Science.gov

Sample records for level phylogenetic alterations

  1. Phylogenetic diversity of plants alters the effect of species richness on invertebrate herbivory

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Long-standing ecological theory proposes that diverse communities of plants should experience a decrease in herbivory. Yet previous empirical examinations of this hypothesis have revealed that plant species richness increases herbivory in just as many systems as it decreases it. In this study, I ask whether more insight into the role of plant diversity in promoting or suppressing herbivory can be gained by incorporating information about the evolutionary history of species in a community. In an old field system in southern Ontario, I surveyed communities of plants and measured levels of leaf damage on 27 species in 38 plots. I calculated a measure of phylogenetic diversity (PSE) that encapsulates information about the amount of evolutionary history represented in each of the plots and looked for a relationship between levels of herbivory and both species richness and phylogenetic diversity using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) that could account for variation in herbivory levels between species. I found that species richness was positively associated with herbivore damage at the plot-level, in keeping with the results from several other recent studies on this question. On the other hand, phylogenetic diversity was associated with decreased herbivory. Importantly, there was also an interaction between species richness and phylogenetic diversity, such that plots with the highest levels of herbivory were plots which had many species but only if those species tended to be closely related to one another. I propose that these results are the consequence of interactions with herbivores whose diets are phylogenetically specialized (for which I introduce the term cladophage), and how phylogenetic diversity may alter their realized host ranges. These results suggest that incorporating a phylogenetic perspective can add valuable additional insight into the role of plant diversity in explaining or predicting levels of herbivory at a whole-community scale. PMID:23825795

  2. Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Sleator, Roy D

    2011-04-01

    The recent rapid expansion in the DNA and protein databases, arising from large-scale genomic and metagenomic sequence projects, has forced significant development in the field of phylogenetics: the study of the evolutionary relatedness of the planet's inhabitants. Advances in phylogenetic analysis have greatly transformed our view of the landscape of evolutionary biology, transcending the view of the tree of life that has shaped evolutionary theory since Darwinian times. Indeed, modern phylogenetic analysis no longer focuses on the restricted Darwinian-Mendelian model of vertical gene transfer, but must also consider the significant degree of lateral gene transfer, which connects and shapes almost all living things. Herein, I review the major tree-building methods, their strengths, weaknesses and future prospects. PMID:21249334

  3. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation. PMID:24835304

  4. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia. PMID:27058864

  5. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J; Kidner, Catherine A

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia. PMID:27058864

  6. A higher-level phylogenetic classification of the Fungi.

    PubMed

    Hibbett, David S; Binder, Manfred; Bischoff, Joseph F; Blackwell, Meredith; Cannon, Paul F; Eriksson, Ove E; Huhndorf, Sabine; James, Timothy; Kirk, Paul M; Lücking, Robert; Thorsten Lumbsch, H; Lutzoni, François; Matheny, P Brandon; McLaughlin, David J; Powell, Martha J; Redhead, Scott; Schoch, Conrad L; Spatafora, Joseph W; Stalpers, Joost A; Vilgalys, Rytas; Aime, M Catherine; Aptroot, André; Bauer, Robert; Begerow, Dominik; Benny, Gerald L; Castlebury, Lisa A; Crous, Pedro W; Dai, Yu-Cheng; Gams, Walter; Geiser, David M; Griffith, Gareth W; Gueidan, Cécile; Hawksworth, David L; Hestmark, Geir; Hosaka, Kentaro; Humber, Richard A; Hyde, Kevin D; Ironside, Joseph E; Kõljalg, Urmas; Kurtzman, Cletus P; Larsson, Karl-Henrik; Lichtwardt, Robert; Longcore, Joyce; Miadlikowska, Jolanta; Miller, Andrew; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc; Mozley-Standridge, Sharon; Oberwinkler, Franz; Parmasto, Erast; Reeb, Valérie; Rogers, Jack D; Roux, Claude; Ryvarden, Leif; Sampaio, José Paulo; Schüssler, Arthur; Sugiyama, Junta; Thorn, R Greg; Tibell, Leif; Untereiner, Wendy A; Walker, Christopher; Wang, Zheng; Weir, Alex; Weiss, Michael; White, Merlin M; Winka, Katarina; Yao, Yi-Jian; Zhang, Ning

    2007-05-01

    A comprehensive phylogenetic classification of the kingdom Fungi is proposed, with reference to recent molecular phylogenetic analyses, and with input from diverse members of the fungal taxonomic community. The classification includes 195 taxa, down to the level of order, of which 16 are described or validated here: Dikarya subkingdom nov.; Chytridiomycota, Neocallimastigomycota phyla nov.; Monoblepharidomycetes, Neocallimastigomycetes class. nov.; Eurotiomycetidae, Lecanoromycetidae, Mycocaliciomycetidae subclass. nov.; Acarosporales, Corticiales, Baeomycetales, Candelariales, Gloeophyllales, Melanosporales, Trechisporales, Umbilicariales ords. nov. The clade containing Ascomycota and Basidiomycota is classified as subkingdom Dikarya, reflecting the putative synapomorphy of dikaryotic hyphae. The most dramatic shifts in the classification relative to previous works concern the groups that have traditionally been included in the Chytridiomycota and Zygomycota. The Chytridiomycota is retained in a restricted sense, with Blastocladiomycota and Neocallimastigomycota representing segregate phyla of flagellated Fungi. Taxa traditionally placed in Zygomycota are distributed among Glomeromycota and several subphyla incertae sedis, including Mucoromycotina, Entomophthoromycotina, Kickxellomycotina, and Zoopagomycotina. Microsporidia are included in the Fungi, but no further subdivision of the group is proposed. Several genera of 'basal' Fungi of uncertain position are not placed in any higher taxa, including Basidiobolus, Caulochytrium, Olpidium, and Rozella. PMID:17572334

  7. Alteration of serum bilirubin level in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Semnani, Yousef; Nazemi, Farzad; Azariyam, Aileen; Ardakani, Mohammad Javad Ehsani

    2010-11-01

    Abstract Objective. Alteration of serum bilirubin level in acute episodes of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia has been reported but the pattern of this alteration is controversial. Methods. Patients diagnosed as schizophrenia (162, group S) or bipolar disorder (155, group B) entered the study. The control group consisted of 95 patients admitted to cardiac care unit who had no personal or family history of major psychiatric disorders. Pre- and post-admission levels of bilirubin were measured and compared within and between the groups. Patients were examined to exclude all other causes of hyperbilirubinemia. Group S and B participants were also evaluated using positive and negative syndrome subscale (PANSS) both at admission and discharge. Results. The mean admission bilirubin levels of all the groups were in the normal range (significantly higher in group S than groups B and C) and were affected by the score of general psychopathology subscale rather than the scores of positive symptoms subscale. Conclusions. Although bilirubin decreased in all three groups at discharge, the rate of decrease was significantly higher in group S. The reason for this is not clear and needs further study. PMID:24917437

  8. Disturbance alters the phylogenetic composition and structure of plant communities in an old field system.

    PubMed

    Dinnage, Russell

    2009-01-01

    The changes in phylogenetic composition and structure of communities during succession following disturbance can give us insights into the forces that are shaping communities over time. In abandoned agricultural fields, community composition changes rapidly when a field is plowed, and is thought to reflect a relaxation of competition due to the elimination of dominant species which take time to re-establish. Competition can drive phylogenetic overdispersion, due to phylogenetic conservation of 'niche' traits that allow species to partition resources. Therefore, undisturbed old field communities should exhibit higher phylogenetic dispersion than recently disturbed systems, which should be relatively 'clustered' with respect to phylogenetic relationships. Several measures of phylogenetic structure between plant communities were measured in recently plowed areas and nearby 'undisturbed' sites. There was no difference in the absolute values of these measures between disturbed and 'undisturbed' sites. However, there was a difference in the 'expected' phylogenetic structure between habitats, leading to significantly lower than expected phylogenetic diversity in disturbed plots, and no difference from random expectation in 'undisturbed' plots. This suggests that plant species characteristic of each habitat are fairly evenly distributed on the shared species pool phylogeny, but that once the initial sorting of species into the two habitat types has occurred, the processes operating on them affect each habitat differently. These results were consistent with an analysis of correlation between phylogenetic distance and co-occurrence indices of species pairs in the two habitat types. This study supports the notion that disturbed plots are more clustered than expected, rather than 'undisturbed' plots being more overdispersed, suggesting that disturbed plant communities are being more strongly influenced by environmental filtering of conserved niche traits. PMID:19763265

  9. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-03-01

    Incorporating the evolutionary history of species into community ecology enhances understanding of community composition, ecosystem functioning and responses to environmental changes. Phylogenetic history might partly explain the impact of fragmentation and land-use change on assemblages of interacting organisms and even determine potential cascading effects across trophic levels. However, it remains unclear whether phylogenetic diversity of basal resources is reflected at higher trophic levels in the food web. In particular, phylogenetic determinants of community structure have never been incorporated into habitat edge studies, even though edges are recognized as key factors affecting communities in fragmented landscapes. Here, we test whether phylogenetic diversity at different trophic levels (plants, herbivores and parasitoids) and signals of co-evolution (i.e. phylogenetic congruence) among interacting trophic levels change across an edge gradient between native and plantation forests. To ascertain whether there is a signal of co-evolution across trophic levels, we test whether related consumer species generally feed on related resource species. We found differences across trophic levels in how their phylogenetic diversity responded to the habitat edge gradient. Plant and native parasitoid phylogenetic diversity changed markedly across habitats, while phylogenetic variability of herbivores (which were predominantly native) did not change across habitats, though phylogenetic evenness declined in plantation interiors. Related herbivore species did not appear to feed disproportionately on related plant species (i.e. there was no signal of co-evolution) even when considering only native species, potentially due to the high trophic generality of herbivores. However, related native parasitoid species tended to feed on related herbivore species, suggesting the presence of a co-evolutionary signal at higher trophic levels. Moreover, this signal was stronger in

  10. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Davies, T Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  11. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment. PMID:25288547

  12. Variation in langur social organization in relation to the socioecological model, human habitat alteration, and phylogenetic constraints.

    PubMed

    Sterck, E H

    1999-01-01

    The socioecological model is to date the best evolutionary model to explain variation in primate behaviour. Some species or populations, however, deviate from the predictions. These deviations may be due to a disequilibrium between evolutionary causes and behavioural adaptations, caused by recent human changes of the environment. The relationship between human habitat alteration and primate social behaviour is reviewed and investigated for langurs. Provisioning affects the spatial distribution of food. In these areas, but also in areas with natural monopolizable food sources, female dominance relationships are linear, but not nepotistic. This does not fit into the evolutionary model. Provisioning also affects the temporal distribution of food. This reduces the seasonality of mating, increases female monopolizability and gives rise to more one-male groups than in undisturbed areas. A human reduction of the number of predators leads to fewer males per group. It also results in female philopatry. Infanticide risk was higher in disturbed than in undisturbed areas. This was not caused by the lower proportion of one-male groups in disturbed areas, but by the lack of female dispersal. Thus, female behaviour was affected by human habitat disturbance in a way that does not fit the socioecological model. However, the extension of habitat disturbance does not explain all results. We could say that the model is refuted. Phylogenetic constraints, however, do explain the behaviour of despotic Hanuman langurs. Such phylogenetic constraints complement the socioecological model. To understand the evolutionary history of a current set of features, these two approaches should be studied simultaneously. PMID:23179541

  13. Reconstruction of Family-Level Phylogenetic Relationships within Demospongiae (Porifera) Using Nuclear Encoded Housekeeping Genes

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Malcolm S.; Hill, April L.; Lopez, Jose; Peterson, Kevin J.; Pomponi, Shirley; Diaz, Maria C.; Thacker, Robert W.; Adamska, Maja; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Cárdenas, Paco; Chaves-Fonnegra, Andia; Danka, Elizabeth; De Laine, Bre-Onna; Formica, Dawn; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Klontz, Sarah; Morrow, Christine C.; Patel, Jignasa; Picton, Bernard; Pisani, Davide; Pohlmann, Deborah; Redmond, Niamh E.; Reed, John; Richey, Stacy; Riesgo, Ana; Rubin, Ewelina; Russell, Zach; Rützler, Klaus; Sperling, Erik A.; di Stefano, Michael; Tarver, James E.; Collins, Allen G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Demosponges are challenging for phylogenetic systematics because of their plastic and relatively simple morphologies and many deep divergences between major clades. To improve understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae, we sequenced and analyzed seven nuclear housekeeping genes involved in a variety of cellular functions from a diverse group of sponges. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated data from each of the four sponge classes (i.e., Calcarea, Demospongiae, Hexactinellida, and Homoscleromorpha), but focused on family-level relationships within demosponges. With data for 21 newly sampled families, our Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian-based approaches recovered previously phylogenetically defined taxa: Keratosap, Myxospongiaep, Spongillidap, Haploscleromorphap (the marine haplosclerids) and Democlaviap. We found conflicting results concerning the relationships of Keratosap and Myxospongiaep to the remaining demosponges, but our results strongly supported a clade of Haploscleromorphap+Spongillidap+Democlaviap. In contrast to hypotheses based on mitochondrial genome and ribosomal data, nuclear housekeeping gene data suggested that freshwater sponges (Spongillidap) are sister to Haploscleromorphap rather than part of Democlaviap. Within Keratosap, we found equivocal results as to the monophyly of Dictyoceratida. Within Myxospongiaep, Chondrosida and Verongida were monophyletic. A well-supported clade within Democlaviap, Tetractinellidap, composed of all sampled members of Astrophorina and Spirophorina (including the only lithistid in our analysis), was consistently revealed as the sister group to all other members of Democlaviap. Within Tetractinellidap, we did not recover monophyletic Astrophorina or Spirophorina. Our results also reaffirmed the monophyly of order Poecilosclerida (excluding Desmacellidae and Raspailiidae), and polyphyly of Hadromerida and Halichondrida. Conclusions/Significance These results, using an

  14. Utility of nuclear DNA intron markers at lower taxonomic levels: phylogenetic resolution among nine Tragelaphus spp.

    PubMed

    Willows-Munro, Sandi; Robinson, Terence J; Matthee, Conrad A

    2005-06-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the nine spiral-horn antelope species of the African bovid tribe Tragelaphini are controversial. In particular, mitochondrial DNA sequencing studies are not congruent with previous morphological investigations. To test the utility of nuclear DNA intron markers at lower taxonomic levels and to provide additional data pertinent to tragelaphid evolution, we sequenced four nuclear DNA segments (MGF, PRKCI, SPTBN, and THY) and combined these data with mitochondrial DNA sequences from three genes (cytochrome b, 12S rRNA, and 16S rRNA). Our molecular supermatrix comprised 4682 characters which were analyzed independently and in combination. Parsimony and model based phylogenetic analyses of the combined nuclear DNA data are congruent with those derived from the analysis of mitochondrial gene sequences. The corroboration between nuclear and mtDNA gene trees reject the possibility that genetic processes such as lineage sorting, gene duplication/deletion and hybrid speciation account for the conflict evident in the previously published phylogenies. It suggests rather that the morphological characters used to delimit the Tragelaphid species are subject to convergent evolution. Divergence times among species, calculated using a relaxed Bayesian molecular clock, are consistent with hypotheses proposing that climatic oscillations and their impact on habitats were the major forces driving speciation in the tribe Tragelaphini. PMID:15878131

  15. Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Timmermans, Martijn J T N; Barton, Christopher; Haran, Julien; Ahrens, Dirk; Culverwell, C Lorna; Ollikainen, Alison; Dodsworth, Steven; Foster, Peter G; Bocak, Ladislav; Vogler, Alfried P

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes are readily sequenced with recent technology and thus evolutionary lineages can be densely sampled. This permits better phylogenetic estimates and assessment of potential biases resulting from heterogeneity in nucleotide composition and rate of change. We gathered 245 mitochondrial sequences for the Coleoptera representing all 4 suborders, 15 superfamilies of Polyphaga, and altogether 97 families, including 159 newly sequenced full or partial mitogenomes. Compositional heterogeneity greatly affected 3rd codon positions, and to a lesser extent the 1st and 2nd positions, even after RY coding. Heterogeneity also affected the encoded protein sequence, in particular in the nad2, nad4, nad5, and nad6 genes. Credible tree topologies were obtained with the nhPhyML ("nonhomogeneous") algorithm implementing a model for branch-specific equilibrium frequencies. Likelihood searches using RAxML were improved by data partitioning by gene and codon position. Finally, the PhyloBayes software, which allows different substitution processes for amino acid replacement at various sites, produced a tree that best matched known higher level taxa and defined basal relationships in Coleoptera. After rooting with Neuropterida outgroups, suborder relationships were resolved as (Polyphaga (Myxophaga (Archostemata + Adephaga))). The infraorder relationships in Polyphaga were (Scirtiformia (Elateriformia ((Staphyliniformia + Scarabaeiformia) (Bostrichiformia (Cucujiformia))))). Polyphagan superfamilies were recovered as monophyla except Staphylinoidea (paraphyletic for Scarabaeiformia) and Cucujoidea, which can no longer be considered a valid taxon. The study shows that, although compositional heterogeneity is not universal, it cannot be eliminated for some mitochondrial genes, but dense taxon sampling and the use of appropriate Bayesian analyses can still produce robust phylogenetic trees. PMID:26645679

  16. Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Timmermans, Martijn J. T. N.; Barton, Christopher; Haran, Julien; Ahrens, Dirk; Culverwell, C. Lorna; Ollikainen, Alison; Dodsworth, Steven; Foster, Peter G.; Bocak, Ladislav; Vogler, Alfried P.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes are readily sequenced with recent technology and thus evolutionary lineages can be densely sampled. This permits better phylogenetic estimates and assessment of potential biases resulting from heterogeneity in nucleotide composition and rate of change. We gathered 245 mitochondrial sequences for the Coleoptera representing all 4 suborders, 15 superfamilies of Polyphaga, and altogether 97 families, including 159 newly sequenced full or partial mitogenomes. Compositional heterogeneity greatly affected 3rd codon positions, and to a lesser extent the 1st and 2nd positions, even after RY coding. Heterogeneity also affected the encoded protein sequence, in particular in the nad2, nad4, nad5, and nad6 genes. Credible tree topologies were obtained with the nhPhyML (“nonhomogeneous”) algorithm implementing a model for branch-specific equilibrium frequencies. Likelihood searches using RAxML were improved by data partitioning by gene and codon position. Finally, the PhyloBayes software, which allows different substitution processes for amino acid replacement at various sites, produced a tree that best matched known higher level taxa and defined basal relationships in Coleoptera. After rooting with Neuropterida outgroups, suborder relationships were resolved as (Polyphaga (Myxophaga (Archostemata + Adephaga))). The infraorder relationships in Polyphaga were (Scirtiformia (Elateriformia ((Staphyliniformia + Scarabaeiformia) (Bostrichiformia (Cucujiformia))))). Polyphagan superfamilies were recovered as monophyla except Staphylinoidea (paraphyletic for Scarabaeiformia) and Cucujoidea, which can no longer be considered a valid taxon. The study shows that, although compositional heterogeneity is not universal, it cannot be eliminated for some mitochondrial genes, but dense taxon sampling and the use of appropriate Bayesian analyses can still produce robust phylogenetic trees. PMID:26645679

  17. Phylogenetic and Functional Alterations in Bacterial Community Compositions in Broiler Ceca as a Result of Mannan Oligosaccharide Supplementation

    PubMed Central

    de Leeuw, Marcel; Penaud-Frézet, Stéphanie; Dimova, Diliana; Murphy, R. A.

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on identifying reproducible effects of dietary supplementation with a mannan oligosaccharide (MOS) on the broiler cecal bacterial community structure and function in a commercial production setting. Two separate trials, each with a control and a supplemented group, were carried out in the same commercial location and run concurrently. Approximately 10,000 birds from the same commercial hatchery were mirror imaged into each of four commercial broiler sheds and fed either a control or supplemented diet. Cecal contents were obtained on days 7, 21, and 35 posthatch from 12 randomly caught broilers from each group. Bacterial pyrosequencing was performed on all samples, with approximately 250,000 sequences obtained per treatment per time point. The predominant phyla identified at all three time points in both trials were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Tenericutes, representing >99% of all sequences. MOS supplementation altered the bacterial community composition from 7 days supplementation through 35 days supplementation. Bacteroidetes appeared to be replacing Firmicutes as a result of supplementation, with the most noticeable effects after 35 days. The effects of supplementation were reproducible across both trials. PICRUSt was used to identify differences between the functional potentials of the bacterial communities as a result of MOS supplementation. Using level 3 KEGG ortholog function predictions, differences between control and supplemented groups were observed, with very strong segregation noted on day 35 posthatch in both trials. This indicated that alterations of bacterial communities as a result of MOS are likely to alter the functional capability of the cecum. PMID:25769823

  18. Phylogenetic and functional alterations in bacterial community compositions in broiler ceca as a result of mannan oligosaccharide supplementation.

    PubMed

    Corrigan, A; de Leeuw, Marcel; Penaud-Frézet, Stéphanie; Dimova, Diliana; Murphy, R A

    2015-05-15

    This study focused on identifying reproducible effects of dietary supplementation with a mannan oligosaccharide (MOS) on the broiler cecal bacterial community structure and function in a commercial production setting. Two separate trials, each with a control and a supplemented group, were carried out in the same commercial location and run concurrently. Approximately 10,000 birds from the same commercial hatchery were mirror imaged into each of four commercial broiler sheds and fed either a control or supplemented diet. Cecal contents were obtained on days 7, 21, and 35 posthatch from 12 randomly caught broilers from each group. Bacterial pyrosequencing was performed on all samples, with approximately 250,000 sequences obtained per treatment per time point. The predominant phyla identified at all three time points in both trials were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Tenericutes, representing >99% of all sequences. MOS supplementation altered the bacterial community composition from 7 days supplementation through 35 days supplementation. Bacteroidetes appeared to be replacing Firmicutes as a result of supplementation, with the most noticeable effects after 35 days. The effects of supplementation were reproducible across both trials. PICRUSt was used to identify differences between the functional potentials of the bacterial communities as a result of MOS supplementation. Using level 3 KEGG ortholog function predictions, differences between control and supplemented groups were observed, with very strong segregation noted on day 35 posthatch in both trials. This indicated that alterations of bacterial communities as a result of MOS are likely to alter the functional capability of the cecum. PMID:25769823

  19. Salt stress alters DNA methylation levels in alfalfa (Medicago spp).

    PubMed

    Al-Lawati, A; Al-Bahry, S; Victor, R; Al-Lawati, A H; Yaish, M W

    2016-01-01

    Modification of DNA methylation status is one of the mechanisms used by plants to adjust gene expression at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels when plants are exposed to suboptimal conditions. Under abiotic stress, different cultivars often show heritable phenotypic variation accompanied by epigenetic polymorphisms at the DNA methylation level. This variation may provide the raw materials for plant breeding programs that aim to enhance abiotic stress tolerance, including salt tolerance. In this study, methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analysis was used to assess cytosine methylation levels in alfalfa (Medicago spp) roots exposed to increasing NaCl concentrations (0.0, 8.0, 12.0, and 20.0 dS/m). Eleven indigenous landraces were analyzed, in addition to a salt-tolerant cultivar that was used as a control. There was a slight increase in DNA methylation upon exposure to high levels of soil salinity. Phylogenetic analysis using MSAP showed epigenetic variation within and between the alfalfa landraces when exposed to saline conditions. Based on MSAP and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results, we found that salinity increased global DNA methylation status, particularly in plants exposed to the highest level of salinity (20 dS/m). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction indicated that this might be mediated by the overexpression of methyltransferase homolog genes after exposure to saline conditions. DNA demethylation using 5-azacytidine reduced seedling lengths and dry and fresh weights, indicating a possible decrease in salinity tolerance. These results suggest that salinity affects DNA methylation flexibility. PMID:26985924

  20. Diversity of Phylogenetic Information According to the Locus and the Taxonomic Level: An Example from a Parasitic Mesostigmatid Mite Genus

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Lise; Dowling, Ashley P.G.; Chauve, Claude Marie; Buronfosse, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    Molecular markers for cladistic analyses may perform differently according to the taxonomic group considered and the historical level under investigation. Here we evaluate the phylogenetic potential of five different markers for resolving evolutionary relationships within the ectoparasitic genus Dermanyssus at the species level, and their ability to address questions about the evolution of specialization. COI provided 9–18% divergence between species (up to 9% within species), 16S rRNA 10–16% (up to 4% within species), ITS1 and 2 2–9% (up to 1% within species) and Tropomyosin intron n 8–20% (up to 6% within species). EF-1α revealed different non-orthologous copies within individuals of Dermanyssus and Ornithonyssus. Tropomyosin intron n was shown containing consistent phylogenetic signal at the specific level within Dermanyssus and represents a promising marker for future prospects in phylogenetics of Acari. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the generalist condition is apomorphic and D. gallinae might represent a complex of hybridized lineages. The split into hirsutus-group and gallinae-group in Dermanyssus does not seem to be appropriate based upon these results and D. longipes appears to be composed of two different entities. PMID:20480038

  1. Creatine uptake in mouse hearts with genetically altered creatine levels

    PubMed Central

    Hove, Michiel ten; Makinen, Kimmo; Sebag-Montefiore, Liam; Hunyor, Imre; Fischer, Alexandra; Wallis, Julie; Isbrandt, Dirk; Lygate, Craig; Neubauer, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    Creatine plays an important role in energy metabolism in the heart. Cardiomyocytes accumulate creatine via a specific creatine transporter (CrT), the capacity of which is reduced in the failing heart, resulting in lower myocardial creatine concentration. Therefore, to gain insight into how the CrT is regulated, we studied two mouse models of severely altered myocardial creatine levels. Cardiac creatine uptake levels were measured in isolated hearts from creatine-free guanidinoacetate-N-methyl transferase knock out (GAMT−/−) mice and from mice overexpressing the myocardial CrT (CrT-OE) using 14C-radiolabeled creatine. CrT mRNA levels were measured using real time RT-PCR and creatine levels with HPLC. Hearts from GAMT−/− mice showed a 7-fold increase in Vmax of creatine uptake and a 1.4-fold increase in CrT mRNA levels. The increase in Cr uptake and in CrT mRNA levels, however, was almost completely prevented when mice were fed a creatine supplemented diet, indicating that creatine uptake is subject to negative feedback regulation. Cardiac creatine uptake levels in CrT-OE mice were increased on average 2.7-fold, showing a considerable variation, in line with a similar variation in creatine content. Total CrT mRNA levels correlated well with myocardial creatine content (r = 0.67; p < 0.0001) but endogenous CrT mRNA levels did not correlate at all with myocardial creatine content (r = 0.01; p = 0.96). This study shows that creatine uptake can be massively upregulated in the heart, by almost an order of magnitude and that this upregulation is subject to feedback inhibition. In addition, our results strongly suggest that CrT activity is predominantly regulated by mechanisms other than alterations in gene expression. PMID:18602925

  2. Alteration in plasma glucose levels in Japanese encephalitis patients.

    PubMed

    Tandon, Apurva; Singh, Aditi; Atrishi, Ekta; Saxena, S K; Mathur, Asha

    2002-02-01

    A unique factor, human T cell hypoglycaemic factor (hTCHF), has been shown to produce hypoglycaemia during the convalescent stage in the plasma of patients with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection. The present study was undertaken to investigate the ability of T cells from fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of such patients to produce hTCHF. The PBMC, as well as the individual subpopulations, were cultured for 24 h and the culture supernatants (CS) were assayed for hypoglycaemic activity. The activity was observed in the CD8+ T cells. The hypoglycaemia in JE-confirmed patients coincided with the gradual rise in circulating glucagon level, with no significant alterations in insulin, growth hormone and cortisol levels. The hTCHF was purified by ion exchange chromatography and the purified protein was observed as a approximately 25 kDa band on SDS-PAGE. Secretory hTCHF in the sera of patients and T cell CS was present in 88% of convalescent serum samples. We conclude that during the convalescent stage of JEV infection, a unique factor, hTCHF, is secreted by activated CD8+ T cells from patients and that this is responsible for the development of hypoglycaemia. PMID:12059908

  3. Towards a phylogenetic generic classification of Thelypteridaceae: Additional sampling suggests alterations of neotropical taxa and further study of paleotropical genera.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Thaís Elias; Hennequin, Sabine; Schneider, Harald; Smith, Alan R; Batista, João Aguiar Nogueira; Ramalho, Aline Joseph; Proite, Karina; Salino, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Thelypteridaceae is one of the largest fern families, having about 950 species and a cosmopolitan distribution but with most species occurring in tropical and subtropical regions. Its generic classification remains controversial, with different authors recognizing from one up to 32 genera. Phylogenetic relationships within the family have not been exhaustively studied, but previous studies have confirmed the monophyly of the lineage. Thus far, sampling has been inadequate for establishing a robust hypothesis of infrafamilial relationships within the family. In order to understand phylogenetic relationships within Thelypteridaceae and thus to improve generic reclassification, we expand the molecular sampling, including new samples of Old World taxa and, especially, many additional neotropical representatives. We also explore the monophyly of exclusively or mostly neotropical genera Amauropelta, Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris. Our sampling includes 68 taxa and 134 newly generated sequences from two plastid genomic regions (rps4-trnS and trnL-trnF), plus 73 rps4 and 72 trnL-trnF sequences from GenBank. These data resulted in a concatenated matrix of 1980 molecular characters for 149 taxa. The combined data set was analyzed using maximum parsimony and bayesian inference of phylogeny. Our results are consistent with the general topological structure found in previous studies, including two main lineages within the family: phegopteroid and thelypteroid. The thelypteroid lineage comprises two clades; one of these included the segregates Metathelypteris, Coryphopteris, and Amauropelta (including part of Parathelypteris), whereas the other comprises all segregates of Cyclosorus s.l., such as Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris (including Thelypteris polypodioides, previously incertae sedis). The three mainly neotropical segregates were found to be monophyletic but nested in a broadly defined Cyclosorus. The fourth mainly neotropical segregate, Amauropelta

  4. A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)

    PubMed Central

    Mateus, Octávio; Benson, Roger B.J.

    2015-01-01

    Diplodocidae are among the best known sauropod dinosaurs. Several species were described in the late 1800s or early 1900s from the Morrison Formation of North America. Since then, numerous additional specimens were recovered in the USA, Tanzania, Portugal, and Argentina, as well as possibly Spain, England, Georgia, Zimbabwe, and Asia. To date, the clade includes about 12 to 15 nominal species, some of them with questionable taxonomic status (e.g., ‘Diplodocus’ hayi or Dyslocosaurus polyonychius), and ranging in age from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. However, intrageneric relationships of the iconic, multi-species genera Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are still poorly known. The way to resolve this issue is a specimen-based phylogenetic analysis, which has been previously implemented for Apatosaurus, but is here performed for the first time for the entire clade of Diplodocidae. The analysis includes 81 operational taxonomic units, 49 of which belong to Diplodocidae. The set of OTUs includes all name-bearing type specimens previously proposed to belong to Diplodocidae, alongside a set of relatively complete referred specimens, which increase the amount of anatomically overlapping material. Non-diplodocid outgroups were selected to test the affinities of potential diplodocid specimens that have subsequently been suggested to belong outside the clade. The specimens were scored for 477 morphological characters, representing one of the most extensive phylogenetic analyses of sauropod dinosaurs. Character states were figured and tables given in the case of numerical characters. The resulting cladogram recovers the classical arrangement of diplodocid relationships. Two numerical approaches were used to increase reproducibility in our taxonomic delimitation of species and genera. This resulted in the proposal that some species previously included in well-known genera like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are generically distinct. Of particular note is that the famous genus

  5. A species-level phylogenetic study of the Verbena complex (Verbenaceae) indicates two independent intergeneric chloroplast transfers.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yao-Wu; Olmstead, Richard G

    2008-07-01

    Two major impediments to infer plant phylogenies at inter- or intra- species level include the lack of appropriate molecular markers and the gene tree/species tree discordance. Both of these problems require more extensive investigations. One of the foci of this study is examining the phylogenetic utility of a combined chloroplast DNA dataset (>5.0kb) of seven non-coding regions, in comparison with that of a large fragment (ca. 3.0kb) of a low-copy nuclear gene (waxy), in a recent, rapidly diversifying group, the Verbena complex. The complex includes three very closely related genera, Verbena (base chromosome number x=7), Glandularia (x=5), and Junellia (x=10), comprising some 150 species distributed predominantly in South and North America. Our results confirm the inadequacy of non-coding cpDNA in resolving relationships among closely related species due to lack of variation, and the great potential of low-copy nuclear gene as source of variation. However, this study suggests that when both cpDNA and nuclear DNA are employed in low-level phylogenetic studies, cpDNA might be very useful to infer organelle evolutionary history (e.g., chloroplast transfer) and more comprehensively understand the evolutionary history of organisms. The phylogenetic framework of the Verbena complex resulted from this study suggests that Junellia is paraphyletic and most ancestral among the three genera; both Glandularia and Verbena are monophyletic and have been derived from within Junellia. Implications of this phylogenetic framework to understand chromosome number evolution and biogeography are discussed. Most interestingly, the comparison of the cpDNA and nuclear DNA phylogenies indicates two independent intergeneric chloroplast transfers, both from Verbena to Glandularia. One is from a diploid North American Verbena species to a polyploid North American Glandularia species. The other is more ancient, from the South American Verbena group to the common ancestor of a major Glandularia

  6. Caterpillar feeding responses to sorghum leaves with altered lignin levels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Production of liquid fuels from biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin. Plants with lower or altered lignin are more amenable to lignocellulosic conversion to ethanol and other biofuels, but may be more susceptible to insect damage where lignin is an important resistance factor. Sorghum, Sorg...

  7. When proglottids and scoleces conflict: phylogenetic relationships and a family-level classification of the Lecanicephalidea (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kirsten; Caira, Janine N; Cielocha, Joanna J; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    This study presents the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the interrelationships of the morphologically diverse elasmobranch-hosted tapeworm order Lecanicephalidea, based on molecular sequence data. With almost half of current generic diversity having been erected or resurrected within the last decade, an apparent conflict between scolex morphology and proglottid anatomy has hampered the assignment of many of these genera to families. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of two nuclear markers (D1-D3 of lsrDNA and complete ssrDNA) and two mitochondrial markers (partial rrnL and partial cox1) for 61 lecanicephalidean species representing 22 of the 25 valid genera were conducted; new sequence data were generated for 43 species and 11 genera, including three undescribed genera. The monophyly of the order was confirmed in all but the analyses based on cox1 data alone. Sesquipedalapex placed among species of Anteropora and was thus synonymized with the latter genus. Based on analyses of the concatenated dataset, eight major groups emerged which are herein formally recognised at the familial level. Existing family names (i.e., Lecanicephalidae, Polypocephalidae, Tetragonocephalidae, and Cephalobothriidae) are maintained for four of the eight clades, and new families are proposed for the remaining four groups (Aberrapecidae n. fam., Eniochobothriidae n. fam., Paraberrapecidae n. fam., and Zanobatocestidae n. fam.). The four new families and the Tetragonocephalidae are monogeneric, while the Cephalobothriidae, Lecanicephalidae and Polypocephalidae comprise seven, eight and four genera, respectively. As a result of their unusual morphologies, the three genera not included here (i.e., Corrugatocephalum, Healyum and Quadcuspibothrium) are considered incertae sedis within the order until their familial affinities can be examined in more detail. All eight families are newly circumscribed based on morphological features and a key to the families is provided

  8. PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF PSEUDOCHLORODESMIS STRAINS REVEALS CRYPTIC DIVERSITY ABOVE THE FAMILY LEVEL IN THE SIPHONOUS GREEN ALGAE (BRYOPSIDALES, CHLOROPHYTA)(1).

    PubMed

    Verbruggen, Heroen; Vlaeminck, Caroline; Sauvage, Thomas; Sherwood, Alison R; Leliaert, Frederik; De Clerck, Olivier

    2009-06-01

    The genus Pseudochlorodesmis (Bryopsidales) is composed of diminutive siphons of extreme morphological simplicity. The discovery of Pseudochlorodesmis-like juveniles in more complex Bryopsidales (e.g., the Halimeda microthallus stage) jeopardized the recognition of this genus. Confronted with this uncertainty, taxonomists transferred many simple siphons into a new genus, Siphonogramen. In this study, we used a multimarker approach to clarify the phylogenetic and taxonomic affinities of the Pseudochlorodesmis-Siphonogramen (PS) complex within the more morphologically complex bryopsidalean taxa. Our analyses reveal a new layer of diversity largely distinct from the lineages containing the structurally complex genera. The PS complex shows profound cryptic diversity exceeding the family level. We discuss a potential link between thallus complexity and the prevalence and profundity of cryptic diversity. For taxonomic simplicity and as a first step toward clarifying the taxonomy of these simple siphons, we propose to maintain Pseudochlorodesmis as a form genus and subsume Siphonogramen and Botryodesmis therein. PMID:27034048

  9. Multilocus Phylogenetics Show High Levels of Endemic Fusaria Inhabiting Sardinian Soils (Tyrrhenian Islands)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Mediterranean island of Sardinia is well known for high levels of vascular plant diversity and endemism, but little is known about its microbial diversity. Under the hypothesis that Fusarium species would show similar patterns, we estimated variability in Fusarium species composition among ten ...

  10. New molecular markers for fungal phylogenetics: Two genes for species level systematics in the Sordariomycetes (Ascomycota)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although significant progress has been made resolving deep branches of the fungal tree of life in recent works, many fungal systematists are interested in species-level questions to both define species and to assess fungal biodiversity. Fungal genome sequences are a useful resource to systematic bio...

  11. Light-Induced Alterations in Basil Ganglia Kynurenic Acid Levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sroufe, Angela E.; Whittaker, J. A.; Patrickson, J. W.; Orr, M. C.

    1997-01-01

    The metabolic synthesis, release and breakdown of several known CNS neurotransmitters have been shown to follow a circadian pattern entrained to the environmental light/dark cycle. The levels of excitatory amino acid (EAA) transmitters such as glutamate, have been shown to vary with environmental lighting conditions. Kynurenic Acid (KA), an endogenous tryptophan metabolite and glutamate receptor antagonist, has been reported to have neuroprotective effects against EAA-induced excitotoxic cell damage. Changes in KA's activity within the mammalian basal ganglia has been proposed as being contributory to neurotoxicity in Huntington's Disease. It is not known whether CNS KA levels follow a circadian pattern or exhibit light-induced fluctuations. However, because the symptoms of certain degenerative motor disorders seem to fluctuate with daily 24 hour rhythm, we initiated studies to determine if basal ganglia KA were influenced by the daily light/dark cycle and could influence motor function. Therefore in this study, HPLC-EC was utilized to determine if basal ganglia KA levels in tissue extracts from adult male Long-Evans rats (200-250g) entrained to 24 and 48 hours constant light and dark conditions, respectively. Samples were taken one hour before the onset of the subjective day and one hour prior to the onset of the subjective night in order to detect possible phase differences in KA levels and to allow for accumulation of factors expressed in association with the light or dark phase. Data analysis revealed that KA levels in the basal ganglia vary with environmental lighting conditions; being elevated generally during the dark. Circadian phase differences in KA levels were also evident during the subjective night and subjective day, respectively. Results from these studies are discussed with respect to potential cyclic changes in neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxic damage during the daily 24 hour cycle and its possible relevance to future therapeutic approaches in

  12. Dietary protein source and level alters growth in neon tetras.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutritional studies for aquarium fish like the neon tetra are sparse in comparison with those for food fish. To determine the optimum dietary protein level and source for growth of neon tetras, diets were formulated to contain 25, 35, 45 and 55% dietary protein from either marine animal protein or ...

  13. Neonatal allopregnanolone levels alteration: effects on behavior and role of the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Darbra, S; Mòdol, L; Llidó, A; Casas, C; Vallée, M; Pallarès, M

    2014-02-01

    Several works have pointed out the importance of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone for the maturation of the central nervous system and for adult behavior. The alteration of neonatal allopregnanolone levels in the first weeks of life alters emotional adult behavior and sensory gating processes. Without ruling out brain structures, some of these behavioral alterations seem to be related to a different functioning of the hippocampus in adult age. We focus here on the different behavioral studies that have revealed the importance of neonatal allopregnanolone levels for the adult response to novel environmental stimuli, anxiety-related behaviors and processing of sensory inputs (prepulse inhibition). An increase in neonatal physiological allopregnanolone levels decreases anxiety and increases novelty responses in adult age, thus affecting the individual response to environmental cues. These effects are also accompanied by a decrease in prepulse inhibition, indicating alterations in sensory gating that have been related to that present in disorders, such as schizophrenia. Moreover, behavioral studies have shown that some of these effects are related to a different functioning of the dorsal hippocampus, as the behavioral effects (decrease in anxiety and locomotion or increase in prepulse inhibition) of intrahippocampal allopregnanolone infusions in adult age are not present in those subjects in whom neonatal allopregnanolone levels were altered. Recent data indicated that this hippocampal involvement may be related to alterations in the expression of gamma-aminobutyric-acid receptors containing α4 and δ subunits, molecular alterations that can persist into adult age and that can, in part, explain the reported behavioral disturbances. PMID:23958467

  14. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative ot other regions of Europe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The present study was conducted to better understand how the phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in Turkey compares with species found in other regions of the world. The current research builds on our recently published survey of 10 Turkish provinces and another of the world in which D...

  15. Chronic hyperammonemia alters the circadian rhythms of corticosteroid hormone levels and of motor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Ahabrach, Hanan; Piedrafita, Blanca; Ayad, Abdelmalik; El Mlili, Nisrin; Errami, Mohammed; Felipo, Vicente; Llansola, Marta

    2010-05-15

    Patients with liver cirrhosis may present hepatic encephalopathy with a wide range of neurological disturbances and alterations in sleep quality and in the sleep-wake circadian rhythm. Hyperammonemia is a main contributor to the neurological alterations in hepatic encephalopathy. We have assessed, in an animal model of chronic hyperammonemia without liver failure, the effects of hyperammonemia per se on the circadian rhythms of motor activity, temperature, and plasma levels of adrenal corticosteroid hormones. Chronic hyperammonemia alters the circadian rhythms of locomotor activity and of cortisol and corticosterone levels in blood. Different types of motor activity are affected differentially. Hyperammonemia significantly alters the rhythm of spontaneous ambulatory activity, reducing strongly ambulatory counts and slightly average velocity during the night (the active phase) but not during the day, resulting in altered circadian rhythms. In contrast, hyperammonemia did not affect wheel running at all, indicating that it affects spontaneous but not voluntary activity. Vertical activity was affected only very slightly, indicating that hyperammonemia does not induce anxiety. Hyperammonemia abolished completely the circadian rhythm of corticosteroid hormones in plasma, completely eliminating the peaks of cortisol and corticosterone present in control rats at the start of the dark period. The data reported show that chronic hyperammonemia, similar to that present in patients with liver cirrhosis, alters the circadian rhythms of corticosteroid hormones and of motor activity. This suggests that hyperammonemia would be a relevant contributor to the alterations in corticosteroid hormones and in circadian rhythms in patients with liver cirrhosis. PMID:19998493

  16. Arthropod Phylogenetics in Light of Three Novel Millipede (Myriapoda: Diplopoda) Mitochondrial Genomes with Comments on the Appropriateness of Mitochondrial Genome Sequence Data for Inferring Deep Level Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Brewer, Michael S.; Swafford, Lynn; Spruill, Chad L.; Bond, Jason E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Arthropods are the most diverse group of eukaryotic organisms, but their phylogenetic relationships are poorly understood. Herein, we describe three mitochondrial genomes representing orders of millipedes for which complete genomes had not been characterized. Newly sequenced genomes are combined with existing data to characterize the protein coding regions of myriapods and to attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships within the Myriapoda and Arthropoda. Results The newly sequenced genomes are similar to previously characterized millipede sequences in terms of synteny and length. Unique translocations occurred within the newly sequenced taxa, including one half of the Appalachioria falcifera genome, which is inverted with respect to other millipede genomes. Across myriapods, amino acid conservation levels are highly dependent on the gene region. Additionally, individual loci varied in the level of amino acid conservation. Overall, most gene regions showed low levels of conservation at many sites. Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships suffered from questionable relationships and low support values. Analyses of phylogenetic informativeness show the lack of signal deep in the trees (i.e., genes evolve too quickly). As a result, the myriapod tree resembles previously published results but lacks convincing support, and, within the arthropod tree, well established groups were recovered as polyphyletic. Conclusions The novel genome sequences described herein provide useful genomic information concerning millipede groups that had not been investigated. Taken together with existing sequences, the variety of compositions and evolution of myriapod mitochondrial genomes are shown to be more complex than previously thought. Unfortunately, the use of mitochondrial protein-coding regions in deep arthropod phylogenetics appears problematic, a result consistent with previously published studies. Lack of phylogenetic signal renders the

  17. Increased serum inhibin B levels in postmenopausal women with altered thyroid function.

    PubMed

    Viceconti, N; Luisi, S; Nardo, S; Gargano, L; Franchi, A; Sibilla, R; Canettieri, G; Petraglia, F; Centanni, M

    2003-08-01

    Hyper- and hypothyroidism have significant effects on the female reproductive system. However, little in the way of data is available on the relationship between ovarian paracrine control and thyroid function. This study was aimed at characterising the serum levels of inhibin B in relation to altered thyroid function. Serum inhibin B and FSH levels were measured in 91 women (51 regularly cycling and 40 postmenopausal). The mean serum concentration of inhibin B in euthyroid cycling women (0.025 +/- 0.018 microg/l) was similar to that observed in hyper- and hypothyroid patients (0.022 +/- 0.015 and 0.018 +/- 0.014 microg/l, respectively, p=ns). Inhibin B levels were obviously reduced (-72%) in euthyroid postmenopausal women. In contrast, in hyper- and hypothyroid postmenopausal women, inhibin B levels remained substantially at the premenopausal level. So far, serum inhibin B appeared to be significantly increased in both hyperthyroid patients (0.025 +/- 0.014 microg/l; p<0.0001) and in hypothyroid patients (0.016 +/- 0.006 microg/l; p=0.0006). Altered thyroid function did not affect FSH levels at fertile age. However, a significant decrease of FSH levels was observed in hyper- and hypothyroid (-52% and -43%, respectively) postmenopausal women. Nevertheless, these FSH levels remained in the postmenopausal range. These results indicate that an altered thyroid function affects serum inhibin B levels in postmenopausal women. PMID:12953168

  18. Alternative complement pathway and factor B activities in rats with altered blood levels of thyroid hormone

    PubMed Central

    Bitencourt, C.S.; Duarte, C.G.; Azzolini, A.E.C.S.; Assis-Pandochi, A.I.

    2012-01-01

    Evaluating the activity of the complement system under conditions of altered thyroid hormone levels might help elucidate the role of complement in triggering autoimmune processes. Here, we investigated alternative pathway (AP) activity in male Wistar rats (180 ± 10 g) after altering their thyroid hormone levels by treatment with triiodothyronine (T3), propylthiouracil (PTU) or thyroidectomy. T3 and thyroxine (T4) levels were determined by chemiluminescence assays. Hemolytic assays were performed to evaluate the lytic activity of the AP. Factor B activity was evaluated using factor B-deficient serum. An anti-human factor B antibody was used to measure factor B levels in serum by radial immunodiffusion. T3 measurements in thyroidectomized animals or animals treated with PTU demonstrated a significant reduction in hormone levels compared to control. The results showed a reduction in AP lytic activity in rats treated with increasing amounts of T3 (1, 10, or 50 µg). Factor B activity was also decreased in the sera of hyperthyroid rats treated with 1 to 50 µg T3. Additionally, treating rats with 25 µg T3 significantly increased factor B levels in their sera (P < 0.01). In contrast, increased factor B concentration and activity (32%) were observed in hypothyroid rats. We conclude that alterations in thyroid hormone levels affect the activity of the AP and factor B, which may in turn affect the roles of AP and factor B in antibody production. PMID:22370704

  19. Fatty acid ethanolamide levels are altered in borderline personality and complex posttraumatic stress disorders.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Carola; Enning, Frank; Mueller, Juliane K; Bumb, J Malte; Rohleder, Cathrin; Odorfer, Thorsten M; Klosterkötter, Joachim; Hellmich, Martin; Koethe, Dagmar; Schmahl, Christian; Bohus, Martin; Leweke, F Markus

    2014-08-01

    Borderline personality (BPD) and complex posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are both powerfully associated with the experience of interpersonal violence during childhood and adolescence. The disorders frequently co-occur and often result in pervasive problems in, e.g., emotion regulation and altered pain perception, where the endocannabinoid system is deeply involved. We hypothesize an endocannabinoid role in both disorders. We investigated serum levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol and related fatty acid ethanolamides (FAEs) in BPD, PTSD, and controls. Significant alterations were found for both endocannabinoids in BPD and for the FAE oleoylethanolamide in PTSD suggesting a respective link to both disorders. PMID:24253425

  20. Hair cortisol levels track phylogenetic and age related differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Fourie, Nicolaas H; Bernstein, Robin M

    2011-11-01

    Hair has been shown to archive a uniquely time averaged signal of endocrine activity, and holds attractive advantages for both laboratory and field research. Prior research has explored the potential of hair hormone analysis to examine hormone-behavior relationships. To date, no research has focused on the potential of the technique to investigate age-related changes or taxon differences in endocrine function. It is known that non-human primate infants of many taxa exhibit high cortisol levels after parturition, which rapidly decline with age. It has also been shown that hypercortisolism generally characterizes platyrrhine (New World monkey) endocrine function. These endocrine trends have been characterized using cortisol levels determined from serum, plasma, and feces. Here we test whether cortisol levels determined from hair recover similar phylogenetic and age related patterns in endocrine function in non-human primates. In order to test whether hair cortisol reflect infant hypercortisolism with significant age-related decline, hair cortisol levels are measured in samples from wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) and captive Guinea baboons (Papio hamadryas papio), ranging in age from infants through juveniles. Further, in order to test whether platyrrhines exhibit significantly higher hair cortisol levels compared to strepsirrhines and catarrhines, and therefore faithfully recover similar signals as more traditionally used substrates (e.g. serum), hair cortisol levels are quantified in adult female hair samples collected from a broad range of non-human primate taxa. Results confirm that hair cortisol levels accurately reflect known phylogenetic and age related patterns of circulating cortisol levels. Therefore, these results suggest that hair may be an ideal hormone bearing substrate for research focused on the examination of population endocrine profiles, cross-sectional studies of endocrine function and taxon variation in hormone levels, as well as

  1. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency alters levels of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid in brain tissue

    PubMed Central

    Jadavji, N.M.; Wieske, F.; Dirnagl, U.; Winter, C.

    2015-01-01

    Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme key regulator in folate metabolism. Deficiencies in MTHFR result in increased levels of homocysteine, which leads to reduced levels of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). In the brain, SAM donates methyl groups to catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), which is involved in neurotransmitter analysis. Using the MTHFR-deficient mouse model the purpose of this study was to investigate levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and amino acid levels in brain tissue. MTHFR deficiency affected levels of both glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid in within the cerebellum and hippocampus. Mthfr−/− mice had reduced levels of glutamate in the amygdala and γ-aminobutyric acid in the thalamus. The excitatory mechanisms of homocysteine through activation of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor in brain tissue might alter levels of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid. PMID:26937386

  2. A Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Offner, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents a universal phylogenetic tree suitable for use in high school and college-level biology classrooms. Illustrates the antiquity of life and that all life is related, even if it dates back 3.5 billion years. Reflects important evolutionary relationships and provides an exciting way to learn about the history of life. (SAH)

  3. Quartets and unrooted phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Gambette, Philippe; Berry, Vincent; Paul, Christophe

    2012-08-01

    Phylogenetic networks were introduced to describe evolution in the presence of exchanges of genetic material between coexisting species or individuals. Split networks in particular were introduced as a special kind of abstract network to visualize conflicts between phylogenetic trees which may correspond to such exchanges. More recently, methods were designed to reconstruct explicit phylogenetic networks (whose vertices can be interpreted as biological events) from triplet data. In this article, we link abstract and explicit networks through their combinatorial properties, by introducing the unrooted analog of level-k networks. In particular, we give an equivalence theorem between circular split systems and unrooted level-1 networks. We also show how to adapt to quartets some existing results on triplets, in order to reconstruct unrooted level-k phylogenetic networks. These results give an interesting perspective on the combinatorics of phylogenetic networks and also raise algorithmic and combinatorial questions. PMID:22809417

  4. Alterations in cytochrome P-450 levels in adult rats following neonatal exposure to xenobiotics

    SciTech Connect

    Zangar, R.C. Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, WA ); Springer, D.L. ); Buhler, D.R. )

    1993-01-01

    Neonatal exposure to certain xenobiotics has been shown to alter hepatic metabolism in adult rats in a manner that indicates long-term changes in enzyme regulation. Previously, the authors have observed changes in adult testosterone metabolism and in cytochrome P-450 (P-450) mRNA levels in animals neonatally exposed to phenobarbital (PB) or diethylstilbestrol (DES). In order to test for other enzyme alterations, they used Western blot procedures for specific P-450s to analyze hepatic microsomes from adult rats (24 wk old) that had been exposed neonatally to DES, PB, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), or pregnenolone 16[alpha]-carbonitrile (PCN). The most striking effects were observed in the DES-treated males: P-4502C6 and an immunologically similar protein were increased 60 and 90%, respectively, relative to control values, but P-4503A2 was decreased by 44%. No changes were observed in the DES-treated males in levels of P-4502E1, P-4502B, or the male-specific P-4502C13. Adult males neonatally treated with PB had 150% increase in levels of anti-P4502B-reactive protein without significant changes in the other enzymes. The DES- and DMBA-treated females had increased levels of the female-specific P-4502C12 of 38 and 48%, respectively, but no other observed alterations. The results confirm that neonatal exposure to DES or PB can cause alterations in adult hepatic cytochrome P-450 levels but show that these chemicals act on different enzymes. Neonatal DMBA resulted in changes in adult females similar to those produced by the synthetic estrogen DES, but did so at about two-thirds lower dose. 37 refs., 5 figs.

  5. Smelling a single component of male sweat alters levels of cortisol in women.

    PubMed

    Wyart, Claire; Webster, Wallace W; Chen, Jonathan H; Wilson, Sarah R; McClary, Andrew; Khan, Rehan M; Sobel, Noam

    2007-02-01

    Rodents use chemosignals to alter endocrine balance in conspecifics. Although responses to human sweat suggest a similar mechanism in humans, no particular component of human sweat capable of altering endocrine balance in conspecifics has yet been isolated and identified. Here, we measured salivary levels of the hormone cortisol in women after smelling pure androstadienone (4,16-androstadien-3-one), a molecule present in the sweat of men that has been suggested as a chemosignal in humans. We found that merely smelling androstadienone maintained significantly higher levels of the hormone cortisol in women. These results suggest that, like rodents, humans can influence the hormonal balance of conspecifics through chemosignals. Critically, this study identified a single component of sweat, androstadienone, as capable of exerting such influence. This result points to a potential role for synthetic human chemosignals in clinical applications. PMID:17287500

  6. Effects of Alterations of Plasma Free Fatty Acid Levels on Pancreatic Glucagon Secretion in Man

    PubMed Central

    Gerich, John E.; Langlois, Maurice; Schneider, Victor; Karam, John H.; Noacco, Claudio

    1974-01-01

    The present investigation was undertaken to ascertain whether alterations in plasma free fatty acids (FFA) affect pancreatic glucagon secretion in man since FFA have been reported to influence pancreatic alpha cell function in other species. Elevation of plasma FFA from a mean (±SE) basal level of 0.478±0.036 mM to 0.712±0.055 mM after heparin administration caused plasma glucagon levels to fall approximately 50%, from a basal value of 122±15 pg/ml to 59±14 pg/ml (P < 0.001). Lowering of plasma FFA from a basal level of 0.520±0.046 mM to 0.252±0.041 mM after nicotinic acid administration raised plasma glucagon from a basal level of 113±18 pg/ml to 168±12 pg/ml (P < 0.005). Infusion of glucose elevated plasma glucose levels to the same degree that heparin raised plasma FFA levels. This resulted in suppression of plasma glucagon despite the fact that plasma FFA levels also were suppressed. Glucagon responses to arginine were diminished after elevation of plasma FFA (P < 0.01) and during infusion of glucose (P < 0.01). Diminution of plasma FFA by nicotinic acid did not augment glucagon responses to arginine. These results thus demonstrate that rather small alterations in plasma FFA within the physiologic range have a significant effect on glucagon secretion in man. Although the effects of glucose appear to predominate over those of FFA, alterations in plasma FFA may nevertheless exert an important physiologic influence over human pancreatic alpha cell function, especially in the postabsorptive state. PMID:4825225

  7. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Schnable, Patrick S.; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2009-04-28

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.alpha. pPDH, E1.beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  8. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Behal, Robert; Schnable, Patrick S.; Ke, Jinshan; Johnson, Jerry L.; Allred, Carolyn C.; Fatland, Beth; Lutziger, Isabelle; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2004-07-20

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.sub..alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.sub..beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyurvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.sub..alpha. pPDH, E1.sub..beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  9. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Behal, Robert; Schnable, Patrick S.; Ke, Jinshan; Johnson, Jerry L.; Allred, Carolyn C.; Fatland, Beth; Lutziger, Isabelle; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2005-09-13

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.alpha. pPDH, E1.beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  10. Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Sørensen, Christina; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2012-03-01

    Predicted future CO2 levels have been found to alter sensory responses and behaviour of marine fishes. Changes include increased boldness and activity, loss of behavioural lateralization, altered auditory preferences and impaired olfactory function. Impaired olfactory function makes larval fish attracted to odours they normally avoid, including ones from predators and unfavourable habitats. These behavioural alterations have significant effects on mortality that may have far-reaching implications for population replenishment, community structure and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanism linking high CO2 to these diverse responses has been unknown. Here we show that abnormal olfactory preferences and loss of behavioural lateralization exhibited by two species of larval coral reef fish exposed to high CO2 can be rapidly and effectively reversed by treatment with an antagonist of the GABA-A receptor. GABA-A is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the vertebrate brain. Thus, our results indicate that high CO2 interferes with neurotransmitter function, a hitherto unrecognized threat to marine populations and ecosystems. Given the ubiquity and conserved function of GABA-A receptors, we predict that rising CO2 levels could cause sensory and behavioural impairment in a wide range of marine species, especially those that tightly control their acid-base balance through regulatory changes in HCO3- and Cl- levels.

  11. Alterations in the levels of plasma amino acids in polycystic ovary syndrome- A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Unni, C. Sumithra N.; Lakshman, Lakshmi R.; Vaidyanathan, Kannan; Subhakumari, K.N.; Menon, N. Leela

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Plasma amino acid levels are known to be altered in conditions like sepsis and burns which are situations of metabolic stress. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition which affects a woman throughout her life, is said to be associated with metabolic stress. This study was undertaken to assess if there were significant alterations in the levels of plasma amino acids in women with PCOS. Methods: Sixty five women with PCOS along with the similar number of age matched normal controls were included in this study. Levels of 14 amino acids were determined using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. Results: The levels of methionine, cystine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, valine, tyrosine, proline, glycine, lysine and histidine were found to be significantly (P<0.001) lower in cases than in controls. Arginine and alanine levels were found to be significantly (P<0.001) higher in cases compared with controls. Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed significant derangement in the levels of plasma amino acids in women with PCOS which might be due to the oxidative and metabolic stress associated with it. Further studies need to be done to confirm the findings. PMID:26658589

  12. Community Phylogenetics: Assessing Tree Reconstruction Methods and the Utility of DNA Barcodes

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Elizabeth E.; Adamowicz, Sarah J.

    2015-01-01

    Studies examining phylogenetic community structure have become increasingly prevalent, yet little attention has been given to the influence of the input phylogeny on metrics that describe phylogenetic patterns of co-occurrence. Here, we examine the influence of branch length, tree reconstruction method, and amount of sequence data on measures of phylogenetic community structure, as well as the phylogenetic signal (Pagel’s λ) in morphological traits, using Trichoptera larval communities from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. We find that model-based tree reconstruction methods and the use of a backbone family-level phylogeny improve estimations of phylogenetic community structure. In addition, trees built using the barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) alone accurately predict metrics of phylogenetic community structure obtained from a multi-gene phylogeny. Input tree did not alter overall conclusions drawn for phylogenetic signal, as significant phylogenetic structure was detected in two body size traits across input trees. As the discipline of community phylogenetics continues to expand, it is important to investigate the best approaches to accurately estimate patterns. Our results suggest that emerging large datasets of DNA barcode sequences provide a vast resource for studying the structure of biological communities. PMID:26110886

  13. EEG alterations in patients treated with clozapine in relation to plasma levels.

    PubMed

    Haring, C; Neudorfer, C; Schwitzer, J; Hummer, M; Saria, A; Hinterhuber, H; Fleischhacker, W W

    1994-02-01

    It is well known that psychotropic drugs can induce EEG alterations. Dose dependence seems established; however, there are no data concerning the impact of plasma levels. The authors investigated the influence of clozapine plasma levels on the frequency of EEG alterations. Data from 29 inpatients (18 male, 11 female, 31.7 +/- 10.2 years) receiving clozapine in a dose range between 25 and 600 mg were collected prospectively. There was no psychotropic or anticholinergic comedication. All patients had normal EEGs before taking clozapine. Fifteen patients showed pathological changes (group 2) and 14 no changes (group 1). Discriminant analysis showed that EEG changes are dependent on plasma levels (P = 0.0009, plasma levels in group 1 mean 81.6 ng/ml, +/- SD 64.6, in group 2 235.7 ng/ml, +/- 169.8). A total of 72.4% of the patients were correctly classified as having either pathological EEG changes or none by this analysis. Variables such as dose, age, sex, weight and duration of treatment were not statistically relevant. It can therefore be suggested that clozapine plasma levels are a valid indicator for the appearance of electrophysiological reactions. PMID:7846212

  14. Altered Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha expression levels correlate with coronary vessel anomalies

    PubMed Central

    Wikenheiser, Jamie; Wolfram, Julie A.; Gargesha, Madhusudhana; Yang, Ke; Karunamuni, Ganga; Wilson, David L.; Semenza, Gregg L.; Agani, Faton; Fisher, Steven A.; Ward, Nicole; Watanabe, Michiko

    2009-01-01

    The outflow tract myocardium and other regions corresponding to the location of the major coronary vessels of the developing chicken heart, display a high level of hypoxia as assessed by the hypoxia indicator EF5. The EF5 positive tissues were also specifically positive for nuclear-localized hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), the oxygen-sensitive component of the hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) heterodimer. This led to our hypothesis that there is a “template” of hypoxic tissue that determines the stereotyped pattern of the major coronary vessels. In this study we disturbed this template by altering ambient oxygen levels (hypoxia 15%; hyperoxia 75-40%) during the early phases of avian coronary vessel development, in order to alter tissue hypoxia, HIF-1α protein expression and its downstream target genes without high mortality. We also altered HIF-1α gene expression in the embryonic outflow tract cardiomyocytes by injecting an adenovirus containing a constitutively active form of HIF-1α (AdCA5). We assayed for coronary anomalies using anti-alpha-smooth muscle actin immunohistology. When incubated under abnormal oxygen levels or injected with a low titer of the AdCA5, coronary arteries displayed deviations from their normal proximal connections to the aorta. These deviations were similar to known clinical anomalies of coronary arteries. These findings indicated that developing coronary vessels may be subject to a level of regulation that is dependent on differential oxygen levels within cardiac tissues and subsequent HIF-1 regulation of gene expression. PMID:19777592

  15. A new stress model, a scream sound, alters learning and monoamine levels in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Hu, Lili; Yang, Juan; Song, Tusheng; Hou, Ni; Liu, Yong; Zhao, Xiaoge; Zhang, Dianzeng; Wang, Lumin; Wang, Tao; Huang, Chen

    2014-01-17

    Most existing animal models for stress involve the simultaneous application of physical and psychological stress factors. In the current study, we described and used a novel psychological stress model (scream sound stress). To study the validity of it, we carried out acute and chronic scream sound stress. First, adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into white noise, stress and background groups. The white noise group and stress group were treated with white noise and scream sound for 4h in the morning respectively. Compared with white noise and background groups, exposure to acute scream sound increased corticosterone (CORT) level and decreased latency in Morris water maze (MWM) test. The levels of noradrenaline (NE), dopamine (DA), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were altered in the striatum, hypothalamus and hippocampus of stress rats. Second, adult SD rats were randomly divided into background and stress groups, which were treated with scream sound for three weeks. Exposure to chronic scream sound suppressed body weight gain, increased corticosterone (CORT) level, influenced the morphology of adrenal gland, improved spleen and thymus indices, and decreased latency in MWM test. NE, DA, DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA levels were also altered in the brain of stress rats. Our results suggested that scream sound, as a novel stressor, facilitated learning ability, as well as altered monoamine levels in the rat brain. Moreover, scream sound is easy to apply and can be applied in more animals at the same time. PMID:24096192

  16. Effect of altered eating pattern on serum fructosamine: total protein ratio and plasma glucose level.

    PubMed

    Ch'ng, S L; Cheah, S H; Husain, R; Duncan, M T

    1989-05-01

    The effect of alteration of eating pattern during Ramadan on body mass index (BMI), serum fructosamine: total protein ratio (F/TP), and glucose level in 18 healthy male Asiatic Moslems were studied. The results showed a significant decrease (p less than 0.025) in F/TP at the second week of Ramadan in 11 subjects who experienced continuous decrease in BMI throughout Ramadan. The remaining 7 subjects showed no significant changes in BMI and F/TP. No evidence of hypoglycaemia was observed in the subjects during the study. Serum fructosamine: total protein ratio in subjects with altered eating pattern preferably should be interpreted along with the change in body mass index. PMID:2774480

  17. The biological functions of glutathione revisited in arabidopsis transgenic plants with altered glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Xiang, C; Werner, B L; Christensen, E M; Oliver, D J

    2001-06-01

    A functional analysis of the role of glutathione in protecting plants from environmental stress was undertaken by studying Arabidopsis that had been genetically modified to have altered glutathione levels. The steady-state glutathione concentration in Arabidopsis plants was modified by expressing the cDNA for gamma-glutamyl-cysteine synthetase (GSH1) in both the sense and antisense orientation. The resulting plants had glutathione levels that ranged between 3% and 200% of the level in wild-type plants. Arabidopsis plants with low glutathione levels were hypersensitive to Cd due to the limited capacity of these plants to make phytochelatins. Plants with the lowest levels of reduced glutathione (10% of wild type) were sensitive to as little as 5 microM Cd, whereas those with 50% wild-type levels required higher Cd concentrations to inhibit growth. Elevating glutathione levels did not increase metal resistance. It is interesting that the plants with low glutathione levels were also less able to accumulate anthocyanins supporting a role for glutathione S-transferases for anthocyanin formation or for the vacuolar localization and therefore accumulation of these compounds. Plants with less than 5% of wild-type glutathione levels were smaller and more sensitive to environmental stress but otherwise grew normally. PMID:11402187

  18. Female Mice are Resistant to Fabp1 Gene Ablation-Induced Alterations in Brain Endocannabinoid Levels.

    PubMed

    Martin, Gregory G; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Danilo; Landrock, Kerstin K; Dangott, Lawrence J; Peng, Xiaoxue; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J; Kier, Ann B; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2016-09-01

    Although liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) is not detectable in the brain, Fabp1 gene ablation (LKO) markedly increases endocannabinoids (EC) in brains of male mice. Since the brain EC system of females differs significantly from that of males, it was important to determine if LKO differently impacted the brain EC system. LKO did not alter brain levels of arachidonic acid (ARA)-containing EC, i.e. arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but decreased non-ARA-containing N-acylethanolamides (OEA, PEA) and 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG) that potentiate the actions of AEA and 2-AG. These changes in brain potentiating EC levels were not associated with: (1) a net decrease in levels of brain membrane proteins associated with fatty acid uptake and EC synthesis; (2) a net increase in brain protein levels of cytosolic EC chaperones and enzymes in EC degradation; or (3) increased brain protein levels of EC receptors (CB1, TRVP1). Instead, the reduced or opposite responsiveness of female brain EC levels to loss of FABP1 (LKO) correlated with intrinsically lower FABP1 level in livers of WT females than males. These data show that female mouse brain endocannabinoid levels were unchanged (AEA, 2-AG) or decreased (OEA, PEA, 2-OG) by complete loss of FABP1 (LKO). PMID:27450559

  19. The effect of altered 5-hydroxytryptamine levels on beta-endorphin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soliman, Karam F. A.; Mash, Deborah C.; Walker, Charles A.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of altering the concentration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) on beta-endorphin (beta-Ep) content in the hypothalamus, thalamus, and periaqueductal gray (PAG)-rostral pons regions of the rat brain. The selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (10 mg/kg), significantly lowered beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. Parachlorophenylalanine, which inhibits 5-HT synthesis, significantly elevated beta-Ep in all brain parts studied. Intracisternal injections of the neurotoxin 5-prime, 7-prime-dihydroxytryptamine with desmethylimipramine pretreatment significantly increased beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. In adrenalectomized rats, fluoxetine significantly decreased beta-Ep levels in the hypothalamus and increased the levels in the PAG. The results indicate that 5-HT may modulate the levels of brain beta-Ep.

  20. Postnatal alterations in GABAB receptor tone produce sensorimotor gating deficits and protein level differences in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Monica M; Heaney, Chelcie F; Murtishaw, Andrew S; Sabbagh, Jonathan J; Magcalas, Christy M; Kinney, Jefferson W

    2015-04-01

    The GABA transmitter system plays a vital role in modulating synaptic formation and activity during development. The GABAB receptor subtype in particular has been implicated in cell migration, promotion of neuronal differentiation, neurite outgrowth, and synapse formation but it's role in development is not well characterized. In order to investigate the effects of brief alterations in GABAB signaling in development, we administered to rats the GABAB agonist baclofen (2.0mg/kg) or antagonist phaclofen (0.3mg/kg) on postnatal days 7, 9, and 12, and evaluated sensorimotor gating in adulthood. We also examined tissue for changes in multiple proteins associated with GABAB receptor function and proteins associated with synapse formation. Our data indicate that early postnatal alterations to GABAB receptor-mediated signaling produced sex differences in sensorimotor gating in adulthood. Additionally, we found differences in GABAB receptor subunits and kalirin protein levels in the brain versus saline treated controls. Our data demonstrate that a subtle alteration in GABAB receptor function in early postnatal life induces changes that persist into adulthood. PMID:25314921

  1. Detection of TTV in peripheral blood cells from patients with altered ALT and AST levels.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Jaqueline Carvalho; Nasser, Thiago Franco; Oda, Julie Massayo Maeda; Aoki, Mateus Nóbrega; Carneiro, Juliana Laino do Val; Barbosa, Décio Sabbatini; Reiche, Edna Maria Vissoci; Watanabe, Maria Angelica Ehara

    2008-04-01

    This work analyzes the prevalence of TTV DNA in peripheral blood cells from patients with hepatic alterations and healthy blood donors and measures levels of sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, phosphatase alkaline, total and direct bilirubin, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in certain randomly selected patients. DNA samples from 111 individuals were evaluated. They were divided into two groups, "A" (study) and "B" (control), including 54 patients with liver enzyme alterations (ALT/AST) presenting non-B-non-C hepatitis and 57 blood donors, respectively. TTV DNA was determined by nested PCR. Certain products of the second-round PCR were sequenced. Serum biochemical assay was performed and disclosed TTV in 31.48% (17/54) of patients in group A and 5.26% (3/57) in the control group B. TTV prevalence was significantly higher in patients with liver disease than in healthy donors. In group A, sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, phosphatase alkaline, total and direct bilirubin, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were analyzed in certain randomly selected patients and no significant difference in biochemical levels (p>0.05) was found when TTV infected and noninfected individuals were compared. Knowledge related to TTV has rapidly increased, but many fundamental aspects remain unclear. This led us to question the role of TTV and doubt remains as to whether or not it is just a commensal virus. Further studies are necessary to confirm and extend these findings. PMID:18623984

  2. Low-Level Environmental Phthalate Exposure Associates with Urine Metabolome Alteration in a Chinese Male Cohort.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Liu, Liangpo; Wang, Xiaofei; Huang, Qingyu; Tian, Meiping; Shen, Heqing

    2016-06-01

    The general population is exposed to phthalates through various sources and routes. Integration of omics data and epidemiological data is a key step toward directly linking phthalate biomonitoring data with biological response. Urine metabolomics is a powerful tool to identify exposure biomarkers and delineate the modes of action of environmental stressors. The objectives of this study are to investigate the association between low-level environmental phthalate exposure and urine metabolome alteration in male population, and to unveil the metabolic pathways involved in the mechanisms of phthalate toxicity. In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we studied the urine metabolomic profiles of 364 male subjects exposed to low-level environmental phthalates. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) are the most widely used phthalates. ∑DEHP and MBP (the major metabolite of DBP) were associated with significant alteration of global urine metabolome in the male population. We observed significant increase in the levels of acetylneuraminic acid, carnitine C8:1, carnitine C18:0, cystine, phenylglycine, phenylpyruvic acid and glutamylphenylalanine; and meanwhile, decrease in the levels of carnitine C16:2, diacetylspermine, alanine, taurine, tryptophan, ornithine, methylglutaconic acid, hydroxyl-PEG2 and keto-PGE2 in high exposure group. The observations indicated that low-level environmental phthalate exposure associated with increased oxidative stress and fatty acid oxidation and decreased prostaglandin metabolism. Urea cycle, tryptophan and phenylalanine metabolism disruption was also observed. The urine metabolome disruption effects associated with ∑DEHP and MBP were similar, but not identical. The multibiomarker models presented AUC values of 0.845 and 0.834 for ∑DEHP and MBP, respectively. The predictive accuracy rates of established models were 81% for ΣDEHP and 73% for MBP. Our results suggest that low-level environmental phthalate

  3. Alterations in serum immunoglobulin levels in workers occupationally exposed to trichloroethylene

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Luoping; Bassig, Bryan A.; Huang, Hanlin; Tang, Xiaojiang; Rothman, Nathaniel; Lan, Qing

    2013-01-01

    Trichloroethylene (TCE) has been associated with a variety of immunotoxic effects and may be associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Altered serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels have been reported in NHL patients and in animals exposed to TCE. Recently, we reported that occupational exposure to TCE is associated with immunosuppressive effects and immune dysfunction, including suppression of B-cell counts and activation, even at relatively low levels. We hypothesized that TCE exposure would also affect Ig levels in humans. We measured serum levels of IgG, IgM and IgE, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in TCE-exposed workers (n = 80) and unexposed controls (n = 45), matched by age and gender, in a cross-sectional, molecular epidemiology study of occupational exposure to TCE in Guangdong, China. Exposed workers had about a 17.5% decline in serum levels of IgG compared with unexposed controls (P = 0.0002). Similarly, serum levels of IgM were reduced by about 38% in workers exposed to TCE compared with unexposed controls (P < 0.0001). Serum levels of both IgG and IgM were significantly decreased in workers exposed to TCE levels below 12 p.p.m., the median exposure level. Adjustment for B-cell counts had minimal impact on our findings. IgE levels were not significantly different between exposed and control subjects. These results provide further evidence that TCE is immunotoxic at relatively low exposure levels and provide additional biologic plausibility for the reported association of TCE with NHL. PMID:23276795

  4. Influence of Altered Mass Loading on Testosterone Levels and Testicular Mass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Tommy J.; Ortiz, R. M.; Wade, C. E.; Hargens, Alan R. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Effects of altered load on testosterone levels and testicular mass in mammals are not well defined. Two separate studies (loading;centrifuged; +2G(sub z) and unloading;hindlimb suspension;HLS) were conducted to provide a better understanding of the effects of mass loading on testosterone levels and testicular mass. Daily urine samples were collected, and testicular mass measured at the end of the study. +2G(sub z): Sprague-Dawley rats (230-250 g) were centrifuged for 12 days at +2G(sub z): 8 centrifuged (EC) and 8 off centrifuge controls (OCC). EC had lower body mass, however relative testicular mass was greater. EC exhibited an increase in excreted testosterone levels between days 2 (T2) and 6 (T6), and returned to baseline at T9. HLS: To assess the effects of unloading Sprague-Dawley rats (125-150 g) were studied for 12 days: 10 suspended (Exp) and 10 ambulatory (Ctl). Exp had lower body mass during the study, with reduced absolute and relative testicular mass. Exp demonstrated lower excreted testosterone levels from T5-T12. Conclusions: Loading appears to stimulate anabolism, as opposed to unloading, as indicated by greater relative testicular mass and excreted testosterone levels. Reported changes in muscle mass during loading and unloading coincide with similar changes in excreted testosterone levels.

  5. Peripheral Levels of AGEs and Astrocyte Alterations in the Hippocampus of STZ-Diabetic Rats.

    PubMed

    Nardin, Patrícia; Zanotto, Caroline; Hansen, Fernanda; Batassini, Cristiane; Gasparin, Manuela Sangalli; Sesterheim, Patrícia; Gonçalves, Carlos-Alberto

    2016-08-01

    Diabetic patients and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes mellitus (DM) models exhibit signals of brain dysfunction, evidenced by neuronal damage and memory impairment. Astrocytes surrounding capillaries and synapses modulate many brain activities that are connected to neuronal function, such as nutrient flux and glutamatergic neurotransmission. As such, cognitive changes observed in diabetic patients and experimental models could be related to astroglial alterations. Herein, we investigate specific astrocyte changes in the rat hippocampus in a model of DM induced by STZ, particularly looking at glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S100B protein and glutamate uptake, as well as the content of advanced glycated end products (AGEs) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), as a consequence of elevated hyperglycemia and the content of receptor for AGEs in the hippocampus. We found clear peripheral alterations, including hyperglycemia, low levels of proinsulin C-peptide, elevated levels of AGEs in serum and CSF, as well as an increase in RAGE in hippocampal tissue. We found specific astroglial abnormalities in this brain region, such as reduced S100B content, reduced glutamate uptake and increased S100B secretion, which were not accompanied by changes in GFAP. We also observed an increase in the glucose transporter, GLUT-1. All these changes may result from RAGE-induced inflammation; these astroglial alterations together with the reduced content of GluN1, a subunit of the NMDA receptor, in the hippocampus may be associated with the impairment of glutamatergic communication in diabetic rats. These findings contribute to understanding the cognitive deficits in diabetic patients and experimental models. PMID:27084774

  6. Chronic venlafaxine treatment fails to alter the levels of galanin system transcripts in normal rats.

    PubMed

    Petschner, Peter; Juhasz, Gabriella; Tamasi, Viola; Adori, Csaba; Tothfalusi, Laszlo; Hökfelt, Tomas; Bagdy, Gyorgy

    2016-06-01

    It is widely accepted that efficacy and speed of current antidepressants' therapeutic effect are far from optimal. Thus, there is a need for the development of antidepressants with new mechanisms of action. The neuropeptide galanin and its receptors (GalR1, GalR2 and GalR3) are among the promising targets. However, it is not clear whether or not the galanin system is involved in the antidepressant effect exerted by the currently much used inhibitors of the reuptake of serotonin and/or noradrenaline. To answer this question we administered the selective serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine (40mg/kg/day via osmotic minipumps) to normal rats and examined the levels of the transcripts for galanin and GalR1-3 after a 3-week venlafaxine treatment in the dorsal raphe, hippocampus and frontal cortex. These areas are known to be involved in the effects of antidepressants and in depression itself. Venlafaxine failed to alter the expression of any of the galanin system genes in these areas. Our results show that one of the most efficient, currently used SNRIs does not alter transcript levels of galanin or its three receptors in normal rats. These findings suggest that the pro- and antidepressive-like effects of galanin reported in animal experiments may employ a novel mechanism(s). PMID:26891823

  7. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I.; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator–prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  8. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  9. Effect of altered reproductive function and lowered testosterone levels on bone density in male endurance athletes

    PubMed Central

    Bennell, Kim L; Brukner, Peter D; Malcolm, Susan A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intense physical activity on female reproductive hormones is well recognised1–3 and there is evidence that menstrual disturbances associated with hypo-oestrogenism adversely affect bone density especially at the lumbar spine.4 5 Physical activity can also have a range of effects on male reproductive function depending upon the intensity and duration of the activity and the fitness of the individual.6 In particular, endurance training may be associated with reductions in circulating testosterone levels. Since testosterone has important anabolic roles, alterations in reproductive hormone profiles may have detrimental skeletal consequences similar to those seen in females with menstrual disturbances. The aim of this brief review is to present the limited literature on the relation between bone density and testosterone levels in male endurance athletes. PMID:8889111

  10. stem fasciated, a Recessive Mutation in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Alters Plant Morphology and Auxin Level

    PubMed Central

    FAMBRINI, MARCO; BONSIGNORI, ELISA; RAPPARINI, FRANCESCA; CIONINI, GIULIANO; MICHELOTTI, VANIA; BERTINI, DANIELE; BARALDI, RITA; PUGLIESI, CLAUDIO

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Plant lateral organs such as leaves arise from a group of initial cells within the flanks of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Alterations in the initiation of lateral organs are often associated with changes in the dimension and arrangement of the SAM as well as with abnormal hormonal homeostasis. A mutation named stem fasciated (stf) that affects various aspects of plant development, including SAM shape and auxin level, was characterized in sunflower (Helianthus annuus). • Methods F1, F2 and F3 generations were obtained through reciprocal crosses between stf and normal plants. For the genetic analysis, a χ2 test was used. Phenotypic observations were made in field-grown and potted plants. A histological analysis of SAM, hypocotyl, epicotyl, stem and root apical meristem was also conducted. To evaluate the level of endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), a capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–selected ion monitoring analysis was performed. • Key Results stf is controlled by a single nuclear recessive gene. stf plants are characterized by a dramatically increased number of leaves and vascular bundles in the stem, as well as by a shortened plastochron and an altered phyllotaxis pattern. By histological analysis, it was demonstrated that the stf phenotype is related to an enlarged vegetative SAM. Microscopy analysis of the mutant's apex also revealed an abnormal enlargement of nuclei in both central and peripheral zones and a disorganized distribution of cells in the L2 layer of the central zone. The stf mutant showed a high endogenous free IAA level, whereas auxin perception appeared normal. • Conclusions The observed phenotype and the high level of auxin detected in stf plants suggest that the STF gene is necessary for the proper initiation of primordia and for the establishment of a phyllotactic pattern through control of both SAM arrangement and hormonal homeostasis. PMID:16845141

  11. Diethylstilbestrol alters the morphology and calcium levels of growth cones of PC12 cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Janevski, J; Choh, V; Stopper, H; Schiffmann, D; De Boni, U

    1993-01-01

    Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic estrogen with carcinogenic properties. DES is known to alter cytoskeletal components, including the organization of actin stress fibres in C6 rat glioma cells. In a test of the hypothesis that DES disrupts actin filaments of growth cones in neuron-like cells, DES-induced changes in filopodial lengths were quantified in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells in vitro. DES significantly altered growth cone morphology, with collapse of growth cone filopodia and neurite retraction invariably occurring at a concentration of 10 microM. At 5 microM DES, transient reductions in total filopodial lengths occurred. At DES concentrations of 0.1 nM and 1 nM, reductions in total filopodial lengths occurred in a fraction of growth cones. Evidence exists which shows that growth cone activity and morphology are intimately linked to levels of intracellular, free calcium and that DES increases such levels. Measurements of free intracellular calcium levels by fluorescence microscopy, at times concurrent with the DES-induced reduction in total filopodial lengths, showed that calcium levels were indeed significantly increased by 10 microM DES. Labelling of filamentous actin (f-actin) with FITC-phalloidin showed that the f-actin distribution in growth cones exposed to DES could not be differentiated from the distribution found in spontaneously retracting growth cones. Together with evidence which showed that growth cone motility was not affected, the results are taken to indicate that DES, rather than acting directly on the cytoskeleton, exerts its effects indirectly, by a calcium-induced destabilization of actin filaments in the growth cone. PMID:8164893

  12. A large-scale, higher-level, molecular phylogenetic study of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes. Their aligned nucle...

  13. Audiovisual associations alter the perception of low-level visual motion.

    PubMed

    Kafaligonul, Hulusi; Oluk, Can

    2015-01-01

    Motion perception is a pervasive nature of vision and is affected by both immediate pattern of sensory inputs and prior experiences acquired through associations. Recently, several studies reported that an association can be established quickly between directions of visual motion and static sounds of distinct frequencies. After the association is formed, sounds are able to change the perceived direction of visual motion. To determine whether such rapidly acquired audiovisual associations and their subsequent influences on visual motion perception are dependent on the involvement of higher-order attentive tracking mechanisms, we designed psychophysical experiments using regular and reverse-phi random dot motions isolating low-level pre-attentive motion processing. Our results show that an association between the directions of low-level visual motion and static sounds can be formed and this audiovisual association alters the subsequent perception of low-level visual motion. These findings support the view that audiovisual associations are not restricted to high-level attention based motion system and early-level visual motion processing has some potential role. PMID:25873869

  14. Alterations in nocturnal serum melatonin levels in humans with growth and aging.

    PubMed

    Waldhauser, F; Weiszenbacher, G; Tatzer, E; Gisinger, B; Waldhauser, M; Schemper, M; Frisch, H

    1988-03-01

    The available data on potential alterations in serum melatonin (MLT) levels during a human lifetime are fragmentary and inconsistent. We, therefore, measured day- and nighttime serum MLT concentrations in 367 subjects (210 males and 157 females), aged 3 days to 90 yr. Blood samples were collected between 0730 and 1000 h and between 2300 and 0100 h. Serum MLT levels were measured by RIA. The mean nighttime serum MLT concentration was low during the first 6 months of life, i.e. 27.3 +/- 5.4 (+/- SE) pg/mL (0.12 +/- 0.02 nmol/L). It then increased to a peak value at 1-3 yr of age [329.5 +/- 42.0 pg/mL; (1.43 +/- 0.18 nmol/L)], and it was considerably lower [62.5 +/- 9.0 pg/mL; (0.27 +/- 0.04 nmol/L)] in individuals aged 15-20 yr. During the following decades serum MLT declined moderately until old age (70-90 yr of age), i.e. 29.2 +/- 6.1 pg/mL (0.13 +/- 0.03 nmol/L). This biphasic MLT decline follows 2 exponential functions with different slopes (from age 1-20 yr: r = -0.56; P less than 0.001; y = 278.7 X e -0.09x; from age 20-90 yr: r = -0.44; P less than 0.001; y = 84.8 X e -0.017x). The decrease in nocturnal serum MLT in children and adolescents (1-20 yr) correlated with the increase in body weight (r = -0.54; P less than 0.001) and body surface area (r = -0.71; P less than 0.001). At a later age (20-90 yr) there was no correlation among these variables. Daytime serum MLT levels were low and no age-related alterations were found. This study revealed major age-related alterations in nocturnal serum MLT levels. The negative correlation between serum MLT and body weight in childhood and adolescence is evidence that expansion of body size is responsible for the huge MLT decrease during that period. The moderate decline at older ages must derive from other factors. PMID:3350912

  15. Low glucose level and low pH alter the electrochemical function of human parietal pleura.

    PubMed

    Kouritas, V K; Hatzoglou, C; Foroulis, C N; Hevas, A; Gourgoulianis, K I; Molyvdas, P A

    2007-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether low glucose and pH level, which are usually measured in complicated pleural effusions, alter the electrochemical function of healthy human parietal pleura. Parietal pleural pieces were stripped from 66 patients during thoracic surgery and were mounted in Ussing chambers. Krebs' solutions containing different glucose levels (0, 40 and 100 mg) and balanced at different pH levels (7.4, 7.3 and 7.2) were added to the pleural cavity surface of the pieces. Transmesothelial potential difference was measured at various time-points as an electrophysiological variable and transmesothelial resistance (R(TM)) was calculated using Ohm's law. When normal-glucose Krebs at pH 7.45 was used, R(TM) remained unchanged over time, but when low-glucose Krebs was used, R(TM) decreased. Krebs without glucose caused the greatest decrease in R(TM). Use of low-pH Krebs decreased R(TM). The lower the pH of the Krebs, the faster the decrease in R(TM) and the greater the effect. The decrease in R(TM) was greater with low-pH than with low-glucose Krebs. Low glucose and low pH caused an additive decrease in R(TM). Low glucose concentration and low pH cause alteration of the electrochemical function of human parietal pleura and could act as agents that lead to further exudate progression. PMID:17666558

  16. Methoxychlor reduces estradiol levels by altering steroidogenesis and metabolism in mouse antral follicles in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S. Craig, Zelieann R. Hernandez-Ochoa, Isabel Paulose, Tessie Leslie, Traci C. Flaws, Jodi A.

    2011-06-15

    The organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) is a known endocrine disruptor that affects adult rodent females by causing reduced fertility, persistent estrus, and ovarian atrophy. Since MXC is also known to target antral follicles, the major producer of sex steroids in the ovary, the present study was designed to test the hypothesis that MXC decreases estradiol (E{sub 2}) levels by altering steroidogenic and metabolic enzymes in the antral follicles. To test this hypothesis, antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mouse ovaries and cultured with either dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or MXC. Follicle growth was measured every 24 h for 96 h. In addition, sex steroid hormone levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and mRNA expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes as well as the E{sub 2} metabolic enzyme Cyp1b1 were measured using qPCR. The results indicate that MXC decreased E{sub 2}, testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone (P{sub 4}) levels compared to DMSO. In addition, MXC decreased expression of aromatase (Cyp19a1), 17{beta}-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd17b1), 17{alpha}-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (Cyp17a1), 3{beta} hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd3b1), cholesterol side-chain cleavage (Cyp11a1), steroid acute regulatory protein (Star), and increased expression of Cyp1b1 enzyme levels. Thus, these data suggest that MXC decreases steroidogenic enzyme levels, increases metabolic enzyme expression and this in turn leads to decreased sex steroid hormone levels. - Highlights: > MXC inhibits steroidogenesis > MXC inhibits steroidogenic enzymes > MXC induces metabolic enzymes

  17. Alcohol-induced alterations in serum immunoglobulin e (IgE) levels in human subjects.

    PubMed

    González-Quintela, Arturo; Vidal, Carmen; Gude, Francisco

    2002-05-01

    The association of alcohol intake with total serum IgE concentrations in humans is discussed in the present review. The possible relationship of regular alcohol intake with both the risk of allergic sensitization and serum allergen-specific IgE values is also reviewed. Several studies consistently show that total serum IgE concentrations are increased in alcoholics when compared with healthy controls. Total serum IgE levels decrease after ethanol abstinence in alcoholics. Total serum IgE is increased in moderate alcohol consumers with respect to abstainers. Alcohol consumption in mothers may be associated with increased cord blood IgE levels in their offspring. IgE elevation in alcohol consumers is independent of potential confounders such as age, sex, liver disease, cigarette smoking or atopic status. Experimental studies in animals further support that ethanol administration is followed by an increase in serum IgE concentrations. In atopic patients, regular alcohol consumption is associated with increased serum specific IgE levels against some aeroallergens. Preliminary reports suggest that alcohol intake is associated to variable risk of sensitization to some aeroallergens. The possible mechanisms of alcohol-induced alterations in IgE levels and IgE-mediated diseases are discussed. PMID:11991851

  18. Altered Levels of Serum Zinc and Cadmium in Patients with Chronic Vesiculobullous Hand and Feet Dermatitis

    PubMed Central

    Suvirya, Swastika; Thakur, Alpna; Pandey, S. S.; Tripathi, S. K.; Dwivedi, Durgesh Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Micronutrients serve many important functions in our body and altered levels of heavy and trace metals are associated with cutaneous and systemic disorders. Vesicular palmoplantar eczema is an entity whose etiopathogenesis is a mystery. In this prospective case-noncase study blood levels of Zinc and Cadmium in 37 patients of chronic vesiculobullous hand dermatitis were estimated and compared with 40 noncases with similar age and gender distributions. Low serum Zinc levels were found in patients as compared to noncases. The mean difference of serum Zinc between the case and noncase groups was 27.26; the mean value of serum Zinc between the two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). However, elevated Cadmium levels were detected in only 5 patients and in none of the noncases. The mean concentration of serum Cadmium was 2.32 ± 0.38 μg/dL, with a range of 1.90–2.80 μg/dL for the five cases in whom Cadmium was detected. Various toxic and trace metals can interact by influencing each other's absorption, retention, distribution, and bioavailability in the body. The clinical significance of this finding lies in the possible beneficial role of Zinc supplementation in the therapy of chronic vesiculobullous hand dermatitis. PMID:27143960

  19. Altered α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin isoform levels in multiple system atrophy brains.

    PubMed

    Brudek, Tomasz; Winge, Kristian; Rasmussen, Nadja Bredo; Bahl, Justyna Maria Czarna; Tanassi, Julia; Agander, Tina Klitmøller; Hyde, Thomas M; Pakkenberg, Bente

    2016-01-01

    Together with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a member of a diverse group of neurodegenerative disorders termed α-synucleinopathies. Previously, it has been shown that α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 display disease-specific transcription patterns in frontal cortex in PD, dementia with Lewy bodies, and MSA, and thus may mediate the development of α-synucleinopathies. In this study, the differential expression of α-synuclein isoforms on transcriptional and translational levels was ascertained in MSA patients in comparison with PD cases and normal controls using isoform-specific primers and exon-specific antibodies in substantia nigra, striatum, cerebellar cortex, and nucleus dentatus. These regions are severely affected by α-synuclein pathology and neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we have also investigated transcript levels for parkin and synphilin-1 isoforms. In MSA brains, α-synuclein140 and α-synuclein 112 isoform levels were significantly increased, whereas levels of the α-synuclein 126 isoform were decreased in the substantia nigra, striatum, cerebellar cortex, and nucleus dentatus versus controls. Moreover, in MSA cases, we showed increased levels of parkin isoforms lacking the N-terminal ubiquitin-like domain and an aggregation-prone synphilin-1A isoform that causes neuronal toxicity in MSA. In PD brains, parkin transcript variant 3, 7, and 11 were significantly and specifically over-expressed in the striatum and cerebellar cortex, together with synphilin-1A and 1C. The changes of isoform expression profiles in neurodegenerative diseases suggest alterations in the regulation of transcription and/or splicing events, leading to regional/cellular events that may be important for the highly increased aggregation of α-synuclein in the brain. We report differential expression of α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 isoforms in multiple system atrophy (MSA) versus Parkinson's disease and normal

  20. Diabetic retinopathy alters light-induced clock gene expression and dopamine levels in the mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Lahouaoui, Hasna; Coutanson, Christine; Cooper, Howard M.; Bennis, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common consequences of diabetes that affects millions of working-age adults worldwide and leads to progressive degeneration of the retina, visual loss, and blindness. Diabetes is associated with circadian disruption of the central and peripheral circadian clocks, but the mechanisms responsible for such alterations are unknown. Using a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced model of diabetes, we investigated whether diabetes alters 1) the circadian regulation of clock genes in the retina and in the central clocks, 2) the light response of clock genes in the retina, and/or 3) light-driven retinal dopamine (DA), a major output marker of the retinal clock. Methods To quantify circadian expression of clock and clock-controlled genes, retinas and suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) from the same animals were collected every 4 h in circadian conditions, 12 weeks post-diabetes. Induction of Per1, Per2, and c-fos mRNAs was quantified in the retina after the administration of a pulse of monochromatic light (480 nm, 1.17×1014 photons/cm2/s, 15 min) at circadian time 16. Gene expression was assessed with real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT–PCR). Pooled retinas from the control and STZ-diabetic mice were collected 2 h after light ON and light OFF (Zeitgeber time (ZT)2 and ZT14), and DA and its metabolite were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results We found variable effects of diabetes on the expression of clock genes in the retina and only slight differences in phase and/or amplitude in the SCN. c-fos and Per1 induction by a 480 nm light pulse was abolished in diabetic animals at 12 weeks post-induction of diabetes in comparison with the control mice, suggesting a deficit in light-induced neuronal activation of the retinal clock. Finally, we quantified a 56% reduction in the total number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunopositive cells, associated with a decrease in DA levels during the subjective day (ZT2

  1. Neurotensin receptor binding levels in basal ganglia are not altered in Huntington's chorea or schizophrenia

    SciTech Connect

    Palacios, J.M.; Chinaglia, G.; Rigo, M.; Ulrich, J.; Probst, A. )

    1991-02-01

    Autoradiographic techniques were used to examine the distribution and levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites in the basal ganglia and related regions of the human brain. Monoiodo ({sup 125}I-Tyr3)neurotensin was used as a ligand. High amounts of neurotensin receptor binding sites were found in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Lower but significant quantities of neurotensin receptor binding sites characterized the caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens, while very low quantities were seen in both medial and lateral segments of the globus pallidus. In Huntington's chorea, the levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites were found to be comparable to those of control cases. Only slight but not statistically significant decreases in amounts of receptor binding sites were detected in the dorsal part of the head and in the body of caudate nucleus. No alterations in the levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites were observed in the substantia nigra pars compacta and reticulata. These results suggest that a large proportion of neurotensin receptor binding sites in the basal ganglia are located on intrinsic neurons and on extrinsic afferent fibers that do not degenerate in Huntington's disease.

  2. Phylogenetic analysis of higher-level relationships within Hydroidolina (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) using mitochondrial genome data and insight into their mitochondrial transcription

    PubMed Central

    Bentlage, Bastian; Cartwright, Paulyn; Yanagihara, Angel A.; Lindsay, Dhugal J.; Hopcroft, Russell R.; Collins, Allen G.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrozoans display the most morphological diversity within the phylum Cnidaria. While recent molecular studies have provided some insights into their evolutionary history, sister group relationships remain mostly unresolved, particularly at mid-taxonomic levels. Specifically, within Hydroidolina, the most speciose hydrozoan subclass, the relationships and sometimes integrity of orders are highly unsettled. Here we obtained the near complete mitochondrial sequence of twenty-six hydroidolinan hydrozoan species from a range of sources (DNA and RNA-seq data, long-range PCR). Our analyses confirm previous inference of the evolution of mtDNA in Hydrozoa while introducing a novel genome organization. Using RNA-seq data, we propose a mechanism for the expression of mitochondrial mRNA in Hydroidolina that can be extrapolated to the other medusozoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses using the full set of mitochondrial gene sequences provide some insights into the order-level relationships within Hydroidolina, including siphonophores as the first diverging clade, a well-supported clade comprised of Leptothecata-Filifera III–IV, and a second clade comprised of Aplanulata-Capitata s.s.-Filifera I–II. Finally, we describe our relatively inexpensive and accessible multiplexing strategy to sequence long-range PCR amplicons that can be adapted to most high-throughput sequencing platforms. PMID:26618080

  3. Ambient CO2, fish behaviour and altered GABAergic neurotransmission: exploring the mechanism of CO2-altered behaviour by taking a hypercapnia dweller down to low CO2 levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Matthew D; Turko, Andy J; Heras, Joseph; Andersen, Mads Kuhlmann; Lefevre, Sjannie; Wang, Tobias; Bayley, Mark; Brauner, Colin J; Huong, Do Thi Thanh; Phuong, Nguyen Thanh; Nilsson, Göran E

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that projected rises of aquatic CO2 levels cause acid-base regulatory responses in fishes that lead to altered GABAergic neurotransmission and disrupted behaviour, threatening fitness and population survival. It is thought that changes in Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) gradients across neural membranes interfere with the function of GABA-gated anion channels (GABAA receptors). So far, such alterations have been revealed experimentally by exposing species living in low-CO2 environments, like many oceanic habitats, to high levels of CO2 (hypercapnia). To examine the generality of this phenomenon, we set out to study the opposite situation, hypothesizing that fishes living in typically hypercapnic environments also display behavioural alterations if exposed to low CO2 levels. This would indicate that ion regulation in the fish brain is fine-tuned to the prevailing CO2 conditions. We quantified pH regulatory variables and behavioural responses of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, a fish native to the hypercapnic Mekong River, acclimated to high-CO2 (3.1 kPa) or low-CO2 (0.04 kPa) water. We found that brain and blood pH was actively regulated and that the low-CO2 fish displayed significantly higher activity levels, which were reduced after treatment with gabazine, a GABAA receptor blocker. This indicates an involvement of the GABAA receptor and altered Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) ion gradients. Indeed, Goldman calculations suggest that low levels of environmental CO2 may cause significant changes in neural ion gradients in P. hypophthalmus. Taken together, the results suggest that brain ion regulation in fishes is fine-tuned to the prevailing ambient CO2 conditions and is prone to disruption if these conditions change. PMID:26739687

  4. A Large-Scale, Higher-Level, Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Insect Order Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Jerome C.; Mitter, Charles; Zwick, Andreas; Bazinet, Adam L.; Cummings, Michael P.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Zwickl, Derrick J.; Cho, Soowon; Davis, Donald R.; Baixeras, Joaquin; Brown, John; Parr, Cynthia; Weller, Susan; Lees, David C.; Mitter, Kim T.

    2013-01-01

    Background Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. We present the most comprehensive molecular analysis of lepidopteran phylogeny to date, focusing on relationships among superfamilies. Methodology / Principal Findings 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes, from which maximum likelihood tree estimates and bootstrap percentages were obtained using GARLI. Assessment of heuristic search effectiveness showed that better trees and higher bootstrap percentages probably remain to be discovered even after 1000 or more search replicates, but further search proved impractical even with grid computing. Other analyses explored the effects of sampling nonsynonymous change only versus partitioned and unpartitioned total nucleotide change; deletion of rogue taxa; and compositional heterogeneity. Relationships among the non-ditrysian lineages previously inferred from morphology were largely confirmed, plus some new ones, with strong support. Robust support was also found for divergences among non-apoditrysian lineages of Ditrysia, but only rarely so within Apoditrysia. Paraphyly for Tineoidea is strongly supported by analysis of nonsynonymous-only signal; conflicting, strong support for tineoid monophyly when synonymous signal was added back is shown to result from compositional heterogeneity. Conclusions / Significance Support for among-superfamily relationships outside the Apoditrysia is now generally strong. Comparable support is mostly lacking within Apoditrysia, but dramatically increased bootstrap percentages for some nodes after rogue taxon removal, and concordance with other evidence, strongly suggest that our picture of apoditrysian phylogeny is approximately correct. This study highlights the challenge of finding optimal topologies when analyzing hundreds of taxa. It also

  5. [Foundations of the new phylogenetics].

    PubMed

    Pavlinov, I Ia

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary idea is the core of the modern biology. Due to this, phylogenetics dealing with historical reconstructions in biology takes a priority position among biological disciplines. The second half of the 20th century witnessed growth of a great interest to phylogenetic reconstructions at macrotaxonomic level which replaced microevolutionary studies dominating during the 30s-60s. This meant shift from population thinking to phylogenetic one but it was not revival of the classical phylogenetics; rather, a new approach emerged that was baptized The New Phylogenetics. It arose as a result of merging of three disciplines which were developing independently during 60s-70s, namely cladistics, numerical phyletics, and molecular phylogenetics (now basically genophyletics). Thus, the new phylogenetics could be defined as a branch of evolutionary biology aimed at elaboration of "parsimonious" cladistic hypotheses by means of numerical methods on the basis of mostly molecular data. Classical phylogenetics, as a historical predecessor of the new one, emerged on the basis of the naturphilosophical worldview which included a superorganismal idea of biota. Accordingly to that view, historical development (the phylogeny) was thought an analogy of individual one (the ontogeny) so its most basical features were progressive parallel developments of "parts" (taxa), supplemented with Darwinian concept of monophyly. Two predominating traditions were diverged within classical phylogenetics according to a particular interpretation of relation between these concepts. One of them (Cope, Severtzow) belittled monophyly and paid most attention to progressive parallel developments of morphological traits. Such an attitude turned this kind of phylogenetics to be rather the semogenetics dealing primarily with evolution of structures and not of taxa. Another tradition (Haeckel) considered both monophyletic and parallel origins of taxa jointly: in the middle of 20th century it was split into

  6. Fetal rat metabonome alteration by prenatal caffeine ingestion probably due to the increased circulatory glucocorticoid level and altered peripheral glucose and lipid metabolic pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yansong; Xu, Dan; Feng, Jianghua; Kou, Hao; Liang, Gai; Yu, Hong; He, Xiaohua; Zhang, Baifang; Chen, Liaobin; Magdalou, Jacques; Wang, Hui

    2012-07-15

    The aims of this study were to clarify the metabonome alteration in fetal rats after prenatal caffeine ingestion and to explore the underlying mechanism pertaining to the increased fetal circulatory glucocorticoid (GC). Pregnant Wistar rats were daily intragastrically administered with different doses of caffeine (0, 20, 60 and 180 mg/kg) from gestational days (GD) 11 to 20. Metabonome of fetal plasma and amniotic fluid on GD20 were analyzed by {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabonomics. Gene and protein expressions involved in the GC metabolism, glucose and lipid metabolic pathways in fetal liver and gastrocnemius were measured by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Fetal plasma metabonome were significantly altered by caffeine, which presents as the elevated α- and β‐glucose, reduced multiple lipid contents, varied apolipoprotein contents and increased levels of a number of amino acids. The metabonome of amniotic fluids showed a similar change as that in fetal plasma. Furthermore, the expressions of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD-2) were decreased, while the level of blood GC and the expressions of 11β-HSD-1 and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) were increased in fetal liver and gastrocnemius. Meanwhile, the expressions of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), IGF-1 receptor and insulin receptor were decreased, while the expressions of adiponectin receptor 2, leptin receptors and AMP-activated protein kinase α2 were increased after caffeine treatment. Prenatal caffeine ingestion characteristically change the fetal metabonome, which is probably attributed to the alterations of glucose and lipid metabolic pathways induced by increased circulatory GC, activated GC metabolism and enhanced GR expression in peripheral metabolic tissues. -- Highlights: ► Prenatal caffeine ingestion altered the metabonome of IUGR fetal rats. ► Caffeine altered the glucose and lipid metabolic pathways of IUGR fetal rats. ► Prenatal caffeine

  7. Tooth Movement Alterations by Different Low Level Laser Protocols: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Seifi, Massoud; Vahid-Dastjerdi, Elahe

    2015-01-01

    Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) provides several benefits for patients receiving orthodontic treatment. According to some literatures, Orthodontic Tooth Movement (OTM) can be enhanced but some investigators have reported contradictory results. This article reviews the literature regarding the different aspects of the use of LLLT on OTM and its alterations. The general data regarding the study design, sample size, wavelength (nm), power (mW), and duration were extracted and recorded independently. Electronic databases of PubMed and ScienceDirect from January 2009 to August 2014 were searched. Also Google Scholar and grey literature was searched for relevant references. Some investigators found that the amount of tooth movement in the Low-Energy Laser Irradiation (LELI) group was significantly greater than in the nonirradiation group by the end of the experimental period. Low-level laser irradiation accelerates the bone remodeling process by stimulating osteoblastic and osteoclastic cell proliferation and function during orthodontic tooth movement. But some researchers have reported that no statistical differences in the mean rate of tooth movement were noted between low energy and high energy experimental sides and their controls. Some evidence shows that low-level laser irradiation accelerates the bone remodeling process and some evidence shows that LLLT has not effect on OTM. In some investigations no statistical differences in the mean rate of tooth movement can be seen between low energy and high energy experimental sides and their controls. It has been shown by authors that laser irradiation can reduce the amount of OTM and a clinical usage for the inhibitory role of low level laser irradiation is enforcing the anchorage unit. PMID:25699160

  8. Acute exposure to 2,4-dinitrophenol alters zebrafish swimming performance and whole body triglyceride levels.

    PubMed

    Marit, Jordan S; Weber, Lynn P

    2011-06-01

    While swimming endurance (critical swimming speed or U(crit)) and lipid stores have both been reported to acutely decrease after exposure to a variety of toxicants, the relationship between these endpoints has not been clearly established. In order to examine these relationships, adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) were aqueously exposed to solvent control (ethanol) or two nominal concentrations of 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a mitochondrial electron transport chain uncoupler, for a 24-h period. Following exposure, fish were placed in a swim tunnel in clean water for swimming testing or euthanized immediately without testing, followed by analysis of whole body triglyceride levels. U(crit) decreased in both the 6 mg/L and 12 mg/L DNP groups, with 12 mg/L approaching the LC₅₀. A decrease in tail beat frequency was observed without a significant change in tail beat amplitude. In contrast, triglyceride levels were elevated in a concentration-dependent manner in the DNP exposure groups, but only in fish subjected to swimming tests. This increase in triglyceride stores may be due to a direct interference of DNP on lipid catabolism as well as increased triglyceride production when zebrafish were subjected to the co-stressors of swimming and toxicant exposure. Future studies should be directed at determining how acute DNP exposure combines with swimming to cause alterations in triglyceride accumulation. PMID:21406246

  9. Responses of Electromyogram Activity in Adductor Longus Muscle of Rats to the Altered Gravity Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohira, Takashi; Wang, Xiao Dong; Terada, Masahiro; Kawano, Fuminori; Higo, Yoko; Nakai, Naoya; Ochiai, Toshimasa; Gyotoku, Jyunichirou; Nishimoto, Norihiro; Ogura, Akihiko; Ohira, Yoshinobu

    2008-06-01

    Responses of electromyogram (EMG) activities in the rostral and caudal regions of adductor longus (AL) muscle to altered gravity levels during parabolic flight of a jet airplane, as well as hindlimb suspension, were investigated in adult rats. Tonic EMGs in both regions were noted when the rats were exposed to hyper-G, as well as 1-G. The hip joints were adducted and the sedental quadrupedal position was maintained at these G levels. However, the EMG activities in these regions decreased and became phasic, when the hip joints were abducted and extended backward in μ-G environment. Such changes of joint angles caused passive shortening of sarcomeres only in the caudal region of AL. Atrophy and shift toward fast-twitch type were noted in fibers of the caudal region after 16-day unloading. Although fiber transformation was also induced in the rostral region, no atrophy was seen in fast-twitch fibers. The data may suggest that the atrophy and shift of phenotype caused by gravitational unloading in fibers of the caudal region may be related to the decrease in the neural and mechanical activities. Fiber type transformation toward fast-twitch type may be also related to the change of muscle activity from tonic to phasic patterns, which are the typical characteristics of fast-twitch muscle. However, the responses to unloading in fibers of rostral region were not related to the reduction of mechanical load.

  10. Altered intracellular pH regulation in cells with high levels of P-glycoprotein expression.

    PubMed

    Young, Gregory; Reuss, Luis; Altenberg, Guillermo A

    2011-01-01

    P-glycoprotein is an ATP-binding-cassette transporter that pumps many structurally unrelated drugs out of cells through an ATP-dependent mechanism. As a result, multidrug-resistant cells that overexpress P-glycoprotein have reduced intracellular steady-state levels of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents. In addition, increased cytosolic pH has been a frequent finding in multidrug-resistant cells that express P-glycoprotein, and it has been proposed that this consequence of P-glycoprotein expression may contribute to the lower intracellular levels of chemotherapeutic agents. In these studies, we measured intracellular pH and the rate of acid extrusion in response to an acid load in two cells with very different levels of P-glycoprotein expression: V79 parental cells and LZ-8 multidrug resistant cells. Compared to the wild-type V79 cells, LZ-8 cells have a lower intracellular pH and a slower recovery of intracellular pH after an acid load. The data also show that LZ-8 cells have reduced ability to extrude acid, probably due to a decrease in Na(+)/H(+) exchanger activity. The alterations in intracellular pH and acid extrusion in LZ-8 cells are reversed by 24-h exposure to the multidrug-resistance modulator verapamil. The lower intracellular pH in LZ-8 indicates that intracellular alkalinization is not necessary for multidrug resistance. The reversal by verapamil of the decreased acid-extrusion suggests that P-glycoprotein can affect other membrane transport mechanism. PMID:22003434

  11. Chronic alteration in phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate levels regulates capsaicin and mustard oil responses

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Mayur J.; Belugin, Sergei; Akopian, Armen N.

    2011-01-01

    There is an agreement that acute (in minutes) hydrolysis and accumulation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) modulate TRPV1 and TRPA1 activities. Since inflammation results in PIP2 depletion, persisting for long periods (hours-to-days) in pain models and in clinic, we examined whether chronic depletion and accumulation of PIP2 affects capsaicin and mustard oil responses. In addition we also wanted to evaluate whether the effects of PIP2 depend on TRPV1 and TRPA1 co-expression, and whether the PIP2 actions vary in expression cells versus sensory neurons. Chronic PIP2 production was stimulated by over-expression of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate-5-kinase, while PIP2-specific phospholipid 5′-phosphatase was selected to reduce plasma membrane levels of PIP2. Our results demonstrate that capsaicin (100 nM; CAP) responses and receptor tachyphylaxis are not significantly influenced by chronic changes in PIP2 levels in wild-type (WT) or TRPA1 null-mutant sensory neurons, as well as CHO cells expressing TRPV1 alone or with TRPA1. However, low concentrations of CAP (20 nM) produced a higher response after PIP2 depletion in cells containing TRPV1 alone, but not TRPV1 together with TRPA1. Mustard oil (25 μM; MO) responses were also not affected by PIP2 in WT sensory neurons and cells co-expressing TRPA1 and TRPV1. In contrast, PIP2 reduction leads to pronounced tachyphylaxis to MO in cells with both channels. Chronic effect of PIP2 on TRPA1 activity depends on presence of the TRPV1 channel and cell type (CHO vs. sensory neurons). In summary, chronic alterations in PIP2 levels regulate magnitude of CAP and MO responses, as well as MO-tachyphylaxis. This regulation depends on co-expression profile of TRPA1 and TRPV1 and cell type. PMID:21337373

  12. Chronic alteration in phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate levels regulates capsaicin and mustard oil responses.

    PubMed

    Patil, Mayur J; Belugin, Sergei; Akopian, Armen N

    2011-06-01

    There is an agreement that acute (in minutes) hydrolysis and accumulation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2) ) modulate TRPV1 and TRPA1 activities. Because inflammation results in PIP(2) depletion, persisting for long periods (hours to days) in pain models and in the clinic, we examined whether chronic depletion and accumulation of PIP(2) affect capsaicin (CAP) and mustard oil (MO) responses. In addition, we wanted to evaluate whether the effects of PIP(2) depend on TRPV1 and TRPA1 coexpression and whether the PIP(2) actions vary in expression cells vs. sensory neurons. Chronic PIP(2) production was stimulated by overexpression of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate-5-kinase, and PIP(2) -specific phospholipid 5'-phosphatase was selected to reduce plasma membrane levels of PIP(2) . Our results demonstrate that CAP (100 nM) responses and receptor tachyphylaxis are not significantly influenced by chronic changes in PIP(2) levels in wild-type (WT) or TRPA1 null-mutant sensory neurons as well as CHO cells expressing TRPV1 alone or with TRPA1. However, low concentrations of CAP (20 nM) produced a higher response after PIP(2) depletion in cells containing TRPV1 alone but not TRPV1 together with TRPA1. MO (25 μM) responses were also not affected by PIP(2) in WT sensory neurons and cells coexpressing TRPA1 and TRPV1. In contrast, PIP(2) reduction leads to pronounced tachyphylaxis to MO in cells with both channels. Chronic effect of PIP(2) on TRPA1 activity depends on presence of the TRPV1 channel and cell type (CHO vs. sensory neurons). In summary, chronic alterations in PIP(2) levels regulate magnitude of CAP and MO responses as well as MO tachyphylaxis. This regulation depends on coexpression profile of TRPA1 and TRPV1 and cell type. PMID:21337373

  13. Effects of Altered Levels of Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase and Irradiation on Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Female Mice

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Yani; Leu, David; Chui, Jennifer; Fike, John R.; Huang, Ting-Ting

    2013-11-15

    Purpose: Altered levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) and cranial irradiation have been shown to affect hippocampal neurogenesis. However, previous studies were only conducted in male mice, and it was not clear if there was a difference between males and females. Therefore, female mice were studied and the results compared with those generated in male mice from an earlier study. Methods and Materials: Female wild-type, EC-SOD-null (KO), and EC-SOD bigenic mice with neuronal-specific expression of EC-SOD (OE) were subjected to a single dose of 5-Gy gamma rays to the head at 8 weeks of age. Progenitor cell proliferation, differentiation, and long-term survival of newborn neurons were determined. Results: Similar to results from male mice, EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation both resulted in significant reductions in mature newborn neurons in female mice. EC-SOD deficiency reduced long-term survival of newborn neurons whereas irradiation reduced progenitor cell proliferation. Overexpression of EC-SOD corrected the negative impacts from EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation and normalized the production of newborn neurons in OE mice. Expression of neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 were significantly reduced by irradiation in wild-type mice, but the levels were not changed in KO and OE mice even though both cohorts started out with a lower baseline level. Conclusion: In terms of hippocampal neurogenesis, EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation have the same overall effects in males and females at the age the studies were conducted.

  14. Alterations in miRNA Levels in the Dentate Gyrus in Epileptic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Bot, Anna Maria; Dębski, Konrad Józef; Lukasiuk, Katarzyna

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize changes in miRNA expression in the epileptic dentate gyrus. Status epilepticus evoked by amygdala stimulation was used to induce epilepsy in rats. The dentate gyri were isolated at 7 d, 14 d, 30 d and 90 d after stimulation (n=5). Sham-operated time-matched controls were prepared for each time point (n=5). The miRNA expression was evaluated using Exiqon microarrays. Additionally, mRNA from the same animals was profiled using Affymetrix microarrays. We detected miRNA expression signatures that differentiate between control and epileptic animals. Significant changes in miRNA expression between stimulated and sham operated animals were observed at 7 and 30 d following stimulation. Moreover, we found that there are ensembles of miRNAs that change expression levels over time. Analysis of the mRNA expression from the same animals revealed that the expression of several mRNAs that are potential targets for miRNA with altered expression level is regulated in the expected direction. The functional characterization of miRNAs and their potential mRNA targets indicate that miRNA can participate in several molecular events that occur in epileptic tissue, including immune response and neuronal plasticity. This is the first report on changes in the expression of miRNA and the potential functional impact of these changes in the dentate gyrus of epileptic animals. Complex changes in the expression of miRNAs suggest an important role for miRNA in the molecular mechanisms of epilepsy. PMID:24146813

  15. Flight initiation and maintenance deficits in flies with genetically altered biogenic amine levels.

    PubMed

    Brembs, Björn; Christiansen, Frauke; Pflüger, Hans Joachim; Duch, Carsten

    2007-10-10

    Insect flight is one of the fastest, most intense and most energy-demanding motor behaviors. It is modulated on multiple levels by the biogenic amine octopamine. Within the CNS, octopamine acts directly on the flight central pattern generator, and it affects motivational states. In the periphery, octopamine sensitizes sensory receptors, alters muscle contraction kinetics, and enhances flight muscle glycolysis. This study addresses the roles for octopamine and its precursor tyramine in flight behavior by genetic and pharmacological manipulation in Drosophila. Octopamine is not the natural signal for flight initiation because flies lacking octopamine [tyramine-beta-hydroxylase (TbetaH) null mutants] can fly. However, they show profound differences with respect to flight initiation and flight maintenance compared with wild-type controls. The morphology, kinematics, and development of the flight machinery are not impaired in TbetaH mutants because wing-beat frequencies and amplitudes, flight muscle structure, and overall dendritic structure of flight motoneurons are unaffected in TbetaH mutants. Accordingly, the flight behavior phenotypes can be rescued acutely in adult flies. Flight deficits are rescued by substituting octopamine but also by blocking the receptors for tyramine, which is enriched in TbetaH mutants. Conversely, ablating all neurons containing octopamine or tyramine phenocopies TbetaH mutants. Therefore, both octopamine and tyramine systems are simultaneously involved in regulating flight initiation and maintenance. Different sets of rescue experiments indicate different sites of action for both amines. These findings are consistent with a complex system of multiple amines orchestrating the control of motor behaviors on multiple levels rather than single amines eliciting single behaviors. PMID:17928454

  16. High levels of circulating extracellular vesicles with altered expression and function during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Nardi, Fabiola da Silva; Michelon, Tatiana Ferreira; Neumann, Jorge; Manvailer, Luis Felipe Santos; Wagner, Bettina; Horn, Peter A; Bicalho, Maria da Graça; Rebmann, Vera

    2016-07-01

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are widely considered important modulators of cell-cell communication and may interact with target cells locally and on a systemic level. Several studies had shown that circulating EVs' levels are increased during pregnancy. However, EVs characteristics, composition and biological functions in pregnancy still need to be clarified. This study aims to determine if circulating EVs during pregnancy are modified regarding levels, markers and cytokine profile as well as their reactivity towards peripheral blood cells. 26 pregnant women (PW) being in the second gestational trimester and 59 non-pregnant women (NPW) were investigated. EVs enrichment was performed by ExoQuick™ or ultracentrifugation; nanoparticle tracking analysis, SDS-PAGE followed by Western Blotting and densitometry, and IFN-γ, IL-10 and TGF-β1 ELISA for EVs characterization; imaging flow cytometry to analyze EVs' uptake by peripheral blood cells and flow cytometry were performed to analyze EVs function regarding induction of caspase-3 activity. Circulating EVs' levels were increased during pregnancy [26.9×10(6)EVs/ml (range: 6.4-46.3); p=0.003] vs NPW [18.9×10(6)EVs/ml (range: 2.5-61.3)]. Importantly, the immunosuppressive TGF-β1 and IL-10 cytokine cargo were increased in EVs of PW even after normalization to 1 million EVs [TGF-β1: 0.25pg/10(6)EVs (range: 0.0-2.0); p<0.0001] and [IL-10: 0.21pg/10(6)EVs (range: 0.0-16.8); p=0.006] vs NPW. Although EVs derived from non-pregnant and pregnant women were taken up by NK cells, the latter exclusively enhanced the caspase-3 activity in CD56(dim) NK cells (8.2±0.9; p=0.02). The qualitative and quantitative pregnancy-related alterations of circulating EVs provide first hints for an immune modulating role of circulating EVs during pregnancy. PMID:27005781

  17. Altered Carbon Isotope Discrimination of C3 Plants Under Very High pCO2 Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panetta, R. J.; Schubert, B.; Jahren, H.

    2009-12-01

    Various modeling and proxy-based reconstructions of atmospheric pCO2 levels for the last 120 Ma have estimated RCO2 as high as 12x for the Early Cretaceous, generally decreasing into the Cenozoic, and decreasing further into the Quaternary. Multiple ecological studies to assess the effect of elevated CO2 on plant biomass and δ13C value have been spurred on by recent increases in greenhouse gases, however these studies typically grow plants under only slightly elevated CO2 levels (i.e., the twenty foremost studies published since 1990 involved 550 to 750 ppm pCO2, which equals RCO2 = 1.4 to 1.9x). In order to recreate the highest pCO2 environments of the last 120 Ma, we grew radish (Raphanus sativus L.) in growth chambers that maintained controlled environmental conditions and pCO2 levels ranging from ~5 to 11x that of today’s atmosphere (1791 to 4200 ppm); upon harvest we measured total biomass and stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13Cplant) in both above and below ground plant tissue. Unlike the 1:1 relationship between stable isotopes of atmospheric CO2 (δ13Catm) and δ13Cplant observed at lower pCO2 levels (i.e., RCO2 = 1x to 3x; Jahren et al., 2008), the δ13Cplant of biomass grown at more elevated RCO2 was dependent upon δ13Catm according to the linear relationship: δ13Cplant = 1.9(δ13Cplant) - 12.2 ‰ (r2 = 0.71). Concomitantly, we see a highly significant (p < 0.001) positive correlation between net carbon isotope discrimination in plant tissue and pCO2 level, with a change in the average Δδ13Cplant-atm in R. sativus L. from -27.0 to -28.0 ‰ at RCO2 = 5x to 11x, respectively. We will discuss possible mechanisms for changing isotope discrimination at very high pCO2 levels that may not be operative at lower concentrations. For example, we noted a striking reduction in the variability of biomass between plants grown at the same (very high) level of pCO2. This variability (calculated as the standard deviation of the log-transformed biomass data after

  18. A reassessment of the phylogenetic utility of genus-level morphological characters in the family Bogidiellidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda), with description of a new species of Eobogidiella Karaman, 1981

    PubMed Central

    Sidorov, Dmitry A.; Katz, Aron D.; Taylor, Steven J.; Chertoprud, Mikhail V.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Bogidiellidae is the most diverse and cosmopolitan family of stygobiotic amphipods, and inhabits a variety of subterranean biotopes, especially interstitial habitats. While the family is characterized by considerable sexual dimorphism, this dimorphism has adversely affected our understanding of the systematics of the group. Most species have restricted geographic ranges and occur in difficult to sample habitats, so it is common for individual species descriptions to be based on a single sex. In this work we revisit an analysis of morphological characters in an attempt to clarify their phylogenetic utility in resolving taxonomic relationships among genera by introducing a new species, two additional characters, and phylogenetic statistical support values. Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n., from a spring fed brook in the Shirawati River basin along the escarpment of the Western Ghats (Karnataka, India) differs from the only known congener, Eobogidiella purmamarcensis, from Argentina, in the structure of mouthparts, the shape and ornamentation on gnathopods and characters of the telson. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the available morphological characters are not sufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Bogidiellidae, thus these characters alone cannot be used to determine the phylogenetic placement of Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. within the family. Nevertheless, Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. shares diagnostic characters with Eobogidiella, supporting placement of the new species in this genus. Our findings point towards a critical need to resolve relationships within the family using molecular approaches, along with the development of a suite of additional morphological characters for Bogidiellidae. This is the third species of Bogidiellidae from southern India. PMID:27587976

  19. A reassessment of the phylogenetic utility of genus-level morphological characters in the family Bogidiellidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda), with description of a new species of Eobogidiella Karaman, 1981.

    PubMed

    Sidorov, Dmitry A; Katz, Aron D; Taylor, Steven J; Chertoprud, Mikhail V

    2016-01-01

    Bogidiellidae is the most diverse and cosmopolitan family of stygobiotic amphipods, and inhabits a variety of subterranean biotopes, especially interstitial habitats. While the family is characterized by considerable sexual dimorphism, this dimorphism has adversely affected our understanding of the systematics of the group. Most species have restricted geographic ranges and occur in difficult to sample habitats, so it is common for individual species descriptions to be based on a single sex. In this work we revisit an analysis of morphological characters in an attempt to clarify their phylogenetic utility in resolving taxonomic relationships among genera by introducing a new species, two additional characters, and phylogenetic statistical support values. Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n., from a spring fed brook in the Shirawati River basin along the escarpment of the Western Ghats (Karnataka, India) differs from the only known congener, Eobogidiella purmamarcensis, from Argentina, in the structure of mouthparts, the shape and ornamentation on gnathopods and characters of the telson. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the available morphological characters are not sufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Bogidiellidae, thus these characters alone cannot be used to determine the phylogenetic placement of Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. within the family. Nevertheless, Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. shares diagnostic characters with Eobogidiella, supporting placement of the new species in this genus. Our findings point towards a critical need to resolve relationships within the family using molecular approaches, along with the development of a suite of additional morphological characters for Bogidiellidae. This is the third species of Bogidiellidae from southern India. PMID:27587976

  20. Genetic KCa3.1-Deficiency Produces Locomotor Hyperactivity and Alterations in Cerebral Monoamine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Sivasaravanaparan, Mithula; Ditzel, Nicholas; Sevelsted-Møller, Linda Maria; Oliván-Viguera, Aida; Rabjerg, Maj; Wulff, Heike; Köhler, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    Background The calmodulin/calcium-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 is expressed in red and white blood cells, epithelia and endothelia, and possibly central and peripheral neurons. However, our knowledge about its contribution to neurological functions and behavior is incomplete. Here, we investigated whether genetic deficiency or pharmacological activation of KCa3.1 change behavior and cerebral monoamine levels in mice. Methodology/Principal Findings In the open field test, KCa3.1-deficiency increased horizontal activity, as KCa3.1−/− mice travelled longer distances (≈145% of KCa3.1+/+) and at higher speed (≈1.5-fold of KCa3.1+/+). Working memory in the Y-maze was reduced by KCa3.1-deficiency. Motor coordination on the rotarod and neuromuscular functions were unchanged. In KCa3.1−/− mice, HPLC analysis revealed that turn-over rates of serotonin were reduced in frontal cortex, striatum and brain stem, while noradrenalin turn-over rates were increased in the frontal cortex. Dopamine turn-over rates were unaltered. Plasma catecholamine and corticosterone levels were unaltered. Intraperitoneal injections of 10 mg/kg of the KCa3.1/KCa2-activator SKA-31 reduced rearing and turning behavior in KCa3.1+/+ but not in KCa3.1−/− mice, while 30 mg/kg SKA-31 caused strong sedation in 50% of the animals of either genotypes. KCa3.1−/− mice were hyperactive (≈+60%) in their home cage and SKA-31-administration reduced nocturnal physical activity in KCa3.1+/+ but not in KCa3.1−/− mice. Conclusions/Significance KCa3.1-deficiency causes locomotor hyperactivity and altered monoamine levels in selected brain regions, suggesting a so far unknown functional link of KCa3.1 channels to behavior and monoaminergic neurotransmission in mice. The tranquilizing effects of low-dose SKA-31 raise the possibility to use KCa3.1/KCa2 channels as novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of neuropsychiatric hyperactivity disorders. PMID:23077667

  1. The Evolutionary Ecology of Plant Disease: A Phylogenetic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Gregory S; Parker, Ingrid M

    2016-08-01

    An explicit phylogenetic perspective provides useful tools for phytopathology and plant disease ecology because the traits of both plants and microbes are shaped by their evolutionary histories. We present brief primers on phylogenetic signal and the analytical tools of phylogenetic ecology. We review the literature and find abundant evidence of phylogenetic signal in pathogens and plants for most traits involved in disease interactions. Plant nonhost resistance mechanisms and pathogen housekeeping functions are conserved at deeper phylogenetic levels, whereas molecular traits associated with rapid coevolutionary dynamics are more labile at branch tips. Horizontal gene transfer disrupts the phylogenetic signal for some microbial traits. Emergent traits, such as host range and disease severity, show clear phylogenetic signals. Therefore pathogen spread and disease impact are influenced by the phylogenetic structure of host assemblages. Phylogenetically rare species escape disease pressure. Phylogenetic tools could be used to develop predictive tools for phytosanitary risk analysis and reduce disease pressure in multispecies cropping systems. PMID:27359365

  2. DETECTING STREAM INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY ALTERATION DUE TO MID TO LOW LEVELS OF WATERSHED LANDSCAPE MODIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an investigation into the effects of watershed landscape alteration on stream ecosystems, quantitative invertebrate samples were collected from riffles in 26 second and third order south shore Lake Superior streams. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination ...

  3. Higher levels of CO2 during late incubation alter the hatch time of chicken embryos.

    PubMed

    Tong, Q; McGonnell, I M; Roulston, N; Bergoug, H; Romanini, C E B; Garain, P; Eterradossi, N; Exadaktylos, V; Bahr, C; Berckmans, D; Demmers, T G M

    2015-01-01

    1. It has been reported that the increasing CO2 tension triggers the embryo to pip the air cell and emerge from the egg. However, the mechanism by which higher CO2 concentrations during the last few days of incubation affect chick physiology and the hatching process is unclear. This study investigated the effect of CO2 concentrations up to 1% during pipping, on the onset and length of the hatch window (HW) and chick quality. 2. Four batches of Ross 308 broiler eggs (600 eggs per batch) were incubated in two small-scale custom-built incubators (Petersime NV). During the final 3 d of incubation, control eggs were exposed to a lower CO2 concentration (0.3%), while the test eggs experienced a higher CO2 concentration programme (peak of 1%). 3. There were no significant differences in blood values, organ weight and body weight. There was also no difference in hatchability between control and test groups. However, a small increase in the chick weight and the percentage of first class chicks was found in the test groups. Furthermore, plasma corticosterone profiles during hatching were altered in embryos exposed to higher CO2; however, they dropped to normal levels at d 21 of incubation. Importantly, the hatching process was delayed and synchronised in the test group, resulting in a narrowed HW which was 2.7 h shorter and 5.3 h later than the control group. 4. These results showed that exposing chicks to 1% CO2 concentration during pipping did not have negative impacts on physiological status of newly hatched chicks. In addition, it may have a significant impact on the physiological mechanisms controlling hatching and have benefits for the health and welfare of chickens by reducing the waiting time after hatching. PMID:25900009

  4. Altered Refractive Development in Mice With Reduced Levels of Retinal Dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Bergen, Michael A.; Park, Han na; Chakraborty, Ranjay; Landis, Erica G.; Sidhu, Curran; He, Li; Iuvone, P. Michael; Pardue, Machelle T.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The neuromodulator dopamine (DA) has been implicated in the prevention of excessive ocular elongation and myopia in various animal models. This study used retina-specific DA knockout mice to investigate the role of retinal DA in refractive development and susceptibility to experimental myopia. Methods Measurements of refractive error, corneal curvature, and ocular biometrics were obtained as a function of age for both untreated and form-deprived (FD) groups of retina-specific tyrosine hydroxylase knockout (rTHKO) and control (Ctrl) mice. Retinas from each group were analyzed by HPLC for levels of DA and its primary metabolite (DOPAC). Results Under normal visual conditions, rTHKO mice showed significantly myopic refractions (F(1,188) = 7.602, P < 0.001) and steeper corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,180) = 5.1, P < 0.01) at 4 and 6 weeks of age compared with Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO mice also had thinner corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,181) = 37.17, P < 0.001), thinner retinas (F(6,181) = 6.07, P < 0.001), and shorter axial lengths (F(6,181) = 3.78, P < 0.01) than Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO retinas contained less than 15% of DA and DOPAC compared with Ctrl retinas, and the remaining DA had a significantly higher turnover, as indicated by DOPAC/DA ratios (Student's t-test, P < 0.05). Retina-specific THKO mice showed similar, yet more variable, responses to 6 weeks of FD compared with Ctrl mice. Conclusions Diminished retinal DA induced spontaneous myopia in mice raised under laboratory conditions without form deprivation. The relative myopic shift in rTHKO mice may be explained by steeper corneas, an unexpected finding. The chronic loss of DA did not significantly alter the FD myopia response in rTHKO mice.

  5. YB-1 and MTA1 protein levels and not DNA or mRNA alterations predict for prostate cancer recurrence

    PubMed Central

    Sheridan, Christine Moore; Grogan, Tristan R.; Nguyen, Hao G.; Galet, Colette; Rettig, Matthew B.; Hsieh, Andrew C.; Ruggero, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Attempts to identify biomarkers to detect prostate tumorigenesis, and thus minimize prostate cancer progression and inform treatment decisions have primarily focused on alterations at the DNA and mRNA levels, ignoring alterations at the level of protein synthesis control. We have previously shown that the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway, frequently deregulated in prostate cancer, specifically induces the synthesis of proteins that contribute to metastasis, most notably YB-1 and MTA1, without altering mRNA levels thereby demonstrating the importance of translation control in driving the expression of these genes in cancer. Here, we analyze genomic sequencing and mRNA expression databases, as well as protein expression employing an annotated tissue microarray generated from 332 prostate cancer patients with 15 years of clinical follow-up to determine the combined prognostic capability of YB-1 and MTA1 alterations in forecasting prostate cancer outcomes. Remarkably, protein abundance, but not genomic or transcriptional alterations of YB-1 and MTA1, is predictive of disease recurrence, exhibiting a dose-dependent effect on time to PSA recurrence, an indicator of tumor relapse. Moreover, high protein levels of YB-1 and MTA1 are associated with a 3-fold increased risk for requiring future hormone therapy or radiation therapy. Importantly, YB-1 and MTA1 protein levels significantly increase the predictive capacity of a clinical model for prostate cancer recurrence. These findings demonstrate that protein abundance of YB-1 and MTA1, irrespective of DNA or mRNA status, can predict for prostate cancer relapse and uncover a vast underappreciated repository of biomarkers regulated at the level of protein expression. PMID:25797255

  6. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Michael D.; Walworth, Nathan G.; Sylvan, Jason B.; Edwards, Katrina J.; Orcutt, Beth N.

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe–mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock–water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure. PMID:26779122

  7. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael D; Walworth, Nathan G; Sylvan, Jason B; Edwards, Katrina J; Orcutt, Beth N

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe-mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock-water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure. PMID:26779122

  8. A Metric on the Space of Partly Reduced Phylogenetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that allow for the representation of evolutionary events acting at the population level, such as recombination between genes, hybridization between lineages, and horizontal gene transfer. The researchers have designed several measures for computing the dissimilarity between two phylogenetic networks, and each measure has been proven to be a metric on a special kind of phylogenetic networks. However, none of the existing measures is a metric on the space of partly reduced phylogenetic networks. In this paper, we provide a metric, de-distance, on the space of partly reduced phylogenetic networks, which is polynomial-time computable. PMID:27419137

  9. Mitomycin C induced alterations in antioxidant enzyme levels in a model insect species, Spodoptera eridania.

    PubMed

    Batcabe, J P; MacGill, R S; Zaman, K; Ahmad, S; Pardini, R S

    1994-05-01

    1. An insect species, the southern armyworm Spodoptera eridania, was used as an in vivo model to examine mitomycin C's (MMC) pro-oxidant effect reflected in alterations of antioxidant enzymes. 2. Following a 2-day exposure to 0.01 and 0.05% w/w dietary concentrations, MMC only induced superoxide dismutase activity. All other enzyme activities were not affected, indicating oxidative stress was mild. 3. Following a 5-day exposure to 0.05% w/w dietary MMC, the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione-S-transferase and its peroxidase activity and DT-diaphorase were induced. GR activity was not altered. The high constitutive catalase activity was also not affected. These responses of S. eridania's antioxidant enzymes are analogous to those of mammalian systems in alleviating MMC-induced oxidative stress. 4. S. eridania emerges as an appropriate non-mammalian model for initial and cost-effective screening of drug-induced oxidative stress. PMID:7926607

  10. Genetic and epigenetic alterations induced by different levels of rye genome integration in wheat recipient.

    PubMed

    Zheng, X L; Zhou, J P; Zang, L L; Tang, A T; Liu, D Q; Deng, K J; Zhang, Y

    2016-01-01

    The narrow genetic variation present in common wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties has greatly restricted the improvement of crop yield in modern breeding systems. Alien addition lines have proven to be an effective means to broaden the genetic diversity of common wheat. Wheat-rye addition lines, which are the direct bridge materials for wheat improvement, have been wildly used to produce new wheat cultivars carrying alien rye germplasm. In this study, we investigated the genetic and epigenetic alterations in two sets of wheat-rye disomic addition lines (1R-7R) and the corresponding triticales. We used expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat, amplified fragment length polymorphism, and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism analyses to analyze the effects of the introduction of alien chromosomes (either the entire genome or sub-genome) to wheat genetic background. We found obvious and diversiform variations in the genomic primary structure, as well as alterations in the extent and pattern of the genomic DNA methylation of the recipient. Meanwhile, these results also showed that introduction of different rye chromosomes could induce different genetic and epigenetic alterations in its recipient, and the genetic background of the parents is an important factor for genomic and epigenetic variation induced by alien chromosome addition. PMID:27323191

  11. Environmental prenatal stress eliminates brain and maternal behavioral sex differences and alters hormone levels in female rats.

    PubMed

    Del Cerro, M C R; Ortega, E; Gómez, F; Segovia, S; Pérez-Laso, C

    2015-07-01

    Environmental prenatal stress (EPS) has effects on fetuses that are long-lasting, altering their hormone levels, brain morphology and behavior when they reach maturity. In previous research, we demonstrated that EPS affects the expression of induced maternal behavior (MB), the neuroendocrine system, and morphology of the sexually dimorphic accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) involved in reproductive behavior patterns. The bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT) is another vomeronasal (VN) structure that plays an inhibitory role in rats in the expression of induced maternal behavior in female and male virgins. In the present study, we have ascertained whether the behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neuromorphological alterations of the AOB found after EPS also appear in the BAOT. After applying EPS to pregnant rats during the late gestational period, in their female offspring at maturity we tested induced maternal behavior, BAOT morphology and plasma levels of testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), progesterone (P), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (Cpd B). EPS: a) affected the induction of MB, showed a male-like pattern of care for pups, b) elevated plasma levels of Cpd B and reduced E2 in comparison with the controls, and c) significantly increased the number of BAOT neurons compared to the control females and comparable to the control male group. These findings provide further evidence that stress applied to pregnant rats produces long-lasting behavioral, endocrine and neuroanatomical alterations in the female offspring that are evident when they become mature. PMID:26163152

  12. Growth of Streptococcus mutans in Biofilms Alters Peptide Signaling at the Sub-population Level

    PubMed Central

    Shields, Robert C.; Burne, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus mutans activates multiple cellular processes in response to the formation of a complex between comX-inducing peptide (XIP) and the ComR transcriptional regulator. Bulk phase and microfluidic experiments previously revealed that ComR-dependent activation of comX is altered by pH and by carbohydrate source. Biofilm formation is a major factor in bacterial survival and virulence in the oral cavity. Here, we sought to determine the response of S. mutans biofilm cells to XIP during different stages of biofilm maturation. Using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, we showed that exogenous addition of XIP to early biofilms resulted in robust comX activation. However, as the biofilms matured, increasing amounts of XIP were required to activate comX expression. Single-cell analysis demonstrated that the entire population was responding to XIP with activation of comX in early biofilms, but only a sub-population was responding in mature biofilms. The sub-population response of mature biofilms was retained when the cells were dispersed and then treated with XIP. The proportion and intensity of the bi-modal response of mature biofilm cells was altered in mutants lacking the Type II toxins MazF and RelE, or in a strain lacking the (p)ppGpp synthase/hydrolase RelA. Thus, competence signaling is markedly altered in cells growing in mature biofilms, and pathways that control cell death and growth/survival decisions modulate activation of comX expression in these sessile populations. PMID:27471495

  13. HDAC6 Modulates Cell Motility by Altering the Acetylation Level of Cortactin

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohong; Yuan, Zhigang; Zhang, Yingtao; Yong, Sarah; Salas-Burgos, Alexis; Koomen, John; Olashaw, Nancy; Parsons, J. Thomas; Yang, Xiang-Jiao; Dent, Sharon R.; Yao, Tso-Pang; Lane, William S.; Seto, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Summary Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a tubulin-specific deacetylase that regulates microtubule-dependent cell movement. In this study, we identify the F-actin-binding protein, cortactin, as a HDAC6 substrate. We demonstrate that HDAC6 binds cortactin and that overexpression of HDAC6 leads to hypoacetylation of cortactin, while inhibition of HDAC6 activity leads to cortactin hyperacetylation. HDAC6 alters the ability of cortactin to bind F-actin by modulating a “charge patch” in its repeat region. Introduction of charge-preserving or charge-neutralizing mutations in this cortactin repeat region correlates with the gain or loss of F-actin binding ability, respectively. Cells expressing a charge-neutralizing cortactin mutant were less motile than control cells or cells expressing a charge-preserving mutant. These findings suggest that, in addition to its role in microtubule-dependent cell motility, HDAC6 influences actin-dependent cell motility by altering the acetylation status of cortactin, which, in turn, changes the F-actin binding activity of cortactin. PMID:17643370

  14. Quantitative changes in Galphaolf protein levels, but not D1 receptor, alter specifically acute responses to psychostimulants.

    PubMed

    Corvol, Jean-Christophe; Valjent, Emmanuel; Pascoli, Vincent; Robin, Aurélie; Stipanovich, Alexandre; Luedtke, Robert R; Belluscio, Leonardo; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Hervé, Denis

    2007-05-01

    Striatal dopamine D1 receptors (D1R) are coupled to adenylyl cyclase through Galphaolf. Although this pathway is involved in important brain functions, the consequences of quantitative alterations of its components are not known. We explored the biochemical and behavioral responses to cocaine and D-amphetamine (D-amph) in mice with heterozygous mutations of genes encoding D1R and Galphaolf (Drd1a+/- and Gnal+/-), which express decreased levels of the corresponding proteins in the striatum. Dopamine-stimulated cAMP production in vitro and phosphorylation of AMPA receptor GluR1 subunit in response to D-amph in vivo were decreased in Gnal+/-, but not Drd1a+/- mice. Acute locomotor responses to D1 agonist SKF81259, D-amph and cocaine were altered in Gnal+/- mice, and not in Drd1a+/- mice. This haploinsufficiency showed that Galphaolf but not D1R protein levels are limiting for D1R-mediated biochemical and behavioral responses. Gnal+/- mice developed pronounced locomotor sensitization and conditioned locomotor responses after repeated injections of D-amph (2 mg/kg) or cocaine (20 mg/kg). They also developed normal D-amph-conditioned place preference. The D1R/cAMP pathway remained blunted in repeatedly treated Gnal+/- mice. In contrast, D-amph-induced ERK activation was normal in the striatum of these mice, possibly accounting for the normal development of long-lasting behavioral responses to psychostimulants. Our results clearly dissociate biochemical mechanisms involved in acute and delayed behavioral effects of psychostimulants. They identify striatal levels of Galphaolf as a key factor for acute responses to psychostimulants and suggest that quantitative alterations of its expression may alter specific responses to drugs of abuse, or possibly other behavioral responses linked to dopamine function. PMID:17063155

  15. No alteration in serum leptin levels during acute endotoxemia in sheep.

    PubMed

    Soliman, M; Abdelhady, S; Fattouh, I; Ishioka, K; Kitamura, H; Kimura, K; Saito, M

    2001-10-01

    To determine the role of leptin in endotoxin-induced anorexia in ruminants, circulating leptin levels were measured during acute experimental endotoxemia in sheep. Injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (450 ng/kg, i.v.) induced anorexia accompanied with fever and increases in serum levels of cortisol, insulin and glucose which are known to stimulate leptin secretion in rodent and human, while it did not affect serum leptin levels at all. These results indicate that serum leptin levels in sheep during acute endotoxemia are differentially regulated from those in rodent and human, and that leptin might not be involved in the endotoxin-induced anorexia in sheep. PMID:11714034

  16. Long-term variation in above and belowground plant inputs alters soil organic matter biogeochemistry at the molecular-level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, M. J.; Pisani, O.; Lin, L.; Lun, O.; Simpson, A.; Lajtha, K.; Nadelhoffer, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    The long-term fate of soil carbon reserves with global environmental change remains uncertain. Shifts in moisture, altered nutrient cycles, species composition, or rising temperatures may alter the proportions of above and belowground biomass entering soil. However, it is unclear how long-term changes in plant inputs may alter the composition of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil carbon storage. Advanced molecular techniques were used to assess SOM composition in mineral soil horizons (0-10 cm) after 20 years of Detrital Input and Removal Treatment (DIRT) at the Harvard Forest. SOM biomarkers (solvent extraction, base hydrolysis and cupric (II) oxide oxidation) and both solid-state and solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy were used to identify changes in SOM composition and stage of degradation. Microbial activity and community composition were assessed using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Doubling aboveground litter inputs decreased soil carbon content, increased the degradation of labile SOM and enhanced the sequestration of aliphatic compounds in soil. The exclusion of belowground inputs (No roots and No inputs) resulted in a decrease in root-derived components and enhanced the degradation of leaf-derived aliphatic structures (cutin). Cutin-derived SOM has been hypothesized to be recalcitrant but our results show that even this complex biopolymer is susceptible to degradation when inputs entering soil are altered. The PLFA data indicate that changes in soil microbial community structure favored the accelerated processing of specific SOM components with littler manipulation. These results collectively reveal that the quantity and quality of plant litter inputs alters the molecular-level composition of SOM and in some cases, enhances the degradation of recalcitrant SOM. Our study also suggests that increased litterfall is unlikely to enhance soil carbon storage over the long-term in temperate forests.

  17. Teaching Molecular Phylogenetics through Investigating a Real-World Phylogenetic Problem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Xiaorong

    2012-01-01

    A phylogenetics exercise is incorporated into the "Introduction to biocomputing" course, a junior-level course at Savannah State University. This exercise is designed to help students learn important concepts and practical skills in molecular phylogenetics through solving a real-world problem. In this application, students are required to identify…

  18. Altered serum levels of adipokines and insulin in probable Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Khemka, Vineet Kumar; Bagchi, Debajit; Bandyopadhyay, Kausik; Bir, Aritri; Chattopadhyay, Mrittika; Biswas, Atanu; Basu, Debasis; Chakrabarti, Sasanka

    2014-01-01

    Cerebral hypometabolism of glucose, weight loss, and decreased food intake are characteristic features of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). A systematic study on the serum levels of adipokines and insulin, the major hormones regulating energy metabolism, food intake, and body weight, in sporadic AD is necessary. The present study compares the serum levels of leptin, adiponectin, and insulin, measured by commercially available immuno-assay kits, between controls and sporadic AD subjects. The results show a conspicuous decrease in the level of leptin, a dramatic rise in the level of adiponectin, and also a statistically significant increase in insulin level, in the blood of AD subjects, with respect to controls. The changes in the serum levels of adiponectin and insulin in AD are positively correlated with the severity of dementia. Likewise, the serum level of leptin in AD subjects is negatively correlated with the degree of dementia. The changes in the levels of adipokines and insulin have implications in the amyloid pathology, neurodegeneration, and hypometabolism of glucose existing in the AD brain. PMID:24625795

  19. Perinatal ethanol exposure alters met-enkephalin levels of male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Lugo, Joaquin N; Wilson, Marlene A; Kelly, Sandra J

    2006-01-01

    This study used a rat model of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to investigate whether combined prenatal and postnatal ethanol exposure affects met-enkephalin levels in the brains of male and female Long-Evans adult rats. Intragastric ethanol was administered to a group of rats (ET) from gestational day (GD) 1 through 22 and from postnatal day (PD) 2 through 10. The control groups consisted of a nontreated control group (NTC) and an intubated control group (IC) that received the intragastric intubation procedure but no exposure to ethanol. We measured met-enkephalin levels in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, central and basolateral nucleus of amygdala and ventral tegmental area. Met-enkephalin levels in the hypothalamus of male and female ET animals were significantly higher than those in either the NTC or IC animals. Met-enkephalin levels in the central nucleus of the amygdala of male and female ET animals were significantly lower than the levels in the NTC animals. Met-enkephalin levels in the nucleus accumbens of ET females were significantly greater than those in the IC females. These results demonstrate that the combination of prenatal and postnatal ethanol exposure affects basal met-enkephalin levels in specific regions in a sex-specific manner. These changes in met-enkephalin levels may explain how early ethanol exposure affects opioid-regulated behaviors such as social play, sexual behavior, and other social behaviors. PMID:16457985

  20. Altered levels of brain neurotransmitter from new born rabbits with intrauterine restriction.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Andrade, E; Cortés-Camberos, A J; Díaz, N F; Flores-Herrera, H; García-López, G; González-Jiménez, M; Santamaría, A; Molina-Hernández, A

    2015-01-01

    Fetal intrauterine growth restriction generates chronic hypoxia due to placental insufficiency. Despite the hemodynamic process of blood flow, redistributions are taking place in key organs such as the fetal brain during intrauterine growth restriction, in order to maintain oxygen and nutrients supply. The risk of short- and long-term neurological effects are still present in hypoxic offspring. Most studies previously reported the effect of hypoxia on the levels of a single neurotransmitter, making it difficult to have a better understanding of the relationship among neurotransmitter levels and the defects reported in products that suffer intrauterine growth restriction, such as motor development, coordination and execution of movement, and the learning-memory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin in three structures of the brain related to the above-mentioned function such as the cerebral cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus in the chronic hypoxic newborn rabbit model. Our results showed a significant increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in all studied brain structures and a significant decrease in gamma-aminobutyric acid levels but only in the striatum, suggesting that the imbalance on the levels of several neurotransmitters could be involved in new born brain damage due to perinatal hypoxia. PMID:25304540

  1. Cytotoxicity and alterations at transcriptional level caused by metals on fish erythrocytes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Morcillo, Patricia; Romero, Diego; Meseguer, José; Esteban, M Ángeles; Cuesta, Alberto

    2016-06-01

    The in vitro use of fish erythrocytes to test the toxicity of aquatic pollutants could be a valuable alternative to fish bioassays but has received little attention. In this study, erythrocytes from marine gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) specimens were exposed for 24 h to Cd, Hg, Pb and As and the resulting cytotoxicity was evaluated. Exposure to metals produced a dose-dependent reduction in the viability, and mercury showed the highest toxicity followed by MeHg, Cd, As and Pb. Moreover, fish erythrocytes incubated with each one of the metals exhibited alteration in gene expression profile of metallothionein, superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxiredoxin, glutathione reductase, heat shock proteins 70 and 90, Bcl2-associated X protein and calpain1 indicating cellular protection, stress and apoptosis death as well as oxidative stress. This study points to the benefits for evaluating the toxicological mechanisms of marine pollution using fish erythrocytes in vitro. PMID:26976014

  2. Soluble beta amyloid evokes alteration in brain norepinephrine levels: role of nitric oxide and interleukin-1

    PubMed Central

    Morgese, Maria G.; Colaianna, Marilena; Mhillaj, Emanuela; Zotti, Margherita; Schiavone, Stefania; D'Antonio, Palma; Harkin, Andrew; Gigliucci, Valentina; Campolongo, Patrizia; Trezza, Viviana; De Stradis, Angelo; Tucci, Paolo; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Trabace, Luigia

    2015-01-01

    Strong evidence showed neurotoxic properties of beta amyloid (Aβ) and its pivotal role in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Beside, experimental data suggest that Aβ may have physiological roles considering that such soluble peptide is produced and secreted during normal cellular activity. There is now suggestive evidence that neurodegenerative conditions, like AD, involve nitric oxide (NO) in their pathogenesis. Nitric oxide also possess potent neuromodulatory actions in brain regions, such as prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HIPP), and nucleus accumbens (NAC). In the present study, we evaluated the effect of acute Aβ injection on norepinephrine (NE) content before and after pharmacological manipulations of nitrergic system in above mentioned areas. Moreover, effects of the peptide on NOS activity were evaluated. Our data showed that 2 h after i.c.v. soluble Aβ administration, NE concentrations were significantly increased in the considered areas along with increased iNOS activity. Pre-treatment with NOS inhibitors, 7-Nitroindazole (7-NI), and N6-(1-iminoethyl)-L-lysine-dihydrochloride (L-NIL), reversed Aβ-induced changes. Ultimately, pharmacological block of interleukin1 (IL-1) receptors prevented NE increase in all brain regions. Taken together our findings suggest that NO and IL-1 are critically involved in regional noradrenergic alterations induced by soluble Aβ injection. PMID:26594145

  3. Association of a Human FABP1 Gene Promoter Region Polymorphism with Altered Serum Triglyceride Levels

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yi-bing; Huang, Rong-dong; Lu, Qing-Qing; Lin, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), also known as fatty acid-binding protein 1 (FABP1), is a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. Elevated FABP1 levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndromes. In this study, we examine the association of FABP1 gene promoter variants with serum FABP1 and lipid levels in a Chinese population. Four promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FABP1 gene were genotyped in a cross-sectional survey of healthy volunteers (n = 1,182) from Fuzhou city of China. Results showed that only the rs2919872 G>A variant was significantly associated with serum TG concentration(P = 0.032).Compared with the rs2919872 G allele, rs2919872 A allele contributed significantly to reduced serum TG concentration, and this allele dramatically decreased the FABP1 promoter activity(P < 0.05). The rs2919872 A allele carriers had considerably lower serum FABP1 levels than G allele carriers (P < 0.01). In the multivariable linear regression analysis, the rs2919872 A allele was negatively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = —0.320, P = 0.003), while serum TG levels were positively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = 0.487, P = 0.014). Our data suggest that compared with the rs2919872 G allele, the rs2919872 A allele reduces the transcriptional activity of FABP1 promoter, and thereby may link FABP1 gene variation to TG level in humans. PMID:26439934

  4. Association of a Human FABP1 Gene Promoter Region Polymorphism with Altered Serum Triglyceride Levels.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xian-E; Wu, Yun-Li; Zhu, Yi-Bing; Huang, Rong-Dong; Lu, Qing-Qing; Lin, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), also known as fatty acid-binding protein 1 (FABP1), is a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. Elevated FABP1 levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndromes. In this study, we examine the association of FABP1 gene promoter variants with serum FABP1 and lipid levels in a Chinese population. Four promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FABP1 gene were genotyped in a cross-sectional survey of healthy volunteers (n = 1,182) from Fuzhou city of China. Results showed that only the rs2919872 G>A variant was significantly associated with serum TG concentration(P = 0.032).Compared with the rs2919872 G allele, rs2919872 A allele contributed significantly to reduced serum TG concentration, and this allele dramatically decreased the FABP1 promoter activity(P < 0.05). The rs2919872 A allele carriers had considerably lower serum FABP1 levels than G allele carriers (P < 0.01). In the multivariable linear regression analysis, the rs2919872 A allele was negatively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = -0.320, P = 0.003), while serum TG levels were positively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = 0.487, P = 0.014). Our data suggest that compared with the rs2919872 G allele, the rs2919872 A allele reduces the transcriptional activity of FABP1 promoter, and thereby may link FABP1 gene variation to TG level in humans. PMID:26439934

  5. Phylogenetic lineages in Entomophthoromycota

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomophthoromycota Humber is one of five major phylogenetic lineages among the former phylum Zygomycota. These early terrestrial fungi share evolutionarily ancestral characters such as coenocytic mycelium and gametangiogamy as a sexual process resulting in zygospore formation. Previous molecular st...

  6. Altered levels of α-synuclein and sphingolipids in Batten disease lymphoblast cells.

    PubMed

    Kang, Sunyang; Heo, Tae-Hwe; Kim, Sung-Jo

    2014-04-15

    Batten disease (juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by blindness, seizures, cognitive decline, and early death due to the inherited mutation of the CLN3 gene. Although α-synuclein and sphingolipids are relevant for the pathogenesis of some neuronal disorders, little attention has been paid to their role in Batten disease. To identify the molecular factors linked to autophagy and apoptotic cell death in Batten disease, the levels of α-synuclein, sphingomyelin, and gangliosides were examined. We observed enhanced levels of α-synuclein oligomers and gangliosides GM1, GM2, and GM3 and reduced levels of sphingomyelin and autophagy in Batten disease lymphoblast cells compared with normal lymphoblast cells, possibly resulting in a higher rate of apoptosis typically found in Batten disease lymphoblast cells. PMID:24534465

  7. Alterations in Hormone Levels After Adjuvant Chemoradiation in Male Rectal Cancer Patients

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, Frederick H.; Perera, Francisco Fisher, Barbara; Stitt, Larry

    2009-07-15

    Purpose: To evaluate follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone levels after postoperative chemoradiation in men with rectal cancer. Methods and Materials: Forty-three men with rectal cancer had baseline and postchemoradiation FSH, LH, and testosterone measured. Adjuvant chemoradiation consisted of two 5-day cycles of bolus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) every 4 weeks at a dose of 500 mg/m{sup 2}/d followed by concurrent chemoradiation followed by two additional 5-day cycles of 5-FU at a dose of 450 mg/m{sup 2}/d. Continuous-infusion 5-FU at 225 mg/m{sup 2}/d was given during radiation. Pelvic radiation consisted of a three- or four-field technique with a median dose of 54.0 Gy in 30 fractions. Results: Median follow-up was 6.1 years. Mean baseline FSH levels increased from 5.3 to a peak of 23.9 IU/L (p < 0.001) 13-24 months after chemoradiation. Mean baseline LH levels increased from 4.3 to a peak of 8.5 IU/L (p < 0.001) within 6 months after chemoradiation. Mean testosterone levels decreased from 15.4 nmol/L at baseline to 8.0 nmol/L more than 4 years after chemoradiation. Mean testosterone to mean LH ratio decreased from 4.4 at baseline to 1.1 after 48 months posttreatment, suggesting a continued decrease in Leydig cell function with time. Testicular dose was measured in 5 patients. Median dose was 4 Gy (range, 1.5-8.9 Gy). Conclusions: Chemoradiation in men with rectal cancer causes persistent increases in FSH and LH levels and decreases in testosterone levels.

  8. CrBPF1 overexpression alters transcript levels of terpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthetic and regulatory genes.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun Yao; Leopold, Alex L; Sander, Guy W; Shanks, Jacqueline V; Zhao, Le; Gibson, Susan I

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoid indole alkaloid (TIA) biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus is a complex and highly regulated process. Understanding the biochemistry and regulation of the TIA pathway is of particular interest as it may allow the engineering of plants to accumulate higher levels of pharmaceutically important alkaloids. Toward this end, we generated a transgenic C. roseus hairy root line that overexpresses the CrBPF1 transcriptional activator under the control of a β-estradiol inducible promoter. CrBPF1 is a MYB-like protein that was previously postulated to help regulate the expression of the TIA biosynthetic gene STR. However, the role of CrBPF1 in regulation of the TIA and related pathways had not been previously characterized. In this study, transcriptional profiling revealed that overexpression of CrBPF1 results in increased transcript levels for genes from both the indole and terpenoid biosynthetic pathways that provide precursors for TIA biosynthesis, as well as for genes in the TIA biosynthetic pathway. In addition, overexpression of CrBPF1 causes increases in the transcript levels for 11 out of 13 genes postulated to act as transcriptional regulators of genes from the TIA and TIA feeder pathways. Interestingly, overexpression of CrBPF1 causes increased transcript levels for both TIA transcriptional activators and repressors. Despite the fact that CrBPF1 overexpression affects transcript levels of a large percentage of TIA biosynthetic and regulatory genes, CrBPF1 overexpression has only very modest effects on the levels of the TIA metabolites analyzed. This finding may be due, at least in part, to the up-regulation of both transcriptional activators and repressors in response to CrBPF1 overexpression, suggesting that CrBPF1 may serve as a "fine-tune" regulator for TIA biosynthesis, acting to help regulate the timing and amplitude of TIA gene expression. PMID:26483828

  9. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells.

    PubMed

    Canuto, K S; Sergio, L P S; Guimarães, O R; Geller, M; Paoli, F; Fonseca, A S

    2015-10-01

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia colicells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficientE. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out. PMID:26445338

  10. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells

    PubMed Central

    Canuto, K.S.; Sergio, L.P.S.; Guimarães, O.R.; Geller, M.; Paoli, F.; Fonseca, A.S.

    2015-01-01

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia colicells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficientE. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out. PMID:26445338

  11. High homocysteine levels prevent via H2 S the CoCl2 -induced alteration of lymphocyte viability.

    PubMed

    Bruzzese, Laurie; Fenouillet, Emmanuel; Fromonot, Julien; Durand-Gorde, Josée-Martine; Condo, Jocelyne; Kipson, Nathalie; Mottola, Giovanna; Deharo, Pierre; Guieu, Régis; Ruf, Jean

    2016-08-01

    High homocysteine (HCy) levels are associated with lymphocyte-mediated inflammatory responses that are sometimes in turn related to hypoxia. Because adenosine is a potent lymphocyte suppressor produced in hypoxic conditions and shares metabolic pathways with HCy, we addressed the influence of high HCy levels on the hypoxia-induced, adenosine-mediated, alteration of lymphocyte viability. We treated mitogen-stimulated human lymphocytes isolated from healthy individuals and the human lymphoma T-cell line CEM with cobalt chloride (CoCl2 )to reproduce hypoxia. We found that CoCl2 -altered cell viability was dose-dependently reversed using HCy. In turn, the HCy effect was inhibited using DL-propargylglycine, a specific inhibitor of the hydrogen sulphide (H2 S)-synthesizing enzyme cystathionine-γ-lyase involved in HCy catabolism. We then addressed the intracellular metabolic pathway of adenosine and HCy, and the role of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2 A R). We observed that: (i) hypoxic conditions lowered the intracellular concentration of HCy by increasing adenosine production, which resulted in high A2 A R expression and 3', 5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate production; (ii) increasing intracellular HCy concentration reversed the hypoxia-induced adenosinergic signalling despite high adenosine concentration by promoting both S-adenosylhomocysteine and H2 S production; (iii) DL-propargylglycine that inhibits H2 S production abolished the HCy effect. Together, these data suggest that high HCy levels prevent, via H2 S production and the resulting down-regulation of A2 A R expression, the hypoxia-induced adenosinergic alteration of lymphocyte viability. We point out the relevance of these mechanisms in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases. PMID:27061011

  12. Altered levels of endocrine biomarkers in juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer; Bloch) following exposure to commercial herbicide and surfactant formulations.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Frederieke J; Hook, Sharon E; Metcalfe, Suzanne; Jones, Dean

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural pesticides that are known endocrine disrupting chemicals have been detected in waters in the Great Barrier Reef catchment and lagoon. Altered transcription levels of liver vitellogenin (vtg) have been documented in wild populations of 2 Great Barrier Reef fisheries species and were strongly associated with pesticide-containing runoff from sugarcane plantations. The present study examined endocrine and physiological biomarkers in juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer) exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of commercial herbicide (ATRADEX(®) WG Herbicide, DIUREX(®) WG Herbicide) and surfactant (ACTIVATOR(®) 90) formulations commonly used on sugarcane in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. Estrogenic biomarkers (namely, liver vtg messenger RNA and plasma 17β-estradiol) increased following exposure to commercial mixtures but not to the analytical grade chemical, suggesting an estrogenic response to the additives. In contrast, brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) transcription levels, plasma testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone concentrations, and gill ventilation rates were not affected by any of the experimental exposures. These findings support the assertion that exposure to pesticide-containing runoff from sugarcane plantations is a potential causative agent of altered liver vtg transcription levels in wild barramundi. Whether exposure patterns in the Great Barrier Reef catchment and lagoon are sufficient to impair fish sexual and reproductive development and ultimately influence fish population dynamics remains to be determined. These findings highlight the need to consider both active and so-called inert ingredients in commercial pesticide formulations for environmental risk assessments. PMID:25858168

  13. Altered levels of acylcarnitines, phosphatidylcholines, and sphingomyelins in peritoneal fluid from ovarian endometriosis patients.

    PubMed

    Vouk, Katja; Ribič-Pucelj, Martina; Adamski, Jerzy; Rižner, Tea Lanišnik

    2016-05-01

    Endometriosis is a complex, polygenic, and estrogen-dependent disease that affects 6% to 10% of women of reproductive age, and 30% to 50% of women with infertility and/or pelvic pain. Surgical diagnosis of endometriosis is still the gold standard, as there are currently no diagnostic biomarkers available. Due to the invasive diagnostics, it can take up to 11 years before affected women are diagnosed and receive the appropriate treatment. We performed a targeted metabolomics study to search for potential semi-invasive biomarkers in peritoneal fluid from endometriosis patients. Our case-control study comprised 29 ovarian endometriosis patients and 36 healthy control women. The 148 metabolites included acylcarnitines, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids, which were quantified by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. The strength of association between the metabolites and the metabolite ratios and disease was assessed using crude and adjusted odds ratios. The best combination of biomarkers was then selected by performing step-wise logistic regression. Our analysis reveals significantly decreased concentrations of 10 metabolites, of carnitine and acylcarnitines (C0, C8:1, C6C4:1 DC, C10:1), phosphatidylcholines (PC aa C38:3, PC aa C38:4, PC aa C40:4, PC aa C40:5), and sphingomyelins (SM C16:1, SM C18:1), and 125 significantly altered metabolite ratios in patients versus control women. The best model includes two ratios: a carnitine to a phosphatidylcholine (C0/PC ae C36:0); and between two phosphatidylcholines (PC aa C30:0/PC ae C32:2). When adjusted for age, this provides sensitivity of 82.8% and specificity of 94.4%, with AUC of 0.944. Our study supports the importance of carnitine, phosphatidylcholine, and sphingomyelin metabolites in the pathophysiology of endometriosis, and confirms the potential for the combination of individual metabolite ratios to provide biomarkers for semi-invasive diagnostics. PMID:26921767

  14. Phylogenetic analysis of adenovirus sequences.

    PubMed

    Harrach, Balázs; Benko, Mária

    2007-01-01

    Members of the family Adenoviridae have been isolated from a large variety of hosts, including representatives from every major vertebrate class from fish to mammals. The high prevalence, together with the fairly conserved organization of the central part of their genomes, make the adenoviruses one of (if not the) best models for studying viral evolution on a larger time scale. Phylogenetic calculation can infer the evolutionary distance among adenovirus strains on serotype, species, and genus levels, thus helping the establishment of a correct taxonomy on the one hand, and speeding up the process of typing new isolates on the other. Initially, four major lineages corresponding to four genera were recognized. Later, the demarcation criteria of lower taxon levels, such as species or types, could also be defined with phylogenetic calculations. A limited number of possible host switches have been hypothesized and convincingly supported. Application of the web-based BLAST and MultAlin programs and the freely available PHYLIP package, along with the TreeView program, enables everyone to make correct calculations. In addition to step-by-step instruction on how to perform phylogenetic analysis, critical points where typical mistakes or misinterpretation of the results might occur will be identified and hints for their avoidance will be provided. PMID:17656792

  15. Intrauterine bacterial inoculation and level of dietary methionine alter amino acid metabolism in nulliparous yearling ewes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Using an intrauterine bacterial inoculation method, our objective was to determine the effects of acute sepsis and level of dietary metabolizable-methionine on splanchnic metabolism of amino acids in ewes. Twenty-five nulliparous yearling Rambouillet-cross ewes (initial BW = 65.1 ± 0.6 kg), surgical...

  16. Pregnant rats show enhanced spatial memory, decreased anxiety, and altered levels of monoaminergic neurotransmitters

    PubMed Central

    Macbeth, A.H.; Gautreaux, C.; Luine, V.N.

    2008-01-01

    Spatial memory, anxiety and central monoaminergic activities were measured in non-pregnant (NP) and pregnant females during two time periods of pregnancy: gestational day 7–9 (GD7, GD9) & gestation day 16–18 (GD16, GD18). Pregnant females discriminated between object locations on both test days on an object placement task, whereas NP females were unable to discriminate between locations. Pregnant females displayed decreased anxiety on the elevated plus maze on GD9 compared to NP females, followed by increased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze on GD18. Monoamine levels and activity (as indexed by turnover ratio) were measured in prefrontal cortex (PFC), CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus (areas important for memory), and medial preoptic area (mPOA, an area important in display of maternal behaviors). In the PFC, NP females generally had higher monoamine levels and turnover ratios; however, norepinephrine (NE) turnover was higher in pregnant females at GD18. In the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus, monoamine levels and turnover ratios were generally higher during pregnancy, particularly on GD9. In the mPOA, pregnancy was associated with increases in NE activity, a previously unreported finding. The present study expands upon existing research indicating that pregnancy is beneficial to spatial memory and may decrease anxiety. Changes in monoamine levels and activity in specific brain regions indicate that the dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin systems may contribute to the observed behavioral differences. PMID:18823955

  17. Changes in acetylcholinesterase expression are associated with altered presenilin-1 levels.

    PubMed

    Silveyra, María-Ximena; García-Ayllón, María-Salud; Serra-Basante, Carol; Mazzoni, Valeria; García-Gutierrez, María-Salud; Manzanares, Jorge; Culvenor, Janetta G; Sáez-Valero, Javier

    2012-03-01

    We have previously identified presenilin-1 (PS1), the active component of the γ-secretase complex, as an interacting protein of the amyloid-associated enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). In this study, we have explored the consequences of AChE-PS1 interactions. Treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with the AChE-inhibitor tacrine decreased PS1 levels, in parallel with increase in the secretion of amyloid precursor protein APPα, whereas the cholinergic agonist carbachol had no effect on PS1. AChE knockdown with siRNA also decreased PS1 levels, while AChE overexpression exerted opposing effect. AChE-deficient also had decreased PS1. Mice administered with tacrine or donepezil displayed lower levels of brain PS1. However, sustained AChE inhibition failed to exert long-term effect on PS1. This limited duration of response may be due to AChE upregulation caused by chronic inhibition. Finally, we exposed SH-SY5Y cells to β-amyloid (Aβ)42 which triggered elevation of both AChE and PS1 levels. The Aβ42-induced PS1 increase was abolished by siRNA AChE pretreatment, suggesting that AChE may participate in the pathological feedback loop between PS1 and Aβ. Our results provide insight into AChE-amyloid interrelationships. PMID:21621296

  18. Sulforaphane reduces the alterations induced by quinolinic acid: modulation of glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Santana-Martínez, R A; Galván-Arzáte, S; Hernández-Pando, R; Chánez-Cárdenas, M E; Avila-Chávez, E; López-Acosta, G; Pedraza-Chaverrí, J; Santamaría, A; Maldonado, P D

    2014-07-11

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity involves a state of acute oxidative stress, which is a crucial event during neuronal degeneration and is part of the physiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, we evaluated the ability of sulforaphane (SULF), a natural dietary isothiocyanate, to induce the activation of transcription factor Nrf2 (a master regulator of redox state in the cell) in a model of striatal degeneration in rats infused with quinolinic acid (QUIN). Male Wistar rats received SULF (5mg/kg, i.p.) 24h and 5min before the intrastriatal infusion of QUIN. SULF increased the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels 4h after QUIN infusion, which was associated with its ability to increase the activity of glutathione reductase (GR), an antioxidant enzyme capable to regenerate GSH levels at 24h. Moreover, SULF treatment increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, while no changes were observed in γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase (GCL) activity. SULF treatment also prevented QUIN-induced oxidative stress (measured by oxidized proteins levels), the histological damage and the circling behavior. These results suggest that the protective effect of SULF could be related to its ability to preserve GSH levels and increase GPx and GR activities. PMID:24814729

  19. Variation of the default mode network with altered alertness levels induced by propofol

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoyuan; Li, Huandong; Luo, Fang; Zhang, Lei; Han, Ruquan; Wang, Baoguo

    2015-01-01

    Background The default mode network (DMN) is closely associated with the maintenance of alertness and cognitive functions. This study aimed to observe the changes in DMN induced by increasing doses of propofol and progressively deepening sedation. Methods Twelve healthy subjects were selected; they received target-controlled infusion of propofol (1.0 and 3.0 μg/mL of plasma) and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging before sedation and when they achieved light and deep sedation states. The average degree, average shortest path length, global efficiency, local efficiency, and clustering coefficient of DMN were assessed to study the overall and internal changes of DMN with gradual changes in alertness level, as well as the relationship between thalamus and DMN. Meanwhile, basic vital signs and respiratory inhibition were recorded. Results DMN parameters were gradually inhibited with decreasing level of alertness, the differences were significant between light sedation and awake states (all P<0.01), but not between deep and light sedation states. However, the shortest path lengths of the posterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortexes in the DMN were significantly increased under deep sedation. Conclusion Overall, DMN is propofol-sensitive. A small dose of propofol can significantly inhibit the DMN, affecting the level of alertness. The posterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortexes in the DMN are less sensitive to propofol, and could be significantly inhibited by a higher concentration of propofol, further reducing the level of alertness. PMID:26504389

  20. CTRP3 deficiency reduces liver size and alters IL-6 and TGFβ levels in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Risa M; Lei, Xia; Yang, Zhi-Chun; Nyandjo, Maeva; Tan, Stefanie Y; Wong, G William

    2016-03-01

    C1q/TNF-related protein 3 (CTRP3) is a secreted metabolic regulator whose circulating levels are reduced in human and rodent models of obesity and diabetes. Previously, we showed that CTRP3 infusion lowers blood glucose by suppressing gluconeogenesis and that transgenic overexpression of CTRP3 protects mice against diet-induced hepatic steatosis. Here, we used a genetic loss-of-function mouse model to further address whether CTRP3 is indeed required for metabolic homeostasis under normal and obese states. Both male and female mice lacking CTRP3 had similar weight gain when fed a control low-fat (LFD) or high-fat diet (HFD). Regardless of diet, no differences were observed in adiposity, food intake, metabolic rate, energy expenditure, or physical activity levels between wild-type (WT) and Ctrp3-knockout (KO) animals of either sex. Contrary to expectations, loss of CTRP3 in LFD- or HFD-fed male and female mice also had minimal or no impact on whole body glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and fasting-induced hepatic gluconeogenesis. Unexpectedly, the liver sizes of HFD-fed Ctrp3-KO male mice were markedly reduced despite a modest increase in triglyceride content. Furthermore, liver expression of fat oxidation genes was upregulated in the Ctrp3-KO mice. Whereas the liver and adipose expression of profibrotic TGFβ1, as well as its serum levels, was suppressed in HFD-fed KO mice, circulating proinflammatory IL-6 levels were markedly increased; these changes, however, were insufficient to affect systemic metabolic outcome. We conclude that, although it is dispensable for physiological control of energy balance, CTRP3 plays a previously unsuspected role in modulating liver size and circulating cytokine levels in response to obesity. PMID:26670485

  1. Dysregulation of Autonomic Nervous System in Chagas’ Heart Disease Is Associated with Altered Adipocytokines Levels

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa-Ferreira, João Marcos; Mady, Charles; Ianni, Barbara Maria; Lopes, Heno Ferreira; Ramires, Felix José Alvarez; Salemi, Vera Maria Cury; Grupi, Cesar José; Hachul, Denise Tessariol; Fernandes, Fábio

    2015-01-01

    Background Chagas disease (CD) induces autonomic dysfunction and inflammatory activity, which may promote metabolic abnormalities. We studied metabolism and his correlation with Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and inflammation in CD. Methods and Results Sixty subjects were divided into 4 groups: control group (CG), IF (indeterminate form) group; ECG group (ECG abnormalities and normal left ventricular systolic function), and LVD group (left ventricular sistolic dysfunction). Levels of adiponectin, leptin, insulin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were assayed in serum samples by ELISA. ANS was assessed by heart rate variability in frequency domain in 24-hour Holter and postural tilt test (rest and orthostatic position). High frequency (HFr) component values were used to estimate parasympathetic activity and low frequency (LFr) component, sympathetic activity. Analyzes were made of the correlations of each of the metabolic parameters (leptin and adiponectin) with the inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 and TNF- alpha) and with the ANS assessment measurements. No significant differences were observed in leptin and insulin levels. Adiponectin was higher in ECG and LVD groups: [CG = 4766.5 (5529.5), IF = 4003.5 (2482.5), ECG = 8376.5 (8388.5), LVD = 8798 (4188.0) ng/mL, p<0.001)]. IL-6 and TNF-alpha were higher in LVD group: [IL-6: CG = 1.85 (6.41); IF = 1.58 (1.91); ECG = 1.0 (1.57); LVD= 31.44 (72.19) pg/ml; p = 0.001. TNF-alpha: CG = 22.57 (88.2); IF = 19.31 (33.16); ECG = 12.45 (3.07); LVD = 75.15 (278.57) pg/ml; p = 0.04]. Adiponectin levels had a positive association with the HFr component (r = 0.539; p = 0.038) and an inverse association with the LFr component (r = - 0.539; p = 0.038) in ECG group. Leptin levels had a negative association with the HFr component (r= - 0.632; p = 0.011) and a positive association with the LFr component (r = 0.632; p = 0.011) in LVD group. Conclusions We found increased adiponectin levels in

  2. [Acute alterations of neurotransmitters levels in striatum of young rat after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus].

    PubMed

    de Freitas, Rivelilson Mendes; de Sousa, Francisca Cléa Florenço; Vasconcelos, Silvânia Maria Mendes; Viana, Glauce Socorro Barros; Fonteles, Marta Maria de França

    2003-06-01

    High doses of the muscarinic cholinergic agonist, pilocarpine, result in behavioural changes, seizures and status epilepticus in rats. The purpose of the present work is to invetigate the striatal neurotransmissors level in young rats after status epilepticus induced by pilocarpine. Wistar rats were treated with a single dose of pilocarpine (400mg/Kg; s.c.). Controls received saline. Young animals were closed observed for behavioural changes during 1 and 24h. In these periods, the animals that developed status epilepticus and didn't survive this acute phase of seizures had the brains removed and striatal neurotransmissors level determined by HPLC. The concentration of dopamine, serotonine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid was reduced and an increase in 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-phenylacetic acid was observed. These results suggest that cholinergic activation can interage with dopaminergic and serotonergic systems in acute phase of the convulsive process in immature striatum. PMID:12894279

  3. Levels of estradiol and testosterone are altered in Chinese men with sexual dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Wu, F; Chen, T; Mao, S; Jiang, H; Ding, Q; Xu, G

    2016-09-01

    An estimated 20-30% of adult men have at least one manifestation of sexual dysfunction, the most common of which are premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction (ED). Emerging evidence has suggested an association between the regulation of hormones with the processes of erection and ejaculation. In this study, we aim to investigate the relationship between sexual dysfunction, namely, PE and ED, and the levels and ratios of estradiol to testosterone in Chinese men. A retrospective case-control study was performed involving 878 male patients aged from 18 to 74 years (mean: 36 years). The ratio of estradiol to testosterone was significantly higher for subjects with ED (7.45 ± 3.09 × 10(-3) ; p < 0.001), and combined PE and ED (6.66 ± 3.05 × 10(-3) ; p = 0.032) compared with that of the control group (6.01 ± 2.61 × 10(-3) ). The ratio was also significantly higher for ED patients when compared with PE patients (5.26 ± 2.18 × 10(-3) ; p < 0.001). Furthermore, compared with the control group, subjects with PE had similar levels of estradiol (95.47 ± 37.86 pmol/L vs. 94.12 ± 32.32 pmol/L; p = 0.678) but significantly higher levels of testosterone (18.66 ± 6.03 nmol/L vs. 16.82 ± 4.93 nmol/L; p < 0.001). This contrasted with the ED group, which showed similar levels of testosterone (16.96 ± 5.86 nmol/L vs. 16.82 ± 4.93 nmol/L; p = 0.773) and significantly higher levels of estradiol (116.88 ± 40.81 pmol/L vs. 94.12 ± 32.32 pmol/L; p < 0.001) compared with control. Subjects with combined ED and PE also had a significantly higher level of estradiol (104.98 ± 43.99 pmol/L vs. 94.12 ± 32.32 pmol/L; p = 0.014) and similar levels of testosterone (17.30 ± 7.23 nmol/L vs. 16.82 ± 4.93 nmol/L; p = 0.503) compared with control. In conclusion, this study involving Chinese males with sexual dysfunction reports, for the first time, that there is an association between sexual dysfunction

  4. Cypermethrin alters Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein levels in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Malkiewicz, Katarzyna; Koteras, Marcin; Folkesson, Ronnie; Brzezinski, Jacek; Winblad, Bengt; Szutowski, Miroslaw; Benedikz, Eirikur

    2006-01-01

    Pyrethroids, widely used insecticides, are biologically active in neurons. Whether they act on the non-neuronal brain cells remains an open question. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine whether Cypermethrin intoxication affects astroglial cells in the rat brain. The levels of Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) in different brain regions were measured by ELISA following oral treatment with 5 or 10% of LD(50) of Cypermethrin per day for 6 days. A significant decrease of GFAP was observed in different brain regions of treated animals. The cerebral cortex showed the most pronounced effect with GFAP levels reduced to 81% of the controls 2 days after treatment and 77% 21 days after treatment. Although we did not find profound changes in the morphology of astrocytes in Cypermethrin treated animals, the decrease in GFAP suggests that astrocytes were affected by low doses of pyrethroids. The possible consequences were discussed. PMID:21783638

  5. Chronic stress alters the expression levels of longevity-related genes in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hidalgo, Ana C; Muñoz, Mario F; Herrera, Antonio J; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Stowell, Rianne; Ayala, Antonio; Machado, Alberto; Venero, José L; de Pablos, Rocío M

    2016-07-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying the negative effects of psychological stress on cellular stress during aging and neurodegenerative diseases are poorly understood. The main objective of this study was to test the effect of chronic psychological stress, and the consequent increase of circulating glucocorticoids, on several hippocampal genes involved in longevity. Sirtuin-1, p53, thioredoxin-interacting protein, and heat shock protein 70 were studied at the mRNA and protein levels in stressed and non-stressed animals. Stress treatment for 10 days decreased sirtuin-1 and heat shock protein 70 levels, but increased levels of p53, thioredoxin-interacting protein and the NADPH oxidase enzyme. Examination of protein expression following two months of stress treatment indicated that sirtuin-1 remained depressed. In contrast, an increase was observed for thioredoxin-interacting protein, heat shock protein 70, p53 and the NADPH oxidase enzyme. The effect of stress was reversed by mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. These data suggest that chronic stress could contribute to aging in the hippocampus. PMID:27120255

  6. Alteration in plasma corticosterone levels following long term oral administration of lead produces depression like symptoms in rats.

    PubMed

    Haider, Saida; Saleem, Sadia; Tabassum, Saiqa; Khaliq, Saima; Shamim, Saima; Batool, Zehra; Parveen, Tahira; Inam, Qurat-ul-ain; Haleem, Darakhshan J

    2013-03-01

    Lead toxicity is known to induce a broad range of physiological, biochemical and behavioral dysfunctions that may result in adverse effects on several organs, including the central nervous system. Long-term exposure to low levels of lead (Pb(2+)) has been shown to produce behavioral deficits in rodents and humans by affecting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These deficits are thought to be associated with altered brain monoamine neurotransmission and due to changes in glucocorticoids levels. This study was designed to investigate the effects of Pb(2+)exposure on growth rate, locomotor activity, anxiety, depression, plasma corticosterone and brain serotonin (5-HT) levels in rats. Rats were exposed to lead in drinking water (500 ppm; lead acetate) for 5 weeks. The assessment of depression was done using the forced swimming test (FST). Estimation of brain 5-HT was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Plasma corticosterone was determined by spectrofluorimetric method. The present study showed that long term exposure to Pb(2+) significantly decreased the food intake followed by the decrease in growth rate in Pb(2+)exposed rats as compared to control group. No significant changes in open field activity were observed following Pb(2+)exposure while significant increase in anxiogenic effect was observed. Increased plasma corticosterone and decreased 5-HT levels were exhibited by Pb(2+)exposed rats as compared to controls. A significant increase in depressive like symptoms was exhibited by Pb(2+)exposed rats as compared to control rats. The results are discussed in the context of Pb(2+) inducing a stress-like response in rats leading to changes in plasma corticosterone and brain 5-HT levels via altering tryptophan pyrrolase activity. PMID:23315312

  7. Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Balding, Sharon T; Dickie, John B; Lewis, Gwilym P; Pearce, Tim R; Grenyer, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Ex situ conservation efforts such as those of zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks will form a vital complement to in situ conservation actions over the coming decades. It is therefore necessary to pay the same attention to the biological diversity represented in ex situ conservation facilities as is often paid to protected-area networks. Building the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections will strengthen our capacity to respond to biodiversity loss. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has banked seed from 14% of the world's plant species. We assessed the taxonomic, geographic, and phylogenetic diversity of the Millennium Seed Bank collection of legumes (Leguminosae). We compared the collection with all known legume genera, their known geographic range (at country and regional levels), and a genus-level phylogeny of the legume family constructed for this study. Over half the phylogenetic diversity of legumes at the genus level was represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. However, pragmatic prioritization of species of economic importance and endangerment has led to the banking of a less-than-optimal phylogenetic diversity and prioritization of range-restricted species risks an underdispersed collection. The current state of the phylogenetic diversity of legumes in the Millennium Seed Bank could be substantially improved through the strategic banking of relatively few additional taxa. Our method draws on tools that are widely applied to in situ conservation planning, and it can be used to evaluate and improve the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections. PMID:25196170

  8. Repeated immobilization stress alters rat hippocampal and prefrontal cortical morphology in parallel with endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase levels

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Meng-Yang; Wang, Wei-Ping; Huang, Jingjing; Feng, Yang-Zheng; Regunathan, Soundar; Bissette, Garth

    2008-01-01

    Agmatine, an endogenous amine derived from decarboxylation of L-arginine catalyzed by arginine decarboxylase, has been proposed as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the brain. In the present study we examined whether agmatine has neuroprotective effects against repeated immobilization-induced morphological changes in brain tissues and possible effects of immobilization stress on endogenous agmatine levels and arginine decarboxylase expression in rat brains. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to two hour immobilization stress daily for seven days. This paradigm significantly increased plasma corticosterone levels, and the glutamate efflux in the hippocampus as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Immunohistochemical staining with β-tubulin III showed that repeated immobilization caused marked morphological alterations in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex that were prevented by simultaneous treatment with agmatine (50 mg/kg/day, i.p.). Likewise, endogenous agmatine levels measured by high performance liquid chromatography in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and hypothalamus were significantly increased by immobilization, as compared to controls. The increased endogenous agmatine levels, ranging from 92% to 265% of controls, were accompanied by a significant increase of arginine decarboxylase protein levels in the same regions. These results demonstrate that administration of exogenous agmatine protects the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex against neuronal insults caused by repeated immobilization. The parallel increase in endogenous brain agmatine and arginine decarboxylase protein levels triggered by repeated immobilization indicates that the endogenous agmatine system may play an important role in adaptation to stress as a potential neuronal self-protection mechanism. PMID:18832001

  9. Levels of serum immunomodulators and alterations with electroconvulsive therapy in treatment-resistant major depression

    PubMed Central

    Zincir, Serkan; Öztürk, Pelin; Bilgen, Ali Emrah; İzci, Filiz; Yükselir, Cihad

    2016-01-01

    Studies in recent years have indicated that neuroimmunological events and immune activation may have a place in the etiology of depression. It has been suggested from data that there is a causal relationship between activation of the immune system and excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the etiology of depression. Although the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is unclear, there is evidence that it can reduce cytokines and immune system changes. In our study, we aimed to determine how levels of serum immunomodulators were affected by ECT in major depression patients. This study was conducted on 50 patients with treatment-resistant major depression. The data of the patients were compared with 30 healthy individuals with similar demographic characteristics. A clinical response occurred in the patients and at the end of therapy, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels were measured. The disease severity was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 15. Significant differences were determined between the patients with major depression and control group with respect to basal serum IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels. ECT treatment was shown to reduce these differences. ECT may cause significant changes in the activity of the immune system. The consideration of the relationship between the immune endocrine neurotransmitter systems could contribute to new theories regarding the mechanism of antidepressant treatment and biology of depression. PMID:27366071

  10. Psychotropic drugs attenuate lipopolysaccharide-induced hypothermia by altering hypothalamic levels of inflammatory mediators in rats.

    PubMed

    Nassar, Ahmad; Sharon-Granit, Yael; Azab, Abed N

    2016-07-28

    Recent evidence suggests that inflammation may contribute to the pathophysiology of mental disorders and that psychotropic drugs exert various effects on brain inflammation. The administration of bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) to mammals is associated with robust production of inflammatory mediators and pathological changes in body temperature. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of four different psychotropic drugs on LPS-induced hypothermia and production of prostaglandin (PG) E2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and phosphorylated-p65 (P-p65) levels in hypothalamus of LPS-treated rats. Rats were treated once daily with lithium (100mg/kg), carbamazepine (40mg/kg), haloperidol (2mg/kg), imipramine (20mg/kg) or vehicle (NaCl 0.9%) for 29 days. On day 29, rats were injected with LPS (1mg/kg) or saline. At 1.5h post LPS injection body temperature was measured, rats were sacrificed, blood was collected and their hypothalami were excised, homogenized and centrifuged. PGE2, TNF-α and nuclear P-p65 levels were determined by specific ELISA kits. We found that lithium, carbamazepine, haloperidol and imipramine significantly attenuated LPS-induced hypothermia, resembling the effect of classic anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, lithium, carbamazepine, haloperidol and imipramine differently but significantly affected the levels of PGE2, TNF-α and P-p65 in plasma and hypothalamus of LPS-treated rats. The results suggest that psychotropic drugs attenuate LPS-induced hypothermia by reducing hypothalamic production of inflammatory constituents, particularly PGE2. The effects of psychotropic drugs on brain inflammation may contribute to their therapeutic mechanism but also to their toxicological profile. PMID:27181513

  11. Levels of serum immunomodulators and alterations with electroconvulsive therapy in treatment-resistant major depression.

    PubMed

    Zincir, Serkan; Öztürk, Pelin; Bilgen, Ali Emrah; İzci, Filiz; Yükselir, Cihad

    2016-01-01

    Studies in recent years have indicated that neuroimmunological events and immune activation may have a place in the etiology of depression. It has been suggested from data that there is a causal relationship between activation of the immune system and excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the etiology of depression. Although the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is unclear, there is evidence that it can reduce cytokines and immune system changes. In our study, we aimed to determine how levels of serum immunomodulators were affected by ECT in major depression patients. This study was conducted on 50 patients with treatment-resistant major depression. The data of the patients were compared with 30 healthy individuals with similar demographic characteristics. A clinical response occurred in the patients and at the end of therapy, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels were measured. The disease severity was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 15. Significant differences were determined between the patients with major depression and control group with respect to basal serum IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels. ECT treatment was shown to reduce these differences. ECT may cause significant changes in the activity of the immune system. The consideration of the relationship between the immune endocrine neurotransmitter systems could contribute to new theories regarding the mechanism of antidepressant treatment and biology of depression. PMID:27366071

  12. Protein engineering strategies with potential applications for altering clinically relevant cellular pathways at the protein level.

    PubMed

    Regan, Lynne; Hinrichsen, Michael R; Oi, Curran

    2016-05-01

    All diseases can be fundamentally viewed as the result of malfunctioning cellular pathways. Protein engineering offers the potential to develop new tools that will allow these dysfunctional pathways to be better understood, in addition to potentially providing new routes to restore proper function. Here we discuss different approaches that can be used to change the intracellular activity of a protein by intervening at the protein level: targeted protein sequestration, protein recruitment, protein degradation, and selective inhibition of binding interfaces. The potential of each of these tools to be developed into effective therapeutic treatments will also be discussed, along with any major barriers that currently block their translation into the clinic. PMID:27031866

  13. LPS alters pattern of sickness behavior but does not affect glutathione level in aged male rats.

    PubMed

    Wrotek, Sylwia; Jędrzejewski, Tomasz; Nowakowska, Anna; Kozak, Wiesław

    2016-08-01

    Behavioral symptoms of sickness, such as fever and motor activity are a coordinated set of changes that develop during infection. The aim of study was to compare the sickness behaviour (SB) in healthy old and young rats treated with pyrogenic dose of endotoxin and to check their glutathione level. Before experimentation male Wistar rats were selected according to standard body mass, motor activity, and white blood cells count. Intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from E. coli was used to provoke SB. The level of liver glutathione, interleukin (IL) -6, deep body temperature (Tb) and motor activity were measured. Glutathione level in old and young rats did not differ significantly. In both young and old rats LPS administration provoked fever (the mean value of Tb was 38.06 ± 0.01 °C in old rats, and 38.19 ± 0.06 °C in young rats). LPS injection affected night-time activity in both groups (12 h averages were 1.56 ± 0.40 counts in old LPS-treated rats vs 2.74 ± 0.53 counts in not-treated old rats and 3.44 ± 0.60 counts for young LPS-treated vs 4.28 ± 0.57 counts for young not-treated rats). The injection of LPS provoked an elevation of plasma IL-6 concentration (from values below the lowest detectable standard in not-treated groups of animals to 6322.82 ± 537.00 pg/mL in old LPS-treated rats and 7415.62 ± 451.88 pg/mL in young LPS-treated rats). Based on these data, we conclude that good health of aged rats prevents decrease in the glutathione level. Old rats are still able to develop SB in response to pyrogenic dose of LPS, although its components have changed pattern compared to young animals. PMID:26829940

  14. Copper deficiency increases levels of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) in ventromedial hypothalamus without altering feeding patterns

    SciTech Connect

    Seidel, K.E.; Castonguay, T.W.; Failla, M.L. Univ. of Maryland, College Park )

    1991-03-11

    Cu deficiency results in altered levels of catecholamines in peripheral tissues and specific regions of the CNS in rodents. Because catecholamines can affect feeding behavior, meal patterns of control and Cu deficient rats were compared using a computerized system. Cu deficiency was induced by feeding dams a low Cu diet beginning at 17d of pregnancy and weaning pups to the same diet. Between 4.5 and 6.5 wk-of-age, rats fed {minus}Cu diet ate fewer meals during the light period than did controls. However, total food intake and meal size during light and dark periods were similar for the two groups. At 6.5 wk-of-age, Cu deficiency was confirmed by stunted growth, low tissue Cu and enlarged hearts. Cardiac CA was increased 4.3-fold in Cu deficient rats, while the NE level in heart of Cu deficient rats was 54% that of control. The concentrations of both DA and NE were increased in ventromedial hypothalamus of Cu deficient rats. These results indicate that alterations in catecholamine status of ventromedial hypothalamus associated with severe Cu deficiency fail to markedly affect feeding behavior.

  15. Alterations in methylation and expression levels of imprinted genes H19 and Igf2 in the fetuses of diabetic mice.

    PubMed

    Shao, Wei-Juan; Tao, Ling-Yun; Gao, Cheng; Xie, Jian-Yun; Zhao, Ru-Qian

    2008-08-01

    The study aimed to reveal alterations in expression and methylation levels of the growth-related imprinted genes H19 and Igf2 in fetuses of diabetic mice. Diabetes was induced in female mice by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. DNA and total RNA were extracted from fetuses obtained from diabetic and control dams on embryonic day (E) 14. Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that the mRNA expression of Igf2 in fetuses from diabetic mice was 0.65-fold of the control counterparts. Bisulfite genomic sequencing demonstrated that the methylation level of the H19-Igf2 imprint control region was 19.1% higher in diabetic fetuses than in those of control dams. In addition, the body weight of pups born to diabetic dams was 26.5% lower than that of the control group. The results indicate that maternal diabetes can affect fetal development by means of altered expression of imprinted genes. The modified genomic DNA methylation status of imprinting genes may account for the change in gene expression. PMID:18724775

  16. Lack of Platelet-Activating Factor Receptor Attenuates Experimental Food Allergy but Not Its Metabolic Alterations regarding Adipokine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Nathália Vieira; Fonseca, Roberta Cristelli; Perez, Denise; Pereira, Rafaela Vaz Sousa; de Lima Alves, Juliana; Pinho, Vanessa; Faria, Ana Maria Caetano; Cara, Denise Carmona

    2016-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is known to be an important mediator of anaphylaxis. However, there is a lack of information in the literature about the role of PAF in food allergy. The aim of this work was to elucidate the participation of PAF during food allergy development and the consequent adipose tissue inflammation along with its alterations. Our data demonstrated that, both before oral challenge and after 7 days receiving ovalbumin (OVA) diet, OVA-sensitized mice lacking the PAF receptor (PAFR) showed a decreased level of anti-OVA IgE associated with attenuated allergic markers in comparison to wild type (WT) mice. Moreover, there was less body weight and adipose tissue loss in PAFR-deficient mice. However, some features of inflamed adipose tissue presented by sensitized PAFR-deficient and WT mice after oral challenge were similar, such as a higher rate of rolling leukocytes in this tissue and lower circulating levels of adipokines (resistin and adiponectin) in comparison to nonsensitized mice. Therefore, PAF signaling through PAFR is important for the allergic response to OVA but not for the adipokine alterations caused by this inflammatory process. Our work clarifies some effects of PAF during food allergy along with its role on the metabolic consequences of this inflammatory process. PMID:27314042

  17. N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis produced a small number of mice with altered plasma electrolyte levels

    PubMed Central

    Aigner, Bernhard; Rathkolb, Birgit; Klempt, Martina; Wagner, Sibylle; Michel, Dian; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin; Wolf, Eckhard

    2009-01-01

    Background Clinical chemical blood analysis including plasma electrolytes is routinely carried out for the diagnosis of various organ diseases. Phenotype-driven N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mouse mutagenesis projects used plasma electrolytes as parameters for the generation of novel animal models for human diseases. Methods Here, we retrospectively evaluated the use of the plasma electrolytes calcium, chloride, inorganic phosphorus, potassium and sodium in the Munich ENU mouse mutagenesis project where clinical chemical blood analysis was carried out on more than 20,000 G1 and G3 offspring of chemically mutagenized inbred C3H mice to detect dominant and recessive mutations leading to deviations in various plasma parameter levels. Results We identified a small number of animals consistently exhibiting altered plasma electrolyte values. Transmission of the phenotypic deviations to the subsequent generations led to the successful establishment of mutant lines for the parameters calcium and potassium. Published data from other phenotype-driven ENU projects also included only a small number of mutant lines which were generated according to altered plasma electrolyte levels. Conclusion Thus, use of plasma electrolytes detected few mouse mutants in ENU projects compared to other clinical chemical blood parameters. PMID:19505327

  18. Alterations of Cyclooxygenase-2 Methylation Levels Before and After Intervention Trial to Prevent Gastric Cancer in a Chinese Population.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yang; Zeng, Hong-Mei; Nie, Xiao-Rui; Zhang, Lian; Ma, Jun-Ling; Li, Ji-You; Pan, Kai-Feng; You, Wei-Cheng

    2016-06-01

    To explore the epigenetic mechanisms underlying the effects of anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) alone and combined with COX-2 inhibitor (celecoxib), we dynamically evaluated the associations between COX-2 methylation alterations and gastric lesion evolution during the process of interventions. In a total of 809 trial participants COX-2 methylation levels were quantitatively detected before and after treatment. The self-comparison at the same stomach site for each subject showed significant methylation alteration differences among intervention groups (P < 0.001). With placebo group as reference, COX-2 methylation levels were decreased in anti-H. pylori [OR, 3.30; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.16-5.02], celecoxib (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.36-3.07), and anti-H. pylori followed by celecoxib (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.38-3.17) groups. When stratified by baseline histology, the three active arms significantly decreased COX-2 methylation levels in indefinite dysplasia/dysplasia subjects, and ORs were 3.65 (95% CI, 1.96-6.80) for anti-H. pylori, 2.43 (95% CI 1.34-4.39) for celecoxib, and 2.80 (95% CI, 1.52-5.15) for anti-H. pylori followed by celecoxib, respectively. No additive effect on COX-2 methylation was found for anti-H. pylori followed by celecoxib than two treatments alone. Compared with subjects without methylation reduction, higher opportunity for gastric lesion regression was found in subjects with decreased COX-2 methylation levels, especially for indefinite dysplasia/dysplasia subjects (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.03-3.60). These findings suggest that anti-H. pylori or celecoxib treatment alone could decrease COX-2 methylation levels in gastric mucosa. COX-2 methylation alteration was associated with the regression of indefinite dysplasia/dysplasia, which might serve as a potential biomarker for chemoprevention efficacy. Cancer Prev Res; 9(6); 484-90. ©2016 AACR. PMID:27020655

  19. Chemoreception of hunger levels alters the following behaviour of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Larcher, Marie; Crane, Adam L

    2015-12-01

    Chemically-mediated orientation is essential for many animals that must locate sites containing resources such as mates or food. One way to find these areas is by using publically-available information from other individuals. We tested a freshwater snail, Physa gyrina, for chemoreception of conspecific cues and predicted they could discriminate between cues based on information regarding hunger levels. We placed 'tracker' snails into a 2-arm arena where they could either follow or avoid an area previously used by a 'marker' snail. The hunger levels of both trackers and markers was manipulated, being either starved or fed. Starved and fed trackers did not differ in their following response when markers were hungry, but starved trackers were significantly more likely to follow fed markers, compared to fed trackers that tended to avoid areas used by fed markers. This outcome suggests that P. gyrina uses conspecific chemical cues to find food and potentially in some situations to avoid intra-specific food competition. PMID:26478254

  20. Unexpected rates of chromosomal instabilities and alterations of hormone levels in Namibian uranium miners.

    PubMed

    Zaire, R; Notter, M; Riedel, W; Thiel, E

    1997-05-01

    A common problem in determining the health consequences of radiation exposure is factoring out other carcinogenic influences. The conditions in Namibia provide a test case for distinguishing the effects of long-term low-dose exposure to uranium from the other environmental factors because of good air quality and the lack of other industries with negative health effects. Present records indicate a much higher prevalence of cancer among male workers in the open-pit uranium mine in Namibia compared with the general population. The objective of the present study was to determine whether long-term exposure to low doses of uranium increases the risk of a biological radiation damage which would lead to malignant diseases and to derive a dose-response model for these miners. To investigate this risk, we measured uranium excretion in urine, neutrophil counts and the serum level of FSH, LH and testosterone and analyzed chromosome aberrations in whole blood cells using fluorescence in situ hybridization. A representative cohort of 75 non-smoking, HIV-negative miners was compared to a control group of 31 individuals with no occupational history in mining. A sixfold increase in uranium excretion among the miners compared to the controls was recorded (P < 0.001). Furthermore, we determined a significant reduction in testosterone levels (P < 0.008) and neutrophil count (P < 0.004) in miners compared to the unexposed controls. A threefold increase in chromosome aberrations in the miners compared to the nonexposed controls was recorded (P < 0.0001). Most remarkably, cells with multiple aberrations such as "rogue" cells were observed for the first time in miners; these cells had previously been found only after short-term high-dose radiation exposure, e.g. from the Hiroshima atomic bomb or the Chernobyl accident. We conclude that the miners exposed to uranium are at an increased risk to acquire various degrees of genetic damage, and that the damage may be associated with an

  1. Repeated exposure to neurotoxic levels of chlorpyrifos alters hippocampal expression of neurotrophins and neuropeptides.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young S; Lewis, John A; Ippolito, Danielle L; Hussainzada, Naissan; Lein, Pamela J; Jackson, David A; Stallings, Jonathan D

    2016-01-18

    Chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphorus pesticide (OP), is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world. Subchronic exposures to CPF that do not cause cholinergic crisis are associated with problems in cognitive function (i.e., learning and memory deficits), but the biological mechanism(s) underlying this association remain speculative. To identify potential mechanisms of subchronic CPF neurotoxicity, adult male Long Evans (LE) rats were administered CPF at 3 or 10mg/kg/d (s.c.) for 21 days. We quantified mRNA and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) expression profiles by RNA-seq, microarray analysis and small ncRNA sequencing technology in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Hippocampal slice immunohistochemistry was used to determine CPF-induced changes in protein expression and localization patterns. Neither dose of CPF caused overt clinical signs of cholinergic toxicity, although after 21 days of exposure, cholinesterase activity was decreased to 58% or 13% of control levels in the hippocampus of rats in the 3 or 10mg/kg/d groups, respectively. Differential gene expression in the CA1 region of the hippocampus was observed only in the 10mg/kg/d dose group relative to controls. Of the 1382 differentially expressed genes identified by RNA-seq and microarray analysis, 67 were common to both approaches. Differential expression of six of these genes (Bdnf, Cort, Crhbp, Nptx2, Npy and Pnoc) was verified in an independent CPF exposure study; immunohistochemistry demonstrated that CRHBP and NPY were elevated in the CA1 region of the hippocampus at 10mg/kg/d CPF. Gene ontology enrichment analysis suggested association of these genes with receptor-mediated cell survival signaling pathways. miR132/212 was also elevated in the CA1 hippocampal region, which may play a role in the disruption of neurotrophin-mediated cognitive processes after CPF administration. These findings identify potential mediators of CPF-induced neurobehavioral deficits following subchronic exposure to CPF at

  2. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2015-08-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis. PMID:26048882

  3. Epigenetic Alterations in Human Liver From Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes in Parallel With Reduced Folate Levels

    PubMed Central

    Matte, Ashok; Perfilyev, Alexander; de Mello, Vanessa D.; Käkelä, Pirjo; Pihlajamäki, Jussi

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Epigenetic variation may contribute to the development of complex metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). Hepatic insulin resistance is a hallmark of T2D. However, it remains unknown whether epigenetic alterations take place in the liver from diabetic subjects. Therefore, we investigated the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in the liver from subjects with T2D and nondiabetic controls and related epigenetic alterations to gene expression and circulating folate levels. Research Design and Methods: Liver biopsies were obtained from 35 diabetic and 60 nondiabetic subjects, which are part of the Kuopio Obesity Surgery Study. The genome-wide DNA methylation pattern was analyzed in the liver using the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. RNA expression was analyzed from a subset of subjects using the HumanHT-12 Expression BeadChip. Results: After correction for multiple testing, we identified 251 individual CpG sites that exhibit differential DNA methylation in liver obtained from T2D compared with nondiabetic subjects (Q < .05). These include CpG sites annotated to genes that are biologically relevant to the development of T2D such as GRB10, ABCC3, MOGAT1, and PRDM16. The vast majority of the significant CpG sites (94%) displayed decreased DNA methylation in liver from subjects with T2D. The hypomethylation found in liver from diabetic subjects may be explained by reduced folate levels. Indeed, subjects with T2D had significantly reduced erythrocyte folate levels compared with nondiabetic subjects. We further identified 29 genes that displayed both differential DNA methylation and gene expression in human T2D liver including the imprinted gene H19. Conclusions: Our study highlights the importance of epigenetic and transcriptional changes in the liver from subjects with T2D. Reduced circulating folate levels may provide an explanation for hypomethylation in the human diabetic liver. PMID:26418287

  4. Supraphysiological Levels of Quercetin Glycosides are Required to Alter Mineralization in Saos2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Leslie A.; Peters, Sandra J.; Sullivan, Philip J.; Ward, Wendy E.

    2016-01-01

    Flavonoid intake is positively correlated to bone mineral density (BMD) in women. Flavonoids such as quercetin exhibit strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that may be beneficial for bone health. Quercetin, previously shown to positively influence osteoblasts, is metabolized into glycosides including rutin and hyperoside. We compared the effects of these glycosides on mineralization in human osteoblast (Saos2) cells. Administration of rutin (≥25 µM) and hyperoside (≥5 µM) resulted in higher mineral content, determined using the alizarin red assay. This was accompanied by higher alkaline phosphatase activity with no cell toxicity. The expression of osteopontin, sclerostin, TNFα and IL6, known stimuli for decreasing osteoblast activity, were reduced with the addition of rutin or hyperoside. In summary, rutin and hyperoside require supraphysiological levels, when administered individually, to positively influence osteoblast activity. This information may be useful in developing nutraceuticals to support bone health. PMID:27136576

  5. Supraphysiological Levels of Quercetin Glycosides are Required to Alter Mineralization in Saos2 Cells.

    PubMed

    Nash, Leslie A; Peters, Sandra J; Sullivan, Philip J; Ward, Wendy E

    2016-01-01

    Flavonoid intake is positively correlated to bone mineral density (BMD) in women. Flavonoids such as quercetin exhibit strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that may be beneficial for bone health. Quercetin, previously shown to positively influence osteoblasts, is metabolized into glycosides including rutin and hyperoside. We compared the effects of these glycosides on mineralization in human osteoblast (Saos2) cells. Administration of rutin (≥25 µM) and hyperoside (≥5 µM) resulted in higher mineral content, determined using the alizarin red assay. This was accompanied by higher alkaline phosphatase activity with no cell toxicity. The expression of osteopontin, sclerostin, TNFα and IL6, known stimuli for decreasing osteoblast activity, were reduced with the addition of rutin or hyperoside. In summary, rutin and hyperoside require supraphysiological levels, when administered individually, to positively influence osteoblast activity. This information may be useful in developing nutraceuticals to support bone health. PMID:27136576

  6. Unexpected rates of chromosomal instabilities and alterations of hormone levels in Namibian uranium miners

    SciTech Connect

    Zaire, R.; Notter, M.; Thiel, E.

    1997-05-01

    A common problem in determining the health consequences of radiation exposure is factoring out other carcinogenic influences. The conditions in Namibia provide a test case for distinguishing the effects of long-term low-dose exposure to uranium from the other environmental factors because of good air quality and the lack of other industries with negative health effects. Present records indicate a much higher prevalence of cancer among male workers in the open-pit uranium mine in Namibia compared with the general population. The objective of the present study was to determine whether long-term exposure to low doses of uranium increases the risk of a biological radiation damage which would lead to malignant diseases and to derive a dose-response model for these miners. To investigate this risk, we measured uranium excretion in urine, neutrophil counts and the serum level of FSH, LH and testosterone and analyzed chromosome aberrations in whole blood cells using fluorescence in situ hybridization. A representative cohort of 75 non-smoking, HIV-negative miners was compared to a control group of 31 individuals with no occupational history in mining. A sixfold increase in uranium excretion among the miners compared to the controls was recorded (P < 0.001). Furthermore, we determined a significant reduction in testosterone levels (P < 0.008) and neutrophil count (P < 0.0001). Most remarkably, cells with multiple aberrations such as {open_quotes}rogue{close_quotes} cells were observed for the first time in miners; these cells had previously been found only after short-term high-dose radiation exposure, e.g. from the Hiroshima atomic bomb or the Chernobyl accident. 19 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  7. Chronic food restriction and streptozotocin-induced diabetes differentially alter prodynorphin mRNA levels in rat brain regions.

    PubMed

    Berman, Y; Devi, L; Spangler, R; Kreek, M J; Carr, K D

    1997-06-01

    It was previously reported that chronic food restriction and streptozotocin-induced diabetes lead to brain region-specific changes in levels of Prodyn-derived peptides. These changes parallel behavioral adaptations that are reversed by opioid antagonists. In the present study, effects of food restriction and diabetes on Prodyn gene expression were measured in rat brain regions using a quantitative solution hybridization mRNA assay. Picogram amounts of Prodyn mRNA were determined in extracts of five brain regions. The highest density of Prodyn mRNA was observed in extracts of nucleus accumbens (4.68 pg/microg total RNA), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (4.18 pg/microg), and in caudate nucleus (3.51 pg/microg). Lower levels were observed in the lateral hypothalamus (1.87 pg/microg) and central nucleus of the amygdala (1.22 pg/microg). Food restriction and diabetes both markedly increased the levels of Prodyn mRNA in the central amygdala (163% and 93%, respectively). Levels in the lateral hypothalamus were also increased (35% and 29%, respectively), though only the food-restriction effect was statistically significant. Neither treatment altered prodynorphin mRNA levels in the caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens or bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. These results suggest that dynorphin neurons in central amygdala and lateral hypothalamus may be involved in behavioral or physiological adaptations to sustained metabolic need. PMID:9191075

  8. Levels of Ancylostoma infections and phylogenetic analysis of cox 1 gene of A. ceylanicum in stray cat faecal samples from Guangzhou, China.

    PubMed

    Hu, W; Yu, X G; Wu, S; Tan, L P; Song, M R; Abdulahi, A Y; Wang, Z; Jiang, B; Li, G Q

    2016-07-01

    Ancylostoma ceylanicum is a common zoonotic nematode. Cats act as natural reservoirs of the hookworm and are involved in transmitting infection to humans, thus posing a potential risk to public health. The prevalence of feline A. ceylanicum in Guangzhou (South China) was surveyed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). In total, 112 faecal samples were examined; 34.8% (39/112) and 43.8% (49/112) samples were positive with hookworms by microscopy and PCR method, respectively. Among them, 40.8% of samples harboured A. ceylanicum. Twelve positive A. ceylanicum samples were selected randomly and used for cox 1 sequence analysis. Sequencing results revealed that they had 97-99% similarity with A. ceylanicum cox 1 gene sequences deposited in GenBank. A phylogenetic tree showed that A. ceylanicum isolates were divided into two groups: one comprising four isolates from Guangzhou (South China), and the other comprising those from Malaysia, Cambodia and Guangzhou. In the latter group, all A. ceylanicum isolates from Guangzhou were clustered into a minor group again. The results indicate that the high prevalence of A. ceylanicum in stray cats in South China poses a potential risk of hookworm transmission from pet cats to humans, and that A. ceylanicum may be a species complex worldwide. PMID:26123649

  9. The Phylogenetic Likelihood Library

    PubMed Central

    Flouri, T.; Izquierdo-Carrasco, F.; Darriba, D.; Aberer, A.J.; Nguyen, L.-T.; Minh, B.Q.; Von Haeseler, A.; Stamatakis, A.

    2015-01-01

    We introduce the Phylogenetic Likelihood Library (PLL), a highly optimized application programming interface for developing likelihood-based phylogenetic inference and postanalysis software. The PLL implements appropriate data structures and functions that allow users to quickly implement common, error-prone, and labor-intensive tasks, such as likelihood calculations, model parameter as well as branch length optimization, and tree space exploration. The highly optimized and parallelized implementation of the phylogenetic likelihood function and a thorough documentation provide a framework for rapid development of scalable parallel phylogenetic software. By example of two likelihood-based phylogenetic codes we show that the PLL improves the sequential performance of current software by a factor of 2–10 while requiring only 1 month of programming time for integration. We show that, when numerical scaling for preventing floating point underflow is enabled, the double precision likelihood calculations in the PLL are up to 1.9 times faster than those in BEAGLE. On an empirical DNA dataset with 2000 taxa the AVX version of PLL is 4 times faster than BEAGLE (scaling enabled and required). The PLL is available at http://www.libpll.org under the GNU General Public License (GPL). PMID:25358969

  10. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results. PMID:26903617

  11. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-02-22

    The use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, but their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the truemore » transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. Moreover, we confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.« less

  12. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage.

    PubMed

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals' HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results. PMID:26903617

  13. The phylogenetic likelihood library.

    PubMed

    Flouri, T; Izquierdo-Carrasco, F; Darriba, D; Aberer, A J; Nguyen, L-T; Minh, B Q; Von Haeseler, A; Stamatakis, A

    2015-03-01

    We introduce the Phylogenetic Likelihood Library (PLL), a highly optimized application programming interface for developing likelihood-based phylogenetic inference and postanalysis software. The PLL implements appropriate data structures and functions that allow users to quickly implement common, error-prone, and labor-intensive tasks, such as likelihood calculations, model parameter as well as branch length optimization, and tree space exploration. The highly optimized and parallelized implementation of the phylogenetic likelihood function and a thorough documentation provide a framework for rapid development of scalable parallel phylogenetic software. By example of two likelihood-based phylogenetic codes we show that the PLL improves the sequential performance of current software by a factor of 2-10 while requiring only 1 month of programming time for integration. We show that, when numerical scaling for preventing floating point underflow is enabled, the double precision likelihood calculations in the PLL are up to 1.9 times faster than those in BEAGLE. On an empirical DNA dataset with 2000 taxa the AVX version of PLL is 4 times faster than BEAGLE (scaling enabled and required). The PLL is available at http://www.libpll.org under the GNU General Public License (GPL). PMID:25358969

  14. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in response to experimental nitrogen and carbon dioxide additions.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Rebecca C; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2015-09-01

    Global N inputs and atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased as a result of human activities, and are predicted to increase along with population growth, with potentially negative effects on biodiversity. Using taxonomic and phylogenetic measures, we examined the response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to experimental manipulations of N and CO2 at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment. No significant interactions between N and CO2 were observed, but individual effects of N and CO2 were found. Elevated CO2 resulted in changes in phylogenetic similarity, and a shift to phylogenetic clustering of AMF communities. N addition resulted in higher phylogenetic diversity and evenness, with no shifts in community composition and no significant signal for phylogenetic clustering. N addition resulted in an increase in both available N and the N:P ratio in N-amended plots, which suggests that changing patterns of nutrient limitation could have lead to altered species interactions. These findings suggest that elevated levels of N and CO2 altered patterns of AMF community assembly, with potential effects on ecosystem function. PMID:25990297

  15. Time Course of Behavioral Alteration and mRNA Levels of Neurotrophic Factor Following Stress Exposure in Mouse.

    PubMed

    Hashikawa, Naoya; Ogawa, Takumi; Sakamoto, Yusuke; Ogawa, Mami; Matsuo, Yumi; Zamami, Yoshito; Hashikawa-Hobara, Narumi

    2015-08-01

    Stress is known to affect neurotrophic factor expression, which induces depression-like behavior. However, whether there are time-dependent changes in neurotrophic factor mRNA expression following stress remains unclear. In the present study, we tested whether chronic stress exposure induces long-term changes in depression-related behavior, serum corticosterone, and hippocampal proliferation as well as neurotrophic factor family mRNA levels, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), in the mouse hippocampus. The mRNA level of neurotrophic factors (BDNF, NGF, NT-3, and CNTF) was measured using the real-time PCR. The serum corticosterone level was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and, for each subject, the hippocampal proliferation was examined by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine immunostaining. Mice exhibited depression-like behavior in the forced-swim test (FST) and decreased BDNF mRNA and hippocampal proliferation in the middle of the stress exposure. After 15 days of stress exposure, we observed increased immobility in the FST, serum corticosterone levels, and BDNF mRNA levels and degenerated hippocampal proliferation, maintained for at least 2 weeks. Anhedonia-like behavior in the sucrose preference test and NGF mRNA levels were decreased following 15 days of stress. NGF mRNA levels were significantly higher 1 week after stress exposure. The current data demonstrate that chronic stress exposure induces prolonged BDNF and NGF mRNA changes and increases corticosterone levels and depression-like behavior in the FST, but does not alter other neurotrophic factors or performance in the sucrose preference test. PMID:25820756

  16. Level of energy restriction alters body condition score and morphometric profile in obese Shetland ponies.

    PubMed

    Bruynsteen, L; Moons, C P H; Janssens, G P J; Harris, P A; Vandevelde, K; Lefère, L; Duchateau, L; Hesta, M

    2015-10-01

    Due to the high prevalence of obesity in some horses and ponies (especially in the leisure horse sector), effective and safe weight loss strategies are required. The present study evaluated the effect of two different energy restriction rates on physical, morphometric and welfare parameters in 18 obese (body condition score [BCS] 7-9/9) Shetland geldings. The trial was divided into three periods: (1) a 4 week adaptation period, during which the maintenance energy intakes to maintain a stable obese bodyweight were determined (100% MERob); (2) a 16.5-week weight loss period during which the ponies were randomly divided into three groups (n = 6/group) comprising a control group (CONTROL), moderate energy restricted (MOD), and severe energy restricted (SEV) groups that were respectively fed at 100%, 80% and 60% of their individual MERob; and (3) a 3 week follow up period in which the ponies were again fed at their outset individual 100% MERob. Between the start and end of the weight loss period, significant pairwise differences between the three treatment groups were seen for bodyweight, BCS, heart girth, belly girth, and relative ultrasound fat depth at the level of loin and ribs at several time points (P < 0.05). The higher energy restriction was associated with a faster decrease in BCS, tail head, and heart plus belly girth, but no gastric ulcers or stereotypic behaviours were seen. PMID:26117272

  17. Wastewater treatment plant effluent alters pituitary gland gonadotropin mRNA levels in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Harding, Louisa B; Schultz, Irvin R; da Silva, Denis A M; Ylitalo, Gina M; Ragsdale, Dave; Harris, Stephanie I; Bailey, Stephanie; Pepich, Barry V; Swanson, Penny

    2016-09-01

    It is well known that endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) present in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents interfere with reproduction in fish, including altered gonad development and induction of vitellogenin (Vtg), a female-specific egg yolk protein precursor produced in the liver. As a result, studies have focused on the effects of EDC exposure on the gonad and liver. However, impacts of environmental EDC exposure at higher levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad axis are less well understood. The pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh) are involved in all aspects of gonad development and are subject to feedback from gonadal steroids making them a likely target of endocrine disruption. In this study, the effects of WWTP effluent exposure on pituitary gonadotropin mRNA expression were investigated to assess the utility of Lh beta-subunit (lhb) as a biomarker of estrogen exposure in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). First, a controlled 72-h exposure to 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and 17β-trenbolone (TREN) was performed to evaluate the response of juvenile coho salmon to EDC exposure. Second, juvenile coho salmon were exposed to 0, 20 or 100% effluent from eight WWTPs from the Puget Sound, WA region for 72h. Juvenile coho salmon exposed to 2 and 10ng EE2L(-1) had 17-fold and 215-fold higher lhb mRNA levels relative to control fish. Hepatic vtg mRNA levels were dramatically increased 6670-fold, but only in response to 10ng EE2L(-1) and Fsh beta-subunit (fshb) mRNA levels were not altered by any of the treatments. In the WWTP effluent exposures, lhb mRNA levels were significantly elevated in fish exposed to five of the WWTP effluents. In contrast, transcript levels of vtg were not affected by any of the WWTP effluent exposures. Mean levels of natural and synthetic estrogens in fish bile were consistent with pituitary lhb expression, suggesting that the observed lhb induction may be due to

  18. Alteration of blood glucose levels in the rat following exposure to hyperbaric oxygen.

    PubMed

    Eynan, Mirit; Mullokandov, Michael; Krinsky, Nitzan; Biram, Adi; Arieli, Yehuda

    2015-09-01

    Findings regarding blood glucose level (BGL) on exposure to hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) are contradictory. We investigated the influence of HBO on BGL, and of BGL on latency to central nervous system oxygen toxicity (CNS-OT). The study was conducted on five groups of rats: Group 1, exposure to oxygen at 2.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA), 90 min/day for 7 days; Group 2, exposure to oxygen once a week from 2 to 6 ATA in increments of 1 ATA/wk, for a period of time calculated as 60% of the latency to CNS-OT (no convulsions); Group 3, exposure to 6 ATA breathing a gas mixture with a pO2 of 0.21; Group 4, received 10 U/kg insulin to induce hypoglycemia before exposure to HBO; Group 5, received 33% glucose to induce hyperglycemia before exposure to HBO. Blood samples were drawn before and after exposures for measurement of BGL. No change was observed in BGL after exposure to oxygen at 2.5 ATA, 90 min/day for 7 days. BGL was significantly elevated after exposure to oxygen at 6 ATA until the appearance of convulsions, and following exposure to 4, 5, and 6 ATA without convulsions (P < 0.01). No change was observed in BGL after exposure to 6 ATA breathing a gas mixture with a pO2 of 0.21. Hypoglycemia shortened latency to CNS oxygen toxicity, whereas hyperglycemia had no effect. Our results demonstrate an influence of HBO exposure on elevation of BGL, starting at 4 ATA. This implies that BGL may serve as a marker for the generation of CNS-OT. PMID:26183474

  19. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS. PMID:27242409

  20. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS. PMID:27242409

  1. Association of Urinary Metal Profiles with Altered Glucose Levels and Diabetes Risk: A Population-Based Study in China

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Wei; Cui, Xiuqing; Liu, Bing; Liu, Chuanyao; Xiao, Yang; Lu, Wei; Guo, Huan; He, Meian; Zhang, Xiaomin; Yuan, Jing; Chen, Weihong; Wu, Tangchun

    2015-01-01

    Background Elevated heavy metals and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels were both associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, studies on the associations of heavy metals and essential elements with altered FPG and diabetes risk were limited or conflicting. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential associations of heavy metals and essential trace elements with FPG and diabetes risk among general Chinese population. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the associations of urinary concentrations of 23 metals with FPG, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes among 2242 community-based Chinese adults in Wuhan. We used the false discovery rate (FDR) method to correct for multiple hypothesis tests. Results After adjusting for potential confounders, urinary aluminum, titanium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, selenium, rubidium, strontium, molybdenum, cadmium, antimony, barium, tungsten and lead were associated with altered FPG, IFG or diabetes risk (all P< 0.05); arsenic was only dose-dependently related to diabetes (P< 0.05). After additional adjustment for multiple testing, titanium, copper, zinc, selenium, rubidium, tungsten and lead were still significantly associated with one or more outcomes (all FDR-adjusted P< 0.05). Conclusions Our results suggest that multiple metals in urine are associated with FPG, IFG or diabetes risk. Because the cross-sectional design precludes inferences about causality, further prospective studies are warranted to validate our findings. PMID:25874871

  2. Drospirenone intake alters plasmatic steroid levels and cyp17a1 expression in gonads of juvenile sea bass.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Maria; Fernandes, Denise; Medina, Paula; Blázquez, Mercedes; Porte, Cinta

    2016-06-01

    Drospirenone (DRO) is one of the most widely used progestins in contraceptive treatments and hormone replacement therapies. The pharmacokinetics and potential toxicological effects of DRO were investigated in juvenile sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) exposed through the diet (0.01-10 μg DRO/g) for up to 31 days. DRO was detected in the blood (4-27 ng/mL) of fish exposed to the highest concentration, with no significant bioaccumulation over time and no alteration of hepatic metabolizing enzymes, namely, CYP1A and CYP3A-catalysed activities and UDP-glucuronyltransferase (UGT). Pregnenolone (P5), progesterone (P4), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17P4), 17α-hydroxypregnenolone (17P5), androstenedione (AD) and testosterone (T) were determined in plasma and gene expression of cyp17a1, cyp19a1a and cyp11β analysed by qRT-PCR in gonads. The significant increase in plasmatic levels of 17P5, 17P4 and AD detected after 31 days exposure to 10 ng DRO/g together with the increased expression of cyp17a1 in females evidence the ability of DRO to alter steroid synthesis at low intake concentrations (7 ng DRO/day). However, the potential consequences of this steroid shift for female reproduction remain to be investigated. PMID:26995450

  3. Using chromosomal data in the phylogenetic and molecular dating framework: karyotype evolution and diversification in Nierembergia (Solanaceae) influenced by historical changes in sea level.

    PubMed

    Acosta, M C; Moscone, E A; Cocucci, A A

    2016-05-01

    Karyotype data within a phylogenetic framework and molecular dating were used to examine chromosome evolution in Nierembergia and to infer how geological or climatic processes have influenced in the diversification of this solanaceous genus native to South America and Mexico. Despite the numerous studies comparing karyotype features across species, including the use of molecular phylogenies, to date relatively few studies have used formal comparative methods to elucidate chromosomal evolution, especially to reconstruct the whole ancestral karyotypes. Here, we mapped on the Nierembergia phylogeny one complete set of chromosomal data obtained by conventional staining, AgNOR-, C- and fluorescent chromosome banding, and fluorescent in situ hybridisation. In addition, we used a Bayesian molecular relaxed clock to estimate divergence times between species. Nierembergia showed two major divergent clades: a mountainous species group with symmetrical karyotypes, large chromosomes, only one nucleolar organising region (NOR) and without centromeric heterochromatin, and a lowland species group with asymmetrical karyotypes, small chromosomes, two chromosomes pairs with NORs and centromeric heterochromatin bands. Molecular dating on the DNA phylogeny revealed that both groups diverged during Late Miocene, when Atlantic marine ingressions, called the 'Paranense Sea', probably forced the ancestors of these species to find refuge in unflooded areas for about 2 Myr. This split agrees with an increased asymmetry and heterochromatin amount, and decrease in karyotype length and chromosome size. Thus, when the two Nierembergia ancestral lineages were isolated, major divergences occurred in chromosomal evolution, and then each lineage underwent speciation separately, with relatively minor changes in chromosomal characteristics. PMID:26718314

  4. Phylogenetic character mapping of proteomic diversity shows high correlation with subspecific phylogenetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Telleria, Jenny; Biron, David G.; Brizard, Jean-Paul; Demettre, Edith; Séveno, Martial; Barnabé, Christian; Ayala, Francisco J.; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2010-01-01

    We performed a phylogenetic character mapping on 26 stocks of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, and 2 stocks of the sister taxon T. cruzi marinkellei to test for possible associations between T. cruzi–subspecific phylogenetic diversity and levels of protein expression, as examined by proteomic analysis and mass spectrometry. We observed a high level of correlation (P < 10−4) between genetic distance, as established by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and proteomic dissimilarities estimated by proteomic Euclidian distances. Several proteins were found to be specifically associated to T. cruzi phylogenetic subdivisions (discrete typing units). This study explores the previously uncharacterized links between infraspecific phylogenetic diversity and gene expression in a human pathogen. It opens the way to searching for new vaccine and drug targets and for identification of specific biomarkers at the subspecific level of pathogens. PMID:21059959

  5. Phylogenetic character mapping of proteomic diversity shows high correlation with subspecific phylogenetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Telleria, Jenny; Biron, David G; Brizard, Jean-Paul; Demettre, Edith; Séveno, Martial; Barnabé, Christian; Ayala, Francisco J; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2010-11-23

    We performed a phylogenetic character mapping on 26 stocks of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, and 2 stocks of the sister taxon T. cruzi marinkellei to test for possible associations between T. cruzi-subspecific phylogenetic diversity and levels of protein expression, as examined by proteomic analysis and mass spectrometry. We observed a high level of correlation (P < 10(-4)) between genetic distance, as established by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and proteomic dissimilarities estimated by proteomic Euclidian distances. Several proteins were found to be specifically associated to T. cruzi phylogenetic subdivisions (discrete typing units). This study explores the previously uncharacterized links between infraspecific phylogenetic diversity and gene expression in a human pathogen. It opens the way to searching for new vaccine and drug targets and for identification of specific biomarkers at the subspecific level of pathogens. PMID:21059959

  6. Increased astrocyte expression of IL-6 or CCL2 in transgenic mice alters levels of hippocampal and cerebellar proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gruol, Donna L.; Vo, Khanh; Bray, Jennifer G.

    2014-01-01

    Emerging research has identified that neuroimmune factors are produced by cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and play critical roles as regulators of CNS function, directors of neurodevelopment and responders to pathological processes. A wide range of neuroimmune factors are produced by CNS cells, primarily the glial cells, but the role of specific neuroimmune factors and their glial cell sources in CNS biology and pathology have yet to be fully elucidated. We have used transgenic mice that express elevated levels of a specific neuroimmune factor, the cytokine IL-6 or the chemokine CCL2, through genetic modification of astrocyte expression to identify targets of astrocyte produced IL-6 or CCL2 at the protein level. We found that in non-transgenic mice constitutive expression of IL-6 and CCL2 occurs in the two CNS regions studied, the hippocampus and cerebellum, as measured by ELISA. In the CCL2 transgenic mice elevated levels of CCL2 were evident in the hippocampus and cerebellum, whereas in the IL-6 transgenic mice, elevated levels of IL-6 were only evident in the cerebellum. Western blot analysis of the cellular and synaptic proteins in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the transgenic mice showed that the elevated levels of CCL2 or IL-6 resulted in alterations in the levels of specific proteins and that these actions differed for the two neuroimmune factors and for the two brain regions. These results are consistent with cell specific profiles of action for IL-6 and CCL2, actions that may be an important aspect of their respective roles in CNS physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:25177271

  7. Alteration of Na,K-ATPase subunit mRNA and protein levels in hypertrophied rat heart.

    PubMed

    Charlemagne, D; Orlowski, J; Oliviero, P; Rannou, F; Sainte Beuve, C; Swynghedauw, B; Lane, L K

    1994-01-14

    To determine if an altered expression of the Na,K-ATPase alpha isoform genes is responsible for an observed increase in cardiac glycoside sensitivity in compensatory hypertrophy, we performed Northern and slot blot analyses of RNA and specific immunological detection of Na,K-ATPase isoforms in rat hearts from normal and pressure overload-treated animals induced by abdominal aortic constriction. During the early phase of hypertrophy, the only alteration is a decrease in the alpha 2 mRNA isoform. In the compensated hypertrophied heart, the levels of the predominant alpha 1 isoform (mRNA and protein) and the beta 1 subunit mRNA are unchanged. In contrast, the alpha 2 isoform (mRNA and protein) is decreased by 35% and up to 61-64% in mild (< 55%) and severe (> 55%) hypertrophy, respectively. The alpha 3 isoform (mRNA and protein), which is extremely low in adult heart, is increased up to 2-fold during hypertrophy but accounts for only approximately equal to 5% of the total alpha isoform mRNA. These findings demonstrate that, in cardiac hypertrophy, the three alpha isoforms of the Na,K-ATPase are independently regulated and that regulation occurs at a pretranslational level. The pattern of expression in hypertrophied adult heart is similar to that of the neonatal heart where the inverse regulation between the alpha 2 and alpha 3 ouabain high affinity isoforms has been reported. This suggests that distinct regulatory mechanisms controlling Na,K-ATPase isoform expression may, at least in part, be involved in the sensitivity to cardiac glycosides. PMID:8288620

  8. Altering dietary levels of protein or vitamins and minerals does not modify morphine-induced analgesia in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, R B; D'Anci, K E; Przypek, J M; Mathes, W F

    1999-02-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that chronic intake of nutritive sweet solutions, but not nonnutritive sweet solutions, enhances morphine's analgesic potency. To separate out the effects of sweet taste from other changes in dietary intake, which result when rats consume a sucrose solution, the effects of altering dietary levels of protein, or vitamins and minerals on morphine-induced analgesia were examined. In Experiment 1, 40 male Long-Evans rats were fed standard chow or a semipurified diet containing either 10, 20, or 40% protein. Three weeks later, antinociceptive responses to morphine were examined using the tail flick procedure. Tail flick latencies were measured immediately prior to and 30, 60, and 90 min after the administration of morphine sulfate (0.0, 1.25, 2.5, and 5.0 mg/kg, SC). At all three measurement times, antinociceptive responses increased directly as a function of the dose of morphine, but did not differ as a function of diet. In Experiment 2, 24 rats were maintained on either standard laboratory chow or semipurified diets containing 20% protein and either 100% or 25% of the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals for 3 weeks. Tail flick latencies were measured immediately prior to and 30 min after injections (SC) of 2.5 mg/kg morphine sulfate. This procedure was repeated until a cumulative dose of 10.0 mg/kg was obtained. Tail flick latencies increased significantly as a function of drug dose, but did not differ across dietary conditions. These results demonstrate that the increase in morphine-induced analgesia seen in rats consuming a sucrose solution is not due to alterations in either protein or micronutrient intake. PMID:9972684

  9. Anti-inflammatory Montelukast prevents toxic effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin: Oxidative stress, histological alterations in liver, and serum cytokine levels.

    PubMed

    Bentli, Recep; Ciftci, Osman; Cetin, Asli; Otlu, Ali

    2016-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate the potential beneficial effects of the montelukast (ML) on oxidative stress and histological alterations in liver tissues and cytokine levels in rats intoxicated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Rats were divided randomly into four equal groups (control, TCDD, ML, TCDD + ML). TCDD were administered by gavages dissolved in corn oil at the doses of 2 µg/kg/week, and ML was given intraperitoneally at the dose of 10 mg/kg/day. Oxidative status, histological alterations, and cytokine levels were analyzed on day 60. The results showed that although TCDD induced oxidative stress via significant increase in formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance, it caused a significant decline in glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in liver. Besides, TCDD led to significant histopathological damage in liver and serum cytokine levels alterations (increase in tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β levels). In contrast, ML treatment reversed oxidative effects of TCDD by increasing the levels of GSH, CAT, and SOD and decreasing the formation of TBARS. Also, it can normalize the levels of histological and cytokine alterations induced by TCDD. In conclusion, it was determined that TCDD exposure caused adverse effects on cytokine levels, histological alterations, and oxidative stress in rats. However, ML treatment partially eliminated toxic effects of TCDD. Thus, it was judged that coadministration of ML with TCDD may be useful to attenuate the negative effects of TCDD. PMID:24215062

  10. Biochemical and structural characterizations of two Dictyostelium cellobiohydrolases from the amoebozoa kingdom reveal a high level of conservation between distant phylogenetic trees of life

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hobdey, Sarah E.; Knott, Brandon C.; Momeni, Majid Haddad; Taylor, II, Larry E.; Borisova, Anna S.; Podkaminer, Kara K.; VanderWall, Todd A.; Himmel, Michael E.; Decker, Stephen R.; Beckham, Gregg T.; et al

    2016-04-01

    Glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GH7) cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) are enzymes often employed in plant cell wall degradation across eukaryotic kingdoms of life, as they provide significant hydrolytic potential in cellulose turnover. To date, many fungal GH7 CBHs have been examined, yet many questions regarding structure-activity relationships in these important natural and commercial enzymes remain. Here, we present the crystal structures and a biochemical analysis of two GH7 CBHs from social amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum Cel7A (DdiCel7A) and Dictyostelium purpureum Cel7A (DpuCel7A). DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A natively consist of a catalytic domain and do not exhibit a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). The structures of DdiCel7Amore » and DpuCel7A, resolved to 2.1 Å and 2.7 Å, respectively, are homologous to those of other GH7 CBHs with an enclosed active-site tunnel. Two primary differences between the Dictyostelium CBHs and the archetypal model GH7 CBH, Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (TreCel7A), occur near the hydrolytic active site and the product-binding sites. To compare the activities of these enzymes with the activity of TreCel7A, the family 1 TreCel7A CBM and linker were added to the C terminus of each of the Dictyostelium enzymes, creating DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM, which were recombinantly expressed in T. reesei. DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM hydrolyzed Avicel, pretreated corn stover, and phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose as efficiently as TreCel7A when hydrolysis was compared at their temperature optima. The Ki of cellobiose was significantly higher for DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM than for TreCel7A: 205, 130, and 29 μM, respectively. Finally, taken together, the present study highlights the remarkable degree of conservation of the activity of these key natural and industrial enzymes across quite distant phylogenetic trees of life.« less

  11. Biochemical and Structural Characterization of Two Dictyostelium Cellobiohydrolases from the Amoebozoa Kingdom Reveal a High Level of Conservation Between Distant Phylogenetic Trees of Life

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hobdey, Sarah E.; Knott, Brandon C.; Momeni, Majid Haddad; Taylor, II, Larry E.; Borisova, Anna S.; Podkaminer, Kara K.; VanderWall, Todd A.; Himmel, Michael E.; Decker, Stephen R.; Beckham, Gregg T.; et al

    2016-06-01

    Glycoside Hydrolase Family 7 (GH7) cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) are commonly employed enzymes in plant cell wall degradation across eukaryotic kingdoms of life, as they provide significant hydrolytic potential in cellulose turnover. To date, many fungal GH7 CBHs have been examined, yet many questions remain regarding structure-activity relationships in these important natural and commercial enzymes. Here, we present crystal structures and biochemical analysis of two GH7 CBHs from social amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum and Dictyostelium purpureum (DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A, respectively). DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A natively consist of a catalytic domain and do not exhibit a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). The structures, resolved to 2.1 Amore » (DdiCel7A), and 2.7 A (DpuCel7A), are homologous to other GH7 CBHs with an enclosed active site tunnel. Two primary differences between the Dictyostelium CBHs and the archetypal model GH7 CBH from Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (TreCel7A) occur near the hydrolytic active site and the product binding sites. To compare the activity of these enzymes with TreCel7A, the Family 1 TreCel7A CBM and linker was added to the C-terminus of the Dictyostelium enzymes, DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM, which were recombinantly expressed in T. reesei. DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM hydrolyze Avicel, pretreated corn stover, and phosphoric acid swollen cellulose as efficiently as TreCel7A when compared at their temperature optima. The Ki of cellobiose is significantly higher for DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM than for TreCel7A: 205, 130, and 29 uM, respectively. Taken together, the present study highlights the remarkable conservation in the activity of these key natural and industrial enzymes across quite distant phylogenetic trees of life.« less

  12. Chronic low-level domoic acid exposure alters gene transcription and impairs mitochondrial function in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Hiolski, Emma M; Kendrick, Preston S; Frame, Elizabeth R; Myers, Mark S; Bammler, Theo K; Beyer, Richard P; Farin, Federico M; Wilkerson, Hui-wen; Smith, Donald R; Marcinek, David J; Lefebvre, Kathi A

    2014-01-01

    Domoic acid is an algal-derived seafood toxin that functions as a glutamate agonist and exerts excitotoxicity via overstimulation of glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA) in the central nervous system (CNS). At high (symptomatic) doses, domoic acid is well-known to cause seizures, brain lesions and memory loss; however, a significant knowledge gap exists regarding the health impacts of repeated low-level (asymptomatic) exposure. Here, we investigated the impacts of low-level repetitive domoic acid exposure on gene transcription and mitochondrial function in the vertebrate CNS using a zebrafish model in order to: 1) identify transcriptional biomarkers of exposure; and 2) examine potential pathophysiology that may occur in the absence of overt excitotoxic symptoms. We found that transcription of genes related to neurological function and development were significantly altered, and that asymptomatic exposure impaired mitochondrial function. Interestingly, the transcriptome response was highly-variable across the exposure duration (36 weeks), with little to no overlap of specific genes across the six exposure time points (2, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 weeks). Moreover, there were no apparent similarities at any time point with the gene transcriptome profile exhibited by the glud1 mouse model of chronic moderate excess glutamate release. These results suggest that although the fundamental mechanisms of toxicity may be similar, gene transcriptome responses to domoic acid exposure do not extrapolate well between different exposure durations. However, the observed impairment of mitochondrial function based on respiration rates and mitochondrial protein content suggests that repetitive low-level exposure does have fundamental cellular level impacts that could contribute to chronic health consequences. PMID:25033243

  13. Propofol, but not etomidate, increases corticosterone levels and induces long-term alteration in hippocampal synaptic activity in neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Changqing; Seubert, Christoph N; Gravenstein, Nikolaus; Martynyuk, Anatoly E

    2016-04-01

    Animal studies provide strong evidence that general anesthetics (GAs), administered during the early postnatal period, induce long-term cognitive and neurological abnormalities. Because the brain growth spurt in rodents is delayed compared to that in humans, a fundamental question is whether the postnatal human brain is similarly vulnerable. Sevoflurane and propofol, GAs that share positive modulation of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAAR) function cause marked increase in corticosterone levels and induce long-term developmental alterations in synaptic activity in rodents. If synaptogenesis is affected, investigation of mechanisms of the synaptic effects of GAs is of high interest because synaptogenesis in humans continues for several years after birth. Here, we compared long-term synaptic effects of etomidate with those of propofol. Etomidate and propofol both positively modulate GABAAR activity, but in contrast to propofol, etomidate inhibits the adrenal synthesis of corticosterone. Postnatal day (P) 4, 5, or 6 rats received five injections of etomidate, propofol, or vehicle control during 5h of maternal separation. Endocrine effects of the anesthetics were evaluated by measuring serum levels of corticosterone immediately after anesthesia or maternal separation. The frequency and amplitude of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons were measured at P24-40 and P≥80. Only propofol caused a significant increase in serum corticosterone levels (F(4.26)=17.739, P<0.001). In contrast to increased frequency of mIPSCs in the propofol group (F(4.23)=8.731, p<0.001), mIPSC activity in the etomidate group was not different from that in the vehicle groups. The results of this study together with previously published data suggest that anesthetic-caused increase in corticosterone levels is required for GABAergic GAs to induce synaptic effects in the form of a long-term increase in the frequency of hippocampal m

  14. ToF-SIMS imaging of molecular-level alteration mechanisms in Le Bonheur de vivre by Henri Matisse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voras, Zachary E.; deGhetaldi, Kristin; Wiggins, Marcie B.; Buckley, Barbara; Baade, Brian; Mass, Jennifer L.; Beebe, Thomas P.

    2015-11-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) has recently been shown to be a valuable tool for cultural heritage studies, especially when used in conjunction with established analytical techniques in the field. The ability of ToF-SIMS to simultaneously image inorganic and organic species within a paint cross section at micrometer-level spatial resolution makes it a uniquely qualified analytical technique to aid in further understanding the processes of pigment and binder alteration, as well as pigment-binder interactions. In this study, ToF-SIMS was used to detect and image both molecular and elemental species related to CdS pigment and binding medium alteration on the painting Le Bonheur de vivre (1905-1906, The Barnes Foundation) by Henri Matisse. Three categories of inorganic and organic components were found throughout Le Bonheur de vivre and co-localized in cross-sectional samples using high spatial resolution ToF-SIMS analysis: (1) species relating to the preparation and photo-induced oxidation of CdS yellow pigments (2) varying amounts of long-chain fatty acids present in both the paint and primary ground layer and (3) specific amino acid fragments, possibly relating to the painting's complex restoration history. ToF-SIMS's ability to discern both organic and inorganic species via cross-sectional imaging was used to compare samples collected from Le Bonheur de vivre to artificially aged reference paints in an effort to gather mechanistic information relating to alteration processes that have been previously explored using μXANES, SR-μXRF, SEM-EDX, and SR-FTIR. The relatively high sensitivity offered by ToF-SIMS imaging coupled to the high spatial resolution allowed for the positive identification of degradation products (such as cadmium oxalate) in specific paint regions that have before been unobserved. The imaging of organic materials has provided an insight into the extent of destruction of the original binding medium, as well as

  15. Altered topological organization of high-level visual networks in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment patients.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yanjia; Shi, Lin; Lei, Yi; Wang, Defeng

    2016-09-01

    Altered regional activation of high-level visual (HLV) cortices in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been well documented in previous fMRI studies, which led us to investigate the underlying alteration of the HLV networks in the terms of intrinsic interaction and topological organization. First, the activation likelihood estimation, a coordinate-based meta-analysis approach, was used to define the cortical regions/nodes included in HLV networks of "what" and "where" visions. Secondly, the acquired HLV regions were used as seeds to calculate their interregional resting-state functional connectivities (RSFCs) based on the temporal correlation of rs-functional MRI (rs-fMRI) time series. Here, the rs-fMRI data of AD (n=30), late MCI (n=35), early MCI (n=52) and matched healthy controls (n=44) were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative dataset. Finally, based on the calculated pair-wise RSFCs, the "what" and "where" HLV networks were respectively constructed, and their topological properties were calculated and analyzed among groups using the graph theory method. The results demonstrated increased clustering coefficient combined with a prolonged characteristic path length of the "where" visual network in AD patients. No significant alternation of the "what" visual network was found among the groups. These results suggest that the abnormality of the HLV networks could be a late-stage outcome in AD and that the "where" visual network may be more susceptible to the AD-related neuropathological changes than the "what" visual network. In addition, the dysfunction of the "where" network is found to be characterized by a decreased integration combined with an increased local segregation. PMID:27461791

  16. Altered blood oxygen level-dependent signal variability in chronic post-traumatic stress disorder during symptom provocation

    PubMed Central

    Ke, Jun; Zhang, Li; Qi, Rongfeng; Xu, Qiang; Li, Weihui; Hou, Cailan; Zhong, Yuan; Zhang, Zhiqiang; He, Zhong; Li, Lingjiang; Lu, Guangming

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent research suggests that variability in brain signal provides important information about brain function in health and disease. However, it is unknown whether blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability is altered in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We aimed to identify the BOLD signal variability changes of PTSD patients during symptom provocation and compare the brain patterns of BOLD signal variability with those of brain activation. Methods Twelve PTSD patients and 14 age-matched controls, who all experienced a mining accident, underwent clinical assessment as well as fMRI scanning while viewing trauma-related and neutral pictures. BOLD signal variability and brain activation were respectively examined with standard deviation (SD) and general linear model analysis, and compared between the PTSD and control groups. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to explore the association between PTSD symptom severity and these two brain measures across all subjects as well as in the PTSD group. Results PTSD patients showed increased activation in the middle occipital gyrus compared with controls, and an inverse correlation was found between PTSD symptom severity and brain activation in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex. Brain variability analysis revealed increased SD in the insula, anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex, and vermis, and decreased SD in the parahippocapal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, somatosensory cortex, and striatum. Importantly, SD alterations in several regions were found in both traumatic and neutral conditions and were stratified by PTSD symptom severity. Conclusion BOLD signal variability may be a reliable and sensitive biomarker of PTSD, and combining brain activation and brain variability analysis may provide complementary insight into the neural basis of this disorder. PMID:26229476

  17. Environmental Enrichment during Rearing Alters Corticosterone Levels, Thymocyte Numbers, and Aggression in Female BALB/c Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, Eric K; Avery, Anne C; VandeWoude, Sue

    2012-01-01

    The goal of environmental enrichment for laboratory animals is to improve welfare, but some enrichment practices may affect research in unintended ways or even be harmful to the animals themselves. We previously found that mice raised at a commercial vendor then given multiple enrichment devices upon arrival at our facilities experienced thymic atrophy and greater variation in measured parameters than did their unenriched counterparts, suggesting that enrichment conditions affected corticosteroid expression in mice. The current study verified and expanded these results, examining 120 female BALB/c mice raised with or without nesting material at a commercial vendor (n = 60 per group) and allocated (n = 20 per group) to receive no enrichment, nesting material, or ‘superenrichment’ on arrival at our facilities. Nesting material provided prior to weaning was associated with higher levels of urinary corticosteroid, whereas superenrichment and nesting material during the adult period both led to increased thymic atrophy. Paradoxically, mice that never received enrichment, despite having the lowest corticosterone levels and least thymic atrophy, had increased tail wounds resulting from aggressive interactions. Therefore, enrichment devices that are as seemingly innocuous as nesting material, even if only provided in the preweaning period, may lead to significant, lasting changes in behavioral, physical, or immunologic measures with the potential to alter research outcomes. PMID:22330863

  18. Projected near-future CO2 levels increase activity and alter defensive behaviours in the tropical squid Idiosepius pygmaeus

    PubMed Central

    Spady, Blake L.; Watson, Sue-Ann; Chase, Tory J.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels projected to occur in the oceans by the end of this century cause a range of behavioural effects in fish, but whether other highly active marine organisms, such as cephalopods, are similarly affected is unknown. We tested the effects of projected future CO2 levels (626 and 956 µatm) on the behaviour of male two-toned pygmy squid, Idiosepius pygmaeus. Exposure to elevated CO2 increased the number of active individuals by 19–25% and increased movement (number of line-crosses) by nearly 3 times compared to squid at present-day CO2. Squid vigilance and defensive behaviours were also altered by elevated CO2 with >80% of individuals choosing jet escape responses over defensive arm postures in response to a visual startle stimulus, compared with 50% choosing jet escape responses at control CO2. In addition, more escape responses were chosen over threat behaviours in body pattern displays at elevated CO2 and individuals were more than twice as likely to use ink as a defence strategy at 956 µatm CO2, compared with controls. Increased activity could lead to adverse effects on energy budgets as well as increasing visibility to predators. A tendency to respond to a stimulus with escape behaviours could increase survival, but may also be energetically costly and could potentially lead to more chases by predators compared with individuals that use defensive postures. These results demonstrate that projected future ocean acidification affects the behaviours of a tropical squid species. PMID:25326517

  19. Projected near-future CO2 levels increase activity and alter defensive behaviours in the tropical squid Idiosepius pygmaeus.

    PubMed

    Spady, Blake L; Watson, Sue-Ann; Chase, Tory J; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels projected to occur in the oceans by the end of this century cause a range of behavioural effects in fish, but whether other highly active marine organisms, such as cephalopods, are similarly affected is unknown. We tested the effects of projected future CO2 levels (626 and 956 µatm) on the behaviour of male two-toned pygmy squid, Idiosepius pygmaeus. Exposure to elevated CO2 increased the number of active individuals by 19-25% and increased movement (number of line-crosses) by nearly 3 times compared to squid at present-day CO2. Squid vigilance and defensive behaviours were also altered by elevated CO2 with >80% of individuals choosing jet escape responses over defensive arm postures in response to a visual startle stimulus, compared with 50% choosing jet escape responses at control CO2. In addition, more escape responses were chosen over threat behaviours in body pattern displays at elevated CO2 and individuals were more than twice as likely to use ink as a defence strategy at 956 µatm CO2, compared with controls. Increased activity could lead to adverse effects on energy budgets as well as increasing visibility to predators. A tendency to respond to a stimulus with escape behaviours could increase survival, but may also be energetically costly and could potentially lead to more chases by predators compared with individuals that use defensive postures. These results demonstrate that projected future ocean acidification affects the behaviours of a tropical squid species. PMID:25326517

  20. Alteration of mitochondrial DNA and RNA level in human fibroblasts with impaired vitamin B12 coenzyme synthesis.

    PubMed

    Cantatore, P; Petruzzella, V; Nicoletti, C; Papadia, F; Fracasso, F; Rustin, P; Gadaleta, M N

    1998-08-01

    Alterations of mitochondrial (mt) nucleic acid metabolism in methylmalonic aciduria (MMA) were studied in two cell lines from skin fibroblasts of patients with mitochondrial (GM00595) or cytosolic (GM10011) defects in the biosynthesis pathways of cobalamin coenzymes. The mtDNA level increased two-fold in GM00595 cells, which carry a mt defect in the adenosylcobalamin synthesis, whereas no appreciable change was found in GM10011 cells. The content of the two rRNAs 16S and 12S mtRNAs, normalized for the mtDNA copy number, decreased by 70% and 50% in GM00595 and GM10011, respectively. The normalized content of ND1, ND2 and CO I mRNAs decreased in GM00595, but was unchanged in GM10011. Respiratory chain complex activities measured in these two cell lines were not different from control activities. These data suggest that the maintenance of the mt function is due to doubling of mtDNA and that this compensatory response takes place only in those cells in which the greater reduction of the level of rRNA might have brought the content of these transcripts below the threshold value for optimal expression of the mt genome. PMID:9720919

  1. Brief anesthesia by isoflurane alters plasma corticosterone levels distinctly in male and female rats: Implications for tissue collection methods.

    PubMed

    Bekhbat, Mandakh; Merrill, Liana; Kelly, Sean D; Lee, Vanessa K; Neigh, Gretchen N

    2016-05-15

    Euthanasia by anesthetic agents is commonly performed prior to tissue collection in order to minimize pain and distress to the animal. However, depending on their mechanism of action as well as administration regimen, different methods of anesthesia may trigger an acute stress response through engaging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which can impact numerous other physiological processes that the researcher may wish to examine as endpoints. We investigated the effects of the commonly used anesthetic agent isoflurane on two different endpoints related to the stress response: plasma corticosterone levels and gene expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) as well as several of its regulators including FK506-binding protein 51 (Fkbp5) in the hippocampus of male and female rats. Our results indicate that brief exposure to anesthesia by isoflurane prior to decapitation can alter plasma corticosterone levels differentially in male and female rats within minutes without impacting gene expression in the hippocampus. We conclude that collection methods can influence stress-related physiological endpoints in female rats and the potential influence of even brief anesthesia as well as sex differences in response to anesthesia should be evaluated during the experimental design process and data interpretation. This finding is particularly important in light of new NIH standards regarding sex and reproducibility, and care should be taken to be certain that sex differences in endpoints of interest are not an artifact of sex differences in response to collection paradigms. PMID:26946276

  2. Changes in Dietary Fat Content Rapidly Alters the Mouse Plasma Coagulation Profile without Affecting Relative Transcript Levels of Coagulation Factors

    PubMed Central

    van Diepen, Janna A.; Verhoef, Daniël; Voshol, Peter J.; Reitsma, Pieter H.; van Vlijmen, Bart J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Obesity is associated with a hypercoagulable state and increased risk for thrombotic cardiovascular events. Objective Establish the onset and reversibility of the hypercoagulable state during the development and regression of nutritionally-induced obesity in mice, and its relation to transcriptional changes and clearance rates of coagulation factors as well as its relation to changes in metabolic and inflammatory parameters. Methods Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a low fat (10% kcal as fat; LFD) or high fat diet (45% kcal as fat; HFD) for 2, 4, 8 or 16 weeks. To study the effects of weight loss, mice were fed the HFD for 16 weeks and switched to the LFD for 1, 2 or 4 weeks. For each time point analyses of plasma and hepatic mRNA levels of coagulation factors were performed after overnight fasting, as well as measurements of circulating metabolic and inflammatory parameters. Furthermore, in vivo clearance rates of human factor (F) VII, FVIII and FIX proteins were determined after 2 weeks of HFD-feeding. Results HFD feeding gradually increased the body and liver weight, which was accompanied by a significant increase in plasma glucose levels from 8 weeks onwards, while insulin levels were affected after 16 weeks. Besides a transient rise in cytokine levels at 2 weeks after starting the HFD, no significant effect on inflammation markers was present. Increased plasma levels of fibrinogen, FII, FVII, FVIII, FIX, FXI and FXII were observed in mice on a HFD for 2 weeks, which in general persisted throughout the 16 weeks of HFD-feeding. Interestingly, with the exception of FXI the effects on plasma coagulation levels were not paralleled by changes in relative transcript levels in the liver, nor by decreased clearance rates. Switching from HFD to LFD reversed the HFD-induced procoagulant shift in plasma, again not coinciding with transcriptional modulation. Conclusions Changes in dietary fat content rapidly alter the mouse plasma coagulation profile, thereby

  3. Prioritizing Populations for Conservation Using Phylogenetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Volkmann, Logan; Martyn, Iain; Moulton, Vincent; Spillner, Andreas; Mooers, Arne O.

    2014-01-01

    In the face of inevitable future losses to biodiversity, ranking species by conservation priority seems more than prudent. Setting conservation priorities within species (i.e., at the population level) may be critical as species ranges become fragmented and connectivity declines. However, existing approaches to prioritization (e.g., scoring organisms by their expected genetic contribution) are based on phylogenetic trees, which may be poor representations of differentiation below the species level. In this paper we extend evolutionary isolation indices used in conservation planning from phylogenetic trees to phylogenetic networks. Such networks better represent population differentiation, and our extension allows populations to be ranked in order of their expected contribution to the set. We illustrate the approach using data from two imperiled species: the spotted owl Strix occidentalis in North America and the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Australia. Using previously published mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we construct phylogenetic networks and score each population by its relative genetic distinctiveness. In both cases, our phylogenetic networks capture the geographic structure of each species: geographically peripheral populations harbor less-redundant genetic information, increasing their conservation rankings. We note that our approach can be used with all conservation-relevant distances (e.g., those based on whole-genome, ecological, or adaptive variation) and suggest it be added to the assortment of tools available to wildlife managers for allocating effort among threatened populations. PMID:24586451

  4. Canonical phylogenetic ordination.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Norberto P

    2003-10-01

    A phylogenetic comparative method is proposed for estimating historical effects on comparative data using the partitions that compose a cladogram, i.e., its monophyletic groups. Two basic matrices, Y and X, are defined in the context of an ordinary linear model. Y contains the comparative data measured over t taxa. X consists of an initial tree matrix that contains all the xj monophyletic groups (each coded separately as a binary indicator variable) of the phylogenetic tree available for those taxa. The method seeks to define the subset of groups, i.e., a reduced tree matrix, that best explains the patterns in Y. This definition is accomplished via regression or canonical ordination (depending on the dimensionality of Y) coupled with Monte Carlo permutations. It is argued here that unrestricted permutations (i.e., under an equiprobable model) are valid for testing this specific kind of groupwise hypothesis. Phylogeny is either partialled out or, more properly, incorporated into the analysis in the form of component variation. Direct extensions allow for testing ecomorphological data controlled by phylogeny in a variation partitioning approach. Currently available statistical techniques make this method applicable under most univariate/multivariate models and metrics; two-way phylogenetic effects can be estimated as well. The simplest case (univariate Y), tested with simulations, yielded acceptable type I error rates. Applications presented include examples from evolutionary ethology, ecology, and ecomorphology. Results showed that the new technique detected previously overlooked variation clearly associated with phylogeny and that many phylogenetic effects on comparative data may occur at particular groups rather than across the entire tree. PMID:14530135

  5. HIV-1 Transmission Patterns in Antiretroviral Therapy-Naïve, HIV-Infected North Americans Based on Phylogenetic Analysis by Population Level and Ultra-Deep DNA Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Lisa L.; Horton, Joseph; Hasan, Samiul; Brown, James R.; Murphy, Daniel; DeJesus, Edwin; Potter, Martin; LaMarca, Anthony; Melendez-Rivera, Ivan; Ward, Douglas; Uy, Jonathon; Shaefer, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Factors that contribute to the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), especially drug-resistant HIV-1 variants remain a significant public health concern. In-depth phylogenetic analyses of viral sequences obtained in the screening phase from antiretroviral-naïve HIV-infected patients seeking enrollment in EPZ108859, a large open-label study in the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00440947) were examined for insights into the roles of drug resistance and epidemiological factors that could impact disease dissemination. Viral transmission clusters (VTCs) were initially predicted from a phylogenetic analysis of population level HIV-1 pol sequences obtained from 690 antiretroviral-naïve subjects in 2007. Subsequently, the predicted VTCs were tested for robustness by ultra deep sequencing (UDS) using pyrosequencing technology and further phylogenetic analyses. The demographic characteristics of clustered and non-clustered subjects were then compared. From 690 subjects, 69 were assigned to 1 of 30 VTCs, each containing 2 to 5 subjects. Race composition of VTCs were significantly more likely to be white (72% vs. 60%; p = 0.04). VTCs had fewer reverse transcriptase and major PI resistance mutations (9% vs. 24%; p = 0.002) than non-clustered sequences. Both men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) (68% vs. 48%; p = 0.001) and Canadians (29% vs. 14%; p = 0.03) were significantly more frequent in VTCs than non-clustered sequences. Of the 515 subjects who initiated antiretroviral therapy, 33 experienced confirmed virologic failure through 144 weeks while only 3/33 were from VTCs. Fewer VTCs subjects (as compared to those with non-clustering virus) had HIV-1 with resistance-associated mutations or experienced virologic failure during the course of the study. Our analysis shows specific geographical and drug resistance trends that correlate well with transmission clusters defined by HIV sequences of similarity. Furthermore, our

  6. Refuting phylogenetic relationships

    PubMed Central

    Bucknam, James; Boucher, Yan; Bapteste, Eric

    2006-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic methods are philosophically grounded, and so can be philosophically biased in ways that limit explanatory power. This constitutes an important methodologic dimension not often taken into account. Here we address this dimension in the context of concatenation approaches to phylogeny. Results We discuss some of the limits of a methodology restricted to verificationism, the philosophy on which gene concatenation practices generally rely. As an alternative, we describe a software which identifies and focuses on impossible or refuted relationships, through a simple analysis of bootstrap bipartitions, followed by multivariate statistical analyses. We show how refuting phylogenetic relationships could in principle facilitate systematics. We also apply our method to the study of two complex phylogenies: the phylogeny of the archaea and the phylogeny of the core of genes shared by all life forms. While many groups are rejected, our results left open a possible proximity of N. equitans and the Methanopyrales, of the Archaea and the Cyanobacteria, and as well the possible grouping of the Methanobacteriales/Methanoccocales and Thermosplasmatales, of the Spirochaetes and the Actinobacteria and of the Proteobacteria and firmicutes. Conclusion It is sometimes easier (and preferable) to decide which species do not group together than which ones do. When possible topologies are limited, identifying local relationships that are rejected may be a useful alternative to classical concatenation approaches aiming to find a globally resolved tree on the basis of weak phylogenetic markers. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Mark Ragan, Eugene V Koonin and J Peter Gogarten. PMID:16956399

  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Enriched Chevon (Goat Meat) Lowers Plasma Cholesterol Levels and Alters Gene Expressions in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Rajion, Mohamed Ali; Meng, Goh Yong; Soleimani Farjam, Abdoreza

    2014-01-01

    In this study, control chevon (goat meat) and omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon were obtained from goats fed a 50% oil palm frond diet and commercial goat concentrate for 100 days, respectively. Goats fed the 50% oil palm frond diet contained high amounts of α-linolenic acid (ALA) in their meat compared to goats fed the control diet. The chevon was then used to prepare two types of pellets (control or enriched chevon) that were then fed to twenty-male-four-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 in each group) for 12 weeks to evaluate their effects on plasma cholesterol levels, tissue fatty acids, and gene expression. There was a significant increase in ALA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the muscle tissues and liver of the rats fed the enriched chevon compared with the control group. Plasma cholesterol also decreased (P < 0.05) in rats fed the enriched chevon compared to the control group. The rat pellets containing enriched chevon significantly upregulated the key transcription factor PPAR-γ and downregulated SREBP-1c expression relative to the control group. The results showed that the omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon increased the omega-3 fatty acids in the rat tissues and altered PPAR-γ and SREBP-1c genes expression. PMID:24719886

  8. Altered expression level of Escherichia coli proteins in response to treatment with the antifouling agent zosteric acid sodium salt.

    PubMed

    Villa, Federica; Remelli, William; Forlani, Fabio; Vitali, Alberto; Cappitelli, Francesca

    2012-07-01

    Zosteric acid sodium salt is a powerful antifouling agent. However, the mode of its antifouling action has not yet been fully elucidated. Whole cell proteome of Escherichia coli was analysed to study the different protein patterns expressed by the surface-exposed planktonic cells without and with sublethal concentrations of the zosteric acid sodium salt. Proteomic analysis revealed that at least 27 proteins showed a significant (19 upregulated and 8 downregulated, P < 0.001) altered expression level in response to the antifoulant. The proteomic signatures of zosteric acid sodium salt-treated cells are characterized by stress-associated (e.g. AhpC, OsmC, SodB, GroES, IscU, DnaK), motility-related (FliC), quorum-sensing-associated (LuxS) and metabolism/biosynthesis-related (e.g. PptA, AroA, FabD, FabB, GapA) proteins. Consistent with the overexpression of LuxS enzyme, the antifouling agent increased autoinducer-2 (AI-2) concentration by twofold. Moreover, treated cells experienced a statistically significant but modest increase of reactive oxygen species (+ 23%), tryptophanase (1.2-fold) and indole (1.2-fold) synthesis. Overall, our data suggest that zosteric acid sodium salt acts as environmental cue leading to global stress on E. coli cells, which favours the expression of various protective proteins, the AI-2 production and the synthesis of flagella, to escape from adverse conditions. PMID:22176949

  9. Alterations of endothelial nucleotide levels by mycophenolic acid result in changes of membrane glycosylation and E-selectin expression.

    PubMed

    Bertalanffy, P; Dubsky, P; Wolner, E; Weigel, G

    1999-03-01

    The effect of the inhibitor of inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), mycophenolic acid, on intracellular nucleotides and the synthesis of cellular glycoproteins was evaluated in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. A clinically attainable concentration (10 micromol/l) of mycophenolic acid decreased guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP) levels significantly and led to a strong elevation of uridine-5'-triphosphate (UTP), whereas intracellular adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) pools remained unaffected. The staining of the endothelial cell membranes with lectins specific for fucose and mannose (Ulex europaeus- and Galanthus nivalis agglutinin, respectively) was reduced, reflecting an inhibition of fucose and mannose incorporation into endothelial glycoproteins. The surface expression of E-selectin, an important determinant for leuko-endothelial interactions decreased significantly. Guanine and guanosine prevented the actions of mycophenolic acid and reversed the drug-induced decrease in GTP and its associated effects. The findings that mycophenolic acid produces alterations in the formation of glycoproteins and in the membrane architecture are indicative of metabolic lesions induced by an agent that depresses guanine nucleotide synthesis through inhibition of IMPDH. The pronounced reduction of E-selectin surface expression on endothelial cells accompanied by changes of endothelial cell fucosylation, a prerequisite for the contact with lymphocytic L-selectin, indicates an inhibitory effect of mycophenolic acid in the rolling phase of leukocyte recruitment and strongly implies a new and additional immunosuppressive mechanism of this agent. PMID:10353469

  10. Omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon (goat meat) lowers plasma cholesterol levels and alters gene expressions in rats.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimi, Mahdi; Rajion, Mohamed Ali; Meng, Goh Yong; Soleimani Farjam, Abdoreza

    2014-01-01

    In this study, control chevon (goat meat) and omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon were obtained from goats fed a 50% oil palm frond diet and commercial goat concentrate for 100 days, respectively. Goats fed the 50% oil palm frond diet contained high amounts of α-linolenic acid (ALA) in their meat compared to goats fed the control diet. The chevon was then used to prepare two types of pellets (control or enriched chevon) that were then fed to twenty-male-four-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 in each group) for 12 weeks to evaluate their effects on plasma cholesterol levels, tissue fatty acids, and gene expression. There was a significant increase in ALA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the muscle tissues and liver of the rats fed the enriched chevon compared with the control group. Plasma cholesterol also decreased (P < 0.05) in rats fed the enriched chevon compared to the control group. The rat pellets containing enriched chevon significantly upregulated the key transcription factor PPAR-γ and downregulated SREBP-1c expression relative to the control group. The results showed that the omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon increased the omega-3 fatty acids in the rat tissues and altered PPAR-γ and SREBP-1c genes expression. PMID:24719886

  11. Genomic Repeat Abundances Contain Phylogenetic Signal

    PubMed Central

    Dodsworth, Steven; Chase, Mark W.; Kelly, Laura J.; Leitch, Ilia J.; Macas, Jiří; Novák, Petr; Piednoël, Mathieu; Weiss-Schneeweiss, Hanna; Leitch, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    A large proportion of genomic information, particularly repetitive elements, is usually ignored when researchers are using next-generation sequencing. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of this repetitive fraction in phylogenetic analyses, utilizing comparative graph-based clustering of next-generation sequence reads, which results in abundance estimates of different classes of genomic repeats. Phylogenetic trees are then inferred based on the genome-wide abundance of different repeat types treated as continuously varying characters; such repeats are scattered across chromosomes and in angiosperms can constitute a majority of nuclear genomic DNA. In six diverse examples, five angiosperms and one insect, this method provides generally well-supported relationships at interspecific and intergeneric levels that agree with results from more standard phylogenetic analyses of commonly used markers. We propose that this methodology may prove especially useful in groups where there is little genetic differentiation in standard phylogenetic markers. At the same time as providing data for phylogenetic inference, this method additionally yields a wealth of data for comparative studies of genome evolution. PMID:25261464

  12. Morphological, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of the spirurid nematode Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942).

    PubMed

    Vidal, V; Ortiz, J; Diaz, J I; Zafrilla, B; Bonete, M J; Ruiz De Ybañez, M R; Palacios, M J; Benzal, J; Valera, F; De La Cruz, C; Motas, M; Bautista, V; Machordom, A; Barbosa, A

    2016-03-01

    Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942) is a gastrointestinal parasite found in Antarctic seabirds. The original description of the species, which was based only on females, is poor and fragmented with some unclear diagnostic characters. This study provides new morphometric and molecular data on this previously poorly described parasite. Nuclear rDNA sequences (18S, 5.8S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions) were isolated from S. macronectes specimens collected from the chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica Forster on Deception Island, Antarctica. Using 18S rDNA sequences, phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference) of the order Spirurida were performed to determine the phylogenetic location of this species. Primer pairs of the ITS regions were designed for genus-level identification of specimens, regardless of their cycle, as an alternative to coprological methods. The utility of this molecular method for identification of morphologically altered specimens is also discussed. PMID:25871788

  13. Change in Auxin and Cytokinin Levels Coincides with Altered Expression of Branching Genes during Axillary Bud Outgrowth in Chrysanthemum

    PubMed Central

    Dierck, Robrecht; De Keyser, Ellen; De Riek, Jan; Dhooghe, Emmy; Van Huylenbroeck, Johan; Prinsen, Els; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    In the production and breeding of Chrysanthemum sp., shoot branching is an important quality aspect as the outgrowth of axillary buds determines the final plant shape. Bud outgrowth is mainly controlled by apical dominance and the crosstalk between the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. In this work the hormonal and genetic regulation of axillary bud outgrowth was studied in two differently branching cut flower Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat) genotypes. C17 is a split-type which forms an inflorescence meristem after a certain vegetative period, while C18 remains vegetative under long day conditions. Plant growth of both genotypes was monitored during 5 subsequent weeks starting one week before flower initiation occurred in C17. Axillary bud outgrowth was measured weekly and samples of shoot apex, stem and axillary buds were taken during the first two weeks. We combined auxin and cytokinin measurements by UPLC-MS/MS with RT-qPCR expression analysis of genes involved in shoot branching regulation pathways in chrysanthemum. These included bud development genes (CmBRC1, CmDRM1, CmSTM, CmLsL), auxin pathway genes (CmPIN1, CmTIR3, CmTIR1, CmAXR1, CmAXR6, CmAXR2, CmIAA16, CmIAA12), cytokinin pathway genes (CmIPT3, CmHK3, CmRR1) and strigolactone genes (CmMAX1 and CmMAX2). Genotype C17 showed a release from apical dominance after floral transition coinciding with decreased auxin and increased cytokinin levels in the subapical axillary buds. As opposed to C17, C18 maintained strong apical dominance with vegetative growth throughout the experiment. Here high auxin levels and decreasing cytokinin levels in axillary buds and stem were measured. A differential expression of several branching genes accompanied the different hormonal change and bud outgrowth in C17 and C18. This was clear for the strigolactone biosynthesis gene CmMAX1, the transcription factor CmBRC1 and the dormancy associated gene CmDRM1, that all showed a decreased expression in C17 at floral

  14. Change in Auxin and Cytokinin Levels Coincides with Altered Expression of Branching Genes during Axillary Bud Outgrowth in Chrysanthemum.

    PubMed

    Dierck, Robrecht; De Keyser, Ellen; De Riek, Jan; Dhooghe, Emmy; Van Huylenbroeck, Johan; Prinsen, Els; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    In the production and breeding of Chrysanthemum sp., shoot branching is an important quality aspect as the outgrowth of axillary buds determines the final plant shape. Bud outgrowth is mainly controlled by apical dominance and the crosstalk between the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. In this work the hormonal and genetic regulation of axillary bud outgrowth was studied in two differently branching cut flower Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat) genotypes. C17 is a split-type which forms an inflorescence meristem after a certain vegetative period, while C18 remains vegetative under long day conditions. Plant growth of both genotypes was monitored during 5 subsequent weeks starting one week before flower initiation occurred in C17. Axillary bud outgrowth was measured weekly and samples of shoot apex, stem and axillary buds were taken during the first two weeks. We combined auxin and cytokinin measurements by UPLC-MS/MS with RT-qPCR expression analysis of genes involved in shoot branching regulation pathways in chrysanthemum. These included bud development genes (CmBRC1, CmDRM1, CmSTM, CmLsL), auxin pathway genes (CmPIN1, CmTIR3, CmTIR1, CmAXR1, CmAXR6, CmAXR2, CmIAA16, CmIAA12), cytokinin pathway genes (CmIPT3, CmHK3, CmRR1) and strigolactone genes (CmMAX1 and CmMAX2). Genotype C17 showed a release from apical dominance after floral transition coinciding with decreased auxin and increased cytokinin levels in the subapical axillary buds. As opposed to C17, C18 maintained strong apical dominance with vegetative growth throughout the experiment. Here high auxin levels and decreasing cytokinin levels in axillary buds and stem were measured. A differential expression of several branching genes accompanied the different hormonal change and bud outgrowth in C17 and C18. This was clear for the strigolactone biosynthesis gene CmMAX1, the transcription factor CmBRC1 and the dormancy associated gene CmDRM1, that all showed a decreased expression in C17 at floral

  15. Phylogenetic Comparative Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husemann, Peter; Stoye, Jens

    Recent high throughput sequencing technologies are capable of generating a huge amount of data for bacterial genome sequencing projects. Although current sequence assemblers successfully merge the overlapping reads, often several contigs remain which cannot be assembled any further. It is still costly and time consuming to close all the gaps in order to acquire the whole genomic sequence. Here we propose an algorithm that takes several related genomes and their phylogenetic relationships into account to create a contig adjacency graph. From this a layout graph can be computed which indicates putative adjacencies of the contigs in order to aid biologists in finishing the complete genomic sequence.

  16. The role of natural glasses as analogues in projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses: Part 1

    SciTech Connect

    Mazer, J.J.

    1993-12-31

    The common observation of glasses persisting in natural environments for long periods of time (up to tens of millions of years) provides compelling evidence that these materials can be kinetically stable in a variety of subsurface environments. This paper reviews how natural and historical synthesized glasses can be employed as natural analogues for understanding and projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses. The corrosion of basaltic glass results in many of the same alteration features found in laboratory testing of the corrosion of high-level radioactive waste glasses. Evidence has also been found indicating similarities in the rate controlling processes, such as the effects of silica concentration on corrosion in groundwater and in laboratory leachates. Naturally altered rhyolitic glasses and tektites provide additional evidence that can be used to constrain estimates of long-term waste glass alteration. When reacted under conditions where water is plentiful, the corrosion for these glasses is dominated by network hydrolysis, while the corrosion is dominated by molecular water diffusion and secondary mineral formation under conditions where water contact is intermittent or where water is relatively scarce. Synthesized glasses that have been naturally altered result in alkali-depleted alteration features that are similar to those found for natural glasses and for nuclear waste glasses. The characteristics of these alteration features appear to be dependent on the alteration conditions which affect the dominant reaction processes during weathering. In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information being provided by natural analogues is related to nuclear waste glass corrosion in a clear and meaningful way.

  17. Phylogenetic analysis of Euthyneura (Gastropoda) by means of the 16S rRNA gene: use of a 'fast' gene for 'higher-level' phylogenies

    PubMed Central

    Thollesson, M.

    1999-01-01

    The phylogeny of Euthyneura is analysed by using DNA sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. Despite the common notion that this gene is too variable to provide useful information at high taxonomic levels, such as in the present study, bootstrap proportions are high for several clades in the study. This indicates that there is a useful amount of variation despite the noise due to multiple substitutions. The analyses furthermore indicate that (i) Gymnosomata (represented by Clione) is not a part of Euthyneura, but Clione forms a clade with the caenogastropods; (ii) Acteon is the sister group to the remaining euthyneuran taxa in the study; (iii) the nudibranch taxa form two clades, one comprising Dendronotoidea, Arminoidea and Aeolidoidea (together Cladobranchia) with Notaspidea (represented by Berthella) as sister group, while the fourth nudibranch taxon, Doridoidea, forms a separate clade; (iv) Cephalaspidea s.s. and Anaspidea form clades that are each other's sister groups (together Pleurocoela). Finally, there is no clade present in the analyses corresponding to the taxon Opisthobranchia in the traditional sense, and the use of this name is probably better abandoned altogether.

  18. Rats selectively bred for low levels of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations exhibit alterations in early social motivation.

    PubMed

    Harmon, K M; Cromwell, H C; Burgdorf, J; Moskal, J R; Brudzynski, S M; Kroes, R A; Panksepp, J

    2008-05-01

    In rats, the rates of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) can be used as a selective breeding phenotype and variations in this phenotype can be an indicator of affective states. The 50 kHz USV is elicited by rewarding stimuli (e.g., food, sexual behavior) and therefore can express a positive affective state. Conversely, the 22 kHz USV is elicited by aversive stimuli (e.g., presence of a predator, social defeat) indicating a negative affective state. In the present study, we tested the effect of selectively breeding for 50 kHz USVs on a variety of maternal social/emotional behaviors in young rat pups (PND 10-12). These measures consisted of an assessment of isolation calls and conditioned odor preference paradigm. Results indicate that animals selected for low levels of 50 kHz USVs show the greatest alterations in social behaviors compared to the control animals. The low line animals had an increase in isolation calls tested during place preference conditioning and a decrease in 50 kHz ultrasonic calls in all conditions. These same low line animals failed to show a typical preference for a maternally-associated odor during the place preference test. The different social behaviors of the high line animals did not consistently vary from those of the control group. These results have important implications for the study of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying emotional states, and possibly contribute to the research underlying the emotional changes in developmental disorders such as autistic spectrum disorder by providing a novel animal model that displays communication deficits that are interdependent with significant social behavioral impairments. PMID:18393285

  19. A Mechanistic Assessment of the Discordance between Normal Serum Alanine Aminotransferase Levels and Altered Liver Histology in Chronic Hepatitis B

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Xianqiong; Yang, Jiaen; Tang, Jinmo; Gu, Chong; Huang, Lijian; Zheng, Ying; Liang, Huiqing; Wang, Min; Wu, Chuncheng; Chen, Yue; Zhang, Manying; Yu, Zhijian; Mao, Qianguo

    2015-01-01

    To understand the mechanisms underlying the discordance between normal serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and significant alterations in liver histology of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with persistent normal ALT (PNALT) or minimally elevated ALT. A total of 300 treatment-naive chronic HBV-infected patients with PNALT (ALT ≤ upper limit of normal [ULN, 40 U/ml]) or minimally elevated ALT (1-2×ULN) were retrospectively enrolled. All patients underwent liver biopsy and histological changes were analyzed along with biochemical and HBV markers. Among 300 participants, 177 were HBeAg-positive and 123 HBeAg-negative. Significant histologic abnormalities were found in 42.9% (76/177) and 52.8% (65/123) of HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative patients, respectively. Significant fibrosis, which is a marker of prior injury, was more frequently detected than significant necroinflammation (suggesting active liver injury) in both HBeAg-positive and -negative groups, suggesting that liver injury occurred intermittently in our cohort. No significant differences were noticed in the percentage of patients with severe fibrosis between HBeAg-positive and negative phases or between ages 30 and 40 and over 40, suggesting that the fibrosis was possibly carried over from an early phase. Finally, lowering ALT ULN (30 U/L for men, 19 U/L for women) alone was not adequate to increase the sensitivity of ALT detection of liver injury. However, the study was limited to a small sample size of 13 HBeAg-positive patients with ALT in the revised normal range. We detected significant liver pathology in almost 50% of chronic HBV infected patients with PNALT (ALT ≤ 40 U/ml) or minimally elevated ALT. We postulated that small-scale intermittent liver injury was possibly responsible for the discordance between normal serum ALT and significant liver changes in our cohort. PMID:26230094

  20. Phylogenetic trees in bioinformatics

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, Tom L

    2008-01-01

    Genetic data is often used to infer evolutionary relationships among a collection of viruses, bacteria, animal or plant species, or other operational taxonomic units (OTU). A phylogenetic tree depicts such relationships and provides a visual representation of the estimated branching order of the OTUs. Tree estimation is unique for several reasons, including: the types of data used to represent each OTU; the use ofprobabilistic nucleotide substitution models; the inference goals involving both tree topology and branch length, and the huge number of possible trees for a given sample of a very modest number of OTUs, which implies that fmding the best tree(s) to describe the genetic data for each OTU is computationally demanding. Bioinformatics is too large a field to review here. We focus on that aspect of bioinformatics that includes study of similarities in genetic data from multiple OTUs. Although research questions are diverse, a common underlying challenge is to estimate the evolutionary history of the OTUs. Therefore, this paper reviews the role of phylogenetic tree estimation in bioinformatics, available methods and software, and identifies areas for additional research and development.

  1. Entanglement, Invariants, and Phylogenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, J. G.

    2007-10-01

    This thesis develops and expands upon known techniques of mathematical physics relevant to the analysis of the popular Markov model of phylogenetic trees required in biology to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of taxonomic units from biomolecular sequence data. The techniques of mathematical physics are plethora and have been developed for some time. The Markov model of phylogenetics and its analysis is a relatively new technique where most progress to date has been achieved by using discrete mathematics. This thesis takes a group theoretical approach to the problem by beginning with a remarkable mathematical parallel to the process of scattering in particle physics. This is shown to equate to branching events in the evolutionary history of molecular units. The major technical result of this thesis is the derivation of existence proofs and computational techniques for calculating polynomial group invariant functions on a multi-linear space where the group action is that relevant to a Markovian time evolution. The practical results of this thesis are an extended analysis of the use of invariant functions in distance based methods and the presentation of a new reconstruction technique for quartet trees which is consistent with the most general Markov model of sequence evolution.

  2. TRAMP Prostate Tumor Growth Is Slowed by Walnut Diets Through Altered IGF-1 Levels, Energy Pathways, and Cholesterol Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyunsook; Yokoyama, Wallace

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Dietary changes could potentially reduce prostate cancer morbidity and mortality. Transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) prostate tumor responses to a 100 g of fat/kg diet (whole walnuts, walnut oil, and other oils; balanced for macronutrients, tocopherols [α-and γ]) for 18 weeks ad libitum were assessed. TRAMP mice (n=17 per group) were fed diets with 100 g fat from either whole walnuts (diet group WW), walnut-like fat (diet group WLF, oils blended to match walnut's fatty acid profile), or as walnut oil (diet group WO, pressed from the same walnuts as WW). Fasted plasma glucose was from tail vein blood, blood was obtained by cardiac puncture, and plasma stored frozen until analysis. Prostate (genitourinary intact [GUI]) was weighed and stored frozen at −80°C. Plasma triglyceride, lipoprotein cholesterol, plasma multianalyte levels (Myriad RBM Rat Metabolic MAP), prostate (GUI), tissue metabolites (Metabolon, Inc., Durham, NC, USA), and mRNA (by Illumina NGS) were determined. The prostate tumor size, plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), high density lipoprotein, and total cholesterol all decreased significantly (P<.05) in both WW and WO compared to WLF. Both WW and WO versus WLF showed increased insulin sensitivity (Homeostasis Model Assessment [HOMA]), and tissue metabolomics found reduced glucose-6-phosphate, succinylcarnitine, and 4-hydroxybutyrate in these groups suggesting effects on cellular energy status. Tissue mRNA levels also showed changes suggestive of altered glucose metabolism with WW and WO diet groups having increased PCK1 and CIDEC mRNA expression, known for their roles in gluconeogenesis and increased insulin sensitivity, respectively. WW and WO group tissues also had increased MSMB mRNa a tumor suppressor and decreased COX-2 mRNA, both reported to inhibit prostate tumor growth. Walnuts reduced prostate tumor growth by affecting energy metabolism along with decreased plasma IGF-1 and cholesterol. These

  3. TRAMP prostate tumor growth is slowed by walnut diets through altered IGF-1 levels, energy pathways, and cholesterol metabolism.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyunsook; Yokoyama, Wallace; Davis, Paul Andrew

    2014-12-01

    Dietary changes could potentially reduce prostate cancer morbidity and mortality. Transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) prostate tumor responses to a 100 g of fat/kg diet (whole walnuts, walnut oil, and other oils; balanced for macronutrients, tocopherols [α-and γ]) for 18 weeks ad libitum were assessed. TRAMP mice (n=17 per group) were fed diets with 100 g fat from either whole walnuts (diet group WW), walnut-like fat (diet group WLF, oils blended to match walnut's fatty acid profile), or as walnut oil (diet group WO, pressed from the same walnuts as WW). Fasted plasma glucose was from tail vein blood, blood was obtained by cardiac puncture, and plasma stored frozen until analysis. Prostate (genitourinary intact [GUI]) was weighed and stored frozen at -80°C. Plasma triglyceride, lipoprotein cholesterol, plasma multianalyte levels (Myriad RBM Rat Metabolic MAP), prostate (GUI), tissue metabolites (Metabolon, Inc., Durham, NC, USA), and mRNA (by Illumina NGS) were determined. The prostate tumor size, plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), high density lipoprotein, and total cholesterol all decreased significantly (P<.05) in both WW and WO compared to WLF. Both WW and WO versus WLF showed increased insulin sensitivity (Homeostasis Model Assessment [HOMA]), and tissue metabolomics found reduced glucose-6-phosphate, succinylcarnitine, and 4-hydroxybutyrate in these groups suggesting effects on cellular energy status. Tissue mRNA levels also showed changes suggestive of altered glucose metabolism with WW and WO diet groups having increased PCK1 and CIDEC mRNA expression, known for their roles in gluconeogenesis and increased insulin sensitivity, respectively. WW and WO group tissues also had increased MSMB mRNa a tumor suppressor and decreased COX-2 mRNA, both reported to inhibit prostate tumor growth. Walnuts reduced prostate tumor growth by affecting energy metabolism along with decreased plasma IGF-1 and cholesterol. These effects are

  4. Mono-hydroxy methoxychlor alters levels of key sex steroids and steroidogenic enzymes in cultured mouse antral follicles

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Zelieann R.; Leslie, Traci C.; Hatfield, Kimberly P.; Gupta, Rupesh K.; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2010-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide that reduces fertility in female rodents by decreasing antral follicle numbers and increasing follicular death. MXC is metabolized in the body to mono-hydroxy MXC (mono-OH). Little is known about the effects of mono-OH on the ovary. Thus, this work tested the hypothesis that mono-OH exposure decreases production of 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}) by cultured mouse antral follicles. Antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mice (age 35-39 days) and exposed to dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), or mono-OH (0.1-10 {mu}g/mL) for 96 h. Media and follicles were collected for analysis of sex steroid levels and mRNA expression, respectively. Mono-OH treatment (10 {mu}g/mL) decreased E{sub 2} (DMSO: 3009.72 {+-} 744.99 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 1679.66 {+-} 461.99 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 1752.72 {+-} 532.41 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 45.89 {+-} 33.83 ng/mL), testosterone (DMSO: 15.43 {+-} 2.86 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 17.17 {+-} 4.71 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 13.64 {+-} 3.53 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 1.29 {+-} 0.23 ng/mL), androstenedione (DMSO: 1.92 {+-} 0.34 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 1.49 {+-} 0.43 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 0.64 {+-} 0.31 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 0.12 {+-} 0.06 ng/mL) and progesterone (DMSO: 24.11 {+-} 4.21 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 26.77 {+-} 4.41 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 20.90 {+-} 3.75 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 9.44 {+-} 2.97 ng/mL) levels. Mono-OH did not alter expression of Star, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b1 and Cyp1b1, but it did reduce levels of Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1 and Cyp19a1 mRNA. Collectively, these data suggest that mono-OH significantly decreases levels of key sex steroid hormones and the expression of enzymes required for steroidogenesis.

  5. The Phylogenetic Diversity of Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Kembel, Steven W.; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Pollard, Katherine S.; Green, Jessica L.

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity—patterns of phylogenetic relatedness among organisms in ecological communities—provides important insights into the mechanisms underlying community assembly. Studies that measure phylogenetic diversity in microbial communities have primarily been limited to a single marker gene approach, using the small subunit of the rRNA gene (SSU-rRNA) to quantify phylogenetic relationships among microbial taxa. In this study, we present an approach for inferring phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms based on the random metagenomic sequencing of DNA fragments. To overcome challenges caused by the fragmentary nature of metagenomic data, we leveraged fully sequenced bacterial genomes as a scaffold to enable inference of phylogenetic relationships among metagenomic sequences from multiple phylogenetic marker gene families. The resulting metagenomic phylogeny can be used to quantify the phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities based on metagenomic data sets. We applied this method to understand patterns of microbial phylogenetic diversity and community assembly along an oceanic depth gradient, and compared our findings to previous studies of this gradient using SSU-rRNA gene and metagenomic analyses. Bacterial phylogenetic diversity was highest at intermediate depths beneath the ocean surface, whereas taxonomic diversity (diversity measured by binning sequences into taxonomically similar groups) showed no relationship with depth. Phylogenetic diversity estimates based on the SSU-rRNA gene and the multi-gene metagenomic phylogeny were broadly concordant, suggesting that our approach will be applicable to other metagenomic data sets for which corresponding SSU-rRNA gene sequences are unavailable. Our approach opens up the possibility of using metagenomic data to study microbial diversity in a phylogenetic context. PMID:21912589

  6. Disentangling the responses of boreal stream assemblages to low stressor levels of diffuse pollution and altered channel morphology.

    PubMed

    Turunen, Jarno; Muotka, Timo; Vuori, Kari-Matti; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Rääpysjärvi, Jaana; Sutela, Tapio; Aroviita, Jukka

    2016-02-15

    Non-point diffuse pollution from land use and alteration of hydromorphology are among the most detrimental stressors to stream ecosystems. We explored the independent and interactive effects of morphological channel alteration (channelization for water transport of timber) and diffuse pollution on species richness and community structure of four organism groups in boreal streams: diatoms, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Furthermore, the effect of these stressors on stream condition was evaluated by Ecological Quality Ratios (EQR) from the national Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment system. We grouped 91 study sites into four groups that were impacted by either diffuse pollution or hydromorphological alteration, by both stressors, or by neither one. Macroinvertebrate richness was reduced by diffuse pollution, whereas other biological groups were unaltered. Hydromorphological modification had no effect on taxon richness of any of the assemblages. Community structure of all groups was significantly affected by diffuse pollution but not by hydromorphology. Similarly, EQRs indicated negative response by diatoms, macroinvertebrates and fish to diffuse pollution, but not to hydromorphological alteration. Agricultural diffuse pollution thus affected species identities and abundances rather than taxonomic richness. Our results suggest that channelization of boreal streams for timber transport has not altered hydromorphological conditions sufficiently to have a strong impact on stream biota, whereas even moderate nutrient enrichment may be ecologically harmful. Controlling diffuse pollution and associated land use stressors should be prioritized over restoration of in-stream habitat structure to improve the ecological condition of boreal streams. PMID:26706766

  7. A perl package and an alignment tool for phylogenetic networks

    PubMed Central

    Cardona, Gabriel; Rosselló, Francesc; Valiente, Gabriel

    2008-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that allow for the representation of evolutionary events acting at the population level, like recombination between genes, hybridization between lineages, and lateral gene transfer. While most phylogenetics tools implement a wide range of algorithms on phylogenetic trees, there exist only a few applications to work with phylogenetic networks, none of which are open-source libraries, and they do not allow for the comparative analysis of phylogenetic networks by computing distances between them or aligning them. Results In order to improve this situation, we have developed a Perl package that relies on the BioPerl bundle and implements many algorithms on phylogenetic networks. We have also developed a Java applet that makes use of the aforementioned Perl package and allows the user to make simple experiments with phylogenetic networks without having to develop a program or Perl script by him or herself. Conclusion The Perl package is available as part of the BioPerl bundle, and can also be downloaded. A web-based application is also available (see availability and requirements). The Perl package includes full documentation of all its features. PMID:18371228

  8. Melanogenesis stimulation in B16-F10 melanoma cells induces cell cycle alterations, increased ROS levels and a differential expression of proteins as revealed by proteomic analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cunha, Elizabeth S.; Kawahara, Rebeca; Kadowaki, Marina K.; Amstalden, Hudson G.; Noleto, Guilhermina R.; Cadena, Silvia Maria S.C.; Winnischofer, Sheila M.B.; Martinez, Glaucia R.

    2012-09-10

    Considering that stimulation of melanogenesis may lead to alterations of cellular responses, besides melanin production, our main goal was to study the cellular effects of melanogenesis stimulation of B16-F10 melanoma cells. Our results show increased levels of the reactive oxygen species after 15 h of melanogenesis stimulation. Following 48 h of melanogenesis stimulation, proliferation was inhibited (by induction of cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase) and the expression levels of p21 mRNA were increased. In addition, melanogenesis stimulation did not induce cellular senescence. Proteomic analysis demonstrated the involvement of proteins from other pathways besides those related to the cell cycle, including protein disulfide isomerase A3, heat-shock protein 70, and fructose biphosphate aldolase A (all up-regulated), and lactate dehydrogenase (down-regulated). In RT-qPCR experiments, the levels of pyruvate kinase M2 mRNA dropped, whereas the levels of ATP synthase (beta-F1) mRNA increased. These data indicate that melanogenesis stimulation of B16-F10 cells leads to alterations in metabolism and cell cycle progression that may contribute to an induction of cell quiescence, which may provide a mechanism of resistance against cellular injury promoted by melanin synthesis. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Melanogenesis stimulation by L-tyrosine+NH{sub 4}Cl in B16-F10 melanoma cells increases ROS levels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Melanogenesis inhibits cell proliferation, and induced cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Proteomic analysis showed alterations in proteins of the cell cycle and glucose metabolism. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer RT-qPCR analysis confirmed alterations of metabolic targets after melanogenesis stimulation.

  9. Phylogenetics and the Human Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Matsen, Frederick A.

    2015-01-01

    The human microbiome is the ensemble of genes in the microbes that live inside and on the surface of humans. Because microbial sequencing information is now much easier to come by than phenotypic information, there has been an explosion of sequencing and genetic analysis of microbiome samples. Much of the analytical work for these sequences involves phylogenetics, at least indirectly, but methodology has developed in a somewhat different direction than for other applications of phylogenetics. In this article, I review the field and its methods from the perspective of a phylogeneticist, as well as describing current challenges for phylogenetics coming from this type of work. PMID:25102857

  10. Convulsant and subconvulsant doses of norfloxacin in the presence and absence of biphenylacetic acid alter extracellular hippocampal glutamate but not gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in conscious rats.

    PubMed

    Smolders, I; Gousseau, C; Marchand, S; Couet, W; Ebinger, G; Michotte, Y

    2002-02-01

    Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics with central excitatory side effects. These adverse effects presumably result from inhibition of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) binding to GABA(A) receptors. This GABA antagonistic effect is greatly potentiated by the active metabolite of fenbufen, biphenylacetic acid (BPAA). Nevertheless, it remains questionable whether GABA receptor antagonism alone can explain the convulsant activity potentials of these antimicrobial agents. The present study was undertaken to investigate the possible effects of norfloxacin, both in the absence and in the presence of BPAA, on the extracellular hippocampal levels of GABA and glutamate, the main central inhibitory and excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters, respectively. This in vivo microdialysis approach with conscious rats allows monitoring of behavioral alterations and concomitant transmitter modulation in the hippocampus. Peroral administration of 100 mg of BPAA per kg of body weight had no effect on behavior and did not significantly alter extracellular GABA or glutamate concentrations. Intravenous perfusion of 300 mg of norfloxacin per kg did not change the rat's behavior or the concomitant neurotransmitter levels in about half of the experiments, while the remaining animals exhibited severe seizures. These norfloxacin-induced convulsions did not affect extracellular hippocampal GABA levels but were accompanied by enhanced glutamate concentrations. Half of the rats receiving both 100 mg of BPAA per kg and 50 mg of norfloxacin per kg displayed lethal seizures, while the remaining animals showed no seizure-related behavior. In the latter subgroup, again no significant alterations in extracellular GABA levels were observed, but glutamate overflow remained significantly elevated for at least 3 h. In conclusion, norfloxacin exerts convulsant activity in rats, accompanied by elevations of extracellular hippocampal glutamate levels but not GABA levels, even in the presence of BPAA. PMID:11796360

  11. Convulsant and Subconvulsant Doses of Norfloxacin in the Presence and Absence of Biphenylacetic Acid Alter Extracellular Hippocampal Glutamate but Not Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Levels in Conscious Rats

    PubMed Central

    Smolders, I.; Gousseau, C.; Marchand, S.; Couet, W.; Ebinger, G.; Michotte, Y.

    2002-01-01

    Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics with central excitatory side effects. These adverse effects presumably result from inhibition of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) binding to GABAA receptors. This GABA antagonistic effect is greatly potentiated by the active metabolite of fenbufen, biphenylacetic acid (BPAA). Nevertheless, it remains questionable whether GABA receptor antagonism alone can explain the convulsant activity potentials of these antimicrobial agents. The present study was undertaken to investigate the possible effects of norfloxacin, both in the absence and in the presence of BPAA, on the extracellular hippocampal levels of GABA and glutamate, the main central inhibitory and excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters, respectively. This in vivo microdialysis approach with conscious rats allows monitoring of behavioral alterations and concomitant transmitter modulation in the hippocampus. Peroral administration of 100 mg of BPAA per kg of body weight had no effect on behavior and did not significantly alter extracellular GABA or glutamate concentrations. Intravenous perfusion of 300 mg of norfloxacin per kg did not change the rat's behavior or the concomitant neurotransmitter levels in about half of the experiments, while the remaining animals exhibited severe seizures. These norfloxacin-induced convulsions did not affect extracellular hippocampal GABA levels but were accompanied by enhanced glutamate concentrations. Half of the rats receiving both 100 mg of BPAA per kg and 50 mg of norfloxacin per kg displayed lethal seizures, while the remaining animals showed no seizure-related behavior. In the latter subgroup, again no significant alterations in extracellular GABA levels were observed, but glutamate overflow remained significantly elevated for at least 3 h. In conclusion, norfloxacin exerts convulsant activity in rats, accompanied by elevations of extracellular hippocampal glutamate levels but not GABA levels, even in the presence of BPAA. PMID:11796360

  12. Molecular phylogenetics of mastodon and Tyrannosaurus rex.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Schweitzer, Mary H; Zheng, Wenxia; Freimark, Lisa M; Cantley, Lewis C; Asara, John M

    2008-04-25

    We report a molecular phylogeny for a nonavian dinosaur, extending our knowledge of trait evolution within nonavian dinosaurs into the macromolecular level of biological organization. Fragments of collagen alpha1(I) and alpha2(I) proteins extracted from fossil bones of Tyrannosaurus rex and Mammut americanum (mastodon) were analyzed with a variety of phylogenetic methods. Despite missing sequence data, the mastodon groups with elephant and the T. rex groups with birds, consistent with predictions based on genetic and morphological data for mastodon and on morphological data for T. rex. Our findings suggest that molecular data from long-extinct organisms may have the potential for resolving relationships at critical areas in the vertebrate evolutionary tree that have, so far, been phylogenetically intractable. PMID:18436782

  13. Alterations at the Cross-Bridge Level Are Associated with a Paradoxical Gain of Muscle Function In Vivo in a Mouse Model of Nemaline Myopathy

    PubMed Central

    Gineste, Charlotte; Ottenheijm, Coen; Le Fur, Yann; Banzet, Sébastien; Pecchi, Emilie; Vilmen, Christophe; Cozzone, Patrick J.; Koulmann, Nathalie; Hardeman, Edna C.; Bendahan, David; Gondin, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Nemaline myopathy is the most common disease entity among non-dystrophic skeletal muscle congenital diseases. The first disease causing mutation (Met9Arg) was identified in the gene encoding α-tropomyosinslow gene (TPM3). Considering the conflicting findings of the previous studies on the transgenic (Tg) mice carrying the TPM3Met9Arg mutation, we investigated carefully the effect of the Met9Arg mutation in 8–9 month-old Tg(TPM3)Met9Arg mice on muscle function using a multiscale methodological approach including skinned muscle fibers analysis and in vivo investigations by magnetic resonance imaging and 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. While in vitro maximal force production was reduced in Tg(TPM3)Met9Arg mice as compared to controls, in vivo measurements revealed an improved mechanical performance in the transgenic mice as compared to the former. The reduced in vitro muscle force might be related to alterations occuring at the cross-bridges level with muscle-specific underlying mechanisms. In vivo muscle improvement was not associated with any changes in either muscle volume or energy metabolism. Our findings indicate that TPM3(Met9Arg) mutation leads to a mild muscle weakness in vitro related to an alteration at the cross-bridges level and a paradoxical gain of muscle function in vivo. These results clearly point out that in vitro alterations are muscle-dependent and do not necessarily translate into similar changes in vivo. PMID:25268244

  14. Porin alterations present in non-carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae with high and intermediate levels of carbapenem resistance in Chile.

    PubMed

    Wozniak, Aniela; Villagra, Nicolás A; Undabarrena, Agustina; Gallardo, Natalia; Keller, Nicole; Moraga, Marcela; Román, Juan C; Mora, Guido C; García, Patricia

    2012-09-01

    The main goal of this work was to identify the mechanisms responsible for carbapenem resistance in 61 Chilean clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae (Enterobacter spp., Serratia marcescens, Morganella morganii, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) with reduced susceptibility to at least one carbapenem (ertapenem, imipenem or meropenem). All of the isolates were analysed for the presence of carbapenemases, extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), AmpC enzymes and outer-membrane proteins. None of the isolates exhibited carbapenemase activity nor did they have any of the carbapenemase genes that were screened for. Most of the 61 strains produced at least one ESBL and/or one AmpC enzyme and either lost their porins or had altered porins according to sequence analysis. The distribution of ESBLs and AmpC enzymes was different among the species studied. Resistance in K. pneumoniae and E. coli isolates was associated with ESBLs; in M. morganii isolates, resistance was attributed to overexpression of an AmpC enzyme; and in Enterobacter spp. isolates, resistance was associated with both types of enzymes. In K. pneumoniae isolates, porin integrity was more a determinant of carbapenem resistance than the presence of ESBLs, whereas in isolates of Enterobacter spp., M. morganii and S. marcescens, the presence of an overexpressed AmpC enzyme was associated with higher imipenem and meropenem MIC values. Therefore, carbapenem resistance in Chilean isolates is not due to true carbapenemases but rather to a combination of porin loss/alteration and β-lactamase activity. The fact that carbapenemases were not detected in this study is unique, given that many countries in the region have already reported the presence of these enzymes. PMID:22700549

  15. Reductions in frontocortical cytokine levels are associated with long-lasting alterations in reward valuation after methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Stolyarova, Alexandra; Thompson, Andrew B; Barrientos, Ruth M; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-04-01

    Alterations in reward valuation are thought to have a central role at all stages of the addiction process. We previously reported work aversion in an effortful T-maze task following a binge exposure to methamphetamine, and no such changes in effort following escalating doses. Limitations of the T-maze task include its two available options, with an effort requirement, in the form of increasing barrier height, varying incrementally as a function of time, and reward magnitudes held constant. Reward preferences and choices, however, are likely affected by the number of options available and the manner in which alternatives are presented. In the present experiment, we investigated the long-lasting, off-drug effects of methamphetamine on reward choices in a novel effortful maze task with three possible courses of action, each associated with different effort requirements and reward magnitudes. Neuroinflammatory responses associated with drug exposure, proposed as one of the mechanisms contributing to suboptimal choices on effort-based tasks, were also examined. We investigated region-specific changes in pro- and anti-inflammatory markers in the mesocorticolimbic pathway after methamphetamine, and their relationship with animals' reward choices. We observed long-lasting, increased sensitivity to differences in reward magnitude in the methamphetamine group: animals were more likely to overcome greater effort costs to obtain larger rewards on our novel effortful maze task. These behavioral changes were strongly predicted by pronounced decreases in frontocortical cytokines, but not amygdalar or striatal markers. The present results provide the first evidence that neuroinflammatory processes are associated with alterations in reward valuation during protracted drug withdrawal. PMID:25409594

  16. Phylogenetic group-associated differences in regulation of the common colonization factor Mat fimbria in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Lehti, Timo A; Bauchart, Philippe; Kukkonen, Maini; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Korhonen, Timo K; Westerlund-Wikström, Benita

    2013-03-01

    Heterogeneity of cell population is a key component behind the evolutionary success of Escherichia coli. The heterogeneity supports species adaptation and mainly results from lateral gene transfer. Adaptation may also involve genomic alterations that affect regulation of conserved genes. Here we analysed regulation of the mat (or ecp) genes that encode a conserved fimbrial adhesin of E. coli. We found that the differential and temperature-sensitive expression control of the mat operon is dependent on mat promoter polymorphism and closely linked to phylogenetic grouping of E. coli. In the mat promoter lineage favouring fimbriae expression, the mat operon-encoded regulator MatA forms a positive feedback loop that overcomes the repression by H-NS and stabilizes the fimbrillin mRNA under low growth temperature, acidic pH or elevated levels of acetate. The study exemplifies phylogenetic group-associated expression of a highly common surface organelle in E. coli. PMID:23347101

  17. Associations of plasma natriuretic peptide, adrenomedullin, and homocysteine levels with alterations in arterial stiffness: The Framingham Heart Study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experimental studies suggest that the natriuretic peptides influence lipid and fatty acid metabolism. Although it has been shown that obese individuals have reduced natriuretic peptide levels, conflicting data exist on the relation of natriuretic peptide levels to other metabolic risk factors. We ex...

  18. Phylogenetic lineages in Pseudocercospora

    PubMed Central

    Crous, P.W.; Braun, U.; Hunter, G.C.; Wingfield, M.J.; Verkley, G.J.M.; Shin, H.-D.; Nakashima, C.; Groenewald, J.Z.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudocercospora is a large cosmopolitan genus of plant pathogenic fungi that are commonly associated with leaf and fruit spots as well as blights on a wide range of plant hosts. They occur in arid as well as wet environments and in a wide range of climates including cool temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions. Pseudocercospora is now treated as a genus in its own right, although formerly recognised as either an anamorphic state of Mycosphaerella or having mycosphaerella-like teleomorphs. The aim of this study was to sequence the partial 28S nuclear ribosomal RNA gene of a selected set of isolates to resolve phylogenetic generic limits within the Pseudocercospora complex. From these data, 14 clades are recognised, six of which cluster in Mycosphaerellaceae. Pseudocercospora s. str. represents a distinct clade, sister to Passalora eucalypti, and a clade representing the genera Scolecostigmina, Trochophora and Pallidocercospora gen. nov., taxa formerly accommodated in the Mycosphaerella heimii complex and characterised by smooth, pale brown conidia, as well as the formation of red crystals in agar media. Other clades in Mycosphaerellaceae include Sonderhenia, Microcyclosporella, and Paracercospora. Pseudocercosporella resides in a large clade along with Phloeospora, Miuraea, Cercospora and Septoria. Additional clades represent Dissoconiaceae, Teratosphaeriaceae, Cladosporiaceae, and the genera Xenostigmina, Strelitziana, Cyphellophora and Thedgonia. The genus Phaeomycocentrospora is introduced to accommodate Mycocentrospora cantuariensis, primarily distinguished from Pseudocercospora based on its hyaline hyphae, broad conidiogenous loci and hila. Host specificity was considered for 146 species of Pseudocercospora occurring on 115 host genera from 33 countries. Partial nucleotide sequence data for three gene loci, ITS, EF-1α, and ACT suggest that the majority of these species are host specific. Species identified on the basis of host, symptomatology and general

  19. Transforming growth factor alpha treatment alters intracellular calcium levels in hair cells and protects them from ototoxic damage in vitro.

    PubMed

    Staecker, H; Dazert, S; Malgrange, B; Lefebvre, P P; Ryan, A F; Van de Water, T R

    1997-07-01

    To determine if transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha) pretreatment protects hair cells from aminoglycoside induced injury by modifying their intracellular calcium concentration, we assayed hair cell calcium levels in organ of Corti explants both before and after aminoglycoside (i.e. neomycin, 10(-3) M) exposure either with or without growth factor pretreatment. After TGF alpha (500 ng/ml) treatment, the intracellular calcium level of hair cells showed a five-fold increase as compared to the levels observed in the hair cells of control cultures. After ototoxin exposure, calcium levels in hair cells of control explants showed an increase relative to their baseline levels, while in the presence of growth factors pretreatment, hair cells showed a relative reduction in calcium levels. Pretreatment of organ of Corti explants afforded significant protection of hair cell stereocilia bundle morphology from ototoxic damage when compared to explants exposed to ototoxin alone. This study correlates a rise in hair cell calcium levels with the otoprotection of hair cells by TGF alpha in organ of Corti explants. PMID:9263032

  20. Pharmacologic stimulation of central GLP-1 receptors has opposite effects on the alterations of plasma FGF21 levels induced by feeding and fasting.

    PubMed

    Nonogaki, Katsunori; Kaji, Takao; Yamazaki, Tomoe; Murakami, Mari

    2016-01-26

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) functions as an endocrine hormone to regulate energy metabolism. Circulating FGF21 is derived from the liver and is produced in response to alterations of nutritional status. Here we show the effects of liraglutide, a human glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, injected into the third cerebral ventricle on body weight and plasma FGF21 levels in free-feeding mice, food-deprived mice, and mice provided 1g after the injection. In free-feeding mice, liraglutide (5-100μg/kg) injected into the third cerebral ventricle suppressed food intake and body weight after 24h in a dose-dependent manner. Liraglutide (50 and 100μg/kg) significantly increased plasma FGF21 levels and hepatic FGF21 expression, whereas smaller doses (5 and 10μg/kg) had no effect. In food-deprived mice, body weight did not differ significantly between the saline control and liraglutide-treated groups, but liraglutide (100μg/kg) significantly decreased plasma FGF21 levels at 24h compared with the saline control. In mice provided 1g food, body weight did not differ significantly between the saline control and liraglutide-treated groups, but liraglutide (50μg/kg) significantly decreased plasma FGF21 levels at 24h compared with the saline control. These findings suggest that intracerebral injection of liraglutide decreases body weight by inhibiting food intake and increases plasma FGF21 levels in free-feeding mice, whereas it suppresses the elevations of plasma FGF21 levels induced by fasting or the restricted feeding. Thus, pharmacologic stimulation of central GLP-1 receptors has opposite effects on the alterations of plasma FGF21 levels induced by feeding and fasting. PMID:26683903

  1. Phylogenetic community ecology of soil biodiversity using mitochondrial metagenomics.

    PubMed

    Andújar, Carmelo; Arribas, Paula; Ruzicka, Filip; Crampton-Platt, Alex; Timmermans, Martijn J T N; Vogler, Alfried P

    2015-07-01

    High-throughput DNA methods hold great promise for the study of taxonomically intractable mesofauna of the soil. Here, we assess species diversity and community structure in a phylogenetic framework, by sequencing total DNA from bulk specimen samples and assembly of mitochondrial genomes. The combination of mitochondrial metagenomics and DNA barcode sequencing of 1494 specimens in 69 soil samples from three geographic regions in southern Iberia revealed >300 species of soil Coleoptera (beetles) from a broad spectrum of phylogenetic lineages. A set of 214 mitochondrial sequences longer than 3000 bp was generated and used to estimate a well-supported phylogenetic tree of the order Coleoptera. Shorter sequences, including cox1 barcodes, were placed on this mitogenomic tree. Raw Illumina reads were mapped against all available sequences to test for species present in local samples. This approach simultaneously established the species richness, phylogenetic composition and community turnover at species and phylogenetic levels. We find a strong signature of vertical structuring in soil fauna that shows high local community differentiation between deep soil and superficial horizons at phylogenetic levels. Within the two vertical layers, turnover among regions was primarily at the tip (species) level and was stronger in the deep soil than leaf litter communities, pointing to layer-mediated drivers determining species diversification, spatial structure and evolutionary assembly of soil communities. This integrated phylogenetic framework opens the application of phylogenetic community ecology to the mesofauna of the soil, among the most diverse and least well-understood ecosystems, and will propel both theoretical and applied soil science. PMID:25865150

  2. Αcute Exercise Alters the Levels of Human Saliva miRNAs Involved in Lipid Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Konstantinidou, A; Mougios, V; Sidossis, L S

    2016-06-01

    The response of micro-ribonucleic acid (miRNA) expression to exercise has not been studied in saliva, although saliva combines non-invasive collection with the largest number of miRNA species among biological fluids and tissues. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of acute exercise on the expression of 8 human saliva miRNAs involved in lipid metabolism. 19 healthy, physically active men (VO2max, 40.9±1.6 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), mean±se) performed a 50-min interval exercise program on stationary bicycle (spinning). Saliva samples were collected before and after exercise for miRNA expression analysis by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Statistically significant (p<0.05) changes after exercise were found in 2 of the 8 miRNAs, namely, hsa-miR-33a (fold change, 7.66±2.94; p=0.012), which regulates cholesterol homeostasis and fatty acid metabolism in the liver, and hsa-miR-378a (fold change 0.79±0.11, p=0.048), which regulates energy homeostasis and affects lipogenesis and adipogenesis. These alterations may contribute to our understanding of physiological responses to exercise and the therapeutic potential of exercise against cardiovascular disease, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. Moreover, our findings open the possibility of noninvasively studying miRNAs that regulate the function of specific organs. PMID:27116339

  3. Alteration of intracellular cysteine and glutathione levels in alveolar macrophages and lymphocytes by diesel exhaust particle exposure.

    PubMed Central

    Al-Humadi, Nabil H; Siegel, Paul D; Lewis, Daniel M; Barger, Mark W; Ma, Jane Y C; Weissman, David N; Ma, Joseph K H

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the effects of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) on thiol regulation in alveolar macrophages (AM) and lymphocytes. We obtained AM and lymph node (thymic and tracheal) cells (LNC) (at different time points) from rats exposed intratracheally to DEP (5 mg/kg) or saline, and measured inflammatory markers, thiol levels, and glutathione reductase (GSH-R) activity. DEP exposure produced significant increases in neutrophils, lactate dehydrogenase, total protein, and albumin content in the lavage fluid. AM from DEP-exposed rats showed a time-dependent increase in intracellular cysteine (CYSH) and GSH. In LNC the intracellular GSH reached peak level by 24 hr, declining toward control levels by 72 hr after exposure. LNC-CYSH and AM-CYSH and GSH were increased at both 24 and 72 hr. Both Sprague-Dawley and Brown Norway rats showed similar trends of responses to DEP exposure as per measurement of the inflammatory markers and thiol changes. AM and, to a lesser degree, LNC were both active in cystine uptake. The DEP exposure stimulated GSH-R activity and increased the conversion of cystine to CYSH in both cell types. The intracellular level of GSH in DEP-exposed AM was moderately increased compared with the saline control, and was further augmented when cells were incubated with cystine. In contrast, the intracellular level of GSH in DEP-exposed LNC was significantly reduced despite the increased CYSH level and GSH-R activity when these cells were cultured for 16 hr. DEP absorbed 23-31% of CYSH, cystine, and GSH, and only 8% of glutathione disulfide when incubated in cell free media. These results indicate that DEP exposure caused lung inflammation and affected thiol levels in both AM and LNC. PMID:11940452

  4. Constant light induces alterations in melatonin levels, food intake, feed efficiency, visceral adiposity, and circadian rhythms in rats.

    PubMed

    Wideman, Cyrilla H; Murphy, Helen M

    2009-10-01

    Melatonin levels, metabolic parameters, circadian rhythm activity patterns, and behavior were observed in rats subjected to a 12-h/12-h light/dark cycle (LD) compared to animals exposed to continuous dark (DD) or continuous light (LL). LD and DD animals were similar in melatonin levels, food intake, relative food intake, feed efficiency, water intake, circadian activity levels, and behavior. LL animals had lower melatonin levels in the subjective dark compared to LD and DD animals. Food intake, relative food intake, and water intake values were lower and feed efficiency was more positive in LL animals compared to LD and DD animals. In addition, LL animals exhibited greater visceral adiposity than the other two groups. The circadian rhythmicity of activity became free-running in LL animals and there was a decrease in overall activity. Notable behavioral changes in LL animals were an increase in irritability and excitability. Results indicate that a decrease in melatonin levels and concomitant changes in metabolism, circadian rhythms, and behavior are consequences of exposure to constant light. PMID:19761654

  5. A Consistent Phylogenetic Backbone for the Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Ebersberger, Ingo; de Matos Simoes, Ricardo; Kupczok, Anne; Gube, Matthias; Kothe, Erika; Voigt, Kerstin; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2012-01-01

    The kingdom of fungi provides model organisms for biotechnology, cell biology, genetics, and life sciences in general. Only when their phylogenetic relationships are stably resolved, can individual results from fungal research be integrated into a holistic picture of biology. However, and despite recent progress, many deep relationships within the fungi remain unclear. Here, we present the first phylogenomic study of an entire eukaryotic kingdom that uses a consistency criterion to strengthen phylogenetic conclusions. We reason that branches (splits) recovered with independent data and different tree reconstruction methods are likely to reflect true evolutionary relationships. Two complementary phylogenomic data sets based on 99 fungal genomes and 109 fungal expressed sequence tag (EST) sets analyzed with four different tree reconstruction methods shed light from different angles on the fungal tree of life. Eleven additional data sets address specifically the phylogenetic position of Blastocladiomycota, Ustilaginomycotina, and Dothideomycetes, respectively. The combined evidence from the resulting trees supports the deep-level stability of the fungal groups toward a comprehensive natural system of the fungi. In addition, our analysis reveals methodologically interesting aspects. Enrichment for EST encoded data—a common practice in phylogenomic analyses—introduces a strong bias toward slowly evolving and functionally correlated genes. Consequently, the generalization of phylogenomic data sets as collections of randomly selected genes cannot be taken for granted. A thorough characterization of the data to assess possible influences on the tree reconstruction should therefore become a standard in phylogenomic analyses. PMID:22114356

  6. A consistent phylogenetic backbone for the fungi.

    PubMed

    Ebersberger, Ingo; de Matos Simoes, Ricardo; Kupczok, Anne; Gube, Matthias; Kothe, Erika; Voigt, Kerstin; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2012-05-01

    The kingdom of fungi provides model organisms for biotechnology, cell biology, genetics, and life sciences in general. Only when their phylogenetic relationships are stably resolved, can individual results from fungal research be integrated into a holistic picture of biology. However, and despite recent progress, many deep relationships within the fungi remain unclear. Here, we present the first phylogenomic study of an entire eukaryotic kingdom that uses a consistency criterion to strengthen phylogenetic conclusions. We reason that branches (splits) recovered with independent data and different tree reconstruction methods are likely to reflect true evolutionary relationships. Two complementary phylogenomic data sets based on 99 fungal genomes and 109 fungal expressed sequence tag (EST) sets analyzed with four different tree reconstruction methods shed light from different angles on the fungal tree of life. Eleven additional data sets address specifically the phylogenetic position of Blastocladiomycota, Ustilaginomycotina, and Dothideomycetes, respectively. The combined evidence from the resulting trees supports the deep-level stability of the fungal groups toward a comprehensive natural system of the fungi. In addition, our analysis reveals methodologically interesting aspects. Enrichment for EST encoded data-a common practice in phylogenomic analyses-introduces a strong bias toward slowly evolving and functionally correlated genes. Consequently, the generalization of phylogenomic data sets as collections of randomly selected genes cannot be taken for granted. A thorough characterization of the data to assess possible influences on the tree reconstruction should therefore become a standard in phylogenomic analyses. PMID:22114356

  7. Quantitative developmental data in a phylogenetic framework.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Norberto Pedro

    2014-12-01

    Following the embryonic period of organogenesis, most development is allometric growth, which is thought to produce most of the evolutionary morphological divergence between related species. Bivariate or multivariate coefficients of allometry are used to describe quantitative developmental data and are comparable across taxa; as such, these coefficients are amenable to direct treatment in a phylogenetic framework. Mapping of actual allometric coefficients onto phylogenetic trees is supported on the basis of the evolving nature of growth programs and the type of character (continuous) that they represent. This procedure depicts evolutionary allometry accurately and allows for the generation of reliable reconstructions of ancestral allometry, as shown here with a previously published case study on rodent cranial ontogeny. Results reconstructed the signature allometric patterns of rodents to the root of the phylogeny, which could be traced back into a (minimum) Paleocene age. Both character and statistical dependence need to be addressed, so this approach can be integrated with phylogenetic comparative methods that deal with those issues. It is shown that, in this particular sample of rodents, common ancestry explains little allometric variation given the level of divergence present within, and convergence between, major rodent lineages. Furthermore, all that variation is independent of body mass. Thus, from an evolutionary perspective, allometry appears to have a strong functional and likely adaptive basis. PMID:25130201

  8. Bisphenol A alters transcript levels of biomarker genes for Major Depressive Disorder in vascular endothelial cells and colon cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Varandas, Edna; Pereira, H Sofia; Viegas, Wanda; Delgado, Margarida

    2016-06-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is capable of mimicking endogenous hormones with potential consequences for human health and BPA exposure has been associated with several human diseases including neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) results show that BPA at low concentrations (10 ng/mL and 1 μg/mL) induces differential transcript levels of four biomarker genes for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in HT29 human colon adenocarcinona cell line and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC). These results substantiate increasing concerns of BPA exposure in levels currently detected in humans. PMID:27010169

  9. Phylogenetic relationships among arecoid palms (Arecaceae: Arecoideae)

    PubMed Central

    Baker, William J.; Norup, Maria V.; Clarkson, James J.; Couvreur, Thomas L. P.; Dowe, John L.; Lewis, Carl E.; Pintaud, Jean-Christophe; Savolainen, Vincent; Wilmot, Tomas; Chase, Mark W.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The Arecoideae is the largest and most diverse of the five subfamilies of palms (Arecaceae/Palmae), containing >50 % of the species in the family. Despite its importance, phylogenetic relationships among Arecoideae are poorly understood. Here the most densely sampled phylogenetic analysis of Arecoideae available to date is presented. The results are used to test the current classification of the subfamily and to identify priority areas for future research. Methods DNA sequence data for the low-copy nuclear genes PRK and RPB2 were collected from 190 palm species, covering 103 (96 %) genera of Arecoideae. The data were analysed using the parsimony ratchet, maximum likelihood, and both likelihood and parsimony bootstrapping. Key Results and Conclusions Despite the recovery of paralogues and pseudogenes in a small number of taxa, PRK and RPB2 were both highly informative, producing well-resolved phylogenetic trees with many nodes well supported by bootstrap analyses. Simultaneous analyses of the combined data sets provided additional resolution and support. Two areas of incongruence between PRK and RPB2 were strongly supported by the bootstrap relating to the placement of tribes Chamaedoreeae, Iriarteeae and Reinhardtieae; the causes of this incongruence remain uncertain. The current classification within Arecoideae was strongly supported by the present data. Of the 14 tribes and 14 sub-tribes in the classification, only five sub-tribes from tribe Areceae (Basseliniinae, Linospadicinae, Oncospermatinae, Rhopalostylidinae and Verschaffeltiinae) failed to receive support. Three major higher level clades were strongly supported: (1) the RRC clade (Roystoneeae, Reinhardtieae and Cocoseae), (2) the POS clade (Podococceae, Oranieae and Sclerospermeae) and (3) the core arecoid clade (Areceae, Euterpeae, Geonomateae, Leopoldinieae, Manicarieae and Pelagodoxeae). However, new data sources are required to elucidate ambiguities that remain in phylogenetic

  10. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  11. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  12. Vitamin D3 supplementation increases insulin level by regulating altered IP3 and AMPA receptor expression in the pancreatic islets of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat.

    PubMed

    Jayanarayanan, Sadanandan; Anju, Thoppil R; Smijin, Soman; Paulose, Cheramadathikudiyil Skaria

    2015-10-01

    Pancreatic islets, particularly insulin-secreting β cells, share common characteristics with neurons. Glutamate is one of the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and pancreas, and its action is mediated through glutamate receptors. In the present work, we analysed the role of vitamin D3 in the modulation of AMPA receptor subunit and their functional role in insulin release. Radio receptor binding study in diabetic rats showed a significant increase in AMPA receptor density. Insulin AMPA colabelling study showed an altered AMPA GluR2 and GluR4 subunit expression in the pancreatic beta cells. We also found lowered IP3 content and decreased IP3 receptor in pancreas of diabetic rats. The alterations in AMPA and IP3 receptor resulted in reduced cytosolic calcium level concentration, which further blocks Ca(2+)-mediated insulin release. Vitamin D3 supplementation restored the alteration in vitamin D receptor expression, AMPA receptor density and AMPA and IP3 receptor expression in the pancreatic islets that helps to restore the calcium-mediated insulin secretion. Our study reveals the antidiabetic property of vitamin D3 that is suggested to have therapeutic role through regulating glutamatergic function in diabetic rats. PMID:26054778

  13. Deletions of the SACPD-C locus elevate seed stearic acid levels but also result in fatty acid and morphological alterations in nitrogen fixing nodules

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Soybean (Glycine max) seeds are the primary source of edible oil in the United States. Despite its widespread utility, soybean oil is oxidatively unstable. Until recently, the majority of soybean oil underwent chemical hydrogenation, a process which also generates trans fats. An alternative to chemical hydrogenation is genetic modification of seed oil through identification and introgression of mutant alleles. One target for improvement is the elevation of a saturated fat with no negative cardiovascular impacts, stearic acid, which typically constitutes a minute portion of seed oil (~3%). Results We examined radiation induced soybean mutants with moderately increased stearic acid (10-15% of seed oil, ~3-5 X the levels in wild-type soybean seeds) via comparative whole genome hybridization and genetic analysis. The deletion of one SACPD isoform encoding gene (SACPD-C) was perfectly correlated with moderate elevation of seed stearic acid content. However, SACPD-C deletion lines were also found to have altered nodule fatty acid composition and grossly altered morphology. Despite these defects, overall nodule accumulation and nitrogen fixation were unaffected, at least under laboratory conditions. Conclusions Although no yield penalty has been reported for moderate elevated seed stearic acid content in soybean seeds, our results demonstrate that genetic alteration of seed traits can have unforeseen pleiotropic consequences. We have identified a role for fatty acid biosynthesis, and SACPD activity in particular, in the establishment and maintenance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. PMID:24886084

  14. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    PubMed

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-01

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance. PMID:23576787

  15. Patients treated for male pattern hair with finasteride show, after discontinuation of the drug, altered levels of neuroactive steroids in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Donatella; Abbiati, Federico; Giatti, Silvia; Romano, Simone; Fusco, Letizia; Cavaletti, Guido; Melcangi, Roberto Cosimo

    2015-02-01

    Observations performed in a subset of patients treated for male pattern hair loss indicate that persistent sexual side effects as well as anxious/depressive symptomatology have been reported even after discontinuation of finasteride treatment. Due to the capability of finasteride to block the metabolism of progesterone (PROG) and/or testosterone (T) we have evaluated, by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, the levels of several neuroactive steroids in paired plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples obtained from post-finasteride patients and in healthy controls. At the examination, post-finasteride patients reported muscular stiffness, cramps, tremors and chronic fatigue in the absence of clinical evidence of any muscular disorder or strength reduction. Although severity of the anxious/depressive symptoms was quite variable in their frequency, overall all the subjects had a fairly complex and constant neuropsychiatric pattern. Assessment of neuroactive steroid levels in CSF showed a decrease of PROG and its metabolites, dihydroprogesterone (DHP) and tetrahydroprogesterone (THP), associated with an increase of its precursor pregnenolone (PREG). Altered levels were also observed for T and its metabolites. Thus, a significant decrease of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) associated with an increase of T as well as of 3α-diol was detected. Changes in neuroactive steroid levels also occurred in plasma. An increase of PREG, T, 3α-diol, 3β-diol and 17β-estradiol was associated with decreased levels of DHP and THP. The present observations show that altered levels of neuroactive steroids, associated with depression symptoms, are present in androgenic alopecia patients even after discontinuation of the finasteride treatment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Sex steroids and brain disorders'. PMID:24717976

  16. [Classification of mental phenomena as the highest integration level of man's relationship to the environment (with remarks on the phenomenon of altered states of consciousness)].

    PubMed

    Pickenhain, L

    1975-11-01

    In recent years mystical ideas have been spreading concerning "altered states of consciousness" as "new dimensions of experience and transpersonal communication". An analysis is given of the class-conditioned character of these concepts deriving from the insecure social conditions existing under moribund imperialism. This is contrasted with the dialectical materialist concept of psychic phenomena as the highest integration level of man's relationship to the environment. Psychic phenomena are interpreted not as epiphenomena but as an expression of the new quality attained in the evolution of man as a social being in the central control of all functions of man's organism. PMID:1215439

  17. Regulation of tubulin levels and microtubule assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: consequences of altered tubulin gene copy number.

    PubMed Central

    Katz, W; Weinstein, B; Solomon, F

    1990-01-01

    Microtubule organization in the cytoplasm is in part a function of the number and length of the assembled polymers. The intracellular concentration of tubulin could specify those parameters. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains constructed with moderately decreased or increased copy numbers of tubulin genes provide an opportunity to study the cellular response to a steady-state change in tubulin concentration. We found no evidence of a mechanism for adjusting tubulin concentrations upward from a deficit, nor did we find a need for such a mechanism: cells with no more than 50% of the wild-type tubulin level were normal with respect to a series of microtubule-dependent properties. Strains with increased copies of both alpha- and beta-tubulin genes, or of alpha-tubulin genes alone, apparently did down regulate their tubulin levels. As a result, they contained greater than normal concentrations of tubulin but much less than predicted from the increase in gene number. Some of this down regulation occurred at the level of protein. These strains were also phenotypically normal. Cells could contain excess alpha-tubulin protein without detectable consequences, but perturbations resulting in excess beta-tubulin genes may have affected microtubule-dependent functions. All of the observed regulation of levels of tubulin can be explained as a response to toxicity associated with excess tubulin proteins, especially if beta-tubulin is much more toxic than alpha-tubulin. Images PMID:2204811

  18. Sex Hormones in Allergic Conjunctivitis: Altered Levels of Circulating Androgens and Estrogens in Children and Adolescents with Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

    PubMed Central

    Sacchetti, Marta; Lambiase, Alessandro; Moretti, Costanzo; Bonini, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic allergic disease mainly affecting boys in prepubertal age and usually recovering after puberty. To evaluate a possible role of sex hormones in VKC, serum levels of sex hormones in children and adolescents with VKC were assessed. Methods. 12 prepubertal and 7 early pubertal boys with active VKC and 6 male patients with VKC in remission phase at late pubertal age and 48 healthy age and sex-matched subjects were included. Serum concentration of estrone, 17 beta-estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, total testosterone and free testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), cortisol, delta-4-androstenedione, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex-hormones binding globuline (SHBG) were evaluated. Results. Serum levels of Estrone were significantly increased in all groups of patients with VKC when compared to healthy controls (P < 0.001). Prepubertal and early pubertal VKC showed a significant decrease in DHT (P = 0.007 and P = 0.028, resp.) and SHBG (P = 0.01 and P = 0.002, resp.) when compared to controls and serum levels of SHBG were increased in late pubertal VKC in remission phase (P = 0.007). Conclusions and Relevance. VKC patients have different circulating sex hormone levels in different phases of the disease and when compared to nonallergic subjects. These findings suggest a role played by sex hormones in the pathogenesis and/or activity of VKC. PMID:25756057

  19. Penicillin-Binding Protein 5 Sequence Alteration and Levels of plp5 mRNA Expression in Clinical Isolates of Enterococcus faecium with Different Levels of Ampicillin Resistance.

    PubMed

    Belhaj, Mondher; Boutiba-Ben Boubaker, Ilhem; Slim, Amin

    2016-04-01

    Eighty-two nonduplicated ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (AREF) isolates from clinical infections at the Charles Nicolle Hospital of Tunisia were investigated. They were collected from January 2001 to December 2009. Genetic relationship between them was studied using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The amino acid sequence difference variations of the C-terminal part of penicillin-binding protein 5 (PBP5) versus levels of expressed mRNA were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), sequencing, and real-time PCR quantification of (PBP5), respectively. No β-lactamase activity was detected and none of our strains showed resistance to glycopeptides, which retain their therapeutic efficiency against enterococcal infections in our hospital. Pattern analysis of the strains revealed six main clones disseminating in different wards. Sequence data revealed the existence of 19 different plp5 alleles with a difference in 16 amino acid positions spanning from residue 414 to 632. Each allele presented at least five amino acid substitutions (His-470→Gln, Asn-496→Lys, Ala-499→Thr, Glu-525→Asp, and Glu-629→Val). No correlation between amino acid sequence polymorphism of PBP5 and levels of ampicillin resistance was detected. The levels of plp5 mRNA expression varied between strains and did not always correlate with levels of ampicillin resistance in clinical AREF. PMID:26618475

  20. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and inhaled steroids alter surfactant protein D (SP-D) levels: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Sims, Michael W; Tal-Singer, Ruth M; Kierstein, Sonja; Musani, Ali I; Beers, Michael F; Panettieri, Reynold A; Haczku, Angela

    2008-01-01

    Background Surfactant protein D (SP-D), an innate immune molecule, plays an important protective role during airway inflammation. Deficiency of this molecule induces emphysematous changes in murine lungs, but its significance in human COPD remains unclear. Methods We collected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from 20 subjects with varying degrees of COPD (8 former smokers and 12 current smokers) and 15 asymptomatic healthy control subjects (5 never smokers, 3 remote former smokers, and 7 current smokers). All subjects underwent a complete medical history and pulmonary function testing. SP-D was measured by Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay. Statistical analysis was performed using nonparametric methods and multivariable linear regression for control of confounding. The effect of corticosteroid treatment on SP-D synthesis was studied in vitro using an established model of isolated type II alveolar epithelial cell culture. Results Among former smokers, those with COPD had significantly lower SP-D levels than healthy subjects (median 502 and 1067 ng/mL, respectively, p = 0.01). In a multivariable linear regression model controlling for age, sex, race, and pack-years of tobacco, COPD was independently associated with lower SP-D levels (model coefficient -539, p = 0.04) and inhaled corticosteroid use was independently associated with higher SP-D levels (398, p = 0.046). To support the hypothesis that corticosteroids increase SP-D production we used type II alveolar epithelial cells isolated from adult rat lungs. These cells responded to dexamethasone treatment by a significant increase of SP-D mRNA (p = 0.041) and protein (p = 0.037) production after 4 days of culture. Conclusion Among former smokers, COPD is associated with lower levels of SP-D and inhaled corticosteroid use is associated with higher levels of SP-D in the lung. Dexamethasone induced SP-D mRNA and protein expression in isolated epithelial cells in vitro. Given the importance of this molecule as a modulator

  1. Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Crocodylian History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brochu, Christopher A.

    A review of crocodylian phylogeny reveals a more complex history than might have been anticipated from a direct reading of the fossil record without consideration of phylogenetic relationships. The three main extant crocodylian lineagesGavialoidea, Alligatoroidea, Crocodyloideaare known from fossils in the Late Cretaceous, and the group is found nearly worldwide during the Cenozoic. Some groups have distributions that are best explained by the crossing of marine barriers during the Tertiary. Early Tertiary crocodylian faunas are phylogenetically composite, and clades tend to be morphologically uniform and geographically widespread. Later in the Tertiary, Old World crocodylian faunas are more endemic. Crocodylian phylogeneticists face numerous challenges, the most important being the phylogenetic relationships and time of divergence of the two living gharials (Gavialis gangeticus and Tomistoma schlegelii), the relationships among living true crocodiles (Crocodylus), and the relationships among caimans.

  2. [Phylogenetic analysis of Pleurotus species].

    PubMed

    Shnyreva, A A; Shnyreva, A V

    2015-02-01

    We performed phylogenetic analysis for ten Pleurotus species, based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of rDNA. A phylogenetic tree was constructed on the basis of 31 oyster fungi strains of different origin and 10 reference sequences from GenBank. Our analysis demonstrates that the tested Pleurotus species are of monophyletic origin. We evaluated the evolutionary distances between these species. Classic genetic analysis of sexual compatibility based on monocaryon (mon)-mon crosses showed no reproductive barriers within the P. cornucopiae-P. euosmus species complex. Thus, despite the divergence (subclustering) between commercial strains and natural isolates of P. ostreatus revealed by phylogenetic analysis, there is no reproductive isolation between these groups. A common allele of the matB locus was identified for the commercial strains Sommer and L/4, supporting the common origin of these strains. PMID:25966583

  3. Endometriosis Gene Expression Heterogeneity and Biosignature: A Phylogenetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Abu-Asab, Mones; Zhang, Ming; Amini, Dennis; Abu-Asab, Nihad; Amri, Hakima

    2011-01-01

    Endometriosis is a multifactorial disease with poorly understood etiology, and reflecting an evolutionary nature where genetic alterations accumulate throughout pathogenesis. Our objective was to characterize the heterogeneous pathological process using parsimony phylogenetics. Gene expression microarray data of ovarian endometriosis obtained from NCBI database were polarized and coded into derived (abnormal) and ancestral (normal) states. Such alterations are referred to as synapomorphies in a phylogenetic sense (or biomarkers). Subsequent gene linkage was modeled by Genomatix BiblioSphere Pathway software. A list of clonally shared derived (abnormal) expressions revealed the pattern of heterogeneity among specimens. In addition, it has identified disruptions within the major regulatory pathways including those involved in cell proliferation, steroidogenesis, angiogenesis, cytoskeletal organization and integrity, and tumorigenesis, as well as cell adhesion and migration. Furthermore, the analysis supported the potential central involvement of ESR2 in the initiation of endometriosis. The pathogenesis mapping showed that eutopic and ectopic lesions have different molecular biosignatures. PMID:22203846

  4. Histopathological alterations, biochemical responses and acetylcholinesterase levels in Clarias gariepinus as biomarkers of exposure to organophosphates pesticides.

    PubMed

    Doherty, V F; Ladipo, M K; Aneyo, I A; Adeola, A; Odulele, W Y

    2016-05-01

    Organophosphate pesticides, commonly used in large scale farming, have been found to be major contaminants in aquatic environment. Clarias gariepinus was exposed to acute and sublethal concentrations of phostoxin and DD Force to evaluate single and joint action toxicity of the organophosphates. Effects of phostoxin and DD force on antioxidant enzymes, fish organs and acetylcholinesterase levels in fingerlings and juveniles of C. gariepinus were also investigated. The lethal concentrations (96 h LC50) for phostoxin and DD Force were 0.631 and 1.759 mg/l, respectively. The results obtained from the bioassay showed that phostoxin was 2.8× more toxic than DD Force after exposure of C. gariepinus. Joint action toxicity evaluations of phostoxin and DD Force showed that the interaction between the chemicals was synergistic (RTU >1). The biochemical responses in the exposed fish differed significantly (P < 0.05) from the control fish. The result of acetylcholinesterase study revealed significant difference between acetylcholinesterase levels in the exposed fish and control, with reduction in the acetylcholineterase level in fish exposed to sublethal concentrations of phostoxin and DD Force. Haematological studies revealed an increase in WBC, RBC, PCV and platelets in the exposed fish. Histopathology of the gills showed shortened primary lamellae, loss of secondary lamellae and loss of ceratobrachial bones. In the acute toxicity studies, respiratory stress, erratic swimming and instant death of fish were observed in the exposed fish. This study reveals that changes in histopathology and acetylcholinesterase level are good biomarkers and can be successfully used to detect exposure to organophosphates pesticides in fish. PMID:27121169

  5. [Possible role of altered levels of plasma docosahexaenoic acid in the pathogenesis of retinitis pigmentosa. Preliminary results].

    PubMed

    Simonelli, F; Milone, A; Iura, A; Picardi, C; La Banca, A M; Cotticelli, L; Rinaldi, E

    1990-09-01

    Plasma samples obtained from Retinitis Pigmentosa (R.P.) patients and controls were assayed for docosahexaenoic acid (DXA), the major fatty acid in photoreceptor cells, in order to evaluate the possibility that abnormalities in PUFA metabolism could be involved in R.P. pathogenesis. Our preliminary results show levels of plasma DXA in dominantly inherited R.P. lower than in the recessive forms and controls. PMID:2149985

  6. Low β2-adrenergic receptor level may promote development of castration resistant prostate cancer and altered steroid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Betina; Kellman, Ralf; Gauthier-Landry, Louis; Fazli, Ladan; Krobert, Kurt Allen; Wang, Wanzhong; Levy, Finn Olav; Bjartell, Anders; Berge, Viktor; Rennie, Paul S.; Mellgren, Gunnar; Mælandsmo, Gunhild Mari; Svindland, Aud; Barbier, Olivier; Taskén, Kristin Austlid

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms responsible for the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in patients who have undergone androgen deprivation therapy are not fully understood. This is the first study to address whether β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2)- mediated signaling may affect CRPC progression in vivo. By immunohistochemical analyses, we observed that low levels of ADRB2 is associated with a more rapid development of CRPC in a Norwegian patient cohort. To elucidate mechanisms by which ADRB2 may affect CRPC development, we stably transfected LNCaP cells with shRNAs to mimic low and high expression of ADRB2. Two UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, involved in phase II metabolism of androgens, were strongly downregulated in two LNCaP shADRB2 cell lines. The low-ADRB2 LNCaP cell lines displayed lowered glucuronidation activities towards androgens than high-ADRB2 cells. Furthermore, increased levels of testosterone and enhanced androgen responsiveness were observed in LNCaP cells expressing low level of ADRB2. Interestingly, these cells grew faster than high-ADRB2 LNCaP cells, and sustained their low glucuronidation activity in castrated NOD/SCID mice. ADRB2 immunohistochemical staining intensity correlated with UGT2B15 staining intensity in independent TMA studies and with UGT2B17 in one TMA study. Similar to ADRB2, we show that low levels of UGT2B15 are associated with a more rapid CRPC progression. We propose a novel mechanism by which ADRB2 may affect the development of CRPC through downregulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17. PMID:26646591

  7. Glutathione peroxidase 1 expression, malondialdehyde levels and histological alterations in the liver of Acrossocheilus fasciatus exposed to cadmium chloride.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guo-Di; Sheng, Zhang; Wang, You-Fa; Han, Ying-Li; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jun-Quan

    2016-03-10

    Cadmium (Cd) is known as a widespread pollutant in aquatic environment. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is attributed to Cd exposure, which may affect the growth, development and physiological metabolism of aquatic organisms. In response to these unfavorable damages, antioxidant systems have been developed to protect against oxidative stress. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of glutathione peroxidase 1 genes (GPx-1a and GPx-1b) in the liver of Acrossocheilus fasciatus after Cd administration. Total RNA extraction, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) were performed in order to clone the A. fasciatus GPx-1a and GPx-1b full-length cDNA sequences and partial fragment of β-actin cDNA from the liver for the first time. Tissue-specific expression analysis proved that GPx-1 genes were widely expressed in the liver, kidney, gill, testis, muscle, spleen, heart and brain. The changes of GPx-1 mRNA and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the liver treated with Cd were measured. In addition, the acute toxic effects of Cd on the microstructure of the liver were studied using light microscopy. These results suggest that GPx-1, MDA and liver histology which represent molecular, biochemical and histological levels, can be used as potential biomarkers to monitor Cd pollution. The overall findings also highlight the potential use of those three bio-indicators combined together as a multi-level tool (molecular, biochemical and histological levels) when monitoring Cd contamination and other possible exogenetic pollutants in aquatic environment. PMID:26707212

  8. Intracellular GSH Alterations and Its Relationship to Level of Resistance following Exposure to Cisplatin in Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Jamali, Bardia; Nakhjavani, Maryam; Hosseinzadeh, Leila; Amidi, Salimeh; Nikounezhad, Nastaran; H. Shirazi, Farshad

    2015-01-01

    One of the major complications in cancer chemotherapy with cisplatin as one of the important medicines in treatment regimens of different cancers is the development of resistance. One of the most described cellular defense mechanisms involved in resistance is glutathione (GSH), thus in this study, the effects of cisplatin on the total intracellular GSH level (GSHi) in some sensitive and resistant variants of human cell lines (hepatocarcinoma HepG2, skin A375, cisplatin sensitive glioblastoma U373MG and cisplatin resistant glioblastoma U373MGCP, cisplatin sensitive ovary A2780S and cisplatin resistant A2780CP cells) were studied. MTT assay was performed to measure cytotoxicity of cisplatin (33.3 µM for 1 hour). Following cisplatin exposure, GSHi (per million cells) was evaluated using a photometrical assay up to 90 minutes. Our results indicate that there are significant differences between GSHi content of A2780CP and U373MGCP cells compared to other cell lines. Moreover, IC50 of cisplatin in different cells seems to have a relation with mean of GSH level in 90 minutes (GSH (mean)90). As a conclusion, it seems that resistance to cisplatin in different cell lines is more related with the diverse patterns of GSHi variations following cisplatin exposure than its original level, and/or its cellular increase or decrease. It is also suggested that GSH (mean)90 may be used as a factor for the prediction of cellular resistance to cisplatin. PMID:25901159

  9. Alteration of Cytokines Levels in the Striatum of Rats: Possible Participation in Vacuous Chewing Movements Induced by Antipsycotics.

    PubMed

    Peroza, Luis Ricardo; Schaffer, Larissa Finger; De Freitas, Catiuscia Molz; Leal, Caroline Queiroz; Ferrari, Mayara Calegaro; Duarte, Marta Maria Frescura; Fachinetto, Roselei

    2016-09-01

    Antipsychotic drugs have been used in the treatment of schizophrenia and their long-term use can cause movement disorders, such as tardive dyskinesia (TD) in humans mainly typical ones such as haloperidol. Neuroinflammation has been implicated to the use of antipsychotics besides its participation in TD remains unclear. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the relation of cytokines with vacuous chewing movements (VCMs) in rats comparing typical and atypical antipsychotics. Rats were treated with haloperidol or risperidone for 28 days. On day 29, rats were subjected to behavioral analysis (quantification of crossing and rearing numbers and VCMs) with subsequent measurement of cytokines levels in the striatum. Haloperidol, but not risperidone treatment significantly decreased the number of crossing and rearing and increased the VCMs when compared with control group. Both antipsychotics were able to increase the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ) and decrease the anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) in striatum of rats. However, IL-1β and IFN-γ levels were higher in animals treated with haloperidol than risperidone. Furthermore, positive correlations were observed between the cytokines (IL-1β and IFN-γ) and VCM numbers. Thus, the results suggest a role of inflammatory markers in the development of movement disorders, especially IL-1β and IFN-γ. PMID:27230882

  10. Alterations in skeletal protein, distribution of PKCalpha, and level of phospholipids in erythrocyte membranes of women with primary breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Kaczmarek, Jolanta; Thieleman, Anna; Kopczyński, Zygmunt; Goslar, Janina; Hoffmann, Stanisław Kazimierz; Rybczyńska, Maria

    2002-01-01

    The aim of our work was to study the influence of primary breast cancer on mature erythrocyte membranes. Blood was sampled from 29 women with primary breast cancer, aged 35-86 years, in different stages of clinical progression of the disease. In red blood cell membranes an increase of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-diphosphate levels was observed. These changes were accompanied by a decrease in phospholipase C activity. Simultaneously, a significant decrease in concentration of phosphatidylserine, sphingomyelin, and phosphatidylinositol was found. Quantitative protein evaluation showed an increase in band 4.1 protein content with no changes in the level of constitutive PKCalpha responsible for the phosphorylation of this protein and its affinity to glycophorine C. In parallel a greater increase of PKCalpha translocation after PMA treatment compared to controls was observed. Possible oxidative damage of erythrocyte membranes indicated by an increase in malonyldialdehyde level and decrease in SH-group content as well as by an increase in the w/ ratio was documented. From the results it is concluded that primary breast cancer seems to affect the membranes of mature erythrocytes. PMID:12490289

  11. Alterations in superoxide dismutase activities, lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels in thinner inhaled rat lungs: relationship between histopathological properties.

    PubMed

    Ulakoğlu, E Z; Saygi, A; Gümüştaş, M K; Zor, E; Oztek, I; Kökoğlu, E

    1998-09-01

    Paint thinner has widespread use in industry. The use of thinner among children as a narcotic agent has become a social and health problem. There is some evidence that organic solvents may express their toxicity by the way of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced cell damage. ROS has been shown to induce lipid peroxidation in biological membranes. This study examined peroxidative and histopathological changes in the rat lung, during 5 weeks of thinner inhalation. Significant increases were found in lipid peroxidation (MDA+4-DHA) levels related to the duration of inhalation. As opposed to increases in the lipid peroxidation levels, significant decreases in superoxide dismutase activities and glutathione levels were observed from the third inhalation week to the end of the fifth week. At the beginning of the inhalation slight inflammatory changes, intraalveolar and interstitial extravasation and oedema in lung parenchyma were noted. As the inhalation period extended, chronic inflammatory changes, alveolar epithelial proliferation, collapse, emphysematous changes and interstitial fibrosis in lung were detected. PMID:9782071

  12. Chronic Deep Brain Stimulation of the Hypothalamic Nucleus in Wistar Rats Alters Circulatory Levels of Corticosterone and Proinflammatory Cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Calleja-Castillo, Juan Manuel; De La Cruz-Aguilera, Dora Luz; Manjarrez, Joaquín; Velasco-Velázquez, Marco Antonio; Morales-Espinoza, Gabriel; Moreno-Aguilar, Julia; Hernández, Maria Eugenia; Aguirre-Cruz, Lucinda

    2013-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a therapeutic option for several diseases, but its effects on HPA axis activity and systemic inflammation are unknown. This study aimed to detect circulatory variations of corticosterone and cytokines levels in Wistar rats, after 21 days of DBS-at the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMHvl), unilateral cervical vagotomy (UCVgX), or UCVgX plus DBS. We included the respective control (C) and sham (S) groups (n = 6 rats per group). DBS treated rats had higher levels of TNF-α (120%; P < 0.01) and IFN-γ (305%; P < 0.001) but lower corticosterone concentration (48%; P < 0.001) than C and S. UCVgX animals showed increased corticosterone levels (154%; P < 0.001) versus C and S. UCVgX plus DBS increased IL-1β (402%; P < 0.001), IL-6 (160%; P < 0.001), and corsticosterone (178%; P < 0.001 versus 48%; P < 0.001) compared with the C and S groups. Chronic DBS at VMHvl induced a systemic inflammatory response accompanied by a decrease of HPA axis function. UCVgX rats experienced HPA axis hyperactivity as result of vagus nerve injury; however, DBS was unable to block the HPA axis hyperactivity induced by unilateral cervical vagotomy. Further studies are necessary to explore these findings and their clinical implication. PMID:24235973

  13. Altered transcription levels of endocrine associated genes in two fisheries species collected from the Great Barrier Reef catchment and lagoon.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Frederieke J; Hook, Sharon E; Jones, Dean; Metcalfe, Suzanne; Henderson, Brent; Smith, Rachael; Warne, Michael St J; Turner, Ryan D; McKeown, Adam; Westcott, David A

    2015-03-01

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is chronically exposed to agricultural run-off containing pesticides, many of which are known endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Here, we measure mRNA transcript abundance of two EDC biomarkers in wild populations of barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus and Plectropomus maculatus). Transcription levels of liver vitellogenin (vtg) differed significantly in both species amongst sites with different exposures to agricultural run-off; brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) revealed some differences for barramundi only. Exposure to run-off from sugarcane that contains pesticides is a likely pathway given (i) significant associations between barramundi vtg transcription levels, catchment sugarcane land use, and river pesticide concentrations, and (ii) consistency between patterns of coral trout vtg transcription levels and pesticide distribution in the GBR lagoon. Given the potential consequences of such exposure for reproductive fitness and population dynamics, these results are cause for concern for the sustainability of fisheries resources downstream from agricultural land uses. PMID:25617679

  14. Dioxin exposure reduces the steroidogenic capacity of mouse antral follicles mainly at the level of HSD17B1 without altering atresia

    PubMed Central

    Karman, Bethany N.; Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S.; Hannon, Patrick; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2013-01-01

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a potent ovarian toxicant. Previously, we demonstrated that in vitro TCDD (1 nM) exposure decreases production/secretion of the sex steroid hormones progesterone (P4), androstenedione (A4), testosterone (T), and 17β-estradiol (E2) in mouse antral follicles. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which TCDD inhibits steroidogenesis. Specifically, we examined the effects of TCDD on the steroidogenic enzymes, atresia, and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) protein. TCDD exposure for 48 h increased levels of A4, without changing HSD3B1 protein, HSD17B1 protein, estrone (E1), T or E2 levels. Further, TCDD did not alter atresia ratings compared to vehicle at 48 h. TCDD, however, did down regulate the AHR protein at 48 h. TCDD exposure for 96 h decreased transcript levels for Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Hsd17b1, and Cyp19a1, but increased Hsd3b1 transcript. TCDD exposure particularly lowered both Hsd17b1 transcript and HSD17B1 protein. However, TCDD exposure did not affect levels of E1 in the media nor atresia ratings at 96 h. TCDD, however, decreased levels of the proapoptotic factor Bax. Collectively, these data suggest that TCDD exposure causes a major block in the steroidogenic enzyme conversion of A4 to T and E1 to E2 and that it regulates apoptotic pathways, favoring survival over death in antral follicles. Finally, the down-regulation of the AHR protein in TCDD exposed follicles persisted at 96 h, indicating that the activation and proteasomal degradation of this receptor likely plays a central role in the impaired steroidogenic capacity and altered apoptotic pathway of exposed antral follicles. PMID:22889882

  15. Canavanine Alters ROS/RNS Level and Leads to Post-translational Modification of Proteins in Roots of Tomato Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Bogatek, Renata; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    Canavanine (CAN), a structural analog of arginine (Arg), is used as a selective inhibitor of inducible NOS in mammals. CAN is incorporated into proteins’ structure in the place of Arg, leading to the formation of aberrant compounds. This non-protein amino acid is found in legumes, e.g., Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC. or Sutherlandia frutescens (L.) R.Br. and acts as a strong toxin against herbivores or plants. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings were treated for 24–72 h with CAN (10 or 50 μM) inhibiting root growth by 50 or 100%, without lethal effect. We determined ROS level/production in root extracts, fluorescence of DAF-FM and APF derivatives corresponding to RNS level in roots of tomato seedlings and linked CAN-induced restriction of root growth to the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins: carbonylation and nitration. Both PTMs are stable markers of nitro-oxidative stress, regarded as the plant’s secondary response to phytotoxins. CAN enhanced H2O2 content and superoxide radicals generation in extracts of tomato roots and stimulated formation of protein carbonyl groups. An elevated level of carbonylated proteins was characteristic for the plants after 72 h of the culture, mainly for the roots exposed to 10 μM CAN. The proteolytic activity was stimulated by tested non-protein amino acid. CAN treatment led to decline of fluorescence of DAF-FM derivatives, and transiently stimulated fluorescence of APF derivatives. Short-term exposure of tomato seedlings to CAN lowered the protein nitration level. Activity of peroxidase, polyamine oxidase and NADPH oxidase, enzymes acting as modulators of H2O2 concentration and governing root architecture and growth were determined. Activities of all enzymes were stimulated by CAN, but no strict CAN concentration dependence was observed. We conclude, that although CAN treatment led to a decline in the nitric oxide level, PTMs observed in roots of plants exposed to CAN are linked rather to the

  16. Canavanine Alters ROS/RNS Level and Leads to Post-translational Modification of Proteins in Roots of Tomato Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Bogatek, Renata; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    Canavanine (CAN), a structural analog of arginine (Arg), is used as a selective inhibitor of inducible NOS in mammals. CAN is incorporated into proteins' structure in the place of Arg, leading to the formation of aberrant compounds. This non-protein amino acid is found in legumes, e.g., Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC. or Sutherlandia frutescens (L.) R.Br. and acts as a strong toxin against herbivores or plants. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings were treated for 24-72 h with CAN (10 or 50 μM) inhibiting root growth by 50 or 100%, without lethal effect. We determined ROS level/production in root extracts, fluorescence of DAF-FM and APF derivatives corresponding to RNS level in roots of tomato seedlings and linked CAN-induced restriction of root growth to the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins: carbonylation and nitration. Both PTMs are stable markers of nitro-oxidative stress, regarded as the plant's secondary response to phytotoxins. CAN enhanced H2O2 content and superoxide radicals generation in extracts of tomato roots and stimulated formation of protein carbonyl groups. An elevated level of carbonylated proteins was characteristic for the plants after 72 h of the culture, mainly for the roots exposed to 10 μM CAN. The proteolytic activity was stimulated by tested non-protein amino acid. CAN treatment led to decline of fluorescence of DAF-FM derivatives, and transiently stimulated fluorescence of APF derivatives. Short-term exposure of tomato seedlings to CAN lowered the protein nitration level. Activity of peroxidase, polyamine oxidase and NADPH oxidase, enzymes acting as modulators of H2O2 concentration and governing root architecture and growth were determined. Activities of all enzymes were stimulated by CAN, but no strict CAN concentration dependence was observed. We conclude, that although CAN treatment led to a decline in the nitric oxide level, PTMs observed in roots of plants exposed to CAN are linked rather to the formation of

  17. Interpreting the universal phylogenetic tree

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.

    2000-01-01

    The universal phylogenetic tree not only spans all extant life, but its root and earliest branchings represent stages in the evolutionary process before modern cell types had come into being. The evolution of the cell is an interplay between vertically derived and horizontally acquired variation. Primitive cellular entities were necessarily simpler and more modular in design than are modern cells. Consequently, horizontal gene transfer early on was pervasive, dominating the evolutionary dynamic. The root of the universal phylogenetic tree represents the first stage in cellular evolution when the evolving cell became sufficiently integrated and stable to the erosive effects of horizontal gene transfer that true organismal lineages could exist.

  18. Interpreting the universal phylogenetic tree

    PubMed Central

    Woese, Carl R.

    2000-01-01

    The universal phylogenetic tree not only spans all extant life, but its root and earliest branchings represent stages in the evolutionary process before modern cell types had come into being. The evolution of the cell is an interplay between vertically derived and horizontally acquired variation. Primitive cellular entities were necessarily simpler and more modular in design than are modern cells. Consequently, horizontal gene transfer early on was pervasive, dominating the evolutionary dynamic. The root of the universal phylogenetic tree represents the first stage in cellular evolution when the evolving cell became sufficiently integrated and stable to the erosive effects of horizontal gene transfer that true organismal lineages could exist. PMID:10900003

  19. Alterations in gene expression levels provide early indicators of chemical stress during Xenopus laevis embryo development: A case study with perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

    PubMed

    San-Segundo, Laura; Guimarães, Laura; Fernández Torija, Carlos; Beltrán, Eulalia M; Guilhermino, Lúcia; Pablos, María Victoria

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, Xenopus laevis embryos were exposed to a range of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentrations (0, 0.5, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96mg/L) for 96h in laboratorial conditions to establish toxicity along with possible gene expression changes. Mortality and deformities were monitored daily and head-tail length was measured at the end of the assay as an indicator of growth. At 24 and 96h post-exposure (hpe), the mRNA expression levels of the genetic markers involved in general stress responses (hsp70, hsp47, crh-a and ucn1), oxidative stress (cat.2 and sod), lipid metabolism (ppard) and apoptosis (tp53 and bax) were analyzed by RT-qPCR. Malformations were significantly higher in the embryos exposed to the highest PFOS concentration (41.8% to 56.4%) compared to controls (5.5%) at 48, 72 and 96hpe. Growth inhibition was observed in the embryos exposed to PFOS concentrations≥48mg/L. At 24 hpe, a statistically significant up-regulation of genes hsp70, hsp47, ppard, tp53 and bax in relation to controls was found. Similar responses were found for genes hsp70, hsp47, crh-a, ucn1, sod and ppard at 96 hpe. Alterations in the mRNA expression levels indicated both a stress response to PFOS exposure during X. laevis embryo development, and alterations in the regulation of oxidative stress, apoptosis, and differentiation. These molecular alterations were detected at an earlier exposure time or at lower concentrations than those producing developmental toxicity. Therefore, these sensitive warning signals could be used together with other biomarkers to supplement alternative methods (i.e. the frog embryo test) for developmental toxicity safety evaluations, and as tools in amphibian risk assessments for PFOS and its potential substitutes. PMID:26802562

  20. CypD−/− Hearts HaveAltered Levels of Proteins Involved in Krebs Cycle, Branch Chain Amino Acid Degradation and Pyruvate Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Menazza, Sara; Wong, Renee; Nguyen, Tiffany; Wang, Guanghui; Gucek, Marjan; Murphy, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Cyclophilin D (CypD) is a mitochondrial chaperone that has been shown to regulate the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). MPTP opening is a major determinant of mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyocyte death during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Mice lacking CypD have been widely used to study regulation of the MPTP, and it has been shown recently that genetic depletion of CypD correlates with elevated levels of mitochondrial Ca2+. The present study aimed to characterize the metabolic changes in CypD−/− hearts. Initially, we used a proteomics approach to examine protein changes in CypD−/− mice. Using pathway analysis we found that CypD−/− hearts have alteration in branched chain amino acid metabolism, pyruvate metabolism and the Krebs cycle. We tested whether these metabolic changes were due to inhibition of electron transfer from these metabolic pathways into the electron transport chain. As we found decreased levels of succinate dehydrogenase and electron transfer flavoprotein in the proteomics analysis, we examined whether activities of these enzymes might be altered. However, we found no alterations in their activities. The proteomics study also showed a 23% decrease in carnitine -palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), which prompted us to perform a metabolomics analysis. Consistent with the decrease in CPT1, we found a significant decrease in C4/Ci4, C5-OH/C3-DC, C12:1, C14:1, C16:1, and C20:3 acyl carnitines in hearts from CypD−/− mice. In summary, CypD−/− hearts exhibit changes in many metabolic pathways and caution should be used when interpreting results from these mice as due solely to inhibition of the MPTP. PMID:23262437

  1. A moderate elevation of circulating levels of IGF-I does not alter ErbB2 induced mammary tumorigenesis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Epidemiological evidence suggests that moderately elevated levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) are associated with increased risk of breast cancer in women. How circulating IGF-I may promote breast cancer incidence is unknown, however, increased IGF-I signaling is linked to trastuzumab resistance in ErbB2 positive breast cancer. Few models have directly examined the effect of moderately high levels of circulating IGF-I on breast cancer initiation and progression. The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of circulating IGF-I to independently initiate mammary tumorigenesis and/or accelerate the progression of ErbB2 mediated mammary tumor growth. Methods We crossed heterozygous TTR-IGF-I mice with heterozygous MMTV-ErbB2 mice to generate 4 different genotypes: TTR-IGF-I/MMTV-ErbB2 (bigenic), TTR-IGF-I only, MMTV-ErbB2 only, and wild type (wt). Virgin females were palpated twice a week and harvested when tumors reached 1000 mm3. For study of normal development, blood and tissue were harvested at 4, 6 and 9 weeks of age in TTR-IGF-I and wt mice. Results TTR-IGF-I and TTR-IGF-I/ErbB2 bigenic mice showed a moderate 35% increase in circulating total IGF-I compared to ErbB2 and wt control mice. Elevation of circulating IGF-I had no effect upon pubertal mammary gland development. The transgenic increase in IGF-I alone wasn't sufficient to initiate mammary tumorigenesis. Elevated circulating IGF-I had no effect upon ErbB2-induced mammary tumorigenesis or metastasis, with median time to tumor formation being 30 wks and 33 wks in TTR-IGF-I/ErbB2 bigenic and ErbB2 mice respectively (p = 0.65). Levels of IGF-I in lysates from ErbB2/TTR-IGF-I tumors compared to ErbB2 was elevated in a similar manner to the circulating IGF-I, however, there was no effect on the rate of tumor growth (p = 0.23). There were no morphological differences in tumor type (solid adenocarcinomas) between bigenic and ErbB2 mammary glands. Conclusion Using the first

  2. Metal-supplemented diets alter carbohydrate levels in tissue and hemolymph of gypsy moth larvae (Lymantria dispar, Lymantriidae, Lepidoptera)

    SciTech Connect

    Ortel, J.

    1996-07-01

    Larvae of Lymantria dispar were exposed to two concentrations each of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn from hatching to day 3 of the fourth instar. The metals were applied via artificial diet (wheat germ diet); two control groups were reared on either an uncontaminated artificial diet (C) or on a natural diet (oak leaves, EF). High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed to analyze the hemolymph carbohydrates, whereas body glycogen and glucose were determined enzymatically. The results were analyzed with respect to diet-specific differences (oak leaves versus wheat germ diet) and metal exposure compared with the uncontaminated artificial diet. Hemolymph trehalose levels were higher in oak leaf-reared individuals than in those fed on the wheat germ diet (p < 0.01), whereas the opposite applied to the body glycogen and free glucose levels (p < 0.01). The average trehalose value of the control (C) (4.3 mg/ml) was reduced by metal contamination, dependent on both the metal itself and the concentration (Cd, Cu, Zn; 1.4--3.3 mg/ml). Sorbitol was not detected in the hemolymph of EF specimens, whereas it occurred in all artificial diet-fed groups. Metal- and dose-dependent differences in the hemolymph sorbitol levels were observed in the treatment groups, but not in the controls. Glycogen content increased in the low concentration of Cd, Pb, and Cu, whereas a decrease was observed for the low Cd and both Zn concentrations. Tissue free glucose was enhanced only in three of the metal groups. Generally, fresh and dry weights of larvae were reduced in all groups except the high Cu-contaminated one. The results may indicate that mass outbreaks of an important forest pest insect like L. dispar may be facilitated in metal-contaminated areas because parasitization success of antagonistic species may decline due to deterioration of nourishment within the metal-stressed host.

  3. A gain-of-function mutation in IAA8 alters Arabidopsis floral organ development by change of jasmonic acid level.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Yan, Da-Wei; Yuan, Ting-Ting; Gao, Xiang; Lu, Ying-Tang

    2013-05-01

    Auxin regulates a variety of physiological processes via its downstream factors included Aux/IAAs. In this study, one of these Aux/IAAs, IAA8 is shown to play its role in Arabidopsis development with transgenic plants expressing GFP-mIAA8 under the control of IAA8 promoter, in which IAA8 protein was mutated by changing Pro170 to Leu170 in its conserved domain II. These transgenic dwarfed plants had more lateral branches, short primary inflorescence stems, decreased shoot apical dominance, curled leaves and abnormal flower organs (short petal and stamen, and bent stigmas). Further experiments revealed that IAA8::GFP-mIAA8 plants functioned as gain-of-function mutation to increase GFP-mIAA8 amount probably by stabilizing IAA8 protein against proteasome-mediated protein degradation with IAA8::GFP-IAA8 plants as control. The searching for its downstream factors indicated its interaction with both ARF6 and ARF8, suggesting that IAA8 may involve in flower organ development. This was further evidenced by analyzing the expression of jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthetic genes and JA levels because ARF6 and ARF8 are required for normal JA production. These results indicated that in IAA8::GFP-mIAA8 plants, JA biosynthetic genes including DAD1 (AT2G44810), AOS (AT5G42650) and ORP3 (AT2G06050) were dramatically down-regulated and JA level in the flowers was reduced to 70 % of that in wild-type. Furthermore, exogenous JA application can partially rescue short petal and stamen observed IAA8::GFP-mIAA8 plants. Thus, IAA8 plays its role in floral organ development by changes in JA levels probably via its interaction with ARF6/8 proteins. PMID:23483289

  4. Altered Levels of Zinc and N-methyl-D-aspartic Acid Receptor Underlying Multiple Organ Dysfunctions After Severe Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guanghuan; Yu, Xiaojun; Wang, Dian; Xu, Xiaohu; Chen, Guang; Jiang, Xuewu

    2015-01-01

    Background Severe trauma can cause secondary multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and death. Oxidative stress and/or excitatory neurotoxicity are considered as the final common pathway in nerve cell injuries. Zinc is the cofactor of the redox enzyme, and the effect of the excitatory neurotoxicity is related to N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR). Material/Methods We investigated the levels of zinc and brainstem NMDAR in a rabbit model of severe trauma. Zinc and serum biochemical profiles were determined. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect brainstem N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1 (NR1), N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 2A (NR2A), and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 2B (NR2B) expression. Results Brain and brainstem Zn levels increased at 12 h, but serum Zn decreased dramatically after the trauma. NR1 in the brainstem dorsal regions increased at 6 h after injury and then decreased. NR2A in the dorsal regions decreased to a plateau at 12 h after trauma. The levels of NR2B were lowest in the death group in the brainstem. Serum zinc was positively correlated with NR2A and 2B and negatively correlated with zinc in the brain. Correlations were also found between the brainstem NR2A and that of the dorsal brainstem, as well as between brainstem NR2A and changes in NR2B. There was a negative correlation between zinc and NR2A. Conclusions Severe trauma led to an acute reduction of zinc enhancing oxidative stress and the changes of NMDAR causing the neurotoxicity of the nerve cells. This may be a mechanism for the occurrence of MODS or death after trauma. PMID:26335029

  5. Altered levels of mitochondrial DNA are associated with female age, aneuploidy, and provide an independent measure of embryonic implantation potential.

    PubMed

    Fragouli, Elpida; Spath, Katharina; Alfarawati, Samer; Kaper, Fiona; Craig, Andrew; Michel, Claude-Edouard; Kokocinski, Felix; Cohen, Jacques; Munne, Santiago; Wells, Dagan

    2015-06-01

    Mitochondria play a vital role in embryo development. They are the principal site of energy production and have various other critical cellular functions. Despite the importance of this organelle, little is known about the extent of variation in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) between individual human embryos prior to implantation. This study investigated the biological and clinical relevance of the quantity of mtDNA in 379 embryos. These were examined via a combination of microarray comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH), quantitative PCR and next generation sequencing (NGS), providing information on chromosomal status, amount of mtDNA, and presence of mutations in the mitochondrial genome. The quantity of mtDNA was significantly higher in embryos from older women (P=0.003). Additionally, mtDNA levels were elevated in aneuploid embryos, independent of age (P=0.025). Assessment of clinical outcomes after transfer of euploid embryos to the uterus revealed that blastocysts that successfully implanted tended to contain lower mtDNA quantities than those failing to implant (P=0.007). Importantly, an mtDNA quantity threshold was established, above which implantation was never observed. Subsequently, the predictive value of this threshold was confirmed in an independent blinded prospective study, indicating that abnormal mtDNA levels are present in 30% of non-implanting euploid embryos, but are not seen in embryos forming a viable pregnancy. NGS did not reveal any increase in mutation in blastocysts with elevated mtDNA levels. The results of this study suggest that increased mtDNA may be related to elevated metabolism and are associated with reduced viability, a possibility consistent with the 'quiet embryo' hypothesis. Importantly, the findings suggest a potential role for mitochondria in female reproductive aging and the genesis of aneuploidy. Of clinical significance, we propose that mtDNA content represents a novel biomarker with potential value for in vitro fertilisation

  6. VEGF Gene Polymorphisms Affect Serum Protein Levels and Alter Disease Activity and Synovial Lesions in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Jin-Ping; Wu, Yu-Zhang; Yu, Nan; Yu, Zhi-Wu; Xie, Fu-Yuan; Yuan, Quan

    2016-01-01

    Background Our study investigated 2 common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for their influences on serum VEGF levels, disease activity, and synovial lesions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Material/Methods Clinical information and venous blood samples were collected from 98 RA patients and 100 healthy controls. Genotyping on samples from the subjects was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Serum VEGF levels were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The synovial thickness and joint effusion of 28 joints were measured in RA patients, and total sharp score (TSS) and disease activity score (DAS) of 28 joints were recorded. Results The genotype and allele frequencies of VEGF rs833070 (G>A) and rs3025030 (G>C) were significantly different between RA group and control group (all P<0.05). VEGF rs833070 and rs3025030 polymorphisms were associated with increasing VEGF serum levels in the RA group (all P<0.01). Statistically significant difference was observed in DAS28 between the different genotypes of VEGF rs833070 in RA patients (P<0.05). Importantly, significant differences in synovial thickening, joint effusion and synovial angiogenesis were observed between the different genotypes of VEGF rs833070 and rs3025030 polymorphisms (all P<0.05). Conclusions Our study provides evidence that VEGF polymorphisms might be important indicators of disease activity and synovial lesions, and prognostic factors in evaluating the treatment effectiveness in RA. PMID:26825024

  7. Alterations in Glutathione Levels and Apoptotic Regulators Are Associated with Acquisition of Arsenic Trioxide Resistance in Multiple Myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Yehiayan, Lucy; Lee, Kelvin P.; Cai, Yong; Boise, Lawrence H.

    2012-01-01

    Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been tested in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma with limited success. In order to better understand drug mechanism and resistance pathways in myeloma we generated an ATO-resistant cell line, 8226/S-ATOR05, with an IC50 that is 2–3-fold higher than control cell lines and significantly higher than clinically achievable concentrations. Interestingly we found two parallel pathways governing resistance to ATO in 8226/S-ATOR05, and the relevance of these pathways appears to be linked to the concentration of ATO used. We found changes in the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins Bfl-1 and Noxa as well as an increase in cellular glutathione (GSH) levels. At low, clinically achievable concentrations, resistance was primarily associated with an increase in expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bfl-1 and a decrease in expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Noxa. However, as the concentration of ATO increased, elevated levels of intracellular GSH in 8226/S-ATOR05 became the primary mechanism of ATO resistance. Removal of arsenic selection resulted in a loss of the resistance phenotype, with cells becoming sensitive to high concentrations of ATO within 7 days following drug removal, indicating changes associated with high level resistance (elevated GSH) are dependent upon the presence of arsenic. Conversely, not until 50 days without arsenic did cells once again become sensitive to clinically relevant doses of ATO, coinciding with a decrease in the expression of Bfl-1. In addition we found cross-resistance to melphalan and doxorubicin in 8226/S-ATOR05, suggesting ATO-resistance pathways may also be involved in resistance to other chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of multiple myeloma. PMID:23285138

  8. Characterizing dose response relationships: Chronic gamma radiation in Lemna minor induces oxidative stress and altered polyploidy level.

    PubMed

    Van Hoeck, Arne; Horemans, Nele; Van Hees, May; Nauts, Robin; Knapen, Dries; Vandenhove, Hildegarde; Blust, Ronny

    2015-12-01

    The biological effects and interactions of different radiation types in plants are still far from understood. Among different radiation types, external gamma radiation treatments have been mostly studied to assess the biological impact of radiation toxicity in organisms. Upon exposure of plants to gamma radiation, ionisation events can cause, either directly or indirectly, severe biological damage to DNA and other biomolecules. However, the biological responses and oxidative stress related mechanisms under chronic radiation conditions are poorly understood in plant systems. In the following study, it was questioned if the Lemna minor growth inhibition test is a suitable approach to also assess the radiotoxicity of this freshwater plant. Therefore, L. minor plants were continuously exposed for seven days to 12 different dose rate levels covering almost six orders of magnitude starting from 80 μGy h(-1) up to 1.5 Gy h(-1). Subsequently, growth, antioxidative defence system and genomic responses of L. minor plants were evaluated. Although L. minor plants could survive the exposure treatment at environmental relevant exposure conditions, higher dose rate levels induced dose dependent growth inhibitions starting from approximately 27 mGy h(-1). A ten-percentage growth inhibition of frond area Effective Dose Rate (EDR10) was estimated at 95 ± 7 mGy h(-1), followed by 153 ± 13 mGy h(-1) and 169 ± 12 mGy h(-1) on fresh weight and frond number, respectively. Up to a dose rate of approximately 5 mGy h(-1), antioxidative enzymes and metabolites remained unaffected in plants. A significant change in catalase enzyme activity was found at 27 mGy h(-1) which was accompanied with significant increases of other antioxidative enzyme activities and shifts in ascorbate and glutathione content at higher dose rate levels, indicating an increase in oxidative stress in plants. Recent plant research hypothesized that environmental genotoxic stress conditions

  9. Roosters affected by epididymal lithiasis present local alteration in vitamin D3, testosterone and estradiol levels as well as estrogen receptor 2 (beta) expression.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, André G; Dornas, Rubem A P; Praes, Lílian C; Hess, Rex A; Mahecha, Germán A B; Oliveira, Cleida A

    2011-09-01

    Epididymal lithiasis is a reproductive dysfunction of roosters that is associated with loss of fertility and is characterized by the formation of calcium stones in the lumen of the efferent ductules of the epididymal region. The efferent ductules of birds are responsible for the reabsorption of the fluid coming from the testis as well as luminal calcium. It has been hypothesized that the epididymal stone formation may be related to the impairment of local fluid or calcium homeostasis, which depends on hormones such as estradiol (E(2)). Therefore, this study aimed to investigate possible alterations in the expression of ERα (ESR1) and ERβ (ESR2) in the epididymal region of roosters affected by epididymal lithiasis. The study was performed by immunohistochemistry and western blotting assays. In addition, the concentrations of E(2), vitamin D3, and testosterone, which are also key hormones in maintenance of calcium homeostasis, were determined in the plasma and epididymal region, by ELISA. It was observed that ESR2 expression is increased in all segments of the epididymal region of affected roosters, whereas ESR1 levels are not altered. Moreover, the hormone concentration profiles were changed, as in the epididymal region of roosters with lithiasis the E(2) levels were increased and vitamin D3 as well as testosterone concentrations were significantly decreased. These results suggest that a hormonal imbalance may be involved with the origin and progression of the epididymal lithiasis, possibly by affecting the local fluid or calcium homeostasis. PMID:21670126

  10. Involvement of heparan sulfate 6-O-sulfation in the regulation of energy metabolism and the alteration of thyroid hormone levels in male mice.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Naoko; Habuchi, Hiroko; Sugaya, Noriko; Nakamura, Masao; Imamura, Toru; Watanabe, Hideto; Kimata, Koji

    2013-08-01

    Here, we report that male heparan sulfate 6-O-sulfotransferase-2 (Hs6st2) knockout mice showed increased body weight in an age-dependent manner even when fed with a normal diet and showed a phenotype of impaired glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed that the expression of mitochondrial uncoupling proteins Ucp1 and Ucp3 was reduced in the interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT) of male Hs6st2 knockout mice, suggesting reduced energy metabolism. The serum level of thyroid-stimulating hormone was significantly higher and that of thyroxine was lower in the knockout mice. When cultures of brown adipocytes from wild-type and Hs6st2 knockout mice isolated and differentiated in vitro were treated with FGF19 (fibroblast growth factor 19) or FGF21 in the presence or the absence of heparitinase I, phosphorylation of p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase was reduced. Heparan sulfate (HS) 6-O-sulfation was reduced not only in BAT but also in the thyroid tissue of the knockout mice. Thus, 6-O-sulfation in HS seems to play an important role in mediating energy metabolism by controlling thyroid hormone levels and signals from the FGF19 subfamily proteins, and the alteration of the HS composition may result in metabolic syndrome phenotypes such as altered glucose and insulin tolerance. PMID:23690091

  11. Growth inhibition and altered gene transcript levels in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiang-Bo; Shi, Ya-Juan; Lu, Yong-Long; Zheng, Xiao-Qi; Ritchie, R J

    2015-07-01

    The toxic effects of the ubiquitous pollutant 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) on the earthworm Eisenia fetida were assessed by determining growth-inhibition and gene transcript levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione transferase (GST), and transcriptional changes of the stress-response gene (heat-shock protein 70 [Hsp70]). Somatic growth and growth-inhibition rates in all BDE-47-treated groups were significantly different from those of the controls. The SOD gene transcripts were upregulated at all exposure doses and reached the maximum at the concentration of 400 mg/kg dry weight (dw) (3.84-fold, P < 0.01), which protected earthworms from oxidative stresses. However, downregulation of CAT and Hsp70 was present in all exposure doses and reached to the minimum at concentrations of 400 mg/kg dw (0.07-fold, P < 0.01 and 0.06-fold, P < 0.01, respectively). Upregulation of GST gene transcript level presented significant changes at concentrations of 10 (2.69-fold, P < 0.05) and 100 mg/kg dw (2.55-fold, P < 0.05). SOD maintained a dynamic balance to upregulate SOD expression to eliminate superoxide radicals in all dosage treatments, but downregulation of CAT decreased the ability to eliminate hydrogen peroxide. These changes could result in biochemical and physiological disturbances in earthworms. PMID:25600924

  12. Sepsis-induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with altered mitochondrial Src and PTP1B levels.

    PubMed

    Lyu, Juanjuan; Zheng, Guilang; Chen, Zhijiang; Wang, Bin; Tao, Shaohua; Xiang, Dan; Xie, Meiyan; Huang, Jinda; Liu, Cui; Zeng, Qiyi

    2015-09-16

    Sepsis-induced brain dysfunction (SIBD) is often the first manifestation of sepsis, and its pathogenesis is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. In this study, we investigated the roles of the tyrosine kinase Src and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) in brain mitochondrial dysfunction using a rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sepsis. We found that there was a gradual and significant increase of PTP1B levels in the rat brain after sepsis induction. In contrast, brain Src levels were reduced in parallel with the PTP1B increase. Sepsis led to significantly reduced tyrosine phosphorylation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes I, II and III. Pretreatment of mitochondrial proteins with active PTP1B significantly inhibited complexes I and III activities in vitro, whereas Src enhanced complexes I, II, and III activities. PTP1B and Src were each co-immunoprecipitated with OXPHOS complexes I and III, suggesting direct interactions between both proteins and complexes I and III. Src also directly interacted with complex II. Furthermore, pretreatment of mitochondrial proteins with active PTP1B resulted in overproduction of reactive oxygen species and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Pretreatment with active Src produced the opposite effect. These results suggest that brain mitochondrial dysfunction following LPS-induced sepsis in rats is partly attributed to PTP1B and Src mediated decrease in mitochondrial protein tyrosine phosphorylation. PMID:25998537

  13. Glucose concentration alters dissolved oxygen levels in liquid cultures of Beauveria bassiana and affects formation and bioefficacy of blastospores.

    PubMed

    Mascarin, Gabriel Moura; Jackson, Mark A; Kobori, Nilce Naomi; Behle, Robert W; Dunlap, Christopher A; Delalibera Júnior, Ítalo

    2015-08-01

    The filamentous fungus Beauveria bassiana is an economically important pathogen of numerous arthropod pests and is able to grow in submerged culture as filaments (mycelia) or as budding yeast-like blastospores. In this study, we evaluated the effect of dissolved oxygen and high glucose concentrations on blastospore production by submerged cultures of two isolates of B. bassiana, ESALQ1432 and GHA. Results showed that maintaining adequate dissolved oxygen levels coupled with high glucose concentrations enhanced blastospore yields by both isolates. High glucose concentrations increased the osmotic pressure of the media and coincided with higher dissolved oxygen levels and increased production of significantly smaller blastospores compared with blastospores produced in media with lower concentrations of glucose. The desiccation tolerance of blastospores dried to less than 2.6 % moisture was not affected by the glucose concentration of the medium but was isolate dependent. Blastospores of isolate ESALQ1432 produced in media containing 140 g glucose L(-1) showed greater virulence toward whitefly nymphs (Bemisia tabaci) as compared with blastospores produced in media containing 40 g glucose L(-1). These results suggest a synergistic effect between glucose concentration and oxygen availability on changing morphology and enhancing the yield and efficacy of blastospores of B. bassiana, thereby facilitating the development of a cost-effective production method for this blastospore-based bioinsecticide. PMID:25947245

  14. Castration reversibly alters levels of cholecystokinin immunoreactivity within cells of three interconnected sexually dimorphic forebrain nuclei in the rat.

    PubMed Central

    Simerly, R B; Swanson, L W

    1987-01-01

    Three sexually dimorphic cell groups in the forebrain of the rat--the central part of the medial preoptic nucleus, the encapsulated part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and the posterodorsal part of the medial nucleus of the amygdala--are larger in males, contain a high density of gonadal-steroid-concentrating cells, and are thought to play important roles in the control of reproductive behavior and physiology. Since each of these regions contains a large number of cholecystokinin-immunoreactive cells, we used an indirect immunohistochemical method to examine the possibility that levels of this peptide are modulated by circulating gonadal steroids in adult male rats. Rats were castrated at 60 days of age, and one group each was pretreated with colchicine and then killed 3, 7, and 14 days after gonadectomy. Castration clearly decreased CCK immunoreactivity within cells of each region, with the most dramatic effects occurring 7 and 14 days after gonadectomy, and these effects were reversed by treatment with testosterone over a 14-day period. The results suggest that CCK levels within individual cells in each of the interconnected sexually dimorphic nuclei examined here are regulated by circulating gonadal steroids and may be related to the hormonal modulation of reproductive functions thought to be mediated by these cell groups. Images PMID:3550806

  15. Deep-Time Phylogenetic Clustering of Extinctions in an Evolutionarily Dynamic Clade (Early Jurassic Ammonites)

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Clotilde; Fara, Emmanuel; Laffont, Rémi; Dommergues, Jean-Louis; Meister, Christian; Neige, Pascal

    2012-01-01

    Conservation biologists and palaeontologists are increasingly investigating the phylogenetic distribution of extinctions and its evolutionary consequences. However, the dearth of palaeontological studies on that subject and the lack of methodological consensus hamper our understanding of that major evolutionary phenomenon. Here we address this issue by (i) reviewing the approaches used to quantify the phylogenetic selectivity of extinctions and extinction risks; (ii) investigating with a high-resolution dataset whether extinctions and survivals were phylogenetically clustered among early Pliensbachian (Early Jurassic) ammonites; (iii) exploring the phylogenetic and temporal maintenance of this signal. We found that ammonite extinctions were significantly clumped phylogenetically, a pattern that prevailed throughout the 6.6 Myr-long early Pliensbachian interval. Such a phylogenetic conservatism did not alter – or may even have promoted – the evolutionary success of this major cephalopod clade. However, the comparison of phylogenetic autocorrelation among studies remains problematic because the notion of phylogenetic conservatism is scale-dependent and the intensity of the signal is sensitive to temporal resolution. We recommend a combined use of Moran's I, Pearson's ϕ and Fritz and Purvis' D statistics because they highlight different facets of the phylogenetic pattern of extinctions and/or survivals. PMID:22662258

  16. Phylogenetic affinities of the grasses to other monocots as revealed by molecular analysis of chloroplast DNA.

    PubMed

    Katayama, H; Ogihara, Y

    1996-05-01

    The distribution of structural alterations of the chloroplast genome found in grass chloroplast (cp) DNA in comparison with that of tobacco was systematically surveyed in the cpDNAs of monocots. Southern hybridization and/or PCR analyses for the detection of (1) three inversions in the large single-copy region, (2) loss of an intron in the rpoC1 gene, (3) an extra-sequence insertion in the rpoC2 gene, (4) the deletion of ORF2280, (5) rearrangements of the accD (ORF512) gene, and (6) non-reciprocal translocation of the rpl23 gene, were carried out on cpDNAs isolated from 58 species, 22 families, and 11 orders, which covered almost all families of monocots. These structural alterations of cpDNA mostly occurred at the family level. However, only part of the Restionaceae possessed the inversion that characterizes the lineage of grass differentiation. The order of mutational events made it possible to reconstruct grass phylogeny in monocots. Since no variations in structural alterations of the cpDNA were found among the Poaceae, grass plants were inferred to have originated from an ancestor harboring these structural alterations of the chloroplast genome. These phylogenetic relationships were supported by the sequence data of rbcL. PMID:8662197

  17. Naproxen, a Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug, Can Affect Daily Hypobaric Hypoxia-Induced Alterations of Monoamine Levels in Different Areas of the Brain in Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Goswami, Ananda Raj; Dutta, Goutam; Ghosh, Tusharkanti

    2016-06-01

    Goswami, Ananda Raj, Goutam Dutta, and Tusharkanti Ghosh. Naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug can affect daily hypobaric hypoxia-induced alterations of monoamine levels in different areas of the brain in male rats. High Alt Med Biol. 17:133-140, 2016.-The oxidative stress (OS)-induced prostaglandin (PG) release, in hypobaric hypoxic (HHc) condition, may be linked with the changes of brain monoamines. The present study intends to explore the changes of monoamines in hypothalamus (H), cerebral cortex (CC), and cerebellum (CB) along with the motor activity in rats after exposing them to simulated hypobaric condition and the role of PGs on the daily hypobaric hypoxia (DHH)-induced alteration of brain monoamines by administering, an inhibitor of PG synthesis, naproxen. The rats were exposed to a decompression chamber at 18,000 ft for 8 hours per day for 6 days after administration of vehicle or naproxen (18 mg/kg body wt.). The monoamine levels (epinephrine, E; norepinephrine, NE; dopamine, DA; and 5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) in CC, CB, and H were assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection, and the locomotor behavior was measured by open field test. The NE and DA levels were decreased in CC, CB, and H of the rat brain in HHc condition. The E and 5-HT levels were decreased in CC, but in H and CB, they remained unaltered in HHc condition. These DHH-induced changes of monoamines in brain areas were prevented after administration of naproxen in HHc condition. The locomotor behavior remained unaltered in HHc condition and after administration of naproxen in HHc condition. The DHH-induced changes of monoamines in the brain in HHc condition are probably linked with PGs that may be induced by OS. PMID:26894935

  18. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E.; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin; Cahoon, Edgar B.

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis. PMID:26048882

  19. Tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate and triethyl phosphate alter embryonic development, hepatic mRNA expression, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations in chicken embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Egloff, Caroline; Crump, Doug; Porter, Emily; Williams, Kim L.; Letcher, Robert J.; Gauthier, Lewis T.; Kennedy, Sean W.

    2014-09-15

    The organophosphate flame retardants tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) and triethyl phosphate (TEP) are used in a wide range of applications to suppress or delay the ignition and spread of fire. Both compounds have been detected in the environment and TBOEP was recently measured in free-living avian species. In this study, TBOEP and TEP were injected into the air cell of chicken embryos at concentrations ranging from 0 to 45,400 ng/g and 0 to 241,500 ng/g egg, respectively. Pipping success, development, hepatic mRNA expression of 9 target genes, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations were determined. Exposure to the highest doses of TBOEP and TEP resulted in negligible detection of the parent compounds in embryonic contents at pipping indicating their complete metabolic degradation. TBOEP exposure had limited effects on chicken embryos, with the exception of hepatic CYP3A37 mRNA induction. TEP exposure decreased pipping success to 68%, altered growth, increased liver somatic index (LSI) and plasma bile acids, and modulated genes associated with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism and the thyroid hormone pathway. Plasma thyroxine levels were decreased at all TEP doses, including an environmentally-relevant concentration (8 ng/g), and gallbladder hypotrophy was evident at ≥ 43,200 ng/g. Tarsus length and circulating thyroxine concentration emerged as potential phenotypic anchors for the modulation of transthyretin mRNA. The increase in plasma bile acids and LSI, gallbladder hypotrophy, and discoloration of liver tissue represented potential phenotypic outcomes associated with modulation of hepatic genes involved with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism. - Highlights: • TBOEP is not embryolethal to chicken embryos. • TEP affected embryonic viability, morphometric endpoints, and thyroid hormone levels. • TEP altered mRNA levels of xenobiotic and lipid metabolism genes. • TEP increased plasma bile acids and caused gallbladder hypotrophy

  20. Aberrant hippocampal Atp8a1 levels are associated with altered synaptic strength, electrical activity, and autistic-like behavior.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Daniel J; Marsillo, Alexandra; Guariglia, Sara R; Budylin, Tatyana; Sadek, Rodina; Menkes, Silvia; Chauhan, Abha; Wen, Guang Y; McCloskey, Daniel P; Wieraszko, Andrzej; Banerjee, Probal

    2016-09-01

    Type IV ATPases are putative aminophospholipid translocases (APLTs), more commonly known as flippases. A pronounced induction of the flippase Atp8a1 was observed in post-mortem tissue homogenates from the hippocampus and temporal lobe of juvenile autistic subjects compared to age-matched controls. In order to simulate the human data, C57BL/6 mice were allowed to develop after intra-hippocampal injection of recombinant lentivirus expressing Atp8a1 at the early developmental stage of postnatal day 6 (P6). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of the lentivirus-Atp8a1 treated (Atp8a1+) mice in adulthood revealed fewer and weaker excitatory synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region compared to mice injected with empty virus. Significant inhibition of the Schaffer collateral pathway was observed in the Atp8a1+ mice in paired-pulse recording (PPR) at 20-ms inter-stimulus interval. In the three-chambered sociability test, the Atp8a1+ mice displayed no preference for an encaged stranger mouse over a novel object, which is a characteristic autistic-like behavior. In sharp contrast, Atp8a1 (-/-) mice displayed a preference for a stranger mouse over the novel object, which is characteristic of neurotypical mouse behavior. However, similar to the Atp8a1+ mice, the Atp8a1 (-/-) mice harbored fewer and weaker excitatory synapses in CA1 compared to wild-type controls, and displayed inhibition at 20-ms inter-stimulus interval in PPR. These findings suggest that both elevated and diminished levels of Atp8a1 during early development are detrimental to brain connectivity, but only elevated Atp8a1 is associated with aberrant social behavior. Mice with augmented levels of Atp8a1 may therefore serve as a potential model in autism research. PMID:27287255

  1. Alteration of Porcine Serum Albumin Levels in Pork Meat by Marination in Kiwi or Pineapple Juice and Subsequent Pan Broiling

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Sung-Sil; Kim, Il-Suk; Ham, Jun-Sang; Park, Beom-Young

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the changes in porcine serum albumin (PSA), a major allergen, which occur when raw pork ham is marinated with kiwi or pineapple juice, and/or when the ham is pan broiled at 300℃ for 4 min after marination. In this study, raw pork ham was soaked for 4 h or 8 h in marinades containing commercial marinating sauce only, commercial marinating sauce and 7% kiwi juice, or commercial marinating sauce and 7% pineapple juice. When the meat was marinated and then pan-broiled, pork ham meat protein was significantly denatured and hydrolyzed, and the level of PSA in the meat was significantly reduced. The PSA contents of pork broiled without marination, pork that had been marinated in commercial marinating sauce alone, pork that had been marinated in commercial marinating sauce with kiwi juice, and pork that had been marinated in commercial marinating sauce with pineapple juice, were 95.4, 43.3, 14.3, and 5.4 ng/mL, respectively (p<0.05). Marinating with pineapple juice was more effective than marinating with kiwi juice; and marination for 8 h was more effective than marinating for 4 h. These results indicate that the level of PSA in pork ham is effectively reduced, when the meat is first marinated in sauces that contain kiwi or pineapple extracts for 8 h, rather than 4 h, and then cooked. Further study is needed to determine whether marinated pork meat reduces allergenicity in vivo, as well. PMID:26761177

  2. Toxicity of canavanine in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) roots is due to alterations in RNS, ROS and auxin levels.

    PubMed

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Borucki, Wojciech; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-06-01

    Canavanine (CAN) is non-proteinogenic aminoacid and a structural analog of arginine (Arg). Naturally, CAN occurs in legumes e.g. jack bean and is considered as a strong allelochemical. As a selective inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase in mammalians, it could act as a modifier of nitric oxide (NO) concentration in plants. Modifications in the content of endogenous reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) influence root structure and architecture, being also under hormonal control. The aim of the work was to investigate regulation of root growth in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Malinowy Ożarowski) seedling by application of CAN at concentration (10 and 50 μM) leading to 50% or 100% restriction of root elongation. CAN at higher concentration led to slight DNA fragmentation, increased total RNA and protein level. Decline in total respiration rate after CAN supplementation was not associated with enhanced membrane permeability. Malformations in root morphology (shorter and thicker roots, limited number of lateral roots) were accompanied by modification in NO and ONOO(-) localization; determined mainly in peridermal cells and some border cells. Although, CAN resulted in low RNS production, addition of exogenous NO by usage of NO donors did not reverse its negative effect, nor recovery effect was detected after roots imbibition in Arg. To build up a comprehensive view on mode of action of CAN as root growth inhibitor, it was shown an elevated level of auxin. To summarize, we demonstrated several secondary mode of action of CAN, indicating its toxicity in plants linked to restriction in RNS formation accompanied by simultaneous overaccumulation of ROS. PMID:26986929

  3. Natural Functional SNPs in miR-155 Alter Its Expression Level, Blood Cell Counts, and Immune Responses.

    PubMed

    Li, Congcong; He, Huabin; Liu, An; Liu, Huazhen; Huang, Haibo; Zhao, Changzhi; Jing, Lu; Ni, Juan; Yin, Lilin; Hu, Suqin; Wu, Hui; Li, Xinyun; Zhao, Shuhong

    2016-01-01

    miR-155 has been confirmed to be a key factor in immune responses in humans and other mammals. Therefore, investigation of variations in miR-155 could be useful for understanding the differences in immunity between individuals. In this study, four SNPs in miR-155 were identified in mice (Mus musculus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In mice, the four SNPs were closely linked and formed two miR-155 haplotypes (A and B). Ten distinct types of blood parameters were associated with miR-155 expression under normal conditions. Additionally, 4 and 14 blood parameters were significantly different between these two genotypes under normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation conditions, respectively. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-155, the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, and the lethal ratio following Salmonella typhimurium infection were significantly increased in mice harboring the AA genotype. Further, two SNPs, one in the loop region and the other near the 3' terminal of pre-miR-155, were confirmed to be responsible for the differential expression of miR-155 in mice. Interestingly, two additional SNPs, one in the loop region and the other in the middle of miR-155*, modulated the function of miR-155 in humans. Predictions of secondary RNA structure using RNAfold showed that these SNPs affected the structure of miR-155 in both mice and humans. Our results provide novel evidence of the natural functional SNPs of miR-155 in both mice and humans, which may affect the expression levels of mature miR-155 by modulating its secondary structure. The SNPs of human miR-155 may be considered as causal mutations for some immune-related diseases in the clinic. The two genotypes of mice could be used as natural models for studying the mechanisms of immune diseases caused by abnormal expression of miR-155 in humans. PMID:27532002

  4. Natural Functional SNPs in miR-155 Alter Its Expression Level, Blood Cell Counts, and Immune Responses

    PubMed Central

    Li, Congcong; He, Huabin; Liu, An; Liu, Huazhen; Huang, Haibo; Zhao, Changzhi; Jing, Lu; Ni, Juan; Yin, Lilin; Hu, Suqin; Wu, Hui; Li, Xinyun; Zhao, Shuhong

    2016-01-01

    miR-155 has been confirmed to be a key factor in immune responses in humans and other mammals. Therefore, investigation of variations in miR-155 could be useful for understanding the differences in immunity between individuals. In this study, four SNPs in miR-155 were identified in mice (Mus musculus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In mice, the four SNPs were closely linked and formed two miR-155 haplotypes (A and B). Ten distinct types of blood parameters were associated with miR-155 expression under normal conditions. Additionally, 4 and 14 blood parameters were significantly different between these two genotypes under normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation conditions, respectively. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-155, the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, and the lethal ratio following Salmonella typhimurium infection were significantly increased in mice harboring the AA genotype. Further, two SNPs, one in the loop region and the other near the 3′ terminal of pre-miR-155, were confirmed to be responsible for the differential expression of miR-155 in mice. Interestingly, two additional SNPs, one in the loop region and the other in the middle of miR-155*, modulated the function of miR-155 in humans. Predictions of secondary RNA structure using RNAfold showed that these SNPs affected the structure of miR-155 in both mice and humans. Our results provide novel evidence of the natural functional SNPs of miR-155 in both mice and humans, which may affect the expression levels of mature miR-155 by modulating its secondary structure. The SNPs of human miR-155 may be considered as causal mutations for some immune-related diseases in the clinic. The two genotypes of mice could be used as natural models for studying the mechanisms of immune diseases caused by abnormal expression of miR-155 in humans. PMID:27532002

  5. Phylogenetic Relationships Among Lepidium Papilliferum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous phylogenetic analyses of Lepidium included only a few acessions of L. montanum, L. flavum, and L. fremontii to represent western North Amrican species. Two additional species endemic to southwest Idaho have posed both taxonomic and conservation questions regarding their species status. Le...

  6. Ingestion of a single serving of saury alters postprandial levels of plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids in healthy human adults

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Saury oil contains considerable amounts of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) with long aliphatic tails (>18C atoms). Ingestion of saury oil reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome concomitant with increases in n-3 PUFA and long-chain MUFA in plasma and organs of mice. We therefore evaluated changes in postprandial plasma fatty acid levels and plasma parameters in healthy human subjects after ingestion of a single meal of saury. Findings Five healthy human adults ingested 150 g of grilled saury. Blood was collected before the meal and at 2, 6, and 24 hr after the meal, and plasma was prepared. Plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and long-chain MUFA (C20:1 and C22:1 isomers combined) increased significantly throughout the postprandial period compared with the pre-meal baseline. Postprandial plasma insulin concentration increased notably, and plasma levels of glucose and free fatty acids decreased significantly and subsequently returned to the pre-meal levels. Conclusions Our study suggests that a single saury meal may alter the postprandial plasma levels of n-3 PUFA and long-chain MUFA in healthy human subjects. PMID:22846384

  7. A Deliberate Practice Approach to Teaching Phylogenetic Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobbs, F. Collin; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kearns, Katherine D.

    2013-01-01

    One goal of postsecondary education is to assist students in developing expert-level understanding. Previous attempts to encourage expert-level understanding of phylogenetic analysis in college science classrooms have largely focused on isolated, or "one-shot," in-class activities. Using a deliberate practice instructional approach, we…

  8. Knowledge of Fecal Calprotectin and Infliximab Trough Levels Alters Clinical Decision-making for IBD Outpatients on Maintenance Infliximab Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Prosser, Connie; Kroeker, Karen I.; Wang, Haili; Shalapay, Carol; Dhami, Neil; Fedorak, Darryl K.; Halloran, Brendan; Dieleman, Levinus A.; Goodman, Karen J.; Fedorak, Richard N.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Infliximab is an effective therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, more than 50% of patients lose response. Empiric dose intensification is not effective for all patients because not all patients have objective disease activity or subtherapeutic drug level. The aim was to determine how an objective marker of disease activity or therapeutic drug monitoring affects clinical decisions regarding maintenance infliximab therapy in outpatients with IBD. Methods: Consecutive patients with IBD on maintenance infliximab therapy were invited to participate by providing preinfusion stool and blood samples. Fecal calprotectin (FCP) and infliximab trough levels (ITLs) were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Three decisions were compared: (1) actual clinical decision, (2) algorithmic FCP or ITL decisions, and (3) expert panel decision based on (a) clinical data, (b) clinical data plus FCP, and (c) clinical data plus FCP plus ITL. In secondary analysis, Receiver-operating curves were used to assess the ability of FCP and ITL in predicting clinical disease activity or remission. Results: A total of 36 sets of blood and stool were available for analysis; median FCP 191.5 μg/g, median ITLs 7.3 μg/mL. The actual clinical decision differed from the hypothetical decision in 47.2% (FCP algorithm); 69.4% (ITL algorithm); 25.0% (expert panel clinical decision); 44.4% (expert panel clinical plus FCP); 58.3% (expert panel clinical plus FCP plus ITL) cases. FCP predicted clinical relapse (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.417; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.197–0.641) and subtherapeutic ITL (AUC = 0.774; 95% CI, 0.536–1.000). ITL predicted clinical remission (AUC = 0.498; 95% CI, 0.254–0.742) and objective remission (AUC = 0.773; 95% CI, 0.622–0.924). Conclusions: Using FCP and ITLs in addition to clinical data results in an increased number of decisions to optimize management in outpatients with IBD on stable maintenance infliximab therapy. PMID

  9. Power of the policy: how the announcement of high-stakes clinical examination altered OSCE implementation at institutional level

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) has been widely applied as a high-stakes examination for assessing physicians’ clinical competency. In 1992, OSCE was first introduced in Taiwan, and the authorities announced that passing the OSCE would be a prerequisite for step-2 medical licensure examination in 2013. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of the announced national OSCE policy on implementation of OSCE at the institutional level. Further, the readiness and the recognition of barriers toward a high-stakes examination were explored. Methods In 2007 and 2010, the year before and after the announcement of high-stakes OSCE policy in 2008, respectively, questionnaires on the status of OSCE implementation were distributed to all hospitals with active OSCE programs in Taiwan. Information on OSCE facilities, equipment, station length, number of administrations per year, and the recognition of barriers to the success of implementing an OSCE were collected. The missing data were completed by telephone interviews. The OSCE format, administration, and facilities before and after the announcement of the nationwide OSCE policy were compared. Results The data were collected from 17 hospitals in 2007 and 21 in 2010. Comparing the OSCE formats between 2007 and 2010, the number of stations increased and the station length decreased. The designated space and the equipment for OSCE were also found to have been improved. As for the awareness of OSCE implementation barriers, the hospital representatives concerned mostly about the availability and quality of standardized patients in 2007, as well as space and facilities in 2010. Conclusions The results of this study underscored an overall increase in the number of OSCE hospitals and changes in facilities and formats. While recruitment and training of standardized patients were the major concerns before the official disclosure of the policy, space and facilities became the focus of attention after

  10. Long-term exposure to abnormal glucose levels alters drug metabolism pathways and insulin sensitivity in primary human hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Matthew D.; Ballinger, Kimberly R.; Khetani, Salman R.

    2016-01-01

    Hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can progress to inflammation, fibrosis/cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Understanding how chronic hyperglycemia affects primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) can facilitate the development of therapeutics for these diseases. Conversely, elucidating the effects of hypoglycemia on PHHs may provide insights into how the liver adapts to fasting, adverse diabetes drug reactions, and cancer. In contrast to declining PHH monocultures, micropatterned co-cultures (MPCCs) of PHHs and 3T3-J2 murine embryonic fibroblasts maintain insulin-sensitive glucose metabolism for several weeks. Here, we exposed MPCCs to hypo-, normo- and hyperglycemic culture media for ~3 weeks. While albumin and urea secretion were not affected by glucose level, hypoglycemic MPCCs upregulated CYP3A4 enzyme activity as compared to other glycemic states. In contrast, hyperglycemic MPCCs displayed significant hepatic lipid accumulation in the presence of insulin, while also showing decreased sensitivity to insulin-mediated inhibition of glucose output relative to a normoglycemic control. In conclusion, we show for the first time that PHHs exposed to hypo- and hyperglycemia can remain highly functional, but display increased CYP3A4 activity and selective insulin resistance, respectively. In the future, MPCCs under glycemic states can aid in novel drug discovery and mechanistic investigations. PMID:27312339

  11. Role of altered esophageal intraluminal baseline impedance levels in patients with gatroesophageal reflux disease refractory to proton pump inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Liuqin; Ye, Bixing; Lin, Lin; Wang, Ying; Wang, Meifeng

    2016-08-01

    Numerous studies have investigated utility of esophageal intraluminal baseline impedance levels (BILs) in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, effect of BILs in refractory GERD (RGERD) has not been well investigated. The aim of this study is to evaluate role of BILs in RGERD patients. Total 62 subjects with refractory gastroesophageal reflux symptoms underwent 24-hour impedance-pH monitoring and gastroendoscopy. Distal BILs in acid reflux type were significantly lower than those in nonacid reflux type and functional heartburn (FH) group. Distal BILs of reflux esophagitis (RE) patients were lower than those of nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) patients, while there were no statistical significance between 2 groups. Patients with severe esophagitis had lower distal BILs than those with mild esophagitis and NERD patients, and patients with severe esophagitis in acid reflux type had the lowest distal BILs. Distal BILs were significantly negatively correlated with DeMeester score, episodes of acid reflux, and acid exposure time, but no correlated with episodes of nonacid reflux. Characteristics of BILs in RGERD patients were similar with those in GERD patients, but might be more complicated. Evaluating BILs in RGERD patients could achieve a better understanding of pathophysiology in RGERD. PMID:27537561

  12. Transcript Level Alterations Reflect Gene Dosage Effects Across Multiple Tissues in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Kahlem, Pascal; Sultan, Marc; Herwig, Ralf; Steinfath, Matthias; Balzereit, Daniela; Eppens, Barbara; Saran, Nidhi G.; Pletcher, Mathew T.; South, Sarah T.; Stetten, Gail; Lehrach, Hans; Reeves, Roger H.; Yaspo, Marie-Laure

    2004-01-01

    Human trisomy 21, which results in Down syndrome (DS), is one of the most complicated congenital genetic anomalies compatible with life, yet little is known about the molecular basis of DS. It is generally accepted that chromosome 21 (Chr21) transcripts are overexpressed by about 50% in cells with an extra copy of this chromosome. However, this assumption is difficult to test in humans due to limited access to tissues, and direct support for this idea is available for only a few Chr21 genes or in a limited number of tissues. The Ts65Dn mouse is widely used as a model for studies of DS because it is at dosage imbalance for the orthologs of about half of the 284 Chr21 genes. Ts65Dn mice have several features that directly parallel developmental anomalies of DS. Here we compared the expression of 136 mouse orthologs of Chr21 genes in nine tissues of the trisomic and euploid mice. Nearly all of the 77 genes which are at dosage imbalance in Ts65Dn showed increased transcript levels in the tested tissues, providing direct support for a simple model of increased transcription proportional to the gene copy number. However, several genes escaped this rule, suggesting that they may be controlled by additional tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms revealed in the trisomic situation. PMID:15231742

  13. Sub-acute intravenous administration of silver nanoparticles in male mice alters Leydig cell function and testosterone levels

    PubMed Central

    GARCIA, THOMAS X.; COSTA, GUILHERME M. J.; FRANÇA, LUIZ R.; HOFMANN, MARIE-CLAUDE

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether short-term, in vivo exposure to silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) could be toxic to male reproduction. Low dose (1 mg/kg/dose) AgNPs were intravenously injected into male CD1 mice over 12 days. Treatment resulted in no changes in body and testis weights, sperm concentration and motility, fertility indices, or follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone serum concentrations; however, serum and intratesticular testosterone concentrations were significantly increased 15 days after initial treatment. Histologic evaluation revealed significant changes in epithelium morphology, germ cell apoptosis, and Leydig cell size. Additionally, gene expression analysis revealed Cyp11a1 and Hsd3b1 mRNA significantly upregulated in treated animals. These data suggest that AgNPs do not impair spermatogonial stem cells in vivo since treatment did not result in significant decreases in testis weight and sperm concentrations. However, AgNPs appear to affect Leydig cell function, yielding increasing testicular and serum testosterone levels. PMID:24447867

  14. Alteration of behavior and monoamine levels attributable to Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 in germ-free mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei-Hsien; Chuang, Hsiao-Li; Huang, Yen-Te; Wu, Chien-Chen; Chou, Geng-Ting; Wang, Sabrina; Tsai, Ying-Chieh

    2016-02-01

    Probiotics, defined as live bacteria or bacterial products, confer a significant health benefit to the host, including amelioration of anxiety-like behavior and psychiatric illnesses. Here we administered Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) to a germ-free (GF) mouse model to investigate the impact of the gut-brain axis on emotional behaviors. First, we demonstrated that chronic administration of live PS128 showed no adverse effects on physical health. Then, we found that administration of live PS128 significantly increased the total distance traveled in the open field test and decreased the time spent in the closed arm in the elevated plus maze test, whereas the administration of PS128 had no significant effects in the depression-like behaviors of GF mice. Also, chronic live PS128 ingestion significantly increased the levels of both serotonin and dopamine in the striatum, but not in the prefrontal cortex or hippocampus. These results suggest that the chronic administration of PS128 is safe and could induce changes in emotional behaviors. The behavioral changes are correlated with the increase in the monoamine neurotransmitters in the striatum. These findings suggest that daily intake of the L. plantarum strain PS128 could improve anxiety-like behaviors and may be helpful in ameliorating neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26522841

  15. Long-term exposure to abnormal glucose levels alters drug metabolism pathways and insulin sensitivity in primary human hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Matthew D; Ballinger, Kimberly R; Khetani, Salman R

    2016-01-01

    Hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can progress to inflammation, fibrosis/cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Understanding how chronic hyperglycemia affects primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) can facilitate the development of therapeutics for these diseases. Conversely, elucidating the effects of hypoglycemia on PHHs may provide insights into how the liver adapts to fasting, adverse diabetes drug reactions, and cancer. In contrast to declining PHH monocultures, micropatterned co-cultures (MPCCs) of PHHs and 3T3-J2 murine embryonic fibroblasts maintain insulin-sensitive glucose metabolism for several weeks. Here, we exposed MPCCs to hypo-, normo- and hyperglycemic culture media for ~3 weeks. While albumin and urea secretion were not affected by glucose level, hypoglycemic MPCCs upregulated CYP3A4 enzyme activity as compared to other glycemic states. In contrast, hyperglycemic MPCCs displayed significant hepatic lipid accumulation in the presence of insulin, while also showing decreased sensitivity to insulin-mediated inhibition of glucose output relative to a normoglycemic control. In conclusion, we show for the first time that PHHs exposed to hypo- and hyperglycemia can remain highly functional, but display increased CYP3A4 activity and selective insulin resistance, respectively. In the future, MPCCs under glycemic states can aid in novel drug discovery and mechanistic investigations. PMID:27312339

  16. Low level of selenium increases the efficacy of 24-epibrassinolide through altered physiological and biochemical traits of Brassica juncea plants.

    PubMed

    Naz, Fatima Salva; Yusuf, Mohammad; Khan, Tanveer A; Fariduddin, Qazi; Ahmad, Aqil

    2015-10-15

    This study was conducted to provide an insight into the effect of Se (through soil) induced changes in Brassica juncea plants in the presence and absence of 24-epibrassinolide (EBL; foliar). The Se treatments showed dual response, 10 μM of Se significantly increased growth, water relations, photosynthetic attributes along with carbonic anhydrase activity whereas its higher concentrations proved inhibitory in concentration dependent manner. The follow-up application of EBL to the Se stressed plants improved growth, water relations, photosynthesis and simultaneously enhanced the various antioxidant enzymes viz. catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase with the excess accumulation of proline. In addition to this, 10 μM Se increases the efficacy of 10(-8) M of EBL and both in combination showed maximum increase for the growth and photosynthetic traits of plants. On the other hand, the elevated level of antioxidant enzymes as well as proline could have conferred tolerance to the Se-stressed plants resulting in improved growth, water relations and photosynthesis. PMID:25952891

  17. Plasma and hepatic cholesterol levels and fecal neutral sterol excretion are altered in hamsters fed straw mushroom diets.

    PubMed

    Cheung, P C

    1998-09-01

    The effect of the fruiting body and mycelium of Volvariella volvacea (straw mushroom) on the concentrations of plasma lipids, liver cholesterol, fecal neutral sterol and bile acid excretions was investigated in male Golden Syrian hamsters. The hamsters were fed a purified hypercholesterolemic diet (0.1% cholesterol, 10% fat) for 4 wk to elevate plasma lipid concentrations. Twelve hamsters with elevated plasma total cholesterol were randomly assigned to each treatment group: control (5% cellulose), mushroom fruiting body (5%) and mushroom mycelium (5%). After 4 wk of mushroom diet consumption, the plasma total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and combined VLDL + LDL cholesterol concentrations (mmol/L) were significantly lower than control in the group fed the fruiting body-diet (40, 38 and 43%, respectively) (P < 0.05). The liver cholesterol levels were significantly lower in both the mushroom fruiting body- and the mycelium-fed groups (28 and 21% in terms of concentration; 39 and 30% in terms of total content, respectively) (P < 0.05) than that in the control group. Fecal neutral sterol excretion in the mushroom fruiting body- and mycelium-fed groups was significantly higher (81 and 74%, respectively) (P < 0.05) than that in the control group. Although no significant differences (P > 0.05) in the excretion of fecal bile acids were observed among groups fed the mushroom diets and the control diet, the mushroom fruiting body diet-fed hamsters apparently had less bacterial degradation of cholic acid as indicated by a significantly greater proportion (P < 0.05) of fecal cholic acid than in controls. They also had a significantly lower proportion of fecal deoxycholic acid (P < 0.05). This study suggests that the fruiting body of the straw mushroom lowers elevated plasma cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic hamsters, whereas the mycelium does not. PMID:9732312

  18. Dioxin exposure reduces the steroidogenic capacity of mouse antral follicles mainly at the level of HSD17B1 without altering atresia

    SciTech Connect

    Karman, Bethany N. Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S. Hannon, Patrick Flaws, Jodi A.

    2012-10-01

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a potent ovarian toxicant. Previously, we demonstrated that in vitro TCDD (1 nM) exposure decreases production/secretion of the sex steroid hormones progesterone (P4), androstenedione (A4), testosterone (T), and 17β-estradiol (E2) in mouse antral follicles. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which TCDD inhibits steroidogenesis. Specifically, we examined the effects of TCDD on the steroidogenic enzymes, atresia, and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) protein. TCDD exposure for 48 h increased levels of A4, without changing HSD3B1 protein, HSD17B1 protein, estrone (E1), T or E2 levels. Further, TCDD did not alter atresia ratings compared to vehicle at 48 h. TCDD, however, did down regulate the AHR protein at 48 h. TCDD exposure for 96 h decreased transcript levels for Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Hsd17b1, and Cyp19a1, but increased Hsd3b1 transcript. TCDD exposure particularly lowered both Hsd17b1 transcript and HSD17B1 protein. However, TCDD exposure did not affect levels of E1 in the media nor atresia ratings at 96 h. TCDD, however, decreased levels of the proapoptotic factor Bax. Collectively, these data suggest that TCDD exposure causes a major block in the steroidogenic enzyme conversion of A4 to T and E1 to E2 and that it regulates apoptotic pathways, favoring survival over death in antral follicles. Finally, the down‐regulation of the AHR protein in TCDD exposed follicles persisted at 96 h, indicating that the activation and proteasomal degradation of this receptor likely plays a central role in the impaired steroidogenic capacity and altered apoptotic pathway of exposed antral follicles. -- Highlights: ► TCDD disrupts steroidogenic enzymes in mouse antral follicles. ► TCDD particularly affects the HSD17B1 enzyme in mouse antral follicles. ► TCDD does not affect atresia ratings in mouse antral follicles. ► TCDD decreases levels of the proapoptitic factor Bax in mouse antral follicles.

  19. Studies on the potential neurotoxic and convulsant effects of increased blood levels of quinolinic acid in rats with altered blood-brain barrier permeability

    SciTech Connect

    Vezzani, A.; Stasi, M.A.; Wu, H.Q.; Castiglioni, M.; Weckermann, B.; Samanin, R. )

    1989-10-01

    Intravenous injection of 450 mg/kg quinolinic acid (Quin), an endogenous kynurenine metabolite with excitotoxic properties, induced only minor electroencephalographic (EEG) modifications and no neurotoxicity in rats with a mature blood-brain barrier (BBB). BBB permeability was altered in rats by focal unilateral irradiation of the cortex (7 mm in diameter and 5 mm in depth) with protons (60 Gy, 9 Gy/min). Three days after irradiation, Evans blue dye staining showed BBB breakdown in the dorsal hippocampus of the irradiated hemisphere. No neurotoxic or convulsant effects were observed as a consequence of the radiation itself. When BBB-lesioned rats were challenged with 225 mg/kg Quin iv, epileptiform activity was observed on EEG analysis. Tonic-clonic seizures were induced by 225-450 mg/kg Quin. Light microscopic analysis showed a dose-related excitotoxic type of lesion restricted to the hippocampus ipsilateral to the irradiated side. Neuro-degeneration was prevented by local injection of 120 nmol D(-)2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid, a selective N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist. No lesions or EEG or behavioral modifications occurred after 450 mg/kg nicotinic acid, an inactive analog of Quin. The potential neurotoxic and convulsant effects of increased blood levels of Quin under conditions of altered BBB permeability are discussed.

  20. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling.

    PubMed

    Singer, Esther; Bushnell, Brian; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Bowers, Robert M; Levy, Asaf; Gies, Esther A; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Copeland, Alex; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Hallam, Steven J; Hugenholtz, Philip; Tringe, Susannah G; Woyke, Tanja

    2016-08-01

    Over the past decade, high-throughput short-read 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing has eclipsed clone-dependent long-read Sanger sequencing for microbial community profiling. The transition to new technologies has provided more quantitative information at the expense of taxonomic resolution with implications for inferring metabolic traits in various ecosystems. We applied single-molecule real-time sequencing for microbial community profiling, generating full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences at high throughput, which we propose to name PhyloTags. We benchmarked and validated this approach using a defined microbial community. When further applied to samples from the water column of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, we show that while community structures at the phylum level are comparable between PhyloTags and Illumina V4 16S rRNA gene sequences (iTags), variance increases with community complexity at greater water depths. PhyloTags moreover allowed less ambiguous classification. Last, a platform-independent comparison of PhyloTags and in silico generated partial 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated significant differences in community structure and phylogenetic resolution across multiple taxonomic levels, including a severe underestimation in the abundance of specific microbial genera involved in nitrogen and methane cycling across the Lake's water column. Thus, PhyloTags provide a reliable adjunct or alternative to cost-effective iTags, enabling more accurate phylogenetic resolution of microbial communities and predictions on their metabolic potential. PMID:26859772

  1. The impact of synapsin III gene on the neurometabolite level alterations after single-dose methylphenidate in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder patients

    PubMed Central

    Başay, Ömer; Kabukcu Basay, Burge; Alacam, Huseyin; Ozturk, Onder; Buber, Ahmet; Gorucu Yilmaz, Senay; Kıroğlu, Yılmaz; Erdal, Mehmet Emin; Herken, Hasan

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the neurometabolite level changes according to synapsin III gene rs133945G>A and rs133946C>G polymorphisms by using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods Fifty-seven adults diagnosed with ADHD were recruited for the study. The participants were examined by single-voxel 1H MRS when medication naïve and 30 minutes after oral administration of 10 mg methylphenidate (Mph). Those who had been on a stimulant discontinued the medication 48 hours before MRS imaging. Spectra were taken from the anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, striatum, and cerebellum, and N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, and creatine levels were examined. For genotyping of the synapsin III gene polymorphisms, DNA was isolated from peripheral blood leukocytes. The effects of age, sex, and ADHD subtypes were controlled in the analyses. Results After a single dose of Mph, choline levels increased significantly in the striatum of rs133945G>A polymorphism-GG genotypes (P=0.020) and NAA levels rose in the anterior cingulate cortex of rs133946C>G polymorphism-CG genotypes (P=0.014). Both rs133945G>A and rs133946C>G polymorphisms were found to statistically significantly affect the alteration of NAA levels in response to Mph in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with two-way repeated measure of analysis of variance. Post hoc comparisons revealed a significant difference between CG and GG genotypes of rs133946C>G polymorphisms after Bonferroni adjustment (P=0.016). Conclusion Synapsin III gene polymorphisms may be affecting the changes in neurometabolite levels in response to Mph in adult ADHD patients. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings. PMID:27274248

  2. Short-Term Energy Deprivation Alters Activin A and Follistatin But Not Inhibin B Levels of Lean Healthy Women in a Leptin-Independent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Moragianni, Vasiliki A.; Aronis, Konstantinos N.; Chamberland, John P.

    2011-01-01

    Context: Leptin is a potent modulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis mediating the effect of energy deprivation on several hypothalamic-pituitary-peripheral axes. Activin A, inhibin B, and follistatin (FST) also regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in humans. It remains unknown whether energy deprivation affects these hormone levels in a leptin-dependent or -independent manner. Objective: We investigated 1) day-night variability patterns of activin, inhibin, and FST in the fed state, 2) whether their levels are affected by fasting, and 3) whether such an effect is mediated by leptin in physiological replacement or pharmacological doses. Design: We conducted two studies in healthy, eumenorrheic females, each comprising three separate admissions. In study 1, six women were maintained for 72 h 1) on isocaloric diet, 2) fasting while receiving placebo, or 3) fasting while receiving metreleptin in physiological replacement doses. In study 2, five women were administered physiological or pharmacological metreleptin doses (0.01, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg iv four times daily). Results: Neither activin A nor FST had a pulsatile or day-night variability pattern. Inhibin B levels were also nonpulsatile, but a trend toward a day-night pattern was noted. When compared with the fed state, inhibin B levels remained unchanged, whereas FST levels increased (P = 0.01) and activin A decreased (P = 0.01) in the fasting state. These changes were not corrected with metreleptin administered in replacement or pharmacological doses. Conclusions: Short-term energy deprivation alters levels of activin A and FST, but these effects are not mediated by leptin. PMID:21917874

  3. Striatal Synaptosomes from Hdh140Q/140Q Knock-in Mice have Altered Protein Levels, Novel Sites of Methionine Oxidation, and Excess Glutamate Release after Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Valencia, Antonio; Sapp, Ellen; Kimm, Jeffrey S.; McClory, Hollis; Ansong, Kwadwo A.; Yohrling, George; Kwak, Seung; Kegel, Kimberly B.; Green, Karin M.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Aronin, Neil; DiFiglia, Marian

    2014-01-01

    Background: Synaptic connections are disrupted in patients with Huntington’s disease (HD). Synaptosomes from postmortem brain are ideal for synaptic function studies because they are enriched in pre- and post-synaptic proteins important in vesicle fusion, vesicle release, and neurotransmitter receptor activation. Objective: To examine striatal synaptosomes from 3, 6 and 12 month old WT and Hdh140Q/140Q knock-in mice for levels of synaptic proteins, methionine oxidation, and glutamate release. Methods: We used Western blot analysis, glutamate release assays, and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Results: Striatal synaptosomes of 6 month old Hdh140Q/140Q mice had less DARPP32, syntaxin 1 and calmodulin compared to WT. Striatal synaptosomes of 12 month old Hdh140Q/140Q mice had lower levels of DARPP32, alpha actinin, HAP40, Na+/K+-ATPase, PSD95, SNAP-25, TrkA and VAMP1, VGlut1 and VGlut2, increased levels of VAMP2, and modifications in actin and calmodulin compared to WT. More glutamate released from vesicles of depolarized striatal synaptosomes of 6 month old Hdh140Q/140Q than from age matched WT mice but there was no difference in glutamate release in synaptosomes of 3 and 12 month old WT and Hdh140Q/140Q mice. LC-MS/MS of 6 month old Hdh140Q/140Q mice striatal synaptosomes revealed that about 4% of total proteins detected (>600 detected) had novel sites of methionine oxidation including proteins involved with vesicle fusion, trafficking, and neurotransmitter function (synaptophysin, synapsin 2, syntaxin 1, calmodulin, cytoplasmic actin 2, neurofilament, and tubulin). Altered protein levels and novel methionine oxidations were also seen in cortical synaptosomes of 12 month old Hdh140Q/140Q mice. Conclusions: Findings provide support for early synaptic dysfunction in Hdh140Q/140Q knock-in mice arising from altered protein levels, oxidative damage, and impaired glutamate neurotransmission and suggest that study of synaptosomes could be of

  4. Integration of mRNA expression profile, copy number alterations, and microRNA expression levels in breast cancer to improve grade definition.

    PubMed

    Cava, Claudia; Bertoli, Gloria; Ripamonti, Marilena; Mauri, Giancarlo; Zoppis, Italo; Della Rosa, Pasquale Anthony; Gilardi, Maria Carla; Castiglioni, Isabella

    2014-01-01

    Defining the aggressiveness and growth rate of a malignant cell population is a key step in the clinical approach to treating tumor disease. The correct grading of breast cancer (BC) is a fundamental part in determining the appropriate treatment. Biological variables can make it difficult to elucidate the mechanisms underlying BC development. To identify potential markers that can be used for BC classification, we analyzed mRNAs expression profiles, gene copy numbers, microRNAs expression and their association with tumor grade in BC microarray-derived datasets. From mRNA expression results, we found that grade 2 BC is most likely a mixture of grade 1 and grade 3 that have been misclassified, being described by the gene signature of either grade 1 or grade 3. We assessed the potential of the new approach of integrating mRNA expression profile, copy number alterations, and microRNA expression levels to select a limited number of genomic BC biomarkers. The combination of mRNA profile analysis and copy number data with microRNA expression levels led to the identification of two gene signatures of 42 and 4 altered genes (FOXM1, KPNA4, H2AFV and DDX19A) respectively, the latter obtained through a meta-analytical procedure. The 42-based gene signature identifies 4 classes of up- or down-regulated microRNAs (17 microRNAs) and of their 17 target mRNA, and the 4-based genes signature identified 4 microRNAs (Hsa-miR-320d, Hsa-miR-139-5p, Hsa-miR-567 and Hsa-let-7c). These results are discussed from a biological point of view with respect to pathological features of BC. Our identified mRNAs and microRNAs were validated as prognostic factors of BC disease progression, and could potentially facilitate the implementation of assays for laboratory validation, due to their reduced number. PMID:24866763

  5. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Esther; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Schwientek, Patrick; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Ciobanu, Doina; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Gies, Esther; Hallam, Steve; Tringe, Susannah; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-03-17

    The representation of bacterial and archaeal genome sequences is strongly biased towards cultivated organisms, which belong to merely four phylogenetic groups. Functional information and inter-phylum level relationships are still largely underexplored for candidate phyla, which are often referred to as microbial dark matter. Furthermore, a large portion of the 16S rRNA gene records in the GenBank database are labeled as environmental samples and unclassified, which is in part due to low read accuracy, potential chimeric sequences produced during PCR amplifications and the low resolution of short amplicons. In order to improve the phylogenetic classification of novel species and advance our knowledge of the ecosystem function of uncultivated microorganisms, high-throughput full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing methodologies with reduced biases are needed. We evaluated the performance of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing in high-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling. For this purpose, we compared PacBio and Illumina metagenomic shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of a mock community as well as of an environmental sample from Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia. Sakinaw Lake is known to contain a large age of microbial species from candidate phyla. Sequencing results show that community structure based on PacBio shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequences is highly similar in both the mock and the environmental communities. Resolution power and community representation accuracy from SMRT sequencing data appeared to be independent of GC content of microbial genomes and was higher when compared to Illumina-based metagenome shotgun and 16S rRNA gene (iTag) sequences, e.g. full-length sequencing resolved all 23 OTUs in the mock community, while iTags did not resolve closely related species. SMRT sequencing hence offers various potential benefits when characterizing uncharted microbial communities.

  6. A Micropolymorphism Altering the Residue Triad 97/114/156 Determines the Relative Levels of Tapasin Independence and Distinct Peptide Profiles for HLA-A*24 Allotypes

    PubMed Central

    Badrinath, Soumya; Blasczyk, Rainer; Huyton, Trevor; Bade-Doeding, Christina

    2014-01-01

    While many HLA class I molecules interact directly with the peptide loading complex (PLC) for conventional loading of peptides certain class I molecules are able to present peptides in a way that circumvents the PLC components. We investigated micropolymorphisms at position 156 of HLA-A*24 allotypes and their effects on PLC dependence for assembly and peptide binding specificities. HLA-A*24:06156Trp and HLA-A*24:13156Leu showed high levels of cell surface expression while HLA-A*24:02156Gln was expressed at low levels in tapasin deficient cells. Peptides presented by these allelic variants showed distinct differences in features and repertoire. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated all the HLA-A*24/156 variants to associate at similar levels with tapasin when present. Structurally, HLA-A*24:02 contains the residue triad Met97/His114/Gln156 and a Trp156 or Leu156 polymorphism provides tapasin independence by stabilizing these triad residues, thus generating an energetically stable and a more peptide receptive environment. Micropolymorphisms at position 156 can influence the generic peptide loading pathway for HLA-A*24 by altering their tapasin dependence for peptide selection. The trade-off for this tapasin independence could be the presentation of unusual ligands by these alleles, imposing significant risk following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). PMID:25802875

  7. Loss of Wnt8b has no overt effect on hippocampus development but leads to altered Wnt gene expression levels in dorsomedial telencephalon

    PubMed Central

    McLaughlin, David; Nichols, Jennifer; Price, David J.; Theil, Thomas; Mason, John O.

    2015-01-01

    Wnt signalling proteins regulate many aspects of animal development. We have investigated the function of mouse Wnt8b during forebrain development. Wnt8b is expressed in a highly restricted pattern including the prospective hippocampus and hypothalamus. Mutant mice lacking Wnt8b are viable and healthy. The size and morphology of the hippocampus appeared normal in mutant embryos and adults and we found no evidence of hypothalamic defects in mutants. Wnt8b is also expressed in the neurogenic region of the adult dentate gyrus, however cell proliferation was unchanged in Wnt8b−/− mutants. Mutant embryos did, however, display altered levels of expression of other Wnt genes normally expressed in forebrain. The spatial expression patterns of other Wnt genes and the overall level of canonical Wnt activity were indistinguishable from wild types. Thus, loss of Wnt8b does not give rise to an overt morphological phenotype, but does affect expression levels of other Wnts in developing forebrain. PMID:19890917

  8. Complete mitogenome of asiatic lion resolves phylogenetic status within Panthera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The origin, evolution and speciation of the lion, has been subject of interest, debate and study. The present surviving lions of the genus Panthera comprise of eight sub-species inclusive of Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica of India's Gir forest. Except for the Asiatic lion, the other seven subspecies are found in different parts of Africa. There have been different opinions regarding the phylogenetic status of Panthera leo, as well as classifying lions of different geographic regions into subspecies and races. In the present study, mitogenome sequence of P. leo persica deduced, using Ion Torrent PGM to assess phylogeny and evolution which may play an increasingly important role in conservation biology. Results The mtDNA sequence of P. leo persica is 17,057 bp in length with 40.8% GC content. Annotation of mitogenome revealed total 37 genes, including 13 protein coding, 2 rRNA and 22 tRNA. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole mitogenome, suggests Panthera pardus as a neighbouring species to P. leo with species divergence at ~2.96 mya. Conclusion This work presents first report on complete mitogenome of Panthera leo persica. It sheds light on the phylogenetic and evolutionary status within and across Felidae members. The result compared and evaluated with earlier reports of Felidae shows alteration of phylogenetic status and species evolution. This study may provide information on genetic diversity and population stability. PMID:23968279

  9. Phylogenetic analysis of otospiralin protein

    PubMed Central

    Torktaz, Ibrahim; Behjati, Mohaddeseh; Rostami, Amin

    2016-01-01

    Background: Fibrocyte-specific protein, otospiralin, is a small protein, widely expressed in the central nervous system as neuronal cell bodies and glia. The increased expression of otospiralin in reactive astrocytes implicates its role in signaling pathways and reparative mechanisms subsequent to injury. Indeed, otospiralin is considered to be essential for the survival of fibrocytes of the mesenchymal nonsensory regions of the cochlea. It seems that other functions of this protein are not yet completely understood. Materials and Methods: Amino acid sequences of otospiralin from 12 vertebrates were derived from National Center for Biotechnology Information database. Phylogenetic analysis and phylogeny estimation were performed using MEGA 5.0.5 program, and neighbor-joining tree was constructed by this software. Results: In this computational study, the phylogenetic tree of otospiralin has been investigated. Therefore, dendrograms of otospiralin were depicted. Alignment performed in MUSCLE method by UPGMB algorithm. Also, entropy plot determined for a better illustration of amino acid variations in this protein. Conclusion: In the present study, we used otospiralin sequence of 12 different species and by constructing phylogenetic tree, we suggested out group for some related species. PMID:27099854

  10. A correlation between altered O-GlcNAcylation, migration and with changes in E-cadherin levels in ovarian cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Feng-zhen; Yu, Chao; Zhao, De-zhang; Wu, Ming-jun; Yang, Zhu

    2013-06-10

    O-GlcNAcylation is a dynamic and reversible posttranslational modification of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. In recent years, the roles of O-GlcNAcylation in several human malignant tumors have been investigated, and O-GlcNAcylation was found to be linked to cellular features relevant to metastasis. In this study, we modeled four diverse ovarian cancer cells and investigated the effects of O-GlcNAcylation on ovarian cancer cell migration. We found that total O-GlcNAcylation level was elevated in HO-8910PM cells compared to OVCAR3 cells. Additionally, through altering the total O-GlcNAcylation level by OGT silencing or OGA inhibition, we found that the migration of OVCAR3 cells was dramatically enhanced by PUGNAc and Thiamet G treatment, and the migration ability of HO-8910PM cells was significantly inhibited by OGT silencing. Furthermore, we also found that the expression of E-cadherin, an O-GlcNAcylated protein in ovarian cancer cells, was reduced by OGA inhibition in OVCAR3 cells and elevated by OGT silencing in HO-8910PM cells. These results indicate that O-GlcNAcylation could enhance ovarian cancer cell migration and decrease the expression of E-cadherin. Our studies also suggest that O-GlcNAcylation might become another potential target for the therapy of ovarian cancer. -- Highlights: • We examine the migration potential of diverse ovarian cancer cells. • We examine the total O-GlcNAcylation level of diverse ovarian cancer cells. • Increasing O-GlcNAcylation level will enhance the migration of ovarian cancer cells. • Reducing O-GlcNAcylation level will inhibit the migration of ovarian cancer cells. • The mechanism explains O-GlcNAcylation enhance ovarian cancer cell migration.

  11. TGF-β1 levels and intraocular tissue alterations in mice infected with a virulent type I RH Toxoplasma gondii strain.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Jamshaid; Al-Awadhi, Mohammad Ahmed; Raghupathy, Raj Gopal

    2016-03-01

    Toxoplasmosis is generally self-limiting in healthy adults but it may cause toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis in cases of congenital infection leading to blindness. The importance of host genetics in determining disease severity in ocular toxoplasmosis has been shown in different inbred mouse strains using low-virulence toxoplasma strain. In this study, we studied intraocular immune response and tissue alterations in the genetically resistant BALB/c and susceptible MF1 mice infected with a virulent type I RH Toxoplasma gondii strain by intravitreal route. We observed a significant up-regulation of IFN-γ and TNF-α to >2200 pg/ml and >300 pg/ml respectively in the blood of both BALB/c and MF1mice during the early stages of post intraocular infection (p < 0.01) but the levels dropped sharply to normal during the late stages of the infection on day 26. The cytokine levels detected were higher in the MF1 mice compared with the BALB/c mice and a relatively higher levels were observed in the aqueous humour (AqH) than in the blood of both group of mice. The TGF-β1 level in the blood and AqH of BALB/c mice remained low throughout the infection period compared with MF1 mice which showed gradual increase to 50 pg/ml in the blood and AqH during the early stages of infection which then further increased 2-fold-132 pg/ml on day 11 (p < 0.01) and remained high till the last day of observation on day 26 except that the TGF-β1 level in AqH dropped sharply to normal level. In summary, our results support that TGF-β1 may down-regulate the effector functions of anti-Toxoplasma cellular immunity during acute toxoplasmosis. We document that a mild Th1 pro-inflammatory response in the BALB/c mice with high IFN-γ and TNF-α and, low TGF-β1 levels during the early stages of infection may have contributed to an effective cellular immune response leading to lower morbidity, mortality and less ocular tissue damage. However in the MF1 mice, a significantly high TGF-β1 level in the blood as

  12. Transforming phylogenetic networks: Moving beyond tree space.

    PubMed

    Huber, Katharina T; Moulton, Vincent; Wu, Taoyang

    2016-09-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that are used to represent reticulate evolution. Unrooted phylogenetic networks form a special class of such networks, which naturally generalize unrooted phylogenetic trees. In this paper we define two operations on unrooted phylogenetic networks, one of which is a generalization of the well-known nearest-neighbor interchange (NNI) operation on phylogenetic trees. We show that any unrooted phylogenetic network can be transformed into any other such network using only these operations. This generalizes the well-known fact that any phylogenetic tree can be transformed into any other such tree using only NNI operations. It also allows us to define a generalization of tree space and to define some new metrics on unrooted phylogenetic networks. To prove our main results, we employ some fascinating new connections between phylogenetic networks and cubic graphs that we have recently discovered. Our results should be useful in developing new strategies to search for optimal phylogenetic networks, a topic that has recently generated some interest in the literature, as well as for providing new ways to compare networks. PMID:27224010

  13. Over-expression of JcDGAT1 from Jatropha curcas increases seed oil levels and alters oil quality in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Misra, Aparna; Khan, Kasim; Niranjan, Abhishek; Nath, Pravendra; Sane, Vidhu A

    2013-12-01

    The increasing consumption of fossil fuels and petroleum products is leading to their rapid depletion and is a matter of concern around the globe. Substitutes of fossil fuels are required to sustain the pace of economic development. In this context, oil from the non food crops (biofuel) has shown potential to substitute fossil fuels. Jatropha curcas is an excellent shrub spread and naturalized across the globe. Its oil contains a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids (about 78-84% of total fatty acid content) making the oil suitable for biodiesel production. Despite its high oil content, it has been poorly studied in terms of important enzymes/genes responsible for oil biosynthesis. Here, we describe the isolation of the full length cDNA clone of JcDGAT1, a key enzyme involved in oil biosynthesis, from J. curcas seeds and manipulation of oil content and composition in transgenic Arabidopsis plants by its expression. Transcript analysis of JcDGAT1 reveals a gradual increase from early seed development to its maturation. Homozygous transgenic Arabidopsis lines expressing JcDGAT1 both under CaMV35S promoter and a seed specific promoter show an enhanced level of total oil content (up by 30-41%) in seeds but do not show any phenotypic differences. In addition, our studies also show alterations in the oil composition through JcDGAT1 expression. While the levels of saturated FAs such as palmitate and stearate in the oil do not change, there is significant reproducible decrease in the levels of oleic acid and a concomitant increase in levels of linolenic acid both under the CaMV35S promoter as well as the seed specific promoter. Our studies thus confirm that DGAT is involved in flux control in oil biosynthesis and show that JcDGAT1 could be used specifically to manipulate and improve oil content and composition in plants. PMID:24125179

  14. Phylogenetically-Informed Priorities for Amphibian Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Isaac, Nick J. B.; Redding, David W.; Meredith, Helen M.; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species’ threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species’ phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our ‘top 100‘ list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history. PMID:22952807

  15. Regeneration of eye tissues is modulated by altered levels of gravity at 1g, 2g, and in microgravity during spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigoryan, Eleonora; Almeida, Eduardo; Mitashov, Victor

    The pursuit of human space exploration requires detailed knowledge of microgravity-related changes in fundamental biological processes, and their effects on health. Normal regeneration of organs and tissues is one such fundamental process that allows maintenance of vitality and function of living organisms. Animal models of tissue regeneration include the newt (Pleurodeles waltl, Urodela) eye, which has been extensively used by our team in Russian Bion and Foton microgravity experiments since 1985, and in recent NASA 2.5 meter diameter centrifuge hypergravity experiments. In total, these experiments allow us to draw several broad conclusions: Newt lens regeneration is significantly altered in microgravity and hypergravity relative to 1g controls. Lenses formed in microgravity are larger and more developed than those regenerated in 1g controls; Microgravity alterations of lens regeneration can persist after spaceflight, and continue to affect repeated removal and regeneration of the lens after return to 1g; Microgravity increases the numbers of early stage regenerative proliferating BrdU-labeled cells in dorsal iris progenitors and in the lens regenerate. Regeneration under hypergravity conditions at 2g inhibits lens regeneration, and often causes retinal detachment. Molecular mechanisms regulating lens regeneration rate include FGF2 signaling, (a key pathway for eye tissue development and regeneration), and an expression of stress-related proteins - HSPs. In conclusion, regeneration of lens and other eye tissues in the newt is sensitive to, and regulated by the level of gravity mechanotransduction and developmental signaling pathways, with microgravity favoring stem cell progenitor proliferation, and gravity at 1g promoting terminal differentiation, while hypergravity at 2g often causes damage of delicate regenerating tissues.

  16. Chronic L-deprenyl treatment alters brain monoamine levels and reduces impulsiveness in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    PubMed

    Boix, F; Qiao, S W; Kolpus, T; Sagvolden, T

    1998-07-01

    Effects of chronic L-deprenyl administration on hyperactive behaviour and brain monoamine levels were studied in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. SHR were hyperactive, impulsive and had impaired sustained attention when tested with a multiple 2-min fixed interval (FI) 5-min extinction (EXT) schedule of reinforcement. Even low, 0.25 mg/kg, doses of chronically-administered L-deprenyl reduced the impulsiveness (bursts of responses with short interresponse times) of SHR, without altering the general hyperactivity or the impaired sustained attention. The drug had no effect on WKY behaviour. The levels of noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and their metabolites, measured in neostriatum, nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex, showed that L-deprenyl effectively inhibited monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity. These results suggest that impulsiveness is a behavioural component that may be operating independent of the other components, like hyperactivity and deficient sustained attention, and that can be reduced by chronic MAO-B inhibition with L-deprenyl in this strain of rats. The positive effect of L-deprenyl on impulsiveness is discussed as due either to normalization of an asymmetric dopaminergic activity in the nucleus accumbens, or to a restoration of normal DA function in the prefrontal cortex. PMID:9708846

  17. Malate-aspartate shuttle inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid leads to decreased intracellular ATP levels and altered cell cycle of C6 glioma cells by inhibiting glycolysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Caixia; Chen, Heyu; Zhang, Mingchao; Zhang, Jie; Wei, Xunbin; Ying, Weihai

    2016-08-01

    NADH shuttles, including malate-aspartate shuttle (MAS) and glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle, can shuttle the reducing equivalents of cytosolic NADH into mitochondria. It is widely accepted that the major function of NADH shuttles is to increase mitochondrial energy production. Our study tested the hypothesis that the novel major function of NADH shuttles in cancer cells is to maintain glycolysis by decreasing cytosolic NADH/NAD(+) ratios. We found that AOAA, a widely used MAS inhibitor, led to decreased intracellular ATP levels, altered cell cycle and increased apoptosis and necrosis of C6 glioma cells, without affecting the survival of primary astrocyte cultures. AOAA also decreased the glycolytic rate and the levels of extracellular lactate and pyruvate, without affecting the mitochondrial membrane potential of C6 cells. Moreover, the toxic effects of AOAA were completely prevented by pyruvate treatment. Collectively, our study has suggested that AOAA may be used to selectively decrease glioma cell survival, and the major function of MAS in cancer cells may be profoundly different from its major function in normal cells: The major function of MAS in cancer cells is to maintain glycolysis, instead of increasing mitochondrial energy metabolism. PMID:27157912

  18. Altered levels of LIL3 isoforms in Arabidopsis lead to disturbed pigment-protein assembly and chlorophyll synthesis, chlorotic phenotype and impaired photosynthetic performance.

    PubMed

    Lohscheider, Jens N; Rojas-Stütz, Marc C; Rothbart, Maxi; Andersson, Ulrica; Funck, Dietmar; Mendgen, Kurt; Grimm, Bernhard; Adamska, Iwona

    2015-10-01

    Light-harvesting complex (LHC)-like (LIL) proteins contain two transmembrane helices of which the first bears a chlorophyll (Chl)-binding motif. They are widespread in photosynthetic organisms, but almost nothing is known about their expression and physiological functions. We show that two LIL3 paralogues (LIL3:1 and LIL3:2) in Arabidopsis thaliana are expressed in photosynthetically active tissues and their expression is differentially influenced by light stress. Localization studies demonstrate that both isoforms are associated with subcomplexes of LHC antenna of photosystem II. Transgenic plants with reduced amounts of LIL3:1 exhibited a slightly impaired growth and have reduced Chl and carotenoid contents as compared to wild-type plants. Ectopic overexpression of either paralogue led to a developmentally regulated switch to co-suppression of both LIL3 isoforms, resulting in a circular chlorosis of the leaf rosettes. Chlorotic sectors show severely diminished levels of LIL3 isoforms and other proteins, and thylakoid morphology was changed. Additionally, the levels of enzymes involved in Chl biosynthesis are altered in lil3 mutant plants. Our data support a role of LIL3 paralogues in the regulation of Chl biosynthesis under light stress and under standard growth conditions as well as in a coordinated ligation of newly synthesized and/or rescued Chl molecules to their target apoproteins. PMID:25808681

  19. Induction of Embryogenesis in Brassica Napus Microspores Produces a Callosic Subintinal Layer and Abnormal Cell Walls with Altered Levels of Callose and Cellulose

    PubMed Central

    Parra-Vega, Verónica; Corral-Martínez, Patricia; Rivas-Sendra, Alba; Seguí-Simarro, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    The induction of microspore embryogenesis produces dramatic changes in different aspects of the cell physiology and structure. Changes at the cell wall level are among the most intriguing and poorly understood. In this work, we used high pressure freezing and freeze substitution, immunolocalization, confocal, and electron microscopy to analyze the structure and composition of the first cell walls formed during conventional Brassica napus microspore embryogenesis, and in cultures treated to alter the intracellular Ca2+ levels. Our results revealed that one of the first signs of embryogenic commitment is the formation of a callose-rich, cellulose-deficient layer beneath the intine (the subintinal layer), and of irregular, incomplete cell walls. In these events, Ca2+ may have a role. We propose that abnormal cell walls are due to a massive callose synthesis and deposition of excreted cytoplasmic material, and the parallel inhibition of cellulose synthesis. These features were absent in pollen-like structures and in microspore-derived embryos, few days after the end of the heat shock, where abnormal cell walls were no longer produced. Together, our results provide an explanation to a series of relevant aspects of microspore embryogenesis including the role of Ca2+ and the occurrence of abnormal cell walls. In addition, our discovery may be the explanation to why nuclear fusions take place during microspore embryogenesis. PMID:26635844

  20. Evolution & Phylogenetic Analysis: Classroom Activities for Investigating Molecular & Morphological Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Wilfred A.

    2010-01-01

    In a flexible multisession laboratory, students investigate concepts of phylogenetic analysis at both the molecular and the morphological level. Students finish by conducting their own analysis on a collection of skeletons representing the major phyla of vertebrates, a collection of primate skulls, or a collection of hominid skulls.

  1. Towards an integrated phylogenetic classification of the Tremellomycetes.

    PubMed

    Liu, X-Z; Wang, Q-M; Göker, M; Groenewald, M; Kachalkin, A V; Lumbsch, H T; Millanes, A M; Wedin, M; Yurkov, A M; Boekhout, T; Bai, F-Y

    2015-06-01

    Families and genera assigned to Tremellomycetes have been mainly circumscribed by morphology and for the yeasts also by biochemical and physiological characteristics. This phenotype-based classification is largely in conflict with molecular phylogenetic analyses. Here a phylogenetic classification framework for the Tremellomycetes is proposed based on the results of phylogenetic analyses from a seven-genes dataset covering the majority of tremellomycetous yeasts and closely related filamentous taxa. Circumscriptions of the taxonomic units at the order, family and genus levels recognised were quantitatively assessed using the phylogenetic rank boundary optimisation (PRBO) and modified general mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) tests. In addition, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis on an expanded LSU rRNA (D1/D2 domains) gene sequence dataset covering as many as available teleomorphic and filamentous taxa within Tremellomycetes was performed to investigate the relationships between yeasts and filamentous taxa and to examine the stability of undersampled clades. Based on the results inferred from molecular data and morphological and physiochemical features, we propose an updated classification for the Tremellomycetes. We accept five orders, 17 families and 54 genera, including seven new families and 18 new genera. In addition, seven families and 17 genera are emended and one new species name and 185 new combinations are proposed. We propose to use the term pro tempore or pro tem. in abbreviation to indicate the species names that are temporarily maintained. PMID:26955199

  2. Towards an integrated phylogenetic classification of the Tremellomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, X.-Z.; Wang, Q.-M.; Göker, M.; Groenewald, M.; Kachalkin, A.V.; Lumbsch, H.T.; Millanes, A.M.; Wedin, M.; Yurkov, A.M.; Boekhout, T.; Bai, F.-Y.

    2016-01-01

    Families and genera assigned to Tremellomycetes have been mainly circumscribed by morphology and for the yeasts also by biochemical and physiological characteristics. This phenotype-based classification is largely in conflict with molecular phylogenetic analyses. Here a phylogenetic classification framework for the Tremellomycetes is proposed based on the results of phylogenetic analyses from a seven-genes dataset covering the majority of tremellomycetous yeasts and closely related filamentous taxa. Circumscriptions of the taxonomic units at the order, family and genus levels recognised were quantitatively assessed using the phylogenetic rank boundary optimisation (PRBO) and modified general mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) tests. In addition, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis on an expanded LSU rRNA (D1/D2 domains) gene sequence dataset covering as many as available teleomorphic and filamentous taxa within Tremellomycetes was performed to investigate the relationships between yeasts and filamentous taxa and to examine the stability of undersampled clades. Based on the results inferred from molecular data and morphological and physiochemical features, we propose an updated classification for the Tremellomycetes. We accept five orders, 17 families and 54 genera, including seven new families and 18 new genera. In addition, seven families and 17 genera are emended and one new species name and 185 new combinations are proposed. We propose to use the term pro tempore or pro tem. in abbreviation to indicate the species names that are temporarily maintained. PMID:26955199

  3. Opposing phylogenetic diversity gradients of plant and soil bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Goberna, Marta; Navarro-Cano, Jose A; Verdú, Miguel

    2016-02-24

    Plants and soil microbes show parallel patterns of species-level diversity. Diverse plant communities release a wider range of organics that are consumed by more microbial species. We speculated, however, that diversity metrics accounting for the evolutionary distance across community members would reveal opposing patterns between plant and soil bacterial phylogenetic diversity. Plant phylogenetic diversity enhances plant productivity and thus expectedly soil fertility. This, in turn, might reduce bacterial phylogenetic diversity by favouring one (or a few) competitive bacterial clade. We collected topsoils in 15 semi-arid plant patches and adjacent low-cover areas configuring a plant phylodiversity gradient, pyrosequenced the 16S rRNA gene to identify bacterial taxa and analysed soil fertility parameters. Structural equation modelling showed positive effects of both plant richness and phylogenetic diversity on soil fertility. Fertility increased bacterial richness but reduced bacterial phylogenetic diversity. This might be attributed to the competitive dominance of a lineage based on its high relative fitness. This suggests biotic interactions as determinants of the soil bacterial community assembly, while emphasizing the need to use phylogeny-informed metrics to tease apart the processes underlying the patterns of diversity. PMID:26888037

  4. Early bi-parental separation or neonatal paternal deprivation in mandarin voles reduces adult offspring paternal behavior and alters serum corticosterone levels and neurochemistry.

    PubMed

    Yu, Peng; Zhang, Hui; Li, Xibo; He, Fengqin; Tai, Fadao

    2015-07-01

    Although the effect of early social environments on maternal care in adulthood has been examined in detail, few studies have addressed the long-term effect on paternal care and its underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms. Here, using monogamous mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus) that show high levels of paternal care, the effects of early bi-parental separation (EBPS) or neonatal paternal deprivation (NPD) on adult paternal behavior, serum corticosterone levels, and receptor mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and medial preoptic area (MPOA) were investigated. Compared to the parental care group (PC), we found that EBPS reduced crouching behavior and increased inactivity, self-grooming, and serum corticosterone levels in adult offspring; and NPD significantly reduced retrieval behavior and increased self-grooming behavior of offspring at adulthood. EBPS displayed more dopamine type I receptor (D1R) mRNA expression in the NAcc, but less oxytocin receptor (OTR) mRNA expression than PC in the MPOA. Both EBPS and NPD exhibited more mRNA expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) than PC in the MPOA. In the EBPS group, increased serum corticosterone concentration was closely associated with reduced crouching behavior, and reduced expression of OTR was closely associated with altered crouching behavior and increased D1R expression. Our results provide substantial evidence that EBPS or NPD has long-term consequences and reduces paternal behavior in adult animals. Importantly the oxytocin system in the MPOA might interact with NAcc dopamine systems to regulate paternal behavior and EBPS may affect interactions between the MPOA and NAcc. PMID:26012712

  5. Expression of gibberellin 20-oxidase1 (AtGA20ox1) in Arabidopsis seedlings with altered auxin status is regulated at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Desgagné-Penix, Isabel; Sponsel, Valerie M

    2008-01-01

    Bioactive gibberellins (GAs) affect many biological processes including germination, stem growth, transition to flowering, and fruit development. The location, timing, and level of bioactive GA are finely tuned to ensure that optimal growth and development occur. The balance between GA biosynthesis and deactivation is controlled by external factors such as light and by internal factors that include auxin. The role of auxin transport inhibitors (ATIs) and auxins on GA homeostasis in intact light-grown Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. seedlings was investigated. Two ATIs, 1-N-naphthylthalamic acid (NPA) and 1-naphthoxyacetic acid (NOA) caused elevated expression of the GA biosynthetic enzyme AtGA20-oxidase1 (AtGA20ox1) in shoot but not in root tissues, and only at certain developmental stages. It was investigated whether enhanced AtGA20ox1 gene expression was a consequence of altered flow through the GA biosynthetic pathway, or was due to impaired GA signalling that can lead to enhanced AtGA20ox1 expression and accumulation of a DELLA protein, Repressor of ga1-3 (RGA). Both ATIs promoted accumulation of GFP-fused RGA in shoots and roots, and this increase was counteracted by the application of GA(4). These results suggest that in ATI-treated seedlings the impediment to DELLA protein degradation may be a deficiency of bioactive GA at sites of GA response. It is proposed that the four different levels of AtGA20ox1 regulation observed here are imposed in a strict hierarchy: spatial (organ-, tissue-, cell-specific) > developmental > metabolic > auxin regulation. Thus results show that, in intact auxin- and auxin transport inhibitor-treated light-grown Arabidopsis seedlings, three other levels of regulation supersede the effects of auxin on AtGA20ox1. PMID:18440929

  6. Expression of gibberellin 20-oxidase1 (AtGA20ox1) in Arabidopsis seedlings with altered auxin status is regulated at multiple levels

    PubMed Central

    Desgagné-Penix, Isabel; Sponsel, Valerie M.

    2008-01-01

    Bioactive gibberellins (GAs) affect many biological processes including germination, stem growth, transition to flowering, and fruit development. The location, timing, and level of bioactive GA are finely tuned to ensure that optimal growth and development occur. The balance between GA biosynthesis and deactivation is controlled by external factors such as light and by internal factors that include auxin. The role of auxin transport inhibitors (ATIs) and auxins on GA homeostasis in intact light-grown Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. seedlings was investigated. Two ATIs, 1-N-naphthylthalamic acid (NPA) and 1-naphthoxyacetic acid (NOA) caused elevated expression of the GA biosynthetic enzyme AtGA20-oxidase1 (AtGA20ox1) in shoot but not in root tissues, and only at certain developmental stages. It was investigated whether enhanced AtGA20ox1 gene expression was a consequence of altered flow through the GA biosynthetic pathway, or was due to impaired GA signalling that can lead to enhanced AtGA20ox1 expression and accumulation of a DELLA protein, Repressor of ga1-3 (RGA). Both ATIs promoted accumulation of GFP-fused RGA in shoots and roots, and this increase was counteracted by the application of GA4. These results suggest that in ATI-treated seedlings the impediment to DELLA protein degradation may be a deficiency of bioactive GA at sites of GA response. It is proposed that the four different levels of AtGA20ox1 regulation observed here are imposed in a strict hierarchy: spatial (organ-, tissue-, cell-specific) > developmental > metabolic > auxin regulation. Thus results show that, in intact auxin- and auxin transport inhibitor-treated light-grown Arabidopsis seedlings, three other levels of regulation supersede the effects of auxin on AtGA20ox1. PMID:18440929

  7. Chronic exposure to low levels of inorganic arsenic causes alterations in locomotor activity and in the expression of dopaminergic and antioxidant systems in the albino rat.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Verónica Mireya; Limón-Pacheco, Jorge Humberto; Carrizales, Leticia; Mendoza-Trejo, María Soledad; Giordano, Magda

    2010-01-01

    Several studies have associated chronic arsenicism with decreases in IQ and sensory and motor alterations in humans. Likewise, studies of rodents exposed to inorganic arsenic ((i)As) have found changes in locomotor activity, brain neurochemistry, behavioral tasks, oxidative stress, and in sensory and motor nerves. In the current study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of (i)As (0.05, 0.5 mg (i)As/L) and to a high dose (50 mg (i)As/L) in drinking water for one year. Hypoactivity and increases in the striatal dopamine content were found in the group treated with 50 mg (i)As/L. Exposure to 0.5 and 50 mg (i)As/L increased the total brain content of As. Furthermore, (i)As exposure produced a dose-dependent up-regulation of mRNA for Mn-SOD and Trx-1 and a down-regulation of DAR-D₂ mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens. DAR-D₁ and Nrf2 mRNA expression were down-regulated in nucleus accumbens in the group exposed to 50 mg (i)As/L. Trx-1 mRNA levels were up-regulated in the cortex in an (i)As dose-dependent manner, while DAR-D₁ mRNA expression was increased in striatum in the 0.5 mg (i)As/L group. These results show that chronic exposure to low levels of arsenic causes subtle but region-specific changes in the nervous system, especially in antioxidant systems and dopaminergic elements. These changes became behaviorally evident only in the group exposed to 50 mg (i)As/L. PMID:20699118

  8. Phylogenetic Analysis of Poliovirus Sequences.

    PubMed

    Jorba, Jaume

    2016-01-01

    Comparative genomic sequencing is a major surveillance tool in the Polio Laboratory Network. Due to the rapid evolution of polioviruses (~1 % per year), pathways of virus transmission can be reconstructed from the pathways of genomic evolution. Here, we describe three main phylogenetic methods; estimation of genetic distances, reconstruction of a maximum-likelihood (ML) tree, and estimation of substitution rates using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). The data set used consists of complete capsid sequences from a survey of poliovirus sequences available in GenBank. PMID:26983737

  9. Phylogenetic placement of the Spirosomaceae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.; Maloy, S.; Mandelco, L.; Raj, H. D.

    1990-01-01

    Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA sequences shows that the family Spirosomaceae belongs within the eubacterial phylum defined by the flavobacteria and bacteriodes. Its constituent genera, Spirosoma, Flectobacillus, and Runella form a monophyletic grouping therein. The phylogenetic assignment is based not only upon evolutionary distance analysis, but also upon sequence signatures and higher order structural synapomorphies in 16S rRNA. Another genus peripherally associated with the Spirosomaceae, Ancylobacter ("Microcyclus"), does not cluster with the flavobacteria and their relatives, but rather belongs to the alpha subdivision of the purple bacteria.

  10. A deliberate practice approach to teaching phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, F Collin; Johnson, Daniel J; Kearns, Katherine D

    2013-01-01

    One goal of postsecondary education is to assist students in developing expert-level understanding. Previous attempts to encourage expert-level understanding of phylogenetic analysis in college science classrooms have largely focused on isolated, or "one-shot," in-class activities. Using a deliberate practice instructional approach, we designed a set of five assignments for a 300-level plant systematics course that incrementally introduces the concepts and skills used in phylogenetic analysis. In our assignments, students learned the process of constructing phylogenetic trees through a series of increasingly difficult tasks; thus, skill development served as a framework for building content knowledge. We present results from 5 yr of final exam scores, pre- and postconcept assessments, and student surveys to assess the impact of our new pedagogical materials on student performance related to constructing and interpreting phylogenetic trees. Students improved in their ability to interpret relationships within trees and improved in several aspects related to between-tree comparisons and tree construction skills. Student feedback indicated that most students believed our approach prepared them to engage in tree construction and gave them confidence in their abilities. Overall, our data confirm that instructional approaches implementing deliberate practice address student misconceptions, improve student experiences, and foster deeper understanding of difficult scientific concepts. PMID:24297294

  11. A Deliberate Practice Approach to Teaching Phylogenetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hobbs, F. Collin; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kearns, Katherine D.

    2013-01-01

    One goal of postsecondary education is to assist students in developing expert-level understanding. Previous attempts to encourage expert-level understanding of phylogenetic analysis in college science classrooms have largely focused on isolated, or “one-shot,” in-class activities. Using a deliberate practice instructional approach, we designed a set of five assignments for a 300-level plant systematics course that incrementally introduces the concepts and skills used in phylogenetic analysis. In our assignments, students learned the process of constructing phylogenetic trees through a series of increasingly difficult tasks; thus, skill development served as a framework for building content knowledge. We present results from 5 yr of final exam scores, pre- and postconcept assessments, and student surveys to assess the impact of our new pedagogical materials on student performance related to constructing and interpreting phylogenetic trees. Students improved in their ability to interpret relationships within trees and improved in several aspects related to between-tree comparisons and tree construction skills. Student feedback indicated that most students believed our approach prepared them to engage in tree construction and gave them confidence in their abilities. Overall, our data confirm that instructional approaches implementing deliberate practice address student misconceptions, improve student experiences, and foster deeper understanding of difficult scientific concepts. PMID:24297294

  12. Multipolar consensus for phylogenetic trees.

    PubMed

    Bonnard, Cécile; Berry, Vincent; Lartillot, Nicolas

    2006-10-01

    Collections of phylogenetic trees are usually summarized using consensus methods. These methods build a single tree, supposed to be representative of the collection. However, in the case of heterogeneous collections of trees, the resulting consensus may be poorly resolved (strict consensus, majority-rule consensus, ...), or may perform arbitrary choices among mutually incompatible clades, or splits (greedy consensus). Here, we propose an alternative method, which we call the multipolar consensus (MPC). Its aim is to display all the splits having a support above a predefined threshold, in a minimum number of consensus trees, or poles. We show that the problem is equivalent to a graph-coloring problem, and propose an implementation of the method. Finally, we apply the MPC to real data sets. Our results indicate that, typically, all the splits down to a weight of 10% can be displayed in no more than 4 trees. In addition, in some cases, biologically relevant secondary signals, which would not have been present in any of the classical consensus trees, are indeed captured by our method, indicating that the MPC provides a convenient exploratory method for phylogenetic analysis. The method was implemented in a package freely available at http://www.lirmm.fr/~cbonnard/MPC.html PMID:17060203

  13. Phylogenetic Origins of Brain Organisers

    PubMed Central

    Robertshaw, Ellen; Kiecker, Clemens

    2012-01-01

    The regionalisation of the nervous system begins early in embryogenesis, concomitant with the establishment of the anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) body axes. The molecular mechanisms that drive axis induction appear to be conserved throughout the animal kingdom and may be phylogenetically older than the emergence of bilateral symmetry. As a result of this process, groups of patterning genes that are equally well conserved are expressed at specific AP and DV coordinates of the embryo. In the emerging nervous system of vertebrate embryos, this initial pattern is refined by local signalling centres, secondary organisers, that regulate patterning, proliferation, and axonal pathfinding in adjacent neuroepithelium. The main secondary organisers for the AP neuraxis are the midbrain-hindbrain boundary, zona limitans intrathalamica, and anterior neural ridge and for the DV neuraxis the notochord, floor plate, and roof plate. A search for homologous secondary organisers in nonvertebrate lineages has led to controversy over their phylogenetic origins. Based on a recent study in hemichordates, it has been suggested that the AP secondary organisers evolved at the base of the deuterostome superphylum, earlier than previously thought. According to this view, the lack of signalling centres in some deuterostome lineages is likely to reflect a secondary loss due to adaptive processes. We propose that the relative evolutionary flexibility of secondary organisers has contributed to a broader morphological complexity of nervous systems in different clades. PMID:24278699

  14. Phylogenetic Conservatism in Plant Phenology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davies, T. Jonathan; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Salamin, Nicolas; Allen, Jenica M.; Ault, Toby R.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Bolmgren, Kjell; Cleland, Elsa E.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Crimmins, Theresa M.; Mazer, Susan J.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Pau, Stephanie; Regetz, Jim; Schwartz, Mark D.; Travers, Steven E.

    2013-01-01

    Phenological events defined points in the life cycle of a plant or animal have been regarded as highly plastic traits, reflecting flexible responses to various environmental cues. The ability of a species to track, via shifts in phenological events, the abiotic environment through time might dictate its vulnerability to future climate change. Understanding the predictors and drivers of phenological change is therefore critical. Here, we evaluated evidence for phylogenetic conservatism the tendency for closely related species to share similar ecological and biological attributes in phenological traits across flowering plants. We aggregated published and unpublished data on timing of first flower and first leaf, encompassing 4000 species at 23 sites across the Northern Hemisphere. We reconstructed the phylogeny for the set of included species, first, using the software program Phylomatic, and second, from DNA data. We then quantified phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology within and across sites. We show that more closely related species tend to flower and leaf at similar times. By contrasting mean flowering times within and across sites, however, we illustrate that it is not the time of year that is conserved, but rather the phenological responses to a common set of abiotic cues. Our findings suggest that species cannot be treated as statistically independent when modelling phenological responses.Closely related species tend to resemble each other in the timing of their life-history events, a likely product of evolutionarily conserved responses to environmental cues. The search for the underlying drivers of phenology must therefore account for species' shared evolutionary histories.

  15. A phylogenetically informed delineation of floristic regions within a biodiversity hotspot in Yunnan, China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Rong; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Yang, Jie; Wang, Yuhua

    2015-01-01

    Traditional attempts to delineate floristic regions typically focus on species distributions, often ignoring the rich context that phylogenetic relationships can provide. In this study, we explore how phylogenetic relatedness, taxonomic composition, and regional phylogenetic structure change across a global biodiversity hotspot region, Yunnan, located in southwestern China. We propose a system of floristic regions within Yunnan by combining data on the distributions and phylogenetic relationships of 1,983 genera of native seed plants. We identified eight distinct floristic regions in Yunnan, which were grouped into two larger northern and southern geographical units. Phylogenetic relatedness was well correlated with taxonomic composition between floras in Yunnan. Across the Yunnan region we examined, the central Yunnan region shows the lowest level of spatial turnover in phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic composition of the floristic assemblages. Using null model analyses, we found evidence of nonrandom phylogenetic structure across the region, in which four areas show higher phylogenetic turnover than expected given the underlying taxonomic composition between sites. Our results show that the integration of phylogenetic information can provide valuable insight in floristic assessments, and help us to better understand the structure of a global biodiversity hotspot. PMID:25820037

  16. Seed plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness in conservation planning within a global biodiversity hotspot in eastern Asia.

    PubMed

    Li, Rong; Kraft, Nathan J B; Yu, Haiying; Li, Heng

    2015-12-01

    One of the main goals of conservation biology is to understand the factors shaping variation in biodiversity across the planet. This understanding is critical for conservation planners to be able to develop effective conservation strategies. Although many studies have focused on species richness and the protection of rare and endemic species, less attention has been paid to the protection of the phylogenetic dimension of biodiversity. We explored how phylogenetic diversity, species richness, and phylogenetic community structure vary in seed plant communities along an elevational gradient in a relatively understudied high mountain region, the Dulong Valley, in southeastern Tibet, China. As expected, phylogenetic diversity was well correlated with species richness among the elevational bands and among communities. At the community level, evergreen broad-leaved forests had the highest levels of species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Using null model analyses, we found evidence of nonrandom phylogenetic structure across the region. Evergreen broad-leaved forests were phylogenetically overdispersed, whereas other vegetation types tended to be phylogenetically clustered. We suggest that communities with high species richness or overdispersed phylogenetic structure should be a focus for biodiversity conservation within the Dulong Valley because these areas may help maximize the potential of this flora to respond to future global change. In biodiversity hotspots worldwide, we suggest that the phylogenetic structure of a community may serve as a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity in the context of conservation planning. PMID:26371469

  17. Modulation of TGFbeta 2 levels by lamin A in U2-OS osteoblast-like cells: understanding the osteolytic process triggered by altered lamins

    PubMed Central

    Evangelisti, Camilla; Bernasconi, Pia; Cavalcante, Paola; Cappelletti, Cristina; D'Apice, Maria Rosaria; Sbraccia, Paolo; Novelli, Giuseppe; Prencipe, Sabino; Lemma, Silvia; Baldini, Nicola; Avnet, Sofia; Squarzoni, Stefano; Martelli, Alberto M.; Lattanzi, Giovanna

    2015-01-01

    Transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) plays an essential role in bone homeostasis and deregulation of TGFbeta occurs in bone pathologies. Patients affected by Mandibuloacral Dysplasia (MADA), a progeroid disease linked to LMNA mutations, suffer from an osteolytic process. Our previous work showed that MADA osteoblasts secrete excess amount of TGFbeta 2, which in turn elicits differentiation of human blood precursors into osteoclasts. Here, we sought to determine how altered lamin A affects TGFbeta signaling. Our results show that wild-type lamin A negatively modulates TGFbeta 2 levels in osteoblast-like U2-OS cells, while the R527H mutated prelamin A as well as farnesylated prelamin A do not, ultimately leading to increased secretion of TGFbeta 2. TGFbeta 2 in turn, triggers the Akt/mTOR pathway and upregulates osteoprotegerin and cathepsin K. TGFbeta 2 neutralization rescues Akt/mTOR activation and the downstream transcriptional effects, an effect also obtained by statins or RAD001 treatment. Our results unravel an unexpected role of lamin A in TGFbeta 2 regulation and indicate rapamycin analogs and neutralizing antibodies to TGFbeta 2 as new potential therapeutic tools for MADA. PMID:25823658

  18. Transcription levels of CHS5 and CHS4 genes in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis mycelial phase, respond to alterations in external osmolarity, oxidative stress and glucose concentration.

    PubMed

    Niño-Vega, Gustavo A; Sorais, Françoise; San-Blas, Gioconda

    2009-10-01

    The complete sequence of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis CHS5 gene, encoding a putative chitin synthase revealed a 5583nt open reading frame, interrupted by three introns of 82, 87 and 97bp (GenBank Accession No EF654132). The deduced protein contains 1861 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 206.9kDa. Both its large size and the presence of a N-terminal region of approx. 800 residues with a characteristic putative myosin motor-like domain, allow us to include PbrChs5 into class V fungal chitin synthases. Sequence analysis of over 4kb from the 5' UTR region in CHS5, revealed the presence of a previously reported CHS4 gene in P. brasiliensis, arranged in a head-to-head configuration with CHS5. A motif search in this shared region showed the presence of stress response elements (STREs), three binding sites for the transcription activators Rlm1p (known to be stimulated by hypo-osmotic stress) and clusters of Adr1 (related to glucose repression). A quantitative RT-PCR analysis pointed to changes in transcription levels for both genes following oxidative stress, alteration of external osmolarity and under glucose-repressible conditions, suggesting a common regulatory mechanism of transcription. PMID:19616626

  19. Phylogenetic stratigraphy in the Guerrero Negro hypersaline microbial mat

    PubMed Central

    Kirk Harris, J; Gregory Caporaso, J; Walker, Jeffrey J; Spear, John R; Gold, Nicholas J; Robertson, Charles E; Hugenholtz, Philip; Goodrich, Julia; McDonald, Daniel; Knights, Dan; Marshall, Paul; Tufo, Henry; Knight, Rob; Pace, Norman R

    2013-01-01

    The microbial mats of Guerrero Negro (GN), Baja California Sur, Mexico historically were considered a simple environment, dominated by cyanobacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Culture-independent rRNA community profiling instead revealed these microbial mats as among the most phylogenetically diverse environments known. A preliminary molecular survey of the GN mat based on only ∼1500 small subunit rRNA gene sequences discovered several new phylum-level groups in the bacterial phylogenetic domain and many previously undetected lower-level taxa. We determined an additional ∼119 000 nearly full-length sequences and 28 000 >200 nucleotide 454 reads from a 10-layer depth profile of the GN mat. With this unprecedented coverage of long sequences from one environment, we confirm the mat is phylogenetically stratified, presumably corresponding to light and geochemical gradients throughout the depth of the mat. Previous shotgun metagenomic data from the same depth profile show the same stratified pattern and suggest that metagenome properties may be predictable from rRNA gene sequences. We verify previously identified novel lineages and identify new phylogenetic diversity at lower taxonomic levels, for example, thousands of operational taxonomic units at the family-genus levels differ considerably from known sequences. The new sequences populate parts of the bacterial phylogenetic tree that previously were poorly described, but indicate that any comprehensive survey of GN diversity has only begun. Finally, we show that taxonomic conclusions are generally congruent between Sanger and 454 sequencing technologies, with the taxonomic resolution achieved dependent on the abundance of reference sequences in the relevant region of the rRNA tree of life. PMID:22832344

  20. Dysregulation of hepatic cAMP levels via altered Pde4b expression plays a critical role in alcohol-induced steatosis.

    PubMed

    Avila, Diana V; Barker, David F; Zhang, JingWen; McClain, Craig J; Barve, Shirish; Gobejishvili, Leila

    2016-09-01

    Alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis is a significant risk factor for progressive liver disease. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signalling has been shown to significantly regulate lipid metabolism; however, the role of altered cAMP homeostasis in alcohol-mediated hepatic steatosis has never been studied. Our previous work demonstrated that increased expression of hepatic phosphodiesterase 4 (Pde4), which specifically hydrolyses and decreases cAMP levels, plays a pathogenic role in the development of liver inflammation/injury. The aim of this study was to examine the role of PDE4 in alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis. C57BL/6 wild-type and Pde4b knockout (Pde4b(-/-) ) mice were pair-fed control or ethanol liquid diets. One group of wild-type mice received rolipram, a PDE4-specific inhibitor, during alcohol feeding. We demonstrate for the first time that an early increase in PDE4 enzyme expression and a resultant decrease in hepatic cAMP levels are associated with the significant reduction in carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (Cpt1a) expression. Notably, alcohol-fed (AF) Pde4b(-/-) mice and AF wild-type mice treated with rolipram had significantly lower hepatic free fatty acid content compared with AF wild-type mice. Importantly, PDE4 inhibition in alcohol-fed mice prevented the decrease in hepatic Cpt1a expression via the Pparα/Sirt1/Pgc1α pathway. These results demonstrate that the alcohol- induced increase in hepatic Pde4, specifically Pde4b expression, and compromised cAMP signalling predispose the liver to impaired fatty acid oxidation and the development of steatosis. Moreover, these data also suggest that hepatic PDE4 may be a clinically relevant therapeutic target for the treatment of alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27287961

  1. Alteration at translational but not transcriptional level of transferrin receptor expression following manganese exposure at the blood-CSF barrier in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Li, G. Jane; Zhao Qiuqu; Zheng Wei . E-mail: wzheng@purdue.edu

    2005-06-01

    Manganese exposure alters iron homeostasis in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), possibly by acting on iron transport mechanisms localized at the blood-brain barrier and/or blood-CSF barrier. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that manganese exposure may change the binding affinity of iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) to mRNAs encoding transferrin receptor (TfR), thereby influencing iron transport at the blood-CSF barrier. A primary culture of choroidal epithelial cells was adapted to grow on a permeable membrane sandwiched between two culture chambers to mimic blood-CSF barrier. Trace {sup 59}Fe was used to determine the transepithelial transport of iron. Following manganese treatment (100 {mu}M for 24 h), the initial flux rate constant (K {sub i}) of iron was increased by 34%, whereas the storage of iron in cells was reduced by 58%, as compared to controls. A gel shift assay demonstrated that manganese exposure increased the binding of IRP1 and IRP2 to the stem loop-containing mRNAs. Consequently, the cellular concentrations of TfR proteins were increased by 84% in comparison to controls. Assays utilizing RT-PCR, quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR, and nuclear run off techniques showed that manganese treatment did not affect the level of heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA) encoding TfR, nor did it affect the level of nascent TfR mRNA. However, manganese exposure resulted in a significantly increased level of TfR mRNA and reduced levels of ferritin mRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that manganese exposure increases iron transport at the blood-CSF barrier; the effect is likely due to manganese action on translational events relevant to the production of TfR, but not due to its action on transcriptional, gene expression of TfR. The disrupted protein-TfR mRNA interaction in the choroidal epithelial cells may explain the toxicity of manganese at the blood-CSF barrier.

  2. Prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) null mice have increased mu opioid receptor levels accompanied by altered morphine-induced antinociception, tolerance and dependence.

    PubMed

    Lutfy, K; Parikh, D; Lee, D L; Liu, Y; Ferrini, M G; Hamid, A; Friedman, T C

    2016-08-01

    Chronic morphine treatment increases the levels of prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) in brain regions involved in nociception, tolerance and dependence. Thus, we tested if PC2 null mice exhibit altered morphine-induced antinociception, tolerance and dependence. PC2 null mice and their wild-type controls were tested for baseline hot plate latency, injected with morphine (1.25-10mg/kg) and tested for antinociception 30min later. For tolerance studies, mice were tested in the hot plate test before and 30min following morphine (5mg/kg) on day 1. Mice then received an additional dose so that the final dose of morphine was 10mg/kg on this day. On days 2-4, mice received additional doses of morphine (20, 40 and 80mg/kg on days 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively). On day 5, mice were tested in the hot plate test before and 30min following morphine (5mg/kg). For withdrawal studies, mice were treated with the escalating doses of morphine (10, 20, 40 and 80mg/kg) for 4days, implanted with a morphine pellet on day 5 and 3 days later injected with naloxone (1mg/kg) and signs of withdrawal were recorded. Morphine dose-dependently induced antinociception and the magnitude of this response was greater in PC2 null mice. Tolerance to morphine was observed in wild-type mice and this phenomenon was blunted in PC2 null mice. Withdrawal signs were also reduced in PC2 null mice. Immunohistochemical studies showed up-regulation of the mu opioid receptor (MOP) protein expression in the periaqueductal gray area, ventral tegmental area, lateral hypothalamus, medial hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, and somatosensory cortex in PC2 null mice. Likewise, naloxone specific binding was increased in the brains of these mice compared to their wild-type controls. The results suggest that the PC2-derived peptides may play a functional role in morphine-induced antinociception, tolerance and dependence. Alternatively, lack of opioid peptides led to up-regulation of the MOP and altered morphine

  3. Phylogenetic signal in diatom ecology: perspectives for aquatic ecosystems biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Keck, François; Rimet, Frédéric; Franc, Alain; Bouchez, Agnés

    2016-04-01

    Diatoms include a great diversity of taxa and are recognized as powerful bioindicators in rivers. However using diatoms for monitoring programs is costly and time consuming because most of the methodologies necessitate species-level identification. This raises the question of the optimal trade-off between taxonomic resolution and bioassessment quality. Phylogenetic tools may form the bases of new, more efficient approaches for biomonitoring if relationships between ecology and phylogeny can be demonstrated. We estimated the ecological optima of 127 diatom species for 19 environmental parameters using count data from 2119 diatom communities sampled during eight years in eastern France. Using uni- and multivariate analyses, we explored the relationships between freshwater diatom phylogeny and ecology (i.e., the phylogenetic signal). We found a significant phylogenetic signal for many of the ecological optima that were tested, but the strength of the signal varied significantly from one trait to another. Multivariate analysis also showed that the multidimensional ecological niche of diatoms can be strongly related to phylogeny. The presence of clades containing species that exhibit homogeneous ecology suggests that phylogenetic information can be useful for aquatic biomonitoring. This study highlights the presence of significant patterns of ecological optima for freshwater diatoms in relation to their phylogeny. These results suggest the presence of a signal above the species level, which is encouraging for the development of simplified methods for biomonitoring survey. PMID:27411256

  4. Phylogenetic signal, feeding behaviour and brain volume in Neotropical bats.

    PubMed

    Rojas, D; Mancina, C A; Flores-Martínez, J J; Navarro, L

    2013-09-01

    Comparative correlational studies of brain size and ecological traits (e.g. feeding habits and habitat complexity) have increased our knowledge about the selective pressures on brain evolution. Studies conducted in bats as a model system assume that shared evolutionary history has a maximum effect on the traits. However, this effect has not been quantified. In addition, the effect of levels of diet specialization on brain size remains unclear. We examined the role of diet on the evolution of brain size in Mormoopidae and Phyllostomidae using two comparative methods. Body mass explained 89% of the variance in brain volume. The effect of feeding behaviour (either characterized as feeding habits, as levels of specialization on a type of item or as handling behaviour) on brain volume was also significant albeit not consistent after controlling for body mass and the strength of the phylogenetic signal (λ). Although the strength of the phylogenetic signal of brain volume and body mass was high when tested individually, λ values in phylogenetic generalized least squares models were significantly different from 1. This suggests that phylogenetic independent contrasts models are not always the best approach for the study of ecological correlates of brain size in New World bats. PMID:23944375

  5. Phylogenetic analysis of the spirochetes.

    PubMed Central

    Paster, B J; Dewhirst, F E; Weisburg, W G; Tordoff, L A; Fraser, G J; Hespell, R B; Stanton, T B; Zablen, L; Mandelco, L; Woese, C R

    1991-01-01

    The 16S rRNA sequences were determined for species of Spirochaeta, Treponema, Borrelia, Leptospira, Leptonema, and Serpula, using a modified Sanger method of direct RNA sequencing. Analysis of aligned 16S rRNA sequences indicated that the spirochetes form a coherent taxon composed of six major clusters or groups. The first group, termed the treponemes, was divided into two subgroups. The first treponeme subgroup consisted of Treponema pallidum, Treponema phagedenis, Treponema denticola, a thermophilic spirochete strain, and two species of Spirochaeta, Spirochaeta zuelzerae and Spirochaeta stenostrepta, with an average interspecies similarity of 89.9%. The second treponeme subgroup contained Treponema bryantii, Treponema pectinovorum, Treponema saccharophilum, Treponema succinifaciens, and rumen strain CA, with an average interspecies similarity of 86.2%. The average interspecies similarity between the two treponeme subgroups was 84.2%. The division of the treponemes into two subgroups was verified by single-base signature analysis. The second spirochete group contained Spirochaeta aurantia, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirochaeta litoralis, and Spirochaeta isovalerica, with an average similarity of 87.4%. The Spirochaeta group was related to the treponeme group, with an average similarity of 81.9%. The third spirochete group contained borrelias, including Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia anserina, Borrelia hermsii, and a rabbit tick strain. The borrelias formed a tight phylogenetic cluster, with average similarity of 97%. THe borrelia group shared a common branch with the Spirochaeta group and was closer to this group than to the treponemes. A single spirochete strain isolated fromt the shew constituted the fourth group. The fifth group was composed of strains of Serpula (Treponema) hyodysenteriae and Serpula (Treponema) innocens. The two species of this group were closely related, with a similarity of greater than 99%. Leptonema illini

  6. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Ember M; Mau, Rebecca L; Schwartz, Egbert; Caporaso, J Gregory; Dijkstra, Paul; van Gestel, Natasja; Koch, Benjamin J; Liu, Cindy M; Hayer, Michaela; McHugh, Theresa A; Marks, Jane C; Price, Lance B; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-09-01

    Phylogeny is an ecologically meaningful way to classify plants and animals, as closely related taxa frequently have similar ecological characteristics, functional traits and effects on ecosystem processes. For bacteria, however, phylogeny has been argued to be an unreliable indicator of an organism's ecology owing to evolutionary processes more common to microbes such as gene loss and lateral gene transfer, as well as convergent evolution. Here we use advanced stable isotope probing with (13)C and (18)O to show that evolutionary history has ecological significance for in situ bacterial activity. Phylogenetic organization in the activity of bacteria sets the stage for characterizing the functional attributes of bacterial taxonomic groups. Connecting identity with function in this way will allow scientists to begin building a mechanistic understanding of how bacterial community composition regulates critical ecosystem functions. PMID:26943624

  7. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity

    PubMed Central

    Morrissey, Ember M; Mau, Rebecca L; Schwartz, Egbert; Caporaso, J Gregory; Dijkstra, Paul; van Gestel, Natasja; Koch, Benjamin J; Liu, Cindy M; Hayer, Michaela; McHugh, Theresa A; Marks, Jane C; Price, Lance B; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-01-01

    Phylogeny is an ecologically meaningful way to classify plants and animals, as closely related taxa frequently have similar ecological characteristics, functional traits and effects on ecosystem processes. For bacteria, however, phylogeny has been argued to be an unreliable indicator of an organism's ecology owing to evolutionary processes more common to microbes such as gene loss and lateral gene transfer, as well as convergent evolution. Here we use advanced stable isotope probing with 13C and 18O to show that evolutionary history has ecological significance for in situ bacterial activity. Phylogenetic organization in the activity of bacteria sets the stage for characterizing the functional attributes of bacterial taxonomic groups. Connecting identity with function in this way will allow scientists to begin building a mechanistic understanding of how bacterial community composition regulates critical ecosystem functions. PMID:26943624

  8. Changes in Air CO₂ Concentration Differentially Alter Transcript Levels of NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 Aquaporin Genes in Tobacco Leaves.

    PubMed

    Secchi, Francesca; Schubert, Andrea; Lovisolo, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    The aquaporin specific control on water versus carbon pathways in leaves is pivotal in controlling gas exchange and leaf hydraulics. We investigated whether Nicotiana tabacum aquaporin 1 (NtAQP1) and Nicotiana tabacum plasma membrane intrinsic protein 2;1 (NtPIP2;1) gene expression varies in tobacco leaves subjected to treatments with different CO₂ concentrations (ranging from 0 to 800 ppm), inducing changes in photosynthesis, stomatal regulation and water evaporation from the leaf. Changes in air CO₂ concentration ([CO₂]) affected net photosynthesis (Pn) and leaf substomatal [CO₂] (Ci). Pn was slightly negative at 0 ppm air CO₂; it was one-third that of ambient controls at 200 ppm, and not different from controls at 800 ppm. Leaves fed with 800 ppm [CO₂] showed one-third reduced stomatal conductance (gs) and transpiration (E), and their gs was in turn slightly lower than in 200 ppm- and in 0 ppm-treated leaves. The 800 ppm air [CO₂] strongly impaired both NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 gene expression, whereas 0 ppm air [CO₂], a concentration below any in vivo possible conditions and specifically chosen to maximize the gene expression alteration, increased only the NtAQP1 transcript level. We propose that NtAQP1 expression, an aquaporin devoted to CO₂ transport, positively responds to CO₂ scarcity in the air in the whole range 0-800 ppm. On the contrary, expression of NtPIP2;1, an aquaporin not devoted to CO₂ transport, is related to water balance in the leaf, and changes in parallel with gs. These observations fit in a model where upregulation of leaf aquaporins is activated at low Ci, while downregulation occurs when high Ci saturates photosynthesis and causes stomatal closure. PMID:27089333

  9. Prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol alters social behavior in adult rats: Relationship to structural plasticity and immediate early gene expression in frontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Derek A.; Akers, Katherine G.; Rice, James P.; Johnson, Travis E.; Candelaria-Cook, Felicha T.; Maes, Levi I.; Rosenberg, Martina; Valenzuela, C. Fernando; Savage, Daniel D.

    2009-01-01

    The goals of the present study were to characterize the effects of prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol on adult social behavior, and to evaluate fetal-ethanol-related effects on dendritic morphology, structural plasticity and activity-related immediate early gene (IEG) expression in the agranular insular (AID) and prelimbic (Cg3) regions of frontal cortex. Baseline fetal-ethanol-related alterations in social behavior were limited to reductions in social investigation in males. Repeated experience with novel cage-mates resulted in comparable increases in wrestling and social investigation among saccharin- and ethanol-exposed females, whereas social behavioral effects among males were more evident in ethanol-exposed animals. Male ethanol-exposed rats also displayed profound increases in wrestling when social interaction was motivated by 24 hours of isolation. Baseline decreases in dendritic length and spine density in AID were observed in ethanol-exposed rats that were always housed with the same cage-mate. Modest experience-related decreases in dendritic length and spine density in AID were observed in saccharin-exposed rats housed with various cage-mates. In contrast, fetal-ethanol-exposed rats displayed experience-related increases in dendritic length in AID, and no experience-related changes in spine density. The only effect observed in Cg3 was a baseline increase in basilar dendritic length among male ethanol-exposed rats. Robust increases in activity-related IEG expression in AID (c-fos and Arc) and Cg3 (c-fos) were observed following social interaction in saccharin-exposed rats, however, activity-related increases in IEG expression were not observed in fetal-ethanol-exposed rats in either region. The results indicate that deficits in social behavior are among the long-lasting behavioral consequences of moderate ethanol exposure during brain development, and implicate AID, and to a lesser degree Cg3, in fetal-ethanol-related social behavior

  10. Cardioprotective effects of rutin via alteration in TNF-α, CRP, and BNP levels coupled with antioxidant effect in STZ-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Saklani, Ravi; Gupta, Suresh Kumar; Mohanty, Ipseeta Ray; Kumar, Binit; Srivastava, Sushma; Mathur, Rajani

    2016-09-01

    Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a dreadful complication of diabetes responsible for 80 % mortality in diabetic patients, but unfortunately its pharmacotherapy is still incomplete. Rutin is a naturally occurring flavonoid having a long history of use in nutritional supplements for its action against oxidative stress, inflammation, and hyperglycemia, the key players involved in the progression of DCM, but remains unexplored for its role in DCM. This study was conducted to address this lacuna. It was performed in 4-week-old Streptozotocin-induced (45 mg/kg) diabetic rats for a period of 24 weeks to mimic the cardiotoxic effect of chronic hyperglycemia in diabetic patient's heart and to investigate the effect of rutin (50 mg/kg/day) in ameliorating these effects. Heart of the diabetic rats showed altered ECG parameters, reduced total antioxidant capacity, increased inflammatory assault, and degenerative changes. Interestingly, rutin treatment significantly ameliorated these changes with decrease in blood glucose level (p > 0.001), % HbA1c (p > 0.001) and reduced expression of TNF-α (p < 0.001), CRP (p < 0.001), and BNP (p < 0.01) compared to diabetic control rats. In addition, rutin provided significant protection against diabetes associated oxidative stress (p < 0.05), prevented degenerative changes in heart, and improved ECG parameters compared to diabetic control rats. The heart-to-body weight ratio was significantly reduced in rutin treatment group compared to diabetic control rats (p < 0.001). In conclusion, this study implicates that oxidative stress and inflammation are the central players involved in the progression of DCM and rutin ameliorates DCM through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions on heart. PMID:27443845

  11. Low level postnatal methylmercury exposure in vivo alters developmental forms of short-term synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of rat

    SciTech Connect

    Dasari, Sameera; Yuan, Yukun

    2009-11-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been previously shown to affect neurotransmitter release. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) is primarily related to changes in the probability of neurotransmitter release. To determine if MeHg affects STP development, we examined STP forms in the visual cortex of rat following in vivo MeHg exposure. Neonatal rats received 0 (0.9% NaCl), 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg subcutaneously for 15 or 30 days beginning on postnatal day 5, after which visual cortical slices were prepared for field potential recordings. In slices prepared from rats treated with vehicle, field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by paired-pulse stimulation at 20-200 ms inter-stimulus intervals showed a depression (PPD) of the second fEPSP (fEPSP2). PPD was also seen in slices prepared from rats after 15 day treatment with 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg. However, longer duration treatment (30 days) with either dose of MeHg resulted in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) of fEPSP2 in the majority of slices examined. PPF remained observable in slices prepared from animals in which MeHg exposure had been terminated for 30 days after completion of the initial 30 day MeHg treatment, whereas slices from control animals still showed PPD. MeHg did not cause any frequency- or region-preferential effect on STP. Manipulations of [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub e} or application of the GABA{sub A} receptor antagonist bicuculline could alter the strength and polarity of MeHg-induced changes in STP. Thus, these data suggest that low level postnatal MeHg exposure interferes with the developmental transformation of STP in the visual cortex, which is a long-lasting effect.

  12. Low level postnatal methylmercury exposure in vivo alters developmental forms of short-term synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of rat

    PubMed Central

    Dasari, Sameera; Yuan, Yukun

    2009-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been previously shown to affect neurotransmitter release. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) is primarily related to changes in the probability of neurotransmitter release. To determine if MeHg affects STP development, we examined STP forms in the visual cortex of rat following in vivo MeHg exposure. Neonatal rats received 0 (0.9% NaCl), 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg subcutaneously for 15 or 30 days beginning on postnatal day 5, after which visual cortical slices were prepared for field potential recordings. In slices prepared from rats treated with vehicle, field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by paired-pulse stimulation at 20 - 200 ms inter-stimulus intervals showed a depression (PPD) of the second fEPSP (fEPSP2). PPD was also seen in slices prepared from rats after 15 day treatment with 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg. However, longer duration treatment (30 days) with either dose of MeHg resulted in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) of fEPSP2 in the majority of slices examined. PPF remained observable in slices prepared from animals in which MeHg exposure had been terminated for 30 days after completion of the initial 30 day MeHg treatment, whereas slices from control animals still showed PPD. MeHg did not cause any frequency- or region-preferential effect on STP. Manipulations of [Ca2+]e or application of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline could alter the strength and polarity of MeHg-induced changes in STP. Thus, these data suggest that low level postnatal MeHg exposure interferes with the developmental transformation of STP in the visual cortex, which is a long-lasting effect. PMID:19664649

  13. Changes in Air CO2 Concentration Differentially Alter Transcript Levels of NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 Aquaporin Genes in Tobacco Leaves

    PubMed Central

    Secchi, Francesca; Schubert, Andrea; Lovisolo, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    The aquaporin specific control on water versus carbon pathways in leaves is pivotal in controlling gas exchange and leaf hydraulics. We investigated whether Nicotiana tabacum aquaporin 1 (NtAQP1) and Nicotiana tabacum plasma membrane intrinsic protein 2;1 (NtPIP2;1) gene expression varies in tobacco leaves subjected to treatments with different CO2 concentrations (ranging from 0 to 800 ppm), inducing changes in photosynthesis, stomatal regulation and water evaporation from the leaf. Changes in air CO2 concentration ([CO2]) affected net photosynthesis (Pn) and leaf substomatal [CO2] (Ci). Pn was slightly negative at 0 ppm air CO2; it was one-third that of ambient controls at 200 ppm, and not different from controls at 800 ppm. Leaves fed with 800 ppm [CO2] showed one-third reduced stomatal conductance (gs) and transpiration (E), and their gs was in turn slightly lower than in 200 ppm– and in 0 ppm–treated leaves. The 800 ppm air [CO2] strongly impaired both NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 gene expression, whereas 0 ppm air [CO2], a concentration below any in vivo possible conditions and specifically chosen to maximize the gene expression alteration, increased only the NtAQP1 transcript level. We propose that NtAQP1 expression, an aquaporin devoted to CO2 transport, positively responds to CO2 scarcity in the air in the whole range 0–800 ppm. On the contrary, expression of NtPIP2;1, an aquaporin not devoted to CO2 transport, is related to water balance in the leaf, and changes in parallel with gs. These observations fit in a model where upregulation of leaf aquaporins is activated at low Ci, while downregulation occurs when high Ci saturates photosynthesis and causes stomatal closure. PMID:27089333

  14. Disruption of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Homeostatic Levels during Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Alters Expression of Homeobox Transcription Factors that Control Cardiomyogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qin; Chen, Jing; Ko, Chia-I; Fan, Yunxia; Carreira, Vinicius; Chen, Yinglei; Xia, Ying; Medvedovic, Mario

    2013-01-01

    , Ko CI, Fan Y, Carreira V, Chen Y, Xia Y, Medvedovic M, Puga A. 2013. Disruption of aryl hydrocarbon receptor homeostatic levels during embryonic stem cell differentiation alters expression of homeobox transcription factors that control cardiomyogenesis. Environ Health Perspect 121:1334–1343; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307297 PMID:24058054

  15. Spaces of phylogenetic networks from generalized nearest-neighbor interchange operations.

    PubMed

    Huber, Katharina T; Linz, Simone; Moulton, Vincent; Wu, Taoyang

    2016-02-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of evolutionary or phylogenetic trees that are used to represent the evolution of species which have undergone reticulate evolution. In this paper we consider spaces of such networks defined by some novel local operations that we introduce for converting one phylogenetic network into another. These operations are modeled on the well-studied nearest-neighbor interchange operations on phylogenetic trees, and lead to natural generalizations of the tree spaces that have been previously associated to such operations. We present several results on spaces of some relatively simple networks, called level-1 networks, including the size of the neighborhood of a fixed network, and bounds on the diameter of the metric defined by taking the smallest number of operations required to convert one network into another. We expect that our results will be useful in the development of methods for systematically searching for optimal phylogenetic networks using, for example, likelihood and Bayesian approaches. PMID:26037483

  16. A Functional-Phylogenetic Classification System for Transmembrane Solute Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Saier, Milton H.

    2000-01-01

    A comprehensive classification system for transmembrane molecular transporters has been developed and recently approved by the transport panel of the nomenclature committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This system is based on (i) transporter class and subclass (mode of transport and energy coupling mechanism), (ii) protein phylogenetic family and subfamily, and (iii) substrate specificity. Almost all of the more than 250 identified families of transporters include members that function exclusively in transport. Channels (115 families), secondary active transporters (uniporters, symporters, and antiporters) (78 families), primary active transporters (23 families), group translocators (6 families), and transport proteins of ill-defined function or of unknown mechanism (51 families) constitute distinct categories. Transport mode and energy coupling prove to be relatively immutable characteristics and therefore provide primary bases for classification. Phylogenetic grouping reflects structure, function, mechanism, and often substrate specificity and therefore provides a reliable secondary basis for classification. Substrate specificity and polarity of transport prove to be more readily altered during evolutionary history and therefore provide a tertiary basis for classification. With very few exceptions, a phylogenetic family of transporters includes members that function by a single transport mode and energy coupling mechanism, although a variety of substrates may be transported, sometimes with either inwardly or outwardly directed polarity. In this review, I provide cross-referencing of well-characterized constituent transporters according to (i) transport mode, (ii) energy coupling mechanism, (iii) phylogenetic grouping, and (iv) substrates transported. The structural features and distribution of recognized family members throughout the living world are also evaluated. The tabulations should facilitate familial and functional

  17. Systematic Conservation Planning for Groundwater Ecosystems Using Phylogenetic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Asmyhr, Maria G.; Linke, Simon; Hose, Grant; Nipperess, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Aquifer ecosystems provide a range of important services including clean drinking water. These ecosystems, which are largely inaccessible to humans, comprise a distinct invertebrate fauna (stygofauna), which is characterized by narrow distributions, high levels of endemism and cryptic species. Although being under enormous anthropogenic pressure, aquifers have rarely been included in conservation planning because of the general lack of knowledge of species diversity and distribution. Here we use molecular sequence data and phylogenetic diversity as surrogates for stygofauna diversity in aquifers of New South Wales, Australia. We demonstrate how to incorporate these data as conservation features in the systematic conservation planning software Marxan. We designated each branch of the phylogenetic tree as a conservation feature, with the branch length as a surrogate for the number of distinct characters represented by each branch. Two molecular markers (nuclear 18S ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I) were used to evaluate how marker variability and the resulting tree topology affected the site-selection process. We found that the sites containing the deepest phylogenetic branches were deemed the most irreplaceable by Marxan. By integrating phylogenetic data, we provide a method for including taxonomically undescribed groundwater fauna in systematic conservation planning. PMID:25514422

  18. Inferring Phylogenetic Networks with Maximum Pseudolikelihood under Incomplete Lineage Sorting

    PubMed Central

    Solís-Lemus, Claudia; Ané, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic networks are necessary to represent the tree of life expanded by edges to represent events such as horizontal gene transfers, hybridizations or gene flow. Not all species follow the paradigm of vertical inheritance of their genetic material. While a great deal of research has flourished into the inference of phylogenetic trees, statistical methods to infer phylogenetic networks are still limited and under development. The main disadvantage of existing methods is a lack of scalability. Here, we present a statistical method to infer phylogenetic networks from multi-locus genetic data in a pseudolikelihood framework. Our model accounts for incomplete lineage sorting through the coalescent model, and for horizontal inheritance of genes through reticulation nodes in the network. Computation of the pseudolikelihood is fast and simple, and it avoids the burdensome calculation of the full likelihood which can be intractable with many species. Moreover, estimation at the quartet-level has the added computational benefit that it is easily parallelizable. Simulation studies comparing our method to a full likelihood approach show that our pseudolikelihood approach is much faster without compromising accuracy. We applied our method to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships among swordtails and platyfishes (Xiphophorus: Poeciliidae), which is characterized by widespread hybridizations. PMID:26950302

  19. Land-Sparing Agriculture Best Protects Avian Phylogenetic Diversity.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Gilroy, James J; Thomas, Gavin H; Uribe, Claudia A Medina; Haugaasen, Torbjørn

    2015-09-21

    The conversion of natural habitats to farmland is a major driver of the global extinction crisis. Two strategies are promoted to mitigate the impacts of agricultural expansion on biodiversity: land sharing integrates wildlife-friendly habitats within farmland landscapes, and land sparing intensifies farming to allow the offset of natural reserves. A key question is which strategy would protect the most phylogenetic diversity--the total evolutionary history shared across all species within a community. Conserving phylogenetic diversity decreases the chance of losing unique phenotypic and ecological traits and provides benefits for ecosystem function and stability. Focusing on birds in the threatened Chocó-Andes hotspot of endemism, we tested the relative benefits of each strategy for retaining phylogenetic diversity in tropical cloud forest landscapes threatened by cattle pastures. Using landscape simulations, we find that land sharing would protect lower community-level phylogenetic diversity than land sparing and that with increasing distance from forest (from 500 to >1,500 m), land sharing is increasingly inferior to land sparing. Isolation from forest also leads to the loss of more evolutionarily distinct species from communities within land-sharing landscapes, which can be avoided with effective land sparing. Land-sharing policies that promote the integration of small-scale wildlife-friendly habitats might be of limited benefit without the simultaneous protection of larger blocks of natural habitat, which is most likely to be achieved via land-sparing measures. PMID:26344093

  20. Alterations to Tidal Marsh Carbon Cycling and Greenhouse Gas Exchange in Response to Sea-Level and Salt-Water Intrusion (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, N. B.

    2013-12-01

    Tidal marshes are highly productive ecosystems with the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon. However, tidal wetlands may be sources of the powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), which are produced via microbial metabolic processes. As global climate changes it is increasingly important to understand the factors that control ecosystem productivity, GHG fluxes, and potential feedbacks between global change factors, C cycling, and marsh resilience to sea-level rise (SLR). Field measurements were undertaken to quantify rates of GHG (CO2 and CH4) exchange rates, plant biomass, microbial sulfate reduction and methanogenesis rates, and soil biogeochemistry at three tidal wetland sites along the salinity gradient in the Delaware River Estuary over four years. Despite similar plant productivity between marsh types, differences in microbial processes largely determined the GHG source/sink status of the wetland types. Mesohaline salt-marshes consistently sequestered C (~300 g C m-2 yr-1), and due to negligible CH4 release, were also a GHG sink (~1350 g CO2-eq m-2 yr-1). In contrast, the TFM sequestered C (~350 g C m-2 yr-1) but because of appreciable release of CH4 from freshwater wetland soils was GHG neutral. The oligohaline marsh site experienced significant seasonal salt-water intrusion (SWI) in the late summer during the four year study period, resulting in major alterations to marsh C cycling. The oligohaline marsh did not sequester C (loss of ~45 g C m-2 yr-1) in part due to surprisingly high rates of CH4 release (190 g CH4 m-2 yr-1). The oligohaline marsh undergoing SWI was therefore a significant source of GHG to the atmosphere (~4000 g CO2-eq m-2 yr-1). These results indicate that SWI alters C cycling and GHG exchange in marsh systems, and may accelerate the decomposition of organic matter limiting the ability of marshes to accrete material and keep pace with SLR. The impacts of SWI on TFM soil C cycling were further

  1. Differences in Salivary Flow Level, Xerostomia, and Flavor Alteration in Mexican HIV Patients Who Did or Did Not Receive Antiretroviral Therapy.

    PubMed

    López-Verdín, Sandra; Andrade-Villanueva, Jaime; Zamora-Perez, Ana Lourdes; Bologna-Molina, Ronell; Cervantes-Cabrera, José Justino; Molina-Frechero, Nelly

    2013-01-01

    Introduction. Objective and subjective alterations related to salivary flow have been reported in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these alterations are associated with the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. The aim of the current study was to discern whether these alterations are disease induced or secondary to drug therapy. Objective. The objective was to determine the relationships between low salivary flow, xerostomia, and flavor alterations in HIV patients who did or did not receive antiretroviral therapy. Materials and Methods. In this cross-sectional study, HIV patients were divided into two groups based on whether they had received antiretroviral therapy. Those patients with a previous diagnosis of any salivary gland disease were excluded. A survey was used to assess subjective variables, and colorimetry and salivary flow rates were measured using the Schirmer global test. Results. A total of 293 patients were included. The therapy group showed a significantly lower average salivary flow than did the group without therapy, and we observed that the flow rate tended to decrease after one year of therapy. The results were not conclusive, despite significant differences in xerostomia and flavor alteration between the groups. Conclusion. The study results suggest that antiretroviral therapy can cause cumulative damage that affects the amount of salivary flow. PMID:24455222

  2. Differences in Salivary Flow Level, Xerostomia, and Flavor Alteration in Mexican HIV Patients Who Did or Did Not Receive Antiretroviral Therapy

    PubMed Central

    López-Verdín, Sandra; Andrade-Villanueva, Jaime; Zamora-Perez, Ana Lourdes; Bologna-Molina, Ronell; Cervantes-Cabrera, José Justino

    2013-01-01

    Introduction. Objective and subjective alterations related to salivary flow have been reported in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these alterations are associated with the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. The aim of the current study was to discern whether these alterations are disease induced or secondary to drug therapy. Objective. The objective was to determine the relationships between low salivary flow, xerostomia, and flavor alterations in HIV patients who did or did not receive antiretroviral therapy. Materials and Methods. In this cross-sectional study, HIV patients were divided into two groups based on whether they had received antiretroviral therapy. Those patients with a previous diagnosis of any salivary gland disease were excluded. A survey was used to assess subjective variables, and colorimetry and salivary flow rates were measured using the Schirmer global test. Results. A total of 293 patients were included. The therapy group showed a significantly lower average salivary flow than did the group without therapy, and we observed that the flow rate tended to decrease after one year of therapy. The results were not conclusive, despite significant differences in xerostomia and flavor alteration between the groups. Conclusion. The study results suggest that antiretroviral therapy can cause cumulative damage that affects the amount of salivary flow. PMID:24455222

  3. Phylogenetic mapping of bacterial morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siefert, J. L.; Fox, G. E.

    1998-01-01

    The availability of a meaningful molecular phylogeny for bacteria provides a context for examining the historical significance of various developments in bacterial evolution. Herein, the classical morphological descriptions of selected members of the domain Bacteria are mapped upon the genealogical ancestry deduced from comparison of small-subunit rRNA sequences. For the species examined in this study, a distinct pattern emerges which indicates that the coccus shape has arisen and accumulated independently multiple times in separate lineages and typically survived as a persistent end-state morphology. At least two other morphologies persist but have evolved only once. This study demonstrates that although bacterial morphology is not useful in defining bacterial phylogeny, it is remarkably consistent with that phylogeny once it is known. An examination of the experimental evidence available for morphogenesis as well as microbial fossil evidence corroborates these findings. It is proposed that the accumulation of persistent morphologies is a result of the biophysical properties of peptidoglycan and their genetic control, and that an evolved body-plan strategy based on peptidoglycan may have been a fate-sealing step in the evolution of Bacteria. More generally, this study illustrates that significant evolutionary insights can be obtained by examining biological and biochemical data in the context of a reliable phylogenetic structure.

  4. Phylogenetic development of myelin glycosphingolipids.

    PubMed

    Kishimoto, Y

    1986-12-15

    Myelin is a highly specialized membrane, which enwraps axons and facilitates saltatory nerve conduction in vertebrates. Galactocerebroside and its sulfate ester, sulfatide, are highly localized in myelin. To understand the role played by these galactosphingolipids we investigated the changes of these myelin-specific compounds during the course of the evolution of myelin. We found that urodele nerve myelin lacks alpha-hydroxy fatty acid-containing galactosphingolipids. Our morphological and physiological studies of urodele nerves indicated that these hydroxy fatty acid-containing galactosphingolipids probably contribute to fast nerve conduction. Also it is suspected that they are involved in the regulation of the thickness of myelin in relation to the size of the axon. In another study, we discovered that glucocerebroside, which has glucose instead of galactose as its carbohydrate component, is abundantly present in the myelin-like sheath membrane of crustacean nerves. Subsequently, the phylogenetic study indicated that galactocerebrosides were limited to the nervous system of deuterostomes, while all protostome nerves contain glucocerebrosides. The role of glucocerebrosides in multilayered membranes and in the conduction velocity of the protostome nervous system is discussed. PMID:3549016

  5. DNA ALTERATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The exposure of an organism to genotoxic chemicals may induce a cascade of genetic events. nitially, structural alterations to DNA are formed. ext, the DNA damage is processed and subsequently expressed in mutant gene products. inally, diseases result from the genetic damage. he ...

  6. The dawn of open access to phylogenetic data.

    PubMed

    Magee, Andrew F; May, Michael R; Moore, Brian R

    2014-01-01

    The scientific enterprise depends critically on the preservation of and open access to published data. This basic tenet applies acutely to phylogenies (estimates of evolutionary relationships among species). Increasingly, phylogenies are estimated from increasingly large, genome-scale datasets using increasingly complex statistical methods that require increasing levels of expertise and computational investment. Moreover, the resulting phylogenetic data provide an explicit historical perspective that critically informs research in a vast and growing number of scientific disciplines. One such use is the study of changes in rates of lineage diversification (speciation--extinction) through time. As part of a meta-analysis in this area, we sought to collect phylogenetic data (comprising nucleotide sequence alignment and tree files) from 217 studies published in 46 journals over a 13-year period. We document our attempts to procure those data (from online archives and by direct request to corresponding authors), and report results of analyses (using Bayesian logistic regression) to assess the impact of various factors on the success of our efforts. Overall, complete phylogenetic data for [Formula: see text] of these studies are effectively lost to science. Our study indicates that phylogenetic data are more likely to be deposited in online archives and/or shared upon request when: (1) the publishing journal has a strong data-sharing policy; (2) the publishing journal has a higher impact factor, and; (3) the data are requested from faculty rather than students. Importantly, our survey spans recent policy initiatives and infrastructural changes; our analyses indicate that the positive impact of these community initiatives has been both dramatic and immediate. Although the results of our study indicate that the situation is dire, our findings also reveal tremendous recent progress in the sharing and preservation of phylogenetic data. PMID:25343725

  7. The space of ultrametric phylogenetic trees.

    PubMed

    Gavryushkin, Alex; Drummond, Alexei J

    2016-08-21

    The reliability of a phylogenetic inference method from genomic sequence data is ensured by its statistical consistency. Bayesian inference methods produce a sample of phylogenetic trees from the posterior distribution given sequence data. Hence the question of statistical consistency of such methods is equivalent to the consistency of the summary of the sample. More generally, statistical consistency is ensured by the tree space used to analyse the sample. In this paper, we consider two standard parameterisations of phylogenetic time-trees used in evolutionary models: inter-coalescent interval lengths and absolute times of divergence events. For each of these parameterisations we introduce a natural metric space on ultrametric phylogenetic trees. We compare the introduced spaces with existing models of tree space and formulate several formal requirements that a metric space on phylogenetic trees must possess in order to be a satisfactory space for statistical analysis, and justify them. We show that only a few known constructions of the space of phylogenetic trees satisfy these requirements. However, our results suggest that these basic requirements are not enough to distinguish between the two metric spaces we introduce and that the choice between metric spaces requires additional properties to be considered. Particularly, that the summary tree minimising the square distance to the trees from the sample might be different for different parameterisations. This suggests that further fundamental insight is needed into the problem of statistical consistency of phylogenetic inference methods. PMID:27188249

  8. Molecular Phylogenetics: Mathematical Framework and Unsolved Problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Xuhua

    Phylogenetic relationship is essential in dating evolutionary events, reconstructing ancestral genes, predicting sites that are important to natural selection, and, ultimately, understanding genomic evolution. Three categories of phylogenetic methods are currently used: the distance-based, the maximum parsimony, and the maximum likelihood method. Here, I present the mathematical framework of these methods and their rationales, provide computational details for each of them, illustrate analytically and numerically the potential biases inherent in these methods, and outline computational challenges and unresolved problems. This is followed by a brief discussion of the Bayesian approach that has been recently used in molecular phylogenetics.

  9. On Tree-Based Phylogenetic Networks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Louxin

    2016-07-01

    A large class of phylogenetic networks can be obtained from trees by the addition of horizontal edges between the tree edges. These networks are called tree-based networks. We present a simple necessary and sufficient condition for tree-based networks and prove that a universal tree-based network exists for any number of taxa that contains as its base every phylogenetic tree on the same set of taxa. This answers two problems posted by Francis and Steel recently. A byproduct is a computer program for generating random binary phylogenetic networks under the uniform distribution model. PMID:27228397

  10. Discriminating the effects of phylogenetic hypothesis, tree resolution and clade age estimates on phylogenetic signal measurements.

    PubMed

    Seger, G D S; Duarte, L D S; Debastiani, V J; Kindel, A; Jarenkow, J A

    2013-09-01

    Understanding how species traits evolved over time is the central question to comprehend assembly rules that govern the phylogenetic structure of communities. The measurement of phylogenetic signal (PS) in ecologically relevant traits is a first step to understand phylogenetically structured community patterns. The different methods available to estimate PS make it difficult to choose which is most appropriate. Furthermore, alternative phylogenetic tree hypotheses, node resolution and clade age estimates might influence PS measurements. In this study, we evaluated to what extent these parameters affect different methods of PS analysis, and discuss advantages and disadvantages when selecting which method to use. We measured fruit/seed traits and flowering/fruiting phenology of endozoochoric species occurring in Southern Brazilian Araucaria forests and evaluated their PS using Mantel regressions, phylogenetic eigenvector regressions (PVR) and K statistic. Mantel regressions always gave less significant results compared to PVR and K statistic in all combinations of phylogenetic trees constructed. Moreover, a better phylogenetic resolution affected PS, independently of the method used to estimate it. Morphological seed traits tended to show higher PS than diaspores traits, while PS in flowering/fruiting phenology depended mostly on the method used to estimate it. This study demonstrates that different PS estimates are obtained depending on the chosen method and the phylogenetic tree resolution. This finding has implications for inferences on phylogenetic niche conservatism or ecological processes determining phylogenetic community structure. PMID:23368095

  11. Phylogenetic relationships among subsurface microorganisms

    SciTech Connect

    Nierzwicki-Bauer, S.A.

    1991-01-01

    This report summarizes the progress made from 6/90--3/91 toward completion of our project, Phylogenetic Relationships among subsurface microorganisms. 16S rRNA was sequenced, and based on the sequence the SMCC isolates were assigned to preliminary groups. Microorganisms were obtained at various depths at the Savannah River Site, including the Surface (0 m), Congaree (91 m), and Middendorf (244 m, 259 m, 265 m). Sequence data from four isolates from the Congaree formation indicate these microorganisms can be divided into Pseudomonas spp. or Acinetobacter spp. Three 16S rRNA probes were synthesized based on sequence data. The synthesized probes were tested through in situ hybridization. Optimal conditions for in situ hybridization were determined. Because stability of RNA-DNA hybrids is dependent on hybridization stringency, related organisms can be differentiated using a single probe under different strigencies. The results of these hybridizations agree with results obtained by Balkwill and Reeves using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. The RNA content of a cell reflects its metabolic state. Cells which are starved for four days are not detectable with the homologous 16S rRNA probe. However, within 15 minutes of refeeding, detectable rRNA appeared. This suggests that organisms which are undetectable in environmental samples due to starvation may be detectable after addition of nutrients. Stepwise addition of specific nutrients could indicate which nutrients are rate limiting for growth. Preliminary experiments with soil samples from the Hanford Site indicate indigenous microorganisms can be detected by oligionucleotide probes. Further, using multiple probes based on universal sequences increases the number of organisms detected. Double label experiments, using a rhodamine-labelled oligionucleotide probe with free coumarin succinimidyl ester will allow simultaneous detection of total bacteria and specific 16S rRNA containing bacteria. 4 tabs. (MHB)

  12. Phylogenetics and the origin of species

    PubMed Central

    Avise, John C.; Wollenberg, Kurt

    1997-01-01

    A recent criticism that the biological species concept (BSC) unduly neglects phylogeny is examined under a novel modification of coalescent theory that considers multiple, sex-defined genealogical pathways through sexual organismal pedigrees. A competing phylogenetic species concept (PSC) also is evaluated from this vantage. Two analytical approaches are employed to capture the composite phylogenetic information contained within the braided assemblages of hereditary pathways of a pedigree: (i) consensus phylogenetic trees across allelic transmission routes and (ii) composite phenograms from quantitative values of organismal coancestry. Outcomes from both approaches demonstrate that the supposed sharp distinction between biological and phylogenetic species concepts is illusory. Historical descent and reproductive ties are related aspects of phylogeny and jointly illuminate biotic discontinuity. PMID:9223259

  13. TIPP: taxonomic identification and phylogenetic profiling

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nam-phuong; Mirarab, Siavash; Liu, Bo; Pop, Mihai; Warnow, Tandy

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Abundance profiling (also called ‘phylogenetic profiling’) is a crucial step in understanding the diversity of a metagenomic sample, and one of the basic techniques used for this is taxonomic identification of the metagenomic reads. Results: We present taxon identification and phylogenetic profiling (TIPP), a new marker-based taxon identification and abundance profiling method. TIPP combines SAT\\'e-enabled phylogenetic placement a phylogenetic placement method, with statistical techniques to control the classification precision and recall, and results in improved abundance profiles. TIPP is highly accurate even in the presence of high indel errors and novel genomes, and matches or improves on previous approaches, including NBC, mOTU, PhymmBL, MetaPhyler and MetaPhlAn. Availability and implementation: Software and supplementary materials are available at http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/phylo/software/sepp/tipp-submission/. Contact: warnow@illinois.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25359891

  14. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another. PMID:26966228

  15. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of bacterial reverse transcriptases.

    PubMed

    Toro, Nicolás; Nisa-Martínez, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Much less is known about reverse transcriptases (RTs) in prokaryotes than in eukaryotes, with most prokaryotic enzymes still uncharacterized. Two surveys involving BLAST searches for RT genes in prokaryotic genomes revealed the presence of large numbers of diverse, uncharacterized RTs and RT-like sequences. Here, using consistent annotation across all sequenced bacterial species from GenBank and other sources via RAST, available from the PATRIC (Pathogenic Resource Integration Center) platform, we have compiled the data for currently annotated reverse transcriptases from completely sequenced bacterial genomes. RT sequences are broadly distributed across bacterial phyla, but green sulfur bacteria and cyanobacteria have the highest levels of RT sequence diversity (≤85% identity) per genome. By contrast, phylum Actinobacteria, for which a large number of genomes have been sequenced, was found to have a low RT sequence diversity. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that bacterial RTs could be classified into 17 main groups: group II introns, retrons/retron-like RTs, diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs), Abi-like RTs, CRISPR-Cas-associated RTs, group II-like RTs (G2L), and 11 other groups of RTs of unknown function. Proteobacteria had the highest potential functional diversity, as they possessed most of the RT groups. Group II introns and DGRs were the most widely distributed RTs in bacterial phyla. Our results provide insights into bacterial RT phylogeny and the basis for an update of annotation systems based on sequence/domain homology. PMID:25423096

  16. Comprehensive Phylogenetic Analysis of Bacterial Reverse Transcriptases

    PubMed Central

    Toro, Nicolás; Nisa-Martínez, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Much less is known about reverse transcriptases (RTs) in prokaryotes than in eukaryotes, with most prokaryotic enzymes still uncharacterized. Two surveys involving BLAST searches for RT genes in prokaryotic genomes revealed the presence of large numbers of diverse, uncharacterized RTs and RT-like sequences. Here, using consistent annotation across all sequenced bacterial species from GenBank and other sources via RAST, available from the PATRIC (Pathogenic Resource Integration Center) platform, we have compiled the data for currently annotated reverse transcriptases from completely sequenced bacterial genomes. RT sequences are broadly distributed across bacterial phyla, but green sulfur bacteria and cyanobacteria have the highest levels of RT sequence diversity (≤85% identity) per genome. By contrast, phylum Actinobacteria, for which a large number of genomes have been sequenced, was found to have a low RT sequence diversity. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that bacterial RTs could be classified into 17 main groups: group II introns, retrons/retron-like RTs, diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs), Abi-like RTs, CRISPR-Cas-associated RTs, group II-like RTs (G2L), and 11 other groups of RTs of unknown function. Proteobacteria had the highest potential functional diversity, as they possessed most of the RT groups. Group II introns and DGRs were the most widely distributed RTs in bacterial phyla. Our results provide insights into bacterial RT phylogeny and the basis for an update of annotation systems based on sequence/domain homology. PMID:25423096

  17. Phylogenetic analyses of Andromedeae (Ericaceae subfam. Vaccinioideae).

    PubMed

    Kron, K A; Judd, W S; Crayn, D M

    1999-09-01

    Phylogenetic relationships within the Andromedeae and closely related taxa were investigated by means of cladistic analyses based on phenotypic (morphology, anatomy, chromosome number, and secondary chemistry) and molecular (rbcL and matK nucleotide sequences) characters. An analysis based on combined molecular and phenotypic characters indicates that the tribe is composed of two major clades-the Gaultheria group (incl. Andromeda, Chamaedaphne, Diplycosia, Gaultheria, Leucothoë, Pernettya, Tepuia, and Zenobia) and the Lyonia group (incl. Agarista, Craibiodendron, Lyonia, and Pieris). Andromedeae are shown to be paraphyletic in all analyses because the Vaccinieae link with some or all of the genera of the Gaultheria group. Oxydendrum is sister to the clade containing the Vaccinieae, Gaultheria group, and Lyonia group. The monophyly of Agarista, Lyonia, Pieris, and Gaultheria (incl. Pernettya) is supported, while that of Leucothoë is problematic. The close relationship of Andromeda and Zenobia is novel and was strongly supported in the molecular (but not morphological) analyses. Diplycosia, Tepuia, Gaultheria, and Pernettya form a well-supported clade, which can be diagnosed by the presence of fleshy calyx lobes and methyl salicylate. Recognition of Andromedeae is not reflective of our understanding of geneological relationships and should be abandoned; the Lyonia group is formally recognized at the tribal level. PMID:10487817

  18. The niche of higher plants: evidence for phylogenetic conservatism.

    PubMed Central

    Prinzing, A.; Durka, W.; Klotz, S.; Brandl, R.

    2001-01-01

    A species' ecological niche depends on the species' adaptations to its present habitat, but also on the legacy from its ancestors. Most authors argue that such a phylogenetic niche conservatism is of minor importance, although no quantitative analyses across a major taxon is available. Higher plants from central Europe offer a unique opportunity for such an exercise, as the niche positions along various environmental gradients are available for most species. We quantified niche conservatism by two approaches. First, we used a phylogenetic tree and quantified the degree of retention of niches across the tree. Depending on the gradient, the values ranged from 0.43 to 0.22. This was significantly greater than the null expectation. Second, we used a taxonomy and quantified the amount of variance among species that could be explained at higher taxonomic levels. The values ranged from 25 to 72%. Again, this was significantly higher than the null expectation. Thus, both approaches indicated a clear niche conservatism. The distribution of conservatism across taxonomic levels differed considerably among environmental gradients. The differences among environmental gradients could be correlated with the palaeoenvironmental conditions during the radiation of the phylogenetic lineages. Thus, niche conservatism among extant plant species may reflect the opportunities of their ancestors during their diversification. PMID:11703879

  19. The SOD Gene Family in Tomato: Identification, Phylogenetic Relationships, and Expression Patterns.

    PubMed

    Feng, Kun; Yu, Jiahong; Cheng, Yuan; Ruan, Meiying; Wang, Rongqing; Ye, Qingjing; Zhou, Guozhi; Li, Zhimiao; Yao, Zhuping; Yang, Yuejian; Zheng, Qingsong; Wan, Hongjian

    2016-01-01

    Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are critical antioxidant enzymes that protect organisms from reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by adverse conditions, and have been widely found in the cytoplasm, chloroplasts, and mitochondria of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important economic crop and is cultivated worldwide. However, abiotic and biotic stresses severely hinder growth and development of the plant, which affects the production and quality of the crop. To reveal the potential roles of SOD genes under various stresses, we performed a systematic analysis of the tomato SOD gene family and analyzed the expression patterns of SlSOD genes in response to abiotic stresses at the whole-genome level. The characteristics of the SlSOD gene family were determined by analyzing gene structure, conserved motifs, chromosomal distribution, phylogenetic relationships, and expression patterns. We determined that there are at least nine SOD genes in tomato, including four Cu/ZnSODs, three FeSODs, and one MnSOD, and they are unevenly distributed on 12 chromosomes. Phylogenetic analyses of SOD genes from tomato and other plant species were separated into two groups with a high bootstrap value, indicating that these SOD genes were present before the monocot-dicot split. Additionally, many cis-elements that respond to different stresses were found in the promoters of nine SlSOD genes. Gene expression analysis based on RNA-seq data showed that most genes were expressed in all tested tissues, with the exception of SlSOD6 and SlSOD8, which were only expressed in young fruits. Microarray data analysis showed that most members of the SlSOD gene family were altered under salt- and drought-stress conditions. This genome-wide analysis of SlSOD genes helps to clarify the function of SlSOD genes under different stress conditions and provides information to aid in further understanding the evolutionary relationships of SOD genes in plants. PMID:27625661

  20. The SOD Gene Family in Tomato: Identification, Phylogenetic Relationships, and Expression Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Kun; Yu, Jiahong; Cheng, Yuan; Ruan, Meiying; Wang, Rongqing; Ye, Qingjing; Zhou, Guozhi; Li, Zhimiao; Yao, Zhuping; Yang, Yuejian; Zheng, Qingsong; Wan, Hongjian

    2016-01-01

    Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are critical antioxidant enzymes that protect organisms from reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by adverse conditions, and have been widely found in the cytoplasm, chloroplasts, and mitochondria of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important economic crop and is cultivated worldwide. However, abiotic and biotic stresses severely hinder growth and development of the plant, which affects the production and quality of the crop. To reveal the potential roles of SOD genes under various stresses, we performed a systematic analysis of the tomato SOD gene family and analyzed the expression patterns of SlSOD genes in response to abiotic stresses at the whole-genome level. The characteristics of the SlSOD gene family were determined by analyzing gene structure, conserved motifs, chromosomal distribution, phylogenetic relationships, and expression patterns. We determined that there are at least nine SOD genes in tomato, including four Cu/ZnSODs, three FeSODs, and one MnSOD, and they are unevenly distributed on 12 chromosomes. Phylogenetic analyses of SOD genes from tomato and other plant species were separated into two groups with a high bootstrap value, indicating that these SOD genes were present before the monocot-dicot split. Additionally, many cis-elements that respond to different stresses were found in the promoters of nine SlSOD genes. Gene expression analysis based on RNA-seq data showed that most genes were expressed in all tested tissues, with the exception of SlSOD6 and SlSOD8, which were only expressed in young fruits. Microarray data analysis showed that most members of the SlSOD gene family were altered under salt- and drought-stress conditions. This genome-wide analysis of SlSOD genes helps to clarify the function of SlSOD genes under different stress conditions and provides information to aid in further understanding the evolutionary relationships of SOD genes in plants. PMID:27625661

  1. Phylogenetic Inference From Conserved sites Alignments

    SciTech Connect

    grundy, W.N.; Naylor, G.J.P.

    1999-08-15

    Molecular sequences provide a rich source of data for inferring the phylogenetic relationships among species. However, recent work indicates that even an accurate multiple alignment of a large sequence set may yield an incorrect phylogeny and that the quality of the phylogenetic tree improves when the input consists only of the highly conserved, motif regions of the alignment. This work introduces two methods of producing multiple alignments that include only the conserved regions of the initial alignment. The first method retains conserved motifs, whereas the second retains individual conserved sites in the initial alignment. Using parsimony analysis on a mitochondrial data set containing 19 species among which the phylogenetic relationships are widely accepted, both conserved alignment methods produce better phylogenetic trees than the complete alignment. Unlike any of the 19 inference methods used before to analyze this data, both methods produce trees that are completely consistent with the known phylogeny. The motif-based method employs far fewer alignment sites for comparable error rates. For a larger data set containing mitochondrial sequences from 39 species, the site-based method produces a phylogenetic tree that is largely consistent with known phylogenetic relationships and suggests several novel placements.

  2. Phylogenetic niche conservatism in C4 grasses.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Edwards, Erika J; Freckleton, Robert P; Osborne, Colin P

    2012-11-01

    Photosynthetic pathway is used widely to discriminate plant functional types in studies of global change. However, independent evolutionary lineages of C(4) grasses with different variants of C(4) photosynthesis show different biogeographical relationships with mean annual precipitation, suggesting phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC). To investigate how phylogeny and photosynthetic type differentiate C(4) grasses, we compiled a dataset of morphological and habitat information of 185 genera belonging to two monophyletic subfamilies, Chloridoideae and Panicoideae, which together account for 90 % of the world's C(4) grass species. We evaluated evolutionary variance and covariance of morphological and habitat traits. Strong phylogenetic signals were found in both morphological and habitat traits, arising mainly from the divergence of the two subfamilies. Genera in Chloridoideae had significantly smaller culm heights, leaf widths, 1,000-seed weights and stomata; they also appeared more in dry, open or saline habitats than those of Panicoideae. Controlling for phylogenetic structure showed significant covariation among morphological traits, supporting the hypothesis of phylogenetically independent scaling effects. However, associations between morphological and habitat traits showed limited phylogenetic covariance. Subfamily was a better explanation than photosynthetic type for the variance in most morphological traits. Morphology, habitat water availability, shading, and productivity are therefore all involved in the PNC of C(4) grass lineages. This study emphasized the importance of phylogenetic history in the ecology and biogeography of C(4) grasses, suggesting that divergent lineages need to be considered to fully understand the impacts of global change on plant distributions. PMID:22569558

  3. Phylogenetic structure in tropical hummingbird communities

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Catherine H.; Parra, Juan L.; Rahbek, Carsten; McGuire, Jimmy A.

    2009-01-01

    How biotic interactions, current and historical environment, and biogeographic barriers determine community structure is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution, especially in diverse tropical regions. To evaluate patterns of local and regional diversity, we quantified the phylogenetic composition of 189 hummingbird communities in Ecuador. We assessed how species and phylogenetic composition changed along environmental gradients and across biogeographic barriers. We show that humid, low-elevation communities are phylogenetically overdispersed (coexistence of distant relatives), a pattern that is consistent with the idea that competition influences the local composition of hummingbirds. At higher elevations communities are phylogenetically clustered (coexistence of close relatives), consistent with the expectation of environmental filtering, which may result from the challenge of sustaining an expensive means of locomotion at high elevations. We found that communities in the lowlands on opposite sides of the Andes tend to be phylogenetically similar despite their large differences in species composition, a pattern implicating the Andes as an important dispersal barrier. In contrast, along the steep environmental gradient between the lowlands and the Andes we found evidence that species turnover is comprised of relatively distantly related species. The integration of local and regional patterns of diversity across environmental gradients and biogeographic barriers provides insight into the potential underlying mechanisms that have shaped community composition and phylogenetic diversity in one of the most species-rich, complex regions of the world. PMID:19805042

  4. Phylogenetic Approaches to Natural Product Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Ziemert, Nadine; Jensen, Paul R.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms. Molecular phylogenetics uses sequence data to infer these relationships for both organisms and the genes they maintain. With the large amount of publicly available sequence data, phylogenetic inference has become increasingly important in all fields of biology. In the case of natural product research, phylogenetic relationships are proving to be highly informative in terms of delineating the architecture and function of the genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases provide model examples in which individual domain phylogenies display different predictive capacities, resolving features ranging from substrate specificity to structural motifs associated with the final metabolic product. This chapter provides examples in which phylogeny has proven effective in terms of predicting functional or structural aspects of secondary metabolism. The basics of how to build a reliable phylogenetic tree are explained along with information about programs and tools that can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, it introduces the Natural Product Domain Seeker, a recently developed Web tool that employs phylogenetic logic to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains based on established enzyme architecture and biochemical function. PMID:23084938

  5. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Luke J.; Hare, Brian A.; Nunn, Charles L.; Anderson, Rindy C.; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M.; Emery, Nathan J.; Haun, Daniel B. M.; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F.; Platt, Michael L.; Rosati, Alexandra G.; Sandel, Aaron A.; Schroepfer, Kara K.; Seed, Amanda M.; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P.; Wobber, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution. PMID:21927850

  6. Phylogenetic structure in tropical hummingbird communities.

    PubMed

    Graham, Catherine H; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten; McGuire, Jimmy A

    2009-11-17

    How biotic interactions, current and historical environment, and biogeographic barriers determine community structure is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution, especially in diverse tropical regions. To evaluate patterns of local and regional diversity, we quantified the phylogenetic composition of 189 hummingbird communities in Ecuador. We assessed how species and phylogenetic composition changed along environmental gradients and across biogeographic barriers. We show that humid, low-elevation communities are phylogenetically overdispersed (coexistence of distant relatives), a pattern that is consistent with the idea that competition influences the local composition of hummingbirds. At higher elevations communities are phylogenetically clustered (coexistence of close relatives), consistent with the expectation of environmental filtering, which may result from the challenge of sustaining an expensive means of locomotion at high elevations. We found that communities in the lowlands on opposite sides of the Andes tend to be phylogenetically similar despite their large differences in species composition, a pattern implicating the Andes as an important dispersal barrier. In contrast, along the steep environmental gradient between the lowlands and the Andes we found evidence that species turnover is comprised of relatively distantly related species. The integration of local and regional patterns of diversity across environmental gradients and biogeographic barriers provides insight into the potential underlying mechanisms that have shaped community composition and phylogenetic diversity in one of the most species-rich, complex regions of the world. PMID:19805042

  7. Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Beutel, Rolf G; Friedrich, Frank; Leschen, Richard A B

    2009-11-01

    changed dramatically. With very large data sets and high throughput sampling, phylogenetic questions can be addressed without prior knowledge of morphological characters. Nevertheless, molecular studies have not lead to the great breakthrough in beetle systematics--yet. Especially the phylogeny of the extremely species rich suborder Polyphaga remains incompletely resolved. Coordinated efforts of molecular workers and of morphologists using innovative techniques may lead to more profound insights in the near future. The final aim is to develop a well-founded phylogeny, which truly reflects the evolution of this immensely species rich group of organisms. PMID:19760277

  8. Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beutel, Rolf G.; Friedrich, Frank; Leschen, Richard A. B.

    2009-11-01

    . This has changed dramatically. With very large data sets and high throughput sampling, phylogenetic questions can be addressed without prior knowledge of morphological characters. Nevertheless, molecular studies have not lead to the great breakthrough in beetle systematics—yet. Especially the phylogeny of the extremely species rich suborder Polyphaga remains incompletely resolved. Coordinated efforts of molecular workers and of morphologists using innovative techniques may lead to more profound insights in the near future. The final aim is to develop a well-founded phylogeny, which truly reflects the evolution of this immensely species rich group of organisms.

  9. Cenozoic imprints on the phylogenetic structure of palm species assemblages worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Kissling, W. Daniel; Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Baker, William J.; Borchsenius, Finn; Couvreur, Thomas L. P.; Balslev, Henrik; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2012-01-01

    Despite long-standing interest in the origin and maintenance of species diversity, little is known about historical drivers of species assemblage structure at large spatiotemporal scales. Here, we use global species distribution data, a dated genus-level phylogeny, and paleo-reconstructions of biomes and climate to examine Cenozoic imprints on the phylogenetic structure of regional species assemblages of palms (Arecaceae), a species-rich plant family characteristic of tropical ecosystems. We find a strong imprint on phylogenetic clustering due to geographic isolation and in situ diversification, especially in the Neotropics and on islands with spectacular palm radiations (e.g., Madagascar, Hawaii, and Cuba). Phylogenetic overdispersion on mainlands and islands corresponds to biotic interchange areas. Differences in the degree of phylogenetic clustering among biogeographic realms are related to differential losses of tropical rainforests during the Cenozoic, but not to the cumulative area of tropical rainforest over geological time. A largely random phylogenetic assemblage structure in Africa coincides with severe losses of rainforest area, especially after the Miocene. More recent events also appear to be influential: phylogenetic clustering increases with increasing intensity of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climatic oscillations in South America and, to a lesser extent, Africa, indicating that specific clades perform better in climatically unstable regions. Our results suggest that continental isolation (in combination with limited long-distance dispersal) and changing climate and habitat loss throughout the Cenozoic have had strong impacts on the phylogenetic structure of regional species assemblages in the tropics. PMID:22529387

  10. Cenozoic imprints on the phylogenetic structure of palm species assemblages worldwide.

    PubMed

    Kissling, W Daniel; Eiserhardt, Wolf L; Baker, William J; Borchsenius, Finn; Couvreur, Thomas L P; Balslev, Henrik; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2012-05-01

    Despite long-standing interest in the origin and maintenance of species diversity, little is known about historical drivers of species assemblage structure at large spatiotemporal scales. Here, we use global species distribution data, a dated genus-level phylogeny, and paleo-reconstructions of biomes and climate to examine Cenozoic imprints on the phylogenetic structure of regional species assemblages of palms (Arecaceae), a species-rich plant family characteristic of tropical ecosystems. We find a strong imprint on phylogenetic clustering due to geographic isolation and in situ diversification, especially in the Neotropics and on islands with spectacular palm radiations (e.g., Madagascar, Hawaii, and Cuba). Phylogenetic overdispersion on mainlands and islands corresponds to biotic interchange areas. Differences in the degree of phylogenetic clustering among biogeographic realms are related to differential losses of tropical rainforests during the Cenozoic, but not to the cumulative area of tropical rainforest over geological time. A largely random phylogenetic assemblage structure in Africa coincides with severe losses of rainforest area, especially after the Miocene. More recent events also appear to be influential: phylogenetic clustering increases with increasing intensity of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climatic oscillations in South America and, to a lesser extent, Africa, indicating that specific clades perform better in climatically unstable regions. Our results suggest that continental isolation (in combination with limited long-distance dispersal) and changing climate and habitat loss throughout the Cenozoic have had strong impacts on the phylogenetic structure of regional species assemblages in the tropics. PMID:22529387

  11. Species interactions mediate phylogenetic community structure in a hyperdiverse lizard assemblage from arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Cowan, Mark A; Talaba, Amanda L; Lovette, Irby J

    2011-11-01

    Evolutionary history can exert a profound influence on ecological communities, but few generalities have emerged concerning the relationships among phylogeny, community membership, and niche evolution. We compared phylogenetic community structure and niche evolution in three lizard clades (Ctenotus skinks, agamids, and diplodactyline geckos) from arid Australia. We surveyed lizard communities at 32 sites in the northwestern Great Victoria Desert and generated complete species-level molecular phylogenies for regional representatives of the three clades. We document a striking pattern of phylogenetic evenness within local communities for all groups: pairwise correlations in species abundance across sites are negatively related to phylogenetic similarity. By modeling site suitability on the basis of species' habitat preferences, we demonstrate that phylogenetic evenness generally persists even after controlling for habitat filtering among species. This phylogenetic evenness is coupled with evolutionary lability of habitat-associated traits, to the extent that closely related species are more divergent in habitat use than distantly related species. In contrast, lizard diets are phylogenetically conserved, and pairwise dietary overlap between species is negatively related to phylogenetic distance in two of the three clades. Our results suggest that contemporary and historical species interactions have led to similar patterns of community structure across multiple clades in one of the world's most diverse lizard communities. PMID:22030728

  12. mRNA and Protein Levels for GABA[subscript A][alpha]4, [alpha]5, [beta]1 and GABA[subscript B]R1 Receptors are Altered in Brains from Subjects with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fatemi, S. Hossein; Reutiman, Teri J.; Folsom, Timothy D.; Rooney, Robert J.; Patel, Diven H.; Thuras, Paul D.

    2010-01-01

    We have shown altered expression of gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA[subscript A]) and gamma-aminobutyric acid B (GABA[subscript B]) receptors in the brains of subjects with autism. In the current study, we sought to verify our western blotting data for GABBR1 via qRT-PCR and to expand our previous work to measure mRNA and protein levels of 3…

  13. [A phylogenetic analysis of plant communities of Teberda Biosphere Reserve].

    PubMed

    Shulakov, A A; Egorov, A V; Onipchenko, V G

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of communities is based on the comparison of distances on the phylogenetic tree between species of a community under study and those distances in random samples taken out of local flora. It makes it possible to determine to what extent a community composition is formed by more closely related species (i.e., "clustered") or, on the opposite, it is more even and includes species that are less related with each other. The first case is usually interpreted as a result of strong influence caused by abiotic factors, due to which species with similar ecology, a priori more closely related, would remain: In the second case, biotic factors, such as competition, may come to the fore and lead to forming a community out of distant clades due to divergence of their ecological niches: The aim of this' study Was Ad explore the phylogenetic structure in communities of the northwestern Caucasus at two spatial scales - the scale of area from 4 to 100 m2 and the smaller scale within a community. The list of local flora of the alpine belt has been composed using the database of geobotanic descriptions carried out in Teberda Biosphere Reserve at true altitudes exceeding.1800 m. It includes 585 species of flowering plants belonging to 57 families. Basal groups of flowering plants are.not represented in the list. At the scale of communities of three classes, namely Thlaspietea rotundifolii - commumties formed on screes and pebbles, Calluno-Ulicetea - alpine meadow, and Mulgedio-Aconitetea subalpine meadows, have not demonstrated significant distinction of phylogenetic structure. At intra level, for alpine meadows the larger share of closely related species. (clustered community) is detected. Significantly clustered happen to be those communities developing on rocks (class Asplenietea trichomanis) and alpine (class Juncetea trifidi). At the same time, alpine lichen proved to have even phylogenetic structure at the small scale. Alpine (class Salicetea herbaceae) that

  14. Chronic low-level arsenic exposure causes gender-specific alterations in locomotor activity, dopaminergic systems, and thioredoxin expression in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Bardullas, U.; Limon-Pacheco, J.H.; Giordano, M.; Carrizales, L.; Mendoza-Trejo, M.S.; Rodriguez, V.M.

    2009-09-01

    Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid widely present in the environment. Human exposure to As has been associated with the development of skin and internal organ cancers and cardiovascular disorders, among other diseases. A few studies report decreases in intelligence quotient (IQ), and sensory and motor alterations after chronic As exposure in humans. On the other hand, studies of rodents exposed to high doses of As have found alterations in locomotor activity, brain neurochemistry, behavioral tasks, and oxidative stress. In the present study both male and female C57Bl/6J mice were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of As such as 0.05, 0.5, 5.0, or 50 mg As/L of drinking water for 4 months, and locomotor activity was assessed every month. Male mice presented hyperactivity in the group exposed to 0.5 mg As/L and hypoactivity in the group exposed to 50 mg As/L after 4 months of As exposure, whereas female mice exposed to 0.05, 0.5, and 5.0 mg As/L exhibited hyperactivity in every monthly test during As exposure. Furthermore, striatal and hypothalamic dopamine content was decreased only in female mice. Also decreases in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and cytosolic thioredoxin (Trx-1) mRNA expression in striatum and nucleus accumbens were observed in male and female mice, respectively. These results indicate that chronic As exposure leads to gender-dependent alterations in dopaminergic markers and spontaneous locomotor activity, and down-regulation of the antioxidant capacity of the brain.

  15. Chronic low-level arsenic exposure causes gender-specific alterations in locomotor activity, dopaminergic systems, and thioredoxin expression in mice.

    PubMed

    Bardullas, U; Limón-Pacheco, J H; Giordano, M; Carrizales, L; Mendoza-Trejo, M S; Rodríguez, V M

    2009-09-01

    Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid widely present in the environment. Human exposure to As has been associated with the development of skin and internal organ cancers and cardiovascular disorders, among other diseases. A few studies report decreases in intelligence quotient (IQ), and sensory and motor alterations after chronic As exposure in humans. On the other hand, studies of rodents exposed to high doses of As have found alterations in locomotor activity, brain neurochemistry, behavioral tasks, and oxidative stress. In the present study both male and female C57Bl/6J mice were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of As such as 0.05, 0.5, 5.0, or 50 mg As/L of drinking water for 4 months, and locomotor activity was assessed every month. Male mice presented hyperactivity in the group exposed to 0.5 mg As/L and hypoactivity in the group exposed to 50 mg As/L after 4 months of As exposure, whereas female mice exposed to 0.05, 0.5, and 5.0 mg As/L exhibited hyperactivity in every monthly test during As exposure. Furthermore, striatal and hypothalamic dopamine content was decreased only in female mice. Also decreases in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and cytosolic thioredoxin (Trx-1) mRNA expression in striatum and nucleus accumbens were observed in male and female mice, respectively. These results indicate that chronic As exposure leads to gender-dependent alterations in dopaminergic markers and spontaneous locomotor activity, and down-regulation of the antioxidant capacity of the brain. PMID:19121333

  16. Epithelial remodeling and claudin mRNA abundance in the gill and kidney of puffer fish (Tetraodon biocellatus) acclimated to altered environmental ion levels.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Nicole M; Bui, Phuong; Bagherie-Lachidan, Mazdak; Kelly, Scott P

    2011-02-01

    In water of varying ion content, the gills and kidney of fishes contribute significantly to the maintenance of salt and water balance. However, little is known about the molecular architecture of the tight junction (TJ) complex and the regulation of paracellular permeability characteristics in these tissues. In the current studies, puffer fish (Tetraodon biocellatus) were acclimated to freshwater (FW), seawater (SW) or ion-poor freshwater (IPW) conditions. Following acclimation, alterations in systemic endpoints of hydromineral status were examined in conjunction with changes in gill and kidney epithelia morphology/morphometrics, as well as claudin TJ protein mRNA abundance. T. biocellatus were able to maintain endpoints of hydromineral status within relatively tight limits across the broad range of water ion content examined. Both gill and kidney tissue exhibited substantial alterations in morphology as well as claudin TJ protein mRNA abundance. These responses were particularly pronounced when comparing fish acclimated to SW versus those acclimated to IPW. TEM observations of IPW-acclimated fish gills revealed the presence of cells that exhibited the typical characteristics of gill mitochondria-rich cells (e.g. voluminous, Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase-immunoreactive, exposed to the external environment at the apical surface), but were not mitochondria-rich. To our knowledge, this type of cell has not previously been described in hyperosmoregulating fish gills. Furthermore, modifications in the morphometrics and claudin mRNA abundance of kidney tissue support the notion that spatial alterations in claudin TJ proteins along the nephron of fishes will likely play an important role in the regulation of salt and water balance in these organisms. PMID:20976602

  17. Measuring community similarity with phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Parks, Donovan H; Beiko, Robert G

    2012-12-01

    Environmental drivers of biodiversity can be identified by relating patterns of community similarity to ecological factors. Community variation has traditionally been assessed by considering changes in species composition and more recently by incorporating phylogenetic information to account for the relative similarity of taxa. Here, we describe how an important class of measures including Bray-Curtis, Canberra, and UniFrac can be extended to allow community variation to be computed on a phylogenetic network. We focus on phylogenetic split systems, networks that are produced by the widely used median network and neighbor-net methods, which can represent incongruence in the evolutionary history of a set of taxa. Calculating β diversity over a split system provides a measure of community similarity averaged over uncertainty or conflict in the available phylogenetic signal. Our freely available software, Network Diversity, provides 11 qualitative (presence-absence, unweighted) and 14 quantitative (weighted) network-based measures of community similarity that model different aspects of community richness and evenness. We demonstrate the broad applicability of network-based diversity approaches by applying them to three distinct data sets: pneumococcal isolates from distinct geographic regions, human mitochondrial DNA data from the Indonesian island of Nias, and proteorhodopsin sequences from the Sargasso and Mediterranean Seas. Our results show that major expected patterns of variation for these data sets are recovered using network-based measures, which indicates that these patterns are robust to phylogenetic uncertainty and conflict. Nonetheless, network-based measures of community similarity can differ substantially from measures ignoring phylogenetic relationships or from tree-based measures when incongruent signals are present in the underlying data. Network-based measures provide a methodology for assessing the robustness of β-diversity results in light of

  18. Probabilistic Graphical Model Representation in Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Höhna, Sebastian; Heath, Tracy A.; Boussau, Bastien; Landis, Michael J.; Ronquist, Fredrik; Huelsenbeck, John P.

    2014-01-01

    Recent years have seen a rapid expansion of the model space explored in statistical phylogenetics, emphasizing the need for new approaches to statistical model representation and software development. Clear communication and representation of the chosen model is crucial for: (i) reproducibility of an analysis, (ii) model development, and (iii) software design. Moreover, a unified, clear and understandable framework for model representation lowers the barrier for beginners and nonspecialists to grasp complex phylogenetic models, including their assumptions and parameter/variable dependencies. Graphical modeling is a unifying framework that has gained in popularity in the statistical literature in recent years. The core idea is to break complex models into conditionally independent distributions. The strength lies in the comprehensibility, flexibility, and adaptability of this formalism, and the large body of computational work based on it. Graphical models are well-suited to teach statistical models, to facilitate communication among phylogeneticists and in the development of generic software for simulation and statistical inference. Here, we provide an introduction to graphical models for phylogeneticists and extend the standard graphical model representation to the realm of phylogenetics. We introduce a new graphical model component, tree plates, to capture the changing structure of the subgraph corresponding to a phylogenetic tree. We describe a range of phylogenetic models using the graphical model framework and introduce modules to simplify the representation of standard components in large and complex models. Phylogenetic model graphs can be readily used in simulation, maximum likelihood inference, and Bayesian inference using, for example, Metropolis–Hastings or Gibbs sampling of the posterior distribution. [Computation; graphical models; inference; modularization; statistical phylogenetics; tree plate.] PMID:24951559

  19. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities are phylogenetically clustered at small scales

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Sebastian; Caruso, Tancredi; Verbruggen, Erik; Rillig, Matthias C; Hempel, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing technologies with markers covering the full Glomeromycota phylum were used to uncover phylogenetic community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with Festuca brevipila. The study system was a semi-arid grassland with high plant diversity and a steep environmental gradient in pH, C, N, P and soil water content. The AMF community in roots and rhizosphere soil were analyzed separately and consisted of 74 distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in total. Community-level variance partitioning showed that the role of environmental factors in determining AM species composition was marginal when controlling for spatial autocorrelation at multiple scales. Instead, phylogenetic distance and spatial distance were major correlates of AMF communities: OTUs that were more closely related (and which therefore may have similar traits) were more likely to co-occur. This pattern was insensitive to phylogenetic sampling breadth. Given the minor effects of the environment, we propose that at small scales closely related AMF positively associate through biotic factors such as plant-AMF filtering and interactions within the soil biota. PMID:24824667

  20. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities are phylogenetically clustered at small scales.

    PubMed

    Horn, Sebastian; Caruso, Tancredi; Verbruggen, Erik; Rillig, Matthias C; Hempel, Stefan

    2014-11-01

    Next-generation sequencing technologies with markers covering the full Glomeromycota phylum were used to uncover phylogenetic community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with Festuca brevipila. The study system was a semi-arid grassland with high plant diversity and a steep environmental gradient in pH, C, N, P and soil water content. The AMF community in roots and rhizosphere soil were analyzed separately and consisted of 74 distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in total. Community-level variance partitioning showed that the role of environmental factors in determining AM species composition was marginal when controlling for spatial autocorrelation at multiple scales. Instead, phylogenetic distance and spatial distance were major correlates of AMF communities: OTUs that were more closely related (and which therefore may have similar traits) were more likely to co-occur. This pattern was insensitive to phylogenetic sampling breadth. Given the minor effects of the environment, we propose that at small scales closely related AMF positively associate through biotic factors such as plant-AMF filtering and interactions within the soil biota. PMID:24824667

  1. Phylogenetic Variation in the Silicon Composition of Plants

    PubMed Central

    HODSON, M. J.; WHITE, P. J.; MEAD, A.; BROADLEY, M. R.

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims Silicon (Si) in plants provides structural support and improves tolerance to diseases, drought and metal toxicity. Shoot Si concentrations are generally considered to be greater in monocotyledonous than in non-monocot plant species. The phylogenetic variation in the shoot Si concentration of plants reported in the primary literature has been quantified. • Methods Studies were identified which reported Si concentrations in leaf or non-woody shoot tissues from at least two plant species growing in the same environment. Each study contained at least one species in common with another study. • Key Results Meta-analysis of the data revealed that, in general, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms accumulated less Si in their shoots than non-vascular plant species and horsetails. Within angiosperms and ferns, differences in shoot Si concentration between species grouped by their higher-level phylogenetic position were identified. Within the angiosperms, species from the commelinoid monocot orders Poales and Arecales accumulated substantially more Si in their shoots than species from other monocot clades. • Conclusions A high shoot Si concentration is not a general feature of monocot species. Information on the phylogenetic variation in shoot Si concentration may provide useful palaeoecological and archaeological information, and inform studies of the biogeochemical cycling of Si and those of the molecular genetics of Si uptake and transport in plants. PMID:16176944

  2. Relaxed Phylogenetics and Dating with Confidence

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Simon Y. W; Phillips, Matthew J

    2006-01-01

    In phylogenetics, the unrooted model of phylogeny and the strict molecular clock model are two extremes of a continuum. Despite their dominance in phylogenetic inference, it is evident that both are biologically unrealistic and that the real evolutionary process lies between these two extremes. Fortunately, intermediate models employing relaxed molecular clocks have been described. These models open the gate to a new field of “relaxed phylogenetics.” Here we introduce a new approach to performing relaxed phylogenetic analysis. We describe how it can be used to estimate phylogenies and divergence times in the face of uncertainty in evolutionary rates and calibration times. Our approach also provides a means for measuring the clocklikeness of datasets and comparing this measure between different genes and phylogenies. We find no significant rate autocorrelation among branches in three large datasets, suggesting that autocorrelated models are not necessarily suitable for these data. In addition, we place these datasets on the continuum of clocklikeness between a strict molecular clock and the alternative unrooted extreme. Finally, we present analyses of 102 bacterial, 106 yeast, 61 plant, 99 metazoan, and 500 primate alignments. From these we conclude that our method is phylogenetically more accurate and precise than the traditional unrooted model while adding the ability to infer a timescale to evolution. PMID:16683862

  3. Worldwide phylogenetic relationship of avian poxviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gyuranecz, Miklós; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Dán, Ádám; Ip, Hon S.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Parker, Patricia G.; Higashiguchi, Jenni M.; Skinner, Michael A.; Höfle, Ursula; Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Solt, Szabolcs; Sós, Endre; Kim, Young Jun; Uhart, Marcela; Pereda, Ariel; González-Hein, Gisela; Hidalgo, Hector; Blanco, Juan-Manuel; Erdélyi, Károly

    2013-01-01

    Poxvirus infections have been found in 230 species of wild and domestic birds worldwide in both terrestrial and marine environments. This ubiquity raises the question of how infection has been transmitted and globally dispersed. We present a comprehensive global phylogeny of 111 novel poxvirus isolates in addition to all available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of Avipoxvirus genus has traditionally relied on one gene region (4b core protein). In this study we have expanded the analyses to include a second locus (DNA polymerase gene), allowing for a more robust phylogenetic framework, finer genetic resolution within specific groups and the detection of potential recombination. Our phylogenetic results reveal several major features of avipoxvirus evolution and ecology and propose an updated avipoxvirus taxonomy, including three novel subclades. The characterization of poxviruses from 57 species of birds in this study extends the current knowledge of their host range and provides the first evidence of the phylogenetic effect of genetic recombination of avipoxviruses. The repeated occurrence of avian family or order-specific grouping within certain clades (e.g. starling poxvirus, falcon poxvirus, raptor poxvirus, etc.) indicates a marked role of host adaptation, while the sharing of poxvirus species within prey-predator systems emphasizes the capacity for cross-species infection and limited host adaptation. Our study provides a broad and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus, an ecologically and environmentally important viral group, to formulate a genome sequencing strategy that will clarify avipoxvirus taxonomy.

  4. Fungal phylogenetic diversity drives plant facilitation.

    PubMed

    Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Segarra-Moragues, J G; Valiente-Banuet, A; Verdú, M

    2016-06-01

    Plant-plant facilitation is a crucial ecological process, as many plant species (facilitated) require the presence of an established individual (nurse) to recruit. Some plant facilitative interactions disappear during the ontogenetic development of the facilitated plant but others persist, even when the two plants are adults. We test whether the persistence of plant facilitative interactions is explained by the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic and non-mutualistic fungi that the nurse and the facilitated species add to the shared rhizosphere. We classify plant facilitative interactions as persistent and non-persistent interactions and quantify the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic and non-mutualistic fungi added by the plant species to the shared rhizosphere. Our results show that the facilitated species add less phylogenetic diversity of non-mutualistic fungi when plant facilitative interactions persist than when they do not persist. However, persistent and non-persistent facilitative interactions did not differ in the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic fungi added by the facilitated species to the shared rhizosphere. Finally, the fungal phylogenetic diversity added by the nurse to the shared rhizosphere did not differ between persistent and non-persistent interactions. This study suggests that considering the fungal associates of the plant species involved in facilitative interactions can shed light on the mechanisms of persistence for plant-plant interactions. PMID:26915080

  5. Worldwide Phylogenetic Relationship of Avian Poxviruses

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Jeffrey T.; Dán, Ádám; Ip, Hon S.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Parker, Patricia G.; Higashiguchi, Jenni M.; Skinner, Michael A.; Höfle, Ursula; Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Solt, Szabolcs; Sós, Endre; Kim, Young Jun; Uhart, Marcela; Pereda, Ariel; González-Hein, Gisela; Hidalgo, Hector; Blanco, Juan-Manuel; Erdélyi, Károly

    2013-01-01

    Poxvirus infections have been found in 230 species of wild and domestic birds worldwide in both terrestrial and marine environments. This ubiquity raises the question of how infection has been transmitted and globally dispersed. We present a comprehensive global phylogeny of 111 novel poxvirus isolates in addition to all available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus has traditionally relied on one gene region (4b core protein). In this study we expanded the analyses to include a second locus (DNA polymerase gene), allowing for a more robust phylogenetic framework, finer genetic resolution within specific groups, and the detection of potential recombination. Our phylogenetic results reveal several major features of avipoxvirus evolution and ecology and propose an updated avipoxvirus taxonomy, including three novel subclades. The characterization of poxviruses from 57 species of birds in this study extends the current knowledge of their host range and provides the first evidence of the phylogenetic effect of genetic recombination of avipoxviruses. The repeated occurrence of avian family or order-specific grouping within certain clades (e.g., starling poxvirus, falcon poxvirus, raptor poxvirus, etc.) indicates a marked role of host adaptation, while the sharing of poxvirus species within prey-predator systems emphasizes the capacity for cross-species infection and limited host adaptation. Our study provides a broad and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus, an ecologically and environmentally important viral group, to formulate a genome sequencing strategy that will clarify avipoxvirus taxonomy. PMID:23408635

  6. Phylogenetic congruence and ecological coherence in terrestrial Thaumarchaeota

    PubMed Central

    Oton, Eduard Vico; Quince, Christopher; Nicol, Graeme W; Prosser, James I; Gubry-Rangin, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Thaumarchaeota form a ubiquitously distributed archaeal phylum, comprising both the ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and other archaeal groups in which ammonia oxidation has not been demonstrated (including Group 1.1c and Group 1.3). The ecology of AOA in terrestrial environments has been extensively studied using either a functional gene, encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) or 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, which show phylogenetic coherence with respect to soil pH. To test phylogenetic congruence between these two markers and to determine ecological coherence in all Thaumarchaeota, we performed high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and amoA genes in 46 UK soils presenting 29 available contextual soil characteristics. Adaptation to pH and organic matter content reflected strong ecological coherence at various levels of taxonomic resolution for Thaumarchaeota (AOA and non-AOA), whereas nitrogen, total mineralisable nitrogen and zinc concentration were also important factors associated with AOA thaumarchaeotal community distribution. Other significant associations with environmental factors were also detected for amoA and 16S rRNA genes, reflecting different diversity characteristics between these two markers. Nonetheless, there was significant statistical congruence between the markers at fine phylogenetic resolution, supporting the hypothesis of low horizontal gene transfer between Thaumarchaeota. Group 1.1c Thaumarchaeota were also widely distributed, with two clusters predominating, particularly in environments with higher moisture content and organic matter, whereas a similar ecological pattern was observed for Group 1.3 Thaumarchaeota. The ecological and phylogenetic congruence identified is fundamental to understand better the life strategies, evolutionary history and ecosystem function of the Thaumarchaeota. PMID:26140533

  7. Phylogenetic congruence and ecological coherence in terrestrial Thaumarchaeota.

    PubMed

    Oton, Eduard Vico; Quince, Christopher; Nicol, Graeme W; Prosser, James I; Gubry-Rangin, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Thaumarchaeota form a ubiquitously distributed archaeal phylum, comprising both the ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and other archaeal groups in which ammonia oxidation has not been demonstrated (including Group 1.1c and Group 1.3). The ecology of AOA in terrestrial environments has been extensively studied using either a functional gene, encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) or 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, which show phylogenetic coherence with respect to soil pH. To test phylogenetic congruence between these two markers and to determine ecological coherence in all Thaumarchaeota, we performed high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and amoA genes in 46 UK soils presenting 29 available contextual soil characteristics. Adaptation to pH and organic matter content reflected strong ecological coherence at various levels of taxonomic resolution for Thaumarchaeota (AOA and non-AOA), whereas nitrogen, total mineralisable nitrogen and zinc concentration were also important factors associated with AOA thaumarchaeotal community distribution. Other significant associations with environmental factors were also detected for amoA and 16S rRNA genes, reflecting different diversity characteristics between these two markers. Nonetheless, there was significant statistical congruence between the markers at fine phylogenetic resolution, supporting the hypothesis of low horizontal gene transfer between Thaumarchaeota. Group 1.1c Thaumarchaeota were also widely distributed, with two clusters predominating, particularly in environments with higher moisture content and organic matter, whereas a similar ecological pattern was observed for Group 1.3 Thaumarchaeota. The ecological and phylogenetic congruence identified is fundamental to understand better the life strategies, evolutionary history and ecosystem function of the Thaumarchaeota. PMID:26140533

  8. New primers for promising single-copy genes in fungal phylogenetics and systematics.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, I; Crespo, A; Divakar, P K; Fankhauser, J D; Herman-Sackett, E; Kalb, K; Nelsen, M P; Nelson, N A; Rivas-Plata, E; Shimp, A D; Widhelm, T; Lumbsch, H T

    2009-12-01

    Developing powerful phylogenetic markers is a key concern in fungal phylogenetics. Here we report degenerate primers that amplify the single-copy genes Mcm7 (MS456) and Tsr1 (MS277) across a wide range of Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota). Phylogenetic analyses of 59 taxa belonging to the Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, Lichinomycetes and Sordariomycetes, indicate the utility of these loci for fungal phylogenetics at taxonomic levels ranging from genus to class. We also tested the new primers in silico using sequences of Saccharomycotina, Taphrinomycotina and Basidiomycota to predict their potential of amplifying widely across the Fungi. The analyses suggest that the new primers will need no, or only minor sequence modifications to amplify Saccharomycotina, Taphrinomycotina and Basidiomycota. PMID:20198159

  9. Genomic and Phylogenetic Characterization of Brazilian Yellow Fever Virus Strains

    PubMed Central

    Palacios, Gustavo; Cardoso, Jedson F.; Martins, Livia C.; Sousa, Edivaldo C.; de Lima, Clayton P. S.; Medeiros, Daniele B. A.; Savji, Nazir; Desai, Aaloki; Rodrigues, Sueli G.; Carvalho, Valeria L.; Lipkin, W. Ian

    2012-01-01

    Globally, yellow fever virus infects nearly 200,000 people, leading to 30,000 deaths annually. Although the virus is endemic to Latin America, only a single genome from this region has been sequenced. Here, we report 12 Brazilian yellow fever virus complete genomes, their genetic traits, phylogenetic characterization, and phylogeographic dynamics. Variable 3′ noncoding region (3′NCR) patterns and specific mutations throughout the open reading frame altered predicted secondary structures. Our findings suggest that whereas the introduction of yellow fever virus in Brazil led to genotype I-predominant dispersal throughout South and Central Americas, genotype II remained confined to Bolivia, Peru, and the western Brazilian Amazon. PMID:23015713

  10. A critical appraisal of the use of microRNA data in phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Robert C; Plachetzki, David C; Mahler, D Luke; Moore, Brian R

    2014-09-01

    Recent progress in resolving the tree of life continues to expose relationships that resist resolution, which drives the search for novel sources of information to solve these difficult phylogenetic problems. A recent example, the presence and absence of microRNA families, has been vigorously promoted as an ideal source of phylogenetic data and has been applied to several perennial phylogenetic problems. The utility of such data for phylogenetic inference hinges critically both on developing stochastic models that provide a reasonable description of the process that give rise to these data, and also on the careful validation of those models in real inference scenarios. Remarkably, however, the statistical behavior and phylogenetic utility of microRNA data have not yet been rigorously characterized. Here we explore the behavior and performance of microRNA presence/absence data under a variety of evolutionary models and reexamine datasets from several previous studies. We find that highly heterogeneous rates of microRNA gain and loss, pervasive secondary loss, and sampling error collectively render microRNA-based inference of phylogeny difficult. Moreover, our reanalyses fundamentally alter the conclusions for four of the five studies that we reexamined. Our results indicate that the capacity of miRNA data to resolve the tree of life has been overstated, and we urge caution in their application and interpretation. PMID:25071211

  11. A critical appraisal of the use of microRNA data in phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Robert C.; Plachetzki, David C.; Mahler, D. Luke; Moore, Brian R.

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in resolving the tree of life continues to expose relationships that resist resolution, which drives the search for novel sources of information to solve these difficult phylogenetic problems. A recent example, the presence and absence of microRNA families, has been vigorously promoted as an ideal source of phylogenetic data and has been applied to several perennial phylogenetic problems. The utility of such data for phylogenetic inference hinges critically both on developing stochastic models that provide a reasonable description of the process that give rise to these data, and also on the careful validation of those models in real inference scenarios. Remarkably, however, the statistical behavior and phylogenetic utility of microRNA data have not yet been rigorously characterized. Here we explore the behavior and performance of microRNA presence/absence data under a variety of evolutionary models and reexamine datasets from several previous studies. We find that highly heterogeneous rates of microRNA gain and loss, pervasive secondary loss, and sampling error collectively render microRNA-based inference of phylogeny difficult. Moreover, our reanalyses fundamentally alter the conclusions for four of the five studies that we reexamined. Our results indicate that the capacity of miRNA data to resolve the tree of life has been overstated, and we urge caution in their application and interpretation. PMID:25071211

  12. Altered mRNA Levels of Glucocorticoid Receptor, Mineralocorticoid Receptor, and Co-Chaperones (FKBP5 and PTGES3) in the Middle Frontal Gyrus of Autism Spectrum Disorder Subjects.

    PubMed

    Patel, Neil; Crider, Amanda; Pandya, Chirayu D; Ahmed, Anthony O; Pillai, Anilkumar

    2016-05-01

    Although stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), it is not known whether glucocorticoid receptor (GR) levels are altered in the brain of subjects with ASD. The messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of GR isoforms (GRα, GRβ, GRγ, and GRP), mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), GR co-chaperones (FKBP5, PTGES3, and BAG1), and inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, and IFN-γ) were examined in the postmortem middle frontal gyrus tissues of 13 ASD and 13 age-matched controls by qRT-PCR. The protein levels were examined by Western blotting. We found significant decreases in GRα (64 %), GRγ (48 %), GRP (20 %) and MR (46 %) mRNA levels in ASD subjects as compared to controls. However, significant increases in FKBP5 (42 %) and PTGES3 (35 %) mRNA levels were observed in ASD subjects. There were no differences in the mRNA levels of GRβ and BAG1 in ASD subjects as compared to controls. MR mRNA was found to be negatively correlated with the diagnostic score for abnormality of development. On the protein level, significant reductions in GR and MR, but no change in FKBP5 and PTGES3 were found in ASD subjects as compared to controls. Moreover, we observed significant increases in IL-1β and IFN-γ mRNA levels in ASD subjects, and these cytokines were negatively associated with GR levels. Our data, for the first time, reports dysregulation of GR, MR, FKBP5, and PTGES3 in ASD and suggest a possible role of inflammation in altered GR function in ASD. PMID:25912394

  13. Elliptocytosis in patients with C-terminal domain mutations of protein 4.1 correlates with encoded messenger RNA levels rather than with alterations in primary protein structure.

    PubMed

    Morinière, M; Ribeiro, L; Dalla Venezia, N; Deguillien, M; Maillet, P; Cynober, T; Delhommeau, F; Almeida, H; Tamagnini, G; Delaunay, J; Baklouti, F

    2000-03-01

    Early biochemical studies defined 4 functional domains of the erythroid protein 4.1 (4.1R). From amino-terminal to carboxy-terminal, these are 30 kd, 16 kd, 10 kd, and 22/24 kd in size. Although the functional properties of both the 30-kd and the 10-kd domain have been demonstrated in red cells, no functional activities have been assigned to either the 16-kd or the 22/24-kd domain in these cells. We here describe new mutations in the sequence encoding the C-terminal 22/24-kd domain that are associated with hereditary elliptocytosis. An unusually mild phenotype observed in heterozygous and homozygous members of 1 family suggested heterogeneity in the pattern of expression of 4.1R deficiency. Using a variety of protein and messenger RNA (mRNA) quantification strategies, we showed that, regardless of the alteration in the C-terminal primary sequence, when the protein is produced, it assembles at the cell membrane. In addition, we found that alterations in red cell morphologic features and membrane function correlate with the amount of membrane-associated protein-and therefore with the amount of mRNA accumulated-rather than with the primary structure of the variant proteins. These data suggest that an intact sequence at exons 19 through 21 encoding part of the C-terminal 22/24-kd region is not required for proper protein 4.1R assembly in mature red cells. (Blood. 2000;95:1834-1841) PMID:10688845

  14. Genetic manipulation of cardiac Hsp72 levels does not alter substrate metabolism but reveals insights into high-fat feeding-induced cardiac insulin resistance.

    PubMed

    Henstridge, Darren C; Estevez, E; Allen, T L; Heywood, S E; Gardner, T; Yang, C; Mellett, N A; Kingwell, B A; Meikle, P J; Febbraio, M A

    2015-05-01

    Heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72) protects cells against a variety of stressors, and multiple studies have suggested that Hsp72 plays a cardioprotective role. As skeletal muscle Hsp72 overexpression can protect against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced insulin resistance, alterations in substrate metabolism may be a mechanism by which Hsp72 is cardioprotective. We investigated the impact of transgenically overexpressing (Hsp72 Tg) or deleting Hsp72 (Hsp72 KO) on various aspects of cardiac metabolism. Mice were fed a normal chow (NC) or HFD for 12 weeks from 8 weeks of age to examine the impact of diet-induced obesity on metabolic parameters in the heart. The HFD resulted in an increase in cardiac fatty acid oxidation and a decrease in cardiac glucose oxidation and insulin-stimulated cardiac glucose clearance; however, there was no difference in Hsp72 Tg or Hsp72 KO mice in these rates compared with their respective wild-type control mice. Although HFD-induced cardiac insulin resistance was not rescued in the Hsp72 Tg mice, it was preserved in the skeletal muscle, suggesting tissue-specific effects of Hsp72 overexpression on substrate metabolism. Comparison of two different strains of mice (BALB/c vs. C57BL/6J) also identified strain-specific differences in regard to HFD-induced cardiac lipid accumulation and insulin resistance. These strain differences suggest that cardiac lipid accumulation can be dissociated from cardiac insulin resistance. Our study finds that genetic manipulation of Hsp72 does not lead to alterations in metabolic processes in cardiac tissue under resting conditions, but identifies mouse strain-specific differences in cardiac lipid accumulation and insulin-stimulated glucose clearance. PMID:25618331

  15. Cortical thickness, surface area, and folding alterations in male youths with conduct disorder and varying levels of callous–unemotional traits

    PubMed Central

    Fairchild, Graeme; Toschi, Nicola; Hagan, Cindy C.; Goodyer, Ian M.; Calder, Andrew J.; Passamonti, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Previous studies have reported changes in gray matter volume in youths with conduct disorder (CD), although these differences are difficult to interpret as they may have been driven by alterations in cortical thickness, surface area (SA), or folding. The objective of this study was to use surface-based morphometry (SBM) methods to compare male youths with CD and age and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) in cortical thickness, SA, and folding. We also tested for structural differences between the childhood-onset and adolescence-onset subtypes of CD and performed regression analyses to assess for relationships between CD symptoms and callous–unemotional (CU) traits and SBM-derived measures. Methods We acquired structural neuroimaging data from 20 HCs and 36 CD participants (18 with childhood-onset CD and 18 with adolescence-onset CD) and analyzed the data using FreeSurfer. Results Relative to HCs, youths with CD showed reduced cortical thickness in the superior temporal gyrus, reduced SA in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and increased cortical folding in the insula. There were no significant differences between the childhood-onset and adolescence-onset CD subgroups in cortical thickness or SA, but several frontal and temporal regions showed increased cortical folding in childhood-onset relative to adolescence-onset CD participants. Both CD subgroups also showed increased cortical folding relative to HCs. CD symptoms were negatively correlated with OFC SA whereas CU traits were positively correlated with insula folding. Conclusions Cortical thinning in the superior temporal gyrus may contribute to the social cognitive impairments displayed by youths with CD, whereas reduced OFC SA may lead to impairments in emotion regulation and reward processing in youths with CD. The increased cortical folding observed in the insula may reflect a maturational delay in this region and could mediate the link between CU traits and empathy deficits. Altered cortical folding

  16. The cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter sequence alters the level and patterns of activity of adjacent tissue- and organ-specific gene promoters.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xuelian; Deng, Wei; Luo, Keming; Duan, Hui; Chen, Yongqin; McAvoy, Richard; Song, Shuiqing; Pei, Yan; Li, Yi

    2007-08-01

    Here we report the effect of the 35S promoter sequence on activities of the tissue- and organ-specific gene promoters in tobacco plants. In the absence of the 35S promoter sequence the AAP2 promoter is active only in vascular tissues as indicated by expression of the AAP2:GUS gene. With the 35S promoter sequence in the same T-plasmid, transgenic plants exhibit twofold to fivefold increase in AAP2 promoter activity and the promoter becomes active in all tissue types. Transgenic plants hosting the ovary-specific AGL5:iaaM gene (iaaM coding an auxin biosynthetic gene) showed a wild-type phenotype except production of seedless fruits, whereas plants hosting the AGL5:iaaM gene along with the 35S promoter sequence showed drastic morphological alterations. RT-PCR analysis confirms that the phenotype was caused by activation of the AGL5:iaaM gene in non-ovary organs including roots, stems and flowers. When the pollen-, ovule- and early embryo-specific PAB5:barnase gene (barnase coding a RNase gene) was transformed, the presence of 35S promoter sequence drastically reduced transformation efficiencies. However, the transformation efficiencies were restored in the absence of 35S promoter, indicating that the 35S promoter might activate the expression of PAB5:barnase in non-reproductive organs such as calli and shoot primordia. Furthermore, if the 35S promoter sequence was replaced with the NOS promoter sequence, no alteration in AAP2, AGL5 or PAB5 promoter activities was observed. Our results demonstrate that the 35S promoter sequence can convert an adjacent tissue- and organ-specific gene promoter into a globally active promoter. PMID:17340093

  17. Phylogenetic relationships within the Phyllidiidae (Opisthobranchia, Nudibranchia).

    PubMed

    Stoffels, Bart E M W; van der Meij, Sancia E T; Hoeksema, Bert W; van Alphen, Joris; van Alen, Theo; Meyers-Muñoz, Maria Angelica; de Voogd, Nicole J; Tuti, Yosephine; van der Velde, Gerard

    2016-01-01

    The Phyllidiidae (Gastropoda, Heterobranchia, Nudibranchia) is a family of colourful nudibranchs found on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Despite the abundant and widespread occurrence of many species, their phylogenetic relationships are not well known. The present study is the first contribution to fill the gap in our knowledge on their phylogeny by combining morphological and molecular data. For that purpose 99 specimens belonging to 16 species were collected at two localities in Indonesia. They were photographed and used to make a phylogeny reconstruction based on newly obtained cytochrome oxidase subunit (COI) sequences as well as sequence data from GenBank. All mitochondrial 16S sequence data available from GenBank were used in a separate phylogeny reconstruction to obtain information for species we did not collect. COI data allowed the distinction of the genera and species, whereas the 16S data gave a mixed result with respect to the genera Phyllidia and Phyllidiella. Specimens which could be ascribed to species level based on their external morphology and colour patterns showed low variation in COI sequences, but there were two exceptions: three specimens identified as Phyllidia cf. babai represent two to three different species, while Phyllidiella pustulosa showed highly supported subclades. The barcoding marker COI also confirms that the species boundaries in morphologically highly variable species such as Phyllidia elegans, Phyllidia varicosa, and Phyllidiopsis krempfi, are correct as presently understood. In the COI as well as the 16S cladogram Phyllidiopsis cardinalis was located separately from all other Phyllidiidae, whereas Phyllidiopsis fissuratus was positioned alone from the Phyllidiella species by COI data only. Future studies on phyllidiid systematics should continue to combine morphological information with DNA sequences to obtain a clearer insight in their phylogeny. PMID:27551210

  18. Phylogenetic relationships within the Phyllidiidae (Opisthobranchia, Nudibranchia)

    PubMed Central

    Stoffels, Bart E.M.W.; van der Meij, Sancia E.T.; Hoeksema, Bert W.; van Alphen, Joris; van Alen, Theo; Meyers-Muñoz, Maria Angelica; de Voogd, Nicole J.; Tuti, Yosephine; van der Velde, Gerard

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Phyllidiidae (Gastropoda, Heterobranchia, Nudibranchia) is a family of colourful nudibranchs found on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Despite the abundant and widespread occurrence of many species, their phylogenetic relationships are not well known. The present study is the first contribution to fill the gap in our knowledge on their phylogeny by combining morphological and molecular data. For that purpose 99 specimens belonging to 16 species were collected at two localities in Indonesia. They were photographed and used to make a phylogeny reconstruction based on newly obtained cytochrome oxidase subunit (COI) sequences as well as sequence data from GenBank. All mitochondrial 16S sequence data available from GenBank were used in a separate phylogeny reconstruction to obtain information for species we did not collect. COI data allowed the distinction of the genera and species, whereas the 16S data gave a mixed result with respect to the genera Phyllidia and Phyllidiella. Specimens which could be ascribed to species level based on their external morphology and colour patterns showed low variation in COI sequences, but there were two exceptions: three specimens identified as Phyllidia cf. babai represent two to three different species, while Phyllidiella pustulosa showed highly supported subclades. The barcoding marker COI also confirms that the species boundaries in morphologically highly variable species such as Phyllidia elegans, Phyllidia varicosa, and Phyllidiopsis krempfi, are correct as presently understood. In the COI as well as the 16S cladogram Phyllidiopsis cardinalis was located separately from all other Phyllidiidae, whereas Phyllidiopsis fissuratus was positioned alone from the Phyllidiella species by COI data only. Future studies on phyllidiid systematics should continue to combine morphological information with DNA sequences to obtain a clearer insight in their phylogeny. PMID:27551210

  19. Conservation threats and the phylogenetic utility of IUCN Red List rankings in Incilius toads.

    PubMed

    Schachat, Sandra R; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Mendelson, Joseph R

    2016-02-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of extinction threat is an emerging tool in the field of conservation. However, there are problems with the methods and data as commonly used. Phylogenetic sampling usually extends to the level of family or genus, but International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) rankings are available only for individual species, and, although different species within a taxonomic group may have the same IUCN rank, the species may have been ranked as such for different reasons. Therefore, IUCN rank may not reflect evolutionary history and thus may not be appropriate for use in a phylogenetic context. To be used appropriately, threat-risk data should reflect the cause of extinction threat rather than the IUCN threat ranking. In a case study of the toad genus Incilius, with phylogenetic sampling at the species level (so that the resolution of the phylogeny matches character data from the IUCN Red List), we analyzed causes of decline and IUCN threat rankings by calculating metrics of phylogenetic signal (such as Fritz and Purvis' D). We also analyzed the extent to which cause of decline and threat ranking overlap by calculating phylogenetic correlation between these 2 types of character data. Incilius species varied greatly in both threat ranking and cause of decline; this variability would be lost at a coarser taxonomic resolution. We found far more phylogenetic signal, likely correlated with evolutionary history, for causes of decline than for IUCN threat ranking. Individual causes of decline and IUCN threat rankings were largely uncorrelated on the phylogeny. Our results demonstrate the importance of character selection and taxonomic resolution when extinction threat is analyzed in a phylogenetic context. PMID:26243724

  20. Morphological and molecular convergences in mammalian phylogenetics.