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Sample records for acanthocephalan pomphorhynchus laevis

  1. Comparison of the metal accumulation capacity between the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis and larval nematodes of the genus Eustrongylides sp. infecting barbel (Barbus barbus)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Metal uptake and accumulation in fish parasites largely depends on the parasite group with acanthocephalans showing the highest accumulation rates. Additionally, developmental stage (larvae or adult) as well as parasite location in the host are suggested to be decisive factors for metal bioconcentration in parasites. By using barbel (Barbus barbus) simultaneously infected with nematode larvae in the body cavity and adult acanthocephalans in the intestine, the relative importance of all of these factors was compared in the same host. Methods Eleven elements Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Lead (Pb), Selenium (Se), Tin (Sn), Vanadium (V) and Zinc (Zn) were analyzed in barbel tissues (muscle, intestine, liver) as well as in their acanthocephalan parasites Pomphorhynchus laevis and the larval nematode Eustrongylides sp. (L4) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results Nine elements were detected in significantly higher levels in the parasites compared to host tissues. The element composition among parasites was found to be strongly dependent on parasite taxa/developmental stage and localization within the host. Intestinal acanthocephalans accumulated mainly toxic elements (As, Cd, Pb), whereas the intraperitoneal nematodes bioconcentrated essential elements (Co, Cu, Fe, Se, Zn). Conclusion Our results suggest that in addition to acanthocephalans, nematodes such as Eustrongylides sp. can also be applied as bioindicators for metal pollution. Using both parasite taxa simultaneously levels of a wide variety of elements (essential and non essential) can easily be obtained. Therefore this host-parasite system can be suggested as an appropriate tool for future metal monitoring studies, if double infected fish hosts are available. PMID:23332036

  2. Intestinal immune response of Silurus glanis and Barbus barbus naturally infected with Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala).

    PubMed

    Dezfuli, B S; Castaldelli, G; Bo, T; Lorenzoni, M; Giari, L

    2011-02-01

    Immunopathological and ultrastructural studies were conducted on the intestine of barbel Barbus barbus and sheatfish Silurus glanis that were naturally infected with the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis. Enteric helminths often cause inflammation of the digestive tract, inducing the recruitment of different types of immune cells at the site of infection. The results of our study clearly demonstrated that mast cells (MC) were the dominant immune cells which occur at the site of inflammation in both hosts. MC were associated with fibroblasts and were found in close proximity to, and inside, the capillaries of the intestine, thus, migration of mast cells via the bloodstream was suggested. Significant degranulation of MC was present. Immunohistochemical staining revealed met-enkephalin and serotonin (5-HT) in intestinal MC of both uninfected and infected barbel and the absence of the antimicrobial peptides piscidin 3 and piscidin 4 in both species. Data are discussed with respect to host immune response to an intestinal helminth and compared with other host-parasite systems.

  3. Divergent location of ribosomal genes in chromosomes of fish thorny-headed worms, Pomphorhynchus laevis and Pomphorhynchus tereticollis (Acanthocephala).

    PubMed

    Bombarová, Marta; Marec, Frantisek; Nguyen, Petr; Spakulová, Marta

    2007-10-01

    We studied distribution of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences along with chromosomal location of the nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) in males of two fish parasites, Pomphorhynchus laevis and Pomphorhynchus tereticollis (Acanthocephala). Fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA probe identified two clusters of rDNA in each species, but revealed a remarkable difference in their location on chromosomes. In P. laevis, the rDNA-FISH signals were found in long arms of the first chromosome pair and in short arms of the second pair. Whereas in P. tereticollis, rDNA clusters were located in long arms of both the first and second chromosome pairs. The divergent location of rDNA clusters in the chromosome No. 2 supports current classification of P. tereticollis, previously considered a synonym of P. laevis, as a separate species. A possible scenario of the second chromosome rearrangement during karyotype evolution of the two species involves two successive pericentric inversions. In both species, one or two prominent nucleoli were apparent within interphase nuclei stained with either silver nitrate or a fluorescent dye YOYO-1. However, a single large nucleolus was observed in early stages of mitosis and meiosis I regardless the number of rDNA clusters. Nevertheless, two bivalents with silver-stained NORs in diakinesis and two silver-stained sites in early prophase II nuclei indicated that all NORs are active. This means that each Pomphorhynchus NOR generates a nucleolus, but the resulting nucleoli have a strong tendency to associate in a large body.

  4. Parasite-induced alteration of plastic response to predation threat: increased refuge use but lower food intake in Gammarus pulex infected with the acanothocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis.

    PubMed

    Dianne, Lucile; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Bauer, Alexandre; Guvenatam, Arnaud; Rigaud, Thierry

    2014-03-01

    Larvae of many trophically-transmitted parasites alter the behaviour of their intermediate host in ways that increase their probability of transmission to the next host in their life cycle. Before reaching a stage that is infective to the next host, parasite larvae may develop through several larval stages in the intermediate host that are not infective to the definitive host. Early predation at these stages results in parasite death, and it has recently been shown that non-infective larvae of some helminths decrease such risk by enhancing the anti-predator defences of the host, including decreased activity and increased sheltering. However, these behavioural changes may divert infected hosts from an optimal balance between survival and foraging (either seeking food or a mate). In this study, this hypothesis was tested using the intermediate host of the acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis, the freshwater amphipod Gammarus pulex. We compared activity, refuge use, food foraging and food intake of hosts experimentally infected with the non-infective stage (acanthella), with that of uninfected gammarids. Behavioural assays were conducted in four situations varying in predation risk and in food accessibility. Acanthella-infected amphipods showed an increase in refuge use and a general reduction in activity and food intake. There was no effect of parasite intensity on these traits. Uninfected individuals showed plastic responses to water-borne cues from fish by adjusting refuge use, activity and food intake. They also foraged more when the food was placed outside the refuge. At the intra-individual level, refuge use and food intake were positively correlated in infected gammarids only. Overall, our findings suggest that uninfected gammarids exhibit risk-sensitive behaviour including increased food intake under predation risk, whereas gammarids infected with the non-infective larvae of P. laevis exhibit a lower motivation to feed, irrespective of predation risk

  5. Invasive Ponto-Caspian Amphipods and Fish Increase the Distribution Range of the Acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus tereticollis in the River Rhine

    PubMed Central

    Emde, Sebastian; Rueckert, Sonja; Palm, Harry W.; Klimpel, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Non-indigenous species that become invasive are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide. In various freshwater systems in Europe, populations of native amphipods and fish are progressively displaced by highly adaptive non-indigenous species that can perform explosive range extensions. A total of 40 Ponto-Caspian round gobies Neogobius melanostomus from the Rhine River near Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, were examined for metazoan parasites and feeding ecology. Three metazoan parasite species were found: two Nematoda and one Acanthocephala. The two Nematoda, Raphidascaris acus and Paracuaria adunca, had a low prevalence of 2.5%. The Acanthocephala, Pomphorhynchus tereticollis, was the predominant parasite species, reaching a level of 90.0% prevalence in the larval stage, correlated with fish size. In addition, four invasive amphipod species, Corophium curvispinum (435 specimens), Dikerogammarus villosus (5,454), Echinogammarus trichiatus (2,695) and Orchestia cavimana (1,448) were trapped at the sampling site. Only D. villosus was infected with P. tereticollis at a prevalence of 0.04%. The invasive goby N. melanostomus mainly preys on these non-indigenous amphipods, and may have replaced native amphipods in the transmission of P. tereticollis into the vertebrate paratenic host. This study gives insight into a potential parasite-host system that consists mainly of invasive species, such as the Ponto-Caspian fish and amphipods in the Rhine. We discuss prospective distribution and migration pathways of non-indigenous vertebrate (round goby) and invertebrates (amphipods) under special consideration of parasite dispersal. PMID:23300895

  6. Invasive Ponto-Caspian amphipods and fish increase the distribution range of the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus tereticollis in the river Rhine.

    PubMed

    Emde, Sebastian; Rueckert, Sonja; Palm, Harry W; Klimpel, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Non-indigenous species that become invasive are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide. In various freshwater systems in Europe, populations of native amphipods and fish are progressively displaced by highly adaptive non-indigenous species that can perform explosive range extensions. A total of 40 Ponto-Caspian round gobies Neogobius melanostomus from the Rhine River near Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, were examined for metazoan parasites and feeding ecology. Three metazoan parasite species were found: two Nematoda and one Acanthocephala. The two Nematoda, Raphidascaris acus and Paracuaria adunca, had a low prevalence of 2.5%. The Acanthocephala, Pomphorhynchus tereticollis, was the predominant parasite species, reaching a level of 90.0% prevalence in the larval stage, correlated with fish size. In addition, four invasive amphipod species, Corophium curvispinum (435 specimens), Dikerogammarus villosus (5,454), Echinogammarus trichiatus (2,695) and Orchestia cavimana (1,448) were trapped at the sampling site. Only D. villosus was infected with P. tereticollis at a prevalence of 0.04%. The invasive goby N. melanostomus mainly preys on these non-indigenous amphipods, and may have replaced native amphipods in the transmission of P. tereticollis into the vertebrate paratenic host. This study gives insight into a potential parasite-host system that consists mainly of invasive species, such as the Ponto-Caspian fish and amphipods in the Rhine. We discuss prospective distribution and migration pathways of non-indigenous vertebrate (round goby) and invertebrates (amphipods) under special consideration of parasite dispersal.

  7. Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala) from the Sava River basin: New insights into strain formation, mtDNA-like sequences and dynamics of infection.

    PubMed

    Vardić Smrzlić, Irena; Valić, Damir; Kapetanović, Damir; Filipović Marijić, Vlatka; Gjurčević, Emil; Teskeredžić, Emin

    2015-10-01

    Here we report the genetic variability and presence of mtDNA-like sequences of Pomphorhynchus laevis from the chub, Squalius cephalus, caught at the sampling sites along the Sava River and its tributary the Sutla River in Croatia. Sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene of the recovered P. laevis specimens were used for haplotype network construction and phylogenetic analysis. These analyses showed that some specimens contained mitochondrial-like sequences, and they uncovered the existence of a Sava River basin strain different from known strains of P. laevis. This is the first time that P. laevis has been shown to contain mtDNA-like sequences, suggesting the need to exercise caution during COI analyses of P. laevis using universal primers. Highly conserved sequences of two nuclear markers, the ITS region and 18S rRNA, were not helpful for understanding genetic variability or differentiating strains. Furthermore, analysis of the dynamics of P. laevis infections in S. cephalus from the Sava and Sutla Rivers showed decreased prevalence and abundance at sites with inferior water quality, positive association of parasite abundance with fish size, and no clear association of parasite abundance with fish condition index or sex.

  8. Carotenoid-based colour of acanthocephalan cystacanths plays no role in host manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Kaldonski, Nicolas; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Dodet, Raphaël; Martinaud, Guillaume; Cézilly, Frank

    2008-01-01

    Manipulation by parasites is a catchy concept that has been applied to a large range of phenotypic alterations brought about by parasites in their hosts. It has, for instance, been suggested that the carotenoid-based colour of acanthocephalan cystacanths is adaptive through increasing the conspicuousness of infected intermediate hosts and, hence, their vulnerability to appropriate final hosts such as fish predators. We revisited the evidence in favour of adaptive coloration of acanthocephalan parasites in relation to increased trophic transmission using the crustacean amphipod Gammarus pulex and two species of acanthocephalans, Pomphorhynchus laevis and Polymorphus minutus. Both species show carotenoid-based colorations, but rely, respectively, on freshwater fish and aquatic bird species as final hosts. In addition, the two parasites differ in the type of behavioural alteration brought to their common intermediate host. Pomphorhynchus laevis reverses negative phototaxis in G. pulex, whereas P. minutus reverses positive geotaxis. In aquaria, trout showed selective predation for P. laevis-infected gammarids, whereas P. minutus-infected ones did not differ from uninfected controls in their vulnerability to predation. We tested for an effect of parasite coloration on increased trophic transmission by painting a yellow–orange spot on the cuticle of uninfected gammarids and by masking the yellow–orange spot of infected individuals with inconspicuous brown paint. To enhance realism, match of colour between painted mimics and true parasite was carefully checked using a spectrometer. We found no evidence for a role of parasite coloration in the increased vulnerability of gammarids to predation by trout. Painted mimics did not differ from control uninfected gammarids in their vulnerability to predation by trout. In addition, covering the place through which the parasite was visible did not reduce the vulnerability of infected gammarids to predation by trout. We discuss

  9. Does fish reproduction and metabolic activity influence metal levels in fish intestinal parasites, acanthocephalans, during fish spawning and post-spawning period?

    PubMed

    Filipović Marijić, Vlatka; Vardić Smrzlić, Irena; Raspor, Biserka

    2014-10-01

    Application of fish intestinal parasites, acanthocephalans, as bioindicators in metal exposure assessment usually involves estimation of their metal levels and bioconcentration factors. Metal levels in parasite final host, fishes, are influenced by fish physiology but there is no data for acanthocephalan metal levels. Gastrointestinal Zn, Fe, Mn, Cd, Ag levels in European chub (Squalius cephalus L.) from the Sava River were significantly higher during chub spawning (April/May) compared to the post-spawning period (September). In acanthocephalans (Pomphorhynchus laevis and Acanthocephalus anguillae) significantly higher metal levels during chub spawning were observed only for Zn in P. laevis. Bioconcentration factors were twice as high for Fe, Mn, Ag, Pb in the post-spawning period, probably as a consequence of lower gastrointestinal metal levels in fish rather than metal exposure. Therefore, bioconcentration factors should be interpreted with caution, due to their possible variability in relation to fish physiology. In addition, gastrointestinal Cu, Cd and Pb levels were lower in infected than uninfected chub, indicating that metal variability in fishes might be affected by the presence of acanthocephalans.

  10. The acanthocephalan fauna of Iran, a check list.

    PubMed

    Tavakol, Sareh; Amin, Omar M; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Halajian, Ali

    2015-10-22

    The acanthocephalan fauna of Iran is reported for the first time since the report of Pomphorhynchus perforator (von Linstow, 1908) Meyer, 1932 in 1964. The knowledge of the acanthocephalan biodiversity of Iran, with parasite-host and host-parasite checklists, is presented. The species of Acanthocephala are presented in alphabetical order, followed by the species of hosts, localities and references. A total of 30 known species of Acanthocephala from 21 genera, 12 families and 7 orders are reported from 80 species of different vertebrates of Iran. One species, Moniliformis moniliformis (Bremser, 1811) Travassos, 1915 was recorded from humans. The group of hosts with the largest number of reported species of acanthocephalan is Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes).

  11. Telomere analysis of platyhelminths and acanthocephalans by FISH and Southern hybridization.

    PubMed

    Bombarová, Marta; Vítková, Magda; Spakulová, Marta; Koubková, Bozena

    2009-11-01

    We examined the composition of telomeres in chromosomes of parasitic worms, representatives of the flatworm groups Monogenea and Cestoda (Platyhelminthes), and thorny-headed worms (Syndermata: Acanthocephala) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with different telomeric repeat probes. Our results show that the (TTAGGG)n sequence, supposed to be the ancestral telomeric repeat motif of Metazoa, is conserved in Monogenea (Paradiplozoon homoion) and Cestoda (Caryophyllaeus laticeps, Caryophyllaeides fennica, and Nippotaenia mogurndae) but not in Acanthocephala (Pomphorhynchus laevis and Pomphorhynchus tereticollis). In the Pomphorhynchus species, no hybridization signals were obtained with the "nematode" (TTAGGC)n, "arthropod" (TTAGG)n, and bdelloid (TGTGGG)n telomeric probes using FISH with their chromosomes and Southern hybridization with P. laevis DNA. Therefore, we suggest that parasitic Acanthocephala have evolved yet unknown telomeric repeat motifs or different mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

  12. Pomphorhynchus omarsegundoi sp. n. (Acanthocephala:Pomphorhynchidae), parasite of the banded knifefish Gymnotus carapo (Gymnotiformes:Gymnotidae) from the Paraná River basin, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Arredondo, Nathalia J; de Pertierra, Alicia A Gil

    2010-11-01

    Pomphorhynchus omarsegundoi sp. n. from Gymnotus carapo Linnaeus from the Paraná River basin in Argentina is described in this paper. The new species is characterised by having a small body; a non-spirally twisted long neck forming an inconspicuous asymmetrical bulb more developed dorsally than ventrally; a proboscis almost cylindrical, with 11 to 12 longitudinal rows of 5 to 7 (usually 6) hooks each; presence of an apical organ; a mean neck/body ratio of about 1/8; and a post-equatorial male reproductive system, occupying 35-42% of total length. The new species can be easily distinguished from the other four South American pomphorhynchid species by the inconspicuous asymmetrical bulb and the lower number of hooks per row. Pomphorhynchus omarsegundoi is the second acanthocephalan recorded from G. carapo in the Paraná River basin.

  13. The Meristogram: a neglected tool for acanthocephalan systematics

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The hooks of the acanthocephalan proboscis exhibit serial variation in size and shape. The Meristogram was developed by Huffman and Bullock (1975) to provide a graphical representation of this positional variation in hook morphology. Initial studies demonstrated the ability of the Meristogram to discriminate species within the genera Echinorhynchus and Pomphorhynchus (Huffman and Bullock 1975, Huffman and Nickol 1978, Gleason and Huffman 1981). However, the reliability of the method for taxonomic work was questioned by Shostak et al. (1986) after they found intra-specific variation in two Echinorhynchus species. Uncertainty about the usefulness of the Meristogram and the absence of a readily available software implementation of the algorithm, might explain why this abstract proboscis character has yet to be adopted by acanthocephalan systematists. New information The Meristogram algorithm was implemented in the R language and a simple graphical user interface created to facilitate ease of use (the software is freely available from https://github.com/WaylandM/meristogram). The accuracy of the algorithm's formula for calculating hook cross-sectional area was validated by data collected using a digitizing tablet. Meristograms were created from data in public respositories for eight Echinorhynchus taxa: E. bothniensis, E. 'bothniensis', E. gadi spp. A, B and I, E. brayi, E. salmonis and E. truttae. In this preliminary analysis, the meristogram differentiated E. bothniensis, E. brayi, E. gadi sp. B, E. salmonis and E. truttae from each other, and from the remaining taxa in this study, but independent data will be required for validation. Sample sizes for E. 'bothniensis' and E. gadi spp. A and I were too small to identify diagnostic features with any degree of confidence. Meristogram differences among the sibling species of the E. gadi and E. bothniensis groups suggest that the 'intra-specfic' variation in meristogram previously reported for some

  14. A new species of Pomphorhynchus (Acanthocephala: Palaeacanthocephala) in freshwater fishes from central Chile.

    PubMed

    Olmos, Viviana L; Habit, Evelyn M

    2007-02-01

    This study describes a new species of Pomphorhynchus collected from Percilia gillissi Girard, 1855 from the Zañartu canal, between the sister basins of the Itata and Laja rivers, in central Chile. Pomphorhynchus moyanoi n. sp. is characterized by an asymmetrical, well-differentiated subspherical bulb and 12-14 longitudinal rows of 13-14 hooks; the third and the fourth hook in each row are stout. Among South American species, P. moyanoi n. sp. shows some similarities to the Chilean species P. yamagutii Schmidt & Hugghins, 1973, but it differs in having a longer neck, larger bulb, and different proboscis armature arrangement. Pomphorhynchus moyanoi n. sp. differs from P. patagonicus Ortubay, Ubeda, Semenas & Kennedy 1991, in the bulb shape (protuberances), number of rows, fourth hook size and basal hook size. Pomphorhynchus moyanoi n. sp. also differs from P. sphaericus in the arrangement of hooks (number of rows and hooks per row), length and width of the proboscis, neck width, and symmetry of the bulb.

  15. The complete mitochondrial genome of Pallisentis celatus (Acanthocephala) with phylogenetic analysis of acanthocephalans and rotifers.

    PubMed

    Pan, Ting Shuang; Nie, Pin

    2013-07-01

    Acanthocephalans are a small group of obligate endoparasites. They and rotifers are recently placed in a group called Syndermata. However, phylogenetic relationships within classes of acanthocephalans, and between them and rotifers, have not been well resolved, possibly due to the lack of molecular data suitable for such analysis. In this study, the mitochondrial (mt) genome was sequenced from Pallisentis celatus (Van Cleave, 1928), an acanthocephalan in the class Eoacanthocephala, an intestinal parasite of rice-field eel, Monopterus albus (Zuiew, 1793), in China. The complete mt genome sequence of P. celatus is 13 855 bp long, containing 36 genes including 12 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs (tRNAs) and 2 ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) as reported for other acanthocephalan species. All genes are encoded on the same strand and in the same direction. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that acanthocephalans are closely related with a clade containing bdelloids, which then correlates with the clade containing monogononts. The class Eoacanthocephala, containing P. celatus and Paratenuisentis ambiguus (Van Cleave, 1921) was closely related to the Palaeacanthocephala. It is thus indicated that acanthocephalans may be just clustered among groups of rotifers. However, the resolving of phylogenetic relationship among all classes of acanthocephalans and between them and rotifers may require further sampling and more molecular data.

  16. A life cycle database for parasitic acanthocephalans, cestodes, and nematodes.

    PubMed

    Benesh, Daniel P; Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand

    2017-03-01

    Parasitologists have worked out many complex life cycles over the last ~150 yr, yet there have been few efforts to synthesize this information to facilitate comparisons among taxa. Most existing host-parasite databases focus on particular host taxa, do not distinguish final from intermediate hosts, and lack parasite life-history information. We summarized the known life cycles of trophically transmitted parasitic acanthocephalans, cestodes, and nematodes. For 973 parasite species, we gathered information from the literature on the hosts infected at each stage of the parasite life cycle (8,510 host-parasite species associations), what parasite stage is in each host, and whether parasites need to infect certain hosts to complete the life cycle. We also collected life-history data for these parasites at each life cycle stage, including 2,313 development time measurements and 7,660 body size measurements. The result is the most comprehensive data summary available for these parasite taxa. In addition to identifying gaps in our knowledge of parasite life cycles, these data can be used to test hypotheses about life cycle evolution, host specificity, parasite life-history strategies, and the roles of parasites in food webs.

  17. A life cycle database for parasitic acanthocephalans, cestodes, and nematodes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benesh, Daniel P.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand

    2017-01-01

    Parasitologists have worked out many complex life cycles over the last ~150 years, yet there have been few efforts to synthesize this information to facilitate comparisons among taxa. Most existing host-parasite databases focus on particular host taxa, do not distinguish final from intermediate hosts, and lack parasite life-history information. We summarized the known life cycles of trophically transmitted parasitic acanthocephalans, cestodes, and nematodes. For 973 parasite species, we gathered information from the literature on the hosts infected at each stage of the parasite life cycle (8510 host-parasite species associations), what parasite stage is in each host, and whether parasites need to infect certain hosts to complete the life cycle. We also collected life-history data for these parasites at each life cycle stage, including 2313 development time measurements and 7660 body size measurements. The result is the most comprehensive data summary available for these parasite taxa. In addition to identifying gaps in our knowledge of parasite life cycles, these data can be used to test hypotheses about life cycle evolution, host specificity, parasite life-history strategies, and the roles of parasites in food webs.

  18. Structure of capsule around acanthocephalan Corynosoma strumosum from uncommon paratenic hosts-lizards of two species.

    PubMed

    Skorobrechova, Ekaterina M; Nikishin, Vladimir P; Lisitsyna, Olga I

    2012-01-01

    Micromorphology and ultrastructure of capsule forming around acanthocephalan Corynosoma strumosum in uncommon paratenic hosts-lizards Lacerta agilis and Lacerta viridis-have been studied. Experimental infestation of the lizards by acanthocephalans obtained from naturally infested sea fishes showed that only small amount of parasites occurred in the intestine of the host was able to migrate into body cavity and to be encapsulated. Micromorphology of capsules of different ages from different species of lizards and micromorphology and ultrastructure of capsules at the age of 1.5 and 10 days appeared to be similar. In the capsule's structure cells of inflammatory rank were prevailing: mononuclear and multinuclear macrophages, eosinophils, and basophils. Fibroblasts were not numerous and were located only in the outer part of a capsule; exocellular collagen fibers were absent. Inflammatory character of capsule confirms the idea that lizards are unsuitable paratenic hosts for corynosomes.

  19. Using DNA barcoding to link cystacanths and adults of the acanthocephalan Polymorphus brevis in central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Alcántar-Escalera, F J; García-Varela, M; Vázquez-Domínguez, E; Pérez-Ponce de León, G

    2013-11-01

    In parasitic organisms, particularly helminths, the usage of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene as the standard DNA barcoding region for species identification and discovery has been very limited. Here, we present an integrated study, based on both DNA barcoding and morphological analyses, for acanthocephalans belonging to the genus Polymorphus, whose larvae (cystacanths) are commonly found in the mesentery of freshwater fishes, while adults are found in the intestine of fish-eating birds. The alpha taxonomy of parasitic helminths is based on adult morphological traits, and because of that larval forms cannot be identified to species level based on morphology alone. DNA barcoding offers an alternative tool for linking larval stages of parasitic organisms to known adults. We sequenced cystacanths collected from freshwater fishes in localities across central Mexico and adults obtained from fish-eating birds, to determine whether they were conspecific. To corroborate the molecular results, we conducted a morphometric analysis with 'Proboscis profiler', which is a software tool developed to detect heterogeneity in morphologically similar acanthocephalans based on the multivariate statistical analysis of proboscis hook dimensions. Both sources of information indicate that cystacanths infecting freshwater fishes in central Mexico belong to a single species, Polymorphus brevis.

  20. Acanthocephalans of the genus Centrorhynchus (Palaeacanthocephala: Centrorhynchidae) of birds of prey (Falconiformes) and owls (Strigiformes) in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Komorová, P; Špakulová, M; Hurníková, Z; Uhrín, M

    2015-06-01

    Three species of thorny-headed worms of the genus Centrorhynchus were found to parasitize birds of prey and owls in the territory of the Slovakia during the years 2012-2014. Out of 286 examined bird individuals belonging to 23 species, only Buteo buteo, Buteo rufinus, Falco tinnunculus (Falconiformes), Asio otus, Strix aluco, Strix uralensis and Tyto alba (Strigiformes) were infected by acanthocephalans. All the bird species except for S. aluco represent new host records for Slovakia. The most prevalent acanthocephalan Centrorhynchus aluconis was detected in all 15 examined birds of non-migratory Ural owl S. uralensis (P = 100%); however, it was found occasionally also in two individuals of the tawny owl S. aluco (P = 20%), one long-eared owl A. otus (P = 7.7%), one barn owl T. alba (P = 33.3%) and the common buzzard B. buteo (P = 0.8%). Two other thorny-headed worms occurred exclusively in Falconiformes in raw or mixed infections: Centrorhynchus buteonis was found in 11 individuals of B. buteo (P = 9.2%), and two birds (B. buteo and B. rufinus) were parasitized simultaneously by C. buteonis and the species Centrorhynchus globocaudatus. Moreover, the latest, relatively rare acanthocephalan was found alone in two common kestrels F. tinnunculus (P = 2.7%). Regarding intensity of infection, it ranged from a single female of C. buteonis, C. globocaudatus or C. aluconis per host (four cases) to a maximum of 82 C. aluconis per an Ural owl. The difference in acanthocephalan species spectrum between birds of prey and owls in Slovakia was apparent.

  1. XENOPUS LAEVIS: A CULTURING AND REARING PROTOCOL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Xenopus laevis are used extensively here at MED-Duluth as a model for assessing development toxicity to xenobiotics. As a result, a culturing system has been developed that provides eggs and tadpoles of consistent high quality for use by researchers at the facility. The methods ...

  2. Xenopus laevis in Developmental and Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawid, Igor B.; Sargent, Thomas D.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the advantages of Xenopus laevis as an experimental animal in the study of embryogenesis in vertebrates. Summarizes the contributions of this system to the analysis of ribosomal and 5S RNA genes, and the diverse and highly productive applications of the oocyte injection technology. (RT)

  3. Infection pattern of two sympatric acanthocephalan species in the amphipod Hyalella patagonica (Amphipoda: Hyalellidae) from Lake Mascardi (Patagonia, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Rauque, Carlos A; Semenas, Liliana

    2007-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to describe the infection pattern of the acanthocephalans Acanthocephalus tumescens and Corynosoma sp. co-occurring in the intermediate host the amphipod Hyalella patagonica. Samples were collected monthly from June 2002 to May 2004 from Lake Mascardi. Amphipods were measured and classified by developmental stages. Single and double infections of larval acanthocephalans were recorded and prevalence and mean intensity were calculated. An annual life cycle of H. patagonica could be inferred with recruitment of juveniles from spring to autumn. Males and females were found all year round but females were significantly more abundant. Single infections were mainly found in smaller juvenile amphipods during winter for A. tumescens and in intermediate and large male amphipods during spring and summer for Corynosoma sp. Double infections showed low values and were mainly found in intermediate sized amphipods during spring. A segregation of the infection by season, size and developmental stages of the host was recorded and would tend to avoid competition considering these two acanthocephalan species have different definitive hosts: fishes for A. tumescens and aquatic birds for Corynosoma sp.

  4. Acanthocephalan parasites of slimy sculpin, Cottus cognatus, and Ninespine Stickleback, Pungitius pungitius, from Lake Michigan, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muzzall, Patrick M.; Lima, Michael; Gentile, Alex; Gunn, Jacob; Jones, Amanda; Morrison, Jamie; French, John R. P.

    2012-01-01

    In total, 288 slimy sculpins, Cottus cognatus, were collected in September 2003 from 6 Lake Michigan, U.S.A., ports, along with 220 ninespine sticklebacks, Pungitius pungitius, from 3 ports. The ports included Waukegan, Illinois; Port Washington (PW) and Sturgeon Bay (SB), Wisconsin; and Manistique (MS), Frankfort (FF), Ludington (LD), and Saugatuck, Michigan. Echinorhynchus salmonis infected sculpins from 6 ports, Acanthocephalus dirus infected sculpins from 4 ports, and Neoechinorhynchus pungitius infected sculpins from 3 ports. Echinorhynchus salmonis infected significantly more sculpins at PW and at FF than at MS and LD. There were several significant differences in the intensities and abundances of E. salmonis among ports. Acanthocephalus dirus significantly infected more sculpins and had significantly higher abundances at FF than at PW, MS, and LD. Echinorhynchus salmonis, A. dirus, and N. pungitius infected sticklebacks from SB, MS, and FF. Neoechinorhynchus pungitius significantly infected more sculpins and more sticklebacks, and it had significantly higher abundances at MS than at FF. Neoechinorhynchus pungitius was the most common acanthocephalan in C. cognatus and P. pungitius at MS. These acanthocephalan species infecting C. cognatus and P. pungitius corresponded in their occurrence to those organisms that serve as their intermediate hosts found in the stomachs of both fish species. Potential changes in the diet of C. cognatus played a role in significant differences found for E. salmonis and N. pungitius at MS. One of these acanthocephalan species was always the most numerous helminth species found in the digestive tracts of P. pungitius and C. cognatus from these Lake Michigan ports.

  5. Structural restoration of nematodes and acanthocephalans fixed in high percentage alcohol using DESS solution and rehydration.

    PubMed

    Naem, Soraya; Pagan, Christopher; Nadler, Steven A

    2010-08-01

    Ninety-five percent ethanol is the most widely used field and laboratory preservative for nematodes and other helminth specimens intended for use in molecular systematics. Preservation of nematodes in high-concentration alcohols results in structural dehydration artifacts, including shrinkage and body surface distortions sufficient to obscure features required for morphological identification and analysis, thereby compromising precise morphometrics. However, treating dehydrated nematodes using a solution of DMSO, disodium EDTA, and NaCl, followed by rehydration in water produces marked improvements in specimen shape and surface features, resulting from diffusion of water into the tissues and pseudocoelom as the internal salt concentration is reduced. Following rehydration, tissue samples can be obtained for molecular research and individuals can be fixed for morphological examination. This treatment method is demonstrated for species of 3 nematode genera that vary substantially in body size ( Baylisascaris , Uncinaria , and Bidigiticauda ). The method also works on nematodes that have been cut in half, provided the individuals are large enough to be folded and clamped during treatment. This method appears promising for other helminths, although for an acanthocephalan, the treatment restored the body surface but failed to reverse the retracted proboscis.

  6. Acanthocephalans from fishes and amphibians in Vietnam, with descriptions of five new species.

    PubMed

    Amin, Omar Mohamed; Heckmann, Richard Anderson; Van Ha, Nguyen

    2014-01-01

    Eight species of acanthocephalans are reported, and five are new. Specimens of Neoechinorhynchus (Hebesoma) manubrianus Amin, Ha & Ha, 2011 were similar to the original description. Neoechinorhynchus (Hebesoma) spiramuscularis n. sp. (Neoechinorhynchidae), from Xenocypris davidi, has a unique proboscis receptacle wrapped in a spiral muscular layer, and an undulating flask-shaped lemnisci, as well as double para-receptacle structures. Heterosentis mongcai n. sp. (Arhythmacanthidae), from Acreichthys sp., has a small fusiform trunk with an unarmed cone and anterior trunk spines, and a proboscis with two circles of rooted apical hooks and 3-4 circles of rooted posterior spines as well as a para-receptacle-like structure at the posterior end. The poorly known Filisoma indicum Van Cleave, 1928 is fully described and illustrated for the first time. Acanthocephalus parallelcementglandatus n. sp. (Echinorhynchidae), from Clarias batrachus, is distinguished from other species of Acanthocephalus by its small fusiform trunk and parallel tubular cement glands. Pseudoacanthocephalus coniformis n. sp. (Echinorhynchidae), from Hylarana sp., is distinguished from other species by having an anterior trunk collar and staggered prominent filiform cement glands, among other features. Cathayacanthus spinitruncatus n. sp. (Rhadinorhynchidae), from Leiognathus equulus, is distinguished from the only two known species of the genus by having a very long and slender proboscis with more than 50 hooks per row and a totally spined trunk. The generic diagnosis of Cathayacanthus Golvan, 1969 is emended. Rhadinorhynchus johnstoni Golvan, 1969 (Rhadinorhynchidae) perfectly fits the only complete description of that species from the Fiji Islands.

  7. Acanthocephalans from fishes and amphibians in Vietnam, with descriptions of five new species

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Eight species of acanthocephalans are reported, and five are new. Specimens of Neoechinorhynchus (Hebesoma) manubrianus Amin, Ha & Ha, 2011 were similar to the original description. Neoechinorhynchus (Hebesoma) spiramuscularis n. sp. (Neoechinorhynchidae), from Xenocypris davidi, has a unique proboscis receptacle wrapped in a spiral muscular layer, and an undulating flask-shaped lemnisci, as well as double para-receptacle structures. Heterosentis mongcai n. sp. (Arhythmacanthidae), from Acreichthys sp., has a small fusiform trunk with an unarmed cone and anterior trunk spines, and a proboscis with two circles of rooted apical hooks and 3–4 circles of rooted posterior spines as well as a para-receptacle-like structure at the posterior end. The poorly known Filisoma indicum Van Cleave, 1928 is fully described and illustrated for the first time. Acanthocephalus parallelcementglandatus n. sp. (Echinorhynchidae), from Clarias batrachus, is distinguished from other species of Acanthocephalus by its small fusiform trunk and parallel tubular cement glands. Pseudoacanthocephalus coniformis n. sp. (Echinorhynchidae), from Hylarana sp., is distinguished from other species by having an anterior trunk collar and staggered prominent filiform cement glands, among other features. Cathayacanthus spinitruncatus n. sp. (Rhadinorhynchidae), from Leiognathus equulus, is distinguished from the only two known species of the genus by having a very long and slender proboscis with more than 50 hooks per row and a totally spined trunk. The generic diagnosis of Cathayacanthus Golvan, 1969 is emended. Rhadinorhynchus johnstoni Golvan, 1969 (Rhadinorhynchidae) perfectly fits the only complete description of that species from the Fiji Islands. PMID:25331738

  8. Vocal competition in male Xenopus laevis frogs

    PubMed Central

    Tobias, Martha L.; Corke, Anna; Korsh, Jeremy; Yin, David; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2011-01-01

    Male Xenopus laevis frogs produce underwater advertisement calls that attract gravid females and suppress calling by male competitors. Here we explore whether groups of males establish vocal ranks and whether auditory cues alone suffice for vocal suppression. Tests of male–male pairs within assigned groups reveal linear vocal dominance relations, in which each male has a defined rank. Both the duration over which males interact, as well as the number of competitive opportunities, affect linearity. Linear dominance across the group is stable for about 2 weeks; rank is dynamic. Males engage in physical interactions (clasping) while paired but clasping and vocal rank are not correlated. Playbacks of advertisement calls suppress calling and calls from high- and low-ranking males are equally effective. Thus, auditory cues alone suffice to suppress vocal behavior. Playback intensities equivalent to a nearby male advertising effectively suppress calling while low-intensity playbacks are either ineffective or stimulate vocal behavior. X. laevis advertisement calls are biphasic, composed of alternating fast and slow click trills. Approximately half the males tested are more vocally suppressed by all slow than by all fast trills; thus, these males can distinguish between the two phases. The fully aquatic family Pipidae diverged from terrestrial ancestors approximately 170 mya. Vocal suppression in the X. laevis mating system may represent the translation of an ancient anuran social strategy to underwater life. PMID:21442049

  9. Proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression in the intestine of Salmo trutta trutta naturally infected with an acanthocephalan

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Changes in the production of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a 36 kd protein involved in protein synthesis, within intestinal epithelia can provide an early indication of deviations to normal functioning. Inhibition or stimulation of cell proliferation and PCNA can be determined through immunohistochemical staining of intestinal tissue. Changes in the expression of PCNA act as an early warning system of changes to the gut and this application has not been applied to the fields of aquatic parasitology and fish health. The current study set out to determine whether a population of wild brown trout, Salmo trutta trutta (L.) harbouring an infection of the acanthocephalan Dentitruncus truttae Sinzar, 1955 collected from Lake Piediluco in Central Italy also effected changes in the expression of PCNA. Methods A total of 29 brown trout were investigated, 19 of which (i.e. 65.5%) were found to harbour acanthocephalans (5–320 worms fish-1). Histological sections of both uninfected and infected intestinal material were immunostained for PCNA. Results The expression of PCNA was observed in the epithelial cells in the intestinal crypts and within the mast cells and fibroblasts in the submucosa layer which is consistent with its role in cell proliferation and DNA synthesis. The number of PCNA-positive cells in both the intestinal epithelium and the submucosa layer in regions close to the point of parasite attachment were significantly higher than the number observed in uninfected individuals and in infected individuals in zones at least 0.7 cm from the point of parasite attachment (ANOVA, p < 0.05). Conclusions An infection of the acanthocephalan D. truttae within the intestinal tract of S. t. trutta effected a significant increase in the number of PCNA positive cells (mast cells and fibroblasts) at the site of parasite attachment when compared to the number of positive cells found in uninfected conspecifics and in tissue zones away from the point

  10. Fine structure of Longicollum pagrosomi (Acanthocephala: Pomphorhynchidae) and intestinal histopathology of the red sea bream, Pagrus major, infected with acanthocephalans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seok-Ryel; Lee, Jung Sick; Kim, Jeong-Ho; Oh, Myung-Joo; Kim, Choon-Sub; Park, Myoung Ae; Park, Jung Jun

    2011-07-01

    The results described the structure of Longicollum pagrosomi and histopathological characters of the intestine of the red sea bream, Pagrus major, infected with acanthocephalans, using the light and electron microscopes. Among the six samples of P. major, L. pagrosomi was identified in the posterior intestine of five fish samples. Adult L. pagrosomi (total length, 8-27 mm) is divided into the presoma (proboscis, anterior neck, and posterior neck) and metasoma (trunk). The proboscis had vertically arranged hooks (40 μm in length), with ten hooks per row, and the septum was observed between the posterior neck and trunk. The tegument thickness of the proboscis was approximately 15 μm, and it was composed of thin, circular muscle fibers. The outer fibrous membrane was approximately 1 μm, and the connective tissue layer was approximately 35 μm in thickness in the anterior neck. The tegument of the posterior neck enclosed the cephalic ganglion and had longitudinal and vertical muscle fibers, and the tegument thickness was approximately 45 μm. The tegument of the body, which was approximately 1 mm in thickness, was composed primarily of muscle and collagen fibers, and the structure of the tegument was different, depending on the body region. The acanthocephalans had ovaries and oval-shaped eggs with an eggshell (77.5 × 17.1 μm), floating within the body cavity of the trunk. In the infected posterior intestine of P. major, the presoma and the anterior part of the metasoma of L. pagrosomi passed through the intestinal wall and infected the intestinal tissue, perforating the loose connective tissue. In the inflammatory connective tissue, collagen and muscle fibers were fragmented and revealed partial necrosis. Lipid drops and eosinophilic granular cells aggregated in the connective tissue of the tissue capsule. In the vicinity of the acanthocephalan, the mucosal epithelia contained hypertrophied nuclei, and the epithelial layer was collapsed. In an extreme case

  11. [PATTERNS IN CIRCULATION AND TRANSMISSION OF MARINE BIRD PARASITES IN HIGH ARCTIC: A CASE OF ACANTHOCEPHALAN POLYMORPHUS PHIPPSI (PALAEACANTHOCEPHALA, POLYMORPHIDAE)].

    PubMed

    Galaktionov, K V; Atrashkevich, G I

    2015-01-01

    This study, based on the materials on parasitic infection of marine birds and invertebrates in Frantz Josef Land (FJL) collected in 1991-1993, focussed on the acanthocephalan Polymorphus phippsi. We identified this parasite, confirmed its species status and analysed its circulation and transmission patterns in high Arctic. The causes of its erroneous identification as P. minutus in several studies were also examined. In contrast to P. minutus, the transmission of P. phippsi is realized in marine coastal ecosystems. Its' main intermediate host in the Arctic is the amphipod Gammarus (Lagunogammarus) setosus, commonin coastal. areas of the shelf zone throughout the Arctic basin. P. phippsi population in FJL and the entire European Arctic is on the whole maintained by a single obligate final host, the common eider Somateria mollissima. Prevalence (P) of P. phippsi in this bird reached 100 %, with the maximal infection intensity (IImax) of 1188 and the mean abundance (MA) of 492.1. Other species of birds found to be infected with P. phippsi (Arctic turn, black guillemot, purple sandpiper and several gulls) are facultative and/or eliminative hosts. The most heavily infected birds were Arctic terns (P = 72.7%, IImax = 227, MA = = 47.1), which contained single mature acanthocephalans. For one of the FJL regions, infections flows of P. phippsi through various host categories were calculated. Involvement of birds unrelated to the common eider into the circulation of P. phippsi is facilitated by their feeding character in the Arctic. While coastal crustaceans are abundant, fish food is relatively scarce (polar cod, snailfishes), and so amphipods make up a considerable part of the diet of marine birds in FJL, if not most of it, as for instance in case of Arctic tern. This promotes an easy entry of the larvae of crustaceans-parasitizing helminthes (cestodes and acanthocephalans, including cystacanths P. phippsi) into non-specific hosts and opens broad colonization possibilities

  12. Homeolog-specific targeted mutagenesis in Xenopus laevis using TALENs.

    PubMed

    Nakade, Shota; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Sakane, Yuto; Hara, Yoshihiro; Kurabayashi, Atsushi; Kashiwagi, Keiko; Kashiwagi, Akihiko; Yamamoto, Takashi; Obara, Masanobu

    2015-10-01

    Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have previously been used for targeted genome editing in various organisms including Xenopus laevis. However, because of genomic polyploidization, X. laevis usually possess homeologous genes (homeologs) with quite similar sequences that make the analysis of gene function difficult. In the present study, we show methodological examples of targeted gene modification of X. laevis homeologs. The X. laevis cytoglobin gene (cygb) consists of two homeologs (xlcygba and xlcygbb), and molecular phylogenetic analysis suggested that they have potentially different functions. Thus, there is a need to establish a method of homeolog-specific gene disruption to clarify gene functions in detail. Here, we show successful examples of homeolog-specific and simultaneous gene disruption for xlcygba and xlcygbb. We found that selective digestion can be performed with at least three mismatches in TALEN target sites in both homeologs. This report paves the way for the functional analyses of X. laevis homeologs, even those containing nearly identical sequences.

  13. Colonisation and extinction in relation to competition and resource partitioning in acanthocephalans of freshwater fishes of the British Isles.

    PubMed

    Lyndon, A R; Kennedy, C R

    2001-01-01

    This paper challenges two paradigms long held in relation to the ecology of parasites in freshwater systems: (1) autogenic species are poorer colonisers than allogenic ones; and (2) parasites with direct life cycles are more successful colonisers than those with complex life cycles. Using new and existing data for Acanthocephala in freshwater fish from the British Isles, it is suggested that all six species present have been able to colonise and persist successfully, in spite of the supposed limitations of their autogenic life-style. It is proposed that these parasites have overcome these limitations by a variety of means, which apply equally to all species considered. Foremost among these is the utilisation of a migratory fish host as either a preferred or a suitable host in their life cycle, allowing colonisation of new areas and rescue effects in established areas, whilst equally important is the use of a common and widespread crustacean as the intermediate host. In addition, all six species appear to exhibit resource partitioning by host at either or both the larval and adult stages, thus reducing the potential for competition and further facilitating colonisation and survival. This hypothesis is supported by data from previous studies both on acanthocephalans from Europe and North America and on other autogenic parasites. It also provides an explanation for the apparently atypical host utilisation patterns of some acanthocephalan species in areas on the edge of their distributions, notably in Ireland.

  14. Acanthocephalan Parasites (Acanthogyrus sp.) of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as Biosink of Lead (Pb) Contamination in a Philippine Freshwater Lake.

    PubMed

    Paller, Vachel Gay V; Resurreccion, Dan Jacob B; de la Cruz, Christian Paul P; Bandal, Modesto Z

    2016-06-01

    The potential use of acanthocephalans as bioindicators of Lead (Pb) pollution in Sampaloc Lake, Laguna, Philippines was investigated. Nile tilapias (Oreochromis niloticus) were collected and Pb concentrations were determined in fish tissues and in their acanthocephalan parasites, Acanthogyrus sp. Significantly higher levels of Pb were detected in the parasites relative to the fish host tissues (p = 0.001). Bioaccumulation capacity of the parasites against fish tissues were 102, 119, and 147 times higher than the fish intestine, liver, and muscles, respectively. Pb sensitivity of the parasites was quantified by exact logistic analysis showing higher odds of Pb detection ranging from 18 to 45 folds (p = 0.001-0.009). Interestingly, infected fish showed significantly lower Pb concentration in their tissues compared to uninfected fish (p = 0.001), suggesting parasites were able to sequester Pb and served as active biosinks. The Pb levels in the parasites were also hundred folds higher (988 times) relative to the ambient waters, indicating a potential role of fish parasites as metal biosinks in aquatic ecosystems.

  15. The effect of parasitism on host fecundity is dependent on temperature in a cockroach-acanthocephalan system.

    PubMed

    Guinnee, Meghan A; Moore, Janice

    2004-08-01

    The fitness of infected organisms can vary greatly depending on the temperature at which they find themselves. Understanding the role of temperature in the fitness of infected organisms can be crucial to population studies, epidemiological studies, and when screening for biological control agents. We measured the effect of parasitism on host survival and reproduction at 4 constant temperatures using the acanthocephalan parasite Moniliformis moniliformis and its intermediate host, the cockroach Supella longipalpa. Infection did not affect cockroach survival at any temperature. Infection had a negative impact on cockroach fecundity but only at higher temperatures (28 and 31 C) and only later in infection (>20 days postinfection). At lower temperatures, infected and uninfected cockroaches had similar fecundities throughout the duration of the experiment (120 days). This study, along with previous studies, suggests that researchers would do well to consider environmental variables when exploring the effects of parasitism.

  16. Xenopus laevis and Emerging Amphibian Pathogens in Chile.

    PubMed

    Soto-Azat, Claudio; Peñafiel-Ricaurte, Alexandra; Price, Stephen J; Sallaberry-Pincheira, Nicole; García, María Pía; Alvarado-Rybak, Mario; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2016-12-01

    Amphibians face an extinction crisis with no precedence. Two emerging infectious diseases, ranaviral disease caused by viruses within the genus Ranavirus and chytridiomycosis due to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), have been linked with amphibian mass mortalities and population declines in many regions of the globe. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) has been indicated as a vector for the spread of these pathogens. Since the 1970s, this species has been invasive in central Chile. We collected X. laevis and dead native amphibians in Chile between 2011 and 2013. We conducted post-mortem examinations and molecular tests for Ranavirus and Bd. Eight of 187 individuals (4.3 %) tested positive for Ranavirus: seven X. laevis and a giant Chilean frog (Calyptocephallela gayi). All positive cases were from the original area of X. laevis invasion. Bd was found to be more prevalent (14.4 %) and widespread than Ranavirus, and all X. laevis Bd-positive animals presented low to moderate levels of infection. Sequencing of a partial Ranavirus gene revealed 100 % sequence identity with Frog Virus 3. This is the first report of Ranavirus in Chile, and these preliminary results are consistent with a role for X. laevis as an infection reservoir for both Ranavirus and Bd.

  17. Acanthocephalan fish parasites (Rhadinorhynchidae Lühe, 1912) as potential biomarkers: Molecular-chemical screening by pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinertz, S.; Eckhardt, K.-U.; Theisen, S.; Palm, H. W.; Leinweber, P.

    2016-07-01

    The present study represents the first molecular-chemical screening by pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry applied on fish parasites. A total of 71 fishes from Balinese fish markets, 36 Auxis rochei (Risso, 1810) and 35 A. thazard (Lacepède, 1800), were studied for their acanthocephalan parasites. This is the first record of Rhadinorhynchus zhukovi in Balinese waters, Indonesia, and we describe for the first time A. rochei and A. thazard as R. zhukovi hosts. Using this method, small scale variations within the chemical compounds of acanthocephalans could be detected. Using this methodology it will be possible to generate additional, pollutant specific information from aquatic habitats in future with the potential of a new bioindicator application for parasite/host origin and/or environmental pollution.

  18. On four species of echinorhynchid acanthocephalans from marine fish in Halong Bay, Vietnam, including the description of three new species and a key to the species of Gorgorhynchus.

    PubMed

    Amin, Omar M; Van Ha, Nguyen

    2011-09-01

    Four species of echinorhynchid acanthocephalans were collected from marine fish off Cat Ba Island, Halong Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, in the spring of 2009. Acanthocephalus halongensis n. sp. (Echinorhynchidae) from the redtail scad, Decapterus kurroides Bleeker 1855 (Carangidae), has a unique proboscis armature with a spiniform basal hook with lateral root and an incomplete receptacle wall posteriorly. Gorgorhynchus tonkinensis n. sp. (Rhadinorhynchidae) also from D. kurroides, has long, slender, winding lemnisci, many epidermal nuclei, and a narrow anterior trunk with a shoulder armed with 20 circles of tightly packed spines, the posterior four circles of which have abruptly larger spines than those in the anterior circles. Neorhadinorhynchus atypicalis n. sp. (Cavisomidae) from the rabbitfish, Siganus fuscescens (Houttuyn 1782) (Siganidae), has the largest number of proboscis hooks per row, testes wider than long, and four clustered cement glands. Micracanthorhynchica kuwaitensis Amin and Sey 1996 (Rhadinorhynchidae) from the spottail needlefish Strongylura strongylura (van Hasselt 1823) (Belonidae) was similar to specimens originally described from the Arabian Gulf off the Kuwaiti coast. These acanthocephalans were collected in small numbers but stood out as uniquely and considerably different from their closest relatives to warrant their reporting. All species of acanthocephalans and their host and geographic distribution are described, and a key to the species of Gorgorhynchus is provided.

  19. Intra-population variation in behavior modification by the acanthocephalan Acanthocephalus dirus: are differences mediated by host condition?

    PubMed

    Caddigan, Sara C; Barkauskas, Rima T; Sparkes, Timothy C

    2014-11-01

    The acanthocephalan parasite Acanthocephalus dirus infects the freshwater isopod Caecidotea intermedius as an intermediate host before completing its life cycle in a fish. Male C. intermedius infected by A. dirus parasites are less likely to engage in mating behavior than uninfected males but there is a significant intra-population variation in the occurrence of this behavioral change. Previous studies on uninfected isopods have shown that glycogen content is a predictor of male mating behavior and we examined whether the intra-population variation in the mating behavior of infected male C. intermedius could be explained by this relationship. A field-based behavioral experiment was used to quantify intra-population variation in male mating behavior, which showed that 50% of infected males were responsive to females and 50% were not responsive. Biochemical analysis of responsive and non-responsive males revealed that glycogen content was a predictor of the mating behavior for uninfected males but was not a predictor of mating behavior for infected males. For infected males, parasite intensity was a predictor of mating behavior. Males that contained more A. dirus parasites were less likely to undergo modification of mating behavior. We propose that the intra-population variation in the mating behavior of infected C. intermedius identified in nature was not mediated by host condition.

  20. Effects of the acanthocephalan Polymorphus minutus and the microsporidian Dictyocoela duebenum on energy reserves and stress response of cadmium exposed Gammarus fossarum

    PubMed Central

    Nachev, Milen; Shih, Hsiu-Hui; Sures, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Amphipods are commonly parasitized by acanthocephalans and microsporidians and co-infections are found frequently. Both groups of parasites are known to have severe effects on their host. For example, microsporidians can modify host sex ratio and acanthocephalans can manipulate the behavior of the amphipod to promote transmission to the final host. These effects influence host metabolism in general and will also affect the ability of amphipods to cope with additional stressors such as environmental pollution, e.g., by toxic metals. Here we tested the effects of sub-lethal concentrations of cadmium on glycogen and lipid levels, as well as on the 70kDa heat shock protein (hsp70) response of field collected Gammarus fossarum, which were naturally infected with microsporidians and the acanthocephalan Polymorphus minutus. Infected and uninfected G. fossarum were exposed to a nominal Cd concentration of 4 µg/L, which resembled measured aqueous Cd concentration of 2.9 µg/L in reconstituted water for 7 d at 15 °C in parallel to an unexposed control. After exposure gammarids were snap frozen, weighed, sexed and tested for microsporidian infection by PCR. Only individuals containing the microsporidian Dictyocoela duebenum were used for the further biochemical and metal analyses. P. minutus infected amphipods were significantly smaller than their uninfected conspecifics. Mortality was insignificantly increased due to cadmium exposure, but not due to parasite infection. Microsporidian infection in combination with cadmium exposure led to increased glycogen levels in female gammarids. An increase of glycogen was also found due to interaction of acanthocephalan and microsporidian infection. Elevated lipid levels were observed in all groups infected with microsporidians, while acanthocephalans had the opposite effect. A positive correlation of lipid and glycogen levels was observed. The general stress response measured in form of hsp70 was significantly increased in

  1. Polystyrene nanoparticles affect Xenopus laevis development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tussellino, Margherita; Ronca, Raffaele; Formiggini, Fabio; Marco, Nadia De; Fusco, Sabato; Netti, Paolo Antonio; Carotenuto, Rosa

    2015-02-01

    Exposing living organisms to nanoparticulates is potentially hazardous, in particular when it takes place during embryogenesis. In this investigation, we have studied the effects of 50-nm-uncoated polystyrene nanoparticles (PSNPs) as a model to investigate the suitability of their possible future employments. We have used the standardized Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay- Xenopus test during the early stages of larval development of Xenopus laevis, and we have employed either contact exposure or microinjections. We found that the embryos mortality rate is dose dependent and that the survived embryos showed high percentage of malformations. They display disorders in pigmentation distribution, malformations of the head, gut and tail, edema in the anterior ventral region, and a shorter body length compared with sibling untreated embryos. Moreover, these embryos grow more slowly than the untreated embryos. Expressions of the mesoderm markers, bra (T-box Brachyury gene), myod1 (myogenic differentiation1), and of neural crest marker sox9 (sex SRY (determining region Y-box 9) transcription factor sox9), are modified. Confocal microscopy showed that the nanoparticles are localized in the cytoplasm, in the nucleus, and in the periphery of the digestive gut cells. Our data suggest that PSNPs are toxic and show a potential teratogenic effect for Xenopus larvae. We hypothesize that these effects may be due either to the amount of NPs that penetrate into the cells and/or to the "corona" effect caused by the interaction of PSNPs with cytoplasm components. The three endpoints of our study, i.e., mortality, malformations, and growth inhibition, suggest that the tests we used may be a powerful and flexible bioassay in evaluating pollutants in aquatic embryos.

  2. EST based phylogenomics of Syndermata questions monophyly of Eurotatoria

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The metazoan taxon Syndermata comprising Rotifera (in the classical sense of Monogononta+Bdelloidea+Seisonidea) and Acanthocephala has raised several hypotheses connected to the phylogeny of these animal groups and the included subtaxa. While the monophyletic origin of Syndermata and Acanthocephala is well established based on morphological and molecular data, the phylogenetic position of Syndermata within Spiralia, the monophyletic origin of Monogononta, Bdelloidea, and Seisonidea and the acanthocephalan sister group are still a matter of debate. The comparison of the alternative hypotheses suggests that testing the phylogenetic validity of Eurotatoria (Monogononta+Bdelloidea) is the key to unravel the phylogenetic relations within Syndermata. The syndermatan phylogeny in turn is a prerequisite for reconstructing the evolution of the acanthocephalan endoparasitism. Results Here we present our results from a phylogenomic approach studying i) the phylogenetic position of Syndermata within Spiralia, ii) the monophyletic origin of monogononts and bdelloids and iii) the phylogenetic relations of the latter two taxa to acanthocephalans. For this analysis we have generated EST libraries of Pomphorhynchus laevis, Echinorhynchus truttae (Acanthocephala) and Brachionus plicatilis (Monogononta). By extending these data with database entries of B. plicatilis, Philodina roseola (Bdelloidea) and 25 additional metazoan species, we conducted phylogenetic reconstructions based on 79 ribosomal proteins using maximum likelihood and bayesian approaches. Our findings suggest that the phylogenetic position of Syndermata within Spiralia is close to Platyhelminthes, that Eurotatoria are not monophyletic and that bdelloids are more closely related to acanthocephalans than monogononts. Conclusion Mapping morphological character evolution onto molecular phylogeny suggests the (partial or complete) reduction of the corona and the emergence of a retractable anterior end (rostrum

  3. Maternal transfer of antibodies to eggs in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Poorten, Thomas J; Kuhn, Raymond E

    2009-02-01

    The immune system of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, includes nearly the full repertoire of lymphoid organs and immune cell types found in mammals. In contrast to the mammalian immune system, the development of the amphibian immune system occurs in the open environment. Oviparity necessitates a rapid ontogeny of the immune system. X. laevis larvae become immunocompetent about 2 weeks after fertilization of the egg. During this 2-week window, larvae cannot mount an adaptive immune response to potential pathogens and presumably must depend on innate responses. In the present study, the possibility of maternal transfer of antibodies to eggs was examined. Adult female X. laevis were injected three times at weekly intervals with the hapten-carrier complex, trinitrophenylated bovine serum albumin (TNP-BSA). The sera of immunized frogs demonstrated antibody activity to BSA, TNP-BSA, and, importantly, trinitrophenylated ovalbumin (TNP-OVA) when examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Reactivity to TNP-OVA confirmed that antibodies were produced against TNP. The adult female frogs were induced to lay eggs by injection of human chorionic gonadotropin. Next, membrane-free extracts of the eggs were treated with protease inhibitors in order to prevent proteolysis of proteins found in the eggs. On analysis by ELISA, it was found that TNP-specific antibodies were present in the egg extracts. This demonstrated the transfer of antigen-specific antibodies from adult females to eggs in X. laevis.

  4. Protocadherin-9 involvement in retinal development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Izuta, Yusuke; Taira, Tetsuro; Asayama, Ayako; Machigashira, Mika; Kinoshita, Tsutomu; Fujiwara, Miwako; Suzuki, Shintaro T

    2015-04-01

    Biological roles of most protocadherins (Pcdhs) are a largely unsolved problem. Therefore, we cloned cDNA for Xenopus laevis protocadherin-9 and characterized its properties to elucidate the role. The deduced amino acid sequence was highly homologous to those of mammalian protocadherin-9 s. X. laevis protocadherin-9 expressed from the cDNA in L cells showed basic properties similar to those of mammalian Pcdhs. Expression of X. laevis protocadherin-9 was first detected in stage-31 embryos and increased as the development proceeded. In the later stage embryos and the adults, the retina strongly expressed protocadherin-9, which was mainly localized at the plexiform layers. Injection of morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotide against protocadherin-9 into the fertilized eggs inhibited eye development; and eye growth and formation of the retinal laminar structure were hindered. Moreover, affected retina showed abnormal extension of neurites into the ganglion cell layer. Co-injection of protocadherin-9 mRNA with the morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotide rescued the embryos from the defects. These results suggest that X. laevis protocadherin-9 was involved in the development of retina structure possibly through survival of neurons, formation of the lamina structure and neurite localization.

  5. Fine structure and cellular responses at the host-parasite interface in a range of fish-helminth systems.

    PubMed

    Dezfuli, B S; Bo, T; Lorenzoni, M; Shinn, A P; Giari, L

    2015-03-15

    A series of ultrastructural-based studies were conducted on the interface region in different fish-helminth systems: (a) an intestinal infection of the cestode Monobothrium wageneri in tench, Tinca tinca; (b) an extensive intestinal submucosa and mucosal infection in tench by metacercariae of an unidentified digenean trematode; (c) an intestinal infection in brown trout, Salmo trutta, by the acanthocephalan Dentitruncus truttae; (d) an extraintestinal infection by larvae of the acanthocephalan, Pomphorhynchus laevis in three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus; and (e) an infection in the livers of Eurasian minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus, by larvae of the nematode Raphidascaris acus. Endoparasitic helminths frequently cause inflammation of the digestive tract and associated organs, inducing the recruitment of various immune cells to the site of infection. In each of the fish-helminth systems that were studied, a massive hyperplastic granulocyte response involving mast cells (MCs) and neutrophils in close proximity to the helminths was documented. The current study presents data on the interface region in each fish-helminth system and documents the penetration of mast cells granules within the tegument of P. laevis larvae. No extracellular vesicles containing tegumental secretions from any of the four different taxa of endoparasitic helminths species at the host-parasite interface region were seen.

  6. Mitochondrial DNA diversity in the acanthocephalan Prosthenorchis elegans in Colombia based on cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene sequence.

    PubMed

    Falla, Ana Carolina; Brieva, Claudia; Bloor, Paul

    2015-12-01

    Prosthenorchis elegans is a member of the Phylum Acanthocephala and is an important parasite affecting New World Primates in the wild in South America and in captivity around the world. It is of significant management concern due to its pathogenicity and mode of transmission through intermediate hosts. Current diagnosis of P. elegans is based on the detection of eggs by coprological examination. However, this technique lacks both specificity and sensitivity, since eggs of most members of the genus are morphologically indistinguishable and shed intermittently, making differential diagnosis difficult, and coprological examinations are often negative in animals severely infected at death. We examined sequence variation in 633 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) sequence in 37 isolates of P. elegans from New World monkeys (Saguinus leucopus and Cebus albifrons) in Colombia held in rescue centers and from the wild. Intraspecific divergence ranged from 0.0 to 1.6% and was comparable with corresponding values within other species of acanthocephalans. Furthermore, comparisons of patterns of sequence divergence within the Acanthocephala suggest that Prosthenorchis represents a separate genus within the Oligacanthorhynchida. Six distinct haplotypes were identified within P. elegans which grouped into one of two well-supported mtDNA haplogroups. No association between haplogroup/haplotype, holding facility and species was found. This information will help pave the way to the development of molecular-based diagnostic tools for the detection of P. elegans as well as furthering research into the life cycle, intermediate hosts and epidemiological aspects of the species.

  7. Mitochondrial DNA diversity in the acanthocephalan Prosthenorchis elegans in Colombia based on cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene sequence

    PubMed Central

    Falla, Ana Carolina; Brieva, Claudia; Bloor, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Prosthenorchis elegans is a member of the Phylum Acanthocephala and is an important parasite affecting New World Primates in the wild in South America and in captivity around the world. It is of significant management concern due to its pathogenicity and mode of transmission through intermediate hosts. Current diagnosis of P. elegans is based on the detection of eggs by coprological examination. However, this technique lacks both specificity and sensitivity, since eggs of most members of the genus are morphologically indistinguishable and shed intermittently, making differential diagnosis difficult, and coprological examinations are often negative in animals severely infected at death. We examined sequence variation in 633 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) sequence in 37 isolates of P. elegans from New World monkeys (Saguinus leucopus and Cebus albifrons) in Colombia held in rescue centers and from the wild. Intraspecific divergence ranged from 0.0 to 1.6% and was comparable with corresponding values within other species of acanthocephalans. Furthermore, comparisons of patterns of sequence divergence within the Acanthocephala suggest that Prosthenorchis represents a separate genus within the Oligacanthorhynchida. Six distinct haplotypes were identified within P. elegans which grouped into one of two well-supported mtDNA haplogroups. No association between haplogroup/haplotype, holding facility and species was found. This information will help pave the way to the development of molecular-based diagnostic tools for the detection of P. elegans as well as furthering research into the life cycle, intermediate hosts and epidemiological aspects of the species. PMID:26759793

  8. Thyroid endocrine disruption of azocyclotin to Xenopus laevis during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Li, Meng; Cao, Chuyan; Li, Shuying; Gui, Wenjun; Zhu, Guonian

    2016-04-01

    Organotin compounds are ubiquitous contaminants that are frequently detected in the environment and in biota, which raises concern about their risk to wildlife and human health. In the present study, Nieuwkoop & Faber stage 51 Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to different concentrations of azocyclotin (0, 0.02, 0.1 and 0.5μg/L) for 21 days, during which time the tadpoles underwent morphological development. Exposure to azocyclotin caused an inhibitory effect on the pre-metamorphic development of X. laevis (e.g., a shortened hind limb length). Azocyclotin induced an alteration of the triiodothyronine (T3) content, which indicated thyroid endocrine disruption. Real-time PCR was performed to examine the expression levels of the genes involved in the thyroid hormone (TH) signaling pathway. Significant down-regulation of the type 2 deiodinase gene was observed, which may be partially responsible for the decreased T3 concentrations. Furthermore, the expression of T3 responsive genes, including thyroid hormone receptor, basic transcription element binding protein, 2tromelysins-3 and matrix metalloproteinase 2, were down-regulated in tadpoles, suggesting that azocyclotin induced a decrease in the T3 contents and, in turn, affected the mRNA expression of downstream genes involved in multiple physiological responses. Chemical analysis showed that azocyclotin could accumulate in X. laevis after 21 days of exposure. In conclusion, the results of the present study showed that azocyclotin could alter the mRNA expression of genes involved in TH signaling as well as the thyroid hormone concentrations in X. laevis tadpoles, leading to endocrine disruption of thyroid system, and that azocyclotin had obvious inhibitory effects on X. laevis metamorphosis.

  9. A developmental switch induced by thyroid hormone: Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Furlow, J David; Neff, Eric S

    2006-03-01

    Thyroid hormone induces the complete metamorphosis of anuran tadpoles into juvenile frogs. Arguably, anuran metamorphosis is the most dramatic effect of a hormone in any vertebrate. Recent advances in pharmacology and molecular biology have made the study of this remarkable process in the frog Xenopus laevis attractive to developmental biologists and endocrinologists alike. In particular, the availability of a straightforward transgenesis assay and the near completion of the Xenopus tropicalis genome are enabling significant advances to be made in our understanding of the major remaining problems of metamorphosis: the extraordinary tissue specificity of responses, the precise timing of morphological changes, the degree of cell autonomy of hormone responses and developmental competence. We argue that X. laevis metamorphosis presents an exciting opportunity for understanding the role of thyroid hormone in vertebrate development.

  10. Preparation of Xenopus laevis retinal cryosections for electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tam, Beatrice M; Yang, Lee Ling; Bogėa, Tami H; Ross, Bradford; Martens, Garnet; Moritz, Orson L

    2015-07-01

    Transmission electron microscopy is the gold standard for examination of photoreceptor outer segment morphology and photoreceptor outer segment abnormalities in transgenic animal models of retinal disease. Small vertebrates such as zebrafish and Xenopus laevis tadpoles have been used to generate retinal disease models and to study outer segment processes such as protein trafficking, and their breeding capabilities facilitate experiments involving large numbers of animals and conditions. However, electron microscopy processing and analysis of these very small eyes can be challenging. Here we present a methodology that facilitates processing of X. laevis tadpole eyes for electron microscopy by introducing an intermediate cryosectioning step. This method reproducibly provides a well-oriented tissue block that can be sectioned with minimal effort by a non-expert, and also allows retroactive analysis of samples collected on slides for light microscopy.

  11. Genome evolution in the allotetraploid frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Session, Adam M; Uno, Yoshinobu; Kwon, Taejoon; Chapman, Jarrod A; Toyoda, Atsushi; Takahashi, Shuji; Fukui, Akimasa; Hikosaka, Akira; Suzuki, Atsushi; Kondo, Mariko; van Heeringen, Simon J; Quigley, Ian; Heinz, Sven; Ogino, Hajime; Ochi, Haruki; Hellsten, Uffe; Lyons, Jessica B; Simakov, Oleg; Putnam, Nicholas; Stites, Jonathan; Kuroki, Yoko; Tanaka, Toshiaki; Michiue, Tatsuo; Watanabe, Minoru; Bogdanovic, Ozren; Lister, Ryan; Georgiou, Georgios; Paranjpe, Sarita S; van Kruijsbergen, Ila; Shu, Shengquiang; Carlson, Joseph; Kinoshita, Tsutomu; Ohta, Yuko; Mawaribuchi, Shuuji; Jenkins, Jerry; Grimwood, Jane; Schmutz, Jeremy; Mitros, Therese; Mozaffari, Sahar V; Suzuki, Yutaka; Haramoto, Yoshikazu; Yamamoto, Takamasa S; Takagi, Chiyo; Heald, Rebecca; Miller, Kelly; Haudenschild, Christian; Kitzman, Jacob; Nakayama, Takuya; Izutsu, Yumi; Robert, Jacques; Fortriede, Joshua; Burns, Kevin; Lotay, Vaneet; Karimi, Kamran; Yasuoka, Yuuri; Dichmann, Darwin S; Flajnik, Martin F; Houston, Douglas W; Shendure, Jay; DuPasquier, Louis; Vize, Peter D; Zorn, Aaron M; Ito, Michihiko; Marcotte, Edward M; Wallingford, John B; Ito, Yuzuru; Asashima, Makoto; Ueno, Naoto; Matsuda, Yoichi; Veenstra, Gert Jan C; Fujiyama, Asao; Harland, Richard M; Taira, Masanori; Rokhsar, Daniel S

    2016-10-20

    To explore the origins and consequences of tetraploidy in the African clawed frog, we sequenced the Xenopus laevis genome and compared it to the related diploid X. tropicalis genome. We characterize the allotetraploid origin of X. laevis by partitioning its genome into two homoeologous subgenomes, marked by distinct families of 'fossil' transposable elements. On the basis of the activity of these elements and the age of hundreds of unitary pseudogenes, we estimate that the two diploid progenitor species diverged around 34 million years ago (Ma) and combined to form an allotetraploid around 17-18 Ma. More than 56% of all genes were retained in two homoeologous copies. Protein function, gene expression, and the amount of conserved flanking sequence all correlate with retention rates. The subgenomes have evolved asymmetrically, with one chromosome set more often preserving the ancestral state and the other experiencing more gene loss, deletion, rearrangement, and reduced gene expression.

  12. 'Immobile' (im), a recessive lethal mutation of Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Droin, A; Beauchemin, M L

    1975-10-01

    'Immobile' (im) is a recessive lethal mutation discovered in the F3 of a Xenopus (Xenopus laevis laevis) originating from a mesodermal nucleus of a neurula transplanted into an enucleated egg. The im embryos do not contract after mechanical stimulation nor do they present any spontaneous contraction from the neurula stage onwards. Development proceeds normally during the first days after which deformation of the lower jaw and tail are observed. The im tadpoles die when normal controls are at the feeding stage. Nevous and muscular tissues are histologically normal in the mutant tadpoles; at advanced stages, however, an irregularity in the path of the myofibrils is observed which is especially conspicuous in the electron microscope. Cholinesterases and ATPase are present in the mutant muscles. Parabiosis and chimerae experiments have shown that parabionts and grafts behave according to their own genotype. Cultures of presumptive axial systems with or without ectoderm lead to the conclusion that, first of all, the abnormality is situated in the mesodermal cells and secondly that the first muscular contractions in normal Xenopus laevis are of myogenic origin. The banding pattern of the myofibrils is normal as was shown by obtaining contractions of glycerol extracted in myoblasts with ATP. It seems therefore that in this mutation, the abnormality is situated in the membraneous system of the muscular cell, sarcoplasmic reticulum and/or tubular system as is probably the case in the mdg mutation of the mouse.

  13. Twin Xenopus laevis embryos appearing from flattened eggs.

    PubMed

    Sato, Eiji

    2014-01-01

    Remarkable progress has recently been made in molecular biology of double axis formation in Xenopus laevis. Leaving aside, for the time being, the problem of the gene expressions regulating Xenopus laevis development, here I show that pulse treatment could induce formation of a secondary axis in a fertilized Xenopus laevis egg. At 3 min after insemination, metal oxides were added to Xenopus fertilized eggs, and then twin embryos appeared. Zirconium oxide (ZrO2) was the most effective metal oxide for producing twin embryos. ZrO2 was added to the fertilized eggs, and 30 sec later, the eggs were dejellied with cysteine solution and washed within 7 min after insemination. The fertilized eggs began flattening at around 15 min after insemination. When the degree of flattening (the vertical length of the egg divided by the horizontal length) of the eggs at the 16- and 32-cell stages became less than 0.4 degrees, production of twin embryos occurred. Many flattened eggs at less than 0.4 degrees formed twin embryos. The third cleavage of eggs treated with metal oxides was meridional, while the normal third cleavage was horizontal.

  14. A new acanthocephalan family, the Isthmosacanthidae (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchida), with the description of Isthmosacanthus fitzroyensis n. g., n. sp. from threadfin fishes (Polynemidae) of northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Smales, Lesley R

    2012-06-01

    Isthmosacanthus fitzroyensis n. g., n. sp. is described from two species of protandrous fish, Eleutheronema tetradactylum (Shaw) and Polydactylus macrochir (Günther), from the waters around the coast of northern Australian. The new species can be distinguished from all others by the following combination of characters: proboscis shape and armature (22 rows of 13-14 hooks), short neck, trunk spined anteriorly and having two swellings (one bulbous) with a narrow isthmus in between, long tubular lemnisci and six tubular cement glands. Although I. fitzroyensis has been confused with a species of Pomphorhynchus Monticelli, 1905 in the literature, it can be distinguished from all pomphorhynchids, including species of Longicollum Yamaguti, 1935 and Pyriproboscis Amin, Abdullah & Mhaisen, 2003, by the suite of characters listed above. The placement of the species of Pyriproboscis in the Pomphorhynchidae Yamaguti, 1939 is problematical, because it has a short neck, two distinct hook types comprising the proboscis armature and only two rather than six cement glands. A new family, the Isthmosacanthidae n. fam., is erected to contain Isthmosacanthus together with Gorgorhynchoides Cable & Linderoth, 1963 and Golvanorhynchus Noronha, Fabio & Pinto, 1978, genera having an elongate to clavate proboscis, anterior trunk spines, elongate lemnisci, and six tubular cement glands. The validity of this determination, based on the importance of cement gland number and phylogenetic analysis, is argued.

  15. A quantitative adverse outcome pathway model for thyroid axis disruption in Xenopus laevis tadpoles

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of Xenopus laevis tadpoles is tightly controlled by the thyroid hormones tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Toxicity testing efforts have shown that several compounds interfere with development in X. laevis tadpoles by disrupting the thyroid axis a...

  16. Homoeologous chromosomes of Xenopus laevis are highly conserved after whole-genome duplication.

    PubMed

    Uno, Y; Nishida, C; Takagi, C; Ueno, N; Matsuda, Y

    2013-11-01

    It has been suggested that whole-genome duplication (WGD) occurred twice during the evolutionary process of vertebrates around 450 and 500 million years ago, which contributed to an increase in the genomic and phenotypic complexities of vertebrates. However, little is still known about the evolutionary process of homoeologous chromosomes after WGD because many duplicate genes have been lost. Therefore, Xenopus laevis (2n=36) and Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis (2n=20) are good animal models for studying the process of genomic and chromosomal reorganization after WGD because X. laevis is an allotetraploid species that resulted from WGD after the interspecific hybridization of diploid species closely related to X. tropicalis. We constructed a comparative cytogenetic map of X. laevis using 60 complimentary DNA clones that covered the entire chromosomal regions of 10 pairs of X. tropicalis chromosomes. We consequently identified all nine homoeologous chromosome groups of X. laevis. Hybridization signals on two pairs of X. laevis homoeologous chromosomes were detected for 50 of 60 (83%) genes, and the genetic linkage is highly conserved between X. tropicalis and X. laevis chromosomes except for one fusion and one inversion and also between X. laevis homoeologous chromosomes except for two inversions. These results indicate that the loss of duplicated genes and inter- and/or intrachromosomal rearrangements occurred much less frequently in this lineage, suggesting that these events were not essential for diploidization of the allotetraploid genome in X. laevis after WGD.

  17. Toxicity of selenium to developing Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Browne, C L; Dumont, J N

    1979-07-01

    Se in the form of sodium selenite is toxic to Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles continuously exposed to concentrations above 1 ppm. Concentrations of 2 ppm and above result in severe developmental abnormalities and increased mortality. Uptake and loss of radioactive Se from water are rapid, but depuration is not complete indicating that some Se can remain bound by the organism. The facts that Se is toxic at low levels to Xenopus embryos and tadpoles, can cause developmental abnormalities, and accumulates in tissues suggest that increased release of Se compounds into the environment poses a potential threat to aquatic organisms.

  18. Susceptibility of early life stages of Xenopus laevis to cadmium

    SciTech Connect

    Herkovits, J.; Perez-Coll, C.S.; Cardellini, P.; Pavanati, C.

    1997-02-01

    The susceptibility of Xenopus laevis to cadmium during different stages of development was evaluated by exposing embryos to cadmium concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 mg Cd{sup 2+}/L for 24, 48, and 72 h and assessing lethality and malformations. Susceptibility increased from the two blastomeres stage (stage 2) to stage 40, in which the 24-h LC100 was 1.13 mg Cd{sup 2+}/L, and resistance increased from this stage onward. Malformations occurred at all developmental stages evaluated, the most common being reduced size, incurvated axis, underdeveloped or abnormally developed fin, microcephaly, and microphtalmy. Scanning electron microscopy revealed changes in the ectodermal surface ranging from slightly vaulted cells to a severe reduction in the number of ciliated cells as the concentration of cadmium increased. The intraspecific variation evaluated in embryos (from four sets of parents) at seven developmental stages, expressed as the coefficient of variation of the LC100, ranged from 10 to 112% and reflects the capacity of Xenopus laevis to adapt to changing environmental conditions at different embryonic stages.

  19. Cutaneous acariasis in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Ford, Timothy R; Dillehay, Dirck L; Mook, Deborah M

    2004-12-01

    Increased mortality was observed in a single colony of 50 Xenopus laevis. The frogs were used as oocyte donors in developmental biology studies. Necropsy findings included dermal erythema and petechiation consistent with red leg syndrome; dermal ulcerations and white, filamentous growths on the skin were consistent with Saprolegnia sp. Microscopic evaluation of the skin and fungus revealed an astigmatid mite similar to those of the genus Rhizoglyphus. The mite was also found in the water and the biological filter of the tanks housing the frogs. This mite is considered not to be a parasite of X. laevis; instead, it feeds off moss, fungi, and detritus. Subsequent evaluation of the sphagnum moss used for shipping the frogs from the supplier revealed the same mite in the moss. Our hypothesis is that the mite was introduced into the tank with the shipment of new frogs in sphagnum moss. The mites lived within the biological filter, and were only found after the growth of Saprolegnia sp. attracted the mites to the frogs. Laboratory animal care and veterinary personnel should consider non-pathogenic species of mites in the differential diagnosis of acariasis in Xenopus frogs.

  20. Mapping neurogenesis onset in the optic tectum of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Herrgen, Leah; Akerman, Colin J.

    2016-01-01

    Neural progenitor cells have a central role in the development and evolution of the vertebrate brain. During early brain development, neural progenitors first expand their numbers through repeated proliferative divisions and then begin to exhibit neurogenic divisions. The transparent and experimentally accessible optic tectum of Xenopus laevis is an excellent model system for the study of the cell biology of neurogenesis, but the precise spatial and temporal relationship between proliferative and neurogenic progenitors has not been explored in this system. Here we construct a spatial map of proliferative and neurogenic divisions through lineage tracing of individual progenitors and their progeny. We find a clear spatial separation of proliferative and neurogenic progenitors along the anterior-posterior axis of the optic tectum, with proliferative progenitors located more posteriorly and neurogenic progenitors located more anteriorly. Since individual progenitors are repositioned toward more anterior locations as they mature, this spatial separation likely reflects an increased restriction in the proliferative potential of individual progenitors. We then examined whether the transition from proliferative to neurogenic behavior correlates with cellular properties that have previously been implicated in regulating neurogenesis onset. Our data reveal that the transition from proliferation to neurogenesis is associated with a small change in cleavage plane orientation and a more pronounced change in cell cycle kinetics in a manner reminiscent of observations from mammalian systems. Our findings highlight the potential to use the optic tectum of Xenopus laevis as an accessible system for the study of the cell biology of neurogenesis. PMID:27358457

  1. Metazoan parasites from herring (Clupea harengus L.) as biological indicators in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Unger, Patrick; Klimpel, Sven; Lang, Thomas; Palm, Harry Wilhelm

    2014-09-01

    Zoographical distribution of metazoan fish parasites in herring, Clupea harengus, from the Baltic Sea was analysed in order to use them as potential biological indicators. A total of 210 herring from six different sampling sites were investigated, harbouring 12 different parasite species [five digeneans (D), one cestode (C), three nematodes (N) and three acanthocephalans (A)]. The distribution of the parasite species differed according to region, with a distinct gradient of decreasing species richness towards the east of the Baltic Sea. The western localities at Kiel Bay, Rügen and Poland had the highest parasite diversity, including the marine parasite species Anisakis simplex (s.s.) (N), Brachyphallus crenatus and Hemiurus luehei (both D). The eastern localities had low parasite species richness, predominated by the freshwater digenean Diplostomum spathaceum. We could identify three different Baltic herring stocks, the spring-spawning herring of the western Baltic reaching from the Kattegat to the German and Polish coast, the stock of the central Baltic proper and the northern stock of C. harengus var. membras of the Gulf of Finland. The limited distribution of the herring parasites within the Baltic Sea enables their use as biological indicators for migration patterns and stock separation. The acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis that has already been used as an accumulation bioindicator for heavy metals was only recorded for the western herring stocks. However, the presence of mainly generalistic parasites and their uneven distribution patterns make their use as indicators for regional environmental and global change more difficult.

  2. Spiral Calcium Wave Propagation and Annihilation in Xenopus laevis Oocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lechleiter, James; Girard, Steven; Peralta, Ernest; Clapham, David

    1991-04-01

    Intracellular calcium (Ca2+) is a ubiquitous second messenger. Information is encoded in the magnitude, frequency, and spatial organization of changes in the concentration of cytosolic free Ca2+. Regenerative spiral waves of release of free Ca2+ were observed by confocal microscopy in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. This pattern of Ca2+ activity is characteristic of an intracellular milieu that behaves as a regenerative excitable medium. The minimal critical radius for propagation of focal Ca2+ waves (10.4 micrometers) and the effective diffusion constant for the excitation signal (2.3 x 10-6 square centimeters per second) were estimated from measurements of velocity and curvature of circular wavefronts expanding from foci. By modeling Ca2+ release with cellular automata, the absolute refractory period for Ca2+ stores (4.7 seconds) was determined. Other phenomena expected of an excitable medium, such as wave propagation of undiminished amplitude and annihilation of colliding wavefronts, were observed.

  3. Sexually differentiated central pattern generators in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Zornik, Erik; Yamaguchi, Ayako

    2008-06-01

    Understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie the function of central pattern generators (CPGs) presents a formidable challenge requiring sophisticated tools and well-chosen model systems. In this article, we describe recent work on vocalizations of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. These behaviors are driven by sexually differentiated CPGs and are exceptionally well suited to this objective. In particular, a simplified mechanism of vocal production (independent of respiratory musculature) allows straightforward interpretations of nerve activity with respect to behavior. Furthermore, the development of a fictively vocalizing isolated brain, together with the finding of rapid androgen-induced masculinization of female vocalizations, provides an invaluable tool for determining how new behaviors arise from existing circuits.

  4. Cytoplasmic effect on gene function in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Yu, H J; Shi, C P; Niu, M C

    1987-05-01

    The pigmentation gene of Xenopus laevis is dominant and that of albino aP mutant recessive. Heterologous haploid hybrids are produced by UV inactivation of the egg nuclei during second polar body formation in the mutant sperm-fertilized Xenopus eggs. During development of these hybrids, melanin appeared in the eye and melanophores in the skin at stages comparable to those of the wild type, but much earlier than in the albino mutant. The number and intensity of pigment cells are intermediate between the black Xenopus and albino mutant. While a number of pigment cells remain in the hybrids, those in the albino eventually degenerate. Therefore, the development and maintenance of pigmentation in heterologous hybrids are contributed by Xenopus cytoplasm. Tadpole tail-tips were squashed and stained for chromosome counting. The results show that Xenopus and mutants are diploid (36 chromosomes) and heterologous haploid hybrids have 18 chromosomes.

  5. Sexually differentiated central pattern generators in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Zornik, Erik; Yamaguchi, Ayako

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie the function of central pattern generators (CPGs) presents a formidable challenge requiring sophisticated tools and well-chosen model systems. In this article, we describe recent work on vocalizations of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. These behaviors are driven by sexually differentiated CPGs and are exceptionally well suited to this objective. In particular, a simplified mechanism of vocal production (independent of respiratory musculature) allows straightforward interpretations of nerve activity with respect to behavior. Furthermore, the development of a fictively vocalizing isolated brain, together with the finding of rapid androgen-induced masculinization of female vocalizations, provides an invaluable tool for determining how new behaviors arise from existing circuits. PMID:18471902

  6. Characterization of histone genes isolated from Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis genomic libraries.

    PubMed Central

    Ruberti, I; Fragapane, P; Pierandrei-Amaldi, P; Beccari, E; Amaldi, F; Bozzoni, I

    1982-01-01

    Using a cDNA clone for the histone H3 we have isolated, from two genomic libraries of Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, clones containing four different histone gene clusters. The structural organization of X. laevis histone genes has been determined by restriction mapping, Southern blot hybridization and translation of the mRNAs which hybridize to the various restriction fragments. The arrangement of the histone genes in X. tropicalis has been determined by Southern analysis using X. laevis genomic fragments, containing individual genes, as probes. Histone genes are clustered in the genome of X. laevis and X. tropicalis and, compared to invertebrates, show a higher organization heterogeneity as demonstrated by structural analysis of the four genomic clones. In fact, the order of the genes within individual clusters is not conserved. Images PMID:6296782

  7. THYROID AXIS INHIBITION IN XENOPUS LAEVIS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN-BASED SCREENING ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    In response to the initial EDSTAC recommendations, research was conducted on the development of a Xenopus laevis based tail resorption assay for evaluating thyroid axis disruption. These experiments highlighted key limitations associated with relying on tail resorption as a measu...

  8. Skin wound healing in different aged Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Bertolotti, Evelina; Malagoli, Davide; Franchini, Antonella

    2013-08-01

    Xenopus froglets can perfectly heal skin wounds without scarring. To explore whether this capacity is maintained as development proceeds, we examined the cellular responses during the repair of skin injury in 8- and 15-month-old Xenopus laevis. The morphology and sequence of healing phases (i.e., inflammation, new tissue formation, and remodeling) were independent of age, while the timing was delayed in older frogs. At the beginning of postinjury, wound re-epithelialization occurred in form of a thin epithelium followed by a multilayered epidermis containing cells with apoptotic patterns and keratinocytes stained by anti-inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) antibody. The inflammatory response, early activated by recruitment of blood cells immunoreactive to anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, iNOS, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, persisted over time. The dermis repaired by a granulation tissue with extensive angiogenesis, inflammatory cells, fibroblasts, and anti-α-SMA positive myofibroblasts. As the healing progressed, wounded areas displayed vascular regression, decrease in cellularity, and rearrangement of provisional matrix. The epidermis restored to a prewound morphology while granulation tissue was replaced by a fibrous tissue in a scar-like pattern. The quantitative PCR analysis demonstrated an up-regulated expression of Xenopus suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (XSOCS-3) and Xenopus transforming growth factor-β2 (XTGF-β2) soon after wounding and peak levels were detected when granulation tissue was well developed with a large number of inflammatory cells. The findings indicate that X. laevis skin wound healing occurred by a combination of regeneration (in epidermis) and repair (in dermis) and, in contrast to froglet scarless wound healing, the growth to a more mature adult stage is associated with a decrease in regenerative capacity with scar-like tissue formation.

  9. The first record of the slender sunfish Ranzania laevis from the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Abu El-Regal, M A; El-Moselhy, K

    2013-11-01

    A female specimen of the slender sunfish Ranzania laevis of 600 mm total length was recorded for the first time from the Red Sea after being stranded on a shallow sandy bay at Hurghada beach (27° 06' 16″ N; 33° 50' 01″ E) on 13 May 2012. Ranzania laevis is believed to have migrated from the Indian Ocean as the nearest area where it was found is coastal waters of Oman.

  10. Developing Xenopus Laevis as a Model to Screen Drugs for Fragile X Syndrome

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-12-1-0207 TITLE: Developing Xenopus Laevis as a Model to...COVERED 30 September 2012 – 31 March 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Developing Xenopus Laevis as a Model to Screen Drugs for Fragile X 5a. CONTRACT...that Xenopus is a valuable system in which to model Fragile X Syndrome. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Fragile X Syndrome, Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein

  11. Biochemical and Hematologic Reference Intervals for Aged Xenopus laevis in a Research Colony.

    PubMed

    Chang, Angela G; Hu, Jing; Lake, Elizabeth; Bouley, Donna M; Johns, Jennifer L

    2015-09-01

    Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog, is commonly used in developmental and toxicology research studies. Little information is available on aged X. laevis; however, with the complete mapping of the genome and the availability of transgenic animal models, the number of aged animals in research colonies is increasing. The goals of this study were to obtain biochemical and hematologic parameters to establish reference intervals for aged X. laevis and to compare results with those from young adult X. laevis. Blood samples were collected from laboratory reared, female frogs (n = 52) between the ages of 10 and 14 y. Reference intervals were generated for 30 biochemistry analytes and full hematologic analysis; these data were compared with prior results for young X. laevis from the same vendor. Parameters that were significantly higher in aged compared with young frogs included calcium, calcium:phosphorus ratio, total protein, albumin, HDL, amylase, potassium, CO2, and uric acid. Parameters found to be significantly lower in aged frogs included glucose, AST, ALT, cholesterol, BUN, BUN:creatinine ratio, phosphorus, triglycerides, LDL, lipase, sodium, chloride, sodium:potassium ratio, and anion gap. Hematology data did not differ between young and old frogs. These findings indicate that chemistry reference intervals for young X. laevis may be inappropriate for use with aged frogs.

  12. Biochemical and Hematologic Reference Intervals for Aged Xenopus laevis in a Research Colony

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Angela G; Hu, Jing; Lake, Elizabeth; Bouley, Donna M; Johns, Jennifer L

    2015-01-01

    Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog, is commonly used in developmental and toxicology research studies. Little information is available on aged X. laevis; however, with the complete mapping of the genome and the availability of transgenic animal models, the number of aged animals in research colonies is increasing. The goals of this study were to obtain biochemical and hematologic parameters to establish reference intervals for aged X. laevis and to compare results with those from young adult X. laevis. Blood samples were collected from laboratory reared, female frogs (n = 52) between the ages of 10 and 14 y. Reference intervals were generated for 30 biochemistry analytes and full hematologic analysis; these data were compared with prior results for young X. laevis from the same vendor. Parameters that were significantly higher in aged compared with young frogs included calcium, calcium:phosphorus ratio, total protein, albumin, HDL, amylase, potassium, CO2, and uric acid. Parameters found to be significantly lower in aged frogs included glucose, AST, ALT, cholesterol, BUN, BUN:creatinine ratio, phosphorus, triglycerides, LDL, lipase, sodium, chloride, sodium:potassium ratio, and anion gap. Hematology data did not differ between young and old frogs. These findings indicate that chemistry reference intervals for young X. laevis may be inappropriate for use with aged frogs. PMID:26424243

  13. New and already known acanthocephalans from amphibians and reptiles in Vietnam, with keys to species of Pseudoacanthocephalus Petrochenko, 1956 (Echinorhynchidae) and Sphaerechinorhynchus Johnston and Deland, 1929 (Plagiorhynchidae).

    PubMed

    Amin, Omar M; Ha, Ngyuen Van; Heckmann, Richard A

    2008-02-01

    Adults of 2 new species in 2 orders of acanthocephalans obtained from the intestines of terrestrial amphibians and reptiles collected between 1998 and 2004 in Vietnam are described here. Pseudoacanthocephalus nguyenthileae n. sp. (Palaeacnthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) was collected from 5 species of terrestrial amphibians: (1) the common Sunda toad Bufo melanostictus Schneider (Bufonidae); (2) Paa verucospinosa (Bourret); (3) Gunther's Amoy frog Rana guentheri Boulenger; (4) Taipei frog R. taipehensis Denburgh (Ranidae), and (5) the Burmese whipping frog Polypedates mutus (Smith) (Racophoridae); as well as from the Chinese cobra Naja atra Cantor (Reptilia: Elapidae) and house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus Dumeril and Bibron (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Sphaerechinorhynchus maximesospinus n. sp. (Plagiorhynchidae: Sphaerechinorhynchinae) was isolated from a king cobra Ophiophagus hannah (cantor) (Reptilia: Elapidae). Cystacanths of Porrorchis houdemeri (Joyeux and Baer, 1935) Schmidt and Kuntz, 1967 (Plagiorhynchidae: Porrorchinae) obtained from the mesenteries of banded krait Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider) (Reptilia: Elapidae), a paratenic host, are reported for the first time. Keys to the species of Pseudoacanthocephalus and Sphaerechinorhynchus are included. Characteristic features distinguishing the new species from related taxa include: P. nguyenthileae has 15-19 (usually 16-18) proboscis hook rows, each with 5-6 hooks that progressively increase in length and size posteriorly. The largest, intermediate, and smallest proboscis hooks of S. maximesospinus are the middle, anterior, and posterior hooks, respectively; the proboscis and neck are enclosed in a membrane. Morphometric characteristics of P. nguyenthileae show host-related variability.

  14. Developmental Toxicity of Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products to Embryos of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-06-10

    developmental toxicity tests with embryos of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis used to evaluate four individual DWDB; bromodichloromethane...SUBJECT TERMS Developmental toxicity; FETAX; water disinfection by-products; frogs ; Xenopus laevis; embryo malformations; embryo mortality...Disinfection By-Products to Embryos of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) L. M. Brennan,1 M. W. Toussaint,1 D. M. Kumsher,1 W. E. Dennis,’ A. B

  15. Xenopus laevis - A success story in biological research in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horn, E.

    A feature of sensory, neuronal and motor systems is the existence of a critical period during their development. Environmental modifications, in particular stimulus depri-vation, during this period of life affects development in a long-term manner. For gravity sensory systems, space flights offer the only opportunity for deprivation conditions. Studies in the amphibian Xenopus laevis presented the most complete picture. The presentation demonstrates the importance of Xenopus laevis as an ex-perimental model animal in the past and even for future research in Space. Studies are presented which range from fertilization in Space and anatomical studies during early development under weightlessness up to post-flight studies on the anatomy of the peripheral sense organ, the spinal motor activity and behavior. Gravity depriva-tion induces anatomical as well as behavioral and neurophysiological modifications, which are normalized either during flight (thickening of the blastocoel roof) or after reentry in 1g-conditions (swimming and reflex behavior, spinal motor activity). The physiological changes can be explained by mechanisms of physiological adaptation. However, the studies also revealed stages which were insensitive to gravity depriva-tion; they point to the existence of a critical period. Observations on morphological mal-formations are described which are reversible after termination of microgravity and which are linked to a depression of vestibular reflex behavior. They might be caused by a competition between dorsalization and ventralization inducing growth factors. This observation offers the possibility for a genetic approach in finding ba-sics for microgravity effects on the development of Xenopus, and in a general frame, on the development of vertebrates including men. At the present stage of research, it remains open whether adaptive processes during exposure to altered gravity or the existence of a critical period in vestibular development are responsible for

  16. Transient effects of microgravity on early embryos of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    De Mazière, A; Gonzalez-Jurado, J; Reijnen, M; Narraway, J; Ubbels, G A

    1996-01-01

    In order to study the role of gravity on the early development of the clawed toad Xenopus laevis, we performed an experiment on the Maser-6 sounding rocket launched from Kiruna (Sweden) on 4 Nov 1993. The aim was to find out whether a short period of microgravity during fertilization and the first few minutes of development does indeed result in abnormal axis formation as was suggested by a pilot experiment on the Maser 3 in 1989. On the Maser 6 we used two new technical additions in the Fokker CIS unit, viz. a 1-g control centrifuge and a video recording unit which both worked successfully. The 1-g control centrifuge was used to discriminate between the influences of flight perturbations and microgravity. After fertilization shortly before launch, one of the first indications of successful egg activation, the cortical contraction, was registered in microgravity and on earth. Analysis of the video tapes revealed that the cortical contraction in microgravity starts earlier than at 1 g on earth. After recovery of the eggs fertilized in microgravity and culture of the embryos on earth, the morphology of the blastocoel has some consistent differences from blastulae from eggs fertilized in the 1-g centrifuge of the rocket. However from the gastrula stage onward, the microgravity embryos apparently recover and resume normal development: the XBra gene is normally expressed, and histological examination shows normal axis formation.

  17. Arrested development in Xenopus laevis tadpoles: how size constrains metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Rot-Nikcevic, Irena; Wassersug, Richard J

    2004-05-01

    Xenopus laevis tadpoles that arrest development and remain as larvae for several years sometimes occur spontaneously in laboratory populations. These tadpoles cease development at an early hindlimb stage, but continue to grow and develop into grossly deformed giants. Giant tadpoles lack thyroid glands, and differ in morphology and behaviour from normal larvae. They are negatively buoyant, typically with small and partially solidified lungs, and have greatly enlarged fat bodies. Giant tadpoles have mature gonads with eggs and sperm, whereas normal tadpoles of the same stage have undifferentiated gonads. Larval reproduction has never been reported in anurans, but gonadal development decoupled from metamorphosis brings these giants the closest of any anurans to being truly neotenic. We discuss behavioural and morphological factors that may hinder both reproduction in giant Xenopus larvae and the evolution of neoteny in anurans in general. Experimental treatment with exogenous thyroid hormone induces some, but not complete, metamorphic changes in these giants. The limbs and head progress through metamorphosis; however, all tadpoles die at the stage when the tail would normally be resorbed. The disproportionate growth of tissues and organs in giant tadpoles may preclude complete metamorphosis, even under exogenous thyroid hormone induction.

  18. Protein pattern of Xenopus laevis embryos grown in simulated microgravity.

    PubMed

    Tedeschi, Gabriella; Pagliato, Lara; Negroni, Manuela; Montorfano, Gigliola; Corsetto, Paola; Nonnis, Simona; Negri, Armando; Rizzo, Angela Maria

    2011-03-01

    Numerous studies indicate that microgravity affects cell growth and differentiation in many living organisms, and various processes are modified when cells are placed under conditions of weightlessness. However, until now, there is no coherent explanation for these observations, and little information is available concerning the biomolecules involved. Our aim has been to investigate the protein pattern of Xenopus laevis embryos exposed to simulated microgravity during the first 6 days of development. A proteomic approach was applied to compare the protein profiles of Xenopus embryos developed in simulated microgravity and in normal conditions. Attention was focused on embryos that do not present visible malformations in order to investigate if weightlessness has effects at protein level in the absence of macroscopic alterations. The data presented strongly suggest that some of the major components of the cytoskeleton vary in such conditions. Three major findings are described for the first time: (i) the expression of important factors involved in the organization and stabilization of the cytoskeleton, such as Arp (actin-related protein) 3 and stathmin, is heavily affected by microgravity; (ii) the amount of the two major cytoskeletal proteins, actin and tubulin, do not change in such conditions; however, (iii) an increase in the tyrosine nitration of these two proteins can be detected. The data suggest that, in the absence of morphological alterations, simulated microgravity affects the intracellular movement system of cells by altering cytoskeletal proteins heavily involved in the regulation of cytoskeleton remodelling.

  19. Genes for Xenopus laevis U3 small nuclear RNA.

    PubMed Central

    Savino, R; Hitti, Y; Gerbi, S A

    1992-01-01

    Genomic Southern blots showed there are only 14 to 20 copies of U3 snRNA genes per somatic genome in Xenopus laevis, unlike the highly repetitive, tandem arrangement of other snRNA genes in this organism. Sequencing of two U3 snRNA genes from lambda clones of a genomic library revealed striking similarity upstream, but much more divergence downstream. Consensus motifs common to other U snRNA genes were also found: a distal sequence element (DSE, octamer motif at -222 to -215), a proximal sequence element (PSE, at -62 to -52) and a 3' Box (15 or 16 bp downstream of the U3 genes). The DSE of mammals also has an inverted CCAAT motif specific for U3 snRNA genes, and we find this is conserved in the amphibian U3 snRNA genes. The Xenopus inverted CCAAT motif is exactly one helical turn further upstream of the octamer motif than its mammalian counterpart, suggesting interaction of putative transcription factors bound to these motifs. Mutation of the inverted CCAAT motif and part of an adjacent Sp1 site greatly depresses transcription of the mutant U3 snRNA gene in Xenopus oocytes, implying a role in transcriptional efficiency. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays implicate transcription factor binding to this region. Images PMID:1437561

  20. E2F and its developmental regulation in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Philpott, A; Friend, S H

    1994-01-01

    The transcription factor E2F has been implicated in cell cycle control by virtue of its association with cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, and pRb-related tumor suppressor gene products. Eggs and embryos from the frog Xenopus laevis have been used to investigate the characteristics of E2F-like molecules in the Xenopus cell cycle and throughout early development. We find multiple E2F species in Xenopus eggs, at least one of which is modified by phosphorylation. The vast majority of E2F remains in the free form throughout the very early embryonic cell cycle, and it also remains predominantly free until some time after the mid-blastula transition, the onset of zygotic transcription. At this time, E2F complexes significantly to pRb but not to cdk2, although cdk2 binding is found in tissue culture cells from a very advanced stage in embryogenesis. This suggests that the complexing of E2F to cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, and tumor suppressor gene products may be controlled separately in early Xenopus development. Thus, the association of E2F with other molecules may not result solely from processes affecting cell cycle progression but may also reflect developmental and differentiation cues. Images PMID:8007993

  1. The thymus and tail regenerative capacity in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Antonella; Bertolotti, Evelina

    2012-07-01

    A morphofunctional analysis of the thymus from differently aged Xenopus laevis tadpoles during regeneration of the tail is reported. In stage 50 larvae, competent to regenerate, the appendage cut provoked thymic structural modifications that affected the medullary microenvironment cells and changes in TNF-α immunoreactivity. Mucocyte-like cells, multicellular epithelial cysts, myoid cells and cells immunoreactive to TNF-α increased in number. Increased numbers of lymphocytes were also found in regenerating areas and, at the end of regeneration, thymic structural and immunocytochemical patterns were restored to control levels. The observed cellular responses and the induction of molecules critical for thymus constitutive processes suggest a stimulation of thymic function after tail amputation. In older larvae, whose capacity to form a new complete and correctly patterned tail was reduced, thymic morphological changes were more severe and may persist throughout the regeneration process with a significant reduction in organ size. In these larvae the histological patterns and the marked thymic decrease may be related to the events occurring during regeneration, i.e. the higher inflammatory response and the reduced tail regenerative potential.

  2. Xenopus laevis a success story of biological research in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horn, Eberhard R.

    2006-01-01

    The clawed toad Xenopus laevis is a common experimental animal used in many disciplines of life sciences, such as integrative, developmental and molecular biology or experimental medicine. Since 30 years, Xenopus is used in biological research in space. Important milestones were the years 1975, when Xenopus embryos flew for the first time on the Russian space station Salut-4 and 1994, when Xenopus eggs were successfully fertilized for the first time in space during the Japanese Spacelab mission STS-47 and developed in microgravity to vital tadpoles. Most Xenopus studies were related to embryogenesis and development. Observations during and after altered gravity revealed changes such as the thickening of the blastocoel roof, the dorsalization of the tail, and modifications of vestibular reflexes, fictive and freely swimming. Many changes were reversible even during microgravity exposure. Studies about the vestibuloocular reflex or synapse formation revealed an age-related sensitivity to altered gravity. Xenopus offers useful tools for studies about microgravity effects on living systems. Its oocyte is a suitable model to study ion channel function in space; the dorsalization model can be used to analyse growth factor sensibilities. Hardware for life support of adults, tadpoles and embryos (cf. SUPPLY unit in combination with miniaquaria) as well as for controlled experiments in space are prerequisites for an extension of research with Xenopus. The application aspect is based on the fact that fundamental research per se brings benefit to man.

  3. Basolateral Cl- uptake mechanisms in Xenopus laevis lung epithelium.

    PubMed

    Berger, Jens; Hardt, Martin; Clauss, Wolfgang G; Fronius, Martin

    2010-07-01

    A thin liquid layer covers the lungs of air-breathing vertebrates. Active ion transport processes via the pulmonary epithelial cells regulate the maintenance of this layer. This study focuses on basolateral Cl(-) uptake mechanisms in native lungs of Xenopus laevis and the involvement of the Na(+)/K(+)/2 Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC) and HCO(3)(-)/Cl(-) anion exchanger (AE), in particular. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining revealed the expression of the NKCC protein in the Xenopus lung. Ussing chamber experiments demonstrated that the NKCC inhibitors (bumetanide and furosemide) were ineffective at blocking the cotransporter under basal conditions, as well as under pharmacologically stimulated Cl(-)-secreting conditions (forskolin and chlorzoxazone application). However, functional evidence for the NKCC was detected by generating a transepithelial Cl(-) gradient. Further, we were interested in the involvement of the HCO(3)(-)/Cl(-) anion exchanger to transepithelial ion transport processes. Basolateral application of DIDS, an inhibitor of the AE, resulted in a significantly decreased the short-circuit current (I(SC)). The effect of DIDS was diminished by acetazolamide and reduced by increased external HCO(3)(-) concentrations. Cl(-) secretion induced by forskolin was decreased by DIDS, but this effect was abolished in the presence of HCO(3)(-). These experiments indicate that the AE at least partially contributes to Cl(-) secretion. Taken together, our data show that in Xenopus lung epithelia, the AE, rather than the NKCC, is involved in basolateral Cl(-) uptake, which contrasts with the common model for Cl(-) secretion in pulmonary epithelia.

  4. Teratogenic effects of five anticancer drugs on Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Isidori, Marina; Piscitelli, Concetta; Russo, Chiara; Smutná, Marie; Bláha, Luděk

    2016-11-01

    In recent years, the environmental presence of pharmaceuticals - including anticancer drugs - is an emerging issue. Because of the lack of appropriate critical studies about anticancer drug effects in frogs, the aim of the present study was to investigate lethal and teratogenic effects of five anticancer drugs widely used in large quantities, i.e. 5-flourouracil, capecitabine, cisplatin, etoposide, and imatinib, in the embryos of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, using FETAX - Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay in Xenopus. None of the studied anticancer drugs induced statistically significant mortality within the concentrations tested (0.01-50mg/L, depending on the studied compound), and no growth inhibition of embryos after a 96-h exposure was observed. Except for cisplatin, the other pharmaceuticals induced an increase of developmental malformations such as abdominal edema, axial flexure, head, eyes, gut and heart malformations with statistically significant effects observed at the highest concentrations tested (50mg/L for 5-flourouracil; 30mg/L for etoposide and 20mg/L for capecitabine and imatinib). The results indicate that anticancer drugs can affect embryogenesis mechanisms.

  5. Valproate-induced neurodevelopmental deficits in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    James, Eric J; Gu, Jenny; Ramirez-Vizcarrondo, Carolina M; Hasan, Mashfiq; Truszkowski, Torrey L S; Tan, Yuqi; Oupravanh, Phouangmaly M; Khakhalin, Arseny S; Aizenman, Carlos D

    2015-02-18

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasingly thought to result from low-level deficits in synaptic development and neural circuit formation that cascade into more complex cognitive symptoms. However, the link between synaptic dysfunction and behavior is not well understood. By comparing the effects of abnormal circuit formation and behavioral outcomes across different species, it should be possible to pinpoint the conserved fundamental processes that result in disease. Here we use a novel model for neurodevelopmental disorders in which we expose Xenopus laevis tadpoles to valproic acid (VPA) during a critical time point in brain development at which neurogenesis and neural circuit formation required for sensory processing are occurring. VPA is a commonly prescribed antiepileptic drug with known teratogenic effects. In utero exposure to VPA in humans or rodents results in a higher incidence of ASD or ASD-like behavior later in life. We find that tadpoles exposed to VPA have abnormal sensorimotor and schooling behavior that is accompanied by hyperconnected neural networks in the optic tectum, increased excitatory and inhibitory synaptic drive, elevated levels of spontaneous synaptic activity, and decreased neuronal intrinsic excitability. Consistent with these findings, VPA-treated tadpoles also have increased seizure susceptibility and decreased acoustic startle habituation. These findings indicate that the effects of VPA are remarkably conserved across vertebrate species and that changes in neural circuitry resulting from abnormal developmental pruning can cascade into higher-level behavioral deficits.

  6. A restriction map of Xenopus laevis mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Cordonnier, A M; Vannier, P A; Brun, G M

    1982-08-01

    The mitochondrial DNA from Xenopus laevis is a 17.4 x 10(3)-base-pair circular DNA molecule. The mapping of this DNA, using 19 different restriction endonucleases is reported here. The sites are as follows: 1 for BamHI, PstI, SacI, SalI, BalI; 2 for BglII, SacII, EcoRI, ClaI, 3 for XhoI, 4 for AvaI, XbaI, PvuII, 5 for HindIII, 6 for HhaI, BclI, HpaI, 10 for AvaII and 11 for HincII. The same sites (except for one of the two ClaI sites) are observed in the molecule cloned in pBR322 DNA. The fragments corresponding to 62 cleavage sites have all been ordered and precisely located. They provide suitable conditions for further investigations connected with the study of replication and nucleotide sequence determination of this molecule.

  7. The mouse muscle creatine kinase promoter faithfully drives reporter gene expression in transgenic Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Lim, Wayland; Neff, Eric S; Furlow, J David

    2004-06-17

    Developing Xenopus laevis experience two periods of muscle differentiation, once during embryogenesis and again at metamorphosis. During metamorphosis, thyroid hormone induces both muscle growth in the limbs and muscle death in the tail. In mammals, the muscle creatine kinase (MCK) gene is activated during the differentiation from myoblasts to myocytes and has served as both a marker for muscle development and to drive transgene expression in transgenic mice. Transcriptional control elements are generally highly conserved throughout evolution, potentially allowing mouse promoter use in transgenic X. laevis. This paper compares endogenous X. laevis MCK gene expression and the mouse MCK (mMCK) promoter driving a green fluorescent protein reporter in transgenic X. laevis. The mMCK promoter demonstrated strong skeletal muscle-specific transgene expression in both the juvenile tadpole and adult frog. Therefore, our results clearly demonstrate the functional conservation of regulatory sequences in vertebrate muscle gene promoters and illustrate the utility of using X. laevis transgenesis for detailed comparative study of mammalian promoter activity in vivo.

  8. Enolase isoenzymes in adult and developing Xenopus laevis and characterization of a cloned enolase sequence.

    PubMed Central

    Segil, N; Shrutkowski, A; Dworkin, M B; Dworkin-Rastl, E

    1988-01-01

    As part of a study of glycolysis during early development we have examined the pattern of expression of enolase isoenzymes in Xenopus laevis. In addition, the nucleotide sequence of a cDNA clone coding for the complete amino acid sequence of one enolase gene (ENO1) in X. laevis was determined. X. laevis ENO1 shows highest homology to mammalian non-neuronal enolase. Analysis of enolase isoenzymes in X. laevis by non-denaturing electrophoresis on cellulose acetate strips revealed five isoenzymes. One form was present in all tissues tested, two additional forms were expressed in oocytes, embryos, adult liver and adult brain, and two further forms were restricted to larval and adult muscle. Since enolase is a dimer, three different monomers (gene products) could account for the observed number of isoenzymes. This pattern of enolase isoenzyme expression in X. laevis differs from that of birds and mammals. In birds and mammals the most acidic form is neuron-specific and there is only one major isoenzyme expressed in the liver. RNAase protection experiments showed the presence of ENO1 mRNA in oocytes, liver and muscle, suggesting that it codes for a non-tissue-restricted isoenzyme. ENO1 mRNA concentrations are high in early oocytes, decrease during oogenesis and decrease further after fertilization. Enolase protein, however, is maintained at high concentrations throughout this period. Images Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. PMID:3390159

  9. Identification and Bioinformatics Analyses of the Basic Helix-loop-helix Transcription Factors in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wuyi; Li, Fengmei

    2015-04-01

    Xenopus laevis is a long established model organism for developmental, behavioral and neurological studies. Herein, an updated genome-wide survey was conducted using the ongoing genome project of Xenopus laevis and 106 non-redundant Basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) genes were identified in the Xenopus laevis genome databases. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment statistics showed 51 significant GO annotations of biological processes and molecular functions and 5 significant KEGG pathways and a number of Xenopus laevis bHLH genes play significant role in specific development or special physiology processes like the development processes of muscle and eye and other organs. Furthermore, each sub-group of the bHLH family has its special gene functions except for the common GO term categories. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that among these identified bHLH proteins, 105 sequences could classified into 39 families with 46, 25, 10, 5, 16 and 3 members in the corresponding high-order groups A, B, C, D, E and F, respectively with an addition bHLH member categorized as an orphan. The present study provides much useful information for further researches on Xenopus laevis.

  10. [Xenopus laevis peroxiredoxins: Gene expression during development and characterization of the enzymes].

    PubMed

    Sharapov, M G; Novoselov, V I; Ravin, V K

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced via catabolic and anabolic processes during normal embryonic development, and ROS content in the cell is maintained at a certain level. Peroxiredoxins are a family of selenium-independent peroxidases and play a key role in maintaining redox homeostasis of the cell. In addition to regulating the ROS level, peroxiredoxins are involved in intracellular and intercellular signaling, cell differentiation, and tissue development. The time course of peroxiredoxin gene (prx1-6) expression was studied in Xenopus laevis during early ontogeny (Nieuwkoop and Faber stages 10-63). The highest expression level was observed for prx1 at these developmental stages. The prx1, prx3, and prx4 expression level changed most dramatically in response to oxidative stress artificially induced in X. laevis embryos. In X. laevis adults, prx1-6 were all intensely expressed in all organs examined, the prx1 expression level being the highest. The X. laevis prx1-6 genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and physico-chemical characteristics were compared for the recombinant enzymes. The highest peroxidase activity and thermal stability were observed for Prx1 and Prx2. It was assumed that Prx1 plays a leading role in X. laevis early development.

  11. Xenopus laevis is a potential alternative model animal species to study reproductive toxicity of phytoestrogens.

    PubMed

    Cong, Lin; Qin, Zhan-Fen; Jing, Xiang-Ning; Yang, Lei; Zhou, Jing-Ming; Xu, Xiao-Bai

    2006-05-10

    This study investigated effects of phytoestrogen quercetin on the gonadal development in Xenopus laevis. X. laevis at Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 46/47 were exposed to 50, 100 and 200 microg/L quercetin till 1 month postmetamorphosis. Gonads from frogs at 1 and 3 months postmetamorphosis were examined in gross morphology and histology. The highest dose of quercetin as well as estradiol (E2) significantly increased the percentages of phenotypic females. Exposure to quercetin at all doses induced abnormal testes with certain ovarian characteristics to some degree in gross morphology, including ovotestes. The abnormality rate exceeded 10% in each quercetin treatment. Histologic examination revealed that some abnormal testes exhibited intersexuality with testicular structure and ovarian structure or oocytes interspersed in testicular structure at 1 month postmetamorphosis. At 3 months postmetamorphosis, testicular abnormalities were more obvious, such as necrosis or apoptosis of spermatogonia, occurrence of developed or undeveloped oocytes, delay of the development of seminiferous tubes without or less late stage spermatocytes. The results have shown that quercetin cannot only feminize but also impair testicular development of X. laevis, i.e. X. laevis is sensitive to phytoestrogen. It is suggested that X. laevis might be an alternative model species to study reproductive toxicity of phytoestrogens.

  12. Making muscle: Morphogenetic movements and molecular mechanisms of myogenesis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Sabillo, Armbien; Ramirez, Julio; Domingo, Carmen R

    2016-03-01

    Xenopus laevis offers unprecedented access to the intricacies of muscle development. The large, robust embryos make it ideal for manipulations at both the tissue and molecular level. In particular, this model system can be used to fate map early muscle progenitors, visualize cell behaviors associated with somitogenesis, and examine the role of signaling pathways that underlie induction, specification, and differentiation of muscle. Several characteristics that are unique to X. laevis include myogenic waves with distinct gene expression profiles and the late formation of dermomyotome and sclerotome. Furthermore, myogenesis in the metamorphosing frog is biphasic, facilitating regeneration studies. In this review, we describe the morphogenetic movements that shape the somites and discuss signaling and transcriptional regulation during muscle development and regeneration. With recent advances in gene editing tools, X. laevis remains a premier model organism for dissecting the complex mechanisms underlying the specification, cell behaviors, and formation of the musculature system.

  13. Retention of duplicated ITAM-containing transmembrane signaling subunits in the tetraploid amphibian species Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Guselnikov, S V; Grayfer, L; De Jesús Andino, F; Rogozin, I B; Robert, J; Taranin, A V

    2015-11-01

    The ITAM-bearing transmembrane signaling subunits (TSS) are indispensable components of activating leukocyte receptor complexes. The TSS-encoding genes map to paralogous chromosomal regions, which are thought to arise from ancient genome tetraploidization(s). To assess a possible role of tetraploidization in the TSS evolution, we studied TSS and other functionally linked genes in the amphibian species Xenopus laevis whose genome was duplicated about 40 MYR ago. We found that X. laevis has retained a duplicated set of sixteen TSS genes, all except one being transcribed. Furthermore, duplicated TCRα loci and genes encoding TSS-coupling protein kinases have also been retained. No clear evidence for functional divergence of the TSS paralogs was obtained from gene expression and sequence analyses. We suggest that the main factor of maintenance of duplicated TSS genes in X. laevis was a protein dosage effect and that this effect might have facilitated the TSS set expansion in early vertebrates.

  14. Composite transposable elements in the Xenopus laevis genome.

    PubMed Central

    Garrett, J E; Knutzon, D S; Carroll, D

    1989-01-01

    Members of two related families of transposable elements, Tx1 and Tx2, were isolated from the genome of Xenopus laevis and characterized. In both families, two versions of the elements were found. The smaller version in each family (Tx1d and Tx2d) consisted largely of two types of 400-base-pair tandem internal repeats. These elements had discrete ends and short inverted terminal repeats characteristic of mobile DNAs that are presumed to move via DNA intermediates, e.g., Drosophila P and maize Ac elements. The longer versions (Tx1c and Tx2c) differed from Tx1d and Tx2d by the presence of a 6.9-kilobase-pair internal segment that included two long open reading frames (ORFs). ORF1 had one cysteine-plus-histidine-rich sequence of the type found in retroviral gag proteins. ORF2 showed more substantial homology to retroviral pol genes and particularly to the analogs of pol found in a subclass of mobile DNAs that are supposed retrotransposons, such as mammalian long interspersed repetitive sequences, Drosophila I factors, silkworm R1 elements, and trypanosome Ingi elements. Thus, the Tx1 elements present a paradox by exhibiting features of two classes of mobile DNAs that are thought to have very different modes of transposition. Two possible resolutions are considered: (i) the composite versions are actually made up of two independent elements, one of the retrotransposon class, which has a high degree of specificity for insertion into a target within the other, P-like element; and (ii) the composite elements are intact, autonomous mobile DNAs, in which the pol-like gene product collaborates with the terminal inverted repeats to cause transposition of the entire unit. Images PMID:2550791

  15. Molecular cloning and characterization of novel ficolins from Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Kakinuma, Yuji; Endo, Yuichi; Takahashi, Minoru; Nakata, Munehiro; Matsushita, Misao; Takenoshita, Seiichi; Fujita, Teizo

    2003-04-01

    Ficolins are proteins characterized by the presence of collagen- and fibrinogen-like domains. Two of three human ficolins, L-ficolin and H-ficolin, are serum lectins and are thought to play crucial roles in host defense through opsonization and complement activation. To elucidate the evolution of ficolins and the primordial complement lectin pathway, we cloned four ficolin cDNAs from Xenopus laevis, termed Xenopus ficolin (XeFCN) 1, 2, 3 and 4. The deduced amino acid sequences of the four ficolins revealed the conserved collagen- and fibrinogen-like domains. The full sequences of the four ficolins showed a 42-56% identity to human ficolins, and 60-83% between one another. Northern blots showed that XeFCN1 was expressed mainly in liver, spleen and heart, and XeFCN2 and XeFCN4 mainly in peripheral blood leukocytes, lung and spleen. We isolated ficolin proteins from Xenopus serum by affinity chromatography on N-acetylglucosamine-agarose, followed by ion-exchange chromatography. The final eluate showed polymeric bands composed of two components of 37 and 40 kDa. The N-terminal amino acid sequences and treatment with endoglycosidase F showed that the two bands are the same XeFCN1 protein with different masses of N-linked sugar. The polymeric form of the two types of XeFCN1 specifically recognized GlcNAc and GalNAc residues. These results suggest that like human L-ficolin, XeFCN1 functions in the circulation through its lectin activity.

  16. pdzrn3 is required for pronephros morphogenesis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Marracci, Silvia; Vangelisti, Alberto; Raffa, Vittoria; Andreazzoli, Massimiliano; Dente, Luciana

    2016-01-01

    Pdzrn3, a multidomain protein with E3-ubiquitin ligase activity, has been reported to play a role in myoblast and osteoblast differentiation and, more recently, in neuronal and endothelial cell development. The expression of the pdzrn3 gene is developmentally regulated in various vertebrate tissues, including muscular, neural and vascular system. Little is known about its expression during kidney development, although genetic polymorphisms and alterations around the human pdzrn3 chromosomal region have been found to be associated with renal cell carcinomas and other kidney diseases. We investigated the pdzrn3 spatio-temporal expression pattern in Xenopus laevis embryos by in situ hybridization. We focused our study on the development of the pronephros, which is the embryonic amphibian kidney, functionally similar to the most primitive nephric structures of human kidney. To explore the role of pdzrn3 during renal morphogenesis, we performed loss-of-function experiments, through antisense morpholino injections and analysed the morphants using specific pronephric markers. Dynamic pdzrn3 expression was observed in embryonic tissues, such as somites, brain, eye, blood islands, heart, liver and pronephros. Loss of function experiments resulted in specific alterations of pronephros development. In particular, at early stages, pdzrn3 depletion was associated with a reduction of the pronephros anlagen and later, with perturbations of the tubulogenesis, including deformation of the proximal tubules. Rescue experiments, in which mRNA of the zebrafish pdzrn3 orthologue was injected together with the morpholino, allowed recovery of the kidney phenotypes. These results underline the importance of pdzrn3 expression for correct nephrogenesis.

  17. Histochemical identification of sialylated glycans in Xenopus laevis testis

    PubMed Central

    Valbuena, Galder; Alonso, Edurne; Ubago, María Martínez; Madrid, Juan Francisco; Díaz-Flores, Lucio; Sáez, Francisco José

    2012-01-01

    Carbohydrate chains of glycoprotein and glycosphingolipids are highly diverse molecules involved in many cell functions, including cell recognition, adhesion and signalling. Sialylated glycans are of special interest because the terminal position of sialic acid (NeuAc) in glycans linked by different ways to subterminal monosaccharides has been shown to be involved in several biological processes, as occurs with gangliosides, which have been reported as being essential in spermatogenesis in mammals. Some glycan-binding proteins, the lectins, which specifically recognize glycan sequences, have been extensively used to characterize tissue and cell carbohydrates by means of cytochemical techniques. The aim of the present work was to determine the presence of NeuAc by means of histochemical techniques in the testis of Xenopus laevis, an animal model widely used in cell and molecular biology research. However, considering that some NeuAc-binding lectins are capable of binding to N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), other GlcNAc-binding lectins were also assayed. The results showed that NeuAc is mainly expressed in the interstitium, and only a weak labelling in the male germ cells was observed. Most NeuAc was located in O-linked oligosaccharides, but some masked NeuAc in N-glycans were identified in primary and secondary spermatogonia and spermatocytes. By contrast, GlcNAc was widely expressed in all germ cell types. Deglycosylative pre-treatments suggest that both N- and O-glycans and/or glycolipids could be responsible for this labelling. In addition, GlcNAc in O-linked oligosaccharides has been identified in spermatogonial cells. The acrosome of spermatids was always negative. Variations of glycan expression have been found in different cell types, suggesting that glycosylation is modified during spermatogenetic development. PMID:22881213

  18. Epithelial cell division in the Xenopus laevis embryo during gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Hatte, Guillaume; Tramier, Marc; Prigent, Claude; Tassan, Jean-Pierre

    2014-01-01

    How vertebrate epithelial cells divide in vivo and how the cellular environment influences cell division is currently poorly understood. A sine qua non condition to study cell division in situ is the ease of observation of cell division. This is fulfilled in the Xenopus embryo at the gastrula stage where polarized epithelial cells divide with a high frequency at the surface of the organism. Recently, using this model system, we have shown that epithelial cells divide by asymmetric furrowing and that the mode of cell division is regulated during development. Here, we further characterize epithelial cell division in situ. To this end, we used confocal microscopy to study epithelial cell division in the ectoderm of the Xenopus laevis gastrula. Cell division was followed either by indirect immunofluorescence in fixed embryos or by live imaging of embryos transiently expressing diverse fluorescent proteins. Here, we show that during cytokinesis, the plasma membranes of the two daughter cells are usually separated by a gap. For most divisions, daughter cells make contacts basally at a distance from the furrow tip which creates an inverted teardrop-like shaped volume tightly associated with the furrow. At the end of cytokinesis, the inverted teardrop is resorbed; thus it is a transient structure. Several proteins involved in cytokinesis are localized at the tip of the inverted teardrop suggesting that the formation of the gap could be an active process. We also show that intercalation of neighboring cells between daughter cells occasionally occurs during cytokinesis. Our results reveal an additional level of complexity in the relationship between dividing cells and also with their neighboring cells during cytokinesis in the Xenopus embryo epithelium.

  19. Quantifying calcium fluxes underlying calcium puffs in Xenopus laevis oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Bruno, Luciana; Solovey, Guillermo; Ventura, Alejandra C.; Dargan, Sheila; Dawson, Silvina Ponce

    2010-01-01

    Summary We determine the calcium fluxes through inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor/channels underlying calcium puffs of Xenopus laevis oocytes using a simplified version of the algorithm of Ventura et al., 2005 [1]. An analysis of 130 puffs obtained with Fluo-4 indicates that Ca2+ release comes from a region of width ~ 450 nm, that the release duration is peaked around 18ms and that the underlying Ca2+ currents range between 0.12 and 0.95pA. All these parameters are independent of IP3 concentration. We explore what distributions of channels that open during a puff, Np, and what relations between current and number of open channels, I(Np), are compatible with our findings and with the distribution of puff-to-trigger amplitude ratio reported in Rose et al, 2006 [2]. To this end, we use simple “mean field” models in which all channels open and close simultaneously. We find that the variability among clusters plays an important role in shaping the observed puff amplitude distribution and that a model for which I(Np) ~Np for small Np and I(Np)~Np1/α (α>1) for large Np, provides the best agreement. Simulations of more detailed models in which channels open and close stochastically show that this nonlinear behavior can be attributed to the limited time resolution of the observations and to the averaging procedure that is implicit in the mean-field models. These conclusions are also compatible with observations of ~400 puffs obtained using the dye Oregon green. PMID:20097419

  20. Biochemical study of prolactin binding sites in Xenopus laevis brain and choroid plexus

    SciTech Connect

    Muccioli, G.; Guardabassi, A.; Pattono, P. )

    1990-03-01

    The occurrence of prolactin binding sites in some brain structures (telencephalon, ventral hypothalamus, myelencephalon, hypophysis, and choroid plexus) from Xenopus laevis (anuran amphibian) was studied by the in vitro biochemical technique. The higher binding values were obtained at the level of the choroid plexus and above all of the hypothalamus. On the bases of hormonal specificity and high affinity, these binding sites are very similar to those of prolactin receptors of classical target tissues as well as of those described by us in other structures from Xenopus. To our knowledge, the present results provide the first demonstration of the occurrence of prolactin specific binding sites in Xenopus laevis choroid plexus cells.

  1. Parasites of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in southern California, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuperman, Boris I.; Matey, Victoria E.; Fisher, Richard N.; Ervin, Edward L.; Warburton, Manna L.; Bakhireva, Ludmila; Lehman, Cynthia A.

    2004-01-01

    A total of 230 feral African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis, from 3 localities in southern California were examined for parasites. The following species were found: 3 species of Protozoa, Nyctotherussp., Balantidium xenopodis, Protoopalina xenopodus; 2 species of Monogenea, Protopolystoma xenopodis, Gyrdicotylus gallieni; 1 species of Digenea, Clinostomum sp. (as metacercariae); 1 species of Cestoda, Cephalochlamys namaquensis; 2 species of Nematoda, Contracaecum sp. (as larvae), Eustrongylides sp. (as larvae); and 1 species of Acanthocephala, Acanthocephalus sp. (as cystacanth). Of these, the protozoans P. xenopodus and B. xenopodis, both monogeneans, and the cestode have an African origin. Contracaecum sp., Eustrongylides sp., and Acanthocephalus sp. have not been previously reported from X. laevis.

  2. Morphological and molecular evidence on the existence of a single estuarine and rocky intertidal acanthocephalan species of Profilicollis Meyer, 1931 (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of southern South America.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Sara M; Diaz, Julia I; D'Elía, Guillermo

    2017-03-23

    Profilicollis chasmagnathi Holcman-Spector, Mañé-Garzón & Dei-Cas, 1977 (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) has been reported to parasitise different grapsid species as intermediate hosts along the South Atlantic shores, i.e. Cyrtograpsus angulatus (Dana) and Neohelice granulata (Dana) in Uruguay and Cyrtograpsus altimanus (Rathbun) in Argentina. Larvae of a similar acanthocephalan described as Profilicollis antarcticus Zdzitowiecki, 1985 were recorded in the crab Hemigrapsus crenulatus (Milne-Edwards) from an estuarine habitat on the Southeast Pacific shore in Chile. Earlier studies have questioned the specific assignation of the Chilean estuarine populations of Profilicollis Meyer, 1931. The aim of this study was to re-examine the identification of these acanthocephalans by means of morphological and molecular analyses of cystacanths of Profilicollis spp. gathered from C. angulatus, N. granulata, C. altimanus and H. crenulatus. Our analyses showed that a single species of Profilicollis, P. chasmagnathi, parasitises these four crab species. The assessment of specimens from the South Shetlands Islands, the type-locality of P. antarcticus, is needed before formally proposing that P. antarcticus is a junior subjective synonym of P. chasmagnathi.

  3. Unequal contribution of native South African phylogeographic lineages to the invasion of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Courant, Julien; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Rödder, Dennis; Measey, G. John; Backeljau, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Due to both deliberate and accidental introductions, invasive African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) populations have become established worldwide. In this study, we investigate the geographic origins of invasive X. laevis populations in France and Portugal using the phylogeographic structure of X. laevis in its native South African range. In total, 80 individuals from the whole area known to be invaded in France and Portugal were analysed for two mitochondrial and three nuclear genes, allowing a comparison with 185 specimens from the native range. Our results show that native phylogeographic lineages have contributed differently to invasive European X. laevis populations. In Portugal, genetic and historical data suggest a single colonization event involving a small number of individuals from the south-western Cape region in South Africa. In contrast, French invasive X. laevis encompass two distinct native phylogeographic lineages, i.e., one from the south-western Cape region and one from the northern regions of South Africa. The French X. laevis population is the first example of a X. laevis invasion involving multiple lineages. Moreover, the lack of population structure based on nuclear DNA suggests a potential role for admixture within the invasive French population. PMID:26855879

  4. Lethal and sublethal effects of three insecticides on two developmental stages of Xenopus laevis and comparison with other amphibians.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuangying; Wages, Mike R; Cai, Qingsong; Maul, Jonathan D; Cobb, George P

    2013-09-01

    It has been suggested that Xenopus laevis is less sensitive than other amphibians to some chemicals, and therefore, that the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX) may have limited use in risk assessments for other amphibians. However, comparisons are based mostly on results of FETAX, which emphasizes embryos. Larval X. laevis may be more sensitive to chemicals than embryos and may serve as a better life stage in risk assessments. The present study was conducted to determine the lethal and sublethal effects of 3 insecticides (malathion, endosulfan, and α-cypermethrin) on X. laevis embryos and larvae and to compare toxicity of X. laevis with that of other amphibians. All 3 insecticides have different modes of action, and they caused mortality, malformations, and growth inhibition in both developmental stages. Compared with embryos, larvae were more sensitive to endosulfan and α-cypermethrin but not to malathion. Xenopus laevis larvae had low sensitivity to endosulfan, median sensitivity to malathion, and high sensitivity to α-cypermethrin/cypermethrin relative to other larval amphibians. Our results suggest that X. laevis larvae may generate more protective toxicity estimates in risk assessments than embryos. Xenopus laevis may have limited use in evaluating risk of organochlorine insecticides to other amphibians but may provide useful toxicity thresholds for pyrethroid and perhaps organophosphorus insecticides.

  5. Unequal contribution of native South African phylogeographic lineages to the invasion of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in Europe.

    PubMed

    De Busschere, Charlotte; Courant, Julien; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Rödder, Dennis; Measey, G John; Backeljau, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Due to both deliberate and accidental introductions, invasive African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) populations have become established worldwide. In this study, we investigate the geographic origins of invasive X. laevis populations in France and Portugal using the phylogeographic structure of X. laevis in its native South African range. In total, 80 individuals from the whole area known to be invaded in France and Portugal were analysed for two mitochondrial and three nuclear genes, allowing a comparison with 185 specimens from the native range. Our results show that native phylogeographic lineages have contributed differently to invasive European X. laevis populations. In Portugal, genetic and historical data suggest a single colonization event involving a small number of individuals from the south-western Cape region in South Africa. In contrast, French invasive X. laevis encompass two distinct native phylogeographic lineages, i.e., one from the south-western Cape region and one from the northern regions of South Africa. The French X. laevis population is the first example of a X. laevis invasion involving multiple lineages. Moreover, the lack of population structure based on nuclear DNA suggests a potential role for admixture within the invasive French population.

  6. Neural transduction in Xenopus laevis lateral line system.

    PubMed

    Strelioff, D; Honrubia, V

    1978-03-01

    1. The process of neural excitation in hair cell systems was studied in an in vitro preparation of the Xenopus laevis (African clawed toad) lateral line organ. A specially designed stimulus chamber was used to apply accurately controlled pressure, water movement, or electrical stimuli, and to record the neural responses of the two afferent fibers innervating each organ or stitch. The objective of the study was to determine the characteristics of the neural responses to these stimuli, and thus gain insight into the transduction process. 2. A sustained deflection of the hair cell cilia due to a constant flow of water past the capula resulted in a maintained change in the mean firing rate (MFR) of the afferent fibers. The data also demonstrated that the neural response was proportional to the velocity of the water flow and indicated that both deflection and movement of the cilia were the effective physiological stimuli for this hair cell system. 3. The preparations responded to sinusoidal water movements (past the capula) over the entire frequency range of the stimulus chamber, 0.1-130 Hz, and were most sensitive between 10 and 40 Hz. The variation of the MFR and the percent modulation indicated that the average dynamic range of each organ was 23.5 dB. 4. The thresholds, if any, for sustained pressure changes and for sinusoidal pressure variations in the absence of water movements were very high. Due to the limitations of the stimulus chamber it was not possible to generate pressure stimuli of sufficient magnitude to elicit a neural response without also generating suprathreshold water-movement stimuli. Sustained pressures had no detectable effect on the neural response to water-movement stimuli. 5. The preparations were very sensitive to electrical potentials applied across the toad skin on which the hair cells were located. Potentials which made the ciliated surfaces of the hair cells positive with respect to their bases increased the MFR of the fibers, whereas

  7. Significance of temporal and spectral acoustic cues for sexual recognition in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Vignal, Clémentine; Kelley, Darcy

    2006-01-01

    As in many anurans, males of the totally aquatic species, Xenopus laevis, advertise their sexual receptivity using vocalizations. Unusually for anurans, X. laevis females also advertise producing a fertility call that results in courtship duets between partners. Although all X. laevis calls consist of repetitive click trains, male and female calls exhibit sex-specific acoustic features that might convey sexual identity. We tested the significance of the carrier frequency and the temporal pattern of calls using underwater playback experiments in which modified calls were used to evoke vocal responses in males. Since males respond differently to male and female calls, the modification of a key component of sexual identity in calls should change the male's response. We found that a female-like slow call rhythm triggers more vocal activity than a male-like fast rhythm. A call containing both a female-like temporal pattern and a female-like carrier frequency elicits higher levels of courtship display than either feature alone. In contrast, a male-like temporal pattern is sufficient to trigger typical male–male encounter vocalizations regardless of spectral cues. Thus, our evidence supports a role for temporal acoustic cues in sexual identity recognition and for spectral acoustic cues in conveying female attractiveness in X. laevis. PMID:17476767

  8. Identification and expression of an atypical isoform of metallothionein in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Scudiero, Rosaria; Tussellino, Margherita; Carotenuto, Rosa

    2015-05-01

    Exploiting the annotation of the western clawed frog Silurana tropicalis genome, we identified a new metallothionein (MT) gene, exhibiting all the features to be considered an active gene, but with an atypical coding region, showing only 17 cysteine residues instead of the canonical 20 cysteines of vertebrate metallothioneins and two anomalous cysteine triplets. However, the presence of a gene in the genome does not ensure its effective expression. By using conventional and Real-Time PCR analyses, we demonstrated that this atypical MT is constitutively expressed throughout the life cycle of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis; moreover, this gene is highly expressed in the adult liver, the major site of MT expression and synthesis in vertebrates. To our knowledge, the X. laevis MT described in this paper is the first sequence of a vertebrate MT showing only 17 cysteine residues, arranged in two Cys-Cys-Cys motifs. Phylogenetic analyses also demonstrated that the atypical X. laevis MT merges in the anuran clade, but is the most derived sequence among tetrapods MTs. Finally, Tajima's Relative Rate Test suggested a different evolutionary rate between the canonical X. laevis MT and this novel isoform.

  9. cnrip1 is a regulator of eye and neural development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiaona; Suzuki, Toshiyasu; Takahashi, Chika; Nishida, Eisuke; Kusakabe, Morioh

    2015-04-01

    Cannabinoid receptor interacting protein 1 (CNRIP1), which has been originally identified as the binding partner of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1), is evolutionarily conserved throughout vertebrates, but its physiological function has been unknown. Here, we identify a developmental role of CNRIP1 using Xenopus laevis embryos. During early embryogenesis, expression of Xenopus laevis cnrip1 is highly restricted to the animal region of gastrulae where neural and eye induction occur, and afterward it is seen in neural and other tissues with a temporally and spatially regulated pattern. Morpholino-mediated knockdown experiments indicate that cnrip1 has an essential role in early eye and neural development by regulating the onset of expression of key transcription factor genes, sox2, otx2, pax6 and rax. Also, over-expression experiments suggest that cnrip1 has a potential to expand sox2, otx2, pax6 and rax expression. These results suggest an instructive role of Xenopus laevis cnrip1 in early eye and neural development. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis cnr1 knockdown leads to eye defects, which are partly similar to, but milder than, those caused by cnrip1 knockdown, suggesting a possible functional similarity between CNRIP1 and CNR1. This study is the first characterization of an in vivo role of CNRIP1 in the context of whole organisms.

  10. Effects of the biocide methylisothiazolinone on Xenopus laevis wound healing and tail regeneration.

    PubMed

    Delos Santos, Nicole; Azmat, Summer; Cuenca, Yesenia; Drenth, Jessica; Lauper, Julia; Tseng, Ai-Sun

    2016-12-01

    The South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, has a strong history as a suitable model for environmental studies. Its embryos and transparent tadpoles are highly sensitive to the environment and their developmental processes are well described. It is also amenable for molecular studies. These characteristics enable its use for rapid identification and understanding of exposure-induced defects. To investigate the consequences of chemical exposure on aquatic animals, Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles were exposed to the biocide, methylisothiazolinone (MIT). Frog tadpoles exposed to MIT following tail amputation lost their natural regenerative ability. This inhibition of regeneration led to a failure to regrow tissues including the spinal cord, muscle, and notochord. This MIT-dependent regenerative defect is due to a failure to close the amputation wound. A wound healing assay revealed that while untreated embryos close their wounds within one day after injury, MIT-treated animals maintained open wounds that did not reduce in size and caused lethality. Concomitant exposure of MIT with chemicals containing thiol groups such as glutathione and N-acetyl cysteine restored normal wound healing and regeneration responses in tadpoles. Together these results indicate that exposure to MIT impairs developmental wound repair and tissue regeneration in Xenopus laevis. Thus, this study reveals new aspects of MIT activity and demonstrates that Xenopus laevis is a well-suited model for facilitating future research into chemical exposure effects on injury responses.

  11. On the natural diet of Daphnia laevis in the eutrophic Pampulha reservoir (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais).

    PubMed

    Eskinazi-Sant'Anna, E M; Maia-Barbosa, P M; Barbosa, F A R

    2002-08-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the major food items ingested by adult specimens of Daphnia laevis within the eutrophic Pampulha reservoir in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The gut content was analyzed after addition of sodium hypochlorite and also through the examination of dissected guts under scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that Chlorophyceae was the main food item ingested, representing c. 80.5% of the total ingested food. Moreover, Eutetramorus fottii, Coelastrum pseudomicroporum and Oocystis lacustris, the dominant phytoplankton species within the reservoir, were the most frequent cells found in the gut contents. Euglenophyta also represented an important food item accounting for 15% of the ingested material, including mainly Trachelomonas volvocina and Euglena oxyuris, although less abundant in the reservoir (< 10% of total phytoplankton). Blue-green algae occurred at much lower percentages in the guts than in the phytoplankton. A small amount of undigested Microcystis aeruginosa colonies were also found in the gut content of D. laevis. Scanning electron microscopy results showed that, besides phytoplankton cells, a great amount of abiogenic material was also ingested. The amount of this inorganic material increased considerably in the tract (from 15% to 75% of the gut content), when a peak of D. laevis was observed in the reservoir. Our assumption is that the ingestion of this inorganic material can be a strategy used by D. laevis to obtain additional food supply.

  12. Does Atrazine Influence Larval Development and Sexual Differentiation in Xenopus laevis?

    PubMed Central

    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka; Springer, Timothy; Krueger, Henry; Wolf, Jeff; Holden, Larry; Hosmer, Alan

    2009-01-01

    Debate and controversy exists concerning the potential for the herbicide atrazine to cause gonadal malformations in developing Xenopus laevis. Following review of the existing literature the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required a rigorous investigation conducted under standardized procedures. X. laevis tadpoles were exposed to atrazine at concentrations of 0.01, 0.1, 1, 25, or 100 μg/l from day 8 postfertilization (dpf) until completion of metamorphosis or dpf 83, whichever came first. Nearly identical experiments were performed in two independent laboratories: experiment 1 at Wildlife International, Ltd. and experiment 2 at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). Both experiments employed optimized animal husbandry procedures and environmental conditions in validated flow-through exposure systems. The two experiments demonstrated consistent survival, growth, and development of X. laevis tadpoles, and all measured parameters were within the expected ranges and were comparable in negative control and atrazine-treated groups. Atrazine, at concentrations up to 100 μg/l, had no effect in either experiment on the percentage of males or the incidence of mixed sex as determined by histological evaluation. In contrast, exposure of larval X. laevis to 0.2 μg 17β-estradiol/l as the positive control resulted in gonadal feminization. Instead of an even distribution of male and female phenotypes, percentages of males:females:mixed sex were 19:75:6 and 22:60:18 in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. These studies demonstrate that long-term exposure of larval X. laevis to atrazine at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 100 μg/l does not affect growth, larval development, or sexual differentiation. PMID:19008211

  13. Regulation of cyclin E stability in Xenopus laevis embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt-(Webb), Yekaterina

    Cyclin-Cdk complexes positively regulate cell cycle progression. Cyclins are regulatory subunits that bind to and activate cyclin-dependent kinases or Cdks. Cyclin E associates with Cdk2 to mediate G1/S phase transition of the cell cycle. Cyclin E is overexpressed in breast, lung, skin, gastrointestinal, cervical, and ovarian cancers. Its overexpression correlates with poor patient prognosis and is involved in the etiology of breast cancer. We have been studying how this protein is downregulated during development in order to determine if these mechanisms are disrupted during tumorigenesis, leading to its overexpression. Using Xenopus laevis embryos as a model, we have shown previously that during the first 12 embryonic cell cycles Cyclin E levels remain constant yet Cdk2 activity oscillates twice per cell cycle. Cyclin E is abruptly destabilized by an undefined mechanism after the 12th cell cycle, which corresponds to the midblastula transition (MBT). Based on work our work and work by others, we have hypothesized that differential phosphorylation and a change in localization result in Cyclin E degradation by the 26S proteasome at the MBT. To test this, we generated a series of point mutations in conserved threonine/serine residues implicated in degradation of human Cyclin E. Using Western blot analysis, we show that similarly to human Cyclin E, mutation of these residues to unphosphorylatable alanine stabilizes Cyclin E past the MBT when they are expressed in vivo. Cyclin E localization was studied by immunofluorescence analysis of endogenous and exogenous protein in pre-MBT, MBT, and post-MBT embryos. In addition, we developed a novel method of conjugating recombinant His6-tagged Cyclin E to fluorescent (CdSe)ZnS nanoparticles (quantum dots) capped with dihydrolipoic acid. Confocal microscopy was used to visualize His6Cyclin E-quantum dot complexes inside embryo cells in real time. We found that re-localization at the MBT from the cytoplasm to the nucleus

  14. CONCENTRATION DEPENDENT ACCUMULATION OF [3H]-DELTAMETHRIN IN SODIUM CHANNEL N AV1.2 EXPRESSING XENOPUS LAEVIS OOCYTES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Disruption of neuronal voltage-sensitive sodium channels (VSSCs) by pyrethroid insecticides such as deltamethrin (DLT) has been widely studied using Xenopus laevis oocytes transfected with VSSC. However, the extent of pyrethroid accumulation in VSSC-expressing oocytes is unknown....

  15. THYROID AXIS INHIBITION IN XENOPUS LAEVIS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN-BASED SCREENING ASSAY FOR THYROID DISRUPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In response to the initial EDSTAC recommendations, research was conducted on the development of a Xenopus laevis based tail resorption assay for evaluating thyroid axis disruption. These experiments highlighted key limitations associated with reliance on tail resorption as a meas...

  16. Sulcia symbiont of the leafhopper Macrosteles laevis (Ribaut, 1927) (Insecta, Hemiptera, Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae) harbors Arsenophonus bacteria.

    PubMed

    Kobiałka, Michał; Michalik, Anna; Walczak, Marcin; Junkiert, Łukasz; Szklarzewicz, Teresa

    2016-05-01

    The leafhopper Macrosteles laevis, like other plant sap-feeding hemipterans, lives in obligate symbiotic association with microorganisms. The symbionts are harbored in the cytoplasm of large cells termed bacteriocytes, which are integrated into huge organs termed bacteriomes. Morphological and molecular investigations have revealed that in the bacteriomes of M. laevis, two types of bacteriocytes are present which are as follows: bacteriocytes with bacterium Sulcia and bacteriocytes with Nasuia symbiont. We observed that in bacteriocytes with Sulcia, some cells of this bacterium contain numerous cells of the bacterium Arsenophonus. All types of symbionts are transmitted transovarially between generations. In the mature female, the bacteria Nasuia, bacteria Sulcia, and Sulcia with Arsenophonus inside are released from the bacteriocytes and start to assemble around the terminal oocytes. Next, the bacteria enter the cytoplasm of follicular cells surrounding the posterior pole of the oocyte. After passing through the follicular cells, the symbionts enter the space between the oocyte and follicular epithelium, forming a characteristic "symbiont ball."

  17. Developmental expression of the fermitin/kindlin gene family in Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Canning, Claire A; Chan, Jessica Sze Ki; Common, John E A; Lane, E Birgitte; Jones, C Michael

    2011-08-01

    Fermitin genes are highly conserved and encode cytocortex proteins that mediate integrin signalling. Fermitin 1 (Kindlin1) is implicated in Kindler syndrome, a human skin blistering disorder. We report the isolation of the three Fermitin orthologs from Xenopus laevis embryos and describe their developmental expression patterns. Fermitin 1 is expressed in the skin, otic and olfactory placodes, pharyngeal arches, pronephric duct, and heart. Fermitin 2 is restricted to the somites and neural crest. Fermitin 3 is expressed in the notochord, central nervous system, cement gland, ventral blood islands, vitelline veins, and myeloid cells. Our findings are consistent with the view that Fermitin 1 is generally expressed in the skin, Fermitin 2 in muscle, and Fermitin 3 in hematopoietic lineages. Moreover, we describe novel sites of Fermitin gene expression that extend our knowledge of this family. Our data provide a basis for further functional analysis of the Fermitin family in Xenopus laevis.

  18. Manipulation and analysis of Xenopus laevis embryos by femtosecond near infrared lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gifford, Aliya; Khodaparast, G.; Xu, Y.; Sethi, V.; Meehan, K.; Sible, J.

    2007-03-01

    Given the demand for new and more reliable methodologies for live cell manipulation, we have used a technique (demonstrated earlier by Tirlapur and K"onig, Nature, 418, 290, 2002) using near infrared laser pulses (NIR) to manipulate living cells, specifically, cell of Xenopus laevis embryos, without harming them. In addition nanoparticles such as silica-coated CdSe and CdTe quantum dots are injected into the cell through pores formed by the laser pulses. Due to the highly efficient and size-dependent fluorescence of QDs, they can be used in place of conventional dyes to perform live-cell imaging. In this work, we will discuss our current understanding of NIR lasers and QDs interactions with the Xenopus laevis embryos. The outcome of this project can help us to understand the fundamental phenomena and processes important in biological systems and cellular function.

  19. Diagnosis of Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium species, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Hill, William A; Newman, Shelley J; Craig, Linden; Carter, Christopher; Czarra, Jane; Brown, J Paige

    2010-01-01

    Here we describe diagnosis of concurrent infection with Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium spp., and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a wild female Xenopus laevis captured in Chile and transported to the United States. After approximately 130 d in the laboratory, the frog was presented for dysecdysis and obtundation. After euthanasia, tissues were submitted for histopathologic evaluation and PCR analysis for B. dendrobatidis and Ranavirus. Clinically significant gross lesions included cutaneous ulcerations on the lip, right forelimb, and ventral chest. Microscopic findings included regionally extensive splenic necrosis, diffuse pneumonia, and fibrinous coelomitis all containing intralesional bacteria. PCR analysis yielded positive results for B. dendrobatidis only. Bacterial culture of the ulcerated skin and liver yielded A. hydrophila. Infection with Contracaecum spp. was diagnosed as an incidental finding. To our knowledge, this case is the first report of simultaneous infection with Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium spp., and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a laboratory-maintained X. laevis captured from the wild. PMID:20353698

  20. Impacts of Climate Change on the Global Invasion Potential of the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Ihlow, Flora; Courant, Julien; Secondi, Jean; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Measey, G John; Lillo, Francesco; De Villiers, F André; Vogt, Solveig; De Busschere, Charlotte; Backeljau, Thierry; Rödder, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    By altering or eliminating delicate ecological relationships, non-indigenous species are considered a major threat to biodiversity, as well as a driver of environmental change. Global climate change affects ecosystems and ecological communities, leading to changes in the phenology, geographic ranges, or population abundance of several species. Thus, predicting the impacts of global climate change on the current and future distribution of invasive species is an important subject in macroecological studies. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), native to South Africa, possesses a strong invasion potential and populations have become established in numerous countries across four continents. The global invasion potential of X. laevis was assessed using correlative species distribution models (SDMs). SDMs were computed based on a comprehensive set of occurrence records covering South Africa, North America, South America and Europe and a set of nine environmental predictors. Models were built using both a maximum entropy model and an ensemble approach integrating eight algorithms. The future occurrence probabilities for X. laevis were subsequently computed using bioclimatic variables for 2070 following four different IPCC scenarios. Despite minor differences between the statistical approaches, both SDMs predict the future potential distribution of X. laevis, on a global scale, to decrease across all climate change scenarios. On a continental scale, both SDMs predict decreasing potential distributions in the species' native range in South Africa, as well as in the invaded areas in North and South America, and in Australia where the species has not been introduced. In contrast, both SDMs predict the potential range size to expand in Europe. Our results suggest that all probability classes will be equally affected by climate change. New regional conditions may promote new invasions or the spread of established invasive populations, especially in France and Great Britain.

  1. Structure of four acidic oligosaccharides from the jelly coat surrounding the eggs of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Plancke, Y; Wieruszeski, J M; Alonso, C; Boilly, B; Strecker, G

    1995-07-15

    Novel acidic oligosaccharides were released by reductive beta-elimination from the jelly coat eggs of the Anuran Xenopus laevis. According to the structural analysis of these oligosaccharide-alditols, the following structures are proposed: [sequence: see text] where Kdn, 3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galactononulosonic acid. These results confirm the species specificity of the glycanic structures present in the secretion of amphibian oviducts, and may form the basis of a specific egg-sperm recognition process.

  2. Impacts of Climate Change on the Global Invasion Potential of the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Ihlow, Flora; Courant, Julien; Secondi, Jean; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Measey, G. John; Lillo, Francesco; De Villiers, F. André; Vogt, Solveig; De Busschere, Charlotte; Backeljau, Thierry; Rödder, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    By altering or eliminating delicate ecological relationships, non-indigenous species are considered a major threat to biodiversity, as well as a driver of environmental change. Global climate change affects ecosystems and ecological communities, leading to changes in the phenology, geographic ranges, or population abundance of several species. Thus, predicting the impacts of global climate change on the current and future distribution of invasive species is an important subject in macroecological studies. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), native to South Africa, possesses a strong invasion potential and populations have become established in numerous countries across four continents. The global invasion potential of X. laevis was assessed using correlative species distribution models (SDMs). SDMs were computed based on a comprehensive set of occurrence records covering South Africa, North America, South America and Europe and a set of nine environmental predictors. Models were built using both a maximum entropy model and an ensemble approach integrating eight algorithms. The future occurrence probabilities for X. laevis were subsequently computed using bioclimatic variables for 2070 following four different IPCC scenarios. Despite minor differences between the statistical approaches, both SDMs predict the future potential distribution of X. laevis, on a global scale, to decrease across all climate change scenarios. On a continental scale, both SDMs predict decreasing potential distributions in the species’ native range in South Africa, as well as in the invaded areas in North and South America, and in Australia where the species has not been introduced. In contrast, both SDMs predict the potential range size to expand in Europe. Our results suggest that all probability classes will be equally affected by climate change. New regional conditions may promote new invasions or the spread of established invasive populations, especially in France and Great

  3. [Vestibular apparatus study of the toad, Xenopus laevis, and rats under prolonged weightlessness].

    PubMed

    Vinnikov, Ia A; Lychakov, D V; Pal'mbakh, L R; Govardovskiĭ, V I; Adanina, V O

    1980-01-01

    Fertilized eggs of the clawed toad Xenopus laevis were placed aboard of orbital laboratory of "Salut-6" spacecraft where they developed for 20 days at temperature 15 degrees C. The larvae were fixed in weightlessness. Light and electronmicroscopic studies revealed undisturbed structure on the saccular and utricular maculae and otolith membranes. Some ultrastructural abnormalities were found in the inner ear of adult rats after 20 days of weightlessness ("Kosmos-936").

  4. Regulation of Xenopus laevis DNA topoisomerase I activity by phosphorylation in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Kaiserman, H.B.; Ingebritsen, T.S.; Benbow, R.M.

    1988-05-03

    DNA topoisomerase I has been purified to electrophoretic homogeneity from ovaries of the frog Xenopus laevis. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the most purified fraction revealed a single major band at 110 kDa and less abundant minor bands centered at 62 kDa. Incubation of the most purified fraction with immobilized calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase abolished all DNA topoisomerase enzymatic activity in a time-dependent reaction. Treatment of the dephosphorylated X. laevis DNA topoisomerase I with a X. laevis casein kinase type II activity and ATP restored DNA topoisomerase activity to a level higher than that observed in the most purified fraction. In vitro labeling experiments which employed the most purified DNA topoisomerase I fraction, (..gamma..-/sup 32/P)ATP, and the casein kinase type II enzyme showed that both the 110- and 62-kDa bands became phosphorylated in approximately molar proportions. Phosphoamino acid analysis showed that only serine residues became phosphorylated. Phosphorylation was accompanied by an increase in DNA topoisomerase activity in vitro. Dephosphorylation of DNA topoisomerase I appears to block formation of the initial enzyme-substrate complex on the basis of the failure of the dephosphorylated enzyme to nick DNA in the presence of camptothecin. The authors conclude that X. laevis DNA topoisomerase I is partially phosphorylated as isolated and that this phosphorylation is essential for expression of enzymatic activity in vitro. On the basis of the ability of the casein kinase type II activity to reactivate dephosphorylated DNA topoisomerase I, they speculate that this kinase may contribute to the physiological regulation of DNA topoisomerase I activity.

  5. Status of RNAs, localized in Xenopus laevis oocytes, in the frogs Rana pipiens and Eleutherodactylus coqui.

    PubMed

    Nath, Kimberly; Boorech, Jamie L; Beckham, Yvonne M; Burns, Mary M; Elinson, Richard P

    2005-01-15

    Early development in the frog model, Xenopus laevis, is governed by RNAs, localized to the vegetal cortex of the oocyte. These RNAs include Xdazl RNA, which is involved in primordial germ cell formation, and VegT RNA, which specifies the mesoderm and endoderm. In order to determine whether orthologues of these RNAs are localized and have similar functions in other frogs, we cloned RpDazl and RpVegT from Rana pipiens, a frog that is phylogenetically distant from X. laevis. RNAs from both genes are localized to the vegetal cortex of the R. pipiens oocyte, indicating that the vegetal localization is likely the basal state. The animal location of EcVegT RNA in Eleutherodactylus coqui that we found previously (Beckham et al., 2003) is then a derived state, probably due to the great increase in egg size required for direct development of this species. To answer the question of function, we injected RpVegT or EcVegT RNAs into X. laevis embryos, and assayed animal caps for gene expression. Both of these RNAs induced the expression of endodermal, mesodermal, and organizer genes, showing that the function of RpVegT and EcVegT as meso-endodermal determinants is conserved in frogs. The RNA localizations and the function of VegT orthologues in germ layer specification may be synapomorphies for anuran amphibians.

  6. Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Measey, John

    2016-01-01

    African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are often referred to as 'purely aquatic' but there are many publications which suggest extensive overland movements. Previous reviews which considered the topic have not answered the following questions: (1) is there evidence for overland dispersal in native and invasive ranges; (2) what is the range of distances moved overland; (3) when does overland movement occur; and (4) is there evidence of breeding migratory behaviour? A systematic review was chosen to synthesise and critically analyse all literature on the overland movement in Xenopus laevis. Database searches resulted in 57 documents which revealed a paucity of empirical studies, with 28 containing no data, and 19 having anecdotal content. Overwhelming evidence shows that both native and invasive populations of X. laevis move overland, with well documented examples for several other members of the genus (X. borealis, X. gilli, X. muelleri, X. fraseriand X. tropicalis). Reports of distances moved overland were from 40 m to 2 km, with no apparent difference between native and invasive ranges. Overland movements are not confined to wet seasons or conditions, but the literature suggests that moving overland does not occur in the middle of the day. Migrations to temporary water-bodies for breeding have been suggested, but without any corroborating data.

  7. Effects of depleted uranium on survival, growth, and metamorphosis in the african clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, S.E.; Caldwell, C.A.; Gonzales, G.; Gould, W.R.; Arimoto, R.

    2005-01-01

    Embryos (stage 8-47, Nieuwkoop and Faber) of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were subjected to water-borne depleted uranium (DU) concentrations that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/Lusing an acute 96-h frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). In a chronic 64-d assay, X. laevis (from embryo through metamorphosis; stages 8-66) were subjected to concentrations of DU that ranged from 6.2 to 54.3 mg/L Our results indicate DU is a non teratogenic metal. No effects on mortality, malformations, or growth were observed in the 96-h FETAX with concentrations of DU that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/L From stage 8 to stage 47, X. laevis tadpoles do not actively feed and the gills are not well developed. Thus, uptake of DU was reduced despite exposure to elevated concentrations. The 64-d assay resulted in no concentration response for either mortality or malformations; however, a delay in metamorphosis was observed in tadpoles subjected to elevated DU concentrations (from 13.1 to 54.3 mg/L) compared to tadpoles in both the well-water control and reference. The delay in metamorphosis was likely due to increasing body burden of DU that ranged from 0.98 to 2.82 mg/kg. Copyright?? Taylor & Francis Inc.

  8. Swimming kinematics and respiratory behaviour of Xenopus laevis larvae raised in altered gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fejtek, M.; Souza, K.; Neff, A.; Wassersug, R.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the respiratory behaviours and swimming kinematics of Xenopus laevis tadpoles hatched in microgravity (Space Shuttle), simulated microgravity (clinostat) and hypergravity (3 g centrifuge). All observations were made in the normal 1 g environment. Previous research has shown that X. laevis raised in microgravity exhibit abnormalities in their lungs and vestibular system upon return to 1 g. The tadpoles raised in true microgravity exhibited a significantly lower tailbeat frequency than onboard 1 g centrifuge controls on the day of landing (day0), but this behaviour normalized within 9 days. The two groups did not differ significantly in buccal pumping rates. Altered buoyancy in the space-flight microgravity tadpoles was indicated by an increased swimming angle on the day after landing (day1). Tadpoles raised in simulated microgravity differed to a greater extent in swimming behaviours from their 1 g controls. The tadpoles raised in hypergravity showed no substantive effects on the development of swimming or respiratory behaviours, except swimming angle. Together, these results show that microgravity has a transient effect on the development of locomotion in X. laevis tadpoles, most notably on swimming angle, indicative of stunted lung development. On the basis of the behaviours we studied, there is no indication of neuromuscular retardation in amphibians associated with embryogenesis in microgravity.

  9. Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are often referred to as ‘purely aquatic’ but there are many publications which suggest extensive overland movements. Previous reviews which considered the topic have not answered the following questions: (1) is there evidence for overland dispersal in native and invasive ranges; (2) what is the range of distances moved overland; (3) when does overland movement occur; and (4) is there evidence of breeding migratory behaviour? A systematic review was chosen to synthesise and critically analyse all literature on the overland movement in Xenopus laevis. Database searches resulted in 57 documents which revealed a paucity of empirical studies, with 28 containing no data, and 19 having anecdotal content. Overwhelming evidence shows that both native and invasive populations of X. laevis move overland, with well documented examples for several other members of the genus (X. borealis, X. gilli, X. muelleri, X. fraseriand X. tropicalis). Reports of distances moved overland were from 40 m to 2 km, with no apparent difference between native and invasive ranges. Overland movements are not confined to wet seasons or conditions, but the literature suggests that moving overland does not occur in the middle of the day. Migrations to temporary water-bodies for breeding have been suggested, but without any corroborating data. PMID:27688972

  10. Xenopus laevis oocytes infected with multi-drug-resistant bacteria: implications for electrical recordings.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Denice; Mruk, Karen; Rocheleau, Jessica M; Kobertz, William R

    2011-08-01

    The Xenopus laevis oocyte has been the workhorse for the investigation of ion transport proteins. These large cells have spawned a multitude of novel techniques that are unfathomable in mammalian cells, yet the fickleness of the oocyte has driven many researchers to use other membrane protein expression systems. Here, we show that some colonies of Xenopus laevis are infected with three multi-drug-resistant bacteria: Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Oocytes extracted from infected frogs quickly (3-4 d) develop multiple black foci on the animal pole, similar to microinjection scars, which render the extracted eggs useless for electrical recordings. Although multi-drug resistant, the bacteria were susceptible to amikacin and ciprofloxacin in growth assays. Supplementing the oocyte storage media with these two antibiotics prevented the appearance of the black foci and afforded oocytes suitable for whole-cell recordings. Given that P. fluorescens associated with X. laevis has become rapidly drug resistant, it is imperative that researchers store the extracted oocytes in the antibiotic cocktail and not treat the animals harboring the multi-drug-resistant bacteria.

  11. Pan-African phylogeography of a model organism, the African clawed frog 'Xenopus laevis'.

    PubMed

    Furman, Benjamin L S; Bewick, Adam J; Harrison, Tia L; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kusamba, Chifundera; Evans, Ben J

    2015-02-01

    The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis has a large native distribution over much of sub-Saharan Africa and is a model organism for research, a proposed disease vector, and an invasive species. Despite its prominent role in research and abundance in nature, surprisingly little is known about the phylogeography and evolutionary history of this group. Here, we report an analysis of molecular variation of this clade based on 17 loci (one mitochondrial, 16 nuclear) in up to 159 individuals sampled throughout its native distribution. Phylogenetic relationships among mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were incongruent with those among alleles of the putatively female-specific sex-determining gene DM-W, in contrast to the expectation of strict matrilineal inheritance of both loci. Population structure and evolutionarily diverged lineages were evidenced by analyses of molecular variation in these data. These results further contextualize the chronology, and evolutionary relationships within this group, support the recognition of X. laevis sensu stricto, X. petersii, X. victorianus and herein revalidated X. poweri as separate species. We also propose that portions of the currently recognized distributions of X. laevis (north of the Congo Basin) and X. petersii (south of the Congo Basin) be reassigned to X. poweri.

  12. Retinal regeneration in the Xenopus laevis tadpole: a new model system

    PubMed Central

    Vergara, M. Natalia

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Retinal regeneration research holds potential for providing new avenues for the treatment of degenerative diseases of the retina. Various animal models have been used to study retinal regeneration over the years, providing insights into different aspects of this process. However the mechanisms that drive this important phenomenon remain to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we introduce and characterize a new model system for retinal regeneration research that uses the tadpole of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Methods The neural retina was surgically removed from Xenopus laevis tadpoles at stages 51–54, and a heparin-coated bead soaked in fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) was introduced in the eyes to induce regeneration. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses as well as DiI tracing were performed to characterize the regenerate. A similar surgical approach but with concomitant removal of the anterior portion of the eye was used to assess the capacity of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) to regenerate a retina. Immunohistochemistry for FGF receptors 1 and 2 and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (pERK) was performed to start elucidating the intracellular mechanisms involved in this process. The role of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway was confirmed through a pharmacological approach using the MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibitor U0126. Results We observed that Xenopus laevis tadpoles were able to regenerate a neural retina upon induction with FGF-2 in vivo. The regenerated tissue has the characteristics of a differentiated retina, as assessed by the presence and distribution of different retinal cell markers, and DiI tracing indicated that it is able to form an optic nerve. We also showed that retinal regeneration in this system could take place independently of the presence of the anterior eye tissues. Finally, we demonstrated that FGF-2 treatment induces ERK phosphorylation in the

  13. Sequencing and analysis of 10967 full-length cDNA clones from Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis

    SciTech Connect

    Morin, R D; Chang, E; Petrescu, A; Liao, N; Kirkpatrick, R; Griffith, M; Butterfield, Y; Stott, J; Barber, S; Babakaiff, R; Matsuo, C; Wong, D; Yang, G; Smailus, D; Brown-John, M; Mayo, M; Beland, J; Gibson, S; Olson, T; Tsai, M; Featherstone, R; Chand, S; Siddiqui, A; Jang, W; Lee, E; Klein, S; Prange, C; Myers, R M; Green, E D; Wagner, L; Gerhard, D; Marra, M; Jones, S M; Holt, R

    2005-10-31

    Sequencing of full-insert clones from full-length cDNA libraries from both Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis has been ongoing as part of the Xenopus Gene Collection initiative. Here we present an analysis of 10967 clones (8049 from X. laevis and 2918 from X. tropicalis). The clone set contains 2013 orthologs between X. laevis and X. tropicalis as well as 1795 paralog pairs within X. laevis. 1199 are in-paralogs, believed to have resulted from an allotetraploidization event approximately 30 million years ago, and the remaining 546 are likely out-paralogs that have resulted from more ancient gene duplications, prior to the divergence between the two species. We do not detect any evidence for positive selection by the Yang and Nielsen maximum likelihood method of approximating d{sub N}/d{sub S}. However, d{sub N}/d{sub S} for X. laevis in-paralogs is elevated relative to X. tropicalis orthologs. This difference is highly significant, and indicates an overall relaxation of selective pressures on duplicated gene pairs. Within both groups of paralogs, we found evidence of subfunctionalization, manifested as differential expression of paralogous genes among tissues, as measured by EST information from public resources. We have observed, as expected, a higher instance of subfunctionalization in out-paralogs relative to in-paralogs.

  14. A New Nomenclature of Xenopus laevis Chromosomes Based on the Phylogenetic Relationship to Silurana/Xenopus tropicalis.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Yoichi; Uno, Yoshinobu; Kondo, Mariko; Gilchrist, Michael J; Zorn, Aaron M; Rokhsar, Daniel S; Schmid, Michael; Taira, Masanori

    2015-01-01

    Xenopus laevis (XLA) is an allotetraploid species which appears to have undergone whole-genome duplication after the interspecific hybridization of 2 diploid species closely related to Silurana/Xenopus tropicalis (XTR). Previous cDNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments have identified 9 sets of homoeologous chromosomes in X. laevis, in which 8 sets correspond to chromosomes 1-8 of X. tropicalis (XTR1-XTR8), and the last set corresponds to a fusion of XTR9 and XTR10. In addition, recent X. laevis genome sequencing and BAC-FISH experiments support this physiological relationship and show no gross chromosome translocation in the X. laevis karyotype. Therefore, for the benefit of both comparative cytogenetics and genome research, we here propose a new chromosome nomenclature for X. laevis based on the phylogenetic relationship and chromosome length, i.e. XLA1L, XLA1S, XLA2L, XLA2S, and so on, in which the numbering of XLA chromosomes corresponds to that in X. tropicalis and the postfixes 'L' and 'S' stand for 'long' and 'short' chromosomes in the homoeologous pairs, which can be distinguished cytologically by their relative size. The last chromosome set is named XLA9L and XLA9S, in which XLA9 corresponds to both XTR9 and XTR10, and hence, to emphasize the phylogenetic relationship to X. tropicalis, XLA9_10L and XLA9_10S are also used as synonyms.

  15. Danger in the reef: Proteome, toxicity, and neutralization of the venom of the olive sea snake, Aipysurus laevis.

    PubMed

    Laustsen, Andreas H; Gutiérrez, José María; Rasmussen, Arne R; Engmark, Mikael; Gravlund, Peter; Sanders, Kate L; Lohse, Brian; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    Four specimens of the olive sea snake, Aipysurus laevis, were collected off the coast of Western Australia, and the venom proteome was characterized and quantitatively estimated by RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-TOF-TOF analyses. A. laevis venom is remarkably simple and consists of phospholipases A2 (71.2%), three-finger toxins (3FTx; 25.3%), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP; 2.5%), and traces of a complement control module protein (CCM; 0.2%). Using a Toxicity Score, the most lethal components were determined to be short neurotoxins. Whole venom had an intravenous LD50 of 0.07 mg/kg in mice and showed a high phospholipase A2 activity, but no proteinase activity in vitro. Preclinical assessment of neutralization and ELISA immunoprofiling showed that BioCSL Sea Snake Antivenom was effective in cross-neutralizing A. laevis venom with an ED50 of 821 μg venom per mL antivenom, with a binding preference towards short neurotoxins, due to the high degree of conservation between short neurotoxins from A. laevis and Enhydrina schistosa venom. Our results point towards the possibility of developing recombinant antibodies or synthetic inhibitors against A. laevis venom due to its simplicity.

  16. Continued Studies on the Effects of Simazine on the Liver Histological Structure and Metamorphosis in the Developing Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Sai, Linlin; Qu, Binpeng; Li, Yan; Jia, Qiang; Bo, Cunxiang; Liu, Yanzhong; Yu, Gongchang; Xie, Lin; Li, Ling; Ng, Jack C; Peng, Cheng

    2016-10-01

    This study continued our previous work (Sai et al. in Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95:157-163, 2015a) by analysing the effects of simazine on the liver histological structure and metamorphosis in the developing Xenopus laevis. Tadpoles (Nieuwkoop-Faber stage 46) were exposed to simazine at 0.1, 1.2, 11.0 and 100.9 μg/L for 100 days. When tadpoles were exposed to simazine at 11.0 and 100.9 µg/L, an increased mortality and damaged liver tissues were observed together with significant inhibition of percent of X. laevis completing metamorphosis on days 80 and 90 and prolonged time of completing metamorphosis. On the other hand, we found that simazine has no significant effects on liver weight and altered hepatosomatic index. Results of this study may be considered to inform risk assessment of the effects of simazine on the development of X. laevis.

  17. Dehydration triggers differential microRNA expression in Xenopus laevis brain.

    PubMed

    Luu, Bryan E; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-11-15

    African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis, although primarily aquatic, have a high tolerance for dehydration, being capable of withstanding the loss of up to 32-35% of total water body water. Recent studies have shown that microRNAs play a role in the response to dehydration by the liver, kidney and ventral skin of X. laevis. MicroRNAs act by modulating the expression of mRNA transcripts, thereby affecting diverse biochemical pathways. In this study, 43 microRNAs were assessed in frog brains comparing control and dehydrated (31.2±0.83% of total body water lost) conditions. MicroRNAs of interest were measured using a modified protocol which employs polyadenylation of microRNAs prior to reverse transcription and qPCR. Twelve microRNAs that showed a significant decrease in expression (to 41-77% of control levels) in brains from dehydrated frogs (xla-miR-15a, -150, -181a, -191, -211, -218, -219b, -30c, -30e, -31, -34a, and -34b) were identified. Genomic analysis showed that the sequences of these dehydration-responsive microRNAs were highly conserved as compared with the comparable microRNAs of mice (91-100%). Suppression of these microRNAs implies that translation of the mRNA transcripts under their control could be enhanced in response to dehydration. Bioinformatic analysis using the DIANA miRPath program (v.2.0) predicted the top two KEGG pathways that these microRNAs collectively regulate: 1. Axon guidance, and 2. Long-term potentiation. Previous studies indicated that suppression of these microRNAs promotes neuroprotective pathways by increasing the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and activating anti-apoptotic pathways. This suggests that similar actions may be triggered in X. laevis brains as a protective response to dehydration.

  18. Waterborne exposure to triadimefon causes thyroid endocrine disruption and developmental delay in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Li, Meng; Li, Shuying; Yao, Tingting; Zhao, Renjie; Wang, Qiangwei; Zhu, Guonian

    2016-08-01

    Triadimefon (TDF) is a triazole-derivative fungicide that is detectable in the environment and target agricultural products, prompting concern over its risk to wildlife and human health. In our study, Nieuwkoop & Faber stage 51 Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to different nominal concentrations TDF (0, 0.112, and 1.12mg/L) for 21 days while the tadpoles were undergoing pre-morphological development. Developmental condition, bioaccumulation and thyroid hormone levels, and mRNA expression of genes involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis were examined. Exposure to TDF caused a reduction in developmental rates on pre-metamorphosis of X. laevis. TDF exposure significantly decreased thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) concentrations, indicating thyroid endocrine disruption. The downregulation of thyroglobulin and upregulation of genes related to thyroid hormone metabolism (ugt1ab) might be responsible for the decreased thyroid hormone concentrations. Treatment with TDF also significantly increased mRNA expression of genes involved in thyroid-stimulating hormone as a compensatory mechanism response to decreased thyroid hormone concentrations. Gene expression and in silico ligand docking studies were combined to study the interaction between TDF and thyroid hormone receptor. Results showed that TDF could consequently affect the HPT axis signaling pathway. In addition, bioconcentration of TDF was observed in tadpoles, indicating the bioactivity of this compound. Taken together, the results suggest that TDF alters the HPT axis-related genes and changes thyroid hormone contents in X. laevis tadpoles, thus causing thyroid endocrine disruption and consequently delaying thyroid hormones-dependent metamorphic development.

  19. Gene expression profiles in testis of developing male Xenopus laevis damaged by chronic exposure of atrazine.

    PubMed

    Sai, Linlin; Dong, Zhihua; Li, Ling; Guo, Qiming; Jia, Qiang; Xie, Lin; Bo, Cunxiang; Liu, Yanzhong; Qu, Binpeng; Li, Xiangxin; Shao, Hua; Ng, Jack C; Peng, Cheng

    2016-09-01

    As a widely used herbicide, atrazine (AZ) has been extensively studied for its adverse effects on the reproductive system, especially feminization in male animals. However, the relationship of gene expression changes and associated toxicological endpoints remains unclear. In this study, developing Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to concentration of AZ at 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 μg/L continuously. Compared with froglets in the control group, there were no significant differences in body length, body weight, liver weight and hepatosomatic index (HSI) of males in groups treated with AZ for 90 d. At 100 μg/L AZ treatment caused a significant reduction of gonad weight and gonadosomatic index (GSI) of males (p < 0.01). In addition, AZ at all dose levels caused testicular degeneration, especially in froglets from the groups with 0.1 and 100 μg/L which exhibited U-shaped dose-response trend. We further investigated the gene expression changes associated with the testicular degeneration induced by AZ. We found that the expression of 1165 genes was significantly altered with 616 upregulated and 549 downregulated compared to the expression profile of the control animals. KEGG analysis showed that genes which were significantly affected by AZ are mainly involved in arginine and proline metabolism, cell cycle, riboflavin metabolism, spliceosome, base excision repair and progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation pathway. Our results show that AZ may affect reproductive and immune systems by interference with the related gene expression changes during the male X. laevis development. The findings may help to clarify the feminization mechanisms of AZ in male X. laevis.

  20. Effects of perfluorooctanesulfonate and perfluorobutanesulfonate on the growth and sexual development of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Lou, Qin-Qin; Zhang, Yin-Feng; Zhou, Zhen; Shi, Ya-Li; Ge, Ya-Nan; Ren, Dong-Kai; Xu, Hai-Ming; Zhao, Ya-Xian; Wei, Wu-Ji; Qin, Zhan-Fen

    2013-09-01

    Perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), as a substitute for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), is widespread in the environment and biotic samples as well as PFOS. To investigate effects of PFOS and PFBS on the growth and sexual development of amphibians, we exposed Xenopus laevis tadpoles at a series of concentrations of PFOS and PFBS (0.1; 1; 100; 1,000 μg/l) as well as 17-beta-estradiol (E2, 100 ng/l) and 5 alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol-3-one (DHT, 100 ng/l) from stage 46/47 to 2 months postmetamorphosis. We found that neither PFOS nor PFBS had a significant effect on the survival and growth. However, they caused hepatohistological impairment at higher concentrations (100; 1,000 μg/l). Unlike E2, PFOS at all concentrations did not alter the sex ratio and induce intersex, but caused degeneration of spermatogonia in testes except for the lowest concentration. PFBS had no effect on the sex ratio and gonadal histology. PFOS and PFBS promoted expression of estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR), but not affected aromatase expression in the brain. The increase in expression of ER and AR suggests an increase in the responsiveness to the corresponding sex hormone and potential effects on sexual development. Our results show that PFBS as well as PFOS have adverse effects on hepato-histology and sexual development on X. laevis. Also, PFOS- and PFBS-induced increase in ER and AR expression highlights the need to further study effects of PFOS and PFBS on subsequently gonadal development, sexual dimorphism, and secondary sex characteristics in X. laevis. It is debatable that PFBS is widely used as a substitute of PFOS.

  1. The energetics of reproduction and parental care in the terrestrial isopod Porcellio laevis.

    PubMed

    Lardies, Marco A; Cotoras, Ivania S; Bozinovic, Francisco

    2004-12-01

    Parental care is a behavioral strategy that contributes to increased fitness of progeny. Among terrestrial arthropods, many isopods provide extensive parental care. Few studies have quantified the underlying cost of parental care in terms of energy. We used the terrestrial woodlouse Porcellio laevis (Latreille) as a study model to examine how energetic acquisition and expenditure in females is affected during the incubation period and how parental care affects energy balance in this species. We determined the basic reproductive biology (i.e. fecundity, reproductive output, egg volume, egg loss), energy expenditure (i.e. metabolic rate), and energy acquisition (i.e. food consumption, digestibility) of ovigerous females in different stages of embryonic development. Non-ovigerous females were used as the control group. Our results show that P. laevis displays variability in life-history traits compared with populations from other zones around the world. Ovigerous females exhibited a lower ingestion rate and lower digestibility than control females, thus indicating a lower capacity for energy acquisition. Furthermore, energy expenditure was higher in ovigerous females when compared to non-ovigerous females. In particular, females in early embryonic development stored 5.1-fold less daily energy than females without eggs. The results presented here show that the parental care provided by female P. laevis is energetically costly. Overall, our work brings us much closer to understanding the proximate mechanisms of the costs of parental care in terrestrial isopods. Both proximal mechanisms and consequences of providing care on future reproduction, should be considered in explaining the evolution of parental care.

  2. Extracellular Ca2+ Is Required for Fertilization in the African Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Duray, Alexis M.; Tembo, Maiwase; Beleny, David O.; Napolitano, Marc A.; Sauer, Monica L.; Wisner, Bennett W.

    2017-01-01

    Background The necessity of extracellular Ca2+ for fertilization and early embryonic development in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is controversial. Ca2+ entry into X. laevis sperm is reportedly required for the acrosome reaction, yet fertilization and embryonic development have been documented to occur in high concentrations of the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA. Here we sought to resolve this controversy. Methodology/principal finding Using the appearance of cleavage furrows as an indicator of embryonic development, we found that X. laevis eggs inseminated in a solution lacking added divalent cations developed normally. By contrast, eggs inseminated in millimolar concentrations of BAPTA or EGTA failed to develop. Transferring embryos to varying solutions after sperm addition, we found that extracellular Ca2+ is specifically required for events occurring within the first 30 minutes after sperm addition, but not after. We found that the fluorescently stained sperm were not able to penetrate the envelope of eggs inseminated in high BAPTA, whereas several had penetrated the vitelline envelope of eggs inseminated without a Ca2+ chelator, or with BAPTA and saturating CaCl2. Together these results indicate that fertilization does not occur in high concentrations of Ca2+ chelators. Finally, we found that the jelly coat includes >5 mM of readily diffusible Ca2+. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, these data are consistent with requirement of extracellular Ca2+ for fertilization. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that the jelly coat surrounding the egg acts as a reserve of readily available Ca2+ ions to foster fertilization in changing extracellular milieu. PMID:28114360

  3. Localization of RNAs in oocytes of Eleutherodactylus coqui, a direct developing frog, differs from Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Beckham, Yvonne M; Nath, Kimberly; Elinson, Richard P

    2003-01-01

    Eleutherodactylus coqui develops directly on land to a frog. The large 3.5-mm oocyte of E. coqui has enough yolk to allow development without a feeding tadpole. In the smaller Xenopus laevis oocyte, 1.3 mm in diameter, mRNAs involved in germ layer formation, such as VegT and Vg1, are localized to the vegetal cortex of the oocyte. We hypothesized that an animal shift has occurred in the localization of the E. coqui Orthologs of VegT and Vg1 due to the large egg size. Through a combination of degenerate reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE), we cloned 1634 bp of EcVegT and 1377 bp of EcVg1. Northern blot analysis shows that the lengths of these transcripts are 2.5 kb and 1.3 kb, respectively. This result suggests that we have obtained the complete Vg1 transcript, although this transcript has an extremely short 3' untranslated region compared with X. laevis, 256 bp and 1268 bp, respectively. Zygotic expression of EcVegT closely resembles that of VegT, supporting their orthology. Radioactive RT-PCR and in situ hybridization demonstrated the presence of EcVegT and EcVg1 predominantly near the animal pole of the oocyte. RT-PCR showed that the animal blastomeres, formed from the first horizontal cleavage, inherit half of the EcVegT and EcVg1 transcripts, although they contain only about 1% of the embryo volume. Our results indicate major differences between the molecular organization of the eggs of X. laevis and E. coqui.

  4. Defined nutrient medium for the in vitro maintenance of Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Eppig, J J; Dumont, J N

    1976-06-01

    A procedure is described for the isolation and culture of large numbers of follicle cell-free Xenopus laevis oocytes in all stages of development. The isolation procedure involves the incubation of pieces of ovary in a calcium-free solution OR2 containing 0.2% collagenase. A defined nutrient medium for the maintenace of the oocytes in vitro is presented. It is shown that this medium, referred to as DNOM, can maintain certain morpological and functional characteristics of oocytes for periods up to 3 weeks.

  5. Expressional characterization of mRNA (guanine-7) methyltransferase (rnmt) during early development of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Lokapally, Ashwin; Metikala, Sanjeeva; Hollemann, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of the guanosine cap structure at the 5' end of mRNA is essential for efficient translation of all eukaryotic cellular mRNAs, gene expression and cell viability and promotes transcription, splicing, polyadenylation and nuclear export of mRNA. In the current study, we present the spatial expression pattern of the Xenopus laevis rnmt homologue. A high percentage of protein sequence similarity, especially within the methyltransferase domain, as well as an increased expression in the cells of the transcriptionally active stages, suggests a conserved RNA cap methylation function. Spatial expression analysis identified expression domains in the brain, the retina, the lens, the otic vesicles and the branchial arches.

  6. Stable magnetic field gradient levitation of Xenopus laevis: toward low-gravity simulation.

    PubMed

    Valles, J M; Lin, K; Denegre, J M; Mowry, K L

    1997-08-01

    We have levitated, for the first time, living biological specimens, embryos of the frog Xenopus laevis, using a large inhomogeneous magnetic field. The magnetic field/field gradient product required for levitation was 1430 kG2/cm, consistent with the embryo's susceptibility being dominated by the diamagnetism of water and protein. We show that unlike any other earth-based technique, magnetic field gradient levitation of embryos reduces the body forces and gravity-induced stresses on them. We discuss the use of large inhomogeneous magnetic fields as a probe for gravitationally sensitive phenomena in biological specimens.

  7. Accelerated Gene Evolution and Subfunctionalization in thePseudotetraploid Frog Xenopus Laevis

    SciTech Connect

    Hellsten, Uffe; Khokha, Mustafa K.; Grammar, Timothy C.; Harland,Richard M.; Richardson, Paul; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2007-03-01

    Ancient whole genome duplications have been implicated in the vertebrate and teleost radiations, and in the emergence of diverse angiosperm lineages, but the evolutionary response to such a perturbation is still poorly understood. The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis experienced a relatively recent tetraploidization {approx} 40 million years ago. Analysis of the considerable amount of EST sequence available for this species together with the genome sequence of the related diploid Xenopus tropicalis provides a unique opportunity to study the genomic response to whole genome duplication.

  8. How Xenopus Laevis Replicates DNA Reliably even though Its Origins of Replication are Located and Initiated Stochastically

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bechhoefer, John; Marshall, Brandon

    2007-03-01

    DNA replication in Xenopus laevis is extremely reliable, failing to complete before cell division no more than once in 10 000 times; yet replication origin sites are located and initiated stochastically. Using a model based on 1D theories of nucleation and growth and using concepts from extreme-value statistics, we derive the distribution of replication times given a particular initiation function. We show that the experimentally observed initiation strategy for Xenopus laevis meets the reliability constraint and is close to the one that requires the fewest resources of a cell.

  9. Development of Erythroid Progenitors under Erythropoietin Stimulation in Xenopus laevis Larval Liver.

    PubMed

    Okui, Takehito; Hosozawa, Sakiko; Kohama, Satoka; Fujiyama, Shingo; Maekawa, Shun; Muto, Hiroshi; Kato, Takashi

    2016-12-01

    Erythroid progenitors that respond to erythropoietin (Epo) are present in the liver of adult Xenopus laevis. However, cells responding to Epo in the larval liver and through the metamorphosis period under hepatic remodeling have not been characterized. In this study, tadpoles were staged using the tables of Nieuwkoop and Faber (NF). Liver cells from pre- (NF56) or post- (NF66) metamorphic stage were cultured in the presence of Epo. β2-globin mRNA expression peaked at day 7 after the start of culture. Larval β2-globin was highly expressed in NF56-derived cells, while adult β2-globinwas detected in those of NF66. In both NF56- and NF66-derived cells, mRNA expression of eporand gata2 peaked at day 5 and days 3-4, respectively. In contrast, gata1 expression peaked at day 6 in NF56 cells and at day 5 in NF66 cells. Half maximal proliferation of erythrocytic blast cells derived from the liver at NF66 was observed at day 3, which was earlier than that of NF56. These results indicate that erythroid progenitors that respond to Xenopus laevis Epo are maintained in pre- and post-metamorphic liver, although the tissue architecture changes dramatically during metamorphosis. Additionally, the globin switching occurred, and/or the erythroid progenitors for larval erythrocytes were replaced by those for adult erythrocytes in the metamorphic liver.

  10. Long term effects of carbaryl exposure on antiviral immune responses in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Lawrence, B Paige; Robert, Jacques

    2017-03-01

    Water pollutants associated with agriculture may contribute to the increased prevalence of infectious diseases caused by ranaviruses. We have established the amphibian Xenopus laevis and the ranavirus Frog Virus 3 (FV3) as a reliable experimental platform for evaluating the effects of common waterborne pollutants, such as the insecticide carbaryl. Following 3 weeks of exposure to 10 ppb carbaryl, X. laevis tadpoles exhibited a marked increase in mortality and accelerated development. Exposure at lower concentrations (0.1 and 1.0 ppb) was not toxic, but it impaired tadpole innate antiviral immune responses, as evidenced by significantly decreased TNF-α, IL-1β, IFN-I, and IFN-III gene expression. The defect in IFN-I and IL-1β gene expression levels persisted after metamorphosis in froglets, whereas only IFN-I gene expression in response to FV3 was attenuated when carbaryl exposure was performed at the adult stage. These findings suggest that the agriculture-associated carbaryl exposure at low but ecologically-relevant concentrations has the potential to induce long term alterations in host-pathogen interactions and antiviral immunity.

  11. Effect of copper contaminated food on the life cycle and secondary production of Daphnia laevis.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Giseli S; Tonietto, Alessandra E; Lombardi, Ana T; Melão, Maria da G G

    2016-11-01

    In aquatic environments, copper (Cu) plays important physiological roles in planktonic food chain, such as electron transfer in photosynthesis and constituting proteins that transport oxygen in some arthropods, while at higher concentrations it is toxic on these organisms and higher trophic levels. The combined effects of natural (e.g. volcanic activity) and anthropogenic sources (e.g. mining waste) contribute to the increase in copper pollution in different ecosystems and regions around the world. In the present study, we evaluated the bioaccumulation and effect of Cu on Raphidocelis subcapitata (freshwater algae), and the influence of Cu-contaminated food (algae) on Daphnia laevis (tropical cladoceran). The amount of copper accumulated in microalgae and cladoceran was quantified, and life-history parameters of D. laevis such as growth, reproduction and longevity were measured. The cell density of Cu exposed R. subcapitata declined, and cladoceran fed with contaminated food had lower longevity, production of eggs and neonates, and reduced secondary production. A concentration dependent increase in Cu accumulation was observed in the microalgae, while the opposite occurred in the animal, indicating a cellular metal regulatory mechanism in the latter. However, this regulation seems not to be sufficient to avoid metal induced damages in the cladoceran such as decreased longevity and reproduction. We conclude that diet is an important metal exposure route to this cladoceran, and the assessment of chronic contamination during the complete life cycle of cladoceran provides results that are similar to those observed in natural environments, especially when native organisms are investigated.

  12. FoxO genes are dispensable during gastrulation but required for late embryogenesis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Schuff, Maximilian; Siegel, Doreen; Bardine, Nabila; Oswald, Franz; Donow, Cornelia; Knöchel, Walter

    2010-01-15

    Forkhead box (Fox) transcription factors of subclass O are involved in cell survival, proliferation, apoptosis, cell metabolism and prevention of oxidative stress. FoxO genes are highly conserved throughout evolution and their functions were analyzed in several vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. We here report on the identification of FoxO4 and FoxO6 genes in Xenopus laevis and analyze their expression patterns in comparison with the previously described FoxO1 and FoxO3 genes. We demonstrate significant differences in their temporal and spatial expression during embryogenesis and in their relative expression within adult tissues. Overexpression of FoxO1, FoxO4 or FoxO6 results in severe gastrulation defects, while overexpression of FoxO3 reveals this defect only in a constitutively active form containing mutations of Akt-1 target sites. Injections of FoxO antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MO) did not influence gastrulation, but, later onwards, the embryos showed a delay of development, severe body axis reduction and, finally, a high rate of lethality. Injection of FoxO4MO leads to specific defects in eye formation, neural crest migration and heart development, the latter being accompanied by loss of myocardin expression. Our observations suggest that FoxO genes in X. laevis are dispensable until blastopore closure but are required for tissue differentiation and organogenesis.

  13. A novel gene, Ami is expressed in vascular tissue in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Inui, Masafumi; Asashima, Makoto

    2006-08-01

    We report the isolation and expression pattern of a novel gene, Ami in Xenopus laevis. Ami was initially isolated as a highly expressed gene in cardiovascular tissues. The deduced amino acid sequence of Ami was most closely similar to human complement factor D and mouse adipsin in mammals. In adult Xenopus tissues, the transcript of Ami was detected in liver, fat body, lung, gut, vessel, heart, muscle, testis, and ovary, but expression in blood cells or skin was hardly detected. This expression profile was significantly different from that observed for mammalian homologues. Ami transcripts in Xenopus laevis were expressed from the late neurula stage, remained constant until the tadpole stage. The mRNA localized to paraxial regions at the neurula stage and anterior ventral regions at the tailbud stage. From the late tailbud to tadpole stage, expression was detected along the forming blood vessels, including the anterior cardinal veins, posterior cardinal veins, intersomitic veins, dorsal longitudinal anastomosing vessel, dorsal aorta, pronephric sinus, and most prominently around the vascular vitelline network. The expression around the vascular vitelline network demonstrated left-right asymmetry in stage 42 embryo. Comparison with the endothelium marker, Xmsr, suggested that Ami is expressed in endothelial cells.

  14. Characterization of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors in the neurointermediate lobe of the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Verburg-van Kemenade, B M; Jenks, B G; Lenssen, F J; Vaudry, H

    1987-02-01

    The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is involved in the regulation of secretion of MSH from the intermediate lobe of Xenopus laevis. The purpose of this study was to identify the GABA receptor(s) involved by determination of the effect of specific receptor agonists and antagonists on the release of immunoreactive MSH from superfused neurointermediate lobes of Xenopus. Exogenous GABA induces a rapid inhibition of MSH secretion. There was no evidence for a transitory stimulatory effect of GABA as reported for the rat melanotropes. Both the GABA agonists (GABAa) homotaurine and isoguvacine and the GABA agonist (GABAb) baclofen inhibited MSH release in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, homotaurine and baclofen caused aggregation of pigment in dermal melanophores. The MSH release-inhibiting effect of homotaurine and isoguvacine could be antagonized by the specific GABAa receptor antagonist bicuculline. However, bicuculline and picrotoxin failed to block the effect of exogenous GABA. We conclude that in the neurointermediate lobe of Xenopus laevis both GABAa and GABAb receptors are present, suggesting a dual inhibitory regulation.

  15. Transgenic Xenopus laevis for live imaging in cell and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Takagi, Chiyo; Sakamaki, Kazuhiro; Morita, Hitoshi; Hara, Yusuke; Suzuki, Makoto; Kinoshita, Noriyuki; Ueno, Naoto

    2013-05-01

    The stable transgenesis of genes encoding functional or spatially localized proteins, fused to fluorescent proteins such as green fluorescent protein (GFP) or red fluorescent protein (RFP), is an extremely important research tool in cell and developmental biology. Transgenic organisms constructed with fluorescent labels for cell membranes, subcellular organelles, and functional proteins have been used to investigate cell cycles, lineages, shapes, and polarity, in live animals and in cells or tissues derived from these animals. Genes of interest have been integrated and maintained in generations of transgenic animals, which have become a valuable resource for the cell and developmental biology communities. Although the use of Xenopus laevis as a transgenic model organism has been hampered by its relatively long reproduction time (compared to Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans), its large embryonic cells and the ease of manipulation in early embryos have made it a historically valuable preparation that continues to have tremendous research potential. Here, we report on the Xenopus laevis transgenic lines our lab has generated and discuss their potential use in biological imaging.

  16. Distribution of single wall carbon nanotubes in the Xenopus laevis embryo after microinjection.

    PubMed

    Holt, Brian D; Shawky, Joseph H; Dahl, Kris Noel; Davidson, Lance A; Islam, Mohammad F

    2016-04-01

    Single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are advanced materials with the potential for a myriad of diverse applications, including biological technologies and large-scale usage with the potential for environmental impacts. SWCNTs have been exposed to developing organisms to determine their effects on embryogenesis, and results have been inconsistent arising, in part, from differing material quality, dispersion status, material size, impurity from catalysts and stability. For this study, we utilized highly purified SWCNT samples with short, uniform lengths (145 ± 17 nm) well dispersed in solution. To test high exposure doses, we microinjected > 500 µg ml(-1) SWCNT concentrations into the well-established embryogenesis model, Xenopus laevis, and determined embryo compatibility and subcellular localization during development. SWCNTs localized within cellular progeny of the microinjected cells, but were heterogeneously distributed throughout the target-injected tissue. Co-registering unique Raman spectral intensity of SWCNTs with images of fluorescently labeled subcellular compartments demonstrated that even at regions of highest SWCNT concentration, there were no gross alterations to subcellular microstructures, including filamentous actin, endoplasmic reticulum and vesicles. Furthermore, SWCNTs did not aggregate and localized to the perinuclear subcellular region. Combined, these results suggest that purified and dispersed SWCNTs are not toxic to X. laevis animal cap ectoderm and may be suitable candidate materials for biological applications.

  17. CHROMATIN ASSEMBLY AND TRANSCRIPTIONAL CROSS-TALK IN XENOPUS LAEVIS OOCYTE AND EGG EXTRACTS

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei-Lin; Shechter, David

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin, primarily a complex of DNA and histone proteins, is the physiological form of the genome. Chromatin is generally repressive for transcription and other information transactions that occur on DNA. A wealth of post-translational modifications on canonical histones and histone variants encode regulatory information to recruit or repel effector proteins on chromatin, promoting and further repressing transcription and thereby form the basis of epigenetic information. During metazoan oogenesis, large quantities of histone proteins are synthesized and stored in preparation for the rapid early cell cycles of development and to elicit maternal control of chromatin assembly pathways. Oocyte and egg cell-free extracts of the frog Xenopus laevis are a compelling model system for the study of chromatin assembly and transcription precisely because they exist in an extreme state primed for rapid chromatin assembly or for transcriptional activity. We show that chromatin assembly rates are slower in X. laevis oocyte than in egg extracts, while conversely only oocyte extracts transcribe template plasmids. We demonstrate that rapid chromatin assembly in egg extracts represses RNA Polymerase II dependent transcription, while pre-binding of TATA-Binding Protein (TBP) to a template plasmid promotes transcription. Our experimental evidence presented here supports a model in which chromatin assembly and transcription are in competition and that the onset of zygotic genomic activation may be in part due to stable transcriptional complex assembly. PMID:27759158

  18. Significant modulation of the hepatic proteome induced by exposure to low temperature in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Nagasawa, Kazumichi; Tanizaki, Yuta; Okui, Takehito; Watarai, Atsuko; Ueda, Shinobu; Kato, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Summary The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is an ectothermic vertebrate that can survive at low environmental temperatures. To gain insight into the molecular events induced by low body temperature, liver proteins were evaluated at the standard laboratory rearing temperature (22°C, control) and a low environmental temperature (5°C, cold exposure). Using nano-flow liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry, we identified 58 proteins that differed in abundance. A subsequent Gene Ontology analysis revealed that the tyrosine and phenylalanine catabolic processes were modulated by cold exposure, which resulted in decreases in hepatic tyrosine and phenylalanine, respectively. Similarly, levels of pyruvate kinase and enolase, which are involved in glycolysis and glycogen synthesis, were also decreased, whereas levels of glycogen phosphorylase, which participates in glycogenolysis, were increased. Therefore, we measured metabolites in the respective pathways and found that levels of hepatic glycogen and glucose were decreased. Although the liver was under oxidative stress because of iron accumulation caused by hepatic erythrocyte destruction, the hepatic NADPH/NADP ratio was not changed. Thus, glycogen is probably utilized mainly for NADPH supply rather than for energy or glucose production. In conclusion, X. laevis responds to low body temperature by modulating its hepatic proteome, which results in altered carbohydrate metabolism. PMID:24167716

  19. Proteomics analysis of Xenopus laevis gonad tissue following chronic exposure to atrazine.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiuping; Wang, Jiamei; Zhu, Haojun; Ding, Jiatong; Peng, Yufa

    2015-08-01

    Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant in ground and surface water. Previous studies have shown that atrazine is an endocrine disruptor owing to its adverse effects on the male reproductive system in several vertebrates, but very few molecular mechanisms for these effects have been revealed. In the present study, Xenopus laevis were exposed to 100 ppb of atrazine for 120 d, and then the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) technique was used to detect global changes in protein profiles of the testes and ovaries. The results showed that 100 ppb of atrazine exposure adversely affected the growth of X. laevis and did not induce hermaphroditism but delayed or prevented the development of male seminiferous tubules. Proteomic analysis showed that atrazine altered expression of 143 and 121 proteins in the testes and ovaries, respectively, and most of them are involved in cellular and metabolic processes and biological regulation based on their biological processes. In addition, apoptosis, tight junctions, and metabolic pathways were significantly altered in the atrazine-treated gonads. Based on the above results, it is postulated that the reproductive toxicity of atrazine may be the result of disruption of tight junctions and metabolic signaling pathways and/or induction of apoptosis in germ cells.

  20. Biological and biochemical properties of two Xenopus laevis N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases with contrasting roles in embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Voglmeir, Josef; Laurent, Nicolas; Flitsch, Sabine L; Oelgeschläger, Michael; Wilson, Iain B H

    2015-02-01

    The biosynthesis of mucin-type O-linked glycans in animals is initiated by members of the large family of polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Ts), which play important roles in embryogenesis, organogenesis, adult tissue homeostasis and carcinogenesis. Until now, the mammalian forms of these enzymes have been the best characterized. However, two N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (xGalNAc-T6 and xGalNAc-T16) from the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), which are most homologous to those encoded by the human GALNT6 and GALNT16 (GALNTL1) genes, were shown to have contrasting roles in TGF-β/BMP signaling in embryogenesis. In this study we have examined these two enzymes further and show differences in their in vivo function during X. laevis embyrogenesis as evidenced by in situ hybridization and overexpression experiments. In terms of enzymatic activity, both enzymes were found to be active towards the EA2 peptide, but display differential activity towards a peptide based on the sequence of ActR-IIB, a receptor relevant to TGF-β/BMP signaling. In summary, these data demonstrate that these two enzymes from different branches of the N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase do not only display differential substrate specificities, but also specific and distinct expression pattern and biological activities in vivo.

  1. NF2/Merlin is required for the axial pattern formation in the Xenopus laevis embryo.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xuechen; Min, Zheying; Tan, Renbo; Tao, Qinghua

    2015-11-01

    The NF2 gene product Merlin is a FERM-domain protein possessing a broad tumor-suppressing function. NF2/Merlin has been implicated in regulating multiple signaling pathways critical for cell growth and survival. However, it remains unknown whether NF2/Merlin regulates Wnt/β-catenin signaling during vertebrate embryogenesis. Here we demonstrate that NF2/Merlin is required for body pattern formation in the Xenopus laevis embryo. Depletion of the maternal NF2/Merlin enhances organizer gene expression dependent on the presence of β-catenin, and causes dorsanteriorized development; Morpholino antisense oligo-mediated knockdown of the zygotic NF2/Merlin shifts posterior genes anteriorwards and reduces the anterior development. We further demonstrate that targeted depletion of NF2 in the presumptive dorsal tissues increases the levels of nuclear β-catenin in the neural epithelial cells. Biochemical analyses reveal that NF2 depletion promotes the production of active β-catenin and concurrently decreases the level of N-terminally phosphorylated β-catenin under the stimulation of the endogenous Wnt signaling. Our findings suggest that NF2/Merlin negatively regulates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity during the pattern formation in early X. laevis embryos.

  2. Response of larval Xenopus laevis to atrazine: assessment of growth, metamorphosis, and gonadal and laryngeal morphology.

    PubMed

    Carr, James A; Gentles, Angie; Smith, Ernest E; Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Thuett, Kerry; Kendall, Ronald J; Giesy, John P; Gross, Tim S; Solomon, Keith R; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2003-02-01

    Larval Xenopus laevis were exposed to one of four concentrations of atrazine (0, 1, 10, or 25 microg/L, 11 replicate tanks per treatment, 60-65 larvae per replicate) dissolved in an artificial pond water (frog embryo teratogenesis assay- Xenopus [FETAX]) medium beginning 48 h after hatching until the completion of metamorphosis. Separate groups of larvae (six replicate tanks per treatment, 60-65 larvae per replicate) were exposed to estradiol (100 microg/L), dihydrotestosterone (100 microg/L), or ethanol vehicle control dissolved in FETAX medium. None of the treatments affected posthatch mortality, larval growth, or metamorphosis. There were no treatment effects on sex ratios except for estradiol, which produced a greater percentage of female offspring. Exposure to either estradiol or 25 microg atrazine/L increased the incidence of intersex animals based on assessment of gonadal morphology. Atrazine did not reduce the size of the laryngeal dilator muscle, a sexually dimorphic muscle in this species. We conclude that environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine do not influence metamorphosis or sex ratios and do not inhibit sexually dimorphic larynx growth in X. laevis. The incidence of atrazine-induced intersex animals was small (<5%) and occurred only at the greatest concentration of atrazine tested, a concentration that is rarely observed in surface waters in the United States.

  3. In vivo tracking of histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation in Xenopus laevis during tail regeneration.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miyuki; Takagi, Chiyo; Miura, Shinichirou; Sakane, Yuto; Suzuki, Makoto; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Sakamoto, Naoaki; Endo, Tetsuya; Kamei, Yasuhiro; Sato, Yuko; Kimura, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Ueno, Naoto; Suzuki, Ken-ichi T

    2016-04-01

    Xenopus laevis tadpoles can completely regenerate their appendages, such as tail and limbs, and therefore provide a unique model to decipher the molecular mechanisms of organ regeneration in vertebrates. Epigenetic modifications are likely to be involved in this remarkable regeneration capacity, but they remain largely unknown. To examine the involvement of histone modification during organ regeneration, we generated transgenic X. laevis ubiquitously expressing a fluorescent modification-specific intracellular antibody (Mintbody) that is able to track histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) in vivo through nuclear enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fluorescence. In embryos ubiquitously expressing H3K9ac-Mintbody, robust fluorescence was observed in the nuclei of somites. Interestingly, H3K9ac-Mintbody signals predominantly accumulated in nuclei of regenerating notochord at 24 h postamputation following activation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Moreover, apocynin (APO), an inhibitor of ROS production, attenuated H3K9ac-Mintbody signals in regenerating notochord. Our results suggest that ROS production is involved in acetylation of H3K9 in regenerating notochord at the onset of tail regeneration. We also show this transgenic Xenopus to be a useful tool to investigate epigenetic modification, not only in organogenesis but also in organ regeneration.

  4. FIRST REPORT OF 'CANDIDATUS PHYTOPLASMA ULMI' IN ULMUS LAEVIS IN GERMANY.

    PubMed

    Eisold, A M; Kube, M; Holz, S; Büttner, C

    2015-01-01

    The wall-less bacteria of the provisory taxon 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' are obligate parasites and associated to diseases in many important crops and trees worldwide. 'Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi', assigned to 16SrV-A subgroup, is a quarantine pest and described to be associated to elm phloem necrosis, leaf yellowing, stunting, witches broom and decline in various elm species. Elm yellows phytoplasmas (EY) have been reported in several European countries but not in Ulmus laevis in Germany so far. Leaf samples from European white elms (Ulmus leavis PALL.) with and without chlorotic symptoms were investigated for EYs infection in Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany, through performing diagnostic nested PCR targeting partial rRNA operon of phytoplasmas. Specific PCR-products were obtained from 30 out of 59 samples. Partial 16S-rDNA sequences were assigned to 'Ca. P. ulmi' through sequence analysis, while sequence variation was observed. This is the first report of U. laevis infected with 'Ca. P. ulmi' in Germany.

  5. Inverse Effects on Growth and Development Rates by Means of Endocrine Disruptors in African Clawed Frog Tadpoles ("Xenopus Laevis")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackney, Zachary Carl

    2007-01-01

    Previous work on fish, frogs, and salamanders, showed the ability for estrogen (EE2) and anthropogenic endocrine disruptors to skew sex ratios and cause hermaphrodism. This study addressed the effects of estrogens on growth and development rates of African clawed frog tadpoles ("Xenopus laevis") during their gender determination stages. The…

  6. Optogenetic Control of Apoptosis in Targeted Tissues of Xenopus laevis Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Jewhurst, Kyle; Levin, Michael; McLaughlin, Kelly A

    2014-01-01

    KillerRed (KR) is a recently discovered fluorescent protein that, when activated with green light, releases reactive oxygen species (ROS) into the cytoplasm, triggering apoptosis in a KR-expressing cell. This property allows for the use of KR as a means of killing cells in an organism with great temporal and spatial specificity, while minimizing the nonspecific effects that can result from mechanical or chemical exposure damage techniques. Such optogenetic control of cell death, and the resulting ability to induce the targeted death of specific tissues, is invaluable for regeneration/repair studies—particularly in Xenopus laevis, where apoptosis plays a key role in regeneration and repair. We here describe a method by which membrane-bound KR, introduced to Xenopus embryos by mRNA microinjection, can be activated with green light to induce apoptosis in specific organs and tissues, with a focus on the developing eye and pronephric kidney. PMID:25374461

  7. GAP-43 augments G protein-coupled receptor transduction in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Strittmatter, S M; Cannon, S C; Ross, E M; Higashijima, T; Fishman, M C

    1993-01-01

    The neuronal protein GAP-43 is thought to play a role in determining growth-cone motility, perhaps as an intracellular regulator of signal transduction, but its molecular mechanism of action has remained unclear. We find that GAP-43, when microinjected into Xenopus laevis oocytes, increases the oocyte response to G protein-coupled receptor agonists by 10- to 100-fold. Higher levels of GAP-43 cause a transient current flow, even without receptor stimulation. The GAP-43-induced current, like receptor-stimulated currents, is mediated by a calcium-activated chloride channel and can be desensitized by injection of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. This suggests that neuronal GAP-43 may serve as an intracellular signal to greatly enhance the sensitivity of G protein-coupled receptor transduction. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:7685122

  8. Planar induction of anteroposterior pattern in the developing central nervous system of Xenopus laevis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doniach, T.; Phillips, C. R.; Gerhart, J. C.

    1992-01-01

    It has long been thought that anteroposterior (A-P) pattern in the vertebrate central nervous system is induced in the embryo's dorsal ectoderm exclusively by signals passing vertically from underlying, patterned dorsal mesoderm. Explants from early gastrulae of the frog Xenopus laevis were prepared in which vertical contact between dorsal ectoderm and mesoderm was prevented but planar contact was maintained. In these, four position-specific neural markers (engrailed-2, Krox-20, XlHbox 1, and XlHbox 6) were expressed in the ectoderm in the same A-P order as in the embryo. Thus, planar signals alone, following a path available in the normal embryo, can induce A-P neural pattern.

  9. Expression of the Ca2+-binding protein, parvalbumin, during embryonic development of the frog, Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    A cDNA segment encoding the Ca2+-binding protein, parvalbumin, was isolated with the use of antibodies, from a lambda gtll expression library of Xenopus laevis tadpole poly(A)+ RNAs. The bacterially expressed beta-galactosidase-parvalbumin fusion protein of one lambda recombinant shows high affinity 45Ca2+ binding. The sequence of the tadpole parvalbumin is highly similar to previously characterized beta- parvalbumins of other organisms. Data from protein and RNA blotting experiments demonstrate that parvalbumin is absent in oocytes, eggs, and early staged embryos, and only becomes expressed during embryogenesis at the time of myogenesis. The protein can be detected in individual developing muscle cells and in muscle fibers of tadpole tail muscles. A simple method is also described for the isolation of neural tube-notochord-somite complexes from Xenopus embryos. PMID:3558484

  10. Cadmium but not lead exposure affects Xenopus laevis fertilization and embryo cleavage.

    PubMed

    Slaby, Sylvain; Lemière, Sébastien; Hanotel, Julie; Lescuyer, Arlette; Demuynck, Sylvain; Bodart, Jean-François; Leprêtre, Alain; Marin, Matthieu

    2016-08-01

    Among the toxicological and ecotoxicological studies, few have investigated the effects on germ cells, gametes or embryos, while an impact at these stages will result in serious damage at a population level. Thus, it appeared essential to characterize consequences of environmental contaminant exposures at these stages. Therefore, we proposed to assess the effects of exposure to cadmium and lead ions, alone or in a binary mixture, on early stages of Xenopus laevis life cycle. Fertilization and cell division during segmentation were the studied endpoints. Cadmium ion exposures decreased in the fertilization rates in a concentration-dependent manner, targeting mainly the oocytes. Exposure to this metal ions induced also delays or blockages in the embryonic development. For lead ion exposure, no such effect was observed. For the exposure to the mixture of the two metal ions, concerning the fertilization success, we observed results similar to those obtained with the highest cadmium ion concentration.

  11. Metabolic Regulation of CaMKII Protein and Caspases in Xenopus laevis Egg Extracts*

    PubMed Central

    McCoy, Francis; Darbandi, Rashid; Chen, Si-Ing; Eckard, Laura; Dodd, Keela; Jones, Kelly; Baucum, Anthony J.; Gibbons, Jennifer A.; Lin, Sue-Hwa; Colbran, Roger J.; Nutt, Leta K.

    2013-01-01

    The metabolism of the Xenopus laevis egg provides a cell survival signal. We found previously that increased carbon flux from glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) through the pentose phosphate pathway in egg extracts maintains NADPH levels and calcium/calmodulin regulated protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity to phosphorylate caspase 2 and suppress cell death pathways. Here we show that the addition of G6P to oocyte extracts inhibits the dephosphorylation/inactivation of CaMKII bound to caspase 2 by protein phosphatase 1. Thus, G6P sustains the phosphorylation of caspase 2 by CaMKII at Ser-135, preventing the induction of caspase 2-mediated apoptotic pathways. These findings expand our understanding of oocyte biology and clarify mechanisms underlying the metabolic regulation of CaMKII and apoptosis. Furthermore, these findings suggest novel approaches to disrupt the suppressive effects of the abnormal metabolism on cell death pathways. PMID:23400775

  12. Titration of four replication factors is essential for the Xenopus laevis midblastula transition.

    PubMed

    Collart, Clara; Allen, George E; Bradshaw, Charles R; Smith, James C; Zegerman, Philip

    2013-08-23

    The rapid, reductive early divisions of many metazoan embryos are followed by the midblastula transition (MBT), during which the cell cycle elongates and zygotic transcription begins. It has been proposed that the increasing nuclear to cytoplasmic (N/C) ratio is critical for controlling the events of the MBT. We show that four DNA replication factors--Cut5, RecQ4, Treslin, and Drf1--are limiting for replication initiation at increasing N/C ratios in vitro and in vivo in Xenopus laevis. The levels of these factors regulate multiple events of the MBT, including the slowing of the cell cycle, the onset of zygotic transcription, and the developmental activation of the kinase Chk1. This work provides a mechanism for how the N/C ratio controls the MBT and shows that the regulation of replication initiation is fundamental for normal embryogenesis.

  13. D-Amino acid oxidase and presence of D-proline in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Soma, Hiroki; Furuya, Ryuji; Kaneko, Ryo; Tsukamoto, Ayaka; Shirasu, Kazumitsu; Tanigawa, Minoru; Nagata, Yoko

    2013-10-01

    We purified D-amino acid oxidase (EC 1.4.3.3, DAO) from Xenopus laevis tadpoles. The optimal temperature and pH for enzyme activity were 35-40 °C and 8.3-9.0, respectively, depending on the substrate amino acids available to the enzyme; the highest activity was observed with D-proline followed by D-phenylalanine. Activity was significantly inhibited by p-hydroxymercuribenzoate, but only moderately by p-chloromercuribenzoate or benzoate. Enzyme activity was increased until the final tadpole stage, but was reduced to one-third in the adult and was localized primarily in the kidney. The tadpoles contained high concentrations of D-proline close to the final developmental stage and nearly no D-amino acids were detected in the adult frog, indicating that D-amino acid oxidase functions in metamorphosis.

  14. Sex-specific response to hypoxia in a reduced brainstem preparation from Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Jean-Philippe; Fournier, Stéphanie; Kinkead, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Respiratory reflexes and tolerance to hypoxia show significant sexual dimorphism. However, the data supporting this notion originates exclusively from mammals. To determine whether this concept is limited to this group of vertebrates, we examined the sex-specific response to acute hypoxia in an adult reduced brainstem preparation from Xenopus laevis. Within the first 5min of exposure to hypoxic aCSF (98% N2/2% CO2), recordings of respiratory-related activity show a stronger increase in fictive breathing frequency in males than females. This initial response was followed by a decrease in respiratory-related activity; this depression occurred 6min sooner in males than females. These results represent new evidences of sexual dimorphism in respiratory control in amphibians and provide potential insight in understanding the homology with other groups of vertebrates, including mammals.

  15. Optical coherence tomography for detection of compound action potential in Xenopus Laevis sciatic nerve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troiani, Francesca; Nikolic, Konstantin; Constandinou, Timothy G.

    2016-03-01

    Due to optical coherence tomography (OCT) high spatial and temporal resolution, this technique could be used to observe the quick changes in the refractive index that accompany action potential. In this study we explore the use of time domain Optical Coherence Tomography (TD-OCT) for real time action potential detection in ex vivo Xenopus Laevis sciatic nerve. TD-OCT is the easiest and less expensive OCT technique and, if successful in detecting real time action potential, it could be used for low cost monitoring devices. A theoretical investigation into the order of magnitude of the signals detected by a TD-OCT setup is provided by this work. A linear dependence between the refractive index and the intensity changes is observed and the minimum SNR for which the setup could work is found to be SNR = 2 x 104.

  16. Tail structure is formed when blastocoel roof contacts blastocoel floor in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Nishihara, Akiha; Hashimoto, Chikara

    2014-04-01

    The tail organizer has been assessed by such transplantation methods as the Einsteck procedure. However, we found that simple wounding of blastocoel roof (BCR) made it possible to form secondary tails without any transplantation in Xenopus laevis. We revealed that the ectopic expression of Xbra was blocked by inhibiting the contact between BCR and blastocoel floor (BCF), and wounding per se seemed to be not directly related to the secondary tail formation. Therefore, the secondary tail might be induced by the contact between BCR and BCF due to the leak of blastocoel fluid from the wound. This secondary tail was similar to the original tail in the expression pattern of tail genes, and in the fact that the inhibition of fibroblast growth factor signaling prevented the secondary tail induction. Our results imply that the secondary tail formation reflects the developmental processes of the original tail, indicating that simple wounding of BCR is useful for the analysis of tail formation in normal development.

  17. Light conditions affect the roll-induced vestibuloocular reflex in Xenopus laevis tadpoles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Yamany, Nabil A.

    2008-12-01

    In Xenopus laevis tadpoles, effects of asymmetrical light conditions on the roll-induced vestibuloocular reflex (rVOR) were tested for the developmental period between stage 47 and 49. For comparison, the rVOR was tested in dim- and high-symmetrical light environments. Test parameters were the rVOR gain and rVOR amplitude. Under all light conditions, the rVOR increased from tadpole stage 47 to 49. For all stages, the asymmetrical light field induced the strongest response, the dim light field the weakest one. The response for the left and right eye was identical, even if the tadpoles were tested under asymmetrical light conditions. The experiments can be considered as hints (1) for an age-dependent light sensitivity of vestibular neurons, and (2) for the existence of control systems for coordinated eye movements that has its origin in the proprioceptors of the extraocular eye muscles.

  18. Rhodopsin Forms Nanodomains in Rod Outer Segment Disc Membranes of the Cold-Blooded Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Rakshit, Tatini; Senapati, Subhadip; Sinha, Satyabrata; Whited, A M; Park, Paul S-H

    2015-01-01

    Rhodopsin forms nanoscale domains (i.e., nanodomains) in rod outer segment disc membranes from mammalian species. It is unclear whether rhodopsin arranges in a similar manner in amphibian species, which are often used as a model system to investigate the function of rhodopsin and the structure of photoreceptor cells. Moreover, since samples are routinely prepared at low temperatures, it is unclear whether lipid phase separation effects in the membrane promote the observed nanodomain organization of rhodopsin from mammalian species. Rod outer segment disc membranes prepared from the cold-blooded frog Xenopus laevis were investigated by atomic force microscopy to visualize the organization of rhodopsin in the absence of lipid phase separation effects. Atomic force microscopy revealed that rhodopsin nanodomains form similarly as that observed previously in mammalian membranes. Formation of nanodomains in ROS disc membranes is independent of lipid phase separation and conserved among vertebrates.

  19. Dynein-Based Accumulation of Membranes Regulates Nuclear Expansion in Xenopus laevis Egg Extracts.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yuki; Merten, Christoph A

    2015-06-08

    Nuclear size changes dynamically during development and has long been observed to correlate with the space surrounding the nucleus, as well as with the volume of the cell. Here we combine an in vitro cell-free system of Xenopus laevis egg extract with microfluidic devices to systematically analyze the effect of spatial constraints. The speed of nuclear expansion depended on the available space surrounding the nucleus up to a threshold volume in the nanoliter range, herein referred to as the nuclear domain. Under spatial constraints smaller than this nuclear domain, the size of microtubule-occupied space surrounding the nucleus turned out to be limiting for the accumulation of membranes around the nucleus via the motor protein dynein, therefore determining the speed of nuclear expansion. This mechanism explains how spatial information surrounding the nucleus, such as the positioning of the nucleus inside the cell, can control nuclear expansion.

  20. Quantitative proteomics of Xenopus laevis embryos: expression kinetics of nearly 4000 proteins during early development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Liangliang; Bertke, Michelle M.; Champion, Matthew M.; Zhu, Guijie; Huber, Paul W.; Dovichi, Norman J.

    2014-03-01

    While there is a rich literature on transcription dynamics during the development of many organisms, protein data is limited. We used iTRAQ isotopic labeling and mass spectrometry to generate the largest developmental proteomic dataset for any animal. Expression dynamics of nearly 4,000 proteins of Xenopus laevis was generated from fertilized egg to neurula embryo. Expression clusters into groups. The cluster profiles accurately reflect the major events that mark changes in gene expression patterns during early Xenopus development. We observed decline in the expression of ten DNA replication factors after the midblastula transition (MBT), including a marked decline of the licensing factor XCdc6. Ectopic expression of XCdc6 leads to apoptosis; temporal changes in this protein are critical for proper development. Measurement of expression in single embryos provided no evidence for significant protein heterogeneity between embryos at the same stage of development.

  1. Transmembrane Signal Transduction in Oocyte Maturation and Fertilization: Focusing on Xenopus laevis as a Model Animal

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Ken-ichi

    2014-01-01

    Fertilization is a cell biological phenomenon of crucial importance for the birth of new life in a variety of multicellular and sexual reproduction species such as algae, animal and plants. Fertilization involves a sequence of events, in which the female gamete “egg” and the male gamete “spermatozoon (sperm)” develop, acquire their functions, meet and fuse with each other, to initiate embryonic and zygotic development. Here, it will be briefly reviewed how oocyte cytoplasmic components are orchestrated to undergo hormone-induced oocyte maturation and sperm-induced activation of development. I then review how sperm-egg membrane interaction/fusion and activation of development in the fertilized egg are accomplished and regulated through egg coat- or egg plasma membrane-associated components, highlighting recent findings and future directions in the studies using Xenopus laevis as a model experimental animal. PMID:25546390

  2. Neurotransmitter signaling pathways required for normal development in Xenopus laevis embryos: a pharmacological survey screen

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Kelly G.; Levin, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitters are not only involved in brain function but are also important signaling molecules for many diverse cell types. Neurotransmitters are widely conserved, from evolutionarily ancient organisms lacking nervous systems through man. Here, we report results from a loss- and gain-of-function survey, using pharmacologic modulators of several neurotransmitter pathways to examine possible roles in normal embryogenesis. Applying reagents targeting the glutamatergic, adrenergic, and dopaminergic pathways to embryos of Xenopus laevis from gastrulation to organogenesis stages, we observed and quantified numerous malformations including craniofacial defects, hyperpigmentation, muscle mispatterning, and miscoiling of the gut. These data implicate several key neurotransmitters in new embryonic patterning roles, reveal novel earlier stages for processes involved in eye development, suggest new targets for subsequent molecular-genetic investigation, and highlight the necessity for in-depth toxicology studies of psychoactive compounds to which human embryos might be exposed during pregnancy. PMID:27060969

  3. Expression-dependent pharmacology of transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 channels in Xenopus laevis oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Acevedo, Ricardo E.; Pless, Stephan A.; Schwarz, Stephan K.W.; Ahern, Christopher A.

    2013-01-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member 1 channels are polymodal sensors of noxious stimuli and integral players in thermosensation, inflammation and pain signaling. It has been shown previously that under prolonged stimulation, these channels show dynamic pore dilation, providing a pathway for large and otherwise relatively impermeant molecules. Further, we have shown recently that these nonselective cation channels, when activated by capsaicin, are potently and reversibly blocked by external application of quaternary ammonium compounds and local anesthetics. Here we describe a novel phenomenon in transient receptor potential channel pharmacology whereby their expression levels in Xenopus laevis oocytes, as assessed by the magnitude of macroscopic currents, are negatively correlated with extracellular blocker affinity: small current densities give rise to nanomolar blockade by quaternary ammoniums and this affinity decreases linearly as current density increases. Possible mechanisms to explain these data are discussed in light of similar observations in other channels and receptors. PMID:23428812

  4. Xenopus laevis embryos can establish their spatial bilateral symmetrical body pattern without gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubbels, Geertje A.; Reijnen, Mark; Meijerink, Jocelyn; Narraway, Jenny

    1994-08-01

    One assumes that gravity cooperates with the sperm in the establishment of bilateral symmetry in the embryo, particularly in species with yolky eggs. However, only experiments under genuine microgravity can prove this. May 2nd 1988 on the TEXUS-17 Sounding Rocket, eggs of Xenopus laevis became the first vertebrate eggs ever successfully fertilized in Space /1/.Fertilization was done in fully automated hardware; the experiment was successfully repeated and extended in 1989 /2,3/. Here we report a ``Space First'' from the IML-1 Space Shuttle mission (January 1992): In similar hardware and under microgravity, artificially fertilized Xenopus eggs started embryonic development. Histological fixation was pre-programmed at the time gastrulation would occur on Earth and indeed, gastrulae were fixed. Thus after fertilization in near weightlessness Xenopus embryos do develop bilaterally symmetrically, very probably cued by the sperm alone.

  5. Xenopus laevis embryos can establish their spatial bilateral symmetrical body pattern without gravity.

    PubMed

    Ubbels, G A; Reijnen, M; Meijerink, J; Narraway, J

    1994-01-01

    One assumes that gravity cooperates with the sperm in the establishment of bilateral symmetry in the embryo, particularly in species with yolky eggs. However, only experiments under genuine microgravity can prove this. May 2nd 1988 on the TEXUS-17 Sounding Rocket, eggs of Xenopus laevis became the first vertebrate eggs ever successfully fertilized in Space. Fertilization was done in fully automated hardware; the experiment was successfully repeated and extended in 1989. Here we report a "Space First" from the IML-1 Space Shuttle mission (January 1992): In similar hardware and under microgravity, artificially fertilized Xenopus eggs started embryonic development. Histological fixation was pre-programmed at the time gastrulation would occur on Earth and indeed, gastrulae were fixed. Thus after fertilization in near weightlessness Xenopus embryos do develop bilaterally symmetrically, very probably cued by the sperm alone.

  6. Dose-Dependent Early Life Stage Toxicities in Xenopus laevis Exposed In Ovo to Selenium.

    PubMed

    Massé, Anita J; Muscatello, Jorgelina R; Janz, David M

    2015-11-17

    Selenium (Se) is a developmental toxicant in oviparous vertebrates. The adverse reproductive effects of Se toxicity have been predominantly investigated in fishes and birds with only a few studies focusing on amphibians. The objective of this study was to determine tissue-based toxicity thresholds for early life stage Se toxicities in Xenopus laevis as a consequence of in ovo exposure through maternal transfer of dietary Se. Following a 68-day dietary exposure to food augmented with l-selenomethionine (SeMet) at measured concentrations of 0.7 (control), 10.9, 30.4, or 94.2 μg Se/g dry mass (d.m.), adult female X. laevis were bred with untreated males, and resulting embryos were incubated until 5 days postfertilization (dpf). The measured Se concentrations in eggs were 1.6, 10.8, 28.1, and 81.7 μg Se/g d.m., respectively. No biologically significant effects were observed on fertilization success, hatchability, or mortality in offspring. Frequency and severity of morphological abnormalities were significantly greater in 5 dpf tadpoles from the highest exposure group when compared to the control, with eye lens abnormalities being the most prominent of all abnormalities. The estimated EC10 value for frequency of total early life stage abnormalities was 44.9 μg Se/g egg d.m., which suggests that this amphibian species is less sensitive to in ovo Se exposure than most of the fish species studied to date.

  7. Effects of 17 beta-estradiol exposure on Xenopus laevis gonadal histopathology.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Jeffrey C; Lutz, Ilka; Kloas, Werner; Springer, Timothy A; Holden, Larry R; Krueger, Henry O; Hosmer, Alan J

    2010-05-01

    The natural estrogen 17 beta-estradiol (E2) is a potential environmental contaminant commonly employed as a positive control substance in bioassays involving estrogenic effects. The aquatic anuran Xenopus laevis is a frequent subject of reproductive endocrine disruptor research; however, histopathological investigations have tended to be less than comprehensive. Consequently, a study was designed to characterize gross and microscopic changes in the gonads of X. laevis as a result of E2 exposure. Additional goals of this study, which consisted of three separate experiments, included the standardization of diagnostic terminology and criteria, the validation of statistical methodology, and the establishment of a half maximal effective concentration (EC50) for E2 as defined by an approximately 50% conversion of presumptive genotypic males to phenotypic females. In the first experiment, frogs were exposed to nominal concentrations of 0, 0.2, 1.5, or 6.0 microg/L E2. From these experimental results and those of a subsequent range finding trial, the EC50 for E2 was determined to be approximately 0.2 microg/L. This E2 concentration was utilized in the other two experiments, which were performed at different facilities to confirm the reproducibility of results. Experiments were conducted according to Good Laboratory Practice guidelines, and the histopathologic evaluations were peer reviewed by an independent pathologist. Among the three trials, the histopathological findings that were strongly associated with E2-exposure (p<0.001 to 0.0001) included an increase in the proportion of phenotypic females, mixed sex, dilated testis tubules, dividing gonocytes in the testis, and dilated ovarian cavities in phenotypic ovaries. A comparison of the gross and microscopic evaluations suggested that some morphologic changes in the gonads may potentially be missed if studies rely entirely on macroscopic assessment.

  8. Effects of Transgenic cry1Ca Rice on the Development of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiuping; Wang, Jiamei; Zhu, Haojun; Li, Yunhe; Ding, Jiatong; Peng, Yufa

    2015-01-01

    In fields of genetically modified, insect-resistant rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins, frogs are exposed to Bt Cry proteins by consuming both target and non-target insects, and through their highly permeable skin. In the present study, we assessed the potential risk posed by transgenic cry1Ca rice (T1C-19) on the development of a frog species by adding purified Cry1Ca protein or T1C-19 rice straw into the rearing water of Xenopus laevis tadpoles, and by feeding X. laevis froglets diets containing rice grains of T1C-19 or its non-transformed counterpart MH63. Our results showed that there were no significant differences among groups receiving 100 μg L-1 or 10 μg L-1 Cry1Ca and the blank control in terms of time to completed metamorphosis, survival rate, body weight, body length, organ weight and liver enzyme activity after being exposed to the Cry1Ca (P > 0.05). Although some detection indices in the rice straw groups were significantly different from those of the blank control group (P < 0.05), there was no significant difference between the T1C-19 and MH63 rice straw groups. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the mortality rate, body weight, daily weight gain, liver and fat body weight of the froglets between the T1C-19 and MH63 dietary groups after 90 days, and there were no abnormal pathological changes in the stomach, intestines, livers, spleens and gonads. Thus, we conclude that the planting of transgenic cry1Ca rice will not adversely affect frog development.

  9. Regeneration of Xenopus laevis spinal cord requires Sox2/3 expressing cells

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Rosana; Edwards-Faret, Gabriela; Moreno, Mauricio; Zuñiga, Nikole; Cline, Hollis; Larraín, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Spinal cord regeneration is very inefficient in humans, causing paraplegia and quadriplegia. Studying model organisms that can regenerate the spinal cord in response to injury could be useful for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that explain why this process fails in humans. Here, we use Xenopus laevis as a model organism to study spinal cord repair. Histological and functional analyses showed that larvae at pre-metamorphic stages restore anatomical continuity of the spinal cord and recover swimming after complete spinal cord transection. These regenerative capabilities decrease with onset of metamorphosis. The ability to study regenerative and non-regenerative stages in Xenopus laevis makes it a unique model system to study regeneration. We studied the response of Sox2/3 expressing cells to spinal cord injury and their function in the regenerative process. We found that cells expressing Sox2 and/or Sox3 are present in the ventricular zone of regenerative animals and decrease in non-regenerative froglets. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) experiments and in vivo time-lapse imaging studies using green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression driven by the Sox3 promoter showed a rapid, transient and massive proliferation of Sox2/3+ cells in response to injury in the regenerative stages. The in vivo imaging also demonstrated that Sox2/3+ neural progenitor cells generate neurons in response to injury. In contrast, these cells showed a delayed and very limited response in non-regenerative froglets. Sox2 knockdown and overexpression of a dominant negative form of Sox2 disrupts locomotor and anatomical-histological recovery. We also found that neurogenesis markers increase in response to injury in regenerative but not in non-regenerative animals. We conclude that Sox2 is necessary for spinal cord regeneration and suggest a model whereby spinal cord injury activates proliferation of Sox2/3 expressing cells and their differentiation into neurons, a mechanism that is

  10. Molecular and cellular characterization of urinary bladder-type aquaporin in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Yuki; Katayama, Izumi; Nakakura, Takashi; Ogushi, Yuji; Okada, Reiko; Tanaka, Shigeyasu; Suzuki, Masakazu

    2015-10-01

    In contrast to many anuran amphibians, water is not reabsorbed from the urinary bladder in aquatic Xenopus, thereby helping to prevent excessive water influx. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms for this process. In the present study, we have identified urinary bladder-type aquaporin, AQP-x2, in Xenopus laevis by cDNA cloning. The predicted amino acid sequence contained six putative transmembrane domains and the two conserved Asn-Pro-Ala motifs, characteristic of AQPs. The sequence also contained a putative N-glycosylation site and phosphorylation motifs for protein kinase A and protein kinase C. The oocyte swelling assay showed that AQP-x2 facilitated water permeability. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that AQP-x2 mRNA was expressed in the urinary bladder and lung, and faintly in the kidney. Immunomicroscopical study further localized AQP-x2 protein to the cytoplasm of granular cells in the luminal epithelium of the urinary bladder whilst AQP3 was observed along the basolateral side of these cells. In vitro stimulation of the urinary bladder with 10(-8)M vasotocin (AVT), 10(-8)M hydrin 1, or 10(-8)M hydrin 2 had no clear effect on the subcellular distribution of AQP-x2. When the AVT concentration was increased to 10(-6)M, however, AQP-x2 was partially transferred to the apical plasma membrane. The treatment with hydrin 1 or hydrin 2 at the same concentration failed to induce the translocation to the apical membrane. On the other hand, AQP3 remained along the basolateral side even after the treatment with vasotocin or hydrins. The results suggest that the poor responsiveness of AQP-x2 to neurohypophyseal peptides may be a main cause for the little water permeability of the urinary bladder of X. laevis.

  11. Extinction of an introduced warm-climate alien species, Xenopus laevis, by extreme weather events.

    PubMed

    Tinsley, Richard C; Stott, Lucy C; Viney, Mark E; Mable, Barbara K; Tinsley, Matthew C

    Invasive, non-native species represent a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. The African amphibian Xenopus laevis is widely regarded as an invasive species and a threat to local faunas. Populations originating at the Western Cape, South Africa, have been introduced on four continents, mostly in areas with a similar Mediterranean climate. Some introduced populations are also established in cooler environments where persistence for many decades suggests a capacity for long-term adaptation. In these cases, recent climate warming might enhance invasion ability, favouring range expansion, population growth and negative effects on native faunas. In the cool temperate UK, populations have been established for about 50 years in Wales and for an unknown period, probably >20 years, in England (Lincolnshire). Our field studies over 30 and 10 years, respectively, show that in favourable conditions there may be good recruitment, fast individual growth rates and large body size; maximum longevity exceeds 23 years. Nevertheless, areas of distribution remained limited, with numbers <500 in each population. In 2010, only a single individual was captured at each locality and further searching failed to record any others in repeated sampling up to 2014. We conclude that both populations are now extinct. The winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 experienced extreme cold and drought (December 2010 was the coldest in 120 years and the third driest in 100 years). The extinction of X. laevis in these areas indicates that even relatively long-established alien species remain vulnerable to rare extreme weather conditions.

  12. A role for biliverdin IXalpha in dorsal axis development of Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Falchuk, Kenneth H; Contin, Jennifer M; Dziedzic, T Scott; Feng, Zhongling; French, Thayer C; Heffron, Gregory J; Montorzi, Marcelo

    2002-01-08

    The determinants of Xenopus laevis embryos that act before their first cell division are mandatory for the formation of mRNas required to establish the dorsal axis. Although their chemical identities are unknown, a number of their properties have long been recognized. One of the determinants is present in the cytoplasm and is sensitive to UV light. Thus, exposing stage 1 embryos to either standard 254-nm or, as shown here, to 366-nm UV light during the 0.3-0.4 time fraction of their first cycle inactivates the cytoplasmic determinant. As a consequence, both types of irradiated embryos fail to express dorsal markers, e.g., goosecoid and chordin, without affecting formation of ventral markers, e.g., Vent-1. The developmental outcome is dorsal axis-deficient morphology. We report here that biliverdin IXalpha, a normal constituent of cytoplasmic yolk platelets, is photo-transformed by irradiation with either 254- or 366-nm UV light and that the transformation triggers the dorsal axis deficiency. When the 254- or 366-nm UV-irradiated embryos, fated to dorsal axis deficiency, are incubated solely with microM amounts of biliverdin, they recover and form the axis. In contrast, incubation with either in vitro photo-transformed biliverdin or biliverdin IXalpha dimethyl ester does not induce recovery. The results define an approach to produce dorsal axis-deficient embryos by photo-transforming its biliverdin by irradiation with 366-nm UV light and identify an unsuspected role for biliverdin IXalpha in X. laevis embryogenesis.

  13. Specific Ligand Binding Domain Residues Confer Low Dioxin Responsiveness to AHR1β of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Odio, Camila; Holzman, Sarah A.; Denison, Michael S.; Fraccalvieri, Domenico; Bonati, Laura; Franks, Diana G.; Hahn, Mark E.; Powell, Wade H.

    2013-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a PAS-family protein that mediates the toxicity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in vertebrates. Frogs are remarkably insensitive to TCDD, and AHRs from Xenopus laevis bind TCDD with low affinity. We sought to identify structural features of X. laevis AHR1β associated with low TCDD sensitivity. Substitution of the entire ligand-binding domain (LBD) with the corresponding sequence from mouse AHRb-1 dramatically increased TCDD responsiveness in transactivation assays. To identify amino acid residues responsible, we constructed a comparative model of the AHR1β LBD using homologous domains of PAS proteins HIF2α and ARNT. The model revealed an internal cavity of similar dimensions to the putative binding cavity of mouse AHRb-1, suggesting the importance of side-chain interactions over cavity size. Of residues with side chains clearly pointing into the cavity, only two differed from the mouse sequence. When A354, located within a conserved β-strand, was changed to serine, the corresponding mouse residue, the EC50 for TCDD decreased more than 15-fold. When N325 was changed to serine, EC50 declined 3-fold. When the mutations were combined, the EC50 declined from 18.6 nM to 0.8 nM, nearly matching mouse AHR for TCDD sensitivity. Velocity sedimentation analysis confirmed that mutant frog AHRs exhibited correspondingly increased TCDD binding. We also assayed mutant AHRs for responsiveness to a candidate endogenous ligand, 6-formylindolo[3,2b]carbazole (FICZ). Mutations that increased TCDD sensitivity also increased sensitivity to FICZ. This comparative study represents a novel approach to discerning fundamental information about the structure of AHR and its interactions with biologically important agonists. PMID:23394719

  14. Regeneration of Xenopus laevis spinal cord requires Sox2/3 expressing cells.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Rosana; Edwards-Faret, Gabriela; Moreno, Mauricio; Zuñiga, Nikole; Cline, Hollis; Larraín, Juan

    2015-12-15

    Spinal cord regeneration is very inefficient in humans, causing paraplegia and quadriplegia. Studying model organisms that can regenerate the spinal cord in response to injury could be useful for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that explain why this process fails in humans. Here, we use Xenopus laevis as a model organism to study spinal cord repair. Histological and functional analyses showed that larvae at pre-metamorphic stages restore anatomical continuity of the spinal cord and recover swimming after complete spinal cord transection. These regenerative capabilities decrease with onset of metamorphosis. The ability to study regenerative and non-regenerative stages in Xenopus laevis makes it a unique model system to study regeneration. We studied the response of Sox2(/)3 expressing cells to spinal cord injury and their function in the regenerative process. We found that cells expressing Sox2 and/or Sox3 are present in the ventricular zone of regenerative animals and decrease in non-regenerative froglets. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) experiments and in vivo time-lapse imaging studies using green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression driven by the Sox3 promoter showed a rapid, transient and massive proliferation of Sox2(/)3(+) cells in response to injury in the regenerative stages. The in vivo imaging also demonstrated that Sox2(/)3(+) neural progenitor cells generate neurons in response to injury. In contrast, these cells showed a delayed and very limited response in non-regenerative froglets. Sox2 knockdown and overexpression of a dominant negative form of Sox2 disrupts locomotor and anatomical-histological recovery. We also found that neurogenesis markers increase in response to injury in regenerative but not in non-regenerative animals. We conclude that Sox2 is necessary for spinal cord regeneration and suggest a model whereby spinal cord injury activates proliferation of Sox2/3 expressing cells and their differentiation into neurons, a mechanism

  15. [Identification of a Novel Calcium (Ca^(2+))-Activated Chloride Channel Accessory Gene in Xenopus laevis].

    PubMed

    Lee, R M; Jeong, S M

    2016-01-01

    Calcium (Ca^(2+))-activated chloride channel accessories (CLCAs) are putative anion channel-related proteins with diverse physiological functions. Exploring CLCA diversity is important for prediction of gene structure and function. In an effort to identify novel CLCA genes in Xenopus laevis, we successfully cloned and characterized a Xenopus laevis cDNA predicted to encode the xCLCA3 gene. Cloning of xCLCA3 was achieved by computational analysis, rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE), and a tissue distribution analysis by semi-quantitative reverse transcription (RT) PCR or real-time PCR. We obtained a 2958 bp xCLCA3 cDNA sequence with an open reading frame encoding 943 amino acids. According to the primary structure analysis, xCLCA3 contains a predicted signal sequence, multiple sites of N-linked (N-) glycosylation, N-myristoylation, PKA, PKC, and casein kinase II phosphorylation sites, five putative hydrophobic segments, and the HExxH metalloprotease motif. Additionally, the transmembrane prediction server yielded a preserved N-terminal CLCA domain and a von Willebrand factor type A domain with one transmembrane domain in the C-terminal region. Expression analysis showed that xCLCA3 is expressed in a number of tissues, with strong expression in the brain, colon, small intestine, lung, kidney, and spleen, and poor expression in the heart and liver. These results suggest that xCLCA3 may be a candidate CLCA family member as well as a metalloprotease, rather than just an ion channel accessory protein.

  16. Exposure to butachlor causes thyroid endocrine disruption and promotion of metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Li, Shuying; Li, Meng; Wang, Qiangwei; Gui, Wenjun; Zhu, Guonian

    2016-06-01

    Butachlor is extensively applied in rice paddy ecosystem in china, and has been widespread contaminant in the aquatic environment. Here, Xenopus laevis was used for the evaluation of teratogenesis developmental toxicity, and disruption of thyroid system when exposure to different concentrations of butachlor by window phase exposure. Acute toxicity investigation shown that 96 h-LC50 value of butachlor was 1.424 mg L(-1) and 0.962 mg L(-1) for tadpoles (starting from stages 46/47) and embryos (starting from stages 8/9), respectively. Exposure to butachlor caused malformation, including abnormal eye, pericardial edema, enlarged proctodaeum and bent tail. Window phase exposure test indicated that butachlor significantly promote the contents of whole-body thyroid hormones (THs, T3 and T4) at higher levels, indicating thyroid endocrine disruption. At 7 days, exposure to butachlor up-regulated the mRNA expression of genes involved in THs synthesis and metabolism (tshα, tg, tpo and dio1) and THs receptors (trα and trβ). At 14 days, up-regulation of the mRNA expression of genes related to THs synthesis and metabolism (tshα, tshβ, tg, tpo, dio1, dio2 and ttr) and THs receptors (trβ) were also observed after the exposure to butachlor. At 21 days, butachlor up-regulated the mRNA expression of tshα, tg, tpo genes and down-regulated the mRNA expression of tshβ, tg, dio1, ttr and trα genes. These results showed that butachlor could change the mRNA expression of genes involved in the HPT axis and increase whole-body thyroid hormones levels of X. laevis tadpoles in a dose- and time-dependent manner, causing thyroid endocrine disruption and developmental toxicity.

  17. Atomic force microscopy on plasma membranes from Xenopus laevis oocytes containing human aquaporin 4.

    PubMed

    Orsini, Francesco; Santacroce, Massimo; Cremona, Andrea; Gosvami, Nitya N; Lascialfari, Alessandro; Hoogenboom, Bart W

    2014-11-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a unique tool for imaging membrane proteins in near-native environment (embedded in a membrane and in buffer solution) at ~1 nm spatial resolution. It has been most successful on membrane proteins reconstituted in 2D crystals and on some specialized and densely packed native membranes. Here, we report on AFM imaging of purified plasma membranes from Xenopus laevis oocytes, a commonly used system for the heterologous expression of membrane proteins. Isoform M23 of human aquaporin 4 (AQP4-M23) was expressed in the X. laevis oocytes following their injection with AQP4-M23 cRNA. AQP4-M23 expression and incorporation in the plasma membrane were confirmed by the changes in oocyte volume in response to applied osmotic gradients. Oocyte plasma membranes were then purified by ultracentrifugation on a discontinuous sucrose gradient, and the presence of AQP4-M23 proteins in the purified membranes was established by Western blotting analysis. Compared with membranes without over-expressed AQP4-M23, the membranes from AQP4-M23 cRNA injected oocytes showed clusters of structures with lateral size of about 10 nm in the AFM topography images, with a tendency to a fourfold symmetry as may be expected for higher-order arrays of AQP4-M23. In addition, but only infrequently, AQP4-M23 tetramers could be resolved in 2D arrays on top of the plasma membrane, in good quantitative agreement with transmission electron microscopy analysis and the current model of AQP4. Our results show the potential and the difficulties of AFM studies on cloned membrane proteins in native eukaryotic membranes.

  18. Identification of a novel dehydration responsive gene, drp10, from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Biggar, Yulia; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-07-01

    During periods of environmental stress a number of different anuran species employ adaptive strategies to promote survival. Our study found that in response to dehydration (i.e., loss of total body water content), the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) increased the expression of a novel gene (drp10) that encodes a structural homolog of the freeze-responsive FR10 protein found in wood frogs. Similar to FR10, the DRP10 protein was found to also contain a highly conserved N-terminal cleavable signal peptide. Furthermore, DRP10 was found to have high structural homology to the available crystal structures of type A and E apolipoproteins in Homo sapiens, and a type IV LS-12 anti-freeze protein in the longhorn sculpin, Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosis. In response to dehydration, the transcript expression of drp10 was found to increase 1.52 ± 0.16-fold and 1.97 ± 0.11-fold in response to medium (15%) and high (30%) dehydration stresses in the liver tissue of X. laevis, respectively, while drp10 expression increased 2.12 ± 0.12-fold and 1.46 ± 0.16-fold in kidney tissue. Although the molecular function of both dehydration-responsive DRP10 and the freeze-responsive FR10 have just begun to be elucidated, it is likely that both are frog-specific proteins that likely share a similar purpose during water-related stresses.

  19. The synthetic progestogen, Levonorgestrel, but not natural progesterone, affects male mate calling behavior of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Frauke; Kloas, Werner

    2012-05-01

    Worldwide, more than 100 million women use hormonal contraceptives, which act through progestogenic modes of action. These man-made hormones can enter the aquatic environment as they are excreted via feces and urine. Xeno-progestins are able to interfere with the endocrine system of female aquatic vertebrates impairing oogenesis and reproduction. However, data on progestogenic effects on reproductive behavior of male aquatic vertebrates are lacking. To evaluate whether progestins affect the mating behavior of male Xenopus laevis, we exposed male frogs to three environmentally relevant concentrations (10(-7) M, 10(-8) M and 10(-10) M) of the synthetic progestin Levonorgestrel (LNG) and the corresponding natural steroid progesterone (PRG), respectively. LNG at all exposure concentrations increased the proportions of advertisement calling, indicating a sexually aroused state of the males. Furthermore LNG at 10(-7) M decreased the relative proportions of rasping, a call type indicating a sexually unaroused state of the male. PRG, on the other hand, did not affect any of those parameters. Temporal and spectral features of the advertisement call itself were not affected by any of the two exposure treatments. Since LNG exhibits slight androgenic activity, the results suggest that LNG effects on male mate calling behavior of X. laevis are due to its moderate androgenic but not to its progestogenic activities. However, although males' sexual arousal seems to be enhanced by LNG, the adverse effects of LNG on female reproduction presumably outweigh these enhancing effects and LNG exposure nonetheless might result in reduced reproductive success of these animals.

  20. Identification and characterization of Xenopus laevis homologs of mammalian TRAF6 and its binding protein TIFA.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Jun-Ichiro; Yagi, Shigenori; Ishikawa, Kosuke; Azuma, Sakura; Ikawa, Shuntaro; Semba, Kentaro

    2005-09-26

    Tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) transduces signals from members of the TNFR superfamily and the Toll/IL-1R family, leading to activation of transcription factors such as NFkappaB and AP-1. Genetic disruption of the TRAF6 gene in mice results in various developmental abnormalities during embryogenesis, including osteopetrosis, failure of neural tube closure, defective formation of skin appendices, absence of lymph nodes, and absence of mature thymic epithelial cells. To clarify the effect of TRAF6 in development, we previously identified a TRAF-interacting protein with a forkhead-associated domain (TIFA), which binds and activates TRAF6 upon extracellular stimulation. To understand the physiological roles of TRAF6 and TIFA in early development, we studied these genes in Xenopus laevis. Here, we describe identification of X. laevis homologs of mammalian TRAF6 (XTRAF6) and TIFA (XTIFA). As was the case for the mammalian homologs, overexpression of XTRAF6 or XTIFA activated NFkappaB, whereas XTIFA carrying a mutation that abolishes XTRAF6 binding failed to activate NFkappaB, suggesting that XTIFA activates NFkappaB by binding to XTRAF6. XTIFA and XTRAF6 mRNAs were expressed at similar levels in zygotes from the neurula stage and then increased. Whole-mount in situ hybridization revealed that XTRAF6 mRNA was expressed in the head region and neural tube during the neurula stage, and the expression expanded to the pharyngeal apparatus during the tailbud stage. This localization is consistent with the defective neural tube closure and abnormal thymus organogenesis observed in TRAF6-deficient mice. Our results suggest possible cooperation between XTRAF6 and XTIFA during embryogenesis.

  1. Functional and Structural Effects of Amyloid-β Aggregate on Xenopus laevis Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Parodi, Jorge; la Paz, Lenin Ochoa-de; Miledi, Ricardo; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo

    2012-01-01

    Xenopus laevis oocytes exposed to amyloid-β aggregate generated oscillatory electric activity (blips) that was recorded by two-microelectrode voltage-clamp. The cells exhibited a series of “spontaneous” blips ranging in amplitude from 3.8 ± 0.9 nA at the beginning of the recordings to 6.8 ± 1.7 nA after 15 min of exposure to 1 μM aggregate. These blips were similar in amplitude to those induced by the channel-forming antimicrobial agents amphotericin B (7.8 ± 1.2 nA) and gramicidin (6.3 ± 1.1 nA). The amyloid aggregate-induced currents were abolished when extracellular Ca2+ was removed from the bathing solution, suggesting a central role for this cation in generating the spontaneous electric activity. The amyloid aggregate also affected the Ca2+-dependent Cl− currents of oocytes, as shown by increased amplitude of the transient-outward chloride current (Tout) and the serum-activated, oscillatory Cl− currents. Electron microcopy revealed that amyloid aggregate induced the dissociation of the follicular cells that surround the oocyte, thus leading to a failure in the electro-chemical communication between these cells. This was also evidenced by the suppression of the oscillatory Ca2+-dependent ATP-currents, which require proper coupling between oocytes and the follicular cell layer. These observations, made using the X. laevis oocytes as a versatile experimental model, may help to understand the effects of amyloid aggregate on cellular communication. PMID:23104436

  2. Ion Currents Induced by ATP and Angiotensin II in Cultured Follicular Cells of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Montiel-Herrera, Marcelino; Zaske, Ana María; García-Colunga, Jesús; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo; Miledi, Ricardo

    2011-01-01

    Xenopus laevis oocytes are commonly used to study the biophysical and pharmacological properties of foreign ion channels and receptors, but little is known about those endogenously expressed in their enveloping layer of follicular cells (FCs). Whole-cell recordings and the perforated patch-clamp technique in cultured FCs held at -60 mV revealed that ATP (20-250 μM) generates inward currents of 465 ± 93 pA (mean ± standard error) in ∼60% of the FCs studied, whereas outward currents of 317 ± 100 pA were found in ∼5% of the cells. The net effect of ATP on the FCs was to activate both mono- and biphasic inward currents, with an associated increase in membrane chloride conductance. Two-microelectrode voltage-clamp recordings of nude oocytes held at -60 mV disclosed that ATP elicited biphasic inward currents, corresponding to the well-known Fin and Sin-like currents. ATP receptor antagonists like suramin, TNP-ATP, and RB2 did not inhibit any of these responses. On the other hand, when using wholecell recordings, 1 μM Ang II yielded smooth inward currents of 157 ± 45 pA in ∼16% of the FC held at -60 mV. The net Ang II response, mediated by the activation of the AT1 receptor, was a chloride current inhibited by 10 nM ZD7155. This study will help to better understand the roles of ATP and Ang II receptors in the physiology of X. laevis oocytes. PMID:22083304

  3. Evaluation of Presurgical Skin Preparation Agents in African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Philips, Blythe H; Crim, Marcus J; Hankenson, F Claire; Steffen, Earl K; Klein, Peter S; Brice, Angela K; Carty, Anthony J

    2015-11-01

    Despite the routine collection of oocytes from African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) for use in research, few studies have evaluated methods for preparing their skin for surgery. We evaluated 3 skin preparatory agents by examining their antibacterial efficacy and the gross and microscopic appearance of Xenopus skin after exposure. Frogs (n = 14) were sedated and treated (contact time, 10 min) with 0.9% sterile NaCl on one-half of the ventrum and with 0.5% povidone-iodine or 0.75% chlorhexidine on the other half. Bacterial cultures were obtained before and after skin treatment; bacteria were identified by mass spectrometry. To assess inflammation and degenerative changes, the incision sites were photographed and biopsied at 0, 1, and 7 d after surgery. We isolated at least 22 genera of bacteria from the skin of our frog population (mean ± SE, 5.21 ± 0.82 genera per frog). Iodine (2.00 ± 0.44 genera) and chlorhexidine (0.29 ± 0.76 genera) both had greater antimicrobial activity than did saline. Skin erythema did not correlate with treatment group. Histologic evidence of epidermal degeneration and necrosis was greater on days 1 and 7 after chlorhexidine treatment than after iodine or saline. In addition, frogs treated with chlorhexidine had a higher incidence of clinical illness associated with the exposure site. In summary, although chlorhexidine has adequate antimicrobial activity against organisms on X. laevis skin, it leads to skin damage and subsequent clinical complications. We therefore do not recommend chlorhexidine as a preoperative preparation agent in Xenopus.

  4. Effects of Transgenic cry1Ca Rice on the Development of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Haojun; Li, Yunhe; Ding, Jiatong; Peng, Yufa

    2015-01-01

    In fields of genetically modified, insect-resistant rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins, frogs are exposed to Bt Cry proteins by consuming both target and non-target insects, and through their highly permeable skin. In the present study, we assessed the potential risk posed by transgenic cry1Ca rice (T1C-19) on the development of a frog species by adding purified Cry1Ca protein or T1C-19 rice straw into the rearing water of Xenopus laevis tadpoles, and by feeding X. laevis froglets diets containing rice grains of T1C-19 or its non-transformed counterpart MH63. Our results showed that there were no significant differences among groups receiving 100 μg L–1 or 10 μg L–1 Cry1Ca and the blank control in terms of time to completed metamorphosis, survival rate, body weight, body length, organ weight and liver enzyme activity after being exposed to the Cry1Ca (P > 0.05). Although some detection indices in the rice straw groups were significantly different from those of the blank control group (P < 0.05), there was no significant difference between the T1C-19 and MH63 rice straw groups. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the mortality rate, body weight, daily weight gain, liver and fat body weight of the froglets between the T1C-19 and MH63 dietary groups after 90 days, and there were no abnormal pathological changes in the stomach, intestines, livers, spleens and gonads. Thus, we conclude that the planting of transgenic cry1Ca rice will not adversely affect frog development. PMID:26695426

  5. Evaluation of Presurgical Skin Preparation Agents in African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Philips, Blythe H; Crim, Marcus J; Hankenson, F Claire; Steffen, Earl K; Klein, Peter S; Brice, Angela K; Carty, Anthony J

    2015-01-01

    Despite the routine collection of oocytes from African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) for use in research, few studies have evaluated methods for preparing their skin for surgery. We evaluated 3 skin preparatory agents by examining their antibacterial efficacy and the gross and microscopic appearance of Xenopus skin after exposure. Frogs (n = 14) were sedated and treated (contact time, 10 min) with 0.9% sterile NaCl on one-half of the ventrum and with 0.5% povidone–iodine or 0.75% chlorhexidine on the other half. Bacterial cultures were obtained before and after skin treatment; bacteria were identified by mass spectrometry. To assess inflammation and degenerative changes, the incision sites were photographed and biopsied at 0, 1, and 7 d after surgery. We isolated at least 22 genera of bacteria from the skin of our frog population (mean ± SE, 5.21 ± 0.82 genera per frog). Iodine (2.00 ± 0.44 genera) and chlorhexidine (0.29 ± 0.76 genera) both had greater antimicrobial activity than did saline. Skin erythema did not correlate with treatment group. Histologic evidence of epidermal degeneration and necrosis was greater on days 1 and 7 after chlorhexidine treatment than after iodine or saline. In addition, frogs treated with chlorhexidine had a higher incidence of clinical illness associated with the exposure site. In summary, although chlorhexidine has adequate antimicrobial activity against organisms on X. laevis skin, it leads to skin damage and subsequent clinical complications. We therefore do not recommend chlorhexidine as a preoperative preparation agent in Xenopus. PMID:26632790

  6. The amphibians Xenopus laevis and Silurana tropicalis possess a family of activating KIR-related Immunoglobulin-like receptors.

    PubMed

    Guselnikov, Sergey V; Reshetnikova, Evdokiya S; Najakshin, Alexander M; Mechetina, Ludmila V; Robert, Jacques; Taranin, Alexander V

    2010-03-01

    In this study, we searched the amphibian species Xenopus laevis and Silurana (Xenopus) tropicalis for the presence of genes homologous to mammalian KIRs and avian CHIRs (KRIR family). By experimental and computational procedures, we identified four related ILR (Ig-like Receptors) genes in S. tropicalis and three in X. laevis. ILRs encode type I transmembrane receptors with 3-4 Ig-like extracellular domains. All predicted ILR proteins appear to be activating receptors. ILRs have a broad expression pattern, the gene transcripts were found in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the amphibian KRIR family receptors evolved independently from their mammalian and avian counterparts. The only conserved structural element of tetrapod KRIRs is the NxxR motif-containing transmembrane domain that facilitates association with FcRgamma subunit. Our findings suggest that if KRIRs of various vertebrates have any common function at all, such a function is activating rather than inhibitory.

  7. Comparison of diazinon toxicity to embryos of Xenopus laevis and Danio rerio; degradation of diazinon in water.

    PubMed

    Modra, Helena; Vrskova, Dagmar; Macova, Stanislava; Kohoutkova, Jana; Hajslova, Jana; Haluzova, Ivana; Svobodova, Zdenka

    2011-06-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the toxic effect of diazinon (organophosphate insecticide) to embryos of Xenopus laevis and Danio rerio. The 96-h LC₅₀ values showed higher toxicity of diazinon for X. leavis in standard solution (9.84 mg/L) compared to the pond water (12.64 mg/L). Teratogenic index for diazinon was 1.3 and 1.6, respectively. The 96-h LC₅₀ diazinon values demonstrated similar sensitivity of embryos D. rerio (8.21-9.34 mg/L) and X. laevis in standard test solutions. Our results reflect that direct application of diazinon into the water can be associated with significant risks to aquatic organisms.

  8. Thyroid hormones in the skeletogenesis and accessory sources of endogenous hormones in Xenopus laevis (Amphibia; Anura) ontogeny: Experimental evidence.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, S V; Vassilieva, A B

    2014-03-01

    Skeletal development was studied in normal and goitrogen-treated Xenopus laevis tadpoles reared under thyroid hormone (TH) deficiency. Early stages of skeletal development proceed similarly in both groups. Later stages are retarded or completely arrested in goitrogen-treated tadpoles. After goitrogen-treated tadpoles were transferred into pure water or into a medium containing both goitrogen and exogenous TH, tadpoles resumed development. Consequently, late stages of skeletogenesis are TH-dependent and TH-induced. Athyroid X. laevis "giant tadpoles" described in literature differ from goitrogen-arrested tadpoles in that they have features which require TH to appear. The appearance of TH-depended features in giant tadpoles indicates the occurrence of the additional sources of TH other than thyroid gland.

  9. Targeted mutagenesis of multiple and paralogous genes in Xenopus laevis using two pairs of transcription activator-like effector nucleases.

    PubMed

    Sakane, Yuto; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Kashiwagi, Keiko; Kashiwagi, Akihiko; Yamamoto, Takashi; Suzuki, Ken-Ichi T

    2014-01-01

    Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have been extensively used in genome editing in various organisms. In some cases, however, it is difficult to efficiently disrupt both paralogous genes using a single pair of TALENs in Xenopus laevis because of its polyploidy. Here, we report targeted mutagenesis of multiple and paralogous genes using two pairs of TALENs in X. laevis. First, we show simultaneous targeted mutagenesis of three genes, tyrosinase paralogues (tyra and tyrb) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (egfp) by injection of two TALENs pairs in transgenic embryos carrying egfp. Consistent with the high frequency of both severe phenotypic traits, albinism and loss of GFP fluorescence, frameshift mutation rates of tyr paralogues and egfp reached 40-80%. Next, we show early introduction of TALEN-mediated mutagenesis of these target loci during embryogenesis. Finally, we also demonstrate that two different pairs of TALENs can simultaneously introduce mutations to both paralogues encoding histone chaperone with high efficiency. Our results suggest that targeted mutagenesis of multiple genes using TALENs can be applied to analyze the functions of paralogous genes with redundancy in X. laevis.

  10. Strategies to detect interdigital cell death in the frog, Xenopus laevis: T3 accerelation, BMP application, and mesenchymal cell cultivation.

    PubMed

    Shimizu-Nishikawa, Keiko; Nishimatsu, Shin-ichiro; Nishikawa, Akio

    2012-05-01

    Fates of digits in amniotes, i.e., free or webbed digits, are determined by the size of programmed interdigital cell death (ICD) area. However, no (or very few) cell death has thus far been observed in developing limb buds of non-amniotic terrestrial vertebrates including other anuran or urodela amphibians. We speculate that the undetectable situation of amphibian ICD is the result of their less frequency due to slow developmental speed characteristic to most amphibian species. Here, we present three strategies for detecting difficult-to-find ICD in the frog, Xenopus laevis. (1) Addition of triiodo-L-thyronine (T(3)) accelerated two to three times the limb development and increased two to four times the appearance frequency of vital dye-stainable cells in limb buds of the accelerated tadpoles (stage 54 to 55). (2) Application of human bone morphogenetic protein-4 to the autopods of tadpoles at stage 53 to 54 enhanced digital cartilage formation and induced vital dye-stainable cells around the enhanced digital cartilages within 2 d. (3) In cell culture, T(3) increased the chondrogenic and cell death activities of limb mesenchymal cells. The augmentation of both activities by T(3) was stronger in the forelimb cells than in the hindlimb cells. This situation is well coincided with the limb fates of non-webbed forelimbs and webbed hindlimbs in X. laevis adulthood. Collectively, all three approaches showed that it become possible to detect X. laevis ICD with appropriate strategies.

  11. Root iron uptake efficiency of Ulmus laevis and U. minor and their distribution in soils of the Iberian Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Venturas, Martin; Fernández, Victoria; Nadal, Paloma; Guzmán, Paula; Lucena, Juan J.; Gil, Luis

    2014-01-01

    The calcifuge and calcicole character of wild plants has been related to nutrient availability shortages, including iron (Fe)-deficiency. Surprisingly, just a few studies examined the relation between root Fe uptake and plant distribution in different soil types. We assessed the root Fe acquisition efficiency of two Ulmus species with calcareous (Ulmus minor) and siliceous (U. laevis) soil distribution patterns in the Iberian Peninsula. Seedlings of both elm species were grown hydroponically with different Fe concentrations during 6 weeks. Plant physiological responses to Fe-limiting conditions were evaluated as were the ferric reductase activity and proton (H+) extrusion capacity of the roots. Iron deprived elm seedlings of both species were stunted and suffered severe Fe-chlorosis symptoms. After Fe re-supply leaf chlorophyll concentrations rose according to species-dependent patterns. While U. minor leaves and seedlings re-greened evenly, U. laevis did so along the nerves of new growing leaves. U. minor had a higher root ferric reductase activity and H+-extrusion capability than U. laevis and maintained a better nutrient balance when grown under Fe-limiting conditions. The two elm species were found to have different Fe acquisition efficiencies which may be related to their natural distribution in calcareous and siliceous soils of the Iberian Peninsula. PMID:24723927

  12. A Novel Trypsin Inhibitor-Like Cysteine-Rich Peptide from the Frog Lepidobatrachus laevis Containing Proteinase-Inhibiting Activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-Wei; Tan, Ji-Min; Du, Can-Wei; Luan, Ning; Yan, Xiu-Wen; Lai, Ren; Lu, Qiu-Min

    2015-08-01

    Various bio-active substances in amphibian skins play important roles in survival of the amphibians. Many protease inhibitor peptides have been identified from amphibian skins, which are supposed to negatively modulate the activity of proteases to avoid premature degradation or release of skin peptides, or to inhibit extracellular proteases produced by invading bacteria. However, there is no information on the proteinase inhibitors from the frog Lepidobatrachus laevis which is unique in South America. In this work, a cDNA encoding a novel trypsin inhibitor-like (TIL) cysteine-rich peptide was identified from the skin cDNA library of L. laevis. The 240-bp coding region encodes an 80-amino acid residue precursor protein containing 10 half-cysteines. By sequence comparison and signal peptide prediction, the precursor was predicted to release a 55-amino acid mature peptide with amino acid sequence, IRCPKDKIYKFCGSPCPPSCKDLTPNCIAVCKKGCFCRDGTVDNNHGKCVKKENC. The mature peptide was named LL-TIL. LL-TIL shares significant domain similarity with the peptides from the TIL supper family. Antimicrobial and trypsin-inhibitory abilities of recombinant LL-TIL were tested. Recombinant LL-TIL showed no antimicrobial activity, while it had trypsin-inhibiting activity with a Ki of 16.5178 μM. These results suggested there was TIL peptide with proteinase-inhibiting activity in the skin of frog L. laevis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of TIL peptide from frog skin.

  13. Molecular cloning and expression of prostaglandin F2α receptor isoforms during ovulation in the ovarian follicles of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhiming; Su, Xiurong; Li, Taiwu; Pan, Daodong; Sena, Johnny; Dhillon, Jasvinder

    2010-11-01

    Prostaglandins F2α levels increase during ovulatory period in Xenopus laevis in response to stimulation by gonadotropins and progesterone. PGF2α exerts its effects on ovulation through interaction with its receptor (FP) in ovaries. Little is known about the characteristics of the FP receptor and its regulation during the ovulatory period in non-mammalian species. In the present study, two isoforms of prostaglandin F receptor (FP A and B) cDNAs were isolated from Xenopus laevis ovarian tissues using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) followed by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The cDNAs of FP A and FP B were sequenced. In Xenopus laevis ovary, FP A and B mRNA levels were up-regulated during gonadotropin- and progresterone-induced ovulation in vitro. The mRNA level of FP B was higher than that of FP A. Moreover, FP A and FP B mRNA levels were measured in various tissues including eye, liver, lungs, heart, muscle, ovary, and skin. Overall, FP B mRNA level was approximately 10- to 100-fold higher than that of FP A, except in the muscle and skin where FP A mRNA level was comparable to that of FP B. The results suggest that in Xenopus ovarian follicles FP receptors play an important role during gonadotropin- and progesterone-induced ovulation.

  14. Cell-mass structures expressing the aromatase gene Cyp19a1 lead to ovarian cavities in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Mawaribuchi, Shuuji; Ikeda, Nozomi; Fujitani, Kazuko; Ito, Yuzuru; Onuma, Yasuko; Komiya, Tohru; Takamatsu, Nobuhiko; Ito, Michihiko

    2014-10-01

    The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, has a ZZ/ZW-type sex-determination system. We previously reported that a W-linked gene, Dm-W, can determine development as a female. However, the mechanisms of early sex differentiation remain unclear. We used microarrays to screen for genes with sexually dimorphic expression in ZZ and ZW gonads during early sex differentiation in X laevis and found several steroidogenic genes. Importantly, the steroid 17α-hydroxylase gene Cyp17a1 and the aromatase gene Cyp19a1 were highly expressed in ZZ and ZW gonads, respectively, just after sex determination. At this stage, we found that Cyp17a1, Cyp19a1, or both were expressed in the ZZ and ZW gonads in a unique mass-in-line structure, in which several masses of cells, each surrounded by a basement membrane, were aligned along the anteroposterior axis. In fact, during sex differentiation, ovarian cavities formed inside each mass of Cyp17a1- and Cyp19a1-positive cells in the ZW gonads. However, the mass-in-line structure disappeared during testicular development in the ZZ testes. These results suggested that the mass-in-line structure found in both ZZ and ZW gonads just after sex determination might be formed in advance to produce ovarian cavities and then oocytes. Consequently, we propose a view that the default sex may be female in the morphological aspect of gonads in X laevis.

  15. Pathogenicity and oxidative stress in Nile tilapia caused by Aphanomyces laevis and Phoma herbarum isolated from farmed fish.

    PubMed

    Ali, Esam H; Hashem, Mohamed; Al-Salahy, M Bassam

    2011-03-16

    Identified (n = 17) and unidentified (n = 1) fish-pathogenic fungal species from 10 genera of Oomycetes and soil fungi were isolated from 40 infected freshwater fish samples of the species Oreochromis niloticus niloticus (Nile tilapia) and Clarias gariepinus (African catfish). Samples were collected from various fish farms in the Nile Delta, Egypt. Nile tilapia were tested in aquaria for their susceptibility to the commonest Oomycetes species, Aphanomyces laevis and Achlya klebsiana, and also against the 2 most prevalent pathogenic soil fungi, Paecilomyces lilacinus and Phoma herbarum. Two techniques were used: water bath exposure and intramuscular (subcutaneous) injection. Water bath exposure to the 2 species of Oomycetes caused greater mortalities of O. niloticus niloticus than intramuscular injection, but the reverse was true of the soil fungal species. Regardless of the infection method, the 2 Oomycetes species were more potent pathogens than the soil fungal species. In both gills and mytomal muscles of fish infected by A. laevis and P. herbarum, we measured and compared with controls the oxidative stress parameters total peroxide (TP), lipid peroxidation (LPO) and nitric oxide (NO), as well as levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione (GSH), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities. Infection by these 2 fungal species through either spore suspension or spore injection significantly increased oxidative damage in gills and induced marked decrease in most studied antioxidants. In addition, both routes showed similar effects and A. laevis depressed the antioxidants CAT, vitamin E and GSH more than P. herbarum.

  16. Determining the optimal developmental stages of Xenopus laevis for initiating exposures to chemicals for sensitively detecting their feminizing effects on gonadal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuan-Yuan; Chen, Juan; Qin, Zhan-Fen

    2016-10-01

    Xenopus laevis is an important model for detecting feminizing effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on amphibians because its genetic males can be induced to phenotypic females by estrogenic chemicals. It is crucial that chemical exposures begin at sensitive developmental stages for gonadal sex-reversal in X. laevis. To determine the optimal stages for initiating exposures, we investigated gonadal sex-reversal induced by low concentrations of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) when exposures were initiated at different stages (3/4, 45/46, 48 and 50) until stage 58. We found that 0.1nM EE2 resulted in 85%, 86%, 43%, and 19% intersex, whereas 1nM EE2 caused 77%, 81%, 17%, and 8% phenotypic females, when genetic male tadpoles were exposed from stages 3/4, 45/46, 48 and 50, respectively. The data show the sensitivity of X. laevis gonads to EE2 at stages 45/46 is similar with that at stages 3/4, but the sensitivity decreases at stage 48 and stage 50, displaying a developmental stage-dependent manner. In another experiment using the offspring of another pair of frogs, we confirmed high sensitivity of X. laevis gonads at stages 45/46 to low concentrations of EE2. Considering that stages 45/46 tadpoles are easier to manipulate and have higher survival rates than earlier embryos, we propose that stages 45/46 are the optimal stages for initiating exposure for detecting feminizing effects of EDCs on gonadal differentiation in X. laevis. The developmental stages for initiating exposures we determined will guarantee the high sensitivity for detecting feminizing effects of EDCs with low estrogenic activities on gonadal differentiation in X. laevis. Also, our study suggests that gonadal differentiation in X. laevis possibly begins at stages 45/46, but not at later stages.

  17. Hepatic confinement of newly produced erythrocytes caused by low-temperature exposure in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Maekawa, Shun; Iemura, Hitomi; Kuramochi, Yuko; Nogawa-Kosaka, Nami; Nishikawa, Hironori; Okui, Takehito; Aizawa, Youichi; Kato, Takashi

    2012-09-01

    Diminished erythrocyte count and erythropoiesis have been reported during hypothermia in some ectothermic animals. In this study, the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, was used to investigate the cause of hypothermia-induced anemia. We developed a new model of hypothermia at 5°C and monitored blood cell count and erythropoiesis on several days. Erythrocyte count declined by 30% on the first day following cold exposure (5°C) and mRNA expression of hemeoxygenase-1 was enhanced 10-fold; accumulation of iron as a result of heme degradation was observed in the liver. One day after low-temperature exposure, erythropoietin mRNA expression was elevated in the liver and lung compared with that at normal temperature (22°C) by qRT-PCR analysis. Examination of liver sections (i.e. the erythropoietic organ) showed an increase in o-dianisidine-positive erythrocytes in the hepatic sinusoid 5 days after the onset of low-temperature exposure compared with normal liver. Peripheral erythrocyte count remained low, indicating that newly produced erythrocytes did not migrate from the liver to the circulation during hypothermia. In conclusion, this study reveals hypothermic anemia as being associated with hepatic erythrocyte destruction; prolonged anemia during low-temperature exposure is concomitant with newly produced erythrocytes being confined to the liver and may lead to new insights into vertebrate hematopoiesis.

  18. A Tunable Silk Hydrogel Device for Studying Limb Regeneration in Adult Xenopus Laevis

    PubMed Central

    Golding, Anne; Levin, Michael; Kaplan, David L.

    2016-01-01

    In certain amphibian models limb regeneration can be promoted or inhibited by the local wound bed environment. This research introduces a device that can be utilized as an experimental tool to characterize the conditions that promotes limb regeneration in the adult frog (Xenopus laevis) model. In particular, this device was designed to manipulate the local wound environment via a hydrogel insert. Initial characterization of the hydrogel insert revealed that this interaction had a significant influence on mechanical forces to the animal, due to the contraction of the hydrogel. The material and mechanical properties of the hydrogel insert were a factor in the device design in relation to the comfort of the animal and the ability to effectively manipulate the amputation site. The tunable features of the hydrogel were important in determining the pro-regenerative effects in limb regeneration, which was measured by cartilage spike formation and quantified by micro-computed tomography. The hydrogel insert was a factor in the observed morphological outcomes following amputation. Future work will focus on characterizing and optimizing the device’s observed capability to manipulate biological pathways that are essential for limb regeneration. However, the present work provides a framework for the role of a hydrogel in the device and a path forward for more systematic studies. PMID:27257960

  19. Dynamics of background adaptation in Xenopus laevis: role of catecholamines and melanophore-stimulating hormone.

    PubMed

    van Zoest, I D; Heijmen, P S; Cruijsen, P M; Jenks, B G

    1989-10-01

    The pars intermedia of the pituitary gland in Xenopus laevis secretes alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), which causes dispersion of pigment in dermal melanophores in animals on a black background. In the present study we have determined plasma levels of alpha-MSH in animals undergoing adaptation to white and black backgrounds. Plasma values of black-adapted animals were high and decreased rapidly after transfer to a white background, as did the degree of pigment dispersion in dermal melanophores. Plasma MSH values of white-adapted animals were below the detection limit of our radioimmunoassay. Transfer of white animals to a black background resulted in complete dispersion of melanophore pigment within a few hours, but plasma MSH levels remained low for at least 24 hr. This discrepancy between plasma MSH and degree of pigment dispersion suggested the involvement of an additional factor for stimulating dispersion. Results of in vitro and in vivo experiments with receptor agonists and antagonists indicated that a beta-adrenergic mechanism, functioning at the level of the melanophore, is involved in the stimulation of pigment dispersion during the early stages of background adaptation.

  20. Nonhomologous DNA end joining of synthetic hairpin substrates in Xenopus laevis egg extracts.

    PubMed Central

    Beyert, N; Reichenberger, S; Peters, M; Hartung, M; Göttlich, B; Goedecke, W; Vielmetter, W; Pfeiffer, P

    1994-01-01

    Processes of DNA end joining are assumed to play a major role in the elimination of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) in higher eucaryotic cells. Linear plasmid molecules terminated by nonhomologous restriction ends are the typical substrates used in the analysis of joining mechanisms. However, due to their limited structural variability, DSB ends generated by restriction cleavage cover probably only part of the total spectrum of naturally occurring DSB termini. We therefore devised novel DNA substrates consisting of synthetic hairpin-shaped oligonucleotides which permit the construction of blunt ends and 5'- or 3'-protruding single-strands (PSS) of arbitrary sequence and length. These substrates were tested in extracts of Xenopus laevis eggs known to efficiently join linear plasmids bearing nonhomologous restriction termini (Pfeiffer and Vielmetter, 1988). Sequences of hairpin junctions indicate that the short hairpins are joined by the same mechanisms as the plasmid substrates. However, the bimolecular DNA end joining reaction was only detectable when both hairpin partners had a minimal duplex stem length of 27bp and their PSS-tails did not exceed 10nt. Images PMID:8202366

  1. Triclosan and anuran metamorphosis: no effect on thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Fort, Douglas J; Rogers, Robert L; Gorsuch, Joseph W; Navarro, Lisa T; Peter, Robert; Plautz, James R

    2010-02-01

    Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 51 Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed for 21 days to four different concentrations of triclosan (TCS): <0.2 (control), 0.6, 1.5, 7.2, or 32.3 microg TCS/l. Primary endpoints were survival, hind limb length, body length (whole; snout to vent), developmental stage, wet whole body weight, and thyroid histology. Thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations were determined in whole thyroid and plasma samples from stage-matched exposure day 21 specimens. TH receptor-beta (TRbeta) expression was measured in stage-matched tail fin tissue samples collected at exposure days 0 and 21. Reduced larval growth occurred at exposure day 21 with 1.5 microg/l treatment. Larval developmental stage at exposure day 21 was not significantly different from controls based on observed parameters. Thyroid histology was not affected by TCS, and thyroxine (T4) levels in thyroid glands or plasma were not different from controls. A concentration-dependent increase in TRbeta expression in exposure day 21 larvae was not detected. However, increased expression was found in stage-matched larvae exposed to 1.5 or 7.2 microg TCS/l. Our study indicates that environmentally relevant TCS concentrations do not alter the normal course of thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in this standard anuran model.

  2. The mucosubstance coating the pneumonocytes in the lungs of Xenopus laevis and Lacerta viridis.

    PubMed

    Meban, C

    1975-01-01

    The layer of mucosubstance that is associated with the free surface membranes of the pneumonocytes in the lungs of the toad Xenopus laevis and the lizard Lacerta viridis was demonstrated by electron microscopy using iron oxide stain. The form and staining reactions of the mucosubstance layer were similar in both animals. In electron micrographs the mucosubstance was represented by a band of densely stained material (25-50 nm thick) which coated the entire free surface of the pneumonocytes. It appeared to be firmly attached to the outer leaflet of the superficial plasma membrane. Short lengths of osmiophilic membranes, presumed to be fragments of pulmonary surfactant, were often observed lying free in the air spaces but they did not show any affinity for iron stain. Incubation of lung sections in a solution of neuraminidase produced a marked decrease in the intensity of the surface staining; no change was detected after incubation in trypsin, papain, hyaluronidase, N-acetyl cysteine, or phosphate buffer. It is, therefore, concluded that the pneumonocyte surface coat consists mainly of a sialomucin.

  3. Functional joint regeneration is achieved using reintegration mechanism in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Shigehito

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A functional joint requires integration of multiple tissues: the apposing skeletal elements should form an interlocking structure, and muscles should insert into skeletal tissues via tendons across the joint. Whereas newts can regenerate functional joints after amputation, Xenopus laevis regenerates a cartilaginous rod without joints, a “spike.” Previously we reported that the reintegration mechanism between the remaining and regenerated tissues has a significant effect on regenerating joint morphogenesis during elbow joint regeneration in newt. Based on this insight into the importance of reintegration, we amputated frogs’ limbs at the elbow joint and found that frogs could regenerate a functional elbow joint between the remaining tissues and regenerated spike. During regeneration, the regenerating cartilage was partially connected to the remaining articular cartilage to reform the interlocking structure of the elbow joint at the proximal end of the spike. Furthermore, the muscles of the remaining part inserted into the regenerated spike cartilage via tendons. This study might open up an avenue for analyzing molecular and cellular mechanisms of joint regeneration using Xenopus. PMID:27499877

  4. Long-term starvation in Xenopus laevis Daudin--II. Effects on several organs.

    PubMed

    Merkle, S; Hanke, W

    1988-01-01

    1. The effect of starvation for 12 months on organo-somatic indices, glycogen, protein and water contents of several organs and the Na+/K+ ratio in muscle was studied in the South African clawed toad Xenopus laevis Daudin. 2. The liver- and ovary-somatic index were reduced by 30 and 70% of the initial value after 12 months. Fat bodies had disappeared after approximately 6 months of starvation. The indices of heart and kidney were not changed. 3. Glycogen concentration of the liver, ovaries and muscle were depleted nearly totally during the first half of the experimental time, whereas glycogen in the kidney seemed to be unaffected. 4. Protein concentration increased in the liver, decreased in the muscle and remained constant in the kidney. 5. Starvation caused an increase of the water concentration of the whole animal and different organs, especially at the end of the experiment. 6. The Na+/K+ ratio of the muscle increased significantly after 6 months of starvation and reached a maximum after 10 months.

  5. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF THE MIDDLE EAR APPARATUS OF THE AQUATIC FROG, XENOPUS LAEVIS

    PubMed Central

    Mason, MJ; Wang, M; Narins, PM

    2010-01-01

    We report the results of anatomical and vibrometric studies of the middle ear of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. The cartilaginous tympanic disk of Xenopus shows pronounced sexual dimorphism, that of male frogs being much larger than that of females, relative to body size. The stapes footplate, however, is not enlarged in males. The cucullaris muscle was found to insert on the stapes in frogs of both sexes. Using laser interferometry to examine the response of middle ear structures to airborne sound, the stapes footplate was found to vibrate close to 180° out-of-phase with the tympanic disk across a range of frequencies, this resembling the relationship between tympanic membrane and footplate movement previously described in ranid frogs. By contrast, whereas there is a pronounced difference in vibration velocity between tympanic membrane and footplate in ranids, the footplate vibration velocity in Xenopus was found to be similar to that of the tympanic disk. This may be interpreted as an adaptation to improve the detection of sound underwater. PMID:20953303

  6. Meckel's cartilage in Xenopus laevis during metamorphosis: a light and electron microscope study.

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, D A

    1986-01-01

    Meckel's cartilage, in Xenopus laevis prior to metamorphosis, is a tissue exhibiting very large lacunae, separated by thin rims of matrix, presenting a net-like appearance, similar to that of cartilage in invertebrates. The cells on the periphery of the tissue are rather more flattened, and more closely packed. On the lateral aspects of the cartilage distinct columns of apparently dividing cells are evident. During metamorphic climax, the amount of matrix separating the lacunae increases, with an associated decrease in lacunar size, and some of the deeper cells develop cilia, which are not seen either before or after climax. By the end of metamorphic climax there is a considerable increase in the amount of matrix present in the tissue, while many cells at all depths in the cartilage show the presence of lysosome-like structures, possibly associated with the changing shape of the cartilage. Intramembranous ossification is proceeding around Meckel's cartilage, but there is no evidence of endochondral ossification up to the end of metamorphosis. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17 Fig. 18 Fig. 19 PMID:3693112

  7. Comparative development of end-plate currents in two muscles of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Kullberg, R; Owens, J L

    1986-01-01

    The development of miniature end-plate currents (m.e.p.c.s) was studied in the superior oblique and interhyoideus muscles of Xenopus laevis. An analysis of m.e.p.c. decays shows that each muscle possesses its own characteristic programme of end-plate current development. In the superior oblique, the exponential decay constants of m.e.p.c.s were initially about 3 ms; they declined within half a day to 1 ms and remained at that value for six weeks. They then gradually became longer, reaching a mean value of 1.7 ms at late metamorphosis. In the interhyoideus, m.e.p.c. decay constants were initially about 6 ms. They declined in less than one day to a mean value of 2.6 ms and remained there for the following seven weeks. Upon completion of metamorphosis, the decay constants underwent a further decrease to about 1 ms. In both muscles, the changes in m.e.p.c. decays were correlated with developmental changes in muscle contraction speeds, as measured by maximum twitch frequencies. The above changes in end-plate currents in the superior oblique and interhyoideus muscles are discussed in terms of the development of acetylcholine receptor channel gating and acetylcholinesterase activity. PMID:3018234

  8. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in normal and regenerating olfactory epithelium of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Frontera, Jimena Laura; Cervino, Ailen Soledad; Jungblut, Lucas David; Paz, Dante Agustín

    2015-03-01

    Olfactory epithelium has the capability to continuously regenerate olfactory receptor neurons throughout life. Adult neurogenesis results from proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells, and consequently, olfactory neuroepithelium offers an excellent opportunity to study neural regeneration and the factors involved in the maintenance and regeneration of all their cell types. We analyzed the expression of BDNF in the olfactory system under normal physiological conditions as well as during a massive regeneration induced by chemical destruction of the olfactory epithelium in Xenopus laevis larvae. We described the expression and presence of BDNF in the olfactory epithelium and bulb. In normal physiological conditions, sustentacular (glial) cells and a few scattered basal (stem) cells express BDNF in the olfactory epithelium as well as the granular cells in the olfactory bulb. Moreover, during massive regeneration, we demonstrated a drastic increase in basal cells expressing BDNF as well as an increase in BDNF in the olfactory bulb and nerve. Together these results suggest an important role of BDNF in the maintenance and regeneration of the olfactory system.

  9. Maturation-promoting factor induces nuclear envelope breakdown in cycloheximide-arrested embryos of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    We have studied the effect of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) on embryonic nuclei during the early cleavage stage of Xenopus laevis development. When protein synthesis is inhibited by cycloheximide during this stage, the embryonic cell cycle arrests in an artificially produced G2 phase-like state, after completion of one additional round of DNA synthesis. Approximately 100 nuclei can be arrested in a common cytoplasm if cytokinesis is first inhibited by cytochalasin B. Within 5 min after injection of MPF into such embryos, the nuclear envelope surrounding each nucleus disperses, as determined histologically or by immunofluorescent staining of the nuclear lamina with antilamin antiserum. The breakdown of the nuclear envelope occurs at levels of MPF comparable to or slightly lower than those required for oocyte maturation. Amplification of MPF activity, however, does not occur in the arrested egg as it does in the oocyte. These results suggest that MPF can act to advance interphase nuclei into the first events of mitosis and show that the nuclear lamina responds rapidly to MPF. PMID:6345556

  10. Live-cell Imaging and Quantitative Analysis of Embryonic Epithelial Cells in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Sagar D.; Davidson, Lance A.

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic epithelial cells serve as an ideal model to study morphogenesis where multi-cellular tissues undergo changes in their geometry, such as changes in cell surface area and cell height, and where cells undergo mitosis and migrate. Furthermore, epithelial cells can also regulate morphogenetic movements in adjacent tissues1. A traditional method to study epithelial cells and tissues involve chemical fixation and histological methods to determine cell morphology or localization of particular proteins of interest. These approaches continue to be useful and provide "snapshots" of cell shapes and tissue architecture, however, much remains to be understood about how cells acquire specific shapes, how various proteins move or localize to specific positions, and what paths cells follow toward their final differentiated fate. High resolution live imaging complements traditional methods and also allows more direct investigation into the dynamic cellular processes involved in the formation, maintenance, and morphogenesis of multicellular epithelial sheets. Here we demonstrate experimental methods from the isolation of animal cap tissues from Xenopus laevis embryos to confocal imaging of epithelial cells and simple measurement approaches that together can augment molecular and cellular studies of epithelial morphogenesis. PMID:20498627

  11. Budgett's frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis): A new amphibian embryo for developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Amin, Nirav M; Womble, Mandy; Ledon-Rettig, Cristina; Hull, Margaret; Dickinson, Amanda; Nascone-Yoder, Nanette

    2015-09-15

    The large size and rapid development of amphibian embryos has facilitated ground-breaking discoveries in developmental biology. Here, we describe the embryogenesis of the Budgett's frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis), an unusual species with eggs that are over twice the diameter of laboratory Xenopus, and embryos that can tolerate higher temperatures to develop into a tadpole four times more rapidly. In addition to detailing their early development, we demonstrate that, like Xenopus, these embryos are amenable to explant culture assays and can express exogenous transcripts in a tissue-specific manner. Moreover, the steep developmental trajectory and large scale of Lepidobatrachus make it exceptionally well-suited for morphogenesis research. For example, the developing organs of the Budgett's frog are massive compared to those of most model species, and are composed of larger individual cells, thereby affording increased subcellular resolution of early vertebrate organogenesis. Furthermore, we found that complete limb regeneration, which typically requires months to achieve in most vertebrate models, occurs in a matter of days in the Budgett's tadpole, which substantially accelerates the pace of experimentation. Thus, the unusual combination of the greater size and speed of the Budgett's frog model provides inimitable advantages for developmental studies-and a novel inroad to address the mechanisms of spatiotemporal scaling during evolution.

  12. Corticosterone promotes emergence of fictive air breathing in Xenopus laevis Daudin tadpole brainstems.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Stéphanie; Dubé, Pierre-Luc; Kinkead, Richard

    2012-04-01

    The emergence of air breathing during amphibian metamorphosis requires significant changes to the brainstem circuits that generate and regulate breathing. However, the mechanisms controlling this developmental process are unknown. Because corticosterone plays an important role in the neuroendocrine regulation of amphibian metamorphosis, we tested the hypothesis that corticosterone augments fictive air breathing frequency in Xenopus laevis. To do so, we compared the fictive air breathing frequency produced by in vitro brainstem preparations from pre-metamorphic tadpoles and adult frogs before and after 1 h application of corticosterone (100 nmol l(-1)). Fictive breathing measurements related to gill and lung ventilation were recorded extracellularly from cranial nerve rootlets V and X. Corticosterone application had no immediate effect on respiratory-related motor output produced by brainstems from either developmental stage. One hour after corticosterone wash out, fictive lung ventilation frequency was increased whereas gill burst frequency was decreased. This effect was stage specific as it was significant only in preparations from tadpoles. GABA application (0.001-0.5 mmol l(-1)) augmented fictive air breathing in tadpole preparations. However, this effect of GABA was no longer observed following corticosterone treatment. An increase in circulating corticosterone is one of the endocrine processes that orchestrate central nervous system remodelling during metamorphosis. The age-specific effects of corticosterone application indicate that this hormone can act as an important regulator of respiratory control development in Xenopus tadpoles. Concurrent changes in GABAergic neurotransmission probably contribute to this maturation process, leading to the emergence of air breathing in this species.

  13. Platelet derived growth factor B gene expression in the Xenopus laevis developing central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Giannetti, Kety; Corsinovi, Debora; Rossino, Cristina; Appolloni, Irene; Malatesta, Paolo; Ori, Michela

    2016-01-01

    Platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B) belongs to the mitogen and growth factor family and like the other members it has many roles in cell differentiation, proliferation and migration during development, adult life and in pathological conditions. Among them it has been observed that aberrant PDGF signalling is frequently linked to glioma development and progression, and Pdgf-b over-expression in mouse neural progenitors leads to the formation of gliomas. Despite this evidence, the mechanisms underlying PDGF-B driven tumorigenesis and its role during brain development are not fully understood. In order to contribute to clarifying possible new roles of pdgf-b signalling, we present here the embryonic gene expression pattern of pdgf-b, so far unknown in early vertebrate development. By using Xenopus laevis as a model system we performed qRT-PCR and whole mount in situ hybridization. Pdgf-b mRNA is expressed in discrete regions of the developing central nervous system, in the cranial nerve placodes and in the notochord. We also compared the gene expression of pdgf-b with that of its receptor pdgfr-α suggesting so far unsuspected roles for this signalling pathway during the development of specific embryonic structures.

  14. Analysis of scleraxis and dermo-1 genes in a regenerating limb of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Akira; Nakada, Yasuaki; Suzuki, Makoto; Tamura, Koji; Ide, Hiroyuki

    2006-04-01

    Xenopus laevis larvae can regenerate an exact replica of the missing part of a limb after amputation at an early limb bud stage. However, this regenerative capacity gradually decreases during metamorphosis, and a froglet is only able to regenerate hypomorphic cartilage, resulting in a spike-like structure (spike). It has been reported that the spike has tissue deformities, e.g., a muscleless structure. However, our previous study demonstrated that the muscleless feature of the spike can be improved. The existence of other kinds of tissue, such as tendon, has not been clarified. In this study, we focused on the tendon and dermis, and we isolated the scleraxis and dermo-1 genes, which are known to be marker genes for the tendon and dermis, respectively. The expressions of these genes were investigated in both the developmental and regenerating processes of a Xenopus limb. Although muscle was needed to maintain scleraxis expression, scleraxis transcription was detectable in the muscleless spike. Additionally, although grafting of matured skin, including dermal tissue, inhibited limb regeneration, the expression of dermo-1, a dermal marker gene, was detected from the early stage of the froglet blastema. These results indicate that tendon precursor cells and dermal cells exist in the regenerating froglet blastema. Our results support the idea that spike formation in postmetamorphic Xenopus limbs is epimorphic regeneration.

  15. Gonadal development of larval male Xenopus laevis exposed to atrazine in outdoor microcosms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jooste, A.M.; Du Preez, L.H.; Carr, J.A.; Giesy, J.P.; Gross, T.S.; Kendall, R.J.; Smith, E.E.; Van Der Kraak, G. L.; Solomon, K.R.

    2005-01-01

    The potential effects of atrazine on gonadal development in metamorphs and subadults of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were studied under conditions of natural photoperiod and temperatures in outdoor microcosms from August 2002 to June 2003 in South Africa. Triplicate 1100 L microcosms for each nominal concentration of 0.0, 1, 10, and 25 ??g of atrazine/L were used. Measured atrazine concentrations varied <25% throughout the study, and no atrazine was detected in the control microcosms. Tadpoles developed well at all concentrations. On the basis of histological examination of testes of recently metamorphosed stage 66 frogs, 57% of the individuals in the reference group exhibited testicular oocytes as compared with 57, 59, and 39% of the 1, 10, and 25 ??g/L atrazine groups, respectively. The average prevalence of testicular oocytes for all of the treatments including the controls was 54% in a single testis, while, in 35% of individuals, testicular oocytes were observed in both testes. The number of testicular oocytes per individual ranged from 0 to 58 with means of 9.5, 9.8, 8.5, and 11.1 for the 0.0, 1, 10, and 25 ??g of atrazine/L groups, respectively. Ten months after metamorphosis, another subset of juveniles was examined, and the maximum number of testicular oocytes observed was five in one animal. The presence of testicular oocytes was not related to exposure to atrazine and may be a natural phenomenon during ontogeny. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.

  16. Phytochemical and in vitro antimicrobial assay of the leaf extract of Newbouldia laevis.

    PubMed

    Usman, H; Osuji, J C

    2007-06-10

    The methanolic leaf extract of Newbouldia laevis was subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening and in-vitro antimicrobial tests. The extract revealed the presence of flavonoids, tannins, terpenes, steroidal and cardiac glycosides. The antimicrobial activity of the plant extract was assayed by the agar plate disc diffusion and nutrient broth dilution techniques. Test microorganisms were Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Klebsiella spp. and Candida albicans; all the organisms were laboratory isolates. The extract inhibited the growth of all the test organisms especially against Klebsiella spp. and S. aureus which had mean inhibition zone of 42.3+/-1.5 and 32.3+/-1.5 mm respectively. The results showed minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1.563 mg/ml against Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. and 3.125 mg/ml against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi. The minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus was 0.39 mg/ml. This study has justified the traditional use of this plant for the treatment of stomach discomfort, diarrhea, dysentery and as a remedy for wound healing whose causative agents are some of the organisms used in this study.

  17. Electroencephalographic and physiologic changes after tricaine methanesulfonate immersion of African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Lalonde-Robert, Vanessa; Desgent, Sébastien; Duss, Sandra; Vachon, Pascal

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine electroencephalographic and complementary physiologic changes in Xenopus leavis frogs after bath immersion in MS222. We also evaluated the addition of sodium pentobarbital injected intracoelomi- cally 2 h after MS222 immersion to achieve euthanasia. Frogs (n = 9) weighing 105.5 ± 8.4 g (mean ± 1 SD) were immersed in MS222 at either 1 or 3 g/L until anesthesia was achieved; a conductive stainless steel screw then was implanted in the skull on top of the outer pial surface of the brain. Frogs were immersed again in MS222 at the same concentration as previously, and electroencephalograms, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and respiratory movements were recorded. Amplitude and mean frequency of the electroencephalographic signal were evaluated at 15-min intervals until a flat-line signal was achieved. At 2 h after induction, frogs were injected intracoelomically with sodium pentobarbital (0.5 mL; 240 mg/mL) to accelerate euthanasia. Immersion of frogs in 1 or 3 g/L of MS222 depressed cerebral activity within 30 min without a significant effect on cardiac function. Intracoelomic injection of sodium pentobarbital at 2 h after MS222 administration rapidly (3.2 ± 1.7 min) induced cardiac arrest. In conclusion, immersion in MS222 can be used for the collection of organs from X. laevis frogs, but the addition of pentobarbital is required to achieve euthanasia.

  18. Developmental changes in head movement kinematics during swimming in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Hänzi, Sara; Straka, Hans

    2017-01-15

    During the post-embryonic developmental growth of animals, a number of physiological parameters such as locomotor performance, dynamics and behavioural repertoire are adjusted to match the requirements determined by changes in body size, proportions and shape. Moreover, changes in movement parameters also cause changes in the dynamics of self-generated sensory stimuli, to which motion-detecting sensory systems have to adapt. Here, we examined head movements and swimming kinematics of Xenopus laevis tadpoles with a body length of 10-45 mm (developmental stage 46-54) and compared these parameters with fictive swimming, recorded as ventral root activity in semi-intact in vitro preparations. Head movement kinematics was extracted from high-speed video recordings of freely swimming tadpoles. Analysis of these locomotor episodes indicated that the swimming frequency decreased with development, along with the angular velocity and acceleration of the head, which represent self-generated vestibular stimuli. In contrast, neither head oscillation amplitude nor forward velocity changed with development despite the ∼3-fold increase in body size. The comparison between free and fictive locomotor dynamics revealed very similar swimming frequencies for similarly sized animals, including a comparable developmental decrease of the swimming frequency. Body morphology and the motor output rhythm of the spinal central pattern generator therefore develop concurrently. This study thus describes development-specific naturalistic head motion profiles, which form the basis for more natural stimuli in future studies probing the vestibular system.

  19. Seasonal variation in heavy metal accumulation in subtropical population of the terrestrial isopod, Porcellio laevis.

    PubMed

    Hussein, M A; Obuid-Allah, A H; Mohammad, A H; Scott-Fordsmand, J J; Abd El-Wakeil, K F

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to evaluate the seasonal fluctuation of heavy metals in the isopod Porcellio laevis at four uncontaminated subtropical locations. This study was carried out at four different field sites in Assiut, Egypt. The concentrations of cadmium, lead, copper, and zinc in animal, soil, and litter (mug/g dry weight) were monthly recorded during the period from June 2002 till May 2003. There was little difference in metal accumulation trends between the sites. In general, the isopod showed significant increased Pb and Zn concentration during summer and spring months, whereas this was not the case for Cd and Cu. The bioaccumulation (BAF) and bioconcentration factors (BCF) of the metals revealed marked seasonal changes throughout the year. Generally, BAF of metals were higher during summer and spring, and BCF were higher during summer and autumn. Comparing the metal accumulation with climatic fluctuations (measured) it was speculated that temperature was the main factor causing seasonal fluctuations of the internal metal concentration in the isopod.

  20. Nuclear Receptor Corepressor Recruitment by Unliganded Thyroid Hormone Receptor in Gene Repression during Xenopus laevis Development

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Laurent M.; Jones, Peter L.; Havis, Emmanuelle; Rouse, Nicole; Demeneix, Barbara A.; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2002-01-01

    Thyroid hormone receptors (TR) act as activators of transcription in the presence of the thyroid hormone (T3) and as repressors in its absence. While many in vitro approaches have been used to study the molecular mechanisms of TR action, their physiological relevance has not been addressed. Here we investigate how TR regulates gene expression during vertebrate postembryonic development by using T3-dependent amphibian metamorphosis as a model. Earlier studies suggest that TR acts as a repressor during premetamorphosis when T3 is absent. We hypothesize that corepressor complexes containing the nuclear receptor corepressor (N-CoR) are key factors in this TR-dependent gene repression, which is important for premetamorphic tadpole growth. To test this hypothesis, we isolated Xenopus laevis N-CoR (xN-CoR) and showed that it was present in pre- and metamorphic tadpoles. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we demonstrated that xN-CoR was recruited to the promoters of T3 response genes during premetamorphosis and released upon T3 treatment, accompanied by a local increase in histone acetylation. Furthermore, overexpression of a dominant-negative N-CoR in tadpole tail muscle led to increased transcription from a T3-dependent promoter. Our data indicate that N-CoR is recruited by unliganded TR to repress target gene expression during premetamorphic animal growth, an important process that prepares the tadpole for metamorphosis. PMID:12446772

  1. The Effect of Plasma Exposure on Tail Regeneration of Tadpoles Xenopus Laevis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    June, Joyce; Rivie, Adonis; Ezuduemoih, Raphael; Menon, Jaishri; Martus, Kevin

    2014-03-01

    Wound healing requires a balanced combination of nutrients and growth factors for healing and tissue regeneration. The effect of plasma exposure on tail regeneration of tadpoles, Xenopus laevis is investigated. The exposure of the wound to the helium plasma immediately followed the amputation of 40% of the tail. Amputation of the tail initiates regeneration of spinal cord, muscle, notochord, skin and connective tissues. By 24 h, the wound was covered by wound epithelium and blastema was formed by day 5. There was increased angiogenesis in plasma exposed tail regenerate compared to the control following 5 d post amputation. Observed was an increase in NO production in the regenerate of plasma exposed tadpoles was derived from increased activity of nNOS and iNOS. Western blot analysis for vascular endothelial growth factor showed stronger bands for the protein in amputated tadpoles of both the groups. Analysis of the composition and characteristics of the plasma using optical emission spectroscopy indicates excited state species consisting of N2, N2+,and OH is present in the plasma. This study was supported, in part, by the NSF Grant 1040108.

  2. Characterization of highly and moderately repetitive 500 bp Eco RI fragments from Xenopus laevis DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Hummel, S; Meyerhof, W; Korge, E; Knöchel, W

    1984-01-01

    Three different types of repetitive Eco RI fragments, which comigrate within a visible band of approximately 500 bp at gel electrophoresis of Xenopus laevis DNA Eco RI digests have been cloned and sequenced. These sequences are designated as Repetitive Eco RI Monomers: REM 1, REM 2 and REM 3. The sequences contain direct repeats, inverted repeats and palindromic elements. Genomic organization of the most abundant sequence (REM 1; 0.4% of total DNA) is that of an interspersed sequence. REM 2 (0.08%) is partly organized as an interspersed element and partly found in tandem arrangement, whereas REM 3 (0.02%) represents the tandemly repeated monomeric unit of a satellite DNA. In situ hybridization has shown that REM 1 and REM 2 sequences are found on most chromosomes, REM 1 being preferentially located on specific chromosomal loci. REM 3 is located near the centromere region of only one chromosome pair (presumably number 1). Hybridization of Northern blots from RNAs of different developmental stages revealed that REM 1, REM 2 and REM 3 sequences are transcribed and that transcription is under developmental control. Images PMID:6330690

  3. Dynamic properties of calcium-activated chloride currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    M De la Fuente, Ildefonso; Malaina, Iker; Pérez-Samartín, Alberto; Boyano, María Dolores; Pérez-Yarza, Gorka; Bringas, Carlos; Villarroel, Álvaro; Fedetz, María; Arellano, Rogelio; Cortes, Jesus M; Martínez, Luis

    2017-02-13

    Chloride is the most abundant permeable anion in the cell, and numerous studies in the last two decades highlight the great importance and broad physiological role of chloride currents mediated anion transport. They participate in a multiplicity of key processes, as for instance, the regulation of electrical excitability, apoptosis, cell cycle, epithelial secretion and neuronal excitability. In addition, dysfunction of Cl(-) channels is involved in a variety of human diseases such as epilepsy, osteoporosis and different cancer types. Historically, chloride channels have been of less interest than the cation channels. In fact, there seems to be practically no quantitative studies of the dynamics of chloride currents. Here, for the first time, we have quantitatively studied experimental calcium-activated chloride fluxes belonging to Xenopus laevis oocytes, and the main results show that the experimental Cl(-) currents present an informational structure characterized by highly organized data sequences, long-term memory properties and inherent "crossover" dynamics in which persistent correlations arise at short time intervals, while anti-persistent behaviors become dominant in long time intervals. Our work sheds some light on the understanding of the informational properties of ion currents, a key element to elucidate the physiological functional coupling with the integrative dynamics of metabolic processes.

  4. Post-translational Regulation of Hexokinase Function and Protein Stability in the Aestivating Frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Childers, Christine L; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-02-01

    Xenopus laevis endure substantial dehydration which can impose hypoxic stress due to impaired blood flow. Tissues may increase reliance on anaerobic glycolysis for energy production making the regulation of hexokinase (HK) important. We investigated the enzymatic properties and phosphorylation state of purified HK from the muscle of control and dehydrated (30% total body water lost) frogs. Bioinformatic tools were also applied to analyze the structural implication of HK phosphorylation in silico. HK from the muscle of dehydrated frogs showed a significantly higher Vmax (3.4-fold) and Km for glucose (2.4-fold) compared with control HK but the Km for ATP was unaltered. HK from dehydrated frogs also showed greater phosphoserine content (20% increase) and lower phosphothreonine (22% decrease) content compared to control HK. Control HK had a higher melting temperature (Tm = 61.9 °C) than from dehydrated (Tm = 54.2 °C) frogs when thermostability was tested using differential scanning fluorimetry. In silico phosphorylation of a Xenopus HK caused alterations in active site binding, corroborating phosphorylation as the probable mechanism for kinetic regulation. Physiological consequences of dehydration-induced HK phosphorylation appear to facilitate glycolytic metabolism in hypoxic situations. Augmented HK function increases the ability of Xenopus to overcome compromised oxidative phosphorylation associated with ischemia during dehydration.

  5. Metamorphic remodeling of the olfactory organ of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, Katarina; Kuttler, Josua; Hassenklöver, Thomas; Manzini, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    The amphibian olfactory system undergoes massive remodeling during metamorphosis. The transition from aquatic olfaction in larvae to semiaquatic or airborne olfaction in adults requires anatomical, cellular, and molecular modifications. These changes are particularly pronounced in Pipidae, whose adults have secondarily adapted to an aquatic life style. In the fully aquatic larvae of Xenopus laevis, the main olfactory epithelium specialized for sensing water-borne odorous substances lines the principal olfactory cavity (PC), whereas a separate olfactory epithelium lies in the vomeronasal organ (VNO). During metamorphosis, the epithelium of the PC is rearranged into the adult "air nose," whereas a new olfactory epithelium, the adult "water nose," forms in the emerging middle cavity (MC). Here we performed a stage-by-stage investigation of the anatomical changes of the Xenopus olfactory organ during metamorphosis. We quantified cell death in all olfactory epithelia and found massive cell death in the PC and the VNO, suggesting that the majority of larval sensory neurons is replaced during metamorphosis in both sensory epithelia. The moderate cell death in the MC shows that during the formation of this epithelium some cells are sorted out. Our results show that during MC formation some supporting cells, but not sensory neurons, are relocated from the PC to the MC and that they are eventually eliminated during metamorphosis. Together our findings illustrate the structural and cellular changes of the Xenopus olfactory organ during metamorphosis.

  6. Characterization of CXC-type chemokine molecules in early Xenopus laevis development.

    PubMed

    Goto, Toshiyasu; Michiue, Tatsuo; Ito, Yuzuru; Asashima, Makoto

    2013-01-01

    Chemokine molecules play important roles in the immune system. However, several chemokine molecules are expressed during early development before the immune system is established. Using reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and overexpression of chemokine molecules, we identified and characterized Xenopus laevis CXC-type chemokine ligands (XCXCL13L1, XCXCL13L2, XCXCLa, XCXCLb, XCXCLd, and XCXCLe) and receptors (XCXCR1/2, XCXCR3, XCXCR5, XCXCR6, and XCXCRa) during early development. The CXC-type ligands have low identity with genes for human CXC ligands (CXCL). With the exception of XCXCRa, the CXC receptors (CXCR) identified in the present study had high (40%–65%) identity with human CXCR genes. Although the expression patterns for the CXCL and CXCR genes differed, transcript levels for all genes were very low during early embryogenesis. Overexpression of XCXCL13L1, XCXCL13L2, XCXCLa, XCXCR3, XCXCR6, and XCXCRa interfered with gastrulation and neural fold closure. The results of the present study suggest that several chemokine molecules are related to cell movements during early morphogenesis.

  7. Diverse functions of kindlin/fermitin proteins during embryonic development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Rozario, Tania; Mead, Paul E; DeSimone, Douglas W

    2014-08-01

    The kindlin/fermitin family includes three proteins involved in regulating integrin ligand-binding activity and adhesion. Loss-of-function mutations in kindlins1 and 3 have been implicated in Kindler Syndrome and Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency III (LAD-III) respectively, whereas kindlin2 null mice are embryonic lethal. Post translational regulation of cell-cell and cell-ECM adhesion has long been presumed to be important for morphogenesis, however, few specific examples of activation-dependent changes in adhesion molecule function in normal development have been reported. In this study, antisense morpholinos were used to reduce expression of individual kindlins in Xenopus laevis embryos in order to investigate their roles in early development. Kindlin1 knockdown resulted in developmental delays, gross malformations of the gut and eventual lethality by tadpole stages. Kindlin2 morphant embryos displayed late stage defects in vascular maintenance and angiogenic branching consistent with kindlin2 loss of function in the mouse. Antisense morpholinos were also used to deplete maternal kindlin2 protein in oocytes and eggs. Embryos lacking maternal kindlin2 arrested at early cleavage stages due to failures in cytokinesis. Kindlin3 morphant phenotypes included defects in epidermal ciliary beating and partial paralysis at tailbud stages but these embryos recovered eventually as morpholino levels decayed. These results indicate a remarkably diverse range of kindlin functions in vertebrate development.

  8. Flow sensing in developing Xenopus laevis is disrupted by visual cues and ototoxin exposure.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Andrea Megela; Warnecke, Michaela; Vu, Thanh Thao; Smith, Andrew T Stevens

    2015-02-01

    We explored how lateral line cues interact with visual cues to mediate flow sensing behaviors in the nocturnal developing frog, Xenopus laevis, by exposing animals to current flows under different lighting conditions and after exposure to the ototoxin gentamicin. Under dark conditions, Xenopus tadpoles move downstream at the onset of current flow, then turn, and orient toward the direction of the flow with high accuracy. Postmetamorphic froglets also exhibit positive rheotaxis but with less accuracy and longer latency. The addition of discrete light cues to an otherwise dark environment disrupts rheotaxis and positioning. Orientation is less accurate, latency to orient is longer, and animals do not move as far downstream in the presence of light. Compared with untreated tadpoles tested in the dark, tadpoles exposed to gentamicin show less accurate rheotaxis with longer latency and do not move as far downstream in response to flow. These effects are compounded by the presence of light cues. The disruptive effects of light on flow sensing in Xenopus emphasize the disturbances to natural behaviors that may be produced by anthropogenic illumination in nocturnal habitats.

  9. An adhesome comprising laminin, dystroglycan and myosin IIA is required during notochord development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Buisson, Nicolas; Sirour, Cathy; Moreau, Nicole; Denker, Elsa; Le Bouffant, Ronan; Goullancourt, Aline; Darribère, Thierry; Bello, Valérie

    2014-12-01

    Dystroglycan (Dg) is a transmembrane receptor for laminin that must be expressed at the right time and place in order to be involved in notochord morphogenesis. The function of Dg was examined in Xenopus laevis embryos by knockdown of Dg and overexpression and replacement of the endogenous Dg with a mutated form of the protein. This analysis revealed that Dg is required for correct laminin assembly, for cell polarization during mediolateral intercalation and for proper differentiation of vacuoles. Using mutations in the cytoplasmic domain, we identified two sites that are involved in cell polarization and are required for mediolateral cell intercalation, and a site that is required for vacuolation. Furthermore, using a proteomic analysis, the cytoskeletal non-muscle myosin IIA has been identified for the first time as a molecular link between the Dg-cytoplasmic domain and cortical actin. The data allowed us to identify the adhesome laminin-Dg-myosin IIA as being required to maintain the cortical actin cytoskeleton network during vacuolation, which is crucial to maintain the shape of notochordal cells.

  10. Labeling strategy and signal broadening mechanism of Protein NMR spectroscopy in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Ye, Yansheng; Liu, Xiaoli; Chen, Yanhua; Xu, Guohua; Wu, Qiong; Zhang, Zeting; Yao, Chendie; Liu, Maili; Li, Conggang

    2015-06-08

    We used Xenopus laevis oocytes, a paradigm for a variety of biological studies, as a eukaryotic model system for in-cell protein NMR spectroscopy. The small globular protein GB1 was one of the first studied in Xenopus oocytes, but there have been few reports since then of high-resolution spectra in oocytes. The scarcity of data is at least partly due to the lack of good labeling strategies and the paucity of information on resonance broadening mechanisms. Here, we systematically evaluate isotope enrichment and labeling methods in oocytes injected with five different proteins with molecular masses of 6 to 54 kDa. (19) F labeling is more promising than (15) N, (13) C, and (2) H enrichment. We also used (19) F NMR spectroscopy to quantify the contribution of viscosity, weak interactions, and sample inhomogeneity to resonance broadening in cells. We found that the viscosity in oocytes is only about 1.2 times that of water, and that inhomogeneous broadening is a major factor in determining line width in these cells.

  11. The Effect of Plasma on Tail Regeneration of Tadpoles Xenopus Laevis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    June, Joyce; Amadi, Chima; Menon, Jaishri; Martus, Kevin

    2013-03-01

    Healthy wounds require a balanced combination of nutrients and growth factors for healing and tissue regeneration. Nitric oxide, (NO), is also crucial in wound healing processes and linked with production of several cytokines, interaction with other free radicals and influence on microcirculation. Hypothesize is that exposure to plasma will affect wound healing and tail regeneration in tadpoles Xenopus laevis and plasma induced endogenous NO production may have an important role to play at the cellular level. Tail amputation was immediately followed by exposure of the wound to the helium plasma. For histological features, blastema (growing regenerate) was fixed in 4% neutral buffer formalin for paraffin sections. In situ staining for NO was carried out 5 days post amputation. The rate of the regenerating tail was proportional to the plasma exposure time at the expense of metamorphic rate. Histological features show that the tadpoles exposed to the plasma had a higher level of cellular proliferation and microvasculature in blastema. In situ staining for NO indicated its increased endogenous production compared to the control. These findings suggest that accelerated wound healing and tail regeneration following exposure to the plasma may be due to its direct effect on cell proliferation and increased NO production which may be involved in microvascularization. This study was supported, in part, by the NSF Grant 1040108

  12. A Database of microRNA Expression Patterns in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Ayisha; Ward, Nicole J; Moxon, Simon; Lopez-Gomollon, Sara; Viaut, Camille; Tomlinson, Matthew L; Patrushev, Ilya; Gilchrist, Michael J; Dalmay, Tamas; Dotlic, Dario; Münsterberg, Andrea E; Wheeler, Grant N

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs around 22 nucleotides long. They inhibit gene expression either by translational repression or by causing the degradation of the mRNAs they bind to. Many are highly conserved amongst diverse organisms and have restricted spatio-temporal expression patterns during embryonic development where they are thought to be involved in generating accuracy of developmental timing and in supporting cell fate decisions and tissue identity. We determined the expression patterns of 180 miRNAs in Xenopus laevis embryos using LNA oligonucleotides. In addition we carried out small RNA-seq on different stages of early Xenopus development, identified 44 miRNAs belonging to 29 new families and characterized the expression of 5 of these. Our analyses identified miRNA expression in many organs of the developing embryo. In particular a large number were expressed in neural tissue and in the somites. Surprisingly none of the miRNAs we have looked at show expression in the heart. Our results have been made freely available as a resource in both XenMARK and Xenbase.

  13. Expression and functional characterization of Xhmg-at-hook genes in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Macrì, Simone; Sgarra, Riccardo; Ros, Gloria; Maurizio, Elisa; Zammitti, Salvina; Milani, Ornella; Onorati, Marco; Vignali, Robert; Manfioletti, Guidalberto

    2013-01-01

    High Mobility Group A proteins (HMGA1 and HMGA2) are architectural nuclear factors involved in development, cell differentiation, and cancer formation and progression. Here we report the cloning, developmental expression and functional analysis of a new multi-AT-hook factor in Xenopus laevis (XHMG-AT-hook) that exists in three different isoforms. Xhmg-at-hook1 and 3 isoforms, but not isoform 2, are expressed throughout the entire development of Xenopus, both in the maternal and zygotic phase. Localized transcripts are present in the animal pole in the early maternal phase; during the zygotic phase, mRNA can be detected in the developing central nervous system (CNS), including the eye, and in the neural crest. We show evidence that XHMG-AT-hook proteins differ from typical HMGA proteins in terms of their properties in DNA binding and in protein/protein interaction. Finally, we provide evidence that they are involved in early CNS development and in neural crest differentiation.

  14. Recovery capabilities of Xenopus laevis after exposure to Cadmium and Zinc.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, F; Teaniniuraitemoana, V; Baudrimont, M; Daffe, G; Gauthier, L; Gonzalez, P

    2015-11-01

    The present investigation evaluates the recovery capabilities of Xenopus laevis following 12days of exposure to 30μg CdL(-1) and 1000μg ZnL(-1) alone or mixed, followed by a depuration phase in laboratory conditions. Focused endpoints, which were investigated at different times of depuration, are bioaccumulation of Cd and Zn, micronucleus induction, quantification of metallothioneins (MTs), and expression of genes involved in metal toxicity mechanisms. The results show that at the end of the contamination phase, there was higher metal bioaccumulation capability and MT synthesis in remaining tissues than in the liver. An increased expression of genes involved in detoxification and oxidative stress mechanisms was observed, suggesting an additive effect of both metals and a higher Zn regulation in the liver. During the depuration phase, the results show the recovery capability of Xenopus from 7days of depuration related to metamorphosis processes, which were observed at the end of the experiment. The results confirm the relevance of the amphibian model and the complementarities between a marker of genotoxicity, MT production, bioaccumulation and transcriptional analysis in the evaluation of the ecotoxicological impact. The results also highlight the reversible effects of Cd and Zn toxicity.

  15. Temperature-independent energy expenditure in early development of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Nagano, Yatsuhisa; Ode, Koji L

    2014-08-01

    The thermal dissipation of activated eggs and embryos undergoing development from cleavage to the tailbud stage of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis was measured as a function of incubation time at temperatures ranging from T = 288.2 K to 295.2 K, using a high-precision isothermal calorimeter. A23187-mediated activation of mature eggs induced stable periodic thermal oscillations lasting for 8-34 h. The frequency agreed well with the cell cycle frequency of initial cleavages at the identical temperature. In the developing embryo, energy metabolism switches from embryonic to adult features during gastrulation. The thermal dissipation after gastrulation fit well with a single modified Avrami equation, which has been used for modeling crystal-growth. Both the oscillation frequency of the activated egg and the growth rate of the embryo strongly depend on temperature with the same apparent activation energy of approximately 87 kJ mole(-1). This result suggests that early development proceeds as a single biological time, attributable to a single metabolic rate. A temperature-independent growth curve was derived by scaling the thermogram to the biological time, indicating that the amount of energy expenditure during each developmental stage is constant over the optimal temperature range.

  16. Inner Ear Formation during the Early Larval Development of Xenopus Laevis

    PubMed Central

    Quick, Quincy A.; Serrano, Elba E.

    2010-01-01

    The formation of the eight independent endorgan compartments (sacculus, utricle, horizontal canal, anterior canal, posterior canal, lagena, amphibian papilla, and basilar papilla) of the Xenopus laevis inner ear is illlustrated as the otic vesicle develops into a complex labyrinthine structure. The morphology of transverse sections and whole mounts of the inner ear was assessed in seven developmental stages (28, 31, 37, 42, 45, 47, 50) using brightfield and laser scanning confocal microscopy. The presence of mechanosensory hair cells in the sensory epithelia was determined by identification of stereociliary bundles in cryosectioned tissue and whole mounts of the inner ear labeled with the fluorescent F-actin probe, Alexa-488 phalloidin. Between stages 28 and 45 the otic vesicle grows in size, stereociliary bundles appear and increase in number, and the pars inferior and pars superior become visible. The initial formation of vestibular compartments with their nascent stereociliary bundles is seen by larval stage 47, and all eight vestibular and auditory compartments with their characteristic sensory fields are present by larval stage 50. Thus in Xenopus, inner ear compartments are established between stages 45 and 50, a two week period during which the ear quadruples in length in the anteroposterior dimension. The anatomical images presented here demonstrate the morphological changes that occur as the otic vesicle forms the auditory and vestibular endorgans of the inner ear. These images provide a resource for investigations of gene expression patterns in Xenopus during inner ear compartmentalization and morphogenesis. PMID:16217737

  17. Metabolic cost of osmoregulation in a hypertonic environment in the invasive African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Peña-Villalobos, Isaac; Narváez, Cristóbal

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Studies of aquatic invertebrates reveal that salinity affects feeding and growth rates, reproduction, survival, and diversity. Little is known, however, about how salinity impacts the energy budget of vertebrates and amphibians in particular. The few studies focused on this topic in vertebrates suggest that the ingestion of salts and the resulting osmoregulatory activity is energetically expensive. We analyzed the effect of saline acclimation on standard metabolic rates (SMR) and the activities of metabolic enzymes of internal organs and osmoregulatory variables (plasma osmolality and urea plasma level) in females of Xenopus laevis by means of acclimating individuals to an isosmotic (235 mOsm NaCl; ISO group) and hyper-osmotic (340 mOsm NaCl; HYP group) environment for 40 days. After acclimation, we found that total and mass-specific SMR was approximately 80% higher in the HYP group than those found in the ISO group. These changes were accompanied by higher citrate synthase activities in liver and heart in the HYP group than in the ISO group. Furthermore, we found a significant and positive correlation between metabolic rates and plasma urea, and citrate synthase activity in liver and heart. These results support the notion that the cost of osmoregulation is probably common in most animal species and suggest the existence of a functional association between metabolic rates and the adjustments in osmoregulatory physiology, such as blood distribution and urea synthesis. PMID:27334694

  18. Action of nereistoxin on recombinant neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Raymond Delpech, Valérie; Ihara, Makoto; Coddou, Claudio; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Sattelle, David B

    2003-11-01

    Nereistoxin (NTX), a natural neurotoxin from the salivary glands of the marine annelid worm Lumbriconereis heteropoda, is highly toxic to insects. Its synthetic analogue, Cartap, was the first commercial insecticide based on a natural product. We have used voltage-clamp electrophysiology to compare the actions of NTX on recombinant nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nicotinic AChRs) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes following nuclear injection of cDNAs. The recombinant nicotinic AChRs investigated were chicken alpha7, chicken alpha4beta2 and the Drosophila melanogaster/chicken hybrid receptors SAD/beta2 and ALS/beta2. No agonist action of NTX (0.1-100 microM) was observed on chicken alpha7, chicken alpha4beta2 and the Drosophila/chicken hybrid nicotinic AChRs. Currents elicited by ACh were reduced in amplitude by NTX in a dose-dependent manner. The toxin was slightly more potent on recombinant Drosophila/vertebrate hybrid receptors than on vertebrate homomeric (alpha7) or heteromeric (alpha4beta2) nicotinic AChRs. Block by NTX of the chicken alpha7, chicken alpha4beta2 and the SAD/beta2 and ALS/beta2 Drosophila/chicken hybrid receptors is in all cases non-competitive. Thus, the site of action on nicotinic AChRs of NTX, to which the insecticide Cartap is metabolised in insects, differs from that of the major nicotinic AChR-active insecticide, imidacloprid.

  19. Presence of tadpole and adult globin RNA sequences in oocytes of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Perlman, S. M.; Ford, P. J.; Rosbash, M. M.

    1977-01-01

    Complementary DNA transcribed from adult Xenopus laevis globin mRNA was used to assay ovary RNA from Xenopus for the presence of globin sequences by RNA·cDNA hybridization. These sequences are present at approximately the same concentration as the majority of poly(A)-containing ovary sequences. The sequences are also found at approximately 200,000 copies per cell in poly(A)-containing RNA extracted from mature oocytes. To rule out contamination of the oocytes with somatic cells, two additional experiments were performed. First, RNA isolated from ovulated unfertilized eggs, which are devoid of somatic cells, was also shown to contain the globin sequences. Second, globin mRNA was isolated from Xenopus tadpoles. Adult globin mRNA is free of the tadpole sequence and no homology was detected between adult and tadpoles globin RNA. The ovary was shown to contain tadpole globin RNA at nearly the same concentration as the adult sequences. Thus, the results cannot be explained by contamination with erythroid cells which should contain only the adult sequence. The swimming tadpole, which possesses an active circulatory system, was also assayed for the tadpole and adult globin sequences. Whereas the adult sequences are present at approximately the same concentration as in the mature oocyte, the concentration of the tadpole sequences increases at least 300-fold in the first 3 days following fertilization. PMID:269434

  20. Characterization of tweety gene (ttyh1-3) expression in Xenopus laevis during embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Rabe, Brian A.; Huyck, Ryan W.; Williams, Cheyenne C.; Saha, Margaret S.

    2015-01-01

    The tweety family of genes encodes large-conductance chloride channels and has been implicated in a wide array of cellular processes including cell division, cell adhesion, regulation of calcium activity, and tumorigenesis, particularly in neuronal cells. However, their expression patterns during early development remain largely unknown. Here, we describe the spatial and temporal patterning of ttyh1, ttyh2, and ttyh3 in Xenopus laevis during early embryonic development. Ttyh1 and ttyh3 are initially expressed at the late neurula stage are and primarily localized to the developing nervous system; however ttyh1 and ttyh3 both show transient expression in the somites. By swimming tadpole stages, all three genes are expressed in the brain, spinal cord, eye, and cranial ganglia. While ttyh1 is restricted to proliferative, ventricular zones, ttyh3 is primarily localized to postmitotic regions of the developing nervous system. Ttyh2, however, is strongly expressed in cranial ganglia V, VII, IX and X. The differing temporal and spatial expression patterns of ttyh1, ttyh2, and ttyh3 suggest that they may play distinct roles throughout embryonic development. PMID:25541457

  1. Tradeoffs between somatic and gonadal investments during development in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    McCoy, Krista A; McCoy, Michael W; Amick, Alison; Guillette, Louis J; St Mary, Colette M

    2007-11-01

    Tradeoffs between time to and size at metamorphosis occur in many organisms with complex life histories. The ability to accelerate metamorphosis can increase survival to the next life stage, but the resulting smaller size at metamorphosis is often associated with lower post-metamorphic survival or reduced fecundity of adults. Reduced fecundity is thought to be because of reduced energy reserves, longer time to maturity, or reduced capacity to carry eggs or compete for mates. This pattern could also be explained by a shift in allocation to somatic growth that further retards the growth or development of reproductive tissues. The main goal of this study was to determine if the relationship between growth and development of somatic and gonadal tissues depends on environmental conditions. We address this question through two experiments in which we quantify the development and growth of the body and gonads of Xenopus laevis reared in different resource environments. First, tadpoles were reared communally and development and growth were evaluated over time. Restricted food reduced somatic and gonadal growth rate, but did not affect the developmental rate of either tissue type. Second, tadpoles were reared individually and evaluated at metamorphosis. Restricted food reduced somatic development and growth, but only influenced size, and not developmental stage of testes at metamorphosis. This work demonstrates that environmental conditions influence tradeoffs between growth and development of somatic and gonadal tissues, apparently in a sex-specific manner. These tradeoffs may contribute to phenotypic correlations between small size and reduced fitness.

  2. Comparative in vivo Study of gp96 Adjuvanticity in the Frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Nedelkovska, Hristina; Cruz-Luna, Tanya; McPherson, Pamela; Robert, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    We have developed in the amphibian Xenopus laevis a unique non-mammalian model to study the ability of certain heat shock proteins (hsps) such as gp96 to facilitate cross-presentation of chaperoned antigens and elicit innate and adaptive T cell responses. Xenopus skin graft rejection provides an excellent platform to study the ability of gp96 to elicit classical MHC class Ia (class Ia) restricted T cell responses. Additionally, the Xenopus model system also provides an attractive alternative to mice for exploring the ability of gp96 to generate responses against tumors that have down-regulated their class Ia molecules thereby escaping immune surveillance. Recently, we have developed an adoptive cell transfer assay in Xenopus clones using peritoneal leukocytes as antigen presenting cells (APCs), and shown that gp96 can prime CD8 T cell responses in vivo against minor histocompatibility skin antigens as well as against the Xenopus thymic tumor 15/0 that does not express class Ia molecules. We describe here the methodology involved to perform these assays including the elicitation, pulsing and adoptive transfer of peritoneal leukocytes, as well as the skin graft and tumor transplantation assays. Additionally we are also describing the harvesting and separation of peripheral blood leukocytes used for flow cytometry and proliferation assays which allow for further characterization of the effector populations involved in skin rejection and anti-tumor responses. PMID:20972386

  3. Perturbation of Organogenesis by the Herbicide Atrazine in the Amphibian Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Lenkowski, Jenny R.; Reed, J. Michael; Deininger, Lisa; McLaughlin, Kelly A.

    2008-01-01

    Background Exposure to anthropogenic chemicals during development can disrupt the morphogenesis of organ systems. Use of the herbicide atrazine has been debated in recent years because of its implicated, but poorly characterized, effects on vertebrates. Previous studies primarily examined the effects of atrazine exposure during metamorphosis or early developmental stages of amphibians. Objectives We sought to identify and characterize the susceptibility during the often-overlooked developmental stage of organ morphogenesis. Methods We used a static renewal experimental treatment to investigate the effects of 10, 25, and 35 mg/L atrazine from early organ morphogenesis through the onset of tadpole feeding in the aquatic amphibian model system, Xenopus laevis. We quantified malformations of the body axis, heart, and intestine, as well as apoptosis in the midbrain and pronephric kidney. Results We found a significant dose-dependent increase in the percentage of atrazine-exposed tadpoles with malformations of multiple tissues including the main body axis, circulatory system, kidney, and digestive system. Incidence of apoptotic cells also increased in the both midbrain and kidney of atrazine-exposed tadpoles. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that acute atrazine exposure (10–35 mg/L for ≤ 48 hr) during early organ morphogenesis disrupts proper organ development in an amphibian model system. The concurrent atrazine-induced apoptosis in the pronephric kidney and midbrain begins to elucidate a mechanism by which atrazine may disrupt developmental processes in nontarget organisms. PMID:18288322

  4. Lateral line-mediated rheotactic behavior in tadpoles of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Andrea M.; Costa, Lauren M.; Gerstein, Hilary B.

    2005-01-01

    Tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) have a lateral line system whose anatomical structure has been described, but whose functional significance has not been closely examined. These experiments tested the hypothesis that the lateral line system is involved in rheotaxis. Tadpoles in developmental stages 47–56 oriented toward the source of a water current. Orientation was less precise after treatment with cobalt chloride or streptomycin, but was similar to that of untreated animals after exposure to gentamicin. In no current conditions, tadpoles exhibited a characteristic head-down posture by which they held themselves in the water column at an angle around 45°. This body posture became significantly less tilted in the presence of water current. Treatment with cobalt chloride or streptomycin increased the angle of tilt close to that seen in no current conditions, while gentamicin treatment tended to decrease tilt angle. The data are consistent with anatomical and physiological findings that tadpole neuromasts are similar to superficial, but not canal, neuromasts in fishes, and they suggest that the lateral line system is involved in both directional current detection and current-related postural adjustments in Xenopus. PMID:15300386

  5. Oral immunization of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) upregulates the mucosal immunoglobulin IgX

    PubMed Central

    Du, Christina C.; Mashoof, Sara M.; Criscitiello, Michael F.

    2011-01-01

    The frog Xenopus laevis is a model species for developmental biology but is also of significant interest to comparative immunologists. Amphibians are the oldest group of organisms in which both the B lymphocytes of some species undergo immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination and also have a dedicated mucosal Ig isotype. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that frog IgX would be produced in response to oral immunization. In order to facilitate studies of humoral, and especially mucosal immunity, in this model species, we developed a gavage technique for oral immunization. The result of this oral administration of antigen to frogs was assayed by the induction of the mucosal antibody isotype, IgX, in plasma by enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA), and a significant IgX upregulation was detected compared to frogs receiving systemic immunization into the coelom. These data are consistent with the view that IgX is the functional analog of mammalian IgA and mandate further studies of the relationship between IgX and IgA. Additionally, the gavage technique should be adaptable for functional studies of gut-associated immunology in other small aquatic vertebrates. PMID:22100190

  6. Features of vestibuloocular reflex modulations induced by altered gravitational forces in tadpoles ( Xenopus laevis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebastian, C.; Horn, E.

    2001-01-01

    In Xenopus laevis tadpoles, we studied the static vestibuloocular reflex (rVOR) in relation to modifications of the gravitational environment to find basic mechanisms of how altered gravitational forces (AGF) affect this reflex. Animals were exposed to microgravity during space flight or hypergravity (3g) for 4 to 12 days. Basic observations were that (1) the development of the rVOR is significantly affected by altered gravitational conditions, (2) the duration of 1g-readaptation depends on the strength of the test stimulus, (3) μg induces malformations of the body which are related to the rVOR depression. Future studies are based on the hypotheses (1) that the vestibular nuclei play a key roll in the adaptation to AGF conditions, (2) that the stimulus transducing systems in the sense organ are affected by AGF conditions, and (3) that fertilized eggs will be converted to normal adults guided by physiological and morphological set points representing the genetic programs. Developmental retardation or acceleration, or otherwise occurring deviations from standard development during embryonic and postembryonic life will activate genes that direct the developmental processes towards normality.

  7. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Anderson, Todd A; Smith, Ernest E; Kendall, Ronald J; Carr, James A

    2002-02-01

    We determined whether environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate alter development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. Eggs and larvae were exposed to varying concentrations of ammonium perchlorate or control medium for 70 d. Most treatment-related mortality was observed within 5 d after exposure and was due in large part to reduced hatching success. The 5- and 70-d median lethal concentrations (LC50s) were 510 +/- 36 mg ammonium perchlorate/L and 223 +/- 13 mg ammonium perchlorate/L, respectively. Ammonium perchlorate did not cause any concentration-related developmental abnormalities at concentrations below the 70-d LC50. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited metamorphosis in a concentration-dependent manner as evident from effects on forelimb emergence, tail resorption, and hindlimb growth. These effects were observed after exposure to ammonium perchlorate concentrations in the parts-per-billion range, at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate. Ammonium perchlorate significantly inhibited tail resorption after a 14-d exposure in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Committee (EDSTAC) Tier I frog metamorphosis assay for thyroid disruption in amphibians. We believe that ammonium perchlorate may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  8. Isolation and characterization of two alternatively spliced complementary DNAs encoding a Xenopus laevis angiotensin II receptor.

    PubMed

    Nishimatsu, S; Koyasu, N; Sugaya, T; Ohnishi, J; Yamagishi, T; Murakami, K; Miyazaki, H

    1994-08-02

    We have isolated two cDNAs of 1.7 and 3.0 kb, produced by alternative splicing, that encode a angiotensin II (AII) receptor from a Xenopus laevis heart cDNA library. The two clones had identical coding regions with each other and were found to belong to the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily like the mammalian type 1 AII receptors (AT1); their amino acid sequence was 68.7% homologous with the human AT1 receptor sequence. However, there was a 1.3 kb insertion at the 3'-untranslated region of the longer clone. The insertion contained 9 repeats of an ATTTA motif, suggesting that the two mRNAs undergo distinct post-transcriptional regulation by virtue of a difference in their stability. Although the Xenopus receptor exhibited distinct specificities for AII receptor antagonists compared with mammalian AII receptors, several common characteristics, including the effect of dithiothreitol and guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate), demonstrated that the cloned receptor is a counterpart of the mammalian AT1 receptor. Moreover, the cloned receptor was expressed most abundantly in the Xenopus heart, which is inconsistent with the tissue distribution of mammalian AII receptors. This indicated that the Xenopus heart, unlike that of mammals, plays a major role in the AII-dependent regulation of blood pressure and extracellular fluid volume.

  9. Isolation and properties of a multicatalytic proteinase complex from Xenopus laevis skin secretion.

    PubMed

    Camarão, G C; Carvalho, K M; Cohen, P

    1994-12-01

    A multicatalytic proteinase complex present in the skin secretion of Xenopus laevis was purified and its enzymatic activity towards natural and synthetic peptides was investigated. We identified three activities: i) a C-terminal deamidation enzyme activity which exhibited selectivity for the Asp-Phe-NH2 and Phe-Leu-NH2 motifs of cerulein, minigastrin Leu-enkephalinamide, (des-Tyr1)Leu-enkephalinamide and diaminobenzylthiocyanate-DVDERDVRGFASFLNH2 (DABTC-DR8kermit); ii) an endopeptidase activity that cleaves peptide bonds on the carboxyl side of hydrophobic amino acid residues such as Tyr-Gly of LHRH, Ile-Ala of PGLa and Leu-Ala of buccalin; iii) an enzyme activity that cleaves peptide bonds at the dibasic sites of peptides of the dynorphin family. The molecular weight determined by Sephacryl S-400 molecular sieve filtration indicated an M(r) about 600 kDa. The activities characterized here exhibit an optimal pH of about 7.4. The activities of the multicatalytic complex were differentially inhibited by the classical inhibitors of proteases.

  10. Functional joint regeneration is achieved using reintegration mechanism in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Tsutsumi, Rio; Yamada, Shigehito; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-02-01

    A functional joint requires integration of multiple tissues: the apposing skeletal elements should form an interlocking structure, and muscles should insert into skeletal tissues via tendons across the joint. Whereas newts can regenerate functional joints after amputation, Xenopus laevis regenerates a cartilaginous rod without joints, a "spike." Previously we reported that the reintegration mechanism between the remaining and regenerated tissues has a significant effect on regenerating joint morphogenesis during elbow joint regeneration in newt. Based on this insight into the importance of reintegration, we amputated frogs' limbs at the elbow joint and found that frogs could regenerate a functional elbow joint between the remaining tissues and regenerated spike. During regeneration, the regenerating cartilage was partially connected to the remaining articular cartilage to reform the interlocking structure of the elbow joint at the proximal end of the spike. Furthermore, the muscles of the remaining part inserted into the regenerated spike cartilage via tendons. This study might open up an avenue for analyzing molecular and cellular mechanisms of joint regeneration using Xenopus.

  11. Changes in Oscillatory Dynamics in the Cell Cycle of Early Xenopus laevis Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Tony Y.-C.; Theriot, Julie A.; Ferrell, James E.

    2014-01-01

    During the early development of Xenopus laevis embryos, the first mitotic cell cycle is long (∼85 min) and the subsequent 11 cycles are short (∼30 min) and clock-like. Here we address the question of how the Cdk1 cell cycle oscillator changes between these two modes of operation. We found that the change can be attributed to an alteration in the balance between Wee1/Myt1 and Cdc25. The change in balance converts a circuit that acts like a positive-plus-negative feedback oscillator, with spikes of Cdk1 activation, to one that acts like a negative-feedback-only oscillator, with a shorter period and smoothly varying Cdk1 activity. Shortening the first cycle, by treating embryos with the Wee1A/Myt1 inhibitor PD0166285, resulted in a dramatic reduction in embryo viability, and restoring the length of the first cycle in inhibitor-treated embryos with low doses of cycloheximide partially rescued viability. Computations with an experimentally parameterized mathematical model show that modest changes in the Wee1/Cdc25 ratio can account for the observed qualitative changes in the cell cycle. The high ratio in the first cycle allows the period to be long and tunable, and decreasing the ratio in the subsequent cycles allows the oscillator to run at a maximal speed. Thus, the embryo rewires its feedback regulation to meet two different developmental requirements during early development. PMID:24523664

  12. Post-transcriptional regulation of ornithine decarboxylase in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Bassez, T; Paris, J; Omilli, F; Dorel, C; Osborne, H B

    1990-11-01

    The level at which ornithine decarboxylase expression is regulated in growing oocytes has been investigated. Immunoprecipitation of the in vivo labelled proteins showed that ornithine decarboxylase accumulated less rapidly in stage IV oocytes than in previtellogenic stage I + II oocytes. Quantitative Northern analysis showed that ornithine decarboxylase mRNA is abundant in oocytes (about 8 x 10(8) transcripts/cell) and this number does not significantly change during oogenesis. Polysome analysis showed that this mRNA is present in polysomes in stage I + II oocytes but has passed into puromycin-insensitive mRNP particles by stage IV of oogenesis. Therefore, during the growth phase of oogenesis, ornithine decarboxylase expression is regulated at a translational level. These results are discussed relative to the temporal expression of ornithine decarboxylase and of other proteins whose expression also decreases during oogenesis. In order to perform these experiments, the cDNA (XLODC1) corresponding to Xenopus laevis ornithine decarboxylase mRNA was cloned and sequenced.

  13. A developmental analysis of periodic albinism in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Eagleson, Gerald W; van der Heijden, Roel A; Roubos, Eric W; Jenks, Bruce G

    2010-09-01

    The periodic albino of Xenopus laevis displays a transitory presence of black melanin pigment in the embryo but looses this during tadpole development. This mutation, involving a recessive allele, affects melanogenesis in dermal melanophore pigment cells. It has been suggested that the mutation is intrinsic to the melanophore cell itself or, alternatively, reflects malfunction in the neuroendocrine system that regulates melanophore cell function. This latter system, involving pituitary melanotrope cells which produces alpha-melanophore stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), is responsible for stimulating the production and dispersion of melanin pigment in dermal melanophores. The purpose of the present study was to determine to which degree the albinism is intrinsic to the melanophore or involves neuroendocrine malfunction. Experiments involved transplantation of presumptive melanophores from wild-type to albino embryos, and vice versa, immunocytochemical analysis of the albino neuroendocrine system and the creation of wild-type/albino parabiotic animals to determine if the neuroendocrine system of the albino can support melanotrope cell function. We show that the albino has a functional neuroendocrine system and conclude that the defect in the albino primarily affects the melanophore cell, possibly rendering it incapable of responding to alpha-MSH. It is also apparent from our results that in later stages of development the cellular environment of the melanotrope cell does become important to its development, but the nature of the critical cellular factors involved remains to be determined.

  14. Dynamic properties of calcium-activated chloride currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes

    PubMed Central

    M. De la Fuente, Ildefonso; Malaina, Iker; Pérez-Samartín, Alberto; Boyano, María Dolores; Pérez-Yarza, Gorka; Bringas, Carlos; Villarroel, Álvaro; Fedetz, María; Arellano, Rogelio; Cortes, Jesus M.; Martínez, Luis

    2017-01-01

    Chloride is the most abundant permeable anion in the cell, and numerous studies in the last two decades highlight the great importance and broad physiological role of chloride currents mediated anion transport. They participate in a multiplicity of key processes, as for instance, the regulation of electrical excitability, apoptosis, cell cycle, epithelial secretion and neuronal excitability. In addition, dysfunction of Cl− channels is involved in a variety of human diseases such as epilepsy, osteoporosis and different cancer types. Historically, chloride channels have been of less interest than the cation channels. In fact, there seems to be practically no quantitative studies of the dynamics of chloride currents. Here, for the first time, we have quantitatively studied experimental calcium-activated chloride fluxes belonging to Xenopus laevis oocytes, and the main results show that the experimental Cl− currents present an informational structure characterized by highly organized data sequences, long-term memory properties and inherent “crossover” dynamics in which persistent correlations arise at short time intervals, while anti-persistent behaviors become dominant in long time intervals. Our work sheds some light on the understanding of the informational properties of ion currents, a key element to elucidate the physiological functional coupling with the integrative dynamics of metabolic processes. PMID:28198817

  15. Temperature-independent energy expenditure in early development of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagano, Yatsuhisa; Ode, Koji L.

    2014-08-01

    The thermal dissipation of activated eggs and embryos undergoing development from cleavage to the tailbud stage of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis was measured as a function of incubation time at temperatures ranging from T = 288.2 K to 295.2 K, using a high-precision isothermal calorimeter. A23187-mediated activation of mature eggs induced stable periodic thermal oscillations lasting for 8-34 h. The frequency agreed well with the cell cycle frequency of initial cleavages at the identical temperature. In the developing embryo, energy metabolism switches from embryonic to adult features during gastrulation. The thermal dissipation after gastrulation fit well with a single modified Avrami equation, which has been used for modeling crystal-growth. Both the oscillation frequency of the activated egg and the growth rate of the embryo strongly depend on temperature with the same apparent activation energy of approximately 87 kJ mole-1. This result suggests that early development proceeds as a single biological time, attributable to a single metabolic rate. A temperature-independent growth curve was derived by scaling the thermogram to the biological time, indicating that the amount of energy expenditure during each developmental stage is constant over the optimal temperature range.

  16. Characterization of a novel member of the FGF family, XFGF-20, in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Koga, C; Adati, N; Nakata, K; Mikoshiba, K; Furuhata, Y; Sato, S; Tei, H; Sakaki, Y; Kurokawa, T; Shiokawa, K; Yokoyama, K K

    1999-08-11

    The cDNA for a novel member of the FGF family (XFGF-20) was isolated from a Xenopus cDNA library prepared at the tailbud stage using as a probe the product of degenerate PCR performed with primers based on mammalian FGF-9s. This cDNA was 1860 bp long, and contained a single open reading frame that encoded 208 amino acid residues. The deduced amino acid sequence contained a motif characteristic of the FGF family and it was similar (73.1% overall homology) to XFGF-9 but differed from XFGF-9 in its amino-terminal region (33.3% homology). XFGF-20 mRNA was expressed only zygotically in embryos at and after the blastula stage, but it was also specifically expressed in the stomach and testis of adults. By contrast, XFGF-9 mRNA was expressed maternally in eggs and in many adult tissues. When XFGF-20 mRNA was overexpressed in early embryos, gastrulation was abnormal and development of anterior structures was suppressed. In such embryos, the expression of the Xbra transcript was suppressed during gastrulation while the expression of the transcripts of cerberus, Siamois, dkk-1, chordin, and Xotx-2 genes was normal. These results suggest that correct expression of XFGF-20 during gastrulation is required for the formation of normal head structures in Xenopus laevis during embryogenesis and that expression of the Xbra gene mediates this phenomenon.

  17. Platanna (Xenopus laevis) as a test organism for determining the embryotoxic effects of environmental chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Dumpert, K.; Zietz, E.

    1984-02-01

    It has been successfully demonstrated that platanna (Xenopus laevis) allows the artificial induction of spawning at any time during the year. The number of eggs collected from a female ranged between 500 and 2400, the fertilization rate varying between 10 and 85%. When unaffected by chemicals, the embryonic development of the larvae took between 8 and 30 weeks. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), methylmercury chloride, and the thalidomide analog EM 12 were used for the experiments described. DEHP at a concentration of 2 ppm retarded the development of the larvae and caused reduced pigmentation of the tadpoles. Methylmercury chloride has been found to have teratogenic and embryolethal effects at a concentration as low as 0.01 ppm. The following teratogenic effects have been determined: bent tails of the larvae, retarded development of the filter system, disturbed osmotic regulation, deranged positional and spatial orientation. EM 12 has been proven to have embryolethal effects at concentrations around 100 ppm. At lower concentrations this substance has teratogenic effects, i.e., it interferes in various ways with the development of the limbs.

  18. Gravity-related critical periods in vestibular and tail development of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Horn, Eberhard R; Gabriel, Martin

    2011-11-01

    Sensory systems are characterized by developmental periods during which they are susceptible to environmental modifications, in particular to sensory deprivation. The experiment, XENOPUS, on Soyuz in 2008 was the fourth space flight experiment since 1993 to explore whether tail and vestibular development of Xenopus laevis has a gravity-related critical period. During this flight, tadpoles were used that had developed either the early hindlimb (stage 47) or forelimb bud (stage 50) at launch of the spacecraft. The results revealed (1) no impact of microgravity on the development of the roll-induced vestibuloocular reflex (rVOR) in both stages and (2) a stage-related sensitivity of tail development to microgravity exposure. These results were combined and compared with observations from space flights on other orbital platforms. The combined data revealed (1) a narrow gravity-related critical period for rVOR development close to the period of the first appearance of the reflex and (2) a longer one for tail development lasting from the early tail bud to the early forelimb bud stage.

  19. Microfluidic platform for electrophysiological studies on Xenopus laevis oocytes under varying gravity levels.

    PubMed

    Schaffhauser, Daniel F; Andrini, Olga; Ghezzi, Chiara; Forster, Ian C; Franco-Obregón, Alfredo; Egli, Marcel; Dittrich, Petra S

    2011-10-21

    Voltage clamp measurements reveal important insights into the activity of membrane ion channels. While conventional voltage clamp systems are available for laboratory studies, these instruments are generally unsuitable for more rugged operating environments. In this study, we present a non-invasive microfluidic voltage clamp system developed for the use under varying gravity levels. The core component is a multilayer microfluidic device that provides an immobilisation site for Xenopus laevis oocytes on an intermediate layer, and fluid and electrical connections from either side of the cell. The configuration that we term the asymmetrical transoocyte voltage clamp (ATOVC) also permits electrical access to the cytosol of the oocyte without physical introduction of electrodes by permeabilisation of a large region of the oocyte membrane so that a defined membrane patch can be voltage clamped. The constant low level air pressure applied to the oocyte ensures stable immobilisation, which is essential for keeping the leak resistance constant even under varying gravitational forces. The ease of oocyte mounting and immobilisation combined with the robustness and complete enclosure of the fluidics system allow the use of the ATOVC under extreme environmental conditions, without the need for intervention by a human operator. Results for oocytes over-expressing the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) obtained under laboratory conditions as well as under conditions of micro- and hypergravity demonstrate the high reproducibility and stability of the ATOVC system under distinct mechanical scenarios.

  20. In vitro maintenance of spermatogenesis in Xenopus laevis testis explants cultured in serum-free media

    SciTech Connect

    Risley, M.S.; Miller, A.; Bumcrot, D.A.

    1987-05-01

    Spermatogenesis has been maintained for extended periods in Xenopus laevis testis explants cultured in serum-free media supplemented with bovine serum albumin, insulin, transferrin, follicle-stimulating hormone, dihydrotestosterone, testosterone, retinol, ascorbate, and tocopherol. The organization of the testis fragments was maintained for 28 days, and all stages of development were present throughout the culture period. /sup 3/H-Thymidine-labeled secondary (Type B) spermatogonia developed in 28 days into spermatids at the acrosomal vesicle stage whereas labeled zygotene spermatocytes became mature spermatids in 28 days. Spermatogonial proliferation also continued in vitro for 28 days. Germ cell differentiation was not dependent upon exogenous testosterone, ascorbate, or tocopherol since /sup 3/H-labeled spermatogonia became mature spermatids in testes cultured 35 days in media lacking these supplements. Autoradiography demonstrated that 55% of the luminal sperm present in explants cultured 10 days had differentiated in vitro. Sperm from testes cultured 10-35 days were similar to sperm from freshly dissected testes with regard to motility and fecundity, and eggs fertilized with sperm from explant cultures developed normally into swimming tadpoles. The results demonstrate the feasibility of maintaining vertebrate spermatogenesis in culture and suggest that in vitro analysis of Xenopus spermatogenesis using defined media may provide important insights into the evolution of regulatory mechanisms in spermatogenesis.

  1. O-glycan variability of egg-jelly mucins from Xenopus laevis: characterization of four phenotypes that differ by the terminal glycosylation of their mucins.

    PubMed

    Guerardel, Y; Kol, O; Maes, E; Lefebvre, T; Boilly, B; Davril, M; Strecker, G

    2000-12-01

    Eggs from Xenopus laevis are surrounded by several layers of jelly that are needed for proper fertilization. Jelly coat is composed of high-molecular-mass glycoconjugates to which are bound many globular proteins. O-glycans released from the jelly coat of X. laevis have been partially described in previous studies. In this study, we compared the glycosylation pattern of the egg jelly coat isolated from six specimens of X. laevis. The O-glycans were released from jelly coats by alkali/borohydride treatment. Structural characterization was performed through a combination of one- and two-dimensional (1)H-NMR and methylation analysis. This allowed the description of a new family of sulphated O-glycans present in jelly coats of all X. laevis. However, the jelly O-glycans showed a low extent of polymorphism between specimens. This intra-specific variability was restricted to the terminal substitution of O-linked oligosaccharides. The differential expression of two glycosyltransferase [an alpha-(1-->4) galactosyltransferase and an alpha-(1-->3) fucosyltransferase] activities resulted in the characterization of four phenotypes of X. laevis. Furthermore, electrophoretic analysis suggested that the high-molecular-mass fraction of jelly coat was mostly composed of mucin-type glycoproteins. Blot analysis with lectins confirmed that the glycan variability was borne by these mucin-type components. However, fertilization assays suggested that the glycan polymorphism had no repercussion on egg fertilizability.

  2. Sequencing and analysis of 10,967 full-length cDNA clones from Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis reveals post-tetraploidization transcriptome remodeling.

    PubMed

    Morin, Ryan D; Chang, Elbert; Petrescu, Anca; Liao, Nancy; Griffith, Malachi; Chow, William; Kirkpatrick, Robert; Butterfield, Yaron S; Young, Alice C; Stott, Jeffrey; Barber, Sarah; Babakaiff, Ryan; Dickson, Mark C; Matsuo, Corey; Wong, David; Yang, George S; Smailus, Duane E; Wetherby, Keith D; Kwong, Peggy N; Grimwood, Jane; Brinkley, Charles P; Brown-John, Mabel; Reddix-Dugue, Natalie D; Mayo, Michael; Schmutz, Jeremy; Beland, Jaclyn; Park, Morgan; Gibson, Susan; Olson, Teika; Bouffard, Gerard G; Tsai, Miranda; Featherstone, Ruth; Chand, Steve; Siddiqui, Asim S; Jang, Wonhee; Lee, Ed; Klein, Steven L; Blakesley, Robert W; Zeeberg, Barry R; Narasimhan, Sudarshan; Weinstein, John N; Pennacchio, Christa Prange; Myers, Richard M; Green, Eric D; Wagner, Lukas; Gerhard, Daniela S; Marra, Marco A; Jones, Steven J M; Holt, Robert A

    2006-06-01

    Sequencing of full-insert clones from full-length cDNA libraries from both Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis has been ongoing as part of the Xenopus Gene Collection Initiative. Here we present 10,967 full ORF verified cDNA clones (8049 from X. laevis and 2918 from X. tropicalis) as a community resource. Because the genome of X. laevis, but not X. tropicalis, has undergone allotetraploidization, comparison of coding sequences from these two clawed (pipid) frogs provides a unique angle for exploring the molecular evolution of duplicate genes. Within our clone set, we have identified 445 gene trios, each comprised of an allotetraploidization-derived X. laevis gene pair and their shared X. tropicalis ortholog. Pairwise dN/dS, comparisons within trios show strong evidence for purifying selection acting on all three members. However, dN/dS ratios between X. laevis gene pairs are elevated relative to their X. tropicalis ortholog. This difference is highly significant and indicates an overall relaxation of selective pressures on duplicated gene pairs. We have found that the paralogs that have been lost since the tetraploidization event are enriched for several molecular functions, but have found no such enrichment in the extant paralogs. Approximately 14% of the paralogous pairs analyzed here also show differential expression indicative of subfunctionalization.

  3. O-glycan variability of egg-jelly mucins from Xenopus laevis: characterization of four phenotypes that differ by the terminal glycosylation of their mucins.

    PubMed Central

    Guerardel, Y; Kol, O; Maes, E; Lefebvre, T; Boilly, B; Davril, M; Strecker, G

    2000-01-01

    Eggs from Xenopus laevis are surrounded by several layers of jelly that are needed for proper fertilization. Jelly coat is composed of high-molecular-mass glycoconjugates to which are bound many globular proteins. O-glycans released from the jelly coat of X. laevis have been partially described in previous studies. In this study, we compared the glycosylation pattern of the egg jelly coat isolated from six specimens of X. laevis. The O-glycans were released from jelly coats by alkali/borohydride treatment. Structural characterization was performed through a combination of one- and two-dimensional (1)H-NMR and methylation analysis. This allowed the description of a new family of sulphated O-glycans present in jelly coats of all X. laevis. However, the jelly O-glycans showed a low extent of polymorphism between specimens. This intra-specific variability was restricted to the terminal substitution of O-linked oligosaccharides. The differential expression of two glycosyltransferase [an alpha-(1-->4) galactosyltransferase and an alpha-(1-->3) fucosyltransferase] activities resulted in the characterization of four phenotypes of X. laevis. Furthermore, electrophoretic analysis suggested that the high-molecular-mass fraction of jelly coat was mostly composed of mucin-type glycoproteins. Blot analysis with lectins confirmed that the glycan variability was borne by these mucin-type components. However, fertilization assays suggested that the glycan polymorphism had no repercussion on egg fertilizability. PMID:11085939

  4. Primary structure of an apical protein from Xenopus laevis that participates in amiloride-sensitive sodium channel activity

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    High resistance epithelia express on their apical side an amiloride- sensitive sodium channel that controls sodium reabsorption. A cDNA was found to encode a 1,420-amino acid long polypeptide with no signal sequence, a putative transmembrane segment, and three predicted amphipathic alpha helices. A corresponding 5.2-kb mRNA was detected in Xenopus laevis kidney, intestine, and oocytes, with weak expression in stomach and eyes. An antibody directed against a fusion protein containing a COOH-terminus segment of the protein and an antiidiotypic antibody known to recognize the amiloride binding site of the epithelial sodium channel (Kleyman, T. R., J.-P. Kraehenbuhl, and S. A. Ernst. 1991. J. Biol. Chem. 266:3907-3915) immunoprecipitated a similar protein complex from [35S]methionine-labeled and from apically radioiodinated Xenopus laevis kidney-derived A6 cells. A single integral of 130-kD protein was recovered from samples reduced with DTT. The antibody also cross-reacted by ELISA with the putative amiloride- sensitive sodium channel isolated from A6 cells (Benos, D. J., G. Saccomani, and S. Sariban-Sohraby. 1987. J. Biol. Chem. 262:10613- 10618). Although the protein is translated, cRNA injected into oocytes did not reconstitute amiloride-sensitive sodium transport, while antisense RNA or antisense oligodeoxynucleotides specific for two distinct sequences of the cloned cDNA inhibited amiloride-sensitive sodium current induced by injection of A6 cell mRNA. We propose that the cDNA encodes an apical plasma membrane protein that plays a role in the functional expression of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel. It may represent a subunit of the Xenopus laevis sodium channel or a regulatory protein essential for sodium channel function. PMID:1334959

  5. The Influence of Artificially Introduced N-Glycosylation Sites on the In Vitro Activity of Xenopus laevis Erythropoietin

    PubMed Central

    Nagasawa, Kazumichi; Meguro, Mizue; Sato, Kei; Tanizaki, Yuta; Nogawa-Kosaka, Nami; Kato, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Erythropoietin (EPO), the primary regulator of erythropoiesis, is a heavily glycosylated protein found in humans and several other mammals. Intriguingly, we have previously found that EPO in Xenopus laevis (xlEPO) has no N-glycosylation sites, and cross-reacts with the human EPO (huEPO) receptor despite low homology with huEPO. In this study, we introduced N-glycosylation sites into wild-type xlEPO at the positions homologous to those in huEPO, and tested whether the glycosylated mutein retained its biological activity. Seven xlEPO muteins, containing 1–3 additional N-linked carbohydrates at positions 24, 38, and/or 83, were expressed in COS-1 cells. The muteins exhibited lower secretion efficiency, higher hydrophilicity, and stronger acidic properties than the wild type. All muteins stimulated the proliferation of both cell lines, xlEPO receptor-expressing xlEPOR-FDC/P2 cells and huEPO receptor-expressing UT-7/EPO cells, in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, the muteins retained their in vitro biological activities. The maximum effect on xlEPOR-FDC/P2 proliferation was decreased by the addition of N-linked carbohydrates, but that on UT-7/EPO proliferation was not changed, indicating that the muteins act as partial agonists to the xlEPO receptor, and near-full agonists to the huEPO receptor. Hence, the EPO-EPOR binding site in X. laevis locates the distal region of artificially introduced three N-glycosylation sites, demonstrating that the vital conformation to exert biological activity is conserved between humans and X. laevis, despite the low similarity in primary structures of EPO and EPOR. PMID:25898205

  6. Cloning and expression analysis of interferon-γ-inducible-lysosomal thiol reductase gene in South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Cui, Xian-wei; Xiao, Wen; Ke, Zhen; Liu, Xia; Xu, Xing-zhou; Zhang, Shuang-quan

    2011-12-01

    In this study, an interferon-γ-inducible-lysosomal thiol reductase (GILT) homologue has been cloned and identified from South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (designated XlGILT). The open reading frame (ORF) of XlGILT consists of 771 bases encoding a protein of 256 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 28.76kDa and a theoretical isoelectric point of 5.12. The N-terminus of the XlGILT was found to have a putative signal peptide with a cleavage site amino acid position at 15-16. SMART analysis showed that the XlGILT contained a GILT active-site C(69)GGC(72) motif and a GILT signature motif C(114)QHGKEECIGNLIETC(129). The expression levels of XlGILT mRNA were higher in spleen and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), moderate in liver, intestine, heart and kidney, and lower in lung. The XlGILT mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated in spleen in vivo and PBMCs in vitro after LPS stimulation. The soluble X. laevis GILT (XlsGILT) was inserted into a pET28a vector and expressed in BL21 (DE3) cells as a His-tag fusion enzyme. After purification, further study revealed that XlsGILT was capable of catalyzing the reduction of the interchain disulfide bonds intact IgG. These results will allow for further investigation to unravel the role of this key enzyme in class II MHC-restricted antigen processing and to use X. laevis as an in vivo model for related studies.

  7. Embryonic Expression and Evolution of Duplicated E-Protein Genes in Xenopus Laevis: Parallels with Ancestral E-Protein Genes

    PubMed Central

    Shain, D. H.; Neuman, T.; Zuber, M. X.

    1997-01-01

    E-proteins comprise a subfamily of helix-loop-helix transcription factors that have been identified in arthropods and several chordate taxa. In mammals, there are three classes of E-protein genes (E2A, E2-2, and HEB) that encode related, and often interchangeable, gene products. We have determined that the clawed frog Xenopus laevis contains twice the number of transcriptionally active E-protein genes when compared with other vertebrate species. Based upon genomic Southern blots and nucleotide sequence comparisons, it is likely that the additional X. laevis genes arose from tetraploidization. During embryogenesis, XE2A (homologue of mammalian E2A) transcripts were broadly expressed in anterior and posterior regions of the embryo while homologues of E2-2 (XE2.2) and HEB (XE1.2) appeared in vertebrate-specific structures including the pineal gland, olfactory bulb, and brachial arches. A phylogenetic analysis of these genes and other known metazoan E-proteins suggests that there were two periods of marked E-protein gene expansion; one that predated the radiation of vertebrates, and the other that coincided with Xenopus tetraploidization. Both of these periods were characterized by the rapid evolution of E2-2 and HEB-class genes, but not of E2A. We propose that the former genes acquired new or specialized roles during early chordate evolution and also more recently in Xenopus, as reflected by the stereotypic expression patterns of these genes during X. laevis development. PMID:9136023

  8. Transcriptional changes in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) exposed to 17α-ethynylestradiol during early development.

    PubMed

    Tompsett, Amber R; Higley, Eric; Pryce, Sara; Giesy, John P; Hecker, Markus; Wiseman, Steve

    2015-03-01

    Although the past two decades have witnessed a significant increase in the number of studies investigating effects of estrogenic chemicals on amphibians, to date little is known about specific molecular interactions of estrogens with the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal-hepatic axis in developing amphibians. Here, tissue-specific functional sets of genes, derived previously from studies of fishes exposed to endocrine active chemicals, were evaluated in Xenopus laevis exposed to 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) throughout their early development. Specifically, transcriptional responses of X. laevis exposed to 0.09, 0.84, or 8.81 µg EE2/L were characterized during sexual differentiation [31 day post hatch (dph)] and after completion of metamorphosis during the juvenile stage (89 dph). While at 31 dph there were no consistent effects of EE2 on abundances of transcripts,at 89 dph X. laevis exhibited significant alterations in expression of genes involved in steroid signaling and metabolism, synthesis of cholesterol, and vitellogenesis. Specifically, expression of androgen receptor, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, estrogen receptor α, and vitellogenin A2 was significantly greater (>2-fold) than in controls while expression of farnesoid x-activated receptors α and β was significantly less (>2-fold reduction) than in controls. These results support the hypothesis that sets of genes derived from studies in teleost fish can be extrapolated for use in amphibians during the juvenile stage but not in sexually undifferentiated individuals. Furthermore, changes in abundances of transcripts of the here utilized sets of genes in animals sampled post sexual differentiation were in accordance with developmental effects and alterations of gonadal histology reported in a parallel study. This set of genes might be useful for predicting potential adverse outcomes at later life-stages.

  9. Divergent antiviral roles of amphibian (Xenopus laevis) macrophages elicited by colony-stimulating factor-1 and interleukin-34.

    PubMed

    Grayfer, Leon; Robert, Jacques

    2014-12-01

    Macrophages are integral to amphibian immunity against RVs, as well as to the infection strategies of these pathogens. Although CSF-1 was considered to be the principal mediator of macrophage development, the IL-34 cytokine, which shares no sequence identity with CSF-1, is now believed to contribute to vertebrate monopoiesis. However, the respective roles of CSF-1- and IL-34-derived macrophages are still poorly understood. To delineate the contribution of these macrophage populations to amphibian immunity against the RV FV3, we identified the Xenopus laevis IL-34 and transcriptionally and functionally compared this cytokine with the previously identified X. laevis CSF-1. The X. laevis CSF-1 and IL-34 displayed strikingly nonoverlapping developmental and tissue-specific gene-expression patterns. Furthermore, only CSF-1 but not IL-34 was up-regulated in the kidneys of FV3-challenged tadpoles. Intriguingly, recombinant forms of these cytokines (rXlCSF-1, rXlIL-34) elicited morphologically distinct tadpole macrophages, and whereas rXlCSF-1 pretreatment decreased the survival of FV3-infected tadpoles, rXlIL-34 administration significantly prolonged FV3-challenged animal survival. Compared with rXlIL-34-elicited macrophages, macrophages derived by rXlCSF-1 were more phagocytic but also significantly more susceptible to in vitro FV3 infections. By contrast, rXlIL-34-derived macrophages exhibited significantly greater in vitro antiranaviral activity and displayed substantially more robust gene expression of the NADPH oxidase components (p67(phox), gp91(phox)) and type I IFN. Moreover, FV3-challenged, rXlIL-34-derived macrophages exhibited several orders of magnitude greater up-regulation of the type I IFN gene expression. This marks the first report of the disparate roles of CSF-1 and IL-34 in vertebrate antiviral immunity.

  10. Divergent antiviral roles of amphibian (Xenopus laevis) macrophages elicited by colony-stimulating factor-1 and interleukin-34

    PubMed Central

    Grayfer, Leon; Robert, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Macrophages are integral to amphibian immunity against RVs, as well as to the infection strategies of these pathogens. Although CSF-1 was considered to be the principal mediator of macrophage development, the IL-34 cytokine, which shares no sequence identity with CSF-1, is now believed to contribute to vertebrate monopoiesis. However, the respective roles of CSF-1- and IL-34-derived macrophages are still poorly understood. To delineate the contribution of these macrophage populations to amphibian immunity against the RV FV3, we identified the Xenopus laevis IL-34 and transcriptionally and functionally compared this cytokine with the previously identified X. laevis CSF-1. The X. laevis CSF-1 and IL-34 displayed strikingly nonoverlapping developmental and tissue-specific gene-expression patterns. Furthermore, only CSF-1 but not IL-34 was up-regulated in the kidneys of FV3-challenged tadpoles. Intriguingly, recombinant forms of these cytokines (rXlCSF-1, rXlIL-34) elicited morphologically distinct tadpole macrophages, and whereas rXlCSF-1 pretreatment decreased the survival of FV3-infected tadpoles, rXlIL-34 administration significantly prolonged FV3-challenged animal survival. Compared with rXlIL-34-elicited macrophages, macrophages derived by rXlCSF-1 were more phagocytic but also significantly more susceptible to in vitro FV3 infections. By contrast, rXlIL-34-derived macrophages exhibited significantly greater in vitro antiranaviral activity and displayed substantially more robust gene expression of the NADPH oxidase components (p67phox, gp91phox) and type I IFN. Moreover, FV3-challenged, rXlIL-34-derived macrophages exhibited several orders of magnitude greater up-regulation of the type I IFN gene expression. This marks the first report of the disparate roles of CSF-1 and IL-34 in vertebrate antiviral immunity. PMID:25190077

  11. Molecular cloning and developmental expression of the caveolin gene family in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Razani, Babak; Park, David S; Miyanaga, Yuko; Ghatpande, Ashwini; Cohen, Justin; Wang, Xiao Bo; Scherer, Philipp E; Evans, Todd; Lisanti, Michael P

    2002-06-25

    Caveolae are approximately 50-100 nm invaginations of the plasma membrane thought to form as a result of a local accumulation of cholesterol, sphingolipids, and a unique family of three proteins known as the caveolins: Cav-1, -2, and -3. Here, we report the identification, sequence, and developmental expression of the three caveolin genes in the amphibian Xenopus laevis. Sequence comparisons show that Xenopus Cav-1, -2, and -3 are approximately 80, 64, and 45% identical, respectively, to their counterparts in humans. Furthermore, Northern blotting experiments demonstrate that the Xenopus caveolins have tissue-specific expression profiles consistent with those previously reported in adult mammals. In the adult frog, Xenopus Cav-1 and Cav-2 are most abundantly expressed in the fat body and the lungs, while Xenopus Cav-3 is primarily expressed in muscle tissue types (heart and skeletal muscle). However, our temporal and spatial analyses of these expression patterns during embryogenesis reveal several novel features, with possible relevance to developmental signaling. Transcripts encoding Xenopus Cav-1 and -2 first appear in the notochord of neurula stage embryos, which represents a key signaling tissue. In contrast, Xenopus Cav-3 shows a highly specific punctate expression pattern in the embryonic epidermis, similar to previous patterns implicated in Notch signaling. These findings are in striking contrast to their steady-state expression patterns in the adult frog. Taken together, our results show that the Xenopus caveolin gene family is present and differentially expressed in both embryonic and adult tissues. This report is the first detailed study of caveolin gene expression in a developing embryo.

  12. Cranial Osteogenesis and Suture Morphology in Xenopus laevis: A Unique Model System for Studying Craniofacial Development

    PubMed Central

    Slater, Bethany J.; Liu, Karen J.; Kwan, Matthew D.; Quarto, Natalina; Longaker, Michael T.

    2009-01-01

    Background The tremendous diversity in vertebrate skull formation illustrates the range of forms and functions generated by varying genetic programs. Understanding the molecular basis for this variety may provide us with insights into mechanisms underlying human craniofacial anomalies. In this study, we provide evidence that the anuran Xenopus laevis can be developed as a simplified model system for the study of cranial ossification and suture patterning. The head structures of Xenopus undergo dramatic remodelling during metamorphosis; as a result, tadpole morphology differs greatly from the adult bony skull. Because of the extended larval period in Xenopus, the molecular basis of these alterations has not been well studied. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined late larval, metamorphosing, and post-metamorphosis froglet stages in intact and sectioned animals. Using micro-computed tomography (μCT) and tissue staining of the frontoparietal bone and surrounding cartilage, we observed that bone formation initiates from lateral ossification centers, proceeding from posterior-to-anterior. Histological analyses revealed midline abutting and posterior overlapping sutures. To determine the mechanisms underlying the large-scale cranial changes, we examined proliferation, apoptosis, and proteinase activity during remodelling of the skull roof. We found that tissue turnover during metamorphosis could be accounted for by abundant matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, at least in part by MMP-1 and -13. Conclusion A better understanding of the dramatic transformation from cartilaginous head structures to bony skull during Xenopus metamorphosis may provide insights into tissue remodelling and regeneration in other systems. Our studies provide some new molecular insights into this process. PMID:19156194

  13. Identification of fucosylated glycoconjugates in Xenopus laevis testis by lectin histochemistry.

    PubMed

    Valbuena, Galder; Madrid, Juan Francisco; Hernández, Francisco; Sáez, Francisco José

    2010-08-01

    Glycoconjugates play roles in many physiological and pathological processes. Previous works have shown important functions mediated by glycans in spermatogenesis, and the carbohydrate composition of testis has been studied by several approaches, including lectin-histochemical methods. However, the testis of Xenopus laevis, an animal model extensively employed in biochemical, cell and developmental research, has not yet been analysed. The aim of this work was to carry out a histochemical study of the fucose (Fuc)-containing glycoconjugates of Xenopus testis by means of lectins, combined with deglycosylation pretreatments. Four Fuc-binding lectins were used: orange peel (Aleuria aurantia) lectin (AAL), gorse seed (Ulex europaeus) agglutinin-I (UEA-I), fresh water eel (Anguilla anguilla) agglutinin (AAA), and asparagus pea (Lotus tetragonolobus) agglutinin (LTA), each recognizing different forms of fucosylated glycans. Labelling with UEA-I, which preferably binds Fucalpha(1,2) containing oligosaccharides, did not show any appreciable staining. LTA, specific for Fucalpha(1,3), and AAA, which binds Fucalpha(1,2), labelled spermatocytes and spermatids, but no labelling was seen when the histochemical procedure was carried out after either beta-elimination (which removes O-linked oligosaccharides) or incubation with PNGase F (which removes N-linked oligosaccharides), suggesting that fucosylated glycans are of both N- and O-linked types. AAL, which has its highest affinity to Fucalpha(1,6), but also recognizes Fucalpha(1,2) and Fucalpha(1,3), labelled the whole testis, and the staining remained when the histochemical method was performed after either beta-elimination or incubation with PNGase F. Labelling with AAL could be explained by the fact that this lectin could be binding to diverse fucosylated glycans in N- and O-glycans, and even in glycolipids. The importance of these glycans is discussed.

  14. Vestibular lesion-induced developmental plasticity in spinal locomotor networks during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Beyeler, Anna; Rao, Guillaume; Ladepeche, Laurent; Jacques, André; Simmers, John; Le Ray, Didier

    2013-01-01

    During frog metamorphosis, the vestibular sensory system remains unchanged, while spinal motor networks undergo a massive restructuring associated with the transition from the larval to adult biomechanical system. We investigated in Xenopus laevis the impact of a pre- (tadpole stage) or post-metamorphosis (juvenile stage) unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL) on young adult swimming performance and underlying spinal locomotor circuitry. The acute disruptive effects on locomotion were similar in both tadpoles and juvenile frogs. However, animals that had metamorphosed with a preceding UL expressed restored swimming behavior at the juvenile stage, whereas animals lesioned after metamorphosis never recovered. Whilst kinematic and electrophysiological analyses of the propulsive system showed no significant differences in either juvenile group, a 3D biomechanical simulation suggested that an asymmetry in the dynamic control of posture during swimming could account for the behavioral restoration observed in animals that had been labyrinthectomized before metamorphosis. This hypothesis was subsequently supported by in vivo electromyography during free swimming and in vitro recordings from isolated brainstem/spinal cord preparations. Specifically, animals lesioned prior to metamorphosis at the larval stage exhibited an asymmetrical propulsion/posture coupling as a post-metamorphic young adult. This developmental alteration was accompanied by an ipsilesional decrease in propriospinal coordination that is normally established in strict left-right symmetry during metamorphosis in order to synchronize dorsal trunk muscle contractions with bilateral hindlimb extensions in the swimming adult. Our data thus suggest that a disequilibrium in descending vestibulospinal information during Xenopus metamorphosis leads to an altered assembly of adult spinal locomotor circuitry. This in turn enables an adaptive compensation for the dynamic postural asymmetry induced by the vestibular imbalance

  15. Chronic sublethal exposure to silver nanoparticles disrupts thyroid hormone signaling during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Carew, Amanda C; Hoque, M Ehsanul; Metcalfe, Chris D; Peyrot, Caroline; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Helbing, Caren C

    2015-02-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) are engineered in the nanoscale (<100 nm) to have unique physico-chemical properties from their bulk counterparts. Nanosilver particles (AgNPs) are the most prevalent NPs in consumer products due to their strong antimicrobial action. While AgNP toxicity at high concentrations has been thoroughly investigated, the sublethal effects at or below regulatory guidelines are relatively unknown. Amphibian metamorphosis is mediated by thyroid hormone (TH), and initial studies with bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) indicate that low concentrations of AgNPs disrupt TH-dependent responses in premetamorphic tadpole tailfin tissue. The present study examined the effects of low, non-lethal, environmentally-relevant AgNP concentrations (0.018, 0.18 or 1.8 μg/L Ag; ∼10 nm particle size) on naturally metamorphosing Xenopus laevis tadpoles in two-28 day chronic exposures beginning with either pre- or prometamorphic developmental stages. Asymmetric flow field flow fractionation with online inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and nanoparticle tracking analysis indicated a mixture of single AgNPs with homo-agglomerates in the exposure water with a significant portion (∼30-40%) found as dissolved Ag. Tadpoles bioaccumulated AgNPs and displayed transient alterations in snout/vent and hindlimb length with AgNP exposure. Using MAGEX microarray and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction transcript analyses, AgNP-induced disruption of five TH-responsive targets was observed. The increased mRNA abundance of two peroxidase genes by AgNP exposure suggests the presence of reactive oxygen species even at low, environmentally-relevant concentrations. Furthermore, differential responsiveness to AgNPs was observed at each developmental stage. Therefore, low concentrations of AgNPs had developmental stage-specific endocrine disrupting effects during TH-dependent metamorphosis.

  16. Caging, but not air deprivation, slows tadpole growth and development in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Rose, Christopher S

    2014-08-01

    Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in submerged cages in normoxic water develop more slowly than tadpoles raised with access to air. This study distinguishes between the effects of being caged and being deprived access to air on development and growth. Tadpoles were raised in high and low density control tanks and in cages in the same tank that were either completely submerged or with the top exposed to air. Experiments were repeated with the cages in different positions relative to the air stones and with and without the water flow from air stones supplemented with a pump. Whereas caging tadpoles has a large effect on their development and growth, additionally depriving them of air has a small effect and this effect can be removed by optimizing water flow through the cage. The effect of caging, though significant in this study, is small compared to the variation in growth and developmental rates that is commonly encountered within and among controls in lab studies. Caging effects can also be diminished by optimizing rearing conditions and/or having exceptionally vigorous tadpoles. The effects of air deprivation and caging thus pose less of a problem for experimenting on air-deprived (AD) and air-restored Xenopus tadpoles than their inherent variability in growth and developmental rates and their susceptibility to growth and developmental arrest. Further, the effect of air deprivation in this air-breathing amphibian does not pose a conflict with evolutionary hypotheses for lung loss involving lengthening of the larval period and delay in the onset of air breathing.

  17. [Morphology of Urospora chiridotae (Sporozoa: Gregarinomorpha: Eugregarinida) from sea cucumber Chiridota laevis (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea: Apoda)].

    PubMed

    Diakin, A Iu; Paskerova, G G

    2004-01-01

    Several morphological forms (morphotypes) of Urospora chiridotae gamontes are found in White Sea holothuroid Chiridota laevis. All these morphotypes are differed by localization in the body of host, form and cytological features. The gregarines are situated in several host biotopes, such as blood vessels, intestine and mesenteries. In the blood vessels elongate skittle-like cells supplied with long thin cytopillia are observed. On the external surface of the intestine spherical gregarines are found. These parasites commonly covered with one layer of coelomic epithelium's cells. In some holothuria intratissue spherical cells of parasites located in intestinal epithelium are presented. Both of these types of parasites lack cytopillia, and folds or ridges on its surface. On different mesenteries, connections between intestine and body wall, and also on intestine elongate ounce-shaped cells and gamontocysts are observed. These cells are situated on the apices of finger-like processes of the intestine and mesenteries surface. Ounce-shaped gregarines have cytopillia shorter than in skittle-like gregarines. The differences between morphotypes of Urospora chiridotae are probably caused by different environmental conditions. In the narrow rift of blood vessel elongate cells are developed. The cytopillia may serve for making more or less wide space around gregarines, which is necessary for food uptake. Spherical cells surrounded by host's cells and have the form typical for tissue parasites. In the wide coelomic cavity where convection of liquid proceeds better than in blood vessel, ounce-shaped gregarines with short cytopillia are developed. We found only typical for Urospora chiridotae ovoid oocysts with dissimilar ends, anterior collar and spine-like posterior end. Thus, the all above-mentioned morphotypes undoubtedly belong to the same species. The relationships between defense host cells and the different morphotypes of trophozoites are variable.

  18. Isolation, characterization, and extra-embryonic secretion of the Xenopus laevis embryonic epidermal lectin, XEEL.

    PubMed

    Nagata, Saburo

    2005-03-01

    The Xenopus laevis embryonic epidermal lectin (XEEL) is a novel member of a group of lectins including mammalian intelectins, frog oocyte cortical granule lectins, and plasma lectins in lower vertebrates and ascidians. We isolated the XEEL protein from the extract of tailbud embryos by affinity chromatography on a galactose-Sepharose column. The XEEL protein is a homohexamer of 43-kDa N-glycosylated peptide subunits linked by disulfide bonds. It requires Ca(2+) for saccharide binding and shows a higher affinity to pentoses than hexoses and disaccharides. HEK-293T cells transfected with an expression vector containing the XEEL cDNA secrete into the culture medium the recombinant XEEL (rXEEL) that is similar to the purified XEEL in its molecular nature and saccharide-binding properties. Substitution of Asn-192 to Gln removed the N-linked carbohydrate and inhibited secretion of rXEEL but did not abolish the activity to bind to galactose-Sepharose. The embryo's XEEL content, as estimated by western blot analyses, increases during neurula/tailbud stages and declines after 1 week postfertilization. Immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscopic analyses showed localization of the XEEL protein in a typical secretory granule pathway of nonciliated epidermal cells. When tailbud embryos were cultured in the standard medium, XEEL was accumulated in the medium, indicating secretion of XEEL into the environmental water. The rate of XEEL secretion greatly increased at around the hatching stage and stayed at a high level during the first week after hatching. XEEL may have a role in innate immunity to protect embryos and larvae against pathogenic microorganisms in the environmental water.

  19. Pattern of Neurogenesis and Identification of Neuronal Progenitor Subtypes during Pallial Development in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Nerea; González, Agustín

    2017-01-01

    The complexity of the pallium during evolution has increased dramatically in many different respects. The highest level of complexity is found in mammals, where most of the pallium (cortex) shows a layered organization and neurons are generated during development following an inside-out order, a sequence not observed in other amniotes (birds and reptiles). Species-differences may be related to major neurogenetic events, from the neural progenitors that divide and produce all pallial cells. In mammals, two main types of precursors have been described, primary precursor cells in the ventricular zone (vz; also called radial glial cells or apical progenitors) and secondary precursor cells (called basal or intermediate progenitors) separated from the ventricle surface. Previous studies suggested that pallial neurogenetic cells, and especially the intermediate progenitors, evolved independently in mammalian and sauropsid lineages. In the present study, we examined pallial neurogenesis in the amphibian Xenopus laevis, a representative species of the only group of tetrapods that are anamniotes. The pattern of pallial proliferation during embryonic and larval development was studied, together with a multiple immunohistochemical analysis of putative progenitor cells. We found that there are two phases of progenitor divisions in the developing pallium that, following the radial unit concept from the ventricle to the mantle, finally result in an outside-in order of mature neurons, what seems to be the primitive condition of vertebrates. Gene expressions of key transcription factors that characterize radial glial cells in the vz were demonstrated in Xenopus. In addition, although mitotic cells were corroborated outside the vz, the expression pattern of markers for intermediate progenitors differed from mammals.

  20. Low concentrations of metal mixture exposures have adverse effects on selected biomarkers of Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Yologlu, Ertan; Ozmen, Murat

    2015-11-01

    Polluted ecosystems may contain mixtures of metals, such that the combinations of metals, even in low concentrations, may cause adverse effects. In the present study, we focused on toxic effects of mixtures of selected metals, the LC50 values, and also their safety limit in aquatic systems imposed by the European legislation using a model organism. Xenopus laevis tadpoles were used as test organisms. They were exposed to metals or their combinations due to 96-h LC50 values. Glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterase (CaE), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase (CAT) levels were evaluated. Metallothionein concentrations were also determined. The LC50s for Cd, Pb, and Cu were calculated as 5.81mg AI/L, 123.05mg AI/L, and 0.85mg AI/L, respectively. Low lethality ratios were observed with unary exposure of each metal in lower concentrations. Double or triple combinations of LC50 and LC50/2 concentrations caused 100% lethality with Cd+Cu and Pb+Cd+Cu mixtures, while the Pb+Cu mixture also caused high lethal ratios. The selected enzyme activities were significantly affected by metals or mixtures, and dose-related effects were determined. The metallothionein levels generally increased as related to concentration in unary metals and mixtures. Acceptable limit values of unary metals and mixtures did not significantly change metallothionein levels. The results suggest that oxidative stress-related mechanisms are involved in the toxicity induced by selected metals with combinations of very low concentrations.

  1. Characterization of the hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis during development. II. The basal regions.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín; Moreno, Nerea

    2014-04-01

    The expression patterns of conserved developmental regulatory transcription factors and neuronal markers were analyzed in the basal hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis throughout development by means of combined immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques. The connectivity of the main subdivisions was investigated by in vitro tracing techniques with dextran amines. The basal hypothalamic region is topologically rostral to the basal diencephalon and is composed of the tuberal (rostral) and mammillary (caudal) subdivisions, according to the prosomeric model. It is dorsally bounded by the optic chiasm and the alar hypothalamus, and caudally by the diencephalic prosomere p3. The tuberal hypothalamus is defined by the expression of Nkx2.1, xShh, and Isl1, and rostral and caudal portions can be distinguished by the distinct expression of Otp rostrally and Nkx2.2 caudally. In the mammillary region the xShh/Nkx2.1 combination defined the rostral mammillary area, expressing Nkx2.1, and the caudal retromammillary area, expressing xShh. The expression of xLhx1, xDll4, and Otp in the mammillary area and Isl1 in the tuberal region highlights the boundary between the two basal hypothalamic territories. Both regions are strongly connected with subpallial regions, especially those conveying olfactory/vomeronasal information, and also possess abundant intrahypothalamic connections. They show reciprocal connections with the diencephalon (mainly the thalamus), project to the midbrain tectum, and are bidirectionally related to the rhombencephalon. These results illustrate that the basal hypothalamus of anurans shares many features of specification, regionalization, and hodology with amniotes, reinforcing the idea of a basic bauplan in the organization of this prosencephalic region in all tetrapods.

  2. Embryotoxic effects of environmental chemicals: tests with the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis)

    SciTech Connect

    Dumpert, K.

    1987-06-01

    In the course of the investigations reported below, it was shown that p-chloroaniline has a lethal effect on the embryos of Xenopus laevis at a concentration of 100 ppm and is development inhibiting (teratogenic) at concentrations of 1 and 10 ppm, respectively. In the case of aniline, a significant development-inhibiting effect was observed at a concentration as low as 1 ppm. A toxic effect was caused by concentrations between 30 and 40 ppm during embryogenesis and by concentrations above 40 ppm during larval development. A very conspicuous finding was an inhibiting effect of 20 to 40 ppm aniline on pigmentation during embryogenesis and of a concentration as low as 1 ppm on the body size of the young toads. In the case of potassium dichromate, it was possible to barely detect a weak development-inhibiting effect during embryogenesis but no development-retarding effect during larval development. Toxic effects of potassium dichromate occurred during embryogenesis at concentrations of 5 and 7.5 ppm and during the larval development at concentrations above 10 ppm. Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid at a concentration of 50 ppm was found to have such a strong embryolethal effect that 80% of the eggs showed no cell division at all and the remaining 20% developed to only the bicellular stage. A teratogenic effect of this substance was not observed. Phenol, too, was found to be toxic at a concentration of 50 ppm; in contrast to sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid, however, it did not show any lethal effect on the embryos but it did on the tadpoles, mainly in the first stages of larval development. Lower concentrations of phenol (5 and 10 ppm) had a nonsignificant inhibiting effect on the growth of the larvae. A teratogenic effect of phenol was not detected.

  3. Regulation of ectodermal differentiation in Xenopus laevis animal caps treated with TPA and ammonium chloride.

    PubMed

    Sotgia, C; Fascio, U; Pennati, R; De Bernardi, F

    1998-02-01

    Animal caps isolated from Xenopus laevis embryos at the blastula stage were treated sequentially with NH4Cl, a known cement gland inducer, and with 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a known neural inducer. The two artificial inducers were also used in reverse order to see if they can mimic the natural inducers acting during the progressive determination of the ectodermal organ. Immunofluorescence and whole-mount in situ hybridization were used to study the expression of tubulin, taken to indicate an early step on the pathway of cell elongation, and neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) taken to indicate an early step in the determination of the nervous system. The expression of XCG-1, a marker of early specification of the cement gland, was also studied. The results showed that the two artificial inducers can mimic the effects of the natural inducers in animal cap explants. The TPA behaves like a neural inducer, reducing the number and the extension of the cement gland when added to the medium in addition to NH4Cl, before or after NH4Cl treatment. In the process of cement gland/neural induction, it is possible to redirect the ectoderm already specified as cement gland to neural tissue, but it does not seem possible to respecify the neural tissue as cement gland. Moreover, the animal caps were also cut into dorsal and ventral parts and the two halves were treated separately. The results were similar to those obtained with treatment of the entire animal cap, suggesting that a dorsal-ventral pattern is not yet established before the gastrula stage, and that in normal embryos there are boundaries between the effects of different inducers.

  4. Twitch and tetanic tension during culture of mature Xenopus laevis single muscle fibres.

    PubMed

    Jaspers, R T; Feenstra, H M; Lee- de Groot, M B; Huijing, P A; van der Laarse, W J

    2001-12-01

    Investigation of the mechanisms of muscle adaptation requires independent control of the regulating factors. The aim of the present study was to develop a serum-free medium to culture mature single muscle fibres of Xenopus laevis. As an example, we used the culture system to study adaptation of twitch and tetanic force characteristics, number of sarcomeres in series and fibre cross-section. Fibres dissected from m. iliofibularis (n = 10) were kept in culture at a fibre mean sarcomere length of 2.3 microm in a culture medium without serum. Twitch and tetanic tension were determined daily. Before and after culture the number of sarcomeres was determined by laser diffraction and fibre cross-sectional area (CSA) was determined by microscopy. For five fibres twitch tension increased during culture and tetanic tension was stable for periods varying from 8 to 14 days ('stable fibres'), after which fibres were removed from culture for analysis. Fibre CSA and the number of sarcomeres in series remained constant during culture. Five other fibres showed a substantial reduction in twitch and tetanic tension within the first five days of culture ('unstable fibres'). After 7-9 days of culture, three of these fibres died. For two of the unstable fibres, after the substantial force reduction, twitch and tetanic tension increased again. Finally at day 14 and 18 of culture, respectively, the tensions attained values higher than their original values. For stable fibres, twitch contraction time, twitch half-relaxation time and tetanus 10%-relaxation time increased during culture. For unstable fibres these parameters fluctuated. For all fibres the stimulus threshold fluctuated during the first two days, and then remained constant, even for the fibres that were cultured for at least two weeks. It is concluded that the present culture system for mature muscle fibres allows long-term studies within a well-defined medium. Unfortunately, initial tetanic and twitch force are poor predictors

  5. Determination of ionic permeability coefficients of the plasma membrane of Xenopus laevis oocytes under voltage clamp.

    PubMed Central

    Costa, P F; Emilio, M G; Fernandes, P L; Ferreira, H G; Ferreira, K G

    1989-01-01

    1. A method of estimating absolute ionic permeability coefficients which does not depend on the use of impermeant substitutes is reported. 2. The method is based on a pump leak model of the Xenopus laevis oocyte membrane. The procedure consists of measuring, in the same experiment, the pump current and the currents generated under voltage clamp by the partial substitution of one or two ions at a time. For each experimental condition, the measured currents are substituted in a Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz type equation with two unknowns (the permeability coefficients). The set of equations thus generated enables the computation of all the ionic permeability coefficients. 3. The Xenopus oocyte membrane (stages IV and V, Dumont, 1972) has been found to be permeable to conventional ion substitutes such as N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMG), sulphate, isethionate and gluconate. 4. The values for sodium, potassium and chloride permeability coefficients obtained from sixty-eight pooled experiments were, respectively, 5.44, 17.41 and 1.49 x 10(-8) cm s-1. 5. The diffusional currents for sodium, potassium and chloride computed from the experiments referred to above were, respectively, -1.16, 0.69 and -0.038 microA cm-2. 6. A stoichiometry of the Na+-K+ pump exchange of 3/1.8 was computed. 7. The intracellular concentrations of sodium, potassium and chloride ions, as determined by ion-selective microelectrodes, were, respectively, 10.1 +/- 0.66 mM (n = 12), 109.5 +/- 3.3 mM (n = 13) and 37.7 +/- 1.18 mM (n = 19), corresponding to equilibrium potentials of 61, -95 and -28 mV. 8. Since chloride is not at equilibrium across the membrane, we propose that there is an inward uphill Cl- transport. PMID:2600847

  6. Activation of Src and release of intracellular calcium by phosphatidic acid during Xenopus laevis fertilization.

    PubMed

    Bates, Ryan C; Fees, Colby P; Holland, William L; Winger, Courtney C; Batbayar, Khulan; Ancar, Rachel; Bergren, Todd; Petcoff, Douglas; Stith, Bradley J

    2014-02-01

    We report a new step in the fertilization in Xenopus laevis which has been found to involve activation of Src tyrosine kinase to stimulate phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ) which increases inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) to release intracellular calcium ([Ca](i)). Molecular species analysis and mass measurements suggested that sperm activate phospholipase D (PLD) to elevate phosphatidic acid (PA). We now report that PA mass increased 2.7 fold by 1 min after insemination and inhibition of PA production by two methods inhibited activation of Src and PLCγ, increased [Ca](i) and other fertilization events. As compared to 14 other lipids, PA specifically bound Xenopus Src but not PLCγ. Addition of synthetic PA activated egg Src (an action requiring intact lipid rafts) and PLCγ as well as doubling the amount of PLCγ in rafts. In the absence of elevated [Ca](i), PA addition elevated IP3 mass to levels equivalent to that induced by sperm (but twice that achieved by calcium ionophore). Finally, PA induced [Ca](i) release that was blocked by an IP3 receptor inhibitor. As only PLD1b message was detected, and Western blotting did not detect PLD2, we suggest that sperm activate PLD1b to elevate PA which then binds to and activates Src leading to PLCγ stimulation, IP3 elevation and [Ca](i) release. Due to these and other studies, PA may also play a role in membrane fusion events such as sperm-egg fusion, cortical granule exocytosis, the elevation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and the large, late increase in sn 1,2-diacylglycerol in fertilization.

  7. Dopamine and Serotonin Modulate Human GABAρ1 Receptors Expressed in Xenopus laevis Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    GABAρ1 receptors are highly expressed in bipolar neurons of the retina and to a lesser extent in several areas of the central nervous system (CNS), and dopamine and serotonin are also involved in the modulation of retinal neural transmission. Whether these biogenic amines have a direct effect on ionotropic GABA receptors was not known. Here, we report that GABAρ1 receptors, expressed in X. laevis oocytes, were negatively modulated by dopamine and serotonin and less so by octopamine and tyramine. Interestingly, these molecules did not have effects on GABAA receptors. 5-Carboxamido-tryptamine and apomorphine did not exert evident effects on any of the receptors. Schild plot analyses of the inhibitory actions of dopamine and serotonin on currents elicited by GABA showed slopes of 2.7 ± 0.3 and 6.1 ± 1.8, respectively, indicating a noncompetitive mechanism of inhibition. The inhibition of GABAρ1 currents was independent of the membrane potential and was insensitive to picrotoxin, a GABA receptor channel blocker and to the GABAρ-specific antagonist (1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine-4-yl)methyl phosphinic acid (TPMPA). Dopamine and serotonin changed the sensitivity of GABAρ1 receptors to the inhibitory actions of Zn2+. In contrast, La3+ potentiated the amplitude of the GABA currents generated during negative modulation by dopamine (EC50 146 μM) and serotonin (EC50 196 μM). The functional role of the direct modulation of GABAρ receptors by dopamine and serotonin remains to be elucidated; however, it may represent an important modulatory pathway in the retina, where GABAρ receptors are highly expressed and where these biogenic amines are abundant. PMID:22860179

  8. CFTR channel in oocytes from Xenopus laevis and its regulation by xShroom1 protein.

    PubMed

    Palma, Alejandra G; Galizia, Luciano; Kotsias, Basilio A; Marino, Gabriela I

    2016-05-01

    Shroom is a family of related proteins linked to the actin cytoskeleton. xShroom1 is constitutively expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and it is required for the expression of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). As there is a close relationship between ENaC and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), we examined the action of xShroom1 on CFTR expression and activity. Biotinylation was used to measure CFTR surface expression, and currents were registered with voltage clamp when stimulated with forskolin and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. Oocytes were coinjected with CFTR complementary RNAs (cRNAs) and xShroom1 sense or antisense oligonucleotides. We observed an increment in CFTR currents and CFTR surface expression in oocytes coinjected with CFTR and xShroom1 antisense oligonucleotides. MG-132, a proteasome inhibitor, did not prevent the increment in currents when xShroom1 was suppressed by antisense oligonucleotides. In addition, we inhibited the delivery of newly synthesized proteins to the plasma membrane with BFA and we found that the half-life of plasma membrane CFTR was prolonged when coinjected with the xShroom1 antisense oligonucleotides. Chloroquine, an inhibitor of the late endosome/lysosome, did not significantly increase CFTR currents when xShroom1 expression was inhibited. The higher expression of CFTR when xShroom1 is suppressed is in concordance with the functional studies suggesting that the suppression of the xShroom1 protein resulted in an increment in CFTR currents by promoting the increase of the half-life of CFTR in the plasma membrane. The role of xShroom1 in regulating CFTR expression could be relevant in the understanding of the channel malfunction in several diseases.

  9. Early changes in the ultrastructure of the pars intermedia of the pituitary of Xenopus laevis after change of background color.

    PubMed

    Volcanes, B D; Weatherhead, B

    1976-01-01

    Stereological analysis of the secretory cells of the pars intermedia of Xenopus laevis over a period of 3 days following the transfer of animals from a white to a black background has revealed that significant alterations in the ultrastructural appearance of these cells can be detected 8 h after the transfer. In particular, changes in the secretory granules and the rough endoplasmic reticulum were found to correlate well with previous reports concerning the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) content and the capacity for protein synthesis of the pars intermedia.

  10. Using Xenopus laevis retinal and spinal neurons to study mechanisms of axon guidance in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Erdogan, Burcu; Ebbert, Patrick T; Lowery, Laura Anne

    2016-03-01

    The intricate and precise establishment of neuronal connections in the developing nervous system relies on accurate navigation of growing axons. Since Ramón y Cajal's discovery of the growth cone, the phenomenon of axon guidance has been revealed as a coordinated operation of guidance molecules, receptors, secondary messengers, and responses driven by the dynamic cytoskeleton within the growth cone. With the advent of new and accelerating techniques, Xenopus laevis emerged as a robust model to investigate neuronal circuit formation during development. We present here the advantages of the Xenopus nervous system to our growing understanding of axon guidance.

  11. Expression of Exogenous mRNA in Xenopus laevis Embryos for the Study of Cell Cycle Regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sible, Jill C.; Wroble, Brian N.

    The microinjection of mRNA that is transcribed and capped in vitro into fertilized eggs and embryos of Xenopus laevis provides a powerful means for discovering the function of proteins during early development. Proteins may be overexpressed for a gain-of-function effect or exogenous protein function may be compromised by the microinjection of mRNA encoding “dominant-negative” proteins. This methodology is particularly suited for the investigation of the regulation of the cell cycle, checkpoints, and apoptosis in early development.

  12. Bacteriophage φC31 Integrase Mediated Transgenesis in Xenopus laevis for Protein Expression at Endogenous Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Bryan G.; Weeks, Daniel L.

    Bacteriophage φC31 inserts its genome into that of its host bacterium via the integrase enzyme which catalyzes recombination between a phage attachment site (attP) and a bacterial attachment site (attB). Integrase requires no accessory factors, has a high efficiency of recombination, and does not need perfect sequence fidelity for recognition and recombination between these attachment sites. These imperfect attachment sites, or pseudo-attachment sites, are present in many organisms and have been used to insert transgenes in a variety of species. Here we describe the φC31 integrase approach to make transgenic Xenopus laevis embryos.

  13. Redescription and new host record of Capsala laevis (Monogenoidea: Capsalidae: Capsalinae) from gill of roundscale spearfish, Tetrapturus georgii (Perciformes: Istiophoridae) in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Barse, Ann M; Bullard, Stephen A

    2012-08-01

    Specimens of a capsalid collected from the gill arches of 2 roundscale spearfish, Tetrapturus georgii Lowe, 1840, (Perciformes: Istiophoridae), captured in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean were identified as Capsala laevis (Verrill, 1875) Johnston, 1929 by having the combination of papillae on the ventral surface of haptor, dorsomarginal body sclerites in a single column extending the entire body length, haptoral accessory sclerites, conical papillae distributing over the ventral body surface, and an anterior attachment organ with a fimbriated posterior margin. The new specimens plus the holotype were used to conduct a taxonomic redescription of C. laevis using light and scanning electron microscopy. We documented that the holotype (USNPC No. 7179) and the new specimens of C. laevis from roundscale spearfish each had papillae on the ventral surface of the anterior attachment organs and sensory papillae on the dorsal body surface. Although data are insufficient at this time to justify proposal of a new species, the new specimens differed from the holotype and published accounts of C. laevis by having a sinistral dorsomarginal patch comprising 27-35 sclerites whereas the holotype has a dorsomarginal patch comprising 60 sclerites. Capsala laevis morphologically most closely resembles Capsala ovalis (Goto, 1894) Price, 1938 , but can be most easily differentiated from it by having dorsomarginal body sclerites. This represents the first record of any parasite from the recently taxonomically resurrected roundscale spearfish, long considered by some as a junior subjective synonym of white marlin, Tetrapturus albidus Poey, 1860 and, concomitantly, a new host record for Capsalidae Baird, 1853. An updated list of host records for C. laevis is provided. A perusal of that literature reveals that the identity of the type host for C. laevis is indeterminate beyond Istiophoridae species and that subsequent reports of the type host as ' T. albidus ' are presumptuous (originally

  14. Urocortins of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis: conservation of structure and function in tetrapod evolution.

    PubMed

    Boorse, Graham C; Crespi, Erica J; Dautzenberg, Frank M; Denver, Robert J

    2005-11-01

    Several corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family genes have been identified in vertebrates. Mammals have four paralogous genes that encode CRF or the urocortins 1, 2, and 3. In teleost fishes, a CRF, urotensin I (a fish ortholog of mammalian urocortin 1) and urocortin 3 have been identified, suggesting that at least three of the four mammalian lineages arose in a common ancestor of modern bony fishes and tetrapods. Here we report the isolation of genes orthologous to mammalian urocortin 1 and urocortin 3 from the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. We characterize the pharmacology of the frog peptides and show that X. laevis urocortin 1 binds to and activates the frog CRF1 and CRF2 receptors at picomolar concentrations. Similar to mammals, frog urocortin 3 is selective for the CRF2 receptor. Only frog urocortin 1 binds to the CRF-binding protein, although with significantly lower affinity than frog CRF. Both urocortin genes are expressed in brain, pituitary, heart, and kidney of juvenile frogs; urocortin 1 is also expressed in skin. We also identified novel urocortin sequences in the genomes of pufferfish, zebrafish, chicken, and dog. Phylogenetic analysis supports the view that four paralogous lineages of CRF-like peptides arose before the divergence of the actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes. Our findings show that the functional relationships among CRF ligands and binding proteins, and their anorexigenic actions mediated by the CRF2 receptor, arose early in vertebrate evolution.

  15. Molecular cloning and expression analysis of PDK family genes in Xenopus laevis reveal oocyte-specific PDK isoform.

    PubMed

    Terazawa, Yumiko; Tokmakov, Alexander A; Shirouzu, Mikako; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2005-12-30

    Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) inactivates the multienzyme mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex by the phosphorylation of three seryl residues in the pyruvate dehydrogenase moiety, and thus plays an important role in the control of glucose homeostasis. Genetically and biochemically distinct PDK family isozymes have been identified in mammalian species. In the present study, we demonstrate that the complete family of expressed PDK family genes in the tissues of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, consists of four members, which are divided into two evolutionary groups. Xenopus PDKs (xPDKs) share an overall homology of about 70% to the human isoforms of PDK. The abundance of mRNAs for the four xPDK isoforms was analyzed by the real-time reverse transcriptase PCR technique in the various tissues of Xenopus laevis, including heart, lung, spleen, liver, kidney, skin, testis, oocytes, and eggs. Our data suggest that one of the xPDK isozymes can be referred to as an oocyte-specific xPDK. Functional differences between the xPDK isoforms are discussed, based on their different tissue-specific distributions and phylogenetic similarities to human PDKs.

  16. Endocrine effects of 2,2{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    SciTech Connect

    Diana, S.; Hansen, L.; Foley, G.; Beasley, V.

    1995-12-31

    Ortho-substituted polychlorinated biphenyls are known to exhibit estrogenic activity and, in some cases, to enhance excretion of tetraiodothyronine (T4), resulting in hypothyroxinemia in mammals. Since thyroxine activity is essential for amphibian metamorphosis, and amphibian sex determination can be altered or reversed by exposure to exogenous estrogens or androgens, the effects of exposure of larvae of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) to 2,2{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl (CB 47) were investigated. Eggs and larvae of X. laevis were exposed to nominal concentrations of CB 47 of 0.05 or 0.25 ppm (1 ppm was found to result in 100% mortality) throughout the period of larval development, and effects on rates of metamorphosis and body growth and on gonad morphology were determined. Stage of metamorphosis, body length and body weight did not differ between treatment and control groups, following exposure to these sub-lethal concentrations, at any time during larval development. Effects of exposure on gonad morphology will be discussed. The failure of CB 47 to delay or prevent metamorphosis under these conditions may be due to poor responsiveness of hepatic UDP-glucuronyl transferases to induction, or novel systems of thyroxine and/or PCB transport, metabolism and excretion in larval amphibians.

  17. High variability of expression profiles of homeologous genes for Wnt, Hh, Notch, and Hippo signaling pathways in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Michiue, Tatsuo; Yamamoto, Takayoshi; Yasuoka, Yuuri; Goto, Toshiyasu; Ikeda, Takafumi; Nagura, Kei; Nakayama, Takuya; Taira, Masanori; Kinoshita, Tsutomu

    2017-01-12

    Cell signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Hedgehog (Hh), Notch, and Hippo, are essential for embryogenesis, organogenesis, and tissue homeostasis. In this study, we analyzed 415 genes involved in these pathways in the allotetraploid frog, Xenopus laevis. Most genes are retained in two subgenomes called L and S (193 homeologous gene pairs and 29 singletons). This conservation rate of homeologs is much higher than that of all genes in the X. laevis genome (86.9% vs 60.2%). Among singletons, 24 genes are retained in the L subgenome, a rate similar to the average for all genes (82.8% vs 74.6%). In addition, as general components of signal transduction, we also analyzed 32 heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG)-related genes and eight TLE/Groucho transcriptional corepressors-related genes. In these gene sets, all homeologous pairs have been retained. Transcriptome analysis using RNA-seq data from developmental stages and adult tissues demonstrated that most homeologous pairs of signaling components have variable expression patterns, in contrast to the conservative expression profiles of homeologs for transcription factors. Our results indicate that homeologous gene pairs for cell signaling regulation have tended to become subfunctionalized after allotetraploidization. Diversification of signaling pathways by subfunctionalization of homeologs may enhance environmental adaptability. These results provide insights into the evolution of signaling pathways after polyploidization.

  18. Copy number variation and genetic diversity of MHC Class IIb alleles in an alien population of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Mable, Barbara K; Kilbride, Elizabeth; Viney, Mark E; Tinsley, Richard C

    2015-10-01

    Xenopus laevis (the African clawed frog), which originated through hybridisation and whole genome duplication, has been used as a model for genetics and development for many years, but surprisingly little is known about immune gene variation in natural populations. The purpose of this study was to use an isolated population of X. laevis that was introduced to Wales, UK in the past 50 years to investigate how variation at the MHC compares to that at other loci, following a severe population bottleneck. Among 18 individuals, we found nine alleles based on exon 2 sequences of the Class IIb region (which includes the peptide binding region). Individuals carried from one to three of the loci identified from previous laboratory studies. Genetic variation was an order of magnitude higher at the MHC compared with three single-copy nuclear genes, but all loci showed high levels of heterozygosity and nucleotide diversity and there was not an excess of homozygosity or decrease in diversity over time that would suggest extensive inbreeding in the introduced population. Tajima's D was positive for all loci, which is consistent with a bottleneck. Moreover, comparison with published sequences identified the source of the introduced population as the Western Cape region of South Africa, where most commercial suppliers have obtained their stocks. These factors suggest that despite founding by potentially already inbred individuals, the alien population in Wales has maintained substantial genetic variation at both adaptively important and neutral genes.

  19. Negative effects of low dose atrazine exposure on the development of effective immunity to FV3 in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Sifkarovski, Jason; Grayfer, Leon; De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Lawrence, B Paige; Robert, Jacques

    2014-11-01

    The recent dramatic increase of the prevalence and range of amphibian host species and populations infected by ranaviruses such as Frog Virus 3 (FV3) raises concerns about the efficacies of amphibian antiviral immunity. In this context, the potential negative effects of water contaminants such as the herbicide atrazine, at environmentally relevant levels, on host antiviral immunity remains unclear. Here we describe the use of the amphibian Xenopus laevis as an ecotoxicology platform to elucidate the consequences of exposure to ecologically relevant doses of atrazine on amphibian antiviral immunity. X. laevis were exposed at tadpole and adult stages as well as during metamorphosis to atrazine (range from 0.1 to 10.0 ppb) prior to infection with FV3. Quantitative analysis of gene expression revealed significant changes in the pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNF-α and the antiviral type I IFN gene in response to FV3 infection. This was most marked in tadpoles that were exposed to atrazine at doses as low 0.1 ppb. Furthermore, atrazine exposure significantly compromised tadpole survival following FV3 infections. In contrast, acute atrazine exposure of mature adult frogs did not induce detectable effects on anti-FV3 immunity, but adults that were exposed to atrazine during metamorphosis exhibited pronounced defects in FV3-induced TNF-α gene expression responses and slight diminution in type I IFN gene induction. Thus, even at low doses, atrazine exposure culminates in impaired development of amphibian antiviral defenses.

  20. Effects of low dose endosulfan exposure on brain neurotransmitter levels in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Preud'homme, Valérie; Milla, Sylvain; Gillardin, Virginie; De Pauw, Edwin; Denoël, Mathieu; Kestemont, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Understanding the impact of pesticides in amphibians is of growing concern to assess the causes of their decline. Among pesticides, endosulfan belongs to one of the potential sources of danger because of its wide use and known effects, particularly neurotoxic, on a variety of organisms. However, the effect of endosulfan was not yet evaluated on amphibians at levels encompassing simultaneously brain neurotransmitters and behavioural endpoints. In this context, tadpoles of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis were submitted to four treatments during 27 d: one control, one ethanol control, and two low environmental concentrations of endosulfan (0.1 and 1 μg L(-1)). Endosulfan induced a significant increase of brain serotonin level at both concentrations and a significant increase of brain dopamine and GABA levels at the lower exposure but acetylcholinesterase activity was not modified by the treatment. The gene coding for the GABA transporter 1 was up-regulated in endosulfan contaminated tadpoles while the expression of other genes coding for the neurotransmitter receptors or for the enzymes involved in their metabolic pathways was not significantly modified by endosulfan exposure. Endosulfan also affected foraging, and locomotion in links with the results of the physiological assays, but no effects were seen on growth. These results show that low environmental concentrations of endosulfan can induce adverse responses in X. laevis tadpoles. At a broader perspective, this suggests that more research using and linking multiple markers should be used to understand the complex mode of action of pollutants.

  1. Spatiotemporal lipid profiling during early embryo development of Xenopus laevis using dynamic ToF-SIMS imaging.

    PubMed

    Tian, Hua; Fletcher, John S; Thuret, Raphael; Henderson, Alex; Papalopulu, Nancy; Vickerman, John C; Lockyer, Nicholas P

    2014-09-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging has been used for the direct analysis of single intact Xenopus laevis embryo surfaces, locating multiple lipids during fertilization and the early embryo development stages with subcellular lateral resolution (∼4 μm). The method avoids the complicated sample preparation for lipid analysis of the embryos, which requires selective chemical extraction of a pool of samples and chromatographic separation, while preserving the spatial distribution of biological species. The results show ToF-SIMS is capable of profiling multiple components (e.g., glycerophosphocholine, SM, cholesterol, vitamin E, diacylglycerol, and triacylglycerol) in a single X. laevis embryo. We observe lipid remodeling during fertilization and early embryo development via time course sampling. The study also reveals the lipid distribution on the gamete fusion site. The methodology used in the study opens the possibility of studying developmental biology using high resolution imaging MS and of understanding the functional role of the biological molecules.

  2. Morphometric and genetic analysis of Arcella intermedia and Arcella intermedia laevis (Amoebozoa, Arcellinida) illuminate phenotypic plasticity in microbial eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Porfírio-Sousa, Alfredo L; Ribeiro, Giulia M; Lahr, Daniel J G

    2016-11-25

    Testate amoebae are eukaryotic microorganisms characterized by the presence of an external shell (test). The shell morphology is used as a diagnostic character, but discordance between morphological and molecular data has been demonstrated in groups of arcellinids (Amoebozoa), one of the principal groups of testate amoebae. Morphology of the test is supposed to differentiate genera and species and it is applied in ecological, monitoring and paleontological studies. However, if phenotype does not reflect genotype, conclusions in these types of studies become severely impaired. The objective of this work is to evaluate the morphometrical and morphological variation of the closely related and morphologically similar taxa Arcella intermedia laevis Tsyganov and Mazei, 2006 and Arcella intermedia (Deflandre 1928) Tsyganov and Mazei, 2006 in nature and in cultured individuals and see how these are correlated with molecular data. Our results demonstrate that phenotypic plasticity in Arcella intermedia make morphological distinctions impossible in both taxa. Arcella intermedia and Arcella intermedia laevis are molecularly identical for SSU rDNA and a mitochondrial molecular marker (NAD9/7). We conclude that morphological techniques alone cannot identify phenotypic plasticity from natural populations. More work is clearly needed to better understand the morphological, morphometric and molecular variability in these organisms.

  3. Translational control of the Xenopus laevis connexin-41 5'-untranslated region by three upstream open reading frames.

    PubMed

    Meijer, H A; Dictus, W J; Keuning, E D; Thomas, A A

    2000-10-06

    The Xenopus laevis Connexin-41 (Cx41) mRNA contains three upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR). We analyzed the translation efficiency of constructs containing the Cx41 5'-UTR linked to the green fluorescent protein reporter after injection of transcripts into one-cell stage Xenopus embryos. The translational efficiency of the wild-type Cx41 5'-UTR was only 2% compared with that of the beta-globin 5'-UTR. Mutation of each of the three uAUGs into AAG codons enhanced translation 82-, 9-, and 4-fold compared with the wild-type Cx41 5'-UTR. Based on these increased translation efficiencies, the percentages of ribosomes that recognized the uAUGs were calculated. Only 0.03% of the ribosomes that entered at the cap structure scanned the entire 5'-UTR and translated the main ORF. The results indicate that all uAUGs are recognized by the majority of the scanning ribosomes and that the three uAUGs strongly modulate translation efficiency in Xenopus laevis embryos. Based on these data, a model of ribosomal flow along the mRNA is postulated. We conclude that the three uORFs may play an important role in the regulation of Cx41 expression.

  4. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit thyroid function and alter sex ratios in developing Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Carr, James A; Anderson, Todd A

    2002-03-01

    Embryos and larvae of the South African frog Xenopus laevis were exposed to ammonium perchlorate (AP) or control medium for 70 d. The dosage levels (59 ppb, 14,140 ppb) bracketed a range of perchlorate concentrations measured in surface waters at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP) in Karnack, Texas, USA. The experiment also included a 28-d nontreatment recovery period to assess the reversibility of AP effects. There were no significant effects of AP on mortality or hatching success. There were no effects of AP on developmental abnormalities such as bent/asymmetric tails or edema. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited forelimb emergence, the percentage of animals completing tail resorption, and hindlimb development during the 70-d exposure period. Only the upper AP concentration reduced whole-body thyroxine content, whereas both concentrations caused significant hypertrophy of the thyroid follicular epithelium. Both concentrations of AP caused a skewed sex ratio, significantly reducing the percentage of males at metamorphosis. The effects of AP on metamorphosis and thyroid function were reversed during the 28-d nontreatment recovery period. We conclude that AP inhibits thyroid activity and alters gonadal differentiation in developing X. laevis. These effects were observed at concentrations at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate, suggesting that this contaminant may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  5. The colloidal thyroxine (T4) ring as a novel biomarker of perchlorate exposure in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hu, F.; Sharma, Bibek; Mukhi, S.; Patino, R.; Carr, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if changes in colloidal thyroxine (T4) immunoreactivity can be used as a biomarker of perchlorate exposure in amphibian thyroid tissue. Larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were exposed to 0, 1, 8, 93, and 1131 ??g perchlorate/l for 38 and 69 days to cover the normal period of larval development and metamorphosis. The results of this study confirmed the presence of an immunoreactive colloidal T4 ring in thyroid follicles of X. laevis and demonstrated that the intensity of this ring is reduced in a concentration-dependent manner by perchlorate exposure. The smallest effective concentration of perchlorate capable of significantly reducing colloidal T4 ring intensity was 8 ??g perchlorate/l. The intensity of the immunoreactive colloidal T4 ring is a more sensitive biomarker of perchlorate exposure than changes in hind limb length, forelimb emergence, tail resorption, thyrocyte hypertrophy, or colloid depletion. We conclude that the colloidal T4 ring can be used as a sensitive biomarker of perchlorate-induced thyroid disruption in amphibians. ?? Copyright 2006 Oxford University Press.

  6. Sexually Dimorphic Expression of a Laryngeal-Specific, Androgen-Regulated Myosin Heavy Chain Gene during Xenopus laevis Development

    PubMed Central

    Catz, Diana S.; Fischer, Leslie M.; Moschella, Maria C.; Tobias, Martha L.

    2012-01-01

    Masculinization of the larynx in Xenopus laevis frogs is essential for the performance of male courtship song. During postmetamorphic (PM) development, the initially female-like phenotype of laryngeal muscle (slow and fast twitch fibers) is converted to the masculine form (entirely fast twitch) under the influence of androgenic steroids. To explore the molecular basis of androgen-directed masculinization, we have isolated cDNA clones encoding portions of a new Xenopus myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene. We have detected expression of this gene only in laryngeal muscle and specifically in males. All adult male laryngeal muscle fibers express the laryngeal myosin (LM). Adult female laryngeal muscle expresses LM only in some fibers. Expression of LM during PM development was examined using Northern blots and in situ hybridization. Males express higher levels of LM than females throughout PM development and attain adult levels by PM3. In females, LM expression peaks transiently at PM2. Treatment of juvenile female frogs with the androgen dihydrotestosterone masculinizes LM expression. Thus, LM appears to be a male-specific, testosterone-regulated MHC isoform in Xenopus laevis. The LM gene will permit analysis of androgen-directed sexual differentiation in this highly sexually dimorphic tissue. PMID:1426643

  7. Spatiotemporal lipid profiling during early embryo development of Xenopus laevis using dynamic ToF-SIMS imaging

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Hua; Fletcher, John S.; Thuret, Raphael; Henderson, Alex; Papalopulu, Nancy; Vickerman, John C.; Lockyer, Nicholas P.

    2014-01-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging has been used for the direct analysis of single intact Xenopus laevis embryo surfaces, locating multiple lipids during fertilization and the early embryo development stages with subcellular lateral resolution (∼4 μm). The method avoids the complicated sample preparation for lipid analysis of the embryos, which requires selective chemical extraction of a pool of samples and chromatographic separation, while preserving the spatial distribution of biological species. The results show ToF-SIMS is capable of profiling multiple components (e.g., glycerophosphocholine, SM, cholesterol, vitamin E, diacylglycerol, and triacylglycerol) in a single X. laevis embryo. We observe lipid remodeling during fertilization and early embryo development via time course sampling. The study also reveals the lipid distribution on the gamete fusion site. The methodology used in the study opens the possibility of studying developmental biology using high resolution imaging MS and of understanding the functional role of the biological molecules. PMID:24852167

  8. Spatiotemporal Development of the Orexinergic (Hypocretinergic) System in the Central Nervous System of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    López, Jesús M; Morales, Lorena; González, Agustín

    2016-01-01

    The present immunohistochemical study represents a detailed spatiotemporal analysis of the localization of orexin-immunoreactive (OX-ir) cells and fibers throughout development in the brain of the anuran amphibian Xenopus laevis, a model frequently used in developmental studies. Anurans undergo remarkable physiological changes during the early life stages, and very little is known about the ontogeny and the localization of the centers that control functions such as appetite and feed ingestion in the developing brain. We examined the onset of the orexinergic system, demonstrated to be involved in appetite regulation, using antibodies against mammalian orexin-A and orexin-B peptides. Simultaneous detection of orexins with other territorial markers was used to assess the precise location of the orexinergic cells in the hypothalamus, analyzed within a segmental paradigm. Double staining of orexins and tyrosine hydroxylase served to evaluate possible interactions with the catecholaminergic systems. At early embryonic stages, the first OX-ir cells were detected in the hypothalamus and, soon after, long descending projections were observed through the brainstem to the spinal cord. As brain development proceeded, the double-staining techniques demonstrated that this OX-ir cell group was located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus within the alar hypothalamus. Throughout larval development, the number of OX-ir cells increased notably and a widespread fiber network that innervated the main areas of the forebrain and brainstem was progressively formed, including innervation in the posterior tubercle and mesencephalon, the locus coeruleus, and the nucleus of the solitary tract where catecholaminergic cells are present. In addition, orexinergic cells were detected in the preoptic area and the tuberal hypothalamus only at late prometamorphic stages. The final distribution pattern, largely similar to that of the adult, was achieved through metamorphic climax. The early expression of

  9. Atrazine exposure affects growth, body condition and liver health in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Zaya, Renee M; Amini, Zakariya; Whitaker, Ashley S; Kohler, Steven L; Ide, Charles F

    2011-08-01

    Six studies were performed regarding the effects of atrazine, the most frequently detected pesticide in fresh water in the US, on developing Xenopus laevis tadpoles exposed 5 days post-hatch through Nieuwkoop Faber Stage 62. The levels of atrazine tested included those potentially found in puddles, vernal ponds and runoff soon after application (200 and 400 μg/L) and a low level studied by a number of other investigators (25 μg/L). One study tested 0, 25 and 200 μg/L, another tested 0, 200 and 400 μg/L, while the remaining four studies tested 0 and 400 μg/L. During all exposures, mortality, growth, metamorphosis, sex ratio, fat body (a lipid storage organ) size and liver weights, both relative to body weight, were evaluated. In selected studies, feeding behavior was recorded, livers and fat bodies were histologically evaluated, liver glycogen and lipid content were determined by image analysis, and immunohistochemical detection of activated caspase-3 in hepatocytes was performed. The NOEC was 25 μg/L. None of these exposure levels changed sex ratios nor were intersex gonads noted, however, no definitive histological evaluation of the gonads was performed. Although a marginal increase in mortality at the 200 μg/L level was noted, this was not statistically significant. Nor was there an increase in mortality at 400 μg/L versus controls. At the 400 μg/L level, tadpoles were smaller than controls by 72 h of exposure and remained smaller throughout the entire exposure. Appetite was not decreased at any exposure level. Slowed metamorphosis was noted only at 400 μg/L in two of five studies. Livers were significantly smaller in the study that tested both 200 and 400 μg/L, yet no pathological changes or differences in glycogen or lipid stores were noted. However, livers from 400 μg/L exposed tadpoles had higher numbers of activated caspase-3 immunopositive cells suggesting increased rates of apoptosis. Fat body size decreased significantly after exposure to 200

  10. Effects of GSM-like radiofrequency irradiation during the oogenesis and spermiogenesis of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Boga, Ayper; Emre, Mustafa; Sertdemir, Yasar; Uncu, İbrahim; Binokay, Secil; Demirhan, Osman

    2016-07-01

    We aimed to evaluate the effect of GSM-like radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on the oogenesis, and spermiogenesis of Xenopus laevis, and so the development of the embryos obtained from Normal Females+Normal Males (i.e. "N(F)+N(M)"); Normal Females+RF-exposed Males (i.e. "N(F)+RF(M)"); RF-exposed Female+Normal Male (i.e. "RF(F)+N(M)"); and RF-exposed Female+RF-exposed Male (i.e. "RF(F)+RF(M)". Various, assessments were performed to determine potential teratogenic effects and mortality, body growth and behavior on first generation embryos. After exposing adults frogs of both sexes to 900MHz RF-EMR (at 1.0W/kg) for 8h a day over a 5-week period, the embryos' specific energy absorption rate (SAR) was calculated. In our present study (control group; 2.2% abnormal, 0.0% dead); with the N(F)+RF(M) combination, the long-term exposure of adult males to GSM-like radiation at 900MHz (RF: 2W) for 5 week/8h/day resulted in normal, abnormal and dead embryo ratios of 88.3%, 3.3% and 8.3%, respectively (p<0.001). In the RF(F)+N(M) combination, long-term exposure (5 week/8h/day) of adult females led to normal, abnormal and dead embryo ratios of 76.7%, 11.7%, and 11.7%, respectively (p<0.001). And in the RF(F)+RF(M) combination, long-term exposure (5 week/8h/day) of both adult males and females led to normal, abnormal and dead embryo ratios of 73.3%, 11.7%, and 15%, respectively (p<0.001). With the exception RF(F)+RF(M) group (p<0.001), no significant changes were observed on body growth (lengths) in comparison to the control group. It was also observed that the offspring of female adult Xenopus exposed to RF-EMR during oogenesis exhibited a more aggressive behavior compared to the control group. Cell phones radiation can thus lead to detrimental effects in humans' male and female reproductive cells.

  11. An improved method for real-time monitoring of membrane capacitance in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Bernhard M; Koepsell, Hermann

    2002-01-01

    Measurements of membrane capacitance (C(m)) in Xenopus laevis oocytes offer unique experimental possibilities but are difficult to perform with current methods. To improve C(m) measurements in the two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) mode, we developed a paired-ramp protocol and tested its performance in a model circuit (with tunable C(m), membrane resistance R(m), and series resistance R(s)) and in Xenopus oocytes. In the cell model and with R(s) = 0 Omega, inaccuracy of C(m) estimates was <1% under widely varying conditions (R(m) ranging from 100 to 2000 kOmega, and C(m) from 50 to 1000 nF). With R(s) > 0 Omega, C(m) was underestimated by a relative error epsilon closely approximated as epsilon approximate 2 x R(s)/(R(s) + R(m)), in keeping with the theoretical prediction. Thus, epsilon may be neglected under standard conditions or, under extreme conditions, corrected for if R(s) is known. Relative imprecision of C(m) estimates was small, independent of R(s), and inversely related to C(m) (<1.5% at 50 nF, <0.4% at 200 nF). Averaging allowed reliable detection of C(m) deviations from 200 nF of 0.1 nF, i.e., 0.05%. In Xenopus oocytes, we could resolve C(m) changes that were small (e.g., DeltaC(m) approximate 2 nF upon 100 muM 8-Br-cAMP), fast (e.g., DeltaC(m)/Deltat approximate 20nF/30s upon 1 muM phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)) or extended and complex (e.g., fast increase, followed by prolonged C(m) decrease upon 1 muM PMA). Rapidly alternating between paired ramps and a second, step protocol allowed quasi-simultaneous monitoring of additional electrical parameters such as R(m), slope conductance g(m), and reversal potential E(rev). Taken together, our method is suited to monitor C(m) in Xenopus oocytes conveniently, with high temporal resolution, accuracy and precision, and in parallel with other electrical parameters. Thus, it may be useful for the study of endo- and exocytosis and of membrane protein regulation and for electrophysiological high

  12. Controlling the Messenger: Regulated Translation of Maternal mRNAs in Xenopus laevis Development.

    PubMed

    Sheets, Michael D; Fox, Catherine A; Dowdle, Megan E; Blaser, Susanne Imboden; Chung, Andy; Park, Sookhee

    2017-01-01

    The selective translation of maternal mRNAs encoding cell-fate determinants drives the earliest decisions of embryogenesis that establish the vertebrate body plan. This chapter will discuss studies in Xenopus laevis that provide insights into mechanisms underlying this translational control. Xenopus has been a powerful model organism for many discoveries relevant to the translational control of maternal mRNAs because of the large size of its oocytes and eggs that allow for microinjection of molecules and the relative ease of manipulating the oocyte to egg transition (maturation) and fertilization in culture. Consequently, many key studies have focused on the expression of maternal mRNAs during the oocyte to egg transition (the meiotic cell cycle) and the rapid cell divisions immediately following fertilization. This research has made seminal contributions to our understanding of translational regulatory mechanisms, but while some of the mRNAs under consideration at these stages encode cell-fate determinants, many encode cell cycle regulatory proteins that drive these early cell cycles. In contrast, while maternal mRNAs encoding key developmental (i.e., cell-fate) regulators that function after the first cleavage stages may exploit aspects of these foundational mechanisms, studies reveal that these mRNAs must also rely on distinct and, as of yet, incompletely understood mechanisms. These findings are logical because the functions of such developmental regulatory proteins have requirements distinct from cell cycle regulators, including becoming relevant only after fertilization and then only in specific cells of the embryo. Indeed, key maternal cell-fate determinants must be made available in exquisitely precise amounts (usually low), only at specific times and in specific cells during embryogenesis. To provide an appreciation for the regulation of maternal cell-fate determinant expression, an overview of the maternal phase of Xenopus embryogenesis will be presented

  13. Changes in contractile properties by androgen hormones in sexually dimorphic muscles of male frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Regnier, M; Herrera, A A

    1993-02-01

    1. Male frogs (Xenopus laevis) were castrated then given either empty or testosterone-filled implants to produce animals with low or high levels of circulating testosterone. Eight weeks later the contractile properties of an androgen-sensitive forelimb flexor, the flexor carpi radialis muscle (FCR), were measured in vitro. Another forelimb flexor muscle, the coracoradialis, and a hindlimb muscle, the iliofibularis, were analysed similarly. 2. Plasma testosterone levels were 0.9 +/- 0.3 ng/ml (+/- S.E.M.) in castrated frogs with blank implants (C) and 61.3 +/- 4.7 ng/ml in castrates with testosterone implants (CT). Unoperated males, sampled at various times of the year, ranged between 10.8 and 51.0 ng/ml. 3. With direct electrical stimulation of the FCR, contraction time of the isometric twitch was not affected by testosterone levels. Relaxation times were affected, however. Half- and 90% relaxation times were 27 and 42% longer, respectively, for CT compared to C muscles. 4. Testosterone also had no effect on the contraction time of twitches elicited by stimulation of the FCR nerve. Half- and 90% relaxation times were 51 and 76% longer, respectively, for CT compared to C muscles. 5. Tetanus tension, elicited by direct stimulation of the FCR at 50 Hz, was 86% greater in CT compared to C muscles. The average cross-sectional area of FCR muscle fibres was 84% greater in CT muscles. These results implied that testosterone treatment had no effect on specific muscle tension. 6. Stimulation of the FCR nerve at 50 Hz resulted in 53% less tension than the same stimulus applied directly to CT muscles. In C muscles the difference was only 14%. This suggested that testosterone treatment reduced synaptic efficacy. 7. In CT muscles, direct or nerve stimulation of fibres in the shoulder region of the FCR elicited twitches that contracted and relaxed more slowly than fibres in the elbow region. In C muscles there was no difference in contraction or relaxation time between fibres in

  14. Endocrine effects of environmental pollution on Xenopus laevis and Rana temporaria.

    PubMed

    Bögi, C; Schwaiger, J; Ferling, H; Mallow, U; Steineck, C; Sinowatz, F; Kalbfus, W; Negele, R D; Lutz, I; Kloas, W

    2003-10-01

    To determine the capacity of sewage treatment work effluents to disrupt the endocrine system under semifield conditions, two amphibian species, Xenopus laevis and Rana temporaria, were exposed to the effluent of a regional sewage treatment plant in South Bavaria during larval development until completion of metamorphosis. Exposure was carried out in river water (Würm) as a reference, and a 1:12-mixture sewage effluent representing the real situation on the spot, and in a higher concentration of sewage using a 1:2 mixture. An accidental impact of industrial wastewater into the reference and dilution medium, Würm, which was caused by a spate in the respective area during the sensitive period of sex differentiation of amphibian larvae, is assumed to be responsible for the relatively high percentage of females observed by histological analysis in all treatment groups. All of these values were higher than those determined in controls exposed to artificial tap water in laboratory experiments conducted in a comparable study design. Sex ratios between species, revealed by the semifield study with decreasing portions of females from control to 1:12 to 1:2, were strongly correlated. Determination of biomarker-mRNA-levels in Xenopus liver using semiquantitative RT-PCR at the end of the experimental phase, when exposure regime has turned into the initially expected situation with the highest load of potential estrogens in the effluent, followed by 1:2 and 1:12 mixture, resulted in a significant increase of Vitellogenin-mRNA in female juveniles exposed to the highest portion of sewage, whereas expression of both androgen and estrogen receptor-mRNA showed no clear differences. The results concerning the induction of estrogenic biomarkers are in accordance with our findings for estrogen receptor binding of sample extracts from the Würm and sewage taken in parallel at the end of the experiment, when sewage extracts possessed a much higher ability to displace [3H]estradiol from

  15. Population structure of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) in maize-growing areas with atrazine application versus non-maize-growing areas in South Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Du Preez, L.H.; Solomon, K.R.; Carr, J.A.; Giesy, J.P.; Gross, T.S.; Kendall, R.J.; Smith, E.E.; Van Der Kraak, G. L.; Weldon, C.

    2005-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine has been suggested to cause gonadal deformities in frogs and could possibly impact on reproduction. Since the early 1960s, atrazine has been used in large amounts in maize production areas of South Africa. These areas overlap with populations of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) that has a wide distribution in southern Africa and is found in most water-bodies including those where atrazine residues are detected. The aim of this study was to compare various attributes of individual- and population-level responses of X. laevis from maize-growing and non-maize-growing areas. Xenopus laevis were studied in three reference and five maize-growing sites. Sex ratio, snout-vent length, body-mass and age profiles were found to be similar for populations in maize-growing and non-maize-growing areas. Our mark-recapture data indicated that all sites had robust populations. There were no significant relationships between exposure to atrazine and any of the parameters investigated in populations of X. laevis.

  16. In vivo Assessment and Potential Diagnosis of Xenobiotics that Perturb the Thyroid Pathway: Proteomic Analysis of Xenopus laevis Brain Tissue following Exposure to Model T4 Inhibitors

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of a multi-endpoint systems approach to develop comprehensive methods for assessing endocrine stressors in vertebrates, differential protein profiling was used to investigate expression profiles in the brain of an amphibian model (Xenopus laevis) following in vivo exposur...

  17. Assessment of laryngeal muscle and testicular cell types in Xenopus laevis (Anura Pipidae) inhabiting maize and non-maize growing areas of South Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, E.E.; Du Preez, L.H.; Gentles, A.; Solomon, K.R.; Tandler, B.; Carr, J.A.; Van Der Kraak, G. L.; Kendall, R.J.; Giesy, J.P.; Gross, T.S.

    2005-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) inhabiting water bodies in maize-growing areas (MGA) of South Africa would exhibit differences in testicular structure compared to frogs from water bodies in non-maize-growing areas (NMGA) in the same locale. Adults of both sexes were collected during the autumn of 2002 in South Africa, and stereological analytical techniques were used to quantify the distribution of testicular cell types. In addition, total laryngeal mass was used as a gauge of secondary sex differences in animals from MGA and NMGA study sites. Evaluation of the total laryngeal mass revealed that there were no statistically significant differences between X. laevis of the same sex from the NMGA and MGA sites. Mean percent fractional-volume values for seminiferous tubule distribution of testicular cell types of mature X. laevis, ranged from 3-4% for spermatogonia, 26-28% for spermatocytes, 54-57% for spermatozoa, and 14-15% for other cells types. The mean percent volume for blood vessels ranged from 0.3-0.4%. These values did not differ significantly between frogs from NMGA and MGA areas. Collectively, these data demonstrated no differences in gonadal and laryngeal development in X. laevis collected in South Africa from MGA and NMGA areas and that there is little evidence for an effect of agricultural chemicals used in maize production functioning as endocrine disrupters in this species. Screening of X. laevis testes revealed a small incidence of Stage 1 testicular oocytes in adult male frogs collected from the NMGA (3%) and MGA (2%).

  18. A gene expression map of the larval Xenopus laevis head reveals developmental changes underlying the evolution of new skeletal elements.

    PubMed

    Square, Tyler; Jandzik, David; Cattell, Maria; Coe, Alex; Doherty, Jacob; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans

    2015-01-15

    The morphology of the vertebrate head skeleton is highly plastic, with the number, size, shape, and position of its components varying dramatically between groups. While this evolutionary flexibility has been key to vertebrate success, its developmental and genetic bases are poorly understood. The larval head skeleton of the frog Xenopus laevis possesses a unique combination of ancestral tetrapod features and anuran-specific novelties. We built a detailed gene expression map of the head mesenchyme in X. laevis during early larval development, focusing on transcription factor families with known functions in vertebrate head skeleton development. This map was then compared to homologous gene expression in zebrafish, mouse, and shark embryos to identify conserved and evolutionarily flexible aspects of vertebrate head skeleton development. While we observed broad conservation of gene expression between X. laevis and other gnathostomes, we also identified several divergent features that correlate to lineage-specific novelties. We noted a conspicuous change in dlx1/2 and emx2 expression in the second pharyngeal arch, presaging the differentiation of the reduced dorsal hyoid arch skeletal element typical of modern anamniote tetrapods. In the first pharyngeal arch we observed a shift in the expression of the joint inhibitor barx1, and new expression of the joint marker gdf5, shortly before skeletal differentiation. This suggests that the anuran-specific infrarostral cartilage evolved by partitioning of Meckel's cartilage with a new paired joint. Taken together, these comparisons support a model in which early patterning mechanisms divide the vertebrate head mesenchyme into a highly conserved set of skeletal precursor populations. While subtle changes in this early patterning system can affect skeletal element size, they do not appear to underlie the evolution of new joints or cartilages. In contrast, later expression of the genes that regulate skeletal element

  19. Triclosan and thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in anurans: differentiating growth effects from thyroid-driven metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Fort, Douglas J; Mathis, Michael B; Hanson, Warren; Fort, Chelsea E; Navarro, Lisa T; Peter, Robert; Büche, Claudia; Unger, Sabine; Pawlowski, Sascha; Plautz, James R

    2011-06-01

    In a previously reported study, we used a standard metamorphosis anuran model to assess potential effect of the antibacterial agent triclosan (TCS) on normal prometamorphic Xenopus laevis. Results indicated that environmentally relevant TCS concentrations did not alter the normal course of thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in this standard anuran model. However, to examine potential effects of TCS exposure during premetamorphosis and to distinguish between effects on metamorphosis and effects on growth, a longer term TCS exposure study was conducted. Standard Nieuwkoop and Faber (NF) stage 47 X. laevis larvae were exposed for 32 days (ca. NF stage 59-60) via flow-through to four different concentrations of TCS: < 0.2 (control), 0.8, 3.1, 12.5, or 50.0 μg TCS/l. Primary endpoints were survival, hind limb length, body length (whole; snout-to-vent), developmental stage, wet whole body weight, thyroid histology, plasma thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations, TH receptor beta (TRβ), and type II and III deiodinase (DI-2 and DI-3) expression. Endpoints measured to evaluate effects on thyroid-mediated metamorphosis including developmental stage, thyroid histology, TRβ expression, DI-2 and DI-3 expression, and thyroid gland 3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine (T4) and plasma T4 and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) levels were not affected by TCS exposure. However, increased larval growth based on whole body length (0.78, 12.5, and 50 μg TCS/l), snout-vent length (3.1 and 12.5 μg TCS/l), and whole body weight (0.8, 12.5, and 50.0 μg TCS/l) was observed following 32-day TCS exposure. These results indicated that TCS exposure during pre- and prometamorphosis increased larval growth but did not alter the normal course of metamorphosis in X. laevis. The increased growth associated with TCS exposure was not unexpected and is generally consistent with the presence of reduced bacterial stressors in culture.

  20. ATP utilization for calcium uptake and force production in skinned muscle fibres of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Stienen, G J; Zaremba, R; Elzinga, G

    1995-01-01

    1. A method has been developed to discriminate between the rate of ATP hydrolysis associated with calcium uptake into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and force development of the contractile apparatus in mechanically or saponin-skinned skeletal muscle fibres. The rate of ATP hydrolysis was determined in fibres of different types from the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis by enzymatic coupling of ATP re-synthesis to the oxidation of NADH. 2. The ATPase activity was determined before and after exposure of the preparations for 30 min to a solution containing 0.5% Triton X-100, which effectively abolishes the SR ATPase activity. The fibres were activated in a solution containing 5 mM caffeine to ensure that calcium uptake into the SR was maximal. 3. At saturating Ca2+ concentrations the actomyosin (AM) and SR ATPase activities in fast-twitch fibres, at 4.3 degrees C, amounted to 1.52 +/- 0.07 and 0.58 +/- 0.10 mumol s-1 (g dry wt)-1, respectively (means +/- S.E.M.; n = 25). The SR ATPase activity was 25% of the total ATPase activity. At submaximal calcium concentrations the AM ATPase activity varied in proportion to the isometric force. 4. The calcium sensitivity of the SR ATPase was larger than that of the AM ATPase and its dependence on [Ca2+] was less steep. The AM ATPase activity was half-maximal at a pCa of 6.11 (pCa = -log [Ca2+]) whereas the SR ATPase activity was half-maximal at a pCa of 6.62. 5. In Triton X-100-treated fibres, at different 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM) concentrations, the AM ATPase activity and isometric force varied proportionally. The SR ATPase activity determined by extrapolation of the total ATPase activity in mechanically skinned or saponin-treated fibres to zero force, was independent of the BDM concentration in the range studied (0-20 mM). The values obtained for the SR ATPase activity in this way were similar to those obtained with Triton X-100 treatment. 6. The AM ATPase activity in slow-twitch fibres amounted to 0.74 +/- 0

  1. Noggin4 is a long-range inhibitor of Wnt8 signalling that regulates head development in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Eroshkin, Fedor M.; Nesterenko, Alexey M.; Borodulin, Alexander V.; Martynova, Natalia Yu.; Ermakova, Galina V.; Gyoeva, Fatima K.; Orlov, Eugeny E.; Belogurov, Alexey A.; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Bayramov, Andrey V.; Zaraisky, Andrey G.

    2016-01-01

    Noggin4 is a Noggin family secreted protein whose molecular and physiological functions remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that in contrast to other Noggins, Xenopus laevis Noggin4 cannot antagonise BMP signalling; instead, it specifically binds to Wnt8 and inhibits the Wnt/β -catenin pathway. Live imaging demonstrated that Noggin4 diffusivity in embryonic tissues significantly exceeded that of other Noggins. Using the Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) assay and mathematical modelling, we directly estimated the affinity of Noggin4 for Wnt8 in living embryos and determined that Noggin4 fine-tune the Wnt8 posterior-to-anterior gradient. Our results suggest a role for Noggin4 as a unique, freely diffusing, long-range inhibitor of canonical Wnt signalling, thus explaining its ability to promote head development. PMID:26973133

  2. Effects of hypophysectomy and substitution with growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroxine on growth and deposition in juvenile frogs, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Nybroe, O; Rosenkilde, P; Ryttersgaard, L

    1985-02-01

    Growth was studied in young metamorphosed frogs, Xenopus laevis, following hypophysectomy and substitution with mammalian growth hormone (bGH or pGH), mammalian prolactin (oPRL), and thyroxine. Hypophysectomy reduced growth (weight and length increase). GH and PRL proved equally efficient in restoring growth and in mobilizing energy stores (fat bodies and liver glycogen). No synergistic effects between GH and PRL could be observed. GH exerted its growth-promoting effects by increasing gross food conversion efficiency (weight increase/food intake), but did not stimulate appetite. Moderate GH doses given to a group of frogs in growth stagnation exerted moderate metabolic effects, and may have stimulated appetite in some animals, but did not increase body size significantly. Thyroxine was unable to promote growth, but increased mobilization of energy stores. Hypophysectomy and hormone substitution affected feeding behavior. The nature of the actions of pituitary somatotropic hormones and of thyroxine on growth and deposition is discussed.

  3. Amphibian (Xenopus laevis) tadpoles and adult frogs mount distinct interferon responses to the Frog Virus 3 ranavirus.

    PubMed

    Wendel, Emily S; Yaparla, Amulya; Koubourli, Daphne V; Grayfer, Leon

    2017-03-01

    Infections of amphibians by Frog Virus 3 (FV3) and other ranavirus genus members are significantly contributing to the amphibian declines, yet much remains unknown regarding amphibian antiviral immunity. Notably, amphibians represent an important step in the evolution of antiviral interferon (IFN) cytokines as they are amongst the first vertebrates to possess both type I and type III IFNs. Accordingly, we examined the roles of type I and III IFNs in the skin of FV3-challenged amphibian Xenopus laevis) tadpoles and adult frogs. Interestingly, FV3-infected tadpoles mounted type III IFN responses, whereas adult frogs relied on type I IFN immunity. Subcutaneous administration of type I or type III IFNs offered short-term protection of tadpoles against FV3 and these type I and type III IFNs induced the expression of distinct antiviral genes in the tadpole skin. Moreover, subcutaneous injection of tadpoles with type III IFN significantly extended their survival and reduced FV3 dissemination.

  4. RNA-seq in the tetraploid Xenopus laevis enables genome-wide insight in a classic developmental biology model organism.

    PubMed

    Amin, Nirav M; Tandon, Panna; Osborne Nishimura, Erin; Conlon, Frank L

    2014-04-01

    Advances in sequencing technology have significantly advanced the landscape of developmental biology research. The dissection of genetic networks in model and non-model organisms has been greatly enhanced with high-throughput sequencing technologies. RNA-seq has revolutionized the ability to perform developmental biology research in organisms without a published genome sequence. Here, we describe a protocol for developmental biologists to perform RNA-seq on dissected tissue or whole embryos. We start with the isolation of RNA and generation of sequencing libraries. We further show how to interpret and analyze the large amount of sequencing data that is generated in RNA-seq. We explore the abilities to examine differential expression, gene duplication, transcript assembly, alternative splicing and SNP discovery. For the purposes of this article, we use Xenopus laevis as the model organism to discuss uses of RNA-seq in an organism without a fully annotated genome sequence.

  5. Some effects of the venom of the Chilean spider Latrodectus mactans on endogenous ion-currents of Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Parodi, Jorge; Romero, Fernando; Miledi, Ricardo; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo

    2008-10-31

    A study was made of the effects of the venom of the Chilean spider Latrodectus mactans on endogenous ion-currents of Xenopus laevis oocytes. 1 microg/ml of the venom made the resting plasma membrane potential more negative in cells voltage-clamped at -60 mV. The effect was potentially due to the closure of one or several conductances that were investigated further. Thus, we determined the effects of the venom on the following endogenous ionic-currents: (a) voltage-activated potassium currents, (b) voltage-activated chloride-currents, and (c) calcium-dependent chloride-currents (Tout). The results suggest that the venom exerts its action mainly on a transient outward potassium-current that is probably mediated by a Kv channel homologous to shaker. Consistent with the electrophysiological evidence we detected the expression of the mRNA coding for xKv1.1 in the oocytes.

  6. Electron microscopic study of crystals of the Xenopus laevis transcription factor IIIA-5S ribosomal RNA complex.

    PubMed

    Brown, R S; Ferguson, C; Kingswell, A; Winkler, F K; Leonard, K R

    1988-06-01

    A novel method has been developed to grow crystals of the Xenopus laevis transcription factor IIIA-5S RNA complex directly on grids for examination by electron microscopy. Microcrystals were examined in negative stain and in thin sections to reveal a hexagonal lattice with unit-cell dimensions a = b = 87.1 +/- 4.4 A and c = 143.8 +/- 12.7 A. Optical diffraction patterns from micrographs were obtained about the major crystal axes extending to about 40-A resolution. A packing scheme is proposed for which there are three or six transcription factor IIIA-5S RNA complexes in the unit cell related by 3(1) symmetry along the long cell axis. This would require that the 5S RNA molecules are arranged end-to-end, with the terminal loops of adjacent molecules overlapping.

  7. Fertilization and development of eggs of the South African clawed toad, Xenopus laevis, on sounding rockets in space.

    PubMed

    Ubbels, G A; Berendsen, W; Kerkvliet, S; Narraway, J

    1992-01-01

    Egg rotation and centrifugation experiments strongly suggest a role for gravity in the determination of the spatial structure of amphibian embryos. Decisive experiments can only be made in Space. Eggs of Xenopus laevis, the South African clawed toad, were the first vertebrate eggs which were successfully fertilized on Sounding Rockets in Space. Unfixed, newly fertilized eggs survived reentry, and a reasonable number showed a seemingly normal gastrulation but died between gastrulation and neurulation. Only a few reached the larval stage, but these developed abnormally. In the future, we intend to test whether this abnormal morphogenesis is due to reentry perturbations, or due to a real microgravity effect, through perturbation of the reinitiation of meiosis and other processes, or started by later sperm penetration.

  8. Do predator cues influence turn alternation behavior in terrestrial isopods Porcellio laevis Latreille and Armadillidium vulgare Latreille?

    PubMed

    Hegarty, Kevin G; Kight, Scott L

    2014-07-01

    Terrestrial isopods (Crustacea: Oniscidea) make more alternating maze turns in response to negative stimuli, a navigational behavior that corrects divergence from a straight line. The present study investigates this behavioral pattern in two species, Porcellio laevis Latreille and Armadillidium vulgare Latreille, in response to short-term vs. long-term exposure to indirect cues from predatory ants. Neither isopod species increased the number of alternating turns in response to short-term indirect exposure to ants, but both species made significantly more alternating turns following continuous indirect exposure to ants for a period of one-week. These results are surprising given differences in behavioral and morphological predator defenses between these species (the Armadillidiidae curl into defensive postures when attacked, whereas the Porcellionidae flee). The marked similarity in alternating turn behavior of the two families suggests evolutionary conservation of antipredator navigation mechanisms.

  9. Thyroid hormone controls the development of connections between the spinal cord and limbs during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Cai, Liquan; Brown, Donald D

    2004-01-06

    During premetamorphic stages, Xenopus laevis tadpoles expressing either a dominant-negative thyroid hormone (TH) receptor or a type-III iodothyronine deiodinase transgene in the nervous system have reduced TH-induced proliferation in the spinal cord and produce fewer hindlimb-innervating motorneurons. During prometamorphic stages, innervation of the hindlimbs is reduced, and few functional neuromuscular connections are formed. By metamorphic climax, limb movement is impaired, ranging from uncoordinated leg swimming to complete quadriplegia. This phenotype is due to transgene action in the tadpole spinal cord. The requirement of TH for neurogenesis during premetamorphosis is the earliest TH-regulated process reported to date in the sequence of metamorphic changes in anurans. The muscle formed during limb growth was previously shown to be a direct target of TH control. Here, we show that the same is true of the development of spinal cord cells that innervate the limbs.

  10. Noggin4 is a long-range inhibitor of Wnt8 signalling that regulates head development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Eroshkin, Fedor M; Nesterenko, Alexey M; Borodulin, Alexander V; Martynova, Natalia Yu; Ermakova, Galina V; Gyoeva, Fatima K; Orlov, Eugeny E; Belogurov, Alexey A; Lukyanov, Konstantin A; Bayramov, Andrey V; Zaraisky, Andrey G

    2016-03-14

    Noggin4 is a Noggin family secreted protein whose molecular and physiological functions remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that in contrast to other Noggins, Xenopus laevis Noggin4 cannot antagonise BMP signalling; instead, it specifically binds to Wnt8 and inhibits the Wnt/β -catenin pathway. Live imaging demonstrated that Noggin4 diffusivity in embryonic tissues significantly exceeded that of other Noggins. Using the Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) assay and mathematical modelling, we directly estimated the affinity of Noggin4 for Wnt8 in living embryos and determined that Noggin4 fine-tune the Wnt8 posterior-to-anterior gradient. Our results suggest a role for Noggin4 as a unique, freely diffusing, long-range inhibitor of canonical Wnt signalling, thus explaining its ability to promote head development.

  11. Trpc2 is expressed in two olfactory subsystems, the main and the vomeronasal system of larval Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Sansone, Alfredo; Syed, Adnan S; Tantalaki, Evangelia; Korsching, Sigrun I; Manzini, Ivan

    2014-07-01

    Complete segregation of the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal epithelium is first observed in amphibians. In contrast, teleost fishes possess a single olfactory surface, in which genetic components of the main and vomeronasal olfactory systems are intermingled. The transient receptor potential channel TRPC2, a marker of vomeronasal neurons, is present in the single fish sensory surface, but is already restricted to the vomeronasal epithelium in a terrestrial amphibian, the red-legged salamander (Plethodon shermani). Here we examined the localization of TRPC2 in an aquatic amphibian and cloned the Xenopus laevis trpc2 gene. We show that it is expressed in both the MOE and the vomeronasal epithelium. This is the first description of a broad trpc2 expression in the MOE of a tetrapod. The expression pattern of trpc2 in the MOE is virtually undistinguishable from that of MOE-specific v2rs, indicating that they are co-expressed in the same neuronal subpopulation.

  12. Comparative expression analysis of cysteine-rich intestinal protein family members crip1, 2 and 3 during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hempel, Annemarie; Kühl, Susanne J

    2014-01-01

    Members of the cysteine-rich intestinal protein (Crip) family belong to the group 2 LIM proteins. Crip proteins are widely expressed in adult mammals but their expression profile and function during embryonic development are still mostly unknown. In this study, we have described for the first time the spatio-temporal expression pattern of the three family members crip1, crip2 and crip3 during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis by RT-PCR and whole mount in situ hybridization approaches. We observed that all three genes are expressed in the pronephros, branchial arches and the eye. Furthermore, crip1 transcripts could be visualized in the developing cranial ganglia and neural tube. In contrast, crip2 could be detected in the cardiovascular system, the brain and the neural tube while crip3 was expressed in the cranial ganglions and the heart. Based on these findings, we suggest that each crip family member may play an important role during embryonic development.

  13. Electrophysiological Characterization of Na,K-ATPases Expressed in Xenopus laevis Oocytes Using Two-Electrode Voltage Clamping.

    PubMed

    Hilbers, Florian; Poulsen, Hanne

    2016-01-01

    The transport of three Na(+) per two K(+) means that the Na,K-ATPase is electrogenic, and though the currents generated by the ion pump are small compared to ion channel currents, they can be measured using electrophysiology, both steady-state pumping and individual steps in the transport cycle. Various electrophysiological techniques have been used to study the endogenous pumps of the squid giant axon and of cardiac myocytes from for example rabbits. Here, we describe the characterization of heterologously expressed Na,K-ATPases using two-electrode voltage clamping (TEVC) and oocytes from the Xenopus laevis frog as the model cell. With this system, the effects of particular mutations can be studied, including the numerous mutations that in later years have been found to cause human diseases.

  14. Fertilization and development of eggs of the South African clawed toad, Xenopus laevis, on sounding rockets in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubbels, Geertje A.; Berendsen, Willem; Kerkvliet, Sonja; Narraway, Jenny

    Egg rotation and centrifugation experiments strongly suggest a role for gravity in the determination of the spatial structure of amphibian embryos. Decisive experiments can only be made in Space. Eggs of Xenopus laevis, the South African clawed toad, were the first vertebrate eggs which were successfully fertilized on Sounding Rockets in Space. Unfixed, newly fertilized eggs survived reentry, and a reasonable number showed a seemingly normal gastrulation but died between gastrulation and neurulation. Only a few reached the larval stage, but these developed abnormally. In the future, we inted to test whether this abnormal morphogenesis is due to reentry perturbations, or due to a real microgravity effect, through perturbation of the reinitiation of meiosis and other processes, or started by later sperm penetration.

  15. Xenopus laevis ribosomal protein genes: isolation of recombinant cDNA clones and study of the genomic organization.

    PubMed Central

    Bozzoni, I; Beccari, E; Luo, Z X; Amaldi, F

    1981-01-01

    Poly-A+ mRNA from Xenopus laevis oocytes, partially enriched for r-protein coding capacity has been used as starting material for preparing a cDNA bank in plasmid pBR322. The clones containing sequences specific for r-proteins have been selected by translation of the complementary mRNAs. Clones for six different r-proteins have been identified and utilized as probes for studying their genomic organization. Two gene copies per haploid genome were found for r-proteins L1, L14, S19, and four-five for protein S1, S8 and L32. Moreover a population polymorphism has been observed for the genomic regions containing sequences for r-protein S1, S8 and L14. Images PMID:6112733

  16. Molecular Characterization of Meloidogyne christiei Golden and Kaplan, 1986 (Nematoda, Meloidogynidae) Topotype Population Infecting Turkey Oak (Quercus laevies) in Florida

    PubMed Central

    Brito, J. A.; Subbotin, S. A.; Han, H.; Stanley, J. D.; Dickson, D. W.

    2015-01-01

    Meloidogyne christiei isolated from turkey oak, Quercus laevies, from the type locality in Florida was characterized using isozyme profiles and ribosomal and mitochondrial gene sequences. The phenotype N1a detected from a single egg-laying female of M. christiei showed one very strong band of malate dehydrogenase (MDH) activity; however, no esterase (EST) activity was identified from macerate of one or even 20 females per well. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus Meloidogyne as inferred from Bayesian analysis of partial 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), D2-D3 of 28S rRNA, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rRNA, and cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII)-16S rRNA of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene fragments showed that M. christiei formed a separate lineage within the crown group of Meloidogyne and its relationships with any of three Meloidogyne clades were not resolved. PMID:26527837

  17. Characterization of X-OCRL, a Xenopus laevis homologue of OCRL-1, the Lowe oculocerebrorenal syndrome candidate gene

    SciTech Connect

    Reilly, D.S.; Nussbaum, R.L.

    1994-09-01

    The Lowe oculocerebrorenal syndrome (OCRL) is an X-linked disease characterized by congenital cataract, mental retardation, and renal tubular dysfunction. A candidate cDNA, OCRL-1, was identified by positional cloning and mutations in OCRL-1 have been detected in patients with Lowe syndrome. The OCRL-1 nucleotide sequence encodes a predicted protein of 968 amino acids and shares 51% amino acid identity with a human inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase. This suggests that the underlying defect in OCRL may be due to a defect in inositol phosphate metabolism. The isolation of OCRL-1 provides the opportunity to investigate its function through the use of animal model systems. We have isolated a partial cDNA clone encoding an OCRL-1 homologue, X-OCRL, from the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. We used a portion of the human cDNA to screen a Xenopus laevis embryo cDNA library and isolated four positive clones. One clone, 42-5A, is a 650 bp insert with over 75% amino acid identity to the corresponding region of the human OCRL-1 sequence. 42-5A detects messenger RNA in adult Xenopus brain, stomach, small intestine, skin, muscle, lung, blood, and oviduct. X-OCRL messenger RNA is first detected during late gastrula and continues to be expressed throughout Xenopus development. In situ hybridization studies are underway to identify the cellular localization of X-OCRL expression in Xenopus embryos and adult tissues. We are especially interested in characterizing X-OCRL expression during formation of the amphibian lens since congenital cataracts are a constant feature of the human disease.

  18. Optimization and comparison of bottom-up proteomic sample preparation for early-stage Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Peuchen, Elizabeth H; Sun, Liangliang; Dovichi, Norman J

    2016-07-01

    Xenopus laevis is an important model organism in developmental biology. While there is a large literature on changes in the organism's transcriptome during development, the study of its proteome is at an embryonic state. Several papers have been published recently that characterize the proteome of X. laevis eggs and early-stage embryos; however, proteomic sample preparation optimizations have not been reported. Sample preparation is challenging because a large fraction (~90 % by weight) of the egg or early-stage embryo is yolk. We compared three common protein extraction buffer systems, mammalian Cell-PE LB(TM) lysing buffer (NP40), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and 8 M urea, in terms of protein extraction efficiency and protein identifications. SDS extracts contained the highest concentration of proteins, but this extract was dominated by a high concentration of yolk proteins. In contrast, NP40 extracts contained ~30 % of the protein concentration as SDS extracts, but excelled in discriminating against yolk proteins, which resulted in more protein and peptide identifications. We then compared digestion methods using both SDS and NP40 extraction methods with one-dimensional reverse-phase liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (RPLC-MS/MS). NP40 coupled to a filter-aided sample preparation (FASP) procedure produced nearly twice the number of protein and peptide identifications compared to alternatives. When NP40-FASP samples were subjected to two-dimensional RPLC-ESI-MS/MS, a total of 5171 proteins and 38,885 peptides were identified from a single stage of embryos (stage 2), increasing the number of protein identifications by 23 % in comparison to other traditional protein extraction methods.

  19. The synthetic gestagen levonorgestrel directly affects gene expression in thyroid and pituitary glands of Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Claudia; Opitz, Robert; Trubiroha, Achim; Lutz, Ilka; Zikova, Andrea; Kloas, Werner

    2016-08-01

    The synthetic gestagen levonorgestrel (LNG) was previously shown to perturb thyroid hormone-dependent metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. However, so far the mechanisms underlying the anti-metamorphic effects of LNG remained unknown. Therefore, a series of in vivo and ex vivo experiments was performed to identify potential target sites of LNG action along the pituitary-thyroid axis of X. laevis tadpoles. Prometamorphic tadpoles were treated in vivo with LNG (0.01-10nM) for 72h and brain-pituitary and thyroid tissue was analyzed for marker gene expression. While no treatment-related changes were observed in brain-pituitary tissue, LNG treatment readily affected thyroidal gene expression in tadpoles including decreased slc5a5 and iyd mRNA expression and a strong induction of dio2 and dio3 expression. When using an ex vivo organ explant culture approach, direct effects of LNG on both pituitary and thyroid gland gene expression were detecTable Specifically, treatment of pituitary explants with 10nM LNG strongly stimulated dio2 expression and concurrently suppressed tshb expression. In thyroid glands, ex vivo LNG treatment induced dio2 and dio3 mRNA expression in a thyrotropin-independent manner. When thyroid explants were cultured in thyrotropin-containing media, LNG caused similar gene expression changes as seen after 72h in vivo treatment including a very strong repression of thyrotropin-induced slc5a5 expression. Concerning the anti-thyroidal activity of LNG as seen under in vivo conditions, our ex vivo data provide clear evidence that LNG directly affects expression of genes important for thyroidal iodide handling as well as genes involved in negative feedback regulation of pituitary tshb expression.

  20. The Expression of TALEN before Fertilization Provides a Rapid Knock-Out Phenotype in Xenopus laevis Founder Embryos.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Kei; Suzuki, Ken-Ichi T; Suzuki, Miyuki; Sakane, Yuto; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Herberg, Sarah; Simeone, Angela; Simpson, David; Jullien, Jerome; Yamamoto, Takashi; Gurdon, J B

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in genome editing using programmable nucleases have revolutionized gene targeting in various organisms. Successful gene knock-out has been shown in Xenopus, a widely used model organism, although a system enabling less mosaic knock-out in founder embryos (F0) needs to be explored in order to judge phenotypes in the F0 generation. Here, we injected modified highly active transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) mRNA to oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage, followed by in vitro maturation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, to achieve a full knock-out in F0 embryos. Unlike conventional injection methods to fertilized embryos, the injection of TALEN mRNA into GV oocytes allows expression of nucleases before fertilization, enabling them to work from an earlier stage. Using this procedure, most of developed embryos showed full knock-out phenotypes of the pigmentation gene tyrosinase and/or embryonic lethal gene pax6 in the founder generation. In addition, our method permitted a large 1 kb deletion. Thus, we describe nearly complete gene knock-out phenotypes in Xenopus laevis F0 embryos. The presented method will help to accelerate the production of knock-out frogs since we can bypass an extra generation of about 1 year in Xenopus laevis. Meantime, our method provides a unique opportunity to rapidly test the developmental effects of disrupting those genes that do not permit growth to an adult able to reproduce. In addition, the protocol shown here is considerably less invasive than the previously used host transfer since our protocol does not require surgery. The experimental scheme presented is potentially applicable to other organisms such as mammals and fish to resolve common issues of mosaicism in founders.

  1. Myosin heavy chain isoform composition and stretch activation kinetics in single fibres of Xenopus laevis iliofibularis muscle

    PubMed Central

    Andruchova, Olena; Stephenson, Gabriela M M; Andruchov, Oleg; Stephenson, D George; Galler, Stefan

    2006-01-01

    Skeletal muscle is composed of specialized fibre types that enable it to fulfil complex and variable functional needs. Muscle fibres of Xenopus laevis, a frog formerly classified as a toad, were the first to be typed based on a combination of physiological, morphological, histochemical and biochemical characteristics. Currently the most widely accepted criterion for muscle fibre typing is the myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform composition because it is assumed that variations of this protein are the most important contributors to functional diversity. Yet this criterion has not been used for classification of Xenopus fibres due to the lack of an effective protocol for MHC isoform analysis. In the present study we aimed to resolve and visualize electrophoretically the MHC isoforms expressed in the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis, to define their functional identity and to classify the fibres based on their MHC isoform composition. Using a SDS-PAGE protocol that proved successful with mammalian muscle MHC isoforms, we were able to detect five MHC isoforms in Xenopus iliofibularis muscle. The kinetics of stretch-induced force transients (stretch activation) produced by a fibre was strongly correlated with its MHC isoform content indicating that the five MHC isoforms confer different kinetics characteristics. Hybrid fibre types containing two MHC isoforms exhibited stretch activation kinetics parameters that were intermediate between those of the corresponding pure fibre types. These results clearly show that the MHC isoforms expressed in Xenopus muscle are functionally different thereby validating the idea that MHC isoform composition is the most reliable criterion for vertebrate skeletal muscle fibre type classification. Thus, our results lay the foundation for the unequivocal classification of the muscle fibres in the Xenopus iliofibularis muscle and for gaining further insights into skeletal muscle fibre diversity. PMID:16644798

  2. Myosin heavy chain isoform composition and stretch activation kinetics in single fibres of Xenopus laevis iliofibularis muscle.

    PubMed

    Andruchova, Olena; Stephenson, Gabriela M M; Andruchov, Oleg; Stephenson, D George; Galler, Stefan

    2006-07-01

    Skeletal muscle is composed of specialized fibre types that enable it to fulfil complex and variable functional needs. Muscle fibres of Xenopus laevis, a frog formerly classified as a toad, were the first to be typed based on a combination of physiological, morphological, histochemical and biochemical characteristics. Currently the most widely accepted criterion for muscle fibre typing is the myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform composition because it is assumed that variations of this protein are the most important contributors to functional diversity. Yet this criterion has not been used for classification of Xenopus fibres due to the lack of an effective protocol for MHC isoform analysis. In the present study we aimed to resolve and visualize electrophoretically the MHC isoforms expressed in the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis, to define their functional identity and to classify the fibres based on their MHC isoform composition. Using a SDS-PAGE protocol that proved successful with mammalian muscle MHC isoforms, we were able to detect five MHC isoforms in Xenopus iliofibularis muscle. The kinetics of stretch-induced force transients (stretch activation) produced by a fibre was strongly correlated with its MHC isoform content indicating that the five MHC isoforms confer different kinetics characteristics. Hybrid fibre types containing two MHC isoforms exhibited stretch activation kinetics parameters that were intermediate between those of the corresponding pure fibre types. These results clearly show that the MHC isoforms expressed in Xenopus muscle are functionally different thereby validating the idea that MHC isoform composition is the most reliable criterion for vertebrate skeletal muscle fibre type classification. Thus, our results lay the foundation for the unequivocal classification of the muscle fibres in the Xenopus iliofibularis muscle and for gaining further insights into skeletal muscle fibre diversity.

  3. Primary structure of 12 neutral oligosaccharide-alditols released from the jelly coats of the anuran Xenopus laevis by reductive beta-elimination.

    PubMed

    Strecker, G; Wieruszeski, J M; Plancke, Y; Boilly, B

    1995-02-01

    The O-linked oligosaccharides of the jelly coat surrounding the eggs of Xenopus laevis were analysed by 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Among the 12 neutral oligosaccharide-alditols which have been characterized, three of them possess the following unusual structures: [sequence: see text] As previously observed for six other amphibian species, the carbohydrate chains of the jelly coat of Xenopus eggs display a high species specificity which could support a biological role during the fertilization processes.

  4. Distribution of two species of sea snakes, Aipysurus laevis and Emydocephalus annulatus, in the southern Great Barrier Reef: metapopulation dynamics, marine protected areas and conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukoschek, V.; Heatwole, H.; Grech, A.; Burns, G.; Marsh, H.

    2007-06-01

    Aipysurus laevis and Emydocephalus annulatus typically occur in spatially discrete populations, characteristic of metapopulations; however, little is known about the factors influencing the spatial and temporal stability of populations or whether specific conservation strategies, such as networks of marine protected areas, will ensure the persistence of species. Classification tree analyses of 35 years of distribution data (90 reefs, surveyed 1-11 times) in the southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) revealed that longitude was a major factor determining the status of A. laevis on reefs (present = 38, absent = 38 and changed = 14). Reef exposure and reef area were also important; however, these factors did not specifically account for the population fluctuations and the recent local extinctions of A. laevis in this region. There were no relationships between the status of E. annulatus (present = 16, absent = 68 and changed = 6) and spatial or physical variables. Moreover, prior protection status of reefs did not account for the distribution of either species. Biotic factors, such as habitat and prey availability and the distribution of predators, which may account for the observed patterns of distribution, are discussed. The potential for inter-population exchange among sea snake populations is poorly understood, as is the degree of protection that will be afforded to sea snakes by the recently implemented network of No-take areas in the GBR. Data from this study provide a baseline for evaluating the responses of A. laevis and E. annulatus populations to changes in biotic factors and the degree of protection afforded on reefs within an ecosystem network of No-take marine protected areas in the southern GBR.

  5. Survival fraction and phenotype alterations of Xenopus laevis embryos at 3 Gy, 150 kV X-ray irradiation.

    PubMed

    Carotenuto, Rosa; Tussellino, Margherita; Mettivier, Giovanni; Russo, Paolo

    2016-11-25

    To determine the radiosensitivity of Xenopus laevis embryos, aquatic organism model, for toxicity studies utilizing X-rays at acute high dose levels, by analysing its survival fraction and phenotype alterations under one-exposure integral dose. We used the standard Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay Xenopus test during the early stages of X. laevis development. The embryos were harvested until st. 46 when they were irradiated. The radiation effects were checked daily for a week and the survival, malformations and growth inhibition were assessed. Sibling tadpoles as control organisms were used. Statistical analysis was performed to assess the extent of any damage. Irradiation was performed with an X-ray tube operated at 150 kV. The tube containing the tadpoles was exposed to an air kerma of 3 Gy as measured in air with an in-beam ionization chamber. After one week, survival fraction of irradiated embryos was 58%, while for control embryos it was 81%. Hence, irradiation with 150 kV, 3 Gy X-rays produced a 23% decrease of survival in regard to unirradiated embryos. The 70% of the irradiated embryos showed an altered distribution of the skin pigmentation, in particular on the dorsal area and in the olfactory pits, where the pigment concentration increased by a factor 2. In conclusion exposure of X. laevis to 3 Gy, 150 kV X-rays induced a reduction of embryos survival and a significant modification of pigmentation. The authors think that X. laevis embryos, at st 46, is a suitable biological model for large scale investigations on the effects of ionizing radiation.

  6. Assessing differences in toxicity and teratogenicity of three phthalates, Diethyl phthalate, Di-n-propyl phthalate, and Di-n-butyl phthalate, using Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Steven T; Wood, Andrew T; Lester, Rachel; Onkst, Paitra E; Burnham, Nathaniel; Perygin, Donna H; Rayburn, James

    2016-01-01

    Phthalates, compounds used to add flexibility to plastics, are ubiquitous in the environment. In particular, the diethyl (DEP), di-n-propyl (DnPP), and di-n-butyl (DBP) phthalates were found to exert detrimental effects in both mammalian and non-mammalian studies, with toxic effects varying according to alkyl chain length. Embryos of Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog, have been used to assess toxicity and teratogenicity of several compounds and serves as a model for assessing adverse and teratogenic effects of ortho-phthalate esters. The purpose of this study was to develop a model for comparison of developmentally toxic effects of ortho-phthalate esters using Xenopus embryos. In this study developing Xenopus laevis embryos were exposed to increasing concentrations of DEP, DnPP, and DBP using the 96-h Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX), with 96-h lethal concentrations, effective concentrations to induce malformations, teratogenic indices, and concentrations to inhibit growth determined. DEP, DnPP, and DBP showed enhanced toxicity with increasing ester length. Developing Xenopus laevis exposed to DEP, DnPP, and DBP showed similar malformations that also occurred at lower concentrations with increasing alkyl chain length. Teratogenic risk did not change markedly with alkyl chain length, with data showing only DBP to be teratogenic.

  7. Protein kinase C acts downstream of calcium at entry into the first mitotic interphase of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Bement, W M; Capco, D G

    1990-01-01

    Transit into interphase of the first mitotic cell cycle in amphibian eggs is a process referred to as activation and is accompanied by an increase in intracellular free calcium [( Ca2+]i), which may be transduced into cytoplasmic events characteristic of interphase by protein kinase C (PKC). To investigate the respective roles of [Ca2+]i and PKC in Xenopus laevis egg activation, the calcium signal was blocked by microinjection of the calcium chelator BAPTA, or the activity of PKC was blocked by PKC inhibitors sphingosine or H7. Eggs were then challenged for activation by treatment with either calcium ionophore A23187 or the PKC activator PMA. BAPTA prevented cortical contraction, cortical granule exocytosis, and cleavage furrow formation in eggs challenged with A23187 but not with PMA. In contrast, sphingosine and H7 inhibited cortical granule exocytosis, cortical contraction, and cleavage furrow formation in eggs challenged with either A23187 or PMA. Measurement of egg [Ca2+]i with calcium-sensitive electrodes demonstrated that PMA treatment does not increase egg [Ca2+]i in BAPTA-injected eggs. Further, PMA does not increase [Ca2+]i in eggs that have not been injected with BAPTA. These results show that PKC acts downstream of the [Ca2+]i increase to induce cytoplasmic events of the first Xenopus mitotic cell cycle. Images PMID:2100203

  8. Activation of frog (Xenopus laevis) eggs by inositol trisphosphate. I. Characterization of Ca2+ release from intracellular stores

    PubMed Central

    1985-01-01

    Iontophoresis of inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate into frog (Xenopus laevis) eggs activated early developmental events such as membrane depolarization, cortical contraction, cortical granule exocytosis, and abortive cleavage furrow formation (pseudocleavage). Inositol 1, 4- bisphosphate also triggered these events, but only at doses approximately 100-fold higher, whereas no level of fructose-1, 6- bisphosphate tested activated eggs. Using Ca2+-selective microelectrodes, we observed that activating doses of inositol 1, 4, 5- trisphosphate triggered a Ca2+ release from intracellular stores that was indistinguishable from that previously observed at fertilization (Busa, W. B., and R. Nuccitelli, 1985, J. Cell Biol., 100:1325-1329), whereas subthreshold doses triggered only a localized Ca2+ release at the site of injection. The subthreshold IP3 response could be distinguished from the major Ca2+ release at activation with respect to their dose-response characteristics, relative timing, sensitivity to external Ca2+ levels, additivity, and behavior in the activated egg, suggesting that the Xenopus egg may possess two functionally distinct Ca2+ pools mobilized by different effectors. In light of these differences, we suggest a model for intracellular Ca2+ mobilization by sperm-egg interaction. PMID:3874873

  9. Analgesic effects of meloxicam, morphine sulfate, flunixin meglumine, and xylazine hydrochloride in African-clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Coble, Dondrae J; Taylor, Douglas K; Mook, Deborah M

    2011-05-01

    We evaluated analgesic use and analgesiometry in aquatic African-clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). We used the acetic acid test (AAT) to assess the analgesic potential of systemic xylazine hydrochloride, meloxicam, flunixin meglumine, and morphine sulfate after injection into the dorsal lymph sac. Flunixin meglumine provided better analgesia than did the other drugs, most evident at 5 and 9 h after administration. Because the AAT was associated with the development of dermal lesions, we discontinued use of this assay and chose the Hargreaves test as an alternative method of measuring nociception in Xenopus. This assay is commonly performed in rodents, but its efficacy in an aquatic species such as Xenopus was unknown prior to this study. We found that the Hargreaves test was an effective measure of nociception in Xenopus, and we used it to evaluate the effectiveness of the nonopiod agents xylazine hydrochloride, meloxicam, and flunixin meglumine both in the absence of surgery and after surgical oocyte harvest. Similar to findings from the AAT, flunixin meglumine provided better analgesia in the Hargreaves test than did the other agents when analyzed in the absence of surgical intervention. Results were equivocal after oocyte harvest. Although surgical oocyte harvest is a common procedure in Xenopus, and currently there are no published recommendations for analgesia after this invasive surgery. Future studies are needed to clarify the efficacy of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for that purpose.

  10. Do Nanoparticle Physico-Chemical Properties and Developmental Exposure Window Influence Nano ZnO Embryotoxicity in Xenopus laevis?

    PubMed

    Bonfanti, Patrizia; Moschini, Elisa; Saibene, Melissa; Bacchetta, Renato; Rettighieri, Leonardo; Calabri, Lorenzo; Colombo, Anita; Mantecca, Paride

    2015-07-28

    The growing global production of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) suggests a realistic increase in the environmental exposure to such a nanomaterial, making the knowledge of its biological reactivity and its safe-by-design synthesis mandatory. In this study, the embryotoxicity of ZnONPs (1-100 mg/L) specifically synthesized for industrial purposes with different sizes, shapes (round, rod) and surface coatings (PEG, PVP) was tested using the frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX) to identify potential target tissues and the most sensitive developmental stages. The ZnONPs did not cause embryolethality, but induced a high incidence of malformations, in particular misfolded gut and abdominal edema. Smaller, round NPs were more effective than the bigger, rod ones, and PEGylation determined a reduction in embryotoxicity. Ingestion appeared to be the most relevant exposure route. Only the embryos exposed from the stomodeum opening showed anatomical and histological lesions to the intestine, mainly referable to a swelling of paracellular spaces among enterocytes. In conclusion, ZnONPs differing in shape and surface coating displayed similar toxicity in X. laevis embryos and shared the same target organ. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude that the physico-chemical characteristics may influence the severity of such effects. Further research efforts are mandatory to ensure the synthesis of safer nano-ZnO-containing products.

  11. Peter Pan functions independently of its role in ribosome biogenesis during early eye and craniofacial cartilage development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Bugner, Verena; Tecza, Aleksandra; Gessert, Susanne; Kühl, Michael

    2011-06-01

    The Xenopus oocyte possesses a large maternal store of ribosomes, thereby uncoupling early development from the de novo ribosome biosynthesis required for cell growth. Brix domain-containing proteins, such as Peter Pan (PPan), are essential for eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis. In this study, we demonstrate that PPan is expressed maternally as well as in the eye and cranial neural crest cells (NCCs) during early Xenopus laevis development. Depletion of PPan and interference with rRNA processing using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides resulted in eye and cranial cartilage malformations. Loss of PPan, but not interference with rRNA processing, led to an early downregulation of specific marker genes of the eye, including Rx1 and Pax6, and of NCCs, such as Twist, Slug and FoxD3. We found that PPan protein is localized in the nucleoli and mitochondria and that loss of PPan results in increased apoptosis. These findings indicate a novel function of PPan that is independent of its role in ribosome biogenesis.

  12. The effects of temperature, desiccation, and body mass on the locomotion of the terrestrial isopod, Porcellio laevis.

    PubMed

    Dailey, Tara M; Claussen, Dennis L; Ladd, Gregory B; Buckner, Shizuka T

    2009-06-01

    Locomotion in terrestrial isopods is strongly influenced by body size and by abiotic factors. We determined the speeds of isopods of differing masses within a linear racetrack at temperatures ranging from 15 to 35 degrees C. We also predicted maximum speeds based on the Froude number concept as originally applied to vertebrates. In addition we used a circular thermal gradient to examine the temperature preferences of isopods, and we measured the effects of desiccation on locomotion. Measured speeds of the isopods progressively increased with temperature with an overall Q(10) of 1.64 and scaling exponents ranging from 0.38 to 0.63. The predicted maximum speeds were remarkably close to the measured speeds at the highest test temperature although the scaling exponents were closer to 0.15. The isopods did not exhibit a strong thermal preference within the gradient; however, they did generally avoid temperatures above 25 degrees C. Moderate desiccation had no apparent effect on locomotor performance, but there was a progressive decrease in speed once animals had lost more than 10% of their initial body mass. Though largely restricted to moist habitats, P. laevis can easily withstand short exposures to desiccating conditions, and they are capable of effective locomotion over a wide range of temperatures. Since they are nonconglobating, active escape appears to be their primary defense when threatened under exposed conditions. Although their maximum speeds may be limited both by temperature and by their inability to change gait, these speeds are clearly adequate for survival.

  13. Atrazine and malathion shorten the maturation process of Xenopus laevis oocytes and have an adverse effect on early embryo development.

    PubMed

    Ji, Qichao; Lee, Jessica; Lin, Yu-Huey; Jing, Guihua; Tsai, L Jillianne; Chen, Andrew; Hetrick, Lindsay; Jocoy, Dylan; Liu, Junjun

    2016-04-01

    The use of pesticides has a negative impact on the environment. Amphibians have long been regarded as indicator species to pollutants due to their permeable skin and sensitivity to the environment. Studies have shown that population declines of some amphibians are directly linked with exposure to agricultural contaminants. In the past, much of the studies have focused on the toxic effect of contaminants on larvae (tadpoles), juvenile and adult frogs. However, due to the nature of their life cycle, amphibian eggs and early embryos are especially susceptible to the contaminants, and any alteration during the early reproductive stages may have a profound effect on the health and population of amphibians. In this study, we analyzed the effect of atrazine and malathion, two commonly used pesticides, on Xenopus laevis oocyte maturation and early embryogenesis. We found that both atrazine and malathion shortened the frog oocyte maturation process and resulted in reduced Emi2 levels at cytostatic factor-mediated metaphase arrest, and a high level of Emi2 is critically important for oocyte maturation. Furthermore, frog embryos fertilized under the influence of atrazine and/or malathion displayed a higher rate of abnormal division that eventually led to embryo death during early embryogenesis.

  14. Molecular Cloning of phd1 and Comparative Analysis of phd1, 2, and 3 Expression in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Han, Dandan; Wen, Luan; Chen, Yonglong

    2012-01-01

    Intensive gene targeting studies in mice have revealed that prolyl hydroxylase domain proteins (PHDs) play important roles in murine embryonic development; however, the expression patterns and function of these genes during embryogenesis of other vertebrates remain largely unknown. Here we report the molecular cloning of phd1 and systematic analysis of phd1, phd2, and phd3 expression in embryos as well as adult tissues of Xenopus laevis. All three phds are maternally provided during Xenopus early development. The spatial expression patterns of phds genes in Xenopus embryos appear to define a distinct synexpression group. Frog phd2 and phd3 showed complementary expression in adult tissues with phd2 transcription levels being high in the eye, brain, and intestine, but low in the liver, pancreas, and kidney. On the contrary, expression levels of phd3 are high in the liver, pancreas, and kidney, but low in the eye, brain, and intestine. All three phds are highly expressed in testes, ovary, gall bladder, and spleen. Among three phds, phd3 showed strongest expression in heart. PMID:22645445

  15. Transcription factor COUP-TFII is indispensable for venous and lymphatic development in zebrafish and Xenopus laevis

    SciTech Connect

    Aranguren, Xabier L.; Beerens, Manu; Vandevelde, Wouter; Dewerchin, Mieke; Carmeliet, Peter; Luttun, Aernout

    2011-06-24

    Highlights: {yields} COUP-TFII deficiency in zebrafish affects arterio-venous EC specification. {yields} COUP-TFII is indispensable for lymphatic development in zebrafish. {yields} COUP-TFII knockdown in Xenopus disrupts lymphatic EC differentiation and migration. {yields} COUP-TFII's role in EC fate decisions is evolutionary conserved. -- Abstract: Transcription factors play a central role in cell fate determination. Gene targeting in mice revealed that Chicken Ovalbumin Upstream Promoter-Transcription Factor II (COUP-TFII, also known as Nuclear Receptor 2F2 or NR2F2) induces a venous phenotype in endothelial cells (ECs). More recently, NR2F2 was shown to be required for initiating the expression of Prox1, responsible for lymphatic commitment of venous ECs. Small animal models like zebrafish embryos and Xenopus laevis tadpoles have been very useful to elucidate mechanisms of (lymph) vascular development. Therefore, the role of NR2F2 in (lymph) vascular development was studied by eliminating its expression in these models. Like in mice, absence of NR2F2 in zebrafish resulted in distinct vascular defects including loss of venous marker expression, major trunk vessel fusion and vascular leakage. Both in zebrafish and Xenopus the development of the main lymphatic structures was severely hampered. NR2F2 knockdown significantly decreased prox1 expression in zebrafish ECs and the same manipulation affected lymphatic (L)EC commitment, migration and function in Xenopus tadpoles. Therefore, the role of NR2F2 in EC fate determination is evolutionary conserved.

  16. EYA1 mutations associated with the branchio-oto-renal syndrome result in defective otic development in Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Youe; Manaligod, Jose M.; Weeks, Daniel L.

    2009-01-01

    Background information. The BOR (branchio-oto-renal) syndrome is a dominant disorder most commonly caused by mutations in the EYA1 (Eyes Absent 1) gene. Symptoms commonly include deafness and renal anomalies. Results. We have used the embryos of the frog Xenopus laevis as an animal model for early ear development to examine the effects of different EYA1 mutations. Four eya1 mRNAs encoding proteins correlated with congenital anomalies in human were injected into early stage embryos. We show that the expression of mutations associated with BOR, even in the presence of normal levels of endogenous eya1 mRNA, leads to morphologically abnormal ear development as measured by overall otic vesicle size, establishment of sensory tissue and otic innervation. The molecular consequences of mutant eya1 expression were assessed by QPCR (quantitative PCR) analysis and in situ hybridization. Embryos expressing mutant eya1 showed altered levels of multiple genes (six1, dach, neuroD, ngnr-1 and nt3) important for normal ear development. Conclusions. These studies lend support to the hypothesis that dominant-negative effects of EYA1 mutations may have a role in the pathogenesis of BOR. PMID:19951260

  17. Urotensin II upregulates migration and cytokine gene expression in leukocytes of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Tomiyama, Shiori; Nakamachi, Tomoya; Uchiyama, Minoru; Matsuda, Kouhei; Konno, Norifumi

    2015-05-15

    Urotensin II (UII) exhibits diverse physiological actions including vasoconstriction, locomotor activity, osmoregulation, and immune response via the UII receptor (UTR) in mammals. However, in amphibians the function of the UII-UTR system remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated the potential immune function of UII using leukocytes isolated from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Stimulation of male frogs with lipopolysaccharide increased mRNA expression of UII and UTR in leukocytes, suggesting that inflammatory stimuli induce activation of the UII-UTR system. Migration assays showed that both UII and UII-related peptide enhanced migration of leukocytes in a dose-dependent manner, and that UII effect was inhibited by the UTR antagonist urantide. Inhibition of Rho kinase with Y-27632 abolished UII-induced migration, suggesting that it depends on the activation of RhoA/Rho kinase. Treatment of isolated leukocytes with UII increased the expression of several cytokine genes including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and macrophage migration inhibitory factor, and the effects were abolished by urantide. These results suggest that in amphibian leukocytes the UII-UTR system is involved in the activation of leukocyte migration and cytokine gene expression in response to inflammatory stimuli.

  18. Essential roles of LEM-domain protein MAN1 during organogenesis in Xenopus laevis and overlapping functions of emerin.

    PubMed

    Reil, Michael; Dabauvalle, Marie-Christine

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in nuclear envelope proteins are linked to an increasing number of human diseases, called envelopathies. Mutations in the inner nuclear membrane protein emerin lead to X-linked Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, characterized by muscle weakness or wasting. Conversely, mutations in nuclear envelope protein MAN1 are linked to bone and skin disorders. Both proteins share a highly conserved domain, called LEM-domain. LEM proteins are known to interact with Barrier-to-autointegration factor and several transcription factors. Most envelopathies are tissue-specific, but knowledge on the physiological roles of related LEM proteins is still unclear. For this reason, we investigated the roles of MAN1 and emerin during Xenopus laevis organogenesis. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of MAN1 revealed that MAN1 is essential for the formation of eye, skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues. The MAN1 knockdown could be compensated by ectopic expression of emerin, leading to a proper organ development. Further investigations revealed that MAN1 is involved in regulation of genes essential for organ development and tissue homeostasis. Thereby our work supports that LEM proteins might be involved in signalling essential for organ development during early embryogenesis and suggests that loss of MAN1 may cause muscle and retina specific diseases.

  19. Crystal structure of a Xenopus laevis skin proto-type galectin, close to but distinct from galectin-1.

    PubMed

    Nonaka, Yasuhiro; Ogawa, Takashi; Yoshida, Hiromi; Shoji, Hiroki; Nishi, Nozomu; Kamitori, Shigehiro; Nakamura, Takanori

    2015-07-01

    Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) has two types of proto-type galectins that are similar to mammalian galectin-1 in amino acid sequence. One type, comprising xgalectin-Ia and -Ib, is regarded as being equivalent to galectin-1, and the other type, comprising xgalectin-Va and -Vb, is expected to be a unique galectin subgroup. The latter is considerably abundant in frog skin; however, its biological function remains unclear. We determined the crystal structures of two proto-type galectins, xgalectin-Ib and -Va. The structures showed that both galectins formed a mammalian galectin-1-like homodimer, and furthermore, xgalectin-Va formed a homotetramer. This tetramer structure has not been reported for other galectins. Gel filtration and other experiments indicated that xgalectin-Va was in a dimer-tetramer equilibrium in solution, and lactose binding enhanced the tetramer formation. The residues involved in the dimer-dimer association were conserved in xgalectin-Va and -Vb, and one of the Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis proto-type galectins, but not in xgalectin-Ia and -Ib, and other galectin-1-equivalent proteins. Xgalectin-Va preferred Galβ1-3GalNAc and not Galβ1-4GlcNAc, while xgalectin-Ib preferred Galβ1-4GlcNAc as well as human galectin-1. Xgalectin-Va/Vb would have diverged from the galectin-1 group with accompanying acquisition of the higher oligomer formation and altered ligand selectivity.

  20. Fate of secretory proteins trapped in oocytes of Xenopus laevis by disruption of the cytoskeleton or by imbalanced subunit synthesis

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    The effects of imbalanced subunit synthesis, temperature, colchicine, and cytochalasin on the secretion from Xenopus laevis oocytes of a variety of avian and mammalian proteins were investigated; these proteins were encoded by microinjected messenger RNA. Cytochalasin and colchicine together severely reduced secretion in a temperature- independent manner, the exact reduction varying among the different proteins. In contrast cytochalasin alone had no effect, whereas colchicine alone caused a smaller, temperature-dependent reduction. The synthesis and subcellular compartmentation of these proteins were unaffected by the drug treatments; however, the proteins did not accumulate in the drug-treated oocytes but were degraded. The rate of degradation of each protein was similar to its rate of exocytosis from untreated oocytes. A similar result was obtained without recourse to drugs by studying the fate of immunoglobulin light chains trapped in oocytes by a deficiency in heavy chain synthesis. These results are discussed in terms of the disruptive effects, as revealed by electron microscopy, of the drug treatments on the cytoskeleton of the oocyte. PMID:6173386

  1. An innovative continuous flow system for monitoring heavy metal pollution in water using transgenic Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Fini, Jean-Baptiste; Pallud-Mothré, Sophie; Le Mével, Sébastien; Palmier, Karima; Havens, Christopher M; Le Brun, Matthieu; Mataix, Vincent; Lemkine, Gregory F; Demeneix, Barbara A; Turque, Nathalie; Johnson, Paul E

    2009-12-01

    While numerous detection methods exist for environmental heavy metal monitoring, easy-to-use technologies combining rapidity with in vivo measurements are lacking. Multiwell systems exploiting transgenic tadpoles are ideal but require time-consuming placement of individuals in wells. We developed a real-time flow-through system, based on Fountain Flow cytometry, which measures in situ contaminant-induced fluorescence in transgenic amphibian larvae immersed in water samples. The system maintains the advantages of transgenic amphibians, but requires minimal human intervention. Portable and self-contained, it allows on-site measurements. Optimization exploited a transgenic Xenopus laevis bearing a chimeric gene with metal responsive elements fused to eGFP. The transgene was selectively induced by 1 microM Zn(2+). Using this tadpole we show the continuous flow method to be as rapid and sensitive as image analysis. Flow-through readings thus accelerate the overall process of data acquisition and render fluorescent monitoring of tadpoles suitable for on-site tracking of heavy metal pollution.

  2. Tone and call responses of units in the auditory nerve and dorsal medullary nucleus of Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2012-01-01

    The clawed frog Xenopus laevis produces vocalizations consisting of distinct patterns of clicks. This study provides the first description of spontaneous, pure-tone and communication-signal evoked discharge properties of auditory nerve (n.VIII) fibers and dorsal medullary nucleus (DMN) cells in an obligatorily aquatic anuran. Responses of 297 n.VIII and 253 DMN units are analyzed for spontaneous rates (SR), frequency tuning, rate-intensity functions, and firing rate adaptation, with a view to how these basic characteristics shape responses to recorded call stimuli. Response properties generally resemble those in partially terrestrial anurans. Broad tuning exists across characteristic frequencies (CFs). Threshold minima are −101 dB re 1 mm/s at 675 Hz; −87 dB at 1,600 Hz; and −61 dB at 3,000 Hz (−90, −77, and −44 dB re 1 Pa, respectively), paralleling the peak frequency of vocalizations at 1.2–1.6 kHz with ~500 Hz in 3 dB bandwidth. SRs range from 0 to 80 (n.VIII) and 0 to 73 spikes/s (DMN). Nerve and DMN units of all CFs follow click rates in natural calls, ≤67 clicks/s and faster. Units encode clicks with a single spike, double spikes, or bursts. Spike times correlate closely with click envelopes. No temporal filtering for communicative click rates occurs in either n.VIII or the DMN. PMID:17989982

  3. Perfluoroalkylated Substance Effects in Xenopus laevis A6 Kidney Epithelial Cells Determined by ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy and Chemometric Analysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The effects of four perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs), namely, perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were assessed in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells by attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and chemometric analysis. Principal component analysis–linear discriminant analysis (PCA-LDA) was used to visualize wavenumber-related alterations and ANOVA-simultaneous component analysis (ASCA) allowed data processing considering the underlying experimental design. Both analyses evidenced a higher impact of low-dose PFAS-treatments (10–9 M) on A6 cells forming monolayers, while there was a larger influence of high-dose PFAS-treatments (10–5 M) on A6 cells differentiated into dome structures. The observed dose–response PFAS-induced effects were to some extent related to their cytotoxicity: the EC50-values of most influential PFAS-treatments increased (PFOS < PFNA < PFOA ≪ PFBS), and higher-doses of these chemicals induced a larger impact. Major spectral alterations were mainly attributed to DNA/RNA, secondary protein structure, lipids, and fatty acids. Finally, PFOS and PFOA caused a decrease in A6 cell numbers compared to controls, whereas PFBS and PFNA did not significantly change cell population levels. Overall, this work highlights the ability of PFASs to alter A6 cells, whether forming monolayers or differentiated into dome structures, and the potential of PFOS and PFOA to induce cell death. PMID:27078751

  4. Manipulation and in vitro maturation of Xenopus laevis oocytes, followed by intracytoplasmic sperm injection, to study embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Kei; Simpson, David; Gurdon, John B

    2015-02-09

    Amphibian eggs have been widely used to study embryonic development. Early embryonic development is driven by maternally stored factors accumulated during oogenesis. In order to study roles of such maternal factors in early embryonic development, it is desirable to manipulate their functions from the very beginning of embryonic development. Conventional ways of gene interference are achieved by injection of antisense oligonucleotides (oligos) or mRNA into fertilized eggs, enabling under- or over-expression of specific proteins, respectively. However, these methods normally require more than several hours until protein expression is affected, and, hence, the interference of gene functions is not effective during early embryonic stages. Here, we introduce an experimental system in which expression levels of maternal proteins can be altered before fertilization. Xenopus laevis oocytes obtained from ovaries are defolliculated by incubating with enzymes. Antisense oligos or mRNAs are injected into defolliculated oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage. These oocytes are in vitro matured to eggs at the metaphase II (MII) stage, followed by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). By this way, up to 10% of ICSI embryos can reach the swimming tadpole stage, thus allowing functional tests of specific gene knockdown or overexpression. This approach can be a useful way to study roles of maternally stored factors in early embryonic development.

  5. Cytoskeleton and gravity at work in the establishment of dorso-ventral polarity in the egg of Xenopus laevis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubbels, Geertje A.; Brom, Tim G.

    The establishment of polarities during early embryogenesis is essential for normal development. Amphibian eggs are appropriate models for studies on embryonic pattern formation. The animal-vegetal axis of the axially symmetrical amphibian egg originates during oogenesis and foreshadows the main body axis of the embryo. The dorso-ventral polarity is epigenetically established before first cleavage. Recent experiments strongly suggest that in the monospermic eggs of the anuran Xenopus laevis both the cytoskeleton and gravity act in the determination of the dorso-ventral polarity. In order to test the role of gravity in this process, eggs will be fertilized under microgravity conditions during the SL-D1 flight in 1985. In a fully automatic experiment container eggs will be kept under well-defined conditions and artificially fertilized as soon as microgravity is reached; eggs and embryos at different stages will then be fixed for later examination. Back on earth the material will be analysed and we will know whether fertilization under microgravity conditions is possible. If so, the relation of the dorso-ventral axis to the former sperm entry point will be determined on the whole embryos; in addition eggs and embryos will be analysed cytologically.

  6. In Vivo Study of Dynamics and Stability of Dendritic Spines on Olfactory Bulb Interneurons in Xenopus laevis Tadpoles

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yu-Bin; Hu, Chun-Rui; Zhang, Li; Yin, Wu; Hu, Bing

    2015-01-01

    Dendritic spines undergo continuous remodeling during development of the nervous system. Their stability is essential for maintaining a functional neuronal circuit. Spine dynamics and stability of cortical excitatory pyramidal neurons have been explored extensively in mammalian animal models. However, little is known about spiny interneurons in non-mammalian vertebrate models. In the present study, neuronal morphology was visualized by single-cell electroporation. Spiny neurons were surveyed in the Xenopus tadpole brain and observed to be widely distributed in the olfactory bulb and telencephalon. DsRed- or PSD95-GFP-expressing spiny interneurons in the olfactory bulb were selected for in vivo time-lapse imaging. Dendritic protrusions were classified as filopodia, thin, stubby, or mushroom spines based on morphology. Dendritic spines on the interneurons were highly dynamic, especially the filopodia and thin spines. The stubby and mushroom spines were relatively more stable, although their stability significantly decreased with longer observation intervals. The 4 spine types exhibited diverse preferences during morphological transitions from one spine type to others. Sensory deprivation induced by severing the olfactory nerve to block the input of mitral/tufted cells had no significant effects on interneuron spine stability. Hence, a new model was established in Xenopus laevis tadpoles to explore dendritic spine dynamics in vivo. PMID:26485435

  7. Growth and development of tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and sertraline, throughout metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Conners, Deanna E; Rogers, Emily D; Armbrust, Kevin L; Kwon, Jeong-Wook; Black, Marsha C

    2009-12-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed drugs that are present in sewage effluents and surface waters. The objective of the present study was to determine whether low environmentally relevant concentrations of the SSRIs fluoxetine and sertraline could impair growth and development in tadpoles of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and to evaluate if such effects may be caused by a disruption of the neuroendocrine system. Tadpoles were exposed to SSRIs at concentrations of 0.1, 1, and 10 microg/L for 70 d throughout metamorphosis. No effects on deformities were observed. Tadpoles exposed to fluoxetine (10 microg/L) and sertraline (0.1, 1, and 10 microg/L) exhibited reduced growth at metamorphosis. Tadpoles exposed to sertraline (0.1 and 1 microg/L) exhibited an acceleration of development as indicated by an increase in the time to tail resorption. The effects of SSRIs on growth and development in tadpoles were likely driven by reduced food intake. Reduced feeding rates were observed in SSRI-exposed tadpoles, and nutritional status can influence growth and development in amphibians via effects on the neuroendocrine system. Only sertraline was capable of causing developmental toxicity in tadpoles at environmentally relevant concentrations. These data warrant additional research to characterize the risks to human health and wildlife from pharmaceutical exposures.

  8. Effect of low-level copper and pentachlorophenol exposure on various early life stages of Xenopus laevis

    SciTech Connect

    Fort, D.J.; Stover, E.L.

    1996-12-31

    An evaluation of the effects of low-level copper and pentachlorophenol exposure on various early life stages of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, was performed using stage-specific and long-term continuous exposures. Stage-specific exposure experiments were conducted such that separate subsets of embryos and larvae from the same clutch were exposed to two toxicants, copper and pentachlorphenol, from 0 d to 4 d (standard Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay--Xenopus [FETAX]), 4 d to 8 d, 8 d to 12 d, and 12 d to 16 d. Results from two separate concentration-response experiments indicated that sensitivity to either toxicant increased in each successive time period. Longer-term exposure studies conducted for 60 to 75 days indicated that copper, but not pentachlorophenol induced reduction deficiency malformations of the hind limb at concentrations as low as 0.05 mg/L. Pentachlorophenol concentrations as low as 0.5 {micro}g/L inhibited tail resorption. However, copper did not adversely affect the process of tail resorption. These results indicated that studies evaluating longer-term developmental processes are important in ecological hazard evaluation.

  9. Influence of inorganic phosphate and pH on sarcoplasmic reticular ATPase in skinned muscle fibres of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Stienen, G J; Papp, Z; Zaremba, R

    1999-08-01

    1. The influence of 30 mM inorganic phosphate (Pi) and pH (6.2-7.4) on the rate of ATP utilization was determined in mechanically skinned bundles of myofibrils from the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis at approximately 5 C. 2. BDM (2,3-butanedione monoxime; 10 mM) depressed isometric force production and actomyosin (AM) ATPase activity equally. Therefore sarcoplasmic reticular (SR) ATPase activity could be determined by extrapolation of the total ATPase activity to zero force. 3. The SR ATPase activity without added Pi at pH 7.1 was 42 +/- 2 % of the total ATPase activity. Addition of 30 mM Pi reduced SR ATPase activity slightly, by 9 +/- 5 %, and depressed force by 62 +/- 2 % and AM ATPase activity by 21 +/- 6 %. 4. At pH 6.2, force, SR ATPase activity and AM ATPase activity were reduced by 21 +/- 5, 61 +/- 5 and 10 +/- 4 % of their respective values at pH 7.1. 5. The SR ATPase activity at 30 mM Pi and pH 6.2 was reduced markedly to 20 +/- 6 % of the value under control conditions, suggesting that the maximum rate of Ca2+ uptake during muscle fatigue was strongly depressed. This reduction was larger than expected on the basis of the effects of Pi and pH alone.

  10. Assessment of mutagenic damage by monofunctional alkylating agents and gamma radiation in haploid and diploid frogs, Xenopus laevis

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, D.R.; Armstrong, J.B.

    1984-01-01

    Adult male South African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis, were mutagenized by 3-day immersion in aqueous solutions of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), diethyl nitrosamine (DEN), or ethyl nitrosourea (ENU), or by acute exposure to gamma radiation. They were then spawned repeatedly at 2-week intervals with untreated females, and embryonic survival of the progeny was used to assess genetic damage. Recessive lethal effects were assessed from reduced survival of androgenetic haploid progeny. Neither recessive nor dominant lethal effects were obtained after exposure to 100 mg/liter EMS or 2 g/liter DEN. At 250 mg/liter EMS, peak dominant lethality occurred 3-5 weeks after treatment. Most embryos hatched, but many were abnormal and died shortly after hatching. Haploid survival was significantly reduced over a broader period, from 1 to 13 weeks after mutagenesis. Treatment with 75 mg/liter ENU produced effects similar to the 250-mg/liter EMS mutagenesis. At 400 mg/liter EMS, the frequency and severity of the effects on both diploid and haploid embryos were increased over the lower dose. Gamma irradiation at 1500 R produced effects similar to the 400-mg/liter mutagenesis, except that peak dominant lethality extended from 1 to 7 weeks.

  11. Selective enhancement of bovine papillomavirus type 1 DNA replication in Xenopus laevis eggs by the E6 gene product.

    PubMed

    Romanczuk, H; Wormington, W M

    1989-02-01

    Genetic analyses of bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1) DNA in transformed mammalian cells have indicated that the E6 gene product is essential for the establishment and maintenance of a high plasmid copy number. In order to analyze the direct effect of the E6 protein on the replication of a BPV-1-derived plasmid, a cDNA containing the BPV-1 E6 open reading frame was subcloned into an SP6 vector for the in vitro synthesis of the corresponding mRNA. The SP6 E6 mRNA was injected into Xenopus laevis oocytes to determine the subcellular localization of the E6 gene product and to analyze the effect of the protein on BPV-1 DNA replication. SP6 E6 mRNA microinjected into stage VI oocytes was translated into a 15.5-kilodalton protein that was specifically immunoprecipitated by antibodies directed against the E6 gene product. The E6 protein preferentially accumulated in oocyte nuclei, a localization which is consistent with the replicative functions in which it has been implicated. The expression of E6 in replication-competent mature oocytes selectively enhanced the replication of a BPV-derived plasmid, indicating a direct role for this gene product in the control of BPV-1 DNA replication.

  12. Do Nanoparticle Physico-Chemical Properties and Developmental Exposure Window Influence Nano ZnO Embryotoxicity in Xenopus laevis?

    PubMed Central

    Bonfanti, Patrizia; Moschini, Elisa; Saibene, Melissa; Bacchetta, Renato; Rettighieri, Leonardo; Calabri, Lorenzo; Colombo, Anita; Mantecca, Paride

    2015-01-01

    The growing global production of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) suggests a realistic increase in the environmental exposure to such a nanomaterial, making the knowledge of its biological reactivity and its safe-by-design synthesis mandatory. In this study, the embryotoxicity of ZnONPs (1–100 mg/L) specifically synthesized for industrial purposes with different sizes, shapes (round, rod) and surface coatings (PEG, PVP) was tested using the frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX) to identify potential target tissues and the most sensitive developmental stages. The ZnONPs did not cause embryolethality, but induced a high incidence of malformations, in particular misfolded gut and abdominal edema. Smaller, round NPs were more effective than the bigger, rod ones, and PEGylation determined a reduction in embryotoxicity. Ingestion appeared to be the most relevant exposure route. Only the embryos exposed from the stomodeum opening showed anatomical and histological lesions to the intestine, mainly referable to a swelling of paracellular spaces among enterocytes. In conclusion, ZnONPs differing in shape and surface coating displayed similar toxicity in X. laevis embryos and shared the same target organ. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude that the physico-chemical characteristics may influence the severity of such effects. Further research efforts are mandatory to ensure the synthesis of safer nano-ZnO-containing products. PMID:26225989

  13. Comparative study of diclofenac-induced embryotoxicity and teratogenesis in Xenopus laevis and Lithobates catesbeianus, using the frog embryo teratogenesis assay: Xenopus (FETAX).

    PubMed

    Cardoso-Vera, Jesús Daniel; Islas-Flores, Hariz; SanJuan-Reyes, Nely; Montero-Castro, Elena Irabella; Galar-Martínez, Marcela; García-Medina, Sandra; Elizalde-Velázquez, Armando; Dublán-García, Octavio; Gómez-Oliván, Leobardo Manuel

    2017-01-01

    Water is an increasingly deteriorated, limited natural resource due to population increase and industrialization. Also, the widespread use of pharmaceuticals in modern society leads to their presence in domestic, hospital and industrial effluents. Due to their analgesic properties, some of the most commonly used pharmaceuticals are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). High concentrations of one these products, diclofenac (DCF), have been detected in effluents and water bodies of different countries, including Mexico. Diverse studies show that trace amounts (ngL(-1) to μgL(-1)) of this compound induce toxicity on aquatic organisms such as algae, microcrustaceans and fish. However, studies on its potential toxicity during development in species of commercial interest such as the American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus are scarce. The present study aimed to evaluate DCF-induced teratogenesis and embryotoxicity in Xenopus laevis and L. catesbeianus, a species marketed as a nutritional meat source in Mexico, using the frog embryo teratogenesis assay: Xenopus (FETAX). Oocytes in mid-blastula transition were exposed for 96h to 1, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 62.5mgDCFL(-1). The criteria evaluated were mortality, malformation and growth inhibition. The teratogenic index was 4.2 in L. catesbeianus, three-fold higher than the reference limit (1.5), and 3.9 in X. laevis. Diclofenac induced diverse malformations in both species, the most frequent of these being axial malformations in the tail and notochord, edema and stunted growth. Results indicate that DCF is a potentially teratogenic compound and is toxic during development in X. laevis and L. catesbeianus, a species which, due to its sensitivity, can be used to evaluate the toxicity of pharmaceutical products, using FETAX.

  14. Thyroid Hormone-Induced Activation of Notch Signaling is Required for Adult Intestinal Stem Cell Development During Xenopus Laevis Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Hasebe, Takashi; Fujimoto, Kenta; Kajita, Mitsuko; Fu, Liezhen; Shi, Yun-Bo; Ishizuya-Oka, Atsuko

    2016-11-21

    In Xenopus laevis intestine during metamorphosis, the larval epithelial cells are removed by apoptosis, and the adult epithelial stem (AE) cells appear concomitantly. They proliferate and differentiate to form the adult epithelium (Ep). Thyroid hormone (TH) is well established to trigger this remodeling by regulating the expression of various genes including Notch receptor. To study the role of Notch signaling, we have analyzed the expression of its components, including the ligands (DLL and Jag), receptor (Notch), and targets (Hairy), in the metamorphosing intestine by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry. We show that they are up-regulated during both natural and TH-induced metamorphosis in a tissue-specific manner. Particularly, Hairy1 is specifically expressed in the AE cells. Moreover, up-regulation of Hairy1 and Hairy2b by TH was prevented by treating tadpoles with a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI), which inhibits Notch signaling. More importantly, TH-induced up-regulation of LGR5, an adult intestinal stem cell marker, was suppressed by GSI treatment. Our results suggest that Notch signaling plays a role in stem cell development by regulating the expression of Hairy genes during intestinal remodeling. Furthermore, we show with organ culture experiments that prolonged exposure of tadpole intestine to TH plus GSI leads to hyperplasia of secretory cells and reduction of absorptive cells. Our findings here thus provide evidence for evolutionarily conserved role of Notch signaling in intestinal cell fate determination but more importantly reveal, for the first time, an important role of Notch pathway in the formation of adult intestinal stem cells during vertebrate development. Stem Cells 2016.

  15. Blastomeres show differential fate changes in 8-cell Xenopus laevis embryos that are rotated 90 degrees before first cleavage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, S.; Johnson, K. E.; Wang, H. Z.

    1998-01-01

    To study the mechanisms of dorsal axis specification, the alteration in dorsal cell fate of cleavage stage blastomeres in axis-respecified Xenopus laevis embryos was investigated. Fertilized eggs were rotated 90 degrees with the sperm entry point up or down with respect to the gravitational field. At the 8-cell stage, blastomeres were injected with the lineage tracers, Texas Red- or FITC-Dextran Amines. The distribution of the labeled progeny was mapped at the tail-bud stages (stages 35-38) and compared with the fate map of an 8-cell embryo raised in a normal orientation. As in the normal embryos, each blastomere in the rotated embryos has a characteristic and predictable cell fate. After 90 degrees rotation the blastomeres in the 8-cell stage embryo roughly switched their position by 90 degrees, but the fate of the blastomeres did not simply show a 90 degrees switch appropriate for their new location. Four types of fate change were observed: (i) the normal fate of the blastomere is conserved with little change; (ii) the normal fate is completely changed and a new fate is adopted according to the blastomere's new position: (iii) the normal fate is completely changed, but the new fate is not appropriate for its new position; and (4) the blastomere partially changed its fate and the new fate is a combination of its original fate and a fate appropriate to its new location. According to the changed fates, the blastomeres that adopt dorsal fates were identified in rotated embryos. This identification of dorsal blastomeres provides basic important information for further study of dorsal signaling in Xenopus embryos.

  16. Dual innervation of end-plate sites and its consequences for neuromuscular transmission in muscles of adult Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Angaut-Petit, D; Mallart, A

    1979-01-01

    1. Electrophysiological study of dually innervated end-plate sites was carried out in Xenopus laevis pectoral muscle fibres. End-plate potentials (e.p.p.s) and miniature end-plate potentials (m.e.p.p.s) have been recorded in Mg-blocked preparations. 2. The mean quantal content (m) of each e.p.p. at dually innervated end-plates was significantly smaller than the corresponding values obtained at singly innervated ones. At a given doubly innervated end-plate site the values of m tended to be inversely related, so that the compound value of m (obtained by adding them) was in the same range as that found in singly innervated junctions. These findings were taken to suggest the existence of an upper limit in the average amount of transmitter released at a synaptic site. 3. It was found that neither intermittent presynaptic conduction block, nor particular muscle fibre properties could account for the low values of m in dual end plates. The small size of the nerve terminals appears to be the most likely explanation. 4. The sensitivity to acetylcholine and muscle fibre electrical properties were investigated; no differences were found between fibres with sub- or suprathreshold e.p.p.s. 5. The nature of the factors responsible for this presumed small size of the nerve endings (competition between nerve endings for a limited synaptic space on the muscle membrane or reciprocal interaction between closely located terminals) as well as the possible origins of polyinnervation are discussed. PMID:222897

  17. Acute and Chronic Outcomes of Gas-Bubble Disease in a Colony of African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Tsai, Julia Y; Felt, Stephen A; Bouley, Donna M; Green, Sherril L

    2017-02-01

    Gas-bubble disease occurs in aquatic species that are exposed to water that is supersaturated with gases. In February 2007, municipal water supersaturated with gas was inadvertently pumped into the vivarium's aquatic housing systems and affected approximately 450 adult female Xenopus laevis. The inflow of supersaturated water was stopped immediately, the holding tanks aggressively aerated, and all experimental manipulations and feeding ceased. Within the first 6 h after the event, morbidity approached 90%, and mortality reached 3.5%. Acutely affected frogs showed clinical signs of gas-bubble disease: buoyancy problems, micro- and macroscopic bubbles in the foot webbing, hyperemia in foot webbing and leg skin, and loss of the mucous slime coat. All of the frogs that died or were euthanized had areas of mesenteric infarction, which resulted in intestinal epithelial necrosis and degeneration of the muscular tunic. Over the subsequent 2 wk, as gas saturation levels returned to normal, the clinical symptoms resolved completely in the remaining frogs. However, 3 mo later, 85% of them failed to lay eggs or produce oocytes, and the remaining 15% produced oocytes of low number and poor quality, yielding cytosolic extracts with poor to no enzymatic activity. Histology of the egg mass from a single 2- to 3-y-old frog at 3 mo after disease resolution revealed irregularly shaped oocytes, few large mature oocytes, and numerous small, degenerating oocytes. At 6 mo after the incident, the remaining frogs continued to fail to produce eggs of sufficient quantity or quality after hormonal priming. The researchers consequently opted to cull the remainder of the colony and repopulate with new frogs.

  18. Ontogeny of hypoxic modulation of cardiac performance and its allometry in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Pan, T-C Francis; Burggren, Warren W

    2013-01-01

    The ontogeny of cardiac hypoxic responses, and how such responses may be modified by rearing environment, are poorly understood in amphibians. In this study, cardiac performance was investigated in Xenopus laevis from 2 to 25 days post-fertilization (dpf). Larvae were reared under either normoxia or moderate hypoxia (PO₂ = 110 mmHg), and each population was assessed in both normoxia and acute hypoxia. Heart rate (f(H)) of normoxic-reared larvae exhibited an early increase from 77 ± 1 beats min⁻¹ at 2 dpf to 153 ± 1 beats min⁻¹ at 4 dpf, followed by gradual decreases to 123 ± 3 beats min⁻¹ at 25 dpf. Stroke volume (SV), 6 ± 1 nl, and cardiac output (CO), 0.8 ± 0.1 μl min⁻¹, at 5 dpf both increased by more than 40-fold to 25 dpf with rapid larval growth (~30-fold increase in body mass). When exposed to acute hypoxia, normoxic-reared larvae increased f(H) and CO between 5 and 25 dpf. Increased SV in acute hypoxia, produced by increased end-diastolic volume (EDV), only occurred before 10 dpf. Hypoxic-reared larvae showed decreased acute hypoxic responses of EDV, SV and CO at 7 and 10 dpf. Over the period of 2-25 dpf, cardiac scaling with mass showed scaling coefficients of -0.04 (f(H)), 1.23 (SV) and 1.19 (CO), contrary to the cardiac scaling relationships described in birds and mammals. In addition, f(H) scaling in hypoxic-reared larvae was altered to a shallower slope of -0.01. Collectively, these results indicate that acute cardiac hypoxic responses develop before 5 dpf. Chronic hypoxia at a moderate level can not only modulate this cardiac reflex, but also changes cardiac scaling relationship with mass.

  19. Evidence for a cooperative role of gelatinase A and membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase during Xenopus laevis development.

    PubMed

    Hasebe, Takashi; Hartman, Rebecca; Fu, Liezhen; Amano, Tosikazu; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2007-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of extracellular or membrane-bound proteases. Their ability to cleave extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins has implicated a role in ECM remodeling to affect cell fate and behavior during development and in pathogenesis. We have shown previously that membrane-type 1 (MT1)-MMP [corrected] is coexpressed temporally and spatially with the MMP gelatinase A (GelA) in all cell types of the intestine and tail where GelA is expressed during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis, suggesting a cooperative role of these MMPs in development. Here, we show that Xenopus GelA and MT1-MMP interact with each other in vivo and that overexpression of MT1-MMP and GelA together in Xenopus embryos leads to the activation of pro-GelA. We further show that both MMPs are expressed during Xenopus embryogenesis, although MT1-MMP gene is expressed earlier than the GelA gene. To investigate whether the embryonic MMPs play a role in development, we have studied whether precocious expression of these MMPs alters development. Our results show that overexpression of both MMPs causes developmental abnormalities and embryonic death by a mechanism that requires the catalytic activity of the MMPs. More importantly, we show that coexpression of wild type MT1-MMP and GelA leads to a cooperative effect on embryonic development and that this cooperative effect is abolished when the catalytic activity of either MMP is eliminated through a point mutation in the catalytic domain. Thus, our studies support a cooperative role of these MMPs in embryonic development, likely through the activation of pro-GelA by MT1-MMP.

  20. Characterization of the platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase from human plasma by heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Y; Stafforini, D M; Imaizumi, T; Zimmerman, G A; McIntyre, T M; Prescott, S M

    1994-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) has been implicated as a mediator of inflammation and atherosclerosis. A specific degradative enzyme found in plasma, PAF acetylhydrolase, plays important roles in various pathophysiological events induced by PAF. Human macrophages and Hep G2 cells secrete PAF acetylhydrolase with characteristics identical to the plasma activity. Other investigators reported that apolipoprotein B may possess phospholipase A2 activity, which suggested that apolipoprotein B might be a zymogen for PAF acetylhydrolase. However, while macrophages express PAF acetylhydrolase activity, we did not detect cDNAs for apolipoprotein B in a cDNA library from these cells, indicating that macrophages do not express this protein. In contrast, Hep G2 cells had high levels of cDNA for apolipoprotein B, as expected. We next injected Xenopus laevis oocytes with poly(A)+ RNA extracted from cultured human macrophages and Hep G2 cells. Twenty-five to 50% of Xenopus oocytes injected with poly(A)+ RNA from macrophages or Hep G2 cells secreted a PAF acetylhydrolase activity (1.0-7.8 nmol/ml per h) that also utilized a synthetic oxidized phospholipid as substrate. The activity secreted by poly(A)+ RNA-injected oocytes associated with lipoproteins and transferred between the particles in a pH-dependent manner, much like the plasma activity. These experiments establish that the properties of the enzyme released from poly(A)+ RNA-injected oocytes are identical to those of the plasma form of PAF acetylhydrolase and that the activity detected is not the expression of a domain in apolipoprotein B. Images PMID:7937948

  1. Effects of cadmium on growth, metamorphosis and gonadal sex differentiation in tadpoles of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Bibek; Patino, Reynaldo

    2009-01-01

    Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed to cadmium (Cd) at 0, 1, 8. 85 or 860 mu g L(-1) in FETAX medium from 0 to 86 d postfertilization. Premetamorphic tadpoles were sampled on day 3 1; pre and prometamorphic tadpoles on day 49; and frogs (NF stage 66) between days 50 and 86. Survival, snout-vent length (SVL), tail length, total length, hindlimb length (HLL), initiation of metamorphic climax, size at and completion of metamorphosis, and gonadal condition and sex ratio (assessed histologically) were determined. Survival was unaffected by Cd until day 49, but increased mortality was observed after day 49 at 860 mu g Cd L(-1). On day 31, when tadpoles were in early premetamorphosis, inhibitory effects on tadpole growth were observed only at 860 mu g Cd L(-1). On day 49, when most tadpoles where in late premetamorphosis/early prometamorphosis, reductions in SVL, HLL and total length were observed at 8 and 860 but not 85 mu g L(-1), thus creating a U-shaped size distribution at 0-85 mu g Cd L(-1). However, this U-shaped size pattern was not evident in postmetamorphic individuals. In fact, frog size at completion of metamorphosis was slightly smaller at 85 mu g Cd L(-1) relative to control animals. These observations confirmed a recent report of a Cd concentration-dependent bimodal growth pattern in late-premetamorphic Xenopus tadpoles, but also showed that growth responses to varying Cd concentrations change with development. The fraction of animals initiating or completing metamorphosis during days 50-86 was reduced in a Cd concentration-dependent manner. Testicular histology and population sex ratios were unaffected by Cd suggesting that, unlike mammals, Cd is not strongly estrogenic in Xenopus tadpoles.

  2. Effects of cadmium on growth, metamorphosis and gonadal sex differentiation in tadpoles of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Bibek; Patino, R.

    2009-01-01

    Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed to cadmium (Cd) at 0, 1, 8, 85 or 860 ??g L-1 in FETAX medium from 0 to 86 d postfertilization. Premetamorphic tadpoles were sampled on day 31; pre and prometamorphic tadpoles on day 49; and frogs (NF stage 66) between days 50 and 86. Survival, snout-vent length (SVL), tail length, total length, hindlimb length (HLL), initiation of metamorphic climax, size at and completion of metamorphosis, and gonadal condition and sex ratio (assessed histologically) were determined. Survival was unaffected by Cd until day 49, but increased mortality was observed after day 49 at 860 ??g Cd L-1. On day 31, when tadpoles were in early premetamorphosis, inhibitory effects on tadpole growth were observed only at 860 ??g Cd L-1. On day 49, when most tadpoles where in late premetamorphosis/early prometamorphosis, reductions in SVL, HLL and total length were observed at 8 and 860 but not 85 ??g L-1, thus creating a U-shaped size distribution at 0-85 ??g Cd L-1. However, this U-shaped size pattern was not evident in postmetamorphic individuals. In fact, frog size at completion of metamorphosis was slightly smaller at 85 ??g Cd L-1relative to control animals. These observations confirmed a recent report of a Cd concentration-dependent bimodal growth pattern in late-premetamorphic Xenopus tadpoles, but also showed that growth responses to varying Cd concentrations change with development. The fraction of animals initiating or completing metamorphosis during days 50-86 was reduced in a Cd concentration-dependent manner. Testicular histology and population sex ratios were unaffected by Cd suggesting that, unlike mammals, Cd is not strongly estrogenic in Xenopus tadpoles. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  3. The role of voltage-gated calcium channels in neurotransmitter phenotype specification: Coexpression and functional analysis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Brittany B; Miller, Lauren E; Herbst, Wendy A; Saha, Margaret S

    2014-08-01

    Calcium activity has been implicated in many neurodevelopmental events, including the specification of neurotransmitter phenotypes. Higher levels of calcium activity lead to an increased number of inhibitory neural phenotypes, whereas lower levels of calcium activity lead to excitatory neural phenotypes. Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) allow for rapid calcium entry and are expressed during early neural stages, making them likely regulators of activity-dependent neurotransmitter phenotype specification. To test this hypothesis, multiplex fluorescent in situ hybridization was used to characterize the coexpression of eight VGCC α1 subunits with the excitatory and inhibitory neural markers xVGlut1 and xVIAAT in Xenopus laevis embryos. VGCC coexpression was higher with xVGlut1 than xVIAAT, especially in the hindbrain, spinal cord, and cranial nerves. Calcium activity was also analyzed on a single-cell level, and spike frequency was correlated with the expression of VGCC α1 subunits in cell culture. Cells expressing Cav 2.1 and Cav 2.2 displayed increased calcium spiking compared with cells not expressing this marker. The VGCC antagonist diltiazem and agonist (-)BayK 8644 were used to manipulate calcium activity. Diltiazem exposure increased the number of glutamatergic cells and decreased the number of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic cells, whereas (-)BayK 8644 exposure decreased the number of glutamatergic cells without having an effect on the number of GABAergic cells. Given that the expression and functional manipulation of VGCCs are correlated with neurotransmitter phenotype in some, but not all, experiments, VGCCs likely act in combination with a variety of other signaling factors to determine neuronal phenotype specification.

  4. Expression profiles of LHbeta, FSHbeta and their gonadal receptor mRNAs during sexual differentiation of Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Urbatzka, R; Lorenz, C; Lutz, I; Kloas, W

    2010-09-01

    The gonadotropins, luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), are important hormones regulating reproductive biology in vertebrates, especially the processes of steroidogenesis and gamete maturation. Despite the role of gonadotropins during the reproductive cycle in amphibians is well established, much less is known about the functional maturation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis during larval development. Therefore, the present study aimed to analyze the expression profiles of hypophyseal LHbeta and FSHbeta mRNA and of their corresponding gonadal receptors (LH-R, FSH-R) in Xenopus laevis tadpoles during their ontogeny and sexual differentiation. The first significant elevation of LHbeta and FSHbeta mRNA was observed at late premetamorphosis. A clear raise of LHbeta mRNA was present during prometamorphic stages especially in males, while the LH-R only slowly increased during ontogeny with highest levels during metamorphic climax. In contrast, FSHbeta mRNA expression only slightly increased during ontogeny, however in both sexes the FSH-R mRNA was considerably elevated at prometamorphosis and further at metamorphic climax. Our results suggest that LHbeta and LH-R mRNA expression might be involved in initial maturation events of gametes, at least in males, while the gradually increase of FSH-R mRNA coincided with the advancing process of gamete maturation in both sexes. The present study provides for the first time evidence based on expression of gonadotropins and their corresponding gonadal receptors that the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis evolves already at early stages of ontogeny and sexual differentiation in amphibians.

  5. Expression, Purification, and Structural Insights for the Human Uric Acid Transporter, GLUT9, Using the Xenopus laevis Oocytes System

    PubMed Central

    Clémençon, Benjamin; Lüscher, Benjamin P.; Fine, Michael; Baumann, Marc U.; Surbek, Daniel V.; Bonny, Olivier; Hediger, Matthias A.

    2014-01-01

    The urate transporter, GLUT9, is responsible for the basolateral transport of urate in the proximal tubule of human kidneys and in the placenta, playing a central role in uric acid homeostasis. GLUT9 shares the least homology with other members of the glucose transporter family, especially with the glucose transporting members GLUT1-4 and is the only member of the GLUT family to transport urate. The recently published high-resolution structure of XylE, a bacterial D-xylose transporting homologue, yields new insights into the structural foundation of this GLUT family of proteins. While this represents a huge milestone, it is unclear if human GLUT9 can benefit from this advancement through subsequent structural based targeting and mutagenesis. Little progress has been made toward understanding the mechanism of GLUT9 since its discovery in 2000. Before work can begin on resolving the mechanisms of urate transport we must determine methods to express, purify and analyze hGLUT9 using a model system adept in expressing human membrane proteins. Here, we describe the surface expression, purification and isolation of monomeric protein, and functional analysis of recombinant hGLUT9 using the Xenopus laevis oocyte system. In addition, we generated a new homology-based high-resolution model of hGLUT9 from the XylE crystal structure and utilized our purified protein to generate a low-resolution single particle reconstruction. Interestingly, we demonstrate that the functional protein extracted from the Xenopus system fits well with the homology-based model allowing us to generate the predicted urate-binding pocket and pave a path for subsequent mutagenesis and structure-function studies. PMID:25286413

  6. Characterization of cadmium chloride-induced BiP accumulation in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Shirriff, Cody S; Heikkila, John J

    2017-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress can result in the accumulation of unfolded/misfolded protein in the ER lumen, which can trigger the unfolded protein response (UPR) resulting in the activation of various genes including immunoglobulin-binding protein (BiP; also known as glucose-regulated protein 78 or HSPA5). BiP, an ER heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) family member, binds to unfolded protein, inhibits their aggregation and re-folds them in an ATP-dependent manner. While cadmium, an environmental contaminant, was shown to induce the accumulation of HSP70 in vertebrate cells, less information is available regarding the effect of this metal on BiP accumulation or function. In this study, cadmium chloride treatment of Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells induced a dose- and time-dependent increase in BiP, HSP70 and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) accumulation. Exposure of cells to a relatively low cadmium concentration at a mild heat shock temperature of 30°C greatly enhanced BiP and HSP70 accumulation compared to cadmium at 22°C. Treatment of cells with the glutathione synthesis inhibitor, buthionine sulfoximine, enhanced cadmium-induced BiP and HSP70 accumulation. Immunocytochemistry revealed that cadmium-induced BiP accumulation occurred in a punctate pattern in the perinuclear region. In some cells treated with cadmium chloride or the proteasomal inhibitor, MG132, large BiP complexes were observed that co-localized with aggregated protein or aggresome-like structures. These BiP/aggresome-like structures were also observed in cells treated simultaneously with cadmium at 30°C or in the presence of buthionine sulfoximine. In amphibians, the association of BiP with unfolded protein and its possible role in aggresome function may be vital in the maintenance of cellular proteostasis.

  7. Pou5f3.2-induced proliferative state of embryonic cells during gastrulation of Xenopus laevis embryo.

    PubMed

    Nishitani, Eriko; Li, Chong; Lee, Jaehoon; Hotta, Hiroyo; Katayama, Yuta; Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Kinoshita, Tsutomu

    2015-12-01

    POU class V (POU-V) transcription factors play the important role in maintenance of pluripotency and cell differentiation. Pou5f3.2 (Oct25), one of Xenopus POU-V transcription factors, shows the zygotic expression prior to gastrulation. In order to know the molecular mechanism of pou5f3.2 expression at gastrula stage, we examined a responsiveness of pou5f3.2 to Nodal signaling. Animal cap assay demonstrated that Xnr2 activates the gene expression of pou5f3.2. In comparative analysis of the 5'-flanking region of pou5f3.2 between Xenopus laevis and X. tropicalis, two conserved regions were detected within the flanking region. Reporter analyses showed that one of the conserved regions contained an enhancer region, which had several Smad2/3 and FoxH1 binding motifs. ChIP assay demonstrated that Smad2 binds to the enhancer region. These results suggest that Nodal signaling induces zygotic expression of pou5f3.2 at gastrula stage. To understand a role of pou5f3.2 in gastrula embryos, morpholino oligo DNA of pou5f3.2 was injected into the lateral side of one blastomere at the 2-cell stage. The morphant embryos showed diminution of Xbra1 expression and gastrulation defect in the injection side, suggesting the essential role of pou5f3.2 at the gastrula stage. Xbra1 expression and gastrulation were also inhibited by injecting with the synthesized RNAs of pou5f3.2. Furthermore, in the pou5f3.2-injected embryo, gene expression of p27Xic1 was drastically suppressed, and the number of dividing cells increased in the injection side. These results suggest that one role of pou5f3.2 is to keep the embryonic cells in undifferentiated and proliferative state during gastrulation.

  8. Methylmercury Exposure during Early Xenopus laevis Development Affects Cell Proliferation and Death but not Neural Progenitor Specification

    PubMed Central

    Huyck, Ryan W.; Nagarkar, Maitreyi; Olsen, Nina; Clamons, Samuel E.; Saha, Margaret S.

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a widespread environmental toxin that preferentially and adversely affects developing organisms. To investigate the impact of MeHg toxicity on the formation of the vertebrate nervous system at physiologically relevant concentrations, we designed a graded phenotype scale for evaluating Xenopus laevis embryos exposed to MeHg in solution. Embryos displayed a range of abnormalities in response to MeHg, particularly in brain development, which is influenced by both MeHg concentration and the number of embryos per ml of exposure solution. A TC50 of ~50 μg/l and LC50 of ~100 μg/l were found when maintaining embryos at a density of one per ml, and both increased with increasing embryo density. In situ hybridization and microarray analysis showed no significant change in expression of early neural patterning genes including sox2, en2, or delta; however a noticeable decrease was observed in the terminal neural differentiation genes GAD and xGAT, but not xVGlut. PCNA, a marker for proliferating cells, was negatively correlated with MeHg dose, with a significant reduction in cell number in the forebrain and spinal cord of exposed embryos by tadpole stages. Conversely, the number of apoptotic cells in neural regions detected by a TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling) assay was significantly increased. These results provide evidence that disruption of embryonic neural development by MeHg may not be directly due to a loss of neural progenitor specification and gene transcription, but to a more general decrease in cell proliferation and increase in cell death throughout the developing nervous system. PMID:25496965

  9. Different forms of soluble cytoplasmic mRNA binding proteins and particles in Xenopus laevis oocytes and embryos

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    To gain insight into the mechanisms involved in the formation of maternally stored mRNPs during Xenopus laevis development, we searched for soluble cytoplasmic proteins of the oocyte that are able to selectively bind mRNAs, using as substrate radiolabeled mRNA. In vitro mRNP assembly in solution was followed by UV-cross-linking and RNase digestion, resulting in covalent tagging of polypeptides by nucleotide transfer. Five polypeptides of approximately 54, 56 60, 70, and 100 kD (p54, p56, p60, p70, and p100) have been found to selectively bind mRNA and assemble into mRNPs. These polypeptides, which correspond to previously described native mRNP components, occur in three different particle classes of approximately 4.5S, approximately 6S, and approximately 15S, as also determined by their reactions with antibodies against p54 and p56. Whereas the approximately 4.5S class contains p42, p60, and p70, probably each in the form of individual molecules or small complexes, the approximately 6S particles appears to consist only of p54 and p56, which occur in a near-stoichiometric ratio suggestive of a heterodimer complex. The approximately 15S particles contain, in addition to p54 and p56, p60 and p100 and this is the single occurring form of RNA-binding p100. We have also observed changes in the in vitro mRNA binding properties of these polypeptides during oogenesis and early embryonic development, in relation to their phosphorylation state and to the activity of an approximately 15S particle-associated protein kinase, suggesting that these proteins are involved in the developmental translational regulation of maternal mRNAs. PMID:1670777

  10. Optomotor behaviour in Xenopus laevis tadpoles as a measure of the effect of gravity on visual and vestibular neural integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pronych, S. P.; Souza, K. A.; Neff, A. W.; Wassersug, R. J.

    1996-01-01

    The ability of aquatic vertebrates to maintain their position requires integration of visual and vestibular sensory information. To understand better how aquatic animals integrate such information, we measured the optomotor behaviour of Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in growth chambers in microgravity (< 10(-3)g), normal gravity (1 g), hypergravity (3 g) and on a slowly rotating clinostat (simulated microgravity). The goal of this research was to determine how development in an altered gravitational force field affects the visual- and vestibular-dependent behaviour of tadpoles. This research represents the first time that the optomotor behaviour of an organism raised from fertilization in microgravity has been tested. Significant differences were observed in the optomotor behaviour among the four gravity treatments. When first exposed to normal gravity, the microgravity-raised tadpoles exhibited the strongest (or most positive) optomotor behaviour, while the 3 g centrifuge tadpoles showed no optomotor response. Some abnormal behaviours (such as erratic swimming, lying motionless and abnormal swimming posture) were observed in the tadpoles raised in altered gravity on the initial day of testing. One day later, the tadpoles raised in hypergravity did not differ significantly in their optomotor behaviour from control tadpoles raised in normal gravity. However, tadpoles raised in microgravity still displayed an exaggerated optomotor response. One week after the tadpoles had been introduced to normal gravity, there was no longer a significant difference in optomotor behaviour among the different gravity treatments. This convergence of optomotor behaviour by tadpoles from the different treatment reflects the acclimation of their vestibular systems to normal gravity.

  11. Distinct responses of chloroplasts to blue and green laser microbeam irradiations in the centric diatom Pleurosira laevis.

    PubMed

    Shihira-Ishikawa, Ikuko; Nakamura, Takanori; Higashi, Sho-ichi; Watanabe, Masakatsu

    2007-01-01

    The centric diatom Pleurosira laevis is a large unicellular alga, in which ca 200 chloroplasts migrate toward the nuclear cytoplasm through the transvacuolar cytoplasmic strands in response to blue-light irradiation and, on the contrary, toward the cortical cytoplasm in response to green-light irradiation. We analyzed these light-induced chloroplast migrations using a scanning laser microbeam provided by a confocal microscope for intracellular irradiation. Spot irradiation of a blue laser microbeam induced rapid assemblage of chroloplasts into the nuclear cytoplasm regardless of the spot position and spot number. On the other hand, one or two spots of green laser microbeam induced chloroplast accumulation at the spots, although increasing spot numbers suppressed chloroplast accumulation at each spot. In our experimental condition, ca 1 min of blue-light irradiation was sufficient to stimulate movement, whereas green-light irradiation required uninterrupted and longer irradiation time (ca 15 min). Chloroplast assemblage induced by blue-light required extracellular Ca2+, and was inhibited by Ca2+ channel antagonists. Furthermore, higher efficiencies of chloroplast migration were obtained when a single beam spot was fragmented and scattered over wider area of plasma membrane. These observations suggested that blue-light induced a response at the plasma membrane, which subsequently activated Ca2+ permeable channels. This sequence of physiological events is identical to what was previously observed with chloroplast movement in response to mechanical stimulation. Furthermore, experiments with the cytoskeleton-disrupting agents, colchicine and cytochalasin D, indicated that blue-light-induced chloroplast movement required microtubules whereas the green-light-induced response to beam spot required actin filaments.

  12. cis- and trans-acting elements of the estrogen-regulated vitellogenin gene B1 of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Wahli, W; Martinez, E; Corthésy, B; Cardinaux, J R

    1989-01-01

    Vitellogenin genes are expressed under strict estrogen control in the liver of female oviparous vertebrates. Gene transfer experiments using estrogen-responsive cells have shown that the 13 bp perfect palindromic element GGTCACTGTGACC found upstream of the Xenopus laevis vitellogenin gene A2 promoter mediates hormonal stimulation and thus, was called the estrogen-responsive element (ERE). In the Xenopus vitellogenin genes B1 and B2 there are two closely adjacent EREs with one or more base substitutions when compared to the consensus ERE GGTCANNNTGACC. On their own, these degenerated elements have only a low or no regulatory capacity at all but act together synergistically to form an estrogen-responsive unit (ERU) with the same strength as the perfect palindromic 13 bp element. Analysis of estrogen receptor binding to the gene B1 ERU revealed a cooperative interaction of receptor dimers to the two adjacent imperfect EREs which most likely explains the synergistic stimulation observed in vivo. Furthermore, a promoter activator element located between positions --113 and --42 of the gene B1 and functional in the human MCF-7 and the Xenopus B3.2 cells has been identified and shown to be involved in the high level of induced transcription activity when the ERE is placed at a distance from the promoter. Finally, a hormone-controlled in vitro transcription system derived from Xenopus liver nuclear extracts was exploited to characterize two additional novel cis-acting elements within the vitellogenin gene B1 promoter. One of them, a negative regulatory element (NRE), is responsible for repression of promoter activity in the absence of hormone. The second is related to the NF-I binding site and is required, together with the ERE, to mediate hormonal induction. Moreover, we detected three trans-acting activities in Xenopus liver nuclear extracts that interact with these regions and demonstrated that they participate in the regulation of the expression of the vitellogenin

  13. Relation between force and calcium ion concentration in different fibre types of the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Stienen, G J; van der Laarse, W J; Diegenbach, P C; Elzinga, G

    1987-01-01

    Calcium activated isometric force was measured in segments of single muscle fibres of the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis skinned by freeze-drying. A subdivision in five different fibre types was made, based on the location of the fibres inside the muscle, fibre diameter and a quantitative histochemical assay for succinate dehydrogenase activity. The Ca2+ sensitivity was characterized by fitting a Hill curve to the force levels reached at different Ca2+ concentrations. The parameter n of this equation indicates the steepness and pK the midpoint of this force-pCa relation. A considerable variability in the Ca2+ sensitivity characteristics was found between different fibres. The parameter n varied between 1.1 and 4.2 while pK varied between 5.5 and 6.6. The distribution of the data indicates the presence of three groups with different Ca2+ sensitivity; a group of fibres with low Ca2+ sensitivity but with considerable variation of the steepness of the Ca2+ sensitivity curves (type 1 fibres), an intermediate group (type 2, 3 and 4 fibres) with also considerable variation in steepness of the Ca2+ sensitivity curves, in which the lowest values for n are found in type 3 and 4 fibres and a group with high Ca2+ sensitivity and low n containing at least one tonic (type 5) fibre. At sub-saturating Ca2+ concentrations occasionally a transient decrease of the rate of force development was found which resembled the force oscillation reported for some mammalian muscle fibres.

  14. On–off asymmetries in oxygen consumption kinetics of single Xenopus laevis skeletal muscle fibres suggest higher-order control

    PubMed Central

    Wüst, Rob CI; van der Laarse, Willem J; Rossiter, Harry B

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms controlling skeletal muscle oxygen consumption () during exercise are not well understood. We determined whether first-order control could explain kinetics at contractions onset () and cessation () in single skeletal muscle fibres differing in oxidative capacity, and across stimulation intensities up to . Xenopus laevis fibres (n= 21) were suspended in a sealed chamber with a fast response electrode to measure every second before, during and after stimulated isometric contractions. A first-order model did not well characterise on-transient kinetics. Including a time delay (TD) in the model provided a significantly improved characterisation than a first-order fit without TD (F-ratio; P < 0.05), and revealed separate ‘activation’ and ‘exponential’ phases in 15/21 fibres contracting at (mean ± SD TD: 14 ± 3 s). On-transient kinetics () was weakly and linearly related to (R2= 0.271, P= 0.015). Off-transient kinetics, however, were first-order, and was greater in low-oxidative ( < 0.05 nmol mm−3 s−1) than high-oxidative fibres ( > 0.10 nmol mm−3 s−1; 170 ± 70 vs. 29 ± 6 s, P < 0.001). was proportional to (R2= 0.727, P < 0.001), unlike in the on-transient. The calculated oxygen deficit was larger (P < 0.05) than the post-contraction volume of consumed oxygen at all intensities except . These data show a clear dissociation between the kinetic control of at the onset and cessation of contractions and across stimulation intensities. More complex models are therefore required to understand the activation of mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle at the start of exercise. PMID:23165768

  15. ATP formation and ATP hydrolysis during fatiguing, intermittent stimulation of different types of single muscle fibres from Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Nagesser, A S; Van der Laarse, W J; Elzinga, G

    1993-12-01

    This report describes changes of the rate of ATP hydrolysis in single, intact muscle fibres during the development of fatigue induced by intermittent tetanic stimulation. High (type 3) and low (type 1) oxidative muscle fibres dissected from the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis were studied at 20 degrees C. The rate of ATP hydrolysis was calculated during different time intervals from changes in the content of nucleotides, creatine compounds and lactate, as well as lactate efflux and oxygen uptake. During the first phase of intermittent stimulation, phosphocreatine is fully reduced while the rate of oxygen consumption increases to its maximum, the lactate content increases to a maximum level, and a small amount of IMP is formed; the rate of ATP hydrolysis in type 3 fibres is constant while force decreases, whereas the rate decreases approximately in proportion to force in type 1 fibres. After the first phase, the rate of ATP hydrolysis in type 3 fibres decreases slightly and the fibres reach a steady metabolic state in which the rates of ATP formation and hydrolysis are equal; in type 1 fibres a drastic change of the rate of ATP hydrolysis occurs and a steady metabolic state is not reached. On the basis of the time courses of the metabolic changes, it is concluded that the rate of ATP hydrolysis in type 3 fibres is reduced by acidification and/or a reduced calcium efflux from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, whereas in type 1 fibres inorganic phosphate and/or acidification inhibit the rate initially and ADP is a likely candidate to explain the drastic fall of the rate of ATP hydrolysis during late phases of fatiguing stimulation.

  16. Aqueous leaf extracts display endocrine activities in vitro and disrupt sexual differentiation of male Xenopus laevis tadpoles in vivo.

    PubMed

    Hermelink, Björn; Urbatzka, Ralph; Wiegand, Claudia; Pflugmacher, Stephan; Lutz, Ilka; Kloas, Werner

    2010-09-01

    The occurrence of natural substances acting as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC) in the environment is to date poorly understood. Therefore, (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic activities of three different aqueous leaf extracts (beech, reed and oak) were analyzed in vitro using yeast androgen and estrogen screen. The most potent extract was selected for in vivo exposure of Xenopus laevis tadpoles to analyze the potential effects on development and reproductive biology of amphibians. Tadpoles were exposed from stage 48 to stage 66 (end of metamorphosis) to aqueous oak leaf extracts covering natural occurring environmental concentrations of dissolved organic carbon. Gene expression analyses of selected genes of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad and of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis as well as histological investigation of gonads and thyroid glands were used to evaluate endocrine disrupting effects on the reproductive biology and development. Female tadpoles remained unaffected by the exposure whereas males showed severe significant histological alterations of testes at the two highest oak leaf extract concentrations demonstrated by the occurrence of lacunae and oogonia. In addition, a significant elevation of luteinizing hormone beta mRNA expression with increasing extract concentration in male tadpoles indicates an involvement of hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis mainly via antiandrogenic activity. These results suggest that antiandrogenic EDC of oak leaf extract are responsible for inducing the observed effects in male tadpoles. The present study demonstrates for the first time that in surface waters, natural occurring oak leaf compounds at environmentally relevant concentrations display antiandrogenic activities and have considerable effects on the endocrine system of anurans affecting sexual differentiation of male tadpoles.

  17. Differences in mobility at the range edge of an expanding invasive population of Xenopus laevis in the west of France.

    PubMed

    Louppe, Vivien; Courant, Julien; Herrel, Anthony

    2017-01-15

    Theoretical models predict that spatial sorting at the range edge of expanding populations should favor individuals with increased mobility relative to individuals at the center of the range. Despite the fact that empirical evidence for the evolution of locomotor performance at the range edge is rare, data on cane toads support this model. However, whether this can be generalized to other species remains largely unknown. Here, we provide data on locomotor stamina and limb morphology in individuals from two sites: one from the center and one from the periphery of an expanding population of the clawed frog Xenopus laevis in France where it was introduced about 30 years ago. Additionally, we provide data on the morphology of frogs from two additional sites to test whether the observed differences can be generalized across the range of this species in France. Given the known sexual size dimorphism in this species, we also test for differences between the sexes in locomotor performance and morphology. Our results show significant sexual dimorphism in stamina and morphology, with males having longer legs and greater stamina than females. Moreover, in accordance with the predictions from theoretical models, individuals from the range edge had a greater stamina. This difference in locomotor performance is likely to be driven by the significantly longer limb segments observed in animals in both sites sampled in different areas along the range edge. Our data have implications for conservation because spatial sorting on the range edge may lead to an accelerated increase in the spread of this invasive species in France.

  18. Xenopus laevis Oocytes as a Model System for Studying the Interaction Between Asbestos Fibres and Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Bernareggi, Annalisa; Ren, Elisa; Borelli, Violetta; Vita, Francesca; Constanti, Andrew; Zabucchi, Giuliano

    2015-06-01

    The mode of interaction of asbestos fibres with cell membranes is still debatable. One reason is the lack of a suitable and convenient cellular model to investigate the causes of asbestos toxicity. We studied the interaction of asbestos fibres with Xenopus laevis oocytes, using electrophysiological and morphological methods. Oocytes are large single cells, with a limited ability to endocytose molecular ligands; we therefore considered these cells to be a good model for investigating the nature of asbestos/membrane interactions. Electrophysiological recordings were performed to compare the passive electrical membrane properties, and those induced by applying positive or negative voltage steps, in untreated oocytes and those exposed to asbestos fibre suspensions. Ultrastructural analysis visualized in detail, any morphological changes of the surface membrane caused by the fibre treatment. Our results demonstrate that Amosite and Crocidolite-type asbestos fibres significantly modify the properties of the membrane, starting soon after exposure. Cells were routinely depolarized, their input resistance decreased, and the slow outward currents evoked by step depolarizations were dramatically enhanced. Reducing the availability of surface iron contained in the structure of the fibres with cation chelators, abolished these effects. Ultrastructural analysis of the fibre-exposed oocytes showed no evidence of phagocytic events. Our results demonstrate that asbestos fibres modify the oocyte membrane, and we propose that these cells represent a viable model for studying the asbestos/cell membrane interaction. Our findings also open the possibly for finding specific competitors capable of hindering the asbestos-cell membrane interaction as a means of tackling the long-standing asbestos toxicity problem.

  19. Efficacy of tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) as an anesthetic agent for blocking sensory-motor responses in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Ramlochansingh, Carlana; Branoner, Francisco; Chagnaud, Boris P; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Anesthetics are drugs that reversibly relieve pain, decrease body movements and suppress neuronal activity. Most drugs only cover one of these effects; for instance, analgesics relieve pain but fail to block primary fiber responses to noxious stimuli. Alternately, paralytic drugs block synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions, thereby effectively paralyzing skeletal muscles. Thus, both analgesics and paralytics each accomplish one effect, but fail to singularly account for all three. Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) is structurally similar to benzocaine, a typical anesthetic for anamniote vertebrates, but contains a sulfate moiety rendering this drug more hydrophilic. MS-222 is used as anesthetic in poikilothermic animals such as fish and amphibians. However, it is often argued that MS-222 is only a hypnotic drug and its ability to block neural activity has been questioned. This prompted us to evaluate the potency and dynamics of MS-222-induced effects on neuronal firing of sensory and motor nerves alongside a defined motor behavior in semi-intact in vitro preparations of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Electrophysiological recordings of extraocular motor discharge and both spontaneous and evoked mechanosensory nerve activity were measured before, during and after administration of MS-222, then compared to benzocaine and a known paralytic, pancuronium. Both MS-222 and benzocaine, but not pancuronium caused a dose-dependent, reversible blockade of extraocular motor and sensory nerve activity. These results indicate that MS-222 as benzocaine blocks the activity of both sensory and motor nerves compatible with the mechanistic action of effective anesthetics, indicating that both caine-derivates are effective as single-drug anesthetics for surgical interventions in anamniotes.

  20. Label-free real-time imaging of myelination in the Xenopus laevis tadpole by in vivo stimulated Raman scattering microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chun-Rui; Zhang, Delong; Slipchenko, Mikhail N.; Cheng, Ji-Xin; Hu, Bing

    2014-08-01

    The myelin sheath plays an important role as the axon in the functioning of the neural system, and myelin degradation is a hallmark pathology of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Electron microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging are three major techniques used for myelin visualization. However, microscopic observation of myelin in living organisms remains a challenge. Using a newly developed stimulated Raman scattering microscopy approach, we report noninvasive, label-free, real-time in vivo imaging of myelination by a single-Schwann cell, maturation of a single node of Ranvier, and myelin degradation in the transparent body of the Xenopus laevis tadpole.

  1. Remodeling sperm chromatin in Xenopus laevis egg extracts: the role of core histone phosphorylation and linker histone B4 in chromatin assembly

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    We find that the remodeling of the condensed Xenopus laevis sperm nucleus into the paternal pronucleus in egg extracts is associated with phosphorylation of the core histones H2A, H2A.X and H4, and uptake of a linker histone B4 and a HMG 2 protein. Histone B4 is required for the assembly of chromatosome structures in the pronucleus. However neither B4 nor core histone phosphorylation are required for the assembly of spaced nucleosomal arrays. We suggest that the spacing of nucleosomal arrays is determined by interaction between adjacent histone octamers under physiological assembly conditions. PMID:8045925

  2. Label-free real-time imaging of myelination in the Xenopus laevis tadpole by in vivo stimulated Raman scattering microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Chun-Rui; Zhang, Delong; Slipchenko, Mikhail N.; Cheng, Ji-Xin; Hu, Bing

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. The myelin sheath plays an important role as the axon in the functioning of the neural system, and myelin degradation is a hallmark pathology of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Electron microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging are three major techniques used for myelin visualization. However, microscopic observation of myelin in living organisms remains a challenge. Using a newly developed stimulated Raman scattering microscopy approach, we report noninvasive, label-free, real-time in vivo imaging of myelination by a single-Schwann cell, maturation of a single node of Ranvier, and myelin degradation in the transparent body of the Xenopus laevis tadpole. PMID:25104411

  3. Examination of KNK437- and quercetin-mediated inhibition of heat shock-induced heat shock protein gene expression in Xenopus laevis cultured cells.

    PubMed

    Manwell, Laurie A; Heikkila, John J

    2007-11-01

    We examined the effect of quercetin (3,3',4',5,7-pentahydroxyflavon) and KNK437 (N-formyl-3,4-methylenedioxy-benzylidene-gamma-butyrolactam), a benzylidene lactam compound, on heat-induced heat shock protein (hsp) gene expression in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells. In previous studies, both quercetin and KNK437 inhibited heat shock factor activity resulting in a repression of hsp mRNA and protein accumulation in human cultured cells. In this first study of the effect of these hsp gene expression inhibitors in a non-mammalian cell line, we report that both quercetin and KNK437 reduced the heat shock-induced accumulation of hsp30, hsp47 and hsp70 mRNA in X. laevis cultured cells. However, these inhibitors had no effect on the relative level of a non-heat shock protein mRNA, ef1alpha, in either control or heat shocked cells. Western blot and immunocytochemical analyses revealed that quercetin partially inhibited HSP30 protein accumulation. In contrast, HSP30 protein was not detectable in KNK437-treated cells. Finally, treatment of A6 cells with KNK437 inhibited the heat shock-induced acquisition of thermotolerance, as determined by preservation of actin filaments and cellular morphology using immunocytochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy.

  4. Xenopus laevis FGF receptor substrate 3 (XFrs3) is important for eye development and mediates Pax6 expression in lens placode through its Shp2-binding sites.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yeon-Jin; Bahn, Minjin; Kim, Yong Hwan; Shin, Jee-Yoon; Cheong, Seon-Woo; Ju, Bong-Gun; Kim, Won-Sun; Yeo, Chang-Yeol

    2015-01-01

    Members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family play important roles during various developmental processes including eye development. FRS (FGF receptor substrate) proteins bind to FGFR and serve as adapters for coordinated assembly of multi-protein complexes involved in Ras/MAPK and PI3 kinase/Akt pathways. Here, we identified Xenopus laevis Frs3 (XFrs3), a homolog of vertebrate Frs3, and investigated its roles during embryogenesis. XFrs3 is expressed maternally and zygotically with specific expression patterns throughout the early development. Knockdown of XFrs3 using a specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) caused reduction of Pax6 expression in the lens placode, and defects in the eye ranging from microphthalmia to anophthalmia. XFrs3 MO-induced defects were alleviated by wild type XFrs3 or a mutant XFrs3 (XFrs3-4YF), in which the putative tyrosine phosphorylation sites served as Grb2-binding sites are mutated. However, another XFrs3 mutant (XFrs3-2YF), in which the putative Shp2-binding sites are mutated, could not rescue the defects of XFrs3 morphants. In addition, we found that XFrs3 is important for FGF or IGF-induced ERK activation in ectodermal tissue. Taken together, our results suggest that signaling through Shp2-binding sites of XFrs3 is necessary for the eye development in Xenopus laevis.

  5. Semi-solid tumor model in Xenopus laevis/gilli cloned tadpoles for intravital study of neovascularization, immune cells and melanophore infiltration.

    PubMed

    Haynes-Gimore, Nikesha; Banach, Maureen; Brown, Edward; Dawes, Ryan; Edholm, Eva-Stina; Kim, Minsoo; Robert, Jacques

    2015-12-15

    Tumors have the ability to grow as a self-sustaining entity within the body. This autonomy is in part accomplished by the tumor cells ability to induce the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and by controlling cell trafficking inside the tumor mass. These abilities greatly reduce the efficacy of many cancer therapies and pose challenges for the development of more effective cancer treatments. Hence, there is a need for animal models suitable for direct microscopy observation of blood vessel formation and cell trafficking, especially during early stages of tumor establishment. Here, we have developed a reliable and cost effective tumor model system in tadpoles of the amphibian Xenopus laevis. Tadpoles are ideally suited for direct microscopy observation because of their small size and transparency. Using the thymic lymphoid tumor line 15/0 derived from, and transplantable into, the X. laevis/gilli isogenic clone LG-15, we have adapted a system that consists in transplanting 15/0 tumor cells embedded into rat collagen under the dorsal skin of LG-15 tadpole recipients. This system recapitulates many facets of mammalian tumorigenesis and permits real time visualization of the active formation of the tumor microenvironment induced by 15/0 tumor cells including neovascularization, collagen rearrangements as well as infiltration of immune cells and melanophores.

  6. Expression of two nonallelic type II procollagen genes during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis is characterized by stage-specific production of alternatively spliced transcripts.

    PubMed

    Su, M W; Suzuki, H R; Bieker, J J; Solursh, M; Ramirez, F

    1991-10-01

    The pattern of type II collagen expression during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis has been established after isolating specific cDNA and genomic clones. Evidence is presented suggesting that in X. laevis there are two transcriptionally active copies of the type II procollagen gene. Both genes are activated at the beginning of neurula stage and steady-state mRNA levels progressively increase thereafter. Initially, the transcripts are localized to notochord, somites, and the dorsal region of the lateral plate mesoderm. At later stages of development and parallel to increased mRNA accumulation, collagen expression becomes progressively more confined to chondrogenic regions of the tadpole. During the early period of mRNA accumulation, there is also a transient pattern of expression in localized sites that will later not undergo chondrogenesis, such as the floor plate in the ventral neural tube. At later times and coincident with the appearance of chondrogenic tissues in the developing embryo, expression of the procollagen genes is characterized by the production of an additional, alternatively spliced transcript. The alternatively spliced sequences encode the cysteine-rich globular domain in the NH2-propeptide of the type II procollagen chain. Immunohistochemical analyses with a type II collagen monoclonal antibody documented the deposition of the protein in the extracellular matrix of the developing embryo. Type II collagen expression is therefore temporally regulated by tissue-specific transcription and splicing factors directing the synthesis of distinct molecular forms of the precursor protein in the developing Xenopus embryo.

  7. Exposure to atrazine affects the expression of key genes in metabolic pathways integral to energy homeostasis in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Zaya, Renee M; Amini, Zakariya; Whitaker, Ashley S; Ide, Charles F

    2011-08-01

    In our laboratory, Xenopus laevis tadpoles exposed throughout development to 200 or 400 μg/L atrazine, concentrations reported to periodically occur in puddles, vernal ponds and runoff soon after application, were smaller and had smaller fat bodies (the tadpole's lipid storage organ) than controls. It was hypothesized that these changes were due to atrazine-related perturbations of energy homeostasis. To investigate this hypothesis, selected metabolic responses to exposure at the transcriptional and biochemical levels in atrazine-exposed tadpoles were measured. DNA microarray technology was used to determine which metabolic pathways were affected after developmental exposure to 400 μg/L atrazine. From these data, genes representative of the affected pathways were selected for assay using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to measure changes in expression during a 2-week exposure to 400 μg/L. Finally, ATP levels were measured from tadpoles both early in and at termination of exposure to 200 and 400 μg/L. Microarray analysis revealed significant differential gene expression in metabolic pathways involved with energy homeostasis. Pathways with increased transcription were associated with the conversion of lipids and proteins into energy. Pathways with decreased transcription were associated with carbohydrate metabolism, fat storage, and protein synthesis. Using qRT-PCR, changes in gene expression indicative of an early stress response to atrazine were noted. Exposed tadpoles had significant decreases in acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (AD) and glucocorticoid receptor protein (GR) mRNA after 24 h of exposure, and near-significant (p=0.07) increases in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β (PPAR-β) mRNA by 72 h. Decreases in AD suggested decreases in fatty acid β-oxidation while decreases in GR may have been a receptor desensitization response to a glucocorticoid surge. Involvement of PPAR-β, an energy homeostasis regulatory molecule, also

  8. Thyroxine-dependent modulations of the expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Levi, G; Broders, F; Dunon, D; Edelman, G M; Thiery, J P

    1990-04-01

    During amphibian metamorphosis, a complete remodeling of the phenotype takes place under complex hormonal control whose final effectors are thyroid hormones. This process implies the activation of coordinated programs of cell death, proliferation, migration, adhesion and differentiation. Inasmuch as the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM is thought to play a central role in the control of morphogenetic processes, we have studied by immunohistofluorescence and immunoblots the patterns of expression of N-CAM at different stages of Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. A scan was made of all major organs and appendages. Before the metamorphic climax, all neuronal cell bodies and processes express high levels of N-CAM. During the metamorphic climax, N-CAM expression decreases sharply on the cell bodies and processes of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) but remains high in the central nervous system (CNS). Towards the end of metamorphosis, the PNS and spinal nerves are virtually negative for N-CAM while the CNS is still positive. The optic and olfactory nerves, although myelinated, are still strongly positive for N-CAM. The lens and olfactory epithelia express N-CAM throughout metamorphosis. In the brain. N-CAM is present at all times as three polypeptides of 180, 140, and 120 X 10(3) Mr; before metamorphosis some of the N-CAM is in its polysialylated form. During metamorphosis and the subsequent growth of the animal, the amount of N-CAM decreases gradually. In all polypeptides, the polysialylated form is the first to disappear. Cardiac muscle expresses high level of N-CAM from its first formation throughout metamorphosis; in contrast, the level of N-CAM in skeletal muscle is high in newly formed muscles, but decreases rapidly after myoblast fusion. The liver of adult Xenopus contains large amounts of a 160 X 10(3) polypeptide that is recognized by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against N-CAM. cDNA probes of Xenopus brain N-CAM recognize major transcripts of 9.2, 3

  9. Altered gravity affects ventral root activity during fictive swimming and the static vestibuloocular reflex in young tadpoles (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Böser, S; Dournon, C; Gualandris-Parisot, L; Horn, E

    2008-03-01

    During early periods of life, modifications of the gravitational environment affect the development of sensory, neuronal and motor systems. The vestibular system exerts significant effects on motor networks that control eye and body posture as well as swimming. The objective of the present study was to study whether altered gravity (AG) affects vestibuloocular and spinal motor systems in a correlated manner. During the French Soyuz taxi flight Andromède to the International Space Station ISS (launch: October 21, 2001; landing: October 31, 2001) Xenopus laevis embryos were exposed for 10 days to microgravity (microg). In addition, a similar experiment with 3g-hypergravity (3g) was performed in the laboratory. At onset of AG, embryos had reached developmental stages 24 to 27. After exposure to AG, each tadpole was tested for its roll-induced vestibuloocular reflex (rVOR) and 3 hours later it was tested for the neuronal activity recorded from the ventral roots (VR) during fictive swimming. During the post-AG recording periods tadpoles had reached developmental stages 45 to 47. It was observed that microgravity affected VR activity during fictive swimming and rVOR. In particular, VR activity changes included a significant decrease of the rostrocaudal delay and a significant increase of episode duration. The rVOR-amplitude was transiently depressed. Hypergravity was less effective on the locomotor pattern; occurring effects on fictive swimming were the opposite of microg effects. As after microgravity, the rVOR was depressed after 3g-exposure. All modifications of the rVOR and VR-activity recovered to normal levels within 4 to 7 days after termination of AG. Significant correlations between the rVOR amplitude and VR activity of respective tadpoles during the recording period have been observed in both tadpoles with or without AG experience. The data are consistent with the assumptions that during this period of life which is characterized by a progressive development

  10. A method for determining the unitary functional capacity of cloned channels and transporters expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Zampighi, G A; Kreman, M; Boorer, K J; Loo, D D; Bezanilla, F; Chandy, G; Hall, J E; Wright, E M

    1995-11-01

    The Xenopus laevis oocyte is widely used to express exogenous channels and transporters and is well suited for functional measurements including currents, electrolyte and nonelectrolyte fluxes, water permeability and even enzymatic activity. It is difficult, however, to transform functional measurements recorded in whole oocytes into the capacity of a single channel or transporter because their number often cannot be estimated accurately. We describe here a method of estimating the number of exogenously expressed channels and transporters inserted in the plasma membrane of oocytes. The method is based on the facts that the P (protoplasmic) face in water-injected control oocytes exhibit an extremely low density of endogenous particles (212 +/- 48 particles/microns2, mean, SD) and that exogenously expressed channels and transporters increased the density of particles (up to 5,000/microns2) only on the P face. The utility and generality of the method were demonstrated by estimating the "gating charge" per particle of the Na+/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) and a nonconducting mutant of the Shaker K+ channel proteins, and the single molecule water permeability of CHIP (Channel-like In-tramembrane Protein) and MIP (Major Intrinsic Protein). We estimated a "gating charge" of approximately 3.5 electronic charges for SGLT1 and approximately 9 for the mutant Shaker K+ channel from the ratio of Qmax to density of particles measured on the same oocytes. The "gating charges" were 3-fold larger than the "effective valences" calculated by fitting a Boltzmann equation to the same charge transfer data suggesting that the charge movement in the channel and cotransporter occur in several steps. Single molecule water permeabilities (pfs) of 1.4 x 10(-14) cm3/sec for CHIP and of 1.5 x 10(-16) cm3/sec for MIP were estimated from the ratio of the whole-oocyte water permeability (Pf) to the density of particles. Therefore, MIP is a water transporter in oocytes, albeit approximately 100

  11. Identification and quantification in single muscle fibers of four isoforms of parvalbumin in the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Simonides, W S; van Hardeveld, C

    1989-10-05

    The major parvalbumins present in the iliofibularis muscle of Xenopus laevis were identified and the total parvalbumin content of different types of single fibers of this muscle was determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). The criteria used in the identification of proteins as parvalbumins were: a relative molecular mass (Mr) between 10,000 and 14,000, an isoelectric point (pI) between 4.0 and 5.0, and a Ca2+-dependent mobility when run on a polyacrylamide gel in the absence of SDS. Four proteins were thus identified as parvalbumins: PA1, Mr 14,000, pI 4.90; PA2, Mr 11,000, pI 4.90; PA3, Mr 11,000, pI 4.95; and PA4, Mr 11,000, pI 4.25. An ultraviolet absorbance spectrum characteristic of parvalbumins was recorded for a purified preparation of these four proteins. Because the apparent Mr of rabbit parvalbumin in the gel system used was 14,000, whereas the true value is 12,100, it is not excluded that the Mr of component PA1 of 14,000 is an overestimation. The total parvalbumin content of muscles and single muscle fibers was determined using the supernatant obtained after centrifugation of tissue homogenates. Analysis of the protein pattern after electrophoresis in the presence of SDS of this fraction indicated that the Mr 14,000 and 11,000 protein bands contained virtually only parvalbumin. Quantification of the total parvalbumin content of relatively fast (type 1) and slow (type 2) contracting and relaxing single muscle fibers, using laser densitometric analysis of minigels, yielded mean values (mg protein/g wet wt., +/- S.D.) of 5.2 +/- 0.8 for nine type 1 fibers, and 1.9 +/- 1.0 for five type 2 fibers. Both fiber types contained about 2.5-times as much of the Mr 14,000 isoform relative to the combined Mr 11,000 isoforms.

  12. δβγ-ENaC is inhibited by CFTR but stimulated by cAMP in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Rauh, Robert; Hoerner, Christian; Korbmacher, Christoph

    2017-02-01

    The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel critically regulate airway surface liquid by driving fluid absorption and secretion, respectively. Their functional interplay is complex and incompletely understood. ENaC is a heteromeric channel with three well-characterized subunits (α, β, and γ). In humans, an additional δ-ENaC subunit exists in lung and several other tissues, where it may replace the α-subunit to form δβγ-ENaC. Little is known about the physiological role of δβγ-ENaC and its possible interaction with CFTR. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of human CFTR on human δβγ-ENaC heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. In oocytes coexpressing δβγ-ENaC and CFTR the ENaC-mediated amiloride-sensitive whole cell current (ΔIami) was reduced by ~50% compared with that measured in oocytes expressing δβγ-ENaC alone. Moreover, basal level of proteolytic ENaC activation was reduced in the presence of CFTR. The inhibitory effect of CFTR on δβγ-ENaC was due to a combination of decreased average open probability (Po) and reduced channel expression at the cell surface. Interestingly, in oocytes expressing δβγ-ENaC, increasing intracellular [cAMP] by IBMX and forskolin increased ΔIami by ~50%. This stimulatory effect was not observed for human and rat αβγ-ENaC and was independent of CFTR coexpression and coactivation. Experiments with a mutant channel (δβS520Cγ-ENaC) which can be converted to a channel with a Po of nearly 1 suggested that cAMP activates δβγ-ENaC by increasing Po In conclusion, our results demonstrate that δβγ-ENaC is inhibited by CFTR but activated by cAMP.

  13. Comparison of individual and combined effects of salinity and deficit irrigation on physiological, nutritional and ornamental aspects of tolerance in Callistemon laevis plants.

    PubMed

    Álvarez, Sara; Sánchez-Blanco, M Jesús

    2015-08-01

    The effect of water deficit, salinity and both applied simultaneously on several physiological and morphological parameters in the ornamental plant Callistemon laevis was studied to identify the tolerance mechanisms developed by this species to these sources of stress and to evaluate their adaptability to such conditions. C. laevis plants were grown in pots outdoors and subjected to four irrigation treatments lasting ten months: control (0.8 dS m(-1), 100% water holding capacity), water deficit (0.8 dS m(-1), 50% of the amount of water supplied in control), saline (4.0 dS m(-1), same amount of water supplied as control) and saline water deficit (4.0 dS m(-1), 50% of the water supplied in the control). Water and saline stress, when applied individually, led to a reduction of 12% and 39% of total biomass, respectively, while overall plant quality (leaf color and flowering) was unaffected. However, saline water deficit affected leaf color and flowering and induced an excessive decrease of growth (68%) due to leaf tissue dehydration and a high leaf Cl and Na concentration. Biomass partitioning depended not only on the amount of water applied, but also on the electrical conductivity of the water. Water stress induced active osmotic adjustment and decreased leaf tissue elasticity. Although both Na and Cl concentrations in the plant tissues increased with salinity, Cl entry through the roots was more restricted. In plants submitted to salinity individually, Na tended to remain in the roots and stems, and little reached the leaves. However, plants simultaneously submitted to water and saline stress were not able to retain this ion in the woody parts. The decrease in stomatal conductance and photosynthesis was more marked in the plants submitted to both stresses, the effect of which decreased photosynthesis, and this together with membrane damage delayed plant recovery. The results show that the combination of deficit irrigation and salinity in C. laevis is not recommended

  14. Growth and fat-body cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoid, Michael J.; Fritts, Thomas H.

    1989-01-01

    Feral populations of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) exist in several areas of southern California. By following the first cohort of progeny produced by African clawed frogs at a recently colonized site, data on the growth rates and age at first maturity were obtained in field conditions. Females reached maturity at an earlier age than males, grew faster than males, and attained body lengths up to 25% larger than males. Larger females were capable of producing larger numbers of eggs than small females and, therefore, had greater reproductive potential. The relatively stable ambient temperatures of southern California contributed to the possibility of reproduction of clawed frogs during all but the coolest periods of the year. Cycles detected in the mass of fatbodies suggested that nutrients were mobilized from fat prior to and during ovulation. The amount of fat in females varies widely, but fat in males tended to accumulate as the males grew during the study period.

  15. Growth and fatbody cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoid, M.J.; Fritts, T.H.

    1989-01-01

    Feral populations of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) exist in several areas of southern California. By following the first cohort of progeny produced by African clawed frogs at a recently colonized site, data on the growth rates and age at first maturity were obtained in field conditions. Females reached maturity at an earlier age than males, grew faster than males, and attained body lengths up to 25% larger than males. Larger females were capable of producing larger numbers of eggs than small females and, therefore, had greater reproductive potential. The relatively stable ambient temperatures of southern California contributed to the possibility of reproduction of clawed frogs during all but the coolest periods of the year. Cycles detected in the mass of fatbodies suggested that nutrients were mobilized from fat prior to and during ovulation. The amount of fat in females varied widely, but fat in males tended to accumulate as the males grew during the study period.

  16. The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the regulation of cell growth and gene expression in melanotrope cells of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Jenks, Bruce G; Kuribara, Miyuki; Kidane, Adhanet H; Kramer, Bianca M R; Roubos, Eric W; Scheenen, Wim J J M

    2012-07-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is, despite its name, also found outside the central nervous system (CNS), but the functional significance of this observation is largely unknown. This review concerns the expression of BDNF in the pituitary gland. While the presence of the neurotrophin in the mammalian pituitary gland is well documented its functional significance remains obscure. Studies on the pars intermedia of the pituitary of the amphibian Xenopus laevis have shown that BDNF is produced by the neuroendocrine melanotrope cells, its expression is physiologically regulated, and the melanotrope cells themselves express receptors for the neurotrophin. The neurotrophin has been shown to act as an autocrine factor on the melanotrope to promote cell growth and regulate gene expression. In doing so BDNF supports the physiological function of the cell to produce and release α-melanophore-stimulating hormone for the purpose of adjusting the animal's skin color to that of its background.

  17. Knockdown of SPARC leads to decreased cell-cell adhesion and lens cataracts during post-gastrula development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Huynh, My-Hang; Zhu, Shu Jun; Kollara, Alexandra; Brown, Theodore; Winklbauer, Rudolf; Ringuette, Maurice

    2011-03-01

    SPARC is a multifunctional matricellular glycoprotein with complex, transient tissue distribution during embryonic development. In Xenopus laevis embryos, zygotic activation of SPARC is first detected during late gastrulation, undergoing rapid changes in its spatiotemporal distribution throughout organogenesis. Injections of anti-sense Xenopus SPARC morpholinos (XSMOs) into 2- and 4-cell embryos led to a dose-dependent dissociation of embryos during neurula and tailbud stages of development. Animal cap explants derived from XSMO-injected embryos also dissociated, resulting in the formation of amorphous ciliated microspheres. At low doses of XSMOs, lens cataracts were formed, phenocopying that observed in Sparc-null mice. At XSMOs concentrations that did not result in a loss of axial tissue integrity, adhesion between myotomes at intersomitic borders was compromised with a reduction in SPARC concentration. The combined data suggest a critical requirement for SPARC during post-gastrula development in Xenopus embryos and that SPARC, directly or indirectly, promotes cell-cell adhesion in vivo.

  18. High-resolution X-ray phase-contrast tomography from single-distance radiographs applied to developmental stages of Xenopus laevis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moosmann, J.; Altapova, V.; Helfen, L.; Hänschke, D.; Hofmann, R.; Baumbach, T.

    2013-03-01

    Considering a pure and not necessarily weak phase object, we review a noniterative and nonlinear single-distance phase-retrieval algorithm. The latter exploits the fact that a well-known linear contrast-transfer function, which incorporates all orders in object-detector distance, can be modified to yield a quasiparticle dispersion. Accepting a small loss of information, this algorithm also retrieves the high-frequency parts of the phase in an artefact free way. We point out an extension of this highly resolving quasiparticle approach for mixed objects by assuming a global attenuation-phase duality. Tomographically reconstructing two developmental stages in Xenopus laevis, we compare our approach with a linear algorithm, based on the transport-of-intensity equation, which suppresses high-frequency information.

  19. Quick-freeze, deep-etch, rotary-shadow views of the extracellular matrix and cortical cytoskeleton of Xenopus laevis eggs.

    PubMed

    Larabell, C A; Chandler, D E

    1989-11-01

    The quick-freeze, deep-etch, rotary-shadow technique provides a powerful tool to study the structural dynamics of extracellular matrices. Using this technique, we show that the extracellular investments of the Xenopus laevis egg are multilayered and securely anchored to the egg surface. The cortical cytoskeleton within the egg contains embedded cortical granules with surrounding endoplasmic reticulum and is capped by a thin reticular sheet that contacts the inner surface of the plasma membrane. The extracellular matrix undergoes three distinct changes at fertilization: a) formation of a "smooth" layer below the vitelline envelope (VE), b) transformation of the VE itself to an altered VE composed of concentric fibrous sheets, and c) formation of a dense, "briar-patch"-like fertilization layer at the upper surface of the VE.

  20. Regression of blood vessels in the ventral velum of Xenopus laevis Daudin during metamorphosis: light microscopic and transmission electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Bartel, H; Lametschwandtner, A

    2000-08-01

    Structural changes of the ventral velum of Xenopus laevis tadpoles from late prometamorphosis (stage 58) to the height of metamorphic climax (stage 62) were examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. Special emphasis was given to the blood vessel regression. Early changes of velar capillaries were formation of luminal and abluminal endothelial cell processes, vacuolation, and cytoplasmic and nuclear chromatin condensation. At the height of metamorphic climax, transmission electron microscopy revealed apoptotic endothelial cells with nuclear condensation and fragmentation, intraluminal bulging of rounded endothelial cells which narrowed or even plugged the capillary, and different stages of endothelial cell detachment ('shedding') into the vessel lumen. These changes explain the 'miniaturisation' of the velar microvascular bed as well as the typical features found in resin-casts of regressing velar vessels which have been observed in a previous scanning electron microscopy study of the ventral velum.

  1. Development of the Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay: Effects of benzophenone-2 exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile.

    PubMed

    Haselman, Jonathan T; Sakurai, Maki; Watanabe, Naoko; Goto, Yasushi; Onishi, Yuta; Ito, Yuki; Onoda, Yu; Kosian, Patricia A; Korte, Joseph J; Johnson, Rodney D; Iguchi, Taisen; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2016-12-01

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan's Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a higher tiered approach to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure throughout multiple life stages in a model amphibian species, Xenopus laevis. To evaluate the utility of the initial LAGDA design, the assay was performed using a mixed mode of action endocrine disrupting chemical, benzophenone-2 (BP-2). X. laevis embryos were exposed in flow-through conditions to 0, 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 mg l(-1) BP-2 until 2 months post-metamorphosis. Overt toxicity was evident throughout the exposure period in the 6.0 mg l(-1) treatment due to elevated mortality rates and observed liver and kidney pathologies. Concentration-dependent increases in severity of thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia occurred in larval tadpoles indicating BP-2-induced impacts on the thyroid axis. Additionally, gonads were impacted in all treatments with some genetic males showing both testis and ovary tissues (1.5 mg l(-1) ) and 100% of the genetic males in the 3.0 and 6.0 mg l(-1) treatments experiencing complete male-to-female sex reversal. Concentration-dependent vitellogenin induction occurred in both genders with associated accumulations of protein in the livers, kidneys and gonads, which was likely vitellogenin and other estrogen-responsive yolk proteins. This is the first study that demonstrates the endocrine effects of this mixed mode of action chemical in an amphibian species and demonstrates the utility of the LAGDA design for supporting chemical risk assessment. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. The thyroid hormone receptor gene (c-erbA alpha) is expressed in advance of thyroid gland maturation during the early embryonic development of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Banker, D E; Bigler, J; Eisenman, R N

    1991-01-01

    The c-erbA proto-oncogene encodes the thyroid hormone receptor, a ligand-dependent transcription factor which plays an important role in vertebrate growth and development. To define the role of the thyroid hormone receptor in developmental processes, we have begun studying c-erbA gene expression during the ontogeny of Xenopus laevis, an organism in which thyroid hormone has well-documented effects on morphogenesis. Using polymerase chain reactions (PCR) as a sensitive assay of specific gene expression, we found that polyadenylated erbA alpha RNA is present in Xenopus cells at early developmental stages, including the fertilized egg, blastula, gastrula, and neurula. By performing erbA alpha-specific PCR on reverse-transcribed RNAs from high-density sucrose gradient fractions prepared from early-stage embryos, we have demonstrated that these erbA transcripts are recruited to polysomes. Therefore, erbA is expressed in Xenopus development prior to the appearance of the thyroid gland anlage in tailbud-stage embryos. This implies that erbA alpha/thyroid hormone receptors may play ligand-independent roles during the early development of X. laevis. Quantitative PCR revealed a greater than 25-fold range in the steady-state levels of polyadenylated erbA alpha RNA across early stages of development, as expressed relative to equimolar amounts of total embryonic RNA. Substantial increases in the levels of erbA alpha RNA were noted at stages well after the onset of zygotic transcription at the mid-blastula transition, with accumulation of erbA alpha transcripts reaching a relative maximum in advance of metamorphosis. We also show that erbA alpha RNAs are expressed unequally across Xenopus neural tube embryos. This differential expression continues through later stages of development, including metamorphosis. This finding suggests that erbA alpha/thyroid hormone receptors may play roles in tissue-specific processes across all of Xenopus development. Images PMID:1656222

  3. Diurnal Variation of Tight Junction Integrity Associates Inversely with Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression in Xenopus laevis Corneal Epithelium: Implications for Circadian Regulation of Homeostatic Surface Cell Desquamation

    PubMed Central

    Wiechmann, Allan F.; Ceresa, Brian P.; Howard, Eric W.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives The corneal epithelium provides a protective barrier against pathogen entrance and abrasive forces, largely due to the intercellular junctional complexes between neighboring cells. After a prescribed duration at the corneal surface, tight junctions between squamous surface cells must be disrupted to enable them to desquamate as a component of the tissue homeostatic renewal. We hypothesize that matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) are secreted by corneal epithelial cells and cleave intercellular junctional proteins extracellularly at the epithelial surface. The purpose of this study was to examine the expression of specific MMPs and tight junction proteins during both the light and dark phases of the circadian cycle, and to assess their temporal and spatial relationships in the Xenopus laevis corneal epithelium. Methodology/Principal Findings Expression of MMP-2, tissue inhibitor of MMP-2 (TIMP-2), membrane type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP) and the tight junction proteins occludin and claudin-4 were examined by confocal double-label immunohistochemistry on corneas obtained from Xenopus frogs at different circadian times. Occludin and claudin-4 expression was generally uniformly intact on the surface corneal epithelial cell lateral membranes during the daytime, but was frequently disrupted in small clusters of cells at night. Concomitantly, MMP-2 expression was often elevated in a mosaic pattern at nighttime and associated with clusters of desquamating surface cells. The MMP-2 binding partners, TIMP-2 and MT1-MMP were also localized to surface corneal epithelial cells during both the light and dark phases, with TIMP-2 tending to be elevated during the daytime. Conclusions/Significance MMP-2 protein expression is elevated in a mosaic pattern in surface corneal epithelial cells during the nighttime in Xenopus laevis, and may play a role in homeostatic surface cell desquamation by disrupting intercellular junctional proteins. The sequence of MMP secretion and

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. A novel short anionic antibacterial peptide isolated from the skin of Xenopus laevis with broad antibacterial activity and inhibitory activity against breast cancer cell.

    PubMed

    Li, Siming; Hao, Linlin; Bao, Wanguo; Zhang, Ping; Su, Dan; Cheng, Yunyun; Nie, Linyan; Wang, Gang; Hou, Feng; Yang, Yang

    2016-07-01

    A vastarray of bioactive peptides from amphibian skin secretions is attracting increasing attention due to the growing problem of bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics. In this report, a small molecular antibacterial peptide, named Xenopus laevis antibacterial peptide-P1 (XLAsp-P1), was isolated from the skin of Xenopus laevis using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The primary structure of XLAsp-P1, which has been proved to be a novel peptide by BLAST search in AMP database, was DEDDD with a molecular weight of 607.7 Da analysed by Edman degradation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS). The highlight of XLAsp-P1 is the strong in vitro potency against a variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) starting at 10 μg/mL and potent inhibitory activity against breast cancer cell at tested concentrations from 5 to 50 μg/mL. In addition, only 6.2 % of red blood cells was haemolytic when incubated with 64 μg/mL (higher than MICs of all bacterial strain) of XLAsp-P1. The antimicrobial mechanism for this novel peptide was the destruction of the cell membrane investigated by transmission electron microscopy. All these showed that XLAsp-P1 is a novel short anionic antibacterial peptide with broad antibacterial activity and inhibitory activity against breast cancer cell.

  6. Genome-wide expression profile of the response to spinal cord injury in Xenopus laevis reveals extensive differences between regenerative and non-regenerative stages

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Xenopus laevis has regenerative and non-regenerative stages. As a tadpole, it is fully capable of functional recovery after a spinal cord injury, while its juvenile form (froglet) loses this capability during metamorphosis. We envision that comparative studies between regenerative and non-regenerative stages in Xenopus could aid in understanding why spinal cord regeneration fails in human beings. Results To identify the mechanisms that allow the tadpole to regenerate and inhibit regeneration in the froglet, we obtained a transcriptome-wide profile of the response to spinal cord injury in Xenopus regenerative and non-regenerative stages. We found extensive transcriptome changes in regenerative tadpoles at 1 day after injury, while this was only observed by 6 days after injury in non-regenerative froglets. In addition, when comparing both stages, we found that they deployed a very different repertoire of transcripts, with more than 80% of them regulated in only one stage, including previously unannotated transcripts. This was supported by gene ontology enrichment analysis and validated by RT-qPCR, which showed that transcripts involved in metabolism, response to stress, cell cycle, development, immune response and inflammation, neurogenesis, and axonal regeneration were regulated differentially between regenerative and non-regenerative stages. Conclusions We identified differences in the timing of the transcriptional response and in the inventory of regulated transcripts and biological processes activated in response to spinal cord injury when comparing regenerative and non-regenerative stages. These genes and biological processes provide an entry point to understand why regeneration fails in mammals. Furthermore, our results introduce Xenopus laevis as a genetic model organism to study spinal cord regeneration. PMID:24885550

  7. The B-subdomain of the Xenopus laevis XFIN KRAB-AB domain is responsible for its weaker transcriptional repressor activity compared to human ZNF10/Kox1.

    PubMed

    Born, Nadine; Thiesen, Hans-Jürgen; Lorenz, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) domain interacts with the nuclear hub protein TRIM28 to initiate or mediate chromatin-dependent processes like transcriptional repression, imprinting or suppression of endogenous retroviruses. The prototype KRAB domain initially identified in ZNF10/KOX1 encompasses two subdomains A and B that are found in hundreds of zinc finger transcription factors studied in human and murine genomes. Here we demonstrate for the first time transcriptional repressor activity of an amphibian KRAB domain. After sequence correction, the updated KRAB-AB domain of zinc finger protein XFIN from the frog Xenopus laevis was found to confer transcriptional repression in reporter assays in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney cells as well as in human HeLa, but not in the minnow Pimephales promelas fish cell line EPC. Binding of the XFIN KRAB-AB domain to human TRIM28 was demonstrated in a classical co-immunoprecipitation approach and visualized in a single-cell compartmentalization assay. XFIN-AB displayed reduced potency in repression as well as lower strength of interaction with TRIM28 compared to ZNF10 KRAB-AB. KRAB-B subdomain swapping between the two KRAB domains indicated that it was mainly the KRAB-B subdomain of XFIN that was responsible for its lower capacity in repression and binding to human TRIM28. In EPC fish cells, ZNF10 and XFIN KRAB repressor activity could be partially restored to low levels by adding exogenous human TRIM28. In contrast to XFIN, we did not find any transcriptional repression activity for the KRAB-like domain of human PRDM9 in HeLa cells. PRDM9 is thought to harbor an evolutionary older domain related to KRAB whose homologs even occur in invertebrates. Our results support the notion that functional bona fide KRAB domains which confer transcriptional repression and interact with TRIM28 most likely co-evolved together with TRIM28 at the beginning of tetrapode evolution.

  8. Acanthocephalan Cystacanths from Flatfish (Order Pleuronectiformes) in Tropical Australian Waters.

    PubMed

    Barton, Diane P; Smales, Lesley R

    2015-08-01

    Cystacanths of 4 species of Acanthocephala are reported for the first time from various species of fish belonging to the Order Pleuronectiformes from waters of the western Gulf of Carpentaria and the central coast of Queensland, Australia: Corynosoma cetaceum Johnston and Best, 1942 (Family Polymorphidae), Serrasentis cf. sagittifer (Linton, 1889) and Rhadinorhynchus sp. (Family Rhadinorhynchidae), and Gorgorhynchoides sp. (Family Isthmosacanthidae). Approximately 32% of the 515 individual fish belonging to 24 species were infected with at least 1 cystacanth. Serrasentis cf. sagittifer was the most-commonly encountered, infecting a total of 18 species of fish across both regions. Gorgorhynchoides sp. infected 7 fish species in the Gulf of Carpentaria only while Rhadinorhynchus sp. (1 fish species) and C. cetaceum (7 fish species) were only found on the central coast of Queensland. Most fish were infected with a single cystacanth of any species. There was no relationship between total length of fish and intensity of infection for any species. This paper provides information on parasite infections in fish hosts commonly caught as by-catch and outlines the need for further studies on these fish to be able to determine sustainability of such fish stocks.

  9. Exposure to 3,3',5-triiodothyronine affects histone and RNA polymerase II modifications, but not DNA methylation status, in the regulatory region of the Xenopus laevis thyroid hormone receptor βΑ gene.

    PubMed

    Kasai, Kentaro; Nishiyama, Norihito; Izumi, Yushi; Otsuka, Shunsuke; Ishihara, Akinori; Yamauchi, Kiyoshi

    2015-11-06

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play a critical role in amphibian metamorphosis, during which the TH receptor (TR) gene, thrb, is upregulated in a tissue-specific manner. The Xenopus laevis thrb gene has 3 TH response elements (TREs) in the 5' flanking regulatory region and 1 TRE in the exon b region, around which CpG sites are highly distributed. To clarify whether exposure to 3,3',5-triiodothyronine (T3) affects histone and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) modifications and the level of DNA methylation in the 5' regulatory region, we conducted reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay using X. laevis cultured cells and premetamorphic tadpoles treated with or without 2 nM T3. Exposure to T3 increased the amount of the thrb transcript, in parallel with enhanced histone H4 acetylation and RNAPII recruitment, and probably phosphorylation of RNAPII at serine 5, in the 5' regulatory and exon b regions. However, the 5' regulatory region remained hypermethylated even with exposure to T3, and there was no significant difference in the methylation status between DNAs from T3-untreated and -treated cultured cells or tadpole tissues. Our results demonstrate that exposure to T3 induced euchromatin-associated epigenetic marks by enhancing histone acetylation and RNAPII recruitment, but not by decreasing the level of DNA methylation, in the 5' regulatory region of the X. laevis thrb gene.

  10. Interactive effects of ultraviolet-B radiation and pesticide exposure on DNA photo-adduct accumulation and expression of DNA damage and repair genes in Xenopus laevis embryos.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuangying; Tang, Song; Mayer, Gregory D; Cobb, George P; Maul, Jonathan D

    2015-02-01

    Pesticide use and ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation have both been suggested to adversely affect amphibians; however, little is known about their interactive effects. One potential adverse interaction could involve pesticide-induced dysregulation of DNA repair pathways, resulting in greater numbers of DNA photo-adducts from UVB exposure. In the present study, we investigated the interactive effects of UVB radiation and two common pesticides (endosulfan and α-cypermethrin) on induction of DNA photo-adducts and expression of DNA damage and repair related genes in African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) embryos. We examined 13 genes that are, collectively, involved in stress defense, cell cycle arrest, nucleotide excision repair (NER), base excision repair, mismatch repair, DNA repair regulation, and apoptosis. We exposed X. laevis embryos to 0, 25, and 50 μg/L endosulfan or 0, 2.5, and 5.0 μg/L α-cypermethrin for 96 h, with environmentally relevant exposures of UVB radiation during the last 7 h of the 96 h exposure. We measured the amount of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and mRNA abundance of the 13 genes among treatments including control, pesticide only, UVB only, and UVB and pesticide co-exposures. Each of the co-exposure scenarios resulted in elevated CPD levels compared to UVB exposure alone, suggesting an inhibitory effect of endosulfan and α-cypermethrin on CPD repair. This is attributed to results indicating that α-cypermethrin and endosulfan reduced mRNA abundance of XPA and HR23B, respectively, to levels that may affect the initial recognition of DNA lesions. In contrast, both pesticides increased transcript abundance of CSA and MUTL. In addition, mRNA abundance of HSP70 and GADD45α were increased by endosulfan and mRNA abundance of XPG was increased by α-cypermethrin. XPC, HR23B, XPG, and GADD45α exhibited elevated mRNA concentrations whereas there was a reduction in MUTL transcript concentrations in UVB-alone treatments. It appeared that even

  11. Evolution of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I): structure and expression of an IGF-I precursor from Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Kajimoto, Y; Rotwein, P

    1990-02-01

    By means of a cloning strategy employing the polymerase chain reaction, we have isolated and characterized cDNAs for Xenopus laevis insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). These cDNAs encode a primary IGF-I translation product of 153 residues that demonstrates considerable amino acid sequence similarity with IGF-IA peptides from other species. Fifty-seven of 70 residues of the mature protein are identical among human, rat, chicken, and Xenopus IGF-I, while less amino acid conservation is found at the COOH-terminus (25/35 identities) or at the NH2-terminus (24/48 identities) of the precursor protein. Despite the lower degree of structural similarity at the NH2-terminus, in vitro studies of IGF-I biosynthesis and proteolytic processing support a conserved function for the atypically long 48 residue NH2-terminal signal sequence in directing the nascent IGF-I peptide through the secretory pathway. The 5'-untranslated region of Xenopus IGF-I mRNA matches the human, rat, and chicken sequences in greater than 90% of 279 nucleotides. IGF-I mRNAs from all four species encode a conserved upstream open reading frame of 14 amino acids starting 240-250 nucleotides 5' to the translation start site, suggesting a possible role for this region in modulating IGF-I gene expression. The X. laevis IGF-I gene is transcribed and processed into three mRNAs of 1.6, 2.1, and 3.0 kilobases in liver, and IGF-I mRNAs can be detected in liver, lung, heart, kidney, and peritoneal fat of adult animals. These studies demonstrate that both the IGF-I protein precursor and potential regulatory regions of IGF-I mRNA have been conserved during vertebrate evolution, and indicate that like several other polypeptide growth factors, IGF-I may be of fundamental importance in regulating specific aspects of growth and development in all vertebrates.

  12. The lens-regenerating competence in the outer cornea and epidermis of larval Xenopus laevis is related to pax6 expression.

    PubMed

    Gargioli, Cesare; Giambra, Vincenzo; Santoni, Sara; Bernardini, Sergio; Frezza, Domenico; Filoni, Sergio; Cannata, Stefano M

    2008-05-01

    After lentectomy, larval Xenopus laevis can regenerate a new lens by transdifferentiation of the outer cornea and pericorneal epidermis (lentogenic area). This process is promoted by retinal factor(s) accumulated into the vitreous chamber. To understand the molecular basis of the lens-regenerating competence (i.e. the capacity to respond to the retinal factor forming a new lens) in the outer cornea and epidermis, we analysed the expression of otx2, pax6, sox3, pitx3, prox1, betaB1-cry (genes all involved in lens development) by Real-time RT-PCR in the cornea and epidermis fragments dissected from donor larvae. The same fragments were also implanted into the vitreous chamber of host larvae to ascertain their lens-regenerating competence using specific anti-lens antibodies. The results demonstrate that there is a tight correlation between lens-regenerating competence and pax6 expression. In fact, (1) pax6 is the only one of the aforesaid genes to be expressed in the lentogenic area; (2) pax6 expression is absent in head epidermis outside the lentogenic area and in flank epidermis, both incapable of transdifferentiating into lens after implantation into the vitreous chamber; (3) in larvae that have undergone eye transplantation under the head or flank epidermis, pax6 re-expression was observed only in the head epidermis covering the transplanted eye. This is consistent with the fact that only the head epidermis reacquires the lens-regenerating competence after eye transplantation, forming a lens following implantation into the vitreous chamber; and (4) in larvae that have undergone removal of the eye, the epidermis covering the orbit maintained pax6 expression. This is consistent with the fact that after the eye enucleation the lentogenic area maintains the lens-regenerating competence, giving rise to a lens after implantation into the vitreous chamber. Moreover, we observed that misexpression of pax6 is sufficient to promote the acquisition of the lens

  13. Analysis of thyroid hormone receptor {beta}A mRNA expression in Xenopus laevis tadpoles as a means to detect agonism and antagonism of thyroid hormone action

    SciTech Connect

    Opitz, Robert . E-mail: r.opitz@igb-berlin.de; Lutz, Ilka; Nguyen, Ngoc-Ha; Scanlan, Thomas S.; Kloas, Werner

    2006-04-01

    Amphibian metamorphosis represents a unique biological model to study thyroid hormone (TH) action in vivo. In this study, we examined the utility of thyroid hormone receptors {alpha} (TR{alpha}) and {beta}A (TR{beta}A) mRNA expression patterns in Xenopus laevis tadpoles as molecular markers indicating modulation of TH action. During spontaneous metamorphosis, only moderate changes were evident for TR{alpha} gene expression whereas a marked up-regulation of TR{beta}A mRNA occurred in hind limbs (prometamorphosis), head (late prometamorphosis), and tail tissue (metamorphic climax). Treatment of premetamorphic tadpoles with 1 nM 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) caused a rapid induction of TR{beta}A mRNA in head and tail tissue within 6 to 12 h which was maintained for at least 72 h after initiation of T3 treatment. Developmental stage had a strong influence on the responsiveness of tadpole tissues to induce TR{beta}A mRNA during 24 h treatment with thyroxine (0, 1, 5, 10 nM T4) or T3 (0, 1, 5, 10 nM). Premetamorphic tadpoles were highly sensitive in their response to T4 and T3 treatments, whereas sensitivity to TH was decreased in early prometamorphic tadpoles and strongly diminished in late prometamorphic tadpoles. To examine the utility of TR{beta}A gene expression analysis for detection of agonistic and antagonistic effects on T3 action, mRNA expression was assessed in premetamorphic tadpoles after 48 h of treatment with the synthetic agonist GC-1 (0, 10, 50, 250 nM), the synthetic antagonist NH-3 (0, 40, 200, 1000 nM), and binary combinations of NH-3 (0, 40, 200, 1000 nM) and T3 (1 nM). All tested concentrations of GC-1 as well as the highest concentration of NH-3 caused an up-regulation of TR{beta}A expression. Co-treatment with NH-3 and T3 revealed strong antagonistic effects by NH-3 on T3-induced TR{beta}A mRNA up-regulation. Results of this study suggest that TR{beta}A mRNA expression analysis could serve as a sensitive molecular testing approach to study effects

  14. Pattern of calbindin-D28k and calretinin immunoreactivity in the brain of Xenopus laevis during embryonic and larval development.

    PubMed

    Morona, Ruth; González, Agustín

    2013-01-01

    The present study represents a detailed spatiotemporal analysis of the localization of calbindin-D28k (CB) and calretinin (CR) immunoreactive structures in the brain of Xenopus laevis throughout development, conducted with the aim to correlate the onset of the immunoreactivity with the development of compartmentalization of distinct subdivisions recently identified in the brain of adult amphibians and primarily highlighted when analyzed within a segmental paradigm. CR and CB are expressed early in the brain and showed a progressively increasing expression throughout development, although transient expression in some neuronal subpopulations was also noted. Common and distinct characteristics in Xenopus, as compared with reported features during development in the brain of mammals, were observed. The development of specific regions in the forebrain such as the olfactory bulbs, the components of the basal ganglia and the amygdaloid complex, the alar and basal hypothalamic regions, and the distinct diencephalic neuromeres could be analyzed on the basis of the distinct expression of CB and CR in subregions. Similarly, the compartments of the mesencephalon and the main rhombencephalic regions, including the cerebellum, were differently highlighted by their specific content in CB and CR throughout development. Our results show the usefulness of the analysis of the distribution of these proteins as a tool in neuroanatomy to interpret developmental aspects of many brain regions.

  15. Nucleolar association of pEg7 and XCAP-E, two members of Xenopus laevis condensin complex in interphase cells.

    PubMed

    Uzbekov, Rustem; Timirbulatova, Elmira; Watrin, Erwan; Cubizolles, Fabien; Ogereau, David; Gulak, Pavel; Legagneux, Vincent; Polyakov, Vladimir Ju; Le Guellec, Katherine; Kireev, Igor

    2003-05-01

    Cell cycle dynamics and localization of condensins--multiprotein complexes involved in late stages of mitotic chromosome condensation--were studied in Xenopus laevis XL2 cell line. Western blot analysis of synchronized cells showed that the ratio of levels of both pEg7 and XCAP-E to beta-tubulin levels remains almost constant from G1 to M phase. pEg7 and XCAP-E were localized to the mitotic chromosomes and were detected in interphase nuclei. Immunostaining for condensins and nucleolar proteins UBF, fibrillarin and B23 revealed that both XCAP-E and pEg7 are localized in the granular component of the nucleolus. Nucleolar labeling of both proteins is preserved in segregated nucleoli after 6 hours of incubation with actinomycin D (5 mg/ml), but the size of the labeled zone was significantly smaller. The data suggest a novel interphase function of condensin subunits in spatial organization of the nucleolus and/or ribosome biogenesis.

  16. Development of the venous pole of the heart in the frog Xenopus laevis: a morphological study with special focus on the development of the venoatrial connections.

    PubMed

    Jahr, Maike; Männer, Jörg

    2011-06-01

    The heart of lung-breathing vertebrates normally shows an asymmetric arrangement of its venoatrial connections along the left-right (L-R) body axis. The systemic venous tributaries empty into the right atrium while the pulmonary venous tributaries empty into the left atrium. The ways by which this asymmetry evolves from the originally symmetrically arranged embryonic venous heart pole are poorly defined. Here we document the development of the venous heart pole in Xenopus laevis (stages 40-46). We show that, prior to the appearance of the mouth of the common pulmonary vein (MCPV), the systemic venous tributaries empty into a bilaterally symmetric chamber (sinus venosus) that is demarcated from the developing atriums by a circular ridge of tissue (sinu-atrial ridge). A solitary MCPV appears during stage 41. From the time point of its first appearance onwards, the MCPV lies cranial to the sinu-atrial ridge and to the left of the developing interatrial septum and body midline. L-R lineage analysis shows that the interatrial septum and MCPV both derive from the left body half. The CPV, therefore, opens from the beginning into the future left atrium. The definitive venoatrial connections are established by the formation of a septal complex that divides the lumen of the venous heart pole into systemic and pulmonary venous flow pathways. This complex arises from the anlage of the interatrial septum and the left half of the sinu-atrial ridge.

  17. Fertilization competence of the egg-coating envelope is regulated by direct interaction of dicalcin and gp41, the Xenopus laevis ZP3

    PubMed Central

    Miwa, Naofumi; Ogawa, Motoyuki; Hanaue, Mayu; Takamatsu, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization begins with species-restricted interaction of sperm and the egg-coating envelope, which includes a three-dimensional meshwork of filaments composed of glycoproteins (called ZP proteins). Growing evidence has unveiled the molecular nature of ZP proteins; however, the structural property conferring fertilization competence to the egg-coating envelope remains unknown. Here, we show the molecular mechanism that mediates direct interaction between dicalcin, a novel fertilization-suppressive ZP protein-associated protein, and gp41, a Xenopus laevis ortholog of mammalian ZP3, and subsequently demonstrate the structural basis of the envelope for fertilization competence. The interactive regions between dicalcin and gp41 comprised six and nine amino acid residues within dicalcin and twenty-three within gp41. Synthetic peptides corresponding to these regions dramatically affected fertilization: treatment with dicalcin- or gp41-derived peptides decreased or increased fertilization rates, respectively. Prior application of these peptides caused distinct alterations in the in vivo lectin-staining pattern of the envelope as well. Transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed that the dicalcin-derived peptide induced the formation of a well-organized meshwork, whereas the gp41-derived peptide caused the formation of a significantly disorganized meshwork. These findings indicated that the fertilization competence of the egg-coating envelope is crucially regulated by the direct interaction between dicalcin and gp41. PMID:26243547

  18. Transcription-Independent RNA Polymerase II Dephosphorylation by the FCP1 Carboxy-Terminal Domain Phosphatase in Xenopus laevis Early Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Palancade, Benoît; Dubois, Marie Françoise; Dahmus, Michael E.; Bensaude, Olivier

    2001-01-01

    The phosphorylation of the RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) plays a key role in mRNA metabolism. The relative ratio of hyperphosphorylated RNAP II to hypophosphorylated RNAP II is determined by a dynamic equilibrium between CTD kinases and CTD phosphatase(s). The CTD is heavily phosphorylated in meiotic Xenopus laevis oocytes. In this report we show that the CTD undergoes fast and massive dephosphorylation upon fertilization. A cDNA was cloned and shown to code for a full-length xFCP1, the Xenopus orthologue of the FCP1 CTD phosphatases in humans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Two critical residues in the catalytic site were identified. CTD phosphatase activity was observed in extracts prepared from Xenopus eggs and cells and was shown to be entirely attributable to xFCP1. The CTD dephosphorylation triggered by fertilization was reproduced upon calcium activation of cytostatic factor-arrested egg extracts. Using immunodepleted extracts, we showed that this dephosphorylation is due to xFCP1. Although transcription does not occur at this stage, phosphorylation appears as a highly dynamic process involving the antagonist action of Xp42 mitogen-activated protein kinase and FCP1 phosphatase. This is the first report that free RNAP II is a substrate for FCP1 in vivo, independent from a transcription cycle. PMID:11533226

  19. Accumulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HSP32) in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells treated with sodium arsenite, cadmium chloride or proteasomal inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Music, Ena; Khan, Saad; Khamis, Imran; Heikkila, John J

    2014-11-01

    The present study examined the effect of sodium arsenite, cadmium chloride, heat shock and the proteasomal inhibitors MG132, withaferin A and celastrol on heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1; also known as HSP32) accumulation in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells. Immunoblot analysis revealed that HO-1 accumulation was not induced by heat shock but was enhanced by sodium arsenite and cadmium chloride in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Immunocytochemistry revealed that these metals induced HO-1 accumulation in a granular pattern primarily in the cytoplasm. Additionally, in 20% of the cells arsenite induced the formation of large HO-1-containing perinuclear structures. In cells recovering from sodium arsenite or cadmium chloride treatment, HO-1 accumulation initially increased to a maximum at 12h followed by a 50% reduction at 48 h. This initial increase in HO-1 levels was likely the result of new synthesis as it was inhibited by cycloheximide. Interestingly, treatment of cells with a mild heat shock enhanced HO-1 accumulation induced by low concentrations of sodium arsenite and cadmium chloride. Finally, we determined that HO-1 accumulation was induced in A6 cells by the proteasomal inhibitors, MG132, withaferin A and celastrol. An examination of heavy metal and proteasomal inhibitor-induced HO-1 accumulation in amphibians is of importance given the presence of toxic heavy metals in aquatic habitats.

  20. Distinct abscisic acid signaling pathways for modulation of guard cell versus mesophyll cell potassium channels revealed by expression studies in Xenopus laevis oocytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutton, F.; Paul, S. S.; Wang, X. Q.; Assmann, S. M.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Regulation of guard cell ion transport by abscisic acid (ABA) and in particular ABA inhibition of a guard cell inward K(+) current (I(Kin)) is well documented. However, little is known concerning ABA effects on ion transport in other plant cell types. Here we applied patch clamp techniques to mesophyll cell protoplasts of fava bean (Vicia faba cv Long Pod) plants and demonstrated ABA inhibition of an outward K(+) current (I(Kout)). When mesophyll cell protoplast mRNA (mesophyll mRNA) was expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, I(Kout) was generated that displayed similar properties to I(Kout) observed from direct analysis of mesophyll cell protoplasts. I(Kout) expressed by mesophyll mRNA-injected oocytes was inhibited by ABA, indicating that the ABA signal transduction pathway observed in mesophyll cells was preserved in the frog oocytes. Co-injection of oocytes with guard cell protoplast mRNA and cRNA for KAT1, an inward K(+) channel expressed in guard cells, resulted in I(Kin) that was similarly inhibited by ABA. However, oocytes co-injected with mesophyll mRNA and KAT1 cRNA produced I(Kin) that was not inhibited by ABA. These results demonstrate that the mesophyll-encoded signaling mechanism could not substitute for the guard cell pathway. These findings indicate that mesophyll cells and guard cells use distinct and different receptor types and/or signal transduction pathways in ABA regulation of K(+) channels.

  1. Coupling of inositol phospholipid hydrolysis to peptide hormone receptors expressed from adrenal and pituitary mRNA in Xenopus laevis oocytes

    SciTech Connect

    McIntosh, R.P.; Catt, K.J.

    1987-12-01

    The expression of several neurotransmitter and drug receptors from injected exogenous mRNA in Xenopus laevis oocytes has been demonstrated by electrophysiological measurements of ion channel activation. The expression of specific receptors for peptide hormones in such a translation system would facilitate studies on the structure and regulation of cell-surface receptors as well as their coupling to membrane transduction mechanisms. The expression of receptors for calcium-mobilizing hormones in Xenopus oocytes was sought by analysis of phospholipid turnover in hormone-stimulated oocytes. For this purpose, Xenopus oocytes were injected with mRNA extracted from bovine adrenal and pituitary glands and incubated with myo-(/sup 3/H)inositol to label plasma-membrane phosphatidylinositol phosphates. The expression of functionally active receptors for angiotensin II (AII) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) was demonstrated by the stimulation of (/sup 3/H)inositol phosphate production by AII and TRH in the mRNA-injected, (/sup 3/H)inositol-prelabeled oocytes. The ability of AII and TRH to act by way of newly synthesized receptors from mammalian endocrine tissues to stimulate phosphatidylinositol polyphosphate hydrolysis in Xenopus oocytes suggests a generalized and conserved mechanism of receptor coupling to the transduction mechanism responsible for activation of phospholipase C in the plasma membrane.

  2. The RNA-binding protein xCIRP2 is involved in apoptotic tail regression during metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Eto, Ko; Iwama, Tomoyuki; Tajima, Tatsuya; Abe, Shin-ichi

    2012-10-01

    Frog metamorphosis induced by thyroid hormone (TH) involves not only cell proliferation and differentiation in reconstituted organs such as limbs, but also apoptotic cell death in degenerated organs such as tails. However, the molecular mechanisms directing the TH-dependent cell fate determination remain unclear. We have previously identified from newts an RNA-binding protein (nRBP) acting as the regulator governing survival and death in germ cells during spermatogenesis. To investigate the molecular events leading the tail resorption during metamorphosis, we analyzed the expression, the functional role in apoptosis, and the regulation of xCIRP2, a frog homolog of nRBP, in tails of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. At the prometamorphic stage, xCIRP2 protein is expressed in fibroblast, epidermal, nerve, and muscular cells and localized in their cytoplasm. When spontaneous metamorphosis progressed, the level of xCIRP2 mRNA remained unchanged but the amount of the protein decreased. In organ cultures of tails at the prometamorphic stage, xCIRP2 protein decreased before their lengths shortened during TH-dependent metamorphosis. The inhibition of calpain or proteasome attenuated the TH-induced decrease of xCIRP2 protein in tails, impairing their regression. These results suggest that xCIRP2 protein is downregulated through calpain- and proteasome-mediated proteolysis in response to TH at the onset of metamorphosis, inducing apoptosis in tails and thereby degenerating them.

  3. Voltage‐dependent potassium currents expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes after injection of mRNA isolated from trophozoites of Giardia lamblia (strain Portland‐1)

    PubMed Central

    Ponce, Arturo; Jimenez‐Cardoso, Enedina; Eligio‐Garcia, Leticia

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Despite its importance as a health problem issue, almost nothing is known about the membrane physiology of Giardia lamblia and practically there exist no information so far regarding the variety and properties of ion channels that this protozoan parasite possesses. To address this subject we resorted to an indirect method, consisting in the injection of mRNA and further characterization of ion currents in Xenopus oocytes. In this work, we show that oocytes injected with mRNA isolated from cultured trophozoites of G. lamblia, strain Portland‐1 express novel potassium currents that appear over the second day after injection and show time‐ and voltage‐dependent activation followed by a slow inactivation. They start activating at −90 mV, with V1/2 of −30 mV; its time constant of activation (at +60 mV) is 0.11 sec, whereas that of inactivation is 1.92 sec, V1/2 = −44.6 mV. Such K currents were effectively blocked by K channel blockers TEA and 4AP, as well as Ba2+, quinine, quinidine, charybdotoxin, dendrotoxin‐1, capsaicin, margatoxin, and diltiazem. These results suggest that such currents are the result of expression of Giardia′s voltage‐gated K channels heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. PMID:24744864

  4. Protein arginine methyltransferase Prmt5-Mep50 methylates histones H2A and H4 and the histone chaperone nucleoplasmin in Xenopus laevis eggs.

    PubMed

    Wilczek, Carola; Chitta, Raghu; Woo, Eileen; Shabanowitz, Jeffrey; Chait, Brian T; Hunt, Donald F; Shechter, David

    2011-12-09

    Histone proteins carry information contained in post-translational modifications. Eukaryotic cells utilize this histone code to regulate the usage of the underlying DNA. In the maturing oocytes and eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis, histones are synthesized in bulk in preparation for deposition during the rapid early developmental cell cycles. During this key developmental time frame, embryonic pluripotent chromatin is established. In the egg, non-chromatin-bound histones are complexed with storage chaperone proteins, including nucleoplasmin. Here we describe the identification and characterization of a complex of the protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (Prmt5) and the methylosome protein 50 (Mep50) isolated from Xenopus eggs that specifically methylates predeposition histones H2A/H2A.X-F and H4 and the histone chaperone nucleoplasmin on a conserved motif (GRGXK). We demonstrate that nucleoplasmin (Npm), an exceedingly abundant maternally deposited protein, is a potent substrate for Prmt5-Mep50 and is monomethylated and symmetrically dimethylated at Arg-187. Furthermore, Npm modulates Prmt5-Mep50 activity directed toward histones, consistent with a regulatory role for Npm in vivo. We show that H2A and nucleoplasmin methylation appears late in oogenesis and is most abundant in the laid egg. We hypothesize that these very abundant arginine methylations are constrained to pre-mid blastula transition events in the embryo and therefore may be involved in the global transcriptional repression found in this developmental time frame.

  5. Post-transcriptional modification of the wobble nucleotide in anticodon-substituted yeast tRNAArgII after microinjection into Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, M; Haumont, E; de Henau, S; Gangloff, J; Grosjean, H

    1983-01-01

    An enzymatic procedure for the replacement of the ICG anticodon of yeast tRNAArgII by NCG trinucleotide (N = A, C, G or U) is described. Partial digestion with S1-nuclease and T1-RNAase provides fragments which, when annealed together, form an "anticodon-deprived" yeast tRNAArgII. A novel anticodon, phosphorylated with (32P) label on its 5' terminal residue, is then inserted using T4-RNA ligase. Such "anticodon-substituted" yeast tRNAArgII are microinjected into the cytoplasm of Xenopus laevis oocytes and shown to be able to interact with the anticodon maturation enzymes under in vivo conditions. Our results indicate that when adenosine occurs in the wobble position (A34) in yeast tRNAArgII it is efficiently modified into inosine (I34) while uridine (U34) is transformed into two uridine derivatives, one of which is probably mcm5U. In contrast, when a cytosine (C34) or guanosine (G34) occurs, they are not modified. These results are at variance with those obtained previously under similar conditions with anticodon derivatives of yeast tRNAAsp harbouring A, C, G or U as the first anticodon nucleotide. In this case, guanosine and uridine were modified while adenosine and cytosine were not. Images PMID:6300762

  6. Fertilization competence of the egg-coating envelope is regulated by direct interaction of dicalcin and gp41, the Xenopus laevis ZP3.

    PubMed

    Miwa, Naofumi; Ogawa, Motoyuki; Hanaue, Mayu; Takamatsu, Ken

    2015-08-05

    Fertilization begins with species-restricted interaction of sperm and the egg-coating envelope, which includes a three-dimensional meshwork of filaments composed of glycoproteins (called ZP proteins). Growing evidence has unveiled the molecular nature of ZP proteins; however, the structural property conferring fertilization competence to the egg-coating envelope remains unknown. Here, we show the molecular mechanism that mediates direct interaction between dicalcin, a novel fertilization-suppressive ZP protein-associated protein, and gp41, a Xenopus laevis ortholog of mammalian ZP3, and subsequently demonstrate the structural basis of the envelope for fertilization competence. The interactive regions between dicalcin and gp41 comprised five and nine amino acid residues within dicalcin and twenty-three within gp41 [corrected]. Synthetic peptides corresponding to these regions dramatically affected fertilization: treatment with dicalcin- or gp41-derived peptides decreased or increased fertilization rates, respectively. Prior application of these peptides caused distinct alterations in the in vivo lectin-staining pattern of the envelope as well. Transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed that the dicalcin-derived peptide induced the formation of a well-organized meshwork, whereas the gp41-derived peptide caused the formation of a significantly disorganized meshwork. These findings indicated that the fertilization competence of the egg-coating envelope is crucially regulated by the direct interaction between dicalcin and gp41.

  7. A simulation study of the combined thermoelectric extracellular stimulation of the sciatic nerve of the Xenopus laevis: the localized transient heat block.

    PubMed

    Mou, Zongxia; Triantis, Iasonas F; Woods, Virginia M; Toumazou, Christofer; Nikolic, Konstantin

    2012-06-01

    The electrical behavior of the Xenopus laevis nerve fibers was studied when combined electrical (cuff electrodes) and optical (infrared laser, low power sub-5 mW) stimulations are applied. Assuming that the main effect of the laser irradiation on the nerve tissue is the localized temperature increase, this paper analyzes and gives new insights into the function of the combined thermoelectric stimulation on both excitation and blocking of the nerve action potentials (AP). The calculations involve a finite-element model (COMSOL) to represent the electrical properties of the nerve and cuff. Electric-field distribution along the nerve was computed for the given stimulation current profile and imported into a NEURON model, which was built to simulate the electrical behavior of myelinated nerve fiber under extracellular stimulation. The main result of this study of combined thermoelectric stimulation showed that local temperature increase, for the given electric field, can create a transient block of both the generation and propagation of the APs. Some preliminary experimental data in support of this conclusion are also shown.

  8. Evaluation of spin labels for in-cell EPR by analysis of nitroxide reduction in cell extract of Xenopus laevis oocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azarkh, Mykhailo; Okle, Oliver; Eyring, Philipp; Dietrich, Daniel R.; Drescher, Malte

    2011-10-01

    Spin-label electron paramagnetic resonance (SL-EPR) spectroscopy has become a powerful and useful tool for studying structure and dynamics of biomacromolecules. However, utilizing these methods