Science.gov

Sample records for leeches

  1. Annelida, Euhirudinea (leeches)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Worldwide, there are over 600 species of leeches described which occur in freshwater, marine, estuarine, and moist-terrestrial ecosystems. Leeches are included in the Class Clitellata, Subclass Hirudinida, and Superorder Euhirudinea. Seven of the ten families of leeches occur in...

  2. Leech Therapeutic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Abdualkader, A. M.; Ghawi, A. M.; Alaama, M.; Awang, M.; Merzouk, A.

    2013-01-01

    Hematophagous animals including leeches have been known to possess biologically active compounds in their secretions, especially in their saliva. The blood-sucking annelids, leeches have been used for therapeutic purposes since the beginning of civilization. Ancient Egyptian, Indian, Greek and Arab physicians used leeches for a wide range of diseases starting from the conventional use for bleeding to systemic ailments, such as skin diseases, nervous system abnormalities, urinary and reproductive system problems, inflammation, and dental problems. Recently, extensive researches on leech saliva unveiled the presence of a variety of bioactive peptides and proteins involving antithrombin (hirudin, bufrudin), antiplatelet (calin, saratin), factor Xa inhibitors (lefaxin), antibacterial (theromacin, theromyzin) and others. Consequently, leech has made a comeback as a new remedy for many chronic and life-threatening abnormalities, such as cardiovascular problems, cancer, metastasis, and infectious diseases. In the 20th century, leech therapy has established itself in plastic and microsurgery as a protective tool against venous congestion and served to salvage the replanted digits and flaps. Many clinics for plastic surgery all over the world started to use leeches for cosmetic purposes. Despite the efficacious properties of leech therapy, the safety, and complications of leeching are still controversial. PMID:24019559

  3. Intraperitoneal leech: A rare complication of leech bite.

    PubMed

    Saha, Manoj; Nagi, Sedengulie

    2011-10-01

    An intraperitoneal leech, which entered through vagina and uterus in a 2-year-old girl is reported. The child presented with intraperitoneal hemorrhage and shock. A leech inside the peritoneal cavity has never been reported in the literature. PMID:22121316

  4. Satellite stabilization using space leeches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Michael W.; Kim, Dong-Min

    1990-01-01

    A control algorithm for satellite stabilization using a space leech is presented. The space leech is assumed to have n reaction wheels with known moments of inertia about their axis of rotation. All mass properties of the satellite are assumed to be unknown. The algorithm brings the satellite to a specified attitude trajectory. Simulations were performed to demonstrate the controller. The model parameters and specific algorithm used and the results obtained are presented.

  5. LEECHES (ANNELIDA: EUHIRUDINEA) OF NORTHERN ARKANSAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Twenty-one lotic and lentic environments throughout central and northern Arkansas were surveyed for the presence of leeches during June 2004, and April, July - October, 2005. Fourteen species of leeches (Desserobdella cryptobranchii, Desserobdella phalera, Desserobdella picta, H...

  6. Leeches run cold, then hot

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Ann M.; Chin, Wendy; Feilich, Kara L.; Jung, Grace; Quist, Jessica L.; Wang, Jasmine; Ellerby, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Food processing is costly, potentially limiting the energy and time devoted to other essential functions such as locomotion or reproduction. In ectotherms, post-prandial thermophily, the selection of a warm environmental temperature after feeding, may be advantageous in minimizing the duration of this elevated cost. Although present in many vertebrate taxa, this behaviour had not previously been observed in invertebrates. Sanguivorous leeches ingest large blood meals that are costly to process and limit mobility until excess fluid can actively be expelled to reduce body volume. When presented with a temperature gradient from 10°C to 30°C, leeches select a temperature that is significantly warmer (24.3 ± 0.9°C, n = 6) than their acclimation temperature (Ta, 21°C). Unfed leeches preferred temperatures that were significantly cooler than ambient (12.8 ± 0.9°C, n = 6). This behavioural strategy is consistent with minimizing the time course of elevated post-feeding energy costs and reducing energy expenditure during fasting. Our observations raise the possibility that thermoregulatory behaviour of this type is an unrecognized feature of other invertebrate taxa. PMID:21551223

  7. Findings of Bone Scintigraphy After Leech Theraphy

    PubMed Central

    Özyurt, Sinem; Koca, Gökhan; Demirel, Koray; Baskın, Aylin; Korkmaz, Meliha

    2014-01-01

    In this case report, we present a 70 year old female patient who had recieved Leech therapy (hirudotherapy) on her leg without informing referring physician. In dynamic bone scintigraphy there was increased perfusion and hyperemia in her left ankle and leg, also in late static images moderate increased uptake was seen in soft tissue region and at the fracture site of ankle. We learned that she had Leech therapy applied on her leg, which could explain the increased perfusion and hyperemia in dynamic and blood pool phases of bone scintigraphy because of Leech therapy’s dilatory effects on superficial veins. Leech therapy may lead to an increase in perfusion and hyperemia in blood pool phase of bone scintigraphy, which may cause confusion in differential diagnosis. To our best knowledge this report is the first case that shows the scintigraphic findigs after Leech therapy. Conflict of interest:None declared. PMID:24653932

  8. The Dynamics of Group Formation Among Leeches

    PubMed Central

    Bisson, Giacomo; Bianconi, Ginestra; Torre, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Leeches exploring a new environment continuously meet each other and merge in temporary groups. After 2–3 h, leeches become attracted to each other eventually forming a large and stable group. When their number is reduced, leeches remain solitary, behaving independently. Group formation is facilitated by body injection of serotonin (5-HT) and the level of endogenous 5-HT is elevated in leeches forming a large group. In contrast, intravenous injection of 5-HT antagonists prevented injected leeches from joining a large group of conspecifics. When sensilla near the head were ablated or the supraesophageal ganglion disconnected, leeches remained solitary, but explored the environment swimming and crawling. These results suggest that group formation is initiated by a release of 5-HT triggered by sensilla stimulation and its dynamics can be explained by the establishment of a reinforcement dynamics, as observed during human group formation. As 5-HT affects social interactions also in humans, group formation in leeches and humans share a similar dynamics and hormonal control. PMID:22629247

  9. Heart Motorneuron Dynamics of Leeches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buono, Pietro-Luciano; Palacios, Antonio

    2003-08-01

    The heartbeat of the medicinal leech consists of two intricate patterns of oscillatory behavior, which are driven by two lateral arrays of motorneurons. On one side of the animal the motorneurons oscillate synchronously, while on the other side they produce a peristaltic wave of oscillations. Then every 20 heartbeats, approximately, the two sides alternate their activity. These two rhythms, including the transitions between them, are known to be initiated by a Central Pattern Generator (CPG) network of neurons. The translation mechanism from CPG dynamics to motorneuron activity, however, is not well understood. In this work, we use symmetric systems of differential equations, accompanied with computational simulations, to investigate such mechanism.

  10. Leech (Hirudinea) infestations among waterfowl near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartonek, J.C.; Trauger, D.L.

    1975-01-01

    Fourteen species of aquatic birds, including 11 species of ducks, were infested with leeches Theromyzon rude and Placobdella ornata near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Leeches infested 88% of 41 American Wigeon (Anas americana) and 31% of 86 Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) examined after death. Lesser Scaup captured by drive-trapping contained significantly more leeches than undisturbed ducks. Leeches were attached to the host within the mucosa of the nasal chamber, to the conjunctiva of the eye and on the skin of the body. Although only two deaths of ducklings were directly attributed to leech infestations, other birds probably died as a result of parasitism by leeches.

  11. Nasal leech infestation causing persistent epistaxis

    PubMed Central

    Sarathi, Kalra

    2011-01-01

    Foreign bodies in the nasal cavity are commonly encountered as a cause of epistaxis; however, nasal leech infestation as a cause of unilateral persistent epistaxis is very rare. Examination of nasal cavity revealed fleshy material in the left nostril, which was identified as leech. The leech was removed with the help of an artery forceps following irrigation of the left nostril with normal saline and adopting wait-and-watch policy. In developing countries, leech infestation as a cause of epistaxis should be suspected in patients with lower socioeconomic status or in those living in rural areas who give history of drinking polluted water from, or bathing in, stagnant ponds and puddles. PMID:21887037

  12. Medicinal leech therapy and Aeromonas spp. infection.

    PubMed

    Verriere, B; Sabatier, B; Carbonnelle, E; Mainardi, J L; Prognon, P; Whitaker, I; Lantieri, L; Hivelin, M

    2016-06-01

    While the use of medicinal leech therapy (MLT) in reconstructive and orthopaedic surgery is widely described, post-operative complications related to leeches remain a major concern. Aeromonas spp. strains are involved in the majority of reported cases. As surgical success rate is directly impacted, an adapted antibiotic prophylaxis should be instituted in order to minimize these complications. We assessed pharmaceutical process, microbiological control and related infections in order to provide data and choose the appropriate antibiotherapy for patients requiring MLT. We report a clinical and microbiological study over a 24-month period. Clinical data were collected from patients' database, and microbiological analysis both on leeches' tank water and crushed leeches were performed to characterize isolated strains and their susceptibility to antibiotics. A total of 595 leeches were used to treat 28 patients (12 in plastic surgery and 16 in orthopaedic surgery), and three documented cases of post-operative infections were reported. Aeromonas spp. isolates yielded from 62 % of analyzed batches (75 % of Aeromonas veronii). Eighteen Aeromonas spp. isolates yielded from 23 water samples and three crushed leeches. Isolates were similar in tank and crushed leeches. Strains were susceptible to fluoroquinolones, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, aminosides, and third-generation cephalosporins but resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and second-generation cephalosporins. According to collected data, routine tank water microbiological analyses are mandatory in order to identify leeches' batches containing resistant strains and to discard them. In this context, the surgeon is able to select an appropriated antibiotic prophylaxis in order to avoid MLT associated serious post-operative complications. PMID:27039338

  13. LEECHES OF NORTH AMERICA,CENTRAL AMERICA, AND CARIBBEAN SEA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current(1999)alphabetical listing of the hierarchy, the taxonomy of freshwater leeches (Annelida: Hirudinea) of North America, Central America, islands in the Caribbean Sea, and selected references. The list contains 10 Families, 52 Genera, and 148 Species of leeches.

  14. KANSAS LEECHES (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA) WITH NOTES ON DISTRIBUTION AND ECOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    In comparison to the other aquatic macroinvertebrate groups of Kansas, the leech fauna is an unusually neglected group. This preliminary survey of Kansas leeches include 20 species, 13 of which are new to this state.

  15. Reach the Leech: An Unusual Cause of Hematuria.

    PubMed

    Mansoor, Sahibzada Nasir; Anwar, Zahid; Sheen, Salman Najam

    2016-02-01

    Leeches are found in fresh water as well as moist marshy tropical areas. Orifical Hirudiniasis is the presence of leech in natural human orifices. Leech have been reported in nose, oropharynx, vagina, rectum and bladder but leech per urethra is very rare. We report a case of leech in urethra causing hematuria and bleeding disorder in the form of epistaxis and impaired clotting profile after use of stream water for ablution. The case was diagnosed after a prolonged diagnostic dilemma. Asingle alive leech was recovered from the urethra after ten days with the help of forceps. The hematuria and epistaxis gradually improved over next 48 hours and the patient became asymptomatic. Natives of leech infested areas should be advised to avoid swimming in fresh water and desist from drinking and using stream water without inspection for leeches. PMID:26876408

  16. From bloodletting to bioconcentration: Science resurrects the leech

    SciTech Connect

    Gorvalski, M.

    1990-07-01

    Leeches are being used by environmental chemists at the Westwater Research Center at the University of British Columbia to measure the contamination levels of local rivers. As the chemical Agent Orange is broken down, chlorinated phenols are released and absorbed by the leeches. The levels of the chlorophenols are too small to be detected by conventional methods, so the leeches are used as monitoring organisms. The leeches are being tested to see if they could be used to monitor other pollutants as well.

  17. Building exploration with leeches Hirudo verbana.

    PubMed

    Adamatzky, Andrew; Sirakoulis, Georgios Ch

    2015-08-01

    Safe evacuation of people from building and outdoor environments, and search and rescue operations, always will remain actual in course of all socio-technological developments. Modern facilities offer a range of automated systems to guide residents towards emergency exists. The systems are assumed to be infallible. But what if they fail? How occupants not familiar with a building layout will be looking for exits in case of very limited visibility where tactile sensing is the only way to assess the environment? Analogous models of human behaviour, and socio-dynamics in general, are provided to be fruitful ways to explore alternative, or would-be scenarios. Crowd, or a single person, dynamics could be imitated using particle systems, reaction-diffusion chemical medium, electro-magnetic fields, or social insects. Each type of analogous model offer unique insights on behavioural patterns of natural systems in constrained geometries. In this particular paper we have chosen leeches to analyse patterns of exploration. Reasons are two-fold. First, when deprived from other stimuli leeches change their behavioural modes in an automated regime in response to mechanical stimulation. Therefore leeches can give us invaluable information on how human beings might behave under stress and limited visibility. Second, leeches are ideal blueprints of future soft-bodied rescue robots. Leeches have modular nervous circuitry with a rich behavioral spectrum. Leeches are multi-functional, fault-tolerant with autonomous inter-segment coordination and adaptive decision-making. We aim to answer the question: how efficiently a real building can be explored and whether there any dependencies on the pathways of exploration and geometrical complexity of the building. In our case studies we use templates made on the floor plan of real building. PMID:26116877

  18. LEECHES (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA) OF NORTH AMERICA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Leeches are represented in North America by four orders, five families, 23 genera, and 63 species. The primitive family Acanthobdellidae is represented by one genus and species. The families Glossiphoniidae are represented by 10 genera and 29 species, the Piscicolidae by four gen...

  19. Nurses' experiences of leech therapy in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Alison; OBoyle, Colm

    2016-07-14

    The aim of this study was to explore nurses' experience of using leech therapy. Leech therapy is useful in promoting revascularisation of skin grafts. Nurse disquiet in their role as leech therapists has been noted. This study explored the experience of Irish nurses. A qualitative design with an interview schedule was used to learn about emotional and practical clinical experiences. Interviews were carried out with seven nurses working with leeches in reconstructive surgery in 2013. These interviews were coded and explored for themes. Results revealed that many nurses feel aversion to the use of leeches. This may be associated with the use of a parasitic organism as treatment in conflict with the nurse's role in cross infection. It was also found that management of a nurse's own and patient's emotional responses is required. In conclusion, preparation for the role of leech therapy beyond the purely practical is necessary, and should explore affective responses of the practitioner and patients. PMID:27409780

  20. Reproductive strategies of the kangaroo leech, Marsupiobdella africana (Glossiphoniidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kruger, Natasha; Du Preez, Louis

    2015-01-01

    The Kangaroo Leech, Marsupiobdella africana, is a hermaphroditic organism, with insemination taking place by the planting of a spermatophore on another leech. Spermatophores are mostly planted on the anterior of the recipient leech, but not always. Several spermatophores may be planted by different leeches on a single recipient. The spermatophore consists of two side by side lobes. Within minutes from planting of the spermatophore, the contents are squeezed out and into the body of the recipient. Sperm are believed to find the way to the ova by following chemical cues. Kangaroo Leeches display advanced parental care by transferring fertilized eggs from the reproductive opening to a brood pouch on the ventral side. Fully developed leeches may copulate after detaching from the amphibian host Xenopus laevis, or from the Cape River Crab Potamonautes perlatus with which it maintains a phoretic association. PMID:25830114

  1. New gammaproteobacteria associated with blood-feeding leeches and a broad phylogenetic analysis of leech endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Susan L; Budinoff, Rebecca B; Siddall, Mark E

    2005-09-01

    Many monophagous animals have coevolutionary relationships with bacteria that provide unavailable nutrients to the host. Frequently, these microbial partners are vertically inherited and reside in specialized structures or tissues. Here we report three new lineages of bacterial symbionts of blood-feeding leeches, one from the giant Amazonian leech, Haementeria ghilianii, and two others from Placobdelloides species. These hosts each possess a different mycetome or esophageal organ morphology where the bacterial cells are located. DNA sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA genes and fluorescent in situ hybridization placed these symbionts in two separate clades in the class Gammaproteobacteria. We also conducted a broad phylogenetic analysis of the herein-reported DNA sequences as well as others from bacterial symbionts reported elsewhere in the literature, including alphaproteobacterial symbionts from the leech genus Placobdella as well as Aeromonas veronii from the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, and a Rickettsia sp. detected in Hemiclepsis marginata. Combined, these results indicate that blood-feeding leeches have forged bacterial partnerships at least five times during their evolutionary history. PMID:16151107

  2. Simulating the motion of the leech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alscher, Christian; Beyn, Wolf-Jürgen

    1998-12-01

    In this paper a mathematical model is developed for the dynamical behaviour of a hydrostatic skeleton. The basic configuration is taken from the worm-like shape of the medicinal leech. It consists of a sequence of hexahedra with damped elastic springs as edges to model the various parts of the musculature. The system is stabilized by the constraint of constant volume either in the whole body or in prescribed compartments. We set up Lagrange's equations of motion with the Lagrange multipliers being the pressure values in the compartments. The equations of motion lead to a large differential-algebraic system which is solved by an application of semi-explicit numerical methods. Though the model has not yet been adapted to experimental data, first simulations with a simplified set of parameters show that it is capable of generating basic movements of the leech such as crawling and swimming.

  3. Helobdella (leech): a model for developmental studies.

    PubMed

    Weisblat, David A; Kuo, Dian-Han

    2009-04-01

    Helobdella is a genus of freshwater leeches, several species of which have been used for developmental studies since the 1970s. Helobdella embryos have been used for cell-lineage tracing and dye-mediated photoablation, and they have also been very useful for studies in cellular neurobiology. In this article, we discuss the reasons that Helobdella is used for studying development and some of the questions that are addressed through the use of this organism. PMID:20147121

  4. LEECH: LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, A.

    2014-03-01

    In Spring 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) atop Mt Graham, Arizona. This survey benefits from the many technological achievements of the LBT, including two 8.4- meter mirrors on a single fixed mount, dual adaptive secondary mirrors for high Strehl performance, and a cold beam combiner to dramatically reducing the telescope's overall background emissivity. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars at L' (3.8 microns) with LMIRcam, as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.4 microns) of other similar surveys. This portion of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. The goals of LEECH are to (1) discover new exoplanets, (2) characterize the atmospheres of newly discovered exoplanets, (3) characterize the architectures of nearby planetary systems, and (4) establish meaningful constraints on the prevalence of wideseparation exoplanets.

  5. Recommendations for the Use of Leeches in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    A written informed consent should be obtained from the patient before hirudotherapy is initiated. The patients should be treated each day of leech therapy with anti-Aeromonas antibiotics. Leeches should be applied on the darker spots of the reattached body parts or flaps. Usually 1–10 leeches are used for each treatment, while at the beginning, the patient might need two or more treatments per day. Leech therapy is used until venous capillary return is established across the wound border by angiogenesis. Usually the treatment with leeches lasts for 2–6 days. Hematologic evaluations should be performed every 4 hrs and the patient has to receive blood transfusions when the hemoglobin level is lower than 8 g/dL. Signs of regional lymphadenitis, slight swelling, and pain of regional lymph nodes on the side of leech application and subfebrile temperature can occur. Contraindications related to hirudotherapy include arterial insufficiency, hemophilia, hemorrhagic diathesis, hematological malignancies, anemia, hypotension, and sepsis. Leech therapy is not recommended in pregnancy and lactation and in patients with an unstable medical status, history of allergy to leeches or severe allergic diathesis, and disposition to keloid scar formation, as well as in those using anticoagulants and immunosuppressants. PMID:24653746

  6. The eyes have it: long-distance dispersal by an intraorbital leech parasite of birds.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Rood-Goldman, Rebecca; Barrio, Amalie; Barboutis, Christos

    2013-12-01

    A leech was found parasitizing the ocular orbit of a common redstart captured during a faunistic survey of Antikythira in the Aegean Sea during the spring migration of 2012. Morphological and molecular characterizations placed the leech in the mucous-membrane specific leech family Praobdellidae and definitively as the species Parapraobdella lineata. This is the first record of any leech parasitizing a passerine bird, Phoenicurus phoenicurus , and the first of a praobdellid leech on any avian host. PMID:23656566

  7. 33 CFR 207.330 - Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama... OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NAVIGATION REGULATIONS § 207.330 Mississippi River...

  8. 33 CFR 207.330 - Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama reservoir; logging. 207.330 Section 207.330 Navigation and Navigable Waters CORPS OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF...

  9. 33 CFR 207.330 - Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama... OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NAVIGATION REGULATIONS § 207.330 Mississippi River...

  10. 33 CFR 207.330 - Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama... OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NAVIGATION REGULATIONS § 207.330 Mississippi River...

  11. 33 CFR 207.330 - Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama... OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NAVIGATION REGULATIONS § 207.330 Mississippi River...

  12. Salivary transcriptome of the North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora.

    PubMed

    Min, Gi-Sik; Sarkar, Indra Neil; Siddall, Mark E

    2010-12-01

    A variety of bioactive proteins from medicinal leeches, like species of Hirudo , have been characterized and evaluated for their potential therapeutic biomedical properties. However, there has not previously been a comprehensive attempt to fully characterize the salivary transcriptome of a medicinal leech that would allow a clearer understanding of the suite of polypeptides employed by these sanguivorous annelids and provide insights regarding their evolutionary origins. An Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) library-based analysis of the salivary transcriptome of the North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora, reveals a complex cocktail of anticoagulants and other bioactive secreted proteins not previously known to exist in a single leech. Transcripts were identified that correspond to each of saratin, bdellin, destabilase, hirudin, decorsin, endoglucoronidase, antistatin, and eglin, as well as to other previously uncharacterized predicted serine protease inhibitors, lectoxin-like c-type lectins, ficolin, disintegrins and histidine-rich proteins. This work provides a lens into the richness of bioactive polypeptides that are associated with sanguivory. In the context of a well-characterized molecular phylogeny of leeches, the results allow for preliminary evaluation of the relative evolutionary origins and historical conservation of leech salivary components. The goal of identifying evolutionarily significant residues associated with biomedically significant phenomena implies continued insights from a broader sampling of blood-feeding leech salivary transcriptomes. PMID:21158638

  13. Developmental biology of the leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    WEISBLAT, DAVID A.; KUO, DIAN-HAN

    2015-01-01

    Glossiphoniid leeches of the genus Helobdella provide experimentally tractable models for studies in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo). Here, after a brief rationale, we will summarize our current understanding of Helobdella development and highlight the near term prospects for future investigations, with respect to the issues of: D quadrant specification; the transition from spiral to bilaterally symmetric cleavage; segmentation, and the connections between segmental and non-segmental tissues; modifications of BMP signaling in dorsoventral patterning and the O-P equivalence group; germ line specification and genome rearrangements. The goal of this contribution is to serve as a summary of, and guide to, published work. PMID:25690960

  14. LEECH: A 100 Night Exoplanet Imaging Survey at the LBT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew; Apai, Daniel; Bailey, Vanessa; Biller, Beth; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Brandner, Wolfgang; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin; Defrere, Denis; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Esposito, Simone; Fortney, Jonathan; Henning, Thomas; Hinz, Phil; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Leisenring, Jarron; Males, Jared; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Pascucci, Ilaria; Patience, Jenny; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Skrutskie, Mike; Su, Kate; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.; Zimmerman, Neil

    2014-01-01

    In February 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars in L' band (3.8 microns) as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.3 microns). This part of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. In this proceedings, we present the science goals for LEECH and a preliminary contrast curve from some early data.

  15. Micromere lineages in the glossiphoniid leech Helobdella

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, Francoise Z.; Kang, Dongmin; Ramirez-Weber, Felipe-Andres; Bissen, Shirley T.; Weisblat, David A.

    2002-01-01

    In leech embryos, segmental mesoderm and ectoderm arise from teloblasts by lineages that are already relatively well characterized. Here, we present data concerning the early divisions and the definitive fate maps of the micromeres, a group of 25 small cells that arise during the modified spiral cleavage in leech (Helobdella robusta) and contribute to most of the nonsegmental tissues of the adult. Three noteworthy results of this work are as follows. (1) The c"' and dm' clones (3d and 3c in traditional nomenclature) give rise to a hitherto undescribed network of fibers that run from one end of the embryo to the other. (2) The clones of micromeres b" and b"' (2b and 3b in traditional nomenclature) die in normal development; the b" clone can be rescued to assume the normal c" fate if micromere c" or its clone are ablated in early development. (3) Two qualitative differences in micromere fates are seen between H. robusta (Sacramento) and another Helobdella sp. (Galt). First, in Helobdella sp. (Galt), the clone of micromere b" does not normally die, and contributes a subset of the cells arising exclusively from c" in H. robusta (Sacramento). Second, in Helobdella sp. (Galt), micromere c"' makes no definitive contribution, whereas micromere dm' gives rise to cells equivalent to those arising from c"' and dm' in H. robusta (Sacramento).

  16. A systematic overview of the medicinal importance of sanguivorous leeches.

    PubMed

    Zaidi, S M Abbas; Jameel, S S; Zaman, F; Jilani, Shazia; Sultana, A; Khan, Shariq A

    2011-03-01

    Leeches are a class of segmented invertebrates, known for their blood-feeding habits and used in phlebotomy to treat various ailments since antiquity. In Europe, medicinal leeches have recently been rediscovered and are used by maxillofacial and other microsurgeons to aid salvage of compromised venous engorged tissue and amputations, such as digits, ears, and nasal tips. Because of their important salivary components, blood-sucking (sanguivorous) leeches, such as Hirudo medicinalis and related species, have engendered great interest from pharmaceutical companies searching for anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting during microsurgeries. Scientific research reveals that the beneficial effects of leeching, in addition to decongestion, include injection of a cocktail of several medicinally useful bioactive molecules present in their saliva. Owing to its therapeutic potential, the research is continuing as many new salivary compounds are being isolated and synthesized. PMID:21438647

  17. NEW HOST DATA FOR THE LEECH OLIGOBDELLA BIANNULATE (EUHIRUDINEA: GLOSSIPHONIIDAE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The leech Oligobdella biannulata is a relatively rare species, endemic to mountain streams of the Southern Blue Ridge Physiographic Zone, exclusive of Virginia. Oligobdella biannulata was originally thought to be host specific to Desmognathus quadramaculatus. However, the host ...

  18. Novel role for Aeromonas jandaei as a digestive tract symbiont of the North American medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Worthen, Paul L; Johnson, Matthew; Graf, Joerg

    2007-01-01

    The gut bacteria of the North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora, were characterized. Biochemical tests and DNA sequences indicated that Aeromonas jandaei is the dominant culturable symbiont in leeches from a broad geographic area. In this work we identified a new habitat for A. jandaei, and here we suggest that there is unexpected specificity between leeches and Aeromonas species. PMID:17114316

  19. [Review on scientific connotation of leech processed under high temperature].

    PubMed

    Ma, Li; Ma, Lin; Wang, Shu-bin; Wang, Xuan; Yue, Lin

    2015-10-01

    Animal medicines mainly contain protein which was organic molecule with quaternary structure and had the property of thermal denaturation. When suffering from heat for a consistent time, the native conformation of protein would be destroyed. After denaturation the biological activity of protein will lose and some physicochemical and biochemical properties will be changed. Leech was a classical animal medicine in the views of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which had the functions of breaking stagnant and eliminating blood stasis. In the usage history, it was processed for a long time. No matter stir-frying leech with talc powder embodied in Chinese Pharmacopoeia or stir-baking with wine as a distinctive method in Beijing district, the process procedure was basically performed under high temperature. The purposes and intentions of process are mostly limited to technology conditions at specific historical period. In this article, based on existing processing procedure and its character of Leech, the changes of active components and pharmacological activities before and after processing under high temperature were summarized. The results demonstrate that the protein of leech would be denaturated; some active peptide such as hirudin were partly or totally destroyed; some toxic mineral elements, such as Pb, Hg, Cd, were decreased; at the same time, heating can promote some chemical components transforming into hypoxanthine which had the function of antihypertensive, antiasthmatic and antalgic. Consequently, after processed under high temperature, the purpose of decreasing toxicity and alleviating the strong property was achieved. Pharmacological changes of leech processed under high temperature were mainly manifested in the anticoagulant and antithrombotic activity, etc. Based on current processing research status about animal medicine leech, future research methods and directions on scientific connotation of leech processed under high temperature were put forward in

  20. Leech bites: massive bleeding, coagulation profile disorders, and severe anemia.

    PubMed

    Kose, Ataman; Zengin, Suat; Kose, Beril; Gunay, Nurullah; Yildirim, Cuma; Kilinc, Hasan; Togun, Ismail

    2008-11-01

    Leeches have been in use for centuries, especially in plastic and reconstructive surgery wound and flap healing, in venous insufficiencies, and in the treatment of many disorders such as hemorrhoids and varicosity. With this study, we aimed to discuss coagulation disorder due to uncontrolled leech bites, consequent excessive skin hemorrhage, and anemia requiring blood transfusion. A 65-year-old male patient was referred to the emergency department because of excessive intractable bleeding that had occurred after leech bites. On physical examination, a total of 130 bites were detected on various regions of the body. In the laboratory findings of the patient, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were extremely low, and prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, and partial thromboplastin time were markedly increased. The patient received a total of 8 units of fresh frozen plasma and 6 units of erythrocyte suspension. Bleeding stopped by decreasing after the transfusion of fresh frozen plasma. Although the complications due to leech injuries are rare, they may be an important cause of morbidity and mortality when an injury or prolonged bleeding in an internal region occurs. Prolonged skin hemorrhages rarely cause anemia, and deaths are caused by intractable hemorrhages. However, a coagulation disorder and consequent intractable hemorrhage have not been reported previously in the literature. In conclusion, it should be known that uncontrolled, blind, and excessive leech use causes severe hemorrhage and excessive blood loss, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the awareness of either physicians or people using or recommending alternative medicine should be raised on this subject. PMID:19091286

  1. LEECHES (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA) FOUND IN NORTH AMERICAN MOLLUSKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic leeches are important as parasites and predators of many groups of animals. Eleven species are reported living in North American snails and clams, 7 of which are known to behave as parasites, 2 are assumed to be parasitic, and the other 2 are not parasitic. In this paper ...

  2. A Leech Capable of Surviving Exposure to Extremely Low Temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Dai; Miyamoto, Tomoko; Kikawada, Takahiro; Watanabe, Manabu; Suzuki, Toru

    2014-01-01

    It is widely considered that most organisms cannot survive prolonged exposure to temperatures below 0°C, primarily because of the damage caused by the water in cells as it freezes. However, some organisms are capable of surviving extreme variations in environmental conditions. In the case of temperature, the ability to survive subzero temperatures is referred to as cryobiosis. We show that the ozobranchid leech, Ozobranchus jantseanus, a parasite of freshwater turtles, has a surprisingly high tolerance to freezing and thawing. This finding is particularly interesting because the leach can survive these temperatures without any acclimation period or pretreatment. Specifically, the leech survived exposure to super-low temperatures by storage in liquid nitrogen (−196°C) for 24 hours, as well as long-term storage at temperatures as low as −90°C for up to 32 months. The leech was also capable of enduring repeated freeze-thaw cycles in the temperature range 20°C to −100°C and then back to 20°C. The results demonstrated that the novel cryotolerance mechanisms employed by O. jantseanus enable the leech to withstand a wider range of temperatures than those reported previously for cryobiotic organisms. We anticipate that the mechanism for the observed tolerance to freezing and thawing in O. jantseanus will prove useful for future studies of cryopreservation. PMID:24466250

  3. Scanning Behavior in the Medicinal Leech Hirudo verbana

    PubMed Central

    Harley, Cynthia M.; Wagenaar, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    While moving through their environment, medicinal leeches stop periodically and wave their head or body back and forth. This activity has been previously described as two separate behaviors: one called ‘head movement’ and another called ‘body waving’. Here, we report that these behaviors exist on a continuum, and provide a detailed description of what we now call ‘scanning’. Scanning-related behavior has been thought to be involved in orientation; its function has never before been assessed. While previous studies suggested an involvement of scanning in social behavior, or sucker placement, our behavioral studies indicate that scanning is involved in orienting the leech towards prey stimuli. When such stimuli are present, scanning behavior is used to re-orient the leech in the direction of a prey-like stimulus. Scanning, however, occurs whether or not prey is present, but in the presence of prey-like stimuli scanning becomes localized to the stimulus origin. Most likely, this behavior helps the leech to gain a more detailed picture of its prey target. The display of scanning, regardless of the presence or absence of prey stimuli, is suggestive of a behavior that is part of an internally driven motor program, which is not released by the presence of sensory stimuli. The data herein include first steps to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying this important behavior. PMID:24465907

  4. Leech Lake American Indian Foster Care Project 1978. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker and Associates, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

    In its second year the project continued to attempt to reduce the incidence of separation of Indian children from their families and to establish permanent planning for those children who were removed, thus improving the child welfare services to Minnesota Chippewa Indian children and families on the Leech Lake Reservation through direct foster…

  5. Characterization of shed medicinal leech mucus reveals a diverse microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Ott, Brittany M.; Rickards, Allen; Gehrke, Lauren; Rio, Rita V. M.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial transmission through mucosal-mediated mechanisms is widespread throughout the animal kingdom. One example of this occurs with Hirudo verbana, the medicinal leech, where host attraction to shed conspecific mucus facilitates horizontal transmission of a predominant gut symbiont, the Gammaproteobacterium Aeromonas veronii. However, whether this mucus may harbor other bacteria has not been examined. Here, we characterize the microbiota of shed leech mucus through Illumina deep sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. Additionally, Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) typing with subsequent Sanger Sequencing of a 16S rRNA gene clone library provided qualitative confirmation of the microbial composition. Phylogenetic analyses of full-length 16S rRNA sequences were performed to examine microbial taxonomic distribution. Analyses using both technologies indicate the dominance of the Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria phyla within the mucus microbiota. We determined the presence of other previously described leech symbionts, in addition to a number of putative novel leech-associated bacteria. A second predominant gut symbiont, the Rikenella-like bacteria, was also identified within mucus and exhibited similar population dynamics to A. veronii, suggesting persistence in syntrophy beyond the gut. Interestingly, the most abundant bacterial genus belonged to Pedobacter, which includes members capable of producing heparinase, an enzyme that degrades the anticoagulant, heparin. Additionally, bacteria associated with denitrification and sulfate cycling were observed, indicating an abundance of these anions within mucus, likely originating from the leech excretory system. A diverse microbiota harbored within shed mucus has significant potential implications for the evolution of microbiomes, including opportunities for gene transfer and utility in host capture of a diverse group of symbionts. PMID:25620963

  6. Incidence of the leech Actinobdella pediculata on freshwater drum in Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bur, Michael T.

    1994-01-01

    Actinobdella pediculata (Glossiphoniidae), a freshwater leech, was found attached to freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) from western Lake Erie during 1991 through 1993. The animal was first observed during routine examinations of freshwater drum collected in May 1991. The leeches were usually attached to the inside, lower portion of the opercula near the isthmus. Incidence of attachment increased with freshwater drum age and length. No noticeable adverse effects on the fish from attachment by the leech were noted.

  7. Presence of the leech Placobdella costata in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Romero, David; Duarte, Jesús; Narváez-Ledesma, Lucía; Farfán, Miguel Angel; Real, Raimundo

    2014-06-01

    Placobdella costata is a leech specific to freshwater turtle Emys orbicularis. Both genera are native to North America and have co-evolved and undergone dispersion through the Palearctic. The leech is present throughout the Mediterranean area, always associated with E. orbicularis. Their only known presence in the Iberian Peninsula is in the north and center of the peninsula. Here we present the first description of the leech in southern Spain (Andalusia) in association with a small fragmented population of fresh-water turtles in which E. orbicularis and Mauremys leprosa coexist. Unusually, the leech was found attached to the carapace of a male M. leprosa. PMID:24827095

  8. Metagenomic analysis of the medicinal leech gut microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Maltz, Michele A.; Bomar, Lindsey; Lapierre, Pascal; Morrison, Hilary G.; McClure, Emily Ann; Sogin, Mitchell L.; Graf, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    There are trillions of microbes found throughout the human body and they exceed the number of eukaryotic cells by 10-fold. Metagenomic studies have revealed that the majority of these microbes are found within the gut, playing an important role in the host's digestion and nutrition. The complexity of the animal digestive tract, unculturable microbes, and the lack of genetic tools for most culturable microbes make it challenging to explore the nature of these microbial interactions within this niche. The medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, has been shown to be a useful tool in overcoming these challenges, due to the simplicity of the microbiome and the availability of genetic tools for one of the two dominant gut symbionts, Aeromonas veronii. In this study, we utilize 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to further explore the microbial composition of the leech digestive tract, confirming the dominance of two taxa, the Rikenella-like bacterium and A. veronii. The deep sequencing approach revealed the presence of additional members of the microbial community that suggests the presence of a moderately complex microbial community with a richness of 36 taxa. The presence of a Proteus strain as a newly identified resident in the leech crop was confirmed using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The metagenome of this community was also pyrosequenced and the contigs were binned into the following taxonomic groups: Rikenella-like (3.1 MB), Aeromonas (4.5 MB), Proteus (2.9 MB), Clostridium (1.8 MB), Eryspelothrix (0.96 MB), Desulfovibrio (0.14 MB), and Fusobacterium (0.27 MB). Functional analyses on the leech gut symbionts were explored using the metagenomic data and MG-RAST. A comparison of the COG and KEGG categories of the leech gut metagenome to that of other animal digestive-tract microbiomes revealed that the leech digestive tract had a similar metabolic potential to the human digestive tract, supporting the usefulness of this system as a model for studying digestive

  9. Bacterial symbioses of the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Michael; Graf, Joerg

    2012-01-01

    Gastrointestinal microbiomes play important roles in the health and nutrition of animals and humans. The medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, serves as a powerful model for the study of microbial symbioses of the gut, due to its naturally limited microbiome compared with other popular models, the ability to cultivate the most abundant microbes, and genetically manipulate one of them, Aeromonas veronii. This review covers the relevance and application of leeches in modern medicine as well as recent discoveries detailing the nature of the gut microbiome. Additionally, the dual life-style of A. veronii allows one to do direct comparisons between colonization factors for beneficial and pathogenic associations, and relevant findings are detailed with respect to their role within the host and pathogenicity to other animals. PMID:22572874

  10. An improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianbiao; Zhu, Tong; Zhang, Han; Lin, Li

    2012-01-01

    With the rapid development of information technology and extensive requirement of network resource sharing, plenty of resource hotlinking phenomenons appear on the internet. The hotlinking problem not only harms the interests of legal websites but also leads to a great affection to fair internet environment. The anti-leech technique based on session identifier is highly secure, but the transmission of session identifier in plaintext form causes some security flaws. In this paper, a proxy hotlinking technique based on session identifier is introduced firstly to illustrate these security flaws; next, this paper proposes an improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier, the mechanism takes the random factor as the core and detects hotlinking request using a map table that contains random factor, user's information and time stamp; at last the paper analyzes the security of mechanism in theory. The result reveals that the improved mechanism has the merits of simple realization, high security and great flexibility.

  11. Linear and nonlinear measures predict swimming in the leech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cellucci, C. J.; Brodfuehrer, P. D.; Acera-Pozzi, R.; Dobrovolny, H.; Engler, E.; Los, J.; Thompson, R.; Albano, A. M.

    2000-10-01

    Stimulation of a trigger interneuron of an isolated nerve cord preparation of the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, sometimes leads to swimming; sometimes it does not. We investigate signals transmitted in the ventral cord of the leech after stimulation and seek quantitative measures that would make it possible to distinguish signals that predict swimming from those that do not. We find that a number of linear as well as nonlinear measures provide statistically significant distinctions between the two kinds of signals. The linear measures are the time dependence of (i) the standard deviation and (ii) the autocorrelation function at a small time delay. The nonlinear measures are (i) a measure of nonlinear predictability and (ii) the time dependence of a measure of the size of the embedded signal trajectory. Calculations using surrogate data suggest that the differences between the two classes of signals are dynamical as well as statistical.

  12. An improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianbiao; Zhu, Tong; Zhang, Han; Lin, Li

    2011-12-01

    With the rapid development of information technology and extensive requirement of network resource sharing, plenty of resource hotlinking phenomenons appear on the internet. The hotlinking problem not only harms the interests of legal websites but also leads to a great affection to fair internet environment. The anti-leech technique based on session identifier is highly secure, but the transmission of session identifier in plaintext form causes some security flaws. In this paper, a proxy hotlinking technique based on session identifier is introduced firstly to illustrate these security flaws; next, this paper proposes an improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier, the mechanism takes the random factor as the core and detects hotlinking request using a map table that contains random factor, user's information and time stamp; at last the paper analyzes the security of mechanism in theory. The result reveals that the improved mechanism has the merits of simple realization, high security and great flexibility.

  13. A model for intersegmental coordination in the leech nerve cord.

    PubMed

    Pearce, R A; Friesen, W O

    1988-01-01

    The neuronal circuits that generate swimming movements in the leech were simulated by a chain of coupled harmonic oscillators. Our model incorporates a gradient of rostrocaudally decreasing cycle periods along the oscillator chain, a finite conduction delay for coupling signals, and multiple coupling channels connecting each pair of oscillators. The interactions mediated by these channels are characterized by sinusoidal phase response curves. Investigations of this model were carried out with the aid of a digital computer and the results of a variety of manipulations were compared with data from analogous physiological experiments. The simulations reproduced many aspects of intersegmental coordination in the leech, including the findings that: 1) phase lags between adjacent ganglia are larger near the caudal than the rostral end of the leech nerve cord; 2) intersegmental phase lags increase as the number of ganglia in nerve cord preparations is reduced; 3) severing one of the paired lateral connective nerves can reverse the phase lag across the lesion and 4) blocking synaptic transmission in midganglia of the ventral nerve cord reduces phase lags across the block. PMID:3382701

  14. Leeches as Sensor-bioindicators of River Contamination by PCBs

    PubMed Central

    Macova, Stanislava; Harustiakova, Danka; Kolarova, Jitka; Machova, Jana; Zlabek, Vladimir; Vykusova, Blanka; Randak, Tomas; Velisek, Josef; Poleszczuk, Gorzyslaw; Hajslova, Jana; Pulkrabova, Jana; Svobodova, Zdenka

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of leeches of the genus Erpobdella as a means of assessing polychlorinated biphenyl contamination of watercourses. The River Skalice, heavily contaminated with PCBs, was selected as a model. The source of contamination was a road gravel processing factory in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem from which an estimated 1 metric ton of PCBs leaked in 1986. Levels of PCB were measured in leeches collected between 1992 to 2003 from 11 sites covering about 50 km of the river (the first sampling site upstream to the source of contamination and 10 sites downstream). The PCB indicator congeners IUPA no. 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, and 180 were measured. Levels were highest at the four sampling sites nearest the source of pollution. The highest values of PCB congeners were found in 1992. PCB content decreased from 1992 to 2003 and with distance from the source. The study indicated that leeches of the genus Erpobdella are a suitable bioindicator of contamination in the surface layer of river sediments. PMID:22573988

  15. LEECH: Hunting for Planets with LBTI-LMIRcam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leisenring, Jarron; Skemer, A.; LEECH Survey Team

    2014-01-01

    In Spring 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) atop Mt Graham, Arizona. This survey benefits from the many technological achievements of the LBT, including two 8.4-meter mirrors on a single fixed mount, dual adaptive secondary mirrors for high Strehl performance, and a cold beam combiner to dramatically reducing the telescope's overall background emissivity. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars at L’ (3.8 microns) with LMIRcam, as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.4 microns) of other similar surveys. This portion of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. The goals of LEECH are to (1) discover new exoplanets, (2) characterize the atmospheres of newly discovered exoplanets, (3) characterize the architectures of nearby planetary systems, and (4) establish meaningful constraints on the prevalence of wide-separation exoplanets.

  16. Occurrence of three leech species (Annelida: Hirudinida) on fishes in the Kentucky River

    EPA Science Inventory

    Leeches were collected from six fish species distributed among four of ten sites sampled. The leech species observed were Myzobdella reducta (Meyer, 1940) and Myzobdella lugubris Leidy, 1851 of the family Piscicolidae and Placobdella pediculata Hemingway, 1908 of the family Gloss...

  17. OCCURRENCE OF TWO LEECH SPECIES (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA) ON FISHES IN THE KENTUCKY RIVER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Little is known specifically on the feeding relationships between parasitic leeches and fish in North America. During an electrofishing survey conducted on the main stem of the Kentucky River in the summer of 2000, the presence of leeches was documented on six species of fish. ...

  18. A classic model animal in the 21st century: recent lessons from the leech nervous system.

    PubMed

    Wagenaar, Daniel A

    2015-11-01

    The medicinal leech (genus Hirudo) is a classic model animal in systems neuroscience. The leech has been central to many integrative studies that establish how properties of neurons and their interconnections give rise to the functioning of the animal at the behavioral level. Leeches exhibit several discrete behaviors (such as crawling, swimming and feeding) that are each relatively simple. Importantly, these behaviors can all be studied - at least at a basal level - in the isolated nervous system. The leech nervous system is particularly amenable to such studies because of its distributed nature; sensory processing and generation of behavior occur to a large degree in iterated segmental ganglia that each contain only ∼400 neurons. Furthermore, the neurons are relatively large and are arranged with stereotyped topography on the surface of the ganglion, which greatly facilitates their identification and accessibility. This Commentary provides an overview of recent work on the leech nervous system, with particular focus on circuits that underlie leech behavior. Studies that combine the unique features of the leech with modern optical and genetic techniques are also discussed. Thus, this Commentary aims to explain the continued appeal of the leech as an experimental animal in the 21st century. PMID:26538172

  19. On exploration of geometrically constrained space by medicinal leeches Hirudo verbana.

    PubMed

    Adamatzky, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    Leeches are fascinating creatures: they have simple modular nervous circuitry yet exhibit a rich spectrum of behavioural modes. Leeches could be ideal blue-prints for designing flexible soft robots which are modular, multi-functional, fault-tolerant, easy to control, capable for navigating using optical, mechanical and chemical sensorial inputs, have autonomous inter-segmental coordination and adaptive decision-making. With future designs of leech-robots in mind we study how leeches behave in geometrically constrained spaces. Core results of the paper deal with leeches exploring a row of rooms arranged along a narrow corridor. In laboratory experiments we find that rooms closer to ends of the corridor are explored by leeches more often than rooms in the middle of the corridor. Also, in series of scoping experiments, we evaluate leeches capabilities to navigating in mazes towards sources of vibration and chemo-attraction. We believe our results lay foundation for future developments of robots mimicking behaviour of leeches. PMID:25766395

  20. Observations on the leech Placobdella ornata feeding from bony tissues of turtles.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Gaffney, Eugene S

    2004-10-01

    The leech Placobdella ornata was observed feeding from the blood sinuses of the plastron and carapace bones of Chelydra serpentina and Chrysemys picta. Evidence of successful feeding included blood upwelling from the point of attachment and gastric ceca of the leeches freshly filled with blood after removal. There was an apparent preference for the sulci between scales of the shell. PMID:15562628

  1. Diverse molecular data demonstrate that commercially available medicinal leeches are not Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Trontelj, Peter; Utevsky, Serge Y; Nkamany, Mary; Macdonald, Kenneth S

    2007-06-22

    The European medicinal leech is one of vanishingly few animal species with direct application in modern medicine. In addition to the therapeutic potential held by many protease inhibitors purified from leech saliva, and notwithstanding the historical association with quackery, Hirudo medicinalis has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medical device. Accurate annotation of bioactive compounds relies on precise species determination. Interpretations of developmental and neurophysiological characteristics also presuppose uniformity within a model species used in laboratory settings. Here, we show, with mitochondrial sequences and nuclear microsatellites, that there are at least three species of European medicinal leech, and that leeches marketed as H. medicinalis are actually Hirudo verbana. Beyond the obvious need for reconsideration of decades of biomedical research on this widely used model organism, these findings impact regulatory statutes and raise concerns for the conservation status of European medicinal leeches. PMID:17426015

  2. Detection and selective avoidance of near ultraviolet radiation by an aquatic annelid: the medicinal leech

    PubMed Central

    Jellies, John

    2014-01-01

    Medicinal leeches are aquatic predators that inhabit surface waters during daylight and also leave the water where they might be exposed to less screened light. Whereas the leech visual system has been shown to respond to visible light, leeches in the genus Hirudo do not appear to be as negatively phototactic as one might expect in order to avoid potential ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced damage. I used high intensity light emitting diodes to test the hypothesis that leeches could detect and specifically avoid near UVR (395–405 nm). Groups of unfed juvenile leeches exhibited a robust negative phototaxis to UVR, but had no behavioral response to blue or red and only a slight negative phototaxis to green and white light. Individual leeches also exhibited a vigorous negative phototaxis to UVR; responding in 100% of trials compared with modest negative responses to visible light (responding in ~8% of the trials). The responses in fed and unfed leeches were comparable for UVR stimuli. The responses depended upon the stimulus site: leeches shortened away from UV light to the head, and extended away from UV light to the tail. Electrophysiological nerve recordings showed that the cephalic eyes responded vigorously to UVR. Additionally, individual leech photoreceptors also showed strong responses to UVR, and a higher-order neuron associated with shortening and rapid behavioral responses, the S-cell, was activated by UVR, on both the head and tail. These results demonstrate that the leech can detect UVR and is able to discriminate behaviorally between UVR and visible light. PMID:24265432

  3. Central nervous system regeneration: from leech to opossum.

    PubMed

    Mladinic, M; Muller, K J; Nicholls, J G

    2009-06-15

    A major problem of neurobiology concerns the failure of injured mammalian spinal cord to repair itself. This review summarizes work done on two preparations in which regeneration can occur: the central nervous system of an invertebrate, the leech, and the spinal cord of an immature mammal, the opossum. The aim is to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote and prevent regeneration. In the leech, an individual axon regrows successfully to re-establish connections with its synaptic target, while avoiding other neurons. Functions that were lost are thereby restored. Moreover, pairs of identified neurons become re-connected with appropriate synapses in culture. It has been shown that microglial cells and nitric oxide play key roles in leech CNS regeneration. In the opossum, the neonatal brain and spinal cord are so tiny that they survive well in culture. Fibres grow across spinal cord lesions in neonatal animals and in vitro, but axon regeneration stops abruptly between postnatal days 9 and 12. A comprehensive search has been made in spinal cords that can and cannot regenerate to identify genes and establish their locations. At 9 days, growth-promoting genes, their receptors and key transcription molecules are up-regulated. By contrast at 12 days, growth-inhibitory molecules associated with myelin are prominent. The complete sequence of the opossum genome and new methods for transfecting genes offer ways to determine which molecules promote and which inhibit spinal cord regeneration. These results lead to questions about how basic research on mechanisms of regeneration could be 'translated' into effective therapies for patients with spinal cord injuries. PMID:19525562

  4. Control of epileptiform bursting in the leech heart interneuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, William; Anquez, Martin; Harris, Torrey; Cymbalyuk, Gennady

    2009-11-01

    The network controlling heartbeat in the medicinal leech contains leech heart interneurons (HNs). We modeled them under specific pharmacological conditions. The Ca^2+ currents were blocked by Co^2+. The K^+ currents, apart from the non-inactivating current, IK2, were blocked by 4AP. The hyperpolarization-activated current, Ih, was blocked by Cs^+. Under these conditions, epileptiform bursting characterized by long interburst intervals (IBI) has been shown. We considered three distinct cases. Model 1 included IK2, Ih, and the fast Na^+ current, INa. Model 2 was characterized by INa, IK2, and the persistent Na^+ current, INaP. Model 3 consisted of INa, IK2, Ih, and INaP. We also investigated the bi-stability of bursting and silence as the leak conductance, gleak, was varied. We showed that in 1 and 3, model HNs demonstrated bi-stability of silence and bursting. We analyzed how IBI and burst duration are controlled by the manipulation of Ih and INaP. In 1, as V1/2 of Ih decreased, IBI grew towards infinity one over the square root of the parameter difference. In 2, we showed that as gNaP decreased from 6.156 nS to 6.155 nS, IBI grew in accordance with the one over square root law. The system underwent a saddle-node bifurcation just below 6.155 nS. Supported by NSF PHY-0750456.

  5. Heartbeat control in leeches. II. Fictive motor pattern.

    PubMed

    Wenning, Angela; Hill, Andrew A V; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2004-01-01

    The rhythmic beating of the tube-like hearts in the medicinal leech is driven and coordinated by rhythmic activity in segmental heart motor neurons. The motor neurons are controlled by rhythmic inhibitory input from a network of heart interneurons that compose the heartbeat central pattern generator. In the preceding paper, we described the constriction pattern of the hearts in quiescent intact animals and showed that one heart constricts in a rear-to-front wave (peristaltic coordination mode), while the other heart constricts in near unison over its length (synchronous coordination mode) and that they regularly switch coordination modes. Here we analyze intersegmental and side-to-side-coordination of the fictive motor pattern for heartbeat in denervated nerve cords. We show that the intersegmental phase relations among heart motor neurons in both coordination modes are independent of heartbeat period. This finding enables us to combine data from different experiments to form a detailed analysis of the relative phases, duty cycle, and intraburst spike frequency of the bursts of the segmental heart motor neurons. The fictive motor pattern and the constriction pattern seen in intact leeches closely match in their intersegmental and side-to-side coordination, indicating that sensory feedback is not necessary for properly phased intersegmental coordination. Moreover, the regular switches in coordination mode of the fictive motor pattern mimic those seen in intact animals indicating that these switches likely arise by a central mechanism. PMID:13679405

  6. STUDIES ON RARE AND POORLY KNOWN LEECHES (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA: GLOSSIPHONIIDAE) IN EASTERN NORTH AMERICA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three taxa within the leech family Glossiphoniidae, Actinobdella inequiannulata, Placobdella hollensis, and Theromyzon spp., though widespread in eastern North America, remain poorly known with respect to their biology and systematics. All three taxa have been collected in New E...

  7. Oral infestation with leech Limnatis nilotica in two mixed-breed dogs.

    PubMed

    Rajaei, S M; Khorram, H; Ansari Mood, M; Mashhadi Rafie, S; Williams, D L

    2014-12-01

    Leeches are bloodsucking hermaphroditic parasites that attach to tissues using two muscular suckers, ingest large amounts of blood and may cause severe anaemia in the host. Two four-month-old mixed-breed dogs (one bitch and one male) were referred with anorexia, retching, hypersalivation and bleeding from the oral cavity. On physical examination, two live leeches were detected on the ventral aspect of the tongue of the bitch and one in a similar position in the male. The leeches were gently detached and removed using Adson tissue forceps after applying vinegar over the area. Microcytic hypochromic anaemia was detected in the bitch and mild leukocytosis in the dog. One month after treatment both animals were re-examined and a complete blood count was normal. Given that infestation with leeches as described here is associated with contaminated water, the use of clean and safe drinking water is recommended to avoid such diseases. PMID:24320198

  8. Genetic Diversity of Freshwater Leeches in Lake Gusinoe (Eastern Siberia, Russia)

    PubMed Central

    Kaygorodova, Irina A.; Mandzyak, Nadezhda; Petryaeva, Ekaterina; Pronin, Nikolay M.

    2014-01-01

    The study of leeches from Lake Gusinoe and its adjacent area offered us the possibility to determine species diversity. As a result, an updated species list of the Gusinoe Hirudinea fauna (Annelida, Clitellata) has been compiled. There are two orders and three families of leeches in the Gusinoe area: order Rhynchobdellida (families Glossiphoniidae and Piscicolidae) and order Arhynchobdellida (family Erpobdellidae). In total, 6 leech species belonging to 6 genera have been identified. Of these, 3 taxa belonging to the family Glossiphoniidae (Alboglossiphonia heteroclita f. papillosa, Hemiclepsis marginata, and Helobdella stagnalis) and representatives of 3 unidentified species (Glossiphonia sp., Piscicola sp., and Erpobdella sp.) have been recorded. The checklist gives a contemporary overview of the species composition of leeches and information on their hosts or substrates. The validity of morphological identification of each taxon has been verified by phylogenetic approach with a molecular marker adopted for a DNA barcoding of most invertebrates. PMID:25544958

  9. Attachment to an endogenous laminin-like protein initiates sprouting by leech neurons.

    PubMed

    Chiquet, M; Masuda-Nakagawa, L; Beck, K

    1988-09-01

    Leech neurons in culture sprout rapidly when attached to extracts from connective tissue surrounding the nervous system. Laminin-like molecules that promote sprouting have now been isolated from this extracellular matrix. Two mAbs have been prepared that react on immunoblots with a approximately equal to 220- and a approximately equal to 340-kD polypeptide, respectively. These antibodies have been used to purify molecules with cross-shaped structures in the electron microscope. The molecules, of approximately equal to 10(3) kD on nonreducing SDS gels, have subunits of approximately equal to 340, 220, and 160-180 kD. Attachment to the laminin-like molecules was sufficient to initiate sprouting by single isolated leech neurons in defined medium. This demonstrates directly a function for a laminin-related invertebrate protein. The mAbs directed against the approximately equal to 220-kD chains of the laminin-like leech molecule labeled basement membrane extracellular matrix in leech ganglia and nerves. A polyclonal antiserum against the approximately equal to 220-kD polypeptide inhibited neurite outgrowth. Vertebrate laminin did not mediate the sprouting of leech neurons; similarly, the leech molecule was an inert substrate for vertebrate neurons. Although some traits of structure, function, and distribution are conserved between vertebrate laminin and the invertebrate molecule, our results suggest that the functional domains differ. PMID:3047150

  10. First Isolation of a Giant Virus from Wild Hirudo medicinalis Leech: Mimiviridae isolation in Hirudo medicinalis

    PubMed Central

    Boughalmi, Mondher; Pagnier, Isabelle; Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Giant viruses and amoebae are common in freshwater, where they can coexist with other living multicellular organisms. We screened leeches from the species Hirudo medicinalis for giant viruses. We analyzed five H. medicinalis obtained from Tunisia (3) and France (2). The leeches were decontaminated and then dissected to remove internal parts for co-culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga. The genomes of isolated viruses were sequenced on a 454 Roche instrument, and a comparative genomics analysis was performed. One Mimivirus was isolated and the strain was named Hirudovirus. The genome assembly generated two scaffolds, which were 1,155,382 and 25,660 base pairs in length. Functional annotations were identified for 47% of the genes, which corresponds to 466 proteins. The presence of Mimividae in the same ecological niche as wild Hirudo may explain the presence of the mimivirus in the digestive tract of the leech, and several studies have already shown that viruses can persist in the digestive tracts of leeches fed contaminated blood. As leeches can be used medically and Mimiviruses have the potential to be an infectious agent in humans, patients treated with leeches should be surveyed to investigate a possible connection. PMID:24287596

  11. Leech Therapy- A Holistic Approach of Treatment in Unani (Greeko-Arab) Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Lone, Azad Hussain; Ahmad, Tanzeel; Anwar, Mohd; Habib, Shahida; Sofi, Gh; Imam, Hashmat

    2011-01-01

    The Unani System of Medicine also known as Greeko-Arab medicine, founded by Hippocrates is based on the concept of equilibrium and balance of natural body humours (blood, bile, black bile and phlegm). The imbalance in the quality and quantity of these humours leads to diseases whereas restoration of this balance maintains health of a person. The treatment methodology of diseases is based on four therapeutic modalities viz. Regimental therapy, Dieto-therapy, Pharmacotherapy and surgery. Irsale Alaq (Leech or Hirudo therapy) is one of the most important and widely practised methods of regimental therapy used for local evacuation of morbid humours. It is a procedure of treatment with the use of medicinal leeches. It has been suggested and successfully practised by Greeko-Arab physicians in the management of musculoskeletal diseases, gynaecological disorders, chronic skin diseases, thromboembolic diseases, varicose veins, ENT disorders etc since long. According to Unani doctrine, the efficacy of leech therapy is attributed to the analgesic and resolvent activities of leeches. However, from modern perspective, the saliva of leech contains about 100 pharmacologically active biological substances like Hirudin, hyaluronidase, vasodilators, anesthetics, antibacterial, fibrinases, collagenase etc. These substances are injected into human body while sucking of the blood and are responsible for the analgesic, anti inflammatory and anesthetic effects of leech therapy. PMID:22736888

  12. Bacterial symbiont and salivary peptide evolution in the context of leech phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Min, Gi-Sik; Fontanella, Frank M; Phillips, Anna J; Watson, Sara C

    2011-11-01

    The evolutionary history of leeches is employed as a general framework for understanding more than merely the systematics of this charismatic group of annelid worms, and serves as a basis for understanding blood-feeding related correlates ranging from the specifics of gut-associated bacterial symbionts to salivary anticoagulant peptides. A variety of medicinal leech families were examined for intraluminal crop bacterial symbionts. Species of Aeromonas and Bacteroidetes were characterized with DNA gyrase B and 16S rDNA. Bacteroidetes isolates were found to be much more phylogenetically diverse and suggested stronger evidence of phylogenetic correlation than the gammaproteobacteria. Patterns that look like co-speciation with limited taxon sampling do not in the full context of phylogeny. Bioactive compounds that are expressed as gene products, like those in leech salivary glands, have 'passed the test' of evolutionary selection. We produced and bioinformatically mined salivary gland EST libraries across medicinal leech lineages to experimentally and statistically evaluate whether evolutionary selection on peptides can identify structure-function activities of known therapeutically relevant bioactive compounds like antithrombin, hirudin and antistasin. The combined information content of a well corroborated leech phylogeny and broad taxonomic coverage of expressed proteins leads to a rich understanding of evolution and function in leech history. PMID:21729354

  13. Electronic neuron within a ganglion of a leech (Hirudo medicinalis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliaga, J.; Busca, N.; Minces, V.; Mindlin, G. B.; Pando, B.; Salles, A.; Sczcupak, L.

    2003-06-01

    We report the construction of an electronic device that models and replaces a neuron in a midbody ganglion of the leech Hirudo medicinalis. In order to test the behavior of our device, we used a well-characterized synaptic interaction between the mechanosensory, sensitive to pressure, (P) cell and the anteropagoda (because of the action potential shape) (AP) neuron. We alternatively stimulated a P neuron and our device connected to the AP neuron, and studied the response of the latter. The number and timing of the AP spikes were the same when the electronic parameters were properly adjusted. Moreover, after changes in the depolarization of the AP cell, the responses under the stimulation of both the biological neuron and the electronic device vary in a similar manner.

  14. Validating Livanow: molecular data agree that leeches, Branchiobdellidans, and Acanthobdella peledina form a monophyletic group of oligochaetes.

    PubMed

    Siddall, M E; Apakupakul, K; Burreson, E M; Coates, K A; Erséus, C; Gelder, S R; Källersjö, M; Trapido-Rosenthal, H

    2001-12-01

    To investigate the phylogenetic relationships of leeches, branchiobdellidans, and acanthobdellidans, whole nuclear 18S rDNA and over 650 bp of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I were acquired from 101 annelids, including 36 leeches, 18 branchiobdellidans, Acanthobdella peledina, as well as 28 oligochaetes and combined with homologous data for 17 polychaete outgroup taxa. Parsimony analysis of the combined aligned dataset supported monophyly of leeches, branchiobdellidans, and acanthobdellidans in 100% of jackknife replicates. Monophyly of the oligochaete order Lumbriculida with Acanthobdellida, Branchiobdellida, and Hirudinea was supported in 84% of jackknife replicates. These results provide support for the hypotheses that leeches and branchiobdellidans are sister groups, that acanthobdellidans are sister to them, and that together with the family Lumbriculidae they all constitute a clade within Oligochaeta. Results support synonymy of the classes Clitellata and the more commonly used Oligochaeta. Leeches branchiobdellidans, and acanthobdellidans should be regarded as orders equal to their closest relatives, the order Lumbriculida. PMID:11741378

  15. Identification of molecules in leech extracellular matrix that promote neurite outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Masuda-Nakagawa, L; Beck, K; Chiquet, M

    1988-12-22

    The molecular composition of the substrate is of critical importance for neurite extension by isolated identified leech nerve cells in culture. One substrate upon which rapid growth occurs in defined medium is a cell-free extract of extracellular matrix (ECM) that surrounds the leech central nervous system (CNS). Here we report the co-purification of neurite-promoting activity with a laminin-like molecule. High molecular mass proteins from leech ECM purified by gel filtration exhibited increased specific activity for promoting neurite outgrowth. The most active fractions contained three major polypeptide bands of ca. 340, 250 and 220 kDa. Electron microscopy of rotary-shadowed samples showed three macromolecules, one of which had a cross-shaped structure similar to vertebrate laminin. A second six-armed molecule resembled vertebrate tenascin and a third rod-like molecule resembled vertebrate collagen type IV. The most active fractions contained a protein of ca. 1 MDa on non-reducing gels with disulphide-linked subunits of ca. 220 and 340 kDa, with cross-shaped laminin-like molecules. We conclude that a laminin-like molecule represents a major neurite promoting component present in leech ECM. The experiments represent a first step in determining the location of leech laminin within the CNS and assessing its role in neurite outgrowth during development and regeneration. PMID:2907383

  16. An Unusual Cause of Bleeding on the Floor of Mouth: Leech Infestation.

    PubMed

    Kantekin, Yunus; Sarı, Kamran; Özkırış, Mahmut; Kapusuz Gencer, Zeliha

    2015-12-01

    Leech infestation is a very rare phenomenon in humans. It mostly occurs in humans when rural untreated water is drunk or while swimming in streams or lakes. When leeches adhere to the mucous membrane, they ingest blood. Thus, they can sometimes cause severe anemia that may require blood transfusion. We report a case that was referred to emergency service with bleeding in the floor of the mouth. A 10-year-old child was referred to the emergency service of a city hospital with a complaint of swelling in the floor of the mouth and spitting of blood. The patient was promptly taken to the operating room. Using local anesthesia, a surgical incision was made, and a moving, dark brown foreign body was removed from the floor of the mouth and identified as a leech. Leech endoparasitism should be considered as a cause of unexplained anemia due to bleeding from the throat. Accordingly, leech infestation must be considered in differential diagnosis when a patient complains of spitting of blood, hoarseness, or dysphagia. PMID:26809923

  17. Allium sativum L.: the anti-immature leech (Limnatis nilotica) activity compared to Niclosomide.

    PubMed

    Bahmani, Mahmoud; Abbasi, Javad; Mohsenzadegan, Ava; Sadeghian, Sirous; Ahangaran, Majid Gholami

    2013-03-01

    This study was carried out to determine the effects of methanolic extracts of Allium sativum L. on Limnatis nilotica compared with Niclosomide. In this experimental study in September 2010, a number of leeches (70 in total) from the southern area of Ilam province were prepared, and the effects of methanolic extract of A. sativum L. with Niclosomide as the control drug were compared and distilled water was evaluated as the placebo group which investigated L. nilotica using anti-leech assay. The average time of paralysis and death of L. nilotica for Niclosomide (1,250 mg/kg) and the methanol extract of A. sativum L. (600 μg/ml) were 6.22 ± 2.94 and 68.44 ± 28.39 min, respectively. Distilled water and garlic tablets at a dose of 400 mg were determined as the inert group. In this research, the attraction time of the leeches' death among different treatments is significant. In this study, it was determined that Niclosomide, with an intensity of 4+, and methanolic extracts of A. sativum L., with an intensity of 3+, have a good anti-leech effect and can be shown to be effective in cases of leech biting, while distilled water was negative. PMID:23483830

  18. Diversity and selective pressures of anticoagulants in three medicinal leeches (Hirudinida: Hirudinidae, Macrobdellidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kvist, Sebastian; Min, Gi-Sik; Siddall, Mark E

    2013-01-01

    Although medicinal leeches have long been used as treatment for various ailments because of their potent anticoagulation factors, neither the full diversity of salivary components that inhibit coagulation, nor the evolutionary selection acting on them has been thoroughly investigated. Here, we constructed expressed sequence tag libraries from salivary glands of two species of medicinal hirudinoid leeches, Hirudo verbana and Aliolimnatis fenestrata, and identified anticoagulant-orthologs through BLASTx searches. The data set then was augmented by the addition of a previously constructed EST library from the macrobdelloid leech Macrobdella decora. The identified orthologs then were compared and contrasted with well-characterized anticoagulants from a variety of leeches with different feeding habits, including non-sanguivorous species. Moreover, four different statistical methods for predicting signatures of positive and negative evolutionary pressures were used for 10 rounds each to assess the level and type of selection acting on the molecules as a whole and on specific sites. In total, sequences showing putative BLASTx-orthology with five and three anticoagulant-families were recovered in the A. fenestrata and H. verbana EST libraries respectively. Selection pressure analyses predicted high levels of purifying selection across the anticoagulant diversity, although a few isolated sites showed signatures of positive selection. This study represents a first attempt at mapping the anticoagulant repertoires in a comparative fashion across several leech families. PMID:23610634

  19. Diversity and selective pressures of anticoagulants in three medicinal leeches (Hirudinida: Hirudinidae, Macrobdellidae).

    PubMed

    Kvist, Sebastian; Min, Gi-Sik; Siddall, Mark E

    2013-04-01

    Although medicinal leeches have long been used as treatment for various ailments because of their potent anticoagulation factors, neither the full diversity of salivary components that inhibit coagulation, nor the evolutionary selection acting on them has been thoroughly investigated. Here, we constructed expressed sequence tag libraries from salivary glands of two species of medicinal hirudinoid leeches, Hirudo verbana and Aliolimnatis fenestrata, and identified anticoagulant-orthologs through BLASTx searches. The data set then was augmented by the addition of a previously constructed EST library from the macrobdelloid leech Macrobdella decora. The identified orthologs then were compared and contrasted with well-characterized anticoagulants from a variety of leeches with different feeding habits, including non-sanguivorous species. Moreover, four different statistical methods for predicting signatures of positive and negative evolutionary pressures were used for 10 rounds each to assess the level and type of selection acting on the molecules as a whole and on specific sites. In total, sequences showing putative BLASTx-orthology with five and three anticoagulant-families were recovered in the A. fenestrata and H. verbana EST libraries respectively. Selection pressure analyses predicted high levels of purifying selection across the anticoagulant diversity, although a few isolated sites showed signatures of positive selection. This study represents a first attempt at mapping the anticoagulant repertoires in a comparative fashion across several leech families. PMID:23610634

  20. The medical use of leeches in contemporary Spain: between science and tradition.

    PubMed

    Vallejo, Jose Ramon; Gonzalez, Jose Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In Spain leeches have been used both in popular and scientific medicine throughout its history. In this study we analyze the historical fluctuations of leech therapy. At the start of the 20th century it was still being used in in scientific medicine, as can be seen in the treatment administered to Germán Gamazo, a minister during the reign of Alfonso XII and the regency of Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, during a serious illness in 1901. Leech therapy was to fall dramatically into disuse and was to survive only in folk medicine, with leeches losing their reputation as a therapeutic agent. The data obtained is the result of a systematic review of the literature and of the major databases in the fields of folklore, ethnography, social anthropology and medical anthropology. Leeches have been used in Spanish folk medicine to treat ailments and disorders in up to 11 categories of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), particularly in the treatment of diseases of the circulatory, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. According to the available literature, they were part of the folk therapeutic arsenal, at least until the seventies of the last century. Our study also provides information about the medicinal use, commerce and consumption of these animals in recent years. PMID:26203544

  1. Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata leeches as biological agents for snails control.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; El-Fakahany, Amany F; Abdel-Tawab, Ahmed H; Abdel-Maboud, Amina I; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    The efficacy of leeches, as biological agents, in control of snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis (Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina) and fascioliasis (Lymnaea natalensis) as well as their effect on the non-target snails Physa acuta, Melanioides tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides was evaluated. Two glossiphoniid snail leeches, Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata were used. They destroyed egg masses and young snails more rapidly than adult ones. H. nilae showed a stronger destructive effect than A. conjugata. In a descending order, it preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and lastly C. bulimoides. But, A. conjugata preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata, B. alexandrina and lastly C. bulimoides. The detailed diagnostic morphology and biology of the two leeches were given. PMID:19530628

  2. Morphological and genetic variations of the freshwater leech, Hirudinaria spp., in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Chong, L K; Ong, Alan H K; Tan, S G; Taranjeet, K A S; Peris, M M; Sana, A M M A; Hassan, H R

    2014-06-01

    In this study the genetic diversity of local freshwater leeches (Hirudinaria spp.) was inferred using mtDNA COI gene analysis and compared with the gross external variations of 26 freshwater leech specimens obtained from the wild and leech farms. Based on a neighbor-joining tree generated from 516 COI base sequences, four distinct clades of Hirudinaria were seen with interspecific genetic divergence in the range of 7.6-14.5%. The external morphological variations based on the presence of stripes, location of gonopores, and anus separated the samples into four morphologically distinct groups matching the four clades obtained from the molecular data. Two black stripes at the ventral region were observed only in specimens found clustered with clades that contained the GenBank-reported H. manillensis, whereas the brown or dark green coloration without stripes on the ventral region was seen in samples that clustered with H. javanica and H. bpling clades. PMID:24535156

  3. Epistaxis Due to Leech Infestation in Nose: A Report of Six Cases and Review of Literature.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Santanu; Saha, Somnath; Pal, Sudipta

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study is to report unusual cause of epistaxis due to leech infestation in nose in hilly area and its management. The study was carried out for a period of 4 years (2008-2012) in a secondary level hospital in hilly area of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India with data collected from the OPD and Emergency register of the patients. This retrospective case series consisted of six cases. All the cases presented with unilateral recurrent epistaxis and foreign body nose. Anterior rhinoscopy revealed fleshy greenish brown mobile mass inside the nasal cavity which was removed by forceps. The animate foreign body was identified as leech in all the cases. To conclude, in hilly areas leech infestation can present as animate foreign body in nose and it should be considered as important cause of epistaxis. PMID:27066409

  4. Cubical homology and the Leech dimension of free partially commutative monoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khusainov, Akhmet A.

    2008-12-01

    The paper is devoted to problems arising when applying homological algebra to computer science. It is proved that the Leech dimension of a free partially commutative monoid is equal to the least upper bound of the cardinalities of finite subsets of pairwise commuting generators of the monoid. For an arbitrary free partially commutative monoid M(E,I) in which every subset of pairwise commuting generators is finite and for any contravariant natural system F on M(E,I) we construct a semicubical set T(E,I) with a homological system \\overline F on this set such that the Leech homology groups H_n(M(E,I),F) are isomorphic to the cubical homology groups H_n(T(E,I),\\overline F). Complexes of Abelian groups are also constructed enabling one to obtain (under additional finiteness conditions) algorithms for computing the Leech homology groups and homology groups with coefficients in right M(E,I)-modules. Bibliography: 16 titles.

  5. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism. PMID:21438646

  6. Snail peptide expression pattern in the nervous system of the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Aseyev, Nikolay; Ierusalimsky, Viktor; Boguslavsky, Dmitry; Balaban, Pavel

    2005-10-31

    Distribution of neurons immunopositive to antibodies against the "command neuron peptides" (CNPs) encoded by the snail Helix Command-Specific 2 (HCS2) gene was investigated in the nervous system of medicinal leech Hirudo. Immunopositive neurons were found in the leech segmental ganglia, brain and tail ganglionic masses, and peripheral ganglia. The CNPs immunopositive fibers were observed in neuropils of all ganglia and in some nerves. The role of CNPs immunopositive cells in animal behavior and the putative functions of the CNPs neuropeptide family are discussed. PMID:16039008

  7. A new species of glossiphoniid leech from Rana pretiosa (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Oregon.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Bowerman, Jay

    2006-08-01

    A new species of ectoparasitic glossiphoniid leech was found feeding on frogs in the Nature Center Pond and elsewhere in Deschutes County, Oregon. The new species of Placobdella resembles the southern alligator leech, Placobdella multilineata Moore, 1953, notwithstanding their vast geographic separation in North America. The new species is readily distinguished by possessing subdivided annuli, by its papillation and pigmentation patterns as well as by the arrangement of ovarian tissues. There is strong evidence of nocturnality and of the potential for parasitizing humans. PMID:16995404

  8. Analysis of responses in visual cells of the leech

    PubMed Central

    Fioravanti, R.; Fuortes, M. G. F.

    1972-01-01

    1. Potentials were recorded from the cytoplasm and from the vacuole of leech photoreceptors. Since the vacuole is lined with microvilli and is connected to the outside by narrow channels, the potential drops between vacuole and outside measure the current through the microvillar membrane. 2. In darkness, the potential of the cytoplasm with respect to the outside is about — 45 mV while the potential of the vacuole is approximately zero. 3. Following illumination the negativity of the cytoplasm decreases and the vacuole becomes negative relative to the outside. 4. For dim intensities, the response to a flash of light may grow proportionately more than the intensity of the flash. This is probably due to development of a depolarizing local response. 5. The resistance from the cytoplasm to the outside was about 150 MΩ in darkness and decreased to approximately 40 MΩ at the peak of the response to a bright flash (on average). Corresponding measurements from the vacuole gave 50 MΩ in darkness and 35 MΩ at the peak of the response. 6. Charging curves produced by steps of constant currents applied to the cytoplasm or to the vacuole include two time constants (about 5 and 50 msec on average). The longer time constant decreases greatly with bright illumination. 7. The results are consistent with the interpretation that the response to light is brought about by an increase of conductance of the microvillar membrane. PMID:4646575

  9. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.; Moestrup, Øjvind; Taylor, Edith L.

    2012-12-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica. The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic "conservation traps" comparable to amber.

  10. The bacterial community associated with the leech Myzobdella lugubris Leidy 1851 (Hirudinea: Piscicolidae) from Lake Erie, Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Schulz, C; Faisal, M

    2010-06-01

    Leeches are widespread in the Great Lakes Basin, yet their potential to harbor disease-causing agents has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to identify the bacterial community of the commonly occurring leech, Myzobdella lugubris, within the Lake Erie Watershed. Leech samples were collected from the pectoral fins of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, and freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, from Lake Erie in commercial trap nets and pooled into two samples based on host attachment. Bacteria from within the viscera of M. lugubris were identified by sequencing their 16S rRNA (rDNA) gene of amplified community bacterial DNA extracted from pooled leech homogenate samples and were checked for similarity in two public databases: the Ribosomal Database Project and BLAST. Bacteria belonging to the phylum Bacteroidetes, beta-proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and unclassified Bacteria were present in the leech samples. A large number of bacteria found within leeches attached to channel catfish consisted of sequences that could not be classified beyond the Domain Bacteria. However, many of these sequences were homologous (< 45%) to the phylum Bacteroidetes. One of the five genera detected in the leech homogenates was Flavobacterium psychrophilum, a serious fish pathogen that causes Bacterial Cold Water Disease. While the occurrence of genera varies, bacteria associated with the two fish species were similar. PMID:20597437

  11. Draft Genome Sequence of Pedobacter sp. Strain Hv1, an Isolate from Medicinal Leech Mucosal Castings

    PubMed Central

    Ott, Brittany M.; Beka, Lidia; Graf, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    The Pedobacter sp. Hv1 strain was isolated from the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, mucosal castings. These mucosal sheds have been demonstrated to play a role in horizontal symbiont transmission. Here, we report the draft 4.9 Mbp genome sequence of Pedobacter sp. strain Hv1. PMID:26679583

  12. A REVIEW OF THE LEECHES (ANNELIDA:HIRUDINEA) IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The leeches of the Great Lakes region compose a significant part of the North American freshwater fauna in numbers of species (43 taxa) and are considered biologically important as parasites and predators. This report presents the taxonomy and identification of these for the Grea...

  13. Avulsion of the auricle in an anticoagulated patient: is leeching contraindicated? A review and a case.

    PubMed

    Mommsen, Jens; Rodríguez-Fernández, Javier; Mateos-Micas, Mario; Vázquez-Bouso, Olga; Gumbao-Grau, Victor; Forteza-Gonzalez, Gabriel

    2011-06-01

    Amputation of the auricle is a periodic occurrence leading to disfigurement if not treated properly. Venous stasis is a common complication in reattachments and requires decongestant and anticoagulant treatment. Today, leech therapy is the treatment of choice. Common problems are that it is not available everywhere and that it is usually contraindicated in anticoagulated patients. The peculiarities of leech therapy and the various aspects of surgical management are reviewed. A case of a partial amputation of the auricle in a patient under concomitant anticoagulation therapy with warfarin is presented. The amputated part was reattached in another hospital without microvascular anastomosis. The patient presented to our department with early signs of venous congestion. Leech therapy was started 35 hours after trauma, and the patient continued his anticoagulation therapy. With this treatment, 90% of the amputated part was rescued. The anticoagulation therapy of the patient may have played an important role in the first hours after reattachment, preventing capillary thrombosis and in consequence facilitating the minimal oxygenation necessary. The claim that anticoagulation therapy is a contraindication to leeching should be questioned in cases of reattachments in well-controllable locations without arterial anastomosis. PMID:22655116

  14. Avulsion of the Auricle in an Anticoagulated Patient: Is Leeching Contraindicated? A Review and a Case

    PubMed Central

    Mommsen, Jens; Rodríguez-Fernández, Javier; Mateos-Micas, Mario; Vázquez-Bouso, Olga; Gumbao-Grau, Victor; Forteza-Gonzalez, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Amputation of the auricle is a periodic occurrence leading to disfigurement if not treated properly. Venous stasis is a common complication in reattachments and requires decongestant and anticoagulant treatment. Today, leech therapy is the treatment of choice. Common problems are that it is not available everywhere and that it is usually contraindicated in anticoagulated patients. The peculiarities of leech therapy and the various aspects of surgical management are reviewed. A case of a partial amputation of the auricle in a patient under concomitant anticoagulation therapy with warfarin is presented. The amputated part was reattached in another hospital without microvascular anastomosis. The patient presented to our department with early signs of venous congestion. Leech therapy was started 35 hours after trauma, and the patient continued his anticoagulation therapy. With this treatment, 90% of the amputated part was rescued. The anticoagulation therapy of the patient may have played an important role in the first hours after reattachment, preventing capillary thrombosis and in consequence facilitating the minimal oxygenation necessary. The claim that anticoagulation therapy is a contraindication to leeching should be questioned in cases of reattachments in well-controllable locations without arterial anastomosis. PMID:22655116

  15. Complete Genome Sequence of the Novel Leech Symbiont Mucinivorans hirudinis M3T

    PubMed Central

    Bomar, Lindsey

    2015-01-01

    Mucinivorans hirudinis M3T was isolated from the digestive tract of the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, and is the type species of a new genus within the Rikenellaceae. Here, we report the complete annotated genome sequence of this bacterium. PMID:25657285

  16. Identification, isolation and expansion of myoendothelial cells involved in leech muscle regeneration.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, Annalisa; Banfi, Serena; Gerosa, Laura; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Noonan, Douglas M; Valvassori, Roberto; de Eguileor, Magda

    2009-01-01

    Adult skeletal muscle in vertebrates contains myoendothelial cells that express both myogenic and endothelial markers, and which are able to differentiate into myogenic cells to contribute to muscle regeneration. In spite of intensive research efforts, numerous questions remain regarding the role of cytokine signalling on myoendothelial cell differentiation and muscle regeneration. Here we used Hirudo medicinalis (Annelid, leech) as an emerging new model to study myoendothelial cells and muscle regeneration. Although the leech has relative anatomical simplicity, it shows a striking similarity with vertebrate responses and is a reliable model for studying a variety of basic events, such as tissue repair. Double immunohistochemical analysis were used to characterize myoendothelial cells in leeches and, by injecting in vivo the matrigel biopolymer supplemented with the cytokine Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), we were able to isolate this specific cell population expressing myogenic and endothelial markers. We then evaluated the effect of VEGF on these cells in vitro. Our data indicate that, similar to that proposed for vertebrates, myoendothelial cells of the leech directly participate in myogenesis both in vivo and in vitro, and that VEGF secretion is involved in the recruitment and expansion of these muscle progenitor cells. PMID:19876402

  17. The leech nervous system: a valuable model to study the microglia involvement in regenerative processes.

    PubMed

    Le Marrec-Croq, Françoise; Drago, Francesco; Vizioli, Jacopo; Sautière, Pierre-Eric; Lefebvre, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Microglia are intrinsic components of the central nervous system (CNS). During pathologies in mammals, inflammatory processes implicate the resident microglia and the infiltration of blood cells including macrophages. Functions of microglia appear to be complex as they exhibit both neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects during neuropathological conditions in vivo and in vitro. The medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis is a well-known model in neurobiology due to its ability to naturally repair its CNS following injury. Considering the low infiltration of blood cells in this process, the leech CNS is studied to specify the activation mechanisms of only resident microglial cells. The microglia recruitment is known to be essential for the usual sprouting of injured axons and does not require any other glial cells. The present review will describe the questions which are addressed to understand the nerve repair. They will discuss the implication of leech factors in the microglial accumulation, the identification of nerve cells producing these molecules, and the study of different microglial subsets. Those questions aim to better understand the mechanisms of microglial cell recruitment and their crosstalk with damaged neurons. The study of this dialog is necessary to elucidate the balance of the inflammation leading to the leech CNS repair. PMID:23878582

  18. Morphological and functional characterization of leech circulating blood cells: role in immunity and neural repair.

    PubMed

    Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Vergote, David; Slomianny, Christian; Jouy, Nathalie; Salzet, Michel; Tasiemski, Aurélie

    2012-05-01

    Unlike most invertebrates, annelids possess a closed vascular system distinct from the coelomic liquid. The morphology and the function of leech blood cells are reported here. We have demonstrated the presence of a unique cell type which participates in various immune processes. In contrast to the mammalian spinal cord, the leech CNS is able to regenerate and restore function after injury. The close contact of the blood with the nerve cord also led us to explore the participation of blood in neural repair. Our data evidenced that, in addition to exerting peripheral immune functions, leech blood optimizes CNS neural repair through the release of neurotrophic substances. Circulating blood cells also appeared able to infiltrate the injured CNS where, in conjunction with microglia, they limit the formation of a scar. In mammals, CNS injury leads to the generation of a glial scar that blocks the mechanism of regeneration by preventing axonal regrowth. The results presented here constitute the first description of neuroimmune functions of invertebrate blood cells. Understanding the basic function of the peripheral circulating cells and their interactions with lesioned CNS in the leech would allow us to acquire insights into the complexity of the neuroimmune response of the injured mammalian brain. PMID:22159559

  19. Behavioral choice across leech species: chacun à son goût

    PubMed Central

    Gaudry, Q.; Ruiz, N.; Huang, T.; Kristan, W. B.; Kristan, W. B.

    2010-01-01

    At any one time, animals are simultaneously bombarded with many sensory stimuli, but they typically choose to respond to only a few of them. We used multidimensional analysis to determine the behavioral responses of six species of leeches to stimulation, as the responses are affected by species identity, diet, behavioral state and stimulus location. Our results show that each of the species tested while not feeding displayed remarkably similar behaviors in response to tactile stimulation of the surface of the body. When not feeding, stimulus location was the most reliable factor in determining behavioral response. While feeding, the three sanguivorous (bloodsucking) species tested ignored stimulation, whereas the three carnivorous leeches abandoned feeding in favor of locomotory responses, regardless of phylogenetic relationships. In the sanguivorous leeches, feeding abolished all mechanically elicited responses and mechanical stimulation in turn had no effect on feeding. We also show that the behavioral hierarchy of leeches was fixed and unchanging even in species that can consume both a carnivorous and a sanguivorous diet. PMID:20348348

  20. LIFE HISTORY AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE LEECH OLIGOBDELLA BIANNULATA (MOORE, 1900) (EUHIRUDINEA: GLOSSIPHONNIDAE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Oligobdella biannulata (Moore, 1900) is a rare, endemic leech species originally described from a mountain stream near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Specimens of O. biannulata were collected seasonally from Fall 1999, to Summer 2002, with new county records in North Carolina and ...

  1. ERPOBDELLA LAHONTANA (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA: ARHYNCHOBDELLIDA: ERPOBDELLIDAE), A NEW SPECIES OF FRESHWATER LEECH FROM NORTH AMERICA

    EPA Science Inventory

    New species of a leech, Erpobdella lahontana, is described from the Lahontan Basin in California and Nevada of the western United States. This species has four pairs of eyes, the preatrial loops of male paired ducts extend to ganglion XI, and the male and female gonopores are loc...

  2. The use of dendrograms to describe the electrical activity of motoneurons underlying behaviors in leeches

    PubMed Central

    Juárez-Hernández, León J.; Bisson, Giacomo; Torre, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    The present manuscript aims at identifying patterns of electrical activity recorded from neurons of the leech nervous system, characterizing specific behaviors. When leeches are at rest, the electrical activity of neurons and motoneurons is poorly correlated. When leeches move their head and/or tail, in contrast, action potential (AP) firing becomes highly correlated. When the head or tail suckers detach, specific patterns of electrical activity are detected. During elongation and contraction the electrical activity of motoneurons in the Medial Anterior and Dorsal Posterior nerves increase, respectively, and several motoneurons are activated both during elongation and contraction. During crawling, swimming, and pseudo-swimming patterns of electrical activity are better described by the dendrograms of cross-correlations of motoneurons pairs. Dendrograms obtained from different animals exhibiting the same behavior are similar and by averaging these dendrograms we obtained a template underlying a given behavior. By using this template, the corresponding behavior is reliably identified from the recorded electrical activity. The analysis of dendrograms during different leech behavior reveals the fine orchestration of motoneurons firing specific to each stereotyped behavior. Therefore, dendrograms capture the subtle changes in the correlation pattern of neuronal networks when they become involved in different tasks or functions. PMID:24098274

  3. High contrast imaging at the LBT: the LEECH exoplanet imaging survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip; Esposito, Simone; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Defrère, Denis; Bailey, Vanessa; Leisenring, Jarron; Apai, Daniel; Biller, Beth; Bonnefoy, Mickaël.; Brandner, Wolfgang; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin; De Rosa, Robert J.; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Fortney, Jonathan; Henning, Thomas; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Kopytova, Taisiya; Maire, Anne-Lise; Males, Jared R.; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Patience, Jenny; Rajan, Abhijith; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Su, Kate; Vaz, Amali; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.; Zimmerman, Neil

    2014-07-01

    In Spring 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its ~130-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) atop Mt Graham, Arizona. This survey benefits from the many technological achievements of the LBT, including two 8.4-meter mirrors on a single fixed mount, dual adaptive secondary mirrors for high Strehl performance, and a cold beam combiner to dramatically reduce the telescope's overall background emissivity. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars at L' (3.8 μm), as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.4 μm) of other surveys. This portion of the spectrum offers deep mass sensitivity, especially around nearby adolescent (~0.1-1 Gyr) stars. LEECH's contrast is competitive with other extreme adaptive optics systems, while providing an alternative survey strategy. Additionally, LEECH is characterizing known exoplanetary systems with observations from 3-5μm in preparation for JWST.

  4. The Physiology and Mechanics of Undulatory Swimming: A Student Laboratory Exercise Using Medicinal Leeches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellerby, David J.

    2009-01-01

    The medicinal leech is a useful animal model for investigating undulatory swimming in the classroom. Unlike many swimming organisms, its swimming performance can be quantified without specialized equipment. A large blood meal alters swimming behavior in a way that can be used to generate a discussion of the hydrodynamics of swimming, muscle…

  5. Characterization of the digestive-tract microbiota of Hirudo orientalis, a european medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Laufer, Alison S; Siddall, Mark E; Graf, Joerg

    2008-10-01

    FDA-approved, postoperative use of leeches can lead to bacterial infections. In this study, we used culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches to characterize the digestive-tract microbiota of Hirudo orientalis. Surprisingly, two Aeromonas species, A. veronii and A. jandaei, were cultured. Uncultured Rikenella-like bacteria were most similar to isolates from Hirudo verbana. PMID:18689513

  6. Leech mycetome endosymbionts are a new lineage of alphaproteobacteria related to the Rhizobiaceae.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Perkins, Susan L; Desser, Sherwin S

    2004-01-01

    Mycetomal organs attached to the esophagus of hematophagous leeches which are known to harbor endosymbiotic bacteria were removed from three species in the leech family Glossiphoniidae. Anatomical observations indicated that placobdellid mycetomes are paired and caecate, inserting into the esophagus posterior to the proboscis. Light and electron microscopy demonstrated that there is a single layer of mycetome epithelial cells harboring gram-negative rods and that these epithelial cells are ultrastructurally distinct from neighboring esophageal epithelial cells. Fluorescent in situ hybridization with eubacterial and alphaproteobacterial probes localized the bacteria solely to the mycetomes both in adult and in unfed juvenile leeches whereas a gammaproteobacterial probe did not yield a bound fluorescencent signal. DNA was isolated from these tissues and subjected to PCR amplification using bacteria-specific primers for 16S and 23S rDNA. Results from sequencing the amplification products and phylogenetic analysis with other Alphaproteobacteria revealed that the bacteria resident in these organs comprise a new genus of Alphaproteobacteria, Reichenowia n. gen., closely related to the nitrogen-fixing, nodule-forming Rhizobiaceae. The three bacterial strains, though different from each other were each other's closest relatives, suggesting a history of close coevolution with their leech hosts. PMID:15022768

  7. High-yield novel leech hyaluronidase to expedite the preparation of specific hyaluronan oligomers

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Peng; Kang, Zhen; Zhang, Na; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Hyaluronidases (HAases), particularly leech HAases, have attracted intense attention due to their broad applications in medical treatments and great potential for the enzymatic production of hyaluronan oligosaccharides. However, little is known about this third interesting family of HAases. Here, we applied the random amplification of cDNA ends polymerase chain reaction (RACE-PCR) approach to identify the first leech HAase-encoding gene. By combining protein engineering and high-density culture, we achieved high-level production (8.42 × 105 U ml−1) in the yeast Pichia pastoris secretory expression system. Compared with the commercial bovine testicular HAase, the recombinant leech HAase exhibited superior enzymatic properties. Furthermore, analysis of the hydrolytic process suggested that this novel enzyme adopts a nonprocessive endolytic mode, yielding a narrow-spectrum of specific HA oligosaccharides with different incubation times. Large-scale production of this novel leech HAase will not only greatly promote medical applications but also facilitate the enzymatic production of specific HA oligosaccharides. PMID:24667183

  8. Of Science and Spirit: Leech Lake Combines Culture, Inquiry in the Lab.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Michael Wassegijig

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the incorporation of the Anishinaabe world view into the Leech Lake Tribal College (Minnesota) Science Department's curriculum. Goals of the program include: (1) exploring cultural and Western understanding of the natural world; (2) reinforcing Anishinaabe culture, traditions, and knowledge at an academic level; (3) providing a fully…

  9. Infections following the application of leeches: two case reports and review of the literature

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Since the 1980s, leeches have been ingeniously used in the management of venous flap congestion. The presence of anticoagulative substances in their saliva improves the blood drainage. Their digestive tract contains several bacterial species, the main ones being Aeromonas hydrophila and Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria, which contribute to the digestion of ingested blood. These bacteria can be the cause of infections. Case presentation We report two cases of septicemia related to Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria that presented after leeches had been applied to congested transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps for delayed mammary reconstructions. Patient number 1 was a 55-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent a delayed breast reconstruction procedure. On the sixth postoperative day she showed a clinical presentation of septicemia. Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria was identified in the patient’s skin and blood bacteriological samples. Her fever ceased after 4 days of antibiotic treatment. Patient number 2 was a 56-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent a delayed breast reconstruction procedure. On the seventh postoperative day we noticed that she showed a clinical presentation of septicemia. Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria was identified in the patient’s blood cultures and local bacteriological samples. An antibiogram showed resistance to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. Her fever ceased on the eleventh postoperative day after 4 days of antibiotic treatment. Conclusion The rate of infection after application of leeches is not negligible. The concentration of Aeromonas inside the digestive tracts of leeches largely decreases when the patient is under antibiotic therapy. These germs are sensitive to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones and resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. We recommend preventive treatment based on classical measures of asepsis and on oral antibioprophylaxy with a fluoroquinolone during the whole period of

  10. BIOLOGY AND OCCURRENCE OF THE LEECH, ACTINOBDELLA INEQUIANNULATA (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA: GLOSSIPHONIIDAE) PARASITIC ON TWO SPECIES OF SUCKERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Actinobdella inequiannulata was found on the white sucker, Catostomus commersoni, and less frequently on the longnose sucker, Catostomus catostomus, in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. This study established the presence of only one species of leech, Actinobdela inequ...

  11. A new leech species (Hirudinida: Erpobdellidae: Erpobdella) from a cave in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran.

    PubMed

    Cichocka, Joanna M; Bielecki, Aleksander; Kur, Jarosław; Pikuła, Dorota; Kilikowska, Adrianna; Biernacka, Beata

    2015-01-01

    Erpobdella borisi n. sp. is a predatory leech inhabiting cave waters in Iran. Probably, it is either a troglobiont or troglophile. The leech has no eyes, and the complete mid-body somite is divided unequally into five annuli. Results of phylogenetic analysis based on morphological characters and COI gene sequence indicate the species to be closely related to Erpobdella japonica, E. octoculata and E. testacea. PMID:26623905

  12. Earthquake relocation near the Leech River Fault, southern Vancouver Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, G.; Liu, Y.; Regalla, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Leech River Fault (LRF), a northeast dipping thrust, extends across the southern tip of Vancouver Island in Southwest British Columbia, where local tectonic regime is dominated by the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American plate at the present rate of 40-50 mm/year. British Columbia geologic map (Geoscience Map 2009-1A) shows that this area also consists of many crosscutting minor faults in addition to the San Juan Fault north of the LRF. To investigate the seismic evidence of the subsurface structures of these minor faults and of possible hidden active structures in this area, precise earthquake locations are required. In this study, we relocate 941 earthquakes reported by Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN) catalog from 2000 to 2015 within a 100km x 55km study area surrounding the LRF. We use HypoDD [Waldhauser, F., 2001] double-difference relocation method by combining P/S phase arrivals provided by the CNSN at 169 stations and waveform data with correlation coefficient values greater than 0.7 at 50 common stations and event separation less than 10km. A total of 900 out of the 931 events satisfy the above relocation criteria. Velocity model used is a 1-D model extracted from the Ramachandran et al. (2005) model. Average relative location errors estimated by the bootstrap method are 546.5m (horizontal) and 1128.6m (in depth). Absolute errors reported by SVD method for individual clusters are ~100m in both dimensions. We select 5 clusters visually according to their epicenters (see figure). Cluster 1 is parallel to the LRF and a thrust FID #60. Clusters 2 and 3 are bounded by two faults: FID #75, a northeast dipping thrust marking the southwestern boundary of the Wrangellia terrane, and FID #2 marking the northern boundary. Clusters 4 and 5, to the northeast and northwest of Victoria respectively, however, do not represent the surface traces of any mapped faults. The depth profile of Cluster 5 depicts a hidden northeast

  13. Three-dimensional culture of leech and snail ganglia for studies of neural repair.

    PubMed

    Babington, E J; Vatanparast, J; Verrall, J; Blackshaw, S E

    2005-11-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) collagen gels provide a stable matrix in which isolated regenerating ganglia from leech and snail can be maintained for studies of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the regenerative process. Segmental ganglia from leech, or supraoesophageal, suboesophageal or buccal ganglia from snail were maintained for up to 3 weeks in 3D matrices of mammalian Type I collagen. The collagen matrix supports the regenerative outgrowth of axon tracts as well as the migration of microglial cells, important elements in the repair process. Proteins or soluble factors or target tissue may be added to the basic collagen matrix to manipulate the environment of the regenerating tissue. We describe techniques for immunostaining of regenerating axons and microglial cells within the gel matrix in combination with staining of cell nuclei, and the use of intracellular labelling to distinguish axons of identified neurons within the regenerative outgrowth. PMID:16172883

  14. Annotated checklist of the leech species diversity in the Maloe More Strait of Lake Baikal, Russia

    PubMed Central

    Kaygorodova, Irina A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In this paper, the very first checklist of the freshwater leeches of Maloe More Strait, a special part of Lake Baikal, is presented. It includes 14 free-living and parasitic species, of which four species belong to endemic Baikal genera – two species from Baicalobdella and one species each from Baicaloclepsis and Codonobdella. The checklist highlights six potentially new morphological species recorded for the first time in the area. The exact systematic position is stated for all leech species. Each species from the list is provided with information on taxonomic synonymy, data on its geographic distribution, and ecological characteristics. New species records are additionally provided with brief morphological characteristics and photos of their external morphology. PMID:26798292

  15. A mathematical model of motorneuron dynamics in the heartbeat of the leech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buono, Pietro-Luciano; Palacios, A.

    2004-02-01

    The heartbeat of the medicinal leech is driven by direct contact between two arrays of motorneurons and two lateral blood vessels. At any given time, motorneurons exhibit one of two alternating states so that, on one side of the animal, the heart beats in a rear-to-front fashion (peristaltic), while on the other side the heart beats synchronously. Every 20 heartbeats, approximately, the two sides switch modes. It is known that the heartbeat rhythm is generated through burst of oscillatory activity produced by a central pattern generator (CPG) network of neurons. However, to the best of our knowledge, how the CPG activity is translated into peristaltic and synchronous rhythms in the motorneurons is yet unknown. In this work, we use symmetric systems of differential equations, accompanied with computational simulations, to investigate possible mechanisms for generating the motorneuron activity that characterizes the heartbeat of leeches and in particular the switching scenario.

  16. Functional morphology of suction discs and attachment performance of the Mediterranean medicinal leech (Hirudo verbana Carena).

    PubMed

    Kampowski, Tim; Eberhard, Laura; Gallenmüller, Friederike; Speck, Thomas; Poppinga, Simon

    2016-04-01

    Medicinal leeches use their suction discs for locomotion, adhesion to the host and, in the case of the anterior disc, also for blood ingestion. The biomechanics of their suction-based adhesion systems has been little understood until now. We investigated the functional morphology of the anterior and posterior suckers ofHirudo verbanaby using light and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, we analysed the adhesion qualitatively and quantitatively by conducting behavioural and mechanical experiments. Our high-speed video analyses provide new insights into the attachment and detachment processes and we present a detailed description of the leech locomotion cycle. Pull-off force measurements of the anterior and posterior suction organs on seven different substrates under both aerial and water-submersed conditions reveal a significant influence of the surrounding medium, the substrate surface roughness and the tested organ on attachment forces and tenacities. PMID:27075001

  17. Leech Induced Pyoderma Gangrenosum in an Ulcerative Colitis Patient: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Sadeghi, Anahita; Navabakhsh, Behrouz; Izadi Vahedi, Niloofar

    2016-01-01

    Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a painful skin lesion that results from excessive inflammatory response to a host of traumatic, inflammatory, or neoplastic processes in susceptible individuals. A clear pathogenetic mechanism as well as an exhaustive list of potential triggers for PG is yet to be fully characterized. This case documents the occurrence of pyoderma gangrenosum following leech-therapy in a patient who is a known case of ulcerative colitis and it deserves attention because leeches have been part of medical armamentarium since ancient times and have re-emerged in the last century relying on their ancient charm and modern research revealing potential benefits of several bioactive substances in their saliva. PMID:26933484

  18. Leech Induced Pyoderma Gangrenosum in an Ulcerative Colitis Patient: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Sadeghi, Anahita; Navabakhsh, Behrouz; Izadi Vahedi, Niloofar

    2016-01-01

    Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a painful skin lesion that results from excessive inflammatory response to a host of traumatic, inflammatory, or neoplastic processes in susceptible individuals. A clear pathogenetic mechanism as well as an exhaustive list of potential triggers for PG is yet to be fully characterized. This case documents the occurrence of pyoderma gangrenosum following leech-therapy in a patient who is a known case of ulcerative colitis and it deserves attention because leeches have been part of medical armamentarium since ancient times and have re-emerged in the last century relying on their ancient charm and modern research revealing potential benefits of several bioactive substances in their saliva. PMID:26933484

  19. Multiple Changes in Peptide and Lipid Expression Associated with Regeneration in the Nervous System of the Medicinal Leech

    PubMed Central

    Meriaux, Céline; Arafah, Karim; Tasiemski, Aurélie; Wisztorski, Maxence; Bruand, Jocelyne; Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Desmons, Annie; Debois, Delphine; Laprévote, Olivier; Brunelle, Alain; Gaasterland, Terry; Macagno, Eduardo; Fournier, Isabelle; Salzet, Michel

    2011-01-01

    Background The adult medicinal leech central nervous system (CNS) is capable of regenerating specific synaptic circuitry after a mechanical lesion, displaying evidence of anatomical repair within a few days and functional recovery within a few weeks. In the present work, spatiotemporal changes in molecular distributions during this phenomenon are explored. Moreover, the hypothesis that neural regeneration involves some molecular factors initially employed during embryonic neural development is tested. Results Imaging mass spectrometry coupled to peptidomic and lipidomic methodologies allowed the selection of molecules whose spatiotemporal pattern of expression was of potential interest. The identification of peptides was aided by comparing MS/MS spectra obtained for the peptidome extracted from embryonic and adult tissues to leech transcriptome and genome databases. Through the parallel use of a classical lipidomic approach and secondary ion mass spectrometry, specific lipids, including cannabinoids, gangliosides and several other types, were detected in adult ganglia following mechanical damage to connected nerves. These observations motivated a search for possible effects of cannabinoids on neurite outgrowth. Exposing nervous tissues to Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) receptor agonists resulted in enhanced neurite outgrowth from a cut nerve, while exposure to antagonists blocked such outgrowth. Conclusion The experiments on the regenerating adult leech CNS reported here provide direct evidence of increased titers of proteins that are thought to play important roles in early stages of neural development. Our data further suggest that endocannabinoids also play key roles in CNS regeneration, mediated through the activation of leech TRPVs, as a thorough search of leech genome databases failed to reveal any leech orthologs of the mammalian cannabinoid receptors but revealed putative TRPVs. In sum, our observations identify a number of lipids and

  20. Transmission of Haemogregarina balli from painted turtles to snapping turtles through the leech Placobdella ornata.

    PubMed

    Siddall, M E; Desser, S S

    2001-10-01

    Six leeches (Placobdella ornata) were allowed to feed on a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) infected with Haemogregarina balli and subjected to a period of diapause before being allowed to feed on 2 laboratory-reared snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Weekly examination of thin blood films revealed infections of the turtles at 130 days postfeeding. These observations provide support for broad host specificity of hemogregarine parasites of chelonians. PMID:11695407

  1. Exotic Homoclinic Surface of a Saddle-Node Limit Cycle in a Leech Neuron Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yooer, Chi-Feng; Wei, Fang; Xu, Jian-Xue; Zhang, Xin-Hua

    2011-03-01

    We carry out numerical and theoretical investigations on the global unstable invariant set (manifold) of a saddle-node limit cycle in a leech heart interneuron model. The corresponding global bifurcation is accompanied by an explosion of secondary bifurcations of limit cycles and the emergence of loop-shaped bifurcation structures. The dynamical behaviors of the trajectories of the invariant set are very complicated and can only be partially explained by existing theories.

  2. The leech: a novel invertebrate model for studying muscle regeneration and diseases.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, Annalisa; Banfi, Serena; Bianchi, Cristiano; Gabriella, Greco; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Noonan, Douglas M; Valvassori, Roberto; de Eguileor, Magda

    2010-01-01

    We focused our studies on the leech, Hirudo medicinalis. This invertebrate has a relative anatomical simplicity and is a reliable model for studying a variety of basic events, such as tissue repair, which has a striking similarity with vertebrate responses. Hirudo is also a good invertebrate model to test the actions of drugs and gene products, since the responses evoked by the different stimuli are clear and easily detectable due to their small size and anatomical simplicity. Here we review the use of this invertebrate model to investigate muscle regeneration and the role of hematopoietic stem cells in this process. Our recent data, summarized in this review, demonstrate that the injection of an appropriate combination of the matrigel biopolymer supplemented with Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGF) in the leech Hirudo medicinalis is a remarkably effective tool for isolating a specific population of hematopoietic/endothelial precursor cells, which in turn can differentiate in muscle cells. Thus leeches can be considered as a new emerging model for studying endothelial and hematopoietic precursors cells involved in muscle post-natal growth and regeneration processes. PMID:20041825

  3. De novo transcriptome assembly databases for the central nervous system of the medicinal leech

    PubMed Central

    Hibsh, Dror; Schori, Hadas; Efroni, Sol; Shefi, Orit

    2015-01-01

    The study of non-model organisms stands to benefit greatly from genetic and genomic data. For a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving neuronal development, and to characterize the entire leech Hirudo medicinalis central nervous system (CNS) transcriptome we combined Trinity for de-novo assembly and Illumina HiSeq2000 for RNA-Seq. We present a set of 73,493 de-novo assembled transcripts for the leech, reconstructed from RNA collected, at a single ganglion resolution, from the CNS. This set of transcripts greatly enriches the available data for the leech. Here, we share two databases, such that each dataset allows a different type of search for candidate homologues. The first is the raw set of assembled transcripts. This set allows a sequence-based search. A comprehensive analysis of which revealed 22,604 contigs with high e-values, aligned versus the Swiss-Prot database. This analysis enabled the production of the second database, which includes correlated sequences to annotated transcript names, with the confidence of BLAST best hit. PMID:25977819

  4. Neurite outgrowth and synapse formation by identified leech neurones in culture.

    PubMed

    Chiquet, M; Nicholls, J G

    1987-09-01

    After injury, neurones in the central nervous system (CNS) of the leech regenerate with a high degree of specificity. The aim of our experiments has been to study the sequential steps involved in neurite growth and synapse formation using isolated identified neurones in culture. An important requirement for sprouting of leech neurones is the substrate. Neurites grow only slowly and sparsely on polylysine or vertebrate laminin. The extracellular matrix of leech ganglion capsules contains a protease-sensitive factor which can be extracted with urea. With this material as substrate, growth proceeds rapidly in defined medium. Another neurite-promoting substrate is provided by the plant lectin concanavalin A (Con A). The activity of Con A, but not of the capsule matrix factor, is blocked by the Con A-specific hapten methyl alpha-D-mannoside. The morphology and branching pattern of the neurites in culture depend on the specific substrate and on the type of neurone. During stimulation, less Ca2+ uptake occurs into growth cones than in cell bodies. The mechanism of neurite growth seems not to depend on activity-mediated Ca2+ influx or on interactions between neuronal cell surfaces. However, even without profuse outgrowth, electrical and chemical synapses develop between neighbouring neurones. The type of synapse depends predictably on the types of neurones within the cell pair. Since the development of a synapse can be followed with time in culture, the sequential events can each be studied separately for this multi-step process. PMID:3323399

  5. Small bite, large impact-saliva and salivary molecules in the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hildebrandt, Jan-Peter; Lemke, Sarah

    2011-12-01

    Blood-sucking leeches have been used for medical purposes in humans for hundreds of years. Accordingly, one of the most prominent species has been named Hirudo medicinalis by Carl Linne in 1758. Feeding on vertebrate blood poses some serious problems to blood-sucking ectoparasites, as they have to penetrate the body surface of the host and to suppress the normal reactions of the host to such injuries (swelling, pain, inflammation) to remain undetected during the feeding period. Furthermore, the parasites have to take measures to inhibit the normal reactions in host tissues to blood vessel damage, namely hemostasis and blood coagulation (platelet aggregation and activation, activation of thrombin and formation of fibrin clots). During evolution, leeches have acquired the ability to control these processes in their hosts by transferring various bioactive substances to the host. These substances are supposedly produced in unicellular salivary gland cells and injected into the wound at the feeding site through tiny salivary ductule openings in the jaws that the leech uses to slice open the host body surface and to cut blood vessels in the depth of the wound. This review summarizes current knowledge about the salivary gland cells and the biological effects of individual saliva components as well as hints to the potential usefulness of some of these compounds for medical purposes.

  6. On the classification, evolution and biogeography of terrestrial haemadipsoid leeches (Hirudinida: Arhynchobdellida: Hirudiniformes).

    PubMed

    Borda, Elizabeth; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Siddall, Mark E

    2008-01-01

    A scourge of tropical and subtropical jungles, bloodfeeding terrestrial leeches of Haemadipsidae have long confused systematists and defied sensible biogeographic interpretation. The family Haemadipsidae usually includes problematic taxa that neither fit the typical IndoPacific distribution of the group, nor properly match diagnostic characters used to define the family. Historically, four additional families-Xerobdellidae, Diestecostomatidae Mesobdellidae and Nesophilaemonidae-have occasionally been recognized for New World and European representatives, though agreement on the composition of those families has not been consistent. Here, we expand the phylogenetic sampling of non-IndoPacific (among other) genera to include Meso American Diestecostoma species and Nesophilaemon skottsbergii from the Juan Fernandez Archipelago in order to critically assess prior hypotheses in a molecular phylogenetic analysis of arhynchobdellid leeches. The result, based on nuclear 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA and mitochondrial COI indicates that there are two distantly related lineages of bloodfeeding terrestrial leeches. The otherwise monophyletic family Haemadipsidae is found to exclude species of Xerobdella, Mesobdella and Diestecostoma. Xerobdellidae is formally resurrected to accommodate species of those three genera. Morphological characteristics corroborate the distinction of Haemadipsidae and Xerobdellidae on the basis of sexual and nephridial characters. Idiobdella seychellensis belongs in Haemadipsidae notwithstanding its lacking respiratory auricles. Nesophilaemon skottsbergii too is in Haemadipsidae notwithstanding its geographic proximity to the xerobdellid Mesobdella gemmata. The characters used to define haemadipsoid families are reevaluated. Feeding preferences and biogeographic patterns are also examined. PMID:17977750

  7. De novo transcriptome assembly databases for the central nervous system of the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Hibsh, Dror; Schori, Hadas; Efroni, Sol; Shefi, Orit

    2015-01-01

    The study of non-model organisms stands to benefit greatly from genetic and genomic data. For a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving neuronal development, and to characterize the entire leech Hirudo medicinalis central nervous system (CNS) transcriptome we combined Trinity for de-novo assembly and Illumina HiSeq2000 for RNA-Seq. We present a set of 73,493 de-novo assembled transcripts for the leech, reconstructed from RNA collected, at a single ganglion resolution, from the CNS. This set of transcripts greatly enriches the available data for the leech. Here, we share two databases, such that each dataset allows a different type of search for candidate homologues. The first is the raw set of assembled transcripts. This set allows a sequence-based search. A comprehensive analysis of which revealed 22,604 contigs with high e-values, aligned versus the Swiss-Prot database. This analysis enabled the production of the second database, which includes correlated sequences to annotated transcript names, with the confidence of BLAST best hit. PMID:25977819

  8. Experimental Investigation on the Morphology and Adhesion Mechanism of Leech Posterior Suckers

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Wenhao

    2015-01-01

    The posterior sucker of a leech represents a fascinating natural system that allows the leech to adhere to different terrains and substrates. However, the mechanism of adhesion and desorption has not yet to be elucidated. In order to better understand how the adhesion is performed, we analyzed the surface structure, adsorption movements, the muscles’ distribution, physical characteristics, and the adsorption force of the leech posterior suckers by experimental investigation. Three conclusions can be drawn based on the obtained experimental results. First, the adhesion by the posterior sucker is wet adhesion, because the surface of the posterior sucker is smooth and the sealing can only be achieved on wet surfaces. Second, the deformation texture, consisting of soft collagen tissues and highly ductile epidermal tissues, plays a key role in adhering to rough surfaces. Finally, the adhesion and desorption is achieved by the synergetic operation of six muscle fibers working in different directions. Concrete saying, directional deformation of the collagen/epithermal interface driven by spatially-distributed muscle fibers facilitates the excretion of fluids in the sucker venter, thus allowing liquid sealing. Furthermore, we found that the adhesion strength is directly related to the size of the contact surface which is generated and affected by the sucker deformation. Such an underlying physical mechanism offers potential cues for developing innovative bio-inspired artificial adhesion systems. PMID:26536352

  9. Experimental Investigation on the Morphology and Adhesion Mechanism of Leech Posterior Suckers.

    PubMed

    Feng, Huashan; Chai, Ningli; Dong, Wenhao

    2015-01-01

    The posterior sucker of a leech represents a fascinating natural system that allows the leech to adhere to different terrains and substrates. However, the mechanism of adhesion and desorption has not yet to be elucidated. In order to better understand how the adhesion is performed, we analyzed the surface structure, adsorption movements, the muscles' distribution, physical characteristics, and the adsorption force of the leech posterior suckers by experimental investigation. Three conclusions can be drawn based on the obtained experimental results. First, the adhesion by the posterior sucker is wet adhesion, because the surface of the posterior sucker is smooth and the sealing can only be achieved on wet surfaces. Second, the deformation texture, consisting of soft collagen tissues and highly ductile epidermal tissues, plays a key role in adhering to rough surfaces. Finally, the adhesion and desorption is achieved by the synergetic operation of six muscle fibers working in different directions. Concrete saying, directional deformation of the collagen/epithermal interface driven by spatially-distributed muscle fibers facilitates the excretion of fluids in the sucker venter, thus allowing liquid sealing. Furthermore, we found that the adhesion strength is directly related to the size of the contact surface which is generated and affected by the sucker deformation. Such an underlying physical mechanism offers potential cues for developing innovative bio-inspired artificial adhesion systems. PMID:26536352

  10. Reciprocal immune benefit based on complementary production of antibiotics by the leech Hirudo verbana and its gut symbiont Aeromonas veronii

    PubMed Central

    Tasiemski, Aurélie; Massol, François; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Roger, Emmanuel; Rodet, Franck; Fournier, Isabelle; Thomas, Frédéric; Salzet, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The medicinal leech has established a long-term mutualistic association with Aeromonas veronii, a versatile bacterium which can also display free-living waterborne and fish- or human-pathogenic lifestyles. Here, we investigated the role of antibiotics in the dynamics of interaction between the leech and its gut symbiont Aeromonas. By combining biochemical and molecular approaches, we isolated and identified for the first time the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced by the leech digestive tract and by its symbiont Aeromonas. Immunohistochemistry data and PCR analyses evidenced that leech AMP genes are induced in the gut epithelial cells when Aeromonas load is low (starved animals), while repressed when Aeromonas abundance is the highest (post blood feeding). The asynchronous production of AMPs by both partners suggests that these antibiotic substances (i) provide them with reciprocal protection against invasive bacteria and (ii) contribute to the unusual simplicity of the gut microflora of the leech. This immune benefit substantially reinforces the evidence of an evolutionarily stable association between H. verbana and A. veronii. Altogether these data may provide insights into the processes making the association with an Aeromonas species in the digestive tract either deleterious or beneficial. PMID:26635240

  11. Morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of leech (Glossiphoniidae, Hirudinida): Implications for the health of its imperiled amphibian host (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, William A.; Moser, William E.; Garst, David W.; Richardson, Dennis J.; Hammond, Charlotte I.; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is among the most intriguing and imperiled amphibians in North America. Since the 1970s and 80s, western populations of the Ozark and eastern subspecies in Missouri have declined by nearly 80%. As a result of population declines, the Ozark hellbender was recently federally protected as an endangered species, and the eastern subspecies was granted protection under CITES. Although habitat degradation is probably the biggest threat to hellbender populations, recent evidence suggests that pathogens including chytrid fungus and “flesh-eating” bacteria may also contribute to declines in Ozark hellbenders. Leeches, which are very common on Ozark hellbenders, have recently been implicated as possible vectors of disease among Ozark hellbenders but have not been described in eastern hellbenders or outside of Missouri and Arkansas. We discovered a population of leeches on eastern hellbenders in southwest Virginia and confirmed that the species of leech is within the genus Placobdella, but is morphologically and genetically distinct from all previously described leech species. We named the new species Placobdella appalachiensis sp. n. Moser and Hopkins, based on the mountainous region in which it was discovered. Our surveys over a three consecutive year period suggested that this leech species may be patchily distributed and/or have a narrow geographic range. We consistently detected leeches at one site (mean prevalence in 80 hellbenders = 27.5%; median intensity = 3.0 leeches per parasitized hellbender [range 1 – >250 leeches]) during three years of surveys, but we never found leeches in any of our other seven study sites in two streams (mean prevalence in 139 hellbenders = 0%). We found a significant positive relationship between hellbender body size and the intensity of parasitism, and we suggest the possibility that the behavioral ecology of adults leading up to reproduction may increase their encounter rates

  12. Morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of leech (Glossiphoniidae, Hirudinida): Implications for the health of its imperiled amphibian host (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis).

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William A; Moser, William E; Garst, David W; Richardson, Dennis J; Hammond, Charlotte I; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A

    2014-01-01

    The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is among the most intriguing and imperiled amphibians in North America. Since the 1970s and 80s, western populations of the Ozark and eastern subspecies in Missouri have declined by nearly 80%. As a result of population declines, the Ozark hellbender was recently federally protected as an endangered species, and the eastern subspecies was granted protection under CITES. Although habitat degradation is probably the biggest threat to hellbender populations, recent evidence suggests that pathogens including chytrid fungus and "flesh-eating" bacteria may also contribute to declines in Ozark hellbenders. Leeches, which are very common on Ozark hellbenders, have recently been implicated as possible vectors of disease among Ozark hellbenders but have not been described in eastern hellbenders or outside of Missouri and Arkansas. We discovered a population of leeches on eastern hellbenders in southwest Virginia and confirmed that the species of leech is within the genus Placobdella, but is morphologically and genetically distinct from all previously described leech species. We named the new species Placobdella appalachiensis sp. n. Moser and Hopkins, based on the mountainous region in which it was discovered. Our surveys over a three consecutive year period suggested that this leech species may be patchily distributed and/or have a narrow geographic range. We consistently detected leeches at one site (mean prevalence in 80 hellbenders = 27.5%; median intensity = 3.0 leeches per parasitized hellbender [range 1 - >250 leeches]) during three years of surveys, but we never found leeches in any of our other seven study sites in two streams (mean prevalence in 139 hellbenders = 0%). We found a significant positive relationship between hellbender body size and the intensity of parasitism, and we suggest the possibility that the behavioral ecology of adults leading up to reproduction may increase their encounter rates with parasites. We

  13. Interaction of leech neurons with topographical gratings: comparison with rodent and human neuronal lines and primary cells

    PubMed Central

    Tonazzini, Ilaria; Pellegrini, Monica; Pellegrino, Mario; Cecchini, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Controlling and improving neuronal cell migration and neurite outgrowth are critical elements of tissue engineering applications and development of artificial neuronal interfaces. To this end, a promising approach exploits nano/microstructured surfaces, which have been demonstrated to be capable of tuning neuronal differentiation, polarity, migration and neurite orientation. Here, we investigate the neurite contact guidance of leech neurons on plastic gratings (GRs; anisotropic topographies composed of alternating lines of grooves and ridges). By high-resolution microscopy, we quantitatively evaluate the changes in tubulin cytoskeleton organization and cell morphology and in the neurite and growth cone development. The topography-reading process of leech neurons on GRs is mediated by filopodia and is more responsive to 4-µm-period GRs than to smaller period GRs. Leech neuron behaviour on GRs is finally compared and validated with several other neuronal cells, from murine differentiated embryonic stem cells and primary hippocampal neurons to differentiated human neuroblastoma cells. PMID:24501675

  14. Establishment of segment polarity in the ectoderm of the leech Helobdella

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seaver, E. C.; Shankland, M.

    2001-01-01

    The segmented ectoderm and mesoderm of the leech arise via a stereotyped cell lineage from embryonic stem cells called teloblasts. Each teloblast gives rise to a column of primary blast cell daughters, and the blast cells generate descendant clones that serve as the segmental repeats of their particular teloblast lineage. We have examined the mechanism by which the leech primary blast cell clones acquire segment polarity - i.e. a fixed sequence of positional values ordered along the anteroposterior axis of the segmental repeat. In the O and P teloblast lineages, the earliest divisions of the primary blast cell segregate anterior and posterior cell fates along the anteroposterior axis. Using a laser microbeam, we ablated single cells from both o and p blast cell clones at stages when the clone was two to four cells in length. The developmental fate of the remaining cells was characterized with rhodamine-dextran lineage tracer. Twelve different progeny cells were ablated, and in every case the ablation eliminated the normal descendants of the ablated cell while having little or no detectable effect on the developmental fate of the remaining cells. This included experiments in which we specifically ablated those blast cell progeny that are known to express the engrailed gene, or their lineal precursors. These findings confirm and extend a previous study by showing that the establishment of segment polarity in the leech ectoderm is largely independent of cell interactions conveyed along the anteroposterior axis. Both intercellular signaling and engrailed expression play an important role in the segment polarity specification of the Drosophila embryo, and our findings suggest that there may be little or no conservation of this developmental mechanism between those two organisms.

  15. Leeches of the genus Helobdella as model organisms for Evo-Devo studies.

    PubMed

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Weisblat, David A

    2015-12-01

    Model organisms are important tools in modern biology and have been used elucidate mechanism underlying processes, such as development, heredity, neuronal signaling, and phototropism, to name but a few. In this context, the use of model organisms is predicated on uncovering evolutionarily conserved features of biological processes in the expectation that the findings will be applicable to organisms that are either inaccessible or intractable for direct experimentation. For the most part, particular species have been adapted as model organisms because they can be easily reared and manipulated in the laboratory. In contrast, a major goal in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is to identify and elucidate the differences in developmental processes among species associated with the dramatic range of body plans among organisms, and how these differences have emerged over time in various branches of phylogeny. At first glance then, it would appear that the concept of model organisms for Evo-Devo is oxymoronic. In fact, however, laboratory-compatible, experimentally tractable species are of great use for Evo-Devo, subject to the condition that the ensemble of models investigated should reflect the range of taxonomic diversity, and for this purpose glossiphoniid leeches are useful. Four decades ago (1975), leeches of the species-rich genus Helobdella (Lophotrochozoa; Annelida; Clitellata; Hirudinida; Glossiphoniidae) were collected in Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA (USA). These and other Helobdella species may be taken as Evo-Devo models of leeches, clitellate annelids, and the super-phylum Lophotrochozoa. Here we depict/discuss the biology/taxonomy of these Evo-Devo systems, and the challenges of identifying species within Helobdella. In addition, we document that H. austinensis has been established as a new model organism that can easily be cultivated in the laboratory. Finally, we provide an updated scheme illustrating the unique

  16. Phylogenomics of Reichenowia parasitica, an Alphaproteobacterial Endosymbiont of the Freshwater Leech Placobdella parasitica

    PubMed Central

    Kvist, Sebastian; Narechania, Apurva; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Fuks, Bella; Siddall, Mark E.

    2011-01-01

    Although several commensal alphaproteobacteria form close relationships with plant hosts where they aid in (e.g.,) nitrogen fixation and nodulation, only a few inhabit animal hosts. Among these, Reichenowia picta, R. ornata and R. parasitica, are currently the only known mutualistic, alphaproteobacterial endosymbionts to inhabit leeches. These bacteria are harbored in the epithelial cells of the mycetomal structures of their freshwater leech hosts, Placobdella spp., and these structures have no other obvious function than housing bacterial symbionts. However, the function of the bacterial symbionts has remained unclear. Here, we focused both on exploring the genomic makeup of R. parasitica and on performing a robust phylogenetic analysis, based on more data than previous hypotheses, to test its position among related bacteria. We sequenced a combined pool of host and symbiont DNA from 36 pairs of mycetomes and performed an in silico separation of the different DNA pools through subtractive scaffolding. The bacterial contigs were compared to 50 annotated bacterial genomes and the genome of the freshwater leech Helobdella robusta using a BLASTn protocol. Further, amino acid sequences inferred from the contigs were used as queries against the 50 bacterial genomes to establish orthology. A total of 358 orthologous genes were used for the phylogenetic analyses. In part, results suggest that R. parasitica possesses genes coding for proteins related to nitrogen fixation, iron/vitamin B translocation and plasmid survival. Our results also indicate that R. parasitica interacts with its host in part by transmembrane signaling and that several of its genes show orthology across Rhizobiaceae. The phylogenetic analyses support the nesting of R. parasitica within the Rhizobiaceae, as sister to a group containing Agrobacterium and Rhizobium species. PMID:22132238

  17. Phylogenomics of Reichenowia parasitica, an alphaproteobacterial endosymbiont of the freshwater leech Placobdella parasitica.

    PubMed

    Kvist, Sebastian; Narechania, Apurva; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Fuks, Bella; Siddall, Mark E

    2011-01-01

    Although several commensal alphaproteobacteria form close relationships with plant hosts where they aid in (e.g.,) nitrogen fixation and nodulation, only a few inhabit animal hosts. Among these, Reichenowia picta, R. ornata and R. parasitica, are currently the only known mutualistic, alphaproteobacterial endosymbionts to inhabit leeches. These bacteria are harbored in the epithelial cells of the mycetomal structures of their freshwater leech hosts, Placobdella spp., and these structures have no other obvious function than housing bacterial symbionts. However, the function of the bacterial symbionts has remained unclear. Here, we focused both on exploring the genomic makeup of R. parasitica and on performing a robust phylogenetic analysis, based on more data than previous hypotheses, to test its position among related bacteria. We sequenced a combined pool of host and symbiont DNA from 36 pairs of mycetomes and performed an in silico separation of the different DNA pools through subtractive scaffolding. The bacterial contigs were compared to 50 annotated bacterial genomes and the genome of the freshwater leech Helobdella robusta using a BLASTn protocol. Further, amino acid sequences inferred from the contigs were used as queries against the 50 bacterial genomes to establish orthology. A total of 358 orthologous genes were used for the phylogenetic analyses. In part, results suggest that R. parasitica possesses genes coding for proteins related to nitrogen fixation, iron/vitamin B translocation and plasmid survival. Our results also indicate that R. parasitica interacts with its host in part by transmembrane signaling and that several of its genes show orthology across Rhizobiaceae. The phylogenetic analyses support the nesting of R. parasitica within the Rhizobiaceae, as sister to a group containing Agrobacterium and Rhizobium species. PMID:22132238

  18. The medicinal leech genome encodes 21 innexin genes: different combinations are expressed by identified central neurons.

    PubMed

    Kandarian, Brandon; Sethi, Jasmine; Wu, Allan; Baker, Michael; Yazdani, Neema; Kym, Eunice; Sanchez, Alejandro; Edsall, Lee; Gaasterland, Terry; Macagno, Eduardo

    2012-03-01

    Gap junctional proteins are important components of signaling pathways required for the development and ongoing functions of all animal tissues, particularly the nervous system, where they function in the intracellular and extracellular exchange of small signaling factors and ions. In animals whose genomes have been sufficiently sequenced, large families of these proteins, connexins, pannexins, and innexins, have been found, with 25 innexins in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans Starich et al. (Cell Commun Adhes 8: 311-314, 2001) and at least 37 connexins in the zebrafish Danio rerio Cruciani and Mikalsen (Biol Chem 388:253-264, 2009). Having recently sequenced the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana genome, we now report the presence of 21 innexin genes in this species, nine more than we had previously reported from the analysis of an EST-derived transcriptomic database Dykes and Macagno (Dev Genes Evol 216: 185-97, 2006); Macagno et al. (BMC Genomics 25:407, 2010). Gene structure analyses show that, depending on the leech innexin gene, they can contain from 0 to 6 introns, with closely related paralogs showing the same number of introns. Phylogenetic trees comparing Hirudo to another distantly related leech species, Helobdella robusta, shows a high degree of orthology, whereas comparison to other annelids shows a relatively low level. Comparisons with other Lophotrochozoans, Ecdyzozoans and with vertebrate pannexins suggest a low number (one to two) of ancestral innexin/pannexins at the protostome/deuterostome split. Whole-mount in situ hybridization for individual genes in early embryos shows that ∼50% of the expressed innexins are detectable in multiple tissues. Expression analyses using quantitative PCR show that ∼70% of the Hirudo innexins are expressed in the nervous system, with most of these detected in early development. Finally, quantitative PCR analysis of several identified adult neurons detects the presence of different combinations of innexin genes

  19. iDNA from terrestrial haematophagous leeches as a wildlife surveying and monitoring tool - prospects, pitfalls and avenues to be developed.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Sollmann, Rahel; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Siddall, Mark E; Yu, Douglas W; Wilting, Andreas; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2015-01-01

    Invertebrate-derived DNA (iDNA) from terrestrial haematophagous leeches has recently been proposed as a powerful non-invasive tool with which to detect vertebrate species and thus to survey their populations. However, to date little attention has been given to whether and how this, or indeed any other iDNA-derived data, can be combined with state-of-the-art analytical tools to estimate wildlife abundances, population dynamics and distributions. In this review, we discuss the challenges that face the application of existing analytical methods such as site-occupancy and spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models to terrestrial leech iDNA, in particular, possible violations of key assumptions arising from factors intrinsic to invertebrate parasite biology. Specifically, we review the advantages and disadvantages of terrestrial leeches as a source of iDNA and summarize the utility of leeches for presence, occupancy, and spatial capture-recapture models. The main source of uncertainty that attends species detections derived from leech gut contents is attributable to uncertainty about the spatio-temporal sampling frame, since leeches retain host-blood for months and can move after feeding. Subsequently, we briefly address how the analytical challenges associated with leeches may apply to other sources of iDNA. Our review highlights that despite the considerable potential of leech (and indeed any) iDNA as a new survey tool, further pilot studies are needed to assess how analytical methods can overcome or not the potential biases and assumption violations of the new field of iDNA. Specifically we argue that studies to compare iDNA sampling with standard survey methods such as camera trapping, and those to improve our knowledge on leech (and other invertebrate parasite) physiology, taxonomy, and ecology will be of immense future value. PMID:26430464

  20. DNA barcoding reveals Mexican diversity within the freshwater leech genus Helobdella (Annelida: Glossiphoniidae).

    PubMed

    Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; León-Règagnon, Virginia; Siddall, Mark E

    2010-12-01

    We investigated the genetic distances and taxonomic status among species of Helobdella, a genus of non-blood-feeding leeches, based on mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences. Sampling included 20 specimens representing nine nominal species collected in 11 states in Mexico as well as previously published sequences of different species of Helobdella from several places. A neighbor-joining tree, as well as identification of diagnostic nucleotides, was used to suggest the presence of seven species of Helobdella in Mexico including potentially two undescribed forms. PMID:21271855

  1. A leech model for homeostatic plasticity and motor network recovery after loss of descending inputs.

    PubMed

    Lane, Brian J

    2016-04-01

    Motor networks below the site of spinal cord injury (SCI) and their reconfiguration after loss of central inputs are poorly understood but remain of great interest in SCI research. Harley et al. (J Neurophysiol113: 3610-3622, 2015) report a striking locomotor recovery paradigm in the leechHirudo verbanawith features that are functionally analogous to SCI. They propose that this well-established neurophysiological system could potentially be repurposed to provide a complementary model to investigate basic principles of homeostatic compensation relevant to SCI research. PMID:26424582

  2. Purification and Characterization of a Novel Kazal-Type Trypsin Inhibitor from the Leech of Hirudinaria manillensis

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Yanmei; Li, Bowen; Liu, Weihui; Wang, Gan; Du, Canwei; Ombati, Rose; Lai, Ren; Long, Chengbo; Li, Hongyuan

    2016-01-01

    Kazal-type serine proteinase inhibitors are found in a large number of living organisms and play crucial roles in various biological and physiological processes. Although some Kazal-type serine protease inhibitors have been identified in leeches, none has been reported from Hirudinaria manillensis, which is a medically important leech. In this study, a novel Kazal-type trypsin inhibitor was isolated from leech H. manillensis, purified and named as bdellin-HM based on the sequence similarity with bdellin-KL and bdellin B-3. Structural analysis revealed that bdellin-HM was a 17,432.8 Da protein and comprised of 149 amino acid residues with six cysteines forming three intra-molecular disulfide bonds. Bdellin-HM showed similarity with the Kazal-type domain and may belong to the group of “non-classical” Kazal inhibitors according to its CysI-CysII disulfide bridge position. Bdellin-HM had no inhibitory effect on elastase, chymotrypsin, kallikrein, Factor (F) XIIa, FXIa, FXa, thrombin and plasmin, but it showed a potent ability to inhibit trypsin with an inhibition constant (Ki) of (8.12 ± 0.18) × 10−9 M. These results suggest that bdellin-HM from the leech of H. manillensis plays a potent and specific inhibitory role towards trypsin. PMID:27455325

  3. More than just one: multiplicity of Hirudins and Hirudin-like Factors in the Medicinal Leech, Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christian; Mescke, Katharina; Liebig, Stephanie; Mahfoud, Hala; Lemke, Sarah; Hildebrandt, Jan-Peter

    2016-02-01

    Blood-sucking leeches like the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, have been used for medical purposes since ancient times. During feeding, medicinal leeches transfer a broad range of bioactive substances into the host's wound to prevent premature hemostasis and blood coagulation. Hirudin is probably the best known of these substances. Despite its long history of investigation, recombinant production and clinical use, there still exist conflicting data regarding the primary structure of hirudin. Entirely unclear is the potential biological significance of three different subtypes and many isoforms of hirudins that have been characterized so far. Furthermore, there is only incomplete information on their cDNA sequences and no information at all on gene structures and DNA sequences are available in the databases. Our efforts to fill these gaps revealed the presence of multiple hirudin-encoding genes in the genome of Hirudo medicinalis. We have strong evidence for the expression of all three subtypes of hirudin within individual leeches and for the expression of additional hirudins or hirudin-like factors that may have different biological functions and may be promising candidates for new drugs. PMID:26267058

  4. New host and geographical records for the leech Acanthobdella peledina Grube 1851 (Hirudinea, Acanthobdellidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hauck, A. K.; Fallon, Michael J.; Burger, Carl V.

    1979-01-01

    A total of four leeches (Acanthobdella peledina), parasitizing four specimens of the least cisco (Coregonus sardinella), were found during July and August 1977. The hosts and parasites were collected during a fishery survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the North Slope waters of Naval Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. Two host fishes were collected from the Chipp River (70035' latitude, 155012' longitude) and two from an unnamed, landlocked lake (69054' latitude, 153o23' longitude). The Chipp River collection site is about 130 km southeast of Barrow, and the unnamed lake about 200 km southeast of Barrow. The leeches, which were fixed in situ with neutral formalin, appeared to have penetrated the integument and were embedded in subcutaneous tissues and white muscle at the base of the pelvic fins. The specimens were cylindrical and about 23 mm long and 2-3 mm wide. Color before fixation was olive-green. The five anterior segments each had four pairs of hooked setae at the ventral surface. Our identification was based on a description in Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya et al., 1962, Key to parasites of freshwater fish of the USSR (Transl. from Russian), NTIS TT-64-11040.

  5. Decision Points: The Factors Influencing the Decision to Feed in the Medicinal Leech

    PubMed Central

    Gaudry, Quentin; Kristan, William B.

    2012-01-01

    The decision to feed is a complex task that requires making several small independent choices. Am I hungry? Where do I look for food? Is there something better I’d rather be doing? When should I stop? With all of these questions, it is no wonder that decisions about feeding depend on several sensory modalities and that the influences of these sensory systems would be evident throughout the nervous system. The leech is uniquely well suited for studying these complicated questions due to its relatively simple nervous system, its exceptionally well-characterized behaviors and neural circuits, and the ease with which one can employ semi-intact preparations to study the link between physiology and decision-making. We will begin this review by discussing the cellular substrates that govern the decision to initiate and to terminate a bout of feeding. We will then discuss how feeding temporarily blocks competing behaviors from being expressed while the animal continues to feed. Then we will review what is currently known about how feeding affects long-term behavioral choices of the leech. Finally, we conclude with a short discussion of the advantages of the leech’s decision-making circuit’s design and how this design might be applicable to all decision circuits. PMID:22783162

  6. A new molecular logic for BMP-mediated dorsoventral patterning in the leech Helobdella.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Dian-Han; Weisblat, David A

    2011-08-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is broadly implicated in dorsoventral (DV) patterning of bilaterally symmetric animals [1-3], and its role in axial patterning apparently predates the birth of Bilateria [4-7]. In fly and vertebrate embryos, BMPs and their antagonists (primarily Sog/chordin) diffuse and interact to generate signaling gradients that pattern fields of cells [8-10]. Work in other species reveals diversity in essential facets of this ancient patterning process, however. Here, we report that BMP signaling patterns the DV axis of segmental ectoderm in the leech Helobdella, a clitellate annelid (superphylum Lophotrochozoa) featuring stereotyped developmental cell lineages, but the detailed mechanisms of DV patterning in Helobdella differ markedly from fly and vertebrates. In Helobdella, BMP2/4s are expressed broadly, rather than in dorsal territory, whereas a dorsally expressed BMP5-8 specifies dorsal fate by short-range signaling. A BMP antagonist, gremlin, is upregulated by BMP5-8 in dorsolateral, rather than ventral territory, and yet the BMP-antagonizing activity of gremlin is required for normal ventral cell fates. Gremlin promotes ventral fates without disrupting dorsal fates by selectively inhibiting BMP2/4s, not BMP5-8. Thus, DV patterning in the development of the leech revealed unexpected evolutionary plasticity of the conserved BMP patterning system, presumably reflecting its adaptation to different modes of embryogenesis. PMID:21782437

  7. The complex dynamic network of microtubule and microfilament cytasters of the leech zygote.

    PubMed

    Cantillana, V; Urrutia, M; Ubilla, A; Fernández, J

    2000-12-01

    The organization of the cytoskeleton in the early first interphase zygote and its involvement in organelle redistribution were studied in the glossiphoniid leech Theromyzon trizonare by confocal and electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and time-lapse video imaging after microinjection of labeled tubulin and/or actin and loading with a mitotracker. The cytoskeleton consists of an inner or endoplasmic and an outer or ectoplasmic domain. The inner domain consists of a monaster whose fibers retract from the zygote periphery by the end of the early first interphase. The outer domain is built upon a network of microtubules and microfilaments cytasters. Short pulses of microinjected labeled actin or tubulin and Taxol treatment demonstrate that cytasters are centers of microtubule and microfilament nucleation. Immunostaining with anti-centrophilin, anti-BX-63, and anti-AH-6 indicates that the network of cytasters includes centrosomal antigens. Cytasters move in an orderly fashion at speeds of 0.5-2 micrometer/min, in an energy-dependent process retarded and finally blocked by the ATP analogue AMP-PNP and high concentrations of Taxol. Colliding cytasters fuse and form larger cytoskeletal nucleation centers. The leech zygote is a highly compartmentalized cell whose cytasters function as articulated components of a very dynamic cytoskeletal system engaged in bulk transportation of organelles during ooplasmic segregation. PMID:11087633

  8. Field and experimental evidence of a new caiman trypanosome species closely phylogenetically related to fish trypanosomes and transmitted by leeches

    PubMed Central

    Fermino, Bruno R.; Paiva, Fernando; Soares, Priscilla; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R.; Viola, Laerte B.; Ferreira, Robson C.; Botero-Arias, Robinson; de-Paula, Cátia D.; Campaner, Marta; Takata, Carmen S.A.; Teixeira, Marta M.G.; Camargo, Erney P.

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosoma terena and Trypanosoma ralphi are known species of the South American crocodilians Caiman crocodilus, Caiman yacare and Melanosuchus niger and are phylogenetically related to the tsetse-transmitted Trypanosoma grayi of the African Crocodylus niloticus. These trypanosomes form the Crocodilian clade of the terrestrial clade of the genus Trypanosoma. A PCR-survey for trypanosomes in caiman blood samples and in leeches taken from caimans revealed unknown trypanosome diversity and frequent mixed infections. Phylogenies based on SSU (small subunit) of rRNA and gGAPDH (glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase) gene sequences revealed a new trypanosome species clustering with T. terena and T. ralphi in the crocodilian clade and an additional new species nesting in the distant Aquatic clade of trypanosomes, which is herein named Trypanosoma clandestinus n. sp. This new species was found in Caiman yacare, Caiman crocodilus and M. niger from the Pantanal and Amazonian biomes in Brazil. Large numbers of dividing epimastigotes and unique thin and long trypomastigotes were found in the guts of leeches (Haementeria sp.) removed from the mouths of caimans. The trypanosomes recovered from the leeches had sequences identical to those of T. clandestinus of caiman blood samples. Experimental infestation of young caimans (Caiman yacare) with infected leeches resulted in long-lasting T. clandestinus infections that permitted us to delineate its life cycle. In contrast to T. terena, T. ralphi and T. grayi, which are detectable by hemoculturing, microscopy and standard PCR of caiman blood, T. clandestinus passes undetected by these methods due to very low parasitemia and could be detected solely by the more sensitive nested PCR method. T. clandestinus n. sp. is the first crocodilian trypanosome known to be transmitted by leeches and positioned in the aquatic clade closest to fish trypanosomes. Our data show that caimans can host trypanosomes of the aquatic or

  9. Involvement of nitric oxide through endocannabinoids release in microglia activation during the course of CNS regeneration in the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Arafah, Karim; Croix, Dominique; Vizioli, Jacopo; Desmons, Annie; Fournier, Isabelle; Salzet, Michel

    2013-04-01

    The medicinal leech is notable for its capacity to regenerate its central nervous system (CNS) following mechanical trauma. Using an electrochemical nitric oxide (NO)-selective electrode to measure NO levels, we found that the time course of NO release in the injured leech CNS is partially under the control of endocannabinoids, namely, N-arachidonyl ethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG). Relative quantification of these endocannabinoids was performed by stable isotope dilution (2AGd8 and AAEd8) coupled to mass spectrometry in course of regeneration process or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) treatment. Data show that 2-AG levels rose to a maximum about 30 min after injury or ATP treatment, and returned to baseline levels 4 h after injury. In same conditions, AEA levels also rapidly (within 5 min) dropped after injury or ATP treatment to the nerve cord, but did not fully return to baseline levels within 4 h of injury. In correlation with these data, chemoattraction activities of endocannabinoids on isolated leech microglial cells have been shown in vitro and in vivo reflecting that control over NO production is accompanied by the controlled chemoattraction of microglia directed from the periphery to the lesion site for neuronal repair purposes. Taken together, our results show that in the leech, after injury concurrent with ATP production, purinergic receptor activation, NO production, microglia recruitment, and accumulation to lesion site, a fine imbalance occurs in the endocannabinoid system. These events can bring explanations about the ability of the leech CNS to regenerate after a trauma and the key role of endocannabinoids in this phenomenon. PMID:23355252

  10. Field and experimental evidence of a new caiman trypanosome species closely phylogenetically related to fish trypanosomes and transmitted by leeches.

    PubMed

    Fermino, Bruno R; Paiva, Fernando; Soares, Priscilla; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R; Viola, Laerte B; Ferreira, Robson C; Botero-Arias, Robinson; de-Paula, Cátia D; Campaner, Marta; Takata, Carmen S A; Teixeira, Marta M G; Camargo, Erney P

    2015-12-01

    Trypanosoma terena and Trypanosoma ralphi are known species of the South American crocodilians Caiman crocodilus, Caiman yacare and Melanosuchus niger and are phylogenetically related to the tsetse-transmitted Trypanosoma grayi of the African Crocodylus niloticus. These trypanosomes form the Crocodilian clade of the terrestrial clade of the genus Trypanosoma. A PCR-survey for trypanosomes in caiman blood samples and in leeches taken from caimans revealed unknown trypanosome diversity and frequent mixed infections. Phylogenies based on SSU (small subunit) of rRNA and gGAPDH (glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase) gene sequences revealed a new trypanosome species clustering with T. terena and T. ralphi in the crocodilian clade and an additional new species nesting in the distant Aquatic clade of trypanosomes, which is herein named Trypanosoma clandestinus n. sp. This new species was found in Caiman yacare, Caiman crocodilus and M. niger from the Pantanal and Amazonian biomes in Brazil. Large numbers of dividing epimastigotes and unique thin and long trypomastigotes were found in the guts of leeches (Haementeria sp.) removed from the mouths of caimans. The trypanosomes recovered from the leeches had sequences identical to those of T. clandestinus of caiman blood samples. Experimental infestation of young caimans (Caiman yacare) with infected leeches resulted in long-lasting T. clandestinus infections that permitted us to delineate its life cycle. In contrast to T. terena, T. ralphi and T. grayi, which are detectable by hemoculturing, microscopy and standard PCR of caiman blood, T. clandestinus passes undetected by these methods due to very low parasitemia and could be detected solely by the more sensitive nested PCR method. T. clandestinus n. sp. is the first crocodilian trypanosome known to be transmitted by leeches and positioned in the aquatic clade closest to fish trypanosomes. Our data show that caimans can host trypanosomes of the aquatic or

  11. Novel genotypes of Trypanosoma binneyi from wild platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and identification of a leech as a potential vector.

    PubMed

    Paparini, Andrea; Macgregor, James; Irwin, Peter J; Warren, Kristin; Ryan, Una M

    2014-10-01

    Little is known about the prevalence and pathogenesis of trypanosomes in Australian monotremes, and few genetic characterisation studies have been conducted with these haemoparasites. During the present investigation, molecular and microscopic methods were used to screen peripheral blood (n=28) and ectoparasites (n=10 adult ticks; n=5 tick nymphs; n=1 leech; and n>500 tick eggs) collected from wild Tasmanian platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), for the presence of trypanosomatid-specific DNA and/or trypomastigotes. The genes for the small ribosomal subunit RNA (18S rDNA) and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) were amplified and sequenced, prior to conducting phylogenetic analyses. The detection rate of the parasite-specific 18S rDNA in platypus blood was 85.7% (n=24/28), and the leech was also positive at both loci. Microscopically, high parasitaemia and the presence of abundant trypomastigotes, morphologically consistent with Trypanosoma binneyi Mackerras (1959), were observed in the blood films. Phylogenetic analyses at the 18S locus revealed the existence of four trypanosomatid-like genotypes, with variable similarity to two previously-described genotypes of T. binneyi (range of genetic p-distance: 0.0-0.5%). For the gGAPDH locus, for which only one T. binneyi sequence is available in GenBank, three genotypes closely related T. binneyi were identified (range of genetic p-distance: 0.1-0.4%). The leech-derived trypanosome isolate was virtually identical (at the two loci studied) to the other parasites sequenced from infected platypuses; however, the molecular or morphological identification of the leech species was not possible. Although further studies are required, the molecular detection of trypanosomes in an aquatic leech removed from a platypus, suggests the possibility that these haematophagous hirudineans may be a vector for T. binneyi (and closely related genotypes). PMID:25045852

  12. Revisiting the Baranof-Leech River hypothesis for early Tertiary coastwise transport of the Chugach-Prince William terrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, Darrel S.

    2003-08-01

    According to the Baranof-Leech River hypothesis originally proposed in 1982, (1) schists on southern Baranof Island in southeastern Alaska were contiguous with the Leech River schist on southern Vancouver Island until 40 Ma, and (2) both rock units were part of the 2200 km long Chugach-Prince William terrane, which was displaced northward about 1100 km after 40 Ma. Isotopic data obtained since 1982 show that the syn-magmatic metamorphism that produced the Baranof and Leech River schists occurred at 50 Ma, not at 40 Ma. Large-magnitude coastwise slip of the terrane is therefore post-50 Ma. Igneous rocks in the Baranof and Leech River units are part of the Sanak-Baranof magmatic belt of forearc magmatism, which has been ascribed to the early Tertiary subduction of an oceanic ridge. The slab window also gave rise to early Eocene, near-trench plutonic and volcanic rocks on North American basement in the North Cascades of Washington State, and probably to coeval igneous rocks on the western coast of Vancouver Island. These igneous suites in the forearc fix the location of the intersection of the ridge with the continental margin 50 Myr ago at latitude ca. 48-49°N (present-day coordinates). Paleomagnetic data obtained since 1982 imply that before 50 Ma, the parts of the Chugach-Prince William terrane that were to become the Baranof and Leech River schists were south of 48-49°N. From 61 to 50 Ma, the northward movement of the terrane relative to North America can be reconciled with the southward migration of forearc magmatism in the Chugach-Prince William terrane if the ridge-trench intersection was fixed at 48°N (present-day coordinates). The Border Ranges fault system is the on-land structure that most likely accommodated hundreds of kilometers of post-early Eocene displacement.

  13. The European land leech: biology and DNA-based taxonomy of a rare species that is threatened by climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutschera, U.; Pfeiffer, I.; Ebermann, E.

    2007-12-01

    The European land leech Xerobdella lecomtei was discovered in 1868 and is one of the rarest animals on Earth. During the 1960s, several individuals of these approx. 40 mm long, cold-adapted terrestrial annelids that inhabit the moist soils of birch forests around Graz, Austria, were investigated. Only one original research paper has been published on the biology of this species. Between 2001 and 2005, we re-investigated the morphology of preserved specimens and searched for living individuals in their natural habitat that appeared to be intact. We found only one juvenile individual (length approx. 10 mm), indicating that this local leech population became largely extinct over the past four decades. The feeding behaviour of our ‘lonesome George of the annelids’ was studied and is described here in detail. After its death, the Xerobdella individual was used for chemical extraction and molecular studies (deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] barcoding, based on one gene, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I). In addition, novel DNA barcodes for a land leech from Madagascar and a recently discovered species from Europe were obtained. Our phylogenetic tree shows that X. lecomtei is not a member of the tropical land leeches (family Haemadipsidae), as previously thought, but represents a separate line of descent (family Xerobdellidae). The decline of the local leech population around Graz correlates with a rise in average summer temperatures of +3°C between 1961 and 2004. This warming led to a drastic reduction in the moisture content of the soil where X. lecomtei lives. We suggest that human-induced climate change without apparent habitat destruction can lead to the extinction of populations of cold-adapted species that have a low colonization ability.

  14. The European land leech: biology and DNA-based taxonomy of a rare species that is threatened by climate warming.

    PubMed

    Kutschera, U; Pfeiffer, I; Ebermann, E

    2007-12-01

    The European land leech Xerobdella lecomtei was discovered in 1868 and is one of the rarest animals on Earth. During the 1960s, several individuals of these approx. 40 mm long, cold-adapted terrestrial annelids that inhabit the moist soils of birch forests around Graz, Austria, were investigated. Only one original research paper has been published on the biology of this species. Between 2001 and 2005, we re-investigated the morphology of preserved specimens and searched for living individuals in their natural habitat that appeared to be intact. We found only one juvenile individual (length approx. 10 mm), indicating that this local leech population became largely extinct over the past four decades. The feeding behaviour of our 'lonesome George of the annelids' was studied and is described here in detail. After its death, the Xerobdella individual was used for chemical extraction and molecular studies (deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] barcoding, based on one gene, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I). In addition, novel DNA barcodes for a land leech from Madagascar and a recently discovered species from Europe were obtained. Our phylogenetic tree shows that X. lecomtei is not a member of the tropical land leeches (family Haemadipsidae), as previously thought, but represents a separate line of descent (family Xerobdellidae). The decline of the local leech population around Graz correlates with a rise in average summer temperatures of +3 degrees C between 1961 and 2004. This warming led to a drastic reduction in the moisture content of the soil where X. lecomtei lives. We suggest that human-induced climate change without apparent habitat destruction can lead to the extinction of populations of cold-adapted species that have a low colonization ability. PMID:17646954

  15. OA01.40. A clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of leech therapy and panchatikta ghrita in the management of psoriasis)

    PubMed Central

    Gond, Pushpa; Rani, Rekha; Shringi, M. K.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Modern medical science treats psoriasis with PUVA, corticosteroid, anti-mitotic drugs which gives serious side effects like liver and kindney failure etc. There is a need to discover safe and effective medicine without any side effects for Psoriasis and the role of Leech Therapy (Shodhan) and Panchatikta Ghrita (Shaman Karma) is evaluated in this study. Method: 30 patients were included who matched the clinical signs and symptoms of psoriasis. These patients were randomised into three groups. Group A Only on leech therapy, Group B-Only on panchatikta ghrita and Group C On both leech therapy and panchatikta ghrita Result: Group A showed 45% improvement and group B showed 47% improvement, while group C reported 65% improvement. Conclusion: It can be concluded that shodan(leech application) along with shaman (panchatikta ghrita) is effective in the management of psoriasis as it is safe, cost effective and free from any side effects.

  16. Laboratory and field tests of the effectiveness of the lemon-eucalyptus extract, Citridiol, as a repellent against land leeches of the genus Haemadipsa (Haemadipsidae).

    PubMed

    Kirton, L G

    2005-10-01

    Citridiol is an extract of the leaves of Corymbia citriodora (Myrtaceae), the lemon eucalyptus, and mostly consists of p-menthane-3,8-diol isomers. The effectiveness of this extract as a repellent against land leeches of the genus Haemadipsa (Haemadipsidae), primarily H. sylvestris, was tested in the laboratory and field, in Peninsular Malaysia. The formulation tested, Mosi-guard Natural spray, contained 40% (w/w) Citridiol in a base of ethanol, water and isopropanol. In the laboratory test, specimens of H. sylvestris that were placed within moist, untreated arenas enclosed by treated paper rings made numerous attempts to cross the rings but were prevented or delayed from crossing over, in a dose-dependent manner. Mortality was high among the leeches that attempted to cross over the paper rings that had been sprayed to saturation point but low among the leeches that attempted to cross over paper rings that had only been partially treated, with a droplet-spray. The field study was carried out using indices that were formulated to reflect the severity of leech attack and the degree of repellency. Heavy or moderate spraying of footwear and trouser legs (tucked into socks) not only gave complete protection against bites by H. sylvestris and H. picta but also provided high enough repellency to keep the treated footwear virtually free of leeches. Even a light spray greatly reduced the numbers of leeches on footwear and delayed their progression toward biting the test subjects, although it failed to prevent bites completely. There was no decline in the repellency of the Citridiol when hourly assessments were made over a 6-h test period in the field. The results of the study show that Citridiol is highly repellent as well as toxic to leeches, and can be effectively used to prevent leech bites in the field. PMID:16212803

  17. Three species of land leeches from Taiwan, Haemadipsa rjukjuana comb. n., a new record for Haemadipsa picta Moore, and an updated description of Tritetrabdella taiwana (Oka)

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Yi-Te; Nakano, Takafumi; Chen, Jiun-Hong

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Three species of land leeches, including a new combination Haemadipsa rjukjuana comb. n., a new record for Haemadipsa picta Moore, as well as an updated description for Tritetrabdella taiwana (Oka), are reported in this study. Morphological characters and DNA barcode analysis were used to identify these species. In addition, since Haemadipsa rjukjuana had been regarded as a variety of the Japanese land leech Haemadipsa japonica for a century, morphological differences between these two species were also compared. PMID:22259307

  18. Structure of leech derived tryptase inhibitor (LDTI-C) in solution.

    PubMed

    Mühlhahn, P; Czisch, M; Morenweiser, R; Habermann, B; Engh, R A; Sommerhoff, C P; Auerswald, E A; Holak, T A

    1994-12-01

    The three-dimensional solution structure of the leech derived tryptase inhibitor form C (LDTI-C), an inhibitor of 46 amino acids which contains 3 disulfide bridges, has been determined using 2D NMR spectroscopy. The 3D structure was determined on the basis of 262 interresidue interproton distance constraints derived from nuclear Overhauser enhancement measurements and 25 phi angles, supplemented by 3 psi and 15 chi 1 angles. The core of LDTI-C is very well defined and consists of a short 3(10)-helix-loop and a short two-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet between residues 13-14 and 20-21. The N-terminus is fixed to the core by two disulfide bridges, while the C-terminus is connected to the beta-sheet via the third disulfide bridge. The binding loop in LDTI exhibits lowest energy conformations belonging to the canonical conformation of serine proteinase inhibitors. PMID:7988692

  19. Transcriptomic analysis in the leech Theromyzon tessulatum: involvement of cystatin B in innate immunity.

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Christophe; Cocquerelle, Claude; Vandenbulcke, Franck; Hot, David; Huot, Ludovic; Lemoine, Yves; Salzet, Michel

    2004-01-01

    At the present time, there is little information on mechanisms of innate immunity in invertebrate groups other than insects, especially annelids. In the present study, we have performed a transcriptomic study of the immune response in the leech Theromyzon tessulatum after bacterial challenge, by a combination of differential display RT (reverse transcriptase)-PCR and cDNA microarrays. The results show relevant modulations concerning several known and unknown genes. Indeed, threonine deaminase, malate dehydrogenase, cystatin B, polyadenylate-binding protein and alpha-tubulin-like genes are up-regulated after immunostimulation. We focused on cystatin B (stefin B), which is an inhibitor of cysteine proteinases involved in the vertebrate immune response. We have cloned the full-length cDNA and named the T. tessulatum gene as Tt-cysb. Main structural features of cystatins were identified in the derived amino acid sequence of Tt-cysb cDNA; namely, a glycine residue in the N-terminus and a consensus sequence of Gln-Xaa-Val-Xaa-Gly (QXVXG) corresponding to the catalytic site. Moreover, Tt-cysb is the first cystatin B gene characterized in invertebrates. We have determined by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry that Tt-cysb is only expressed in large coelomic cells. In addition, this analysis confirmed that Tt-cysb is up-regulated after bacterial challenge, and that increased expression occurs only in coelomic cells. These data demonstrate that the innate immune response in the leech involves a cysteine proteinase inhibitor that is not found in ecdysozoan models, such as Drosophila melanogaster or Caenorhabditis elegans, and so underlines the great need for information about innate immunity mechanisms in different invertebrate groups. PMID:15089746

  20. Initial formation and secondary condensation of nerve pathways in the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Jellies, J; Kopp, D M; Johansen, K M; Johansen, J

    1996-09-01

    Invertebrates have proved to be important experimental systems for examining questions related to growth cone navigation and nerve formation, in large part because of their simpler nervous systems. However, such apparent simplicity can be deceiving because the final stereotyped patterns may be the result of multiple developmental mechanisms and not necessarily the sole consequence of the pathway choices of individual growth cones. We have examined the normal sequence of events that are involved in the formation of the major peripheral nerves in leech embryos by employing (1) an antibody directed against acetylated tubulin to label neurons growing out from the central nervous system, (2) the Lan3-2 antibody to label a specific population of peripheral neurons growing into the central nervous system, and (3) intracellular dye filling of single cells. We found that the mature pattern of nerves was characterized by a pair of large nerve roots, each of which branched into two major tracts. The earliest axonal projections did not, however, establish this pattern definitively. Rather, each of the four nerves initially formed as discrete, roughly parallel tracts without bifurcation, with the final branching pattern of the nerve roots being generated by a secondary condensation. In addition, we found that some of the nerves were pioneered in different ways and by different groups of neurons. One of the nerves was established by central neurons growing peripherally, another by peripheral neurons growing centrally. These results suggest that the formation of common nerves and neuronal pathfinding in the leech involves multiple sets of growth cone guidance strategies and morphogenetic mechanisms that belie its apparent simplicity. PMID:8876458

  1. Leech segmental repeats develop normally in the absence of signals from either anterior or posterior segments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seaver, E. C.; Shankland, M.

    2000-01-01

    We have investigated whether the development of segmental repeats is autonomous in the embryo of the leech Helobdella robusta. The segmental tissues of the germinal band arise from progeny of five stem cells called teloblasts. Asymmetric divisions of the teloblasts form chains of segment founder cells (called primary blast cells) that divide in a stereotypical manner to produce differentiated descendants. Using two distinct techniques, we have looked for potential interactions between neighboring blast cell clones along the anterior-posterior axis. In one technique, we prevented the birth of primary blast cells by injection of DNase I into the teloblast, thereby depriving the last blast cell produced before the ablation of its normal posterior neighbors. We also ablated single blast cells with a laser microbeam, which allowed us to assess potential signals acting on either more anterior or more posterior primary blast cell clones. Our results suggest that interactions along the anterior-posterior axis between neighboring primary blast cell clones are not required for development of normal segmental organization within the blast cell clone. We also examined the possibility that blast cells receive redundant signals from both anterior and posterior neighboring clones and that either is sufficient for normal development. Using double blast cell laser ablations to isolate a primary blast cell clone by removal of both its anterior and its posterior neighbor, we found that the isolated clone still develops normally. These results reveal that the fundamental segmental repeat in the leech embryo, the primary blast cell clone, can develop normally in the apparent absence of signals from adjacent repeats along the anterior-posterior axis.

  2. Be ready at any time: postprandial synthesis of salivary proteins in salivary gland cells of the haematophagous leech Hirudo verbana.

    PubMed

    Lemke, Sarah; Müller, Christian; Hildebrandt, Jan-Peter

    2016-04-15

    Sanguivorous leeches are ectoparasites having access to body fluids of potential hosts only infrequently. During feeding, salivary proteins are released from unicellular salivary glands into the wound. These substances, among them anti-coagulants, anti-inflammatory or anti-microbial agents, allow these animals proper feeding and long-term storage of host blood in their crops for several months. Using histological, protein biochemical and molecular techniques, we investigated whether synthesis of salivary proteins and refilling of salivary gland cells occur immediately after feeding or later when stored nutrients in the crop are getting scarce. The results of the histological analyses showed that gland cell area was significantly smaller right after feeding when compared with those in unfed animals. This parameter recovered quickly and reached the control level at 1 week after feeding. 2D gel electrophoresis and analysis of the abundance of individual proteins in extracts of leech tissues revealed that a subset of proteins that had been present in extracts of unfed animals virtually disappeared during feeding, but re-appeared within 1 week of feeding (most probably secretory proteins) while another subset did not change during the experimental period (most probably housekeeping proteins). Semi-quantitative PCR analysis of hirudin cDNA prepared from leech RNA samples revealed that the amount of hirudin transcripts increased immediately after feeding, peaked at 5 days after feeding and declined to control values thereafter. Our results indicate that bloodsucking leeches synthesize salivary proteins and refill their salivary gland cell reservoirs within a week of a blood meal to be prepared for another feeding opportunity. PMID:27103675

  3. Calreticulin contributes to C1q-dependent recruitment of microglia in the leech Hirudo medicinalis following a CNS injury

    PubMed Central

    Le Marrec-Croq, Françoise; Bocquet-Garcon, Annelise; Vizioli, Jacopo; Vancamp, Christelle; Drago, Francesco; Franck, Julien; Wisztorski, Maxence; Salzet, Michel; Sautiere, Pierre-Eric; Lefebvre, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Background The medicinal leech is considered as a complementary and appropriate model to study immune functions in the central nervous system (CNS). In a context in which an injured leech’s CNS can naturally restore normal synaptic connections, the accumulation of microglia (immune cells of the CNS that are exclusively resident in leeches) has been shown to be essential at the lesion to engage the axonal sprouting. HmC1q (Hm for Hirudo medicinalis) possesses chemotactic properties that are important in the microglial cell recruitment by recognizing at least a C1q binding protein (HmC1qBP alias gC1qR). Material/Methods Recombinant forms of C1q were used in affinity purification and in vitro chemotaxis assays. Anti-calreticulin antibodies were used to neutralize C1q-mediated chemotaxis and locate the production of calreticulin in leech CNS. Results A newly characterized leech calreticulin (HmCalR) has been shown to interact with C1q and participate to the HmC1q-dependent microglia accumulation. HmCalR, which has been detected in only some microglial cells, is consequently a second binding protein for HmC1q, allowing the chemoattraction of resident microglia in the nerve repair process. Conclusions These data give new insight into calreticulin/C1q interaction in an immune function of neuroprotection, suggesting another molecular target to use in investigation of microglia reactivity in a model of CNS injury. PMID:24747831

  4. First record of Limnatis paluda (Hirudinida, Arhynchobdellida, Praobdellidae) from Kazakhstan, with comments on genetic diversity of Limnatis leeches

    PubMed Central

    Dujsebayeva, Tatjana; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Sawyer (1986) included three species in the nasal leech genus Limnatis Moquin-Tandon 1827: Limnatis nilotica (Savigny 1822), Limnatis bacescui Manoleli 1972 and Limnatis paluda (Tennent 1859). The first and last species have mainly been identified in Middle Eastern countries (e.g. Kinzelbach and Rückert 1985). The second species has been identified only in Romania Dobruja (Manoleli 1972). Although Limnatis leeches are well known species of endoparasitic leeches, Limnatis nilotica was recorded only once in Kazakhstan (Lukin 1976). New information Specimens of the genus Limnatis from Almaty Province, Kazakhstan are identified as Limnatis paluda. This is the first record of Limnatis paluda from Kazakhstan. Mitochondrial COI and 12S data demonstrated that the present specimens are genetically close to an Israeli specimen identified as Limnatis nilotica. In addition, molecular data suggest that some Limnatis specimens whose DNA sequences have been reported were misidentified. According to the observed phylogenetic relationships, the taxonomic status of the known Limnatis species should be revisited. PMID:25941456

  5. Comparative Mitogenomics of Leeches (Annelida: Clitellata): Genome Conservation and Placobdella-Specific trnD Gene Duplication

    PubMed Central

    Moya, Andrés; Siddall, Mark E.; Latorre, Amparo

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequences, often in combination with nuclear markers and morphological data, are frequently used to unravel the phylogenetic relationships, population dynamics and biogeographic histories of a plethora of organisms. The information provided by examining complete mitochondrial genomes also enables investigation of other evolutionary events such as gene rearrangements, gene duplication and gene loss. Despite efforts to generate information to represent most of the currently recognized groups, some taxa are underrepresented in mitochondrial genomic databases. One such group is leeches (Annelida: Hirudinea: Clitellata). Herein, we expand our knowledge concerning leech mitochondrial makeup including gene arrangement, gene duplication and the evolution of mitochondrial genomes by adding newly sequenced mitochondrial genomes for three bloodfeeding species: Haementeria officinalis, Placobdella lamothei and Placobdella parasitica. With the inclusion of three new mitochondrial genomes of leeches, a better understanding of evolution for this organelle within the group is emerging. We found that gene order and genomic arrangement in the three new mitochondrial genomes is identical to previously sequenced members of Clitellata. Interestingly, within Placobdella, we recovered a genus-specific duplication of the trnD gene located between cox2 and atp8. We performed phylogenetic analyses using 12 protein-coding genes and expanded our taxon sampling by including GenBank sequences for 39 taxa; the analyses confirm the monophyletic status of Clitellata, yet disagree in several respects with other phylogenetic hypotheses based on morphology and analyses of non-mitochondrial data. PMID:27176910

  6. Comparative Mitogenomics of Leeches (Annelida: Clitellata): Genome Conservation and Placobdella-Specific trnD Gene Duplication.

    PubMed

    Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Manzano-Marín, Alejandro; Kvist, Sebastian; Moya, Andrés; Siddall, Mark E; Latorre, Amparo

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequences, often in combination with nuclear markers and morphological data, are frequently used to unravel the phylogenetic relationships, population dynamics and biogeographic histories of a plethora of organisms. The information provided by examining complete mitochondrial genomes also enables investigation of other evolutionary events such as gene rearrangements, gene duplication and gene loss. Despite efforts to generate information to represent most of the currently recognized groups, some taxa are underrepresented in mitochondrial genomic databases. One such group is leeches (Annelida: Hirudinea: Clitellata). Herein, we expand our knowledge concerning leech mitochondrial makeup including gene arrangement, gene duplication and the evolution of mitochondrial genomes by adding newly sequenced mitochondrial genomes for three bloodfeeding species: Haementeria officinalis, Placobdella lamothei and Placobdella parasitica. With the inclusion of three new mitochondrial genomes of leeches, a better understanding of evolution for this organelle within the group is emerging. We found that gene order and genomic arrangement in the three new mitochondrial genomes is identical to previously sequenced members of Clitellata. Interestingly, within Placobdella, we recovered a genus-specific duplication of the trnD gene located between cox2 and atp8. We performed phylogenetic analyses using 12 protein-coding genes and expanded our taxon sampling by including GenBank sequences for 39 taxa; the analyses confirm the monophyletic status of Clitellata, yet disagree in several respects with other phylogenetic hypotheses based on morphology and analyses of non-mitochondrial data. PMID:27176910

  7. Comparative Transcriptomic Analyses of Three Species of Placobdella (Rhynchobdellida: Glossiphoniidae) Confirms a Single Origin of Blood Feeding in Leeches.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Brugler, Mercer R; Kvist, Sebastian

    2016-02-01

    One of the recalcitrant questions regarding the evolutionary history of clitellate annelids involves the feeding preference of the common ancestor of extant rhynchobdellid (proboscis bearing) and arhynchobdellid (jaw bearing) leeches. Whereas early evidence, based on morphological data, pointed towards independent acquisitions of blood feeding in the 2 orders, molecular-based phylogenetic data suggest that the ancestor of modern leeches was a sanguivore. Here, we use a comparative transcriptomic approach in order to increase our understanding of the diversity of anticoagulation factors for 3 species of the genus Placobdella, for which comparative data have been lacking, and inspect these in light of archetypal anticoagulant data for both arhynchobdellid and other rhynchobdellid species. Notwithstanding the varying levels of host specificity displayed by the 3 different species of Placobdella, transcriptomic profiles with respect to anticoagulation factors were largely similar -this despite the fact that Placobdella kwetlumye only retains a single pair of salivary glands, as opposed to the 2 pairs more common in the genus. Results show that 9 different anticoagulant proteins and an additional 5 putative antihemostasis proteins are expressed in salivary secretions of the 3 species. In particular, an ortholog of the archetypal, single-copy, anticoagulant hirudin (not previously available as comparative data for rhynchobdellids) is present in at least 2 of 3 species examined, corroborating the notion of a single origin of blood feeding in the ancestral leech. PMID:26535976

  8. Morphology and aspects of growth of a trypanosome transmitted by the marine leech Johanssonia arctica (Piscicolidae) from Northern Norway.

    PubMed

    Karlsbakk, Egil; Haugen, Eli; Nylund, Are

    2005-09-01

    The fish leech Johanssonia arctica (Johansson, 1898) was collected from king crabs Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815) in Finnmark, N Norway, and allowed to feed on experimental fish hosts in the laboratory. This leech ingested blood from laboratory-reared cod (Gadus morhua) and halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). Some experimental halibut acquired trypanosome infection, with parasitaemia between ca. 500 and 60,000 trypanosomes ml(-1). The trypanosomes were of variable size and measured 39-90 microm (mean 57 microm) ca. 81 days post-infection. Characteristic features are cell striation, refractile cytoplasmic granules, anterior nucleus and a relatively long (ca. 6 microm, max 9 microm) distance from the posterior end to the kinetoplast. Following growth, the trypanosomes became increasingly slender, with fewer striae and a nucleus position less pronounced anterior. The trypanosome is considered distinct from a type transmitted by the leech Calliobdella nodulifera (Malm, 1863) in the NE Atlantic, but is regarded conspecific with a trypanosome transmitted by J. arctica in the NW Atlantic. This trypanosome has in the past been identified as Trypanosoma murmanensis Nikitin, 1927, a poorly described species. T. murmanensis cannot be recognized with certainty among the trypanosomes transmitted by C. nodulifera and J. arctica respectively. We propose that the J. arctica-transmitted species is considered T. murmanensis Nikitin, 1927 sensu stricto. PMID:16270801

  9. Construction of a medicinal leech transcriptome database and its application to the identification of leech homologs of neural and innate immune genes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, is an important model system for the study of nervous system structure, function, development, regeneration and repair. It is also a unique species in being presently approved for use in medical procedures, such as clearing of pooled blood following certain surgical procedures. It is a current, and potentially also future, source of medically useful molecular factors, such as anticoagulants and antibacterial peptides, which may have evolved as a result of its parasitizing large mammals, including humans. Despite the broad focus of research on this system, little has been done at the genomic or transcriptomic levels and there is a paucity of openly available sequence data. To begin to address this problem, we constructed whole embryo and adult central nervous system (CNS) EST libraries and created a clustered sequence database of the Hirudo transcriptome that is available to the scientific community. Results A total of ~133,000 EST clones from two directionally-cloned cDNA libraries, one constructed from mRNA derived from whole embryos at several developmental stages and the other from adult CNS cords, were sequenced in one or both directions by three different groups: Genoscope (French National Sequencing Center), the University of Iowa Sequencing Facility and the DOE Joint Genome Institute. These were assembled using the phrap software package into 31,232 unique contigs and singletons, with an average length of 827 nt. The assembled transcripts were then translated in all six frames and compared to proteins in NCBI's non-redundant (NR) and to the Gene Ontology (GO) protein sequence databases, resulting in 15,565 matches to 11,236 proteins in NR and 13,935 matches to 8,073 proteins in GO. Searching the database for transcripts of genes homologous to those thought to be involved in the innate immune responses of vertebrates and other invertebrates yielded a set of nearly one hundred evolutionarily conserved

  10. Intersegmental coordination of the leech swimming rhythm. II. Comparison of long and short chains of ganglia.

    PubMed

    Pearce, R A; Friesen, W O

    1985-12-01

    Preparations of the nearly isolated leech nerve cord containing as few as two ganglia are sufficient to generate intersegmentally coordinated swim oscillations, provided that they receive tonic excitation from other segments via the median connective (Faivre's nerve). Due to their greatly reduced complexity, these preparations should provide useful experimental models of neuronal coordination. As a step in the development of such models, we have characterized the intersegmental coordination of nerve-cord chains ranging from 2 to 18 ganglia in length. We found that increases in swim-cycle period give rise to increases in intersegmental delay between homologous motoneuron bursts. Thus the intersegmental phase relationships are nearly independent of period. The relationship between intersegmental delay and period is approximately linear and extrapolates to intersect the period axis at approximately 0.3 s. This value is in close agreement with the analogous measure derived from tension measurements in the intact swimming leech. Chain length (number of connected ganglia in a preparation) has a pronounced influence on the magnitude of intersegmental phase lag. The longest chains (18 ganglia) exhibited phase lags of approximately 8 degrees per segment, whereas for pairs of ganglia the phase lag was approximately 40 degrees per segment. This dependence of phase lags on chain length was apparent at both the motor and oscillator levels. The intersegmental phase lag is not the same in all parts of the nerve cord. Rather, it increases steadily toward the posterior end of the chain, providing a deceleration in the rearward progression of the metachronal activity. The rearward increase in intersegmental phase lag is paralleled by a propensity of chains taken from more posterior sections of the nerve cord to exhibit larger phase lags. That is, there appears to be a phase-lag gradient intrinsic to the nerve cord to account for the deceleration of activity. The anterior and

  11. Membrane properties and selective connexions of identified leech neurones in culture

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Paul A.; Nicholls, John G.; Ready, Donald F.

    1981-01-01

    1. Individual, identified neurones, dissected from the central nervous system of the leech and maintained in culture for several weeks, sprouted processes and formed synaptic connexions. 2. The action potentials of isolated touch (T), pressure (P), nociceptive (N) cells and Retzius cells resembled those of their counterparts in situ, enabling them to be recognized unambiguously. Their input resistances were approximately 4 times greater than those of corresponding cells within the animal. In T, P and N cells trains of impulses were followed by a pronounced after-hyperpolarization, as in the animal. 3. In certain cells, notably the L motoneurones, membrane properties became altered in culture. The current—voltage relation showed novel rectification and action potentials became much larger. 4. Numerous neurites often extended for hundreds of micrometres from isolated neurones and ended in typical growth cones. Electron micrographs revealed that many fine axons were braided together to form thicker fascicles. Frequently, the processes were orientated between two neighbouring cells rather than at random. The fine structure of the cytoplasm, nucleus and organelles in cultured cells resembled those of their counterparts in situ. The glial cell that normally surrounds the neurones was, however, absent. 5. Pairs of Retzius cells in culture usually became coupled electrically after about 6 days. Similarly L motoneurones became coupled in vitro. These junctions allowed current to pass in both directions and resembled those seen in the animal. 6. Selective connexions were made by certain types of cells. Thus, P sensory neurones did not become coupled with Retzius cells but did develop electrical connexions with L motoneurones, as in the animal. 7. Novel synaptic interactions not obvious in the animal could appear in culture. Retzius and L cells became electrically coupled and, in some instances where electrical coupling between Retzius cells failed to develop, chemically

  12. Voltage-dependent clamp of intracellular pH of identified leech glial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Deitmer, J W; Schneider, H P

    1995-01-01

    1. The intracellular pH (pHi) was measured in voltage-clamped, giant neuropile glial cells in isolated segmental ganglia of the leech Hirudo medicinalis, using double-barrelled, pH-sensitive microelectrodes and a slow, two-electrode voltage-clamp system. The potential sensitivity of the pHi regulation in these glial cells was found to be due to an electrogenic Na(+)-HCO3- cotransporter (Deitmer & Szatkowski, 1990). 2. In the presence of 5% CO2 and 24 mM HCO3- (pH 7.4), pHi shifted by 1 pH unit per 110 mV, corresponding to a stoichiometry of 2HCO3-: 1 Na+ of the cotransporter, while in Hepes-buffered CO2-HCO3(-)-free saline (pH 7.4), pHi changed by 1 pH unit per 274 mV. The potential sensitivity of pHi decreased at lower pHo, being 1 pH unit per 216 mV at external pH (pHo) 7.0. 3. Changing pHo between 7.8 and 6.6 induced pHi shifts with a slope of 0.72 pHi units per pHo unit in non-clamped, and of 0.80 pHi units per pHo unit in voltage-clamped cells, indicating that pHi largely followed pHo. The electrochemical gradient of H(+)-HCO3- across the glial membrane was around 56 mV, and remained almost constant over this pHo range. 4. The membrane potential-dependent and pHo-sensitive shifts of pHi were unaffected by amiloride, an inhibitor of Na(+)-H+ exchange. 5. The intracellular acidification upon lowering pHo could be reversed by depolarizing the membrane as predicted from a cotransporter, whose equilibrium follows the membrane potential by resetting pHi. 6. The results indicate that the pHi of leech glial cells is dominated by the electrogenic Na(+)-HCO3- cotransporter, and is hence a function of the membrane potential, and the Na+ and H(+)-HCO3- gradients, across the cell membrane. PMID:7658370

  13. The Ozobranchus leech as a mechanical vector for the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpes virus found latently infecting skin tumors on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.; Sutton, C.A.; Casey, R.N.; Casey, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of marine turtles is a neoplastic disease of ecological concern. A fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) is consistently present, usually at loads exceeding one virus copy per tumor cell. DNA from an array of parasites of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) was examined with quantitative PCR (qPCR) to determine whether any carried viral loads are sufficient to implicate them as vectors for FPTHV. Marine leeches (Ozobranchus spp.) were found to carry high viral DNA loads; some samples approached 10 million copies per leech. Isopycnic sucrose density gradient/qPCR analysis confirmed that some of these copies were associated with particles of the density of enveloped viruses. The data implicate the marine leech Ozobranchus as a mechanical vector for FPTHV. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of FPTHV gene expression indicated that most of the FPTHV copies in a fibropapilloma have restricted DNA polymerase expression, suggestive of latent infection.

  14. A new genus and species of fish leeches Dolichobdella rubra, gen. n., sp. n., (Clitellata, Hirudinida, Piscicolidae) from the northern Sea ofJapan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Utevsky, Serge Y.; Chernyshev, Alexei V.

    2013-02-01

    A new species of fish leeches, Dolichobdella rubra gen. n., sp. n., was found in samples collected by RV Akademik M.A. Lavrentyev in the northern Sea of Japan from 470-528 m during the joint Russian-German expedition SoJaBio (Sea of Japan Biodiversity Studies) in August 2010. The leech does not exceed 13 mm in length and has the following morphological characteristics: body elongated, smooth, lacking gills and pulsatile vesicles; eyes and ocelli absent; coloration reddish; female gonopore larger than male one; 6pairs of testisacs; accessory glands, conductive tissue and copulatory area present; ovisacs short; bursa long; coelomic system reduced.

  15. Investigating Elastic Anisotropy of the Leech River Complex, Vancouver Island using finite-frequency sensitivity kernels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matharu, G.; Bostock, M. G.; Christensen, N. I.; Tromp, J.; Peter, D. B.

    2012-12-01

    The Leech River Complex (LRC) of southern Vancouver Island is part of a once continuous belt of Cretaceous sandstone, mudstone and volcanics that formed an accretionary wedge along the northwestern margin of North America. Metamorphism at 50 Ma to prehnite-pumpellyite, greenschist, amphibolite and blueschist facies produced pervasive foliations with strong phyllosilicate lattice preferred orientations. Laboratory measurements and in-situ S-wave splitting analysis of tectonic tremor wavetrains indicate that this fabric produces substantial S-wave anisotropy of up to 30%. In this study we seek to gain further understanding on the nature of anisotropy within the LRC using high signal to noise ratio low frequency earthquake (LFE) templates and 3-D simulations from the spectral element method (SEM). The LFEs are characterized by impulsive, double couple, point sources and lie along a surface between 27 and 37 km depth that is inferred to be the plate boundary, immediately underlying the LRC. The SEM modelling employs a regional mesh that incorporates realistic topography, bathymetry and a 3-D tomographic P-wave velocity model of southern Vancouver Island. It allows us to readily simulate wave propagation in general anisotropic media with up to 21 independent elastic constants. We will investigate the orientation and distribution of anisotropy within the LRC by employing sensitivity kernels determined using adjoint methods in conjunction with SEM.

  16. A Tale of Transmission: Aeromonas veronii Activity within Leech-Exuded Mucus.

    PubMed

    Ott, Brittany M; Dacks, Andrew M; Ryan, Kenneth J; Rio, Rita V M

    2016-05-01

    Transmission, critical to the establishment and persistence of host-associated microbiotas, also exposes symbionts to new environmental conditions. With horizontal transmission, these different conditions represent major lifestyle shifts. Yet genome-wide analyses of how microbes adjust their transcriptomes toward these dramatic shifts remain understudied. Here, we provide a comprehensive and comparative analysis of the global transcriptional profiles of a symbiont as it shifts between lifestyles during transmission. The gammaproteobacteriumAeromonas veroniiis transmitted from the gut of the medicinal leech to other hosts via host mucosal castings, yetA. veroniican also transition from mucosal habitancy to a free-living lifestyle. These three lifestyles are characterized by distinct physiological constraints and consequently lifestyle-specific changes in the expression of stress-response genes. Mucus-boundA. veroniihad the greatest expression in terms of both the number of loci and levels of transcription of stress-response mechanisms. However, these bacteria are still capable of proliferating within the mucus, suggesting the availability of nutrients within this environment. We found thatA. veroniialters transcription of loci in a synthetic pathway that obtains and incorporatesN-acetylglucosamine (NAG; a major component of mucus) into the bacterial cell wall, enabling proliferation. Our results demonstrate that symbionts undergo dramatic local adaptation, demonstrated by widespread transcriptional changes, throughout the process of transmission that allows them to thrive while they encounter new environments which further shape their ecology and evolution. PMID:26896136

  17. Characterisation of separated end hyaluronan oligosaccharides from leech hyaluronidase and evaluation of angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lv, Mengxian; Wang, Miao; Cai, Weiwei; Hao, Wenxing; Yuan, Panhong; Kang, Zhen

    2016-05-20

    Hyaluronan oligosaccharides (o-HAs), especially saturated o-HAs, have attracted intensive attention due to their potential applications in medical treatments. In this study, the hydrolysis process of leech hyaluronidase (LHase) towards the hyaluronan was investigated by HPLC and HPLC/ESI-MS. The proportions of hyaluronan tetrasaccharide (HA4) with hexasaccharide (HA6), end products, were illustrated to have a relationship with the amount of LHase. Higher yield of HA4 was achieved with higher activity of LHase. After optimisation of the packing resin and operation parameters (balanced pH, elution concentration, elution volume and elution flow rate), the highly pure HA4 and HA6 were efficiently separated and prepared by combining ion exchange Q-Sepharose Fast Flow and size exclusion column chromatography. Compared with o-HAs (average Mr of 4000 Da), HA4 and HA6 were demonstrated to show higher activity for promoting angiogenesis, which was similar with the corresponding HA4 and HA6 produced by bovine testicular hyaluronidase. The pure HA4 and HA6 that prepared from LHase will attract intensive studies and be used in potential applications in near future. PMID:26917404

  18. Enhanced production of leech hyaluronidase by optimizing secretion and cultivation in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Kang, Zhen; Zhang, Na; Zhang, Yunfeng

    2016-01-01

    Leech hyaluronidase (LHAase) was recently cloned and successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris. To increase its secretory expression level, four signal peptides (nsB, YTP1, SCS3, and HKR1) and six amphipathic peptides (APs) were comparatively investigated. After substitution with nsB and fusion with AP2, the production of LHAase was significantly increased, from 8.42 × 10(5) to 1.24 × 10(6) U/ml. Compared with the parental LHAase, the variant AP2-LHAase showed a lower optimum pH (5.0), higher optimum temperature (50 °C), and a broader range of thermal stability (20-60 °C). To further promote fermentative production of the variant AP2-LHAase, the cultivation temperature was systematically optimized according to cell viability and alcohol oxidase activity. Eventually, through a combination of N-terminal engineering and optimization of cultivation, the production of LHAase was improved to 1.68 × 10(6) U/ml, with a high productivity of 1.87 × 10(4) U/ml/h. PMID:26476646

  19. Pleated septate junctions in leech photoreceptors: ultrastructure, arrangement of septa, gate and fence functions.

    PubMed

    Aschenbrenner, S; Walz, B

    1998-08-01

    The leech photoreceptor forms a unicellular epithelium: every cell surrounds an extracellular "vacuole" that is connected to the remaining extracellular space via narrow clefts containing pleated septate junctions. We analyzed the complete structural layout of all septa within the junctional complex in elastic brightfield stereo electron micrographs of semithin serial sections from photoreceptors infiltrated with colloidal lanthanum. The septa form tortuous interseptal corridors that are spatially continuous, and open ended basally and apically. Individual septa seem to be impermeable to lanthanum; interseptal corridors form the only diffusional pathway for this ion. The junctions form no diffusion barrier for the electron-dense tracer Ba2+, but they hinder the diffusion of various hydrophilic fluorescent dyes as demonstrated by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) of live cells. Even those dyes that penetrate gap junctions do not diffuse beyond the septate junctions. The aqueous diffusion pathway within the septal corridors is, therefore, less permeable than the gap-junctional pore. Our morphological results combined with published electrophysiological data suggest that the septa themselves are not completely tight for small physiologically relevant ions. We also examined, by CLSM, whether the septate junctions create a permeability barrier for the lateral diffusion of fluorescent lipophilic dyes incorporated into the peripheral membrane domain. AFC16, claimed to remain in the outer membrane leaflet, does not diffuse beyond the junctional region, whereas DiIC16, claimed to flip-flop, does. Thus, pleated septate junctions, like vertebrate tight junctions, contribute to the maintenance of cell polarity. PMID:9662648

  20. Multivariable harmonic balance analysis of the neuronal oscillator for leech swimming.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhiyong; Zheng, Min; Friesen, W Otto; Iwasaki, Tetsuya

    2008-12-01

    Biological systems, and particularly neuronal circuits, embody a very high level of complexity. Mathematical modeling is therefore essential for understanding how large sets of neurons with complex multiple interconnections work as a functional system. With the increase in computing power, it is now possible to numerically integrate a model with many variables to simulate behavior. However, such analysis can be time-consuming and may not reveal the mechanisms underlying the observed phenomena. An alternative, complementary approach is mathematical analysis, which can demonstrate direct and explicit relationships between a property of interest and system parameters. This paper introduces a mathematical tool for analyzing neuronal oscillator circuits based on multivariable harmonic balance (MHB). The tool is applied to a model of the central pattern generator (CPG) for leech swimming, which comprises a chain of weakly coupled segmental oscillators. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the MHB method and provide analytical explanations for some CPG properties. In particular, the intersegmental phase lag is estimated to be the sum of a nominal value and a perturbation, where the former depends on the structure and span of the neuronal connections and the latter is roughly proportional to the period gradient, communication delay, and the reciprocal of the intersegmental coupling strength. PMID:18663565

  1. Axon outgrowth along segmental nerves in the leech. II. Identification of actual guidance cells

    SciTech Connect

    Braun, J.; Stent, G.S.

    1989-04-01

    Some peripheral neurons, previously identified as candidate guidance cells for axonal outgrowth along the segmental nerves in embryos of the glossiphoniid leech Helobdella triserialis, were photoablated by laser illumination to ascertain whether their presence is necessary for generation of the normal axonal growth pattern. These experiments showed that focal photoablation of peripheral neurons nz3 or pz8 prevents normal axonal outgrowth along the ultraposterior nerve path or along the distal sector of the medial-anterior nerve path, respectively, in conformance with the inference that these two neurons do function as guidance cells. However, ablation of these neurons affects axon outgrowth only if the neurons are illuminated prior to the end of a sensitive period in segmental development. By contrast, photoablation of previously identified candidate guidance cells situated on the anterior-anterior and posterior-posterior nerve paths, among them peripheral neurons nz1, nz2, oz1, oz2, pz6, and LD1, does not prevent normal axonal outgrowth. It is possible that the guidance role, if any, of these neurons is facultative rather than necessary, since each of the several neurons that lies on either of these nerve paths may provide an alternative axon guidance cue.

  2. Identification of iron and heme utilization genes in Aeromonas and their role in the colonization of the leech digestive tract

    PubMed Central

    Maltz, Michele; LeVarge, Barbara L.; Graf, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    It is known that many pathogens produce high-affinity iron uptake systems like siderophores and/or proteins for utilizing iron bound to heme-containing molecules, which facilitate iron-acquisition inside a host. In mutualistic digestive-tract associations, iron uptake systems have not been as well studied. We investigated the importance of two iron utilization systems within the beneficial digestive-tract association Aeromonas veronii and the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana. Siderophores were detected in A. veronii using chrome azurol S. Using a mini Tn5, a transposon insertion in viuB generated a mutant unable to utilize iron using siderophores. The A. veronii genome was then searched for genes potentially involved in iron utilization bound to heme-containing molecules. A putative outer membrane heme receptor (hgpB) was identified with a transcriptional activator, termed hgpR, downstream. The hgpB gene was interrupted with an antibiotic resistance cassette in both the parent strain and the viuB mutant, yielding an hgpB mutant and a mutant with both iron uptake systems inactivated. In vitro assays indicated that hgpB is involved in utilizing iron bound to heme and that both iron utilization systems are important for A. veronii to grow in blood. In vivo colonization assays revealed that the ability to acquire iron from heme-containing molecules is critical for A. veronii to colonize the leech gut. Since iron and specifically heme utilization is important in this mutualistic relationship and has a potential role in virulence factor of other organisms, genomes from different Aeromonas strains (both clinical and environmental) were queried with iron utilization genes of A. veronii. This analysis revealed that in contrast to the siderophore utilization genes heme utilization genes are widely distributed among aeromonads. The importance of heme utilization in the colonization of the leech further confirms that symbiotic and pathogenic relationships possess similar

  3. Hm-MyD88 and Hm-SARM: Two key regulators of the neuroimmune system and neural repair in the medicinal leech

    PubMed Central

    Rodet, F.; Tasiemski, A.; Boidin-Wichlacz, C.; Van Camp, C.; Vuillaume, C.; Slomianny, C.; Salzet, M.

    2015-01-01

    Unlike mammals, the CNS of the medicinal leech can regenerate damaged neurites, thus restoring neural functions after lesion. We previously demonstrated that the injured leech nerve cord is able to mount an immune response promoting the regenerative processes. Indeed neurons and microglia express sensing receptors like Hm-TLR1, a leech TLR ortholog, associated with chemokine release in response to a septic challenge or lesion. To gain insights into the TLR signaling pathways involved during these neuroimmune responses, members of the MyD88 family were investigated. In the present study, we report the characterization of Hm-MyD88 and Hm-SARM. The expression of their encoding gene was strongly regulated in leech CNS not only upon immune challenge but also during CNS repair, suggesting their involvement in both processes. This work also showed for the first time that differentiated neurons of the CNS could respond to LPS through a MyD88-dependent signalling pathway, while in mammals, studies describing the direct effect of LPS on neurons and the outcomes of such treatment are scarce and controversial. In the present study, we established that this PAMP induced the relocalization of Hm-MyD88 in isolated neurons. PMID:25880897

  4. Hm-MyD88 and Hm-SARM: two key regulators of the neuroimmune system and neural repair in the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Rodet, F; Tasiemski, A; Boidin-Wichlacz, C; Van Camp, C; Vuillaume, C; Slomianny, C; Salzet, M

    2015-01-01

    Unlike mammals, the CNS of the medicinal leech can regenerate damaged neurites, thus restoring neural functions after lesion. We previously demonstrated that the injured leech nerve cord is able to mount an immune response promoting the regenerative processes. Indeed neurons and microglia express sensing receptors like Hm-TLR1, a leech TLR ortholog, associated with chemokine release in response to a septic challenge or lesion. To gain insights into the TLR signaling pathways involved during these neuroimmune responses, members of the MyD88 family were investigated. In the present study, we report the characterization of Hm-MyD88 and Hm-SARM. The expression of their encoding gene was strongly regulated in leech CNS not only upon immune challenge but also during CNS repair, suggesting their involvement in both processes. This work also showed for the first time that differentiated neurons of the CNS could respond to LPS through a MyD88-dependent signalling pathway, while in mammals, studies describing the direct effect of LPS on neurons and the outcomes of such treatment are scarce and controversial. In the present study, we established that this PAMP induced the relocalization of Hm-MyD88 in isolated neurons. PMID:25880897

  5. Microbial challenge promotes the regenerative process of the injured central nervous system of the medicinal leech by inducing the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides in neurons and microglia.

    PubMed

    Schikorski, David; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Leippe, Matthias; Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Slomianny, Christian; Macagno, Eduardo; Salzet, Michel; Tasiemski, Aurélie

    2008-07-15

    Following trauma, the CNS of the medicinal leech, unlike the mammalian CNS, has a strong capacity to regenerate neurites and synaptic connections that restore normal function. In this study, we show that this regenerative process is enhanced by a controlled bacterial infection, suggesting that induction of regeneration of normal CNS function may depend critically upon the coinitiation of an immune response. We explore the interaction between the activation of a neuroimmune response and the process of regeneration by assaying the potential roles of two newly characterized antimicrobial peptides. Our data provide evidence that microbial components differentially induce the transcription, by microglial cells, of both antimicrobial peptide genes, the products of which accumulate rapidly at sites in the CNS undergoing regeneration following axotomy. Using a preparation of leech CNS depleted of microglial cells, we also demonstrate the production of antimicrobial peptides by neurons. Interestingly, in addition to exerting antibacterial properties, both peptides act as promoters of the regenerative process of axotomized leech CNS. These data are the first to report the neuronal synthesis of antimicrobial peptides and their participation in the immune response and the regeneration of the CNS. Thus, the leech CNS appears as an excellent model for studying the implication of immune molecules in neural repair. PMID:18606660

  6. Microbial challenge promotes the regenerative process of the injured central nervous system of the medicinal leech by inducing the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides in neurons and microglia

    PubMed Central

    Schikorski, David; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Leippe, Matthias; Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Slomianny, Christian; Macagno, Eduardo; Salzet, Michel; Tasiemski, Aurélie

    2010-01-01

    Following trauma, the central nervous system (CNS) of the medicinal leech, unlike the mammalian CNS, has a strong capacity to regenerate neurites and synaptic connections that restore normal function. Here, we show that this regenerative process is enhanced by a controlled bacterial infection, suggesting that induction of regeneration of normal CNS function may depend critically upon the co-initiation of an immune response. We explore the interaction between the activation of a neuroimmune response and the process of regeneration by assaying the potential roles of two newly characterized antimicrobial peptides. Our data provide evidence that microbial components differentially induce the transcription, by microglial cells, of both antimicrobial peptide genes, the products of which accumulate rapidly at sites in the CNS undergoing regeneration following axotomy. Using a preparation of leech CNS depleted of microglial cells, we also demonstrate the production of antimicrobial peptides by neurons. Interestingly, in addition to exerting antibacterial properties, both peptides act as promoters of the regenerative process of axotomized leech CNS. These data are the first to report the neuronal synthesis of antimicrobial peptides and their participation in the immune response and the regeneration of the CNS. Thus, the leech CNS appears as an excellent model for studying the implication of immune molecules in neural repair. PMID:18606660

  7. GENERAL: Bifurcation of a Saddle-Node Limit Cycle with Homoclinic Orbits Satisfying the Small Lobe Condition in a Leech Neuron Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yooer, Chi-Feng; Xu, Jian-Xue; Zhang, Xin-Hua

    2009-08-01

    Mechanism of period-adding cascades with chaos in a reduced leech neuron model is suggested as the bifurcation of a saddle-node limit cycle with homoclinic orbits satisfying the “small lobe condition", instead of the blue-sky catastrophe. In every spiking adding, the new spike emerges at the end of the spiking phase of the bursters.

  8. Systematics of the freshwater leech genus Hirudinaria Whitman, 1886 (Arhynchobdellida, Hirudinidae) from northeastern Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Tubtimon, Jaruwan; Jeratthitikul, Ekgachai; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Kongim, Bangon; Panha, Somsak

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In total, 435 specimens of the Southeast Asian freshwater leech species within the Hirudinidae family were collected from 17 locations of various types of aquatic habitats in northeastern Thailand. They were all morphologically placed within the genus Hirudinaria Whitman, 1886 and there were three distinct species: the common Hirudinaria manillensis, 78.2% of all collected specimens and at all 17 locations, Hirudinaria javanica at 20.3% of collected samples and from five locations and a rarer unidentified morphospecies (Hirudinaria sp.) with six samples from only two locations. The karyotypes of these three species were examined across their range in this study area for 38, 11 and 6 adult specimens of Hirudinaria manillensis, Hirudinaria javanica and Hirudinaria sp., respectively. This revealed different chromosome numbers among all three species, with Hirudinaria javanica having n = 13, 2n = 26, Hirudinaria manillensis lacked one small chromosome pair with n = 12, 2n = 24, and the unknown Hirudinaria sp. differed from any known Hirudinaria karyotypes in exhibiting a higher chromosome number (n = 14, 2n = 28) and a gradual change in size from large to small chromosomes. This suggests that the unknown Hirudinaria sp. is a new biological species. However, phylogenetic analysis based upon a 658 bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene placed this unknown morphospecies within the Hirudinaria manillensis clade, perhaps then suggesting a recent sympatric speciation, although this requires further confirmation. Regardless, the chromosomes of all three species were asymmetric, most with telocentric elements. A distinct bi-armed chromosome marker was present on the first chromosome pair in Hirudinaria javanica, whilst it was on pairs 1, 2, 3 and 5 in Hirudinaria manillensis, and on pairs 3 and 5 for the unknown Hirudinaria sp. PMID:25493052

  9. Regional differences in BMP-dependence of dorsoventral patterning in the leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Dian-Han; Shankland, Marty; Weisblat, David A.

    2012-01-01

    In the leech Helobdella, the ectoderm exhibits a high degree of morphological homonomy between body segments, but pattern elements in lateral ectoderm arise via distinct cell lineages in the segments of the rostral and midbody regions. In each of the four rostral segments, a complete set of ventrolateral (O fate) and dorsolateral (P fate) ectodermal pattern elements arises from a single founder cell, op. In the 28 midbody and caudal segments, however, there are two initially indeterminate o/p founder cells; the more dorsal of these is induced to adopt the P fate by BMP5-8 emanating from the dorsalmost ectoderm, while the more ventral cell assumes the O fate. Previous work has suggested that the dorsoventral patterning of O and P fates differs in the rostral region, but the role of BMP signaling in those segments has not been investigated. We show here that suppression of dorsal BMP5-8 signaling (which effects a P-to-O fate change in the midbody) has no effect on the patterning of O and P fates in the rostral region. Furthermore, ectopic expression of BMP5-8 in the ventral ectoderm (which induces an O-to-P fate change in the midbody) has no effect in the rostral region. Finally, expression of a dominant-negative BMP receptor (which induces a P-to-O fate change in the midbody) fails to affect O/P patterning in the rostral region. Thus, the rostral segments appear to use some mechanism other than BMP signaling to pattern O and P cell fates along the dorsoventral axis. From a mechanistic standpoint, the OP lineage of the rostral segments and the O-P equivalence group of the midbody and caudal segments constitute distinct developmental modules that rely to differing degrees on positional cues from surrounding ectoderm in order to specify homonomous cell fates. PMID:22641012

  10. Cycling of Dense Core Vesicles Involved in Somatic Exocytosis of Serotonin by Leech Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Trueta, Citlali; Kuffler, Damien P.; De-Miguel, Francisco F.

    2012-01-01

    We studied the cycling of dense core vesicles producing somatic exocytosis of serotonin. Our experiments were made using electron microscopy and vesicle staining with fluorescent dye FM1-43 in Retzius neurons of the leech, which secrete serotonin from clusters of dense core vesicles in a frequency-dependent manner. Electron micrographs of neurons at rest or after 1 Hz stimulation showed two pools of dense core vesicles. A perinuclear pool near Golgi apparatuses, from which vesicles apparently form, and a peripheral pool with vesicle clusters at a distance from the plasma membrane. By contrast, after 20 Hz electrical stimulation 47% of the vesicle clusters were apposed to the plasma membrane, with some omega exocytosis structures. Dense core and small clear vesicles apparently originating from endocytosis were incorporated in multivesicular bodies. In another series of experiments, neurons were stimulated at 20 Hz while bathed in a solution containing peroxidase. Electron micrographs of these neurons contained gold particles coupled to anti-peroxidase antibodies in dense core vesicles and multivesicular bodies located near the plasma membrane. Cultured neurons depolarized with high potassium in the presence of FM1-43 displayed superficial fluorescent spots, each reflecting a vesicle cluster. A partial bleaching of the spots followed by another depolarization in the presence of FM1-43 produced restaining of some spots, other spots disappeared, some remained without restaining and new spots were formed. Several hours after electrical stimulation the FM1-43 spots accumulated at the center of the somata. This correlated with electron micrographs of multivesicular bodies releasing their contents near Golgi apparatuses. Our results suggest that dense core vesicle cycling related to somatic serotonin release involves two steps: the production of clear vesicles and multivesicular bodies after exocytosis, and the formation of new dense core vesicles in the perinuclear

  11. Phase relationships between segmentally organized oscillators in the leech heartbeat pattern generating network.

    PubMed

    Masino, Mark A; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2002-03-01

    Motor pattern generating networks that produce segmentally distributed motor outflow are often portrayed as a series of coupled segmental oscillators that produce a regular progression (constant phase differences) in their rhythmic activity. The leech heartbeat central pattern generator is paced by a core timing network, which consists of two coupled segmental oscillators in segmental ganglia 3 and 4. The segmental oscillators comprise paired mutually inhibitory oscillator interneurons and the processes of intersegmental coordinating interneurons. As a first step in understanding the coordination of segmental motor outflow by this pattern generator, we describe the functional synaptic interactions, and activity and phase relationships of the heart interneurons of the timing network, in isolated nerve cord preparations. In the timing network, most (approximately 75%) of the coordinating interneuron action potentials were generated at a primary spike initiation site located in ganglion 4 (G4). A secondary spike initiation site in ganglion 3 (G3) became active in the absence of activity at the primary site. Generally, the secondary site was characterized by a reluctance to burst and a lower spike frequency, when compared with the primary site. Oscillator interneurons in G3 inhibited spike activity at both initiation sites, whereas oscillator interneurons in G4 inhibited spike activity only at the primary initiation site. This asymmetry in the control of spike activity in the coordinating interneurons may account for the observation that the phase of the coordinating interneurons is more tightly linked to the G3 than G4 oscillator interneurons. The cycle period of the timing network and the phase difference between the ipsilateral G3 and G4 oscillator interneurons were regular within individual preparations, but varied among preparations. This variation in phase differences observed across preparations implies that modulated intrinsic membrane and synaptic properties

  12. The present state of the leech fauna (Annelida, Hirudinea) in the Upper Irtysh cascade of water reservoirs

    PubMed Central

    Fedorova, Lyudmila I.; Kaygorodova, Irina A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Hirudinea is a small and ecologically important group of aquatic organisms. However, up to date, the leech fauna of Kazakhstan is poorly studied. The presence of large under-collected areas, such as the Upper Irtysh basin, makes biodiversity studies concerning these invertebrates from Kazakhstan relevant. In this paper, the latest information on species diversity of the freshwater hirudofauna of the Upper Irtysh cascade of water reservoirs, the Kazakhstan part of Irtysh River, is presented. It includes 10 free-living and parasitic species, of which 7 and 9 inhabit the Shulbinsk and the Bukhtarma reservoirs, respectively. These species belong to 2 orders, 3 families and 6 genera. The faunal list highlights four potentially new morphological species (Alboglossiphonia sp., Erpobdella sp., Piscicola sp. 1 and Piscicola sp. 2). Besides them, another three species Erpobdella vilnensis, Helobdella stagnalis and Theromyzon tessulatum recorded for the first time in the area. The exact systematic position is stated for all leech taxa. Each species from the list accompanied with information on taxonomic synonymy, data on its geographic distribution, and brief summary of morphological and ecological characteristics. PMID:27408572

  13. The present state of the leech fauna (Annelida, Hirudinea) in the Upper Irtysh cascade of water reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Fedorova, Lyudmila I; Kaygorodova, Irina A

    2016-01-01

    Hirudinea is a small and ecologically important group of aquatic organisms. However, up to date, the leech fauna of Kazakhstan is poorly studied. The presence of large under-collected areas, such as the Upper Irtysh basin, makes biodiversity studies concerning these invertebrates from Kazakhstan relevant. In this paper, the latest information on species diversity of the freshwater hirudofauna of the Upper Irtysh cascade of water reservoirs, the Kazakhstan part of Irtysh River, is presented. It includes 10 free-living and parasitic species, of which 7 and 9 inhabit the Shulbinsk and the Bukhtarma reservoirs, respectively. These species belong to 2 orders, 3 families and 6 genera. The faunal list highlights four potentially new morphological species (Alboglossiphonia sp., Erpobdella sp., Piscicola sp. 1 and Piscicola sp. 2). Besides them, another three species Erpobdella vilnensis, Helobdella stagnalis and Theromyzon tessulatum recorded for the first time in the area. The exact systematic position is stated for all leech taxa. Each species from the list accompanied with information on taxonomic synonymy, data on its geographic distribution, and brief summary of morphological and ecological characteristics. PMID:27408572

  14. Characterization of a synaptiform transmission between a neuron and a glial cell in the leech central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Britz, Frank C; Lohr, Christian; Schmidt, Joachim; Deitmer, Joachim W

    2002-05-01

    The cross-talk between neurons and glial cells is receiving increased attention because of its potential role in information processing in nervous systems. Stimulation of a single identifiable neuron, the neurosecretory Leydig interneuron in segmental ganglia of the leech Hirudo medicinalis, which modulates specific behaviors in the leech, evokes membrane hyperpolarization directly in the giant glial cell (Schmidt and Deitmer. Eur J Neurosci 11:3125-3133, 1999). We have studied the neuron-to-glia signal transmission in the voltage-clamped giant glial cell to determine whether this interaction exhibits properties of a chemical synapse. The glial response had a mean latency of 4.9 s and was dependent on the action potential frequency; the glial cell responded to as few as five Leydig neuron action potentials in 50% of the trials. The glial current was sustained for minutes during repetitive Leydig neuron activity without any sign of desensitization. The current was sensitive to tetraethylammonium, and its reversal potential of -78 mV shifted with the external K+ concentration. The glial response increased with the duration of the neuronal action potentials and was sensitive to the external Ca2+/Mg2+ concentration ratio. The results suggest that Leydig neuron activity leads to a Ca2+-dependent release of transmitter from the neuronal dendrites, evoking an K+ outward current in the giant glial cell, implying a synapse-like transmission between a neuron and a glial cell. PMID:11968059

  15. Transcripts involved in hemostasis: Exploring salivary complexes from Haementeria vizottoi leeches through transcriptomics, phylogenetic studies and structural features.

    PubMed

    Amorim, Adriane Michele Xavier Prado; de Oliveira, Ursula Castro; Faria, Fernanda; Pasqualoto, Kerly Fernanda Mesquita; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Chudzinski-Tavassi, Ana Marisa

    2015-11-01

    Throughout evolution, parasites have adapted in order to successfully intervene in the host defense, producing specific peptides and proteins. Interestingly, these peptides and proteins have been exploited as potential drug candidates against several diseases. Furthermore, biotechnology studies and cDNA libraries have remarkably contributed to identify potentially bioactive molecules. In this regard, herein, a cDNA library of salivary complexes from Haementeria vizottoi leeches was constructed, the transcriptome was characterized and a phylogenetic analysis was performed considering antistasin-like and antiplatelet-like proteins. Hundred twenty three transcripts were identified coding for putative proteins involved in animal feeding (representing about 10% of the expression level). These sequences showed similarities with myohemerythrins, carbonic anhydrases, anticoagulants, antimicrobials, proteases and protease inhibitors. The phylogenetic analysis, regarding antistasin-like and antiplatetlet-like proteins, revealed two main clades in the Rhynchobdellida leeches. As expected, the sequences from H. vizottoi have presented high similarities with those types of proteins. Thus, our findings could be helpful not only to identify new coagulation inhibitors, but also to better understand the biological composition of the salivary complexes. PMID:26363292

  16. Solubilization, molecular forms, purification and substrate specificity of two acetylcholinesterases in the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis).

    PubMed Central

    Talesa, V; Grauso, M; Giovannini, E; Rosi, G; Toutant, J P

    1995-01-01

    Two acetylcholinesterases (AChE) differing in substrate and inhibitor specificities have been characterized in the medical leech (Hirudo medicinalis). A 'spontaneously-soluble' portion of AChE activity (SS-AChE) was recovered from haemolymph and from tissues dilacerated in low-salt buffer. A second portion of AChE activity was obtained after extraction of tissues in low-salt buffer alone or containing 1% Triton X-100 [detergent-soluble (DS-) AChE). Both enzymes were purified to homogeneity by affinity chromatography on edrophonium- and concanavalin A-Sepharose columns. Denaturing SDS/PAGE under reducing conditions gave one band at 30 kDa for purified SS-AChE and 66 kDa for DS-AChE. Sephadex G-200 chromatography indicated a molecular mass of 66 kDa for native SS-AChE and of 130 kDa for DS-AChE. SS-AChE showed a single peak sedimenting at 5.0 S in sucrose gradients with or without Triton X-100, suggesting that it was a hydrophylic monomer (G1). DS-AChE sedimented as a single 6.1-6.5 S peak in the presence of Triton X-100 and aggregated in the absence of detergent. A treatment with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C suppressed aggregation and gave a 7 S peak. DS-AChE was thus an amphiphilic glycolipid-anchored dimer. Substrate specificities were studied using p-nitrophenyl esters (acetate, propionate and butyrate) and corresponding thiocholine esters as substrates. SS-AChE displayed only limited variations in Km values with charged and uncharged substrates, suggesting a reduced influence of electrostatic interactions in the enzyme substrate affinity. By contrast, DS-AChE displayed higher Km values with uncharged than with charged substrates. SS-AChE was more sensitive to eserine and di-isopropyl fluorophosphate (IC50 5 x 10(-8) and 10(-8) M respectively) than DS-AChE (5 x 10(-7) and 5 x 10(-5) M. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:7702560

  17. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey. Further constraints on the planet architecture of the HR 8799 system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, A.-L.; Skemer, A. J.; Hinz, P. M.; Desidera, S.; Esposito, S.; Gratton, R.; Marzari, F.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Biller, B. A.; Defrère, D.; Bailey, V. P.; Leisenring, J. M.; Apai, D.; Bonnefoy, M.; Brandner, W.; Buenzli, E.; Claudi, R. U.; Close, L. M.; Crepp, J. R.; De Rosa, R. J.; Eisner, J. A.; Fortney, J. J.; Henning, T.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Kopytova, T. G.; Males, J. R.; Mesa, D.; Morzinski, K. M.; Oza, A.; Patience, J.; Pinna, E.; Rajan, A.; Schertl, D.; Schlieder, J. E.; Su, K. Y. L.; Vaz, A.; Ward-Duong, K.; Weigelt, G.; Woodward, C. E.

    2015-04-01

    Context. Astrometric monitoring of directly imaged exoplanets allows the study of their orbital parameters and system architectures. Because most directly imaged planets have long orbital periods (>20 AU), accurate astrometry is challenging when based on data acquired on timescales of a few years and usually with different instruments. The LMIRCam camera on the Large Binocular Telescope is being used for the LBT Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) survey to search for and characterize young and adolescent exoplanets in L' band (3.8 μm), including their system architectures. Aims: We first aim to provide a good astrometric calibration of LMIRCam. Then, we derive new astrometry, test the predictions of the orbital model of 8:4:2:1 mean motion resonance proposed for the system, and perform new orbital fitting of the HR 8799 bcde planets. We also present deep limits on a putative fifth planet inside the known planets. Methods: We use observations of HR 8799 and the Θ1 Ori C field obtained during the same run in October 2013. Results: We first characterize the distortion of LMIRCam. We determine a platescale and a true north orientation for the images of 10.707 ± 0.012 mas/pix and -0.430 ± 0.076°, respectively. The errors on the platescale and true north orientation translate into astrometric accuracies at a separation of 1'' of 1.1 mas and 1.3 mas, respectively. The measurements for all planets agree within 3σ with a predicted ephemeris. The orbital fitting based on the new astrometric measurements favors an architecture for the planetary system based on 8:4:2:1 mean motion resonance. The detection limits allow us to exclude a fifth planet slightly brighter or more massive than HR 8799 b at the location of the 2:1 resonance with HR 8799 e (~9.5 AU) and about twice as bright as HR 8799 cde at the location of the 3:1 resonance with HR 8799 e (~7.5 AU). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT

  18. Interaction of HmC1q with leech microglial cells: involvement of C1qBP-related molecule in the induction of cell chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In invertebrates, the medicinal leech is considered to be an interesting and appropriate model to study neuroimmune mechanisms. Indeed, this non-vertebrate animal can restore normal function of its central nervous system (CNS) after injury. Microglia accumulation at the damage site has been shown to be required for axon sprouting and for efficient regeneration. We characterized HmC1q as a novel chemotactic factor for leech microglial cell recruitment. In mammals, a C1q-binding protein (C1qBP alias gC1qR), which interacts with the globular head of C1q, has been reported to participate in C1q-mediated chemotaxis of blood immune cells. In this study, we evaluated the chemotactic activities of a recombinant form of HmC1q and its interaction with a newly characterized leech C1qBP that acts as its potential ligand. Methods Recombinant HmC1q (rHmC1q) was produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Chemotaxis assays were performed to investigate rHmC1q-dependent microglia migration. The involvement of a C1qBP-related molecule in this chemotaxis mechanism was assessed by flow cytometry and with affinity purification experiments. The cellular localization of C1qBP mRNA and protein in leech was investigated using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization techniques. Results rHmC1q-stimulated microglia migrate in a dose-dependent manner. This rHmC1q-induced chemotaxis was reduced when cells were preincubated with either anti-HmC1q or anti-human C1qBP antibodies. A C1qBP-related molecule was characterized in leech microglia. Conclusions A previous study showed that recruitment of microglia is observed after HmC1q release at the cut end of axons. Here, we demonstrate that rHmC1q-dependent chemotaxis might be driven via a HmC1q-binding protein located on the microglial cell surface. Taken together, these results highlight the importance of the interaction between C1q and C1qBP in microglial activation leading to nerve repair in the medicinal leech. PMID:22356764

  19. Expression and characterization of the N-terminal half of antistasin, an anticoagulant protein derived from the leech Haementeria officinalis.

    PubMed

    Palladino, L O; Tung, J S; Dunwiddie, C; Alves, K; Lenny, A B; Przysiecki, C; Lehman, D; Nutt, E; Cuca, G C; Law, S W

    1991-02-01

    Antistasin, a 15-kDa anticoagulant protein isolated from the salivary glands of the Mexican leech Haementeria officinalis, has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of factor Xa in the blood coagulation cascade. Antistasin possesses a twofold internal homology between the N- and C-terminal halves of the molecule, suggesting a gene duplication event in the evolution of the antistasin gene. This structural feature also suggests that either or both halves of the protein may possess biological activity if expressed as separate domains. Because the N-terminal domain contains a factor Xa P1-reactive site, we chose to express this domain in an insect cell baculovirus expression system. Characterization of this recombinant half antistasin molecule reveals that the N-terminal domain inhibits factor Xa in vitro, with a K(i) of 1.7 nM. PMID:1821771

  20. The neurotoxic effects of hydrogen peroxide and copper in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga.

    PubMed

    Jovanovic, Zorica D; Stanojevic, Marija B; Nedeljkov, Vladimir B

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in cellular damage. Electrophysiological analyses have shown that membrane transport proteins are susceptible to ROS. In the present study, oxidative stress was induced in Retzius nerve cells of the leechHaemopis sanguisugaby bath application of 1 mM of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and 0.02 mM of copper (Cu) for 20 min. The H2O2/Cu(II) produced considerable changes in the electrical properties of the Retzius nerve cells. Intracellular recording of the resting membrane potential revealed that the neuronal membrane was depolarized in the presence of H2O2/Cu(II). We found that the amplitude of action potentials decreased, while the duration augmented in a progressive way along the drug exposure time. The combined application of H2O2and Cu(II) caused an initial excitation followed by depression of the spontaneous electrical activity. Voltage-clamp recordings revealed a second effect of the oxidant, a powerful inhibition of the outward potassium channels responsible for the repolarization of action potentials. The neurotoxic effect of H2O2/Cu(II) on the spontaneous spike electrogenesis and outward K(+)current of Retzius nerve cells was reduced in the presence of hydroxyl radical scavengers, dimethylthiourea and dimethyl sulfoxide, but not mannitol. This study provides evidence for the oxidative modification of outward potassium channels in Retzius nerve cells. The oxidative mechanism of the H2O2/Cu(II) system action on the electrical properties of Retzius neurons proposed in this study might have a wider significance, referring not only to leeches but also to mammalian neurons. PMID:26935393

  1. The neurotoxic effects of hydrogen peroxide and copper in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga

    PubMed Central

    Jovanovic, Zorica D.; Stanojevic, Marija B.; Nedeljkov, Vladimir B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Oxidative stress and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in cellular damage. Electrophysiological analyses have shown that membrane transport proteins are susceptible to ROS. In the present study, oxidative stress was induced in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga by bath application of 1 mM of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and 0.02 mM of copper (Cu) for 20 min. The H2O2/Cu(II) produced considerable changes in the electrical properties of the Retzius nerve cells. Intracellular recording of the resting membrane potential revealed that the neuronal membrane was depolarized in the presence of H2O2/Cu(II). We found that the amplitude of action potentials decreased, while the duration augmented in a progressive way along the drug exposure time. The combined application of H2O2 and Cu(II) caused an initial excitation followed by depression of the spontaneous electrical activity. Voltage-clamp recordings revealed a second effect of the oxidant, a powerful inhibition of the outward potassium channels responsible for the repolarization of action potentials. The neurotoxic effect of H2O2/Cu(II) on the spontaneous spike electrogenesis and outward K+ current of Retzius nerve cells was reduced in the presence of hydroxyl radical scavengers, dimethylthiourea and dimethyl sulfoxide, but not mannitol. This study provides evidence for the oxidative modification of outward potassium channels in Retzius nerve cells. The oxidative mechanism of the H2O2/Cu(II) system action on the electrical properties of Retzius neurons proposed in this study might have a wider significance, referring not only to leeches but also to mammalian neurons. PMID:26935393

  2. Population variation and individual maximum size in two leech populations: energy extraction from cannibalism or niche widening?

    PubMed

    Persson, Lennart; Elliott, J Malcolm

    2013-05-01

    The theory of cannibal dynamics predicts a link between population dynamics and individual life history. In particular, increased individual growth has, in both modeling and empirical studies, been shown to result from a destabilization of population dynamics. We used data from a long-term study of the dynamics of two leech (Erpobdella octoculata) populations to test the hypothesis that maximum size should be higher in a cycling population; one of the study populations exhibited a delayed feedback cycle while the other population showed no sign of cyclicity. A hump-shaped relationship between individual mass of 1-year-old leeches and offspring density the previous year was present in both populations. As predicted from the theory, the maximum mass of individuals was much larger in the fluctuating population. In contrast to predictions, the higher growth rate was not related to energy extraction from cannibalism. Instead, the higher individual mass is suggested to be due to increased availability of resources due to a niche widening with increased individual body mass. The larger individual mass in the fluctuating population was related to a stronger correlation between the densities of 1-year-old individuals and 2-year-old individuals the following year in this population. Although cannibalism was the major mechanism regulating population dynamics, its importance was negligible in terms of providing cannibalizing individuals with energy subsequently increasing their fecundity. Instead, the study identifies a need for theoretical and empirical studies on the largely unstudied interplay between ontogenetic niche shifts and cannibalistic population dynamics. PMID:23053229

  3. Mechanism of ammonia excretion in the freshwater leech Nephelopsis obscura: characterization of a primitive Rh protein and effects of high environmental ammonia.

    PubMed

    Quijada-Rodriguez, Alex R; Treberg, Jason R; Weihrauch, Dirk

    2015-09-15

    Remarkably little is known about nitrogenous excretion in freshwater invertebrates. In the current study, the nitrogen excretion mechanism in the carnivorous ribbon leech, Nephelopsis obscura, was investigated. Excretion experiments showed that the ribbon leech is ammonotelic, excreting 166.0 ± 8.6 nmol·grams fresh weight (gFW)(-1)·h(-1) ammonia and 14.7 ± 1.9 nmol·gFW(-1)·h(-1) urea. Exposure to high and low pH hampered and enhanced, respectively, ammonia excretion rates, indicating an acid-linked ammonia trapping mechanism across the skin epithelia. Accordingly, compared with body tissues, the skin exhibited elevated mRNA expression levels of a newly identified Rhesus protein and at least in tendency the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Pharmacological experiments and enzyme assays suggested an ammonia excretion mechanism that involves the V-ATPase, Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, and carbonic anhydrase, but not necessarily a functional microtubule system. Most importantly, functional expression studies of the identified Rh protein cloned from leech skin tissue revealed an ammonia transport capability of this protein when expressed in yeast. The leech Rh-ammonia transporter (NoRhp) is a member of the primitive Rh protein family, which is a sister group to the common ancestor of vertebrate ammonia-transporting Rh proteins. Exposure to high environmental ammonia (HEA) caused a new adjustment of body ammonia, accompanied with a decrease in NoRhp and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase mRNA levels, but unaltered ammonia excretion rates. To our knowledge, this is only the second comprehensive study regarding the ammonia excretion mechanisms in a freshwater invertebrate, but our results show that basic processes of ammonia excretion appear to also be comparable to those found in freshwater fish, suggesting an early evolution of ionoregulatory mechanisms in freshwater organisms. PMID:26180186

  4. Field evaluation of deet, Repel Care, and three plant based essential oil repellents against mosquitoes, black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) and land leeches (Arhynchobdellida: Haemadipsidae) in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tawatsin, Apiwat; Thavara, Usavadee; Chansang, Uruyakorn; Chavalittumrong, Pranee; Boonruad, Thidarat; Wongsinkongman, Prapai; Bansidhi, Jaree; Mulla, Mir S

    2006-06-01

    Diethyl methyl benzamide, or deet, a commercial plant-based repellent (Repel Care), and essential ils from 3 species of plants (finger root rhizomes, guava leaves, and turmeric rhizomes), steam distillated and formulated as insect repellents, were evaluated in the field on human volunteers against hematophagous mosquitoes, black flies, and land leeches in Thailand. Field trials were conducted against wild mosquitoes in Bang Bua Thong District, Nonthaburi Province, and in the Thap Lan National Park Headquarters, Nadee District, Pranchinburi Province; anthroophilic black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) at the Forestry Fire Control Station in Doi Inthanon National Park, Chomthong district, Chiang Mai Province; and land leeches (Arhynchobdellida: Haemadipsidae) in the Khao Yai National Park, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. The 3 experimental plant-based essential oil formulations as well as Repel Care and deet provided complete protection from mosquito landing and biting for up to 9 h (duration of the experiment). Similar results were obtained with the 5 products against black flies, providing 100% protection for 9 h but 96-82% protection after 10 and 11 h posttreatment. The 5 repellent products also provided 100% protection against land leeches for at least 8 h. Thi is the 1st report of repellency of plant-based repellents against black flies and land leeches in Thailand. The identification and availability of inexpensive sources of plant-based oils, i.e., finger root rhizomes, guava leaves, and turmeric rhizomes providing long-lasting repellency against blood-sucking organisms are promising leads into commercial production of relatively safe and effective repellents. PMID:17019778

  5. Austrobdella cairae n. sp., an Oioxenous Marine Leech (Clitellata: Piscicolidae) from the Banded Guitarfish, Zapteryx exasperata, in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Curran, Stephen S; Phillips, Anna J; Overstreet, Robin M; Benz, George W; Henningsen, Alan D

    2016-04-01

    A new marine leech is herein described from specimens infecting the external surfaces, including the mouth and cloaca, of the banded guitarfish, Zapteryx exasperate, captured in the Gulf of California and eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego, California. The leech is assigned to Austrobdella by possessing continuous contractile coelomic channels that lie outside the somatic musculature along the lateral edges of the urosome (marginal lacunae), clitellar gland cells densely packed in the urosome, 5 pairs of testisacs, and 6-annulate mid-body somites. The new leech is distinguished from its 6 congeners on the basis of body size (maximum 10 mm long) and shape (sub-cylindrical trachelosome distinctly demarcated from wider urosome that is ventrally flattened, convex dorsally, and narrowing toward caudal sucker that is narrow, 20-25% of maximum body width), number of eyespots (2 pairs), shape and arrangement of the ovisacs (pyriform and limited to somites XII/XIII), and characteristics of the midgut (1 pair of mycetomes, 6 pairs of simple thin-walled crop ceca, ventral postceca wanting, and 2 pairs of dendritic diverticula emerging from anterior portion of thick-walled intestine). The new species occurs in the northeastern Pacific Ocean on a benthic elasmobranch. Examination of host specificity for each Austrobdella species using the quantitative Index of Phylogenetic Host Specificity revealed that the new species is 1 of 4 oioxenous specialists in the genus, and the remaining 3 congeners are relative generalists herein classified as euryxenous. This is the first time host specificity for members of the Piscicolidae has been quantitatively assessed. The analysis suggests that associations between marine leeches belonging in Austrobdella and their vertebrate hosts are driven by ecological influences rather than host taxonomic placement. PMID:26800278

  6. New insights into the North American Cordillera forearc: Cretaceous to Eocene tectonic evolution of the Leech River Schist, Southern Vancouver Island, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakob, Johannes; Johnston, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    The Leech River Complex on southern Vancouver Island is a part of the Pacific Rim Terrane of the North American Cordillera and comprises a series of fault-bounded slices of mainly meta-sedimentary and meta-igneous rocks of Triassic to Cretaceous age. The tectono-metamorphic history of this unit provides important constraints on the history of terrane accretion and the paleogeographic and tectonic evolution of the western North American forearc region. Our focus is on the structures and tectonic fabrics that developed within the western most part of the Leech River Schist from ~88 Ma through ~37 Ma. Similar syn- and post-instrusive structures that developed during emplacement of the ~88 Ma Jordan River meta-granodiorite and the ~51 Ma Walker Creek Intrusions respectively, indicate a consistent stress field during >35 m.y. of northward translation of the outboard Cordilleran terranes. A regional high temperature, Staurolite-Andalusite-grade metamorphic event is recorded in the meta-sedimentary rocks. Subcretion of the Crescent terrane beneath the Leech River Schist at ~51 Ma caused folding of the metamorphic rocks, the development of a system of dextral and sinistral brittle shears, and normal faulting. Related extension to the northwest resulted in the opening of Barkley Sound and the more westerly marine Tofino basin. These multi-faceted deformational structures are most likely a direct consequence of the subcretion of the Crescent terrane and the linked development of the Southern Vancouver Island Orocline. The deposition of sandstones and conglomerates of the Sooke Formation began at ca. 37 Ma. This siliciclastic sequence unconformably overlies the Leech River Schist, records rapid subsidence of the forearc following a preceding uplift and exhumation event, and may be a record of a younger subcretion event.

  7. A Kazal-type inhibitor of human mast cell tryptase: isolation from the medical leech Hirudo medicinalis, characterization, and sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Sommerhoff, C P; Söllner, C; Mentele, R; Piechottka, G P; Auerswald, E A; Fritz, H

    1994-10-01

    Human tryptase, a tetrameric proteinase expressed by mast cells, is virtually unique among the serine proteinases as it is not inhibited by any proteinaceous inhibitor tested so far. We have now isolated, sequenced, and characterized an inhibitor of human tryptase from the medical leech Hirudo medicinalis. LDTI (Leech-Derived Tryptase Inhibitor) was purified to apparent homogeneity by cation exchange and affinity chromatography. Amino acid sequencing of the protein consisting of 46 residues (M(r) 4738) revealed a high degree of similarity to the non-classical Kazal-type inhibitors bdellin B-3 and rhodniin, inhibitors isolated from the medical leech and the insect Rhodnius prolixus, respectively. LDTI is a tight-binding and relatively specific inhibitor of human tryptase; it inhibits only trypsin (EC 3.4.21.4) and chymotrypsin (EC 3.4.21.1) with similar affinities. Inhibition studies using small chromogenic substrates revealed that LDTI inhibits the amidolytic activity of tryptase by approximately 50%, suggesting that most likely due to steric hindrance LDTI binds to and inhibits only 2 of 4 active sites of tryptase. LDTI appears useful as a prototype of inhibitors of human tryptase and as a pharmacological tool for the investigation of the role of tryptase in health and disease. PMID:7888081

  8. Modulation of swimming behavior in the medicinal leech. IV. Serotonin-induced alteration of synaptic interactions between neurons of the swim circuit.

    PubMed

    Mangan, P S; Cometa, A K; Friesen, W O

    1994-12-01

    Serotonin enhances the expression of swimming in the medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis. These two reports examine the physiological causes underlying this modulation. The initial paper (Mangan et al. 1994) demonstrated that serotonin enhanced the participation of inhibitory swim motor neurons (MNs) in the generation of the swimming rhythm in the isolated nerve cord. In experiments reported here, we examined whether synaptic interactions between neurons of the swim circuit are altered by serotonin. Following exposure to 50 microM serotonin, pairwise intracellular recording revealed the presence of a time-dependent synaptic decrement. Synaptic decrement was characterized by: 1) a substantial decline in synaptic inhibition (half-decay time about 0.4 s) during constant presynaptic excitation; 2) a reduced half-time of recovery from synaptic inhibition; and 3) a strong dependence on the presynaptic neuron's membrane potential. We found little alteration in the physiology of synaptic transmission involving MNs following amine depletion in leech nerve cords. We propose that alterations in synaptic interactions resulting from exposure to elevated serotonin levels, coupled with the changes in MN cellular properties described earlier, are crucial to the increased efficacy of MNs in participating in generating and expressing the leech swimming rhythm. PMID:7807416

  9. Leeches of the genus Helobdella (Clitellata: Hirudinida) from São Paulo, Brazil with descriptions of two new species using micro-computed tomography and a new record of Barbronia weberi (Blanchard 1897).

    PubMed

    Iwama, Rafael Eiji; Arruda, Eliane Pintor

    2016-01-01

    Leeches are an important group of macroinvertebrates found in the benthic zone of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Despite their ecological importance and potential as bioindicators, little is known about the diversity of leeches in Brazil, where only a few sporadic studies have been performed. Six locations in the region of Sorocaba, in the state of São Paulo, were sampled in order to study the diversity of predatory leeches. Besides traditional dissections, micro-computed tomography was used to access the internal morphology of the new species Helobdella chaviensis n. sp. and Helobdella schlenzae n. sp. Four additional native species were found and redescribed using traditional techniques. The invasive species Barbronia weberi (Blanchard 1897) was reported in the Tietê River for the first time. PMID:27470865

  10. D quadrant specification in the leech Helobdella: actomyosin contractility controls the unequal cleavage of the CD blastomere

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, Deirdre C.; Weisblat, David A.

    2009-01-01

    The unequal division of the CD blastomere at second cleavage is critical in establishing the second embryonic axis in the leech Helobdella, as in other unequally cleaving spiralians. When CD divides, the larger D and smaller C blastomeres arise invariantly on the left and right sides of the embryo, respectively. Here we show that stereotyped cellular dynamics, including the formation of an intercellular blastocoel, culminate in a morphological left-right asymmetry in the 2-cell embryo, which precedes cytokinesis and predicts the chirality of the second cleavage. In contrast to the unequal first cleavage, the unequal second cleavage does not result from down-regulation of one centrosome, nor from an asymmetry within the spindle itself. Instead, the unequal cleavage of the CD cell entails a symmetric mitotic apparatus moving and anisotropically growing rightward in an actomyosin-dependent process. Our data reveal that mechanisms controlling the establishment of the D quadrant differ fundamentally even among the monophyletic clitellate annelids. Thus, while the homologous spiral cleavage pattern is highly conserved in this clade, it has diverged significantly at the level of cell biological mechanisms. This combination of operational conservation and mechanistic divergence begins to explain how the spiral cleavage program has remained so refractory to change while, paradoxically, accommodating numerous modifications throughout evolution. PMID:19607823

  11. A new fish haemogregarine from South Africa and its suspected dual transmission with trypanosomes by a marine leech.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Polly M; Smit, Nico J; Seddon, Alan M; Wertheim, David F; Davies, Angela J

    2006-12-01

    Twenty two percent (22/98) of intertidal fishes of 10 species captured in South Africa at Koppie Alleen, De Hoop Nature Reserve (south coast) and Mouille Point, Cape Town (west coast), harboured single or combined infections of haemogregarines, trypanosomes and an intraerythrocytic parasite resembling a Haemohormidium sp. The haemogregarines included the known species Haemogregarina (sensu lato) bigemina (Laveran et Mesnil, 1901) Siddall, 1995 and Haemogregarina (sensu lato) koppiensis Smit et Davies, 2001, while Haemogregarina (sensu lato) curvata sp. n. was observed in Clinus cottoides Valenciennes and Parablennius cornutus (L.) at Koppie Alleen. This last haemogregarine is characterised particularly by its distinctly curved gamonts. Also at Koppie Alleen, squash and histological preparations of 9/10 leeches, Zeylanicobdella arugamensis De Silva, 1963, taken from infected C. cottoides and P. cornutus contained developmental stages of H. curvata and/or trypanosomes, but these were absent from haematophagous gnathiid isopods (Gnathia africana Barnard, 1914) taken from infected fishes. It is suspected that Z. arugamensis transmits the haemogregarine and trypanosomes simultaneously between fishes, a double event unreported previously from the marine environment. PMID:17252920

  12. Cathepsin L and cystatin B gene expression discriminates immune cœlomic cells in the leech Theromyzon tessulatum

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Christophe; Vandenbulcke, Franck; Bocquet, Béatrice; Tasiemski, Aurélie; Desmons, Annie; Verstraete, Mathilde; Salzet, Michel; Cocquerelle, Claude

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies evidenced that cystatin B-like gene is specifically expressed and induced in large circulating cœlomic cells following bacterial challenge in the leech Theromyzon tessulatum. In order to understand the role of that cysteine proteinase inhibitor during immune response, we investigated the existence of members of cathepsin family. We cloned a cathepsin L-like gene and studied its tissue distribution. Immunohistochemical studies using anti-cathepsin L and anti-cystatin B antibodies and ultrastructural results demonstrated the presence of three distinct cœlomic cell populations, (1) the chloragocytes which were initially defined as large cœlomocytes, (2) the granular amœbocytes, and (3) small cœlomic cells. Among those cells, while chloragocytes contain cystatin B and cathepsin L, granular amœbocytes do only contain cathepsin L and third cell population contains neither cathepsin nor inhibitor. Finally, results evidenced that cathepsin L immunopositive granular amœbocytes are chemoattracted to the site of injury and phagocyte bacteria. PMID:18177937

  13. Domain and genomic sequence analysis of bdellin-KL, a leech-derived trypsin-plasmin inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y H; Choi, J G; Lee, G M; Kang, K W

    2001-09-01

    Bdellin-KL is a trypsin-plasmin inhibitor from Hirudo nipponia, whose N-terminal sequence was identified as a non-classical Kazal-type. A cDNA clone encoding the inhibitor was isolated by reverse transcription-PCR and 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The cDNA showed an open reading frame of 155 amino acids comprising one signal peptide and two separated domains. The C-terminal domain consists of distinct internal repeats, including HHEE and HHDD. The bdellin-KL sequence, from the constructed genomic library of Korean leech, was determined for the 2109 bases comprising the open reading frame and flanking regions (3' and 5'). The promoter region contains potential regulatory sequence motifs, including TATA, CAAT, and GC boxes. To characterize the properties of each domain, an N-terminal fragment was prepared by limited proteolysis of the intact protein. The inhibitory activity of the region was as potent as that of the intact protein. This suggests that the compact domain plays an important part in the inhibitory action of bdellin-KL. The C-terminal domain was revealed to have binding affinity to ions such as Ca(2+), Zn(2+), Fe(3+), and Fe(2+) without an influence on the inhibitory activity. This study demonstrates that bdellin-KL may be a novel bifunctional protein with two distinct domains. PMID:11530020

  14. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: phase relations of leech heart motor neurons with respect to premotor synaptic input.

    PubMed

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts: synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular techniques, we recorded, in 61 isolated nerve cords, the activity of motor neurons in conjunction with the phase reference premotor heart interneuron, HN(4), and another premotor interneuron that allowed us to assess the coordination mode. These data were then coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity in the two coordination modes to synthesize a global phase diagram for the known elements of the CPG and the entire motor neuron ensemble. These average data reveal the stereotypical side-to-side asymmetric patterns of intersegmental coordination among the motor neurons and show how this pattern meshes with the activity pattern of premotor interneurons. Analysis of animal-to-animal variability in this coordination indicates that the intersegmental phase progression of motor neuron activity in the midbody in the peristaltic coordination mode is the most stereotypical feature of the fictive motor pattern. Bilateral recordings from motor neurons corroborate the main features of the asymmetric motor pattern. PMID:17728387

  15. A role for compromise: synaptic inhibition and electrical coupling interact to control phasing in the leech heartbeat CpG.

    PubMed

    Weaver, Adam L; Roffman, Rebecca C; Norris, Brian J; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2010-01-01

    How can flexible phasing be generated by a central pattern generator (CPG)? To address this question, we have extended an existing model of the leech heartbeat CPG's timing network to construct a model of the CPG core and explore how appropriate phasing is set up by parameter variation. Within the CPG, the phasing among premotor interneurons switches regularly between two well defined states - synchronous and peristaltic. To reproduce experimentally observed phasing, we varied the strength of inhibitory synaptic and excitatory electrical input from the timing network to follower premotor interneurons. Neither inhibitory nor electrical input alone was sufficient to produce proper phasing on both sides, but instead a balance was required. Our model suggests that the different phasing of the two sides arises because the inhibitory synapses and electrical coupling oppose one another on one side (peristaltic) and reinforce one another on the other (synchronous). Our search of parameter space defined by the strength of inhibitory synaptic and excitatory electrical input strength led to a CPG model that well approximates the experimentally observed phase relations. The strength values derived from this analysis constitute model predictions that we tested by measurements made in the living system. Further, variation of the intrinsic properties of follower interneurons showed that they too systematically influence phasing. We conclude that a combination of inhibitory synaptic and excitatory electrical input interacting with neuronal intrinsic properties can flexibly generate a variety of phase relations so that almost any phasing is possible. PMID:20700387

  16. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: pattern, strength, and dynamics of premotor synaptic input to leech heart motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in medicinal leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts, synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular recordings from premotor interneurons and voltage-clamp recordings of ipsilateral segmental motor neurons in 69 isolated nerve cords, we assessed the strength and dynamics of premotor inhibitory synaptic output onto the entire ensemble of heart motor neurons and the associated conduction delays in both coordination modes. We conclude that premotor interneurons establish a stereotypical pattern of intersegmental synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics that is invariant across coordination modes, despite wide variations among preparations. These data coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity and relative phasing of motor neuron activity in the two coordination modes enable a direct assessment of how premotor interneurons through their temporal pattern of activity and their spatial pattern of synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics coordinate segmental motor neurons into a functional pattern of activity. PMID:17804574

  17. Ultrastructural study of spermatogenesis and sperm in the African medicinal leech Hirudo troctina Johnson, 1816 (Annelida, Hirudinida).

    PubMed

    Ben Ahmed, Raja; Tekaya, Saïda; Urbisz, Anna Z; Świątek, Piotr

    2015-06-01

    This paper presents the process of spermatogenesis in the leech Hirudo troctina Johnson, 1816 using light, fluorescent and transmission electron microscopy. At the onset of spermatogenesis in testes, the pear-shaped spermatogonia divide mitotically without full cytokinesis and as a result isogenic groups are formed (clusters, clones) with 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 spermatogonia and, finally, 256 primary spermatocytes occur. The final meiotic divisions of spermatocytes give rise to clones with 1024 spermatids. There are hundreds of developing germ-line clones in each testis. In each clone, the male germ cells divide in full synchrony and they are in the same phase of spermatogenesis. During complex spermiogenesis each spermatid becomes a filiform spermatozoon with a helicoid nucleus, which is characterized by the presence of a long acrosome with two regions - anterior and posterior, which are followed by a helicoid nucleus, a midpiece with only one mitochondrion and a long flagellum. Our results were compared to those on other clitellate annelids that have been studied to date, especially to sperm formation in Hirudo medicinalis Linnaeus, 1785. Only minor differences were found in the length and the diameter of different organelles and the number of spermatids in germ-line clones. PMID:25840472

  18. The primary structure of bdellin B-3 from the leech Hirudo medicinalis. Bdellin B-3 is a compact proteinase inhibitor of a "non-classical" Kazal type. It is present in the leech in a high molecular mass form.

    PubMed

    Fink, E; Rehm, H; Gippner, C; Bode, W; Eulitz, M; Machleidt, W; Fritz, H

    1986-12-01

    A proteinase inhibitor was isolated from extracts of the leech Hirudo medicinalis by gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography. This inhibitor is similar to the bdellins in that it blocks the activity of trypsin, plasmin and sperm acrosin but has a molecular mass, as estimated by SDS polyacrylamide electrophoresis, of about 20 kDa, whereas the bdellins have molecular masses in the range 5-6 kDa. It is therefore designated as high-molecular mass bdellin B-3 (HMB). The amino-acid sequence of the inhibitor was elucidated as far as position 56. This revealed that the molecule consists of a bdellin B-3 moiety, corresponding to the N-terminal 46 residues, which is then extended at the C-terminus by a polypeptide chain of the composition Asx15, Glx25, Gly6, Val, His26-27 and Lys4. It has been formerly concluded from a partial amino-acid sequence that bdellin B-3 is a Kazal-type inhibitor. However, the complete sequence of bdellin B-3, represented by the N-terminal 46 residues of HMB, discloses that bdellin B-3 is a non-classical Kazal-type inhibitor when the number of amino-acid residues between half-cystines are considered. Presuming that formation of disulfide bridges principally follows the same pattern as in classical Kazal-type inhibitors the bdellin B-3 molecule was modeled based on the known three-dimensional structure of the third ovomucoid domains. This showed that a compact arrangement of the peptide chain of bdellin B-3 is conceivable.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3828073

  19. Kinematics and modeling of leech crawling: evidence for an oscillatory behavior produced by propagating waves of excitation.

    PubMed

    Cacciatore, T W; Rozenshteyn, R; Kristan, W B

    2000-02-15

    Many well characterized central pattern generators (CPGs) underlie behaviors (e.g., swimming, flight, heartbeat) that require regular rhythmicity and strict phase relationships. Here, we examine the organization of a CPG for leech crawling, a behavior whose success depends more on its flexibility than on its precise coordination. We examined the organization of this CPG by first characterizing the kinematics of crawling steps in normal and surgically manipulated animals, then by exploring its features in a simple neuronal model. The behavioral observations revealed the following. (1) Intersegmental coordination varied considerably with step duration, whereas the rates of elongation and contraction within individual segments were relatively constant. (2) Steps were generated in the absence of both head and tail brains, implying that midbody ganglia contain a CPG for step production. (3) Removal of sensory feedback did not affect step coordination or timing. (4) Imposed stretch greatly lengthened transitions between elongation and contraction, indicating that sensory pathways feed back onto the CPG. A simple model reproduced essential features of the observed kinematics. This model consisted of an oscillator that initiates propagating segmental waves of activity in excitatory neuronal chains, along with a parallel descending projection; together, these pathways could produce the observed intersegmental lags, coordination between phases, and step duration. We suggest that the proposed model is well suited to be modified on a step-by-step basis and that crawling may differ substantially from other described CPGs, such as that for swimming in segmented animals, where individual segments produce oscillations that are strongly phase-locked to one another. PMID:10662854

  20. Effects of millimeter wave irradiation and equivalent thermal heating on the activity of individual neurons in the leech ganglion

    PubMed Central

    Romanenko, Sergii; Siegel, Peter H.; Wagenaar, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Many of today's radiofrequency-emitting devices in telecommunication, telemedicine, transportation safety, and security/military applications use the millimeter wave (MMW) band (30–300 GHz). To evaluate the biological safety and possible applications of this radiofrequency band for neuroscience and neurology, we have investigated the physiological effects of low-intensity 60-GHz electromagnetic irradiation on individual neurons in the leech midbody ganglia. We applied incident power densities of 1, 2, and 4 mW/cm2 to the whole ganglion for a period of 1 min while recording the action potential with a standard sharp electrode electrophysiology setup. For comparison, the recognized U.S. safe exposure limit is 1 mW/cm2 for 6 min. During the exposure to MMWs and gradual bath heating at a rate of 0.04°C/s (2.4°C/min), the ganglionic neurons exhibited similar dose-dependent hyperpolarization of the plasma membrane and decrease in the action potential amplitude. However, narrowing of the action potential half-width during MMW irradiation at 4 mW/cm2 was 5 times more pronounced compared with that during equivalent bath heating of 0.6°C. Even more dramatic difference in the effects of MMW irradiation and bath heating was noted in the firing rate, which was suppressed at all applied MMW power densities and increased in a dose-dependent manner during gradual bath heating. The mechanism of enhanced narrowing of action potentials and suppressed firing by MMW irradiation, compared with that by gradual bath heating, is hypothesized to involve specific coupling of MMW energy with the neuronal plasma membrane. PMID:25122711

  1. Effects of millimeter wave irradiation and equivalent thermal heating on the activity of individual neurons in the leech ganglion.

    PubMed

    Romanenko, Sergii; Siegel, Peter H; Wagenaar, Daniel A; Pikov, Victor

    2014-11-15

    Many of today's radiofrequency-emitting devices in telecommunication, telemedicine, transportation safety, and security/military applications use the millimeter wave (MMW) band (30-300 GHz). To evaluate the biological safety and possible applications of this radiofrequency band for neuroscience and neurology, we have investigated the physiological effects of low-intensity 60-GHz electromagnetic irradiation on individual neurons in the leech midbody ganglia. We applied incident power densities of 1, 2, and 4 mW/cm(2) to the whole ganglion for a period of 1 min while recording the action potential with a standard sharp electrode electrophysiology setup. For comparison, the recognized U.S. safe exposure limit is 1 mW/cm(2) for 6 min. During the exposure to MMWs and gradual bath heating at a rate of 0.04°C/s (2.4°C/min), the ganglionic neurons exhibited similar dose-dependent hyperpolarization of the plasma membrane and decrease in the action potential amplitude. However, narrowing of the action potential half-width during MMW irradiation at 4 mW/cm(2) was 5 times more pronounced compared with that during equivalent bath heating of 0.6°C. Even more dramatic difference in the effects of MMW irradiation and bath heating was noted in the firing rate, which was suppressed at all applied MMW power densities and increased in a dose-dependent manner during gradual bath heating. The mechanism of enhanced narrowing of action potentials and suppressed firing by MMW irradiation, compared with that by gradual bath heating, is hypothesized to involve specific coupling of MMW energy with the neuronal plasma membrane. PMID:25122711

  2. Transcription and protein synthesis inhibitors influence long-term effects of acetyl-l-carnitine on non-associative learning in the leech.

    PubMed

    Traina, Giovanna; Scuri, Rossana

    2015-01-01

    Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) is the principal acetyl ester of L-carnitine and it plays an essential role in intermediary metabolism. ALC affects several targets in the nervous system. Along this line of investigation, we analyzed the long-term effects of ALC on elementary nonassociative learning in the swimming induction model of the leech Hirudo medicinalis, in which nociceptive stimulation of the dorsal skin produces a more rapid swim response to a test stimulus (sensitization). In this simplified model a single ALC administration blocked the sensitizing effects of nociceptive stimulation in swim induction showing increasingly long lasting effects. Herein, we have analyzed the long-term effects of ALC on sensitization and dishabituation. Leeches were treated with inhibitors of either transcription or protein synthesis 30 min after the administration of ALC and, subsequently, subjected to noxious stimuli: the animals exhibited a sensitized swimming response 6 days after ALC treatment but not after 2 hours indicating that the long-term suppressive effects of ALC on sensitization/dishabituation needed mRNA and protein synthesis. PMID:25463319

  3. Solving a Bloody Mess: B-Vitamin Independent Metabolic Convergence among Gammaproteobacterial Obligate Endosymbionts from Blood-Feeding Arthropods and the Leech Haementeria officinalis.

    PubMed

    Manzano-Marín, Alejandro; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Latorre, Amparo; Jiménez-García, Luis F; Moya, Andres

    2015-10-01

    Endosymbiosis is a common phenomenon in nature, especially between bacteria and insects, whose typically unbalanced diets are usually complemented by their obligate endosymbionts. While much interest and focus has been directed toward phloem-feeders like aphids and mealybugs, blood-feeders such as the Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), Glossina flies, and the human body louse (Pediculus humanus corporis) depend on obligate endosymbionts which complement their B-vitamin-deficient diets, and thus are required for growth and survival. Glossiphoniid leeches have also been found to harbor distinct endosymbionts housed in specialized organs. Here, we present the genome of the bacterial endosymbiont from Haementeria officinalis, first of a glossiphoniid leech. This as-yet-unnamed endosymbiont belongs to the Gammaproteobacteria, has a pleomorphic shape and is restricted to bacteriocytes. For this bacterial endosymbiont, we propose the name Candidatus Providencia siddallii. This symbiont possesses a highly reduced genome with high A+T content and a reduced set of metabolic capabilities, all of which are common characteristics of ancient obligate endosymbionts of arthropods. Its genome has retained many pathways related to the biosynthesis of B-vitamins, pointing toward a role in supplementing the blood-restricted diet of its host. Through comparative genomics against the endosymbionts of A. americanum, Glossina flies, and P. humanus corporis, we were able to detect a high degree of metabolic convergence among these four very distantly related endosymbiotic bacteria. PMID:26454017

  4. Solving a Bloody Mess: B-Vitamin Independent Metabolic Convergence among Gammaproteobacterial Obligate Endosymbionts from Blood-Feeding Arthropods and the Leech Haementeria officinalis

    PubMed Central

    Manzano-Marín, Alejandro; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Latorre, Amparo; Jiménez-García, Luis F.; Moya, Andres

    2015-01-01

    Endosymbiosis is a common phenomenon in nature, especially between bacteria and insects, whose typically unbalanced diets are usually complemented by their obligate endosymbionts. While much interest and focus has been directed toward phloem-feeders like aphids and mealybugs, blood-feeders such as the Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), Glossina flies, and the human body louse (Pediculus humanus corporis) depend on obligate endosymbionts which complement their B-vitamin-deficient diets, and thus are required for growth and survival. Glossiphoniid leeches have also been found to harbor distinct endosymbionts housed in specialized organs. Here, we present the genome of the bacterial endosymbiont from Haementeria officinalis, first of a glossiphoniid leech. This as-yet-unnamed endosymbiont belongs to the Gammaproteobacteria, has a pleomorphic shape and is restricted to bacteriocytes. For this bacterial endosymbiont, we propose the name Candidatus Providencia siddallii. This symbiont possesses a highly reduced genome with high A+T content and a reduced set of metabolic capabilities, all of which are common characteristics of ancient obligate endosymbionts of arthropods. Its genome has retained many pathways related to the biosynthesis of B-vitamins, pointing toward a role in supplementing the blood-restricted diet of its host. Through comparative genomics against the endosymbionts of A. americanum, Glossina flies, and P. humanus corporis, we were able to detect a high degree of metabolic convergence among these four very distantly related endosymbiotic bacteria. PMID:26454017

  5. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Characterization of the Coldest Directly Imaged Exoplanet, GJ 504 b, and Evidence for Superstellar Metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Morley, Caroline V.; Zimmerman, Neil T.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Leisenring, Jarron; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Esposito, Simone; Apai, Dániel; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin R.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Fortney, Jonathan; Freedman, Richard; Henning, Thomas; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Kopytova, Taisiya; Lupu, Roxana; Maire, Anne-Lise; Males, Jared R.; Marley, Mark; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Patience, Jenny; Rajan, Abhijith; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Stone, Jordan; Su, Kate; Vaz, Amali; Visscher, Channon; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.

    2016-02-01

    As gas giant planets and brown dwarfs radiate away the residual heat from their formation, they cool through a spectral type transition from L to T, which encompasses the dissipation of cloud opacity and the appearance of strong methane absorption. While there are hundreds of known T-type brown dwarfs, the first generation of directly imaged exoplanets were all L type. Recently, Kuzuhara et al. announced the discovery of GJ 504 b, the first T dwarf exoplanet. GJ 504 b provides a unique opportunity to study the atmosphere of a new type of exoplanet with a ˜500 K temperature that bridges the gap between the first directly imaged planets (˜1000 K) and our own solar system's Jupiter (˜130 K). We observed GJ 504 b in three narrow L-band filters (3.71, 3.88, and 4.00 μm), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 μm) as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry with a grid of custom model atmospheres, we were able to fit GJ 504 b's unusual spectral energy distribution for the first time. We find that GJ 504 b is well fit by models with the following parameters: Teff = 544 ± 10 K, g < 600 m s-2, [M/H] = 0.60 ± 0.12, cloud opacity parameter of fsed = 2-5, R = 0.96 ± 0.07 RJup, and log(L) = -6.13 ± 0.03 L⊙, implying a hot start mass of 3-30 Mjup for a conservative age range of 0.1-6.5 Gyr. Of particular interest, our model fits suggest that GJ 504 b has a superstellar metallicity. Since planet formation can create objects with nonstellar metallicities, while binary star formation cannot, this result suggests that GJ 504 b formed like a planet, not like a binary companion. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrophisica, Italy; LBT

  6. New tentacled leech Ceratobdella quadricornuta n. g., n. sp. (Hirudinida: Piscicolidae) parasitic on the starry skate Raja georgiana Norman from the Scotia Sea, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Utevsky, Andrei; Gordeev, Ilya

    2015-07-01

    A new fish leech Ceratobdella quadricornuta n. g., n. sp. (Hirudinida: Piscicolidae), a parasite of the Antarctic skate Raja georgiana Norman (Rajiformes: Rajidae) collected between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island in the Scotia Sea, is described and compared with related genera. Ceratobdella quadricornuta is characterised by an uncommon appearance of its anterior sucker bearing four well-developed tentacles and a unique combination of features of the reproductive and digestive systems: crop and intestine equally developed, posterior crop caeca separated; accessory glands, conductive tissue and external copulatory area lacking; common part of ejaculatory ducts (common atrium) voluminous and muscular, male copulatory bursa short, small ovisacs opening into female copulatory bursa (vagina). PMID:26063298

  7. Na(+)/K(+) pump interacts with the h-current to control bursting activity in central pattern generator neurons of leeches.

    PubMed

    Kueh, Daniel; Barnett, William H; Cymbalyuk, Gennady S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of different ionic currents shape the bursting activity of neurons and networks that control motor output. Despite being ubiquitous in all animal cells, the contribution of the Na(+)/K(+) pump current to such bursting activity has not been well studied. We used monensin, a Na(+)/H(+) antiporter, to examine the role of the pump on the bursting activity of oscillator heart interneurons in leeches. When we stimulated the pump with monensin, the period of these neurons decreased significantly, an effect that was prevented or reversed when the h-current was blocked by Cs(+). The decreased period could also occur if the pump was inhibited with strophanthidin or K(+)-free saline. Our monensin results were reproduced in model, which explains the pump's contributions to bursting activity based on Na(+) dynamics. Our results indicate that a dynamically oscillating pump current that interacts with the h-current can regulate the bursting activity of neurons and networks. PMID:27588351

  8. Grandparental stem cells in leech segmentation: differences in CDC42 expression are correlated with an alternating pattern of blast cell fates

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shaobing O.; Kuo, Dian-Han; Weisblat, David A.

    2009-01-01

    Embryonic segmentation in clitellate annelids (oligochaetes and leeches) is a cell lineage-driven process. Embryos of these worms generate a posterior growth zone consisting of 5 bilateral pairs of identified segmentation stem cells (teloblasts), each of which produces a column of segmental founder cells (blast cells). Each blast cell generates a lineage-specific clone via a stereotyped sequence of cell divisions, which are typically unequal both in terms of the relative size of the sister cells and in the progeny to which they give rise. In two of the five teloblast lineages, including the ventralmost, primary neurogenic (N) lineage, the blast cells adopt two different fates, designated nf and ns, in exact alternation within the blast cell column; this is termed a grandparental stem cell lineage. To lay groundwork for investigating unequal divisions in the leech Helobdella, we have surveyed the H. robusta genome for genes encoding orthologs of the Rho family GTPases, including the rho, rac and cdc42 sub-families, which are known to be involved in multiple processes involving cell polarization in other systems. We find that, in contrast to most other known systems the Helobdella genome contains two cdc42 orthologs, one of which is expressed at higher levels in the ns blast cells than in nf blast cells. We also demonstrate that the asymmetric divisions of the primary nf and ns blast cells are regulated by the polarized distribution of the activated form of the Cdc42 protein, rather than by the overall level of expression. Our results provide the first molecular insights into the mechanisms of the grandparental stem cell lineages, a novel, yet evolutionarily ancient stem cell division pattern. Our results also provide an example in which asymmetries in the distribution of Cdc42 activity, rather than in the overall levels of Cdc42 protein, are important regulating unequal divisions in animal cells. PMID:19747476

  9. Comment on: “Does the Karakoram fault interrupt mid-crustal channel flow in the western Himalaya?” by Mary L. Leech, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 276 (2008) 314-322

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parrish, Randall R.

    2009-09-01

    Leech (Mary L. Leech, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 276 (2008) 314-322) presents new U-Pb Ion Microprobe zircon ages from the Leo Pargil dome in NW India in an attempt to delineate the potential tectonic relationships between initiation of the Karakoram Fault and the timing of mid-crustal flow in the Himalayan orogen. Unfortunately, as presented, the data are incapable of answering the question posed because: 1) no field, petrographic or other contextual information is presented for the dated samples making their relevance to the problem uncertain and 2) the U-Pb data themselves are limited by inadequate discussion of complexities including apparent analytical issues (non-linearity of secondary electron multiplier) and, in my view unjustified rejection of ca. 88% of the dataset. The combination of these two factors undermines the usefulness of the data to the relationship of the Karakoram Fault to mid-crustal 'channel flow' in the western Himalaya.

  10. Evolution of clitellate phaosomes from rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells of polychaetes – a study in the leech Helobdella robusta (Annelida, Sedentaria, Clitellata)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction In Annelida two types of photoreceptor cells (PRCs) are regarded as generally present, rhabdomeric and ciliary PRCs. In certain taxa, however, an additional type of PRC may occur, the so called phaosomal PRC. Whereas the former two types of PRCs are always organized as an epithelium with their sensory processes projecting into an extracellular cavity formed by the PRCs and (pigmented) supportive cells, phaosomes are seemingly intracellular vacuoles housing the sensory processes. Phaosomal PRCs are the only type of PRC found in one major annelid group, Clitellata. Several hypotheses have been put forward explaining the evolutionary origin of the clitellate phaosomes. To elucidate the evolution of clitellate PRC and eyes the leech Helobdella robusta, for which a sequenced genome is available, was chosen. Results TEM observations showed that extraocular and ocular PRCs are structurally identical. Bioinformatic analyses revealed predictions for four opsin genes, three of which could be amplified. All belong to the rhabdomeric opsin family and phylogenetic analyses showed them in a derived position within annelid opsins. Gene expression studies showed two of them expressed in the eye and in the extraocular PRCs. Polychaete eye-typic key enzymes for ommochromme and pterin shading pigments synthesis are not expressed in leech eyes. Conclusions By comparative gene-expression studies we herein provide strong evidence that the phaosomal PRCs typical of Clitellata are derived from the rhabdomeric PRCs characteristic for polychaete adult eyes. Thus, they represent a highly derived type of PRC that evolved in the stem lineage of Clitellata rather than another, primitive type of PRC in Metazoa. Evolution of these PRCs in Clitellata is related to a loss of the primary eyes and most of their photoreceptive elements except for the rhabdomeric PRCs. Most likely this happened while changing to an endobenthic mode of life. This hypothesis of PRC evolution is in accordance

  11. Differential Expression of Conserved Germ Line Markers and Delayed Segregation of Male and Female Primordial Germ Cells in a Hermaphrodite, the Leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sung-Jin; Vallès, Yvonne; Weisblat, David A.

    2014-01-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) are often set aside early in embryogenesis, a strategy that minimizes the risk of genomic damage associated with replication and mitosis during the cell cycle. Here, we have used germ line markers (piwi, vasa, and nanos) and microinjected cell lineage tracers to show that PGC specification in the leech genus Helobdella follows a different scenario: in this hermaphrodite, the male and female PGCs segregate from somatic lineages only after more than 20 rounds of zygotic mitosis; the male and female PGCs share the same (mesodermal) cell lineage for 19 rounds of zygotic mitosis. Moreover, while all three markers are expressed in both male and female reproductive tissues of the adult, they are expressed differentially between the male and female PGCs of the developing embryo: piwi and vasa are expressed preferentially in female PGCs at a time when nanos is expressed preferentially in male PGCs. A priori, the delayed segregation of male and female PGCs from somatic tissues and from one another increases the probability of mutations affecting both male and female PGCs of a given individual. We speculate that this suite of features, combined with a capacity for self-fertilization, may contribute to the dramatically rearranged genome of Helobdella robusta relative to other animals. PMID:24217283

  12. Lineage analysis of micromere 4d, a super-phylotypic cell for Lophotrochozoa, in the leech Helobdella and the sludgeworm Tubifex.

    PubMed

    Gline, Stephanie E; Nakamoto, Ayaki; Cho, Sung-Jin; Chi, Candace; Weisblat, David A

    2011-05-01

    The super-phylum Lophotrochozoa contains the plurality of extant animal phyla and exhibits a corresponding diversity of adult body plans. Moreover, in contrast to Ecdysozoa and Deuterostomia, most lophotrochozoans exhibit a conserved pattern of stereotyped early divisions called spiral cleavage. In particular, bilateral mesoderm in most lophotrochozoan species arises from the progeny of micromere 4d, which is assumed to be homologous with a similar cell in the embryo of the ancestral lophotrochozoan, more than 650 million years ago. Thus, distinguishing the conserved and diversified features of cell fates in the 4d lineage among modern spiralians is required to understand how lophotrochozoan diversity has evolved by changes in developmental processes. Here we analyze cell fates for the early progeny of the bilateral daughters (M teloblasts) of micromere 4d in the leech Helobdella sp. Austin, a clitellate annelid. We show that the first six progeny of the M teloblasts (em1-em6) contribute five different sets of progeny to non-segmental mesoderm, mainly in the head and in the lining of the digestive tract. The latter feature, associated with cells em1 and em2 in Helobdella, is seen with the M teloblast lineage in a second clitellate species, the sludgeworm Tubifex tubifex and, on the basis of previously published work, in the initial progeny of the M teloblast homologs in molluscan species, suggesting that it may be an ancestral feature of lophotrochozoan development. PMID:21295566

  13. Lineage analysis of micromere 4d, a super-phylotypic cell for Lophotrochozoa, in the leech Helobdella and the sludgeworm Tubifex

    PubMed Central

    Gline, Stephanie E.; Nakamoto, Ayaki; Cho, Sung-Jin; Chi, Candace; Weisblat, David A.

    2011-01-01

    The super-phylum Lophotrochozoa contains the plurality of extant animal phyla and exhibits a corresponding diversity of adult body plans. Moreover, in contrast to Ecdysozoa and Deuterostomia, most lophotrochozoans exhibit a conserved pattern of stereotyped early divisions called spiral cleavage. In particular, bilateral mesoderm in most lophotrochozoan species arises from the progeny of micromere 4d, which is assumed to be homologous with a similar cell in the embryo of the ancestral lophotrochozoan, more than 650 million years ago. Thus, distinguishing the conserved and diversified features of cell fates in the 4d lineage among modern spiralians is required to understand how lophotrochozoan diversity has evolved by changes in developmental processes. Here we analyze cell fates for the early progeny of the bilateral daughters (M teloblasts) of micromere 4d in the leech Helobdella sp. Austin, a clitellate annelid. We show that the first six progeny of the M teloblasts (em1–em6) contribute five different sets of progeny to non-segmental mesoderm, mainly in the head and in the lining of the digestive tract. The latter feature, associated with cells em1 and em2 in Helobdella, is seen with the M teloblast lineage in a second clitellate species, the sludgeworm Tubifex tubifex and, on the basis of previously published work, in the initial progeny of the M teloblast homologs in molluscan species, suggesting that it may be an ancestral feature of lophotrochozoan development. PMID:21295566

  14. Description of a new leech species of Helobdella (Clitellata: Glossiphoniidae) from Mexico with a review of Mexican congeners and a taxonomic key.

    PubMed

    Salas-Montiel, Ricardo; Phillips, Anna J; De Leon, Gerardo Perez-Ponce; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    To date, six species of the leech genus Helobdella have been recorded from Mexico: Helobdella atli, Helobdella elongata, Helobdella octatestisaca, Helobdella socimulcensis, Helobdella virginiae and Helobdella temiscoensis n. sp. This new species is characterized by a lanceolate body, the presence of a nuchal scute, uniform brown pigment on both dorsal and ventral surfaces, the absence of papillae, well-separated eyespots, six pairs of testisacs and five pairs of crop caeca, the last of which forms posterior caeca. In addition, we provide new geographic records for Helobdella species from Mexico resulting from our own collections, vouchers deposited at the Colección Nacional de Helmintos from the Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Mexico and vouchers at the Invertebrate Zoology Collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (USNM) Washington D.C., USA. We present a comprehensive review of Mexican Helobdella species, including the new species, with notes on the characteristic morphology and geographic distribution of each species with 91 new records from 20 states. In addition, we provide a taxonomic key for the identification of the Mexican species. PMID:25543724

  15. Na+/K+ pump interacts with the h-current to control bursting activity in central pattern generator neurons of leeches

    PubMed Central

    Kueh, Daniel; Barnett, William H; Cymbalyuk, Gennady S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of different ionic currents shape the bursting activity of neurons and networks that control motor output. Despite being ubiquitous in all animal cells, the contribution of the Na+/K+ pump current to such bursting activity has not been well studied. We used monensin, a Na+/H+ antiporter, to examine the role of the pump on the bursting activity of oscillator heart interneurons in leeches. When we stimulated the pump with monensin, the period of these neurons decreased significantly, an effect that was prevented or reversed when the h-current was blocked by Cs+. The decreased period could also occur if the pump was inhibited with strophanthidin or K+-free saline. Our monensin results were reproduced in model, which explains the pump’s contributions to bursting activity based on Na+ dynamics. Our results indicate that a dynamically oscillating pump current that interacts with the h-current can regulate the bursting activity of neurons and networks. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19322.001 PMID:27588351

  16. Developmental transition to bilaterally symmetric cell divisions is regulated by Pax-mediated transcription in embryos of the leech Helobdella austinensis.

    PubMed

    Schmerer, Matthew W; Null, Ryan W; Shankland, Marty

    2013-10-01

    The leech embryo develops by spiral cleavage, and establishes the symmetry properties of its adult body plan through the bilaterally symmetric divisions of mesodermal proteloblast DM″ and ectodermal proteloblast DNOPQ‴. We here show that transcriptional inhibitors α-amanitin and actinomycin D specifically disrupt the symmetry and orientation of these two proteloblast cell divisions while having no apparent effect on the timing or geometry of other divisions. Transcriptional inhibition had a similar effect on both proteloblasts, i.e. cytokinesis was highly asymmetric and the cleavage plane roughly orthogonal to that seen during normal development. These findings suggest that zygotic gene product(s) are required, either directly or indirectly, for the correct placement of the proteloblast cleavage furrow. The same phenotypes were also observed following in vivo expression of dominant-negative Pax gene constructs. These dominant-negative phenotypes depended on protein/DNA interaction, and could be rescued by coexpression of full length Pax proteins. However, symmetric cleavage of the mesodermal proteloblast was rescued by full length constructs of either Hau-Paxβ1 or Hau-Pax2/5/8, while only Hau-Paxβ1 rescued the symmetry of ectodermal cleavage. We conclude that both proteloblasts need Pax-mediated transcription to adopt their normally symmetric cleavage patterns, but differ in terms of the specific Pax proteins required. The implication of these findings for the evolution of spiral cleavage is discussed. PMID:23891819

  17. Comparison of the effects of millimeter wave irradiation, general bath heating, and localized heating on neuronal activity in the leech ganglion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romanenko, Sergii; Siegel, Peter H.; Wagenaar, Daniel A.; Pikov, Victor

    2013-02-01

    The use of electrically-induced neuromodulation has grown in importance in the treatment of multiple neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, epilepsy, chronic pain, cluster headaches and others. While electrical current can be applied locally, it requires placing stimulation electrodes in direct contact with the neural tissue. Our goal is to develop a method for localized application of electromagnetic energy to the brain without direct tissue contact. Toward this goal, we are experimenting with the wireless transmission of millimeter wave (MMW) energy in the 10-100 GHz frequency range, where penetration and focusing can be traded off to provide non-contact irradiation of the cerebral cortex. Initial experiments have been conducted on freshly-isolated leech ganglia to evaluate the real-time changes in the activity of individual neurons upon exposure to the MMW radiation. The initial results indicate that low-intensity MMWs can partially suppress the neuronal activity. This is in contrast to general bath heating, which had an excitatory effect on the neuronal activity. Further studies are underway to determine the changes in the state of the membrane channels that might be responsible for the observed neuromodulatory effects.

  18. The receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase HmLAR1 is up-regulated in the CNS of the adult medicinal leech following injury and is required for neuronal sprouting and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Sethi, Jasmine; Zhao, Bailey; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Salzet, Michel; Macagno, Eduardo R; Baker, Michael W

    2010-12-01

    LAR-like receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (RPTPs), which are abundantly expressed in the nervous systems of most if not all bilaterian animals thus far examined, have been implicated in regulating a variety of critical neuronal processes. These include neuronal pathfinding, adhesion and synaptogenesis during development and, in adult mammals, neuronal regeneration. Here we explored a possible role of a LAR-like RPTP (HmLAR1) in response to mechanical trauma in the adult nervous system of the medicinal leech. In situ hybridization and QPCR analyses of HmLAR1 expression in individual segmental ganglia revealed a significant up-regulation in receptor expression following CNS injury, both in situ and following a period in vitro. Furthermore, we observed up-regulation in the expression of the leech homologue of the Abelson tyrosine kinase, a putative signaling partner to LAR receptors, but not among other tyrosine kinases. The effects on neuronal regeneration were assayed by comparing growth across a nerve crush by projections of individual dorsal P neurons (P(D)) following single-cell injection of interfering RNAs against the receptor or control RNAs. Receptor RNAi led to a significant reduction in HmLAR1 expression by the injected cells and resulted in a significant decrease in sprouting and regenerative growth at the crush site relative to controls. These studies extend the role of the HmLARs from leech neuronal development to adult neuronal regeneration and provide a platform to investigate neuronal regeneration and gene regulation at the single cell level. PMID:20708686

  19. Mucinivorans hirudinis gen. nov., sp. nov., an anaerobic, mucin-degrading bacterium isolated from the digestive tract of the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Michael C.; Bomar, Lindsey; Maltz, Michele

    2015-01-01

    Three anaerobic bacterial strains were isolated from the digestive tract of the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana, using mucin as the primary carbon and energy source. These strains, designated M3T, M4 and M6, were Gram-stain-negative, non-spore-forming and non-motile. Cells were elongated bacilli approximately 2.4 µm long and 0.6 µm wide. Growth only occurred anaerobically under mesophilic and neutral pH conditions. All three strains could utilize multiple simple and complex sugars as carbon sources, with glucose fermented to acid by-products. The DNA G+C contents of strains M3T, M4 and M6 were 44.9, 44.8 and 44.8 mol%, respectively. The major cellular fatty acid of strain M3T was iso-C15 : 0. Phylogenetic analysis of full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the three strains shared >99 % similarity with each other and represent a new lineage within the family Rikenellaceae of the order Bacteroidales, phylum Bacteroidetes. The most closely related bacteria to strain M3T based on 16S rRNA gene sequences were Rikenella microfusus DSM 15922T (87.3 % similarity) and Alistipes finegoldii AHN 2437T (87.4 %). On the basis of phenotypic, genotypic and physiological evidence, strains M3T, M4 and M6 are proposed as representing a novel species of a new genus within the family Rikenellaceae, for which the name Mucinivorans hirudinis gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Mucinivorans hirudinis is M3T ( = ATCC BAA-2553T = DSM 27344T). PMID:25563920

  20. Destruction of a single cell in the central nervous system of the leech as a means of analysing its connexions and functional role

    PubMed Central

    Bowling, D.; Nicholls, J.; Parnas, I.

    1978-01-01

    A method has been devised for killing an individual neurone in the C.N.S. of the leech by injecting it with Pronase. The technique has been used to examine the role of individual sensory and motor cells involved in producing reflex movements. 1. After a neurone was injected with Pronase, either in an intact animal or an isolated ganglion, its cell body lost its resting and action potentials. Some hours later the injected cell's axons in the periphery failed to conduct impulses. In the intact animal the cell body could no longer be discerned after a few weeks. 2. To test for destruction of processes within the neuropile, cells were injected first with the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and then several hours later with Pronase. Absence of the characteristic HRP reaction product indicated that Pronase had spread throughout the arborization of the cell. 3. Injection of Pronase into one cell did not produce overt electrophysiological or anatomical changes in other cells in the ganglion including neurones that were originally electrically coupled to the killed cell. 4. Evidence that an individual cell was the only motoneurone supplying particular muscles was provided by destruction of that cell in otherwise intact animals, which resulted in a characteristic motor deficit in the area supplied by the killed cell. Over a period of months, functional recovery of the affected muscles occurred by way of homologous cells in adjacent ganglia. 5. A further application of the technique was to trace the connexion that a particular sensory neurone makes onto two motoneurones that are electrically coupled. Normally, the sensory neurone gives rise to excitatory potentials in both post-synaptic cells. Synaptic potentials could still be recorded in one motor cell after the other had been destroyed by Pronase, indicating that synapses were made directly onto both of the motoneurones. ImagesText-fig. 4Plate 2Plate 3Plate 4Plate 1 PMID:722515

  1. Comment on: “Does the Karakoram fault interrupt mid-crustal channel flow in the western Himalaya?” by Mary L. Leech, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 276 (2008) 314-322

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Searle, M. P.; Phillips, R. J.

    2009-09-01

    Leech [Leech, M.L., 2008, Does the Karakoram fault interrupt mid-crustal channel flow in the western Himalaya? Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 276, 314-322.] proposed that (1) Himalayan granites are significantly more abundant east of the Karakoram fault termination (around Mount Kailas, in SW Tibet) than west of it in the Zanskar-Kumaon region, that (2) the fault may have created a barrier to southward flow of mid-crustal channel flow, and that (3) the fault acted as a vertical conduit for these melts. These inferences are based upon new U-Pb SHRIMP data from the Leo Pargil dome, NW India, and the analysis of published U-Pb ages from additional Himalayan domes. Here we point out the flaws in all these hypotheses and suggest a much closer comparison of granites along the Karakoram shear zone to the widespread Miocene crustal melt granites of the Baltoro Karakoram range in North Pakistan. Field relationships combined with U-(Th)-Pb dating of granites and metamorphic rocks clearly shows that the leucogranites exhumed along the Karakoram fault are related to regional metamorphic and melting events along the Baltoro Karakoram range of the Asian plate and not to Indian plate Himalayan leucogranites at all. We discuss individually the points raised.

  2. Testing the spatial and temporal framework of speciation in an ancient lake species flock: the leech genus Dina (Hirudinea: Erpobdellidae) in Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trajanovski, S.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Schultheiß, R.; Stadler, T.; Benke, M.; Wilke, T.

    2010-07-01

    Ancient Lake Ohrid on the Balkan Peninsula is considered to be the oldest ancient lake in Europe with a suggested Plio-Pleistocene age. Its exact geological age, however, remains unknown. Therefore, molecular clock data of Lake Ohrid biota may serve as an independent constraint of available geological data, and may thus also help to refine age estimates. Such evolutionary data may also help unravel potential biotic and abiotic factors that promote speciation events. Here, mitochondrial sequencing data of one of the largest groups of endemic taxa in Lake Ohrid, the leech genus Dina, is used to test whether it represents an ancient lake species flock, to study the role of horizontal and vertical barriers in Lake Ohrid for evolutionary events, to estimate the onset of intralacustrine diversification in this group based on molecular clock analyses, and to compare this data with data from other endemic species for providing an approximate time frame for the origin of Lake Ohrid. Based on the criteria speciosity, monophyly and endemicity, it can be concluded that Lake Ohrid Dina, indeed, represents an ancient lake species flock. Lineage sorting of its species, however, does not seem to be complete. Analyses of population structures of Dina spp. in the Ohrid watershed indicate a horizontal zonation of haplotypes from spring and lake populations, corroborating the role of lake-side springs, particularly the southern feeder springs, for evolutionary processes in endemic Ohrid taxa. Vertical differentiation of lake taxa, however, appears to be limited, though differences between populations from the littoral and the profundal are apparent. Molecular clock analyses indicate that the most recent common ancestor of extant species of this flock is approximately 1.99±0.83 Ma old, whereas the split of the Lake Ohrid Dina flock from a potential sister taxon outside the lake is estimated at 8.30±3.60 Ma. Comparisons with other groups of endemic Ohrid species indicated that in all

  3. Testing the spatial and temporal framework of speciation in an ancient lake species flock: the leech genus Dina (Hirudinea: Erpobdellidae) in Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trajanovski, S.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Schultheiß, R.; Stadler, T.; Benke, M.; Wilke, T.

    2010-11-01

    Ancient Lake Ohrid on the Balkan Peninsula is considered to be the oldest ancient lake in Europe with a suggested Plio-/Pleistocene age. Its exact geological age, however, remains unknown. Therefore, molecular clock data of Lake Ohrid biota may serve as an independent constraint of available geological data, and may thus help to refine age estimates. Such evolutionary data may also help unravel potential biotic and abiotic factors that promote speciation events. Here, mitochondrial sequencing data of one of the largest groups of endemic taxa in the Ohrid watershed, the leech genus Dina, is used to test whether it represents an ancient lake species flock, to study the role of potential horizontal and vertical barriers in the watershed for evolutionary events, to estimate the onset of diversification in this group based on molecular clock analyses, and to compare this data with data from other endemic species for providing an approximate time frame for the origin of Lake Ohrid. Based on the criteria speciosity, monophyly and endemicity, it can be concluded that Dina spp. from the Ohrid watershed, indeed, represents an ancient lake species flock. Lineage sorting of its species, however, does not seem to be complete and/or hybridization may occur. Analyses of population structures of Dina spp. in the Ohrid watershed indicate a horizontal zonation of haplotypes from spring and lake populations, corroborating the role of lake-side springs, particularly the southern feeder springs, for evolutionary processes in endemic Ohrid taxa. Vertical differentiation of lake taxa, however, appears to be limited, though differences between populations from the littoral and the profundal are apparent. Molecular clock analyses indicate that the most recent common ancestor of extant species of this flock is approximately 1.99 ± 0.83 million years (Ma) old, whereas the split of the Ohrid Dina flock from a potential sister taxon outside the lake is estimated at 8.30 ± 3.60 Ma

  4. Using a model to assess the role of the spatiotemporal pattern of inhibitory input and intrasegmental electrical coupling in the intersegmental and side-to-side coordination of motor neurons by the leech heartbeat central pattern generator.

    PubMed

    García, Paul S; Wright, Terrence M; Cunningham, Ian R; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2008-09-01

    Previously we presented a quantitative description of the spatiotemporal pattern of inhibitory synaptic input from the heartbeat central pattern generator (CPG) to segmental motor neurons that drive heartbeat in the medicinal leech and the resultant coordination of CPG interneurons and motor neurons. To begin elucidating the mechanisms of coordination, we explore intersegmental and side-to-side coordination in an ensemble model of all heart motor neurons and their known synaptic inputs and electrical coupling. Model motor neuron intrinsic properties were kept simple, enabling us to determine the extent to which input and electrical coupling acting together can account for observed coordination in the living system in the absence of a substantive contribution from the motor neurons themselves. The living system produces an asymmetric motor pattern: motor neurons on one side fire nearly in synchrony (synchronous), whereas on the other they fire in a rear-to-front progression (peristaltic). The model reproduces the general trends of intersegmental and side-to-side phase relations among motor neurons, but the match with the living system is not quantitatively accurate. Thus realistic (experimentally determined) inputs do not produce similarly realistic output in our model, suggesting that motor neuron intrinsic properties may contribute to their coordination. By varying parameters that determine electrical coupling, conduction delays, intraburst synaptic plasticity, and motor neuron excitability, we show that the most important determinant of intersegmental and side-to-side phase relations in the model was the spatiotemporal pattern of synaptic inputs, although phasing was influenced significantly by electrical coupling. PMID:18579654

  5. The age of deep, steep continental subduction in the NW Himalaya: Relating zircon growth to metamorphic history. Comment on: “The onset of India-Asia continental collision: Early, steep subduction required by the timing of UHP metamorphism in the western Himalaya” by Mary L. Leech, S. Singh, A.K. Jain, Simon L. Klemperer and R.M. Manickavasagam, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 234 (2005) 83-97

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Patrick J.

    2006-05-01

    Leech et al. [Mary L. Leech, S. Singh, A.K. Jain, Simon L. Klemperer and R.M. Manickavasagam, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 234 (2005) 83-97], present 3 clusters of ages for growth stages in zircon from quartzo-feldspathic gneisses hosting coesite-bearing eclogite from the Tso Morari Complex, NW India. These age clusters, from oldest to youngest, are interpreted to represent the age of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism, a subsequent eclogite facies overprint and a later amphibolite facies retrogression and require subduction of Indian crust to have started earlier than previously accepted. However, no petrographic evidence, such as inclusions in the zircons relating to particular metamorphic events, is presented to substantiate the proposed sequence of metamorphic stages. Previously published data from eclogites of the same area indicate that coesite-eclogite is not the first but at least the second eclogite facies stage. In addition, the newly proposed time interval between coesite-eclogite and the amphibolite facies overprint is longer than previously indicated by diffusion modelling of natural garnet-garnet couples in eclogite. Neither the age of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism nor the timing of initiation of subduction is reliably constrained by the presented data.

  6. LEECH: LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew

    We propose to perform a direct exoplanet imaging survey around nearby (<25 pc), intermediate-aged (0.1-1.0 Gyr) stars using the LBT adaptive optics system (LBTAO) and the mid-infrared imager, LBTI. LBTAO is the first of the next generation extreme AO systems to come online and the only one that will operate in the mid-infrared (>3μm), where old/cool planets are brightest, and adaptive optics performance is superb (>95% Strehl ratio for LBTAO). The proposed survey will leverage 60 nights already-allocated to the NASA LBTI exozodiacal dust survey, which will target nearby stars with nulling interferometry to search for faint, warm debris disks. LBTI has a 3-5μm imager/spectrograph (LMIRCam) and an 8-13μm imager/spectrograph/nuller (NOMIC), which can be operated simultaneously using a beamsplitter, meaning that LMIRCam can search for gas-giant planets while NOMIC measures exozodiacal emission. Executing these two surveys simultaneously will greatly increase the scientific productivity of 60 already-allocated NASA nights by 1) creating exoplanet discovery opportunities and 2) providing a synergetic data set for studying debris disks (exozodis) as signposts of giant planets. The exozodi survey sample is older than the samples of other planned direct imaging surveys, which look at younger stars (<100 Myr) due to the fact that planets become fainter as they age. LBTI is still sensitive to planets around older stars because it operates at L (3.8 μm) where evolutionary models predict planets fade more slowly than at the wavelengths used by most direct-imaging surveys, (H; 1.65 μm). The ability to detect planets around nearby (<25 pc) intermediante-aged (0.1-1.0 Gyr) stars presents several scientific opportunities: 1) A variety of evolutionary models (hot-start, core-accretion/cold-start, warm-start) predict different cooling curves for extrasolar planets, based on different initial conditions. By imaging a population of old planets, we will determine how the planet population evolves by comparing our results to the young planet surveys (e.g. GPI and SPHERE). 2) Initial results show that young planets (such as HR 8799 bcde and 2M1207 b) have very different atmospheres from their older and more massive brown-dwarf analogs. Our sample is intermediate in age between the very young planets that will be discovered by other direct imaging surveys and the very old field brown- dwarf population. Multi-wavelength characterization of our old-planet sample will provide a key intermediate step for atmospheric models. 3) Our sample is composed of the nearest stars, which have been extensively studied by other types of surveys (Doppler RV planet searches, Spitzer and Herschel debris disk observations, and the concurrent LBTI exozodiacal dust survey). The combination of all of these data will reveal the overall architectures of planetary systems by constraining the presence of inner giant planets with RV data, outer giant planets with LBTI direct imaging, hot debris disks with LBTI exozodi data, and cold debris disks with Spitzer and Herschel. Based on planet population models and on-sky estimates of the LBTAO/LBTI instrument performance, we expect to discover ~2-7 planets by observing 117 nearby stars over the next 4 years. These planets will be older and nearer to the Sun than planets found by other surveys, and will benefit from synergetic data from several other surveys that target the nearest stars. Using these new discoveries, we will constrain the atmospheric and evolutionary models for intermediate-aged planets, and determine the extent to which debris disks can be used as signposts of extrasolar planets.

  7. Critical Review of Leech's (1983) Proposal about Politeness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tamada, Yutaka

    In Japanese society, it is inevitable to use polite expressions in public. Adult Japanese must use polite expressions whenever they meet anybody for the first time. Hence, it is possible to say that all adult Japanese know the usage of politeness vaguely, but not clearly. It is because they learn it through socializing with others. An examination…

  8. Synchronization transition in gap-junction-coupled leech neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qingyun; Duan, Zhisheng; Feng, Zhaosheng; Chen, Guanrong; Lu, Qishao

    2008-07-01

    Real neurons can exhibit various types of firings including tonic spiking, bursting as well as silent state, which are frequently observed in neuronal electrophysiological experiments. More interestingly, it is found that neurons can demonstrate the co-existing mode of stable tonic spiking and bursting, which depends on initial conditions. In this paper, synchronization in gap-junction-coupled neurons with co-existing attractors of spiking and bursting firings is investigated as the coupling strength gets increased. Synchronization transitions can be identified by means of the bifurcation diagram and the correlation coefficient. It is illustrated that the coupled neurons can exhibit different types of synchronization transitions between spiking and bursting when the coupling strength increases. In the course of synchronization transitions, an intermittent synchronization can be observed. These results may be instructive to understand synchronization transitions in neuronal systems.

  9. Chinese Medicinal Leech: Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Activities

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Han; Ren, Ji-Xiang; Wang, Jing-Jing; Ding, Li-Shuai; Zhao, Jian-Jun; Liu, Song-Yan; Gao, Hui-Min

    2016-01-01

    Hirudo (Shuizhi in Chinese) is an important Chinese medicine, which possesses many therapeutic properties for the treatment of the cerebral hemorrhage and other thrombosis-related diseases. The phytochemical investigation gave more than 51 compounds including pteridines, phosphatidylcholines, glycosphingolipids, and sterols, as well as some bioactive peptides from the Shuizhi derived from three animal species recorded in the current Chinese Pharmacopoeia. The pharmacological studies on the Shuizhi have revealed various activities such as anticoagulation, antithrombosis, antiatherosclerosis, antiplatelet aggregation, antitumor and anti-inflammatory as well as hemorheology improvement, and protective effects against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, some important issues based on the traditional uses of Shuizhi are still not clear. The aim of the present review is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of Shuizhi. It will provide a potential guidance in exploring main active compounds of Shuizhi and interpreting the action mechanism for the further research. PMID:27274755

  10. "Don't Forget Your Leech Socks"! Children's Learning during an Eden Education Officer's Workshop

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowker, Rob; Jasper, Andy

    2007-01-01

    This study looked at 30 primary aged children between 10 and 11 years old who were visiting the Eden Project, Cornwall and participating in workshops led and designed by the Eden Education Officers. The study attempted to directly test the effects of the Education Officers' workshops on children's learning. Personal meaning mapping, a…

  11. A NEW SPECIES OF LEECH, 'BATRACOBDELLA CRYPTOBRANCHII' N. SP. (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA), PARASITIC ON THE OZARK HELLBENDER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Batracobdella cryptobranchii, parasitic on Ozark Hellbenders, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, is found in the North Fork of the White River, Ozark County, in Missouri. B. cryptobranchii reaches a length of 17 mm; dorsum is smooth; color pattern or metameric markings are absent. The...

  12. Unani treatment and leech therapy saved the diabetic foot of a patient from amputation.

    PubMed

    Zaidi, S M Arif

    2016-04-01

    Every 30 seconds, a lower limb amputation is carried out due to diabetes throughout the world. The mortality rate due to diabetic foot gangrene is just next to that of cancer. As tissue death cannot be reversed, surgical removal of the affected tissue (debridement) or amputation of the limb is the only treatment option left when gangrene has advanced. The present case study illustrates an option to treat poorly healing diabetic wounds with Unani medicine (blood purifier and deobstruent) besides hirudotherapy. The study was performed on a 60-year-old woman suffering from diabetic foot (on the left) grade 5 and facing the prospect of imminent amputation. The patient was having severe pain (80 mm on a 100 mm visual analogue scale) in the gangrenous foot and foul-smelling with necrosed areas. Wound dressing was done with unripe papaya as it has a very good role in clearing necrotising area and hirudotherapy was also used in poorly healing wounds. The pain score decreased to 0-10 mm on a 100 mm visual analogue scale within 20 days and no further pain relieving medication was required. Over a time interval of nearly 3·5 months, necrotic areas disappeared and the wound was completely healed. PMID:24809835

  13. `Don't forget your leech socks'! Children's learning during an Eden Education Officer's workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowker, Rob; Jasper, Andy

    2007-04-01

    This study looked at 30 primary aged children between 10 and 11 years old who were visiting the Eden Project, Cornwall and participating in workshops led and designed by the Eden Education Officers. The study attempted to directly test the effects of the Education Officers' workshops on children's learning. Personal meaning mapping, a constructivist approach was used to measure change in the children's understanding along four semi-independent dimensions: extent, breadth, depth and mastery. The children's mastery of the subject regardless of ability was improved. Most of the workshop aims, such as ‘to recognise some plant adaptations in the humid tropics climate’ were shown to have been met. The research also highlighted areas to be reviewed, such as educating children about the way indigenous people use plants for their survival and also how children can transfer knowledge, so that they can understand the significance of plants in their own daily lives.

  14. The propensity to bi-stability of bursting and silence of the leech heart interneuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malaschenko, Tatiana; Williams, Diana; Shilnikov, Andrey; Cymbalyuk, Gennady

    2009-11-01

    Bursting is one of primary activity regimes of neurons. Our previous study was focused on determining a generic biophysical mechanism underlying the transition between bursting and silence and the co-existence of these two regimes observed in a neuron model. We show that this co-existence can be explained by the unstable sub-threshold oscillations (USTO) separating silence and bursting. The range of the controlling parameters, where the co-existence is observed, is limited by the critical values of the system at which the Andronov-Hopf and homoclinic bifurcations occur. We investigate how different parameters of the model affect the width of the co-existence area. We study the effects of the variations of maximal conductances of every voltage-dependent current. The influence of each current was tested individually, one at the time. We found that only two of them had a significant effect on the range of co-existence. The increase of the maximal conductance of the hyperpolarization-activated cationic current Ih would expand the area of co-existence. The decrease of the conductance of the LVA fast Ca^2+ current has the opposite effect.

  15. Millimeter wave-induced changes in membrane properties of leech Retzius neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pikov, Victor; Siegel, Peter H.

    2011-03-01

    This study evaluated a novel method for modulation of neuronal excitability using non-invasive delivery of millimeter waves. Millimeter waves at 60 GHz and incident power density of 100-600 μW/cm2 were applied to three intact segmental ganglia of the adult leach, and intracellular neuronal activity was recorded from the Retzius neurons using intracellular glass electrode. Transient dosedependent increase in the plasma membrane permeability was observed. In addition, in one of the examined neurons, a decrease in the neuronal firing rate was also evident. The results provide strong evidence for the feasibility of modulating neuronal excitability using non-invasive delivery of millimeter waves, and will be explored further for applications in basic neuroscience and treatment of neurological disorders.

  16. Bistability of bursting and silence regimes in a model of a leech heart interneuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malashchenko, Tatiana; Shilnikov, Andrey; Cymbalyuk, Gennady

    2011-10-01

    Bursting is one of the primary activity regimes of neurons. Our study is focused on determining a generic biophysical mechanism underlying the coexistence of the bursting and silent regimes observed in a neuron model. We show that the main ingredient for this mechanism is a saddle periodic orbit. The stable manifold of the orbit sets a threshold between the regimes of activity. Thus, the range of the controlling parameters, where the coexistence is observed, is limited by the bifurcations' values at which the saddle orbit appears and disappears. We show that it appears through the subcritical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation, where the equilibrium representing the silent regime loses stability, and disappears at the homoclinic bifurcation. Correspondingly, the bursting regime disappears in close proximity to the homoclinic bifurcation.

  17. ANATOMY, LIFE HISTORY AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE PARASITIC LEECH OLIGOBDELLA BIANNULATA (MOORE, 1900) (EUHIRUDINEA: GLOSSIPHONIIDAE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Oligobdella biannulata (Moore, 1900) is a rare, endemic species originally described from a mountain stream near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Specimens of this species were collected seasonally from fall 1999 to winter 2001 with four new county records in North Carolina (Avery,...

  18. The first data on species diversity of leeches (Hirudinea) in the Irtysh River Basin, East Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Kaygorodova, Irina A; Fedorova, Lyudmila I

    2016-01-01

    The Irtysh River is one of the major waterways of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The river originates in the territory of Mongolia and China, flows through the East Kazakhstan and falls into the Ob River in the Western Siberia of Russia. The Kazakhstan section of the river, with length of 1698 km and water resources about 43.8 km3 (Dyusebaeva 2012), is situated on the border of the West Siberian Plain, the Altai Mountains and the Kazakh Uplands. As the river crosses various natural zones, characteristics of its hydrological regime is very diverse. In the south, in the area of Ust-Kamenogorsk, the valley of the Irtysh extends. In the upper reaches up to the city of Semey (formerly Semipalatinsk), the river is surrounded by plain and mountain landscapes. Downstream from Semey, the Irtysh enters the West Siberian Plain and flows to north-west through dry steppes. The riverbed is unstable: sometimes it is very tortuous, sometimes it is broken into branches, and, there are a lot of sand spits. The hydrological level of the Kazakhstan part of the Irtysh River is regulated with the cascade of storage reservoirs near the towns Bukhtarma, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Shulbinsk. PMID:27470855

  19. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Orbit and Component Masses of the Intermediate-age, Late-type Binary NO UMa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlieder, Joshua E.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Maire, Anne-Lise; Desidera, Silvano; Hinz, Philip; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Leisenring, Jarron; Bailey, Vanessa; Defrère, Denis; Esposito, Simone; Strassmeier, Klaus G.; Weber, Michael; Biller, Beth A.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird M.; Crepp, Justin R.; Eisner, Josh A.; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Henning, Thomas; Morzinski, Katie M.; Schertl, Dieter; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.

    2016-02-01

    We present high-resolution Large Binocular Telescope LBTI/LMIRcam images of the spectroscopic and astrometric binary NO UMa obtained as part of the LBT Interferometer Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt exoplanet imaging survey. Our H-, Ks-, and L‧-band observations resolve the system at angular separations <0.″09. The components exhibit significant orbital motion over a span of ∼7 months. We combine our imaging data with archival images, published speckle interferometry measurements, and existing spectroscopic velocity data to solve the full orbital solution and estimate component masses. The masses of the K2.0 ± 0.5 primary and K6.5 ± 0.5 secondary are 0.83 ± 0.02 M⊙ and 0.64 ± 0.02 M⊙, respectively. We also derive a system distance of d = 25.87 ± 0.02 pc and revise the Galactic kinematics of NO UMa. Our revised Galactic kinematics confirm NO UMa as a nuclear member of the ∼500 Myr old Ursa Major moving group, and it is thus a mass and age benchmark. We compare the masses of the NO UMa binary components to those predicted by five sets of stellar evolution models at the age of the Ursa Major group. We find excellent agreement between our measured masses and model predictions with little systematic scatter between the models. NO UMa joins the short list of nearby, bright, late-type binaries having known ages and fully characterized orbits. Based on data obtained with the STELLA robotic telescope in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC.

  20. A new and alien species of ``oyster leech'' (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida, Stylochidae) from the brackish North Sea Canal, The Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sluys, Ronald; Faubel, Anno; Rajagopal, Sanjeevi; Velde, Gerard Van Der

    2005-11-01

    A new species of polyclad flatworm, Imogine necopinata Sluys, sp. nov., is described from a brackish habitat in The Netherlands. Taxonomic affinities with Asian species and the ecology of the animals suggest that the species is an introduced, exotic component of the Dutch fauna. The new species belongs to a group of worms with species that are known to predate on oysters.

  1. History of evidence-based medicine. Oranges, chloride of lime and leeches: barriers to teaching old dogs new tricks.

    PubMed

    Doherty, Steven

    2005-08-01

    Knowledge translation is the process of taking evidence from research and applying it in clinical practice. In this article I will cite some pivotal moments in the history of medicine to highlight the difficulties and delays associated with getting evidence into practice. These historical examples have much in common with modern medical trials and quality improvement processes. I will also review the reasons why evidence is not used and consider what factors facilitate the uptake of evidence. Understanding these concepts will make it easier for individual clinicians and institutions to change clinical behaviour and provide a starting point for those looking at implementing 'new' practices, new therapies and clinical guidelines. Finally, I will offer a list of criteria that clinicians might choose to consider when deciding on whether or not to adopt a new practice, treatment or concept. PMID:16091093

  2. Hydrogeology and ground-water quality of glacial-drift aquifers, Leech Lake Indian Reservation, north-central Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindgren, R.J.

    1996-01-01

    Water collected from wells completed in the unconfined aquifer in residential and recreational land-use areas had concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, and cyanide equal to or less than 6 micrograms per liter. Concentrations of organic-acid herbicides in water from three wells screened in the unconfined aquifer in managed-forest land-use areas were all below detection levels. Concentrations of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency priority pollutants in water from three wells screened in the unconfined aquifer and from one well screened in the uppermost confined aquifer were also all below detection levels.

  3. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey. Further constraints on the planet architecture of the HR 8799 system (Corrigendum)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, A.-L.; Skemer, A. J.; Hinz, P. M.; Desidera, S.; Esposito, S.; Gratton, R.; Marzari, F.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Biller, B. A.; Defrère, D.; Bailey, V. P.; Leisenring, J. M.; Apai, D.; Bonnefoy, M.; Brandner, W.; Buenzli, E.; Claudi, R. U.; Close, L. M.; Crepp, J. R.; De Rosa, R. J.; Eisner, J. A.; Fortney, J. J.; Henning, T.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Kopytova, T. G.; Males, J. R.; Mesa, D.; Morzinski, K. M.; Oza, A.; Patience, J.; Pinna, E.; Rajan, A.; Schertl, D.; Schlieder, J. E.; Su, K. Y. L.; Vaz, A.; Ward-Duong, K.; Weigelt, G.; Woodward, C. E.

    2015-07-01

    The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.

  4. New Host and Distribution Records of the Leech Placobdella sophieaeOceguera-Figueroa et al., 2010 (Hirudinida: Glossiphoniidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moser, William E.; Bowerman, Jay; Hovingh, Peter; Pearl, Christopher A.; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alajandro

    2014-01-01

    Placobdella sophieae Oceguera-Figueroa et al., 2010 (Hirudinida: Glossiphoniidae) is reported from Oregon, California, and British Columbia for the first time. New hosts reported for P. sophieae include Taricha granulosa (rough-skinned newt), Rana pretiosa (Oregon spotted frog), and Anaxyrus boreas (western toad). Placobdella sophieae exhibits relatively low host specificity and all amphibians occurring in the Pacific Northwest are potential hosts.

  5. Suckers for Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haugen, Heidi Helene

    2001-01-01

    Introduces an inquiry-based program on leeches that features five components: (1) engagement; (2) exploration; (3) explanation; (4) evaluation; and (5) extension/elaboration. Investigates the anatomy and environmental conditions of leeches. (YDS)

  6. Actinobdella inequinnulata (Annelida: Hirudinida:Rhynchobdellida:Glossiphoniidae) from White Crappie, Pomoxis annularis (Perciformes: Centrarchidae), in Arkansas, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    One of 4 (25%) white crappie, Pomoxis annularis from the Ouachita River, Dallas County, Arkansas, was found to be infested with 8 glossiphoniid leeches, Actinobdella inequiannulata Moore, 1901. Leeches were removed from within the oeprculum on gills and gill arches. This leech i...

  7. 75 FR 9573 - Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc: Bemidji-Grand Rapids 230kV Transmission Project

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-03

    ... Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe are cooperating agencies for this Draft EIS. The proposed new... Leech Lake Tribal College, 6945 Little Wolf Road NW., in Cass Lake, MN 56633. Comments regarding the... the federal environmental review with Division of Resource Management of the Leech Lake...

  8. Hirudotherapy in Medicine and Dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Aarti; Narang, Ridhi; Das, Sunanda

    2015-01-01

    The concept of Unani medicine is based on balancing body humours, the imbalance of which causes diseases. The application of leech therapy in medical and dental science is well recognized. Although easy and non-invasive, complications also exist. The article aims to presents a brief review on the applications of leech therapy. The physiological effect, along with its therapeutic role in cancer, diabetes and dentistry have been underlined. Complications of leech therapy have also been dealt with. PMID:26817000

  9. Molecular Identification of Haemadipsa rjukjuana (Hirudiniformes: Haemadipsidae) in Gageo Island, Korea

    PubMed Central

    Won, Sohyun; Park, Bae Keun; Kim, Baek Jun; Kim, Hye Won; Kang, Jun Gu; Park, Tae Seo; Seo, Hong Yul; Eun, Ye; Kim, Ki Gyoung

    2014-01-01

    There are 60 species of blood-feeding land leeches, 50 species belonging to the family Haemadipsidae and 10 species belonging to the family Xerobdellidae. Despite recent papers on the land leeches, their taxonomic identification is not fully understood, especially at a species level. In Korea, there have been no historical records of the terrestrial leeches, but recently an unrecorded blood-feeding land leech was discovered at Gageo-do (Island), Korea. Molecular analysis was used to identify the species of 29 leeches collected from Mt. Dock-Sil in Gageo-do. Conventional PCR was conducted using nuclear 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) genetic marker. The 18S rRNA sequences revealed that the leeches share 99.9% identity with Haemadipsa rjukjuana (inhabiting Taiwan), and the CO1 sequences revealed that the leeches are very close to H. rjukjuana (inhabiting Taiwan). The CO1 sequences were separated into 2 categories, 1 with 94.6% and the other with 94.3% similarity to the H. rjukjuana L00115A (inhabiting Taiwan). This new finding of the land leech is the first record in Korea. In addition, the north range of the distribution of the blood-feeding leech (Hirudiniformes: Haemadipisidae) should be reconsidered including Korea. PMID:24850960

  10. 71 FR 45550 - Coppers Reregistration Eligibility Decision; Notice of Availability

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2006-08-09

    ..., published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2004 (69 FR 26819)(FRL-7357-9), explains that in conducting..., and in direct aquatic applications as an algaecide, herbicide, molluscicide, and leech control..., molluscicide, and leech control. Direct aquatic application sites include a wide range of water...

  11. Oral hirudiniasis in a stray dog, first report in Italy

    PubMed Central

    RAELE, Donato Antonio; GALANTE, Domenico; CAFIERO, Maria Assunta

    2015-01-01

    In June 2014, a male stray dog was recovered at Ente Nazionale di Protezione Animali (ENPA) kennel of Manfredonia, Apulia region, showing oral bleeding and physical prostration. The dog fell in a water canal and was trapped. During the clinical examination, a specimen of leech was revealed into its oral cavity. The parasite, probably entered by drinking unfiltered and contaminated water, has been identified as an adult of aquatic leech Limnatis nilotica. Leeches could overrun wide variety of animals, and few reports about blood sucking leech infestations in mammals are available in literature. This paper describes here the first oral hirudiniasis in a dog in Italy and highlights the possibility of human nasopharyngeal leech-related infection in Apulia region. PMID:26004432

  12. BIOLOGY OF THE LEECH ACTINOBDELLA INEQUIANNULATA MOORE, 1901 (ANNELIDA: HIRUDINEA: RHYNCHOBDELLIDA: GLOSSIPHONIIDAE), PARASITIC ON THE WHITE SUCKER, CATOSTOMUS COMMERSONI LACEPEDE, 1803 AND THE LONGNOSE SUCKER, CATOSTOMUS CATOSTOMUS FORSTER, 1773, IN ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK, ONTARIO, CANADA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Actinobdella inequiannulata was found on the white sucker, Catostomus commersoni, and less frequently on the longnose sucker, Catostomus catostomus, in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Catostomus commersoni parasitized with Act. inequiannulata was collected from July ...

  13. High prevalence of buccal ulcerations in largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides (Centrarchidae) from Michigan inland lakes associated with Myzobdella lugubris Leidy 1851 (Annelida: Hirudinea)

    PubMed Central

    Faisal, M.; Schulz, C.; Eissa, A.; Whelan, G.

    2011-01-01

    Widespread mouth ulcerations were observed in largemouth bass collected from eight inland lakes in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan during the summer months of 2002 and 2003. These ulcerations were associated with, and most likely caused by, leech parasitism. Through the use of morphological dichotomous keys, it was determined that all leeches collected are of one species: Myzobdella lugubris. Among the eight lakes examined, Lake Orion and Devils Lake had the highest prevalence of leech parasitism (34% and 29%, respectively) and mouth ulcerations (53% and 68%, respectively). Statistical analyses demonstrated that leech and ulcer prevalence varied significantly from one lake to the other. Additionally, it was determined that the relationship between the prevalence of ulcers and the prevalence of leech attachment is significant, indicating that leech parasitism is most likely the cause of ulceration. The ulcers exhibited deep hemorrhagic centers and raised irregular edges. Affected areas lost their epithelial lining and submucosa, with masses of bacteria colonizing the damaged tissues. Since largemouth bass is a popular global sportfish and critical to the food web of inland lakes, there are concerns that the presence of leeches, damaged buccal mucosa, and general unsightliness may negatively affect this important sportfishery. PMID:21395209

  14. Bleeding and cupping.

    PubMed Central

    Turk, J. L.; Allen, E.

    1983-01-01

    Bleeding and cupping have been used in medicine since ancient times in the treatment of fevers and local inflammatory disorders. Local bleeding, by 'wet cupping', was effected by a scarificator or by leeches. John Hunter recommended venesection in moderation but preferred leeches for local bleeding. Bleeding as an accepted therapeutic practice went out of vogue in the middle of the nineteenth century as a result of the introduction of modern scientific methods. Dry cupping and the use of leeches, as counter irritants, persisted until the middle of this century. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:6338802

  15. A 100-Night Exoplanet Imaging Survey at the LBT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmerman, Neil; Skemer, Andrew; Apai, Daniel; Bailey, Vanessa; Biller, Beth; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Brandner, Wolfgang; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin; Defrere, Denis; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Esposito, Simone; Fortney, Jonathan; Henning, Thomas; Hinz, Phil; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Leisenring, Jarron; Males, Jared; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; Morzinski, Katie; Pascucci, Ilaria; Patience, Jenny; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Skrutskie, Michael; Su, Kate; Woodward, Chick; Weigelt, Gerd

    2013-07-01

    In February 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars in L' band (3.8 microns) as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.3 microns). This part of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. We present the science goals for LEECH and a preliminary contrast curve from some early data.

  16. Hirudotherapy in veterinary medicine.

    PubMed

    Sobczak, Natalia; Kantyka, Magdalena

    2014-01-01

    The saliva of medicinal leeches, e.g., Hirudo medicinalis and Hirudo verbana commonly used in hirudotherapy, contains more than 100 bioactive substances with various therapeutic effects, including anticoagulant, vasodilator, thrombolytic, anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties. Recently, leeches have been used very successfully in veterinary medicine to treat many diseases of animals, especially dogs, cats and horses. The most common indications for the use of leeches are hip and elbow dysplasia, acute and chronic arthritis, diseases associated with inflammation of tendons, ligaments, and fascia, diseases of the vertebrae and the treatment of scars. Leech therapy is a painless procedure which takes an average of 30 to 120 minutes, the time being dependent on the size of the animal. All leeches used in medical procedures should originate only from certified biofarms. The maintenance of sterile conditions for the culture, transport and storage of medical leeches is very important to protect animals from microbial infections. Hirudotherapy is successfully used in veterinary medicine, especially when traditional treatment is not effective, the effects of treatment are too slow, or after surgery, when the tissues may be threatened by venous congestion. PMID:25115059

  17. Which way is up? Asymmetric spectral input along the dorsal-ventral axis influences postural responses in an amphibious annelid.

    PubMed

    Jellies, John

    2014-11-01

    Medicinal leeches are predatory annelids that exhibit countershading and reside in aquatic environments where light levels might be variable. They also leave the water and must contend with terrestrial environments. Yet, leeches generally maintain a dorsal upward position despite lacking statocysts. Leeches respond visually to both green and near-ultraviolet (UV) light. I used LEDs to test the hypothesis that ventral, but not dorsal UV would evoke compensatory movements to orient the body. Untethered leeches were tested using LEDs emitting at red (632 nm), green (513 nm), blue (455 nm) and UV (372 nm). UV light evoked responses in 100 % of trials and the leeches often rotated the ventral surface away from it. Visible light evoked no or modest responses (12-15 % of trials) and no body rotation. Electrophysiological recordings showed that ventral sensilla responded best to UV, dorsal sensilla to green. Additionally, a higher order interneuron that is engaged in a variety of parallel networks responded vigorously to UV presented ventrally, and both the visible and UV responses exhibited pronounced light adaptation. These results strongly support the suggestion that a dorsal light reflex in the leech uses spectral comparisons across the dorsal-ventral axis rather than, or in addition to, luminance. PMID:25152938

  18. Reply to comment by P.J. O'Brien on: “The onset of India-Asia continental collision: Early, steep subduction required by the timing of UHP metamorphism in the western Himalaya” by Mary L. Leech, S. Singh, A.K. Jain, Simon L. Klemperer and R.M. Manickavasagam, Earth Planetary Science Letters 234 (2005) 83-97

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leech, Mary L.; Singh, Sandeep; Jain, A. K.; Klemperer, Simon L.; Manickavasagam, R. M.

    2006-05-01

    We thank O'Brien for directing our attention to his recent publication on modeling of diffusion in garnets, including one garnet from the Tso Morari Complex [1], and allowing us to show how our data and existing interpretation are consistent with his model. It seems O'Brien wants the timing of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism (UHPM) in the Tso Morari Complex to be the same as the well-established 46 Ma UHPM event in Kaghan over 500 km to the northwest (e.g., [2]), and is attempting to reinterpret our U-Pb zircon dating from the Tso Morari Complex to fit his notion. But rather than fight the age data, why not develop a model that fits the data? Guillot et al. [3] describe a warped geometry of the Indian subduction plane that places the Tso Morari Complex and Kaghan at different depths based on their ages of UHPM; this model allows for a 55-54 Ma UHP event in the Tso Morari Complex and a 46 Ma event in Kaghan [4].

  19. The Hirudo medicinalis species complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutschera, U.

    2012-05-01

    Recently, Hildebrandt and Lemke (Naturwissenschaften 98:995-1008, 2011) argued that the taxonomic status of the three European medicinal leeches, Hirudo medicinalis Linnaeus 1758, Hirudo verbana Carena 1820, and Hirudo orientalis Utevsky and Trontelj (Parasitol Res 98:61-66, 2005) is "questionable" since "all three species interbreed in the laboratory". This statement is in conflict with data published by Elliott and Kutschera (Freshwater Reviews 4:21-41, 2011), indicating that these leeches, which are reciprocally copulating hermaphrodites, represent reproductively isolated biospecies. Here, I summarize evidence indicating that these three European taxa, plus the North African "dragon leech" ( Hirudo troctina Johnson 1816), must be interpreted as a complex of closely related species, and that the economically most important taxon H. verbana is polymorphic.

  20. Crustal anisotropy in a subduction zone forearc: Northern Cascadia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matharu, G.; Bostock, M. G.; Christensen, N. I.; Tromp, Jeroen

    2014-09-01

    S-wave splitting analyses using low-frequency earthquake templates at three-component stations across southern Vancouver Island and northern Washington indicate the presence of a heterogeneous distribution of crustal anisotropy in the North American plate. For southern Vancouver Island, we investigate contributions to anisotropy from the Leech River Complex, a terrane composed of strongly foliated phyllites and schists with steeply dipping foliations striking east-west. Fast directions across mainland southern Vancouver Island are subparallel to the dominant Leech River Complex foliation direction. East-to-west increases in delay times and small-scale azimuthal variations in fast directions indicate heterogeneous anisotropy. We test azimuthally anisotropic Leech River Complex models constrained by previous geological and seismic reflection studies, through forward modeling using 3-D spectral element method simulations. The preferred model of a north/northeast shallowly dipping wedge of Leech River Complex material with varying orientation of anisotropy terminating at midcrustal levels explains the splitting observations at a majority of southern Vancouver Island stations. For stations where anisotropic Leech River Complex models do not recreate observations, fast directions are subparallel to local estimates of maximum compressive horizontal stress, suggesting that fluid-filled cracks could be a source of anisotropy. We assert that the Leech River Complex is the primary source of crustal anisotropy beneath southern Vancouver Island, not cracks as suggested by prior studies. Fast directions at stations on northern Washington exhibit variations with azimuth and incidence angle suggesting complex anisotropy interpreted as due to a combination of cracks and preferred mineral orientation of metamorphosed slates of the Olympic core rocks. These slates may also underlay stations on southern Vancouver Island and represent another source of anisotropy.

  1. A Gilbert-Varshamov type bound for Euclidean packings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nebe, Gabriele; Xing, Chaoping

    2008-12-01

    This paper develops a method to obtain a Gilbert-Varshamov type bound for dense packings in the Euclidean spaces using suitable lattices. For the Leech lattice the obtained bounds are quite reasonable for large dimensions, better than the Minkowski-Hlawka bound, but not as good as the lower bound given by Keith Ball in 1992.

  2. Qualitative Analysis Techniques for the Review of the Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.; Leech, Nancy L.; Collins, Kathleen M. T.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we provide a framework for analyzing and interpreting sources that inform a literature review or, as it is more aptly called, a research synthesis. Specifically, using Leech and Onwuegbuzie's (2007, 2008) frameworks, we delineate how the following four major source types inform research syntheses: talk, observations,…

  3. Characterization and immune function of two intracellular sensors, HmTLR1 and HmNLR, in the injured CNS of an invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Boidin-Wichlacz, Céline; Slomianny, Christian; Salzet, Michel; Tasiemski, Aurélie

    2011-02-01

    Unlike mammals, the CNS of the medicinal leech can regenerate damaged neurites, thus restoring neural functions. Our group recently demonstrated that the injured leech nerve cord is able to mount an immune response, which promotes the regenerative processes. This defense mechanism is microorganism-specific, suggesting that the leech CNS is able to discriminate among microbial components. We report here the characterization of two receptors potentially implicated in this detection: HmTLR1 and HmNLR. Interestingly, HmTLR1 presents an endosomal distribution in neurons and appears as a chimera combining the mammalian intraendosomal domain of TLR3 and the cytoplasmic section of TLR13, while HmNLR is cytosolic and has the highest homology to NLRC3 receptors. Both receptors show patterns of induction upon stimulation that suggest their involvement in the leech neuroimmune response. This work constitutes the first demonstration in an invertebrate of (i) an intracellular TLR and (ii) a cytosolic PRR related to the NLR family. PMID:20920526

  4. Politeness Principle in Cross-Culture Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Yongliang

    2008-01-01

    As we all know, different people hold different views about politeness. To be polite, Leech thinks you should follow "Politeness Principle" while Levinson suggests paying attention to others' "Face Wants". Sometimes what the Chinese people considered to be polite may not be true according to western culture. In order to…

  5. Doctoral Students' Reasons for Reading Empirical Research Articles: A Mixed Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgess, Melissa L.; Benge, Cindy; Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.; Mallette, Marla H.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about reading ability among doctoral students. Thus, we used a fully mixed concurrent equal status design (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2009) to examine 205 doctoral students in the College of Education and their reasons for reading research articles. A thematic analysis revealed 5 themes (subsumed by 2 meta-themes) explaining reasons…

  6. Neurons from rat brain coupled to transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vassanelli, S.; Fromherz, P.

    Field-effect transistors form spontaneously capacitive junctions with cultured nerve cells from rat brains. The transfer of ac signals from neurons to silicon is studied and used to parametrize an equivalent circuit. The coupling is distinctly weaker than in junctions assembled with leech nerve cells. The implications with respect to the recording and stimulation of neuronal activity by silicon devices are considered.

  7. The Most Frequently Used English Phrasal Verbs in American and British English: A Multicorpus Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Dilin

    2011-01-01

    This study uses the Corpus of Contemporary American English and the British National Corpus as data and Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad, and Finegan's (1999) and Gardner and Davies' (2007) informative studies as a starting point and reference. The study offers a cross-English variety and cross-register examination of the use of English phrasal…

  8. Seventh Annual Distinguished Lecture Series in Special Education and Rehabilitation; Summer Session 1968.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacLeech, Bert, Ed.; Schrader, Donald R., Ed.

    Lectures are concerned with the nurturing of intellect by Maurice Freehill, a new concept in rehabilitation by Bert MacLeech, principles of residential therapy as a tool of rehabilitation by Edward L. French, the progress of special education by Romaine P. Mackie, and behavior principles by Norris G. Haring. The priorities and territories of…

  9. Pragmatic Transfer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasper, Gabriele

    1992-01-01

    Attempting to clarify the concept of pragmatic transfer, this article proposes as a basic distinction Leech/Thomas' dichotomy of sociopragmatics versus pragmalinguistics, presenting evidence for transfer at both levels. Issues discussed include pragmatic universals in speech act realization, conditions for pragmatic transfer, communicative…

  10. Opportunities Unlimited: Minnesota Indians Adult Basic Education; Narrative and Statistical Evaluation Third Year 1971-72, with a Review of the First and Second Years.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vizenor, Gerald

    Opportunities Unlimited is a State-wide program to provide adult basic education (ABE) and training for Indians on Minnesota reservations and in Indian communities. An administrative center in Bemidji serves communities on the Red Lake, White Earth, and Leech Lake Reservations, and a Duluth center provides ABE and training for communities on the…

  11. Predicting High School Completion Using Student Performance in High School Algebra: A Mixed Methods Research Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiado, Wendy S.

    2012-01-01

    Too many of our nation's youth have failed to complete high school. Determining why so many of our nation's students fail to graduate is a complex, multi-faceted problem and beyond the scope of any one study. The study presented herein utilized a thirteen-step mixed methods model developed by Leech and Onwuegbuzie (2007) to demonstrate…

  12. Indian in Education: One Community's Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Kenneth

    1977-01-01

    Overviews the history of federal Indian educational policy, examines existing legislation, presents a legal theory for bicultural education, and discusses one Indian community's experience with participation in education, that of the Minnesota Chippewa in Cass Lake, Minnesota, on the Leech Lake Reservation. (Author/JM)

  13. Brown Faces in Blue Uniforms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rolo, Mark Anthony

    1996-01-01

    Describes a law enforcement certificate program at Minnesota's Leech Lake Tribal College, developed to help respond to increasing youth violence. Argues that the physical training and academics are just as rigorous as those in similar programs offered by non-tribal colleges, but that the tribal program includes a cultural component. (AJL)

  14. Lexical Bundle Analysis in Mathematics Classroom Discourse: The Significance of Stance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herbel-Eisenmann, Beth; Wagner, David; Cortes, Viviana

    2010-01-01

    In this article, we introduce the lexical bundle, defined by corpus linguists as a group of three or more words that frequently recur together, in a single group, in a particular register (Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad, & Finegan, 2006; Cortes, "English for Specific Purposes" 23:397-423, 2004). Attention to lexical bundles helps to explore…

  15. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Adult Basic Education Program 1979-1980. Adult Contemporary Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brunette, Pauline, Ed.

    Designed for use as supplementary reading material, the reader is a collection of short stories (1 to 3 pages in length) developed from interviews with 12 Chippewas living in the Minnesota areas of Cass Lake, Leech Lake, Inger, Pine Point, and White Earth. The interviewees represent various occupations including teacher, school principal, nurse,…

  16. Evaluating Mixed Research Studies: A Mixed Methods Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leech, Nancy L.; Dellinger, Amy B.; Brannagan, Kim B.; Tanaka, Hideyuki

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to demonstrate application of a new framework, the validation framework (VF), to assist researchers in evaluating mixed research studies. Based on an earlier work by Dellinger and Leech, a description of the VF is delineated. Using the VF, three studies from education, health care, and counseling fields are…

  17. Compare and Contrast Inductive and Deductive Research Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soiferman, L. Karen

    2010-01-01

    This discussion paper compares and contrasts "inductive" and "deductive" research approaches as described by Trochim (2006) and Plano Clark and Creswell (2007). It also examines the "exploratory" and "confirmatory" approaches by Onwueghuzie and Leech (2005) with respect to the assumption each holds about the nature of knowledge. The paper starts…

  18. Haematological and immunological characteristics of eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) infected and co-infected with endo- and ectoparasites

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, William A.; Fallon, Jesse A.; Beck, Michelle L.; Coe, Brittney H.; Jachowski, Catherine M. B.

    2016-01-01

    Disease is among the leading causes of the global decline in amphibian populations. In North America, parasites and pathogens are among the factors implicated in precipitous population declines of the giant hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), but the incidence of infections and the responses of hellbenders to infections remain poorly studied. Here, we document the prevalence of leech and trypanosome infections in a wild population of eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) and describe haematological and immunological characteristics of hellbenders harbouring these infections. We hypothesized that hellbenders parasitized by trypanosomes would be anaemic, that individuals infected with either or both parasites would exhibit shifts in white blood cell counts and that hellbenders infected with leeches would exhibit altered plasma bactericidal capacity. We found that 24 and 68% of hellbenders in our sample population were infected with leeches and trypanosomes, respectively, and 20% were co-infected with both parasites. We found no evidence suggestive of anaemia among infected individuals. However, hellbenders infected with either or both parasites exhibited marked shifts in circulating white blood cells that were consistent with predictable responses to parasitic infection. Additionally, we found that hellbenders harbouring leeches had much higher plasma bactericidal capacity than individuals without leeches, and we offer multiple potential mechanistic explanations for this observation. We also found evidence that cellular and serological immune responses to parasites were less robust in juvenile than adult hellbenders. This finding warrants further investigation in light of the demographic characteristics, specifically the scarcity of juvenile age classes, of hellbender populations where disease is a possible contributor to declines. Finally, we describe two methodological advances that will improve future studies seeking to

  19. Hirudo medicinalis: a platform for investigating genes in neural repair.

    PubMed

    Wang, W Z; Emes, R D; Christoffers, K; Verrall, J; Blackshaw, S E

    2005-03-01

    We have used the nervous system of the medicinal leech as a preparation to study the molecular basis of neural repair. The leech central nervous system, unlike mammalian CNS, can regenerate to restore function, and contains identified nerve cells of known function and connectivity. We have constructed subtractive cDNA probes from whole and regenerating ganglia of the ventral nerve cord and have used these to screen a serotonergic Retzius neuron library. This identifies genes that are regulated as a result of axotomy, and are expressed by the Retzius cell. This approach identifies many genes, both novel and known. Many of the known genes identified have homologues in vertebrates, including man. For example, genes encoding thioredoxin (TRX), Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum Protein 1 (RER-1) and ATP synthase are upregulated at 24 h postinjury in leech nerve cord. To investigate the functional role of regulated genes in neuron regrowth we are using microinjection of antisense oligonucleotides in combination with horseradish peroxidase to knock down expression of a chosen gene and to assess regeneration in single neurons in 3-D ganglion culture. As an example of this approach we describe experiments to microinject antisense oligonucleotide to a leech isoform of the structural protein, Protein 4.1. Our approach thus identifies genes regulated at different times after injury that may underpin the intrinsic ability of leech neurons to survive damage, to initiate regrowth programs and to remake functional connections. It enables us to determine the time course of gene expression in the regenerating nerve cord, and to study the effects of gene knockdown in identified neurons regenerating in defined conditions in culture. PMID:16047550

  20. Cell dialysis by sharp electrodes can cause nonphysiological changes in neuron properties.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Scott L; Thuma, Jeffrey B; Guschlbauer, Christoph; Schmidt, Joachim; Büschges, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    We recorded from lobster and leech neurons with two sharp electrodes filled with solutions often used with these preparations (lobster: 0.6 M K2SO4 or 2.5 M KAc; leech: 4 M KAc), with solutions approximately matching neuron cytoplasm ion concentrations, and with 6.5 M KAc (lobster, leech) and 0.6 M KAc (lobster). We measured membrane potential, input resistance, and transient and sustained depolarization-activated outward current amplitudes in leech and these neuron properties and hyperpolarization-activated current time constant in lobster, every 10 min for 60 min after electrode penetration. Neuron properties varied with electrode fill. For fills with molarities ≥2.5 M, neuron properties also varied strongly with time after electrode penetration. Depending on the property being examined, these variations could be large. In leech, cell size also increased with noncytoplasmic fills. The changes in neuron properties could be due to the ions being injected from the electrodes during current injection. We tested this possibility in lobster with the 2.5 M KAc electrode fill by making measurements only 10 and 60 min after penetration. Neuron properties still changed, although the changes were less extreme. Making measurements every 2 min showed that the time-dependent variations in neuron properties occurred in concert with each other. Neuron property changes with high molarity electrode-fill solutions were great enough to decrease neuron firing strongly. An experiment with (14)C-glucose electrode fill confirmed earlier work showing substantial leak from sharp electrodes. Sharp electrode work should thus be performed with cytoplasm-matched electrode fills. PMID:26063785

  1. Cell dialysis by sharp electrodes can cause nonphysiological changes in neuron properties

    PubMed Central

    Hooper, Scott L.; Guschlbauer, Christoph; Schmidt, Joachim; Büschges, Ansgar

    2015-01-01

    We recorded from lobster and leech neurons with two sharp electrodes filled with solutions often used with these preparations (lobster: 0.6 M K2SO4 or 2.5 M KAc; leech: 4 M KAc), with solutions approximately matching neuron cytoplasm ion concentrations, and with 6.5 M KAc (lobster, leech) and 0.6 M KAc (lobster). We measured membrane potential, input resistance, and transient and sustained depolarization-activated outward current amplitudes in leech and these neuron properties and hyperpolarization-activated current time constant in lobster, every 10 min for 60 min after electrode penetration. Neuron properties varied with electrode fill. For fills with molarities ≥2.5 M, neuron properties also varied strongly with time after electrode penetration. Depending on the property being examined, these variations could be large. In leech, cell size also increased with noncytoplasmic fills. The changes in neuron properties could be due to the ions being injected from the electrodes during current injection. We tested this possibility in lobster with the 2.5 M KAc electrode fill by making measurements only 10 and 60 min after penetration. Neuron properties still changed, although the changes were less extreme. Making measurements every 2 min showed that the time-dependent variations in neuron properties occurred in concert with each other. Neuron property changes with high molarity electrode-fill solutions were great enough to decrease neuron firing strongly. An experiment with 14C-glucose electrode fill confirmed earlier work showing substantial leak from sharp electrodes. Sharp electrode work should thus be performed with cytoplasm-matched electrode fills. PMID:26063785

  2. Haematological and immunological characteristics of eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) infected and co-infected with endo- and ectoparasites.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William A; Fallon, Jesse A; Beck, Michelle L; Coe, Brittney H; Jachowski, Catherine M B

    2016-01-01

    Disease is among the leading causes of the global decline in amphibian populations. In North America, parasites and pathogens are among the factors implicated in precipitous population declines of the giant hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), but the incidence of infections and the responses of hellbenders to infections remain poorly studied. Here, we document the prevalence of leech and trypanosome infections in a wild population of eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) and describe haematological and immunological characteristics of hellbenders harbouring these infections. We hypothesized that hellbenders parasitized by trypanosomes would be anaemic, that individuals infected with either or both parasites would exhibit shifts in white blood cell counts and that hellbenders infected with leeches would exhibit altered plasma bactericidal capacity. We found that 24 and 68% of hellbenders in our sample population were infected with leeches and trypanosomes, respectively, and 20% were co-infected with both parasites. We found no evidence suggestive of anaemia among infected individuals. However, hellbenders infected with either or both parasites exhibited marked shifts in circulating white blood cells that were consistent with predictable responses to parasitic infection. Additionally, we found that hellbenders harbouring leeches had much higher plasma bactericidal capacity than individuals without leeches, and we offer multiple potential mechanistic explanations for this observation. We also found evidence that cellular and serological immune responses to parasites were less robust in juvenile than adult hellbenders. This finding warrants further investigation in light of the demographic characteristics, specifically the scarcity of juvenile age classes, of hellbender populations where disease is a possible contributor to declines. Finally, we describe two methodological advances that will improve future studies seeking to

  3. Genetic variation in Whitmania pigra, Hirudo nipponica and Poecilobdella manillensis, three endemic and endangered species in China using SSR and TRAP markers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei; Guo, Qiao-Sheng; Shi, Hong-Zhuan; Cheng, Bo-Xing; Lu, Yu-Xi; Gou, Ling; Wang, Jia; Shen, Wen-Biao; Yan, Shi-Meng; Wu, Man-Jun

    2016-04-01

    Leeches are not only important medicinal animals worldwide but also are endangered. We aimed to (i) explore the level of genetic diversity within/among populations of three leeches, (ii) assess genetic differentiation among these three leeches, and (iii) discuss an appropriate strategy for conserving leech germplasm. A total of 315 individuals of Whitmania pigra, Hirudo nipponica and Poecilobdella manillensis from 21 populations were collected in China and Vietnam. The genetic structure and genetic diversity among and within the 21 populations were evaluated using target region amplified polymorphism (TRAP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Sixteen pairs of TRAP primers generated a total of 398 fragments, of which 396 (99.50%) were polymorphic; fourteen pairs of SSR primers generated a total of 60 fragments, of which 59 (98.33%) were polymorphic. Shannon's index (I) and Nei's gene diversity index (H) for the three leeches were high at the species level (I=0.4980 and H=0.3323 for TRAPs, I=0.4487 and H=0.2969 for SSRs in W. pigra; I=0.4147/0.3769, H=0.2788/0.2566 for H. nipponica; and I=0.4616/0.4717, H=0.3099/0.3203 for P. manillensis). However, low genetic diversity was determined at the population level; the average genetic diversity measures within populations were H=0.1767/0.1376, I=0.2589/0.2043 for W. pigra, H=0.2149/0.2021, I=0.3184/0.3000 for H. nipponica and H=0.2850/0.2724, I=0.4152/0.3967 for P. manillensis. We conclude that there was limited gene exchange within/among populations and species, as the gene flow number (Nm) was 0.5493/0.5807. However, for all three species, the genetic diversity was different at the population level. Gene differentiation (Gst) and Nm were 0.4682 /0.5364 and 0.5678/0.4321 for W. pigra, 0.2294/0.2127 and 1.6797/1.8512 for H. nipponica and 0.1214/0.1496 and 3.6202/2.8412 for P. manillensis. STRUCTURE analysis, Unweighted Pair-Group Method with Arithmetic means (UPGMA) cluster analysis and Principal Coordinates Analysis

  4. A review of Biston Leach, 1815 (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Ennominae) from China, with description of one new species

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Nan; Xue, Dayong; Han, Hongxiang

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The genus Biston Leach, 1815 is reviewed for China. Seventeen species are recognized, of which Biston mediolata sp. n. is described. Biston pustulata (Warren, 1896) and Biston panterinaria exanthemata (Moore, 1888) are newly recorded for China. The following new synonyms are established: Biston suppressaria suppressaria (Guenée, 1858) (= Biston suppressaria benescripta (Prout, 1915), syn. n. = Biston luculentus Inoue, 1992 syn. n.); Biston falcata (Warren, 1893) (= Amphidasis erilda Oberthür, 1910, syn. n. = Amphidasis clorinda Oberthür, 1910, syn. n. = Biston emarginaria Leech, 1897, syn. n.); Biston panterinaria panterinaria (Bremer & Grey, 1853) (= Biston panterinaria abraxata (Leech, 1889), syn. n. = Biston panterinaria lienpingensis (Wehrli, 1939), syn. n. = B. panterinaria szechuanensis (Wehrli, 1939), syn. n.). Biston falcata satura (Wehrli,1941), comb. n. is proposed. A key to Chinese Biston and diagnoses for Chinese species are provided. Illustrations of external features and genitalia are presented. PMID:22259309

  5. Protein and cholesterol electrophoresis of plasma samples from captive cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus).

    PubMed

    Cray, Carolyn; Rodriguez, Marilyn; Field, Cara; McDermott, Alexa; Leppert, Lynda; Clauss, Tonya; Bossart, Gregory D

    2015-11-01

    Our study was undertaken to assess the application of semiautomated methods available at the reference laboratory level for the evaluation of plasma protein and cholesterol via electrophoresis in samples from cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus). Three groups of animals were assessed: clinically normal, clinically abnormal, and parasitized with leeches. As reported previously, the albumin band was negligible; the protein electrophoretograms were dominated by a large beta-globulin fraction. While the group of samples from the leech-parasitized rays did not show any large differences, the abnormal group exhibited significantly elevated total solids and cholesterol levels. The latter was related to a significant increase in very low density lipoprotein levels. The results demonstrate the potential application of these laboratory methods in quantitation of plasma proteins and cholesterol fractions in subclass Elasmobranchii. PMID:26450839

  6. Evolutionary Origin of Body Axis Segmentation in Annelids and Arthropods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shankland, S. Martin

    2003-01-01

    During the period of this report, we have made a number of important discoveries. To date this work has led to 4 peer-reviewed publications in primary research journals plus 1 minireview and 1 chapter in the proceedings of a meeting. Publications resulting from this grant support are enumerated at the end of the report. Two additional, on-going studies also described. 1. Using laser cell ablation, we have obtained evidence that an annelid - the leech Helobdella robusta - patterns the anteroposterior (AP) polarity of its nascent segment primordia independent of cell interactions oriented along the AP axis. 2. We cloned a Helobdella homologue (hro-hh) of the Drosophila segment polarity gene hedgehog, and used in situ hybridization and northern blots to characterize its expression in the embryo. 3. We have used laser cell ablations to examine the possible role of cell interactions during the developmental patterning of the 4 rostralmost "head" segments of the leech Helobdella robusta.

  7. Acute toxic effects of two lampricides on twenty-one freshwater invertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rye, Robert P., Jr.; King, Everett Louis, Jr.

    1976-01-01

    We conducted laboratory static bioassays to determine acute toxicity of two lampricides -- a 70% 2-aminoethanol salt of 5,2'dichloro-4'-nitrosalicylanilide (Bayer 73) and a mixture containing 98% 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and 2% Bayer 73 (TFM-2B) -- to 21 freshwater invertebrates. LC50 values were determined for 24-h exposure periods at 12.8 C. Organisms relatively sensitive to Bayer 73 were a turbellarian (Dugesia tigrina), aquatic earthworms (Tubifex tubifex and Lumbriculus inconstans), snails (Physa sp.) and (Pleurocera sp.), a clam (Eliptio dilatatus), blackflies (Simulium sp.), leeches (Erpobdellidae), and a daphnid (Daphnia pulex). The invertebrates most sensitive to TFM-2B were turbellarians, aquatic earthworms (Tubifex), snails (Physa), blackflies, leeches, and burrowing mayflies (Hexagenia sp.). Bayer 73 was generally much more toxic to the test organisms than TFM-2B. At lampricidal concentrations, TFM-2B was more highly selective than Bayer 73 against larval sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus).

  8. Biological clockwork underlying adaptive rhythmic movements

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Tetsuya; Chen, Jun; Friesen, W. Otto

    2014-01-01

    Owing to the complexity of neuronal circuits, precise mathematical descriptions of brain functions remain an elusive ambition. A more modest focus of many neuroscientists, central pattern generators, are more tractable neuronal circuits specialized to generate rhythmic movements, including locomotion. The relative simplicity and well-defined motor functions of these circuits provide an opportunity for uncovering fundamental principles of neuronal information processing. Here we present the culmination of mathematical analysis that captures the adaptive behaviors emerging from interactions between a central pattern generator, the body, and the physical environment during locomotion. The biologically realistic model describes the undulatory motions of swimming leeches with quantitative accuracy and, without further parameter tuning, predicts the sweeping changes in oscillation patterns of leeches undulating in air or swimming in high-viscosity fluid. The study demonstrates that central pattern generators are capable of adapting oscillations to the environment through sensory feedback, but without guidance from the brain. PMID:24395788

  9. Biological clockwork underlying adaptive rhythmic movements.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Tetsuya; Chen, Jun; Friesen, W Otto

    2014-01-21

    Owing to the complexity of neuronal circuits, precise mathematical descriptions of brain functions remain an elusive ambition. A more modest focus of many neuroscientists, central pattern generators, are more tractable neuronal circuits specialized to generate rhythmic movements, including locomotion. The relative simplicity and well-defined motor functions of these circuits provide an opportunity for uncovering fundamental principles of neuronal information processing. Here we present the culmination of mathematical analysis that captures the adaptive behaviors emerging from interactions between a central pattern generator, the body, and the physical environment during locomotion. The biologically realistic model describes the undulatory motions of swimming leeches with quantitative accuracy and, without further parameter tuning, predicts the sweeping changes in oscillation patterns of leeches undulating in air or swimming in high-viscosity fluid. The study demonstrates that central pattern generators are capable of adapting oscillations to the environment through sensory feedback, but without guidance from the brain. PMID:24395788

  10. Hirudinicidal activities of some natural molluscicides used in schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Gebremedhin, G; Adewunmi, C O; Becker, W; Agbedahunsi, J M; Dörfler, G

    1994-01-01

    Experiments were conducted with (molluscicides) aridanin isolated from Tetrapleura tetraptera, aridan, an extract from T. tetraptera, endod, an extract from Phytolacca dodecandra and niclosamide on non-target aquatic organisms such as leech, hydra, tadpoles, anopheline mosquito larvae and brine shrimps and compared with their toxicity to the target snail. Biomphalaria glabrata. Aridanin, aridan, endod, and niclosamide produced rapid knockdown effects on B. glabrata at 0.04, 1.00, 30.00, and 40.00 ppm, respectively. All the molluscicides killed the leech, a pest of animals and man at molluscicidal concentrations. The hydra and tadpoles tested were sensitive to the molluscicides except aridanin but the shrimps and anopheline mosquito larvae were resistant to all the molluscicides. PMID:8170154

  11. Protection against Cryptobia (Trypanoplasma) salmositica and Salmonid Cryptobiosis.

    PubMed

    Woo, P T

    1998-07-01

    Cryptobia (Trypanoplasma) salmositica is a haemoflagellate that causes morbidity and mortality in salmon, Oncorhynchus spp, on the Pacific coast of North America. In this review, Patrick Woo briefly describes the pathogen, its transmissions (either indirectly via its leech vector, Piscicola salmositica, or directly between fish) and the clinical signs of the disease. He then outlines strategies that have been developed to protect fish against the pathogen, and the mechanism of innate resistance to disease in Cryptobia-tolerant fish. Protective strategies include the breeding of fish that are resistant to infection, and the use of an attenuated C. salmositica strain to protect susceptible fish from disease for at least two years. He ends the review with suggestions for further research that include the use of the leech vector to deliver the vaccine and the development of more novel protective strategies (eg. immunochemotherapy, anti-idiotype vaccine) against cryptobiosis. PMID:17040782

  12. Fossilized spermatozoa preserved in a 50-Myr-old annelid cocoon from Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Mörs, Thomas; Ferraguti, Marco; Reguero, Marcelo A.; McLoughlin, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    The origin and evolution of clitellate annelids—earthworms, leeches and their relatives—is poorly understood, partly because body fossils of these delicate organisms are exceedingly rare. The distinctive egg cases (cocoons) of Clitellata, however, are relatively common in the fossil record, although their potential for phylogenetic studies has remained largely unexplored. Here, we report the remarkable discovery of fossilized spermatozoa preserved within the secreted wall layers of a 50-Myr-old clitellate cocoon from Antarctica, representing the oldest fossil animal sperm yet known. Sperm characters are highly informative for the classification of extant Annelida. The Antarctic fossil spermatozoa have several features that point to affinities with the peculiar, leech-like ‘crayfish worms' (Branchiobdellida). We anticipate that systematic surveys of cocoon fossils coupled with advances in non-destructive analytical methods may open a new window into the evolution of minute, soft-bodied life forms that are otherwise only rarely observed in the fossil record. PMID:26179804

  13. Parameter-dependent synchronization transition of coupled neurons with co-existing spiking and bursting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Hua-Guang; Li, Yu-Ye; Jia, Bing; Chen, Guan-Rong

    2013-08-01

    A firing pattern transition is simulated in the Leech neuron model, firstly from bursting to co-existence of spiking and bursting and then to spiking. The attraction domain of spiking and bursting for three different parameter values are calculated. Synchronization transition processes of two coupled Leech neurons, one is bursting and the other the co-existing spiking, are simulated for the three parameters. The three synchronization processes appear similar as the coupling strength increases, beginning from non-synchronization to complete synchronization through a complex dynamical procedure, but their detailed processes are different depending on the parameter values. The transition procedure is complex and the complete synchronization is in bursting for larger parameter values, while the process is simple with complete synchronization of spiking for smaller values. The potential relationship between complete synchronization and the attraction domain is also discussed. The results are instructive to understanding the synchronization behaviors of the coupled neuronal system with co-existing attractors.

  14. Family Practice History: Bloodletting

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Peter

    1981-01-01

    For 2000 years bloodletting was an accepted form of treatment. During this time, the indications and philosophical basis for lancing, cupping, and the application of leeches evolved in conjunction with advances in anatomy and physiology. In the late 19th century discoveries by tissue pathologists using new diagnostic techniques undermined earlier dogma and bloodletting quickly became a highly suspect form of treatment. ImagesFig. 1 PMID:21289758

  15. Bistability of Membrane Conductance in Cell Adhesion Observed in a Neuron Transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkner, Martin; Fromherz, Peter

    1997-12-01

    We attached individual nerve cells from leech ganglia to oxidized silicon using polylysine. We studied the electrical current through the cell membrane in the region of adhesion taking advantage of field-effect transistors integrated in the substrate. We found that a minute mechanical deformation of the cell triggered a bistable reversible switching of the attached membrane between states of high and low conductance. Feasible mechanisms of the nonlinear effect are discussed.

  16. An oscillatory neuronal circuit generating a locomotory rhythm.

    PubMed Central

    Friesen,, W O; Poon, M; Stent, G S

    1976-01-01

    A quartet of interconnected interneurons whose periodic activity appears to generate the traveling body wave of the swimming leech has been identified on each side of segmental ganglia of the ventral nerve cord of Hirudo medicinalis. Theoretical analysis and electronic analog models of the identified intra- and interganglionic synaptic connections of the segmentally iterated interneurons showed that they form an oscillatory network with cycle period and intra-and intersegmental phase relations appropriate for the swimming movement. Images PMID:1068483

  17. Timing and Scope of Genomic Expansion within Annelida: Evidence from Homeoboxes in the Genome of the Earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Zwarycz, Allison S; Nossa, Carlos W; Putnam, Nicholas H; Ryan, Joseph F

    2016-01-01

    Annelida represents a large and morphologically diverse group of bilaterian organisms. The recently published polychaete and leech genome sequences revealed an equally dynamic range of diversity at the genomic level. The availability of more annelid genomes will allow for the identification of evolutionary genomic events that helped shape the annelid lineage and better understand the diversity within the group. We sequenced and assembled the genome of the common earthworm, Eisenia fetida. As a first pass at understanding the diversity within the group, we classified 363 earthworm homeoboxes and compared them with those of the leech Helobdella robusta and the polychaete Capitella teleta. We inferred many gene expansions occurring in the lineage connecting the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Capitella and Eisenia to the Eisenia/Helobdella MRCA. Likewise, the lineage leading from the Eisenia/Helobdella MRCA to the leech H. robusta has experienced substantial gains and losses. However, the lineage leading from Eisenia/Helobdella MRCA to E. fetida is characterized by extraordinary levels of homeobox gain. The evolutionary dynamics observed in the homeoboxes of these lineages are very likely to be generalizable to all genes. These genome expansions and losses have likely contributed to the remarkable biology exhibited in this group. These results provide a new perspective from which to understand the diversity within these lineages, show the utility of sub-draft genome assemblies for understanding genomic evolution, and provide a critical resource from which the biology of these animals can be studied. PMID:26659921

  18. Differentially Expressed Genes in Hirudo medicinalis Ganglia after Acetyl-L-Carnitine Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Federighi, Giuseppe; Macchi, Monica; Bernardi, Rodolfo; Scuri, Rossana; Brunelli, Marcello; Durante, Mauro; Traina, Giovanna

    2013-01-01

    Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring substance that, when administered at supra-physiological concentration, is neuroprotective. It is involved in membrane stabilization and in enhancement of mitochondrial functions. It is a molecule of considerable interest for its clinical application in various neural disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and painful neuropathies. ALC is known to improve the cognitive capability of aged animals chronically treated with the drug and, recently, it has been reported that it impairs forms of non-associative learning in the leech. In the present study the effects of ALC on gene expression have been analyzed in the leech Hirudo medicinalis. The suppression subtractive hybridisation methodology was used for the generation of subtracted cDNA libraries and the subsequent identification of differentially expressed transcripts in the leech nervous system after ALC treatment. The method detects differentially but also little expressed transcripts of genes whose sequence or identity is still unknown. We report that a single administration of ALC is able to modulate positively the expression of genes coding for functions that reveal a lasting effect of ALC on the invertebrate, and confirm the neuroprotective and neuromodulative role of the substance. In addition an important finding is the modulation of genes of vegetal origin. This might be considered an instance of ectosymbiotic mutualism. PMID:23308261

  19. Timing and Scope of Genomic Expansion within Annelida: Evidence from Homeoboxes in the Genome of the Earthworm Eisenia fetida

    PubMed Central

    Zwarycz, Allison S.; Nossa, Carlos W.; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Ryan, Joseph F.

    2016-01-01

    Annelida represents a large and morphologically diverse group of bilaterian organisms. The recently published polychaete and leech genome sequences revealed an equally dynamic range of diversity at the genomic level. The availability of more annelid genomes will allow for the identification of evolutionary genomic events that helped shape the annelid lineage and better understand the diversity within the group. We sequenced and assembled the genome of the common earthworm, Eisenia fetida. As a first pass at understanding the diversity within the group, we classified 363 earthworm homeoboxes and compared them with those of the leech Helobdella robusta and the polychaete Capitella teleta. We inferred many gene expansions occurring in the lineage connecting the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Capitella and Eisenia to the Eisenia/Helobdella MRCA. Likewise, the lineage leading from the Eisenia/Helobdella MRCA to the leech H. robusta has experienced substantial gains and losses. However, the lineage leading from Eisenia/Helobdella MRCA to E. fetida is characterized by extraordinary levels of homeobox gain. The evolutionary dynamics observed in the homeoboxes of these lineages are very likely to be generalizable to all genes. These genome expansions and losses have likely contributed to the remarkable biology exhibited in this group. These results provide a new perspective from which to understand the diversity within these lineages, show the utility of sub-draft genome assemblies for understanding genomic evolution, and provide a critical resource from which the biology of these animals can be studied. PMID:26659921

  20. Compensatory plasticity restores locomotion after chronic removal of descending projections

    PubMed Central

    Harley, Cynthia M.; Reilly, Melissa G.; Stewart, Christopher; Schlegel, Chantel; Morley, Emma; Puhl, Joshua G.; Nagel, Christian; Crisp, Kevin M.

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic plasticity is an important attribute of neurons and their networks, enabling functional recovery after perturbation. Furthermore, the directed nature of this plasticity may hold a key to the restoration of locomotion after spinal cord injury. Here we studied the recovery of crawling in the leech Hirudo verbana after descending cephalic fibers were surgically separated from crawl central pattern generators shown previously to be regulated by dopamine. We observed that immediately after nerve cord transection leeches were unable to crawl, but remarkably, after a day to weeks, animals began to show elements of crawling and intersegmental coordination. Over a similar time course, excessive swimming due to the loss of descending inhibition returned to control levels. Additionally, removal of the brain did not prevent crawl recovery, indicating that connectivity of severed descending neurons was not essential. After crawl recovery, a subset of animals received a second transection immediately below the anterior-most ganglion remaining. Similar to their initial transection, a loss of crawling with subsequent recovery was observed. These data, in recovered individuals, support the idea that compensatory plasticity directly below the site of injury is essential for the initiation and coordination of crawling. We maintain that the leech provides a valuable model to understand the neural mechanisms underlying locomotor recovery after injury because of its experimental accessibility, segmental organization, and dependence on higher-order control involved in the initiation, modulation, and coordination of locomotor behavior. PMID:25787951

  1. [Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study].

    PubMed

    Sandvik, H; Baerheim, A

    1994-12-10

    Vampires are feared everywhere, but the Balkan region has been especially haunted. Garlic has been regarded as an effective prophylactic against vampires. We wanted to explore this alleged effect experimentally. Owing to the lack of vampires, we used leeches instead. In strictly standardized research surroundings, the leeches were to attach themselves to either a hand smeared with garlic or to a clean hand. The garlic-smeared hand was preferred in two out of three cases (95% confidence interval 50.4% to 80.4%). When they preferred the garlic the leeches used only 14.9 seconds to attach themselves, compared with 44.9 seconds when going to the non-garlic hand (p < 0.05). The traditional belief that garlic has prophylactic properties is probably wrong. The reverse may in fact be true. This study indicates that garlic possibly attracts vampires. Therefore to avoid a Balkan-like development in Norway, restrictions on the use of garlic should be considered. PMID:7825135

  2. New U-Pb Age and Trace Element Composition of Young Metamorphic Zircon Rims from the UHP Tso Morari Complex, NW Himalaya, Distinguishes Peak from Retrograde Metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leech, M. L.; Coble, M. A.; Singh, S.; Guillot, S.; Jain, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    The ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) Tso Morari Complex (TMC) sits in the footwall of the Indus-Yarlung suture zone in the NW Himalaya. The timing of metamorphism during subduction and exhumation in the complex is critical to constraining the age of the India-Asia collision. de Sigoyer et al. (2000) and Leech et al. (2005) reported mean U-Pb ages for thin outer rims of sectioned zircon between 55 ± 6 Ma and 53.3 ± 0.7 Ma, respectively, for the age of peak UHP through retrograde metamorphism, and Leech et al. (2005) used these data to calculate the minimum age for the start of continental subduction at 57 ± 1 Ma. Recently published results for the TMC have reignited debate on the age of metamorphism and thus, the timing of India-Asia collision. We used the same TM38 sample analyzed for the results described in Leech et al. (2005) and performed new SIMS U-Pb depth-profiling analyses to target only the outermost ~1.5 micron rims of zircon. Our results yield a mean age of 44.9 ± 0.7 Ma; adjacent spots for REE analyses yielded positive, enriched HREE profiles with negative Eu anomalies and corresponding Ti-in-zircon temperatures of ~550° to 680° C. Sharp boundaries between zircon domains are clearly resolved with CL and BSE imaging of TM38 zircons, and there is a large age difference between rims and protolith core ages; any mixing during depth-profiling through rims is clear. The positive HREE profiles imply the period of zircon growth in the TMC at c. 45 Ma to be retrograde. We suggest that the 47-43 Ma peak ages and flat heavy REE profiles with no Eu anomaly recently reported by Donaldson et al. (2013) on sectioned zircons, and interpreted as the age of UHP metamorphism of the TMC, may actually represent mixing between zircon rims and cores. The Leech et al. (2005) collision age of 57 ± 1 Ma assumed the TMC represents the leading edge of India. However, numerical modeling of Warren et al. (2008) suggests all exhumed material is derived from the central part of the pro

  3. Botanical repellents and pesticides traditionally used against hematophagous invertebrates in Lao People's Democratic Republic: a comparative study of plants used in 66 villages.

    PubMed

    de Boer, Hugo; Vongsombath, Chanda; Pålsson, Katinka; Björk, Lars; Jaenson, Thomas G T

    2010-05-01

    Hematophagous parasites such as leeches, ticks, mites, lice, bedbugs, mosquitoes, and myiasis-producing fly larvae are common health problems in Lao People's Democratic Republic. Several arthropod-borne infections, e.g., malaria, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis, are endemic there. Effective vector control methods including the use of pesticides, insecticide-treated bed nets, and synthetic and plant-based repellents are important means of control against such invertebrates and the pathogens they may transmit or directly cause. In this study, we documented traditional knowledge on plants that are used to repel or kill hematophagous arthropods, including mosquitoes, bedbugs, human lice, mites and ticks, fly larvae, and blood-sucking leeches. Structured interviews were carried out in 66 villages comprising 17 ethnic groups, covering a range of cultures, throughout Lao People's Democratic Republic. A total of 92 plant species was recorded as traditional repellents (including plants for pesticidal usages) in 123 different plant-ectoparasite combinations. The number and species of plants, and animal taxa repelled (or killed) per plant species differed per region, village, and ethnic group. Traditional use was confirmed in the scientific literature for 74 of these plant species, and for an additional 13 species using literature on closely related species. The use of botanical repellents and pesticides from many plant species is common and widespread in the Lao countryside. In the future, the identification of the active components in certain plants to develop more optimal, inexpensive repellents, insecticides, acaricides, or antileech compounds as alternatives to synthetic repellents/pesticides against blood-feeding insects, ticks, mites, and leeches is warranted. PMID:20496588

  4. Phylogenetic conservation of the cell-type-specific Lan3-2 glycoepitope in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Vansteenhouse, Harper C; Horton, Zachary A; O'Hagan, Robert; Tai, Mei-Hui; Zipser, Birgit

    2010-09-01

    The biological function of a cell-type-specific glycosylation of an adhesion molecule belonging to the L1CAM immunoglobulin superfamily was previously determined in the nervous system of the embryonic leech, Hirudo medicinalis. The Lan3-2 glycoepitope is a surface marker of sensory afferent neurons and is required for their appropriate developmental collateral branching and synaptogenesis in the CNS. The chemical structure of the Lan3-2 glycoepitope consists of beta-(1,4)-linked mannopyranose. Here, we show the conservation of the cell-type-specific expression of this mannose polymer in Caenorhabditis elegans. The Lan3-2 glycoepitope is expressed on the cell surface of a subset of dissociated embryonic neurons and, in the adult worm, by the pharyngeal motor neuron, M5, and the chemosensory afferents, the amphids. Additionally, the vulval epithelium expresses the Lan3-2 glycoepitope in late L4 larvae and in adult hermaphrodites. To investigate proteins carrying this restrictively expressed glycoepitope, worm extract was immunoaffinity purified with Lan3-2 monoclonal antibody and Western blotted. A polyclonal antibody reactive with the cytoplasmic tail of LAD-1/SAX-7, a C. elegans member of the L1CAM family, recognizes a 270 kDa protein band while Lan3-2 antibody also recognizes a 190 kDa glycoform, its putative Lan3-2 ectodomain. Thus, in C. elegans, as in leech, the Lan3-2 epitope is located on a L1CAM homologue. The cell-type-specific expression of the Lan3-2 glycoepitope shared by leech and C. elegans will be useful for understanding how cell-type-specific glycoepitopes mediate cell-cell interactions during development. PMID:20563596

  5. Real-time biomimetic Central Pattern Generators in an FPGA for hybrid experiments

    PubMed Central

    Ambroise, Matthieu; Levi, Timothée; Joucla, Sébastien; Yvert, Blaise; Saïghi, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    This investigation of the leech heartbeat neural network system led to the development of a low resources, real-time, biomimetic digital hardware for use in hybrid experiments. The leech heartbeat neural network is one of the simplest central pattern generators (CPG). In biology, CPG provide the rhythmic bursts of spikes that form the basis for all muscle contraction orders (heartbeat) and locomotion (walking, running, etc.). The leech neural network system was previously investigated and this CPG formalized in the Hodgkin–Huxley neural model (HH), the most complex devised to date. However, the resources required for a neural model are proportional to its complexity. In response to this issue, this article describes a biomimetic implementation of a network of 240 CPGs in an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), using a simple model (Izhikevich) and proposes a new synapse model: activity-dependent depression synapse. The network implementation architecture operates on a single computation core. This digital system works in real-time, requires few resources, and has the same bursting activity behavior as the complex model. The implementation of this CPG was initially validated by comparing it with a simulation of the complex model. Its activity was then matched with pharmacological data from the rat spinal cord activity. This digital system opens the way for future hybrid experiments and represents an important step toward hybridization of biological tissue and artificial neural networks. This CPG network is also likely to be useful for mimicking the locomotion activity of various animals and developing hybrid experiments for neuroprosthesis development. PMID:24319408

  6. Patterns of presynaptic activity and synaptic strength interact to produce motor output.

    PubMed

    Wright, Terrence Michael; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2011-11-30

    Motor neuron activity is coordinated by premotor networks into a functional motor pattern by complex patterns of synaptic drive. These patterns combine both the temporal pattern of spikes of the premotor network and the profiles of synaptic strengths (i.e., conductances). Given the complexity of premotor networks in vertebrates, it has been difficult to ascertain the relative contributions of temporal patterns and synaptic strength profiles to the motor patterns observed in these animals. Here, we use the leech (Hirudo sp.) heartbeat central pattern generator (CPG), in which we can measure both the temporal pattern and the synaptic strength profiles of the entire premotor network and the motor outflow in individual animals. In this system, a series of motor neurons all receive input from the same premotor interneurons of the CPG but must be coordinated differentially to produce a functional pattern. These properties allow a theoretical and experimental dissection of the rules that govern how temporal patterns and synaptic strength profiles are combined in motor neurons so that functional motor patterns emerge, including an analysis of the impact of animal-to-animal variation in input to such variation in output. In the leech, segmental heart motor neurons are coordinated alternately in a synchronous and peristaltic pattern. We show that synchronous motor patterns result from a nearly synchronous premotor temporal pattern produced by the leech heartbeat CPG. For peristaltic motor patterns, the staggered premotor temporal pattern determines the phase range over which segmental motor neurons can fire while synaptic strength profiles define the intersegmental motor phase progression realized. PMID:22131417

  7. A Silurian soft-bodied biota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mikulic, Donald G.; Briggs, D.E.G.; Kluessendorf, Joanne

    1985-01-01

    A new Silurian (Llandoverian) biota from Wisconsin with a significant soft-bodied and lightly sclerotized component is dominated by arthropods and worms. The fauna includes the earliest well-preserved xiphosure, a possible marine uniramian, three new arthropods of uncertain affinity, and possibly the first Paleozoic leech. This may be only the second locality to yield a conodont animal. Lack of a normal shelly fauna suggests an unusual environment. The discovery adds significantly to the few such exceptionally preserved faunas known from Lower Paleozoic rocks.

  8. Time-delay-induced phase-transition to synchrony in coupled bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Bhim Mani; Prasad, Awadhesh; Dhamala, Mukeshwar

    2011-06-01

    Signal transmission time delays in a network of nonlinear oscillators are known to be responsible for a variety of interesting dynamic behaviors including phase-flip transitions leading to synchrony or out of synchrony. Here, we uncover that phase-flip transitions are general phenomena and can occur in a network of coupled bursting neurons with a variety of coupling types. The transitions are marked by nonlinear changes in both temporal and phase-space characteristics of the coupled system. We demonstrate these phase-transitions with Hindmarsh-Rose and Leech-Heart interneuron models and discuss the implications of these results in understanding collective dynamics of bursting neurons in the brain.

  9. Genetic Regulatory Networks in Embryogenesis and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The article introduces a series of papers that were originally presented at a workshop titled Genetic Regulatory Network in Embryogenesis and Evaluation. Contents include the following: evolution of cleavage programs in relationship to axial specification and body plan evolution, changes in cell lineage specification elucidate evolutionary relations in spiralia, axial patterning in the leech: developmental mechanisms and evolutionary implications, hox genes in arthropod development and evolution, heterochronic genes in development and evolution, a common theme for LIM homeobox gene function across phylogeny, and mechanisms of specification in ascidian embryos.

  10. Innovative techniques in preventing and salvaging neurovascular pedicle flaps in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.

    PubMed

    Zgonis, Thomas; Stapleton, John J

    2008-04-01

    Pedicle flaps to cover soft tissue defects of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity are invaluable. However, venous congestion and flap necrosis, a common complication, poses greater morbidity to the patient as few remaining options for attempted limb salvage remain. The authors discuss how to prevent flap failure by allowing close observation and strict offloading of the pedicle flap through current external fixation designs. This article also discusses the role of medicinal leeches in reestablishing blood flow through the pedicle flap to prevent tissue necrosis. In addition, the use of hydrosurgery as an innovative technique offers the surgeon another option if faced with pedicle flap necrosis. PMID:19825700

  11. Ectoparasites of Propithecus diadema (Primates: Indriidae) With Notes on Unusual Attachment Site Selection by Haemaphysalis lemuris (Parasitiformes: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Klompen, Hans; Junge, Randall E; Williams, Cathy V

    2015-05-01

    An examination of ectoparasite loads in two populations of wild diademed sifakas, Propithecus diadema Bennett, yielded seven species-four mite species, a louse, a hippoboscid fly, and a leech. Prevalence of the tick Haemaphysalis lemuris Hoogstraal, the mites Liponyssella madagascariensis (Hirst) and Lemuralges propithecus Bochkov et al., and the louse Trichophilopterus babakotophilus Stobbe was quite high, at least 20%. H. lemuris was the most common ectoparasite in one population, while completely absent in a second one. When present, the most common attachment site for H. lemuris males was in the nares of their hosts. PMID:26334804

  12. Beauty and the beast: Superconformal symmetry in a monster module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, L.; Ginsparg, P.; Harvey, J.

    1988-06-01

    Frenkel, Lepowsky, and Meurman have constructed a representation of the largest sporadic simple finite group, the Fischer-Griess monster, as the automorphism group of the operator product algebra of a conformal field theory with central charge c=24. In string terminology, their construction corresponds to compactification on a Z 2 asymmetric orbifold constructed from the torus R 24/∧, where ∧ is the Leech lattice. In this note we point out that their construction naturally embodies as well a larger algebraic structure, namely a super-Virasoro algebra with central charge ĉ=16, with the supersymmetry generator constructed in terms of bosonic twist fields.

  13. Unusual foreign body in the larynx: a bee.

    PubMed

    İlhan, Ethem; Yaman, Handan; Dost, Burhan; Köse, Gökçe Akman; Yaman, Hüseyin

    2015-01-01

    Foreign body lodgement in the larynx is a rare situation. Our review of the literature revealed no living foreign body in larynx except for laryngeal leeches and anisakiasis. In this article, we report a patient with unusual laryngeal foreign body lodgement: a bee which presented with sudden odynophagia and stinging sensation in throat. The bee was detected on the laryngeal mucosa in indirect laryngoscopic examination and removed immediately under general anesthesia in apneic period. In this case report, we describe the importance of detailed anamnesis and laryngeal examination even if the patient has no severe symptoms. PMID:26211866

  14. Bioactive proteins and peptides isolated from Chinese medicines with pharmaceutical potential.

    PubMed

    Wong, Kam Lok; Wong, Ricky Ngok Shun; Zhang, Liang; Liu, Wing Keung; Ng, Tzi Bun; Shaw, Pang Chui; Kwok, Philip Chi Lip; Lai, Yau Ming; Zhang, Zhang Jin; Zhang, Yanbo; Tong, Yao; Cheung, Ho-Pan; Lu, Jia; Sze, Stephen Cho Wing

    2014-01-01

    Some protein pharmaceuticals from Chinese medicine have been developed to treat cardiovascular diseases, genetic diseases, and cancer. Bioactive proteins with various pharmacological properties have been successfully isolated from animals such as Hirudo medicinalis (medicinal leech), Eisenia fetida (earthworm), and Mesobuthus martensii (Chinese scorpion), and from herbal medicines derived from species such as Cordyceps militaris, Ganoderma, Momordica cochinchinensis, Viscum album, Poria cocos, Senna obtusifolia, Panax notoginseng, Smilax glabra, Ginkgo biloba, Dioscorea batatas, and Trichosanthes kirilowii. This article reviews the isolation methods, molecular characteristics, bioactivities, pharmacological properties, and potential uses of bioactive proteins originating from these Chinese medicines. PMID:25067942

  15. Bioactive proteins and peptides isolated from Chinese medicines with pharmaceutical potential

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Some protein pharmaceuticals from Chinese medicine have been developed to treat cardiovascular diseases, genetic diseases, and cancer. Bioactive proteins with various pharmacological properties have been successfully isolated from animals such as Hirudo medicinalis (medicinal leech), Eisenia fetida (earthworm), and Mesobuthus martensii (Chinese scorpion), and from herbal medicines derived from species such as Cordyceps militaris, Ganoderma, Momordica cochinchinensis, Viscum album, Poria cocos, Senna obtusifolia, Panax notoginseng, Smilax glabra, Ginkgo biloba, Dioscorea batatas, and Trichosanthes kirilowii. This article reviews the isolation methods, molecular characteristics, bioactivities, pharmacological properties, and potential uses of bioactive proteins originating from these Chinese medicines. PMID:25067942

  16. The buccal gland of Lampetra japonica is a source of diverse bioactive proteins.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Rong; Pang, Yue; Li, Qing Wei

    2012-05-01

    The parasitic phase lampreys (Lampetra japonica) are bloodsuckers in the marine, and their buccal gland secretion (lamphredin) contains various regulators such as anticoagulants, ion channel blockers, and immune suppressors like those from leeches, insects, ticks, vampire bats, and snakes. This review focuses on the functions and characteristics of the active proteins from the buccal gland of L. japonica for the first time, and provides new insights into the parasitic mechanisms of lampreys and the possibilities of developing drugs such as novel anticoagulants, thrombolytic agents, local anesthetics, and immunosuppressants. PMID:22586701

  17. Direct MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric peptide profiling of neuroendocrine tissue of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Wegener, Christian; Neupert, Susanne; Predel, Reinhard

    2010-01-01

    Direct MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric peptide profiling is increasingly used to analyze the peptide complement in the nervous system of a variety of invertebrate animals, from leech to Aplysia and many arthropod species, especially insects and crustaceans. Proper sample preparation is often the most crucial step to obtain the necessary data. Here, we describe protocols for the use of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to directly analyze the peptidome of neuroendocrine tissues of insects, particularly Drosophila melanogaster, by MALDI-TOF MS. PMID:20013204

  18. First record of a digenean from invasive lionfish, Pterois cf. volitans, (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae) in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Bullard, S A; Barse, A M; Curran, S S; Morris, J A

    2011-10-01

    Adults of Lecithochirium floridense (Digenea: Hemiuridae) parasitized the stomach in each of 22 necropsied lionfish, Pterois cf. volitans (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae) (prevalence  =  100%, mean intensity  =  11), captured in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean off Beaufort, North Carolina (34°14.83'N, 76°35.25'W). This is the first report of a digenean from the invasive lionfish and that of L. floridense from a species of Pterois. The leech specimen previously identified as Myzobdella lugubris from P. volitans in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean is re-identified as Trachelobdella lubrica based on a study of the original voucher specimen. PMID:21506808

  19. Neuroelectronic device based on nanocoax arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naughton, Jeffrey R.; Lundberg, Jaclyn N.; Varela, Juan A.; Burns, Michael J.; Chiles, Thomas C.; Christianson, John P.; Naughton, Michael J.

    2015-03-01

    We report on development of a nanocoax-based neuroelectronic array. The device has been used in real time to noninvasively couple to a ganglion sac located along the main nerve cord of the leech Hirudo medicinalis. This allowed for extracellular recording of synaptic activity in the form of spontaneous synapse firing in pre- and post-synaptic somata, with the next target being recording of local field potentials from rat hippocampal cells. We also discuss an alteration of the architecture to facilitate optical integration of the nanoarray, toward utilizing the so-modified device to elicit / inhibit action potentials in optogenetically-modified cells.

  20. Origin of Bursting through Homoclinic Spike Adding in a Neuron Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Channell, Paul; Cymbalyuk, Gennady; Shilnikov, Andrey

    2007-03-01

    The origin of spike adding in bursting activity is studied in a reduced model of the leech heart interneuron. We show that, as the activation kinetics of the slow potassium current are shifted towards depolarized membrane potential values, the bursting phase accommodates incrementally more spikes into the train. This phenomenon is attested to be caused by the homoclinic bifurcations of a saddle periodic orbit setting the threshold between the tonic spiking and quiescent phases of the bursting. The fundamentals of the mechanism are revealed through the analysis of a family of the onto Poincaré return mappings.

  1. GENERAL: New Canards Bursting and Canards Periodic-Chaotic Sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yooer, Chi-Feng; Xu, Jian-Xue; Zhang, Xin-Hua

    2009-07-01

    A trajectory following the repelling branch of an equilibrium or a periodic orbit is called a canards solution. Using a continuation method, we find a new type of canards bursting which manifests itself in an alternation between the oscillation phase following attracting the limit cycle branch and resting phase following a repelling fixed point branch in a reduced leech neuron model. Via periodic-chaotic alternating of infinite times, the number of windings within a canards bursting can approach infinity at a Gavrilov-Shilnikov homoclinic tangency bifurcation of a simple saddle limit cycle.

  2. Examination of interaction of trypanosome infection and crude oil exposure on hematology of the longhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus)

    SciTech Connect

    Kiceniuk, J.W.; Khan, R.A.; Dawe, M.; Williams, U.

    1982-04-01

    Adult longhorn sculpins were collected from Conception Bay, Newfoundland, and infected with trypanosomes via leeches. One group of these fish were exposed to water-accommodated Venezuelan crude oil, while the other served as controls. The results of the study suggests that water soluble fractions of Venezuelan crude oil have a minor effect on the hematology of sculpins in the concentration range 150-300 ppb, but that trypanosomes appear to potentiate the effect of oil on blood hemoglobin content of trypanosome infected fish. If this is found to be the case in active species of fish, the decrease in oxygen carrying capacity would likely limit the aerobic capacity of fish. (JMT)

  3. Are we teaching students that patients don't matter?

    PubMed

    Robinson, J

    1985-03-01

    Medical students may fear that their training leeches away the caring attitudes which attracted them to medicine. Some research suggests they are right. The medical school has a duty to support and encourage their values, but the reverse may happen. Students are taught about legal consent but not ethical consent. They may see or participate in concealment of medical mistakes and learn to practise deceit. The use of unconscious females for gynaecology teaching may encourage the wrong attitudes to patients. Trainee GPs may learn that the doctors' rights are more important than those of the patient. Measuring patients' views should be included in research protocols. PMID:3981564

  4. Mechanics of cocoon secretion in a segmented worm (Annelida: Hirudinidae).

    PubMed

    Rossi, Anthony M; Saidel, William M; Gravante, Christopher J; Sayers, Charlene W; Shain, Daniel H

    2016-07-01

    Clitellate annelids (e.g., segmented earthworms, leeches) secrete proteinaceous cocoons into which eggs are deposited. The process of cocoon production is characterized by the coordinated release of micro-granules from secretory cells positioned asymmetrically within the clitellum. Collectively, these assemble into a tubular cocoon sheath that is sealed at either end by globular opercula. By transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we show here that granules destined to the cocoon operculum in the leech, Erpodbdella obscura, display a series of concentric rings surrounding a structureless core with dimensions approximating a single nanoglobule found in the operculum. Upon their channeling to the surface through narrow tubules, granules are secreted into the cocoon lumen where they appear to fragment upon contact with the operculum matrix. The distribution of partial concentric ring structures throughout the operculum suggests that granular fusion causes dynamic fragmentation of outer surface material, which thereafter integrates into operculum nanoglobules and cavities. Other granules within the same secretory cell display a punctate pattern and likely fuse with the cocoon sheath prior to crystallization. PMID:27129037

  5. Tag jumps illuminated--reducing sequence-to-sample misidentifications in metabarcoding studies.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Ida Baerholm; Bohmann, Kristine; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2015-11-01

    Metabarcoding of environmental samples on second-generation sequencing platforms has rapidly become a valuable tool for ecological studies. A fundamental assumption of this approach is the reliance on being able to track tagged amplicons back to the samples from which they originated. In this study, we address the problem of sequences in metabarcoding sequencing outputs with false combinations of used tags (tag jumps). Unless these sequences can be identified and excluded from downstream analyses, tag jumps creating sequences with false, but already used tag combinations, can cause incorrect assignment of sequences to samples and artificially inflate diversity. In this study, we document and investigate tag jumping in metabarcoding studies on Illumina sequencing platforms by amplifying mixed-template extracts obtained from bat droppings and leech gut contents with tagged generic arthropod and mammal primers, respectively. We found that an average of 2.6% and 2.1% of sequences had tag combinations, which could be explained by tag jumping in the leech and bat diet study, respectively. We suggest that tag jumping can happen during blunt-ending of pools of tagged amplicons during library build and as a consequence of chimera formation during bulk amplification of tagged amplicons during library index PCR. We argue that tag jumping and contamination between libraries represents a considerable challenge for Illumina-based metabarcoding studies, and suggest measures to avoid false assignment of tag jumping-derived sequences to samples. PMID:25740652

  6. Arhynchobdellida (Annelida: Oligochaeta: Hirudinida): phylogenetic relationships and evolution.

    PubMed

    Borda, Elizabeth; Siddall, Mark E

    2004-01-01

    A remarkable diversity of life history strategies, geographic distributions, and morphological characters provide a rich substrate for investigating the evolutionary relationships of arhynchobdellid leeches. The phylogenetic relationships, using parsimony analysis, of the order Arhynchobdellida were investigated using nuclear 18S and 28S rDNA, mitochondrial 12S rDNA, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequence data, as well as 24 morphological characters. Thirty-nine arhynchobdellid species were selected to represent the seven currently recognized families. Sixteen rhynchobdellid leeches from the families Glossiphoniidae and Piscicolidae were included as outgroup taxa. Analysis of all available data resolved a single most-parsimonious tree. The cladogram conflicted with most of the traditional classification schemes of the Arhynchobdellida. Monophyly of the Erpobdelliformes and Hirudiniformes was supported, whereas the families Haemadipsidae, Haemopidae, and Hirudinidae, as well as the genera Hirudo or Aliolimnatis, were found not to be monophyletic. The results provide insight on the phylogenetic positions for the taxonomically problematic families Americobdellidae and Cylicobdellidae, the genera Semiscolex, Patagoniobdella, and Mesobdella, as well as genera traditionally classified under Hirudinidae. The evolution of dietary and habitat preferences is examined. PMID:15022771

  7. Emergent Space-Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapline, George

    It has been shown that a nonlinear Schrödinger equation in 2+1 dimensions equipped with an SU(N) Chern-Simons gauge field can provide an exact description of certain self-dual Einstein spaces in the limit N-=∞. Ricci flat Einstein spaces can then be viewed as arising from a quantum pairing of the classical self-dual and anti-self-dual solutions. In this chapter, we will outline how this theory of empty space-time might be generalized to include matter and vacuum energy by transplanting the nonlinear Schrödinger equation used to construct Einstein spaces to the 25+1-dimensional Lorentzian Leech lattice. If the distinguished 2 spatial dimensions underlying the construction of Einstein spaces are identified with a hexagonal lattice section of the Leech lattice, the wave-function becomes an 11 × 11 matrix that can represent fermion and boson degrees of freedom (DOF) associated with 2-form and Yang-Mills gauge symmetries. The resulting theory of gravity and matter in 3+1 dimensions is not supersymmetric, which provides an entry for a vacuum energy. Indeed, in the case of a Lemaitre cosmological model, the emergent space-time will naturally have a vacuum energy on the order of the observed cosmological constant.

  8. Control of traveling-wave oscillations and bifurcation behavior in central pattern generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landsman, Alexandra S.; Slotine, Jean-Jacques

    2012-10-01

    Understanding synchronous and traveling-wave oscillations, particularly as they relate to transitions between different types of behavior, is a central problem in modeling biological systems. Here, we address this problem in the context of central pattern generators (CPGs). We use contraction theory to establish the global stability of a traveling-wave or synchronous oscillation, determined by the type of coupling. This opens the door to better design of coupling architectures to create the desired type of stable oscillations. We then use coupling that is both amplitude and phase dependent to create either globally stable synchronous or traveling-wave solutions. Using the CPG motor neuron network of a leech as an example, we show that while both traveling and synchronous oscillations can be achieved by several types of coupling, the transition between different types of behavior is dictated by a specific coupling architecture. In particular, it is only the “repulsive” but not the commonly used phase or rotational coupling that can explain the transition to high-frequency synchronous oscillations that have been observed in the heartbeat pattern generator of a leech. This shows that the overall dynamics of a CPG can be highly sensitive to the type of coupling used, even for coupling architectures that are widely believed to produce the same qualitative behavior.

  9. Minnesota Tribal Coalition - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Triplett

    2006-12-19

    The project helped tribal leaders, staff and community members on the Grand Portage, Leech Lake, and White Earth Reservations better understand their community's energy usage, assess local resources that might be utilized to reduce energy consumption and begin to formulate appropriate development strategies. The principal guiding interest was to assess energy usage and the potential for wind resource development on each of the three reservations. Key tribal staff became familiar with wind energy technology and assessment methodologies that will be of continued use as each tribe moves forward with development projects. The findings were that wind resources are available at each reservation with varying degrees of potential for development. At White Earth moderate to excellent resources are present at White Earth village and along the U.S. 59 corridor sufficient to be tapped to serve several scattered tribal complexes. At Grand Portage a former community television repeater tower site provides a viable elevated location for a wind turbine to serve the tribal community settlement. At Leech Lake, while most constrained by tree cover, a site adjacent to a casino holds promise for the newer taller wind turbines now coming to market at ever-increasing taller rotor heights. The project developed considerable data of importance regarding the potential for wind development on and near each reservation.

  10. Multiplexed modulation of behavioral choice

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Chris R.; Barnett, Megan N.; Copado, Saul; Gardezy, Fred; Kristan, William B.

    2014-01-01

    Stimuli in the environment, as well as internal states, influence behavioral choice. Of course, animals are often exposed to multiple external and internal factors simultaneously, which makes the ultimate determinants of behavior quite complex. We observed the behavioral responses of European leeches, Hirudo verbana, as we varied one external factor (surrounding water depth) with either another external factor (location of tactile stimulation along the body) or an internal factor (body distention following feeding). Stimulus location proved to be the primary indicator of behavioral response. In general, anterior stimulation produced shortening behavior, midbody stimulation produced local bending, and posterior stimulation usually produced either swimming or crawling but sometimes a hybrid of the two. By producing a systematically measured map of behavioral responses to body stimulation, we found wide areas of overlap between behaviors. When we varied the surrounding water depth, this map changed significantly, and a new feature – rotation of the body along its long axis prior to swimming – appeared. We found additional interactions between water depth and time since last feeding. A large blood meal initially made the animals crawl more and swim less, an effect that was attenuated as water depth increased. The behavioral map returned to its pre-feeding form after approximately 3 weeks as the leeches digested their blood meal. In summary, we found multiplexed impacts on behavioral choice, with the map of responses to tactile stimulation modified by water depth, which itself modulated the impact that feeding had on the decision to swim or crawl. PMID:24902753

  11. Control of traveling-wave oscillations and bifurcation behavior in central pattern generators.

    PubMed

    Landsman, Alexandra S; Slotine, Jean-Jacques

    2012-10-01

    Understanding synchronous and traveling-wave oscillations, particularly as they relate to transitions between different types of behavior, is a central problem in modeling biological systems. Here, we address this problem in the context of central pattern generators (CPGs). We use contraction theory to establish the global stability of a traveling-wave or synchronous oscillation, determined by the type of coupling. This opens the door to better design of coupling architectures to create the desired type of stable oscillations. We then use coupling that is both amplitude and phase dependent to create either globally stable synchronous or traveling-wave solutions. Using the CPG motor neuron network of a leech as an example, we show that while both traveling and synchronous oscillations can be achieved by several types of coupling, the transition between different types of behavior is dictated by a specific coupling architecture. In particular, it is only the "repulsive" but not the commonly used phase or rotational coupling that can explain the transition to high-frequency synchronous oscillations that have been observed in the heartbeat pattern generator of a leech. This shows that the overall dynamics of a CPG can be highly sensitive to the type of coupling used, even for coupling architectures that are widely believed to produce the same qualitative behavior. PMID:23214622

  12. Optically monitoring voltage in neurons by photo-induced electron transfer through molecular wires

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Evan W.; Lin, John Y.; Frady, E. Paxon; Steinbach, Paul A.; Kristan, William B.; Tsien, Roger Y.

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescence imaging is an attractive method for monitoring neuronal activity. A key challenge for optically monitoring voltage is development of sensors that can give large and fast responses to changes in transmembrane potential. We now present fluorescent sensors that detect voltage changes in neurons by modulation of photo-induced electron transfer (PeT) from an electron donor through a synthetic molecular wire to a fluorophore. These dyes give bigger responses to voltage than electrochromic dyes, yet have much faster kinetics and much less added capacitance than existing sensors based on hydrophobic anions or voltage-sensitive ion channels. These features enable single-trial detection of synaptic and action potentials in cultured hippocampal neurons and intact leech ganglia. Voltage-dependent PeT should be amenable to much further optimization, but the existing probes are already valuable indicators of neuronal activity. PMID:22308458

  13. Feeding behavior and trophic relationship of earthworms and other predators in vermifiltration system for liquid-state sludge stabilization using fatty acid profiles.

    PubMed

    Xing, Meiyan; Zhao, Chunhui; Yang, Jian; Lv, Baoyi

    2014-10-01

    The sludge reduction capability (VSS reduction) of vermifilter (VF) was 14.7% higher than that of conventional biofilter (BF) due to the fact that there was a net loss of biomass and energy when the food web in VF is extended. Therefore, feeding behavior and trophic relationship of earthworms and other predators (leeches, lymnaeidaes and limaxes) in VF were investigated using fatty acid (FA) profiles for the first time. Compared with BF biofilm, microbial community structure of VF biofilm got optimized by earthworms that the percentage of protozoa increased from 14.2% to 20.4%. Furthermore, analysis of specific microbial FAs composition in each predator suggested different trophic level of predators resulted from their selective ingestion of different microorganisms, and earthworms were at the second high trophic level in VF food web. Overall findings indicated earthworms modified microbial community and extended the food web of VF and thus enhanced the sludge reduction. PMID:25043348

  14. Biomonitoring of river pollution by heavy metals in reserves on the basis of studies on metal accumulation in the body of aquatic invertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Zhulidov, A.V.; Emets, V.M.; Shevtsov, A.S.

    1980-05-01

    In recent years particular importance has been attached to biological monitoring, with biosphere reserves moving into the forefront as background-monitoring stations. However, the biomonitoring of river pollution by heavy metals is poorly developed and is not carried out in reserves. The realization of this type of monitoring is prevented in no small degree by the inadequate extent to which the accumulation of heavy metals in the body of freshwater invertebrates has been studied; some data exist on individual species os bivalve and gastropod mollusks, leeches, crustaceans, mayflies, dragonflies dipterous insects, and caddis flies. A number of groups of large freshwater invertebrates important in the biocenological sense, especially bugs and beetles, have not been investigated at all in respect to heavy-metal accumulation. The present communication demonstrates the possibility of utilizing aquatic gastropod mollusks and insects (bugs and beetles) to characterize river pollution by heavy metals in the reserves.

  15. Test of a life support system with Hirudo medicinalis in a sounding rocket.

    PubMed

    Lotz, R G; Baum, P; Bowman, G H; Klein, K D; von Lohr, R; Schrotter, L

    1972-01-01

    Two Nike-Tomahawk rockets each carrying two Biosondes were launched from Wallops Island, Virginia, the first on 10 December 1970 and the second on 16 December 1970. The primary objective of both flights was to test the Biosonde life support system under a near weightless environment and secondarily to subject the Hirudo medicinalis to the combined stresses of a rocket flight. The duration of the weightless environment was approximately 6.5 minutes. Data obtained during the flight by telemetry was used to ascertain the operation of the system and the movements of the leeches during flight. Based on the information obtained, it has been concluded that the operation of the Biosondes during the flight was similar to that observed in the laboratory. The experiment and equipment are described briefly and the flight results presented. PMID:11898833

  16. Cytokine loaded biopolymers as a novel strategy to study stem cells during wound-healing processes.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, Annalisa; Banfi, Serena; Vizioli, Jacopo; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Noonan, Douglas M; de Eguileor, Magda

    2011-08-11

    The biopolymer matrigel loaded with cytokine can be used for the recruitment in vivo of specific cell populations and as a vector for the preparation of cell cultures. Data demonstrate that the injection of the matrigel biopolymer supplemented with interleukin-8 (IL-8) in the leech Hirudo medicinalis can be used to purify cell populations showing the same morphofunctional and molecular mechanisms of specific populations of vertebrate hematopoietic precursor cells involved in tissue repair. These cells spontaneously differentiated into myofibroblasts. This approach highlights how the innovative use of a cytokine-loaded biopolymer for an in vivo cell sorting method, applied to a simple invertebrate model, can be a tool for studying myofibroblast cell biology and its regulation, step by step. PMID:21400659

  17. Specific MALDI-MSI: Tag-Mass.

    PubMed

    Stauber, Jonathan; Ayed, Mohamed El; Wisztorski, Maxence; Salzet, Michel; Fournier, Isabelle

    2010-01-01

    MALDI imaging as a molecular mass spectrometry imaging technique (MSI) can provide accurate information about molecular composition on a surface. The last decade of MSI development has brought the technology to clinical and biomedical applications as a complementary technique of MRI and other molecular imaging. Then, this IMS technique is used for endogenous and exogenous molecule detection in pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. However, some limitations still exist due to physical and chemical aspects, and sensitivity of certain compounds is very low. Thus, we developed a multiplex technique for fast detection of different compound natures. The multiplex MALDI imaging technique uses a photocleavable group that can be detect easily by MALDI instrument. These techniques of targeted imaging using Tag-Mass molecules allow the multiplex detection of compounds like antibodies or oligonucleotides. Here, we describe how we used this technique to detect huge proteins and mRNA by MALDI imaging in rat brain and in a model for regeneration; the leech. PMID:20680601

  18. Use of scanning ion conductance microscopy to guide and redirect neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Mario; Orsini, Paolo; De Gregorio, Francesca

    2009-07-01

    Scanning ion conductance microscopy has been applied to neuronal growth cones of the leech either to image or to stimulate them. Growth cone advance was recorded in non-contact mode using a 2% ion current decrease criterion for pipette-membrane distance control. We demonstrate effective growth cone remodelling using a 5% criterion (near-scanning). Recurrent line near-scanning aligned growth cone processes along the scan line. The new membrane protrusions, marked by DiI, started a few minutes after scanning onset and progressively grew in thickness. Using scanning patterns suitable for connecting distinct growth cones, new links were consistently developed. Although the underlying mechanism is still a matter for investigation, a mechanical perturbation produced by the moving probe appeared to induce the process formation. Thanks to its deterministic and interactive features, this novel approach to guiding growth cones is a promising way to develop networks of identified neurons as well as link them with artificial structures. PMID:19447298

  19. Bilingual children show an advantage in controlling verbal interference during spoken language comprehension*

    PubMed Central

    FILIPPI, ROBERTO; MORRIS, JOHN; RICHARDSON, FIONA M.; BRIGHT, PETER; THOMAS, MICHAEL S. C.; KARMILOFF-SMITH, ANNETTE; MARIAN, VIORICA

    2014-01-01

    Studies measuring inhibitory control in the visual modality have shown a bilingual advantage in both children and adults. However, there is a lack of developmental research on inhibitory control in the auditory modality. This study compared the comprehension of active and passive English sentences in 7–10 years old bilingual and monolingual children. The task was to identify the agent of a sentence in the presence of verbal interference. The target sentence was cued by the gender of the speaker. Children were instructed to focus on the sentence in the target voice and ignore the distractor sentence. Results indicate that bilinguals are more accurate than monolinguals in comprehending syntactically complex sentences in the presence of linguistic noise. This supports previous findings with adult participants (Filippi, Leech, Thomas, Green & Dick, 2012). We therefore conclude that the bilingual advantage in interference control begins early in life and is maintained throughout development. PMID:26146479

  20. Redescription and molecular characterization of Placobdella cryptobranchii (Johnson & Klemm, 1977) (Glossiphoniidae, Hirudinida)

    PubMed Central

    Moser, William E.; Briggler, Jeffrey T.; Richardson, Dennis J.; Schuette, Chawna D.; Hammond, Charlotte I.; Hopkins, William A.; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Placobdella cryptobranchii (Johnson & Klemm, 1977) was originally described from specimens collected from Ozark Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) from the North Fork of the White River in Missouri, U.S.A. Leeches collected during August 2009 to August 2011 from five localities in Missouri (including the type locality) facilitated a redescription and molecular characterization of Placobdella cryptobranchii. Placobdella cryptobranchii has a rusty, reddish-brown dorsum with 2 lateral rows of unpigmented papillae, two unpigmented nuchal bands, unpigmented patches, and pair of four pre-anal papillae. Molecular comparison of CO-I sequence data from Placobdella cryptobranchii revealed a 93–94% similarity to Placobdella ornata and 10–17% difference among other species of Placobdella. PMID:24146580

  1. [Relevance between quality craft and safe medication of Shuxuetong injection].

    PubMed

    Wang, Meng; Zhang, Jian

    2012-09-01

    Shuxuetong (SXT) injection is the first animal original injection in traditional Chinese medicine, the main component are the leech and the earthworm. SXT has got five national invention patents, and is recognized as the most potent medicine expelling blood stasis agent, which indication is the only one be clearly approved by SFDA as the acute phase of cerebral infarction. Modern biological extraction technology is adopted to prepare SXT, the entire production process using only saline as a solvent. Patented product process is induced to maximize the retention of medicinal components and activity, as well as to remove invalid substances as variant protein,high molecular weight substances which causes allergic reactions. SXT have been isolated and identified class 7 of56 compounds, the molecular weight is from 100 to 1 700 Da, mainly including peptides, glycopeptides, endogenous small molecules. PMID:23285943

  2. Physicians on Mount Everest—A Clinical Account of the 1981 American Medical Research Expedition to Everest

    PubMed Central

    Sarnquist, Frank H.

    1983-01-01

    The American Medical Research Expedition to Everest had a wide variety of medical problems, ranging from leech bites to high-altitude pulmonary edema. Preventive measures, however, such as careful attention to ingesting only pure water and food at the lower elevations and adequate personal hydration, nutrition and rest at extremely high altitude minimized the morbidity suffered by the group. Prophylactic administration of doxycycline was effective in reducing the severity of diarrheal illness in the group. Every member of the expedition suffered upper respiratory tract infections and many other infections, some of which were resistant to all therapy until the patient moved down from high altitude. Despite careful acclimatization, several cases of acute mountain sickness occurred and required descent to a lower altitude for treatment. Frostbite was avoided entirely. Images PMID:6649596

  3. Enzymatic production of specifically distributed hyaluronan oligosaccharides.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Panhong; Lv, Mengxian; Jin, Peng; Wang, Miao; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian; Kang, Zhen

    2015-09-20

    High-molecular-mass hyaluronan (HA) was controllably depolymerized in pure aqueous solution with recombinant leech hyaluronidase (HAase). The HAase concentration per unit HA and hydrolysis time played important roles in molecular mass distribution. By modulating the concentrations of HAase and controlling the hydrolysis time, any molar-mass-defined HA oligomers could be efficiently and specifically produced on a large scale (40 g/L), such as HA oligosaccharides with weight-average molar mass of 4000, 10,000, and 30,000Da and end hydrolysates containing only HA6 and HA4. High performance liquid chromatography-size exclusion chromatography, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, capillary zone electrophoresis, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry confirmed low polydispersity of the produced molar-mass-defined HA oligosaccharides. Therefore, large-scale production of defined HA oligosaccharides with narrow molecular mass distribution will significantly promote progress in related research and its potential applications. PMID:26050905

  4. Release of acetylcholine by chick embryo heart before innervation

    PubMed Central

    Coraboeuf, E.; Le Douarin, G.; Obrecht-Coutris, G.

    1970-01-01

    1. In chick embryo hearts, 3-day-old and not yet innervated, repetitive direct stimulation causes a transitory inhibition of the spontaneous rhythm. 2. The degree of post-stimulation inhibition depends on the frequency and duration of the artificial stimulation and on the concentration of K and Ca ions in the extracellular solution. 3. After treatment with atropine (10-5 g/ml.) post-stimulation inhibition is no longer observed. The spontaneous rhythm is accelerated by atropine. The findings therefore suggest that an ACh-like substance is released from the non-innervated embryonic heart during activity. 4. By use of the dorsal muscle of the leech for biological assay the liberation of an ACh-like substance from the non-innervated embryonic heart was confirmed. ImagesPlate 1 PMID:5498489

  5. The biology of Haemogregarina bigemina Laveran & Mesnil, a parasite of the marine fish Blennius pholis Linnaeus.

    PubMed

    Davies, A J; Johnston, M R

    1976-05-01

    Haemogregarina bigemina was found in all Blennius pholis which exceeded 5.0 cm in length, but in none measuring less than 3.5 cm. No exoerythrocytic development was recorded. The first B. pholis eggs hatched in May while the first patent infections of H. bigemina occurred from September onward in metamorphosed fish. Consequently, if the life cycle of H. bigemina includes a vector, that organism is active between May and September at least. Circumstantial evidence indicates that the hematophagous isopod, Gnathia maxillaris and not leeches, could be a vector of H. bigernina. Developmental stages of sporozoa were found in a small number of the isopods which had fed on infected B. pholis but the parasites could not be identified as H. bigemina with certainty. Subcellular organization, typical of sporozoa, was recorded by electron microscopy of H. bigemina. PMID:819650

  6. Aquatic macroinvertebrates associated with Schoenoplectus litter in a constructed wetland in California (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, S.M.; Thullen, J.S.

    2008-01-01

    Culm processing characteristics were associated with differences in invertebrate density in a study of invertebrates and senesced culm packs in a constructed treatment wetland. Invertebrate abundance differed by location within the wetland and there were differences between the two study years that appeared to be related to water quality and condition of culm material. Open areas in the wetland appeared to be critical in providing dissolved oxygen (DO) and food (plankton) to the important invertebrate culm processor, Glyptotendipes. As culm packs aged, invertebrate assemblages became less diverse and eventually supported mostly tubificid worms and leeches. It appears from this study that wetland design is vital to processing of plant material and that designs that encourage production and maintenance of high DO's will encourage microbial and invertebrate processing of material.

  7. Long term changes in atmospheric N and S throughfall deposition and effects on soil solution chemistry in a Scots pine forest in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Boxman, Andries W; Peters, Roy C J H; Roelofs, Jan G M

    2008-12-01

    In a Scots pine forest the throughfall deposition and the chemical composition of the soil solution was monitored since 1984. (Inter)national legislation measures led to a reduction of the deposition of nitrogen and sulphur. The deposition of sulphur has decreased by approximately 65%. The total mineral-nitrogen deposition has decreased by ca. 25%, which is mainly due to a reduction in ammonium-N deposition (-40%), since nitrate-N deposition has increased (+50%). The nitrogen concentration in the upper mineral soil solution at 10 cm depth has decreased, leading to an improved nutritional balance, which may result in improved tree vitality. In the drainage water at 90 cm depth the fluxes of NO3(-) and SO4(2-) have decreased, resulting in a reduced leeching of accompanying base cations, thus preserving nutrients in the ecosystem. It may take still several years, however, before this will meet the prerequisite of a sustainable ecosystem. PMID:18457906

  8. Direct methods for dynamic monitoring of secretions from single cells by capillary electrophoresis and microscopy with laser-induced native fluorescence detection

    SciTech Connect

    Tong, W.

    1997-10-08

    Microscale separation and detection methods for real-time monitoring of dynamic cellular processes (e.g., secretion) by capillary electrophoresis (CE) and microscopic imaging were developed. Ultraviolet laser-induced native fluorescence (LINF) provides simple, sensitive and direct detection of neurotransmitters and proteins without any derivatization. An on-column CE-LINF protocol for quantification of the release from single cell was demonstrated. Quantitative measurements of both the amount of insulin released from and the amount remaining in the cell ({beta}TC3) were achieved simultaneously. Secretion of catecholamines (norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (E)) from individual bovine adrenal chromaffin cells was determined using the on-column CE-LINF. Direct visualization of the secretion process of individual bovine adrenal chromaffin cells was achieved by LINF imaging microscopy with high temporal and spatial resolution. The secretion of serotonin from individual leech Retzius neurons was directly characterized by LINF microscopy with high spatial resolution.

  9. Excitotoxic potential of the cyanotoxin β-methyl-amino-L-alanine (BMAA) in primary human neurons.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Alexander S; Gehringer, Michelle M; Braidy, Nady; Guillemin, Gilles J; Welch, Jeffrey H; Neilan, Brett A

    2012-11-01

    The toxicity of the cyanobacterial modified amino acid, BMAA, has been described in rat, mouse and leech neurons. Particular emphasis has been placed on the potential ability of BMAA to induce neuronal damage via excitotoxic mechanisms. Here we present data indicating that the effects observed on lower organisms are also evident in a human model. Our data indicates that BMAA induces increased intracellular Ca²⁺ influx, DNA damage, mitochondrial activity, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The amelioration of LDH release in the presence of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist MK801 indicates that the neurotoxic effects of BMAA are mediated via NMDA receptor activation. Additionally, we have shown that BMAA induces the expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and caspase-3 indicating that it can stimulate apoptosis in human neurons, presumably via activation of NMDA receptors. PMID:22885173

  10. Identification and cloning of an invertebrate-type lysozyme from Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    Josková, Radka; Silerová, Marcela; Procházková, Petra; Bilej, Martin

    2009-08-01

    Lysozyme is a widely distributed antimicrobial protein having specificity for cleaving the beta-(1,4)-glycosidic bond between N-acetylmuramic acid (NAM) and N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) of peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell walls and thus efficiently contributes to protection against infections caused mainly by Gram-positive bacteria. In the present study, we assembled a full-length cDNA of a novel invertebrate-type lysozyme from Eisenia andrei earthworm (EALys) by RT-PCR and RACE system. The primary structure of EALys shares high homology with other invertebrate lysozymes; however the highest, 72% identity, was shown for the destabilase I isolated from medicinal leech. Recombinant EALys expressed in Escherichia coli exhibited the lysozyme and isopeptidase activity. Moreover, real-time PCR revealed increased levels of lysozyme mRNA in coelomocytes of E. andrei after the challenge with both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. PMID:19454335

  11. Blood meal analysis of tabanid fly after it biting the rare Sumatran rhinoceros

    PubMed Central

    Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine Japning; Zainuddin, Zainal Zahari; Marni, Wahap; Ahmad, Abdul Hamid; Ambu, Laurentius N.; Payne, Junaidi

    2013-01-01

    Objective To demonstrate a noninvasive large mammalian genetic sampling method using blood meal obtained from a tabanid fly. Methods Blood meal was recovered from the abdomen of an engorged tabanid fly (Haematopota sp.) which was captured immediately after biting a Sumatran rhino in captivity. The blood was applied on to a Whatman FTA® blood card. Subsequent laboratory work was conducted to extract, amplify and sequence the DNA from the sample. Validation was done by sampling the hair follicles and blood samples from the rhinoceros and subjecting it to the same laboratory process. Results BLAST search and constructed phylogenetic trees confirmed the blood meal samples were indeed from the rhino. Conclusions This method could be used in the field application to noninvasively collect genetic samples. Collection of tabanids and other haematophagous arthropods (e.g. mosquitoes and ticks) and other blood-sucking parasites (e.g. leeches and worms) could also provide information on vector-borne diseases. PMID:23593586

  12. Partial salvage of avulsed tissue after dog bite.

    PubMed

    Øregaard, J S; Lang, C L; Venzo, A

    2016-02-01

    Injuries to the nose can be severe from both a functional and cosmetic perspective. After suffering a dog bite to the central part of the face, an 18-year old woman underwent replantation of the avulsed tissue with the help of microsurgical arterial anastomosis. A venous anastomosis was impossible and venous congestion was treated with leech therapy. Subsequent skin necrosis occurred after a few days and the replantation was revised, revealing healthy tissue immediately below. The defect was covered with a full-thickness skin graft. At follow-up review eight months later, the functional and cosmetic result was satisfactory. To our knowledge, this is one of few cases where an injury of this severity healed with a cosmetically acceptable result. PMID:26673050

  13. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatment for a failing facial flap.

    PubMed

    McCrary, Brian F

    2007-01-01

    Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) is an approved treatment for 13 pathological entities. One of these indications--a failing facial flap--is presented in this case report of a traumatic wound to the face and right axilla after an unprovoked pit bull attack on a 4 year old girl. Surgical repair was started acutely but the facial flap became congested and ischaemic, indicating deterioration of the blood supply. HBO2 treatments were initiated twice a day, resulting in remarkably decreased swelling and discomfort after the first treatment. Leeching was also used to assist with reduction of venous congestion in the flap. The patient was discharged 5 days later with a well perfused, mostly intact, incision with minimal tenderness. Surgical repair was required for a small area of wound dehiscence. Photographs documenting the patient's progress with HBO2 are presented. A discussion of the mechanisms of action of HBO2 and its beneficial effects is provided in this case. PMID:17267665

  14. Commissioning the LBTI for use as a nulling interferometer and coherent imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinz, Phil; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Defrère, D.; Downey, E.; Esposito, Simone; Hill, J.; Hoffmann, William F.; Leisenring, J.; Montoya, Manny; McMahon, T.; Puglisi, A.; Skemer, A.; Skrutskie, M.; Vaitheeswaran, Vidhya; Vaz, Amali

    2014-07-01

    The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) is a strategically important instrument for exploiting the use of the LBT as a 22.7 m telescope. The LBTI has two science cameras (covering the 1.5-5 μm and 8-13 μm atmospheric windows), and a number of observing modes that allow it to carry out a wide range of high-spatial resolution observations. Some simple modes, such as AO imaging, are in routine use. We report here on testing and commissioning of the system for its more ambitious goals as a nulling interferometer and coherent imager. The LBTI will carry out key surveys to Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial planetary Systems (HOSTS) and an LBTI Exozodi-Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH). The current nulling and coherent imaging performance is described.

  15. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Erpobdella octoculata (Hirudinea: Arhynchobdellida: Erpobdellidae).

    PubMed

    Xu, Yun-Ling; Nie, Jing

    2016-05-01

    Erpobdella octoculata (Linnaeus, 1758; Hirudinea: Arhynchobdellida: Erpobdellidae) is a very common and morphologically variable macrophagous predators of aquatic invertebrates. Here we determined the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of this species, as the first representative of the suborder Erpobdelliformes. This genome is 14,407 bp in length with an A + T content of 71.55%, containing 37 typical animal mitochondrial genes and a non-coding region (NCR). It has high AT content and the same gene arrangement pattern as those of typical annelids. The complete mtDNA sequence of E. octoculata provides useful genetic markers for identification, ecological and evolutionary studies of leeches. PMID:25329287

  16. Introduction to Sporadic Groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boya, Luis J.

    2011-01-01

    This is an introduction to finite simple groups, in particular sporadic groups, intended for physicists. After a short review of group theory, we enumerate the 1+1+16=18 families of finite simple groups, as an introduction to the sporadic groups. These are described next, in three levels of increasing complexity, plus the six isolated ''pariah'' groups. The (old) five Mathieu groups make up the first, smallest order level. The seven groups related to the Leech lattice, including the three Conway groups, constitute the second level. The third and highest level contains the Monster group M, plus seven other related groups. Next a brief mention is made of the remaining six pariah groups, thus completing the 5+7+8+6=26 sporadic groups. The review ends up with a brief discussion of a few of physical applications of finite groups in physics, including a couple of recent examples which use sporadic groups.

  17. Combinatorial Evolution of Enzymes and Synthetic Pathways Using One-Step PCR.

    PubMed

    Jin, Peng; Kang, Zhen; Zhang, Junli; Zhang, Linpei; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2016-03-18

    DNA engineering is the fundamental motive driving the rapid development of modern biotechnology. Here, we present a versatile evolution method termed "rapidly efficient combinatorial oligonucleotides for directed evolution" (RECODE) for rapidly introducing multiple combinatorial mutations to the target DNA by combined action of a thermostable high-fidelity DNA polymerase and a thermostable DNA Ligase in one reaction system. By applying this method, we rapidly constructed a variant library of the rpoS promoters (with activity of 8-460%), generated a novel heparinase from the highly specific leech hyaluronidase (with more than 30 mutant residues) and optimized the heme biosynthetic pathway by combinatorial evolution of regulatory elements and pathway enzymes (2500 ± 120 mg L(-1) with 20-fold increase). The simple RECODE method enabled researchers the unparalleled ability to efficiently create diverse mutant libraries for rapid evolution and optimization of enzymes and synthetic pathways. PMID:26751617

  18. Nanocoax neurointerface array recordings of Hirudo medicinalis neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naughton, Jeffrey R.; Rizal, Binod; Aasen, Margaret H.; Burns, Michael J.; Chiles, Thomas C.; Naughton, Michael J.

    2014-03-01

    We report results for a nanocoax-based neuroelectronic array. The device was used in real time to noninvasively couple to a ganglion sac located along the main nerve cord of the leech Hirudo medicinalis. This allowed for extracellular recording of synaptic activity in the form of spontaneous synapse firing in pre- and post-synaptic somata. In addition, we show the ability to actuate localized stimulation (Faradaic regime) which, in some circumstances, appears to facilitate electroporation, which itself enables intracellular measurements. In conjunction with this latter recording with one subarray, we measured changes in the local field potential (extracellular) with another array at a second site, allowing us to calculate the action potential propagation or conduction speed. This work is supported by the Boston College Institute on Aging.

  19. Principal sources and dispersal patterns of suspended particulate matter in nearshore surface waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean and the Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, P. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Numerous geologic features can be discerned on ERTS-1 imagery of the northwestern Olympic Peninsula, Washington, and southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A thick homoclinal sequence of north-dipping Tertiary marine strata along the northwestern Olympic Peninsula is readily discernible because of the banded nature of its outcrop. The submarine basalt on which the sequence rests shows as a high, rugged ridge. Within the sedimentary sequence, alternating sandstone and siltstone members 100 m or more thick show in the southeast corner of the image. Broad folds in this banded sequence and faults that cut it can be detected. One large fault, the Pysht River fault, and a large syncline in sandstone and siltstone east of it show prominently on the image. Numerous lineations on the image of southern Vancouver Island correlate with faults shown on Muller's map. Particularly prominent are the Leech River and San Juan faults along the southernmost part of the island.

  20. Application of real time systems to the analysis of neuronal dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cymbalyuk, Gennady; Shilnikov, Andrey

    2008-03-01

    Neurons exhibit various activity regimes and transitions in between. The central pattern generator controlling the leech's heartbeat contains identified pairs of mutually inhibitory neurons (Calabrese et al. 1995). We describe real time systems approaches to the analysis of their activity. The hybrid system consists of a living neuron and a model neuron (or an artificial silicon neuron) interacting in the real time. Dynamic clamp is used to implement artificial ionic currents and synapses in the system (Sharp et al. 1993). Our study determines the mechanisms underlying and regulating bursting activity, based on intrinsic membrane dynamics and network interactions. The complexity of endogenous dynamics originates from the diversity of ionic currents operating on different time scales. Hybrid system analysis and slow-fast dynamical systems analysis have been combined in our studies of bursting, its origin and transformations in heart interneurons both as single cells and in the mutually inhibitory configuration.

  1. L'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph's first light on LBTI/LMIRCam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defrère, D.; Absil, O.; Hinz, P.; Kuhn, J.; Mawet, D.; Mennesson, B.; Skemer, A.; Wallace, K.; Bailey, V.; Downey, E.; Delacroix, C.; Durney, O.; Forsberg, P.; Gomez, C.; Habraken, S.; Hoffmann, W. F.; Karlsson, M.; Kenworthy, M.; Leisenring, J.; Montoya, M.; Pueyo, L.; Skrutskie, M.; Surdej, J.,

    2014-07-01

    We present the first observations obtained with the L'-band AGPM vortex coronagraph recently installed on LBTI/LMIRCam. The AGPM (Annular Groove Phase Mask) is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond subwavelength gratings. It is designed to improve the sensitivity and dynamic range of high-resolution imaging at very small inner working angles, down to 0.09 arcseconds in the case of LBTI/LMIRCam in the L' band. During the first hours on sky, we observed the young A5V star HR8799 with the goal to demonstrate the AGPM performance and assess its relevance for the ongoing LBTI planet survey (LEECH). Preliminary analyses of the data reveal the four known planets clearly at high SNR and provide unprecedented sensitivity limits in the inner planetary system (down to the diffraction limit of 0.09 arcseconds).

  2. Generic two-variable model of excitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ventura, A. C.; Mindlin, G. B.; Dawson, S. Ponce

    2002-04-01

    We present a simple model that displays all classes of two-dimensional excitable regimes. One of the variables of the model displays the usual spikes observed in excitable systems. Since the model is written in terms of a ``standard'' vector field, it is always possible to fit it to experimental data displaying spikes in an algorithmic way. In fact, we use it to fit a series of membrane potential recordings obtained in the medicinal leech and time series generated with the FitzHugh-Nagumo equations and the excitability model of Eguía et al. [Phys. Rev. E 58, 2636 (1998)]. In each case, we determine the excitability class of the corresponding system.

  3. Spikes matter for phase-locked bursting in inhibitory neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalil, Sajiya; Belykh, Igor; Shilnikov, Andrey

    2012-03-01

    We show that inhibitory networks composed of two endogenously bursting neurons can robustly display several coexistent phase-locked states in addition to stable antiphase and in-phase bursting. This work complements and enhances our recent result [Jalil, Belykh, and Shilnikov, Phys. Rev. EPLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.81.045201 81, 045201(R) (2010)] that fast reciprocal inhibition can synchronize bursting neurons due to spike interactions. We reveal the role of spikes in generating multiple phase-locked states and demonstrate that this multistability is generic by analyzing diverse models of bursting networks with various fast inhibitory synapses; the individual cell models include the reduced leech heart interneuron, the Sherman model for pancreatic beta cells, and the Purkinje neuron model.

  4. Plane Wave and Coulomb Asymptotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulligan, P. G.; Crothers, D. S. F.

    2004-01-01

    A simple plane wave solution of the Schrödinger Helmholtz equation is a quantum eigenfunction obeying both energy and linear momentum correspondence principles. Inclusion of the outgoing wave with scattering amplitude f obeys unitarity and the optical theorem. By closely considering the standard asymptotic development of the plane wave, we show that there is a problem with angular momentum when we consider forward scattering at the point of closest approach and at large impact parameter given semiclassically by (l + 1/2)/k where l is the azimuthal quantum number and may be large (J Leech et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 257901 (2002)). The problem is resolved via non-uniform, non-standard analysis involving the Heaviside step function, unifying classical, semiclassical and quantum mechanics, and the treatment is extended to the case of pure Coulomb scattering.

  5. Sample Limited Characterization of a Novel Disulfide-Rich Venom Peptide Toxin from Terebrid Marine Snail Terebra variegata

    PubMed Central

    Anand, Prachi; Grigoryan, Alexandre; Bhuiyan, Mohammed H.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Russell, Victoria; Quinoñez, Jose; Moy, Patrick; Chait, Brian T.; Poget, Sébastien F.; Holford, Mandë

    2014-01-01

    Disulfide-rich peptide toxins found in the secretions of venomous organisms such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, leeches, and marine snails are highly efficient and effective tools for novel therapeutic drug development. Venom peptide toxins have been used extensively to characterize ion channels in the nervous system and platelet aggregation in haemostatic systems. A significant hurdle in characterizing disulfide-rich peptide toxins from venomous animals is obtaining significant quantities needed for sequence and structural analyses. Presented here is a strategy for the structural characterization of venom peptide toxins from sample limited (4 ng) specimens via direct mass spectrometry sequencing, chemical synthesis and NMR structure elucidation. Using this integrated approach, venom peptide Tv1 from Terebra variegata was discovered. Tv1 displays a unique fold not witnessed in prior snail neuropeptides. The novel structural features found for Tv1 suggest that the terebrid pool of peptide toxins may target different neuronal agents with varying specificities compared to previously characterized snail neuropeptides. PMID:24713808

  6. Parasites in paradise: patterns of helminth distribution in hawaiian stream fishes

    PubMed

    Font

    1998-12-01

    Of the 13 species of helminths that parasitize stream fishes in Hawai'i, seven species are considered to be native to the archipelago and the remaining six species to be introduced by man. Sources of colonization for native species are piscivorous birds for three species, and marine fishes for four species. Non-native helminths have been brought to Hawai'i in association with the importation of parasitized exotic species of poeciliids introduced into streams for mosquito control and as aquarium releases. Many of these introduced parasites have broad host specificity and now infect the five species of native gobioid stream fishes. Exotic parasites, including a roundworm Camallanus cotti, a tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi and a leech Myzobdella lugubris, are more widely distributed among Hawaiian streams than are native species. PMID:9858626

  7. Complementary or alternative therapies for osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Ernst, Edzard

    2006-02-01

    Complementary or alternative therapies for osteoarthritis are commonly used and therefore it is important that health-care providers and patients are aware of the evidence for or against these approaches. In this article, the best available evidence is reviewed. The results suggest that, for several treatments, the risk-benefit profile is encouraging: acupuncture, several herbal medicines and capsaicin cream. For other therapies the evidence is weak or contradictory: homeopathy, magnet therapy, tai chi, leech therapy, music therapy, yoga, imagery and therapeutic touch. Many other treatments have not been scientifically tested. It is concluded that some complementary or alternative therapies have generated sufficiently promising results to warrant further investigation in large-scale, definitive, randomized clinical trials. PMID:16932660

  8. A new species and two new combinations in the genus Strotihypera Kononenko & Han, 2011 (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Noctuinae: Elaphriini). A postscript to the description of the genus Strotihypera.

    PubMed

    Han, H L; Kononenko, V S

    2015-01-01

    Elaphriini is a small tribe of the subfamily Noctuinae with predominantly New World distribution. Only three genera, Elaphria Hübner, 1818 with four species, Galgula Guenée, 1852 with one species (Fibiger & Hacker 2010) and Strotihypera Kononenko & Han, 2011 with one species are known from the Eurasia. The majority of species occurs in tropical and subtropical regions. The review of Eurasian Elaphriini with description of the new genus Strotihypera has recently been published by Kononenko & Han (2011). In the subsequent years in the result of intensive collecting in South West China we found a new species allied to Strotihypera flavipuncta (Leech, 1889) and two related species Strotihypera ochreipuncta (Wileman, 1914), comb. n. and "Hyperstrotia" macroplaga (Hampson, 1907), comb. n. The description of a new species and the review of two of its allies are presented here as a postscript to the description of the genus Strotihypera (Kononenko & Han 2011). PMID:26624461

  9. The failure of Atkin-Lehner symmetry for lattice compactified strings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balog, János; Tuite, Michael P.

    1989-06-01

    We present a general discussion on the possible existence of an Atkin-Lehner symmetry leading to a zero cosmological constant in lattice compactified heterotic string theories. We explicitly find such a symmetry to be impossible for four dimensional strings (with the simplest world-sheet supersymmetry) by enumerating all the possible partition functions. We also show, in more generality, that an Atkin-Lehner symmetry is incompatible with general physical constraints on the singularity structure of the string amplitude in moduli space expect for a unique partition function (related to the Leech lattice) in two space-time dimensions. Therefore those theories with space-time supersymmetry remain the only known examples with vanishing cosmological constant in greater than two space-time dimensions.

  10. Photochemical control of endogenous ion channels and cellular excitability.

    PubMed

    Fortin, Doris L; Banghart, Matthew R; Dunn, Timothy W; Borges, Katharine; Wagenaar, Daniel A; Gaudry, Quentin; Karakossian, Movses H; Otis, Thomas S; Kristan, William B; Trauner, Dirk; Kramer, Richard H

    2008-04-01

    Light-activated ion channels provide a precise and noninvasive optical means for controlling action potential firing, but the genes encoding these channels must first be delivered and expressed in target cells. Here we describe a method for bestowing light sensitivity onto endogenous ion channels that does not rely on exogenous gene expression. The method uses a synthetic photoisomerizable small molecule, or photoswitchable affinity label (PAL), that specifically targets K+ channels. PALs contain a reactive electrophile, enabling covalent attachment of the photoswitch to naturally occurring nucleophiles in K+ channels. Ion flow through PAL-modified channels is turned on or off by photoisomerizing PAL with different wavelengths of light. We showed that PAL treatment confers light sensitivity onto endogenous K+ channels in isolated rat neurons and in intact neural structures from rat and leech, allowing rapid optical regulation of excitability without genetic modification. PMID:18311146

  11. Losses of biota from American aquatic communities due to acid rain.

    PubMed

    Schindler, D W; Kasian, S E; Hesslein, R H

    1989-07-01

    Models based on chemical survey data and geochemical assumptions were calibrated for areas where rates of acidification are known, then used to predict the declines in alkalinity and pH of lakes in the eastern and midwestern U.S.A. These results were combined with known acid tolerances of different taxonomic groups to estimate the extent of damage caused by acid rain to biological assemblages.An average of over 50% of the species in some taxonomic groups have probably been eliminated from lakes in the Adirondacks, Poconos-Catskills and southern New England. Moderate damage to biotic communities was predicted for lakes in central New England, and north-central Wisconsin. Damage predicted in Maine, upper Michigan, northeastern Minnesota and the remainder of the upper Great Lakes region was slight. Crustaceans, molluscs, leeches and insects were among the most severely affected groups. Among fishes, species of minnows (Cyprindae) were depleted in the most heavily acidified regions, with some declines in salmonid and centrarchid species.Predicted damage to individual lakes in all areas was highly variable. In areas receiving highly acidic deposition, 100% of the species in acid-sensitive taxonomic groups were eliminated in some lakes, while damage to other lakes was predicted to be slight.Estimated damage varied from lake to lake within each subregion, based on chemical characteristics. The most heavily damaged lakes in the Adirondacks and Pocono-Catskills have probably lost all species of molluscs, leeches and crustaceans. On the other hand, lakes of the Midwest showed either slight increases or decreases in the richness of predicted biotic communities.The possible ranges of original sulfate concentrations in lakes and the proportion of sulfuric acid in precipitation that liberated base cations from catchments were confined to relatively narrow limits by the model. PMID:24249192

  12. Incorporating Climate Change Predictions into Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, M. P.; Foreman, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    Development of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) for the Pine and Leech Lake River Watersheds is underway in Minnesota. Project partners participating in this effort include the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Cass County, and other local partners. These watersheds are located in the Northern Lakes and Forest ecoregion of Minnesota and drain to the Upper Mississippi River. To support the Pine and Leech Lake River WRAPS, watershed-scale hydrologic and water-quality models were developed with Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF). The HSPF model applications simulate hydrology (discharge, stage), as well as a number of water quality constituents (sediment, temperature, organic and inorganic nitrogen, total ammonia, organic and inorganic phosphorus, dissolved oxygen and biochemical oxygen demand, and algae) continuously for the period 1995-2009 and provide predictions at points of interest within the watersheds, such as observation gages, management boundaries, compliance points, and impaired water body endpoints. The model applications were used to evaluate phosphorus loads to surface waters under resource management scenarios, which were based on water quality threats that were identified at stakeholder meetings. Simulations of land use changes including conversion of forests to agriculture, shoreline development, and full build-out of cities show a watershed-wide phosphorus increases of up to 80%. The retention of 1.1 inches of runoff from impervious surfaces was not enough to mitigate the projected phosphorus load increases. Changes in precipitation projected by climate change models led to a 20% increase in annual watershed phosphorus loads. The scenario results will inform the implementation strategies selected for the WRAPS.

  13. Identifying Crucial Parameter Correlations Maintaining Bursting Activity

    PubMed Central

    Doloc-Mihu, Anca; Calabrese, Ronald L.

    2014-01-01

    Recent experimental and computational studies suggest that linearly correlated sets of parameters (intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons) allow central pattern-generating networks to produce and maintain their rhythmic activity regardless of changing internal and external conditions. To determine the role of correlated conductances in the robust maintenance of functional bursting activity, we used our existing database of half-center oscillator (HCO) model instances of the leech heartbeat CPG. From the database, we identified functional activity groups of burster (isolated neuron) and half-center oscillator model instances and realistic subgroups of each that showed burst characteristics (principally period and spike frequency) similar to the animal. To find linear correlations among the conductance parameters maintaining functional leech bursting activity, we applied Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to each of these four groups. PCA identified a set of three maximal conductances (leak current, Leak; a persistent K current, K2; and of a persistent Na+ current, P) that correlate linearly for the two groups of burster instances but not for the HCO groups. Visualizations of HCO instances in a reduced space suggested that there might be non-linear relationships between these parameters for these instances. Experimental studies have shown that period is a key attribute influenced by modulatory inputs and temperature variations in heart interneurons. Thus, we explored the sensitivity of period to changes in maximal conductances of Leak, K2, and P, and we found that for our realistic bursters the effect of these parameters on period could not be assessed because when varied individually bursting activity was not maintained. PMID:24945358

  14. Split from slip and schist: Crustal anisotropy beneath northern Cascadia from non-volcanic tremor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bostock, M. G.; Christensen, N. I.

    2012-08-01

    Polarization and splitting analyses of minute-long windows of non-volcanic tremor at 3-component stations in the vicinity of southern Vancouver Island provide new evidence for the presence of anisotropy within the crustal portion of the North American plate beneath Cascadia. As reported previously, tremor particle motions are predominantly horizontal and inferred to manifest an upgoing wavefield composed primarily of S-waves. Under this assumption, estimates of incidence angle and back azimuth can be deduced from orientation of the smallest principle direction of motion. When subjected to standard S-wave splitting analysis, most stations yield systematic and reproducible fast polarization directions. Estimates of original polarization direction are more scattered and splitting times often exhibit multimodal distributions. Numerical simulations, wherein band-limited synthetic seismograms comprising contributions from multiple sources are analyzed for splitting, neatly reproduce these characteristics and thereby provide a framework for interpretation. A number of stations in our study sit astride the San Juan fault which, based on reflection studies, dips approximately 60 to 70° to the north. Underlying these stations is the Leech River Complex consisting of strongly foliated greenschist facies phyllites with steeply dipping foliations striking parallel to fast polarization directions of split S-waves. Detailed laboratory velocity measurements at elevated pressures show that as little as 2 to 3 km of vertically dipping Leech River phyllite are required to produce the observed splitting. These phyllites have some of the highest S-wave anisotropies measured to date and are part of a once continuous belt of anisotropic crust extending over 2000 km along the western North American coast from southern Vancouver Island to southwest Alaska.

  15. Variation in motor output and motor performance in a centrally generated motor pattern

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Brian J.; Doloc-Mihu, Anca; Calabrese, Ronald L.

    2014-01-01

    Central pattern generators (CPGs) produce motor patterns that ultimately drive motor outputs. We studied how functional motor performance is achieved, specifically, whether the variation seen in motor patterns is reflected in motor performance and whether fictive motor patterns differ from those in vivo. We used the leech heartbeat system in which a bilaterally symmetrical CPG coordinates segmental heart motor neurons and two segmented heart tubes into two mutually exclusive coordination modes: rear-to-front peristaltic on one side and nearly synchronous on the other, with regular side-to-side switches. We assessed individual variability of the motor pattern and the beat pattern in vivo. To quantify the beat pattern we imaged intact adults. To quantify the phase relations between motor neurons and heart constrictions we recorded extracellularly from two heart motor neurons and movement from the corresponding heart segments in minimally dissected leeches. Variation in the motor pattern was reflected in motor performance only in the peristaltic mode, where larger intersegmental phase differences in the motor neurons resulted in larger phase differences between heart constrictions. Fictive motor patterns differed from those in vivo only in the synchronous mode, where intersegmental phase differences in vivo had a larger front-to-rear bias and were more constrained. Additionally, load-influenced constriction timing might explain the amplification of the phase differences between heart segments in the peristaltic mode and the higher variability in motor output due to body shape assumed in this soft-bodied animal. The motor pattern determines the beat pattern, peristaltic or synchronous, but heart mechanics influence the phase relations achieved. PMID:24717348

  16. Pop-Cola Acids and Tooth Erosion: An In Vitro, In Vivo, Electron-Microscopic, and Clinical Report

    PubMed Central

    Borjian, Amirfirooz; Ferrari, Claudia C. F.; Anouf, Antoni; Touyz, Louis Z. G.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction. Manufactured Colas are consumed universally as soft drinks. Evidence about the acid contents of Cola-beverages and its effects on teeth is rare. Aim. To assess (i) cola acidity and buffering capacity in vitro, (ii) tooth erosion after swishing with colas in vivo (iii) scanning electron microscopic effects on teeth of colas, and tooth-brush abrasion, and (iv) report a clinical case of erosion from cola consumption. Materials and Methods. (i) We measured six commercially available pop “Cola beverages”, pH, and buffering capacities using a pH-Mettler Automatic Titrator, with weak solution of Sodium Hydroxide (ii) two cohorts, one with teeth, the second without teeth rinsed with aliquots of Cola for 60 seconds. Swished cola samples tested for calcium and phosphorus contents using standardized chemical analytical methods (iii) enamel, dentine, and the enamel-cemental junction from unerupted extracted wisdom teeth were examined with a scanning electron microscope after exposure to colas, and tested for tooth-brush abrasion; (iv) a clinical case of pop cola erosion presentation, are all described. Results. Comparisons among pop colas tested in vitro reveal high acidity with very low pH. Buffering capacities in millilitres of 0.5 M NaOH needed to increase one pH unit, to pH 5.5 and pH 7 are reported. Rinsing in vivo with pop cola causes leeching of calcium from teeth; SEM shows dental erosion, and pop-cola consumption induces advanced dental erosion and facilitates abrasion. Conclusions. (i) Pop-Cola acid activity is below the critical pH 5.5 for tooth dissolution, with high buffering capacities countering neutralization effects of saliva; (ii) calcium is leeched out of teeth after rinsing with pop colas; (iii) SEM evidence explains why chronic exposure to acid pop colas causes dental frangibles; (iv) a clinical case of pop-cola erosion confirms this. PMID:21151663

  17. Disintegrins from Hematophagous Sources

    PubMed Central

    Assumpcao, Teresa C. F.; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Francischetti, Ivo M. B.

    2012-01-01

    Bloodsucking arthropods are a rich source of salivary molecules (sialogenins) which inhibit platelet aggregation, neutrophil function and angiogenesis. Here we review the literature on salivary disintegrins and their targets. Disintegrins were first discovered in snake venoms, and were instrumental in our understanding of integrin function and also for the development of anti-thrombotic drugs. In hematophagous animals, most disintegrins described so far have been discovered in the salivary gland of ticks and leeches. A limited number have also been found in hookworms and horseflies, and none identified in mosquitoes or sand flies. The vast majority of salivary disintegrins reported display a RGD motif and were described as platelet aggregation inhibitors, and few others as negative modulator of neutrophil or endothelial cell functions. This notably low number of reported disintegrins is certainly an underestimation of the actual complexity of this family of proteins in hematophagous secretions. Therefore an algorithm was created in order to identify the tripeptide motifs RGD, KGD, VGD, MLD, KTS, RTS, WGD, or RED (flanked by cysteines) in sialogenins deposited in GenBank database. The search included sequences from various blood-sucking animals such as ticks (e.g., Ixodes sp., Argas sp., Rhipicephalus sp., Amblyommasp.), tabanids (e.g., Tabanus sp.), bugs (e.g., Triatoma sp., Rhodnius prolixus), mosquitoes (e.g., Anopheles sp., Aedes sp., Culex sp.), sand flies (e.g., Lutzomyia sp., Phlebotomus sp.), leeches (e.g., Macrobdella sp., Placobdella sp.) and worms (e.g., Ancylostoma sp.). This approach allowed the identification of a remarkably high number of novel putative sialogenins with tripeptide motifs typical of disintegrins (>450 sequences) whose biological activity remains to be verified. This database is accessible online as a hyperlinked worksheet and displays biochemical, taxonomic, and gene ontology aspects for each putative disintegrin. It is also freely

  18. Physical methods for generating and decoding neural activity in Hirudo verbana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliori, Benjamin John

    The interface between living nervous systems and hardware is an excellent proving ground for precision experimental methods and information classification systems. Nervous systems are complex (104 -- 10 15(!) connections), fragile, and highly active in intricate, constantly evolving patterns. However, despite the conveniently electrical nature of neural transmission, the interface between nervous systems and hardware poses significant experimental difficulties. As the desire for direct interfaces with neural signals continues to expand, the need for methods of generating and measuring neural activity with high spatiotemporal precision has become increasingly critical. In this thesis, I describe advances I have made in the ability to modify, generate, measure, and understand neural signals both in- and ex-vivo. I focus on methods developed for transmitting and extracting signals in the intact nervous system of Hirudo verbana (the medicinal leech), an animal with a minimally complex nervous system (10000 neurons distributed in packets along a nerve cord) that exhibits a diverse array of behaviors. To introduce artificial activity patterns, I developed a photothermal activation system in which a highly focused laser is used to irradiate carbon microparticles in contact with target neurons. The resulting local temperature increase generates an electrical current that forces the target neuron to fire neural signals, thereby providing a unique neural input mechanism. These neural signals can potentially be used to alter behavioral choice or generate specific behavioral output, and can be used endogenously in many animal models. I also describe new tools developed to expand the application of this method. In complement to this input system, I describe a new method of analyzing neural output signals involved in long-range coordination of behaviors. Leech behavioral signals are propagated between neural packets as electrical pulses in the nerve connective, a bundle of

  19. Helminthes and insects: maladies or therapies.

    PubMed

    El-Tantawy, Nora L

    2015-02-01

    By definition, parasites cause harm to their hosts. But, considerable evidence from ancient traditional medicine has supported the theory of using parasites and their products in treating many diseases. Maggots have been used successfully to treat chronic, long-standing, infected wounds which failed to respond to conventional treatment by many beneficial effects on the wound including debridement, disinfection, and healing enhancement. Maggots are also applied in forensic medicine to estimate time between the death and discovery of a corpse and in entomotoxicology involving the potential use of insects as alternative samples for detecting drugs and toxins in death investigations. Leeches are segmented invertebrates, famous by their blood-feeding habits and used in phlebotomy to treat various ailments since ancient times. Leech therapy is experiencing resurgence nowadays in health care principally in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Earthworms provide a source of medicinally useful products with potential antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Lumbrokinases are a group of fibrinolytic enzymes isolated and purified from earthworms capable of degrading plasminogen-rich and plasminogen-free fibrin and so can be used to treat various conditions associated with thrombotic diseases. Helminth infection has been proved to have therapeutic effects in both animal and human clinical trials with promising evidence in treating many allergic diseases and can block the induction of or reduce the severity of some autoimmune disorders as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. What is more, venomous arthropods such as scorpions, bees, wasps, spiders, ants, centipedes, snail, beetles, and caterpillars. The venoms and toxins from these arthropods provide a promising source of natural bioactive compounds which can be employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases as cancer. The possibility of using these active molecules in biotechnological processes can

  20. Progressive Extensional Exhumation of the Ultrahigh-Pressure Tso Morari Terrain, NW Indian Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodges, K.; Clark, R.; Monteleone, B.; Sachan, H.; Mukherjee, B. K.; Ahmad, T.

    2011-12-01

    The core of the Tso Morari dome in the Ladakh region of NW India (roughly 33 °10'N; 78°10'E) is one of only two known ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) terrains in the Himalayan-Tibetan orogenic system. The quartzofeldspathic Puga Orthogneiss from the structurally deepest portions of the terrain does not contain UHP mineralogy but surrounds dismembered lenses of mafic eclogite with accessory coesite, confirming that at least the eclogite lenses experienced UHP metamorphic conditions (Mukherjee et al., 2003, International Geology Review; Sachan et al., 2004, European Journal of Mineralogy). U-Pb zircon dates from the Puga orthogneiss (53.3 ± 0.7 Ma: Leech et al., 2007, International Geology Review) provide what appear to be the most precise available constraints on the age of UHP metamorphism at Tso Morari provided we presume that the UHP assemblages in the eclogite lenses developed at the same time as the 53.3 ± 0.7 Ma metamorphic zircon in the orthogneiss. However, other components of the zircon population studied by Leech and co-workers, as well as the results obtained using other thermochronometers and geochronometers (de Sigoyer et al., 2004, Tectonics), demonstrate that a series of lower pressure metamorphic events also affected the Tso Morari terrain between ca. 53 Ma and ca. 45 Ma, implying rapid decompression at elevated temperatures (ca. 800 - 350°C). Our 1:50000-scale geologic mapping at Tso Morari provides evidence that this exhumation was largely accommodated by two previously unrecognized low-angle ductile detachments that separate the terrain into three tectonostratigraphic units with distinctive metamorphic histories. The structurally lowest shear zone (Karla detachment) separates the Puga Orthogneiss from overlying lower amphibolite facies metasedimentary rocks of the Zoboshisha Unit, which contains no UHP assemblages. Structurally higher and demonstrably younger detachments separate the Zoboshisha Unit and the Puga Orthogneiss from greenschist to

  1. Genesis and Control of bursting activity in a neuronal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cymbalyuk, Gennady

    2005-11-01

    Neurons are observed in one of four fundamental activity modes: silence, sub-threshold oscillations, tonic spiking, and bursting. Neurons exhibit various activity regimes and regime transitions that reflect their complement of ionic channels and modulatory state. The leech presents unique opportunities for experimental and theoretical studies on the dynamics of neuronal activity. The central pattern generator controlling the leech's heartbeat contains identified pairs of mutually inhibitory neurons. Bursting activity of neurons is an oscillatory activity consisting of intervals of repetitive spiking separated by intervals of quiescence. It has been observed in neurons under normal and pathological conditions. Neurons which are capable of generating bursting activity endogenously play an important role in motor control and other brain functions. Burst duration, interburst interval and spike frequency are crucial temporal characteristics of bursting activity and thus have to be regulated. Application of the bifurcation theory of dynamical systems suggests new mechanism of how bursting activity can be generated by neurons and how burst duration can be regulated. Here we describe two mechanisms for the transition between tonic spiking and bursting. First mechanism describes a smooth, continuous and reversible transition from tonic spiking into bursting in a model neuron. The burst duration increases with no bound as 1/(a-a0)^1/2, where a0 is a parameter determining the transition. The characteristic features of this mechanism are that (a) the burst duration can be made arbitrarily long while (b) inter-burst interval does not depend on the parameter. The second mechanism is concerned with bi-stability where simultaneous tonic spiking and bursting activities co-exist in a neuron. The mechanism is based on a saddle-node periodic orbit bifurcation with non-central homoclinic orbits. This bifurcation describes a transition between three qualitatively different types of

  2. Interaction of hirudin with thrombin: Identification of a minimal binding domain of hirudin that inhibits clotting activity

    SciTech Connect

    Mao, S.J.T.; Yates, M.T.; Owen, T.J.; Krstenansky, J.L. )

    1988-10-18

    Hirudin, isolated from the European leech Hirudo medicinalis, is a potent inhibitor of thrombin, forming an almost irreversible thrombin-hirudin complex. Previously, the authors have shown that the carboxyl terminus of hirudin (residues 45-65) inhibits clotting activity and without binding to the catalytic site of thrombin. In the present study, a series of peptides corresponding to this carboxyl-terminal region of hirudin have been synthesized, and their anticoagulant activity and binding properties to thrombin were examined. Binding was assessed by their ability to displace {sup 125}I-hirudin 45-65 from Sepharose-immobilized thrombin and by isolation of peptide-thrombin complexes. They show that the carboxyl-terminal 10 amino acid residues 56-65 (Phe-Glu-Glu-Ile-Pro-Glu-Glu-Tyr-Leu-Gln) are minimally required for binding to thrombin and inhibition of clotting. Phe-56 was critical for maintaining anticoagulant activity as demonstrated by the loss of activity when Phe-56 was substituted with D-Phe, Glu, or Leu. In addition, they found that the binding of the carboxyl-terminal peptide of hirudin with thrombin was associated with a significant conformational change of thrombin as judged by circular dichroism. This conformational change might be responsible for the loss of clotting activity of thrombin.

  3. Phylogenetic relationships of Trypanosoma chelodina and Trypanosoma binneyi from Australian tortoises and platypuses inferred from small subunit rRNA analyses.

    PubMed

    Jakes, K A; O'Donoghue, P J; Adlard, R D

    2001-11-01

    Trypanosome infections are often difficult to detect by conventional microscopy and their pleomorphy often confounds differential diagnosis. Molecular techniques are now being used to diagnose infections and to determine phylogenetic relationships between species. Complete small subunit rRNA gene sequences were determined for isolates of Trypanosoma chelodina from the Brisbane River tortoise (Emydura signata), the saw-shelled tortoise (Elseya latisternum), and the eastern snake-necked tortoise (Chelodina longicollis) from southeast Queensland, Australia. Partial sequence data were also obtained for T. binneyi from a platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) from Tasmania. Phylogenetic relationships between T. chelodina, T. binneyi and other species were examined by maximum parsimony and likelihood methods. The Australian tortoise and platypus trypanosomes did not exhibit any close phylogenetic relationships with those of mammals, reptiles or amphibians, but were closely related to each other, and to fish trypanosomes. This contra-indicates their co-evolution with their vertebrate hosts but does not exclude co-evolution with different groups of invertebrate vectors, notably insects and leeches. PMID:11719959

  4. Blood parasites of amphibians from Algonquin Park, Ontario.

    PubMed

    Barta, J R; Desser, S S

    1984-07-01

    During a 5 wk period beginning May 25, 1983, 329 amphibians, which included specimens of Rana catesbeiana Shaw, Rana clamitans Latreille, Rana septentrionalis Baird, Rana sylvatica LeConte, Hyla crucifer Wied, Bufo americanus Holbrook, and Plethodon cinereus Green, from Lake Sasajewun, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada were examined for blood parasites. The prevalences of species of Trypanosoma, Haemogregarina, Lankesterella, Babesiasoma, and Thrombocytozoons in these amphibians were determined. Two species of microfilaria (probably Foleyella spp.) and two intraerythrocytic forms, inclusions of an icosahedral cytoplasmic DNA virus (ICDV) and groups of rickettsial organisms, were also observed. The following are new host records: Trypanosoma ranarum (Lankester, 1871) in B. americanus; Trypanosoma ranarum (Lankester, 1871) in R. sylvatica; Trypanosoma pipientis Diamond, 1950, Babesiasoma stableri Schmittner and McGhee, 1961 and Thrombocytozoons ranarum Tchacarof, 1963 in R. septentrionalis. The aquatic frogs generally showed a much higher prevalence of infection with blood parasites than the terrestrial frogs, toads and salamanders, which is suggestive of an aquatic vector. The leech Batracobdella picta Verrill, 1872, which was found on many of the aquatic frogs, is the most likely vector in the study area. Also, an increasing prevalence of parasites was noted with increasing sizes (ages) of Rana clamitans and R. catesbeiana suggesting that longer exposure to water makes these species more likely to acquire blood parasites. The presence of Trypanosoma ranarum in B. americanus appeared to coincide with their attainment of sexual maturity. PMID:6492319

  5. Common mechanics of mode switching in locomotion of limbless and legged animals

    PubMed Central

    Kuroda, Shigeru; Kunita, Itsuki; Tanaka, Yoshimi; Ishiguro, Akio; Kobayashi, Ryo; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki

    2014-01-01

    Crawling using muscular waves is observed in many species, including planaria, leeches, nemertea, aplysia, snails, chitons, earthworms and maggots. Contraction or extension waves propagate along the antero-posterior axis of the body as the crawler pushes the ground substratum backward. However, the observation that locomotory waves can be directed forward or backward has attracted much attention over the past hundred years. Legged organisms such as centipedes and millipedes exhibit parallel phenomena; leg tips form density waves that propagate backward or forward. Mechanical considerations reveal that leg-density waves play a similar role to locomotory waves in limbless species, and that locomotory waves are used by a mechanism common to both legged and limbless species to achieve crawling. Here, we report that both mode switching of the wave direction and friction control were achieved when backward motion was induced in the laboratory. We show that the many variations of switching in different animals can essentially be classified in two types according to mechanical considerations. We propose that during their evolution, limbless crawlers first moved in a manner similar to walking before legs were obtained. Therefore, legged crawlers might have learned the mechanical mode of movement involved in walking long before obtaining legs. PMID:24718452

  6. Management of complications and compromised free flaps following major head and neck surgery.

    PubMed

    Kucur, Cuneyt; Durmus, Kasim; Uysal, Ismail O; Old, Matthew; Agrawal, Amit; Arshad, Hassan; Teknos, Theodoros N; Ozer, Enver

    2016-01-01

    Microvascular free flaps are preferred for most major head and neck reconstruction surgeries because of better functional outcomes, improved esthetics, and generally higher success rates. Numerous studies have investigated measures to prevent flap loss, but few have evaluated the optimal treatment for free flap complications. This study aimed to determine the complication rate after free flap reconstructions and discusses our management strategies. Medical records of 260 consecutive patients who underwent free flap reconstructions for head and neck defects between July 2006 and June 2010 were retrospectively reviewed for patient and surgical characteristics and postoperative complications. The results revealed that microvascular free flaps were extremely reliable, with a 3.5 % incidence of flap failure. There were 78 surgical site complications. The most common complication was neck wound infection, followed by dehiscence, vascular congestion, abscess, flap necrosis, hematoma, osteoradionecrosis, and brisk bleeding. Twenty patients with poor wound healing received hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which was ineffective in three patients who eventually experienced complete flap loss. Eleven patients with vascular congestion underwent medicinal leech therapy, which was effective. Among the 78 patients with complications, 44 required repeat surgery, which was performed for postoperative brisk bleeding in three. Eventually, ten patients experienced partial flap loss and nine experienced complete flap loss, with the latter requiring subsequent pectoralis major flap reconstruction. Microvascular free flap reconstruction represents an essential and reliable technique for head and neck defects and allows surgeons to perform radical resection with satisfactory functional results and acceptable complication rates. PMID:25575841

  7. Distribution and ecology of Dreissena polymorpha (pallas) and Dreissena bugensis (andrusov) in the upper Volga basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shcherbina, G. Kh; Buckler, D.R.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents data on contemporary distribution patterns of two species of Dreissenidae, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and the Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis), and their role in ecosystem processes in the Ivan'kovo, Uglich, Rybinsk, and Gorky Reservoirs of the Upper Volga River basin. The role of zebra mussel was also studied in experimental mesocosms of 15 m3. Maximum abundance and species diversity of macroinvertebrates, especially of leeches, polychaetes, crustaceans, and heterotopic insects, were attained in the portions of reservoirs where Dreissenidae were present and in experimental mesocosms where zebra mussel biomass was the highest. In the mesocosm studies, the presence of zebra mussel druses (colonies) provided shelter for macroinvertebrates, reducing their vulnerability to predation by perch (Perca fluviatills) larvae and yearlings, thereby increasing macroinvertebrate species diversity. It was shown that in addition to its role in aquatic biocenosis (ecological community) formation and water purification, Dreissenidae are important food objects for benthophagous fishes, especially roach (Rutilus rutilus). Examination of intestines of benthophagous fishes showed that the length of Dreissenidae ranged from 5 to 20 mm in roach; from 4 to 14 mm in silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna), and from 2 to 10 mm in bream (Abramis brama). The largest mussels consumed were Quagga mussels up to 30 mm, noted in the predatory cyprinid, ide (Leuciscus idus). Copyright ?? 2006 by ASTM International.

  8. Sulfation of tyrosine residues in coagulation factor V

    SciTech Connect

    Hortin, G.L. )

    1990-09-01

    Sulfation of human coagulation factor V was investigated by biosynthetically labeling the products of HepG2 cells with ({sup 35}S)sulfate. There was abundant incorporation of the sulfate label into a product identified as factor V by immunoprecipitation, lability to proteases, affinity for the lectin jacalin, and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Two or more sites in factor V incorporated sulfate as indicated by labeling of different peptide chains of factor Va. The 150-Kd activation fragment of factor Va incorporated the greatest amounts of sulfate. This fragment of factor Va was bound selectively by jacalin-agarose, reflecting its content of O-linked oligosaccharides. Analysis of an alkaline hydrolysate of sulfate-labeled factor Va by anion-exchange chromatography showed that the sulfate occurred partly in tyrosine sulfate residues and partly in alkaline-labile linkages. Sulfate groups are potentially important structural and functional elements in factor V, and labeling with (35S)sulfate provides a useful approach for examining the biosynthesis and processing of this protein. The hypothesis is advanced that sites of sulfation in factor V and several other plasma proteins contribute to the affinity and specificity of thrombin for these molecules, just as it does for the interaction of thrombin with the potent inhibitor hirudin from leeches.

  9. Serotonin release from the neuronal cell body and its long-lasting effects on the nervous system

    PubMed Central

    De-Miguel, Francisco F.; Leon-Pinzon, Carolina; Noguez, Paula; Mendez, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin, a modulator of multiple functions in the nervous system, is released predominantly extrasynaptically from neuronal cell bodies, axons and dendrites. This paper describes how serotonin is released from cell bodies of Retzius neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of the leech, and how it affects neighbouring glia and neurons. The large Retzius neurons contain serotonin packed in electrodense vesicles. Electrical stimulation with 10 impulses at 1 Hz fails to evoke exocytosis from the cell body, but the same number of impulses at 20 Hz promotes exocytosis via a multistep process. Calcium entry into the neuron triggers calcium-induced calcium release, which activates the transport of vesicle clusters to the plasma membrane. Exocytosis occurs there for several minutes. Serotonin that has been released activates autoreceptors that induce an inositol trisphosphate-dependent calcium increase, which produces further exocytosis. This positive feedback loop subsides when the last vesicles in the cluster fuse and calcium returns to basal levels. Serotonin released from the cell body is taken up by glia and released elsewhere in the CNS. Synchronous bursts of neuronal electrical activity appear minutes later and continue for hours. In this way, a brief train of impulses is translated into a long-term modulation in the nervous system. PMID:26009775

  10. Effects of Carbon Nanotube Environmental Dispersion on an Aquatic Invertebrate, Hirudo medicinalis

    PubMed Central

    Girardello, Rossana; Tasselli, Stefano; Baranzini, Nicolò; Valvassori, Roberto; de Eguileor, Magda; Grimaldi, Annalisa

    2015-01-01

    The recent widespread applications of nanomaterials, because of their properties, opens new scenarios that affect their dispersal in the environment. In particular multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), despite their qualities, seem to be harmful for animals and humans. To evaluate possible toxic effects caused by carbon nanotube environmental dispersion, with regard to aquatic compartment, we proposed as experimental model a freshwater invertebrate: Hirudo medicinalis. In the present study we analyse acute and chronic immune responses over a short (1, 3, 6 and 12 hours) and long time (from 1 to 5 weeks) exposure to MWCNTs by optical, electron and immunohistochemical approaches. In the exposed leeches angiogenesis and fibroplasia accompanied by massive cellular migration occur. Immunocytochemical characterization using specific markers shows that in these inflammatory processes the monocyte-macrophages (CD45+, CD68+) are the most involved cells. These immunocompetent cells are characterized by sequence of events starting from the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (in particular IL-18), and amyloidogenensis. Our combined experimental approaches, basing on high sensitive inflammatory response can highlight adverse effects of nanomaterials on aquatic organisms and could be useful to assess the MWCNTs impact on aquatic, terrestrial animal and human health. PMID:26636582

  11. Regeneration and asexual reproduction share common molecular changes: upregulation of a neural glycoepitope during morphallaxis in Lumbriculus.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Veronica G; Menger, Gus J; Zoran, Mark J

    2005-05-01

    Neural morphallaxis is a regenerative process characterized by wide-spread anatomical and physiological changes in an adult nervous system. During segmental regeneration of the annelid worm, Lumbriculus variegatus, neural morphallaxis involved a reorganization of sensory, interneuronal, and motor systems as posterior fragments gained a more anterior body position. A monoclonal antibody, Lan 3-2, which labels a neural glyco-domain in the leech, was reactive in Lumbriculus. In the worm, this antibody labeled neural structures, particularly axonal tracts and giant fiber pathways of the central nervous system. A 60kDa protein, possessing a lumbriculid mannose-rich glycoepitope, was upregulated during neural morphallaxis, peaking in its expression at 3 weeks post-amputation. Peak upregulation of the Lan 3-2 epitope, or the protein possessing it, corresponded to the time of major neurobehavioral plasticity during regeneration. Analyses of asexually reproducing animals also revealed induction of the Lan 3-2 epitope. In this developmental context, Lan 3-2 epitope upregulation was also confined to segments expressing both changes in positional identity and neurobehavioral plasticity, but these molecular and behavioral changes occurred prior to body fragmentation. These results suggest that the lumbriculid Lan 3-2 glycoepitope and proteins that bear them have been co-opted for neural morphallactic programs, induced both in anticipation of reproductive fragmentation and in compensation for injury-induced fragmentation. PMID:15817228

  12. The Insect Chemoreceptor Superfamily Is Ancient in Animals.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Hugh M

    2015-11-01

    The insect chemoreceptor superfamily consists of 2 gene families, the highly diverse gustatory receptors (GRs) found in all arthropods with sequenced genomes and the odorant receptors that evolved from a GR lineage and have been found only in insects to date. Here, I describe relatives of the insect chemoreceptor superfamily, specifically the basal GR family, in diverse other animals, showing that the superfamily dates back at least to early animal evolution. GR-Like (GRL) genes are present in the genomes of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens, an anemone Nematostella vectensis, a coral Acropora digitifera, a polychaete Capitella teleta, a leech Helobdella robusta, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (and many other nematodes), 3 molluscs (a limpet Lottia gigantea, an oyster Crassostrea gigas, and the sea hare Aplysia californica), the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, and the sea acorn Saccoglossus kowalevskii. While some of these animals contain multiple divergent GRL lineages, GRLs have been lost entirely from other animal lineages such as vertebrates. GRLs are absent from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, and 2 available chaonoflagellate genomes, so it remains unclear whether this superfamily originated before or during animal evolution. PMID:26354932

  13. Growth-inhibiting extracellular matrix proteins also inhibit electrical activity by reducing calcium and increasing potassium conductances.

    PubMed

    Vargas, J; De-Miguel, F F

    2009-01-23

    Inhibitionof neurite sprouting and electrical activity by extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoproteins was studied during neurite regeneration by using anterior pagoda (AP) neurons of the leech. Adult isolated neurons were plated in culture inside ganglion capsules, which among many ECM proteins, contain a group of inhibitory peanut lectin- (PNA) binding glycoproteins. These proteins inhibit neurite production and contribute to the formation of a bipolar outgrowth pattern by AP neurons. Addition of PNA lectin to the culture medium to block the inhibitory effects of ECM glycoproteins induced an increase of neurite sprouting, the loss of the bipolar pattern, and also an increase in the amplitude and duration of action potentials evoked by intracellular current injection. PNA lectin had independent effects on neurite sprouting and electrical activity, since there was no correlation between the total neurite length and the amplitude of the action potentials. Moreover, action potentials were increased by the presence of PNA lectin even in neurons that did not grow. The changes induced by PNA lectin on the active conductances underlying the action potentials were estimated by quantitative model simulations. We predict that the increases in the amplitude and duration of the action potential induced by PNA lectin were due to an increase in a calcium conductance and a reduction in the delayed rectifier potassium conductance. Our results suggest that inhibitory ECM glycoproteins may use independent signaling pathways to inhibit neurite sprouting and electrical activity. These proteins affect the action potential by changing the proportion of inward and outward active conductances. PMID:18976697

  14. Two new species of Austrobdella (Hirudinida: Piscicolidae) from Chile.

    PubMed

    Williams, Julianne I; Urrutia, Paula M; Burreson, Eugene M

    2007-02-01

    Austrobdella coliumicus n. sp. is described from Coliumo Bay, Chile. It is characterized by a continuous, external coelomic canal (= marginal lacuna), 5 pairs of testisacs, accessory gland cells, a body not distinctly divided into trachelosome and urosome, 2 pairs of dorsal ocelli on the trachelosome, dorsal and ventral segmental ocelli present on the urosome, green overall pigmentation with transverse brown bands, and the absence of conducting tissue. Austrobdella coliumicus is distinguished from other species of Austrobdella by the presence of 2 pairs of ocelli on the trachelosome and a more cylindrical body. It is unusual that this leech was collected from inside the mantle cavity of the razor clam, Ensis macha. Austrobdella losmoliniensis n. sp. is described from the electric ray, Discopyge tschudii, collected at Los Molinos, Chile. It is characterized by a continuous, external coelomic canal; 5 pairs of testisacs; accessory gland cells; a body distinctly divided into trachelosome and urosome; 1 pair of eyes on the oral sucker; overall black pigmentation with unpigmented areas; and the absence of conducting tissue. Austrobdella losmoliniensis can be distinguished from other species of Austrobdella by the combination of 1 pair of eyes on the oral sucker and black pigmentation. PMID:17436961

  15. [Healing Dental and Oral Problems by Remedies of Animal and of Human Origin].

    PubMed

    Kaán, Miklós

    2015-01-01

    Use of matierials of animal or human origin in dentistry (and generally in medicine) these days is regarded as an unusal way of intervention. However in earlier times, different tissues, parts, products and organs of animals were frequently used in healing. Some of these methods were rooted in magical thinking. As analogical treatments--based on similarity or analogy--e.g. powder of horn or teeth of pike was used for the treatment of decayed teeth and different worms, maggots, veenies were applied against "toothworm". By difficult eruption of primary teeth bone marrow or brain mixed with cockridge-blood and goatmilk was a widely used medicine. Butter and honey were able to help the growing of teeth, as well. Parts of frog (fe: flippers) were also components of curing materials. Egg as the symbol of life was often an ingredient of medicaments. For the treatment of inflamed gum different animal materials were used, like chin and teeth of wolf, pike, crayfish, milk, honey, human saliva etc. Animal or human stools, mucks (containing enzymes) did one's bit in healing of oral and dental illnesses and were applied as fomentation or swathing. Placing a leech on the inflamed face was a common procedure in the past even as the use of earwax in lipnook. In our days tissues, parts or products of animals (or human beings) usually never allowed to get into contact with the body of patients. It's a much safer routine, at the same time however a precious traditional knowledge vanishes forever. PMID:26875294

  16. Estimation of neuronal activity based on voltage-sensitive dye imaging in a moving preparation.

    PubMed

    Fathiazar, Elham; Kretzberg, Jutta

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-sensitive dye imaging allows simultaneous recording of graded voltage changes of multiple neurons. While this experimental technique is a great tool to study neuronal network activity in neuroscience, the optical recording suffers from artifacts. In particular, bleaching of the dye and cell movement impede the analysis and interpretation of imaging results. In this paper, we present methods to tackle these two main artifacts. Cell movement during the experiment is corrected by an optical flow method. Bleaching decay is estimated based on a line fit of recordings without stimulus, which is subtracted from the rest of the recordings in the same experiment. Here, we use a leech ganglion as an example tissue to evaluate these processing procedures. This preparation allows simultaneous voltage-sensitive dye imaging of the entire neuronal network and intracellular recording of one cell's membrane voltage. Using the intracellularly recorded voltage as the ground truth reference, we show that our processing methods for the VSD imaging signal clearly improve the correlation between the real and the estimated voltage. Since other imaging techniques (e.g., calcium imaging) suffer from the same type of artifacts as voltage-sensitive dye imaging, our processing method might be useful for a wide range of biomedical imaging studies. PMID:26737729

  17. Insights into bilaterian evolution from three spiralian genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Simakov, Oleg; Marletaz, Ferdinand; Cho, Sung-Jin; Edsinger-Gonzales, Eric; Havlak, Paul; Hellsten, Uffe; Kuo, Dian-Han; Larsson, Tomas; Lv, Jie; Arendt, Detlev; Savage, Robert; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; de Jong, Pieter; Grimwood, Jane; Chapman, Jarrod A.; Shapiro, Harris; Otillar, Robert P.; Terry, Astrid Y.; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Lindberg, David R.; Seaver, Elaine C.; Weisblat, David A.; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Aerts, Andrea

    2012-01-07

    Current genomic perspectives on animal diversity neglect two prominent phyla, the molluscs and annelids, that together account for nearly one-third of known marine species and are important both ecologically and as experimental systems in classical embryology1, 2, 3. Here we describe the draft genomes of the owl limpet (Lottia gigantea), a marine polychaete (Capitella teleta) and a freshwater leech (Helobdella robusta), and compare them with other animal genomes to investigate the origin and diversification of bilaterians from a genomic perspective. We find that the genome organization, gene structure and functional content of these species are more similar to those of some invertebrate deuterostome genomes (for example, amphioxus and sea urchin) than those of other protostomes that have been sequenced to date (flies, nematodes and flatworms). The conservation of these genomic features enables us to expand the inventory of genes present in the last common bilaterian ancestor, establish the tripartite diversification of bilaterians using multiple genomic characteristics and identify ancient conserved long- and short-range genetic linkages across metazoans. Superimposed on this broadly conserved pan-bilaterian background we find examples of lineage-specific genome evolution, including varying rates of rearrangement, intron gain and loss, expansions and contractions of gene families, and the evolution of clade-specific genes that produce the unique content of each genome.

  18. The Effect of the Crayfish Orconectes virilis (Crustacea: Decapoda: Cambaridae) in the Decomposition and Succession of Submerged Small Mammal Carrion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jong, G. D.; Chadwick, J. W.

    2005-05-01

    The role of the crayfish Orconectes virilis in the decomposition of submerged rat carrion and succession of other benthic macroinvertebrates was experimentally investigated in Slaughterhouse Gulch, a small, urban stream in Littleton, Colorado. Crayfish participation in carrion decomposition significantly altered the decomposition rate of the carrion. Nine carcasses were exposed in anchored minnow traps at three degrees of crayfish access: crayfish always present, crayfish having free access, and crayfish excluded. These three treatments required 23 days, 29 days, and 65 days, respectively, for complete decomposition of the rat carrion (<2% original biomass). Sample variability increased with number of crayfish present, especially as decomposition proceeded. Seven other macroinvertebrate taxa were collected from the carcasses, but their presence or absence could not be correlated with crayfish presence. The leech Haemopis marmoratus was generally the first macroinvertebrate to arrive at the carrion, being present in densities of <5 individuals/carcass early in succession and in larger densities (up to 25 individuals/carcass) after extensive decomposition and exposure of the viscera.

  19. Biomagnification of polychlorinated biphenyls through a riverine food web

    SciTech Connect

    Zaranko, D.T.; Kaushik, N.K.; Griffiths, R.W.

    1997-07-01

    From 1989 to 1993, biota collected from Pottersburg Creek, London, ON, Canada were analyzed for total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lipids. Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with lipid as the covariate, to investigate station, time, and trophic effects on PCB accumulation in aquatic organisms. All three variables were highly significant. PCB concentrations in biota decreased along the length of the creek away from the point source. PCB concentrations in biota collected in July 1993 were not significantly different from concentrations in biota collected in July 1990, suggesting that sources into the creek have not been alleviated. The relationship between PCBs and lipid for biota from Pottersburg Creek suggests that organisms accumulate PCBs relative to their position in the food web. Fish and leeches occupying the top of the food web accumulated more PCBs than organisms occupying a lower trophic position (crayfish and oligochaetes/chironomids), indicating that biomagnification through trophic transfer (i.e., the uptake of a chemical through ingestion) is the primary mechanism governing contaminant levels in biota and not bioconcentration (i.e, the uptake of a chemical from water).

  20. Annulotrema (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) from Hydrocynus brevis (Characiformes: Alestidae) in Senegal, with descriptions of two new species and remarks on Annulotrema pikei.

    PubMed

    Řehulková, Eva; Musilová, Naďa; Gelnar, Milan

    2014-09-01

    Two new species of Annulotrema Paperna & Thurston, 1969 were collected from the gills of the African tiger fish, Hydrocynus brevis, from the Gambia River basin in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal. Annulotrema besalis n. sp. is characterized by having a male copulatory organ (MCO) composed of an arcuate copulatory tube articulated to an eight-shaped accessory piece with terminal claw. The new species resembles Annulotrema pikei (Price, Peebles & Bamford, 1969) in having morphologically similar types of haptoral sclerites and MCO. As a result of the differential diagnosis made for A. besalis n. sp., new information on taxonomically important features of A. pikei is provided based on illustrations of the sclerotized parts of the holotype from Hydrocynus vittatus. The report of A. pikei on the gills of Hydrocynus forskahlii by Paperna in 1979 is shown to be erroneous. Annulotrema uncata n. sp. is similar to Annulotrema alestesimberi Paperna, 1973 in its possession of a coiled copulatory tube with about two and a half rings. Features distinguishing the new species include the sharply curved shaft of the ventral anchor, the base of the copulatory tube extending to a sock-like structure and a leech-shaped vagina. The necessity of emending the generic diagnosis of Annulotrema is briefly discussed. PMID:24972586

  1. The Reduction-insensitive Bonds of the MUC2 Mucin Are Isopeptide Bonds.

    PubMed

    Recktenwald, Christian V; Hansson, Gunnar C

    2016-06-24

    The main structural component of the mucus in the gastrointestinal tract is the MUC2 mucin. It forms large networks that in colon build the loose outer mucous layer that provides the habitat for the commensal flora and the inner mucous layer that protects the epithelial cells by being impenetrable to bacteria. The epithelial cells in mice lacking MUC2 are not adequately protected from bacteria, resulting in inflammation and the development of colon cancer as found in human ulcerative colitis. Correct processing of the MUC2 mucin is the basis for the building of these protective networks. During the biosynthesis of the MUC2 mucin, post-translational modifications are formed resulting in reduction-insensitive bonds between MUC2 monomers. By the use of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase and isopeptidase activity in leech saliva, we could show that the molecular nature of these reduction-insensitive bonds is isopeptide bonds formed between side chains of lysine and glutamine. Transglutaminase 2 has an affinity to the MUC2 CysD2 domain in the nanomolar range and can catalyze its cross-linking. By using mass spectrometry, we identified MUC2 residues involved in this cross-linking. This shows for the first time that transamidation is not only stabilizing the skin and the fibrin clot, but is also important for the correct intracellular processing of MUC2 to generate protective mucus. PMID:27129250

  2. Complete mitochondrial genome of Hirudo nipponia (Annelida, Hirudinea).

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunling; Nie, Jing; Hou, Junjie; Xiao, Ling; Lv, Pan

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (14,414 bp) of the blood-feeding leech Hirudo nipponia, which was an important natural medicinal resource, was sequenced and characterized. The genome encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs. The content of A + T was 72.60% for H. nipponia (31.69% A, 40.91% T, 15.45% G and 11.95% C). All protein-coding genes started with ATN except for nad3 and nad5, which used GTG as start codon. Eight protein-coding genes stopped with termination codon TAA. Five protein-coding genes used incomplete stop codon TA or T. The A + T-rich region was located between tRNA-Arg and tRNA-His with a length of 83 bp. This is the first report about completely sequenced mitochondrial genome from the family Hirudinidae. The complete mitochondrial genomes of H. nipponia would be useful for the exploration of Hirudinea polygenetic relationships. PMID:24521495

  3. Bottle Traps and Dipnetting: Evaluation of two Sampling Techniques for Assessing Macroinvertebrate Biodiversity in Depressional Wetlands.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serieyssol, C. A.; Bouchard, R. W.; Sealock, A. W.; Rufer, M. M.; Chirhart, J.; Genet, J.; Ferrington, L. C.

    2005-05-01

    Dipnet (DN) sampling is routinely employed for macroinvertebrate bioassessments, however it has been shown that some taxa are more effectively sampled with activity traps, commonly called Bottle Traps (BT). In 2001, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency used both DN and BT sampling in nine depressional wetlands in the North Central Hardwood Forest Ecoregion to evaluate macroinvertebrate biodiversity for the purpose of assessing water quality and developing biological criteria. Both methods, consisting of five bottle trap samples and two dip net samples per wetland, were collected from each of two sites in each wetland. To determine the performance of each method in documenting biodiversity, we compared taxa and their abundances by wetland, for each type of sample. DN sampling was more effective, with 44 of 140 macroinvertebrate taxa only identified from DN, compared to 14 only from BT. By contrast, BT more effectively collected leeches and beetles, especially active swimmers such as Tropisternus and several genera of Dytiscidae. However, taxa richness patterns for BT and DN were not strongly correlated. Consequently, we conclude these two sampling methods complement each other, providing a better overall picture of macroinvertebrate biodiversity, and should be used jointly when investigating macroinvertebrate biodiversity in depressional wetlands.

  4. Desmoteplase: discovery, insights and opportunities for ischaemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Medcalf, Robert L

    2012-01-01

    Nature has provided a vast array of bioactive compounds that have been exploited for either diagnostic or therapeutic use. The field of thrombosis and haemostasis in particular has enjoyed much benefit from compounds derived from nature, notably from snakes and blood-feeding animals. Indeed, the likelihood that blood-feeding animals would harbour reagents with relevant pharmacology and with potential pharmaceutical benefit in haemostasis was not too far-fetched. Blood-feeding animals including leeches and ticks have evolved a means to keep blood from clotting or to at least maintain the liquid state, and some of these have been the subject of clinical development. A more recent example of this has been the saliva of the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus, which has proven to harbour a veritable treasure trove of novel regulatory molecules. Among the bioactive compounds present is a fibrinolytic compound that was shown over 40 years ago to be a potent plasminogen activator. Studies of this vampire bat-derived plasminogen activator, more recently referred to as desmoteplase, revealed that this protease shared a number of structural and functional similarities to the human fibrinolytic protease, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) yet harboured critically important differences that have rendered this molecule attractive for clinical development for patients with ischaemic stroke. PMID:21627637

  5. Amino acid sequences of lysozymes newly purified from invertebrates imply wide distribution of a novel class in the lysozyme family.

    PubMed

    Ito, Y; Yoshikawa, A; Hotani, T; Fukuda, S; Sugimura, K; Imoto, T

    1999-01-01

    Lysozymes were purified from three invertebrates: a marine bivalve, a marine conch, and an earthworm. The purified lysozymes all showed a similar molecular weight of 13 kDa on SDS/PAGE. Their N-terminal sequences up to the 33rd residue determined here were apparently homologous among them; in addition, they had a homology with a partial sequence of a starfish lysozyme which had been reported before. The complete sequence of the bivalve lysozyme was determined by peptide mapping and subsequent sequence analysis. This was composed of 123 amino acids including as many as 14 cysteine residues and did not show a clear homology with the known types of lysozymes. However, the homology search of this protein on the protein or nucleic acid database revealed two homologous proteins. One of them was a gene product, CELF22 A3.6 of C. elegans, which was a functionally unknown protein. The other was an isopeptidase of a medicinal leech, named destabilase. Thus, a new type of lysozyme found in at least four species across the three classes of the invertebrates demonstrates a novel class of protein/lysozyme family in invertebrates. The bivalve lysozyme, first characterized here, showed extremely high protein stability and hen lysozyme-like enzymatic features. PMID:9914527

  6. Bioinspired Non-iridescent Structural Color from Polymer Blend Thin Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nallapaneni, Asritha; Shawkey, Matthew; Karim, Alamgir

    Colors exhibited in biological species are either due to natural pigments, sub-micron structural variation or both. Structural colors thus exhibited can be iridescent (ID) or non-iridescent (NID) in nature. NID colors originate due to interference and coherent scattering of light with quasi-ordered micro- and nano- structures. Specifically, in Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) these nanostructures develop as a result of phase separation of β-keratin from cytoplasm present in cells. We replicate these structures via spinodal blend phase separation of PS-PMMA thin films. Colors of films vary from ultraviolet to blue. Scattering of UV-visible light from selectively leeched phase separated blends are studied in terms of varying domain spacing (200nm to 2 μm) of film. We control these parameters by tuning annealing time and temperature. Angle-resolved spectroscopy studies suggest that the films are weakly iridescent and scattering from phase-separated films is more diffused when compared to well-mixed films. This study offers solutions to several color-based application in paints and coatings industry.

  7. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the hexagonal bilayer hemoglobin of the hydrothermal vent tube worm Riftia pachyptila by cryoelectron microscopy.

    PubMed

    de Haas, F; Zal, F; Lallier, F H; Toulmond, A; Lamy, J N

    1996-11-01

    A frozen-hydrated specimen of the V1 hemoglobin of the hydrothermal vent tube worm Riftia pachyptila was observed in the electron microscope and subjected to three-dimensional reconstruction by the method of random conical tilt series. The 3D volume possesses a D6 point-group symmetry. When viewed along its 6-fold axis the vertices of its upper hexagonal layer are 16 degrees clockwise rotated compared to those of the lower layer. A central linker complex is decorated by 12 hollow globular substructures. The linker complex comprises (i) a central hexagonal toroid, (ii) two internal bracelets onto which the hollow globular substructures are built, and (iii) six structures connecting the two hexagonal layers. The hollow globular substructures, related to the dodecamers of globin chains resulting from the dissociation of the hexagonal bilayer hemoglobin, have a local pseudo 3-fold symmetry and are composed each of three elongated structures visible when the volume is displayed at high threshold. At a resolution of 36 A, the 3D volumes of the hexagonal bilayer hemoglobins of Riftia pachyptyla and of the leech Macrobdella decora look almost perfectly identical. PMID:8953646

  8. Observation of large, non-covalent globin subassemblies in the approximately 3600 kDa hexagonal bilayer hemoglobins by electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Green, B N; Gotoh, T; Suzuki, T; Zal, F; Lallier, F H; Toulmond, A; Vinogradov, S N

    2001-06-01

    A non-covalent globin subassembly comprising 12 globin chains (204 to 214 kDa) was observed directly by electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry in the native hexagonal bilayer hemoglobins from the oligochaetes Lumbricus terrestris and Tubifex tubifex, the polychaetes Tylorrhynchus heterochaetus, Arenicola marina, Amphitrite ornata and Alvinella pompejana, the leeches Macrobdella decora, Haemopis grandis and Nephelopsis oscura and the chlorocruorin from the polychaete Myxicola infundibulum, over the pH range 3.5-7.0. The Hb from the deep-sea polychaete Alvinella exhibited in addition, peaks at approximately 107 kDa and at approximately 285 kDa, which were assigned to subassemblies of six globin chains and of 12 globin chains with three non-globin linker chains, respectively. The experimental masses decreased slightly with increased de-clustering potential (60 to 160 V) and were generally 0.1 to 0.2 % higher than the calculated masses, due probably to complexation with cations and water molecules. PMID:11397079

  9. Serotonin and Synaptic Transmission at Invertebrate Neuromuscular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wen-Hui

    2012-01-01

    The serotonergic system in vertebrates and invertebrates has been a focus for over 50 years and will likely continue in the future. Recently, genomic analysis and discovery of alternative splicing and differential expression in tissues have increased the knowledge of serotonin (5-HT) receptor types. Comparative studies can provide useful insights to the wide variety of mechanistic actions of 5-HT responsible for behaviors regulated or modified by 5-HT. To determine cellular responses and influences on neural systems as well as the efferent control of behaviors by the motor units, preparations amenable to detailed studies of synapses are beneficial as working models. The invertebrate neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) offer some unique advantages for such investigations; action of 5-HT at crustacean NMJs has been widely studied, and leech and Aplysia continue to be key organisms. However, there are few studies in insects likely due to the focus in modulation within the CNS and lack of evidence of substantial action of 5-HT at the Drosophila NMJs. There are only a few reports in gastropods and annelids as well as other invertebrates. In this review we highlight some of the key findings of 5-HT actions and receptor types associated at NMJs in a variety of invertebrate preparations in hopes that future studies will build on this knowledge base. PMID:23055788

  10. Improved PeT molecules for optically sensing voltage in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Woodford, Clifford R.; Frady, E. Paxon; Smith, Richard S.; Morey, Benjamin; Canzi, Gabriele; Palida, Sakina F.; Araneda, Ricardo C.; Kristan, William B.; Kubiak, Clifford P.; Miller, Evan W.; Tsien, Roger Y.

    2015-01-01

    VoltageFluor (VF) dyes have the potential to optically measure voltage in excitable membranes with the combination of high spatial and temporal resolution essential to better characterize the voltage dynamics of large groups of excitable cells. VF dyes sense voltage with high speed and sensitivity using photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) through a conjugated molecular wire. We show that tuning the driving force for PeT (ΔGPeT + w) through systematic chemical substitution modulates voltage sensitivity, estimate (ΔGPeT + w) values from experimentally measured redox potentials, and validate the voltage sensitivities in patch-clamped HEK cells for 10 new VF dyes. VF2.1(OMe).H, with a 48% ΔF/F per 100 mV, shows approximately 2-fold improvement over previous dyes in HEK cells, dissociated rat cortical neurons, and medicinal leech ganglia. Additionally, VF2.1(OMe).H faithfully reports pharmacological effects and circuit activity in mouse olfactory bulb slices, thus opening a wide range of previously inaccessible applications for voltage sensitive dyes. PMID:25584688

  11. Does α-Amino-β-methylaminopropionic Acid (BMAA) Play a Role in Neurodegeneration?

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Alexander S.; Gehringer, Michelle M.; Welch, Jeffrey H.; Neilan, Brett A.

    2011-01-01

    The association of α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid (BMAA) with elevated incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinson’s disease complex (ALS/PDC) was first identified on the island of Guam. BMAA has been shown to be produced across the cyanobacterial order and its detection has been reported in a variety of aquatic and terrestrial environments worldwide, suggesting that it is ubiquitous. Various in vivo studies on rats, mice, chicks and monkeys have shown that it can cause neurodegenerative symptoms such as ataxia and convulsions. Zebrafish research has also shown disruption to neural development after BMAA exposure. In vitro studies on mice, rats and leeches have shown that BMAA acts predominantly on motor neurons. Observed increases in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ influx, coupled with disruption to mitochondrial activity and general neuronal death, indicate that the main mode of activity is via excitotoxic mechanisms. The current review pertaining to the neurotoxicity of BMAA clearly demonstrates its ability to adversely affect neural tissues, and implicates it as a potentially significant compound in the aetiology of neurodegenerative disease. When considering the potential adverse health effects upon exposure to this compound, further research to better understand the modes of toxicity of BMAA and the environmental exposure limits is essential. PMID:22016712

  12. [Bloodletting as medical therapy for 2500 years].

    PubMed

    Ulvik, R J

    1999-06-30

    Bloodletting has been part of the history of medicine for more than 2500 years. Up to the end of the Middle Ages, the rationale for bloodletting originated from the ancient greek humoral theory. The great scientific progress from the 16th century and onward, apparently did not weaken its position. Prominent physicians such as Andreas Vesalius (1514-64), William Harvey (1578-1657) and Thomas Sydenham (1624-89) defended bloodletting. In the beginning of the 19th century the use of leeches became the major technique of bloodletting in Europe. In Norway bloodletting was mentioned in royal decrees from the 13th century, and the method became popular in folk medicine. At the end of the 19th century bloodletting came at last to be regarded as ineffective for most of its traditional purposes, and its use declined rapidly. Today, however, bloodletting is being restored in modern medicine as the most effective method of treating the increasing frequent disorders caused by iron overload. PMID:10425902

  13. Laboratory and Field Evaluation of the Molluscicidal Properties of Phytolacca dodecandra

    PubMed Central

    Lemma, Aklilu

    1970-01-01

    Dried berries of endod (Phytolacca dodecandra) (known also as soapberry) are widely used in Ethiopia instead of soap for laundering clothes. It was observed that in natural bodies of water where endod had been used there was a high mortality of snails. Subsequently, the molluscicidal potencies of various parts of male and female endod plants were determined and the berries were found to be the most potent. The potency of endod remained stable over a wide range of temperatures and pH values, in the presence of various concentrations of river-bed mud and after ultraviolet irradiation of solutions. The toxicity of endod to mammals and plants has been shown to be very low. Its toxicity to snail eggs also is low but it has been shown that this difficulty can be overcome in the field by repeated treatments. Endod kills leeches and schistosome cercariae and miracidia at very low concentrations. Comparative tests with endod and several standard molluscicides have given encouraging results. Being a natural product, endod could become a cheap and effective means of controlling schistosomiasis in certain areas since, under suitable climatic conditions, the plant grows rapidly and bears fruit twice a year. ImagesFIG. 1 PMID:5310955

  14. Haemogregarines from western Palaearctic freshwater turtles (genera Emys, Mauremys) are conspecific with Haemogregarina stepanowi Danilewsky, 1885.

    PubMed

    Dvořáková, Nela; Kvičerová, Jana; Papoušek, Ivo; Javanbakht, Hossein; Tiar, Ghoulem; Kami, Hajigholi; Široký, Pavel

    2014-04-01

    The majority of Haemogregarina species have been based on the morphology of their erythrocytic stages and supposed strict host specificity. The quantity of species with a limited number of overlapping diagnostic traits has led to a considerable mess in haemogregarine taxonomy and significant synonymy. We analysed host specificity, intra- and interspecific variability, evolutionary relationships, and the distribution of the type species of the genus Haemogregarina--H. stepanowi. The morphology of blood stages and 18S rDNA sequences of this haemogregarine from four western Palaearctic hard-shelled freshwater turtles (Emys orbicularis, Mauremys caspica, Mauremys leprosa and Mauremys rivulata) were compared with Haemogregarina balli. Additional sequences of 18S rDNA of Haemogregarina-like isolates collected from three species of African hinged terrapins (genus Pelusios) were used to enlarge the dataset for phylogenetic analyses. Thirteen sequences (1085 bp) of Haemogregarina representing all four western Palaearctic turtle species were identical, corresponding to H. stepanowi, which is closely related to the Nearctic species H. balli. In our analyses, Haemogregarina spp. constituted a monophyletic clade sister to the genus Hepatozoon. Haemogregarina stepanowi possesses a wide distribution range from the Maghreb, through Europe, Turkey and the Middle East to Iran. We consider that the genus Haemogregarina has a low host specificity crossing the family level of its vertebrate hosts and that its distribution is likely to be linked to the vector and definitive host--the leech. PMID:24476992

  15. A preliminary disease survey in the wild Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    PubMed

    Leslie, A J; Lovely, C J; Pittman, J M

    2011-09-01

    The objective of this study was to conduct a preliminary survey of diseases that might be present in the wild Nile crocodile population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Blood samples were collected from crocodiles ranging in size from 34.0 cm to 463.0 cm total length. Samples were examined for blood parasites and underwent a haematological analysis. Before release the crocodiles were examined for various clinical abnormalities. Of the 144 crocodiles examined, none were visibly sick or displayed any signs of disease. No antibodies to Mycoplasma crocodyli were detected. Hepatozoon pettiti was present in 55.3% of blood smears examined, but there was no significant difference in any of the haematological values between the infected and uninfected crocodiles, and a high prevalence of Hepatozoon infection is not uncommon in other species. Only 7.6% of the examined crocodiles were infested with leeches. Further research is required for several of the crocodilian diseases, in particular to elucidate the role of wild crocodilians as reservoirs of infection. PMID:22332299

  16. Pore opening dynamics in the exocytosis of serotonin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez-Santiago, Guillermo; Cercos, Montserrat G.; Martinez-Valencia, Alejandro; Salinas Hernandez, Israel; Rodríguez-Sosa, Leonardo; de-Miguel, Francisco F.

    2015-03-01

    The current view of the exocytosis of transmitter molecules is that it starts with the formation of a fusion pore that connects the intravesicular and the extracellular spaces, and is completed by the release of the rest of the transmitter contained in the vesicle upon the full fusion and collapse of the vesicle with the plasma membrane. However, under certain circumstances, a rapid closure of the pore before the full vesicle fusion produces only a partial release of the transmitter. Here we show that whole release of the transmitter occurs through fusion pores that remain opened for tens of milliseconds without vesicle collapse. This was demonstrated through amperometric measurements of serotonin release from electrodense vesicles in the axon of leech Retzius neurons and mathematical modelling. By modeling transmitter release with a diffusion equation subjected to boundary conditions that are defined by the experiment, we showed that those pores with a fast half rise time constant remained opened and allowed the full quantum release without vesicle collapse, whereas pores with a slow rise time constant closed rapidly, thus producing partial release. We conclude that a full transmitter release may occur through the fusion pore in the absence of vesicle collapse. This work was founded by a DGAPA-UNAM grants IN200914 and IN118410 CONACYT GRANT 130031, and CONACyT doctoral fellowships.

  17. Estradiol coupling to human monocyte nitric oxide release is dependent on intracellular calcium transients: evidence for an estrogen surface receptor.

    PubMed

    Stefano, G B; Prevot, V; Beauvillain, J C; Fimiani, C; Welters, I; Cadet, P; Breton, C; Pestel, J; Salzet, M; Bilfinger, T V

    1999-10-01

    We tested the hypothesis that estrogen acutely stimulates constitutive NO synthase (cNOS) activity in human peripheral monocytes by acting on an estrogen surface receptor. NO release was measured in real time with an amperometric probe. 17beta-estradiol exposure to monocytes stimulated NO release within seconds in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas 17alpha-estradiol had no effect. 17beta-estradiol conjugated to BSA (E2-BSA) also stimulated NO release, suggesting mediation by a membrane surface receptor. Tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor inhibitor, antagonized the action of both 17beta-estradiol and E2-BSA, whereas ICI 182,780, a selective inhibitor of the nuclear estrogen receptor, had no effect. We further showed, using a dual emission microfluorometry in a calcium-free medium, that the 17beta-estradiol-stimulated release of monocyte NO was dependent on the initial stimulation of intracellular calcium transients in a tamoxifen-sensitive process. Leeching out the intracellular calcium stores abolished the effect of 17beta-estradiol on NO release. RT-PCR analysis of RNA obtained from the cells revealed a strong estrogen receptor-alpha amplification signal and a weak beta signal. Taken together, a physiological dose of estrogen acutely stimulates NO release from human monocytes via the activation of an estrogen surface receptor that is coupled to increases in intracellular calcium. PMID:10490972

  18. Chinese Herbal Medicine for Aspirin Resistance: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ai-ju; Li, Hui-qin; Li, Ji-huang; Wang, Yuan-yuan; Chen, Dong; Wang, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Aspirin resistance (AR) is a prevalent phenomenon and leads to significant clinical consequences, but the current evidence for effective interventional strategy is insufficient. The objective of this systematic review is thus to assess the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for AR. A systematical literature search was conducted in 6 databases until December 2012 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CHM for AR. As a result, sixteen RCTs with a total of 1011 subjects were identified, suggesting that the interests of the medical profession and the public in the use of CHM for AR have grown considerably in the recent years. Tongxinluo capsule and Danshen-based prescriptions were the most frequently used herbal prescriptions, while danshen root, milkvetch root, Leech, and Rosewood were the most frequently used single herbs. Despite the apparent reported positive findings, it is premature to determine the efficacy and safety of CHM for the treatment of AR due to poor methodological quality and insufficient safety data. However, CHMs appeared to be well tolerated in all included studies. Thus, CHM as a promising candidate is worthy of improvement and development for further clinical AR trials. Large sample-size and well-designed rigorous RCTs are needed. PMID:24701247

  19. Graded boosting of synaptic signals by low-threshold voltage-activated calcium conductance.

    PubMed

    Carbó Tano, Martín; Vilarchao, María Eugenia; Szczupak, Lidia

    2015-07-01

    Low-threshold voltage-activated calcium conductances (LT-VACCs) play a substantial role in shaping the electrophysiological attributes of neurites. We have investigated how these conductances affect synaptic integration in a premotor nonspiking (NS) neuron of the leech nervous system. These cells exhibit an extensive neuritic tree, do not fire Na(+)-dependent spikes, but express an LT-VACC that was sensitive to 250 μM Ni(2+) and 100 μM NNC 55-0396 (NNC). NS neurons responded to excitation of mechanosensory pressure neurons with depolarizing responses for which amplitude was a linear function of the presynaptic firing frequency. NNC decreased these synaptic responses and abolished the concomitant widespread Ca(2+) signals. Coherent with the interpretation that the LT-VACC amplified signals at the postsynaptic level, this conductance also amplified the responses of NS neurons to direct injection of sinusoidal current. Synaptic amplification thus is achieved via a positive feedback in which depolarizing signals activate an LT-VACC that, in turn, boosts these signals. The wide distribution of LT-VACC could support the active propagation of depolarizing signals, turning the complex NS neuritic tree into a relatively compact electrical compartment. PMID:25972583

  20. Desmoteplase: discovery, insights and opportunities for ischaemic stroke.

    PubMed

    Medcalf, Robert L

    2012-01-01

    Nature has provided a vast array of bioactive compounds that have been exploited for either diagnostic or therapeutic use. The field of thrombosis and haemostasis in particular has enjoyed much benefit from compounds derived from nature, notably from snakes and blood-feeding animals. Indeed, the likelihood that blood-feeding animals would harbour reagents with relevant pharmacology and with potential pharmaceutical benefit in haemostasis was not too far-fetched. Blood-feeding animals including leeches and ticks have evolved a means to keep blood from clotting or to at least maintain the liquid state, and some of these have been the subject of clinical development. A more recent example of this has been the saliva of the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus, which has proven to harbour a veritable treasure trove of novel regulatory molecules. Among the bioactive compounds present is a fibrinolytic compound that was shown over 40 years ago to be a potent plasminogen activator. Studies of this vampire bat-derived plasminogen activator, more recently referred to as desmoteplase, revealed that this protease shared a number of structural and functional similarities to the human fibrinolytic protease, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) yet harboured critically important differences that have rendered this molecule attractive for clinical development for patients with ischaemic stroke. PMID:21627637

  1. Barcoding, types and the Hirudo files: using information content to critically evaluate the identity of DNA barcodes.

    PubMed

    Kvist, Sebastian; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro; Siddall, Mark E; Erséus, Christer

    2010-12-01

    Species identifications based on DNA barcoding rely on the correct identity of previously barcoded specimens, but little attention has been given to whether deposited barcodes include correspondence to the species' name-bearing type. The information content associated with COX1 sequences in the two most commonly used repositories of barcodes, GenBank and the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD), is often insufficient for subsequent evaluation of the robustness of the identification procedure. We argue that DNA barcoding and taxonomy alike will benefit from more information content in the annotations of barcoded specimens as this will allow for validation and re-evaluation of the initial specimen identification. The aim should be to closely connect specimens from which reference barcodes are generated with the holotype through straight-forward taxonomy, and geographical and genetic correlations. Annotated information should also include voucher specimens and collector/identifier information. We examine two case studies based on empirical data, in which barcoding and taxonomy benefit from increased information content. On the basis of data from the first case study, we designate a barcoded neotype of the European medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, on morphological and geographical grounds. PMID:21171864

  2. Insights into bilaterian evolution from three spiralian genomes

    PubMed Central

    Simakov, Oleg; Marletaz, Ferdinand; Cho, Sung-Jin; Edsinger-Gonzales, Eric; Havlak, Paul; Hellsten, Uffe; Kuo, Dian-Han; Larsson, Tomas; Lv, Jie; Arendt, Detlev; Savage, Robert; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; de Jong, Pieter; Grimwood, Jane; Chapman, Jarrod A.; Shapiro, Harris; Aerts, Andrea; Otillar, Robert P.; Terry, Astrid Y.; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Lindberg, David R.; Seaver, Elaine C.; Weisblat, David A.; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2014-01-01

    Current genomic perspectives on animal diversity neglect two prominent phyla, the molluscs and annelids, that together account for nearly one-third of known marine species and are important both ecologically and as experimental systems in classical embryology1–3. Here we describe the draft genomes of the owl limpet (Lottia gigantea), a marine polychaete (Capitella teleta) and a freshwater leech (Helobdella robusta), and compare them with other animal genomes to investigate the origin and diversification of bilaterians from a genomic perspective. We find that the genome organization, gene structure and functional content of these species are more similar to those of some invertebrate deuterostome genomes (for example, amphioxus and sea urchin) than those of other protostomes that have been sequenced to date (flies, nematodes and flatworms). The conservation of these genomic features enables us to expand the inventory of genes present in the last common bilaterian ancestor, establish the tripartite diversification of bilaterians using multiple genomic characteristics and identify ancient conserved long- and short-range genetic linkages across metazoans. Superimposed on this broadly conserved pan-bilaterian background we find examples of lineage-specific genome evolution, including varying rates of rearrangement, intron gain and loss, expansions and contractions of gene families, and the evolution of clade-specific genes that produce the unique content of each genome. PMID:23254933

  3. Refined 1.2 A crystal structure of the complex formed between subtilisin Carlsberg and the inhibitor eglin c. Molecular structure of eglin and its detailed interaction with subtilisin.

    PubMed Central

    Bode, W; Papamokos, E; Musil, D; Seemueller, U; Fritz, H

    1986-01-01

    The crystal structure of the complex formed between eglin c, an elastase inhibitor from the medical leech, and subtilisin Carlsberg has been determined at 1.2 A resolution by a combination of Patterson search methods and isomorphous replacement techniques. The structure has been refined to a crystallographic R-value of 0.18 (8-1.2 A). Eglin consists of a four-stranded beta-sheet with an alpha-helical segment and the protease-binding loop fixed on opposite sides. This loop, which contains the reactive site Leu45I--Asp46I, is mainly held in its conformation by unique electrostatic/hydrogen bond interactions of Thr44I and Asp46I with the side chains of Arg53I and Arg51I which protrude from the hydrophobic core of the molecule. The conformation around the reactive site is similar to that found in other proteinase inhibitors. The nine residues of the binding loop Gly40I--Arg48I are involved in direct contacts with subtilisin. In this interaction, eglin segment Pro42I--Thr44I forms a three-stranded anti-parallel beta-sheet with subtilisin segments Gly100--Gly102 and Ser125--Gly127. The reactive site peptide bond of eglin is intact, and Ser221 OG of the enzyme is 2.81 A apart from the carbonyl carbon. PMID:3519213

  4. Responses to Conflicting Stimuli in a Simple Stimulus–Response Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Baljon, Pieter Laurens

    2015-01-01

    The “local bend response” of the medicinal leech (Hirudo verbana) is a stimulus–response pathway that enables the animal to bend away from a pressure stimulus applied anywhere along its body. The neuronal circuitry that supports this behavior has been well described, and its responses to individual stimuli are understood in quantitative detail. We probed the local bend system with pairs of electrical stimuli to sensory neurons that could not logically be interpreted as a single touch to the body wall and used multiple suction electrodes to record simultaneously the responses in large numbers of motor neurons. In all cases, responses lasted much longer than the stimuli that triggered them, implying the presence of some form of positive feedback loop to sustain the response. When stimuli were delivered simultaneously, the resulting motor neuron output could be described as an evenly weighted linear combination of the responses to the constituent stimuli. However, when stimuli were delivered sequentially, the second stimulus had greater impact on the motor neuron output, implying that the positive feedback in the system is not strong enough to render it immune to further input. PMID:25673834

  5. Promoting blood circulation for removing blood stasis therapy for acute intracerebral hemorrhage: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hui-qin; Wei, Jing-jing; Xia, Wan; Li, Ji-huang; Liu, Ai-ju; Yin, Su-bing; Wang, Chen; Song, Liang; Wang, Yan; Zheng, Guo-qing; Fan, Ji-ping

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the current evidence available regarding the promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis (PBCRBS) therapy for Chinese patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Methods: Six databases were searched from their inception to November 2013. The studies assessed in ≥4 domains with 'yes' were selected for detailed assessment and meta-analysis. The herbal compositions for PBCRBS therapy for acute ICH patients were also assessed. Results: From the 6 databases, 292 studies claimed randomized-controlled clinical trials (RCTs). Nine studies with 798 individuals were assessed in ≥4 domains with 'yes' by using the Cochrane RoB tool. Meta-analysis showed that PBCRBS monotherapy and adjuvant therapy for acute ICH could improve the neurological function deficit, reduce the volume of hematoma and perihematomal edema, and lower the mortality rate and dependency. Moreover, there were fewer adverse effects when compared with Western conventional medication controls. Xueshuantong Injection and Fufang Danshen Injection, Buyang Huanwu Decoction and Liangxue Tongyu formula, and three herbs (danshen root, sanqi and leech) were the most commonly used Chinese herbal patent injections, herbal prescriptions and single herbs, respectively. Conclusion: Despite the apparently positive findings, it is premature to conclude that there is sufficient efficacy and safety of PBCRBS for ICH because of the high clinical heterogeneity of the included studies and small number of trials in the meta-analysis. Further large sample-sizes and rigorously designed RCTs are needed. PMID:25960132

  6. Common mechanics of mode switching in locomotion of limbless and legged animals.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Shigeru; Kunita, Itsuki; Tanaka, Yoshimi; Ishiguro, Akio; Kobayashi, Ryo; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki

    2014-06-01

    Crawling using muscular waves is observed in many species, including planaria, leeches, nemertea, aplysia, snails, chitons, earthworms and maggots. Contraction or extension waves propagate along the antero-posterior axis of the body as the crawler pushes the ground substratum backward. However, the observation that locomotory waves can be directed forward or backward has attracted much attention over the past hundred years. Legged organisms such as centipedes and millipedes exhibit parallel phenomena; leg tips form density waves that propagate backward or forward. Mechanical considerations reveal that leg-density waves play a similar role to locomotory waves in limbless species, and that locomotory waves are used by a mechanism common to both legged and limbless species to achieve crawling. Here, we report that both mode switching of the wave direction and friction control were achieved when backward motion was induced in the laboratory. We show that the many variations of switching in different animals can essentially be classified in two types according to mechanical considerations. We propose that during their evolution, limbless crawlers first moved in a manner similar to walking before legs were obtained. Therefore, legged crawlers might have learned the mechanical mode of movement involved in walking long before obtaining legs. PMID:24718452

  7. Translational success stories: development of direct thrombin inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Coppens, Michiel; Eikelboom, John W; Gustafsson, David; Weitz, Jeffrey I; Hirsh, Jack

    2012-09-14

    Anticoagulants are the cornerstone of therapy for conditions associated with arterial and venous thrombosis. Direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) are anticoagulants that bind to thrombin and block its enzymatic activity. The bivalent parenteral DTIs hirudin and bivalirudin were based on the observation that the salivary extracts of medicinal leeches prevented blood from clotting. Key events that facilitated the subsequent development of small molecule active site inhibitors, such as argatroban, were the observation that fibrinopeptide A had antithrombotic properties and determination of the crystal structure of thrombin. Hirudin and argatroban have found their niche for the treatment of patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, whereas bivalirudin is approved as an alternative to heparin for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. The development of orally active direct thrombin inhibitors was challenging because of the need to convert water-soluble, poorly absorbable, active site inhibitors into fat-soluble prodrugs that were then transformed back to the active drug after intestinal absorption. Dabigatran etexilate was the first new oral anticoagulant to be approved for long-term anticoagulant treatment in 6 decades. This Review highlights the development of DTIs as a translational success story; an example in which the combination of scientific ingenuity, structure-based design, and rigorous clinical trials has created a new class of anticoagulants that has improved patient care. PMID:22982873

  8. Inhibition of coagulation activation and inflammation by a novel Factor Xa inhibitor synthesized from the earthworm Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    Joo, Seong Soo; Won, Tae Joon; Kim, Jong Sung; Yoo, Yeong Min; Tak, Eun Sik; Park, So-Young; Park, Hee Yong; Hwang, Kwang Woo; Park, Soon Cheol; Lee, Do Ik

    2009-02-01

    We have cloned an earthworm-derived Factor Xa (FXa) inhibitor, with an excellent inhibitory specificity from the midgut of the Eisenia andrei. We designate this inhibitor eisenstasin. An eisenstasin-derived small peptide (ESP) was synthesized and we examined whether ESP played an essential role in FXa inhibition. Compared to antistasin-derived small peptides (ASP) originating from leech, ESP primarily exhibited a high level of FXa inhibition in chromogenic peptide substrate assays and revealed an approximately 2-fold greater inhibition of FXa cleavage of a target protein than ASP. This suggests that ESP could be an effective anti-coagulant that targets FXa during the propagation step of coagulation. ESP also inhibited proteinase-activated receptor 2-mediated FXa activation, which may trigger endothelial inflammation. Endothelial nitric oxide (NO) was significantly reduced by ESP (p<0.0001), indicating that protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) was effectively inactivated. We also found that ESP reduced the expressions of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-8, IL-16, MCP-1, MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta) by cultured cells treated with both ESP and FXa. Our results provide the first evidence that ESP might interrupt coagulation cascades by inhibiting FXa, and thereby may effectively control the bidirectional alternation between coagulation and inflammation. PMID:19182385

  9. Parasitism in Pterois volitans (Scorpaenidae) from coastal waters of Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Ascherl, Zullaylee; Williams, Ernest H; Bunkley-Williams, Lucy; Tuttle, Lillian J; Sikkel, Paul C; Hixon, Mark A

    2015-02-01

    Recently, Pterois volitans, a Pacific species of lionfish, invaded the Atlantic Ocean, likely via the aquarium trade. We examined for internal and external parasites 188 individuals from 8 municipalities of Puerto Rico collected during 2009-2012, 91 individuals from Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, collected during the summers of 2010 and 2011, and 47 individuals from Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas, collected during the summer of 2009. In total, 27 parasite taxa were found, including 3 previously reported species from lionfish, the digenean Lecithochirium floridense, the leech Trachelobdella lubrica, and an Excorallana sp. isopod. We also report another 24 previously unreported parasite taxa from lionfish, including digeneans, monogeneans, cestodes, nematodes, isopods, a copepod, and an acanthocephalan. Among these parasites, several were previously unreported at their respective geographic origins: We report 5 new locality records from Puerto Rico, 9 from Cayman Islands, 5 from the Bahamas, 5 from the Caribbean, and 3 from the subtropical western Atlantic region. Three parasites are reported to associate with a fish host for the first time. The parasite faunas of P. volitans among our 3 study sites were quite different; most of the species infecting lionfish were generalists and/or species that infect carnivorous fishes. Although our study did not assess the impact of parasites on the fitness of invasive lionfish, it provides an important early step. Our results provide valuable comparative data for future studies at these and other sites throughout the lionfish's invaded range. PMID:25302790

  10. The toxicogenomic multiverse: convergent recruitment of proteins into animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Roelants, Kim; Champagne, Donald E; Scheib, Holger; Tyndall, Joel D A; King, Glenn F; Nevalainen, Timo J; Norman, Janette A; Lewis, Richard J; Norton, Raymond S; Renjifo, Camila; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez

    2009-01-01

    Throughout evolution, numerous proteins have been convergently recruited into the venoms of various animals, including centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (several independent venom systems), platypus, scorpions, shrews, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes), and sea anemones. The protein scaffolds utilized convergently have included AVIT/colipase/prokineticin, CAP, chitinase, cystatin, defensins, hyaluronidase, Kunitz, lectin, lipocalin, natriuretic peptide, peptidase S1, phospholipase A(2), sphingomyelinase D, and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of invertebrates (e.g., fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) and vertebrates (e.g., vampire bats). Here, we discuss a number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working definition for venom. Given the large number of striking similarities between the protein compositions of conventional venoms and hematophagous secretions, we argue that the latter should also fall under the same definition. PMID:19640225

  11. Anuran trypanosomes: phylogenetic evidence for new clades in Brazil.

    PubMed

    da S Ferreira, Juliana I G; da Costa, Andrea P; Ramirez, Diego; Roldan, Jairo A M; Saraiva, Danilo; da S Founier, Gislene F R; Sue, Ana; Zambelli, Erick R; Minervino, Antonio H H; Verdade, Vanessa K; Gennari, Solange M; Marcili, Arlei

    2015-05-01

    Trypanosomes of anurans and fish are grouped into the Aquatic Clade which includes species isolated from fish, amphibians, turtles and platypus, usually transmitted by leeches and phlebotomine sand flies. Trypanosomes from Brazilian frogs are grouped within the Aquatic Clade with other anuran trypanosome species, where there seems to be coevolutionary patterns with vertebrate hosts and association to Brazilian biomes (Atlantic Forest, Pantanal and Amazonia Rainforest). We characterised the anuran trypanosomes from two different areas of the Cerrado biome and examined their phylogenetic relationships based on the SSU rRNA gene. A total of 112 anurans of six species was analysed and trypanosome prevalence evaluated through haemoculture was found to be 7% (8 positive frogs). However, only three isolates (2.7%) from two anuran species were recovered and cryopreserved. Analysis including SSU rDNA sequences from previous studies segregated the anuran trypanosomes into six groups, the previously reported An01 to An04, and An05 and An06 reported herein. Clade An05 comprises the isolates from Leptodactylus latrans (Steffen) and Pristimantis sp. captured in the Cerrado biome and Trypanosoma chattoni Mathis & Leger, 1911. The inclusion of new isolates in the phylogenetic analyses provided evidence for a new group (An06) of parasites from phlebotomine hosts. Our results indicate that the diversity of trypanosome species is underestimated since studies conducted in Brazil and other regions of the world are still few. PMID:25862033

  12. The evolution and comparative neurobiology of endocannabinoid signalling

    PubMed Central

    Elphick, Maurice R.

    2012-01-01

    CB1- and CB2-type cannabinoid receptors mediate effects of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide in mammals. In canonical endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity, 2-AG is generated postsynaptically by diacylglycerol lipase alpha and acts via presynaptic CB1-type cannabinoid receptors to inhibit neurotransmitter release. Electrophysiological studies on lampreys indicate that this retrograde signalling mechanism occurs throughout the vertebrates, whereas system-level studies point to conserved roles for endocannabinoid signalling in neural mechanisms of learning and control of locomotor activity and feeding. CB1/CB2-type receptors originated in a common ancestor of extant chordates, and in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis a CB1/CB2-type receptor is targeted to axons, indicative of an ancient role for cannabinoid receptors as axonal regulators of neuronal signalling. Although CB1/CB2-type receptors are unique to chordates, enzymes involved in biosynthesis/inactivation of endocannabinoids occur throughout the animal kingdom. Accordingly, non-CB1/CB2-mediated mechanisms of endocannabinoid signalling have been postulated. For example, there is evidence that 2-AG mediates retrograde signalling at synapses in the nervous system of the leech Hirudo medicinalis by activating presynaptic transient receptor potential vanilloid-type ion channels. Thus, postsynaptic synthesis of 2-AG or anandamide may be a phylogenetically widespread phenomenon, and a variety of proteins may have evolved as presynaptic (or postsynaptic) receptors for endocannabinoids. PMID:23108540

  13. Significance of water quality to fish propagation, waterfowl habitat, livestock watering, and recreation use for 24 lakes and reservoirs in Valley and Phillips Counties, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferreira, R.F.

    1983-01-01

    Twenty-four reservoirs were sampled for water quality to determine their suitability for fish propagation, waterfowl habitat, livestock watering, and recreation. Reservoir-surface areas ranged from 0.2 to 146 hectares and depths ranged from 0.01 to 6.0 meters. Of the reservoirs studied, six generally had water quality that would not be detrimental to fish propagation. Most of the reservoirs were enriched with nutrients and supported large concentrations of phytoplankton and dense growth of aquatic plants. In late winter and late summer, enrichment of shallow reservoirs often resulted in dissolved-oxygen concentrations less than 5.0 milligrams per liter, which is detrimental to fish. Three reservoirs lacked aquatic plants for water fowl habitat. Four reservoirs had small dissolved-oxygen concentration in the bottom water that might be critical to the protection of waterfowl if botulism were to occur. Specific conductance of water samples from three reservoirs was sufficiently close to the criterion of 4,800 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees celsius to be regarded as potentially hazardous to livestock. However, most of the reservoirs generally would not be conducive to recreational swimming. Visibility was limited in most of the reservoirs. In addition, leech populations and growth of submersed aquatic plants in most of the reservoirs would be a nuisance to swimmers. (USGS)

  14. On representations of conformal field theories and the construction of orbifolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montague, P. S.

    1996-09-01

    We consider representations of meromorphic bosonic chiral conformal field theories and demonstrate that such a representation is completely specified by a state within the theory. The necessary and sufficient conditions upon this state are derived and, because of their form, we show that we may extend the representation to a representation of a suitable larger conformal field theory. In particular, we apply this procedure to the (untwisted) lattice conformal field theories (i.e. corresponding to the propagation of a bosonic string on a torus), and deduce that Dong's proof of the uniqueness of the twisted representation for the reflection-twisted projection of the Leech lattice conformal field theory generalises to an arbitrary even (self-dual) lattice. As a consequence, we see that the reflection-twisted lattice theories of Dolan, Goddard and Montague are truly self-dual, extending the analogies with the theories of lattices and codes which were being pursued. Some comments are also made on the general concept of the definition of an orbifold of a conformal field theory in relation to this point of view.

  15. L'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph's first light on LBTI/LMIRCAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defrère, D.; Absil, O.; Hinz, P.; Mawet, D.; Kuhn, J.; Mawet, D.; Mennesson, B.; Skemer, A.; Wallace, K.; Bailey, V.; Downey, E.; Delacroix, C.; Durney, O.; Forsberg, P.; Gomez, C.; Habraken, S.; Karlsson, M.; Kenworthy, M.; Leisenring, J.; Montoya, M.; Pueyo, L.; Skrutskie, M.; Surdej, J.

    2014-03-01

    We present the first science observations obtained with the L'-band AGPM coronagraph recently installed on LBTI/LMIRCAM. The AGPM (Annular Groove Phase Mask) is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond sub-wavelength gratings tuned to the L'-band. It is designed to improve the sensitivity and dynamic range of high-resolution imaging at very small inner working angles, down to 0.09 arcseconds in the case of LBTI/LMIRCAM in the L'- band. During the first hours on sky, we observed the young A5V star HR8799 with the goal to obtain the best sensitivity/contrast ever in the inner region (<1") of the planetary system. Preliminary analyses of the data reveal the four known planets clearly at high SNR. The performance of the instrument in this mode will be presented and compared to straight imaging (without coronagraph) which is used for the ongoing LBTI planet survey (LEECH, see abstract by A. Skemer).

  16. Homoclinic Spike adding in a neuronal model in the presence of noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuwape, Ibiyinka; Neiman, Alexander; Shilnikov, Andrey

    2008-03-01

    We study the influence of noise on a spike adding transitions within the bursting activity in a Hodgkin-Huxley-type model of the leech heart interneuron. Spike adding in this model occur via homoclinic bifurcation of a saddle periodic orbit. Although narrow chaotic regions are observed near bifurcation transition, overall bursting dynamics is regular and is characterized by a constant number of spikes per burst. Experimental studies, however, show variability of bursting patterns whereby number of spikes per burst varies randomly. Thus, introduction of external synaptic noise is a necessary step to account for variability of burst durations observed experimentally. We show that near every such transition the neuron is highly sensitive to random perturbations that lead to and enhance broadly the regions of chaotic dynamics of the cell. For each spike adding transition there is a critical noise level beyond which the dynamics of the neuron becomes chaotic throughout the entire region of the given transition. Noise-induced chaotic dynamics is characterized in terms of the Lyapunov exponents and the Shannon entropy and reflects variability of firing patterns with various numbers of spikes per burst, traversing wide range of the neuron's parameters

  17. Mechanism of bistability: Tonic spiking and bursting in a neuron model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shilnikov, Andrey; Calabrese, Ronald L.; Cymbalyuk, Gennady

    2005-05-01

    Neurons can demonstrate various types of activity; tonically spiking, bursting as well as silent neurons are frequently observed in electrophysiological experiments. The methods of qualitative theory of slow-fast systems applied to biophysically realistic neuron models can describe basic scenarios of how these regimes of activity can be generated and transitions between them can be made. Here we demonstrate that a bifurcation of a codimension one can explain a transition between tonic spiking behavior and bursting behavior. Namely, we argue that the Lukyanov-Shilnikov bifurcation of a saddle-node periodic orbit with noncentral homoclinics may initiate a bistability observed in a model of a leech heart interneuron under defined pharmacological conditions. This model can exhibit two coexisting types of oscillations: tonic spiking and bursting, depending on the initial state of the neuron model. Moreover, the neuron model also generates weakly chaotic bursts when a control parameter is close to the bifurcation values that correspond to homoclinic bifurcations of a saddle or a saddle-node periodic orbit.

  18. Computing with Chaos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murali, K.; Sinah, Sudeshna; Ditto, William

    2004-03-01

    Recently there has been a new theoretical direction in harnessing the richness of spatially extended chaotic systems, namely the exploitation of coupled chaotic elements to do flexible computations [1]. The aim of this presentation is to demonstrate the use a single chaotic element to emulate different logic gates and perform different arithmetic tasks. Additionally we demonstrate that the elements can be controlled to switch easily between the different operational roles. Such a computing unit may then allow a more dynamic computer architecture and serve as ingredients of a general-purpose device more flexible than statically wired hardware. The theoretical scheme for flexible implementation of all these fundamental logical operations utilizing low dimensional chaos [1] will be reviewed along with a specific realization of the theory in a chaotic circuit [2]. Results will also be presented from experiments done on leech neurons. [1] Sinha, S., Munakata, T. and Ditto, W.L., Phys. Rev. E 65 036216 [2] "Experimental realization of the fundamental NOR Gate using a chaotic circuit," K. Murali, Sudeshna Sinha and William L. Ditto Phys. Rev. E 68, 016205 (2003).

  19. Parasitization by Sauroplasma sp. (Apicomplexa: Haemohormidiidae) in Chelonian Podocnemis expansa (Testudines: Podocnemididae) in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Picelli, Amanda M; Carvalho, Aluísio V; Viana, Lúcio A; Malvasio, Adriana

    2016-02-01

    The prevalence and parasitemia of the piroplasm Sauroplasma sp. were evaluated in the Amazon chelonian Podocnemis expansa in Brazil. Samples were collected from 75 chelonians from 3 locations, including a commercial breeding facility, an indigenous subsistence breeding facility, and a wild population. Sauroplasma were found in 72% (54/75) of the chelonians, and the prevalence varied among the sampling sites. No significant correlations were found between the prevalence and the sex and body condition index of the chelonians. The mean parasitemia rate was 44.14/2,000 erythrocytes (2.2%), and no significant correlation was found between the parasitemia and sex and body condition index of the chelonians. These results suggest that the parasite is not pathogenic to P. expansa. No ectoparasites were found in the animals evaluated in the present study; however, due to the aquatic habit of the chelonian, it is likely that the piroplasm is transmitted by leeches and not by ticks, as would be expected for piroplasms. PMID:26561340

  20. The Effect of Noise on Spike-Adding Bifurcations in a Neuronal Burster (abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuwape, Ibiyinka; Neiman, Alexander; Shilnikov, Andrey L.

    2009-04-01

    We study noise influence on spike-adding transitions in the bursting activity of a Hodgkin-Huxley-type model of the leech heart interneuron. In the noise-free system spike adding occurs via homoclinic bifurcation of a saddle periodic orbit. As a control parameter of the model changes a sequence of spike-adding transitions is observed, accumulating to a critical parameter value. Although narrow chaotic regions are observed near bifurcations, overall bursting dynamics is regular and is characterized by a fixed number of spikes per burst. We found that at every transition the interneuron model is highly sensitive to small random perturbations that cause a wide expansion and overlapping of chaotic regions. This chaotic behavior is characterized by positive values of leading Lyapunov exponent and of Shannon entropy of probability distribution of spike number per burst. The regions of chaotic dynamics resemble Arnold's tongues being plotted in the parameter plane, where noise intensity serves as a second control parameter. We determine the critical noise intensities leading to the global homogeneous chaotization with no periodic bursting, which corresponds to overlapping of chaotic zones.

  1. Co-existence of silent and oscillatory regimes of a single neuron's activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malaschenko, Tatiana; Shilnikov, Andrey; Cymbalyu, Gennady

    2008-03-01

    Bursting, tonic spiking, sub-threshold oscillations and silence are basic robust regimes of activity of a single neuron. A model of a leech heart interneuron demonstrates three different types of co-existence: (1) silence and bursting, (2) silence and tonic spiking, and (3) silence and sub-threshold oscillations. We show that these types of co-existence can be explicated by the unstable sub-threshold oscillations (USTO) separating silence and an oscillatory regime and setting the threshold between them. The range of parameters, where the co-existence is observed, is determined by the critical values at which the USTO appear and disappear. More precisely, the USTO occur through the sub-critical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation, where the rest state loses stability. Then, the USTO disappear on the homoclinic bifurcation near which the oscillatory regime disappears as a regime. The bifurcation values are calculated and shown to match the empirical transition values found in numerical experiments in Cymbalyuk et al., 2002.

  2. Universally optimal distribution of points on spheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohn, Henry; Kumar, Abhinav

    2007-01-01

    We study configurations of points on the unit sphere that minimize potential energy for a broad class of potential functions (viewed as functions of the squared Euclidean distance between points). Call a configuration sharp if there are m distances between distinct points in it and it is a spherical (2m-1) -design. We prove that every sharp configuration minimizes potential energy for all completely monotonic potential functions. Examples include the minimal vectors of the E_8 and Leech lattices. We also prove the same result for the vertices of the 600 -cell, which do not form a sharp configuration. For most known cases, we prove that they are the unique global minima for energy, as long as the potential function is strictly completely monotonic. For certain potential functions, some of these configurations were previously analyzed by Yudin, Kolushov, and Andreev; we build on their techniques. We also generalize our results to other compact two-point homogeneous spaces, and we conclude with an extension to Euclidean space.

  3. Cells showing immunoreactivity for calcitonin or calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the central nervous system of some invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sasayama, Y; Katoh, A; Oguro, C; Kambegawa, A; Yoshizawa, H

    1991-09-01

    In the central nervous system of some species of several invertebrate phyla, including land planarians (Platyhelminthes), ribbon worms (Nemertina), slugs (Mollusca), polychaetes, earthworms and leeches (Annelida), pill bugs (Arthropoda), and beard worms (Pogonophora), salmon calcitonin-immunoreactive cells and rat calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-immunoreactive cells were found by immunohistochemistry. These immunoreactive cells were located in the region surrounding the neuropile, although the sizes of the cells varied according to species. Some of them were round or polygonal and regarded as apolar nerve cells because of their lack of cytoplasmic processes, whereas others were spindle-shaped or elongated, being comparable with unipolar nerve cells because of extension of their cytoplasmic processes in the direction of the neuropile. In some cases, it was noted that the cytoplasmic processes had complicated branches or formed loop-like structures at their ends. These observations suggest that a calcitonin-like or CGRP-like substance is extensively present in invertebrates as well as vertebrates. PMID:1936921

  4. Production of specific-molecular-weight hyaluronan by metabolically engineered Bacillus subtilis 168.

    PubMed

    Jin, Peng; Kang, Zhen; Yuan, Panhong; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2016-05-01

    Low-molecular-weight hyaluronan (LMW-HA) has attracted much attention because of its many potential applications. Here, we efficiently produced specific LMW-HAs from sucrose in Bacillus subtilis. By coexpressing the identified committed genes (tuaD, gtaB, glmU, glmM, and glmS) and downregulating the glycolytic pathway, HA production was significantly increased from 1.01gL(-1) to 3.16gL(-1), with a molecular weight range of 1.40×10(6)-1.83×10(6)Da. When leech hyaluronidase was actively expressed after N-terminal engineering (1.62×10(6)UmL(-1)), the production of HA was substantially increased from 5.96gL(-1) to 19.38gL(-1). The level of hyaluronidase was rationally regulated with a ribosome-binding site engineering strategy, allowing the production of LMW-HAs with a molecular weight range of 2.20×10(3)-1.42×10(6)Da. Our results confirm that this strategy for the controllable expression of hyaluronidase, together with the optimization of the HA synthetic pathway, effectively produces specific LMW-HAs, and could also be used to produce other LMW polysaccharides. PMID:26851304

  5. Optically transparent multi-suction electrode arrays

    PubMed Central

    Nagarah, John M.; Stowasser, Annette; Parker, Rell L.; Asari, Hiroki; Wagenaar, Daniel A.

    2015-01-01

    Multielectrode arrays (MEAs) allow for acquisition of multisite electrophysiological activity with submillisecond temporal resolution from neural preparations. The signal to noise ratio from such arrays has recently been improved by substrate perforations that allow negative pressure to be applied to the tissue; however, such arrays are not optically transparent, limiting their potential to be combined with optical-based technologies. We present here multi-suction electrode arrays (MSEAs) in quartz that yield a substantial increase in the detected number of units and in signal to noise ratio from mouse cortico-hippocampal slices and mouse retina explants. This enables the visualization of stronger cross correlations between the firing rates of the various sources. Additionally, the MSEA's transparency allows us to record voltage sensitive dye activity from a leech ganglion with single neuron resolution using widefield microscopy simultaneously with the electrode array recordings. The combination of enhanced electrical signals and compatibility with optical-based technologies should make the MSEA a valuable tool for investigating neuronal circuits. PMID:26539078

  6. Haemogregarine infections of three species of aquatic freshwater turtles from two sites in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Rossow, John A; Hernandez, Sonia M; Sumner, Scarlett M; Altman, Bridget R; Crider, Caroline G; Gammage, Mallory B; Segal, Kristy M; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-12-01

    Twenty-five black river turtles (Rhinoclemmys funerea) and eight white-lipped mud turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) from Selva Verde, Costa Rica were examined for haemoparasites. Leeches identified as Placobdella multilineata were detected on individuals from both species. All turtles sampled were positive for intraerythrocytic haemogregarines (Apicomplexa:Adeleorina) and the average parasitemia of black river turtles (0.34% ± 0.07) was significantly higher compared to white-lipped mud turtles (0.05% ± 0.006). No correlation was found between parasitemia and relative body mass of either species or between black river turtles from the two habitats. In addition, one scorpion mud turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides) examined from La Pacifica, Costa Rica, was positive for haemogregarines (0.01% parasitemia). Interestingly, parasites of the scorpion mud turtle were significantly smaller than those from the other two species and did not displace the erythrocyte nucleus, whereas parasites from the other two species consistently displaced host cell nuclei and often distorted size and shape of erythrocytes. This is the first report of haemogregarines in turtles from Central America and of haemogregarines in K. leucostomum, K. scorpioides, and any Rhinoclemmys species. Additional studies are needed to better characterise and understand the ecology of these parasites. PMID:24533326

  7. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: temporal pattern of premotor activity.

    PubMed

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Morris, Lee G; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul A; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2006-07-01

    The central pattern generator for heartbeat in medicinal leeches constitutes seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons. Four identified pairs of heart interneurons make a staggered pattern of inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. Using extracellular recording from multiple interneurons in the network in 56 isolated nerve cords, we show that this pattern generator produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons. This pattern corresponds to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts, synchronous and peristaltic. We provide a quantitative description of the firing pattern of all the premotor interneurons, including phase, duty cycle, and intraburst frequency of this premotor activity pattern. This analysis identifies two stereotypical coordination modes corresponding to synchronous and peristaltic, which show phase constancy over a broad range of periods as do the fictive motor pattern and the heart constriction pattern. Coordination mode is controlled through one segmental pair of heart interneurons (switch interneurons). Side-to-side switches in coordination mode are a regular feature of this pattern generator and occur with changes in activity state of these switch interneurons. Associated with synchronous coordination of premotor interneurons, the ipsilateral switch interneuron is in an active state, during which it produces rhythmic bursts, whereas associated with peristaltic coordination, the ipsilateral switch interneuron is largely silent. We argue that timing and pattern elaboration are separate functions produced by overlapping subnetworks in the heartbeat central pattern generator. PMID:16611849

  8. Protective barrier program: Test plan for plant community dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Sackschewsky, M.R.; Chatters, J.C.; Link, S.O.; Brandt, C.A.

    1991-01-01

    The Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford) and Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) are jointly developing protective barriers for the long term isolation of low-level radioactive defense waste for the US Department of Energy (DOE) at the Arid Sites. Protective barriers have been identified as an integral part of the overall final disposal strategy for low-level defense waste at the Arid Sites (DOE 1987). At present, the conceptual design of the Arid Site protective barrier is a multilayer structure that will minimize waster infiltration into and through the underlying waste, and will prevent intrusion into the waste by plant roots, animals, and humans. This multilayer system consists of a fine soil layer overlying a coarse sand and/or gravel geo-filter overlying a layer of large cobbles or basalt riprap. Plants contribute several crucial functions to the overall performance of the protective barrier.Through transpiration, plants are capable of removing considerably more moisture from a given volume of soil than the physical process of evaporation alone. This becomes especially important after periods of excessive precipitation when the possibility of saturation of the textural break and leeching to the buried waste is increased. Plants also function in significantly reducing the amount of wind and water erosion that would be expected to occur on the barrier surface. In addition to these physical functions, plants also influence other biotic effects on barrier performance.

  9. The evolution and comparative neurobiology of endocannabinoid signalling.

    PubMed

    Elphick, Maurice R

    2012-12-01

    CB(1)- and CB(2)-type cannabinoid receptors mediate effects of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide in mammals. In canonical endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity, 2-AG is generated postsynaptically by diacylglycerol lipase alpha and acts via presynaptic CB(1)-type cannabinoid receptors to inhibit neurotransmitter release. Electrophysiological studies on lampreys indicate that this retrograde signalling mechanism occurs throughout the vertebrates, whereas system-level studies point to conserved roles for endocannabinoid signalling in neural mechanisms of learning and control of locomotor activity and feeding. CB(1)/CB(2)-type receptors originated in a common ancestor of extant chordates, and in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis a CB(1)/CB(2)-type receptor is targeted to axons, indicative of an ancient role for cannabinoid receptors as axonal regulators of neuronal signalling. Although CB(1)/CB(2)-type receptors are unique to chordates, enzymes involved in biosynthesis/inactivation of endocannabinoids occur throughout the animal kingdom. Accordingly, non-CB(1)/CB(2)-mediated mechanisms of endocannabinoid signalling have been postulated. For example, there is evidence that 2-AG mediates retrograde signalling at synapses in the nervous system of the leech Hirudo medicinalis by activating presynaptic transient receptor potential vanilloid-type ion channels. Thus, postsynaptic synthesis of 2-AG or anandamide may be a phylogenetically widespread phenomenon, and a variety of proteins may have evolved as presynaptic (or postsynaptic) receptors for endocannabinoids. PMID:23108540

  10. Monitoring Integrated Activity of Individual Neurons Using FRET-Based Voltage-Sensitive Dyes.

    PubMed

    Briggman, Kevin L; Kristan, William B; González, Jesús E; Kleinfeld, David; Tsien, Roger Y

    2015-01-01

    Pairs of membrane-associated molecules exhibiting fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) provide a sensitive technique to measure changes in a cell's membrane potential. One of the FRET pair binds to one surface of the membrane and the other is a mobile ion that dissolves in the lipid bilayer. The voltage-related signal can be measured as a change in the fluorescence of either the donor or acceptor molecules, but measuring their ratio provides the largest and most noise-free signal. This technology has been used in a variety of ways; three are documented in this chapter: (1) high throughput drug screening, (2) monitoring the activity of many neurons simultaneously during a behavior, and (3) finding synaptic targets of a stimulated neuron. In addition, we provide protocols for using the dyes on both cultured neurons and leech ganglia. We also give an updated description of the mathematical basis for measuring the coherence between electrical and optical signals. Future improvements of this technique include faster and more sensitive dyes that bleach more slowly, and the expression of one of the FRET pair genetically. PMID:26238052

  11. Aerodynamics of Unsteady Sailing Kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keil, Colin; Schutt, Riley; Borshoff, Jennifer; Alley, Philip; de Zegher, Maximilien; Williamson, Chk

    2015-11-01

    In small sailboats, the bodyweight of the sailor is proportionately large enough to induce significant unsteady motion of the boat and sail. Sailors use a variety of kinetic techniques to create sail dynamics which can provide an increment in thrust, thereby increasing the boatspeed. In this study, we experimentally investigate the unsteady aerodynamics associated with two techniques, ``upwind leech flicking'' and ``downwind S-turns''. We explore the dynamics of an Olympic class Laser sailboat equipped with a GPS, IMU, wind sensor, and camera array, sailed expertly by a member of the US Olympic team. The velocity heading of a sailing boat is oriented at an apparent wind angle to the flow. In contrast to classic flapping propulsion, the heaving of the sail section is not perpendicular to the sail's motion through the air. This leads to heave with components parallel and perpendicular to the incident flow. The characteristic motion is recreated in a towing tank where the vortex structures generated by a representative 2-D sail section are observed using Particle Image Velocimetry and the measurement of thrust and lift forces. Amongst other results, we show that the increase in driving force, generated due to heave, is larger for greater apparent wind angles.

  12. Mechanisms underlying rhythmic locomotion: body–fluid interaction in undulatory swimming

    PubMed Central

    Chen, J.; Friesen, W. O.; Iwasaki, T.

    2011-01-01

    Swimming of fish and other animals results from interactions of rhythmic body movements with the surrounding fluid. This paper develops a model for the body–fluid interaction in undulatory swimming of leeches, where the body is represented by a chain of rigid links and the hydrodynamic force model is based on resistive and reactive force theories. The drag and added-mass coefficients for the fluid force model were determined from experimental data of kinematic variables during intact swimming, measured through video recording and image processing. Parameter optimizations to minimize errors in simulated model behaviors revealed that the resistive force is dominant, and a simple static function of relative velocity captures the essence of hydrodynamic forces acting on the body. The model thus developed, together with the experimental kinematic data, allows us to investigate temporal and spatial (along the body) distributions of muscle actuation, body curvature, hydrodynamic thrust and drag, muscle power supply and energy dissipation into the fluid. We have found that: (1) thrust is generated continuously along the body with increasing magnitude toward the tail, (2) drag is nearly constant along the body, (3) muscle actuation waves travel two or three times faster than the body curvature waves and (4) energy for swimming is supplied primarily by the mid-body muscles, transmitted through the body in the form of elastic energy, and dissipated into the water near the tail. PMID:21270304

  13. Evolutionary Dynamics of the wnt Gene Family: A Lophotrochozoan Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sung-Jin; Vallès, Yvonne; Giani, Vincent C.; Seaver, Elaine C.; Weisblat, David A.

    2010-01-01

    expression analyses. The 36 wnt genes obtained represent 11, 12, and 9 distinct wnt subfamilies in Lottia, Capitella, and Helobdella, respectively. Thus, two of the three analyzed lophotrochozoan genomes retained an almost complete ancestral complement of wnt genes emphasizing the importance and complexity of this gene family across metazoans. The genome of the leech Helobdella reflects significantly more dynamism than those of Lottia and Capitella, as judged by gene duplications and losses, branch length, and changes in genetic linkage. Finally, we performed a detailed expression analysis for all the Helobdella wnt genes during embryonic development. We find that, although the patterns show substantial overlap during early cleavage stages, each wnt gene has a unique expression pattern in the germinal plate and during tissue morphogenesis. Comparisons of the embryonic expression patterns of the duplicated wnt genes in Helobdella with their orthologs in Capitella reveal extensive regulatory diversification of the duplicated leech wnt genes. PMID:20176615

  14. Transparent magnetic photoresists for bioanalytical applications.

    PubMed

    Gach, Philip C; Sims, Christopher E; Allbritton, Nancy L

    2010-11-01

    Microfabricated devices possessing magnetic properties are of great utility in bioanalytical microdevices due to their controlled manipulation with external magnets. Current methods for creating magnetic microdevices yield a low-transparency material preventing light microscopy-based inspection of biological specimens on the structures. Uniformly transparent magnetic photoresists were developed for microdevices that require high transparency as well as consistent magnetism across the structure. Colloidal formation of 10 nm maghemite particles was minimized during addition to the negative photoresists SU-8 and 1002F through organic capping of the nanoparticles and utilization of solvent-based dispersion techniques. Photoresists with maghemite concentrations of 0.01-1% had a high transparency due to the even dispersal of maghemite nanoparticles within the polymer as observed with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These magnetic photoresists were used to fabricate microstructures with aspect ratios up to 4:1 and a resolution of 3 μm. Various cell lines showed excellent adhesion and viability on the magnetic photoresists. An inspection of cells cultured on the magnetic photoresists with TEM showed cellular uptake of magnetic nanoparticles leeched from the photoresists. Cellular contamination by magnetic nanoparticles was eliminated by capping the magnetic photoresist surface with native 1002F photoresist or by removing the top layer of the magnetic photoresist through surface roughening. The utility of these magnetic photoresists was demonstrated by sorting single cells (HeLa, RBL and 3T3 cells) cultured on arrays of releasable magnetic micropallets. 100% of magnetic micropallets with attached cells were collected following release from the array. 85-92% of the collected cells expanded into colonies. The polymeric magnetic materials should find wide use in the fabrication of microstructures for bioanalytical technologies. PMID:20719380

  15. Crustal Anisotropy in a Subduction Zone Forearc: Northern Cascadia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bostock, M. G.; Matharu, G.; Christensen, N. I.; Tromp, J.

    2014-12-01

    S-wave splitting analyses using high SNR low frequency earthquake (LFE) templates at 3-component stations across northern Cascadia indicate the presence of a heterogeneous distribution of crustal anisotropy in the North American plate. On southern Vancouver Island (SVI), we investigate the contribution to anisotropy from the Leech River Complex (LRC), an allochthonous terrane comprising strongly foliated greenschist-facies phyllites and amphibolite-facies schists with steeply dipping foliations striking E-W. Estimates of initial S-wave polarization direction are consistent with radiation patterns predicted from LFE focal mechanisms, providing corroboration for thrust along the plate boundary. Fast directions across mainland SVI are subparallel to the dominant foliation direction in the LRC. An eastward increase in depth normalized delay times combined with small-scale azimuthal variations in fast directions suggest a heterogeneous distribution of anisotropy. We test azimuthally anisotropic LRC models constrained by surface geology and seismic reflection studies using 3D spectral element method simulations. The preferred model of a NNE shallowly dipping wedge of LRC material with varying orientation of anisotropy terminating at mid crustal levels is able to recreate mean and azimuthal variations in fast directions along with variations in delay times, supporting the hypothesis of the LRC as a primary contributor to crustal anisotropy beneath SVI. For select stations where anisotropic LRC models do not recreate observations, fast directions are subparallel to local estimates of maximal compressive horizontal stress, suggesting fluid-filled cracks could be a source of anisotropy. We refute the idea that anisotropy along mainland SVI is primarily due to stress related cracks as has been suggested by prior studies. Fast directions at northern Washington stations exhibit variations with azimuth and incidence angle suggesting complex anisotropy interpreted as due to a

  16. Mercury in the biotic compartments of Northwest Patagonia lakes, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, A; Arcagni, M; Arribére, M A; Bubach, D; Guevara, S Ribeiro

    2011-06-01

    We report on total mercury (THg) concentrations in the principal components of food webs of selected Northern Patagonia Andean Range ultraoligotrophic lakes, Argentina. The THg contents were determined using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis in muscle and liver of four fish species occupying the higher trophic positions (the introduced Salmo trutta, Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salvelinus fontinalis, and the native Percichthys trucha) accounted for eight lakes belonging to Nahuel Huapi and Los Alerces National Parks. We studied the food web components of both the West and East branches of Lake Moreno, including benthic primary producers such as biofilm, mosses, and macrophytes, three plankton fractions, fish, riparian tree leaves, and benthic invertebrates, namely decapods, molluscs, insect larvae, leeches, oligochaetes, and amphipods. Mercury concentrations in fish muscle varied in a wide range, from less than 0.05 to 4 μg g(-1) dry weight (DW), without a distribution pattern among species but showing higher values for P. trucha and S. fontinalis, particularly in Lake Moreno. The THg contents of the food web components of Lake Moreno varied within 4 orders of magnitude, with the lower values ranging from 0.01 to 0.5 μg g(-1) DW in tree leaves, some macrophytes, juvenile salmonids or benthic macroinvertebrates, and reaching concentrations over 200 μg g(-1) DW in the plankton. Juvenile Galaxias maculatus caught in the pelagic area presented the highest THg contents of all fish sampled, reaching 10 μg g(-1) DW, contents that could be associated with the high THg concentrations in plankton since it is their main food source. Although Lake Moreno is a system without local point sources of contamination, situated in a protected area, some benthic organisms presented high THg contents when compared with those from polluted ecosystems. PMID:21421254

  17. NeuronGrowth, a software for automatic quantification of neurite and filopodial dynamics from time-lapse sequences of digital images.

    PubMed

    Fanti, Zian; Martinez-Perez, M Elena; De-Miguel, Francisco F

    2011-10-01

    We developed NeuronGrowth, a software for the automatic quantification of extension and retraction of neurites and filopodia, from time-lapse sequences of two-dimensional digital micrographs. NeuronGrowth requires a semiautomatic characterization of individual neurites in a reference frame, which is then used for automatic tracking and measurement of every neurite over the whole image sequence. Modules for sequence alignment, background subtraction, flat field correction, light normalization, and cropping have been integrated to improve the quality of the analysis. Moreover, NeuronGrowth incorporates a deconvolution filter that corrects the shadow-cast effect of differential interference contrast (DIC) images. NeuronGrowth was tested by analyzing the formation of outgrowth patterns by individual leech neurons cultured under two different conditions. Phase contrast images were obtained from neurons plated on CNS homogenates and DIC images were obtained from similar neurons plated on ganglion capsules as substrates. Filopodia were measured from fluorescent growth-cones of chick dorsal root ganglion cells. Quantitative data of neurite extension and retraction obtained by three different users applying NeuronGrowth and two other manually operated software packages were similar. However, NeuronGrowth required less user participation and had a better time performance when compared with the other software packages. NeuronGrowth may be used in general to quantify the dynamics of tubular structures such as blood vessels. NeuronGrowth is a free plug-in for the free software ImageJ and can be downloaded along with a user manual, a troubleshooting section and other information required for its use from http://www.ifc.unam.mx or http://www.ifc.unam.mx/ffm/index.html. PMID:21913334

  18. Exocytosis of serotonin from the neuronal soma is sustained by a serotonin and calcium-dependent feedback loop

    PubMed Central

    Leon-Pinzon, Carolina; Cercós, Montserrat G.; Noguez, Paula; Trueta, Citlali; De-Miguel, Francisco F.

    2014-01-01

    The soma of many neurons releases large amounts of transmitter molecules through an exocytosis process that continues for hundreds of seconds after the end of the triggering stimulus. Transmitters released in this way modulate the activity of neurons, glia and blood vessels over vast volumes of the nervous system. Here we studied how somatic exocytosis is maintained for such long periods in the absence of electrical stimulation and transmembrane Ca2+ entry. Somatic exocytosis of serotonin from dense core vesicles could be triggered by a train of 10 action potentials at 20 Hz in Retzius neurons of the leech. However, the same number of action potentials produced at 1 Hz failed to evoke any exocytosis. The 20-Hz train evoked exocytosis through a sequence of intracellular Ca2+ transients, with each transient having a different origin, timing and intracellular distribution. Upon electrical stimulation, transmembrane Ca2+ entry through L-type channels activated Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release. A resulting fast Ca2+ transient evoked an early exocytosis of serotonin from sparse vesicles resting close to the plasma membrane. This Ca2+ transient also triggered the transport of distant clusters of vesicles toward the plasma membrane. Upon exocytosis, the released serotonin activated autoreceptors coupled to phospholipase C, which in turn produced an intracellular Ca2+ increase in the submembrane shell. This localized Ca2+ increase evoked new exocytosis as the vesicles in the clusters arrived gradually at the plasma membrane. In this way, the extracellular serotonin elevated the intracellular Ca2+ and this Ca2+ evoked more exocytosis. The resulting positive feedback loop maintained exocytosis for the following hundreds of seconds until the last vesicles in the clusters fused. Since somatic exocytosis displays similar kinetics in neurons releasing different types of transmitters, the data presented here contributes to understand the cellular basis of paracrine neurotransmission

  19. Influence of therapeutic radiation on polycaprolactone and polyurethane biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Shelley L; Whittington, Abby R

    2016-03-01

    Biomedical polymers are exposed in vivo to ionizing radiation as implants, coatings and bystander materials. High levels of ionizing radiation (e.g. X-ray and gamma) have been reported to cause degradation and/or cross-linking in many polymers. This pilot study sought to determine causes of failure, by investigating how therapeutic radiation affects two different porous polymeric scaffolds: polycaprolactone (PCL) and polyurethane (PU). PCL is a bioresorbable material used in biomedical devices (e.g., dentistry, internal fixation devices and targeted drug delivery capsules). PU is commonly used in medical applications (e.g., coatings for pacemakers, tissue expanders, catheter tubing and wound dressings). PU was specifically fabricated to be a non-degradable polymer in this study. Porous scaffolds, fabricated using solvent casting and/or salt leeching techniques, were placed in phosphate buffered saline (PBS, pH=7.4) and exposed to typical cancer radiotherapy. A total dose of 50 Gy was broken into 25 doses over an eleven-week period. Collected PBS was tested for polymer leachants and degradation products using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS), results revealed no analyzable leachants from either polymer. Scaffolds were characterized using Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy, Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). No gross visual changes were observed in either polymer, however PU exhibited microstructure changes after irradiation. Increased number average molecular weight and weight average molecular weight in PCL and PU were observed after irradiation, indicating crosslinking. PU displayed an increase in intrinsic viscosity that further confirms increased crosslinking. PCL and PU showed decreases in crystallinity after irradiation, and PU crystallinity shifted from long-range-order hard segments to short-range-order hard segments after irradiation. Results

  20. In vivo imaging of growth cone and filopodial dynamics: evidence for contact-mediated retraction of filopodia leading to the tiling of sibling processes.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michael W; Macagno, Eduardo R

    2007-02-10

    In the leech embryo, the peripheral comb cell (CC) sends out many nonoverlapping, growth cone-tipped processes that grow in parallel and serve as a scaffold for the migrating myocytes of the later-developing oblique muscle layer. To explore how the parallel arrangement is generated we first examined the arrangement of CC cytoskeletal components by expressing a tubulin-binding protein and actin, both tagged with fluorescent reporters. This revealed that the growth cones were compartmentalized into F-actin-rich filopodia and a microtubule-rich central region. Time-lapse analysis with a 2-photon laser scanning microscope revealed that the growth cones of the CC are highly dynamic, undergoing rapid filopodial extension and retraction. Measurements of filopodial lifespan and length revealed that most filopodia at the leading edge of the growth cone achieved significantly longer lifespans and length than lateral filopodia. Furthermore, for the short-lived lateral filopodia, apparent interaction with a neighboring process was found to be a significant predictor of their nearly immediate (within 2-4 minutes) retraction. When contact was experimentally prevented by ablating individual CCs, the filopodia from the growth cones of adjacent segmental neighbors were found to be significantly lengthened in the direction of the removed homolog. Treatment with low doses of cytochalasin D to disrupt F-actin assembly led to filopodial retraction and growth cone collapse and resulted in the bifurcation of many CC processes, numerous crossover errors, and the loss of parallelism. These findings indicate the existence of a contact-mediated repulsive interaction between processes of the CC. PMID:17177256

  1. A Creek to Bay Biological Assessment in Oakland, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahumada, E.; Ramirez, N.; Lopez, A.; Avila, M.; Ramirez, J.; Arroyo, D.; Bracho, H.; Casanova, A.; Pierson, E.

    2011-12-01

    In 2007, the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) assessed the impact of trash on water quality in the Peralta Creek which is located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, CA. This 2011 follow-up study will take further steps in evaluating the physical and biological impacts of pollution and human development on Peralta Creek and in the San Leandro Bay, where the Creek empties into the larger San Francisco Bay estuary. This study will utilize two forms of biological assessment in order to determine the level of water quality and ecosystem health of Peralta Creek and San Leandro Bay in Oakland, California. A Rapid Bioassesment Protocal (RBP) will be used as the method of biological assessment for Peralta Creek. RBP uses a biotic index of benthic macroinvertebrates to provide a measure of a water body's health. Larval trematodes found in two mud snails (Ilynassa obsoleta and Cerithidea californica) will be used to evaluate the health of the San Leandro Bay. Due to the complex life cycle of trematodes, the measure of trematode diversity and richness in host species serves as an indicator of estuarine health (Huspeni 2005). We have completed the assessment of one section of Peralta Creek, located at 2465 34th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94601. Abundance results indicate a moderately healthy creek because there were high levels of pollution tolerant benthic macroinvertebrates. The tolerant group of benthic macroinvertebrates includes such organisms as flatworms, leeches, and scuds. This is possibly due to this section of the creek being pumped up to the surface from culverts impacting the macroinvertebrate's life cycle. Another contributing factor to creek health is the amount of organic debris found in the creek, which inhibits the flow and oxygenation of the water, allowing for more pollution tolerant aquatic insects to persist. Further investigation is being conducted to fully assess the Peralta Creek watershed; from the preliminary results one can surmise that

  2. Lasting changes in a network of interneurons after synapse regeneration and delayed recovery of sensitization.

    PubMed

    Urazaev, A K; Arganda, S; Muller, K J; Sahley, C L

    2007-12-19

    Regeneration of neuronal circuits cannot be successful without restoration of full function, including recovery of behavioral plasticity, which we have found is delayed after regeneration of specific synapses. Experiments were designed to measure neuronal changes that may underlie recovery of function. Sensitization of the leech withdrawal reflex is a non-associative form of learning that depends on the S-interneuron. Cutting an S-cell axon in Faivre's nerve disrupted the capacity for sensitization. The S-cell axon regenerated its electrical synapse with its homologous cell after 3-4 weeks, but the capacity for sensitization was delayed for an additional 2-3 weeks. In the present experiments another form of non-associative conditioning, dishabituation, was also eliminated by S-cell axotomy; it returned following regeneration. Semi-intact preparations were made for behavioral studies, and chains of ganglia with some skin were used for intracellular recording and skin stimulation. In both preparations there was a similar time-course, during 6 weeks, of a lesion-induced decrease and delayed restoration of both S-cell action potential threshold to depolarizing pulses and S-cell firing in response to test stimuli. However, the ability of sensitizing stimuli to decrease S-cell threshold and enhance S-cell activity in response to test stimuli did not fully return after regeneration, indicating that there were lasting changes in the circuit extending beyond the period necessary for full recovery of behavior. Intracellular recordings from the axotomized S-cell revealed a shift in the usual balance of excitatory and inhibitory input, with inhibition enhanced. These results indicate that loss of behavioral plasticity of reflexive shortening following axotomy in the S-cell chain may be related to reduced S-cell activity, and that additional processes underlie full recovery of sensitization of the whole body shortening reflex. PMID:18031937

  3. Gingivitis from the Viewpoint of Traditional Persian Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Sedigh-Rahimabadi, Massih; Shams, Mesbah; Fani, Mohammadmehdi; Chijan, Mahsa Rostami

    2016-01-01

    Background: Gingivitis is among the top general health problems in the world, especially in developing countries. Meanwhile, it may be associated with pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. In a qualitative study, we tried to identify the corresponding terminology to gingivitis in traditional Persian medicine (TPM) and to explain its potential mechanisms, treatments, and prevention characteristics. Methods: In a literature review, 4 modern textbooks and 18 related articles, 2 traditional medical dictionaries and 12 traditional medical and 4 traditional pharmaceutical texts were assessed by a specific method. Initially, traditional scripts were searched for signs and symptoms of gingivitis as well as related keywords such as bleeding, swollen and loosen gum, oral or gingival ulcers, teeth, or gingival pain. Then the disease/s or disorder/s, which matched gingivitis in TPM, was appraised in details. Finally, potential mechanisms, prevention and therapeutic protocols presented by TPM were collated and summarized. Results: “Lasse-e-Dâmiyeh” (bleeding gum) or “Khoon-Reezi az Goosht-e Bon-e Dandân” (bleeding from under teeth flesh) was the main disease comparable to gingivitis. Based on TPM, the leading etiologies are insufficient gum feeding mechanism, pouring and gathering of excessive fluid in the gum and accumulation of excessive blood in it or in the whole body. Although there were remarkable similarities in the subjects of different TPM texts over the centuries, particularly in oral and teeth hygiene and overall approach to gingivitis, we faced notable differences in recipes (herbal drugs) that each text proposed. Conclusion: While there are overlapping terminologies to gingivitis in TPM, “Lasse-e-Dâmiyeh” is the closest disease that relates to it. Meanwhile, adjusting diet and lifestyle, having appropriate oral hygiene, obtaining a vast variety of herbal medications, cupping, phlebotomy, leech therapy, etc. are the different TPM modalities for the

  4. Analysis of Family Structures Reveals Robustness or Sensitivity of Bursting Activity to Parameter Variations in a Half-Center Oscillator (HCO) Model

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms that support robustness in neuronal networks are as yet unknown. However, recent studies provide evidence that neuronal networks are robust to natural variations, modulation, and environmental perturbations of parameters, such as maximal conductances of intrinsic membrane and synaptic currents. Here we sought a method for assessing robustness, which might easily be applied to large brute-force databases of model instances. Starting with groups of instances with appropriate activity (e.g., tonic spiking), our method classifies instances into much smaller subgroups, called families, in which all members vary only by the one parameter that defines the family. By analyzing the structures of families, we developed measures of robustness for activity type. Then, we applied these measures to our previously developed model database, HCO-db, of a two-neuron half-center oscillator (HCO), a neuronal microcircuit from the leech heartbeat central pattern generator where the appropriate activity type is alternating bursting. In HCO-db, the maximal conductances of five intrinsic and two synaptic currents were varied over eight values (leak reversal potential also varied, five values). We focused on how variations of particular conductance parameters maintain normal alternating bursting activity while still allowing for functional modulation of period and spike frequency. We explored the trade-off between robustness of activity type and desirable change in activity characteristics when intrinsic conductances are altered and identified the hyperpolarization-activated (h) current as an ideal target for modulation. We also identified ensembles of model instances that closely approximate physiological activity and can be used in future modeling studies. PMID:27595135

  5. Analysis of Family Structures Reveals Robustness or Sensitivity of Bursting Activity to Parameter Variations in a Half-Center Oscillator (HCO) Model.

    PubMed

    Doloc-Mihu, Anca; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms that support robustness in neuronal networks are as yet unknown. However, recent studies provide evidence that neuronal networks are robust to natural variations, modulation, and environmental perturbations of parameters, such as maximal conductances of intrinsic membrane and synaptic currents. Here we sought a method for assessing robustness, which might easily be applied to large brute-force databases of model instances. Starting with groups of instances with appropriate activity (e.g., tonic spiking), our method classifies instances into much smaller subgroups, called families, in which all members vary only by the one parameter that defines the family. By analyzing the structures of families, we developed measures of robustness for activity type. Then, we applied these measures to our previously developed model database, HCO-db, of a two-neuron half-center oscillator (HCO), a neuronal microcircuit from the leech heartbeat central pattern generator where the appropriate activity type is alternating bursting. In HCO-db, the maximal conductances of five intrinsic and two synaptic currents were varied over eight values (leak reversal potential also varied, five values). We focused on how variations of particular conductance parameters maintain normal alternating bursting activity while still allowing for functional modulation of period and spike frequency. We explored the trade-off between robustness of activity type and desirable change in activity characteristics when intrinsic conductances are altered and identified the hyperpolarization-activated (h) current as an ideal target for modulation. We also identified ensembles of model instances that closely approximate physiological activity and can be used in future modeling studies. PMID:27595135

  6. Factors Influencing the Stable Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition (δ 18O and δ D) of a Subarctic Freshwater Lake Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Wooller, M. J.

    2005-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that the stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions (δ 18O and δD) in various animal tissues can be used to examine past climates and animal migration pattern. Little attention has been paid to the relative roles of diet and water influencing the overall δ 18O and δD of animal tissues in freshwater ecosystems. It is unclear whether different trophic levels in a freshwater lake ecosystem have an identical relationship to the water that surrounds them. The δ18O and δD values of animal tissues may be controlled by numerous different factors, including metabolic and biosynthetic isotopic fractionation and variations of δ 18O and δD in the food available. We began to examine these issues by analyzing the δ 18O and δD throughout a freshwater aquatic ecosystem at Smith Lake in Alaska. We collected samples representing primary producers and consumers (primary and secondary). Samples included green algae, various aquatic plants, such as Nuphar variegatum (water lily), Polygonum amphibium (water smartweed), Carex utriculata (sedge), Utricularia vulgaris (common bladderwort), Typha latifolia (common cattail), and a range of aquatic invertebrates, including Chironomus. sp (midge), Zygoptera (damselfly), Anisoptera (dragonfly), Dytiscidae (diving beetle) and Euhirudinea (leeches). The δ 18O and δD of Smith Lake water were ~-13.5e and -129.0e, respectively, and we present the δ 18O and δD of the rest of the ecosystem relative to these data. For instance, the δ 18O of chironomus sp. was ~12.1, which is greater than the of the lake water. Preliminary results suggest the extent of the fractionation between δ 18O of chironomids vs. lake water δ 18O is consistent with previous studies. Our data provide an insight into the range of variations that could be expected within a single freshwater ecosystem.

  7. Global carbon burial in lakes, reservoirs and ponds; an alternative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyle, John; Hoffmann, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    It is widely stated that approximately 0.6 Pg of carbon are annually sequestered by lake, reservoir and pond sediments. The study from which this figure arises, Tranvik et al (2009), accepts: previously published values for natural lakes (0.03 to 0.07 Pg), rather higher than previously thought values for reservoirs (0.4 Pg C yr-1, based on 400,000 km2 at 1000 g C m-2, up from 0.16-0.20 Pg previously estimated), and and a previously omitted large contribution from "small eutrophic impoundments" (0.15 Pg yr-1, based on 75,000 km2 at 2000 g C m-2). As these estimates depend heavily on C burial data from 25 artificial water bodies in Iowa, we have undertaken a wider analysis to assess their global applicability. Reference: Tranvik, L.J., Downing, J.A., Cotner, J.B., Loiselle, S.A., Striegl, R.G., Ballatore, T.J., Dillon, P., Finlay, K., Fortino, K., Knoll, L.B., Kortelainen, P.L., Kutser, T., Larsen, S., Laurion, I., Leech, D.M., McCallister, S.L., McKnight, D.M., Melack, J.M., Overholt, E., Porter, J.A., Prairie, Y., Renwick, W.H., Roland, F., Sherman, B.S., Schindler, D.W., Sobek, S., Tremblay, A., Vanni, M.J., Verschoor, A.M., von Wachenfeldt, E. and Weyhenmeyer, G.A., 2009. Lakes and reservoirs as regulators of carbon cycling and climate. Limnology and Oceanography, 54(6): 2298-2314.

  8. Muscle organizers in Drosophila: the role of persistent larval fibers in adult flight muscle development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, E. R.; Fernandes, J.; Keshishian, H.

    1996-01-01

    In many organisms muscle formation depends on specialized cells that prefigure the pattern of the musculature and serve as templates for myoblast organization and fusion. These include muscle pioneers in insects and muscle organizing cells in leech. In Drosophila, muscle founder cells have been proposed to play a similar role in organizing larval muscle development during embryogenesis. During metamorphosis in Drosophila, following histolysis of most of the larval musculature, there is a second round of myogenesis that gives rise to the adult muscles. It is not known whether muscle founder cells organize the development of these muscles. However, in the thorax specific larval muscle fibers do not histolyze at the onset of metamorphosis, but instead serve as templates for the formation of a subset of adult muscles, the dorsal longitudinal flight muscles (DLMs). Because these persistent larval muscle fibers appear to be functioning in many respects like muscle founder cells, we investigated whether they were necessary for DLM development by using a microbeam laser to ablate them singly and in combination. We found that, in the absence of the larval muscle fibers, DLMs nonetheless develop. Our results show that the persistent larval muscle fibers are not required to initiate myoblast fusion, to determine DLM identity, to locate the DLMs in the thorax, or to specify the total DLM fiber volume. However, they are required to regulate the number of DLM fibers generated. Thus, while the persistent larval muscle fibers are not obligatory for DLM fiber formation and differentiation, they are necessary to ensure the development of the correct number of fibers.

  9. Dopamine: a parallel pathway for the modulation of spinal locomotor networks

    PubMed Central

    Sharples, Simon A.; Koblinger, Kathrin; Humphreys, Jennifer M.; Whelan, Patrick J.

    2014-01-01

    The spinal cord contains networks of neurons that can produce locomotor patterns. To readily respond to environmental conditions, these networks must be flexible yet at the same time robust. Neuromodulators play a key role in contributing to network flexibility in a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate networks. For example, neuromodulators contribute to altering intrinsic properties and synaptic weights that, in extreme cases, can lead to neurons switching between networks. Here we focus on the role of dopamine in the control of stepping networks in the spinal cord. We first review the role of dopamine in modulating rhythmic activity in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) and the leech, since work from these preparations provides a foundation to understand its role in vertebrate systems. We then move to a discussion of dopamine’s role in modulation of swimming in aquatic species such as the larval xenopus, lamprey and zebrafish. The control of terrestrial walking in vertebrates by dopamine is less studied and we review current evidence in mammals with a focus on rodent species. We discuss data suggesting that the source of dopamine within the spinal cord is mainly from the A11 area of the diencephalon, and then turn to a discussion of dopamine’s role in modulating walking patterns from both in vivo and in vitro preparations. Similar to the descending serotonergic system, the dopaminergic system may serve as a potential target to promote recovery of locomotor function following spinal cord injury (SCI); evidence suggests that dopaminergic agonists can promote recovery of function following SCI. We discuss pharmacogenetic and optogenetic approaches that could be deployed in SCI and their potential tractability. Throughout the review we draw parallels with both noradrenergic and serotonergic modulatory effects on spinal cord networks. In all likelihood, a complementary monoaminergic enhancement strategy should be deployed following SCI. PMID:24982614

  10. Ozone effects on inhibitors of human neutrophil proteinases

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, C.E.; Stack, M.S.; Johnson, D.A.

    1987-02-15

    The effects of ozone on human alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor (A-1-PI), alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (A-1-Achy), bronchial leukocyte proteinase inhibitor (BLPI), and Eglin C were studied using in vitro exposures in phosphate-buffered solutions. Following ozone exposure, inhibitory activities against human neutrophil elastase (HNE) and/or cathepsin G (Cat G) were measured. Exposure of A-1-PI to 50 mol O3/mol protein resulted in a complete loss of HNE inhibitory activity, whereas A-1-Achy lost only 50% of its Cat G inhibitory activity and remained half active even after exposure to 250 mol of O3. At 40 mol O3/mol protein, BLPI lost 79% of its activity against HNE and 87% of its Cat G inhibitory activity. Eglin C, a leech-derived inhibitor, lost 81% of its HNE inhibitory activity and 92% of its ability to inhibit Cat G when exposed to 40 mol O3/mol. Amino acid analyses of ozone-exposed inhibitors showed destruction of Trp, Met, Tyr, and His with as little as 10 mol O3/mol protein, and higher levels of O3 resulted in more extensive oxidation of susceptible residues. The variable ozone susceptibility of the different amino acid residues in the four proteins indicated that oxidation was a function of protein structure, as well as the inherent susceptibility of particular amino acids. Exposure of A-1-PI and BLPI in the presence of the antioxidants, Trolox C (water soluble vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), showed that antioxidant vitamins may protect proteins from oxidative inactivation by ozone. Methionine-specific modification of BLPI reduced its HNE and Cat G inhibitory activities. Two moles of N-chlorosuccinimide per mole of BLPI methionine caused an 80% reduction in activity against Cat G, but only a 40% reduction in HNE inhibitory activity.

  11. Thrombin immobilized to extracellular matrix is a potent mitogen for vascular smooth muscle cells: nonenzymatic mode of action.

    PubMed Central

    Bar-Shavit, R; Benezra, M; Eldor, A; Hy-Am, E; Fenton, J W; Wilner, G D; Vlodavsky, I

    1990-01-01

    Esterolytically inactive diisopropyl fluorophosphate-conjugated thrombin (DIP-alpha-thrombin) stimulated 3H-thymidine incorporation and proliferation of growth-arrested vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), similar to native alpha-thrombin. Half-maximal mitogenic response of SMCs was obtained at 1 nM thrombin and was specifically blocked by the leech-derived, high-affinity thrombin inhibitor, hirudin. Native thrombin and a variety of thrombin species that were chemically modified to alter thrombin procoagulant or esterolytic functions were found to induce 3H-thymidine incorporation to a similar extent. Exposure of SMCs to DIP-alpha-thrombin caused a rapid and transient expression of the c-fos protooncogene, determined by Northern blot analysis. These results indicate that thrombin is a potent mitogen for SMCs through a distinct non-enzymatic domain. Binding of 125I-alpha-thrombin to SMC cultures revealed an apparent dissociation constant of 6 nM and an estimated 5.4 x 10(5) binding sites per cell. This binding was inhibited to the same extent by native thrombin and by its nonenzymatic form, DIP-alpha-thrombin. Moreover, the chemotactic fragment of thrombin (CB67-129), which failed to elicit a mitogenic response, competed for 125I-alpha-thrombin binding to SMCs. Cross-linking analysis of 125I-alpha-thrombin to SMCs revealed a specific cell-surface binding site 55 kDa in size. Finally, thrombin immobilized to a naturally produced extracellular matrix retained potent mitogenic activity toward SMCs. These observations lend support to the possibility that in vivo, subendothelial basement membranes sequester thrombin (as well as other bioactive molecules), which may stimulate localized and persistent growth of arterial SMCs. Thrombin may thus be involved directly in progression of atherosclerotic plaque formation. Images PMID:1963793

  12. Parasites of native and nonnative fishes of the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Anindo; Hoffnagle, Timothy L; Cole, Rebecca A

    2004-10-01

    A 2-yr, seasonal, parasitological study of 1,435 fish, belonging to 4 species of native fishes and 7 species of nonnative fishes from the lower Little Colorado River (LCR) and tributary creeks, Grand Canyon, Arizona, yielded 17 species of parasites. These comprised 1 myxozoan (Henneguya exilis), 2 copepods (Ergasilus arthrosis and Lernaea cyprinacea), 1 acarine (Oribatida gen. sp.), 1 piscicolid leech (Myzobdella lugubris), 4 monogeneans (Gyrodactylus hoffmani, Gyrodactylus sp., Dactylogyrus extensus, and Ligictaluridus floridanus), 4 nematodes (Contracaecum sp., Eustrongylides sp., Rhabdochona sp., and Truttaedacnitis truttae), 3 cestodes (Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, Corallobothrium fimbriatum, and Megathylacoides giganteum), and 2 trematodes (Ornithodiplostomum sp. and Posthodiplostomum sp.). Rhabdochona sp. was the only adult parasite native to the LCR. Infection intensities of Ornithodiplostomum sp. and B. acheilognathi were positively correlated with length of the humpback chub Gila cypha. Adult helminths showed a high degree of host specificity, except B. acheilognathi, which was recovered from all fish species examined but was most abundant in cyprinids. Abundance of B. acheilognathi in the humpback chub was highest in the fall and lowest in the summer in both reaches of the LCR. There was no major taxonomic difference in parasite assemblages between the 2 different reaches of the river (LC1 and LC2). Parasite community diversity was very similar in humpback chub, regardless of sampling site or time. The parasite fauna of the LCR is numerically dominated by B. acheilognathi and metacercariae of Ornithodiplostomum sp. The richest and most diverse component community occurred in a nonnative species, the channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus, but infracommunity species richness was highest in a native host, humpback chub. PMID:15562604

  13. On the Basis of Synaptic Integration Constancy during Growth of a Neuronal Circuit

    PubMed Central

    De-La-Rosa Tovar, Adriana; Mishra, Prashant K.; De-Miguel, Francisco F.

    2016-01-01

    We studied how a neuronal circuit composed of two neuron types connected by chemical and electrical synapses maintains constant its integrative capacities as neurons grow. For this we combined electrophysiological experiments with mathematical modeling in pairs of electrically-coupled Retzius neurons from postnatal to adult leeches. The electrically-coupled dendrites of both Retzius neurons receive a common chemical input, which produces excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) with varying amplitudes. Each EPSP spreads to the soma, but also crosses the electrical synapse to arrive at the soma of the coupled neuron. The leak of synaptic current across the electrical synapse reduces the amplitude of the EPSPs in proportion to the coupling ratio. In addition, summation of EPSPs generated in both neurons generates the baseline action potentials of these serotonergic neurons. To study how integration is adjusted as neurons grow, we first studied the characteristics of the chemical and electrical connections onto the coupled dendrites of neuron pairs with soma diameters ranging from 21 to 75 μm. Then by feeding a mathematical model with the neuronal voltage responses to pseudorandom noise currents we obtained the values of the coupling ratio, the membrane resistance of the soma (rm) and dendrites (rdend), the space constant (λ) and the characteristic dendritic length (L = l/λ). We found that the EPSPs recorded from the somata were similar regardless on the neuron size. However, the amplitude of the EPSPs and the firing frequency of the neurons were inversely proportional to the coupling ratio of the neuron pair, which also was independent from the neuronal size. This data indicated that the integrative constancy relied on the passive membrane properties. We show that the growth of Retzius neurons was compensated by increasing the membrane resistance of the dendrites and therefore the λ value. By solely increasing the dendrite resistance this circuit maintains

  14. Bioaccumulation of radionuclides in fertilized Canadian Shield lake basins.

    PubMed

    Bird, G A; Hesslein, R H; Mills, K H; Schwartz, W J; Turner, M A

    1998-07-11

    Radionuclide tracers of heavy metals (59Fe, 60Co, 65Zn, 75Se, 85Sr, 134Cs and 203Hg) representing potential contamination from nuclear power plants, industry and agriculture were added to separate basins of Lake 226, Experimental Lakes Area, northwestern Ontario. The two basins were part of a eutrophication experiment and differed in their trophic status; the north basin (L226N) was eutrophic whereas the south basin (L226S) was mesotrophic. Our objective was to determine the uptake of the radionuclides by biota and the effect of lake trophic status on their bioaccumulation. The trophic status of the lakes did not appear to have a marked effect on the accumulation of radionuclides by the biota. This may have been because of a mid-summer leakage of nutrients between the basins which enhanced primary production in L226S, because there is a time lag between primary production and the availability of the radionuclides to the fishes or because trophic status does not affect the uptake of at least some of these radionuclides. However, there was a tendency for faster uptake of the radionuclides in L226N by fish than L226S, but the differences were not significant. Concentrations in the biota generally decreased in the order: fathead minnow > pearl dace > tadpoles > slimy sculpin > leeches. Concentrations in biota generally decreased in the order. 65Zn > 203Hg > 75Se > 134Cs > 60Co > 85Sr = 59Fe. Cobalt-60 concentrations in tadpoles were greater than in the other biota. Radionuclide concentrations in the tissues of lake whitefish indicated that uptake was predominantly from food. Radionuclide concentrations were usually higher in the posterior gut, liver and kidney than in other tissues, whereas body burdens were generally high in the muscle for 75Se, 134Cs and 203Hg; kidney and gut for 60Co; and bone for 65Zn and 75Se. Mercury-203 burdens were also high in the bone and gut. PMID:9718743

  15. Marine-derived nitrogen and carbon in freshwater-riparian food webs of the Copper River Delta, southcentral Alaska.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Brendan J; Wipfli, Mark S; Lang, Dirk W; Lang, Maria E

    2005-08-01

    After rearing to adulthood at sea, coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) return to freshwater to spawn once and then die on or near their spawning grounds. We tested the hypothesis that spawning coho salmon return marine N and C to beaver (Castor canadensis) ponds of the Copper River Delta (CRD), Cordova, southcentral Alaska, thereby enhancing productivity of the aquatic food webs that support juvenile coho salmon. We sampled three types of pond treatment: (1) natural enrichment by spawning salmon, (2) artificial enrichment via addition of salmon carcasses and eggs, and (3) ponds with no salmon enrichment. All ponds supported juvenile coho salmon. Seasonal samples of stable isotopes revealed that juvenile coho salmon, threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), caddisfly larvae, leeches, and chironomid midge larvae were enriched with marine N and C. The aquatic vascular plants bur reed (Sparganium hyperboreum), pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus), and mare's tail (Hippuris vulgaris) were enriched with marine N only. Riparian vegetation (Sitka alder Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata and willow Salix spp.) did not show enrichment. Artificial additions of adult carcasses and eggs of coho salmon increased the delta15N and delta13C values of juvenile coho salmon. In this dynamic and hydrologically complex coastal environment, spawning coho salmon contributed marine N and C comprising 10-50% of the dietary needs of juvenile coho salmon through direct consumption of eggs and carcass material. Invertebrates that have assimilated marine N and C yield a further indirect contribution. This perennial subsidy maintains the productivity of the ecosystem of the coho salmon on the CRD. PMID:15891853

  16. Coping with variability in small neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Calabrese, Ronald L; Norris, Brian J; Wenning, Angela; Wright, Terrence M

    2011-12-01

    Experimental and corresponding modeling studies indicate that there is a 2- to 5-fold variation of intrinsic and synaptic parameters across animals while functional output is maintained. Here, we review experiments, using the heartbeat central pattern generator (CPG) in medicinal leeches, which explore the consequences of animal-to-animal variation in synaptic strength for coordinated motor output. We focus on a set of segmental heart motor neurons that all receive inhibitory synaptic input from the same four premotor interneurons. These four premotor inputs fire in a phase progression and the motor neurons also fire in a phase progression because of differences in synaptic strength profiles of the four inputs among segments. Our work tested the hypothesis that functional output is maintained in the face of animal-to-animal variation in the absolute strength of connections because relative strengths of the four inputs onto particular motor neurons is maintained across animals. Our experiments showed that relative strength is not strictly maintained across animals even as functional output is maintained, and animal-to-animal variations in strength of particular inputs do not correlate strongly with output phase. Further experiments measured the precise temporal pattern of the premotor inputs, the segmental synaptic strength profiles of their connections onto motor neurons, and the temporal pattern (phase progression) of those motor neurons all in the same animal for a series of 12 animals. The analysis of input and output in this sample of 12 individuals suggests that the number (four) of inputs to each motor neuron and the variability of the temporal pattern of input from the CPG across individuals weaken the influence of the strength of individual inputs. Moreover, the temporal pattern of the output varies as much across individuals as that of the input. Essentially, each animal arrives at a unique solution for how the network produces functional output. PMID

  17. Phylogenetic utility of ribosomal genes for reconstructing the phylogeny of five Chinese satyrine tribes (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae)

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Mingsheng; Zhang, Yalin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Satyrinae is one of twelve subfamilies of the butterfly family Nymphalidae, which currently includes nine tribes. However, phylogenetic relationships among them remain largely unresolved, though different researches have been conducted based on both morphological and molecular data. However, ribosomal genes have never been used in tribe level phylogenetic analyses of Satyrinae. In this study we investigate for the first time the phylogenetic relationships among the tribes Elymniini, Amathusiini, Zetherini and Melanitini which are indicated to be a monophyletic group, and the Satyrini, using two ribosomal genes (28s rDNA and 16s rDNA) and four protein-coding genes (EF-1α, COI, COII and Cytb). We mainly aim to assess the phylogenetic informativeness of the ribosomal genes as well as clarify the relationships among different tribes. Our results show the two ribosomal genes generally have the same high phylogenetic informativeness compared with EF-1α; and we infer the 28s rDNA would show better informativeness if the 28s rDNA sequence data for each sampling taxon are obtained in this study. The placement of the monotypic genus Callarge Leech in Zetherini is confirmed for the first time based on molecular evidence. In addition, our maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) trees consistently show that the involved Satyrinae including the Amathusiini is monophyletic with high support values. Although the relationships among the five tribes are identical among ML and BI analyses and are mostly strongly-supported in BI analysis, those in ML analysis are lowly- or moderately- supported. Therefore, the relationships among the related five tribes recovered herein need further verification based on more sampling taxa. PMID:25878526

  18. Life history and propagation of the endangered dromedary pearlymussel (Dromus dromas) (Bivalvia:Unionidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, J.W.; Neves, R.J.; Ahlstedt, S.A.; Mair, R.A.

    2004-01-01

    The reproduction, demography, and propagation of the endangered dromedary pearlymussel (Dromus dromas) (Lea, 1834) were studied in the Clinch and Powell rivers, Tennessee. Viable populations of the dromedary pearlymussel now occur only in the Clinch and Powell rivers; the species has been extirpated from the remaining portions of its range in the Cumberland and Tennessee river drainages. Females are long-term winter brooders, and they are gravid from October to June. Glochidia are contained in conglutinates that are red to white and resemble freshwater leeches or flatworms. Conglutinates are 20 to 40 mm long and are released through the excurrent aperture. Estimates of fecundity based on 7 gravid females collected from the Clinch River were 55,110 to 253,050 glochidia/mussel. The ages of 66 valves of D. dromas were determined by thin-sectioning and ranged from 3 to 25 y. Annual growth averaged 5 mm/y until age 10 and decreased to ???1.2 mm/ y thereafter. Nineteen fish species were tested for suitability as hosts for glochidia. Ten were confirmed as hosts through induced infestations of glochidia: black sculpin (Cottus baileyi), greenside darter (Etheostoma blennioides), fantail darter (Etheostoma flabellare), snubnose darter (Etheostoma simoterum), tangerine darter (Percina aurantiaca), blotchside logperch (Percina burtoni), logperch (Percina caprodes), channel darter (Percina copelandi), gilt darter (Percina evides), and Roanoke darter (Percina roanoka). Juveniles produced from these hosts were cultured in dishes held in nonrecirculating aquaculture systems containing fine sediment (<105 ??m) and were fed the green alga Nannochloropsis oculata every 2 d. Survival of 2810 newly metamorphosed juveniles was 836 (29.7%) after 1 to 2 wk.

  19. Multipartite entanglement arising from dense Euclidean lattices in dimensions 4-24

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planat, Michel

    2012-02-01

    The group of automorphisms of Euclidean (embedded in {R}^n ) dense lattices such as the root lattices D4 and E8, the Barnes-Wall lattice BW16, the unimodular lattice D12+ and the Leech lattice Λ24 may be generated by entangled quantum gates of the corresponding dimension. These (real) gates/lattices are useful for quantum error correction: for instance, the two- and four-qubit real Clifford groups are the automorphism groups of the lattices D4 and BW16, respectively, and the three-qubit real Clifford group is maximal in the Weyl group W(E8). Technically, the automorphism group Aut(Λ) of the lattice Λ is the set of orthogonal matrices B such that, following the conjugation action by the generating matrix of the lattice, the output matrix is unimodular (of determinant ±1, with integer entries). When the degree n is equal to the number of basis elements of Λ, Aut(Λ) also acts on basis vectors and is generated with matrices B such that the sum of squared entries in a row is 1, i.e. B may be seen as a quantum gate. For the dense lattices listed above, maximal multipartite entanglement arises. In particular, one finds a balanced tripartite entanglement in E8 (the two- and three-tangles have the same magnitude 1/4) and a Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger-type entanglement in BW16. In this paper, we also investigate the entangled gates from D12+ and Λ24, by seeing them as systems coupling a qutrit to two- and three-qubits, respectively. In addition to quantum computing, the work may be related to particle physics in the spirit of Planat et al (2011 Rep. Math. Phys. 66 39-51).

  20. Enriques Surfaces, Analytic Discriminants, and Borcherds's Φ Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jorgenson, Jay; Todorov, Andrey

    In [Bor 96], Borcherds constructed a non-vanishing weight 4 modular form Φ on the moduli space of marked, polarized Enriques surface of degree 2 by considering the twisted denominator function of the fake monster Lie algebra associated to an automorphism of order 2 of the Leech lattice fixing an 8-dimensional subspace. In [JT 94] and [JT 96], we defined and studied a meromorphic (multi-valued) modular form of weight 2, which we call the K3 analytic discriminant, on the moduli space of marked, polarized, K3 surfaces of degree 2d; in certain cases, including when , where pk are distinct primes, our meromorphic form is actually a holomorphic form. Our construction involves a determinant of the Laplacian on a polarized K3 surface with respect to the Calabi-Yau metric together with the L2 norm of the image of the period map with respect to a properly scaled holomorphic two form. Since the universal cover of any Enriques surface is a K3 surface, we can restrict the K3 analytic discriminant to the moduli space of degree 2 Enriques surfaces. The main result of this paper is the observation that the square of our degree 2 analytic discriminant, viewed as a function on the moduli space of degree 2 Enriques surfaces, is equal to the Borcherd's Φ function, up to a universal multiplicative constant. This result generalizes known results in the study of generalized Kac-Moody algebras and elliptic curves, and suggests further connections with higher dimensional Calabi-Yau varieties, specifically those which can be realized as complete intersections in some, possibly weighted, projective space.