Science.gov

Sample records for aged mouse lemurs

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Hearing and age-related changes in the gray mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Schopf, Christian; Zimmermann, Elke; Tünsmeyer, Julia; Kästner, Sabine B R; Hubka, Peter; Kral, Andrej

    2014-12-01

    In order to examine auditory thresholds and hearing sensitivity during aging in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), suggested to represent a model for early primate evolution and Alzheimer research, we applied brainstem-evoked response audiometry (BERA), traditionally used for screening hearing sensitivity in human babies. To assess the effect of age, we determined auditory thresholds in two age groups of adult mouse lemurs (young adults, 1-5 years; old adults, ≥7 years) using clicks and tone pips. Auditory thresholds indicated frequency sensitivity from 800 Hz to almost 50 kHz, covering the species tonal communication range with fundamentals from about 8 to 40 kHz. The frequency of best hearing at 7.9 kHz was slightly lower than that and coincided with the dominant frequencies of communication signals of a predator. Aging shifted auditory thresholds in the range between 2 and 50.4 kHz significantly by 12-27 dB. This mild presbyacusis, expressed in a drop of amplitudes of BERA signals, but not discernible in latencies of responses, suggests a metabolic age-related decrease potentially combined with an accompanying degeneration of the cochlear nerve. Our findings on hearing range of this species support the hypothesis that predation was a driving factor for the evolution of hearing in small ancestral primates. Likewise, results provide the empirical basis for future approaches trying to differentiate peripheral from central factors when studying Alzheimer's disease-like pathologies in the aging brain. PMID:25112886

  5. Touchscreen-Based Cognitive Tasks Reveal Age-Related Impairment in a Primate Aging Model, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research. PMID:25299046

  6. Deficits of psychomotor and mnesic functions across aging in mouse lemur primates

    PubMed Central

    Languille, Solène; Liévin-Bazin, Agatha; Picq, Jean-Luc; Louis, Caroline; Dix, Sophie; De Barry, Jean; Blin, Olivier; Richardson, Jill; Bordet, Régis; Schenker, Esther; Djelti, Fathia; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-01-01

    Owing to a similar cerebral neuro-anatomy, non-human primates are viewed as the most valid models for understanding cognitive deficits. This study evaluated psychomotor and mnesic functions of 41 young to old mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Psychomotor capacities and anxiety-related behaviors decreased abruptly from middle to late adulthood. However, mnesic functions were not affected in the same way with increasing age. While results of the spontaneous alternation task point to a progressive and widespread age-related decline of spatial working memory, both spatial reference and novel object recognition (NOR) memory tasks did not reveal any tendency due to large inter-individual variability in the middle-aged and old animals. Indeed, some of the aged animals performed as well as younger ones, whereas some others had bad performances in the Barnes maze and in the object recognition test. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that declarative-like memory was strongly impaired only in 7 out of 25 middle-aged/old animals. These results suggest that this analysis allows to distinguish elder populations of good and bad performers in this non-human primate model and to closely compare this to human aging. PMID:25620921

  7. Characterization of blood biochemical markers during aging in the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus): impact of gender and season

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Hematologic and biochemical data are needed to characterize the health status of animal populations over time to determine the habitat quality and captivity conditions. Blood components and the chemical entities that they transport change predominantly with sex and age. The aim of this study was to utilize blood chemistry monitoring to establish the reference levels in a small prosimian primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus). Method In the captive colony, mouse lemurs may live 10–12 years, and three age groups for both males and females were studied: young (1–3 years), middle-aged (4–5 years) and old (6–10 years). Blood biochemical markers were measured using the VetScan Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile. Because many life history traits of this primate are highly dependent on the photoperiod (body mass and reproduction), the effect of season was also assessed. Results The main effect of age was observed in blood markers of renal functions such as creatinine, which was higher among females. Additionally, blood urea nitrogen significantly increased with age and is potentially linked to chronic renal insufficiency, which has been described in captive mouse lemurs. The results demonstrated significant effects related to season, especially in blood protein levels and glucose rates; these effects were observed regardless of gender or age and were likely due to seasonal variations in food intake, which is very marked in this species. Conclusion These results were highly similar with those obtained in other primate species and can serve as references for future research of the Grey Mouse Lemur. PMID:23131178

  8. Effects of Resveratrol on Daily Rhythms of Locomotor Activity and Body Temperature in Young and Aged Grey Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Dal-Pan, Alexandre; Languille, Solène; Aujard, Fabienne

    2013-01-01

    In several species, resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound, activates sirtuin proteins implicated in the regulation of energy balance and biological clock processes. To demonstrate the effect of resveratrol on clock function in an aged primate, young and aged mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) were studied over a 4-week dietary supplementation with resveratrol. Spontaneous locomotor activity and daily variations in body temperature were continuously recorded. Reduction in locomotor activity onset and changes in body temperature rhythm in resveratrol-supplemented aged animals suggest an improved synchronisation on the light-dark cycle. Resveratrol could be a good candidate to restore the circadian rhythms in the elderly. PMID:23983895

  9. 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

  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. PMID:22921374

  11. Delimiting Species without Nuclear Monophyly in Madagascar's Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Weisrock, David W.; Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Fiorentino, Isabella; Ralison, José M.; Goodman, Steven M.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Speciation begins when populations become genetically separated through a substantial reduction in gene flow, and it is at this point that a genetically cohesive set of populations attain the sole property of species: the independent evolution of a population-level lineage. The comprehensive delimitation of species within biodiversity hotspots, regardless of their level of divergence, is important for understanding the factors that drive the diversification of biota and for identifying them as targets for conservation. However, delimiting recently diverged species is challenging due to insufficient time for the differential evolution of characters—including morphological differences, reproductive isolation, and gene tree monophyly—that are typically used as evidence for separately evolving lineages. Methodology In this study, we assembled multiple lines of evidence from the analysis of mtDNA and nDNA sequence data for the delimitation of a high diversity of cryptically diverged population-level mouse lemur lineages across the island of Madagascar. Our study uses a multi-faceted approach that applies phylogenetic, population genetic, and genealogical analysis for recognizing lineage diversity and presents the most thoroughly sampled species delimitation of mouse lemur ever performed. Conclusions The resolution of a large number of geographically defined clades in the mtDNA gene tree provides strong initial evidence for recognizing a high diversity of population-level lineages in mouse lemurs. We find additional support for lineage recognition in the striking concordance between mtDNA clades and patterns of nuclear population structure. Lineages identified using these two sources of evidence also exhibit patterns of population divergence according to genealogical exclusivity estimates. Mouse lemur lineage diversity is reflected in both a geographically fine-scaled pattern of population divergence within established and geographically widespread taxa

  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. Hybridization of mouse lemurs: different patterns under different ecological conditions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Several mechanistic models aim to explain the diversification of the multitude of endemic species on Madagascar. The island's biogeographic history probably offered numerous opportunities for secondary contact and subsequent hybridization. Existing diversification models do not consider a possible role of these processes. One key question for a better understanding of their potential importance is how they are influenced by different environmental settings. Here, we characterized a contact zone between two species of mouse lemurs, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus, in dry spiny bush and mesic gallery forest that border each other sharply without intermediate habitats between them. We performed population genetic analyses based on mtDNA sequences and nine nuclear microsatellites and compared the results to a known hybrid zone of the same species in a nearby wide gradient from dry spiny bush over transitional forest to humid littoral forest. Results In the spiny-gallery system, Microcebus griseorufus is restricted to the spiny bush; Microcebus murinus occurs in gallery forest and locally invades the dryer habitat of its congener. We found evidence for bidirectional introgressive hybridization, which is closely linked to increased spatial overlap within the spiny bush. Within 159 individuals, we observed 18 hybrids with mitochondrial haplotypes of both species. Analyses of simulated microsatellite data indicate that we identified hybrids with great accuracy and that we probably underestimated their true number. We discuss short-term climatic fluctuations as potential trigger for the dynamic of invasion and subsequent hybridization. In the gradient hybrid zone in turn, long-term aridification could have favored unidirectional nuclear introgression from Microcebus griseorufus into M. murinus in transitional forest. Conclusions Madagascar's southeastern transitional zone harbors two very different hybrid zones of mouse lemurs in different environmental

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Sleep deprivation impairs spatial retrieval but not spatial learning in the non-human primate grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Anisur; Languille, Solène; Lamberty, Yves; Babiloni, Claudio; Perret, Martine; Bordet, Regis; Blin, Olivier J; Jacob, Tom; Auffret, Alexandra; Schenker, Esther; Richardson, Jill; Pifferi, Fabien; Aujard, Fabienne

    2013-01-01

    A bulk of studies in rodents and humans suggest that sleep facilitates different phases of learning and memory process, while sleep deprivation (SD) impairs these processes. Here we tested the hypothesis that SD could alter spatial learning and memory processing in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which is an interesting model of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Two sets of experiments were performed. In a first set of experiments, we investigated the effects of SD on spatial learning and memory retrieval after one day of training in a circular platform task. Eleven male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in three different conditions: without SD as a baseline reference, 8 h of SD before the training and 8 h of SD before the testing. The SD was confirmed by electroencephalographic recordings. Results showed no effect of SD on learning when SD was applied before the training. When the SD was applied before the testing, it induced an increase of the amount of errors and of the latency prior to reach the target. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 8 h of SD on spatial memory retrieval after 3 days of training. Twenty male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in this set of experiments. In this condition, the SD did not affect memory retrieval. This is the first study that documents the disruptive effects of the SD on spatial memory retrieval in this primate which may serve as a new validated challenge to investigate the effects of new compounds along physiological and pathological aging. PMID:23717620

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. Modeling the origins of mammalian sociality: moderate evidence for matrilineal signatures in mouse lemur vocalizations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Maternal kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity and it requires that kin are distinctive from nonkin. The transition from the ancestral state of asociality to the derived state of complex social groups is thought to have occurred via solitary foraging, in which individuals forage alone, but, unlike the asocial ancestors, maintain dispersed social networks via scent-marks and vocalizations. We hypothesize that matrilineal signatures in vocalizations were an important part of these networks. We used the solitary foraging gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) as a model for ancestral solitary foragers and tested for matrilineal signatures in their calls, thus investigating whether such signatures are already present in solitary foragers and could have facilitated the kin selection thought to have driven the evolution of increased social complexity in mammals. Because agonism can be very costly, selection for matrilineal signatures in agonistic calls should help reduce agonism between unfamiliar matrilineal kin. We conducted this study on a well-studied population of wild mouse lemurs at Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. We determined pairwise relatedness using seven microsatellite loci, matrilineal relatedness by sequencing the mitrochondrial D-loop, and sleeping group associations using radio-telemetry. We recorded agonistic calls during controlled social encounters and conducted a multi-parametric acoustic analysis to determine the spectral and temporal structure of the agonistic calls. We measured 10 calls for each of 16 females from six different matrilineal kin groups. Results Calls were assigned to their matriline at a rate significantly higher than chance (pDFA: correct = 47.1%, chance = 26.7%, p = 0.03). There was a statistical trend for a negative correlation between acoustic distance and relatedness (Mantel Test: g = -1.61, Z = 4.61, r = -0.13, p = 0.058). Conclusions

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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? PMID:24591134

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Pervasive and ongoing positive selection in the vomeronasal-1 receptor (V1R) repertoire of mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Radespiel, Ute; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2012-12-01

    Chemosensory genes are frequently the target of positive selection and are often present in large gene families, but little is known about heterogeneity of selection in these cases and its relation to function. Here, we use the vomeronasal-1 receptor (V1R) repertoire of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) as a model system to study patterns of selection of chemosensory genes at several different levels. Mouse lemurs are small nocturnal strepsirrhine primates and have a large (~200 loci) repertoire of V1R loci that are likely important for intraspecific pheromonal communication and interspecific interactions, for example, recognition of predator cues. We investigated signals and patterns of positive selection among the 105 identified full length V1R loci in the gray mouse lemur and within 7 V1R loci amplified across multiple mouse lemur species. Phylogenetic reconstructions of published sequences revealed at least nine monophyletic clusters of V1Rs in gray mouse lemurs that have diversified since the split between lemurs and lorisoid primates. A large majority of clusters evolved under significant positive selection. Similar results were found in V1Rs of closely related greater galagos. Comparison with function of related V1R clusters in mice suggested a potential relationship between receptor function and strength of selection. Interestingly, most codons identified as being under positive selection are located in the extracellular domains of the receptors and hence likely indicate the position of residues involved in ligand binding. Positive selection was also detected within five V1R loci (=71% of analyzed loci) sequenced from 6 to 10 mouse lemur species, indicating ongoing selection within the genus, which may be related to sexual selection and, potentially, speciation processes. Variation in strength of positive selection on V1Rs showed no simple relationship to cluster size. The diversity of V1R loci in mouse lemurs reflects their adaptive evolution and is most

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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. PMID:14752812

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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 Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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.jlr 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. Evaluating capture stress in wild gray mouse lemurs via repeated fecal sampling: method validation and the influence of prior experience and handling protocols on stress responses.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Fenosoa, Zo Samuel Ella; Kraus, Cornelia

    2014-01-01

    Reliable measurements of physiological stress are increasingly needed for eco-physiological research and for species conservation or management. Stress can be estimated by quantifying plasma glucocorticoid levels, but when this is not feasible, glucocorticoid metabolites are often measured from feces (FGCM). However, evidence is accumulating on the sensitivity of FGCM measurements to various nuisance factors. Careful species- and context-specific validations are therefore necessary to confirm the biological relevance and specificity of the method. The goals of this study were to: (1) establish and validate sampling methods and an enzymeimmunoassay to measure FGCM in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus); (2) explore causes of variability in the FGCM measurements, and; (3) assess the consequences of capturing and handling for free-living individuals by quantifying their stress responses via repeated fecal sampling within capture sessions. We further assessed the influence of different handling protocols and the animals' previous capture experience on the magnitude of the physiological response. Our validations identified the group-specific measurement of 11ß-hydroxyetiocholanolone as the most suitable assay for monitoring adrenocortical activity. The sample water content and the animal's age were found to significantly influence baseline FGCM-levels. Most captured animals exhibited a post-capture FGCM-elevation but its magnitude was not related to the handling protocol or capture experience. We found no evidence for long-term consequences of routine capturing on the animals' stress physiology. Hence the described methods can be employed to measure physiological stress in mouse lemurs in an effective and relatively non-invasive way. PMID:24212051

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. MHC class II variation in a rare and ecological specialist mouse lemur reveals lower allelic richness and contrasting selection patterns compared to a generalist and widespread sympatric congener.

    PubMed

    Pechouskova, Eva; Dammhahn, Melanie; Brameier, Markus; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M; Huchard, Elise

    2015-04-01

    The polymorphism of immunogenes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is thought to influence the functional plasticity of immune responses and, consequently, the fitness of populations facing heterogeneous pathogenic pressures. Here, we evaluated MHC variation (allelic richness and divergence) and patterns of selection acting on the two highly polymorphic MHC class II loci (DRB and DQB) in the endangered primate Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae). Using 454 pyrosequencing, we examined MHC variation in a total of 100 individuals sampled over 9 years in Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar, and compared our findings with data obtained previously for its sympatric congener, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). These species exhibit a contrasting ecology and demography that were expected to affect MHC variation and molecular signatures of selection. We found a lower allelic richness concordant with its low population density, but a similar level of allelic divergence and signals of historical selection in the rare feeding specialist M. berthae compared to the widespread generalist M. murinus. These findings suggest that demographic factors may exert a stronger influence than pathogen-driven selection on current levels of allelic richness in M. berthae. Despite a high sequence similarity between the two congeners, contrasting selection patterns detected at DQB suggest its potential functional divergence. This study represents a first step toward unravelling factors influencing the adaptive divergence of MHC genes between closely related but ecologically differentiated sympatric lemurs and opens new questions regarding potential functional discrepancy that would explain contrasting selection patterns detected at DQB. PMID:25687337

  10. Dietary palmitate and linoleate oxidations, oxidative stress, and DNA damage differ according to season in mouse lemurs exposed to a chronic food deprivation.

    PubMed

    Giroud, Sylvain; Perret, Martine; Gilbert, Caroline; Zahariev, Alexandre; Goudable, Joëlle; Le Maho, Yvon; Oudart, Hugues; Momken, Iman; Aujard, Fabienne; Blanc, Stéphane

    2009-10-01

    This study investigated the extent to which the increase in torpor expression in the grey mouse lemur, due to graded food restriction, is modulated by a trade-off between a whole body sparing of polyunsaturated dietary fatty acids and the related oxidative stress generated during daily torpor. We measured changes in torpor frequency, total energy expenditure (TEE), linoleate (polyunsaturated fatty acid) and palmitate (saturated fatty acid) oxidation, hexanoyl-lysine (HEL; the product of linoleate peroxidation), and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8OHdG; a marker of DNA damage). Animals under summer-acclimated long days (LD) or winter-acclimated short days (SD) were exposed to a 40% (LD40 and SD40) and 80% (LD80 and SD80) 35-day calorie restriction (CR). During CR, all groups reduced their body mass, but LD80 animals reached survival-threatened levels at day 22 and were then excluded from the CR trial. Only SD mouse lemurs increased their torpor frequency with CR and displayed a decrease in their TEE adjusted for fat-free mass. After CR, SD40 mouse lemurs shifted the dietary fatty acid oxidation toward palmitate and spared linoleate. Such a shift was not observed in LD animals and during severe CR, during which oxidation of both dietary fatty acids was increased. Concomitantly, HEL increased in both LD40 and SD80 groups, whereas DNA damage was only seen in SD80 food-restricted animals. HEL correlated positively with linoleate oxidation confirming in vivo the substrate/product relationship demonstrated in vitro, and negatively with TEE adjusted for fat-free mass, suggesting higher oxidative stress associated with increased torpor expression. This suggests a seasonal-dependant, cost-benefit trade-off between maximizing torpor propensity and minimizing oxidative stress that is associated with a shift toward sparing of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids that is dependent upon the expression of a winter phenotype. PMID:19625694

  11. The Grey Mouse Lemur Uses Season-Dependent Fat or Protein Sparing Strategies to Face Chronic Food Restriction

    PubMed Central

    Giroud, Sylvain; Perret, Martine; Stein, Peter; Goudable, Joëlle; Aujard, Fabienne; Gilbert, Caroline; Robin, Jean Patrice; Le Maho, Yvon; Zahariev, Alexandre

    2010-01-01

    During moderate calorie restriction (CR) the heterotherm Microcebus murinus is able to maintain a stable energy balance whatever the season, even if only wintering animals enter into torpor. To understand its energy saving strategies to respond to food shortages, we assessed protein and energy metabolisms associated with wintering torpor expression or summering torpor avoidance. We investigated body composition, whole body protein turnover, and daily energy expenditure (DEE), during a graded (40 and 80%) 35-day CR in short-days (winter; SD40 and SD80, respectively) and long-days (summer; LD40 and LD80, respectively) acclimated animals. LD40 animals showed no change in fat mass (FM) but a 12% fat free mass (FFM) reduction. Protein balance being positive after CR, the FFM loss was early and rapid. The 25% DEE reduction, in LD40 group was mainly explained by FFM changes. LD80 animals showed a steady body mass loss and were excluded from the CR trial at day 22, reaching a survival-threatened body mass. No data were available for this group. SD40 animals significantly decreased their FM level by 21%, but maintained FFM. Protein sparing was achieved through a 35 and 39% decrease in protein synthesis and catabolism (protein turnover), respectively, overall maintaining nitrogen balance. The 21% reduction in energy requirement was explained by the 30% nitrogen flux drop but also by torpor as DEE FFM-adjusted remained 13% lower compared to ad-libitum. SD80 animals were unable to maintain energy and nitrogen balances, losing both FM and FFM. Thus summering mouse lemurs equilibrate energy balance by a rapid loss of active metabolic mass without using torpor, whereas wintering animals spare protein and energy through increased torpor expression. Both strategies have direct fitness implication: 1) to maintain activities at a lower body size during the mating season and 2) to preserve an optimal wintering muscle mass and function. PMID:20098678

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:19341960

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. The effects of age on glutathione synthesis enzymes in lenses of Old World simians and prosimians.

    PubMed

    Rathbun, W B; Holleschau, A M

    1992-07-01

    The activities of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase and glutathione synthetase, the two enzymes required for glutathione synthesis, were determined as a function of age in lenses of three species of Old World higher primates: orangutan, pigtail monkey and olive baboon. These were compared to enzyme activities in lenses of two prosimians: mouse lemur and galago. gamma-Glutamylcysteine synthetase activity decreased as a function of age in all three Old World simians. The rate of decrease was greatest in the juvenile lenses. In contrast, the enzyme activity increased continuously with age in the galago lens. In the mouse lemur the enzyme activity increased per lens, but was constant when expressed as specific activity or as units per gram of lens. The loss of enzyme activity with age was limited to Old World higher primates apparently representing genetic change. Glutathione synthetase activity decreased logarithmically with age in the lenses of all five species. PMID:1355706

  3. 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

  4. Interstitial pericytes decrease in aged mouse kidneys.

    PubMed

    Stefanska, Ania; Eng, Diana; Kaverina, Natalya; Duffield, Jeremy S; Pippin, Jeffrey W; Rabinovitch, Peter; Shankland, Stuart J

    2015-06-01

    With increasing age, the kidney undergoes characteristic changes in the glomerular and tubulo-interstitial compartments, which are ultimately accompanied by reduced kidney function. Studies have shown age-related loss of peritubular vessels. Normal peritubular vessel tone, function and survival depend on neighboring pericytes. Pericyte detachment leads to vascular damage, which can be accompanied by their differentiation to fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, a state that favors matrix production. To better understand the fate of pericytes in the aged kidney, 27 month-old mice were studied. Compared to 3 month-old young adult mice, aged kidneys showed a substantial decrease in capillaries, identified by CD31 staining, in both cortex and medulla. This was accompanied by a marked decrease in surrounding NG2+ / PDGFRβ+ pericytes. This decrease was more pronounced in the medulla. Capillaries devoid of pericytes were typically dilated in aged mice. Aged kidneys were also characterized by interstitial fibrosis due to increased collagen-I and -III staining. This was accompanied by an increase in the number of pericytes that acquired a pro-fibrotic phenotype, identified by increased PDGFRβ+ / αSMA+ staining. These findings are consistent with the decline in kidney interstitial pericytes as a critical step in the development of changes to the peritubular vasculature with aging, and accompanying fibrosis. PMID:26081073

  5. Interstitial pericytes decrease in aged mouse kidneys

    PubMed Central

    Stefanska, Ania; Eng, Diana; Kaverina, Natalya; Duffield, Jeremy S.; Pippin, Jeffrey W.; Rabinovitch, Peter; Shankland, Stuart J.

    2015-01-01

    With increasing age, the kidney undergoes characteristic changes in the glomerular and tubulo-interstitial compartments, which are ultimately accompanied by reduced kidney function. Studies have shown age-related loss of peritubular vessels. Normal peritubular vessel tone, function and survival depend on neighboring pericytes. Pericyte detachment leads to vascular damage, which can be accompanied by their differentiation to fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, a state that favors matrix production. To better understand the fate of pericytes in the aged kidney, 27 month-old mice were studied. Compared to 3 month-old young adult mice, aged kidneys showed a substantial decrease in capillaries, identified by CD31 staining, in both cortex and medulla. This was accompanied by a marked decrease in surrounding NG2+/PDGFRß+ pericytes. This decrease was more pronounced in the medulla. Capillaries devoid of pericytes were typically dilated in aged mice. Aged kidneys were also characterized by interstitial fibrosis due to increased collagen-I and -III staining. This was accompanied by an increase in the number of pericytes that acquired a pro-fibrotic phenotype, identified by increased PDGFRß+/αSMA+ staining. These findings are consistent with the decline in kidney interstitial pericytes as a critical step in the development of changes to the peritubular vasculature with aging, and accompanying fibrosis. PMID:26081073

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:27075549

  8. Experimental investigation of mouse kidney aging with SR PCI technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yifeng, P.; Zehua, Z.; Guohao, D.; Tiqiao, X.; Hongjie, X.; Peiping, Z.

    2013-08-01

    Objective. Basing on the coherence character of the Synchrotron radiation (SR), the mouse kidney study is performed using the propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PCI) technology which as one approach of the phase contrasts imaging (PCI). The aim of this paper was to visualize the kidney at different ages and evaluate the latent value of aging mechanism with SR phase contrast imaging technology. Methods. The experiments were performed at the BL13W1 line of the SSRF (the Shanghai synchrotron radiation facility), the samples were soaked in 10% formalin solution, the mouse kidneys at different ages were imaged on the shelf in the propagation-based phase-contrast imaging setup and captured with CCD. The captured images were analyzed and compared. Results. When the distance is 50 cm between the samples and imaging plate, good contrast and high resolution were obtained in the propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PCI), as such renal capsule revealed well, and the resolution reach to 30 micron; there is significant difference in the shape and vessels structures among the mouse kidneys at different age. Conclusion. The PCI is good for the applying of main light element organization imaging, the difference in shape and vessels structure between the young and old mouse kidney maybe indicated at some extent with the propagation-based phase-contrast imaging technology.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Recent female mouse models displaying advanced reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Danilovich, Natalia; Ram Sairam, M

    2006-02-01

    Reproductive senescence occurs in all female mammals with resultant changes in numerous body functional systems and several important features may be species-specific. Those features that appear to parallel human menopause and aging include general similarity of hormone profiles across the menopausal transition, progression to cycle termination through irregular cycles, declining fertility with age, disturbances in thermogenesis, age-related gains in body weight, fat distribution and disposition towards metabolic syndrome. Structural and hormonal changes in the brain and ovary play a critical role in determining the onset of reproductive senescence. The short life span of rodents such as mice (compared to humans) and the ability to generate specific and timed gene deletions, provide powerful experimental paradigms to understand the molecular and functional changes that precede and follow the loss of reproductive capacity. In theory, any manipulation that compromises ovarian function either partly or totally would impact reproductive events at various levels followed by other dysfunctions. In this article, we provide an overview of three mouse models for the study of female reproductive aging. They are derived from different strategies and their age related phenotypes have been characterized to varying degrees. The follitropin receptor knockout (FORKO) mouse, in its null and haploinsufficient state as well as the dioxin/aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) knockout mouse, serve as two examples of single gene deletions. A third model, using administration of a chemical toxicant such as 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) in the adult state, produces ovarian deficiencies accompanied by aging changes. These will serve as useful alternatives to previously used radical ovariectomy in young adults. It is anticipated that these new models and more that will be forthcoming will extend opportunities to understand reproductive aging and resolve controversies that abound on issues

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Age-related changes in mouse bone permeability.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Florez, Naiara; Oyen, Michelle L; Shefelbine, Sandra J

    2014-03-21

    The determination of lacunar-canalicular permeability is essential for understanding local fluid flow in bone, which may indicate how bone senses changes in the mechanical environment to regulate mechano-adaptation. The estimates of lacunar-canalicular permeability found in the literature vary by up to eight orders of magnitude, and age-related permeability changes have not been measured in non-osteonal mouse bone. The objective of this study is to use a poroelastic approach based on nanoindentation data to characterize lacunar-canalicular permeability in murine bone as a function of age. Nine wild type C57BL/6 mice of different ages (2, 7 and 12 months) were used. Three tibiae from each age group were embedded in epoxy resin, cut in half and indented in the longitudinal direction in the mid-cortex using two spherical fluid indenter tips (R=238 μm and 500 μm). Results suggest that the lacunar-canalicular intrinsic permeability of mouse bone decreases from 2 to 7 months, with no significant changes from 7 to 12 months. The large indenter tip imposed larger contact sizes and sampled larger ranges of permeabilities, particularly for the old bone. This age-related difference in the distribution was not seen for indents with the smaller radius tip. We conclude that the small tip effectively measured lacunar-canalicular permeability, while larger tip indents were influenced by vascular permeability. Exploring the age-related changes in permeability of bone measured by nanoindentation will lead to a better understanding of the role of fluid flow in mechano-transduction. This understanding may help indicate alterations in bone adaptation and remodeling. PMID:24433671

  19. 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

  20. Data for mitochondrial proteomic alterations in the aging mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Stauch, Kelly L.; Purnell, Phillip R.; Villeneuve, Lance M.; Fox, Howard S.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles critical for many cellular processes, including energy generation. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction likely plays a role in the observed alterations in brain glucose metabolism during aging. Despite implications of mitochondrial alterations during brain aging, comprehensive quantitative proteomic studies remain limited. Therefore, to characterize the global age-associated mitochondrial proteomic changes in the brain, we analyzed mitochondria isolated from the brain of 5-, 12-, and 24-month old mice using quantitative mass spectrometry. We identified changes in the expression of proteins important for biological processes involved in the generation of precursor metabolites and energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. These results are significant because we identified age-associated proteomic changes suggestive of altered mitochondrial catabolic reactions during brain aging. The proteomic data described here can be found in the PRIDE Archive using the reference number PXD001370. A more comprehensive analysis of this data may be obtained from the article “Proteomic analysis and functional characterization of mouse brain mitochondria during aging reveal alterations in energy metabolism” in PROTEOMICS. PMID:26217775

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. Pathogenic enterobacteria in lemurs associated with anthropogenic disturbance.

    PubMed

    Bublitz, DeAnna C; Wright, Patricia C; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Arrigo-Nelson, Summer J; Bodager, Jonathan R; Gillespie, Thomas R

    2015-03-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Coordination of Group Movements in Wild Red-fronted Lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons): Processes and Influence of Ecological and Reproductive Seasonality.

    PubMed

    Pyritz, Lennart W; Kappeler, Peter M; Fichtel, Claudia

    2011-12-01

    Group-living species have to coordinate collective actions to maintain cohesion. In primates, spatial movements represent a meaningful model to study group coordination processes across different socio-ecological contexts. We studied 4 groups of red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) in Kirindy Forest, Madagascar, between 2008 and 2010 across different ecological and reproductive seasons. We collected data on ranging patterns using GPS collars and observational data on different predefined parameters of group movements, including initiation, leadership, followership, overtaking events, termination, and travel distances. Cohesion of these relatively small, egalitarian lemur groups was high year-round, but daily path length and home range size varied considerably between ecological seasons, presumably due to long-distance migrations of some groups at the beginning of the rainy season. Individuals of different age and sex classes successfully initiated group movements. However, stable female leadership prevailed year-round, irrespective of ecological and reproductive season, which might be due to higher or more specific energetic requirements of reproduction. In contrast to lemur species with a more despotic social structure, female red-fronted lemurs did not recruit more followers than males. Adult leaders recruited more followers than subadult ones. Further, recruitment success was higher during the peak of the dry season, when predation risk appeared to be higher. Distances of single group movements did not depend on the initiator's sex and age or on ecological seasons. Our results provide new insights into seasonal variability of coordination processes and the role of social dominance in lemur group movements, thereby contributing to a comparative perspective from a primate radiation that evolved group living independently of anthropoids. PMID:22207771

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. High faecal glucocorticoid levels predict mortality in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Ethan Pride, R

    2005-01-01

    Glucocorticoid levels are commonly used as measures of stress in wild animal populations, but their relevance to individual fitness in a wild population has not been demonstrated. In this study I followed 93 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve in Madagascar, collecting 1089 faecal samples from individually recognized animals, and recording their survival over a 2 year period. I evaluated faecal glucocorticoid levels as predictors of individual survival to the end of the study. Animals with high glucocorticoid levels had a significantly higher mortality rate. This result suggests that glucocorticoid measures can be useful predictors of individual survival probabilities in wild populations. The ‘stress landscape’ indicated by glucocorticoid patterns may approximate the fitness landscape to which animals adapt. PMID:17148128

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  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. Abnormal glutamate release in aged BTBR mouse model of autism

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26617779

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. PMID:24929970

  13. Female rule in lemurs is ancestral and hormonally mediated.

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Molecular mechanisms and in vivo mouse models of skin aging associated with dermal matrix alterations.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Kyung-A; Yi, Bo-Rim; Choi, Kyung-Chul

    2011-03-01

    Skin is the most superficial body organ and plays an important role in protecting the body from environmental damage and in forming social relations. With the increase of the aging population in our society, dermatological and cosmetic concerns of skin aging are rapidly increasing. Skin aging is a complex process combined with intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic or chronological skin aging results from the passage of time and is influenced by genetic factors. Extrinsic skin aging is mainly determined by UV irradiation, also called photoaging. These two types of aging processes are superimposed on sun-exposed skin, and have a common feature of causing dermal matrix alterations that mostly contribute to the formation of wrinkles, laxity, and fragility of aged skin. The dermal matrix contains extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen, elastin, and proteoglycans that confer the strength and resiliency of skin. Skin aging associated with dermal matrix alterations and atrophy can be caused by cellular senescence of dermal cells like fibroblasts, and decreased synthesis and accelerated degradation of dermal matrix components, especially collagen fibers. Both intrinsic aging and photoaging exert influence during each step of dermal matrix alteration via different mechanisms. Mouse models of skin aging have been extensively developed to elucidate intrinsic aging and photoaging processes, to validate in vitro biochemical data, and to test the effects of pharmacological tools for retarding skin aging because they have the advantages of being genetically similar to humans and are easily available. PMID:21826153

  3. 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

  4. Histone modifications change with age, dietary restriction and rapamycin treatment in mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Huan; Qian, Hong; Ertl, Robin; Astle, Clinton M.; Wang, Gang G.; Harrison, David E.; Xu, Xiangru

    2015-01-01

    The risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) increases dramatically with age. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of brain aging is crucial for developing preventative and/or therapeutic approaches for age-associated neurological diseases. Recently, it has been suggested that epigenetic factors, such as histone modifications, maybe be involved in brain aging and age-related neurodegenerations. In this study, we investigated 14 histone modifications in brains of a cohort of young (3 months), old (22 months), and old age-matched dietary restricted (DR) and rapamycin treated BALB/c mice. Results showed that 7 out of all measured histone markers were changed drastically with age. Intriguingly, histone methylations in brain tissues, including H3K27me3, H3R2me2, H3K79me3 and H4K20me2 tend to disappear with age but can be partially restored by both DR and rapamycin treatment. However, both DR and rapamycin treatment also have a significant impact on several other histone modifications such as H3K27ac, H4K16ac, H4R3me2, and H3K56ac, which do not change as animal ages. This study provides the first evidence that a broad spectrum of histone modifications may be involved in brain aging. Besides, this study suggests that both DR and rapamycin may slow aging process in mouse brain via these underlying epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:26021816

  5. Progressive Age-Related Changes Similar to Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Transgenic Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Rakoczy, Piroska Elizabeth; Zhang, Dan; Robertson, Terry; Barnett, Nigel L.; Papadimitriou, John; Constable, Ian Jeffrey; Lai, Chooi-May

    2002-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the major cause of blindness in the developed world. Its pathomechanism is unknown and its late onset, complex genetics and strong environmental components have all hampered investigations. Here we demonstrate the development of an animal model for AMD that reproduces features associated with geographic atrophy; a transgenic mouse line (mcd/mcd) expressing a mutated form of cathepsin D that is enzymatically inactive thus impairing processing of phagocytosed photoreceptor outer segments in the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Pigmentary changes indicating RPE cell atrophy and a decreased response to flash electroretinograms were observed in 11- to 12-month-old mcd/mcd mice. Histological studies showed RPE cell proliferation, photoreceptor degeneration, shortening of photoreceptor outer segments, and accumulation of immunoreactive photoreceptor breakdown products in the RPE cells. An accelerated photoreceptor cell death was detected in 12-month-old mcd/mcd mice. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated presence of basal laminar and linear deposits that are considered to be the hallmarks of AMD. Small hard drusen associated with human age-related maculopathy were absent in the mcd/mcd mouse model at the ages analyzed. In summary, this model presents several features of AMD, thus providing a valuable tool for investigating the underlying biological processes and pathomechanism of AMD. PMID:12368224

  6. 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

  7. Type 2 diabetes model TSOD mouse is exposed to oxidative stress at young age

    PubMed Central

    Murotomi, Kazutoshi; Umeno, Aya; Yasunaga, Mayu; Shichiri, Mototada; Ishida, Noriko; Abe, Hiroko; Yoshida, Yasukazu; Nakajima, Yoshihiro

    2014-01-01

    Tsumura Suzuki Obese Diabetes (TSOD) mouse, a model of obese type 2 diabetes, older than around 11 weeks of age develops diabetic phenotypes. Previous studies have indicated that the development of diabetes is partly due to three loci associated with body weight and glucose homeostasis. However, little is known about the initial events triggering the development of the diabetic phenotypes in TSOD mouse. Here, we investigated the alteration of diabetes-related parameters, including the levels of blood glucose and inflammatory cytokines, and the oxidative stress status, in young TSOD mice. TSOD mice at 5 weeks of age showed increases in body weight and plasma total cholesterol level, but not hyperglycemia or impaired glucose tolerance, compared with age-matched control Tsumura Suzuki Non-Obese (TSNO) mice. Plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 were not detected in TSOD mice at 5 weeks of age. However, plasma total hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (tHODE), a biomarker of oxidative stress, was increased in TSOD mice relative to TSNO mice at same age. The results demonstrated that young TSOD mice are exposed to oxidative stress before developing the diabetic phenotypes, and suggested that oxidative stress is an initial event triggering the development of diabetes in TSOD mice. PMID:25411529

  8. 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

  9. Decreased plasma cholesterol levels during aging in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Wirths, Oliver; Thelen, Karin; Breyhan, Henning; Luzón-Toro, Berta; Hoffmann, Karl-Heinz; Falkai, Peter; Lütjohann, Dieter; Bayer, Thomas A

    2006-02-01

    A large number of studies deals with the association of cholesterol and Abeta levels, however, the results are so far controversial. Whereas some studies report on increased cholesterol levels, other authors refer to an association of decreased peripheral cholesterol and the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. It is also questionable whether plasma cholesterol levels could be used as a predictive biomarker for the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. In the present report, we studied the relationship between these two parameters during aging in different transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, expressing both mutant human amyloid precursor protein and mutant human presenilin-1. Measurements of plasma cholesterol levels revealed a significant reduction in aged APP/PS1 and APP/PS1ki mice, whereas plasma levels in young and aged control mice remained almost unchanged. Furthermore, statistical analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between plasma cholesterol and brain Abeta42 levels during aging in the mice expressing both APP and PS1. PMID:16307858

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. The reemergence of long-term potentiation in aged Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. Metabolism of choline in brain of the aged CBF-1 mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Saito, M.; Kindel, G.; Karczmar, A.G.; Rosenberg, A.

    1986-01-01

    In order to quantify the changes that occur in the cholinergic central nervous system with aging, we have compared acetylcholine (Ach) formation in brain cortex slice preparations from 2-year-old aged CBF-1 mouse brains and compared the findings with those in 2-4-month-old young adult mouse brain slices. Incorporation of exogenous radioactively labelled choline (31 nM (/sup 3/H) choline) into acetyl choline in incubated brain slices was linear with time for 90 min. Percentage of total choline label distributed into Ach remained constant from 5 min after starting the incubation to 90 min. In contrast, distribution of label into intracellular free choline (Ch) and phosphorylcholine (Pch) changed continuously over this period suggesting that the Ch pool for Ach synthesis in brain cortex is different from that for Pch synthesis. Incorporation of radioactivity into Ach was not influenced by administration of 10 microM eserine, showing that the increment of radioactivity in Ach reflects rate of Ach formation, independently from degradation by acetylcholine esterases. Under our experimental conditions, slices from cortices of aged 24-month-old mouse brain showed a significantly greater (27%) incorporation of radioactivity into intracellular Ach than those from young, 2-4-month-old, brain cortices. Inhibitors of Ach release, 1 mM ATP or GABA, had no effect. Since concentration of radioactive precursor in the incubation medium was very low (31 nM), the Ch pool for Ach synthesis in slices was labelled without measurably changing the size of the endogenous pool. These data suggest a compensatory acceleration of Ach synthesis or else a smaller precursor pool specific for Ach synthesis into which labelled Ch migrated in aged brain.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The Use of Mouse Models for Understanding the Biology of Down Syndrome and Aging

    PubMed Central

    Vacano, Guido N.; Duval, Nathan; Patterson, David

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome is a complex condition caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21. The biology of aging may be different in individuals with Down syndrome; this is not well understood in any organism. Because of its complexity, many aspects of Down syndrome must be studied either in humans or in animal models. Studies in humans are essential but are limited for ethical and practical reasons. Fortunately, genetically altered mice can serve as extremely useful models of Down syndrome, and progress in their production and analysis has been remarkable. Here, we describe various mouse models that have been used to study Down syndrome. We focus on segmental trisomies of mouse chromosome regions syntenic to human chromosome 21, mice in which individual genes have been introduced, or mice in which genes have been silenced by targeted mutagenesis. We selected a limited number of genes for which considerable evidence links them to aspects of Down syndrome, and about which much is known regarding their function. We focused on genes important for brain and cognitive function, and for the altered cancer spectrum seen in individuals with Down syndrome. We conclude with observations on the usefulness of mouse models and speculation on future directions. PMID:22461792

  11. The use of mouse models for understanding the biology of down syndrome and aging.

    PubMed

    Vacano, Guido N; Duval, Nathan; Patterson, David

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome is a complex condition caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21. The biology of aging may be different in individuals with Down syndrome; this is not well understood in any organism. Because of its complexity, many aspects of Down syndrome must be studied either in humans or in animal models. Studies in humans are essential but are limited for ethical and practical reasons. Fortunately, genetically altered mice can serve as extremely useful models of Down syndrome, and progress in their production and analysis has been remarkable. Here, we describe various mouse models that have been used to study Down syndrome. We focus on segmental trisomies of mouse chromosome regions syntenic to human chromosome 21, mice in which individual genes have been introduced, or mice in which genes have been silenced by targeted mutagenesis. We selected a limited number of genes for which considerable evidence links them to aspects of Down syndrome, and about which much is known regarding their function. We focused on genes important for brain and cognitive function, and for the altered cancer spectrum seen in individuals with Down syndrome. We conclude with observations on the usefulness of mouse models and speculation on future directions. PMID:22461792

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:26975704

  14. Age-Dependent Demethylation of Sod2 Promoter in the Mouse Femoral Artery

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Albert; Leblond, François; Mamarbachi, Maya; Geoffroy, Steve; Thorin, Eric

    2016-01-01

    We studied the age-dependent regulation of the expression of the antioxidant enzyme manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD encoded by Sod2) through promoter methylation. C57Bl/6 mice were either (i) sedentary (SED), (ii) treated with the antioxidant catechin (CAT), or (iii) voluntarily exercised (EX) from weaning (1-month old; mo) to 9 mo. Then, all mice aged sedentarily and were untreated until 12 mo. Sod2 promoter methylation was similar in all groups in 9 mo but decreased (p < 0.05) in 12 mo SED mice only, which was associated with an increased (p < 0.05) transcriptional activity in vitro. At all ages, femoral artery endothelial function was maintained; this was due to an increased (p < 0.05) contribution of eNOS-derived NO in 12 mo SED mice only. CAT and EX prevented these changes in age-related endothelial function. Thus, a ROS-dependent epigenetic positive regulation of Sod2 gene expression likely represents a defense mechanism prolonging eNOS function in aging mouse femoral arteries. PMID:26989455

  15. 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

  16. Age-related alterations in cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase activity in dystrophic mouse leg muscle.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Timothy J

    2005-11-01

    Previous reports have described both increased and decreased cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity in dystrophic muscle. Total PDE activity was measured in hind leg muscle from a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (mdx) and a genetic control strain at 5, 8, 10, and 15 weeks of age. Total PDE activity declined in fractions isolated from mdx muscle over this time period, but was stable in fractions from control mice. Compared with age-matched controls, younger mdx muscle had higher cAMP and cGMP PDE activity. However, at 15 weeks, fractions from both strains had similar cGMP PDE activity and mdx fractions had lower cAMP PDE activity than controls. Particulate fractions from mdx muscle showed an age-related decline in sensitivity to the PDE4 inhibitor RO 20-1724. A similar loss of sensitivity to the PDE2 inhibitor erythro-9-(2-hydroxyl-3-nonyl)-adenine (EHNA) was seen in a particulate fraction from mdx muscle and to a lesser degree in control muscle. These results suggest that the earlier disagreement regarding altered cyclic nucleotide metabolism in dystrophic muscle may be due to changes with age in PDE activity of dystrophic tissue. The age-related decline in particulate PDE activity seen in dystrophic muscle appears to be isozyme-specific and not due to a generalized decrease in total PDE activity. PMID:16391714

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Analog number representations in mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz): evidence from a search task.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Kerrie P; Jaffe, Sarah; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2005-10-01

    A wealth of data demonstrating that monkeys and apes represent number have been interpreted as suggesting that sensitivity to number emerged early in primate evolution, if not before. Here we examine the numerical capacities of the mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz), a member of the prosimian suborder of primates that split from the common ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans approximately 47-54 million years ago. Subjects observed as an experimenter sequentially placed grapes into an opaque bucket. On half of the trials the experimenter placed a subset of the grapes into a false bottom such that they were inaccessible to the lemur. The critical question was whether lemurs would spend more time searching the bucket when food should have remained in the bucket, compared to when they had retrieved all of the food. We found that the amount of time lemurs spent searching was indicative of whether grapes should have remained in the bucket, and furthermore that lemur search time reliably differentiated numerosities that differed by a 1:2 ratio, but not those that differed by a 2:3 or 3:4 ratio. Finally, two control conditions determined that lemurs represented the number of food items, and neither the odor of the grapes, nor the amount of grape (e.g., area) in the bucket. These results suggest that mongoose lemurs have numerical representations that are modulated by Weber's Law. PMID:15660208

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Mouse forepaw lumbrical muscles are resistant to age-related declines in force production.

    PubMed

    Russell, Katelyn A; Ng, Rainer; Faulkner, John A; Claflin, Dennis R; Mendias, Christopher L

    2015-05-01

    A progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and force generating capacity occurs with aging. Mice are commonly used in the study of aging-associated changes in muscle size and strength, with most models of aging demonstrating 15-35% reductions in muscle mass, cross-sectional area (CSA), maximum isometric force production (Po) and specific force (sPo), which is Po/CSA. The lumbrical muscle of the mouse forepaw is exceptionally small, with corresponding short diffusion distances that make it ideal for in vitro pharmacological studies and measurements of contractile properties. However, the aging-associated changes in lumbrical function have not previously been reported. To address this, we tested the hypothesis that compared to adult (12month old) mice, the forepaw lumbrical muscles of old (30month old) mice exhibit aging-related declines in size and force production similar to those observed in larger limb muscles. We found that the forepaw lumbricals were composed exclusively of fibers with type II myosin heavy chain isoforms, and that the muscles accumulated connective tissue with aging. There were no differences in the number of fibers per whole-muscle cross-section or in muscle fiber CSA. The whole muscle CSA in old mice was increased by 17%, but the total CSA of all muscle fibers in a whole-muscle cross-section was not different. No difference in Po was observed, and while sPo normalized to total muscle CSA was decreased in old mice by 22%, normalizing Po by the total muscle fiber CSA resulted in no difference in sPo. Combined, these results indicate that forepaw lumbrical muscles from 30month old mice are largely protected from the aging-associated declines in size and force production that are typically observed in larger limb muscles. PMID:25762422

  4. [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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Role of Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) in modulating postovulatory aging of mouse and rat oocytes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chuan-Xin; Cui, Wei; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Tian-Yang; Zhu, Jiang; Jiao, Guang-Zhong; Tan, Jing-He

    2014-01-01

    We studied the role of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) in modulating oocyte postovulatory aging by observing changes in NCX contents and activities in aging mouse and rat oocytes. Whereas the NCX activity was measured by observing oocyte activation following culture with NCX inhibitor or activator, the NCX contents were determined by immunohistochemical quantification. Although NCX was active in freshly-ovulated rat oocytes recovered 13 h post hCG injection and in aged oocytes recovered 19 h post hCG in both species, it was not active in freshly-ovulated mouse oocytes. However, NCX became active when the freshly-ovulated mouse oocytes were activated with ethanol before culture. Measurement of cytoplasmic Ca2+ revealed Ca2+ increases always before NCX activation. Whereas levels of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the activation susceptibility increased, the density of NCX member 1 (NCX1) decreased significantly with oocyte aging in both species. While culture with H2O2 decreased the density of NCX1 significantly, culture with NaCl supplementation sustained the NCX1 density in mouse oocytes. It was concluded that (a) the NCX activity was involved in the modulation of oocyte aging and spontaneous activation; (b) ROS and Na+ regulated the NCX activity in aging oocytes by altering its density as well as functioning; and (c) cytoplasmic Ca2+ elevation was essential for NCX activation in the oocyte. PMID:24695407

  10. 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. PMID:25452026

  11. Innovation and behavioral flexibility in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons).

    PubMed

    Huebner, Franziska; Fichtel, Claudia

    2015-05-01

    Innovations and problem-solving abilities can provide animals with important ecological advantages as they allow individuals to deal with novel social and ecological challenges. Innovation is a solution to a novel problem or a novel solution to an old problem, with the latter being especially difficult. Finding a new solution to an old problem requires individuals to inhibit previously applied solutions to invent new strategies and to behave flexibly. We examined the role of experience on cognitive flexibility to innovate and to find new problem-solving solutions with an artificial feeding task in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons). Four groups of lemurs were tested with feeding boxes, each offering three different techniques to extract food, with only one technique being available at a time. After the subjects learned a technique, this solution was no longer successful and subjects had to invent a new technique. For the first transition between task 1 and 2, subjects had to rely on their experience of the previous technique to solve task 2. For the second transition, subjects had to inhibit the previously learned technique to learn the new task 3. Tasks 1 and 2 were solved by most subjects, whereas task 3 was solved by only a few subjects. In this task, besides behavioral flexibility, especially persistence, i.e., constant trying, was important for individual success during innovation. Thus, wild strepsirrhine primates are able to innovate flexibly, suggesting a general ecological relevance of behavioral flexibility and persistence during innovation and problem solving across all primates. PMID:25673157

  12. White spotting variant (Wv) mouse as an experimental model for ovarian aging and menopausal biology

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Elizabeth R.; Yeasky, Toni; Wei, Jain Qin; Miki, Roberto A.; Cai, Kathy Q.; Smedberg, Jennifer L.; Yang, Wan-Lin; Xu, Xiang-Xi

    2011-01-01

    Objective Menopause is a unique phenomenon in modern women, as most mammalian species possess a reproductive period comparable to their lifespan. Menopause is caused by the depletion of germ cell-containing ovarian follicles, and in laboratory studies is usually modeled in animals in which the ovarian function is removed by ovariectomy or chemical poisoning of the germ cells. Our objective was to explore and characterize the white spotting variant (Wv) mice that have reduced ovarian germ cell abundance, a result of a point mutation in the c-kit gene that decreases the kinase activity, as a genetic model for use in menopausal studies. Methods Physiological and morphological features associated with menopause were determined in female Wv/Wv mice compared to age-matched wildtype controls. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the presence and number of follicles in paraffin-embedded ovaries. Bone density and body composition were evaluated using the PIXImus X-ray densitometer, and lipids, calcium, and hormone levels were determined in serum using antigen-specific EIAs. Heart and body weight were measured, and cardiac function was evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography. Results The ovaries of the Wv/Wv females have a greatly reduced number of normal germ cells at birth compared to wildtype mice. The remaining follicles are depleted by around 2 months, and the ovaries develop benign epithelial lesions that resemble morphological changes that occur during ovarian aging, whereas a normal mouse ovary has numerous follicles at all stages of development and retains some follicles even in advanced age. Wv mice have elevated plasma gonadotrophins and reduced estrogen and progesterone levels, a significant reduction in bone mass density, and elevated serum cholesterol and lipoprotein levels. Moreover, the Wv female mice have enlarged hearts and reduced cardiac function. Conclusions The reduction of c-kit activity in Wv mice leads to a substantially diminished

  13. MicroRNA Clusters in the Adult Mouse Heart: Age-Associated Changes

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaomin; Azhar, Gohar; Williams, Emmanuel D.; Rogers, Steven C.; Wei, Jeanne Y.

    2015-01-01

    The microRNAs and microRNA clusters have been implicated in normal cardiac development and also disease, including cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and arrhythmias. Since a microRNA cluster has from two to dozens of microRNAs, the expression of a microRNA cluster could have a substantial impact on its target genes. In the present study, the configuration and distribution of microRNA clusters in the mouse genome were examined at various inter-microRNA distances. Three important microRNA clusters that are significantly impacted during adult cardiac aging, the miR-17-92, miR-106a-363, and miR-106b-25, were also examined in terms of their genomic location, RNA transcript character, sequence homology, and their relationship with the corresponding microRNA families. Multiple microRNAs derived from the three clusters potentially target various protein components of the cdc42-SRF signaling pathway, which regulates cytoskeleton dynamics associated with cardiac structure and function. The data indicate that aging impacted the expression of both guide and passenger strands of the microRNA clusters; nutrient stress also affected the expression of the three microRNA clusters. The miR-17-92, miR-106a-363, and miR-106b-25 clusters are likely to impact the Cdc42-SRF signaling pathway and thereby affect cardiac morphology and function during pathological conditions and the aging process. PMID:26221604

  14. Effects of IMOD™ and Angipars™ on mouse D-galactose-induced model of aging

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of two registered herbal drugs called IMOD and Angipars on mouse model. Aging was induced by D-galactose (500 mg/kg) administered to animals for 6 weeks through drinking water. Male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into 5 groups receiving D-galactose (D-galactose, 500 mg/kg) for 6 weeks; positive control (D-galactose [500 mg/kg] for 6 weeks + Vitamin E [200 mg/kg/day] intraperitoneally for 4 weeks); IMOD (D-galactose [500 mg/kg] for 6 weeks + IMOD [20 mg/kg/day] intraperitoneally for 4 weeks), Angipars (D-galactose [500 mg/kg] for 6 weeks + Angipars [2.1 mg/kg/day] by gavage for 4 weeks); and the fifth group that was sham and not given D-galactose. At the end of treatment, pro-inflammatory markers including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interlukine-1β (IL-β), interlukine-6 (IL-6), Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-κb), total antioxidant power (TAP), lipid peroxides (LPO) and male sex hormones i.e. testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) were measured in the blood. Results showed that D-Galactose induces a significant oxidative stress and proinflammatory cascade of aging while both IMOD and Angipars recovered all of them. Interestingly, IMOD and Angipars were better than Vitamin E in improving male sex hormones in aged mice. This effect is so important and should be considered as an advantage although it cannot be explained with current knowledge. The conclusion is that IMOD and Angipars have marked anti-aging effect on D-galactose-induced model of aging. PMID:23351487

  15. Effects of IMOD™ and Angipars™ on mouse D-galactose-induced model of aging.

    PubMed

    Ghanbari, Samane; Yonessi, Mahsa; Mohammadirad, Azadeh; Gholami, Mahdi; Baeeri, Maryam; Khorram-Khorshid, Hamid Reza; Gharibdoost, Farhad; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of two registered herbal drugs called IMOD and Angipars on mouse model. Aging was induced by D-galactose (500 mg/kg) administered to animals for 6 weeks through drinking water. Male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into 5 groups receiving D-galactose (D-galactose, 500 mg/kg) for 6 weeks; positive control (D-galactose [500 mg/kg] for 6 weeks + Vitamin E [200 mg/kg/day] intraperitoneally for 4 weeks); IMOD (D-galactose [500 mg/kg] for 6 weeks + IMOD [20 mg/kg/day] intraperitoneally for 4 weeks), Angipars (D-galactose [500 mg/kg] for 6 weeks + Angipars [2.1 mg/kg/day] by gavage for 4 weeks); and the fifth group that was sham and not given D-galactose. At the end of treatment, pro-inflammatory markers including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interlukine-1β (IL-β), interlukine-6 (IL-6), Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-κb), total antioxidant power (TAP), lipid peroxides (LPO) and male sex hormones i.e. testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) were measured in the blood.Results showed that D-Galactose induces a significant oxidative stress and proinflammatory cascade of aging while both IMOD and Angipars recovered all of them. Interestingly, IMOD and Angipars were better than Vitamin E in improving male sex hormones in aged mice. This effect is so important and should be considered as an advantage although it cannot be explained with current knowledge. The conclusion is that IMOD and Angipars have marked anti-aging effect on D-galactose-induced model of aging. PMID:23351487

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Efficacy of enzyme replacement therapy in an aggravated mouse model of metachromatic leukodystrophy declines with age.

    PubMed

    Matthes, Frank; Stroobants, Stijn; Gerlach, Debora; Wohlenberg, Claudia; Wessig, Carsten; Fogh, Jens; Gieselmann, Volkmar; Eckhardt, Matthias; D'Hooge, Rudi; Matzner, Ulrich

    2012-06-01

    Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by a functional deficiency of arylsulfatase A (ASA). Previous studies in ASA-knockout mice suggested enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) to be a promising treatment option. The mild phenotype of ASA-knockout mice did, however, not allow to examine therapeutic responses of the severe neurological symptoms that dominate MLD. We, therefore, generated an aggravated MLD mouse model displaying progressive demyelination and reduced nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and treated it by weekly intravenous injections of 20 mg/kg recombinant human ASA for 16 weeks. To analyze the stage-dependent therapeutic effects, ERT was initiated in a presymptomatic, early and progressed disease stage, at age 4, 8 and 12 months, respectively. Brain sulfatide storage, NCV and behavioral alterations were improved only in early, but not in late, treated mice showing a clear age-dependent efficacy of treatment. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for late-onset variants is the only therapeutic option for MLD to date. ERT resembles a part of the HSCT rationale, which is based on ASA supply by donor cells. Beyond ERT, our results, therefore, corroborate the clinical observation that HSCT is only effective when performed in early stages of disease. PMID:22388935

  2. Transplants of neurosphere cell suspensions from aged mice are functional in the mouse model of Parkinson's.

    PubMed

    Meissner, Kelly K; Kirkham, David L; Doering, Laurie C

    2005-09-28

    Neural stem cell therapy has the potential to treat neurodegenerative disorders. For Parkinson's disease (PD), the goal is to enhance the dopamine system sufficiently to restore the control of movement and motor activities. In consideration of autologous stem cell therapy for PD, it will be necessary to propagate the cells in most cases from aged brain tissue. We isolated cells from the subventricular zone (SVZ) in the brains of 1-year-old enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice and generated neurospheres in culture. Neurospheres yielding high numbers of neurons and astrocytes "de novo" were selected and cryopreserved before evaluating the efficacy of neurosphere cell suspensions transplanted to the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) model of PD. In mice unilaterally lesioned with 6-OHDA, transplants of neurosphere cell suspensions to the striatum yielded astrocytes and tyrosine hydroxylase positive neurons that reduced or reversed the drug-induced behavioral circling response to amphetamine and apomorphine. Control mice without the cell suspensions showed no change in the motor behavior. Our results indicate that the SVZ in the aged mouse brain contains cells that can be expanded in the form of neurospheres, cryopreserved, re-expanded and then transplanted into the damaged dopamine system to generate functional cell progeny that offset the motor disturbances in the nigrostriatal system. PMID:16140285

  3. Gas7-Deficient Mouse Reveals Roles in Motor Function and Muscle Fiber Composition during Aging

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Bo-Tsang; Chang, Pu-Yuan; Su, Ching-Hua; Chao, Chuck C.-K.; Lin-Chao, Sue

    2012-01-01

    Background Growth arrest-specific gene 7 (Gas7) has previously been shown to be involved in neurite outgrowth in vitro; however, its actual role has yet to be determined. To investigate the physiological function of Gas7 in vivo, here we generated a Gas7-deficient mouse strain with a labile Gas7 mutant protein whose functions are similar to wild-type Gas7. Methodology/Principal Findings Our data show that aged Gas7-deficient mice have motor activity defects due to decreases in the number of spinal motor neurons and in muscle strength, of which the latter may be caused by changes in muscle fiber composition as shown in the soleus. In cross sections of the soleus of Gas7-deficient mice, gross morphological features and levels of myosin heavy chain I (MHC I) and MHC II markers revealed significantly fewer fast fibers. In addition, we found that nerve terminal sprouting, which may be associated with slow and fast muscle fiber composition, was considerably reduced at neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) during aging. Conclusions/Significance These findings indicate that Gas7 is involved in motor neuron function associated with muscle strength maintenance. PMID:22662195

  4. 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

  5. Molecular determinants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus pathogenesis and virulence in young and aged mouse models of human disease.

    PubMed

    Frieman, Matthew; Yount, Boyd; Agnihothram, Sudhakar; Page, Carly; Donaldson, Eric; Roberts, Anjeanette; Vogel, Leatrice; Woodruff, Becky; Scorpio, Diana; Subbarao, Kanta; Baric, Ralph S

    2012-01-01

    SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory tract disease characterized by diffuse alveolar damage and hyaline membrane formation. This pathology often progresses to acute respiratory distress (such as acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS]) and atypical pneumonia in humans, with characteristic age-related mortality rates approaching 50% or more in immunosenescent populations. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of SARS-CoV remains elusive. Since young and aged (1-year-old) mice do not develop severe clinical disease following infection with wild-type SARS-CoV, a mouse-adapted strain of SARS-CoV (called MA15) was developed and was shown to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the genetic contributions to the increased pathogenesis of MA15 in rodents, we used reverse genetics and evaluated the virulence of panels of derivative viruses encoding various combinations of mouse-adapted mutations. We found that mutations in the viral spike (S) glycoprotein and, to a much less rigorous extent, in the nsp9 nonstructural protein, were primarily associated with the acquisition of virulence in young animals. The mutations in S likely increase recognition of the mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor not only in MA15 but also in two additional, independently isolated mouse-adapted SARS-CoVs. In contrast to the findings for young animals, mutations to revert to the wild-type sequence in nsp9 and the S glycoprotein were not sufficient to significantly attenuate the virus compared to other combinations of mouse-adapted mutations in 12-month-old mice. This panel of SARS-CoVs provides novel reagents that we have used to further our understanding of differential, age-related pathogenic mechanisms in mouse models of human disease. PMID:22072787

  6. Molecular Determinants of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Pathogenesis and Virulence in Young and Aged Mouse Models of Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yount, Boyd; Agnihothram, Sudhakar; Page, Carly; Donaldson, Eric; Roberts, Anjeanette; Vogel, Leatrice; Woodruff, Becky; Scorpio, Diana; Subbarao, Kanta; Baric, Ralph S.

    2012-01-01

    SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory tract disease characterized by diffuse alveolar damage and hyaline membrane formation. This pathology often progresses to acute respiratory distress (such as acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS]) and atypical pneumonia in humans, with characteristic age-related mortality rates approaching 50% or more in immunosenescent populations. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of SARS-CoV remains elusive. Since young and aged (1-year-old) mice do not develop severe clinical disease following infection with wild-type SARS-CoV, a mouse-adapted strain of SARS-CoV (called MA15) was developed and was shown to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the genetic contributions to the increased pathogenesis of MA15 in rodents, we used reverse genetics and evaluated the virulence of panels of derivative viruses encoding various combinations of mouse-adapted mutations. We found that mutations in the viral spike (S) glycoprotein and, to a much less rigorous extent, in the nsp9 nonstructural protein, were primarily associated with the acquisition of virulence in young animals. The mutations in S likely increase recognition of the mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor not only in MA15 but also in two additional, independently isolated mouse-adapted SARS-CoVs. In contrast to the findings for young animals, mutations to revert to the wild-type sequence in nsp9 and the S glycoprotein were not sufficient to significantly attenuate the virus compared to other combinations of mouse-adapted mutations in 12-month-old mice. This panel of SARS-CoVs provides novel reagents that we have used to further our understanding of differential, age-related pathogenic mechanisms in mouse models of human disease. PMID:22072787

  7. 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

  8. Age-related hearing loss: GABA, nicotinic acetylcholine and NMDA receptor expression changes in spiral ganglion neurons of the mouse.

    PubMed

    Tang, X; Zhu, X; Ding, B; Walton, J P; Frisina, R D; Su, J

    2014-02-14

    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 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 (SGN) of the CBA/CaJ mouse cochlea, that occur in age-related hearing loss, utilizing quantitative immunohistochemistry and semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) techniques. We found that auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds shifted over 40dB from 3 to 48kHz in old mice compared to young adults. DPOAE thresholds also shifted over 40dB from 6 to 49kHz in old mice, and their amplitudes were significantly decreased or absent in the same frequency range. 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 1amplitude. 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

  9. 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

  10. Angiotensin II-inhibition: effect on Alzheimer’s pathology in the aged triple transgenic mouse

    PubMed Central

    Ferrington, Linda; Palmer, Laura E.; Love, Seth; Horsburgh, Karen J; Kelly, Paul AT; Kehoe, Patrick G

    2012-01-01

    Reducing excessive accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a key objective of most AD therapies, and inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) may delay onset or progression of AD. The effects of an ACE-inhibitor (ACE-I) and an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) on Aβ and tau pathology in a triple transgenic (3xTGAD) mouse model of AD were investigated. 9-10month 3xTGAD mice were treated with ARB, ACE-I or vehicle for 6 months. Mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) was measured periodically and mice were assessed behaviourally. Aβ, phospho-tau, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and ACE activity were analysed. MABP was significantly reduced at 2 weeks and 3 months in the ACE-I group and at 3 months in the ARB group, compared to vehicle. Neither drug altered performance of 3xTGAD mice in Morris Water Maze or T-maze, nor were Aβ, tau immunolabelling or APP levels altered. ACE-I significantly reduced ACE activity in kidney. Prolonged treatment with ACE-I or ARB does not affect Aβ or phospho-tau accumulation in brains of aged 3xTGAD mice. PMID:22611468

  11. Cell Death Atlas of the Postnatal Mouse Ventral Forebrain and Hypothalamus: Effects of Age and Sex

    PubMed Central

    Ahern, Todd H.; Krug, Stefanie; Carr, Audrey V.; Murray, Elaine K.; Fitzpatrick, Emmett; Bengston, Lynn; McCutcheon, Jill; De Vries, Geert J.; Forger, Nancy G.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:23296992

  12. Age-Related Changes in the Cellular Composition and Epithelial Organization of the Mouse Trachea

    PubMed Central

    Wansleeben, Carolien; Bowie, Emily; Hotten, Danielle F.; Yu, Yen-Rei A.; Hogan, Brigid L. M.

    2014-01-01

    We report here senescent changes in the structure and organization of the mucociliary pseudostratified epithelium of the mouse trachea and main stem bronchi. We confirm previous reports of the gradual appearance of age-related, gland-like structures (ARGLS) in the submucosa, especially in the intercartilage regions and carina. Immunohistochemistry shows these structures contain ciliated and secretory cells and Krt5+ basal cells, but not the myoepithelial cells or ciliated ducts typical of normal submucosal glands. Data suggest they arise de novo by budding from the surface epithelium rather than by delayed growth of rudimentary or cryptic submucosal glands. In old mice the surface epithelium contains fewer cells per unit length than in young mice and the proportion of Krt5+, p63+ basal cells is reduced in both males and females. However, there appears to be no significant difference in the ability of basal stem cells isolated from individual young and old mice to form clonal tracheospheres in culture or in the ability of the epithelium to repair after damage by inhaled sulfur dioxide. Gene expression analysis by Affymetrix microarray and quantitative PCR, as well as immunohistochemistry and flow sorting studies, are consistent with low-grade chronic inflammation in the tracheas of old versus young mice and an increase in the number of immune cells. The significance of these changes for ARGL formation are not clear since several treatments that induce acute inflammation in young mice did not result in budding of the surface epithelium. PMID:24675804

  13. Altered regulation of tau phosphorylation in a mouse model of down syndrome aging

    PubMed Central

    Sheppard, Olivia; Plattner, Florian; Rubin, Anna; Slender, Amy; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Brandner, Sebastian; Tybulewicz, Victor L.J.; Fisher, Elizabeth M.C.; Wiseman, Frances K.

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) results from trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, using the unique transchromosomic Tc1 mouse model of DS we investigate the influence of trisomy of Hsa21 on the protein tau, which is hyperphosphorylated in Alzheimer's disease. We show that in old, but not young, Tc1 mice increased phosphorylation of tau occurs at a site suggested to be targeted by the Hsa21 encoded kinase, dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A). We show that DYRK1A is upregulated in young and old Tc1 mice, but that young trisomic mice may be protected from accumulating aberrantly phosphorylated tau. We observe that the key tau kinase, glycogen synthase kinase3-β (GSK-3β) is aberrantly phosphorylated at an inhibitory site in the aged Tc1 brain which may reduce total glycogen synthase kinase3-β activity. It is possible that a similar mechanism may also occur in people with DS. PMID:21843906

  14. [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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Dental use wear in extinct lemurs: evidence of diet and niche differentiation.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Laurie R; Semprebon, Gina M; Jungers, William L; Sutherland, Michael R; Simons, Elwyn L; Solounias, Nikos

    2004-09-01

    A new technique for molar use-wear analysis is applied to samples of all 16 species of extinct lemurs with known dentitions, as well as to a large comparative sample of extant primates. This technique, which relies on the light refractive properties of wear pits and scratches as seen under a standard stereoscopic microscope, has shown itself to be effective in distinguishing the diets of ungulates and extant primates. We draw dietary inferences for each of the 16 extinct lemur species in our database. There is a strong phylogenetic signal, with the Palaeopropithecidae showing use-wear signatures similar to those of the Indriidae; extinct lemurids (Pachylemur spp.) showing striking similarities to extant lemurids (except Hapalemur spp.); and Megaladapis showing similarities to Lepilemur spp. Only the Archaeolemuridae have dietary signatures unlike those of any extant lemurs, with the partial exception of Daubentonia. We conclude that the Archaeolemuridae were hard-object feeders; the Palaeopropithecidae were seed predators, consuming a mixed diet of foliage and fruit to varying degrees; Pachylemur was a fruit-dominated mixed feeder, but not a seed predator; and all Megaladapis were leaf browsers. There is no molar use wear evidence that any of the extinct lemurs relied on terrestrial foods (C4 grasses, tubers, rhizomes). This has possible implications for the role of the disappearance of wooded habitats in the extinction of lemurs. PMID:15337413

  1. 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

  2. Interstitial cell tumor in a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegatus variegatus).

    PubMed

    Neiffer, D L; Klein, E C

    2001-06-01

    A 14.5-yr-old, male black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegatus variegatus) presented for acute enlargement of the left testicle and hemiscrotum. Physical examination also revealed poor pelage quality with short guard hairs, sparse undercoat, and areas of alopecia. Increased aggression was also reported. A unilateral, open orchiectomy was performed, with the left testicle, epidydymis, associated vaginal tunic, and attached spermatic cord removed. Microscopic evaluation was consistent with an interstitial cell tumor, with many morphologic features similar to this neoplasm in people. No overt histopathologic criteria of malignancy were present. Following orchiectomy, gradual improvement in pelage quality was noted and was considered almost normal by 5 mo postoperative. In contrast with the aggressive preoperative behavior, the lemur was extremely submissive for 3 mo following the surgery. Gradual return to normal behavior and social status occurred over the next 2 mo. Multiple follow-up examinations and radiographs revealed no evidence of metastasis, and biopsy of the remaining testicle 4 mo later revealed no evidence of neoplasia. Serial measurements of testosterone and estradiol revealed levels within the range of those for other ruffed lemurs, as were repeated measurements taken of the remaining testicle. At 19 mo postoperative, the lemur had a coat quality considered nearly normal and maintained its historical social position in the lemur group without abnormal aggressive behavior. PMID:12790432

  3. 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

  4. Metabolomics of the interaction between PPAR-α and age in the PPAR-α-null mouse

    PubMed Central

    Atherton, Helen J; Gulston, Melanie K; Bailey, Nigel J; Cheng, Kian-Kai; Zhang, Wen; Clarke, Kieran; Griffin, Julian L

    2009-01-01

    Regulation between the fed and fasted states in mammals is partially controlled by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α). Expression of the receptor is high in the liver, heart and skeletal muscle, but decreases with age. A combined 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolomic approach has been used to examine metabolism in the liver, heart, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue in PPAR-α-null mice and wild-type controls during ageing between 3 and 13 months. For the PPAR-α-null mouse, multivariate statistics highlighted hepatic steatosis, reductions in the concentrations of glucose and glycogen in both the liver and muscle tissue, and profound changes in lipid metabolism in each tissue, reflecting known expression targets of the PPAR-α receptor. Hepatic glycogen and glucose also decreased with age for both genotypes. These findings indicate the development of age-related hepatic steatosis in the PPAR-α-null mouse, with the normal metabolic changes associated with ageing exacerbating changes associated with genotype. Furthermore, the combined metabolomic and multivariate statistics approach provides a robust method for examining the interaction between age and genotype. PMID:19357638

  5. Molecular mechanism of age-specific hepatic lipid accumulation in PPARalpha (+/-):LDLR (+/-) mice, an obese mouse model.

    PubMed

    Li, Yufeng; Sugiyama, Eiko; Yokoyama, Shin; Jiang, Lingling; Tanaka, Naoki; Aoyama, Toshifumi

    2008-04-01

    This study aimed to clarify the molecular mechanisms of age-specific hepatic lipid accumulation accompanying hyperinsulinemia in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) (+/-):low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) (+/-) mouse line. The hepatic fat content, protein amounts, and mRNA levels of genes involved in hepatic lipid metabolism were analyzed in 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-week-old mice. Severe fatty liver was confirmed only in 50- and 75-week-old mice. The hepatic expression of proteins that function in lipid transport and catabolism did not differ among the groups. In contrast, the mRNA levels and protein amounts of lipogenic enzymes, including acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase-1, fatty acid synthase, and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, enhanced in the mice with fatty liver. Elevated mRNA and protein levels of lipoprotein lipase and fatty acid translocase, which are involved in hepatic lipid uptake, were also detected in mice with fatty liver. Moreover, both protein and mRNA levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1), a transcription factor regulating lipid synthesis, had age-specific patterns similar to those of the proteins described above. Therefore, the age-specific fatty liver found in the PPARalpha (+/-):LDLR (+/-) mouse line is probably caused by age-specific expression of SREBP-1 and its downstream lipogenic genes, coordinated by the increased uptake of lipids. All of these factors might be affected by age-specific changes in serum insulin concentration. PMID:18335269

  6. Evidence of Altered Age-Related Brain Cytoarchitecture in Mouse Models of Down syndrome: A Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging Study

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Xingju; Hamlett, Eric D.; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Hui, Edward S.; Helpern, Joseph A.; Jensen, Jens H.; Boger, Heather A.; Collins, Heather R.; Falangola, Maria F.

    2015-01-01

    Mouse models of Down syndrome (DS) exhibit abnormal brain developmental and neurodegenerative changes similar to those seen in individuals with DS. Although DS mice have been well characterized cognitively and morphologically there are no prior reports utilizing diffusion MRI. In this study we investigated the ability of diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI) to detect the progressive developmental and neurodegenerative changes in the Ts65Dn (TS) DS mouse model. TS mice displayed higher diffusional kurtosis (DK) in the frontal cortex (FC) compared to normal mice at 2 months of age. At 5 months of age, TS mice had lower radial kurtosis in the striatum (ST), which persisted in the 8-month-old mice. The TS mice exhibited lower DK metrics values in the dorsal hippocampus (HD) at all ages, and the group difference in this region was larger at 8-months. Regression analysis showed that normal mice had a significant age-related increase in DK metrics in FC, ST and HD. On the contrary, the TS mice lacked significant age-related increase in DK metrics in FC and ST. Although preliminary, these results demonstrate that DK metrics can detect TS brain developmental and neurodegenerative abnormalities. PMID:25527393

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Vitamin C mediates chemical aging of lens crystallins by the Maillard reaction in a humanized mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Xingjun; Reneker, Lixing W.; Obrenovich, Mark E.; Strauch, Christopher; Cheng, Rongzhu; Jarvis, Simon M.; Ortwerth, Beryl J.; Monnier, Vincent M.

    2006-01-01

    Senile cataracts are associated with progressive oxidation, fragmentation, cross-linking, insolubilization, and yellow pigmentation of lens crystallins. We hypothesized that the Maillard reaction, which leads browning and aroma development during the baking of foods, would occur between the lens proteins and the highly reactive oxidation products of vitamin C. To test this hypothesis, we engineered a mouse that selectively overexpresses the human vitamin C transporter SVCT2 in the lens. Consequently, lenticular levels of vitamin C and its oxidation products were 5- to 15-fold elevated, resulting in a highly compressed aging process and accelerated formation of several protein-bound advanced Maillard reaction products identical with those of aging human lens proteins. These data strongly implicate vitamin C in lens crystallin aging and may serve as a model for protein aging in other tissues particularly rich in vitamin C, such as the hippocampal neurons and the adrenal gland. The hSVCT2 mouse is expected to facilitate the search for drugs that inhibit damage by vitamin C oxidation products. PMID:17075057

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Cognitive Deficits, Changes in Synaptic Function, and Brain Pathology in a Mouse Model of Normal Aging1,2,3

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Tiffany; Hanson, Jesse E.; Alam, Nazia M.; Ngu, Hai; Lauffer, Benjamin E.; Lin, Han H.; Dominguez, Sara L.; Reeder, Jens; Tom, Jennifer; Steiner, Pascal; Foreman, Oded; Prusky, Glen T.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Age is the main risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, cognitive decline in aged rodents has been less well studied, possibly due to concomitant changes in sensory or locomotor function that can complicate cognitive tests. We tested mice that were 3, 11, and 23 months old in cognitive, sensory, and motor measures, and postmortem measures of gliosis and neural activity (c-Fos). Hippocampal synaptic function was also examined. While age-related impairments were detectable in tests of spatial memory, greater age-dependent effects were observed in tests of associative learning [active avoidance (AA)]. Gross visual function was largely normal, but startle responses to acoustic stimuli decreased with increased age, possibly due to hearing impairments. Therefore, a novel AA variant in which light alone served as the conditioning stimuli was used. Age-related deficits were again observed. Mild changes in vision, as measured by optokinetic responses, were detected in 19- versus 4-month-old mice, but these were not correlated to AA performance. Thus, deficits in hearing or vision are unlikely to account for the observed deficits in cognitive measures. Increased gliosis was observed in the hippocampal formation at older ages. Age-related changes in neural function and plasticity were observed with decreased c-Fos in the dentate gyrus, and decreased synaptic strength and paired-pulse facilitation in CA1 slices. This work, which carefully outlines age-dependent impairments in cognitive and synaptic function, c-Fos activity, and gliosis during normal aging in the mouse, suggests robust translational measures that will facilitate further study of the biology of aging. PMID:26473169

  14. 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. PMID:20623502

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:24035368

  5. 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

  6. Sight or Scent: Lemur Sensory Reliance in Detecting Food Quality Varies with Feeding Ecology

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Evolutionary history inferred from the de novo assembly of a nonmodel organism, the blue-eyed black lemur

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wynn K; Venkat, Aarti; Kermany, Amir R; van de Geijn, Bryce; Zhang, Sidi; Przeworski, Molly

    2015-01-01

    Lemurs, the living primates most distantly related to humans, demonstrate incredible diversity in behaviour, life history patterns and adaptive traits. Although many lemur species are endangered within their native Madagascar, there is no high-quality genome assembly from this taxon, limiting population and conservation genetic studies. One critically endangered lemur is the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons. This species is fixed for blue irises, a convergent trait that evolved at least four times in primates and was subject to positive selection in humans, where 5′ regulatory variation of OCA2 explains most of the brown/blue eye colour differences. We built a de novo genome assembly for E. flavifrons, providing the most complete lemur genome to date, and a high confidence consensus sequence for close sister species E. macaco, the (brown-eyed) black lemur. From diversity and divergence patterns across the genomes, we estimated a recent split time of the two species (160 Kya) and temporal fluctuations in effective population sizes that accord with known environmental changes. By looking for regions of unusually low diversity, we identified potential signals of directional selection in E. flavifrons at MITF, a melanocyte development gene that regulates OCA2 and has previously been associated with variation in human iris colour, as well as at several other genes involved in melanin biosynthesis in mammals. Our study thus illustrates how whole-genome sequencing of a few individuals can illuminate the demographic and selection history of nonmodel species. PMID:26198179

  11. The impact of fallback foods on wild ring-tailed lemur biology: a comparison of intact and anthropogenically disturbed habitats.

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2009-12-01

    Fallback foods are often viewed as central in shaping primate morphology, and influencing adaptive shifts in hominin and other primate evolution. Here we argue that fruit of the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) qualifies as a fallback food of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. Contrary to predictions that fallback foods may select for dental and masticatory morphologies adapted to processing these foods, consumption of tamarind fruit by these lemurs leaves a distinct pattern of dental pathology among ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR. Specifically, the physical and mechanical properties of tamarind fruit likely result in a high frequency of severe tooth wear, and subsequent antemortem tooth loss, in this lemur population. This pattern of dental pathology is amplified among lemurs living in disturbed areas at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from a disproportionate emphasis on challenging tamarind fruit, due to few other fruits being available. This is in part caused by a reduction in ground cover and other plants due to livestock grazing. As such, tamarind trees remain one of the few food resources in many areas. Dental pathologies are also associated with the use of a nonendemic leaf resource Argemone mexicana, an important food during the latter part of the dry season when overall food availability is reduced. Such dental pathologies at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from the use or overemphasis of fallback foods for which they are not biologically adapted, indicate that anthropogenic factors must be considered when examining fallback foods. PMID:19890872

  12. 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. PMID:26181905

  13. AGING INCREASES EXPRESSION OF INFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN MOUSE ADIPOSE TISSUE (AT)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) increases with age. Low-grade inflammation in AT is implicated in development of insulin resistance and T2D. We conducted a study to determine if inflammatory responses are upregulated with age in AT. Results show that visceral AT from old mice had significantl...

  14. AGING UP-REGULATES EXPRESSION OF INFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN MOUSE ADIPOSE TISSUE (AT)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) increases with age. Low-grade inflammation in AT is implicated in development of insulin resistance and T2D. This study investigated if inflammatory responses are up-regulated with age in AT. Results showed that visceral AT from old mice have higher mRNA expres...

  15. CONCENTRATION OF GLIAL FIBRILLARY ACIDIC PROTEIN INCREASES WITH AGE IN THE MOUSE AND RAT BRAIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The role of aging in the expression of the astrocyte protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), was examined. n both mice and rats the concentration of GFAP increased throughout the brain as a function of aging. he largest increase (2-fold) was observed in striatum for both...

  16. Defective sarcoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria calcium exchange in aged mouse myocardium.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. Novel age-dependent learning deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease: implications for translational research

    PubMed Central

    Montgomery, K. S.; Simmons, R. K.; Edwards, G.; Nicolle, M. M.; Gluck, M. A.; Myers, C. E.; Bizon, J. L.

    2015-01-01

    Computational modeling predicts that the hippocampus plays an important role in the ability to apply previously learned information to novel problems and situations (referred to as the ability to generalize information or simply as ‘transfer learning’). These predictions have been tested in humans using a computer-based task on which individuals with hippocampal damage are able to learn a series of complex discriminations with two stimulus features (shape and color), but are impaired in their ability to transfer this information to newly configured problems in which one of the features is altered. This deficit occurs despite the fact that the feature predictive of the reward (the relevant information) is not changed. The goal of the current study was to develop a mouse analog of transfer learning and to determine if this new task was sensitive to pathological changes in a mouse model of AD. We describe a task in which mice were able to learn a series of concurrent discriminations that contained two stimulus features (odor and digging media) and could transfer this learned information to new problems in which the irrelevant feature in each discrimination pair was altered. Moreover, we report age-dependent deficits specific to transfer learning in APP+PS1 mice relative to nontransgenic littermates. The robust impairment in transfer learning may be more sensitive to AD-like pathology than traditional cognitive assessments in that no deficits were observed in the APP+PS1 mice on the widely used Morris water maze task. These data describe a novel and sensitive paradigm to evaluate mnemonic decline in AD mouse models that has unique translational advantages over standard species-specific cognitive assessments (e.g. water maze for rodent and delayed paragraph recall for humans). PMID:19720431

  19. Mouse genome-wide association study identifies polymorphisms on chromosomes 4, 11, and 15 for age-related cardiac fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Li, Qiaoli; Berndt, Annerose; Sundberg, Beth A; Silva, Kathleen A; Kennedy, Victoria E; Cario, Clinton L; Richardson, Matthew A; Chase, Thomas H; Schofield, Paul N; Uitto, Jouni; Sundberg, John P

    2016-06-01

    Dystrophic cardiac calcinosis (DCC), also called epicardial and myocardial fibrosis and mineralization, has been detected in mice of a number of laboratory inbred strains, most commonly C3H/HeJ and DBA/2J. In previous mouse breeding studies between these DCC susceptible and the DCC-resistant strain C57BL/6J, 4 genetic loci harboring genes involved in DCC inheritance were identified and subsequently termed Dyscalc loci 1 through 4. Here, we report susceptibility to cardiac fibrosis, a sub-phenotype of DCC, at 12 and 20 months of age and close to natural death in a survey of 28 inbred mouse strains. Eight strains showed cardiac fibrosis with highest frequency and severity in the moribund mice. Using genotype and phenotype information of the 28 investigated strains, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and identified the most significant associations on chromosome (Chr) 15 at 72 million base pairs (Mb) (P < 10(-13)) and Chr 4 at 122 Mb (P < 10(-11)) and 134 Mb (P < 10(-7)). At the Chr 15 locus, Col22a1 and Kcnk9 were identified. Both have been reported to be morphologically and functionally important in the heart muscle. The strongest Chr 4 associations were located approximately 6 Mb away from the Dyscalc 2 quantitative trait locus peak within the boundaries of the Extl1 gene and in close proximity to the Trim63 and Cap1 genes. In addition, a single-nucleotide polymorphism association was found on chromosome 11. This study provides evidence for more than the previously reported 4 genetic loci determining cardiac fibrosis and DCC. The study also highlights the power of GWAS in the mouse for dissecting complex genetic traits. PMID:27126641

  20. Nucleophilic compounds decrease advanced glycation end products (AGEs) from ascorbic acid in the hSVCT2 transgenic mouse model of lenticular aging

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Xingjun; Monnier, Vincent M

    2008-01-01

    Purpose Senile cataracts are associated with oxidation, fragmentation, cross-linking, insolubilization, and yellow pigmentation of lens crystallins. This process is partially explained by advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) from ascorbic acid (ASA), as unequivocally demonstrated in our hSVCT2 transgenic mouse(PNAS 103:16912, 2006). We now present the first pharmacological intervention study against ascorbylation in these mice. Methods Five groups of mice (10 mice/group) were fed from two to nine months a diet containing 0.1% (wt/wt) aminoguanidine (AG), pyridoxamine (PM), penicillamine (PA), and nucleophilic compounds NC-I and NC-II. AGEs were determined in crystallin digests using HPLC, LC-MS or GC-MS. In vitro incubations of lens protein extract with ASA or dehydroascorbic aicd (DHA) were also performed. Results ASA level increased ~10 fold in all groups and was unaffected by treatment. AGEs were several fold increased in transgenic compared to control lenses. Body weight, food intake, lenticular glutathione and glycated lysine level were unaltered. In vitro, all compounds inhibited AGE formation. In vivo, NC-I and NC-II significantly decreased protein fluorescence at λex335/em385 (p=0.045, 0.017, respectively) and λex370/em440 (p=0.029, 0.007, respectively). Other inhibitors had no effect. After 7 months, only NC-1 and NC-2 induced a 50 % reduction in pentosidine (n.s, p=0.035 respectively). NC-1 also decreased carboxymethyllysine (CML) (p=0.032) and carboxyethyllysine (CEL) (p= n.s). Fluorescent crosslink K2P was decreased by NC-1, NC-2, AG and PM (p= n.s). Conclusions Pharmacologically blocking protein ascorbylation with absorbable guanidino compounds is feasible and may represent a new strategy for the delay of age-related nuclear sclerosis of the lens. PMID:18421088

  1. Age-associated changes in DNA methylation across multiple tissues in an inbred mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Spiers, Helen; Hannon, Eilis; Wells, Sara; Williams, Brenda; Fernandes, Cathy; Mill, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic disruption has been implicated in many diseases of aging, and age-associated DNA methylation changes at specific genomic loci in humans are strongly correlated with chronological age. The aim of this study was to explore the specificity of selected age-associated differentially methylated positions (aDMPs) identified in human epidemiological studies by quantifying DNA methylation across multiple tissues in homologous regions of the murine genome. We selected four high-confidence aDMPs (located in the vicinity of the ELOVL2, GLRA1, MYOD1 and PDE4C genes) and quantified DNA methylation across these regions in four tissues (blood, lung, cerebellum and hippocampus) from male and female C57BL/6J mice, ranging in age from fetal (embryonic day 17) to 630 days. We observed tissue-specific age-associated changes in DNA methylation that was directionally consistent with those observed in humans. These findings lend further support to the notion that changes in DNA methylation are associated with chronological age and suggest that these processes are often conserved across tissues and between mammalian species. Our data highlight the relevance of utilizing model systems, in which environmental and genetic influences can be carefully controlled, for the further study of these phenomena. PMID:26861500

  2. 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

  3. Age-associated changes in DNA methylation across multiple tissues in an inbred mouse model.

    PubMed

    Spiers, Helen; Hannon, Eilis; Wells, Sara; Williams, Brenda; Fernandes, Cathy; Mill, Jonathan

    2016-03-01

    Epigenetic disruption has been implicated in many diseases of aging, and age-associated DNA methylation changes at specific genomic loci in humans are strongly correlated with chronological age. The aim of this study was to explore the specificity of selected age-associated differentially methylated positions (aDMPs) identified in human epidemiological studies by quantifying DNA methylation across multiple tissues in homologous regions of the murine genome. We selected four high-confidence aDMPs (located in the vicinity of the ELOVL2, GLRA1, MYOD1 and PDE4C genes) and quantified DNA methylation across these regions in four tissues (blood, lung, cerebellum and hippocampus) from male and female C57BL/6J mice, ranging in age from fetal (embryonic day 17) to 630 days. We observed tissue-specific age-associated changes in DNA methylation that was directionally consistent with those observed in humans. These findings lend further support to the notion that changes in DNA methylation are associated with chronological age and suggest that these processes are often conserved across tissues and between mammalian species. Our data highlight the relevance of utilizing model systems, in which environmental and genetic influences can be carefully controlled, for the further study of these phenomena. PMID:26861500

  4. 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

  5. Caffeine alleviates the deterioration of Ca2+ release mechanisms and fragmentation of in vitro aged mouse eggs

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Nan; Wakai, Takuya; Fissore, Rafael. A.

    2011-01-01

    The developmental competence of mammalian eggs is compromised by postovulatory aging. We and others found that in these eggs the intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) responses required for egg activation and initiation of development are altered. Nevertheless, the mechanism(s) underlying this defective Ca2+ release is not well known. Here, we investigated if the function of IP3R1, the major Ca2+ release channel at fertilization, was undermined in in vitro aged mouse eggs. We found that in aged eggs IP3R1 displayed reduced function, as many of the changes acquired during maturation that enhance IP3R1 Ca2+ conductivity such as phosphorylation, receptor reorganization and increased Ca2+ store content ([Ca2+]ER) were lost with increasing postovulatory time. IP3R1 fragmentation, possibly associated with the activation of caspase-3, was also observed in these eggs. Many of these changes were prevented when the postovulatory aging of eggs was carried out in the presence of caffeine, which minimized the decline in IP3R1 function and maintained [Ca2+]ER content. Caffeine also maintained mitochondrial membrane potential as measured by JC-1 fluorescence. We therefore conclude that [Ca2+]i responses in aged eggs are undermined by reduced IP3R1 sensitivity, decreased [Ca2+]ER and compromised mitochondrial function, and that addition of caffeine ameliorates most of these aging-associated changes. Understanding the molecular basis of the protective effects of caffeine will be useful in elucidating, and possibly reversing, the signaling pathway(s) compromised by in vitro culture of eggs. PMID:22095868

  6. Advanced age decreases local calcium signaling in endothelium of mouse mesenteric arteries in vivo.

    PubMed

    Boerman, Erika M; Everhart, Jesse E; Segal, Steven S

    2016-05-01

    Aging is associated with vascular dysfunction that impairs tissue perfusion, physical activity, and the quality of life. Calcium signaling in endothelial cells (ECs) is integral to vasomotor control, exemplified by localized Ca(2+) signals within EC projections through holes in the internal elastic lamina (IEL). Within these microdomains, endothelium-derived hyperpolarization is integral to smooth muscle cell (SMC) relaxation via coupling through myoendothelial gap junctions. However, the effects of aging on local EC Ca(2+) signals (and thereby signaling between ECs and SMCs) remain unclear, and these events have not been investigated in vivo. Furthermore, it is unknown whether aging affects either the number or the size of IEL holes. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that local EC Ca(2+) signaling is impaired with advanced age along with a reduction in IEL holes. In anesthetized mice expressing a Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent protein (GCaMP2) selectively in ECs, our findings illustrate that for mesenteric arteries controlling splanchnic blood flow the frequency of spontaneous local Ca(2+) signals in ECs was reduced by ∼85% in old (24-26 mo) vs. young (3-6 mo) animals. At the same time, the number (and total area) of holes per square millimeter of IEL was reduced by ∼40%. We suggest that diminished signaling between ECs and SMCs contributes to dysfunction of resistance arteries with advanced age.Listen to this article's corresponding podcast at http://ajpheart.podbean.com/e/aging-impairs-endothelial-ca2-signaling/. PMID:26945073

  7. Erythropoiesis in the aged mouse. I. Response to stimulation in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Udupa, K.B.; Lipschitz, D.A.

    1984-04-01

    Changes in erythropoiesis with age were studied by examining the hematocrit increase in response to hypoxia in aged mice and by assessing the change in erythropoiesis following the injection of erythropoietin in young and old polycythemic mice. The increase in hematocrit after exposure to hypoxia was more variable and generally lower in old mice than in young mice. When erythropoietin was injected into polycythemic animals, the increase in differentiated erythroid cells and /sup 59/Fe incorporation into erythroid marrow and peripheral blood cells was significantly lower in old mice than in young mice. In contrast to differentiated erythroid cells, there was less evidence of a reduced response to simulation of the more primitive erythroid progenitor cells of aged animals. The early undifferentiated erythroid progenitor, burst-forming units, did not decrease when either young or aged mice were made polycythemic, and no change following erythropoietin injection was noted. Polycythemia suppressed the late-differentiated erythroid progenitor, erythroid colony-forming units, to a greater extent in aged animals, but when erythropoietin was injected, the percent increase over the subsequent 24 hours was identical to that in young mice. These observations indicate a reduced erythropoietic capacity with age, the abnormality being most obvious in the more mature erythroid precursors.

  8. Reduced Adolescent-Age Spatial Learning Ability Associated with Elevated Juvenile-Age Superoxide Levels in Complex I Mouse Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Falko; Baltrusch, Simone; Junghanss, Christian; Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Jaster, Robert; Kunz, Manfred; Tiedge, Markus; Ibrahim, Saleh; Fuellen, Georg; Köhling, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale, heteroplasmic and generally pathogenic mtDNA defects (as induced by defective mitochondrial DNA polymerase, clonal mutations or DNA deletions) are known to negatively impact on life span and can result in apoptosis and tissue loss in, e.g., skeletal muscle or reduce learning abilities. The functional impact of homoplasmic specific mtDNA point mutations, e.g., in genes coding for the electron transport chain, however, remains a matter of debate. The present study contributes to this discussion and provides evidence that a single point mutation in complex I of the respiratory chain is associated with impairment of spatial navigation in adolescent (6-month-old) mice, i.e., reduced performance in the Morris Water Maze, which goes along with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in juvenile mice (3 months) but not at the age of phenotype expression. A point mutation in complex III goes along with only a mild and non-significant negative effect on cognitive performance and no significant changes in ROS production. These findings suggest to also consider the ontogenetic development of phenotypes when studying mtDNA mutations and highlights a possible impact of complex I dysfunction on the emergence of neurological deficits. PMID:25853418

  9. Age-related axonal swellings precede other neuropathological hallmarks in a knock-in mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Marangoni, Martina; Adalbert, Robert; Janeckova, Lucie; Patrick, Jane; Kohli, Jaskaren; Coleman, Michael P; Conforti, Laura

    2014-10-01

    Axon degeneration precedes cell body death in many age-related neurodegenerative disorders, often determining symptom onset and progression. A sensitive method for revealing axon pathology could indicate whether this is the case also in Huntington's disease (HD), a fatal, devastating neurodegenerative disorder causing progressive deterioration of both physical and mental abilities, and which brain region is affected first. We studied the spatio-temporal relationship between axon pathology, neuronal loss, and mutant Huntingtin aggregate formation in HD mouse models by crossing R6/2 transgenic and HdhQ140 knock-in mice with YFP-H mice expressing the yellow fluorescent protein in a subset of neurons. We found large axonal swellings developing age-dependently first in stria terminalis and then in corticostriatal axons of HdhQ140 mice, whereas alterations of other neuronal compartments could not be detected. Although mutant Huntingtin accumulated with age in several brain areas, inclusions in the soma did not correlate with swelling of the corresponding axons. Axon abnormalities were not a prominent feature of the rapid progressive pathology of R6/2 mice. Our findings in mice genetically similar to HD patients suggest that axon pathology is an early event in HD and indicate the importance of further studies of stria terminalis axons in man. PMID:24906892

  10. 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

  11. miR-204 downregulates EphB2 in aging mouse hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Danka Mohammed, Chand Parvez; Rhee, Hwanseok; Phee, Bong-Kwan; Kim, Kunhyung; Kim, Hee-Jin; Lee, Hyehyeon; Park, Jung Hoon; Jung, Jung Hee; Kim, Jeong Yeon; Kim, Hyoung-Chin; Park, Sang Ki; Nam, Hong Gil; Kim, Keetae

    2016-04-01

    Hippocampal synaptic function and plasticity deteriorate with age, often resulting in learning and memory deficits. As MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of neuronal protein expression, we examined whether miRNAs may contribute to this age-associated decline in hippocampal function. We first compared the small RNA transcriptome of hippocampal tissues from young and old mice. Among 269 hippocampal miRNAs, 80 were differentially expressed (≥ twofold) among the age groups. We focused on 36 miRNAs upregulated in the old mice compared with those in the young mice. The potential targets of these 36 miRNAs included 11 critical Eph/Ephrin synaptic signaling components. The expression levels of several genes in the Eph/Ephrin pathway, including EphB2, were significantly downregulated in the aged hippocampus. EphB2 is a known regulator of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons, in part by regulating the surface expression of the NMDA receptor NR1 subunit. We found that EphB2 is a direct target of miR-204 among miRNAs that were upregulated with age. The transfection of primary hippocampal neurons with a miR-204 mimic suppressed both EphB2 mRNA and protein expression and reduced the surface expression of NR1. Transfection of miR-204 also decreased the total expression of NR1. miR-204 induces senescence-like phenotype in fully matured neurons as evidenced by an increase in p16-positive cells. We suggest that aging is accompanied by the upregulation of miR-204 in the hippocampus, which downregulates EphB2 and results in reduced surface and total NR1 expression. This mechanism may contribute to age-associated decline in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and the related cognitive functions. PMID:26799631

  12. Olfactory demarcation of territorial but not home range boundaries by Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, A S

    1988-01-01

    Over 350 h of observations were collected using focal animal sampling of scent-marking behavior by 2 troops of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in the field in Madagascar. Although they did not mark any branch species preferentially, they did have preferred marking sites. Significantly more scent marks were deposited in the area of home range overlap between troops than in the area of exclusive use. However, few marks were deposited at the periphery of the area of overlap. Instead, the majority of the marks were in a narrow band within the area of overlap that coincided with the positions of intertroop confrontations. Female genital marks and male arm marks, as well as the accompanying male shoulder rubs thus appear to demarcate territorial borders. PMID:3240911

  13. Phylogenetic and functional affinities of Babakotia (primates), a fossil lemur from northern Madagascar.

    PubMed Central

    Jungers, W L; Godfrey, L R; Simons, E L; Chatrath, P S; Rakotosamimanana, B

    1991-01-01

    Recent paleontological expeditions to the Ankarana range of northern Madagascar have recovered the partial remains of four individuals of a newly recognized extinct lemur, Babakotia radofilai. Craniodental and postcranial material serve to identify Babakotia as a member of the palaeopropithecids (also including the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus, Archaeoindris, and Mesopropithecus). Living indrids form the sister group to this fossil clade. The postcranial anatomy indicates that Babakotia was a medium-sized (approximately 15 kg) indroid whose inferred positional behaviors were primarily slow climbing and hanging. Although it is probable that a leaping component typified the ancestral positional repertoire of all Malagasy lemurs, the mosaic nature of the locomotor skeleton of Babakotia further suggests that vertical climbing and hang-feeding rather than ricochetal leaping were primitive for indrids and palaeopropithecids and that the dramatic saltatory adaptations of the living indrids postdate the divergence of these two lineages. Images PMID:1924371

  14. 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.

  15. Relaxed open mouth as a playful signal in wild ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan; Spada, Giulia

    2014-11-01

    Play signals are commonly used by animals to communicate their playful motivation and to limit the risk that rough acts are misunderstood by playmates. The relaxed open mouth is the most common facial expression performed during play in many mammals and represents the ritualized version of the movement anticipating a play bite. The signaling nature of this expression has been proven in many haplorrhine species but never demonstrated in strepsirrhines. Our purpose was assessing whether, also in strepsirrhines, the relaxed open mouth has an actual communicative function. We studied wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), characterized by highly social habits including intense playful interactions. They largely use playful signals, mostly performed with the black and white tail. The signaling function of the tail (tail play) has been widely demonstrated. We analyzed both tail play and the relaxed open mouth to verify how their distribution is affected by different play variables (e.g., play session symmetry, number of play mates, previous use of the same pattern). Indeed, ring-tailed lemurs use the relaxed open mouth as a communicative signal during play. Relaxed open mouth was more frequent during unbalanced interactions showing the highest asymmetry in the patterns performed by the two players (offensive/neutral). Compared to tail play, relaxed open mouth was more frequent during dyadic than polyadic interactions and, as a highly directional signal, it was more frequently replicated by the play mate. Therefore, the relaxed open mouth needs to be performed face-to-face so that signal detection can be optimized. Similar to previous findings in monkeys and apes, the relaxed open mouth in lemurs seems to be a ritualized signal used to engage and, perhaps, sustain playful interaction. PMID:24810169

  16. Shifting ranges and conservation challenges for lemurs in the face of climate change

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L; Yoder, Anne D

    2015-01-01

    Geospatial modeling is one of the most powerful tools available to conservation biologists for estimating current species ranges of Earth's biodiversity. Now, with the advantage of predictive climate models, these methods can be deployed for understanding future impacts on threatened biota. Here, we employ predictive modeling under a conservative estimate of future climate change to examine impacts on the future abundance and geographic distributions of Malagasy lemurs. Using distribution data from the primary literature, we employed ensemble species distribution models and geospatial analyses to predict future changes in species distributions. Current species distribution models (SDMs) were created within the BIOMOD2 framework that capitalizes on ten widely used modeling techniques. Future and current SDMs were then subtracted from each other, and areas of contraction, expansion, and stability were calculated. Model overprediction is a common issue associated Malagasy taxa. Accordingly, we introduce novel methods for incorporating biological data on dispersal potential to better inform the selection of pseudo-absence points. This study predicts that 60% of the 57 species examined will experience a considerable range of reductions in the next seventy years entirely due to future climate change. Of these species, range sizes are predicted to decrease by an average of 59.6%. Nine lemur species (16%) are predicted to expand their ranges, and 13 species (22.8%) distribution sizes were predicted to be stable through time. Species ranges will experience severe shifts, typically contractions, and for the majority of lemur species, geographic distributions will be considerably altered. We identify three areas in dire need of protection, concluding that strategically managed forest corridors must be a key component of lemur and other biodiversity conservation strategies. This recommendation is all the more urgent given that the results presented here do not take into

  17. MnSOD Overexpression Reduces Fibrosis and Pro-Apoptotic Signaling in the Aging Mouse Heart

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Hyo-Bum; Lee, Yang; Kim, Jong-Hee; Van Remmen, Holly; Richardson, Arlan G.

    2015-01-01

    Contractility of the heart is impaired with advancing age via mechanical remodeling, as myocytes are lost through apoptosis and collagenous fibers accumulate. Exercise training confers protection against fibrosis and apoptosis in the aging heart, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. We recently reported that exercise training elevates Mn isoform of superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) in the aging heart, concomitant with reduction in oxidative stress and fibrosis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that overexpression of MnSOD would be causal in protection against fibrosis and apoptosis in the aging heart. Hearts were extracted from young (8 months) wild-type, young mice overexpressing the Sod2 (MnSOD) gene, old (28 months) wild-type, and old transgenic mice. Left ventricle MnSOD protein levels were elevated in young mice overexpressing the Sod2 (MnSOD) gene and old transgenic mice. MnSODTg mice exhibited lower oxidative stress (total hydroperoxides, 4-hydroxynonenal, and 8-isoprostane) in the old group. Age-related cardiac remodeling and fibrosis was mitigated in MnSOD Tg mice with reductions in extramyocyte space (−65%), collagen-I, and transforming growth factor-β. Pro-apoptotic markers Bax (−38%) and caspase-3 cleavage (−41%) were reduced and apoptosis (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling-positive nuclei, DNA laddering) was mitigated in MnSOD Tg hearts compared with old wild-type. We conclude that MnSOD elevation is indeed protective against oxidative stress, fibrosis, and apoptosis in the aging heart. PMID:25016531

  18. MnSOD overexpression reduces fibrosis and pro-apoptotic signaling in the aging mouse heart.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Hyo-Bum; Lee, Yang; Kim, Jong-Hee; Van Remmen, Holly; Richardson, Arlan G; Lawler, John M

    2015-05-01

    Contractility of the heart is impaired with advancing age via mechanical remodeling, as myocytes are lost through apoptosis and collagenous fibers accumulate. Exercise training confers protection against fibrosis and apoptosis in the aging heart, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. We recently reported that exercise training elevates Mn isoform of superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) in the aging heart, concomitant with reduction in oxidative stress and fibrosis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that overexpression of MnSOD would be causal in protection against fibrosis and apoptosis in the aging heart. Hearts were extracted from young (8 months) wild-type, young mice overexpressing the Sod2 (MnSOD) gene, old (28 months) wild-type, and old transgenic mice. Left ventricle MnSOD protein levels were elevated in young mice overexpressing the Sod2 (MnSOD) gene and old transgenic mice. MnSODTg mice exhibited lower oxidative stress (total hydroperoxides, 4-hydroxynonenal, and 8-isoprostane) in the old group. Age-related cardiac remodeling and fibrosis was mitigated in MnSOD Tg mice with reductions in extramyocyte space (-65%), collagen-I, and transforming growth factor-β. Pro-apoptotic markers Bax (-38%) and caspase-3 cleavage (-41%) were reduced and apoptosis (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling-positive nuclei, DNA laddering) was mitigated in MnSOD Tg hearts compared with old wild-type. We conclude that MnSOD elevation is indeed protective against oxidative stress, fibrosis, and apoptosis in the aging heart. PMID:25016531

  19. Role of DHA in aging-related changes in mouse brain synaptic plasma membrane proteome.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Vishaldeep K; Huang, Bill X; Desai, Abhishek; Kevala, Karl; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2016-05-01

    Aging has been related to diminished cognitive function, which could be a result of ineffective synaptic function. We have previously shown that synaptic plasma membrane proteins supporting synaptic integrity and neurotransmission were downregulated in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived brains, suggesting an important role of DHA in synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate aging-induced synaptic proteome changes and DHA-dependent mitigation of such changes using mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation combined with western blot or messenger RNA analysis. We found significant reduction of 15 synaptic plasma membrane proteins in aging brains including fodrin-α, synaptopodin, postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2B, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptosomal-associated protein-α, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit epsilon-2 precursor, AMPA2, AP2, VGluT1, munc18-1, dynamin-1, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, rab3A, and EAAT1, most of which are involved in synaptic transmission. Notably, the first 9 proteins were further reduced when brain DHA was depleted by diet, indicating that DHA plays an important role in sustaining these synaptic proteins downregulated during aging. Reduction of 2 of these proteins was reversed by raising the brain DHA level by supplementing aged animals with an omega-3 fatty acid sufficient diet for 2 months. The recognition memory compromised in DHA-depleted animals was also improved. Our results suggest a potential role of DHA in alleviating aging-associated cognitive decline by offsetting the loss of neurotransmission-regulating synaptic proteins involved in synaptic function. PMID:27103520

  20. Dysregulation of mitochondrial quality control processes contribute to sarcopenia in a mouse model of premature aging.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Anna-Maria; Adhihetty, Peter J; Wawrzyniak, Nicholas R; Wohlgemuth, Stephanie E; Picca, Anna; Kujoth, Gregory C; Prolla, Tomas A; Leeuwenburgh, Christiaan

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations lead to decrements in mitochondrial function and accelerated rates of these mutations has been linked to skeletal muscle loss (sarcopenia). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of mtDNA mutations on mitochondrial quality control processes in skeletal muscle from animals (young; 3-6 months and older; 8-15 months) expressing a proofreading-deficient version of mtDNA polymerase gamma (PolG). This progeroid aging model exhibits elevated mtDNA mutation rates, mitochondrial dysfunction, and a premature aging phenotype that includes sarcopenia. We found increased expression of the mitochondrial biogenesis regulator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) and its target proteins, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in PolG animals compared to wild-type (WT) (P<0.05). Muscle from older PolG animals displayed higher mitochondrial fission protein 1 (Fis1) concurrent with greater induction of autophagy, as indicated by changes in Atg5 and p62 protein content (P<0.05). Additionally, levels of the Tom22 import protein were higher in PolG animals when compared to WT (P<0.05). In contrast, muscle from normally-aged animals exhibited a distinctly different expression profile compared to PolG animals. Older WT animals appeared to have higher fusion (greater Mfn1/Mfn2, and lower Fis1) and lower autophagy (Beclin-1 and p62) compared to young WT suggesting that autophagy is impaired in aging muscle. In conclusion, muscle from mtDNA mutator mice display higher mitochondrial fission and autophagy levels that likely contribute to the sarcopenic phenotype observed in premature aging and this differs from the response observed in normally-aged muscle. PMID:23935986

  1. Mix it and fix it: functions of composite olfactory signals in ring-tailed lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Lydia K.; Grogan, Kathleen E.; Smyth, Kendra N.; Adams, Christine A.; Klager, Skylar A.; Drea, Christine M.

    2016-01-01

    Animals communicating via scent often deposit composite signals that incorporate odorants from multiple sources; however, the function of mixing chemical signals remains understudied. We tested both a ‘multiple-messages’ and a ‘fixative’ hypothesis of composite olfactory signalling, which, respectively, posit that mixing scents functions to increase information content or prolong signal longevity. Our subjects—adult, male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)—have a complex scent-marking repertoire, involving volatile antebrachial (A) secretions, deposited pure or after being mixed with a squalene-rich paste exuded from brachial (B) glands. Using behavioural bioassays, we examined recipient responses to odorants collected from conspecific strangers. We concurrently presented pure A, pure B and mixed A + B secretions, in fresh or decayed conditions. Lemurs preferentially responded to mixed over pure secretions, their interest increasing and shifting over time, from sniffing and countermarking fresh mixtures, to licking and countermarking decayed mixtures. Substituting synthetic squalene (S)—a well-known fixative—for B secretions did not replicate prior results: B secretions, which contain additional chemicals that probably encode salient information, were preferred over pure S. Whereas support for the ‘multiple-messages’ hypothesis underscores the unique contribution from each of an animal's various secretions, support for the ‘fixative’ hypothesis highlights the synergistic benefits of composite signals. PMID:27152222

  2. Mix it and fix it: functions of composite olfactory signals in ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Greene, Lydia K; Grogan, Kathleen E; Smyth, Kendra N; Adams, Christine A; Klager, Skylar A; Drea, Christine M

    2016-04-01

    Animals communicating via scent often deposit composite signals that incorporate odorants from multiple sources; however, the function of mixing chemical signals remains understudied. We tested both a 'multiple-messages' and a 'fixative' hypothesis of composite olfactory signalling, which, respectively, posit that mixing scents functions to increase information content or prolong signal longevity. Our subjects-adult, male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)-have a complex scent-marking repertoire, involving volatile antebrachial (A) secretions, deposited pure or after being mixed with a squalene-rich paste exuded from brachial (B) glands. Using behavioural bioassays, we examined recipient responses to odorants collected from conspecific strangers. We concurrently presented pure A, pure B and mixed A + B secretions, in fresh or decayed conditions. Lemurs preferentially responded to mixed over pure secretions, their interest increasing and shifting over time, from sniffing and countermarking fresh mixtures, to licking and countermarking decayed mixtures. Substituting synthetic squalene (S)-a well-known fixative-for B secretions did not replicate prior results: B secretions, which contain additional chemicals that probably encode salient information, were preferred over pure S. Whereas support for the 'multiple-messages' hypothesis underscores the unique contribution from each of an animal's various secretions, support for the 'fixative' hypothesis highlights the synergistic benefits of composite signals. PMID:27152222

  3. Ecological risk aversion and juvenile ring-tailed lemur feeding and foraging.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, M Teague

    2015-01-01

    The extended primate juvenile period has been linked to interactions between feeding ecology and sociality. However, accumulating field data on juvenile primates suggest variation in the linkages between foraging efficiency, group foraging and social behaviour. In many non-human primates, juvenile ability (strength, coordination and motor skills) does not limit foraging success. If predicted limitations in feeding are not found in juvenile monkeys, it is possible that the gregarious strepsirrhines may show foraging patterns similar to those implicated in the evolution of a life history where long juvenile periods are advantageous. To test these behavioural predictions, I present a mixed longitudinal sample of observations on feeding and foraging behaviour from ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Like several platyrrhine species, close proximity during foraging, low feeding efficiency and low dietary diversity are not typical of ring-tailed lemurs. The lack of ecological trade-offs in these species may indicate stronger common roles of sociality and social complexity in structuring the elongation of the primate juvenile period. PMID:26022305

  4. AGING UP-REGULATES EXPRESSION OF INFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN MOUSE ADIPOSE TISSUE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Obesity is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Aging is associated with increase in T2D incidence, which is not totally explained by the much lower prevalence of obesity in the elderly. Low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue (AT) contributes to insulin resistance and T2D. Thus, we det...

  5. 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

  6. Microglial P2 Purinergic Receptor and Immunomodulatory Gene Transcripts Vary By Region, Sex, and Age in the Healthy Mouse CNS

    PubMed Central

    Crain, Jessica M.; Watters, Jyoti J.

    2016-01-01

    Inflammatory damage in many neurodegenerative diseases is restricted to certain regions of the CNS, and while microglia have long been implicated in the pathology of many of these disorders, information comparing their gene expression in different CNS regions is lacking. Here we tested the hypothesis that the expression of purinergic receptors, estrogen receptors and other neuroprotective and pro-inflammatory genes differed among CNS regions in healthy mice. Because neurodegenerative diseases vary in incidence by sex and age, we also examined the regional distribution of these genes in male and female mice of four different ages between 21 days and 12 months. We postulated that pro-inflammatory gene expression would be higher in older animals, and lower in young adult females. We found that microglial gene expression differed across the CNS. Estrogen receptor alpha (Esr1) mRNA levels were often lower in microglia from the brainstem/spinal cord than from the cortex, whereas tumor necrosis factor alpha (Tnfα) expression was several times higher. In addition, the regional pattern of gene expression often changed with animal age; for example, no regional differences in P2X7 mRNA levels were detected in 21 day-old animals, but at 7 weeks and older, expression was highest in cerebellar microglia. Lastly, the expression of some genes was sexually dimorphic. In microglia from 12 month-old animals, mRNA levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase, but not Tnfα, were higher in females than males. These data suggest that microglial gene expression is not uniformly more pro-inflammatory in males or older animals. Moreover, microglia from CNS regions in which neuronal damage predominates in neurodegenerative disease do not generally express more pro-inflammatory genes than microglia from regions less frequently affected. This study provides an in-depth assessment of regional-, sex- and age-dependent differences in key microglial transcripts from the healthy mouse CNS. PMID

  7. Age- and Strain- Dependent Influences of Morphine on Mouse Social Investigation Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Bruce C.; Panksepp, Jules B.; Wong, Jenny C.; Krause, Emily J.; Lahvis, Garet P.

    2011-01-01

    Opioid-coded neural circuits play a substantial role in how individuals respond to drugs of abuse, and most individuals begin using such drugs during adolescence and within a social context. Several studies indicate that adolescent mice exhibit a heightened sensitivity to the effects of morphine, the prototypical opiate drug, when compared with adults, but it is unclear whether these developmental differences are related to aspects of motivated behavior. Moreover, exposure to opioids within the rodent brain can alter the expression of social behavior, yet little is known about whether this relationship changes as a function of development or genetic variation. In this study, we conducted a series of experiments to characterize the relationship between genetic background, adolescent development and morphine-induced changes in mouse social investigation (SI). At two time-points during adolescent development (postnatal day [PD] 25 and 45), social interactions of test mice of the gregarious C57BL/6J (B6) strain were more tolerant to the suppressive effects of morphine (ED50 = 0.97 and 2.17 mg/kg morphine, respectively) than test mice from the less social BALB/cJ (BALB) strain (ED50 = 0.61 and 0.91 mg/kg morphine, respectively). By contrast, this strain-dependent difference was not evident among adult mice on PD 90 (ED50 = 1.07 and 1.41 mg/kg morphine for BALB and B6 mice, respectively). An additional experiment demonstrated that the ability of morphine to alter social responsiveness was not directly related to drug-induced changes in locomotor behavior. Finally, administration of morphine to stimulus mice on PD 25 reduced social interaction of test mice only when individuals were from the B6 genetic background. Overall, these results indicate that alterations in endogenous opioid systems are related to changes in SI that occur during adolescence and that morphine administration may mimic the rewarding nature of SI. PMID:21358324

  8. Estrogen Receptor Beta Expression in the Mouse Forebrain: Age and Sex Differences

    PubMed Central

    Zuloaga, Damian G.; Zuloaga, Kristen L.; Hinds, Laura R.; Carbone, David L.; Handa, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    Estrogen receptors regulate multiple brain functions including stress, sexual, and memory associated behaviors as well as control of neuroendocrine and autonomic function. During development, estrogen signaling is involved in programming adult sex differences in physiology and behavior. Expression of estrogen receptor alpha changes across development in a region specific fashion. By contrast, estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) is expressed in many brain regions, yet few studies have explored sex and developmental differences in its expression largely due to the absence of selective reagents for anatomical localization of the protein. In this study, we utilized bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice expressing ERβ identified by enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to compare expression levels and distribution of ERβ in the male and female mouse forebrain on the day of birth (P0), postnatal day 4 (P4) and P21. Using qualitative analysis, we mapped the distribution of ERβ–EGFP and found developmental alterations in ERβ expression within the cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamic regions including the arcuate, ventromedial, and paraventricular nuclei. We also report a sex difference in ERβ in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis with males showing greater expression at P4 and P21. Another sex difference was found in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus of P21, but not P0 or P4 mice, where ERβ-EGFP-ir cells were densely clustered near the 3rd ventricle in females but not males. These developmental changes and sex differences in ERβ indicate a mechanism through which estrogens may differentially affect brain functions or program adult physiology at select times during development. PMID:23818057

  9. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:26551463

  14. Bias in the reporting of sex and age in biomedical research on mouse models.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26939790

  15. 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

  16. Age-dependent impairment of cognitive and synaptic function in the htau mouse model of tau pathology

    PubMed Central

    Polydoro, Manuela; Acker, Christopher M.; Duff, Karen; Castillo, Pablo E.; Davies, Peter

    2009-01-01

    A hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease pathology is the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are intracellular aggregates of conformationally abnormal and hyperphosphorylated tau. The presence of NFTs in the forebrain is associated with impairments of cognitive function, supporting a central role for tau in dementia. The significance of the accumulation of NFTs for neuronal and cognitive function is still obscure. It is possible that NFTs disrupt synaptic transmission and plasticity, leading to memory deficits and cognitive malfunction. To elucidate the relationship between the development of tau pathology and synaptic and cognitive functions, we performed behavioral tests and electrophysiological experiments in the htau mouse. Here we report age-dependent cognitive and physiological impairments in htau mice which preceded neurodegeneration. 12-month-old htau mice with moderate tau pathology, but not 4-month-old mice with early stage tau pathology, presented cognitive deficits in an object recognition memory task in which the visual recognition memory of a novel object was disrupted. Moreover, only 12-month-old htau mice exhibit spatial memory deficits, as indicated by the impaired performance in the Morris water maze. In addition, we report that basal synaptic transmission and induction of long-term potentiation with high frequency stimulation, but not theta burst stimulation, is perturbed in hippocampal CA1 region of old but not young htau mice. Our results suggest that tau pathology may underlie an age-dependent learning impairment through disruption of synaptic function. PMID:19710325

  17. Age-dependent impairment of cognitive and synaptic function in the htau mouse model of tau pathology.

    PubMed

    Polydoro, Manuela; Acker, Christopher M; Duff, Karen; Castillo, Pablo E; Davies, Peter

    2009-08-26

    A hallmark feature of Alzheimer's disease pathology is the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are intracellular aggregates of conformationally abnormal and hyperphosphorylated tau. The presence of NFTs in the forebrain is associated with impairments of cognitive function, supporting a central role for tau in dementia. The significance of the accumulation of NFTs for neuronal and cognitive function is still obscure. It is possible that NFTs disrupt synaptic transmission and plasticity, leading to memory deficits and cognitive malfunction. To elucidate the relationship between the development of tau pathology and synaptic and cognitive functions, we performed behavioral tests and electrophysiological experiments in the htau mouse. Here we report age-dependent cognitive and physiological impairments in htau mice that preceded neurodegeneration. Twelve-month-old htau mice with moderate tau pathology, but not 4-month-old mice with early-stage tau pathology, presented cognitive deficits in an object recognition memory task in which the visual recognition memory of a novel object was disrupted. Moreover, only 12-month-old htau mice exhibit spatial memory deficits, as indicated by the impaired performance in the Morris water maze. In addition, we report that basal synaptic transmission and induction of long-term potentiation with high-frequency stimulation, but not theta burst stimulation, is perturbed in hippocampal CA1 region of old but not young htau mice. Our results suggest that tau pathology may underlie an age-dependent learning impairment through disruption of synaptic function. PMID:19710325

  18. Optimizing a Male Reproductive Aging Mouse Model by d-Galactose Injection

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Chun-Hou; Chen, Bing-Huei; Chiang, Han-Sun; Chen, Chiu-Wei; Chen, Mei-Feng; Ke, Chih-Chun; Wang, Ya-Yun; Lin, Wei-Ning; Wang, Chi-Chung; Lin, Ying-Hung

    2016-01-01

    The d-galactose (d-gal)-injected animal model, which is typically established by administering consecutive subcutaneous d-gal injections to animals for approximately six or eight weeks, has been frequently used for aging research. In addition, this animal model has been demonstrated to accelerate aging in the brain, kidneys, liver and blood cells. However, studies on aging in male reproductive organs that have used this animal model remain few. Therefore, the current study aimed to optimize a model of male reproductive aging by administering d-gal injections to male mice and to determine the possible mechanism expediting senescence processes during spermatogenesis. In this study, C57Bl/6 mice were randomized into five groups (each containing 8–10 mice according to the daily intraperitoneal injection of vehicle control or 100 or 200 mg/kg dosages of d-gal for a period of six or eight weeks). First, mice subjected to d-gal injections for six or eight weeks demonstrated considerably decreased superoxide dismutase activity in the serum and testis lysates compared to those in the control group. The lipid peroxidation in testis also increased in the d-gal-injected groups. Furthermore, the d-gal-injected groups exhibited a decreased ratio of testis weight/body weight and sperm count compared to the control group. The percentages of both immotile sperm and abnormal sperm increased considerably in the d-gal-injected groups compared to those of the control group. To determine the genes influenced by the d-gal injection during murine spermatogenesis, a c-DNA microarray was conducted to compare testicular RNA samples between the treated groups and the control group. The d-gal-injected groups exhibited RNA transcripts of nine spermatogenesis-related genes (Cycl2, Hk1, Pltp, Utp3, Cabyr, Zpbp2, Speer2, Csnka2ip and Katnb1) that were up- or down-regulated by at least two-fold compared to the control group. Several of these genes are critical for forming sperm-head morphologies

  19. Optimizing a Male Reproductive Aging Mouse Model by D-Galactose Injection.

    PubMed

    Liao, Chun-Hou; Chen, Bing-Huei; Chiang, Han-Sun; Chen, Chiu-Wei; Chen, Mei-Feng; Ke, Chih-Chun; Wang, Ya-Yun; Lin, Wei-Ning; Wang, Chi-Chung; Lin, Ying-Hung

    2016-01-01

    The d-galactose (d-gal)-injected animal model, which is typically established by administering consecutive subcutaneous d-gal injections to animals for approximately six or eight weeks, has been frequently used for aging research. In addition, this animal model has been demonstrated to accelerate aging in the brain, kidneys, liver and blood cells. However, studies on aging in male reproductive organs that have used this animal model remain few. Therefore, the current study aimed to optimize a model of male reproductive aging by administering d-gal injections to male mice and to determine the possible mechanism expediting senescence processes during spermatogenesis. In this study, C57Bl/6 mice were randomized into five groups (each containing 8-10 mice according to the daily intraperitoneal injection of vehicle control or 100 or 200 mg/kg dosages of d-gal for a period of six or eight weeks). First, mice subjected to d-gal injections for six or eight weeks demonstrated considerably decreased superoxide dismutase activity in the serum and testis lysates compared to those in the control group. The lipid peroxidation in testis also increased in the d-gal-injected groups. Furthermore, the d-gal-injected groups exhibited a decreased ratio of testis weight/body weight and sperm count compared to the control group. The percentages of both immotile sperm and abnormal sperm increased considerably in the d-gal-injected groups compared to those of the control group. To determine the genes influenced by the d-gal injection during murine spermatogenesis, a c-DNA microarray was conducted to compare testicular RNA samples between the treated groups and the control group. The d-gal-injected groups exhibited RNA transcripts of nine spermatogenesis-related genes (Cycl2, Hk1, Pltp, Utp3, Cabyr, Zpbp2, Speer2, Csnka2ip and Katnb1) that were up- or down-regulated by at least two-fold compared to the control group. Several of these genes are critical for forming sperm-head morphologies or

  20. Comparing apples and oranges-the influence of food mechanical properties on ingestive bite sizes in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hartstone-Rose, Adam; Parkinson, Jennifer A; Criste, Taylor; Perry, Jonathan M G

    2015-07-01

    Previously we found that Maximum Ingested Bite Size (Vb )-the largest piece of food that an animal will ingest whole without biting first-scales isometrically with body size in 17 species of strepsirrhines at the Duke Lemur Center (DLC). However, because this earlier study focused on only three food types (two with similar mechanical properties), it did not yield results that were easily applied to describing the broad diets of these taxa. Expressing Vb in terms of food mechanical properties allows us to compare data across food types, including foods of wild lemurs, to better understand dietary adaptations in lemurs. To this end, we quantified Vb in five species of lemurs at the DLC representing large and small frugivores and folivores using ten types of food that vary widely in stiffness and toughness to determine how these properties relate to bite sizes. We found that although most species take smaller bites of stiffer foods, this negative relationship was not statistically significant across the whole sample. However, there is a significant relationship between bite size and toughness. All three of the more frugivorous taxa in our sample take significantly smaller bites of tougher foods. However, the two more folivorous lemurs do not. They take small bites for all foods. This suggests that the species most adapted to the consumption of tough foods do not modulate their ingestive sizes to accommodate larger pieces of weak foods. PMID:25727399

  1. Eco-evo-devo of the lemur syndrome: did adaptive behavioral plasticity get canalized in a large primate radiation?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Comprehensive explanations of behavioral adaptations rarely invoke all levels famously admonished by Niko Tinbergen. The role of developmental processes and plasticity, in particular, has often been neglected. In this paper, we combine ecological, physiological and developmental perspectives in developing a hypothesis to account for the evolution of ‘the lemur syndrome’, a combination of reduced sexual dimorphism, even adult sex ratios, female dominance and mild genital masculinization characterizing group-living species in two families of Malagasy primates. Results We review the different components of the lemur syndrome and compare it with similar adaptations reported for other mammals. We find support for the assertion that the lemur syndrome represents a unique set of integrated behavioral, demographic and morphological traits. We combine existing hypotheses about underlying adaptive function and proximate causation by adding a potential developmental mechanism linking maternal stress and filial masculinization, and outline an evolutionary scenario for its canalization. Conclusions We propose a new hypothesis linking ecological, physiological, developmental and evolutionary processes to adumbrate a comprehensive explanation for the evolution of the lemur syndrome, whose assumptions and predictions can guide diverse future research on lemurs. This hypothesis should also encourage students of other behavioral phenomena to consider the potential role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary innovation. PMID:26816515

  2. Age-Specific Regulation of Drug-Processing Genes in Mouse Liver by Ligands of Xenobiotic-Sensing Transcription Factors.

    PubMed

    Li, Cindy Yanfei; Renaud, Helen J; Klaassen, Curtis D; Cui, Julia Yue

    2016-07-01

    The xenobiotic-sensing transcription factors (xeno-sensors) AhR, CAR, and PXR upregulate the expression of many drug-processing genes (DPGs) in liver. Previous studies have unveiled profound changes in the basal expression of DPGs during development; however, knowledge on the ontogeny of the inducibility of DPGs in response to pharmacological activation of xeno-sensors is still limited. The goal of this study was to investigate the age-specific regulation of DPGs by prototypical xeno-sensor ligands: 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD) for AhR; 1,4-bis [2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)] benzene (TCPOBOP) for CAR; and pregnane-16α-carbonitrile (PCN) for PXR during mouse liver development. The basal mRNAs of most DPGs were low during neonatal age, but gradually increased to adult levels, whereas some DPGs (Cyp1a2, Cyp2b10, Cyp3a11, Gstm2, Gstm3, Papss2, and Oatp1a4) exhibited an adolescent-predominant expression pattern. The inducibility of DPGs was age-specific: 1) during neonatal age, the highest fold increase in the mRNA expression was observed for Cyp1a2, Sult5a1, and Ugt1a9 by TCDD; Cyp3a11 and Mrp2 by TCPOBOP; as well as Gstm2 and Gstm3 by PCN; 2) during adolescent age, the highest fold increase in the mRNA expression was observed for Ugt1a6 and Mrp4 by TCDD, Cyp2b10, Ugt2b34, and Ugt2b35 by TCPOBOP, as well as Gsta1, Gsta4, Sult1e1, Ugt1a1, Mrp3, and Mrp4 by PCN; 3) in adults, the highest fold increase in the mRNA expression was observed for Aldh1a1, Aldh1a7, and Ugt2b36 by TCPOBOP, as well as Papss2 and Oatp1a4 by PCN. In conclusion, the inducibility of hepatic DPGs following the pharmacological activation of xeno-sensors is age specific. PMID:26577535

  3. 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. PMID:24243499

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:25807975

  7. 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

  8. Reference and working memory deficits in the 3xTg-AD mouse between 2 and 15-months of age: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Leanne M; Brown, Richard E

    2015-02-01

    Impairments in working memory (WM) can predict the shift from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the rate at which AD progresses with age. The 3xTg-AD mouse model develops both Aβ plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the neuro-pathological hallmarks of AD, by 6 months of age, but no research has investigated the age-related changes in WM in these mice. Using a cross-sectional design, we tested male and female 3xTg-AD and wildtype control (B6129SF2/J) mice between 2 and 15 months of age for reference and working memory errors in the 8-arm radial maze. The 3xTg-AD mice had deficits in both working and reference memory across the ages tested, rather than showing the predicted age-related memory deficits. Male 3xTg-AD mice showed more working and reference memory errors than females, but there were no sex differences in wildtype control mice. These results indicate that the 3xTg-AD mouse replicates the impairments in WM found in patients with AD. However, these mice show memory deficits as early as two months of age, suggesting that the genes underlying reference and working memory in these mice cause deficits from an early age. The finding that males were affected more than females suggests that more attention should be paid to sex differences in transgenic AD mice. PMID:25446812

  9. Evolutionary history inferred from the de novo assembly of a nonmodel organism, the blue-eyed black lemur.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Wynn K; Venkat, Aarti; Kermany, Amir R; van de Geijn, Bryce; Zhang, Sidi; Przeworski, Molly

    2015-09-01

    Lemurs, the living primates most distantly related to humans, demonstrate incredible diversity in behaviour, life history patterns and adaptive traits. Although many lemur species are endangered within their native Madagascar, there is no high-quality genome assembly from this taxon, limiting population and conservation genetic studies. One critically endangered lemur is the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons. This species is fixed for blue irises, a convergent trait that evolved at least four times in primates and was subject to positive selection in humans, where 5' regulatory variation of OCA2 explains most of the brown/blue eye colour differences. We built a de novo genome assembly for E. flavifrons, providing the most complete lemur genome to date, and a high confidence consensus sequence for close sister species E. macaco, the (brown-eyed) black lemur. From diversity and divergence patterns across the genomes, we estimated a recent split time of the two species (160 Kya) and temporal fluctuations in effective population sizes that accord with known environmental changes. By looking for regions of unusually low diversity, we identified potential signals of directional selection in E. flavifrons at MITF, a melanocyte development gene that regulates OCA2 and has previously been associated with variation in human iris colour, as well as at several other genes involved in melanin biosynthesis in mammals. Our study thus illustrates how whole-genome sequencing of a few individuals can illuminate the demographic and selection history of nonmodel species. PMID:26198179

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Mouse ECG findings in aging, with conduction system affecting drugs and in cardiac pathologies: Development and validation of ECG analysis algorithm in mice.

    PubMed

    Merentie, Mari; Lipponen, Jukka A; Hedman, Marja; Hedman, Antti; Hartikainen, Juha; Huusko, Jenni; Lottonen-Raikaslehto, Line; Parviainen, Viktor; Laidinen, Svetlana; Karjalainen, Pasi A; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo

    2015-12-01

    Mouse models are extremely important in studying cardiac pathologies and related electrophysiology, but very few mouse ECG analysis programs are readily available. Therefore, a mouse ECG analysis algorithm was developed and validated. Surface ECG (lead II) was acquired during transthoracic echocardiography from C57Bl/6J mice under isoflurane anesthesia. The effect of aging was studied in young (2-3 months), middle-aged (14 months) and old (20-24 months) mice. The ECG changes associated with pharmacological interventions and common cardiac pathologies, that is, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and progressive left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), were studied. The ECG raw data were analyzed with an in-house ECG analysis program, modified specially for mouse ECG. Aging led to increases in P-wave duration, atrioventricular conduction time (PQ interval), and intraventricular conduction time (QRS complex width), while the R-wave amplitude decreased. In addition, the prevalence of arrhythmias increased during aging. Anticholinergic atropine shortened PQ time, and beta blocker metoprolol and calcium-channel blocker verapamil increased PQ interval and decreased heart rate. The ECG changes after AMI included early JT elevation, development of Q waves, decreased R-wave amplitude, and later changes in JT/T segment. In progressive LVH model, QRS complex width was increased at 2 and especially 4 weeks timepoint, and also repolarization abnormalities were seen. Aging, drugs, AMI, and LVH led to similar ECG changes in mice as seen in humans, which could be reliably detected with this new algorithm. The developed method will be very useful for studies on cardiovascular diseases in mice. PMID:26660552

  14. Olfactory signals and the MHC: a review and a case study in Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Leslie A; Robson, Julie; Waterhouse, John S

    2006-06-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is the most polymorphic genetic system known in vertebrates. Decades of research demonstrate that it plays a critical role in immune response and disease resistance. It has also been suggested that MHC genes influence social behavior and reproductive phenomena. Studies in laboratory mice and rats report that kin recognition and mate choice are influenced by olfactory cues determined at least in part by an individual's MHC genes. This issue has stimulated intense but controversial research. However, work in this field has only been carried out in rodents and humans. Thus far, no study has directly investigated the relationship between olfactory cues and MHC genotype in nonhuman primates. Furthermore, other genetic loci, including those linked to the MHC, have not been ruled out as the primary influence on odor profiles. To explore the relationship between individual odor profiles and MHC alleles, we are studying ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). These animals are an ideal model species because they are extremely scent-oriented and their behaviors suggest that olfactory signals form an important part of their intra- and intergroup communication systems. Individual odor profiles from tail and scent gland samples were generated for six males using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). MHC genotypes were identified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The GC-MS analyses demonstrated a difference between profiles obtained from tail and scent gland samples. Although our sample size is relatively small and statistical significance could not be obtained, our analyses suggest a relationship between MHC and concentrations of volatile compounds. While these results are preliminary, they support the need for further studies of the MHC and olfactory signals in lemurs and other primates. PMID:16715507

  15. miR-126 Regulation of Angiogenesis in Age-Related Macular Degeneration in CNV Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lei; Lee, Amy Yi Wei; Wigg, Jonathan P.; Peshavariya, Hitesh; Liu, Ping; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    miR-126 has recently been implicated in modulating angiogenic factors in vascular development. Understandings its biological significance might enable development of therapeutic interventions for diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We aimed to determine the role of miR-126 in AMD using a laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) mouse model. CNV was induced by laser photocoagulation in C57BL/6 mice. The CNV mice were transfected with scrambled miR or miR-126 mimic. The expression of miR-126, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), Kinase insert domain receptor (KDR) and Sprouty-related EVH1 domain-containing protein 1 (SPRED-1) in ocular tissues were analyzed by qPCR and Western blot. The overexpression effects of miR-126 were also proven on human microvascular endothelial cells (HMECs). miR-126 showed a significant decrease in CNV mice (p < 0.05). Both mRNA and protein levels of VEGF-A, KDR and SPRED-1 were upregulated with CNV; these changes were ameliorated by restoration of miR-126 (p < 0.05). CNV was reduced after miR-126 transfection. Transfection of miR-126 reduced the HMECs 2D-capillary-like tube formation (p < 0.01) and migration (p < 0.01). miR-126 has been shown to be a negative modulator of angiogenesis in the eye. All together these results high lights the therapeutic potential of miR-126 suggests that it may contribute as a putative therapeutic target for AMD in humans. PMID:27338342

  16. A Mouse Model for Chikungunya: Young Age and Inefficient Type-I Interferon Signaling Are Risk Factors for Severe Disease

    PubMed Central

    Disson, Olivier; Brigitte, Madly; Guivel-Benhassine, Florence; Touret, Yasmina; Barau, Georges; Cayet, Nadège; Schuffenecker, Isabelle; Desprès, Philippe; Arenzana-Seisdedos, Fernando; Michault, Alain

    2008-01-01

    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging arbovirus responsible for a massive outbreak currently afflicting the Indian Ocean region and India. Infection from CHIKV typically induces a mild disease in humans, characterized by fever, myalgia, arthralgia, and rash. Cases of severe CHIKV infection involving the central nervous system (CNS) have recently been described in neonates as well as in adults with underlying conditions. The pathophysiology of CHIKV infection and the basis for disease severity are unknown. To address these critical issues, we have developed an animal model of CHIKV infection. We show here that whereas wild type (WT) adult mice are resistant to CHIKV infection, WT mouse neonates are susceptible and neonatal disease severity is age-dependent. Adult mice with a partially (IFN-α/βR+/−) or totally (IFN-α/βR−/−) abrogated type-I IFN pathway develop a mild or severe infection, respectively. In mice with a mild infection, after a burst of viral replication in the liver, CHIKV primarily targets muscle, joint, and skin fibroblasts, a cell and tissue tropism similar to that observed in biopsy samples of CHIKV-infected humans. In case of severe infections, CHIKV also disseminates to other tissues including the CNS, where it specifically targets the choroid plexuses and the leptomeninges. Together, these data indicate that CHIKV-associated symptoms match viral tissue and cell tropisms, and demonstrate that the fibroblast is a predominant target cell of CHIKV. These data also identify the neonatal phase and inefficient type-I IFN signaling as risk factors for severe CHIKV-associated disease. The development of a permissive small animal model will expedite the testing of future vaccines and therapeutic candidates. PMID:18282093

  17. Identification of age- and disease-related alterations in circulating miRNAs in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Garza-Manero, Sylvia; Arias, Clorinda; Bermúdez-Rattoni, Federico; Vaca, Luis; Zepeda, Angélica

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized clinically by the progressive decline of memory and cognition. Histopathologically, two main hallmarks have been identified in AD: amyloid-β peptide extracellular neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles formed by posttranslational modified tau protein. A definitive diagnosis can only be achieved after the post mortem verification of the histological mentioned alterations. Therefore, the development of biomarkers that allow an early diagnosis and/or predict disease progression is imperative. The prospect of a blood-based biomarker is possible with the finding of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs of 22-25 nucleotides length that regulate mRNA translation rate. miRNAs travel through blood and recent studies performed in potential AD cases suggest the possibility of finding pathology-associated differences in circulating miRNA levels that may serve to assist in early diagnosis of the disease. However, these studies analyzed samples at a single time-point, limiting the use of miRNAs as biomarkers in AD progression. In this study we evaluated miRNA levels in plasma samples at different time-points of the evolution of an AD-like pathology in a transgenic mouse model of the disease (3xTg-AD). We performed multiplex qRT-PCR and compared the plasmatic levels of 84 miRNAs previously associated to central nervous system development and disease. No significant differences were detected between WT and transgenic young mice. However, age-related significant changes in miRNA abundance were observed for both WT and transgenic mice, and some of these were specific for the 3xTg-AD. In agreement, variations in the levels of particular miRNAs were identified between WT and transgenic old mice thus suggesting that the age-dependent evolution of the AD-like pathology, rather than the presence and expression of the transgenes, modifies the circulating miRNA levels in the 3x

  18. Identification of age- and disease-related alterations in circulating miRNAs in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Garza-Manero, Sylvia; Arias, Clorinda; Bermúdez-Rattoni, Federico; Vaca, Luis; Zepeda, Angélica

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized clinically by the progressive decline of memory and cognition. Histopathologically, two main hallmarks have been identified in AD: amyloid-β peptide extracellular neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles formed by posttranslational modified tau protein. A definitive diagnosis can only be achieved after the post mortem verification of the histological mentioned alterations. Therefore, the development of biomarkers that allow an early diagnosis and/or predict disease progression is imperative. The prospect of a blood-based biomarker is possible with the finding of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs of 22–25 nucleotides length that regulate mRNA translation rate. miRNAs travel through blood and recent studies performed in potential AD cases suggest the possibility of finding pathology-associated differences in circulating miRNA levels that may serve to assist in early diagnosis of the disease. However, these studies analyzed samples at a single time-point, limiting the use of miRNAs as biomarkers in AD progression. In this study we evaluated miRNA levels in plasma samples at different time-points of the evolution of an AD-like pathology in a transgenic mouse model of the disease (3xTg-AD). We performed multiplex qRT-PCR and compared the plasmatic levels of 84 miRNAs previously associated to central nervous system development and disease. No significant differences were detected between WT and transgenic young mice. However, age-related significant changes in miRNA abundance were observed for both WT and transgenic mice, and some of these were specific for the 3xTg-AD. In agreement, variations in the levels of particular miRNAs were identified between WT and transgenic old mice thus suggesting that the age-dependent evolution of the AD-like pathology, rather than the presence and expression of the transgenes, modifies the circulating miRNA levels in the 3x

  19. Biomedical evaluation of free-ranging red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) within the Masoala National Park, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Christopher J; Junge, Randall E; Louis, Edward E

    2008-03-01

    Complete health assessments were performed on 22 adult red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra), comprising nine males and 13 females, found within the Masoala National Park in northeast Madagascar. Each animal was anesthetized using tiletamine and zolazepam and underwent a thorough physical examination, including measurement of its weight and vital signs; blood collection for hematology, plasma total protein concentration, serum chemistries, fat-soluble vitamins, trace minerals, assessment of iron metabolism, toxoplasmosis serology, viral serologies, and examination for hemoparasites; fecal collection for bacterial culture and parasite examination; and collection of a representative number of any ectoparasites. Comparison of blood values with those of captive lemurs demonstrated a number of significant differences thought to be associated with physiologic state (e.g., reproductive stage and stress), hydration, and diet. There was no evidence of serious infectious diseases, and hemoparasites were not detected. The enteric flora appeared unremarkable; however, results may have been skewed toward more cold-tolerant bacteria. The fecal parasite burden was low. Lemurostrongylus spp. was identified in two of the lemurs, and there were moderate numbers of Laelapidae mites present on approximately one third of the lemurs. This study demonstrated the substantial amount of data that can be collected from free-ranging populations, considered invaluable in the management of captive populations, in reducing the incidence of captivity-related diseases, and in the risk assessment associated with reintroduction programs. PMID:18432099

  20. Feeding behavior and nutrient intake in spiny forest-dwelling ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods: compensating in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Power, Michael L; Ellwanger, Nicholas; Rambeloarivony, Hajamanitra

    2011-07-01

    Strong resource seasonality in Madagascar has led to the evolution of female feeding priority and weaning synchrony in most lemur species. For these taxa, pregnancy/early lactation periods coincide with low food availability, and weaning of infants is timed with increased resources at the onset of the rainy season. Reproductive females experience high metabolic requirements, which they must accommodate, particularly when food resources are scarce. Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) residing in spiny forest habitat must deal with resource scarcity, high temperatures (∼36-40°C) and little shade in early to mid-lactation periods. Considered "income breeders," these females must use resources obtained from the environment instead of relying on fat stores; thus, we expected they would differ from same-sized males in time spent on feeding and in the intake of food and nutrients. We investigated these variables in two groups (N = 11 and 12) of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods. Focal animal data and food plant samples were collected, and plants were analyzed for protein, kcal, and fiber. We found no sex differences for any feeding or nutrient intake variable for the top five food species consumed. Females in early gestation spent more time feeding compared with early/mid-lactation. Physiological compensation for spiny forest-dwelling females may be tied to greater time spent resting compared with gallery forest conspecifics, consuming foods high in protein, calories, and water, reduced home range defense in a sparsely populated habitat, and for Lemur catta females in general, production of relatively dilute milk compared with many strepsirrhines. PMID:21541932

  1. [Visualization of the age-related changes in expressions of DNA methyltransferases in mouse oocytes using two-photon imaging system].

    PubMed

    Tian, Ning; Zhang, Lu; Zheng, Jing-Hao; Li, Ying; Ma, Wan-Yun

    2012-12-01

    Quantum dot (QD) is widely used as fluorescent labeling dye for its strong anti-fluorescence quenching, high quantum yield, wide absorption spectra, and narrow emission spectra. In the present paper, QD 585-labeled DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) and Hoechst 33342-labeled chromosomes were imaged simultaneously using two-photon imaging system. The authors' results showed that aging mouse oocytes may be not suitable for in-vitro maturation: both the localizations and expression levels of Dnmts in in-vitro matured oocytes of aging mice were changed, and these changes may be related to the abnormal DNA methylation modification. PMID:23427529

  2. Ancient DNA from giant extinct lemurs confirms single origin of Malagasy primates.

    PubMed

    Karanth, K Praveen; Delefosse, Thomas; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe; Parsons, Thomas J; Yoder, Anne D

    2005-04-01

    The living Malagasy lemurs constitute a spectacular radiation of >50 species that are believed to have evolved from a common ancestor that colonized Madagascar in the early Tertiary period. Yet, at least 15 additional Malagasy primate species, some of which were relative giants, succumbed to extinction within the past 2,000 years. Their existence in Madagascar is recorded predominantly in its Holocene subfossil record. To rigorously test the hypothesis that all endemic Malagasy primates constitute a monophyletic group and to determine the evolutionary relationships among living and extinct taxa, we have conducted an ancient DNA analysis of subfossil species. A total of nine subfossil individuals from the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis yielded amplifiable DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences derived from these subfossils corroborates the monophyly of endemic Malagasy primates. Our results support the close relationship of sloth lemurs to living indriids, as has been hypothesized on morphological grounds. In contrast, Megaladapis does not show a sister-group relationship with the living genus Lepilemur. Thus, the classification of the latter in the family Megaladapidae is misleading. By correlating the geographic location of subfossil specimens with relative amplification success, we reconfirm the global trend of increased success rates of ancient DNA recovery from nontropical localities. PMID:15784742

  3. A novel feeding behaviour in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons): depletion of spider nests.

    PubMed

    Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Fichtel, Claudia

    2013-10-01

    Reports on behavioural innovations in wild primate populations as well as on their transmission are rare. Here, we report observations suggesting that redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) invent new behaviours in the wild. We observed a novel feeding behaviour in redfronted lemurs in Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar. The feeding behaviour consisted of depletion of nests of a social spider species (Stegodyphus sp.). The behaviour was observed in only one out of four study groups, although spider nests were present in the home ranges of all four groups. The behaviour was exhibited in three different years (2009, 2011, 2012) and appears to be re-invented from time to time. Interestingly, in 2011 this behaviour was shown by four individuals and probably spread within the group. This feeding behaviour has only been observed between the middle of June and early August (i.e. the early dry season), and nests were found to be empty later on, suggesting that these nests are available as a food source only seasonally. Our observation contributes a rare case of behavioural innovations in a wild primate population. PMID:23661028

  4. A complex sensory organ in the nose skin of the prosimian primate Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Elofsson, Rolf; Tuminaite, Inga; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2015-06-01

    Most mammals have nose tips covered by glabrous skin, a labronasal area, or rhinarium. The surface of the rhinarium of Lemur catta has a dermatoglyphic pattern consisting of epidermal domes. Below the domes, epidermal pegs dip down into the dermis. In and below the tip of the epidermal peg, a complex sensory organ is found. It consists of an association of innervated Merkel cells, lamellate (Pacini-like) bodies with a central nerve, and a ring of unmyelinated nerve endings in the epidermis. The Merkel cells are situated basally in the epidermis and the lamellated bodies just below the epidermis. The unmyelinated nerve endings related to the organ ascend in a circle straight through the epidermis ending below the corneal layer. From these nerve terminals, horizontal spikes enter the keratinocytes. The three components occur together forming an organ and are innervated from a common nerve plexus. The morphology of the complex sensory organ of the lemur shares most crucial components with Eimer's organs in moles, echidna, and platypus, while some structures are lacking, for example, the specific central pillar of keratinocytes, the cuticular cap, and a central unmyelinated fiber. The presence of the essentials of an Eimer's organ in many mammals suggests that a wider definition is motivated. PMID:25645577

  5. Ancient DNA from giant extinct lemurs confirms single origin of Malagasy primates

    PubMed Central

    Karanth, K. Praveen; Delefosse, Thomas; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe; Parsons, Thomas J.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2005-01-01

    The living Malagasy lemurs constitute a spectacular radiation of >50 species that are believed to have evolved from a common ancestor that colonized Madagascar in the early Tertiary period. Yet, at least 15 additional Malagasy primate species, some of which were relative giants, succumbed to extinction within the past 2,000 years. Their existence in Madagascar is recorded predominantly in its Holocene subfossil record. To rigorously test the hypothesis that all endemic Malagasy primates constitute a monophyletic group and to determine the evolutionary relationships among living and extinct taxa, we have conducted an ancient DNA analysis of subfossil species. A total of nine subfossil individuals from the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis yielded amplifiable DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences derived from these subfossils corroborates the monophyly of endemic Malagasy primates. Our results support the close relationship of sloth lemurs to living indriids, as has been hypothesized on morphological grounds. In contrast, Megaladapis does not show a sister-group relationship with the living genus Lepilemur. Thus, the classification of the latter in the family Megaladapidae is misleading. By correlating the geographic location of subfossil specimens with relative amplification success, we reconfirm the global trend of increased success rates of ancient DNA recovery from nontropical localities. PMID:15784742

  6. Relationships among brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Pastorini, J; Forstner, M R; Martin, R D

    2000-09-01

    The brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) include seven subspecies, whose evolutionary relationships remain contentious. In particular, it is unclear whether the Malagasy and Comorian E. f. fulvus populations are differentiated at the subspecific level (E. f. mayottensis). Furthermore, it has been suggested that E. f. collaris and E. f. albocollaris are separate species. Analyses of approximately 2400 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from part of the COIII gene, together with complete genes for ND3, ND4L, and ND4 and 5 tRNAs, resolved 34 E. fulvus specimens into six clades: ((albocollaris, collaris) (rufus (rufus (fulvus/mayottensis (albifrons/fulvus/sanfordi))))). Based on the information available and our analyses we conclude that E. f. albocollaris and E. f. collaris do not represent species distinct from E. fulvus and that Comorian brown lemurs do not deserve subspecific rank. No genetic differentiation was detected between E. f. albifrons and E. f. sanfordi; on the other hand, there are obviously two separate lineages of E. f. rufus. PMID:10991794

  7. Smelling wrong: hormonal contraception in lemurs alters critical female odour cues.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Boulet, Marylène; Drea, Christine M

    2011-01-01

    Animals, including humans, use olfaction to assess potential social and sexual partners. Although hormones modulate olfactory cues, we know little about whether contraception affects semiochemical signals and, ultimately, mate choice. We examined the effects of a common contraceptive, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), on the olfactory cues of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), and the behavioural response these cues generated in male conspecifics. The genital odorants of contracepted females were dramatically altered, falling well outside the range of normal female variation: MPA decreased the richness and modified the relative abundances of volatile chemicals expressed in labial secretions. Comparisons between treatment groups revealed several indicator compounds that could reliably signal female reproductive status to conspecifics. MPA also changed a female's individual chemical 'signature', while minimizing her chemical distinctiveness relative to other contracepted females. Most remarkably, MPA degraded the chemical patterns that encode honest information about genetic constitution, including individual diversity (heterozygosity) and pairwise relatedness to conspecifics. Lastly, males preferentially investigated the odorants of intact over contracepted females, clearly distinguishing those with immediate reproductive potential. By altering the olfactory cues that signal fertility, individuality, genetic quality and relatedness, contraceptives may disrupt intraspecific interactions in primates, including those relevant to kin recognition and mate choice. PMID:20667870

  8. Evidence that displacement activities facilitate behavioural transitions in ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Victoria; Semple, Stuart

    2012-07-01

    Displacement activities are behavioural patterns defined by their apparent irrelevance to an animal's ongoing actions. Despite being identified in diverse taxa, their function remains poorly understood. One hypothesis posits that displacement activities facilitate transitions between different behaviours by mediating changes in animals' motivational state. Under this hypothesis, it is predicted that displacement activities will occur more frequently around changes in behaviour than at other times, and also that rates of displacement activities will be higher before than after such behavioural transitions. We tested these two predictions in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). During focal observations, animals' behavioural state was continuously recorded, as were all occurrences of self-scratching, a common displacement activity in this species. Self-scratching rates were found to be significantly elevated both before and after behavioural transitions. Furthermore, self-scratching rates were significantly higher before behavioural transitions occurred than after. These results, therefore, provide support for the hypothesis that displacement activities facilitate behavioural transitions in L. catta. PMID:22561968

  9. Testing yawning hypotheses in wild populations of two strepsirrhine species: Propithecus verreauxi and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Zannella, Alessandra; Norscia, Ivan; Stanyon, Roscoe; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-11-01

    Yawning, although easily recognized, is difficult to explain. Traditional explanations stressed physiological mechanisms, but more recently, behavioral processes have received increasing attention. This is the first study to test a range of hypotheses on yawning in wild primate populations. We studied two sympatric strepsirrhine species, Lemur catta, and Propithecus verreauxi, of the Ankoba forest (24.99°S, 46.29°E, Berenty reserve) in southern Madagascar. Sexual dimorphism is lacking in both species. However, their differences in ecological and behavioral characteristics facilitate comparative tests of hypotheses on yawning. Our results show that within each species males and females yawned with similar frequencies supporting the Dimorphism Hypothesis, which predicts that low sexual dimorphism leads to little inter-sexual differences in yawning. In support of the State Changing Hypothesis yawning frequencies was linked to the sleep-wake cycle and punctuated transitions from one behavior to another. Accordingly, yawning frequencies were significantly higher in L. catta than in P. verreauxi, because L. catta has a higher basal level of activity and consequently a higher number of behavioral transitions. In agreement with the Anxiety Hypothesis, yawning increased significantly in the 10 min following predatory attacks or aggression. Our findings provide the first empirical evidence of a direct connection between anxiety and yawning in lemurs. Our results show that yawning in these two strepsirrhines occurs in different contexts, but more research will be necessary to determine if yawns are a single, unitary behavior. PMID:26317594

  10. Diurnality and cone photopigment polymorphism in strepsirrhines: examination of linkage in Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Deegan, Jess F

    2003-09-01

    Trichromatic color vision is routine among catarrhine primates, but occurs only as a variant form of color vision in some individuals in most platyrrhine genera. This arises from a fundamental difference in the organization of X-chromosome cone opsin genes in these two lineages: catarrhines have two opsin genes specifying middle- and long-wavelength-sensitive cone pigments, while platyrrhines have only a single gene. Some female platyrrhine monkeys achieve trichromacy because of a species polymorphism that allows the possibility of different opsin gene alleles on the two X-chromosomes. Recently, a similar opsin gene polymorphism was detected in some diurnal strepsirrhines, while at the same time appearing to be absent in any nocturnal genera. The aim of this study was to assess whether cone pigment polymorphism is inevitably linked to diurnality in strepsirrhines. Cone photopigments were measured in a species usually classified as diurnal, the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), using electroretinogram flicker photometry, a noninvasive electrophysiological procedure. Each of 12 animals studied was found to have the same middle-wavelength cone pigment, with peak sensitivity at about 547 nm. In conjunction with earlier results, this implies that cone pigment polymorphism is unlikely to exist in this species and that, accordingly, such variation is not a consistently predictable feature of vision in diurnal strepsirrhines. PMID:12923905

  11. The influence of visitor interaction on the behavior of captive crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) and implications for welfare.

    PubMed

    Jones, H; McGregor, P K; Farmer, H L A; Baker, K R

    2016-05-01

    Research suggests that zoo visitors can have positive, negative, and neutral impacts on captive primate welfare; however, research investigating the implications of visitor-animal feeding experiences is extremely limited. In the UK, a large proportion of BIAZA zoos that house lemur species offer visitor interaction experiences (16 out of 33). This study investigated the impact on the behavior of a family group of crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) housed at Newquay Zoo, UK of visitors, accompanied by a keeper, entering the enclosure to feed the lemurs. Behavior was observed under four conditions: (i) during visitor feed; (ii) 30 min post-visitor feed; (iii) during a keeper feed; and (iv) 30 min post-keeper feed. Keeper feeds were conducted by keepers only, on the day after visitor feeds. The lemur group spent significantly less time performing aggressive behavior and was also significantly more interactive with keepers during visitor feeds compared with keeper-only feeds. There was no significant difference in behaviors performed immediately after interacting with visitors. Over the study period, there was a tendency for interactions with visitors to increase, and for interactions with keepers during visitor feeds to decrease. After a 28-day interval without visitor interaction, the lemurs' interaction with visitors had returned to the level recorded at the start of the study. In conclusion, visitor interaction did not compromise the welfare of the study subjects in either the short- or long-term, while an increase in visitor interactions over time has interesting implications for the enrichment properties of, or habituation to, unfamiliar humans. Zoo Biol. 35:222-227, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27142724

  12. The Complement Regulatory Protein CD46 Deficient Mouse Spontaneously Develops Dry-Type Age-Related Macular Degeneration-Like Phenotype.

    PubMed

    Lyzogubov, Valeriy V; Bora, Puran S; Wu, Xiaobo; Horn, Leah E; de Roque, Ryan; Rudolf, Xeniya V; Atkinson, John P; Bora, Nalini S

    2016-08-01

    In the mouse, membrane cofactor protein (CD46), a key regulator of the alternative pathway of the complement system, is only expressed in the eye and on the inner acrosomal membrane of spermatozoa. We noted that although Cd46(-/-) mice have normal systemic alternative pathway activating ability, lack of CD46 leads to dysregulated complement activation in the eye, as evidenced by increased deposition of C5b-9 in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid. A knockout of CD46 induced the following cardinal features of human dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 12-month-old male and female mice: accumulation of autofluorescent material in and hypertrophy of the RPE, dense deposits in and thickening of Bruch's membrane, loss of photoreceptors, cells in subretinal space, and a reduction of choroidal vessels. Collectively, our results demonstrate spontaneous age-related degenerative changes in the retina, RPE, and choroid of Cd46(-/-) mice that are consistent with human dry AMD. These findings provide the exciting possibility of using Cd46(-/-) mice as a convenient and reliable animal model for dry AMD. Having such a relatively straight-forward model for dry AMD should provide valuable insights into pathogenesis and a test model system for novel drug targets. More important, tissue-specific expression of CD46 gives the Cd46(-/-) mouse model of dry AMD a unique advantage over other mouse models using knockout strains. PMID:27295359

  13. Senescence or selective disappearance? Age trajectories of body mass in wild and captive populations of a small-bodied primate.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Dammhahn, Melanie; Aujard, Fabienne; Eberle, Manfred; Hardy, Isabelle; Kappeler, Peter M; Perret, Martine; Schliehe-Diecks, Susanne; Kraus, Cornelia

    2014-09-22

    Classic theories of ageing consider extrinsic mortality (EM) a major factor in shaping longevity and ageing, yet most studies of functional ageing focus on species with low EM. This bias may cause overestimation of the influence of senescent declines in performance over condition-dependent mortality on demographic processes across taxa. To simultaneously investigate the roles of functional senescence (FS) and intrinsic, extrinsic and condition-dependent mortality in a species with a high predation risk in nature, we compared age trajectories of body mass (BM) in wild and captive grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) using longitudinal data (853 individuals followed through adulthood). We found evidence of non-random mortality in both settings. In captivity, the oldest animals showed senescence in their ability to regain lost BM, whereas no evidence of FS was found in the wild. Overall, captive animals lived longer, but a reversed sex bias in lifespan was observed between wild and captive populations. We suggest that even moderately condition-dependent EM may lead to negligible FS in the wild. While high EM may act to reduce the average lifespan, this evolutionary process may be counteracted by the increased fitness of the long-lived, high-quality individuals. PMID:25100693

  14. The effects of aging, housing and ibuprofen treatment on brain neurochemistry in a triple transgene Alzheimer's disease mouse model using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging.

    PubMed

    Choi, Ji-Kyung; Carreras, Isabel; Aytan, Nur; Jenkins-Sahlin, Eric; Dedeoglu, Alpaslan; Jenkins, Bruce G

    2014-11-24

    We investigated a triple transgene Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse model that recapitulates many of the neurochemical, anatomic, pathologic and behavioral defects seen in human AD. We studied the mice as a function of age and brain region and investigated potential therapy with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) showed alterations characteristic of AD (i.e. increased myo-inositol and decreased N-acetylaspartate (NAA)). Mice at 6 months of age showed an increase in myo-inositol in the hippocampus at a time when the Aβ is intracellular, but not in amygdala or cortex. Myo-inositol increased as a function of age in the amygdala, cortex and striatum while NAA decreased only in the hippocampus and cortex at 17-23 months of age. Ibuprofen protected the increase of myo-inositol at six months of age in the hippocampus, but had no effect at 17-23 months of age (a time when Aβ is extracellular). In vivo MRI and MRS showed that at 17-23 months of age there was a significant protective effect of ibuprofen on hippocampal volume and NAA loss. Together, these data show the following: the increase in myo-inositol occurs before the decrease in NAA in hippocampus but not cortex; the hippocampus shows earlier changes than does the amygdale or cortex consistent with earlier deposition of Aβ40-42 in the hippocampus and ibuprofen protects against multiple components of the AD pathology. These data also show a profound effect of housing on this particular mouse model. PMID:25301691

  15. A reversible early oxidized redox state that precedes macromolecular ROS damage in aging nontransgenic and 3xTg-AD mouse neurons.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Debolina; LeVault, Kelsey R; Barnett, Aaron J; Brewer, Gregory J

    2012-04-25

    The brain depends on redox electrons from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (reduced form; NADH) to produce ATP and oxyradicals (reactive oxygen species [ROS]). Because ROS damage and mitochondrial dysregulation are prominent in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their relationship to the redox state is unclear, we wanted to know whether an oxidative redox shift precedes these markers and leads to macromolecular damage in a mouse model of AD. We used the 3xTg-AD mouse model, which displays cognitive deficits beginning at 4 months. Hippocampal/cortical neurons were isolated across the age span and cultured in common nutrients to control for possible hormonal and vascular differences. We found an increase of NAD(P)H levels and redox state in nontransgenic (non-Tg) neurons until middle age, followed by a decline in old age. The 3xTg-AD neurons maintained much lower resting NAD(P)H and redox states after 4 months, but the NADH regenerating capacity continuously declined with age beginning at 2 months. These redox characteristics were partially reversible with nicotinamide, a biosynthetic precursor of NAD+. Nicotinamide also protected against glutamate excitotoxicity. Compared with non-Tg neurons, 3xTg-AD neurons had more mitochondria/neuron and lower glutathione (GSH) levels that preceded age-related increases in ROS levels. These GSH deficits were again reversible with nicotinamide in 3xTg-AD neurons. Surprisingly, low macromolecular ROS damage was only elevated after 4 months in the 3xTg-AD neurons if antioxidants were removed. The present data suggest that a more oxidized redox state and a lower antioxidant GSH defense can be dissociated from neuronal ROS damage, changes that precede the onset of cognitive deficits in the 3xTg-AD model. PMID:22539844

  16. Age-related increase in amyloid plaque burden is associated with impairment in conditioned fear memory in CRND8 mouse model of amyloidosis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction The current pathological confirmation of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is still based on postmortem identification of parenchymal amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques, intra-neuronal neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss. The memory deficits that are present in the early stages of AD are linked to the dysfunction of structures in the entorhinal cortex and limbic system, especially the hippocampus and amygdala. Using the CRND8 transgenic mouse model of amyloidosis, which over-expresses a mutant human amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene, we evaluated hippocampus-dependent contextual and amygdala-dependent tone fear conditioned (FC) memory, and investigated the relationship between the fear memory indices and Aβ plaque burden. Methods Mice were tested at three, six, and 12 months of age, which corresponds to early, mild, and severe Aβ plaque deposition, following a cross-sectional experimental design. We used a delay version of the fear conditioning paradigm in which tone stimulus was co-terminated with foot-shocks during exploration of the training chamber. The Aβ plaque burden was evaluated at each age after the completion of the behavioral tests. Results CRDN8 mice showed context fear memory comparable to control mice at three and six months, but were significantly impaired at 12 months of age. In contrast, the tone fear memory was significantly impaired in the model at each age of testing. The Aβ plaque burden significantly increased with age, and was correlated with the overall impairment in context and tone fear memory in the CRND8 mice within the studied age. Conclusions Our data extend previous studies showing that other APP mouse models exhibit impairment in fear conditioned memory, by demonstrating that this impairment is progressive and correlates well with an overall increase in Aβ burden. Also, the demonstrated greater sensitivity of the tone conditioning test in the identification of age dependent differences between CRND8 and

  17. Molar microwear of subfossil lemurs: improving the resolution of dietary inferences.

    PubMed

    Rafferty, K L; Teaford, M F; Jungers, W L

    2002-11-01

    In this study we use molar microwear analyses to examine the trophic distinctions among various taxa of Malagasy subfossil lemurs. High resolution casts of the teeth of Megaladapis, Archaeolemur, Palaeopropithecus, Babakotia, and Hadropithecus were examined under a scanning electron microscope. Megaladapis was undoubtedly a browsing folivore, but there are significant differences between species of this genus. However, dietary specialists appear to be the exception; for example, Palaeopropithecus and Babakotia probably supplemented their leaf-eating with substantial amounts of seed-predation, much like modern indrids. Hadropithecus was decidedly not like the modern gelada baboon, but probably did feed on hard objects. Evidence from microwear and coprolites suggests that Archaeolemur probably had an eclectic diet that differed regionally and perhaps seasonally. Substantial trophic diversity within Madgascar's primate community was diminished by the late Quaternary extinctions of the large-bodied species (>9 kg). PMID:12457853

  18. Scent and the single male: ring-tailed lemurs produce honest signals.

    PubMed

    Asa, Cheryl S

    2008-07-01

    In mating systems that involve competing males and choosy females, males are expected to advertise their genetic quality to discriminating females. Most examples have focused on visual or acoustic signals, such as ornamentation or song; yet arguably, olfactory communication may be more important to the majority of vertebrates with the possible exception of birds. Fortunately, attention has begun to shift to the role of odours in mate choice, with most of that attention being directed at the major histocompatibility complex or more recently at the major urinary proteins. The study of male ring-tailed lemurs presented by Charpentier and colleagues in this issue adds a new dimension to investigations of the influence of genes on mate choice via odour production. By comparing genetic heterozygosity to the production of semiochemicals in the scrotal scent gland, they provide a link between genetic composition and scent-marking behaviour as a potential advertisement of male quality. PMID:18564085

  19. Evidence of social learning in black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Stoinski, T S; Drayton, L A; Price, E E

    2011-06-23

    Although many studies have examined social learning capabilities in apes and monkeys, experiments involving prosimians remain largely absent. We investigated the potential for social learning in black-and-white ruffed lemurs using a two-action foraging task. Eight individuals were divided into two experimental groups and exposed to conspecifics using one of two techniques to access food. Subjects were then given access to the apparatus and their retrieval techniques were recorded and compared. All subjects made their first retrieval using the technique they observed being demonstrated, and there were significant differences between the two groups in their overall response patterns. These results suggest that prosimians are capable of social learning and that additional long-term field studies may reveal the presence of behavioural traditions similar to those found in other primates. PMID:21227976

  20. Brown skin disease: A syndrome of dysecdysis in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur).

    PubMed

    Crawshaw, Graham; Pienkowski, Maria; Lentini, Andrew; Dutton, Christopher; Delnatte, Pauline; Russell, Deanna; Berkvens, Charlene; Barker, Ian; Smith, Dale

    2014-01-01

    The endangered Puerto Rican crested toad (Peltophryne [Bufo] lemur) has been held and bred in zoos for release into protected areas in Puerto Rico since 1982. In 2004, several cases of a novel syndrome of skin changes in toads were noticed at the Toronto Zoo. A total of 21 toads were found to have similar lesions and the condition has been seen in several other groups of toads in subsequent years. Affected toads show an uncharacteristic sheen of dark-brown leathery skin, followed by recurring dysecdysis, reduced appetite, weight loss, and death from secondary causes. Histologically the condition is characterized by epithelial hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis, ulceration, and the presence of superficial mats of bacterial and fungal agents. No etiology has been identified and to date toads have not permanently responded to treatment with various pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies. PMID:25234808

  1. Evidence that glucose metabolism is decreased in the cerebrum of aged female senescence-accelerated mouse; possible involvement of a low hexokinase activity.

    PubMed

    Kurokawa, T; Sato, E; Inoue, A; Ishibashi, S

    1996-08-16

    d-Glucose metabolism in cerebral cells prepared from aged senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM), was investigated in consideration of a sex difference. The production of 14CO2 from 6-[14C]D-glucose was reduced in female senescence-accelerated-prone mouse (SAMP) 8, a prone substrain, in comparison with that in female senescence-accelerated-resistant mouse (SAMR) 2, a control substrain, whereas there was no difference in males. The 2-deoxy-D-glucose uptake into cerebral cells from female SAMP8 was also lower than that of control mice. But, the 3-O-methyl-D-glucose uptake in SAMP8 was higher than that of SAMR2, suggesting that the low hexokinase activity was involved in the decreased glucose metabolism in cerebrum of SAMP8 females irrespective of glucose transporter. This possibility was supported by the finding that the contents of glucose 6-phosphate produced from glucose added to cerebral cells from SAMP8 was lower than that in ICR mice. PMID:8873128

  2. SUMMER AND WINTER VITAMIN D3 LEVELS IN FOUR LEMUR SPECIES HOUSED AT A BRITISH ZOO, WITH REFERENCE TO UVB LEVELS.

    PubMed

    Killick, Rowena; Saunders, Richard; Redrobe, Sharon P

    2015-09-01

    Serum samples were collected from 18 lemurs of four diurnal/cathemeral species housed with outdoor access at Bristol Zoo Gardens (United Kingdom) to test 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 (25OHD3) levels as part of the veterinary department's preventative health care program. Samples were collected from each lemur in August 2008 (summer) and January 2009 (winter) to examine the effect of season on 25OHD3 levels. The lemurs were fed commercial primate food and a range of fruit and vegetables, and dietary levels of vitamin D3 remained the same throughout the study period. Statistical analysis showed that the lemurs' summer 25OHD3 values (range 26.7 to >150.0 μg/L) were significantly higher than their winter 25OHD3 values (range 11.4-87.1 μg/L). UVB measurements taken during the study period confirmed that UVB levels were significantly higher in summer (mean reading for 1200-1300 GMT time period 153.8 μW/cm2) compared to winter (mean reading for 1200-1300 GMT time period 19.4 μW/cm2). The 25OHD3 levels measured were generally found to be high compared to previously published values from wild (free-ranging) lemurs in Madagascar. The most likely explanation for this was the higher vitamin D3 content of the captive lemurs' diet, as UVB levels at the zoo (latitude 51° north) are substantially lower than those that occur in Madagascar (latitude 12°-26° south). No evidence of vitamin D toxicity or deficiency was found in any of the captive lemurs. The results indicate that vitamin D3 levels in lemurs housed with outdoor access in the United Kingdom and by extension, other regions of similar latitude, vary with seasonal environmental UVB levels, in a similar way to the seasonal variations in vitamin D3 observed in humans living in these regions, but that vitamin D levels in this captive lemur population were adequate compared to wild lemur levels, even in winter. PMID:26352953

  3. Determinants of Pair-Living in Red-Tailed Sportive Lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus)

    PubMed Central

    Hilgartner, Roland; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M; Zinner, Dietmar

    2012-01-01

    Pair-living and a monogamous mating strategy are rare and theoretically unexpected among mammals. Nevertheless, about 10% of primate species exhibit such a social system, which is difficult to explain in the absence of paternal care. In this study, we investigated the two major hypotheses proposed to explain the evolution of monogamy in mammals, the female defence hypothesis (FDH) and the resource defence hypothesis (RDH), in red-tailed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus), a nocturnal primate from Madagascar. We analysed behavioural data from eight male–female pairs collected during a 24-mo field study to illuminate the determinants of pair-living in this species. Male and female L. ruficaudatus were found to live in dispersed pairs, which are characterised by low cohesion and low encounter rates within a common home range. Social interactions between pair partners were mainly agonistic and characterised by a complete absence of affiliative interactions – body contact was only observed during mating. During the short annual mating season, males exhibited elevated levels of aggression towards mates, as well as extensive mate guarding and increased locomotor activity. In addition, males were exclusively responsible for the maintenance of proximity between pair partners during this period, and they defended their territories against neighbouring males but not against females. Together, these results point towards the importance of female defence in explaining pair-living in L. ruficaudatus. We discuss the spatial and temporal distribution of receptive females in relation to the female defence strategies of males and suggest possible costs that prevent male red-tailed sportive lemurs from defending more than one female. PMID:23144523

  4. New developments in the behavioral ecology and conservation of ruffed lemurs (Varecia).

    PubMed

    Vasey, Natalie

    2005-05-01

    The papers in this issue were presented at a symposium during the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in June 2002. This symposium brought together many of the scientists who have contributed to our knowledge of ruffed lemur ecology, behavior, and conservation in the past decade. One objective was to share and compare key findings about ruffed lemurs (Varecia) resulting from long-term field studies at various sites in Madagascar. A second objective was to cross-fertilize work being done in the wild with that being done in captivity, with the aim of advancing a common conservation mission for this critically endangered genus. Varecia is a prime candidate for synthetic assessments such as these because it has now been studied in both the northern and southern reaches of its geographic range, and has also been the focus of a captive-to-wild reinforcement project. The papers in this issue contribute to 1) the establishment of reference ranges for a suite of physiological parameters in healthy wild Varecia populations; 2) environmental enrichment aimed at preserving species-typical behaviors in captivity; 3) an understanding of how forest structure, floristic composition, and fruiting phenology in areas with differing disturbance histories correlate with the natural occurrence and abundance of Varecia; 4) primary knowledge concerning dominance relations between the sexes and group leadership in wild Varecia; and 5) primary knowledge concerning how wild Varecia, with their unusual reproductive pattern and heavy reliance on fruit, modulate their activity budgets seasonally and in tandem with reproductive stages. PMID:15898070

  5. Root sepsis associated with insect-dwelling Sebaldella termitidis in a lesser dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius).

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Tobias; Glaeser, Stefanie P; Kämpfer, Peter; Schauerte, Nicole; Geiger, Christina

    2015-12-01

    Sebaldella termitidis is a rare fastidious microorganism of the Leptotrichiaceae family. A variety of closely related species are associated with severe and even life-threatening disease in humans and animals, such as Streptobacillus moniliformis, the etiological organism of rat-bite fever as well as members of Leptotrichia spp. and Sneathia sanguinegens, which have been reported from cases of septicaemia. In contrast, since its description some 50 years ago, S. ermitidis has so far never been reported as a vertebrate pathogen, nor has it been found aside from its natural termite host. A lesser dwarf lemur was presented with unilateral facial inflammation originating from rotten maxillary teeth and septic root abscess. Surgical intervention and root extraction significantly improved the clinical cause in that a pus-filled cavity underneath the right eye could be drained, sampled and flushed. Bacteria displaying substantial characteristics of S. termitidis were cultured from the sampled pus. Morphological features observed included strictly anaerobic regular Gram-negative rods. Significant shared biochemical properties included negative reactions for cytochrome oxidase, catalase, urease, nitrate reduction and indole production. Furthermore, 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed 99.9 % sequence homology to the S. termitidis type strain NCTC 11300(T), from which it, nevertheless, differed with respect to rep and rep- and RAPD-PCR profiles. An affiliation of the lemur isolate described in this study with the type strain of S. termitidis as well as a clear discrimination from other members of the Leptotrichiaceae could also be confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of flight mass spectrometry and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy. This is the first evidence for clinical disease caused by S. termitidis in a vertebrate species indicating a broader host spectrum of this rarely encountered microorganism. PMID:26377576

  6. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris) from the Berenty forest (Madagascar). They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1) by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI) on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2) by calculating normalized David’s scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3) by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4) by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest) levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile, allows intergroup

  7. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in a Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) Caused by Acanthamoeba T4 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Gaide, N; Pelandakis, M; Robveille, C; Albaric, O; Jouvion, G; Souchon, M; Risler, A; Abadie, J

    2015-11-01

    A mature male, black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) died in a zoological garden after a 4-day history of lethargy and non-responsive convulsions. Necropsy and histopathological examinations revealed acute necrotizing and haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoebas confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype was identified as the causative agent of the brain lesion, based on amplification and sequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The presence of free-living amoebas in water and mud from the lemur's environment was investigated by morphological and molecular analyses. The two predominant genera, representing 80% of isolated amoebas, were Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. All Acanthamoeba isolates belonged to the T4 genotype. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of a meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype in Lemuridae with concurrent analysis of pathological tissues and environment. PMID:26297109

  8. Development of a novel pink-eyed dilution mouse model showing progressive darkening of the eyes and coat hair with aging.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Akira; Sugiyama, Makoto; Hondo, Eiichi; Kinoshita, Keiji; Yamagishi, Yuki

    2015-01-01

    Oca2(p-cas) (oculocutaneous albinism II; pink-eyed dilution castaneus) is a coat color mutant gene on mouse chromosome 7 that arose spontaneously in wild Mus musculus castaneus mice. Mice homozygous for Oca2(p-cas) usually exhibit pink eyes and gray coat hair on the non-agouti genetic background, and this ordinary phenotype remains unchanged throughout life. During breeding of a mixed strain carrying this gene on the C57BL/6J background, we discovered a novel spontaneous mutation that causes darkening of the eyes and coat hair with aging. In this study, we developed a novel mouse model showing this unique phenotype. Gross observations revealed that the pink eyes and gray coat hair of the novel mutant young mice became progressively darker in color by approximately 3 months after birth. Light and transmission-electron microscopic observations revealed a marked increase in melanin pigmentation of coat hair shafts and choroid of the eye in the novel mice compared to that in the ordinary mice. Sequence analysis of Oca2(p-cas) revealed a 4.1-kb deletion involving exons 15 and 16 of its wild-type gene. However, there was no sequence difference between the two types of mutant mice. Mating experiments suggested that the novel mutant phenotype was not inherited in a simple fashion, due to incomplete penetrance. The novel spontaneous mutant mouse is the first example of progressive hair darkening animals and is an essential animal model for understanding of the regulation mechanisms of melanin biosynthesis with aging. PMID:25739360

  9. Development of a novel pink-eyed dilution mouse model showing progressive darkening of the eyes and coat hair with aging

    PubMed Central

    ISHIKAWA, Akira; SUGIYAMA, Makoto; HONDO, Eiichi; KINOSHITA, Keiji; YAMAGISHI, Yuki

    2015-01-01

    Oca2p-cas (oculocutaneous albinism II; pink-eyed dilution castaneus) is a coat color mutant gene on mouse chromosome 7 that arose spontaneously in wild Mus musculus castaneus mice. Mice homozygous for Oca2p-cas usually exhibit pink eyes and gray coat hair on the non-agouti genetic background, and this ordinary phenotype remains unchanged throughout life. During breeding of a mixed strain carrying this gene on the C57BL/6J background, we discovered a novel spontaneous mutation that causes darkening of the eyes and coat hair with aging. In this study, we developed a novel mouse model showing this unique phenotype. Gross observations revealed that the pink eyes and gray coat hair of the novel mutant young mice became progressively darker in color by approximately 3 months after birth. Light and transmission-electron microscopic observations revealed a marked increase in melanin pigmentation of coat hair shafts and choroid of the eye in the novel mice compared to that in the ordinary mice. Sequence analysis of Oca2p-cas revealed a 4.1-kb deletion involving exons 15 and 16 of its wild-type gene. However, there was no sequence difference between the two types of mutant mice. Mating experiments suggested that the novel mutant phenotype was not inherited in a simple fashion, due to incomplete penetrance. The novel spontaneous mutant mouse is the first example of progressive hair darkening animals and is an essential animal model for understanding of the regulation mechanisms of melanin biosynthesis with aging. PMID:25739360

  10. Resource seasonality and reproduction predict fission-fusion dynamics in black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Baden, Andrea L; Webster, Timothy H; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-02-01

    Ruffed lemurs (genus Varecia) are often described as having a flexible social organization, such that both cohesive (low fission-fusion dynamics) and fluid (high fission-fusion dynamics) grouping patterns have been observed. In ruffed lemur communities with high fission-fusion dynamics, group members vary in their temporal and spatial dispersion throughout a communally defended territory. These patterns have been likened to those observed in several haplorrhine species that exhibit the most fluid types of fission-fusion social organization (e.g., Pan and Ateles). To substantiate and further refine these claims, we describe the fission-fusion dynamics of a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) community at Mangevo, an undisturbed primary rainforest site in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We collected instantaneous group scan samples from August 2007-December 2008 (4,044 observation hours) to study and characterize patterns of subgroup size, composition, cohesion, and social association. In 16 consecutive months, we never found all members of the community together. In fact, individuals spent nearly half of their time alone. Subgroups were small, cohesive, and typically of mixed-sex composition. Mixed-sex subgroups were significantly larger, less cohesive, and more common than either male-only or female-only subgroups. Subgroup dynamics were related to shifts in climate, phenology of preferred fruit species, and female reproductive state. On average, association indices were low. Males and females were equally gregarious; however, adult male-male associations were significantly weaker than any other association type. Results presented herein document striking differences in fission-fusion dynamics between black-and-white ruffed lemurs and haplorrhines, while also demonstrating many broad-scale similarities to haplorrhine taxa that possess the most fluid fission-fusion societies. PMID:26606154

  11. The fructosamine 3-kinase knockout mouse: a tool for testing the glycation hypothesis of intracellular protein damage in diabetes and aging

    PubMed Central

    Monnier, Vincent M.

    2006-01-01

    Protein glycation and the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) and cross-links have been hypothesized to play a role in the pathogenesis of age- and diabetes-related complications. The discovery that FN3K (fructosamine 3-kinase) results in protein deglycation upon phosphorylation of glucose-derived Amadori products suggests that intracellular glycation could be deleterious under certain circumstances. In order to approach the question of the biological relevance of intracellular glycation, in this issue of the Biochemical Journal, Veiga-da-Cunha and colleagues generated an FN3K-knockout mouse. The mice grow normally and are apparently healthy, and levels of protein-bound and free fructoselysine are elevated in several tissues of importance to diabetic complications. This commentary discusses the clinical and evolutionary significance of FN3K, and proposes experimental approaches for revealing the existence of a biological phenotype. PMID:16987105

  12. Dose of Phenobarbital and Age of Treatment at Early Life are Two Key Factors for the Persistent Induction of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in Adult Mouse Liver.

    PubMed

    Tien, Yun-Chen; Liu, Ke; Pope, Chad; Wang, Pengcheng; Ma, Xiaochao; Zhong, Xiao-bo

    2015-12-01

    Drug treatment of neonates and infants and its long-term consequences on drug responses have emerged in recent years as a major challenge for health care professionals. In the current study, we use phenobarbital as a model drug and mouse as an in vivo model to demonstrate that the dose of phenobarbital and age of treatment are two key factors for the persistent induction of gene expression and consequential increases of enzyme activities of Cyp2b, Cyp2c, and Cyp3a in adult livers. We show that phenobarbital treatment at early life of day 5 after birth with a low dose (<100 mg/kg) does not change expression and enzyme activities of Cyp2b, Cyp2c, and Cyp3a in adult mouse liver, whereas phenobarbital treatment with a high dose (>200 mg/kg) significantly increases expression and enzyme activities of these P450s in adult liver. We also demonstrate that phenobarbital treatment before day 10 after birth, but not at later ages, significantly increases mRNAs, proteins, and enzyme activities of the tested P450s. Such persistent induction of P450 gene expression and enzyme activities in adult livers by phenobarbital treatment only occurs within a sensitive age window early in life. The persistent induction in gene expression and enzyme activities is higher in female mice than in male mice for Cyp2b10 but not for Cyp2c29 and Cyp3a11. These results will stimulate studies to evaluate the long-term impacts of drug treatment with different doses at neonatal and infant ages on drug metabolism, therapeutic efficacy, and drug-induced toxicity throughout the rest of life. PMID:26400395

  13. Vascular-derived TGF-β increases in the stem cell niche and perturbs neurogenesis during aging and following irradiation in the adult mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Jose R; Daynac, Mathieu; Chicheportiche, Alexandra; Cebrian-Silla, Arantxa; Sii Felice, Karine; Garcia-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Boussin, François D; Mouthon, Marc-André

    2013-01-01

    Neurogenesis decreases during aging and following cranial radiotherapy, causing a progressive cognitive decline that is currently untreatable. However, functional neural stem cells remained present in the subventricular zone of high dose-irradiated and aged mouse brains. We therefore investigated whether alterations in the neurogenic niches are perhaps responsible for the neurogenesis decline. This hypothesis was supported by the absence of proliferation of neural stem cells that were engrafted into the vascular niches of irradiated host brains. Moreover, we observed a marked increase in TGF-β1 production by endothelial cells in the stem cell niche in both middle-aged and irradiated mice. In co-cultures, irradiated brain endothelial cells induced the apoptosis of neural stem/progenitor cells via TGF-β/Smad3 signalling. Strikingly, the blockade of TGF-β signalling in vivo using a neutralizing antibody or the selective inhibitor SB-505124 significantly improved neurogenesis in aged and irradiated mice, prevented apoptosis and increased the proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells. These findings suggest that anti-TGF-β-based therapy may be used for future interventions to prevent neurogenic collapse following radiotherapy or during aging. PMID:23526803

  14. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations. PMID:26536667

  15. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Eppley, Timothy M.; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N.; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations. PMID:26536667

  16. Nocturnal activity in the cathemeral red-fronted lemur (Eulemur fulvus rufus), with observations during a lunar eclipse.

    PubMed

    Donati, G; Lunardini, A; Kappeler, P M; Borgognini Tarli, S M

    2001-02-01

    Several ecological and physiological factors have been suggested to structure circadian activity in cathemeral primates, i.e., those that are regularly active both day and night, but their relative importance remains controversial. We studied the nocturnal activity of a group of cathemeral redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Kirindy Forest in Western Madagascar to examine its relationship with one environmental factor, ambient light levels, in detail. To this end, nightly travel distances and moon luminosity were determined between March and June 1996. During this transitional period between the wet and dry seasons these red-fronted lemurs were regularly active at night, and traveled significantly larger distances during full-moon nights compared to new-moon nights. The importance of ambient luminosity for nocturnal activity was highlighted by observations during a total lunar eclipse (i.e., during a full-moon night), which caused abrupt cessation of the animal's activity. Our results support the hypothesis that nocturnal activity of these cathemeral lemurs is regulated also by changes in ambient light levels. PMID:11170168

  17. Flavonoid Chrysin prevents age-related cognitive decline via attenuation of oxidative stress and modulation of BDNF levels in aged mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Souza, Leandro Cattelan; Antunes, Michelle Silva; Filho, Carlos Borges; Del Fabbro, Lucian; de Gomes, Marcelo Gomes; Goes, André Tiago Rossito; Donato, Franciele; Prigol, Marina; Boeira, Silvana Peterini; Jesse, Cristiano R

    2015-07-01

    In this study, the effect of Chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone), an important member of the flavonoid family, on memory impairment, oxidative stress and BDNF reduction generated by aging in mice were investigated. Young and aged mice were treated daily per 60days with Chrysin (1 and 10mg/kg; per oral, p.o.) or veichle (10ml/kg; p.o.). Mice were trained and tested in Morris Water Maze task. After the behavioural test, the levels of reactive species (RS), the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), as well as the activity of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were determined in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HC) of mice. Results demonstrated that the age-related memory decline was partially protected by Chrysin at a dose of 1mg/kg, and normalized at the dose of 10mg/kg (p<0.001). Treatment with Chrysin significantly attenuated the increase of RS levels and the inhibition of SOD, CAT and GPx activities of aged mice. Inhibition of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity in PFC and HP of aged mice was also attenuated by Chrysin treatment. Moreover, Chrysin marked mitigated the decrease of BDNF levels in the PFC and HC of aged mice. These results demonstrated that flavonoid Chrysin, an antioxidant compound, was able to prevent age-associated memory probably by their free radical scavenger action and modulation of BDNF production. Thus, this study indicates that Chrysin may represent a new pharmacological approach to alleviate the age-related declines during normal age, acting as an anti-aging agent. PMID:25931267

  18. Chronic consumption of a western diet induces robust glial activation in aging mice and in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Leah C.; Harder, Jeffrey M.; Soto, Ileana; de Vries, Wilhelmine N.; John, Simon W. M.; Howell, Gareth R.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have assessed individual components of a western diet, but no study has assessed the long-term, cumulative effects of a western diet on aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Therefore, we have formulated the first western-style diet that mimics the fat, carbohydrate, protein, vitamin and mineral levels of western diets. This diet was fed to aging C57BL/6J (B6) mice to identify phenotypes that may increase susceptibility to AD, and to APP/PS1 mice, a mouse model of AD, to determine the effects of the diet in AD. Astrocytosis and microglia/monocyte activation were dramatically increased in response to diet and was further increased in APP/PS1 mice fed the western diet. This increase in glial responses was associated with increased plaque burden in the hippocampus. Interestingly, given recent studies highlighting the importance of TREM2 in microglia/monocytes in AD susceptibility and progression, B6 and APP/PS1 mice fed the western diet showed significant increases TREM2+ microglia/monocytes. Therefore, an increase in TREM2+ microglia/monocytes may underlie the increased risk from a western diet to age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. This study lays the foundation to fully investigate the impact of a western diet on glial responses in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:26888450

  19. Age-Dependent Long-Term Potentiation Deficits in the Prefrontal Cortex of the Fmr1 Knockout Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Martin, Henry G S; Lassalle, Olivier; Brown, Jonathan T; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2016-05-01

    The most common inherited monogenetic cause of intellectual disability is Fragile X syndrome (FXS). The clinical symptoms of FXS evolve with age during adulthood; however, neurophysiological data exploring this phenomenon are limited. TheFmr1knockout (Fmr1KO) mouse models FXS, but studies in these mice of prefrontal cortex (PFC) function are underrepresented, and aging linked data are absent. We studied synaptic physiology and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial PFC ofFmr1KO mice from 2 to 12 months. In young adultFmr1KO mice, NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated long-term potentiation (LTP) is intact; however, in 12-month-old mice this LTP is impaired. In parallel, there was an increase in the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and a concomitant decrease of synaptic NMDAR currents in 12-month-oldFmr1KO mice. We found that acute pharmacological blockade of mGlu5receptor in 12-month-oldFmr1KO mice restored a normal AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and LTP. Taken together, the data reveal an age-dependent deficit in LTP inFmr1KO mice, which may correlate to some of the complex age-related deficits in FXS. PMID:25750254

  20. Chronic consumption of a western diet induces robust glial activation in aging mice and in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Graham, Leah C; Harder, Jeffrey M; Soto, Ileana; de Vries, Wilhelmine N; John, Simon W M; Howell, Gareth R

    2016-01-01

    Studies have assessed individual components of a western diet, but no study has assessed the long-term, cumulative effects of a western diet on aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, we have formulated the first western-style diet that mimics the fat, carbohydrate, protein, vitamin and mineral levels of western diets. This diet was fed to aging C57BL/6J (B6) mice to identify phenotypes that may increase susceptibility to AD, and to APP/PS1 mice, a mouse model of AD, to determine the effects of the diet in AD. Astrocytosis and microglia/monocyte activation were dramatically increased in response to diet and was further increased in APP/PS1 mice fed the western diet. This increase in glial responses was associated with increased plaque burden in the hippocampus. Interestingly, given recent studies highlighting the importance of TREM2 in microglia/monocytes in AD susceptibility and progression, B6 and APP/PS1 mice fed the western diet showed significant increases TREM2+ microglia/monocytes. Therefore, an increase in TREM2+ microglia/monocytes may underlie the increased risk from a western diet to age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. This study lays the foundation to fully investigate the impact of a western diet on glial responses in aging and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26888450

  1. Genomic and p16-specific DNA methylation of the mouse colon: elder age and dietary folate as interactive determinants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elder age and inadequate folate intake are strongly implicated as important risk factors for colon cancer and each is associated with altered DNA methylation. This study was designed to determine the effect of aging and dietary folate on select features of DNA methylation in the colon that are relev...

  2. Meta-analysis of Gene Expression in the Mouse Liver Reveals Biomarkers Associated with Inflammation Increased Early During Aging

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aging is associated with a predictable loss of cellular homeostasis, a decline in physiological function and an increase in various diseases. We hypothesized that similar age-related gene expression profiles would be observed in mice across independent studies. Employing a metaan...

  3. Older age and dietary folate are determinants of genomic and p16-specific DNA methylation in mouse colon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elder age and inadequate folate intake are strongly implicated as important risk factors for colon cancer, and each is associated with altered DNA methylation. This study was designed to determine the effect of aging and dietary folate on select features of DNA methylation in the colon that are rele...

  4. The aging mouse partially models the aging human spine: lumbar and coccygeal disc height, composition, mechanical properties, and Wnt signaling in young and old mice

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, Rhiannon; Harland, Robin A.; Bomar, Bradley A.; Silva, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Murine lumbar and coccygeal (tail) regions of spines are commonly used to study cellular signaling of age-related disc diseases, but the tissue-level changes of aging intervertebral discs and vertebrae of each spinal region remain unclear. Furthermore, the impact of aging lumbar and coccygeal discs on Wnt/β-catenin signaling, which is putatively involved in the catabolism of intervertebral discs, is also unclear. We compared disc/vertebrae morphology and mechanics and biochemical composition of intervertebral discs from lumbar and coccygeal regions between young (4–5 mo) and old (20–22 mo) female C57BL/6 mice. Center intervertebral disc height from both regions was greater in old discs than young discs. Compared with young, old lumbar discs had a lower early viscous coefficient (a measure of stiffness) by 40%, while conversely old coccygeal discs were stiffer by 53%. Biochemically, old mice had double the collagen content in lumbar and coccygeal discs of young discs, greater glycosaminoglycan in lumbar discs by 37%, but less glycosaminoglycan in coccygeal discs by 32%. Next, we compared Wnt activity of lumbar and coccygeal discs of 4- to 5-mo and 12- to 14-mo TOPGAL mice. Despite the disc-specific changes, aging decreased Wnt signaling in the nucleus pulposus from both spinal regions by ≥64%. Compared with young, trabecular bone volume/tissue volume and ultimate force were less in old lumbar vertebrae, but greater in old coccygeal vertebrae. Thus intervertebral discs and vertebrae age in a spinal region-dependent manner, but these differential age-related changes may be uncoupled from Wnt signaling. Overall, lumbar and coccygeal regions are not interchangeable in modeling human aging. PMID:24790018

  5. Alterations in Mouse Hypothalamic Adipokine Gene Expression and Leptin Signaling following Chronic Spinal Cord Injury and with Advanced Age

    PubMed Central

    Bigford, Gregory E.; Bracchi-Ricard, Valerie C.; Nash, Mark S.; Bethea, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) results in an accelerated trajectory of several cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and related aging characteristics, however the molecular mechanisms that are activated have not been explored. Adipokines and leptin signaling are known to play a critical role in neuro-endocrine regulation of energy metabolism, and are now implicated in central inflammatory processes associated with CVD. Here, we examine hypothalamic adipokine gene expression and leptin signaling in response to chronic spinal cord injury and with advanced age. We demonstrate significant changes in fasting-induced adipose factor (FIAF), resistin (Rstn), long-form leptin receptor (LepRb) and suppressor of cytokine-3 (SOCS3) gene expression following chronic SCI and with advanced age. LepRb and Jak2/stat3 signaling is significantly decreased and the leptin signaling inhibitor SOCS3 is significantly elevated with chronic SCI and advanced age. In addition, we investigate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the uncoupled protein response (UPR) as a biological hallmark of leptin resistance. We observe the activation of the ER stress/UPR proteins IRE1, PERK, and eIF2alpha, demonstrating leptin resistance in chronic SCI and with advanced age. These findings provide evidence for adipokine-mediated inflammatory responses and leptin resistance as contributing to neuro-endocrine dysfunction and CVD risk following SCI and with advanced age. Understanding the underlying mechanisms contributing to SCI and age related CVD may provide insight that will help direct specific therapeutic interventions. PMID:22815920

  6. Alterations in local thyroid hormone signaling in the hippocampus of the SAMP8 mouse at younger ages: association with delayed myelination and behavioral abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Sawano, Erika; Negishi, Takayuki; Aoki, Tomoyuki; Murakami, Masami; Tashiro, Tomoko

    2013-03-01

    The senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) strains were established through selective inbreeding of the AKR/J strain based on phenotypic variations of aging and consist of senescence-prone (SAMP) and senescence-resistant (SAMR) strains. Among them, SAMP8 is considered as a model of neurodegeneration displaying age-associated learning and memory impairment and altered emotional status. Because adult hypothyroidism is one of the common causes of cognitive impairment and various psychiatric disorders, we examined the possible involvement of thyroid hormone (TH) signaling in the pathological aging of SAMP8 using the senescence-resistant SAMR1 as control. Although plasma TH levels were similar in both strains, a significant decrease in type 2 deiodinase (D2) gene expression was observed in the SAMP8 hippocampus from 1 to 8 months of age, which led to a 35-50% reductions at the protein level and 20% reduction of its enzyme activity at 1, 3, and 5 months. D2 is responsible for local conversion of thyroxine into transcriptionally active 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), so the results suggest a reduction in T3 level in the SAMP8 hippocampus. Attenuation of local TH signaling was confirmed by downregulation of TH-dependent genes and by immunohistochemical demonstration of delayed and reduced accumulation of myelin basic protein, the expression of which is highly dependent on TH. Furthermore, we found that hyperactivity and reduced anxiety were not age-associated but were characteristic of young SAMP8 before they start showing impairments in learning and memory. Early alterations in local TH signaling may thus underlie behavioral abnormalities as well as the pathological aging of SAMP8. PMID:23224839

  7. A Shortened Barnes Maze Protocol Reveals Memory Deficits at 4-Months of Age in the Triple-Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Attar, Aida; Liu, Tingyu; Chan, Wai-Ting Coco; Hayes, Jane; Nejad, Mona; Lei, KaiChyuan; Bitan, Gal

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that manifests as memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia. Animal models of Alzheimer's disease have been instrumental in understanding the underlying pathological mechanism and in evaluation of potential therapies. The triple transgenic (3×Tg) mouse model of AD is unique because it recapitulates both pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease - amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The earliest cognitive deficits in this model have been shown at 6-m of age by most groups, necessitating aging of the mice to this age before initiating evaluation of the cognitive effects of therapies. To assess cognitive deficits in the 3×Tg mice, originally we employed a typical Barnes maze protocol of 15 training trials, but found no significant deficits in aged mice. Therefore, we shortened the protocol to include only 5 training trials to increase difficulty. We found cognitive deficits using this protocol using mainly measures from the probe day, rather than the training trials. This also decreased the effort involved with data analysis. We compared 3×Tg and wild-type mice at 4-m- and 15-m of age using both the original, long training, and the short training paradigms. We found that differences in learning between 3×Tg and wild-type mice disappeared after the 4th training trial. Measures of learning and memory on the probe day showed significant differences between 3×Tg and wild-type mice following the short, 5-training trial protocol but not the long, 15-training trial protocol. Importantly, we detected cognitive dysfunction already at 4-m of age in 3×Tg mice using the short Barnes-maze protocol. The ability to test learning and memory in 4-m old 3×Tg mice using a shortened Barnes maze protocol offers considerable time and cost savings and provides support for the utilization of this model at pre-pathology stages for therapeutic studies. PMID:24236177

  8. Age-Related Modulation of the Effects of Obesity on Gene Expression Profiles of Mouse Bone Marrow and Epididymal Adipocytes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Li-Fen; Shen, Wen-Jun; Ueno, Masami; Patel, Shailja; Azhar, Salman; Kraemer, Fredric B.

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to characterize and compare the effects of obesity on gene expression profiles in two distinct adipose depots, epididymal and bone marrow, at two different ages in mice. Alterations in gene expression were analyzed in adipocytes isolated from diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6J male mice at 6 and 14 months of age and from leptin deficient mice (ob/ob) at 6 months of age using microarrays. DIO affected gene expression in both depots at 6 and 14 months, but more genes were altered in epididymal than bone marrow adipocytes at each age and younger mice displayed more changes than older animals. In epididymal adipocytes a total of 2789 (9.6%) genes were differentially expressed at 6-months with DIO, whereas 952 (3.3%) were affected at 14-months. In bone marrow adipocytes, 347 (1.2%) genes were differentially expressed at 6-months with DIO, whereas only 189 (0.66%) were changed at 14-months. 133 genes were altered by DIO in both fat depots at 6-months, and 37 genes at 14-months. Only four genes were altered in both depots at both ages with DIO. Bone marrow adipocytes are less responsive to DIO than epididymal adipocytes and the response of both depots to DIO declines with age. This loss of responsiveness with age is likely due to age-associated changes in expression of genes related to adipogenesis, inflammation and mitochondrial function that are similar to and obscure the changes commonly associated with DIO. Patterns of gene expression were generally similar in epididymal adipocytes from ob/ob and DIO mice; however, several genes were differentially expressed in bone marrow adipocytes from ob/ob and DIO mice, perhaps reflecting the importance of leptin signaling for bone metabolism. In conclusion, obesity affects age-associated alterations in gene expression in both epididymal and bone marrow adipocytes regardless of diet or genetic background. PMID:23967297

  9. Age-related modulation of the effects of obesity on gene expression profiles of mouse bone marrow and epididymal adipocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Li-Fen; Shen, Wen-Jun; Ueno, Masami; Patel, Shailja; Azhar, Salman; Kraemer, Fredric B

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to characterize and compare the effects of obesity on gene expression profiles in two distinct adipose depots, epididymal and bone marrow, at two different ages in mice. Alterations in gene expression were analyzed in adipocytes isolated from diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6J male mice at 6 and 14 months of age and from leptin deficient mice (ob/ob) at 6 months of age using microarrays. DIO affected gene expression in both depots at 6 and 14 months, but more genes were altered in epididymal than bone marrow adipocytes at each age and younger mice displayed more changes than older animals. In epididymal adipocytes a total of 2789 (9.6%) genes were differentially expressed at 6-months with DIO, whereas 952 (3.3%) were affected at 14-months. In bone marrow adipocytes, 347 (1.2%) genes were differentially expressed at 6-months with DIO, whereas only 189 (0.66%) were changed at 14-months. 133 genes were altered by DIO in both fat depots at 6-months, and 37 genes at 14-months. Only four genes were altered in both depots at both ages with DIO. Bone marrow adipocytes are less responsive to DIO than epididymal adipocytes and the response of both depots to DIO declines with age. This loss of responsiveness with age is likely due to age-associated changes in expression of genes related to adipogenesis, inflammation and mitochondrial function that are similar to and obscure the changes commonly associated with DIO. Patterns of gene expression were generally similar in epididymal adipocytes from ob/ob and DIO mice; however, several genes were differentially expressed in bone marrow adipocytes from ob/ob and DIO mice, perhaps reflecting the importance of leptin signaling for bone metabolism. In conclusion, obesity affects age-associated alterations in gene expression in both epididymal and bone marrow adipocytes regardless of diet or genetic background. PMID:23967297

  10. Melatonin administration reverses the alteration of amyloid precursor protein-cleaving secretases expression in aged mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Mukda, Sujira; Panmanee, Jiraporn; Boontem, Parichart; Govitrapong, Piyarat

    2016-05-16

    Beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide is the pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Interestingly, Aβ is normally synthesized in the brain of healthy people; however, during advanced aging, the level of Aβ peptides increases. As a result, the aggregation of Aβ peptides leads to trafficking problems, synaptic loss, inflammation, and cell death. Melatonin, the hormone primarily synthesized and secreted from the pineal gland, is decreased with progressing age, particularly in Alzheimer's disease patients. The loss of melatonin levels and the abnormal accumulation of some proteins, such as Aβ peptides in the brains of AD patients are considered important factors in the initiation of the cognitive symptoms of dementia. A previous study in mice reported that increased brain melatonin levels remarkably diminished the potentially toxic Aβ peptide levels. The present study showed that aged mice significantly impaired spatial memory in the Morris Water Maze task. We also showed that α-, β-, and γ-secretases, which are type-I membrane protein proteases responsible for Aβ production, showed alterations in both mRNA and protein expression in the hippocampus of aged mice. The long-term administration of melatonin, mice had shorter escape latencies and remained in the target quadrant longer compared to the aged group. Melatonin attenuated the reduction of α-secretase and inhibited the increase of β- and γ-secretases. Moreover, melatonin attenuated the upregulation of pNFkB and the reduction of sirtuin1 in the hippocampus of aged mice. These results suggested that melatonin protected against Aβ peptide production in aged mice. Hence, melatonin loss in aging could be recompensed through dietary supplementation as a beneficial therapeutic strategy for AD prevention and progression. PMID:27068758

  11. Aging.

    PubMed

    Park, Dong Choon; Yeo, Seung Geun

    2013-09-01

    Aging is initiated based on genetic and environmental factors that operate from the time of birth of organisms. Aging induces physiological phenomena such as reduction of cell counts, deterioration of tissue proteins, tissue atrophy, a decrease of the metabolic rate, reduction of body fluids, and calcium metabolism abnormalities, with final progression onto pathological aging. Despite the efforts from many researchers, the progression and the mechanisms of aging are not clearly understood yet. Therefore, the authors would like to introduce several theories which have gained attentions among the published theories up to date; genetic program theory, wear-and-tear theory, telomere theory, endocrine theory, DNA damage hypothesis, error catastrophe theory, the rate of living theory, mitochondrial theory, and free radical theory. Although there have been many studies that have tried to prevent aging and prolong life, here we introduce a couple of theories which have been proven more or less; food, exercise, and diet restriction. PMID:24653904

  12. Aging

    PubMed Central

    Park, Dong Choon

    2013-01-01

    Aging is initiated based on genetic and environmental factors that operate from the time of birth of organisms. Aging induces physiological phenomena such as reduction of cell counts, deterioration of tissue proteins, tissue atrophy, a decrease of the metabolic rate, reduction of body fluids, and calcium metabolism abnormalities, with final progression onto pathological aging. Despite the efforts from many researchers, the progression and the mechanisms of aging are not clearly understood yet. Therefore, the authors would like to introduce several theories which have gained attentions among the published theories up to date; genetic program theory, wear-and-tear theory, telomere theory, endocrine theory, DNA damage hypothesis, error catastrophe theory, the rate of living theory, mitochondrial theory, and free radical theory. Although there have been many studies that have tried to prevent aging and prolong life, here we introduce a couple of theories which have been proven more or less; food, exercise, and diet restriction. PMID:24653904

  13. Discovery of Sympatric Dwarf Lemur Species in the High-Altitude Rain Forest of Tsinjoarivo, Eastern Madagascar: Implications for Biogeography and Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, Marina B.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Rakotondratsima, Mamihasimbola; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina; Samonds, Karen E.; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Irwin, Mitchell T.

    2009-01-01

    The number of species within the Malagasy lemur genus Cheirogaleus is currently under debate. Museum collections are spotty, and field work, supplemented by morphometric and genetic analysis, is essential for documenting geographic distributions, ecological characteristics and species boundaries. We report here field evidence for 2 dwarf lemur species at Tsinjoarivo, an eastern-central high-altitude rain forest: one, from a forest fragment, displaying coat and dental characteristics similar to C. sibreei (previously described only from museum specimens) and the other, from the continuous forest, resembling individuals of Cheirogaleus found today at Ranomafana National Park, further to the south. This study represents the first confirmation of a living population of grey-fawn, C.-sibreei-like, dwarf lemurs in Madagascar. PMID:19023214

  14. Disrupted axon-glia interactions at the paranode in myelinated nerves cause axonal degeneration and neuronal cell death in the aged Caspr mutant mouse shambling.

    PubMed

    Takagishi, Yoshiko; Katanosaka, Kimiaki; Mizoguchi, Hiroyuki; Murata, Yoshiharu

    2016-07-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that axonal degeneration is a disease mechanism in various neurodegenerative diseases and that the paranodes at the nodes of Ranvier may be the initial site of pathogenesis. We investigated the pathophysiology of the disease process in the central and peripheral nervous systems of a Caspr mutant mouse, shambling (shm), which is affected by disrupted paranodal structures and impaired nerve conduction of myelinated nerves. The shm mice manifest a progressive neurological phenotype as mice age. We found extensive axonal degeneration and a loss of neurons in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system in aged shm mice. Axonal alteration of myelinated nerves was defined by abnormal distribution and expression of neurofilaments and derangements in the status of phosphorylated and non/de-phosphorylated neurofilaments. Autophagy-related structures were also accumulated in degenerated axons and neurons. In conclusion, our results suggest that disrupted axon-glia interactions at the paranode cause the cytoskeletal alteration in myelinated axons leading to neuronal cell death, and the process involves detrimental autophagy and aging as factors that promote the pathogenesis. PMID:27255813

  15. Effects of reproductive and social variables on fecal glucocorticoid levels in a sample of adult male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Ziegler, Toni E; Wittwer, Daniel J

    2005-09-01

    Glucocorticoids, a group of adrenal hormones, are secreted in response to stress. In male primates, variables such as breeding seasonality, dominance hierarchy stability, and aggressive and affiliative interactions can affect glucocorticoid levels. In this study, we examined interindividual differences in mean fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) levels among males in three groups of wild ring-tailed lemurs to better understand the physiological costs of group living for males in a female-dominant species that exhibits strict reproductive seasonality. Fecal and behavioral data samples were collected during one mating and two postmating seasons (2001 and 2003). The mean fGC levels were examined in relation to reproductive season, male rank, number of resident males, intermale and female-male agonism, and affiliative behavior with females. The mean fGC levels were not significantly elevated during mating season compared to the postmating period. During the mating season, male dominance hierarchies broke down and rank effects could not be tested; however, there was no relationship between male rank and fGC levels in the postmating periods. In 2001, males that resided in the group with the fewest males exhibited lower fGC levels during the postmating period. They also affiliated more with females than did males in the other groups. During the mating season of 2003, males engaged in more affiliative behaviors with females compared to the postmating season, but female-male agonism did not differ by season. However, rates of intermale agonism were significantly higher during mating compared to postmating periods, but such heightened agonism did not translate to a higher stress response. Thus, neither male-male competition for mates nor heightened agonism between males during the breeding season affected male fGC levels. Fewer males residing in a group, however, did have some effect on male-female affiliation and male fGC levels outside of the mating period. Males that live in a

  16. Modeling of age-dependent amyloid accumulation and γ-secretase inhibition of soluble and insoluble Aβ in a transgenic mouse model of amyloid deposition.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Joanna; Ploeger, Bart; Appelkvist, Paulina; Bogstedt, Anna; Dillner Bergstedt, Karin; Eketjäll, Susanna; Visser, Sandra A G

    2013-12-01

    According to the "amyloid hypothesis," accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides in the brain is linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease. The aims of this investigation were to develop a model for the age-dependent amyloid accumulation and to quantify the age- and treatment-duration-dependent efficacy of the γ-secretase inhibitor MRK-560 in the Tg2576 transgenic mouse model of amyloid deposition. Soluble and insoluble Aβ40 and Aβ42 brain concentrations were compiled from multiple naïve, vehicle, and MRK-560-treated animals. The age of Tg2576 mice in the studies ranged between 3.5 and 26 months. Single doses of MRK-560 inhibited soluble Aβ40 levels in animals up to 9 months old. In contrast, MRK-560 did not cause significant acute effects on soluble Aβ40 levels in animals older than 13 months. Absolute levels of Aβ variants increased exponentially over age and reached a plateau at ∼20 months. In the final model, it was assumed that MRK-560 inhibited the Aβ production rate with an Aβ level-dependent IC50.The age-dependent increase in Aβ levels was best described by a logistic model that stimulated the production rate of soluble Aβ. The increase in insoluble Aβ was defined as a function of soluble Aβ by using a scaling factor and a different turnover rate. The turnover half-life for insoluble Aβ was estimated at 30 days, explaining that at least a 4-week treatment in young animals was required to demonstrate a reduction in insoluble Aβ. Taken together, the derived knowledge could be exploited for an improved design of new experiments in Tg2576 mice. PMID:25505567

  17. Overexpression of X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptotic Protein (XIAP) reduces age-related neuronal degeneration in the mouse cochlea.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Q; Zeng, S; Liu, A; Chen, Z; Yu, Z; Zhang, R; He, J; Bance, M; Robertson, G; Yin, S; Wang, J

    2014-11-01

    Previously, we showed that age-related hearing loss (AHL) was delayed in C57BL6 mice overexpressing X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptotic Protein (XIAP), and the delayed AHL was associated with attenuated hair cell (HC) loss in XIAP-overexpressing mice. Similar to other reports, the HC loss in aged mice was restricted to the basal turn in this previous study, and occurred slightly at the apical end of the cochlea, showing considerably less spread than the frequency region of hearing loss. In the present study, we examined whether and how AHL is related to the degeneration of neuronal innervation of the cochlea and whether the overexpression of XIAP exerts a protective effect against age-related degeneration in both afferent and efferent cochlear neurites. In contrast to HC loss, degeneration of both afferent and efferent neurites spread to the middle turns of the cochlea. Moreover, XIAP-overexpressing mice lost fewer HC afferent dendrites and efferent axons, as well as fewer spiral ganglion neurons between 3 and 14 months of age in comparison with wild-type littermates. The results suggest that age-related degeneration of cochlear neurites may be independent of HC loss. Further, the inhibition of apoptosis by XIAP appears to reduce degeneration of both afferent and efferent cochlear neurites. PMID:25142138

  18. Overexpression of X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptotic Protein (XIAP) Reduces Age-related Neuronal Degeneration in the Mouse Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Ruan, Qingwei; Zeng, Shan; Liu, Aiguo; Chen, Zhengnong; Yu, Zhuowei; Zhang, Ruxin; He, jingchun; Bance, Manohar; Robertson, George; Yin, Shankai; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Previously, we showed that age-related hearing loss (AHL) was delayed in C57BL6 mice overexpressing X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptotic Protein (XIAP), and the delayed AHL was associated with attenuated hair cell (HC) loss in XIAP-overexpressing mice. Similar to other reports, the HC loss in aged mice was restricted to the basal turn in this previous study, and occurred slightly at the apical end of the cochlea, showing considerably less spread than the frequency region of hearing loss. In the present study, we examined whether and how AHL is related to the degeneration of neuronal innervation of the cochlea and if the overexpression of XIAP exerts a protective effect against age-related degeneration in both afferent and efferent cochlear neurites. In contrast to HC loss, degeneration of both afferent and efferent neurites spread to the middle turns of the cochlea. Moreover, XIAP-overexpressing mice lost fewer HC afferent dendrites and efferent axons, as well as fewer spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) between 3– 14 months of age in comparison to wild-type littermates. The results suggest that age-related degeneration of cochlear neurites may be independent of HC loss. Further, the inhibition of apoptosis by XIAP appears to reduce degeneration of both afferent and efferent cochlear neurites. PMID:25142138

  19. Advancing Paternal Age Is Associated with Deficits in Social and Exploratory Behaviors in the Offspring: A Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Mill, Jonathan; Fernandes, Cathy; Schalkwyk, Leonard C.; Buxbaum, Joseph D.; Reichenberg, Abraham

    2009-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence from epidemiological research has demonstrated an association between advanced paternal age and risk for several psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia and early-onset bipolar disorder. In order to establish causality, this study used an animal model to investigate the effects of advanced paternal age on behavioural deficits in the offspring. Methods C57BL/6J offspring (n = 12 per group) were bred from fathers of two different ages, 2 months (young) and 10 months (old), and mothers aged 2 months (n = 6 breeding pairs per group). Social and exploratory behaviors were examined in the offspring. Principal Findings The offspring of older fathers were found to engage in significantly less social (p = 0.02) and exploratory (p = 0.02) behaviors than the offspring of younger fathers. There were no significant differences in measures of motor activity. Conclusions Given the well-controlled nature of this study, this provides the strongest evidence for deleterious effects of advancing paternal age on social and exploratory behavior. De-novo chromosomal changes and/or inherited epigenetic changes are the most plausible explanatory factors. PMID:20041141

  20. Interaction of mouse splenocytes and macrophages with bacterial strains in vitro: the effect of age in the immune response.

    PubMed

    Van Beek, A A; Hoogerland, J A; Belzer, C; De Vos, P; De Vos, W M; Savelkoul, H F J; Leenen, P J M

    2016-01-01

    Probiotics influence the immune system, both at the local and systemic level. Recent findings suggest the relation between microbiota and the immune system alters with age. Our objective was to address direct effects of six bacterial strains on immune cells from young and aged mice: Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, Lactobacillus casei BL23, Lactococcus lactis MG1363, Bifidobacterium breve ATCC15700, Bifidobacterium infantis ATCC15697, and Akkermansia muciniphila ATCC BAA-835. We used splenocytes and naïve or interferon-γ-stimulated bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) as responder populations. All tested bacterial strains induced phenotypic and cytokine responses in splenocytes and BMDM. Based on magnitude of the cellular inflammatory response and cytokine profiles, two subgroups of bacteria were identified, i.e. L. plantarum and L. casei versus B. breve, B. infantis, and A. muciniphila. The latter group of bacteria induced high levels of cytokines produced under inflammatory conditions, including tumour necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10. Responses to L. lactis showed features of both subgroups. In addition, we compared responses by splenocytes and BMDM derived from young mice to those of aged mice, and found that splenocytes and BMDM derived from aged mice had an increased IL-10 production and dysregulated IL-6 and TNF production compared to young immune cells. Overall, our study shows differential inflammatory responses to distinct bacterial strains, and profound age-dependent effects. These findings, moreover, support the view that immune environment importantly influences bacterial immune effects. PMID:26689225

  1. Lifetime reproductive efficiency of BALB/c mouse pairs after an environmental modification at 3 mating ages.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Virgínia B; Mattaraia, Vânia G M; Moura, Ana Silvia A M T

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an environment change and the age at which mating pairs were formed on the lifetime reproductive performance of BALB/c mice. We assigned 60 monogamous pairs to a randomized design in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (with or without an environmental modification and with 3 mating ages: 28, 45, or 60 d). Autoclaved cardboard tubes (length, 10 cm; diameter, 4 cm) were used as the environmental modification. Data were collected from a total of 456 litters over a period of 10 mo. The mice tore the cardboard tube and used its parts both as shelters and as nesting material. The presence of a cardboard tube decreased the preweaning litter mortality rate in the first 6 reproductive cycles. Mating at 28 or 45 d of age also decreased the preweaning mortality rate in the first 6 reproductive cycles, compared with monogamous pairs formed at 60 d of age. Treatments did not affect age at first parturition, number of litters, time between litters, or litter size and weight at birth and weaning. In addition to contributing to animal wellbeing, providing a cardboard tube improved productivity by decreasing the preweaning mortality rate. BALB/c siblings should be paired for mating when no older than 28 d, to reduce preweaning mortality of the offspring. PMID:25651088

  2. (Un-)expected nocturnal activity in "Diurnal" Lemur catta supports cathemerality as one of the key adaptations of the lemurid radiation.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Santini, Luca; Razafindramanana, Josia; Boitani, Luigi; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana

    2013-01-01

    The ability to operate during the day and at night (i.e., cathemerality) is common among mammals but has rarely been identified in primates. Adaptive hypotheses assume that cathemerality represents a stable adaptation in primates, while nonadaptive hypotheses propose that it is the result of an evolutionary disequilibrium arising from human impacts on natural habitats. Madagascar offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of activity patterns as there we find a monophyletic primate radiation that shows nocturnal, diurnal, and cathemeral patterns. However, when and why cathemeral activity evolved in lemurs is the subject of intense debate. Thus far, this activity pattern has been regularly observed in only three lemurid genera but the actual number of lemur species exhibiting this activity is as yet unknown. Here we show that the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, a species previously considered to be diurnal, can in fact be cathemeral in the wild. In neighboring but distinct forest areas these lemurs exhibited either mainly diurnal or cathemeral activity. We found that, as in other cathemeral lemurs, activity was entrained by photoperiod and masked by nocturnal luminosity. Our results confirm the relationship between transitional eye anatomy and physiology and 24-h activity, thus supporting the adaptive scenario. Also, on the basis of the most recent strepsirrhine phylogenetic reconstruction, using parsimony criterion, our findings suggest pushing back the emergence of cathemerality to stem lemurids. Flexible activity over 24-h could thus have been one of the key adaptations of the early lemurid radiation possibly driven by Madagascar's island ecology. PMID:23180596

  3. The senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM): a higher oxidative stress and age-dependent degenerative diseases model.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Yoichi; Shimada, Atsuyoshi; Kumagai, Naoko; Yoshikawa, Keisuke; Ishii, Sanae; Furukawa, Ayako; Takei, Shiro; Sakura, Masaaki; Kawamura, Noriko; Hosokawa, Masanori

    2009-04-01

    The SAM strain of mice is actually a group of related inbred strains consisting of a series of SAMP (accelerated senescence-prone) and SAMR (accelerated senescence-resistant) strains. Compared with the SAMR strains, the SAMP strains show a more accelerated senescence process, a shorter lifespan, and an earlier onset and more rapid progress of age-associated pathological phenotypes similar to human geriatric disorders. The higher oxidative stress status observed in SAMP mice is partly caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, and may be a cause of this senescence acceleration and age-dependent alterations in cell structure and function. Based on our recent observations, we discuss a possible mechanism for mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in the excessive production of reactive oxygen species, and a role for the hyperoxidative stress status in neurodegeneration in SAMP mice. These SAM strains can serve as a useful tool to understand the cellular mechanisms of age-dependent degeneration, and to develop clinical interventions. PMID:18688709

  4. Age-related fragmentation of the motor endplate is not associated with impaired neuromuscular transmission in the mouse diaphragm

    PubMed Central

    Willadt, Silvia; Nash, Mark; Slater, Clarke R.

    2016-01-01

    As mammals age, their neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) gradually change their form, acquiring an increasingly fragmented appearance consisting of numerous isolated regions of synaptic differentiation. It has been suggested that this remodelling is associated with impairment of neuromuscular transmission, and that this contributes to age-related muscle weakness in mammals, including humans. The underlying hypothesis, that increasing NMJ fragmentation is associated with impaired transmission, has never been directly tested. Here, by comparing the structure and function of individual NMJs, we show that neuromuscular transmission at the most highly fragmented NMJs in the diaphragms of old (26–28 months) mice is, if anything, stronger than in middle-aged (12–14 months) mice. We suggest that NMJ fragmentation per se is not a reliable indicator of impaired neuromuscular transmission. PMID:27094316

  5. Induction of oxidative stress causes functional alterations in mouse urothelium via a TRPM8-mediated mechanism: implications for aging

    PubMed Central

    Nocchi, Linda; Daly, Donna M; Chapple, Christopher; Grundy, David

    2014-01-01

    The incidence of bladder conditions such as overactive bladder syndrome and its associated urinary incontinence is highly prevalent in the elderly. However, the mechanisms underlying these disorders are unclear. Studies suggest that the urothelium forms a ‘sensory network’ with the underlying innervation, alterations in which, could compromise bladder function. As the accumulation of reactive oxygen species can cause functional alterations with age, the aim of this study was to investigate whether oxidative stress alters urothelial sensory signalling and whether the mechanism underlying the effect of oxidative stress on the urothelium plays a role in aging. Five-month-old(young) and 24-month-old (aged) mice were used. H2O2, used to induce oxidative stress, resulted in an increase in bladder afferent nerve activity and urothelial intracellular calcium in preparations from young mice. These functional changes were concurrent with upregulation of TRPM8 in the urothelium. Moreover, application of a TRPM8 antagonist significantly attenuated the H2O2-induced calcium responses. Interestingly, an upregulation of TRPM8 was also found in the urothelium from aged mice, where high oxidative stress levels were observed, together with a greater calcium response to the TRPM8 agonist WS12. Furthermore, these calcium responses were attenuated by pretreatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine. This study shows that oxidative stress affects urothelial function involving a TRPM8-mediated mechanism and these effects may have important implications for aging. These data provide an insight into the possible mechanisms by which oxidative stress causes physiological alterations in the bladder, which may also occur in other organs susceptible to aging. PMID:24593692

  6. The hidden matrilineal structure of a solitary lemur: implications for primate social evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Kappeler, Peter M; Wimmer, Barbara; Zinner, Dietmar; Tautz, Diethard

    2002-01-01

    Kin selection affects many aspects of social behaviour, especially in gregarious animals in which relatives are permanently associated. In most group-living primates with complex social behaviour, females are philopatric and organized into matrilines. Models of primate social evolution assume that females in solitary primates are also organized into matrilines. We examined the genetic structure and the mating system of a population of Coquerel's dwarf lemur (Mirza coquereli), a solitary primate from Madagascar, to test this assumption. Our genetic and behavioural analyses revealed that this population of solitary individuals is indeed structured into matrilines, even though this pattern was not predicted by behavioural data. Specifically, females sharing a mitochondrial DNA haplotype were significantly clustered in space and the average genetic and geographical distances among them were negatively correlated. Not all females were philopatric, but there is no evidence for the successful settlement of dispersing females. Although not all adult males dispersed from their natal range, they were not significantly clustered in space and all of them roamed widely in search of oestrous females. As a result, paternity was widely spread among males and mixed paternities existed, indicating that scramble competition polygyny is the mating system of this species. Our data therefore revealed facultative dispersal in both sexes with a strong bias towards female philopatry in this primitive primate. We further conclude that complex kinship structures also exist in non-gregarious species, where their consequences for social behaviour are not obvious. PMID:12350262

  7. Lemur Tyrosine Kinase 2, a novel target in prostate cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Shah, Kalpit; Bradbury, Neil A

    2015-06-10

    Progression from early forms of prostate cancer to castration-resistant disease is associated with an increase in signal transduction activity. The majority of castration-resistance cancers persist in the expression of the androgen receptor (AR), as well as androgen-dependent genes. The AR is regulated not only by it associated steroid hormone, but also by manifold regulatory and signaling molecules, including several kinases. We undertook evaluation of the role of Lemur Tyrosine Kinase 2 (LMTK2) in modulating AR activity, as several Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have shown a marked association of LMTK2 activity with the development of prostate cancer. We confirm that not only is LMTK2 mRNA reduced in prostate cancer tissue, but also LMTK2 protein levels are markedly diminished. Knockdown of LMTK2 protein in prostate cell lines greatly increased the transcription of androgen-responsive genes. In addition, LMTK2 knockdown led to an increase in prostate cancer stem cell populations in LNCaP cells, indicative of increased tumorogenicity. Using multiple approaches, we also demonstrate that LMTK2 interacts with the AR, thus putting LMTK2 as a component of a signaling complex modulating AR activity. Our finding that LMTK2 is a negative regulator of AR activity defines a novel cellular pathway for activation of AR-responsive genes in castrate resistant-prostate cancer. Moreover, pharmacologic manipulation of LMTK2 activity will provide a novel therapeutic target for more effective treatments for patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer. PMID:26008968

  8. Eulemur, me lemur: the evolution of scent-signal complexity in a primate clade.

    PubMed

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Sacha, Caitlin R; Dubay, George R; Drea, Christine M

    2012-07-01

    Signal complexity has been linked to social complexity in vocal, but not chemical, communication. To address this gap, we examined the chemical complexity of male and female glandular secretions in eight species of Eulemur. In this diverse clade of macrosmatic primates, species differ by social or mating system and dominance structure. We applied principal component and linear discriminate analyses to data obtained by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Beyond the significant effects on chemical signals of gland type, sex, season and species, we found effects of social variables and phylogeny. Notably, female odours were more chemically complex in multimale-multifemale species than pair-bonded species, whereas male odours were more chemically complex in codominant species than female-dominant species. Also, the traditional sexual dimorphism, whereby male signal complexity exceeds that of females, was present in codominant species, but reversed in female-dominant species. Lastly, a positive relationship between the species' pairwise chemical distances and their pairwise phylogenetic distances supported a gradual, but relatively fast mode of signal evolution. We suggest that the comparative method can be a powerful tool in olfactory research, revealing species differences relevant to the understanding of current signal utility and evolutionary processes. In particular, social complexity in lemurs may have selected for olfactory complexity. PMID:22641829

  9. True lemurs…true species - species delimitation using multiple data sources in the brown lemur complex

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Species are the fundamental units in evolutionary biology. However, defining them as evolutionary independent lineages requires integration of several independent sources of information in order to develop robust hypotheses for taxonomic classification. Here, we exemplarily propose an integrative framework for species delimitation in the “brown lemur complex” (BLC) of Madagascar, which consists of seven allopatric populations of the genus Eulemur (Primates: Lemuridae), which were sampled extensively across northern, eastern and western Madagascar to collect fecal samples for DNA extraction as well as recordings of vocalizations. Our data base was extended by including museum specimens with reliable identification and locality information for skull shape and pelage color analysis. Results Between-group analyses of principal components revealed significant heterogeneity in skull shape, pelage color variation and loud calls across all seven populations. Furthermore, post-hoc statistical tests between pairs of populations revealed considerable discordance among different data sets for different dyads. Despite a high degree of incomplete lineage sorting among nuclear loci, significant exclusive ancestry was found for all populations, except for E. cinereiceps, based on one mitochondrial and three nuclear genetic loci. Conclusions Using several independent lines of evidence, our results confirm the species status of the members of the BLC under the general lineage concept of species. More generally, the present analyses demonstrate the importance and value of integrating different kinds of data in delimiting recently evolved radiations. PMID:24159931

  10. Age-related alterations in oxidatively damaged proteins of mouse skeletal muscle mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes

    PubMed Central

    Choksi, Kashyap B.; Nuss, Jonathan E.; DeFord, James H.; Papaconstantinou, John

    2010-01-01

    Age-associated mitochondrial dysfunction is a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative modification to proteins. Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) complexes I and III are the sites of ROS production and we hypothesize that proteins of the ETC complexes are primary targets of ROS-mediated modification which impairs their structure and function. The pectoralis, primarily an aerobic red muscle, and quadriceps, primarily an anaerobic white muscle, have different rates of respiration and oxygen-carrying capacity, and hence, different rates of ROS production. This raises the question of whether these muscles exhibit different levels of oxidative protein modification. Our studies reveal that the pectoralis shows a dramatic age-related decline in almost all complex activities that correlates with increased oxidative modification. Similar complex proteins were modified in the quadriceps, at a significantly lower level with less change in enzyme and ETC coupling function. We postulate that mitochondrial ROS causes damage to specific ETC subunits which increases with age and leads to further mitochondrial dysfunction. We conclude that physiological characteristics of the pectoralis vs quadriceps may play a role in age-associated rate of mitochondrial dysfunction and in the decline in tissue function. PMID:18598756

  11. Age-dependent biochemical dysfunction in skeletal muscle of triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer`s disease.

    PubMed

    Monteiro-Cardoso, Vera F; Castro, Marisa; Oliveira, M M; Moreira, Paula I; Peixoto, Francisco; Videira, Romeu A

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of Alzheimer`s disease as a systemic pathology shifted the research paradigm toward a better understanding of the molecular basis of the disease considering the pathophysiological changes in both brain and peripheral tissues. In the present study, we evaluated the impact of disease progression on physiological relevant features of skeletal muscle obtained from 3, 6 and 12 month-old 3xTg-AD mice, a model of Alzheimer`s disease, and respective agematched nonTg mice. Our results showed that skeletal muscle functionality is already affected in 3-month-old 3xTg-AD mice as evidenced by deficient acetylcholinesterase and catalase activities as well as by alterations in fatty acid composition of mitochondrial membranes. Additionally, an age-dependent accumulation of amyloid-β1-40 peptide occurred in skeletal muscle of 3xTg-AD mice, an effect that preceded bioenergetics mitochondrial dysfunction, which was only detected at 12 months of age, characterized by decreased respiratory control ratio and ADP/O index and by an impairment of complex I activity. HPLC-MS/MS analyses revealed significant changes in phospholipid composition of skeletal muscle tissues from 3xTg-AD mice with 12 months of age when compared with age-matched nonTg mice. Increased levels of lyso-phosphatidylcholine associated with a decrease of phosphatidylcholine molecular species containing arachidonic acid were detected in 3xTg-AD mice, indicating an enhancement of phospholipase A2 activity and skeletal muscle inflammation. Additionally, a decrease of phosphatidylethanolamine plasmalogens content and an increase in phosphatidylinositol levels was observed in 3xTg-AD mice when compared with age-matched nonTg mice. Altogether, these observations suggest that the skeletal muscle of 3xTg-AD mice are more prone to oxidative and inflammatory events. PMID:25654504

  12. Age-Dependent Biochemical Dysfunction in Skeletal Muscle of Triple-Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer`s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro-Cardoso, Vera F.; Castro, Marisa; Oliveira, M.M.; Moreira, Paula I.; Peixoto, Francisco; A.Videira, Romeu

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of Alzheimer`s disease as a systemic pathology shifted the research paradigm toward a better understanding of the molecular basis of the disease considering the pathophysiological changes in both brain and peripheral tissues. In the present study, we evaluated the impact of disease progression on physiological relevant features of skeletal muscle obtained from 3, 6 and 12 month-old 3xTg-AD mice, a model of Alzheimer`s disease, and respective agematched nonTg mice. Our results showed that skeletal muscle functionality is already affected in 3-month-old 3xTg-AD mice as evidenced by deficient acetylcholinesterase and catalase activities as well as by alterations in fatty acid composition of mitochondrial membranes. Additionally, an age-dependent accumulation of amyloid-β1-40 peptide occurred in skeletal muscle of 3xTg-AD mice, an effect that preceded bioenergetics mitochondrial dysfunction, which was only detected at 12 months of age, characterized by decreased respiratory control ratio and ADP/O index and by an impairment of complex I activity. HPLC-MS/MS analyses revealed significant changes in phospholipid composition of skeletal muscle tissues from 3xTg-AD mice with 12 months of age when compared with age-matched nonTg mice. Increased levels of lyso-phosphatidylcholine associated with a decrease of phosphatidylcholine molecular species containing arachidonic acid were detected in 3xTg-AD mice, indicating an enhancement of phospholipase A2 activity and skeletal muscle inflammation. Additionally, a decrease of phosphatidylethanolamine plasmalogens content and an increase in phosphatidylinositol levels was observed in 3xTg-AD mice when compared with age-matched nonTg mice. Altogether, these observations suggest that the skeletal muscle of 3xTg-AD mice are more prone to oxidative and inflammatory events. PMID:25654504

  13. Wnt/B-Catenin Signaling is Required to Rescue Midbrain Dopaminergic Progenitors and Promote Neurorepair in Ageing Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    L’Episcopo, Francesca; Tirolo, Cataldo; Testa, Nunzio; Caniglia, Salvatore; Morale, Maria Concetta; Serapide, Maria Francesca; Pluchino, Stefano; Marchetti, Bianca

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Wnt/β-catenin signaling is required for specification and neurogenesis of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons, the pivotal neuronal population that degenerates in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays a vital role in adult neurogenesis but whether it might engage DA neurogenesis/neurorepair in the affected PD brain is yet unresolved. Recently, the adult midbrain aqueduct periventricular regions (Aq-PVRs) were shown to harbor neural stem/progenitor cells (mNPCs) with DA potential in vitro, but restrictive mechanisms in vivo are believed to limit their DA regenerative capacity. Using in vitro mNPC culture systems we herein demonstrate that aging is one most critical factor restricting mNPC neurogenic potential via dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Cococulture paradigms between young/aged (Y/A) mNPCs and Y/A astrocytes identified glial age and a decline of glial-derived factors including Wnts as key determinants of impaired neurogenic potential, whereas Wnt activation regimens efficiently reversed the diminished proliferative, neuronal and DA differentiation potential of A-mNPCs. Next, in vivo studies in wild (Wt) and transgenic β-catenin reporter mice uncovered Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation and remarkable astrocyte remodeling of Aq-PVR in response to MPTP-induced DA neuron death. Spatio-temporal analyses unveiled β-catenin signaling in predopaminergic (Nurr1+/TH−) and imperiled or rescuing DAT+ neurons during MPTP-induced DA neuron injury and self-repair. Aging inhibited Wnt signaling, whereas β-catenin activation in situ with a specific GSK-3β antagonist promoted a significant degree of DA neurorestoration associated with reversal of motor deficit, with implications for neurorestorative approaches in PD. PMID:24648001

  14. Interactions of hearing loss and diabetes mellitus in the middle age CBA/CaJ mouse model of presbycusis.

    PubMed

    Vasilyeva, Olga N; Frisina, Susan T; Zhu, Xiaoxia; Walton, Joseph P; Frisina, Robert D

    2009-03-01

    Recently, we characterized the more severe nature of hearing loss in aged Type 2 diabetic human subjects [Frisina, S.T., Mapes, F., Kim, S., Frisina, D.R., Frisina, R.D., 2006. Characterization of hearing loss in aged type II diabetics. Hear. Res. 211, 103-113]. The current study prospectively assessed hearing abilities in middle age CBA/CaJ mice with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) (STZ injection) or Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (high fat diet), for a period of 6 months. Blood glucose, body weight and auditory tests (Auditory Brainstem Response-ABR, Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions-DPOAE) were evaluated at baseline and every 2 months. Tone and broad-band noise-burst responses in the inferior colliculus were obtained at 6 months. Body weights of controls did not change over 6 months (approximately 32 g), but there was a significant (approximately 5 g) decline in the T1DM, while T2DM exhibited approximately 10 g weight gain. Blood glucose levels significantly increased: 3-fold for T1DM, 1.3-fold for T2DM; with no significant changes in controls. ABR threshold elevations were found for both types of diabetes, but were most pronounced in the T2DM, starting as early as 2 months after induction of diabetes. A decline of mean DPOAE amplitudes was observed in both diabetic groups at high frequencies, and for the T2DM at low frequencies. In contrast to ABR thresholds, tone and noise thresholds in the inferior colliculus were lower for both diabetic groups. Induction of diabetes in middle-aged CBA/CaJ mice promotes amplification of age-related peripheral hearing loss which makes it a suitable model for studying the interaction of age-related hearing loss and diabetes. On the other hand, initial results of effects from very high blood glucose level (T1DM) on the auditory midbrain showed disruption of central inhibition, increased response synchrony or enhanced excitation in the inferior colliculus. PMID:19271313

  15. Prenatal exposure to dexamethasone in the mouse alters cardiac growth patterns and increases pulse pressure in aged male offspring.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, Lee; Cuffe, James S M; Paravicini, Tamara M; Campbell, Sally; Dickinson, Hayley; Singh, Reetu R; Gezmish, Oksan; Black, M Jane; Moritz, Karen M

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to synthetic glucocorticoids during development can result in later cardiovascular and renal disease in sheep and rats. Although prenatal glucocorticoid exposure is associated with impaired renal development, less is known about effects on the developing heart. This study aimed to examine the effects of a short-term exposure to dexamethasone (60 hours from embryonic day 12.5) on the developing mouse heart, and cardiovascular function in adult male offspring. Dexamethasone (DEX) exposed fetuses were growth restricted compared to saline treated controls (SAL) at E14.5, but there was no difference between groups at E17.5. Heart weights of the DEX fetuses also tended to be smaller at E14.5, but not different at E17.5. Cardiac AT1aR, Bax, and IGF-1 mRNA expression was significantly increased by DEX compared to SAL at E17.5. In 12-month-old offspring DEX exposure caused an increase in basal blood pressure of ~3 mmHg. In addition, DEX exposed mice had a widened pulse pressure compared to SAL. DEX exposed males at 12 months had an approximate 25% reduction in nephron number compared to SAL, but no difference in cardiomyocyte number. Exposure to DEX in utero appears to adversely impact on nephrogenesis and heart growth but is not associated with a cardiomyocyte deficit in male mice in adulthood, possibly due to compensatory growth of the myocardium following the initial insult. However, the widened pulse pressure may be indicative of altered vascular compliance. PMID:23935943

  16. Prenatal Exposure to Dexamethasone in the Mouse Alters Cardiac Growth Patterns and Increases Pulse Pressure in Aged Male Offspring

    PubMed Central

    O'Sullivan, Lee; Cuffe, James S. M.; Paravicini, Tamara M.; Campbell, Sally; Dickinson, Hayley; Singh, Reetu R.; Gezmish, Oksan; Black, M. Jane; Moritz, Karen M.

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to synthetic glucocorticoids during development can result in later cardiovascular and renal disease in sheep and rats. Although prenatal glucocorticoid exposure is associated with impaired renal development, less is known about effects on the developing heart. This study aimed to examine the effects of a short-term exposure to dexamethasone (60 hours from embryonic day 12.5) on the developing mouse heart, and cardiovascular function in adult male offspring. Dexamethasone (DEX) exposed fetuses were growth restricted compared to saline treated controls (SAL) at E14.5, but there was no difference between groups at E17.5. Heart weights of the DEX fetuses also tended to be smaller at E14.5, but not different at E17.5. Cardiac AT1aR, Bax, and IGF-1 mRNA expression was significantly increased by DEX compared to SAL at E17.5. In 12-month-old offspring DEX exposure caused an increase in basal blood pressure of ∼3 mmHg. In addition, DEX exposed mice had a widened pulse pressure compared to SAL. DEX exposed males at 12 months had an approximate 25% reduction in nephron number compared to SAL, but no difference in cardiomyocyte number. Exposure to DEX in utero appears to adversely impact on nephrogenesis and heart growth but is not associated with a cardiomyocyte deficit in male mice in adulthood, possibly due to compensatory growth of the myocardium following the initial insult. However, the widened pulse pressure may be indicative of altered vascular compliance. PMID:23935943

  17. A novel mouse model of pediatric cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation reveals age-dependent neuronal sensitivities to ischemic injury

    PubMed Central

    Deng, G; Yonchek, JC; Quillinan, N; Strnad, FA; Exo, J; Herson, PS; Traystman, RJ

    2014-01-01

    Background Pediatric sudden cardiac arrest (CA) is an unfortunate and devastating condition, often leading to poor neurologic outcomes. However, little experimental data on the pathophysiology of pediatric CA is currently available due to the scarcity of animal models. New Method We developed a novel experimental model of pediatric cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CA/CPR) using postnatal day 20–25 mice. Adult (8–12 weeks) and pediatric (P20–25) mice were subjected to 6 min CA/CPR. Hippocampal CA1 and striatal neuronal injury were quantified 3 days after resuscitation by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Fluoro-Jade B staining, respectively. Results Pediatric mice exhibited less neuronal injury in both CA1 hippocampal and striatal neurons compared to adult mice. Increasing ischemia time to 8 min CA/CPR resulted in an increase in hippocampal injury in pediatric mice, resulting in similar damage in adult and pediatric brains. In contrast, striatal injury in the pediatric brain following 6 or 8 min CA/CPR remained extremely low. As observed in adult mice, cardiac arrest causes delayed neuronal death in pediatric mice, with hippocampal CA1 neuronal damage maturing at 72 hours after insult. Finally, mild therapeutic hypothermia reduced hippocampal CA1 neuronal injury after pediatric CA/CPR. Comparison with Existing Method This is the first report of a cardiac arrest and CPR model of global cerebral ischemia in mice Conclusions Therefore, the mouse pediatric CA/CPR model we developed is unique and will provide an important new tool to the research community for the study of pediatric brain injury. PMID:24192226

  18. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses and behavioral estimates of hearing sensitivity in Lemur catta and Nycticebus coucang.

    PubMed

    Ramsier, Marissa A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2010-03-01

    Primates depend on acoustic signals and cues to avoid predators, locate food, and share information. Accordingly, the structure and function of acoustic stimuli have long been emphasized in studies of primate behavioral and cognitive ecology. Yet, few studies have addressed how well primates hear such stimuli; indeed, the auditory thresholds of most primate species are unknown. This empirical void is due in part to the logistic and economic challenges attendant on traditional behavioral testing methods. Technological advances have produced a safe and cost-effective alternative-the auditory brainstem response (ABR) method, which can be utilized in field conditions, on virtually any animal species, and without subject training. Here we used the ABR and four methods of threshold determination to construct audiograms for two strepsirrhine primates: the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and slow loris (Nycticebus coucang). Next, to verify the general efficacy of the ABR method, we compared our results to published behaviorally-derived audiograms. We found that the four ABR threshold detection methods produced similar results, including relatively elevated thresholds but similarly shaped audiograms compared to those derived behaviorally. The ABR and behavioral absolute thresholds were significantly correlated, and the frequencies of best sensitivity and high-frequency limits were comparable. However, at frequencies < or =2 kHz, ABR thresholds were especially elevated, resulting in decreased agreement with behavioral thresholds and, in Lemur, the ABR 10-dB range starting points were more than 2 octaves higher than the behavioral points. Finally, a comparison of ABR- and behaviorally-derived audiograms from various animal taxa demonstrates the widespread efficacy of the ABR for estimating frequency of best sensitivity, but otherwise suggests caution; factors such as stimulus properties and threshold definition affect results. We conclude that the ABR method is a promising

  19. Comparison of the genetic variation of captive ring-tailed lemurs with a wild population in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Sauther, Michelle L; Sussman, Robert W; Gould, Lisa; Cuozzo, Frank P; Fernando, Prithiviraj; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2015-01-01

    Genetic variability among captive and wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) was assessed using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data. A 529 bp segment of mtDNA was sequenced and 9 microsatellite loci were genotyped for 286 ring-tailed lemurs. Samples were obtained from the well-studied L. catta population at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve and from captive animals at six institutions worldwide. We found evidence of possible patrilineal contribution but the absence of matrilineal contribution from the Bezà area, and haplotypes not found in Bezà but present in Ambohimahavelona, Andringitra Massif, and other unknown locations, in the sampled captive population, indicating that the founders of the captive population originated from a wide geographic range. Total genetic variation and relatedness in captive L. catta in the six institutions were similar in extent to that of the wild population in Bezà. Based on the diverse origins of the captive population founders our results suggest the erosion of genetic diversity in the captive population. Sampled individuals from the same institution were more closely related to each other than members of a social group in the wild. Individuals housed at different institutions were less closely related than those of different social groups at Bezà, indicating lower genetic exchange between captive institutions than between social groups in a locality in the wild. Our findings underscore the usefulness of genotyping in determining the geographic origin of captive population founders, obtaining pedigree information if paternity is uncertain, and in maximizing preservation of extant genetic diversity in captivity. PMID:26032097

  20. Age-Dependent Decline in Mouse Lung Regeneration with Loss of Lung Fibroblast Clonogenicity and Increased Myofibroblastic Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Paxson, Julia A.; Gruntman, Alisha; Parkin, Christopher D.; Mazan, Melissa R.; Davis, Airiel; Ingenito, Edward P.; Hoffman, Andrew M.

    2011-01-01

    While aging leads to a reduction in the capacity for regeneration after pneumonectomy (PNX) in most mammals, this biological phenomenon has not been characterized over the lifetime of mice. We measured the age-specific (3, 9, 24 month) effects of PNX on physiology, morphometry, cell proliferation and apoptosis, global gene expression, and lung fibroblast phenotype and clonogenicity in female C57BL6 mice. The data show that only 3 month old mice were fully capable of restoring lung volumes by day 7 and total alveolar surface area by 21 days. By 9 months, the rate of regeneration was slower (with incomplete regeneration by 21 days), and by 24 months there was no regrowth 21 days post-PNX. The early decline in regeneration rate was not associated with changes in alveolar epithelial cell type II (AECII) proliferation or apoptosis rate. However, significant apoptosis and lack of cell proliferation was evident after PNX in both total cells and AECII cells in 24 mo mice. Analysis of gene expression at several time points (1, 3 and 7 days) post-PNX in 9 versus 3 month mice was consistent with a myofibroblast signature (increased Tnc, Lox1, Col3A1, Eln and Tnfrsf12a) and more alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA) positive myofibroblasts were present after PNX in 9 month than 3 month mice. Isolated lung fibroblasts showed a significant age-dependent loss of clonogenicity. Moreover, lung fibroblasts isolated from 9 and 17 month mice exhibited higher αSMA, Col3A1, Fn1 and S100A expression, and lower expression of the survival gene Mdk consistent with terminal differentiation. These data show that concomitant loss of clonogenicity and progressive myofibroblastic differentiation contributes to the age-dependent decline in the rate of lung regeneration. PMID:21912590

  1. Gender and age related expression of Oct-6--a POU III domain transcription factor, in the adult mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Ilia, Maria; Sugiyama, Yuka; Price, Jack

    2003-06-26

    Oct-6 is a POU III domain transcription factor whose primary role is thought to be developmental. It is expressed in embryonic stem cells, Schwann cells, and in neuronal subpopulations during telencephalic development. Its best characterised role is in Schwann cells where it is thought to regulate myelin specific gene expression. Expression of Oct-6 was recently discovered in neurons in post-mortem human schizophrenic specimens while being undetectable in matched controls. This study of human tissue contrasted in a number of regards with earlier studies of rodent brain, and questioned what we can consider to be normal adult expression of this gene. In this study, we have investigated Oct-6 expression via in situ hybridisation and Western blot analysis in normal adult female mice of different ages. We show that both RNA and protein levels of Oct-6 expression are highly sustained in the adult and aging cerebellum, whereas they are attenuated in the telencephalon by PW30 (postnatal week 30). These observations suggest that Oct-6 expression takes place in a sex and age dependent way. PMID:12782346

  2. The senescence-accelerated prone mouse (SAMP8): a model of age-related cognitive decline with relevance to alterations of the gene expression and protein abnormalities in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, D Allan; Poon, H Fai

    2005-10-01

    The senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) is an accelerated aging model that was established through phenotypic selection from a common genetic pool of AKR/J strain of mice. The SAM model was established in 1981, including nine major senescence-accelerated mouse prone (SAMP) substrains and three major senescence-accelerated mouse resistant (SAMR) substrains, each of which exhibits characteristic disorders. Recently, SAMP8 have drawn attention in gerontological research due to its characteristic learning and memory deficits at old age. Many recent reports provide insight into mechanisms of the cognitive impairment and pathological changes in SAMP8. Therefore, this mini review examines the recent findings of SAMP8 mice abnormalities at the gene and protein levels. The genes and proteins described in this review are functionally categorized into neuroprotection, signal transduction, protein folding/degradation, cytoskeleton/transport, immune response and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. All of these processes are involved in learning and memory. Although these studies provide insight into the mechanisms that contribute to the learning and memory decline in aged SAMP8 mice, higher throughput techniques of proteomics and genomics are necessary to study the alterations of gene expression and protein abnormalities in SAMP8 mice brain in order to more completely understand the central nervous system dysfunction in this mouse model. The SAMP8 is a good animal model to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of age-related learning and memory deficits at the gene and protein levels. PMID:16026957

  3. Expression of progerin in aging mouse brains reveals structural nuclear abnormalities without detectible significant alterations in gene expression, hippocampal stem cells or behavior.

    PubMed

    Baek, Jean-Ha; Schmidt, Eva; Viceconte, Nikenza; Strandgren, Charlotte; Pernold, Karin; Richard, Thibaud J C; Van Leeuwen, Fred W; Dantuma, Nico P; Damberg, Peter; Hultenby, Kjell; Ulfhake, Brun; Mugnaini, Enrico; Rozell, Björn; Eriksson, Maria

    2015-03-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a segmental progeroid syndrome with multiple features suggestive of premature accelerated aging. Accumulation of progerin is thought to underlie the pathophysiology of HGPS. However, despite ubiquitous expression of lamin A in all differentiated cells, the HGPS mutation results in organ-specific defects. For example, bone and skin are strongly affected by HGPS, while the brain appears to be unaffected. There are no definite explanations as to the variable sensitivity to progeria disease among different organs. In addition, low levels of progerin have also been found in several tissues from normal individuals, but it is not clear if low levels of progerin contribute to the aging of the brain. In an attempt to clarify the origin of this phenomenon, we have developed an inducible transgenic mouse model with expression of the most common HGPS mutation in brain, skin, bone and heart to investigate how the mutation affects these organs. Ultrastructural analysis of neuronal nuclei after 70 weeks of expression of the LMNA c.1824C>T mutation showed severe distortion with multiple lobulations and irregular extensions. Despite severe distortions in the nuclei of hippocampal neurons of HGPS animals, there were only negligible changes in gene expression after 63 weeks of transgenic expression. Behavioral analysis and neurogenesis assays, following long-term expression of the HGPS mutation, did not reveal significant pathology. Our results suggest that certain tissues are protected from functional deleterious effects of progerin. PMID:25343989

  4. Age-dependent modulation of synaptic plasticity and insulin mimetic effect of lipoic acid on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Sancheti, Harsh; Akopian, Garnik; Yin, Fei; Brinton, Roberta D; Walsh, John P; Cadenas, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that entails impairments of memory, thinking and behavior and culminates into brain atrophy. Impaired glucose uptake (accumulating into energy deficits) and synaptic plasticity have been shown to be affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This study examines the ability of lipoic acid to increase brain glucose uptake and lead to improvements in synaptic plasticity on a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD) that shows progression of pathology as a function of age; two age groups: 6 months (young) and 12 months (old) were used in this study. 3xTg-AD mice fed 0.23% w/v lipoic acid in drinking water for 4 weeks showed an insulin mimetic effect that consisted of increased brain glucose uptake, activation of the insulin receptor substrate and of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Lipoic acid supplementation led to important changes in synaptic function as shown by increased input/output (I/O) and long term potentiation (LTP) (measured by electrophysiology). Lipoic acid was more effective in stimulating an insulin-like effect and reversing the impaired synaptic plasticity in the old mice, wherein the impairment of insulin signaling and synaptic plasticity was more pronounced than those in young mice. PMID:23875003

  5. Expression of progerin in aging mouse brains reveals structural nuclear abnormalities without detectible significant alterations in gene expression, hippocampal stem cells or behavior

    PubMed Central

    Baek, Jean-Ha; Schmidt, Eva; Viceconte, Nikenza; Strandgren, Charlotte; Pernold, Karin; Richard, Thibaud J. C.; Van Leeuwen, Fred W.; Dantuma, Nico P.; Damberg, Peter; Hultenby, Kjell; Ulfhake, Brun; Mugnaini, Enrico; Rozell, Björn; Eriksson, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a segmental progeroid syndrome with multiple features suggestive of premature accelerated aging. Accumulation of progerin is thought to underlie the pathophysiology of HGPS. However, despite ubiquitous expression of lamin A in all differentiated cells, the HGPS mutation results in organ-specific defects. For example, bone and skin are strongly affected by HGPS, while the brain appears to be unaffected. There are no definite explanations as to the variable sensitivity to progeria disease among different organs. In addition, low levels of progerin have also been found in several tissues from normal individuals, but it is not clear if low levels of progerin contribute to the aging of the brain. In an attempt to clarify the origin of this phenomenon, we have developed an inducible transgenic mouse model with expression of the most common HGPS mutation in brain, skin, bone and heart to investigate how the mutation affects these organs. Ultrastructural analysis of neuronal nuclei after 70 weeks of expression of the LMNA c.1824C>T mutation showed severe distortion with multiple lobulations and irregular extensions. Despite severe distortions in the nuclei of hippocampal neurons of HGPS animals, there were only negligible changes in gene expression after 63 weeks of transgenic expression. Behavioral analysis and neurogenesis assays, following long-term expression of the HGPS mutation, did not reveal significant pathology. Our results suggest that certain tissues are protected from functional deleterious effects of progerin. PMID:25343989

  6. Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination of Breeding Pools Utilized by the Puerto Rican Crested Toad, Peltophryne lemur

    PubMed Central

    Gjeltema, Jenessa; Stoskopf, Michael; Shea, Damian; De Voe, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    Habitat preservation and management may play an important role in the conservation of the Puerto Rican crested toad, Peltophryne lemur, due to this species' small geographic range and declining native wild population. Bioavailable water concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminants within breeding pools at 3 sites were established using Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). A more diverse population of PAH analytes were found in higher concentrations at the breeding site that allowed direct vehicular access, but calculated risk quotients indicated low risk to toad reproduction associated with the current PAH analyte levels. PMID:23762634

  7. Mechanical food properties and dental topography differentiate three populations of Lemur catta in southwest Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Fitzgerald, Emily; Riemenschneider, Andrea; Ungar, Peter S

    2016-09-01

    Determining the proximate causes of tooth wear remains a major focus of dental study. Here we compare the diets of three ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations and examine how different dietary components may contribute to patterns of wear-related tooth shape. Casts were made from dental impressions collected between 2003 and 2010 from lemurs in the gallery and spiny/mixed forests of the Bezá Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR; Parcels 1 and 2) and the spiny/mixed forests of Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP), Madagascar. Tooth shape variables (occlusal relief and slope, angularity) were analyzed using dental topographic analysis. Focal observations and food mechanical properties (FMPs: toughness, hardness, elastic modulus) were conducted and tested, respectively, during wet and dry seasons from 2008 to 2012. We found that FMPs correlate with patterns of dental topography in these three populations. Specifically, food toughness and elastic modulus correlate with the dental variables, but hardness does not. Average food toughness and elastic modulus, but not hardness, are highest in BMSR Parcel 2, followed by BMSR Parcel 1 and TNP. Occlusal relief and slope, which serve as proxies for tooth wear, show the greatest wear in Parcel 2 and the least in TNP. Angularity is also more pronounced in TNP. Further, dental topographic patterns correspond to reliance on Tamarindus indica (tamarind) fruit. Both BMSR populations consume tamarind at high frequencies in the dry season, but the fruits are rare at TNP and only occasionally consumed. Thus, high seasonal tamarind consumption and its mechanical values help explain the low dental relief and slope among BMSR lemurs. By investigating the ecology of a single widespread species across a variety of habitats, we have been able to link specific components of diet to patterns of dental topography in this species. This provides a context for interpreting wear-related tooth shape changes more generally, illustrating that

  8. PhyloMarker—A Tool for Mining Phylogenetic Markers Through Genome Comparison: Application of the Mouse Lemur (Genus Microcebus) Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Runhua; Rowley, Thaine W.; Zhu, Lifeng; Bailey, Carolyn A.; Engberg, Shannon E.; Wood, Mindy L.; Christman, Mary C.; Perry, George H.; Louis, Edward E.; Lu, Guoqing

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogeny is a fundamental tool to understanding the evolution of all life forms. One common issue faced by molecular phylogeny is the lack of sufficient molecular markers. Here, we present PhyloMarker, a phylogenomic tool designed to find nuclear gene markers for the inference of phylogeny through multiple genome comparison. Around 800 candidate markers were identified by PhyloMarker through comparison of partial genomes of Microcebus and Otolemur. In experimental tests of 20 randomly selected markers, nine markers were successfully amplified by PCR and directly sequenced in all 17 nominal Microcebus species. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequence data obtained for 17 taxa and nine markers confirmed the distinct lineage inferred from previous mtDNA data. PhyloMarker has also been used by other projects including the herons (Ardeidae, Aves) phylogeny and the Wood mice (Muridae, Mammalia) phylogeny. All source code and sample data are made available at http://bioinfo-srv1.awh.unomaha.edu/phylomarker/.

  9. Ultrasonic Stimulation of Mouse Skin Reverses the Healing Delays in Diabetes and Aging by Activation of Rac1.

    PubMed

    Roper, James A; Williamson, Rosalind C; Bally, Blandine; Cowell, Christopher A M; Brooks, Rebecca; Stephens, Phil; Harrison, Andrew J; Bass, Mark D

    2015-11-01

    Chronic skin-healing defects are one of the leading challenges to lifelong well-being, affecting 2-5% of populations. Chronic wound formation is linked to age and diabetes and frequently leads to major limb amputation. Here we identify a strategy to reverse fibroblast senescence and improve healing rates. In healthy skin, fibronectin activates Rac1 in fibroblasts, causing migration into the wound bed, and driving wound contraction. We discover that mechanical stimulation of the skin with ultrasound can overturn healing defects by activating a calcium/CamKinaseII/Tiam1/Rac1 pathway that substitutes for fibronectin-dependent signaling and promotes fibroblast migration. Treatment of diabetic and aged mice recruits fibroblasts to the wound bed and reduces healing times by 30%, restoring healing rates to those observed in young, healthy animals. Ultrasound treatment is equally effective in rescuing the healing defects of animals lacking fibronectin receptors, and can be blocked by pharmacological inhibition of the CamKinaseII pathway. Finally, we discover that the migration defects of fibroblasts from human venous leg ulcer patients can be reversed by ultrasound, demonstrating that the approach is applicable to human chronic samples. By demonstrating that this alternative Rac1 pathway can substitute for that normally operating in the skin, we identify future opportunities for management of chronic wounds. PMID:26079528

  10. Ultrasonic stimulation of mouse skin reverses the healing delays in diabetes and aging by activation of Rac1

    PubMed Central

    Roper, James A; Williamson, Rosalind C; Bally, Blandine; Cowell, Christopher AM; Brooks, Rebecca; Stephens, Phil; Harrison, Andrew J; Bass, Mark D

    2015-01-01

    Chronic skin healing defects are one of the leading challenges to lifelong wellbeing, affecting 2-5% of populations. Chronic wound formation is linked to age and diabetes and frequently leads to major limb amputation. Here we identify a strategy to reverse fibroblast senescence and improve healing rates. In healthy skin, fibronectin activates Rac1 in fibroblasts, causing migration into the wound bed and driving wound contraction. We discover that mechanical stimulation of skin with ultrasound can overturn healing defects by activating a calcium/CamKinaseII/Tiam1/Rac1 pathway that substitutes for fibronectin-dependent signaling and promotes fibroblast migration. Treatment of diabetic and aged mice recruits fibroblasts to the wound bed and reduces healing times by 30%, restoring healing rates to those observed in young, healthy animals. Ultrasound treatment is equally effective in rescuing the healing defects of animals lacking fibronectin receptors, and can be blocked by pharmacological inhibition of the CamKinaseII pathway. Finally, we discover that the migration defects of fibroblasts from human venous leg ulcer patients can be reversed by ultrasound, demonstrating that the approach is applicable to human chronic samples. By demonstrating that this alternative Rac1 pathway can substitute for that normally operating in skin, we identify future opportunities for management of chronic wounds. PMID:26079528

  11. Quantification of Alterations in Cortical Bone Geometry Using Site Specificity Software in Mouse models of Aging and the Responses to Ovariectomy and Altered Loading

    PubMed Central

    Galea, Gabriel L.; Hannuna, Sion; Meakin, Lee B.; Delisser, Peter J.; Lanyon, Lance E.; Price, Joanna S.

    2015-01-01

    Investigations into the effect of (re)modeling stimuli on cortical bone in rodents normally rely on analysis of changes in bone mass and architecture at a narrow cross-sectional site. However, it is well established that the effects of axial loading produce site-specific changes throughout bones’ structure. Non-mechanical influences (e.g., hormones) can be additional to or oppose locally controlled adaptive responses and may have more generalized effects. Tools currently available to study site-specific cortical bone adaptation are limited. Here, we applied novel site specificity software to measure bone mass and architecture at each 1% site along the length of the mouse tibia from standard micro-computed tomography (μCT) images. Resulting measures are directly comparable to those obtained through μCT analysis (R2 > 0.96). Site Specificity analysis was used to compare a number of parameters in tibiae from young adult (19-week-old) versus aged (19-month-old) mice; ovariectomized and entire mice; limbs subjected to short periods of axial loading or disuse induced by sciatic neurectomy. Age was associated with uniformly reduced cortical thickness and site-specific decreases in cortical area most apparent in the proximal tibia. Mechanical loading site-specifically increased cortical area and thickness in the proximal tibia. Disuse uniformly decreased cortical thickness and decreased cortical area in the proximal tibia. Ovariectomy uniformly reduced cortical area without altering cortical thickness. Differences in polar moment of inertia between experimental groups were only observed in the proximal tibia. Aging and ovariectomy also altered eccentricity in the distal tibia. In summary, site specificity analysis provides a valuable tool for measuring changes in cortical bone mass and architecture along the entire length of a bone. Changes in the (re)modeling response determined at a single site may not reflect the response at different locations within the same

  12. The effect of high energy (HZE) particle radiation (Ar-40) on aging parameters of mouse hippocampus and retina

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Philpott, D. E.; Kato, K.; Corbett, R.; Stevenson, J.; Black, S.; Sapp, W.; Miquel, J.; Lindseth, K. A.; Benton, E. V.

    1985-01-01

    Eight month old C57BL6 mice were exposed (head only) to 0.5 rad or 50 rads of Argon particles at the Lawrence Berkeley Radiation Facility, CA. Neuromotor performance was assessed monthly for six months beginning twelve weeks post-irradiation using a 'string test'. The decline in motor performance was dose-related and none of the animals was able to complete the task after four months of testing. Morphological changes were monitored six and twelve months post-irradiation by light and electron microscopy. The synaptic density in the CA-1 area of the hippocampus decreased six and twelve months after irradiation. The decrease after twelve months was less than after six months. The width of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) of the retina increased with increasing dose. The number of blood vessels between the ONL and the ganglion layer decreased twelve months after irradiation and this area did not show significant accumulation of age pigment.

  13. Effect of high energy (HZE) particle radiation (40Ar) on aging parameters of mouse hippocampus and retina

    SciTech Connect

    Philpott, D.E.; Sapp, W.; Miquel, J.; Kato, K.; Corbett, R.; Stevenson, J.; Black, S.; Lindseth, K.A.; Benton, E.V.

    1985-01-01

    Eight month old C57BL6 mice were exposed (head only) to 0.5 rad or 50 rads of Argon particles at the Lawrence Berkeley Radiation Facility, CA. Neuromotor performance was assessed monthly for six months beginning twelve weeks post-irradiation using a string test. The decline in motor performance was dose-related and none of the animals was able to complete the task after four months of testing. Morphological changes were monitored six and twelve months post-irradiation by light and electron microscopy. The synaptic density in the CA-1 area of the hippocampus decreased six and twelve months after irradiation. The decrease after twelve months was less than after six months. The width of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) of the retina increased with increasing dose. The number of blood vessels between the ONL and the ganglion layer decreased twelve months after irradiation and this area did not show significant accumulation of age pigment.

  14. Age-dependent actions of dopamine on inhibitory synaptic transmission in superficial layers of mouse prefrontal cortex.