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Sample records for opossum

  1. Metal accumulation in wild-caught opossum.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, J Mitchell; Siddiqui, Samreen; Loughry, W J; Bielmyer-Fraser, Gretchen K

    2016-06-01

    The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is widespread in the USA, ranging south through Latin America. The ecology of opossums is such that they are in frequent contact with soils, suggesting that they may function as a valuable bioindicator for chemical contamination in terrestrial environments. Surprisingly, there have been virtually no toxicology studies on opossums. Here, we provide the first analysis of metal contaminants in opossum liver tissues. Liver samples were obtained from 471 opossums, collected from 2003 to 2006, at four sites in North Florida and South Georgia, USA, and concentrations of copper, lead, nickel, selenium, and zinc were measured. We found little evidence of age differences in the concentration of any of the metals. However, there were at least some significant differences between years, males and females, and between sites for each metal, although the pattern of these differences was not always consistent across metals. Concentrations of metals in liver tissue were positively correlated with one another, primarily of each metal (except Pb) with zinc. Reference levels of metal contaminants are not available for opossums, but concentrations of Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in our samples were for the most part significantly higher than those reported from liver tissues of nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) collected at the same sites and in the same years. Data from other small mammals studied elsewhere further indicate that metal concentrations in opossums were high, but at this time, it is not possible to determine if these elevated levels generated toxicity. The substantial temporal and spatial variation we found in metal concentrations suggests that determination of baseline levels for opossums may not be straightforward. Nonetheless, this is the first study quantifying metal accumulation in the livers of Didelphis virginiana and, as such, provides an important starting point for future research. PMID:27138002

  2. The opossum MHC genomic region revisited.

    PubMed

    Krasnec, Katina V; Sharp, Alana R; Williams, Tracey L; Miller, Robert D

    2015-04-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is one of the few marsupial species for which a high quality whole genome sequence is available and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region has been annotated. Previous analyses revealed only a single locus within the opossum MHC region, designated Modo-UA1, with the features expected for encoding a functionally classical class I α-chain. Nine other class I genes found within the MHC are highly divergent and have features usually associated with non-classical roles. The original annotation, however, was based on an early version of the opossum genome assembly. More recent analyses of allelic variation in individual opossums revealed too many Modo-UA1 sequences per individual to be accounted for by a single MHC class I locus found in the genome assembly. A reanalysis of a later generation assembly, MonDom5, revealed the presence of two additional loci, now designated Modo-UA3 and UA4, in a region that was expanded and more complete than in the earlier assembly. Modo-UA1, UA3, and UA4 are all transcribed, although Modo-UA4 transcripts are rarer. Modo-UA4 is also relatively non-polymorphic. Evidence presented support the accuracy of the later assembly and the existence of three related class I genes in the opossum, making opossums more typical of mammals and most tetrapods by having multiple apparent classical MHC class I loci. PMID:25737310

  3. Natural resistance of opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) to the mapanare (Bothrops lanceolatus) snake venom.

    PubMed

    Pifano, F; Aguilar, I; Giron, M E; Gamboa, N; Rodriguez-Acosta, A

    1993-01-01

    The inactivation of local and general effects of the Mapanare (Bothrops lanceolatus) venom by Opossum's (Didelphis marsupialis) serum fractions was tested using an in vivo assay and an in vitro preincubation experiment. A serum fraction of the Opossum serum has been obtained by immunochemical purification. It is only present in opossum's protective opossum serum fraction (F-0.1). PMID:8186456

  4. Prevalence of sarcocystis species sporocysts in wild-caught opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P

    2000-08-01

    Sarcocystis sporocysts were found in intestinal scrapings from 24 (54.5%) of 44 opossums (Didelphis virginiana). The number of sporocysts varied from a few (< 10,000) to 245 million. Sporocysts from 23 of 24 opossums were fed to captive budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatas), and the inocula from 21 opossums were infective, indicating the presence of Sarcocystis falcatula. Sporocysts from 24 opossums were fed to gamma-interferon-knockout (KO) or nude mice; inocula from 14 opossums were infective to mice. Sarcocystis neurona was detected in tissues of KO mice by specific staining with anti-S. neurona antibodies, and the parasite was cultured in vitro from the brains of KO mice fed sporocysts from 8 opossums. Sarcocystis speeri was identified by specific staining with anti-S. speeri antibodies in tissues of KO mice fed inocula from 8 opossums; 3 opossums had mixed S. neurona and S. speeri infections. Thus, the prevalences of sporocysts of different species of Sarcocystis in opossums were: S. falcatula 21 of 44 (47.7%), S. neurona 8 of 44 (18.1%), and S. speeri 8 of 44 (18.1%) opossums. Sarcocystis neurona alone was found in 1 opossum, and S. speeri alone was found in 1 opossum. Mixed Sarcocystis infections were present in 21 opossums. PMID:10958444

  5. Photic Preference of the Short-Tailed Opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Seelke, Adele M. H.; Dooley, James C.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2014-01-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is a nocturnal South American marsupial that has been gaining popularity as a laboratory animal. However, compared to traditional laboratory animals like rats, very little is known about its behavior, either in the wild or in a laboratory setting. Here we investigated the photic preference of the short-tailed opossum. Opossums were placed in a circular testing arena and allowed to move freely between dark (0 lux) and light (~1.4, 40, or 400 lux) sides of the arena. In each of these conditions opossums spent significantly more time in the dark than in the illuminated side and a greater proportion of time in the dark than would be expected by chance. In the high-contrast (~400 lux) illumination condition, the mean bout length (i.e., duration of one trip on the light or dark side) was significantly longer on the dark side than on the light side. When we examined the number of bouts greater than 30 and 60 sec in duration, we found a significant difference between the light and dark sides in all light contrast conditions. These data indicate that the short-tailed opossum prefers the dark to the light, and can also detect very slight differences in light intensity. We conclude that although rats and opossums share many similar characteristics, including ecological niche, their divergent evolutionary heritage results in vastly different behavioral capabilities. Only by observing the behavioral capabilities and preferences of opossums will we be able to manipulate the experimental environment to best elicit and elucidate their behavior and alterations in behavior that can arise from experimental manipulations. PMID:24709041

  6. The laminar structure of the common opossum masseter (Didelphis marsupialis).

    PubMed

    Deguchi, T; Takemura, A; Suwa, F

    2001-03-01

    Using three heads of the common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), which may be considered to have a primitive mammalian form and therefore be appropriate for this study, the laminar structure of the masseter was investigated. We also attempted a comparative anatomical study of the relationships of food habits to the laminar structures of the masseter, zygomatic arch and mandibular ramus. In the common opossum masseter, a total of six layers, the primary and secondary sublayers of the superficial layer, the intermediate layer, and the primary, secondary and third sublayers of the deep layer as a proper masseter, were observed. These layers showed a typical reverse laminar structure, with the layers of tendons and muscles alternating. The maxillomandibularis and zygomaticomandibularis muscles were observed in one layer each, as an improper masseter. The laminar structure of the common opossum masseter was shown to be more similar to that of carnivorous placental animals than that of the herbivorous red kangaroo, a similar marsupial. In regard to the number of layers in the laminar structure of the masseter, the results of both this study and those of our predecessors' showed that differences in food habits affect the deep layer in the proper masseter of marsupials and placental mammals, and that of the maxillomandibularis muscle of placental mammals in the improper masseter. PMID:11392012

  7. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Nguyen, Hoang; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Krubitzer, Leah

    2013-01-01

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity. PMID:22871523

  8. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Abstract From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphis virginiana, 15 Didelphis marsupialis, and 5 Philander opossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaima didelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopalias coronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchus microcephalus and the nematodes Cruzia tentaculata, Gnathostoma turgidum, and Turgida turgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  9. Ultraviolet radiation-induced skin tumors in a South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Kusewitt, D F; Applegate, L A; Ley, R D

    1991-01-01

    A total of 19 male and 21 female South American opossums (Monodelphis domestica) were exposed to 250 J/m2 ultraviolet radiation from FS-40 sunlamps (280-400 nm) three times weekly for 70 weeks. The backs of the opossums were shaved as necessary to remove hair. In order to prevent photoreactivation of ultraviolet radiation-induced pyrimidine dimers by the light-dependent photolyase enzyme of the opossum, ultraviolet radiation-exposed opossums were housed under red lights (600-800 nm). The opossum photolyase requires light in the 320-450 nm range for its activity. Twenty-nine control opossums (14 males and 15 females) were irradiated by fluorescent lights with emission spectra primarily in the visible light range (320-700 nm); these control opossums were also housed under red lights, and their backs were also shaved to remove hair. No skin tumors were observed in control opossums, while ultraviolet radiation-exposed opossums developed a variety of hyperplastic and neoplastic skin lesions on the backs and on a single ear. Hyperplastic lesions included foci of epithelial hyperplasia, dermal fibroplasia, and focal proliferation of dermal melanocytes. A total of 20 ultraviolet radiation-exposed opossums (50%) developed skin tumors, and 13 opossums (32.5%) had more than a single tumor. Epithelial tumors included 25 papillomas, four keratoacanthomas, seven carcinomas in situ, three microinvasive squamous cell carcinomas, two invasive squamous cell carcinomas, and a single basal cell tumor. Ten dermal spindle cell tumors also occurred; most of these appeared to be fibrosarcomas. Two benign melanomas and one malignant melanoma were observed. PMID:2017828

  10. Erythrocyte glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase from Brazilian opossum Didelphis marsupialis.

    PubMed

    Barretto, O C de O; Oshiro, M; Oliveira, R A G; Fedullo, J D L; Nonoyama, K

    2006-05-01

    In a comparative study of erythrocyte metabolism of vertebrates, the specific activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) of the Brazilian opossum Didelphis marsupialis in a hemolysate was shown to be high, 207 +/- 38 IU g-1 Hb-1 min-1 at 37 degrees C, compared to the human erythrocyte activity of 12 +/- 2 IU g-1 Hb-1 min-1 at 37 degrees C. The apparent high specific activity of the mixture led us to investigate the physicochemical properties of the opossum enzyme. We report that reduced glutathione (GSH) in the erythrocytes was only 50% higher than in human erythrocytes, a value lower than expected from the high G6PD activity since GSH is maintained in a reduced state by G6PD activity. The molecular mass, determined by G-200 Sephadex column chromatography at pH 8.0, was 265 kDa, which is essentially the same as that of human G6PD (260 kDa). The Michaelis-Menten constants (Km: 55 microM) for glucose-6-phosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (Km: 3.3 microM) were similar to those of the human enzyme (Km: 50-70 and Km: 2.9-4.4, respectively). A 450-fold purification of the opossum enzyme was achieved and the specific activity of the purified enzyme, 90 IU/mg protein, was actually lower than the 150 IU/mg protein observed for human G6PD. We conclude that G6PD after purification from the hemolysate of D. marsupialis does not have a high specific activity. Thus, it is quite probable that the red cell hyperactivity reported may be explained by increased synthesis of G6PD molecules per unit of hemoglobin or to reduced inactivation in the RBC hemolysate. PMID:16648898

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-15

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

  12. Antiinflammatory agents protect opossum esophagus during radiotherapy. [Cobalt 60

    SciTech Connect

    Northway, M.G.; Eastwood, G.L.; Libshitz, H.I.; Feldman, M.S.; Mamel, J.J.; Szwarc, I.A.

    1982-10-01

    Eighteen opossums received 2250 rad /sup 60/Co to the entire esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter. Animals received treatment with 600 mg aspirin, 25 mg/kg hydrocortisone, or saline before irradiation and twice daily for 1 week after irradiation. At 10 days postirradiation, animals were evaluated for signs of acute esophagitis by esophagoscopy and barium esophagram. Each animal was then killed and the esophagus removed and evaluated histologically. Animals treated with either aspirin or hydrocortisone had significantly milder esophagitis than control irradiated animals.

  13. Cage Change Intervals for Opossums (Monodelphis domestica) in Individually Ventilated Cages

    PubMed Central

    Allison, Sarah O; Criley, Jennifer M; Kim, Ji Young; Goodly, Lyndon J

    2011-01-01

    The opossum Monodelphis domestica is the most commonly used marsupial in biomedical research. At our institution, these opossums are housed in polycarbonate (35.6 cm × 25.4 cm × 17.8 cm) individually ventilated cages. Previous studies of the cage microenvironment of rodents housed in individually ventilated cages have demonstrated that the cage-change frequency could be extended from 7 to 14 d, without detriment to the animals’ wellbeing. We sought to determine whether the cage change frequency for opossums housed in individually ventilated cages could be extended to 14 d. Opossums were placed into 3 experimental groups: singly housed males, singly housed females, and females housed with litters. The 14-d testing period was repeated twice, with temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels tested on days 0, 7, and 14. Acceptable ranges for the cage microenvironment were based on standards followed by our institution for housing rodents: temperature between 22 to 26 °C, relative humidity between 30% to 70%, and ammonia less than 25 ppm. Throughout both 14-d testing periods, temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels for singly housed male and singly housed female opossums were within acceptable ranges. However, ammonia levels exceeded the recommended 25 ppm on day 7 of both testing periods for female opossums housed with litters. In summary, the cage-change frequency for a singly housed opossum in an individually ventilated cage can be extended to 14 d. PMID:22330710

  14. Prevalence and risk factors associated with Sarcocystis neurona infections in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from central California.

    PubMed

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Vanwormer, Elizabeth; Miller, Melissa A; Mazet, Jonna A K; Nichelason, Amy E; Melli, Ann C; Packham, Andrea E; Jessup, David A; Conrad, Patricia A

    2009-12-01

    Sarcocystis neurona, a protozoal parasite shed by opossums (Didelphis virginiana), has been shown to cause significant morbidity and mortality in horses, sea otters, and other marine mammals. Over the course of 3 years (fall 2005-summer 2008), opossums from central California were tested for infection with S. neurona. Of 288 opossums sampled, 17 (5.9%) were infected with S. neurona based on the molecular characterization of sporocysts from intestinal scrapings or feces. Risk factors evaluated for association with S. neurona infection in opossums included: age, sex, location, season, presence of pouch young in females, concomitant infection, and sampling method (live-trapped or traffic-killed). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified that opossums in the Central Valley were 9 times more likely to be infected than those near the coast (p=0.009). Similarly, opossum infection was 5 times more likely to be detected during the reproductive season (March-July; p=0.013). This first investigation of S. neurona infection prevalence and associated risk factors in opossums in the western United States can be used to develop management strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of S. neurona infections in susceptible hosts, including horses and threatened California sea otters (Enhydra lutris neries). PMID:19735983

  15. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphisvirginiana, 15 Didelphismarsupialis, and 5 Philanderopossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaimadidelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopaliascoronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchusmicrocephalus and the nematodes Cruziatentaculata, Gnathostomaturgidum, and Turgidaturgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  16. Opossums and Cat Fleas: New Insights in the Ecology of Murine Typhus in Galveston, Texas.

    PubMed

    Blanton, Lucas S; Idowu, Boluwatife M; Tatsch, Tyler N; Henderson, Joshua M; Bouyer, Donald H; Walker, David H

    2016-08-01

    Murine typhus is an acute undifferentiated febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi The classic reservoir (Rattus spp.) and flea vector (Xenopsylla cheopis) were once culprits of murine typhus in the United States. Vector and rodent control efforts have drastically decreased the prevalence of disease, except in a few endemic foci where opossums and cat fleas play a role in transmission. Since 2012, there has been a reemergence of murine typhus in Galveston, TX. We hypothesize that opossums and cat fleas are involved in the transmission of R. typhi in Galveston. To explore this, we sought to find the seroprevalence of typhus group antibodies from opossums. We also sought to find the prevalence of R. typhi in fleas parasitizing these animals. We collected blood from 12 opossums and found that eight (66.7%) had the presence of anti-R. typhi antibodies. All opossums were infested with fleas; a total of 250 Ctenocephalides felis fleas were collected from these animals. Seven opossums (53.8%) were infested with fleas that had molecular evidence of R. typhi infection, while six (46.2%) were infested with fleas that contained Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis, an organism closely related to R. felis The minimum flea infection rate for R. typhi was 7.0%. The minimum infection rate for Candidatus R. senegalensis was 6.1%. Our study demonstrates that fleas infected with R. typhi parasitize opossums in Galveston. It is therefore likely that opossums and their fleas play a role in the city's recent reemergence of murine typhus. PMID:27273642

  17. oPOSSUM-3: Advanced Analysis of Regulatory Motif Over-Representation Across Genes or ChIP-Seq Datasets

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Andrew T.; Arenillas, David J.; Hunt, Rebecca Worsley; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2012-01-01

    oPOSSUM-3 is a web-accessible software system for identification of over-represented transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) and TFBS families in either DNA sequences of co-expressed genes or sequences generated from high-throughput methods, such as ChIP-Seq. Validation of the system with known sets of co-regulated genes and published ChIP-Seq data demonstrates the capacity for oPOSSUM-3 to identify mediating transcription factors (TF) for co-regulated genes or co-recovered sequences. oPOSSUM-3 is available at http://opossum.cisreg.ca. PMID:22973536

  18. Surveillance and movements of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in the bovine tuberculosis region of Michigan.

    PubMed

    Walter, W D; Fischer, J W; Anderson, C W; Marks, D R; Deliberto, T; Robbe-Austerman, S; Vercauteren, K C

    2013-07-01

    Wildlife reservoir hosts of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) include Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the UK and New Zealand, respectively. Similar species warrant further investigation in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, USA due to the continued presence of bTB on cattle farms. Most research in Michigan, USA has focused on interactions between white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) for the transmission of the infectious agent of bTB, Mycobacterium bovis, due to high deer densities and feeding practices. However, limited data are available on medium-sized mammals such as Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana; hereafter referred to as opossum) and their movements and home range in Michigan near cattle farms. We conducted surveillance of medium-sized mammals on previously depopulated cattle farms for presence of M. bovis infections and equipped opossum with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to assess potential differences in home range between farms inside and outside the bTB core area that has had cattle test positive for M. bovis. On farms inside the bTB core area, prevalence in opossum was comparable [6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0-11.0] to prevalence in raccoon (Procyon lotor; 4%, 95% CI 1.0-9.0, P=0.439) whereas only a single opossum tested positive for M. bovis on farms outside the bTB core area. The prevalence in opossum occupying farms that had cattle test positive for M. bovis was higher (6.4%) than for opossum occupying farms that never had cattle test positive for M. bovis (0.9%, P=0.01). Mean size of home range for 50% and 95% estimates were similar by sex (P=0.791) both inside or outside the bTB core area (P=0.218). Although surveillance efforts and home range were not assessed on the same farms, opossum use of farms near structures was apparent as was selection for farms over surrounding forested habitats. The use of farms, stored feed, and structures by opossum

  19. Cystine and dibasic amino acid uptake by opossum kidney cells

    SciTech Connect

    States, B.; Segal, S. )

    1990-06-01

    The characteristics of the uptake of L-cystine by the continuous opossum kidney cell line, OK, were examined. Uptake of cystine is rapid and, in contrast to other continuous cultured cell lines, these cells retain the cystine/dibasic amino acid transport system which is found in vivo and in freshly isolated kidney tissue. Confluent monolayers of cells also fail to show the presence of the cystine/glutamate transport system present in LLC-PK1 cells, fibroblasts, and cultured hepatocytes. Uptake of cystine occurs via a high-affinity saturable process which is independent of medium sodium concentration. The predominant site of cystine transport is across the apical cell membrane. The intracellular concentration of GSH far exceeds that of cystine with a ratio greater than 100:1 for GSH:cysteine. Incubation of cells for 5 minutes with a physiological level of labelled cystine resulted in the labelling of 66% and 5% of the total intracellular cysteine and glutathione, respectively. The ability of these cells to reflect the shared cystine/dibasic amino acid transport system makes them a suitable model for investigation of the cystine carrier which is altered in human cystinuria.

  20. Experimental Aerosol Inoculation and Investigation of Potential Lateral Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

    PubMed Central

    Fenton, Karla A.; Fitzgerald, Scott D.; Bolin, Steve; Kaneene, John; Sikarskie, James; Greenwald, Rena; Lyashchenko, Konstantin

    2012-01-01

    An endemic focus of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in the state of Michigan has contributed to a regional persistence in the animal population. The objective of this study was to determine if Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) contribute to disease persistence by experimentally assessing intraspecies lateral transmission. One wild caught pregnant female opossum bearing 11 joeys (young opossum) and one age-matched joey were obtained for the study. Four joeys were aerosol inoculated with M. bovis (inoculated), four joeys were noninoculated (exposed), and four joeys plus the dam were controls. Four replicate groups of one inoculated and one exposed joey were housed together for 45 days commencing 7 days after experimental inoculation. At day 84 opossums were sacrificed. All four inoculated opossums had a positive test band via rapid test, culture positive, and gross/histologic lesions consistent with caseogranulomatous pneumonia. The exposed and control groups were unremarkable on gross, histology, rapid test, and culture. In conclusion, M. bovis infection within the inoculated opossums was confirmed by gross pathology, histopathology, bacterial culture, and antibody tests. However, M. bovis was not detected in the control and exposed opossums. There was no appreciable lateral transmission of M. bovis after aerosol inoculation and 45 days of cohabitation between infected and uninfected opossums. PMID:22701815

  1. Spontaneous cure after natural infection with Gnathostoma turgidum (Nematoda) in Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Torres-Montoya, Hilario; Galaviz-Renteria, Xochilth; Castillo-Ureta, Hipólito; Lopez-Moreno, Hector; Nawa, Yukifumi; Bojorquez-Contreras, Angel; Sanchez-Gonzalez, Sergio; Díaz-Camacho, Sylvia; Rocha-Tirado, Rodrigo; Rendon-Maldonado, Jose

    2014-04-01

    Seasonality of the nematode Gnathostoma turgidum in Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) in the wild has been reported; however, the mechanisms involved in deworming are unknown. We monitored the parasitologic and biologic changes in four Virginia opossums naturally infected with G. turgidum by coproparasitologic examination and abdominal ultrasonography. Eggs became detectable in the feces of opossums in May, peaked in July and August, and suddenly decreased in October. Adults of G. turgidum were expelled in the feces mainly in September. Ultrasonography of the liver showed slight damage during May. Lesions in the stomach appeared in April and persisted until September. The abnormalities of the liver and stomach were resolved in November. These data suggest that G. turgidum is likely expelled as a result of host immunologic mechanisms, although termination of a natural life span cannot be definitively excluded. PMID:24506422

  2. Detection of an antibothropic fraction in opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) milk that neutralizes Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Jurgilas, P B; Neves-Ferreira, A G; Domont, G B; Moussatché, H; Perales, J

    1999-01-01

    An antibothropic fraction (ABF) from Didelphis marsupialis (opossum) serum, which is responsible for the neutralization of Bothrops jararaca venom was isolated by Perales et al. [Perales, J., Moussatché, H., Marangoni, S., Oliveira, B. and Domont, G. B. (1994). Isolation and partial characterization of an antibothropic complex from the serum of South American Didelphidae. Toxicon 32, 1237-1249]. The aim of this work was to verify the presence of this factor in opossum's milk, which could represent an additional protection for the neonatal opossum against bothropic venoms. An active milk fraction was isolated and showed similar physicochemical, structural, antigenic and biological properties when compared to ABF, indicating that they are probably the same protein. PMID:9920488

  3. Isolation and amino acid sequences of opossum vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and cholecystokinin octapeptide.

    PubMed Central

    Eng, J; Yu, J; Rattan, S; Yalow, R S

    1992-01-01

    Evolutionary history suggests that the marsupials entered South America from North America about 75 million years ago and subsequently dispersed into Australia before the separation between South America and Antarctica-Australia. A question of interest is whether marsupial peptides resemble the corresponding peptides of Old or New World mammals. Previous studies had shown that "little" gastrin of the North American marsupial, the opossum, is identical in length to that of the New World mammals, the guinea pig and chinchilla. In this report, we demonstrate that opossum cholecystokinin octapeptide, like that of the Australian marsupials, the Eastern quoll and the Tamar wallaby, is identical to the cholecystokinin octapeptide of Old World mammals and differs from that of the guinea pig and chinchilla. However, opossum vasoactive intestinal polypeptide differs from the usual Old World mammalian vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in five sites: [sequence; see text]. PMID:1542675

  4. Experimental transmission of Sarcocystis speeri Dubey and Lindsay, 1999 from the South American opossum (Didelphis albiventris) to the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Speer, C A; Bowman, D D; Horton, K M; Venturini, C; Venturini, L

    2000-06-01

    Sarcocystis speeri Dubey and Lindsay, 1999 from the South American opossum Didelphis albiventris was successfully transmitted to the North American opossum Didelphis virginiana. Sporocysts from a naturally infected D. albiventris from Argentina were fed to 2 gamma-interferon knockout (KO) mice. The mice were killed 64 and 71 days after sporocyst feeding (DAF). Muscles containing sarcocysts from the KO mouse killed 71 DAF were fed to a captive D. virginiana; this opossum shed sporocysts 11 days after ingesting sarcocysts. Sporocysts from D. virginiana were fed to 9 KO mice and 4 budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Schizonts, sarcocysts, or both of S. speeri were found in tissues of all 7 KO mice killed 29-85 DAF; 2 mice died 39 and 48 DAF were not necropsied. Sarcocystis stages were not found in tissues of the 4 budgerigars fed S. speeri sporocysts and killed 35 DAE These results indicate that S. speeri is distinct from Sarcocystis falcatula and Sarcocystis neurona, and that S. speeri is present in both D. albiventris and D. virginiana. PMID:10864267

  5. Molecular characterization of Sarcocystis neurona strains from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and intermediate hosts from Central California

    PubMed Central

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Miller, Melissa A.; Grigg, Michael E.; Crosbie, Paul R.; Conrad, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is a significant cause of neurological disease in horses and other animals, including the threatened Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the only known definitive hosts for S. neurona in North America, are an introduced species in California. S. neurona DNA isolated from sporocysts and/or infected tissues of 10 opossums, 6 horses, 1 cat, 23 Southern sea otters, and 1 harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) with natural infections was analyzed based on 15 genetic markers, including the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) region; the 25/396 marker; S. neurona surface antigen genes (snSAGs) 2, 3, and 4; and 10 different microsatellites. Based on phylogenetic analysis, most of the S. neurona strains segregated into three genetically distinct groups. Additionally, fifteen S. neurona samples from opossums and several intermediate hosts, including sea otters and horses, were found to be genetically identical across all 15 genetic markers, indicating that fatal encephalitis in Southern sea otters and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses is strongly linked to S. neurona sporocysts shed by opossums. PMID:20226596

  6. West Nile virus isolated from a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in northwestern Missouri, USA, 2012.

    PubMed

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica R; Lash, R Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry M; Godsey, Marvin S; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William L; Brault, Aaron C; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-10-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology. PMID:25098303

  7. Molecular characterization of Sarcocystis neurona strains from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and intermediate hosts from Central California.

    PubMed

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Miller, Melissa A; Grigg, Michael E; Crosbie, Paul R; Conrad, Patricia A

    2010-05-28

    Sarcocystis neurona is a significant cause of neurological disease in horses and other animals, including the threatened Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the only known definitive hosts for S. neurona in North America, are an introduced species in California. S. neurona DNA isolated from sporocysts and/or infected tissues of 10 opossums, 6 horses, 1 cat, 23 Southern sea otters, and 1 harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) with natural infections was analyzed based on 15 genetic markers, including the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) region; the 25/396 marker; S. neurona surface antigen genes (snSAGs) 2, 3, and 4; and 10 different microsatellites. Based on phylogenetic analysis, most of the S. neurona strains segregated into three genetically distinct groups. Additionally, fifteen S. neurona samples from opossums and several intermediate hosts, including sea otters and horses, were found to be genetically identical across all 15 genetic markers, indicating that fatal encephalitis in Southern sea otters and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses is strongly linked to S. neurona sporocysts shed by opossums. PMID:20226596

  8. West Nile Virus Isolated from a Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwestern Missouri, USA, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica R.; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry M.; Godsey, Marvin S.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William L.; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology. PMID:25098303

  9. Virginia Opossums, Minimum Reproduction Age and Predators in the Penna Aging Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altevolmer, A. K.

    Age-specific predators are introduced into the Penna model of biological aging. It is shown that populations with a variable minimum reproduction age find a stable state with an earlier onset of reproduction, if older ages are eaten by the predators. This behavior agrees with the demographic data of the Virgina opossum.

  10. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry; Marvin S. Godsey, Jr.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; et al

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  11. Isolation of Sarcocystis falcatula from the South American opossum (Didelphis albiventris) from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Venturini, L; Venturini, C; Basso, W; Unzaga, J

    1999-10-15

    Sarcocystis sporocysts from the intestines of four opossums (Didelphis albiventris) from Argentina were identified as Sarcocystis falcatula based on schizogonic stages and pathogenicity to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Seven budgerigars fed sporocysts from the opossum feces died of acute sarcocystosis 8, 9, 11, 12, and 14 days after inoculation. Schizonts and merozoites found in the lungs and other organs of the budgerigars were identified as S. falcatula based on structure and immunoreactivity with S. falcatula-specific antibody. Sarcocystis falcatula was also isolated in bovine monocyte cell cultures inoculated with lung tissue from a budgerigar that died nine days after ingesting sporocysts. Two budgerigars inoculated subcutaneously with 1,000,000 culture-derived S. falcatula died 11 and 12 days post-inoculation. This is the first report of S. falcatula infection in South America. PMID:10536981

  12. Characterization of Sarcocystis falcatula isolates from the Argentinian opossum, Didelphis albiventris.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S; Venturini, L; Venturini, C

    2000-01-01

    Two isolates of Sarcocystis falcatula were obtained from the lungs of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) fed sporocysts from two naturally-infected South American opossums (Didelphis albiventris). The two isolates were designated SF-1A and SF-2A. Both isolates induced fatal infections in budgerigars. Both isolates underwent schizogony in African green monkey kidney cells. The structure of schizonts in the lungs of budgerigars was more variable than that observed in cell culture. The two isolates were identified as S. falcatula by the two species-specific Hinf 1 restriction fragments dervied from digestion of a PCR amplification using primers JNB33/JNB54. Thus, the South American opossum, D. albiventris, is a definitive host for S. falcatula. PMID:10847342

  13. Receptors and cGMP signalling mechanism for E. coli enterotoxin in opossum kidney

    SciTech Connect

    Forte, L.R.; Krause, W.J.; Freeman, R.H. Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Medical Center, Columbia, MO )

    1988-11-01

    Receptors for the heat-stable enterotoxin produced by Escherichia coli were found in the kidney and intestine of the North American opossum and in cultured renal cell lines. The enterotoxin markedly increased guanosine 3{prime},5{prime}-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) production in slices of kidney cortex and medulla, in suspensions of intestinal mucosa, and in the opossum kidney (OK) and rat kangaroo kidney (PtK-2) cell lines. In contrast, atrial natriuretic factor elicited much smaller increases in cGMP levels of kidney, intestine, or cultured kidney cell lines. The enterotoxin receptors in OK cells had a molecular mass of approximately 120 kDa when measured by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of receptors crosslinked with {sup 125}I-enterotoxin. The occurrence of receptors for the E. coli peptide in OK implies that these receptors may be involved in the regulation of renal tubular function in the opossum. E. coli enterotoxin caused a much larger increase in urine cGMP excretion than did atrial natriuretic factor when these peptides were injected intravenously into opossums. However, atrial natriuretic factor elicited a marked diuresis, natriuresis, and increased urinary excretion of calcium, phosphate, potassium, and magnesium. In contrast, the enterotoxin did not acutely influence OK fluid and electrolyte excretion. Thus the substantial increase in cGMP synthesis produced by the bacterial peptide in OK cortex and medulla in vitro and the increased renal excretion of cGMP in vivo were not associated with changes in electrolyte or water excretion. Whether cGMP represents a second messenger molecule in the kidney is an interesting question that was raised but not answered in this series of experiments.

  14. First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Astúa, Diego; Carvalho, Rafael A.; Maia, Paula F.; Magalhães, Arthur R.; Loretto, Diogo

    2015-01-01

    The Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother–pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena. PMID:26085500

  15. Macroscopic and microscopic analysis of the tongue of the common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis).

    PubMed

    Mançanares, Celina A F; Santos, Amilton C; Piemonte, Maria V; Vasconcelos, Bruno G; Carvalho, Ana F; Miglino, Maria A; Ambrósio, Carlos E; Assis Neto, Antônio C

    2012-10-01

    We performed a macroscopic and microscopic study of the tongues of common opossums, Didelphis marsupialis, from South America. We studied two males and two females. We collected morphometric data on the tongue with precision calipers. For the light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy analyses, we fixed tissue fragments in 10% formaldehyde and 2.5% glutaraldehyde, respectively. The opossum tongues averaged 5.87 ± 0.20 cm in length, 3.27 ± 0.15 cm in width at the lingual body, and 3.82 ± 0.15 cm in width at the root. The mean thickness of the lingual body was 1.8 ± 0.1 cm, and the thickness of the root was 3.82 ± 0.15 cm. Sharp filiform papillae were scattered across the entire tongue; conical filiform papillae occurred on the lingual body and tongue tip; fungiform papillae were scattered among the filiform papillae on the lingual body and tongue tip; and there were three vallate papillae at the root of the tongue. We found two strands of papillary projections in the tongue root. Despite the low variability observed in the lingual papillae, the morphological data obtained in this study may be related to the opossum's diverse food habits and the extensive geographic distribution of the species throughout America. PMID:22581756

  16. Nitric oxide synthase expression in the opossum superior colliculus: a histochemical, immunohistochemical and biochemical study.

    PubMed

    Giraldi-Guimarães, A; Tenório, F; Brüning, G; Mayer, B; Mendez-Otero, R; Cavalcante, L A

    1999-12-01

    The expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the superior colliculus (SC) of the opossum Didelphis marsupialis was studied by NADPH diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry and nNOS immunohistochemistry. In addition, the activity of nNOS was quantified by measurement of [(3)H]-L-arginine conversion to [(3)H]-L-citrulline in tissue extracts from SC superficial layers in opossums and rats. Our results show that the number of NADPH-d stained cells was small and virtually identical in stratum opticum (SO) and stratum griseum superficiale (SGS) and their staining was very light, particularly in SGS. Neuropil staining was heavier in the stratum zonale (SZ) than in SGS or SO. The intermediate and deep layers contained heavily stained cells and moderate neuropil staining. Surprisingly, nNOS-immunoreactive cells were far more numerous than NADPH-d+ cells in every layer. The production of [(3)H]-L-citrulline from [(3)H]-L-arginine in tissue extracts enriched in superficial layers indicated that nNOS specific activity is as high in the opossum as in the rat. Our results suggest that the location of nNOS-expressing neurons in retino-receptive layers may be related to inter-specific differences in the processing of visual information. PMID:10681601

  17. Scanning electron microscopic structure of the lingual papillae of the common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis).

    PubMed

    Okada, Shigenori; Schraufnagel, Dean E

    2005-08-01

    The mammalian tongue has evolved for specialized functions in different species. The structure of its papillae tells about the animal's diet, habit, and taxonomy. The opossum has four kinds of lingual papillae (filiform, conical, fungiform, vallate). Scanning electron microscopy of the external features, connective tissue cores, and corrosion casts of the microvasculature show the filiform papillae have a spearhead-like main process and spiny accessory processes around the apical part of the main process. The shape and number of both processes depend on their position on the tongue. On the apex, the main processes have shovel-like capillary networks and the accessory processes have small conical networks. On the lingual radix, the processes have small capillary loops. In the patch region, conical papillae have capillaries arranged as a full sail curving posteriorly. The fungiform papillae are scattered among the filiform papillae and have capillary baskets beneath each taste bud. Giant fungiform papillae on the tongue tip are three to four times larger than the ones on the lingual body. Capillaries of giant papillae form a fan-shaped network. The opossum has three vallate papillae arranged in a triangle. Their tops have secondary capillary loops but not their lateral surfaces. Mucosal folds on the posterolateral border have irregular, fingerlike projections with cylindrical capillary networks. These findings and the structure of the rest of the masticatory apparatus suggest the lingual papillae of opossum have kept their ancestral carnivorous features but also developed the herbivore characteristics of other marsupials. PMID:16079016

  18. Adaptive Evolution of the Venom-Targeted vWF Protein in Opossums that Eat Pitvipers

    PubMed Central

    Jansa, Sharon A.; Voss, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role. PMID:21731638

  19. Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Pregnancy in a Marsupial, the Gray Short-Tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Victoria Leigh; Schilkey, Faye Dorothy; Miller, Robert David

    2016-01-01

    Live birth has emerged as a reproductive strategy many times across vertebrate evolution; however, mammals account for the majority of viviparous vertebrates. Marsupials are a mammalian lineage that last shared a common ancestor with eutherians (placental mammals) over 148 million years ago. Marsupials are noted for giving birth to highly altricial young after a short gestation, and represent humans' most distant viviparous mammalian relatives. Here we ask what insight can be gained into the evolution of viviparity in mammals specifically and vertebrates in general by analyzing the global uterine transcriptome in a marsupial. Transcriptome analyses were performed using NextGen sequencing of uterine RNA samples from the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Samples were collected from late stage pregnant, virgin, and non-pregnant experienced breeders. Three different algorithms were used to determine differential expression, and results were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Over 900 opossum gene transcripts were found to be significantly more abundant in the pregnant uterus than non-pregnant, and over 1400 less so. Most with increased abundance were genes related to metabolism, immune systems processes, and transport. This is the first study to characterize the transcriptomic differences between pregnant, non-pregnant breeders, and virgin marsupial uteruses and helps to establish a set of pregnancy-associated genes in the opossum. These observations allowed for comparative analyses of the differentially transcribed genes with other mammalian and non-mammalian viviparous species, revealing similarities in pregnancy related gene expression over 300 million years of amniote evolution. PMID:27598793

  20. An Architectonic Study of the Neocortex of the Short-Tailed Opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H.

    2013-01-01

    Short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) belong to the branch of marsupial mammals that diverged from eutherian mammals approximately 180 million years ago. They are small in size, lack a marsupial pouch, and may have retained more morphological characteristics of early marsupial neocortex than most other marsupials. In the present study, we used several different histochemical and immunochemical procedures to reveal the architectonic characteristics of cortical areas in short-tailed opossums. Subdivisions of cortex were identified in brain sections cut in the coronal, sagittal, horizontal or tangential planes and processed for a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV), neurofilament protein epitopes recognized by SMI-32, the vesicle glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2), myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO), and Nissl substance. These different procedures revealed similar boundaries among areas, suggesting that functionally relevant borders were detected. The results allowed a fuller description and more precise demarcation of previously identified sensory areas, and the delineation of additional subdivisions of cortex. Area 17 (V1) was especially prominent, with a densely populated layer 4, high myelination levels, and dark staining of PV and VGluT2 immunopositive terminations. These architectonic features were present, albeit less pronounced, in somatosensory and auditory cortex. The major findings support the conclusion that short-tailed opossums have fewer cortical areas and their neocortex is less distinctly laminated than most other mammals. PMID:19546531

  1. CUTANEOUS EPITHELIOTROPIC T-CELL LYMPHOMA WITH METASTASES IN A VIRGINIA OPOSSUM (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA).

    PubMed

    Higbie, Christine T; Carpenter, James W; Choudhary, Shambhunath; DeBey, Brad; Bagladi-Swanson, Mary; Eshar, David

    2015-06-01

    A 2-yr-old, captive, intact female Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana ) with a 7-mo history of ulcerative dermatitis and weight loss was euthanatized for progressive worsening of clinical signs. Initially the opossum was treated with several courses of antibiotics, both topically and systemically; systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication; and, later, systemic glucocorticoids, with no improvement in clinical signs. Histopathologic samples of skin lesions taken 3 mo into the course of disease revealed no evidence of neoplasia; however, cytologic samples of a skin lesion taken 5 mo into the course of disease revealed mature lymphocytes, and were suggestive of cutaneous lymphoma. Postmortem histopathology revealed neoplastic cells consistent with lymphoma; these were found in the haired skin of the forearm, axilla, hind limb, face, and lateral body wall, as well as the liver, kidney, axillary lymph node, heart, and spleen. Multifocal neutrophilic and eosinophilic ulcerative and necrotizing dermatitis and folliculitis of the haired skin were also present. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first documented case of cutaneous lymphoma in a Virginia opossum and the first documented case with visceral metastases in a marsupial. PMID:26056906

  2. First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour.

    PubMed

    Astúa, Diego; Carvalho, Rafael A; Maia, Paula F; Magalhães, Arthur R; Loretto, Diogo

    2015-06-01

    The Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother-pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena. PMID:26085500

  3. Torpor in the Patagonian opossum ( Lestodelphys halli): implications for the evolution of daily torpor and hibernation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; Martin, Gabriel M.

    2013-10-01

    Hibernation and daily torpor are two distinct forms of torpor, and although they are related, it is not known how and in which sequence they evolved. As the pattern of torpor expressed by the oldest marsupial order the opossums (Didelphimorphia) may provide insights into the evolution of torpor, we aimed to provide the first quantitative data on the thermal biology and torpor expression of the rare Patagonian opossum ( Lestodelphys halli). It is the opossum with the southernmost distribution, has a propensity of autumnal fattening, and therefore, is likely to hibernate. We captured two male Lestodelphys, which while in captivity displayed strong daily fluctuations of body temperatures (Tb) measured with implanted miniature data loggers even when they remained normothermic. In autumn and early winter, torpor was expressed occasionally when food was available, but cold exposure and food withdrawal increased torpor use. The mean Tb throughout the study was 32.2 ± 1.4 °C, the minimum Tb measured in torpid Lestodelphys was 7.7 °C, average torpor bout duration was 10.3 h, and the maximum torpor bout duration was 42.5 h. Thus, the pattern of torpor expressed by Lestodelphys was intermediate between that of daily heterotherms and hibernators suggesting that it may represent an ancestral opportunistic torpor pattern from which the derived patterns of daily torpor and seasonal hibernation diverged.

  4. Scanning Electron Microscopic Structure of the Lingual Papillae of the Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, Shigenori; Schraufnagel, Dean E.

    2005-08-01

    The mammalian tongue has evolved for specialized functions in different species. The structure of its papillae tells about the animal's diet, habit, and taxonomy. The opossum has four kinds of lingual papillae (filiform, conical, fungiform, vallate). Scanning electron microscopy of the external features, connective tissue cores, and corrosion casts of the microvasculature show the filiform papillae have a spearhead-like main process and spiny accessory processes around the apical part of the main process. The shape and number of both processes depend on their position on the tongue. On the apex, the main processes have shovel-like capillary networks and the accessory processes have small conical networks. On the lingual radix, the processes have small capillary loops. In the patch region, conical papillae have capillaries arranged as a full sail curving posteriorly. The fungiform papillae are scattered among the filiform papillae and have capillary baskets beneath each taste bud. Giant fungiform papillae on the tongue tip are three to four times larger than the ones on the lingual body. Capillaries of giant papillae form a fan-shaped network. The opossum has three vallate papillae arranged in a triangle. Their tops have secondary capillary loops but not their lateral surfaces. Mucosal folds on the posterolateral border have irregular, fingerlike projections with cylindrical capillary networks. These findings and the structure of the rest of the masticatory apparatus suggest the lingual papillae of opossum have kept their ancestral carnivorous features but also developed the herbivore characteristics of other marsupials.

  5. Cranial Anatomy of the Earliest Marsupials and the Origin of Opossums

    PubMed Central

    Horovitz, Inés; Martin, Thomas; Bloch, Jonathan; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Kurz, Cornelia; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2009-01-01

    Background The early evolution of living marsupials is poorly understood in part because the early offshoots of this group are known almost exclusively from jaws and teeth. Filling this gap is essential for a better understanding of the phylogenetic relationships among living marsupials, the biogeographic pathways that led to their current distribution as well as the successive evolutionary steps that led to their current diversity, habits and various specializations that distinguish them from placental mammals. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we report the first skull of a 55 million year old peradectid marsupial from the early Eocene of North America and exceptionally preserved skeletons of an Oligocene herpetotheriid, both representing critical groups to understand early marsupial evolution. A comprehensive phylogenetic cladistic analysis of Marsupialia including the new findings and close relatives of marsupials show that peradectids are the sister group of living opossums and herpetotheriids are the sister group of all living marsupials. Conclusions/Significance The results imply that North America played an important role in early Cenozoic marsupial evolutionary history and may have even been the center of origin of living marsupials and opossums. New data from the herpetotheriid postcranium support the view that the ancestral morphotype of Marsupialia was more terrestrial than opossums are. The resolution of the phylogenetic position of peradectids reveals an older calibration point for molecular estimates of divergence times among living marsupials than those currently used. PMID:20016823

  6. Experimental induction of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in horses using Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts from the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Fenger, C K; Granstrom, D E; Gajadhar, A A; Williams, N M; McCrillis, S A; Stamper, S; Langemeier, J L; Dubey, J P

    1997-02-01

    Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts isolated from eight feral opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were pooled and fed to 18 commercially reared budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), 14 wild-caught sparrows (Passer domesticus), one wild-caught slate-colored Junco (Junco hyemalis) and five weanling horses (Equus caballus). All budgerigars died within 5 weeks post inoculation (wpi). Histologic examination revealed meronts within the pulmonary epithelia and typical Sarcocystis falcatula sarcocysts developing in the leg muscles. Sparrows were euthanized 13 and 17 wpi and their carcasses were fed to four laboratory raised opossums. Sporocysts were detected in the feces of two opossums on 15 days post inoculation (dpi) and in a third opossum on 40 dpi. Fecal samples from the fourth opossum remained negative; however, sporocysts were found in intestinal digests from all four opossums. Sporocysts were not found in feces or intestinal digest of an additional opossum that was fed three uninoculated sparrows. Five foals were fed sporocysts (Foals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7) and two foals were maintained as uninoculated controls (Foals 1 and 6). Sporocysts from two additional feral opossums also were fed to foals. Foal 5 was given 0.05 mg kg-1 dexamethasone sodium phosphate daily beginning 2 days before inoculation for a total of 2 weeks. Horse sera were tested three times per week, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples were tested biweekly for anti-Sarcocystis neurona antibodies by Western blot analysis. No foals had any S. neurona-specific antibodies by Western blot analysis prior to sporocysts ingestion. Seroconversion occurred in Foals 3, 5, and 7 by 24 dpi, followed by positive CSF tests on 28 dpi. Foals 2 and 4 seroconverted by 40 dpi. Cerebrospinal fluid from Foal 2 tested positive by 42 dpi, but Foal 4 remained seronegative throughout the study. Sera and CSF from control Foals 1 and 6 remained seronegative. All foals with positive CSF developed neurologic clinical signs. Neurologic disease

  7. Opossum carboxylesterases: sequences, phylogeny and evidence for CES gene duplication events predating the marsupial-eutherian common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Carboxylesterases (CES) perform diverse metabolic roles in mammalian organisms in the detoxification of a broad range of drugs and xenobiotics and may also serve in specific roles in lipid, cholesterol, pheromone and lung surfactant metabolism. Five CES families have been reported in mammals with human CES1 and CES2 the most extensively studied. Here we describe the genetics, expression and phylogeny of CES isozymes in the opossum and report on the sequences and locations of CES1, CES2 and CES6 'like' genes within two gene clusters on chromosome one. We also discuss the likely sequence of gene duplication events generating multiple CES genes during vertebrate evolution. Results We report a cDNA sequence for an opossum CES and present evidence for CES1 and CES2 like genes expressed in opossum liver and intestine and for distinct gene locations of five opossum CES genes,CES1, CES2.1, CES2.2, CES2.3 and CES6, on chromosome 1. Phylogenetic and sequence alignment studies compared the predicted amino acid sequences for opossum CES with those for human, mouse, chicken, frog, salmon and Drosophila CES gene products. Phylogenetic analyses produced congruent phylogenetic trees depicting a rapid early diversification into at least five distinct CES gene family clusters: CES2, CES1, CES7, CES3, and CES6. Molecular divergence estimates based on a Bayesian relaxed clock approach revealed an origin for the five mammalian CES gene families between 328–378 MYA. Conclusion The deduced amino acid sequence for an opossum cDNA was consistent with its identity as a mammalian CES2 gene product (designated CES2.1). Distinct gene locations for opossum CES1 (1: 446,222,550–446,274,850), three CES2 genes (1: 677,773,395–677,927,030) and a CES6 gene (1: 677,585,520–677,730,419) were observed on chromosome 1. Opossum CES1 and multiple CES2 genes were expressed in liver and intestine. Amino acid sequences for opossum CES1 and three CES2 gene products revealed conserved

  8. Growth inhibition and chromosomal instability of cultured marsupial (opossum) cells after treatment with DNA polymerase α inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Takemura, Masaharu; Kazama, Tomoko; Sakuma, Kurumi; Mizushina, Yoshiyuki; Oshima, Teruyoshi

    2011-01-01

    The DNA replication mechanism has been well established for eutherian mammals (placental mammals such as humans, mice, and cattle), but not, to date, for metatherian mammals (marsupials such as kangaroos, koalas, and opossums). In this study, we found that dehydroaltenusin, a selective inhibitor of mammalian (eutherian) DNA polymerase α, clearly suppressed the growth of metatherian (opossum and rat kangaroo) cultured cells. In cultured opossum (OK) cells, dehydroaltenusin also suppressed the progression of DNA replication. These results suggest that dehydroaltenusin inhibits metatherian as well as eutherian DNA replication. Dehydroaltenusin treatment of OK cells engendered fluctuations in the numbers of chromosomes in the OK cells as well as inhibition of cell growth and DNA replication. This suggests that partial inhibition of DNA replication by dehydroaltenusin causes chromosomal instability in cultured cells. PMID:21737927

  9. Myosin isoform fiber type and fiber size in the tail of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Hazimihalis, P J; Gorvet, M A; Butcher, M T

    2013-01-01

    Muscle fiber type is a well studied property in limb muscles, however, much less is understood about myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform expression in caudal muscles of mammalian tails. Didelphid marsupials are an interesting lineage in this context as all species have prehensile tails, but show a range of tail-function depending on either their arboreal or terrestrial locomotor habits. Differences in prehensility suggest that MHC isoform fiber types may also be different, in that terrestrial opossums may have a large distribution of oxidative fibers for object carrying tasks instead of faster, glycolytic fiber types expected in mammals with long tails. To test this hypothesis, MHC isoform fiber type and their regional distribution (proximal/transitional/distal) were determined in the tail of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Fiber types were determined by a combination of myosin-ATPase histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and SDS-PAGE. Results indicate a predominance of the fast MHC-2A and -2X isoforms in each region of the tail. The presence of two fast isoforms, in addition to the slow MHC-1 isoform, was confirmed by SDS-PAGE analysis. The overall MHC isoform fiber type distribution for the tail was: 25% MHC-1, 71% MHC-2A/X hybrid, and 4% MHC-1/2A hybrid. Oxidative MHC-2A/X isoform fibers were found to be relatively large in cross-section compared to slow, oxidative MHC-1 and MHC-1/2A hybrid fibers. A large percentage of fast MHC-2A/X hybrids fibers may be suggestive of an evolutionary transition in MHC isoform distribution (fast-to-slow fiber type) in the tail musculature of an opossum with primarily a terrestrial locomotor habit and adaptive tail-function. PMID:23152195

  10. Relationships among Sarcocystis species transmitted by New World opossums (Didelphis spp.).

    PubMed

    Rosenthal, B M; Lindsay, D S; Dubey, J P

    2001-02-26

    At least three species of Sarcocystis (S. neurona, S. falcatula, S. speeri) have recently been shown to use opossums of the genus Didelphis as their definitive host. In order to evaluate the evolutionary relationships among Sarcocystis spp. isolates from the Americas, and to determine whether organisms representing the same parasite lineages are transmitted north and south of the Panamanian isthmus, we inferred the phylogenetic relationships from nucleotide sequence variation in parasites isolated from three opossum species (D. virginiana, D. albiventris, D. marsupialis). In particular, we used variation in the 25/396 marker to compare several isolates from Brazil, Argentina, and the United States to each other and to cloned S. neurona and S. falcatula whose morphology and host affinities have been defined in the laboratory. S. neurona was identified from a Brazilian D. albiventris, as well as from North American D. virginiana. Parasites resembling the Cornell isolate of S. falcatula are transmitted both south and north of the Panamanian isthmus by D. albiventris and D. virginiana, respectively. Distinct attributes at two genetic loci differentiated a Brazilian isolate of S. falcatula from all other known parasite lineages. We confirm S. neurona as the causative agent of recently reported neurologic disease in Southern sea otters, Enhydra lutris nereis. And we found that S. speeri could not be compared to the other opossum-derived Sarcocystis isolates on the basis of nucleotide variation at the 25/396 locus. The widespread distribution of certain species of Sarcocystis may derive from their ability to parasitize migratory bird hosts in their intermediate stage. PMID:11223194

  11. Facial Mechanosensory Influence on Forelimb Movement in Newborn Opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Desmarais, Marie-Josée; Beauregard, France; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born very immature but crawls, unaided, with its forelimbs (FL) from the mother's birth canal to a nipple where it attaches to pursue its development. What sensory cues guide the newborn to the nipple and trigger its attachment to it? Previous experiments showed that low intensity electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion induces FL movement in in vitro preparations and that trigeminal innervation of the facial skin is well developed in the newborn. The skin does not contain Vater-Pacini or Meissner touch corpuscles at this age, but it contains cells which appear to be Merkel cells (MC). We sought to determine if touch perceived by MC could exert an influence on FL movements. Application of the fluorescent dye AM1-43, which labels sensory cells such as MC, revealed the presence of a large number of labeled cells in the facial epidermis, especially in the snout skin, in newborn opossums. Moreover, calibrated pressure applied to the snout induced bilateral and simultaneous electromyographic responses of the triceps muscle in in vitro preparations of the neuraxis and FL from newborn. These responses increase with stimulation intensity and tend to decrease over time. Removing the facial skin nearly abolished these responses. Metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors being involved in MC neurotransmission, an antagonist of these receptors was applied to the bath, which decreased the EMG responses in a reversible manner. Likewise, bath application of the purinergic type 2 receptors, used by AM1-43 to penetrate sensory cells, also decreased the triceps EMG responses. The combined results support a strong influence of facial mechanosensation on FL movement in newborn opossums, and suggest that this influence could be exerted via MC. PMID:26848758

  12. Facial Mechanosensory Influence on Forelimb Movement in Newborn Opossums, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Desmarais, Marie-Josée; Beauregard, France; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born very immature but crawls, unaided, with its forelimbs (FL) from the mother's birth canal to a nipple where it attaches to pursue its development. What sensory cues guide the newborn to the nipple and trigger its attachment to it? Previous experiments showed that low intensity electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion induces FL movement in in vitro preparations and that trigeminal innervation of the facial skin is well developed in the newborn. The skin does not contain Vater-Pacini or Meissner touch corpuscles at this age, but it contains cells which appear to be Merkel cells (MC). We sought to determine if touch perceived by MC could exert an influence on FL movements. Application of the fluorescent dye AM1-43, which labels sensory cells such as MC, revealed the presence of a large number of labeled cells in the facial epidermis, especially in the snout skin, in newborn opossums. Moreover, calibrated pressure applied to the snout induced bilateral and simultaneous electromyographic responses of the triceps muscle in in vitro preparations of the neuraxis and FL from newborn. These responses increase with stimulation intensity and tend to decrease over time. Removing the facial skin nearly abolished these responses. Metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors being involved in MC neurotransmission, an antagonist of these receptors was applied to the bath, which decreased the EMG responses in a reversible manner. Likewise, bath application of the purinergic type 2 receptors, used by AM1-43 to penetrate sensory cells, also decreased the triceps EMG responses. The combined results support a strong influence of facial mechanosensation on FL movement in newborn opossums, and suggest that this influence could be exerted via MC. PMID:26848758

  13. Morphologic aspects of Tetratrichomonas didelphidis isolated from opossums Didelphis marsupialis and Lutreolina crassicaudata.

    PubMed

    Tasca, T; De Carli, G A; Glock, L; Jeckel-Neto, E A

    2001-02-01

    Tetratrichomonas didelphidis (Hegner & Ratcliffe, 1927) Andersen & Reilly, 1965 is a flagellate protozoan found in the intestine, cecum, and colon of Didelphis marsupialis. The parasitic protozoa used in this study was found and isolated in the intestine of opossums in Pavlova starch-containing medium in Florianópolis, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, from D. marsupialis and Lutreolina crassicaudata. The strains were cultivated in Diamond medium without maltose and with starch solution, pH 7.5 at 28 degrees C. The specimens were stained by the Giemsa method and Heidenhain's iron hematoxylin. The light microscopy study of the trophozoites revealed the same morphologic characteristics as specimens previously described. PMID:11285508

  14. Different strategies of exploration and phenotypic variability of the locomotor behavior in new environment: Comparative study of the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and Wistar rat (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Klejbor, Ilona; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2012-01-01

    Spontaneous locomotor activity of opossums and Wistar rats during a two-hour session in the open field has been recorded, assessed and behavior of individuals of the two species compared. Afterwards, groups of highly active (HA) and low active (LA) opossums and rats were selected on the basis of the distance traveled in the test. Differences between the selected groups were evaluated. Opossums were generally more active, moving faster and covering longer distance. They spent more time in the central part of the open field and traveled across the center more times than rats, therefore they showed also a lower level of anxiety. These data confirm our previous results indicating that opossums preferentially use the risky exploration strategy while rats mainly rely on the defensive behavior. Opossums showed a higher variability of the volume of locomotor activity than rats. Comparison of the HA and LA groups of opossums and rats showed that in each species they differed on another principle: the level of anxiety in Wistar rats and level of locomotor activity in opossums. Therefore results of the open field test might measure different parameters in different species. PMID:23377274

  15. Sarcocystis lindsayi n. sp. (Protozoa: Sarcocystidae) from the South American opossum, Didelphis albiventris from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Rosenthal, B M; Speer, C A

    2001-01-01

    A new species, Sarcocystis lindsayi n. sp., is proposed for a parasite resembling Sarcocystis falcatula. It was obtained from the lungs and muscles of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) fed sporocysts from a naturally-infected South American opossum, Didelphis albiventris, from Jaboticabal, Brazil. Sarcocysts of S. lindsayi n. sp. in budgerigars are microscopic, up to 600 microm long and up to 50 microm wide. The cyst wall is up to 2 microm thick. Ultrastructurally, the sarcocyst wall consists of numerous slender villar protrusions (up to 2.0 microm long and up to 0.3 microm wide), each with a stylet at its tip. Schizonts in cell culture divide by endopolygeny leaving a residual body. Sporocysts are approximately 12 x 7 microm. The parasite is genetically distinct from other organisms that also cycle between opossums and avian species and resemble S. falcatula. Diagnostic genetic variation has been observed in the nuclear large subunit ribosomal RNA gene, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1), and each of two other genetic loci. Although the structure of the sarcocyst wall may not provide sufficient grounds for differential diagnosis, several other attributes including schizont morphology and genetic variation at each of these genetic loci permit identification of S. lindsayi n. sp.. Natural intermediate hosts for S. lindsayi n. sp. are not known, and fuller characterization of these and other Sarcocystis species would benefit from experimental avian hosts that are more permissive to the maturation of sarcocysts. PMID:11596925

  16. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO.

    PubMed

    Peniche-Lara, Gaspar; Ruiz-Piña, Hugo A; Reyes-Novelo, Enrique; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltA and 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households. PMID:27074326

  17. Nitric oxide: Mediator of nonadrenergic noncholinergic hyperpolarization of opossum esophageal circular smooth muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Du, C.; Murray, J.; Conklin, J.L.; Bates, J.N. )

    1991-03-15

    The electromyogram recorded from circular smooth muscle (SM) of opossum esophagus, either during peristalsis or when the intrinsic esophageal nerves are stimulated by an electrical field (EFS), consists of a hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization. This membrane response results from the interaction of a nonadrenergic-noncholinergic (NANC) neurotransmitter with its receptors on SM membrane. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide (NO) were used to test the hypothesis that NO is a mediator of this NANC nerve-induced response. The transmembrane potential difference of circular SM cells of opossum esophagus was recorded with glass microelectrode. The nerve-mediated membrane response was evoked by EFS. L-NNA (50uM) abolished the initial hyperpolarization and reduced the amplitude of and the time to maximal depolarization. L-arginine (1mM), the substrate for NO synthase, antagonized the effect of L-NNA. Neither L-NNA nor L-arginine altered the resting membrane potential. Exogenous NO produced hyperpolarization of SM membrane potential and attenuated the amplitude of EFS-induced hyperpolarization and depolarization. Nitrosocysteine, a NO-containing compound, also hyperpolarized the membrane potential. Effect of NO was neither blocked by L-NNA nor by TTX. The data support the hypothesis that NO or an NO-containing compound mediates NANC nerve-induced responses of the esophageal SM membrane.

  18. Rickettsia felis in cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis parasitizing opossums, San Bernardino County, California.

    PubMed

    Abramowicz, K F; Wekesa, J W; Nwadike, C N; Zambrano, M L; Karpathy, S E; Cecil, D; Burns, J; Hu, R; Eremeeva, M E

    2012-12-01

    Los Angeles and Orange Counties are known endemic areas for murine typhus in California; however, no recent reports of flea-borne rickettsioses are known from adjacent San Bernardino County. Sixty-five opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were trapped in the suburban residential and industrial zones of the southwestern part of San Bernardino County in 2007. Sixty out of 65 opossums were infested with fleas, primarily cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché, 1835). The flea minimum infection rate with Rickettsia felis was 13.3% in pooled samples and the prevalence was 23.7% in single fleas, with two gltA genotypes detected. In spite of historic records of murine typhus in this area, no evidence for circulation of R. typhi in fleas was found during the present study. Factors contributing to the absence of R. typhi in these cat fleas in contrast to its presence in cat fleas from Orange and Los Angeles Counties are unknown and need to be investigated further in San Bernardino County. PMID:22712460

  19. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO

    PubMed Central

    PENICHE-LARA, Gaspar; RUIZ-PIÑA, Hugo A.; REYES-NOVELO, Enrique; DZUL-ROSADO, Karla; ZAVALA-CASTRO, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltAand 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households. PMID:27074326

  20. Morphologic characterization and distribution of endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Daiane Cristina Marques; Cupertino, Marli do Carmo; Novaes, Rômulo Dias; Soares, Ítalo Augusto da Costa; Fonseca, Cláudio César; da Matta, Sérgio Luis Pinto; Sartori, Sirlene Souza Rodrigues

    2013-10-01

    This study was designed to investigate the morphology and distribution of argyrophil, argentaffins, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita. Fragments of the large intestine of 10 male specimens of the opossum D. aurita were collected, processed, and submitted for histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and scanning electron microscopy. The tunics of the large intestine of D. aurita presented morphological characteristics that have already been described for eutherian mammals. The morphometric data showed that the inner circular layer of all portions and regions analyzed is thicker relative to the longitudinal layer, and these layers in the rectum are thicker compared to the cecum and ascending colon. The majority of mucus-secreting cells have acid and neutral mucins, suggesting that the production of mucus is mixed. The number of these cells increases in the region of the cecum toward the rectum. Important findings include the occurrence of argyrophil, argentaffins, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in all segments of the large intestine of the opossum (D. aurita). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the presence of insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum (D. aurita). PMID:23810437

  1. New methodology for the obtainment of antibothropic factors from the South American opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and jararaca snake (Bothrops jararaca).

    PubMed

    Neves-Ferreira, A G; Valente, R H; Sá, P G; Rocha, S L; Moussatché, H; Domont, G B; Perales, J

    1999-10-01

    The antibothropic factor (ABF) from D. marsupialis was collected from perforated hollow plastic golf balls which were surgically implanted subcutaneously in anesthetized opossums, a technique originally described for the production of polyclonal antibodies. Two months after the implantation of the balls, approximately 15 ml of seromatous fluid from D. marsupialis (SFDm-50 mg total protein/ml) could be recovered monthly. Opossum serum as well as SFDm showed similar SDS-PAGE profiles and antihemorrhagic potencies against Bothrops jararaca snake venom (Bjv). The presence of ABF in SFDm was confirmed by immunoblotting, using rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised against ABF isolated from opossum serum. ABF isolated from SFDm or from serum by ion-exchange chromatography showed identical chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles. ABF fromboth sources displayed very similar antihemorrhagic and anticaseinolytic activities against Bjv. In the case of B. jararaca, polyethylene perforated tubes were inserted in the abdominal cavity and two months after implantation, approximately 4 ml of seromatous fluid from B. jararaca (SFBj-23 mg total protein/ml) were recovered. B.jararaca serum and SFBj showed the same native and SDS-PAGE band pattern. Both serum and SFBj inhibited Bjv hemorrhagic activity. We conclude that this new methodology is very suitable for continuously obtaining opossum ABF and SFBj, in large scale and in an easier way, avoiding animal suffering and eventual sacrifice. PMID:10414866

  2. Dogs and Opossums Positive for Vaccinia Virus during Outbreak Affecting Cattle and Humans, São Paulo State, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Peres, Marina G.; Barros, Claudenice B.; Appolinário, Camila M.; Antunes, João M.A.P.; Mioni, Mateus S.R.; Bacchiega, Thais S.; Allendorf, Susan D.; Vicente, Acácia F.; Fonseca, Clóvis R.

    2016-01-01

    During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV. PMID:26812352

  3. Dogs and Opossums Positive for Vaccinia Virus during Outbreak Affecting Cattle and Humans, São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Peres, Marina G; Barros, Claudenice B; Appolinário, Camila M; Antunes, João M A P; Mioni, Mateus S R; Bacchiega, Thais S; Allendorf, Susan D; Vicente, Acácia F; Fonseca, Clóvis R; Megid, Jane

    2016-02-01

    During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV. PMID:26812352

  4. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry; Marvin S. Godsey, Jr.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  5. DNA barcodes effectively identify the morphologically similar Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) from areas of sympatry in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Fernando A; Arcangeli, Jésica; Hortelano-Moncada, Yolanda; Borisenko, Alex V

    2010-12-01

    Two morphologically similar species of opossum from the genus Didelphis-Didelphis virginiana and Didelphis marsupialis-cooccur sympatrically in Mexico. High intraspecific variation complicates their morphological discrimination, under both field and museum conditions. This study aims to evaluate the utility and reliability of using DNA barcodes (short standardized genome fragments used for DNA-based identification) to distinguish these two species. Sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (Cox1) mitochondrial gene were obtained from 12 D. marsupialis and 29 D. virginiana individuals and were compared using the neighbor-joining (NJ) algorithm with Kimura's two-parameter (K2P) model of nucleotide substitution. Average K2P distances were 1.56% within D. virginiana and 1.65% in D. marsupialis. Interspecific distances between D. virginiana and D. marsupialis varied from 7.8 to 9.3% and their barcode sequences formed distinct non-overlapping clusters on NJ trees. All sympatric specimens of both species were effectively discriminated, confirming the utility of Cox1 barcoding as a tool for taxonomic identification of these morphologically similar taxa. PMID:21271858

  6. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozonn cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, from Southern Louisian

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites (Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoan’s of veterinary importance (Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums (Didelphis...

  7. Odors as cues for orientation to mothers by weanling Virginia opossums

    SciTech Connect

    Holmes, D.J. )

    1992-12-01

    Three experiments were conducted to investigate whether whole-body and pouch odors facilitate social cohesion between young Virginia opossums and their mothers just prior to weaning. In experiment 1, young oriented toward plastic buckets containing their mothers, directing significantly higher levels of investigative behavior and more distress vocalizations toward them than toward buckets containing unrelated lactating females. In experiment 2, young oriented toward and investigated empty buckets containing whole-body odors of their mothers more than empty buckets containing odors of other females. Similarly, more investigative behavior was directed toward plastic bucket lids containing pouch odors from subjects mothers than toward pouch odors from unrelated females in experiment 3. These results suggest that social odors help young didelphid marsupials maintain contact with their mothers, as in other mammals, and that whole-body and pouch gland odors are important chemical signals in this nongregarious species.

  8. Morphological study of Tetratrichomonas didelphidis isolated from opossum Lutreolina crassicaudata by scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tasca, Tiana; De Carli, Geraldo Attilio

    2007-05-01

    Tetratrichomonas didelphidis is a flagellate protozoan found in the intestine of opossums Didelphis marsupialis, Didelphis albiventris, and Lutreolina crassicaudata. The isolate used in this study was from L. crassicaudata and it was cultivated in monoxenic culture with Escherichia coli in Diamond (TYM) medium without maltose and with starch solution (trypticase-yeast extract-starch), pH 7.5 at 28 degrees C. Scanning electron microscopy showed the fine morphological features of the trophozoites: the emergence of the anterior flagella, the structure of the undulating membrane, the axostyle and posterior flagellum. In addition, we described spherical forms that are probably pseudocysts. Our data will contribute to a better understanding of surface structures in T. didelphidis. PMID:17252276

  9. Sarcocystis speeri N. sp. (Protozoa: Sarcocystidae) from the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S

    1999-10-01

    The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is host to at least 3 species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystisfalcatula, Sarcocystis neurona, and a recently recognized Sarcocystis sp. A new name, Sarcocystis speeri, is proposed for the third unnamed Sarcocystis. Immunodeficient mice are an experimental intermediate host for S. speeri. Sarcocystis speeri sporocysts are 12-15 x 8-10 microm in size, and its schizonts are found in many organs of mice. Sarcocysts of S. speeri are found in skeletal muscles and they are up to 5 mm long and filiform. By light microscopy, the sarcocyst wall is thin (<1 microm thick); ultrastructurally, the cyst wall is up to 1.8 microm thick and has characteristic steeple-shaped villar protrusions surmounted by a spire. Sarcocystis speeri schizonts are morphologically and antigenically distinct from schizonts of S. neurona, and S. speeri sporocysts were not infective to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). PMID:10577729

  10. Sarcocystis lindsayi-like (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystinae) of the opossum (Didelphis aurita) from Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Stabenow, Cristiane S; De Oliveira, Francisco C R; Albuquerque, George R; Lopes, Carlos Wilson G

    2008-09-01

    Sporocysts of Sarcocystis were obtained from intestinal scrapings of three out of five opossums (Didelphis aurita) trapped in the southeastern region, of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fifteen caged budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) received, orally, twenty-six sporocysts in 500 mL PBS, but only five belonging to one of the groups developed clinical signs, that consisted of anorexia, lethargy, ruffled feathers and dyspnoea, and parasitism in tissues. Two of the five budgerigars died on the 25th and 29th days after infection (DAI). The other three budgerigars were posted on the 30th DAI. In all the five infected birds were observed meronts in the capillaries of the lungs and cysts in muscles, mainly in the tongue and legs. PMID:20059875

  11. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Torres-Castro, M; Noh-Pech, H; Puerto-Hernández, R; Reyes-Hernández, B; Panti-May, A; Hernández-Betancourt, S; Yeh-Gorocica, A; González-Herrera, L; Zavala-Castro, J; Puerto, F I

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplicons were sequenced for analysis, this produced results similar to T. gondii with identity and coverage values of 98% and 96-100%, respectively. This study presents the first molecular evidence of the circulation of T. gondii in D. virginiana from Mexico. PMID:27200271

  12. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Castro, M.; Noh-Pech, H.; Puerto-Hernández, R.; Reyes-Hernández, B.; Panti-May, A.; Hernández-Betancourt, S.; Yeh-Gorocica, A.; González-Herrera, L.; Zavala-Castro, J.; Puerto, F.I.

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplicons were sequenced for analysis, this produced results similar to T. gondii with identity and coverage values of 98% and 96-100%, respectively. This study presents the first molecular evidence of the circulation of T. gondii in D. virginiana from Mexico. PMID:27200271

  13. Radiation esophagitis in the opossum: radioprotection with indomethacin. [/sup 60/Co

    SciTech Connect

    Northway, M.G.; Libshitz, H.I.; Osborne, B.M.; Feldman, M.S.; Mamel, J.J.; West, J.H.; Szwarc, I.A.

    1980-05-01

    Twenty-five opossums were evaluated before irradiation by fiberoptic endoscopy and air-contrast barium esophagram examination. All animals received 2250 rad /sup 60/Co-irradiated in a single exposure to the entire esophagus and lower exophageal sphincter. Animals received treatment with indomethacin. Acute esophagitis occurred 7 to 10 days postirradiation in control animals and was characterized by erythema, ulceration, and sloughing of esophageal mucosa as determined by air-contrast barium esophagram, endoscopy, and histology. Prostaglandin-treated animals showed more severe evidence of esophagitis than control animals. Indomethacin-treated animals showed no signs or only mild esophagitis posttreatment. It is concluded that indomethacin treatment may significantly reduce the severity of radiation esophagitis perhaps by blockade of prostaglandin synthesis.

  14. Particle size selection in cadmium uptake by the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta

    SciTech Connect

    Bigelow, L.K.; Lasenby, D.C. )

    1991-11-01

    Fecal pellets of plankton play a key role in the recycling of trace contaminants within the aquatic environment. This is especially true for those plankton that undergo vertical migration in the water column. The opossum shrimp Mysis relicta is generally thought of as an omnivorous zooplankter occupying the pelagic zone of lakes, making itself available as a food source to a wide variety of fish. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the increase in concentration of metals from food source to fecal pellet. This study examines the feeding behavior of M. relicta to test the hypothesis that particle size selection can account for increased metal concentrations found in the fecal pellets of invertebrates.

  15. Nitric oxide suppresses a Ca(2+)-stimulated Cl- current in smooth muscle cells of opossum esophagus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y; Vogalis, F; Goyal, R K

    1998-05-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) hyperpolarizes visceral smooth muscles. Using the patch-clamp technique, we investigated the possibility that NO-mediated hyperpolarization in the circular muscle of opossum esophagus results from the suppression of a Ca(2+)-stimulated Cl- current. Smooth muscle cells were dissociated from the circular layer and bathed in high-K+ Ca(2+)-EGTA-buffered solution. Macroscopic ramp currents were recorded from cell-attached patches. Contaminating K(+)-channel currents were blocked with tetrapentylammonium chloride (200 microM) added to all solutions. Raising bath Ca2+ concentration above 150 nM in the presence of A-23187 (10 microM) activated a leak current (IL-Ca) with an EC50 of 1.2 microM at -100 mV. The reversal potential (Erev) of IL-Ca (-8.5 +/- 1.8 mV, n = 8) was significantly different (P < 0.05) from Erev of the background current (+4.2 +/- 1.2 mV, n = 8). Equimolar substitution of 135 mM Cl- in the pipette solution with gluconate significantly shifted Erev of IL-Ca to +16.6 +/- 3.4 mV (n = 4) (P < 0.05 compared with background), whereas replacement of total Na+ with Tris+ suppressed IL-Ca but did not affect Erev (-15 +/- 3 mV, n = 3; P > 0.05). IL-Ca was inhibited by DIDS (500 microM). Diethylenetriamine-NO adduct (200 microM), a NO donor, and 8-bromo-cGMP (200 microM) suppressed IL-Ca by 59 +/- 15% (n = 5) and 62 +/- 21% (n = 4) at -100 mV, respectively. We conclude that in opossum esophageal smooth muscle NO-mediated hyperpolarization may be produced by suppression of a Ca(2+)-stimulated Cl(-)-permeable conductance via formation of cGMP. PMID:9612270

  16. Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in the short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Gentles, Andrew J.; Wakefield, Matthew J.; Kohany, Oleksiy; Gu, Wanjun; Batzer, Mark A.; Pollock, David D.; Jurka, Jerzy

    2007-01-01

    The genome of the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is notable for its large size (∼3.6 Gb). We characterized nearly 500 families of interspersed repeats from the Monodelphis. They cover ∼52% of the genome, higher than in any other amniotic lineage studied to date, and may account for the unusually large genome size. In comparison to other mammals, Monodelphis is significantly rich in non-LTR retrotransposons from the LINE-1, CR1, and RTE families, with >29% of the genome sequence comprised of copies of these elements. Monodelphis has at least four families of RTE, and we report support for horizontal transfer of this non-LTR retrotransposon. In addition to short interspersed elements (SINEs) mobilized by L1, we found several families of SINEs that appear to use RTE elements for mobilization. In contrast to L1-mobilized SINEs, the RTE-mobilized SINEs in Monodelphis appear to shift from G+C-rich to G+C-low regions with time. Endogenous retroviruses have colonized ∼10% of the opossum genome. We found that their density is enhanced in centromeric and/or telomeric regions of most Monodelphis chromosomes. We identified 83 new families of ancient repeats that are highly conserved across amniotic lineages, including 14 LINE-derived repeats; and a novel SINE element, MER131, that may have been exapted as a highly conserved functional noncoding RNA, and whose emergence dates back to ∼300 million years ago. Many of these conserved repeats are also present in human, and are highly over-represented in predicted cis-regulatory modules. Seventy-six of the 83 families are present in chicken in addition to mammals. PMID:17495012

  17. Humoral immune response kinetics in Philander opossum and Didelphis marsupialis infected and immunized by Trypanosoma cruzi employing an immunofluorescence antibody test.

    PubMed

    Legey, A P; Pinho, A P; Chagas Xavier, S C; Leon, L L; Jansen, A M

    1999-01-01

    Philander opossum and Didelphis marsupialis considered the most ancient mammals and an evolutionary success, maintain parasitism by Trypanosoma cruzi without developing any apparent disease or important tissue lesion. In order to elucidate this well-balanced interaction, we decided to compare the humoral immune response kinetics of the two didelphids naturally and experimentally infected with T. cruzi and immunized by different schedules of parasite antigens, employing an indirect fluorescence antibody test (IFAT). Both didelphids responded with high serological titers to different immunization routes, while the earliest response occurred with the intradermic route. Serological titers of naturally infected P. opossum showed a significant individual variation, while those of D. marsupialis remained stable during the entire follow-up period. The serological titers of the experimentally infected animals varied according to the inoculated strain. Our data suggest that (1) IFAT was sensitive for follow-up of P. opossum in natural and experimental T. cruzi infections; (2) both P. opossum and D. marsupialis are able to mount an efficient humoral immune response as compared to placental mammals; (3) experimentally infected P. opossum and D. marsupialis present distinct patterns of infection, depending on the subpopulation of T. cruzi, (4) the differences observed in the humoral immune responses between P. opossum and D. marsupialis, probably, reflect distinct strategies selected by these animals during their coevolution with T. cruzi. PMID:10348985

  18. Growth kinetic study of Tetratrichomonas didelphidis isolated from opossum Lutreolina crassicaudata and interaction with a prokaryotic cell.

    PubMed

    Tasca, T; DeCarli, G A

    2001-08-01

    Tetratrichomonas didelphidis is a flagellate protozoan found in the intestine, cecum and colon of opossums, Didelphis marsupialis. This work reports the occurrence of T. didelphidis in another opossum species, Lutreolina crassicaudata. The strain was cultivated in monoxenic culture with Escherichia coli in Diamond (TYM) medium without maltose and with starch solution (trypticase-yeast extract-starch), pH 7.5 at 28 degrees C. The growth kinetic study of T. didelphidis showed a longer time of growth and a higher number of trophozoites when inoculated with E. coli than in axenic cultures, in aerobiosis as well as under anaerobic conditions. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the bacteria adhered throughout the protozoan body and probably evoked endocytic channels, strongly suggesting the existence of endocytosis of rods by T. didelphidis. Our preliminary results suggest that the in vitro culture of T. didelphidis depends on E. coli as a growth-promoting partner, and requires monoxenic cultivation. PMID:11510998

  19. Characterization of an unidentified Sarcocystis falcatula-like parasite from the South American opossum, Didelphis albiventris from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S; Rezende, P C; Costa, A J

    2000-01-01

    An unidentified isolate of a Sarcocystis falcatula-like parasite was obtained from the lungs of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) fed sporocysts from a naturally-infected South American opossum, Didelphis albiventris from Brazil. Four captive budgerigars fed sporocysts from the opossum intestine died of acute sarcocystosis 8, 10, and 12 days after oral inoculation (DAI); one budgerigar was killed 12 DAI when it was lethargic. Schizonts and merozoites found in the lungs of the budgerigars reacted mildly with polyclonal S. falcatula antibody. The parasite was isolated in equine kidney cell cultures inoculated with lung tissue from a budgerigar that was killed 12 DAI. Two budgerigars inoculated subcutaneously with 100,000 culture-derived S. falcatula merozoites developed acute sarcocystosis and S. falcatula-like schizonts were found in their lungs 15 and 16 DAI. Four budgerigars kept as unfed controls in the same environment remained free of Sarcocystis infection. The parasite underwent schizogony in African green monkey kidney cells and bovine turbinate cells. Merozoites divided by endopolygeny, often leaving a residual body. Polymerase chain reaction studies using primers JNB33/JNB54 and Hinf I and Dra I digestion indicated that the isolate was not S. falcatula. Results of this study indicated that the South American opossum, D. albiventris, is a definitive host for yet another S. falcatula-like parasite. PMID:11128705

  20. Experimental infection of opossums Didelphis aurita by Rickettsia rickettsii and evaluation of the transmission of the infection to ticks Amblyomma cajennense.

    PubMed

    Horta, Maurício C; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Casagrande, Renata A; Saito, Tais B; Rosa, Simone C; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Matushima, Eliana R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2009-02-01

    The present study evaluated the infection of opossums (Didelphis aurita) by Rickettsia rickettsii and their role as amplifier hosts for horizontal transmission of R. rickettsii to Amblyomma cajennense ticks. Three groups of opossums were evaluated: on day 0, group 1 (G1) was inoculated intraperitoneally with R. rickettsii; group 2 (G2) was infested by R. rickettsii-infected ticks; and group 3 (G3) was the uninfected control group. Opossum rectal temperature was measured daily. Blood samples were collected every 2 to 4 days during 30 days, and used to (1) inoculate guinea pigs intraperitoneally; (2) extract DNA followed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the rickettsial gene gltA; (3) study hematology; (4) detect R. rickettsii-reactive antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Blood was also collected every 10 days from days 30 to 180, to be tested by serology. Opossums were infested by uninfected A. cajennense larvae and nymphs from days 3 to 15. Engorged ticks were collected and allowed to molt in an incubator. Thereafter, the subsequent flat ticks were allowed to feed on uninfected rabbits, which were tested for seroconversion by IFA. Samples of flat ticks were also tested by real-time PCR. All G1 and G2 opossums became infected by R. rickettsii, as demonstrated by realtime PCR or/and guinea pig inoculation, but they showed no clinical abnormality. Rickettsemia was first detected at days 2 to 8, lasting intermittently till days 1 to 30. Approximately 18% and 5% of the flat ticks previously fed on G1 and G2 opossums, respectively, became infected by R. rickettsii, but only the rabbits infested with G1-derived ticks seroconverted. The study demonstrated that R. rickettsii was capable of infecting opossums without causing illness and developing rickettsemia capable of causing infection in guinea pigs and ticks, although the infection rate in ticks was low. PMID:18945194

  1. Isolation of a third species of Sarcocystis in immunodeficient mice fed feces from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and its differentiation from Sarcocystis falcatula and Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Speer, C A; Lindsay, D S

    1998-12-01

    Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were found to be hosts for 3 species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystis falcatula with an avian intermediate host, S. neurona with an undetermined intermediate host, and a third, unnamed, species. Sporocysts from the intestines of 2 opossums (nos. 26 and 47) were fed to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), nude mice, and gamma-interferon knockout (KO) mice. Sporocysts of S. falcatula were not infective to nude or KO mice. Sporocysts of S. neurona induced encephalitis in KO and nude mice; only schizonts and merozoites were found in tissues of mice, and they reacted with anti-S. neurona serum raised against the SN-2 isolate of S. neurona originally obtained from tissues of a paralyzed horse. All 3 species of Sarcocystis were present in opossum no. 47. Sarcocystis neurona was isolated in cell culture from this opossum. Sporocysts from opossum no. 47 were lethal to budgerigars, indicating S. falcatula infection. Only 1 species of Sarcocystis (the third species) was found in opossum no. 26; the sporocysts were infective to KO and nude mice. Schizonts and merozoites of this species were predominantly in the liver but were also found in other tissues; schizonts did not react with anti-S. neurona serum. Merozoites of the third species were ultrastructurally distinct from S. falcatula and S. neurona merozoites. Sarcocysts were found in leg muscles of 2 mice killed 50 and 54 days after they were fed sporocysts from opossum no. 26. These sarcocysts had steeple-shaped protrusions on the cyst wall and were distinct from sarcocysts of S. falcatula and any other species of Sarcocystis. PMID:9920306

  2. Serological evidence of exposure to tick-borne agents in opossums (Didelphis spp.) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de; Spolidorio, Mariana Granziera; Yoshinari, Natalino Hajime; Matushima, Eliana Reiko; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Horta, Mauricio Claudio

    2016-06-01

    This work involved a serological investigation of tick-borne pathogens in opossums in eight municipalities of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Serum samples from 109 opossums (91 Didelphis aurita and 18 Didelphis albiventris) were tested to detect antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii (Taiaçu strain, 1:64 cut-off) and Ehrlichia canis (São Paulo strain, 1:40 cut-off), by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA); and against Borrelia burgdorferi (strain G39/40) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The presence of antibodies to anti-R. rickettsii, anti-E. canis and anti-B. burgdorferi was detected in 32 (29.35%), 16 (14.67%) and 30 (27.52%) opossums, respectively. Opossum endpoint titers ranged from 64 to 1,024 for R. rickettsii, from 40 to 160 for E. canis, and from 400 to >51,200 for B. burgdorferi. These serological results suggest that opossums have been exposed to Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia spp., and B. burgdorferi-related agents in the state of São Paulo. Our study underscores the need for further research about these agents in this study area, in view of the occurrence of Spotted Fever and Baggio-Yoshinari Syndrome disease in humans in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. PMID:27276663

  3. Imprinting of opossum Igf2r in the absence of differential methylation and air.

    PubMed

    Weidman, Jennifer R; Dolinoy, Dana C; Maloney, Kristin A; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Jirtle, Randy L

    2006-01-01

    Phylogenetic comparison of extant mammals with divergent imprint status is a powerful method for identifying critical components of imprint regulation at individual loci. The entire genomic region of Igf2r in the imprinted marsupials, Didelphis virginiana and Monodelphis domestica, and the non-imprinted monotreme, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, was isolated and sequenced. Genetic and epigenetic comparisons of over 160 kb of sequence were then performed in five distinct mammalian species. Surprisingly, opossum Igf2r is imprinted and maternally expressed despite the absence of the intron 2 CpG island (CpG2), antisense Igf2r RNA (Air) and differential methylation of the promoter (CpG1) required for imprinting of this gene in mice. These findings demonstrate that the genomic elements necessary for imprinted Igf2r expression in eutherians are not required for imprinting of this locus in metatherians. Thus, the regulatory mechanisms of Igf2r imprinting did not evolve convergently within the Therian subclass of mammals. PMID:17998818

  4. PO41, a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor isolated from Philander opossum serum.

    PubMed

    Jurgilas, Patrícia B; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

    2003-11-01

    PO41 was isolated from Philander opossum serum by DEAE-Sephacel, Phenyl Superose and Superdex 200 chromatographies and showed a molecular mass of 41,330 Da by MALDI-TOF MS. Molecular masses of 81.5 and 84.5 kDa were obtained by size exclusion chromatography and dynamic laser light scattering, respectively, suggesting that PO41 is dimeric. Its isoelectric point was estimated to be lower than 3.5. PO41 presented similar amino terminal sequence to those of DM40 and DM43, two antihaemorrhagins previously isolated from Didelphis marsupialis serum and was recognized by polyclonal antibodies raised against D. marsupialis antibothropic fraction. To study the inhibitory properties of this protein, the metalloproteinases bothrolysin and jararhagin were isolated from Bothrops jararaca venom by chromatographies on Superdex 200 and Phenyl Superose. Jararhagin was further submitted to a Mono Q column. The proteolytic and haemorrhagic effects of these haemorrhagins were neutralized by PO41. Both snake venom metalloproteinases formed stable complexes with PO41. The stoichiometry of the complex PO41-jararhagin was one inhibitor subunit to one molecule of the enzyme. These results show that PO41 has physicochemical, structural, immunoreactive and biological properties similar to other metalloproteinase inhibitors belonging to the supergene family of immunoglobulins. PMID:14602117

  5. Synaptogenesis in retino-receptive layers of the superior colliculus of the opossum Didelphis marsupialis.

    PubMed

    Correa-Gillieron, E M; Cavalcante, L A

    1999-08-01

    The maturation of the neuropil and synapse formation were examined in the retino-receptive layers of the superior colliculus (SCr-r) in the opossum from a period prior to the onset of arborization of retinocollicular fibers (postnatal day 22 - P22), at 44% of the coecal period (CP), to the end of the fast phase of optic fiber myelination and weaning time (P81 - 118% CP). Development of the SCr-r neuropil follows a protracted time course and can be divided into three broad stages, which are characterized by (I) Large extracellular spaces, numerous growth cones that participate rarely in synaptic junctions, vesicles-poor immature synapses (P22-P30), (II) Synapses of varied morphology with abundant synaptic vesicles, and small terminals with dark mitochondria and round synaptic vesicles (RSD terminals) synapsing mostly onto dendritic shafts, flat-vesicles (F) terminals (P40-P56), (III) Sequential appearance of retinal (R) and pleomorphic-vesicles (P) terminals and of RSD terminals synapsing onto spine or spine-like processes, appearance of glomerulus-like synaptic arrays (synaptic islets) (P61-P81). The advancement of synaptogenesis in SCr-r from stage I to II and from stage II to III correlates closely with the differentiation of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, respectively. PMID:10529520

  6. Heterogeneous patterns of oligodendroglial differentiation in the forebrain of the opossum Didelphis marsupialis.

    PubMed

    Barradas, P C; Gomes, S S; Cavalcante, L A

    1998-01-01

    The differentiation of oligodendrocytes in the forebrain of the opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) has been studied by the immunohistochemical identification of 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and by the autoradiographic detection of the uptake of 3H-thymidine. CNPase is expressed early in oligodendroglia somata and fibre sheaths (myelin) in the forebrain and its persistence in the cell bodies is regionally heterogeneous, being ephemeral in cells within the optic pathway, supraoptic decussation, and posterior commissure, of intermediate duration in the mamillo-thalamic fascicle, and stria medullaris, and long-lasting in other diencephalic and in telencephalic tracts. In the cerebral cortex, most CNPase+ cells have small somata and multiple processes (types I and II). CNPase-expressing oligodendrocytes are also regionally heterogeneous in terms of proliferative capability, which could not be detected in forebrain tracts or diencephalon, but has appeared in a small proportion of cells in the neocortical white matter and in the fimbria. Our findings provide additional evidence in favour of the heterogeneity of oligodendrocytes. PMID:9530996

  7. Molecular phylogeny of short-tailed opossums (Didelphidae: Monodelphis): taxonomic implications and tests of evolutionary hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Pavan, Silvia E; Jansa, Sharon A; Voss, Robert S

    2014-10-01

    Short-tailed opossums (genus Monodelphis) represent one of the most speciose clades of New World marsupials, with 26 currently recognized species that collectively range from eastern Panama to northern Argentina. Here we present the first phylogenetic analyses of the genus based on dense taxonomic sampling and multiple genes. From most sampled species we obtained >4800bp of DNA sequence from one mitochondrial gene (CYTB), two autosomal exons (IRBP exon 1, BRCA1 exon 11), one autosomal intron (SLC38 intron 7), and one X-linked intron (OGT intron 14). Maximum-parsimony, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian analyses of these data strongly support the monophyly of Monodelphis and recover six major clades within the genus. Additionally, our analyses support previous suggestions that several nominal taxa are synonyms of other species (M. "sorex" of M. dimidiata, M. "theresa" of M. scalops, M. "rubida" and M. "umbristriata" of M. americana, and M. "maraxina" of M. glirina). By contrast, four unnamed lineages recovered by our analyses may represent new species. Reconstructions of ancestral states of two discrete characters-dorsal pelage color pattern and habitat-suggest that the most recent common ancestor of Monodelphis was uniformly colored (with unpatterned dorsal pelage) and inhabited moist forest. Whereas some dorsal pelage patterns appear to have evolved homoplastically in Monodelphis, dorsal stripes may have had a unique historical origin in this genus. PMID:25017146

  8. Fish and opossum shrimp entrainment in the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Maiolie, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    Impacts of operating the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant on fish and opossum shrimp (mysis relicta) were investigated from 1981 to 1985 at Twin Lakes, Colorado to determine any negative effects on the Twin Lakes fishery. Daytime generation cycles entrained shrimp at densities averaging 0.05 to 0.23 shrimp/m/sup 3/ of discharge. Eight hour daytime generation cycles would entrain 50,000 to 300,000 shrimp at these rates. Generation cycles which occurred after dark entrained many times more shrimp with densities as high as 1.21 shrimp/m/sup 3/ of discharge. Entrainment density during nighttime pump-back cycles was much greater; averaging 2 to 17 shrimp/m/sup 3/ discharged. Six to 44 million shrimp were entrained during typical 8 h pump-back cycles. Differences between daytime and nighttime entrainment rates appeared to be caused by migration of shrimp into the water column at night making them more vulnerable to entrainment. Losses were estimated to have reduced Lower Twin Lake shrimp abundance by 39% in 1985.

  9. Seasonal population characteristics of the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta, in southeastern Lake Michigan, 1970-71

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, James B.; DeGraeve, G.M.

    1972-01-01

    This study of depth distribution, abundance, growth, reproduction and standing crop of the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta, in southeastern Lake Michigan was based on monthly samples collected from August 1970 through July 1971 (except February and March). Population density was usually low at 10-20 fathoms, moderate at 25-30 fathoms and relatively high at 35 fathoms and deeper. Abundance was highest in midsummer and lowest in December. Free-living mysids were 3-25 mm long. Average growth rate was 1 mm per month. At maximum lengths, females were longer than males. Weight increased as approximately the cube of the length. The population consisted mostly of juveniles during summer and autumn and subadults and adults in winter and spring. Sizable numbers of adults apparently moved to relatively shallow water (10-35 fathoms) in winter, where they bred and released their young. In deeper water (40 fathoms or more), some reproduction occurred throughout the year. Most recruitment was in April and May. Standing crop ranged as high as 50 kg per hectare. Mysis apparently has a one-year life cycle in southeastern Lake Michigan.

  10. Nitric oxide: Mediator of nonadrenergic noncholinergic nerve-induced responses of opossum esophageal muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, J.; Du, C.; Conklin, J.L.; Ledlow, A.; Bates, J.N. )

    1991-03-15

    Nonadrenergic noncholinergic (NANC) nerves of the opossum esophagus mediate relaxation of circular muscle from the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the off contraction of circular esophageal muscle. The latencies between the end of the stimulus and the off contraction describe a gradient such that the latency is longest in muscle from the caudad esophagus. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide were used to test the hypothesis that NO is a mediator of these nerve-induced responses. Both electrical field stimulation (EFS) of intrinsic esophageal nerves and exogenous NO relaxed LES muscle. Only EFS-induced relaxation was inhibited by L-NNA. L-arginine, the substrate for NO synthase, antagonized the inhibitory effect of L-NNA. Exogenous NO neither relaxed nor contracted circular esophageal muscle. Both the amplitude and the latency of the off contraction were diminished by L-NNA. L-arginine antagonized the action of L-NNA. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine also attenuated the gradient in the latency of the off response by shortening latencies in muscle form the caudad esophagus. It had no effect on cholinergic nerve-induced contraction of longitudinal esophageal muscle. These data support the hypothesis that NO or an NO-containing compound mediates NANC nerve-induced responses of the esophagus and LES.

  11. Characteristics of albumin binding to opossum kidney cells and identification of potential receptors.

    PubMed

    Brunskill, N J; Nahorski, S; Walls, J

    1997-02-01

    Albumin re-absorption in the kidney proximal tubule may be pathophysiological in disease. Opossum kidney (OK) cell monolayers were used to investigate the characteristics of [125I]-labelled albumin binding at 4 degrees C. Two binding sites were identified, one with high affinity (KD 154.8 +/-7 mg/l) and low capacity, the other with low affinity (KD 8300 +/- 1000 mg/l) and high capacity. Binding was sensitive to lectins Glycine max and Ulex europaeus I, but not other lectins, indicating involvement of a glycoprotein(s) in the binding process. Binding was also sensitive to a number of agents known to inhibit binding to scavenger receptors. [125I]-Labelled albumin ligand blotting of OK cell membrane proteins identified several albumin-binding proteins with identical lectin affinities to those proteins mediating albumin binding to OK cell monolayers. These results provide initial evidence of the identity of albumin receptors in kidney tubules, and suggest that they may be members of the family of scavenger receptors. PMID:9000429

  12. The South American opossum, Didelphis marsupialis, from Brazil as another definitive host for Sarcocystis speeri Dubey and Lindsay, 1999.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Kerber, C E; Lindsay, D S; Kasai, N; Pena, H F

    2000-12-01

    The North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, is a definitive host for at least 3 species of Sarcocvstis: S. falcatula Stiles 1983, S. neurona Dubey, Davis, Speer, Bowman, de Lahunta, Granstrom, Topper, Hamir, Cummings, Suter 1991, and S. speeri Dubey and Lindsay 1999. In order to identify species of Sarcocystis in the South American opossum, D. inarsupialis, Sarcocystis sporocysts from the intestines of a naturally infected opossum (D. marsupialis) from Brazil were fed to 4 gamma-interferon knockout (KO) mice, a nude mouse, and 2 budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). All 4 KO mice became ill and 1 died 42 days post-feeding (p.f.) of sporocysts, 1 was killed 44 days p.f. because of neurological signs, and 2 were killed 52 and 53 days p.f. because of abnormal gaits. Numerous sarcocysts were seen in the skeletal muscles of all 4 KO mice and they were structurally identical to S. speeri seen in KO mice fed sporocysts from D. virginiana from the United States and D. albiventris from Argentina. The nude mouse was killed 41 days p.f. because it appeared weak; schizonts were seen in sections of its liver and sarcocysts were seen in sections of skeletal muscles. Sarcocystis speeri was cultured in bovine turbinate cells inoculated with liver homogenate from this mouse. Sarcocystis neurona was not demonstrable in tissues of mice. The two budgerigars remained asymptomatic and S. falcatula was not found in their tissues when they were killed 29 days p.i. This is the first report of S. speeri from D. marsupialis. PMID:11155929

  13. Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums.

    PubMed

    Rupert, J E; Schmidt, E Cordero; Moreira-Soto, A; Herrera, B Rodríguez; Vandeberg, J L; Butcher, M T

    2014-08-01

    Prehensile tails are defined as having the ability to grasp objects and are commonly used as a fifth appendage during arboreal locomotion. Despite the independent evolution of tail prehensility in numerous mammalian genera, data relating muscle structure, physiology, and function of prehensile tails are largely incomplete. Didelphid marsupials make an excellent model to relate myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform fiber type with structure/function of caudal muscles, as all opossums have a prehensile tail and tail use varies between arboreal and terrestrial forms. Expanding on our previous work in the Virginia opossum, this study tests the hypothesis that arboreal and terrestrial opossums differentially express faster versus slower MHC isoforms, respectively. MHC isoform expression and percent fiber type distribution were determined in the flexor caudae longus (FCL) muscle of Caluromys derbianus (arboreal) and Monodelphis domestica (terrestrial), using a combination of gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemistry analyses. C. derbianus expresses three MHC isoforms (1, 2A, 2X) that are distributed (mean percentage) as 8.2% MHC-1, 2.6% 1/2A, and 89.2% 2A/X hybrid fibers. M. domestica also expresses MHC-1, 2A, and 2X, in addition to the 2B isoform, distributed as 17.0% MHC-1, 1.3% 1/2A, 9.0% 2A, 75.2% 2A/X, and 0.3% 2X/B hybrid fibers. The distribution of similar isoform fiber types differed significantly between species (P < 0.001). Although not statistically significant, C. derbianus was observed to have larger cross-sectional area (CSA) for each corresponding fiber type along with a greater amount of extra-cellular matrix. An overall faster fiber type composition (and larger fibers) in the tail of an arboreal specialist supports our hypothesis, and correlates with higher muscle force required for tail hanging and arboreal maneuvering on terminal substrates. Conversely, a broader distribution of highly oxidative fibers in the caudal musculature is well suited for

  14. Amelotin Gene Structure and Expression during Enamel Formation in the Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gasse, Barbara; Liu, Xi; Corre, Erwan; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    Amelotin (AMTN) is an ameloblast-secreted protein that belongs to the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein family, which also includes the enamel matrix proteins amelogenin, ameloblastin and enamelin. Although AMTN is supposed to play an important role in enamel formation, data were long limited to the rodents, in which it is expressed during the maturation stage. Recent comparative studies in sauropsids and amphibians revealed that (i) AMTN was expressed earlier, i.e. as soon as ameloblasts are depositing the enamel matrix, and (ii) AMTN structure was different, a change which mostly resulted from an intraexonic splicing in the large exon 8 of an ancestral mammal. The present study was performed to know whether the differences in AMTN structure and expression in rodents compared to non-mammalian tetrapods dated back to an early ancestral mammal or were acquired later in mammalian evolution. We sequenced, assembled and screened the jaw transcriptome of a neonate opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial. We found two AMTN transcripts. Variant 1, representing 70.8% of AMTN transcripts, displayed the structure known in rodents, whereas variant 2 (29.2%) exhibited the nonmammalian tetrapod structure. Then, we studied AMTN expression during amelogenesis in a neonate specimen. We obtained similar data as those reported in rodents. These findings indicate that more than 180 million years ago, before the divergence of marsupials and placentals, changes occurred in AMTN function and structure. The spatiotemporal expression was delayed to the maturation stage of amelogenesis and the intraexonic splicing gave rise to isoform 1, encoded by variant 1 and lacking the RGD motif. The ancestral isoform 2, housing the RGD, was initially conserved, as demonstrated here in a marsupial, then secondarily lost in the placental lineages. These findings bring new elements towards our understanding of the non-prismatic to prismatic enamel transition that occurred at the onset of

  15. Amelotin Gene Structure and Expression during Enamel Formation in the Opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Gasse, Barbara; Liu, Xi; Corre, Erwan; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    Amelotin (AMTN) is an ameloblast-secreted protein that belongs to the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein family, which also includes the enamel matrix proteins amelogenin, ameloblastin and enamelin. Although AMTN is supposed to play an important role in enamel formation, data were long limited to the rodents, in which it is expressed during the maturation stage. Recent comparative studies in sauropsids and amphibians revealed that (i) AMTN was expressed earlier, i.e. as soon as ameloblasts are depositing the enamel matrix, and (ii) AMTN structure was different, a change which mostly resulted from an intraexonic splicing in the large exon 8 of an ancestral mammal. The present study was performed to know whether the differences in AMTN structure and expression in rodents compared to non-mammalian tetrapods dated back to an early ancestral mammal or were acquired later in mammalian evolution. We sequenced, assembled and screened the jaw transcriptome of a neonate opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial. We found two AMTN transcripts. Variant 1, representing 70.8% of AMTN transcripts, displayed the structure known in rodents, whereas variant 2 (29.2%) exhibited the nonmammalian tetrapod structure. Then, we studied AMTN expression during amelogenesis in a neonate specimen. We obtained similar data as those reported in rodents. These findings indicate that more than 180 million years ago, before the divergence of marsupials and placentals, changes occurred in AMTN function and structure. The spatiotemporal expression was delayed to the maturation stage of amelogenesis and the intraexonic splicing gave rise to isoform 1, encoded by variant 1 and lacking the RGD motif. The ancestral isoform 2, housing the RGD, was initially conserved, as demonstrated here in a marsupial, then secondarily lost in the placental lineages. These findings bring new elements towards our understanding of the non-prismatic to prismatic enamel transition that occurred at the onset of

  16. Mitochondrial phenotype of marsupial torpor: Fuel metabolic switch in the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans.

    PubMed

    Cortés, Pablo Andres; Bacigalupe, Leonardo Daniel; Mondaca, Fredy; Desrosiers, Véronique; Blier, Pierre U

    2016-01-01

    Torpor is a phenotype characterized by a controlled decline of metabolic rate and body temperature. During arousal from torpor, organs undergo rapid metabolic reactivation and rewarming to near normal levels. As torpor progress, animals show a preference for fatty acids over glucose as primary source of energy. Here, we analyzed for first time the changes in the maximal activity of key enzymes related to fatty acid (Carnitine palmitoyltransferase and β-Hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase) and carbohydrate (Pyruvate kinase, Phosphofructokinase and Lactate dehydrogenase) catabolism, as well as mitochondrial oxidative capacity (Citrate synthase), in six organs of torpid, arousing and euthermic Chilean mouse-opossums (Thylamys elegans). Our results showed that activity of enzymes related to fatty acid and carbohydrate catabolism were different among torpor phases and the pattern of variation differs among tissues. In terms of lipid utilization, maximal enzymatic activities differ in tissues with high oxidative capacity such as heart, kidney, and liver. In terms of carbohydrate use, lower enzymatic activities were observed during torpor in brain and liver. Interestingly, citrate synthase activity did not differ thought torpor-arousal cycle in any tissues analyzed, suggesting no modulation of mitochondrial content in T. elegans. Overall results provide an indication that modulation of enzymes associated with carbohydrate and fatty-acid pathways is mainly oriented to limit energy expensive processes and sustain energy metabolism during transition from torpor to euthermy. Future studies are required to elucidate if physiological events observed for T. elegans are unique from other marsupials, or represents a general response in marsupials. J. Exp. Zool. 325A:41-51, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26553608

  17. Are opossums a relevant factor associated with asymptomatic Leishmania infection in the outskirts of the largest Brazilian cities?

    PubMed

    Carranza-Tamayo, César Omar; Werneck, Guilherme Loureiro; Romero, Gustavo Adolfo Sierra

    2016-01-01

    A population survey was conducted to explore the prevalence and factors associated with Leishmania infection in the Fercal region of the Federal District. The Fercal region is a group of neighborhoods in Brasília in which the first cases of visceral leishmaniasis were described. Leishmania infection was established by a positive leishmanin test. Although other tests were performed in the study (an immunochromatographic assay (Kalazar detect(®)) and a molecular assay), only the leishmanin skin test provided sufficient results for the measurement of the disease prevalence. Data on the epidemiological, clinical and environmental characteristics of individuals were collected along with the diagnostic tests. After sampling and enrollment, seven hundred people from 2 to 14 years of age were included in the study. The prevalence of Leishmania infection was 33.28% (95% CI 29.87-36.84). The factors associated with Leishmania infection according to the multivariate analysis were age of more than seven years and the presence of opossums near the home. Age is a known factor associated with Leishmania infection; however, the presence of wild animals, as described, is an understudied factor. The presence of opossums, which are known reservoirs of Leishmania, in peri-urban areas could be the link between the rural and urban occurrence of visceral leishmaniasis in the outskirts of largest Brazilian cities, as suggested by previous studies. PMID:26867473

  18. Phylogenetic evaluation of taxonomic definition of didelphid mouse opossum of the genus Thylamys from valleys of Coquimbo region, Chile.

    PubMed

    Boric-Bargetto, Dusan; Zúñiga-Reinoso, Álvaro; Cancino, Ricardo A; González-Acuña, Daniel; Rodríguez-Serrano, Enrique; Palma, R Eduardo; Hernández, Cristián E

    2016-01-01

    Only two species of Didelphidae are currently recognized in Chile, the sister species Thylamys elegans, endemic of Mediterranean ecorregion and Thylamys pallidior, the inhabitant of the Puna and desert canyons. Three subspecies have been described for T. elegans: T. e. elegans, T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. soricinus. However, a recent study based on morphological analyses, synonymized T. elegans coquimbensis from the Coquimbo valleys (30-31° S) with T. pallidior and proposed that T. elegans and T. pallidior could be in sympatry at Coquimbo valleys between Fray Jorge (30°40'S) and Paiguano (30°02' S). We assess the current definition of T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. elegans, as well as this taxonomical conflict among the mouse opossums from the Coquimbo valleys through phylogenetic analyses of cytochrome b mitochondrial gene sequences. In this study, for the first time, we used specimens from the type localities of T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. elegans. In addition, we analyzed diagnostic cranial structures for this taxonomic revision. The results supported two allopatric clades, allowing us to keep the taxonomic definition of T. e. elegans and T. e. coquimbensis as phylogenetic reciprocal monophyletic clades and polyphyletic with T. pallidior. This result corroborates previous morphological analyses, which support that mouse opossums from the Coquimbo valleys are T. e. coquimbensis, thus extending its geographic distribution to the coast of Coquimbo and Atacama regions. We don´t have evidence for sympatric distribution between T. elegans and T. pallidior in the Coquimbo region. PMID:27394783

  19. Endogenous Life Cycle of Eimeria marmosopos (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Chinchilla, Misael; Valerio, Idalia; Duszynski, Donald

    2015-08-01

    The endogenous life cycle of Eimeria marmosopos was studied in experimentally infected young opossums, Didelphis marsupialis . All the endogenous stages were located in the epithelial cells of villi in the small intestine. Giemsa-stained mucosal scrapings and histological sections were studied for the diagnosis of all the life cycle stages. Eimeria marmosopos has 3 generations of meronts (M) that differ by size, shape, and number of merozoites (m), which also differ in their size, shape, and location of their nuclei within the cytoplasm of the meronts. The 3 meront types, M(1)-M(3), respectively, had 8-15 (m(1)), 4-9 (m(2)), and 22-30 (m(3)) merozoites. Macrogametocytes and microgametocytes, as well as macrogametes and microgametes, completed the sexual cycle, finishing with the formation of unsporulated oocysts. This parasite's endogenous development produced severe intestinal lesions in experimentally infected opossums. There are 56 Eimeria species known from all marsupials worldwide, but this is the first complete life cycle in which both the asexual and sexual stages have been documented. PMID:25807059

  20. Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in the South American opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) from the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Yai, L E O; Cañon-Franco, W A; Geraldi, V C; Summa, M E L; Camargo, M C G O; Dubey, J P; Gennari, S M

    2003-08-01

    Antibodies to Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii were assayed in sera of 396 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) from the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Antibodies to N. caninum were assayed using the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Antibodies (IFAT, approximately 1:25) to N. caninum were found in 84 opossums (D. marsupialis) in titers of 1:25 in 46, 1:50 in 20, 1:100 in 17, and 1:400 in 1. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed with the modified agglutination test (MAT) and the IFAT. Antibodies to T. gondii (MAT, approximately 1:25) were found in 82 (20.4%) of the 396 opossums, in titers of 1:25 in 24, 1:50 in 26, 1:100 in 18, 1:200 in 13, and 1:800 in 1. The IFAT antibodies to T. gondii were found in 148 of 396 opossums, in titers of 1:16 in 41, 1:32 in 23, 1:64 in 13, 1:128 in 6, 1:256 in 20, 1:512 in 17, 1:1,024 in 10, 1:2,048 in 10, 1:4,096 in 7, and 1:8,192 in 1. This is the first report of N. caninum and T. gondii infections in D. marsupialis. PMID:14533710

  1. Isolation of Salmonella enterica and serologic reactivity to Leptospira interrogans in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatán, México.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Pina, Hugo Antonio; Puc-Franco, Miguel Angel; Flores-Abuxapqui, Javier; Vado-Solis, Ignacio; Cardenas-Marrufo, María Fidelia

    2002-01-01

    The presence of Salmonella enterica and serologic evidence of infection by Leptospira interrogans, were detected in the opossum Didelphis virginiana in a semi-urban locality of the Yucatán State, México. Ninety-one opossums were captured during the period April 1996 and May 1998. From a total of 17 feces samples, four Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotypes (Sandiego, Newport, Anatum, and Minnesota), and one Salmonella enterica subsp. arizonae serovar O44:Z4,Z23:- were isolated. Some opossums presented mixed infections. From 81 sera samples, four (4.9%) were positive to antibodies to Leptospira serovars pomona and wolfii. Both animals infected with Salmonella enterica and those serologically positive to Leptospira interrogans were captured in peridomestic habitat. Opossums infected with Salmonella enterica, were captured in dry season, and those seropositive to Leptospira interrogans during the rainy season. The implications of infection and reactivity of these zoonotic pathogens in D. virginiana in the Yucatan state are briefly discussed. PMID:12219118

  2. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossums, Didelphis virginiana, from southern Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Houk, Alice E; Goodwin, David G; Zajac, Anne M; Barr, Stephen C; Dubey, J P; Lindsay, David S

    2010-12-01

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites ( Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoans of veterinary importance ( Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona, and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) from Louisiana. Samples from 30 opossums were collected as part of a survey for T. cruzi in Louisiana. Frozen sera from these 30 opossums were examined using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) against in vitro-produced antigenic stages of these protozoans. Additionally, 24 of the 30 samples were examined using hemoculture, and all 30 were examined in the modified direct agglutination test (MAT) for antibodies to To. gondii. The prevalences of reactive IFAT samples were as follows: 60% for T. cruzi, 27% for To. gondii, 23% for E. cuniculi, 17% for S. neurona, 47% for B. darlingi, and 0% for N. caninum. Hemoculture revealed that 16 (67%) of 24 samples were positive for T. cruzi, compared to 18 of 30 (60%) by IFAT. The sensitivity and specificity for the IFAT compared to hemoculture was 100% for each. The modified direct agglutination test revealed that 9 (30%) of the 30 samples from opossums had antibodies to To. gondii , compared to 8 (27%) using the IFAT. The sensitivity and specificity of the IFAT compared to the MAT was 100% and 72%, respectively. PMID:21158620

  3. Ultrastructural aspects of oocyte growth in the marsupial Monodelphis domestica (grey short-tailed opossum).

    PubMed Central

    Falconnier, C; Kress, A

    1992-01-01

    The growth of the opossum Monodelphis oocyte does not correspond to the strict biphasic pattern so far described in eutherians and marsupials. The oocyte increases appreciably in size during the last stage of antral follicle development. During the primordial and primary follicle stage Balbiani bodies or paranuclear complexes are not detectable in Monodelphis oocytes. Organelles are randomly distributed. In addition to the nucleolus, perichromatin and ribonucleoprotein particles are other intranuclear structures which occur as regular components in the early Monodelphis oocyte. Clusters of particles are mostly seen in close association with the nuclear envelope. Similar material has been encountered in the cytoplasm as a type of freely-existing 'nuage' material but never as mitochondria-associated 'nuage' or 'cement'. Both types of particles, intranuclear and cytoplasmic, disappear by the time antral follicle formation begins. Mitochondria are at first of the typical transformed shape seen in most mammalian oocytes. They are large, round or oval in outline with a few, often arched, cristae and a light matrix. During the primary follicle stage, mitochondrial size and complexity decrease and the matrix becomes electron dense. A close relationship between mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum appears early in the primordial and later in the primary follicle oocyte. Regularly detected structures in the ooplasm of preantrum oocytes are paired or 'confronting' cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum, which are lamellar complexes comprised of 2 or more parallel cisternae with intervening electron-dense material. The most conspicuous inclusions in the Monodelphis oocytes of the tertiary and graafian follicles are vesicles. All other organelles are confined to the peripheral zone of the oocyte. Golgi and endoplasmic vesicles both take part in the formation of multivesicular bodies which seems to be the starting point for the vesicle accumulation. Further increase in size

  4. The opossum Didelphis virginiana as a synanthropic reservoir of Trypanosoma cruzi in Dzidzilché, Yucatán, México.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Pina, Hugo A; Cruz-Reyes, Alejandro

    2002-07-01

    In México, the role of mammals in the transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi is poorly known. In the State of Yucatán, an endemic area of Chagas disease, both Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis occur sympatrically. However, until now, only the former species had been found infected with T. cruzi. To evaluate the role of D. virginiana in a peridomestic transmission, nine periods of capture-recapture were performed around the village of Dzidzilché, Yucatán. The sex, age, reproductive status, location, and presence of infection with T. cruzi were recorded for each opossum. The chromosome morphology was used to identify the opossum species. T. cruzi was identified by the presence of pseudocysts of amastigotes in cardiac muscle fibers of Balb/c mice inoculated with strains isolated from opossums. However, xenodiagnosis was the best diagnostic method. Triatoma dimidiata, the vector, were collected in and around the opossums' nests, and human dwellings; and were checked for T. cruzi. From 102 blood samples of D. virginiana examined 55 (53.9%) were positive to T. cruzi, the only two D. marsupialis captured were negative. Significant differences were found between infection, and both sex and reproductive condition. Eight out of 14 triatomines collected in peridomestic nests (57.1%), and 32 of 197 captured inside houses (16.3%) were found infected, suggesting a peridomestic transmission. The statistically high abundance of infected opossums and triatomines during the dry season (March to May) suggested the existence of a seasonality in the peridomestic transmission of T. cruzi in Dzidzilché. PMID:12219121

  5. Watery and dark axons in Wallerian degeneration of the opossum's optic nerve: different patterns of cytoskeletal breakdown?

    PubMed

    Narciso, M S; Hokoç, J N; Martinez, A M

    2001-06-01

    In this paper we report a qualitative morphological analysis of Wallerian degeneration in a marsupial. Right optic nerves of opossums Didelphis marsupialis were crushed with a fine forceps and after 24, 48, 72, 96 and 168 hours the animals were anaesthetized and perfused with fixative. The optic nerves were immersed in fixative and processed for routine transmission electron microscopy. Among the early alterations typical of axonal degeneration, we observed nerve fibers with focal degeneration of the axoplasmic cytoskeleton, watery degeneration and dark degeneration, the latter being prevalent at 168 hours after crush. Our results point to a gradual disintegration of the axoplasmic cytoskeleton, opposed to the previous view of an "all-or-nothing" process (Griffin et al 1995). We also report that, due to an unknown mechanism, fibers show either a dark or watery pattern of axonal degeneration, as observed in axon profiles. We also observed fibers undergoing early myelin breakdown in the absence of axonal alterations. PMID:11404785

  6. Coccidial dispersion across New World marsupials: Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) (Mammalia: Didelphimorphia).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Caroline Spitz; Berto, Bruno Pereira; do Bomfim Lopes, Bruno; Cordeiro, Matheus Dias; da Fonseca, Adivaldo Henrique; Filho, Walter Leira Teixeira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2014-09-01

    Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 is a primitive coccidian parasite reported from the New World marsupials Didelphis marsupialis (Linnaeus) and Marmosa demerarae (Thomas). The current work describes K. tejerai from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) in Southeastern Brazil, evidencing the coccidial dispersion across opossums of the same family. The sporocysts recovered from urine samples were ellipsoidal, 20.4 × 12.7 µm, with sporocyst residuum composed of scattered spherules and c.13 sporozoites per sporocyst, with refractile bodies and nucleus. Macrogametes, microgametes, sporonts, sporoblasts/sporocysts were identified within parasitophorous vacuoles of epithelial cells located near the renal corticomedullary junction. Didelphis marsupialis should not have transmitted K. tejerai to D. aurita because they are not sympatric; however M. demerarae is sympatric with D. marsupialis and D. aurita. Therefore, D. aurita becomes the third host species for K. tejerai in South America. PMID:25079818

  7. Regeneration of descending spinal axons after transection of the thoracic spinal cord during early development in the North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana.

    PubMed

    Martin, G F; Terman, J R; Wang, X M

    2000-11-15

    Opossums are born in an immature, fetal-like state, making it possible to lesion their spinal cord early in development without intrauterine surgery. When the thoracic spinal cord of the North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, is transected on postnatal day 5, and injections of Fast Blue (FB) are made caudal to the lesion site 30-40 days or 6 months later, neurons are labeled in all of the spinal and supraspinal areas that are labeled after comparable injections in age-matched, unlesioned controls. Double-labeling studies document that regeneration of cut axons contributes to growth of axons through the lesion site and behavioral studies show that animals lesioned on postnatal day 5 use their hindlimbs in normal appearing locomotion as adults. The critical period for developmental plasticity of descending spinal axons extends to postnatal day 26, although axons which grow through the lesion site become fewer in number and more restricted as to origin with increasing age. Animals lesioned between postnatal day 12 and 26 use the hindlimbs better than animals lesioned as adults, but hindlimb function is markedly abnormal and uncoordinated with that of the forelimbs. We conclude that restoration of anatomical continuity occurs after transection of the spinal cord in developing opossums, that descending axons grow through the lesion site, that regeneration of cut axons contributes to such growth, and that animals lesioned early enough in development have relatively normal motor function as adults. PMID:11165803

  8. Chromosome-wide profiling of X-chromosome inactivation and epigenetic states in fetal brain and placenta of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xu; Douglas, Kory C.; VandeBerg, John L.; Clark, Andrew G.; Samollow, Paul B.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence from a few genes in diverse species suggests that X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in marsupials is characterized by exclusive, but leaky inactivation of the paternally derived X chromosome. To study the phenomenon of marsupial XCI more comprehensively, we profiled parent-of-origin allele-specific expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications in fetal brain and extra-embryonic membranes in the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The majority of X-linked genes (152 of 176 genes with trackable SNP variants) exhibited paternally imprinted expression, with nearly 100% of transcripts derived from the maternal allele; whereas 24 loci (14%) escaped inactivation, showing varying levels of biallelic expression. In addition to recently reported evidence of marsupial XCI regulation by the noncoding Rsx transcript, strong depletion of H3K27me3 at escaper gene loci in the present study suggests that histone state modifications also correlate strongly with opossum XCI. In contrast to mouse, the opossum did not show an association between X-linked gene expression and promoter DNA methylation, with one notable exception. Unlike all other X-linked genes examined, Rsx was differentially methylated on the maternal and paternal X chromosomes, and expression was exclusively from the inactive (paternal) X chromosome. Our study provides the first comprehensive catalog of parent-of-origin expression status for X-linked genes in a marsupial and sheds light on the regulation and evolution of imprinted XCI in mammals. PMID:24065774

  9. Perinatal exposure to estradiol masculinizes aspects of sexually dimorphic behavior and morphology in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H

    2000-02-01

    The effects on adult sexually dimorphic behavior of perinatal exposure to estrogen were examined by treating male and female gray opossums with estradiol (EST), an estrogen receptor antagonist (tamoxifen:TX) or oil control (OIL) during the first week of life, a time period corresponding in this marsupial to late gestation in rodent species. Following gonadectomy and replacement therapy with testosterone in adulthood, males showed more scent-marking behavior than females and EST animals showed more scent marking than TX or OIL animals. Also, phalluses were longer and body weight was higher in males than in females and in EST-treated animals than in TX-treated animals; OIL animals were intermediate in these morphological measures. EST animals of both sexes showed less female-typical screeching threat behavior than OIL or TX animals. Because these hormone manipulations were conducted on the "fetus" directly in this marsupial (rather than via the maternal circulation as in previously studied eutherian species), these findings provide unique confirming evidence for masculinization of aspects of behavior and morphology by early exposure to estradiol in mammals. PMID:10712860

  10. Sex differences and the development of social behavior in a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Corbett, A

    1997-06-01

    The effects of sex and age on social behavior were examined in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), small didelphid marsupials. Each animal received five behavior test batteries spanning prepubertal to postpubertal ages. Each test battery consisted of two tests with animals of the same age, one with a male and one with a female. Precopulatory behavior toward females, intermale fighting requiring test interruptions as well as scent marking behavior were seen at higher levels in males than in females and were seen more frequently around and after puberty than before puberty. Females showed more threat behavior than males in mixed-sex and in same-sex interactions. This sex difference was apparent after puberty in tests with male partners and prior to as well as around puberty in tests with female partners. Because climbing over and boxing with another animal were seen more frequently prior to than after puberty, these behaviors may be elements of play fighting (i.e. attack and defense without submission and threat). These findings are discussed with respect to the role of gonadal hormones in the organization and activation of behavior and with reference to their comparative significance in mammals. PMID:9177557

  11. X-linked gene expression in the Virginia opossum: differences between the paternally derived Gpd and Pgk-A loci

    SciTech Connect

    Samollow, P.B.; Ford, A.L.; VandeBerg, J.L.

    1987-01-01

    Expression of X-linked glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and phosphoglycerate kinase-A (PGK-A) in the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) was studied electrophoretically in animals from natural populations and those produced through controlled laboratory crosses. Blood from most of the wild animals exhibited a common single-banded phenotype for both enzymes. Rare variant animals, regardless of sex, exhibited single-banded phenotypes different in mobility from the common mobility class of the respective enzyme. The laboratory crosses confirmed the allelic basis for the common and rare phenotypes. Transmission of PGK-A phenotypes followed the pattern of determinate (nonrandom) inactivation of the paternally derived Pgk-A allele, and transmission of G6PD also was consistent with this pattern. A survey of tissue-specific expression of G6PD phenotypes of heterozygous females revealed, in almost all tissues, three-banded patterns skewed in favor of the allele that was expressed in blood cells. Three-banded patterns were never observed in males or in putatively homozygous females. These patterns suggest simultaneous, but unequal, expression of the maternally and paternally derived Gpd alleles within individual cells. The absence of such partial expression was noted in a parallel survey of females heterozygous at the Pgd-A locus. Thus, it appears that Gpd and Pgk-A are X-linked in D. virginiana and subject to preferential paternal allele inactivation, but that dosage compensation may not be complete for all paternally derived X-linked genes.

  12. Alpha-2 adrenergic and serotonin-1B receptors in the OK cell, an opossum kidney cell line

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, T.J.

    1988-01-01

    Alpha-2 adrenergic and serotonin-1B (5HT{sub 1B}) receptors, both negatively-coupled to adenylyl cyclase, were characterized in the OK cell line, a renal proximal tubule epithelial cell line derived from the kidney of a North American opossum. In membrane saturation radioligand binding experiments, ({sup 3}H)yohimbine and ({sup 3}H)rauwolscine labeled an equivalent number of binding sites. Detailed pharmacological analysis of OK cell alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in competition binding assays indicate this receptor is neither an alpha-2A nor an alpha-2B adrenergic receptor subtype, although the alpha-2B receptor subtype-selective drugs prazosin, ARC-239 and chlorpromazine have affinities for OK cell alpha-2 adrenergic receptors similar to those at the alpha-2B receptor subtype. Determinations of agonist potency for inhibition of PTH-stimulated cyclic AMP production and radioligand binding analysis using ({sup 125}I)({minus})-cyanopindolol indicate that a 5HT{sub 1B} receptor is expressed in the OK cell line. A biochemical effector system coupled to this receptor subtype has not been previously described. Several compounds appear to be potent agonists at the 5TH{sub 1B} receptor including the beta adrenergic antagonists cyanopindolol, pindolol, propranolol and alprenolol.

  13. Torpor at high ambient temperature in a neotropical didelphid, the grey short-tailed opossum ( Monodelphis domestica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busse, Sebastian; Lutter, Dominik; Heldmaier, Gerhard; Jastroch, Martin; Meyer, Carola W.

    2014-11-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, has been an established research animal for more than five decades, but relatively, little is known about its thermophysiology. Here we studied core body temperature ( T b) and metabolic rate (MR) of female adult M. domestica housed in the laboratory at an ambient temperature ( T a) of 26 °C. In expanding previous reports, the average recorded core T b of M. domestica was 34.3 °C. The T b of an individual M. domestica can drop below 30 °C (minimal T b: 28.6 °C) accompanied by a reduction in MR of up to 52 % even while having ad libitum access to food. These findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of spontaneous torpor in M. domestica. Metabolic suppression at relatively high T a and T b furthermore broadens our perspective on the use of torpor as a metabolic strategy not just restricted to cold climates.

  14. Diversity of Sarcocystis spp shed by opossums in Brazil inferred with phylogenetic analysis of DNA coding ITS1, cytochrome B, and surface antigens.

    PubMed

    Valadas, Samantha Y O B; da Silva, Juliana I G; Lopes, Estela Gallucci; Keid, Lara B; Zwarg, Ticiana; de Oliveira, Alice S; Sanches, Thaís C; Joppert, Adriana M; Pena, Hilda F J; Oliveira, Tricia M F S; Ferreira, Helena L; Soares, Rodrigo M

    2016-05-01

    Although few species of Sarcocystis are known to use marsupials of the genus Didelphis as definitive host, an extensive diversity of alleles of surface antigen genes (sag2, sag3, and sag4) has been described in samples of didelphid opossums in Brazil. In this work, we studied 25 samples of Sarcocystis derived from gastrointestinal tract of opossums of the genus Didelphis by accessing the variability of sag2, sag3, sag4, gene encoding cytochrome b (cytB) and first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1). Reference samples of Sarcocystis neurona (SN138) and Sarcocystis falcatula (SF1) maintained in cell culture were also analyzed. We found four allele variants of cytB, seven allele variants of ITS1, 10 allele variants of sag2, 13 allele variants of sag3, and 6 allele variants of sag4. None of the sporocyst-derived sequences obtained from Brazilian opossums revealed 100% identity to SN138 at cytB gene, nor to SN138 or SF1 at ITS1 locus. In addition, none of the sag alleles were found identical to either SF1 or SN138 homologous sequences, and a high number of new sag allele types were found other than those previously described in Brazil. Out of ten sag2 alleles, four are novel, while eight out of 13 sag3 alleles are novel and one out of six sag4 alleles is novel. Further studies are needed to clarify if such a vast repertoire of allele variants of Sarcocystis is the consequence of re-assortments driven by sexual exchange, in order to form individuals with highly diverse characteristics, such as pathogenicity, host spectrum, among others or if it only represents allele variants of different species with different biological traits. PMID:26905780

  15. Sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) associated with opossum nests at urban sites in southeastern Brazil: a risk factor for urban and periurban zoonotic Leishmania transmission?

    PubMed

    Cutolo, Andre Antonio; Teodoro, Anna Karollina Menezes; Ovallos, Fredy Galvis; Allegretti, Silmara Marques; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2014-06-01

    Sandflies associated with opossum nests are reported for the first time in the yards of residences located in the urban area of the municipality of Monte Mor, situated in the metropolitan region of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Eleven specimens of Evandromyia cortelezzii and one of Evandromyia lenti were captured in two Didelphis albiventris nests. Ev. cortelezzii is considered a secondary vector species for the transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum in the Neotropics. This association may contribute to the introduction, establishment and maintenance of urban and periurban zoonotic transmission outbreaks of Leishmania and should therefore be investigated further. PMID:24789554

  16. Sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) associated with opossum nests at urban sites in southeastern Brazil: a risk factor for urban and periurban zoonotic Leishmania transmission?

    PubMed Central

    Cutolo, Andre Antonio; Teodoro, Anna Karollina Menezes; Ovallos, Fredy Galvis; Allegretti, Silmara Marques; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2014-01-01

    Sandflies associated with opossum nests are reported for the first time in the yards of residences located in the urban area of the municipality of Monte Mor, situated in the metropolitan region of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Eleven specimens of Evandromyia cortelezzii and one of Evandromyia lenti were captured in two Didelphis albiventris nests. Ev. cortelezzii is considered a secondary vector species for the transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum in the Neotropics. This association may contribute to the introduction, establishment and maintenance of urban and periurban zoonotic transmission outbreaks of Leishmania and should therefore be investigated further. PMID:24789554

  17. The impact of Quaternary climate oscillations on divergence times and historical population sizes in Thylamys opossums from the Andes.

    PubMed

    Giarla, Thomas C; Jansa, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Climate oscillations during the Quaternary altered the distributions of terrestrial animals at a global scale. In mountainous regions, temperature fluctuations may have led to shifts in range size and population size as species tracked their shifting habitats upslope or downslope. This creates the potential for both allopatric speciation and population size fluctuations, as species are either constrained to smaller patches of habitat at higher elevations or able to expand into broader areas at higher latitudes. We considered the impact of climate oscillations on three pairs of marsupial species from the Andes (Thylamys opossums) by inferring divergence times and demographic changes. We compare four different divergence dating approaches, using anywhere from one to 26 loci. Each pair comprises a northern (tropical) lineage and a southern (subtropical to temperate) lineage. We predicted that divergences would have occurred during the last interglacial (LIG) period approximately 125 000 years ago and that population sizes for northern and southern lineages would either contract or expand, respectively. Our results suggest that all three north-south pairs diverged in the late Pleistocene during or slightly after the LIG. The three northern lineages showed no signs of population expansion, whereas two southern lineages exhibited dramatic, recent expansions. We attribute the difference in responses between tropical and subtropical lineages to the availability of 'montane-like' habitats at lower elevations in regions at higher latitudes. We conclude that climate oscillations of the late Quaternary had a powerful impact on the evolutionary history of some of these species, both promoting speciation and leading to significant population size shifts. PMID:25809909

  18. Spontaneous development of full weight-supported stepping after complete spinal cord transection in the neonatal opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Callaway, Jennifer K; Ek, C Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Saunders, Norman R

    2011-01-01

    Spinal cord trauma in the adult nervous system usually results in permanent loss of function below the injury level. The immature spinal cord has greater capacity for repair and can develop considerable functionality by adulthood. This study used the marsupial laboratory opossum Monodelphis domestica, which is born at a very early stage of neural development. Complete spinal cord transection was made in the lower-thoracic region of pups at postnatal-day 7 (P7) or P28, and the animals grew to adulthood. Injury at P7 resulted in a dense neuronal tissue bridge that connected the two ends of the cord; retrograde neuronal labelling indicated that supraspinal and propriospinal innervation spanned the injury site. This repair was associated with pronounced behavioural recovery, coordinated gait and an ability to use hindlimbs when swimming. Injury at P28 resulted in a cyst-like cavity encased in scar tissue forming at the injury site. Using retrograde labelling, no labelled brainstem or propriospinal neurons were found above the lesion, indicating that detectable neuronal connectivity had not spanned the injury site. However, these animals could use their hindlimbs to take weight-supporting steps but could not use their hindlimbs when swimming. White matter, demonstrated by Luxol Fast Blue staining, was present in the injury site of P7- but not P28-injured animals. Overall, these studies demonstrated that provided spinal injury occurs early in development, regrowth of supraspinal innervation is possible. This repair appears to lead to improved functional outcomes. At older ages, even without detectable axonal growth spanning the injury site, substantial development of locomotion was still possible. This outcome is discussed in conjunction with preliminary findings of differences in the local propriospinal circuits following spinal cord injury (demonstrated with fluororuby labelling), which may underlie the weight bearing locomotion observed in the apparent absence of

  19. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase reduce receptor-mediated endocytosis in opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Sidaway, James E; Davidson, Robert G; McTaggart, Fergus; Orton, Terry C; Scott, Robert C; Smith, Graham J; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2004-09-01

    Renal proximal tubule cells are responsible for the reabsorption of proteins that are present in the tubular lumen. This occurs by receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process that has a requirement for some GTP-binding proteins. Statins are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase used for the therapeutic reduction of cholesterol-containing plasma lipoproteins. However, they can also reduce intracellular levels of isoprenoid pyrophosphates that are derived from the product of the enzyme, mevalonate, and are required for the prenylation and normal function of GTP-binding proteins. The hypothesis that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase in renal proximal tubule cells could reduce receptor mediated-endocytosis was therefore tested. Five different statins inhibited the uptake of FITC-labeled albumin by the proximal tubule-derived opossum kidney cell line in a dose-dependent manner and in the absence of cytotoxicity. The reduction in albumin uptake was related to the degree of inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase. Simvastatin (e.g., statin) inhibited receptor-mediated endocytosis of both FITC-albumin and FITC-beta(2)-microglobulin to similar extents but without altering the binding of albumin to the cell surface. The effect on albumin endocytosis was prevented by mevalonate and by the isoprenoid geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate but not by cholesterol. Finally, evidence that the inhibitory effect of statins on endocytosis of proteins may be caused by reduced prenylation and thereby decreased function of one or more GTP-binding proteins is provided. These data establish the possibility in principle that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by statins in proximal tubule cells may reduce tubular protein reabsorption. PMID:15339975

  20. Isolates of Sarcocystis falcatula-like organisms from South American opossums Didelphis marsupialis and Didelphis albiventris from São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S; Rosenthal, B M; Kerber, C E; Kasai, N; Pena, H F; Kwok, O C; Shen, S K; Gennari, S M

    2001-12-01

    Isolates of Sarcocystis falcatula-like organisms from South American opossums were characterized based on biological and morphological criteria. Sporocysts from intestinal scrapings of 1 Didelphis marsupialis and 8 Didelphis albiventris from São Paulo, Brazil, were fed to captive budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Budgerigars fed sporocysts from all 9 isolates became ill and S. falcatula-like schizonts were identified in sections of their lungs by immunohistochemical staining. Sarcocystis falcatula-like organisms were cultured from lungs of budgerigars fed sporocysts from D. marsupialis and from lungs of budgerigars fed sporocysts from 3 of 8 D. albiventris. The 33/54 locus amplified by polymerase chain reaction from culture-derived merozoites contained both a HinfI endonuclease recognition site previously suggested to diagnose S. falcatula and a DraI site thought to diagnosed S. neurona. Development of the isolate from D. marsupialis was studied in cell culture; its schizonts divided by endopolygeny, leaving a residual body. Morphological and genetic variation differentiated this Sarcocystis isolate originating in D. marsupialis from the Cornell I isolate of S. falcatula. This is the first report of a S. falcatula infection in the South American opossum, D. marsupialis. PMID:11780836

  1. Didelphis marsupialis (common opossum): a potential reservoir host for zoonotic leishmaniasis in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil).

    PubMed

    Schallig, Henk D F H; da Silva, Eduardo S; van der Meide, Wendy F; Schoone, Gerard J; Gontijo, Celia M F

    2007-01-01

    Identification of the zoonotic reservoir is important for leishmaniasis control program. A number of (wild) animal species may serve as reservoir hosts, including the opossum Didelphis marsupialis. A survey carried out in Didelphis specimens (n = 111) from the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, an important focus of human leishmaniasis in Brazil, is reported. All animals were serologically tested with indirect fluorescence antibody test (IFAT) and direct agglutination tests (DAT) based on L. (L.) donovani or L. (V.) braziliensis antigen. A sub-population (n = 20) was analyzed with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Leishmania-specific DNA. For species identification, PCR-positive samples were subjected to restriction enzyme fragment polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Depending on the sero-diagnostic test employed, the sero-prevalence varied between 8.1% (9/111 animals positive with DAT test based on L. braziliensis antigen) and 21.6% (24/111 animals positive with IFAT). Five out of 20 samples analyzed with PCR tested positive for the presence of Leishmania-specific DNA. RFLP analysis revealed that two samples contained L. braziliensis complex DNA, one contained L. donovani complex DNA, and two samples could not be typed with the methodology used. These data suggest a potential role for the opossum as a reservoir host for zoonotic leishmaniasis in the region. PMID:17767408

  2. Asp-ase Activity of the Opossum Granzyme B Supports the Role of Granzyme B as Part of Anti-Viral Immunity Already during Early Mammalian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Zhirong; Thorpe, Michael; Akula, Srinivas; Hellman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Granzyme B is one of the key effector molecules in our defense against viruses and intracellular bacteria. This serine protease together with the pore forming protein perforin, induces caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis in target cells. Here we present the first characterization of a granzyme B homolog, the grathepsodenase, in a non-placental mammal, the American opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The recombinant enzyme was produced in a human cell line and used to study its primary and extended cleavage specificity using a panel of chromogenic substrates and recombinant protein substrates. The opossum granzyme B was found to have a specificity similar to human granzyme B, although slightly less restrictive in its extended specificity. The identification of a granzyme B homolog with asp-ase (cleaving after aspartic acid) specificity in a non-placental mammal provides strong indications that caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis by a serine protease with a conserved primary specificity has been part of anti-viral immunity since early mammalian evolution. This finding also indicates that an asp-ase together with a chymase were the first two serine protease genes to appear in the mammalian chymase locus. PMID:27152961

  3. Asp-ase Activity of the Opossum Granzyme B Supports the Role of Granzyme B as Part of Anti-Viral Immunity Already during Early Mammalian Evolution.

    PubMed

    Fu, Zhirong; Thorpe, Michael; Akula, Srinivas; Hellman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Granzyme B is one of the key effector molecules in our defense against viruses and intracellular bacteria. This serine protease together with the pore forming protein perforin, induces caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis in target cells. Here we present the first characterization of a granzyme B homolog, the grathepsodenase, in a non-placental mammal, the American opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The recombinant enzyme was produced in a human cell line and used to study its primary and extended cleavage specificity using a panel of chromogenic substrates and recombinant protein substrates. The opossum granzyme B was found to have a specificity similar to human granzyme B, although slightly less restrictive in its extended specificity. The identification of a granzyme B homolog with asp-ase (cleaving after aspartic acid) specificity in a non-placental mammal provides strong indications that caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis by a serine protease with a conserved primary specificity has been part of anti-viral immunity since early mammalian evolution. This finding also indicates that an asp-ase together with a chymase were the first two serine protease genes to appear in the mammalian chymase locus. PMID:27152961

  4. Inhibition of the hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities of Lansberg's hognose pit viper (Porthidium lansbergii hutmanni) venom by opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum: isolation of Didelphis marsupialis 0.15Dm fraction on DEAE-cellulose chromatography.

    PubMed

    Pineda, María E; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Sánchez, Elda E; Aguilar, Irma; Fernandez, Irma; Vargas, Alba M; Scannone, Héctor; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-01-01

    Earlier studies have revealed the ability of sera from several mammals to neutralize the toxic effects of snake venom. The Venezuelan opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is one that has been found to inhibit hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities of venoms from many species of snakes. In this article it is shown that the opossum sera and its 0.15DM fraction were able to completely neutralize both hemorrhagic and hydrolysis (proteolysis) of casein effects induced by venom of the Lansberg's hognose pit viper (Porthidium lansbergii hutmanni). We have used DEAE-cellulose ion exchange chromatography to collect protein fractions from D. marsupialis sera which were able to defend mice from the lethal effects of P.l. hutmanni venom. The fractions separated were homogeneous by conventional electrophoresis using SDS-PAGE. The protein bands obtained contained molecular weights of approximately 6 to 220 kDa. These results revealed the presence of proteases inhibitors in the opossum sera fractions and the inhibition of venom activity by opossum sera suggesting a reciprocal adaptation at the molecular level. PMID:18800269

  5. Age-Dependent Changes in the Proteome Following Complete Spinal Cord Transection in a Postnatal South American Opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Noor, Natassya M.; Steer, David L.; Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Ek, C. Joakim; Truettner, Jessie S.; Dietrich, W. Dalton; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Richardson, Samantha J.; Smith, A. Ian; VandeBerg, John L.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2011-01-01

    Recovery from severe spinal injury in adults is limited, compared to immature animals who demonstrate some capacity for repair. Using laboratory opossums (Monodelphis domestica), the aim was to compare proteomic responses to injury at two ages: one when there is axonal growth across the lesion and substantial behavioural recovery and one when no axonal growth occurs. Anaesthetized pups at postnatal day (P) 7 or P28 were subjected to complete transection of the spinal cord at thoracic level T10. Cords were collected 1 or 7 days after injury and from age-matched controls. Proteins were separated based on isoelectric point and subunit molecular weight; those whose expression levels changed following injury were identified by densitometry and analysed by mass spectrometry. Fifty-six unique proteins were identified as differentially regulated in response to spinal transection at both ages combined. More than 50% were cytoplasmic and 70% belonged to families of proteins with characteristic binding properties. Proteins were assigned to groups by biological function including regulation (40%), metabolism (26%), inflammation (19%) and structure (15%). More changes were detected at one than seven days after injury at both ages. Seven identified proteins: 14-3-3 epsilon, 14-3-3 gamma, cofilin, alpha enolase, heart fatty acid binding protein (FABP3), brain fatty acid binding protein (FABP7) and ubiquitin demonstrated age-related differential expression and were analysed by qRT-PCR. Changes in mRNA levels for FABP3 at P7+1day and ubiquitin at P28+1day were statistically significant. Immunocytochemical staining showed differences in ubiquitin localization in younger compared to older cords and an increase in oligodendrocyte and neuroglia immunostaining following injury at P28. Western blot analysis supported proteomic results for ubiquitin and 14-3-3 proteins. Data obtained at the two ages demonstrated changes in response to injury, compared to controls, that were different for

  6. X-Linked Gene Expression in the Virginia Opossum: Differences between the Paternally Derived Gpd and Pgk-A Loci

    PubMed Central

    Samollow, Paul B.; Ford, Allen L.; VandeBerg, John L.

    1987-01-01

    Expression of X-linked glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and phosphoglycerate kinase-A (PGK-A) in the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana) was studied electrophoretically in animals from natural populations and those produced through controlled laboratory crosses. Blood from most of the wild animals exhibited a common single-banded phenotype for both enzymes. Rare variant animals, regardless of sex, exhibited single-banded phenotypes different in mobility from the common mobility class of the respective enzyme. The laboratory crosses confirmed the allelic basis for the common and rare phenotypes. Transmission of PGK-A phenotypes followed the pattern of determinate (nonrandom) inactivation of the paternally derived Pgk-A allele, and transmission of G6PD also was consistent with this pattern. A survey of tissue-specific expression of G6PD phenotypes of heterozygous females revealed, in almost all tissues, three-banded patterns skewed in favor of the allele that was expressed in blood cells. Three-banded patterns were never observed in males or in putatively homozygous females. These patterns suggest simultaneous, but unequal, expression of the maternally and paternally derived Gpd alleles within individual cells (i.e., partial paternal allele expression). The absence of such partial expression was noted in a parallel survey of females heterozygous at the Pgk-A locus. Thus, it appears that Gpd and Pgk-A are X-linked in D. virginiana and subject to preferential paternal allele inactivation, but that dosage compensation may not be complete for all paternally derived X-linked genes. The data establish the similarity between the American and Australian marsupial patterns of X-linked gene regulation and, thus, support the hypothesis that this form of dosage compensation was present in the early marsupial lineage that gave rise to these modern marsupial divisions. In addition, the data provide the first documentation of the differential expression of two X

  7. Thaumasioscolex didelphidis n. gen., n. sp. (Eucestoda: Proteocephalidae) from the black-eared opossum Didelphis marsupialis from Mexico, the first proteocephalidean tapeworm from a mammal.

    PubMed

    Cañeda-Guzmán, I C; de Chambrier, A; Scholz, T

    2001-06-01

    Thaumasioscolex didelphidis n. gen., n. sp. is described from the intestine of the black-eared opossum Didelphis marsupialis L. (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) from Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. The new genus differs from all proteocephalidean genera in the morphology of the scolex that is formed by 4 well separated lobes each containing 1 noncircular sucker opening laterally inside the exterolateral cavity, a large-sized body (length up to 1 m), a large number of testes, the shape of gravid proglottids that are inversely craspedote (the anterior border of a proglottid overlaps the posterior border of a preceding proglottid), eggs in groups mostly of 4-6 eggs each, and an embryophore bearing digitiform projections on its external surface. This is the first tapeworm of the Proteocephalidea, the members of which were previously reported exclusively from poikilotherm vertebrates (freshwater fishes, amphibians, and reptiles), found in a homoiotherm vertebrate. PMID:11426729

  8. Studies on the energy metabolism of opossum (Didelphis virginiana) erythrocytes: V. Utilization of hypoxanthine for the synthesis of adenine and guanine nucleotides in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Bethlenfalvay, N.C.; White, J.C.; Chadwick, E.; Lima, J.E. )

    1990-06-01

    High pressure liquid radiochromatography was used to test the ability of opossum erythrocytes to incorporate tracer amounts of (G-{sup 3}H) hypoxanthine (Hy) into ({sup 3}H) labelled triphosphates of adenine and guanine. In the presence of supraphysiologic (30 mM) phosphate which is optimal for PRPP synthesis, both ATP and GTP are extensively labelled. When physiologic (1 mM) medium phosphate is used, red cells incubated under an atmosphere of nitrogen accumulate ({sup 3}H) ATP in a linear fashion suggesting ongoing PRPP synthesis in red cells whose hemoglobin is deoxygenated. In contrast, a lesser increase of labelled ATP is observed in cells incubated under oxygen, suggesting that conditions for purine nucleotide formation from ambient Hy are more favorable in the venous circulation.

  9. The sensory innervation of the nasal glabrous skin in the short-nosed bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) and the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed Central

    Loo, S K; Halata, Z

    1985-01-01

    The glabrous skin at the anterior end of the snout of the short-nosed bandicoot and the American opossum was investigated by electron microscopy. In both species of animals, this region was lined by skin with broad epidermal pegs, innervated by three types of intraepidermal nerves. These were intraepidermal nerves which penetrated the epidermis up to the level of the stratum spinosum or the stratum granulosum, intraepidermal nerves in the basal layer of the epidermis partially surrounded by Schwann cell lamellae and intraepidermal nerves associated with Merkel cells. There were two types of free nerve endings in the dermis. The first type was derived from the deep dermal nerve plexus and had the typical characteristics of nerve terminals such as mitochondria, vesicles, irregularly arranged neurotubules and neurofilaments, and glycogen granules. There was a one-to-one relationship between Schwann cell lamellae and these nerve terminals. The second type of nerve ending was brush-like and the ends of the 'brushes' were enclosed in groups by a single Schwann cell lamella. Encapsulated nerve endings in the two types of animals differed in their structure. In the bandicoot, they consisted of a nerve terminal which had one to three branches. These terminals were rounded in profile and were surrounded by Schwann cell lamellae in a stack-like arrangement. An unusual finding was that the terminal sometimes left the corpuscle and made contact with the basal lamina of the epidermis before passing into its basal layer. These corpuscles did not have a perineural capsule. In the opossum, however, simple corpuscles with inner cores completely surrounded by a perineural capsule were seen. The glabrous skin of both types of animals was innervated with Eimer's organs consisting of intraepidermal nerves, Merkel cell nerve endings and encapsulated end-organs, as well as two types of dermal nerve endings. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig

  10. Albumin stimulates p44/p42 extracellular-signal-regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R; Brunskill, N J

    2000-03-01

    The presence of protein in the urine of patients with renal disease is an adverse prognostic feature. It has therefore been suggested that proteinuria per se may be responsible for the development of renal tubulo-interstitial scarring and fibrosis, and disturbances in tubular cell growth and proliferation. We have used the opossum kidney proximal tubular cell line to investigate the effects of albumin on cell growth. The effect of albumin on cell proliferation was investigated by cell counting and measurement of [(3)H]thymidine incorporation. We studied the effect of recombinant human albumin on the activity of p44/p42 extracellular-signal-regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase ) using an in vitro kinase assay, and immunoblotting with antibodies against active extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK). The effects of the ERK inhibitor PD98059 were also examined. Recombinant human albumin was found to stimulate proliferation of opossum kidney cells in a dose-dependent manner, with maximal stimulation at a concentration of 1 mg/ml. In addition, recombinant human albumin activated ERK in a time-dependent (maximal after 5 min) and dose-dependent (maximal at 1 mg/ml) fashion. These effects on cell proliferation and ERK activity were inhibited by PD98059, and were not reproduced by ovalbumin or mannitol. The data therefore indicate that albumin is able to stimulate growth and proliferation of proximal tubular cells that is dependent on the ERK family of MAP kinases. The potential importance of this pathway in the development of renal disease is discussed. PMID:10677388

  11. Functional conservation of the lncRNA NEAT1 in the ancestrally diverged marsupial lineage: Evidence for NEAT1 expression and associated paraspeckle assembly during late gestation in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Souquere, Sylvie; Vernochet, Cécile; Heidmann, Thierry; Pierron, Gérard

    2016-09-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are widely expressed and play various roles in cell homeostasis. However, because of their low conservation at the sequence level, recapitulating lncRNA evolutionary history is often challenging. While performing an ultrastructural analysis of viral particles present in uterine glands of gestating opossum females, we serendipitously noticed the presence of numerous structures similar to paraspeckles, nuclear bodies which in human and mouse cells are assembled around an architectural NEAT1/MENϵ/β lncRNA. Here, using an opossum kidney (OK) cell line, we confirmed by immuno-electron microscopy the presence of paraspeckles in marsupials. We then identified the orthologous opossum NEAT1 gene which, although poorly conserved at the sequence level, displays NEAT1 characteristic features such as short and long isoforms expressed from a unique promoter and for the latter an RNase P cleavage site at its 3'-end. Combining tissue-specific qRT-PCR, in situ hybridization at the optical and electron microscopic levels, we show that (i) NEAT1 is paraspeckle-associated in opossum (ii) NEAT1 expression is strongly induced in late gestation in uterine/placental extracts (iii) NEAT1 induction occurs in the uterine gland nuclei in which paraspeckles were detected. Finally, treatment of OK cells with proteasome inhibitors induces paraspeckle assembly, as previously observed in human cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate that paraspeckles are tissue-specific, stress-responding nuclear bodies in marsupials, illustrating their structural and functional continuity over 200 My of evolution throughout the mammalian lineage. In contrast, the rapid evolution of the NEAT1 transcripts highlights the relaxed constraint that, despite functional conservation, is exerted on this lncRNA. PMID:27315396

  12. The early development of major projections from caudal levels of the spinal cord to the brainstem and cerebellum in the gray short-tailed Brazilian opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Qin, Y Q; Wang, X M; Martin, G F

    1993-09-17

    The Brazilian short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born 14-15 days after copulation and is available for experimentation at stages of development corresponding to those which occur in utero in placental mammals. In the present study, we took advantage of the opossum's embryology to study the development of projections from caudal levels of the spinal cord to the brainstem and cerebellum using axonal tracing methods. In all cases, a 2-3 day survival time was used for axonal transport. When injections of Fast blue (FB) were made into caudal levels of the thoracic cord at postnatal day (PD) 1 or 2, axonal labeling could not be identified at supraspinal levels. When injections were made at PD3, however, labeled axons were found in the fasciculus gracilis at caudal medullary levels, within the ventrolateral medulla and pons, within an incipient inferior cerebellar peduncle, and within the cerebellar anlage. The dorsal root origin of at least some of the axons within the fasciculus gracilis was evidenced by the transganglionic transport of cholera toxin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase from the hindlimbs. After FB injections at PD7, a few labeled axons could be traced from the fasciculus gracilis into the nucleus gracilis and from the ventrolateral pathway to the inferior olive. Generally comparable results were obtained using wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP). In cases injected with FB at PD9, the pattern of brainstem labeling was adult-like. Although labeled axons were present within the cerebellum of animals injected with FB on PD3, they were limited to the marginal zone. Axonal labeling was present within an identifiable internal granular layer in cases injected with either FB or WGA-HRP at PD16, and it appeared to be limited to specific bands which foreshadowed those seen at later stages of development and in the adult animal. In some cases, labeled axons were present within the molecular layer where they were not

  13. The genomes of the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) encode a more complete purine catabolic pathway than placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Keebaugh, Alaine C; Thomas, James W

    2009-09-01

    The end product of purine catabolism varies amongst vertebrates and is a consequence of independent gene inactivation events that have truncated the purine catabolic pathway. Mammals have traditionally been grouped into two classes based on their end product of purine catabolism: most mammals, whose end product is allantoin due to an ancient loss of allantoinase (ALLN), and the hominoids, whose end product is uric acid due to recent inactivations of urate oxidase (UOX). However little is known about purine catabolism in marsupials and monotremes. Here we report the results of a comparative genomics study designed to characterize the purine catabolic pathway in a marsupial, the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). We found that both genomes encode a more complete set of genes for purine catabolism than do eutherians and conclude that a near complete purine catabolic pathway was present in the common ancestor of all mammals, and that the loss of ALLN is specific to placental mammals. Our results therefore provide a revised history for gene loss in the purine catabolic pathway and suggest that marsupials and monotremes represent a third class of mammals with respect to their end products of purine catabolism. PMID:20161190

  14. Quantification of endocrine cells and ultrastructural study of insulin granules in the large intestine of opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Daiane Cristina Marques; Cupertino, Marli do Carmo; Fialho, Maria do Carmo Queiroz; Barbosa, Alfredo Jose Afonso; Fonseca, Cláudio Cesar; Sartori, Sirlene Souza Rodrigues; da Matta, Sérgio Luis Pinto

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to investigate the distribution of argyrophil, argentaffin, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of opossums (Didelphis aurita) and to describe the ultrastructure of the secretory granules of insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells. Fragments of the large intestine of 10 male specimens of D. aurita were collected, processed, and subjected to staining, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. The argyrophil, the argentaffin, and the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were sparsely distributed in the intestinal glands of the mucous layer, among other cell types of the epithelium in all regions studied. Proportionally, the argyrophil, the argentaffin, and the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells represented 62.75%, 36.26%, and 0.99% of the total determined endocrine cells of the large intestine, respectively. Quantitatively, there was no difference between the argyrophil and the argentaffin endocrine cells, whereas insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were less numerous. The insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were elongated or pyramidal, with rounded nuclei of irregularly contoured, and large amounts of secretory granules distributed throughout the cytoplasm. The granules have different sizes and electron densities and are classified as immature and mature, with the mature granules in predominant form in the overall granular population. In general, the granule is shown with an external electron-lucent halo and electron-dense core. The ultrastructure pattern in the granules of the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells was similar to that of the B cells of pancreatic islets in rats. PMID:24359801

  15. First-generation linkage map of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, reveals genome-wide reduction in female recombination rates.

    PubMed Central

    Samollow, Paul B; Kammerer, Candace M; Mahaney, Susan M; Schneider, Jennifer L; Westenberger, Scott J; VandeBerg, John L; Robinson, Edward S

    2004-01-01

    The gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is the most extensively used, laboratory-bred marsupial resource for basic biologic and biomedical research worldwide. To enhance the research utility of this species, we are building a linkage map, using both anonymous markers and functional gene loci, that will enable the localization of quantitative trait loci (QTL) and provide comparative information regarding the evolution of mammalian and other vertebrate genomes. The current map is composed of 83 loci distributed among eight autosomal linkage groups and the X chromosome. The autosomal linkage groups appear to encompass a very large portion of the genome, yet span a sex-average distance of only 633.0 cM, making this the most compact linkage map known among vertebrates. Most surprising, the male map is much larger than the female map (884.6 cM vs. 443.1 cM), a pattern contrary to that in eutherian mammals and other vertebrates. The finding of genome-wide reduction in female recombination in M. domestica, coupled with recombination data from two other, distantly related marsupial species, suggests that reduced female recombination might be a widespread metatherian attribute. We discuss possible explanations for reduced female recombination in marsupials as a consequence of the metatherian characteristic of determinate paternal X chromosome inactivation. PMID:15020427

  16. Characterization of the CDKN2A and ARF genes in UV-induced melanocytic hyperplasias and melanomas of an opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Chan, J; Robinson, E S; Atencio, J; Wang, Z; Kazianis, S; Coletta, L D; Nairn, R S; McCarrey, J R

    2001-05-01

    We examined the involvement of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) locus in the pathogenesis of ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced melanomas in an opossum (Monodelphis domestica) melanoma model in which suckling young were exposed to UVB to produce melanocytic lesions. Monodelphis CDKN2A and alternated reading frame (ARF) cDNAs were cloned and sequenced, and the expression patterns of these genes were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in normal tissues, 39 primary melanocytic skin lesions, and two tumor-derived cell lines, one nonmetastatic and one metastatic. Primary melanocytic lesions, including hyperplasias, benign melanomas, melanomas metastatic to lymph nodes, and melanomas metastatic to nodes and additional visceral organs, were categorized accordingly as types I-IV. Levels of CDKN2A transcripts were most abundant in type III tumor samples and the metastatic cell line but absent in the nonmetastatic cell line. ARF transcripts were expressed in all tumors and cell lines. A UV-signature mutation was detected with the wild-type allele at the CDKN2A locus in type II and III primary tumor samples and in the nonmetastatic cell line. Interestingly, in the metastatic cell line, only the mutant allele was present and expressed. These data suggest dynamic changes in the expression and/or structure of the CDKN2A and ARF genes represent one molecular defect associated with the etiology of melanoma formation and progression in the Monodelphis model system. PMID:11398194

  17. Sarcocystis neurona infections in sea otter (Enhydra lutris): evidence for natural infections with sarcocysts and transmission of infection to opossums (Didelphis virginiana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dubey, J.P.; Rosypal, A.C.; Rosenthal, B.M.; Thomas, N.J.; Lindsay, D.S.; Stanek, J.F.; Reed, S.M.; Saville, W.J.A.

    2001-01-01

    Although Sarcocystis neurona has been identified in an array of terrestrial vertebrates, recent recognition of its capacity to infect marine mammals was unexpected. Here, sarcocysts from 2 naturally infected sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were characterized biologically, ultrastructurally, and genetically. DNA was extracted from frozen muscle of the first of these sea otters and was characterized as S. neurona by polymerase chain reation (PCR) amplification followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and sequencing. Sarcocysts from sea otter no. 1 were up to 350 I?m long, and the villar protrusions on the sarcocyst wall were up to 1.3 I?m long and up to 0.25 I?m wide. The villar protrusions were tapered towards the villar tip. Ultrastructurally, sarcocysts were similar to S. neurona sarcocysts from the muscles of cats experimentally infected with S. neurona sporocysts. Skeletal muscles from a second sea otter failed to support PCR amplification of markers considered diagnostic for S. neurona but did induce the shedding of sporocysts when fed to a laboratory-raised opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Such sporocysts were subsequently fed to knockout mice for the interferon-gamma gene, resulting in infections with an agent identified as S. neurona on the basis of immunohistochemistry, serum antibodies, and diagnostic sequence detection. Thus, sea otters exposed to S. neurona may support the development of mature sarcocysts that are infectious to competent definitive hosts.

  18. Morphological, morphometric and genetic variation among cryptic and sympatric species of southeastern South American three-striped opossums (Monodelphis: Mammalia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Duda, Rafaela; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-01-01

    Monodelphis is the most diverse genus of the family Didelphidae, whose systematics and taxonomy have not yet been well established. Two of the included species, Monodelphis americana and M. iheringi, are difficult to distinguish because both present three dorsal black stripes. Furthermore, they show intra- and interspecific variation related to body size and pelage coloration. Because this variation is not well understood, there are problems in correctly identifying these species, which remain poorly collected and thus rare in zoological collections. This study evaluated the morphological and genetic variations in a sample of striped opossums from a single location in southeastern Brazil to understand if the morphological variation observed in individuals from the same location was indicative of the existence of more than one taxon. The comparative analyses of a series from this single locality with museum specimens of other locations revealed variations in the skin and skull qualitative characters that were related to age and sex. Morphological comparisons led to the identification of two morphogroups, which were corroborated by molecular data; the analysis of cytochrome b sequences indicated the existence of two clades, with an average divergence of 14%. Thus, the results support the existence of two taxa in the sample, defined as M. americana and M. iheringi. We confirmed the sympatry of these two species in a location in southeastern Brazil, presented morphological diagnostic characters to distinguish the two species, provided novel phylogenetic information on the group, and also demonstrated the existence of important intra- and interspecific morphological variations related to sexual dimorphism and ontogeny in the group. These results significantly contribute to information on the systematics of the genus. PMID:25947450

  19. Genome-wide histone state profiling of fibroblasts from the opossum, Monodelphis domestica, identifies the first marsupial-specific imprinted gene

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Imprinted genes have been extensively documented in eutherian mammals and found to exhibit significant interspecific variation in the suites of genes that are imprinted and in their regulation between tissues and developmental stages. Much less is known about imprinted loci in metatherian (marsupial) mammals, wherein studies have been limited to a small number of genes previously known to be imprinted in eutherians. We describe the first ab initio search for imprinted marsupial genes, in fibroblasts from the opossum, Monodelphis domestica, based on a genome-wide ChIP-seq strategy to identify promoters that are simultaneously marked by mutually exclusive, transcriptionally opposing histone modifications. Results We identified a novel imprinted gene (Meis1) and two additional monoallelically expressed genes, one of which (Cstb) showed allele-specific, but non-imprinted expression. Imprinted vs. allele-specific expression could not be resolved for the third monoallelically expressed gene (Rpl17). Transcriptionally opposing histone modifications H3K4me3, H3K9Ac, and H3K9me3 were found at the promoters of all three genes, but differential DNA methylation was not detected at CpG islands at any of these promoters. Conclusions In generating the first genome-wide histone modification profiles for a marsupial, we identified the first gene that is imprinted in a marsupial but not in eutherian mammals. This outcome demonstrates the practicality of an ab initio discovery strategy and implicates histone modification, but not differential DNA methylation, as a conserved mechanism for marking imprinted genes in all therian mammals. Our findings suggest that marsupials use multiple epigenetic mechanisms for imprinting and support the concept that lineage-specific selective forces can produce sets of imprinted genes that differ between metatherian and eutherian lines. PMID:24484454

  20. Distribution and ultrastructure of neurons in opossum piriform cortex displaying immunoreactivity to GABA and GAD and high-affinity tritiated GABA uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Haberly, L.B.; Hansen, D.J.; Feig, S.L.; Presto, S.

    1987-12-08

    GABAergic neurons have been identified in the piriform cortex of the opossum at light and electron microscopic levels by immunocytochemical localization of GABA and the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase and by autoradiographic visualization of high-affinity /sup 3/H-GABA uptake. Four major neuron populations have been distinguished on the basis of soma size, shape, and segregation at specific depths and locations: large horizontal cells in layer Ia of the anterior piriform cortex, small globular cells with thin dendrites concentrated in layers Ib and II of the posterior piriform cortex, and multipolar and fusiform cells concentrated in the deep part of layer III in anterior and posterior parts of the piriform cortex and the subjacent endopiriform nucleus. All four populations were well visualized with both antisera, but the large layer Ia horizontal cells displayed only very light /sup 3/H-GABA uptake, thus suggesting a lack of local axon collaterals or lack of high-affinity GABA uptake sites. The large, ultrastructurally distinctive somata of layer Ia horizontal cells receive a very small number of symmetrical synapses; the thin, axonlike dendrites of small globular cells are exclusively postsynaptic and receive large numbers of both symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses, in contrast to somata which receive a small number of both types; and the deep multipolar and fusiform cells receive a highly variable number of symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses on somata and proximal dendrites. Labeled puncta of axon terminal dimensions were found in large numbers in the neuropil surrounding pyramidal cell somata in layer II and in the endopiriform nucleus. Moderately large numbers of labeled puncta were found in layer I at the depth of pyramidal cell apical dendrites with greater numbers in layer Ia at the depth of distal apical segments than in layer Ib.

  1. The origins of supraspinal projections to the cervical and lumbar spinal cord at different stages of development in the gray short-tailed Brazilian opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, X M; Xu, X M; Qin, Y Q; Martin, G F

    1992-08-21

    We have used the retrograde transport of Fast blue (FB) to study the origins of supraspinal projections to the lumbar and cervical spinal cord at different stages of development in the Brazilian, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Monodelphis was chosen for study because its young are born in a very immature state, 14-15 days after copulation, making it possible to manipulate its nervous system in an embryonic state without intra-uterine surgery. When injections of FB were made into the lumbar cord at postnatal day (PD) 1, neurons were labeled within several areas of the reticular formation (the retroambiguus nucleus, the ventral and dorsal reticular nuclei of the medulla, the gigantocellular reticular nucleus, the lateral paragigantocellular reticular nucleus, and the pontine reticular nucleus), the presumptive coeruleus complex, and the lateral vestibular nucleus. In many cases, labeled neurons were also found within the caudal raphe and the presumptive interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus. The results of immunocytochemical studies provided evidence for catecholaminergic and serotoninergic neurons in the brainstem at PD1 and for axons of both phenotypes in the spinal cord. By PD3, labeled neurons were found within the ventral gigantocellular and ventral pontine nuclei of the reticular formation, the spinal trigeminal nucleus, and the presumptive paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. When injections were made at PD4, neurons were also labeled within the medial and inferior vestibular nuclei, the red nucleus, the mesencephalic nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, the presumptive nucleus of Edinger-Westphal and the lateral hypothalamus. By at least PD7, the pattern of supraspinal labeling was similar to that obtained at older ages and in the adult animal. When FB was injected into the cervical cord at PD1, neurons were labeled in all of the areas labeled by lumbar injections at the same age and in larger numbers. In addition

  2. C-peptide signals via Galpha i to protect against TNF-alpha-mediated apoptosis of opossum kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Al-Rasheed, Nawal M; Willars, Gary B; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2006-04-01

    Cell loss by apoptosis occurs in renal injury such as diabetic nephropathy. TNF-alpha is a cytokine that induces apoptosis and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. The aim was to investigate whether C-peptide or insulin could modulate TNF-alpha-mediated cell death in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells and to examine the mechanism(s) of any effects observed. C-peptide and insulin protect against TNF-alpha-induced proximal tubular cell toxicity and apoptosis. Cell viability was analyzed by methylthiazoletetrazolium assay; cell viability was reduced to 60.8 +/- 2.7% of control after stimulation with 300 ng/ml TNF-alpha. Compromised cell viability was reversed by pretreatment with 5 nM C-peptide or 100 nM insulin. TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis was detected by DNA nick-end labeling and by measuring histone associated DNA fragments using ELISA. By ELISA assay, 300 ng/ml TNF-alpha increased apoptosis by 145.8 +/- 4.9% compared with controls, whereas 5 nM C-peptide and 100 nM insulin reduced apoptosis to 81.6 +/- 4.8 and 77.4 +/- 3.1% of control, respectively. The protective effects of C-peptide and insulin were associated with activation of NF-kappaB. Activation of NF-kappaB by C-peptide was pertussis toxin sensitive and dependent on activation of Galpha(i). Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase but not extracellular signal regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase mediated C-peptide and insulin activation of NF-kappaB. The cytoprotective effects of both C-peptide and insulin were related to increased expression of TNF receptor-associated factor 2, the product of an NF-kappaB-dependent survival gene. These data suggest that C-peptide and/or insulin activation of NF-kappaB-regulated survival genes protects against TNF-alpha-induced renal tubular injury in diabetes. The data further support the concept of C-peptide as a peptide hormone in its own right and suggest a potential therapeutic role for C-peptide. PMID:16510765

  3. Changing serine-485 to alanine in the opossum parathyroid hormone (PTH)/PTH-related peptide receptor enhances PTH stimulation of phospholipase C in a stably transfected human kidney cell line: a useful model for PTH-analog screening?

    PubMed

    John, M R; Bösel, J; Breit, S; Wickert, H; Ziegler, R; Blind, E

    2001-02-01

    Using site-directed mutagenesis, we have introduced a serine-485-to-alanine mutation in the opossum parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor. This amino acid is considered to be phosphorylated by protein kinase A upon ligand binding. Both wild-type (WT) and mutant receptor were stably expressed in 293-EBNA HEK cells. The mutant receptor showed comparable binding characteristics and only a slight increase in cAMP production compared with WT. However, the PTH dose-dependent increase in inositol phosphate production was 24-fold for the mutant receptor vs. 6-fold for the WT receptor. This mutant might prove useful in the sensitive detection of phospholipase C activation through various ligands, as the PTH receptor becomes a target of therapeutic intervention in osteoporosis. PMID:11182376

  4. Transfection-mediated expression of a dominant cAMP-resistant phenotype in the opossum kidney (OK) cell line prevents parathyroid hormone-induced inhibition of Na-phosphate cotransport. A protein kinase-A-mediated event.

    PubMed Central

    Segal, J H; Pollock, A S

    1990-01-01

    Sodium-phosphate cotransport in the PTH-responsive opossum kidney (OK) cell line is inhibited by PTH, cAMP, and activators of protein kinase C. In order to probe the role of cAMP, we stably transfected OK cells with an expression vector for a cAMP-binding mutation of the murine protein kinase A regulatory subunit. Two-dimensional electrophoresis of cAMP-binding proteins from transfected cells indicated a 20-fold overexpression of the mutant regulatory unit. Protein kinase A from these cells had a 20-fold increase in the concentration of cAMP required for half-maximal activation, 2.8 microM vs. 0.15 microM for wild type cells. In the transfected cells, Na-phosphate cotransport was insensitive to up to 1 mM 8-Br-cAMP and 1 microM PTH, while these same agonists caused a significant inhibition of transport in the wild type cells. The effects on Na-phosphate cotransport of the protein kinase C activators oleoyl-acetyl glycerol and tetradecanoyl-phorbol acetate, which were marked in the wild type cells, were still present, although attenuated, in the transfected mutants. With prolonged passage, the cAMP-insensitive phenotype reverted to wild type cAMP sensitivity despite continued selection for the cotransfected neo marker. The revertant cells had a normal cAMP requirement for half-maximal activation of protein kinase A, 0.13 microM, and the PTH and cAMP-sensitive inhibition of Na-phosphate cotransport was restored. We suggest that an intact and normally cAMP-sensitive protein kinase A pathway is an absolute requirement for PTH inhibition of Na-phosphate cotransport in the OK cell. Images PMID:2173719

  5. Marsupial morphology of reproduction: South America opossum male model.

    PubMed

    De Barros, Michelle Andrade; Panattoni Martins, João Flávio; Samoto, Vivian Yochiko; Oliveira, Vanessa Cristina; Gonçalves, Natalia; Mançanares, Celina Almeida Furlaneto; Vidane, Atanasio; Carvalho, Ana Flávia; Ambrósio, Carlos Eduardo; Miglino, Maria Angélica

    2013-04-01

    This study aims to describe the morphology of Didelphis sp. male genital organs (penis, testes, epididymis, ductus deferens, prostate, and bulbourethral gland). Ten male animals were used, eight for macroscopic and light microscopy analysis, and two for scanning electron microscopy. The testes and epididymis showed similarity to other eutherian mammals. The bifid penis showed the urethra ending in the medial region where the bifurcation begins, occurring in each segment extension of the urethral groove until the beginning of the glans. Histologically, the penis consists of a cavernous and spongy body, covered by stratified squamous epithelium with loose connective tissue. The urethra was lined by transitional stratified epithelium. In the prostate, prostatic segments were found consisting of tubular glands in a radial arrangement around the urethra, coated externally by a dense connective tissue associated with a relatively thick layer of smooth muscle arranged in two layers that surround the glandular tissue. The animals had three pairs of bulbourethral glands placed at the membranous and cavernous urethra junction with descending and parallel excretory ducts ending caudally in the urethral lumen. PMID:23362127

  6. Photoreception in the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta Loven

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beeton, Alfred M.

    1959-01-01

    SUMMARY: Evidence from live trapping tests indicated that Peromyscus leucopus did not leave their home ranges because of the attraction of trap bait in nearby areas. A trap line down the center of a heavily live-trapped area caught as many mice before the area trapping as afterward. Thus, there was reason to believe that the area trapping did not serve to pre-bait the mice. Two unbaited lines of live traps caught an equal number of Peromyscus. When one line was baited with rolled oats and peanut butter the efficiency of the traps was improved to the extent that the baited line captured more than twice as many mice as the unbaited line. It is concluded that for the species and habitat tested it is safe to make population calculations based on the assumption that the animals remain within their home ranges and do not tend to move into the trapped area because of the attraction of the trap bait.

  7. Environmental DNA Marker Development with Sparse Biological Information: A Case Study on Opossum Shrimp (Mysis diluviana)

    PubMed Central

    Carim, Kellie J.; Christianson, Kyle R.; McKelvey, Kevin M.; Pate, William M.; Silver, Douglas B.; Johnson, Brett M.; Galloway, Bill T.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    The spread of Mysis diluviana, a small glacial relict crustacean, outside its native range has led to unintended shifts in the composition of native fish communities throughout western North America. As a result, biologists seek accurate methods of determining the presence of M. diluviana, especially at low densities or during the initial stages of an invasion. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides one solution for detecting M. diluviana, but building eDNA markers that are both sensitive and species-specific is challenging when the distribution and taxonomy of closely related non-target taxa are poorly understood, published genetic data are sparse, and tissue samples are difficult to obtain. To address these issues, we developed a pair of independent eDNA markers to increase the likelihood of a positive detection of M. diluviana when present and reduce the probability of false positive detections from closely related non-target species. Because tissue samples of closely-related and possibly sympatric, non-target taxa could not be obtained, we used synthetic DNA sequences of closely related non-target species to test the specificity of eDNA markers. Both eDNA markers yielded positive detections from five waterbodies where M. diluviana was known to be present, and no detections in five others where this species was thought to be absent. Daytime samples from varying depths in one waterbody occupied by M. diluviana demonstrated that samples near the lake bottom produced 5 to more than 300 times as many eDNA copies as samples taken at other depths, but all samples tested positive regardless of depth. PMID:27551919

  8. Redescription of Spirura guianensis (Nematoda: Spiruridae) from a rare South American Gracile Opossum.

    PubMed

    Torres, E J Lopes; Maldonado, A; Anjos, D H da Silva; de Souza, W; Miranda, K

    2015-10-01

    Spirura genus Blanchard, 1849 comprise of nematode parasites that infect primate and marsupial species. Although several taxonomical studies have shown that the infection by this species occurs primarily in the esophagus of primates, evidence for the occurrence of these parasites in other hosts (marsupials, rodents and bats) has become the subject of investigation by several groups. In this work, we describe the presence of Spirura guianensis Ortlepp, 1924 in the marsupial Gracilinanus agilis (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) found in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul state of Brazil. Structural characteristics of this nematode were identified using light microscopy (bright field and fluorescence stereomicroscopy) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) approaches. Details of the surface topography such as cephalic projections, ventral boss, details of the caudal papillae and cuticular ornamentations were shown, providing taxonomic characteristics that may help in the establishment of diagnostic protocols. In addition, the presence of this species in a new host and new geographical area of Brazil provide grounds for a revision on the distribution of S. guianensis in South America. PMID:26187357

  9. Effects of Seawater Acidification on the Liffe Cycle and Fitness of Opossum Shrimp Population

    EPA Science Inventory

    Much of the current concern about ecological effects of ocean acidification focuses on molluscs and coccolithophores because of their importance in the global calcium cycle. However, many other marine organisms are likely to be affected by acidification because of their known se...

  10. Effects of Seawater Acidification on the Life Cycle and fitness of Opossum Shrimp Populations

    EPA Science Inventory

    Much of the current concern about ecological effects of ocean acidification focuses on molluscs and coccolithophores because of their importance in the global calcium cycle. However, many other marine organisms are likely to be affected by acidification because of their known ph...

  11. Environmental DNA Marker Development with Sparse Biological Information: A Case Study on Opossum Shrimp (Mysis diluviana).

    PubMed

    Carim, Kellie J; Christianson, Kyle R; McKelvey, Kevin M; Pate, William M; Silver, Douglas B; Johnson, Brett M; Galloway, Bill T; Young, Michael K; Schwartz, Michael K

    2016-01-01

    The spread of Mysis diluviana, a small glacial relict crustacean, outside its native range has led to unintended shifts in the composition of native fish communities throughout western North America. As a result, biologists seek accurate methods of determining the presence of M. diluviana, especially at low densities or during the initial stages of an invasion. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides one solution for detecting M. diluviana, but building eDNA markers that are both sensitive and species-specific is challenging when the distribution and taxonomy of closely related non-target taxa are poorly understood, published genetic data are sparse, and tissue samples are difficult to obtain. To address these issues, we developed a pair of independent eDNA markers to increase the likelihood of a positive detection of M. diluviana when present and reduce the probability of false positive detections from closely related non-target species. Because tissue samples of closely-related and possibly sympatric, non-target taxa could not be obtained, we used synthetic DNA sequences of closely related non-target species to test the specificity of eDNA markers. Both eDNA markers yielded positive detections from five waterbodies where M. diluviana was known to be present, and no detections in five others where this species was thought to be absent. Daytime samples from varying depths in one waterbody occupied by M. diluviana demonstrated that samples near the lake bottom produced 5 to more than 300 times as many eDNA copies as samples taken at other depths, but all samples tested positive regardless of depth. PMID:27551919

  12. Inhibition of the hyperalgesic activity of Bothrops jararaca venom by an antibothropic fraction isolated from opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum.

    PubMed

    Rocha, S L; Frutuoso, V S; Domont, G B; Martins, M A; Moussatché, H; Perales, J

    2000-06-01

    The antibothropic fraction (ABF) already isolated from Didelphis marsupialis serum, inhibits the haemorrhagic, oedematogenic, myonecrotic and lethal activities of Bothrops jararaca venom (Bjv). The aim of this work was to verify the capability of ABF to inhibit the hyperalgesic activity of Bjv. Intraplantar injection of Bjv induced hyperalgesia in a time- and dose-dependent manner and ABF administered in situ concomitantly with Bjv or i.v. 30 min before venom injection reduced the induced hyperalgesia. This same effect was observed when ABF was intravenously injected at 5 and 15 min after Bjv. Our results show that ABF inhibits also the hyperalgesia induced by Bjv. PMID:10695972

  13. Demographic consequences of population subdivision on the long-furred woolly mouse opossum ( Micoureus paraguayanus) from the Atlantic Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, Daniel; da Fonseca, Gustavo A. B.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation severely affected the Atlantic Forest. Formerly contiguous populations may become subdivided into a larger number of smaller populations, threatening their long-term persistence. The computer package VORTEX was used to simulate the consequences of habitat fragmentation and population subdivision on Micoureus paraguayanus, an endemic arboreal marsupial of the Atlantic Forest. Scenarios simulated hypothetical populations of 100 and 2000 animals being partitioned into 1-10 populations, linked by varying rates of inter-patch dispersal, and also evaluated male-biased dispersal. Results demonstrated that a single population was more stable than an ensemble of populations of equal size, irrespective of dispersal rate. Small populations (10-20 individuals) exhibited high instability due to demographic stochasticity, and were characterized by high rates of extinction, smaller values for metapopulation growth and larger fluctuations in population size and growth rate. Dispersal effects on metapopulation persistence were related to the size of the populations and to the sexes that were capable of dispersing. Male-biased dispersal had no noticeable effects on metapopulation extinction dynamics, whereas scenarios modelling dispersal by both sexes positively affected metapopulation dynamics through higher growth rates, smaller fluctuations in growth rate, larger final metapopulation sizes and lower probabilities of extinction. The present study highlights the complex relationships between metapopulation size, population subdivision, habitat fragmentation, rate of inter-patch dispersal and sex-biased dispersal and indicates the importance of gaining a better understanding of dispersal and its interactions with correlations between disturbance events.

  14. 50 CFR 32.57 - Pennsylvania.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... squirrels, grouse, rabbit, pheasant, quail, woodchuck, crow, fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, coyote... grouse, squirrel, rabbit, woodchuck, pheasant, quail, raccoon, fox, coyote, skunk, and opossum...

  15. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of the refuge in... or bag limit), gray squirrel, rabbit, armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during...

  16. Which Factors Determine Spatial Segregation in the South American Opossums (Didelphis aurita and D. albiventris)? An Ecological Niche Modelling and Geometric Morphometrics Approach.

    PubMed

    Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; de Moraes Weber, Marcelo; Melo, Geruza Leal; Meloro, Carlo; Sponchiado, Jonas; Carvalho, Renan Dos Santos; Bubadué, Jamile de Moura

    2016-01-01

    Didelphis albiventris and D. aurita are Neotropical marsupials that share a unique evolutionary history and both are largely distributed throughout South America, being primarily allopatric throughout their ranges. In the Araucaria moist forest of Southern Brazil these species are sympatric and they might potentially compete having similar ecology. For this reason, they are ideal biological models to address questions about ecological character displacement and how closely related species might share their geographic space. Little is known about how two morphologically similar species of marsupials may affect each other through competition, if by competitive exclusion and competitive release. We combined ecological niche modeling and geometric morphometrics to explore the possible effects of competition on their distributional ranges and skull morphology. Ecological niche modeling was used to predict their potential distribution and this method enabled us to identify a case of biotic exclusion where the habit generalist D. albiventris is excluded by the presence of the specialist D. aurita. The morphometric analyses show that a degree of shape discrimination occurs between the species, strengthened by allometric differences, which possibly allowed them to occupy marginally different feeding niches supplemented by behavioral shift in contact areas. Overlap in skull morphology is shown between sympatric and allopatric specimens and a significant, but weak, shift in shape occurs only in D. aurita in sympatric areas. This could be a residual evidence of a higher past competition between both species, when contact zones were possibly larger than today. Therefore, the specialist D. aurita acts a biotic barrier to D. albiventris when niche diversity is not available for coexistence. On the other hand, when there is niche diversification (e.g. habitat mosaic), both species are capable to coexist with a minimal competitive effect on the morphology of D. aurita. PMID:27336371

  17. Which Factors Determine Spatial Segregation in the South American Opossums (Didelphis aurita and D. albiventris)? An Ecological Niche Modelling and Geometric Morphometrics Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; de Moraes Weber, Marcelo; Melo, Geruza Leal; Meloro, Carlo; Sponchiado, Jonas; Carvalho, Renan dos Santos; Bubadué, Jamile de Moura

    2016-01-01

    Didelphis albiventris and D. aurita are Neotropical marsupials that share a unique evolutionary history and both are largely distributed throughout South America, being primarily allopatric throughout their ranges. In the Araucaria moist forest of Southern Brazil these species are sympatric and they might potentially compete having similar ecology. For this reason, they are ideal biological models to address questions about ecological character displacement and how closely related species might share their geographic space. Little is known about how two morphologically similar species of marsupials may affect each other through competition, if by competitive exclusion and competitive release. We combined ecological niche modeling and geometric morphometrics to explore the possible effects of competition on their distributional ranges and skull morphology. Ecological niche modeling was used to predict their potential distribution and this method enabled us to identify a case of biotic exclusion where the habit generalist D. albiventris is excluded by the presence of the specialist D. aurita. The morphometric analyses show that a degree of shape discrimination occurs between the species, strengthened by allometric differences, which possibly allowed them to occupy marginally different feeding niches supplemented by behavioral shift in contact areas. Overlap in skull morphology is shown between sympatric and allopatric specimens and a significant, but weak, shift in shape occurs only in D. aurita in sympatric areas. This could be a residual evidence of a higher past competition between both species, when contact zones were possibly larger than today. Therefore, the specialist D. aurita acts a biotic barrier to D. albiventris when niche diversity is not available for coexistence. On the other hand, when there is niche diversification (e.g. habitat mosaic), both species are capable to coexist with a minimal competitive effect on the morphology of D. aurita. PMID:27336371

  18. Neutralization of the oedematogenic activity of Bothrops jararaca venom on the mouse paw by an antibothropic fraction isolated from opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum.

    PubMed

    Perales, J; Amorim, C Z; Rocha, S L; Domont, G B; Moussatché, H

    1992-11-01

    The pharmacological modulation of mice paw oedema produced by Bothrops jararaca venom (BJV) has been studied. Intraplantar injection of BJV (1-30 micrograms/paw) produced a dose- and time-related oedema, which was maximal 30 min after injection, reduced gradually thereafter and disappeared over 48 h. BJV heated at 100 degrees C for 5 or 15 min blocked local hemorrhage and caused partial inhibition of its oedematogenic activity. The BJV oedema was not inhibited by the anti-histamine meclizine, the inhibitor of histamine and serotonin, cyproheptadine, PAF-acether antagonist WEB 2170 or by the anti-leukotrienes C4/D4, LY 171883. Dexamethasone, aspirin, indomethacin, and the dual cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitor BW 755C inhibited BJV-induced oedema indicating that arachidonic acid metabolism products via the cyclooxygenase pathway participate in its genesis and/or maintenance. The antibothropic fraction (ABF) (25-200 micrograms/paw) isolated from Didelphis marsupialis serum neutralized the oedema induced by the venom with and without heating, the hemorrhage induced by BJV and partially blocked the oedema induced by bradykinin and by cellulose sulphate. The oedema produced by histamine, serotonin, PAF-acether or leukotriene C4 was not inhibited. PMID:1295374

  19. Age-Dependent Transcriptome and Proteome Following Transection of Neonatal Spinal Cord of Monodelphis domestica (South American Grey Short-Tailed Opossum)

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Norman R.; Noor, Natassya M.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Steer, David L.; Ek, C. Joakim; Habgood, Mark D.; Wakefield, Matthew J.; Lindsay, Helen; Truettner, Jessie; Miller, Robert D.; Smith, A. Ian; Dietrich, W. Dalton

    2014-01-01

    This study describes a combined transcriptome and proteome analysis of Monodelphis domestica response to spinal cord injury at two different postnatal ages. Previously we showed that complete transection at postnatal day 7 (P7) is followed by profuse axon growth across the lesion with near-normal locomotion and swimming when adult. In contrast, at P28 there is no axon growth across the lesion, the animals exhibit weight-bearing locomotion, but cannot use hind limbs when swimming. Here we examined changes in gene and protein expression in the segment of spinal cord rostral to the lesion at 24 h after transection at P7 and at P28. Following injury at P7 only forty genes changed (all increased expression); most were immune/inflammatory genes. Following injury at P28 many more genes changed their expression and the magnitude of change for some genes was strikingly greater. Again many were associated with the immune/inflammation response. In functional groups known to be inhibitory to regeneration in adult cords the expression changes were generally muted, in some cases opposite to that required to account for neurite inhibition. For example myelin basic protein expression was reduced following injury at P28 both at the gene and protein levels. Only four genes from families with extracellular matrix functions thought to influence neurite outgrowth in adult injured cords showed substantial changes in expression following injury at P28: Olfactomedin 4 (Olfm4, 480 fold compared to controls), matrix metallopeptidase (Mmp1, 104 fold), papilin (Papln, 152 fold) and integrin α4 (Itga4, 57 fold). These data provide a resource for investigation of a priori hypotheses in future studies of mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration in immature animals compared to lack of regeneration at more mature stages. PMID:24914927

  20. Molecular phylogeny implicates new world opossums (Didelphidae) as the definitive hosts of Sarcocystis ramphastosi, a parasite of the keel-billed toucan (Ramphasotos sulfuratus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Macroscopic sarcocysts of Sarcocystis ramphastosi Dubey, Lane, and van Wilpe, 2006 were found in a tocan ((Ramphastos sulfuratus) from Costa Rica. The DNA extracted from 11 individual sarcocysts was subjected to PCR amplification assays targeting 1208 bp of 18S ribosomal DNA; data revealed a close ...

  1. Estimating Stage Specific Vital Rate Responses to Stress Within Mixed Age Populations of the Opossum Shrimp Americamysis bahia Using Digital Imaging

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most observations of stressor effects on marine crustaceans are made on individuals or even-aged cohorts. Results of these studies are difficult to translate into ecological predictions, either because life cycle models are incomplete, or because stressor effects on mixed age po...

  2. Estimating Stage-Specific Vital Rate Responses to Stress within Mixed Age Populations of the Opossum Shrimp Americamysis Bahia Using Digital Imaging (NAC SETAC 2011)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most observations of stressor effects on marine crustaceans are made on individuals or even-aged cohorts. Results of these studies are difficult to translate into ecological predictions, either because life cycle models are incomplete, or because stressor effects on mixed age po...

  3. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... feral hog, gray squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of..., armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during the archery season. 18. Hunters may take deer,...

  4. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... feral hog, gray squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of..., armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during the archery season. 18. Hunters may take deer,...

  5. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... feral hog, gray squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of..., armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during the archery season. 18. Hunters may take deer,...

  6. 50 CFR 32.43 - Mississippi.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., raccoon, coyotes, and opossum on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations... legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow... for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow shotguns with...

  7. 50 CFR 32.43 - Mississippi.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... refuge hunts with legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria...: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow shotguns with only approved nontoxic... other refuge hunts with legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat,...

  8. 50 CFR 32.43 - Mississippi.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... refuge hunts with legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria...: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow shotguns with only approved nontoxic... other refuge hunts with legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat,...

  9. 50 CFR 32.43 - Mississippi.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... refuge hunts with legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria...: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow shotguns with only approved nontoxic... other refuge hunts with legal weapons used for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat,...

  10. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance..., rabbit, bobwhite quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge... rifle for hunting coyotes. 2. We only allow squirrel hunting on the Keithsburg Division from...

  11. Experimental infection of Didelphis marsupialis with Vesicular Stomatitis New Jersey Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although vesicular stomatitis has been present for many years in the Americas, many aspects of its natural history remain undefined. In this study we challenged five adult Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey serotype virus (VSNJV). Opossums had no detecta...

  12. Cellular and molecular drivers of differential organ growth: insights from the limbs of Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Dowling, Anna; Doroba, Carolyn; Maier, Jennifer A; Cohen, Lorna; VandeBerg, John; Sears, Karen E

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental question in biology is "how is growth differentially regulated during development to produce organs of particular sizes?" We used a new model system for the study of differential organ growth, the limbs of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica), to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of differential organ growth in mammals. Opossum forelimbs grow much faster than hindlimbs, making opossum limbs an exceptional system with which to study differential growth. We first used the great differences in opossum forelimb and hindlimb growth to identify cellular processes and molecular signals that underlie differential limb growth. We then used organ culture and pharmacological addition of FGF ligands and inhibitors to test the role of the Fgf/Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway in driving these cellular processes. We found that molecular signals from within the limb drive differences in cell proliferation that contribute to the differential growth of the forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums. We also found that alterations in the Fgf/MAPK pathway can generate differences in cell proliferation that mirror those observed between wild-type forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums and that manipulation of Fgf/MAPK signaling affects downstream focal adhesion-extracellular matrix (FA-ECM) and Wnt signaling in opossum limbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that evolutionary changes in the Fgf/MAPK pathway could help drive the observed differences in cell behaviors and growth in opossum forelimb and hindlimbs. PMID:27194412

  13. Molecular characterization and development of Sarcocystis speeri sarcocysts in gamma interferon gene knockout mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the definitive host for at least three named species of Sarcocystis: S. falcatula, S. neurona, and S. speeri. It appears that there may be additional undescribed species of Sarcocystis in D. virginiana feces. The South American opossums (D. albive...

  14. Porrorchis nickoli n. sp. (Acanthocephala:: Plagiorhynchidae) from mammals in southeastern Mexico, first known occurrence of Porrorchis in the western hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo; Cruz-Reyes, Alejandro

    2002-02-01

    Porrorchis nickoli n. sp. is described from the intestine of the gray four-eyed opossum Philander opossum (type host), the Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana, the common opossum Didelphis marsupialis, and the white-nosed coati Nasua narica. Hosts were collected in southeastern Mexico in the Los Tuxtlas region of the state of Veracruz (type locality) and in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas. This new species is distinguished from other Porrorchis species by its small proboscis (0.286-0.428 mm long x 0.273-0.438 mm wide), a proboscis armature consisting of 22-24 vertical rows of 7 or 8 hooks per row, and the male reproductive system extending postequatorially and occupying only half of the trunk. This is the first known occurrence of a Porrorchis species in the Western Hemisphere. PMID:12058721

  15. 50 CFR 32.20 - Alabama.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    .... Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of quail, squirrel, rabbit, opossum, raccoon, coyote, and bobcat on... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, feral hog, and turkey...

  16. 50 CFR 32.20 - Alabama.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    .... Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of quail, squirrel, rabbit, opossum, raccoon, coyote, and bobcat on... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, feral hog, and turkey...

  17. 50 CFR 32.20 - Alabama.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    .... Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of quail, squirrel, rabbit, opossum, raccoon, coyote, and bobcat on... hunting of white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, feral hog, and turkey on designated areas of the refuge...

  18. 50 CFR 32.20 - Alabama.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    .... Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of quail, squirrel, rabbit, opossum, raccoon, coyote, and bobcat on... hunting of white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, feral hog, and turkey on designated areas of the refuge...

  19. A Boy or a Girl: Is It Possible to Load the Dice?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ridley, Matt

    1993-01-01

    Presents scientific theories and related research concerning the possibility that animal species, among which are humans, can consciously, or otherwise, biologically determine the sex of their children. Discusses cases involving insects, fish, opossums, primates, and New Zealand women. (MDH)

  20. Long-term reduction of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals following deforestation and sustained vector surveillance in northwestern Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, L.A.; Cardinal, M.V.; Vazquez-Prokopec, G.M.; Lauricella, M.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Cortinas, R.; Schijman, A.G.; Levin, M.J.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2007-01-01

    Long-term variations in the dynamics and intensity of sylvatic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi were investigated around eight rural villages in the semiarid Argentine Chaco in 2002–2004 and compared to data collected locally in 1984–1991. Of 501 wild mammals from 13 identified species examined by xenodiagnosis, only 3 (7.9%) of 38 Didelphis albiventris opossums and 1 (1.1%) of 91 Conepatus chinga skunks were infected by T. cruzi. The period prevalence in opossums was four-fold lower in 2002–2004 than in 1984–1991 (32–36%). The infection prevalence of skunks also decreased five-fold from 4.1–5.6% in 1984–1991 to 1.1% in 2002–2004. Infection in opossums increased with age and from summer to spring in both study periods. The force of infection per 100 opossum-months after weaning declined more than six-fold from 8.2 in 1988–1991 to 1.2 in 2002–2004. Opossums were mainly infected by T. cruzi lineage I and secondarily by lineage IId in 1984–1991, and only by T. cruzi I in 2002–2004; skunks were infected by T. cruzi IId in 1984–1991 and by IIc in 2002–2004. The striking decline of T. cruzi infection in opossums and skunks occurred in parallel to community-wide insecticide spraying followed by selective sprays leading to very low densities of infected Triatoma infestans in domestic and peridomestic habitats since 1992; to massive deforestation around one of the villages or selective extraction of older trees, and apparent reductions in opossum abundance jointly with increases in foxes and skunks. These factors may underlie the dramatic decrease of T. cruzi infection in wild reservoir hosts. PMID:16839513

  1. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Didelphis marsupialis in Santa Catarina and Arvoredo Islands, southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Grisard, E C; Carvalho-Pinto, C J; Scholz, A F; Toma, H K; Schlemper, B R; Steindel, M

    2000-01-01

    Between 1984 and 1993 the prevalence of the Trypanosoma cruzi infection in opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) was studied in Santa Catarina and Arvoredo Islands, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The association of the triatomine bug Panstrongylus megistus with opossums nests and the infection rate of these triatomines by T. cruzi was also studied. Thirteen different locations were studied in Santa Catarina Island (SCI), in which 137 D. marsupialis were collected. Sixty two opossums were collected at the Arvoredo Island (AI), located 12 miles north from SCI. All captured animals were submitted to parasitological examinations that revealed the presence of T. cruzi in 21.9% of the opossums captured in SCI and 45.2% among opossums captured in the AI. The presence of P. megistus was detected in most of the D. marsupialis nests collected in the SCI, however, in the non-inhabited AI only eight triatomines were collected during the whole study. The presence of T. cruzi-infected D. marsupialis associated with P. megistus in human dwellings in the SCI, and the high infection rate of D. marsupilais by T. cruzi in the absence of a high vector density are discussed. PMID:11080763

  2. Completion of the life cycle of Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Saville, W J; Lindsay, D S; Stich, R W; Stanek, J F; Speert, C A; Rosenthal, B M; Njoku, C J; Kwok, O C; Shen, S K; Reed, S M

    2000-12-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is the most important cause of a neurologic disease in horses, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). The complete life cycle of S. neurona, including the description of sarcocysts and intermediate hosts, has not been completed until now. Opossums (Didelphis spp.) are definitive hosts, and horses and other mammals are aberrant hosts. In the present study, laboratory-raised domestic cats (Felis domesticus) were fed sporocysts from the intestine of a naturally infected opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Microscopic sarcocysts, with a maximum size of 700 x 50 microm, developed in the muscles of the cats. The DNA of bradyzoites released from sarcocysts was confirmed as S. neurona. Laboratory-raised opossums (D. virginiana) fed cat muscles containing the sarcocysts shed sporocysts in their feces. The sporocysts were approximately 10(-12) x 6.5-8.0 microm in size. Gamma interferon knockout mice fed sporocysts from experimentally infected opossums developed clinical sarcocystosis, and S. neurona was identified in their tissues using S. neurona-specific polyclonal rabbit serum. Two seronegative ponies fed sporocysts from an experimentally-infected opossum developed S. neurona-specific antibodies within 14 days. PMID:11191904

  3. Didelphis aurita (Marsupialia: Didelphidae): a new host for Sarcocystis lindsayi (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae).

    PubMed

    da Silva Stabenow, Cristiane; Ederli, Nicole Brand; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes; de Oliveira, Francisco Carlos Rodrigues

    2012-12-01

    Nine opossums, Didelphis aurita , were captured in the city of Seropédica, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and examined for species of Sarcocystis. Sporocysts were observed in the mucosal scrapings of the small intestine from 3 opossums. Five budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus , were infected with sporocysts from each of these infected opossums and 5 budgerigars were used as controls. Of the 15 sporocyst-treated budgerigars, 5 birds that received sporocysts from 1 of the infected opossums developed tissue parasites. Meronts in the vascular endothelium of the lung venous capillaries and cysts in the skeletal and cardiac muscle cells were observed in histological sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The microscopic cysts, which were predominantly in the tongue and leg muscles, ranged from 65.3 to 118.1 μm in length and 14.0 to 29.4 μm in width and from 0.9 to 1.9 μm in thickness of the cystic wall. Sections examined by transmission electron microscopy revealed that the cyst wall contained numerous slender and jagged-shaped protrusions, each with a finger-like formation at the end. The morphology, especially of the cyst wall, and the morphometry of the tissue cysts indicate that the parasite is Sarcocystis lindsayi and, therefore, the opossum, D. aurita , is now considered a definitive host for this species in Brazil. PMID:22571294

  4. Modest genetic differentiation among North American populations of Sarcocystic neurona may reflect expansion in its geographic range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundar, N.; Asmundsson, I.M.; Thomas, N.J.; Samuel, M.D.; Dubey, J.P.; Rosenthal, B.M.

    2008-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of neurological disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and sea otters in the United States. In addition, EPM-like disease has been diagnosed in several other land and marine mammals. Opossums are its only definitive hosts. Little genetic diversity among isolates of S. neurona from different hosts has been reported. Here, we used 11 microsatellites to characterize S. neurona DNA isolated from natural infections in 22 sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from California and Washington and in 11 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 1 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) from Wisconsin. By jointly analyzing these 34 isolates with 26 isolates previously reported, we determined that geographic barriers may limit S. neurona dispersal and that only a limited subset of possible parasite genotypes may have been introduced to recently established opossum populations. Moreover, our study confirms that diverse intermediate hosts share a common infection source, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

  5. Experimental infection of two South American reservoirs with four distinct strains of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Roellig, Dawn M; McMillan, Katherine; Ellis, Angela E; Vandeberg, John L; Champagne, Donald E; Yabsley, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc), the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a diverse species with 2 primary genotypes, TcI and TcII, with TcII further subdivided into 5 subtypes (IIa-e). This study evaluated infection dynamics of 4 genetically and geographically diverse T. cruzi strains in 2 South American reservoirs, degus (Octodon degus) and grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica). Based on prior suggestions of a genotype-host association, we hypothesized that degus (placental) would more readily become infected with TcII strains while short-tailed opossums (marsupial) would be a more competent reservoir for a TcI strain. Individuals (n=3) of each species were intraperitoneally inoculated with T. cruzi trypomastigotes of TcIIa [North America (NA)-raccoon (Procyon lotor) origin], TcI [NA-Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)], TcIIb [South America (SA)-human], TcIIe (SA-Triatoma infestans), or both TcI and TcIIa. Parasitaemias in experimentally infected degus peaked earlier (7-14 days post-inoculation (p.i.)) compared with short-tailed opossums (21-84 days p.i.). Additionally, peak parasitaemias were higher in degus; however, the duration of detectable parasitaemias for all strains, except TcIIa, was greater in short-tailed opossums. Infections established in both host species with all genotypes, except for TcIIa, which did not establish a detectable infection in short-tailed opossums. These results indicate that both South American reservoirs support infections with these isolates from North and South America; however, infection dynamics differed with host and parasite strain. PMID:20128943

  6. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance..., grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations subject to... allow shotgun slug or muzzleloading rifle for hunting coyotes. 2. We only allow squirrel hunting on...

  7. 50 CFR 32.36 - Kentucky.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... goose, coot, crow, and waterfowl listed in 50 CFR 10.13 under DUCKS on designated areas of the refuge in... coyote hunt starting at legal sunrise on the first Monday following the end of deer archery season and... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel, rabbit, quail, raccoon, opossum, and coyote on...

  8. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... squirrel, rabbit, bobwhite quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of..., grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations subject to... use lead shot to hunt turkey. We allow shotgun slug or muzzleloading rifle for hunting coyotes. 2....

  9. 50 CFR 32.36 - Kentucky.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... goose, coot, crow, and waterfowl listed in 50 CFR 10.13 under DUCKS on designated areas of the refuge in... coyote hunt starting at legal sunrise on the first Monday following the end of deer archery season and... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel, rabbit, quail, raccoon, opossum, and coyote on...

  10. 50 CFR 32.43 - Mississippi.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of quail, squirrel, rabbit, beaver, nutria, raccoon, coyotes, and..., coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow ATVs only on designated trails (see §27.31 of this... for that hunt: raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria. 10. We allow shotguns with...

  11. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance..., grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations subject to... allow shotgun slug or muzzleloading rifle for hunting coyotes. 2. We only allow squirrel hunting on...

  12. 50 CFR 32.36 - Kentucky.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... goose, coot, crow, and waterfowl listed in 50 CFR 10.13 under DUCKS on designated areas of the refuge in... coyote hunt starting at legal sunrise on the first Monday following the end of deer archery season and... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel, rabbit, quail, raccoon, opossum, and coyote on...

  13. The subventricular zone is the developmental milestone of a 6-layered neocortex: comparisons in metatherian and eutherian mammals.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Amanda F P; Kondo, Shinichi; Abdel-Mannan, Omar; Chodroff, Rebecca A; Sirey, Tamara M; Bluy, Lisa E; Webber, Natalie; DeProto, Jamin; Karlen, Sarah J; Krubitzer, Leah; Stolp, Helen B; Saunders, Norman R; Molnár, Zoltán

    2010-05-01

    The major lineages of mammals (Eutheria, Metatheria, and Monotremata) diverged more than 100 million years ago and have undergone independent changes in the neocortex. We found that adult South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) possess a significantly lower number of cerebral cortical neurons compared with the mouse (Mus musculus). To determine whether the difference is reflected in the development of the cortical germinal zones, the location of progenitor cell divisions was examined in opossum, tammar wallaby, and rat. The basic pattern of the cell divisions was conserved, but the emergence of a distinctive band of dividing cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) occurred relatively later in the opossum (postnatal day [P14]) and the tammar wallaby (P40) than in rodents. The planes of cell divisions in the ventricular zone (VZ) were similar in all species, with comparable mRNA expression patterns of Brn2, Cux2, NeuroD6, Tbr2, and Pax6 in opossum (P12 and P20) and mouse (embryonic day 15 and P0). In conclusion, the marsupial neurodevelopmental program utilizes an organized SVZ, as indicated by the presence of intermediate (or basal) progenitor cell divisions and gene expression patterns, suggesting that the SVZ emerged prior to the Eutherian-Metatherian split. PMID:19726493

  14. Toxocara cati (Nematoda: Ascarididae) in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) from Brazil: a case of pseudoparasitism.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Hudson Alves; Mati, Vitor Luís Tenório; Melo, Alan Lane de

    2014-01-01

    Eggs of Toxocara cati were found in the feces of Didelphis albiventris from a peridomestic urban environment in Brazil. Negative fecal tests following short-term captivity of the opossums, as well as the absence of ascaridids during necropsy, suggest the occurrence of pseudoparasitism. Implications of the findings for the epidemiology of toxocariasis are discussed. PMID:25517533

  15. Human lower oesophageal sphincter relaxation is associated with raised cyclic nucleotide content.

    PubMed Central

    Barnette, M S; Barone, F C; Fowler, P J; Grous, M; Price, W J; Ormsbee, H S

    1991-01-01

    Increases in cyclic adenosine monophosphate and cyclic guanosine monophosphate content accompany relaxation of isolated strips of opossum and canine lower oesophageal sphincter muscle. The aim of this investigation was to characterise these responses in isolated muscle from the human lower oesophageal sphincter. Electrical stimulation of enteric neurons produced a frequency dependent relaxation of the human lower oesophageal sphincter that was sensitive to tetrodotoxin. Furthermore, as previously shown in the opossum and canine lower oesophageal sphincter, cyclic guanosine monophosphate content was significantly raised in muscle strips frozen during maximum electrical field stimulation whereas cyclic adenosine monophosphate content was unchanged. In addition, sodium nitroprusside (EC50 = 0.1 microM) produced a concentration dependent relaxation of human lower oesophageal sphincter, significantly increased cyclic guanosine monophosphate content, but did not alter cyclic adenosine monophosphate content. Zaprinast (M&B 22948) and SK&F 94120, selective inhibitors of cyclic guanosine monophosphate and cyclic adenosine monophosphate phosphodiesterases, respectively, both relaxed human lower oesophageal sphincter with a potency similar to that seen in the dog or opossum lower oesophageal sphincter. Finally, the 8-bromo analogues of both cyclic adenosine monophosphate (EC50 = 420 microM) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (EC50 = 100 microM) relaxed the human lower oesophageal sphincter. These studies suggest that in the human, as well as the canine and opossum lower oesophageal sphincter, increases in cyclic nucleotide content are associated with relaxation and increases in cyclic guanosine monophosphate are associated with the relaxation induced by stimulation of enteric neurons. PMID:1846837

  16. 50 CFR 32.34 - Iowa.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ..., litter, fish or any parts thereof, on the banks, in the water, or on the ice. 10. We prohibit digging or..., goose, coot, rail (Virginia and sora only), woodcock, and snipe on the Buffalo Creek Bottoms and Schwob...), groundhog, raccoon, opossum, fox, coyote, and crow on Buffalo Creek Bottoms, Schwob Marsh, and the Core...

  17. 77 FR 41001 - 2012-2013 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-11

    ... equipment. * * * * * 10. We allow squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, and opossum to be hunted with dogs during designated hunts. We prohibit dogs in the Middle Swamp area of the refuge, except during the February small... squirrel on the North Unit from September 1 until January 31. 3. We allow dogs for hunting of rabbit...

  18. 77 FR 56027 - 2012-2013 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-11

    ..., Federal Register (77 FR 41002), we published a proposed rulemaking identifying changes pertaining to... squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, and opossum to be hunted with dogs during designated hunts. We prohibit dogs in... from September 1 until January 31. 3. We allow dogs for hunting of rabbit and squirrel from December...

  19. Serological response of cats to experimental Besnoitia darlingi and Besnoitia neotomofelis infections and prevalence of antibodies to these parasites in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Besnoitia darlingi and B. neotomofelis are tissue cyst-forming apicomplexan parasite that use domestic cats (Felis domesticus) as definitive hosts and opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and southern planes woodrats (Neotoma micropus) as intermediate hosts, respectively. Nothing is known about the preva...

  20. ISOLATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM ANIMALS IN DURANGO, MEXICO

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Little is known concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in people and animals in rural Mexico. Serum samples and tissues from 150 dogs, 150 cats, 65 opossums (Didelphis virginianus), 249 rats (Rattus spp.), 127 mice (Mus musculus), and 69 squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) from t...

  1. Modo-UG, a marsupial nonclassical MHC class I locus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modo-UG is a class I gene located in the MHC of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum. Modo-UG is expressed as three alternatively spliced mRNA forms, all of which encode a transmembrane form with a short cytoplasmic tail that lacks phosphorylation sites typically found...

  2. New sylvatic hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and their reservoir competence in the humid Chaco of Argentina: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M Marcela; Enriquez, Gustavo F; Alvarado-Otegui, Julián A; Cardinal, M Victoria; Schijman, Alejandro G; Kitron, Uriel; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2013-05-01

    A four-year longitudinal study of the structure of sylvatic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, reservoir host competence and parasite discrete typing units was conducted in a disturbed rural area of the humid Chaco in Argentina. Among 190 mammals examined by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification, the composite prevalence of infection was substantially higher in Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos (57.7%) and Didelphis albiventris opossums (38.1%) than in Euphractus sexcinctus (20.0%), Tolypeutes matacus (12.5%), and Chaetophractus vellerosus (6.3%) armadillos. Trypanosoma cruzi was detected for the first time in Thylamys pusilla small opossums and in two unidentified small rodents. Infection was spatially aggregated only in armadillos. All Didelphis were infected with T. cruzi I and all armadillo species were infected with T. cruzi III, implying two distinct sylvatic cycles with no inputs from the domestic cycle. Dasypus armadillos and Didelphis opossums were much more infectious to vectors than other armadillos, small opossums, or rodents. PMID:23530075

  3. Value-based customer grouping from large retail data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strehl, Alexander; Ghosh, Joydeep

    2000-04-01

    In this paper, we propose OPOSSUM, a novel similarity-based clustering algorithm using constrained, weighted graph- partitioning. Instead of binary presence or absence of products in a market-basket, we use an extended 'revenue per product' measure to better account for management objectives. Typically the number of clusters desired in a database marketing application is only in the teens or less. OPOSSUM proceeds top-down, which is more efficient and takes a small number of steps to attain the desired number of clusters as compared to bottom-up agglomerative clustering approaches. OPOSSUM delivers clusters that are balanced in terms of either customers (samples) or revenue (value). To facilitate data exploration and validation of results we introduce CLUSION, a visualization toolkit for high-dimensional clustering problems. To enable closed loop deployment of the algorithm, OPOSSUM has no user-specified parameters. Thresholding heuristics are avoided and the optimal number of clusters is automatically determined by a search for maximum performance. Results are presented on a real retail industry data-set of several thousand customers and products, to demonstrate the power of the proposed technique.

  4. 75 FR 28511 - Proposed Flood Elevation Determinations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-21

    ..., 1978 Comp., p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 376. Sec. 67.4 2. The tables... County. approximately 1,175 feet upstream of Opossum Lane. Plum Creek (Backwater effects from From the... 300 feet of Muhlenberg County. downstream of the confluence with Plum Creek Tributary 4. Plum...

  5. Qin, Han, and Huang: Text Reproduction and Literacy in Rural China, A Case for Euclid and Homer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bain, Bruce; Yu, Agnes

    1991-01-01

    Debates the merits of the claim that "symbolic technologies push cognitive growth earlier and longer." The results of an assessment are presented that involved three adult male peasants (two literate, one nonliterate) living in rural China and their ability to recall the text of "The Lonesome Opossum." (25 references) (GLR)

  6. Making Connections. A Curriculum and Activity Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park. [Grades] K-3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Park Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park is important because of its diversity of life on the surface and underground. Some of the plants in the park include trees such as oaks, hickories, tulip poplars, sycamores, and many types of bushes. The animal population is also very diverse and includes bats, squirrels, deer, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks,…

  7. Activation of mitogenic pathways by albumin in kidney proximal tubule epithelial cells: implications for the pathophysiology of proteinuric states.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R; Brunskill, N J

    1999-07-01

    Albumin is filtered into the proximal tubule in large quantities in nephrotic states. It has been proposed that this protein may have a toxic effect on tubular epithelial cells and may be responsible for the initiation of interstitial inflammation and scarring. The mitogenic effect of recombinant human albumin in wild-type opossum kidney cells and in similar cells transfected with a dominant negative p85 subunit (deltap85) of phopshatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) has been studied. This study demonstrates that recombinant human albumin stimulates proliferation of opossum kidney cells in culture. This effect is mediated via PI 3-kinase, and is inhibited by wortmannin and deltap85 expression. Albumin stimulates PI 3-kinase activity in opossum kidney cells as determined by three different experimental procedures. Recombinant albumin also stimulates pp70(s6) kinase activity in a kinase cascade downstream of PI 3-kinase. Activity of pp70(s6) kinase is essential for albumin-induced proliferation of opossum kidney cells. It is proposed that this mitogenic pathway may have a critical role in proximal tubular homeostasis and pathophysiology of proteinuric states. PMID:10405204

  8. Rickettsial Infections among Ctenocephalides felis and Host Animals during a Flea-Borne Rickettsioses Outbreak in Orange County, California.

    PubMed

    Maina, Alice N; Fogarty, Carrie; Krueger, Laura; Macaluso, Kevin R; Odhiambo, Antony; Nguyen, Kiet; Farris, Christina M; Luce-Fedrow, Alison; Bennett, Stephen; Jiang, Ju; Sun, Sokanary; Cummings, Robert F; Richards, Allen L

    2016-01-01

    Due to a resurgence of flea-borne rickettsioses in Orange County, California, we investigated the etiologies of rickettsial infections of Ctenocephalides felis, the predominant fleas species obtained from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and domestic cats (Felis catus), collected from case exposure sites and other areas in Orange County. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of IgG antibodies against spotted fever group (SFGR) and typhus group (TGR) rickettsiae in opossum sera. Of the 597 flea specimens collected from opossums and cats, 37.2% tested positive for Rickettsia. PCR and sequencing of rickettsial genes obtained from C. felis flea DNA preparations revealed the presence of R. typhi (1.3%), R. felis (28.0%) and R. felis-like organisms (7.5%). Sera from opossums contained TGR-specific (40.84%), but not SFGR-specific antibodies. The detection of R. felis and R. typhi in the C. felis fleas in Orange County highlights the potential risk for human infection with either of these pathogens, and underscores the need for further investigations incorporating specimens from humans, animal hosts, and invertebrate vectors in endemic areas. Such studies will be essential for establishing a link in the ongoing flea-borne rickettsioses outbreaks. PMID:27537367

  9. Bobcat (Lynx rufus) as a new natural intermediate host for Sarcocystis neurona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive hos...

  10. Learning Excitement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudore, Gail M.

    1987-01-01

    Provides directions for 18 environmental activities/concepts for adventure programming including games (clam free, habitat lap sit, spirals); warm-ups/stretches (bug tug, stork stretch); trust builders/group initiatives (willow in wind, opossum ferry); low elements (all aboard, trolley); medium elements (rebirth, tire on pole); and high elements…

  11. Rickettsial Infections among Ctenocephalides felis and Host Animals during a Flea-Borne Rickettsioses Outbreak in Orange County, California

    PubMed Central

    Fogarty, Carrie; Krueger, Laura; Macaluso, Kevin R.; Odhiambo, Antony; Nguyen, Kiet; Farris, Christina M.; Luce-Fedrow, Alison; Bennett, Stephen; Jiang, Ju; Sun, Sokanary; Cummings, Robert F.; Richards, Allen L.

    2016-01-01

    Due to a resurgence of flea-borne rickettsioses in Orange County, California, we investigated the etiologies of rickettsial infections of Ctenocephalides felis, the predominant fleas species obtained from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and domestic cats (Felis catus), collected from case exposure sites and other areas in Orange County. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of IgG antibodies against spotted fever group (SFGR) and typhus group (TGR) rickettsiae in opossum sera. Of the 597 flea specimens collected from opossums and cats, 37.2% tested positive for Rickettsia. PCR and sequencing of rickettsial genes obtained from C. felis flea DNA preparations revealed the presence of R. typhi (1.3%), R. felis (28.0%) and R. felis-like organisms (7.5%). Sera from opossums contained TGR-specific (40.84%), but not SFGR-specific antibodies. The detection of R. felis and R. typhi in the C. felis fleas in Orange County highlights the potential risk for human infection with either of these pathogens, and underscores the need for further investigations incorporating specimens from humans, animal hosts, and invertebrate vectors in endemic areas. Such studies will be essential for establishing a link in the ongoing flea-borne rickettsioses outbreaks. PMID:27537367

  12. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi Among Eleven Potential Reservoir Species from Six States Across the Southern United States

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Emily L.; Roellig, Dawn M.; Gompper, Matthew E.; Monello, Ryan J.; Wenning, Krista M.; Gabriel, Mourad W.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is a substantial public health concern in Latin America. Although rare in humans and domestic animals in the United States, T. cruzi is commonly detected in some wildlife species, most commonly raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). To increase our understanding of the reservoir host species range and geographic distribution, 11 species of mammals from six states spanning the known range of T. cruzi (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Virginia) were tested for antibodies to T. cruzi using indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing. In addition, culture isolation attempts were conducted on a limited number of animals from Georgia and Florida. Evidence of T. cruzi was found in every state except California; however, low numbers of known reservoirs were tested in California. In general, the highest seroprevalence rates were found in raccoons (0–68%) and opossums (17–52%), but antibodies to T. cruzi were also detected in small numbers of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) from Arizona and Georgia, bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Georgia, two coyotes (Canis latrans) from Georgia and Virginia, and a ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) from Arizona. Culture-based prevalence rates for raccoons were significantly greater than those for opossums; however, seroprevalences of raccoons and opossums from several geographic locations in Georgia and Florida were not different, indicating that exposure rates of these two species are similar within these areas. For both raccoons and opossums, seroprevalence was significantly higher in females than in males. No difference was detected in seroprevalence between adults and juveniles and between animals caught in urban and rural locations. Our results indicate that T. cruzi prevalence varies by host species, host characteristics, and geographic region and provides data to guide future studies on the natural history of T. cruzi

  13. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi among eleven potential reservoir species from six states across the southern United States.

    PubMed

    Brown, Emily L; Roellig, Dawn M; Gompper, Matthew E; Monello, Ryan J; Wenning, Krista M; Gabriel, Mourad W; Yabsley, Michael J

    2010-10-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is a substantial public health concern in Latin America. Although rare in humans and domestic animals in the United States, T. cruzi is commonly detected in some wildlife species, most commonly raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). To increase our understanding of the reservoir host species range and geographic distribution, 11 species of mammals from six states spanning the known range of T. cruzi (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Virginia) were tested for antibodies to T. cruzi using indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing. In addition, culture isolation attempts were conducted on a limited number of animals from Georgia and Florida. Evidence of T. cruzi was found in every state except California; however, low numbers of known reservoirs were tested in California. In general, the highest seroprevalence rates were found in raccoons (0-68%) and opossums (17-52%), but antibodies to T. cruzi were also detected in small numbers of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) from Arizona and Georgia, bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Georgia, two coyotes (Canis latrans) from Georgia and Virginia, and a ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) from Arizona. Culture-based prevalence rates for raccoons were significantly greater than those for opossums; however, seroprevalences of raccoons and opossums from several geographic locations in Georgia and Florida were not different, indicating that exposure rates of these two species are similar within these areas. For both raccoons and opossums, seroprevalence was significantly higher in females than in males. No difference was detected in seroprevalence between adults and juveniles and between animals caught in urban and rural locations. Our results indicate that T. cruzi prevalence varies by host species, host characteristics, and geographic region and provides data to guide future studies on the natural history of T. cruzi in the

  14. Common procedures in hedgehogs, prairie dogs, exotic rodents, and companion marsupials.

    PubMed

    Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A

    2006-05-01

    Nondomesticated species are commonly being kept as companion animals. These include the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albi-ventris), the North American black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys lu-dovicianus), and exotic rodents such as the degu (Octodon degus)and duprasi or fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi). Common companion marsupials include the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps),Bennett's or Tammar (Dama) wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus rufo-griseus and Macropus eugenii, respectively), the Brazilian or South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and the North American Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Although many of these animals are now bred domestically and are fairly docile when human-raised, they are essentially wild animals and hence have strong instincts to hide illness and pain. PMID:16759954

  15. Mitochondrial tRNA-lookalikes in nuclear chromosomes: could they be functional?

    PubMed

    Telonis, Aristeidis G; Kirino, Yohei; Rigoutsos, Isidore

    2015-01-01

    The presence in human nuclear chromosomes of multiple sequences that are highly similar to human mitochondrial tRNAs (tRNA-lookalikes) raises intriguing questions about the possible functionality of these genomic loci. In this perspective, we explore the significance of the mitochondrial tRNA-lookalikes based on a series of properties that argue for their non-accidental nature. We particularly focus on the possibility of transcription as well as on potential functional roles for these sequences that can range from their acting as DNA regulatory elements to forming functional mature tRNAs or tRNA-derived fragments. Extension of our analysis to other simians (chimp, gorilla, rhesus, and squirrel monkey), 2 rodents (mouse and rat), a marsupial (opossum) and 3 invertebrates (fruit-fly, worm, and sponge) revealed that mitochondrial tRNA-lookalikes are prevalent in primates and the opossum but absent from the other analyzed organisms. PMID:25849196

  16. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, S; Ardiles, K; Figueroa, R A; González-Acuña, D

    2013-02-01

    Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum) is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile. PMID:23644784

  17. Serologic evidence of canine parvovirus in domestic dogs, wild carnivores, and marsupials in the Argentinean Chaco.

    PubMed

    Orozco, María Marcela; Miccio, Luciano; Enriquez, Gustavo Fabián; Iribarren, Fabián Eduardo; Gürtler, Ricardo Esteban

    2014-09-01

    The transmission of pathogens between domestic dogs and generalist wildlife species may be modified by environmental degradation, biodiversity losses, host densities, and increased contact rates in remnant forest patches. A serologic survey of canine parvovirus (CPV) in rural domestic dogs and wild mammals was conducted in two neighboring rural areas (disturbed and protected) from Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina, between 2008 and 2011. A total of 174 domestic dogs and 26 wild mammals-4 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), 3 crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), 17 white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris), and 2 gray four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum)-were examined for antibodies to CPV using a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Domestic dogs were numerous and their movements unrestricted. The main function of dogs differed significantly between areas, with more dogs used for herding or hunting around the protected area. The seroprevalence of antibodies to CPV in dogs from both areas was very high (93.9-94.6%) and increased steeply with age. Nearly all carnivores and marsupials showed high exposure to CPV. Although a higher exposure to CPV was expected in wild mammals from disturbed areas as a result of enhanced contact between dogs and wildlife, no significant differences were found between areas. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to document exposure to CPV of free-ranging Pr. cancrivorus, D. albiventris, and Ph. opossum, and include a detailed demographic study of the domestic dog populations living in the area. This study highlights that dogs and wildlife have potential opportunities for contact and shows that the edges of the protected area may be as suitable as other fragmented areas for the transmission of CPV. Rural domestic dogs may pose serious threats to the health and conservation of wild carnivores in both disturbed and protected areas, especially in the Gran Chaco, where habitat fragmentation is severely

  18. Structure of parasite component communities of didelphid marsupials: insights from a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Catzeflis, François; Gardner, Scott L

    2011-10-01

    The parasite fauna of the gray four-eyed opossum, Philander opossum (Linnaeus, 1758), and the common opossum, Didelphis marsupialis Linnaeus, 1758, in Camp du Tigre, French Guiana, is characterized. Nine species from the gastrointestinal system were recovered from both species, which shared 80% of their parasites. The parasite fauna comprised several monoxenous species (63%) and was dominated by Aspidodera raillieti Travassos, 1914, which exhibited high levels of prevalence and abundance in both communities. Only 2 species (Moennigia sp. and Spirura guianensis) had been recorded in other species of mammals. Both species richness and taxonomic composition at the level of component communities from this locality were compared against 11 communities present in the Virginia ( Didelphis virginiana ), white-bellied (Didelphis albiventris), and common opossum from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Neither host phylogeny nor taxonomy accounted for statistical differences in species richness. There was no statistical difference among species richness values among the 9 localities studied. Taxonomic similarity was analyzed by means of the Jaccard's similarity index, including all, and only common species (occurring in prevalence >10%). The results suggest that sympatric species of marsupials share more species of parasites than parasite communities occurring in conspecific marsupials from different localities. As a consequence, taxonomic composition of these parasite communities varied depending on the locality. Probably, marsupials of the monophyletic Didelphini offer the same compatibility toward their parasites, by presenting them with similar habitats. Subtle differences in lifestyles of the marsupials may determine the chance of encounter between the symbionts and prevent some parasites from completing their life cycles. Further and more rigorous tests are necessary to determine the roles of encounter and compatibility filters, as well as the role of

  19. [Amyloidosis in infected Didelphis marsupialis].

    PubMed

    Roa, Diana Milena; Sarmiento, Ladys; Rodríguez, Gerzaín

    2002-09-01

    A male opossum, Didelphis marsupialis, captured in Teruel (Huila), Colombia, was inoculated intraperitoneally with 1 x 10(6) promastigotes of Leishmania chagasi (MHOM/CO/84/CL044B). The animal died 5 weeks after inoculation. Autopsy revealed signs of visceral leishmaniasis along with amastigote parasite form in Kupffer cells and spleen macrophages. Amyloid deposits in liver and spleen were demonstrated by histological staining and electron microscopy. The rapid death was considered a consequence of a secondary, reactive amyloidosis. PMID:12404923

  20. In vitro cultivation of schizonts of Sarcocystis speeri Dubey and Lindsay, 1999.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Speer, C A; Lindsay, D S

    2000-08-01

    Schizonts of Sarcocystis speeri Dubey and Lindsay, 1999 were cultured in vitro in bovine monocyte and equine kidney cell cultures inoculated with infected tissues of nude and gamma-interferon knockout mice fed sporocysts from opossums, Didelphis albiventris. At least 1 asexual cycle was completed in 3 days. In vitro-grown merozoites were structurally and antigenically distinct from those of Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis falcatula. Culture-derived merozoites of S. speeri were not infective to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). PMID:10958438

  1. Molecular characterization and development of Sarcocystis speeri sarcocysts in gamma interferon gene knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Verma, S K; Dunams, D; Calero-Bernal, R; Rosenthal, B M

    2015-11-01

    The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the definitive host for at least three named species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystis falcatula, Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis speeri. The South American opossums (Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis and Didelphis aurita) are definitive hosts for S. falcatula and S. lindsayi. The sporocysts of these Sarcocystis species are similar morphologically. They are also not easily distinguished genetically because of the difficulties of DNA extraction from sporocysts and availability of distinguishing genetic markers. Some of these species can be distinguished by bioassay; S. neurona and S. speeri are infective to gamma interferon gene knockout (KO) mice, but not to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus); whereas S. falcatula and S. lindsayi are infective to budgerigars but not to KO mice. The natural intermediate host of S. speeri is unknown. In the present study, development of sarcocysts of S. speeri in the KO mice is described. Sarcocysts were first seen at 12 days post-inoculation (p.i.), and they became macroscopic (up to 4 mm long) by 25 days p.i. The structure of the sarcocyst wall did not change from the time bradyzoites had formed at 50-220 days p.i. Sarcocysts contained unique villar protrusions, 'type 38'. The polymerase chain reaction amplifications and sequences analysis of three nuclear loci (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and ITS1) and two mitochondrial loci (cox1 and cytb) of S. speeri isolate from an Argentinean opossum (D. albiventris) confirmed its membership among species of Sarcocystis and indicated an especially close relationship to another parasite in this genus that employs opossums as its definitive host, S. neurona. These results should be useful in finding natural intermediate host of S. speeri. PMID:26303093

  2. Snake-venom resistance as a mammalian trophic adaptation: lessons from didelphid marsupials.

    PubMed

    Voss, Robert S; Jansa, Sharon A

    2012-11-01

    Mammals that prey on venomous snakes include several opossums (Didelphidae), at least two hedgehogs (Erinaceidae), several mongooses (Herpestidae), several mustelids, and some skunks (Mephitidae). As a group, these taxa do not share any distinctive morphological traits. Instead, mammalian adaptations for ophiophagy seem to consist only in the ability to resist the toxic effects of snake venom. Molecular mechanisms of venom resistance (as indicated by biochemical research on opossums, mongooses, and hedgehogs) include toxin-neutralizing serum factors and adaptive changes in venom-targeted molecules. Of these, toxin-neutralizing serum factors have received the most research attention to date. All of the toxin-neutralizing serum proteins discovered so far in both opossums and mongooses are human α1B-glycoprotein homologs that inhibit either snake-venom metalloproteinases or phospholipase A(2) myotoxins. By contrast, adaptive changes in venom-targeted molecules have received far less attention. The best-documented examples include amino-acid substitutions in mongoose nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that inhibit binding by α-neurotoxins, and amino-acid substitutions in opossum von Willebrand factor (vWF) that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and coagulopathic C-type lectins. Although multiple mechanisms of venom resistance are known from some species, the proteomic complexity of most snake venoms suggests that the evolved biochemical defences of ophiophagous mammals are likely to be far more numerous than currently recognized. Whereas most previous research in this field has been motivated by the potential for medical applications, venom resistance in ophiophagous mammals is a complex adaptation that merits attention from comparative biologists. Unfortunately, evolutionary inference is currently limited by ignorance about many relevant facts that can only be provided by future research. PMID:22404916

  3. Relevance of in vivo models in melanoma skin cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Setlow, R.B.

    1995-12-31

    A discussion of possible wavelength dependence of induction of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is provided. Strengths and weaknesses of various experimental approaches to better understanding of the prevalence of CMM in different human populations including latitude effects are compared. Further the advantages and limitations of the use of the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestic), transgenic mice containing SV40 ongogene sequences under tyrosinase promoter control, and a backcross hybrid fish of the genus Xenophorus are contrasted.

  4. In vivo strains in the femur of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).

    PubMed

    Copploe, Joseph V; Blob, Richard W; Parrish, John H A; Butcher, Michael T

    2015-08-01

    The capacity of limb bones to resist the locomotor loads they encounter depends on both the pattern of those loads and the material properties of the skeletal elements. Among mammals, understanding of the interplay between these two factors has been based primarily on evidence from locomotor behaviors in upright placentals, which show limb bones that are loaded predominantly in anteroposterior bending with minimal amounts of torsion. However, loading patterns from the femora of opossums, marsupials using crouched limb posture, show appreciable torsion while the bone experiences mediolateral (ML) bending. These data indicated greater loading diversity in mammals than was previously recognized, and suggested the possibility that ancestral loading patterns found in sprawling lineages (e.g., reptilian sauropsids) might have been retained among basal mammals. To further test this hypothesis, we recorded in vivo locomotor strains from the femur of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), a member of the basal xenarthran clade of placental mammals that also uses crouched limb posture. Orientations of principal strains and magnitudes of shear strains indicate that armadillo femora are exposed to only limited torsion; however, bending is essentially ML, placing the medial aspect of the femur in compression and the lateral aspect in tension. This orientation of bending is similar to that found in opossums, but planar strain analyses indicate much more of the armadillo femur experiences tension during bending, potentially due to muscles pulling on the large, laterally positioned third trochanter. Limb bone safety factors were estimated between 3.3 and 4.3 in bending, similar to other placental mammals, but lower than opossums and most sprawling taxa. Thus, femoral loading patterns in armadillos show a mixture of similarities to both opossums (ML bending) and other placentals (limited torsion and low safety factors), along with unique features (high axial tension

  5. The role of fragmentation and landscape changes in the ecological release of common nest predators in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    Cove, Michael V; Spínola, R Manuel; Jackson, Victoria L; Saénz, Joel C

    2014-01-01

    Loss of large mammalian carnivores may allow smaller mesopredators to become abundant and threaten other community members. There is considerable debate about mesopredator release and the role that other potential factors such as landscape variables and human alterations to land cover lead to increased mesopredator abundance. We used camera traps to detect four mesopredators (tayra, Eira barbara; white-nosed coati, Nasua narica; northern raccoon, Procyon lotor; and common opossum, Didelphis opossum) in a biological corridor in Costa Rica to estimate habitat covariates that influenced the species' detection and occurrence. We selected these mesopredators because as semi-arboreal species they might be common nest predators, posing a serious threat to resident and migratory songbirds. Pineapple production had a pronounced positive effect on the detectability of tayras, while forest cover had a negative effect on the detection of coatis. This suggests that abundance might be elevated due to the availability of agricultural food resources and foraging activities are concentrated in forest fragments and pineapple edge habitats. Raccoon and opossum models exhibited little influence on detection from habitat covariates. Occurrence models did not suggest any significant factors influencing site use by nest predators, revealing that all four species are habitat generalists adapted to co-existing in human altered landscapes. Furthermore, fragmentation and land cover changes may predispose nesting birds, herpetofauna, and small mammals to heightened predation risk by mesopredators in the Neotropics. PMID:25071989

  6. The role of fragmentation and landscape changes in the ecological release of common nest predators in the Neotropics

    PubMed Central

    Spínola, R. Manuel; Jackson, Victoria L.; Saénz, Joel C.

    2014-01-01

    Loss of large mammalian carnivores may allow smaller mesopredators to become abundant and threaten other community members. There is considerable debate about mesopredator release and the role that other potential factors such as landscape variables and human alterations to land cover lead to increased mesopredator abundance. We used camera traps to detect four mesopredators (tayra, Eira barbara; white-nosed coati, Nasua narica; northern raccoon, Procyon lotor; and common opossum, Didelphis opossum) in a biological corridor in Costa Rica to estimate habitat covariates that influenced the species’ detection and occurrence. We selected these mesopredators because as semi-arboreal species they might be common nest predators, posing a serious threat to resident and migratory songbirds. Pineapple production had a pronounced positive effect on the detectability of tayras, while forest cover had a negative effect on the detection of coatis. This suggests that abundance might be elevated due to the availability of agricultural food resources and foraging activities are concentrated in forest fragments and pineapple edge habitats. Raccoon and opossum models exhibited little influence on detection from habitat covariates. Occurrence models did not suggest any significant factors influencing site use by nest predators, revealing that all four species are habitat generalists adapted to co-existing in human altered landscapes. Furthermore, fragmentation and land cover changes may predispose nesting birds, herpetofauna, and small mammals to heightened predation risk by mesopredators in the Neotropics. PMID:25071989

  7. Retroviral envelope gene captures and syncytin exaptation for placentation in marsupials.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Carradec, Quentin; Souquere, Sylvie; Mulot, Baptiste; Catzeflis, François; Nilsson, Maria A; Menzies, Brandon R; Renfree, Marilyn B; Pierron, Gérard; Zeller, Ulrich; Heidmann, Odile; Dupressoir, Anne; Heidmann, Thierry

    2015-02-01

    Syncytins are genes of retroviral origin captured by eutherian mammals, with a role in placentation. Here we show that some marsupials-which are the closest living relatives to eutherian mammals, although they diverged from the latter ∼190 Mya-also possess a syncytin gene. The gene identified in the South American marsupial opossum and dubbed syncytin-Opo1 has all of the characteristic features of a bona fide syncytin gene: It is fusogenic in an ex vivo cell-cell fusion assay; it is specifically expressed in the short-lived placenta at the level of the syncytial feto-maternal interface; and it is conserved in a functional state in a series of Monodelphis species. We further identify a nonfusogenic retroviral envelope gene that has been conserved for >80 My of evolution among all marsupials (including the opossum and the Australian tammar wallaby), with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of a canonical immunosuppressive domain, but with only limited expression in the placenta. This unusual captured gene, together with a third class of envelope genes from recently endogenized retroviruses-displaying strong expression in the uterine glands where retroviral particles can be detected-plausibly correspond to the different evolutionary statuses of a captured retroviral envelope gene, with only syncytin-Opo1 being the present-day bona fide syncytin active in the opossum and related species. This study would accordingly recapitulate the natural history of syncytin exaptation and evolution in a single species, and definitely extends the presence of such genes to all major placental mammalian clades. PMID:25605903

  8. The cellular composition of the marsupial neocortex.

    PubMed

    Seelke, Adele M H; Dooley, James C; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2014-07-01

    In the current investigation we examined the number and proportion of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the primary sensory areas of the neocortex of a South American marsupial, the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The primary somatosensory (S1), auditory (A1), and visual (V1) areas were dissected from the cortical sheet and compared with each other and the remaining neocortex using the isotropic fractionator technique. We found that although the overall sizes of V1, S1, A1, and the remaining cortical regions differed from each other, these divisions of the neocortex contained the same number of neurons, but the remaining cortex contained significantly more non-neurons than the primary sensory regions. In addition, the percent of neurons was higher in A1 than in the remaining cortex and the cortex as a whole. These results are similar to those seen in non-human primates. Furthermore, these results indicate that in some respects, such as number of neurons, the neocortex is homogenous across its extent, whereas in other aspects of organization, such as non-neuronal number and percentage of neurons, there is non-uniformity. Whereas the overall pattern of neuronal distribution is similar between short-tailed opossums and eutherian mammals, short-tailed opossum have a much lower cellular and neuronal density than other eutherian mammals. This suggests that the high neuronal density cortices of mammals such as rodents and primates may be a more recently evolved characteristic that is restricted to eutherians, and likely contributes to the complex behaviors we see in modern mammals. PMID:24414857

  9. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; Vercauteren, Kurt C.; Johnson, Shylo R.; Olin E. Rhodes, Jr.; Schnell, Matthias Johannes

    2015-01-14

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations,particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodamine B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations

  10. A first-generation integrated tammar wallaby map and its use in creating a tammar wallaby first-generation virtual genome map

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The limited (2X) coverage of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) genome sequence dataset currently presents a challenge for assembly and anchoring onto chromosomes. To provide a framework for this assembly, it would be a great advantage to have a dense map of the tammar wallaby genome. However, only limited mapping data are available for this non-model species, comprising a physical map and a linkage map. Results We combined all available tammar wallaby mapping data to create a tammar wallaby integrated map, using the Location DataBase (LDB) strategy. This first-generation integrated map combines all available information from the second-generation tammar wallaby linkage map with 148 loci, and extensive FISH mapping data for 492 loci, especially for genes likely to be located at the ends of wallaby chromosomes or at evolutionary breakpoints inferred from comparative information. For loci whose positions are only approximately known, their location in the integrated map was refined on the basis of comparative information from opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and human. Interpolation of segments from the opossum and human assemblies into the integrated map enabled the subsequent construction of a tammar wallaby first-generation virtual genome map, which comprises 14336 markers, including 13783 genes recruited from opossum and human assemblies. Both maps are freely available at http://compldb.angis.org.au. Conclusions The first-generation integrated map and the first-generation virtual genome map provide a backbone for the chromosome assembly of the tammar wallaby genome sequence. For example, 78% of the 10257 gene-scaffolds in the Ensembl annotation of the tammar wallaby genome sequence (including 10522 protein-coding genes) can now be given a chromosome location in the tammar wallaby virtual genome map. PMID:21854555

  11. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; Vercauteren, Kurt C.; Johnson, Shylo R.; Olin E. Rhodes, Jr.; Schnell, Matthias Johannes

    2015-01-14

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations,particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodaminemore » B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations, but

  12. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado-Otegui, J.A.; Ceballos, L.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Enriquez, G.F.; Cardinal, M.V.; Cura, C.; Schijman, A.G.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species was captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively. PMID:22771688

  13. Tracking Marsupial Evolution Using Archaic Genomic Retroposon Insertions

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Maria A.; Churakov, Gennady; Sommer, Mirjam; Tran, Ngoc Van; Zemann, Anja; Brosius, Jürgen; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2010-01-01

    The Australasian and South American marsupial mammals, such as kangaroos and opossums, are the closest living relatives to placental mammals, having shared a common ancestor around 130 million years ago. The evolutionary relationships among the seven marsupial orders have, however, so far eluded resolution. In particular, the relationships between the four Australasian and three South American marsupial orders have been intensively debated since the South American order Microbiotheria was taxonomically moved into the group Australidelphia. Australidelphia is significantly supported by both molecular and morphological data and comprises the four Australasian marsupial orders and the South American order Microbiotheria, indicating a complex, ancient, biogeographic history of marsupials. However, the exact phylogenetic position of Microbiotheria within Australidelphia has yet to be resolved using either sequence or morphological data analysis. Here, we provide evidence from newly established and virtually homoplasy-free retroposon insertion markers for the basal relationships among marsupial orders. Fifty-three phylogenetically informative markers were retrieved after in silico and experimental screening of ∼217,000 retroposon-containing loci from opossum and kangaroo. The four Australasian orders share a single origin with Microbiotheria as their closest sister group, supporting a clear divergence between South American and Australasian marsupials. In addition, the new data place the South American opossums (Didelphimorphia) as the first branch of the marsupial tree. The exhaustive computational and experimental evidence provides important insight into the evolution of retroposable elements in the marsupial genome. Placing the retroposon insertion pattern in a paleobiogeographic context indicates a single marsupial migration from South America to Australia. The now firmly established phylogeny can be used to determine the direction of genomic changes and

  14. A Behaviorally-Explicit Approach for Delivering Vaccine Baits to Mesopredators to Control Epizootics in Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; Vercauteren, Kurt C.; Johnson, Shylo R.; Rhodes Jr., Olin E.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations, particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodamine B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations, but

  15. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Alvarado-Otegui, J A; Ceballos, L A; Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Cura, C; Schijman, A G; Kitron, U; Gürtler, R E

    2012-10-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species were captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively. PMID:22771688

  16. Retroviral envelope gene captures and syncytin exaptation for placentation in marsupials

    PubMed Central

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Carradec, Quentin; Souquere, Sylvie; Mulot, Baptiste; Catzeflis, François; Nilsson, Maria A.; Menzies, Brandon R.; Renfree, Marilyn B.; Pierron, Gérard; Zeller, Ulrich; Heidmann, Odile; Dupressoir, Anne; Heidmann, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Syncytins are genes of retroviral origin captured by eutherian mammals, with a role in placentation. Here we show that some marsupials—which are the closest living relatives to eutherian mammals, although they diverged from the latter ∼190 Mya—also possess a syncytin gene. The gene identified in the South American marsupial opossum and dubbed syncytin-Opo1 has all of the characteristic features of a bona fide syncytin gene: It is fusogenic in an ex vivo cell–cell fusion assay; it is specifically expressed in the short-lived placenta at the level of the syncytial feto–maternal interface; and it is conserved in a functional state in a series of Monodelphis species. We further identify a nonfusogenic retroviral envelope gene that has been conserved for >80 My of evolution among all marsupials (including the opossum and the Australian tammar wallaby), with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of a canonical immunosuppressive domain, but with only limited expression in the placenta. This unusual captured gene, together with a third class of envelope genes from recently endogenized retroviruses—displaying strong expression in the uterine glands where retroviral particles can be detected—plausibly correspond to the different evolutionary statuses of a captured retroviral envelope gene, with only syncytin-Opo1 being the present-day bona fide syncytin active in the opossum and related species. This study would accordingly recapitulate the natural history of syncytin exaptation and evolution in a single species, and definitely extends the presence of such genes to all major placental mammalian clades. PMID:25605903

  17. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Beasley, James C; Atwood, Todd C; Byrne, Michael E; Vercauteren, Kurt C; Johnson, Shylo R; Rhodes, Olin E

    2015-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations, particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodamine B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14-24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99-240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753 m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations, but repeated

  18. A comparative study of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals from a protected and a disturbed area in the Argentine Chaco.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Piccinali, R V; Gürtler, R E

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the complex epidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles requires comparative studies in widely different environments. We assessed the occurrence of T. cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals, their infectiousness to the vector, and parasite genotypes in a protected area of the Argentine Chaco, and compared them with information obtained similarly in a nearby disturbed area. A total of 278 mammals from >23 species in the protected area were diagnosed for T. cruzi infection using xenodiagnosis, kDNA-PCR and nuclear satellite DNA-PCR (SAT) from blood samples. The relative abundance and species composition differed substantially between areas. Didelphis albiventris opossums were less abundant in the protected area; had a significantly lower body mass index, and a stage structure biased toward earlier stages. The capture of armadillos was lower in the protected area. The composite prevalence of T. cruzi infection across host species was significantly lower in the protected area (11.1%) than in the disturbed area (22.1%), and heterogeneous across species groups. The prevalence of infection in D. albiventris and Thylamys pusilla opossums was significantly lower in the protected area (nil for D. albiventris), whereas infection in sigmodontine rodents was three times higher in the protected area (17.5 versus 5.7%). Parasite isolates from the two xenodiagnosis-positive mammals (1 Dasypus novemcinctus and 1 Conepatus chinga) were typed as TcIII; both specimens were highly infectious to Triatoma infestans. Fat-tailed opossums, bats and rodents were kDNA-PCR-positive and xenodiagnosis-negative. Desmodus rotundus and Myotis bats were found infected with T. cruzi for the first time in the Gran Chaco. PMID:26708994

  19. UV radiation-induced skin tumors in Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Ley, R D; Applegate, L A; Stuart, T D; Fry, R J

    1987-06-01

    Chronic exposure of the skin of the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from an FS-40 sunlamp (280-400 nm) 3 times per week for a total of 200 exposures resulted in the appearance of actinic keratoses, fibrosarcomas, squamous cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas. At the higher doses of UVR used in this study, moderate to severe hyperplasia was also observed. The susceptibility of this animal to the induction of skin tumors by UVR in conjunction with the capacity to enzymatically photoreactive pyrimidine dimers in cutaneous DNA identifies this animal as a useful model in determining the role of pyrimidine dimers in skin tumor induction by UVR. PMID:3684736

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

    DOE Data Explorer

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

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

  1. A Structural Modelling Study on Marine Sediments Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Jäntschi, Lorentz; Bolboacã, Sorana D.

    2008-01-01

    Quantitative structure-activity relationship models were obtained by applying the Molecular Descriptor Family approach to eight ordnance compounds with different toxicity on five marine species (arbacia punctulata, dinophilus gyrociliatus, sciaenops ocellatus, opossum shrimp, and ulva fasciata). The selection of the best among molecular descriptors generated and calculated from the ordnance compounds structures lead to accurate monovariate models. The resulting models obtained for six endpoints proved to be accurate in estimation (the squared correlation coefficient varied from 0.8186 to 0.9997) and prediction (the correlation coefficient obtained in leave-one-out analysis varied from 0.7263 to 0.9984). PMID:18728732

  2. Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigations, 1/1/2012 - 12/31/2012: Annual report 2002-032-00

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, Willam P.; Bellgraph, Brian J.; Chittaro, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Finally, we examined the role of different invasive invertebrates in lower Snake River reservoir food webs that are food, or competitors for food, for juvenile fall Chinook salmon. The Siberian prawn, a relatively new invader, is relatively abundant but its role on the food web is largely unexplored. Prawns are successfully reproducing and their diet is 81% Neomysis (an invasive opossum shrimp) which is heavily used at times by juvenile salmon for food. Neomysis has become very abundant in lower Snake River reservoirs in recent years and may be a profitable food item for many fish species.

  3. Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.

    PubMed

    Howe, Daniel K; MacKay, Robert J; Reed, Stephen M

    2014-12-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) can be caused by either of 2 related protozoan parasites, Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi, although S. neurona is the most frequent etiologic pathogen. Horses are commonly infected, but clinical disease occurs infrequently; the factors influencing disease occurrence are not well understood. Risk factors for the development of EPM include the presence of opossums and prior stressful health-related events. Attempts to reproduce EPM experimentally have reliably induced antibody responses in challenged horses but have not consistently produced acute neurologic disease. Diagnosis and options for treatment of EPM have improved over the past decade. PMID:25441115

  4. Feeding preferences of Triatoma dimidiata maculipennis in Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Quintal, R E; Polanco, G G

    1977-01-01

    To determine whether a low preference for human blood by Triatoma dimidiata maculipennis Stal, 1859, the only known vector of Chagas' disease in Yucatan, Mexico, would account for the low prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in man in the area, the intestinal contents of 924 bugs were tested against antisera to blood antigens of chicken, opossum, dog, bat, monkey, pig, goat, rabbit, horse, human, rat, ox, cat, and armadillo. Although the chicken was the primary host, man was fed upon frequently; thus, the hypothesis was rejected. Other explanations must be found for the relative lack of antibodies against T. cruzi in humans in Yucatan. PMID:320892

  5. Common plankton of Twin Lakes, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Lieberman, D.M.

    1983-02-01

    A series of studies is being performed to evaluate the effects of the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Powerplant on the ecology of Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes are a pair of connected dimictic lakes, formed as the result of glacial action on alluvial deposits. This report presents a taxonomic species study of the common plankton collected since 1974 from Twin Lakes. A total of 11 zooplankters and 14 phytoplankters were identified from the limnetic zone of Twin Lakes and the associated Mt. Elbert Forebay. The four divisions of zooplankton included four species of Rotifera (rotifer), three species of Copepoda (copepod), three species of Cladocera (cladoceran), and one species of Mysidacea (opossum shrimp).

  6. Detection of Rickettsia felis in Wild Mammals from Three Municipalities in Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Panti-May, Jesús Alonso; Torres-Castro, Marco; Hernández-Betancourt, Silvia; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge; López-Avila, Karina; Tello-Martín, Raúl

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to provide information of the occurrence of Rickettsia felis in wild mammals from three municipalities in Yucatan, Mexico. The reactivity of rodent serum to Rickettsia antigens was detected in 80.9% (17 of 21) samples using immunofluorescence assay. Polymerase chain reaction identified rickettsial DNA in spleens of 43.5% (10 of 23) rodents and 57.1% (4 of 7) opossums. The identification of the rickettsial DNA was confirmed as R. felis by restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing. This study comprises the first report of R. felis detection in wild mammals in Yucatan. PMID:25537628

  7. Complete genome sequence of Piry vesiculovirus.

    PubMed

    de Souza, William Marciel; Acrani, Gustavo Olszanski; Romeiro, Marilia Farignoli; Júnior, Osvaldo Reis; Tolardo, Aline Lavado; de Andrade, Amanda Araújo Serrão; da Silva Gonçalves Vianez Júnior, João Lídio; de Almeida Medeiros, Daniele Barbosa; Nunes, Márcio Roberto Teixeira; Figueiredo, Luiz Tadeu Moraes

    2016-08-01

    Piry virus (PIRYV) is a rhabdovirus (genus Vesiculovirus) and is described as a possible human pathogen, originally isolated from a Philander opossum trapped in Para State, Northern Brazil. This study describes the complete full coding sequence and the genetic characterization of PIRYV. The genome sequence reveals that PIRYV has a typical vesiculovirus-like organization, encoding the five genes typical of the genus. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that PIRYV is most closely related to Perinet virus and clustered in the same clade as Chandipura and Isfahan vesiculoviruses. PMID:27216928

  8. Prevalence of Bordetella bronchiseptica in certain central Iowa.

    PubMed

    Farrington, D O; Jorgenson, R D

    1976-10-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica was isolated from 6 of 13 short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 1 of 47 house sparrows (Passer domesticus) trapped in the vicinity of a swine Bordetella rhinitis experimental area. The organism was found in four of 50 foxes (Vulpes fulva), 2 of 36 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) and 1 of 37 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in the Ames, Iowa area. This bacterium was not culturally isolated from 14 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), 64 house mice (Mus Musculus), 10 masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 54 starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). PMID:16502690

  9. New records and human parasitism by Ornithodoros mimon (Acari: Argasidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Labruna, Marcelo B; Marcili, Arlei; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Barros-Battesti, Darci M; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Fernandes, André A; Leite, Romario C; Venzal, Jose M

    2014-01-01

    The bat tick Ornithodoros mimon Kohls, Clifford & Jones is currently known by only few reports in Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, and the state of São Paulo in southeastern Brazil. Here, we expand the distribution of O. mimon in Brazil to the states of Minas Gerais (southeastern region), Goiás (central-western), Pernambuco, and Rio Grande do Norte (northeastern). Ticks were collected on human dwellings, where there had been repeated complains of tick bites on persons during the night. Tick bites were generally followed by intense inflammatory reactions that lasted for several weeks at the bite site. Bats and opossums were reported to inhabit the attic of the infested houses. In addition, a free-ranging opossum (Didelphis albiventris Lund) trapped in Rio Grande do Norte was found infested by argasid larvae. Based on morphological and/or molecular analysis, all ticks were identified as O. mimon. From one of the sites (Tiradentes, state of Minas Gerais), 20 field-collected nymphs were tested by a battery of polymerase chain reaction protocols targeting tick-borne microorganisms of the genera Babesia, Hepatozoon, Rickettsia, Borrelia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Coxiella; no tick specimen was found infected by any of these microorganism genera. The current study expands northwards the distribution of O. mimon, which has been shown to be very harmful to humans because of the intense inflammatory response that usually occurs after tick bites. PMID:24605480

  10. Experimental infection of Didelphis marsupialis with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey virus.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Carlos M; Rodriguez, Luis; Rodas, Juan D; Arboleda, John Jairo

    2010-01-01

    Although vesicular stomatitis has been present for many years in the Americas, many aspects of its natural history remain undefined. In this study, we challenged five adult Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey serotype virus (VSNJV). Opossums had no detectable antibodies against VSNJV prior to being inoculated with 10(6.5) median tissue culture infective doses (TCID(50)) of VSNJV by two routes; intraepithelial/subepithelial (IE/SE) inoculation and scarification in the muzzle (SM). Clinical response was monitored daily and animals were tested for viral shedding. All infected animals developed vesicles and ulcers on the tongue and inflammation of the nasal alar folds. Virus was isolated from esophagus-pharynx, nasal, and from ocular swabs and lesions samples. The failure to detect viremia in these animals indicates that a source other than blood may be required for transmission to insect vectors. Our results suggest that D. marsupialis could play a role in the maintenance of VSNJV outside of domestic animal populations and could provide a model to study vesicular stomatitis virus pathogenesis. PMID:20090034

  11. Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) saloboense n. sp. (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) parasite of Monodelphis emiliae (Marsupiala: Didelphidae) from Amazonian Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lainson, R; Da Silva, F M M; Franco, C M

    2008-06-01

    Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) soloboense n. sp., is described in the Brazilian opossum Monodelphis emiliae (Thomas, 1912) from primary forest in the Salobo area of the Serra dos Carajás (6 degrees S, 50 degrees 18' W) Pará State, North Brazil. Two morphologically different trypomastigotes were noted. Slender forms, regarded as immature parasites, have a poorly developed undulating membrane adhering closely to the body: large, broad forms with a well developed membrane are considered to be the mature trypomastigotes and have a mean total length of 71.2 microm (62.4-76.2) and a width of 6.1 (5.0-8.0). Infections studied in two opossums were of very low parasitaemia. The large size of T. (M.) saloboense readily distinguishes it from the two previously described members of the subgenus Megatrypanum of neotropical marsupials, T. (M.) freitasi Régo et al., 1957 of Didelphis ozarae and D. marsupialis, and T. (M.) samueli Mello, 1977 of Monodelphis domesticus, which measure only 49.0-51.5 microm and 42.4 microm respectively. No infections were obtained in hamsters inoculated with triturated liver and spleen from one infected M. emiliae, or in laboratory mice inoculated with epimastigotes from a blood-agar culture. No division stages could be detected in the internal organs or the peripheral blood. PMID:18642501

  12. Trypanosoma cruzi in the scent glands of Didelphis marsupialis: the kinetics of colonization.

    PubMed

    Carreira, J C; Jansen, A M; de Nazareth Meirelles, M; Costa e Silva, F; Lenzi, H L

    2001-03-01

    This study examined the dynamics of colonization of Trypanosoma cruzi in the scent glands of the opossum Didelphis marsupialis following direct inoculation with 10(5) epimastigotes of isolate G-49 (an opossum-derived strain). One, three, and five days, 1 month, and 1 year after inoculation, scent glands were fixed for analysis using brightfield and electron microscopies. One day after inoculation the parasites, mainly as epimastigotes, were randomly distributed into the lumen. From the third day on, the parasites still in the form of epimastigotes tended to concentrate closer to the epithelium. The flagellates reached the definitive distribution pattern on the fifth day, when they formed huge clusters deep into the foveae. In samples collected 1 month and 1 year after inoculation, the ratio of epimastigotes:trypomastigotes was 1:1, with epimastigotes predominating near the epithelium and trypomastigotes far from it. Our observations suggest that T. cruzi grows continuously in the scent glands and does not depend on adhesion to promote metacyclogenesis. Metacyclogenesis far from the epithelium seems to be an important selective advantage to both host and parasite, since it assures the elimination of the infective forms of the parasite when the host expels the glands' contents, which occurs in frightening situations or at times of stress. The morphological characteristics of infected and noninfected scent glands using transmission and scanning electron microscopies were also described. PMID:11312575

  13. Phylogenetic differences of mammalian basal metabolic rate are not explained by mitochondrial basal proton leak

    PubMed Central

    Polymeropoulos, E. T.; Heldmaier, G.; Frappell, P. B.; McAllan, B. M.; Withers, K. W.; Klingenspor, M.; White, C. R.; Jastroch, M.

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic rates of mammals presumably increased during the evolution of endothermy, but molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying basal metabolic rate (BMR) are still not understood. It has been established that mitochondrial basal proton leak contributes significantly to BMR. Comparative studies among a diversity of eutherian mammals showed that BMR correlates with body mass and proton leak. Here, we studied BMR and mitochondrial basal proton leak in liver of various marsupial species. Surprisingly, we found that the mitochondrial proton leak was greater in marsupials than in eutherians, although marsupials have lower BMRs. To verify our finding, we kept similar-sized individuals of a marsupial opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and a eutherian rodent (Mesocricetus auratus) species under identical conditions, and directly compared BMR and basal proton leak. We confirmed an approximately 40 per cent lower mass specific BMR in the opossum although its proton leak was significantly higher (approx. 60%). We demonstrate that the increase in BMR during eutherian evolution is not based on a general increase in the mitochondrial proton leak, although there is a similar allometric relationship of proton leak and BMR within mammalian groups. The difference in proton leak between endothermic groups may assist in elucidating distinct metabolic and habitat requirements that have evolved during mammalian divergence. PMID:21632624

  14. The seroprevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona in Michigan equids.

    PubMed

    Rossano, M G; Kaneene, J B; Marteniuk, J V; Banks, B D; Schott, H C; Mansfield, L S

    2001-01-29

    A cross-sectional study of serum antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona (the etiologic agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) was performed on Michigan equids. Our objectives were to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies to S. neurona in Michigan equids and to identify specific risk factors for seropositivity. A random, weighted sample of Michigan horse farms (stratified by the state's opossum (Didelphis virginiana) population and the number of equids on each operation) was selected. Ninety-eight equine-operation owners agreed to participate, and blood collection occurred from late March through October of 1997. Data regarding the 98 farms' feeding and management practices were collected, as well as descriptive data for each of the 1121 individual horses. Serum samples were tested for antibodies to S. neurona using a Western blot test. The true seroprevalence of antibodies specific to S. neurona was estimated to be 60%. Chi-square analysis showed that seroprevalence was lowest in the colder parts of the state that had the fewest opossums (P<0.0001). In two multivariable logistic-regression analyses with random effects grouped by herd, age and exposure to pasture were associated with increased odds of seropositivity, and feeding of sweet feed (grains mixed with molasses) was associated with decreased odds of testing positive. No association was found between farm size, animal gender, hay types, horse-housing types or exposure to natural surface water and seropositivity. PMID:11154784

  15. Development of an automated dispenser for the delivery of medicinal or vaccine-laden baits to raccoons (Procyon lotor).

    PubMed

    Smyser, Timothy J; Redding, James V; Bevis, Crystal M; Page, L Kristen; Swihart, Robert K

    2015-04-01

    Medicinal baits are distributed to manage zoonotic diseases, including raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies, but efficient distribution strategies are needed for suburban environments. We developed an automated dispenser that transfers fishmeal polymer baits at user-specified intervals from a magazine to a receptacle fitted with a filter that exploits raccoon dexterity to limit consumption by nontarget species. We introduce the concept of automated dispensers and describe bait removal success rates for raccoons versus nontarget species. We monitored visitation with remote cameras after deploying a dispenser, programmed to present two baits per night, in three disjunct forest patches in northwest Indiana. Raccoons removed 72% of baits; nontarget, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) removed 11%; Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) removed 9%. Bait removal success varied significantly between raccoons (76%) and opossums (21%), improving bait delivery specificity relative to hand baiting. Accumulation of baits in receptacles resulted in excess (more than one) bait consumption (39% of baits consumed by raccoons were excess), suggesting design improvements are needed to present additional baits only after previous baits have been consumed. Automated dispensers successfully sustained bait availability throughout the operational period. Subsequent research is needed to determine whether a sustained availability of baits achieved with automated dispensers is more effective for the treatment of raccoons in suburban environments than traditional distribution methods. PMID:25647587

  16. Constraints on Mammalian forelimb development: insights from developmental disparity.

    PubMed

    Ross, Darcy; Marcot, Jonathan D; Betteridge, Keith J; Nascone-Yoder, Nanette; Bailey, C Scott; Sears, Karen E

    2013-12-01

    Tetrapod limb development has been studied extensively for decades, yet the strength and role of developmental constraints in this process remains unresolved. Mammals exhibit a particularly wide array of limb morphologies associated with various locomotion modes and behaviors, providing a useful system for identifying periods of developmental constraint and conserved developmental mechanisms or morphologies. In this study, landmark-based geometric morphometrics are used to investigate levels and patterns of morphological diversity (disparity) among the developing forelimbs of four mammals with diverse limb morphologies: mice, opossums, horses, and pigs. Results indicate that disparity among the forelimbs of these species slightly decreases or stays the same from the appearance of the limb ridge to the bud stage, and increases dramatically from the paddle through tissue regression stages. Heterochrony exhibited by the precocial opossum limb was not found to drive these patterns of morphological disparity, suggesting that the low disparity of the middle stages of limb development (e.g., paddle stage) is driven by processes operating within the limb and is likely not a result of embryo-wide constraint. PMID:24299415

  17. Identification of autoantigens recognized by the 2F5 and 4E10 broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Guang; Holl, T. Matt; Liu, Yang; Li, Yi; Lu, Xiaozhi; Nicely, Nathan I.; Kepler, Thomas B.; Alam, S. Munir; Liao, Hua-Xin; Cain, Derek W.; Spicer, Leonard; VandeBerg, John L.; Haynes, Barton F.

    2013-01-01

    Many human monoclonal antibodies that neutralize multiple clades of HIV-1 are polyreactive and bind avidly to mammalian autoantigens. Indeed, the generation of neutralizing antibodies to the 2F5 and 4E10 epitopes of HIV-1 gp41 in man may be proscribed by immune tolerance because mice expressing the VH and VL regions of 2F5 have a block in B cell development that is characteristic of central tolerance. This developmental blockade implies the presence of tolerizing autoantigens that are mimicked by the membrane-proximal external region of HIV-1 gp41. We identify human kynureninase (KYNU) and splicing factor 3b subunit 3 (SF3B3) as the primary conserved, vertebrate self-antigens recognized by the 2F5 and 4E10 antibodies, respectively. 2F5 binds the H4 domain of KYNU which contains the complete 2F5 linear epitope (ELDKWA). 4E10 recognizes an epitope of SF3B3 that is strongly dependent on hydrophobic interactions. Opossums carry a rare KYNU H4 domain that abolishes 2F5 binding, but they retain the SF3B3 4E10 epitope. Immunization of opossums with HIV-1 gp140 induced extraordinary titers of serum antibody to the 2F5 ELDKWA epitope but little or nothing to the 4E10 determinant. Identification of structural motifs shared by vertebrates and HIV-1 provides direct evidence that immunological tolerance can impair humoral responses to HIV-1. PMID:23359068

  18. Host associations of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitizing medium-sized mammals in a Lyme disease endemic area of southern New York.

    PubMed

    Fish, D; Dowler, R C

    1989-05-01

    Ticks of eight medium-sized mammal species were studied in an area of endemic Lyme disease in Westchester County, N.Y., from 1 April 1984 to 31 March 1985. Most (81%) of the 266 total mammal captures were raccoon, Procyon lotor (L.) (47%), opossum, Didelphis virginiana (Kerr) (19%), and striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis Schreber (15%); these host species accounted for 91% of the 1,519 ticks collected. Although the total number of ticks was rather evenly distributed among these mammals, species composition of ticks on each host species differed markedly. Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman, and Corwin was the most abundant tick species and accounted for 45% (690) of the total ticks collected. Immatures were most prevalent (56%) on opossum, and nearly all (86%) adults were found on this host species. I. cookei Marx was second in abundance (34%) and was most prevalent (60%) on skunk. I. texanus Banks and Dermacentor variabilis (Say) were less abundant (less than 20% collectively) and were most prevalent on raccoon. I. dentatus Marx on eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus (Allen), and I. marxi Banks on gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin, were least abundant (less than 2% collectively). The prevalence of I. dammini on medium-sized mammals in southern New York may influence the epizoötiology of Lyme disease. PMID:2724317

  19. Feeding Patterns of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alencar, Jeronimo; Mello, Cecília Ferreira de; Gil-Santana, Hélcio R; Giupponi, Alessandro Ponce de Leão; Araújo, Andressa Nunes; Lorosa, Elias Seixas; Guimarães, Anthony Érico; Silva, Júlia Dos Santos

    2015-09-01

    The stomach contents of culicids from the Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, were analyzed using the precipitin technique to evaluate the feeding patterns of the species. Sampling was performed from February 2012 to December 2013, using CO2-baited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traps to catch mosquitoes from 15 00 to 07 00 hours. The following antisera were used: bird, rodent, opossum, human, horse, capybara, lizard, and frog. Of the 325 adult bloodfed females caught and analyzed, 273 (84.0%) reacted in the precipitin test. The percentage of specimens with a positive reaction to a single antiserum included bird (39.2%), rodent (22.5%), opossum (13.2%), capybara (6.6%), horse (5.7%), frog (6.2%), human (4.0%), and lizard (2.6%). The specimens that reacted positively against more than one blood source (46) most frequently presented the following combinations: bird + rodent and bird + frog (17.4%), followed by bird + human (13.0%). The predominance of positive results for birds suggested that the avian-rich environment might have influenced the feeding behavior of the culicids. PMID:26336238

  20. Sarcocyst Development in Raccoons (Procyon lotor) Inoculated with Different Strains of Sarcocystis neurona Culture-Derived Merozoites.

    PubMed

    Dryburgh, E L; Marsh, A E; Dubey, J P; Howe, D K; Reed, S M; Bolten, K E; Pei, W; Saville, W J A

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is considered the major etiologic agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a neurological disease in horses. Raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) is considered the most important intermediate host in the life cycle of S. neurona in the United States; S. neurona sarcocysts do mature in raccoon muscles, and raccoons also develop clinical signs simulating EPM. The focus of this study was to determine if sarcocysts would develop in raccoons experimentally inoculated with different host-derived strains of in vitro-cultivated S. neurona merozoites. Four raccoons were inoculated with strains derived from a raccoon, a sea otter, a cat, and a horse. Raccoon tissues were fed to laboratory-raised opossums ( Didelphis virginiana ), the definitive host of S. neurona . Intestinal scraping revealed sporocysts in opossums who received muscle tissue from raccoons inoculated with the raccoon-derived or the sea otter-derived isolates. These results demonstrate that sarcocysts can mature in raccoons inoculated with in vitro-derived S. neurona merozoites. In contrast, the horse and cat-derived isolates did not produce microscopically or biologically detected sarcocysts. Immunoblot analysis revealed both antigenic and antibody differences when testing the inoculated raccoons. Immunohistochemical staining indicated differences in staining between the merozoite and sarcocyst stages. The successful infections achieved in this study indicates that the life cycle can be manipulated in the laboratory without affecting subsequent stage development, thereby allowing further purification of strains and artificial maintenance of the life cycle. PMID:25811893

  1. Relative abundance of mesopredators and size of oak patches in the cross-timbers ecoregion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Disney, M.R.; Hellgren, E.C.; Davis, C.A.; Leslie, David M., Jr.; Engle, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Mesopredators (e.g., raccoon Procyon lotor, Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana, striped skunk Mephitis mephitis) have received considerable attention because of links to population declines in birds via increased nest predation, especially in landscapes fragmented by anthropogenic forces. Relationships of abundance of mesopredators to size of habitat patches have received less attention than relationships to other metrics of fragmentation, particularly edge characteristics. We tested the hypothesis that relative abundance of mesopredators (e.g., raccoons and Virginia opossums) was related negatively to size of forest patch. We delineated 15 patches of oak (Quercus) forest ranging from 0.2 to 55.3 ha within a grassland-woodland mosaic in the cross-timbers ecoregion of Oklahoma. Scent stations and live traps within these patches were used to index relative abundance of mesopredators in summers 2003 and 2004. Both indices of relative abundance were related weakly and negatively to area of forest patch. However, rate of capture and visitation to scent station were not correlated consistently throughout the study. Our results suggested that the two methods to index abundance provided separate information on functional and numerical responses to size of patch. Our evidence that mesopredators within the cross timbers were more likely to be in smaller patches of oak forest may have implications to success of avian nesting in these patches.

  2. Oxygen consumption and thermoregulatory responses in three species of South American marsupials.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Marcel Cintra Pereira; Bicudo, José Eduardo Pereira Wilken

    2007-07-01

    Oxygen consumption (VO(2)), body temperature (T(b)) and wet thermal conductance (C(wet)), under resting conditions, exposure to low ambient temperature (T(a)) and during sustained exercise (treadmill running) were measured in three phylogenetic related (same family; Didelphidae) South American marsupials possessing similar body masses: Caluromys philander (arboreal/fruit and insect eating), Philander opossum (terrestrial and arboreal/omnivore), and Metachirus nudicaudatus (terrestrial/omnivore). Our measurements of VO(2) and C(wet) under resting conditions agree with those previously reported for other marsupials. We expected that C. philander would show a lower maximal sustained VO(2), compared to the other two species, based on its more reduced skeletal muscle mass. However, the values obtained for C. philander were not statistically different (ANOVA) from those obtained for the other two species. When exposed to low ambient temperature (12 degrees C), differences among the three species were detected, i.e., M. nudicaudatus did not survive, while the other two species were able to reduce their T(b) under such conditions. C. philander gradually decreases its T(b) when cold exposed, and P. opossum shows a more pronounced T(b) drop only when exposure to low ambient temperatures occurs for a more prolonged period of time. PMID:17020814

  3. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ordenana, Miguel A.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Siudyla, Shalene; Haas, Christopher D.; Harris, Sierra; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Turschak, Greta M.; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.

    2010-01-01

    Urban development can have multiple effects on mammalian carnivore communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 7,929 photographs from 217 localities in 11 camera-trap studies across coastal southern California to describe habitat use and determine the effects of urban proximity (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were distributed widely across the region. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mountain lions (Puma concolor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were detected less frequently, and long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were detected rarely. Habitat use generally reflected availability for most species. Coyote and raccoon occurrence increased with both proximity to and intensity of urbanization, whereas bobcat, gray fox, and mountain lion occurrence decreased with urban proximity and intensity. Domestic dogs and Virginia opossums exhibited positive and weak negative relationships, respectively, with urban intensity but were unaffected by urban proximity. Striped skunk occurrence increased with urban proximity but decreased with urban intensity. Native species richness was negatively associated with urban intensity but not urban proximity, probably because of the stronger negative response of individual species to urban intensity.

  4. Myosin 1b Regulates Amino Acid Transport by Associating Transporters with the Apical Plasma Membrane of Kidney Cells

    PubMed Central

    Komaba, Shigeru; Coluccio, Lynne M.

    2015-01-01

    Amino acid transporters (AATers) in the brush border of the apical plasma membrane (APM) of renal proximal tubule (PT) cells mediate amino acid transport (AAT). We found that the membrane-associated class I myosin myosin 1b (Myo1b) localized at the apical brush border membrane of PTs. In opossum kidney (OK) 3B/2 epithelial cells, which are derived from PTs, expressed rat Myo1b-GFP colocalized in patched microvilli with expressed mouse V5-tagged SIT1 (SIT1-V5), which mediates neutral amino acid transport in OK cells. Lentivirus-mediated delivery of opossum Myo1b-specific shRNA resulted in knockdown (kd) of Myo1b expression, less SIT1-V5 at the APM as determined by localization studies, and a decrease in neutral AAT as determined by radioactive uptake assays. Myo1b kd had no effect on Pi transport or noticeable change in microvilli structure as determined by rhodamine phalloidin staining. The studies are the first to define a physiological role for Myo1b, that of regulating renal AAT by modulating the association of AATers with the APM. PMID:26361046

  5. Active vibrissal sensing in rodents and marsupials

    PubMed Central

    Mitchinson, Ben; Grant, Robyn A.; Arkley, Kendra; Rankov, Vladan; Perkon, Igor; Prescott, Tony J.

    2011-01-01

    In rats, the long facial whiskers (mystacial macrovibrissae) are repetitively and rapidly swept back and forth during exploration in a behaviour known as ‘whisking’. In this paper, we summarize previous evidence from rats, and present new data for rat, mouse and the marsupial grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) showing that whisking in all three species is actively controlled both with respect to movement of the animal's body and relative to environmental structure. Using automatic whisker tracking, and Fourier analysis, we first show that the whisking motion of the mystacial vibrissae, in the horizontal plane, can be approximated as a blend of two sinusoids at the fundamental frequency (mean 8.5, 11.3 and 7.3 Hz in rat, mouse and opossum, respectively) and its second harmonic. The oscillation at the second harmonic is particularly strong in mouse (around 22 Hz) consistent with previous reports of fast whisking in that species. In all three species, we found evidence of asymmetric whisking during head turning and following unilateral object contacts consistent with active control of whisker movement. We propose that the presence of active vibrissal touch in both rodents and marsupials suggests that this behavioural capacity emerged at an early stage in the evolution of therian mammals. PMID:21969685

  6. Extensively variable surface antigens of Sarcocystis spp. infecting Brazilian marsupials in the genus Didelphis occur in myriad allelic combinations, suggesting sexual recombination has aided their diversification.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, R M; Keid, L B; Richtzenhain, L J; Valadas, S Y; Muller, G; Soares, R M

    2013-09-01

    Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis falcatula are very similar species of Apicomplexan protozoa that use marsupials of the genus Didelphis as definitive hosts. These mammals can serve as definitive hosts not only for these two parasites, but for other Sarcocystis such as Sarcocystis speeri and Sarcocystis lindsayi. Sarcocystis shed by opossums (with the exception of S. neurona) can cause disease in a great variety of birds, being commonly associated with acute pulmonary sarcocystosis in zoos. S. neurona is the most commonly associated parasite with the equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in horses. Herein we assessed the variability of Sarcocystis spp. isolated from opossums of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, by sequencing fragments of genes coding for glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored surface antigens (termed surface antigen or SAG), SAG2, SAG3 and SAG4. Two genetic groups were identified, one of them related to S. falcatula and the other related to S. neurona. Various allelic combinations of SAG2, SAG3 and SAG4 occur among S. falcatula related isolates and strong evidences suggest that such isolates may exchange high divergent alleles in possible sexual recombination processes. Regarding the group S. neurona-like (isolates G37 and G38), none of the individuals in this group share alleles with individuals of the other group. Comparing G37 and G38 strains and North American strains of S. neurona, four polymorphisms were identified at SAG-3, five at SAG-2 and three at SAG-4. Gene sequences of locus SAG-3 from isolates G37 and G38 differed from the other sequences by an insertion 81bp long. This insertion contains several dinucleotide repeats of AT, resembling a microsatellite locus and has already been detected in SAG3 sequences of S. neurona from North America. When aligned against North American strains of S. neurona, G37 and G38 isolates have a deletion of 8 nucleotides within this intron which indicate that S. neurona strains of South America are

  7. [Investigation of vectors and reservoirs in an acute Chagas outbreak due to possible oral transmission in Aguachica, Cesar, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Soto, Hugo; Tibaduiza, Tania; Montilla, Marleny; Triana, Omar; Suárez, Diana Carolina; Torres Torres, Mariela; Arias, María Teresa; Lugo, Ligia

    2014-04-01

    Colombia recorded 11 cases of acute Chagas disease and 80 cases of oral contamination with Trypanosoma cruzi. The current study analyzes the entomological and parasitological characteristics of the outbreak in Aguachica, Cesar Department, in 2010. An interdisciplinary group of health professionals and regional university personnel conducted the laboratory tests in the patients and the investigation of the transmission focus. Eleven cases of acute Chagas diseases were detected in a single family in a dwelling with domiciliated triatomines and Rhodnius pallescens, Pantrongylus geniculatus, Eratyrus cuspidatus, and two Didelphis marsupialis opossums infected with T. cruzi in Attalea butyracea and Elaeis oleifera palm trees in the urban area of Aguachica. The study analyzes the role of R. pallescens and palm trees in the wild cycle of T. cruzi and in oral transmission of Chagas disease. Sporadic incursions by wild R. pallescens, P. geniculatus, and E. cuspidatus from the nearby palm trees into human dwellings may cause increasingly frequent outbreaks of oral Chagas disease. PMID:24896050

  8. Molecular phylogenetic relatedness of Frenkelia spp. (Protozoa, Apicomplexa) to Sarcocystis falcatula Stiles 1893: is the genus Sarcocystis paraphyletic?

    PubMed

    Votýpka, J; Hypsa, V; Jirků, M; Flegr, J; Vávra, J; Lukes, J

    1998-01-01

    The coccidians Frenkelia microti and F. glareoli (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) form tissue cysts in the brain of small rodents (intermediate hosts) while oocysts are formed in the intestine of final hosts, buzzards of the genus Buteo. The inclusion of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences (SSU rRNA) of both Frenkelia species into the SSU rRNA trees of other, tissue cyst-forming coccidia strongly supports paraphyly of the genus Sarcocystis. Frenkelia spp. exhibit close relatedness to Sarcocystis falcatula Stiles 1893, a bird-opossum parasite, recognized under its junior synonym S. neurona Dubey et al. 1991, as the causative agent of equine protozoan myeloencephalitis on the American continent. As the definition of the genus Frenkelia is based on a plesiomorphic character (affinity to the neural tissue) of supposedly low phylogenetic value, the synonymization of the genus Frenkelia with Sarcocystis is proposed. This renders the genus Sarcocystis monophyletic. PMID:9495042

  9. Morphology of the lingual papillae in the brush-tailed rat kangaroo.

    PubMed

    Emura, Shoichi; Okumura, Toshihiko; Chen, Huayue

    2014-01-01

    We examined the dorsal lingual surface of an adult brush-tailed rat kangaroo (Bettongia penicillata) by scanning electron microscopy. The filiform and fungiform papillae on the lingual apex and body consisted of a main papilla and secondary papillae. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae on the lingual apex was cylindrical in shape with a crushed top. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae on the lingual body had one large and several small processes. The fungiform papillae were round in shape. The connective tissue core of the fungiform papillae had several depressions on its top. The surface of the vallate papillae was rough and the papillae were surrounded by a groove and a pad. Several long conical papillae derived from the posterolateral margin of the tongue where foliate papillae have been shown to be distributed in many other animal species. The long conical papillae were very similar to those of the koala and opossum. PMID:24815106

  10. Mechanism of UV-related carcinogenesis and its contribution to nevi/melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Anna, Brozyna; Blazej, Zbytek; Jacqueline, Granese; Andrew, Carlson J.; Jeffrey, Ross; Andrzej, Slominski

    2008-01-01

    Summary Melanoma consists 4–5 % of all skin cancers, but it contributes to 71–80 % of skin cancers deaths. UV light affects cell and tissue homeostasis due to its damaging effects on DNA integrity and modification of expression of a plethora of genes. DNA repair systems protect cells from UV-induced lesions. Several animal models of melanoma have been developed (Xiphophorus, Opossum Monodelphis domestica, mouse models and human skin engrafts into other animals). This review discusses possible links between UV and genes significantly related to melanoma but does not discuss melanoma genetics. These include oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, genes related to melanocyte-keratinocyte and melanocyte-matrix interaction, growth factors and their receptors, CRH, ACTH, α-MSH, glucocorticoids, ID1, NF-kappaB and vitamin D3. PMID:18846265

  11. The isolation and identification of Trypanosoma cruzi from raccoons in Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walton, B.C.; Bauman, P.M.; Diamond, L.S.; Herman, C.M.

    1958-01-01

    Five raccoons trapped at Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, were found to have trypanosomes in the blood which were morphologically indistinguishable from Trypanosoma cruzi on stained smears. The organism grew well in culture. It developed and reproduced in Triatoma protracta, T. infestans, T. phyllosoma, and Rhodnius prolixus. Experimental infections were produced in raccoons, opossums, mice, rats, and monkeys by inoculation of blood, culture, and triatome forms. Typical leishmaniform bodies were found in tissue sections of cardiac muscle fibers from naturally and experimentally infected animals. Cross agglutinations carried out with Iiving cultural forms and rabbit antisera demonstrated a close antigenic relationship between the raccoon trypanosome and T. cruzi (Brazil strain). On the basis of (1) morphology, (2) presence of leishmaniform tissue stages, (3) development in triatomes, (4) infectivity to a variety of mammals, (5) culture characteristics, and (6) cross reactions in serological tests, this parasite is considered conspecific with Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas, 1909), the causative agent of American human trypanosomiasis.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

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

  13. Comparative uptake of uranium, thorium, and plutonium by biota inhabiting a contaminated Tennessee floodplain

    SciTech Connect

    Garten, C.T. Jr.; Bondietti, E.A.; Walker, R.L.

    1981-04-01

    The uptake of /sup 238/U, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 239/Pu from soil by fescue, grasshoppers, and small mammals was compared at the contaminated White Oak Creek floodplain in East Tennessee. Comparisons of actinide uptake were based on analyses of radionuclide ratios (U/Pu and Th/Pu) in soil and biota. U:Pu ratios in small mammal carcasses (shrews, mice, and rats) and bone samples from larger mammals (rabbit, woodchuck, opossum, and raccoon) were significantly greater (P less than or equal to 0.05) than U/Pu ratios in soil (based on 8M HNO/sub 3/ extractable). There was no significant difference between Th/Pu ratios in animals and soil. The order of actinide accumulation by biota from the site relative to contaminated soil was U > Th approx. = Pu.

  14. Rickettsia in synanthropic and domestic animals and their hosts from two areas of low endemicity for Brazilian spotted fever in the eastern region of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Milagres, Bruno S; Padilha, Amanda F; Barcelos, Rafael M; Gomes, Gabriel G; Montandon, Carlos E; Pena, Dárlen C H; Nieri Bastos, Fernanda A; Silveira, Iara; Pacheco, Richard; Labruna, Marcelo B; Bouyer, Donald H; Freitas, Renata N; Walker, David H; Mafra, Cláudio L; Galvao, Márcio A M

    2010-12-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the current epidemiology of rickettsial diseases in two rickettsial-endemic regions in Brazil. In the municipalities of Pingo D'Agua and Santa Cruz do Escalvado, among serum samples obtained from horses and dogs, reactivity by immunofluorescent assay against spotted fever group rickettsiae was verified. In some serum samples from opossums (Didelphis aurita) captured in Santa Cruz do Escalvado, serologic response against rickettsiae was also verified. Polymerase chain reaction identified rickettsiae only in ticks and fleas obtained in Santa Cruz do Escalvado. Rickettsiae in samples had 100% sequence homology with Rickettsia felis. These results highlight the importance of marsupials in maintenance of the sylvatic cycle of rickettsial disease and potential integration with the domestic cycle. Our data also support the importance of horses and dogs as sentinels in monitoring circulation of rickettsiae in an urban area. PMID:21118939

  15. Rickettsia in Synanthropic and Domestic Animals and Their Hosts from Two Areas of Low Endemicity for Brazilian Spotted Fever in the Eastern Region of Minas Gerais, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Milagres, Bruno S.; Padilha, Amanda F.; Barcelos, Rafael M.; Gomes, Gabriel G.; Montandon, Carlos E.; Pena, Dárlen C. H.; Nieri Bastos, Fernanda A.; Silveira, Iara; Pacheco, Richard; Labruna, Marcelo B.; Bouyer, Donald H.; Freitas, Renata N.; Walker, David H.; Mafra, Cláudio L.; Galvao, Márcio A. M.

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the current epidemiology of rickettsial diseases in two rickettsial-endemic regions in Brazil. In the municipalities of Pingo D'Agua and Santa Cruz do Escalvado, among serum samples obtained from horses and dogs, reactivity by immunofluorescent assay against spotted fever group rickettsiae was verified. In some serum samples from opossums (Didelphis aurita) captured in Santa Cruz do Escalvado, serologic response against rickettsiae was also verified. Polymerase chain reaction identified rickettsiae only in ticks and fleas obtained in Santa Cruz do Escalvado. Rickettsiae in samples had 100% sequence homology with Rickettsia felis. These results highlight the importance of marsupials in maintenance of the sylvatic cycle of rickettsial disease and potential integration with the domestic cycle. Our data also support the importance of horses and dogs as sentinels in monitoring circulation of rickettsiae in an urban area. PMID:21118939

  16. Identification of blood meal source and infection with Trypanosoma cruzi of Chagas disease vectors using a multiplex cytochrome b polymerase chain reaction assay.

    PubMed

    Mota, Javier; Chacon, Juan C; Gutiérrez-Cabrera, Ana E; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; Wirtz, Robert A; Ordoñez, Rosalinda; Panzera, Francisco; Ramsey, Janine M

    2007-01-01

    Long-term control of triatomine bugs in Chagas endemic regions will depend on a full understanding of vector-parasite-host interactions. Herein we describe a cytochrome b multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based strategy for blood meal source identification in bug foregut contents. This technique discriminates human from animal blood, and has been tested in five Triatoma species from México. Host identification has been validated for human, four rodent species, two bat species, dog, rabbit, sheep, and opossum. In addition, Trypanosoma cruzi can be identified simultaneously using S34/S67-specific kinetoplast DNA primers. Both host and parasite identification were possible as long as 10 weeks after bug feeding, and in samples stored up to 6 years. The blood meal identification procedure described here represents a powerful tool for large-scale studies identifying the biological, ecological, and environmental variables associated with Chagas disease transmission. PMID:18021027

  17. Domiciliation of Triatoma pseudomaculata (Corrêa e Espínola 1964) in the Jequitinhonha Valley, State of Minas Gerais.

    PubMed

    de Assis, Girley Francisco Machado; Azeredo, Bernardino Vaz de Mello; Carbajal de la Fuente, Ana Laura; Diotaiuti, Liléia; de Lana, Marta

    2007-01-01

    Impact of the vector control program was evaluated eight years after implantation of epidemiological surveillance for Chagas disease in Berilo, a municipality in the Jequitinhonha Valley of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. In all 5,242 domiciliary units (96% of the total) were inspected and 10 found to be infested by the triatomine bug Triatoma pseudomaculata. Triatomines were found associated with bats inside one house and in the peridomiciles of the other nine. None of the 111 Triatoma pseudomaculata captured was infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Noireau et al traps were installed in (n=8) and around (n=100) the infested house but no Trypanpsoma cruzi-infected triatomines were found. None bat, opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and rat captured in the peridomicile were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi although 24% of the inhabitants of the house infested by Triatoma pseudomaculata were seropositive for the parasite, based on ELISA, IHA and IIF. PMID:17876457

  18. Photoreactivation of UV-induced pyrimidine dimers and erythema in the marsupial Monodelphis domestica

    SciTech Connect

    Ley, R.D.

    1985-04-01

    Post-UV treatment of the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica with photoreactivating light (320-400 nm) suppressed the appearance of UV-induced erythema as evidenced by an increase in the dose of UV required to elicit an erythemal response. Pre-UV exposure to photoreactivating light had no effect on the UV induction of erythema. The dose-response for the photoreversal of pyrimidine dimers in epidermal DNA of M. domestica was similar to that for the photoreactivation of erythema induction. These data not only support the notion that DNA is the primary chromophore involved in the induction of erythema but also identify pyrimidine dimers as the major DNA change responsible for its induction. These results also identify M. domestica as a useful whole-animal system with which to determine the role of pyrimidine dimers in other photobiological responses of mammalian skin.

  19. Serological Investigation of Heartland Virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) Exposure in Wild and Domestic Animals Adjacent to Human Case Sites in Missouri 2012–2013

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M.; Panella, Nicholas A.; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Tom; Lash, R. Ryan; Harmon, Jessica R.; Burkhalter, Kristen L.; Godsey, Marvin S.; Savage, Harry M.; Nicholson, William L.; Komar, Nicholas; Brault, Aaron C.

    2015-01-01

    Heartland virus (HRTV; Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) has recently emerged as a causative agent of human disease characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia in the United States. The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) has been implicated as a vector. To identify candidate vertebrate amplification hosts associated with enzootic maintenance of the virus, sera and ticks were sampled from 160 mammals (8 species) and 139 birds (26 species) captured near 2 human case residences in Andrew and Nodaway Counties in northwest Missouri. HRTV-specific neutralizing antibodies were identified in northern raccoons (42.6%), horses (17.4%), white-tailed deer (14.3%), dogs (7.7%), and Virginia opossums (3.8%), but not in birds. Virus isolation attempts from sera and ticks failed to detect HRTV. The high antibody prevalence coupled with local abundance of white-tailed deer and raccoons identifies these species as candidate amplification hosts. PMID:25870419

  20. Environmental Assessment on Construction of the Cabinet Gorge Kokanee Hatchery.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1984-10-01

    Bonneville Power Administration, the Washington Water Power Company, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game plan to enter into a cooperative cost-sharing agreement for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a kokanee hatchery in northern Idaho. The proposed hatchery shall supplement mitigation of adverse federal and non-federal hydroelectric and nonhydroelectric impacts. Hydroelectric impacts were primarily degradation of the Lake Pend Oreille shoreline kokanee habitat and blockage of migrating Clark Fork River kokanee. The introduction and establishment of Mysis relicta, the opossum shrimp, created further adverse effects on the kokanee fishery. The proposed hatchery will produce 20 million advanced-stage kokanee fry which will restore the Lake Pend Oreille kokanee fishery level to 744,000 harvestable adults after the first 5 years of operation. 6 references, 4 figures.

  1. Effects of climatic warming on Lakes of the central boreal forest

    SciTech Connect

    Schindler, D.W.; Beaty, K.G.; Fee, E.J.; Cruikshank, D.R.; DeBruyn, E.R.; Findlay, D.L.; Linsey, G.A.; Shearer, J.A.; Stainton, M.P.; Turner, M.A. )

    1990-11-16

    Twenty years of climatic, hydrologic, and ecological records for the Experimental Lakes Area of northwestern Ontario show that air and lake temperatures have increased by 2{degree}C and the length of the ice-free season has increased by 3 weeks. Higher than normal evaporation and lower than average precipitation have decreased rates of water renewal in lakes. Concentrations of most chemicals have increased in both lakes and streams because of decreased water renewal and forest fires in the catchments. In Lake 239, populations and diversity of phytoplankton also increased, but primary production showed no consistent trend. Increased wind velocities, increased transparency, and increased exposure to wind of lakes in burned catchments caused thermoclines to deepen. As a result, summer habitats for cold stenothermic organisms like lake trout and opossum shrimp decreased. Our observations may provide a preview of the effects of increased greenhouse warming on boreal lakes. 27 refs., 1 fig.

  2. Serological investigation of heartland virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) exposure in wild and domestic animals adjacent to human case sites in Missouri 2012-2013.

    PubMed

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Panella, Nicholas A; Root, J Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Tom; Lash, R Ryan; Harmon, Jessica R; Burkhalter, Kristen L; Godsey, Marvin S; Savage, Harry M; Nicholson, William L; Komar, Nicholas; Brault, Aaron C

    2015-06-01

    Heartland virus (HRTV; Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) has recently emerged as a causative agent of human disease characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia in the United States. The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) has been implicated as a vector. To identify candidate vertebrate amplification hosts associated with enzootic maintenance of the virus, sera and ticks were sampled from 160 mammals (8 species) and 139 birds (26 species) captured near 2 human case residences in Andrew and Nodaway Counties in northwest Missouri. HRTV-specific neutralizing antibodies were identified in northern raccoons (42.6%), horses (17.4%), white-tailed deer (14.3%), dogs (7.7%), and Virginia opossums (3.8%), but not in birds. Virus isolation attempts from sera and ticks failed to detect HRTV. The high antibody prevalence coupled with local abundance of white-tailed deer and raccoons identifies these species as candidate amplification hosts. PMID:25870419

  3. Detection of Leptospira spp. in wildlife reservoir hosts in Ontario through comparison of immunohistochemical and polymerase chain reaction genotyping methods.

    PubMed

    Shearer, Karen E; Harte, Michael J; Ojkic, Davor; Delay, Josepha; Campbell, Douglas

    2014-03-01

    A total of 460 kidney samples from wildlife (beavers, coyotes, deer, foxes, opossums, otters, raccoons, skunks) were obtained from road-kill and hunter/trapper donations in Ontario between January 2010 and November 2012. The objectives of the study were to detect Leptospira spp. by immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to map presence of leptospires in wildlife relative to livestock and human populations, and to characterize positive samples by sequencing and comparison to leptospires known to affect domestic animals and humans. The proportion of samples that tested positive ranged from 0% to 42%, with the highest rates in skunks and raccoons. Leptospira spp. were present in kidneys of wildlife across Ontario, particularly in areas of high human density, and areas in which livestock populations are abundant. The PCR was too weak in most samples to permit genotyping and examination of the relationship between the leptospires found in this study and those affecting domestic animals and humans. PMID:24587507

  4. Sylvatic trichinellosis in Texas.

    PubMed

    Pence, D B; La Rosa, G; Mancini Barbieri, F; Amati, M; Casulli, A; Pozio, E

    2001-06-01

    There are no published reports of domestic or sylvatic trichinellosis in Texas. The aim of the present survey was to determine the presence of Trichinella species in selected representative species of potential wildlife reservoirs in southern Texas. In 1998-99, tongues of 211 wild mammals were collected in southern Texas: 154 coyotes (Canis latrans), three bobcats (Lynx rufus), 32 racoons (Procyon lotor), 13 opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), four ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and five wild boars (Sus scrofa). Presence of Trichinella sp. larvae was investigated by artificial digestion and larvae of positive samples were identified at the species level by a multiple-polymerase chain reaction analysis. Nine (5.8%) coyotes had trichinellosis; in the muscles of seven of these coyotes, the larvae were identified as Trichinella murrelli. This is the first report of sylvatic trichinellosis in Texas. PMID:11484391

  5. Trichinella infection in wildlife of the southwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Pozio, E; Pence, D B; La Rosa, G; Casulli, A; Henke, S E

    2001-10-01

    Several potential mammalian reservoirs of sylvatic species of Trichinella were examined from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. During 1998-99, tongues were collected from a black bear (Ursus americanus) in Arizona; from 9 black bears, a coyote (Canis latrans), and a mountain lion (Felis concolor) in New Mexico; and from 154 coyotes, 32 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 13 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis), 4 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), 3 bobcats (Lynx rufus), and 5 feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in southern Texas. Larvae of Trichinella murrelli were identified by a multiple-polymerase chain reaction analysis in 1 black bear (11.1%) from New Mexico and in 7 coyotes (4.5%) of Texas, whereas Trichinella spiralis larvae were detected in the black bear of Arizona. This is the first report of Trichinella infection in wildlife of New Mexico and Texas and extends the distribution of T. murrelli into the southwestern United States near the border of Mexico. PMID:11695403

  6. Reconstruction of the ancestral marsupial karyotype from comparative gene maps

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The increasing number of assembled mammalian genomes makes it possible to compare genome organisation across mammalian lineages and reconstruct chromosomes of the ancestral marsupial and therian (marsupial and eutherian) mammals. However, the reconstruction of ancestral genomes requires genome assemblies to be anchored to chromosomes. The recently sequenced tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) genome was assembled into over 300,000 contigs. We previously devised an efficient strategy for mapping large evolutionarily conserved blocks in non-model mammals, and applied this to determine the arrangement of conserved blocks on all wallaby chromosomes, thereby permitting comparative maps to be constructed and resolve the long debated issue between a 2n = 14 and 2n = 22 ancestral marsupial karyotype. Results We identified large blocks of genes conserved between human and opossum, and mapped genes corresponding to the ends of these blocks by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A total of 242 genes was assigned to wallaby chromosomes in the present study, bringing the total number of genes mapped to 554 and making it the most densely cytogenetically mapped marsupial genome. We used these gene assignments to construct comparative maps between wallaby and opossum, which uncovered many intrachromosomal rearrangements, particularly for genes found on wallaby chromosomes X and 3. Expanding comparisons to include chicken and human permitted the putative ancestral marsupial (2n = 14) and therian mammal (2n = 19) karyotypes to be reconstructed. Conclusions Our physical mapping data for the tammar wallaby has uncovered the events shaping marsupial genomes and enabled us to predict the ancestral marsupial karyotype, supporting a 2n = 14 ancestor. Futhermore, our predicted therian ancestral karyotype has helped to understand the evolution of the ancestral eutherian genome. PMID:24261750

  7. Functional analysis of DM64, an antimyotoxic protein with immunoglobulin-like structure from Didelphis marsupialis serum.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Surza L G; Lomonte, Bruno; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Trugilho, Monique R O; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Ho, Paulo L; Domont, Gilberto B; Gutiérrez, José M; Perales, Jonas

    2002-12-01

    Bothrops snake venoms are known to induce local tissue damage such as hemorrhage and myonecrosis. The opossum Didelphis marsupialis is resistant to these snake venoms and has natural venom inhibitors in its plasma. The aim of this work was to clone and study the chemical, physicochemical and biological properties of DM64, an antimyotoxic protein from opossum serum. DM64 is an acidic protein showing 15% glycosylation and with a molecular mass of 63 659 Da when analysed by MALDI-TOF MS. It was cloned and the amino acid sequence was found to be homologous to DM43, a metalloproteinase inhibitor from D. marsupialis serum, and to human alpha1B-glycoprotein, indicating the presence of five immunoglobulin-like domains. DM64 neutralized both the in vivo myotoxicity and the in vitro cytotoxicity of myotoxins I (mt-I/Asp49) and II (mt-II/Lys49) from Bothrops asper venom. The inhibitor formed noncovalent complexes with both toxins, but did not inhibit the PLA2 activity of mt-I. Accordingly, DM64 did not neutralize the anticoagulant effect of mt-I nor its intracerebroventricular lethality, effects that depend on its enzymatic activity, and which demonstrate the dissociation between the catalytic and toxic activities of this Asp49 myotoxic PLA2. Furthermore, despite its similarity with metalloproteinase inhibitors, DM64 presented no antihemorrhagic activity against Bothrops jararaca or Bothrops asper crude venoms, and did not inhibit the fibrinogenolytic activity of jararhagin or bothrolysin. This is the first report of a myotoxin inhibitor with an immunoglobulin-like structure isolated and characterized from animal blood. PMID:12473101

  8. Crotalid snake venom subproteomes unraveled by the antiophidic protein DM43.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Surza L G; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Trugilho, Monique R O; Chapeaurouge, Alex; León, Ileana R; Valente, Richard H; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

    2009-05-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of proteins and peptides with different biological activities, many of which are very toxic. Several animals, including the opossum Didelphis aurita, are resistant to snake venoms due to the presence of neutralizing factors in their blood. An antihemorrhagic protein named DM43 was isolated from opossum serum. It inhibits snake venom metalloproteinases through noncovalent complex formation with these enzymes. In this study, we have used DM43 and proteomic techniques to explore snake venom subproteomes. Four crotalid venoms were chromatographed through an affinity column containing immobilized DM43. Bound fractions were analyzed by one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, followed by identification by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. With this approach, we could easily visualize and compare the metalloproteinase compositions of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops insularis, and Crotalus atrox snake venoms. The important contribution of proteolytic processing to the complexity of this particular subproteome was demonstrated. Fractions not bound to DM43 column were similarly analyzed and were composed mainly of serine proteinases, C-type lectins, C-type lectin-like proteins, l-amino acid oxidases, nerve growth factor, cysteine-rich secretory protein, a few metalloproteinases (and their fragments), and some unidentified spots. Although very few toxin families were represented in the crotalid venoms analyzed, the number of protein spots detected was in the hundreds, indicating an important protein variability in these natural secretions. DM43 affinity chromatography and associated proteomic techniques proved to be useful tools to separate and identify proteins from snake venoms, contributing to a better comprehension of venom heterogeneity. PMID:19267469

  9. The complexity of the sylvatic cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in Rio de Janeiro state (Brazil) revealed by the non-transcribed spacer of the mini-exon gene.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, O; Mangia, R H; Lisboa, C V; Pinho, A P; Morel, C M; Zingales, B; Campbell, D A; Jansen, A M

    1999-02-01

    American trypanosamiasis occurs in nature as a sylvatic cycle, where Trypanosoma cruzi interacts with wild triatomines and mammalian reservoirs, such as marsupials, rodents, armadillos and other animals. Due to difficulties in trying to isolate T. cruzi stocks from the sylvatic cycle, very few studies have been performed in order to understand the parasite infection in natural environments. Traditionally T. cruzi has been considered to be composed of a highly heterogeneous population of parasites. In contrast, the mini-exon and the 24S alpha rRNA gene loci have shown that T. cruzi stocks can be clustered in 2 major phylogenetic groups: lineage 1 and lineage 2. In this report, 68 recently isolated T. cruzi samples from the sylvatic cycle belonging to different geographical areas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have been typed based on a variable spot in the non-transcribed spacer of the mini-exon gene. Eight isolates were from triatomines, 26 stocks were from golden-lion tamarins, 31 from opossums, 2 from rodents and 1 from a three-toed sloth. Thirty (44%-30/68) isolates were typed as lineage 1, while 36 (53%-36/68) isolates were typed as lineage 2. Two opossums presented mixed infection. Therefore, 3% (2/68) of the isolates were typed as lineage 1 + lineage 2. Using these geographical regions as models of sylvatic environments, it was observed that 96% of the Didelphis marsupialis were infected by lineage 2 isolates, while all 26 golden-lion tamarins were infected by lineage 1. The results show preferential association of the 2 lineages of T. cruzi with different hosts, composing the complexity of the sylvatic cycle. PMID:10028530

  10. Animal and environmental impact on the presence and distribution of Salmonella and Escherichia coli in hydroponic tomato greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Orozco R, Leopoldo; Iturriaga, Montserrat H; Tamplin, Mark L; Fratamico, Pina M; Call, Jeffrey E; Luchansky, John B; Escartin, Eduardo F

    2008-04-01

    From 2003 to 2004, we studied the impact of environmental influences on the microbiological quality of a hydroponic tomato farm. The presence of Salmonella was investigated on 906 samples of tomatoes and 714 environmental samples. The farm comprised 14 greenhouses and a technologically advanced packinghouse, and operated under a sanitary agricultural practices plan. The objective of the present study was to determine the operating sources of contamination. During the course of the study, two independent natural events affected the farm. In 2003, water runoff entered some of the greenhouses. A year later, wild animals (opossums, mice, and sparrows) gained entry into several of the greenhouses. Salmonella and Escherichia coli were found in samples of tomatoes, water puddles, soil, shoes, and the feces of local wild and farm animals. Salmonella Montevideo, Salmonella Newport, and strains of the F serogroup were isolated from tomatoes. Almost all of the Salmonella Newport strains were isolated from samples collected during or immediately after the flood. Analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed that some Salmonella Montevideo isolates from tomatoes, opossums, and mice displayed identical XbaI or AvrII patterns, suggesting that these wild animals represented one source of contamination. F serogroup strains were found mostly on samples of goat feces and personnel shoes when standard working practices were in place. Shoes were found to be an important vehicle for dissemination of Salmonella into the greenhouses. The level of protection provided by hydroponic greenhouses does not exclude the eventuality that enteric pathogenic bacteria can gain access through various avenues. PMID:18468019

  11. Antibody Detection and Molecular Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Bobcats (Lynx rufus), Domestic Cats (Felis catus), and Wildlife from Minnesota, USA.

    PubMed

    Verma, Shiv K; Minicucci, Larissa; Murphy, Darby; Carstensen, Michelle; Humpal, Carolin; Wolf, Paul; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Kwok, Oliver C H; Su, Chunlei; Hill, Dolores; Dubey, Jitender P

    2016-09-01

    Little is known of the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in Minnesota. Here, we evaluated Toxoplasma gondii infection in 50 wild bobcats (Lynx rufus) and 75 other animals on/near 10 cattle farms. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed in serum samples or tissue fluids by the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Twenty nine of 50 bobcats and 15 of 41 wildlife trapped on the vicinity of 10 farms and nine of 16 adult domestic cats (Felis catus) and six of 14 domestic dogs resident on farms were seropositive. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in feces of any felid. Tissues of all seropositive wild animals trapped on the farm were bioassayed in mice and viable T. gondii was isolated from two badgers (Taxidea taxus), two raccoons (Procyon lotor), one coyote (Canis latrans), and one opossum (Didelphis virginiana). All six T. gondii isolates were further propagated in cell culture. Multi-locus PCR-RFLP genotyping using 10 markers (SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2, and alt.SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico), and DNA from cell culture derived tachyzoites revealed three genotypes; #5 ToxoDataBase (1 coyote, 1 raccoon), #1 (1 badger, 1 raccoon, 1 opossum), and #2 (1 badger). This is the first report of T. gondii prevalence in domestic cats and in bobcats from Minnesota, and the first isolation of viable T. gondii from badger. PMID:26824935

  12. Development of the ethmoid in Caluromys philander (Didelphidae, Marsupialia) with a discussion on the homology of the turbinal elements in marsupials.

    PubMed

    Macrini, Thomas E

    2014-11-01

    Homology of turbinals, or scroll bones, of the mammalian ethmoid bone is poorly known and complicated by a varied terminology. Positionally, there are two main types of ossified adult turbinals known as endoturbinals and ectoturbinals, and their cartilaginous precursors are called ethmoturbinals and frontoturbinals, respectively. Endoturbinals are considered to be serially homologous due to similarity in their developmental patterns. Consequently, endoturbinals from mammals with differing numbers of elements cannot be individually homogenized. In this study, the development of the ethmoid of Caluromys philander, the bare-tailed woolly opossum, is described based on serial sections of six pouchlings ranging in age from 20 to 84 days postnatal (PND-84), and computed tomography images of an adult skull. I found that four ethmoturbinals initially develop as seen in PND-20 and PND-30 individuals but by PND-64 an interturbinal (corresponding to endoturbinal III in adults) is present between ethmoturbinals II and III. This developmental pattern is identical to that of Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum, and is probably also present in the marsupials Didelphis marsupialis, and Thylacinus cynocephalus based on work of previous authors. These data suggest that endoturbinal III has a developmental pattern that differs from other endoturbinals, and the name interturbinal should be retained for the adult structure in recognition of this difference. These results may prove useful for homologizing this individual turbinal element across marsupials, the majority of which have five endoturbinals as adults. This might also explain the presumed placental ancestral condition of four endoturbinals if the marsupial interturbinal is lost. PMID:25312361

  13. Immunome database for marsupials and monotremes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background To understand the evolutionary origins of our own immune system, we need to characterise the immune system of our distant relatives, the marsupials and monotremes. The recent sequencing of the genomes of two marsupials (opossum and tammar wallaby) and a monotreme (platypus) provides an opportunity to characterise the immune gene repertoires of these model organisms. This was required as many genes involved in immunity evolve rapidly and fail to be detected by automated gene annotation pipelines. Description We have developed a database of immune genes from the tammar wallaby, red-necked wallaby, northern brown bandicoot, brush-tail possum, opossum, echidna and platypus. The resource contains 2,235 newly identified sequences and 3,197 sequences which had been described previously. This comprehensive dataset was built from a variety of sources, including EST projects and expert-curated gene predictions generated through a variety of methods including chained-BLAST and sensitive HMMER searches. To facilitate systems-based research we have grouped sequences based on broad Gene Ontology categories as well as by specific functional immune groups. Sequences can be extracted by keyword, gene name, protein domain and organism name. Users can also search the database using BLAST. Conclusion The Immunome Database for Marsupials and Monotremes (IDMM) is a comprehensive database of all known marsupial and monotreme immune genes. It provides a single point of reference for genomic and transcriptomic datasets. Data from other marsupial and monotreme species will be added to the database as it become available. This resource will be utilized by marsupial and monotreme immunologists as well as researchers interested in the evolution of mammalian immunity. PMID:21854560

  14. The Transcriptomic Evolution of Mammalian Pregnancy: Gene Expression Innovations in Endometrial Stromal Fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Kin, Koryu; Maziarz, Jamie; Chavan, Arun R; Kamat, Manasi; Vasudevan, Sreelakshmi; Birt, Alyssa; Emera, Deena; Lynch, Vincent J; Ott, Troy L; Pavlicev, Mihaela; Wagner, Günter P

    2016-01-01

    The endometrial stromal fibroblast (ESF) is a cell type present in the uterine lining of therian mammals. In the stem lineage of eutherian mammals, ESF acquired the ability to differentiate into decidual cells in order to allow embryo implantation. We call the latter cell type "neo-ESF" in contrast to "paleo-ESF" which is homologous to eutherian ESF but is not able to decidualize. In this study, we compare the transcriptomes of ESF from six therian species: Opossum (Monodelphis domestica; paleo-ESF), mink, rat, rabbit, human (all neo-ESF), and cow (secondarily nondecidualizing neo-ESF). We find evidence for strong stabilizing selection on transcriptome composition suggesting that the expression of approximately 5,600 genes is maintained by natural selection. The evolution of neo-ESF from paleo-ESF involved the following gene expression changes: Loss of expression of genes related to inflammation and immune response, lower expression of genes opposing tissue invasion, increased markers for proliferation as well as the recruitment of FOXM1, a key gene transiently expressed during decidualization. Signaling pathways also evolve rapidly and continue to evolve within eutherian lineages. In the bovine lineage, where invasiveness and decidualization were secondarily lost, we see a re-expression of genes found in opossum, most prominently WISP2, and a loss of gene expression related to angiogenesis. The data from this and previous studies support a scenario, where the proinflammatory paleo-ESF was reprogrammed to express anti-inflammatory genes in response to the inflammatory stimulus coming from the implanting conceptus and thus paving the way for extended, trans-cyclic gestation. PMID:27401177

  15. Membranes, minerals, and proteins of developing vertebrate enamel.

    PubMed

    Diekwisch, Thomas G H; Berman, Brett J; Anderton, Xochitl; Gurinsky, Brian; Ortega, Adam J; Satchell, Paul G; Williams, Mia; Arumugham, Chithra; Luan, Xianghong; McIntosh, James E; Yamane, Akira; Carlson, David S; Sire, Jean-Yves; Shuler, Charles F

    2002-12-01

    Developing tooth enamel is formed as organized mineral in a specialized protein matrix. In order to analyze patterns of enamel mineralization and enamel protein expression in species representative of the main extant vertebrate lineages, we investigated developing teeth in a chondrichthyan, the horn shark, a teleost, the guppy, a urodele amphibian, the Mexican axolotl, an anuran amphibian, the leopard frog, two lepidosauria, a gecko and an iguana, and two mammals, a marsupial, the South American short-tailed gray opossum, and the house mouse. Electron microscopic analysis documented the presence of a distinct basal lamina in all species investigated. Subsequent stages of enamel biomineralization featured highly organized long and parallel enamel crystals in mammals, lepidosaurians, the frog, and the shark, while amorphous mineral deposits and/or randomly oriented crystals were observed in the guppy and the axolotl. In situ hybridization using a full-length mouse probe for amelogenin mRNA resulted in amelogenin specific signals in mouse, opossum, gecko, frog, axolotl, and shark. Using immunohistochemistry, amelogenin and tuftelin enamel proteins were detected in the enamel organ of many species investigated, but tuftelin epitopes were also found in other tissues. The anti-M179 antibody, however, did not react with the guppy and axolotl enameloid matrix. We conclude that basic features of vertebrate enamel/enameloid formation such as the presence of enamel proteins or the mineral deposition along the dentin-enamel junction were highly conserved in vertebrates. There were also differences in terms of enamel protein distribution and mineral organization between the vertebrates lineages. Our findings indicated a correlation between the presence of amelogenins and the presence of long and parallel hydroxyapatite crystals in tetrapods and shark. PMID:12430167

  16. Immunocytochemical study of the ontogeny of Peyer's patches in the Brazilian marsupial Didelphis albiventris.

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, H B; Nogueira, J C; King, G; Coutinho, V B; Robalinho, T I; Amorim, A M; Cavalcanti, V M; Robins, R A; Sewell, H F

    1994-01-01

    A detailed ontogenetic immunocytochemical study is reported on gut-associated lymphoid development in the Brazilian marsupial Didelphis albiventris. This employed antibody probes raised to evolutionarily conserved peptides which have been shown to detect HLA-DR-like (class II MHC) antigens and T and B cell markers in a wide range of animal species. Cells with macrophage and dendritic morphology expressing class II MHC and a few cells expressing the T cell marker CD3 were found in the lamina propria of duodenal villi in early (approximately 24 mm crown-rump length) latent opossum. Cells with B cell markers were not detected until lactent animals reached > 60 mm. Development of Peyer's patches (PP) was seen first in the duodenum in 45-60 mm lactent animals, progressing to well developed PP in the duodenum and ileum in lactent animals > 80 mm. These PP, like those in weanling and juvenile animals, consisted of follicles with a network of class II MHC positive dendritic cells and round cells lacking T and B markers, but lacking well defined mantle zones. B cells were present mainly in the lymphatic sinuses, with CD3 T cells present between follicles in the PP and intraepithelially in the villi. The study reveals the sequential development of class II MHC positive dendritic cells, T cells and B cells in the intestinal ontogeny of the opossum PP. These features occurred initially exclusively in the duodenum and subsequently in the ileum, paralleling the physiological maturation of the gut in eutheria. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Figs. 5-7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 PMID:7961141

  17. Evolution of mammalian sensorimotor cortex: thalamic projections to parietal cortical areas in Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Franca, João G.; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Cooke, Dylan F.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    The current experiments build upon previous studies designed to reveal the network of parietal cortical areas present in the common mammalian ancestor. Understanding this ancestral network is essential for highlighting the basic somatosensory circuitry present in all mammals, and how this basic plan was modified to generate species specific behaviors. Our animal model, the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), is a South American marsupial that has been proposed to have a similar ecological niche and morphology to the earliest common mammalian ancestor. In this investigation, we injected retrograde neuroanatomical tracers into the face and body representations of primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the rostral and caudal somatosensory fields (SR and SC), as well as a multimodal region (MM). Projections from different architectonically defined thalamic nuclei were then quantified. Our results provide further evidence to support the hypothesized basic mammalian plan of thalamic projections to S1, with the lateral and medial ventral posterior thalamic nuclei (VPl and VPm) projecting to S1 body and S1 face, respectively. Additional strong projections are from the medial division of posterior nucleus (Pom). SR receives projections from several midline nuclei, including the medial dorsal, ventral medial nucleus, and Pom. SC and MM show similar patterns of connectivity, with projections from the ventral anterior and ventral lateral nuclei, VPm and VPl, and the entire posterior nucleus (medial and lateral). Notably, MM is distinguished from SC by relatively dense projections from the dorsal division of the lateral geniculate nucleus and pulvinar. We discuss the finding that S1 of the short-tailed opossum has a similar pattern of projections as other marsupials and mammals, but also some distinct projections not present in other mammals. Further we provide additional support for a primitive posterior parietal cortex which receives input from multiple modalities. PMID

  18. Isolation of deer tick virus (Powassan virus, lineage II) from Ixodes scapularis and detection of antibody in vertebrate hosts sampled in the Hudson Valley, New York State

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Deer tick virus, DTV, is a genetically and ecologically distinct lineage of Powassan virus (POWV) also known as lineage II POWV. Human incidence of POW encephalitis has increased in the last 15 years potentially due to the emergence of DTV, particularly in the Hudson Valley of New York State. We initiated an extensive sampling campaign to determine whether POWV was extant throughout the Hudson Valley in tick vectors and/or vertebrate hosts. Methods More than 13,000 ticks were collected from hosts or vegetation and tested for the presence of DTV using molecular and virus isolation techniques. Vertebrate hosts of Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) were trapped (mammals) or netted (birds) and blood samples analyzed for the presence of neutralizing antibodies to POWV. Maximum likelihood estimates (MLE) were calculated to determine infection rates in ticks at each study site. Results Evidence of DTV was identified each year from 2007 to 2012, in nymphal and adult I. scapularis collected from the Hudson Valley. 58 tick pools were positive for virus and/or RNA. Infection rates were higher in adult ticks collected from areas east of the Hudson River. MLE limits ranged from 0.2-6.0 infected adults per 100 at sites where DTV was detected. Virginia opossums, striped skunks and raccoons were the source of infected nymphal ticks collected as replete larvae. Serologic evidence of POWV infection was detected in woodchucks (4/6), an opossum (1/6), and birds (4/727). Lineage I, prototype POWV, was not detected. Conclusions These data demonstrate widespread enzootic transmission of DTV throughout the Hudson Valley, in particular areas east of the river. High infection rates were detected in counties where recent POW encephalitis cases have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that lineage II POWV, DTV, is responsible for these human infections. PMID:24016533

  19. Estimating Contact Process Saturation in Sylvatic Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Kribs-Zaleta, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Although it has been known for nearly a century that strains of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent for Chagas' disease, are enzootic in the southern U.S., much remains unknown about the dynamics of its transmission in the sylvatic cycles that maintain it, including the relative importance of different transmission routes. Mathematical models can fill in gaps where field and lab data are difficult to collect, but they need as inputs the values of certain key demographic and epidemiological quantities which parametrize the models. In particular, they determine whether saturation occurs in the contact processes that communicate the infection between the two populations. Concentrating on raccoons, opossums, and woodrats as hosts in Texas and the southeastern U.S., and the vectors Triatoma sanguisuga and Triatoma gerstaeckeri, we use an exhaustive literature review to derive estimates for fundamental parameters, and use simple mathematical models to illustrate a method for estimating infection rates indirectly based on prevalence data. Results are used to draw conclusions about saturation and which population density drives each of the two contact-based infection processes (stercorarian/bloodborne and oral). Analysis suggests that the vector feeding process associated with stercorarian transmission to hosts and bloodborne transmission to vectors is limited by the population density of vectors when dealing with woodrats, but by that of hosts when dealing with raccoons and opossums, while the predation of hosts on vectors which drives oral transmission to hosts is limited by the population density of hosts. Confidence in these conclusions is limited by a severe paucity of data underlying associated parameter estimates, but the approaches developed here can also be applied to the study of other vector-borne infections. PMID:20436914

  20. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Formoso, Anahí E.; Martin, Gabriel M.; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E.; Sauthier, Daniel E. Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F. J.

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32°S and ~49°S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic “space” currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future. PMID:26203650

  1. Effects of climate and exurban development on nest predation and predator presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA).

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-08-01

    In the eastern United States, land-use and climate change have likely contributed to declines in the abundance of Neotropical migrant birds that occupy forest interiors, but the mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a nest-predation experiment in southern Appalachian Mountain forests (North Carolina, U.S.A.) during the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons to determine the effects of exurban development and temperature on predator presence and the average number of days until eggs in an artificial nest were disturbed by predators. We baited artificial nests with quail (Excalfactoria chinensi) eggs and monitored them for 18 days. We used clay eggs, track plates, and motion-triggered cameras to detect and identify nest predators. The average number of days a nest was undisturbed decreased as mean temperature increased and, to a lesser extent, as the density of buildings increased. Nests on the ground were more often depredated than those in trees, likely due to increased predation by opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and other carnivores. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums, corvids (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Cyanocitta cristata), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), black bears (Ursus americanus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were the most commonly detected predators. Presence of these predators did not vary as a function of mean temperature. Domestic cats and corvids were detected more frequently in plots with high rather than low densities of buildings. Forest-interior specialists and Neotropical migrants often nest in cool, high-elevation areas with low housing density. These bird species, especially those that nest on the ground, may be most vulnerable to increased nest predation if temperature and exurban development increase at higher elevations as anticipated. PMID:22624665

  2. Evolution of glyoxylate cycle enzymes in Metazoa: evidence of multiple horizontal transfer events and pseudogene formation

    PubMed Central

    Kondrashov, Fyodor A; Koonin, Eugene V; Morgunov, Igor G; Finogenova, Tatiana V; Kondrashova, Marie N

    2006-01-01

    Background The glyoxylate cycle is thought to be present in bacteria, protists, plants, fungi, and nematodes, but not in other Metazoa. However, activity of the glyoxylate cycle enzymes, malate synthase (MS) and isocitrate lyase (ICL), in animal tissues has been reported. In order to clarify the status of the MS and ICL genes in animals and get an insight into their evolution, we undertook a comparative-genomic study. Results Using sequence similarity searches, we identified MS genes in arthropods, echinoderms, and vertebrates, including platypus and opossum, but not in the numerous sequenced genomes of placental mammals. The regions of the placental mammals' genomes expected to code for malate synthase, as determined by comparison of the gene orders in vertebrate genomes, show clear similarity to the opossum MS sequence but contain stop codons, indicating that the MS gene became a pseudogene in placental mammals. By contrast, the ICL gene is undetectable in animals other than the nematodes that possess a bifunctional, fused ICL-MS gene. Examination of phylogenetic trees of MS and ICL suggests multiple horizontal gene transfer events that probably went in both directions between several bacterial and eukaryotic lineages. The strongest evidence was obtained for the acquisition of the bifunctional ICL-MS gene from an as yet unknown bacterial source with the corresponding operonic organization by the common ancestor of the nematodes. Conclusion The distribution of the MS and ICL genes in animals suggests that either they encode alternative enzymes of the glyoxylate cycle that are not orthologous to the known MS and ICL or the animal MS acquired a new function that remains to be characterized. Regardless of the ultimate solution to this conundrum, the genes for the glyoxylate cycle enzymes present a remarkable variety of evolutionary events including unusual horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to animals. Reviewers Arcady Mushegian (Stowers Institute for Medical

  3. Serological response of cats to experimental Besnoitia darlingi and Besnoitia neotomofelis infections and prevalence of antibodies to these parasites in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Houk, Alice E; Rosypal, Alexa C; Grant, David C; Dubey, J P; Zajac, Anne M; Yabsley, Michael J; Lindsay, David S

    2011-04-01

    Besnoitia darlingi and Besnoitia neotomofelis are cyst-forming tissue apicomplexan parasites that use domestic cats (Felis domesticus) as definitive hosts and opossums (Didelphis virginiana ) and Southern Plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus) as intermediate hosts, respectively. Nothing is known about the prevalence of B. darlingi or B. neotomofelis in cats from the United States. Besnoitia darlingi infections have been reported in naturally infected opossums from many states in the United States, and B. neotomofelis infections have been reported from Southern Plains woodrats from Texas, but naturally infected cats have not been identified. The present study examined the IgG antibody response of cats to experimental infection (B. darlingi n  =  1 cat; B. neotomofelis n  =  3 cats). Samples from these cats were used to develop an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT), which was then used to examine seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to tachyzoites of B. darlingi and B. neotomofelis in a population of domestic cats from Virginia (N  =  232 cats) and Pennsylvania (N  =  209). The serum from cats inoculated with B. darlingi or B. neotomofelis cross-reacted with each other's tachyzoites. The titers to heterologous tachyzoites were 1 to 3 dilutions lower than to homologous tachyzoites. Sera from B. darlingi- or B. neotomofelis-infected cats did not react with tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii or Neospora caninum or merozoites of Sarcocystis neurona using the IFAT. Antibodies to B. darlingi were found in 14% and 2% of cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. Antibodies to B. neotomofelis were found in 5% and 4% of cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. Nine cats from Virginia and 1 cat from Pennsylvania were positive for both. PMID:21506782

  4. Phosphorylation of rat kidney Na-K pump at Ser938 is required for rapid angiotensin II-dependent stimulation of activity and trafficking in proximal tubule cells.

    PubMed

    Massey, Katherine J; Li, Quanwen; Rossi, Noreen F; Keezer, Susan M; Mattingly, Raymond R; Yingst, Douglas R

    2016-02-01

    How angiotensin (ANG) II acutely stimulates the Na-K pump in proximal tubules is only partially understood, limiting insight into how ANG II increases blood pressure. First, we tested whether ANG II increases the number of pumps in plasma membranes of native rat proximal tubules under conditions of rapid activation. We found that exposure to 100 pM ANG II for 2 min, which was previously shown to increase affinity of the Na-K pump for Na and stimulate activity threefold, increased the amount of the Na-K pump in plasma membranes of native tubules by 33%. Second, we tested whether previously observed increases in phosphorylation of the Na-K pump at Ser(938) were part of the stimulatory mechanism. These experiments were carried out in opossum kidney cells, cultured proximal tubules stably coexpressing the ANG type 1 (AT1) receptor, and either wild-type or a S938A mutant of rat kidney Na-K pump under conditions found by others to stimulate activity. We found that 10 min of incubation in 10 pM ANG II stimulated activity of wild-type pumps from 2.3 to 3.5 nmol K · mg protein(-1) · min(-1) and increased the amount of the pump in the plasma membrane by 80% but had no effect on cells expressing the S938A mutant. We conclude that acute stimulation of Na-K pump activity in native rat proximal tubules includes increased trafficking to the plasma membrane and that phosphorylation at Ser(938) is part of the mechanism by which ANG II directly stimulates activity and trafficking of the rat kidney Na-K pump in opossum kidney cells. PMID:26582472

  5. Lipid- and mechanosensitivities of sodium/hydrogen exchangers analyzed by electrical methods

    PubMed Central

    Fuster, Daniel; Moe, Orson W.; Hilgemann, Donald W.

    2004-01-01

    Sodium/hydrogen exchangers (NHEs) are ubiquitous ion transporters that serve multiple cell functions. We have studied two mammalian isoforms, NHE1 (ubiquitous) and NHE3 (epithelial-specific), by measuring extracellular proton (H+) gradients during whole-cell patch clamp with perfusion of the cell interior. Maximal Na+-dependent H+ fluxes (JH+) are equivalent to currents >20 pA for NHE1 in Chinese hamster ovary fibroblasts, >200 pA for NHE1 in guinea pig ventricular myocytes, and 5–10 pA for NHE3 in opossum kidney cells. The fluxes are blocked by an NHE inhibitor, ethylisopropylamiloride, and are absent in NHE-deficient AP-1 cells. NHE1 activity is stable with perfusion of nonhydrolyzable ATP [adenosine 5′-(β,γ-imido)triphosphate], is abolished by ATP depletion (2 deoxy-d-glucose with oligomycin or perfusion of apyrase), can be restored with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, and is unaffected by actin cytoskeleton disruption (latrunculin or pipette perfusion of gelsolin). NHE3 (but not NHE1) is reversibly activated by phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate. Both NHE1 and NHE3 activities are disrupted in giant patches during gigaohm seal formation. NHE1 (but not NHE3) is reversibly activated by cell shrinkage, even at neutral cytoplasmic pH without ATP, and inhibited by cell swelling. NHE1 in Chinese hamster ovary fibroblasts (but not NHE3 in opossum kidney cells) is inhibited by agents that thin the membrane (l-α-lysophosphatidylcholine and octyl-β-d-glucopyranoside) and activated by cholesterol enrichment, which thickens membranes. Expressed in AP-1 cells, however, NHE1 is insensitive to these agents but remains sensitive to volume changes. Thus, changes of hydrophobic mismatch can modulate NHE1 but do not underlie its volume sensitivity. PMID:15240890

  6. Novel Hepatozoon in vertebrates from the southern United States.

    PubMed

    Allen, Kelly E; Yabsley, Michael J; Johnson, Eileen M; Reichard, Mason V; Panciera, Roger J; Ewing, Sidney A; Little, Susan E

    2011-08-01

    Novel Hepatozoon spp. sequences collected from previously unrecognized vertebrate hosts in North America were compared with documented Hepatozoon 18S rRNA sequences in an effort to examine phylogenetic relationships between the different Hepatozoon organisms found cycling in nature. An approximately 500-base pair fragment of 18S rDNA common to Hepatozoon spp. and some other apicomplexans was amplified and sequenced from the tissues or blood of 16 vertebrate host species from the southern United States, including 1 opossum (Didelphis virginiana), 2 bobcats (Lynx rufus), 1 domestic cat (Felis catus), 3 coyotes (Canis latrans), 1 gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), 4 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 1 pet boa constrictor (Boa constrictor imperator), 1 swamp rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus), 1 cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), 4 woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes and Neotoma micropus), 3 white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), 8 cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), 1 cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus), 1 eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), and 1 woodchuck (Marmota monax). Phylogenetic analyses and comparison with sequences in the existing database revealed distinct groups of Hepatozoon spp., with clusters formed by sequences obtained from scavengers and carnivores (opossum, raccoons, canids, and felids) and those obtained from rodents. Surprisingly, Hepatozoon spp. sequences from wild rabbits were most closely related to sequences obtained from carnivores (97.2% identical), and the sequence from the boa constrictor was most closely related to the rodent cluster (97.4% identical). These data are consistent with recent work identifying prey-predator transmission cycles in Hepatozoon spp. and suggest this pattern may be more common than previously recognized. PMID:21506825

  7. The safety of ONRAB® in select non-target wildlife.

    PubMed

    Fry, Tricia L; Vandalen, Kaci K; Duncan, Colleen; Vercauteren, Kurt

    2013-08-20

    ONRAB(®) is a recombinant human adenovirus type 5 (HAd5) with the rabies glycoprotein gene incorporated into its genome. ONRAB(®) has been used in Canada as an oral rabies vaccine in target wildlife species such as: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon (Procyon lotor), and striped skunk (Mepthis mephitis). We evaluated the safety of ONRAB(®) in non-target wildlife species likely to contact the vaccine baits during oral rabies vaccine campaigns in the United States. We investigated the effects of oral inoculation of high titer ONRAB(®), approximately ten times the dose given to target species, in wood rats (Neotoma spp.), eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestri), and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). We performed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on fecal swabs, oral swabs, and tissues, including lung, liver, kidney, small intestine, large intestine, and when appropriate nasal turbinates, to detect ONRAB(®) DNA from inoculated animals. By seven days post-inoculation, turkeys, opossums, and cottontails had all stopped shedding ONRAB(®) DNA. One wood rat and one fox squirrel still had detectable levels of ONRAB(®) DNA in fecal swabs 14 days post-inoculation. Real-time PCR analysis of the tissues revealed some ONRAB(®) DNA persisting in certain tissues; however, there were no significant gross or histologic lesions associated with ONRAB(®) in any of the species studied. Our results suggest that many non-target species are not likely to be impacted by the distribution of ONRAB(®) as part of oral rabies vaccination programs in the United States. PMID:23831321

  8. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diane I; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C; Thirkill, Twanda L; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J; Williams, Lawrence E; Samollow, Paul B; Ross, Pablo J; Bannasch, Danika L; Douglas, Gordon C; LaSalle, Janine M

    2015-08-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo. PMID:26241857

  9. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation.

    PubMed

    Formoso, Anahí E; Martin, Gabriel M; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E; Sauthier, Daniel E Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F J

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32 °S and ~49 °S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic "space" currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future. PMID:26203650

  10. First finding of Trypanosoma cruzi II in vampire bats from a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission in Northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Argibay, Hernán D; Orozco, M Marcela; Cardinal, M Victoria; Rinas, Miguel A; Arnaiz, María; Mena Segura, Carlos; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2016-09-01

    Establishing the putative links between sylvatic and domestic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is of public health relevance. We conducted three surveys to assess T. cruzi infection in wild mammals from a rural and a preserved area in Misiones Province, Northeastern Argentina, which had recently been declared free of vector- and blood-borne transmission of human T. cruzi infection. A total of 200 wild mammals were examined by xenodiagnosis (XD) and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). The overall prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 8%. Nine (16%) of 57 Didelphis albiventris opossums and two (7%) of 29 Desmodus rotundus vampire bats were positive by both XD and kDNA-PCR. Additionally, one D. rotundus positive for T. cruzi by kDNA-PCR tested positive by satellite-DNA-PCR (SAT-DNA-PCR). The T. cruzi-infected bats were captured indoors and in the yard of a vacant dwelling. All D. albiventris were infected with TcI and both XD-positive D. rotundus by TcII. Fifty-five opossum cubs within the marsupium were negative by XD. The mean infectiousness to the vector was 62% in D. albiventris and 50% in D. rotundus. Mice experimentally infected with a parasite isolate from a vampire bat displayed lesions typically caused by T. cruzi. Our study documents the presence of the genotype TcII in a sylvatic host for the first time in Argentina, and the occurrence of two transmission cycles of T. cruzi in a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission. PMID:27220254

  11. Changes in consumption by alewives and lake whitefish after dreissenid mussel invasions in Lakes Michigan and Huron

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pothoven, S.A.; Madenjian, C.P.

    2008-01-01

    Growth of alewives Alosa pseudoharengus and lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis has declined since the arrival and spread of dreissenid mussels in Lakes Michigan and Huron. Alewives are the main forage for the salmonids in Lake Michigan, and lake whitefish are the most important commercial species in both lakes. Bioenergetics modeling was used to determine consumption by the average individual fish before and after the dreissenid invasion and to provide insight into the invasion's effects on fish growth and food web dynamics. Alewives feed on both Zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates, and lake whitefish are benthivores. Annual consumption of zooplankton by an average alewife in Lake Michigan was 37% lower and consumption of benthic macroinvertebrates (amphipods Diporeia spp., opossum shrimp Mysis relicta, and Chironomidae) was 19% lower during the postinvasion period (1995-2005) than during the preinvasion period (1983-1994). Reduced consumption by alewives corresponded with reduced alewife growth. In Lakes Michigan and Huron, consumption of nonmollusk macroinvertebrates (Diporeia spp., opossum shrimp, Chironomidae) by the average lake whitefish was 46-96% lower and consumption of mollusks (mainly dreissenids and gastropods) was 2-5 times greater during the postinvasion period than during the preinvasion period. Even though total food consumption by lake whitefish did not differ between the two periods in Lake Huron or the Southern Management Unit in Lake Michigan, postinvasion weight at age was at least 38% lower than preinvasion weight at age. Under the current postinvasion diet regime, consumption by lake whitefish would have to increase by up to 122% to achieve preinvasion growth rates. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

  12. Structural and immunological relationships among mammalian arylsulfatase A enzymes.

    PubMed

    Waheed, A; Risley, J M; Van Etten, R L

    1985-01-01

    Structural and immunological properties of numerous arylsulfatase A enzymes (EC 3.1.6) were examined in order to assess the relationships among these enzymes in animals. Arylsulfatase A enzymes from all animals bind to a Concanavalin A-Sepharose column, consistent with the conclusion that they are all glycoproteins. At pH 7.5 the apparent mol. wts of the enzymes are 80-182 kDa, while at pH 4.5 the mammalian arylsulfatase A enzymes dimerize and exhibit apparent mol. wts in the range of 297-348 kDa, but the enzymes from opossum and other lower classes of animals do not aggregate at pH 4.5. The mammalian arylsulfatase A enzymes, which aggregate at pH 4.5, also bind to rabbit liver arylsulfatase A monomers immobilized on an Affi-Gel 10 matrix. The arylsulfatase A enzymes that were studied all exhibit the anomalous kinetic behavior regarded as characteristic of these enzymes. However, not all of the inactivated enzymes are reactivated by sulfate ions. Goat antiserum raised against homogeneous rabbit liver arylsulfatase A cross-reacts with all of the mammalian enzymes in Ouchterlony gel diffusion experiments, whereas the enzymes from lower classes of animals do not cross-react. Quantitative immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that the mammalian enzymes are very similar to each other, with greater than 60% primary sequence homology indicated, while arylsulfatase A from opossum and other lower classes of animals show only a partial immunological similarity with the mammalian enzymes. Taken together, the data suggest that the active site of the enzyme and the structural features of the protein are highly conserved during the evolution of the enzyme molecule.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2868837

  13. Ligand-independent activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma by insulin and C-peptide in kidney proximal tubular cells: dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity.

    PubMed

    Al-Rasheed, Nawal M; Chana, Ravinder S; Baines, Richard J; Willars, Gary B; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2004-11-26

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) has key roles in the regulation of adipogenesis, inflammation, and lipid and glucose metabolism. C-peptide is believed to be inert and without appreciable biological functions. Recent studies suggest that C-peptide possesses multiple functions. The present study investigated the effects of insulin and C-peptide on PPARgamma transcriptional activity in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells. Both insulin and C-peptide induced a concentration-dependent stimulation of PPARgamma transcriptional activity. Both agents substantially augmented thiazolidinedione-stimulated PPARgamma transcriptional activity. Neither insulin nor C-peptide had any effect on the expression levels of PPARgamma. GW9662, a PPARgamma antagonist, blocked PPARgamma activation by thiazolidinediones but had no effect on either insulin- or C-peptide-stimulated PPARgamma transcriptional activity. Co-transfection of opossum kidney cells with dominant negative mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase significantly depressed basal PPARgamma transcriptional activity but had no effect on that induced by either insulin or C-peptide. Both insulin- and C-peptide-stimulated PPARgamma transcriptional activity were attenuated by wortmannin and by expression of a dominant negative phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase p85 regulatory subunit. In addition PI 3-kinase-dependent phosphorylation of PPARgamma was observed after stimulation by C-peptide or insulin. C-peptide effects but not insulin on PPARgamma transcriptional activity were abolished by pertussis toxin pretreatment. Finally both C-peptide and insulin positively control the expression of the PPARgamma-regulated CD36 scavenger receptor in human THP-1 monocytes. We concluded that insulin and C-peptide can stimulate PPARgamma activity in a ligand-independent fashion and that this effect is mediated by PI 3-kinase. These results support a new and potentially important physiological role for C-peptide in

  14. The Transcriptomic Evolution of Mammalian Pregnancy: Gene Expression Innovations in Endometrial Stromal Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Kin, Koryu; Maziarz, Jamie; Chavan, Arun R.; Kamat, Manasi; Vasudevan, Sreelakshmi; Birt, Alyssa; Emera, Deena; Lynch, Vincent J.; Ott, Troy L.; Pavlicev, Mihaela; Wagner, Günter P.

    2016-01-01

    The endometrial stromal fibroblast (ESF) is a cell type present in the uterine lining of therian mammals. In the stem lineage of eutherian mammals, ESF acquired the ability to differentiate into decidual cells in order to allow embryo implantation. We call the latter cell type “neo-ESF” in contrast to “paleo-ESF” which is homologous to eutherian ESF but is not able to decidualize. In this study, we compare the transcriptomes of ESF from six therian species: Opossum (Monodelphis domestica; paleo-ESF), mink, rat, rabbit, human (all neo-ESF), and cow (secondarily nondecidualizing neo-ESF). We find evidence for strong stabilizing selection on transcriptome composition suggesting that the expression of approximately 5,600 genes is maintained by natural selection. The evolution of neo-ESF from paleo-ESF involved the following gene expression changes: Loss of expression of genes related to inflammation and immune response, lower expression of genes opposing tissue invasion, increased markers for proliferation as well as the recruitment of FOXM1, a key gene transiently expressed during decidualization. Signaling pathways also evolve rapidly and continue to evolve within eutherian lineages. In the bovine lineage, where invasiveness and decidualization were secondarily lost, we see a re-expression of genes found in opossum, most prominently WISP2, and a loss of gene expression related to angiogenesis. The data from this and previous studies support a scenario, where the proinflammatory paleo-ESF was reprogrammed to express anti-inflammatory genes in response to the inflammatory stimulus coming from the implanting conceptus and thus paving the way for extended, trans-cyclic gestation. PMID:27401177

  15. Rickettsial Infection in Animals, Humans and Ticks in Paulicéia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silveira, I; Martins, T F; Olegário, M M; Peterka, C; Guedes, E; Ferreira, F; Labruna, M B

    2015-11-01

    A previous study in Paulicéia Municipality, south-eastern Brazil, reported 9.7% of the Amblyomma triste ticks to be infected by Rickettsia parkeri, a bacterial pathogen that causes spotted fever in humans. These A. triste ticks were shown to be associated with marsh areas, where the marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus is a primary host for this tick species. During 2008-2009, blood serum samples were collected from 140 horses, 41 dogs, 5 opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and 26 humans in farms from Pauliceia Municipality. Ticks were collected from these animals, from vegetation and from additional wildlife in these farms. Overall, 25% (35/140) of the horses, 7.3% (3/41) of the dogs, 3.8% (1/26) of the humans and 100% (5/5) of the opossums were seroreactive (titre ≥64) to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp. Multivariate statistical analysis indicated that horses that were allowed to forage in the marsh were 4.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp than horses that did not forage in the marsh. In addition, horses that had been living in the farm for more than 8.5 years were 2.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to SFG Rickettsia spp than horses that were living for ≤8.5 years. Ticks collected from domestic animals or from vegetation included Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma dubitatum, Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus microplus. By PCR analyses, only one pool of A. coelebs ticks from the vegetation was shown to be infected by rickettsiae, for which DNA sequencing revealed to be Rickettsia amblyommii. Ticks (not tested by PCR) collected from wildlife encompassed A. cajennense and Amblyomma rotundatum on lizards (Tupinambis sp), and A. cajennense and A. triste on the bird Laterallus viridis. Our results indicate that the marsh area of Paulicéia offers risks of infection by SFG rickettsiae. PMID:25643912

  16. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Diane I.; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C.; Thirkill, Twanda L.; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J.; Williams, Lawrence E.; Samollow, Paul B.; Ross, Pablo J.; Bannasch, Danika L.; Douglas, Gordon C.; LaSalle, Janine M.

    2015-01-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo. PMID:26241857

  17. Epidemiology and potential land-sea transfer of enteric bacteria from terrestrial to marine species in the Monterey Bay Region of California.

    PubMed

    Oates, Stori C; Miller, Melissa A; Byrne, Barbara A; Chouicha, Nadira; Hardin, Dane; Jessup, David; Dominik, Clare; Roug, Annette; Schriewer, Alexander; Jang, Spencer S; Miller, Woutrina A

    2012-07-01

    Marine mammals are at risk for infection by fecal-associated zoonotic pathogens when they swim and feed in polluted nearshore marine waters. Because of their tendency to consume 25-30% of their body weight per day in coastal filter-feeding invertebrates, southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) can act as sentinels of marine ecosystem health in California. Feces from domestic and wildlife species were tested to determine prevalence, potential virulence, and diversity of selected opportunistic enteric bacterial pathogens in the Monterey Bay region. We hypothesized that if sea otters are sentinels of coastal health, and fecal pollution flows from land to sea, then sea otters and terrestrial animals might share the same enteric bacterial species and strains. Twenty-eight percent of fecal samples tested during 2007-2010 were positive for one or more potential pathogens. Campylobacter spp. were isolated most frequently, with an overall prevalence of 11%, followed by Vibrio cholerae (9%), Salmonella spp. (6%), V. parahaemolyticus (5%), and V. alginolyticus (3%). Sea otters were found positive for all target bacteria, exhibiting similar prevalences for Campylobacter and Salmonella spp. but greater prevalences for Vibrio spp. when compared to terrestrial animals. Fifteen Salmonella serotypes were detected, 11 of which were isolated from opossums. This is the first report of sea otter infection by S. enterica Heidelberg, a serotype also associated with human clinical disease. Similar strains of S. enterica Typhimurium were identified in otters, opossums, and gulls, suggesting the possibility of land-sea transfer of enteric bacterial pathogens from terrestrial sources to sea otters. PMID:22740531

  18. Emerging factors associated with the decline of a gray fox population and multi-scale land cover associations of mesopredators in the Chicago metropolitan area.

    SciTech Connect

    Willingham, Alison N.; /Ohio State U.

    2008-01-01

    Statewide surveys of furbearers in Illinois indicate gray (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and red (Vulpes vulpes) foxes have experienced substantial declines in relative abundance, whereas other species such as raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans) have exhibited dramatic increases during the same time period. The cause of the declines of gray and red foxes has not been identified, and the current status of gray foxes remains uncertain. Therefore, I conducted a large-scale predator survey and tracked radiocollared gray foxes from 2004 to 2007 in order to determine the distribution, survival, cause-specific mortality sources and land cover associations of gray foxes in an urbanized region of northeastern Illinois, and examined the relationships between the occurrence of gray fox and the presence other species of mesopredators, specifically coyotes and raccoons. Although generalist mesopredators are common and can reach high densities in many urban areas their urban ecology is poorly understood due to their secretive nature and wariness of humans. Understanding how mesopredators utilize urbanized landscapes can be useful in the management and control of disease outbreaks, mitigation of nuisance wildlife issues, and gaining insight into how mesopredators shape wildlife communities in highly fragmented areas. I examined habitat associations of raccoons, opossums (Didelphis virginiana), domestic cats (Felis catus), coyotes, foxes (gray and red), and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) at multiple spatial scales in an urban environment. Gray fox occurrence was rare and widely dispersed, and survival estimates were similar to other studies. Gray fox occurrence was negatively associated with natural and semi-natural land cover types. Fox home range size increased with increasing urban development suggesting that foxes may be negatively influenced by urbanization. Gray fox occurrence was not associated with coyote or raccoon presence. However, spatial avoidance and

  19. Southern Plains Woodrats (Neotoma micropus) from Southern Texas Are Important Reservoirs of Two Genotypes of Trypanosoma cruzi and Host of a Putative Novel Trypanosoma Species

    PubMed Central

    Charles, Roxanne A.; Kjos, Sonia; Ellis, Angela E.; Barnes, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is an important public health and veterinary pathogen. Although human cases are rare in the United States, infections in wildlife, and in some areas domestic dogs, are common. In 2008 and 2010, we investigated T. cruzi prevalence in possible vertebrate reservoirs in southern Texas, with an emphasis on southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus). Infection status was determined using a combination of culture isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic testing. Based on PCR and/or culture, T. cruzi was detected in 35 of 104 (34%) woodrats, 3 of 4 (75%) striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 12 of 20 (60%) raccoons (Procyon lotor), and 5 of 28 (18%) other rodents including a hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), rock squirrel (Otospermophilus variegatus), black rat (Rattus rattus), and two house mice (Mus musculus). Additionally, another Trypanosoma species was detected in 41 woodrats, of which 27 were co-infected with T. cruzi. Genetic characterization of T. cruzi revealed that raccoon, rock squirrel, and cotton rat isolates were genotype TcIV, while woodrats and skunks were infected with TcI and TcIV. Based on the Chagas Stat-Pak assay, antibodies were detected in 27 woodrats (26%), 13 raccoons (65%), 4 skunks (100%), and 5 other rodents (18%) (two white-ankled mice [Peromyscus pectoralis laceianus], two house mice, and a rock squirrel). Seroprevalence based on indirect immunofluorescence antibody testing was higher for both woodrats (37%) and raccoons (90%), compared with the Chagas Stat-Pak. This is the first report of T. cruzi in a hispid cotton rat, black rat, rock squirrel, and white-ankled mouse. These data indicate that based on culture and PCR testing, the prevalence of T. cruzi in woodrats is comparable with other common reservoirs (i.e., raccoons and opossums) in the United States. However, unlike raccoons and opossums, which tend to be infected with a particular genotype

  20. Diversity, seasonality, and context of mammalian roadkills in the southern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D; Patten, Michael A

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and > 16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50/100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon (Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79/100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65/100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5 x), winter (1.4x), or summer (1.3x). The spring peak (in kills/100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should focus on

  1. The unique paired retinal vascular pattern in marsupials: structural, functional and evolutionary perspectives based on observations in a range of species

    PubMed Central

    McMenamin, Paul G

    2007-01-01

    Background In the few marsupial species studied to date that possess a retinal vasculature, the arterial and venous segments, down to the smallest calibre capillaries, have been shown to occur in pairs. It is a pattern seen in the marsupial central nervous system (CNS) but not in other tissues in this group or in any tissues in eutherian mammals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of retinal vessels in a range of non‐eutherian mammalian species (marsupials and monotremes) and to determine if the pattern of paired vessels was a widespread phenomenon within this animal group. Methods Species studied included a monotreme, the short‐billed echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and a range of Australian marsupials, the honey possum (Tarispedidae rostratus), fat‐tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata), grey‐bellied dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer), numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), broad‐footed marsupial mouse (Antechinus godmani) and the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Eyes were fixed in glutaraldehyde or paraformaldehyde and retinas were embedded in resin for light and electron microscopic analysis. Results Examination revealed that in those species with retinal vessels (fat‐tailed dunnart, grey‐bellied dunnart, numbat, marsupial mouse, North American opossum) the pattern of vessels differs from the conventional plexus‐like arrangement of mammalian retinal vasculature (that is, anastomotic networks of capillaries between arterioles and venules). In marsupials retinal vessels always occur in closely related pairs, with the arteriolar limb usually situated on the vitread aspect. Vessels penetrate the retina and branch to form layers of paired capillaries as far as the outer nuclear layer in some species. The capillaries form blind‐ended hairpin loops and display classical morphological features of CNS capillaries Conclusion The phylogenetic relations of this vascular pattern in the marsupial CNS and retina, and in

  2. Southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus) from southern Texas are important reservoirs of two genotypes of Trypanosoma cruzi and host of a putative novel Trypanosoma species.

    PubMed

    Charles, Roxanne A; Kjos, Sonia; Ellis, Angela E; Barnes, John C; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is an important public health and veterinary pathogen. Although human cases are rare in the United States, infections in wildlife, and in some areas domestic dogs, are common. In 2008 and 2010, we investigated T. cruzi prevalence in possible vertebrate reservoirs in southern Texas, with an emphasis on southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus). Infection status was determined using a combination of culture isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic testing. Based on PCR and/or culture, T. cruzi was detected in 35 of 104 (34%) woodrats, 3 of 4 (75%) striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 12 of 20 (60%) raccoons (Procyon lotor), and 5 of 28 (18%) other rodents including a hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), rock squirrel (Otospermophilus variegatus), black rat (Rattus rattus), and two house mice (Mus musculus). Additionally, another Trypanosoma species was detected in 41 woodrats, of which 27 were co-infected with T. cruzi. Genetic characterization of T. cruzi revealed that raccoon, rock squirrel, and cotton rat isolates were genotype TcIV, while woodrats and skunks were infected with TcI and TcIV. Based on the Chagas Stat-Pak assay, antibodies were detected in 27 woodrats (26%), 13 raccoons (65%), 4 skunks (100%), and 5 other rodents (18%) (two white-ankled mice [Peromyscus pectoralis laceianus], two house mice, and a rock squirrel). Seroprevalence based on indirect immunofluorescence antibody testing was higher for both woodrats (37%) and raccoons (90%), compared with the Chagas Stat-Pak. This is the first report of T. cruzi in a hispid cotton rat, black rat, rock squirrel, and white-ankled mouse. These data indicate that based on culture and PCR testing, the prevalence of T. cruzi in woodrats is comparable with other common reservoirs (i.e., raccoons and opossums) in the United States. However, unlike raccoons and opossums, which tend to be infected with a particular genotype, southern

  3. Forelimb preferences in quadrupedal marsupials and their implications for laterality evolution in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Acquisition of upright posture in evolution has been argued to facilitate manual laterality in primates. Owing to the high variety of postural habits marsupials can serve as a suitable model to test whether the species-typical body posture shapes forelimb preferences in non-primates or this phenomenon emerged only in the course of primate evolution. In the present study we aimed to explore manual laterality in marsupial quadrupeds and compare them with the results in the previously studied bipedal species. Forelimb preferences were assessed in captive grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in four different types of unimanual behaviour per species, which was not artificially evoked. We examined the possible effects of sex, age and task, because these factors have been reported to affect motor laterality in placental mammals. Results In both species the direction of forelimb preferences was strongly sex-related. Male grey short-tailed opossums showed right-forelimb preference in most of the observed unimanual behaviours, while male sugar gliders displayed only a slight, not significant rightward tendency. In contrast, females in both species exhibited consistent group-level preference of the left forelimb. We failed to reveal significant differences in manual preferences between tasks of potentially differing complexity: reaching a stable food item and catching live insects, as well as between the body support and food manipulation. No influence of subjects’ age on limb preferences was found. Conclusions The direction of sex-related differences in the manual preferences found in quadrupedal marsupials seems to be not typical for placental mammals. We suggest that the alternative way of interhemispheric connection in absence of corpus callosum may result in a fundamentally distinct mechanism of sex effect on limb preferences in marsupials compared to placentals. Our data confirm the idea that non

  4. Diversity, Seasonality, and Context of Mammalian Roadkills in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D.; Patten, Michael A.

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and >16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50 / 100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon ( Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79 / 100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65 / 100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5×), winter (1.4×), or summer (1.3×). The spring peak (in kills / 100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should

  5. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park

    PubMed Central

    Dorcas, Michael E.; Willson, John D.; Reed, Robert N.; Snow, Ray W.; Rochford, Michael R.; Miller, Melissa A.; Meshaka, Walter E.; Andreadis, Paul T.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romagosa, Christina M.; Hart, Kristen M.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities. PMID:22308381

  6. Phylogenetic footprint analysis of IGF2 in extant mammals.

    PubMed

    Weidman, Jennifer R; Murphy, Susan K; Nolan, Catherine M; Dietrich, Fred S; Jirtle, Randy L

    2004-09-01

    Genomic imprinting results in monoallelic gene transcription that is directed by cis-acting regulatory elements epigenetically marked in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. We performed phylogenetic sequence and epigenetic comparisons of IGF2 between the nonimprinted platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and imprinted opossum (Didelphis virginiana), mouse (Mus musculus), and human (Homo sapiens) to determine if their divergent imprint status would reflect differences in the conservation of genomic elements important in the regulation of imprinting. We report herein that IGF2 imprinting does not correlate evolutionarily with differential intragenic methylation, nor is it associated with motif 13, a reported IGF2-specific "imprint signature" located in the coding region. Instead, IGF2 imprinting is strongly associated with both the lack of short interspersed transposable elements (SINEs) and an intragenic conserved inverted repeat that contains candidate CTCF-binding sites, a role not previously ascribed to this particular sequence element. Our results are the first to demonstrate that comparative footprint analysis of species from evolutionarily distant mammalian clades, and exhibiting divergent imprint status is a powerful bioinformatics-based approach for identifying cis-acting elements potentially involved not only in the origins of genomic imprinting, but also in its maintenance in humans. PMID:15342558

  7. Characterization and evolution of vertebrate indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenases IDOs from monotremes and marsupials.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Hajime J; Ball, Helen J; Ho, Yuen Fern; Austin, Christopher J D; Whittington, Camilla M; Belov, Katherine; Maghzal, Ghassan J; Jermiin, Lars S; Hunt, Nicholas H

    2009-06-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are tryptophan-degrading enzymes that catalyze the first step in tryptophan catabolism via the kynurenine pathway. TDO is widely distributed in both eukaryotes and bacteria. In contrast, IDO has been found only in mammals and yeast. In 2007, a third enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-2 (IDO2), was discovered. IDO2 is found not only in mammals but also in lower vertebrates. Interestingly, the Km value of IDO2 for L-Trp was 500-1000 fold higher than that of IDO1. In this study, we isolated both IDO1 and IDO2 cDNA from a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), and a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We characterized the recombinant proteins and those of other known IDO1/IDO2 in intact cells and a cell-free system. It was found that methylene blue may not be suitable reductant for IDO2, hence resulting in an underestimation of recombinant IDO2 activity. In intact cells, the Km value of IDO2 for L-Trp was estimated to be much higher than that of IDO1 and this high Km value appears to have been conserved during the evolution of IDO2. The protein encoded by the ancestor gene of IDO1 and IDO2 is likely to have had properties more similar to present day IDO2 than to IDO1. PMID:19402226

  8. Evolution of the "OR37" subfamily of olfactory receptors: a cross-species comparison.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, Reiner; Lambert, Thomas D; Samollow, Paul B; Breer, Heinz; Strotmann, Joerg

    2006-04-01

    Genes encoding the olfactory receptors of the "OR37" subfamily of the mouse are characterized by special features including a clustered expression pattern, assembly in two distinct gene clusters, and highly conserved putative promoter motifs. Mining the rat and dog databases revealed that these two species possess highly conserved clusters of OR37 genes at two syntenic genomic loci. In a prototherian mammal, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), none of the characteristic OR37 genes were found. Examination of a metatherian mammal, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) revealed seven canonical OR37 genes, all phylogenetically related to cluster II genes and also organized similar to cluster II of eutherian species. In addition, their 5' upstream regions comprised sequence motifs related to the putative regulatory sequences of cluster II genes. Typical cluster I OR37 genes were identified only in the eutherian mammals examined, including the evolutionary ancient anteater, wherein OR37 genes related to both clusters were present. Together, these results reveal novel information concerning the phylogenetic origin and important evolutionary steps of the mammalian-specific OR37 olfactory receptor family. PMID:16547640

  9. Prevalence of antibodies to Leptospira in wild mammals trapped on livestock farms in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Allen, Samantha E; Ojkic, Davor; Jardine, Claire M

    2014-07-01

    To determine the prevalence and diversity of Leptospira serogroups circulating in wildlife on farms in Ontario, we tested samples from 51 raccoons (Procyon lotor), seven skunks (Mephitis mephitis), four rats (Rattus norvegicus), and three opossums (Didelphis virginiana) that were trapped on 27 livestock (swine [Sus scrofa], cattle [Bos taurus]) farms in 2010. Seventeen of 51 raccoons (33%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 21-48%) sampled were positive for at least one Leptospira serogroup using the microscopic agglutination test. None of the other 14 animals had detectable Leptospira antibodies. On swine farms, 13 of 30 raccoons (43%; 95% CI, 27-61%) were antibody positive, and on cattle farms, four of 21 raccoons (19%; 95% CI, 8-40%) were positive. Leptospira antibody prevalence in raccoons did not differ between swine and cattle farms. Raccoons were positive to serovars representative of serogroups Grippotyphosa, Australis, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona and were negative to serovars of serogroups Autumnalis, Canicola, and Sejroe. The prevalence of Leptospira antibodies in raccoons in this study is similar to what has been reported previously; however, the diversity of serogroups was higher in this study than what has been reported in raccoons from an urban area of Ontario, Canada. Understanding the prevalence and distribution of Leptospira serogroups in wildlife in Ontario, Canada, is important for the development and maintenance of appropriate disease management strategies in humans, livestock, and companion animals. PMID:24807356

  10. Molecular identification of trypanosomatids in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Tenório, M S; Oliveira e Sousa, L; Alves-Martin, M F; Paixão, M S; Rodrigues, M V; Starke-Buzetti, W A; Araújo Junior, J P; Lucheis, S B

    2014-06-16

    Diverse wild animal species can be reservoirs of zoonotic flagellate parasites, which can cause pathologic Chagas disease. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of flagellate parasites through direct microscopic examination of the parasites in blood samples and through PCR of whole blood and blood culture (haemoculture) samples from 38 captive and 65 free-living wild animals in the Centre for Conservation of Wild Fauna (CCWF), an area endemic for leishmaniasis. For this study, PCR was accomplished using primers for the ribosomal region (ITS-1) of the flagellate parasites. The amplified fragments were cloned and sequenced to identify DNA of the Trypanosomatid parasite species, observed in blood cultures from 3.9% (04/103) of the animals. Through these techniques, Trypanosoma cruzi was identified in haemoculture samples of the following three free-living species: common agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), and nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). Furthermore, Trypanosoma minasense was identified in whole blood samples from 01 (0.9%) captive animal (black howler monkey-Alouatta caraya). These results demonstrated the first report of T. cruzi isolation in wild species from the CCWF using blood culture, which can be applied in addition to molecular tools for epidemiological studies and to identify trypanosomatids in wild animals. PMID:24636787

  11. Epidemiologic aspects of American visceral leishmaniasis in an endemic focus in Eastern Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Zulueta, A M; Villarroel, E; Rodriguez, N; Feliciangeli, M D; Mazzarri, M; Reyes, O; Rodriguez, V; Centeno, M; Barrios, R M; Ulrich, M

    1999-12-01

    An endemic focus of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) in eastern Venezuela has been evaluated in terms of patients (n = 48), immunologic reactivity to Leishmania in household contacts (n = 187) and neighborhood controls (n = 170), detection of Leishmania (L. donovani complex) in dogs and wild animals by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and characteristics of the sandfly population. The male:female ratio of patients was 1.18:1; 89.6% were < or =12 years old. Serologic reactivity was significantly higher in household contacts than in controls (P = 0.0008), as was the size of leishmanin reactions in contacts < or =10 years of age (P = 0.0141). Leishmania donovani complex-specific PCRs were positive in dogs, an opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), and a black rat (Rattus rattus). Lutzomyia longipalpis and Lu. evansi, both implicated in the transmission of AVL, were identified among the 386 sand flies examined. These observations provide the bases for an active control program as well as further studies of reservoirs and vector-host relationships in this area. PMID:10674675

  12. Distribution of NADPH-diaphorase in the superior colliculus of Cebus monkeys, and co-localization with calcium-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Soares, J G M; Mendez-Otero, R; Gattass, Ricardo

    2003-08-01

    We examined the distribution of the enzyme dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) in the superior colliculus (SC) of the New World monkey Cebus apella, and the co-localization of this enzyme with the calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) calbindin-D28K, parvalbumin and calretinin. Despite the intensely labeled neuropil, rare NADPH-d-positive cells were observed in the stratum griseum superficiale (SGS). Most of the labeled cells in the SC were found in the intermediate layers, with a great number also in the deeper layers. This pattern is very similar to that described in the opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and in the cat, and different from the pattern found in the rat, which shows labeled cells mainly in the SGS. Cells doubly stained for NADPH-d and CaBPs were observed throughout the SC, although in a small number. Of the NADPH-d-positive cells, 20.3% were doubly labeled for NADPH-d and parvalbumin, 10.2% revealed co-localization with calretinin, and 5.6% with calbindin. The low number of double-stained cells for NADPH-d and the CaBPs indicates that these molecules must participate in different functional circuits within the SC. PMID:12871769

  13. Structural and functional analyses of DM43, a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor from Didelphis marsupialis serum.

    PubMed

    Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Perales, Jonas; Fox, Jay W; Shannon, John D; Makino, Débora L; Garratt, Richard C; Domont, Gilberto B

    2002-04-12

    DM43, an opossum serum protein inhibitor of snake venom metalloproteinases, has been completely sequenced, and its disulfide bond pattern has been experimentally determined. It shows homology to human alpha(1)B-glycoprotein, a plasma protein of unknown function and a member of the immunoglobulin supergene family. Size exclusion and dynamic laser light scattering data indicated that two monomers of DM43, each composed of three immunoglobulin-like domains, associated to form a homodimer in solution. Analysis of its glycan moiety showed the presence of N-acetylglucosamine, mannose, galactose, and sialic acid, most probably forming four biantennary N-linked chains. DM43 inhibited the fibrinogenolytic activities of bothrolysin and jararhagin and formed 1:1 stoichiometric stable complexes with both metalloproteinases. DM43 was ineffective against atrolysin C or A. No complex formation was detected between DM43 and jararhagin C, indicating the essential role of the metalloproteinase domain for interaction. Homology modeling based on the crystal structure of a killer cell inhibitory receptor suggested the existence of an I-type Ig fold, a hydrophobic dimerization surface and six surface loops potentially forming the metalloproteinase-binding surface on DM43. PMID:11815628

  14. Feeding sources and trypanosome infection index of Rhodnius pallescens in a Chagas disease endemic area of Amador County, Panama.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Vanessa; Montalvo, Edilma; Alvarez, Dayra; Santamaría, Ana María; Calzada, Jose Eduardo; Saldaña, Azael

    2008-01-01

    The sylvatic triatomine Rhodnius pallescens is considered to be the most important and widespread vector of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli in Panama. However, its behavior and biological characteristics have only been partially investigated. Thus, to achieve sustainable and efficient control over Chagas disease in Panama, a better understanding of the ecology and biology of R. pallescens is essential. In this study we evaluated R. pallescens host feeding sources using a dot-blot assay, and the trypanosome infection index by PCR analysis in a Chagas disease endemic area of central Panama. It was found that in peridomestic palm trees, 20.3% of the examined bugs had fed on opossums (Didelphis marsupialis). However, we observed an increased anthropophagy (25.4%) for those bugs collected inside houses. Considering the domestic and peridomestic habitats as a whole, the proportion of collected R. pallescens infected with trypanosomes was 87.4%. In the two habitats the predominant infection was with T. cruzi (80-90%). Between 47-51% of the analyzed triatomines were infected with T. rangeli. Mixed infections (40-51%) were also detected. These findings provide a better basis for the implementation of a rational control and surveillance program for Chagas disease in regions where R. pallescens is endemic. PMID:18488091

  15. Carriage of Leptospira interrogans among domestic rats from an urban setting highly endemic for leptospirosis in Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Faria, Marcos Tucunduva; Calderwood, Michael S; Athanazio, Daniel A; McBride, Alan J A; Hartskeerl, Rudy A; Pereira, Martha Maria; Ko, Albert I; Reis, Mitermayer G

    2008-10-01

    A survey was conducted to identify reservoirs for urban leptospirosis in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Sampling protocols were performed in the vicinity of households of severe leptospirosis cases identified during active hospital-based surveillance. Among a total of 142 captured Rattus norvegicus (Norwegian brown rat), 80.3% had a positive culture isolate from urine or kidney specimens and 68.1% had a positive serum sample by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) titre of > or = 1:100. Monoclonal antibody-based typing of isolates identified that the agent carried by rats was Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni, which was the same serovar isolated from patients during hospital-based surveillance. Leptospira spp. were not isolated from 8 captured Didelphis marsupialis (Opossum), while 5/7 had a positive MAT titre against a saprophytic serogroup. R. rattus were not captured during the survey. The study findings indicate that the brown rat is a major rodent reservoir for leptospirosis in this urban setting. Furthermore, the high carriage rates of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni in captured rats suggest that there is a significant degree of environmental contamination with this agent in the household environment of high risk areas, which in turn is a cause of transmission during urban epidemics. PMID:18721789

  16. [Digestive tract dilation in mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi].

    PubMed

    Guillén-Pernía, B; Lugo-Yarbuh, A; Moreno, E

    2001-09-01

    This paper will analyze alterations in the digestive tract (DT) of mice with chronic Chagas' disease infection produced by Trypanosoma cruzi from different sources. X-rays of the DT of 18 mice infected with T. cruzi and 6 control mice were compared after the ingestion of a barium sulfate solution over a period of 6 hours. 120 days post-infection (pi) the X-rays of the DT of the 5 mice of group 1A infected with trypanosomes DMI isolated from the opossum Didelphis marsupialis, and 4 mice in group 2A infected with the isolate EP taken from a patient with acute Chagas' disease, showed swelling of the stomach and the colon (C). 180 days pi, the X-rays of the DT of the 5 mice of group 1B infected with isolated DMI and the 4 mice in group 2B infected with isolate EP, showed an even greater swelling of the C. Histological examination of the DT of all infected mice showed extensive changes of the intestinal muscle layer, such as the diminution of the muscular and mucous layers and the loss of colonic folds and myoenteric plexus. These results suggest that T. cruzi populations caused severe alterations in the digestive system of the mice used in the experiment, and that the same alterations could occur in the digestive organs of humans, especially those living in areas where Chagas' disease is endemic, but where these abnormalities have not yet been reported. PMID:11552508

  17. Natural phospholipase A(2) myotoxin inhibitor proteins from snakes, mammals and plants.

    PubMed

    Lizano, Sergio; Domont, Gilberto; Perales, Jonas

    2003-12-15

    A renewed interest in the phenomenon of inter- and intra-species resistance towards the toxicity of snake venoms, coupled with the search for new strategies for treatment of snake envenomations, has prompted the discovery of proteins which neutralize the major toxic components of these venoms. Among these emerging groups of proteins are inhibitors of toxic phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), many of which exhibit a wide range of toxic effects including muscle-tissue damage, neurotoxicity, and inflammation. These proteins have been isolated from both venomous and non-venomous snakes, mammals, and most recently from medicinal plant extracts. The snake blood-derived inhibitors have been grouped into three major classes, alpha, beta, and gamma, based on common structural motifs found in other proteins with diverse physiological properties. In mammals, DM64, an anti-myotoxic protein isolated from opossum serum, belongs to the immunoglobulin super gene family and is homologous to human alpha1B-glycoprotein and DM43, a metalloproteinase inhibitor from the same organism. In plants, a short note is made of WSG, a newly described anti-toxic-PLA2 glycoprotein isolated from Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda), a medicinal plant whose aqueous extracts neutralize the PLA2 activity of the Naja naja venom. The implications of these new groups of PLA2 toxin inhibitors in the context of our current understanding of snake biology as well as in the development of novel therapeutic reagents in the treatment of snake envenomations worldwide are discussed. PMID:15019494

  18. Proliferation of differentiated glial cells in the brain stem.

    PubMed

    Barradas, P C; Cavalcante, L A

    1998-02-01

    Classical studies of macroglial proliferation in muride rodents have provided conflicting evidence concerning the proliferating capabilities of oligodendrocytes and microglia. Furthermore, little information has been obtained in other mammalian orders and very little is known about glial cell proliferation and differentiation in the subclass Metatheria although valuable knowledge may be obtained from the protracted period of central nervous system maturation in these forms. Thus, we have studied the proliferative capacity of phenotypically identified brain stem oligodendrocytes by tritiated thymidine radioautography and have compared it with known features of oligodendroglial differentiation as well as with proliferation of microglia in the opossum Didelphis marsupialis. We have detected a previously undescribed ephemeral, regionally heterogeneous proliferation of oligodendrocytes expressing the actin-binding, ensheathment-related protein 2'3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase), that is not necessarily related to the known regional and temporal heterogeneity of expression of CNPase in cell bodies. On the other hand, proliferation of microglia tagged by the binding of Griffonia simplicifolia B4 isolectin, which recognizes an alpha-D-galactosyl-bearing glycoprotein of the plasma membrane of macrophages/microglia, is known to be long lasting, showing no regional heterogeneity and being found amongst both ameboid and differentiated ramified cells, although at different rates. The functional significance of the proliferative behavior of these differentiated cells is unknown but may provide a low-grade cell renewal in the normal brain and may be augmented under pathological conditions. PMID:9686148

  19. Infection by trypanosomes in marsupials and rodents associated with human dwellings in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Pinto, C Miguel; Ocaña-Mayorga, Sofía; Lascano, Mauricio S; Grijalva, Mario J

    2006-12-01

    Small mammals trapped in domestic and peridomestic environments of rural Ecuador were screened for trypanosome infection by direct microscopy and hemoculture. Identification of species of trypanosomes was then performed by morphological characteristics and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Of 194 animals collected, 15 were positive for infection (7.73%). Eight (4.12%) were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (1 of 33 Didelphis marsupialis; 7 of 61 Rattus rattus). Eleven R. rattus (18.03%) harbored T. lewisi, 5 of which presented mixed infections with T. cruzi. Additionally, 1 of 3 Oryzomys xanthaeolus was infected with T. rangeli. No trypanosome infection was detected in Philander opossum (n = 1), Mus musculus (n = 79), Rattus norvegicus (n = 8), Akodon orophilus (n = 4), Sigmodon peruanus (n = 3), or Proechimys decumanus (n = 2). Many of the isolates belong to T. cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, and R. rattus had the highest prevalence. Because of its abundance in the study areas, this species is considered an important reservoir for Chagas disease. This is the first report of T. lewisi and T. rangeli in Ecuador. This study is also the first to describe natural mixed infections of T. cruzi-T. lewisi. PMID:17304802

  20. Life cycle of Ixodes (Ixodes) loricatus (Acari: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Schumaker, T T; Labruna, M B; Abel, I dos S; Clerici, P T

    2000-09-01

    The life cycle of Ixodes (Ixodes) loricatus Neumann, reared in the laboratory, is described. Engorged females collected from opossums trapped in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, Brazil, which were used to start the laboratory colonies, were designated as BMG and CSP, respectively. Larval and nymphal ticks from both colonies fed separately on Rattus norvergicus Berkenhout or Calomys callosus Rengger, whereas Didelphis marsupialis L and Didelphis albiventris Lund were used as hosts for BMG and CSP adults, respectively. Biological and developmental data obtained from ticks of both the BMG and CSP colonies that were reared separately for two consecutive generations were compared. The percentage of fed or molted ticks reared on C. callosus was higher than that recorded for ticks fed on R. norvergicus in the majority of the observations. Despite significant differences among several of the biological parameters, the pattern of the life cycles of the two tick colonies was similar. Results indicated that the mean life cycle duration of I. (I.) loricatus was approximately 7 mo from parental oviposition to the occurrence of F1 eggs, regardless of geographic origin or host species. PMID:11004783

  1. Feeding Preferences of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae), the Sand Fly Vector, for Leishmania infantum (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae)

    PubMed Central

    Macedo-Silva, Virgínia P.; Martins, Daniella R. A.; De Queiroz, Paula Vivianne Souza; Pinheiro, Marcos Paulo G.; Freire, Caio C. M.; Queiroz, José W.; Dupnik, Kathryn M.; Pearson, Richard D.; Wilson, Mary E.; Jeronimo, Selma M. B.; Ximenes, Maria De Fátima F.M.

    2014-01-01

    Leishmania infantum, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil, is spread mostly by the bite of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva). We trapped sand flies in endemic neighborhoods near Natal, Brazil, where cases of human and dog VL were documented. Amplification of species-specific cytochrome b (Cyt b) genes by polymerase chain reaction revealed that sand flies from rural and periurban areas harbored blood from different sources. The most common source of bloodmeal was human, but blood from dog, chicken, and armadillo was also present. We tested the preference for a source of bloodmeal experimentally by feeding L. longipalpis F1 with blood from different animals. There were significant differences between the proportion of flies engorged and number of eggs laid among flies fed on different sources, varying from 8.4 to 19 (P < 0.0001). Blood from guinea pig or horse was best to support sand fly oviposition, but human blood also supported sand fly oviposition well. No sand flies fed on cats, and sand flies feeding on the opossum Monodelphis domestica Wagner produced no eggs. These data support the hypothesis that L. longipalpis is an eclectic feeder, and humans are an important source of blood for this sand fly species in periurban areas of Brazil. PMID:24605474

  2. Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae) in Brazil: trypomastigotes described from experimentally infected laboratory mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection, isolation and description of Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from a caviomorph rodent, Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae), obtained in the Rio Negro region of the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil. Laboratory-bred white mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus rattus) were inoculated with large numbers of culture forms by intraperitoneal route, and trypomastigotes appeared in their blood 3–8 days post-inoculation. One single epimastigote was also found in Mus musculus. Similar attempts to infect Rattus norvegicus, hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the opossum Didelphis marsupialis, the anteater Tamandua tetradactyla and triatomine bugs were unsuccessful, following six months of observations and microscopic examinations of blood films and blood cultures. As we have found no previous record of a Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) species naturally infecting a member of the family Echimyidae, or any other caviomorph rodent, we conclude that this is the first time such an infection has been reported. The new species is unusual in the subgenus for its infectivity to laboratory mice. PMID:24309069

  3. Canine visceral leishmaniasis in Barra de Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: assessment of risk factors.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Maria Alice A; Paula, Adelzon A; Camacho, Luis Antonio B; Marzochi, Mauro Célio A; Xavier, Samanta C; da Silva, Alba Valéria M; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2003-01-01

    Barra de Guaratiba is a coastal area of the city of Rio de Janeiro where American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) is endemic. Although control measures including killing of dogs and use of insecticides have been applied at this locality, the canine seroprevalence remains at 25% and during 1995 and 1997 eight autochthonous human cases were notified. In order to evaluate factors related to the increase of the risk for Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi infection in dogs we have screened 365 dogs by anti-Leishmania immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and captured sandflies in the domestic and peridomestic environment. Some variables related to the infection were assessed by uni- and multivariate analysis. The distance of the residence from the forest border, its altitude and the presence of the opossum Didelphis marsupialis in the backyard, were found predictor factors for L. (L.) chagasi infection in dogs in Barra de Guaratiba. The presence of Lutzomyia longipalpis in the peridomestic environment indicates the possibility of appearence of new human cases. Our data also suggest the presence of a sylvatic enzootic cycle at this locality. PMID:12754572

  4. Experimental transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi through the genitalia of albino mice.

    PubMed

    Herrera, L; Urdaneta-Morales, S

    2001-07-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is usually transmitted by contact with the excreta of infected Triatominae; among non-vectorial infections, direct transmission through coitus has been proposed. We investigated this possibility by instilling, through the external meatus of the vagina and the penis of previously anesthetized NMRI albino mice, blood of mice infected with strains isolated from Didelphis marsupialis (opossum, strain CO57), Rattus rattus (rat, strain CO22) and human (strain EP). Some animals were allowed to copulate the same day of the instillation. In other experiments, the strains were inoculated in the scrotum. To determine the effect of immunosuppression, some mice were treated with cyclophosphamide 30 days post-instillation. Controls were instilled orally and ocularly. Vaginal instillation with strain CO22 produced systemic infection with tropism to the heart, skeletal muscle, skin, duodenum, pancreas, ovary and sternum. Scrotal inoculation with strain EP likewise invaded liver, spleen, lung, lymph nodes and urogenital organs; while strain CO57 invaded skeletal and cardiac muscle, pancreas, testis, and vas deferens. Penile infection with strain CO22 was detected by xenodiagnosis. Immunosuppression did not increase parasitemia of vaginally infected mice or controls. Mating did not produce infection. Our results show that contact of blood trypomastigotes of T. cruzi with genital mucosa can produce blood and tissue infections. These results are discussed in relation to reports of frequent experimental tropism of T. cruzi toward urogenital organs. PMID:11500777

  5. Tracing thalamo-cortical connections in tenrecA further attempt to characterize poorly differentiated neocortical regions, particularly the motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Künzle, Heinz

    2009-02-01

    The hedgehog tenrec (Afrosoricidae) has a very poorly differentiated neocortex. Previously its primary sensory regions have been characterized with hodological and electrophysiological techniques. Unlike the marsupial opossum the tenrec may also have a separate motor area as far as there are cortico-spinal cells located rostral to the primary somatosensory cortex. However, not knowing its thalamic input it may be premature to correlate this area with the true (mirror-image-like) primary motor cortex in higher mammals. For this reason the tenrec's thalamo-cortical connections were studied following tracer injections into various neocortical regions. The main sensory areas were confirmed by their afferents from the principal thalamic nuclei. The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, in addition, was connected with the retrosplenial area and a rostromedial visual region. Unlike the somatosensory cortex the presumed motor area did not receive afferents from the ventrobasal thalamus but fibers from the cerebello-thalamic target regions. These projections, however, were not restricted to the motor area, but involved the entire somatosensorimotor field as well as adjacent regions. The projections appeared similar to those arising in the rat thalamic ventromedial nucleus known to have a supporting function rather than a specific motor task. The question was raised whether the input from the basal ganglia might play a crucial role in the evolution of the mammalian motor cortex? Certainly, in the tenrec, the poor differentiation of the motor cortex coincides with the virtual absence of an entopeduncular projection to the ventrolateral thalamus. PMID:19084507

  6. Thalamo-striatal projections in the hedgehog tenrec.

    PubMed

    Künzle, Heinz

    2006-07-19

    Unlike the basal ganglia input from the midline and intralaminar nuclei, the origin and prominence of striatal projections arising in the lateral thalamus varies considerably among mammals being most restricted in the opossum and monkey, most extensive in the rat. To get further insight into the evolution of thalamo-striatal pathways the Madagascar lesser hedgehog tenrec (Afrotheria) was investigated using anterograde and retrograde flow techniques. An extensive medial thalamic region (including presumed equivalents to the paraventricular, parataenial and dorsomedial nuclei as well as the reuniens complex), the rostral (central) and caudal (parafascicular) intralaminar nuclei were shown to give rise to striatal projections. Additional projections originated in the ventral anterolateral nuclear group and regions within and around the medial geniculate complex. Similar to the rat there was also substantial projections from the lateral posterior-pulvinar complex and the ventral posterior nucleus. The fibers terminated extensively across the striatum in a mainly homogeneous fashion. Isolated patches of low-density terminations were found in the caudoputamen. This inhomogeneous labeling pattern appeared similar to one described in the cat with the unlabeled islands showing features of striosomes. The medial and intralaminar nuclei also projected heavily upon the olfactory tubercle. Differential innervation patterns were noted in the polymorphous layer, the deep and the superficial molecular layer. PMID:16777080

  7. Repeated horizontal transfer of a DNA transposon in mammals and other tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Pace, John K; Gilbert, Clément; Clark, Marlena S; Feschotte, Cédric

    2008-11-01

    Horizontal transfer (HT) is central to the evolution of prokaryotic species. Selfish and mobile genetic elements, such as phages, plasmids, and transposons, are the primary vehicles for HT among prokaryotes. In multicellular eukaryotes, the prevalence and evolutionary significance of HT remain unclear. Here, we identified a set of DNA transposon families dubbed SPACE INVADERS (or SPIN) whose consensus sequences are approximately 96% identical over their entire length (2.9 kb) in the genomes of murine rodents (rat/mouse), bushbaby (prosimian primate), little brown bat (laurasiatherian), tenrec (afrotherian), opossum (marsupial), and two non-mammalian tetrapods (anole lizard and African clawed frog). In contrast, SPIN elements were undetectable in other species represented in the sequence databases, including 19 other mammals with draft whole-genome assemblies. This patchy distribution, coupled with the extreme level of SPIN identity in widely divergent tetrapods and the overall lack of selective constraint acting on these elements, is incompatible with vertical inheritance, but strongly indicative of multiple horizontal introductions. We show that these germline infiltrations likely occurred around the same evolutionary time (15-46 mya) and spawned some of the largest bursts of DNA transposon activity ever recorded in any species lineage (nearly 100,000 SPIN copies per haploid genome in tenrec). The process also led to the emergence of a new gene in the murine lineage derived from a SPIN transposase. In summary, HT of DNA transposons has contributed significantly to shaping and diversifying the genomes of multiple mammalian and tetrapod species. PMID:18936483

  8. Transposition and Intermingling of Galphai2 and Galphao afferences into single vomeronasal glomeruli in the Madagascan lesser Tenrec Echinops telfairi.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Villalón, Aldo; Künzle, Heinz; Mpodozis, Jorge

    2009-01-01

    The vomeronasal system (VNS) mediates pheromonal communication in mammals. From the vomeronasal organ, two populations of sensory neurons, expressing either Galphai2 or Galphao proteins, send projections that end in glomeruli distributed either at the rostral or caudal half of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), respectively. Neurons at the AOB contact glomeruli of a single subpopulation. The dichotomic segregation of AOB glomeruli has been described in opossums, rodents and rabbits, while Primates and Laurasiatheres present the Galphai2-pathway only, or none at all (such as apes, some bats and aquatic species). We studied the AOB of the Madagascan lesser tenrec Echinops telfairi (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) and found that Galphai2 and Galphao proteins are expressed in rostral and caudal glomeruli, respectively. However, the segregation of vomeronasal glomeruli at the AOB is not exclusive, as both pathways contained some glomeruli transposed into the adjoining subdomain. Moreover, some glomeruli seem to contain intermingled afferences from both pathways. Both the transposition and heterogeneity of vomeronasal afferences are features, to our knowledge, never reported before. The organization of AOB glomeruli suggests that synaptic integration might occur at the glomerular layer. Whether intrinsic AOB neurons may make synaptic contact with axon terminals of both subpopulations is an interesting possibility that would expand our understanding about the integration of vomeronasal pathways. PMID:19956694

  9. Discovery of alpha-defensins in basal mammals.

    PubMed

    Lynn, David J; Bradley, Daniel G

    2007-01-01

    Alpha-defensins are essential molecules of the innate immune system that have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria and viruses. To date, alpha-defensins have only been identified in the Euarchontoglires branch of the mammals. This has led to speculation that alpha-defensins may be specific to this group, a somewhat surprising finding, given their importance in the immune system. The mammalian genome project provided us with the opportunity to search for alpha-defensins in previously unexamined mammalian superorders. Using hidden Markov model (HMM) profile searching, we report the discovery of alpha-defensins in the African savanna elephant, the lesser hedgehog tenrec, and the nine-banded armadillo genomes representing two of the most basal mammalian superorders, Afrotheria and Xenarthra. Furthermore, we identify an alpha-defensin-like gene in the gray short-tailed opossum, suggesting that alpha-defensins may have evolved much earlier than previously thought, before the divergence of placental mammals and marsupials approximately 130 mya. PMID:17367857

  10. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Klippel, Angélica H; Oliveira, Pablo V; Britto, Karollini B; Freire, Bárbara F; Moreno, Marcel R; Dos Santos, Alexandre R; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  11. The Culex pipiens complex in the Mississippi River basin: identification, distribution, and bloodmeal hosts.

    PubMed

    Savage, Harry M; Kothera, Linda

    2012-12-01

    Members of the Culex pipiens complex are the primary vectors of St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile virus in the Mississippi River basin (MRB). The Cx. pipiens complex in the MRB is composed of 4 taxa: Cx. p. pipiens form pipiens, Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, hybrids between Cx. p. pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, and Cx. p. pipiens form molestus. Three studies on bloodmeal hosts with large sample sizes have been conducted on members of the Cx. pipiens complex in the MRB including 1 each on Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from Louisiana, Cx. p. pipiens-quinquefasciatus hybrids from Tennessee, and Cx. p. pipiens from Illinois. The top 8 bloodmeal hosts from each of the 3 sites accounted for 68-92% of bloodmeals. Only 14 species accounted for the top 8 bloodmeal hosts at each of the 3 sites. The most often utilized bloodmeal hosts for members of the Culex pipiens complex within the MRB are the American robin, Northern cardinal, human, raccoon, common grackle, house sparrow, mourning dove, dog, Northern mockingbird, blue jay, opossum, domestic horse, house finch and European starling. Human feeding varied widely among sites from 1% to 15.7% of bloodmeals. The proportion of bloodmeals taken on humans is an important epidemiological variable and future studies are needed to define the primary genetic and environmental factors that influence host utilization by members of the Cx. pipiens complex. PMID:23401948

  12. Mechanism of bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the porcine lower esophageal sphincter

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Ching-Chung; Chang, Li-Ching; Lin, Kai-Jen; Tey, Shu-Leei; Su, Yu-Tsun; Liu, Ching-Wen; Tsai, Tong-Rong; Huang, Shih-Che

    2015-01-01

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that is related to an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Previous studies showed that bombesin could increase LES pressure in humans and opossums. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of bombesin on porcine LES contraction. We used the selective agonists, neuromedin B (NMB), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), and [D-Tyr6,Apa-4Cl11,Phe13,Nle14]bombesin-(6-14) (DTACPN-BN), as well as receptor antagonists of bombesin receptor subtype 2 (BB2), and 3 (BB3) for ex vivo contraction studies. Atropine, nifedipine, tetrodotoxin, and ω-conotoxin GVIA were used to explore the agonist-induced LES contraction mechanism. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were applied to detect bombesin receptor expression. Our results indicate that GRP and DTACPN-BN, but not NMB, induced tonic contractions of the porcine LES in a dose-dependent manner, and the contractions were inhibited with selective BB2 and BB3 antagonists. The GRP-induced contraction is mainly caused by L-type Ca2+ channel-mediated Ca2+ influx. However, DTACPN-BN-induced contractions are associated with neuronal conduction. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that BB2 and BB3 were expressed in the porcine LES. Bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the LES is mediated through BB2 and BB3. Bombesin, BB2, and BB3 agonists might have the potential to treat GERD. PMID:26522854

  13. Marsupial genome sequences: providing insight into evolution and disease.

    PubMed

    Deakin, Janine E

    2012-01-01

    Marsupials (metatherians), with their position in vertebrate phylogeny and their unique biological features, have been studied for many years by a dedicated group of researchers, but it has only been since the sequencing of the first marsupial genome that their value has been more widely recognised. We now have genome sequences for three distantly related marsupial species (the grey short-tailed opossum, the tammar wallaby, and Tasmanian devil), with the promise of many more genomes to be sequenced in the near future, making this a particularly exciting time in marsupial genomics. The emergence of a transmissible cancer, which is obliterating the Tasmanian devil population, has increased the importance of obtaining and analysing marsupial genome sequence for understanding such diseases as well as for conservation efforts. In addition, these genome sequences have facilitated studies aimed at answering questions regarding gene and genome evolution and provided insight into the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. Here I highlight the major advances in our understanding of evolution and disease, facilitated by marsupial genome projects, and speculate on the future contributions to be made by such sequences. PMID:24278712

  14. Identification of natural killer cell receptor genes in the genome of the marsupial Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).

    PubMed

    van der Kraan, Lauren E; Wong, Emily S W; Lo, Nathan; Ujvari, Beata; Belov, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Within the mammalian immune system, natural killer (NK) cells contribute to the first line of defence against infectious agents and tumours. Their activity is regulated, in part, by cell surface NK cell receptors. NK receptors can be divided into two unrelated, but functionally analogous superfamilies based on the structure of their extracellular ligand-binding domains. Receptors belonging to the C-type lectin superfamily are predominantly encoded in the natural killer complex (NKC), while receptors belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily are predominantly encoded in the leukocyte receptor complex (LRC). Natural killer cell receptors are emerging as a rapidly evolving gene family which can display significant intra- and interspecific variation. To date, most studies have focused on eutherian mammals, with significantly less known about the evolution of these receptors in marsupials. Here, we describe the identification of 43 immunoglobulin domain-containing LRC genes in the genome of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), the largest remaining marsupial carnivore and only the second marsupial species to be studied. We also identify orthologs of NKC genes KLRK1, CD69, CLEC4E, CLEC1B, CLEC1A and an ortholog of an opossum NKC receptor. Characterisation of these regions in a second, distantly related marsupial provides new insights into the dynamic evolutionary histories of these receptors in mammals. Understanding the functional role of these genes is also important for the development of therapeutic agents against Devil Facial Tumour Disease, a contagious cancer that threatens the Tasmanian devil with extinction. PMID:23007952

  15. Primate phylogeny: molecular evidence for a pongid clade excluding humans and a prosimian clade containing tarsiers.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shi

    2012-08-01

    Unbiased readings of fossils are well known to contradict some of the popular molecular groupings among primates, particularly with regard to great apes and tarsiers. The molecular methodologies today are however flawed as they are based on a mistaken theoretical interpretation of the genetic equidistance phenomenon that originally started the field. An improved molecular method the 'slow clock' was here developed based on the Maximum Genetic Diversity hypothesis, a more complete account of the unified changes in genotypes and phenotypes. The method makes use of only slow evolving sequences and requires no uncertain assumptions or mathematical corrections and hence is able to give definitive results. The findings indicate that humans are genetically more distant to orangutans than African apes are and separated from the pongid clade ∼17.6 million years ago. Also, tarsiers are genetically closer to lorises than simian primates are. Finally, the fossil times for the radiation of mammals at the K/T boundary and for the Eutheria-Metatheria split in the Early Cretaceous were independently confirmed from molecular dating calibrated using the fossil split times of gorilla-orangutan, mouse-rat, and opossum-kangaroo. Therefore, the re-established primate phylogeny indicates a remarkable unity between molecules and fossils. PMID:22932887

  16. In silico comparative analysis of DNA and amino acid sequences for prion protein gene.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y; Lee, J; Lee, C

    2008-01-01

    Genetic variability might contribute to species specificity of prion diseases in various organisms. In this study, structures of the prion protein gene (PRNP) and its amino acids were compared among species of which sequence data were available. Comparisons of PRNP DNA sequences among 12 species including human, chimpanzee, monkey, bovine, ovine, dog, mouse, rat, wallaby, opossum, chicken and zebrafish allowed us to identify candidate regulatory regions in intron 1 and 3'-untranslated region (UTR) in addition to the coding region. Highly conserved putative binding sites for transcription factors, such as heat shock factor 2 (HSF2) and myocite enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), were discovered in the intron 1. In 3'-UTR, the functional sequence (ATTAAA) for nucleus-specific polyadenylation was found in all the analysed species. The functional sequence (TTTTTAT) for maturation-specific polyadenylation was identically observed only in ovine, and one or two nucleotide mismatches in the other species. A comparison of the amino acid sequences in 53 species revealed a large sequence identity. Especially the octapeptide repeat region was observed in all the species but frog and zebrafish. Functional changes and susceptibility to prion diseases with various isoforms of prion protein could be caused by numeric variability and conformational changes discovered in the repeat sequences. PMID:18397498

  17. Morphological evidence for two types of Mammalian vomeronasal system.

    PubMed

    Takigami, Shu; Mori, Yuji; Tanioka, Yoshikuni; Ichikawa, Masumi

    2004-05-01

    The vomeronasal (VN) systems of rodents and opossums are of the segregated type, i.e alpha-subtype G protein Gi2- or Go-expressing VN neurons, which are sensory cells, project discretely to the rostral or caudal region of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). Although this zone-specific projection is believed to be a common feature for processing pheromones in mammals, we previously found a uniform-type VN system in goat in which only Gi2-expressing VN axons terminate at the AOB. In most mammals, it remains unclear whether their VN systems are of the segregated or uniform type. Therefore, we investigated morphologically the VN systems of different mammalian species (dog, horse, musk shrew and common marmoset). Consequently, all VN axons of the examined animals were positively stained with immunohistochemistry for Gi2 in the same way as that in the goat. On the other hand, we observed immunoreactivities against Go in the olfactory axons, but not in the VN axons. These results suggest that many mammals have uniform-type VN systems, and at least two types of VN systems exist in terrestrial mammals. This morphological evidence will help us determine the processing function of VN systems. PMID:15150143

  18. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH). A comparison of MFH in man and animals. A critical review.

    PubMed

    Schneider, P; Busch, U; Meister, H; Qasem, Q; Wünsch, P H

    1999-07-01

    This review gives information about localization and types of MFH in man and animals such as mouse, rat, cat, dog, opossum, cattle, horse and birds [e.g. mallard (a wild duck)]. Furthermore, this paper reports about cell culture dealing with MFH. The aim of this publication is to show that MFH originates from a primitive mesenchymal stem cell, fibroblastoid cell and fibroblasts. Histiocytes are, according to the literature in a small amount constituents of MFH and are reactive cells or without any meaning. In our own studies using rats [strain: Chbb: THOM (SPF)] the characteristic storiform or cartwheel pattern of tumour cells were evident. The cells were elongated, rich in endoplasmic reticulum and possessed no or very few lysosomes. The cells were predominantly fibroblasts and fibroblastoid cells. These cells were intermingled with giant cells. In other species mentioned above, the MFH showed very similar histological features. Our own results and findings obtained from the literature support our concept that the MFH represents a primitive phenotype or pleomorphic sarcoma which may differentiate in one or more directions. Histiocytes are not a neoplastic component. PMID:10425555

  19. Mechanism of bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the porcine lower esophageal sphincter.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Ching-Chung; Chang, Li-Ching; Lin, Kai-Jen; Tey, Shu-Leei; Su, Yu-Tsun; Liu, Ching-Wen; Tsai, Tong-Rong; Huang, Shih-Che

    2015-01-01

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that is related to an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Previous studies showed that bombesin could increase LES pressure in humans and opossums. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of bombesin on porcine LES contraction. We used the selective agonists, neuromedin B (NMB), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), and [D-Tyr(6),Apa-4Cl(11),Phe(13),Nle(14)]bombesin-(6-14) (DTACPN-BN), as well as receptor antagonists of bombesin receptor subtype 2 (BB2), and 3 (BB3) for ex vivo contraction studies. Atropine, nifedipine, tetrodotoxin, and ω-conotoxin GVIA were used to explore the agonist-induced LES contraction mechanism. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were applied to detect bombesin receptor expression. Our results indicate that GRP and DTACPN-BN, but not NMB, induced tonic contractions of the porcine LES in a dose-dependent manner, and the contractions were inhibited with selective BB2 and BB3 antagonists. The GRP-induced contraction is mainly caused by L-type Ca(2+) channel-mediated Ca(2+) influx. However, DTACPN-BN-induced contractions are associated with neuronal conduction. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that BB2 and BB3 were expressed in the porcine LES. Bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the LES is mediated through BB2 and BB3. Bombesin, BB2, and BB3 agonists might have the potential to treat GERD. PMID:26522854

  20. Evaluation of a Mysis bioenergetics model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chipps, S.R.; Bennett, D.H.

    2002-01-01

    Direct approaches for estimating the feeding rate of the opossum shrimp Mysis relicta can be hampered by variable gut residence time (evacuation rate models) and non-linear functional responses (clearance rate models). Bioenergetics modeling provides an alternative method, but the reliability of this approach needs to be evaluated using independent measures of growth and food consumption. In this study, we measured growth and food consumption for M. relicta and compared experimental results with those predicted from a Mysis bioenergetics model. For Mysis reared at 10??C, model predictions were not significantly different from observed values. Moreover, decomposition of mean square error indicated that 70% of the variation between model predictions and observed values was attributable to random error. On average, model predictions were within 12% of observed values. A sensitivity analysis revealed that Mysis respiration and prey energy density were the most sensitive parameters affecting model output. By accounting for uncertainty (95% CLs) in Mysis respiration, we observed a significant improvement in the accuracy of model output (within 5% of observed values), illustrating the importance of sensitive input parameters for model performance. These findings help corroborate the Mysis bioenergetics model and demonstrate the usefulness of this approach for estimating Mysis feeding rate.

  1. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Triatoma sordida before and after community-wide residual insecticide spraying in the Argentinean Chaco.

    PubMed

    Macchiaverna, Natalia P; Gaspe, María S; Enriquez, Gustavo F; Tomassone, Laura; Gürtler, Ricardo E; Cardinal, Marta V

    2015-03-01

    Triatoma sordida is a secondary vector of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco and Cerrado eco-regions where it frequently infests peridomestic and domestic habitats. In a well-defined area of the humid Argentine Chaco, very few T. sordida were found infected when examined by optical microscopic examination (OM). In order to further assess the role of T. sordida and the relative magnitude of subpatent bug infections, we examined the insects for T. cruzi infection, parasite Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) and bloodmeal sources using various molecular techniques. Among 205 bugs with a negative or no OM-based diagnosis, the prevalence of infection determined by kDNA-PCR was nearly the same in bugs captured before (6.3%) and 4 months after insecticide spraying (6.4%). On average, these estimates were sixfold higher than the prevalence of infection based on OM (1.1%). Only TcI was identified, a DTU typically associated with opossums and rodents. Chickens and turkeys were the only bloodmeal sources identified in the infected specimens and the main local hosts at the bugs' capture sites. As birds are refractory to T. cruzi infection, further studies are needed to identify the infectious bloodmeal hosts. The persistent finding of infected T. sordida after community-wide insecticide spraying highlights the need of sustained vector surveillance to effectively prevent T. cruzi transmission in the domestic and peridomestic habitats. PMID:25579426

  2. Molecular detection of Leishmania spp. in road-killed wild mammals in the Central Western area of the State of São Paulo, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Road-killed wild animals have been classified as sentinels for detecting such zoonotic pathogens as Leishmania spp., offering new opportunities for epidemiological studies of this infection. Methods This study aimed to evaluate the presence of Leishmania spp. and Leishmania chagasi DNA by PCR in tissue samples (lung, liver, spleen, kidney, heart, mesenteric lymph node and adrenal gland) from 70 road-killed wild animals. Results DNA was detected in tissues of one Cavia aperea (Brazilian guinea pig), five Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), one Dasypus septemcinctus (seven-banded armadillo), two Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), one Hydrochoerus hydrochoeris (capybara), two Myrmecophaga tridactyla (giant anteater), one Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon), two Sphiggurus spinosus (porcupine) and one Tamandua tetradactyla (lesser anteater) from different locations in the Central Western part of São Paulo state. The Leishmania chagasi DNA were confirmed in mesenteric lymph node of one Cerdocyon thous. Results indicated common infection in wild animals. Conclusions The approach employed herein proved useful for detecting the environmental occurrence of Leishmania spp. and L. chagasi, as well as determining natural wild reservoirs and contributing to understand the host-parasite interaction. PMID:24963288

  3. Ecological aspects of Rhodnius nasutus Stål, 1859 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) in palms of the Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dias, Fernando Braga Stehling; Bezerra, Cláudia Mendonça; Machado, Evandro Marques de Menezes; Casanova, Cláudio; Diotaiuti, Liléia

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this work is to present aspects related to the ecology of Rhodnius nasutus Stål, 1859 in palms from Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, Brazil. The following five species of palms were investigated: babaçu (Attalea speciosa), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), carnaúba (Copernicia prunifera), catolé (Syagrus oleracea) and macaúba-barriguda (Acrocomia intumescens). Fifth palms were dissected (10 specimens for each species). The overall infestation index was 86%, with a total of 521 triatomines collected. The Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas, 1909 Index was 16.8% and two insects presented mixed infection with Trypanosoma rangeli Tejera, 1920. A precipitin test showed that R. nasutus from palms of Chapada do Araripe are associated with opossum and bird although other possible bloodmeals were observed. Our results showing a high index of infestation of the palms as well as T. cruzi infection, the association of R. nasutus with the most diverse species of palms and proximity of these palms to houses demonstrate the importance of this area for sylvatic T. cruzi transmission and suggest the need for epidemiological surveillance in the region of the Chapada do Araripe. PMID:19148424

  4. Metazoan Gene Families from Metazome

    DOE Data Explorer

    Metazome is a joint project of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and the Center for Integrative Genomics to facilitate comparative genomic studies amongst metazoans. Clusters of orthologous and paralogous genes that represent the modern descendents of ancestral gene sets are constructed at key phylogenetic nodes. These clusters allow easy access to clade specific orthology/paralogy relationships as well as clade specific genes and gene expansions. As of version 2.0.4, Metazome provides access to twenty-four sequenced and annotated metazoan genomes, clustered at nine evolutionarily significant nodes. Where possible, each gene has been annotated with PFAM, KOG, KEGG, and PANTHER assignments, and publicly available annotations from RefSeq, UniProt, Ensembl, and JGI are hyper-linked and searchable. The included organisms (by common name) are: Human, Mouse, Rat, Dog, Opossum, Chicken, Frog, Stickleback, Medaka, Fugu pufferfish; Zebrafish, Seasquirt - savignyi, Seasquirt - intestinalis, Amphioxus, Sea Urchin, Fruitfly, Mosquite, Yellow Fever Mosquito, Silkworm, Red Flour Beetle, Worm, Briggsae Worm, Owl limpet (snail), and Sea anemone. [Copied from Metazome Overview at http://www.metazome.net/Metazome_info.php

  5. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Klippel, Angélica H.; Oliveira, Pablo V.; Britto, Karollini B.; Freire, Bárbara F.; Moreno, Marcel R.; dos Santos, Alexandre R.; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G.

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  6. Sources of Blood Meals of Sylvatic Triatoma guasayana near Zurima, Bolivia, Assayed with qPCR and 12S Cloning

    PubMed Central

    Lucero, David E.; Ribera, Wilma; Pizarro, Juan Carlos; Plaza, Carlos; Gordon, Levi W.; Peña, Reynaldo; Morrissey, Leslie A.; Rizzo, Donna M.; Stevens, Lori

    2014-01-01

    Background In this study we compared the utility of two molecular biology techniques, cloning of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene and hydrolysis probe-based qPCR, to identify blood meal sources of sylvatic Chagas disease insect vectors collected with live-bait mouse traps (also known as Noireau traps). Fourteen T. guasayana were collected from six georeferenced trap locations in the Andean highlands of the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Methodology/Principal Findings We detected four blood meals sources with the cloning assay: seven samples were positive for human (Homo sapiens), five for chicken (Gallus gallus) and unicolored blackbird (Agelasticus cyanopus), and one for opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Using the qPCR assay we detected chicken (13 vectors), and human (14 vectors) blood meals as well as an additional blood meal source, Canis sp. (4 vectors). Conclusions/Significance We show that cloning of 12S PCR products, which avoids bias associated with developing primers based on a priori knowledge, detected blood meal sources not previously considered and that species-specific qPCR is more sensitive. All samples identified as positive for a specific blood meal source by the cloning assay were also positive by qPCR. However, not all samples positive by qPCR were positive by cloning. We show the power of combining the cloning assay with the highly sensitive hydrolysis probe-based qPCR assay provides a more complete picture of blood meal sources for insect disease vectors. PMID:25474154

  7. High Prevalence of Porocephalus crotali Infection on a Barrier Island (Cumberland Island) off the Coast of Georgia, with Identification of Novel Intermediate Hosts.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Ellis, Angela E; Cleveland, Christopher A; Ruckdeschel, Carol

    2015-10-01

    Porocephalus crotali is a pentastomid parasite that uses crotaline snakes as definitive hosts and a variety of rodents as intermediate hosts. A study of definitive and intermediate pentastome hosts on Cumberland Island, Georgia, revealed high prevalence of P. crotali infection in crotalid snakes as well as several mammalian species. Despite the presence of numerous nymphs in some animals, clinical signs of disease were not observed. In intermediate hosts, the liver, mesentery, and reproductive organs were most commonly infected. No gross evidence of tissue damage was noted in association with the numerous encysted nymphal pentastomes, and histopathology demonstrated minimal reaction to the encysted nymphs. Partial 18S rRNA gene sequences confirmed the parasites were P. crotali. In contrast to many previous reports in rodents, the prevalence on this barrier island was high, and this is the first report of Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and any insectivore species as intermediate hosts. Although generally not considered pathogenic, the long-term consequences of high nymph intensities on individuals deserve attention. PMID:26042344

  8. Identification of a novel PNMA-MS1 gene in marsupials suggests the LTR retrotransposon-derived PNMA genes evolved differently in marsupials and eutherians.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Sawa; Suzuki, Shunsuke; Pelekanos, Matthew; Clark, Helen; Ono, Ryuichi; Shaw, Geoff; Renfree, Marilyn B; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2013-10-01

    Two major gene families derived from Ty3/Gypsy long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons were recently identified in mammals. The sushi-ichi retrotransposon homologue (SIRH) family comprises 12 genes: 11 in eutherians including Peg10 and Peg11/Rtl1 that have essential roles in the eutherian placenta and 1 that is marsupial specific. Fifteen and 12 genes were reported in the second gene family, para-neoplastic antigen MA (PNMA), in humans and mice, respectively, although their biological functions and evolutionary history remain largely unknown. Here, we identified two novel candidate PNMA genes, PNMA-MS1 and -MS2 in marsupials. Like all eutherian-specific PNMA genes, they exhibit the highest homology to a Gypsy12_DR (DR, Danio rerio) Gag protein. PNMA-MS1 is conserved in both Australian and South American marsupial species, the tammar wallaby and grey short-tailed opossum. However, no PNMA-MS1 orthologue was found in eutherians, monotremes or non-mammalian vertebrates. PNMA-MS1 was expressed in the ovary, mammary gland and brain during development and growth in the tammar, suggesting that PNMA-MS1 may have acquired a marsupial-specific function. However, PNMA-MS2 seems to be a pseudogene. The absence of marsupial orthologues of eutherian PNMA genes suggests that the retrotransposition events of the Gypsy12_DR-related retrotransposons that gave rise to the PNMA family occurred after the divergence of marsupials and eutherians. PMID:23704700

  9. Direct molecular identification of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida from the Argentine Chaco

    PubMed Central

    MAFFEY, L.; CARDINAL, M.V.; ORDÓÑEZ-KRASNOWSKI, P.C.; LANATI, L.A.; LAURICELLA, M.A.; SCHIJMAN, A.G.; GÜRTLER, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY We assessed the distribution of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida specimens collected in a well-defined rural area in Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina. Microscopically-positive bugs were randomly selected with a multi-level sampling design, and DTUs were identified using direct PCR strategies. TcVI predominated in 61% of 69 T. infestans and in 56% of 9 T. sordida. TcV was the secondary DTU in T. infestans (16%) and was found in one T. sordida specimen (11%). Three T. sordida (33%) were found infected with TcI, a DTU also identified in local Didelphis albiventris opossums. Mixed DTU infections occurred rarely (5%) and were detected both directly from the bugs’ rectal ampoule and parasite cultures. The identified DTUs and bug collection sites of T. infestans were significantly associated. Bugs infected with TcV were almost exclusively captured in domiciles whereas those with TcVI were found similarly in domiciles and peridomiciles. All mixed infections occurred in domiciles. TcV-infected bugs fed more often on humans than on dogs, whereas TcVI-infected bugs showed the reverse pattern. T. sordida is a probable sylvatic vector of TcI linked to D. albiventris, and could represent a secondary vector of TcVI and TcV in the domestic/peridomestic cycle. PMID:23036510

  10. [Ecological risk assessment of organophosphorus pesticides in aquatic ecosystems of Pearl River Estuary].

    PubMed

    Guo, Qiang; Tian, Hui; Mao, Xiao-Xuan; Huang, Tao; Gao, Hong; Ma, Jian-Min; Wu, Jun-Nian

    2014-03-01

    The risk quotient method and a probabilistic risk assessment method were applied for assessing aquatic ecological risk of nine organophosphorus pesticides, including thimet, dichlorovos, disulfoton, dimethoate, dimethyl parathion, chlorpyrifos, ethoprophos, sumithion and malathion on eight aquatic organisms in the Pearl River Estuary. Results using the risk quotient method revealed that the risk level of opossum shrimp was the highest among eight aquatic organisms of the Pearl River Estuary. The risk of water flea and midge was in medium level, followed by the rest six aquatic organisms, including diatom, oyster, carp, catfish and eel, which were in the low risk by the examined organophosphorus pesticides. It was found that thimet made the largest contribution to total aquatic ecological risk among nine organophosphorus pesticides to every organism. The results from probabilistic risk assessment showed that the total ecological risk in high water period was higher than that in low water period determined by the HC5 under the 95% confidence level. The largest contribution of thimet to total aquatic ecological risk subject to the HC5 in 50% confidence level was regarded as the toxic reference value. The probabilistic risk of a single contaminant showed that thimet and disulfoton were harmful to exceeded 10% organisms in the estuarine. The probabilistic risk of nine pesticides mixture in high water period was also higher than that in low water period, and both risks were greater than 5% which exceeded safety threshold for 95% organisms in the Pearl River Estuary. PMID:24881393

  11. Mechanism of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter Relaxation ACTION OF PROSTAGLANDIN E1 AND THEOPHYLLINE

    PubMed Central

    Goyal, Raj K.; Rattan, Satish

    1973-01-01

    The intravenous injection of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) causes a dose-dependent relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) in the intact, lightly anesthetized opossum. The action of PGE1 is not inhibited by the drugs that produce muscarinic or nicotinic cholinergic antagonism or alpha and beta adrenergic antagonism in the doses that inhibited the action of respective agonists. Moreover, this action is not affected by exogenous gastrin pentapeptide. The action of PGE1 on the LES is mimicked by isoproterenol, theophylline ethylenediamine, and dibutyryl cyclic AMP. Both theophylline, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, and isoproterenol, an adenyl cyclase stimulator, added to the action of PGE1. On the other hand, adenyl cyclase inhibitor nicotinic acid, as well as phosphodiesterase stimulator, imidazole inhibited its action. Further, both nicotinic acid and imidazole inhibited the degree of LES relaxation produced by esophageal distension. These studies suggest that intracellular cyclic AMP may act as the “second messenger” in the regulation of the lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. Images PMID:4346007

  12. Ectoparasites and associated pathogens of free-roaming and captive animals in zoos of South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Reeves, Will K; Adler, Peter H; Wozniak, Arthur; Wills, William

    2009-10-01

    A survey of ectoparasites and their associated pathogens was conducted in two South Carolina zoos, from 2004 to 2007. Dead, wild birds and mammals, as well as captive animals examined during routine veterinary checks constituted the study populations. Ectoparasites were tested for species of Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Trypanosoma. Forty-six species of ectoparasites were collected from 133 free-roaming and captive hosts and their associated nesting and bedding materials. Six vector-borne pathogens were detected molecularly in the ectoparasites, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the tick Ixodes dentatus Marx from an eastern cottontail rabbit, Bartonella clarridgeiae in the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) from a Virginia opossum, Bartonella sp. Oh6 in the squirrel flea Orchopeas howardi (Baker) from an eastern grey squirrel, Bartonella sp. T7498 in the sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri Jancke from a squirrel, Rickettsia sp. Rf2125 in C. felis from a zookeeper and a grizzly bear, and Rickettsiales sp. Ib 2006 in Ixodes brunneus Koch from an American crow. While the pathology of some of these pathogens is poorly known, Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis) and Bartonella clarridgeiae (causative agent of a disease similar to cat-scratch disease) can infect humans. Ectoparasites and their pathogens, especially those originating from free-roaming animals, present a potential threat to captive animals and humans. PMID:18973443

  13. Chromosomal Redistribution of Male-Biased Genes in Mammalian Evolution with Two Bursts of Gene Gain on the X Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yong E.; Vibranovski, Maria D.; Landback, Patrick; Marais, Gabriel A. B.; Long, Manyuan

    2010-01-01

    Mammalian X chromosomes evolved under various mechanisms including sexual antagonism, the faster-X process, and meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). These forces may contribute to nonrandom chromosomal distribution of sex-biased genes. In order to understand the evolution of gene content on the X chromosome and autosome under these forces, we dated human and mouse protein-coding genes and miRNA genes on the vertebrate phylogenetic tree. We found that the X chromosome recently acquired a burst of young male-biased genes, which is consistent with fixation of recessive male-beneficial alleles by sexual antagonism. For genes originating earlier, however, this pattern diminishes and finally reverses with an overrepresentation of the oldest male-biased genes on autosomes. MSCI contributes to this dynamic since it silences X-linked old genes but not X-linked young genes. This demasculinization process seems to be associated with feminization of the X chromosome with more X-linked old genes expressed in ovaries. Moreover, we detected another burst of gene originations after the split of eutherian mammals and opossum, and these genes were quickly incorporated into transcriptional networks of multiple tissues. Preexisting X-linked genes also show significantly higher protein-level evolution during this period compared to autosomal genes, suggesting positive selection accompanied the early evolution of mammalian X chromosomes. These two findings cast new light on the evolutionary history of the mammalian X chromosome in terms of gene gain, sequence, and expressional evolution. PMID:20957185

  14. Clinical-epidemiological study of leptospirosis in humans and reservoirs in Yucatán, México.

    PubMed

    Vado-Solís, Ignacio; Cárdenas-Marrufo, María F; Jiménez-Delgadillo, Bertha; Alzina-López, Alejandro; Laviada-Molina, Hugo; Suarez-Solís, Víctor; Zavala-Velázquez, Jorge E

    2002-01-01

    A leptospirosis clinical-epidemiological study was made in humans and reservoirs in the state of Yucatán, México. Interviews and serological analyses were made on 400 persons from an open population, 439 probable cases of leptospirosis and 1060 animal reservoirs (cows, pigs, dogs, rats and opossums). IgM Leptospira Dipstick and Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) was used to detect human antibodies to leptospiras and serovar respectively. Leptospirosis incidence in humans was 2.2/100,000 inhab. in 1998, 0.7/100,000 in 1999 and 0.9/100,000 in 2000. Overall seroprevalence was 14.2%, relatively unchanged from seroprevalences observed 20 years ago. Highest seropositivity was found in people over 56 years of age, predominating males over females. Predominant serovars in the open population were tarassovi, hardjo, pomona and panama. Leptospirosis cases were most frequent in rural areas, and the anicteric course predominated over the icteric. The panama, icterohaemorrhagiae and pomona serovars predominated in both anicteric and icteric courses. Dogs, pigs and rodents had the highest seropositivity among the reservoirs. Contact with rodents and natural water sources were significant factors (p < or = 0.05). Human cases (74%) occurred during the rainy season. It is concluded that leptospirosis is still a serious illness with important clinical and epidemiological implications in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. PMID:12532218

  15. Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Bonnie K.; Stanford, Jack A.; Goodman, Daniel; Stafford, Craig P.; Gustafson, Daniel L.; Beauchamp, David A.; Chess, Dale W.; Craft, James A.; Deleray, Mark A.; Hansen, Barry S.

    2011-01-01

    Introductions or invasions of nonnative organisms can mediate major changes in the trophic structure of aquatic ecosystems. Here we document multitrophic level impacts in a spatially extensive system that played out over more than a century. Positive interactions among exotic vertebrate and invertebrate predators caused a substantial and abrupt shift in community composition resulting in a trophic cascade that extended to primary producers and to a nonaquatic species, the bald eagle. The opossum shrimp, Mysis diluviana, invaded Flathead Lake, Montana, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States. Lake trout had been introduced 80 y prior but remained at low densities until nonnative Mysis became established. The bottom-dwelling mysids eliminated a recruitment bottleneck for lake trout by providing a deep water source of food where little was available previously. Lake trout subsequently flourished on mysids and this voracious piscivore now dominates the lake fishery; formerly abundant kokanee were extirpated, and native bull and westslope cutthroat trout are imperiled. Predation by Mysis shifted zooplankton and phytoplankton community size structure. Bayesian change point analysis of primary productivity (27-y time series) showed a significant step increase of 55 mg C m−2 d−1 (i.e., 21% rise) concurrent with the mysid invasion, but little trend before or after despite increasing nutrient loading. Mysis facilitated predation by lake trout and indirectly caused the collapse of kokanee, redirecting energy flow through the ecosystem that would otherwise have been available to other top predators (bald eagles). PMID:21199944

  16. Molecular and morphologic characterization of Sarcocystis felis (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) in South American wild felids from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cañón-Franco, William Alberto; López-Orozco, Natalia; Christoff, Alexandre Uarth; de Castilho, Camila Schlieper; de Araújo, Flavio Antônio Pacheco; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Dubey, J P; Soares, Rodrigo Martins; Gennari, Solange Maria

    2016-02-15

    Wild felids are thought to share parasites with domestic cats. However, little is known of the coccidian parasites of wild felids. We investigated the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in tissues of 6 species of 90 Neotropical small felids killed in road accidents in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil by using microscopic and molecular techniques. Formalin-fixed tissues from 28 felids were examined, and Sarcocystis felis-like sarcocysts were detected in 4 wild cats (2 Puma yagouaroundi and 2 Leopardus guttulus). By transmission electron microscopy, sarcocysts from a P. yagouaroundi were identical to S. felis from domestic cats in the USA. Direct sequencing of PCR amplicons resulted the unambiguous sequences of the ITS-1 region from 18 of the 31 PCR positive wild cats; 5 sequences from each P. yagouaroundi, and Leopardus geoffroyi, 4 sequences from L. guttulus, and 2 sequences from each Leopardus wiedii, and Leopardus colocolo. Sequences analysis of ITS-1 region revealed the highest identiy (97-99%) with that of previously describe isolates of S. felis from domestic cats in the USA and identified them as S. felis. Tissues of 1 Leopardus pardalis tested by PCR and histology were negative. The phylogenetic relationship indicated that S. felis is quite different to species which employ opossums as their definitive host. This is the first report of S. felis infection in small wild felids from Brazil. PMID:26827854

  17. Interspecific differences between small mammals as hosts of immature Dermacentor variabilis (Acari: Ixodidae) and a model for detection of high risk areas of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    PubMed

    Kollars, T M

    1996-10-01

    Fourteen species of small mammals were captured from July 1990 through August 1991 in Tennessee, from which 1,217 immature Dermacentor variabilis and 1 Ixodes dentatus were collected. Mammal species were given scores of importance (TS) as hosts to immature D. variabilis based on mean intensity and prevalence. The rice rat ranked the highest, with a TS = 5, followed by the golden mouse TS = 4, white-footed mouse TS = 3, pine vole TS = 2, cotton rat TS = 1, with the Norway rat, house mouse, and short-tailed shrew all having a TS = 0. Assigning a TS allows a quantitative method for differentiating and ranking small mammals as hosts for immature D. variabilis. Relative abundance of a species can also be important in determining D. variabilis populations, even with a low TS. The potential of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSFP) to occur in an area was estimated using the total score of small mammal hosts in an area and multiplying the relative abundance of important host species. The RMSFP of a site, based only upon small mammal species composition and relative abundance of important host species, was an accurate estimate of adult D. variabilis infesting raccoons and opossums at that trap site (P < or = 0.001). A RMSFP of 1.61 is needed to produce an estimated 252 adults per ha (RMSF threshold) at 98% survival of engorged immature ticks (P < 0.001). PMID:8885876

  18. Implications of raccoon latrines in the epizootiology of baylisascariasis.

    PubMed

    Page, L K; Swihart, R K; Kazacos, K R

    1999-07-01

    Raccoons (Procyon lotor) frequently establish defecation sites, termed latrines, on large logs, stumps, rocks, and other horizontally oriented structures/surfaces. These latrines are important foci of infective eggs of Baylisascaris procyonis, a nematode parasite of raccoons which is pathogenic to numerous species of mammals and birds. To examine the role of raccoon latrines in this animal-parasite interaction, we documented animal visitations to raccoon latrines in two large forested tracts and two woodlots in Indiana (USA) during 1994 and 1995. Species richness of vertebrate visitors did not differ between sites or years, but species composition differed by site and year. Fourteen mammal and 15 bird species were documented visiting raccoon latrines. Small granivorous mammals, including white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), and tree squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis, S. niger, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) were the most common visitors to latrine sites. White-footed mice, chipmunks, white-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis), and opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were photographed foraging on undigested seeds in raccoon feces. Active foraging at latrines also was shown experimentally; seeds embedded in raccoon feces were removed at a greater rate at latrine sites than at nonlatrines. We conclude that raccoon latrines are visited routinely by a variety of vertebrates, especially small granivorous rodents and birds which forage for seeds in raccoon feces, and that raccoon latrines are probable sites of transmission of B. procyonis to susceptible mammals and birds. PMID:10479081

  19. A novel Sarcocystis-associated encephalitis and myositis in racing pigeons.

    PubMed

    Olias, P; Gruber, A D; Heydorn, A O; Kohls, A; Mehlhorn, H; Hafez, H M; Lierz, M

    2009-04-01

    Sarcosporidian cysts in the skeletal muscle of domestic pigeons (Columba livia f. domestica) have previously been attributed to infection with Sarcocystis falcatula, which is shed in the faeces of the opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Here, we describe fatal spontaneous encephalitis and myositis associated with Sarcocystis infections in three flocks of racing pigeons with 47 of 244 animals affected. The clinical course was characterized by depression, mild diarrhoea, torticollis, opisthotonus, paralysis and trembling. Histopathological examination of 13 pigeons revealed generalized severe granulomatous and necrotizing meningoencephalitis and myositis with sarcosporidian cysts. Light and transmission electron microscopy identified cysts in heart and skeletal muscle of 1 to 2 mm in length and 20 to 50 microm in width. These were subdivided into small chambers by fine septae and filled with lancet-shaped cystozoites (7.5 x 1.5 microm) and dividing metrocytes, which is characteristic for Sarcocystis. The cysts had smooth walls and were devoid of protrusions typical of S. falcatula. Polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS-1) and the complete 28S rRNA identified a novel Sarcocystis species with only 51% ITS-1 nucleotide sequence similarity with S. falcatula. A phylogenetic comparison of the 28S rRNA revealed close sequence homologies with Frenkelia microti, Frenkelia glareoli and Sarcocystis neurona. The clinical, histopathological, electron microscopic and genetic data are unlike any previously described protozoan infections in pigeons, suggesting a novel, severe disease due to an as yet undescribed Sarcocystis species. PMID:19322710

  20. Morphologic and molecular characterization of the sarcocysts of Sarcocystis rileyi (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) from the mallard duck ( Anas platyrhynchos ).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Rosenthal, B M; Felix, T A

    2010-08-01

    Macroscopic sarcocysts are often observed in ducks, but at present their taxonomic status remains uncertain because ducks serve as intermediate hosts for several such parasites in the genus Sarcocystis . One such species, Sarcocystis rileyi , was long ago established to involve the northern shoveler duck ( Anas clypeata ) and the striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis ) as its intermediate and definitive hosts, respectively. Here, we employed light microscopy, electron microscopy, and DNA sequencing to more precisely describe diagnostic attributes of parasites presumed to represent S. rileyi occurring in a naturally-infected mallard duck ( Anas platyrhynchos ). By light and transmission electron microscopy, sarcocysts from the mallard duck resembled the S. rileyi described from A. clypeata . We document 18S, ITS-1, and 28S rDNA sequences from the mallard duck, the first for S. rileyi from any host. Sequences of conserved and variable portions of nuclear ribosomal DNA indicated that S. rileyi is related to, but distinct from, parasites employing opossums as their definitive host (including Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis falcatula ). Diagnostic ultrastructural features and nucleotide sequences should aid in future studies and communications regarding this parasitic taxon, which lends itself to experimentation because its sarcocysts are macroscopic and easily excised from infected birds. PMID:20496959

  1. Sarcocystis neurona schizonts-associated encephalitis, chorioretinitis, and myositis in a two-month-old dog simulating toxoplasmosis, and presence of mature sarcocysts in muscles.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Black, S S; Verma, S K; Calero-Bernal, R; Morris, E; Hanson, M A; Cooley, A J

    2014-05-28

    Sarcocystis neurona is an unusual species of the genus Sarcocystis. Opossums (Didelphis virginianus, D. albiventris) are the definitive hosts and several other species, including dogs, cats, marine mammals, and horses are intermediate or aberrant hosts. Sarcocysts are not known to form in aberrant hosts. Sarcocystis neurona causes fatal disease in horses (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, EPM). There are numerous reports of fatal EPM-like infections in other species, usually with central nervous system signs and associated with the schizont stage of S. neurona. Here, we report fatal disseminated S. neurona infection in a nine-week-old golden retriever dog from Mississippi, USA. Protozoal merozoites were identified in smears of the cerebrospinal fluid. Microscopically, lesions and protozoa were identified in eyes, tongue, heart, liver, intestines, nasal turbinates, skeletal muscle and brain, which reacted intensely with S. neurona polyclonal antibodies. Mature sarcocysts were seen in sections of muscles. These sarcocysts were ultrastructurally similar to those of S. neurona from experimentally infected animals. These data suggest that the dog is another intermediate host for S. neurona. Data suggest that the dog was transplacentally infected. PMID:24680604

  2. Efficacy of decoquinate against Sarcocystis neurona in cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, David S; Nazir, M Mudasser; Maqbool, Azhar; Ellison, Siobhan P; Strobl, Jeannine S

    2013-09-01

    Decoquinate is a quinolone anticoccidial approved for use in the prevention of intestinal coccidiosis in farm animals. This compound has good activity against Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in cell cultures. The drug acts on the parasites' mitochondria. The activity of decoquinate against developing merozoites of 2 isolates of Sarcocystis neurona was examined in cell culture. Merozoite production at 10 days was completely inhibited when decoquinate was used at 20 or 240 nM. The IC50 of decoquinate was 0.5 ± 0.09nM for the Sn6 isolate of S. neurona from a horse and 1.1 ± 0.6 nM for the SnOP15 isolate of S. neurona from an opossum. Levamisole was toxic at 5 μg/ml and no synergism was observed when decoquinate was combined with levamisole and tested against the Sn3YFP isolate of S. neurona. Decoquinate was cidal for developing schizonts of S. neurona at 240 nM. PMID:23523012

  3. Adaptive changes in the transcription factor HoxA-11 are essential for the evolution of pregnancy in mammals.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Vincent J; Tanzer, Andrea; Wang, Yajun; Leung, Frederick C; Gellersen, Birgit; Emera, Deena; Wagner, Gunter P

    2008-09-30

    Evolutionary change in gene regulation can result from changes in cis-regulatory elements, leading to differences in the temporal and spatial expression of genes or in the coding region of transcription factors leading to novel functions or both. Although there is a growing body of evidence supporting the importance of cis-regulatory evolution, examples of protein-mediated evolution of novel developmental pathways have not been demonstrated. Here, we investigate the evolution of prolactin (PRL) expression in endometrial cells, which is essential for placentation/pregnancy in eutherian mammals and is a direct regulatory target of the transcription factor HoxA-11. Here, we show that (i) endometrial PRL expression is a derived feature of placental mammals, (ii) the PRL regulatory gene HoxA-11 experienced a period of strong positive selection in the stem-lineage of eutherian mammals, and (iii) only HoxA-11 proteins from placental mammals, including the reconstructed ancestral eutherian gene, are able to up-regulate PRL from the promoter used in endometrial cells. In contrast, HoxA-11 from the reconstructed therian ancestor, opossum, platypus, and chicken are unable to up-regulate PRL expression. These results demonstrate that the evolution of novel gene expression domains is not only mediated by the evolution of cis-regulatory elements but can also require evolutionary changes of transcription factor proteins themselves. PMID:18809929

  4. Cytoplasmic Plaque Formation in Hemidesmosome Development Is Dependent on SoxF Transcription Factor Function

    PubMed Central

    Oommen, Shelly; Francois, Mathias; Kawasaki, Maiko; Murrell, Melanie; Kawasaki, Katsushige; Porntaveetus, Thantrira; Ghafoor, Sarah; Young, Neville J.; Okamatsu, Yoshimasa; McGrath, John; Koopman, Peter; Sharpe, Paul T.; Ohazama, Atsushi

    2012-01-01

    Hemidesmosomes are composed of intricate networks of proteins, that are an essential attachment apparatus for the integrity of epithelial tissue. Disruption leads to blistering diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa. Members of the Sox gene family show dynamic and diverse expression patterns during development and mutation analyses in humans and mice provide evidence that they play a remarkable variety of roles in development and human disease. Previous studies have established that the mouse mutant ragged-opossum (Raop) expresses a dominant-negative form of the SOX18 transcription factor that interferes with the function of wild type SOX18 and of the related SOXF-subgroup proteins SOX7 and −17. Here we show that skin and oral mucosa in homozygous Raop mice display extensive detachment of epithelium from the underlying mesenchymal tissue, caused by tearing of epithelial cells just above the plasma membrane due to hemidesmosome disruption. In addition, several hemidesmosome proteins expression were found to be dysregulated in the Raop mice. Our data suggest that SOXF transcription factors play a role in regulating formation of cytoplasmic plaque protein assembly, and that disrupted SOXF function results in epidermolysis bullosa-like skin phenotypes. PMID:22962592

  5. Four events of host switching in Aspidoderidae (Nematoda) involve convergent lineages of mammals.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Gardner, Scott L; Navone, Graciela; Ortí, Guillermo

    2012-12-01

    The Great American Interchange resulted in the mixing of faunistic groups with different origins and evolutionary trajectories that underwent rapid diversification in North and South America. As a result, groups of animals of recent arrival converged into similar habits and formed ecological guilds with some of the endemics. We present a reconstruction of the evolutionary events in Aspidoderidae, a family of nematodes that infect mammals that are part of this interchange, i.e., dasypodids, opossums, and sigmodontine, geomyid, and hystricognath rodents. By treating hosts as discrete states of character and using parsimony and Bayesian inferences to optimize these traits into the phylogeny of Aspidoderidae, we reconstructed Dasypodidae (armadillos) as the synapomorphic host for the family. In addition, 4 events of host switching were detected. One consisted of the switch from dasypodids to hystricognath rodents, and subsequently to geomyid rodents. The remaining set of events consisted of a switch from dasypodids to didelphid marsupials and then to sigmodontine rodents. The reconstruction of the ancestral distribution suggests 3 events of dispersal into the Nearctic. Two of these invasions would suggest that 2 different lineages of dasypodid parasites entered the Northern Hemisphere at different times, which is consistent with the presence of 2 lineages of armadillos in Mexico. PMID:22663159

  6. Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Bonnie K; Stanford, Jack A; Goodman, Daniel; Stafford, Craig P; Gustafson, Daniel L; Beauchamp, David A; Chess, Dale W; Craft, James A; Deleray, Mark A; Hansen, Barry S

    2011-01-18

    Introductions or invasions of nonnative organisms can mediate major changes in the trophic structure of aquatic ecosystems. Here we document multitrophic level impacts in a spatially extensive system that played out over more than a century. Positive interactions among exotic vertebrate and invertebrate predators caused a substantial and abrupt shift in community composition resulting in a trophic cascade that extended to primary producers and to a nonaquatic species, the bald eagle. The opossum shrimp, Mysis diluviana, invaded Flathead Lake, Montana, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States. Lake trout had been introduced 80 y prior but remained at low densities until nonnative Mysis became established. The bottom-dwelling mysids eliminated a recruitment bottleneck for lake trout by providing a deep water source of food where little was available previously. Lake trout subsequently flourished on mysids and this voracious piscivore now dominates the lake fishery; formerly abundant kokanee were extirpated, and native bull and westslope cutthroat trout are imperiled. Predation by Mysis shifted zooplankton and phytoplankton community size structure. Bayesian change point analysis of primary productivity (27-y time series) showed a significant step increase of 55 mg C m(-2) d(-1) (i.e., 21% rise) concurrent with the mysid invasion, but little trend before or after despite increasing nutrient loading. Mysis facilitated predation by lake trout and indirectly caused the collapse of kokanee, redirecting energy flow through the ecosystem that would otherwise have been available to other top predators (bald eagles). PMID:21199944

  7. Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae) in Brazil: trypomastigotes described from experimentally infected laboratory mice.

    PubMed

    Naiff, Roberto Daibes; Barrett, Toby Vincent

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection, isolation and description of Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from a caviomorph rodent, Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae), obtained in the Rio Negro region of the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil. Laboratory-bred white mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus rattus) were inoculated with large numbers of culture forms by intraperitoneal route, and trypomastigotes appeared in their blood 3-8 days post-inoculation. One single epimastigote was also found in Mus musculus. Similar attempts to infect Rattus norvegicus, hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the opossum Didelphis marsupialis, the anteater Tamandua tetradactyla and triatomine bugs were unsuccessful, following six months of observations and microscopic examinations of blood films and blood cultures. As we have found no previous record of a Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) species naturally infecting a member of the family Echimyidae, or any other caviomorph rodent, we conclude that this is the first time such an infection has been reported. The new species is unusual in the subgenus for its infectivity to laboratory mice. PMID:24309069

  8. Host utilization and seasonal occurrence of Dermacentor species (Acari:Ixodidae) in Missouri, USA.

    PubMed

    Kollars, T M; Oliver, J H; Masters, E J; Kollars, P G; Durden, L A

    2000-08-01

    A total of 3,235 Dermacentor variabilis (Say) specimens were collected from birds, mammals, and by dragging vegetation, and 2,683 D. albipictus (Packard) ticks were collected from deer from 1993 to 1996. Peak seasonal occurrence of adult D. variabilis was from May through July with a precipitous decrease in August. Nymphal D. variabilis populations peaked in June. Peak activity of larvae was bimodal, with one activity peak during late summer (September) and a second peak in winter or early spring. The raccoon, Procyon lotor (L.), was the principal host of adults followed by the Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana Kerr. Rodents and the eastern cottontail rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus (J. A. Allen), were the primary hosts of nymphs. The marsh rice rat, Oryzomys palustris (Harlan), was the principal host of larvae followed by the pine vole, Microtus pinetorum (Le Conte), and white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque). All stages of D. albipictus were found only on white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann). Numbers of adult and nymphal D. albipictus peaked in November, whereas larvae peaked in September. PMID:11201355

  9. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in wild mammals of Missouri and east central Kansas: biologic and ecologic considerations of transmission.

    PubMed

    Smith, D D; Frenkel, J K

    1995-01-01

    Sera from 273 wild mammals from Missouri and Kansas (USA), collected between December 1974 and December 1987, were tested for the presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using the Sabin-Feldman dye test. Sixty-five (24%) had antibodies at titers of > or = 1:8, including 38 (66%) of 58 carnivores, 14 (15%) of 94 omnivores, 13 (11%) of 117 herbivores, and none of four insectivores. The prevalence of antibodies in mice (Mus musculus and Peromyscus spp.) and rats (Rattus norvegicus and Sigmodon hispidus) was low (3%), while medium sized herbivores such as squirrels (Sciurus spp.), rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), and muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) had prevalences of about 18%. Red foxes (Vulpes fulva) and mink (Mustela vison) had the highest prevalence of antibodies with frequencies of 90 and 66%, respectively. In 32 attempts to isolate Toxoplasma gondii from wild mammals with positive (> or = 1:4) titers, only six (19%) were successful: a gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), a beaver (Castor canadensis), an opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), a red fox and two mink. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the probability of infection with Toxoplasma gondii, and therefore prevalence of antibodies in wildlife, is greatest in carnivores. PMID:7563419

  10. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (Map) from feral cats on a dairy farm with Map-infected cattle.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Mitchell V; Stoffregen, William C; Carpenter, Jeremy G; Stabel, Judith R

    2005-07-01

    Paratuberculosis is an economically important disease of dairy cattle caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). The role of nonruminant, nondomestic animals in the epidemiology of paratuberculosis in cattle is unclear. To examine nonruminant, nondomestic animals for the presence of Map, 25 feral cats, nine mice (species unknown), eight rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), six raccoons (Procyon lotor), and three opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were collected from a mid-western dairy with known Map-infected cattle. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from the mesenteric lymph node from seven of 25 (28%) feral cats. Ileum was culture-positive for three of these seven cats, and an isolation of Map was also made from the ileum of one of nine (11%) mice. Tissue samples from other species were negative as determined by Map culture; microscopic lesions consistent with paratuberculosis were not seen in any animal. Restriction fragment polymorphism analysis of isolates from cats and dairy cattle suggest interspecies transmission. The means by which interspecies transmission occurred may be through ingestion of Map-contaminated feces or waste milk or through ingestion of Map-infected prey. Shedding of Map from infected cats was not evaluated. The epidemiologic role of Map-infected feral cats on dairy farms requires further investigation. PMID:16244077

  11. Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) infestation on medium-sized mammals and blue jays in northwestern Illinois.

    PubMed

    Mannelli, A; Kitron, U; Jones, C J; Slajchert, T L

    1993-09-01

    High prevalence of infestation of five species of medium-sized mammals and blue jays, Cyanocitta cristata (L.), by immature Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman and Corwin was found in Castle Rock State Park in northwestern Illinois during May-August 1991. Raccoons, Procyon lotor L., and opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, were infested with the highest larval densities and were trapped primarily in bottomland forest and ecotone habitats. All species had similar nymphal densities, except the eastern cottontails, Sylvilagus floridanus Allen, which were infested with fewer nymphs. Infestation by I. dammini is reported for the first time for fox squirrels, Sciurus niger E. G. St. Hilaire, and for the first time in the midwestern United States for blue jays, C. cristata. These two species were hosts for nymphs in upland forest habitat. Molting rates varied among ticks that fed on different host species and among larvae that fed on individuals of the same species. Molting rate is proposed as an important factor in determining the relative importance of a host species to I. dammini population dynamics. PMID:8254647

  12. First isolation of Leptospira interrogans from Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox) in Argentina shows new MLVA genotype.

    PubMed

    Scialfa, Exequiel; Brihuega, Bibiana; Venzano, Agustín; Morris, Winston Eduardo; Bolpe, Jorge; Schettino, Mateo

    2013-01-01

    To identify carriers of Leptospira spp. in Argentina, wild animals were trapped in Buenos Aires Province during three nights, capturing 12 Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), six Chaetophractus villosus (big hairy armadillo), five Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox), and two Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk). All were tested by microscopic agglutination test, and five (two gray foxes, two armadillos, and one skunk) were positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae, L. borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis, and L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, at titers of 1:50 and 1:100. Kidney tissue from all animals was cultured, and one isolate of L. interrogans from a gray fox was obtained. Hamsters inoculated with the isolate died after 6 days with no macroscopic lesions at necropsy. However, histologic examination revealed glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and pneumonia. The Leptospira strain from the South American gray fox was analyzed serologically and its pathogenicity was established. Genotyping through multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis showed that the strain was a new genotype related to the L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. PMID:23307384

  13. Transposition and Intermingling of Gαi2 and Gαo Afferences into Single Vomeronasal Glomeruli in the Madagascan Lesser Tenrec Echinops telfairi

    PubMed Central

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Villalón, Aldo; Künzle, Heinz; Mpodozis, Jorge

    2009-01-01

    The vomeronasal system (VNS) mediates pheromonal communication in mammals. From the vomeronasal organ, two populations of sensory neurons, expressing either Gαi2 or Gαo proteins, send projections that end in glomeruli distributed either at the rostral or caudal half of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), respectively. Neurons at the AOB contact glomeruli of a single subpopulation. The dichotomic segregation of AOB glomeruli has been described in opossums, rodents and rabbits, while Primates and Laurasiatheres present the Gαi2-pathway only, or none at all (such as apes, some bats and aquatic species). We studied the AOB of the Madagascan lesser tenrec Echinops telfairi (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) and found that Gαi2 and Gαo proteins are expressed in rostral and caudal glomeruli, respectively. However, the segregation of vomeronasal glomeruli at the AOB is not exclusive, as both pathways contained some glomeruli transposed into the adjoining subdomain. Moreover, some glomeruli seem to contain intermingled afferences from both pathways. Both the transposition and heterogeneity of vomeronasal afferences are features, to our knowledge, never reported before. The organization of AOB glomeruli suggests that synaptic integration might occur at the glomerular layer. Whether intrinsic AOB neurons may make synaptic contact with axon terminals of both subpopulations is an interesting possibility that would expand our understanding about the integration of vomeronasal pathways. PMID:19956694

  14. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use 'model organisms' such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans. PMID:22537021

  15. Hearing aid for vertebrates via multiple episodic adaptive events on prestin genes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhen; Li, Gong-Hua; Huang, Jing-Fei; Murphy, Robert W; Shi, Peng

    2012-09-01

    Auditory detection is essential for survival and reproduction of vertebrates, yet the genetic changes underlying the evolution and diversity of hearing are poorly documented. Recent discoveries concerning prestin, which is responsible for cochlear amplification by electromotility, provide an opportunity to redress this situation. We identify prestin genes from the genomes of 14 vertebrates, including three fishes, one amphibian, one lizard, one bird, and eight mammals. An evolutionary analysis of these sequences and 34 previously known prestin genes reveals for the first time that this hearing gene was under positive selection in the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of tetrapods. This discovery might document the genetic basis of enhanced high sound sensibility in tetrapods. An investigation of the adaptive gain and evolution of electromotility, an important evolutionary innovation for the highest hearing ability of mammals, detects evidence for positive selections on the MRCA of mammals, therians, and placentals, respectively. It is suggested that electromotility determined by prestin might initially appear in the MRCA of mammals, and its functional improvements might occur in the MRCA of therian and placental mammals. Our patch clamp experiments further support this hypothesis, revealing the functional divergence of voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance of prestin from platypus, opossum, and gerbil. Moreover, structure-based cdocking analyses detect positively selected amino acids in the MRCA of placental mammals that are key residues in sulfate anion transport. This study provides new insights into the adaptation and functional diversity of hearing sensitivity in vertebrates by evolutionary and functional analysis of the hearing gene prestin. PMID:22416033

  16. Baton pass hypothesis: successive incorporation of unconserved endogenous retroviral genes for placentation during mammalian evolution.

    PubMed

    Imakawa, Kazuhiko; Nakagawa, So; Miyazawa, Takayuki

    2015-10-01

    It is well accepted that numerous RNAs derived from endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are expressed in mammalian reproductive structures, particularly in the uterus, trophoblast, and placenta. Syncytin 1 and syncytin 2 in humans and syncytin A and syncytin B in mice are membrane proteins originating from Env genes of ERVs. These ERVs are involved in the fusion of trophoblast cells, resulting in multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast formation. Evidence accumulated indicates that syncytin-like fusogenic proteins are expressed in the placenta of rabbits, dogs/cats, ruminant ungulates, tenrecs, and opossums. The syncytin genes so far characterized are known to be endogenized to the host genome only within the past 12-80 million years, more recently than the appearance of mammalian placentas, estimated to be 160-180 million years ago. We speculate that ERVs including syncytin-like gene variants integrated into mammalian genomes in a locus-specific manner have replaced the genes previously responsible for cell fusion. We therefore propose the 'baton pass' hypothesis, in which multiple successive ERV variants 'take over' cell-fusion roles, resulting in increased trophoblast cell fusion, morphological variations in placental structures, and enhanced reproductive success in placental mammals. PMID:26442811

  17. Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Mitigation; Kokanee Stocking and Monitoring in Flathead Lake, 1996 Progress Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Carty, Daniel; Knoetek, W. Ladd Hansen, Barry

    1997-06-01

    Kokanee salmon Oncorhynchus nerka were introduced into Flathead Lake in 1916. The kokanee population declined in the 1960s and 1970s, and kokanee disappeared from Flathead Lake in the late 1980s. Their disappearance has been attributed to the long-term effects of the construction and operation of Hungry Horse and Kerr dams, excessive harvest by anglers, and changes in the lake food web induced by the introduction of opossum shrimp Mysis relicta. Attempts to reestablish kokanee in the Flathead Lake ecosystem between 1988 and 1991 were unsuccessful. In 1991, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) wrote a mitigation plan to restore kokanee to Flathead Lake. In 1993, MFWP, CSKT, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrote a mitigation implementation plan that initiated a 5-year test program to use hatchery-reared fish to reintroduce kokanee to the lake. Stocking hatchery-reared kokanee into Flathead Lake began in 1993; the 5-year {open_quotes}kokanee test{close_quotes} started in 1994 and is scheduled to continue through 1998. The annual stocking objective is 1 million yearling kokanee (6-8 in long). Criteria used to evaluate the success of the 5-year test are (1) 30% survival of kokanee 1 year after stocking, (2) yearling-to-adult survival of 10%, and (3) annual harvest of 50,000 kokanee ({ge} 11 in) and fishing effort {ge} 100,000 angler hours.

  18. Reproductive effort and seasonality associated with male-biased parasitism in Gracilinanus agilis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) infected by Eimeria spp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in the Brazilian cerrado.

    PubMed

    Strona, A L S; Levenhagem, M; Leiner, N O

    2015-07-01

    The aggregation of parasites among hosts is associated with differential host exposure and susceptibility to parasites, which varies according to host gender, body size, reproductive status and environmental factors. We evaluated the role of these factors on infestation by Eimeria spp. (Eimeriidae) in the agile gracile mouse opossum (Gracilinanus agilis), a semelparous didelphid inhabiting neotropical savannahs. Eimeria spp. abundance and prevalence among G. agilis were associated with the breeding status of individuals and to a lesser extent to climatic season, with both sexes presenting higher Eimeria spp. burdens during late breeding/wet season. On the other hand, male-biased parasitism was restricted to dry/mating season. We suggest that male spatial organization and diet may account for increased parasite burdens within this sex, although future studies should evaluate the role of physiological differences associated with androgen hormones. Finally, a rapid increase in Eimeria spp. loads among females during the late breeding/wet season seems associated with seasonal changes in susceptibility, due to breeding costs related to semelparity, and exposure to infective propagules, while male-die off seems to explain maintenance of higher Eimeria spp. burdens within this sex in the same period. PMID:25877479

  19. The Relationship between Gene Network Structure and Expression Variation among Individuals and Species.

    PubMed

    Sears, Karen E; Maier, Jennifer A; Rivas-Astroza, Marcelo; Poe, Rachel; Zhong, Sheng; Kosog, Kari; Marcot, Jonathan D; Behringer, Richard R; Cretekos, Chris J; Rasweiler, John J; Rapti, Zoi

    2015-08-01

    Variation among individuals is a prerequisite of evolution by natural selection. As such, identifying the origins of variation is a fundamental goal of biology. We investigated the link between gene interactions and variation in gene expression among individuals and species using the mammalian limb as a model system. We first built interaction networks for key genes regulating early (outgrowth; E9.5-11) and late (expansion and elongation; E11-13) limb development in mouse. This resulted in an Early (ESN) and Late (LSN) Stage Network. Computational perturbations of these networks suggest that the ESN is more robust. We then quantified levels of the same key genes among mouse individuals and found that they vary less at earlier limb stages and that variation in gene expression is heritable. Finally, we quantified variation in gene expression levels among four mammals with divergent limbs (bat, opossum, mouse and pig) and found that levels vary less among species at earlier limb stages. We also found that variation in gene expression levels among individuals and species are correlated for earlier and later limb development. In conclusion, results are consistent with the robustness of the ESN buffering among-individual variation in gene expression levels early in mammalian limb development, and constraining the evolution of early limb development among mammalian species. PMID:26317994

  20. Cell compatibility of a maghemite/polymer biomedical nanoplatform.

    PubMed

    Ali, Lamiaa M A; Piñol, Rafael; Villa-Bellosta, Ricardo; Gabilondo, Lierni; Millán, Angel; Palacio, Fernando; Sorribas, Victor

    2015-08-01

    We are reporting the cytocompatibility and cellular fate of an iron oxide/polymer nanoplatform (IONP) in its most basic formulation, using both mesenchymal (vascular smooth muscle cells, VSMC), and epithelial (opossum kidney, OK) cells. The cytotoxicity and cell internalization of the nanoplatform has been evaluated in relation to time of exposure and concentration of different components. A series of samples with different iron oxide nanoparticle, sizes, hydrodynamic sizes and iron/polymer ratio have been examined. In all cases cytotoxicity is low, and it is mostly determined by the internalization rate, being higher in VSMC than in OK cells. The mean lethal dose has a very narrow threshold, and necrosis is the only cell death type. IONP uptake shows little incidence on oxidative stress, and inflammasome activation is only observed with the smaller IONP at high concentration. The internalization rate in VSMC is determined by the polymer concentration exclusively. In OK cells, internalization rate seems to increase with decreasing hydrodynamic size. Internalization occurs through clathrin-dependent endocytosis, as it is prevented by potassium depletion and chlorpromazine. IONP are directed and accumulated in lysosomes. Under IONP overload, lysosomal dysfunction would cause cell death using concentrations that are hardly achieved in vivo. PMID:25891827

  1. Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum chagasi Infection in Wild Mammals from Maranhão State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Andréa Pereira; Costa, Francisco Borges; Soares, Herbert Sousa; Ramirez, Diego Garcia; Mesquita, Eric Takashi Kamakura de Carvalho; Gennari, Solange Maria; Marcili, Arlei

    2015-11-01

    Trypanosoma and Leishmania are obligate parasites that cause important diseases in human and domestic animals. Wild mammals are the natural reservoirs of these parasites, which are transmitted by hematophagous arthropods. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of trypanosomatids through serological diagnosis, PCR of whole blood and blood culture (hemoculture), and phylogenetic relationships using small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA), cytochrome b, and glycosomal glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes. Samples from 131 wild animals, including rodents, marsupials, and bats, were sampled in six areas in the state of Maranhão, in a transition zone of semiarid climates northeast of the equatorial humid Amazon. Serological analysis for Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi was performed in opossums by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), and all animals were serologically negative. Nine positive hemocultures (6.77%) were isolated and cryopreserved and from mammals of the Didelphimorphia and Chiroptera orders and positioned in phylogenies on the basis of sequences from different genes with reference strains of Trypanosoma cruzi marinkellei and T. cruzi. From primary samples (blood and tissues) only one bat, Pteronotus parnellii, was positive to SSU rDNA and gGAPDH genes and grouped with the L. infantum chagasi branch. The studies conducted in Maranhão State provide knowledge of parasite diversity. It is important to determine the presence of trypanosomatids in wild mammals with synanthropic habits. PMID:26501369

  2. The Araguaia River as an Important Biogeographical Divide for Didelphid Marsupials in Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Rita Gomes; Ferreira, Eduardo; Loss, Ana Carolina; Heller, Rasmus; Fonseca, Carlos; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-01-01

    The riverine barrier model suggests that rivers play a significant role in separating widespread organisms into isolated populations. In this study, we used a comparative approach to investigate the phylogeography of 6 didelphid marsupial species in central Brazil. Specifically, we evaluate the role of the mid-Araguaia River in differentiating populations and estimate divergence time among lineages to assess the timing of differentiation of these species, using mitochondrial DNA sequence data. The 6 didelphid marsupials revealed different intraspecific genetic patterns and structure. The 3 larger and more generalist species, Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis, and Philander opossum, showed connectivity across the Araguaia River. In contrast the genetic structure of the 3 smaller and specialist species, Gracilinanus agilis, Marmosa (Marmosa) murina, and Marmosa (Micoureus) demerarae was shaped by the mid-Araguaia. Moreover, the split of eastern and western bank populations of the 2 latter species is consistent with the age of Araguaia River sediments formation. We hypothesize that the role of the Araguaia as a riverine barrier is linked to the level of ecological specialization among the 6 didelphid species and differences in their ability to cross rivers or disperse through the associated habitat types. PMID:26249652

  3. Imaging Serotonergic Fibers in the Mouse Spinal Cord Using the CLARITY/CUBIC Technique.

    PubMed

    Liang, Huazheng; Schofield, Emma; Paxinos, George

    2016-01-01

    Long descending fibers to the spinal cord are essential for locomotion, pain perception, and other behaviors. The fiber termination pattern in the spinal cord of the majority of these fiber systems have not been thoroughly investigated in any species. Serotonergic fibers, which project to the spinal cord, have been studied in rats and opossums on histological sections and their functional significance has been deduced based on their fiber termination pattern in the spinal cord. With the development of CLARITY and CUBIC techniques, it is possible to investigate this fiber system and its distribution in the spinal cord, which is likely to reveal previously unknown features of serotonergic supraspinal pathways. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for imaging the serotonergic fibers in the mouse spinal cord using the combined CLARITY and CUBIC techniques. The method involves perfusion of a mouse with a hydrogel solution and clarification of the tissue with a combination of clearing reagents. Spinal cord tissue was cleared in just under two weeks, and the subsequent immunofluorescent staining against serotonin was completed in less than ten days. With a multi-photon fluorescent microscope, the tissue was scanned and a 3D image was reconstructed using Osirix software. PMID:26967767

  4. The NHERF2 sequence adjacent and upstream of the ERM-binding domain affects NHERF2-ezrin binding and dexamethasone stimulated NHE3 activity.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianbo; Sarker, Rafiquel; Singh, Varsha; Sarker, Prateeti; Yin, Jianyi; Chen, Tian-E; Chaerkady, Raghothama; Li, Xuhang; Tse, C Ming; Donowitz, Mark

    2015-08-15

    In the brush border of intestinal and kidney epithelial cells, scaffolding proteins ezrin, Na(+)-H(+) exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF)1 and NHERF2 play important roles in linking transmembrane proteins to the cytoskeleton and assembling signalling regulatory complexes. The last 30 carboxyl residues of NHERF1 and NHERF2 form the EBDs [ezrin, radixin and moesin (ERM)-binding domain]. The current study found that NHERF1/2 contain an ERM-binding regulatory sequence (EBRS), which facilitates the interaction between the EBD and ezrin. The EBRSs are located within 24 and 19 residues immediately upstream of EBDs for NHERF1 and NHERF2 respectively. In OK (opossum kidney) epithelial cells, EBRSs are necessary along with the EBD to distribute NHERF1 and NHERF2 exclusively to the apical domain. Furthermore, phosphorylation of Ser(303) located in the EBRS of NHERF2, decreases the binding affinity for ezrin, dislocates apical NHERF2 into the cytosol and increases the NHERF2 microvillar mobility rate. Moreover, increased phosphorylation of Ser(303) was functionally significant preventing acute stimulation of NHE3 (Na(+)-H(+) exchanger 3) activity by dexamethasone. PMID:26251448

  5. Diffraction-Enhanced Imaging for studying pattern recognition in cranial ontogeny of bats and marsupials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocha, H. S.; Lopes, R. T.; Pessôa, L. M.; Hönnicke, M. G.; Tirao, G.; Cusatis, C.; Mazzaro, I.; Giles, C.

    2005-08-01

    The key to understanding evolution lies in the elucidation of mechanisms responsible for the observed underlying patterns and in the observation of sequences that emerge from those evolutionary landmarks. The comparative development can be used to access the derivation of form and the homology versus the convergence of evolution features. Phylogenetic and biological homologies are necessary to discern the evolutionary origins of these features. This work examined the patterns of cranial formation in pre-born bat specimens as well as post-born opossum by means of microradiography and Diffraction-Enhanced Radiography (DER) techniques. A direct conversion CCD camera was used to provide micrometer spatial resolution in order to acquire highly detailed density images. This technique allows the observation of structures, in early stages of development, which were impossible to be observed with traditional techniques, such as clearing and staining. Some cranial features have been described for adults in the literature, but the detailed description of the appearance sequence of those features in these species is still unknown and obscure. Microradiography and diffraction-enhanced imaging can improve quality of morphological detail analysis and permit the identification of anatomical landmarks that are useful in comparative studies and are still unknown in both species. In this study, we access evolution features in cranial morphology of bats and marsupials using both X-ray techniques.

  6. Trichinella spiralis in an agricultural ecosystem. III. Epidemiological investigations of Trichinella spiralis in resident wild and feral animals.

    PubMed

    Leiby, D A; Schad, G A; Duffy, C H; Murrell, K D

    1988-10-01

    As part of a larger epidemiological study examining the transmission of Trichinella spiralis in an agricultural ecosystem, resident wild and feral animals were trapped to determine the extent of their involvement in the natural, on-farm cycling of the parasite among swine. During a 21-mo-study, seven of 15 skunks (Mephitis mephitis), one of three opossums (Didelphis virginiana), two of two feral domestic cats and a raccoon (Procyon lotor) were found to be infected, while five shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 18 deer mice (Peromyscus spp.) were uninfected. Most of the former hosts probably became infected by scavenging dead infected swine or rats (Rattus norvegicus). However, infections obtained through predation of living rats, particularly with regard to the cats, cannot be excluded. Our observations do not suggest that there was transmission of T. spiralis from the wild animals to swine. Therefore, transmission of T. spiralis appeared to occur only from the farm's swine and rats to the associated wild and feral animals. PMID:3193554

  7. Topical toremifene: a new approach for cutaneous melanoma?

    PubMed

    Maenpaa, J; Dooley, T; Wurz, G; VandeBerg, J; Robinson, E; Emshoff, V; Sipila, P; Wiebe, V; Day, C; DeGregorio, M

    1993-01-01

    The distribution of topically applied toremifene (0.5-1 mg/day for 5 days) in the ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced Monodelphis domestica opossum melanoma model was examined. The mean concentration of toremifene measured in the skin was 1200 nmol/g, or > 500 times that detected in any other tissues (blood, brain, liver, testicles, heart, uterus, eyes). In plasma, toremifene could be detected in only one animal of six (0.04 nmol/ml). Intraperitoneal administration of 0.5 mg toremifene daily for 5 days in three female animals resulted in a mean uterus concentration of 22.9 nmol/g, or 400-fold that achieved by topical administration of 0.5 mg/day in three other female Monodelphis (0.05 nmol/g). The cytostatic effect of toremifene was studied in three human melanoma cell lines and three experimental cell lines derived from UVB-induced melanocytic nevi in M. domestica. Toremifene had a cytostatic effect on all cell lines (50% growth-inhibitory concentrations, 5.8-9.6 microM). Topical toremifene administration yields high local concentration with minimal systemic distribution. In addition, toremifene has a cytostatic effect at achievable concentrations in a variety of melanomatous cell lines. PMID:8339391

  8. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, B.L.; Kus, B.E.; Deutschman, D.H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  9. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal

    PubMed Central

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use ‘model organisms’ such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans. PMID:22537021

  10. A genome-wide map of hyper-edited RNA reveals numerous new sites.

    PubMed

    Porath, Hagit T; Carmi, Shai; Levanon, Erez Y

    2014-01-01

    Adenosine-to-inosine editing is one of the most frequent post-transcriptional modifications, manifested as A-to-G mismatches when comparing RNA sequences with their source DNA. Recently, a number of RNA-seq data sets have been screened for the presence of A-to-G editing, and hundreds of thousands of editing sites identified. Here we show that existing screens missed the majority of sites by ignoring reads with excessive ('hyper') editing that do not easily align to the genome. We show that careful alignment and examination of the unmapped reads in RNA-seq studies reveal numerous new sites, usually many more than originally discovered, and in precisely those regions that are most heavily edited. Specifically, we discover 327,096 new editing sites in the heavily studied Illumina Human BodyMap data and more than double the number of detected sites in several published screens. We also identify thousands of new sites in mouse, rat, opossum and fly. Our results establish that hyper-editing events account for the majority of editing sites. PMID:25158696

  11. Selection of a novel FGF23-binding peptide antagonizing the inhibitory effect of FGF23 on phosphate uptake.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tao; Lin, Xiaomian; Li, Quchou; Luo, Wu; Song, Li; Tan, Xiangpeng; Wang, Wenhui; Li, Xiaokun; Wu, Xiaoping

    2015-04-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a bone-derived endocrine regulator of phosphate homeostasis and has been considered as a potential therapeutic target for hypophosphatemic disorders. Herein, we isolated a novel FGF23-binding peptide by screening a phage display library with FGF23180-205, the minimal epitope of FGF23 binding to the binary fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)-Klotho complex. The corresponding peptide (referred to as 23-b6) showed high homology to the immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain III (D3) of FGFR1c, the predominant receptor mediating the phosphaturic activity of FGF23. The 23-b6 peptide and panning target FGF23180-205 carried opposite charges and shared similar hydrophilic profiles. Functional analysis indicated that synthetic 23-b6 peptide exhibited antagonistic effect on the inhibition of phosphate uptake by FGF23 in opossum kidney cells (OK cells). The mechanisms of 23-b6 peptide impairing the bioactivity of FGF23 involved blockade of the activation of Erk cascade and up-regulation of NaPi-2a and NaPi-2c expression in OK cells. Our results demonstrate that the 23-b6 peptide is a potent FGF23 antagonist with increased effect on phosphate uptake in kidney cells and might have therapeutic potentials in hypophosphatemic disorders characterized by an abnormally high level of FGF23. PMID:25515813

  12. An In Silico Insight into Novel Therapeutic Interaction of LTNF Peptide-LT10 and Design of Structure Based Peptidomimetics for Putative Anti-Diabetic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chavan, Sonali Gopichand; Deobagkar, Deepti Dileep

    2015-01-01

    Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Factor (LTNF) obtained from Opossum serum (Didephis virginiana) is known to exhibit toxin-neutralizing activity for envenomation caused by animals, plants and bacteria. Small synthetic peptide- LT10 (10mer) derived from N-terminal fraction of LTNF exhibit similar anti-lethal and anti-allergic property. In our in silico study, we identified Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE) as a potential target of LT10 peptide followed by molecular docking and molecular dynamic (MD) simulation studies which revealed relatively stable interaction of LT10 peptide with IDE. Moreover, their detailed interaction analyses dictate IDE-inhibitory interactions of LT10 peptide. This prediction ofLT10 peptide as a novel putative IDE-inhibitor suggests its possible role in anti-diabetic treatment since IDE- inhibitors are known to assist treatment of Diabetes mellitus by enhancing insulin signalling. Furthermore, series of structure based peptidomimetics were designed from LT10 peptide and screened for their inhibitory interactions which ultimately led to a small set of peptidomimetic inhibitors of IDE. These peptidomimetic thus might provide a new class of IDE-inhibitors, those derived from LT10 peptide. PMID:25816209

  13. PTH-induced internalization of a type IIa Na/Pi cotransporter in OK-cells.

    PubMed

    Jankowski, M; Biber, J; Murer, H

    1999-10-01

    Regulatory phenomena in brush border membrane sodium/phosphate (Na/Pi) cotransport are directly related to the type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter and can be analyzed in opossum kidney cells (OK-cells). Parathyroid hormone (PTH) leads to a decreased expression of the type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter protein at the apical cell surface. To provide evidence for PTH-induced membrane retrieval of the cotransporter protein we labeled OK-cell surface membrane protein NH2-groups with N-hydroxysuccinimide bound via a disulfide bond to biotin (NHS-SS-biotin) prior to or after treatment with PTH. Biotinylated transporters can be detected by streptavidin precipitation and Western blotting using type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter specific antibodies. To detect only internalized biotinylated transporters biotin located at the cell surface was removed ("stripped") by disulfide bond splitting reagents under reducing conditions. Neither biotinylation per se, nor "stripping" interfered with PTH-induced inhibition of Na/Pi-cotransport activity. The internalization of the transporter was highly increased in response to PTH treatment. The data document that the first step in PTH regulation is internalization of the type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter protein from the apical membrane. PMID:10555567

  14. Molecular identification and expression of Lyn tyrosine kinase isoforms in marsupials.

    PubMed

    Suthers, Amy N; Young, Lauren J

    2013-10-01

    Lyn is a tyrosine kinase molecule required for modulation of signalling cascades in cell populations including B lymphocytes of the mammalian immune system. We have characterised the coding domain of the marsupial lyn gene of two macropod marsupials; the Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) and show the co-expression of two Lyn isoforms in cells and tissues of these and three other marsupials (Brush-tail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula; American Grey Short-tailed Opossum, Monodelphis domestica and Red-tailed Phascogale, Phascogale calura). The predicted Lyn proteins (LynA and LynB) were highly conserved across vertebrate species, with amino acid identities of 94% with their human orthologues and conservation of key tyrosine kinase motifs that suggests that marsupial Lyn most likely functions in cell signalling. Comparison of our cDNA data to annotations for Lyn transcripts (available through the Ensembl Genome Browser) for the Tammar Wallaby confirm splice sites for a number of exons in the wallaby transcript that are missing from the current annotation. This is the first report of the expression of kinase signalling molecules that influence immunity in metatherian mammals and provides key information to support ongoing studies of immune regulation in marsupials. PMID:23522727

  15. Genome-wide characterization of centromeric satellites from multiple mammalian genomes.

    PubMed

    Alkan, Can; Cardone, Maria Francesca; Catacchio, Claudia Rita; Antonacci, Francesca; O'Brien, Stephen J; Ryder, Oliver A; Purgato, Stefania; Zoli, Monica; Della Valle, Giuliano; Eichler, Evan E; Ventura, Mario

    2011-01-01

    Despite its importance in cell biology and evolution, the centromere has remained the final frontier in genome assembly and annotation due to its complex repeat structure. However, isolation and characterization of the centromeric repeats from newly sequenced species are necessary for a complete understanding of genome evolution and function. In recent years, various genomes have been sequenced, but the characterization of the corresponding centromeric DNA has lagged behind. Here, we present a computational method (RepeatNet) to systematically identify higher-order repeat structures from unassembled whole-genome shotgun sequence and test whether these sequence elements correspond to functional centromeric sequences. We analyzed genome datasets from six species of mammals representing the diversity of the mammalian lineage, namely, horse, dog, elephant, armadillo, opossum, and platypus. We define candidate monomer satellite repeats and demonstrate centromeric localization for five of the six genomes. Our analysis revealed the greatest diversity of centromeric sequences in horse and dog in contrast to elephant and armadillo, which showed high-centromeric sequence homogeneity. We could not isolate centromeric sequences within the platypus genome, suggesting that centromeres in platypus are not enriched in satellite DNA. Our method can be applied to the characterization of thousands of other vertebrate genomes anticipated for sequencing in the near future, providing an important tool for annotation of centromeres. PMID:21081712

  16. The Relationship between Gene Network Structure and Expression Variation among Individuals and Species

    PubMed Central

    Sears, Karen E.; Maier, Jennifer A.; Rivas-Astroza, Marcelo; Poe, Rachel; Zhong, Sheng; Kosog, Kari; Marcot, Jonathan D.; Behringer, Richard R.; Rasweiler, John J.; Rapti, Zoi

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Variation among individuals is a prerequisite of evolution by natural selection. As such, identifying the origins of variation is a fundamental goal of biology. We investigated the link between gene interactions and variation in gene expression among individuals and species using the mammalian limb as a model system. We first built interaction networks for key genes regulating early (outgrowth; E9.5–11) and late (expansion and elongation; E11-13) limb development in mouse. This resulted in an Early (ESN) and Late (LSN) Stage Network. Computational perturbations of these networks suggest that the ESN is more robust. We then quantified levels of the same key genes among mouse individuals and found that they vary less at earlier limb stages and that variation in gene expression is heritable. Finally, we quantified variation in gene expression levels among four mammals with divergent limbs (bat, opossum, mouse and pig) and found that levels vary less among species at earlier limb stages. We also found that variation in gene expression levels among individuals and species are correlated for earlier and later limb development. In conclusion, results are consistent with the robustness of the ESN buffering among-individual variation in gene expression levels early in mammalian limb development, and constraining the evolution of early limb development among mammalian species. PMID:26317994

  17. IN-VIVO DIAGNOSIS OF CHEMICALLY INDUCED MELANOMA IN AN ANIMAL MODEL USING UV-VISIBLE AND NIR ELASTIC SCATTERING SPECTROSCOPY: PRELIMINARY TESTING.

    SciTech Connect

    C. A'AMAR; R. LEY; ET AL

    2001-01-01

    Elastic light scattering spectroscopy (ESS) has the potential to provide spectra that contain both morphological and chromophore information from tissue. We report on a preliminary study of this technique, with the hope of developing a method for diagnosis of highly-pigmented skin lesions, commonly associated with skin cancer. Four opossums were treated with dimethylbenz(a)anthracene to induce both malignant melanoma and benign pigmented lesions. Skin lesions were examined in vivo using both UV-visible and near infrared (NIR) ESS, with wavelength ranges of 330-900 nm and 900-1700 nm, respectively. Both portable systems used identical fiber-optic probe geometry throughout all of the measurements. The core diameters for illuminating and collecting fibers were 400 and 200 {micro}m, respectively, with center-to-center separation of 350 {micro}m. The probe was placed in optical contact with the tissue under investigation. Biopsies from lesions were analyzed by two standard histopathological procedures. Taking into account only the biopsied lesions, UV-visible ESS showed distinct spectral correlation for 11/13 lesions. The NIR-ESS correlated well with 12/13 lesions correctly. The results of these experiments showed that UV-visible and NIR-ESS have the potential to classify benign and malignant skin lesions, with encouraging agreement to that provided by standard histopathological examination. These initial results show potential for ESS based diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions, but further trials are required in order to substantiate the technique.

  18. CD36 mediates proximal tubular binding and uptake of albumin and is upregulated in proteinuric nephropathies.

    PubMed

    Baines, Richard J; Chana, Ravinder S; Hall, Matthew; Febbraio, Maria; Kennedy, David; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2012-10-01

    Dysregulation of renal tubular protein handling in proteinuria contributes to the development of chronic kidney disease. We investigated the role of CD36 as a novel candidate mediator of albumin binding and endocytosis in the kidney proximal tubule using both in vitro and in vivo approaches, and in nephrotic patient renal biopsy samples. In CD36-transfected opossum kidney proximal tubular cells, both binding and uptake of albumin were substantially enhanced. A specific CD36 inhibitor abrogated this effect, but receptor-associated protein, which blocks megalin-mediated endocytosis of albumin, did not. Mouse proximal tubular cells expressed CD36 and this was absent in CD36 null animals, whereas expression of megalin was equal in these animals. Compared with wild-type mice, CD36 null mice demonstrated a significantly increased urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio and albumin-to-creatinine ratio. Proximal tubular cells expressed increased CD36 when exposed to elevated albumin concentrations in culture medium. Expression of CD36 was studied in renal biopsy tissue obtained from adult patients with heavy proteinuria due to minimal change disease, membranous nephropathy, or focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Proximal tubular CD36 expression was markedly increased in proteinuric individuals. We conclude that CD36 is a novel mediator influencing binding and uptake of albumin in the proximal tubule that is upregulated in proteinuric renal diseases. CD36 may represent a potential therapeutic target in proteinuric nephropathy. PMID:22791331

  19. Lysophosphatidic acid-induced calcium mobilization and proliferation in kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R J; Young, K; Brunskill, N J

    1999-02-01

    Patients with proteinuria tend to develop progressive renal disease with proximal tubular cell atrophy and interstitial scarring. It has been suggested that the nephrotoxicity of albuminuric states may be due to the protein molecule itself or by lipids, such as lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), that albumin carries. LPA was found to cause a transient increase in intracytoplasmic free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in opossum kidney proximal tubule cells (OK) that was maximal at 100 microM LPA and was dose dependent with an EC50 of 2.6 x 10(-6) M. This Ca2+ mobilization was from both internal stores and across the plasma membrane and was pertussis toxin (PTX) insensitive. Treatment of OK cells with 100 microM LPA for 5 min was found to cause a twofold increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation and a three- to fivefold increase over control after 24 h. This was highly PTX sensitive and insensitive to pretreatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitors genistein and herbimycin A. These findings may be of significance in the progression of renal disease and indicate the potential importance of lipids in modulating proximal tubule cell function and growth. PMID:9950949

  20. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase in OK-cells reduces Na/Pi-cotransport but does not interfere with its regulation by parathyroid hormone.

    PubMed

    Pfister, M F; Brunskill, N J; Forgo, J; Stange, G; Biber, J; Murer, H

    1999-08-01

    The importance of phosphatidylinositide 3- kinase(s) [PI 3-kinase(s)] in membrane trafficking processes led us to examine its/their possible role in parathyroid-hormone- (PTH-) induced endocytosis and lysosomal degradation of the type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter in opossum kidney cells (OK-cells). We used wortmannin, a potent inhibitor of several mammalian PI 3-kinase isoforms, and measured Na/Pi-cotransporter activity and type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter protein expression; also the induction of a negative dominant subunit (Deltap85) was used to reduce PI 3-kinase activity. Wortmannin and Deltap85 led to a reduction of Na/Pi-cotransport activity but were unable to prevent its inhibition by PTH. Wortmannin led in a dose- and time-dependent manner to a reduction of Na/Pi-cotransport activity and transporter protein expression, and retarded their recovery from PTH-induced inhibition/degradation. The data suggest that a PI 3-kinase "controlled" mechanism is involved in the synthesis (and/or routing) of the apical type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter in OK-cells. PMID:10398872

  1. Receptor-mediated endocytosis of albumin by kidney proximal tubule cells is regulated by phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase.

    PubMed

    Brunskill, N J; Stuart, J; Tobin, A B; Walls, J; Nahorski, S

    1998-05-15

    Receptor-mediated endocytosis of albumin is an important function of the kidney proximal tubule epithelium. We have measured endocytosis of [125I]-albumin in opossum kidney cells and examined the regulation of this process by phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase). Albumin endocytosis was inhibited by both wortmannin (IC50 6.9 nM) and LY294002 (IC50 6.5 microM) at concentrations that suggested the involvement of PI 3-kinase in its regulation. Recycling rates were unaffected. We transfected OK cells with either a wild-type p85 subunit of PI 3-kinase, or a dominant negative form of the p85 subunit (Deltap85) using the LacSwitch expression system. Transfects were screened by immunoblotting with anti-PI 3-kinase antibodies. Under basal conditions, transfects demonstrated no expression of p85 or Deltap85, but expression was briskly induced by treatment of the cells with IPTG (EC50 13.7 microM). Inhibition of PI 3-kinase activity by Deltap85 was confirmed by in vitro kinase assay of anti-phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitates from transfected cells stimulated with insulin. Expression of Deltap85 resulted in marked inhibition of albumin endocytosis, predominantly as a result of reduction of the Vmax of the transport process. Expression of p85 had no significant effect on albumin uptake. The results demonstrate that PI 3-kinase regulates an early step in the receptor-mediated endocytosis of albumin by kidney proximal tubular cells. PMID:9593770

  2. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Bern, Caryn; Kjos, Sonia; Yabsley, Michael J.; Montgomery, Susan P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Chagas' disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and causes potentially life-threatening disease of the heart and gastrointestinal tract. The southern half of the United States contains enzootic cycles of T. cruzi, involving 11 recognized triatomine vector species. The greatest vector diversity and density occur in the western United States, where woodrats are the most common reservoir; other rodents, raccoons, skunks, and coyotes are also infected with T. cruzi. In the eastern United States, the prevalence of T. cruzi is highest in raccoons, opossums, armadillos, and skunks. A total of 7 autochthonous vector-borne human infections have been reported in Texas, California, Tennessee, and Louisiana; many others are thought to go unrecognized. Nevertheless, most T. cruzi-infected individuals in the United States are immigrants from areas of endemicity in Latin America. Seven transfusion-associated and 6 organ donor-derived T. cruzi infections have been documented in the United States and Canada. As improved control of vector- and blood-borne T. cruzi transmission decreases the burden in countries where the disease is historically endemic and imported Chagas' disease is increasingly recognized outside Latin America, the United States can play an important role in addressing the altered epidemiology of Chagas' disease in the 21st century. PMID:21976603

  3. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorcas, Michael E.; Wilson, John D.; Reed, Robert N.; Snow, Ray W.; Rochford, Michael R.; Miller, Melissa A.; Meshaka, Walter E., Jr.; Andreadis, Paul T.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romagosa, Christina M.; Hart, Kristen M.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities.

  4. Importance of light, temperature, zooplankton, and fish in predicting the nighttime vertical distribution of Mysis diluviana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Marilyn K.; Robert O'Gorman; Boscarino, Brent T.; Rudstam, Lars G.; Eillenberger, June L.

    2009-01-01

    The opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana (formerly M. relicta) performs large amplitude diel vertical migrations in Lake Ontario and its nighttime distribution is influenced by temperature, light and the distribution of its predators and prey. At one location in southeastern Lake Ontario, we measured the vertical distribution of mysids, mysid predators (i.e. planktivorous fishes) and mysid prey (i.e. zooplankton), in addition to light and temperature, on 8 occasions from May to September, 2004 and 2005. We use these data to test 3 different predictive models of mysid habitat selection, based on: (1) laboratoryderived responses of mysids to different light and temperature gradients in the absence of predator or prey cues; (2) growth rate of mysids, as estimated with a mysid bioenergetics model, given known prey densities and temperatures at different depths in the water column; (3) ratio of growth rates (g) and mortality risk (μ) associated with the distribution of predatory fishes. The model based on light and temperature preferences was a better predictor of mysid vertical distribution than the models based on growth rate and g:μon all 8 occasions. Although mysid temperature and light preferences probably evolved as mechanisms to reduce predation while increasing foraging intake, the response to temperature and light alone predicts mysid vertical distribution across seasons in Lake Ontario.

  5. Importance of light, temperature, zooplankton and fish in predicting the nighttime vertical distribution of Mysis diluviana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boscarino, B.T.; Rusdtam, L.G.; Eillenberger, J.L.; O'Gorman, R.

    2009-01-01

    The opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana (formerly M. relicta) performs large amplitude diel vertical migrations in Lake Ontario and its nighttime distribution is influenced by temperature, light and the distribution of its predators and prey. At one location in southeastern Lake Ontario, we measured the vertical distribution of mysids, mysid predators (i.e. planktivorous fishes) and mysid prey (i.e. zooplankton), in addition to light and temperature, on 8 occasions from May to September, 2004 and 2005. We use these data to test 3 different predictive models of mysid habitat selection, based on: (1) laboratory-derived responses of mysids to different light and temperature gradients in the absence of predator or prey cues; (2) growth rate of mysids, as estimated with a mysid bioenergetics model, given known prey densities and temperatures at different depths in the water column; (3) ratio of growth rates (g) and mortality risk (??) associated with the distribution of predatory fishes. The model based on light and temperature preferences was a better predictor of mysid vertical distribution than the models based on growth rate and g:?? on all 8 occasions. Although mysid temperature and light preferences probably evolved as mechanisms to reduce predation while increasing foraging intake, the response to temperature and light alone predicts mysid vertical distribution across seasons in Lake Ontario. ?? Inter-Research 2009.

  6. Surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in scavengers of white-tailed deer carcasses in the chronic wasting disease area of wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennelle, C.S.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Keane, D.P.; Barr, D.J.; Johnson, Chad; Vanderloo, J.P.; Aiken, Judd M.; Hamir, A.N.; Hoover, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a class of neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) occurring in cervids, is found in a number of states and provinces across North America. Misfolded prions, the infectious agents of CWD, are deposited in the environment via carcass remains and excreta, and pose a threat of cross-species transmission. In this study tissues were tested from 812 representative mammalian scavengers, collected in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin, for TSE infection using the IDEXX HerdChek enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Only four of the collected mammals tested positive using the ELISA, but these were negative when tested by Western blot. While our sample sizes permitted high probabilities of detecting TSE assuming 1% population prevalence in several common scavengers (93%, 87%, and 87% for raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, respectively), insufficient sample sizes for other species precluded similar conclusions. One cannot rule out successful cross-species TSE transmission to scavengers, but the results suggest that such transmission is not frequent in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin. The need for further surveillance of scavenger species, especially those known to be susceptible to TSE (e.g., cat, American mink, raccoon), is highlighted in both a field and laboratory setting.

  7. Studies on the use of cultured cells in a bioassay for parathyroid hormone.

    PubMed

    Armston, A E; Wood, P J

    1994-11-01

    Measurement of parathyroid hormone (PTH) is important for diagnosing hyper- and hypoparathyroidism. The move to two-site immunometric assays that detect the whole molecule has improved the discrimination of these conditions but these assays may be too restrictive because some PTH fragments that are biologically active may not be detected. In addition, PTH-like peptide of malignancy, an important cause of malignancy-associated hypercalcaemia, is not detected by the two-site assays. Experiments were performed to set up a simple, robust and inexpensive bioassay for PTH, exploiting a kidney cell line and using cyclic AMP or an eluted stain assay as the end point. Of the 12 cell lines tested, an opossum kidney (WOK) cell line showed the most promise. Despite optimization of the procedure to include pre-treatment with dexamethasone, insulin and PTH, followed by incubation in the presence of 5'-guanylimidodiphosphate, isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and forskolin, the WOK cells showed insufficient sensitivity for use in a cultured cell bioassay for PTH in human serum. In addition, the cells were less sensitive to PTH-like peptide precluding their use for an assay for this molecule. PMID:7829991

  8. Stable isotope evaluation of population- and individual-level diet variability in a large, oligotrophic lake with non-native lake trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ng, Elizabeth L.; Fredericks, Jim P.; Quist, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Non-native piscivores can alter food web dynamics; therefore, evaluating interspecific relationships is vital for conservation and management of ecosystems with introduced fishes. Priest Lake, Idaho, supports a number of introduced species, including lake troutSalvelinus namaycush, brook trout S. fontinalis and opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana. In this study, we used stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) to describe the food web structure of Priest Lake and to test hypotheses about apparent patterns in lake trout growth. We found that isotopic niches of species using pelagic-origin carbon did not overlap with those using more littoral-origin carbon. Species using more littoral-origin carbon, such as brook trout and westslope cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi, exhibited a high degree of isotopic niche overlap and high intrapopulation variability in resource use. Although we hypothesised that lake trout would experience an ontogenetic diet shift, no such patterns were apparent in isotopic signatures. Lake trout growth rates were not associated with patterns in δ15N, indicating that variation in adult body composition may not be related to adult diet. Understanding trophic relationships at both the individual and species levels provides a more complete understanding of food webs altered by non-native species.

  9. Eco-epidemiological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma rangeli and their vector (Rhodnius pallescens) in Panama.

    PubMed

    Vasquez, Ana Maria de; Samudio, Franklyn E; Saldaña, Azael; Paz, Hector M; Calzada, José E

    2004-01-01

    The eco-epidemiology of T. cruzi infection was investigated in the Eastern border of the Panama Canal in Central Panama. Between 1999 and 2000, 1110 triatomines were collected: 1050 triatomines (94.6%) from palm trees, 27 (2.4%) from periurban habitats and 33 (3.0%) inside houses. All specimens were identified as R. pallescens. There was no evidence of vector domiciliation. Salivary glands from 380 R. pallescens revealed a trypanosome natural infection rate of 7.6%, while rectal ampoule content from 373 triatomines was 45%. Isoenzyme profiles on isolated trypanosomes demonstrated that 85.4% (n = 88) were T. cruzi and 14.6% (n = 15) were T. rangeli. Blood meal analysis from 829 R. pallescens demonstrated a zoophilic vector behavior, with opossums as the preferential blood source. Seroprevalence in human samples from both study sites was less than 2%. Our results demonstrate that T. cruzi survives in the area in balanced association with R. pallescens, and with several different species of mammals in their natural niches. However, the area is an imminent risk of infection for its population, consequently it is important to implement a community educational program regarding disease knowledge and control measures. PMID:15361974

  10. Comparative aspects of subplate zone studied with gene expression in sauropsids and mammals.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei Zhi; Oeschger, Franziska M; Montiel, Juan F; García-Moreno, Fernando; Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Krubitzer, Leah; Ek, Carl Joakim; Saunders, Norman R; Reim, Kerstin; Villalón, Aldo; Molnár, Zoltán

    2011-10-01

    There is currently a debate about the evolutionary origin of the earliest generated cortical preplate neurons and their derivatives (subplate and marginal zone). We examined the subplate with murine markers including nuclear receptor related 1 (Nurr1), monooxygenase Dbh-like 1 (Moxd1), transmembrane protein 163 (Tmem163), and connective tissue growth factor (Ctgf) in developing and adult turtle, chick, opossum, mouse, and rat. Whereas some of these are expressed in dorsal pallium in all species studied (Nurr1, Ctgf, and Tmem163), we observed that the closely related mouse and rat differed in the expression patterns of several others (Dopa decarboxylase, Moxd1, and thyrotropin-releasing hormone). The expression of Ctgf, Moxd1, and Nurr1 in the oppossum suggests a more dispersed subplate population in this marsupial compared with mice and rats. In embryonic and adult chick brains, our selected subplate markers are primarily expressed in the hyperpallium and in the turtle in the main cell dense layer of the dorsal cortex. These observations suggest that some neurons that express these selected markers were present in the common ancestor of sauropsids and mammals. PMID:21368089

  11. THE SUGAR GLIDER (PETAURUS BREVICEPS): A LABORATORY HOST FOR THE NEMATODE PARASTRONGYLOIDES TRICHOSURI

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Thomas J.; Zhu, Xiaodong; Ketschek, Andrea; Cole, Joan; Grant, Warwick; Lok, James B.; Schad, Gerhard A.

    2011-01-01

    Parastrongyloides trichosuri is a nematode parasite of the Australian brush-tailed possums that can be propagated through many generations in vitro. This makes P. trichosuri uniquely suited for genetic investigations, including those involving transgenesis. However, an obstacle to its use as an experimental model has been the fact that its host is limited to Australia and New Zealand and that it cannot be exported because of its status as a protected species or agricultural pest, respectively. In previous studies, conventional laboratory animals such as rats, mice, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens have failed to support infections. In the present study, gerbils and short-tailed opossums proved similarly refractory to infection. In contrast, the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps, family Petauridae) proved to be a good host for P. trichosuri. Patent infections resulted using as few as 6 infective larvae (L3i) and as many as 2,000 L3i. Large numbers of L3i (1,000–2,000) produced patent infections of much shorter duration than those seen when 100 L3i were initially given to the sugar glider. In one case, an infection initiated with 100 L3i was patent for over 1 yr. Parastrongyloides trichosuri is easily cryopreserved using a method developed for Strongyloides stercoralis. Thus, we have identified an experimental host for P. trichosuri that will make it possible to conduct research on this parasite in laboratories outside the endemic sites. PMID:18163342

  12. Chemical defense in harvestmen (arachnida, opiliones): do benzoquinone secretions deter invertebrate and vertebrate predators?

    PubMed

    Machado, Glauco; Carrera, Patricia C; Pomini, Armando M; Marsaioli, Anita J

    2005-11-01

    Two alkylated 1,4-benzoquinones were identified from the defensive secretion produced by the neotropical harvestman Goniosoma longipes (Gonyleptidae). They were characterized as 2,3-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2-ethyl-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone. We tested the effectiveness of these benzoquinone secretions against several predator types, including invertebrates and vertebrates. Different predators were exposed to the harvestmen's gland secretion or to distilled water in laboratory bioassays. Our results indicate that secretions containing the 1,4-benzoquinones released by G. longipes can be an effective defense against predation, and that the effectiveness of the secretion is dependent on the predator type. The scent gland secretion repelled seven ant species, two species of large wandering spiders, and one frog species, but was not an effective defense against an opossum. Our study also demonstrates that the scent gland secretion of G. longipes can work as a chemical shield preventing the approach of three large predatory ants for at least 10 min. The chemical shield may protect the harvestman against successive attacks of the same ant worker and also allow the harvestman to flee before massive ant recruitment. Our data support the suggestion that chemical defenses may increase survival with some but not all potential predators. This variation in defense effectiveness may result from many interacting factors, including the attack strategy, size, learning ability, and physiology of the predators, as well as the chemical nature of the defensive compounds, type of emission, and amount of effluent released by the prey. PMID:16273426

  13. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. PMID:27166161

  14. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park.

    PubMed

    Dorcas, Michael E; Willson, John D; Reed, Robert N; Snow, Ray W; Rochford, Michael R; Miller, Melissa A; Meshaka, Walter E; Andreadis, Paul T; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romagosa, Christina M; Hart, Kristen M

    2012-02-14

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003-2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities. PMID:22308381

  15. Outbreak of Rickettsia typhi infection - Austin, Texas, 2008.

    PubMed

    2009-11-20

    Murine typhus is a fleaborne rickettsial disease caused by the organism Rickettsia typhi. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, vomiting, nausea, myalgia, and rash. Although murine typhus is endemic in southern Texas, only two cases had been reported during the past 10 years from Austin, located in central Texas. On August 8, 2008, the Austin/Travis County Department of Health and Human Services (ATCDHHS) contacted the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) concerning a cluster of 14 illnesses with serologic findings indicative of murine typhus. On August 12, 2008, TDSHS initiated an investigation with assistance from CDC to characterize the magnitude of the outbreak and assess potential animal reservoirs and peridomestic factors that might have contributed to disease. This report summarizes the clinical and environmental findings of that investigation. Thirty-three confirmed cases involved illness comparable to that associated with previous outbreaks of murine typhus. Illness ranged from mild to severe, with 73% of patients requiring hospitalization. Delayed diagnosis and administration of no or inappropriate antibiotics might have contributed to illness severity. Environmental investigation suggested that opossums and domestic animals likely played a role in the maintenance and spread of R. typhi; however, their precise role in the outbreak has not been determined. These findings underscore the need to increase awareness of murine typhus and communicate appropriate treatment and prevention measures through the distribution of typhus alerts before and throughout the peak vector season of March-November. PMID:19940832

  16. Molecular Evolution of the Non-Coding Eosinophil Granule Ontogeny Transcript

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Dominic; Stadler, Peter F.

    2011-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are pervasively transcribed. A large fraction of the transcriptional output consists of long, mRNA-like, non-protein-coding transcripts (mlncRNAs). The evolutionary history of mlncRNAs is still largely uncharted territory. In this contribution, we explore in detail the evolutionary traces of the eosinophil granule ontogeny transcript (EGOT), an experimentally confirmed representative of an abundant class of totally intronic non-coding transcripts (TINs). EGOT is located antisense to an intron of the ITPR1 gene. We computationally identify putative EGOT orthologs in the genomes of 32 different amniotes, including orthologs from primates, rodents, ungulates, carnivores, afrotherians, and xenarthrans, as well as putative candidates from basal amniotes, such as opossum or platypus. We investigate the EGOT gene phylogeny, analyze patterns of sequence conservation, and the evolutionary conservation of the EGOT gene structure. We show that EGO-B, the spliced isoform, may be present throughout the placental mammals, but most likely dates back even further. We demonstrate here for the first time that the whole EGOT locus is highly structured, containing several evolutionary conserved, and thermodynamic stable secondary structures. Our analyses allow us to postulate novel functional roles of a hitherto poorly understood region at the intron of EGO-B which is highly conserved at the sequence level. The region contains a novel ITPR1 exon and also conserved RNA secondary structures together with a conserved TATA-like element, which putatively acts as a promoter of an independent regulatory element. PMID:22303364

  17. Anthropogenic influences on macro-level mammal occupancy in the Appalachian Trail corridor.

    PubMed

    Erb, Peter L; McShea, William J; Guralnick, Robert P

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic effects on wildlife are typically assessed at the local level, but it is often difficult to extrapolate to larger spatial extents. Macro-level occupancy studies are one way to assess impacts of multiple disturbance factors that might vary over different geographic extents. Here we assess anthropogenic effects on occupancy and distribution for several mammal species within the Appalachian Trail (AT), a forest corridor that extends across a broad section of the eastern United States. Utilizing camera traps and a large volunteer network of citizen scientists, we were able to sample 447 sites along a 1024 km section of the AT to assess the effects of available habitat, hunting, recreation, and roads on eight mammal species. Occupancy modeling revealed the importance of available forest to all species except opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and coyotes (Canis latrans). Hunting on adjoining lands was the second strongest predictor of occupancy for three mammal species, negatively influencing black bears (Ursus americanus) and bobcats (Lynx rufus), while positively influencing raccoons (Procyon lotor). Modeling also indicated an avoidance of high trail use areas by bears and proclivity towards high use areas by red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Roads had the lowest predictive power on species occupancy within the corridor and were only significant for deer. The occupancy models stress the importance of compounding direct and indirect anthropogenic influences operating at the regional level. Scientists and managers should consider these human impacts and their potential combined influence on wildlife persistence when assessing optimal habitat or considering management actions. PMID:22880038

  18. Anthropogenic Influences on Macro-Level Mammal Occupancy in the Appalachian Trail Corridor

    PubMed Central

    Erb, Peter L.; McShea, William J.; Guralnick, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic effects on wildlife are typically assessed at the local level, but it is often difficult to extrapolate to larger spatial extents. Macro-level occupancy studies are one way to assess impacts of multiple disturbance factors that might vary over different geographic extents. Here we assess anthropogenic effects on occupancy and distribution for several mammal species within the Appalachian Trail (AT), a forest corridor that extends across a broad section of the eastern United States. Utilizing camera traps and a large volunteer network of citizen scientists, we were able to sample 447 sites along a 1024 km section of the AT to assess the effects of available habitat, hunting, recreation, and roads on eight mammal species. Occupancy modeling revealed the importance of available forest to all species except opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and coyotes (Canis latrans). Hunting on adjoining lands was the second strongest predictor of occupancy for three mammal species, negatively influencing black bears (Ursus americanus) and bobcats (Lynx rufus), while positively influencing raccoons (Procyon lotor). Modeling also indicated an avoidance of high trail use areas by bears and proclivity towards high use areas by red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Roads had the lowest predictive power on species occupancy within the corridor and were only significant for deer. The occupancy models stress the importance of compounding direct and indirect anthropogenic influences operating at the regional level. Scientists and managers should consider these human impacts and their potential combined influence on wildlife persistence when assessing optimal habitat or considering management actions. PMID:22880038

  19. The NHERF2 sequence adjacent and upstream of the ERM-binding domain affects NHERF2–ezrin binding and dexamethasone stimulated NHE3 activity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianbo; Sarker, Rafiquel; Singh, Varsha; Sarker, Prateeti; Yin, Jianyi; Chen, Tian-E; Chaerkady, Raghothama; Li, Xuhang; Tse, C. Ming; Donowitz, Mark

    2015-01-01

    In the brush border of intestinal and kidney epithelial cells, scaffolding proteins ezrin, Na+-H+ exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF)1 and NHERF2 play important roles in linking transmembrane proteins to the cytoskeleton and assembling signalling regulatory complexes. The last 30 carboxyl residues of NHERF1 and NHERF2 form the EBDs [ezrin, radixin and moesin (ERM)-binding domain]. The current study found that NHERF1/2 contain an ERM-binding regulatory sequence (EBRS), which facilitates the interaction between the EBD and ezrin. The EBRSs are located within 24 and 19 residues immediately upstream of EBDs for NHERF1 and NHERF2 respectively. In OK (opossum kidney) epithelial cells, EBRSs are necessary along with the EBD to distribute NHERF1 and NHERF2 exclusively to the apical domain. Furthermore, phosphorylation of Ser303 located in the EBRS of NHERF2, decreases the binding affinity for ezrin, dislocates apical NHERF2 into the cytosol and increases the NHERF2 microvillar mobility rate. Moreover, increased phosphorylation of Ser303 was functionally significant preventing acute stimulation of NHE3 (Na+-H+ exchanger 3) activity by dexamethasone. PMID:26251448

  20. Mesopredators in the Blackland Prairie of Texas: Occupancy, detection probability, and diversity in relation to landcover change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkins, Nathan Ryan

    ), striped skunks (psi=0.9167 winter, psi=0.8182 summer), and opossums (psi=0.9231 winter, psi=0.9231 summer). Uncommon species detected included river otters (psi=0.4000 winter, psi=0.2000 summer), gray foxes (psi=0.2308 winter), and one spotted skunk (psi=0.0833 summer). Results indicate that changes in landscape features will most likely affect mesopredators in the area. Some species will likely increase in abundance and distribution while others will decrease in abundance and distribution as a result of changes. I also estimated species richness using nonparametric richness estimators that use incidence (presence/absence) data. I detected 9 mesopredator species (bobcat, coyote, opossum, river otter, raccoon, striped skunk, domestic dog, and domestic cat, gray fox, and eastern spotted skunk) in the study area. Considering all study sites at once resulted in species richness estimates of 9-10 species, suggesting that most predators were sampled. When study sites were split into eastern and western groups based on habitat gradients within the study area, slightly different estimates were generated. For the western part of the study area, estimates suggest 9-10 species are present, while in the eastern part of the study area, estimates suggest 6-8 species are present. Results suggest that mesopredator richness is declining compared to historical levels. Large contiguous prairie habitats need to be protected and/or restored to conserve rare prairie communities and the mesopredators they support.

  1. EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENTAL TEMPERATURES ON INFECTION WITH MYCOBACTERIUM MARINUM (BALNEI) OF MICE AND A NUMBER OF POIKILOTHERMIC SPECIES

    PubMed Central

    Clark, H Fred; Shepard, Charles C.

    1963-01-01

    Clark, H Fred (Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta, Ga.), and Charles C. Shepard. Effect of environmental temperatures on infection with Mycobacterium marinum (Balnei) of mice and a number of poikilothermic species. J. Bacteriol. 86:1057–1069. 1963.—An exploration was made of the effect of environmental temperature on infections with Mycobacterium marinum of mice, young opossums, and bats, and of 50 species of poikilothermic animals. In artificial medium (7H9 broth) M. marinum grew most rapidly from 25 to 35 C, with generation times of 4 to 6 hr. At 37 C, the generation time was 14 hr; at 20 C, 20 hr; and, at 15 C and lower, little growth was observed. In mice, deep body temperatures were found to be 36.5 to 37.3 C at environmental temperatures of 4 to 30 C. At an environmental temperature of 34 C, they averaged 39.1 C; at 37 C they averaged 40.2 C. Foot-pad temperatures were within a few degrees of ambient temperatures from 10 to 34 C. In mouse foot-pad infections, the optimal environmental temperature for infection was 20 C, and the generation time of the infecting bacilli at this environmental temperature was about 15 hr. Intravenously inoculated mice developed peripheral infections of nose, feet, and tail at environmental temperatures of 4 to 30 C. At these temperatures, they had severe pneumonic involvement, and the mice at lower temperatures tended to succumb most rapidly to systemic infection. At 34 C, the intravenously infected mice did not develop peripheral infections and there was no pulmonary involvement. Young opossums, whose deep body temperatures are only 34 to 36 C, were inoculated in the foot-pad and intravenously. Foot-pad infection developed without systemic involvement. Bats, which assume environmental temperature when at rest, were inoculated in the foot-pad. Foot-pad infections were observed but no systemic disease. The bats could be maintained for only short periods, however. Poikilothermic animals were studied. Deep body temperatures

  2. A comparative examination of odontogenic gene expression in both toothed and toothless amniotes.

    PubMed

    Lainoff, Alexis J; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Hu, Diane; Kallonen, Aki; Marcucio, Ralph S; Hlusko, Leslea J

    2015-05-01

    A well-known tenet of murine tooth development is that BMP4 and FGF8 antagonistically initiate odontogenesis, but whether this tenet is conserved across amniotes is largely unexplored. Moreover, changes in BMP4-signaling have previously been implicated in evolutionary tooth loss in Aves. Here we demonstrate that Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2 expression is limited proximally in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) mandible at stages equivalent to those at which odontogenesis is initiated in mice, a similar finding to previously reported results in chicks. To address whether the limited domains in the turtle and the chicken indicate an evolutionary molecular parallelism, or whether the domains simply constitute an ancestral phenotype, we assessed gene expression in a toothed reptile (the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis) and a toothed non-placental mammal (the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica). We demonstrate that the Bmp4 domain is limited proximally in M. domestica and that the Fgf8 domain is limited distally in A. mississippiensis just preceding odontogenesis. Additionally, we show that Msx1 and Msx2 expression patterns in these species differ from those found in mice. Our data suggest that a limited Bmp4 domain does not necessarily correlate with edentulism, and reveal that the initiation of odontogenesis in non-murine amniotes is more complex than previously imagined. Our data also suggest a partially conserved odontogenic program in T. scripta, as indicated by conserved Pitx2, Pax9, and Barx1 expression patterns and by the presence of a Shh-expressing palatal epithelium, which we hypothesize may represent potential dental rudiments based on the Testudinata fossil record. PMID:25678399

  3. Selective transfer of polyunsaturated fatty acids from phytoplankton to planktivorous fish in large boreal lakes.

    PubMed

    Strandberg, Ursula; Hiltunen, Minna; Jelkänen, Elli; Taipale, Sami J; Kainz, Martin J; Brett, Michael T; Kankaala, Paula

    2015-12-01

    Lake size influences various hydrological parameters, such as water retention time, circulation patterns and thermal stratification that can consequently affect the plankton community composition, benthic-pelagic coupling and the function of aquatic food webs. Although the socio-economical (particularly commercial fisheries) and ecological importance of large lakes has been widely acknowledged, little is known about the availability and trophic transfer of polyunsaturated fatty (PUFA) in large lakes. The objective of this study was to investigate trophic trajectories of PUFA in the pelagic food web (seston, zooplankton, and planktivorous fish) of six large boreal lakes in the Finnish Lake District. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) were the most abundant PUFA in pelagic organisms, particularly in the zooplanktivorous fish. Our results show that PUFA from the n-3 family (PUFAn-3), often associated with marine food webs, are also abundant in large lakes. The proportion of DHA increased from ~4±3% in seston to ~32±6% in vendace (Coregonus albula) and smelt (Osmerus eperlanus), whereas ALA showed the opposite trophic transfer pattern with the highest values observed in seston (~11±2%) and the lowest in the opossum shrimp (Mysis relicta) and fish (~2±1%). The dominance of diatoms and cryptophytes at the base of the food web in the study lakes accounted for the high amount of PUFAn-3 in the planktonic consumers. Furthermore, the abundance of copepods in the large lakes explains the effective transfer of DHA to planktivorous fish. The plankton community composition in these lakes supports a fishery resource (vendace) that is very high nutritional quality (in terms of EPA and DHA contents) to humans. PMID:26282609

  4. Characterization and evolution of vertebrate indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenases IDOs from monotremes and marsupials.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Hajime J; Ball, Helen J; Ho, Yuen Fern; Austin, Christopher J D; Whittington, Camilla M; Belov, Katherine; Maghzal, Ghassan J; Jermiin, Lars S; Hunt, Nicholas H

    2009-06-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are tryptophan-degrading enzymes that catalyze the first step in tryptophan catabolism via the kynurenine pathway. TDO is widely distributed in both eukaryotes and bacteria. In contrast, IDO has been found only in mammals and yeast. In 2007, a third enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-2 (IDO2), was discovered. IDO2 is found not only in mammals but also in lower vertebrates. Interestingly, the K(m) value of IDO2 for L-Trp was 500-1000 fold higher than that of IDO1. In this study, we isolated both IDO1 and IDO2 cDNA from a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), and a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We characterized the recombinant proteins and those of other known IDO1/IDO2 in intact cells and a cell-free system. It was found that methylene blue may not be suitable reductant for IDO2, hence resulting in an underestimation of recombinant IDO2 activity. In intact cells, the K(m) value of IDO2 for L-Trp was estimated to be much higher than that of IDO1 and this high K(m) value appears to have been conserved during the evolution of IDO2. The protein encoded by the ancestor gene of IDO1 and IDO2 is likely to have had properties more similar to present day IDO2 than to IDO1. PMID:19416693

  5. Biochemical, pharmacological, and structural characterization of new basic PLA2 Bbil-TX from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom.

    PubMed

    Corasolla Carregari, Victor; Stuani Floriano, Rafael; Rodrigues-Simioni, Lea; Winck, Flavia V; Baldasso, Paulo Aparecido; Ponce-Soto, Luis Alberto; Marangoni, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    Bbil-TX, a PLA2, was purified from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom after only one chromatographic step using RP-HPLC on μ-Bondapak C-18 column. A molecular mass of 14243.8 Da was confirmed by Q-Tof Ultima API ESI/MS (TOF MS mode) mass spectrometry. The partial protein sequence obtained was then submitted to BLASTp, with the search restricted to PLA2 from snakes and shows high identity values when compared to other PLA2s. PLA2 activity was presented in the presence of a synthetic substrate and showed a minimum sigmoidal behavior, reaching its maximal activity at pH 8.0 and 25-37°C. Maximum PLA2 activity required Ca(2+) and in the presence of Cd(2+), Zn(2+), Mn(2+), and Mg(2+) it was reduced in the presence or absence of Ca(2+). Crotapotin from Crotalus durissus cascavella rattlesnake venom and antihemorrhagic factor DA2-II from Didelphis albiventris opossum sera under optimal conditions significantly inhibit the enzymatic activity. Bbil-TX induces myonecrosis in mice. The fraction does not show a significant cytotoxic activity in myotubes and myoblasts (C2C12). The inflammatory events induced in the serum of mice by Bbil-TX isolated from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom were investigated. An increase in vascular permeability and in the levels of TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-1 was was induced. Since Bbil-TX exerts a stronger proinflammatory effect, the phospholipid hydrolysis may be relevant for these phenomena. PMID:23509754

  6. Shank2 contributes to the apical retention and intracellular redistribution of NaPiIIa in OK cells.

    PubMed

    Dobrinskikh, Evgenia; Lanzano, Luca; Rachelson, Joanna; Cranston, DeeAnn; Moldovan, Radu; Lei, Tim; Gratton, Enrico; Doctor, R Brian

    2013-03-01

    In renal proximal tubule (PT) cells, sodium-phosphate cotransporter IIa (NaPiIIa) is normally concentrated within the apical membrane where it reabsorbs ∼70% of luminal phosphate (Pi). NaPiIIa activity is acutely regulated by moderating its abundance within the apical membrane. Under low-Pi conditions, NaPiIIa is retained within the apical membrane. Under high-Pi conditions, NaPiIIa is retrieved from the apical membrane and trafficked to the lysosomes for degradation. The present study investigates the role of Shank2 in regulating the distribution of NaPiIIa. In opossum kidney cells, a PT cell model, knockdown of Shank2 in cells maintained in low-Pi media resulted in a marked decrease in NaPiIIa abundance. After being transferred into high-Pi media, live-cell imaging showed that mRFP-Shank2E and GFP-NaPiIIa underwent endocytosis and trafficked together through the subapical domain. Fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy demonstrated that GFP-NaPiIIa and mRFP-Shank2 have indistinguishable diffusion coefficients and migrated through the subapical domain in temporal synchrony. Raster image cross-correlation spectroscopy demonstrated these two proteins course through the subapical domain in temporal-spatial synchrony. In the microvilli of cells under low-Pi conditions and in the subapical domain of cells under high-Pi conditions, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy-Forster resonance energy transfer analysis of Cer-NaPiIIa and EYFP-Shank2E found these fluors reside within 10 nm of each other. Demonstrating a complexity of functions, in cells maintained under low-Pi conditions, Shank2 plays an essential role in the apical retention of NaPiIIa while under high-Pi conditions Shank2 remains associated with NaPiIIa and escorts NaPiIIa through the cell interior. PMID:23325414

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi among wild and domestic mammals in different areas of the Abaetetuba municipality (Pará State, Brazil), an endemic Chagas disease transmission area.

    PubMed

    Roque, André Luiz R; Xavier, Samanta C C; Gerhardt, Marconny; Silva, Miguel F O; Lima, Valdirene S; D'Andrea, Paulo S; Jansen, Ana M

    2013-03-31

    The presence of acute Chagas disease (ACD) due to oral transmission is growing and expanding in several South American countries. Within the Amazon basin, the Abaetetuba municipality has been a site of recurrent cases spanning across distinct landscapes. Because Chagas disease is primarily a zoonotic infection, we compared the enzootic Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles in three different environmental areas of Abaetetuba to better understand this new epidemiological situation. Philander opossum was the most abundant mammalian species collected (38% of the collected mammals) with a T. cruzi prevalence of 57%, as determined by hemocultures. Didelphis marsupialis was abundant only in the area with the higher level of environmental disturbance (approximately 42%) and did not yield detectable parasitemia. Despite similarities observed in the composition of the small mammalian fauna and the prevalence of T. cruzi infection among the studied areas, the potential of these hosts to infect vectors differed significantly according to the degree of land use (with prevalences of 5%, 41%, and 64% in areas A3, A1 and A2, respectively). Domestic mammals were also found to be infected, and one canine T. cruzi isolate was obtained. Our data demonstrated that the transmission of T. cruzi in the Amazon basin is far more complex than had been previously taught and showed that the probability of humans and domestic mammals coming into contact with infected bugs can vary dramatically, even within the same municipality. The exposure of dogs to T. cruzi infection (indicated by positive serology) was the common feature among the studied localities, stressing the importance of selecting domestic mammals as sentinels in the identification of T. cruzi transmission hotspots. PMID:23261089

  8. Non-legalized commerce in game meat in the Brazilian Amazon: a case study.

    PubMed

    Baía Jr, Pedro Chaves; Guimarães, Diva Anelie; Le Pendu, Yvonnick

    2010-09-01

    In tropical forests, wild game meat represents an option or the only protein source for some human populations. This study analyzed the wildlife meat trade destined to human consumption in an open market of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Wildlife meat trade was monitored during 2005 through interviews to vendors and consumers in order to evaluate the socioeconomic profile of the sellers, the main species and byproducts sold, their geographical origin, commercial value, frequency of sale and product demand. Data indicated that vendors were financially highly dependant of this activity, getting a monthly income up to US$271.49. During the survey, the amount of wildlife meat on sale added a total of 5 970kg, as follows: 63.2% capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), 34.4% cayman (Melanosuchus niger and/or Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), 1.1% paca (Cuniculus paca); 0.6% armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), 0.5% deer (Mazama americana), 0.2% matamata (Chelus fimbriatus), and 0.1% opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Most of the commercialized species were not slaughtered locally. The consumption of wildlife meat was admitted by 94% of the interviewed, consisting of 27 ethno-species: 19 mammals, 6 reptiles, and 2 birds. The same percentage of the interviewed (94%) already bought wildlife meat of 18 species: 12 mammals and 6 reptiles. The great amount of wildlife meat traded and the important demand for these products by the local population, point out the necessity to adopt policies for a sustainable management of cinegetic species, guaranteeing the conservation of the environment, the improvement of living standards, and the maintenance of the local culture. PMID:20737856

  9. Conformational plasticity of DM43, a metalloproteinase inhibitor from Didelphis marsupialis: chemical and pressure-induced equilibrium (un)folding studies.

    PubMed

    Chapeaurouge, Alex; Martins, Samantha M; Holub, Oliver; Rocha, Surza L G; Valente, Richard H; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Ferreira, Sérgio T; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

    2009-10-01

    We have investigated the folding of DM43, a homodimeric metalloproteinase inhibitor isolated from the serum of the South American opossum Didelphis marsupialis. Denaturation of the protein induced by GdnHCl (guanidine hydrochloride) was monitored by extrinsic and intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy. While the equilibrium (un)folding of DM43 followed by tryptophan fluorescence was well described by a cooperative two-state transition, bis-ANS (4,4'-dianilino-1,1'-binaphthyl-5,5'-disulfonic acid) fluorescence measurements revealed an intensity maximum at the midpoint of the unfolding transition (2 M GdnHCl), indicating a partially folded intermediate state. We further investigated the DM43 intermediate stabilized at 2 M GdnHCl using size exclusion chromatography. This analysis revealed that the folding intermediate can be best described as partially folded DM43 monomers. Thermodynamic analysis of the GdnHCl-induced denaturation of DM43 revealed Gibbs free-energy changes of 13.57 kcal/mol for dimer dissociation and 1.86 kcal/mol for monomer unfolding, pointing to a critical role of dimerization as a determinant of the structure and stability of this protein. In addition, by using hydrostatic pressure (up to 3.5 kbar) we were able to stabilize partially folded states different from those stabilized in the presence of GdnHCl. Taken together, these results indicate that the conformational plasticity of DM43 could provide this protein with the ability to adapt its conformation to a variety of different environments and biological partners during its biological lifetime. PMID:19332153

  10. Notes on parasitism by Amblyomma humerale (Acari: Ixodidae) in the state of Rondônia, western Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Labruna, Marcelo B; Camargo, Luís Marcelo A; Terrassini, Flávio A; Schumaker, Teresinha T S; Camargo, Erney P

    2002-11-01

    The tick Amblyomma humerale Koch is endemic to South America. All host records refer to the adult stage parasitizing tortoises, mostly yellow-footed tortoise, Geochelone denticulata (L.), and red-footed tortoise, Geochelone carbonaria (Spix). The current study reports the presence of A. humerale in the state of Rondônia, Brazil. A total of 215 adult ticks (201 males, 14 females) was collected from six G denticulata in an Indian reserve and nine Geochelone sp. in rural Monte Negro County, giving an overall mean infestation of 14.3 +/- 12.0 (range: 2-44) ticks per tortoise. Male ticks always outnumbered females on the host and nine tortoises had only male ticks. Male ticks were mostly attached in clusters on the ventral sides of the carapace near the anterior and posterior margins, and more rarely on the outer margin of the plastron. All females were found attached to the tortoise skin, at different sites such as head, neck, shoulders or legs. Male ticks were rarely observed attached to the body skin. Seven engorged nymphs collected on small vertebrates from Monte Negro County molted to adults of A. humerale. This included one nymph each on the seven-colored lizard, Plica plica (L), green tree climber, Plica umbra (L.), and wide-foraging lizard, Kentropyx calcarata Spix,three nymphs on the common opossum, Didelphis marsupialis L., and one nymph on the silky anteater, Cyclopes didactylus L. These constitute the first host records for the immature stages of the tick A. humerale. PMID:12495177

  11. Meso-diencephalic regions projecting to spinal cord and dorsal column nuclear complex in the hedgehog-tenrec, Echinops telfairi.

    PubMed

    Künzle, H

    1992-01-01

    The distribution of neurons projecting to the spinal cord and dorsal column nuclear complex was investigated in the mesodiencephalic regions of the lesser hedgehog-tenrec, Echinops telfairi (Insectivora) by using the retrograde flow technique. While only few neurons projected to the dorsal column nuclear complex, numerous cells were found to give rise to spinal projections. Rubro-spinal neurons of various sizes were distributed over the entire rostrocaudal extent of the contra-lateral nucleus; a few neurons were also located ipsilaterally, Unlike that of the opossum, the projection appeared to be somatotopically organised. Interstitio-spinal neurons were differentiated into several subpopulations according to their location and laterality of projection. In the ipsilateral periventricular grey, in addition, there was a distinct population of cells possibly corresponding to the nucleus of Darkschewitsch. The mesencephalic central grey contained relatively few labeled neurons, the great majority of them being mesencephalic trigeminal, ectopic cuneiform or midline cells. Labeled cuneiform and midline cells, on the other hand, were quite numerous, extending both from a level just caudal to the trochlear nucleus to levels far beyond the rostral tip of the somatic oculomotor nucleus. The discrepancy between the poorly differentiated oculomotor nuclei and the apparently well-developed Edinger-Westphal complex is discussed. Hypothalamo-spinal neurons were essentially restricted to dorsal regions: the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PAV), the dorso-medial (DmHy) and dorso-intermediate cell groups as well as the lateral hypothalamic zone. The latter two cell groups were bilaterally labeled, while the labeled neurons in DmHy and PAV were located predominantly ipsilaterally. Labeled neurons in the amygdala, colliculus superior and mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus were only found following cervical injections; all other mentioned areas and the posterior commissure complex

  12. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis from free-ranging birds and mammals on livestock premises.

    PubMed

    Corn, Joseph L; Manning, Elizabeth J B; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Fischer, John R

    2005-11-01

    Surveys for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in free-ranging mammals and birds were conducted on nine dairy and beef cattle farms in Wisconsin and Georgia. Specimens were collected from 774 animals representing 25 mammalian and 22 avian species. Specimens of ileum, liver, intestinal lymph nodes, and feces were harvested from the larger mammals; a liver specimen and the gastrointestinal tract were harvested from birds and small mammals. Cultures were performed by using radiometric culture and acid-fast isolates were identified by 16S/IS900/IS1311 PCR and mycobactin dependency characteristics. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was cultured from tissues and feces from 39 samples from 30 animals representing nine mammalian and three avian species. The prevalence of infected wild animals by premises ranged from 2.7 to 8.3% in Wisconsin and from 0 to 6.0% in Georgia. Shedding was documented in seven (0.9%) animals: three raccoons, two armadillos, one opossum, and one feral cat. The use of two highly polymorphic short sequence repeat loci for analysis of 29 of the 39 strains identified 10 alleles. One allelic pattern broadly shared in domestic ruminants ("7,5") appeared in approximately one-third of the wildlife M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates studied. Given the few cases of shedding by free-ranging animals compared to the volume of contaminated manure produced by infected domestic ruminant livestock, contamination of the farm environment by infected wildlife was negligible. Wildlife may, however, have epidemiological significance for farms where M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis recently has been eliminated or on farms free of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis but located in the geographic vicinity of farms with infected livestock. PMID:16269731

  13. Xanthine effects on renal proximal tubular function and cyclic AMP metabolism.

    PubMed

    Coulson, R; Scheinman, S J

    1989-02-01

    We evaluated the renal effects of xanthines using two in vitro models: the isolated perfused rat kidney (IPRK) and cultured opossum kidney (OK) cells, a continuous cell line that resembles proximal tubule and responds to parathyroid hormone (PTH). 1,3-Diethyl-8-phenylxanthine (DPX) a potent adenosine receptor antagonist, increased urine volume, glomerular filtration rate, vascular resistance and the fractional excretions of Na, K, Ca and Pi in the IPRK. DPX lowered the Na-dependent uptake of Pi by OK cells. By comparison enprofylline, 3-propylxanthine (ENP), a weak adenosine receptor antagonist, produced a slight elevation in glomerular filtration rate but no changes in electrolyte excretion by IPRK or Pi uptake by OK cells. Both DPX and ENP produced negligible elevations in basal IPRK cAMP. A 1-nM bolus of PTH elevated urinary and perfusate cAMP 50- and 10-fold, respectively. PTH-elevated urinary and perfusate cAMP were augmented further 4- to 7-fold with DPX and 3- to 4-fold with ENP (All IPRK experiments used 50 microM xanthine). OK cells produced a 2-fold cAMP response to 10 nM PTH alone. OK cells treated with 50 microM DPX exhibited no increase in basal but a 13-fold increase in PTH-stimulated cell cAMP. The rank order of potency at 50 microM to augment OK cell cAMP with 10 nM PTH was DPX greater than 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine (DPC) greater than 1-methyl-3-isobutylxanthine greater than theobromine greater than theophylline greater than caffeine greater than ENP = no effect.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2537403

  14. The role of feral mammals on wildlife infectious disease prevalence in two nature reserves within Mexico City limits.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2005-09-01

    Wild and feral medium-sized mammals were live trapped at two natural protected areas within the Mexico City limits to determine antibody prevalence for the most common infectious diseases (rabies, toxoplasmosis, and canine parvovirus) in dogs and cats. Mammals were trapped during the dry (March-April) and rainy seasons (July-August) of 1996 and 1997. A total of 68 individuals were captured, representing 8 species: opossums (Didelphis virginiana), ringtails (Bassariscus astutus), spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), weasels (Mustela frenata), rock squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus), Mexican gray squirrels (Sciurus aureogaster), feral cats (Felis catus), and feral dogs (Canis familiaris). There was marked seroprevalence for parvovirus (86.6%) and lower seroprevalences for both toxoplasma (23.9%) and rabies (17.9%). There were no significant prevalence differences among mammals in both protected areas, which were of contrasting size and isolation (i.e., small and isolated versus large and nonisolated). We suggest that high seroprevalence of these three infectious agents in wild mammals is a result of the high densities of feral dogs and cats in the two areas sampled. Feral dogs are able to maintain the infectious agents in these localities regardless of the protected area size and isolation. However, the native mammals of the small and isolated reserve are more vulnerable to infectious diseases because of small population size and genetic bottlenecks. Our results indicate that natural areas in and around Mexico City are a refugium for latent infectious agents, several of which are zoonotic. These findings suggest that conservation measures, such as eradication of feral mammals and vaccination programs, in the protected areas and surrounding areas could be beneficial. PMID:17312768

  15. Eye spectral sensitivity in fresh- and brackish-water populations of three glacial-relict Mysis species (Crustacea): physiology and genetics of differential tuning.

    PubMed

    Donner, Kristian; Zak, Pavel; Viljanen, Martta; Lindström, Magnus; Feldman, Tatiana; Ostrovsky, Mikhail

    2016-04-01

    Absorbance spectra of single rhabdoms were studied by microspectrophotometry (MSP) and spectral sensitivities of whole eyes by electroretinography (ERG) in three glacial-relict species of opossum shrimps (Mysis). Among eight populations from Fennoscandian fresh-water lakes (L) and seven populations from the brackish-water Baltic Sea (S), L spectra were systematically red-shifted by 20-30 nm compared with S spectra, save for one L and one S population. The difference holds across species and bears no consistent adaptive relation to the current light environments. In the most extensively studied L-S pair, two populations of M. relicta (L(p) and S(p)) separated for less than 10,000 years, no differences translating into amino acid substitutions have been found in the opsin genes, and the chromophore of the visual pigments as analyzed by HPLC is pure A1. However, MSP experiments with spectrally selective bleaching show the presence of two rhodopsins (λ(max) ≈ 525-530 nm, MWS, and 565-570 nm, LWS) expressed in different proportions. ERG recordings of responses to "red" and "blue" light linearly polarized at orthogonal angles indicate segregation of the pigments into different cells differing in polarization sensitivity. We propose that the pattern of development of LWS and MWS photoreceptors is governed by an ontogenetic switch responsive to some environmental signal(s) other than light that generally differ(s) between lakes and sea, and that this reaction norm is conserved from a common ancestor of all three species. PMID:26984686

  16. The tammar wallaby major histocompatibility complex shows evidence of past genomic instability

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a group of genes with a variety of roles in the innate and adaptive immune responses. MHC genes form a genetically linked cluster in eutherian mammals, an organization that is thought to confer functional and evolutionary advantages to the immune system. The tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii), an Australian marsupial, provides a unique model for understanding MHC gene evolution, as many of its antigen presenting genes are not linked to the MHC, but are scattered around the genome. Results Here we describe the 'core' tammar wallaby MHC region on chromosome 2q by ordering and sequencing 33 BAC clones, covering over 4.5 MB and containing 129 genes. When compared to the MHC region of the South American opossum, eutherian mammals and non-mammals, the wallaby MHC has a novel gene organization. The wallaby has undergone an expansion of MHC class II genes, which are separated into two clusters by the class III genes. The antigen processing genes have undergone duplication, resulting in two copies of TAP1 and three copies of TAP2. Notably, Kangaroo Endogenous Retroviral Elements are present within the region and may have contributed to the genomic instability. Conclusions The wallaby MHC has been extensively remodeled since the American and Australian marsupials last shared a common ancestor. The instability is characterized by the movement of antigen presenting genes away from the core MHC, most likely via the presence and activity of retroviral elements. We propose that the movement of class II genes away from the ancestral class II region has allowed this gene family to expand and diversify in the wallaby. The duplication of TAP genes in the wallaby MHC makes this species a unique model organism for studying the relationship between MHC gene organization and function. PMID:21854592

  17. Convergent domestication of pogo-like transposases into centromere-binding proteins in fission yeast and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Casola, Claudio; Hucks, Donald; Feschotte, Cédric

    2007-01-01

    The mammalian centromeric protein CENP-B shares significant sequence similarity with three proteins in fission yeast (Abp1, Cbh1 and Cbh2) that also bind centromeres and have essential function for chromosome segregation and centromeric heterochromatin formation. Each of these proteins displays extensive sequence similarity with pogo-like transposases, which have been previously identified in the genomes of various insects and vertebrates, in the protozoan Entamoeba and in plants. Based on this distribution, it has been proposed that the mammalian and fission yeast centromeric proteins are derived from ‘domesticated’ pogo-like transposons. Here we took advantage of the vast amount of sequence information that has become recently available for a wide range of fungal and animal species to investigate the origin of the mammalian CENP-B and yeast CENP-B-like genes. A highly conserved ortholog of CENP-B was detected in 31 species of mammals, including opossum and platypus, but was absent from all non-mammalian species represented in the databases. Similarly, no ortholog of the fission yeast centromeric proteins was identified in any of the various fungal genomes currently available. In contrast, we discovered a plethora of novel pogo-like transposons in diverse invertebrates and vertebrates and in several filamentous fungi. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the mammalian and fission yeast CENP-B proteins fall into two distinct monophyletic clades, each of which includes a different set of pogo-like transposons. These results are most parsimoniously explained by independent domestication events of pogo-like transposases into centromeric proteins in the mammalian and fission yeast lineages, a case of ‘convergent domestication’. These findings highlight the propensity of transposases to give rise to new host proteins and the potential of transposons as sources of genetic innovation. PMID:17940212

  18. Hunting, Swimming, and Worshiping: Human Cultural Practices Illuminate the Blood Meal Sources of Cave Dwelling Chagas Vectors (Triatoma dimidiata) in Guatemala and Belize

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Lori; Monroy, M. Carlota; Rodas, Antonieta Guadalupe; Dorn, Patricia L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Triatoma dimidiata, currently the major Central American vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, inhabits caves throughout the region. This research investigates the possibility that cave dwelling T. dimidiata might transmit the parasite to humans and links the blood meal sources of cave vectors to cultural practices that differ among locations. Methodology/Principal Findings We determined the blood meal sources of twenty-four T. dimidiata collected from two locations in Guatemala and one in Belize where human interactions with the caves differ. Blood meal sources were determined by cloning and sequencing PCR products amplified from DNA extracted from the vector abdomen using primers specific for the vertebrate 12S mitochondrial gene. The blood meal sources were inferred by ≥99% identity with published sequences. We found 70% of cave-collected T. dimidiata positive for human DNA. The vectors had fed on 10 additional vertebrates with a variety of relationships to humans, including companion animal (dog), food animals (pig, sheep/goat), wild animals (duck, two bat, two opossum species) and commensal animals (mouse, rat). Vectors from all locations fed on humans and commensal animals. The blood meal sources differ among locations, as well as the likelihood of feeding on dog and food animals. Vectors from one location were tested for T. cruzi infection, and 30% (3/10) tested positive, including two positive for human blood meals. Conclusions/Significance Cave dwelling Chagas disease vectors feed on humans and commensal animals as well as dog, food animals and wild animals. Blood meal sources were related to human uses of the caves. We caution that just as T. dimidiata in caves may pose an epidemiological risk, there may be other situations where risk is thought to be minimal, but is not. PMID:25211347

  19. Localization of the calcium-regulated citrate transport process in proximal tubule cells.

    PubMed

    Hering-Smith, Kathleen S; Mao, Weibo; Schiro, Faith R; Coleman-Barnett, Joycelynn; Pajor, Ana M; Hamm, L Lee

    2014-06-01

    Urinary citrate is an important inhibitor of calcium-stone formation. Most of the citrate reabsorption in the proximal tubule is thought to occur via a dicarboxylate transporter NaDC1 located in the apical membrane. OK cells, an established opossum kidney proximal tubule cell line, transport citrate but the characteristics change with extracellular calcium such that low calcium solutions stimulate total citrate transport as well as increase the apparent affinity for transport. The present studies address several fundamental properties of this novel process: the polarity of the transport process, the location of the calcium-sensitivity and whether NaDC1 is present in OK cells. OK cells grown on permeable supports exhibited apical >basolateral citrate transport. Apical transport of both citrate and succinate was sensitive to extracellular calcium whereas basolateral transport was not. Apical calcium, rather than basolateral, was the predominant determinant of changes in transport. Also 2,3-dimethylsuccinate, previously identified as an inhibitor of basolateral dicarboxylate transport, inhibited apical citrate uptake. Although the calcium-sensitive transport process in OK cells is functionally not typical NaDC1, NaDC1 is present in OK cells by Western blot and PCR. By immunolocalization studies, NaDC1 was predominantly located in discrete apical membrane or subapical areas. However, by biotinylation, apical NaDC1 decreases in the apical membrane with lowering calcium. In sum, OK cells express a calcium-sensitive/regulated dicarboxylate process at the apical membrane which responds to variations in apical calcium. Despite the functional differences of this process compared to NaDC1, NaDC1 is present in these cells, but predominantly in subapical vesicles. PMID:24652587

  20. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis from Free-Ranging Birds and Mammals on Livestock Premises

    PubMed Central

    Corn, Joseph L.; Manning, Elizabeth J. B.; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Fischer, John R.

    2005-01-01

    Surveys for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in free-ranging mammals and birds were conducted on nine dairy and beef cattle farms in Wisconsin and Georgia. Specimens were collected from 774 animals representing 25 mammalian and 22 avian species. Specimens of ileum, liver, intestinal lymph nodes, and feces were harvested from the larger mammals; a liver specimen and the gastrointestinal tract were harvested from birds and small mammals. Cultures were performed by using radiometric culture and acid-fast isolates were identified by 16S/IS900/IS1311 PCR and mycobactin dependency characteristics. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was cultured from tissues and feces from 39 samples from 30 animals representing nine mammalian and three avian species. The prevalence of infected wild animals by premises ranged from 2.7 to 8.3% in Wisconsin and from 0 to 6.0% in Georgia. Shedding was documented in seven (0.9%) animals: three raccoons, two armadillos, one opossum, and one feral cat. The use of two highly polymorphic short sequence repeat loci for analysis of 29 of the 39 strains identified 10 alleles. One allelic pattern broadly shared in domestic ruminants (“7,5”) appeared in approximately one-third of the wildlife M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates studied. Given the few cases of shedding by free-ranging animals compared to the volume of contaminated manure produced by infected domestic ruminant livestock, contamination of the farm environment by infected wildlife was negligible. Wildlife may, however, have epidemiological significance for farms where M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis recently has been eliminated or on farms free of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis but located in the geographic vicinity of farms with infected livestock. PMID:16269731

  1. Selection, diversity and evolutionary patterns of the MHC class II DAB in free-ranging Neotropical marsupials

    PubMed Central

    Meyer-Lucht, Yvonne; Otten, Celine; Püttker, Thomas; Sommer, Simone

    2008-01-01

    Background Research on the genetic architecture and diversity of the MHC has focused mainly on eutherian mammals, birds and fish. So far, studies on model marsupials used in laboratory investigations indicated very little or even no variation in MHC class II genes. However, natural levels of diversity and selection are unknown in marsupials as studies on wild populations are virtually absent. We used two endemic South American mouse opossums, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus, to investigate characteristic features of MHC selection. This study is the first investigation of MHC selection in free-ranging Neotropical marsupials. In addition, the evolutionary history of MHC lineages within the group of marsupials was examined. Results G. microtarsus showed extensive levels of MHC diversity within and among individuals as 47 MHC-DAB alleles and high levels of sequence divergence were detected at a minimum of four loci. Positively selected codon sites were identified, of which most were congruent with human antigen binding sites. The diversity in M. incanus was rather low with only eight observed alleles at presumably two loci. However, these alleles also revealed high sequence divergence. Again, positive selection was identified on specific codon sites, all congruent with human ABS and with positively selected sites observed in G. microtarsus. In a phylogenetic comparison alleles of M. incanus interspersed widely within alleles of G. microtarsus with four alleles being present in both species. Conclusion Our investigations revealed extensive MHC class II polymorphism in a natural marsupial population, contrary to previous assumptions. Furthermore, our study confirms for the first time in marsupials the presence of three characteristic features common at MHC loci of eutherian mammals, birds and fish: large allelic sequence divergence, positive selection on specific sites and trans-specific polymorphism. PMID:18534008

  2. Chloride channel ClC-5 binds to aspartyl aminopeptidase to regulate renal albumin endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Aven; Slattery, Craig; Nikolic-Paterson, David J; Hryciw, Deanne H; Wilk, Sherwin; Wilk, Elizabeth; Zhang, Yuan; Valova, Valentina A; Robinson, Phillip J; Kelly, Darren J; Poronnik, Philip

    2015-04-01

    ClC-5 is a chloride/proton exchanger that plays an obligate role in albumin uptake by the renal proximal tubule. ClC-5 forms an endocytic complex with the albumin receptor megalin/cubilin. We have identified a novel ClC-5 binding partner, cytosolic aspartyl aminopeptidase (DNPEP; EC 3.4.11.21), that catalyzes the release of N-terminal aspartate/glutamate residues. The physiological role of DNPEP remains largely unresolved. Mass spectrometric analysis of proteins binding to the glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-ClC-5 C terminus identified DNPEP as an interacting partner. Coimmunoprecipitation confirmed that DNPEP and ClC-5 also associated in cells. Further experiments using purified GST-ClC-5 and His-DNPEP proteins demonstrated that the two proteins bound directly to each other. In opossum kidney (OK) cells, confocal immunofluorescence studies revealed that DNPEP colocalized with albumin-containing endocytic vesicles. Overexpression of wild-type DNPEP increased cell-surface levels of ClC-5 and albumin uptake. Analysis of DNPEP-immunoprecipitated products from rat kidney lysate identified β-actin and tubulin, suggesting a role for DNPEP in cytoskeletal maintenance. A DNase I inhibition assay showed a significant decrease in the amount of G actin when DNPEP was overexpressed in OK cells, suggesting a role for DNPEP in stabilizing the cytoskeleton. DNPEP was not present in the urine of healthy rats; however, it was readily detected in the urine in rat models of mild and heavy proteinuria (diabetic nephropathy and anti-glomerular basement membrane disease, respectively). Urinary levels of DNPEP were found to correlate with the severity of proteinuria. Therefore, we have identified another key molecular component of the albumin endocytic machinery in the renal proximal tubule and describe a new role for DNPEP in stabilizing the actin cytoskeleton. PMID:25587118

  3. Comparative Myology and Evolution of Marsupials and Other Vertebrates, With Notes on Complexity, Bauplan, and "Scala Naturae".

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Bello-Hellegouarch, Gaelle; Kohlsdorf, Tiana; Esteve-Altava, Borja; Molnar, Julia L

    2016-09-01

    Opossums are frequent subjects of developmental studies because marsupials share developmental features not seen in placentals and because Didelphimorpha is the sister-group of other extant Marsupialia. But is the adult marsupial muscular system markedly different from that of placentals or is it, like the skeletal system, very similar? We provide, for the first time, a brief description of all head and limb muscles of Didelphis virginiana based on our dissections and using a unifying nomenclature by integrating the data gathered in our long-term project on the development, homologies, and evolution of the muscles of all major vertebrate taxa. Our data indicate that there were many more muscle synapomorphic changes from the last common ancestor (LCA) of amniotes to the mammalian LCA (63) and from this LCA to the LCA of extant therians (48) than from this latter LCA to the LCA of extant placentals (10 or 11). Importantly, Didelphis is anatomically more plesiomorphic (only 14 changes from LCA of extant therians) than are rats (37 changes) and humans (63 changes), but its musculature is more complex (193 muscles) than that of humans (only 180 muscles). Of the 194 muscles of Didelphis, 172 (89%) are present in rats, meaning that their adult muscle anatomy is indeed very similar. This similarity supports the existence of a common, easy recognizable therian Bauplan, but one that is caused by developmental constraints and by evolutionary change driven by the needs of the embryos/neonates, rather than by a "goal" toward a specific adult plan/"archetype," as the name Bauplan suggests. Anat Rec, 299:1224-1255, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27342702

  4. A connection to the past: Monodelphis domestica provides insight into the organization and connectivity of the brains of early mammals.

    PubMed

    Dooley, James C; Franca, João G; Seelke, Adele M H; Cooke, Dylan F; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2013-12-01

    The current experiment is one of a series of comparative studies in our laboratory designed to determine the network of somatosensory areas that are present in the neocortex of the mammalian common ancestor. Such knowledge is critical for appreciating the basic functional circuitry that all mammals possess and how this circuitry was modified to generate species-specific, sensory-mediated behavior. Our animal model, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), is a marsupial that is proposed to represent this ancestral state more closely than most other marsupials and, to some extent, even monotremes. We injected neuroanatomical tracers into the primary somatosensory area (S1), rostral and caudal somatosensory fields (SR and SC, respectively), and multimodal cortex (MM) and determined their connections with other architectonically defined cortical fields. Our results show that S1 has dense intrinsic connections, dense projections from the frontal myelinated area (FM), and moderate projections from S2 and SC. SR has strong projections from several areas, including S1, SR, FM, and piriform cortex. SC has dense projections from S1, moderate to strong projections from other somatosensory areas, FM, along with connectivity from the primary (V1) and second visual areas. Finally, MM had dense intrinsic connections, dense projections from SC and V1, and moderate projections from S1. These data support the proposition that ancestral mammals likely had at least four specifically interconnected somatosensory areas, along with at least one multimodal area. We discuss the possibility that these additional somatosensory areas (SC and SR) are homologous to somatosensory areas in eutherian mammals. PMID:23784751

  5. Isolation and characterization of a proteinaceous subnuclear fraction composed of nuclear matrix, peripheral lamina, and nuclear pore complexes from embryos of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Fisher, P A; Berrios, M; Blobel, G

    1982-03-01

    Morphologically intact nuclei have been prepared from embryos of Drosophila melanogaster by a simple and rapid procedure. These nuclei have been further treated with high concentrations of DNase I and RNase A followed by sequential extraction with 2% Triton X-100 and 1 M NaCl to produce a structurally and biochemically distinct preparation designated Drosophila subnuclear fraction I (DSNF-I). As seen by phase-contrast microscopy, DSNF-I is composed of material which closely resembles unfractionated nuclei; residual internal nuclear structures including nucleolar remnants are clearly visible. By transmission electron microscopy, nuclear lamina, pore complexes, and a nuclear matrix are similarly identified. Biochemically, DSNF-I is composed almost entirely of protein (greater than 93%). SDS PAGE analysis reveals several major polypeptides; species at 174,000, 74,000, and 42,000 predominate. A polypeptide coincident with the Coomassie Blue-stainable 174-kdalton band has been shown by a novel technique of lectin affinity labeling to be a glycoprotein; a glycoprotein of similar or identical molecular weight has been found to be a component of nuclear envelope fractions isolated from the livers of rats, guinea pigs, opossums, and chickens. Antisera against several of the polypeptides in DSNF-I have been obtained from rabbits, and all of them show only little or no cross-reactivity with Drosophila cytoplasmic fractions. Initial results of immunocytochemical studies, while failing to positively localize either the 174- or 16-kdalton polypeptides, demonstrate a nuclear localization of the 74-kdalton antigen in all of several interphase cell types obtained from both Drosophila embryos and third-instar larvae. PMID:6177701

  6. Lake Pend Oreille Fishery Recovery Project, 1997-1998 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Maiolie, Melo A.; Ament, William J.; Harryman, Bill

    2000-05-01

    The elevation of Lake Pend Oreille was kept 1.2 m higher during the winter of 1997-1998 in an attempt to recover the impacted kokanee fishery. This was the second winter of a scheduled three-year test. Hydroacoustic surveys and trawling were conducted in the fall of 1998 to assess the kokanee population. We estimated the abundance of wild and hatchery fry in the lake at 3.71 million by hydroacoustics. These originated from an estimated 11.2 million eggs spawned during the fall of 1997. The survival from wild spawned eggs to wild fry was 9.7%, which is the highest egg-to-fry survival rate on record. This is the strongest indication to date that higher lake levels were having a direct benefit to the kokanee population. By trawling, we found that total kokanee abundance in the lake dropped to a new record low of 2.8 million fish. The number of adult kokanee in the lake was below average: 100,000 age 4 kokanee (100% mature) and 730,000 age 3 kokanee (29% mature). These fish laid an estimated 52.1 million eggs in 1998. Hatchery personnel collected 9.0 million eggs which were cultured, marked by cold branding the otoliths, and the resulting fry stocked into the lake in 1999. Peak counts of spawning kokanee were 5,100 fish on the shoreline and 9,700 fish in tributary streams; unusually high considering the low population in the lake. Opossum shrimp Mysis relicta declined in the southern two sections of the lake but increased in the northern end. Immature and mature shrimp (excluding young-of-the-year [YOY] shrimp) densities averaged 426 shrimp/m{sup 2}. The number of waterfowl using the lake in the winter of 1998-1999 increased from the previous three years to over 30,000 ducks, geese, and swans.

  7. Morphology of Gnathostoma spp. isolated from natural hosts in Sinaloa, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Diaz Camacho, Sylvia P; Willms, Kaethe; Ramos, Magda Zazueta; del Carmen de la Cruz Otero, Maria; Nawa, Yukifumi; Akahane, Hiroshige

    2002-07-01

    Gnathostomosis is an emerging public health problem in Sinaloa, Mexico, where an increasing number of human cases have been diagnosed since 1989. The present study was carried out to determine the presence of the parasite in other natural hosts from the area. Birds, fish, opossums and raccoons were captured from local dams and lagoons. The flesh from bird and fish specimens was ground and examined under a 100 W light bulb. Larvae were processed for light and electron microscopy. A total of 368 advanced stage 3 (AL3) larvae were found in 300 ichthyophagous birds, with Egretta alba exhibiting the highest infection rate. A total of 4,156 fish were examined, of which six species were infected with AL3 larvae: Arius guatemalensis (blue sea catfish), Dormitator latifrons (Pacific fat sleeper), Gobiomorus sp. (fat sleeper), Oreochromis sp. (Nile tilapia), Cichlasoma beani (Sinaloan cichlid or green guapote) and Eleotris picta (spotted sleeper). Twenty larvae from birds were used to infect domestic cats and dogs. Young adult worms were recovered from the stomach of a cat with a 17 day infection and from a dog with a 35 day infection. Larvae exhibited four rows of hooklets on the head bulb, whereas the young adults had nine rows of hooklets. The cuticular spines of adult worms along the body evolved from single-pointed, bi- or trifurcated spines. Nuclei were counted in intestinal cells examined in serial sections of larvae recovered from a great heron and a fish, in which a mean of 1.6 nuclei/cell was found, corresponding to data published for Gnathostoma binucleatum. Although the external morphology of both larvae and adults are in agreement with previous descriptions of Gnathostoma spinigerum, the results indicate that natural host infections in Sinaloa may be caused by either G. spinigerum or G. binucleatum. PMID:12107456

  8. A connection to the past: Monodelphis domestica provides insight into the organization and connectivity of the brains of early mammals

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C; Franca, João G.; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Cooke, Dylan F.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2014-01-01

    The current experiment is one of a series of comparative studies in our laboratory designed to determine the network of somatosensory areas that was present in the neocortex of the mammalian common ancestor. Such knowledge is critical for appreciating the basic functional circuitry that all mammals possess and how this circuitry was modified to generate species specific, sensory mediated behavior. Our animal model, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is a marsupial that is proposed to represent this ancestral state more closely than most other marsupials and to some extent, even monotremes. We injected neuroanatomical tracers into the primary somatosensory area (S1), rostral and caudal somatosensory fields (SR and SC, respectively), and multimodal cortex (MM) and determined their connections with other architectonically defined cortical fields. Our results show that S1 has dense intrinsic connections, dense projections from the frontal myelinated area (FM), and moderate projections from S2 and SC. SR has strong projections from several areas, including S1, SR, FM and piriform cortex. SC has dense projections from S1, moderate to strong projections from other somatosensory areas, FM, along with connectivity from the primary (V1) and second visual areas. Finally, MM had dense intrinsic connections, dense projections from SC and V1, and moderate projections from S1. These data support the proposition that ancestral mammals likely had at least four specifically interconnected somatosensory areas, along with at least one multimodal area. We discuss the possibility that these additional somatosensory areas (SC and SR) are homologous to somatosensory areas in eutherian mammals. PMID:23784751

  9. Evolutionary Histories of Transposable Elements in the Genome of the Largest Living Marsupial Carnivore, the Tasmanian Devil

    PubMed Central

    Gallus, Susanne; Hallström, Björn M; Kumar, Vikas; Dodt, William G; Janke, Axel; Schumann, Gerald G; Nilsson, Maria A

    2015-01-01

    The largest living carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), is the sole survivor of a lineage originating about 12 Ma. We set out to investigate the spectrum of transposable elements found in the Tasmanian devil genome, the first high-coverage genome of an Australian marsupial. Marsupial genomes have been shown to have the highest amount of transposable elements among vertebrates. We analyzed the horizontally transmitted DNA transposons OC1 and hAT-1_MEu in the Tasmanian devil genome. OC1 is present in all carnivorous marsupials, while having a very limited distribution among the remaining Australian marsupial orders. In contrast, hAT-1_MEu is present in all Australian marsupial orders, and has so far only been identified in a few placental mammals. We screened 158 introns for phylogenetically informative retrotransposons in the order Dasyuromorphia, and found that the youngest SINE (Short INterspersed Element), WSINE1, is no longer active in the subfamily Dasyuridae. The lack of detectable WSINE1 activity in this group may be due to a retrotransposon inactivation event approximately 30 Ma. We found that the Tasmanian devil genome contains a relatively low number of continuous full-length LINE-1 (Long INterspersed Element 1, L1) retrotransposons compared with the opossum genome. Furthermore, all L1 elements in the Tasmanian devil appeared to be nonfunctional. Hidden Markov Model approaches suggested that other potential sources of functional reverse transcriptase are absent from the genome. We discuss the issues associated with assembling long, highly similar L1 copies from short read Illumina data and describe how assembly artifacts can potentially lead to erroneous conclusions. PMID:25633377

  10. Energy density of bloaters in the upper Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pothoven, Steven A.; Bunnell, David B.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Gorman, Owen T.; Roseman, Edward F.

    2012-01-01

    We evaluated the energy density of bloaters Coregonus hoyi as a function of fish size across Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior in 2008–2009 and assessed how differences in energy density are related to factors such as biomass density of bloaters and availability of prey. Additional objectives were to compare energy density between sexes and to compare energy densities of bloaters in Lake Michigan between two time periods (1998–2001 and 2008–2009). For the cross-lake comparisons in 2008, energy density increased with fish total length (TL) only in Lake Michigan. Mean energy density adjusted for fish size was 8% higher in bloaters from Lake Superior than in bloaters from Lake Huron. Relative to fish in these two lakes, small (175 mm TL) bloaters had higher energy density. In 2009, energy density increased with bloater size, and mean energy density adjusted for fish size was about 9% higher in Lake Michigan than in Lake Huron (Lake Superior was not sampled during 2009). Energy density of bloaters in Lake Huron was generally the lowest among lakes, reflecting the relatively low densities of opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana and the relatively high biomass of bloaters reported for that lake. Other factors, such as energy content of prey, growing season, or ontogenetic differences in energy use strategies, may also influence cross-lake variation in energy density. Mean energy density adjusted for length was 7% higher for female bloaters than for male bloaters in Lakes Michigan and Huron. In Lake Superior, energy density did not differ between males and females. Finally, energy density of bloaters in Lake Michigan was similar between the periods 2008–2009 and 1998–2001, possibly due to a low population abundance of bloaters, which could offset food availability changes linked to the loss of prey such as the amphipods Diporeia spp.

  11. Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigations: Annual report 2011 (April 2011 - March 2012)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, William P.; Bellgraph, Brian J.; Kock, Tobias J.; Mullins, Frank; Steinhorst, R. Kirk; Christiansen, Helena E.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Ortega, Lori A.; Carter, Kathleen M.; Arntzen, Evan V.; Klett, Katherine J.C.; Deng, Z. Daniel; Abel, Tylor K.; Linley, Timothy J.; Cullinan, Valerie I.; St John, Scott J.; Erhardt, John M.; Bickford, Brad; Schmidt, Amanda; Rhodes, Tobyn

    2013-01-01

    Chapter Four – We conducted monthly beam trawling in Lower Granite and Little Goose reservoirs to describe the seasonal abundance of benthic epifauna that are potentially important as prey to juvenile fall Chinook salmon. The predominant taxa collected were Siberian prawns, the opossum shrimp Neomysis mercedis, and the amphipod Corophium sp. Prawns were relatively abundant at shallow sites in both reservoirs in June, but were more abundant at deep sites in lower and middle reservoir reaches in autumn. Prawn densities were commonly <0.2/m2. Prawn length-frequency data indicated that there were at least two size classes. Juvenile prawns present in shallow water more often than adult prawns, which were generally only found in deep water by autumn. Ovigerous prawns had an average of 171 eggs, which represented about 11.5% of their body weight. Limited diet analyses suggested that prawns consumed Corophium, Neomysis, and aquatic insects. Neomysis dominated all catches both in terms of abundance and biomass, and they were more abundant in Lower Granite compared to Little Goose reservoir. Neomysis were more abundant at shallow sites than at deep sites. Corophium were present in our collections but were never abundant, probably because our trawl was not effective at capturing them. The caloric content of prawns (4,782 Kcal), Neomysis (4,962 Kcal), and Corophium (4,926 Kcal) indicates that these prey would be energetically profitable for juvenile salmon. Subyearling fall Chinook salmon prey heavily on Neomysis and Corophium at times, but the importance of prawns as prey is uncertain.

  12. The commensal Streptococcus salivarius K12 downregulates the innate immune responses of human epithelial cells and promotes host-microbe homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Cosseau, Celine; Devine, Deirdre A; Dullaghan, Edie; Gardy, Jennifer L; Chikatamarla, Avinash; Gellatly, Shaan; Yu, Lorraine L; Pistolic, Jelena; Falsafi, Reza; Tagg, John; Hancock, Robert E W

    2008-09-01

    Streptococcus salivarius is an early colonizer of human oral and nasopharyngeal epithelia, and strain K12 has reported probiotic effects. An emerging paradigm indicates that commensal bacteria downregulate immune responses through the action on NF-kappaB signaling pathways, but additional mechanisms underlying probiotic actions are not well understood. Our objective here was to identify host genes specifically targeted by K12 by comparing their responses with responses elicited by pathogens and to determine if S. salivarius modulates epithelial cell immune responses. RNA was extracted from human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE14O- cells) cocultured with K12 or bacterial pathogens. cDNA was hybridized to a human 21K oligonucleotide-based array. Data were analyzed using ArrayPipe, InnateDB, PANTHER, and oPOSSUM. Interleukin 8 (IL-8) and growth-regulated oncogene alpha (Groalpha) secretion were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. It was demonstrated that S. salivarius K12 specifically altered the expression of 565 host genes, particularly those involved in multiple innate defense pathways, general epithelial cell function and homeostasis, cytoskeletal remodeling, cell development and migration, and signaling pathways. It inhibited baseline IL-8 secretion and IL-8 responses to LL-37, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and flagellin in epithelial cells and attenuated Groalpha secretion in response to flagellin. Immunosuppression was coincident with the inhibition of activation of the NF-kappaB pathway. Thus, the commensal and probiotic behaviors of S. salivarius K12 are proposed to be due to the organism (i) eliciting no proinflammatory response, (ii) stimulating an anti-inflammatory response, and (iii) modulating genes associated with adhesion to the epithelial layer and homeostasis. S. salivarius K12 might thereby ensure that it is tolerated by the host and maintained on the epithelial surface while actively protecting the host from inflammation and apoptosis

  13. The Commensal Streptococcus salivarius K12 Downregulates the Innate Immune Responses of Human Epithelial Cells and Promotes Host-Microbe Homeostasis▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Cosseau, Celine; Devine, Deirdre A.; Dullaghan, Edie; Gardy, Jennifer L.; Chikatamarla, Avinash; Gellatly, Shaan; Yu, Lorraine L.; Pistolic, Jelena; Falsafi, Reza; Tagg, John; Hancock, Robert E. W.

    2008-01-01

    Streptococcus salivarius is an early colonizer of human oral and nasopharyngeal epithelia, and strain K12 has reported probiotic effects. An emerging paradigm indicates that commensal bacteria downregulate immune responses through the action on NF-κB signaling pathways, but additional mechanisms underlying probiotic actions are not well understood. Our objective here was to identify host genes specifically targeted by K12 by comparing their responses with responses elicited by pathogens and to determine if S. salivarius modulates epithelial cell immune responses. RNA was extracted from human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE14O- cells) cocultured with K12 or bacterial pathogens. cDNA was hybridized to a human 21K oligonucleotide-based array. Data were analyzed using ArrayPipe, InnateDB, PANTHER, and oPOSSUM. Interleukin 8 (IL-8) and growth-regulated oncogene alpha (Groα) secretion were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. It was demonstrated that S. salivarius K12 specifically altered the expression of 565 host genes, particularly those involved in multiple innate defense pathways, general epithelial cell function and homeostasis, cytoskeletal remodeling, cell development and migration, and signaling pathways. It inhibited baseline IL-8 secretion and IL-8 responses to LL-37, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and flagellin in epithelial cells and attenuated Groα secretion in response to flagellin. Immunosuppression was coincident with the inhibition of activation of the NF-κB pathway. Thus, the commensal and probiotic behaviors of S. salivarius K12 are proposed to be due to the organism (i) eliciting no proinflammatory response, (ii) stimulating an anti-inflammatory response, and (iii) modulating genes associated with adhesion to the epithelial layer and homeostasis. S. salivarius K12 might thereby ensure that it is tolerated by the host and maintained on the epithelial surface while actively protecting the host from inflammation and apoptosis induced by

  14. Angioarchitecture and morphology of temporomandibular joint of Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Minucci, Matheus Silvestre; Issa, João Paulo Mardegan; Yokoyama, Fernando Yukio; Dias, Fernando José; Iyomasa, Daniela Mizusaki; Guimarães, Elaine Aparecida Del-Bel Belluz; Watanabe, Ii-Sei; Iyomasa, Mamie Mizusaki

    2016-09-01

    The opossum Monodelphis domestica presents movement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) reflecting adaptation to eating habits similar to movement in humans, but the structure of the TMJ is not yet known. Thus, nine young M. domestica, of both sexes were weighed, anesthetized with xylazine (10 mg kg(-1) ), and ketamine (70 mg kg(-1) ) and processed for: 1. The analyses of the macroscopic angioarchitecture after latex injection, as well as the topography of the TMJ; 2. The analysis of microvascularization after injection of Mercox resin and corrosion of soft tissue with NaOH using scanning electron microscopy and; 3. The histological evaluation of the TMJ with an optical microscope. Macroscopic analysis of the latex injected vessels revealed the distribution of the arteries from the common carotid artery, receiving branches of the superficial temporal and maxillary arteries. The mandibular condyle has the long axis in the lateral-lateral direction, and is convex in the anterior-posterior direction. Its topography was determined in relation to the eye and external acoustic meatus. With scanning electron microscopy, microvascularization consists of arterioles of varying diameter (85-15 µm) of the meandering capillary network in the retrodiscal region, and a network of straight capillaries in the TMJ anterior region. Via light microscopy the TMJ has similar histological features to those of humans. These macroscopic, microscopic and ultrastructural data from TMJ of the M. domestica could be a suitable model for TMJ physiology and pathophysiology studies for then speculate on possible human studies. Microsc. Res. Tech. 79:806-813, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27324400

  15. An Inventory of Terrestrial Mammals at National Parks in the Northeast Temperate Network and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilbert, A.T.; O'Connell, A.F., Jr.; Annand, E.M.; Talancy, N.W.; Sauer, J.R.; Nichols, J.D.

    2008-01-01

    An inventory of mammals was conducted during 2004 at nine national park sites in the Northeast Temperate Network (NETN): Acadia National Park (NP), Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (NHP), Minute Man NHP, Morristown NHP, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site (NHS), Saint-Gaudens NHS, Saugus Iron Works NHS, Saratoga NHP, and Weir Farm NHS. Sagamore Hill NHS, part of the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN), was also surveyed. Each park except Acadia NP was sampled twice, once in the winter/spring and again in the summer/fall. During the winter/spring visit, indirect measure (IM) sampling arrays were employed at 2 to 16 stations and included sampling by remote cameras, cubby boxes (covered trackplates), and hair traps. IM stations were established and re-used during the summer/fall sampling period. Trapping was conducted at 2 to 12 stations at all parks except Acadia NP during the summer/fall period and consisted of arrays of small-mammal traps, squirrel-sized live traps, and some fox-sized live traps. We used estimation-based procedures and probabilistic sampling techniques to design this inventory. A total of 38 species was detected by IM sampling, trapping, and field observations. Species diversity (number of species) varied among parks, ranging from 8 to 24, with Minute Man NHP having the most species detected. Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), Fisher (Martes pennanti), and Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris) were the most common medium-sized mammals detected in this study and White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), Northern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda), Deer Mouse (P. maniculatus), and Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) the most common small mammals detected. All species detected are considered fairly common throughout their range including the Fisher, which has been reintroduced in several New England states. We did not detect any state or federal endangered or threatened species.

  16. SnSAG5 is an alternative surface antigen of Sarcocystis neurona strains that is mutually exclusive to SnSAG1.

    PubMed

    Crowdus, Carolyn A; Marsh, Antoinette E; Saville, Willliam J; Lindsay, David S; Dubey, J P; Granstrom, David E; Howe, Daniel K

    2008-11-25

    Sarcocystis neurona is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Previous work has identified a gene family of paralogous surface antigens in S. neurona called SnSAGs. These surface proteins are immunogenic in their host animals, and are therefore candidate molecules for development of diagnostics and vaccines. However, SnSAG diversity exists in strains of S. neurona, including the absence of the major surface antigen gene SnSAG1. Instead, sequence for an alternative SnSAG has been revealed in two of the SnSAG1-deficient strains. Herein, we present data characterizing this new surface protein, which we have designated SnSAG5. The results indicated that the protein encoded by the SnSAG5 sequence is indeed a surface-associated molecule that has characteristics consistent with the other SAGs identified in S. neurona and related parasites. Importantly, Western blot analyses of a collection of S. neurona strains demonstrated that 6 of 13 parasite isolates express SnSAG5 as a dominant surface protein instead of SnSAG1. Conversely, SnSAG5 was not detected in SnSAG1-positive strains. One strain, which was isolated from the brain of a sea otter, did not express either SnSAG1 or SnSAG5. Genetic analysis with SnSAG5-specific primers confirmed the presence of the SnSAG5 gene in Western blot-positive strains, while also suggesting the presence of a novel SnSAG sequence in the SnSAG1-deficient, SnSAG5-deficient otter isolate. The findings provide further indication of S. neurona strain diversity, which has implications for diagnostic testing and development of vaccines against EPM as well as the population biology of Sarcocystis cycling in the opossum definitive host. PMID:18829171

  17. Trypanosoma cruzi IIc: phylogenetic and phylogeographic insights from sequence and microsatellite analysis and potential impact on emergent Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    Llewellyn, Martin S; Lewis, Michael D; Acosta, Nidia; Yeo, Matthew; Carrasco, Hernan J; Segovia, Maikell; Vargas, Jorge; Torrico, Faustino; Miles, Michael A; Gaunt, Michael W

    2009-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is highly genetically diverse. Numerous lines of evidence point to the existence of six stable genetic lineages or DTUs: TcI, TcIIa, TcIIb, TcIIc, TcIId, and TcIIe. Molecular dating suggests that T. cruzi is likely to have been an endemic infection of neotropical mammalian fauna for many millions of years. Here we have applied a panel of 49 polymorphic microsatellite markers developed from the online T. cruzi genome to document genetic diversity among 53 isolates belonging to TcIIc, a lineage so far recorded almost exclusively in silvatic transmission cycles but increasingly a potential source of human infection. These data are complemented by parallel analysis of sequence variation in a fragment of the glucose-6-phosphate isomerase gene. New isolates confirm that TcIIc is associated with terrestrial transmission cycles and armadillo reservoir hosts, and demonstrate that TcIIc is far more widespread than previously thought, with a distribution at least from Western Venezuela to the Argentine Chaco. We show that TcIIc is truly a discrete T. cruzi lineage, that it could have an ancient origin and that diversity occurs within the terrestrial niche independently of the host species. We also show that spatial structure among TcIIc isolates from its principal host, the armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, is greater than that among TcI from Didelphis spp. opossums and link this observation to differences in ecology of their respective niches. Homozygosity in TcIIc populations and some linkage indices indicate the possibility of recombination but cannot yet be effectively discriminated from a high genome-wide frequency of gene conversion. Finally, we suggest that the derived TcIIc population genetic data have a vital role in determining the origin of the epidemiologically important hybrid lineages TcIId and TcIIe. PMID:19721699

  18. Diversification and Molecular Evolution of ATOH8, a Gene Encoding a bHLH Transcription Factor

    PubMed Central

    Balakrishnan-Renuka, Ajeesh; Leese, Florian; Schempp, Werner; Schaller, Felix; Hoffmann, Michael M.; Morosan-Puopolo, Gabriela; Yusuf, Faisal; Bisschoff, Izak Johannes; Chankiewitz, Verena; Xue, Jinglun; Chen, Jingzhong; Ying, Kang; Brand-Saberi, Beate

    2011-01-01

    ATOH8 is a bHLH domain transcription factor implicated in the development of the nervous system, kidney, pancreas, retina and muscle. In the present study, we collected sequence of ATOH8 orthologues from 18 vertebrate species and 24 invertebrate species. The reconstruction of ATOH8 phylogeny and sequence analysis showed that this gene underwent notable divergences during evolution. For those vertebrate species investigated, we analyzed the gene structure and regulatory elements of ATOH8. We found that the bHLH domain of vertebrate ATOH8 was highly conserved. Mammals retained some specific amino acids in contrast to the non-mammalian orthologues. Mammals also developed another potential isoform, verified by a human expressed sequence tag (EST). Comparative genomic analyses of the regulatory elements revealed a replacement of the ancestral TATA box by CpG-islands in the eutherian mammals and an evolutionary tendency for TATA box reduction in vertebrates in general. We furthermore identified the region of the effective promoter of human ATOH8 which could drive the expression of EGFP reporter in the chicken embryo. In the opossum, both the coding region and regulatory elements of ATOH8 have some special features, such as the unique extended C-terminus encoded by the third exon and absence of both CpG islands and TATA elements in the regulatory region. Our gene mapping data showed that in human, ATOH8 was hosted in one chromosome which is a fusion product of two orthologous chromosomes in non-human primates. This unique chromosomal environment of human ATOH8 probably subjects its expression to the regulation at chromosomal level. We deduce that the great interspecific differences found in both ATOH8 gene sequence and its regulatory elements might be significant for the fine regulation of its spatiotemporal expression and roles of ATOH8, thus orchestrating its function in different tissues and organisms. PMID:21857980

  19. Genetic Variation and Exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi Isolates from the United States

    PubMed Central

    Roellig, Dawn M.; Savage, Mason Y.; Fujita, A. Wendy; Barnabé, Christian; Tibayrenc, Michel; Steurer, Frank J.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a multiclonal parasite with high levels of genetic diversity and broad host and geographic ranges. Molecular characterization of South American isolates of T. cruzi has demonstrated homologous recombination and nuclear hybridization, as well as the presence of 6 main genetic clusters or “discrete typing units” (DTUs). Few studies have extensively investigated such exchange events and genetic diversity in North American isolates. In the current study, we genetically characterized over 50 US isolates from wildlife reservoirs (e.g., raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks), domestic dogs, humans, nonhuman primates, and reduviid vectors from nine states (TX, CA, OK, SC, FL, GA, MD, LA, TN) using a multilocus sequencing method. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in sequences of the mismatch-repair class 2 (MSH2) and Tc52 genes. Typing based on the two genes often paralleled genotyping by classic methodologies using mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes. Evidence for genetic exchange was obtained by comparing sequence phylogenies of nuclear and mitochondrial gene targets, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) and the cytochrome oxidase subunit II- NADH dehydrogenase subunit I region (COII-ND1), respectively. We observed genetic exchange in several US isolates as demonstrated by incongruent mitochondrial and nuclear genes phylogenies, which confirms a previous finding of a single genetic exchange event in a Florida isolate. The presence of SNPs and evidence of genetic exchange illustrates that strains from the US are genetically diverse, even though only two phylogenetic lineages have been identified in this region. PMID:23457528

  20. Genetic variation and exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi isolates from the United States.

    PubMed

    Roellig, Dawn M; Savage, Mason Y; Fujita, A Wendy; Barnabé, Christian; Tibayrenc, Michel; Steurer, Frank J; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a multiclonal parasite with high levels of genetic diversity and broad host and geographic ranges. Molecular characterization of South American isolates of T. cruzi has demonstrated homologous recombination and nuclear hybridization, as well as the presence of 6 main genetic clusters or "discrete typing units" (DTUs). Few studies have extensively investigated such exchange events and genetic diversity in North American isolates. In the current study, we genetically characterized over 50 US isolates from wildlife reservoirs (e.g., raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks), domestic dogs, humans, nonhuman primates, and reduviid vectors from nine states (TX, CA, OK, SC, FL, GA, MD, LA, TN) using a multilocus sequencing method. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in sequences of the mismatch-repair class 2 (MSH2) and Tc52 genes. Typing based on the two genes often paralleled genotyping by classic methodologies using mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes. Evidence for genetic exchange was obtained by comparing sequence phylogenies of nuclear and mitochondrial gene targets, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) and the cytochrome oxidase subunit II- NADH dehydrogenase subunit I region (COII-ND1), respectively. We observed genetic exchange in several US isolates as demonstrated by incongruent mitochondrial and nuclear genes phylogenies, which confirms a previous finding of a single genetic exchange event in a Florida isolate. The presence of SNPs and evidence of genetic exchange illustrates that strains from the US are genetically diverse, even though only two phylogenetic lineages have been identified in this region. PMID:23457528

  1. Expression analysis of Cdx2 and Pou5f1 in a marsupial, the stripe-faced dunnart, during early development.

    PubMed

    Familari, Mary; Au, Phil Chi Khang; de Iongh, Robb U; Cruz, Yolanda; Selwood, Lynne

    2016-02-01

    The first lineage allocation during mouse development forms the trophectoderm and inner cell mass, in which Cdx2 and Pou5f1 display reciprocal expression. Yet Cdx2 is not required for trophectoderm specification in other mammals, such as the human, cow, pig, or in two marsupials, the tammar and opossum. The role of Cdx2 and Pou5f1 in the first lineage allocation of Sminthopsis macroura, the stripe-faced dunnart, is unknown. In this study, expression of Cdx2 and Pou5f1 during oogenesis, development from cleavage to blastocyst stages, and in the allocation of the first three lineages was analyzed for this dunnart. Cdx2 mRNA was present in late antral-stage oocytes, but not present again until Day 5.5. Pou5f1 mRNA was present from primary follicles to zygotes, and then expression resumed starting at the early unilaminar blastocyst stage. All cleavage stages and the pluriblast and trophoblast cells co-expressed CDX2 and POU5F1 proteins, which persisted until early stages of hypoblast formation. Hypoblast cells also show co-localisation of POU5F1 and CDX2 once they were allocated, and this persisted during their division and migration. Our studies suggest that CDX2, and possibly POU5F1, are maternal proteins, and that the first lineage to differentiate is the trophoblast, which differentiates to trophectoderm after shell loss one day before implantation. In the stripe-faced dunnart, cleavage cells, as well as trophoblast and pluriblast cells, are polarized, suggesting the continued presence of CDX2 in both lineages until late blastocyst stages may play a role in the formation and maintenance of polarity. PMID:26613191

  2. A comparative examination of odontogenic gene expression in both toothed and toothless amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Lainoff, Alexis J.; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E.; Hu, Diane; Kallonen, Aki; Marcucio, Ralph S.; Hlusko, Leslea J.

    2015-01-01

    A well-known tenet of murine tooth development is that BMP4 and FGF8 antagonistically initiate odontogenesis, but whether this tenet is conserved across amniotes is largely unexplored. Moreover, changes in BMP4-signaling have previously been implicated in evolutionary tooth loss in Aves. Here we demonstrate that Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2 expression is limited proximally in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) mandible at stages equivalent to those at which odontogenesis is initiated in mice, a similar finding to previously reported results in chicks. To address whether the limited domains in the turtle and the chicken indicate an evolutionary molecular parallelism, or whether the domains simply constitute an ancestral phenotype, we assessed gene expression in a toothed reptile (the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis) and a toothed non-placental mammal (the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica). We demonstrate that the Bmp4 domain is limited proximally in M. domestica and that the Fgf8 domain is limited distally in A. mississippiensis just preceding odontogenesis. Additionally, we show that Msx1 and Msx2 expression patterns in these species differ from those found in mice. Our data suggest that a limited Bmp4 domain does not necessarily correlate with edentulism, and reveal that the initiation of odontogenesis in non-murine amniotes is more complex than previously imagined. Our data also suggest a partially conserved odontogenic program in T. scripta, as indicated by conserved Pitx2, Pax9, and Barx1 expression patterns and by the presence of a Shh-expressing palatal epithelium, which we hypothesize may represent potential dental rudiments based on the Testudinata fossil record. PMID:25678399

  3. Genomic architecture of MHC-linked odorant receptor gene repertoires among 16 vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Santos, Pablo Sandro Carvalho; Kellermann, Thomas; Uchanska-Ziegler, Barbara; Ziegler, Andreas

    2010-09-01

    The recent sequencing and assembly of the genomes of different organisms have shown that almost all vertebrates studied in detail so far have one or more clusters of genes encoding odorant receptors (OR) in close physical linkage to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). It has been postulated that MHC-linked OR genes could be involved in MHC-influenced mate choice, comprising both pre- as well as post-copulatory mechanisms. We have therefore carried out a systematic comparison of protein sequences of these receptors from the genomes of man, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, rhesus macaque, mouse, rat, dog, cat, cow, pig, horse, elephant, opossum, frog and zebra fish (amounting to a total of 559 protein sequences) in order to identify OR families exhibiting evolutionarily conserved MHC linkage. In addition, we compared the genomic structure of this region within these 16 species, accounting for presence or absence of OR gene families, gene order, transcriptional orientation and linkage to the MHC or framework genes. The results are presented in the form of gene maps and phylogenetic analyses that reveal largely concordant repertoires of gene families, at least among tetrapods, although each of the eight taxa studied (primates, rodents, ungulates, carnivores, proboscids, marsupials, amphibians and teleosts) exhibits a typical architecture of MHC (or MHC framework loci)-linked OR genes. Furthermore, the comparison of the genomic organization of this region has implications for phylogenetic relationships between closely related taxa, especially in disputed cases such as the evolutionary history of even- and odd-toed ungulates and carnivores. Finally, the largely conserved linkage between distinct OR genes and the MHC supports the concept that particular alleles within a given haplotype function in a concerted fashion during self-/non-self-discrimination processes in reproduction. PMID:20680261

  4. Kokanee Impacts Assessment and Monitoring of Lake Pend Oreille and Dworshak Reservoir, Idaho, 1994 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Fredericks, James P.; Elam, Steve; Maiolie, Melo A.

    1995-06-01

    In an effort to recover the declining kokanee Oncorhynchus nerka kennerlyi population in Lake Pend Oreille, a study was proposed to evaluate the benefits of a higher winter elevation, thus providing more spawning gravel for kokanee. This project was designed to collect and compile baseline information on the kokanee population and potential spawning gravel in Lake Pend Oreille that can be used to help evaluate the effectiveness of future changes in lake level management. We estimated the area of suitable quality spawning gravel at the current winter elevation (625.1 m) and at the proposed winter elevation (626.7 m). Gravels beneath the current winter elevation were generally characterized by a high percentage of fine sediments and a high degree of embeddedness. Of the total gravel available below the proposed elevation of 626.7 m, only 15% was available at current winter elevations. Kokanee population estimates were made with a midwater trawl and hydroacoustic surveys in August and September. September population estimates were 6,760,000 age O, 380,000 age 1 +, 700,000 age 2 +, 990,000 age 3 +, 760,000 age 4 +, and 70,000 age 5 + kokanee. Hydroacoustic surveys run alongside the trawl indicated that hydroacoustics can effectively estimate abundance of kokanee, with the exception of fry, which are too small to be completely distinguishable from opossum shrimp Mysis relicta. Historic estimates of wild kokanee fry indicate that winter elevations higher than 625 m and a stable elevation throughout the winter are positively correlated with kokanee fry abundance and survival.

  5. Detection of Sarcocystis spp. infection in bobcats (Lynx rufus).

    PubMed

    Verma, S K; Calero-Bernal, R; Lovallo, M J; Sweeny, A R; Grigg, M E; Dubey, J P

    2015-09-15

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive host in the USA and other animals act as intermediate or aberrant hosts. Samples of tongue and heart from 35 bobcats hunted for fur and food from Mississippi State, USA in February, 2014 were used for the present study. Muscles were examined for Sarcocystis infection by microscopic examination of either unfixed muscle squash preparations or pepsin digests, by histopathology of fixed samples, and by molecular methods. Sarcocystis-like bradyzoites were found in digests of 14 hearts and 10 tongues of 35 bobcats. In histological sections, sarcocysts were found in 26 of 35 bobcats; all appeared relatively thin-walled similar to S. felis sarcocysts under light microscope at 1000× magnification. S. neurona-like sarcocysts having thickened villar tips were seen in unstained muscle squash of tongue of two bobcats and PCR-DNA sequencing identified them definitively as S. neurona-like parasites. DNA extracted from bradyzoites obtained from tongue and heart muscle digests was analyzed by PCR-DNA sequencing at the ITS1 locus. Results indicated the presence of S. neurona-like parasite in 26 of 35 samples. ITS1 sequences identical to S. dasypi were identified in 3 bobcats, 2 of which were also co-infected with S. neurona-like parasite. The high prevalence of sarcocysts in bobcat tissues suggested an efficient sylvatic cycle of Sarcocystis spp. in the remote regions of Mississippi State with the bobcat as a relevant intermediate host. PMID:26138150

  6. Characterisation of monotreme caseins reveals lineage-specific expansion of an ancestral casein locus in mammals.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, Christophe M; Sharp, Julie A; Nicholas, Kevin R

    2009-01-01

    Using a milk-cell cDNA sequencing approach we characterised milk-protein sequences from two monotreme species, platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and found a full set of caseins and casein variants. The genomic organisation of the platypus casein locus is compared with other mammalian genomes, including the marsupial opossum and several eutherians. Physical linkage of casein genes has been seen in the casein loci of all mammalian genomes examined and we confirm that this is also observed in platypus. However, we show that a recent duplication of beta-casein occurred in the monotreme lineage, as opposed to more ancient duplications of alpha-casein in the eutherian lineage, while marsupials possess only single copies of alpha- and beta-caseins. Despite this variability, the close proximity of the main alpha- and beta-casein genes in an inverted tail-tail orientation and the relative orientation of the more distant kappa-casein genes are similar in all mammalian genome sequences so far available. Overall, the conservation of the genomic organisation of the caseins indicates the early, pre-monotreme development of the fundamental role of caseins during lactation. In contrast, the lineage-specific gene duplications that have occurred within the casein locus of monotremes and eutherians but not marsupials, which may have lost part of the ancestral casein locus, emphasises the independent selection on milk provision strategies to the young, most likely linked to different developmental strategies. The monotremes therefore provide insight into the ancestral drivers for lactation and how these have adapted in different lineages. PMID:19874726

  7. Euarchontan Opsin Variation Brings New Focus to Primate Origins

    PubMed Central

    Melin, Amanda D.; Wells, Konstans; Moritz, Gillian L.; Kistler, Logan; Orkin, Joseph D.; Timm, Robert M.; Bernard, Henry; Lakim, Maklarin B.; Perry, George H.; Kawamura, Shoji; Dominy, Nathaniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Debate on the adaptive origins of primates has long focused on the functional ecology of the primate visual system. For example, it is hypothesized that variable expression of short- (SWS1) and middle-to-long-wavelength sensitive (M/LWS) opsins, which confer color vision, can be used to infer ancestral activity patterns and therefore selective ecological pressures. A problem with this approach is that opsin gene variation is incompletely known in the grandorder Euarchonta, that is, the orders Scandentia (treeshrews), Dermoptera (colugos), and Primates. The ancestral state of primate color vision is therefore uncertain. Here, we report on the genes (OPN1SW and OPN1LW) that encode SWS1 and M/LWS opsins in seven species of treeshrew, including the sole nocturnal scandentian Ptilocercus lowii. In addition, we examined the opsin genes of the Central American woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus), an enduring ecological analogue in the debate on primate origins. Our results indicate: 1) retention of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity in C. derbianus and a shift from UV to blue spectral sensitivities at the base of Euarchonta; 2) ancient pseudogenization of OPN1SW in the ancestors of P. lowii, but a signature of purifying selection in those of C. derbianus; and, 3) the absence of OPN1LW polymorphism among diurnal treeshrews. These findings suggest functional variation in the color vision of nocturnal mammals and a distinctive visual ecology of early primates, perhaps one that demanded greater spatial resolution under light levels that could support cone-mediated color discrimination. PMID:26739880

  8. Chromosomal instability in Afrotheria: fragile sites, evolutionary breakpoints and phylogenetic inference from genome sequence assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Herrera, Aurora; Robinson, Terence J

    2007-01-01

    Background Extant placental mammals are divided into four major clades (Laurasiatheria, Supraprimates, Xenarthra and Afrotheria). Given that Afrotheria is generally thought to root the eutherian tree in phylogenetic analysis of large nuclear gene data sets, the study of the organization of the genomes of afrotherian species provides new insights into the dynamics of mammalian chromosomal evolution. Here we test if there are chromosomal bands with a high tendency to break and reorganize in Afrotheria, and by analyzing the expression of aphidicolin-induced common fragile sites in three afrotherian species, whether these are coincidental with recognized evolutionary breakpoints. Results We described 29 fragile sites in the aardvark (OAF) genome, 27 in the golden mole (CAS), and 35 in the elephant-shrew (EED) genome. We show that fragile sites are conserved among afrotherian species and these are correlated with evolutionary breakpoints when compared to the human (HSA) genome. Inddition, by computationally scanning the newly released opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and chicken sequence assemblies for use as outgroups to Placentalia, we validate the HSA 3/21/5 chromosomal synteny as a rare genomic change that defines the monophyly of this ancient African clade of mammals. On the other hand, support for HSA 1/19p, which is also thought to underpin Afrotheria, is currently ambiguous. Conclusion We provide evidence that (i) the evolutionary breakpoints that characterise human syntenies detected in the basal Afrotheria correspond at the chromosomal band level with fragile sites, (ii) that HSA 3p/21 was in the amniote ancestor (i.e., common to turtles, lepidosaurs, crocodilians, birds and mammals) and was subsequently disrupted in the lineage leading to marsupials. Its expansion to include HSA 5 in Afrotheria is unique and (iii) that its fragmentation to HSA 3p/21 + HSA 5/21 in elephant and manatee was due to a fission within HSA 21 that is probably shared by all

  9. Autosomal-Recessive Mutations in SLC34A1 Encoding Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter 2A Cause Idiopathic Infantile Hypercalcemia.

    PubMed

    Schlingmann, Karl P; Ruminska, Justyna; Kaufmann, Martin; Dursun, Ismail; Patti, Monica; Kranz, Birgitta; Pronicka, Ewa; Ciara, Elzbieta; Akcay, Teoman; Bulus, Derya; Cornelissen, Elisabeth A M; Gawlik, Aneta; Sikora, Przemysław; Patzer, Ludwig; Galiano, Matthias; Boyadzhiev, Veselin; Dumic, Miroslav; Vivante, Asaf; Kleta, Robert; Dekel, Benjamin; Levtchenko, Elena; Bindels, René J; Rust, Stephan; Forster, Ian C; Hernando, Nati; Jones, Glenville; Wagner, Carsten A; Konrad, Martin

    2016-02-01

    Idiopathic infantile hypercalcemia (IIH) is characterized by severe hypercalcemia with failure to thrive, vomiting, dehydration, and nephrocalcinosis. Recently, mutations in the vitamin D catabolizing enzyme 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1) were described that lead to increased sensitivity to vitamin D due to accumulation of the active metabolite 1,25-(OH)2D3. In a subgroup of patients who presented in early infancy with renal phosphate wasting and symptomatic hypercalcemia, mutations in CYP24A1 were excluded. Four patients from families with parental consanguinity were subjected to homozygosity mapping that identified a second IIH gene locus on chromosome 5q35 with a maximum logarithm of odds (LOD) score of 6.79. The sequence analysis of the most promising candidate gene, SLC34A1 encoding renal sodium-phosphate cotransporter 2A (NaPi-IIa), revealed autosomal-recessive mutations in the four index cases and in 12 patients with sporadic IIH. Functional studies of mutant NaPi-IIa in Xenopus oocytes and opossum kidney (OK) cells demonstrated disturbed trafficking to the plasma membrane and loss of phosphate transport activity. Analysis of calcium and phosphate metabolism in Slc34a1-knockout mice highlighted the effect of phosphate depletion and fibroblast growth factor-23 suppression on the development of the IIH phenotype. The human and mice data together demonstrate that primary renal phosphate wasting caused by defective NaPi-IIa function induces inappropriate production of 1,25-(OH)2D3 with subsequent symptomatic hypercalcemia. Clinical and laboratory findings persist despite cessation of vitamin D prophylaxis but rapidly respond to phosphate supplementation. Therefore, early differentiation between SLC34A1 (NaPi-IIa) and CYP24A1 (24-hydroxylase) defects appears critical for targeted therapy in patients with IIH. PMID:26047794

  10. 15-Deoxy-{delta}{sup 12,14}-prostaglandin J{sub 2} induces renal epithelial cell death through NF-{kappa}B-dependent and MAPK-independent mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, Dae Sik; Kwon, Chae Hwa; Park, Ji Yeon; Kim, Jae Ho; Woo, Jae Suk; Jung, Jin Sup; Kim, Yong Keun . E-mail: kim430@pusan.ac.kr

    2006-11-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-{gamma} (PPAR{gamma}) ligand 15d-PGJ{sub 2} induces cell death in renal proximal tubular cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanism(s) remains unidentified. The present study was undertaken to examine the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitogen-activated protein kinase, and NF-{kappa}B in opossum kidney (OK) cell death induced by 15d-PGJ{sub 2}. Treatment of OK cells with 15d-PGJ{sub 2} resulted in a concentration- and time-dependent cell death, which was largely attributed to apoptosis. 15d-PGJ{sub 2} increased ROS production and the effect was inhibited by catalase and N-acetylcysteine. The 15d-PGJ{sub 2}-induced cell death was also prevented by these antioxidants, suggesting that the cell death was associated with ROS generation. The PPAR{gamma} antagonist GW9662 did not prevent the 15d-PGJ{sub 2}-induced cell death. 15d-PGJ{sub 2} caused a transient activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). However, inhibitors (PD98059 and U0126) of MEK, an ERK upstream kinase, did not alter the 15d-PGJ{sub 2}-induced cell death. Transfection with constitutively active MEK and dominant-negative MEK had no effect on the cell death. 15d-PGJ{sub 2} inhibited the NF-{kappa}B transcriptional activity, which was accompanied by an inhibition of nuclear translocation of the NF-{kappa}B subunit p65 and impairment in DNA binding. Inhibition of NF-{kappa}B with a NF-{kappa}B specific inhibitor pyrrolidinecarbodithioate and transfection with I{kappa}B{alpha} (S32A/36A) caused cell death. These results suggest that the 5d-PGJ{sub 2}-induced OK cell death was associated with ROS production and NF-{kappa}B inhibition, but not with MAPK activation.

  11. Effect of Rickettsia rickettsii (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) Infection on the Biological Parameters and Survival of Its Tick Vector-Dermacentor variabilis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Lauren; Snellgrove, Alyssa; Levin, Michael L

    2016-01-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is a potentially fatal tick-borne disease spread from North America to Argentina. The major vectors of R. rickettsii in the United States are Dermacentor andersoni Stiles and Dermacentor variabilis (Say). It is generally believed that vector ticks serve as major reservoirs of R. rickettsii in nature; however, the ability of ticks to support the indefinite perpetuation of R. rickettsii has been challenged by reports of deleterious effects of rickettsial infection on D. andersoni. To better elucidate the relationship of the pathogen with D. variabilis, we assessed the effects of R. rickettsii on the survival, fertility, and fecundity of D. variabilis. We used an isolate of R. rickettsii (Di-6), originally acquired from an opossum caught in Virginia, and ticks from a laboratory colony established from adult D. variabilis also collected in Virginia. Overall, infection with R. rickettsii protracted the feeding periods of all life stages of ticks. Infected nymphal and adult ticks experienced a slight decrease in feeding success compared with the uninfected colony, but neither larval nor nymphal molting success was affected. Infected females reached smaller engorgement weights, were less efficient in conversion of bloodmeal into eggs, and produced smaller egg clutches with a lower proportion of eggs hatching. However, no sudden die-off was observed among infected ticks, and longevity was not decreased due to R. rickettsii infection in any stage. Although infection with the studied isolate of R. rickettsii caused slight decrease in fecundity in sympatric vector ticks, no obvious deleterious effects were observed. PMID:26494822

  12. Parathyroid hormone inhibition of Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 3 transcription: Intracellular signaling pathways and transcription factor expression.

    PubMed

    Neri, Elida Adalgisa; Bezerra, Camila Nogueira Alves; Queiroz-Leite, Gabriella Duarte; Polidoro, Juliano Zequini; Rebouças, Nancy Amaral

    2015-06-12

    The main transport mechanism of reabsorption of sodium bicarbonate and fluid in the renal proximal tubules involves Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 3 (NHE3), which is acutely and chronically downregulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH). Although PTH is known to exert an inhibitory effect on NHE3 expression and transcription, the molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we demonstrated that, in opossum kidney proximal tubule (OKP) cells, PTH-induced inhibition of Nhe3 gene promoter occurs even in the core promoter that controls expression of the reporter gene. We found that inhibition of the protein kinase A (PKA) and Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathways transformed PTH from an inhibitor of promoter activity into an activator of that same activity, as did point mutations in the EGR1, Sp1, and Sp3 binding consensus elements in the promoter. In nuclear extracts of PTH-treated OKP cells, we also observed increased expression of EGR1 mRNA and of some Sp3 isoforms. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed a supershift of the -61 to -42-bp probe with an anti-EGR1 antibody in PTH-treated cells, suggesting that EGR1 binding is relevant for the inhibitory activity of PTH. We conclude that PTH-induced inhibition of NHE3 transcription is related to higher EGR1 expression; to EGR1 binding to the proximal and core promoters; and to PKA and JAK/STAT pathway activation. This mechanism might be responsible, at least in part, for lower NHE3 expression and sodium reabsorption in renal proximal tubules in the presence of high PTH levels. PMID:25888790

  13. Influence of calcium on phosphate transport in cultured kidney epithelium

    SciTech Connect

    Caverzasio, J.; Bonjour, J.P. )

    1988-02-01

    Renal epithelia cultured from opossum kidney (OK) cell line were exposed to high- and low-Ca media (H{sub Ca}M and L{sub Ca}M, respectively). Changing the extracellular Ca concentration from 2.0 mM to 0.02 mM stimulated sodium-dependent P{sub i} transport (Na{sub P{sub i}}T) of OK epithelia. The effect was detectable after 1 h of L{sub Ca}M exposure and reached a maximal value at 4 h, this difference remaining constant up to 16 h. The Na-dependent transport of both alanine and methyl-{alpha}-D-glucopyranoside, a glucose analogue, were not affect by L{sub Ca}M. Kinetic analysis of Na{sub P{sub i}}T revealed an increase in V{sub max} with no change in the apparent K{sub m}. The cellular adenosine 3{prime},5{prime}-cyclic monophosphate production was not affected by L{sub Ca}M. In OK epithelia pretreated with either cycloheximide or actinomycin D the L{sub Ca}M stimulatory effect was completely abolished. In the presence of 10{sup {minus}9} to 10{sup {minus}7} M bovine parathyroid hormone (1-34), the effect of L{sub Ca}M on Na{sub P{sub i}}T was markedly blunted. In conclusion, this study in cultured kidney epithelia demonstrates that the renal Na{sub P}{sub i}T can be directly and selectively stimulated by lowering the extracellular Ca concentration. This effect required the de novo synthesis of proteins. The results also indicate that parathyroid hormone antagonizes the stimulatory effect of extracellular Ca on the renal transport of P{sub i}.

  14. Euarchontan Opsin Variation Brings New Focus to Primate Origins.

    PubMed

    Melin, Amanda D; Wells, Konstans; Moritz, Gillian L; Kistler, Logan; Orkin, Joseph D; Timm, Robert M; Bernard, Henry; Lakim, Maklarin B; Perry, George H; Kawamura, Shoji; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2016-04-01

    Debate on the adaptive origins of primates has long focused on the functional ecology of the primate visual system. For example, it is hypothesized that variable expression of short- (SWS1) and middle-to-long-wavelength sensitive (M/LWS) opsins, which confer color vision, can be used to infer ancestral activity patterns and therefore selective ecological pressures. A problem with this approach is that opsin gene variation is incompletely known in the grandorder Euarchonta, that is, the orders Scandentia (treeshrews), Dermoptera (colugos), and Primates. The ancestral state of primate color vision is therefore uncertain. Here, we report on the genes (OPN1SW and OPN1LW) that encode SWS1 and M/LWS opsins in seven species of treeshrew, including the sole nocturnal scandentian Ptilocercus lowii. In addition, we examined the opsin genes of the Central American woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus), an enduring ecological analogue in the debate on primate origins. Our results indicate: 1) retention of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity in C. derbianus and a shift from UV to blue spectral sensitivities at the base of Euarchonta; 2) ancient pseudogenization of OPN1SW in the ancestors of P. lowii, but a signature of purifying selection in those of C. derbianus; and, 3) the absence of OPN1LW polymorphism among diurnal treeshrews. These findings suggest functional variation in the color vision of nocturnal mammals and a distinctive visual ecology of early primates, perhaps one that demanded greater spatial resolution un