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. 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

  2. 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 ...

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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. ...

  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. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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

    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

  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 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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

    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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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