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Sample records for aged mouse lemurs

  1. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates.

    PubMed

    Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination.

  2. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates

    PubMed Central

    Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination. PMID:26716699

  3. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates.

    PubMed

    Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination. PMID:26716699

  4. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François

    2015-06-01

    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents.

  5. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François

    2015-06-01

    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents. PMID:25882681

  6. Daily rhythms of core temperature and locomotor activity indicate different adaptive strategies to cold exposure in adult and aged mouse lemurs acclimated to a summer-like photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Terrien, Jeremy; Zizzari, Philippe; Epelbaum, Jacques; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne

    2009-07-01

    Daily variations in core temperature (Tc) within the normothermic range imply thermoregulatory processes that are essential for optimal function and survival. Higher susceptibility towards cold exposure in older animals suggests that these processes are disturbed with age. In the mouse lemur, a long-day breeder, we tested whether aging affected circadian rhythmicity of Tc, locomotor activity (LA), and energy balance under long-day conditions when exposed to cold. Adult (N = 7) and aged (N = 5) mouse lemurs acclimated to LD14/10 were exposed to 10-day periods at 25 and 12 degrees C. Tc and LA rhythms were recorded by telemetry, and caloric intake (CI), body mass changes, and plasma IGF-1 were measured. During exposure to 25 degrees C, both adult and aged mouse lemurs exhibited strong daily variations in Tc. Aged animals exhibited lower levels of nocturnal LA and nocturnal and diurnal Tc levels in comparison to adults. Body mass and IGF-1 levels remained unchanged with aging. Under cold exposure, torpor bout occurrence was never observed whatever the age category. Adult and aged mouse lemurs maintained their Tc in the normothermic range and a positive energy balance. All animals exhibited increase in CI and decrease in IGF-1 in response to cold. The decrease in IGF-1 was delayed in aged mouse lemurs compared to adults. Moreover, both adult and aged animals responded to cold exposure by increasing their diurnal LA compared to those under Ta = 25 degrees C. However, aged animals exhibited a strong decrease in nocturnal LA and Tc, whereas cold effects were only slight in adults. The temporal organization and amplitude of the daily phase of low Tc were particularly well preserved under cold exposure in both age groups. Sexually active mouse lemurs exposed to cold thus seemed to prevent torpor exhibition and temporal disorganization of daily rhythms of Tc, even during aging. However, although energy balance was not impaired with age in mouse lemurs after cold exposure

  7. The stress of growing old: sex- and season-specific effects of age on allostatic load in wild grey mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Kraus, Cornelia

    2015-08-01

    Chronic stress [i.e. long-term elevation of glucocorticoid (GC) levels] and aging have similar, negative effects on the functioning of an organism. Aged individuals' declining ability to regulate GC levels may therefore impair their ability to cope with stress, as found in humans. The coping of aged animals with long-term natural stressors is virtually unstudied, even though the ability to respond appropriately to stressors is likely integral to the reproduction and survival of wild animals. To assess the effect of age on coping with naturally fluctuating energetic demands, we measured stress hormone output via GC metabolites in faecal samples (fGCM) of wild grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in different ecological seasons. Aged individuals were expected to exhibit elevated fGCM levels under energetically demanding conditions. In line with this prediction, we found a positive age effect in the dry season, when food and water availability are low and mating takes place, suggesting impaired coping of aged wild animals. The age effect was significantly stronger in females, the longer-lived sex. Body mass of males but not females correlated positively with fGCM in the dry season. Age or body mass did not influence fGCM significantly in the rainy season. The sex- and season-specific predictors of fGCM may reflect the differential investment of males and females into reproduction and longevity. A review of prior research indicates contradictory aging patterns in GC regulation across and even within species. The context of sampling may influence the likelihood of detecting senescent declines in GC functioning.

  8. Spatial memory in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Lührs, Mia-Lana; Dammhahn, Melanie; Kappeler, Peter M; Fichtel, Claudia

    2009-07-01

    Wild animals face the challenge of locating feeding sites distributed across broad spatial and temporal scales. Spatial memory allows animals to find a goal, such as a productive feeding patch, even when there are no goal-specific sensory cues available. Because there is little experimental information on learning and memory capabilities in free-ranging primates, the aim of this study was to test whether grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), as short-term dietary specialists, rely on spatial memory in relocating productive feeding sites. In addition, we asked what kind of spatial representation might underlie their orientation in their natural environment. Using an experimental approach, we set eight radio-collared grey mouse lemurs a memory task by confronting them with two different spatial patterns of baited and non-baited artificial feeding stations under exclusion of sensory cues. Positional data were recorded by focal animal observations within a grid system of small foot trails. A change in the baiting pattern revealed that grey mouse lemurs primarily used spatial cues to relocate baited feeding stations and that they were able to rapidly learn a new spatial arrangement. Spatially concentrated, non-random movements revealed preliminary evidence for a route-based restriction in mouse lemur space; during a subsequent release experiment, however, we found high travel efficiency in directed movements. We therefore propose that mouse lemur spatial memory is based on some kind of mental representation that is more detailed than a route-based network map.

  9. Effect of dietary fish oil supplementation on the exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial memory of the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate.

    PubMed

    Languille, Solène; Aujard, Fabienne; Pifferi, Fabien

    2012-12-01

    The data are inconsistent about the ability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids to prevent age-associated cognitive decline. Indeed, most clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids against cognitive decline, and methodological issues are still under debate. In contrast to human studies, experiments performed in adult rodents clearly indicate that omega-3 fatty acids supplement can improve behavioural and cognitive functions. The inconsistent observations between human and rodent studies highlight the importance of the use of non-human primate models. The aim of the present study was to address the impact of omega-3 fatty acids (given in the form of dietary fish oil) on exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial reference memory in the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate. Aged animals fed fish oil exhibited decreased exploratory activity, as manifested by an increase in the latency to move and a reduced distance travelled in an open-field. The fish oil-supplemented animals exhibited no change in the anxiety level, but they were more reactive to go into the dark arms of a light/dark plus-maze. In addition, we found that fish oil supplementation did not significantly improve the spatial memory performance in the Barnes maze task. This study demonstrated for the first time that a fish oil diet initiated late in life specifically modifies the exploratory behaviour without improving the spatial memory of aged non-human primates. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be effective when started early in life but less effective when started at later ages. PMID:22921374

  10. Effect of dietary fish oil supplementation on the exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial memory of the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate.

    PubMed

    Languille, Solène; Aujard, Fabienne; Pifferi, Fabien

    2012-12-01

    The data are inconsistent about the ability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids to prevent age-associated cognitive decline. Indeed, most clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids against cognitive decline, and methodological issues are still under debate. In contrast to human studies, experiments performed in adult rodents clearly indicate that omega-3 fatty acids supplement can improve behavioural and cognitive functions. The inconsistent observations between human and rodent studies highlight the importance of the use of non-human primate models. The aim of the present study was to address the impact of omega-3 fatty acids (given in the form of dietary fish oil) on exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial reference memory in the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate. Aged animals fed fish oil exhibited decreased exploratory activity, as manifested by an increase in the latency to move and a reduced distance travelled in an open-field. The fish oil-supplemented animals exhibited no change in the anxiety level, but they were more reactive to go into the dark arms of a light/dark plus-maze. In addition, we found that fish oil supplementation did not significantly improve the spatial memory performance in the Barnes maze task. This study demonstrated for the first time that a fish oil diet initiated late in life specifically modifies the exploratory behaviour without improving the spatial memory of aged non-human primates. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be effective when started early in life but less effective when started at later ages.

  11. Remarkable species diversity in Malagasy mouse lemurs (primates, Microcebus)

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Anne D.; Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Goodman, Steven M.; Irwin, Jodi A.; Atsalis, Sylvia; Ravosa, Matthew J.; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2000-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA sequence data confirms the observation that species diversity in the world's smallest living primate (genus Microcebus) has been greatly underestimated. The description of three species new to science, and the resurrection of two others from synonymy, has been justified on morphological grounds and is supported by evidence of reproductive isolation in sympatry. This taxonomic revision doubles the number of recognized mouse lemur species. The molecular data and phylogenetic analyses presented here verify the revision and add a historical framework for understanding mouse lemur species diversity. Phylogenetic analysis revises established hypotheses of ecogeographic constraint for the maintenance of species boundaries in these endemic Malagasy primates. Mouse lemur clades also show conspicuous patterns of regional endemism, thereby emphasizing the threat of local deforestation to Madagascar's unique biodiversity. PMID:11005834

  12. Optional strategies for reduced metabolism in gray mouse lemurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, J.; Ganzhorn, J. U.

    2009-06-01

    Among the order of primates, torpor has been described only for the small Malagasy cheirogaleids Microcebus and Cheirogaleus. The nocturnal, gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (approx. 60 g), is capable of entering into and spontaneously arousing from apparently daily torpor during the dry season in response to reduced temperatures and low food and water sources. Mark-recapture studies indicated that this primate species might also hibernate for several weeks, although physiological evidence is lacking. In the present study, we investigated patterns of body temperature in two free-ranging M. murinus during the austral winter using temperature-sensitive data loggers implanted subdermally. One lemur hibernated and remained inactive for 4 weeks. During this time, body temperature followed the ambient temperature passively with a minimum body temperature of 11.5°C, interrupted by irregular arousals to normothermic levels. Under the same conditions, the second individual displayed only short bouts of torpor in the early morning hours but maintained stable normothermic body temperatures throughout its nocturnal activity. Reduction of body temperature was less pronounced in the mouse lemur that utilized short bouts of torpor with a minimum value of 27°C. Despite the small sample size, our findings provide the first physiological confirmation that free-ranging individuals of M. murinus from the humid evergreen littoral rain forest have the option to utilize short torpor bouts or hibernation under the same conditions as two alternative energy-conserving physiological solutions to environmental constraints.

  13. Timely estrus in wild brown mouse lemur females at Ranomafana National Park, southeastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B

    2011-06-01

    The small-bodied nocturnal mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) occupy a variety of habitats in Madagascar. Gray (M. murinus) and brown (M. rufus) mouse lemurs have been widely studied both in the wild and captivity. Whereas captive studies revealed an endogenous regulation of reproduction entrained by photoperiod, field studies have suggested that reproductive activation could be affected by additional climatic, physical, or social conditions. I collected data on wild brown mouse lemur females at Ranomafana between 2004 and 2008 to determine: 1) the timing of estrus and estrous periodicities across multiple seasons, and 2) whether additional factors such as body mass, age, or rainfall are correlated with onset of reproduction. In mouse lemur females at Ranomafana, the first seasonal estrus occurs 3-4 weeks after the vernal equinox. I report ~1 month's intra-population variation in the timing of estrus and inter-annual estrous intervals with periodicities of ~365 days. There were significant differences between the onset of reproduction across years. Estrous onset was uncorrelated with body mass, but there was an apparent age effect. There was a significant negative correlation between August rainfall and onset of reproduction when 2004 data were removed from the analysis. Results from this study are consistent with the notion that timing of estrus is photoperiod-dependent. As in captivity, intra-population variation in estrous onset is ~4 weeks in length. In the wild, variation in estrous onset and polyestry (multiple reproductive opportunities per year) appear to be favored under the highly unpredictable conditions of Madagascar's environments. In the wild, variation in estrous onset and polyestry (multiple reproductive opportunities per year) appear to be favored under the highly unpredictable conditions of Madagascar's environments. PMID:21469075

  14. Gender markedly modulates behavioral thermoregulation in a non-human primate species, the mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Terrien, J; Perret, M; Aujard, F

    2010-11-01

    Age and gender are known to significantly modulate thermoregulatory capacities in mammals, suggesting strong impacts on behavioral adjustments, which are used to minimize the energy costs of thermoregulation. We tested the effects of sex and age on spontaneous choice of ambient temperature (Ta) in a non-human primate species, the mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). The animals acclimated to both winter and summer photoperiods, two seasons significantly modifying thermoregulation function, were experimented in a thermal gradient device. During winter, adult males did not show preference for warm Tas whereas old males did. In contrast, female mouse lemurs of both age categories exhibited great preferences for warm Tas. Acclimation to summer revealed that males selected colder Ta for the day than during the night. Such behavior did not exist in females. Old females explored and selected warmer nests than adult ones. This study raised novel issues on the effect of gender on thermoregulatory capacities in the mouse lemur. Females probably use behavioral adjustments to limit energy expenditure and might prefer to preserve energy for maternal investment by anticipation of and during the breeding season. Further experiments focusing on female thermoregulatory capacities are needed to better understand the energy challenge that may occur during winter and summer in female mouse lemurs, and whether this trade-off changes during aging.

  15. Exceptional diversity of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in the Makira region with the description of one new species.

    PubMed

    Radespiel, Ute; Olivieri, Gillian; Rasolofoson, David W; Rakotondratsimba, Gilbert; Rakotonirainy, Odon; Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H; Ratelolahy, Felix; Randriamboavonjy, Tahirihasina; Rasolofoharivelo, Tovonanahary; Craul, Mathias; Rakotozafy, Lucien; Randrianarison, Rose M

    2008-11-01

    Although the number of described lemur species has increased considerably over the last 20 years, detailed biogeographic data are still lacking from many geographic regions, in particular in the eastern part of Madagascar. This study investigated mouse lemur species diversity in a previously unstudied Inter-River-System in the eastern Makira region. Three sites were visited and 26 individuals were sampled and characterized with 13 external morphometric measurements. Standard phylogenetic analyses were performed on the basis of sequences of three mitochondrial loci by including representatives of all other published mouse lemur species for comparison. The analyses revealed the presence of three mouse lemur species in one study site, two of which were previously undescribed. The two new species are genetically distinct and belong to the larger-bodied mouse lemur species on the island, whereas the third species, Microcebus mittermeieri, belongs to the smaller-bodied mouse lemur species. The study fully describes one of the new species. This study and other lemur inventories suggest that the Makira region is particularly rich in lemur species and the lack of any protected zone in this area should now attract the urgent attention of conservation stakeholders.

  16. Host age, social group, and habitat type influence the gut microbiota of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Genevieve; Malone, Matthew; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; White, Bryan; Nelson, Karen E; Stumpf, Rebecca M; Knight, Rob; Leigh, Steven R; Amato, Katherine R

    2016-08-01

    The gut microbiota contributes to host health by maintaining homeostasis, increasing digestive efficiency, and facilitating the development of the immune system. The composition of the gut microbiota can change dramatically within and between individuals of a species as a result of diet, age, or habitat. Therefore, understanding the factors determining gut microbiota diversity and composition can contribute to our knowledge of host ecology as well as to conservation efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing to describe variation in the gut microbiota of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) in southwestern Madagascar. Specifically, we measured the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota in relation to social group, age, sex, tooth wear and loss, and habitat disturbance. While we found no significant variation in the diversity of the ring-tailed lemur gut microbiota in response to any variable tested, the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiota was influenced by social group, age, and habitat disturbance. However, effect sizes were small and appear to be driven by the presence or absence of relatively low abundance taxa. These results suggest that habitat disturbance may not impact the lemur gut microbiota as strongly as it impacts the gut microbiota of other primate species, highlighting the importance of distinct host ecological and physiological factors on host-gut microbe relationships. Am. J. Primatol. 78:883-892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Host age, social group, and habitat type influence the gut microbiota of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Genevieve; Malone, Matthew; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; White, Bryan; Nelson, Karen E; Stumpf, Rebecca M; Knight, Rob; Leigh, Steven R; Amato, Katherine R

    2016-08-01

    The gut microbiota contributes to host health by maintaining homeostasis, increasing digestive efficiency, and facilitating the development of the immune system. The composition of the gut microbiota can change dramatically within and between individuals of a species as a result of diet, age, or habitat. Therefore, understanding the factors determining gut microbiota diversity and composition can contribute to our knowledge of host ecology as well as to conservation efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing to describe variation in the gut microbiota of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) in southwestern Madagascar. Specifically, we measured the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota in relation to social group, age, sex, tooth wear and loss, and habitat disturbance. While we found no significant variation in the diversity of the ring-tailed lemur gut microbiota in response to any variable tested, the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiota was influenced by social group, age, and habitat disturbance. However, effect sizes were small and appear to be driven by the presence or absence of relatively low abundance taxa. These results suggest that habitat disturbance may not impact the lemur gut microbiota as strongly as it impacts the gut microbiota of other primate species, highlighting the importance of distinct host ecological and physiological factors on host-gut microbe relationships. Am. J. Primatol. 78:883-892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27177345

  18. Shades of gray mouse lemurs: Ontogeny of female dominance and dominance-related behaviors in a nocturnal primate.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Sarah; Koberstein-Schwarz, Maren; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2015-11-01

    The ontogeny and establishment of dominance relationships in young individuals have been investigated in various group-living, diurnal primates but respective information is almost entirely lacking for nocturnal, non-gregarious species. As in many other mammals male primates often represent the dominant sex, but the opposite phenomenon (female dominance) is particularly frequent in lemurs, although almost nothing is known about its development. Therefore, we investigated the development of intersexual dominance in parallel to age-related changes in other relevant behaviors in the gray mouse lemur, a solitary forager with female dominance. In particular, the temporal trajectories of social play, marking behavior, social tolerance, and agonistic behaviors were characterized in captive dyads of three different age categories (ACs), among juveniles (ACI: 4-5 months, N = 6), adolescents (ACII: 8-9 months, N = 8) and young adults (ACIII: 12-13 months, N = 8). Data were collected during a series of three encounter experiments between one male and one female per dyad and age category (total observation time: 49.5 hr). Play behavior was observed in all age classes, although the number of playing dyads decreased with increasing age. A significant age-dependent increase in marking behavior was found in females, especially in substrate rubbing and urine washing, but not in males. Although conflict rates did not differ significantly between ACs, females started to win more conflicts from ACII onwards, and social tolerance decreased partly with increasing age. Clear dominance relationships were not observed in ACI and first indications of dominant females were found in ACII with an increasing number in ACIII. This study provides first information about the ontogeny of female dominance in a nocturnal primate and shows that this behavior develops relatively late during ontogeny. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for significant changes in the social lives

  19. Effects of Substrate Size and Orientation on Quadrupedal Gait Kinematics in Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Liza J; Kemp, Addison D; Young, Jesse W

    2016-06-01

    As the smallest living primate, the mouse lemur is a suitable model for reconstructing the locomotor mechanisms by which primate ancestors might have responded to the challenges of an arboreal environment. In this study, we tested the effects of substrate diameter and orientation on quadrupedal gait kinematics in mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Mouse lemurs highly preferred asymmetrical to symmetrical gaits as they moved across a flat board and poles of three diameters (2.5, 1.0, and 0.5 cm), set at horizontal, 30° inclined, and 30° declined orientations. During symmetrical gaits, mouse lemurs used diagonal sequence walking and ambling gaits on the same substrates and at the same duty factors for which some similarly sized nonprimate mammals use lateral sequence gaits, suggesting that reliance on diagonal sequence walking in primates may not be explicitly a response to body size relative to substrate diameter. When using asymmetrical gaits, kinematic adjustments to small diameter and/or nonhorizontal substrates included a preference for transverse gallops over other gaits, the avoidance of whole-body suspensions, increases in limb contact duration, and increases in the time interval between the landing of trailing and leading limbs. All of these adjustments are consistent with increasing locomotor stability by dampening center of mass movements and reducing the forces imparted to the substrate. Like mouse lemurs, small-bodied ancestral primates likely used symmetrical gaits occasionally, but more frequently used asymmetrical gaits that were adjusted in response to challenging substrates. Therefore, asymmetrical gait dynamics should be incorporated into hypotheses addressing early primate locomotor evolution. PMID:27222465

  20. Variation in dental wear and tooth loss among known-aged, older ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): a comparison between wild and captive individuals.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Lent, Cheryl

    2010-11-01

    Tooth wear is generally an age-related phenomenon, often assumed to occur at similar rates within populations of primates and other mammals, and has been suggested as a correlate of reduced offspring survival among wild lemurs. Few long-term wild studies have combined detailed study of primate behavior and ecology with dental analyses. Here, we present data on dental wear and tooth loss in older (>10 years old) wild and captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Among older ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar (n=6), the percentage of severe dental wear and tooth loss ranges from 6 to 50%. Among these six individuals, the oldest (19 years old) exhibits the second lowest frequency of tooth loss (14%). The majority of captive lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo (n=7) are older than the oldest BMSR lemur, yet display significantly less overall tooth wear for 19 of 36 tooth positions, with only two individuals exhibiting antemortem tooth loss. Among the captive lemurs, only one lemur (a nearly 29 year old male) has lost more than one tooth. This individual is only missing anterior teeth, in contrast to lemurs at BMSR, where the majority of lost teeth are postcanine teeth associated with processing specific fallback foods. Postcanine teeth also show significantly more overall wear at BMSR than in the captive sample. At BMSR, degree of severe wear and tooth loss varies in same aged, older individuals, likely reflecting differences in microhabitat, and thus the availability and use of different foods. This pattern becomes apparent before "old age," as seen in individuals as young as 7 years. Among the four "older" female lemurs at BMSR, severe wear and/or tooth loss do not predict offspring survival.

  1. Variation in dental wear and tooth loss among known-aged, older ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): a comparison between wild and captive individuals.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Lent, Cheryl

    2010-11-01

    Tooth wear is generally an age-related phenomenon, often assumed to occur at similar rates within populations of primates and other mammals, and has been suggested as a correlate of reduced offspring survival among wild lemurs. Few long-term wild studies have combined detailed study of primate behavior and ecology with dental analyses. Here, we present data on dental wear and tooth loss in older (>10 years old) wild and captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Among older ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar (n=6), the percentage of severe dental wear and tooth loss ranges from 6 to 50%. Among these six individuals, the oldest (19 years old) exhibits the second lowest frequency of tooth loss (14%). The majority of captive lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo (n=7) are older than the oldest BMSR lemur, yet display significantly less overall tooth wear for 19 of 36 tooth positions, with only two individuals exhibiting antemortem tooth loss. Among the captive lemurs, only one lemur (a nearly 29 year old male) has lost more than one tooth. This individual is only missing anterior teeth, in contrast to lemurs at BMSR, where the majority of lost teeth are postcanine teeth associated with processing specific fallback foods. Postcanine teeth also show significantly more overall wear at BMSR than in the captive sample. At BMSR, degree of severe wear and tooth loss varies in same aged, older individuals, likely reflecting differences in microhabitat, and thus the availability and use of different foods. This pattern becomes apparent before "old age," as seen in individuals as young as 7 years. Among the four "older" female lemurs at BMSR, severe wear and/or tooth loss do not predict offspring survival. PMID:20872788

  2. Sources of tooth wear variation early in life among known-aged wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Head, Brian R; Sauther, Michelle L; Ungar, Peter S; O'Mara, M Teague

    2014-11-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar display a high frequency of individuals with notable and sometimes extreme tooth wear. Adult lemurs display a range of tooth wear even among individuals of the same age, but we do not know at what age this variation first appears. This study's goal was to determine whether wear variation occurs in younger wild lemurs. Based on the decade-long study of ring-tailed lemur feeding and dental ecology at BMSR, we hypothesized that younger, natal lemurs (under 5 years of age), would display variation in their degree of tooth wear that would correspond to microhabitat differences, given differences in food availability in different troops' home ranges. We also hypothesized that wear would differ between sexes at this young age, given differences in feeding between males and females in this population. Hypotheses were tested using dental topographic analyses using dental impressions collected from known-aged lemurs across 10 years at BMSR. Results illustrate significant differences in wear-related tooth topography (i.e., relief and slope, presented here as "occlusal lift") for microhabitat, sex and troop affiliation among lemurs under 5 years of age in this population. Although, all lemurs in this population consume mechanically challenging tamarind fruit, those in more disturbed habitats eat additional introduced foods, some of which are also mechanically challenging. Thus, dietary variation is the likely cause of variation in tooth wear. The wear variation we show at a young age suggests caution when assigning age based on tooth wear in living and fossil primates. These wear-related tooth shape changes early in life, which reflects sex, habitat variation and levels of anthropogenic disturbance, may potentially impact reproductive fitness later in life.

  3. Sources of tooth wear variation early in life among known-aged wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Head, Brian R; Sauther, Michelle L; Ungar, Peter S; O'Mara, M Teague

    2014-11-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar display a high frequency of individuals with notable and sometimes extreme tooth wear. Adult lemurs display a range of tooth wear even among individuals of the same age, but we do not know at what age this variation first appears. This study's goal was to determine whether wear variation occurs in younger wild lemurs. Based on the decade-long study of ring-tailed lemur feeding and dental ecology at BMSR, we hypothesized that younger, natal lemurs (under 5 years of age), would display variation in their degree of tooth wear that would correspond to microhabitat differences, given differences in food availability in different troops' home ranges. We also hypothesized that wear would differ between sexes at this young age, given differences in feeding between males and females in this population. Hypotheses were tested using dental topographic analyses using dental impressions collected from known-aged lemurs across 10 years at BMSR. Results illustrate significant differences in wear-related tooth topography (i.e., relief and slope, presented here as "occlusal lift") for microhabitat, sex and troop affiliation among lemurs under 5 years of age in this population. Although, all lemurs in this population consume mechanically challenging tamarind fruit, those in more disturbed habitats eat additional introduced foods, some of which are also mechanically challenging. Thus, dietary variation is the likely cause of variation in tooth wear. The wear variation we show at a young age suggests caution when assigning age based on tooth wear in living and fossil primates. These wear-related tooth shape changes early in life, which reflects sex, habitat variation and levels of anthropogenic disturbance, may potentially impact reproductive fitness later in life. PMID:24953664

  4. Fear reactions to snakes in naïve mouse lemurs and pig-tailed macaques.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Lucie; Brandl, Pavel; Frynta, Daniel

    2015-07-01

    Primates have been predated on by snakes throughout their evolution and as a result, antipredator responses accompanied by signs of fear are often witnessed in the wild. In captivity, however, the fear of snakes is less clear, as experiments with naïve nonhuman primates have given inconsistent results. In this study, we present evidence that naïve mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) and putatively naïve pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) do exhibit fear of snakes, even though the apparent reactions are mild. In an experiment with control- or snake-odoured boxes, mouse lemurs clearly avoided feeding in the latter. When the latency of touching rubber models was measured, pig-tailed macaques took longer to touch a toy snake compared with a toy lizard. Our findings that fear of snakes is shown by naïve individuals support the hypothesis that it is innate in primates.

  5. Need for speed: Sexual maturation precedes social maturation in gray mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Sarah; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2015-10-01

    The life history of mammals underlies a fast-slow continuum, ranging from "slow" species with large body size, delayed sexual maturation, low fertility, and long lifespan, to "fast" species showing the opposite traits. Primates fall into the "slow" category, considering their relatively low offspring numbers and delayed juvenile development. However, social and sexual maturation processes do not necessarily have to be completed simultaneously. The comparison of the timeframes for sexual and social maturation is largely lacking for primates, with the prominent exception of humans. Here, we compare both maturation processes in a basal primate, the gray mouse lemur, which ranges in many aspects at the fast end of the slow-fast life history continuum among primates. We compared the patterns and frequencies of various social and solitary behaviors in young adults (YA, 12-13 months old) and older individuals (A, ≥2 years) of both sexes outside estrus. Observations were conducted during mix-sexed dyadic encounter experiments under controlled captive conditions (eight dyads per age class). Results indicate that although all young adults were sexually mature, social maturation was not yet completed in all behavioral domains: Age-dependent differences were found in the number of playing dyads, female marking behavior, female aggression, and social tolerance. Thus, this study provides a first indication that social maturation lags behind sexual maturation in an ancestral nocturnal primate model, indicating that these two developmental schemes may have been decoupled early and throughout the primate lineage. PMID:26119105

  6. Different competitive potential in two coexisting mouse lemur species in northwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Thorén, Sandra; Linnenbrink, Miriam; Radespiel, Ute

    2011-05-01

    Interspecific competition has been suggested to influence the biogeographic distribution patterns of species. A high competitive potential could entail species-specific advantages during resource acquisition that could translate into a higher potential for range expansion. We investigated whether differences in the competitive potential of the morphologically similar and partially sympatric gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) may help to explain differences in their geographic range sizes. We carried out encounter experiments with 14 pairs of captured female mouse lemurs of both species. The experimental dyads were tested in a two-cage arrangement, with individuals being separated from each other outside the experiments. Two days of habituation and four subsequent days of 1-h encounter experiments were conducted, before releasing the animals again in the wild. In general, the M. murinus individuals won significantly more conflicts than their partners. In eight of 14 tested pairs, there was a significant species bias in winning conflicts, and in 87.5% of these dyads, M. murinus was the "dyad winner". A high competitive potential did not depend on body mass. Furthermore, "dyad winners" spent more time feeding (P < 0.05) and were less spatially restricted than "dyad losers". To conclude, our results suggest that the widely distributed M. murinus may indeed have a higher competitive potential than the regional endemic M. ravelobensis, which may, among other possible factors, have enabled this species to expand geographically, despite the presence of other competing congeners.

  7. Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Anne D; Campbell, C Ryan; Blanco, Marina B; Dos Reis, Mario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Goodman, Steven M; Hunnicutt, Kelsie E; Larsen, Peter A; Kappeler, Peter M; Rasoloarison, Rodin M; Ralison, José M; Swofford, David L; Weisrock, David W

    2016-07-19

    Phylogeographic analysis can be described as the study of the geological and climatological processes that have produced contemporary geographic distributions of populations and species. Here, we attempt to understand how the dynamic process of landscape change on Madagascar has shaped the distribution of a targeted clade of mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) and, conversely, how phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in these small primates can reciprocally advance our understanding of Madagascar's prehuman environment. The degree to which human activity has impacted the natural plant communities of Madagascar is of critical and enduring interest. Today, the eastern rainforests are separated from the dry deciduous forests of the west by a large expanse of presumed anthropogenic grassland savanna, dominated by the Family Poaceae, that blankets most of the Central Highlands. Although there is firm consensus that anthropogenic activities have transformed the original vegetation through agricultural and pastoral practices, the degree to which closed-canopy forest extended from the east to the west remains debated. Phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in a five-species clade of mouse lemurs suggest that longitudinal dispersal across the island was readily achieved throughout the Pleistocene, apparently ending at ∼55 ka. By examining patterns of both inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity in mouse lemur species found in the eastern, western, and Central Highland zones, we conclude that the natural environment of the Central Highlands would have been mosaic, consisting of a matrix of wooded savanna that formed a transitional zone between the extremes of humid eastern and dry western forest types.

  8. Hybridization between mouse lemurs in an ecological transition zone in southern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gligor, M; Ganzhorn, J U; Rakotondravony, D; Ramilijaona, O R; Razafimahatratra, E; Zischler, H; Hapke, A

    2009-02-01

    Hybrid zones in ecotones can be useful model systems for the study of evolutionary processes that shape the distribution and discreteness of species. Such studies could be important for an improved understanding of the complex biogeography of Madagascar, which is renowned for its outstanding degree of small-scale endemism. Certain forest remnants in central Madagascar indicate that transitional corridors across the island could have connected microendemics in different forest types in the past. Evolutionary processes in such corridors are difficult to study because most of these corridors have disappeared due to deforestation in central Madagascar. We studied a hybrid zone in one of the few remaining ecotonal corridors between dry and humid forests in Madagascar, which connects two species of mouse lemurs, Microcebus griseorufus in dry spiny forest and Microcebus murinus in humid littoral forest. We sampled 162 mouse lemurs at nine sites across this boundary. Morphometric analyses revealed intermediate morphotypes of many individuals in transitional habitat. Bayesian clustering of microsatellite genotypes and assignment tests yielded evidence for a mixed ancestry of mouse lemurs in the ecotone, where we also observed significant linkage disequilibria and heterozygote deficiency. In contrast to these observations, mitochondrial haplotypes displayed a sharply delimited boundary at the eastern edge of spiny forest, which was noncoincident with the signals from microsatellite data. Among several alternative scenarios, we propose asymmetric nuclear introgression due to male-biased dispersal, divergent environmental selection, and an expansion of dry spiny forest in the course of aridification as a probable explanation of our observations.

  9. Torpor and energetic consequences in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus): a comparison of dry and wet forests.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Speakman, J R

    2009-05-01

    Many endotherms save energy during food and water shortage or unpredictable environment using controlled reductions in body temperature and metabolism called torpor. In this study, we measured energy metabolism and water turnover in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus (approximately 60 g) using doubly labelled water during the austral winter in the rain forest of southeastern Madagascar. We then compared patterns of thermal biology between grey mouse lemurs from the rain forest and a population from the dry forest. M. murinus from the rain forest, without a distinct dry season, entered daily torpor independent of ambient temperature (T (a)). There were no differences in torpor occurrence, duration and depth between M. murinus from the rain and dry forest. Mouse lemurs using daily torpor reduced their energy expenditure by 11% in the rain forest and by 10.5% in the dry forest, respectively. There was no significant difference in the mean water flux rates of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic between populations of both sites. In contrast, mean water flux rate of individuals from the dry forest that used torpor was significantly lower than those from the rain forest. This study represents the first account of energy expenditure, water flux and skin temperature (T (sk)) in free-ranging M. murinus from the rain forest. Our comparative findings suggest that water turnover and therefore water requirement during the austral winter months plays a more restricting role on grey mouse lemurs from the dry forest than on those from the rain forest.

  10. Torpor and energetic consequences in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus): a comparison of dry and wet forests.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Speakman, J R

    2009-05-01

    Many endotherms save energy during food and water shortage or unpredictable environment using controlled reductions in body temperature and metabolism called torpor. In this study, we measured energy metabolism and water turnover in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus (approximately 60 g) using doubly labelled water during the austral winter in the rain forest of southeastern Madagascar. We then compared patterns of thermal biology between grey mouse lemurs from the rain forest and a population from the dry forest. M. murinus from the rain forest, without a distinct dry season, entered daily torpor independent of ambient temperature (T (a)). There were no differences in torpor occurrence, duration and depth between M. murinus from the rain and dry forest. Mouse lemurs using daily torpor reduced their energy expenditure by 11% in the rain forest and by 10.5% in the dry forest, respectively. There was no significant difference in the mean water flux rates of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic between populations of both sites. In contrast, mean water flux rate of individuals from the dry forest that used torpor was significantly lower than those from the rain forest. This study represents the first account of energy expenditure, water flux and skin temperature (T (sk)) in free-ranging M. murinus from the rain forest. Our comparative findings suggest that water turnover and therefore water requirement during the austral winter months plays a more restricting role on grey mouse lemurs from the dry forest than on those from the rain forest. PMID:19229507

  11. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) During Torpor

    PubMed Central

    Tessier, Shannon N.; Katzenback, Barbara A.; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) of Madagascar experiences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The protein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) in the duodenum and jejunum during torpor as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF), and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) but an increase in MIP-1α in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others). Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a suppression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine. PMID:26092185

  12. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) During Torpor.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Katzenback, Barbara A; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) of Madagascar experiences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The protein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) in the duodenum and jejunum during torpor as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF), and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) but an increase in MIP-1α in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others). Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a suppression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine. PMID:26092185

  13. Species concepts, diversity, and evolution in primates: lessons to be learned from mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2014-01-01

    Humans primarily rely on vision when categorizing the world. If you just look at the same-sized but strikingly differently colored Neotropical poison-dart frogs such as strawberry frogs (Fig. ), you would be convinced that they must belong to different species. However, this is an excellent example of a polymorphic species, meaning that although these frogs look quite different, mating decisions are made based on their conspicuous and species-specific advertisements calls, which are not primarily linked to specific color pattern. The situation is quite different among nocturnal primates living in dense forest environments, such as the tiny nocturnal Malagasy mouse lemurs. In this case, even geographically isolated, well-accepted species look superficially quite similar and are therefore often termed cryptic species (Fig. ). Some morphs are a bit larger than others or show minor phenotypic differences, but morph-specific differences are difficult to detect in living subjects. This phenomenon explains why, until the end of the last century, species diversity in mouse lemurs was assumed to be low, with only two morphologically distinct species. Over the last two decades, several international working groups, including our own, undertook a massive island-wide sampling effort, including DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of mouse lemurs. These revealed a 10-fold higher species diversity, with 21 currently described species. Are these new species, mostly defined based on the phylogenetic species concept (sensu Cracraft), or independent evolutionary lineages or, perhaps, only artifacts of taxonomic inflation? What is a species? How can we identify primate species? How and why do species emerge during evolution?

  14. Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Anne D.; Campbell, C. Ryan; Blanco, Marina B.; dos Reis, Mario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.; Goodman, Steven M.; Hunnicutt, Kelsie E.; Larsen, Peter A.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Ralison, José M.; Swofford, David L.; Weisrock, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Phylogeographic analysis can be described as the study of the geological and climatological processes that have produced contemporary geographic distributions of populations and species. Here, we attempt to understand how the dynamic process of landscape change on Madagascar has shaped the distribution of a targeted clade of mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) and, conversely, how phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in these small primates can reciprocally advance our understanding of Madagascar's prehuman environment. The degree to which human activity has impacted the natural plant communities of Madagascar is of critical and enduring interest. Today, the eastern rainforests are separated from the dry deciduous forests of the west by a large expanse of presumed anthropogenic grassland savanna, dominated by the Family Poaceae, that blankets most of the Central Highlands. Although there is firm consensus that anthropogenic activities have transformed the original vegetation through agricultural and pastoral practices, the degree to which closed-canopy forest extended from the east to the west remains debated. Phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in a five-species clade of mouse lemurs suggest that longitudinal dispersal across the island was readily achieved throughout the Pleistocene, apparently ending at ∼55 ka. By examining patterns of both inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity in mouse lemur species found in the eastern, western, and Central Highland zones, we conclude that the natural environment of the Central Highlands would have been mosaic, consisting of a matrix of wooded savanna that formed a transitional zone between the extremes of humid eastern and dry western forest types. PMID:27432945

  15. Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Anne D; Campbell, C Ryan; Blanco, Marina B; Dos Reis, Mario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Goodman, Steven M; Hunnicutt, Kelsie E; Larsen, Peter A; Kappeler, Peter M; Rasoloarison, Rodin M; Ralison, José M; Swofford, David L; Weisrock, David W

    2016-07-19

    Phylogeographic analysis can be described as the study of the geological and climatological processes that have produced contemporary geographic distributions of populations and species. Here, we attempt to understand how the dynamic process of landscape change on Madagascar has shaped the distribution of a targeted clade of mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) and, conversely, how phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in these small primates can reciprocally advance our understanding of Madagascar's prehuman environment. The degree to which human activity has impacted the natural plant communities of Madagascar is of critical and enduring interest. Today, the eastern rainforests are separated from the dry deciduous forests of the west by a large expanse of presumed anthropogenic grassland savanna, dominated by the Family Poaceae, that blankets most of the Central Highlands. Although there is firm consensus that anthropogenic activities have transformed the original vegetation through agricultural and pastoral practices, the degree to which closed-canopy forest extended from the east to the west remains debated. Phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in a five-species clade of mouse lemurs suggest that longitudinal dispersal across the island was readily achieved throughout the Pleistocene, apparently ending at ∼55 ka. By examining patterns of both inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity in mouse lemur species found in the eastern, western, and Central Highland zones, we conclude that the natural environment of the Central Highlands would have been mosaic, consisting of a matrix of wooded savanna that formed a transitional zone between the extremes of humid eastern and dry western forest types. PMID:27432945

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome of the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (Primates, Cheirogaleidae).

    PubMed

    Lecompte, Emilie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Aujard, Fabienne; Holota, Hélène; Murienne, Jérôme

    2016-09-01

    We report the high-coverage complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the gray mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. The sequencing has been performed on an Illumina Hiseq 2500 platform, with a genome skimming strategy. The total length of this mitogenome is 16 963 bp, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1 non-coding region (D-loop region). The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage are similar to those reported from other primate's mitochondrial genomes. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here will be useful for comparative genomics studies in primates. PMID:27158869

  17. Complete mitochondrial genome of the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (Primates, Cheirogaleidae).

    PubMed

    Lecompte, Emilie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Aujard, Fabienne; Holota, Hélène; Murienne, Jérôme

    2016-09-01

    We report the high-coverage complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the gray mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. The sequencing has been performed on an Illumina Hiseq 2500 platform, with a genome skimming strategy. The total length of this mitogenome is 16 963 bp, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1 non-coding region (D-loop region). The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage are similar to those reported from other primate's mitochondrial genomes. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here will be useful for comparative genomics studies in primates.

  18. Hibernation in Malagasy mouse lemurs as a strategy to counter environmental challenge.

    PubMed

    Kobbe, Susanne; Dausmann, Kathrin H

    2009-10-01

    The spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar is the driest and most unpredictable region of the island. It is characterized by a pronounced seasonality with high fluctuations in ambient temperature, low availability of food, and a lack of water during the cool dry season and, additionally, by changes in environmental conditions between years. One of the few mammalian species that manages to inhabit this challenging habitat is the reddish-gray mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus). The aim of our study was to determine whether this small primate uses continuous hibernation as an energy saving strategy, and if so, to characterize its physiological properties. We measured skin temperature of 16 free-ranging individuals continuously over 3 months during the cool dry season using collar temperature data loggers. Prolonged hibernation was found in three mouse lemurs and was not sex dependent (one male, two females). Skin temperature of hibernating individuals tracked ambient temperature passively with a minimum skin temperature of 6.5 degrees C and fluctuated strongly each day (up to 20 degrees C), depending on the insulation capacity of the hibernacula. Individuals remained in continuous hibernation even at an ambient temperature of 37 degrees C. The animals hibernated continuously during the dry season, and hibernation bouts were only interrupted by short spontaneous arousals. The study emphasizes that hibernation is an important measure to counter environmental challenge for more tropical species than previously thought, including primates. It furthermore provides evidence that tropical hibernation is functionally similar among tropical species.

  19. Hibernation in Malagasy mouse lemurs as a strategy to counter environmental challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobbe, Susanne; Dausmann, Kathrin H.

    2009-10-01

    The spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar is the driest and most unpredictable region of the island. It is characterized by a pronounced seasonality with high fluctuations in ambient temperature, low availability of food, and a lack of water during the cool dry season and, additionally, by changes in environmental conditions between years. One of the few mammalian species that manages to inhabit this challenging habitat is the reddish-gray mouse lemur ( Microcebus griseorufus). The aim of our study was to determine whether this small primate uses continuous hibernation as an energy saving strategy, and if so, to characterize its physiological properties. We measured skin temperature of 16 free-ranging individuals continuously over 3 months during the cool dry season using collar temperature data loggers. Prolonged hibernation was found in three mouse lemurs and was not sex dependent (one male, two females). Skin temperature of hibernating individuals tracked ambient temperature passively with a minimum skin temperature of 6.5°C and fluctuated strongly each day (up to 20°C), depending on the insulation capacity of the hibernacula. Individuals remained in continuous hibernation even at an ambient temperature of 37°C. The animals hibernated continuously during the dry season, and hibernation bouts were only interrupted by short spontaneous arousals. The study emphasizes that hibernation is an important measure to counter environmental challenge for more tropical species than previously thought, including primates. It furthermore provides evidence that tropical hibernation is functionally similar among tropical species.

  20. Extreme individual flexibility of heterothermy in free-ranging Malagasy mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus).

    PubMed

    Kobbe, Susanne; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Dausmann, Kathrin H

    2011-01-01

    Flexibility in physiological processes is essential to adequately respond to changes in environmental conditions. Madagascar is a particularly challenging environment because climatic conditions seem less predictable than in comparative ecosystems in other parts of the world. We used the reddish-gray mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus) from the most unpredictable environment in Madagascar as a model to investigate the flexibility of energy saving strategies to cope with the unpredictability of their habitat. For this we measured T (sk) of free-ranging mouse lemurs throughout the year using temperature data loggers. M. griseorufus showed a very strong seasonal as well as an individual flexibility in thermoregulation. During the rainy season all M. griseorufus remained normothermic. At the beginning of the dry season individuals started to exhibit different energy saving strategies: irregular short torpor bouts, regular daily torpor, prolonged torpor of a few days, and hibernation over several weeks. The accumulation of sufficient seasonal body fat was the crucial factor determining the thermal behavior of individuals. The observed intraspecific and sex independent variation in thermoregulatory patterns within one population inhabiting the same small geographical area is exceptional and gives M. griseorufus the ability to respond to current environmental as well as individual conditions. This thermal plasticity might be seen as a key to success and survival for M. griseorufus in an extremely unpredictable environment. PMID:20717683

  1. Edge effects on morphometrics and body mass in two sympatric species of mouse lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Burke, Ryan J; Lehman, Shawn M

    2014-01-01

    Edge effects are an inevitable and important consequence of forest loss and fragmentation. These effects include changes in species biology and biogeography. Here we examine variations in body mass and morphometrics for 2 sympatric species of mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis) between edge and interior habitats in the dry deciduous forest at Ankarafantsika National Park. Between May and August 2012, we conducted mark-recapture experiments on mouse lemurs trapped along edge and interior forest transects within continuous forest adjacent to a large savannah. Of the 34 M. murinus captured during our study, 82% (n = 28) were trapped in interior habitats. Conversely, 72% (n = 47) of M. ravelobensis were captured in edge habitats. We found that mean body mass of M. murinus and M. ravelobensis did not differ between edge and interior habitats. However, female M. ravelobensis weighed significantly more in edge habitats (56.09 ± 1.74 g) than in interior habitats (48.14 ± 4.44 g). Our study provides some of the first evidence of sex differences in edge responses for a primate species.

  2. Microsatellite analyses reveal fine-scale genetic structure in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Fredsted, T; Pertoldi, C; Schierup, M H; Kappeler, P M

    2005-07-01

    Information on genetic structure can be used to complement direct inferences on social systems and behaviour. We studied the genetic structure of the solitary grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a small, nocturnal primate endemic to western Madagascar, with the aim of getting further insight on its breeding structure. Tissue samples from 167 grey mouse lemurs in an area covering 12.3 km2 in Kirindy Forest were obtained from trapping. The capture data indicated a noncontinuous distribution of individuals in the study area. Using 10 microsatellite markers, significant genetic differentiation in the study area was demonstrated and dispersal was found to be significantly male biased. Furthermore, we observed an overall excess of homozygotes in the total population (F(IT) = 0.131), which we interpret as caused by fine-scale structure with breeding occurring in small units. Evidence for a clumped distribution of identical homozygotes was found, supporting the notion that dispersal distance for breeding was shorter than that for foraging, i.e. the breeding neighbourhood size is smaller than the foraging neighbourhood size. In conclusion, we found a more complex population structure than what has been previously reported in studies performed on smaller spatial scales. The noncontinuous distribution of individuals and the effects of social variables on the genetic structure have implications for the interpretation of social organization and the planning of conservation activities that may apply to other solitary and endangered mammals as well.

  3. Seasonal changes in general activity, body mass and reproduction of two small nocturnal primates: a comparison of the golden brown mouse lemur ( Microcebus ravelobensis) in Northwestern Madagascar and the brown mouse lemur ( Microcebus rufus) in Eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Rakotondravony, Daniel; Radespiel, Ute; Zimmermann, Elke

    2003-10-01

    To investigate for the first time the relationship between contrasting patterns of seasonal changes of the environment and activity, body mass and reproduction for small nocturnal primates in nature, we compared a population of golden brown mouse lemur ( Microcebus ravelobensis) in a dry deciduous forest of northwestern Madagascar and of the brown mouse lemur ( Microcebus rufus) in an evergreen rain forest of eastern Madagascar. Both species live under similar photoperiodic conditions. Golden brown mouse lemurs (GBML) were active during the whole period (May to December) irrespective of changing environmental conditions. In contrast, a part of the population of brown mouse lemurs (BML) showed prolonged seasonal torpor, related to body mass during periods of short day length and low ambient temperatures. Differences between species might be due to differences in ambient temperature and food supply. Body weight and tail thickness (adipose tissue reserve) did not show prominent differences between short and long photoperiods in GBML, whereas both differ significantly in BML, suggesting species-specific differences in the photoperiodically driven control of metabolism. Both species showed a seasonal reproduction. The rate of growth and size of the testes were similar and preceded estrous onset in both species suggesting a photoperiodic control of reproduction in males. The estrous onset in females occurred earlier in GBML than in BML. Estrous females were observed over at least 4 months in the former, but in only 1 month in the latter species. Intraspecific variation of estrous onset in GBML may be explained by body mass. Interspecific variation of female reproduction indicates species-specific differences in the control of reproduction. Thus, environmentally related differences in annual rhythms between closely related small nocturnal lemurs emerged that allow them to cope with contrasting patterns of seasonal changes in their habitats.

  4. Colour and odour drive fruit selection and seed dispersal by mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Valenta, Kim; Burke, Ryan J.; Styler, Sarah A.; Jackson, Derek A.; Melin, Amanda D.; Lehman, Shawn M.

    2013-01-01

    Animals and fruiting plants are involved in a complex set of interactions, with animals relying on fruiting trees as food resources, and fruiting trees relying on animals for seed dispersal. This interdependence shapes fruit signals such as colour and odour, to increase fruit detectability, and animal sensory systems, such as colour vision and olfaction to facilitate food identification and selection. Despite the ecological and evolutionary importance of plant-animal interactions for shaping animal sensory adaptations and plant characteristics, the details of the relationship are poorly understood. Here we examine the role of fruit chromaticity, luminance and odour on seed dispersal by mouse lemurs. We show that both fruit colour and odour significantly predict fruit consumption and seed dispersal by Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus. Our study is the first to quantify and examine the role of bimodal fruit signals on seed dispersal in light of the sensory abilities of the disperser. PMID:23939534

  5. Behavioral study in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) using compounds considered sweet by humans.

    PubMed

    Schilling, Alain; Danilova, Vicktoria; Hellekant, Goran

    2004-01-01

    This study presents the results from two-bottle preference (TBP) tests performed on the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a small Malagasy primate. We found that of 18 compounds considered sweet by humans, M. murinus preferred only six: D-tryptophan, dulcin, fructose, sucrose, SC45647, and xylitol. The animals neither preferred nor rejected acesulfame-K, alitame, aspartame, N-4-cyanophenyl-N'-cyanoguanidineacetate (CCGA), cyanosuosan, cyclamate, monellin, saccharin, suosan, super-aspartame, N-trifluoroacetyl-L-glutamyl-4-aminophenylcarbonitrile (TGC), and thaumatin. Together with previously recorded taste-nerve responses in M. murinus to acesulfame-K, alitame, aspartame, cyclamate, monellin, saccharin, and suosan [Hellekant et al., Chem Senses 18:307-320, 1993b], the current results suggest that these compounds either do not taste sweet to M. murinus or they have an aversive taste component. In this work we also relate these findings to phylogeny.

  6. Colour and odour drive fruit selection and seed dispersal by mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Valenta, Kim; Burke, Ryan J; Styler, Sarah A; Jackson, Derek A; Melin, Amanda D; Lehman, Shawn M

    2013-01-01

    Animals and fruiting plants are involved in a complex set of interactions, with animals relying on fruiting trees as food resources, and fruiting trees relying on animals for seed dispersal. This interdependence shapes fruit signals such as colour and odour, to increase fruit detectability, and animal sensory systems, such as colour vision and olfaction to facilitate food identification and selection. Despite the ecological and evolutionary importance of plant-animal interactions for shaping animal sensory adaptations and plant characteristics, the details of the relationship are poorly understood. Here we examine the role of fruit chromaticity, luminance and odour on seed dispersal by mouse lemurs. We show that both fruit colour and odour significantly predict fruit consumption and seed dispersal by Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus. Our study is the first to quantify and examine the role of bimodal fruit signals on seed dispersal in light of the sensory abilities of the disperser.

  7. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been identified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we analyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused) versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc), ferritin (fth1), and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine. PMID:26093281

  8. Regional, seasonal and interspecific variation in 15N and 13C in sympatric mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Rakotondranary, S Jacques; Struck, Ulrich; Knoblauch, Christian; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2011-11-01

    Madagascar provides some of the rare examples where two or more primate species of the same genus and with seemingly identical niche requirements occur in sympatry. If congeneric primate species co-occur in other parts of the world, they differ in size in a way that is consistent with Hutchinson's rule for coexisting species, or they occupy different ecological niches. In some areas of Madagascar, mouse lemurs do not follow these "rules" and thus seem to violate one of the principles of community ecology. In order to understand the mechanisms that allow coexistence of sympatric congeneric species without obvious niche differentiation, we studied food composition of two identical sized omnivorous mouse lemur species, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus with the help of stable isotope analyses (δ(15)N and δ(13)C). The two species are closely related sister species. During the rich season, when food seems abundant, the two species do not differ in their nitrogen isotope composition, indicating that the two species occupy the same trophic level. But they differ in their δ(13)C values, indicating that M. griseorufus feeds more on C(4) and CAM (Crassulacean-acid-metabolism) plants than M. murinus. During the lean season, M. murinus has lower δ(15)N values, indicating that the two species feed at different trophic levels during times of food shortage. Hybrids between the two species showed intermediate food composition. The results reflect subtle differences in foraging or metabolic adaptations that are difficult to quantify by traditional observations but that represent possibilities to allow coexistence of species. PMID:21881908

  9. Regional, seasonal and interspecific variation in 15N and 13C in sympatric mouse lemurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rakotondranary, S. Jacques; Struck, Ulrich; Knoblauch, Christian; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2011-11-01

    Madagascar provides some of the rare examples where two or more primate species of the same genus and with seemingly identical niche requirements occur in sympatry. If congeneric primate species co-occur in other parts of the world, they differ in size in a way that is consistent with Hutchinson's rule for coexisting species, or they occupy different ecological niches. In some areas of Madagascar, mouse lemurs do not follow these "rules" and thus seem to violate one of the principles of community ecology. In order to understand the mechanisms that allow coexistence of sympatric congeneric species without obvious niche differentiation, we studied food composition of two identical sized omnivorous mouse lemur species, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus with the help of stable isotope analyses ( δ 15N and δ 13C). The two species are closely related sister species. During the rich season, when food seems abundant, the two species do not differ in their nitrogen isotope composition, indicating that the two species occupy the same trophic level. But they differ in their δ 13C values, indicating that M. griseorufus feeds more on C4 and CAM (Crassulacean-acid-metabolism) plants than M. murinus. During the lean season, M. murinus has lower δ 15N values, indicating that the two species feed at different trophic levels during times of food shortage. Hybrids between the two species showed intermediate food composition. The results reflect subtle differences in foraging or metabolic adaptations that are difficult to quantify by traditional observations but that represent possibilities to allow coexistence of species.

  10. Regulation of Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur: Transcriptional and Translational Controls and Role of AMPK Signaling.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N; Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is one of few primate species that is able to enter daily torpor or prolonged hibernation in response to environmental stresses. With an emerging significance to human health research, lemurs present an optimal model for exploring molecular adaptations that regulate primate hypometabolism. A fundamental challenge is how to effectively regulate energy expensive cellular processes (e.g., transcription and translation) during transitions to/from torpor without disrupting cellular homeostasis. One such regulatory mechanism is reversible posttranslational modification of selected protein targets that offers fine cellular control without the energetic burden. This study investigates the role of phosphorylation and/or acetylation in regulating key factors involved in energy homeostasis (AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, signaling pathway), mRNA translation (eukaryotic initiation factor 2α or eIF2α, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E or eIF4E, and initiation factor 4E binding protein or 4EBP), and gene transcription (histone H3) in six tissues of torpid and aroused gray mouse lemurs. Our results indicated selective tissue-specific changes of these regulatory proteins. The relative level of Thr172-phosphorylated AMPKα was significantly elevated in the heart but reduced in brown adipose tissue during daily torpor, as compared to the aroused lemurs, implicating the regulation of AMPK activity during daily torpor in these tissues. Interestingly, the levels of the phosphorylated eIFs were largely unaltered between aroused and torpid animals. Phosphorylation and acetylation of histone H3 were examined as a marker for transcriptional regulation. Compared to the aroused lemurs, level of Ser10-phosphorylated histone H3 decreased significantly in white adipose tissue during torpor, suggesting global suppression of gene transcription. However, a significant increase in acetyl-histone H3 in the heart of torpid lemurs indicated a possible

  11. Regulation of Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur: Transcriptional and Translational Controls and Role of AMPK Signaling.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N; Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is one of few primate species that is able to enter daily torpor or prolonged hibernation in response to environmental stresses. With an emerging significance to human health research, lemurs present an optimal model for exploring molecular adaptations that regulate primate hypometabolism. A fundamental challenge is how to effectively regulate energy expensive cellular processes (e.g., transcription and translation) during transitions to/from torpor without disrupting cellular homeostasis. One such regulatory mechanism is reversible posttranslational modification of selected protein targets that offers fine cellular control without the energetic burden. This study investigates the role of phosphorylation and/or acetylation in regulating key factors involved in energy homeostasis (AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, signaling pathway), mRNA translation (eukaryotic initiation factor 2α or eIF2α, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E or eIF4E, and initiation factor 4E binding protein or 4EBP), and gene transcription (histone H3) in six tissues of torpid and aroused gray mouse lemurs. Our results indicated selective tissue-specific changes of these regulatory proteins. The relative level of Thr172-phosphorylated AMPKα was significantly elevated in the heart but reduced in brown adipose tissue during daily torpor, as compared to the aroused lemurs, implicating the regulation of AMPK activity during daily torpor in these tissues. Interestingly, the levels of the phosphorylated eIFs were largely unaltered between aroused and torpid animals. Phosphorylation and acetylation of histone H3 were examined as a marker for transcriptional regulation. Compared to the aroused lemurs, level of Ser10-phosphorylated histone H3 decreased significantly in white adipose tissue during torpor, suggesting global suppression of gene transcription. However, a significant increase in acetyl-histone H3 in the heart of torpid lemurs indicated a possible

  12. Long-chain n-3 PUFAs from fish oil enhance resting state brain glucose utilization and reduce anxiety in an adult nonhuman primate, the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Pifferi, Fabien; Dorieux, Olène; Castellano, Christian-Alexandre; Croteau, Etienne; Masson, Marie; Guillermier, Martine; Van Camp, Nadja; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Cunnane, Stephen; Dhenain, Marc; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-08-01

    Decreased brain content of DHA, the most abundant long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) in the brain, is accompanied by severe neurosensorial impairments linked to impaired neurotransmission and impaired brain glucose utilization. In the present study, we hypothesized that increasing n-3 LCPUFA intake at an early age may help to prevent or correct the glucose hypometabolism observed during aging and age-related cognitive decline. The effects of 12 months' supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA on brain glucose utilization assessed by positron emission tomography was tested in young adult mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Cognitive function was tested in parallel in the same animals. Lemurs supplemented with n-3 LCPUFA had higher brain glucose uptake and cerebral metabolic rate of glucose compared with controls in all brain regions. The n-3 LCPUFA-supplemented animals also had higher exploratory activity in an open-field task and lower evidence of anxiety in the Barnes maze. Our results demonstrate for the first time in a nonhuman primate that n-3 LCPUFA supplementation increases brain glucose uptake and metabolism and concomitantly reduces anxiety. PMID:26063461

  13. Functional promiscuity in a mammalian chemosensory system: extensive expression of vomeronasal receptors in the main olfactory epithelium of mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Dempewolf, Silke; Zimmermann, Elke; Mundy, Nicholas I.; Radespiel, Ute

    2014-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is functional in most terrestrial mammals, though progressively reduced in the primate lineage, and is used for intraspecific communication and predator recognition. Vomeronasal receptor (VR) genes comprise two families of chemosensory genes (V1R and V2R) that have been considered to be specific for the VNO. However, recently a large number of VRs were reported to be expressed in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) of mice, but there is little knowledge of the expression of these genes outside of rodents. To explore the function of VR genes in mammalian evolution, we analyzed and compared the expression of 64 V1R and 2 V2R genes in the VNO and the MOE of the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), the primate with the largest known VR repertoire. We furthermore compared expression patterns in adults of both sexes and seasons, and in an infant. A large proportion (83–97%) of the VR loci was expressed in the VNO of all individuals. The repertoire in the infant was as rich as in adults, indicating reliance on olfactory communication from early postnatal development onwards. In concordance with mice, we also detected extensive expression of VRs in the MOE, with proportions of expressed loci in individuals ranging from 29 to 45%. TRPC2, which encodes a channel protein crucial for signal transduction via VRs, was co-expressed in the MOE in all individuals indicating likely functionality of expressed VR genes in the MOE. In summary, the large VR repertoire in mouse lemurs seems to be highly functional. Given the differences in the neural pathways of MOE and VNO signals, which project to higher cortical brain centers or the limbic system, respectively, this raises the intriguing possibility that the evolution of MOE-expression of VRs enabled mouse lemurs to adaptively diversify the processing of VR-encoded olfactory information. PMID:25309343

  14. Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hotaling, Scott; Foley, Mary E; Lawrence, Nicolette M; Bocanegra, Jose; Blanco, Marina B; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Kappeler, Peter M; Barrett, Meredith A; Yoder, Anne D; Weisrock, David W

    2016-05-01

    Implementation of the coalescent model in a Bayesian framework is an emerging strength in genetically based species delimitation studies. By providing an objective measure of species diagnosis, these methods represent a quantitative enhancement to the analysis of multilocus data, and complement more traditional methods based on phenotypic and ecological characteristics. Recognized as two species 20 years ago, mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) now comprise more than 20 species, largely diagnosed from mtDNA sequence data. With each new species description, enthusiasm has been tempered with scientific scepticism. Here, we present a statistically justified and unbiased Bayesian approach towards mouse lemur species delimitation. We perform validation tests using multilocus sequence data and two methodologies: (i) reverse-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling to assess the likelihood of different models defined a priori by a guide tree, and (ii) a Bayes factor delimitation test that compares different species-tree models without a guide tree. We assess the sensitivity of these methods using randomized individual assignments, which has been used in bpp studies, but not with Bayes factor delimitation tests. Our results validate previously diagnosed taxa, as well as new species hypotheses, resulting in support for three new mouse lemur species. As the challenge of multiple researchers using differing criteria to describe diversity is not unique to Microcebus, the methods used here have significant potential for clarifying diversity in other taxonomic groups. We echo previous studies in advocating that multiple lines of evidence, including use of the coalescent model, should be trusted to delimit new species.

  15. Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hotaling, Scott; Foley, Mary E; Lawrence, Nicolette M; Bocanegra, Jose; Blanco, Marina B; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Kappeler, Peter M; Barrett, Meredith A; Yoder, Anne D; Weisrock, David W

    2016-05-01

    Implementation of the coalescent model in a Bayesian framework is an emerging strength in genetically based species delimitation studies. By providing an objective measure of species diagnosis, these methods represent a quantitative enhancement to the analysis of multilocus data, and complement more traditional methods based on phenotypic and ecological characteristics. Recognized as two species 20 years ago, mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) now comprise more than 20 species, largely diagnosed from mtDNA sequence data. With each new species description, enthusiasm has been tempered with scientific scepticism. Here, we present a statistically justified and unbiased Bayesian approach towards mouse lemur species delimitation. We perform validation tests using multilocus sequence data and two methodologies: (i) reverse-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling to assess the likelihood of different models defined a priori by a guide tree, and (ii) a Bayes factor delimitation test that compares different species-tree models without a guide tree. We assess the sensitivity of these methods using randomized individual assignments, which has been used in bpp studies, but not with Bayes factor delimitation tests. Our results validate previously diagnosed taxa, as well as new species hypotheses, resulting in support for three new mouse lemur species. As the challenge of multiple researchers using differing criteria to describe diversity is not unique to Microcebus, the methods used here have significant potential for clarifying diversity in other taxonomic groups. We echo previous studies in advocating that multiple lines of evidence, including use of the coalescent model, should be trusted to delimit new species. PMID:26946180

  16. Lice and ticks of the eastern rufous mouse lemur, Microcebus rufus, with descriptions of the male and third instar nymph of Lemurpediculus verruculosus (Phthiraptera: Anoplura).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Zohdy, Sarah; Laakkonen, Juha

    2010-10-01

    Sucking lice and ticks were collected from live-trapped eastern rufous mouse lemurs, Microcebus rufus Geoffroy, in and around the periphery of Ranomafana National Park, southeastern Madagascar, from 2007 to 2009. Samples of 53 sucking lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Anoplura) and 28 hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) were collected from 36 lemur captures representing 26 different host individuals. All of the lice were Lemurpediculus verruculosus (Ward) (6 males, 46 females, 1 third instar nymph). Only the holotype female was known previously for this louse and the host was stated to be a "mouse lemur." Therefore, we describe the male and third instar nymph of L. verruculosus and confirm M. rufus as a host (possibly the only host) of this louse. All of the ticks were nymphs and consisted of 16 Haemaphysalis lemuris Hoogstraal, 11 Haemaphysalis sp., and 1 Ixodes sp. The last 2 ticks listed did not morphologically match any of the Madagascar Haemaphysalis or Ixodes ticks for which nymphal stages have been described.

  17. Stable isotopes complement focal individual observations and confirm dietary variability in reddish-gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus) from southwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crowley, Brooke E; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R

    2014-09-01

    We examine the ecology of reddish-gray mouse lemurs from three habitats at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve using focal follows and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data. Focal observations indicate dietary differences among habitats as well as sexes and seasons. Both sexes consume more arthropods during the rainy season but overall, females consume more sugar-rich exudates and fruit than males, and individuals from riparian forest consume fewer arthropods and more fruit than those in xeric or dry forest. We ask whether these observations are isotopically detectable. Isotope data support differences between seasons and sexes. Nitrogen isotope values are higher during the rainy season when lemurs consume more arthropods, and higher in males than females, particularly during the dry season. However, differences among populations inferred from focal observations are not fully supported. Lemurs from riparian forest have lower isotope values than those in xeric scrub, but isotope data suggest that lemurs from the dry forest eat the least animal matter and that focal observations overestimated dry forest arthropod consumption. Overall, our results suggest that observational and isotopic data are complementary. Isotope data can be obtained from a larger number of individuals and can quantify ingestion of animal matter, but they apparently cannot quantify the relative consumption of different sugar-rich foods. Combined focal and isotope data provide valuable insight into the dietary constraints of reddish-grey mouse lemurs, with implications for their vulnerability to future habitat change.

  18. Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K; Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaperones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study characterizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused) and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90α was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P<0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P<0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P<0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies.

  19. Sex-specific usage patterns of sleeping sites in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in northwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Radespiel, U; Cepok, S; Zietemann, V; Zimmermann, E

    1998-01-01

    Sleeping sites are a potentially important resource for grey mouse lemurs since they are confronted with high daily temperature fluctuations and a high predation pressure. In order to determine the existence and degree of resource competition, sleeping site characteristics, locations, and usage patterns as well as sleeping group compositions were investigated in a 3 month field study in a dry deciduous forest of northwestern Madagascar. The daily sleeping sites of females were on average better insulated and safer than those of males. Males used more sleeping sites and changed the site more often than females. During the whole study, males slept alone, whereas the females formed stable sleeping groups in on average 83.7% of the days. Sex-specific differences in usage patterns might be explained by intersexual resource competition and female dominance and could possibly be related to differential parental investment of the sexes. The underlying study indicates that sleeping sites may be a restricted and defendable resource for grey mouse lemurs. The investigation gives new insights into the distribution patterns and social organization of this species.

  20. Acoustically dimorphic advertisement calls separate morphologically and genetically homogenous populations of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Hafen, T; Neveu, H; Rumpler, Y; Wilden, I; Zimmermann, E

    1998-01-01

    Sexual advertisement calls of male mouse lemurs from two neighbouring demes in a dry deciduous forest of western Madagascar were recorded during the breeding season. Demes were located about 1.5 km apart with no geographic barrier between them. They were characterised morphometrically and genotyped by RAPD fingerprinting. According to univariate and multivariate statistical analysis, demes differed neither in body measurements, nor in the banding patterns produced by RAPD fingerprinting. The acoustic pattern of the advertisement call, however, showed significant differences: Six variables of the frequency and time domain differed between the demes. Discriminant function analysis revealed that one variable, total call duration, was sufficient to classify more than 89% of the calls correctly to the corresponding deme. We postulate that these differences are comparable to dialects in birds, because demes were morphologically and genetically indistinguishable and no barrier prevented genetic exchange between them. Possible explanations for the emergence of dialects in a prosimian species are outlined.

  1. Biological variation in a large sample of mouse lemurs from Amboasary, Madagascar: implications for interpreting variation in primate biology and paleobiology.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R; Sauther, Michelle L; Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho; LaFleur, Marni M

    2013-01-01

    A thorough knowledge of biological variation in extant primates is imperative for interpreting variation, and for delineating species in primate biology and paleobiology. This is especially the case given the recent, rapid taxonomic expansion in many primate groups, notably among small-bodied nocturnal forms. Here we present data on dental, cranial, and pelage variation in a single-locality museum sample of mouse lemurs from Amboasary, Madagascar. To interpret these data, we include comparative information from other museum samples, and from a newly collected mouse lemur skeletal sample from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. We scored forty dental traits (n = 126) and three pelage variants (n = 19), and collected 21 cranial/dental measures. Most dental traits exhibit variable frequencies, with some only rarely present. Individual dental variants include misshapen and supernumerary teeth. All Amboasary pelage specimens display a "reversed V" on the cap, and a distinct dorsal median stripe on the back. All but two displayed the dominant gray-brown pelage coloration typical of Microcebus griseorufus. Cranial and dental metric variability are each quite low, and craniometric variation does not illustrate heteroscedasticity. To assess whether this sample represents a single species, we compared dental and pelage variation to a documented, single-species M. griseorufus sample from BMSR. As at Amboasary, BMSR mouse lemurs display limited odontometric variation and wide variation in non-metric dental traits. In contrast, BMSR mouse lemurs display diverse pelage, despite reported genetic homogeneity. Ranges of dental and pelage variation at BMSR and Amboasary overlap. Thus, we conclude that the Amboasary mouse lemurs represent a single species - most likely (in the absence of genetic data to the contrary) M. griseorufus, and we reject their previous allocation to Microcebus murinus. Patterns of variation in the Amboasary sample provide a comparative

  2. Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K; Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaperones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study characterizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused) and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90α was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P<0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P<0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P<0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies. PMID:26092183

  3. First insights into the social organisation of Goodman's mouse lemur (Microcebus lehilahytsara)--testing predictions from socio-ecological hypotheses in the Masoala hall of Zurich Zoo.

    PubMed

    Jürges, Vivian; Kitzler, Johanne; Zingg, Robert; Radespiel, Ute

    2013-01-01

    Following current socio-ecological hypotheses, the social organisation of a species is mainly determined by resource quality and distribution. In the case of Microcebus spp., a taxon-specific socio-ecological model was formulated earlier to explain their variable social organisation. The aim of this study was to test predictions from this model in Goodman's mouse lemur based on a data set from animals living in the semi-free colony of Zurich Zoo. During a 2-month study, we observed 5 females and 5 males using radiotelemetry. We collected data on space use and social behaviour, on sleeping sites and on sleeping group composition. Predictions were only partly confirmed. As expected, Goodman's mouse lemurs were solitary foragers with an increased level of sociality due to crowding effects at the feeding stations. In contrast to the prediction, females and males formed unisexual sleeping groups, which were stable in females and of a fission-fusion type in males. Whereas the formation of sleeping groups by both sexes may be triggered by thermoregulatory benefits, the formation of unisexual sleeping groups may result from divergent interests of the sexes. We conclude that the existing model for the evolution of mouse lemur social organisation needs to be refined.

  4. On-Going Frontal Alpha Rhythms Are Dominant in Passive State and Desynchronize in Active State in Adult Gray Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Anisur; Lamberty, Yves; Bordet, Regis; Richardson, Jill C.; Forloni, Gianluigi; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Lopez, Susanna; Aujard, Fabienne; Babiloni, Claudio; Pifferi, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is considered a useful primate model for translational research. In the framework of IMI PharmaCog project (Grant Agreement n°115009, www.pharmacog.org), we tested the hypothesis that spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of motor and locomotor activity in gray mouse lemurs reflect typical movement-related desynchronization of alpha rhythms (about 8–12 Hz) in humans. To this aim, EEG (bipolar electrodes in frontal cortex) and electromyographic (EMG; bipolar electrodes sutured in neck muscles) data were recorded in 13 male adult (about 3 years) lemurs. Artifact-free EEG segments during active state (gross movements, exploratory movements or locomotor activity) and awake passive state (no sleep) were selected on the basis of instrumental measures of animal behavior, and were used as an input for EEG power density analysis. Results showed a clear peak of EEG power density at alpha range (7–9 Hz) during passive state. During active state, there was a reduction in alpha power density (8–12 Hz) and an increase of power density at slow frequencies (1–4 Hz). Relative EMG activity was related to EEG power density at 2–4 Hz (positive correlation) and at 8–12 Hz (negative correlation). These results suggest for the first time that the primate gray mouse lemurs and humans may share basic neurophysiologic mechanisms of synchronization of frontal alpha rhythms in awake passive state and their desynchronization during motor and locomotor activity. These EEG markers may be an ideal experimental model for translational basic (motor science) and applied (pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) research in Neurophysiology. PMID:26618512

  5. On-Going Frontal Alpha Rhythms Are Dominant in Passive State and Desynchronize in Active State in Adult Gray Mouse Lemurs.

    PubMed

    Infarinato, Francesco; Rahman, Anisur; Del Percio, Claudio; Lamberty, Yves; Bordet, Regis; Richardson, Jill C; Forloni, Gianluigi; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Lopez, Susanna; Aujard, Fabienne; Babiloni, Claudio; Pifferi, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is considered a useful primate model for translational research. In the framework of IMI PharmaCog project (Grant Agreement n°115009, www.pharmacog.org), we tested the hypothesis that spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of motor and locomotor activity in gray mouse lemurs reflect typical movement-related desynchronization of alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz) in humans. To this aim, EEG (bipolar electrodes in frontal cortex) and electromyographic (EMG; bipolar electrodes sutured in neck muscles) data were recorded in 13 male adult (about 3 years) lemurs. Artifact-free EEG segments during active state (gross movements, exploratory movements or locomotor activity) and awake passive state (no sleep) were selected on the basis of instrumental measures of animal behavior, and were used as an input for EEG power density analysis. Results showed a clear peak of EEG power density at alpha range (7-9 Hz) during passive state. During active state, there was a reduction in alpha power density (8-12 Hz) and an increase of power density at slow frequencies (1-4 Hz). Relative EMG activity was related to EEG power density at 2-4 Hz (positive correlation) and at 8-12 Hz (negative correlation). These results suggest for the first time that the primate gray mouse lemurs and humans may share basic neurophysiologic mechanisms of synchronization of frontal alpha rhythms in awake passive state and their desynchronization during motor and locomotor activity. These EEG markers may be an ideal experimental model for translational basic (motor science) and applied (pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) research in Neurophysiology. PMID:26618512

  6. Small-scale coexistence of two mouse lemur species (Microcebus berthae and M. murinus) within a homogeneous competitive environment

    PubMed Central

    Kappeler, Peter M.

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the co-occurrence of ecologically similar species remains a puzzling issue in community ecology. The species-rich mouse lemurs (Microcebus spec.) are distributed over nearly all remaining forest areas of Madagascar with a high variability in species distribution patterns. Locally, many congeneric species pairs seem to co-occur, but only little detailed information on spatial patterns is available. Here, we present the results of an intensive capture–mark–recapture study of sympatric Microcebus berthae and M. murinus populations that revealed small-scale mutual spatial exclusion. Nearest neighbour analysis indicated a spatial aggregation in Microcebus murinus but not in M. berthae. Although the diet of both species differed in proportions of food categories, they used the same food sources and had high feeding niche overlap. Also, forest structure related to the spatial distribution of main food sources did not explain spatial segregation because parts used by each species exclusively did not differ in density of trees, dead wood and lianas. We propose that life history trade-offs that result in species aggregation and a relative increase in the strength of intra-specific over inter-specific competition best explain the observed pattern of co-occurrence of ecologically similar congeneric Microcebus species. PMID:18574599

  7. Chronic food shortage and seasonal modulations of daily torpor and locomotor activity in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Giroud, Sylvain; Blanc, Stéphane; Aujard, Fabienne; Bertrand, Frédéric; Gilbert, Caroline; Perret, Martine

    2008-06-01

    The extent to which seasonal plasticity in torpor displayed by one of the smallest Malagasy primates (Microcebus murinus) will help survival in the context of ongoing global change-induced chronic food shortage, is unknown. Body temperature (Tb) and locomotor activity were measured by telemetry in short- (SD, winter-acclimated) and long-days (LD, summer-acclimated) males (n = 24) during an experimental 35-day calorie restriction of 40 or 80%. Under SD exposure, regardless of calorie restriction intensity, mouse lemurs immediately increased torpor depth and duration by 4.6-fold, and showed greater phase-advanced entry into torpor (2.4-fold). Tb adjustments were efficient under 40% calorie restriction to maintain body mass, whereas they did not prevent a 0.71 +/- 0.11 g/day mass loss during 80% calorie restriction. The 40% food-deprived LD animals combined an early shallow deepening of torpor (1 degrees C) and a late 18% decrease in locomotor activity, resulting in a moderate 6% mass loss. After 15 days of 80% calorie restriction, LD animals exhibited a SD phenotype by increasing their torpor duration and phase-advancing the entry of torpor (16 min/day). Those adjustments had no impact on mass loss (0.93 +/- 0.07 g/day) as locomotor activity increased four-fold. Daily torpor allows M. murinus to face moderate food shortage whatever the photoperiod but poorly mitigates energy imbalance during severe food deprivation, especially under LD exposure. Although the behavioral thermoregulation role warrants further investigation in energy savings, M. murinus survival would be impaired during long-term food shortage in summer. PMID:18434438

  8. Primate Torpor: Regulation of Stress-activated Protein Kinases During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    Very few selected species of primates are known to be capable of entering torpor. This exciting discovery means that the ability to enter a natural state of dormancy is an ancestral trait among primates and, in phylogenetic terms, is very close to the human lineage. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie primate torpor, we analyzed signal transduction cascades to discover those involved in coordinating tissue responses during torpor. The responses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members to primate torpor were compared in six organs of control (aroused) versus torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. The proteins examined include extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs), MAPK kinase (MEK), and p38, in addition to stress-related proteins p53 and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). The activation of specific MAPK signal transduction pathways may provide a mechanism to regulate the expression of torpor-responsive genes or the regulation of selected downstream cellular processes. In response to torpor, each MAPK subfamily responded differently during torpor and each showed organ-specific patterns of response. For example, skeletal muscle displayed elevated relative phosphorylation of ERK1/2 during torpor. Interestingly, adipose tissues showed the highest degree of MAPK activation. Brown adipose tissue displayed an activation of ERK1/2 and p38, whereas white adipose tissue showed activation of ERK1/2, p38, MEK, and JNK during torpor. Importantly, both adipose tissues possess specialized functions that are critical for torpor, with brown adipose required for non-shivering thermogenesis and white adipose utilized as the primary source of lipid fuel for torpor. Overall, these data indicate crucial roles of MAPKs in the regulation of primate organs during torpor. PMID:26093282

  9. Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: I. Differences by age, sex, density and tourism, 1996-2006.

    PubMed

    Jolly, Alison

    2009-03-01

    An index of coat condition can be a non-invasive tool for tracking health and stress at population level. Coat condition in ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons of 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Condition was scored on a scale from 0: full, fluffy coat with guard hairs present, to 5: half or more of body hairless. Adult males did not differ overall from adult females. Coats were worse in adults than in 2-year-old subadults; 1-year-old juveniles were intermediate. Mothers and adult males lost coat condition as the season progressed: non-mother females maintained condition. Years 1999-2002 scored better coats than either 1996-1997 or 2003-2006. Lemurs in high population density areas had worse coats than in natural forest, but tourist presence had less effect than density. Monitoring coat condition in an apparently healthy population reveals differences between population segments, and in a forest fragment with limited immigration or emigration it can track progressive changes, correcting impressions of progressive improvement or degradation over time. Above all it gives a baseline for response to climate changes or eventual pathology.

  10. Mutualism, reciprocity, or kin selection? Cooperative rescue of a conspecific from a boa in a nocturnal solitary forager the gray mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Eberle, Manfred; Kappeler, Peter M

    2008-04-01

    Predator mobbing is a widespread phenomenon in many taxa but the evolution of cooperative mobbing as an adaptive behavior is still subject to debate. Here, we report evidence for cooperative predator defense in a nocturnal solitarily foraging primate, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Several mouse lemurs mobbed a snake that held a non-related male conspecific until he could escape. Evolutionary hypotheses to explain cooperative mobbing include (1) by-product mutualism, when individuals defend others in the process of defending themselves; (2) reciprocity, where animals achieve a higher fitness when helping each other than when they do not cooperate; and (3) kin selection where animals help each other only if they share genes by common descent. Owing to the solitary activity of this species, reciprocity seems to be least likely to explain our observations. By-product mutualism cannot be ruled out entirely but, if costs of snake mobbing are relatively low, the available detailed socio-genetic information indicates that kin selection, rather than any of the other proposed mechanisms, is the primary evolutionary force behind the observed cooperative rescue.

  11. Thermoregulatory responses to variations of photoperiod and ambient temperature in the male lesser mouse lemur: a primitive or an advanced adaptive character?

    PubMed

    Aujard, F; Perret, M; Vannier, G

    1998-10-01

    The lesser mouse lemur, a small Malagasy primate, is exposed to strong seasonal variations in ambient temperature and food availability in its natural habitat. To face these environmental constraints, this nocturnal primate exhibits biological seasonal rhythms that are photoperiodically driven. To determine the role of daylength on thermoregulatory responses to changes in ambient temperature, evaporative water loss (EWL), body temperature (Tb) and oxygen consumption, measured as resting metabolic rate (RMR), were measured in response to ambient temperatures ranging from 5 degrees C to 35 degrees C, in eight males exposed to either short (10L:14D) or long (14L:10D) daylengths in controlled captive conditions. In both photoperiods, EWL, Tb and RMR were significantly modified by ambient temperatures. Exposure to ambient temperatures below 25 degrees C was associated with a decrease in Tb and an increase in RMR, whereas EWL remained constant. Heat exposure caused an increase in Tb and heat loss through evaporative pathways. Thermoregulatory responses to changes in ambient temperature significantly differed according to daylength. Daily variations in Tb and EWL were characterized by high values during the night. During the diurnal rest, lower values were found and a phase of heterothermia occurred in the early morning followed by a spontaneous rewarming. The amplitude of Tb decrease with or without the occurrence of torpor (Tb < 33 degrees C) was dependent on both ambient temperature and photoperiod. This would support the hypothesis of advanced thermoregulatory processes in mouse lemurs in response to selective environmental pressure, the major external cue being photoperiodic variations.

  12. Aging Research Using Mouse Models

    PubMed Central

    Ackert-Bicknell, Cheryl L.; Anderson, Laura; Sheehan, Susan; Hill, Warren G.; Chang, Bo; Churchill, Gary A.; Chesler, Elissa J.; Korstanje, Ron; Peters, Luanne L.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the dramatic increase in human lifespan over the past century, there remains pronounced variability in “health-span”, or the period of time in which one is generally healthy and free of disease. Much of the variability in health-span and lifespan is thought to be genetic in origin. Understanding the genetic mechanisms of aging and identifying ways to boost longevity is a primary goal in aging research. Here, we describe a pipeline of phenotypic assays for assessing mouse models of aging. This pipeline includes behavior/cognition testing, body composition analysis, and tests of kidney function, hematopoiesis, immune function and physical parameters. We also describe study design methods for assessing lifespan and health-span, and other important considerations when conducting aging research in the laboratory mouse. The tools and assays provided can assist researchers with understanding the correlative relationships between age-associated phenotypes and, ultimately, the role of specific genes in the aging process. PMID:26069080

  13. Regulation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway and Fuel Utilization During Primate Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    Gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) from Madagascar present an excellent model for studies of torpor regulation in a primate species. In the present study, we analyzed the response of the insulin signaling pathway as well as controls on carbohydrate sparing in six different tissues of torpid versus aroused gray mouse lemurs. We found that the relative level of phospho-insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) was significantly increased in muscle, whereas the level of phospho-insulin receptor (IR) was decreased in white adipose tissue (WAT) of torpid animals, both suggesting an inhibition of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling during torpor in these tissues. By contrast, the level of phospho-IR was increased in the liver. Interestingly, muscle, WAT, and liver occupy central roles in whole body homeostasis and each displays regulatory controls operating at the plasma membrane. Changes in other tissues included an increase in phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3α (GSK3α) and decrease in phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6) in the heart, and a decrease in phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the kidney. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) that gates carbohydrate entry into mitochondria is inhibited via phosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (e.g., PDK4). In the skeletal muscle, the protein expression of PDK4 and phosphorylated PDH at Ser 300 was increased, suggesting inhibition during torpor. In contrast, there were no changes in levels of PDH expression and phosphorylation in other tissues comparing torpid and aroused animals. Information gained from these studies highlight the molecular controls that help to regulate metabolic rate depression and balance energetics during primate torpor. PMID:26092184

  14. Intertemporal choice in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Jeffrey R; Mühlhoff, Nelly

    2012-02-01

    Different species vary in their ability to wait for delayed rewards in intertemporal choice tasks. Models of rate maximization account for part of this variation, but other factors such as social structure and feeding ecology seem to underly some species differences. Though studies have evaluated intertemporal choice in several primate species, including Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, and apes, prosimians have not been tested. This study investigated intertemporal choices in three species of lemur (black-and-white ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata, red ruffed lemurs, Varecia rubra, and black lemurs, Eulemur macaco) to assess how they compare to other primate species and whether their choices are consistent with rate maximization. We offered lemurs a choice between two food items available immediately and six food items available after a delay. We found that by adjusting the delay to the larger reward, the lemurs were indifferent between the two options at a mean delay of 17 s, ranging from 9 to 25 s. These data are comparable to data collected from common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). The lemur data were not consistent with models of rate maximization. The addition of lemurs to the list of species tested in these tasks will help uncover the role of life history and socio-ecological factors influencing intertemporal choices. PMID:22024661

  15. Variation in fecal testosterone levels, inter-male aggression, dominance rank and age during mating and post-mating periods in wild adult male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Gould, L; Ziegler, T E

    2007-12-01

    In primate species exhibiting seasonal reproduction, patterns of testosterone excretion in adult males are variable: in some species, peaks correlate with female receptivity periods and heightened male-male aggression over access to estrous females, in others, neither heightened aggression nor marked elevations in testosterone have been noted. In this study, we examined mean fecal testosterone ( f T) levels and intermale aggression in wild adult male ring-tailed lemurs residing in three groups at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. Results obtained from mating and post-mating season 2003 were compared to test Wingfield et al. [1990. Am Nat 136:829-846] "challenge hypothesis", which predicts a strong positive relationship between male testosterone levels and male-male competition for access to receptive females during breeding season. f T levels and rates of intermale aggression were significantly higher during mating season compared to the post-mating period. Mean f T levels and aggression rates were also higher in the first half of the mating season compared with the second half. Number of males in a group affected rates of intermale agonism, but not mean f T levels. The highest-ranking males in two of the groups exhibited higher mean f T levels than did lower-ranking males, and young males exhibited lower f T levels compared to prime-aged and old males. In the post-mating period, mean male f T levels did not differ between groups, nor were there rank or age effects. Thus, although male testosterone levels rose in relation to mating and heightened male-male aggression, f T levels fell to baseline breeding levels shortly after the early mating period, and to baseline non-breeding levels immediately after mating season had ended, offsetting the high cost of maintaining both high testosterone and high levels of male-male aggression in the early breeding period. PMID:17427976

  16. Pathology of Mouse Models of Accelerated Aging.

    PubMed

    Harkema, L; Youssef, S A; de Bruin, A

    2016-03-01

    Progeroid mouse models display phenotypes in multiple organ systems that suggest premature aging and resemble features of natural aging of both mice and humans. The prospect of a significant increase in the global elderly population within the next decades has led to the emergence of "geroscience," which aims at elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in aging. Progeroid mouse models are frequently used in geroscience as they provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the highly complex process of natural aging. This review provides an overview of the most commonly reported nonneoplastic macroscopic and microscopic pathologic findings in progeroid mouse models (eg, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, intervertebral disc degeneration, kyphosis, sarcopenia, cutaneous atrophy, wound healing, hair loss, alopecia, lymphoid atrophy, cataract, corneal endothelial dystrophy, retinal degenerative diseases, and vascular remodeling). Furthermore, several shortcomings in pathologic analysis and descriptions of these models are discussed. Progeroid mouse models are valuable models for aging, but thorough knowledge of both the mouse strain background and the progeria-related phenotype is required to guide interpretation and translation of the pathology data. PMID:26864891

  17. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Russell T; Godfrey, Laurie R; Schwartz, Gary T; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes. PMID:26267241

  18. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hogg, Russell T.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Schwartz, Gary T.; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G.

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes. PMID:26267241

  19. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Russell T; Godfrey, Laurie R; Schwartz, Gary T; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes.

  20. Assessment of organochlorine pesticides and metals in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Sauther, Michelle L; Rainwater, Katherine A E; Mills, Rachel E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Zhang, Baohong; McDaniel, Les N; Abel, Michael T; Marsland, Eric J; Weber, Martha A; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A

    2009-12-01

    Like most of Madagascar's endemic primates, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) face a number of threats to their survival. Although habitat loss is of greatest concern, other anthropogenic factors including environmental contamination may also affect lemur health and survival. In this study, we examined ring-tailed lemurs from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), southern Madagascar for exposure to organochlorine (OC) pesticides and metals and examined differences in contaminant concentrations between sexes and among age groups, troops, and habitats. A total of 14 pesticides and 13 metals was detected in lemur blood (24 individuals) and hair (65 individuals) samples, respectively. p,p'-DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, endrin aldehyde, and endrin were among the most prevalent pesticides detected. Surprisingly, the persistent metabolite of p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, was not detected. The most commonly detected metals were aluminum, zinc, boron, phosphorus, silicon, and copper, whereas metals considered more hazardous to wildlife (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, vanadium) were not found above detection limits. Overall, concentrations of OC pesticides and metals were low and similar to those considered to be background concentrations in other studies examining the ecotoxicology of wild mammals. Few inter-sex, -age, -troop, and -habitat differences in contaminant concentrations were observed, suggesting a uniform distribution of contaminants within the reserve. Several statistically significant relationships between lemur body size and contaminant concentrations were observed, but owing to the lack of supportive data regarding contaminant exposure in wild primates, the biological significance of these findings remains uncertain. Results of this study document exposure of ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR to multiple OC pesticides and metals and provide essential baseline data for future health and toxicological evaluations of lemurs and other wild primates

  1. Assessment of organochlorine pesticides and metals in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Sauther, Michelle L; Rainwater, Katherine A E; Mills, Rachel E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Zhang, Baohong; McDaniel, Les N; Abel, Michael T; Marsland, Eric J; Weber, Martha A; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A

    2009-12-01

    Like most of Madagascar's endemic primates, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) face a number of threats to their survival. Although habitat loss is of greatest concern, other anthropogenic factors including environmental contamination may also affect lemur health and survival. In this study, we examined ring-tailed lemurs from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), southern Madagascar for exposure to organochlorine (OC) pesticides and metals and examined differences in contaminant concentrations between sexes and among age groups, troops, and habitats. A total of 14 pesticides and 13 metals was detected in lemur blood (24 individuals) and hair (65 individuals) samples, respectively. p,p'-DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, endrin aldehyde, and endrin were among the most prevalent pesticides detected. Surprisingly, the persistent metabolite of p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, was not detected. The most commonly detected metals were aluminum, zinc, boron, phosphorus, silicon, and copper, whereas metals considered more hazardous to wildlife (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, vanadium) were not found above detection limits. Overall, concentrations of OC pesticides and metals were low and similar to those considered to be background concentrations in other studies examining the ecotoxicology of wild mammals. Few inter-sex, -age, -troop, and -habitat differences in contaminant concentrations were observed, suggesting a uniform distribution of contaminants within the reserve. Several statistically significant relationships between lemur body size and contaminant concentrations were observed, but owing to the lack of supportive data regarding contaminant exposure in wild primates, the biological significance of these findings remains uncertain. Results of this study document exposure of ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR to multiple OC pesticides and metals and provide essential baseline data for future health and toxicological evaluations of lemurs and other wild primates

  2. Color vision in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Blakeslee, B; Jacobs, G H

    1985-01-01

    Behavioral discrimination tests were used to examine spectral sensitivity and color vision in a pair of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Sensitivity tests revealed the presence of a Purkinje shift and a photopic visual system. As measured at increment-threshold, the photopic spectral sensitivity function for the lemur has multiple peaks (at ca. 440-460, 540, and 620 nm). In color vision tests lemurs behave trichromatically in that (a) they show no evidence for a neutral point in the spectral range of 470-510 nm, and (b) they set a unique Rayleigh match (540 nm + 645 nm = 570 nm). Tests of wavelength and colorimetric purity discrimination reveal that although this prosimian has color vision, it is not an acute capacity--thresholds for these color discriminations were consistently much higher for lemurs than for normal human trichromats tested in the same situation. PMID:4084762

  3. The three-panel runway maze adapted to Microcebus murinus reveals age-related differences in memory and perseverance performances.

    PubMed

    Trouche, Stéphanie G; Maurice, Tangui; Rouland, Sylvie; Verdier, Jean-Michel; Mestre-Francés, Nadine

    2010-07-01

    Microcebus murinus, a mouse lemur primate appears to be a valuable model for cerebral aging study and for Alzheimer's disease model since they can develop beta-amyloid plaques with age. Although the biological and biochemical analyses of cerebral aging are well documented, the cognitive abilities of this primate have not been thoroughly characterized. In this study, we adapted a spatial working memory procedure described in rodents, the sequential choice task in the three-panel runway, to mouse lemurs. We analyzed the age-related differences in a procedural memory task in the absence or presence of visual cues. Sixty percent of young adult and 48% of aged lemurs completed the exploratory, choice habituation and testing phases at the beginning of the procedure. Young adult lemurs showed a higher level of perseverative errors compared with aged animals, particularly in the presence of visual stimuli. Over trials, old animals made more reference errors compared to young ones that improved quickly their performances under random level. No significant improvement was observed in young adults and old ones over sessions. This study showed that behavioural performances of M. murinus assessed on the sequential choice task in the three-panel runway markedly differ from the previously reported abilities of rodents. The behavioural response of young adult lemurs was influenced by novelty-related anxiety that contributed to their performance in terms of perseverative errors. Conversely, aged lemurs showed less perseverative errors, a rapid habituation to the three-panel runway maze, but made more memory errors. Overall, these findings demonstrate the feasibility to use the three-panel runway task in assessing memory performance, particularly in aged mouse lemurs.

  4. Transcriptome analysis of aging mouse meibomian glands

    PubMed Central

    Parfitt, Geraint J.; Brown, Donald J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Dry eye disease is a common condition associated with age-related meibomian gland dysfunction (ARMGD). We have previously shown that ARMGD occurs in old mice, similar to that observed in human patients with MGD. To begin to understand the mechanism underlying ARMGD, we generated transcriptome profiles of eyelids excised from young and old mice of both sexes. Methods Male and female C57BL/6 mice were euthanized at ages of 3 months or 2 years and their lower eyelids removed, the conjunctival epithelium scrapped off, and the tarsal plate, containing the meibomian glands, dissected from the overlying muscle and lid epidermis. RNA was isolated, enriched, and transcribed into cDNA and processed to generate four non-stranded libraries with distinct bar codes on each adaptor. The libraries were then sequenced and mapped to the mm10 reference genome, and expression results were gathered as reads per length of transcript in kilobases per million mapped reads (RPKM) values. Differential gene expression analyses were performed using CyberT. Results Approximately 55 million reads were generated from each library. Expression data indicated that about 15,000 genes were expressed in these tissues. Of the genes that showed more than twofold significant differences in either young or old tissue, 698 were identified as differentially expressed. According to the Gene Ontology (GO) analysis, the cellular, developmental, and metabolic processes were found to be highly represented with Wnt function noted to be altered in the aging mouse. Conclusions The RNA sequencing data identified several signaling pathways, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and Wnt that were altered in the meibomian glands of aging mice. PMID:27279727

  5. Implicit sequence learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Drucker, Caroline B; Baghdoyan, Talia; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning involves picking up information from the environment without explicit instruction or conscious awareness of the learning process. In nonhuman animals, conscious awareness is impossible to assess, so we define implicit learning as occurring when animals acquire information beyond what is required for successful task performance. While implicit learning has been documented in some nonhuman species, it has not been explored in prosimian primates. Here we ask whether ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) learn sequential information implicitly. We tested lemurs in a modified version of the serial reaction time task on a touch screen computer. Lemurs were required to respond to any picture within a 2 × 2 grid of pictures immediately after its surrounding border flickered. Over 20 training sessions, both the locations and the identities of the images remained constant and response times gradually decreased. Subsequently, the locations and/or the identities of the images were disrupted. Response times indicated that the lemurs had learned the physical location sequence required in original training but did not learn the identity of the images. Our results reveal that ring-tailed lemurs can implicitly learn spatial sequences, and raise questions about which scenarios and evolutionary pressures give rise to perceptual versus motor-implicit sequence learning.

  6. Implicit sequence learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Drucker, Caroline B; Baghdoyan, Talia; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning involves picking up information from the environment without explicit instruction or conscious awareness of the learning process. In nonhuman animals, conscious awareness is impossible to assess, so we define implicit learning as occurring when animals acquire information beyond what is required for successful task performance. While implicit learning has been documented in some nonhuman species, it has not been explored in prosimian primates. Here we ask whether ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) learn sequential information implicitly. We tested lemurs in a modified version of the serial reaction time task on a touch screen computer. Lemurs were required to respond to any picture within a 2 × 2 grid of pictures immediately after its surrounding border flickered. Over 20 training sessions, both the locations and the identities of the images remained constant and response times gradually decreased. Subsequently, the locations and/or the identities of the images were disrupted. Response times indicated that the lemurs had learned the physical location sequence required in original training but did not learn the identity of the images. Our results reveal that ring-tailed lemurs can implicitly learn spatial sequences, and raise questions about which scenarios and evolutionary pressures give rise to perceptual versus motor-implicit sequence learning. PMID:26615500

  7. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: same phenotype, different genetic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Brenda J; Pedersen, Anja; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-06-01

    Almost all mammals have brown or darkly-pigmented eyes (irises), but among primates, there are some prominent blue-eyed exceptions. The blue eyes of some humans and lemurs are a striking example of convergent evolution of a rare phenotype on distant branches of the primate tree. Recent work on humans indicates that blue eye color is associated with, and likely caused by, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12913832) in an intron of the gene HERC2, which likely regulates expression of the neighboring pigmentation gene OCA2. This raises the immediate question of whether blue eyes in lemurs might have a similar genetic basis. We addressed this by sequencing the homologous genetic region in the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons; N = 4) and the closely-related black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco; N = 4), which has brown eyes. We then compared a 166-bp segment corresponding to and flanking the human eye-color-associated region in these lemurs, as well as other primates (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, macaque, ring-tailed lemur, mouse lemur). Aligned sequences indicated that this region is strongly conserved in both Eulemur macaco subspecies as well as the other primates (except blue-eyed humans). Therefore, it is unlikely that this regulatory segment plays a major role in eye color differences among lemurs as it does in humans. Although convergent phenotypes can sometimes come about via the same or similar genetic changes occurring independently, this does not seem to be the case here, as we have shown that the genetic basis of blue eyes in lemurs differs from that of humans. PMID:19278018

  8. Cognition in ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kittler, Klara; Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Fichtel, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    In order to better understand the evolution of cognitive abilities in primates, information on cognitive traits of the most basal living primates can provide important comparative baseline data. Compared to haplorhine primates, lemurs have relatively smaller brains and reduced abilities to solve problems in the technical and social domain. However, recent studies have suggested that some cognitive abilities of lemurs are qualitatively equal to those of haplorhines. Here, we review studies investigating cognitive abilities in the technical and social domain of ring-tailed lemur cognition. In the physical domain, ring-tailed lemurs exhibit similar qualitative cognitive skills as other lemurs but also haplorhine primates. In the social domain, ring-tailed lemurs appear to be more skilled in visual perspective taking than other lemurs. Compared to other lemurs, they also have highly elaborated communicative skills. Moreover, within-group coalitions have been observed in female ring-tailed lemurs during rare events of female evictions but not in other lemur species. However, in several other aspects of social cognition, such as reconciliation and social learning, ring-tailed lemurs' cognitive abilities are equal to those of other lemurs. Thus, additional systematic comparative studies in physical and social cognition are required for a more comprehensive understanding of the processes of cognitive evolution among primates. PMID:26022306

  9. Ecology and conservation of the crowned lemur, Lemur coronatus, at Ankarana, n. Madagascar. With notes on Sanford's lemur, other sympatrics and subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J M; Stewart, P D; Ramangason, G S; Denning, A M; Hutchings, M S

    1989-01-01

    Forests of Ankarana limestone massif in northern Madagascar support one of the largest and least disturbed populations of Crowned Lemurs, Lemur coronatus. This paper reports a preliminary study of the ecology of this species in the Ankarana Special Reserve conducted at the end of the dry season in 1986, with additional information collected a year later. Crowned Lemurs occur in very high densities in the semi-deciduous canopy forest and this probably represents a dry season refuge for the species. They also use more open habitats, including sparsely vegetated limestone and degraded forest. Sanford's Lemur, Lemur fulvus sanfordi, also inhabits the Ankarana forests but is most abundant in degraded habitats. Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs had similar patterns of activity, which included nocturnal travelling and feeding bouts. Crowned Lemurs proved to be unusual among Lemur species in displaying low spatial troop cohesion and a lack of obvious troop hierarchy. Stronglyoides-like enteric helminths infested about one third of Crowned Lemurs but were apparently not causing disease. Crowned Lemurs fall prey to the Fosa, Cryptoprocta ferox, and the young possibly also to the largest raptors. A total of seven living lemur species (including the very rare Propithecus diadema perrieri and Daubentonia madagascariensis) were confirmed at Ankarana by the authors, and three further species have been reported by other observers. In addition to these ten extant lemurs, four subfossil species have been discovered: three of them (Hapalemur simus, Palaeopropithecus and Mesopropithecus) by the authors. The possibility that all 14 lemurs were once sympatric is discussed. For the present, the lemurs of Ankarana are protected from hunting by local taboo. Nevertheless they are under severe threat from habitat destruction, despite Ankarana's Special Reserve status. Given the very restricted distributions of Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs, both must be considered as threatened with extinction

  10. Ecology and conservation of the crowned lemur, Lemur coronatus, at Ankarana, n. Madagascar. With notes on Sanford's lemur, other sympatrics and subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J M; Stewart, P D; Ramangason, G S; Denning, A M; Hutchings, M S

    1989-01-01

    Forests of Ankarana limestone massif in northern Madagascar support one of the largest and least disturbed populations of Crowned Lemurs, Lemur coronatus. This paper reports a preliminary study of the ecology of this species in the Ankarana Special Reserve conducted at the end of the dry season in 1986, with additional information collected a year later. Crowned Lemurs occur in very high densities in the semi-deciduous canopy forest and this probably represents a dry season refuge for the species. They also use more open habitats, including sparsely vegetated limestone and degraded forest. Sanford's Lemur, Lemur fulvus sanfordi, also inhabits the Ankarana forests but is most abundant in degraded habitats. Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs had similar patterns of activity, which included nocturnal travelling and feeding bouts. Crowned Lemurs proved to be unusual among Lemur species in displaying low spatial troop cohesion and a lack of obvious troop hierarchy. Stronglyoides-like enteric helminths infested about one third of Crowned Lemurs but were apparently not causing disease. Crowned Lemurs fall prey to the Fosa, Cryptoprocta ferox, and the young possibly also to the largest raptors. A total of seven living lemur species (including the very rare Propithecus diadema perrieri and Daubentonia madagascariensis) were confirmed at Ankarana by the authors, and three further species have been reported by other observers. In addition to these ten extant lemurs, four subfossil species have been discovered: three of them (Hapalemur simus, Palaeopropithecus and Mesopropithecus) by the authors. The possibility that all 14 lemurs were once sympatric is discussed. For the present, the lemurs of Ankarana are protected from hunting by local taboo. Nevertheless they are under severe threat from habitat destruction, despite Ankarana's Special Reserve status. Given the very restricted distributions of Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs, both must be considered as threatened with extinction.

  11. An alu-based phylogeny of lemurs (infraorder: Lemuriformes).

    PubMed

    McLain, Adam T; Meyer, Thomas J; Faulk, Christopher; Herke, Scott W; Oldenburg, J Michael; Bourgeois, Matthew G; Abshire, Camille F; Roos, Christian; Batzer, Mark A

    2012-01-01

    LEMURS (INFRAORDER: Lemuriformes) are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55-60 million years ago (mya). Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs), to construct a phylogeny of infraorder Lemuriformes. Alu elements are particularly useful SINEs for the purpose of phylogeny reconstruction because they are identical by descent and confounding events between loci are easily resolved by sequencing. The genome of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) was computationally assayed for synapomorphic Alu elements. Those that were identified as Lemuriformes-specific were analyzed against other available primate genomes for orthologous sequence in which to design primers for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) verification. A primate phylogenetic panel of 24 species, including 22 lemur species from all five families, was examined for the presence/absence of 138 Alu elements via PCR to establish relationships among species. Of these, 111 were phylogenetically informative. A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the results of this analysis. We demonstrate strong support for the monophyly of Lemuriformes to the exclusion of other primates, with Daubentoniidae, the aye-aye, as the basal lineage within the infraorder. Our results also suggest Lepilemuridae as a sister lineage to Cheirogaleidae, and Indriidae as sister to Lemuridae. Among the Cheirogaleidae, we show strong support for Microcebus and Mirza as sister genera, with Cheirogaleus the sister lineage to both. Our results also support the monophyly of the Lemuridae. Within Lemuridae we place Lemur and Hapalemur together to the exclusion of

  12. An Alu-Based Phylogeny of Lemurs (Infraorder: Lemuriformes)

    PubMed Central

    McLain, Adam T.; Meyer, Thomas J.; Faulk, Christopher; Herke, Scott W.; Oldenburg, J. Michael; Bourgeois, Matthew G.; Abshire, Camille F.

    2012-01-01

    Lemurs (infraorder: Lemuriformes) are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55–60 million years ago (mya). Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs), to construct a phylogeny of infraorder Lemuriformes. Alu elements are particularly useful SINEs for the purpose of phylogeny reconstruction because they are identical by descent and confounding events between loci are easily resolved by sequencing. The genome of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) was computationally assayed for synapomorphic Alu elements. Those that were identified as Lemuriformes-specific were analyzed against other available primate genomes for orthologous sequence in which to design primers for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) verification. A primate phylogenetic panel of 24 species, including 22 lemur species from all five families, was examined for the presence/absence of 138 Alu elements via PCR to establish relationships among species. Of these, 111 were phylogenetically informative. A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the results of this analysis. We demonstrate strong support for the monophyly of Lemuriformes to the exclusion of other primates, with Daubentoniidae, the aye-aye, as the basal lineage within the infraorder. Our results also suggest Lepilemuridae as a sister lineage to Cheirogaleidae, and Indriidae as sister to Lemuridae. Among the Cheirogaleidae, we show strong support for Microcebus and Mirza as sister genera, with Cheirogaleus the sister lineage to both. Our results also support the monophyly of the Lemuridae. Within Lemuridae we place Lemur and Hapalemur together to the exclusion of

  13. Hepatic capillariasis in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martin; Tirado, Marcela; López, Claudia

    2012-06-01

    A female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and her two cubs held in a zoo in Chile exhibited signs of severe hepatic insufficiency. In spite of supportive treatment, the three animals died a few days after the onset of signs. Postmortem examination revealed ascites and fibrotic lesions in the liver of all the individuals. Histologically, the liver of two of them showed a severe parasitic ova infection and lipidosis, the morphologic characteristics of the parasitic ovas were consistent with Capillaria hepatica (syn. Calodium hepatica) eggs. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first clinical case report of hepatic capillariasis in prosimians, and its implications are discussed.

  14. Hepatic capillariasis in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martin; Tirado, Marcela; López, Claudia

    2012-06-01

    A female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and her two cubs held in a zoo in Chile exhibited signs of severe hepatic insufficiency. In spite of supportive treatment, the three animals died a few days after the onset of signs. Postmortem examination revealed ascites and fibrotic lesions in the liver of all the individuals. Histologically, the liver of two of them showed a severe parasitic ova infection and lipidosis, the morphologic characteristics of the parasitic ovas were consistent with Capillaria hepatica (syn. Calodium hepatica) eggs. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first clinical case report of hepatic capillariasis in prosimians, and its implications are discussed. PMID:22779256

  15. Squealing rate indicates dominance rank in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2013-12-01

    Squeals are sharp and forceful short-range vocalizations used as aggressive and submissive agonistic signals by many mammalian species. The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a female-dominant strepsirhine primate, has a male-specific squeal call with proposed male-male agonistic functions and male-female courtship functions that have never been empirically tested. The goal of my study is to clarify why ring-tailed lemur males squeal at other males and females by applying the handicap hypothesis to this male-specific vocalization. This hypothesis has rarely been tested in primates, and this study elucidates how the rate of a male-specific call relates to male-male and male-female behavior in a Malagasy strepsirhine. To test whether males squeal towards other males to assert dominance, I predict that male squealing rate is positively correlated with dominance rank. I further predict that male ring-tailed lemurs squeal at other males while engaged in agonistic interactions, and that squealing during an interaction is positively correlated with winning that encounter. To test whether males squeal towards females as a mate attraction signal, I predict that male squealing rate is higher on estrus days, and that estrous females indicate attraction by approaching squealing males. From March to July 2010, 480 hr of focal data were collected on 25 males aged three and older at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. I continuously observed each male for 30 min at a time and recorded all agonistic interactions and squeal vocalizations using 1-0 sampling at 2.5-min intervals. Squealing rate was higher during times of male-male agonism when compared to times without male-male agonism, and males with higher dominance ranks had higher squealing rates. In contrast, the mate attraction hypothesis was not supported. My results suggest that the male squeal is an agonistic signal when used in male-male interaction in ring-tailed lemurs, but does not specifically indicate aggression

  16. Squealing rate indicates dominance rank in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2013-12-01

    Squeals are sharp and forceful short-range vocalizations used as aggressive and submissive agonistic signals by many mammalian species. The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a female-dominant strepsirhine primate, has a male-specific squeal call with proposed male-male agonistic functions and male-female courtship functions that have never been empirically tested. The goal of my study is to clarify why ring-tailed lemur males squeal at other males and females by applying the handicap hypothesis to this male-specific vocalization. This hypothesis has rarely been tested in primates, and this study elucidates how the rate of a male-specific call relates to male-male and male-female behavior in a Malagasy strepsirhine. To test whether males squeal towards other males to assert dominance, I predict that male squealing rate is positively correlated with dominance rank. I further predict that male ring-tailed lemurs squeal at other males while engaged in agonistic interactions, and that squealing during an interaction is positively correlated with winning that encounter. To test whether males squeal towards females as a mate attraction signal, I predict that male squealing rate is higher on estrus days, and that estrous females indicate attraction by approaching squealing males. From March to July 2010, 480 hr of focal data were collected on 25 males aged three and older at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. I continuously observed each male for 30 min at a time and recorded all agonistic interactions and squeal vocalizations using 1-0 sampling at 2.5-min intervals. Squealing rate was higher during times of male-male agonism when compared to times without male-male agonism, and males with higher dominance ranks had higher squealing rates. In contrast, the mate attraction hypothesis was not supported. My results suggest that the male squeal is an agonistic signal when used in male-male interaction in ring-tailed lemurs, but does not specifically indicate aggression

  17. MicroRNA expression in the aging mouse thymus.

    PubMed

    Ye, Yaqiong; Li, Daotong; Ouyang, Dan; Deng, Li; Zhang, Yuan; Ma, Yongjiang; Li, Yugu

    2014-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the process of aging in many model organisms, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, and in many organs, such as the mouse lung and human epididymis. However, the role of miRNAs in the thymus tissues of the aging mouse remains unclear. To address this question, we investigated the miRNA expression profiles in the thymuses of 1-, 10- and 19-month-old mice using miRNA array and qRT-PCR assays. A total of 223 mouse miRNAs were screened, and the expression levels of those miRNAs exhibited gradual increases and decreases over the course of thymus aging. Fifty miRNAs in the 10-month-old thymus and 81 miRNAs in the 19-month-old thymus were defined as differentially expressed miRNAs (p<0.05) in comparison with their levels in the 1-month-old mouse, and approximately one-third of these miRNAs were grouped within 11 miRNA clusters. Each miRNA cluster contained 2 to 5 miRNA genes, and most of the cluster members displayed similar expression patterns, being either increased or decreased. In addition, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software and the IPA database were used to analyze the 12 miRNAs that exhibited significant expression changes, revealing that as many as 15 pathways may be involved. Thus, our current study determined the expression profiles of miRNAs in the mouse thymus during the process of aging. The results suggested that these miRNAs could become meaningful biomarkers for studying thymus aging and that the aging-related alternations in miRNA expression may be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, development and carcinogenesis/tumorigenesis.

  18. Hand preference on unimanual and bimanual tasks in strepsirrhines: The case of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Regaiolli, Barbara; Spiezio, Caterina; Hopkins, William D

    2016-08-01

    Assessing manual lateralization in non-human primates could be an optimal way to understand the adaptive value of this asymmetry in humans. Though many studies have investigated hand preferences in Old and New World monkeys and apes, fewer studies have considered manual lateralization in strepsirrhines, especially in experimental tasks. This study investigated hand preferences for a unimanual and a bimanual task of 17 captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), housed at Parco Natura Viva (VR), Italy. The effect of age on handedness has been also investigated. The lemurs were tested on a unimanual task, in which subjects were restricted to using one hand to retrieve the food inside an apparatus, and on a bimanual task, in which lemurs had to use one hand to keep the apparatus door open while reaching with the other hand to retrieve the food inside it. At the population-level, our results revealed an asymmetrical hand use distribution, in particular a bias toward a right hand preference for food reaching in both the unimanual and the bimanual tasks. Furthermore, at the individual-level, the bimanual task seems to elicit a greater hand preference than the unimanual task. Results of this study underline the importance of experimental tasks in determining hand preference in strepsirrhines. Furthermore, as bimanual tasks elicited a stronger degree of lateralization, they appear to be more suited to investigate manual laterality. Finally, findings from this study highlight the presence of a right hand preference in ring-tailed lemurs, shedding new light on the evolution of human right handedness. Am. J. Primatol. 78:851-860, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27078687

  19. Captive Conditions of Pet Lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-01-01

    Live extraction of wildlife is a threat to biodiversity and can compromise animal welfare standards. Studies of the captive environments and welfare of pet primates are known, but none has focused on Madagascar. We aimed to expand knowledge about the captive conditions of pet lemurs in Madagascar. We hypothesized that captive lemurs would often be kept in restrictive settings, including small cages, would be fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets and, as a result, would be in bad physical or psychological health. Data were collected via a web-based survey (n = 253 reports) and from the websites and social media pages of 25 hotels. Most lemurs seen by respondents were either kept on a rope/leash/chain or in a cage (67%), though some lemurs were habituated and were not restrained (28%). Most of the time (72%) cages were considered small, and lemurs were rarely kept in captivity together with other lemurs (81% of lemurs were caged alone). Pet lemurs were often fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets, and most (53%) were described as being in bad health. These findings point to a need to undertake outreach to pet lemur owners in Madagascar about the captivity requirements of primates. PMID:27092548

  20. Social inhibitory control in five lemur species.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Rachna B; MacLean, Evan L; Sandel, Aaron A; Hare, Brian

    2015-07-01

    We tested five lemur species-ring-tailed lemurs, ruffed lemurs, mongoose lemurs, black lemurs, and Coquerel's sifakas-(N = 52) in an experiment that evaluated skills for inhibitory control in a social context. First, two human experimenters presented identical food rewards; the "generous" experimenter allowed the subject to eat from her hand, whereas the "competitive" experimenter always withheld the reward. Lemurs quickly learned to approach the generous experimenter and avoid the competitive one. In the inhibition test phase, we endowed the competitive experimenter with a more valuable food reward but the competitive experimenter continued to withhold food from the subject. Thus, lemurs were required to inhibit approaching the more desirable reward in favor of the lesser but obtainable reward presented by the generous experimenter. In test trials, lemurs' tendency to approach the competitive experimenter increased from the reputation phase, demonstrating sensitivity to the experimental manipulation. However, subjects approached the larger reward less frequently in test trials compared with pretest food-preference trials, evidencing some capacity for inhibitory control in this context. Despite differences in sociality and ecology, the five lemur species did not differ in this ability. Although the study did not uncover species differences, this experimental task may provide a useful measure of social inhibition in broader comparative studies. PMID:25822664

  1. Numerical rule-learning in ring-tailed lemurs (lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Merritt, Dustin J; Maclean, Evan L; Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2011-01-01

    We investigated numerical discrimination and numerical rule-learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Two ring-tailed lemurs were trained to respond to two visual arrays, each of which contained between one and four elements, in numerically ascending order. In Experiment 1, lemurs were trained with 36 exemplars of each of the numerosities 1-4 and then showed positive transfer to trial-unique novel exemplars of the values 1-4. In Experiments 2A and 2B, lemurs were tested on their ability to transfer an ascending numerical rule from the values 1-4 to novel values 5-9. Both lemurs successfully ordered the novel values with above chance accuracy. Accuracy was modulated by the ratio between the two numerical values suggesting that lemurs accessed the approximate number system when performing the task. PMID:21713071

  2. SIRT1, 2, 3 protect mouse oocytes from postovulatory aging.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Teng; Zhou, Yang; Li, Li; Wang, Hong-Hui; Ma, Xue-Shan; Qian, Wei-Ping; Shen, Wei; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan

    2016-04-01

    The quality of metaphase II oocytes will undergo a time-dependent deterioration following ovulation as the result of the oocyte aging process. In this study, we determined that the expression of sirtuin family members (SIRT1, 2, 3) was dramatically reduced in mouse oocytes aged in vivo or in vitro. Increased intracellular ROS was observed when SIRT1, 2, 3 activity was inhibited. Increased frequency of spindle defects and disturbed distribution of mitochondria were also observed in MII oocytes aged in vitro after treatment with Nicotinamide (NAM), indicating that inhibition of SIRT1, 2, 3 may accelerate postovulatory oocyte aging. Interestingly, when MII oocytes were exposed to caffeine, the decline of SIRT1, 2, 3 mRNA levels was delayed and the aging-associated defective phenotypes could be improved. The results suggest that the SIRT1, 2, 3 pathway may play a potential protective role against postovulatory oocyte aging by controlling ROS generation. PMID:26974211

  3. SIRT1, 2, 3 protect mouse oocytes from postovulatory aging

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Teng; Zhou, Yang; Li, Li; Wang, Hong-Hui; Ma, Xue-Shan; Qian, Wei-Ping; Shen, Wei; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    The quality of metaphase II oocytes will undergo a time-dependent deterioration following ovulation as the result of the oocyte aging process. In this study, we determined that the expression of sirtuin family members (SIRT1, 2, 3) was dramatically reduced in mouse oocytes aged in vivo or in vitro. Increased intracellular ROS was observed when SIRT1, 2, 3 activity was inhibited. Increased frequency of spindle defects and disturbed distribution of mitochondria were also observed in MII oocytes aged in vitro after treatment with Nicotinamide (NAM), indicating that inhibition of SIRT1, 2, 3 may accelerate postovulatory oocyte aging. Interestingly, when MII oocytes were exposed to caffeine, the decline of SIRT1, 2, 3 mRNA levels was delayed and the aging-associated defective phenotypes could be improved. The results suggest that the SIRT1, 2, 3 pathway may play a potential protective role against postovulatory oocyte aging by controlling ROS generation. PMID:26974211

  4. Mouse models of age-related mitochondrial neurosensory hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Han, Chul; Someya, Shinichi

    2013-07-01

    Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the elderly population. Overall, 10% of the population has a hearing loss in the US, and this age-related hearing disorder is projected to afflict more than 28 million Americans by 2030. Age-related hearing loss is associated with loss of sensory hair cells (sensory hearing loss) and/or spiral ganglion neurons (neuronal hearing loss) in the cochlea of the inner ear. Many lines of evidence indicate that oxidative stress and associated mitochondrial dysfunction play a central role in age-related neurodegenerative diseases and are a cause of age-related neurosensory hearing loss. Yet, the molecular mechanisms of how oxidative stress and/or mitochondrial dysfunction lead to hearing loss during aging remain unclear, and currently there is no treatment for this age-dependent disorder. Several mouse models of aging and age-related diseases have been linked to age-related mitochondrial neurosensory hearing loss. Evaluation of these animal models has offered basic knowledge of the mechanism underlying hearing loss associated with oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and aging. Here we review the evidence that specific mutations in the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that affect mitochondrial function result in increased oxidative damage and associated loss of sensory hair cells and/or spiral ganglion neurons in the cochlea during aging, thereby causing hearing loss in these mouse models. Future studies comparing these models will provide further insight into fundamental knowledge about the disordered process of hearing and treatments to improve the lives of individuals with communication disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Mitochondrial function and dysfunction in neurodegeneration'.

  5. Influence of age, irradiation and humanization on NSG mouse phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Knibbe-Hollinger, Jaclyn S.; Fields, Natasha R.; Chaudoin, Tammy R; Epstein, Adrian A.; Makarov, Edward; Akhter, Sidra P.; Gorantla, Santhi; Bonasera, Stephen J.; Gendelman, Howard E.; Poluektova, Larisa Y.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Humanized mice are frequently utilized in bench to bedside therapeutic tests to combat human infectious, cancerous and degenerative diseases. For the fields of hematology-oncology, regenerative medicine, and infectious diseases, the immune deficient mice have been used commonly in basic research efforts. Obstacles in true translational efforts abound, as the relationship between mouse and human cells in disease pathogenesis and therapeutic studies requires lengthy investigations. The interplay between human immunity and mouse biology proves ever more complicated when aging, irradiation, and human immune reconstitution are considered. All can affect a range of biochemical and behavioral functions. To such ends, we show age- and irradiation-dependent influences for the development of macrocytic hyper chromic anemia, myelodysplasia, blood protein reductions and body composition changes. Humanization contributes to hematologic abnormalities. Home cage behavior revealed day and dark cycle locomotion also influenced by human cell reconstitutions. Significant age-related day-to-day variability in movement, feeding and drinking behaviors were observed. We posit that this data serves to enable researchers to better design translational studies in this rapidly emerging field of mouse humanization. PMID:26353862

  6. Liver aging and pseudocapillarization in a Werner syndrome mouse model.

    PubMed

    Cogger, Victoria C; Svistounov, Dmitri; Warren, Alessandra; Zykova, Svetlana; Melvin, Richard G; Solon-Biet, Samantha M; O'Reilly, Jennifer N; McMahon, Aisling C; Ballard, J William O; De Cabo, Rafa; Le Couteur, David G; Lebel, Michel

    2014-09-01

    Werner syndrome is a progeric syndrome characterized by premature atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, and death in humans. The knockout mouse model created by deletion of the RecQ helicase domain of the mouse Wrn homologue gene (Wrn(∆hel/∆hel)) is of great interest because it develops atherosclerosis and hypertriglyceridemia, conditions associated with aging liver and sinusoidal changes. Here, we show that Wrn(∆hel/∆hel) mice exhibit increased extracellular matrix, defenestration, decreased fenestration diameter, and changes in markers of liver sinusoidal endothelial cell inflammation, consistent with age-related pseudocapilliarization. In addition, hepatocytes are larger, have increased lipofuscin deposition, more frequent nuclear morphological anomalies, decreased mitochondria number, and increased mitochondrial diameter compared to wild-type mice. The Wrn(∆hel/∆hel) mice also have altered mitochondrial function and altered nuclei. Microarray data revealed that the Wrn(∆hel/∆hel) genotype does not affect the expression of many genes within the isolated hepatocytes or liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. This study reveals that Wrn(∆hel/∆hel) mice have accelerated typical age-related liver changes including pseudocapillarization. This confirms that pseudocapillarization of the liver sinusoid is a consistent feature of various aging models. Moreover, it implies that DNA repair may be implicated in normal aging changes in the liver.

  7. A genome sequence resource for the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a nocturnal lemur from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Mason, Christopher E; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ~3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ~2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ~10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage-a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests.

  8. A Genome Sequence Resource for the Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a Nocturnal Lemur from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Perry, George H.; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E.; Pritchard, Jonathan K.; Mason, Christopher E.; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ∼3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ∼2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ∼10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage—a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests. PMID:22155688

  9. A genome sequence resource for the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a nocturnal lemur from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Mason, Christopher E; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ~3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ~2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ~10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage-a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests. PMID:22155688

  10. Morphometric and ultrastructural changes with ageing in mouse peripheral nerve

    PubMed Central

    CEBALLOS, DOLORES; CUADRAS, JORDI; VERDÚ, ENRIQUE; NAVARRO, XAVIER

    1999-01-01

    Qualitative and quantitative information is reported on the morphological changes that occur in nerve fibres and nonneuronal cells of peripheral nerve during the lifetime of the mouse. Tibial nerves of mice aged 6–33 mo were studied. With ageing, collagen accumulates in the perineurium and lipid droplets in the perineurial cells. Macrophages and mast cells increase in number, and onion bulbs and collagen pockets are frequently present. Schwann cells associated with myelinated fibres (MF) slightly decrease in number in parallel with an increase of the internodal length from 6 to 12 mo, but increase in older nerves when demyelination and remyelination are common. The unmyelinated axon to myelinated fibre (UA/MF) ratio was about 2 until 12 mo, decreasing to 1.6 by 27 mo. In older mice, the loss of nerve fibres involves UA (50% loss of 27–33 mo cf. 6 mo) more markedly than MF (35%). In aged nerves wide incisures and infolded or outfolded myelin loops are frequent, resulting in an increased irregularity in the morphology of fibres along the internodes. In the mouse there is an adult time period, 12–20 mo, during which several features of degeneration progressively appear, and an ageing period from 20 mo upwards when the nerve suffers a general disorganisation and marked fibre loss. PMID:10634695

  11. Nutrition and behavior of lemurs.

    PubMed

    Junge, Randall E; Williams, Cathy V; Campbell, Jennifer

    2009-05-01

    Attention to nutritional and behavioral factors is important for appropriate care of lemurs in captivity. Although only a few species are commonly held in captivity, differences between them are important. Knowledge of feeding ecology and natural diet guide nutrition guidelines, as well as management and prevention of common nutrition-related disorders, including obesity, diabetes, and iron-storage disease. Behavioral characteristics that influence captive management are related to social organization, reproductive behavior, territoriality, and infant care. Housing animals in appropriate social groupings in adequately complex environments reduces abnormal behaviors, and addition of enrichment activities and operant conditioning encourages normal behaviors.

  12. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-08-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats.

  13. Evidence for social learning in wild lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Kendal, Rachel L; Custance, Deborah M; Kendal, Jeremy R; Vale, Gillian; Stoinski, Tara S; Rakotomalala, Nirina Lalaina; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2010-08-01

    Interest in social learning has been fueled by claims of culture in wild animals. These remain controversial because alternative explanations to social learning, such as asocial learning or ecological differences, remain difficult to refute. Compared with laboratory-based research, the study of social learning in natural contexts is in its infancy. Here, for the first time, we apply two new statistical methods, option-bias analysis and network-based diffusion analysis, to data from the wild, complemented by standard inferential statistics. Contrary to common thought regarding the cognitive abilities of prosimian primates, our evidence is consistent with social learning within subgroups in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), supporting the theory of directed social learning (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995). We also caution that, as the toolbox for capturing social learning in natural contexts grows, care is required in ensuring that the methods employed are appropriate-in particular, regarding social dynamics among study subjects. Supplemental materials for this article may be downloaded from http://lb.psychonomic-journals.org/content/supplemental.

  14. Evidence for social learning in wild lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Kendal, Rachel L; Custance, Deborah M; Kendal, Jeremy R; Vale, Gillian; Stoinski, Tara S; Rakotomalala, Nirina Lalaina; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2010-08-01

    Interest in social learning has been fueled by claims of culture in wild animals. These remain controversial because alternative explanations to social learning, such as asocial learning or ecological differences, remain difficult to refute. Compared with laboratory-based research, the study of social learning in natural contexts is in its infancy. Here, for the first time, we apply two new statistical methods, option-bias analysis and network-based diffusion analysis, to data from the wild, complemented by standard inferential statistics. Contrary to common thought regarding the cognitive abilities of prosimian primates, our evidence is consistent with social learning within subgroups in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), supporting the theory of directed social learning (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995). We also caution that, as the toolbox for capturing social learning in natural contexts grows, care is required in ensuring that the methods employed are appropriate-in particular, regarding social dynamics among study subjects. Supplemental materials for this article may be downloaded from http://lb.psychonomic-journals.org/content/supplemental. PMID:20628161

  15. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-01-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats. PMID:26310465

  16. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-08-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats. PMID:26310465

  17. Naturally occurring Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in two prosimian primate species: ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Williams, Cathy V; Van Steenhouse, Jan L; Bradley, Julie M; Hancock, Susan I; Hegarty, Barbara C; Breitschwerdt, Edward B

    2002-12-01

    A naturally occurring infection of Ehrlichia chaffeensis in lemurs is described. DNA of Ehrlichia chaffeensis was identified by polymerase chain reaction in peripheral blood from six of eight clinically ill lemurs. Organisms were cultured from the blood of one lemur exhibiting clinical and hematologic abnormalities similar to those of humans infected with E. chaffeensis. PMID:12498671

  18. Age-Associated Lipidome Changes in Metaphase II Mouse Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jae Won; Lee, Geun-Kyung; Suh, Chang Suk; Kim, Kwang Pyo; Lim, Hyunjung Jade

    2016-01-01

    The quality of mammalian oocytes declines with age, which negatively affects fertilization and developmental potential. The aging process often accompanies damages to macromolecules such as proteins, DNA, and lipids. To investigate if aged oocytes display an altered lipidome compared to young oocytes, we performed a global lipidomic analysis between oocytes from 4-week-old and 42 to 50-week-old mice. Increased oxidative stress is often considered as one of the main causes of cellular aging. Thus, we set up a group of 4-week-old oocytes treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a commonly used oxidative stressor, to compare if similar lipid species are altered between aged and oxidative-stressed oocytes. Between young and aged oocytes, we identified 26 decreased and 6 increased lipids in aged oocytes; and between young and H2O2-treated oocytes, we identified 35 decreased and 26 increased lipids in H2O2-treated oocytes. The decreased lipid species in these two comparisons were overlapped, whereas the increased lipid species were distinct. Multiple phospholipid classes, phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylserine (PS), and lysophosphatidylserine (LPS) significantly decreased both in H2O2-treated and aged oocytes, suggesting that the integrity of plasma membrane is similarly affected under these conditions. In contrast, a dramatic increase in diacylglycerol (DG) was only noted in H2O2-treated oocytes, indicating that the acute effect of H2O2-caused oxidative stress is distinct from aging-associated lipidome alteration. In H2O2-treated oocytes, the expression of lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 increased along with increases in phosphatidylcholine. Overall, our data reveal that several classes of phospholipids are affected in aged oocytes, suggesting that the integrity of plasma membrane is associated with maintaining fertilization and developmental potential of mouse oocytes. PMID:26881843

  19. Patterns of Behaviour, Group Structure and Reproductive Status Predict Levels of Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Zoo-Housed Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tessa E; McCusker, Cara M; Stevens, Jeroen M G; Elwood, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David's scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs.

  20. Patterns of Behaviour, Group Structure and Reproductive Status Predict Levels of Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Zoo-Housed Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tessa E; McCusker, Cara M; Stevens, Jeroen M G; Elwood, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David's scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs. PMID:26824528

  1. Age-associated synapse elimination in mouse parasympathetic ganglia.

    PubMed

    Coggan, Jay S; Grutzendler, Jaime; Bishop, Derron L; Cook, Melissa R; Gan, Wenbiao; Heym, Jason; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2004-08-01

    Little is known about the effects of aging on synapses in the mammalian nervous system. We examined the innervation of individual mouse submandibular ganglion (SMG) neurons for evidence of age-related changes in synapse efficacy and number. For approximately 85% of adult life expectancy (30 months) the efficacy of synaptic transmission, as determined by excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) amplitudes, remains constant. Similarly, the number of synapses contacting individual SMG neurons is also unchanged. After 30 months of age, however, some neurons (23%) dramatically lose synaptic input exhibiting both smaller EPSP amplitude and fewer synaptic boutons. Attenuation of both the amplitude and frequency of miniature EPSPs was also observed in neurons from aged animals. Electron micrographs revealed that, although there were many vesicle-laden preganglionic axonal processes in the vicinity of the postsynaptic membrane, the number of synaptic contacts was significantly lower in old animals. These results demonstrate primary, age-associated synapse elimination with functional consequences that cannot be explained by pre- or postsynaptic cell death.

  2. No evidence for contagious yawning in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Rachna B; Krupenye, Christopher; MacLean, Evan L; Hare, Brian

    2016-09-01

    Among some haplorhine primates, including humans, relaxed yawns spread contagiously. Such contagious yawning has been linked to social bonds and empathy in some species. However, no studies have investigated contagious yawning in strepsirhines. We conducted an experimental study of contagious yawning in strepsirhines, testing ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs (n = 24) in a paradigm similar to one that has induced contagious yawning in haplorhines. First, in a control experiment, we investigated whether lemurs responded to projected video content in general (experiment 1). We showed them two videos to which we expected differential responses: one featured a terrestrial predator and the other a caretaker holding food. Next, to test for yawn contagion, we showed individual lemurs life-size video projections of groupmates and conspecific strangers yawning, and control footage of the same individuals at rest (experiment 2). Then, to examine whether a group context might enhance or allow for contagion, we exposed subjects to the same videos in a group setting (experiment 3). Lemurs produced alarm vocalizations and moved upward while viewing the predator, but not the caretaker, demonstrating that they do perceive video content meaningfully. However, lemurs did not yawn in response to yawning stimuli when tested alone, or with their groupmates. This study provides preliminary evidence that lemurs do not respond to yawning stimuli similarly to haplorhines, and suggests that this behavior may have evolved or become more exaggerated in haplorhines after the two major primate lineages split.

  3. Evaluation of modified techniques for immobilization of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-12-01

    Wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) can be anesthetized with Telazol via blow dart, but improved techniques are needed so that each lemur is reliably induced with a single dart. Medetomidine-butorphanol (MB) is a good supplemental protocol to be administered once the lemurs are captured, but other protocols may provide longer periods of sedation and immobility. One possible way of increasing the efficacy of each dart is to increase the time it is retained in the leg. In this investigation, a "double-sleeve" technique was used to try to increase the time of dart retention. This technique used a standard silicone sleeve on the needle, along with a second sleeve at the needle hub. Induction values were compared between lemurs darted with double-sleeve needles and those induced with needles that each had a single silicone sleeve. Once the lemurs were induced, supplementation with MB (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg) was compared with supplementation with ketamine-medetomidine (KM) (10 mg/ kg and 0.04 mg/kg). Twenty-three lemurs were darted with Telazol by using single-sleeve needles, and 24 were darted with double-sleeve needles. The number of darts per lemur and number of escapes were not different between animals darted with a single sleeve compared with a double-sleeve; thus, there were no significant improvements in induction success with the double-sleeve technique. Adequate sedation and muscle relaxation were achieved with both MB and KM; however, lemurs that received MB were more relaxed and needed fewer additional supplements that those that received KM. Single-sleeve dart needles are recommended for Telazol induction of ring-tailed lemurs via blow dart and MB is preferable to KM for supplemental sedation and muscle relaxation.

  4. Evaluation of modified techniques for immobilization of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-12-01

    Wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) can be anesthetized with Telazol via blow dart, but improved techniques are needed so that each lemur is reliably induced with a single dart. Medetomidine-butorphanol (MB) is a good supplemental protocol to be administered once the lemurs are captured, but other protocols may provide longer periods of sedation and immobility. One possible way of increasing the efficacy of each dart is to increase the time it is retained in the leg. In this investigation, a "double-sleeve" technique was used to try to increase the time of dart retention. This technique used a standard silicone sleeve on the needle, along with a second sleeve at the needle hub. Induction values were compared between lemurs darted with double-sleeve needles and those induced with needles that each had a single silicone sleeve. Once the lemurs were induced, supplementation with MB (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg) was compared with supplementation with ketamine-medetomidine (KM) (10 mg/ kg and 0.04 mg/kg). Twenty-three lemurs were darted with Telazol by using single-sleeve needles, and 24 were darted with double-sleeve needles. The number of darts per lemur and number of escapes were not different between animals darted with a single sleeve compared with a double-sleeve; thus, there were no significant improvements in induction success with the double-sleeve technique. Adequate sedation and muscle relaxation were achieved with both MB and KM; however, lemurs that received MB were more relaxed and needed fewer additional supplements that those that received KM. Single-sleeve dart needles are recommended for Telazol induction of ring-tailed lemurs via blow dart and MB is preferable to KM for supplemental sedation and muscle relaxation. PMID:22204057

  5. Seasonality, sociality, and reproduction: Long-term stressors of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Starling, Anne P; Charpentier, Marie J E; Fitzpatrick, Courtney; Scordato, Elizabeth S; Drea, Christine M

    2010-01-01

    Fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations are reliable, non-invasive indices of physiological stress that provide insight into an animal's energetic and social demands. To better characterize the long-term stressors in adult members of a female-dominant, seasonally breeding species - the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) - we first validated fecal samples against serum samples and then examined the relationship between fGC concentrations and seasonal, social, demographic, genetic, and reproductive variables. Between 1999 and 2006, we collected 1386 fecal samples from 32 adult, semi-free-ranging animals of both sexes. In males and non-pregnant, non-lactating females, fGC concentrations were significantly elevated during the breeding season, specifically during periods surrounding known conceptions. Moreover, group composition (e.g., multi-male versus one-male) significantly predicted the fGC concentrations of males and females in all reproductive states. In particular, the social instability introduced by intra-male competition likely created a stressor for all animals. We found no relationship, however, between fGC and the sex, age, or heterozygosity of animals. In reproducing females, fGC concentrations were significantly greater during lactation than during the pre-breeding period. During pregnancy, fGC concentrations were elevated in mid-ranking dams, relative to dominant or subordinate dams, and significantly greater during the third trimester than during the first or second trimesters. Thus, in the absence of nutritional stressors, social dominance was a relatively poor predictor of fGC in this female-dominant species. Instead, the animals were maximally challenged by their social circumstances and reproductive events-males by competition for mating opportunities and females by late-term gestation and lactation.

  6. Seasonality, sociality, and reproduction: Long-term stressors of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Starling, Anne P; Charpentier, Marie J E; Fitzpatrick, Courtney; Scordato, Elizabeth S; Drea, Christine M

    2010-01-01

    Fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations are reliable, non-invasive indices of physiological stress that provide insight into an animal's energetic and social demands. To better characterize the long-term stressors in adult members of a female-dominant, seasonally breeding species - the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) - we first validated fecal samples against serum samples and then examined the relationship between fGC concentrations and seasonal, social, demographic, genetic, and reproductive variables. Between 1999 and 2006, we collected 1386 fecal samples from 32 adult, semi-free-ranging animals of both sexes. In males and non-pregnant, non-lactating females, fGC concentrations were significantly elevated during the breeding season, specifically during periods surrounding known conceptions. Moreover, group composition (e.g., multi-male versus one-male) significantly predicted the fGC concentrations of males and females in all reproductive states. In particular, the social instability introduced by intra-male competition likely created a stressor for all animals. We found no relationship, however, between fGC and the sex, age, or heterozygosity of animals. In reproducing females, fGC concentrations were significantly greater during lactation than during the pre-breeding period. During pregnancy, fGC concentrations were elevated in mid-ranking dams, relative to dominant or subordinate dams, and significantly greater during the third trimester than during the first or second trimesters. Thus, in the absence of nutritional stressors, social dominance was a relatively poor predictor of fGC in this female-dominant species. Instead, the animals were maximally challenged by their social circumstances and reproductive events-males by competition for mating opportunities and females by late-term gestation and lactation. PMID:19804779

  7. Chromosomal evolution in Malagasy lemurs. V. Chromosomal banding studies of Lemur fulvus albifrons, Lemur rubriventer and its hybrids with Lemur fulvus fulvus.

    PubMed

    Rumpler, Y; Dutrillaux, B

    1980-01-01

    The karyotype of Lemur fulvus albifrons, L. rubriventer and its hybrids with L. fulvus fulvus were compared with that of L. fulvus. fulvus. The two subspecies of L. fulvus have the same karyotype. L. rubriventer differs from L. fulvus by five Robertsonian translocations and also by increased heterochromatin in the juxtacentromeric region of the X chromosome. The karyotypes in the present study compared with those of other lemurs allowed us to propose a general scheme representing the chromosomal evolution of the genus Lemur. In this genus Robertsonian translocations represent 29 of the 33 chromosomal rearrangements which have so far been identified. We cannot affirm that sterility of the hybrids is exclusively due to the accumulation of Robertsonian translocations.

  8. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Toni Lyn; Hayes, R Andrew; Nahrung, Helen F; Goodwin, Thomas E; Harelimana, Innocent H; Macdonald, Laura J; Wright, Patricia C

    2013-08-01

    Lemurs are the most olfactory-oriented of primates, yet there is still only a basic level of understanding of what their scent marks communicate. We analyzed scent secretions from Milne-Edwards' sifakas (Propithecus edwardsi) collected in their natural habitat of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We sought to test whether the scent mark could signal genetic relatedness in addition to species, sex, season, and individuality. We not only found correlations (r (2) = 0.38, P = 0.017) between the total olfactory fingerprint and genetic relatedness but also between relatedness and specific components of the odor, despite the complex environmental signals from differences in diet and behavior in a natural setting. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an association between genetic relatedness and chemical communication in a wild primate population. Furthermore, we found a variety of compounds that were specific to each sex and each sampling period. This research shows that scent marks could act as a remote signal to avoid inbreeding, optimize mating opportunities, and potentially aid kin selection.

  9. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morelli, Toni Lyn; Hayes, R. Andrew; Nahrung, Helen F.; Goodwin, Thomas E.; Harelimana, Innocent H.; MacDonald, Laura J.; Wright, Patricia C.

    2013-08-01

    Lemurs are the most olfactory-oriented of primates, yet there is still only a basic level of understanding of what their scent marks communicate. We analyzed scent secretions from Milne-Edwards' sifakas ( Propithecus edwardsi) collected in their natural habitat of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We sought to test whether the scent mark could signal genetic relatedness in addition to species, sex, season, and individuality. We not only found correlations ( r 2 = 0.38, P = 0.017) between the total olfactory fingerprint and genetic relatedness but also between relatedness and specific components of the odor, despite the complex environmental signals from differences in diet and behavior in a natural setting. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an association between genetic relatedness and chemical communication in a wild primate population. Furthermore, we found a variety of compounds that were specific to each sex and each sampling period. This research shows that scent marks could act as a remote signal to avoid inbreeding, optimize mating opportunities, and potentially aid kin selection.

  10. Lifespan and Reproductive Senescence in a Free-Ranging Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Population at Berenty, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ichino, Shinichiro; Soma, Takayo; Miyamoto, Naomi; Chatani, Kaoru; Sato, Hiroki; Koyama, Naoki; Takahata, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    The lifespan and age-specific fecundity of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) were estimated from a 24-year longitudinal dataset based on individual identification at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. The mean lifespan of females in 10-year (1989-1998) birth cohorts was 4.9 ± 4.9 years (n = 77), and the longest recorded lifespan in the population was 20 years. The mortality rate of adult females increased to ≥20% at 10-11 years old and reached 33-50% at 12-15 years old. Although the birth rate of old females (12-17 years old) was 72.0%, slightly lower than that of prime adult females (4-11 years old), i.e. 80.2%, no significant difference was found between them. Half of the females who reached the age of 12 years gave birth in the last year of their life. The oldest mother to give birth was 17 years old. These results suggest that most females can maintain reproductive performance in their later life and that there is no evidence for a postreproductive lifespan in this species.

  11. Lifespan and Reproductive Senescence in a Free-Ranging Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Population at Berenty, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ichino, Shinichiro; Soma, Takayo; Miyamoto, Naomi; Chatani, Kaoru; Sato, Hiroki; Koyama, Naoki; Takahata, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    The lifespan and age-specific fecundity of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) were estimated from a 24-year longitudinal dataset based on individual identification at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. The mean lifespan of females in 10-year (1989-1998) birth cohorts was 4.9 ± 4.9 years (n = 77), and the longest recorded lifespan in the population was 20 years. The mortality rate of adult females increased to ≥20% at 10-11 years old and reached 33-50% at 12-15 years old. Although the birth rate of old females (12-17 years old) was 72.0%, slightly lower than that of prime adult females (4-11 years old), i.e. 80.2%, no significant difference was found between them. Half of the females who reached the age of 12 years gave birth in the last year of their life. The oldest mother to give birth was 17 years old. These results suggest that most females can maintain reproductive performance in their later life and that there is no evidence for a postreproductive lifespan in this species. PMID:26022309

  12. Surgical correction of an arteriovenous fistula in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-02-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs.

  13. Surgical Correction of an Arteriovenous Fistula in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-01-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs. PMID:24672831

  14. Surgical correction of an arteriovenous fistula in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-02-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs. PMID:24672831

  15. Ageing and gastrointestinal sensory function: altered colonic mechanosensory and chemosensory function in the aged mouse

    PubMed Central

    Keating, Christopher; Nocchi, Linda; Yu, Yang; Donovan, Jemma; Grundy, David

    2016-01-01

    Key points Remarkably little is known about how age affects the sensory signalling pathways in the gastrointestinal tract despite age‐related gastrointestinal dysfunction being a prime cause of morbidity amongst the elderly populationHigh‐threshold gastrointestinal sensory nerves play a key role in signalling distressing information from the gut to the brain.We found that ageing is associated with attenuated high‐threshold afferent mechanosensitivity in the murine colon, and associated loss of TRPV1 channel function.These units have the capacity to sensitise in response to injurious events, and their loss in ageing may predispose the elderly to lower awareness of GI injury or disease. Abstract Ageing has a profound effect upon gastrointestinal function through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we investigated the effect of age upon gastrointestinal sensory signalling pathways in order to address the mechanisms underlying these changes. In vitro mouse colonic and jejunal preparations with attached splanchnic and mesenteric nerves were used to study mechanosensory and chemosensory afferent function in 3‐, 12‐ and 24‐month‐old C57BL/6 animals. Quantitative RT‐PCR was used to investigate mRNA expression in colonic tissue and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells isolated from 3‐ and 24‐month animals, and immunohistochemistry was used to quantify the number of 5‐HT‐expressing enterochromaffin (EC) cells. Colonic and jejunal afferent mechanosensory function was attenuated with age and these effects appeared earlier in the colon compared to the jejunum. Colonic age‐related loss of mechanosensory function was more pronounced in high‐threshold afferents compared to low‐threshold afferents. Chemosensory function was attenuated in the 24‐month colon, affecting TRPV1 and serotonergic signalling pathways. High‐threshold mechanosensory afferent fibres and small‐diameter DRG neurons possessed lower functional TRPV1 receptor responses

  16. Analyses of feeding lateralization in the small-eared bushbaby (Otolemur garnettii): a comparison with the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Milliken, G W; Stafford, D K; Dodson, D L; Pinger, C D; Ward, J P

    1991-09-01

    Feeding related lateralization was examined in a population of 23 small-eared bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii). The three measures used to determine lateralization were food reaching, holding, and manipulation. Sex and age differences were found, with adult females showing a strong right bias and adult males a left bias. Juvenile males were weakly lateralized and less consistent across measures than adult animals. The use of standard scores to assess lateralization allowed species comparisons to be made. The results of this study were compared with results from a previous study on lateralization in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Species comparisons found sex differences to be a stronger factor in lateralization than species differences.

  17. Analyses of feeding lateralization in the small-eared bushbaby (Otolemur garnettii): a comparison with the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Milliken, G W; Stafford, D K; Dodson, D L; Pinger, C D; Ward, J P

    1991-09-01

    Feeding related lateralization was examined in a population of 23 small-eared bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii). The three measures used to determine lateralization were food reaching, holding, and manipulation. Sex and age differences were found, with adult females showing a strong right bias and adult males a left bias. Juvenile males were weakly lateralized and less consistent across measures than adult animals. The use of standard scores to assess lateralization allowed species comparisons to be made. The results of this study were compared with results from a previous study on lateralization in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Species comparisons found sex differences to be a stronger factor in lateralization than species differences. PMID:1935006

  18. Field anesthesia of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) using tiletamine-zolazepam, medetomidine, and butorphanol.

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Moresco, Anneke; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-03-01

    Telazol has been commonly used for field anesthesia of wild lemurs, including ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Telazol alone provides good induction, but doesn't cause adequate muscle relaxation and sedation for collecting consistent somatic measurements and high-quality dental impressions that are sometimes needed. Variability in induction response has been seen between individuals that have received similar dosages, with young lemurs seeming to need more anesthetic than mature lemurs. This investigation evaluated Telazol induction in young (2.0-4.9 yr) and mature (> or = 5.0 yr) ring-tailed lemurs and compared postinduction supplementation with medetomidine or medetomidine-butorphanol. Forty-eight lemurs were anesthetized with Telazol administered via blow dart; then, 20 min after darting, they were supplemented via hand injection with either medetomidine (0.04 mg/ kg) or medetomidine-butorphanol (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively). The odds ratio for young lemurs to need more than one dart for induction, relative to mature lemurs, was 3.8, even though the initial dose of Telazol received by young lemurs (19 +/- 7 mg/kg) was significantly higher than the initial dose administered to mature lemurs (12 +/- 5 mg/kg). The total Telazol dosage was also significantly different between young lemurs (33 +/- 15 mg/kg) and mature lemurs (18 +/- 9 mg/kg). Both medetomidine and medetomidine-butorphanol provided good muscle relaxation and sedation for all procedures. Physiologic values were similar between the two protocols. Oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry was generally good, although there were a few SaO2 values < 90%. Recoveries were smooth, but long. Time to head up was correlated with total Telazol dosage in mature lemurs. In young lemurs, time to standing was correlated with Telazol induction dosage and time of last Telazol administration. Lemurs that received hand injections of Telazol took longer to recover than those that did not. Further refinements are

  19. Field anesthesia of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) using tiletamine-zolazepam, medetomidine, and butorphanol.

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Moresco, Anneke; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-03-01

    Telazol has been commonly used for field anesthesia of wild lemurs, including ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Telazol alone provides good induction, but doesn't cause adequate muscle relaxation and sedation for collecting consistent somatic measurements and high-quality dental impressions that are sometimes needed. Variability in induction response has been seen between individuals that have received similar dosages, with young lemurs seeming to need more anesthetic than mature lemurs. This investigation evaluated Telazol induction in young (2.0-4.9 yr) and mature (> or = 5.0 yr) ring-tailed lemurs and compared postinduction supplementation with medetomidine or medetomidine-butorphanol. Forty-eight lemurs were anesthetized with Telazol administered via blow dart; then, 20 min after darting, they were supplemented via hand injection with either medetomidine (0.04 mg/ kg) or medetomidine-butorphanol (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively). The odds ratio for young lemurs to need more than one dart for induction, relative to mature lemurs, was 3.8, even though the initial dose of Telazol received by young lemurs (19 +/- 7 mg/kg) was significantly higher than the initial dose administered to mature lemurs (12 +/- 5 mg/kg). The total Telazol dosage was also significantly different between young lemurs (33 +/- 15 mg/kg) and mature lemurs (18 +/- 9 mg/kg). Both medetomidine and medetomidine-butorphanol provided good muscle relaxation and sedation for all procedures. Physiologic values were similar between the two protocols. Oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry was generally good, although there were a few SaO2 values < 90%. Recoveries were smooth, but long. Time to head up was correlated with total Telazol dosage in mature lemurs. In young lemurs, time to standing was correlated with Telazol induction dosage and time of last Telazol administration. Lemurs that received hand injections of Telazol took longer to recover than those that did not. Further refinements are

  20. Dental and general health in a population of wild ring-tailed lemurs: a life history approach.

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Sussman, R W; Cuozzo, F

    2002-02-01

    Data are presented on dental and general health for seven groups of wild ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, from the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, in southern Madagascar. As part of a study of population demography, adults were captured, collared, and tagged, and biometric measurements, dental casts, and analyses of dental and general health were made. Results indicate that patterns of dental health vary by individual, age, sex, and habitat. Prime adults show more dental attrition than young adults. Prime males living in more marginal habitats show greater mean attrition than those living in richer habitats. Dental damage, specifically to the toothcomb, indicates that mechanical stresses to this region may include the initial harvesting of foods, in addition to grooming. Males exhibit more evidence of past trauma, including scars and chipped teeth. These results indicate that environmental as well as social factors, such as female dominance, may lead to sex differences in health patterns among lemurs. PMID:11815947

  1. Demographic and life-history patterns in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar: a 15-year perspective.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Sussman, R W; Sauther, Michelle L

    2003-02-01

    Over 15 field seasons (1987-2001), we collected census and life-history data on a population of individually identified ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. No significant difference was found in population size over the study period, though a marked decline in the population occurred following a 2-year drought. The population rebounded rapidly after the immediate postdrought period. There was nearly a complete replacement of individuals over the study period. Average group size is 11.5 animals, and adult male to female sex ratio is 0.92. Most females reproduce annually, and the average fecundity rate is 84.3%. The greatest variability in fecundity is found among old females. We suggest that ring-tailed lemur females follow an "income breeding" strategy, i.e., females use maximum resources during reproduction rather than relying on fat stores, as do "capital breeders." Infant mortality to 1 year of age in a nondrought year is 52%, higher than infant mortality in small to medium-sized anthropoids. The oldest known female was 18 years old in 2001. We suggest that 18-20 years may represent the maximum life-span for wild ring-tailed lemurs. Because males regularly emigrate from the population, we have no data regarding male life-span; however, there is some indication that males do not survive as long as females. Group fission has occurred three times: twice from one parent group living in the driest area of the reserve, with the most dispersed food resources. We suggest that the reproductive strategy that has evolved in this species, wherein females reproduce early in life and annually until old age, is a response to the unusual climate and environmental conditions under which Lemur catta has evolved. PMID:12541335

  2. Demographic and life-history patterns in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar: a 15-year perspective.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Sussman, R W; Sauther, Michelle L

    2003-02-01

    Over 15 field seasons (1987-2001), we collected census and life-history data on a population of individually identified ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. No significant difference was found in population size over the study period, though a marked decline in the population occurred following a 2-year drought. The population rebounded rapidly after the immediate postdrought period. There was nearly a complete replacement of individuals over the study period. Average group size is 11.5 animals, and adult male to female sex ratio is 0.92. Most females reproduce annually, and the average fecundity rate is 84.3%. The greatest variability in fecundity is found among old females. We suggest that ring-tailed lemur females follow an "income breeding" strategy, i.e., females use maximum resources during reproduction rather than relying on fat stores, as do "capital breeders." Infant mortality to 1 year of age in a nondrought year is 52%, higher than infant mortality in small to medium-sized anthropoids. The oldest known female was 18 years old in 2001. We suggest that 18-20 years may represent the maximum life-span for wild ring-tailed lemurs. Because males regularly emigrate from the population, we have no data regarding male life-span; however, there is some indication that males do not survive as long as females. Group fission has occurred three times: twice from one parent group living in the driest area of the reserve, with the most dispersed food resources. We suggest that the reproductive strategy that has evolved in this species, wherein females reproduce early in life and annually until old age, is a response to the unusual climate and environmental conditions under which Lemur catta has evolved.

  3. Quantitative Aging Pattern in Mouse Urine Vapor as Measured by Gas-Liquid Chromatography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Arthur B.; Dirren, Henri; Sheets, Alan; Miquel, Jaime; Lundgren, Paul R.

    1975-01-01

    We have discovered a quantitative aging pattern in mouse urine vapor. The diagnostic power of the pattern has been found to be high. We hope that this pattern will eventually allow quantitative estimates of physiological age and some insight into the biochemistry of aging.

  4. A molecular approach to comparative phylogeography of extant Malagasy lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Thalmann, Urs; Martin, Robert D.

    2003-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar provide an excellent model for exploring evolutionary diversification. This study investigates genetic divergence among most extant lemur taxa in relation to potential geographical boundaries to gene flow. For this purpose, ≈2,400 bp of mitochondrial DNA (part of the COIII gene; ND3, ND4L, and ND4 genes; and five tRNAs) were sequenced in a total of 131 lemurs from 5 families, 12 genera, 25 species, and 18 subspecies to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among them. The comprehensive range of taxa makes this a particularly suitable molecular data set to examine lemur evolution. Those data clearly reveal that the Betsiboka River acts as an isolating barrier between populations of lemurs in north-western Madagascar. The Tsiribihina River similarly serves as a barrier to gene flow between northern and southern populations of lemurs in central western Madagascar, whereas the Mahavavy River does not seem to lead to genetic isolation of lemur populations. Several discrepancies among molecular data, current taxonomy, and geographic distribution along the western coast emerged. Examination of geographical distribution of the taxa concerned in comparison with distribution boundaries of other lemur taxa in that region yielded explanations for these inconsistencies. Eulemur fulvus and Eulemur mongoz are the only lemur taxa that also occur outside Madagascar, on the Comoro Islands. Genetic data show no significant differentiation between Malagasy and Comorian populations of these species, supporting the interpretation that both were introduced only recently to the Comoro Islands. PMID:12719521

  5. Does habitat disturbance affect stress, body condition and parasitism in two sympatric lemurs?

    PubMed

    Rakotoniaina, Josué H; Kappeler, Peter M; Ravoniarimbinina, Pascaline; Pechouskova, Eva; Hämäläinen, Anni M; Grass, Juliane; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kraus, Cornelia

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals react to human-induced changes in their environment is a key question in conservation biology. Owing to their potential correlation with fitness, several physiological parameters are commonly used to assess the effect of habitat disturbance on animals' general health status. Here, we studied how two lemur species, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) and the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), respond to changing environmental conditions by comparing their stress levels (measured as hair cortisol concentration), parasitism and general body condition across four habitats ordered along a gradient of human disturbance at Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. These two species previously revealed contrasting responses to human disturbance; whereas M. murinus is known as a resilient species, C. medius is rarely encountered in highly disturbed habitats. However, neither hair cortisol concentrations nor parasitism patterns (prevalence, parasite species richness and rate of multiple infections) and body condition varied across the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results indicate that the effect of anthropogenic activities at Kirindy Forest is not reflected in the general health status of both species, which may have developed a range of behavioural adaptations to deal with suboptimal conditions. Nonetheless, a difference in relative density among sites suggests that the carrying capacity of disturbed habitat is lower, and both species respond differently to environmental changes, with C. medius being more negatively affected. Thus, even for behaviourally flexible species, extended habitat deterioration could hamper long-term viability of populations. PMID:27656285

  6. Does habitat disturbance affect stress, body condition and parasitism in two sympatric lemurs?

    PubMed Central

    Rakotoniaina, Josué H.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Ravoniarimbinina, Pascaline; Pechouskova, Eva; Hämäläinen, Anni M.; Grass, Juliane; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kraus, Cornelia

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals react to human-induced changes in their environment is a key question in conservation biology. Owing to their potential correlation with fitness, several physiological parameters are commonly used to assess the effect of habitat disturbance on animals’ general health status. Here, we studied how two lemur species, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) and the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), respond to changing environmental conditions by comparing their stress levels (measured as hair cortisol concentration), parasitism and general body condition across four habitats ordered along a gradient of human disturbance at Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. These two species previously revealed contrasting responses to human disturbance; whereas M. murinus is known as a resilient species, C. medius is rarely encountered in highly disturbed habitats. However, neither hair cortisol concentrations nor parasitism patterns (prevalence, parasite species richness and rate of multiple infections) and body condition varied across the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results indicate that the effect of anthropogenic activities at Kirindy Forest is not reflected in the general health status of both species, which may have developed a range of behavioural adaptations to deal with suboptimal conditions. Nonetheless, a difference in relative density among sites suggests that the carrying capacity of disturbed habitat is lower, and both species respond differently to environmental changes, with C. medius being more negatively affected. Thus, even for behaviourally flexible species, extended habitat deterioration could hamper long-term viability of populations.

  7. Does habitat disturbance affect stress, body condition and parasitism in two sympatric lemurs?

    PubMed Central

    Rakotoniaina, Josué H.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Ravoniarimbinina, Pascaline; Pechouskova, Eva; Hämäläinen, Anni M.; Grass, Juliane; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kraus, Cornelia

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals react to human-induced changes in their environment is a key question in conservation biology. Owing to their potential correlation with fitness, several physiological parameters are commonly used to assess the effect of habitat disturbance on animals’ general health status. Here, we studied how two lemur species, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) and the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), respond to changing environmental conditions by comparing their stress levels (measured as hair cortisol concentration), parasitism and general body condition across four habitats ordered along a gradient of human disturbance at Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. These two species previously revealed contrasting responses to human disturbance; whereas M. murinus is known as a resilient species, C. medius is rarely encountered in highly disturbed habitats. However, neither hair cortisol concentrations nor parasitism patterns (prevalence, parasite species richness and rate of multiple infections) and body condition varied across the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results indicate that the effect of anthropogenic activities at Kirindy Forest is not reflected in the general health status of both species, which may have developed a range of behavioural adaptations to deal with suboptimal conditions. Nonetheless, a difference in relative density among sites suggests that the carrying capacity of disturbed habitat is lower, and both species respond differently to environmental changes, with C. medius being more negatively affected. Thus, even for behaviourally flexible species, extended habitat deterioration could hamper long-term viability of populations. PMID:27656285

  8. Male-specific use of the purr in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, purring has been described in mostly affiliative contexts. In the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), both males and females purr, but only males were observed purring in agonistic contexts. In order to determine whether male ring-tailed lemurs purr as aggressive displays during intrasexual agonistic encounters, 480 h of focal data were collected on 25 adult males from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from March to July 2010. The male purring rate increased during periods of male-male agonism when compared to times without intrasexual agonism, and the purring rate was positively correlated with male dominance rank. However, the purring rate was not significantly higher during winning agonistic interactions when compared with losing encounters. My results indicate that the male ring-tailed lemur purr is used most frequently as an agonistic vocalization in male-male encounters, in addition to being used less frequently in other social contexts, including during tail-waving at females, resting, scent-marking, feeding and copulation. Dominant males have higher purring rates across social situations, suggesting that the purring rate may be driven by intrinsic male qualities rather than functioning as a meaningful signal in each disparate social context. Male purring in intrasexual agonistic encounters can be added to previously described social contexts for ring-tailed lemur purring.

  9. Male-specific use of the purr in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, purring has been described in mostly affiliative contexts. In the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), both males and females purr, but only males were observed purring in agonistic contexts. In order to determine whether male ring-tailed lemurs purr as aggressive displays during intrasexual agonistic encounters, 480 h of focal data were collected on 25 adult males from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from March to July 2010. The male purring rate increased during periods of male-male agonism when compared to times without intrasexual agonism, and the purring rate was positively correlated with male dominance rank. However, the purring rate was not significantly higher during winning agonistic interactions when compared with losing encounters. My results indicate that the male ring-tailed lemur purr is used most frequently as an agonistic vocalization in male-male encounters, in addition to being used less frequently in other social contexts, including during tail-waving at females, resting, scent-marking, feeding and copulation. Dominant males have higher purring rates across social situations, suggesting that the purring rate may be driven by intrinsic male qualities rather than functioning as a meaningful signal in each disparate social context. Male purring in intrasexual agonistic encounters can be added to previously described social contexts for ring-tailed lemur purring. PMID:25139722

  10. A mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney in a ringtail lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Muller, S; Oevermann, A; Wenker, C; Altermatt, H J; Robert, N

    2007-03-01

    Primary renal tumors are rare neoplasms in nonhuman primates. This report describes a mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney (MESTK) in a 14.5-year-old female ringtail lemur. The well-demarcated, solid, and cystic mass was located in the pelvis of the left kidney and consisted histologically of both epithelial and mesenchymal components. The mesenchymal cells were arranged in fascicles around cysts lined by a well-differentiated epithelium. Neither the mesenchymal nor the epithelial parts showed significant nuclear atypia or mitotic figures. To our knowledge, only 1 similar case, classified as adenoleiomyofibromatous hamartoma, has been reported in a ringtail lemur. In humans this tumor affects predominantly perimenopausal women and can express estrogen and progesterone receptors. However, neither estrogen nor progesterone receptors could be identified by immunohistochemistry in the tumor of the present ringtail lemur. Therefore, a hormonal mechanism could not be demonstrated in this case.

  11. Genetic Diversity of the Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) in South-Central Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Tara A; Gray, Olivia; Gould, Lisa; Burrell, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    Madagascar's lemurs, now deemed the most endangered group of mammals, represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world. Due to anthropogenic disturbances, an estimated 10% of Malagasy forest cover remains. The endangered Lemur catta is endemic to the southern regions of Madagascar and now occupies primarily fragmented forest habitats. We examined the influence of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the genetic diversity of L. catta across 3 different forest fragments in south-central Madagascar. Our analysis revealed moderate levels of genetic diversity. Genetic differentiation among the sites ranged from 0.05 to 0.11. These data suggest that the L. catta populations within south-central Madagascar have not yet lost significant genetic variation. However, due to ongoing anthropogenic threats faced by ring-tailed lemurs, continued conservation and research initiatives are imperative for long-term viability of the species.

  12. Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Luzón, Mónica; de la Fuente-López, Concepción; Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Fernández-Morán, Jesús; Ponce-Gordo, Francisco

    2010-06-01

    Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal cysticercosis due to Taenia crassiceps was diagnosed in a 5-yr-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) in the Madrid Zoo-Aquarium (Madrid, Spain). Under laparoscopic examination, several septated fibrous cystic structures and numerous masses of small transparent vesicles (ca. 3 mm in diameter) were observed subcutaneously and inside the peritoneal cavity. Most of the structures were extirpated but, after 2 days of postsurgical intensive care, the animal died. The loss of body weight of the animal after surgical extirpation (566 g) represented 22% of the total weight (body weight before mass removal, 2582 g). The vesicles were identified under light microscopic examination as cysticerci and by molecular diagnosis as Cysticercus longicollis, the larval form of T. crassiceps. The present report represents the first detection of T. crassiceps in the prosimian genus Lemur.

  13. Genetic Diversity of the Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) in South-Central Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Tara A; Gray, Olivia; Gould, Lisa; Burrell, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    Madagascar's lemurs, now deemed the most endangered group of mammals, represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world. Due to anthropogenic disturbances, an estimated 10% of Malagasy forest cover remains. The endangered Lemur catta is endemic to the southern regions of Madagascar and now occupies primarily fragmented forest habitats. We examined the influence of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the genetic diversity of L. catta across 3 different forest fragments in south-central Madagascar. Our analysis revealed moderate levels of genetic diversity. Genetic differentiation among the sites ranged from 0.05 to 0.11. These data suggest that the L. catta populations within south-central Madagascar have not yet lost significant genetic variation. However, due to ongoing anthropogenic threats faced by ring-tailed lemurs, continued conservation and research initiatives are imperative for long-term viability of the species. PMID:26022303

  14. Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Luzón, Mónica; de la Fuente-López, Concepción; Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Fernández-Morán, Jesús; Ponce-Gordo, Francisco

    2010-06-01

    Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal cysticercosis due to Taenia crassiceps was diagnosed in a 5-yr-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) in the Madrid Zoo-Aquarium (Madrid, Spain). Under laparoscopic examination, several septated fibrous cystic structures and numerous masses of small transparent vesicles (ca. 3 mm in diameter) were observed subcutaneously and inside the peritoneal cavity. Most of the structures were extirpated but, after 2 days of postsurgical intensive care, the animal died. The loss of body weight of the animal after surgical extirpation (566 g) represented 22% of the total weight (body weight before mass removal, 2582 g). The vesicles were identified under light microscopic examination as cysticerci and by molecular diagnosis as Cysticercus longicollis, the larval form of T. crassiceps. The present report represents the first detection of T. crassiceps in the prosimian genus Lemur. PMID:20597227

  15. Genome Integrity in Aging: Human Syndromes, Mouse Models, and Therapeutic Options.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Wilbert P; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; Pothof, Joris

    2016-01-01

    Human syndromes and mouse mutants that exhibit accelerated but bona fide aging in multiple organs and tissues have been invaluable for the identification of nine denominators of aging: telomere attrition, genome instability, epigenetic alterations, mitochondrial dysfunction, deregulated nutrient sensing, altered intercellular communication, loss of proteostasis, cellular senescence and adult stem cell exhaustion. However, whether and how these instigators of aging interrelate or whether they have one root cause is currently largely unknown. Rare human progeroid syndromes and corresponding mouse mutants with resolved genetic defects highlight the dominant importance of genome maintenance for aging. A second class of aging-related disorders reveals a cross connection with metabolism. As genome maintenance and metabolism are closely interconnected, they may constitute the main underlying biology of aging. This review focuses on the role of genome stability in aging, its crosstalk with metabolism, and options for nutritional and/or pharmaceutical interventions that delay age-related pathology.

  16. Genome Integrity in Aging: Human Syndromes, Mouse Models, and Therapeutic Options.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Wilbert P; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; Pothof, Joris

    2016-01-01

    Human syndromes and mouse mutants that exhibit accelerated but bona fide aging in multiple organs and tissues have been invaluable for the identification of nine denominators of aging: telomere attrition, genome instability, epigenetic alterations, mitochondrial dysfunction, deregulated nutrient sensing, altered intercellular communication, loss of proteostasis, cellular senescence and adult stem cell exhaustion. However, whether and how these instigators of aging interrelate or whether they have one root cause is currently largely unknown. Rare human progeroid syndromes and corresponding mouse mutants with resolved genetic defects highlight the dominant importance of genome maintenance for aging. A second class of aging-related disorders reveals a cross connection with metabolism. As genome maintenance and metabolism are closely interconnected, they may constitute the main underlying biology of aging. This review focuses on the role of genome stability in aging, its crosstalk with metabolism, and options for nutritional and/or pharmaceutical interventions that delay age-related pathology. PMID:26514200

  17. AMS 14C Dates for Extinct Lemurs from Caves in the Ankarana Massif, Northern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simons, Elwyn L.; Burney, David A.; Chatrath, Prithijit S.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Jungers, William L.; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe

    1995-03-01

    An extensive late Quaternary fauna, including many extinct giant lemurs, has been collected recently in a 110+-km system of caves in the Ankarana Massif of northern Madagascar. AMS 14C dates for the acid-insoluble (collagen/gelatin) fraction of bones of the giant lemur Megaladapis (26,150 ± 400 and 12,760 ± 70 yr B.P.) confirm its presence in the area during the late Pleistocene and provide the first Pleistocene 14 C ages from bones of the extinct megafauna of the island. The first date from bones of the recently described extinct Babakotia radofilai (4400 ± 60 yr B.P.) shows that it was present in northern Madagascar in mid-Holocene times. A comparatively recent age of 1020 ± 50 yr B.P. for the extinct Archaeolemur indicates survival of this genus for at least a millennium after the first direct evidence for humans in Madagascar. This suggests that the island's "extinction window" may have represented a longer time span than would have been expected under the Blitzkrieg model of late Quaternary extinctions. A mid-Holocene age (4560 ± 70 yr B.P.) for a bone sample of the small extant lemur Hapalemur simus indicates that the disappearance of this now-restricted species from the Ankarana occurred after this date. New data from the Ankarana and other sites on the island add to the consensus that major biotic changes occurred on Madagascar in the late Holocene.

  18. Dental topography indicates ecological contraction of lemur communities.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Laurie R; Winchester, Julia M; King, Stephen J; Boyer, Doug M; Jernvall, Jukka

    2012-06-01

    Understanding the paleoecology of extinct subfossil lemurs requires reconstruction of dietary preferences. Tooth morphology is strongly correlated with diet in living primates and is appropriate for inferring dietary ecology. Recently, dental topographic analysis has shown great promise in reconstructing diet from molar tooth form. Compared with traditionally used shearing metrics, dental topography is better suited for the extraordinary diversity of tooth form among subfossil lemurs and has been shown to be less sensitive to phylogenetic sources of shape variation. Specifically, we computed orientation patch counts rotated (OPCR) and Dirichlet normal energy (DNE) of molar teeth belonging to 14 species of subfossil lemurs and compared these values to those of an extant lemur sample. The two metrics succeeded in separating species in a manner that provides insights into both food processing and diet. We used them to examine the changes in lemur community ecology in Southern and Southwestern Madagascar that accompanied the extinction of giant lemurs. We show that the poverty of Madagascar's frugivore community is a long-standing phenomenon and that extinction of large-bodied lemurs in the South and Southwest resulted not merely in a loss of guild elements but also, most likely, in changes in the ecology of extant lemurs.

  19. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ballhorn, Daniel J; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas. PMID:27532127

  20. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Ballhorn, Daniel J.; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas. PMID:27532127

  1. Social organization of the Alaotran gentle lemur (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis).

    PubMed

    Mutschler, T; Nievergelt, C M; Feistner, A T

    2000-01-01

    Knowledge of the social organization of lemurs is still limited for most species. Where there is sufficient information, it has been shown that lemur social organization differs in essential points from that of other primates. In the field study reported here, demographic structure and life-history processes were investigated in order to characterize the social organization of the Alaotran gentle lemur (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis). Data were obtained through captures and observations. Alaotran gentle lemurs were found in small groups of up to nine individuals. Although most groups contained just one breeding female, a substantial proportion of groups (35%) had two breeding females. Therefore, Alaotran gentle lemurs cannot be classed as being organized in monogamous family groups. An extended birth season was found, and groups with two breeding females had significantly higher breeding output per adult than groups with a single adult female. Limited data suggest that females emigrate from their natal group while still subadult, whereas males can stay in the natal group until they are fully grown and disperse as adults. Variability in group composition, significantly higher reproductive output per adult in groups with two breeding females, and delayed dispersal of males suggest that Alaotran gentle lemurs pursue a resource-defense mating strategy, rather than a female-defense mating strategy. The suggestion that extant social lemurs may have evolved from a monogamous system, could explain the differences between lemur social systems and those of other primates.

  2. Species-Specific Transmission of Novel Picornaviruses in Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Efrem S.; Deem, Sharon L.; Porton, Ingrid J.; Cao, Song

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The roles of host genetics versus exposure and contact frequency in driving cross-species transmission remain the subject of debate. Here, we used a multitaxon lemur collection at the Saint Louis Zoo in the United States as a model to gain insight into viral transmission in a setting of high interspecies contact. Lemurs are a diverse and understudied group of primates that are highly endangered. The speciation of lemurs, which are endemic to the island of Madagascar, occurred in geographic isolation apart from that of continental African primates. Although evidence of endogenized viruses in lemur genomes exists, no exogenous viruses of lemurs have been described to date. Here we identified two novel picornaviruses in fecal specimens of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). We found that the viruses were transmitted in a species-specific manner (lesavirus 1 was detected only in ring-tailed lemurs, while lesavirus 2 was detected only in black-and-white ruffed lemurs). Longitudinal sampling over a 1-year interval demonstrated ongoing infection in the collection. This was supported by evidence of viral clearance in some animals and new infections in previously uninfected animals, including a set of newly born triplets that acquired the infection. While the two virus strains were found to be cocirculating in a mixed-species exhibit of ring-tailed lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, and black lemurs, there was no evidence of cross-species transmission. This suggests that despite high-intensity contact, host species barriers can prevent cross-species transmissions of these viruses. IMPORTANCE Up to 75% of emerging infectious diseases in humans today are the result of zoonotic transmission. However, a challenge in understanding transmission dynamics has been the limited models of cross-species transmission. Zoos provide a unique opportunity to explore parameters defining viral transmission. We demonstrated that

  3. The ecology of spatial memory in four lemur species.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Rodriguez, Kerri; Hare, Brian

    2014-07-01

    Evolutionary theories suggest that ecology is a major factor shaping cognition in primates. However, there have been few systematic tests of spatial memory abilities involving multiple primate species. Here, we examine spatial memory skills in four strepsirrhine primates that vary in level of frugivory: ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli). We compare these species across three studies targeting different aspects of spatial memory: recall after a long-delay, learning mechanisms supporting memory and recall of multiple locations in a complex environment. We find that ruffed lemurs, the most frugivorous species, consistently showed more robust spatial memory than the other species across tasks-especially in comparison with sifakas, the most folivorous species. We discuss these results in terms of the importance of considering both ecological and social factors as complementary explanations for the evolution of primate cognitive skills.

  4. The ecology of spatial memory in four lemur species.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Rodriguez, Kerri; Hare, Brian

    2014-07-01

    Evolutionary theories suggest that ecology is a major factor shaping cognition in primates. However, there have been few systematic tests of spatial memory abilities involving multiple primate species. Here, we examine spatial memory skills in four strepsirrhine primates that vary in level of frugivory: ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli). We compare these species across three studies targeting different aspects of spatial memory: recall after a long-delay, learning mechanisms supporting memory and recall of multiple locations in a complex environment. We find that ruffed lemurs, the most frugivorous species, consistently showed more robust spatial memory than the other species across tasks-especially in comparison with sifakas, the most folivorous species. We discuss these results in terms of the importance of considering both ecological and social factors as complementary explanations for the evolution of primate cognitive skills. PMID:24469310

  5. Metabolism, genomics, and DNA repair in the mouse aging liver.

    PubMed

    Lebel, Michel; de Souza-Pinto, Nadja C; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2011-01-01

    The liver plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of nutrients, drugs, hormones, and metabolic waste products, thereby maintaining body homeostasis. The liver undergoes substantial changes in structure and function within old age. Such changes are associated with significant impairment of many hepatic metabolic and detoxification activities, with implications for systemic aging and age-related disease. It has become clear, using rodent models as biological tools, that genetic instability in the form of gross DNA rearrangements or point mutations accumulate in the liver with age. DNA lesions, such as oxidized bases or persistent breaks, increase with age and correlate well with the presence of senescent hepatocytes. The level of DNA damage and/or mutation can be affected by changes in carcinogen activation, decreased ability to repair DNA, or a combination of these factors. This paper covers some of the DNA repair pathways affecting liver homeostasis with age using rodents as model systems.

  6. Cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at a South Carolina zoo.

    PubMed

    Tuten, Holly C; Miller, Heather C; Ellis, Angela E

    2011-09-01

    In September 2008, two ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), comprising a mother-daughter pair, at the Greenville Zoo, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, were diagnosed with cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) subsequent to sudden death of the adult lemur. On necropsy, a single bot warble was discovered in the subcutis of the axillary region. Histopathology revealed a severe eosinophilic bronchopneumonia. The juvenile lemur was inspected and found to have warbles on three separate dates in late September. One representative bot fly larva was identified as a Cuterebra sp. that normally infests lagomorphs in the southeastern United States. Cuterebrid myiasis is rarely reported in lemurs and has not been previously associated with pneumonia or death in these animals.

  7. Cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at a South Carolina zoo.

    PubMed

    Tuten, Holly C; Miller, Heather C; Ellis, Angela E

    2011-09-01

    In September 2008, two ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), comprising a mother-daughter pair, at the Greenville Zoo, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, were diagnosed with cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) subsequent to sudden death of the adult lemur. On necropsy, a single bot warble was discovered in the subcutis of the axillary region. Histopathology revealed a severe eosinophilic bronchopneumonia. The juvenile lemur was inspected and found to have warbles on three separate dates in late September. One representative bot fly larva was identified as a Cuterebra sp. that normally infests lagomorphs in the southeastern United States. Cuterebrid myiasis is rarely reported in lemurs and has not been previously associated with pneumonia or death in these animals. PMID:22950327

  8. Dysfunction of mouse cerebral arteries during early aging

    PubMed Central

    Balbi, Matilde; Ghosh, Mitrajit; Longden, Thomas A; Jativa Vega, Max; Gesierich, Benno; Hellal, Farida; Lourbopoulos, Athanasios; Nelson, Mark T; Plesnila, Nikolaus

    2015-01-01

    Aging leads to a gradual decline in the fidelity of cerebral blood flow (CBF) responses to neuronal activation, resulting in an increased risk for stroke and dementia. However, it is currently unknown when age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction starts or which vascular components and functions are first affected. The aim of this study was to examine the function of microcirculation throughout aging in mice. Microcirculation was challenged by inhalation of 5% and 10% CO2 or by forepaw stimulation in 6-week, 8-month, and 12-month-old FVB/N mice. The resulting dilation of pial vessels and increase in CBF was measured by intravital fluorescence microscopy and laser Doppler fluxmetry, respectively. Neurovascular coupling and astrocytic endfoot Ca2+ were measured in acute brain slices from 18-month-old mice. We did not reveal any changes in CBF after CO2 reactivity up to an age of 12 months. However, direct visualization of pial vessels by in vivo microscopy showed a significant, age-dependent loss of CO2 reactivity starting at 8 months of age. At the same age neurovascular coupling was also significantly affected. These results suggest that aging does not affect cerebral vessel function simultaneously, but starts in pial microvessels months before global changes in CBF are detectable. PMID:26058694

  9. Preventing dental calculus formation in lemurs (Lemur catta, Eulemur fulvus collaris) and baboons (Papio cynocephalus).

    PubMed

    Willis, G P; Kapustin, N; Warrick, J M; Miller, L L; Stookey, G K; Hopkins, D T; Doan, E J; Ross, S R

    1999-09-01

    The prevention of calculus accumulation in exotic animals is a relatively unexplored topic. A 6-mo study in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and collared lemurs (Eulemur fulvus collaris) and two studies in baboons (Papio cynocephalus) (7.5 wks and 6.5 mo) tested the benefits of a primate diet coated with 0.6% sodium hexametaphosphate (HMP) in controlling calculus in these species using a sequential crossover design. The control regimen was an identical, but non-HMP-coated, dry primate chow. At study initiation, the primates were given a thorough dental prophylaxis and provided with the control diet or experimental diet. At the conclusion of the test period, the animals were anesthetized and examined for clinical calculus independently by two examiners. The animals were then given another dental prophylaxis, provided the alternate ration, and the foregoing procedures were repeated. When the animals were provided the HMP-coated diet, significant reductions in calculus formation of 48-62% were observed in the lemurs and the baboons. No clinically significant changes were observed in body weights or in blood chemistry values as a result of ingestion of the HMP-coated regimen. PMID:10572860

  10. Reward components of feeding behavior are preserved during mouse aging

    PubMed Central

    Harb, Mazen R.; Sousa, Nuno; Zihl, Joseph; Almeida, Osborne F. X.

    2014-01-01

    Eating behavior depends on associations between the sensory and energetic properties of foods. Healthful balance of these factors is a challenge for industrialized societies that have an abundance of food, food choices and food-related cues. Here, we were interested in whether appetitive conditioning changes as a function of age. Operant and pavlovian conditioning experiments (rewarding stimulus was a palatable food) in male mice (aged 3, 6, and 15 months) showed that implicit (non-declarative) memory remains intact during aging. Two other essential components of eating behavior, motivation and hedonic preference for rewarding foods, were also found not to be altered in aging mice. Specifically, hedonic responding by satiated mice to isocaloric foods of differing sensory properties (sucrose, milk) was similar in all age groups; importantly, however, this paradigm disclosed that older animals adjust their energy intake according to energetic need. Based on the assumption that the mechanisms that control feeding are conserved across species, it would appear that overeating and obesity in humans reflects a mismatch between ancient physiological mechanisms and today's cue-laden environment. The implication of the present results showing that aging does not impair the ability to learn stimulus-food associations is that the risk of overeating in response to food cues is maintained through to old age. PMID:25278876

  11. Impaired Control of Body Cooling during Heterothermia Represents the Major Energetic Constraint in an Aging Non-Human Primate Exposed to Cold

    PubMed Central

    Terrien, Jeremy; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stephane; Aujard, Fabienne

    2009-01-01

    Daily heterothermia is used by small mammals for energy and water savings, and seems to be preferentially exhibited during winter rather than during summer. This feature induces a trade-off between the energy saved during daily heterothermia and the energy cost of arousal, which can impact energy balance and survival under harsh environmental conditions. Especially, aging may significantly affect such trade off during cold-induced energy stress, but direct evidences are still lacking. We hypothesized that aging could alter the energetics of daily heterothermia, and that the effects could differ according to season. In the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a non-human primate species which exhibits daily heterothermia, we investigated the effects of exposures to 25 and 12°C on body composition, energy balance, patterns of heterothermia and water turnover in adult (N = 8) and aged animals (N = 7) acclimated to winter-like or summer-like photoperiods. Acclimation to summer prevented animals from deep heterothermia, even during aging. During winter, adult animals at 12°C and aged animals at 25°C exhibited low levels of energy expenditure with minor modulations of heterothermia. The major effects of cold were observed during winter, and were particularly pronounced in aged mouse lemurs which exhibited deep heterothermia phases. Body composition was not significantly affected by age and could not explain the age-related differences in heterothermia patterns. However, aging was associated with increased levels of energy expenditure during cold exposure, in concomitance with impaired energy balance. Interestingly, increased energy expenditure and depth of heterothermia phases were strongly correlated. In conclusion, it appeared that the exhibition of shallow heterothermia allowed energy savings during winter in adult animals only. Aged animals exhibited deep heterothermia and increased levels of energy expenditure, impairing energy balance. Thus, an

  12. Impaired control of body cooling during heterothermia represents the major energetic constraint in an aging non-human primate exposed to cold.

    PubMed

    Terrien, Jeremy; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stephane; Aujard, Fabienne

    2009-01-01

    Daily heterothermia is used by small mammals for energy and water savings, and seems to be preferentially exhibited during winter rather than during summer. This feature induces a trade-off between the energy saved during daily heterothermia and the energy cost of arousal, which can impact energy balance and survival under harsh environmental conditions. Especially, aging may significantly affect such trade off during cold-induced energy stress, but direct evidences are still lacking. We hypothesized that aging could alter the energetics of daily heterothermia, and that the effects could differ according to season. In the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a non-human primate species which exhibits daily heterothermia, we investigated the effects of exposures to 25 and 12 degrees C on body composition, energy balance, patterns of heterothermia and water turnover in adult (N = 8) and aged animals (N = 7) acclimated to winter-like or summer-like photoperiods. Acclimation to summer prevented animals from deep heterothermia, even during aging. During winter, adult animals at 12 degrees C and aged animals at 25 degrees C exhibited low levels of energy expenditure with minor modulations of heterothermia. The major effects of cold were observed during winter, and were particularly pronounced in aged mouse lemurs which exhibited deep heterothermia phases. Body composition was not significantly affected by age and could not explain the age-related differences in heterothermia patterns. However, aging was associated with increased levels of energy expenditure during cold exposure, in concomitance with impaired energy balance. Interestingly, increased energy expenditure and depth of heterothermia phases were strongly correlated. In conclusion, it appeared that the exhibition of shallow heterothermia allowed energy savings during winter in adult animals only. Aged animals exhibited deep heterothermia and increased levels of energy expenditure, impairing energy balance

  13. Behavioral Assessment of the Aging Mouse Vestibular System

    PubMed Central

    Tung, Victoria W. K.; Burton, Thomas J.; Dababneh, Edward; Quail, Stephanie L.; Camp, Aaron J.

    2014-01-01

    Age related decline in balance performance is associated with deteriorating muscle strength, motor coordination and vestibular function. While a number of studies show changes in balance phenotype with age in rodents, very few isolate the vestibular contribution to balance under either normal conditions or during senescence. We use two standard behavioral tests to characterize the balance performance of mice at defined age points over the lifespan: the rotarod test and the inclined balance beam test. Importantly though, a custom built rotator is also used to stimulate the vestibular system of mice (without inducing overt signs of motion sickness). These two tests have been used to show that changes in vestibular mediated-balance performance are present over the murine lifespan. Preliminary results show that both the rotarod test and the modified balance beam test can be used to identify changes in balance performance during aging as an alternative to more difficult and invasive techniques such as vestibulo-ocular (VOR) measurements. PMID:25045963

  14. External genital morphology of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): females are naturally "masculinized".

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M; Weil, Anne

    2008-04-01

    The extravagance and diversity of external genitalia have been well characterized in male primates; however, much less is known about sex differences or variation in female form. Our study represents a departure from traditional investigations of primate reproductive anatomy because we 1) focus on external rather than internal genitalia, 2) measure both male and female structures, and 3) examine a strepsirrhine rather than an anthropoid primate. The subjects for morphological study were 21 reproductively intact, adult ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), including 10 females and 11 males, two of which (one per sex) subsequently died of natural causes and also served as specimens for gross anatomical dissection. Male external genitalia presented a typical masculine configuration, with a complex distal penile morphology. In contrast, females were unusual among mammals, presenting an enlarged, pendulous external clitoris, tunneled by the urethra. Females had a shorter anogenital distance and a larger urethral meatus than did males, but organ diameter and circumference showed no sex differences. Dissection confirmed these characterizations. Noteworthy in the male were the presence of a "levator penis" muscle and discontinuity in the corpus spongiosum along the penile shaft; noteworthy in the female were an elongated clitoral shaft and glans clitoridis. The female urethra, while incorporated within the clitoral body, was not surrounded by erectile tissue, as we detected no corpus spongiosum. The os clitoridis was 43% the length and 24% the height of the os penis. On the basis of these first detailed descriptions of strepsirrhine external genitalia (for either sex), we characterize those of the female ring-tailed lemur as moderately "masculinized." Our results highlight certain morphological similarities and differences between ring-tailed lemurs and the most male-like of female mammals, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), and call attention to a potential hormonal

  15. RADIOGRAPHIC AND ULTRASONOGRAPHIC ABDOMINAL ANATOMY IN CAPTIVE RING-TAILED LEMURS (LEMUR CATTA).

    PubMed

    Makungu, Modesta; du Plessis, Wencke M; Barrows, Michelle; Groenewald, Hermanus B; Koeppel, Katja N

    2016-06-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is primarily distributed in south and southwestern Madagascar. It is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Various abdominal diseases, such as hepatic lipidosis, intestinal ulcers, cystitis, urinary tract obstruction, and neoplasia (e.g., colonic adenocarcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma), have been reported in this species. The aim of this study was to describe the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy in captive ring-tailed lemurs to provide guidance for clinical use. Radiography of the abdomen and ultrasonography of the liver, spleen, kidneys, and urinary bladder were performed in 13 and 9 healthy captive ring-tailed lemurs, respectively, during their annual health examinations. Normal radiographic and ultrasonographic reference ranges for abdominal organs were established and ratios were calculated. The majority (12/13) of animals had seven lumbar vertebrae. The sacrum had mainly (12/13) three segments. Abdominal serosal detail was excellent in all animals, and hypaxial muscles were conspicuous in the majority (11/13) of animals. The spleen was frequently (12/13) seen on the ventrodorsal (VD) view and rarely (3/13) on the right lateral (RL) view. The liver was less prominent and well contained within the ribcage. The pylorus was mostly (11/13) located to the right of the midline. The right and left kidneys were visible on the RL and VD views, with the right kidney positioned more cranial and dorsal to the left kidney. On ultrasonography, the kidneys appeared ovoid on transverse and longitudinal views. The medulla was hypoechoic to the renal cortex. The renal cortex was frequently (8/9) isoechoic and rarely (1/9) hyperechoic to the splenic parenchyma. The liver parenchyma was hypoechoic (5/5) to the renal cortex. Knowledge of the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy of ring-tailed lemurs may be useful in the diagnosis of diseases and in

  16. External genital morphology of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): females are naturally "masculinized".

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M; Weil, Anne

    2008-04-01

    The extravagance and diversity of external genitalia have been well characterized in male primates; however, much less is known about sex differences or variation in female form. Our study represents a departure from traditional investigations of primate reproductive anatomy because we 1) focus on external rather than internal genitalia, 2) measure both male and female structures, and 3) examine a strepsirrhine rather than an anthropoid primate. The subjects for morphological study were 21 reproductively intact, adult ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), including 10 females and 11 males, two of which (one per sex) subsequently died of natural causes and also served as specimens for gross anatomical dissection. Male external genitalia presented a typical masculine configuration, with a complex distal penile morphology. In contrast, females were unusual among mammals, presenting an enlarged, pendulous external clitoris, tunneled by the urethra. Females had a shorter anogenital distance and a larger urethral meatus than did males, but organ diameter and circumference showed no sex differences. Dissection confirmed these characterizations. Noteworthy in the male were the presence of a "levator penis" muscle and discontinuity in the corpus spongiosum along the penile shaft; noteworthy in the female were an elongated clitoral shaft and glans clitoridis. The female urethra, while incorporated within the clitoral body, was not surrounded by erectile tissue, as we detected no corpus spongiosum. The os clitoridis was 43% the length and 24% the height of the os penis. On the basis of these first detailed descriptions of strepsirrhine external genitalia (for either sex), we characterize those of the female ring-tailed lemur as moderately "masculinized." Our results highlight certain morphological similarities and differences between ring-tailed lemurs and the most male-like of female mammals, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), and call attention to a potential hormonal

  17. RADIOGRAPHIC AND ULTRASONOGRAPHIC ABDOMINAL ANATOMY IN CAPTIVE RING-TAILED LEMURS (LEMUR CATTA).

    PubMed

    Makungu, Modesta; du Plessis, Wencke M; Barrows, Michelle; Groenewald, Hermanus B; Koeppel, Katja N

    2016-06-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is primarily distributed in south and southwestern Madagascar. It is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Various abdominal diseases, such as hepatic lipidosis, intestinal ulcers, cystitis, urinary tract obstruction, and neoplasia (e.g., colonic adenocarcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma), have been reported in this species. The aim of this study was to describe the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy in captive ring-tailed lemurs to provide guidance for clinical use. Radiography of the abdomen and ultrasonography of the liver, spleen, kidneys, and urinary bladder were performed in 13 and 9 healthy captive ring-tailed lemurs, respectively, during their annual health examinations. Normal radiographic and ultrasonographic reference ranges for abdominal organs were established and ratios were calculated. The majority (12/13) of animals had seven lumbar vertebrae. The sacrum had mainly (12/13) three segments. Abdominal serosal detail was excellent in all animals, and hypaxial muscles were conspicuous in the majority (11/13) of animals. The spleen was frequently (12/13) seen on the ventrodorsal (VD) view and rarely (3/13) on the right lateral (RL) view. The liver was less prominent and well contained within the ribcage. The pylorus was mostly (11/13) located to the right of the midline. The right and left kidneys were visible on the RL and VD views, with the right kidney positioned more cranial and dorsal to the left kidney. On ultrasonography, the kidneys appeared ovoid on transverse and longitudinal views. The medulla was hypoechoic to the renal cortex. The renal cortex was frequently (8/9) isoechoic and rarely (1/9) hyperechoic to the splenic parenchyma. The liver parenchyma was hypoechoic (5/5) to the renal cortex. Knowledge of the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy of ring-tailed lemurs may be useful in the diagnosis of diseases and in

  18. Osteopontin deficiency and aging on nanomechanics of mouse bone.

    PubMed

    Kavukcuoglu, N Beril; Denhardt, David T; Guzelsu, Nejat; Mann, Adrian B

    2007-10-01

    Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of the tissue leading to increased fragility. Osteopontin (OPN), a noncollageneous bone matrix protein, has been shown to play an important role in osteoporosis, bone resorption, and mineralization. However, OPN's role in bone mechanical properties on the submicron scale has not been studied in any detail. In this study, nanoindentation techniques were utilized to investigate how OPN and aging affect bone mechanical properties. Hardness and elastic modulus were calculated and compared between the OPN-deficient mice (OPN(-/-)) and their age and sex-matched wild-type (OPN(+/+)) controls. The results show that the mechanical properties of the young OPN(-/-) bones (age < 12 weeks) are significantly lower than that of the youngest OPN(+/+) bones. This finding was confirmed by additional microindentation testing. Biochemical analysis using micro-Raman spectroscopy indicated more mineral content in young OPN(+/+) bones. Older (age > 12 weeks) bones did not show any significant differences in mechanical properties with genotype. In addition, OPN(+/+) bones show a decrease in mechanical properties between young and older age groups. By contrast, OPN(-/-) bones showed no significant change in mechanical properties with aging.

  19. Occurrence of Encephalitozoon intestinalis in the Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) and the Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland.

    PubMed

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Majewska, Anna C; Trzesowska, Ewa; Skrzypczak, Łukasz

    2012-01-01

    Encephalitozoon intestinalis is one of the most common microsporidial species found in humans worldwide but it has rarely been identified in animals. The presence of this pathogen has been detected in a few species of domestic, captive and wild mammals as well as in three species of birds. The aim of the present study was to examine fecal samples obtained from mammals housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland, for the presence of potentially human-infectious microsporidia. A total of 339 fresh fecal samples collected from 75 species of mammals belonging to 27 families and 8 orders were examined for the presence of microsporidian spores. Microsporidian spores were identified in 3 out of 339 (0.9%) examined fecal samples. All samples identified as positive by chromotrope 2R and calcofluor white M2R were also positive by the FISH assay. Using multiplex FISH in all 3 fecal samples, only spores of E. intestinalis were identified in 2 out of 14 Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and in one out of 17 Red ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra). To our knowledge this is the first diagnosis of E. intestinalis in Ring-tailed and Red ruffed lemurs. It should be mentioned that both lemur species are listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Although the lemurs were asymptomatically infected, the possibility of widespread infection or death of these animals remains in the event of an elevated stress or a decrease in their immunological functions.

  20. Occurrence of Encephalitozoon intestinalis in the Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) and the Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland.

    PubMed

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Majewska, Anna C; Trzesowska, Ewa; Skrzypczak, Łukasz

    2012-01-01

    Encephalitozoon intestinalis is one of the most common microsporidial species found in humans worldwide but it has rarely been identified in animals. The presence of this pathogen has been detected in a few species of domestic, captive and wild mammals as well as in three species of birds. The aim of the present study was to examine fecal samples obtained from mammals housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland, for the presence of potentially human-infectious microsporidia. A total of 339 fresh fecal samples collected from 75 species of mammals belonging to 27 families and 8 orders were examined for the presence of microsporidian spores. Microsporidian spores were identified in 3 out of 339 (0.9%) examined fecal samples. All samples identified as positive by chromotrope 2R and calcofluor white M2R were also positive by the FISH assay. Using multiplex FISH in all 3 fecal samples, only spores of E. intestinalis were identified in 2 out of 14 Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and in one out of 17 Red ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra). To our knowledge this is the first diagnosis of E. intestinalis in Ring-tailed and Red ruffed lemurs. It should be mentioned that both lemur species are listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Although the lemurs were asymptomatically infected, the possibility of widespread infection or death of these animals remains in the event of an elevated stress or a decrease in their immunological functions. PMID:23094336

  1. Circadian clock resetting in the mouse changes with age.

    PubMed

    Biello, Stephany M

    2009-12-01

    The most widely recognised consequence of normal age-related changes in biological timing is the sleep disruption that appears in old age and diminishes the quality of life. These sleep disorders are part of the normal ageing process and consist primarily of increased amounts of wakefulness and reduced amounts of deep sleep. Changes in the amplitude and timing of the sleep-wake cycle appear to represent, at least in part, a loss of effective circadian regulation of sleep. Understanding alterations in the characteristics of stimuli that help to consolidate internal rhythms will lead to recommendations to improve synchronisation in old age. Converging evidence from both human and animal studies indicate that senescence is associated with alterations in the neural structure thought to be primarily responsible for the generation of the circadian oscillation, the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). Work has shown that there are changes in the anatomy, physiology and ability of the clock to reset in response to stimuli with age. Therefore it is possible that at least some of the observed age-related changes in sleep and circadian timing could be mediated at the level of the SCN. The SCN contain a circadian clock whose activity can be recorded in vitro for several days. We have tested the response of the circadian clock to a number of neurochemicals that reset the clock in a manner similar to light, including glutamate, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) and histamine (HA). In addition, we have also tested agents which phase shift in a pattern similar to behavioural 'non-photic' signals, including neuropeptide Y (NPY), serotonin (5HT) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These were tested on the circadian clock in young and older mice (approximately 4 and 15 months old). We found deficits in the response to specific neurochemicals but not to others in our older mice. These results indicate that some changes seen in the responsiveness of the circadian

  2. Abnormal glutamate release in aged BTBR mouse model of autism.

    PubMed

    Wei, Hongen; Ding, Caiyun; Jin, Guorong; Yin, Haizhen; Liu, Jianrong; Hu, Fengyun

    2015-01-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by abnormal reciprocal social interactions, communication deficits, and repetitive behaviors with restricted interests. Most of the available research on autism is focused on children and young adults and little is known about the pathological alternation of autism in older adults. In order to investigate the neurobiological alternation of autism in old age stage, we compared the morphology and synaptic function of excitatory synapses between the BTBR mice with low level sociability and B6 mice with high level sociability. The results revealed that the number of excitatory synapse colocalized with pre- and post-synaptic marker was not different between aged BTBR and B6 mice. The aged BTBR mice had a normal structure of dendritic spine and the expression of Shank3 protein in the brain as well as that in B6 mice. The baseline and KCl-evoked glutamate release from the cortical synaptoneurosome in aged BTBR mice was lower than that in aged B6 mice. Overall, the data indicate that there is a link between disturbances of the glutamate transmission and autism. These findings provide new evidences for the hypothesis of excitation/inhibition imbalance in autism. Further work is required to determine the cause of this putative abnormality.

  3. Individual recognition through olfactory–auditory matching in lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Kulahci, Ipek G.; Drea, Christine M.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Ghazanfar, Asif A.

    2014-01-01

    Individual recognition can be facilitated by creating representations of familiar individuals, whereby information from signals in multiple sensory modalities become linked. Many vertebrate species use auditory–visual matching to recognize familiar conspecifics and heterospecifics, but we currently do not know whether representations of familiar individuals incorporate information from other modalities. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are highly visual, but also communicate via scents and vocalizations. To investigate the role of olfactory signals in multisensory recognition, we tested whether lemurs can recognize familiar individuals through matching scents and vocalizations. We presented lemurs with female scents that were paired with the contact call either of the female whose scent was presented or of another familiar female from the same social group. When the scent and the vocalization came from the same individual versus from different individuals, females showed greater interest in the scents, and males showed greater interest in both the scents and the vocalizations, suggesting that lemurs can recognize familiar females via olfactory–auditory matching. Because identity signals in lemur scents and vocalizations are produced by different effectors and often encountered at different times (uncoupled in space and time), this matching suggests lemurs form multisensory representations through a newly recognized sensory integration underlying individual recognition. PMID:24741013

  4. Pathogenic Enterobacteria in Lemurs Associated With Anthropogenic Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    BUBLITZ, DEANNA C.; WRIGHT, PATRICIA C.; RASAMBAINARIVO, FIDISOA T.; ARRIGO-NELSON, SUMMER J.; BODAGER, JONATHAN R.; GILLESPIE, THOMAS R.

    2015-01-01

    As human population density continues to increase exponentially, speeding the reduction and fragmentation of primate habitat, greater human-primate contact is inevitable, making higher rates of pathogen transmission likely. Anthropogenic effects are particularly evident in Madagascar, where a diversity of endemic lemur species are threatened by rapid habitat loss. Despite these risks, knowledge of how anthropogenic activities affect lemur exposure to pathogens is limited. To improve our understanding of this interplay, we non-invasively examined six species of wild lemurs in Ranomafana National Park for enteric bacterial pathogens commonly associated with diarrheal disease in human populations in Madagascar. Patterns of infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia spp. (enterocolitica and pseudotuberculosis) were compared between lemurs inhabiting intact forest and lemurs inhabiting degraded habitat with frequent exposure to tourism and other human activity. Fecal samples acquired from humans, livestock, and rodents living near the degraded habitat were also screened for these bacteria. Remarkably, only lemurs living in disturbed areas of the park tested positive for these pathogens. Moreover, all of these pathogens were present in the human, livestock, and/or rodent populations. These data suggest that lemurs residing in forests altered or frequented by people, livestock, or peridomestic rodents, are at risk for infection by these diarrhea-causing enterobacteria and other similarly transmitted pathogens. PMID:25328106

  5. Individual recognition through olfactory-auditory matching in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kulahci, Ipek G; Drea, Christine M; Rubenstein, Daniel I; Ghazanfar, Asif A

    2014-06-01

    Individual recognition can be facilitated by creating representations of familiar individuals, whereby information from signals in multiple sensory modalities become linked. Many vertebrate species use auditory-visual matching to recognize familiar conspecifics and heterospecifics, but we currently do not know whether representations of familiar individuals incorporate information from other modalities. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are highly visual, but also communicate via scents and vocalizations. To investigate the role of olfactory signals in multisensory recognition, we tested whether lemurs can recognize familiar individuals through matching scents and vocalizations. We presented lemurs with female scents that were paired with the contact call either of the female whose scent was presented or of another familiar female from the same social group. When the scent and the vocalization came from the same individual versus from different individuals, females showed greater interest in the scents, and males showed greater interest in both the scents and the vocalizations, suggesting that lemurs can recognize familiar females via olfactory-auditory matching. Because identity signals in lemur scents and vocalizations are produced by different effectors and often encountered at different times (uncoupled in space and time), this matching suggests lemurs form multisensory representations through a newly recognized sensory integration underlying individual recognition. PMID:24741013

  6. Prion Protein Accumulation in Lipid Rafts of Mouse Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Agostini, Federica; Dotti, Carlos G.; Pérez-Cañamás, Azucena; Ledesma, Maria Dolores; Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrPC. In old mice, this change favors PrPC accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrPC translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), we looked at PrPC compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) knockout (KO) mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrPC in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases. PMID:24040215

  7. Air-pulse OCE for assessment of age-related changes in mouse cornea in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiasong; Wang, Shang; Singh, M.; Aglyamov, S.; Emelianov, S.; Twa, M. D.; Larin, K. V.

    2014-06-01

    We demonstrate the use of phase-stabilized swept source optical coherence elastography (PhS-SSOCE) to assess the relaxation rate of deformation created by a focused air-pulse in tissue-mimicking gelatin phantoms of various concentrations and mouse corneas of different ages in vivo. The results show that the relaxation rate can be quantified and is different for gels with varying concentrations of gelatin and mouse corneas of different ages. The results indicate that gel phantoms with higher concentrations of gelatin as well as older mouse corneas have faster relaxation rates indicating stiffer material. This non-contact and non-invasive measurement technique utilizes low surface displacement amplitude (in µm scale) for tissue excitation and, therefore, can be potentially used to study the biomechanical properties of ocular and other sensitive tissues.

  8. The effects of aging on the BTBR mouse model of autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Jasien, Joan M.; Daimon, Caitlin M.; Wang, Rui; Shapiro, Bruce K.; Martin, Bronwen; Maudsley, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by alterations in social functioning, communicative abilities, and engagement in repetitive or restrictive behaviors. The process of aging in individuals with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders is not well understood, despite the fact that the number of individuals with ASD aged 65 and older is projected to increase by over half a million individuals in the next 20 years. To elucidate the effects of aging in the context of a modified central nervous system, we investigated the effects of age on the BTBR T + tf/j mouse, a well characterized and widely used mouse model that displays an ASD-like phenotype. We found that a reduction in social behavior persists into old age in male BTBR T + tf/j mice. We employed quantitative proteomics to discover potential alterations in signaling systems that could regulate aging in the BTBR mice. Unbiased proteomic analysis of hippocampal and cortical tissue of BTBR mice compared to age-matched wild-type controls revealed a significant decrease in brain derived neurotrophic factor and significant increases in multiple synaptic markers (spinophilin, Synapsin I, PSD 95, NeuN), as well as distinct changes in functional pathways related to these proteins, including “Neural synaptic plasticity regulation” and “Neurotransmitter secretion regulation.” Taken together, these results contribute to our understanding of the effects of aging on an ASD-like mouse model in regards to both behavior and protein alterations, though additional studies are needed to fully understand the complex interplay underlying aging in mouse models displaying an ASD-like phenotype. PMID:25225482

  9. Distribution of caveolin isoforms in the lemur retina.

    PubMed

    Berta, Agnes I; Kiss, Anna L; Lukáts, Akos; Szabó, Arnold; Szél, Agoston

    2007-09-01

    The distribution of caveolin isoforms was previously evaluated in the retinas of different species, but has not yet been described in the primate retina. In this study, the distribution of caveolins was assessed via immunochemistry using isoform-specific antibodies in the retina of the black-and-white ruffed lemur. Here, we report the presence of a variety of caveolin isoforms in many layers of the lemur retina. As normal human retinas were not available for research and the retinas of primates are fairly similar to those of humans, the lemur retina can be utilized as a model for caveolin distribution in normal humans.

  10. Localized toxoplasmosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) causing placentitis, stillbirths, and disseminated fetal infection.

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, Carles; Mainez, Mireia; Marco, Alberto; Sanchís, Ana M Malabia

    2011-09-01

    Localized, myocardial toxoplasmosis contributed to the death of a female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) 1 week after the delivery of 4 stillborn offspring with disseminated toxoplasmosis; the diagnosis was obtained by histopathology and immunohistochemistry in all 5 lemurs. Varying degrees of placentitis and placental edema with intralesional Toxoplasma gondii immunolabeling were observed in the 3 available placentas. The dam had severe myocarditis, and T. gondii antigen was only detected in the myocardial lesions. Disseminated toxoplasmosis with mild encephalitis was noted in all 4 fetuses, and 2 of the fetuses had mild acute multifocal hepatic necrosis. Fetal death was attributed to placental insufficiency with subsequent hypoxia and amniotic fluid aspiration.

  11. Localized toxoplasmosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) causing placentitis, stillbirths, and disseminated fetal infection.

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, Carles; Mainez, Mireia; Marco, Alberto; Sanchís, Ana M Malabia

    2011-09-01

    Localized, myocardial toxoplasmosis contributed to the death of a female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) 1 week after the delivery of 4 stillborn offspring with disseminated toxoplasmosis; the diagnosis was obtained by histopathology and immunohistochemistry in all 5 lemurs. Varying degrees of placentitis and placental edema with intralesional Toxoplasma gondii immunolabeling were observed in the 3 available placentas. The dam had severe myocarditis, and T. gondii antigen was only detected in the myocardial lesions. Disseminated toxoplasmosis with mild encephalitis was noted in all 4 fetuses, and 2 of the fetuses had mild acute multifocal hepatic necrosis. Fetal death was attributed to placental insufficiency with subsequent hypoxia and amniotic fluid aspiration. PMID:21908372

  12. Death by color: differential cone loss in the aging mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Cunea, Alexander; Powner, Michael B; Jeffery, Glen

    2014-11-01

    Differential cell death is a common feature of aging and age-related disease. In the retina, 30% of rod photoreceptors are lost over life in humans and rodents. However, studies have failed to show age-related cell death in mouse cone photoreceptors, which is surprising because cone physiological function declines with age. Moreover in human, differential loss of short wavelength cone function is an aspect of age-related retinal disease. Here, cones are examined in young (3-month-old) and aged (12-month-old) C57 mice and also in complement factor H knock out mice (CFH-/-) that have been proposed as a murine model of age-related macular degeneration. In vivo imaging showed significant age-related reductions in outer retinal thickness in both groups over this period. Immunostaining for opsins revealed a specific significant decline of >20% for the medium/long (M/L)-wavelength cones but only in the periphery. S cones numbers were not significantly affected by age. This differential cell loss was backed up with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction for the 2 opsins, again showing S opsin was unaffected, but that M/L opsin was reduced particularly in CFH-/- mice. These results demonstrate aged cone loss, but surprisingly, in both genotypes, it is only significant in the peripheral ventral retina and focused on the M/L population and not S cones. We speculate that there may be fundamental differences in differential cone loss between human and mouse that may question the validity of mouse models of human outer retinal aging and pathology.

  13. The vomeronasal organ of Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Timothy D; Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Durham, Emily L; Bonar, Christopher J; Burrows, Anne M

    2015-02-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO), also known as the Jacobson's organ, is a bilateral chemosensory organ found at the base of the nasal cavity specialized for the detection of higher-molecular weight (non-volatile) chemostimuli. It has been linked to pheromone detection. The VNO has been well studied in nocturnal lemurs and lorises, but poorly studied in diurnal/cathemeral species despite the large repertoire of olfactory behaviors noted in species such as Lemur catta. Here, the VNO and associated structures were studied microanatomically in one adult female and one adult male L. catta. Traditional and immunohistochemical procedures demonstrate the VNO epithelium consists of multiple rows of sensory neurons. Immunoreactivity to Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) indicates the VNO is postnatally neurogenic. In volume, the VNO neuroepithelium scales similarly to palatal length compared to nocturnal strepsirrhines. Numerous taste buds present at the oral opening to the nasopalatine duct, with which the VNO communicates, provide an additional (or alternative) explanation for the flehmen behavior that has been observed in this species. The VNO of L. catta is shown to be microanatomically comparable to that of nocturnal strepsirrhines. Like nocturnal strepsirrhines, the VNO of L. catta may be functional in the reception of high-molecular weight secretions.

  14. The vomeronasal organ of Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Timothy D; Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Durham, Emily L; Bonar, Christopher J; Burrows, Anne M

    2015-02-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO), also known as the Jacobson's organ, is a bilateral chemosensory organ found at the base of the nasal cavity specialized for the detection of higher-molecular weight (non-volatile) chemostimuli. It has been linked to pheromone detection. The VNO has been well studied in nocturnal lemurs and lorises, but poorly studied in diurnal/cathemeral species despite the large repertoire of olfactory behaviors noted in species such as Lemur catta. Here, the VNO and associated structures were studied microanatomically in one adult female and one adult male L. catta. Traditional and immunohistochemical procedures demonstrate the VNO epithelium consists of multiple rows of sensory neurons. Immunoreactivity to Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) indicates the VNO is postnatally neurogenic. In volume, the VNO neuroepithelium scales similarly to palatal length compared to nocturnal strepsirrhines. Numerous taste buds present at the oral opening to the nasopalatine duct, with which the VNO communicates, provide an additional (or alternative) explanation for the flehmen behavior that has been observed in this species. The VNO of L. catta is shown to be microanatomically comparable to that of nocturnal strepsirrhines. Like nocturnal strepsirrhines, the VNO of L. catta may be functional in the reception of high-molecular weight secretions. PMID:25220179

  15. Ring-tailed lemurs: a species re-imagined.

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Cuozzo, Frank P; O'Mara, M Teague

    2015-01-01

    For over 50 years, ring-tailed lemurs have been studied continuously in the wild. As one of the most long-studied primate species, the length and breadth of their study is comparable to research on Japanese macaques, baboons and chimpanzees. They are also one of the most broadly observed of all primates, with comprehensive research conducted on their behaviour, biology, ecology, genetics, palaeobiology and life history. However, over the last decade, a new generation of lemur scholars, working in conjunction with researchers who have spent decades studying this species, have greatly enhanced our knowledge of ring-tailed lemurs. In addition, research on this species has expanded beyond traditional gallery forest habitats to now include high altitude, spiny thicket, rocky outcrop and anthropogenically disturbed coastal forest populations. The focus of this special volume is to 're-imagine' the 'flagship species of Madagascar', bringing together three generations of lemur scholars. PMID:26022295

  16. Size, space, and adaptation in some subfossil lemurs from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, L R; Sutherland, M R; Petto, A J; Boy, D S

    1990-01-01

    We examine several explanations for the geographic pattern of body size variation exhibited by the subfossil lemur Archaeolemur. Part and partial correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis are applied in a stepwise, hierarchical fashion to help to determine variable interdependencies. Variance in site means for body size is best explained by the richness of the plant community and by several correlated climatic variables (bioclimatic zone and mean annual rainfall). Body size differentiation in Archaeolemur roughly mirrors patterns observed among many other Malagasy lemur species and subspecies groups. This consistency alone suggests that common ecological factors have strongly affected size differentiation in lemurs, most probably (as suggested by our correlation analyses) by uniformly influencing the productivity of their niches. Smaller individuals tend to inhabit arid regions, and larger individuals tend to inhabit wetter regions. The interplay between selective differentiation and allopatric speciation appears to have yielded the concordant pattern of size variation observed in Malagasy lemurs.

  17. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool.

  18. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool. PMID:24384029

  19. Wild-derived mouse stocks: an underappreciated tool for aging research

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Virtually all biomedical research makes use of a relatively small pool of laboratory-adapted, inbred, isogenic stocks of mice. Although the advantages of these models are many, there are a number of disadvantages as well. When studying a multifaceted process such as aging, the problems associated with using laboratory stocks are greatly inflated. On the other hand, wild-derived mouse stocks, loosely defined here as either wild-caught individuals or the recent progeny of wild-caught individuals, have much to offer to biogerontology research. Hence, the aims of this review are threefold: (1) to (re)acquaint readers with the pros and cons of using a typical inbred laboratory mouse model for aging research; (2) to reintroduce the notion of using wild-derived mouse stocks in aging research as championed by Austad, Miller and others for more than a decade, and (3) to provide an overview of recent advances in biogerontology using wild-derived mouse stocks. PMID:19424863

  20. Lemur traits and Madagascar ecology: coping with an island environment.

    PubMed

    Wright, P C

    1999-01-01

    The last decade's lemur research includes successes in discovering new living and extinct species and learning about the distribution, biogeography, physiology, behavior, and ecology of previously little-studied species. In addition, in both the dry forest and rain forest, long-term studies of lemur demography, life history, and reproduction, have been completed in conjunction with data on tree productivity, phenology, and climate. Lemurs contrast with anthropoids in several behavioral features, including female dominance, targeted female-female aggression, lack of sexual dimorphism regardless of mating system, sperm competition coupled with male-male aggression, high infant mortality, cathemerality, and strict seasonal breeding. Hypotheses to explain these traits include the "energy conservation hypothesis" (ECH) suggesting that harsh and unpredictable climate factors on the island of Madagascar have affected the evolution of female dominance, and the "evolutionary disequilibrium hypotheses" (EVDH) suggesting that the recent megafauna extinctions have influenced lemurs to become diurnal. These hypotheses are compared and contrasted in light of recent empirical data on climate, subfossils, and lemur behavior. New data on life histories of the rain forest lemurs at Ranomafana National Park give further support to the ECH. Birth seasons are synchronized within each species, but there is a 6-month distribution of births among species. Gestation and lactation lengths vary among sympatric lemurs, but all lemur species in the rain forest wean in synchrony at the season most likely to have abundant resources. Across-species weaning synchrony seen in Ranomafana corroborates data from the dry forest that late lactation and weaning is the life history event that is the primary focus of the annual schedule. Lemur adaptations may assure maximum offspring survival in this environment with an unpredictable food supply and heavy predation. In conclusion, a more comprehensive

  1. Systemic effects of Leucaena leucocephala ingestion on ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Graham; Puschner, Birgit; Affolter, Verena; Stalis, Ilse; Davidson, Autumn; Baker, Tomas; Tahara, John; Jolly, Alison; Ostapak, Susan

    2015-06-01

    Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) is a leguminous tree that is nutritious forage for domestic livestock when ingested in limited amounts. Unfortunately, leucaena contains mimosine, a plant amino acid, that can be toxic when ingested at higher concentrations. Reported toxic effects include alopecia (fur loss), poor body condition, infertility, low birth weight, thyroid gland dysfunction, and organ toxicity. Originally native to Mexico and Central America, leucaena has been introduced throughout the tropics, including Berenty Reserve, Madagascar where it was planted as supplemental browse for livestock. In Berenty, a seasonal syndrome of alopecia in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) is associated with eating leucaena. Although much is known about the toxic effects of leucaena and mimosine on domestic animals and humans, the systemic effects on wildlife had not been studied. In a comparison of lemurs that include leucaena in their diet and those that do not, we found that animals that ingest leucaena absorb mimosine but that ingestion does not affect body condition, cause kidney or liver toxicity, or affect the intestinal tract. Alopecia is due to mimosine's interference of the hair follicle cycle. Leucaena ingestion is associated with higher serum albumin, α-tocopherol, and thyroxine concentrations, suggesting that leucaena may provide some nutritional benefit and that lemurs can detoxify and convert mimosine to a thyroid stimulating metabolite. The primary conservation consequence of leucaena ingestion at Berenty may be increased infant mortality due to the infants' inability cling to their alopecic mothers. The widespread introduction of leucaena throughout the tropics and its rapid spread in secondary forest conditions mean that many other leaf-eating mammals may be including this tree in their diet. Thus, exposure to leucaena should be considered when wildlife health is being evaluated, and the potential effects on wildlife health should be considered when

  2. Evaluating ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from southwestern Madagascar for a genetic population bottleneck.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Jacky, Ibrahim Antho Youssouf; Lawler, Richard R

    2012-01-01

    In light of historical and recent anthropogenic influences on Malagasy primate populations, in this study ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) samples from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) and Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (TNP), were evaluated for the genetic signature of a population bottleneck. A total of 45 individuals (20 from BMSR and 25 from TNP) were genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. Three methods were used to evaluate these populations for evidence of a historical bottleneck: M-ratio, mode-shift, and heterozygosity excess tests. Three mutation models were used for heterozygosity excess tests: the stepwise mutation model (SMM), two-phase model (TPM), and infinite allele model (IAM). M-ratio estimations indicated a potential bottleneck in both populations under some conditions. Although mode-shift tests did not strongly indicate a population bottleneck in the recent historical past when samples from all individuals were included, a female-only analysis indicated a potential bottleneck in TNP. Heterozygosity excess was indicated under two of the three mutation models (IAM and TPM), with TNP showing stronger evidence of heterozygosity excess than BMSR. Taken together, these results suggest that a bottleneck may have occurred among L. catta in southwestern Madagascar in the recent past. Given knowledge of how current major stochastic climatic events and human-induced change can negatively impact extant lemur populations, it is reasonable that comparable events in the historical past could have caused a population bottleneck. This evaluation additionally functions to highlight the continuing environmental and anthropogenic challenges faced by lemurs in southwestern Madagascar.

  3. Systemic effects of Leucaena leucocephala ingestion on ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Graham; Puschner, Birgit; Affolter, Verena; Stalis, Ilse; Davidson, Autumn; Baker, Tomas; Tahara, John; Jolly, Alison; Ostapak, Susan

    2015-06-01

    Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) is a leguminous tree that is nutritious forage for domestic livestock when ingested in limited amounts. Unfortunately, leucaena contains mimosine, a plant amino acid, that can be toxic when ingested at higher concentrations. Reported toxic effects include alopecia (fur loss), poor body condition, infertility, low birth weight, thyroid gland dysfunction, and organ toxicity. Originally native to Mexico and Central America, leucaena has been introduced throughout the tropics, including Berenty Reserve, Madagascar where it was planted as supplemental browse for livestock. In Berenty, a seasonal syndrome of alopecia in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) is associated with eating leucaena. Although much is known about the toxic effects of leucaena and mimosine on domestic animals and humans, the systemic effects on wildlife had not been studied. In a comparison of lemurs that include leucaena in their diet and those that do not, we found that animals that ingest leucaena absorb mimosine but that ingestion does not affect body condition, cause kidney or liver toxicity, or affect the intestinal tract. Alopecia is due to mimosine's interference of the hair follicle cycle. Leucaena ingestion is associated with higher serum albumin, α-tocopherol, and thyroxine concentrations, suggesting that leucaena may provide some nutritional benefit and that lemurs can detoxify and convert mimosine to a thyroid stimulating metabolite. The primary conservation consequence of leucaena ingestion at Berenty may be increased infant mortality due to the infants' inability cling to their alopecic mothers. The widespread introduction of leucaena throughout the tropics and its rapid spread in secondary forest conditions mean that many other leaf-eating mammals may be including this tree in their diet. Thus, exposure to leucaena should be considered when wildlife health is being evaluated, and the potential effects on wildlife health should be considered when

  4. Evaluating ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from southwestern Madagascar for a genetic population bottleneck.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Jacky, Ibrahim Antho Youssouf; Lawler, Richard R

    2012-01-01

    In light of historical and recent anthropogenic influences on Malagasy primate populations, in this study ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) samples from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) and Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (TNP), were evaluated for the genetic signature of a population bottleneck. A total of 45 individuals (20 from BMSR and 25 from TNP) were genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. Three methods were used to evaluate these populations for evidence of a historical bottleneck: M-ratio, mode-shift, and heterozygosity excess tests. Three mutation models were used for heterozygosity excess tests: the stepwise mutation model (SMM), two-phase model (TPM), and infinite allele model (IAM). M-ratio estimations indicated a potential bottleneck in both populations under some conditions. Although mode-shift tests did not strongly indicate a population bottleneck in the recent historical past when samples from all individuals were included, a female-only analysis indicated a potential bottleneck in TNP. Heterozygosity excess was indicated under two of the three mutation models (IAM and TPM), with TNP showing stronger evidence of heterozygosity excess than BMSR. Taken together, these results suggest that a bottleneck may have occurred among L. catta in southwestern Madagascar in the recent past. Given knowledge of how current major stochastic climatic events and human-induced change can negatively impact extant lemur populations, it is reasonable that comparable events in the historical past could have caused a population bottleneck. This evaluation additionally functions to highlight the continuing environmental and anthropogenic challenges faced by lemurs in southwestern Madagascar. PMID:22052208

  5. Effects of hyperglycemia and aging on nuclear sirtuins and DNA damage of mouse hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Ghiraldini, Flávia Gerelli; Crispim, Ana Carolina Vitolo; Mello, Maria Luiza Silveira

    2013-01-01

    Hyperglycemia, like aging, induces chromatin remodeling in mouse hepatocytes in comparison to normoglycemia and younger age, respectively. Changes in glucose metabolism also affect the action and expression of sirtuins, promoting changes in chromatin conformation and dynamics. Here we investigate the abundance and activity of the nuclear sirtuins Sirt1, Sirt6, and Sirt7 in mouse hepatocytes in association with specific histone acetylation, DNA damage, and the activation of nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) in hyperglycemic nonobese diabetic (NOD) and old normoglycemic BALB/c mouse strains. Higher levels of Sirt1 and PGC-1α and increased expression of gluconeogenesis pathway genes are found in the hyperglycemic NOD mice. Increased Sirt6 abundance is found in the hyperglycemic NOD mice, which might increase DNA damage repair. With aging, lower Sirt1 abundance and activity, increased acetylated histone modifications and Sirt7 levels, and NOR methylation are found. Thus, whereas in normal aging cell metabolism is reduced, in the diabetic mice a compensatory mechanism may elevate Sirt1 and Sirt6 levels, increasing gluconeogenesis and DNA repair from the oxidative damage caused by hyperglycemia. Therefore understanding the regulation of epigenetic factors in diabetes and aging is crucial for the development of new therapeutic approaches that could prevent diseases and improve quality of life. PMID:23761075

  6. Approaches to Investigating Complex Genetic Traits in a Large-Scale Inbred Mouse Aging Study.

    PubMed

    Sundberg, J P; Berndt, A; Sundberg, B A; Silva, K A; Kennedy, V; Smith, R S; Cooper, T K; Schofield, P N

    2016-03-01

    Inbred mice are a unique model system for studying aging because of the genetic homogeneity within inbred strains, the short life span of mice relative to humans, and the rich array of analytic tools that are available. A large-scale aging study was conducted on 28 inbred strains representing great genetic diversity to determine, via histopathology, the type and diversity of spontaneous diseases that aging mice develop. A total of 20 885 different diagnoses were made, with an average of 12 diagnoses per mouse in the study. Eighteen inbred strains have had their genomes sequenced, and many others have been partially sequenced to provide large repositories of data on genetic variation among the strains. This vast amount of genomic information can be utilized in genome-wide association studies to find candidate genes that are involved in the pathogenesis of spontaneous diseases. As an illustration, this article presents a genome-wide association study of the genetic associations of age-related intestinal amyloidosis, which implicated 3 candidate genes: translocating chain-associated membrane protein 1 (Tram1); splicing factor 3b, subunit 5 (Sf3b5); and syntaxin 11 (Stx11). Representative photomicrographs are available on the Mouse Tumor Biology Database and Pathbase to serve as a reference when evaluating inbred mice used in other genetic or experimental studies to rule out strain background lesions. Many of the age-related mouse diseases are similar, if not identical, to human diseases; therefore, the genetic discoveries have direct translational benefit. PMID:26936752

  7. Tamarind tree seed dispersal by ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S; Blumenfeld-Jones, Kathryn; Raharison, Sahoby Marin; Tsaramanana, Donald Raymond; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2011-10-01

    In Madagascar, the gallery forests of the south are among the most endangered. Tamarind trees (Tamarindus indica) dominate these riverine forests and are a keystone food resource for ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). At Berenty Reserve, the presence of tamarind trees is declining, and there is little recruitment of young trees. Because mature tamarinds inhibit growth under their crowns, seeds must be dispersed away from adult trees if tree recruitment is to occur. Ring-tailed lemurs are likely seed dispersers; however, because they spend much of their feeding, siesta, and sleeping time in tamarinds, they may defecate a majority of the tamarind seeds under tamarind trees. To determine whether they disperse tamarind seeds away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns, we observed two troops for 10 days each, noted the locations of feeding and defecation, and collected seeds from feces and fruit for germination. We also collected additional data on tamarind seedling recruitment under natural conditions, in which seedling germination was abundant after extensive rain, including under the canopy. However, seedling survival to 1 year was lower when growing under mature tamarind tree crowns than when growing away from an overhanging crown. Despite low fruit abundance averaging two fruits/m(3) in tamarind crowns, lemurs fed on tamarind fruit for 32% of their feeding samples. Daily path lengths averaged 1,266 m, and lemurs deposited seeds throughout their ranges. Fifty-eight percent of the 417 recorded lemur defecations were on the ground away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns. Tamarind seeds collected from both fruit and feces germinated. Because lemurs deposited viable seeds on the ground away from overhanging mature tamarind tree crowns, we conclude that ring-tailed lemurs provide tamarind tree seed dispersal services.

  8. Tamarind tree seed dispersal by ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S; Blumenfeld-Jones, Kathryn; Raharison, Sahoby Marin; Tsaramanana, Donald Raymond; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2011-10-01

    In Madagascar, the gallery forests of the south are among the most endangered. Tamarind trees (Tamarindus indica) dominate these riverine forests and are a keystone food resource for ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). At Berenty Reserve, the presence of tamarind trees is declining, and there is little recruitment of young trees. Because mature tamarinds inhibit growth under their crowns, seeds must be dispersed away from adult trees if tree recruitment is to occur. Ring-tailed lemurs are likely seed dispersers; however, because they spend much of their feeding, siesta, and sleeping time in tamarinds, they may defecate a majority of the tamarind seeds under tamarind trees. To determine whether they disperse tamarind seeds away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns, we observed two troops for 10 days each, noted the locations of feeding and defecation, and collected seeds from feces and fruit for germination. We also collected additional data on tamarind seedling recruitment under natural conditions, in which seedling germination was abundant after extensive rain, including under the canopy. However, seedling survival to 1 year was lower when growing under mature tamarind tree crowns than when growing away from an overhanging crown. Despite low fruit abundance averaging two fruits/m(3) in tamarind crowns, lemurs fed on tamarind fruit for 32% of their feeding samples. Daily path lengths averaged 1,266 m, and lemurs deposited seeds throughout their ranges. Fifty-eight percent of the 417 recorded lemur defecations were on the ground away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns. Tamarind seeds collected from both fruit and feces germinated. Because lemurs deposited viable seeds on the ground away from overhanging mature tamarind tree crowns, we conclude that ring-tailed lemurs provide tamarind tree seed dispersal services. PMID:21629992

  9. The Gut Microbiome of Wild Lemurs: A Comparison of Sympatric Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi.

    PubMed

    Fogel, Andrew T

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian gut microbes are invaluable to the host's metabolism, but few researchers have examined gut microbial dynamics under natural conditions in wild mammals. This study aims to help fill this knowledge gap with a survey of the natural variation of the gut microbiome in 2 wild lemur species, Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi. The wild L. catta were also compared to a captive population to discern the effect of habitat within a species. Gut microbial DNA was extracted from fecal samples collected in Madagascar and the Vienna Zoo and sequenced. The wild and captive L. catta had distinct microbial communities, likely due to differences in diet and development between their populations. The wild L. catta and P. verreauxi also had distinct gut microbiomes, due to a change in microbial abundance, not composition. Within each lemur species, there was abundant variation between individuals and from the dry to the wet season. The intraspecific and temporal microbial variation requires more investigation, with changes in diet a likely contributor.

  10. Daily activity and light exposure levels for five species of lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center.

    PubMed

    Rea, Mark S; Figueiro, Mariana G; Jones, Geoffrey E; Glander, Kenneth E

    2014-01-01

    Light is the primary synchronizer of all biological rhythms, yet little is known about the role of the 24-hour luminous environment on nonhuman primate circadian patterns, making it difficult to understand the photic niche of the ancestral primate. Here we present the first data on proximate light-dark exposure and activity-rest patterns in free-ranging nonhuman primates. Four individuals each of five species of lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center (Eulemur mongoz, Lemur catta, Propithecus coquereli, Varecia rubra, and Varecia variegata variegata) were fitted with a Daysimeter-D pendant that contained light and accelerometer sensors. Our results reveal common as well as species-specific light exposure and behavior patterns. As expected, all five species were more active between sunrise and sunset. All five species demonstrated an anticipatory increase in their pre-sunrise activity that peaked at sunrise with all but V. rubra showing a reduction within an hour. All five species reduced activity during mid-day. Four of the five stayed active after sunset, but P. coquereli began reducing their activity about 2 hours before sunset. Other subtle differences in the recorded light exposure and activity patterns suggest species-specific photic niches and behaviors. The eventual application of the Daysimeter-D in the wild may help to better understand the adaptive evolution of ancestral primates.

  11. Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Nemeth, N M; Blas-Machado, U; Cazzini, P; Oguni, J; Camus, M S; Dockery, K K; Butler, A M

    2013-02-01

    A 16-year-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented with severe cachexia and an abdominal mass. The encapsulated, multilobular mass replaced the right medial lobe of the liver and compressed the adjacent gall bladder. Multiple haemorrhages and necrotic foci were found within the mass. Microscopically, neoplastic cells formed cords of moderately pleomorphic, polygonal cells with mild to moderate anaplasia. Immunohistochemical markers used for diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinomas in man were used to characterize the neoplastic cells, which expressed hepatocyte-specific antigen, but not glypican-3 or polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen. Gross, microscopical and immunohistochemical features of the tumour were most consistent with a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. Although this tumour is common among prosimians, to the authors' knowledge this is the first documented case in a ring-tailed lemur. Hepatocellular carcinomas have been associated with hepatitis virus infections and excessive hepatic iron in man; however, no association was established between this tumour and viral infection or hepatic iron storage disease in the present case.

  12. Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Nemeth, N M; Blas-Machado, U; Cazzini, P; Oguni, J; Camus, M S; Dockery, K K; Butler, A M

    2013-02-01

    A 16-year-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented with severe cachexia and an abdominal mass. The encapsulated, multilobular mass replaced the right medial lobe of the liver and compressed the adjacent gall bladder. Multiple haemorrhages and necrotic foci were found within the mass. Microscopically, neoplastic cells formed cords of moderately pleomorphic, polygonal cells with mild to moderate anaplasia. Immunohistochemical markers used for diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinomas in man were used to characterize the neoplastic cells, which expressed hepatocyte-specific antigen, but not glypican-3 or polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen. Gross, microscopical and immunohistochemical features of the tumour were most consistent with a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. Although this tumour is common among prosimians, to the authors' knowledge this is the first documented case in a ring-tailed lemur. Hepatocellular carcinomas have been associated with hepatitis virus infections and excessive hepatic iron in man; however, no association was established between this tumour and viral infection or hepatic iron storage disease in the present case. PMID:22819017

  13. Glutamate-related gene expression changes with age in the mouse auditory midbrain.

    PubMed

    Tadros, Sherif F; D'Souza, Mary; Zettel, Martha L; Zhu, Xiaoxia; Waxmonsky, Nicole C; Frisina, Robert D

    2007-01-01

    Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in both the peripheral and central auditory systems. Changes of glutamate and glutamate-related genes with age may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of age-related hearing loss-presbycusis. In this study, changes in glutamate-related mRNA gene expression in the CBA mouse inferior colliculus with age and hearing loss were examined and correlations were sought between these changes and functional hearing measures, such as the auditory brainstem response (ABR) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). Gene expression of 68 glutamate-related genes was investigated using both genechip microarray and real-time PCR (qPCR) molecular techniques for four different age/hearing loss CBA mouse subject groups. Two genes showed consistent differences between groups for both the genechip and qPCR. Pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase enzyme (Pycs) showed down-regulation with age and a high-affinity glutamate transporter (Slc1a3) showed up-regulation with age and hearing loss. Since Pycs plays a role in converting glutamate to proline, its deficiency in old age may lead to both glutamate increases and proline deficiencies in the auditory midbrain, playing a role in the subsequent inducement of glutamate toxicity and loss of proline neuroprotective effects. The up-regulation of Slc1a3 gene expression may reflect a cellular compensatory mechanism to protect against age-related glutamate or calcium excitoxicity.

  14. Endocrine correlates of pregnancy in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): implications for the masculinization of daughters.

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M

    2011-04-01

    Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are Malagasy primates that are size monomorphic with males, socially dominate males, and exhibit a long, pendulous clitoris, channeled by the urethra. These masculine traits evoke certain attributes of female spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and draw attention to the potential role of androgens in lemur sexual differentiation. Here, hormonal correlates of prenatal development were assessed to explore the possibility that maternal androgens may shape the masculine morphological and behavioral features of developing female lemurs. Maternal serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), ∆⁴ androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17,dione), testosterone, and 17β-estradiol were charted throughout the 19 pregnancies of 11 ring-tailed lemurs. As in spotted hyenas, lemur pregnancies were associated with an immediate increase in androgen concentrations (implicating early maternal derivation), followed by continued increases across stages of gestation. Pregnancies that produced singleton males, twin males, or mixed-sex twins were marked by greater androgen and estrogen concentrations than were pregnancies that produced singleton or twin females, especially in the third trimester, implicating the fetal testes in late-term steroid profiles. Concentrations of DHEA-S were mostly below detectable limits, suggesting a minor role for the adrenals in androgen biosynthesis. Androgen concentrations of pregnant lemurs bearing female fetuses, although less than those of pregnant hyenas, exceeded preconception and postpartum values and peaked in the third trimester. Although a maternal (and, on occasion, fraternal) source of androgen may exist for fetal lemurs, further research is required to confirm that these steroids would reach the developing female and contribute to her masculinization.

  15. Endocrine correlates of pregnancy in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): implications for the masculinization of daughters.

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M

    2011-04-01

    Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are Malagasy primates that are size monomorphic with males, socially dominate males, and exhibit a long, pendulous clitoris, channeled by the urethra. These masculine traits evoke certain attributes of female spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and draw attention to the potential role of androgens in lemur sexual differentiation. Here, hormonal correlates of prenatal development were assessed to explore the possibility that maternal androgens may shape the masculine morphological and behavioral features of developing female lemurs. Maternal serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), ∆⁴ androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17,dione), testosterone, and 17β-estradiol were charted throughout the 19 pregnancies of 11 ring-tailed lemurs. As in spotted hyenas, lemur pregnancies were associated with an immediate increase in androgen concentrations (implicating early maternal derivation), followed by continued increases across stages of gestation. Pregnancies that produced singleton males, twin males, or mixed-sex twins were marked by greater androgen and estrogen concentrations than were pregnancies that produced singleton or twin females, especially in the third trimester, implicating the fetal testes in late-term steroid profiles. Concentrations of DHEA-S were mostly below detectable limits, suggesting a minor role for the adrenals in androgen biosynthesis. Androgen concentrations of pregnant lemurs bearing female fetuses, although less than those of pregnant hyenas, exceeded preconception and postpartum values and peaked in the third trimester. Although a maternal (and, on occasion, fraternal) source of androgen may exist for fetal lemurs, further research is required to confirm that these steroids would reach the developing female and contribute to her masculinization. PMID:20932838

  16. Increased ghrelin signaling prolongs survival in mouse models of human aging through activation of sirtuin1

    PubMed Central

    Fujitsuka, N; Asakawa, A; Morinaga, A; Amitani, M S; Amitani, H; Katsuura, G; Sawada, Y; Sudo, Y; Uezono, Y; Mochiki, E; Sakata, I; Sakai, T; Hanazaki, K; Yada, T; Yakabi, K; Sakuma, E; Ueki, T; Niijima, A; Nakagawa, K; Okubo, N; Takeda, H; Asaka, M; Inui, A

    2016-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is known to retard aging and delay functional decline as well as the onset of diseases in most organisms. Ghrelin is secreted from the stomach in response to CR and regulates energy metabolism. We hypothesized that in CR ghrelin has a role in protecting aging-related diseases. We examined the physiological mechanisms underlying the ghrelin system during the aging process in three mouse strains with different genetic and biochemical backgrounds as animal models of accelerated or normal human aging. The elevated plasma ghrelin concentration was observed in both klotho-deficient and senescence-accelerated mouse prone/8 (SAMP8) mice. Ghrelin treatment failed to stimulate appetite and prolong survival in klotho-deficient mice, suggesting the existence of ghrelin resistance in the process of aging. However, ghrelin antagonist hastened death and ghrelin signaling potentiators rikkunshito and atractylodin ameliorated several age-related diseases with decreased microglial activation in the brain and prolonged survival in klotho-deficient, SAMP8 and aged ICR mice. In vitro experiments, the elevated sirtuin1 (SIRT1) activity and protein expression through the cAMP–CREB pathway was observed after ghrelin and ghrelin potentiator treatment in ghrelin receptor 1a-expressing cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Furthermore, rikkunshito increased hypothalamic SIRT1 activity and SIRT1 protein expression of the heart in the all three mouse models of aging. Pericarditis, myocardial calcification and atrophy of myocardial and muscle fiber were improved by treatment with rikkunshito. Ghrelin signaling may represent one of the mechanisms activated by CR, and potentiating ghrelin signaling may be useful to extend health and lifespan. PMID:26830139

  17. Absence of ductal hyper-keratinization in mouse age-related meibomian gland dysfunction (ARMGD).

    PubMed

    Parfitt, Geraint J; Xie, Yilu; Geyfman, Mikhail; Brown, Donald J; Jester, James V

    2013-11-01

    Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is frequent with aging and is the primary cause of dry eye disease, the most prevalent ocular complaint. We used a novel 3-D reconstruction technique, immunofluorescent computed tomography (ICT), to characterize meibomian gland keratinization and cell proliferation in a mouse model of age-related meibomian gland dysfunction (ARMGD). To visualize the changes associated with ARMGD, 5-month and 2-year old mouse eyelids were 3-D reconstructed by ICT using antibodies to cytokeratin (CK) 1, 5 and 6 and the proliferation marker Ki67. We quantified total gland, ductal and lipid volume from the reconstructions, observing a dramatic decrease in old glands. In young glands, proliferative ductules suggest a potential site of acinar progenitors that were found to be largely absent in aged, atrophic glands. In the aged mouse, we observed an anterior migration of the mucocutaneous junction (MCJ) and an absence of hyper-keratinization with meibomian gland atrophy. Thus, we propose that changes in the MCJ and glandular atrophy through a loss of meibocyte progenitors are most likely responsible for ARMGD and not ductal hyper-keratinization and gland obstruction.

  18. Absence of ductal hyper-keratinization in Mouse age-related meibomian gland dysfunction (ARMGD)

    PubMed Central

    Parfitt, Geraint J.; Xie, Yilu; Geyfman, Mikhail; Brown, Donald J.; Jester, James V.

    2013-01-01

    Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is frequent with aging and is the primary cause of dry eye disease, the most prevalent ocular complaint. We used a novel 3-D reconstruction technique, immunofluorescent computed tomography (ICT), to characterize meibomian gland keratinization and cell proliferation in a mouse model of age-related meibomian gland dysfunction (ARMGD). To visualize the changes associated with ARMGD, 5-month and 2-year old mouse eyelids were 3-D reconstructed by ICT using antibodies to cytokeratin (CK) 1, 5 and 6 and the proliferation marker Ki67. We quantified total gland, ductal and lipid volume from the reconstructions, observing a dramatic decrease in old glands. In young glands, proliferative ductules suggest a potential site of acinar progenitors that were found to be largely absent in aged, atrophic glands. In the aged mouse, we observed an anterior migration of the mucocutaneous junction (MCJ) and an absence of hyper-keratinization with meibomian gland atrophy. Thus, we propose that changes in the MCJ and glandular atrophy through a loss of meibocyte progenitors are most likely responsible for ARMGD and not ductal hyper-keratinization and gland obstruction. PMID:24259272

  19. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-like phenotypes in the d-galactose-induced aging mouse model.

    PubMed

    Park, Ji-Hun; Choi, Tae-Saeng

    2012-11-01

    The D-galactose (D-gal)-induced animal model, which is established by consecutive subcutaneous d-gal injections for approximately 6weeks, has been frequently used for aging research. This animal model has been shown to accelerate aging of the brain, kidneys, liver, and blood cells. However, aging of the female reproductive organs in this animal model has not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the ovary in the d-gal-induced aging mouse model. First, we evaluated anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) as a marker of ovarian aging in blood plasma. We speculated there would be lower AMH levels in d-gal-treated mice because ovarian aging would be induced by d-gal, as reported for other tissues. However, the results showed that AMH levels in d-gal-treated mice were approximately four-fold higher than control mice. Abnormally high AMH levels are detected in ovarian cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients. Therefore, we examined PCOS-related markers in this mouse model. Total testosterone levels were high and abnormal estrous cycles were induced in d-gal-treated mice. These changes, including AMH levels, in d-gal-treated mice were inhibited by aminoguanidine treatment, an advanced glycation end product reducer. In addition, ovarian cysts were observed in some d-gal-treated mice. These results indicate that with respect to female reproduction, d-gal-treated mice are suitable for PCOS studies, rather than aging studies.

  20. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) exploit information about what others can see but not what they can hear.

    PubMed

    Bray, Joel; Krupenye, Christopher; Hare, Brian

    2014-05-01

    Studies suggest that haplorhine primates are sensitive to what others can see and hear. Using two experimental designs, we tested the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs (N = 16) are also sensitive to the visual and auditory perception of others. In the first task, we used a go/no-go design that required lemurs to exploit only auditory information. In the second task, we used a forced-choice design where lemurs competed against a human who would prevent them from obtaining food if their approaches were detected. Subjects were given the choice of obtaining food silently or noisily when the competitor's back was turned. They were also given the choice to obtain food when the competitor could either see them or not. Here, we replicate the findings of previous studies indicating that ring-tailed lemurs are sensitive to whether they can be seen; however, we found no evidence that subjects are sensitive to whether others can hear them. Our findings suggest that ring-tailed lemurs converge with haplorhine primates only in their sensitivity to the visual information of others. The results emphasize the importance of investigating social cognition across sensory domains in order to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie apparently complex social behavior. These findings also suggest that the social dynamics of haplorhine groups impose greater cognitive demands than lemur groups, despite similarities in total group size.

  1. Can zoo records help answer behavioral research questions? The case of the left-handed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hosey, Geoff; Hill, Sonya P; Lherbier, Mary L

    2012-01-01

    Most zoos keep comprehensive records, which potentially form a database for use in answering some research questions, such as in veterinary and population management research. They have not, however, been widely used to answer questions about animal behavior and welfare. Here we try to assess the usefulness to behavioral research of two sorts of zoo records (ARKS, the Animal Records Keeping System, and student dissertations held on file) to test the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs with a left limb preference experience more negative social lives. We found that, as predicted, lemurs with a left limb preference (LH) received more aggression and were involved in less grooming than nonleft-preferent lemurs (NLH), though the differences were not statistically significant. Contrary to prediction, LH lemurs had fewer reported woundings than NLH lemurs, but again the difference was not statistically significant. We found that the ARKS reports did not contain sufficient quantified and systematic behavioral data for our purposes, although otherwise they provided an excellent context for interpreting results. The student dissertations were also of limited use, primarily because of the small time frame in which they were carried out. Because of these shortcomings we were unable to distinguish whether our inability to find significant effects was due to biological (perhaps hand preference had no consequences for the lemurs) or data reasons. We suggest that closer liaison between zoo research staff, zoo record keepers and academic supervisors could help to improve the usefulness of zoo records for behavioral research. PMID:21674604

  2. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) exploit information about what others can see but not what they can hear.

    PubMed

    Bray, Joel; Krupenye, Christopher; Hare, Brian

    2014-05-01

    Studies suggest that haplorhine primates are sensitive to what others can see and hear. Using two experimental designs, we tested the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs (N = 16) are also sensitive to the visual and auditory perception of others. In the first task, we used a go/no-go design that required lemurs to exploit only auditory information. In the second task, we used a forced-choice design where lemurs competed against a human who would prevent them from obtaining food if their approaches were detected. Subjects were given the choice of obtaining food silently or noisily when the competitor's back was turned. They were also given the choice to obtain food when the competitor could either see them or not. Here, we replicate the findings of previous studies indicating that ring-tailed lemurs are sensitive to whether they can be seen; however, we found no evidence that subjects are sensitive to whether others can hear them. Our findings suggest that ring-tailed lemurs converge with haplorhine primates only in their sensitivity to the visual information of others. The results emphasize the importance of investigating social cognition across sensory domains in order to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie apparently complex social behavior. These findings also suggest that the social dynamics of haplorhine groups impose greater cognitive demands than lemur groups, despite similarities in total group size. PMID:24218121

  3. Can zoo records help answer behavioral research questions? The case of the left-handed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hosey, Geoff; Hill, Sonya P; Lherbier, Mary L

    2012-01-01

    Most zoos keep comprehensive records, which potentially form a database for use in answering some research questions, such as in veterinary and population management research. They have not, however, been widely used to answer questions about animal behavior and welfare. Here we try to assess the usefulness to behavioral research of two sorts of zoo records (ARKS, the Animal Records Keeping System, and student dissertations held on file) to test the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs with a left limb preference experience more negative social lives. We found that, as predicted, lemurs with a left limb preference (LH) received more aggression and were involved in less grooming than nonleft-preferent lemurs (NLH), though the differences were not statistically significant. Contrary to prediction, LH lemurs had fewer reported woundings than NLH lemurs, but again the difference was not statistically significant. We found that the ARKS reports did not contain sufficient quantified and systematic behavioral data for our purposes, although otherwise they provided an excellent context for interpreting results. The student dissertations were also of limited use, primarily because of the small time frame in which they were carried out. Because of these shortcomings we were unable to distinguish whether our inability to find significant effects was due to biological (perhaps hand preference had no consequences for the lemurs) or data reasons. We suggest that closer liaison between zoo research staff, zoo record keepers and academic supervisors could help to improve the usefulness of zoo records for behavioral research.

  4. Tracking of wet foam ageing by means of dynamic laser speckle and computer optical mouse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerrero, Jáder; Plata Planidina, Alexandra; Mejía-Ospino, Enrique; Cabanzo, Rafael

    2013-11-01

    Tracking of wet foam ageing by means of dynamic laser speckle and an optical flow sensor is presented. Using a computer optical mouse, like an optical flow sensor, a strong negative correlation between the average speed of the cursor and the coarsening of bubble was found. We used microscopic images to demonstrate that decreasing of speed is related with increasing of bubble size. The proposed setup allows sensitive measures, is not very expensive and highly portable.

  5. Mouse Models of Oxidative Stress Indicate a Role for Modulating Healthy Aging

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Ryan T.; Walsh, Michael E.; Van Remmen, Holly

    2013-01-01

    Aging is a complex process that affects every major system at the molecular, cellular and organ levels. Although the exact cause of aging is unknown, there is significant evidence that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. The basis of the oxidative stress hypothesis is that aging occurs as a result of an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants, which leads to the accrual of damaged proteins, lipids and DNA macromolecules with age. Age-dependent increases in protein oxidation and aggregates, lipofuscin, and DNA mutations contribute to age-related pathologies. Many transgenic/knockout mouse models over expressing or deficient in key antioxidant enzymes have been generated to examine the effect of oxidative stress on aging and age-related diseases. Based on currently reported lifespan studies using mice with altered antioxidant defense, there is little evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in determining lifespan. However, mice deficient in antioxidant enzymes are often more susceptible to age-related disease while mice overexpressing antioxidant enzymes often have an increase in the amount of time spent without disease, i.e., healthspan. Thus, by understanding the mechanisms that affect healthy aging, we may discover potential therapeutic targets to extend human healthspan. PMID:25300955

  6. A study of gender, strain and age differences in mouse liver glutathione-S-transferase.

    PubMed

    Egaas, E; Falls, J G; Dauterman, W C

    1995-01-01

    The hepatic cytosolic glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity in four strains of the mouse and one strain of the rat was studied with the substrates 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene (DCNB), ethachrynic acid (ETHA), cumene hydroperoxide (CU) and atrazine as the in vitro substrates. In the mouse, significant gender, strain and age-related differences in the GST activity towards CDNB and atrazine were found between adolescent and sexually mature males and females of the CD-1, C57BL/6, DBA/2 and Swiss-Webster strains, and the differences were larger with atrazine as the substrate. With DCNB and CU a similar tendency was observed, however not significant for all strains. The GST activity towards ETHA was also gender and strain specific, but revealed no age-related differences. The herbicide atrazine seems to be a useful substrate in the study of strain and age-related differences in the mouse GST class Pi.

  7. Effects of Exendin-4 on Male Reproductive Parameters of D-Galactose Induced Aging Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Ahangarpour, Akram; Heidari, Hamid

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of exendin-4 on reproductive alteration in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, 72 male Naval Medical Research Institute mice (20~25 g) were randomly divided into six groups: control, exendin-4 (1 nmol/kg), exendin-4 (10 nmol/kg), D-galactose (500 mg/kg), D-galactose+exendin-4 (1 nmol/kg), and D-galactose+exendin-4 (10 nmol/kg). The aging model animals were gavaged with D-galactose for six weeks, and exendin-4 was injected intraperitoneally in the last 10 days. At the end of treatment serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone levels were evaluated and the cauda epididymis and testis were removed to analyze the sperm count and testis morphology. Results The testis weight and volume decreased in the D-galactose group (p<0.01 and p<0.05) respectively. Exendin-4 (1, 10 nmol/kg) increased these parameters in the normal and aging mouse models. Serum LH and FSH levels increased and the sperm count decreased in the D-galactose group (p<0.05). Further, exendin-4 (1 nmol/kg) decreased LH and FSH levels and increased the serum testosterone level and sperm count in both normal and aging animals. Conclusions D-galactose can induce aging alternations in the male reproductive system such as decreased sperm count and increased serum LH and FSH levels through reactive oxygen species over production and reduced antioxidant enzyme activity. Further, co-administration of exendin-4 reduced reproductive complications of D-galactose in an aging mouse model. PMID:25606567

  8. Comparison of the efficacy and cardiorespiratory effects of medetomidine-based anesthetic protocols in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Williams, Cathy V; Glenn, Kelly M; Levine, Jay F; Horne, William A

    2003-06-01

    The relative efficacies and cardiorespiratory effects of three injectable anesthetic combinations containing medetomidine were evaluated in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). In addition, the direct effects of medetomidine on heart rate and blood pressure were evaluated in lemurs anesthetized with isoflurane. For injectable anesthesia, captive adult ring-tailed lemurs were anesthetized with medetomidine and ketamine (0.04-0.06 mg/kg, i.m. and 3 mg/kg, i.m., respectively), medetomidine, butorphanol, and ketamine (0.04 mg/kg, i.m., 0.4 mg/kg, i.m., and 3 mg/kg, i.m., respectively), or medetomidine, butorphanol, and midazolam (0.04 mg/kg, i.m., 0.4 mg/kg, i.m., and 0.3 mg/kg, i.m., respectively). For inhalation anesthesia, lemurs were mask-induced and maintained with isoflurane for 30 min before receiving medetomidine (0.04 mg/kg, i.m.). Sedation produced by medetomidine-ketamine was unpredictable and of short duration. Both medetomidine-butorphanol-ketamine (MBK) and medetomidine-butorphanol-midazolam (MBMz) provided adequate anesthesia for routine physical exams; however, the effects of MBMz lasted longer than those of MBK. Heart rates and respiratory rates were within clinically normal ranges for all groups, and lemurs remained normotensive throughout the study. Common side effects such as hypertension and bradycardia associated with the use of alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist combinations in other species were not observed. Likewise, medetomidine administration had no effect on HR in lemurs receiving isoflurane. Lemurs in all groups were well ventilated and remained well oxygenated throughout the procedures, though arterial partial pressure of O2 was lowest in the MBMz group. All three injectable medetomidine combinations were effective in ring-tailed lemurs but only MBK and MBMz provided adequate depth and duration of anesthesia for use as sole regimes. For many clinical procedures in lemurs, MBMz offers advantages over MBK because of its longer duration of

  9. Brain perfusion SPECT in the mouse: normal pattern according to gender and age.

    PubMed

    Apostolova, Ivayla; Wunder, Andreas; Dirnagl, Ulrich; Michel, Roger; Stemmer, Nina; Lukas, Mathias; Derlin, Thorsten; Gregor-Mamoudou, Betina; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Brenner, Winfried; Buchert, Ralph

    2012-12-01

    Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) is a useful surrogate marker of neuronal activity and a parameter of primary interest in the diagnosis of many diseases. The increasing use of mouse models spawns the demand for in vivo measurement of rCBF in the mouse. Small animal SPECT provides excellent spatial resolution at adequate sensitivity and is therefore a promising tool for imaging the mouse brain. This study evaluates the feasibility of mouse brain perfusion SPECT and assesses the regional pattern of normal Tc-99m-HMPAO uptake and the impact of age and gender. Whole-brain kinetics was compared between Tc-99m-HMPAO and Tc-99m-ECD using rapid dynamic planar scans in 10 mice. Assessment of the regional uptake pattern was restricted to the more suitable tracer, HMPAO. Two HMPAO SPECTs were performed in 18 juvenile mice aged 7.5 ± 1.5weeks, and in the same animals at young adulthood, 19.1 ± 4.0 weeks (nanoSPECT/CTplus, general purpose mouse apertures: 1.2kcps/MBq, 0.7mm FWHM). The 3-D MRI Digital Atlas Database of an adult C57BL/6J mouse brain was used for region-of-interest (ROI) analysis. SPECT images were stereotactically normalized using SPM8 and a custom made, left-right symmetric HMPAO template in atlas space. For testing lateral asymmetry, each SPECT was left-right flipped prior to stereotactical normalization. Flipped and unflipped SPECTs were compared by paired testing. Peak brain uptake was similar for ECD and HMPAO: 1.8 ± 0.2 and 2.1 ± 0.6 %ID (p=0.357). Washout after the peak was much faster for ECD than for HMPAO: 24 ± 7min vs. 4.6 ± 1.7h (p=0.001). The general linear model for repeated measures with gender as an intersubject factor revealed an increase in relative HMPAO uptake with age in the neocortex (p=0.018) and the hippocampus (p=0.012). A decrease was detected in the midbrain (p=0.025). Lateral asymmetry, with HMPAO uptake larger in the left hemisphere, was detected primarily in the neocortex, both at juvenile age (asymmetry index AI=2.7 ± 1

  10. Age-Related Changes of Myelin Basic Protein in Mouse and Human Auditory Nerve

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Yazhi; Samuvel, Devadoss J.; Stevens, Shawn M.; Dubno, Judy R.; Schulte, Bradley A.; Lang, Hainan

    2012-01-01

    Age-related hearing loss (presbyacusis) is the most common type of hearing impairment. One of the most consistent pathological changes seen in presbyacusis is the loss of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). Defining the cellular and molecular basis of SGN degeneration in the human inner ear is critical to gaining a better understanding of the pathophysiology of presbyacusis. However, information on age-related cellular and molecular alterations in the human spiral ganglion remains scant, owing to the very limited availably of human specimens suitable for high resolution morphological and molecular analysis. This study aimed at defining age-related alterations in the auditory nerve in human temporal bones and determining if immunostaining for myelin basic protein (MBP) can be used as an alternative approach to electron microscopy for evaluating myelin degeneration. For comparative purposes, we evaluated ultrastructural alternations and changes in MBP immunostaining in aging CBA/CaJ mice. We then examined 13 temporal bones from 10 human donors, including 4 adults aged 38–46 years (middle-aged group) and 6 adults aged 63–91 years (older group). Similar to the mouse, intense immunostaining of MBP was present throughout the auditory nerve of the middle-aged human donors. Significant declines in MBP immunoreactivity and losses of MBP+ auditory nerve fibers were observed in the spiral ganglia of both the older human and aged mouse ears. This study demonstrates that immunostaining for MBP in combination with confocal microscopy provides a sensitive, reliable, and efficient method for assessing alterations of myelin sheaths in the auditory nerve. The results also suggest that myelin degeneration may play a critical role in the SGN loss and the subsequent decline of the auditory nerve function in presbyacusis. PMID:22496821

  11. Mechanisms of Muscle Denervation in Aging: Insights from a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Park, Kevin H.J

    2015-01-01

    Muscle denervation at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is thought to be a contributing factor in age-related muscle weakness. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms that modulate NMJ innervation is a key to developing therapies to combat age-related muscle weakness affecting the elderly. Two mouse models, one lacking the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene and another harboring the transgenic mutant human SOD1 gene, display progressive changes at the NMJ, including muscle endplate fragmentation, nerve terminal sprouting, and denervation. These changes at the NMJ share many of the common features observed in the NMJs of aged mice. In this review, research findings demonstrating the effects of PGC-1α, IGF-1, GDNF, MyoD, myogenin, and miR-206 on NMJ innervation patterns in the G93A SOD1 mice will be highlighted in the context of age-related muscle denervation. PMID:26425392

  12. Dispersal among male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island.

    PubMed

    Parga, J A; Lessnau, R G

    2008-07-01

    Male dispersal patterns were analyzed across a nine-year period in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island (SCI), USA, to evaluate two ultimate explanations for male dispersal: inbreeding avoidance and intrasexual mating competition. As part of this analysis, we also compared patterns of dispersal at this site with data from wild populations. Overall, we found that patterns of male intertroop movement on SCI are similar to the wild with respect to the frequency and seasonality of male transfer. In Madagascar, males move between groups every 3.1-3.5 years [Sussman, International Journal of Primatol 13:395-413, 1992; Koyama et al., Primates 43:291-314, 2002] as compared with every 3.2 years on SCI. The majority of transfers on SCI occurred during the birth season, as occurs at one site in Madagascar, Berenty [Budnitz & Dainis, Lemur biology. New York: Plenum Press, p 219-235, 1975; Jones, Folia Primatologica 40:145-160, 1983]. One difference is that males perform natal transfers 1-2 years earlier on SCI than in the wild, which may be related to food provisioning on SCI. Males never transferred back into their natal troops, which is remarkable given the small number of groups on SCI. Although this pattern of movement can indicate inbreeding avoidance by males, the fact that male troop tenure was in many cases long enough to overlap with the sexual maturation of potential daughters did not support the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis for male secondary dispersal. Instead, the intrasexual competition hypothesis was strongly supported, because males were significantly more likely to transfer into groups having fewer adult males and a more favorable sex ratio than their pretransfer groups. Males therefore appear to be bypassing groups in which they would experience a greater degree of intrasexual mating competition during the breeding season.

  13. Nocturnal ranging by a diurnal primate: are ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) cathemeral?

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2011-07-01

    Cathemerality, an activity pattern comprised of distinct periods of diurnal and nocturnal activity, is a trait found among several of the Malagasy strepsirhines and one species of Aotus. Because occasional anecdotal reports suggest that some diurnal primates can be active at night, I investigated the possibility of nocturnal ranging behavior in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) by using global positioning system (GPS) collars programmed to collect data across a 24-h period. Five individuals in a provisioned, free-ranging L. catta colony on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA, wore GPS collars across 1 week of the mating season. Results revealed that night ranging behavior occurred between the h of 1900 and 0530. An evaluation of the effect of moonlight on nocturnal activity showed that a greater rate of travel occurred during moonlit periods as opposed to periods when the moon had not yet risen. Distance travelled at night decreased across the deployment period, likely because of a decrease in available moonlight over time, as the lemurs were collared during a waning moon. Fewer mating opportunities over time may have also been responsible for the decrease in night ranging, because the number of females in estrus declined across the deployment period. Future research is needed to separate the effects of moonlight and mating activity on night ranging in this species, as well as to evaluate whether L. catta in Madagascar show night ranging similar to L. catta on SCI. These data raise the possibility that L. catta may be cathemeral, with an activity pattern fluctuating between diurnality and cathemerality in accordance with shifts in environmental conditions.

  14. Nocturnal ranging by a diurnal primate: are ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) cathemeral?

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2011-07-01

    Cathemerality, an activity pattern comprised of distinct periods of diurnal and nocturnal activity, is a trait found among several of the Malagasy strepsirhines and one species of Aotus. Because occasional anecdotal reports suggest that some diurnal primates can be active at night, I investigated the possibility of nocturnal ranging behavior in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) by using global positioning system (GPS) collars programmed to collect data across a 24-h period. Five individuals in a provisioned, free-ranging L. catta colony on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA, wore GPS collars across 1 week of the mating season. Results revealed that night ranging behavior occurred between the h of 1900 and 0530. An evaluation of the effect of moonlight on nocturnal activity showed that a greater rate of travel occurred during moonlit periods as opposed to periods when the moon had not yet risen. Distance travelled at night decreased across the deployment period, likely because of a decrease in available moonlight over time, as the lemurs were collared during a waning moon. Fewer mating opportunities over time may have also been responsible for the decrease in night ranging, because the number of females in estrus declined across the deployment period. Future research is needed to separate the effects of moonlight and mating activity on night ranging in this species, as well as to evaluate whether L. catta in Madagascar show night ranging similar to L. catta on SCI. These data raise the possibility that L. catta may be cathemeral, with an activity pattern fluctuating between diurnality and cathemerality in accordance with shifts in environmental conditions. PMID:21717291

  15. Dispersal among male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island.

    PubMed

    Parga, J A; Lessnau, R G

    2008-07-01

    Male dispersal patterns were analyzed across a nine-year period in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island (SCI), USA, to evaluate two ultimate explanations for male dispersal: inbreeding avoidance and intrasexual mating competition. As part of this analysis, we also compared patterns of dispersal at this site with data from wild populations. Overall, we found that patterns of male intertroop movement on SCI are similar to the wild with respect to the frequency and seasonality of male transfer. In Madagascar, males move between groups every 3.1-3.5 years [Sussman, International Journal of Primatol 13:395-413, 1992; Koyama et al., Primates 43:291-314, 2002] as compared with every 3.2 years on SCI. The majority of transfers on SCI occurred during the birth season, as occurs at one site in Madagascar, Berenty [Budnitz & Dainis, Lemur biology. New York: Plenum Press, p 219-235, 1975; Jones, Folia Primatologica 40:145-160, 1983]. One difference is that males perform natal transfers 1-2 years earlier on SCI than in the wild, which may be related to food provisioning on SCI. Males never transferred back into their natal troops, which is remarkable given the small number of groups on SCI. Although this pattern of movement can indicate inbreeding avoidance by males, the fact that male troop tenure was in many cases long enough to overlap with the sexual maturation of potential daughters did not support the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis for male secondary dispersal. Instead, the intrasexual competition hypothesis was strongly supported, because males were significantly more likely to transfer into groups having fewer adult males and a more favorable sex ratio than their pretransfer groups. Males therefore appear to be bypassing groups in which they would experience a greater degree of intrasexual mating competition during the breeding season. PMID:18478578

  16. The reemergence of long-term potentiation in aged Alzheimer’s disease mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Huh, Seonghoo; Baek, Soo-Ji; Lee, Kyung-Hwa; Whitcomb, Daniel J.; Jo, Jihoon; Choi, Seong-Min; Kim, Dong Hyun; Park, Man-Seok; Lee, Kun Ho; Kim, Byeong C.

    2016-01-01

    Mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been developed to study the pathophysiology of amyloid β protein (Aβ) toxicity, which is thought to cause severe clinical symptoms such as memory impairment in AD patients. However, inconsistencies exist between studies using these animal models, specifically in terms of the effects on synaptic plasticity, a major cellular model of learning and memory. Whereas some studies find impairments in plasticity in these models, others do not. We show that long-term potentiation (LTP), in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices from this mouse, is impared at Tg2576 adult 6–7 months old. However, LTP is inducible again in slices taken from Tg2576 aged 14–19 months old. In the aged Tg2576, we found that the percentage of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons in hippocampal CA1-3 region is significantly decreased, and LTP inhibition or reversal mediated by NRG1/ErbB signaling, which requires ErbB4 receptors in PV interneurons, is impaired. Inhibition of ErbB receptor kinase in adult Tg2576 restores LTP but impairs depotentiation as shown in aged Tg2576. Our study suggests that hippocampal LTP reemerges in aged Tg2576. However, this reemerged LTP is an insuppressible form due to impaired NRG1/ErbB signaling, possibly through the loss of PV interneurons. PMID:27377368

  17. Prevention of urethral blockage following semen collection in two species of lemur, Varecia variegata variegata and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Chatfield, Jenifer; Penfold, Linda

    2007-06-01

    Lemurs are a diverse group of primates comprised of five families, all of which are found only on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Of the 60 known species, 17 are endangered and 5 of these are considered critically endangered. The effects of inbreeding on population health and viability have been well described; though negative inbreeding effects can be ameliorated through the introduction of new genetic material. Introduction of new individuals into a population can be extremely challenging because of the highly social nature of lemurs. Semen collection in lemur species is notoriously challenging, as the ejaculate forms a coagulum. During normal breeding, the coagulum forms a copulatory plug in the female. However, this coagulum can present a life-threatening situation when retained in the urethra abnormally following electroejaculation. This study investigates the use of ascorbic acid in preventing urethral blockage in two lemur species during semen collection, demonstrates successful collection of semen by electroejaculation from two species of lemur during the breeding season, and discusses removal of urethral plugs subsequent to semen collection. Semen was collected successfully from all animals. Urethral plugs formed during each collection and were abnormally retained in 2/11 collections. Both plugs were successfully and immediately removed with the use of retropulsion through a urethral catheter. Although the results of this study are encouraging, more investigation is required to establish whether or not this procedure can be safely performed in the field.

  18. Human eccrine hamartoma of the forearm-antebrachial organ of the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta). A possible phylogenetic relationship?

    PubMed

    Kopera, D; Soyer, H P; Kerl, H

    1994-06-01

    A 31-year-old woman presented with a clinically otherwise unsuspicious area of profuse sweating on her right forearm. Without triggering agents, sweating attacks producing a clear, serous fluid were observed daily. Histopathologic examination of a biopsy specimen showed hyperplastic eccrine glands with pale, stippled cytoplasm characteristic of eccrine hamartoma. No explanation, however, has been given for the fact that several authors observed eccrine hamartomas in the same anatomical location. Adolescent lemurs of the species catta (ringtailed lemur) are equipped with a pair of antebrachial cutaneous glands located on the volar surface of the wrist. They exude a clear secretion enabling them to "brachial branch mark" their territories. Histopathologic findings in the ringtailed lemur's antebrachial organ show characteristics of both apocrine and eccrine glands. In contrast to normal apocrine glands, however, the antebrachial organs of ringtailed lemurs reach the epidermis directly and are not connected to hair follicles. According to the "biogenetic law" of Ernst Haeckel, stating that ontogeny has to be seen as a short and incomplete repetition of phylogeny, a human fetus passes all evolutional stages from a single cell via amphibians and mammals to a human being. Thus, the antebrachial organ of the ringtailed lemur may be the "phylogenetic explanation" for eccrine hamartomas of the forearm in humans. The histopathologic findings of the antebrachial organ and of eccrine hamartomas are in accordance with this hypothesis. PMID:7943634

  19. Senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM): a biogerontological resource in aging research.

    PubMed

    Takeda, T

    1999-01-01

    The senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM), consisting of 14 senescence-prone inbred strains (SAMP) and 4 senescence-resistant inbred strains (SAMR) has been under development since 1970 through the selective inbreeding of AKR/J strain mice donated by the Jackson laboratory in 1968, based on the data of the grading score of senescence, life span, and pathologic phenotypes. The characteristic feature of aging common to all SAMP and SAMR mice is accelerated senescence and normal aging, respectively. Furthermore, SAMP and SAMR strains manifest various pathobiological phenotypes which include such neurobiological phenotypes as deficits in learning and memory, emotional disorders, abnormal circadian rhythms, brain atrophy, hearing impairment, etc., and are often characteristic enough to differentiate the strains. Various efforts are currently being made using the SAM model to clarify the underlying mechanisms in accelerated senescence as well as the etiopathogenic mechanisms in age-associated pathobiologies. Genetic background and significance of SAM development are discussed. PMID:10537019

  20. Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Health Parameters across Two Habitats with Varied Levels of Human Disturbance at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Singleton, Cora L; Norris, Aimee M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community.

  1. Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Health Parameters across Two Habitats with Varied Levels of Human Disturbance at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Singleton, Cora L; Norris, Aimee M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community. PMID:26022301

  2. Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov., from faeces of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Modesto, Monica; Michelini, Samanta; Stefanini, Ilaria; Sandri, Camillo; Spiezio, Caterina; Pisi, Annamaria; Filippini, Gianfranco; Biavati, Bruno; Mattarelli, Paola

    2015-06-01

    Four Gram-positive-staining, microaerophilic, non-spore-forming, fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase-positive bacterial strains were isolated from a faecal sample of a 5-year-old ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The strains showed a peculiar morphology, resembling a small coiled snake, a ring shape, or forming a little 'Y' shape. The isolated strains appeared identical, and LMC 13T was chosen as a representative strain and characterized further. Strain LMC 13T showed an A3β peptidoglycan type, similar to that found in Bifidobacterium longum. The DNA base composition was 57.2 mol% G+C. Almost-complete 16S rRNA, hsp60, rpoB, dnaJ, dnaG, purF, clpC and rpoC gene sequences were obtained, and phylogenetic relationships were determined. Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain LMC 13T showed the highest similarity to B. longum subsp. suis ATCC 27533T (96.65 %) and Bifidobacterium saguini DSM 23967T (96.64 %). Strain LMC 13T was located in an actinobacterial cluster and was more closely related to the genus Bifidobacteriumthan to other genera in the Bifidobacteriaceae. On the basis of these results, strain LMC 13T represents a novel species within the genus Bifidobacterium, for which the name Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LMC 13T ( = DSM 28807T = JCM 30168T).

  3. Antipredator Vocalization Usage in the Male Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a group-living strepsirrhine primate endemic to Madagascar that faces considerable predation pressure from aerial and terrestrial predators. This species engages in mobbing and vigilance behavior in response to predators, and has referential alarm vocalizations. Because L. catta is female dominant, less is known about the alarm calls of males. We tested 3 hypotheses for male antipredator vocalization behavior on L. catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar: the predator confusion, group maintenance, and predation risk allocation hypotheses. We found support for 2 hypotheses. When a male L. catta made an antipredator call, other group members vocalized in response. Dominant males did not make alarm calls at higher rates than subordinate males. Predators were more abundant on the western side of Parcel 1, but an even greater number of antipredator vocalizations occurred in this area than predator abundance warranted. We show that male L. catta consistently participated in group-level antipredator vocalization usage in high-risk locations. Although female L. catta are known to hold the primary role in group defense, male L. catta are also key participants in group-wide behaviors that may confuse or drive away predators.

  4. Antipredator Vocalization Usage in the Male Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a group-living strepsirrhine primate endemic to Madagascar that faces considerable predation pressure from aerial and terrestrial predators. This species engages in mobbing and vigilance behavior in response to predators, and has referential alarm vocalizations. Because L. catta is female dominant, less is known about the alarm calls of males. We tested 3 hypotheses for male antipredator vocalization behavior on L. catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar: the predator confusion, group maintenance, and predation risk allocation hypotheses. We found support for 2 hypotheses. When a male L. catta made an antipredator call, other group members vocalized in response. Dominant males did not make alarm calls at higher rates than subordinate males. Predators were more abundant on the western side of Parcel 1, but an even greater number of antipredator vocalizations occurred in this area than predator abundance warranted. We show that male L. catta consistently participated in group-level antipredator vocalization usage in high-risk locations. Although female L. catta are known to hold the primary role in group defense, male L. catta are also key participants in group-wide behaviors that may confuse or drive away predators. PMID:26022308

  5. Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov., from faeces of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Modesto, Monica; Michelini, Samanta; Stefanini, Ilaria; Sandri, Camillo; Spiezio, Caterina; Pisi, Annamaria; Filippini, Gianfranco; Biavati, Bruno; Mattarelli, Paola

    2015-06-01

    Four Gram-positive-staining, microaerophilic, non-spore-forming, fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase-positive bacterial strains were isolated from a faecal sample of a 5-year-old ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The strains showed a peculiar morphology, resembling a small coiled snake, a ring shape, or forming a little 'Y' shape. The isolated strains appeared identical, and LMC 13T was chosen as a representative strain and characterized further. Strain LMC 13T showed an A3β peptidoglycan type, similar to that found in Bifidobacterium longum. The DNA base composition was 57.2 mol% G+C. Almost-complete 16S rRNA, hsp60, rpoB, dnaJ, dnaG, purF, clpC and rpoC gene sequences were obtained, and phylogenetic relationships were determined. Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain LMC 13T showed the highest similarity to B. longum subsp. suis ATCC 27533T (96.65 %) and Bifidobacterium saguini DSM 23967T (96.64 %). Strain LMC 13T was located in an actinobacterial cluster and was more closely related to the genus Bifidobacteriumthan to other genera in the Bifidobacteriaceae. On the basis of these results, strain LMC 13T represents a novel species within the genus Bifidobacterium, for which the name Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LMC 13T ( = DSM 28807T = JCM 30168T). PMID:25736415

  6. Unusual sleeping site selection by southern bamboo lemurs.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2016-04-01

    Selection of sleeping sites has consequences for individual fitness. Non-human primates often bias their selection towards arboreal sites, and the lemurs of Madagascar typically rest/sleep in trees, tree holes, and/or constructed nests. Three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses to explain sleeping site selection include protection from predators, avoidance of parasitic vectors, and improved thermoregulation. Here, we examine these hypotheses for the unusual sleeping site selections by the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). Within the Mandena littoral forest of southeast Madagascar, the southern bamboo lemur is known for its ecological flexibility compared to other bamboo lemur species, including a dietary niche expansion to feeding on the ground. Between October 2012 and December 2013, we observed bamboo lemurs from three social groups for 1778.67 h, conducting full-day focal follows on 11 adult individuals (five males, six females). During this period, all three groups were observed to sleep on the ground, with one of these groups also using an abandoned nest of a Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata). We collected habitat and temperature data to examine whether selection was influenced by environmental variables. Terrestrial sleeping (N = 17) was observed in all individuals but one adult female, with individuals burrowing under thick vegetation more often during the hot austral summer. While difficult to rigorously test, it is possible that terrestrial sleep sites and/or sleeping in a bird nest may impair visual detection by some aerial and terrestrial predators. Neither of these sites (i.e., terrestrial sleeping or use of a bird nest), however, is likely to minimize exposure to parasites/vectors. Terrestrial sleeping appears to support a thermoregulatory strategy, whereas the use of a bird nest could not be empirically tested. Our observations of unique sleeping site locations used by southern bamboo lemurs further the complexity of their

  7. Unusual sleeping site selection by southern bamboo lemurs.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2016-04-01

    Selection of sleeping sites has consequences for individual fitness. Non-human primates often bias their selection towards arboreal sites, and the lemurs of Madagascar typically rest/sleep in trees, tree holes, and/or constructed nests. Three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses to explain sleeping site selection include protection from predators, avoidance of parasitic vectors, and improved thermoregulation. Here, we examine these hypotheses for the unusual sleeping site selections by the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). Within the Mandena littoral forest of southeast Madagascar, the southern bamboo lemur is known for its ecological flexibility compared to other bamboo lemur species, including a dietary niche expansion to feeding on the ground. Between October 2012 and December 2013, we observed bamboo lemurs from three social groups for 1778.67 h, conducting full-day focal follows on 11 adult individuals (five males, six females). During this period, all three groups were observed to sleep on the ground, with one of these groups also using an abandoned nest of a Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata). We collected habitat and temperature data to examine whether selection was influenced by environmental variables. Terrestrial sleeping (N = 17) was observed in all individuals but one adult female, with individuals burrowing under thick vegetation more often during the hot austral summer. While difficult to rigorously test, it is possible that terrestrial sleep sites and/or sleeping in a bird nest may impair visual detection by some aerial and terrestrial predators. Neither of these sites (i.e., terrestrial sleeping or use of a bird nest), however, is likely to minimize exposure to parasites/vectors. Terrestrial sleeping appears to support a thermoregulatory strategy, whereas the use of a bird nest could not be empirically tested. Our observations of unique sleeping site locations used by southern bamboo lemurs further the complexity of their

  8. Identifying aging-related genes in mouse hippocampus using gateway nodes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background High-throughput studies continue to produce volumes of metadata representing valuable sources of information to better guide biological research. With a stronger focus on data generation, analysis models that can readily identify actual signals have not received the same level of attention. This is due in part to high levels of noise and data heterogeneity, along with a lack of sophisticated algorithms for mining useful information. Networks have emerged as a powerful tool for modeling high-throughput data because they are capable of representing not only individual biological elements but also different types of relationships en masse. Moreover, well-established graph theoretic methodology can be applied to network models to increase efficiency and speed of analysis. In this project, we propose a network model that examines temporal data from mouse hippocampus at the transcriptional level via correlation of gene expression. Using this model, we formally define the concept of “gateway” nodes, loosely defined as nodes representing genes co-expressed in multiple states. We show that the proposed network model allows us to identify target genes implicated in hippocampal aging-related processes. Results By mining gateway genes related to hippocampal aging from networks made from gene expression in young and middle-aged mice, we provide a proof-of-concept of existence and importance of gateway nodes. Additionally, these results highlight how network analysis can act as a supplement to traditional statistical analysis of differentially expressed genes. Finally, we use the gateway nodes identified by our method as well as functional databases and literature to propose new targets for study of aging in the mouse hippocampus. Conclusions This research highlights the need for methods of temporal comparison using network models and provides a systems biology approach to extract information from correlation networks of gene expression. Our results identify a

  9. Increased mitochondrial biogenesis in muscle improves aging phenotypes in the mtDNA mutator mouse.

    PubMed

    Dillon, Lloye M; Williams, Siôn L; Hida, Aline; Peacock, Jacqueline D; Prolla, Tomas A; Lincoln, Joy; Moraes, Carlos T

    2012-05-15

    Aging is an intricate process that increases susceptibility to sarcopenia and cardiovascular diseases. The accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations is believed to contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction, potentially shortening lifespan. The mtDNA mutator mouse, a mouse model with a proofreading-deficient mtDNA polymerase γ, was shown to develop a premature aging phenotype, including sarcopenia, cardiomyopathy and decreased lifespan. This phenotype was associated with an accumulation of mtDNA mutations and mitochondrial dysfunction. We found that increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), a crucial regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and function, in the muscle of mutator mice increased mitochondrial biogenesis and function and also improved the skeletal muscle and heart phenotypes of the mice. Deep sequencing analysis of their mtDNA showed that the increased mitochondrial biogenesis did not reduce the accumulation of mtDNA mutations but rather caused a small increase. These results indicate that increased muscle PGC-1α expression is able to improve some premature aging phenotypes in the mutator mice without reverting the accumulation of mtDNA mutations.

  10. Primate breeding season: photoperiodic regulation in captive Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Van Horn, R N

    1975-01-01

    Under natural light in Portland, Oreg., captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) experience a breeding season that differs by nearly half a year from the season in Madagascar. A series of experimental day length changes from 1971 to 1974 demonstrated the ability of both temperate and tropical photoperiod cycles to induce estrous cycles in quiescent animals. After photoperiodic activation, most impregnated females failed to resume estrous cycles even after infant separations unless they received additional photoperiod changes. Unimpregnated females, on the other hand, showed no significant decline in the incidence of estrous cycles under prolonged exposure to a constant day length regimen (12.OL:12.OD) for over a year.

  11. Age-regulated function of autophagy in the mouse inner ear.

    PubMed

    de Iriarte Rodríguez, Rocío; Pulido, Sara; Rodríguez-de la Rosa, Lourdes; Magariños, Marta; Varela-Nieto, Isabel

    2015-12-01

    Autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process essential for embryonic development and adult homeostasis. The autophagic machinery supplies energy by recycling intracellular components and facilitates the removal of apoptotic cells. In the inner ear, autophagy has been reported to play roles during early development in the chicken embryo and in the response to otic injury in the adult mouse. However, there are no studies on the expression of the autophagy machinery in the postnatal and adult inner ear. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is one of the factors that regulate both otic development and cochlear postnatal maturation and function. Here, we hypothesised that autophagy could be one of the processes involved in the cochlear development and functional maturation. We report that autophagy-related genes (ATG) Becn1, Atg4g and Atg5 are expressed in the mouse cochlea, vestibular system and brainstem cochlear nuclei from late developmental stages to adulthood. Atg9 was studied in the mouse cochlea and showed a similar pattern. The presence of autophagic flux was confirmed by decreased sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62) and increased relative levels of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3-II (LC3-II). Inner ear autophagy flux is developmentally regulated and is lower at perinatal stages than in the adult mouse, where an expression plateau is reached at the age of two-months, coinciding with the age at which full functional activity is reached. Expression is maintained in adult mice and declines after the age of twelve months. LC3B labelling showed that autophagy was primarily associated with spiral ganglion neurons. Over time, Igf1 wild type mice showed lower expression of genes coding for IGF-1 high affinity receptor and the family factor IGF-2 than null mice. Parallel analysis of autophagy machinery gene expression showed no significant differences between the genotypes over the lifespan of the null mice. Taken together, these results show that the

  12. Teeth, Sex, and Testosterone: Aging in the World's Smallest Primate

    PubMed Central

    Zohdy, Sarah; Gerber, Brian D.; Tecot, Stacey; Blanco, Marina B.; Winchester, Julia M.; Wright, Patricia C.; Jernvall, Jukka

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) are an exciting new primate model for understanding human aging and disease. In captivity, Microcebus murinus develops human-like ailments of old age after five years (e.g., neurodegeneration analogous to Alzheimer's disease) but can live beyond 12 years. It is believed that wild Microcebus follow a similar pattern of senescence observed in captive animals, but that predation limits their lifespan to four years, thus preventing observance of these diseases in the wild. Testing whether this assumption is true is informative about both Microcebus natural history and environmental influences on senescence, leading to interpretation of findings for models of human aging. Additionally, the study of Microcebus longevity provides an opportunity to better understand mechanisms of sex-biased longevity. Longevity is often shorter in males of species with high male-male competition, such as Microcebus, but mouse lemurs are sexually monomorphic, suggesting similar lifespans. We collected individual-based observations of wild brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus) from 2003–2010 to investigate sex-differences in survival and longevity. Fecal testosterone was measured as a potential mechanism of sex-based differences in survival. We used a combination of high-resolution tooth wear techniques, mark-recapture, and hormone enzyme immunoassays. We found no dental or physical signs of senescence in M. rufus as old as eight years (N = 189, ages 1–8, mean = 2.59±1.63 SE), three years older than captive, senescent congeners (M. murinus). Unlike other polygynandrous vertebrates, we found no sex difference in age-dependent survival, nor sex or age differences in testosterone levels. While elevated male testosterone levels have been implicated in shorter lifespans in several species, this is one of the first studies to show equivalent testosterone levels accompanying equivalent lifespans. Future research on captive aged individuals can determine

  13. Aging analysis reveals slowed tau turnover and enhanced stress response in a mouse model of tauopathy.

    PubMed

    Dickey, Chad; Kraft, Clara; Jinwal, Umesh; Koren, John; Johnson, Amelia; Anderson, Laura; Lebson, Lori; Lee, Daniel; Dickson, Dennis; de Silva, Rohan; Binder, Lester I; Morgan, David; Lewis, Jada

    2009-01-01

    We have extensively analyzed the biochemical and histochemical profiles of the tau protein from the rTg4510 transgenic mouse model in which the animals uniquely develop forebrain tau pathologies similar to those found in human tauopathies. Levels of several soluble phosphorylated tau species were highest at 1 month relative to later time points, suggesting that certain tau hyperphosphorylation events were insufficient to drive tangle formation in young mice. Despite a robust, pre-tangle-like accumulation of phospho-tau in 1-month-old mice, this material was cleared by 3 months, indicating that the young mouse brain either fails to facilitate tau insolubility or possesses an enhanced ability to clear tau relative to the adult. We also found that while heat shock protein expression increased with normal aging, this process was accelerated in rTg4510 mice. Moreover, by exploiting an exon 10 (-) specific antibody, we demonstrated that endogenous mouse tau turnover was slowed in response to human tau over-expression, and that this endogenous tau adopted disease-related properties. These data suggest that a younger brain fails to develop lasting tau pathology despite elevated levels of phosphorylated tau, perhaps because of reduced expression of stress-related proteins. Moreover, we show that the active production of small amounts of abnormal tau protein facilitates dysfunction and accumulation of otherwise normal tau, a significant implication for the pathogenesis of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

  14. The breeding system of wild red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra): a preliminary report.

    PubMed

    Vasey, Natalie

    2007-01-01

    Captive studies have shown that ruffed lemurs (Varecia) have an unusual suite of reproductive traits combined with extremely high maternal reproductive costs. These traits include the bearing of litters, nesting of altricial young, and absentee parenting. To characterize the breeding system of this enigmatic lemur, reproductive traits must be contextualized in the wild. Here, I provide a preliminary report of mating and infant care in one community of wild red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra). Observations span a 15-month period covering two birth seasons and one mating season on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Factors that are not possible to replicate in captivity are reported, such as mating pattern, natality and mortality rates, the location of nests within the home range, and the structuring of infant care within a natural community. V. rubra at Andranobe have a fission-fusion, multifemale-multimale grouping pattern and a polygamous mating system. They do not mate monogamously or live strictly in family-based groups as suggested by previous workers. During the first 2 months of life, nests and infant stashing localities are situated within each mother's respective core area, and inhabitants of each core area within the communal home range provide care for young. As part of their absentee parenting system, infants are left in concealed, protected, and supportive spots high in the canopy, while mothers travel distantly. This practice is termed 'infant stashing'. Alloparenting appears to be an integral part of V. rubra's overall reproductive strategy in the wild, as it was performed by all age-sex classes. Among the alloparental behaviors observed were infant guarding, co-stashing, infant transport, and allonursing. Alloparenting and absentee parenting may mitigate high maternal reproductive costs. Furthermore, V. rubra may have a breeding system in which genetic partners (i.e., mating partners) do not always correspond to infant care-providers. Combined with

  15. Age-related differences in oligodendrogenesis across the dorsal-ventral axis of the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Jun; Jinno, Shozo

    2014-08-01

    Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) continue to divide and generate new oligodendrocytes (OLs) in the healthy adult brain. Although recent studies have indicated that adult oligodendrogenesis may be vital for the maintenance of normal brain function, the significance of adult oligodendrogenesis in brain aging remains unclear. In this study, we report a stereological estimation of age-related oligodendrogenesis changes in the mouse hippocampus: the dorsal subdivision is related to learning and memory, while the ventral subdivision is involved in emotional behaviors. To identify OPCs and OLs, we used a set of molecular markers, OL lineage transcription factor (Olig2) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFαR). Intracellular dye injection shows that PDGFαR+/Olig2+ cells and PDGFαR-/Olig2+ cells can be defined as OPCs and OLs, respectively. In the dorsal Ammon's horn, the numbers of OPCs decreased with age, while those of OLs remained unchanged during aging. In the ventral Ammon's horn, the numbers of OPCs and OLs generally decreased with age. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) fate-tracing analysis revealed that the numbers of BrdU+ mitotic OPCs in the Ammon's horn remained unchanged during aging in both the dorsal and ventral subdivisions. Unexpectedly, the numbers of BrdU+ newly generated OLs increased with age in the dorsal Ammon's horn, but remained unchanged in the ventral Ammon's horn. Together, the numbers of OLs in the dorsal Ammon's horn may be maintained during aging by increased survival of adult born OLs, while the numbers of OLs in the ventral Ammon's horn may be reduced with age due to the lack of such compensatory mechanisms. These observations provide new insight into the involvement of adult oligodendrogenesis in age-related changes in the structure and function of the hippocampus.

  16. Effects of aging and sensory loss on glial cells in mouse visual and auditory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Marie-Ève; Zettel, Martha L.; Ison, James R.; Allen, Paul D.; Majewska, Ania K.

    2011-01-01

    Normal aging is often accompanied by a progressive loss of receptor sensitivity in hearing and vision, whose consequences on cellular function in cortical sensory areas have remained largely unknown. By examining the primary auditory (A1) and visual (V1) cortices in two inbred strains of mice undergoing either age-related loss of audition (C57BL/6J) or vision (CBA/CaJ), we were able to describe cellular and subcellular changes that were associated with normal aging (occurring in A1 and V1 of both strains) or specifically with age-related sensory loss (only in A1 of C57BL/6J or V1 of CBA/CaJ), using immunocytochemical electron microscopy and light microscopy. While the changes were subtle in neurons, glial cells and especially microglia were transformed in aged animals. Microglia became more numerous and irregularly distributed, displayed more variable cell body and process morphologies, occupied smaller territories, and accumulated phagocytic inclusions that often displayed ultrastructural features of synaptic elements. Additionally, evidence of myelination defects were observed, and aged oligodendrocytes became more numerous and were more often encountered in contiguous pairs. Most of these effects were profoundly exacerbated by age-related sensory loss. Together, our results suggest that the age-related alteration of glial cells in sensory cortical areas can be accelerated by activity-driven central mechanisms that result from an age-related loss of peripheral sensitivity. In light of our observations, these age-related changes in sensory function should be considered when investigating cellular, cortical and behavioral functions throughout the lifespan in these commonly used C57BL/6J and CBA/CaJ mouse models. PMID:22223464

  17. Relationship of decrease in fecundity with advancing age to structural changes in mouse endometrium

    PubMed Central

    SHIMIZU, KIYOSHI; YAMADA, JINZO

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between decrease in fecundity and structural changes in the antimesometrial endometrium of the mouse. Fecundity was calculated as the number of animals showing a placental sign/number of copulated animals ×100 (%). Structural changes in the endometrium were examined by electron microscopy. A negative correlation between age and fecundity was found. Fecundity was 50% at 7 mo of age. At this age, amorphous material appeared in the region between the basement membrane deep to the luminal epithelium and the subepithelial cells. This material was sometimes attached to the basement membrane. It increased in amount with advancing age, as fecundity decreased. The structure of the uterine luminal epithelial cells did not alter with age. The results indicated that decrease in fecundity with advancing age is correlated with the appearance of amorphous material beneath the basal lamina of the endometrial epithelium. It is suggested that this could impair communication between the luminal epithelium and the endometrial stroma, which plays an important role in implantation. PMID:10697293

  18. Age- and Hypertension-Associated Protein Aggregates in Mouse Heart Have Similar Proteomic Profiles.

    PubMed

    Ayyadevara, Srinivas; Mercanti, Federico; Wang, Xianwei; Mackintosh, Samuel G; Tackett, Alan J; Prayaga, Sastry V S; Romeo, Francesco; Shmookler Reis, Robert J; Mehta, Jawahar L

    2016-05-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are largely defined by protein aggregates in affected tissues. Aggregates contain some shared components as well as proteins thought to be specific for each disease. Aggregation has not previously been reported in the normal, aging heart or the hypertensive heart. Detergent-insoluble protein aggregates were isolated from mouse heart and characterized on 2-dimensional gels. Their levels increased markedly and significantly with aging and after sustained angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Of the aggregate components identified by high-resolution proteomics, half changed in abundance with age (392/787) or with sustained hypertension (459/824), whereas 30% (273/901) changed concordantly in both, each P<0.05. One fifth of these proteins were previously associated with age-progressive neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases, or both (eg, ApoE, ApoJ, ApoAIV, clusterin, complement C3, and others involved in stress-response and protein-homeostasis pathways). Because fibrosis is a characteristic of both aged and hypertensive hearts, we posited that aging of fibroblasts may contribute to the aggregates observed in cardiac tissue. Indeed, as cardiac myofibroblasts "senesced" (approached their replicative limit) in vitro, they accrued aggregates with many of the same constituent proteins observed in vivo during natural aging or sustained hypertension. In summary, we have shown for the first time that compact (detergent-insoluble) protein aggregates accumulate during natural aging, chronic hypertension, and in vitro myofibroblast senescence, sharing many common proteins. Thus, aggregates that arise from disparate causes (aging, hypertension, and replicative senescence) may have common underlying mechanisms of accrual.

  19. Comparative and population mitogenomic analyses of Madagascar's extinct, giant 'subfossil' lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kistler, Logan; Ratan, Aakrosh; Godfrey, Laurie R; Crowley, Brooke E; Hughes, Cris E; Lei, Runhua; Cui, Yinqiu; Wood, Mindy L; Muldoon, Kathleen M; Andriamialison, Haingoson; McGraw, John J; Tomsho, Lynn P; Schuster, Stephan C; Miller, Webb; Louis, Edward E; Yoder, Anne D; Malhi, Ripan S; Perry, George H

    2015-02-01

    Humans first arrived on Madagascar only a few thousand years ago. Subsequent habitat destruction and hunting activities have had significant impacts on the island's biodiversity, including the extinction of megafauna. For example, we know of 17 recently extinct 'subfossil' lemur species, all of which were substantially larger (body mass ∼11-160 kg) than any living population of the ∼100 extant lemur species (largest body mass ∼6.8 kg). We used ancient DNA and genomic methods to study subfossil lemur extinction biology and update our understanding of extant lemur conservation risk factors by i) reconstructing a comprehensive phylogeny of extinct and extant lemurs, and ii) testing whether low genetic diversity is associated with body size and extinction risk. We recovered complete or near-complete mitochondrial genomes from five subfossil lemur taxa, and generated sequence data from population samples of two extinct and eight extant lemur species. Phylogenetic comparisons resolved prior taxonomic uncertainties and confirmed that the extinct subfossil species did not comprise a single clade. Genetic diversity estimates for the two sampled extinct species were relatively low, suggesting small historical population sizes. Low genetic diversity and small population sizes are both risk factors that would have rendered giant lemurs especially susceptible to extinction. Surprisingly, among the extant lemurs, we did not observe a relationship between body size and genetic diversity. The decoupling of these variables suggests that risk factors other than body size may have as much or more meaning for establishing future lemur conservation priorities.

  20. Interspecific semantic alarm call recognition in the solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis.

    PubMed

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This "eavesdropping" was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species' and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  1. Interspecific semantic alarm call recognition in the solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis.

    PubMed

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This "eavesdropping" was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species' and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  2. Acetaminophen-induced depletion of glutathione and cysteine in the aging mouse kidney.

    PubMed

    Richie, J P; Lang, C A; Chen, T S

    1992-07-01

    Glutathione (GSH) plays an essential role in the detoxification of acetaminophen (APAP) and the prevention of APAP-induced toxicity in the kidney. Our previous results demonstrated that a GSH deficiency is a general property of aging tissues, including the kidney, suggesting a hypothesis that senescent organisms are at greater risk to APAP-induced renal damage. To test this, C57BL/6NIA mice of different ages through the life span were injected with various doses of APAP, and the extent of GSH and cysteine (Cys) depletion and recovery were determined. At time intervals up to 24 hr, kidney cortex samples were obtained, processed and analyzed for glutathione status, namely GSH, glutathione disulfide (GSSG), Cys and cystine, using an HPLC method with dual electrochemical detection. In the uninjected controls, GSH and Cys concentrations decreased about 30% in the aging mouse, but the GSSG and cystine levels were unchanged during the life span. APAP administration depleted the kidney GSH and Cys contents in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Four hours after APAP administration, GSH levels of the young, growing (3- to 6-month) and the mature (12-month) mice decreased 34 and 58%, respectively, and recovered to near control values by 24 hr (95 and 98%). In contrast, the extent of depletion in old (31-month) mice was greater (64%) and the 24-hr recovery was less, returning only to 56%. Likewise, Cys levels of the young and mature mice decreased 49 and 65%, respectively, 4 hr following APAP, and increased to 99 and 85% by 24 hr. In contrast, in old mice, there was a 78% depletion after 4 hr followed by a recovery of only 65% by 24 hr. These results demonstrated clearly that in the aging mouse kidney, a GSH and Cys deficiency occurs that is accompanied by an impaired APAP detoxification capacity. PMID:1632827

  3. Novel gene function revealed by mouse mutagenesis screens for models of age-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Potter, Paul K.; Bowl, Michael R.; Jeyarajan, Prashanthini; Wisby, Laura; Blease, Andrew; Goldsworthy, Michelle E.; Simon, Michelle M.; Greenaway, Simon; Michel, Vincent; Barnard, Alun; Aguilar, Carlos; Agnew, Thomas; Banks, Gareth; Blake, Andrew; Chessum, Lauren; Dorning, Joanne; Falcone, Sara; Goosey, Laurence; Harris, Shelley; Haynes, Andy; Heise, Ines; Hillier, Rosie; Hough, Tertius; Hoslin, Angela; Hutchison, Marie; King, Ruairidh; Kumar, Saumya; Lad, Heena V.; Law, Gemma; MacLaren, Robert E.; Morse, Susan; Nicol, Thomas; Parker, Andrew; Pickford, Karen; Sethi, Siddharth; Starbuck, Becky; Stelma, Femke; Cheeseman, Michael; Cross, Sally H.; Foster, Russell G.; Jackson, Ian J.; Peirson, Stuart N.; Thakker, Rajesh V.; Vincent, Tonia; Scudamore, Cheryl; Wells, Sara; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Petit, Christine; Acevedo-Arozena, Abraham; Nolan, Patrick M.; Cox, Roger; Mallon, Anne-Marie; Brown, Steve D. M.

    2016-01-01

    Determining the genetic bases of age-related disease remains a major challenge requiring a spectrum of approaches from human and clinical genetics to the utilization of model organism studies. Here we report a large-scale genetic screen in mice employing a phenotype-driven discovery platform to identify mutations resulting in age-related disease, both late-onset and progressive. We have utilized N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis to generate pedigrees of mutagenized mice that were subject to recurrent screens for mutant phenotypes as the mice aged. In total, we identify 105 distinct mutant lines from 157 pedigrees analysed, out of which 27 are late-onset phenotypes across a range of physiological systems. Using whole-genome sequencing we uncover the underlying genes for 44 of these mutant phenotypes, including 12 late-onset phenotypes. These genes reveal a number of novel pathways involved with age-related disease. We illustrate our findings by the recovery and characterization of a novel mouse model of age-related hearing loss. PMID:27534441

  4. Novel gene function revealed by mouse mutagenesis screens for models of age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Potter, Paul K; Bowl, Michael R; Jeyarajan, Prashanthini; Wisby, Laura; Blease, Andrew; Goldsworthy, Michelle E; Simon, Michelle M; Greenaway, Simon; Michel, Vincent; Barnard, Alun; Aguilar, Carlos; Agnew, Thomas; Banks, Gareth; Blake, Andrew; Chessum, Lauren; Dorning, Joanne; Falcone, Sara; Goosey, Laurence; Harris, Shelley; Haynes, Andy; Heise, Ines; Hillier, Rosie; Hough, Tertius; Hoslin, Angela; Hutchison, Marie; King, Ruairidh; Kumar, Saumya; Lad, Heena V; Law, Gemma; MacLaren, Robert E; Morse, Susan; Nicol, Thomas; Parker, Andrew; Pickford, Karen; Sethi, Siddharth; Starbuck, Becky; Stelma, Femke; Cheeseman, Michael; Cross, Sally H; Foster, Russell G; Jackson, Ian J; Peirson, Stuart N; Thakker, Rajesh V; Vincent, Tonia; Scudamore, Cheryl; Wells, Sara; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Petit, Christine; Acevedo-Arozena, Abraham; Nolan, Patrick M; Cox, Roger; Mallon, Anne-Marie; Brown, Steve D M

    2016-08-18

    Determining the genetic bases of age-related disease remains a major challenge requiring a spectrum of approaches from human and clinical genetics to the utilization of model organism studies. Here we report a large-scale genetic screen in mice employing a phenotype-driven discovery platform to identify mutations resulting in age-related disease, both late-onset and progressive. We have utilized N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis to generate pedigrees of mutagenized mice that were subject to recurrent screens for mutant phenotypes as the mice aged. In total, we identify 105 distinct mutant lines from 157 pedigrees analysed, out of which 27 are late-onset phenotypes across a range of physiological systems. Using whole-genome sequencing we uncover the underlying genes for 44 of these mutant phenotypes, including 12 late-onset phenotypes. These genes reveal a number of novel pathways involved with age-related disease. We illustrate our findings by the recovery and characterization of a novel mouse model of age-related hearing loss.

  5. Novel gene function revealed by mouse mutagenesis screens for models of age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Potter, Paul K; Bowl, Michael R; Jeyarajan, Prashanthini; Wisby, Laura; Blease, Andrew; Goldsworthy, Michelle E; Simon, Michelle M; Greenaway, Simon; Michel, Vincent; Barnard, Alun; Aguilar, Carlos; Agnew, Thomas; Banks, Gareth; Blake, Andrew; Chessum, Lauren; Dorning, Joanne; Falcone, Sara; Goosey, Laurence; Harris, Shelley; Haynes, Andy; Heise, Ines; Hillier, Rosie; Hough, Tertius; Hoslin, Angela; Hutchison, Marie; King, Ruairidh; Kumar, Saumya; Lad, Heena V; Law, Gemma; MacLaren, Robert E; Morse, Susan; Nicol, Thomas; Parker, Andrew; Pickford, Karen; Sethi, Siddharth; Starbuck, Becky; Stelma, Femke; Cheeseman, Michael; Cross, Sally H; Foster, Russell G; Jackson, Ian J; Peirson, Stuart N; Thakker, Rajesh V; Vincent, Tonia; Scudamore, Cheryl; Wells, Sara; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Petit, Christine; Acevedo-Arozena, Abraham; Nolan, Patrick M; Cox, Roger; Mallon, Anne-Marie; Brown, Steve D M

    2016-01-01

    Determining the genetic bases of age-related disease remains a major challenge requiring a spectrum of approaches from human and clinical genetics to the utilization of model organism studies. Here we report a large-scale genetic screen in mice employing a phenotype-driven discovery platform to identify mutations resulting in age-related disease, both late-onset and progressive. We have utilized N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis to generate pedigrees of mutagenized mice that were subject to recurrent screens for mutant phenotypes as the mice aged. In total, we identify 105 distinct mutant lines from 157 pedigrees analysed, out of which 27 are late-onset phenotypes across a range of physiological systems. Using whole-genome sequencing we uncover the underlying genes for 44 of these mutant phenotypes, including 12 late-onset phenotypes. These genes reveal a number of novel pathways involved with age-related disease. We illustrate our findings by the recovery and characterization of a novel mouse model of age-related hearing loss. PMID:27534441

  6. Female rule in lemurs is ancestral and hormonally mediated

    PubMed Central

    Petty, Joseph M. A.; Drea, Christine M.

    2015-01-01

    Female social dominance (FSD) over males is unusual in mammals, yet characterizes most Malagasy lemurs, which represent almost 30% of all primates. Despite its prevalence in this suborder, both the evolutionary trajectory and proximate mechanism of FSD remain unclear. Potentially associated with FSD is a suite of behavioural, physiological and morphological traits in females that implicates (as a putative mechanism) ‘masculinization’ via androgen exposure; however, relative to conspecific males, female lemurs curiously show little evidence of raised androgen concentrations. By observing mixed‐sex pairs of related Eulemur species, we identified two key study groups ‐‐ one comprised of species expressing FSD and increased female scent marking, the other comprised of species (from a recently evolved clade) showing equal status between the sexes and the more traditional pattern of sexually dimorphic behaviour. Comparing females from these two groups, we show that FSD is associated with more masculine androgen profiles. Based on the widespread prevalence of male‐like features in female lemurs and a current phylogeny, we suggest that relaxation of hormonally mediated FSD emerged only recently and that female masculinization may be the ancestral lemur condition, an idea that could revolutionize our understanding of the ancient socioecology and evolution of primate social systems. PMID:25950904

  7. Somatic variation in living, wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2008-01-01

    While understanding somatic variability among wild primates can provide insight into natural patterns of developmental plasticity, published data for living populations are rare. Here we provide such information for two distinct wild populations of Lemur catta. Variants observed include microtia, athelia, and female virilization. Dental variants observed include individuals with supernumerary teeth, rotated teeth, maxillary incisor agenesis, and severe malocclusion. There was a sex bias in incisor agenesis, with 5 of 7 examples (71%) found in males. The frequency of dental variants in our sample is lower than that seen in many other lemuriformes, as well as other primates. This may be a product of their less derived dental formula and/or their relatively fast dental development. Amassing such data is a critical first step to assess if wild primate populations are exhibiting normal variability or are being affected by potential inbreeding and/or environmental effects. PMID:17878733

  8. Mating season aggression and fecal testosterone levels in male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Cavigelli, S A; Pereira, M E

    2000-05-01

    The challenge hypothesis (J. C. Wingfield, R. E. Hegner, B. G. Ball, and A. M. Duffy, 1990, Am. Nat. 136, 829-846) proposes that in birds, reptiles, and fish, "the frequency or intensity of reproductive aggression as an effect of T[estosterone] is strongest in situations of social instability, such as during the formation of dominance relationships, the establishment of territorial boundaries, or challenges by a conspecific male for a territory or access to mates" (p. 833). To determine the extension of this hypothesis to mammalian species, we tested predictions of the hypothesis in a nonpaternal, seasonal breeding, prosimian primate (ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta). Semi-free-ranging males were studied during periods of social stability (premating period) and instability (mating period). The annual mating season consists of several days during which males fight for access to promiscuous group females as each individually becomes sexually receptive for 1 day. Male rates of aggression were compared to fecal testosterone levels within premating and mating periods. In the premating period male rate of aggression was not significantly correlated with testosterone level. By contrast, during the mating season testosterone and aggression levels were positively and significantly correlated. However, on days just preceding estrus, male rate of aggression was not significantly correlated with testosterone, but on days of estrus, when aggressive challenges peaked sharply, testosterone and aggression were highly positively correlated. These results suggest that the challenge hypothesis applies to mammals as well as to birds, reptiles, and fish. In addition, elevations in testosterone were tightly circumscribed around days of estrus, suggesting a compromise between costs and benefits of elevated testosterone levels. PMID:10868488

  9. LEMUR: Large European Module for Solar Ultraviolet Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teriaca, Luca; Vincenzo, Andretta; Auchere, Frederic; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martinez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schuhle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Angstrom and 1270 Angstrom. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution

  10. [Anti-aging studies on the senescence accelerated mouse (SAM) strains].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Ryoya

    2010-01-01

    Senescence accelerated mouse (SAM), a murine model of accelerated senescence, was established by Toshio Takeda and colleagues. SAM consists of series of SAMP (prone) and SAMR (resistant) lines. All SAMP lines (from SAMP1 to SAMP11) are characterized by accelerated accumulation of senile features, earlier onset and faster progress of age-associated pathological phenotypes, such as amyloidosis, impaired immune response, senile osteoporosis and deficits in learning and memory. These SAMP lines are useful for evaluation of putative anti-aging therapies. For example, SAMP1 line is used to study the anti-aging effect of the antioxidant containing foods and various anti-oxidants, such as coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, lycopene. SAMP8 line exhibiting an early onset of impaired learning and memory is often used for test strategies for therapeutic intervention of dementia of early onset. SAMP6 is used as an animal model for developing new strategies for the treatment of osteoporosis in humans. Various lines of SAM (P1, P6, P8, P10 and R1) are now commercially available for research. In this review, I will briefly introduce various usages of SAM in anti-aging research. PMID:20046059

  11. Effects of three food enrichment items on the behavior of black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco) and Ringtail Lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Henson Robinson Zoo, Springfield, Illinois.

    PubMed

    Maloney, Margaret A; Meiers, Susan T; White, Jessica; Romano, Michael A

    2006-01-01

    This study tested 3 food enrichment items mentioned in a laboratory primate newsletter with 6 adult Eulemur macaco and 3 adult Lemur catta to examine whether the items would affect the behavior of the lemurs. The results suggest that Food Enrichment Item 3 (a wire box filled with whole grapes, apples, or both hidden in straw hung from a branch within the enclosure) caused a significant decrease in the incidence of resting and a significant increase in the incidences of playing and grooming, with no significant effect on the incidence of feeding or foraging. The lemurs' behavior appeared to be most affected by the food enrichment item that required the most manipulation, closely followed by an enrichment that required a moderate amount of manipulation. The order of the exposure to the food enrichment items and the day of the week appear to have an attenuation effect on these behaviors and did affect the incidence of 3 stereotypic behaviors exhibited by a male L. catta such that 3 behaviors declined in occurrence as the study progressed.

  12. Comparison of Mouse and Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Gene Expression Profiles: Potential Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Bennis, Anna; Gorgels, Theo G. M. F.; ten Brink, Jacoline B.; van der Spek, Peter J.; Bossers, Koen; Heine, Vivi M.; Bergen, Arthur A.

    2015-01-01

    Background The human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There is currently no effective treatment available. Preclinical studies in AMD mouse models are essential to develop new therapeutics. This requires further in-depth knowledge of the similarities and differences between mouse and human RPE. Methods We performed a microarray study to identify and functionally annotate RPE specific gene expression in mouse and human RPE. We used a meticulous method to determine C57BL/6J mouse RPE signature genes, correcting for possible RNA contamination from its adjacent layers: the choroid and the photoreceptors. We compared the signature genes, gene expression profiles and functional annotations of the mouse and human RPE. Results We defined sets of mouse (64), human (171) and mouse–human interspecies (22) RPE signature genes. Not unexpectedly, our gene expression analysis and comparative functional annotation suggested that, in general, the mouse and human RPE are very similar. For example, we found similarities for general features, like “organ development” and “disorders related to neurological tissue”. However, detailed analysis of the molecular pathways and networks associated with RPE functions, suggested also multiple species-specific differences, some of which may be relevant for the development of AMD. For example, CFHR1, most likely the main complement regulator in AMD pathogenesis was highly expressed in human RPE, but almost absent in mouse RPE. Furthermore, functions assigned to mouse and human RPE expression profiles indicate (patho-) biological differences related to AMD, such as oxidative stress, Bruch’s membrane, immune-regulation and outer blood retina barrier. Conclusion These differences may be important for the development of new therapeutic strategies and translational studies in age-related macular

  13. Thoracic Limb Morphology of the Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Evidenced by Gross Osteology and Radiography.

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2015-08-01

    There is limited information available on the morphology of the thoracic limb of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). This study describes the morphology of the thoracic limb of captive ring-tailed lemurs evidenced by gross osteology and radiography as a guide for clinical use. Radiographic findings of 12 captive ring-tailed lemurs are correlated with bone specimens of three adult animals. The clavicle is well developed. The scapula has a large area for the origin of the m. teres major. The coracoid and hamate processes are well developed. The lateral supracondylar crest and medial epicondyle are prominent. The metacarpal bones are widely spread, and the radial tuberosity is prominent. These features indicate the presence of strong flexor muscles and flexibility of thoracic limb joints, which are important in arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. Furthermore, an ovoid ossicle is always seen at the inter-phalangeal joint of the first digit. Areas of increased soft tissue opacity are superimposed over the proximal half of the humerus and distal half of the antebrachium in male animals as a result of the scent gland. Knowledge of the morphology of the thoracic limb of individual species is important for accurate interpretation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases. PMID:25105809

  14. Echinococcus multilocularis infection of a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and a nutria (Myocastor coypus) in a French zoo.

    PubMed

    Umhang, Gérald; Lahoreau, Jennifer; Nicolier, Alexandra; Boué, Franck

    2013-12-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm responsible in its larval stage for alveolar echinococcosis, a disease which is lethal when left untreated. Multivesiculated parasitic lesions in the liver were diagnosed at necropsy in a captive-born nutria (Myocastor coypus) and in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) which had been in a French zoo for 16months. Molecular analyses confirmed the diagnosis of E. multilocularis obtained by histological analyses. These were the first cases of infection by E. multilocularis reported in lemurs in Europe, and the first case in nutria in European enclosures. Lemurs are confirmed to be particularly sensitive to E. multilocularis with a massive infection. In both cases, the infection appears to have been contracted in the zoo indirectly via environmental contamination by feces from roaming foxes. Due to the large endemic area for E. multilocularis, the increasing prevalence in foxes in France, and an increase in awareness of the disease, other cases of infection in captive animals will probably be recorded in France in the coming years. PMID:23994606

  15. Echinococcus multilocularis infection of a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and a nutria (Myocastor coypus) in a French zoo.

    PubMed

    Umhang, Gérald; Lahoreau, Jennifer; Nicolier, Alexandra; Boué, Franck

    2013-12-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm responsible in its larval stage for alveolar echinococcosis, a disease which is lethal when left untreated. Multivesiculated parasitic lesions in the liver were diagnosed at necropsy in a captive-born nutria (Myocastor coypus) and in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) which had been in a French zoo for 16months. Molecular analyses confirmed the diagnosis of E. multilocularis obtained by histological analyses. These were the first cases of infection by E. multilocularis reported in lemurs in Europe, and the first case in nutria in European enclosures. Lemurs are confirmed to be particularly sensitive to E. multilocularis with a massive infection. In both cases, the infection appears to have been contracted in the zoo indirectly via environmental contamination by feces from roaming foxes. Due to the large endemic area for E. multilocularis, the increasing prevalence in foxes in France, and an increase in awareness of the disease, other cases of infection in captive animals will probably be recorded in France in the coming years.

  16. Biomedical evaluation of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in three habitats at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Miller, David S; Sauther, Michelle L; Hunter-Ishikawa, Mandala; Fish, Krista; Culbertson, Heather; Cuozzo, P Frank; Campbell, Terry W; Andrews, Gordon A; Chavey, Patricia Sue; Nachreiner, Raymond; Rumbeiha, Wilson; Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, Maria; Lappin, Michael R

    2007-06-01

    Complete physical examinations and biomedical sample collection were performed on 70 free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from three different habitats in the Beza Mahfaly Special Reserve (BMSR), in southern Madagascar, to assess the impact of humans and habitat on lemur health. Lemurs were chemically immobilized with ketamine and diazepam administered via blow darts for concurrent biomedical, morphometric, and behavioral studies. Subsets of the animals had blood analyzed for hematology, serum chemistry, micronutrients, fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, and E), measures of iron metabolism, and polymerase chain reaction assays (PCR) for Toxoplasma gondii, Hemoplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Neorickettsia risticii. Results were compared on the basis of gender and the habitats at the study site: reserve (intact gallery forest), degraded (human inhabited and altered), and marginal (dry didieracea forest with heavy grazing and tree cutting). Levels of vitamin D, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and measures of iron metabolism for BMSR lemurs were greater than those previously reported for a free-ranging lemur population (Tsimanampetsotsa Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar) with less access to foods of anthropogenic origin. BMSR ring-tailed lemurs from a habitat with less water (marginal) had higher sodium (P = 0.051), chloride (P = 0.045), osmolality (P = 0.010), and amylase (P = 0.05) levels than lemurs from other BMSR habitats, suggesting that these lemurs were less hydrated. Vitamin D levels of male lemurs were higher (P = 0.011) than those of females at BMSR, possibly because of differences in sunning behavior or differential selection of food items. The biological significance is uncertain for other parameters with statistically significant differences. All samples tested (n = 20) were negative for the pathogens tested using PCR assays. Continued concurrent biomedical and ecological research is needed at BMSR

  17. Biomedical evaluation of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in three habitats at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Miller, David S; Sauther, Michelle L; Hunter-Ishikawa, Mandala; Fish, Krista; Culbertson, Heather; Cuozzo, P Frank; Campbell, Terry W; Andrews, Gordon A; Chavey, Patricia Sue; Nachreiner, Raymond; Rumbeiha, Wilson; Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, Maria; Lappin, Michael R

    2007-06-01

    Complete physical examinations and biomedical sample collection were performed on 70 free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from three different habitats in the Beza Mahfaly Special Reserve (BMSR), in southern Madagascar, to assess the impact of humans and habitat on lemur health. Lemurs were chemically immobilized with ketamine and diazepam administered via blow darts for concurrent biomedical, morphometric, and behavioral studies. Subsets of the animals had blood analyzed for hematology, serum chemistry, micronutrients, fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, and E), measures of iron metabolism, and polymerase chain reaction assays (PCR) for Toxoplasma gondii, Hemoplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Neorickettsia risticii. Results were compared on the basis of gender and the habitats at the study site: reserve (intact gallery forest), degraded (human inhabited and altered), and marginal (dry didieracea forest with heavy grazing and tree cutting). Levels of vitamin D, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and measures of iron metabolism for BMSR lemurs were greater than those previously reported for a free-ranging lemur population (Tsimanampetsotsa Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar) with less access to foods of anthropogenic origin. BMSR ring-tailed lemurs from a habitat with less water (marginal) had higher sodium (P = 0.051), chloride (P = 0.045), osmolality (P = 0.010), and amylase (P = 0.05) levels than lemurs from other BMSR habitats, suggesting that these lemurs were less hydrated. Vitamin D levels of male lemurs were higher (P = 0.011) than those of females at BMSR, possibly because of differences in sunning behavior or differential selection of food items. The biological significance is uncertain for other parameters with statistically significant differences. All samples tested (n = 20) were negative for the pathogens tested using PCR assays. Continued concurrent biomedical and ecological research is needed at BMSR

  18. Age-related subproteomic analysis of mouse liver and kidney peroxisomes

    PubMed Central

    Mi, Jia; Garcia-Arcos, Itsaso; Alvarez, Ruben; Cristobal, Susana

    2007-01-01

    Background Despite major recent advances in the understanding of peroxisomal functions and how peroxisomes arise, only scant information is available regarding this organelle in cellular aging. The aim of this study was to characterize the changes in the protein expression profile of aged versus young liver and kidney peroxisome-enriched fractions from mouse and to suggest possible mechanisms underlying peroxisomal aging. Peroxisome-enriched fractions from 10 weeks, 18 months and 24 months C57bl/6J mice were analyzed by quantitative proteomics. Results Peroxisomal proteins were enriched by differential and density gradient centrifugation and proteins were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), quantified and identified by mass spectrometry (MS). In total, sixty-five proteins were identified in both tissues. Among them, 14 proteins were differentially expressed in liver and 21 proteins in kidney. The eight proteins differentially expressed in both tissues were involved in β-oxidation, α-oxidation, isoprenoid biosynthesis, amino acid metabolism, and stress response. Quantitative proteomics, clustering methods, and prediction of transcription factors, all indicated that there is a decline in protein expression at 18 months and a recovery at 24 months. Conclusion These results indicate that some peroxisomal proteins show a tissue-specific functional response to aging. This response is probably dependent on their differential regeneration capacity. The differentially expressed proteins could lead several cellular effects: such as alteration of fatty acid metabolism that could alert membrane protein functions, increase of the oxidative stress and contribute to decline in bile salt synthesis. The ability to detect age-related variations in the peroxisomal proteome can help in the search for reliable and valid aging biomarkers. PMID:18042274

  19. Interspecific Semantic Alarm Call Recognition in the Solitary Sahamalaza Sportive Lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis

    PubMed Central

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W.

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This “eavesdropping” was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species’ and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  20. A 12-month survey of gastrointestinal helminth infections of lemurs kept in two zoos in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Junge, Randall E

    2010-12-01

    Infections with gastrointestinal parasites may be a major threat to lemurs kept in captivity, as they are a common cause of diarrhea. In this study, fecal egg count patterns and clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal nematodes were assessed for 12 mo in 40 lemurs kept under different husbandry and climatic conditions at two sites in Madagascar. Involved species were black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), eastern grey bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur griseus), greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus), red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer), common brown lemurs (Eulemurfulvus), crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus), and Sclater's black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons). At site 1 (Tsimbazaza Zoological Park), lemurs were kept in small enclosures with daily cleaning of the cement soiling and without routine anthelmintic program, whereas at site 2 (Ivoloina Zoological Park), lemurs received routine anthelmintic prophylaxis and were housed in small enclosure with daily cleaning of sandy soil enclosures. A total of five genera of nematode eggs from the orders Strongylida, Oxyurida, and Enoplida were recovered and identified from 198 out of 240 samples (83%) at site 1 and 79% (189 out of 240) at site 2 with the use of a modified McMaster technique. Significant differences were found for parasites from the order Strongylida between the two sites. The differences may be due to climate conditions and the presumed life cycle of these parasites. No significant differences were found for parasites from the other orders. No significant differences were noted between sexes or between seasons. No clinical signs of parasitic gastroenteritis were seen in either lemur collection.

  1. Lithium prevents parkinsonian behavioral and striatal phenotypes in an aged parkin mutant transgenic mouse model.

    PubMed

    Lieu, Christopher A; Dewey, Colleen M; Chinta, Shankar J; Rane, Anand; Rajagopalan, Subramanian; Batir, Sean; Kim, Yong-Hwan; Andersen, Julie K

    2014-12-01

    Lithium has long been used as a treatment for the psychiatric disease bipolar disorder. However, previous studies suggest that lithium provides neuroprotective effects in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease. The exact mechanism by which lithium exerts these effects still remains unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of low-dose lithium treatment in an aged mouse model expressing a parkin mutation within dopaminergic neurons. We found that low-dose lithium treatment prevented motor impairment as demonstrated by the open field test, pole test, and rearing behavior. Furthermore, lithium prevented dopaminergic striatal degeneration in parkin animals. We also found that parkin-induced striatal astrogliosis and microglial activation were prevented by lithium treatment. Our results further corroborate the use of this parkin mutant transgenic mouse line as a model for PD for testing novel therapeutics. The findings of the present study also provide further validation that lithium could be re-purposed as a therapy for PD and suggest that anti-inflammatory effects may contribute to its neuroprotective mechanisms.

  2. Cyclophilin D deficiency improves mitochondrial function and learning/memory in aging Alzheimer disease mouse model.

    PubMed

    Du, Heng; Guo, Lan; Zhang, Wensheng; Rydzewska, Monika; Yan, Shidu

    2011-03-01

    Mitochondrial stress is one of the early features of Alzheimer disease (AD). Mitochondrial Aβ has been linked to mitochondrial toxicity. Our recent study demonstrated that cyclophilin D (CypD) mediated mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is an important mechanism for neuronal and synaptic stress induced by both Aβ and oxidative stress. In transgenic AD-type mice overexpressing mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Aβ (mAPP), CypD deficiency improves mitochondrial and synaptic function and learning/memory up to 12 months old. Here we provide evidence of the protective effects of CypD deficiency in aged AD mice (22-24 months). Cyp D deficient mAPP mice demonstrate less calcium-induced mitochondrial swelling, increased mitochondrial calcium uptake capacity, preserved mitochondrial respiratory function and improved spatial learning/memory even in old age (known to be the age for late stage AD pathology and synaptic dysfunction). These data demonstrate that abrogation of CypD results in persistent life-long protection against Aβ toxicity in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model, thereby suggesting that blockade of CypD may be of benefit for Alzheimer disease treatment.

  3. Apoptosis-related genes change their expression with age and hearing loss in the mouse cochlea.

    PubMed

    Tadros, Sherif F; D'Souza, Mary; Zhu, Xiaoxia; Frisina, Robert D

    2008-11-01

    To understand possible causative roles of apoptosis gene regulation in age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), apoptotic gene expression patterns in the CBA mouse cochlea of four different age and hearing loss groups were compared, using GeneChip and real-time (qPCR) microarrays. GeneChip transcriptional expression patterns of 318 apoptosis-related genes were analyzed. Thirty eight probes (35 genes) showed significant differences in expression. The significant gene families include Caspases, B-cell leukemia/lymphoma2 family, P53, Calpains, Mitogen activated protein kinase family, Jun oncogene, Nuclear factor of kappa light chain gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor-related and tumor necrosis factor-related genes. The GeneChip results of 31 genes were validated using the new TaqMan Low Density Array (TLDA). Eight genes showed highly correlated results with the GeneChip data. These genes are: activating transcription factor3, B-cell leukemia/lymphoma2, Bcl2-like1, caspase4 apoptosis-related cysteine protease 4, Calpain2, dual specificity phosphatase9, tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member12a, and Tumor necrosis factor superfamily member13b, suggesting they may play critical roles in inner ear aging.

  4. Glutathione Depletion and Recovery After Acute Ethanol Administration in the Aging Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Vogt, Barbara L.; Richie, John P.

    2007-01-01

    Glutathione (GSH) plays an important role in the detoxification of ethanol (EtOH) and acute EtOH administration leads to GSH depletion in the liver and other tissues. Aging is also associated with a progressive decline in GSH levels and impairment in GSH biosynthesis in many tissues. Thus, the present study was designed to examine the effects of aging on EtOH-induced depletion and recovery of GSH in different tissues of the C57Bl/6NNIA mouse. EtOH (2-5 g/kg) or saline was administered i.p. to mice of ages 6 mo (young), 12 mo (mature), and 24 mo (old); and GSH and cyst(e)ine concentrations were measured 0-24 hours thereafter. EtOH administration (5g/kg) depleted hepatic GSH levels >50% by 6 hr in all animals. By 24 hr, levels remained low in both young and old mice, but recovered to baseline levels in mature mice. At 6 hr, the decrease in hepatic GSH was dose-dependent up to 3 g/kg EtOH, but not at higher doses. The extent of depletion at the 3 g/kg dose was dependent upon age, with old mice demonstrating significantly lower GSH levels than mature mice (P<0.001). Altogether these results indicate that aging was associated with a greater degree of EtOH and fasting-induced GSH depletion and subsequent impaired recovery in liver. An impaired ability to recover was also observed in young animals. Further studies are required to determine if an inability to recover from GSH depletion by EtOH is associated with enhanced toxicity. PMID:17343832

  5. Proteomic analyses of age related changes in A.BY/SnJ mouse hearts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A.BY/SnJ mice are used to study pathological alterations in the heart due to enteroviral infections. Since age is a well-known factor influencing the susceptibility of mice to infection, response to stress and manifestation of cardiovascular diseases, the myocardial proteome of A.BY/SnJ mice aged 1 and 4 months was comparatively studied using two dimensional-differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Results Complementary analyses by 2D-DIGE and gel-free LC-MS/MS revealed 96 distinct proteins displaying age associated alterations in their levels. Proteins related to protein transport, and transport chain, lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport showed significant changes in 4 months old mouse hearts compared to juvenile hearts. Proteins involved in lipid metabolism and transport were identified at significantly higher levels in older mice and dysregulation of proteins of the respiratory transport chain were observed. Conclusion The current proteomics study discloses age dependent changes occurring in the hearts already in young mice of the strain A.BY/SnJ. Besides alterations in protein transport, we provide evidence that a decrease of ATP synthase in murine hearts starts already in the first months of life, leading to well-known low expression levels manifested in old mice thereby raising the possibility of reduced energy supply. In the first few months of murine life this seems to be compensated by an increased lipid metabolism. The functional alterations described should be considered during experimental setups in disease related studies. PMID:23816347

  6. Adverse Geriatric Outcomes Secondary to Polypharmacy in a Mouse Model: The Influence of Aging.

    PubMed

    Huizer-Pajkos, Aniko; Kane, Alice E; Howlett, Susan E; Mach, John; Mitchell, Sarah J; de Cabo, Rafael; Le Couteur, David G; Hilmer, Sarah N

    2016-05-01

    We aimed to develop a mouse model of polypharmacy, primarily to establish whether short-term exposure to polypharmacy causes adverse geriatric outcomes. We also investigated whether old age increased susceptibility to any adverse geriatric outcomes of polypharmacy. Young (n= 10) and old (n= 21) male C57BL/6 mice were administered control diet or polypharmacy diet containing therapeutic doses of five commonly used medicines (simvastatin, metoprolol, omeprazole, acetaminophen, and citalopram). Mice were assessed before and after the 2- to 4-week intervention. Over the intervention period, we observed no mortality and no change in food intake, body weight, or serum biochemistry in any age or treatment group. In old mice, polypharmacy caused significant declines in locomotor activity (pre minus postintervention values in control 2 ± 13 counts, polypharmacy 32 ± 7 counts,p< .05) and front paw wire holding impulse (control -2.45 ± 1.02 N s, polypharmacy +1.99 ± 1.19 N s,p< .05), loss of improvement in rotarod latency (control -59 ± 11 s, polypharmacy -1.7 ± 17 s,p< .05), and lowered blood pressure (control -0.2 ± 3 mmHg, polypharmacy 11 ± 4 mmHg,p< .05). In young mice, changes in outcomes over the intervention period did not differ between control and polypharmacy groups. This novel model of polypharmacy is feasible. Even short-term polypharmacy impairs mobility, balance, and strength in old male mice. PMID:25940962

  7. [Proteoglycan in Bruch's membrane of senescence accelerated mouse: localization and age-related changes].

    PubMed

    Takada, Y; Ohkuma, H; Ogata, N; Matsushima, M; Sugasawa, K; Uyama, M

    1994-05-01

    We demonstrated the distribution of sulfated proteoglycans in Bruch's membrane of Senescence Accelerated Mouse histochemically and ultrastructurally using cuprolinic blue in conjunction with specific enzyme treatments and nitrous acid digestion. Two kinds of proteoglycan filaments were observed in the inner and outer collagenous layers, i.e., small collagen fibril-associated filaments (11 nm in average length), and large filaments (32 nm in average length). Intermediate size filaments (25 nm in average length) were seen in the basement membranes of the retinal pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris. Chondroitinase AC treatment eliminated the staining of filaments in the collagenous layers (chondroitin sulfate). Chondroitinase ABC treatment also eliminated the staining of filaments in the collagenous layers (chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate). Nitrous acid eliminated the staining of filaments in both basement membranes (heparan sulfate). Proteoglycans containing chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate were associated uniquely with collagen fibrils. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans were associated with the basement membranes of the pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris. With aging, the thickness of the basement membrane of the choriocapillaris and the staining of the filaments in the basement membranes of the pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris (heparan sulfate proteoglycans) increased. Collagen fibers became disarranged and the staining of both filaments in the collagenous layers decreased. The results of the staining characteristics probably reflect the aging of Bruch's membrane.

  8. Population ecology of the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, and the white sifaka, Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi, at Berenty, Madagascar, 1981.

    PubMed

    Howarth, C J; Wilson, J M; Adamson, A P; Wilson, M E; Boase, M J

    1986-01-01

    The diurnal lemurs Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi and Lemur catta at Berenty in southern Madagascar, have been studied for the last 30 years. The August 1981 census indicates that the population size of L. catta remains stable at 150 adults but that P. v. verreauxi troops have become fragmented and scattered and the population is apparently increasing. Eight different vegetation types were classified within the reserve and their influence on the distribution of L. catta and P. v. verreauxi investigated. Behavioural data obtained shows the niche separation between these two, potentially competitive, sympatric lemurs. PMID:3557229

  9. Coprophagy by wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in human-disturbed locations adjacent to the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Fish, Krista D; Sauther, Michelle L; Loudon, James E; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-06-01

    Coprophagy occurs in a number of animal species, including nonhuman primates. During the 2003-2004 dry seasons at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, we observed wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) consuming dried fecal matter from three different species. Ring-tailed lemurs consumed human feces on 12 occasions, cattle feces twice, and feral dog feces once. Coprophagy in this population may be a behavioral adaptation that provides animals access to energy and nutrients and may be an important nutritional source for older, and/or dentally impaired individuals during the dry season. PMID:17253614

  10. Coprophagy by wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in human-disturbed locations adjacent to the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Fish, Krista D; Sauther, Michelle L; Loudon, James E; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-06-01

    Coprophagy occurs in a number of animal species, including nonhuman primates. During the 2003-2004 dry seasons at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, we observed wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) consuming dried fecal matter from three different species. Ring-tailed lemurs consumed human feces on 12 occasions, cattle feces twice, and feral dog feces once. Coprophagy in this population may be a behavioral adaptation that provides animals access to energy and nutrients and may be an important nutritional source for older, and/or dentally impaired individuals during the dry season.

  11. Lemur behaviour informs the evolution of social monogamy.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-11-01

    Recent comparative analyses reached contradictory conclusions about the evolutionary origins of social monogamy in primates and other mammals, but they ignored variation in social bond quality between pair-partners. Recent field studies of Malagasy primates (lemurs) with variable intersexual bonds indicate independent evolutionary transitions to pair-living from solitary and group-living ancestors, respectively, as well as four cumulative steps in evolutionary transitions from a solitary life style to pair-living that resolve some contradictory results of previous studies.

  12. Scent marking as resource defense by female Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S

    2006-06-01

    Because ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are a female-dominant, female-philopatric species in which the females provide the majority of parental care and troop defense, resource defense is a possible function of female lemur scent marking. To test this hypothesis, I conducted three studies. First, I presented captive, individually housed females with a series of samples of female scent, each from a different female, to determine whether they would respond to those samples and discriminate between them. Second, I reanalyzed data from a focal animal study of four females in two adjacent troops in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar, to determine female marking rates before, during, and after the mating season, and to clarify the relationship among positions of feeding, intertroop defense, and scent marking. The third study was based on ad libitum observations of the sniffing and marking behavior of a troop in Berenty Reserve during a year when they traveled far out of their home range. The females in study 1 investigated female scent samples but provided no evidence that they discriminated between them. In study 2 the wild females marked throughout the study and did not limit their marking to the mating season. They deposited significantly more of their marks in a zone of confrontation with adjacent troops, where they also did the majority of their feeding, and they increased their rate of marking during agonistic intertroop confrontations. The females determined the positions of their scent marks and deposited the first mark in the majority of countermarking sequences. When the females traveled out of their defended range in study 3, they significantly decreased their rate of marking and increased their rate of sniffing spots but not marking them. All evidence gathered so far supports the hypothesis that one function of female ring-tailed lemur scent marking is to provide intergroup information that is then used to reinforce the border of the defended resource.

  13. Scent marking as resource defense by female Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S

    2006-06-01

    Because ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are a female-dominant, female-philopatric species in which the females provide the majority of parental care and troop defense, resource defense is a possible function of female lemur scent marking. To test this hypothesis, I conducted three studies. First, I presented captive, individually housed females with a series of samples of female scent, each from a different female, to determine whether they would respond to those samples and discriminate between them. Second, I reanalyzed data from a focal animal study of four females in two adjacent troops in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar, to determine female marking rates before, during, and after the mating season, and to clarify the relationship among positions of feeding, intertroop defense, and scent marking. The third study was based on ad libitum observations of the sniffing and marking behavior of a troop in Berenty Reserve during a year when they traveled far out of their home range. The females in study 1 investigated female scent samples but provided no evidence that they discriminated between them. In study 2 the wild females marked throughout the study and did not limit their marking to the mating season. They deposited significantly more of their marks in a zone of confrontation with adjacent troops, where they also did the majority of their feeding, and they increased their rate of marking during agonistic intertroop confrontations. The females determined the positions of their scent marks and deposited the first mark in the majority of countermarking sequences. When the females traveled out of their defended range in study 3, they significantly decreased their rate of marking and increased their rate of sniffing spots but not marking them. All evidence gathered so far supports the hypothesis that one function of female ring-tailed lemur scent marking is to provide intergroup information that is then used to reinforce the border of the defended resource. PMID

  14. Age and temperature related changes in behavioral and physiological performance in the Peromyscus leucopus mouse.

    PubMed

    Duffy, P H; Feuers, R J; Pipkin, J L; Turturro, A; Hart, R W

    1997-04-01

    Age-related and ambient temperature-related changes in motor activity, body temperature, body weight (b.w.), and food consumption were studied in the long-lived Peromyscus leucopus mouse at environmental temperatures of 29 and 21 degrees C. Major changes in physiological performance were observed between the young (6 months) and old (60-72 month) age groups. The number of daily activity episodes, and total activity output was significantly lower in old mice. Maximum, average and minimum daily body temperature was lower in the old mice and a significant ambient temperature-by-age interaction was found. Maximum, minimum, and average daily b.w. was higher in old mice. Motor activity was evenly distributed over the active (night) phase in young mice but in old mice activity was significantly greater in the late night partition of the active cycle than in the early night partition. Both groups were significantly more active at night than during the day. Most of the food consumption in both groups occurred at night, but young mice consumed significantly more during the late night partition than the early night partition, and the consumption rates for old mice were not significantly different between early and late night partitions. The percentage of activity episodes involved with food consumption in both groups was significantly higher during the night partition, but the percentage during the early night partition was significantly higher in old mice than in young mice. Significant episodes of circadian torpor occurred in a high percentage of old mice at 06:00, on consecutive days, at both environmental temperatures, but young mice expressed no evidence of torpor.

  15. Divergent Aging Characteristics in CBA/J and CBA/CaJ Mouse Cochleae

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Ashley R.; Gagnon, Patricia M.

    2010-01-01

    Two inbred mouse strains, CBA/J and CBA/CaJ, have been used nearly interchangeably as ‘good hearing’ standards for research in hearing and deafness. We recently reported, however, that these two strains diverge after 1 year of age, such that CBA/CaJ mice show more rapid elevation of compound action potential (CAP) thresholds at high frequencies (Ohlemiller, Brain Res. 1277: 70–83, 2009). One contributor is progressive decline in endocochlear potential (EP) that appears only in CBA/CaJ. Here, we explore the cellular bases of threshold and EP disparities in old CBA/J and CBA/CaJ mice. Among the major findings, both strains exhibit a characteristic age (∼18 months in CBA/J and 24 months in CBA/CaJ) when females overtake males in sensitivity decline. Strain differences in progression of hearing loss are not due to greater hair cell loss in CBA/CaJ, but instead appear to reflect greater neuronal loss, plus more pronounced changes in the lateral wall, leading to EP decline. While both male and female CBA/CaJ show these pathologies, they are more pronounced in females. A novel feature that differed sharply by strain was moderate loss of outer sulcus cells (or ‘root’ cells) in spiral ligament of the upper basal turn in old CBA/CaJ mice, giving rise to deep indentations and void spaces in the ligament. We conclude that CBA/CaJ mice differ both quantitatively and qualitatively from CBA/J in age-related cochlear pathology, and model different types of presbycusis. PMID:20706857

  16. Androgen levels and female social dominance in Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    von Engelhardt, N; Kappeler, P M; Heistermann, M

    2000-08-01

    Morphological and behavioural traits which improve agonistic power are subject to intrasexual selection and, at the proximate level, are influenced by circulating androgens. Because intrasexual selection in mammals is more intense among males, they typically dominate females. Female social dominance is therefore unexpected and, indeed, rare. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are sexually monomorphic primates in which all adult females dominate all males. The goal of our study was to test the prediction that female dominance in this species is associated with high androgen levels. Using two captive groups, we collected data on agonistic behaviour and non-invasively assessed their androgen concentrations in faeces and saliva by enzyme immunoassay. We found that adult female L. catta do not have higher androgen levels than males. However, during the mating season there was a twofold increase in both the androgen levels and conflict rates among females. This seasonal increase in their androgen levels was probably not due to a general increase in ovarian hormone production because those females showing the strongest signs of follicular development tended to have low androgen concentrations. At the individual level neither the individual aggression rates nor the proportion of same-sexed individuals dominated were correlated with their androgen levels. We conclude that female dominance in ring-tailed lemurs is neither based on physical superiority nor on high androgen levels and that it is equally important to study male subordination and prenatal brain priming effects for a complete understanding of this phenomenon. PMID:11007329

  17. DNA from extinct giant lemurs links archaeolemurids to extant indriids

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Although today 15% of living primates are endemic to Madagascar, their diversity was even greater in the recent past since dozens of extinct species have been recovered from Holocene excavation sites. Among them were the so-called "giant lemurs" some of which weighed up to 160 kg. Although extensively studied, the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant lemurs are still difficult to decipher, mainly due to morphological specializations that reflect ecology more than phylogeny, resulting in rampant homoplasy. Results Ancient DNA recovered from subfossils recently supported a sister relationship between giant "sloth" lemurs and extant indriids and helped to revise the phylogenetic position of Megaladapis edwardsi among lemuriformes, but several taxa – such as the Archaeolemuridae – still await analysis. We therefore used ancient DNA technology to address the phylogenetic status of the two archaeolemurid genera (Archaeolemur and Hadropithecus). Despite poor DNA preservation conditions in subtropical environments, we managed to recover 94- to 539-bp sequences for two mitochondrial genes among 5 subfossil samples. Conclusion This new sequence information provides evidence for the proximity of Archaeolemur and Hadropithecus to extant indriids, in agreement with earlier assessments of their taxonomic status (Primates, Indrioidea) and in contrast to recent suggestions of a closer relationship to the Lemuridae made on the basis of analyses of dental developmental and postcranial characters. These data provide new insights into the evolution of the locomotor apparatus among lemurids and indriids. PMID:18442367

  18. Evidence of early butchery of giant lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perez, Ventura R; Godfrey, Laurie R; Nowak-Kemp, Malgosia; Burney, David A; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Vasey, Natalia

    2005-12-01

    We report here definitive evidence of butchery, most probably associated with hunting, of giant extinct lemurs by early human settlers in Madagascar. Specimens of Palaeopropithecus ingens and Pachylemur insignis from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Taolambiby and Tsirave, show classic signs of butchering. We compared these to the bones (also from Taolambiby) of butchered Propithecus verreauxi, a lemur still living in the region. The characteristics of the tool-induced extinct-lemur bone alterations (sharp cuts and chop marks near joints, oblique cuts along the shafts, spiral fractures, and percussion striae) suggest skinning, disarticulation, and filleting. Conclusive evidence of megafaunal modification by humans in Madagascar was limited previously to a few hippo and elephant bird bones and one extinct aye-aye tooth. New evidence comes not from archaeological sites, but from specimens collected in the early 1900s, without stratigraphic records, at "subfossil" sites (i.e., sites renowned for their late Pleistocene or Holocene fossils, often lacking human artifacts). Whereas these are hardly the most ideal samples for analysis of this kind, careful scrutiny of the characteristics of the cut marks has allowed us to document butchery beyond any reasonable doubt. One bone with definitive cut marks has been dated to the very earliest part of the human period in Madagascar. Continued, careful research on the bones in subfossil collections is warranted. PMID:16225904

  19. On the function of redfronted lemur's close calls.

    PubMed

    Pflüger, Femke J; Fichtel, Claudia

    2012-09-01

    In order to maintain group cohesion, many social mammals and birds regularly produce close calls. In some primate species, close calls appear to have a dual function: calls addressed at a broad class of targets serve to maintain group cohesion, whereas the same calls directed at a specific target serve to regulate subsequent social interactions. Redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) produce different types of close calls: grunts, long grunts, hoos and meows. In order to study the function of these calls, we conducted focal observations and vocal recordings from eight adult males and females out of four social groups in Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. Redfronted lemurs produce long grunts, hoos and meows at relatively low rates during foraging, resting or group movements, respectively. Grunts were given most often and more or less constantly during foraging and traveling. Calling rate increased when the risk of separation increased and may thus promote group cohesion. Grunts given during approaches of other group members resulted more often in friendly interactions than approaches that were not accompanied by a grunt. Thus, redfronted lemurs produce specific but also generic contact calls, whereas the latter calls have a dual function that varies depending on the addressed audience: they act as an auditory beacon to maintain group cohesion and serve as signals of benign intent to avoid costly conflicts and facilitating social interactions.

  20. Blood transcriptomes reveal novel parasitic zoonoses circulating in Madagascar's lemurs.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Peter A; Hayes, Corinne E; Williams, Cathy V; Junge, Randall E; Razafindramanana, Josia; Mass, Vanessa; Rakotondrainibe, Hajanirina; Yoder, Anne D

    2016-01-01

    Zoonotic diseases are a looming threat to global populations, and nearly 75% of emerging infectious diseases can spread among wildlife, domestic animals and humans. A 'One World, One Health' perspective offers us an ideal framework for understanding and potentially mitigating the spread of zoonoses, and the island of Madagascar serves as a natural laboratory for conducting these studies. Rapid habitat degradation and climate change on the island are contributing to more frequent contact among humans, livestock and wildlife, increasing the potential for pathogen spillover events. Given Madagascar's long geographical isolation, coupled with recent and repeated introduction of agricultural and invasive species, it is likely that a number of circulating pathogens remain uncharacterized in lemur populations. Thus, it is imperative that new approaches be implemented for de novo pathogen discovery. To this end, we used non-targeted deep sequencing of blood transcriptomes from two species of critically endangered wild lemurs (Indri indri and Propithecus diadema) to characterize blood-borne pathogens. Our results show several undescribed vector-borne parasites circulating within lemurs, some of which may cause disease in wildlife, livestock and humans. We anticipate that advanced methods for de novo identification of unknown pathogens will have broad utility for characterizing other complex disease transmission systems. PMID:26814226

  1. Auditory sensitivity and the outer hair cell system in the CBA mouse model of age-related hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Frisina, Robert D; Zhu, Xiaoxia

    2010-06-01

    Age-related hearing loss is a highly prevalent sensory disorder, from both the clinical and animal model perspectives. Understanding of the neurophysiologic, structural, and molecular biologic bases of age-related hearing loss will facilitate development of biomedical therapeutic interventions to prevent, slow, or reverse its progression. Thus, increased understanding of relationships between aging of the cochlear (auditory portion of the inner ear) hair cell system and decline in overall hearing ability is necessary. The goal of the present investigation was to test the hypothesis that there would be correlations between physiologic measures of outer hair cell function (otoacoustic emission levels) and hearing sensitivity (auditory brainstem response thresholds), starting in middle age. For the CBA mouse, a useful animal model of age-related hearing loss, it was found that correlations between these two hearing measures occurred only for high sound frequencies in middle age. However, in old age, a correlation was observed across the entire mouse range of hearing. These findings have implications for improved early detection of progression of age-related hearing loss in middle-aged mammals, including mice and humans, and distinguishing peripheral etiologies from central auditory system decline.

  2. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  3. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area. PMID:27010275

  4. Mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infections in the captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), China.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Zhao, Bo; Yang, Guang-You; Wang, Qiang; Niu, Li-Li; Deng, Jia-Bo; Gu, Xiao-Bin; Wang, Shu-Xian

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infection in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Ten (L. catta) from the Chengdu Zoological Garden in China, which were naturally infected with H. nana, were treated with mebendazole (10 mg/kg for 5 days). A posttreatment fecal examination was conducted 10 and 20 days after the start of treatment. All treatments resulted in a decrease in the number of eggs per gram in the posttreatment sample compared with the pretreatment sample. Reduction of mean egg count was 97.6% and 100% on days 10 and 20, respectively. The results indicated that mebendazole has marked efficacy against H. nana infections in L. catta.

  5. Mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infections in the captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), China.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Zhao, Bo; Yang, Guang-You; Wang, Qiang; Niu, Li-Li; Deng, Jia-Bo; Gu, Xiao-Bin; Wang, Shu-Xian

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infection in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Ten (L. catta) from the Chengdu Zoological Garden in China, which were naturally infected with H. nana, were treated with mebendazole (10 mg/kg for 5 days). A posttreatment fecal examination was conducted 10 and 20 days after the start of treatment. All treatments resulted in a decrease in the number of eggs per gram in the posttreatment sample compared with the pretreatment sample. Reduction of mean egg count was 97.6% and 100% on days 10 and 20, respectively. The results indicated that mebendazole has marked efficacy against H. nana infections in L. catta. PMID:22327317

  6. Controlled induction of DNA double-strand breaks in the mouse liver induces features of tissue ageing

    PubMed Central

    White, Ryan R.; Milholland, Brandon; de Bruin, Alain; Curran, Samuel; Laberge, Remi-Martin; van Steeg, Harry; Campisi, Judith; Maslov, Alexander Y.; Vijg, Jan

    2015-01-01

    DNA damage has been implicated in ageing, but direct evidence for a causal relationship is lacking, owing to the difficulty of inducing defined DNA lesions in cells and tissues without simultaneously damaging other biomolecules and cellular structures. Here we directly test whether highly toxic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) alone can drive an ageing phenotype using an adenovirus-based system based on tetracycline-controlled expression of the SacI restriction enzyme. We deliver the adenovirus to mice and compare molecular and cellular end points in the liver with normally aged animals. Treated, 3-month-old mice display many, but not all signs of normal liver ageing as early as 1 month after treatment, including ageing pathologies, markers of senescence, fused mitochondria and alterations in gene expression profiles. These results, showing that DSBs alone can cause distinct ageing phenotypes in mouse liver, provide new insights in the role of DNA damage as a driver of tissue ageing. PMID:25858675

  7. Controlled induction of DNA double-strand breaks in the mouse liver induces features of tissue ageing.

    PubMed

    White, Ryan R; Milholland, Brandon; de Bruin, Alain; Curran, Samuel; Laberge, Remi-Martin; van Steeg, Harry; Campisi, Judith; Maslov, Alexander Y; Vijg, Jan

    2015-01-01

    DNA damage has been implicated in ageing, but direct evidence for a causal relationship is lacking, owing to the difficulty of inducing defined DNA lesions in cells and tissues without simultaneously damaging other biomolecules and cellular structures. Here we directly test whether highly toxic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) alone can drive an ageing phenotype using an adenovirus-based system based on tetracycline-controlled expression of the SacI restriction enzyme. We deliver the adenovirus to mice and compare molecular and cellular end points in the liver with normally aged animals. Treated, 3-month-old mice display many, but not all signs of normal liver ageing as early as 1 month after treatment, including ageing pathologies, markers of senescence, fused mitochondria and alterations in gene expression profiles. These results, showing that DSBs alone can cause distinct ageing phenotypes in mouse liver, provide new insights in the role of DNA damage as a driver of tissue ageing. PMID:25858675

  8. The gaits of primates: center of mass mechanics in walking, cantering and galloping ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C; Schmitt, Daniel

    2012-05-15

    Most primates, including lemurs, have a broad range of locomotor capabilities, yet much of the time, they walk at slow speeds and amble, canter or gallop at intermediate and fast speeds. Although numerous studies have investigated limb function during primate quadrupedalism, how the center of mass (COM) moves is not well understood. Here, we examined COM energy, work and power during walking, cantering and galloping in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta (N=5), over a broad speed range (0.43-2.91 m s(-1)). COM energy recoveries were substantial during walking (35-71%) but lower during canters and gallops (10-51%). COM work, power and collisional losses increased with speed. The positive COM works were 0.625 J kg(-1) m(-1) for walks and 1.661 J kg(-1) m(-1) for canters and gallops, which are in the middle range of published values for terrestrial animals. Although some discontinuities in COM mechanics were evident between walking and cantering, there was no apparent analog to the trot-gallop transition across the intermediate and fast speed range (dimensionless v>0.75, Fr>0.5). A phenomenological model of a lemur cantering and trotting at the same speed shows that canters ensure continuous contact of the body with the substrate while reducing peak vertical COM forces, COM stiffness and COM collisions. We suggest that cantering, rather than trotting, at intermediate speeds may be tied to the arboreal origins of the Order Primates. These data allow us to better understand the mechanics of primate gaits and shed new light on primate locomotor evolution.

  9. The gaits of primates: center of mass mechanics in walking, cantering and galloping ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C; Schmitt, Daniel

    2012-05-15

    Most primates, including lemurs, have a broad range of locomotor capabilities, yet much of the time, they walk at slow speeds and amble, canter or gallop at intermediate and fast speeds. Although numerous studies have investigated limb function during primate quadrupedalism, how the center of mass (COM) moves is not well understood. Here, we examined COM energy, work and power during walking, cantering and galloping in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta (N=5), over a broad speed range (0.43-2.91 m s(-1)). COM energy recoveries were substantial during walking (35-71%) but lower during canters and gallops (10-51%). COM work, power and collisional losses increased with speed. The positive COM works were 0.625 J kg(-1) m(-1) for walks and 1.661 J kg(-1) m(-1) for canters and gallops, which are in the middle range of published values for terrestrial animals. Although some discontinuities in COM mechanics were evident between walking and cantering, there was no apparent analog to the trot-gallop transition across the intermediate and fast speed range (dimensionless v>0.75, Fr>0.5). A phenomenological model of a lemur cantering and trotting at the same speed shows that canters ensure continuous contact of the body with the substrate while reducing peak vertical COM forces, COM stiffness and COM collisions. We suggest that cantering, rather than trotting, at intermediate speeds may be tied to the arboreal origins of the Order Primates. These data allow us to better understand the mechanics of primate gaits and shed new light on primate locomotor evolution. PMID:22539740

  10. Discovery of an island population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus) on Nosy Hara, far northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Jasper, Louise D

    2015-10-01

    The species-level diversity of Madagascar's lemurs has increased hugely over the last two decades, growing from 32 species in 1994 to 102 species in 2014. This growth is primarily due to the application of molecular phylogenetic analyses and the phylogenetic species concept to known populations, and few previously unknown lemur populations have been discovered during this time. We report on a new population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.) from Nosy Hara, a 312-ha island in far northern Madagascar, which constitutes the northernmost distribution record for the genus. The dwarf lemurs appeared to show two characteristics of island populations-insular dwarfism and predator naïveté-that suggest a long isolation, and may thus represent an undescribed taxon. If this is the case, the dwarf lemurs of Nosy Hara are probably one of the rarest primate taxa on Earth. PMID:26243504

  11. Discovery of an island population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus) on Nosy Hara, far northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Jasper, Louise D

    2015-10-01

    The species-level diversity of Madagascar's lemurs has increased hugely over the last two decades, growing from 32 species in 1994 to 102 species in 2014. This growth is primarily due to the application of molecular phylogenetic analyses and the phylogenetic species concept to known populations, and few previously unknown lemur populations have been discovered during this time. We report on a new population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.) from Nosy Hara, a 312-ha island in far northern Madagascar, which constitutes the northernmost distribution record for the genus. The dwarf lemurs appeared to show two characteristics of island populations-insular dwarfism and predator naïveté-that suggest a long isolation, and may thus represent an undescribed taxon. If this is the case, the dwarf lemurs of Nosy Hara are probably one of the rarest primate taxa on Earth.

  12. Osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of healthy ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2014-06-01

    In family Lemuridae, anatomical variations exist. Considering its conservation status (near threatened) and presence of similarities between strepsirrhines and primitive animals, it was thought to be beneficial to describe the gross osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) as a reference for clinical use and species identification. Radiography was performed in 14 captive adult ring-tailed lemurs. The radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from two adult animals. Additionally, computed tomography of the hind limbs was performed in one animal. The pelvic bone has a well-developed caudal ventral iliac spine. The patella has a prominent tuberosity on the cranial surface. The first metatarsal bone and digit 1 are markedly stouter than the other metatarsal bones and digits with medial divergence from the rest of the metatarsal bones and digits. Ossicles were seen in the lateral meniscus, inter-phalangeal joint of digit 1 and in the infrapatellar fat pad. Areas of mineral opacity were seen within the external genitalia, which are believed to be the os penis and os clitoris. Variations exist in the normal osteology and radiographic appearance of the pelvis and hind limb of different animal species. The use of only atlases from domestic cats and dogs for interpretative purposes may be misleading. PMID:23651234

  13. Osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of healthy ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2014-06-01

    In family Lemuridae, anatomical variations exist. Considering its conservation status (near threatened) and presence of similarities between strepsirrhines and primitive animals, it was thought to be beneficial to describe the gross osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) as a reference for clinical use and species identification. Radiography was performed in 14 captive adult ring-tailed lemurs. The radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from two adult animals. Additionally, computed tomography of the hind limbs was performed in one animal. The pelvic bone has a well-developed caudal ventral iliac spine. The patella has a prominent tuberosity on the cranial surface. The first metatarsal bone and digit 1 are markedly stouter than the other metatarsal bones and digits with medial divergence from the rest of the metatarsal bones and digits. Ossicles were seen in the lateral meniscus, inter-phalangeal joint of digit 1 and in the infrapatellar fat pad. Areas of mineral opacity were seen within the external genitalia, which are believed to be the os penis and os clitoris. Variations exist in the normal osteology and radiographic appearance of the pelvis and hind limb of different animal species. The use of only atlases from domestic cats and dogs for interpretative purposes may be misleading.

  14. Cell death atlas of the postnatal mouse ventral forebrain and hypothalamus: effects of age and sex.

    PubMed

    Ahern, Todd H; Krug, Stefanie; Carr, Audrey V; Murray, Elaine K; Fitzpatrick, Emmett; Bengston, Lynn; McCutcheon, Jill; De Vries, Geert J; Forger, Nancy G

    2013-08-01

    Naturally occurring cell death is essential to the development of the mammalian nervous system. Although the importance of developmental cell death has been appreciated for decades, there is no comprehensive account of cell death across brain areas in the mouse. Moreover, several regional sex differences in cell death have been described for the ventral forebrain and hypothalamus, but it is not known how widespread the phenomenon is. We used immunohistochemical detection of activated caspase-3 to identify dying cells in the brains of male and female mice from postnatal day (P) 1 to P11. Cell death density, total number of dying cells, and regional volume were determined in 16 regions of the hypothalamus and ventral forebrain (the anterior hypothalamus, arcuate nucleus, anteroventral periventricular nucleus, medial preoptic nucleus, paraventricular nucleus, suprachiasmatic nucleus, and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus; the basolateral, central, and medial amygdala; the lateral and principal nuclei of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis; the caudate-putamen; the globus pallidus; the lateral septum; and the islands of Calleja). All regions showed a significant effect of age on cell death. The timing of peak cell death varied between P1 to P7, and the average rate of cell death varied tenfold among regions. Several significant sex differences in cell death and/or regional volume were detected. These data address large gaps in the developmental literature and suggest interesting region-specific differences in the prevalence and timing of cell death in the hypothalamus and ventral forebrain.

  15. Comparative and population mitogenomic analyses of Madagascar's extinct, giant 'subfossil' lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kistler, Logan; Ratan, Aakrosh; Godfrey, Laurie R; Crowley, Brooke E; Hughes, Cris E; Lei, Runhua; Cui, Yinqiu; Wood, Mindy L; Muldoon, Kathleen M; Andriamialison, Haingoson; McGraw, John J; Tomsho, Lynn P; Schuster, Stephan C; Miller, Webb; Louis, Edward E; Yoder, Anne D; Malhi, Ripan S; Perry, George H

    2015-02-01

    Humans first arrived on Madagascar only a few thousand years ago. Subsequent habitat destruction and hunting activities have had significant impacts on the island's biodiversity, including the extinction of megafauna. For example, we know of 17 recently extinct 'subfossil' lemur species, all of which were substantially larger (body mass ∼11-160 kg) than any living population of the ∼100 extant lemur species (largest body mass ∼6.8 kg). We used ancient DNA and genomic methods to study subfossil lemur extinction biology and update our understanding of extant lemur conservation risk factors by i) reconstructing a comprehensive phylogeny of extinct and extant lemurs, and ii) testing whether low genetic diversity is associated with body size and extinction risk. We recovered complete or near-complete mitochondrial genomes from five subfossil lemur taxa, and generated sequence data from population samples of two extinct and eight extant lemur species. Phylogenetic comparisons resolved prior taxonomic uncertainties and confirmed that the extinct subfossil species did not comprise a single clade. Genetic diversity estimates for the two sampled extinct species were relatively low, suggesting small historical population sizes. Low genetic diversity and small population sizes are both risk factors that would have rendered giant lemurs especially susceptible to extinction. Surprisingly, among the extant lemurs, we did not observe a relationship between body size and genetic diversity. The decoupling of these variables suggests that risk factors other than body size may have as much or more meaning for establishing future lemur conservation priorities. PMID:25523037

  16. [Senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM): with special reference to age-associated pathologies and their modulation].

    PubMed

    Takeda, T

    1996-07-01

    The senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) has been under development by our research team at Kyoto University since 1970 through selective inbreeding of the AKR/J strain of mice donated by the Jackson Laboratory in 1968, based on the data of the grading score of senescence, life span, and pathologic phenotypes. At present, there are 12 lines of SAM; the 9 senescence-prone inbred strains (SAMP) include SAMP1, SAMP2, SAMP3, SAMP6, SAMP7, SAMP8, SAMP9, SAMP10 and SAMP11, and the 3 senescence-resistant inbred strains (SAMR) SAMR1, SANR4 and SAMR5. Data from survival curves, the Gompertzian function and the grading score of senescence, together with growth patterns of body weight of these SAMP and SAMR mice revealed that the characteristic feature of aging common to all SAMP mice is "accelerated senescence": early onset and irreversible advance of senescence manifested by several signs and gross lesions such as the loss of normal behavior, various skin lesions, increased lordokyphosis, etc., after a period of normal development. Routine postmortem examinations and the pathobiological features revealed by systematically designed studies have shown several pathologic phenotypes, which are often characteristic enough to differentiate among the various SAM strains: senile amyloidosis in SAMP1, -P2, -P7, -P9, -P10 and -P11, secondary amyloidosis in SAMP2 and -P6, contracted kidney in SAMP1, -P2, -P10, -P11, immunoblastic lymphoma in SAMR1 and -R4, histiocytic sarcoma in SAMR1 and -R4, ovarian cysts in SAMR1, impaired immune response in SAMP1, -P2 and -P8, hyperinflation of the lungs in SAMP1, hearing impairment in SAMP1, degenerative temporomandibular joint disease in SAMP3, senile osteoporosis in SAMP6, deficits in learning and memory in SAMP8 and -P10, emotional disorders in SAMP8 and -P10, cataracts in SAMP9, and brain atrophy in SAMP10. These are all age-associated pathologies, the incidence and severity of which increase with advancing age. The SAM model in which these

  17. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, GA, USA.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Jordan, Carly N; Mitchell, Sheila M; Norton, Terry M; Lindsay, David S

    2007-03-15

    In the current study, we determined the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Serum samples were tested from 52 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), six blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), and four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) using an agglutination assay. Three ring-tailed lemurs (5.8%) were positive for T. gondii (titer of 1:50); one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) and one black and white ruffed lemur (25%) were positive for S. neurona (titers of 1:1000); and one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) was positive for E. cuniculi (titer of 1:400). All blue-eyed black lemurs were negative for antibodies to T. gondii, S. neurona, and E. cuniculi. This is the first detection of antibodies to T. gondii in ring-tailed lemurs and antibodies to S. neurona and E. cuniculi in any species of prosimian. PMID:17052854

  18. Characteristics of age-related behavioral changes in senescence-accelerated mouse SAMP8 and SAMP10.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, M

    1997-01-01

    Senescence-Accelerated Mouse (SAM), a murine model of accelerated senescence, has been established by Takeda et al. (1981). SAM consists of senescence-accelerated-prone mouse (SAMP) and senescence-accelerated-resistant mouse (SAMR), the latter of which shows normal aging characteristics. In 1991 there were eight different substrains in the P-series, which commonly exhibited accelerated aging with a shortened life span (Takeda et al., 1991). Among the P-series, we have found that SAMP8 mice show significant impairments in a variety of learning tasks when compared with SAMR1 mice (Miyamoto et al., 1986). Further studies suggest that SAMP8 exhibits an age-related emotional disorder characterized by reduced anxiety-like behavior (Miyamoto et al., 1992). On the other hand, it has been shown that SAMP10 exhibits brain atrophy and learning impairments in an avoidance task (Shimada et al., 1992, 1993). Here, characteristics of age-related deficits in learning and memory, changes in emotional behavior, and abnormality of circadian rhythms in SAMP8 and SAMP10 mice are described. In the experiments, SAMP8/Ta (SAMP8), SAMP10/(/)Ta (SAMP10) and SAMR1TA (SAMR1) reared under specific pathogen-free conditions at Takeda Chemical Industries were used. PMID:9088911

  19. Brown (Eulemur fulvus) and ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) use human head orientation as a cue to gaze direction in a food choice task.

    PubMed

    Botting, Jennifer L; Wiper, Mallory L; Anderson, James R

    2011-01-01

    Whilst the ability to follow human gaze has been demonstrated in monkeys and apes, there is little evidence that prosimians share this ability. The current study used a food choice paradigm to assess whether captive brown (Eulemur fulvus) and ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) use human gaze direction as a cue when choosing between an attending or non-attending human. Four experiments assessed the use of body, head and eye cues by the lemurs. In experiment 1, the non-attending human stood with her back to a food item; 3 of the 5 lemurs preferentially chose the attending human with an equivalent food item in view. In experiments 2 and 3, which used head angles of 90°, 4 out of 5 lemurs preferentially chose the attending human. In experiment 4, in which the humans differed only by whether their eyes were open or shut, no significant preferences were found. This study provides the first tentative evidence that lemurs are capable of discriminating human gaze direction and can use both body and head direction to do so. PMID:22123170

  20. The BALB/c mouse: Effect of standard vivarium lighting on retinal pathology during aging.

    PubMed

    Bell, Brent A; Kaul, Charles; Bonilha, Vera L; Rayborn, Mary E; Shadrach, Karen; Hollyfield, Joe G

    2015-06-01

    intensity of illumination of the groups. Advanced age and top row illuminance conditions resulted in significant photoreceptor cell loss as judged by decreased thickness of the ONL. Photoreceptor loss was preceded by both retinal infoldings and the presence of autofluorescent inflammatory cells in the outer retina, suggesting that these changes are early indicators of light toxicity in the BALB/cJ mouse. PMID:25895728

  1. The BALB/c mouse: Effect of standard vivarium lighting on retinal pathology during aging

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Brent A.; Kaul, Charles; Bonilha, Vera L.; Rayborn, Mary E.; Shadrach, Karen; Hollyfield, Joe G.

    2015-01-01

    intensity of illumination of the groups. Advanced age and top row illuminance conditions resulted in significant photoreceptor cell loss as judged by decreased thickness of the ONL. Photoreceptor loss was preceded by both retinal infoldings and the presence of autofluorescent inflammatory cells in the outer retina, suggesting that these changes are early indicators of light toxicity in the BALB/cJ mouse. PMID:25895728

  2. Mitochondrial base excision repair in mouse synaptosomes during normal aging and in a model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Gredilla, Ricardo; Weissman, Lior; Yang, Jenq-Lin; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Stevnsner, Tinna

    2012-04-01

    Brain aging is associated with synaptic decline and synaptic function is highly dependent on mitochondria. Increased levels of oxidative DNA base damage and accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations or deletions lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, playing an important role in the aging process and the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Here we have investigated the repair of oxidative base damage, in synaptosomes of mouse brain during normal aging and in an AD model. During normal aging, a reduction in the base excision repair (BER) capacity was observed in the synaptosomal fraction, which was associated with a decrease in the level of BER proteins. However, we did not observe changes between the synaptosomal BER activities of presymptomatic and symptomatic AD mice harboring mutated amyolid precursor protein (APP), Tau, and presinilin-1 (PS1) (3xTgAD). Our findings suggest that the age-related reduction in BER capacity in the synaptosomal fraction might contribute to mitochondrial and synaptic dysfunction during aging. The development of AD-like pathology in the 3xTgAD mouse model was, however, not associated with deficiencies of the BER mechanisms in the synaptosomal fraction when the whole brain was analyzed.

  3. Effects of advancing age on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis of the female white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Steger, R W; Peluso, J J; Huang, H H; Hodson, C A; Leung, F C; Meites, J; Sacher, G

    1980-08-01

    Peromyscus leucopus, with an average lifespan of 48 months, showed unchanged levels of serum luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, progesterone, and pituitary LH and prolactin, between the ages of 12 and 48 months. Hypothalamic LH-releasing hormone (LHRH), norepinephrine and dopamine also remained unchanged with advancing age. Ovarian and uterine weight decreased with age, although the changes in uterine weight were not statistically significant. These data indicate that the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis remains intact with increasing age, accounting for the maintenance of fertility in these animals. The lack of significant changes in these parameters is in very marked contrast to those in the aging laboratory mouse and rat, which show derangements in their reproductive systems midway through their lifespans.

  4. Genome-wide association study for age-related hearing loss (AHL) in the mouse: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Ohmen, Jeffrey; Kang, Eun Yong; Li, Xin; Joo, Jong Wha; Hormozdiari, Farhad; Zheng, Qing Yin; Davis, Richard C; Lusis, Aldons J; Eskin, Eleazar; Friedman, Rick A

    2014-06-01

    Age-related hearing loss (AHL) is characterized by a symmetric sensorineural hearing loss primarily in high frequencies and individuals have different levels of susceptibility to AHL. Heritability studies have shown that the sources of this variance are both genetic and environmental, with approximately half of the variance attributable to hereditary factors as reported by Huag and Tang (Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 267(8):1179-1191, 2010). Only a limited number of large-scale association studies for AHL have been undertaken in humans, to date. An alternate and complementary approach to these human studies is through the use of mouse models. Advantages of mouse models include that the environment can be more carefully controlled, measurements can be replicated in genetically identical animals, and the proportion of the variability explained by genetic variation is increased. Complex traits in mouse strains have been shown to have higher heritability and genetic loci often have stronger effects on the trait compared to humans. Motivated by these advantages, we have performed the first genome-wide association study of its kind in the mouse by combining several data sets in a meta-analysis to identify loci associated with age-related hearing loss. We identified five genome-wide significant loci (<10(-6)). One of these loci confirmed a previously identified locus (ahl8) on distal chromosome 11 and greatly narrowed the candidate region. Specifically, the most significant associated SNP is located 450 kb upstream of Fscn2. These data confirm the utility of this approach and provide new high-resolution mapping information about variation within the mouse genome associated with hearing loss.

  5. Transitive inference in two lemur species (Eulemur macaco and Eulemur fulvus).

    PubMed

    Tromp, D; Meunier, H; Roeder, J J

    2015-03-01

    When confronted with tasks involving reasoning instead of simple learning through trial and error, lemurs appeared to be less competent than simians. Our study aims to investigate lemurs' capability for transitive inference, a form of deductive reasoning in which the subject deduces logical conclusions from preliminary information. Transitive inference may have an adaptative function, especially in species living in large, complex social groups and is proposed to play a major role in rank estimation and establishment of dominance hierarchies. We proposed to test the capacities of reasoning using transitive inference in two species of lemurs, the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) and the black lemur (Eulemur macaco), both living in multimale-multifemale societies. For that purpose, we designed an original setup providing, for the first time in this kind of cognitive task, pictures of conspecifics' faces as stimuli. Subjects were trained to differentiate six photographs of unknown conspecifics named randomly from A to F to establish the order A > B > C > D > E > F and select consistently the highest-ranking photograph in five adjacent pairs AB, BC, CD, DE, and EF. Then lemurs were presented with the same adjacent pairs and three new and non-adjacent pairs BD, BE, CE. The results showed that all subjects correctly selected the highest-ranking photograph in every non-adjacent pair, reflecting lemurs' capacity for transitive inference. Our results are discussed in the context of the still debated current theories about the mechanisms underlying this specific capacity.

  6. The influence of growth patterns on sexual size monomorphism in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Tennenhouse, E M

    2015-09-01

    The lack of sexual size dimorphism among lemurs is puzzling given the high degree of polygyny in this clade. It has been proposed that the unique ecological conditions of Madagascar favour rapid completion of growth, limiting the opportunities for bimaturism and sexual size dimorphism in lemurs. Using recently compiled large data sets on many species across the lemur clade, I examined the prevalence of sexual size monomorphism of body mass among lemurs and tested the hypothesis that limited growth durations constrain sexual size dimorphism. I used segmented regression analyses to accurately model growth in each species. The majority of species analysed exhibited a period of rapid growth followed by a distinct period of slow growth prior to attainment of adult body mass. Whereas the first period of growth was constrained by the need to attain the majority of adult body mass prior to the onset of the infant's first dry season, the subsequent period of slow growth was unconstrained and sufficiently long to promote sexual bimaturism. Sex differences in the duration and rate of growth during this second growth phase appeared to account for the sexual size dimorphism exhibited by three lemur species. Therefore, constraints on growth processes do not limit sexual size dimorphism in lemurs, and other explanations for the prevalence of sexual size monomorphism in this clade should be examined. The importance of considering ontogeny in future investigations of sexual size monomorphism in lemurs is highlighted. PMID:26134876

  7. Transitive inference in two lemur species (Eulemur macaco and Eulemur fulvus).

    PubMed

    Tromp, D; Meunier, H; Roeder, J J

    2015-03-01

    When confronted with tasks involving reasoning instead of simple learning through trial and error, lemurs appeared to be less competent than simians. Our study aims to investigate lemurs' capability for transitive inference, a form of deductive reasoning in which the subject deduces logical conclusions from preliminary information. Transitive inference may have an adaptative function, especially in species living in large, complex social groups and is proposed to play a major role in rank estimation and establishment of dominance hierarchies. We proposed to test the capacities of reasoning using transitive inference in two species of lemurs, the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) and the black lemur (Eulemur macaco), both living in multimale-multifemale societies. For that purpose, we designed an original setup providing, for the first time in this kind of cognitive task, pictures of conspecifics' faces as stimuli. Subjects were trained to differentiate six photographs of unknown conspecifics named randomly from A to F to establish the order A > B > C > D > E > F and select consistently the highest-ranking photograph in five adjacent pairs AB, BC, CD, DE, and EF. Then lemurs were presented with the same adjacent pairs and three new and non-adjacent pairs BD, BE, CE. The results showed that all subjects correctly selected the highest-ranking photograph in every non-adjacent pair, reflecting lemurs' capacity for transitive inference. Our results are discussed in the context of the still debated current theories about the mechanisms underlying this specific capacity. PMID:25328141

  8. A comparison of salivary pH in sympatric wild lemurs (Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Yamashita, Nayuta; Lawler, Richard R; Brockman, Diane K; Godfrey, Laurie R; Gould, Lisa; Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho Jacky; Lent, Cheryl; Ratsirarson, Joelisoa; Richard, Alison F; Scott, Jessica R; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Weber, Martha A; Willis, George

    2008-04-01

    Chemical deterioration of teeth is common among modern humans, and has been suggested for some extinct primates. Dental erosion caused by acidic foods may also obscure microwear signals of mechanical food properties. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, display frequent severe tooth wear and subsequent tooth loss. In contrast, sympatric Verreaux's sifaka display far less tooth wear and infrequent tooth loss, despite both species regularly consuming acidic tamarind fruit. We investigated the potential impact of dietary acidity on tooth wear, collecting data on salivary pH from both species, as well as salivary pH from ring-tailed lemurs at Tsimanampesotse National Park, Madagascar. We also collected salivary pH data from ring-tailed lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo, none of which had eaten for at least 12 hr before data collection. Mean salivary pH for the BMSR ring-tailed lemurs (8.098, n=41, SD=0.550) was significantly more alkaline than Verreaux's sifaka (7.481, n=26, SD=0.458). The mean salivary pH of BMSR (8.098) and Tsimanampesotse (8.080, n=25, SD=0.746) ring-tailed lemurs did not differ significantly. Salivary pH for the Indianapolis Zoo sample (8.125, n=16, SD=0.289) did not differ significantly from either the BMSR or Tsimanampesotse ring-tailed lemurs, but was significantly more alkaline than the BMSR Verreaux's sifaka sample. Regardless of the time between feeding and collection of pH data (from several minutes to nearly 1 hr), salivary pH for each wild lemur was above the "critical" pH of 5.5, below which enamel demineralization occurs. Thus, the high pH of lemur saliva suggests a strong buffering capacity, indicating the impact of acidic foods on dental wear is short-lived, likely having a limited effect. However, tannins in tamarind fruit may increase friction between teeth, thereby increasing attrition and wear in lemurs. These data also suggest that salivary pH varies between lemur species, corresponding to broad

  9. A comparison of salivary pH in sympatric wild lemurs (Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Yamashita, Nayuta; Lawler, Richard R; Brockman, Diane K; Godfrey, Laurie R; Gould, Lisa; Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho Jacky; Lent, Cheryl; Ratsirarson, Joelisoa; Richard, Alison F; Scott, Jessica R; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Weber, Martha A; Willis, George

    2008-04-01

    Chemical deterioration of teeth is common among modern humans, and has been suggested for some extinct primates. Dental erosion caused by acidic foods may also obscure microwear signals of mechanical food properties. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, display frequent severe tooth wear and subsequent tooth loss. In contrast, sympatric Verreaux's sifaka display far less tooth wear and infrequent tooth loss, despite both species regularly consuming acidic tamarind fruit. We investigated the potential impact of dietary acidity on tooth wear, collecting data on salivary pH from both species, as well as salivary pH from ring-tailed lemurs at Tsimanampesotse National Park, Madagascar. We also collected salivary pH data from ring-tailed lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo, none of which had eaten for at least 12 hr before data collection. Mean salivary pH for the BMSR ring-tailed lemurs (8.098, n=41, SD=0.550) was significantly more alkaline than Verreaux's sifaka (7.481, n=26, SD=0.458). The mean salivary pH of BMSR (8.098) and Tsimanampesotse (8.080, n=25, SD=0.746) ring-tailed lemurs did not differ significantly. Salivary pH for the Indianapolis Zoo sample (8.125, n=16, SD=0.289) did not differ significantly from either the BMSR or Tsimanampesotse ring-tailed lemurs, but was significantly more alkaline than the BMSR Verreaux's sifaka sample. Regardless of the time between feeding and collection of pH data (from several minutes to nearly 1 hr), salivary pH for each wild lemur was above the "critical" pH of 5.5, below which enamel demineralization occurs. Thus, the high pH of lemur saliva suggests a strong buffering capacity, indicating the impact of acidic foods on dental wear is short-lived, likely having a limited effect. However, tannins in tamarind fruit may increase friction between teeth, thereby increasing attrition and wear in lemurs. These data also suggest that salivary pH varies between lemur species, corresponding to broad

  10. Scratching around mating: factors affecting anxiety in wild Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Sclafani, Valentina; Norscia, Ivan; Antonacci, Daniela; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2012-07-01

    Scratching has been successfully used to detect anxiety, a proxy for stress, in primates, from strepsirrhines to Homo sapiens. Here, we investigated the fluctuation of scratching in Lemur catta during the mating season. In particular we evaluated whether scratching (1) varied according to sex and rank differences, (2) increased in the period of maximum stress (around the mating days), and (3) was reduced by grooming. At Berenty (South Madagascar), we followed two lemur groups (23 adult/subadult individuals) and gathered data on self-scratching, aggression, and grooming. Based on perineal area features, we recognized two periods: low swelling (LS), with no estrus female, and high swelling (HS), when at least one female was in estrus. We predicted that aggressive behaviors and anxiety-related scratching would covary. Indeed, scratching peaked in HS, when aggression was also highest. In agreement with previous literature, this result suggests that conflicts around estrus days may raise anxiety levels in the social group. We expected scratching levels to be highest in males because they aggressively compete for females and are subject to mate choice and repeated attacks by dominant females. Instead, the scratching rates were similar in males and females, probably because the high competition, which involves both sexes, dampened intersexual differences. In contrast to our prediction, scratching was not rank dependent, probably because animal ranking positions changed from LS to HS. Finally, we showed that, in ring-tailed lemurs, as well as in other primates, scratching decreases after reciprocal grooming in both periods. This finding provides the first evidence that grooming could assist in reducing anxiety in strepsirrhines.

  11. Scratching around mating: factors affecting anxiety in wild Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Sclafani, Valentina; Norscia, Ivan; Antonacci, Daniela; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2012-07-01

    Scratching has been successfully used to detect anxiety, a proxy for stress, in primates, from strepsirrhines to Homo sapiens. Here, we investigated the fluctuation of scratching in Lemur catta during the mating season. In particular we evaluated whether scratching (1) varied according to sex and rank differences, (2) increased in the period of maximum stress (around the mating days), and (3) was reduced by grooming. At Berenty (South Madagascar), we followed two lemur groups (23 adult/subadult individuals) and gathered data on self-scratching, aggression, and grooming. Based on perineal area features, we recognized two periods: low swelling (LS), with no estrus female, and high swelling (HS), when at least one female was in estrus. We predicted that aggressive behaviors and anxiety-related scratching would covary. Indeed, scratching peaked in HS, when aggression was also highest. In agreement with previous literature, this result suggests that conflicts around estrus days may raise anxiety levels in the social group. We expected scratching levels to be highest in males because they aggressively compete for females and are subject to mate choice and repeated attacks by dominant females. Instead, the scratching rates were similar in males and females, probably because the high competition, which involves both sexes, dampened intersexual differences. In contrast to our prediction, scratching was not rank dependent, probably because animal ranking positions changed from LS to HS. Finally, we showed that, in ring-tailed lemurs, as well as in other primates, scratching decreases after reciprocal grooming in both periods. This finding provides the first evidence that grooming could assist in reducing anxiety in strepsirrhines. PMID:22278710

  12. Large-scale MHC class II genotyping of a wild lemur population by next generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Huchard, Elise; Albrecht, Christina; Schliehe-Diecks, Susanne; Baniel, Alice; Roos, Christian; Kappeler, Peter M; Peter, Peter M Kappeler; Brameier, Markus

    2012-12-01

    The critical role of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in disease resistance, along with their putative function in sexual selection, reproduction and chemical ecology, make them an important genetic system in evolutionary ecology. Studying selective pressures acting on MHC genes in the wild nevertheless requires population-wide genotyping, which has long been challenging because of their extensive polymorphism. Here, we report on large-scale genotyping of the MHC class II loci of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) from a wild population in western Madagascar. The second exons from MHC-DRB and -DQB of 772 and 672 individuals were sequenced, respectively, using a 454 sequencing platform, generating more than 800,000 reads. Sequence analysis, through a stepwise variant validation procedure, allowed reliable typing of more than 600 individuals. The quality of our genotyping was evaluated through three independent methods, namely genotyping the same individuals by both cloning and 454 sequencing, running duplicates, and comparing parent-offspring dyads; each displaying very high accuracy. A total of 61 (including 20 new) and 60 (including 53 new) alleles were detected at DRB and DQB genes, respectively. Both loci were non-duplicated, in tight linkage disequilibrium and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, despite the fact that sequence analysis revealed clear evidence of historical selection. Our results highlight the potential of 454 sequencing technology in attempts to investigate patterns of selection shaping MHC variation in contemporary populations. The power of this approach will nevertheless be conditional upon strict quality control of the genotyping data.

  13. In utero bisphenol A exposure disrupts germ cell nest breakdown and reduces fertility with age in the mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Wei Hafner, Katlyn S. Flaws, Jodi A.

    2014-04-15

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a known reproductive toxicant in rodents. However, the effects of in utero BPA exposure on early ovarian development and the consequences of such exposure on female reproduction in later reproductive life are unclear. Thus, we determined the effects of in utero BPA exposure during a critical developmental window on germ cell nest breakdown, a process required for establishment of the finite primordial follicle pool, and on female reproduction. Pregnant FVB mice (F0) were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-striped corn oil (vehicle), diethylstilbestrol (DES; 0.05 μg/kg, positive control), or BPA (0.5, 20, and 50 μg/kg) from gestational day 11 until birth. Ovarian morphology and gene expression profiles then were examined in F1 female offspring on postnatal day (PND) 4 and estrous cyclicity was examined daily after weaning for 30 days. F1 females were also subjected to breeding studies with untreated males at three to nine months. The results indicate that BPA inhibits germ cell nest breakdown via altering expression of selected apoptotic factors. BPA also significantly advances the age of first estrus, shortens the time that the females remain in estrus, and increases the time that the females remain in metestrus and diestrus compared to controls. Further, F1 females exposed to low doses of BPA exhibit various fertility problems and have a significantly higher percentage of dead pups compared to controls. These results indicate that in utero exposure to low doses of BPA during a critical ovarian developmental window interferes with early ovarian development and reduces fertility with age. - Highlights: • In utero BPA exposure inhibits germ cell nest breakdown in female mouse offspring. • In utero BPA exposure alters expression of apoptosis regulators in the ovaries of mouse offspring. • In utero BPA exposure advances first estrus age and alters cyclicity in mouse offspring. • In utero BPA exposure causes various fertility problems in

  14. DeltaNp63alpha overexpression induces downregulation of Sirt1 and an accelerated aging phenotype in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Matthias; Poliak, Nina; Upadhyay, Sunil; Ratovitski, Edward; Nelkin, Barry D; Donehower, Lawrence A; Sidransky, David

    2006-09-01

    p63 is highly expressed in the skin and appears to be an early marker of keratinocyte differentiation. To examine the role of p63 in vivo, we generated transgenic mice that overexpress deltaNp63alpha in the skin. These mice exhibited an accelerated aging phenotype in the skin characterized by striking wound healing defects, decreased skin thickness, decreased subcutaneous fat tissue, hair loss, and decreased cell proliferation. The accelerated skin aging was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in longevity of the mice. We found that aging in deltaNp63alpha transgenic mice and other mouse models correlated with levels of Sirt1, a mammalian SIR2 orthologue thought to extend the lifespan in lower species. Moreover, increased deltaNp63alpha expression induced cellular senescence that was rescued by Sirt1. Our data suggest that deltaNp63alpha levels may affect aging in mammals, at least in part, through regulation of Sirt1.

  15. Behavioral responses to tooth loss in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2009-09-01

    Severe dental wear and tooth loss is often assumed to impede the processing, breakdown, and energetic conversion of food items, thereby negatively impacting individual health, reproduction, and survival. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve demonstrate exceptionally high frequencies of severe dental wear and antemortem tooth loss, yet often survive multiple years with these impairments. To test the hypothesis that these lemurs mitigate tooth loss through behavioral adjustments, we collected 191 h of observational data from 16 focal subjects, eight without tooth loss and eight with between 3% and 44% loss. These data indicate dentally-impaired ring-tailed lemurs show compensatory behaviors consistent with the demands of living in a social group. During early afternoon (12:00-14:30 h) individuals with loss showed trends towards higher frequencies of foraging and grooming, while individuals without loss rested significantly more often. Individuals with >10% loss (n = 7) showed higher frequencies of feeding, foraging, and grooming, and lower frequencies of resting during this period than individuals with <10% loss (n = 9). Individuals with tooth loss maintained relatively higher levels of feeding and foraging throughout the day. These individuals licked tamarind fruit at higher frequencies, likely spending more time softening it before ingestion. These individuals did not demonstrate longer feeding bouts overall, although bouts involving tamarinds were significantly longer. Individuals with marked toothcomb wear engaged in higher rates of certain types of allogrooming, demonstrating that social behaviors are used to compensate for reduced grooming efficiency. These data have implications for interpreting behavioral responses to dental impairment in the fossil record. PMID:19373842

  16. Survey and comparison of major intestinal flora in captive and wild ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations.

    PubMed

    Villers, Lynne M; Jang, Spencer S; Lent, Cheryl L; Lewin-Koh, Sock-Cheng; Norosoarinaivo, Jeanne Aimée

    2008-02-01

    A survey to identify the major intestinal species of aerobic bacteria, protozoa and helminths was conducted on captive and wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Samples were collected from 50 captive lemurs at 11 zoological institutions in the United States. In Madagascar, 98 aerobic bacteria samples and 99 parasite samples were collected from eight sites chosen to cover a variety of populations across the species range. Identical collection, preservation and lab techniques were used for captive and wild populations. The predominant types of aerobic bacteria flora were identified via five separate tests. The tests for parasites conducted included flotation, sedimentation and FA/GC. Twenty-seven bacteria unique to either the captive or wild populations were cultured with eight of these being statistically significantly different. Fourteen bacteria common to both populations were cultured, of which six differed significantly. Entamoeba coli was the only parasite common to both the captive and wild populations. Giardia spp., Isospora spp., strongyles-type ova, Entamoeba spp. and Entamoeba polecki were found only in captive samples. Cryptosporidium, Balantidium coli, pinworm-type ova, and two fluke-like ova were seen only in wild samples. In addition, samples were compared for both bacteria and parasites from three unique field sites in Madagascar. In this three-site comparison, six types of bacteria were statistically significantly different. No significant differences regarding parasites were seen. Significant differences were found between the captive and wild populations, whereas fewer differences were found between sites within Madagascar. Although we isolated Campylobacter and Giardia, all animals appeared clinically healthy. PMID:17854057

  17. Age-related Hearing Loss: GABA, Nicotinic Acetylcholine and NMDA Receptor Expression Changes in Spiral Ganglion Neurons of the Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xiaolan; Zhu, Xiaoxia; Ding, Bo; Walton, Joseph P.; Frisina, Robert D.; Su, Jiping

    2014-01-01

    Age-related hearing loss – presbycusis – is the number one communication disorder and most prevalent neurodegenerative condition of our aged population. Although speech understanding in background noise is quite difficult for those with presbycusis, there are currently no biomedical treatments to prevent, delay or reverse this condition. A better understanding of the cochlear mechanisms underlying presbycusis will help lead to future treatments. Objectives of the present study were to investigate gamma-amino butyric acid A (GABAA) receptor subunit α1, nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor subunit β2, and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit NR1 mRNA and protein expression changes in spiral ganglion neurons of the CBA/CaJ mouse cochlea, that occur in age-related hearing loss, utilizing quantitative immunohistochemistry and semi-quantitative RT-PCR techniques. We found that auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds shifted over 40 dB from 3–48 kHz in old mice compared to young adults. DPOAE thresholds also shifted over 40 dB from 6–49 kHz in old mice, and their amplitudes were significantly decreased or absent in the same frequency range. Spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) density decreased with age in basal, middle and apical turns, and SGN density of the basal turn declined the most. A positive correlation was observed between SGN density and ABR wave 1 amplitude. mRNA and protein expression of GABAAR α1 and AChR β2 decreased with age in SGNs in the old mouse cochlea. mRNA and protein expression of NMDAR NR1 increased with age in SGNs of the old mice. These findings demonstrate that there are functionally-relevant age-related changes of GABAAR, nAChR, NMDAR expression in CBA mouse SGNs reflecting their degeneration, which may be related to functional changes in cochlear synaptic transmission with age, suggesting biological mechanisms for peripheral age-related hearing loss. PMID:24316061

  18. Raman spectroscopic detection of changes in bioapatite in mouse femora as a function of age and in vitro fluoride treatment.

    PubMed

    Freeman, J J; Wopenka, B; Silva, M J; Pasteris, J D

    2001-03-01

    Laser Raman microprobe spectroscopy, which characterizes the molecular structure of a mineral, was used to analyze microscopically small regions of bioapatite in mouse femora in order to study the effect of mouse age and in vitro fluoride treatment on the bone mineral (i.e., mineral identity and degree of crystallinity). Both femora that had and those that had not undergone in vitro NaF treatment underwent point analysis of 1 micron spots in the center of the compact bone's cross-section. The Raman spectra of bones treated with fluoride showed a peak up-shift of the PO4 vibration mode from 961 to 964 delta cm-1 indicating a conversion from a carbonated hydroxylapatitic to a carbonated fluorapatitic mineral phase. The spectral band width of the 961 delta cm-1 PO4 vibration in femora of 4-, 10-, and 24-week-old mice showed that aging, as well as in vitro treatment with 1.5 M NaF for 12 hours, significantly increases the degree of crystallinity of the bioapatite. In vitro fluoridation of 10-week-old mouse femora increased the bioapatite's degree of crystallinity to about the same degree as did aging to 24 weeks. Four-point bending tests indicated that the age-related increase in crystallinity of untreated bones was associated with decreased deformation to failure, i.e., increased brittleness. In contrast, the increased crystallinity following fluoridation of 10-week-old bones was associated with increased deformation, i.e., increased ductility, perhaps due to the altered mineral composition. This study shows that the laser Raman microprobe readily detects the conversion of carbonated hydroxylapatite to carbonated fluorapatite, as well as changes in crystallinity of either mineral phase, in microscopically small regions of a bone sample.

  19. ISSLS PRIZE WINNER: INHIBITION OF NF-κB ACTIVITY AMELIORATES AGE-ASSOCIATED DISC DEGENERATION IN A MOUSE MODEL OF ACCELERATED AGING

    PubMed Central

    Nasto, Luigi A.; Seo, Hyoung-Yeon; Robinson, Andria R.; Tilstra, Jeremy S.; Clauson, Cheryl L.; Sowa, Gwendolyn A.; Ngo, Kevin; Dong, Qing; Pola, Enrico; Lee, Joon Y.; Niedernhofer, Laura J.; Kang, James D.; Robbins, Paul D.; Vo, Nam V.

    2012-01-01

    Study Design NF-κB activity was pharmacologically and genetically blocked in an accelerated aging mouse model to mitigate age-related disc degenerative changes. Objective To study the mediatory role of NF-κB signaling pathway in age-dependent intervertebral disc degeneration. Summary of Background Data Aging is a major contributor to intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), but the molecular mechanism behind this process is poorly understood. NF-κB is a family of transcription factors which play a central role in mediating cellular response to damage, stress, and inflammation. Growing evidence implicates chronic NF-κB activation as a culprit in many aging-related diseases, but its role in aging-related IDD has not been adequately explored. We studied the effects of NF-κB inhibition on IDD using a DNA repair-deficient mouse model of accelerated aging (Ercc1-/Δ mice) previously been reported to exhibit age-related IDD. Methods Systemic inhibition of NF-κB activation was achieved either genetically by deletion of one allele of the NF-κB subunit p65 (Ercc1-/Δp65+/- mice) or pharmacologically by chronic intra-peritoneal administration of the Nemo Binding Domain (8K-NBD) peptide to block the formation of the upstream activator of NF-κB, IκB Inducible Kinase (IKK), in Ercc1-/Δ mice. Disc cellularity, total proteoglycan content and proteoglycan synthesis of treated mice and untreated controls were assessed. Results Decreased disc matrix proteoglycan content, a hallmark feature of IDD, and elevated disc NF-κB activity were observed in discs of progeroid Ercc1-/Δ mice and naturally aged wild-type compared to young WT mice. Systemic inhibition of NF-κB by the 8K-NBD peptide in Ercc1-/Δ mice increased disc proteoglycan synthesis and ameriolated loss disc cellularity and matrix proteoglycan. These results were confirmed genetically by using the p65 haploinsufficient Ercc1-/Δp65+/- mice. Conclusion These findings demonstrate that the IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway

  20. Intraspecific variation in hair delta(13)C and delta(15)N values of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) with known individual histories, behavior, and feeding ecology.

    PubMed

    Loudon, James E; Sponheimer, Matt; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-07-01

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions were analyzed from hair samples of 30 sympatric ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) inhabiting the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. All lemurs were known individuals involved in a longitudinal study, which allowed us to explore the degree to which group membership, sex, health status, and migration influenced their stable isotope compositions. The differences in delta(13)C and delta(15)N values between groups were small (<1.5 per thousand) but highly significant. In fact, each group was tightly clustered, and discriminant function analysis of the stable isotope data assigned individuals to the group in which they were originally collared with over 90% accuracy. In general, the differences between groups reflected the degree to which they utilized forested versus open habitats. As open habitats at Beza Mahafaly often correspond to areas of anthropogenic disturbance, these data suggest that isotopic data can be useful for addressing questions of lemur conservation. There were few sex differences, but significant differences did occur between individuals of normal and suboptimal health, with those in poor health (especially those in the worst condition) being enriched in (15)N and to a lesser degree (13)C compared with healthy individuals. Moreover, lemurs that had emigrated between 2003 and 2004 had different delta(13)C and delta(15)N compositions than their original groups. PMID:17455284

  1. Seasonal feeding ecology of ring-tailed lemurs: a comparison of spiny and gallery forest habitats.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    Although Lemur catta persists in many habitat types in southern Madagascar, its ecology has been primarily studied within gallery forests. We compare plant food selection and properties for ring-tailed lemurs in the spiny and gallery forests over the synchronized lactation period (September to March) that includes both the dry and wet seasons. We found no significant habitat-specific differences in the type of plant part consumed per month (i.e. flower, fruit, leaf) or between the intake of soluble carbohydrates. However, the presence and use of Tamarindus indica plants appear to elevate protein and fiber intake in the gallery forest lemurs' diets. Protein is especially important for reproductive females who incur the added metabolic costs associated with lactation; however, fiber can disrupt protein digestion. Future work should continue to investigate how variations of protein and fiber affect ring-tailed lemur dietary choice and nutrient acquisition.

  2. Seasonal feeding ecology of ring-tailed lemurs: a comparison of spiny and gallery forest habitats.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    Although Lemur catta persists in many habitat types in southern Madagascar, its ecology has been primarily studied within gallery forests. We compare plant food selection and properties for ring-tailed lemurs in the spiny and gallery forests over the synchronized lactation period (September to March) that includes both the dry and wet seasons. We found no significant habitat-specific differences in the type of plant part consumed per month (i.e. flower, fruit, leaf) or between the intake of soluble carbohydrates. However, the presence and use of Tamarindus indica plants appear to elevate protein and fiber intake in the gallery forest lemurs' diets. Protein is especially important for reproductive females who incur the added metabolic costs associated with lactation; however, fiber can disrupt protein digestion. Future work should continue to investigate how variations of protein and fiber affect ring-tailed lemur dietary choice and nutrient acquisition. PMID:26022298

  3. Molecular and serologic evidence of tick-borne Ehrlichiae in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Norton, Terry M; Powell, Malcolm R; Davidson, William R

    2004-12-01

    In recent years, several species of ehrlichiae have been recognized as tick-borne disease agents of veterinary and medical importance. Clinically normal free-ranging or previously free-ranging lemurs, including 46 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), six blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), and four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) from St. Catherines Island, Georgia, were tested for evidence of exposure to tick-borne ehrlichiae. All 52 adult lemurs were serologically tested for exposure to Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for E. chaffeensis, A. phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia ewingii, and Ehrlichia canis were conducted on blood samples from all 56 lemurs. Blood from all lemurs was inoculated into DH82 cell cultures for E. chaffeensis isolation. Of the adult lemurs, 20 (38.5%) and 16 (30.8%) had antibodies reactive (> or =1:128) for E. chaffeensis and A. phagocytophilum, respectively. Two ring-tailed lemurs were PCR and culture positive for E. chaffeensis. Molecular characterization of the two E. chaffeensis isolates showed that both contained 5-repeat variants of the variable-length PCR target (VLPT) antigen gene and 3-repeat variants of the 120-kDa antigen gene. Sequencing of the VLPT genes revealed a novel amino acid repeat unit (type-9). One lemur infected with E. chaffeensis was slightly hypoproteinemic and had moderately elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. These lemurs from St. Catherines Island have been exposed to or infected with tick-borne ehrlichiae, or both, but showed no clinical disease. PMID:15732591

  4. Better Few than Hungry: Flexible Feeding Ecology of Collared Lemurs Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Donati, Giuseppe; Kesch, Kristina; Ndremifidy, Kelard; Schmidt, Stacey L.; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M.; Ganzhorn, Joerg U.

    2011-01-01

    Background Frugivorous primates are known to encounter many problems to cope with habitat degradation, due to the fluctuating spatial and temporal distribution of their food resources. Since lemur communities evolved strategies to deal with periods of food scarcity, these primates are expected to be naturally adapted to fluctuating ecological conditions and to tolerate a certain degree of habitat changes. However, behavioral and ecological strategies adopted by frugivorous lemurs to survive in secondary habitats have been little investigated. Here, we compared the behavioral ecology of collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) in a degraded fragment of littoral forest of south-east Madagascar, Mandena, with that of their conspecifics in a more intact habitat, Sainte Luce. Methodology/Principal Findings Lemur groups in Mandena and in Sainte Luce were censused in 2004/2007 and in 2000, respectively. Data were collected via instantaneous sampling on five lemur groups totaling 1,698 observation hours. The Shannon index was used to determine dietary diversity and nutritional analyses were conducted to assess food quality. All feeding trees were identified and measured, and ranging areas determined via the minimum convex polygon. In the degraded area lemurs were able to modify several aspects of their feeding strategies by decreasing group size and by increasing feeding time, ranging areas, and number of feeding trees. The above strategies were apparently able to counteract a clear reduction in both food quality and size of feeding trees. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that collared lemurs in littoral forest fragments modified their behavior to cope with the pressures of fluctuating resource availability. The observed flexibility is likely to be an adaptation to Malagasy rainforests, which are known to undergo periods of fruit scarcity and low productivity. These results should be carefully considered when relocating lemurs or when selecting suitable areas for

  5. Functional analysis of aggression in a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata).

    PubMed

    Farmer-Dougan, Valeri

    2014-01-01

    A functional analysis was conducted to assess the antecedent and reinforcing conditions underlying aggressive behavior in a female lemur in captivity. Results showed that her aggression was primarily the result of human attention. A replacement behavior-training program was introduced, and the lemur's aggression was successfully eliminated. These results demonstrate the utility of using functional assessment and analyses in zoos with captive wild nonhuman animals.

  6. The asymmetric scent: ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) have distinct chemical signatures in left and right brachial glands.

    PubMed

    Dapporto, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    Distinctive cues are predicted to evolve when the benefits obtained by the recognition process overcome its costs. When individual recognition is particularly beneficial for both senders and receivers, the expression of strongly distinctive signals is predicted to evolve. On the other hand, it could be predicted that each individual should show a very stable individual signature. In the same perspective, a great stability of the individual signatures could be expected. Lemur catta is the first non-human primate in which olfactory individual recognition has been demonstrated on the basis of the specialized brachial gland secretions. In this paper, I performed gas chromatograph analyses of right and left gland samples collected in two different periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons) from seven males. The aim was to verify if a diversification in such cues, already demonstrated at the inter-individual level, also occurs at the intra-individual level between left and right glands. I verified, by discriminant analysis and chemical distance comparisons, that each gland of each lemur has its particular signature that is maintained through time. Moreover, such diversification resulted so marked to make the overall intra-individual chemical differences similar to/as strong as the inter-individual ones. Since in rodents several odors from different glands may be integrated in individual recognition, I suggest that bilateral diversification in L. catta scents may offer an enhanced distinctiveness that could provide benefits in mate choice and social relationships.

  7. Fatal infection with Taenia martis metacestodes in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in an Italian zoological garden.

    PubMed

    De Liberato, Claudio; Berrilli, Federica; Meoli, Roberta; Friedrich, Klaus G; Di Cerbo, Pilar; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Eleni, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    A case of fatal infection caused by larval forms of Taenia martis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in the Rome zoological garden is described. The animal, living in a semi-natural pen with other 15 conspecific individuals and being fed with fresh fruit and vegetables, yoghurt and eggs, was transported to the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Rome for post-mortem examination. The anamnesis included, ten days before the death, apathy, lack of appetite, abdominal distension and diarrhoea. A severe exudative fibrinous-purulent peritonitis with numerous adhesions between the abdominal wall and the bowel loops was detected. After intestine removal, two free and viable, 4 cm long, whitish, leaf-like parasitic forms were pinpointed. Macroscopic examination of the two parasites allowed their identification as larval stages of cestodes, identified via molecular analysis as T. martis metacestodes. This report represents the first record of T. martis infection in the host species and in a zoological garden and for the pathological relevance of the infection.

  8. The asymmetric scent: ringtailed lemurs ( Lemur catta) have distinct chemical signatures in left and right brachial glands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dapporto, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    Distinctive cues are predicted to evolve when the benefits obtained by the recognition process overcome its costs. When individual recognition is particularly beneficial for both senders and receivers, the expression of strongly distinctive signals is predicted to evolve. On the other hand, it could be predicted that each individual should show a very stable individual signature. In the same perspective, a great stability of the individual signatures could be expected. Lemur catta is the first non-human primate in which olfactory individual recognition has been demonstrated on the basis of the specialized brachial gland secretions. In this paper, I performed gas chromatograph analyses of right and left gland samples collected in two different periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons) from seven males. The aim was to verify if a diversification in such cues, already demonstrated at the inter-individual level, also occurs at the intra-individual level between left and right glands. I verified, by discriminant analysis and chemical distance comparisons, that each gland of each lemur has its particular signature that is maintained through time. Moreover, such diversification resulted so marked to make the overall intra-individual chemical differences similar to/as strong as the inter-individual ones. Since in rodents several odors from different glands may be integrated in individual recognition, I suggest that bilateral diversification in L. catta scents may offer an enhanced distinctiveness that could provide benefits in mate choice and social relationships.

  9. Fatal infection with Taenia martis metacestodes in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in an Italian zoological garden.

    PubMed

    De Liberato, Claudio; Berrilli, Federica; Meoli, Roberta; Friedrich, Klaus G; Di Cerbo, Pilar; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Eleni, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    A case of fatal infection caused by larval forms of Taenia martis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in the Rome zoological garden is described. The animal, living in a semi-natural pen with other 15 conspecific individuals and being fed with fresh fruit and vegetables, yoghurt and eggs, was transported to the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Rome for post-mortem examination. The anamnesis included, ten days before the death, apathy, lack of appetite, abdominal distension and diarrhoea. A severe exudative fibrinous-purulent peritonitis with numerous adhesions between the abdominal wall and the bowel loops was detected. After intestine removal, two free and viable, 4 cm long, whitish, leaf-like parasitic forms were pinpointed. Macroscopic examination of the two parasites allowed their identification as larval stages of cestodes, identified via molecular analysis as T. martis metacestodes. This report represents the first record of T. martis infection in the host species and in a zoological garden and for the pathological relevance of the infection. PMID:24928170

  10. Increased age of transformed mouse neural progenitor/stem cells recapitulates age-dependent clinical features of human glioma malignancy

    PubMed Central

    Mikheev, Andrei M.; Ramakrishna, Rohan; Stoll, Elizabeth A.; Mikheeva, Svetlana A.; Beyer, Richard P.; Plotnik, David A.; Schwartz, Jeffrey L.; Rockhill, Jason K.; Silber, John R.; Born, Donald E.; Kosai, Yoshito; Horner, Philip J.; Rostomily, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Increasing age is the most robust predictor of greater malignancy and treatment resistance in human gliomas. However, the adverse association of clinical course with aging is rarely considered in animal glioma models, impeding delineation of the relative importance of organismal versus progenitor cell aging in the genesis of glioma malignancy. To address this limitation, we implanted transformed neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs), the presumed cells of glioma origin, from 3 and 18month old mice into 3 and 20-month host animals. Transplantation with progenitors from older animals resulted in significantly shorter (p ≤ 0.0001) median survival in both 3month (37.5 vs 83 days) and 20-month (38 vs 67 days) hosts, indicating that age-dependent changes intrinsic to NSPCs rather than host animal age accounted for greater malignancy. Subsequent analyses revealed that increased invasiveness, genomic instability, resistance to therapeutic agents and tolerance to hypoxic stress accompanied aging in transformed NSPCs. Greater tolerance to hypoxia in older progenitor cells, as evidenced by elevated HIF-1 promoter reporter activity and hypoxia response gene (HRG) expression, mirror the upregulation of HRGs in cohorts of older vs younger glioma patients revealed by analysis of gene expression databases, suggesting that differential response to hypoxic stress may underlie age-dependent differences in invasion, genomic instability and treatment resistance. Our study provides strong evidence that progenitor cell aging is responsible for promoting the hallmarks of age-dependent glioma malignancy and that consideration of progenitor aging will facilitate development of physiologically and clinically relevant animal models of human gliomas. PMID:22958206

  11. Age-dependent impairment of glucose tolerance in the 3xTg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Vandal, Milene; White, Phillip J; Chevrier, Geneviève; Tremblay, Cyntia; St-Amour, Isabelle; Planel, Emmanuel; Marette, Andre; Calon, Frederic

    2015-10-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with type II diabetes (T2D) and obesity in several epidemiologic studies. To determine whether AD neuropathology can cause peripheral metabolic impairments, we investigated metabolic parameters in the triple-transgenic (3xTg)-AD mouse model of AD, compared with those in nontransgenic (non-Tg) controls, at 6, 8, and 14 mo of age. We found a more pronounced cortical Aβ accumulation (2- and 3.5-fold increase in Aβ42 in the soluble and insoluble protein fractions, respectively) in female 3xTg-AD mice than in the males. Furthermore, female 3xTg-AD mice displayed a significant deterioration in glucose tolerance (AUC, +118% vs. non-Tg mice at 14 mo). Fasting plasma insulin levels rose 2.5-fold from 6 to 14 mo of age in female 3xTg-AD mice. Glucose intolerance and cortical amyloid pathology worsened with age, and both were more pronounced in the females. Pancreatic amyloidopathy was revealed and could underlie the observed deficit in glycemic response in 3xTg-AD mice. The present results suggest that AD-like neuropathology extends to the pancreas in the 3xTg-AD mouse, leading to glucose intolerance and contributing to a pathologic self-amplifying loop between AD and T2D. PMID:26108977

  12. Metabolic changes over the course of aging in a mouse model of tau deposition.

    PubMed

    Joly-Amado, Aurélie; Serraneau, Karisa S; Brownlow, Milene; Marín de Evsikova, Caralina; Speakman, John R; Gordon, Marcia N; Morgan, Dave

    2016-08-01

    Weight loss and food intake disturbances that often precede cognitive decline and diagnosis have been extensively reported in Alzheimer's disease patients. Previously, we observed that transgenic mice overexpressing tau seemed to eat more food yet weigh less than nontransgenic littermates. Thus, the present longitudinal study measured the time course of changes in metabolic state over the lifespan of the tau depositing Tg4510 mouse model of tau deposition. Although body weight was comparable to nontransgenic littermates at 2 months of age, Tg4510 mice weighed less at older ages. This was accompanied by the accumulation of tau pathology and by dramatically increased activity in all phases of the 24-hour cycle. Resting metabolic rate was also increased at 7 months of age. At 12 months near the end of the Tg4510 lifespan, there was a wasting phase, with a considerable decrease of resting metabolic rate, although hyperactivity was maintained. These diverse changes in metabolism in a mouse model of tau deposition are discussed in the context of known changes in energy metabolism in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27318134

  13. Rate of digesta passage in the philippine flying lemur, Cynocephalus volans.

    PubMed

    Wischusen, E W; Ingle, N; Richmond, M E

    1994-01-01

    The rate of digesta passage was measured in five captive Philippine flying lemurs (Cynocephalus volans). These animals were force fed capsules containing known quantities of either particulate or soluble markers. The volumes of the gastrointestinal tracts of three flying lemurs were determined based on the wet weight of the contents of each section of the gut. The mean rate of digesta passage was 14.37 +/- 3.31 h when determined using the particulate marker and 21.9 +/- 0.03 h when determined using the soluble marker. The values based on the particulate marker are between 2% and 10% of similar values for other arboreal folivores. The morphology of the gastrointestinal system of the Philippine flying lemur is similar to that of other hindgut fermenters. Flying lemurs have a simple stomach and a large caecum. The total gut capacity of the Philippine flying lemur is similar to that of other herbivores, but is slightly smaller than that of either the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), a hindgut fermenter, or the three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), a foregut fermenter. These data suggest that flying lemurs deal with the problems of a folivorous diet very differently than some other arboreal mammals. Phascolarctos cinereus and Bradypus variegatus may represent one extreme with Cynocephalus volans representing the other extreme along a continuum of foraging strategies that are compatible with the arboreal folivore lifestyle.

  14. Severe wear and tooth loss in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): a function of feeding ecology, dental structure, and individual life history.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2006-11-01

    The ring-tailed lemurs at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, exhibit a high frequency of severe wear and antemortem tooth loss. As part of a long-term study, we collected dental data on 83 living adult ring-tailed lemurs during 2003 and 2004. Among these individuals, 192 teeth were scored as absent. The most frequently missing tooth position is M1 (24%). As M1 is the first tooth to erupt, its high frequency of absence (primarily a result of wear) is not remarkable. However, the remaining pattern of tooth loss does not correlate with the sequence of eruption. We suggest that this pattern is a function of 1) feeding ecology, as hard, tough tamarind fruit is a key fallback food of ring-tailed lemurs living in gallery forests; 2) food processing, as tamarind fruit is primarily processed in the P3-M1 region of the mouth; and 3) tooth structure, as ring-tailed lemurs possess thin dental enamel. The incongruity between thin enamel and use of a hard, tough fallback food suggests that ring-tailed lemurs living in riverine gallery forests may rely on resources not used in the past. When comparing dental health in the same individuals (n=50) between 2003 and 2004, we found that individual tooth loss can show a rapid increase over the span of one year, increasing by as much as 20%. Despite this rapid loss, individuals are able to survive, sometimes benefiting from unintentional assistance from conspecifics, from which partially processed tamarind fruit is obtained. Although less frequent in this population, these longitudinal data also illustrate that ring-tailed lemurs lose teeth due to damage and disease, similar to other nonhuman primates. The relationship between tooth loss, feeding ecology, dental structure, and individual life history in this population has implications for interpreting behavior based on tooth loss in the hominid fossil record. PMID:16962643

  15. Age-dependent change of HMGB1 and DNA double-strand break accumulation in mouse brain

    SciTech Connect

    Enokido, Yasushi; Yoshitake, Ayaka; Ito, Hikaru; Okazawa, Hitoshi

    2008-11-07

    HMGB1 is an evolutionarily conserved non-histone chromatin-associated protein with key roles in maintenance of nuclear homeostasis; however, the function of HMGB1 in the brain remains largely unknown. Recently, we found that the reduction of nuclear HMGB1 protein level in the nucleus associates with DNA double-strand break (DDSB)-mediated neuronal damage in Huntington's disease [M.L. Qi, K. Tagawa, Y. Enokido, N. Yoshimura, Y. Wada, K. Watase, S. Ishiura, I. Kanazawa, J. Botas, M. Saitoe, E.E. Wanker, H. Okazawa, Proteome analysis of soluble nuclear proteins reveals that HMGB1/2 suppress genotoxic stress in polyglutamine diseases, Nat. Cell Biol. 9 (2007) 402-414]. In this study, we analyze the region- and cell type-specific changes of HMGB1 and DDSB accumulation during the aging of mouse brain. HMGB1 is localized in the nuclei of neurons and astrocytes, and the protein level changes in various brain regions age-dependently. HMGB1 reduces in neurons, whereas it increases in astrocytes during aging. In contrast, DDSB remarkably accumulates in neurons, but it does not change significantly in astrocytes during aging. These results indicate that HMGB1 expression during aging is differentially regulated between neurons and astrocytes, and suggest that the reduction of nuclear HMGB1 might be causative for DDSB in neurons of the aged brain.

  16. A coming of age: advanced imaging technologies for characterising the developing mouse.

    PubMed

    Norris, Francesca C; Wong, Michael D; Greene, Nicholas D E; Scambler, Peter J; Weaver, Tom; Weninger, Wolfgang J; Mohun, Timothy J; Henkelman, R Mark; Lythgoe, Mark F

    2013-12-01

    The immense challenge of annotating the entire mouse genome has stimulated the development of cutting-edge imaging technologies in a drive for novel information. These techniques promise to improve understanding of the genes involved in embryo development, at least one third of which have been shown to be essential. Aligning advanced imaging technologies with biological needs will be fundamental to maximising the number of phenotypes discovered in the coming years. International efforts are underway to meet this challenge through an integrated and sophisticated approach to embryo phenotyping. We review rapid advances made in the imaging field over the past decade and provide a comprehensive examination of the relative merits of current and emerging techniques. The aim of this review is to provide a guide to state-of-the-art embryo imaging that will enable informed decisions as to which technology to use and fuel conversations between expert imaging laboratories, researchers, and core mouse production facilities.

  17. The mouse attentional set-shifting task: A method for assaying successful cognitive aging?

    PubMed Central

    YOUNG, Jared W; POWELL, Susan B; GEYER, Mark A; JESTE, Dilip V; RISBROUGH, Victoria B

    2009-01-01

    Humans exhibit considerable variance in cognitive decline with age, with some exhibiting little disruption while others become significantly impaired. In aged rodents, individual differences in spatial memory have been used to identify putative compensatory mechanisms underlying successful hippocampal aging. However, there are few parallel rodent models of cognitive decline in frontal cortex-mediated functions. We tested the hypothesis that, like aged humans, aged mice would exhibit greater variance in executive function measures compared to young mice. We examined the performance of young and aged C57BL/6N mice in the attentional set-shifting task. While young and old mice did not differ on trials to criterion performance, aged mice exhibited significantly greater variance in mean correct latency – selective to the extradimensional shifting stage – compared to their younger counterparts. Thus this task may be used to identify mechanisms underlying individual differences in decline of frontal-mediated performances with age. PMID:20498348

  18. Recovery of Aging-Related Size Increase of Skin Epithelial Cells: In vivo Mouse and In vitro Human Study

    PubMed Central

    Sokolov, Igor; Guz, Natali V.; Iyer, Swaminathan; Hewitt, Amy; Sokolov, Nina A.; Erlichman, Joseph S.; Woodworth, Craig D.

    2015-01-01

    The size increase of skin epithelial cells during aging is well-known. Here we demonstrate that treatment of aging cells with cytochalasin B substantially decreases cell size. This decrease was demonstrated on a mouse model and on human skin cells in vitro. Six nude mice were treated by topical application of cytochalasin B on skin of the dorsal left midsection for 140 days (the right side served as control for placebo treatment). An average decrease in cell size of 56±16% resulted. A reduction of cell size was also observed on primary human skin epithelial cells of different in vitro age (passages from 1 to 8). A cell strain obtained from a pool of 6 human subjects was treated with cytochalasin B in vitro for 12 hours. We observed a decrease in cell size that became statistically significant and reached 20–40% for cells of older passage (6–8 passages) whereas no substantial change was observed for younger cells. These results may be important for understanding the aging processes, and for cosmetic treatment of aging skin. PMID:25807526

  19. Specific age-related molecular alterations in the cerebellum of Down syndrome mouse models.

    PubMed

    Créau, Nicole; Cabet, Eva; Daubigney, Fabrice; Souchet, Benoit; Bennaï, Soumia; Delabar, Jean

    2016-09-01

    Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, has been modeled with various trisomic and transgenic mice to help understand the consequences of an altered gene dosage in brain development and function. Though Down syndrome has been associated with premature aging, little is known about the molecular and cellular alterations that target brain function. To help identify alterations at specific ages, we analyzed the cerebellum of Ts1Cje mice, trisomic for 77 HSA21 orthologs, at three ages-young (4 months), middle-age (12 months), and old (17 months)-compared to age-matched controls. Quantification of neuronal and glial markers (n=11) revealed increases in GFAP, with an age effect, and S100B, with age and genotype effects. The genotype effect on S100B with age was unexpected as Ts1Cje has only two copies of the S100b gene. Interestingly, the different increase in GFAP observed between Ts1Cje (trisomic segment includes Pcp4 gene) and controls was magnified in TgPCP4 mice (1 extra copy of the human PCP4 gene) at the same age. S100B increase was not found in the TgPCP4 confirming a difference of regulation with aging for GFAP and S100B and excluding the calcium signaling regulator, Pcp4, as a potential candidate for increase of S100B in the Ts1Cje. To understand these differences, comparison of GFAP and S100B immunostainings at young and middle-age were performed. Immunohistochemical detection of differences in GFAP and S100B localization with aging implicate S100B+ oligodendrocytes as a new phenotypic target in this specific aging process. PMID:27297494

  20. Interpreting food processing through dietary mechanical properties: a Lemur catta case study.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Knowledge of dietary mechanical properties can be informative about physical consequences to consumers during ingestion and mastication. In this article, we examine how Tamarindus indica fruits can affect dental morphology in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly special reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs in tamarind dominated gallery forests exhibit extreme wear and tooth loss on their postcanine dentition that has been related to processing T. indica fruits. We measured and compared mechanical properties of individual food parts in the diet of ring-tailed lemurs in different seasons in 1999-2000, 2008, and 2010. Fracture toughness, hardness, and modulus of foods were measured with a portable mechanical tester. The ripe fruits of T. indica are indeed the toughest and hardest foods ingested by the lemurs. In addition, they are among the largest foods consumed, require high numbers of ingestive bites to process, and are the most frequently eaten by volume. During controlled cutting tests of the ripe fruit shell, multiple runaway side cracks form alongside the cut. Similarly, the lemurs repeatedly bite the ripe shell during feeding and thereby introduce multiple cracks that eventually fragment the shell. Studies of enamel microstructure (e.g., Lucas et al.: BioEssays 30 (2008) 374-385; Campbell et al., 2011) advance the idea that the thin enamel of ring-tailed lemur teeth is susceptible to substantial micro-cracking that rapidly erodes the teeth. We conclude that micro-cracking from repeated loads, in combination with the mechanical and physical properties of the fruit, is primarily responsible for the observed dental damage.

  1. Interpreting food processing through dietary mechanical properties: a Lemur catta case study.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Knowledge of dietary mechanical properties can be informative about physical consequences to consumers during ingestion and mastication. In this article, we examine how Tamarindus indica fruits can affect dental morphology in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly special reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs in tamarind dominated gallery forests exhibit extreme wear and tooth loss on their postcanine dentition that has been related to processing T. indica fruits. We measured and compared mechanical properties of individual food parts in the diet of ring-tailed lemurs in different seasons in 1999-2000, 2008, and 2010. Fracture toughness, hardness, and modulus of foods were measured with a portable mechanical tester. The ripe fruits of T. indica are indeed the toughest and hardest foods ingested by the lemurs. In addition, they are among the largest foods consumed, require high numbers of ingestive bites to process, and are the most frequently eaten by volume. During controlled cutting tests of the ripe fruit shell, multiple runaway side cracks form alongside the cut. Similarly, the lemurs repeatedly bite the ripe shell during feeding and thereby introduce multiple cracks that eventually fragment the shell. Studies of enamel microstructure (e.g., Lucas et al.: BioEssays 30 (2008) 374-385; Campbell et al., 2011) advance the idea that the thin enamel of ring-tailed lemur teeth is susceptible to substantial micro-cracking that rapidly erodes the teeth. We conclude that micro-cracking from repeated loads, in combination with the mechanical and physical properties of the fruit, is primarily responsible for the observed dental damage. PMID:22610896

  2. Analysis of dentition of a living wild population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sauther, M L; Cuozzo, F P; Sussman, R W

    2001-03-01

    Detailed descriptions of the dentition of many strepsirhine primate taxa are rare, despite their importance in understanding primate evolutionary biology. While several researchers have provided detailed morphological descriptions of ring-tailed lemur dentition (e.g., Schwartz and Tattersall [1985] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 60:1-100; Tattersall and Schwartz [1991] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 69:2-18), there are few studies (e.g., Eaglen [1986] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 71:185-201) that present quantitative data on the dentition of this species. Furthermore, prior analyses were based on museum specimens from various populations and locations. We present here quantitative and morphological data on the dentition of a population of wild Lemur catta from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Measurements were made on dental casts (n = 39) taken from living members of this L. catta population. Our analysis indicates that no significant (P > 0.05) sexual dimorphism exists for the 30 dental measurements collected. These data support the generalizations (e.g., Plavcan and van Schaik [1994] Evol. Anthropol. 2:208-214; Kappeler [1996] J. Evol. Biol. 9:43-65) that little sexual dimorphism in dentition exists among Malagasy strepsirhines. In addition, the overall patterns of metric variation in this sample compare favorably with patterns seen among other primates, e.g., premolar measurements varying more than molars (e.g., Gingerich [1974] J. Paleontol. 48:895-903). However, there is a degree of intraspecific morphological variation indicated, with one of the morphological traits discussed in other studies as being species-specific for L. catta (absence of P(4) metaconids) observed to vary between specimens. Because the patterns of variation seen in this sample are from a known breeding population, the data presented here provide an important reference for interpreting and understanding the fossil record. PMID:11241187

  3. Analysis of dentition of a living wild population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sauther, M L; Cuozzo, F P; Sussman, R W

    2001-03-01

    Detailed descriptions of the dentition of many strepsirhine primate taxa are rare, despite their importance in understanding primate evolutionary biology. While several researchers have provided detailed morphological descriptions of ring-tailed lemur dentition (e.g., Schwartz and Tattersall [1985] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 60:1-100; Tattersall and Schwartz [1991] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 69:2-18), there are few studies (e.g., Eaglen [1986] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 71:185-201) that present quantitative data on the dentition of this species. Furthermore, prior analyses were based on museum specimens from various populations and locations. We present here quantitative and morphological data on the dentition of a population of wild Lemur catta from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Measurements were made on dental casts (n = 39) taken from living members of this L. catta population. Our analysis indicates that no significant (P > 0.05) sexual dimorphism exists for the 30 dental measurements collected. These data support the generalizations (e.g., Plavcan and van Schaik [1994] Evol. Anthropol. 2:208-214; Kappeler [1996] J. Evol. Biol. 9:43-65) that little sexual dimorphism in dentition exists among Malagasy strepsirhines. In addition, the overall patterns of metric variation in this sample compare favorably with patterns seen among other primates, e.g., premolar measurements varying more than molars (e.g., Gingerich [1974] J. Paleontol. 48:895-903). However, there is a degree of intraspecific morphological variation indicated, with one of the morphological traits discussed in other studies as being species-specific for L. catta (absence of P(4) metaconids) observed to vary between specimens. Because the patterns of variation seen in this sample are from a known breeding population, the data presented here provide an important reference for interpreting and understanding the fossil record.

  4. Osmanthus fragrans Flower Extract and Acteoside Protect Against d-Galactose-Induced Aging in an ICR Mouse Model.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Lina; Mao, Shuqin; Lu, Baiyi; Yang, Jiajia; Zhou, Fei; Hu, Yinzhou; Jiang, Yirong; Shen, Canxi; Zhao, Yajing

    2016-01-01

    Osmanthus fragrans flower extract (OFE) is an organic extract from O. fragrans flower, which exhibits neuroprotective, free radical scavenging, and antioxidant effects. Therefore, the protective effect of OFE and acteoside against aging was studied. An aging ICR mouse model was established by chronically administering d-galactose (250 mg/kg) for 8 weeks. d-galactose induced spatial learning and memory impairments that were successfully inhibited by OFE and acteoside, which could shorten escape latency, improve platform crossing times, and increase zone time. The antioxidant potential of OFE and acteoside in vivo was evaluated by estimating the following: activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase and aging-related enzyme, particularly monoamine oxidase; contents of lipid peroxidation methane dicarboxylic aldehyde, advanced glycation end products, and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (a DNA damage product); and levels of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2. OFE and acteoside also inhibited d-galactose-induced neurological aging by suppressing the increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein and neurotrophin-3. Considering the dose-dependent protective effects of OFE and acteoside, we concluded that OFE, rich in acteoside, was a good source of natural antiaging compounds.

  5. Changes in volatile compounds of mouse urine as it ages: their interactions with water and urinary proteins.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Jae; Grigsby, Claude C; Preti, George; Rizki, Mateen M; Yamazaki, Kunio; Beauchamp, Gary K

    2013-08-15

    Mice release a variety of chemical signals, particularly through urine, which mediate social interactions and endocrine function. Studies have been conducted to investigate the stability of urinary chemosignals in mice. Neuroendocrine and behavioral responses of mice to urine samples of male and female conspecifics which have aged for different amounts of time have been examined, demonstrating that the quality and intensity of signaling molecules in urine change over time. In this study, we monitored changes in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from male and female mouse urine following aging the urine samples. Substantial amounts of some VOCs were lost during the aging process of urine, whereas other VOCs increased. Considerable portions of the VOCs which exhibited the increased release were shown to have previously been dissolved in water and subsequently released as the urine dried. We also demonstrated that some VOCs decreased slightly due to their binding with the major urinary proteins (MUPs) and identified MUP ligands whose headspace concentrations increased as the urine aged. Our results underscore the important role of MUPs and the hydration status in the release of VOCs in urine, which may largely account for the changes in the quality and intensity of urinary signals over time.

  6. Mdm2-p53 signaling regulates epidermal stem cell senescence and premature aging phenotypes in mouse skin.

    PubMed

    Gannon, Hugh S; Donehower, Lawrence A; Lyle, Stephen; Jones, Stephen N

    2011-05-01

    The p53 transcription factor is activated by various types of cell stress or DNA damage and induces the expression of genes that control cell growth and inhibit tumor formation. Analysis of mice that express mutant forms of p53 suggest that inappropriate p53 activation can alter tissue homeostasis and life span, connecting p53 tumor suppressor functions with accelerated aging. However, other mouse models that display increased levels of wildtype p53 in various tissues fail to corroborate a link between p53 and aging phenotypes, possibly due to the retention of signaling pathways that negatively regulate p53 activity in these models. In this present study, we have generated mice lacking Mdm2 in the epidermis. Deletion of Mdm2, the chief negative regulator of p53, induced an aging phenotype in the skin of mice, including thinning of the epidermis, reduced wound healing, and a progressive loss of fur. These phenotypes arise due to an induction of p53-mediated senescence in epidermal stem cells and a gradual loss of epidermal stem cell function. These results reveal that activation of endogenous p53 by ablation of Mdm2 can induce accelerated aging phenotypes in mice.

  7. Assessing flavivirus, lentivirus, and herpesvirus exposure in free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs in southwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sondgeroth, Kerry; Blitvich, Brad; Blair, Carol; Terwee, Julie; Junge, Randall; Sauther, Michelle; VandeWoude, Sue

    2007-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is an endangered species found in southwestern Madagascar, and understanding infectious disease susceptibility is an essential step towards the preservation of wild and captive lemur populations. Lemurs are primates that are widely dispersed throughout the island of Madagascar and may serve as hosts or reservoirs for zoonotic infections. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in a population of free-ranging ring-tailed lemur from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Samples were collected from 50 animals during field capture studies in June and July 2004 and assayed for presence of viral antibodies during the 12 mo following collection. Forty-seven of the 50 lemurs sampled had antibodies against WNV detectable by epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, 50 of 50 samples had titers against WNV ranging from 80 to > or = 1,280 using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT(90)). Ten lemurs had antibodies against lentiviral antigens as determined by Western blot analysis. None of the lemurs had antibodies against HSV-1 using ELISA. PMID:17347392

  8. Cathemerality in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in the spiny forest of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park: camera trap data and preliminary behavioral observations.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle; Cuozzo, Frank; Yamashita, Nayuta; Jacky Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho; Bender, Richard

    2014-04-01

    Cathemerality consists of discrete periods of activity during both the day and night. Though uncommon within Primates, cathemerality is prevalent in some lemur genera, such as Eulemur, Hapalemur, and Prolemur. Several researchers have also reported nighttime activity in Lemur catta, yet these lemurs are generally considered "strictly diurnal". We used behavioral observations and camera traps to examine cathemerality of L. catta at the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, Madagascar. Nighttime activity occurred throughout the study period (September 2010-April 2011), and correlated with warm overnight temperatures but not daytime temperatures. Animals spent 25% of their daytime active behaviors on the ground, but appeared to avoid the ground at night, with only 5% of their time on the ground. Furthermore, at night, animals spent the majority of their active time feeding (53% nighttime, 43% daytime). These findings imply that both thermoregulation and diet play a role in the adaptive significance of cathemerality. Additionally, predator avoidance may have influenced cathemerality here, in that L. catta may limit nighttime activity as a result of predation threat by forest cats (Felis sp.) or fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Further data are needed on cathemeral lemurs generally, but particularly in L. catta if we are to fully understand the evolutionary mechanisms of cathemerality in the Lemuridae. PMID:24165866

  9. Defective sarcoplasmic reticulum–mitochondria calcium exchange in aged mouse myocardium

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Sanz, C; Ruiz-Meana, M; Miro-Casas, E; Nuñez, E; Castellano, J; Loureiro, M; Barba, I; Poncelas, M; Rodriguez-Sinovas, A; Vázquez, J; Garcia-Dorado, D

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial alterations are critically involved in increased vulnerability to disease during aging. We investigated the contribution of mitochondria–sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) communication in cardiomyocyte functional alterations during aging. Heart function (echocardiography) and ATP/phosphocreatine (NMR spectroscopy) were preserved in hearts from old mice (>20 months) with respect to young mice (5–6 months). Mitochondrial membrane potential and resting O2 consumption were similar in mitochondria from young and old hearts. However, maximal ADP-stimulated O2 consumption was specifically reduced in interfibrillar mitochondria from aged hearts. Second generation proteomics disclosed an increased mitochondrial protein oxidation in advanced age. Because energy production and oxidative status are regulated by mitochondrial Ca2+, we investigated the effect of age on mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. Although no age-dependent differences were found in Ca2+ uptake kinetics in isolated mitochondria, mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake secondary to SR Ca2+ release was significantly reduced in cardiomyocytes from old hearts, and this effect was associated with decreased NAD(P)H regeneration and increased mitochondrial ROS upon increased contractile activity. Immunofluorescence and proximity ligation assay identified the defective communication between mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel and SR ryanodine receptor (RyR) in cardiomyocytes from aged hearts associated with altered Ca2+ handling. Age-dependent alterations in SR Ca2+ transfer to mitochondria and in Ca2+ handling could be reproduced in cardiomyoctes from young hearts after interorganelle disruption with colchicine, at concentrations that had no effect in aged cardiomyocytes or isolated mitochondria. Thus, defective SR–mitochondria communication underlies inefficient interorganelle Ca2+ exchange that contributes to energy demand/supply mistmach and oxidative stress in the aged heart. PMID:25522267

  10. Dental development in Megaladapis edwardsi (Primates, Lemuriformes): implications for understanding life history variation in subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Gary T; Mahoney, Patrick; Godfrey, Laurie R; Cuozzo, Frank P; Jungers, William L; Randria, Gisèle F N

    2005-12-01

    Teeth grow incrementally and preserve within them a record of that incremental growth in the form of microscopic growth lines. Studying dental development in extinct and extant primates, and its relationship to adult brain and body size as well as other life history and ecological parameters (e.g., diet, somatic growth rates, gestation length, age at weaning), holds the potential to yield unparalleled insights into the life history profiles of fossil primates. Here, we address the absolute pace of dental development in Megaladapis edwardsi, a giant extinct lemur of Madagascar. By examining the microstructure of the first and developing second molars in a juvenile individual, we establish a chronology of molar crown development for this specimen (M1 CFT = 1.04 years; M2 CFT = 1.42 years) and determine its age at death (1.39 years). Microstructural data on prenatal M1 crown formation time allow us to calculate a minimum gestation length of 0.54 years for this species. Postnatal crown and root formation data allow us to estimate its age at M1 emergence (approximately 0.9 years) and to establish a minimum age for M2 emergence (>1.39 years). Finally, using reconstructions or estimates (drawn elsewhere) of adult body mass, brain size, and diet in Megaladapis, as well as the eruption sequence of its permanent teeth, we explore the efficacy of these variables in predicting the absolute pace of dental development in this fossil species. We test competing explanations of variation in crown formation timing across the order Primates. Brain size is the best single predictor of crown formation time in primates, but other variables help to explain the variation. PMID:16256170

  11. Tissue-Specific Suppression of Thyroid Hormone Signaling in Various Mouse Models of Aging.

    PubMed

    Visser, W Edward; Bombardieri, Cíntia R; Zevenbergen, Chantal; Barnhoorn, Sander; Ottaviani, Alexandre; van der Pluijm, Ingrid; Brandt, Renata; Kaptein, Ellen; van Heerebeek, Ramona; van Toor, Hans; Garinis, George A; Peeters, Robin P; Medici, Marco; van Ham, Willy; Vermeij, Wilbert P; de Waard, Monique C; de Krijger, Ronald R; Boelen, Anita; Kwakkel, Joan; Kopchick, John J; List, Edward O; Melis, Joost P M; Darras, Veerle M; Dollé, Martijn E T; van der Horst, Gijsbertus T J; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; Visser, Theo J

    2016-01-01

    DNA damage contributes to the process of aging, as underscored by premature aging syndromes caused by defective DNA repair. Thyroid state changes during aging, but underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Since thyroid hormone (TH) is a key regulator of metabolism, changes in TH signaling have widespread effects. Here, we reveal a significant common transcriptomic signature in livers from hypothyroid mice, DNA repair-deficient mice with severe (Csbm/m/Xpa-/-) or intermediate (Ercc1-/Δ-7) progeria and naturally aged mice. A strong induction of TH-inactivating deiodinase D3 and decrease of TH-activating D1 activities are observed in Csbm/m/Xpa-/- livers. Similar findings are noticed in Ercc1-/Δ-7, in naturally aged animals and in wild-type mice exposed to a chronic subtoxic dose of DNA-damaging agents. In contrast, TH signaling in muscle, heart and brain appears unaltered. These data show a strong suppression of TH signaling in specific peripheral organs in premature and normal aging, probably lowering metabolism, while other tissues appear to preserve metabolism. D3-mediated TH inactivation is unexpected, given its expression mainly in fetal tissues. Our studies highlight the importance of DNA damage as the underlying mechanism of changes in thyroid state. Tissue-specific regulation of deiodinase activities, ensuring diminished TH signaling, may contribute importantly to the protective metabolic response in aging. PMID:26953569

  12. Tissue-Specific Suppression of Thyroid Hormone Signaling in Various Mouse Models of Aging.

    PubMed

    Visser, W Edward; Bombardieri, Cíntia R; Zevenbergen, Chantal; Barnhoorn, Sander; Ottaviani, Alexandre; van der Pluijm, Ingrid; Brandt, Renata; Kaptein, Ellen; van Heerebeek, Ramona; van Toor, Hans; Garinis, George A; Peeters, Robin P; Medici, Marco; van Ham, Willy; Vermeij, Wilbert P; de Waard, Monique C; de Krijger, Ronald R; Boelen, Anita; Kwakkel, Joan; Kopchick, John J; List, Edward O; Melis, Joost P M; Darras, Veerle M; Dollé, Martijn E T; van der Horst, Gijsbertus T J; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; Visser, Theo J

    2016-01-01

    DNA damage contributes to the process of aging, as underscored by premature aging syndromes caused by defective DNA repair. Thyroid state changes during aging, but underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Since thyroid hormone (TH) is a key regulator of metabolism, changes in TH signaling have widespread effects. Here, we reveal a significant common transcriptomic signature in livers from hypothyroid mice, DNA repair-deficient mice with severe (Csbm/m/Xpa-/-) or intermediate (Ercc1-/Δ-7) progeria and naturally aged mice. A strong induction of TH-inactivating deiodinase D3 and decrease of TH-activating D1 activities are observed in Csbm/m/Xpa-/- livers. Similar findings are noticed in Ercc1-/Δ-7, in naturally aged animals and in wild-type mice exposed to a chronic subtoxic dose of DNA-damaging agents. In contrast, TH signaling in muscle, heart and brain appears unaltered. These data show a strong suppression of TH signaling in specific peripheral organs in premature and normal aging, probably lowering metabolism, while other tissues appear to preserve metabolism. D3-mediated TH inactivation is unexpected, given its expression mainly in fetal tissues. Our studies highlight the importance of DNA damage as the underlying mechanism of changes in thyroid state. Tissue-specific regulation of deiodinase activities, ensuring diminished TH signaling, may contribute importantly to the protective metabolic response in aging.

  13. Tissue-Specific Suppression of Thyroid Hormone Signaling in Various Mouse Models of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Visser, W. Edward; Barnhoorn, Sander; Ottaviani, Alexandre; van der Pluijm, Ingrid; Brandt, Renata; Kaptein, Ellen; van Heerebeek, Ramona; van Toor, Hans; Garinis, George A.; Peeters, Robin P.; Medici, Marco; van Ham, Willy; Vermeij, Wilbert P.; de Waard, Monique C.; de Krijger, Ronald R.; Boelen, Anita; Kwakkel, Joan; Kopchick, John J.; List, Edward O.; Melis, Joost P. M.; Darras, Veerle M.; Dollé, Martijn E. T.; van der Horst, Gijsbertus T. J.; Hoeijmakers, Jan H. J.; Visser, Theo J.

    2016-01-01

    DNA damage contributes to the process of aging, as underscored by premature aging syndromes caused by defective DNA repair. Thyroid state changes during aging, but underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Since thyroid hormone (TH) is a key regulator of metabolism, changes in TH signaling have widespread effects. Here, we reveal a significant common transcriptomic signature in livers from hypothyroid mice, DNA repair-deficient mice with severe (Csbm/m/Xpa-/-) or intermediate (Ercc1-/Δ-7) progeria and naturally aged mice. A strong induction of TH-inactivating deiodinase D3 and decrease of TH-activating D1 activities are observed in Csbm/m/Xpa-/- livers. Similar findings are noticed in Ercc1-/Δ-7, in naturally aged animals and in wild-type mice exposed to a chronic subtoxic dose of DNA-damaging agents. In contrast, TH signaling in muscle, heart and brain appears unaltered. These data show a strong suppression of TH signaling in specific peripheral organs in premature and normal aging, probably lowering metabolism, while other tissues appear to preserve metabolism. D3-mediated TH inactivation is unexpected, given its expression mainly in fetal tissues. Our studies highlight the importance of DNA damage as the underlying mechanism of changes in thyroid state. Tissue-specific regulation of deiodinase activities, ensuring diminished TH signaling, may contribute importantly to the protective metabolic response in aging. PMID:26953569

  14. Accelerated Aging of Intervertebral Discs in a Mouse Model of Progeria

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Nam; Seo, Hyoung-Yeon; Robinson, Andria; Sowa, Gwendolyn; Bentley, Douglas; Taylor, Lauren; Studer, Rebecca; Usas, Arvydas; Huard, Johnny; Alber, Sean; Watkins, Simon C.; Lee, Joon; Coehlo, Paulo; Wang, Dong; Loppini, Mattia; Robbins, Paul D.; Niedernhofer, Laura J.; Kang, James

    2012-01-01

    Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a common and debilitating disorder that results in reduced flexibility of the spine, pain, and reduced mobility. Risk factors for IDD include age, genetic predisposition, injury, and other environmental factors such as smoking. Loss of proteoglycans (PGs) contributes to IDD with advancing age. Currently there is a lack of a model for rapid investigation of disc aging and evaluation of therapeutic interventions. Here we examined progression of disc aging in a murine model of a human progeroid syndrome caused by deficiency of the DNA repair endonuclease, ERCC1–XPF (Ercc1−/Δ mice). The ERCC1-deficient mice showed loss of disc height and degenerative structural changes in their vertebral bodies similar to those reported for old rodents. Compared to their wild-type littermates, Ercc1−/Δ mice also exhibit other age-related IDD characteristics, including premature loss of disc PG, reduced matrix PG synthesis, and enhanced apoptosis and cell senescence. Finally, the onset of age-associated disc pathologies was further accelerated in Ercc1−/Δ mice following chronic treatment with the chemotherapeutic agent mechlorethamine. These results demonstrate that Ercc1−/Δ mice represent an accurate and rapid model of disc aging and provide novel evidence that DNA damage negatively impacts PG synthesis. PMID:20973062

  15. Aging does not affect soluble guanylate cyclase redox state in mouse aortas.

    PubMed

    Shimosato, Takashi; Tawa, Masashi; Iwasaki, Hirotaka; Imamura, Takeshi; Okamura, Tomio

    2016-05-01

    Aging is associated with endothelial dysfunction, defined as a reduction in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Although the redox state of the NO acceptor soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is another determinant factor for its bioavailability and is disturbed by reactive oxygen species (ROS) known to be increased with age, it is unclear whether aging actually has an impact on vascular sGC redox equilibrium. Therefore, this study investigated this issue using two different types of compounds, the sGC stimulator BAY 41-2272 and the sGC activator BAY 60-2770. Plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) levels were markedly higher in aged (19-20 months old) mice than in young (2-3 months old) mice, whereas superoxide levels in endothelium-denuded aortas were not different between the groups. The relaxant response of endothelium-denuded aortas to either BAY 41-2272 or BAY 60-2770 was identical in aged and young mice. In addition, the vascular cGMP production stimulated with BAY 41-2272 or BAY 60-2770 in aged mice was the same level as that in young mice. These findings suggest that aging accompanied by an increase in systemic oxidative stress does not affect vascular smooth muscle ROS generation and sGC redox equilibrium. Unless ROS are increased in vascular smooth muscle, the sGC redox equilibrium might remain unchanged.

  16. Dynamic changes of DNA epigenetic marks in mouse oocytes during natural and accelerated aging.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yan; Tu, Jiajie; Tang, Nelson Leung Sang; Kong, Grace Wing Shan; Chung, Jacqueline Pui Wah; Chan, Wai-Yee; Lee, Tin-Lap

    2015-10-01

    Aging is a complex time-dependent biological process that takes place in every cell and organ, eventually leading to degenerative changes that affect normal biological functions. In the past decades, the number of older parents has increased significantly. While it is widely recognized that oocyte aging poses higher birth and reproductive risk, the exact molecular mechanisms remain largely elusive. DNA methylation of 5-cytosine (5mC) and histone modifications are among the key epigenetic mechanisms involved in critical developmental processes and have been linked to aging. However, the impact of oocyte aging on DNA demethylation pathways has not been examined. The recent discovery of Ten-Eleven-Translocation (TET) family proteins, thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) and the demethylation intermediates 5hmC, 5fC and 5caC has provided novel clues to delineate the molecular mechanisms in DNA demethylation. In this study, we examined the cellular level of modified cytosines (5mC, 5hmC, 5fC and 5caC) and Tet/Tdg expression in oocytes obtained from natural and accelerated oocyte aging conditions. Here we show all the DNA demethylation marks are dynamically regulated in both aging conditions, which are associated with Tet3 over-expression and Tdg repression. Such an aberrant expression pattern was more profound in accelerated aging condition. The results suggest that DNA demethylation may be actively involved in oocyte aging and have implications for development of potential drug targets to rejuvenate aging oocytes. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Epigenetics dynamics in development and disease.

  17. Behavioral thermoregulation in a gregarious lemur, Eulemur collaris: effects of climatic and dietary-related factors.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Ricci, Eva; Baldi, Nicoletta; Morelli, Valentina; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M

    2011-03-01

    Primates deal with fluctuations of the thermal environment by both physiological and behavioral mechanisms of thermoregulation. In this article we focus on non-hibernating lemurs, which are hypometabolic and have to cope with a seasonal environment. Behavioral thermoregulation has received little attention compared with specific physiological adaptations to seasonality, i.e., hibernation and torpor, which characterize a number of lemurs. We investigated the role of seasonality and dietary-related factors in determining frequencies of resting, social and postural thermoregulation, and microhabitat selection in collared lemurs, Eulemur collaris. We observed two groups of collared lemurs over a 14-month period in the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, Southern Madagascar. Frequencies of total resting and time spent in huddling, prone, and curled postures were collected via 5-min instantaneous sampling. Microhabitat selection was evaluated as the proportion of time spent in the upper canopy as compared with other layers. Climatic variables were recorded by automatic data loggers, while dietary variables were derived from phenological data and nutritional analyses of the ingested food items. We weighted the combined effects of climatic and dietary variables on the different types of behavioral thermoregulation by means of canonical correlation analysis. The model with the strongest canonical correlation included a first root representing mainly feeding time, day length, and ambient temperature and a second root representing diet quality and height of feeding trees. The output indicated that collared lemurs adapt to thermal and dietary-related metabolic stress by adjusting resting time, social, and postural thermoregulation.

  18. Fatal echinococcosis in three lemurs in the United Kingdom--A case series.

    PubMed

    Denk, Daniela; Boufana, Belgees; Masters, Nicholas J; Stidworthy, Mark F

    2016-03-15

    Tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus reside in the small intestine of a number of carnivorous species, predominantly canids. In enzootic areas, hydatidosis caused by taeniid metacestodes can present a significant problem in accidental intermediate hosts, including humans. Whereas the United Kingdom is currently considered free of Echinococcus multilocularis, Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) and Echinococcus equinus are endemic in the UK and have been reported in a variety of captive mammals. The presentation of echinoccocosis in non-human primates widely parallels disease in humans, and public health concerns are related to the four genera, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, Echinococcus vogeli and Echinococcus oligarthrus. In contrast, sporadic outbreaks and individual hydatid disease cases in non-human primates have been associated with several Echinococcus and Taenia species. Here we describe three fatal cases of cystic echinococcosis in two captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and one captive red-ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata rubra) and provide molecular tapeworm characterisation. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this includes the first report of Echinococcus ortleppi in a UK born ring-tailed lemur and provides the first in depth case reports of echinococcosis due to E. equinus in UK born ring-tailed and red ruffed lemurs with detailed clinical and pathological findings. The cestode life cycle and implications for zoo collections are discussed. PMID:26872922

  19. Evidence for dietary niche separation based on infraorbital foramen size variation among subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Godfrey, Laurie R; Muldoon, Kathleen M; Tongasoa, Lydia

    2010-01-01

    The size of the infraorbital foramen (IOF) has been used in drawing both phylogenetic and ecological inferences regarding fossil taxa. Within the order Primates, frugivores have relatively larger IOFs than folivores or insectivores. This study uses relative IOF size in lemurs to test prior trophic inferences for subfossil lemurs and to explore the pattern of variation within and across lemur families. The IOFs of individuals belonging to 12 extinct lemur species were measured and compared to those of extant Malagasy strepsirhines. Observations matched expectations drawn from more traditional approaches (e.g. dental morphology and microwear, stable isotope analysis) remarkably well. We confirm that extinct lemurs belonging to the families Megaladapidae and Palaeopropithecidae were predominantly folivorous and that species belonging to the genus Pachylemur (Lemuridae) were frugivores. Very high values for relative IOF area in Archaeolemur support frugivory but are also consistent with omnivory, as certain omnivores use facial touch cues while feeding. These results provide additional evidence that the IOF can be used as an informative osteological feature in both phylogenetic and paleoecological interpretations of the fossil record.

  20. Gait-specific metabolic costs and preferred speeds in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), with implications for the scaling of locomotor costs.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C

    2012-11-01

    Metabolic costs of resting and locomotion have been used to gain novel insights into the behavioral ecology and evolution of a wide range of primates; however, most previous studies have not considered gait-specific effects. Here, metabolic costs of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) walking, cantering and galloping are used to test for gait-specific effects and a potential correspondence between costs and preferred speeds. Metabolic costs, including the net cost of locomotion (COL) and net cost of transport (COT), change as a curvilinear function of walking speed and (at least provisionally) as a linear function of cantering and galloping speeds. The baseline quantity used to calculate net costs had a significant effect on the magnitude of speed-specific estimates of COL and COT, especially for walking. This is because non-locomotor metabolism constitutes a substantial fraction (41-61%, on average) of gross metabolic rate at slow speeds. The slope-based estimate of the COT was 5.26 J kg(-1) m(-1) for all gaits and speeds, while the gait-specific estimates differed between walking (0.5 m s(-1) : 6.69 J kg(-1) m(-1) ) and cantering/galloping (2.0 m s(-1) : 5.61 J kg(-1) m(-1) ). During laboratory-based overground locomotion, ring-tailed lemurs preferred to walk at ~0.5 m s(-1) and canter/gallop at ~2.0 m s(-1) , with the preferred walking speed corresponding well to the COT minima. Compared with birds and other mammals, ring-tailed lemurs are relatively economical in walking, cantering, and galloping. These results support the view that energetic optima are an important movement criterion for locomotion in ring-tailed lemurs, and other terrestrial animals.

  1. Gait-specific metabolic costs and preferred speeds in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), with implications for the scaling of locomotor costs.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C

    2012-11-01

    Metabolic costs of resting and locomotion have been used to gain novel insights into the behavioral ecology and evolution of a wide range of primates; however, most previous studies have not considered gait-specific effects. Here, metabolic costs of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) walking, cantering and galloping are used to test for gait-specific effects and a potential correspondence between costs and preferred speeds. Metabolic costs, including the net cost of locomotion (COL) and net cost of transport (COT), change as a curvilinear function of walking speed and (at least provisionally) as a linear function of cantering and galloping speeds. The baseline quantity used to calculate net costs had a significant effect on the magnitude of speed-specific estimates of COL and COT, especially for walking. This is because non-locomotor metabolism constitutes a substantial fraction (41-61%, on average) of gross metabolic rate at slow speeds. The slope-based estimate of the COT was 5.26 J kg(-1) m(-1) for all gaits and speeds, while the gait-specific estimates differed between walking (0.5 m s(-1) : 6.69 J kg(-1) m(-1) ) and cantering/galloping (2.0 m s(-1) : 5.61 J kg(-1) m(-1) ). During laboratory-based overground locomotion, ring-tailed lemurs preferred to walk at ~0.5 m s(-1) and canter/gallop at ~2.0 m s(-1) , with the preferred walking speed corresponding well to the COT minima. Compared with birds and other mammals, ring-tailed lemurs are relatively economical in walking, cantering, and galloping. These results support the view that energetic optima are an important movement criterion for locomotion in ring-tailed lemurs, and other terrestrial animals. PMID:22976581

  2. The Bst locus on mouse chromosome 16 is associated with age-related subretinal neovascularization

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Richard S.; John, Simon W. M.; Zabeleta, Adriana; Davisson, Muriel T.; Hawes, Norman L.; Chang, Bo

    2000-01-01

    Ocular neovascularization is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries and often causes rapid loss of vision in age-related macular degeneration. Acute visual loss is most often due to hemorrhage from new vessels that have extended from the choroid into the subretinal space. Growth of abnormal vessels beneath the retina in this condition is known as subretinal neovascularization (SRN). Age-related animal models of macular degeneration and SRN have not been described. Current animal models of SRN depend on chemical or physical stimuli to initiate growth of subretinal vessels. The genes responsible for age-related human macular degeneration with SRN have not been firmly identified. We report an angiogenic phenotype in Bst/+ mice that is age-related, clinically evident, and resembles human SRN. This represents a spontaneous, genetically determined model of SRN. Bst/+ mice offer the possibility of exploring the molecular mechanisms of SRN without the need for exogenous agents. PMID:10681427

  3. Evaluating age-associated phenotypes in a mouse model of protein dyshomeostasis.

    PubMed

    Min, Jin-Na; Patterson, Cam

    2011-03-01

    Proteotoxicity caused by an imbalanced protein quality control surveillance system is believed to contribute to the phenotypes associated with aging as well as many neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding and monitoring the impact of proteotoxicity in these processes offers researchers keen insight into the biology of aging, as well as other conditions that share similar pathological etiologies. In Section 2, we present various technical approaches that can be used to calculate and characterize the phenotypes associated with aging that are linked to increased proteotoxicity. Methods such as the measurement of oligomer protein expression and the capacity of proteasome function are useful tools in observing both aging phenotypes and neurodegenerative diseases, both of which share the phenomenon of impaired protein homeostasis.

  4. Age-dependent decline of nogo-a protein in the mouse cerebrum.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Anita; Thakur, M K

    2014-11-01

    Nogo-A, a myelin-associated neurite growth inhibitory protein, is implicated in synaptic plasticity. It binds to its receptor namely the Nogo-66 receptor1 (NgR1) and regulates filamentous (F) actin dynamics via small GTPases of the Rho family, RhoA kinase (ROCK), LimK and cofilin. These proteins are associated with the structural plasticity, one of the components of synaptic plasticity, which is known to decline with normal aging. So, the level of Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are likely to vary during normal brain aging. However, it is not clearly understood how the levels of Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 change in the cerebrum during aging. Several studies show an age- and gender-dependent decline in synaptic plasticity. Therefore, the present study was planned to analyze the relative changes in the mRNA and protein levels of Nogo-A and NgR1 in both male and female mice cerebrum during normal aging. Western blot analysis has shown decrease in Nogo-A protein level during aging in both male and female mice cerebrum. This was further confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. RT-PCR analysis of Nogo-A mRNA showed no significant difference in the above-mentioned groups. This was also supported by in situ hybridization. NgR1 protein and its mRNA expression levels showed no significant alteration with aging in the cerebrum of both male and female mice. Taken together, we speculate that the downregulation of Nogo-A protein might have a role in the altered synaptic plasticity during aging.

  5. Aging Exacerbates Pressure-Induced Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress in Mouse Cerebral Arteries.

    PubMed

    Springo, Zsolt; Tarantini, Stefano; Toth, Peter; Tucsek, Zsuzsanna; Koller, Akos; Sonntag, William E; Csiszar, Anna; Ungvari, Zoltan

    2015-11-01

    Epidemiological studies demonstrate that in addition to the increased prevalence of hypertension in old patients, the deleterious cerebrovascular effects of hypertension (including atherosclerosis, stroke, and vascular cognitive impairment) are also exacerbated in elderly individuals. The cellular mechanisms by which aging and hypertension interact to promote cerebrovascular pathologies are not well understood. To test the hypothesis that aging exacerbates high pressure-induced mitochondrial oxidative stress, we exposed isolated segments of the middle cerebral arteries of young (3 months) and aged (24 months) C57BL/6 mice to 60 or 140 mmHg intraluminal pressure and assessed changes in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production using a mitochondria-targeted redox-sensitive fluorescent indicator dye (MitoSox) by confocal microscopy. Perinuclear MitoSox fluorescence was significantly stronger in high pressure-exposed middle cerebral arteries compared with middle cerebral arteries of the same animals exposed to 60 mmHg, indicating that high pressure increases mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in the smooth muscle cells of cerebral arteries. Comparison of young and aged middle cerebral arteries showed that aging exacerbates high pressure-induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in cerebral arteries. We propose that increased mechanosensitive mitochondrial oxidative stress may potentially exacerbate cerebrovascular injury and vascular inflammation in aging.

  6. Differential age-related changes in mitochondrial DNA repair activities in mouse brain regions

    PubMed Central

    Gredilla, Ricardo; Garm, Christian; Holm, Rikke; Bohr, Vilhelm A.; Stevnsner, Tinna

    2008-01-01

    Aging in the brain is characterized by increased susceptibility to neuronal loss and functional decline, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are thought to play an important role in these processes. Due to the proximity of mtDNA to the main sites of mitochondrial free radical generation, oxidative stress is a major source of DNA mutations in mitochondria. The base excision repair (BER) pathway removes oxidative lesions from mtDNA, thereby constituting an important mechanism to avoid accumulation of mtDNA mutations. The complexity of the brain implies that exposure and defence against oxidative stress varies among brain regions and hence some regions may be particularly prone to accumulation of mtDNA damages. In the current study we investigated the efficiency of the BER pathway throughout the murine lifespan in mitochondria from cortex and hippocampus, regions that are central in mammalian cognition, and which are severely affected during aging and in neurodegenerative diseases. A regional specific regulation of mitochondrial DNA repair activities was observed with aging. In cortical mitochondria, DNA glycosylase activities peaked at middle-age followed by a significant drop at old age. However, only minor changes were observed in hippocampal mitochondria during the whole lifespan of the animals. Furthermore, DNA glycosylase activities were lower in hippocampal than in cortical mitochondria. Mitochondrial AP endonuclease activity increased in old animals in both brain regions. Our data suggest an important regional specific regulation of mitochondrial BER during aging. PMID:18701195

  7. Progressive age-related changes in sleep and EEG profiles in the PLB1Triple mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Jyoti, Amar; Plano, Andrea; Riedel, Gernot; Platt, Bettina

    2015-10-01

    Sleep disturbances are common in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and now assumed to contribute to disease onset and progression. Here, we investigated whether activity, sleep/wake pattern, and electroencephalogram (EEG) profiles are altered in the knock-in PLB1Triple mouse model from 5 to 21 months of age. PLB1Triple mice displayed a progressive increase in wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement sleep fragmentation from 9 months onward, whereas PLB1WT wild type controls showed such deterioration only at 21 months. Impaired habituation to spatial novelty was also detected in PLB1Triple mice. Hippocampal power spectra of transgenic mice revealed progressive, vigilance stage-, brain region-, and age-specific changes. Age had an impact on EEG spectra in both cohorts but led to accelerated genotype-dependent differences, ultimately affecting all bands at 21 months. Overall, although PLB1Triple animals display only subtle amyloid and tau pathologies, robust sleep-wake and EEG abnormalities emerged. We hypothesize that such endophenotypes are sensitive, noninvasive, and reliable biomarker to identify onset and progression of AD.

  8. [Effect of kinetin on ovary and uterus in D-galactose-induced female mouse model of aging].

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiang-Hong; Liu, Yu-Mei; Cao, Tong; Ouyang, Wu-Qing

    2013-08-25

    The present study was to investigate the effect of kinetin on ovary and uterus of D-galactose-induced female mouse model of aging. Aging female mice model caused by D-galactose were used as model group, the aging model mice intragastrically administered with kinetin solution (daily 25 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg) were used as kinetin groups, and the mice with solvent as normal group (n = 20). To detect the effects of kinetin, estrous cycle, estradiol content, ovarian and uterine wet weight and organ index, SOD and GSH-Px activities, MDA and total protein contents, as well as the reserve function of ovaries were examined. The results showed that, kinetin-induced changes in two kinetin groups were observed, compared with the model group: (1) the estrous cycle was shortened; (2) serum estradiol content was significantly increased; (3) the wet weights of the ovary and uterus were increased significantly; (4) SOD and GSH-Px activities of ovary and uterus were significantly higher; (5) the MDA contents of the ovary and uterus were reduced significantly; (6) total protein contents of the ovary and uterus were increased significantly; (7) the numbers of mature oocytes in fallopian tubes were increased significantly. The results show that kinetin can protect ovary and uterus against oxidative damage, prevent low estrogen secretion caused by ovarian oxidative damage, shorten the estrous cycle in mice, and eventually maintain ovarian and uterine vitalities.

  9. Age-related changes of protein SUMOylation balance in the AβPP Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Nisticò, Robert; Ferraina, Caterina; Marconi, Veronica; Blandini, Fabio; Negri, Lucia; Egebjerg, Jan; Feligioni, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex disorder that affects the central nervous system causing a severe neurodegeneration. This pathology affects an increasing number of people worldwide due to the overall aging of the human population. In recent years SUMO protein modification has emerged as a possible cellular mechanism involved in AD. Some of the proteins engaged in the physiopathological process of AD, like BACE1, GSK3-β tau, AβPP, and JNK, are in fact subject to protein SUMO modifications or interactions. Here, we have investigated the SUMO/deSUMOylation balance and SUMO-related proteins during the onset and progression of the pathology in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD. We examined four age-stages (1.5, 3, 6, 17 months old) and observed shows an increase in SUMO-1 protein conjugation at 3 and 6 months in transgenic mice with respect to WT in both cortex and hippocampus. Interestingly this is paralleled by increased expression levels of Ubc9 and SENP1 in both brain regions. At 6 months of age also the SUMO-1 mRNA resulted augmented. SUMO-2-ylation was surprisingly decreased in old transgenic mice and was unaltered in the other time windows. The fact that alterations in SUMO/deSUMOylation equilibrium occur from the early phases of AD suggests that global posttranslational modifications may play an important role in the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis, thus providing potential targets for pharmacological interventions. PMID:24778618

  10. LMN diet, rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, improves mouse cognitive decline associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Fernández, Laura; Comes, Gemma; Bolea, Irene; Valente, Tony; Ruiz, Jessica; Murtra, Patricia; Ramirez, Bartolomé; Anglés, Neus; Reguant, Jordi; Morelló, José Ramón; Boada, Mercè; Hidalgo, Juan; Escorihuela, Rosa María; Unzeta, Mercedes

    2012-03-17

    We examined whether LMN diet, reported to induce neurogenesis in adult mice, was able to antagonize the age-related behavioural impairment and neuropathology in wild type (WT) mice and Tg2576 mice, a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thirteen-month-old mice (once the amyloid (Aβ) plaques were formed) were fed with the LMN diet for 5 months, and in the last 2 months of the regimen they received a battery of behavioural tests. In general, both aging and (to a higher extent) Tg2576 genotype deteriorated sensorimotor reflexes, exploratory behaviour in the hole board, activity (but not anxiety) in the elevated plus-maze, ambulation in the home cage during the dark phase, and spatial learning in the Morris water maze. LMN diet did not affect the detrimental effects observed in sensorimotor reflexes, but clearly reversed the effects of both aging and Tg2576 genotype. This behavioural amelioration was correlated with a 70% increase in cellular proliferation in subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain, but did not correlate with a decrease of amyloid plaques. In contrast, administration of LMN diet to 10 months old mice (before the plaques are formed) strongly suggested a putative delay in the formation of plaques, as indicated by a decreasing tendency of soluble and fibrillar Aβ levels in hippocampus which correlated with a decrease in Aβ (1-40, 1-42) plasma content. Herein we describe for the first time that LMN diet rich in polyphenols, dry fruits and cocoa, was able to decrease behavioural deterioration caused by aging and Tg2576 genotype and to delay the Aβ plaque formation. These results corroborate the increasing importance of polyphenols as human dietary supplements in amelioration of the cognitive impairment during aging and neurological disorders such as AD.

  11. The action of vitamin E on the ageing of connective tissues in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Blackett, A D; Hall, D A

    1980-01-01

    In an attempt to determine the relevance of the free radical theory of ageing to age changes discernible in connective tissue parameters, a small colony of C3H/He and LAF1 mice was set up, with sample culled at intervals throughout the lifespan to provide experimental samples. To half of the stock a dietary supplement of vitamin E, a naturally occurring antioxidant, was given at a level of 2500 mg/kg of diet. Tests were carried out on culled samples to provide data on the total collagen levels of bone and skin, on thermal shrinkage temperature and maximal degree of shrinkage of tendon fibres, and on the recovery of skin from stress. Vitamin E was found to have no effect on any of the parameters measured on C3H/He mice but to exert an influence on the parameters of LAF1 mice around the age of 10 months. This influence, however, is not regarded as being relevant to the ageing of the tissues and thus no evidence can be derived for a free-radical mechanism playing a role in the ageing of connective tissues.

  12. Evidence of Highly Conserved β-Crystallin Disulfidome that Can be Mimicked by In Vitro Oxidation in Age-related Human Cataract and Glutathione Depleted Mouse Lens.

    PubMed

    Fan, Xingjun; Zhou, Sheng; Wang, Benlian; Hom, Grant; Guo, Minfei; Li, Binbin; Yang, Jing; Vaysburg, Dennis; Monnier, Vincent M

    2015-12-01

    Low glutathione levels are associated with crystallin oxidation in age-related nuclear cataract. To understand the role of cysteine residue oxidation, we used the novel approach of comparing human cataracts with glutathione-depleted LEGSKO mouse lenses for intra- versus intermolecular disulfide crosslinks using 2D-PAGE and proteomics, and then systematically identified in vivo and in vitro all disulfide forming sites using ICAT labeling method coupled with proteomics. Crystallins rich in intramolecular disulfides were abundant at young age in human and WT mouse lens but shifted to multimeric intermolecular disulfides at older age. The shift was ∼4x accelerated in LEGSKO lens. Most cysteine disulfides in β-crystallins (except βA4 in human) were highly conserved in mouse and human and could be generated by oxidation with H(2)O(2), whereas γ-crystallin oxidation selectively affected γC23/42/79/80/154, γD42/33, and γS83/115/130 in human cataracts, and γB79/80/110, γD19/109, γF19/79, γE19, γS83/130, and γN26/128 in mouse. Analysis based on available crystal structure suggests that conformational changes are needed to expose Cys42, Cys79/80, Cys154 in γC; Cys42, Cys33 in γD, and Cys83, Cys115, and Cys130 in γS. In conclusion, the β-crystallin disulfidome is highly conserved in age-related nuclear cataract and LEGSKO mouse, and reproducible by in vitro oxidation, whereas some of the disulfide formation sites in γ-crystallins necessitate prior conformational changes. Overall, the LEGSKO mouse model is closely reminiscent of age-related nuclear cataract.

  13. Age-related failure of endocytosis may be the pathogenetic mechanism responsible for cold follicle formation in the aging mouse thyroid

    SciTech Connect

    Gerber, H.; Peter, H.J.; Studer, H.

    1987-05-01

    With advancing age, 60-80% of the follicles of the mouse thyroid gland turn cold, i.e. they lose their normal capacity to iodinate thyroglobulin (Tgb). Cold follicles are morphologically characterized by their large size, by deeply periodic acid-Schiff-stained colloid and by flat epithelial cells. We investigated the hypothesis that a progressive, age-related failure of endocytosis, leading to a gradually increasing mismatch between production of new Tgb and resorption of stored Tgb, could lead to overfilling of colloid stores with consecutive impediment of diffusion. To this purpose, labeling of the thyroids was started when mice were 3 months old, and 125I was continuously administered thereafter for 2-6 months. After this time, all follicles were homogeneously labeled in autoradiographs. Tracer application was then discontinued. Autoradiographs obtained at intervals during the washout of the tracer yielded a mirror image of that observed after acute labeling. The large follicles which were cold after acute labeling in old animals now still retained labeled iodoproteins even after 7 weeks of washout, i.e. at a time when morphologically normal follicles had long lost their labeled Tgb stores. Thus, the cold follicles of the old thyroid must have been functioning normally during equilibration of young thyroids, but have then gradually lost their capacity to iodinate and to remove stored Tgb from the colloid. The observation supports the thesis that aging primarily affects the cytoskeleton and, thus, the cell's endocytotic machinery. This effect of aging on the thyroid can be prevented by life-long stimulation of the gland by TSH.

  14. Aging alters reactivity of microvascular resistance networks in mouse gluteus maximus muscle

    PubMed Central

    Sinkler, Shenghua Y.

    2014-01-01

    Aging occurs with enhanced sympathetic nerve activity and endothelial dysfunction; however, little is known of how successive branches of microvascular resistance networks are affected in vivo. We questioned whether vascular reactivity is altered differentially along resistance networks with advanced age. The left gluteus maximus muscle of anesthetized 4-mo-old and 24-mo-old male C57BL/6 mice (Young and Old, respectively) was exposed for intravital microscopy and superfused with physiological salt solution (3 ml/min; pH 7.4, 34°C). Spontaneous vasomotor tone increased progressively from proximal feed arteries (FA) and first-order (1A) arterioles through distal second-order (2A) and third-order (3A) arterioles and was ∼15% greater in 2A and 3A of Old versus Young. Vasoconstriction during elevated superfusion Po2 increased with branch order and to a greater extent in Young. Peak constrictions to phenylephrine [α1 adrenoreceptor (α1AR) agonist] were similar for FA and 1A of both ages and ∼20% greater for 2A and 3A of Young. Across arterioles (but not FA), constrictions to UK 14304 (α2AR agonist) were depressed ∼30% in Old versus Young. Thus advanced age attenuated vasoconstriction to O2 throughout networks while blunting vasoconstriction to α1AR and α2AR activation in arterioles. With ACh, endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) was ∼20% greater in FA of Young yet was approximately twofold greater for 2A and 3A of Old. Sodium nitroprusside evoked maximal dilations similar to ACh. Thus, with advanced age, EDD was attenuated in FA while robust in distal arterioles having enhanced vasomotor tone. We conclude that advanced age differentially alters reactivity among branches of microvascular resistance networks. PMID:25015968

  15. Age-related loss of muscle fibres is highly variable amongst mouse skeletal muscles.

    PubMed

    Sheard, Philip W; Anderson, Ross D

    2012-04-01

    Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, attributable in part to muscle fibre loss. We are currently unable to prevent fibre loss because we do not know what causes it. To provide a platform from which to better understand the causes of muscle fibre death we have quantified fibre loss in several muscles of aged C57Bl/6J mice. Comparison of muscle fibre numbers on dystrophin-immunostained transverse tissue sections at 6 months of age with those at 24 months shows a significant fibre loss in extensor digitorum longus and soleus, but not in sternomastoid or cleidomastoid muscles. The muscles of the elderly mice were mostly lighter than their younger counterparts, but fibres in the elderly muscles were of about the same cross-sectional area. This study shows that the contribution of fibre death to sarcopenia is highly variable and that there is no consistent pattern of age-related fibre loss between skeletal muscles.

  16. Derivation of Pluripotent Cells from Mouse SSCs Seems to Be Age Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Azizi, Hossein; Conrad, Sabine; Hinz, Ursula; Asgari, Behrouz; Nanus, Daniel; Peterziel, Heike; Hajizadeh Moghaddam, Akbar; Baharvand, Hossein; Skutella, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Here, we aimed to answer important and fundamental questions in germ cell biology with special focus on the age of the male donor cells and the possibility to generate embryonic stem cell- (ESC-) like cells. While it is believed that spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and truly pluripotent ESC-like cells can be isolated from adult mice, it remained unknown if the spontaneous conversion of SSCs to ESC-like cells fails at some age. Similarly, there have been differences in the literature about the duration of cultures during which ESC-like cells may appear. We demonstrate the possibility to derive ESC-like cells from SSC cultures until they reach adolescence or up to 7 weeks of age, but we point out the impossibility to derive these cells from older, mature adult mice. The inability of real adult SSCs to shift to a pluripotent state coincides with a decline in expression of the core pluripotency genes Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2 in SSCs with age. At the same time genes of the spermatogonial differentiation pathway increase. The generated ESC-like cells were similar to ESCs and express pluripotency markers. In vitro they differentiate into all three germ lineages; they form complex teratomas after transplantation in SCID mice and produce chimeric mice. PMID:26664410

  17. Age-related effects of X-ray irradiation on mouse hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Casciati, Arianna; Dobos, Katalin; Antonelli, Francesca; Benedek, Anett; Kempf, Stefan J.; Bellés, Montserrat; Balogh, Andrea; Tanori, Mirella; Heredia, Luis; Atkinson, Michael J.; von Toerne, Christine; Azimzadeh, Omid; Saran, Anna; Sáfrány, Geza; Benotmane, Mohammed A.; Linares-Vidal, M. Victoria; Tapio, Soile; Lumniczky, Katalin; Pazzaglia, Simonetta

    2016-01-01

    Therapeutic irradiation of pediatric and adult patients can profoundly affect adult neurogenesis, and cognitive impairment manifests as a deficit in hippocampal-dependent functions. Age plays a major role in susceptibility to radiation, and younger children are at higher risk of cognitive decay when compared to adults. Cranial irradiation affects hippocampal neurogenesis by induction of DNA damage in neural progenitors, through the disruption of the neurogenic microenvironment, and defective integration of newborn neurons into the neuronal network. Our goal here was to assess cellular and molecular alterations induced by cranial X-ray exposure to low/moderate doses (0.1 and 2 Gy) in the hippocampus of mice irradiated at the postnatal ages of day 10 or week 10, as well as the dependency of these phenomena on age at irradiation. To this aim, changes in the cellular composition of the dentate gyrus, mitochondrial functionality, proteomic profile in the hippocampus, as well as cognitive performance were evaluated by a multidisciplinary approach. Our results suggest the induction of specific alterations in hippocampal neurogenesis, microvascular density and mitochondrial functions, depending on age at irradiation. A better understanding of how irradiation impairs hippocampal neurogenesis at low and moderate doses is crucial to minimize adverse effects of therapeutic irradiation, contributing also to radiation safety regulations. PMID:27057631

  18. Cell Aging of Mouse Gastrointestinal Tract Observed by Light and Electron Microscopic Radioautography

    PubMed Central

    Nagata, Tetsuji

    2014-01-01

    The term “cell aging” initially means how the cells change due to their aging. There are two meanings, i.e. how a cell changes when it is isolated from original animals such as in vitro cells in cell culture, otherwise how all the cells of an animal change in vivo due to the aging of the individual animal. We have been studying the latter changes from the viewpoint of the cell nutrients, the precursors for the macromolecular synthesis such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), proteins, glucides and lipids, which are incorporated and synthesized into various cells of individual animals. Therefore, this article deals with only the cell aging of animal cells in vivo, how the metabolism, i.e. incorporations and syntheses of respective nutrient precursors in various kinds of cells change due to the aging of individual experimental animals such as mice by means of microscopic radioautography to localize the RI-labeled precursors. The incorporations and syntheses of various precursors for macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, glucides, lipids and others in various kinds of cells of various organs in the gastrointestinal tract such as the mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines are reviewed referring many original papers already published from our laboratory during these 60 years since the late 20th century.

  19. Serotonin 2B receptor: upregulated with age and hearing loss in mouse auditory system.

    PubMed

    Tadros, Sherif F; D'Souza, Mary; Zettel, Martha L; Zhu, XiaoXia; Lynch-Erhardt, Martha; Frisina, Robert D

    2007-07-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Serotonin may modulate afferent fiber discharges in the cochlea, inferior colliculus (IC) and auditory cortex. Specific functions of serotonin are exerted upon its interaction with specific receptors; one of those receptors is the serotonin 2B receptor. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in gene expression of serotonin 2B receptors with age in cochlea and IC, and the possible correlation between gene expression and functional hearing measurements in CBA/CaJ mice. Immunohistochemical examinations of protein expression of IC in mice of different age groups were also performed. Gene expression results showed that serotonin 2B receptor gene was upregulated with age in both cochlea and IC. A significant correlation between gene expression and functional hearing results was established. Immunohistochemical protein expression studies of IC showed more serotonin 2B receptor cells in old mice relative to young adult mice, particularly in the external nucleus. We conclude that serotonin 2B receptors may play a role in the pathogenesis of age-related hearing loss.

  20. Behavioral thermoregulation in Lemur catta: The significance of sunning and huddling behaviors.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Elizabeth A; Jablonski, Nina G; Chaplin, George; Sussman, Robert W; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-07-01

    Regulation of body temperature poses significant problems for organisms that inhabit environments with extreme and seasonally fluctuating ambient temperatures. To help alleviate the energetic costs of autonomic responses, these organisms often thermoregulate through behavioral mechanisms. Among primates, lemurs in Madagascar experience uncharacteristically seasonal and unpredictable climates relative to other primate-rich regions. Malagasy primates are physiologically flexible, but different species use different mechanisms to influence their body temperatures. Lemur catta, the ring-tailed lemur, experiences particularly acute diurnal temperature fluctuations in its mostly open-canopy habitat in south and southwest Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs are also atypical among lemurs in that they appear to use both sun basking postures and huddling to maintain body temperature when ambient temperatures are cold. To our knowledge, however, no one has systematically tested whether these behaviors function in thermoregulation. We present evidence that ring-tailed lemurs use these postures as behavioral thermoregulation strategies, and that different environmental variables are associated with the use of each posture. Major predictors of sunning included ambient temperature, time of day, and season. Specifically, L. catta consistently assumed sunning postures early after daybreak when ambient temperatures were <13°C, and ceased sunning around 10:00a.m., after ambient temperatures approached 26°C. Sunning occurred more often during austral winter months. Huddling was associated with time of day, but not with ambient temperature or season. We conclude that L. catta tend to sun, rather than huddle, under cold weather conditions when sunning is possible. However, both sunning and huddling are important behavioral adaptations of L. catta that augment chemical thermoregulation and the absence of a dynamic, insulating pelage. Sunning and huddling help to account for the great

  1. Gongylonema pulchrum infection and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in a vari (Lemur macaco variegata; Kehr 1792).

    PubMed

    Bleier, T; Hetzel, U; Bauer, C; Behlert, O; Burkhardt, E

    2005-06-01

    This report describes the morphologic and histologic features of a case of esophageal Gongylonema pulchrum infection and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in a 17-yr-old, female vari (Lemur macaco variegates). The lemur had lived in a German zoo and had a clinical history of dyspnea, vomiting, and anorexia. At necropsy, a whitish, soft, nodular, centrally necrotic mass was found in the caudal third of the esophagus. In addition, numerous intraepithelial nematodes (G. pulchrum) were observed in the entire esophagus. Results suggest a relation between infection with G. pulchrum and development of an esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

  2. Age-Dependent Susceptibility of Chromosome Cohesion to Premature Separase Activation in Mouse Oocytes1

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Teresa; Schultz, Richard M.; Lampson, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT A hypothesis to explain the maternal age-dependent increase in formation of aneuploid eggs is deterioration of chromosome cohesion. Although several lines of evidence are consistent with this hypothesis, whether cohesion is actually reduced in naturally aged oocytes has not been directly tested by any experimental perturbation. To directly target cohesion, we increased the activity of separase, the protease that cleaves the meiotic cohesin REC8, in oocytes. We show that cohesion is more susceptible to premature separase activation in old oocytes than in young oocytes, demonstrating that cohesion is significantly reduced. Furthermore, cohesion is protected by two independent mechanisms that inhibit separase, securin and an inhibitory phosphorylation of separase by CDK1; both mechanisms must be disrupted to prematurely activate separase. With the continual loss of cohesins from chromosomes that occurs throughout the natural reproductive lifespan, tight regulation of separase in oocytes may be particularly important to maintain cohesion and prevent aneuploidy. PMID:21865557

  3. Antiaging Effect of Inula britannica on Aging Mouse Model Induced by D-Galactose.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hui; Long, Yuanyuan; Guo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    The antiaging effect of Inula britannica flower total flavonoids (IBFTF) on aging mice induced by D-galactose and its mechanism was examined in this study. From the results, the biochemical indexes and histological analysis of skin tissues showed that IBFTF could effectively improve the antioxidant enzyme activity of the aging mice, enhance the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) of skin tissue, and decrease the malondialdehyde (MDA) content. Besides, IBFTF could maintain the skin collagen, hydroxyproline (Hyp), dermal thickness, and moisture content. Meanwhile, IBFTF could significantly reduce the number of cells arrested in G0/G1 phase, and from the point of view of protein and mRNA expression level in skin tissue, IBFTF could significantly increase the expression of Sirt1 and CyclinD1 but decrease the expression of p16 and p21, and its effect was not less than that of the well-known vitamin E (VE). Overall, these results seem to be implying that IBFTF is a potential natural anti-skin aging agent with great antioxidant ability. PMID:27066100

  4. Effects of aluminium sulphate in the mouse liver: similarities to the aging process.

    PubMed

    Stacchiotti, Alessandra; Lavazza, Antonio; Ferroni, Matteo; Sberveglieri, Giorgio; Bianchi, Rossella; Rezzani, Rita; Rodella, Luigi Fabrizio

    2008-04-01

    Aluminium (Al) is a ubiquitous metal that is potentially toxic to the brain. Its effects on other fundamental organs are not completely understood. This morphological in vivo study sought to compare sublethal hepatotoxic changes and Al deposition in adult mice that orally ingested Al sulphate daily for 10 months, in age matched control mice that drank tap water and in senescent mice (24 months old). Livers were examined for collagen deposition using Sirius red and Masson, for iron accumulation using Perls' stain. Light, electron microscopy and morphometry were used to assess fibrosis and vascular changes. Scanning transmission electron microscopy and EDX microanalysis were used to detect in situ elemental Al. Iron deposition, transferrin receptor expression were significantly altered following Al exposure and in the aged liver but were unaffected in age matched control mice. In Al treated mice as in senescent mice, endothelial thickness was increased and porosity was decreased like perisinusoidal actin. Furthermore, Al stimulated the deposition of collagen and laminin, mainly in acinar zones 1 and 3. Pseudocapillarization and periportal laminin in senescent mice were similar to Al treated adult liver. In conclusion, prolonged Al sulphate intake accelerates features of senescence in the adult mice liver.

  5. Effect of high-intensity exercise on aged mouse brain mitochondria, neurogenesis, and inflammation.

    PubMed

    E, Lezi; Burns, Jeffrey M; Swerdlow, Russell H

    2014-11-01

    In aged mice, we assessed how intensive exercise affects brain bioenergetics, inflammation, and neurogenesis-relevant parameters. After 8 weeks of a supra-lactate threshold treadmill exercise intervention, 21-month-old C57BL/6 mice showed increased brain peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α protein, mammalian target of rapamycin and phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin protein, citrate synthase messenger RNA, and mitochondrial DNA copy number. Hippocampal vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) gene expression trended higher, and a positive correlation between VEGF-A and PRC messenger RNA levels was observed. Brain doublecortin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tumor necrosis factor-α, and CCL11 gene expression, as well as plasma CCL11 protein levels, were unchanged. Despite these apparent negative findings, a negative correlation between plasma CCL11 protein levels and hippocampal doublecortin gene expression was observed; further analysis indicated exercise may mitigate this relationship. Overall, our data suggest supra-lactate threshold exercise activates a partial mitochondrial biogenesis in aged mice, and a gene (VEGF-A) known to support neurogenesis. Our data are consistent with another study that found systemic inflammation in general, and CCL11 protein specifically, suppresses hippocampal neurogenesis. Our study supports the view that intense exercise above the lactate threshold may benefit the aging brain; future studies to address the extent to which exercise-generated lactate mediates the observed effects are warranted.

  6. Aging related ER stress is not responsible for anabolic resistance in mouse skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Chalil, Sreeda; Pierre, Nicolas; Bakker, Astrid D; Manders, Ralph J; Pletsers, Annelies; Francaux, Marc; Klein-Nulend, Jenneke; Jaspers, Richard T; Deldicque, Louise

    2015-12-25

    Anabolic resistance reflects the inability of skeletal muscle to maintain protein mass by appropriate stimulation of protein synthesis. We hypothesized that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress contributes to anabolic resistance in skeletal muscle with aging. Muscles were isolated from adult (8 mo) and old (26 mo) mice and weighed. ER stress markers in each muscle were quantified, and the anabolic response to leucine was assessed by measuring the phosphorylation state of S6K1 in soleus and EDL using an ex vivo muscle model. Aging reduced the muscle-to-body weight ratio in soleus, gastrocnemius, and plantaris, but not in EDL and tibialis anterior. Compared to adult mice, the expression of ER stress markers BiP and IRE1α was higher in EDL, and phospho-eIF2α was higher in soleus and EDL of old mice. S6K1 response to leucine was impaired in soleus, but not in EDL, suggesting that anabolic resistance contributes to soleus weight loss in old mice. Pre-incubation with ER stress inducer tunicamycin before leucine stimulation increased S6K1 phosphorylation beyond the level reached by leucine alone. Since tunicamycin did not impair leucine-induced S6K1 response, and based on the different ER stress marker regulation patterns, ER stress is probably not involved in anabolic resistance in skeletal muscle with aging.

  7. Bias in the reporting of sex and age in biomedical research on mouse models

    PubMed Central

    Flórez-Vargas, Oscar; Brass, Andy; Karystianis, George; Bramhall, Michael; Stevens, Robert; Cruickshank, Sheena; Nenadic, Goran

    2016-01-01

    In animal-based biomedical research, both the sex and the age of the animals studied affect disease phenotypes by modifying their susceptibility, presentation and response to treatment. The accurate reporting of experimental methods and materials, including the sex and age of animals, is essential so that other researchers can build on the results of such studies. Here we use text mining to study 15,311 research papers in which mice were the focus of the study. We find that the percentage of papers reporting the sex and age of mice has increased over the past two decades: however, only about 50% of the papers published in 2014 reported these two variables. We also compared the quality of reporting in six preclinical research areas and found evidence for different levels of sex-bias in these areas: the strongest male-bias was observed in cardiovascular disease models and the strongest female-bias was found in infectious disease models. These results demonstrate the ability of text mining to contribute to the ongoing debate about the reproducibility of research, and confirm the need to continue efforts to improve the reporting of experimental methods and materials. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13615.001 PMID:26939790

  8. Age-related changes in mouse taste bud morphology, hormone expression, and taste responsivity.

    PubMed

    Shin, Yu-Kyong; Cong, Wei-na; Cai, Huan; Kim, Wook; Maudsley, Stuart; Egan, Josephine M; Martin, Bronwen

    2012-04-01

    Normal aging is a complex process that affects every organ system in the body, including the taste system. Thus, we investigated the effects of the normal aging process on taste bud morphology, function, and taste responsivity in male mice at 2, 10, and 18 months of age. The 18-month-old animals demonstrated a significant reduction in taste bud size and number of taste cells per bud compared with the 2- and 10-month-old animals. The 18-month-old animals exhibited a significant reduction of protein gene product 9.5 and sonic hedgehog immunoreactivity (taste cell markers). The number of taste cells expressing the sweet taste receptor subunit, T1R3, and the sweet taste modulating hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1, were reduced in the 18-month-old mice. Concordant with taste cell alterations, the 18-month-old animals demonstrated reduced sweet taste responsivity compared with the younger animals and the other major taste modalities (salty, sour, and bitter) remained intact. PMID:22056740

  9. Antiaging Effect of Inula britannica on Aging Mouse Model Induced by D-Galactose

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hui; Long, Yuanyuan; Guo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    The antiaging effect of Inula britannica flower total flavonoids (IBFTF) on aging mice induced by D-galactose and its mechanism was examined in this study. From the results, the biochemical indexes and histological analysis of skin tissues showed that IBFTF could effectively improve the antioxidant enzyme activity of the aging mice, enhance the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) of skin tissue, and decrease the malondialdehyde (MDA) content. Besides, IBFTF could maintain the skin collagen, hydroxyproline (Hyp), dermal thickness, and moisture content. Meanwhile, IBFTF could significantly reduce the number of cells arrested in G0/G1 phase, and from the point of view of protein and mRNA expression level in skin tissue, IBFTF could significantly increase the expression of Sirt1 and CyclinD1 but decrease the expression of p16 and p21, and its effect was not less than that of the well-known vitamin E (VE). Overall, these results seem to be implying that IBFTF is a potential natural anti-skin aging agent with great antioxidant ability. PMID:27066100

  10. Metabolomic study of aging in mouse plasma by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Seo, Chan; Hwang, Yun-Ho; Kim, Youngbae; Joo, Bo Sun; Yee, Sung-Tae; Kim, Cheol Min; Paik, Man-Jeong

    2016-07-01

    Metabolomic analysis of aging was performed in plasma samples of young (8 weeks) and old (72 weeks) mice as ethoxycarbonyl/methoxime/tert-butyldimethylsilyl derivatives by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). As new approaches, study of altered metabolism from aging was attempted by simultaneous profiling analysis of amino acids (AAs), organic acids (OAs) and fatty acids (FAs) by GC-MS in a single run combined with pattern analysis. As a result, 27 amino acids (AAs), 17 organic acids (OAs) and 24 fatty acids (FAs) were positively screened with large variations in plasma samples. Among altered metabolites, levels of six AAs (proline, methionine, 4-hydroxyproline, pipecolic acid, glutamic acid, α-aminoadipic acid) as neurotransmetters and nutrients, five OAs (2-hydroxybutyric acid, 2-hydroxyglutaric acid, cis-aconitic acid citric acid, isocitric acid) including intermediate metabolites in the TCA cycle, and three n-3 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) of α-octadecatrienoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid as potential biomarkers were significantly different between young and old groups. Their levels were normalized to the corresponding mean values of the young group and then plotted into star symbol patterns, which were clearly distinct compared with numerical data and readily distinguishable for young and old groups. Thus, the present metabolomic screening and the star pattern recognition method might be useful for understanding the complexity of biochemical events in aging. PMID:27183212

  11. Beyond the Gallery Forest: Contrasting Habitat and Diet in Lemur catta Troops at Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs have been studied intensively in the Parcel 1 gallery forest of Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve. Here, we report on lemur groups in a mixture of deciduous dry forest and spiny forest just 5 km to the west. Compared to Parcel 1, Parcel 2 (P2) has a lower density of Tamarindus indica, a major dietary plant species for gallery forest lemurs. Recent studies in drier habitats have called into question the association of lemur density and tamarind presence. In order to address this question, we measured forest structure and composition of plant plots between parcels and conducted lemur feeding observations. The trees and shrubs within the parcels did not differ in height or diameter at breast height, but the frequencies of plant species that were common between parcels were significantly different. Numbers of feeding observations on foods common to both parcels did not differ, but their relative rankings within parcels did. Frequencies of food plants corresponded to earlier reports of lemur population densities. However, we found that the ring-tailed lemur diet is a mixture of plants that are eaten in abundance regardless of frequency and those that are locally available. In terms of their reliance on Tamarindus, P2 animals appear intermediate between those in gallery forests and nontamarind sites.

  12. Beyond the Gallery Forest: Contrasting Habitat and Diet in Lemur catta Troops at Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs have been studied intensively in the Parcel 1 gallery forest of Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve. Here, we report on lemur groups in a mixture of deciduous dry forest and spiny forest just 5 km to the west. Compared to Parcel 1, Parcel 2 (P2) has a lower density of Tamarindus indica, a major dietary plant species for gallery forest lemurs. Recent studies in drier habitats have called into question the association of lemur density and tamarind presence. In order to address this question, we measured forest structure and composition of plant plots between parcels and conducted lemur feeding observations. The trees and shrubs within the parcels did not differ in height or diameter at breast height, but the frequencies of plant species that were common between parcels were significantly different. Numbers of feeding observations on foods common to both parcels did not differ, but their relative rankings within parcels did. Frequencies of food plants corresponded to earlier reports of lemur population densities. However, we found that the ring-tailed lemur diet is a mixture of plants that are eaten in abundance regardless of frequency and those that are locally available. In terms of their reliance on Tamarindus, P2 animals appear intermediate between those in gallery forests and nontamarind sites. PMID:26022299

  13. Age-related motor dysfunction and neuropathology in a transgenic mouse model of multiple system atrophy.

    PubMed

    Fernagut, P O; Meissner, W G; Biran, M; Fantin, M; Bassil, F; Franconi, J M; Tison, F

    2014-03-01

    Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive degeneration of the striatonigral, olivo-ponto-cerebellar, and autonomic systems. Glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) containing alpha-synuclein represent the hallmark of MSA and are recapitulated in mice expressing alpha-synuclein in oligodendrocytes. To assess if oligodendroglial expression of human wild-type alpha-synuclein in mice (proteolipid promoter, PLP-SYN) could be associated with age-related deficits, PLP-SYN and wild-type mice were assessed for motor function, brain morphometry, striatal levels of dopamine and metabolites, dopaminergic loss, and distribution of GCIs. PLP-SYN displayed age-related impairments on a beam-traversing task. MRI revealed a significantly smaller brain volume in PLP-SYN mice at 12 months, which further decreased at 18 months together with increased volume of ventricles and cortical atrophy. The distribution of GCIs was reminiscent of MSA with a high burden in the basal ganglia. Mild dopaminergic cell loss was associated with decreased dopamine turnover at 18 months. These data indicate that PLP-SYN mice may recapitulate some of the progressive features of MSA and deliver endpoints for the evaluation of therapeutic strategies.

  14. Age-dependent roles of peroxisomes in the hippocampus of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, especially affecting the hippocampus. Impairment of cognitive and memory functions is associated with amyloid β-peptide-induced oxidative stress and alterations in lipid metabolism. In this scenario, the dual role of peroxisomes in producing and removing ROS, and their function in fatty acids β-oxidation, may be critical. This work aims to investigating the possible involvement of peroxisomes in AD onset and progression, as studied in a transgenic mouse model, harboring the human Swedish familial AD mutation. We therefore characterized the peroxisomal population in the hippocampus, focusing on early, advanced, and late stages of the disease (3, 6, 9, 12, 18 months of age). Several peroxisome-related markers in transgenic and wild-type hippocampal formation were comparatively studied, by a combined molecular/immunohistochemical/ultrastructural approach. Results Our results demonstrate early and significant peroxisomal modifications in AD mice, compared to wild-type. Indeed, the peroxisomal membrane protein of 70 kDa and acyl-CoA oxidase 1 are induced at 3 months, possibly reflecting the need for efficient fatty acid β-oxidation, as a compensatory response to mitochondrial dysfunction. The concomitant presence of oxidative damage markers and the altered expression of antioxidant enzymes argue for early oxidative stress in AD. During physiological and pathological brain aging, important changes in the expression of peroxisome-related proteins, also correlating with ongoing gliosis, occur in the hippocampus. These age- and genotype-based alterations, strongly dependent on the specific marker considered, indicate metabolic and/or numerical remodeling of peroxisomal population. Conclusions Overall, our data support functional and biogenetic relationships linking peroxisomes to mitochondria and suggest peroxisomal proteins as biomarkers/therapeutic targets in pre-symptomatic AD. PMID

  15. The phenotype of a knockout mouse identifies flavin-containing monooxygenase 5 (FMO5) as a regulator of metabolic ageing

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez Malagon, Sandra G.; Melidoni, Anna N.; Hernandez, Diana; Omar, Bilal A.; Houseman, Lyndsey; Veeravalli, Sunil; Scott, Flora; Varshavi, Dorsa; Everett, Jeremy; Tsuchiya, Yugo; Timms, John F.; Phillips, Ian R.; Shephard, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    We report the production and metabolic phenotype of a mouse line in which the Fmo5 gene is disrupted. In comparison with wild-type (WT) mice, Fmo5−/− mice exhibit a lean phenotype, which is age-related, becoming apparent after 20 weeks of age. Despite greater food intake, Fmo5−/− mice weigh less, store less fat in white adipose tissue (WAT), have lower plasma glucose and cholesterol concentrations and enhanced whole-body energy expenditure, due mostly to increased resting energy expenditure, with no increase in physical activity. An increase in respiratory exchange ratio during the dark phase, the period in which the mice are active, indicates a switch from fat to carbohydrate oxidation. In comparison with WT mice, the rate of fatty acid oxidation in Fmo5−/− mice is higher in WAT, which would contribute to depletion of lipid stores in this tissue, and lower in skeletal muscle. Five proteins were down regulated in the liver of Fmo5−/− mice: aldolase B, ketohexokinase and cytosolic glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD1) are involved in glucose or fructose metabolism and GPD1 also in production of glycerol 3-phosphate, a precursor of triglyceride biosynthesis; HMG-CoA synthase 1 is involved in cholesterol biosynthesis; and malic enzyme 1 catalyzes the oxidative decarboxylation of malate to pyruvate, in the process producing NADPH for use in lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis. Down regulation of these proteins provides a potential explanation for the reduced fat deposits and lower plasma cholesterol characteristic of Fmo5−/− mice. Our results indicate that disruption of the Fmo5 gene slows metabolic ageing via pleiotropic effects. PMID:26049045

  16. First direct evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species ( Cheirogaleus crossleyi) from the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, Marina B.; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina

    2010-10-01

    The nocturnal dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (genus Cheirogaleus) are the only primates known to be obligate hibernators. Although the physiology of hibernation has been studied widely in the western, small-bodied species, Cheirogaleus medius, no direct evidence of hibernation, i.e., body temperature recordings, has been reported for any of the three recognized eastern dwarf lemur species. We present skin temperature data collected by external collar transmitters from two eastern dwarf lemur individuals ( Cheirogaleus crossleyi) captured in the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar. Our study species is larger in body size than western dwarf lemurs and inhabits much colder environments. We present the first evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species, and we compare the results with data available for the western species. Although the hibernation period is shorter in dwarf lemurs from Tsinjoarivo, minimum body temperatures are lower than those reported for C. medius. Both individuals at Tsinjoarivo showed limited passive and extended deep hibernation during which they did not track ambient temperature as observed in most western dwarf lemurs. Because ambient temperatures at Tsinjoarivo never exceed 30°C, dwarf lemurs have to experience arousals to maintain homeostasis during periods of hibernation. We show that large dwarf lemurs (>400 g) are capable of undergoing deep hibernation and suggest that cold, high-altitude forests may render hibernation highly advantageous during periods of food scarcity. This study has implications for understanding the physiology of hibernation in small-bodied lemurs.

  17. First direct evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species (Cheirogaleus crossleyi) from the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina

    2010-10-01

    The nocturnal dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (genus Cheirogaleus) are the only primates known to be obligate hibernators. Although the physiology of hibernation has been studied widely in the western, small-bodied species, Cheirogaleus medius, no direct evidence of hibernation, i.e., body temperature recordings, has been reported for any of the three recognized eastern dwarf lemur species. We present skin temperature data collected by external collar transmitters from two eastern dwarf lemur individuals (Cheirogaleus crossleyi) captured in the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar. Our study species is larger in body size than western dwarf lemurs and inhabits much colder environments. We present the first evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species, and we compare the results with data available for the western species. Although the hibernation period is shorter in dwarf lemurs from Tsinjoarivo, minimum body temperatures are lower than those reported for C. medius. Both individuals at Tsinjoarivo showed limited passive and extended deep hibernation during which they did not track ambient temperature as observed in most western dwarf lemurs. Because ambient temperatures at Tsinjoarivo never exceed 30°C, dwarf lemurs have to experience arousals to maintain homeostasis during periods of hibernation. We show that large dwarf lemurs (>400 g) are capable of undergoing deep hibernation and suggest that cold, high-altitude forests may render hibernation highly advantageous during periods of food scarcity. This study has implications for understanding the physiology of hibernation in small-bodied lemurs.

  18. Physicochemical composition of osteoporotic bone in the trichothiodystrophy premature aging mouse determined by confocal Raman microscopy.

    PubMed

    van Apeldoorn, Aart A; de Boer, Jan; van Steeg, Harry; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; Otto, Cees; van Blitterswijk, Clemens A

    2007-01-01

    Although it has been established that premature aging trichothiodystrophy (TTD) mice display typical signs of osteoporosis, exact changes in physicochemical properties of these mice have not been elucidated. We used confocal Raman microscopy and histology to study femora of TTD mice. We measured femora isolated from xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA)/TTD double mutant mice to establish that Raman microscopy can be applied to measure differences in bone composition. Raman data from XPA/TTD mice showed remarkable changes in bone mineral composition. Moreover, we observed a severe form of osteoporosis, with strongly reduced cortical bone thickness. We used Raman microscopy to analyze bone composition in eight wild-type and eight TTD animals, and observed decreased levels of phosphate and carbonate in the cortex of femora isolated from TTD mice. In contrast, the bands representing the bone protein matrix were not affected in these mice.

  19. Increased endoplasmic reticulum stress in mouse osteocytes with aging alters Cox-2 response to mechanical stimuli.

    PubMed

    Chalil, Sreeda; Jaspers, Richard T; Manders, Ralph J; Klein-Nulend, Jenneke; Bakker, Astrid D; Deldicque, Louise

    2015-02-01

    Aging reduces bone mass as well as the anabolic response of bone to mechanical stimuli, resulting in osteopenia. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress impairs the response of myogenic cells to anabolic stimuli, and is involved in sarcopenia, but whether ER stress also contributes to osteopenia is unknown. Therefore, we tested whether ER stress exists in bones of aged mice, and whether this impairs the osteocyte response to mechanical stimulation. Primary osteocytes were obtained from long bones of adult (8 months) and old (24-26 months) mice, treated with or without the pharmacological ER stress inducer tunicamycin, and either or not subjected to mechanical loading by pulsating fluid flow (PFF). The osteocyte response to PFF was assessed by measuring cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) mRNA levels and nitric oxide (NO) production. mRNA levels of ER stress markers were higher in old versus adult osteocytes (+40% for activating transcription factor-4, +120% for C/EBP homologous protein, and +120% for spliced X-box binding protein-1, p < 0.05). The Cox-2 response to PFF was fourfold decreased in cells from old bones (p < 0.001), while tunicamycin decreased PFF-induced Cox-2 expression by threefold in cells from adult bones (p < 0.01). PFF increased NO production by 50% at 60 min in osteocytes from old versus adult bones (p < 0.01). In conclusion, our data indicate that the expression of several ER stress markers was higher in osteocytes from bones of old compared to adult mice. Since ER stress altered the response of osteocytes to mechanical loading, it could be a novel factor contributing to osteopenia. PMID:25539857

  20. Subacute calorie restriction and rapamycin discordantly alter mouse liver proteome homeostasis and reverse aging effects.

    PubMed

    Karunadharma, Pabalu P; Basisty, Nathan; Dai, Dao-Fu; Chiao, Ying A; Quarles, Ellen K; Hsieh, Edward J; Crispin, David; Bielas, Jason H; Ericson, Nolan G; Beyer, Richard P; MacKay, Vivian L; MacCoss, Michael J; Rabinovitch, Peter S

    2015-08-01

    Calorie restriction (CR) and rapamycin (RP) extend lifespan and improve health across model organisms. Both treatments inhibit mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, a conserved longevity pathway and a key regulator of protein homeostasis, yet their effects on proteome homeostasis are relatively unknown. To comprehensively study the effects of aging, CR, and RP on protein homeostasis, we performed the first simultaneous measurement of mRNA translation, protein turnover, and abundance in livers of young (3 month) and old (25 month) mice subjected to 10-week RP or 40% CR. Protein abundance and turnover were measured in vivo using (2) H3 -leucine heavy isotope labeling followed by LC-MS/MS, and translation was assessed by polysome profiling. We observed 35-60% increased protein half-lives after CR and 15% increased half-lives after RP compared to age-matched controls. Surprisingly, the effects of RP and CR on protein turnover and abundance differed greatly between canonical pathways, with opposite effects in mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction and eIF2 signaling pathways. CR most closely recapitulated the young phenotype in the top pathways. Polysome profiles indicated that CR reduced polysome loading while RP increased polysome loading in young and old mice, suggesting distinct mechanisms of reduced protein synthesis. CR and RP both attenuated protein oxidative damage. Our findings collectively suggest that CR and RP extend lifespan in part through the reduction of protein synthetic burden and damage and a concomitant increase in protein quality. However, these results challenge the notion that RP is a faithful CR mimetic and highlight mechanistic differences between the two interventions.

  1. Age, Strain, and Gender as Factors for Increased Sensitivity of the Mouse Lung to Inhaled Ozone

    PubMed Central

    Vancza, Elizabeth M.; Galdanes, Karen; Gunnison, Al; Hatch, Gary; Gordon, Terry

    2009-01-01

    Ozone (O3) is a respiratory irritant that leads to airway inflammation and pulmonary dysfunction. Animal studies show that neonates are more sensitive to O3 inhalation than adults, and children represent a potentially susceptible population. This latter notion is not well established, and biological mechanisms underlying a predisposition to pollution-induced pulmonary effects are unknown. We examined age and strain as interactive factors affecting differential pulmonary responses to inhaled O3. Male and female adult mice (15 weeks old) and neonates (15–16 days old) from eight genetically diverse inbred strains were exposed to 0.8 ppm O3 for 5 h. Pulmonary injury and lung inflammation were quantified as total protein concentration and total polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) number in lavage fluid recovered 24-h postexposure. Dose-response and time-course curves were generated using SJL/J pups, and 18O lung burden dose was assessed in additional mice. Interstrain differences in response to O3 were seen in neonatal mice: Balb/cJ and SJL/J being most sensitive and A/J and 129x1/SvJ most resistant. The PMN response to O3 was greater in neonates than in adults, specifically for SJL/J and C3H/HeJ strains, independent of dose. Small gender differences were also observed in adult mice. Variation in protein concentrations and PMN counts between adults and pups were strain dependent, suggesting that genetic determinants do play a role in age-related sensitivity to O3. Further research will help to determine what genetic factors contribute to these heightened responses, and to quantify the relative contribution of genes vs. environment in O3-induced health effects. PMID:19066396

  2. Does nonnutritive tree gouging in a rainforest-dwelling lemur convey resource ownership as does loud calling in a dry forest-dwelling lemur?

    PubMed

    Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Joly-Radko, Marine

    2010-12-01

    Nonhuman primates may defend crucial resources using acoustic or chemical signals. When essential resources are limited, ownership display for a resource may be enhanced. Defending resources may depend on population density and habitat characteristics. Using the Milne Edwards' sportive lemurs (Lepilemur edwardsi) and weasel sportive lemurs (L. mustelinus) as models, we tested whether two cryptic nocturnal lemur species differing in population density and habitat show differences in their vocal and chemical communication for signaling ownership of resources. L. edwardsi inhabits a western dry deciduous forest in a high-density population, whereas L. mustelinus is found in an eastern rainforest in low density. We followed ten L. edwardsi (six males and four females) and nine L. mustelinus (four males and five females) for 215 hr during the early evening (06:00-10:00 p.m.) and the early morning (02:00-05:00 a.m.) and recorded their behavior using focal animal sampling. We found that both species differed in their vocal and chemical communication. L. edwardsi was highly vocal and displayed loud calling in the mornings and evenings while feeding or in the vicinity of resting places. In contrast, L. mustelinus never vocalized during observations, but displayed tree-gouging behavior that was never observed in L. edwardsi. Tree gouging occurred more often during early evening sessions than early morning sessions. Subjects gouged trees after leaving their sleeping hole and before moving around. We suggest that, in weasel sportive lemurs, non-nutritive tree gouging is used as a scent-marking behavior in order to display ownership of sleeping sites. Altogether, our findings provide first empirical evidence on the evolution of different communication systems in two cryptic nocturnal primate species contrasting in habitat quality and population density. Further investigations are needed to provide more insight into the underlying mechanisms.

  3. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals' identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  4. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals’ identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  5. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals' identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  6. Ferulic acid ameliorates memory impairment in d-galactose-induced aging mouse model.

    PubMed

    Yang, Honggai; Qu, Zhuo; Zhang, Jingze; Huo, Liqin; Gao, Jing; Gao, Wenyuan

    2016-11-01

    Ferulic acid (FA) acts as a powerful antioxidant against various age-related diseases. To investigate the effect and underlying mechanism of FA against d-galactose(d-gal)-induced memory deficit, mice were injected with d-gal to induce memory impairment and simultaneously treated with FA and donepezil. The behavioral results revealed that chronic FA treatment reversed d-gal-induced memory impairment. Further, FA treatment inhibited d-gal-induced AChE activity and oxidative stress via increase of superoxide dismutase activity and reduced glutathione content, as well as decrease of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels. We also observed that FA significantly inhibits inflammation in the brain through reduction of NF-κB and IL-1β by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Additionally, FA treatment significantly reduces the caspase-3 level in the hippocampus of d-gal-treated mice. Hematoxylin and eosin and Nissl staining showed that FA prevents neurodegeneration induced by d-gal. These findings showed that FA inhibits d-gal-induced AChE activity, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, and consequently ameliorates memory impairment.

  7. Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: II. Coat and tail alopecia associated with Leucaena leucocepahala, 2001-2006.

    PubMed

    Jolly, Alison

    2009-03-01

    Fur condition in wild ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Body coat condition was scored on a scale from BS 0: full, smooth coat with guard hairs, to BS5: half or more of back and limbs hairless. Tail condition was scored from TS 0: full, to TS 5: half or more hairless. Where troop core areas included stands of Leucaena leucocephala, alopecia was dramatically more frequent than in similar areas without leucaena, including many animals with score BS5 or TS5, "bald lemur syndrome." Females' coats were worse than males', possibly related to female dominance and access to this preferred food. Tails in non-leucaena-feeding females tend to remain full, even if coats deteriorate, but with leucaena-feeding female tails are highly correlated with coat condition and equally bare. Coat and tail condition in L. catta reflected not only the dietary toxin but individual differences as well as differences between adjacent troops that may result from territorially mediated access to the environment. Leucaena contains the non-protein amino acid mimosine, a known cause of alopecia, wasting, and organ damage in livestock, although the effects are usually reversible. This is the first case of its effect in wildlife. Leucaena is an agroforestry tree introduced throughout the tropics. In high dietary concentrations leucaena might potentially affect any browsing mammal.

  8. Analysis of chromosome conservation in Lemur catta studied by chromosome paints and BAC/PAC probes.

    PubMed

    Cardone, Maria Francesca; Ventura, Mario; Tempesta, Sergio; Rocchi, Mariano; Archidiacono, Nicoletta

    2002-12-01

    A panel of human chromosome painting probes and bacterial and P1 artificial chromosome (BAC/PAC) clones were used in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments to investigate the chromosome conservation of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta, LCA) with respect to human. Whole chromosome paints specific for human chromosomes 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, and X were found to identify a single chromosome or an uninterrupted chromosomal region in LCA. A large set of partial chromosome paints and BAC/PAC probes were then used to refine the characterization of the rearrangements differentiating the two karyotypes. The results were also used to reconstruct the ancestral Lemuridae karyotype. Lemur catta, indeed, can be used as an outgroup, allowing symplesiomorphic (ancestral) rearrangements to be distinguished from apomorphic (derived) rearrangements in lemurs. Some LCA chromosomes are difficult to distinguish morphologically. The 'anchorage' of most LCA chromosomes to specific probes will contribute to the standardization of the karyotype of this species. PMID:12474064

  9. Development and application of a phylogenomic toolkit: resolving the evolutionary history of Madagascar's lemurs.

    PubMed

    Horvath, Julie E; Weisrock, David W; Embry, Stephanie L; Fiorentino, Isabella; Balhoff, James P; Kappeler, Peter; Wray, Gregory A; Willard, Huntington F; Yoder, Anne D

    2008-03-01

    Lemurs and the other strepsirrhine primates are of great interest to the primate genomics community due to their phylogenetic placement as the sister lineage to all other primates. Previous attempts to resolve the phylogeny of lemurs employed limited mitochondrial or small nuclear data sets, with many relationships poorly supported or entirely unresolved. We used genomic resources to develop 11 novel markers from nine chromosomes, representing approximately 9 kb of nuclear sequence data. In combination with previously published nuclear and mitochondrial loci, this yields a data set of more than 16 kb and adds approximately 275 kb of DNA sequence to current databases. Our phylogenetic analyses confirm hypotheses of lemuriform monophyly and provide robust resolution of the phylogenetic relationships among the five lemuriform families. We verify that the genus Daubentonia is the sister lineage to all other lemurs. The Cheirogaleidae and Lepilemuridae are sister taxa and together form the sister lineage to the Indriidae; this clade is the sister lineage to the Lemuridae. Divergence time estimates indicate that lemurs are an ancient group, with their initial diversification occurring around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Given the power of this data set to resolve branches in a notoriously problematic area of primate phylogeny, we anticipate that our phylogenomic toolkit will be of value to other studies of primate phylogeny and diversification. Moreover, the methods applied will be broadly applicable to other taxonomic groups where phylogenetic relationships have been notoriously difficult to resolve. PMID:18245770

  10. Development and application of a phylogenomic toolkit: Resolving the evolutionary history of Madagascar’s lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Julie E.; Weisrock, David W.; Embry, Stephanie L.; Fiorentino, Isabella; Balhoff, James P.; Kappeler, Peter; Wray, Gregory A.; Willard, Huntington F.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2008-01-01

    Lemurs and the other strepsirrhine primates are of great interest to the primate genomics community due to their phylogenetic placement as the sister lineage to all other primates. Previous attempts to resolve the phylogeny of lemurs employed limited mitochondrial or small nuclear data sets, with many relationships poorly supported or entirely unresolved. We used genomic resources to develop 11 novel markers from nine chromosomes, representing ∼9 kb of nuclear sequence data. In combination with previously published nuclear and mitochondrial loci, this yields a data set of more than 16 kb and adds ∼275 kb of DNA sequence to current databases. Our phylogenetic analyses confirm hypotheses of lemuriform monophyly and provide robust resolution of the phylogenetic relationships among the five lemuriform families. We verify that the genus Daubentonia is the sister lineage to all other lemurs. The Cheirogaleidae and Lepilemuridae are sister taxa and together form the sister lineage to the Indriidae; this clade is the sister lineage to the Lemuridae. Divergence time estimates indicate that lemurs are an ancient group, with their initial diversification occurring around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Given the power of this data set to resolve branches in a notoriously problematic area of primate phylogeny, we anticipate that our phylogenomic toolkit will be of value to other studies of primate phylogeny and diversification. Moreover, the methods applied will be broadly applicable to other taxonomic groups where phylogenetic relationships have been notoriously difficult to resolve. PMID:18245770

  11. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Lemurs Inferred with Recent and Ancient Fossils in the Tree.

    PubMed

    Herrera, James P; Dávalos, Liliana M

    2016-09-01

    Paleontological and neontological systematics seek to answer evolutionary questions with different data sets. Phylogenies inferred for combined extant and extinct taxa provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of life. Primates have an extensive, diverse fossil record and molecular data for living and extinct taxa are rapidly becoming available. We used two models to infer the phylogeny and divergence times for living and fossil primates, the tip-dating (TD) and fossilized birth-death process (FBD). We collected new morphological data, especially on the living and extinct endemic lemurs of Madagascar. We combined the morphological data with published DNA sequences to infer near-complete (88% of lemurs) time-calibrated phylogenies. The results suggest that primates originated around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, slightly earlier than indicated by the fossil record and later than previously inferred from molecular data alone. We infer novel relationships among extinct lemurs, and strong support for relationships that were previously unresolved. Dates inferred with TD were significantly older than those inferred with FBD, most likely related to an assumption of a uniform branching process in the TD compared with a birth-death process assumed in the FBD. This is the first study to combine morphological and DNA sequence data from extinct and extant primates to infer evolutionary relationships and divergence times, and our results shed new light on the tempo of lemur evolution and the efficacy of combined phylogenetic analyses. PMID:27113475

  12. Overexpression of arginase in the aged mouse penis impairs erectile function and decreases eNOS activity: influence of in vivo gene therapy of anti-arginase.

    PubMed

    Bivalacqua, Trinity J; Burnett, Arthur L; Hellstrom, Wayne J G; Champion, Hunter C

    2007-03-01

    Since both increased nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) abundance and diminished NO signaling have been reported in the aging penis, the role of NO in the adaptations of aging remains controversial. Here we tested the hypothesis that arginase, an enzyme that competes with NOS for the substrate l-arginine, contributes to erectile dysfunction with advanced age in the B6/129 mouse strain. Arginase protein abundance, mRNA expression, and enzyme activity were elevated in aged compared with young penile endothelial cells. In addition, endothelial NOS (NOS3) protein abundance was greater in aged versus young penile endothelial cells, whereas NOS activity and cGMP levels were reduced. Calcium-dependent l-arginine-to-l-citrulline conversion and cGMP formation increased significantly in aged mouse penes in the presence of the arginase inhibitor 2(S)-amino-6-boronohexanoic acid (ABH). However, there was no effect on l-arginine-to-l-citrulline conversion or cGMP accumulation in the endothelium from young mouse penes. To assess the functional role of arginase in the inhibition of NOS pathway responsiveness in the penis, we evaluated the effects of ABH and an adeno-associated virus encoding an antisense sequence to arginase I (AAVanti-arginase) on erectile function in vivo. ABH and AAVanti-arginase enhanced endothelium-dependent erectile responses in the aged mice without altering endothelium-independent responses. Paralleling our in vitro observations, ABH or AAVanti-arginase did not affect vascular responses in the young mice. Inhibition of the arginase pathway improves endothelial function in the aging penile circulation, suggesting that the arginase pathway may be exploited to improve erectile dysfunction associated with aging. PMID:17071735

  13. Diurnal resting in brown lemurs in a dry deciduous forest, northwestern Madagascar: implications for seasonal thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroki

    2012-07-01

    Decreased activity has been reported in both nocturnal and diurnal primates during the prolonged dry season in western Madagascar, and this has been interpreted as a reaction to the severe environment, with its food scarcity and/or thermal stress. Several day-active lemurs rest more as trees defoliate, although the reason for this is unclear. To understand the mechanism underpinning the diurnal resting of lemurs in seasonal deciduous forests, I observed common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) for one year in Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar. In Ankarafantsika, despite high fruit availability during the dry season, brown lemurs are known to engage in diurnal resting. To examine the effects of thermal factors and defoliation on lemur inactivity, I recorded the activity of a troop at 1 min intervals, hourly ambient temperature, daily rainfall, and weather during observations (06:00-18:00). I quantified the amount of leaves biweekly for 680 trees. I tested correlations between percentages of resting time and each factor across hours during the day and across seasons. During the rainy season, resting time did not differ between sunny and cloudy days, and lemurs were active throughout the daytime. At the hourly level during the dry season, lemurs rested exclusively at midday, apparently at peak sunlight intensity rather than at peak ambient temperature. At seasonal level, percentages of total resting time from 08:00 to 16:00 were greater during dry season (81.9%) than during rainy season (62.6%), and percentages increased as ambient temperatures increased. Defoliation was related to seasonal decrease in weekly rainfall, which served as an index of water retained in the forest. Defoliation probably reflected aridification as well as the penetration of sunlight into the forest. Diurnal resting increased as both the amount of leaves and weekly rainfall decreased seasonally. These results suggest that heat stress under dry conditions may promote

  14. Reduction of myoblast differentiation following multiple population doublings in mouse C2 C12 cells: a model to investigate ageing?

    PubMed

    Sharples, Adam P; Al-Shanti, Nasser; Lewis, Mark P; Stewart, Claire E

    2011-12-01

    Ageing skeletal muscle displays declines in size, strength, and functional capacity. Given the acknowledged role that the systemic environment plays in reduced regeneration (Conboy et al. [2005] Nature 433: 760-764), the role of resident satellite cells (termed myoblasts upon activation) is relatively dismissed, where, multiple cellular divisions in-vivo throughout the lifespan could also impact on muscular deterioration. Using a model of multiple population doublings (MPD) in-vitro thus provided a system in which to investigate the direct impact of extensive cell duplications on muscle cell behavior. C(2) C(12) mouse skeletal myoblasts (CON) were used fresh or following 58 population doublings (MPD). As a result of multiple divisions, reduced morphological and biochemical (creatine kinase, CK) differentiation were observed. Furthermore, MPD cells had significantly increased cells in the S and decreased cells in the G1 phases of the cell cycle versus CON, following serum withdrawal. These results suggest continued cycling rather than G1 exit and thus reduced differentiation (myotube atrophy) occurs in MPD muscle cells. These changes were underpinned by significant reductions in transcript expression of: IGF-I and myogenic regulatory factors (myoD and myogenin) together with elevated IGFBP5. Signaling studies showed that decreased differentiation in MPD was associated with decreased phosphorylation of Akt, and with later increased phosphorylation of JNK1/2. Chemical inhibition of JNK1/2 (SP600125) in MPD cells increased IGF-I expression (non-significantly), however, did not enhance differentiation. This study provides a potential model and molecular mechanisms for deterioration in differentiation capacity in skeletal muscle cells as a consequence of multiple population doublings that would potentially contribute to the ageing process. PMID:21826704

  15. Sight or scent: lemur sensory reliance in detecting food quality varies with feeding ecology.

    PubMed

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D; Drea, Christine M

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology.

  16. Sight or scent: lemur sensory reliance in detecting food quality varies with feeding ecology.

    PubMed

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D; Drea, Christine M

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology. PMID:22870229

  17. Habitat shifting by the common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus fulvus): a response to food scarcity.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroki

    2013-07-01

    During periods of food scarcity, most primates display behavioral responses, such as dietary switching or adjustment of traveling and foraging efforts, within home ranges. In rare cases, several primate species leave their home ranges for other remote habitats to seek alternative resources; this migration-like behavior is termed "habitat shifting." Reports of habitat shifting have concentrated on platyrrhines, but this behavior has rarely been observed among prosimians. During 1 year of observation of a troop of common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) in Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar, habitat shifting occurred twice. To understand the causes of this behavior, I examined the seasonal availability of fruit resources in the range continuously used by the troop during the year (defined as the annual range) and compared feeding activities and vegetation types between the annual range and new areas. The troop usually stayed within a 38.7-ha annual range, defined by a 95 % fixed kernel analysis based on GPS location data collected at 5-min intervals. In April 2007, the lemurs suddenly moved to a habitat 1.0-1.5 km south of their annual range and concentrated on the consumption of Grewia triflora fruits for 2 weeks. In November 2007, they visited a habitat 0.8-1.7 km southeast of the annual range and exploited fruits of Landolphia myrtifolia. These new areas were open habitats with high densities of the respective fruit species. The density of fruiting trees was low in the annual range during these periods; thus, habitat shifting to areas with different phenological productivity appeared to be an effective response to fruit scarcity. Brown lemurs are generally categorized as a nonterritorial species, and the lemurs observed here showed no agonistic behavior in intergroup encounters during range shifting. Such nonterritoriality may allow brown lemurs to shift habitats, a behavior resulting in long-term absence from their annual range.

  18. LEMUR: Large European module for solar Ultraviolet Research. European contribution to JAXA's Solar-C mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teriaca, Luca; Andretta, Vincenzo; Auchère, Frédéric; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martínez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schühle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-10-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Å and 1270 Å. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution to the Solar

  19. Cognitive Training at a Young Age Attenuates Deficits in the zQ175 Mouse Model of HD

    PubMed Central

    Curtin, Paul C. P.; Farrar, Andrew M.; Oakeshott, Stephen; Sutphen, Jane; Berger, Jason; Mazzella, Matthew; Cox, Kimberly; He, Dansha; Alosio, William; Park, Larry C.; Howland, David; Brunner, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's Disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. In these experiments, we tested if operant training at an early age affected adult cognitive deficits in the zQ175 KI Het (zQ175) mouse model of HD. In Experiment 1 we trained zQ175 mice in a fixed-ratio/progressive ratio (FR/PR) task to assay learning and motivational deficits. We found pronounced deficits in response rates and task engagement in naïve adult zQ175 mice (32–33 weeks age), while deficits in zQ175 mice trained from 6–7 weeks age were either absent or less severe. When those mice were re-tested as adults, FR/PR performance deficits were absent or otherwise less severe than deficits observed in naïve adult zQ175 relative to wild type (WT) mice. In Experiment 2, we used a Go/No-go operant task to assess the effects of early cognitive testing on response inhibition deficits in zQ175 mice. We found that zQ175 mice that began testing at 7–8 weeks did not exhibit deficits in Go/No-go testing, but when re-tested at 28–29 weeks age exhibited an initial impairment that diminished with training. These transient deficits were nonetheless mild relative to deficits observed among adult zQ175 mice without prior testing experience. In Experiment 3 we trained mice in a two-choice visual discrimination test to evaluate cognitive flexibility. As in prior experiments, we found performance deficits were mild or absent in mice that started training at 6–9 weeks of age, while deficits in naive mice exposed to training at 28–29 weeks were severe. Re-testing mice at 28–29 weeks age, were previously trained starting at 6–9 weeks, revealed that deficits in learning and cognitive flexibility were absent or reduced relative to effects observed in naive adults. In Experiment 4, we tested working memory deficits with a delayed non-match to position (DNMTP) test. Mice with prior experience exhibited mild working memory deficits, with males

  20. Cognitive Training at a Young Age Attenuates Deficits in the zQ175 Mouse Model of HD.

    PubMed

    Curtin, Paul C P; Farrar, Andrew M; Oakeshott, Stephen; Sutphen, Jane; Berger, Jason; Mazzella, Matthew; Cox, Kimberly; He, Dansha; Alosio, William; Park, Larry C; Howland, David; Brunner, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's Disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. In these experiments, we tested if operant training at an early age affected adult cognitive deficits in the zQ175 KI Het (zQ175) mouse model of HD. In Experiment 1 we trained zQ175 mice in a fixed-ratio/progressive ratio (FR/PR) task to assay learning and motivational deficits. We found pronounced deficits in response rates and task engagement in naïve adult zQ175 mice (32-33 weeks age), while deficits in zQ175 mice trained from 6-7 weeks age were either absent or less severe. When those mice were re-tested as adults, FR/PR performance deficits were absent or otherwise less severe than deficits observed in naïve adult zQ175 relative to wild type (WT) mice. In Experiment 2, we used a Go/No-go operant task to assess the effects of early cognitive testing on response inhibition deficits in zQ175 mice. We found that zQ175 mice that began testing at 7-8 weeks did not exhibit deficits in Go/No-go testing, but when re-tested at 28-29 weeks age exhibited an initial impairment that diminished with training. These transient deficits were nonetheless mild relative to deficits observed among adult zQ175 mice without prior testing experience. In Experiment 3 we trained mice in a two-choice visual discrimination test to evaluate cognitive flexibility. As in prior experiments, we found performance deficits were mild or absent in mice that started training at 6-9 weeks of age, while deficits in naive mice exposed to training at 28-29 weeks were severe. Re-testing mice at 28-29 weeks age, were previously trained starting at 6-9 weeks, revealed that deficits in learning and cognitive flexibility were absent or reduced relative to effects observed in naive adults. In Experiment 4, we tested working memory deficits with a delayed non-match to position (DNMTP) test. Mice with prior experience exhibited mild working memory deficits, with males zQ175 exhibiting