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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

    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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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...

  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. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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...

  18. 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

  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. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  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

    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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  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

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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