extensive PAs network, evolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates is unequally protected. The challenge is now to reconcile effective conservation planning with a

  17. Alternative haplotypes of antigen processing genes in zebrafish diverged early in vertebrate evolution.

    PubMed

    McConnell, Sean C; Hernandez, Kyle M; Wcisel, Dustin J; Kettleborough, Ross N; Stemple, Derek L; Yoder, Jeffrey A; Andrade, Jorge; de Jong, Jill L O

    2016-08-23

    Antigen processing and presentation genes found within the MHC are among the most highly polymorphic genes of vertebrate genomes, providing populations with diverse immune responses to a wide array of pathogens. Here, we describe transcriptome, exome, and whole-genome sequencing of clonal zebrafish, uncovering the most extensive diversity within the antigen processing and presentation genes of any species yet examined. Our CG2 clonal zebrafish assembly provides genomic context within a remarkably divergent haplotype of the core MHC region on chromosome 19 for six expressed genes not found in the zebrafish reference genome: mhc1uga, proteasome-β 9b (psmb9b), psmb8f, and previously unknown genes psmb13b, tap2d, and tap2e We identify ancient lineages for Psmb13 within a proteasome branch previously thought to be monomorphic and provide evidence of substantial lineage diversity within each of three major trifurcations of catalytic-type proteasome subunits in vertebrates: Psmb5/Psmb8/Psmb11, Psmb6/Psmb9/Psmb12, and Psmb7/Psmb10/Psmb13. Strikingly, nearby tap2 and MHC class I genes also retain ancient sequence lineages, indicating that alternative lineages may have been preserved throughout the entire MHC pathway since early diversification of the adaptive immune system ∼500 Mya. Furthermore, polymorphisms within the three MHC pathway steps (antigen cleavage, transport, and presentation) are each predicted to alter peptide specificity. Lastly, comparative analysis shows that antigen processing gene diversity is far more extensive than previously realized (with ancient coelacanth psmb8 lineages, shark psmb13, and tap2t and psmb10 outside the teleost MHC), implying distinct immune functions and conserved roles in shaping MHC pathway evolution throughout vertebrates. PMID:27493218

  18. A novel cyclin gene (CCNF) in the region of the polycystic kidney disease gene (PKD1)

    SciTech Connect

    Kraus, B.; Pohlschmidt, M.; Leung, L.S.

    1994-11-01

    The major locus for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (PKD1) is located in a gene-rich region on chromosome 16p13.3. Recently the identification of the gene responsible for PKD1 has been described. While searching for candidate genes in this region, the authors isolated a new member of the cyclin family. They have characterized the transcript by sequencing, determination of the exon intron boundaries, and Northern blot analysis. Cyclin F is related to A- and B-type cyclins by sequence, but its function is unknown.

  19. Combining Small-Vertebrate, Marine and Stable-Isotope Data to Reconstruct Past Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rofes, Juan; Garcia-Ibaibarriaga, Naroa; Aguirre, Mikel; Martínez-García, Blanca; Ortega, Luis; Zuluaga, María Cruz; Bailon, Salvador; Alonso-Olazabal, Ainhoa; Castaños, Jone; Murelaga, Xabier

    2015-09-01

    Three very different records are combined here to reconstruct the evolution of environments in the Cantabrian Region during the Upper Pleistocene, covering ~35.000 years. Two of these records come from Antoliñako Koba (Bizkaia, Spain), an exceptional prehistoric deposit comprising 9 chrono-cultural units (Aurignacian to Epipaleolithic). The palaeoecological signal of small-vertebrate communities and red deer stable-isotope data (δ13C and δ15N) from this mainland site are contrasted to marine microfaunal evidence (planktonic and benthic foraminifers, ostracods and δ18O data) gathered at the southern Bay of Biscay. Many radiocarbon dates for the Antoliña’s sequence, made it possible to compare the different proxies among them and with other well-known North-Atlantic records. Cooling and warming events regionally recorded, mostly coincide with the climatic evolution of the Upper Pleistocene in the north hemisphere.

  20. Combining Small-Vertebrate, Marine and Stable-Isotope Data to Reconstruct Past Environments

    PubMed Central

    Rofes, Juan; Garcia-Ibaibarriaga, Naroa; Aguirre, Mikel; Martínez-García, Blanca; Ortega, Luis; Zuluaga, María Cruz; Bailon, Salvador; Alonso-Olazabal, Ainhoa; Castaños, Jone; Murelaga, Xabier

    2015-01-01

    Three very different records are combined here to reconstruct the evolution of environments in the Cantabrian Region during the Upper Pleistocene, covering ~35.000 years. Two of these records come from Antoliñako Koba (Bizkaia, Spain), an exceptional prehistoric deposit comprising 9 chrono-cultural units (Aurignacian to Epipaleolithic). The palaeoecological signal of small-vertebrate communities and red deer stable-isotope data (δ13C and δ15N) from this mainland site are contrasted to marine microfaunal evidence (planktonic and benthic foraminifers, ostracods and δ18O data) gathered at the southern Bay of Biscay. Many radiocarbon dates for the Antoliña’s sequence, made it possible to compare the different proxies among them and with other well-known North-Atlantic records. Cooling and warming events regionally recorded, mostly coincide with the climatic evolution of the Upper Pleistocene in the north hemisphere. PMID:26391668

  1. Combining Small-Vertebrate, Marine and Stable-Isotope Data to Reconstruct Past Environments.

    PubMed

    Rofes, Juan; Garcia-Ibaibarriaga, Naroa; Aguirre, Mikel; Martínez-García, Blanca; Ortega, Luis; Zuluaga, María Cruz; Bailon, Salvador; Alonso-Olazabal, Ainhoa; Castaños, Jone; Murelaga, Xabier

    2015-01-01

    Three very different records are combined here to reconstruct the evolution of environments in the Cantabrian Region during the Upper Pleistocene, covering ~35.000 years. Two of these records come from Antoliñako Koba (Bizkaia, Spain), an exceptional prehistoric deposit comprising 9 chrono-cultural units (Aurignacian to Epipaleolithic). The palaeoecological signal of small-vertebrate communities and red deer stable-isotope data (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) from this mainland site are contrasted to marine microfaunal evidence (planktonic and benthic foraminifers, ostracods and δ(18)O data) gathered at the southern Bay of Biscay. Many radiocarbon dates for the Antoliña's sequence, made it possible to compare the different proxies among them and with other well-known North-Atlantic records. Cooling and warming events regionally recorded, mostly coincide with the climatic evolution of the Upper Pleistocene in the north hemisphere. PMID:26391668

  2. The genetic basis of modularity in the development and evolution of the vertebrate dentition.

    PubMed Central

    Stock, D W

    2001-01-01

    The construction of organisms from units that develop under semi-autonomous genetic control (modules) has been proposed to be an important component of their ability to undergo adaptive phenotypic evolution. The organization of the vertebrate dentition as a system of repeated parts provides an opportunity to study the extent to which phenotypic modules, identified by their evolutionary independence from other such units, are related to modularity in the genetic control of development. The evolutionary history of vertebrates provides numerous examples of both correlated and independent evolution of groups of teeth. The dentition itself appears to be a module of the dermal exoskeleton, from which it has long been under independent genetic control. Region-specific tooth loss has been a common trend in vertebrate evolution. Novel deployment of teeth and reacquisition of lost teeth have also occurred, although less frequently. Tooth shape differences within the dentition may be discontinuous (referred to as heterodonty) or graded. The occurrence of homeotic changes in tooth shape provides evidence for the decoupling of tooth shape and location in the course of evolution. Potential mechanisms for region-specific evolutionary tooth loss are suggested by a number of mouse gene knockouts and human genetic dental anomalies, as well as a comparison between fully-developed and rudimentary teeth in the dentition of rodents. These mechanisms include loss of a tooth-type-specific initiation signal, alterations of the relative strength of inductive and inhibitory signals acting at the time of tooth initiation and the overall reduction in levels of proteins required for the development of all teeth. Ectopic expression of tooth initiation signals provides a potential mechanism for the novel deployment or reacquisition of teeth; a single instance is known of a gene whose ectopic expression in transgenic mice can lead to ectopic teeth. Differences in shape between incisor and molar

  3. Evolutionary innovation in the vertebrate jaw: A derived morphology in anuran tadpoles and its possible developmental origin.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Mats E; Haas, Alexander

    2005-05-01

    The mouthparts of anuran tadpoles are highly derived compared to those of caecilians or salamanders. The suprarostral cartilages support the tadpole's upper beak; the infrarostral cartilages support the lower beak. Both supra- and infrarostral cartilages are absent in other vertebrates. These differences reflect the evolutionary origin of a derived feeding mode in anuran tadpoles. We suggest that these unique cartilages stem from the evolution of new articulations within preexisting cartilages, rather than novel cartilage condensations. We propose testing this hypothesis through a search for similarities in the development of the suprarostral and infrarostral cartilage articulations and of the primary jaw joint. In Xenopus, the gene zax is expressed in a region corresponding to the infrarostral cartilage. This gene is related to the bapx1-gene, which regulates jaw joint development. Further investigation of these genes, as well as other genes with joint-related functions, in anuran craniofacial development may provide a connection between the morphological diversity seen in the vertebrate head and the corresponding diversity in genetic regulatory processes. We believe that the evolution of larval jaws in anurans may shed light on the general evolutionary mechanisms of how new articulations, not only in the jaw region, could have arisen in the vertebrate skull. PMID:15832380

  4. Posterior internal fixation plus vertebral bone implantation under navigational aid for thoracolumbar fracture treatment

    PubMed Central

    ZHOU, WEI; KONG, WEIQING; ZHAO, BIZHEN; FU, YISHAN; ZHANG, TAO; XU, JIANGUANG

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the method of posterior thoracolumbar vertebral pedicle screw reduction and fixation combined with vertebral bone implantation via the affected vertebral body under navigational aid for the treatment of thoracolumbar fractures. The efficacy of the procedure was also measured. Between June 2005 and March 2011, posterior thoracolumbar vertebral pedicle screw reduction and fixation plus artificial bone implantation via the affected vertebral pedicle under navigational aid was used to treat 30 patients with thoracolumbar fractures, including 18 males and 12 females, ranging in age from 21 to 57 years. Compared with the values prior to surgery, intraspinal occupation, vertebral height ratio and Cobb angle at the follow-up were significantly improved. At the long-term follow-up, the postoperative Cobb angle loss was <1° and the anterior vertebral body height loss was <2 mm. Posterior thoracolumbar vertebral pedicle screw reduction and fixation combined with vertebral bone implantation via the affected vertebral body under navigational aid may increase the accuracy and safety of surgery, and it is an ideal method of internal implantation. Bone implantation via the affected vertebral body may increase vertebral stability. PMID:23935737

  5. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  6. The application of geologic remote sensing to vertebrate biostratigraphy - General results from the Wind River Basin, Wyoming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stucky, Richard K.; Krishtalka, Leonard

    1991-01-01

    Since 1986, remote sensing images derived from satellite and aircraft-borne sensor data have been used to study the stratigraphy and sedimentology of the vertebrate-bearing Wind River and Wagon Bed formations in the Wind River Basin (Wyoming). Landsat 5 TM and aircraft Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner data were combined with conventional geologic analyses. The remote sensing data have contributed significantly to: (1) geologic mapping at the formation, member, and bed levels; (2) stratigraphic correlation; (3) reconstruction of ancient depositional environments; and (4) identification of structural complexity. This information is critical to vertebrate paleontology in providing the stratigraphic, sedimentologic, and structural framework required for evolutionary and paleoecologic studies. Of primary importance is the ability to map at minimal cost the geology of large areas (20,000 sq km or greater) at a high level of precision. Remote sensing data can be especially useful in geologically and paleontologically unexplored or poorly understood regions.

  7. A segmental pattern of alkaline phosphatase activity within the notochord coincides with the initial formation of the vertebral bodies

    PubMed Central

    Sindre, Grotmol; Kari, Nordvik; Harald, Kryvi; Geir, K Totland

    2005-01-01

    This study shows that segmental expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity by the notochord of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) coincides with the initial mineralization of the vertebral body (chordacentrum), and precedes ALP expression by presumed somite-derived cells external to the notochordal sheath. The early expression of ALP indicates that the notochord plays an instructive role in the segmental patterning of the vertebral column. The chordacentra form segmentally as mineralized rings within the notochordal sheath, and ALP activity spreads within the chordoblast layer from ventral to dorsal, displaying the same progression and spatial distribution as the mineralization process. No ALP activity was observed in sclerotomal mesenchyme surrounding the notochordal sheath during initial formation of the chordacentra. Our results support previous findings indicating that the chordoblasts initiate a segmental differentiation of the notochordal sheath into chordacentra and intervertebral regions. PMID:15857363

  8. Early-light embryonic stimulation suggests a second route, via gene activation, to cerebral lateralization in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Chiandetti, Cinzia; Galliussi, Jessica; Andrew, Richard J.; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2013-01-01

    Genetic factors determine the asymmetrical position of vertebrate embryos allowing asymmetric environmental stimulation to shape cerebral lateralization. In birds, late-light stimulation, just before hatching, on the right optic nerve triggers anatomical and functional cerebral asymmetries. However, some brain asymmetries develop in absence of embryonic light stimulation. Furthermore, early-light action affects lateralization in the transparent zebrafish embryos before their visual system is functional. Here we investigated whether another pathway intervenes in establishing brain specialization. We exposed chicks' embryos to light before their visual system was formed. We observed that such early stimulation modulates cerebral lateralization in a comparable vein of late-light stimulation on active retinal cells. Our results show that, in a higher vertebrate brain, a second route, likely affecting the genetic expression of photosensitive regions, acts before the development of a functional visual system. More than one sensitive period seems thus available to light stimulation to trigger brain lateralization. PMID:24048072

  9. A comparative examination of neural circuit and brain patterning between the lamprey and amphioxus reveals the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate visual center.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Daichi G; Murakami, Yasunori; Escriva, Hector; Wada, Hiroshi

    2015-02-01

    Vertebrates are equipped with so-called camera eyes, which provide them with image-forming vision. Vertebrate image-forming vision evolved independently from that of other animals and is regarded as a key innovation for enhancing predatory ability and ecological success. Evolutionary changes in the neural circuits, particularly the visual center, were central for the acquisition of image-forming vision. However, the evolutionary steps, from protochordates to jaw-less primitive vertebrates and then to jawed vertebrates, remain largely unknown. To bridge this gap, we present the detailed development of retinofugal projections in the lamprey, the neuroarchitecture in amphioxus, and the brain patterning in both animals. Both the lateral eye in larval lamprey and the frontal eye in amphioxus project to a light-detecting visual center in the caudal prosencephalic region marked by Pax6, which possibly represents the ancestral state of the chordate visual system. Our results indicate that the visual system of the larval lamprey represents an evolutionarily primitive state, forming a link from protochordates to vertebrates and providing a new perspective of brain evolution based on developmental mechanisms and neural functions. PMID:25233869

  10. Molecular detection of vertebrates in stream water: A demonstration using rocky mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldberg, C.S.; Pilliod, D.S.; Arkle, R.S.; Waits, L.P.

    2011-01-01

    Stream ecosystems harbor many secretive and imperiled species, and studies of vertebrates in these systems face the challenges of relatively low detection rates and high costs. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been confirmed as a sensitive and efficient tool for documenting aquatic vertebrates in wetlands and in a large river and canal system. However, it was unclear whether this tool could be used to detect low-density vertebrates in fast-moving streams where shed cells may travel rapidly away from their source. To evaluate the potential utility of eDNA techniques in stream systems, we designed targeted primers to amplify a short, species-specific DNA fragment for two secretive stream amphibian species in the northwestern region of the United States (Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, Ascaphus montanus, and Idaho giant salamanders, Dicamptodon aterrimus). We tested three DNA extraction and five PCR protocols to determine whether we could detect eDNA of these species in filtered water samples from five streams with varying densities of these species in central Idaho, USA. We successfully amplified and sequenced the targeted DNA regions for both species from stream water filter samples. We detected Idaho giant salamanders in all samples and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in four of five streams and found some indication that these species are more difficult to detect using eDNA in early spring than in early fall. While the sensitivity of this method across taxa remains to be determined, the use of eDNA could revolutionize surveys for rare and invasive stream species. With this study, the utility of eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic vertebrates has been demonstrated across the majority of freshwater systems, setting the stage for an innovative transformation in approaches for aquatic research.

  11. Costimulatory receptors in jawed vertebrates: conserved CD28, odd CTLA4 and multiple BTLAs.

    PubMed

    Bernard, David; Hansen, John D; Du Pasquier, Louis; Lefranc, Marie-Paule; Benmansour, Abdenour; Boudinot, Pierre

    2007-01-01

    CD28 family of costimulatory receptors is comprised of molecules with a single V-type extracellular Ig domain, a transmembrane and an intracytoplasmic region with signaling motifs. CD28 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA4) homologs have been recently identified in rainbow trout. Other sequences similar to mammalian CD28 family members have now been identified using teleost, Xenopus and chicken databases. CD28- and CTLA4 homologs were found in all vertebrate classes whereas inducible costimulatory signal (ICOS) was restricted to tetrapods, and programmed cell death-1 (PD1) was limited to mammals and chicken. Multiple B and T Lymphocyte Attenuator (BTLA) sequences were found in teleosts, but not in Xenopus or in avian genomes. The intron/exon structure of btlas was different from that of cd28 and other members of the family. The Ig domain encoded in all the btla genes has features of the C-type structure, which suggests that BTLA does not belong to the CD28 family. The genomic localization of these genes in vertebrate genomes supports the split between the BTLA and CD28 families. PMID:16928399

  12. Control of vertebrate core planar cell polarity protein localization and dynamics by Prickle 2

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Mitchell T.; Wallingford, John B.

    2015-01-01

    Planar cell polarity (PCP) is a ubiquitous property of animal tissues and is essential for morphogenesis and homeostasis. In most cases, this fundamental property is governed by a deeply conserved set of ‘core PCP’ proteins, which includes the transmembrane proteins Van Gogh-like (Vangl) and Frizzled (Fzd), as well as the cytoplasmic effectors Prickle (Pk) and Dishevelled (Dvl). Asymmetric localization of these proteins is thought to be central to their function, and understanding the dynamics of these proteins is an important challenge in developmental biology. Among the processes that are organized by the core PCP proteins is the directional beating of cilia, such as those in the vertebrate node, airway and brain. Here, we exploit the live imaging capabilities of Xenopus to chart the progressive asymmetric localization of fluorescent reporters of Dvl1, Pk2 and Vangl1 in a planar polarized ciliated epithelium. Using this system, we also characterize the influence of Pk2 on the asymmetric dynamics of Vangl1 at the cell cortex, and we define regions of Pk2 that control its own localization and those impacting Vangl1. Finally, our data reveal a striking uncoupling of Vangl1 and Dvl1 asymmetry. This study advances our understanding of conserved PCP protein functions and also establishes a rapid, tractable platform to facilitate future in vivo studies of vertebrate PCP protein dynamics. PMID:26293301

  13. Vertebrate records in polar sediments: Biological responses to past climate change and human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, L. G.; Emslie, S. D.; Huang, T.; Blais, J. M.; Xie, Z. Q.; Liu, X. D.; Yin, X. B.; Wang, Y. H.; Huang, W.; Hodgson, D. A.; Smol, J. P.

    2013-11-01

    Biological responses to climate and environmental changes in remote polar regions are of increasing interest in global change research. Terrestrial and marine polar ecosystems have suffered from impacts of both rapid climate change and intense human activities, and large fluctuations in the population sizes of seabirds, seals, and Antarctic krill have been observed in the past decades. To understand the mechanisms driving these regime shifts in polar ecosystems, it is important to first distinguish the influences of natural forcing from anthropogenic activities. Therefore, investigations of past changes of polar ecosystems prior to human contact are relevant for placing recent human-induced changes within a long-term historical context. Here we focus our review on the fossil, sub-fossil, archaeological, and biogeochemical remains of marine vertebrates in polar sediments. These remains include well-preserved tissues such as bones, hairs and feathers, and biogeochemical markers and other proxy indicators, including deposits of guano and excrement, which can accumulate in lake and terrestrial sediments over thousands of years. Analyses of these remains have provided insight into both natural and anthropogenic impacts on marine vertebrates over millennia and have helped identify the causal agents for these impacts. Furthermore, land-based seabirds and marine mammals have been shown to play an important role as bio-vectors in polar environments as they transport significant amounts of nutrients and anthropogenic contaminants between ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. A critical three-way junction is conserved in budding yeast and vertebrate telomerase RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Yogev; Abraham, Mira; Pearl, Sivan; Kabaha, Majdi M.; Elboher, Elhanan; Tzfati, Yehuda

    2007-01-01

    The telomerase ribonucleoprotein copies a short template within its integral RNA moiety onto eukaryotic chromosome ends, compensating for incomplete replication and degradation. Non-template regions of telomerase RNA (TER) are also crucial for telomerase function, yet they are highly divergent in sequence among species and their roles are largely unclear. Using both phylogenetic and mutational analyses, we predicted secondary structures for TERs from Kluyveromyces budding yeast species. A comparison of these secondary structure models with the published model for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae TER reveals a common arrangement into three long arms, a templating domain in the center and several conserved elements in the same positions within the structure. One of them, a three-way junction element, is highly conserved in budding yeast TERs. This element also shows sequence and structure similarity to the critical CR4-CR5 activating domain of vertebrate TERs. Mutational analysis in Kluyveromyces lactis confirmed that this element, and in particular the residues conserved across yeast and vertebrates, is critical for telomerase action both in vivo and in vitro. These findings demonstrate that despite the extreme divergence of TER sequences from different organisms, they do share conserved elements, which presumably carry out common roles in telomerase function. PMID:17855392

  15. Neuroanatomical distribution of MCH in the brain and pituitary of submammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Vallarino, Mauro; Bruzzone, Federica; Vaudry, Hubert

    2009-11-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a cyclic neuropeptide that has been initially characterized from a salmon pituitary extract and subsequently identified in various species from all classes of vertebrates. The present review summarizes the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution of MCH-immunoreactive neurons in submammalian vertebrates. In all species examined, MCH-immunoreactive perikarya are confined to the hypothalamus, with the exception of the cyclostome Lampetra fluvialis and the lungfish Protopterus annectens, in which additional populations of MCH-immunoreactive cell bodies occur in the telencephalon, and the frogs Rana ridibunda and Rana esculenta which exhibit MCH-positive perikarya in thalamic nuclei. In teleosts, in the frog R. ridibunda and in the L. fluvialis, MCH is present in the classical hypothalamic-neurohypophysial system indicating that the peptide may play the role of a neurohormone. In other groups, MCH-immunoreactive nerve fibers are widely distributed in various brain regions suggesting that, in these species, MCH in the central nervous system may act as a neurotransmitter or/and a neuromodulator rather than a neurohormone. PMID:19428141

  16. Hox gene clusters of early vertebrates: do they serve as reliable markers for genome evolution?

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2011-06-01

    Hox genes, responsible for regional specification along the anteroposterior axis in embryogenesis, are found as clusters in most eumetazoan genomes sequenced to date. Invertebrates possess a single Hox gene cluster with some exceptions of secondary cluster breakages, while osteichthyans (bony vertebrates) have multiple Hox clusters. In tetrapods, four Hox clusters, derived from the so-called two-round whole genome duplications (2R-WGDs), are observed. Overall, the number of Hox gene clusters has been regarded as a reliable marker of ploidy levels in animal genomes. In fact, this scheme also fits the situations in teleost fishes that experienced an additional WGD. In this review, I focus on cyclostomes and cartilaginous fishes as lineages that would fill the gap between invertebrates and osteichthyans. A recent study highlighted a possible loss of the HoxC cluster in the galeomorph shark lineage, while other aspects of cartilaginous fish Hox clusters usually mark their conserved nature. In contrast, existing resources suggest that the cyclostomes exhibit a different mode of Hox cluster organization. For this group of species, whose genomes could have differently responded to the 2R-WGDs from jawed vertebrates, therefore the number of Hox clusters may not serve as a good indicator of their ploidy level. PMID:21802046

  17. Costimulatory receptors in jawed vertebrates: Conserved CD28, odd CTLA4 and multiple BTLAs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernard, D.; Hansen, J.D.; Du, Pasquier L.; Lefranc, M.-P.; Benmansour, A.; Boudinot, P.

    2007-01-01

    CD28 family of costimulatory receptors is comprised of molecules with a single V-type extracellular Ig domain, a transmembrane and an intracytoplasmic region with signaling motifs. CD28 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA4) homologs have been recently identified in rainbow trout. Other sequences similar to mammalian CD28 family members have now been identified using teleost, Xenopus and chicken databases. CD28- and CTLA4 homologs were found in all vertebrate classes whereas inducible costimulatory signal (ICOS) was restricted to tetrapods, and programmed cell death-1 (PD1) was limited to mammals and chicken. Multiple B and T Lymphocyte Attenuator (BTLA) sequences were found in teleosts, but not in Xenopus or in avian genomes. The intron/exon structure of btlas was different from that of cd28 and other members of the family. The Ig domain encoded in all the btla genes has features of the C-type structure, which suggests that BTLA does not belong to the CD28 family. The genomic localization of these genes in vertebrate genomes supports the split between the BTLA and CD28 families. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. ExoLocator--an online view into genetic makeup of vertebrate proteins.

    PubMed

    Khoo, Aik Aun; Ogrizek-Tomas, Mario; Bulovic, Ana; Korpar, Matija; Gürler, Ece; Slijepcevic, Ivan; Šikic, Mile; Mihalek, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    ExoLocator (http://exolocator.eopsf.org) collects in a single place information needed for comparative analysis of protein-coding exons from vertebrate species. The main source of data--the genomic sequences, and the existing exon and homology annotation--is the ENSEMBL database of completed vertebrate genomes. To these, ExoLocator adds the search for ostensibly missing exons in orthologous protein pairs across species, using an extensive computational pipeline to narrow down the search region for the candidate exons and find a suitable template in the other species, as well as state-of-the-art implementations of pairwise alignment algorithms. The resulting complements of exons are organized in a way currently unique to ExoLocator: multiple sequence alignments, both on the nucleotide and on the peptide levels, clearly indicating the exon boundaries. The alignments can be inspected in the web-embedded viewer, downloaded or used on the spot to produce an estimate of conservation within orthologous sets, or functional divergence across paralogues. PMID:24271393

  19. Convergent evolution and locomotion through complex terrain by insects, vertebrates and robots.

    PubMed

    Ritzmann, Roy E; Quinn, Roger D; Fischer, Martin S

    2004-07-01

    Arthropods are the most successful members of the animal kingdom largely because of their ability to move efficiently through a range of environments. Their agility has not been lost on engineers seeking to design agile legged robots. However, one cannot simply copy mechanical and neural control systems from insects into robotic designs. Rather one has to select the properties that are critical for specific behaviors that the engineer wants to capture in a particular robot. Convergent evolution provides an important clue to the properties of legged locomotion that are critical for success. Arthropods and vertebrates evolved legged locomotion independently. Nevertheless, many neural control properties and mechanical schemes are remarkably similar. Here we describe three aspects of legged locomotion that are found in both insects and vertebrates and that provide enhancements to legged robots. They are leg specialization, body flexion and the development of a complex head structure. Although these properties are commonly seen in legged animals, most robotic vehicles have similar legs throughout, rigid bodies and rudimentary sensors on what would be considered the head region. We describe these convergent properties in the context of robots that we developed to capture the agility of insects in moving through complex terrain. PMID:18089044

  20. Glucocorticoid interaction with aggression in non-mammalian vertebrates: reciprocal action.

    PubMed

    Summers, Cliff H; Watt, Michael J; Ling, Travis L; Forster, Gina L; Carpenter, Russ E; Korzan, Wayne J; Lukkes, Jodi L; Overli, Oyvind

    2005-12-01

    Socially aggressive interaction is stressful, and as such, glucocorticoids are typically secreted during aggressive interaction in a variety of vertebrates, which may both potentiate and inhibit aggression. The behavioral relationship between corticosterone and/or cortisol in non-mammalian (as well as mammalian) vertebrates is dependent on timing, magnitude, context, and coordination of physiological and behavioral responses. Chronically elevated plasma glucocorticoids reliably inhibit aggressive behavior, consistent with an evolutionarily adaptive behavioral strategy among subordinate and submissive individuals. Acute elevation of plasma glucocorticoids may either promote an actively aggressive response via action in specialized local regions of the brain such as the anterior hypothalamus, or is permissive to escalated aggression and/or activity. Although the permissive effect of glucocorticoids on aggression does not suggest an active role for the hormone, the corticosteroids may be necessary for full expression of aggressive behavior, as in the lizard Anolis carolinensis. These effects suggest that short-term stress may generally be best counteracted by an actively aggressive response, at least for socially dominant proactive individuals. An acute and active response may be evolutionarily maladaptive under chronic, uncontrollable and unpredictable circumstances. It appears that subordinate reactive individuals often produce compulsorily chronic responses that inhibit aggression and promote submissive behavior. PMID:16298361

  1. Evolution of the respiratory system in nonavian theropods: evidence from rib and vertebral morphology.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Lyson, Tyler R; Dodson, Peter

    2009-09-01

    Recent reports of region-specific vertebral pneumaticity in nonavian theropod dinosaurs have brought attention to the hypothesis that these animals possessed an avian-style respiratory system with flow-through ventilation. This study explores the thoracic rib and vertebral anatomy of Sinraptor, Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Deinonychus; four nonavian theropods that all show well-preserved thoracic vertebrae and ribs. Comparisons to the osteology and soft tissue anatomy of extant saurians provide new evidence supporting the hypothesis of flow-through ventilation in nonavian theropods. Analyses of diapophyseal and parapophyseal position and thoracic rib morphology suggest that most nonavian theropods possessed lungs that were deeply incised by the adjacent bicapitate thoracic ribs. This functionally constrains the lungs as rigid nonexpansive organs that were likely ventilated by accessory nonvascularized air sacs. The axial anatomy of this group also reveals that a crocodilian-like hepatic-piston lung would be functionally and biomechanically untenable. Taken together with the evidence that avian-like air sacs were present in basal theropods, these data lead us to conclude that an avian-style pulmonary system was likely a universal theropod trait. PMID:19711481

  2. Compound heterozygous mutations in RIPPLY2 associated with vertebral segmentation defects.

    PubMed

    McInerney-Leo, Aideen M; Sparrow, Duncan B; Harris, Jessica E; Gardiner, Brooke B; Marshall, Mhairi S; O'Reilly, Victoria C; Shi, Hongjun; Brown, Matthew A; Leo, Paul J; Zankl, Andreas; Dunwoodie, Sally L; Duncan, Emma L

    2015-03-01

    Segmentation defects of the vertebrae (SDV) are caused by aberrant somite formation during embryogenesis and result in irregular formation of the vertebrae and ribs. The Notch signal transduction pathway plays a critical role in somite formation and patterning in model vertebrates. In humans, mutations in several genes involved in the Notch pathway are associated with SDV, with both autosomal recessive (MESP2, DLL3, LFNG, HES7) and autosomal dominant (TBX6) inheritance. However, many individuals with SDV do not carry mutations in these genes. Using whole-exome capture and massive parallel sequencing, we identified compound heterozygous mutations in RIPPLY2 in two brothers with multiple regional SDV, with appropriate familial segregation. One novel mutation (c.A238T:p.Arg80*) introduces a premature stop codon. In transiently transfected C2C12 mouse myoblasts, the RIPPLY2 mutant protein demonstrated impaired transcriptional repression activity compared with wild-type RIPPLY2 despite similar levels of expression. The other mutation (c.240-4T>G), with minor allele frequency <0.002, lies in the highly conserved splice site consensus sequence 5' to the terminal exon. Ripply2 has a well-established role in somitogenesis and vertebral column formation, interacting at both gene and protein levels with SDV-associated Mesp2 and Tbx6. We conclude that compound heterozygous mutations in RIPPLY2 are associated with SDV, a new gene for this condition. PMID:25343988

  3. Biomechanical aspects of bone microstructure in vertebrates: potential approach to palaeontological investigations.

    PubMed

    Mishra, S

    2009-11-01

    Biomechanical or biophysical principles can be applied to study biological structures in their modern or fossil form. Bone is an important tissue in paleontological studies as it is a commonly preserved element in most fossil vertebrates, and can often allow its microstructures such as lacuna and canaliculi to be studied in detail. In this context, the principles of Fluid Mechanics and Scaling Laws have been previously applied to enhance the understanding of bone microarchitecture and their implications for the evolution of hydraulic structures to transport fluid. It has been shown that the microstructure of bone has evolved to maintain efficient transport between the nutrient supply and cells, the living components of the tissue. Application of the principle of minimal expenditure of energy to this analysis shows that the path distance comprising five or six lamellar regions represents an effective limit for fluid and solute transport between the nutrient supply and cells; beyond this threshold, hydraulic resistance in the network increases and additional energy expenditure is necessary for further transportation. This suggests an optimization of the size of the bone's building blocks (such as osteon or trabecular thickness) to meet the metabolic demand concomitant to minimal expenditure of energy. This biomechanical aspect of bone microstructure is corroborated from the ratio of osteon to Haversian canal diameters and scaling constants of several mammals considered in this study. This aspect of vertebrate bone microstructure and physiology may provide a basis of understanding of the form and function relationship in both extinct and extant taxa. PMID:20009272

  4. [A Ruptured Vertebral Artery Dissecting Aneurysm Involving the Anterior Spinal Artery:A Case Report].

    PubMed

    Tomura, Nagatsuki; Kono, Kenichi; Okada, Hideo; Yoshimura, Ryo; Shintani, Aki; Tanaka, Yuko; Terada, Tomoaki

    2016-07-01

    A 50-year-old woman presented with a subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by a ruptured vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm(VADA)involving the anterior spinal artery(ASA). The ASA branched at the proximal component of the dissecting aneurysm. The rupture point was presumed to be the distal region of the dissecting aneurysm. We performed coil embolization of the distal part only in order to prevent rebleeding and preserve the ASA. The patient showed no neurological deficits. Six months after the procedure, an angiogram demonstrated occlusion of a distal portion of the right vertebral artery. However, the ASA was still patent. No rebleeding occurred, and the patient has remained neurologically symptom-free for 3 years from the treatment. ASA-involved VADAs are extremely rare. Treatment strategy is difficult because there are no options for bypass surgery and occlusion of the ASA may lead to quadriplegia unless there is collateral flow to the ASA. Although the outcome of the patient was good with partial coil embolization in this case, the treatment strategy should be carefully considered for ASA-involved VADAs. PMID:27384118

  5. Vocal Corollary Discharge Communicates Call Duration to Vertebrate Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Corollary discharge is essential to an animal's ability to filter self-generated from external stimuli. This includes acoustic communication, although direct demonstration of a corollary discharge that both conveys a vocal motor signal and informs the auditory system about the physical attributes of a self-generated vocalization has remained elusive for vertebrates. Here, we show the underlying synaptic activity of a neuronal vocal corollary discharge pathway in the hindbrain of a highly vocal species of fish. Neurons carrying the vocal corollary discharge are specifically adapted for the transmission of duration information, a predominant acoustic cue. The results reveal that vertebrates, like some insects, have a robust corollary discharge conveying call duration. Along with evidence for the influence of vocal duration on auditory encoding in mammals, these new findings suggest that linking vocal motor and corollary discharge pathways with pattern generating, call duration neurons is a shared network character across the animal kingdom. PMID:24285884

  6. The Current Status of Vertebrate Cellular mRNA IRESs

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    Internal ribosome entry sites/segments (IRESs) were first discovered over 20 years ago in picornaviruses, followed by the discovery of two other types of IRES in hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the dicistroviruses, which infect invertebrates. In the meantime, reports of IRESs in eukaryotic cellular mRNAs started to appear, and the list of such putative IRESs continues to grow to the point in which it now stands at ∼100, 80% of them in vertebrate mRNAs. Despite initial skepticism from some quarters, there now seems universal agreement that there is genuine internal ribosome entry on the viral IRESs. However, the same cannot be said for cellular mRNA IRESs, which continue to be shrouded in controversy. The aim of this article is to explain why vertebrate mRNA IRESs remain controversial, and to discuss ways in which these controversies might be resolved. PMID:23378589

  7. Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals vertebrate phylotypic period during organogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Irie, Naoki; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2011-01-01

    One of the central issues in evolutionary developmental biology is how we can formulate the relationships between evolutionary and developmental processes. Two major models have been proposed: the 'funnel-like' model, in which the earliest embryo shows the most conserved morphological pattern, followed by diversifying later stages, and the 'hourglass' model, in which constraints are imposed to conserve organogenesis stages, which is called the phylotypic period. Here we perform a quantitative comparative transcriptome analysis of several model vertebrate embryos and show that the pharyngula stage is most conserved, whereas earlier and later stages are rather divergent. These results allow us to predict approximate developmental timetables between different species, and indicate that pharyngula embryos have the most conserved gene expression profiles, which may be the source of the basic body plan of vertebrates. PMID:21427719

  8. Blunt Abdominal Aortic Injury Associated with L2 Vertebral Fracture.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, Yuki; Morimoto, Yoshihisa; Sugimoto, Takaki; Arase, Hiroki; Araki, Kota

    2016-07-01

    Blunt abdominal aortic injury (BAAI) is very rare. In general, BAAI occurs in high-energy accidents. Here, we present a case of BAAI in a low-energy accident. A 70-year-old female was injured after falling 3 m. Her vital signs were stable. She had lumbar fractures (L1, L2) and BAAI associated with a fragment of the fractured L2 vertebral body. On the fifth posttrauma day, we performed an operation because computed tomography showed a bone fragment of the lumbar fractures (L1, L2) threatening the abdominal aorta. The aortic injury site was transected, and the fragment of the L2 vertebral body was removed. Even in low-energy accidents, BAAI should be considered. BAAI with stable vital signs can be electively treated. PMID:27126715

  9. Diagnosis of hematogenous pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis by magnetic resonance imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers, S.P.; Wiener, S.N. )

    1991-04-01

    The clinical information and imaging data from 27 patients with hematogenous pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis were reviewed. All patients had roentgenographic and magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Seventeen patients had computed tomograms; 17 had technetium Tc 99m medronate bone scans; and seven had gallium citrate Ga 67 scans. Magnetic resonance imaging, when used as a part of the initial radiologic evaluation, detected abnormalities consistent with osteomyelitis in all 27 patients. Magnetic resonance imaging also demonstrated paravertebral and/or epidural extension of infection in 14 patients, including seven patients who had neurologic signs of lower-extremity weakness. Roentgenograms, computed tomograms, technetium bone scans, and gallium scans had findings suggestive of the diagnosis in 48%, 65%, 71%, and 86% of the patients, respectively. We recommend magnetic resonance imaging as an important and perhaps critical imaging modality for detection of pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis.

  10. Allelochemical communication in vertebrates: kairomones, allomones and synomones.

    PubMed

    Sbarbati, A; Osculati, F

    2006-01-01

    Communication between different species by means of chemicals (allelomones) is widespread among prokaryotes, plants and invertebrates. This study reviews data suggesting that allelochemically mediated communication also exists among vertebrates. The work aims to provide a concise, interdisciplinary review of communication mediated by infochemicals, with a focus on interspecies and interkingdom signaling. A definition of infochemicals is given, with a brief review of the general principles of chemical communication in different kingdoms in nature. Findings are reported which suggest that interspecies chemical signaling is important for vertebrates also. It is proposed that the general laws of chemical ecology are valid for mammals too, and that the terms indicating the different types of allelomones (i.e. kairomone, allomone and synomone) might also be used in medicine. In particular, the microchemical environment at the airway and digestive interfaces are discussed from an infochemical point of view. PMID:17159346

  11. Risk Factors for Vertebral Artery Injuries in Cervical Spine Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Dabke, Harshad V.

    2014-01-01

    Blunt cerebrovascular injuries (i.e. involvement of carotid and vertebral arteries) are increasingly being recognized in setting of cervical spine trauma/fractures and are associated with high incidence of stroke/morbidity and mortality. The incidence of vertebral artery injuries (VAI) is more common than previously thought and regular screening is seldom performed. However there exists no screening criteria and conflicting reports exists between spine and trauma literature. Many clinicians do not routinely screen/evaluate patients presenting with cervical spine trauma for potential VAI. This article provides a brief summary of existing evidence regarding the incidence of VAI in the background of cervical trauma/fractures. The type and fracture pattern that is associated with a high risk of VAI warranting mandatory screening/further work-up is discussed. A brief overview of diagnostic modalities and their respective sensitivity/specificity along with available treatment options is also summarized. PMID:25317310

  12. Estrogenic modulation of auditory processing: a vertebrate comparison

    PubMed Central

    Caras, Melissa L.

    2013-01-01

    Sex-steroid hormones are well-known regulators of vocal motor behavior in several organisms. A large body of evidence now indicates that these same hormones modulate processing at multiple levels of the ascending auditory pathway. The goal of this review is to provide a comparative analysis of the role of estrogens in vertebrate auditory function. Four major conclusions can be drawn from the literature: First, estrogens may influence the development of the mammalian auditory system. Second, estrogenic signaling protects the mammalian auditory system from noise- and age-related damage. Third, estrogens optimize auditory processing during periods of reproductive readiness in multiple vertebrate lineages. Finally, brain-derived estrogens can act locally to enhance auditory response properties in at least one avian species. This comparative examination may lead to a better appreciation of the role of estrogens in the processing of natural vocalizations and may provide useful insights toward alleviating auditory dysfunctions emanating from hormonal imbalances. PMID:23911849

  13. Worlds within worlds: evolution of the vertebrate gut microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Ley, Ruth E.; Lozupone, Catherine A.; Hamady, Micah; Knight, Rob

    2009-01-01

    Here we use published 16S rRNA gene sequences to compare the bacterial assemblages associated with humans, other mammals, other metazoa, and free-living microbial communities spanning a range of environmental conditions. The composition of the vertebrate gut microbiota is influenced by diet, host morphology and phylogeny, and in this respect the human gut bacterial community is typical for an omnivorous primate. However, a wider view reveals that the vertebrate gut microbiota is highly differentiated from free-living communities not associated with animal body habitats. The recently initiated international Human Microbiome Project should strive to include a broad representation of humans, as well as other mammals and environmental samples: comparative analyses of microbiotas and their microbiomes are a powerful way to explore the evolutionary history of the biosphere. PMID:18794915

  14. An aggressive vertebral hemangioma in pregnancy: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Pregnancy-related compressive myelopathy secondary to vertebral hemangioma is a rare occurrence and its treatment antepartum is rare. Case presentation A 19-year-old North African woman in her 38th week of pregnancy presented with paraplegia that progressed within 2 days after a rapidly progressive weakness of her lower limbs. Magnetic resonance imaging studies showed compression of her spinal cord in front of the fourth thoracic vertebra for suspected tuberculous spondylitis. A Caesarean section was done followed by corpectomy with a bone graft because we intraoperatively discovered a vertebral hemangioma. Pathology showed an aggressive hemangioma. Conclusion At any term of pregnancy, extensive neurological involvement which is rapidly progressive due to compression should be considered for immediate decompression. PMID:24943121

  15. Vertebral artery thrombosis: a rare presentation of primary polycythaemia

    PubMed Central

    Gul, H L; Lau, S Y M; Chan-Lam, D; Ng, J-P

    2014-01-01

    Primary polycythaemia, also known as polycythaemia vera (PV), is a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) which is associated with arterial and venous thrombosis and which can contribute to significant morbidity and mortality if untreated. Arterial thrombosis accounts for a large proportion of PV-related thrombotic events which may manifest as stroke and myocardial infarction. There is an abundance of literature documenting thrombosis arising in the cerebral vasculature secondary to PV. However, vertebral artery thrombosis associated with PV has not been previously described. We present a case of vertebral artery thrombosis as the presenting manifestation of PV. This case demonstrates the importance of recognising MPNs as a cause of an unusual presentation of thrombosis. PMID:24862411

  16. Vertebral Dissecting Aneurysm Treated with Wingspan Stent Deployment and Detachable Coils

    PubMed Central

    Lv, M.; Lv, X.; Li, Y.; Yang, X.; Wu, Z.

    2009-01-01

    Summary We describe the first documented endovascular treatment of vertebral dissecting aneurysm using a Wingspan stent and detachable coils. A 54-year-old man presented with a nonruptured vertebral dissecting aneurysm. Because of the dissecting nature of the vertebral aneurysms, a 3x15-mm Wingspan stent was placed in the left vertebral artery. One month later, several detachable coils were introduced into the aneurysm. Six-month follow-up angiogram confirmed the obliteration. Vertebral dissecting aneurysm can be treated with Wingspan stent placement and detachable coils. PMID:20465940

  17. The Spectrum of Recovery From Fracture-Induced Vertebral Deformity in Pediatric Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Dal Osto, Leo C; Konji, Victor N; Halton, Jacqueline; Matzinger, Mary Ann; Bassal, Mylène; Rauch, Frank; Ward, Leanne M

    2016-06-01

    Vertebral fractures (VF) are a frequent complication of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Some children with VF undergo vertebral body reshaping to the point of complete restoration of normal vertebral dimensions. Others are left with permanent vertebral deformity if the degree of reshaping has been incomplete by the time of final adult height attainment. In this report, we describe three children with painful VF at leukemia diagnosis or during chemotherapy. Each patient highlights different clinical trajectories in their recovery from VF and underscores the need for osteoporosis intervention trials with the goal to prevent permanent vertebral deformity in selected patients. PMID:26878592

  18. Vertebral hyperemia associated with bone marrow insult and recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, H.A.; Bolden, R.O.; Simone, F.J.

    1984-06-01

    A 15-year-old boy with rhabdoid sarcoma received chemotherapy, which was followed by bone marrow depression, massive nosebleeds and, finally, hematologic recovery. On both hepatobiliary and renal scint