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Sample records for aged mouse lemurs

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Joly, Marine; Ammersdörfer, Sandra; Schmidtke, Daniel; Zimmermann, Elke

    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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Kraus, Cornelia

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Osteoblastic osteosarcoma in a Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) - short communication.

    PubMed

    Liptovszky, Mátyás; Perge, Edina; Molnár, Viktor; Sós, Endre

    2011-12-01

    The Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a nocturnal lemur species that lives only in Madagascar. It is one of the most abundant lemur species and its native populations are not endangered, but animals belonging to this species are rarely exhibited in zoos. While tumours are quite frequently described in other primates, there are very few publications about neoplasia in lemurs. In this case report we describe a mandibular osteoblastic osteosarcoma in a Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus). To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first scientific article describing osteosarcoma in a prosimian and also reporting a tumour in the mandible in this taxon.

  9. Evidence of prolonged torpor in Goodman's mouse lemurs at Ankafobe forest, central Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Andriantsalohimisantatra, Andon'ny A; Rivoharison, Tahiry V; Andriambeloson, Jean-Basile

    2017-01-01

    The small-bodied mouse lemurs of Madagascar (Microcebus) are capable of heterothermy (i.e., torpor or hibernation). The expression of these energy-saving strategies has been physiologically demonstrated in three species: M. berthae, the pygmy mouse lemur (daily torpor), M. murinus, the gray mouse lemur (daily torpor and hibernation), and M. griseorufus, the reddish-gray mouse lemur (daily, prolonged torpor and hibernation). Additional evidence, based on radiotracking and seasonal body mass changes, indicated that mouse lemur capabilities for heterothermy extended to M. lehilahytsara, the Goodman's mouse lemur. In this study, we confirm the use of hibernation in Goodman's mouse lemurs at a new location, a high-plateau forest fragment in Ankafobe, central Madagascar. Our evidence is based on sleeping site monitoring of radiocollared individuals and the retrieval of three mouse lemurs from inside a tree hole, all of which displayed a lethargic state. Though our data are preliminary and scant, we show that hibernation occurs in high-plateau mouse lemurs, and suggest that a buffered environment (i.e., tree holes instead of nests) may be crucial to avoiding potentially extreme ambient temperatures.

  10. 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.

  11. The lack of female dominance in golden-brown mouse lemurs suggests alternative routes in lemur social evolution.

    PubMed

    Eichmueller, Pia; Thorén, Sandra; Radespiel, Ute

    2013-01-01

    Female dominance is a well-known trait of lemurs, although it has not been reported from all species and is still often unexplored, especially in the nocturnal species. We examined the intersexual dominance relationships in Microcebus ravelobensis, a congener of M. murinus who is well known for its female dominance. Given the many similarities in biology, it was predicted that M. ravelobensis should also possess female dominance. Seventeen unfamiliar male-female pairs were formed with animals captured in northwestern Madagascar and kept in a two-cage setting (one cage for each animal) for up to 1 week. Four encounter experiments were conducted with each pair. In contrast to the expectations, females were not consistently dominant over their male partners. Only 3 of 17 dyads developed a clear agonistic asymmetry, among which were two cases of male dominance and only one case of female dominance. Because body mass differences did not explain the findings, various other possible explanations are discussed. It is suggested that food may not be the driving factor of female dominance in mouse lemurs. Instead, it is hypothesized that species-specific differences in the quality of sleeping sites (i.e., tree holes) and in social grouping patterns may better explain why some mouse lemur species have female dominance, whereas others like the golden-brown mouse lemur do not. It is concluded thatthese arguments and hypotheses may even hold true for other solitary foragers and may thereby lead to a better understanding of the variable social evolution in lemurs and primates in general.

  12. Daily energy expenditure of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus): a small primate that uses torpor.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Speakman, J R

    2000-12-01

    We aimed to investigate the pattern of utilisation of torpor and its impact on energy budgets in free-living grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), a small nocturnal primate endemic to Madagascar. We measured daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water turnover using doubly labelled water, and we used temperature-sensitive radio collars to measure skin temperature (Tsk) and home range. Our results showed that male and female mouse lemurs in the wild enter torpor spontaneously over a wide range of ambient temperatures (Ta) during the dry season, but not during the rainy season. Mouse lemurs remained torpid between 1.7-8.9 h with a daily mean of 3.4 h, and their Tsk s fell to a minimum of 18.8 degrees C. Mean home ranges of mouse lemurs which remained normothermic were similar in the rainy and dry season. During the dry season, the mean home range of mouse lemurs showing daily torpor was significantly smaller than that of animals remaining normothermic. The DEE of M. murinus remaining normothermic in the rainy season (122 +/- 65.4 kJ x day(-1)) was about the same of that of normothermic mouse lemurs in the dry season (115.5 +/- 27.3 kJ x day(-1)). During the dry season, the mean DEE of M. murinus that utilised daily torpor was 103.4 +/- 32.7 kJ x day(-1) which is not significantly different from the mean DEE of animals remaining normothermic. We found that the DEE of mouse lemurs using daily torpor was significantly correlated with the mean temperature difference between Tsk and Ta (r2 = 0.37) and with torpor bout length (r2 = 0.46), while none of these factors explained significant amounts of variation in the DEE of the mouse lemurs remaining normothermic. The mean water flux rate of mouse lemurs using daily torpor (13.0 +/- 4.1 ml x day(-1)) was significantly lower than that of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic (19.4 +/- 3.8 ml x day(-1)), suggesting the lemurs conserve water by entering torpor. Thus, this first study on the energy budget of free-ranging M. murinus

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Thorén, Sandra; Linnenbrink, Miriam; Radespiel, Ute

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Daily torpor in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar: energetic consequences and biological significance.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J

    2000-05-01

    Patterns and energetic consequences of spontaneous daily torpor were measured in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under natural conditions of ambient temperature and photoperiod in a dry deciduous forest in western Madagascar. Over a period of two consecutive dry seasons, oxygen consumption (VO2) and body temperature (T b) were measured on ten individuals kept in outdoor enclosures. In all animals, spontaneous daily torpor occurred on a daily basis with torpor bouts lasting from 3.6 to 17.6 h, with a mean torpor bout duration of 9.3 h. On average, body temperatures in torpor were 17.3±4.9°C with a recorded minimum value of 7.8°C. Torpor was not restricted to the mouse lemurs' diurnal resting phase: entries occurred throughout the night and arousals mainly around midday, coinciding with the daily ambient temperature maximum. Arousal from torpor was a two-phase process with a first passive, exogenous heating where the T b of animals increased from the torpor T b minimum to a mean value of 27.1°C before the second, endogenous heat production commenced to further raise T b to normothermic values. Metabolic rate during torpor (28.6±13.2 ml O2 h(-1)) was significantly reduced by about 76% compared to resting metabolic rate (132.6±50.5 ml O2 h(-1)). On average, for all M. murinus individuals measured, hypometabolism during daily torpor reduced daily energy expenditure by about 38%. In conclusion, all these energy-conserving mechanisms of the nocturnal mouse lemurs, with passive exogenous heating during arousal from torpor, low minimum torpor T bs, and extended torpor bouts into the activity phase, comprise an important and highly adapted mechanism to minimize energetic costs in response to unfavorable environmental conditions and may play a crucial role for individual fitness.

  4. 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

  5. Effects of dietary resveratrol on the sleep-wake cycle in the non-human primate gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Pifferi, F; Rahman, A; Languille, S; Auffret, A; Babiloni, C; Blin, O; Lamberty, Y; Richardson, J C; Aujard, F

    2012-04-01

    Converging evidence shows that the non-human primate gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is ideal for the study of the aging process and for testing the effects of new therapies and dietary interventions on age-associated pathologies. One such dietary supplement is resveratrol (RSV), a dietary polyphenolic compound with several positive effects on metabolic functions and longevity. However, little is known about the effect of RSV on the lemur sleep-wake cycle, which reflects mammalian brain function and health. In the present study, the authors investigated this effect by comparing sleep-wake cycles in adult lemurs based on electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms. The effect of short-term RSV supplementation on the sleep-wake cycle of mouse lemurs was evaluated in entrained conditions (long-day photoperiods, light:dark 14:10). After 3 wks of RSV supplementation, the animals exhibited a significantly increased proportion of active-wake time, occurring mainly during the resting phase of the sleep-wake cycle (+163%). The increase in active-wake time with RSV supplementation was accompanied by a significant reduction of both paradoxical sleep (-95%) and slow-wave sleep (-38%). These changes mainly occurred during the resting phase of the sleep-wake cycle (RSV supplementation induced negligible changes in active-wake time during the active phase of the sleep-wake cycle). The present data suggest that RSV may be a potent regulator of sleep-wake rhythms and could be of major interest in the study of sleep perturbations associated with aging and neuropathology.

  6. Characterisation of urinary WFDC12 in small nocturnal basal primates, mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Unsworth, Jennifer; Loxley, Grace M.; Davidson, Amanda; Hurst, Jane L.; Gómez-Baena, Guadalupe; Mundy, Nicholas I.; Beynon, Robert J.; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2017-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are basal primates that rely on chemo- and acoustic signalling for social interactions in their dispersed social systems. We examined the urinary protein content of two mouse lemurs species, within and outside the breeding season, to assess candidates used in species discrimination, reproductive or competitive communication. Urine from Microcebus murinus and Microcebus lehilahytsara contain a predominant 10 kDa protein, expressed in both species by some, but not all, males during the breeding season, but at very low levels by females. Mass spectrometry of the intact proteins confirmed the protein mass and revealed a 30 Da mass difference between proteins from the two species. Tandem mass spectrometry after digestion with three proteases and sequencing de novo defined the complete protein sequence and located an Ala/Thr difference between the two species that explained the 30 Da mass difference. The protein (mature form: 87 amino acids) is an atypical member of the whey acidic protein family (WFDC12). Seasonal excretion of this protein, species difference and male-specific expression during the breeding season suggest that it may have a function in intra- and/or intersexual chemical signalling in the context of reproduction, and could be a cue for sexual selection and species recognition. PMID:28225021

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kobbe, Susanne; Dausmann, Kathrin H

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Burke, Ryan J; Lehman, Shawn M

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  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.

  13. 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

  14. A case of adult cannibalism in the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni

    2012-09-01

    Cannibalism, defined as the eating of conspecific flesh, has been observed in a number of primate species, although it is still a relatively rare phenomenon. In cases where primates were seen feeding on an individual of the same species, the victims have exclusively been infants or juveniles. Here, I report an event of a free-living, adult male gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, cannibalizing an adult conspecific female that died of an unknown cause. This observation has implications for the basic ecology of the species and highlights the potential for great flexibility in diet and behavior by a primate. This is, to my knowledge, the first communication of cannibalistic behavior in this species, as well as the first reported case of a nonhuman primate cannibalizing an adult conspecific.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Metabolism and temperature regulation during daily torpor in the smallest primate, the pygmy mouse lemur (Microcebus myoxinus) in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Ruf, T; Heldmaier, G

    2000-02-01

    Thermoregulation, energetics and patterns of torpor in the pygmy mouse lemur, Microcebus myoxinus, were investigated under natural conditions of photoperiod and temperature in the Kirindy/CFPF Forest in western Madagascar. M. myoxinus entered torpor spontaneously during the cool dry season. Torpor only occurred on a daily basis and torpor bout duration was on average 9.6 h, and ranged from 4.6 h to 19.2 h. Metabolic rates during torpor were reduced to about 86% of the normothermic value. Minimum body temperature during daily torpor was 6.8 degrees C at an ambient temperature of 6.3 degrees C. Entry into torpor occurred randomly between 2000 and 0620 hours, whereas arousals from torpor were clustered around 1300 hours within a narrow time window of less than 4 h. Arousal from torpor was a two-step process with a first passive climb of body temperature to a mean of 27 degrees C, carried by the daily increase of ambient temperature when oxygen consumption remained more or less constant, followed by a second active increase of oxygen consumption to further raise the body temperature to normothermic values. In conclusion, daily body temperature rhythms in M. myoxinus further reduce the energetic costs of daily torpor seen in other species: they extend to unusually low body temperatures and consequently low metabolic rates in torpor, and they employ passive warming to reduce the energetic costs of arousal. Thus, these energy-conserving adaptations may represent an important energetic aid to the pygmy mouse lemur and help to promote their individual fitness.

  2. 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

  3. Unpredictable environments, opportunistic responses: Reproduction and population turnover in two wild mouse lemur species (Microcebus rufus and M. griseorufus) from eastern and western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R

    2015-06-01

    Small-bodied, nocturnal mouse lemurs (Microcebus) are widespread across diverse forest habitats in Madagascar. They are strict seasonal breeders and can, depending on the habitat and species, undergo daily or prolonged torpor to minimize energy expenditure during periods of food and water scarcity. Duration of reproduction, number of litters per season and timing of births vary across individuals and species. The "polyestry-seasonality" hypothesis proposes that the duration of reproduction and number of litters per year are positively correlated with rainfall but negatively correlated with longevity, whereas the "hypervariability" hypothesis suggests that the duration of reproduction is negatively correlated with the degree of predictability of food resources. We test these hypotheses in two mouse lemur species inhabiting contrasting habitats, the brown mouse lemurs, Microcebus rufus, from Ranomafana (a less seasonal and more climatically predictable habitat) and the gray-brown mouse lemurs, M. griseorufus, from Beza Mahafaly (a more seasonal and less climatically predictable environment). We use capture/mark/recapture techniques and records of female reproductive status. We found evidence of polyestry at both study sites but faster population turnover and longer duration of the reproductive season at Beza Mahafaly. The "polyestry-seasonality" hypothesis is not supported but the "hypervariability" hypothesis could not be rejected. We conclude that reproductive output cannot be tied to climatic factors in a simple manner. Paradoxically, polyestry can be expressed in contrasting habitats: less seasonal forests where females can sustain multiple reproductive events, but also highly seasonal environments where females may not fatten sufficiently to sustain prolonged torpor but instead remain active throughout the year by relying on fallback resources. Am. J. Primatol. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. The role of survival for the evolution of female philopatry in a solitary forager, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)

    PubMed Central

    Lutermann, Heike; Schmelting, Barthel; Radespiel, Ute; Ehresmann, Petra; Zimmermann, Elke

    2006-01-01

    It is widely accepted that natal philopatry is a prerequisite for the evolution of sociality. The life-history hypothesis maintains that longevity of adults results in extended territory tenure and thus limits breeding vacancies for offspring, which makes natal philopatry more likely. Here, we tested the importance of longevity for natal philopatry in females of a basal primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). This species is regarded as being solitary due to its foraging habits but while males disperse, female offspring in this species forgo dispersal and form long-term sleeping groups with their mothers. We tested whether high adult survival could be a cause for natal philopatry of female offspring. In addition, we assessed costs and benefits associated with space sharing between mothers and daughters and whether mothers actively increase survival of daughters by beqeauthal of territories, information transfer about resources or thermoregulation. Contrary to our predictions, adult females had low-survival rates. Space sharing appeared to improve survival of both, mothers and daughters. This could be a result of information transfer about sleeping sites and thermoregulatory benefits. Our results cast doubt on the idea that longevity predisposes species for social traits and provide support for benefits of philopatry. PMID:16959645

  7. The grey mouse lemur uses season-dependent fat or protein sparing strategies to face chronic food restriction.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-21

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Aging Research Using Mouse Models.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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, and immune function, as well as 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Myc mouse and anti-ageing therapy.

    PubMed

    Alic, Nazif; Partridge, Linda

    2015-04-01

    Reduction in the expression and activity of a well-known proto-oncogene, Myc, has a beneficial effect on mouse health and survival to old age, in part independently of cancer impact, a recent study reveals. Is this new anti-ageing intervention pointing a way towards new treatments for age-related diseases?

  14. 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

  15. Aging, Breast Cancer and the Mouse Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-05-01

    Presenescent or senescent hBF (1.2 or 18x×10 4/well, respectively) [M, Stampfer , P. Yaswen, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory wdre suspended in 60 l cold...2.8 1 2.8 Inducing a human-like senescent phenotype in mouse fibroblasts Jean-Philihoo Copp , Simona Parrinello, Ana Krtolica, Christopher K. Patil...MAMMARY EPITHELIAL CELL PROLIFERATION AND TUMORIGENESIS: A MOUSE MODEL FOR HUMAN AGING. Jean-Philippe Coppe, Simona Parrinello, Ana Krtolica, Christopher

  16. 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.

  17. Use of Mangroves by Lemurs.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J

    Despite an increasing recognition of the ecosystem services provided by mangroves, we know little about their role in maintaining terrestrial biodiversity, including primates. Madagascar's lemurs are a top global conservation priority, with 94 % of species threatened with extinction, but records of their occurrence in mangroves are scarce. I used a mixed-methods approach to collect published and unpublished observations of lemurs in mangroves: I carried out a systematic literature search and supplemented this with a targeted information request to 1243 researchers, conservation and tourism professionals, and others who may have visited mangroves in Madagascar. I found references to, or observations of, at least 23 species in 5 families using mangroves, representing >20% of lemur species and >50% of species whose distributions include mangrove areas. Lemurs used mangroves for foraging, sleeping, and traveling between terrestrial forest patches, and some were observed as much as 3 km from the nearest permanently dry land. However, most records were anecdotal and thus tell us little about lemur ecology in this habitat. Mangroves are more widely used by lemurs than has previously been recognized and merit greater attention from primate researchers and conservationists in Madagascar.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Mouse models and aging: longevity and progeria.

    PubMed

    Liao, Chen-Yu; Kennedy, Brian K

    2014-01-01

    Aging is a complex, multifactorial process that is likely influenced by the activities of a range of biological pathways. Genetic approaches to identify genes modulating longevity have been highly successful and recent efforts have extended these studies to mammalian aging. A variety of genetic models have been reported to have enhanced lifespan and, similarly, many genetic interventions lead to progeroid phenotypes. Here, we detail and evaluate both sets of models, focusing on the insights they provide about the molecular processes modulating aging and the extent to which mutations conferring progeroid pathologies really phenocopy accelerated aging.

  8. 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.

  9. Human-introduced long-term traditions in wild redfronted lemurs?

    PubMed

    Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Dittmann, Marie T; Fichtel, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Behavioural traditions have only been described for a small subset of species, and the factors responsible for the maintenance of traditions over time are unclear. Redfronted lemurs are known to learn socially but traditions have not been described in the wild. We conducted a social diffusion experiment over three experimental years with artificial feeding boxes that could be opened in two different ways (pushing or pulling a door). Six out of 14 individuals that participated in at least 2 years exhibited a stable preference: five lemurs maintained a pull and one lemur a push preference, suggesting that habit formation and reinforcement learning may have lead to preferences over time. The remaining individuals exhibited fluctuating preferences and switched between showing a preference or no preference, but never switched between preferences. This instability might have been due to the low level of difficulty and/or the low object specificity of the task. The majority of lemurs additionally scrounged. Scrounging was not influenced by age, sex or success in manipulating the boxes. Thus, redfronted lemurs appear to use the two techniques flexibly but also scrounged opportunistically to get access to the rewards, indicating that traditions might be stabilized by multiple factors.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. MicroRNA expression in the aging mouse thymus.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Rapid Decrease in Populations of Wild Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta) in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Clarke, Tara A; Reuter, Kim; Schaeffer, Toby

    2016-01-01

    Lemurs are the most threatened group of mammals on earth. Lemur catta (ring-tailed lemur) represents one of the most iconic lemur species and faces numerous anthropogenic threats in the wild. In this study, we present population estimates from 32 sites across the range of L. catta, collected from primary and secondary data sources, to assess the number of ring-tailed lemurs left in the wild. We estimate that there are approximately 2,220 individual L. catta remaining in the 32 sites considered. We note local extinctions of populations of L. catta in at least 12 of the 32 sites examined, and that significantly more extinctions occurred in areas without some form of protection. This decrease in extant populations could represent a decrease of more than 95% of all ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar since the year 2000. While these results should be considered preliminary, we stress the rapid decline of the species and note that habitat loss, bushmeat hunting and the illegal pet trade are driving populations to local extinction. Based on the data presented here, urgent and immediate funding and conservation action are crucial to ensure the viability of the remaining wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs.

  16. 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.

  17. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  18. Impaired fasting blood glucose is associated to cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy in middle-aged non-human primates

    PubMed Central

    Djelti, Fathia; Dhenain, Marc; Terrien, Jérémy; Picq, Jean-Luc; Hardy, Isabelle; Champeval, Delphine; Perret, Martine; Schenker, Esther; Epelbaum, Jacques; Aujard, Fabienne

    2017-01-01

    Age-associated cognitive impairment is a major health and social issue because of increasing aged population. Cognitive decline is not homogeneous in humans and the determinants leading to differences between subjects are not fully understood. In middle-aged healthy humans, fasting blood glucose levels in the upper normal range are associated with memory impairment and cerebral atrophy. Due to a close evolutional similarity to Man, non-human primates may be useful to investigate the relationships between glucose homeostasis, cognitive deficits and structural brain alterations. In the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, spatial memory deficits have been associated with age and cerebral atrophy but the origin of these alterations have not been clearly identified. Herein, we showed that, on 28 female grey mouse lemurs (age range 2.4-6.1 years-old), age correlated with impaired fasting blood glucose (rs=0.37) but not with impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. In middle-aged animals (4.1-6.1 years-old), fasting blood glucose was inversely and closely linked with spatial memory performance (rs=0.56) and hippocampus (rs=−0.62) or septum (rs=−0.55) volumes. These findings corroborate observations in humans and further support the grey mouse lemur as a natural model to unravel mechanisms which link impaired glucose homeostasis, brain atrophy and cognitive processes. PMID:28039490

  19. 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

  20. Aging in mouse and human systems: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, Lloyd

    2006-05-01

    This article discusses the significance of mouse models as a basis for elucidating the aging process in humans. We identify certain parallels between mouse and human systems and review the theoretical and empirical support for the claim that the large divergence in the rate of aging between the two species resides in differences in the stability of their metabolic networks. We will show that these differences in metabolic stability have their origin in the different ecological constraints the species experience during their evolutionary history. We exploit these ideas to compare the effect of caloric restriction on murine and human systems. The studies predict that the large increases in mean life span and maximum life-span potential observed in laboratory rodents subject to caloric restriction will not obtain in human populations. We predict that, in view of the different metabolic stability of the two systems, caloric restriction will have no effect on the maximum life-span potential of humans, and a relatively minor effect on the mean life span of nonobese populations. This article thus points to certain intrinsic limitations in the use of mouse models in elucidating the aging process in humans. We furthermore contend the view that these limitations can be mitigated by considering the metabolic stability of the two species.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-09-09

    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.

  2. Genetic mouse models of brain ageing and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras

    2014-05-01

    Progression of brain ageing is influenced by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Analysis of genetically modified animals with uniform genetic backgrounds in a standardised, controlled environment enables the dissection of critical determinants of brain ageing on a molecular level. Human and animal studies suggest that increased load of damaged macromolecules, efficacy of DNA maintenance, mitochondrial activity, and cellular stress defences are critical determinants of brain ageing. Surprisingly, mouse lines with genetic impairment of anti-oxidative capacity generally did not show enhanced cognitive ageing but rather an increased sensitivity to oxidative challenge. Mouse lines with impaired mitochondrial activity had critically short life spans or severe and rapidly progressing neurodegeneration. Strains with impaired clearance in damaged macromolecules or defects in the regulation of cellular stress defences showed alterations in the onset and progression of cognitive decline. Importantly, reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling generally increased life span but impaired cognitive functions revealing a complex interaction between ageing of the brain and of the body. Brain ageing is accompanied by an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Transgenic mouse models expressing high levels of mutant human amyloid precursor protein showed a number of symptoms and pathophysiological processes typical for early phase of Alzheimer's disease. Generally, therapeutic strategies effective against Alzheimer's disease in humans were also active in the Tg2576, APP23, APP/PS1 and 5xFAD lines, but a large number of false positive findings were also reported. The 3xtg AD model likely has the highest face and construct validity but further studies are needed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mok, Hyuck Jun; Shin, Hyejin; 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Dental topography indicates ecological contraction of lemur communities.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M; Weil, Anne

    2008-04-01

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

  1. Draft Genome Sequence of Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807T Isolated from the Gastrointestinal Tracts of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Toh, Hidehiro; Matsubara, Takehiro; Tomida, Shuta; Mimura, Iyo; Arakawa, Kensuke; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807T was isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of this organism. PMID:28232445

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Testing the adaptive radiation hypothesis for the lemurs of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Lemurs, the diverse, endemic primates of Madagascar, are thought to represent a classic example of adaptive radiation. Based on the most complete phylogeny of living and extinct lemurs yet assembled, I tested predictions of adaptive radiation theory by estimating rates of speciation, extinction and adaptive phenotypic evolution. As predicted, lemur speciation rate exceeded that of their sister clade by nearly twofold, indicating the diversification dynamics of lemurs and mainland relatives may have been decoupled. Lemur diversification rates did not decline over time, however, as predicted by adaptive radiation theory. Optimal body masses diverged among dietary and activity pattern niches as lineages diversified into unique multidimensional ecospace. Based on these results, lemurs only partially fulfil the predictions of adaptive radiation theory, with phenotypic evolution corresponding to an ‘early burst’ of adaptive differentiation. The results must be interpreted with caution, however, because over the long evolutionary history of lemurs (approx. 50 million years), the ‘early burst’ signal of adaptive radiation may have been eroded by extinction. PMID:28280597

  5. Novel opsin gene variation in large-bodied, diurnal lemurs.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Rachel L; MacFie, Tammie S; Spriggs, Amanda N; Baden, Andrea L; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Irwin, Mitchell T; Lawler, Richard R; Pastorini, Jennifer; Mayor, Mireya; Lei, Runhua; Culligan, Ryan; Hawkins, Melissa T R; Kappeler, Peter M; Wright, Patricia C; Louis, Edward E; Mundy, Nicholas I; Bradley, Brenda J

    2017-03-01

    Some primate populations include both trichromatic and dichromatic (red-green colour blind) individuals due to allelic variation at the X-linked opsin locus. This polymorphic trichromacy is well described in day-active New World monkeys. Less is known about colour vision in Malagasy lemurs, but, unlike New World monkeys, only some day-active lemurs are polymorphic, while others are dichromatic. The evolutionary pressures underlying these differences in lemurs are unknown, but aspects of species ecology, including variation in activity pattern, are hypothesized to play a role. Limited data on X-linked opsin variation in lemurs make such hypotheses difficult to evaluate. We provide the first detailed examination of X-linked opsin variation across a lemur clade (Indriidae). We sequenced the X-linked opsin in the most strictly diurnal and largest extant lemur, Indri indri, and nine species of smaller, generally diurnal indriids (Propithecus). Although nocturnal Avahi (sister taxon to Propithecus) lacks a polymorphism, at least eight species of diurnal indriids have two or more X-linked opsin alleles. Four rainforest-living taxa-I. indri and the three largest Propithecus species-have alleles not previously documented in lemurs. Moreover, we identified at least three opsin alleles in Indri with peak spectral sensitivities similar to some New World monkeys.

  6. Distribution of caveolin isoforms in the lemur retina.

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wright, P C

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fogel, Andrew T

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. GDF11 administration does not extend lifespan in a mouse model of premature aging

    PubMed Central

    Freitas-Rodríguez, Sandra; Rodríguez, Francisco; Folgueras, Alicia R.

    2016-01-01

    GDF11 has recently emerged as a powerful anti-aging candidate, found in young blood, capable of rejuvenating a number of aged tissues, such as heart, skeletal muscle and brain. However, recent reports have shown contradictory data questioning its capacity to reverse age-related tissue dysfunction. The availability of a mouse model of accelerated aging, which shares most of the features occurring in physiological aging, gives us an excellent opportunity to test in vivo therapies aimed at extending lifespan both in pathological and normal aging. On this basis, we wondered whether the proposed anti-aging functions of GDF11 would have an overall effect on longevity. We first confirmed the existence of a reduction in GDF11/8 levels in our mouse model of accelerated aging compared with wild-type littermates. However, we show herein that GDF11 daily administration does not extend lifespan of premature-aged mice. PMID:27507054

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Comparative Analysis of Serial Ordering in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Merritt, Dustin; MacLean, Evan L.; Jaffe, Sarah; Brannon, Elizabeth M.

    2010-01-01

    Research over the last 25 years has demonstrated that animals are able to organize sequences in memory and retrieve ordered sequences without language. Qualitative differences have been found between the serial organization of behavior in pigeons and monkeys. Here the authors test serial ordering abilities in ring-tailed lemurs, a strepsirrhine primate whose ancestral lineage diverged from that of monkeys, apes, and humans approximately 63 million years ago. Lemurs’ accuracy and response times were similar to monkeys, thus suggesting that they may share mechanisms for serial organization that dates to a common primate ancestor. PMID:18085919

  4. The use of urinary proteomics in the assessment of suitability of mouse models for ageing

    PubMed Central

    Nkuipou-Kenfack, Esther; Schanstra, Joost P.; Bajwa, Seerat; Pejchinovski, Martin; Vinel, Claire; Dray, Cédric; Valet, Philippe; Bascands, Jean-Loup; Vlahou, Antonia; Koeck, Thomas; Borries, Melanie; Busch, Hauke; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke; Huber, Tobias B.; Rudolph, Karl L.; Pich, Andreas; Mischak, Harald; Zürbig, Petra

    2017-01-01

    Ageing is a complex process characterised by a systemic and progressive deterioration of biological functions. As ageing is associated with an increased prevalence of age-related chronic disorders, understanding its underlying molecular mechanisms can pave the way for therapeutic interventions and managing complications. Animal models such as mice are commonly used in ageing research as they have a shorter lifespan in comparison to humans and are also genetically close to humans. To assess the translatability of mouse ageing to human ageing, the urinary proteome in 89 wild-type (C57BL/6) mice aged between 8–96 weeks was investigated using capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry (CE-MS). Using age as a continuous variable, 295 peptides significantly correlated with age in mice were identified. To investigate the relevance of using mouse models in human ageing studies, a comparison was performed with a previous correlation analysis using 1227 healthy subjects. In mice and humans, a decrease in urinary excretion of fibrillar collagens and an increase of uromodulin fragments was observed with advanced age. Of the 295 peptides correlating with age, 49 had a strong homology to the respective human age-related peptides. These ortholog peptides including several collagen (N = 44) and uromodulin (N = 5) fragments were used to generate an ageing classifier that was able to discriminate the age among both wild-type mice and healthy subjects. Additionally, the ageing classifier depicted that telomerase knock-out mice were older than their chronological age. Hence, with a focus on ortholog urinary peptides mouse ageing can be translated to human ageing. PMID:28199320

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

    PubMed

    Chatfield, Jenifer; Penfold, Linda

    2007-06-01

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

  6. Metabolism, Genomics, and DNA Repair in the Mouse Aging Liver

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The liver plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of nutrients, drugs, hormones, and metabolic waste products, thereby maintaining body homeostasis. The liver undergoes substantial changes in structure and function within old age. Such changes are associated with significant impairment of many hepatic metabolic and detoxification activities, with implications for systemic aging and age-related disease. It has become clear, using rodent models as biological tools, that genetic instability in the form of gross DNA rearrangements or point mutations accumulate in the liver with age. DNA lesions, such as oxidized bases or persistent breaks, increase with age and correlate well with the presence of senescent hepatocytes. The level of DNA damage and/or mutation can be affected by changes in carcinogen activation, decreased ability to repair DNA, or a combination of these factors. This paper covers some of the DNA repair pathways affecting liver homeostasis with age using rodents as model systems. PMID:21559242

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. Variance-sensitive choice in lemurs: constancy trumps quantity.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Evan L; Mandalaywala, Tara M; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that animals' tolerance for risk when foraging can be affected by changes in metabolic state. Specifically, animals on a negative energy budget increase their preferences for risk, while animals on a positive energy budget are typically risk-averse. The malleability of these preferences may be evolutionarily advantageous, and important for maximizing chances of survival during brief periods of energetic stress. However, animals adapted to living in unpredictable conditions are unlikely to benefit from risk-seeking strategies, and instead are expected to reduce energetic demands while maintaining risk-aversion. We measured risk preferences in lemurs, a group of primates restricted to the island of Madagascar. Lemurs have evolved diverse anatomical and behavioral traits for survival in a harsh and unpredictable ecology, and these traits have been explained as forms of anatomical and behavioral risk reduction. We therefore predicted that lemurs would also be risk-averse in a behavioral task that offered subjects a choice between a small certain reward, and an uncertain but potentially large reward. In Experiment 1, the average rewards associated with the constant and variable options were equal and lemurs exhibited high levels of risk-aversion, replicating a phenomenon that has been demonstrated in dozens of taxa. In Experiment 2, we gradually increased the average value of the variable option relative to the constant option. Lemurs' preferences tracked these changes and subjects became more risk-seeking as the risk premium increased. However, many subjects maintained high levels of risk-aversion even when the average payout of the variable option yielded double that of the constant option. These results are consistent with the notion that lemur cognition has evolved to minimize risk in an unpredictable island environment.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. CircRNA accumulation in the aging mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Gruner, Hannah; Cortés-López, Mariela; Cooper, Daphne A.; Bauer, Matthew; Miura, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a newly appreciated class of RNAs expressed across diverse phyla. These enigmatic transcripts are most commonly generated by back-splicing events from exons of protein-coding genes. This results in highly stable RNAs due to the lack of free 5′ and 3′ ends. CircRNAs are enriched in neural tissues, suggesting that they might have neural functions. Here, we sought to determine whether circRNA accumulation occurs during aging in mice. Total RNA-seq profiling of young (1 month old) and aged (22 month old) cortex, hippocampus and heart samples was performed. This led to the confident detection of 6,791 distinct circRNAs across these samples, including 675 novel circRNAs. Analysis uncovered a strong bias for circRNA upregulation during aging in neural tissues. These age-accumulation trends were verified for individual circRNAs by RT-qPCR and Northern analysis. In contrast, comparison of aged versus young hearts failed to reveal a global trend for circRNA upregulation. Age-accumulation of circRNAs in brain tissues was found to be largely independent from linear RNA expression of host genes. These findings suggest that circRNAs might play biological roles relevant to the aging nervous system. PMID:27958329

  13. Altered prion protein glycosylation in the aging mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Goh, Angeline Xi-Hua; Li, Chaoyang; Sy, Man-Sun; Wong, Boon-Seng

    2007-02-01

    The normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a glycoprotein with two highly conserved potential N-linked glycosylation sites. All prion diseases, whether inherited, infectious or sporadic, are believed to share the same pathogenic mechanism that is based on the conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to the pathogenic scrapie prion protein (PrP(Sc)). However, the clinical and histopathological presentations of prion diseases are heterogeneous, depending not only on the strains of PrP(Sc) but also on the mechanism of diseases, such as age-related sporadic vs. infectious prion diseases. Accumulated evidence suggests that N-linked glycans on PrP(C) are important in disease phenotype. A better understanding of the nature of the N-linked glycans on PrP(C) during the normal aging process may provide new insights into the roles that N-linked glycans play in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. By using a panel of 19 lectins in an antibody-lectin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we found that the lectin binding profiles of PrP(C) alter significantly during aging. There is an increasing prevalence of complex oligosaccharides on the aging PrP(C), which are features of PrP(Sc). Taken together, this study suggests a link between the glycosylation patterns on PrP(C) during aging and PrP(Sc).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Hypoxia and dehydroepiandrosterone in old age: a mouse survival study

    PubMed Central

    Debonneuil, Edouard H; Quillard, Janine; Baulieu, Etienne-Emile

    2006-01-01

    Background Survival remains an issue in pulmonary hypertension, a chronic disorder that often affects aged human adults. In young adult mice and rats, chronic 50% hypoxia (11% FIO2 or 0.5 atm) induces pulmonary hypertension without threatening life. In this framework, oral dehydroepiandrosterone was recently shown to prevent and reverse pulmonary hypertension in rats within a few weeks. To evaluate dehydroepiandrosterone therapy more globally, in the long term and in old age, we investigated whether hypoxia decreases lifespan and whether dehydroepiandrosterone improves survival under hypoxia. Methods 240 C57BL/6 mice were treated, from the age of 21 months until death, by normobaric hypoxia (11% FIO2) or normoxia, both with and without dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (25 mg/kg in drinking water) (4 groups, N = 60). Survival, pulmonary artery and heart remodeling, weight and blood patterns were assessed. Results In normoxia, control mice reached the median age of 27 months (median survival: 184 days). Hypoxia not only induced cardiopulmonary remodeling and polycythemia in old animals but also induced severe weight loss, trembling behavior and high mortality (p < 0.001, median survival: 38 days). Under hypoxia however, dehydroepiandrosterone not only significantly reduced cardiopulmonary remodeling but also remarkably extended survival (p < 0.01, median survival: 126 days). Weight loss and trembling behavior at least partially remained, and polycythemia completely, the latter possibly favorably participating in blood oxygenation. Interestingly, at the dose used, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate was detrimental to long-term survival in normoxia (p < 0.05, median survival: 147 days). Conclusion Dehydroepiandrosterone globally reduced what may be called an age-related frailty induced by hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. This interestingly recalls an inverse correlation found in the prospective PAQUID epidemiological study, between dehydroepiandrosterone blood levels and

  16. The influence of social organisation on leadership in brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) in a controlled environment.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, A; Maumy, M; Petit, O

    2008-10-01

    Studies on leadership during group movements in several lemur species showed that females were responsible for the travelling choices concerning time and direction. Interestingly, in these species females are dominant over males. We investigated the influence of social organisation upon leadership processes by studying a lemur species in which social organisation is characterized by the absence of female dominance: the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus fulvus). The study was conducted on a semi-free ranging group of 11 individuals and the analysis performed on 69 group movements showed that all the individuals could initiate a group movement. In 34 cases, the whole group moved. There was no significant difference in the number of start attempts or in the number of group members involved from one initiator to another. Moreover, there was no effect of sex or age of the initiator on the number of individuals following it or on the speed of the joining process. Therefore, the leadership observed is widely distributed to all group members. These results support the hypothesis of an influence of social organisation upon the decision-making processes but still remain to be studied in a more relevant ecological context.

  17. Genetic analysis of hybridization and introgression between wild mongoose and brown lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Zaramody, Alphonse; Curtis, Deborah J; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-01-01

    Background Hybrid zones generally represent areas of secondary contact after speciation. The nature of the interaction between genes of individuals in a hybrid zone is of interest in the study of evolutionary processes. In this study, data from nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to genetically characterize hybridization between wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and brown lemurs (E. fulvus) at Anjamena in west Madagascar. Results Two segments of mtDNA have been sequenced and 12 microsatellite loci screened in 162 brown lemurs and mongoose lemurs. Among the mongoose lemur population at Anjamena, we identified two F1 hybrids (one also having the mtDNA haplotype of E. fulvus) and six other individuals with putative introgressed alleles in their genotype. Principal component analysis groups both hybrids as intermediate between E. mongoz and E. fulvus and admixture analyses revealed an admixed genotype for both animals. Paternity testing proved one F1 hybrid to be fertile. Of the eight brown lemurs genotyped, all have either putative introgressed microsatellite alleles and/or the mtDNA haplotype of E. mongoz. Conclusion Introgression is bidirectional for the two species, with an indication that it is more frequent in brown lemurs than in mongoose lemurs. We conclude that this hybridization occurs because mongoose lemurs have expanded their range relatively recently. Introgressive hybridization may play an important role in the unique lemur radiation, as has already been shown in other rapidly evolving animals. PMID:19196458

  18. Effect of reproductive ageing on pregnant mouse uterus and cervix

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Rima; Moffatt, James D.; Mourmoura, Evangelia; Demaison, Luc; Seed, Paul T.; Poston, Lucilla

    2017-01-01

    Key points Older pregnant women have a greater risk of operative delivery, still birth and post‐term induction.This suggests that maternal age can influence the timing of birth and processes of parturition.We have found that increasing maternal age in C57BL/6J mice is associated with prolongation of gestation and length of labour.Older pregnant mice also had delayed progesterone withdrawal and impaired myometrial function.Uterine ageing and labour dysfunction should be investigated further in older primigravid women. Abstract Advanced maternal age (≥35 years) is associated with increased rates of operative delivery, stillbirth and post‐term labour induction. The physiological causes remain uncertain, although impaired myometrial function has been implicated. To investigate the hypothesis that maternal age directly influences successful parturition, we assessed the timing of birth and fetal outcome in pregnant C57BL/6J mice at 3 months (young) and 5 months (intermediate) vs. 8 months (older) of age using infrared video recording. Serum progesterone profiles, myometrium and cervix function, and mitochondrial electron transport chain complex enzymatic activities were also examined. Older pregnant mice had a longer mean gestation and labour duration (P < 0.001), as well as reduced litter size (P < 0.01) vs. 3‐month‐old mice. Older mice did not exhibit the same decline in serum progesterone concentrations as younger mice. Cervical tissues from older mice were more distensible than younger mice (P < 0.05). Oxytocin receptor and connexin‐43 mRNA expression were reduced in the myometrium from 8‐month‐old vs. 3‐month‐old mice (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01 respectively) in tandem with more frequent but shorter duration spontaneous myometrial contractions (P < 0.05) and an attenuated contractile response to oxytocin. Myometrial mitochondrial copy number was reduced in older mice, although there were no age‐induced changes to the enzymatic

  19. 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

  20. Prion protein accumulation in lipid rafts of mouse aging brain.

    PubMed

    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 (PrP(C)) 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 PrP(C). In old mice, this change favors PrP(C) accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrP(C) translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), we looked at PrP(C) 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 PrP(C) 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Working memory in the aged Ts65Dn mouse, a model for Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Katharine N; Wenger, Galen R

    2012-06-15

    The Ts65Dn mouse displays several phenotypic abnormalities that parallel characteristics found in Down syndrome. One important characteristic associated with Down syndrome is an increased incidence of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Since Alzheimer's disease is characterized largely by progressive memory loss, it is of interest to study working memory in the Ts65Dn mouse. Previous research in our lab using a titrating, delayed matching-to-position schedule of reinforcement has demonstrated that young, adult male Ts65Dn mice do not display a working memory deficit when compared to age-matched littermate controls. However, there have been no studies examining the working memory of these mice as they age. Due to the correlation between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease, and as part of a larger effort to further characterize the phenotype of the Ts65Dn mouse, the purpose of this study was to determine whether aged Ts65Dn mice possess a working memory deficit when compared to age-matched littermate controls. In order to study working memory, two groups of mice were trained under a titrating, delayed matching-to-position schedule of reinforcement. The first group was trained beginning at 3 months of age, and the second group began training at 15 months of age. Both groups were studied to 24 months of age. Initially, both groups of Ts65Dn mice performed at a lower level of accuracy than the control mice; however, this difference disappeared with further practice. The results from these lifespan studies indicate that the aged Ts65Dn mouse does not possess a working memory deficit when compared to age-matched controls.

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

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Paternity in wild ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): Implications for male mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Sauther, Michelle L.; Cuozzo, Frank P.; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Lawler, Richard R.; Sussman, Robert W.; Gould, Lisa; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    1 In group‐living species with male dominance hierarchies where receptive periods of females do not overlap, high male reproductive skew would be predicted. However, the existence of female multiple mating and alternative male mating strategies can call into question single‐male monopolization of paternity in groups. Ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are seasonally breeding primates that live in multi‐male, multi‐female groups. Although established groups show male dominance hierarchies, male dominance relationships can break down during mating periods. In addition, females are the dominant sex and mate with multiple males during estrus, including group residents, and extra‐group males—posing the question of whether there is high or low male paternity skew in groups. In this study, we analyzed paternity in a population of wild L. catta from the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Paternity was determined with 80–95% confidence for 39 offspring born to nine different groups. We calculated male reproductive skew indices for six groups, and our results showed a range of values corresponding to both high and low reproductive skew. Between 21% and 33% of offspring (3 of 14 or three of nine, counting paternity assignments at the 80% or 95% confidence levels, respectively) were sired by extra‐troop males. Males siring offspring within the same group during the same year appear to be unrelated. Our study provides evidence of varying male reproductive skew in different L. catta groups. A single male may monopolize paternity across one or more years, while in other groups, >1 male can sire offspring within the same group, even within a single year. Extra‐group mating is a viable strategy that can result in extra‐group paternity for L. catta males. PMID:27391113

  6. Nicotinamide: a class III HDACi delays in vitro aging of mouse oocytes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ah Reum; Kishigami, Satoshi; Amano, Tomoko; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Wakayama, Teruhiko; Hosoi, Yoshihiko

    2013-01-01

    Postovulatory mammalian oocyte developmental potential decreases with aging in vivo and in vitro. Aging oocytes typically show cellular fragmentation and chromosome scattering with an abnormally shaped spindle over time. Previously, it was shown that histone acetylation in the mouse oocyte increased during aging and that treatment with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor for class I and II histone deacetylases (HDACs), enhanced the acetylation, that is, aging. In this study, we examined the effect of nicotinamide (NAM), an inhibitor for class III HDACs, on in vitro aging of mouse oocytes as well as TSA. We found that treatment with NAM significantly inhibited cellular fragmentation, spindle elongation and astral microtubules up to 48 h of culture. Although presence of TSA partially inhibited cellular fragmentation and spindle elongation up to 36 h of culture, treatment with TSA induced chromosome scattering at 24 h of culture and more severe cellular fragmentation at 48 h of culture. Further, we found that α-tubulin, a nonhistone protein, increased acetylation during aging, suggesting that not only histone but nonhistone protein acetylation may also increase with oocyte aging. Thus, these data indicate that protein acetylation is abnormally regulated in aging oocytes, which are associated with a variety of aging phenotypes, and that class I/II and class III HDACs may play distinct roles in aging oocytes.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [Utilization of Werner syndrome mouse model in studying premature aging and tumor].

    PubMed

    Jia, Shu-Ting; Yang, Shi-Hua; Luo, Ying

    2009-08-01

    Werner syndrome (WS) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disease in human. It is considered as a good model disease in studying human premature syndrome. Werner protein (WRN) is a nuclear protein mutated in WS. Recent biochemical and genetic studies indicated that WRN plays important roles in DNA replication, DNA repair, and telomere maintenance. Here, we reviewed the molecular genetics of WS and the importance of telomere and WRN in the development of WS. Knocking out both telomerase and Wrn genes in mouse faithfully manifests human WS. The mouse model provides a unique genetic platform to explore the crosstalk of premature aging and tumor.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Junge, Randall E

    2010-12-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Age-dependent phenotypic characteristics of a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Pietropaolo, Susanna; Feldon, Joram; Yee, Benjamin K

    2008-08-01

    The triple-transgenic mouse line (3 x Tg-AD) harboring PS1M146V, APPSwe, and taup301L transgenes represents the only transgenic model for Alzheimer's disease (AD) to date capturing both beta-amyloid and tau neuropathology. The present study provides an extensive behavioral characterization of the 3 x Tg-AD mouse line, evaluating the emergence of noncognitive and cognitive AD-like symptoms at two ages corresponding to the early (6-7 months) and advanced (12-13 months) stages of AD-pathology. Enhanced responsiveness to aversive stimulation was detected in mutant mice at both ages: the 3 x Tg-AD genotype enhanced acoustic startle response and facilitated performance in the cued-version of the water maze. These noncognitive phenotypes were accompanied by hyperactivity and reduced locomotor habituation in the open field at the older age. Signs of cognitive aberrations were also detected at both ages, but they were limited to associative learning. The present study suggests that this popular transgenic mouse model of AD has clear phenotypes beyond the cognitive domain, and their potential relationship to the cognitive phenotypes should be further explored.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  20. Comparison of conservation metrics in a case study of lemurs.

    PubMed

    Gudde, Renske; Venditti, Chris

    2016-12-01

    Conservation planning is important to protect species from going extinct now that natural habitats are decreasing owing to human activity and climate change. However, there is considerable controversy in choosing appropriate metrics to weigh the value of species and geographic regions. For example, the added value of phylogenetic conservation-selection criteria remains disputed because high correlations between them and the nonphylogenetic criteria of species richness have been reported. We evaluated the commonly used conservation metrics species richness, endemism, phylogenetic diversity (PD), and phylogenetic endemism (PE) in a case study on lemurs of Madagascar. This enabled us to identify the conservation target of each metric and consider how they may be used in future conservation planning. We also devised a novel metric that uses a phylogeny scaled according to the rate of phenotypic evolution as a proxy for a species' ability to adapt to change. High rates of evolution may indicate generalization or specialization. Both specialization and low rates of evolution may result in an inability to adapt to changing environments. We examined conservation priorities by using the inverse of the rate of body mass evolution to account for species with low rates of evolution. In line with previous work, we found high correlations among species richness and PD (r = 0.96), and endemism and PE (r = 0.82) in Malagasy lemurs. Phylogenetic endemism in combination with rates of evolution and their inverse prioritized grid cells containing highly endemic and specialized lemurs at risk of extinction, such as Avahi occidentalis and Lepilemur edwardsi, 2 endangered lemurs with high rates of phenotypic evolution and low-quality diets, and Hapalemur aureus, a critically endangered species with a low rate of body mass evolution and a diet consisting of very high doses of cyanide.

  1. Lemur behaviour informs the evolution of social monogamy.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. New wrist bones of the Malagasy giant subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hamrick, M W; Simons, E L; Jungers, W L

    2000-05-01

    Recently discovered wrist bones of the Malagasy subfossil lemurs Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus ingens, Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion, and Megaladapis madagascariensis shed new light on the postcranial morphologies and positional behaviors that characterized these extinct primates. Wrist bones of P. ingens resemble those of certain modern hominoids in having a relatively enlarged ulnar head and dorsally extended articular surface on the hamate, features related to a large range of rotation at the inferior radioulnar and midcarpal joints. The scaphoid of P. ingens is also similar to that of the extant tree sloth Choloepus in having an elongate, palmarly directed tubercle forming a deep radial margin of the carpal tunnel for the passage of large digital flexors. In contrast, wrist remains of Megaladapis edwardsi and M. madagascariensis exhibit traits observed in the hands of extant pronograde, arboreal primates; these include a dorsopalmarly expanded pisiform and well-developed "spiral" facet on the hamate. Moreover, Megaladapis spp. and Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion possess bony tubercles (e.g., scaphoid tubercle and hamate hamulus) forming the carpal tunnel that are relatively similar in length to those of modern pronograde lemurs. Babakotia and Mesopropithecus differ from Megaladapis in exhibiting features of the midcarpal joint related to frequent supination and radioulnar deviation of the hand characteristic of animals that use vertical and quadrumanous climbing in their foraging behaviors. Comparative analysis of subfossil lemur wrist morphology complements and expands upon prior inferences based on other regions of the postcranial skeleton, and suggests a considerable degree of locomotor and postural heterogeneity among these recently extinct primates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, John P.; Berndt, Annerose; Sundberg, Beth A.; Silva, Kathleen A.; Kennedy, Victoria; Smith, Richard S.; Cooper, Timothy K.; Schofield, Paul N.

    2017-01-01

    Inbred mice are a unique model system for studying aging because of the genetic homogeneity within inbred strains, the short life span of mice relative to humans, and the rich array of analytical tools that are available. A large-scale aging study was conducted on 28 inbred strains representing great genetic diversity to determine, using histopathology, the type and diversity of spontaneous diseases aging mice develop. Eighteen inbred strains have had their genomes sequenced and many others have been partially sequenced to provide large repositories of data on genetic variation between the strains. This vast amount of genomic information can be utilized in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to find candidate genes that are involved in the pathogenesis of spontaneous diseases. We present here, as an illustration, a GWAS of the genetic associations of age-related intestinal amyloidosis which implicates three candidate genes Tram1, Sf3b5, and Stx11. Many of the age-related mouse diseases are similar, if not identical, to human diseases and therefore the genetic discoveries have direct translational benefit. Representative photomicrographs are available on the Mouse Tumor Biology Database and Pathbase to serve as a reference when evaluating inbred mice used in other genetic or experimental studies to rule out strain background lesions. PMID:26936752

  8. The gaits of primates: center of mass mechanics in walking, cantering and galloping ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C; Schmitt, Daniel

    2012-05-15

    Most primates, including lemurs, have a broad range of locomotor capabilities, yet much of the time, they walk at slow speeds and amble, canter or gallop at intermediate and fast speeds. Although numerous studies have investigated limb function during primate quadrupedalism, how the center of mass (COM) moves is not well understood. Here, we examined COM energy, work and power during walking, cantering and galloping in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta (N=5), over a broad speed range (0.43-2.91 m s(-1)). COM energy recoveries were substantial during walking (35-71%) but lower during canters and gallops (10-51%). COM work, power and collisional losses increased with speed. The positive COM works were 0.625 J kg(-1) m(-1) for walks and 1.661 J kg(-1) m(-1) for canters and gallops, which are in the middle range of published values for terrestrial animals. Although some discontinuities in COM mechanics were evident between walking and cantering, there was no apparent analog to the trot-gallop transition across the intermediate and fast speed range (dimensionless v>0.75, Fr>0.5). A phenomenological model of a lemur cantering and trotting at the same speed shows that canters ensure continuous contact of the body with the substrate while reducing peak vertical COM forces, COM stiffness and COM collisions. We suggest that cantering, rather than trotting, at intermediate speeds may be tied to the arboreal origins of the Order Primates. These data allow us to better understand the mechanics of primate gaits and shed new light on primate locomotor evolution.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Discovery of an island population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus) on Nosy Hara, far northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Jasper, Louise D

    2015-10-01

    The species-level diversity of Madagascar's lemurs has increased hugely over the last two decades, growing from 32 species in 1994 to 102 species in 2014. This growth is primarily due to the application of molecular phylogenetic analyses and the phylogenetic species concept to known populations, and few previously unknown lemur populations have been discovered during this time. We report on a new population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.) from Nosy Hara, a 312-ha island in far northern Madagascar, which constitutes the northernmost distribution record for the genus. The dwarf lemurs appeared to show two characteristics of island populations-insular dwarfism and predator naïveté-that suggest a long isolation, and may thus represent an undescribed taxon. If this is the case, the dwarf lemurs of Nosy Hara are probably one of the rarest primate taxa on Earth.

  12. Splicing-directed therapy in a new mouse model of human accelerated aging.

    PubMed

    Osorio, Fernando G; Navarro, Claire L; Cadiñanos, Juan; López-Mejía, Isabel C; Quirós, Pedro M; Bartoli, Catherine; Rivera, José; Tazi, Jamal; Guzmán, Gabriela; Varela, Ignacio; Depetris, Danielle; de Carlos, Félix; Cobo, Juan; Andrés, Vicente; De Sandre-Giovannoli, Annachiara; Freije, José M P; Lévy, Nicolas; López-Otín, Carlos

    2011-10-26

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is caused by a point mutation in the LMNA gene that activates a cryptic donor splice site and yields a truncated form of prelamin A called progerin. Small amounts of progerin are also produced during normal aging. Studies with mouse models of HGPS have allowed the recent development of the first therapeutic approaches for this disease. However, none of these earlier works have addressed the aberrant and pathogenic LMNA splicing observed in HGPS patients because of the lack of an appropriate mouse model. Here, we report a genetically modified mouse strain that carries the HGPS mutation. These mice accumulate progerin, present histological and transcriptional alterations characteristic of progeroid models, and phenocopy the main clinical manifestations of human HGPS, including shortened life span and bone and cardiovascular aberrations. Using this animal model, we have developed an antisense morpholino-based therapy that prevents the pathogenic Lmna splicing, markedly reducing the accumulation of progerin and its associated nuclear defects. Treatment of mutant mice with these morpholinos led to a marked amelioration of their progeroid phenotype and substantially extended their life span, supporting the effectiveness of antisense oligonucleotide-based therapies for treating human diseases of accelerated aging.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Primate aging in the mammalian scheme: the puzzle of extreme variation in brain aging.

    PubMed

    Finch, Caleb E; Austad, Steven N

    2012-10-01

    At later ages, humans have high risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) which may afflict up to 50% by 90 years. While prosimians and monkeys show more substantial changes, the great apes brains examined show mild neurodegenerative changes. Compared with rodents, primates develop and reproduce slowly and are long lived. The New World primates contain some of the shortest as well as some of the longest-lived monkey species, while the prosimians develop the most rapidly and are the shortest lived. Great apes have the largest brains, slowest development, and longest lives among the primates. All primates share some level of slowly progressive, age-related neurodegenerative changes. However, no species besides humans has yet shown regular drastic neuron loss or cognitive decline approaching clinical grade AD. Several primates accumulate extensive deposits of diffuse amyloid-beta protein (Aβ) but only a prosimian-the gray mouse lemur-regularly develops a tauopathy approaching the neurofibrillary tangles of AD. Compared with monkeys, nonhuman great apes display even milder brain-aging changes, a deeply puzzling observation. The genetic basis for these major species differences in brain aging remains obscure but does not involve the Aβ coding sequence which is identical in nonhuman primates and humans. While chimpanzees merit more study, we note the value of smaller, shorter-lived species such as marmosets and small lemurs for aging studies. A continuing concern for all aging studies employing primates is that relative to laboratory rodents, primate husbandry is in a relatively primitive state, and better husbandry to control infections and obesity is needed for brain aging research.

  17. Cognitive Deficits, Changes in Synaptic Function, and Brain Pathology in a Mouse Model of Normal Aging

    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

  18. Age affects gene expression in mouse spermatogonial stem/progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Kokkinaki, Maria; Lee, Tin-Lap; He, Zuping; Jiang, Jiji; Golestaneh, Nady; Hofmann, Marie-Claude; Chan, Wai-Yee; Dym, Martin

    2010-06-01

    Spermatogenesis in man starts with spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), and leads to the production of sperm in approximately 64 days, common to old and young men. Sperm from elderly men are functional and able to fertilize eggs and produce offspring, even though daily sperm production is more than 50% lower and damage to sperm DNA is significantly higher in older men than in those who are younger. Our hypothesis is that the SSC/spermatogonial progenitors themselves age. To test this hypothesis, we studied the gene expression profile of mouse SSC/progenitor cells at several ages using microarrays. After sequential enzyme dispersion, we purified the SSC/progenitors with immunomagnetic cell sorting using an antibody to GFRA1, a known SSC/progenitor cell marker. RNA was isolated and used for the in vitro synthesis of amplified and labeled cRNAs that were hybridized to the Affymetrix mouse genome microarrays. The experiments were repeated twice with different cell preparations, and statistically significant results are presented. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis was used to confirm the microarray results. Comparison of four age groups (6 days, 21 days, 60 days, and 8 months old) showed a number of genes that were expressed specifically in the older mice. Two of them (i.e. Icam1 and Selp) have also been shown to mark aging hematopoietic stem cells. On the other hand, the expression levels of the genes encoding the SSC markers Gfra1 and Plzf did not seem to be significantly altered by age, indicating that age affects only certain SSC/progenitor properties.

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

    PubMed

    Yamada, Jun; Jinno, Shozo

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    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.

  1. Expression of fatty acid binding proteins is altered in aged mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Pu, L; Igbavboa, U; Wood, W G; Roths, J B; Kier, A B; Spener, F; Schroeder, F

    1999-08-01

    Brain membrane lipid fatty acid composition and consequently membrane fluidity change with increasing age. Intracellular fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) such as heart H-FABP and the brain specific B-FABP, detected by immunoblotting of brain tissue, are thought to be involved in fatty acid uptake, metabolism, and differentiation in brain. Yet, almost nothing is known regarding the effect of age on the expression of the cytosolic fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) or their content in brain subfractions. Electrophoresis and quantitative immunoblotting were used to examine the content of these FABPs in synaptosomes in brains from 4, 15, and 25 month old C57BL/6NNia male mice. Brain H-FABP and B-FABP were differentially expressed in mouse brain subcellular fractions. Brain H-FABP was highly concentrated in synaptosomal cytosol. The level of brain H-FABP in synaptosomes, synaptosomal cytosol, and intrasynaptosomal membranes was decreased 33, 35, and 43%, respectively, in 25 month old mice. B-FABP was detected in lower quantity than H-FABP. More important, B-FABP decreased in synaptosomes, synaptic plasma membranes, and synaptosomal cytosol from brains of 25 month old mice. In contrast to H-FABP, B-FABP was not detectable in the intrasynaptosomal membranes in any of the three age groups of mice. In conclusion, expression of both H-FABP and B-FABP was markedly reduced in aged mouse brain. Age differences in brain H-FABP and B-FABP levels in synaptosomal plasma membranes and synaptosomal cytosol may be important factors modulating neuronal differentiation and function.

  2. Effects of aging on mouse tongue epithelium focusing on cell proliferation rate and morphological aspects.

    PubMed

    Carrard, Vinicius Coelho; Pires, Aline Segatto; Badauy, Cristiano Macabu; Rados, Pantelis Varvaki; Lauxen, Isabel Silva; Sant'Ana Filho, Manoel

    2008-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate cell proliferation rate and certain morphological features of mouse epithelium as aging progresses. Tongue biopsies were performed on female mice (Mus domesticus domesticus) at 2, 8, 14 and 20 months of age as indicative of adolescence, adulthood, early senescence and senescence, respectively. Histological sections of tongue were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and subjected to silver staining for active nucleolar organizer region counting. Cell proliferation rate and epithelial thickness analysis were carried out. Analysis of variance detected no differences between the groups in terms of numbers of silver-stained dots associated with nucleolar proteins. There was an increase in mean epithelial thickness in adult animals, followed by a gradual reduction until senescence. Mean keratin thickness presented an increase at 8 and 20 months of age. This difference is probably related to puberty, growth or dietary habits. Aging has no influence on oral epithelial proliferation rate in mice. A gradual reduction in epithelial thickness is a feature of aging in mammals. A conspicuous increase in the keratin layer was observed in senescence as an adaptative response to the reduction in epithelial thickness. These results suggest that aging affects the oral epithelium maturation process through a mechanism that is not related to cell proliferation.

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

    PubMed Central

    SHIMIZU, KIYOSHI; YAMADA, JINZO

    2000-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Postnatal development, maturation and aging in the mouse cochlea and their effects on hair cell regeneration.

    PubMed

    Walters, Bradley J; Zuo, Jian

    2013-03-01

    The organ of Corti in the mammalian inner ear is comprised of mechanosensory hair cells (HCs) and nonsensory supporting cells (SCs), both of which are believed to be terminally post-mitotic beyond late embryonic ages. Consequently, regeneration of HCs and SCs does not occur naturally in the adult mammalian cochlea, though recent evidence suggests that these cells may not be completely or irreversibly quiescent at earlier postnatal ages. Furthermore, regenerative processes can be induced by genetic and pharmacological manipulations, but, more and more reports suggest that regenerative potential declines as the organ of Corti continues to age. In numerous mammalian systems, such effects of aging on regenerative potential are well established. However, in the cochlea, the problem of regeneration has not been traditionally viewed as one of aging. This is an important consideration as current models are unable to elicit widespread regeneration or full recovery of function at adult ages yet regenerative therapies will need to be developed specifically for adult populations. Still, the advent of gene targeting and other genetic manipulations has established mice as critically important models for the study of cochlear development and HC regeneration and suggests that auditory HC regeneration in adult mammals may indeed be possible. Thus, this review will focus on the pursuit of regeneration in the postnatal and adult mouse cochlea and highlight processes that occur during postnatal development, maturation, and aging that could contribute to an age-related decline in regenerative potential. Second, we will draw upon the wealth of knowledge pertaining to age related senescence in tissues outside of the ear to synthesize new insights and potentially guide future research aimed at promoting HC regeneration in the adult cochlea.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Synthetic smooth muscle in the outer blood plexus of the rhinarium skin of Lemur catta L.

    PubMed Central

    Elofsson, Rolf; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2017-01-01

    The skin of the lemur nose tip (rhinarium) has arterioles in the outer vascular plexus that are endowed with an unusual coat of smooth muscle cells. Comparison with the arterioles of the same area in a number of unrelated mammalians shows that the lemur pattern is unique. The vascular smooth muscle cells belong to the synthetic type. The function of synthetic smooth muscles around the terminal vessels in the lemur rhinarium is unclear but may have additional functions beyond regulation of vessel diameter. PMID:28260706

  11. Large-scale MHC class II genotyping of a wild lemur population by next generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Huchard, Elise; Albrecht, Christina; Schliehe-Diecks, Susanne; Baniel, Alice; Roos, Christian; Kappeler, Peter M; Peter, Peter M Kappeler; Brameier, Markus

    2012-12-01

    The critical role of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in disease resistance, along with their putative function in sexual selection, reproduction and chemical ecology, make them an important genetic system in evolutionary ecology. Studying selective pressures acting on MHC genes in the wild nevertheless requires population-wide genotyping, which has long been challenging because of their extensive polymorphism. Here, we report on large-scale genotyping of the MHC class II loci of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) from a wild population in western Madagascar. The second exons from MHC-DRB and -DQB of 772 and 672 individuals were sequenced, respectively, using a 454 sequencing platform, generating more than 800,000 reads. Sequence analysis, through a stepwise variant validation procedure, allowed reliable typing of more than 600 individuals. The quality of our genotyping was evaluated through three independent methods, namely genotyping the same individuals by both cloning and 454 sequencing, running duplicates, and comparing parent-offspring dyads; each displaying very high accuracy. A total of 61 (including 20 new) and 60 (including 53 new) alleles were detected at DRB and DQB genes, respectively. Both loci were non-duplicated, in tight linkage disequilibrium and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, despite the fact that sequence analysis revealed clear evidence of historical selection. Our results highlight the potential of 454 sequencing technology in attempts to investigate patterns of selection shaping MHC variation in contemporary populations. The power of this approach will nevertheless be conditional upon strict quality control of the genotyping data.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. The relationship of autophagy defects and cartilage damage during joint aging in a mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Caramés, Beatriz; Olmer, Merissa; Kiosses, William B.; Lotz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Aging is a main risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorder. Defects in autophagy, an essential cellular homeostasis mechanism, have recently been observed in OA articular cartilage. The objectives of this study were to establish the constitutive level of autophagy activation in normal cartilage and monitor the temporal relationship of changes in autophagy and aging-related cartilage degradation. Methods In GFP-LC3 transgenic mice, GFP-LC3 is ubiquitously expressed, and the accumulation of GFP puncta, representing autophagosomes, was quantified by confocal microscopy as a measure of autophagy activation. Expression of the autophagy proteins Atg5 and LC3 was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Cartilage cellularity, apoptotic cell death and cartilage structural damage and changes in synovium and bone were examined by histology and immunohistochemistry. Results Basal autophagy activation was detected in young (6 months) mouse liver and knee articular cartilage, with higher levels in cartilage than in liver in the same animals. In aged 28 months old mice, there was a statistically significant reduction in the total number of autophagic vesicles per cell (P < 0.01) and in the total area of vesicles per cell (P < 0.01) compared to young 6 months old mice in articular cartilage. With increasing age, the expression of Atg5 and LC3 decreased, followed by a reduction in cartilage cellularity and an increase in the apoptosis marker PARP p85. Cartilage structural damage progressed in an age-dependent manner, subsequent to autophagy changes. Conclusions Autophagy is constitutively activated in normal cartilage. This is compromised with aging and precedes cartilage cell death and structural damage. PMID:25708836

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2014-12-03

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. The asymmetric scent: ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) have distinct chemical signatures in left and right brachial glands.

    PubMed

    Dapporto, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    Distinctive cues are predicted to evolve when the benefits obtained by the recognition process overcome its costs. When individual recognition is particularly beneficial for both senders and receivers, the expression of strongly distinctive signals is predicted to evolve. On the other hand, it could be predicted that each individual should show a very stable individual signature. In the same perspective, a great stability of the individual signatures could be expected. Lemur catta is the first non-human primate in which olfactory individual recognition has been demonstrated on the basis of the specialized brachial gland secretions. In this paper, I performed gas chromatograph analyses of right and left gland samples collected in two different periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons) from seven males. The aim was to verify if a diversification in such cues, already demonstrated at the inter-individual level, also occurs at the intra-individual level between left and right glands. I verified, by discriminant analysis and chemical distance comparisons, that each gland of each lemur has its particular signature that is maintained through time. Moreover, such diversification resulted so marked to make the overall intra-individual chemical differences similar to/as strong as the inter-individual ones. Since in rodents several odors from different glands may be integrated in individual recognition, I suggest that bilateral diversification in L. catta scents may offer an enhanced distinctiveness that could provide benefits in mate choice and social relationships.

  19. 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.

  20. Functional analysis of aggression in a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata).

    PubMed

    Farmer-Dougan, Valeri

    2014-01-01

    A functional analysis was conducted to assess the antecedent and reinforcing conditions underlying aggressive behavior in a female lemur in captivity. Results showed that her aggression was primarily the result of human attention. A replacement behavior-training program was introduced, and the lemur's aggression was successfully eliminated. These results demonstrate the utility of using functional assessment and analyses in zoos with captive wild nonhuman animals.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tadros, Sherif F.; D’Souza, Mary; Zhu, Xiaoxia

    2010-01-01

    To understand possible causative roles of apoptosis gene regulation in age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), apoptotic gene expression patterns in the CBA mouse cochlea of four different age and hearing loss groups were compared, using GeneChip and real-time (qPCR) microarrays. GeneChip transcriptional expression patterns of 318 apoptosis-related genes were analyzed. Thirty eight probes (35 genes) showed significant differences in expression. The significant gene families include Caspases, B-cell leukemia/lymphoma2 family, P53, Cal-pains, Mitogen activated protein kinase family, Jun oncogene, Nuclear factor of kappa light chain gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor-related and tumor necrosis factor-related genes. The GeneChip results of 31 genes were validated using the new TaqMan® Low Density Array (TLDA). Eight genes showed highly correlated results with the GeneChip data. These genes are: activating transcription factor3, B-cell leukemia/lymphoma2, Bcl2-like1, caspase4 apoptosis-related cysteine protease 4, Calpain2, dual specificity phosphatase9, tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member12a, and Tumor necrosis factor superfamily member13b, suggesting they may play critical roles in inner ear aging. PMID:18839313

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Rate of digesta passage in the philippine flying lemur, Cynocephalus volans.

    PubMed

    Wischusen, E W; Ingle, N; Richmond, M E

    1994-01-01

    The rate of digesta passage was measured in five captive Philippine flying lemurs (Cynocephalus volans). These animals were force fed capsules containing known quantities of either particulate or soluble markers. The volumes of the gastrointestinal tracts of three flying lemurs were determined based on the wet weight of the contents of each section of the gut. The mean rate of digesta passage was 14.37 +/- 3.31 h when determined using the particulate marker and 21.9 +/- 0.03 h when determined using the soluble marker. The values based on the particulate marker are between 2% and 10% of similar values for other arboreal folivores. The morphology of the gastrointestinal system of the Philippine flying lemur is similar to that of other hindgut fermenters. Flying lemurs have a simple stomach and a large caecum. The total gut capacity of the Philippine flying lemur is similar to that of other herbivores, but is slightly smaller than that of either the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), a hindgut fermenter, or the three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), a foregut fermenter. These data suggest that flying lemurs deal with the problems of a folivorous diet very differently than some other arboreal mammals. Phascolarctos cinereus and Bradypus variegatus may represent one extreme with Cynocephalus volans representing the other extreme along a continuum of foraging strategies that are compatible with the arboreal folivore lifestyle.

  5. Conditional ablation of the choroideremia gene causes age-related changes in mouse retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Wavre-Shapton, Silène T; Tolmachova, Tanya; Lopes da Silva, Mafalda; da Silva, Mafalda Lopes; Futter, Clare E; Seabra, Miguel C

    2013-01-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a pigmented monolayer of cells lying between the photoreceptors and a layer of fenestrated capillaries, the choriocapillaris. Choroideremia (CHM) is an X-linked progressive degeneration of these three layers caused by the loss of function of Rab Escort protein-1 (REP1). REP1 is involved in the prenylation of Rab proteins, key regulators of membrane trafficking. To study the pathological consequences of chronic disruption of membrane traffic in the RPE we used a cell type-specific knock-out mouse model of the disease, where the Chm/Rep1 gene is deleted only in pigmented cells (Chm(Flox), Tyr-Cre+). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to quantitate the melanosome distribution in the RPE and immunofluorescent staining of rhodopsin was used to quantitate phagocytosed rod outer segments in retinal sections. The ultrastructure of the RPE and Bruch's membrane at different ages was characterised by TEM to analyse age-related changes occurring as a result of defects in membrane traffic pathways. Chm/Rep1 gene knockout in RPE cells resulted in reduced numbers of melanosomes in the apical processes and delayed phagosome degradation. In addition, the RPE accumulated pathological changes at 5-6 months of age similar to those observed in 2-year old controls. These included the intracellular accumulation of lipofuscin-containing deposits, disorganised basal infoldings and the extracellular accumulation of basal laminar and basal linear deposits. The phenotype of the Chm(Flox), Tyr-Cre+ mice suggests that loss of the Chm/Rep1 gene causes premature accumulation of features of aging in the RPE. Furthermore, the striking similarities between the present observations and some of the phenotypes reported in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) suggest that membrane traffic defects may contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD.

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

    PubMed Central

    Vogt, Barbara L.; Richie, John P.

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Circulating microRNA signature of genotype-by-age interactions in the long-lived Ames dwarf mouse.

    PubMed

    Victoria, Berta; Dhahbi, Joseph M; Nunez Lopez, Yury O; Spinel, Lina; Atamna, Hani; Spindler, Stephen R; Masternak, Michal M

    2015-12-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates that serum levels of specific miRNAs significantly change with age. The ability of circulating sncRNAs to act as signaling molecules and regulate a broad spectrum of cellular functions implicates them as key players in the aging process. To discover circulating sncRNAs that impact aging in the long-lived Ames dwarf mice, we conducted deep sequencing of small RNAs extracted from serum of young and old mice. Our analysis showed genotype-specific changes in the circulating levels of 21 miRNAs during aging [genotype-by-age interaction (GbA)]. Genotype-by-age miRNAs showed four distinct expression patterns and significant overtargeting of transcripts involved in age-related processes. Functional enrichment analysis of putative and validated miRNA targets highlighted cellular processes such as tumor suppression, anti-inflammatory response, and modulation of Wnt, insulin, mTOR, and MAPK signaling pathways, among others. The comparative analysis of circulating GbA miRNAs in Ames mice with circulating miRNAs modulated by calorie restriction (CR) in another long-lived mouse suggests CR-like and CR-independent mechanisms contributing to longevity in the Ames mouse. In conclusion, we showed for the first time a signature of circulating miRNAs modulated by age in the long-lived Ames mouse.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  9. SYSTEMIC BLASTOMYCOSIS IN A CAPTIVE RED RUFFED LEMUR (VARECIA RUBRA).

    PubMed

    Rosser, Michael F; Lindemann, Dana M; Barger, Anne M; Allender, Matthew C; Hsiao, Shih-Hsuan; Howes, Mark E

    2016-09-01

    A 5-yr-old, intact male red ruffed lemur ( Varecia rubra ) presented for evaluation as the result of a 1-wk history of lethargy and hyporexia. Physical examination findings included thin body condition, muffled heart sounds, harsh lung sounds, and liquid brown diarrhea. Complete blood count and serum biochemistry showed an inflammatory leukogram, mild hyponatremia, and mild hypochloremia. Orthogonal trunk radiographs revealed a severe alveolar pattern in the right cranial lung lobes with cardiac silhouette effacement. Thoracic ultrasound confirmed a large, hypoechoic mass in the right lung lobes. Fine-needle aspiration of the lung mass and cytology revealed fungal yeast organisms, consistent with Blastomyces dermatitidis. Blastomyces Quantitative EIA Test on urine was positive. Postmortem examination confirmed systemic blastomycosis involving the lung, tracheobronchial lymph nodes, spleen, kidney, liver, cerebrum, and eye. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of blastomycosis in a prosimian species.

  10. BMP9/ALK1 inhibits neovascularization in mouse models of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ntumba, Kalonji; Akla, Naoufal; Oh, S. Paul; Eichmann, Anne; Larrivée, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in aging populations of industrialized countries. The drawbacks of inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFs) currently used for the treatment of AMD, which include resistance and potential serious side-effects, require the identification of new therapeutic targets to modulate angiogenesis. BMP9 signaling through the endothelial Alk1 serine-threonine kinase receptor modulates the response of endothelial cells to VEGF and promotes vessel quiescence and maturation during development. Here, we show that BMP9/Alk1 signaling inhibits neovessel formation in mouse models of pathological ocular angiogenesis relevant to AMD. Activating Alk1 signaling in laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) inhibited neovascularization and reduced the volume of vascular lesions. Alk1 signaling was also found to interfere with VEGF signaling in endothelial cells whereas BMP9 potentiated the inhibitory effects of VEGFR2 signaling blockade, both in OIR and laser-induced CNV. Together, our data show that targeting BMP9/Alk1 efficiently prevents the growth of neovessels in AMD models and introduce a new approach to improve conventional anti-VEGF therapies. PMID:27517154

  11. 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

  12. Effects of mouse slant and desktop position on muscular and postural stresses, subject preference and performance in women aged 18-40 years.

    PubMed

    Gaudez, Clarisse; Cail, François

    2016-11-01

    This study compared muscular and postural stresses, performance and subject preference in women aged 18-40 years using a standard mouse, a vertical mouse and a slanted mouse in three different computer workstation positions. Four tasks were analysed: pointing, pointing-clicking, pointing-clicking-dragging and grasping-pointing the mouse after typing. Flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and extensor carpi radialis (ECR) activities were greater using the standard mouse compared to the vertical or slanted mouse. In all cases, the wrist position remained in the comfort zone recommended by standard ISO 11228-3. The vertical mouse was less comfortable and more difficult to use than the other two mice. FDS and ECR activities, shoulder abduction and wrist extension were greater when the mouse was placed next to the keyboard. Performance and subject preference were better with the unrestricted mouse positioning on the desktop. Grasping the mouse after typing was the task that caused the greatest stress. Practitioner Summary: In women, the slanted mouse and the unrestricted mouse positioning on the desktop provide a good blend of stresses, performance and preference. Unrestricted mouse positioning requires no keyboard, which is rare in practice. Placing the mouse in front of the keyboard, rather than next to it, reduced the physical load.

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

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Ashley R.; Gagnon, Patricia M.

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Genome-Scale Assessment of Age-Related DNA Methylation Changes in Mouse Spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Norio; Okae, Hiroaki; Hiura, Hitoshi; Chiba, Hatsune; Shirakata, Yoshiki; Hara, Kenshiro; Tanemura, Kentaro; Arima, Takahiro

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation plays important roles in the production and functioning of spermatozoa. Recent studies have suggested that DNA methylation patterns in spermatozoa can change with age, but the regions susceptible to age-related methylation changes remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we conducted genome-scale DNA methylation profiling of spermatozoa obtained from C57BL/6N mice at 8 weeks (8w), 18 weeks (18w) and 17 months of age (17m). There was no substantial difference in the global DNA methylation patterns between 18w and 17m samples except for a slight increase of methylation levels in long interspersed nuclear elements in the 17m samples. We found that maternally methylated imprinting control regions (mICRs) and spermatogenesis-related gene promoters had 5–10% higher methylation levels in 8w samples than in 18w or 17m samples. Analysis of individual sequence reads suggested that these regions were fully methylated (80–100%) in a subset of 8w spermatozoa. These regions are also known to be highly methylated in a subset of postnatal spermatogonia, which might be the source of the increased DNA methylation in 8w spermatozoa. Another possible source was contamination by somatic cells. Although we carefully purified the spermatozoa, it was difficult to completely exclude the possibility of somatic cell contamination. Further studies are needed to clarify the source of the small increase in DNA methylation in the 8w samples. Overall, our findings suggest that DNA methylation patterns in mouse spermatozoa are relatively stable throughout reproductive life. PMID:27880848

  15. Total Energy Expenditure and Body Composition in Two Free-Living Sympatric Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Simmen, Bruno; Bayart, Françoise; Rasamimanana, Hanta; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stéphane; Pasquet, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Background Evolutionary theories that account for the unusual socio-ecological traits and life history features of group-living prosimians, compared with other primates, predict behavioral and physiological mechanisms to conserve energy. Low energy output and possible fattening mechanisms are expected, as either an adaptive response to drastic seasonal fluctuations of food supplies in Madagascar, or persisting traits from previously nocturnal hypometabolic ancestors. Free ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and brown lemurs (Eulemur sp.) of southern Madagascar have different socio-ecological characteristics which allow a test of these theories: Both gregarious primates have a phytophagous diet but different circadian activity rhythms, degree of arboreality, social systems, and slightly different body size. Methodology and Results Daily total energy expenditure and body composition were measured in the field with the doubly labeled water procedure. High body fat content was observed at the end of the rainy season, which supports the notion that individuals need to attain a sufficient physical condition prior to the long dry season. However, ring-tailed lemurs exhibited lower water flux rates and energy expenditure than brown lemurs after controlling for body mass differences. The difference was interpreted to reflect higher efficiency for coping with seasonally low quality foods and water scarcity. Daily energy expenditure of both species was much less than the field metabolic rates predicted by various scaling relationships found across mammals. Discussion We argue that low energy output in these species is mainly accounted for by low basal metabolic rate and reflects adaptation to harsh, unpredictable environments. The absence of observed sex differences in body weight, fat content, and daily energy expenditure converge with earlier investigations of physical activity levels in ring-tailed lemurs to suggest the absence of a relationship between energy

  16. 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.

  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.

  18. Idiopathic paraproteinaemia. I. Studies in an animal model--the ageing C57BL/KaLwRij mouse.

    PubMed Central

    Radl, J; Hollander, C F; van den Berg, P; de Glopper, E

    1978-01-01

    A search for a suitable animal model for studies on idiopathic paraproteinaemia showed that an age-dependent increase in the appearance of homogeneous immunoglobulins in serum was common to all of the seven mouse strains investigated to date. The highest frequency was found in C57Bl/KaLwRij mice. Further investigations in this strain demonstrated that, except for some quantitative differences, most of the features of human and C57BL Mouse idiopathic paraproteinaemia were essentially the same. No clear-cut correlation was found between the idiopathic paraproteinaemia and, in the old C57B1 mice, a rather frequently occurring reticulum cell sarcoma B and amyloidosis. The mouse idiopathic paraproteinaemia can be regarded as an analogue of the human idiopathic paraproteinaemia and therefore as a suitable model for further experimental studies. PMID:367647

  19. Smad2 isoforms are differentially expressed during mouse brain development and aging.

    PubMed

    Ueberham, Uwe; Lange, Peggy; Ueberham, Elke; Brückner, Martina K; Hartlage-Rübsamen, Maike; Pannicke, Thomas; Rohn, Susanne; Cross, Michael; Arendt, Thomas

    2009-08-01

    Smad2 and Smad3 are central molecules of the TGFbeta and activin receptor complex mediated intracellular signaling pathway. They function as important transcription factors playing essential roles in brain development. Interestingly they are also known to be involved in the pathogenesis of various neurological disorders (including Alzheimer's disease). Due to structural differences in the N-terminal Mad homology domain 1, Smad2 and Smad3 differ in their ability to bind DNA directly. A splice form of Smad2 lacking exon3, Smad2(Deltaexon3), assumes features of Smad3, in that it can directly bind to DNA resulting in a functional hybrid of Smad2 and Smad3 properties. There is very little information available on the expression of Smad2 isoforms in the brain. We report here that Smad2(Deltaexon3) is the most abundant of the two Smad2 isoforms in mouse brain and that Smad expression pattern alters during development and aging. Neuronal expression of Smad2(Deltaexon3) was confirmed by a single-cell PCR approach. Moreover, Smad2(Deltaexon3) predominates in the nuclear fraction of neurons, suggesting special function during brain differentiation. Our data indicate that there may be a specific role for Smad2(Deltaexon3) in neurons.

  20. Behavioral thermoregulation in a gregarious lemur, Eulemur collaris: effects of climatic and dietary-related factors.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Ricci, Eva; Baldi, Nicoletta; Morelli, Valentina; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M

    2011-03-01

    Primates deal with fluctuations of the thermal environment by both physiological and behavioral mechanisms of thermoregulation. In this article we focus on non-hibernating lemurs, which are hypometabolic and have to cope with a seasonal environment. Behavioral thermoregulation has received little attention compared with specific physiological adaptations to seasonality, i.e., hibernation and torpor, which characterize a number of lemurs. We investigated the role of seasonality and dietary-related factors in determining frequencies of resting, social and postural thermoregulation, and microhabitat selection in collared lemurs, Eulemur collaris. We observed two groups of collared lemurs over a 14-month period in the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, Southern Madagascar. Frequencies of total resting and time spent in huddling, prone, and curled postures were collected via 5-min instantaneous sampling. Microhabitat selection was evaluated as the proportion of time spent in the upper canopy as compared with other layers. Climatic variables were recorded by automatic data loggers, while dietary variables were derived from phenological data and nutritional analyses of the ingested food items. We weighted the combined effects of climatic and dietary variables on the different types of behavioral thermoregulation by means of canonical correlation analysis. The model with the strongest canonical correlation included a first root representing mainly feeding time, day length, and ambient temperature and a second root representing diet quality and height of feeding trees. The output indicated that collared lemurs adapt to thermal and dietary-related metabolic stress by adjusting resting time, social, and postural thermoregulation.

  1. Gait-specific metabolic costs and preferred speeds in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), with implications for the scaling of locomotor costs.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C

    2012-11-01

    Metabolic costs of resting and locomotion have been used to gain novel insights into the behavioral ecology and evolution of a wide range of primates; however, most previous studies have not considered gait-specific effects. Here, metabolic costs of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) walking, cantering and galloping are used to test for gait-specific effects and a potential correspondence between costs and preferred speeds. Metabolic costs, including the net cost of locomotion (COL) and net cost of transport (COT), change as a curvilinear function of walking speed and (at least provisionally) as a linear function of cantering and galloping speeds. The baseline quantity used to calculate net costs had a significant effect on the magnitude of speed-specific estimates of COL and COT, especially for walking. This is because non-locomotor metabolism constitutes a substantial fraction (41-61%, on average) of gross metabolic rate at slow speeds. The slope-based estimate of the COT was 5.26 J kg(-1) m(-1) for all gaits and speeds, while the gait-specific estimates differed between walking (0.5 m s(-1) : 6.69 J kg(-1) m(-1) ) and cantering/galloping (2.0 m s(-1) : 5.61 J kg(-1) m(-1) ). During laboratory-based overground locomotion, ring-tailed lemurs preferred to walk at ~0.5 m s(-1) and canter/gallop at ~2.0 m s(-1) , with the preferred walking speed corresponding well to the COT minima. Compared with birds and other mammals, ring-tailed lemurs are relatively economical in walking, cantering, and galloping. These results support the view that energetic optima are an important movement criterion for locomotion in ring-tailed lemurs, and other terrestrial animals.

  2. 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

  3. Effects of age and strain on the microbiota colonization in an infant human flora-associated mouse model.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Benhua; Li, Guiqing; Yuan, Jing; Li, Wenxia; Tang, Huan; Wei, Hong

    2013-09-01

    The establishment of human flora-associated animal models allows the in vivo manipulation of host, microbial, and environmental parameters to influence the gut microbial community. However, it is difficult to simulate infant gut microbiota in germ-free animals because of the variation and dynamic state of infant microbial communities. In this study, the effects of age and strain on intestinal microbiota were observed in an infant human flora-associated (IHFA) mouse model. To establish an IHFA model, postnatal day (PND) 1 germ-free mice (Kunming, n = 10; BALB/c, n = 10) were infected with feces from a breast-fed infant. Microbiota in the feces of BALB/c mice (at PND 7, 14, and 21), and Kunming mice (at PND 14) were analyzed by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli levels in the feces of BALB/c and Kunming mice (PND 7/14/21) were detected by quantitative real-time PCR. The Dice similarity coefficient (Cs) for the fecal microbiota of IHFA mice in comparison with the HD donor sample was higher for BALB/c mice than for Kunming mice (P < 0.05). In addition, the DCs at PND 7 were lower than those at PND 14 and PND 21 in both mouse strains (P < 0.05). The Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species colonizing the BALB/c mice were similar to those in the Kunming mice (at PND 7/14/21). The bifidobacteria counts increased with age in both mouse strains, whereas the lactobacilli counts decreased with age in both strains. These results suggest that both age and strain influence microbiota patterns in the IHFA mouse model.

  4. Ventriculomegaly associated with ependymal gliosis and declines in barrier integrity in the aging human and mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Shook, Brett A; Lennington, Jessica B; Acabchuk, Rebecca L; Halling, Meredith; Sun, Ye; Peters, John; Wu, Qian; Mahajan, Amit; Fellows, Douglas W; Conover, Joanne C

    2014-01-01

    Age-associated ventriculomegaly is typically attributed to neurodegeneration; however, additional factors might initiate or contribute to progressive ventricular expansion. By directly linking postmortem human MRI sequences with histological features of periventricular tissue, we show that substantial lateral ventricle surface gliosis is associated with ventriculomegaly. To examine whether loss of ependymal cell coverage resulting in ventricle surface glial scarring can lead directly to ventricle enlargement independent of any other injury or degenerative loss, we modeled in mice the glial scarring found along the lateral ventricle surface in aged humans. Neuraminidase, which cleaves glycosidic linkages of apical adherens junction proteins, was administered intracerebroventricularly to denude areas of ependymal cells. Substantial ependymal cell loss resulted in reactive gliosis rather than stem cell-mediated regenerative repair of the ventricle lining, and the gliotic regions showed morphologic and phenotypic characteristics similar to those found in aged humans. Increased levels of aquaporin-4, indicative of edema, observed in regions of periventricular gliosis in human tissue were also replicated in our mouse model. 3D modeling together with volume measurements revealed that mice with ventricle surface scarring developed expanded ventricles, independent of neurodegeneration. Through a comprehensive, comparative analysis of the lateral ventricles and associated periventricular tissue in aged humans and mouse, followed by modeling of surface gliosis in mice, we have demonstrated a direct link between lateral ventricle surface gliosis and ventricle enlargement. These studies highlight the importance of maintaining an intact ependymal cell lining throughout aging. PMID:24341850

  5. Ventriculomegaly associated with ependymal gliosis and declines in barrier integrity in the aging human and mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Shook, Brett A; Lennington, Jessica B; Acabchuk, Rebecca L; Halling, Meredith; Sun, Ye; Peters, John; Wu, Qian; Mahajan, Amit; Fellows, Douglas W; Conover, Joanne C

    2014-04-01

    Age-associated ventriculomegaly is typically attributed to neurodegeneration; however, additional factors might initiate or contribute to progressive ventricular expansion. By directly linking postmortem human MRI sequences with histological features of periventricular tissue, we show that substantial lateral ventricle surface gliosis is associated with ventriculomegaly. To examine whether loss of ependymal cell coverage resulting in ventricle surface glial scarring can lead directly to ventricle enlargement independent of any other injury or degenerative loss, we modeled in mice the glial scarring found along the lateral ventricle surface in aged humans. Neuraminidase, which cleaves glycosidic linkages of apical adherens junction proteins, was administered intracerebroventricularly to denude areas of ependymal cells. Substantial ependymal cell loss resulted in reactive gliosis rather than stem cell-mediated regenerative repair of the ventricle lining, and the gliotic regions showed morphologic and phenotypic characteristics similar to those found in aged humans. Increased levels of aquaporin-4, indicative of edema, observed in regions of periventricular gliosis in human tissue were also replicated in our mouse model. 3D modeling together with volume measurements revealed that mice with ventricle surface scarring developed expanded ventricles, independent of neurodegeneration. Through a comprehensive, comparative analysis of the lateral ventricles and associated periventricular tissue in aged humans and mouse, followed by modeling of surface gliosis in mice, we have demonstrated a direct link between lateral ventricle surface gliosis and ventricle enlargement. These studies highlight the importance of maintaining an intact ependymal cell lining throughout aging.

  6. Age-Related Alterations in the Metabolic Profile in the Hippocampus of the Senescence-Accelerated Mouse Prone 8: A Spontaneous Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hualong; Lian, Kaoqi; Han, Bing; Wang, Yanyong; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Geng, Yuan; Qiang, Jing; Sun, Meiyu; Wang, Mingwei

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common age-dependent neurodegenerative disorder, produces a progressive decline in cognitive function. The metabolic mechanism of AD has emerged in recent years. In this study, we used multivariate analyses of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry measurements to determine that learning and retention-related metabolic profiles are altered during aging in the hippocampus of the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8). Alterations in 17 metabolites were detected in mature and aged mice compared to young mice (13 decreased and 4 increased metabolites), including metabolites related to dysfunctional lipid metabolism (significantly increased cholesterol, oleic acid, and phosphoglyceride levels), decreased amino acid (alanine, serine, glycine, aspartic acid, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid), and energy-related metabolite levels (malic acid, butanedioic acid, fumaric acid, and citric acid), and other altered metabolites (increased N-acetyl-aspartic acid and decreased pyroglutamic acid, urea, and lactic acid) in the hippocampus. All of these alterations indicated that the metabolic mechanisms of age-related cognitive impairment in SAMP8 mice were related to multiple pathways and networks. Lipid metabolism, especially cholesterol metabolism, appears to play a distinct role in the hippocampus in AD. PMID:24284365

  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. 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.

  9. Mouse Tmem135 mutation reveals a mechanism involving mitochondrial dynamics that leads to age-dependent retinal pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wei-Hua; Higuchi, Hitoshi; Ikeda, Sakae; Macke, Erica L; Takimoto, Tetsuya; Pattnaik, Bikash R; Liu, Che; Chu, Li-Fang; Siepka, Sandra M; Krentz, Kathleen J; Rubinstein, C Dustin; Kalejta, Robert F; Thomson, James A; Mullins, Robert F; Takahashi, Joseph S; Pinto, Lawrence H; Ikeda, Akihiro

    2016-01-01

    While the aging process is central to the pathogenesis of age-dependent diseases, it is poorly understood at the molecular level. We identified a mouse mutant with accelerated aging in the retina as well as pathologies observed in age-dependent retinal diseases, suggesting that the responsible gene regulates retinal aging, and its impairment results in age-dependent disease. We determined that a mutation in the transmembrane 135 (Tmem135) is responsible for these phenotypes. We observed localization of TMEM135 on mitochondria, and imbalance of mitochondrial fission and fusion in mutant Tmem135 as well as Tmem135 overexpressing cells, indicating that TMEM135 is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Additionally, mutant retina showed higher sensitivity to oxidative stress. These results suggest that the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics through TMEM135 is critical for protection from environmental stress and controlling the progression of retinal aging. Our study identified TMEM135 as a critical link between aging and age-dependent diseases. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19264.001 PMID:27863209

  10. Age-dependent increase in miRNA-34a expression in the posterior pole of the mouse eye

    PubMed Central

    Forward, Krisztina I.; Nguyen, Anthony T.; Bordbari, Matthew H.; Oltjen, Sharon L.; Hjelmeland, Leonard M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose MicroRNA-34a (miR-34a) has been implicated in neurodegeneration. MiR-34a belongs to a signaling network involving p53 and Sirt-1. This network responds to DNA damage with further downstream signals that induce senescence or apoptosis. Our goal was to measure the expression level of miR-34a in the mouse retina and RPE as a function of age. Methods The age-dependent change in miR-34a expression was quantified using a real-time PCR (RT-PCR) assay on microRNA isolates from eye tissue: the retina and RPE/choroid (4, 18, 24, and 32 months of age). Tissue localization of miR-34a was determined by in situ hybridization (ISH) for a series of time points. Expression of the miR-34a target gene Sirt1 was analyzed using RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Results MiR-34a examined with real-time PCR showed a linear increase in expression with age when compared to that of 4-month-old mice. However, the level of expression between the 24 and 32-month-old animals showed mild downregulation. An age-related increase in miR-34a expression was confirmed in the mouse eye using in situ hybridization. An inverse relationship between the levels of expression of miR-34a and its target Sirt1 mRNA was found at 18 and 24 months of age. Conclusions Our data showed that miR-34a expression increased in the retina and RPE with age. The level of DNA damage in mitochondria in the retina and RPE followed a similar time course. This suggests that miR-34a may play a role in the senescence and apoptosis of the retina and RPE cells in the aging eye. PMID:25489229

  11. Combined inhibitory effects of low temperature and N-acetyl-l-cysteine on the postovulatory aging of mouse oocytes.

    PubMed

    Li, Qian; Cui, Long-Bo

    2016-04-01

    The postovulatory aging of oocytes eventually affects the development of oocytes and embryos. Oxidative stress is known to accelerate the onset of apoptosis in oocytes and influence their capacity for fertilisation. This study aimed to reveal the roles of temperature and the antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine in preventing the aging of postovulatory mouse oocytes. First, newly ovulated mouse oocytes were cultured at various temperature and time combinations in HCZB medium with varying concentrations of N-acetyl-l-cysteine to assess signs of aging and developmental potential. When cultured in HCZB with 300 μM N-acetyl-l-cysteine at different temperature and incubation time combinations (namely 25°C for 12 h, 15°C for 24 h and 5°C for 12 h), the increase in the susceptibility of oocytes to activating stimuli was efficiently prevented, and the developmental potential was maintained following Sr2+ activation or in vitro fertilisation. After incubation at either 15°C for 36 h or 5°C for 24 h, oocytes that had decreased blastocyst rates displayed unrecoverable abnormal cortical granule distribution together with decreased BCL2 levels, total glutathione concentrations and glutathione/glutathione disulphide (GSH/GSSG) ratios. In conclusion, postovulatory oocyte aging could be effectively inhibited by appropriate N-acetyl-l-cysteine addition at low temperatures. In addition, a simple method for the temporary culture of mature oocytes was established.

  12. First direct evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species (Cheirogaleus crossleyi) from the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina

    2010-10-01

    The nocturnal dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (genus Cheirogaleus) are the only primates known to be obligate hibernators. Although the physiology of hibernation has been studied widely in the western, small-bodied species, Cheirogaleus medius, no direct evidence of hibernation, i.e., body temperature recordings, has been reported for any of the three recognized eastern dwarf lemur species. We present skin temperature data collected by external collar transmitters from two eastern dwarf lemur individuals (Cheirogaleus crossleyi) captured in the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar. Our study species is larger in body size than western dwarf lemurs and inhabits much colder environments. We present the first evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species, and we compare the results with data available for the western species. Although the hibernation period is shorter in dwarf lemurs from Tsinjoarivo, minimum body temperatures are lower than those reported for C. medius. Both individuals at Tsinjoarivo showed limited passive and extended deep hibernation during which they did not track ambient temperature as observed in most western dwarf lemurs. Because ambient temperatures at Tsinjoarivo never exceed 30°C, dwarf lemurs have to experience arousals to maintain homeostasis during periods of hibernation. We show that large dwarf lemurs (>400 g) are capable of undergoing deep hibernation and suggest that cold, high-altitude forests may render hibernation highly advantageous during periods of food scarcity. This study has implications for understanding the physiology of hibernation in small-bodied lemurs.

  13. 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.

  14. Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: II. Coat and tail alopecia associated with Leucaena leucocepahala, 2001-2006.

    PubMed

    Jolly, Alison

    2009-03-01

    Fur condition in wild ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Body coat condition was scored on a scale from BS 0: full, smooth coat with guard hairs, to BS5: half or more of back and limbs hairless. Tail condition was scored from TS 0: full, to TS 5: half or more hairless. Where troop core areas included stands of Leucaena leucocephala, alopecia was dramatically more frequent than in similar areas without leucaena, including many animals with score BS5 or TS5, "bald lemur syndrome." Females' coats were worse than males', possibly related to female dominance and access to this preferred food. Tails in non-leucaena-feeding females tend to remain full, even if coats deteriorate, but with leucaena-feeding female tails are highly correlated with coat condition and equally bare. Coat and tail condition in L. catta reflected not only the dietary toxin but individual differences as well as differences between adjacent troops that may result from territorially mediated access to the environment. Leucaena contains the non-protein amino acid mimosine, a known cause of alopecia, wasting, and organ damage in livestock, although the effects are usually reversible. This is the first case of its effect in wildlife. Leucaena is an agroforestry tree introduced throughout the tropics. In high dietary concentrations leucaena might potentially affect any browsing mammal.

  15. 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.

  16. Two New Species of Sucking Lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura: Polyplacidae) From Endangered, Hibernating Lemurs (Primates: Cheirogaleidae).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Blanco, Marina B; Seabolt, Matthew H

    2017-02-15

    Lemurpediculus robbinsi sp. nov. is described from Crossley's dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus crossleyi A. Grandidier, and Lemurpediculus claytoni sp. nov. is described from Sibree's dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus sibreei Forsyth Major, from Madagascar. Both sexes of each new louse species are illustrated and distinguished from the two previously known species of Lemurpediculus: L. verruculosus (Ward) and L. petterorum Paulian. With the addition of two new species to the genus, an amended description of Lemurpediculus is provided. The two hosts of the new louse species are morphologically similar, endangered, obligately hibernating lemurs. These two species of lemurs are sometimes sympatric in rainforests in eastern Madagascar. Despite the morphological similarity of the two host species, their lice are morphologically distinct and are easiest to identify based on the shape of the subgenital plate of the female and the shape of the genitalia in the male. Both new species of lice should be considered to be endangered because their hosts are endangered. It is not known if either of the new species of lice are vectors of pathogens or parasites to their hosts.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Age-related BMAL1 change affects mouse bone marrow stromal cell proliferation and osteo-differentiation potential

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yijia; Xu, Xiaomei; Tan, Zhen; Ye, Cui; Chen, Yangxi

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Aging people's bone regeneration potential is always impaired. Bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) contain progenitors of osteoblasts. Donor age may affect MSCs’ proliferation and differentiation potential, but the genomic base is still unknown. Due to recent research's indication that a core circadian component, brain and muscle ARNT-like 1 protein (BMAL1), has a role in premature aging, we investigated the normal aging mechanism in mice with their MSCs and Bmal1 gene/protein level. Material and methods 1, 6 and 16 month old C57BL/6 mice were used and the bone marrow stromal cells were gained and cultured at early passage. Bmal1 gene and protein level were detected in these cells. Marrow stromal cells were also induced to differentiate to osteoblasts or adipocytes. Three groups of mice MSCs were compared on proliferation by flow cytometry, on cell senescence by SA-β-gal expression and after osteo-induction on osteogenic potential by the expression of osterix (Osx), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OCN). Results Bmal1 gene and protein level as well as S-phase fraction of the cell cycle decreased in MSCs along with the aging process. At the same time, SA-β-gal+ levels increased, especially in the aged mice MSCs. When induced to be osteogenic, Osx gene expression and ALP activity declined in the mid-age and aged mice MSCs, while OCN protein secretion deteriorated in the aged mice MSCs. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that mouse MSCs changed with their proliferation and osteo-differentiation abilities at different aging stages, and that Bmal1 is related to the normal aging process in MSCs. PMID:22457671

  1. Isolation and characterization of extrachromosomal circular DNAs in mouse heart, brain and liver tissues at various ages

    SciTech Connect

    Flores, S.C.

    1988-01-01

    Eucaryotic cells contains extrachromosomal circular (eccDNAs) which can be separated and distinguished from chromosomal DNA. Using alkaline denaturation-renaturation, exonuclease III digestion and density gradient centrifugations, covalently closed circular DNA (cc-cDNA) molecules were isolated from 1-, 8-, 16-, and 24-month C57BL/6 mouse heart, brain and liver organs. Restriction enzyme analyses and other enzymatic treatments established the covalently closed nature of the isolated molecules. Electron microscopic analyses of heart eccDNAs showed similar size distributions at all ages, but more discrete size classes and slightly larger circles were observed in 24-month heart eccDNA preparations. Heart contained more circles per cell than either liver or brain, which contained approximately the same amount of eccDNAs per genome. Furthermore, ({sup 3}H)-pBR322 recovery studies revealed no endogenous factors that might have affected the yields of eccDNAs from young and old tissues. To determine if there were any age-related or tissue-specific differences in repetitive sequences in eccDNAs, heart, brain and liver eccDNAs were probed with B1, B2, IAP, L1 and satellite sequences of the mouse genome. The hybridization results showed that these sequence families were differentially represented at all ages in eccDNAs. B2 sequences were the highest in heart, while satellite sequences were the highest in liver and brain. In heart, very little age-related change was observed in the quantity of repetitive sequences. Nevertheless, a tendency to decrease for B1 and B2 sequences at 24 months was observed. In liver, repetitive sequences decreased from 1 to 8 months of age, with very little change beyond that time point. Brain eccDNA repetitive sequences did not change significantly with age.

  2. Niche separation of seven lemur species in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    1989-05-01

    This study examines segregation of seven lemur species in an eastern rainforest of Madagascar by a numerical analysis of microhabitats using structural and phenological data. These data are combined with the results of a previous study on food selection by these species in relation to plant chemistry. Description of some 441 10×10 m(2) microhabitats yields clear separation of the frugivorous from the more folivorous guild of lemurs. Within each guild there are subgroups of two species each, which use similar microhabitats. The two species of the subgroups are separated by their different reactions towards food chemicals. Thus food chemistry and microhabitat structure are two complementary axes sufficient to separate lemur species in the Malagasy rainforest. Species using the same microhabitats choose food items with different chemical properties and species eating the same food differ in their utilization of microhabitats. Only Cheirogaleus major can not be separated from the other lemur species based on habitat utilization and the chemical composition of their food. This species, however, is active only at times of food abundance and reduces its activity at times of scarcity thus avoiding potential competition. The folivorous species Avahi laniger and Indri indri use similar micro habitats for feeding and for resting, reflecting the strategy of low energy cost and fow energy return. A more folivorous species, Lemur fulvus, discriminates between feeding and resting sites based on phenological and structural variables, representing an example for behavior shaped by high cost and high energy return. Feeding sites of this species are linked to fruit abundance but the need to see but not to be seen seems to determine their choice of resting sites. This discrimination is similar to habitat choices of frugivorous primates in other tropical rainforests which have been linked to anti-predator behavior and suggests convergent evolution due to similar evolutionary selection

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Nutrient composition of plants consumed by black and white ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata, in the Betampona Natural Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Debra A; Iambana, R Bernard; Britt, Adam; Junge, Randall E; Welch, Charles R; Porton, Ingrid J; Kerley, Monty S

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantify the concentrations of crude protein, fat, ash, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin, nonstructural carbohydrates, and gross energy in plant foods consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and selenium concentrations were also determined. A total of 122 samples from 33 plant families and more than 60 species were collected and analyzed for their nutritional content. The specific nutrient needs of black and white ruffed lemurs are unknown, but quantifying the nutritional composition of the foods they consume in the wild will help nutritionists and veterinarians formulate more appropriate diets for captive ruffed lemurs. This information will also supply information on how man-induced habitat changes affect the nutritional composition of foods consumed by free-ranging lemurs.

  7. Age-dependent change of HMGB1 and DNA double-strand break accumulation in mouse brain.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Age and Environment Influences on Mouse Prion Disease Progression: Behavioral Changes and Morphometry and Stereology of Hippocampal Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Bento-Torres, J.; Sobral, L. L.; de Oliveira, R. B.; Anthony, D. C.; Vasconcelos, P. F. C.

    2017-01-01

    Because enriched environment (EE) and exercise increase and aging decreases immune response, we hypothesized that environmental enrichment and aging will, respectively, delay and increase prion disease progression. Mice dorsal striatum received bilateral stereotaxic intracerebral injections of normal or ME7 prion infected mouse brain homogenates. After behavior analysis, animals were euthanized and their brains processed for astrocyte GFAP immunolabeling. Our analysis related to the environmental influence are limited to young adult mice, whereas age influence refers to aged mice raised on standard cages. Burrowing activity began to reduce in ME7-SE two weeks before ME7-EE, while no changes were apparent in ME7 aged mice (ME7-A). Object placement recognition was impaired in ME7-SE, NBH-A, and ME7-A but normal in all other groups. Object identity recognition was impaired in ME7-A. Cluster analysis revealed two morphological families of astrocytes in NBH-SE animals, three in NBH-A and ME7-A, and four in NBH-EE, ME7-SE, and ME7-EE. As compared with control groups, astrocytes from DG and CA3 prion-diseased animals show significant numerical and morphological differences and environmental enrichment did not reverse these changes but induced different morphological changes in GFAP+ hippocampal astroglia. We suggest that environmental enrichment and aging delayed hippocampal-dependent behavioral and neuropathological signs of disease progression. PMID:28243355

  9. 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.

  10. Age and Environment Influences on Mouse Prion Disease Progression: Behavioral Changes and Morphometry and Stereology of Hippocampal Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Bento-Torres, J; Sobral, L L; Reis, R R; de Oliveira, R B; Anthony, D C; Vasconcelos, P F C; Picanço Diniz, Cristovam Wanderley

    2017-01-01

    Because enriched environment (EE) and exercise increase and aging decreases immune response, we hypothesized that environmental enrichment and aging will, respectively, delay and increase prion disease progression. Mice dorsal striatum received bilateral stereotaxic intracerebral injections of normal or ME7 prion infected mouse brain homogenates. After behavior analysis, animals were euthanized and their brains processed for astrocyte GFAP immunolabeling. Our analysis related to the environmental influence are limited to young adult mice, whereas age influence refers to aged mice raised on standard cages. Burrowing activity began to reduce in ME7-SE two weeks before ME7-EE, while no changes were apparent in ME7 aged mice (ME7-A). Object placement recognition was impaired in ME7-SE, NBH-A, and ME7-A but normal in all other groups. Object identity recognition was impaired in ME7-A. Cluster analysis revealed two morphological families of astrocytes in NBH-SE animals, three in NBH-A and ME7-A, and four in NBH-EE, ME7-SE, and ME7-EE. As compared with control groups, astrocytes from DG and CA3 prion-diseased animals show significant numerical and morphological differences and environmental enrichment did not reverse these changes but induced different morphological changes in GFAP+ hippocampal astroglia. We suggest that environmental enrichment and aging delayed hippocampal-dependent behavioral and neuropathological signs of disease progression.

  11. Anti-Skin-Aging Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate by Regulating Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Pathway on Aging Mouse Model Induced by D-Galactose.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiming; Li, Yifan; Zhu, Qiangqiang; Li, Tong; Lu, Hao; Wei, Nan; Huang, Yewei; Shi, Ruoyu; Ma, Xiao; Wang, Xuanjun; Sheng, Jun

    2017-03-23

    Epigallocatechin gallate(EGCG) is a monomer separated from tea catechins, as an well-known antioxidant, which helps fight wrinkles and rejuvenate skin cells. In this study, we investigated the anti-aging effect of EGCG, and to clarify underlying mechanism of skin aging in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model. Forty-five male mice were divided into 5 groups and treated with different dose of EGCG, Vitamin C (VitC) to mice as a positive control. All groups except vehicle were established aging model induced by D-galactose (200mg/kg/day) that was subcutaneously injected to mice for 8 weeks. Two weeks after injection of D-galactose, EGCG and Vit C groups were simultaneously administered once a day by subcutaneously inject after 5hours for injecting D-galactose. The results show that EGCG can be absorbed by the skin. Overall, the conditions of the skin of EGCG-treatment groups were improved, the whole structure of skin were better than control groups, and the levels of oxidative stress and the expression of relate with EGFR proteins were significantly higher than control group after EGCG treatment. All these findings suggest that EGCG can resist skin senility effectively. And the EGFR with relate of downstream proteins are implicated in the skin aging.

  12. A glance to the past: subfossils, stable isotopes, seed dispersal, and lemur species loss in Southern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crowley, Brooke E; Godfrey, Laurie R; Irwin, Mitchell T

    2011-01-01

    The Spiny Thicket Ecoregion (STE) of Southern and southwestern Madagascar was recently home to numerous giant lemurs and other "megafauna," including pygmy hippopotamuses, giant tortoises, elephant birds, and large euplerid carnivores. Following the arrival of humans more than 2,000 years ago, dramatic extinctions occurred. Only one-third of the lemur species which earlier occupied the STE survive today; other taxa suffered even greater losses. We use stable isotope biogeochemistry to reconstruct past diets and habitat preferences of the recently extinct lemurs of the STE. We show that the extinct lemurs occupied a wide range of niches, often distinct from those filled by coeval non-primates. Many of the now-extinct lemurs regularly exploited habitats that were drier than the gallery forests in which the remaining lemurs of this ecoregion are most often protected and studied. Most fed predominantly on C3 plants and some were likely the main dispersers of the large seeds of native C3 trees; others included CAM and/or C4 plants in their diets. These new data suggest that the recent extinctions have likely had significant ecological ramifications for the communities and ecosystems of Southern and southwestern Madagascar.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Lipidomic profiling in mouse brain reveals differences between ages and genders, with smaller changes associated with alpha-synuclein genotype.

    PubMed

    Rappley, Irit; Myers, David S; Milne, Stephen B; Ivanova, Pavlina T; Lavoie, Matthew J; Brown, H Alex; Selkoe, Dennis J

    2009-10-01

    Advances in lipidomics technology have facilitated the precise detection, identification and profiling of lipid species within tissues. Mass spectrometry allows for identification of lipids as a function of the total number of carbons and double bonds in their acyl chains. Such detailed descriptions of lipid composition can provide a basis for further investigation of cell signaling and metabolic pathways, both physiological and pathological. Here, we applied phospholipid profiling to mouse models relevant to Parkinson's disease, using mice that were transgenic for human alpha-synuclein (alphaSyn) or deleted of endogenous alphaSyn. Proposed functions of alphaSyn include phospholipid binding, regulation of membrane composition, and regulation of vesicular pools. We investigated whether alphaSyn gene dosage interacts with differences in phospholipid composition across brain regions or with age-related changes in brain phospholipid composition. The most dramatic phospholipid changes were observed in alphaSyn wild-type animals as a function of age and gender. alphaSyn genotype-specific changes were also observed in aged, but not young, mice. Our results provide a detailed and systematic characterization of brain phospholipid composition in mice and identify age-related changes relevant both to Parkinson's disease and to normal aging.

  17. Dietary modification by common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) during seasonal drought conditions in western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroki; Ichino, Shinichiro; Hanya, Goro

    2014-04-01

    Primates often modify dietary composition in relation to seasonal changes in food availability or climate conditions. We studied the feeding patterns of a troop of common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus), a semi-frugivorous strepsirhine, in a dry forest in northwestern Madagascar. To understand the mechanism of dietary modification, we recorded daily feeding times of diet items during 101 full-day observations over 1 year, and then conducted a linear model analysis to examine the effects of fruiting tree density in the forest, daily ambient temperature, and weekly rainfall (index of water retained in the forest) on the lemurs' daily feeding time. The lemurs spent dramatically more time on leaf-eating as well as total feeding time, and less time on fruit-eating during the late dry season (total 152 min/day, frugivory 56 min/day, folivory 77 min/day), as compared with other seasons when the diet was highly frugivorous (total 96 min/day, frugivory 81 min/day, folivory 8 min/day). Folivory increased as temperatures rose under the condition of low weekly rainfall, whereas frugivory was unrelated to fruiting tree density. Most (97.4%) diurnal folivory during the late dry season was spent consuming Lissochilus rutenbergianus, chewing the succulent leaves and licking the juice. Because the nutritional analysis showed that L. rutenbergianus is rich in water (80.1% of fresh weight) but poor in protein and nonstructural carbohydrates, its increased use was probably for rehydration. We conducted 13 full-night observations, because brown lemurs increase nocturnal activities during the dry season. At nighttime, the lemurs tended to spend more time eating fruit in the late dry season (32 min/night) than in the early dry season (14 min/night), and never consumed L. rutenbergianus. Fruits rich in nonstructural carbohydrates can be energy sources for Eulemur. They likely engaged in additional nocturnal frugivory for energy compensation. Brown lemurs have a flexible strategy of

  18. Identification of age-dependent motor and neuropsychological behavioural abnormalities in a mouse model of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II

    PubMed Central

    Gleitz, Hélène F. E.; O’Leary, Claire; Holley, Rebecca J.

    2017-01-01

    Severe mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II) is a progressive lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in the IDS gene, leading to a deficiency in the iduronate-2-sulfatase enzyme that is involved in heparan sulphate and dermatan sulphate catabolism. In constitutive form, MPS II is a multi-system disease characterised by progressive neurocognitive decline, severe skeletal abnormalities and hepatosplenomegaly. Although enzyme replacement therapy has been approved for treatment of peripheral organs, no therapy effectively treats the cognitive symptoms of the disease and novel therapies are in development to remediate this. Therapeutic efficacy and subsequent validation can be assessed using a variety of outcome measures that are translatable to clinical practice, such as behavioural measures. We sought to consolidate current knowledge of the cognitive, skeletal and motor abnormalities present in the MPS II mouse model by performing time course behavioural examinations of working memory, anxiety, activity levels, sociability and coordination and balance, up to 8 months of age. Cognitive decline associated with alterations in spatial working memory is detectable at 8 months of age in MPS II mice using spontaneous alternation, together with an altered response to novel environments and anxiolytic behaviour in the open-field. Coordination and balance on the accelerating rotarod were also significantly worse at 8 months, and may be associated with skeletal changes seen in MPS II mice. We demonstrate that the progressive nature of MPS II disease is also seen in the mouse model, and that cognitive and motor differences are detectable at 8 months of age using spontaneous alternation, the accelerating rotarod and the open-field tests. This study establishes neurological, motor and skeletal measures for use in pre-clinical studies to develop therapeutic approaches in MPS II. PMID:28207863

  19. Revisiting Metchnikoff: Age-related alterations in microbiota-gut-brain axis in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Scott, Karen A; Ida, Masayuki; Peterson, Veronica L; Prenderville, Jack A; Moloney, Gerard M; Izumo, Takayuki; Murphy, Kiera; Murphy, Amy; Ross, R Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F

    2017-02-04

    Over the last decade, there has been increased interest in the role of the gut microbiome in health including brain health. This is by no means a new theory; Elie Metchnikoff proposed over a century ago that targeting the gut by consuming lactic acid bacteria such as those in yogurt, could improve or delay the onset of cognitive decline associated with ageing. However, there is limited information characterising the relationship between the behavioural and physiological sequelae of ageing and alterations in the gut microbiome. To this end, we assessed the behavioural, physiological and caecal microbiota profile of aged male mice. Older mice (20-21months old) exhibited deficits in spatial memory and increases in anxiety-like behaviours compared to younger mice (2-3months old). They also exhibited increased gut permeability, which was directly correlated with elevations in peripheral pro-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, stress exacerbated the gut permeability of aged mice. Examination of the caecal microbiota revealed significant increases in phylum TM7, family Porphyromonadaceae and genus Odoribacter of aged mice. This represents a shift of aged microbiota towards a profile previously associated with inflammatory disease, particularly gastrointestinal and liver disorders. Furthermore, Porphyromonadaceae, which has also been associated with cognitive decline and affective disorders, was directly correlated with anxiety-like behaviour in aged mice. These changes suggest that changes in the gut microbiota and associated increases in gut permeability and peripheral inflammation may be important mediators of the impairments in behavioural, affective and cognitive functions seen in ageing.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2017-01-01

    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 Dyscal 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 approximate 6 Mb away from the Dyscal 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

  3. Age-associated pro-inflammatory adaptations of the mouse thoracic aorta.

    PubMed

    Hemmeryckx, Bianca; Hoylaerts, Marc F; Deloose, Eveline; Van Hove, Cor E; Fransen, Paul; Bult, Hidde; Lijnen, H Roger

    2013-10-01

    Arterial ageing may be associated with a reduction in vasodilation due to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, whereas endothelial cell activation induces procoagulant changes. However, little is known on the effect of ageing on expression of anticoagulant endothelial markers such as endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR). To study age-associated alterations in smooth muscle cell (SMC) and endothelial cell (EC) structure and function, the aorta was isolated from 10-week- and 12- and 24-month-old C57BL/6J mice and analysed for its expression of genes involved in senescence, oxidative stress production, coagulation and matrix remodelling. In addition, vasorelaxation experiments were performed using 10-week- and 24-month-old thoracic aortic ring segments in organ chamber baths. The media thickness of the thoracic aorta progressively increased with age, associated with hypertrophy of vascular SMCs. Basal nitric oxide production and sensitivity to acetylcholine-mediated vasodilation in thoracic aorta rings was reduced with age, whereas no significant differences in ROS production could be demonstrated. Gene expression of tissue factor, EPCR and von Willebrand factor was not affected by ageing of the aorta, whereas that of thrombomodulin was mildly reduced and that of xanthine dehydrogenase, NADPH oxidase 4, tumour necrosis factor-α and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 significantly enhanced. In conclusion, a reduction in endothelial cell-mediated vasodilation in aged thoracic aortas of C57BL/6J mice was accompanied by a shift towards a pro-inflammatory state of the endothelium.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. /sup 3/H-imipramine binding in aged mouse brain: regulation by ions and serotonin

    SciTech Connect

    Severson, J.A.

    1986-03-01

    The density of binding sites (Bmax) for /sup 3/H-imipramine was elevated in cerebral cortical, hypothalamic and hippocampal membranes from 24 month old male C57BL/6J mice. Cerebellar binding was constant with increasing age. There were no changes in the equilibrium dissociation constant (Kd) for /sup 3/H-imipramine in any brain region. The increase in the binding of /sup 3/H-imipramine induced by sodium and chloride ions in vitro was diminished in cerebral cortical homogenates from aged mice; both the sodium-sensitive and chloride-sensitive components of binding were about 50% less in aged mice. Dose-response curves indicated that the effectiveness with which chloride enhanced binding was similar with age, even though the absolute increase in binding was less. The rate of dissociation of /sup 3/H-imipramine from cerebral cortical homogenates was similar with age and serotonin slowed the rate of dissociation equally at all ages. Possible mechanisms for the age-related increase in brain /sup 3/H-imipramine binding are discussed. Ion-sensitive binding is discussed in relationship to the current controversy surrounding desipramine-sensitive versus ion-sensitive binding.

  7. Genetic analysis of albuminuria in the aging mouse and concordance with loci for diabetic nephropathy found in a genome-wide association scan

    PubMed Central

    Tsaih, Shirng-Wern; Pezzolesi, Marcus G.; Yuan, Rong; Warram, James H.; Krolewski, Andrzej S.; Korstanje, Ron

    2009-01-01

    Aging is a physiological process involving both genetic factors and environmental agents that can lead to function loss in organs. In the kidney, aging can cause leakage of proteins in urine, starting with albumin. Discovering molecular mechanisms responsible for albuminuria during aging could offer new perspectives on the etiology of this abnormality. Haplotype association mapping in the mouse is a novel approach which uses the haplotypes of the relatively closely related mouse inbred strains and the variation of the phenotypes among these strains to find associations between haplotypes and phenotype. Albumin-to-creatinine ratios, measures of urinary albumin excretion, were determined in 30 inbred mouse strains at 12, 18, and 24 months of age. To determine genetic loci that are involved in albuminuria, haplotype association mapping was performed for males and females separately at all 3 time points using a set of 63,222 SNPs. One significant and 8 suggestive loci were identified, some of which map to previously identified loci for traits associated with kidney damage in the mouse, but with a much higher resolution, which narrowed the mapped loci. These 9 loci were then investigated in the data of the genome-wide association scan for diabetic nephropathy in human type 1 diabetes. Two of the 9 mouse loci were found to be significantly associated with diabetic nephropathy, suggesting common underlying genes predisposing to kidney disease in mice and humans. PMID:19924099

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Multifocal pyogranulomatous osteomyelitis resembling chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis in a lemur.

    PubMed

    Backues, K A; Hoover, J P; Bahr, R J; Confer, A W; Chalman, J A; Larry, M L

    2001-01-15

    Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis is a rare inflammatory bone disease of children and adolescents that is characterized by localized swelling and pain in the clavicles and long bones of the limbs. Diagnosis of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis is made from clinical signs, characteristic radiographic and histopathologic findings, and negative results of microbial cultures. Treatment of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis in humans includes administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or immune modulators, which may be effective in lemurs.

  11. Illegal captive lemurs in Madagascar: Comparing the use of online and in-person data collection methods.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-02-29

    Although it is illegal to capture, sell, and trade lemurs, the live capture of lemurs in Madagascar is ongoing and may have impacted over 28,000 lemurs between 2010 and 2013. Only one study has examined this trade and did so using in-person interviews in northern Madagascar. The current study sought to expand this existing dataset and examine the comparability of online surveys to more traditional on-location data collection methods. In this study, we collected data through a web-based survey resulting in 302 sightings of 685 captive lemurs. We also collected data from 171 hotel and 43 restaurant websites and social media profiles. Survey submissions included sightings of 30 species from 10 genera, nearly twice as many species as identified via the in-person interviews. Lemur catta, Varecia variegata, and Eulemur fulvus were the most common species sighted in captivity. Captive lemurs were reported in 19 of Madagascar's 22 administrative regions and most were seen in urban areas near their habitat ranges. This represents a wider geographic distribution of captive lemurs than previously found through in-person interviews. The online survey results were broadly similar to those of the in-person surveys though greater in species and geographic diversity demonstrating advantages to the use of online surveys. The online research methods were low in cost (USD $100) compared to on-location data collection (USD $12,000). Identified disadvantages included sample bias; most of the respondents to the online survey were researchers and many captive sightings were near study sites. The results illustrate the benefits of incorporating a social science approach using online surveys as a complement to traditional fieldwork. Am. J. Primatol. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Aging and innate immunity in the mouse: impact of intrinsic and extrinsic factors

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Elizabeth J.; Palmer, Jessica L.; Fortin, Carl F.; Fülöp, Tamas; Goldstein, Daniel R.; Linton, Phyllis-Jean

    2010-01-01

    Aging affects every innate immune cell, including changes in cell numbers and function. Defects in the function of some cells are intrinsic, whereas for other cells, defects are extrinsic and possibly the consequence of the complex interactions with other cell types or the environmental milieu that is altered with aging. Abnormal function contributes to worsened outcomes after injury or infection and leads to diseases observed in the elderly. Knowing the mechanisms responsible for the aberrant function of innate immune cells might lead to the development of therapeutic strategies designed to improve innate immunity in aged individuals. Herein, advances in the field of innate immunity and aging with a focus on neutrophils, macrophages and dendritic cells in laboratory animals are discussed. PMID:19541536

  13. Age-dependent decline of nogo-a protein in the mouse cerebrum.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Anita; Thakur, M K

    2014-11-01

    Nogo-A, a myelin-associated neurite growth inhibitory protein, is implicated in synaptic plasticity. It binds to its receptor namely the Nogo-66 receptor1 (NgR1) and regulates filamentous (F) actin dynamics via small GTPases of the Rho family, RhoA kinase (ROCK), LimK and cofilin. These proteins are associated with the structural plasticity, one of the components of synaptic plasticity, which is known to decline with normal aging. So, the level of Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are likely to vary during normal brain aging. However, it is not clearly understood how the levels of Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 change in the cerebrum during aging. Several studies show an age- and gender-dependent decline in synaptic plasticity. Therefore, the present study was planned to analyze the relative changes in the mRNA and protein levels of Nogo-A and NgR1 in both male and female mice cerebrum during normal aging. Western blot analysis has shown decrease in Nogo-A protein level during aging in both male and female mice cerebrum. This was further confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. RT-PCR analysis of Nogo-A mRNA showed no significant difference in the above-mentioned groups. This was also supported by in situ hybridization. NgR1 protein and its mRNA expression levels showed no significant alteration with aging in the cerebrum of both male and female mice. Taken together, we speculate that the downregulation of Nogo-A protein might have a role in the altered synaptic plasticity during aging.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Lemur responses to edge effects in the Vohibola III classified forest, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Shawn M; Rajaonson, Andry; Day, Sabine

    2006-03-01

    Forest edges are dynamic zones characterized by the penetration (to varying depths and intensities) of conditions from the surrounding environment (matrix) into the forest interior. Although edge effects influence many tropical organisms, they have not been studied directly in primates. Edge effects are particularly relevant to lemurs because of the highly fragmented forest landscapes found in Madagascar. In this study, data are presented regarding how the densities of six lemur species (Avahi laniger, Cheirogaleus major, Eulemur rubriventer, Hapalemur griseus griseus, Microcebus rufus, and Propithecus diadema edwardsi) varied between six 500-m interior transects and six 500-m edge transects in the Vohibola III Classified Forest in SE Madagascar. Diurnal (n = 433) and nocturnal (n = 128) lemur surveys were conducted during June-October 2003 and May-November 2004. A. laniger, E. rubriventer, and H. g. griseus exhibited a neutral edge response (no differences in densities between habitats). M. rufus and P. d. edwardsi had a positive edge response (higher densities in edge habitats), which may be related to edge-related variations in food abundance and quality. Positive edge responses by M. rufus and P. d. edwardsi may ultimately be detrimental due to edge-related anthropogenic factors (e.g., hunting by local people). The negative edge response exhibited by C. major (lower densities in edge habitats) may result from heightened ambient temperatures that inhibit torpor in edge habitats.

  17. Diversity of photoreceptor arrangements in nocturnal, cathemeral and diurnal Malagasy lemurs.

    PubMed

    Peichl, Leo; Kaiser, Alexander; Rakotondraparany, Felix; Dubielzig, Richard R; Goodman, Steven M; Kappeler, Peter M

    2017-01-05

    The lemurs of Madagascar (Primates: Lemuriformes) are a monophyletic group that has lived in isolation from other primates for about 50 million years. Lemurs have diversified into species with diverse daily activity patterns and correspondingly different visual adaptations. We assessed the arrangements of retinal cone and rod photoreceptors in six nocturnal, three cathemeral and two diurnal lemur species and quantified different parameters in six of the species. The analysis revealed lower cone densities and higher rod densities in the nocturnal than in the cathemeral and diurnal species. The photoreceptor densities in the diurnal Propithecus verreauxi indicate a less "diurnal" retina than found in other diurnal primates. Immunolabeling for cone opsins showed the presence of both middle-to-longwave sensitive (M/L) and shortwave sensitive (S) cones in most species, indicating at least dichromatic color vision. S cones were absent in Allocebus trichotis and Cheirogaleus medius, indicating cone monochromacy. In the Microcebus species, the S cones had an inverse topography with very low densities in the central retina and highest densities in the peripheral retina. The S cones in the other species and the M/L cones in all species had a conventional topography with peak densities in the central area. With the exception of the cathemeral Eulemur species, the eyes of all studied taxa, including the diurnal Propithecus, possessed a tapetum lucidum, a feature only found among nocturnal and crepuscular mammals.

  18. 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.

  19. Dynamic activation of basilar membrane macrophages in response to chronic sensory cell degeneration in aging mouse cochleae.

    PubMed

    Frye, Mitchell D; Yang, Weiping; Zhang, Celia; Xiong, Binbin; Hu, Bo Hua

    2017-02-01

    In the sensory epithelium, macrophages have been identified on the scala tympani side of the basilar membrane. These basilar membrane macrophages are the spatially closest immune cells to sensory cells and are able to directly respond to and influence sensory cell pathogenesis. While basilar membrane macrophages have been studied in acute cochlear stresses, their behavior in response to chronic sensory cell degeneration is largely unknown. Here we report a systematic observation of the variance in phenotypes, the changes in morphology and distribution of basilar membrane tissue macrophages in different age groups of C57BL/6J mice, a mouse model of age-related sensory cell degeneration. This study reveals that mature, fully differentiated tissue macrophages, not recently infiltrated monocytes, are the major macrophage population for immune responses to chronic sensory cell death. These macrophages display dynamic changes in their numbers and morphologies as age increases, and the changes are related to the phases of sensory cell degeneration. Notably, macrophage activation precedes sensory cell pathogenesis, and strong macrophage activity is maintained until sensory cell degradation is complete. Collectively, these findings suggest that mature tissue macrophages on the basilar membrane are a dynamic group of cells that are capable of vigorous adaptation to changes in the local sensory epithelium environment influenced by sensory cell status.

  20. Progressive age-related changes in sleep and EEG profiles in the PLB1Triple mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Jyoti, Amar; Plano, Andrea; Riedel, Gernot; Platt, Bettina

    2015-10-01

    Sleep disturbances are common in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and now assumed to contribute to disease onset and progression. Here, we investigated whether activity, sleep/wake pattern, and electroencephalogram (EEG) profiles are altered in the knock-in PLB1Triple mouse model from 5 to 21 months of age. PLB1Triple mice displayed a progressive increase in wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement sleep fragmentation from 9 months onward, whereas PLB1WT wild type controls showed such deterioration only at 21 months. Impaired habituation to spatial novelty was also detected in PLB1Triple mice. Hippocampal power spectra of transgenic mice revealed progressive, vigilance stage-, brain region-, and age-specific changes. Age had an impact on EEG spectra in both cohorts but led to accelerated genotype-dependent differences, ultimately affecting all bands at 21 months. Overall, although PLB1Triple animals display only subtle amyloid and tau pathologies, robust sleep-wake and EEG abnormalities emerged. We hypothesize that such endophenotypes are sensitive, noninvasive, and reliable biomarker to identify onset and progression of AD.

  1. 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

  2. Premature aging-related peripheral neuropathy in a mouse model of progeria.

    PubMed

    Goss, James R; Stolz, Donna Beer; Robinson, Andria Rasile; Zhang, Mingdi; Arbujas, Norma; Robbins, Paul D; Glorioso, Joseph C; Niedernhofer, Laura J

    2011-08-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common aging-related degenerative disorder that interferes with daily activities and leads to increased risk of falls and injury in the elderly. The etiology of most aging-related peripheral neuropathy is unknown. Inherited defects in several genome maintenance mechanisms cause tissue-specific accelerated aging, including neurodegeneration. We tested the hypothesis that a murine model of XFE progeroid syndrome, caused by reduced expression of ERCC1-XPF DNA repair endonuclease, develops peripheral neuropathy. Nerve conduction studies revealed normal nerve function in young adult (8 week) Ercc1(-/Δ) mice, but significant abnormalities in 20 week-old animals. Morphologic and ultrastructural analysis of the sciatic nerve from mutant mice revealed significant alterations at 20 but not 8 weeks of age. We conclude that Ercc1(-/Δ) mice have accelerated spontaneous peripheral neurodegeneration that mimics aging-related disease. This provides strong evidence that DNA damage can drive peripheral neuropathy and offers a rapid and novel model to test therapies.

  3. Effect of ageing on post-lesion oestradiol treatment on mouse cholinergic neurones in vivo.

    PubMed

    Kőszegi, Z; Abrahám, I M

    2012-09-01

    A single 17β-oestradiol (E(2)) treatment reduces the loss in cholinergic fibre density in the cortex after NMDA lesion into the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) of the basal forebrain (BF) in young female mice. In the present study, we examined whether age influences this protective effect of E(2) on cholinergic neurones in male and female mice. Gonad-intact young and aged animals of both sexes were treated with E(2) after unilateral NMDA lesion into the NBM. NMDA lesion elicited ipsilateral cholinergic cell loss in the NBM and ipsilateral fibre loss in the somatosensory cortex to the same extent, irrespective of age or sex. A single E(2) injection performed 1 h post-lesion did not affect the cholinergic cell loss but reduced the loss of fibres in the ipsilateral cortex in young male and female mice. By contrast, E(2) did not have an effect on the NMDA-induced cholinergic cell and fibre loss in aged male or female mice. The oestrous stage of young female mice did not alter the number of cholinergic cells/fibres or the protective effect of E(2) on cholinergic fibres after NMDA injection. Our results show that E(2) has a protective action on BF cholinergic fibres in young males and females, although the treatment potential of E(2) declines with age.

  4. LMN diet, rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, improves mouse cognitive decline associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Fernández, Laura; Comes, Gemma; Bolea, Irene; Valente, Tony; Ruiz, Jessica; Murtra, Patricia; Ramirez, Bartolomé; Anglés, Neus; Reguant, Jordi; Morelló, José Ramón; Boada, Mercè; Hidalgo, Juan; Escorihuela, Rosa María; Unzeta, Mercedes

    2012-03-17

    We examined whether LMN diet, reported to induce neurogenesis in adult mice, was able to antagonize the age-related behavioural impairment and neuropathology in wild type (WT) mice and Tg2576 mice, a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thirteen-month-old mice (once the amyloid (Aβ) plaques were formed) were fed with the LMN diet for 5 months, and in the last 2 months of the regimen they received a battery of behavioural tests. In general, both aging and (to a higher extent) Tg2576 genotype deteriorated sensorimotor reflexes, exploratory behaviour in the hole board, activity (but not anxiety) in the elevated plus-maze, ambulation in the home cage during the dark phase, and spatial learning in the Morris water maze. LMN diet did not affect the detrimental effects observed in sensorimotor reflexes, but clearly reversed the effects of both aging and Tg2576 genotype. This behavioural amelioration was correlated with a 70% increase in cellular proliferation in subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain, but did not correlate with a decrease of amyloid plaques. In contrast, administration of LMN diet to 10 months old mice (before the plaques are formed) strongly suggested a putative delay in the formation of plaques, as indicated by a decreasing tendency of soluble and fibrillar Aβ levels in hippocampus which correlated with a decrease in Aβ (1-40, 1-42) plasma content. Herein we describe for the first time that LMN diet rich in polyphenols, dry fruits and cocoa, was able to decrease behavioural deterioration caused by aging and Tg2576 genotype and to delay the Aβ plaque formation. These results corroborate the increasing importance of polyphenols as human dietary supplements in amelioration of the cognitive impairment during aging and neurological disorders such as AD.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ageing-induced changes in the cortical granules of mouse eggs.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Hugo; Esponda, Pedro

    2004-05-01

    The cortical cytoplasm and cortical granules (CGs) of mouse oocytes were analysed by electron microscopy. Oocytes were collected soon and 20h after ovulation from adult young females (3-4 months old). In addition, gametes collected soon after ovulation from 12- to 14-month-old females were used. Ultrastructural analyses were undertaken using the conventional procedures and the alcoholic PTA method. PTA selectively stains the CGs indicating the presence of lysine-rich proteins in these granules. Oocytes from young females showed CGs as dense granules 300-500 nm in diameter linearly arranged under the oolemma. In oocytes recovered 20h after ovulation 24.31% of CGs appeared vacuolated and 38.40% internalized in the cytoplasm. In gametes collected from old females several changes were observed in the cortical cytoplasm: (a) CGs appeared concentrated in some areas while others regions were devoid of granules; (b) groups of CGs appeared internalized in the egg cytoplasm; (c) the CG contents had swollen and changed, showing dense and clear areas; (d) numerous dense structures and vesicles (lysosome-like vesicles) were present; (e) cytoplasmic fragmentation was frequently seen. Fragments contained CGs, dense structures and vacuoles. These changes are closely related to the low fertilization rates shown by these oocytes when they were used for in vitro fertilization procedures.

  8. Diet and nutrition in wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and their implications for the evolution of female dominance and small group size in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Deborah J

    2004-07-01

    Data collected on the feeding behavior, food intake, and chemical analyses of plant foods were used to document seasonal variation in diet and nutrition in Eulemur mongoz in northwestern Madagascar. E. mongoz conforms to the general Eulemur dietary pattern, with a predominantly frugivorous diet supplemented mainly by leaves, flowers, and nectar. Phytochemical analysis revealed high water contents in all the main plant foods; mature fruit and flowers contained the most water-soluble carbohydrates; immature leaves were richest in protein and essential amino acids; the limiting amino acids in all plant foods were methionine and cystine; ash (mineral) content was highest in petioles and mature leaves; crude lipid content was highest in seeds; and crude fiber content was indistinguishable between immature and mature fruit and leaves. High-fiber foods were eaten during both seasons; the wet season diet was dominated by high-energy foods (mature fruit, nectar, and seeds), while the dry season diet contained foods high in energy (mature fruit and flowers) and high in protein (immature leaves) and minerals (mature leaves and petioles). However, nutrient intake did not vary between seasons, implying that nutrient requirements are met throughout the year. These results suggest we draw more conservative conclusions when interpreting dietary variability in the absence of chemical analysis, and also draw into question the idea that nutritional stress is a factor in the timing of reproduction in lemurs and, by extension, is linked to the prevalence of female dominance and small group size in lemurs.

  9. TGFβ lengthens the G1 phase of stem cells in aged mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Daynac, Mathieu; Pineda, Jose R; Chicheportiche, Alexandra; Gauthier, Laurent R; Morizur, Lise; Boussin, François D; Mouthon, Marc-André

    2014-12-01

    Neurogenesis decreases during aging causing a progressive cognitive decline but it is still controversial whether proliferation defects in neurogenic niches result from a loss of neural stem cells or from an impairment of their progression through the cell cycle. Using an accurate fluorescence-activated cell sorting technique, we show that the pool of neural stem cells is maintained in the subventricular zone of middle-aged mice while they have a reduced proliferative potential eventually leading to the subsequent decrease of their progeny. In addition, we demonstrate that the G1 phase is lengthened during aging specifically in activated stem cells, but not in transit-amplifying cells, and directly impacts on neurogenesis. Finally, we report that inhibition of TGFβ signaling restores cell cycle progression defects in stem cells. Our data highlight the significance of cell cycle dysregulation in stem cells in the aged brain and provide an attractive foundation for the development of anti-TGFβ regenerative therapies based on stimulating endogenous neural stem cells.

  10. Age-related effects of X-ray irradiation on mouse hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Casciati, Arianna; Dobos, Katalin; Antonelli, Francesca; Benedek, Anett; Kempf, Stefan J.; Bellés, Montserrat; Balogh, Andrea; Tanori, Mirella; Heredia, Luis; Atkinson, Michael J.; von Toerne, Christine; Azimzadeh, Omid; Saran, Anna; Sáfrány, Geza; Benotmane, Mohammed A.; Linares-Vidal, M. Victoria; Tapio, Soile; Lumniczky, Katalin; Pazzaglia, Simonetta

    2016-01-01

    Therapeutic irradiation of pediatric and adult patients can profoundly affect adult neurogenesis, and cognitive impairment manifests as a deficit in hippocampal-dependent functions. Age plays a major role in susceptibility to radiation, and younger children are at higher risk of cognitive decay when compared to adults. Cranial irradiation affects hippocampal neurogenesis by induction of DNA damage in neural progenitors, through the disruption of the neurogenic microenvironment, and defective integration of newborn neurons into the neuronal network. Our goal here was to assess cellular and molecular alterations induced by cranial X-ray exposure to low/moderate doses (0.1 and 2 Gy) in the hippocampus of mice irradiated at the postnatal ages of day 10 or week 10, as well as the dependency of these phenomena on age at irradiation. To this aim, changes in the cellular composition of the dentate gyrus, mitochondrial functionality, proteomic profile in the hippocampus, as well as cognitive performance were evaluated by a multidisciplinary approach. Our results suggest the induction of specific alterations in hippocampal neurogenesis, microvascular density and mitochondrial functions, depending on age at irradiation. A better understanding of how irradiation impairs hippocampal neurogenesis at low and moderate doses is crucial to minimize adverse effects of therapeutic irradiation, contributing also to radiation safety regulations. PMID:27057631

  11. Cell Aging of Mouse Gastrointestinal Tract Observed by Light and Electron Microscopic Radioautography

    PubMed Central

    Nagata, Tetsuji

    2014-01-01

    The term “cell aging” initially means how the cells change due to their aging. There are two meanings, i.e. how a cell changes when it is isolated from original animals such as in vitro cells in cell culture, otherwise how all the cells of an animal change in vivo due to the aging of the individual animal. We have been studying the latter changes from the viewpoint of the cell nutrients, the precursors for the macromolecular synthesis such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), proteins, glucides and lipids, which are incorporated and synthesized into various cells of individual animals. Therefore, this article deals with only the cell aging of animal cells in vivo, how the metabolism, i.e. incorporations and syntheses of respective nutrient precursors in various kinds of cells change due to the aging of individual experimental animals such as mice by means of microscopic radioautography to localize the RI-labeled precursors. The incorporations and syntheses of various precursors for macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, glucides, lipids and others in various kinds of cells of various organs in the gastrointestinal tract such as the mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines are reviewed referring many original papers already published from our laboratory during these 60 years since the late 20th century. PMID:27785275

  12. Age-related loss of muscle fibres is highly variable amongst mouse skeletal muscles.

    PubMed

    Sheard, Philip W; Anderson, Ross D

    2012-04-01

    Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, attributable in part to muscle fibre loss. We are currently unable to prevent fibre loss because we do not know what causes it. To provide a platform from which to better understand the causes of muscle fibre death we have quantified fibre loss in several muscles of aged C57Bl/6J mice. Comparison of muscle fibre numbers on dystrophin-immunostained transverse tissue sections at 6 months of age with those at 24 months shows a significant fibre loss in extensor digitorum longus and soleus, but not in sternomastoid or cleidomastoid muscles. The muscles of the elderly mice were mostly lighter than their younger counterparts, but fibres in the elderly muscles were of about the same cross-sectional area. This study shows that the contribution of fibre death to sarcopenia is highly variable and that there is no consistent pattern of age-related fibre loss between skeletal muscles.

  13. 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

  14. Differences in Mouse Hepatic Thyroid Hormone Transporter Expression with Age and Hyperthyroidism

    PubMed Central

    Engels, Kathrin; Rakov, Helena; Zwanziger, Denise; Moeller, Lars C.; Homuth, Georg; Köhrle, Josef; Brix, Klaudia; Führer, Dagmar

    2015-01-01

    Background Clinical features of thyroid dysfunction vary with age, and an oligosymptomatic presentation of hyperthyroidism is frequently observed in the elderly. This suggests age modulation of thyroid hormone (TH) action, which may occur, for example, by alterations in TH production, metabolism and/or TH action in target organs. Objectives: In this paper, we address possible changes in TH transporter expression in liver tissues as a mechanism of age-dependent variation in TH action. Methods Chronic hyperthyroidism was induced in 4- and 20-month-old C57BL6/NTac male mice (n = 8-10) by intraperitoneal injections of 1 µg/g body weight L-thyroxine (T4) every 48 h over 7 weeks. Control animals were injected with PBS. Total RNA was isolated from liver samples for analysis of the TH transporter and TH-responsive gene expression. TH concentrations were determined in mice sera. Results Baseline serum free T4 (fT4) concentrations were significantly higher in euthyroid young compared to old mice. T4 treatment increased total T4, fT4 and free triiodothyronine to comparable concentrations in young and old mice. In the euthyroid state, TH transporter expression was significantly higher in old than in young mice, except for Mct8 and Oatp1a1 expression levels. Hyperthyroidism resulted in upregulation of Mct10, Lat1 and Lat2 in liver tissue, while Oatp1a1, Oatp1b2 and Oatp1a4 expression was downregulated. This effect was preserved in old animals. Conclusion Here, we show age-dependent differences in TH transporter mRNA expression in the euthyroid and hyperthyroid state of mice focusing on the liver as a classical TH target organ. PMID:26601077

  15. Effect of high-intensity exercise on aged mouse brain mitochondria, neurogenesis, and inflammation.

    PubMed

    E, Lezi; Burns, Jeffrey M; Swerdlow, Russell H

    2014-11-01

    In aged mice, we assessed how intensive exercise affects brain bioenergetics, inflammation, and neurogenesis-relevant parameters. After 8 weeks of a supra-lactate threshold treadmill exercise intervention, 21-month-old C57BL/6 mice showed increased brain peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α protein, mammalian target of rapamycin and phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin protein, citrate synthase messenger RNA, and mitochondrial DNA copy number. Hippocampal vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) gene expression trended higher, and a positive correlation between VEGF-A and PRC messenger RNA levels was observed. Brain doublecortin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tumor necrosis factor-α, and CCL11 gene expression, as well as plasma CCL11 protein levels, were unchanged. Despite these apparent negative findings, a negative correlation between plasma CCL11 protein levels and hippocampal doublecortin gene expression was observed; further analysis indicated exercise may mitigate this relationship. Overall, our data suggest supra-lactate threshold exercise activates a partial mitochondrial biogenesis in aged mice, and a gene (VEGF-A) known to support neurogenesis. Our data are consistent with another study that found systemic inflammation in general, and CCL11 protein specifically, suppresses hippocampal neurogenesis. Our study supports the view that intense exercise above the lactate threshold may benefit the aging brain; future studies to address the extent to which exercise-generated lactate mediates the observed effects are warranted.

  16. 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

  17. Age-associated activation of epigenetically repressed genes in the mouse.

    PubMed Central

    Bennett-Baker, Pamela E; Wilkowski, Jodi; Burke, David T

    2003-01-01

    Epigenetic control of gene expression is a consistent feature of differentiated mammalian cell types. Epigenetic expression patterns are mitotically heritable and are stably maintained in adult cells. However, unlike somatic DNA mutation, little is known about the occurrence of epigenetic change, or epimutation, during normal adult life. We have monitored the age-associated maintenance of two epigenetic systems--X inactivation and genomic imprinting--using the genes Atp7a and Igf2, respectively. Quantitative measurements of RNA transcripts from the inactive and active alleles were performed in mice from 2 to 24 months of age. For both genes, older animal cohorts showed reproducible increases in transcripts expressed from the silenced alleles. Loss of X chromosome silencing showed cohort mean increases of up to 2.2%, while imprinted-gene activation increased up to 6.7%. The results support the hypothesis that epigenetic loss of gene repression occurs in normal tissues and may be a contributing factor in progressive physiological dysfunction seen during mammalian aging. Quantitatively, the loss of epigenetic control may be one to two orders of magnitude greater than previously determined somatic DNA mutation. PMID:14704185

  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. Early exposure to ethanol differentially affects ethanol preference at adult age in two inbred mouse strains.

    PubMed

    Molet, Jenny; Bouaziz, Elodie; Hamon, Michel; Lanfumey, Laurence

    2012-08-01

    Although the acute effects of ethanol exposure on brain development have been extensively studied, the long term consequences of juvenile ethanol intake on behavior at adult age, regarding especially ethanol consumption, are still poorly known. The aim of this study was to analyze the consequences of ethanol ingestion in juvenile C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice on ethanol intake and neurobiological regulations at adulthood. Mice were given intragastric ethanol at 4 weeks of age under different protocols and their spontaneous ethanol consumption was assessed in a free choice paradigm at adulthood. Both serotonin 5-HT(1A) and cannabinoid CB1 receptors were investigated using [(35)S]GTP-γ-S binding assay for the juvenile ethanol regimens which modified adult ethanol consumption. In DBA/2J mice, juvenile ethanol ingestion dose-dependently promoted adult spontaneous ethanol consumption. This early ethanol exposure enhanced 5-HT(1A) autoreceptor-mediated [(35)S]GTP-γ-S binding in the dorsal raphe nucleus and reduced CB1 receptor-mediated G protein coupling in both the striatum and the globus pallidus at adult age. In contrast, early ethanol ingestion by C57BL/6J mice transiently lowered spontaneous ethanol consumption and increased G protein coupling of postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors in the hippocampus but had no effect on CB1 receptors at adulthood. These results show that a brief and early exposure to ethanol can induce strain-dependent long-lasting changes in both behavior toward ethanol and key receptors of central 5-HT and CB systems in mice.

  20. Newborns prefer the odor of milk and nipples from females matched in lactation age: Comparison of two mouse strains.

    PubMed

    Al Aïn, Syrina; Goudet, Camille; Schaal, Benoist; Patris, Bruno

    2015-08-01

    Newborn mice are attracted to mammary odor cues carried in murine milk and nipple secretions. However, murine milk odor is not equally attractive along lactation. The present study focuses on the differential response of 2day-old mouse pups of C57Bl/6 (C) and Balb/C (B) strains to the odor of milk (Experiment 1) and nipples (Experiment 2) that are matched/unmatched in terms of pup's age or strain. In Experiment 1, C and B pups were tested in a series of tests simultaneously opposing either murine milk and a blank (water), or two milks collected in early and late lactation (lactation days 2 and 15, respectively) from females belonging to their own or the other strain. Results showed that C and B pups were attracted to the odor of the different milks regardless of the lactation age and the strain of the donor female. Nevertheless, C and B pups preferred the odor conveyed by early- than late-lactation milk of either strain. Moreover, early-lactation milk from C females was more attractive than early-lactation milk from B females for pups of either strain. In Experiment 2, differential nipple grasping response of C and B pups was measured when they were exposed to nipples of females in early or late lactation. The proportion of C pups that grasped a nipple was greater when they were exposed to a nipple in early lactation regardless of the strain of the donor females, whereas the proportion of B pups that grasped a nipple was greater when they were exposed to a nipple in early lactation, but only from own strain. Thus, newborn mice prefer the odor of milk and nipples from females that are matched in lactation age. This result is discussed in terms of reciprocally adaptive mechanisms between lactating females and their newborn offspring.

  1. Measurement of hypocretin/orexin content in the mouse brain using an enzyme immunoassay: the effect of circadian time, age and genetic background.

    PubMed

    Lin, L; Wisor, J; Shiba, T; Taheri, S; Yanai, K; Wurts, S; Lin, X; Vitaterna, M; Takahashi, J; Lovenberg, T W; Koehl, M; Uhl, G; Nishino, S; Mignot, E

    2002-12-01

    The hypocretins (1 and 2) have emerged as key regulators of sleep and wakefulness. We developed a high-throughput enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure total brain hypocretin levels from large numbers of mice. Hypocretin levels were not altered by circadian time or age. However, significant differences in one or both hypocretin peptides were observed between different mouse strains. We studied hypocretin levels in knockout and transgenic mouse models with obesity, circadian gene mutations or monoaminergic defects. Compared to controls, only histamine receptor knockouts had lower hypocretin levels. This was most pronounced in H1 receptor knockouts suggesting the existence of a positive feedback loop between hypocretin and histaminergic neurons.

  2. 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.

  3. Splenocyte proliferation and anaphylaxis induced by BSA challenge in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Park, Ji-Hun

    2016-01-01

    We previously found a cross-reactive autoantibody that bound to bovine serum albumin generated in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model. Also, we confirmed that other reducing sugars (glucose and fructose) could induce the formation of autoantibody, and only following subcutaneous injection, not oral or intraperitoneal administration. Mice that had never been exposed to bovine serum albumin produced an anti-bovine serum albumin autoantibody following repeated subcutaneous injection of D-galactose (D-gal). In this study, we investigated the involvement of the adaptive immune system in the production of this autoantibody. In particular, we examined bovine serum albumin-induced splenocyte proliferation and bovine serum albumin-induced active cutaneous and systemic anaphylaxis in D-gal-treated mice. We find our results particularly interesting: bovine serum albumin stimulates splenocyte proliferation and induces both active cutaneous and systemic anaphylaxis in D-gal-treated mice. In summary, our results suggest that adaptive immune response participates in the autoantibody formation against bovine serum albumin in D-gal-treated mice. PMID:27833452

  4. Changes in nerve-mediated contractility of the lower urinary tract in a mouse model of premature ageing

    PubMed Central

    Triguero, D; Lafuente-Sanchis, A; Garcia-Pascual, A

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose A high incidence of lower urinary tract disorders is associated with ageing. In the senescent-accelerated prone (SAMP8) mouse strain and the senescent-accelerated resistant (SAMR1) strain, we compared smooth muscle contractility in responses to intrinsic neurotransmitters, both in the bladder and urethra. Experimental Approach We analysed micturition frequency, the changes in muscle tension induced by electrical field stimulation or agonist administration, the density of nerves (adrenergic, cholinergic and nitrergic) and interstitial cells (ICs), as well as cGMP accumulation in bladder and urethral preparations. Key Results Senescent mice of the SAMP8 strain displayed increased micturition frequency and excitatory contractility of neurogenic origin in the bladder. While cholinergic nerve density remained unchanged, there was a mild sensitization to ACh in male mice. Potentiation in the detrusor may be also provoked by the stronger contribution of ATP, together with reduced adrenergic innervation in males and COX-derived prostanoid production in females. The greater excitatory contractility in the urethra was probably due to the sensitization to noradrenaline, in conjunction with attenuated nitrergic relaxation. There were also fewer neuronal NOS immunoreactive (ir) nerves and vimentin-positive ICs, although the sildenafil-and diethylamine-NONOate-induced relaxations and cGMP-ir remained unchanged. Conclusions and Implications Premature senescent mice exhibit bladder and urethral hyperexcitability, coupled with reduced urethral relaxation of neurogenic origin, which could model the impaired urinary function in elderly humans. We propose that senescence-accelerated mice provide a useful tool to analyse the basic mechanisms of age-related changes in bladder and urethral function. PMID:24372152

  5. Decreased insulin-like growth factor-I and its receptor expression in the hippocampus and somatosensory cortex of the aged mouse.

    PubMed

    Lee, Choong Hyun; Ahn, Ji Hyeon; Park, Joon Ha; Yan, Bing Chun; Kim, In Hye; Lee, Dae Hwan; Cho, Jeong-Hwi; Chen, Bai Hui; Lee, Jae-Chul; Cho, Jun Hwi; Lee, Yun Lyul; Won, Moo-Ho; Kang, Il-Jun

    2014-04-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a multifunctional polypeptide and has diverse effects on brain functions. In the present study, we compared IGF-I and IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) immunoreactivity and their protein levels between the adult (postnatal month 6) and aged (postnatal month 24) mouse hippocampus and somatosensory cortex. In the adult hippocampus, IGF-I immunoreactivity was easily observed in the pyramidal cells of the stratum pyramidale in the hippocampus proper and in the granule cells of the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus. In the adult somatosensory cortex, IGF-I immunoreactivity was easily found in the pyramidal cells of layer V. In the aged groups, IGF-I expression was dramatically decreased in the cells. Like the change of IGF-I immunoreactivity, IGF-IR immunoreactivity in the pyramidal and granule cells of the hippocampus and in the pyramidal cells of the somatosensory cortex was also markedly decreased in the aged group. In addition, both IGF-I and IGF-IR protein levels were significantly decreased in the aged hippocampus and somatosensory cortex. These results indicate that the apparent decrease of IGF-I and IGF-IR expression in the aged mouse hippocampus and somatosensory cortex may be related to age-related changes in the aged brain.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Morphological characterization of a brown lemur hybrid zone (Eulemur rufifrons × E. cinereiceps).

    PubMed

    Delmore, Kira E; Louis, Edward E; Johnson, Steig E

    2011-05-01

    Hybridization has recently been identified as a pervasive force in the evolution of primates. In this study, we characterized a hybrid zone between two species of brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons and E. cinereiceps) in the Andringitra region of southeastern Madagascar using morphological traits. We immobilized animals along a north-south transect (∼80 km), scored them for their degree of hybridity using pelage traits and measured standard morphometric variables. Results from our study suggest that hybridization between E. rufifrons and E. cinereiceps is extensive, with the hybrid zone extending over 42.6 km and being composed mostly of later generation hybrids. We also identified significant variation between ancestral groups in our study: hybrid males exhibited longer tails than both parental species and sexual dimorphism in upper canine height favoring males was documented in E. rufifrons. These patterns could suggest that gene flow between parental and hybrid populations is relatively limited. Finally, significant differences between ancestral groups in relative body mass and skin-fold thickness were absent in our study, indicating that, as measured by these proxies, hybrids are equally as fit as parental forms. Based on these preliminary findings, the Andringitra hybrid zone could conform to the bounded superiority model of hybrid zone stability (i.e., it could be being maintained by selection favoring hybrids within transitional habitats). Accordingly, hybrids in Andringitra may be an unusual case among primates, representing a stable recombinant but distinct lineage. This conclusion has important implications for evolutionary processes within the brown lemur species complex.

  9. Phylogenomic Reconstruction of Sportive Lemurs (genus Lepilemur) Recovered from Mitogenomes with Inferences for Madagascar Biogeography.

    PubMed

    Lei, Runhua; Frasier, Cynthia L; Hawkins, Melissa T R; Engberg, Shannon E; Bailey, Carolyn A; Johnson, Steig E; McLain, Adam T; Groves, Colin P; Perry, George H; Nash, Stephen D; Mittermeier, Russell A; Louis, Edward E

    2016-10-03

    The family Lepilemuridae includes 26 species of sportive lemurs, most of which were recently described. The cryptic morphological differences confounded taxonomy until recent molecular studies; however, some species' boundaries remain uncertain. To better understand the genus Lepilemur, we analyzed 35 complete mitochondrial genomes representing all recognized 26 sportive lemur taxa and estimated divergence dates. With our dataset we recovered 25 reciprocally monophyletic lineages, as well as an admixed clade containing Lepilemur mittermeieri and Lepilemur dorsalis Using modern distribution data, an ancestral area reconstruction and an ecological vicariance analysis were performed to trace the history of diversification and to test biogeographic hypotheses. We estimated the initial split between the eastern and western Lepilemur clades to have occurred in the Miocene. Divergence of most species occurred from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The biogeographic patterns recovered in this study were better addressed with a combinatorial approach including climate, watersheds, and rivers. Generally, current climate and watershed hypotheses performed better for western and eastern clades, while speciation of northern clades was not adequately supported using the ecological factors incorporated in this study. Thus, multiple mechanisms likely contributed to the speciation and distribution patterns in Lepilemur.

  10. Nanoindentation of lemur enamel: an ecological investigation of mechanical property variations within and between sympatric species.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Sara E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Sponheimer, Matt; Ferguson, Virginia L

    2012-06-01

    The common morphological metrics of size, shape, and enamel thickness of teeth are believed to reflect the functional requirements of a primate's diet. However, the mechanical and material properties of enamel also contribute to tooth function, yet are rarely studied. Substantial wear and tooth loss previously documented in Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve suggests that their dental morphology, structure, and possibly their enamel are not adapted for their current fallback food (the mechanically challenging tamarind fruit). In this study, we investigate the nanomechanical properties, mineralization, and microstructure of the enamel of three sympatric lemur species to provide insight into their dietary functional adaptations. Mechanical properties measured by nanoindentation were compared to measurements of mineral content, prism orientation, prism size, and enamel thickness using electron microscopy. Mechanical properties of all species were similar near the enamel dentin junction and variations correlated with changes in microstructure (e.g., prism size) and mineral content. Severe wear and microcracking within L. catta's enamel were associated with up to a 43% reduction in nanomechanical properties in regions of cracking versus intact enamel. The mechanical and material properties of L. catta's enamel are similar to those of sympatric folivores and suggest that they are not uniquely mechanically adapted to consume the physically challenging tamarind fruit. An understanding of the material and mechanical properties of enamel is required to fully elucidate the functional and ecological adaptations of primate teeth.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Shortened estrous cycle length, increased FSH levels, FSH variance, oocyte spindle aberrations, and early declining fertility in aging senescence-accelerated mouse prone-8 (SAMP8) mice: concomitant characteristics of human midlife female reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Lori R; Mackenzie, Amelia C L; Kraemer, Duane C; Morley, John E; Farr, Susan; Chaffin, Charles L; Merchenthaler, István

    2014-06-01

    Women experience a series of specific transitions in their reproductive function with age. Shortening of the menstrual cycle begins in the mid to late 30s and is regarded as the first sign of reproductive aging. Other early changes include elevation and increased variance of serum FSH levels, increased incidences of oocyte spindle aberrations and aneuploidy, and declining fertility. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the mouse strain senescence-accelerated mouse-prone-8 (SAMP8) is a suitable model for the study of these midlife reproductive aging characteristics. Midlife SAMP8 mice aged 6.5-7.85 months (midlife SAMP8) exhibited shortened estrous cycles compared with SAMP8 mice aged 2-3 months (young SAMP8, P = .0040). Midlife SAMP8 mice had high FSH levels compared with young SAMP8 mice, and mice with a single day of high FSH exhibited statistically elevated FSH throughout the cycle, ranging from 1.8- to 3.6-fold elevation on the days of proestrus, estrus, metestrus, and diestrus (P < .05). Midlife SAMP8 mice displayed more variance in FSH than young SAMP8 mice (P = .01). Midlife SAMP8 ovulated fewer oocytes (P = .0155). SAMP8 oocytes stained with fluorescently labeled antitubulin antibodies and scored in fluorescence microscopy exhibited increased incidence of meiotic spindle aberrations with age, from 2/126 (1.59%) in young SAMP8 to 38/139 (27.3%) in midlife SAMP8 (17.2-fold increase, P < .0001). Finally, SAMP8 exhibited declining fertility from 8.9 pups/litter in young SAMP8 to 3.5 pups/litter in midlife SAMP8 mice (P < .0001). The age at which these changes occur is younger than for most mouse strains, and their simultaneous occurrence within a single strain has not been described previously. We propose that SAMP8 mice are a model of midlife human female reproductive aging.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Changes in nerve- and endothelium-mediated contractile tone of the corpus cavernosum in a mouse model of pre-mature ageing.

    PubMed

    Lafuente-Sanchis, A; Triguero, D; Garcia-Pascual, A

    2014-07-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is very prevalent in the older population, although the ageing-related mechanisms involved in the development of ED are poorly understood. We propose that age-induced differences in nerve- and endothelium-mediated smooth muscle contractility in the corpus cavernosum (CC) could be found between a senescent-accelerated mouse prone (SAMP8) and senescent-accelerated mouse resistant (SAMR1) strains. We analysed the changes in muscle tension induced by electrical field stimulation (EFS) or agonist addition 'in vitro', assessing nerve density (adrenergic, cholinergic and nitrergic), the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), cGMP accumulation and the distribution of interstitial cells (ICs) by immunofluorescence. We observed no change in both the nerve-dependent adrenergic excitatory contractility at physiological levels of stimulation and in the nitrergic inhibitory response in SAMP8 animals. Unlike cholinergic innervation, the density of adrenergic and nitrergic nerves increased in SAMP8 mice. In contrast, smooth muscle sensitivity to exogenous noradrenaline (NA) was slightly reduced, whereas cGMP accumulation in response to EFS and DEA/NO, and relaxations to DEA/NO and sildenafil, were not modified. No changes in the expression of eNOS and in the distribution of vimentin-positive ICs were detected in the aged animals. The ACh induced atropine-sensitive biphasic endothelium-dependent responses involved relaxation at low concentrations that turned into contractions at the highest doses. CC relaxation was mainly because of the production of NO together with some relaxant prostanoid, which did not change in SAMP8 animals. In contrast, the contractile component was considerably higher in the aged animals and it was completely inhibited by indomethacin. In conclusion, a clear imbalance towards enhanced production of contractile prostanoids from the endothelium may contribute to ED in the elderly. On the basis of these data, we

  18. Deep sequencing identifies circulating mouse miRNAs that are functionally implicated in manifestations of aging and responsive to calorie restriction.

    PubMed

    Dhahbi, Joseph M; Spindler, Stephen R; Atamna, Hani; Yamakawa, Amy; Guerrero, Noel; Boffelli, Dario; Mote, Patricia; Martin, David I K

    2013-02-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function to modulate gene expression, and through this property they regulate a broad spectrum of cellular processes. They can circulate in blood and thereby mediate cell-to-cell communication. Aging involves changes in many cellular processes that are potentially regulated by miRNAs, and some evidence has implicated circulating miRNAs in the aging process. In order to initiate a comprehensive assessment of the role of circulating miRNAs in aging, we have used deep sequencing to characterize circulating miRNAs in the serum of young mice, old mice, and old mice maintained on calorie restriction (CR). Deep sequencing identifies a set of novel miRNAs, and also accurately measures all known miRNAs present in serum. This analysis demonstrates that the levels of many miRNAs circulating in the mouse are increased with age, and that the increases can be antagonized by CR. The genes targeted by this set of age-modulated miRNAs are predicted to regulate biological processes directly relevant to the manifestations of aging including metabolic changes, and the miRNAs themselves have been linked to diseases associated with old age. This finding implicates circulating miRNAs in the aging process, raising questions about their tissues of origin, their cellular targets, and their functional role in metabolic changes that occur with aging.

  19. Joint loads resulting in ACL rupture: Effects of age, sex, and body mass on injury load and mode of failure in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Blaker, Carina L; Little, Christopher B; Clarke, Elizabeth C

    2016-09-07

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are a common knee injury with a known but poorly understood association with secondary joint injuries and post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA). Female sex and age are known risk factors for ACL injury but these variables are rarely explored in mouse models of injury. This study aimed to further characterize a non-surgical ACL injury model to determine its clinical relevance across a wider range of mouse specifications. Cadaveric and anesthetized C57BL/6 mice (9-52 weeks of age) underwent joint loading to investigate the effects of age, sex, and body mass on ACL injury mechanisms. The ACL injury load (whole joint load required to rupture the ACL) was measured from force-displacement data, and mode of failure was assessed using micro-dissection and histology. ACL injury load was found to increase with body mass and age (p < 0.001) but age was not significant when controlling for mass. Sex had no effect. In contrast, the mode of ACL failure varied with both age and sex groups. Avulsion fractures (complete or mixed with mid-substance tears) were common in all age groups but the proportion of mixed and mid-substance failures increased with age. Females were more likely than males to have a major avulsion relative to a mid-substance tear (p < 0.01). This data compliments studies in human cadaveric knees, and provides a basis for determining the severity of joint injury relative to a major ACL tear in mice, and for selecting joint loading conditions in future experiments using this model. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res.

  20. (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.

  1. Of mice and the 'Age of Discovery': the complex history of colonization of the Azorean archipelago by the house mouse (Mus musculus) as revealed by mitochondrial DNA variation.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, S I; Mathias, M L; Searle, J B

    2015-01-01

    Humans have introduced many species onto remote oceanic islands. The house mouse (Mus musculus) is a human commensal and has consequently been transported to oceanic islands around the globe as an accidental stowaway. The history of these introductions can tell us not only about the mice themselves but also about the people that transported them. Following a phylogeographic approach, we used mitochondrial D-loop sequence variation (within an 849- to 864-bp fragment) to study house mouse colonization of the Azores. A total of 239 sequences were obtained from all nine islands, and interpretation was helped by previously published Iberian sequences and 66 newly generated Spanish sequences. A Bayesian analysis revealed presence in the Azores of most of the D-loop clades previously described in the domesticus subspecies of the house mouse, suggesting a complex colonization history of the archipelago as a whole from multiple geographical origins, but much less heterogeneity (often single colonization?) within islands. The expected historical link with mainland Portugal was reflected in the pattern of D-loop variation of some of the islands but not all. A more unexpected association with a distant North European source area was also detected in three islands, possibly reflecting human contact with the Azores prior to the 15th century discovery by Portuguese mariners. Widening the scope to colonization of the Macaronesian islands as a whole, human linkages between the Azores, Madeira, the Canaries, Portugal and Spain were revealed through the sharing of mouse sequences between these areas. From these and other data, we suggest mouse studies may help resolve historical uncertainties relating to the 'Age of Discovery'.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    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

  5. Age-related alterations in the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in the senescence-accelerated mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Hiroyuki; Okuma, Yasunobu; Nomura, Jun; Nagashima, Kazuo; Nomura, Yasuyuki

    2003-05-01

    Senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) and prone 10 (SAMP10) are useful murine model of accelerated aging. SAMP8 shows marked impairment of learning and memory, whereas SAMP10 shows brain atrophy and aging-associated depressive behavior. This study examined the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in SAMP8 and SAMP10 brains, relative to that in SAM resistant 1 (SAMR1) controls, which age normally. Hippocampal GDNF mRNA expression decreased in an age-dependent manner (10- vs 2-month-old animals) in the SAMR1, but not in the SAMP8 or SAMP10 strains. Furthermore, GDNF mRNA expression in 2-month-old SAMP8 and SAMP10 strains was less than in SAMR1 specimens of the same age. The number of surviving neurons in the CA1 region decreased with age in SAMP8 and SAMP10, and also decreased relative to the number of neurons in 10-month-old SAMR1 controls. Immunohistochemistry revealed that cells that were positive for GDNF-like activity in 10-month-old SAMP8 and SAMP10 were diffusely distributed, in part, around the pyramidal cell layer in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that low GDNF expression in young SAMP8 and SAMP10 may be involved in hippocampal dysfunctions, such as age-related learning impairment and neuronal death.

  6. Age-related retinal degeneration (arrd2) in a novel mouse model due to a nonsense mutation in the Mdm1 gene.

    PubMed

    Chang, Bo; Mandal, Md Nawajes A; Chavali, Venkata R M; Hawes, Norman L; Khan, Naheed W; Hurd, Ronald E; Smith, Richard S; Davisson, Muriel L; Kopplin, Laura; Klein, Barbara E K; Klein, Ronald; Iyengar, Sudha K; Heckenlively, John R; Ayyagari, Radha

    2008-12-15

    We observed that a naturally occurring mouse strain developed age-related retinal degeneration (arrd2). These mice had normal fundi, electroretinograms (ERGs) and retinal histology at 6 months of age; vessel attenuation, RPE atrophy and pigmentary abnormalities at 14 months, which progressed to complete loss of photoreceptors and extinguished ERG by 22 months. Genetic analysis revealed that the retinal degeneration in arrd2 segregates in an autosomal recessive manner and the disease gene localizes to mouse chromosome 10. A positional candidate cloning approach detected a nonsense mutation in the mouse double minute-1 gene (Mdm1), which results in the truncation of the putative protein from 718 amino acids to 398. We have identified a novel transcript of the Mdm1 gene, which is the predominant transcript in the retina. The Mdm1 transcript is localized to the nuclear layers of neural retina. Expression of Mdm1 in the retina increases steadily from post-natal day 30 to 1 year, and a high level of Mdm1 are subsequently maintained. The Mdm1 transcript was found to be significantly depleted in the retina of arrd2 mice and the transcript was observed to degrade by nonsense-mediated decay. These results indicate that the depletion of the Mdm1 transcript may underlie the mechanism leading to late-onset progressive retinal degeneration in arrd2 mice. Analysis of a cohort of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) wherein the susceptibility locus maps to chromosome 12q, a region bearing the human ortholog to MDM1, did not reveal association between human MDM1 and AMD.

  7. Increase of TREM2 during Aging of an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model Is Paralleled by Microglial Activation and Amyloidosis

    PubMed Central

    Brendel, Matthias; Kleinberger, Gernot; Probst, Federico; Jaworska, Anna; Overhoff, Felix; Blume, Tanja; Albert, Nathalie L.; Carlsen, Janette; Lindner, Simon; Gildehaus, Franz Josef; Ozmen, Laurence; Suárez-Calvet, Marc; Bartenstein, Peter; Baumann, Karlheinz; Ewers, Michael; Herms, Jochen; Haass, Christian; Rominger, Axel

    2017-01-01

    Heterozygous missense mutations in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) have been reported to significantly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since TREM2 is specifically expressed by microglia in the brain, we hypothesized that soluble TREM2 (sTREM2) levels may increase together with in vivo biomarkers of microglial activity and amyloidosis in an AD mouse model as assessed by small animal positron-emission-tomography (μPET). In this cross-sectional study, we examined a strong amyloid mouse model (PS2APP) of four age groups by μPET with [18F]-GE180 (glial activation) and [18F]-florbetaben (amyloidosis), followed by measurement of sTREM2 levels and amyloid levels in the brain. Pathology affected brain regions were compared between tracers (dice similarity coefficients) and pseudo-longitudinally. μPET results of both tracers were correlated with terminal TREM2 levels. The brain sTREM2 levels strongly increased with age of PS2APP mice (5 vs. 16 months: +211%, p < 0.001), and correlated highly with μPET signals of microglial activity (R = 0.89, p < 0.001) and amyloidosis (R = 0.92, p < 0.001). Dual μPET enabled regional mapping of glial activation and amyloidosis in the mouse brain, which progressed concertedly leading to a high overlap in aged PS2APP mice (dice similarity 67%). Together, these results substantiate the use of in vivo μPET measurements in conjunction with post mortem sTREM2 in future anti-inflammatory treatment trials. Taking human data into account sTREM2 may increase during active amyloid deposition. PMID:28197095

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The anti-aging effects of LW-AFC via correcting immune dysfunctions in senescence accelerated mouse resistant 1 (SAMR1) strain

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jianhui; Cheng, Xiaorui; Zhang, Xiaorui; Cheng, Junping; Xu, Yiran; Zeng, Ju; Zhou, Wenxia; Zhang, Yongxiang

    2016-01-01

    Although there were considerable advances in the anti-aging medical field, it is short of therapeutic drug for anti-aging. Mounting evidence indicates that the immunosenescence is the key physiopathological mechanism of aging. This study showed the treatment of LW-AFC, an herbal medicine, decreased the grading score of senescence, increased weight, prolonged average life span and ameliorated spatial memory impairment in 12- and 24-month-old senescence accelerated mouse resistant 1 (SAMR1) strain. And these anti-aging effects of LW-AFC were more excellent than melatonin. The administration of LW-AFC enhanced ConA- and LPS-induced splenocyte proliferation in aged SAMR1 mice. The treatment of LW-AFC not only reversed the decreased the proportions of helper T cells, suppressor T cells and B cells, the increased regulatory T cells in the peripheral blood of old SAMR1 mice, but also could modulate the abnormal secretion of IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-17, IL-23, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, TNF-α, TNF-β, RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and G-CSF. These data indicated that LW-AFC reversed the immunosenescence status by restoring immunodeficiency and decreasing chronic inflammation and suggested LW-AFC may be an effective anti-aging agent. PMID:27105505

  11. The anti-aging effects of LW-AFC via correcting immune dysfunctions in senescence accelerated mouse resistant 1 (SAMR1) strain.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianhui; Cheng, Xiaorui; Zhang, Xiaorui; Cheng, Junping; Xu, Yiran; Zeng, Ju; Zhou, Wenxia; Zhang, Yongxiang

    2016-05-10

    Although there were considerable advances in the anti-aging medical field, it is short of therapeutic drug for anti-aging. Mounting evidence indicates that the immunosenescence is the key physiopathological mechanism of aging. This study showed the treatment of LW-AFC, an herbal medicine, decreased the grading score of senescence, increased weight, prolonged average life span and ameliorated spatial memory impairment in 12- and 24-month-old senescence accelerated mouse resistant 1 (SAMR1) strain. And these anti-aging effects of LW-AFC were more excellent than melatonin. The administration of LW-AFC enhanced ConA- and LPS-induced splenocyte proliferation in aged SAMR1 mice. The treatment of LW-AFC not only reversed the decreased the proportions of helper T cells, suppressor T cells and B cells, the increased regulatory T cells in the peripheral blood of old SAMR1 mice, but also could modulate the abnormal secretion of IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-17, IL-23, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, TNF-α, TNF-β, RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and G-CSF. These data indicated that LW-AFC reversed the immunosenescence status by restoring immunodeficiency and decreasing chronic inflammation and suggested LW-AFC may be an effective anti-aging agent.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Codominant autosomal inheritance of polymorphic red cell acid phosphates of lemurs and some properties of the enzymes.

    PubMed

    Mason, G A; Buettner-Janusch, J

    1977-06-01

    Red cell acid phosphatase phenotypes of 207 captive animals of the genera Lemur, Hapalemur, and Prophithecus were determined by starch gel electrophoresis and phosphatase-specific staining. In Lemur fulvus, three phenotypes, designated A, B, and AB, were observed. In each of the species L. catta, L. macaco, L. mongoz, and L. variegatus, a single phenotype was observed, In Hapalemur griseus, three phenotypes were found: A,B, and AB. In Propithecus verreauxi, a single phenotype was found. Examination of breeding records in conjunction with the results of the electrophoretic analyses supports the conclusion that the erythrocytic acid phosphatases in this group of nonhuman primates are the products of at least two codominant autosomal alleles. There is a wide range of specific activities of the acid phosphatases as determined by colorimetric assays. The values range from 60.6 micronmoles of p-nitrophenol released per gram of hemoglobin per 30 min in Lemur catta to 429.1 micronmoles in Propithecus verreauxi. The enzymes of L. fulvus and P. vereauxi were purified approximately 400-fold, and Michaelis-Menten constants were determined on the purified preparations. For L. fulvus phenotype A, Km = 0.8 mM; for L. fulvus phenotype B, Km = 0.8 mM; and for P. verreauxi, Km = 0.6 mM; the substrate in each case was p-nitrophenylphosphate.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    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.

  20. Co-occurrence of TDP-43 mislocalization with reduced activity of an RNA editing enzyme, ADAR2, in aged mouse motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Hideyama, Takuto; Teramoto, Sayaka; Hachiga, Kosuke; Yamashita, Takenari; Kwak, Shin

    2012-01-01

    TDP-43 pathology in spinal motor neurons is a neuropathological hallmark of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and has recently been shown to be closely associated with the downregulation of an RNA editing enzyme called adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2) in the motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients. Because TDP-43 pathology is found more frequently in the brains of elderly patients, we investigated the age-related changes in the TDP-43 localization and ADAR2 activity in mouse motor neurons. We found that ADAR2 was developmentally upregulated, and its mRNA expression level was progressively decreased in the spinal cords of aged mice. Motor neurons normally exhibit nuclear ADAR2 and TDP-43 immunoreactivity, whereas fast fatigable motor neurons in aged mice demonstrated a loss of ADAR2 and abnormal TDP-43 localization. Importantly, these motor neurons expressed significant amounts of the Q/R site-unedited AMPA receptor subunit 2 (GluA2) mRNA. Because expression of unedited GluA2 has been demonstrated as a lethality-causing molecular abnormality observed in the motor neurons, these results suggest that age-related decreases in ADAR2 activity play a mechanistic role in aging and serve as one of risk factors for ALS.

  1. Post-ovulatory aging of mouse oocytes in vivo and in vitro: Effects of caffeine on exocytosis and translocation of cortical granules.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jie; Yin, Xun-Qiang; Ge, Wei; He, Gui-Fang; Qian, Wei-Ping; Ma, Jun-Yu; Shen, Wei; Yin, Shen; Sun, Qing-Yuan

    2016-11-01

    The developmental potential of post-ovulatory oocytes decreases with aging in vivo and in vitro. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of a potent antioxidant caffeine on cortical granules (CGs) distribution in mouse oocytes aging in vivo and in vitro. We found that in vivo administration of 150 mg/kg caffeine caused ovulation of some morphologically abnormal oocytes showing premature exocytosis or congregation of CGs, but significantly decreased abnormal distribution of CGs in oocytes aging for 6 h, 12 h and 18 h in vivo compared to those without caffeine treatment. Unexpectedly, supplementation of oocyte culture medium with 10 mmol/L caffeine accelerated CGs release of oocytes and the normal CG distribution rate dramatically decreased from 6 h in oocytes aging in vitro. It appeared that oocytes showed a high degree of abnormal CG distribution by aging for 18 h, and caffeine might delay oocyte CG exocytosis in vivo, but accelerates CG exocytosis in vitro. Our findings may have implications for improving assisted reproduction technologies.

  2. Cytokine-induced activation of glial cells in the mouse brain is enhanced at an advanced age.

    PubMed

    Deng, X-H; Bertini, G; Xu, Y-Z; Yan, Z; Bentivoglio, M

    2006-08-25

    Numerous neurological diseases which include neuroinflammatory components exhibit an age-related prevalence. The aging process is characterized by an increase of inflammatory mediators both systemically and in the brain, which may prime glial cells. However, little information is available on age-related changes in the glial response of the healthy aging brain to an inflammatory challenge. This problem was here examined using a mixture of the proinflammatory cytokines interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which was injected intracerebroventricularly in young (2-3.5 months), middle-aged (10-11 months) and aged (18-21 months) mice. Vehicle (phosphate-buffered saline) was used as control. After a survival of 1 or 2 days (all age groups) or 4 days (young and middle-aged animals), immunohistochemically labeled astrocytes and microglia were investigated both qualitatively and quantitatively. In all age groups, astrocytes were markedly activated in periventricular as well as in deeper brain regions 2 days following cytokine treatment, whereas microglia activation was already evident at 24 h. Interestingly, cytokine-induced activation of both astrocytes and microglia was significantly more marked in the brain of aged animals, in which it included numerous ameboid microglia, than of younger age groups. Moderate astrocytic activation was also seen in the hippocampal CA1 field of vehicle-treated aged mice. FluoroJade B histochemistry and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated UTP nick-end labeling technique, performed at 2 days after cytokine administration, did not reveal ongoing cell death phenomena in young or aged animals. This indicated that glial cell changes were not secondary to neuronal death. Altogether, the findings demonstrate for the first time enhanced activation of glial cells in the old brain, compared with young and middle-aged subjects, in response to cytokine exposure. Interestingly, the results also suggest that such enhancement

  3. 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.

  4. Age-related changes of NGF, BDNF, parvalbumin and neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity in the mouse hippocampal CA1 sector.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Natsumi; Abe, Manami; Eto, Risa; Kato, Hiroyuki; Araki, Tsutomu

    2008-06-01

    We investigated the age-related alterations in nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), parvalbumin and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) immunoreactivity of the mouse hippocampal CA1 sector. NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was unchanged in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons from 2 to 50-59 weeks of birth. In contrast, a significant increase in the NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was observed in glial cells of the hippocampal CA1 sector from 40-42 to 50-59 weeks of birth. On the other hand, the number of parvalbumin- and nNOS-positive interneurons was unchanged in the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes, except for a significant decrease of nNOS-positive interneurons 2 weeks of birth. Our results indicate that NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was unaltered in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons during aging processes. In contrast, a significant increase in the NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was observed in glial cells of the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes. The present study also shows that the number of parvalbumin- and nNOS-positive interneurons was unchanged in the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes, except for a significant decrease of nNOS-positive interneurons 2 weeks of birth. These results demonstrate that the expression of glial NGF and BDNF may play a key role for helping survival and maintenance of pyramidal neurons and neuronal functions in the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes. Furthermore, our findings suggest that parvalbumin- and nNOS-positive interneurons in the hippocampal CA1 sector are resistant to aging processes. Moreover, our findings suggest that nitric oxide synthesized by the nNOS may play some role for neuronal growth during postnatal development.

  5. Effects of aging and calorie restriction on the global gene expression profiles of mouse testis and ovary

    PubMed Central

    Sharov, Alexei A; Falco, Geppino; Piao, Yulan; Poosala, Suresh; Becker, Kevin G; Zonderman, Alan B; Longo, Dan L; Schlessinger, David; Ko, Minoru SH

    2008-01-01

    Background The aging of reproductive organs is not only a major social issue, but of special interest in aging research. A long-standing view of 'immortal germ line versus mortal soma' poses an important question of whether the reproductive tissues age in similar ways to the somatic tissues. As a first step to understand this phenomenon, we examine global changes in gene expression patterns by DNA microarrays in ovaries and testes of C57BL/6 mice at 1, 6, 16, and 24 months of age. In addition, we compared a group of mice on ad libitum (AL) feeding with a group on lifespan-extending 40% calorie restriction (CR). Results We found that gene expression changes occurred in aging gonads, but were generally different from those in somatic organs during aging. For example, only two functional categories of genes previously associated with aging in muscle, kidney, and brain were confirmed in ovary: genes associated with complement activation were upregulated, and genes associated with mitochondrial electron transport were downregulated. The bulk of the changes in gonads were mostly related to gonad-specific functions. Ovaries showed extensive gene expression changes with age, especially in the period when ovulation ceases (from 6 to 16 months), whereas testes showed only limited age-related changes. The same trend was seen for the effects of CR: CR-mediated reversal of age-associated gene expression changes, reported in somatic organs previously, was limited to a small number of genes in gonads. Instead, in both ovary and testis, CR caused small and mostly gonad-specific effects: suppression of ovulation in ovary and activation of testis-specific genes in testis. Conclusion Overall, the results are consistent with unique modes of aging and its modification by CR in testis and ovary. PMID:18522719

  6. Assessing the use of immersive virtual reality, mouse and touchscreen in pointing and dragging-and-dropping tasks among young, middle-aged and older adults.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiayin; Or, Calvin

    2017-04-07

    This study assessed the use of an immersive virtual reality (VR), a mouse and a touchscreen for one-directional pointing, multi-directional pointing, and dragging-and-dropping tasks involving targets of smaller and larger widths by young (n = 18; 18-30 years), middle-aged (n = 18; 40-55 years) and older adults (n = 18; 65-75 years). A three-way, mixed-factorial design was used for data collection. The dependent variables were the movement time required and the error rate. Our main findings were that the participants took more time and made more errors in using the VR input interface than in using the mouse or the touchscreen. This pattern applied in all three age groups in all tasks, except for multi-directional pointing with a larger target width among the older group. Overall, older adults took longer to complete the tasks and made more errors than young or middle-aged adults. Larger target widths yielded shorter movement times and lower error rates in pointing tasks, but larger targets yielded higher rates of error in dragging-and-dropping tasks. Our study indicated that any other virtual environments that are similar to those we tested may be more suitable for displaying scenes than for manipulating objects that are small and require fine control. Although interacting with VR is relatively difficult, especially for older adults, there is still potential for older adults to adapt to that interface. Furthermore, adjusting the width of objects according to the type of manipulation required might be an effective way to promote performance.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Auditory peripheral influences on calcium binding protein immunoreactivity in the cochlear nucleus during aging in the C57BL/6J mouse.

    PubMed

    Idrizbegovic, Esma; Bogdanovic, Nenad; Viberg, Agneta; Canlon, Barbara

    2003-05-01

    The C57BL/6J (C57) mouse was selected as a suitable model for early presbyacusis to determine if there were correlations between peripheral pathology (spiral ganglion loss, inner and outer hair cell loss) and calcium binding immunoreactivity in the cochlear nucleus during aging. The quantitative stereological method, the optical fractionator, was used for determining the total number of neurons and calcium binding immunopositive neurons (calbindin, parvalbumin and calretinin) during aging in the posteroventral- and dorsal cochlear nucleus (PVCN and DCN) in C57 mice. Comparing 30-month-old to 1-month-old C57 mice, a percent increase in parvalbumin and calbindin immunoreactivity was evident in both the PVCN and DCN. Correlations were made between peripheral pathology (spiral ganglion and inner and outer hair cell loss) and calcium binding protein expression. Significant correlations between cochlear pathology and the percentage of parvalbumin and calretinin immunoreactive neurons were demonstrated in the DCN. Moreover, significant correlations were found between cochlear pathology and parvalbumin and calbindin in the PVCN. In summary, the findings imply that degenerative changes in the auditory periphery can modulate neuronal homeostasis by increasing calcium binding proteins in the PVCN and DCN during aging. Taken together, these findings suggest a role for calcium binding proteins in protecting against age-induced calcium toxicity.

  10. Preservation of Cognitive Function by Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Is Associated with Improvement of Mitochondrial Activity and Upregulation of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Middle-Aged Mouse Cortex.

    PubMed

    Guo, Shan-Shan; Gao, Xiao-Fang; Gu, Yan-Rong; Wan, Zhong-Xiao; Lu, A-Ming; Qin, Zheng-Hong; Luo, Li

    2016-01-01

    Maca has been used as a foodstuff and a traditional medicine in the Andean region for over 2,000 years. Recently the neuroprotective effects of maca also arouse interest of researchers. Decrease in mitochondrial function and decline in autophagy signaling may participate in the process of age-related cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate if maca could improve cognitive function of middle-aged mice and if this effect was associated with improvement of mitochondrial activity and modulation of autophagy signaling in mouse cortex. Fourteen-month-old male ICR mice received maca powder administered by gavage for five weeks. Maca improved cognitive function, motor coordination, and endurance capacity in middle-aged mice, accompanied by increased mitochondrial respiratory function and upregulation of autophagy-related proteins in cortex. Our findings suggest that maca is a newly defined nutritional plant which can improve mitochondrial function and upregulate autophagy-related proteins and may be an effective functional food for slowing down age-related cognitive decline.

  11. 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

    2016-02-18

    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.

  12. 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. The Fmr1 knockout (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 of Fmr1KO mice from 2 to 12 months. In young adult Fmr1KO 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-old Fmr1KO mice. We found that acute pharmacological blockade of mGlu5 receptor in 12-month-old Fmr1KO mice restored a normal AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and LTP. Taken together, the data reveal an age-dependent deficit in LTP in Fmr1KO mice, which may correlate to some of the complex age-related deficits in FXS.

  13. Preservation of Cognitive Function by Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Is Associated with Improvement of Mitochondrial Activity and Upregulation of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Middle-Aged Mouse Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Shan-Shan; Gao, Xiao-Fang; Gu, Yan-Rong

    2016-01-01

    Maca has been used as a foodstuff and a traditional medicine in the Andean region for over 2,000 years. Recently the neuroprotective effects of maca also arouse interest of researchers. Decrease in mitochondrial function and decline in autophagy signaling may participate in the process of age-related cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate if maca could improve cognitive function of middle-aged mice and if this effect was associated with improvement of mitochondrial activity and modulation of autophagy signaling in mouse cortex. Fourteen-month-old male ICR mice received maca powder administered by gavage for five weeks. Maca improved cognitive function, motor coordination, and endurance capacity in middle-aged mice, accompanied by increased mitochondrial respiratory function and upregulation of autophagy-related proteins in cortex. Our findings suggest that maca is a newly defined nutritional plant which can improve mitochondrial function and upregulate autophagy-related proteins and may be an effective functional food for slowing down age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27648102

  14. 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

  15. Calorie restriction down-regulates expression of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin in normal and D-galactose-induced aging mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Wei, Shougang; Shi, Wenli; Li, Man; Gao, Qian

    2014-02-01

    It has been shown that iron progressively accumulates in the brain with age. Calorie restriction (CR) may allay many of the adverse effects of aging on the brain, yet the underlying mechanisms, in particular in relation to brain iron metabolism, remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of CR in the regulation of cerebral cellular iron homeostasis. C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into four groups of eight. The control group was fed a conventional diet ad libitum; the CR group received 70% of the calories of the control mouse intake per day; the D-galactose (D-gal) group received subcutaneous injection of D-gal at a dose of 100 mg/kg once daily to produce mouse model of aging; the D-gal plus CR group received both of the two interventions for 14 weeks. The Morris water maze (MWM) was employed to test the cognitive performance of all animals, and the expression of iron regulatory genes, ferroportin and hepcidin, in the cortex and hippocampus were detected by quantitative real-time PCR. Compared to the controls, the D-gal group mice showed significant spatial reference memory deficits in the MWM test, whereas the D-gal-CR group mice exhibited almost normal cognitive function, indicating that CR protects against D-gal-induced learning and memory impairment. Hepcidin mRNA expression was increased in the D-gal group, decreased in the CR group, and was basically unchanged in the D-gal-CR group. There was no statistical difference in the transmembrane iron exporter ferroportin expression between control and any of the experimental groups. The results suggest that the anti-aging effects of CR might partially lie in its capacity to reduce or avoid age-related iron accumulation in the brain through down-regulating expression of brain hepcidin--the key negative regulator for intracellular iron efflux--and that facilitating the balance of brain iron metabolism may be a promising anti-aging measure.

  16. Age-dependent alterations of the hippocampal cell composition and proliferative potential in the hAβPPSwInd-J20 mouse.

    PubMed

    Fu, YuHong; Rusznák, Zoltán; Kwok, John B J; Kim, Woojin Scott; Paxinos, George

    2014-01-01

    The J20 mouse expresses human mutant amyloid-β protein precursor (hAβPPSwInd) and is an established transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). From the age of 5 months, amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits appear in the hippocampus with concomitant increase of AD-associated features. Although changes occurring after the appearance of Aβ deposits have been extensively studied, very little is known about alterations that occur prior to 5 months. The present study aimed to identify changes in the cellular composition and proliferative potential of the J20 hippocampus using 1-18-month-old mice. Neuronal, non-neuronal, Ki-67+, and TUNEL+ cell numbers were counted with the isotropic fractionator method. Age-dependent changes of the expression of microglia-, astrocyte-, and neurogenesis-specific markers were sought in the entire hippocampus. Several transgene-associated changes were revealed before the appearance of Aβ deposits. The number of proliferating cells decreased whereas the number of microglia clusters increased as early as 4 weeks of age. The neurogenesis was also impaired in the dentate gyrus of 7-11-week-old J20 mice. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between the number of proliferating cells and age in both populations, but the time course of the age-dependence was steeper in wild-type than in J20 mice. Negative age-dependence was noted when the number of cells committed to apoptosis was examined. Our results indicate that overexpression of mutant hAβPP initiates a cascade of pathologic events well before the appearance of visible Aβ plaques. Accordingly, early signs of AD include reduced cell proliferation, impaired neurogenesis, and increased activity of microglia in the hippocampus.

  17. Glial molecular alterations with mouse brain development and aging: up-regulation of the Kir4.1 and aquaporin-4.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Rajaneesh Kumar; Kanungo, Madhusudan

    2013-02-01

    Glial cells, besides participating as passive supporting matrix, are also proposed to be involved in the optimization of the interstitial space for synaptic transmission by tight control of ionic and water homeostasis. In adult mouse brain, inwardly rectifying K+ (Kir4.1) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels localize to astroglial endfeets in contact with brain microvessels and glutamate synapses, optimizing clearance of extracellular K(+) and water from the synaptic layers. However, it is still unclear whether there is an age-dependent difference in the expressions of Kir4.1 and AQP4 channels specifically during postnatal development and aging when various marked changes occur in brain and if these changes region specific. RT-PCR and immunoblotting was conducted to compare the relative expression of Kir4.1 and AQP4 mRNA and protein in the early and mature postnatal (0-, 15-, 45-day), adult (20-week), and old age (70-week) mice cerebral and cerebellar cortices. Expressions of Kir4.1 and AQP4 mRNA and protein are very low at 0-day. A pronounced and continuous increase was observed by mature postnatal ages (15-, 45-days). However, in the 70-week-old mice, expressions are significantly up-regulated as compared to 20-week-old mice. Both genes follow the same age-related pattern in both cerebral and cerebellar cortices. The time course and expression pattern suggests that Kir4.1 and AQP4 channels may play an important role in brain K(+) and water homeostasis in early postnatal weeks after birth and during aging.

  18. Detection of age-dependent brain injury in a mouse model of brain amyloidosis associated with Alzheimer's disease using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shu-Wei; Song, Sheng-Kwei; Harms, Michael P; Lin, Shiow-Jiuan; Holtzman, David M; Merchant, Kalpana M; Kotyk, John J

    2005-01-01

    Using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), the present study investigates changes in both gray and white matter in the APPsw transgenic mouse (Tg2576), a model of beta-amyloid plaque deposition associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). DTI analyses were performed in cross-sectional groups of transgene-positive and -negative mice at 8, 12, 16, and 18 months of age to assess the magnitude of water diffusion in gray matter (i.e., Tr(D)) and changes in diffusion in white matter that may be indicative of axonal degeneration (i.e., reduced water diffusion parallel to axonal tracts, lambda(||)) and myelin degradation (i.e., increased water diffusion perpendicular to axonal tracts, lambda(perpendicular)). No appreciable changes in gray or white matter were observed between the APPsw and the age-matched control mice at 8 months of age. Reduced Tr(D) and lambda(||) were observed in gray and white matter, respectively, for the APPsw mice at ages greater than 8 months, which coincides with the time period when appreciable amyloid plaque accumulation was confirmed by ex vivo histopathological studies. The decreases in lambda(||) suggest the presence of axonal injury in multiple white matter tracts of APPsw mice. Unlike lambda(||), lambda(perpendicular) was unaltered between control and APPsw mice in most white matter tracts. However, in the corpus collosum (CC), lambda(perpendicular) increased at 16 and 18 months of age, suggesting the possibility of myelin damage in the CC at these later ages. This work demonstrates the potential for DTI as a noninvasive modality to detect evolving pathology associated with changes in tissue water diffusion properties in brain tissues.

  19. Loss of epidermal hypoxia-inducible factor-1α accelerates epidermal aging and affects re-epithelialization in human and mouse.

    PubMed

    Rezvani, Hamid Reza; Ali, Nsrein; Serrano-Sanchez, Martin; Dubus, Pierre; Varon, Christine; Ged, Cécile; Pain, Catherine; Cario-André, Muriel; Seneschal, Julien; Taïeb, Alain; de Verneuil, Hubert; Mazurier, Frédéric

    2011-12-15

    In mouse and human skin, HIF-1α is constitutively expressed in the epidermis, mainly in the basal layer. HIF-1α has been shown to have crucial systemic functions: regulation of kidney erythropoietin production in mice with constitutive HIF-1α epidermal deletion, and hypervascularity following epidermal HIF-1α overexpression. However, its local role in keratinocyte physiology has not been clearly defined. To address the function of HIF-1α in the epidermis, we used the mouse model of HIF-1α knockout targeted to keratinocytes (K14-Cre/Hif1a(flox/flox)). These mice had a delayed skin phenotype characterized by skin atrophy and pruritic inflammation, partly mediated by basement membrane disturbances involving laminin-332 (Ln-332) and integrins. We also investigated the relevance of results of studies in mice to human skin using reconstructed epidermis and showed that HIF-1α knockdown in human keratinocytes impairs the formation of a viable reconstructed epidermis. A diminution of keratinocyte growth potential, following HIF-1α silencing, was associated with a decreased expression of Ln-322 and α6 integrin and β1 integrin. Overall, these results indicate a role of HIF-1α in skin homeostasis especially during epidermal aging.

  20. 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.

  1. Tree hole utilisation by the hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis) in Analamazaotra Special Reserve.

    PubMed

    Biebouw, Karla; Bearder, Simon; Nekaris, Anna

    2009-01-01

    In this study we describe tree hole characteristics and use by the hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis) to determine habitat needs, potential functions of tree holes and sleeping group composition. We radio-tracked 6 adult individuals between April and November 2007 in the Analamazaotra Special Reserve. Tree holes were 1-9 m high (median: 7 m), in living trees measuring 26-54 cm in diameter at breast height (median: 32 cm), and could be a limiting resource. Each individual used 4 or 5 tree holes and had high nest fidelity. Animals most often slept socially in mixed-sex groups of 2-6 individuals and occasionally shared a tree hole with white-tailed tree rats (Brachytarsomys albicauda). We identified two sleeping groups: one composed of 2 adult males, 2 adult females and 2 juveniles; one composed of at least 2 adult females and 2 juveniles. Although tree holes were generally group exclusive, some intergroup sleeping was observed. Tree holes could have antipredator and thermoregulatory functions. Further research into sleeping hole availability, nest use and the degree of niche separation or competition between sympatric Cheirogaleidae and other tree hole users (e.g. endemic rodents) is needed to assess better the conservation needs of these species.

  2. 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

  3. Ecological divergence and speciation between lemur (Eulemur) sister species in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blair, M E; Sterling, E J; Dusch, M; Raxworthy, C J; Pearson, R G

    2013-08-01

    Understanding ecological niche evolution over evolutionary timescales is crucial to elucidating the biogeographic history of organisms. Here, we used, for the first time, climate-based ecological niche models (ENMs) to test hypotheses about ecological divergence and speciation processes between sister species pairs of lemurs (genus Eulemur) in Madagascar. We produced ENMs for eight species, all of which had significant validation support. Among the four sister species pairs, we found nonequivalent niches between sisters, varying degrees of niche overlap in ecological and geographic space, and support for multiple divergence processes. Specifically, three sister-pair comparisons supported the null model that niches are no more divergent than the available background region. These findings are consistent with an allopatric speciation model, and for two sister pairs (E. collaris-E. cinereiceps and E. rufus-E. rufifrons), a riverine barrier has been previously proposed for driving allopatric speciation. However, for the fourth sister pair E. flavifrons-E. macaco, we found support for significant niche divergence, and consistent with their parapatric distribution on an ecotone and the lack of obvious geographic barriers, these findings most strongly support a parapatric model of speciation. These analyses thus suggest that various speciation processes have led to diversification among closely related Eulemur species.

  4. 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.

  5. Genetic Evidence for Male and Female Dispersal in Wild Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Lawler, Richard R; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Lemur catta has traditionally been considered a species with male-biased dispersal; however, occasional female dispersal occurs. Using molecular data, we evaluated dispersal patterns in 2 L. catta populations in southwestern Madagascar: Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP) and Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR). We also investigated the genetic differentiation between the populations and dispersal partner relatedness. Results showed minor genetic differentiation between the populations (ϴ(ST) = 0.039), which may indicate gene flow historically occurring in this region, made possible by the presence of L. catta groups between the sites. Different patterns of sex-biased dispersal were found between the sites using corrected assignment indices: male-biased dispersal in TNP, and a lack of sex-biased dispersal in BMSR. Observational evidence of female dispersal in BMSR supports these results and may imply intense female resource competition in and around BMSR, because small groups of 2-3 females have been observed dispersing within BMSR and entering the reserve from outside. These dispersing groups largely consisted of mothers transferring with daughters, although we have an aunt-niece pair transferring together. Genetic data suggest that males also transfer with relatives. Our data demonstrate that dispersal partners consist of same-sexed kin for L. catta males and females, highlighting the importance of kin selection.

  6. 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

  7. Haploinsufficiency for translation elongation factor eEF1A2 in aged mouse muscle and neurons is compatible with normal function.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Lowri A; Doig, Jennifer; Churchhouse, Antonia M D; Davies, Faith C J; Squires, Charlotte E; Newbery, Helen J; Abbott, Catherine M

    2012-01-01

    Translation elongation factor isoform eEF1A2 is expressed in muscle and neurons. Deletion of eEF1A2 in mice gives rise to the neurodegenerative phenotype "wasted" (wst). Mice homozygous for the wasted mutation die of muscle wasting and neurodegeneration at four weeks post-natal. Although the mutation is said to be recessive, aged heterozygous mice have never been examined in detail; a number of other mouse models of motor neuron degeneration have recently been shown to have similar, albeit less severe, phenotypic abnormalities in the heterozygous state. We therefore examined the effects of ageing on a cohort of heterozygous +/wst mice and control mice, in order to establish whether a presumed 50% reduction in eEF1A2 expression was compatible with normal function. We evaluated the grip strength assay as a way of distinguishing between wasted and wild-type mice at 3-4 weeks, and then performed the same assay in older +/wst and wild-type mice. We also used rotarod performance and immunohistochemistry of spinal cord sections to evaluate the phenotype of aged heterozygous mice. Heterozygous mutant mice showed no deficit in neuromuscular function or signs of spinal cord pathology, in spite of the low levels of eEF1A2.

  8. Deletion of Pofut1 in mouse skeletal myofibers induces muscle aging-related phenotypes in cis and in trans.

    PubMed

    Zygmunt, Deborah A; Singhal, Neha; Kim, Mi-Lyang; Cramer, Megan L; Crowe, Kelly E; Xu, Rui; Jia, Ying; Adair, Jessica; Martinez-Pena Y Valenzuela, Isabel; Akaaboune, Mohammed; White, Peter; Janssen, Paulus M; Martin, Paul T

    2017-03-06

    Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and strength during normal aging, involves coordinate changes in skeletal myofibers and the cells that contact them, including satellite cells and motor neurons. Here we show that Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (Pofut1), a gene that encodes a glycosyltransferase required for NotchR-mediated cell-cell signaling, has reduced expression in aging skeletal muscle. Moreover, premature postnatal deletion of Pofut1 in skeletal myofibers can induce aging-related phenotypes in cis within skeletal myofibers and in trans within satellite cells and within motor neurons via the neuromuscular junction. Changed phenotypes include reduced skeletal muscle size and strength, decreased myofiber size and increased slow (type 1) fiber density, increased muscle degeneration and regeneration in aged muscles, decreased satellite cell self-renewal and regenerative potential, and increased neuromuscular fragmentation and occasional denervation. Pofut1 deletion in skeletal myofibers reduced NotchR signaling in young adult muscles, but this effect was lost with age. Increasing muscle NotchR signaling also reduced muscle size. Gene expression studies point to regulation of cell cycle genes, muscle myosins, NotchR and Wnt pathway genes, and connective tissue growth factor by Pofut1 in skeletal muscle, with additional effects on α dystroglycan glycosylation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Age-associated oxidative modifications of mitochondrial α-subunit of F1 ATP synthase from mouse skeletal muscles.

    PubMed

    Das, N; Jana, C K

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the pattern of age-associated oxidative post-translational modifications in the skeletal muscles of a mammalian species and to address whether the modifications result in the loss of function of the oxidatively modified protein(s). Accordingly, proteins in the mitochondrial matrix of the hind limb of C57BL/6Nnia mice were examined for modifications by carbonylation--an established marker of oxidative post-translational modifications--by Western blotting using anti-2,4-dinitrophenyl antibodies and tritiated sodium borohydride methods. An age-associated increase in carbonylation of mitochondrial matrix proteins was observed, but not all proteins were equally susceptible. A 55 kDa protein, identified as the α-subunit of the F1 complex of ATP synthase (ATP phosphohydrolase [H(+)-transporting]), had approximately 17% and 27% higher levels of protein carbonyls in adult and old animals, respectively, in comparison to the young controls as estimated using tritiated sodium borohydride. In addition, an age-associated decline in its activity was observed, with approximately 9% and 28% decrease in the activity in the adult and old animals, respectively, in comparison to young controls. It may be concluded that such oxidative post-translational modifications and the resultant attenuation of the protein activity may contribute to the age-related energy loss and muscular degeneracy.

  12. Extended multiplexing of TMT labeling reveals age and high fat diet specific proteome changes in mouse epididymal adipose tissue.

    PubMed

    Plubell, Deanna L; Wilmarth, Phillip A; Zhao, Yuqi; Fenton, Alexandra M; Minnier, Jessica; Reddy, Ashok P; Klimek, John; Yang, Xia; David, Larry L; Pamir, Nathalie

    2017-03-21

    The lack of high-throughput methods to analyze the adipose tissue protein composition limits our understanding of the protein networks responsible for age and diet related metabolic response. We have developed an approach using multiple-dimension liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and extended multiplexing (24 biological samples) with TMT labeling to analyze proteomes of epididymal adipose tissues isolated from mice fed either low or high fat diet for a short or a long-term, and from mice that aged on low vs. high fat diets. The peripheral metabolic health (as measured by body weight, adiposity, plasma fasting glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol levels, and glucose and insulin tolerance tests) deteriorated with diet and advancing age, with long-term high fat diet exposure being the worst. In response to short-term high fat diet, 43 proteins representing lipid metabolism (e.g., AACS, ACOX1, ACLY) and red-ox pathways (e.g., CPD2, CYP2E, SOD3) were significantly altered (FDR < 10%). Long-term high fat diet significantly altered 55 proteins associated with immune response (e.g., IGTB2, IFIT3, LGALS1) and rennin angiotensin system (e.g. ENPEP, CMA1, CPA3, ANPEP). Age-related changes on low fat diet significantly altered only 18 proteins representing mainly urea cycle (e.g., OTC, ARG1, CPS1), and amino acid biosynthesis (e.g., GMT, AKR1C6). Surprisingly, high fat diet driven age-related changes culminated with alterations in 155 proteins involving primarily the urea cycle (e.g., ARG1, CPS1), immune response/complement activation (e.g., C3, C4b, C8, C9, CFB, CFH, FGA), extracellular remodeling (e.g., EFEMP1, FBN1, FBN2, LTBP4, FERMT2, ECM1, EMILIN2, ITIH3) and apoptosis (e.g., YAP1, HIP1, NDRG1, PRKCD, MUL1) pathways. Using our adipose tissue tailored approach we have identified both age-related and high fat diet specific proteomic signatures highlighting a pronounced involvement of arginine metabolism in response to advancing age, and branched

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Recently, we characterized the more severe nature of hearing loss in aged Type 2 diabetic human subjects. 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 broadband noise-burst responses in the inferior colliculus were obtained at 6 months. Body weights of controls did not change over 6 months (~32g), but there was a significant (~5g) decline in the T1DM, while T2DM exhibited ~10g 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. iPLA2• Knockout Mouse, a Genetic Model for Progressive Human Motor Disorders, Develops Age-Related Neuropathology

    PubMed Central

    Blanchard, Helene; Taha, Ameer Y.; Cheon, Yewon; Kim, Hyung-Wook; Turk, John; Rapoport, Stanley I.

    2015-01-01

    Calcium-independent phospholipase A2 group VIa (iPLA2β) preferentially releases docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from the sn-2 position of phospholipids. Mutations of its gene, PLA2G6, are found in patients with several progressive motor disorders, including Parkinson disease. At 4 months, PLA2G6 knockout mice (iPLA2β−/−) show minimal neuropathology but altered brain DHA metabolism. By 1 year, they develop motor disturbances, cerebellar neuronal loss, and striatal α-synuclein accumulation. We hypothesized that older iPLA2β−/− mice also would exhibit inflammatory and other neuropathological changes. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were performed on whole brain homogenate from 15 to 20-month old male iPLA2β−/− or wild-type (WT) mice. These older iPLA2β−/− mice compared with WT showed molecular evidence of microglial (CD-11b, iNOS) and astrocytic (glial fibrillary acidic protein) activation, disturbed expression of enzymes involved in arachidonic acid metabolism, loss of neuroprotective brain derived neurotrophic factor, and accumulation of cytokine TNF-α messenger ribonucleic acid, consistent with neuroinflammatory pathology. There was no evidence of synaptic loss, of reduced expression of dopamine active reuptake transporter, or of accumulation of the Parkinson disease markers Parkin or Pink1. iPLA2γ expression was unchanged. iPLA2β deficient mice show evidence of neuroinflammation and associated neuropathology with motor dysfunction in later life. These pathological biomarkers could be used to assess efficacy of dietary intervention, antioxidants or other therapies on disease progression in this mouse model of progressive human motor diseases associated with a PLA2G6 mutation. PMID:24919816

  16. The effect of ageing on neurogenesis and oxidative stress in the APP(swe)/PS1(deltaE9) mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Alison; Holscher, Christian

    2012-04-17

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by memory loss and impaired cognitive function. One of the hallmarks of AD is the formation of beta amyloid (Aβ) plaques. Aβ has neurodegenerative properties and aggregates in the brain, causing inflammation, oxidative stress and eventually neuronal loss. In AD, adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is known to be impaired. We tested how ageing affects neurogenesis and oxidative stress in the commonly used APP(SWE)/PS1(ΔE9) mouse model of AD and their wild type (wt) littermate controls aged 3, 5, 10 and 15months. Progenitor cell proliferation in the DG of APP/PS1 was lower at 3, 5 and 10months compared to controls, while oxidative stress in APP/PS1 mice was increased in the cortex at 3 and 5months of age compared to controls. The numbers of new neurons in the DG were decreased in APP/PS1 mice at 10 and 15months. In APP/PS1 mice, Aβ plaques were evident in the cortex from 3months onward; however these were small and few. Plaque size and number consistently increased with age in APP/PS1 mice. These results show that the damage to the brain occurs already very early in the brain, and although neurogenesis is impaired, it is still active even in late stage AD. Therefore, therapies would have the best effects if started early, but promoting neurogenesis may act in a protective and reconstructive way even in later stages of AD.

  17. 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

  18. Scramble or contest competition over food in solitarily foraging mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.): New insights from stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Dammhahn, Melanie; Kappeler, Peter M

    2010-02-01

    The relationships between resource distribution, type of competition, and consequences for social organization have been formalized in the socioecological model (SEM) which predicts that ecological factors are the main determinants of female distribution. We tested this basic prediction in two solitary primates (Microcebus berthae and M. murinus) which differ in female association patterns. Using stable nitrogen and carbon isotope data of hair samples and food sources we quantified inter-specific differences in diet. delta(13)C in M. berthae reflected a diet composed mainly of insect secretions. Higher within-species as well as seasonal variation in delta(13)C of M. murinus indicated a wider trophic niche including plant and animal source food. Constantly elevated delta(15)N in M. murinus most likely reflected extended torpor during the lean season. This energy-saving strategy together with a wider, more opportunistic feeding niche might reduce female competition in this species, facilitating smaller female ranges, and a higher association potential. In contrast, delta(15)N fluctuated seasonally in M. berthae, most likely indicating varying amounts of arthropod food in the diet. Intense scramble competition over small and seasonally limited resources might lead to female spatial avoidance and a reduced association potential in M. berthae. Thus, differences in female association patterns between these two solitary foragers are due to different types of competition and overall intensities of intra-specific competition.

  19. C3KO mouse expression analysis: downregulation of the muscular dystrophy Ky protein and alterations in muscle aging.

    PubMed

    Jaka, Oihane; Kramerova, Irina; Azpitarte, Margarita; López de Munain, Adolfo; Spencer, Melissa; Sáenz, Amets

    2012-11-01

    Mutations in CAPN3 gene cause limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) characterized by muscle wasting and progressive degeneration of scapular and pelvic musculature. Since CAPN3 knockout mice (C3KO) display features of muscle pathology similar to those features observed in the earliest-stage or preclinical LGMD2A patients, gene expression profiling analysis in C3KO mice was performed to gain insight into mechanisms of disease. Two different comparisons were carried out in order to determine, first, the differential gene expression between wild-type (WT) and C3KO soleus and, second, to identify the transcripts differentially expressed in aging muscles of WT and C3KO mice. The up/downregulation of two genes, important for normal muscle function, was identified in C3KO mice: the Ky gene, encoding a protease implicated in muscle development, and Park2 gene encoding an E3 ubiquitin ligase (parkin). The Ky gene was downregulated in C3KO muscles suggesting that Ky protease may play a complementary role in regulating muscle cytoskeleton homeostasis in response to changes in muscle activity. Park2 was upregulated in the aged WT muscles but not in C3KO muscles. Taking into account the known functions of parkin E3 ligase, it is possible that it plays a role in ubiquitination and degradation of atrophy-specific and damaged proteins that are necessary to avoid cellular toxicity and a cellular stress response in aging muscles.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Polysaccharides from the Medicinal Mushroom Cordyceps taii Show Antioxidant and Immunoenhancing Activities in a D-Galactose-Induced Aging Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Jian-Hui; Xiao, Dai-Min; Chen, Dai-Xiong; Xiao, Yu; Liang, Zong-Qi; Zhong, Jian-Jiang

    2012-01-01

    Cordyceps taii, an edible medicinal mushroom native to south China, is recognized as an unparalleled resource of healthy foods and drug discovery. In the present study, the antioxidant pharmacological properties of C. taii were systematically investigated. In vitro assays revealed the scavenging activities of the aqueous extract and polysaccharides of C. taii against various free radicals, that is, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical, hydroxyl radical, and superoxide anion radical. The EC50 values for superoxide anion-free radical ranged from 2.04 mg/mL to 2.49 mg/mL, which was at least 2.6-fold stronger than that of antioxidant thiourea. The polysaccharides also significantly enhanced the antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) and markedly decreased the malondialdehyde production of lipid peroxidation in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model. Interestingly, the immune function of the administration group was significantly boosted compared with the D-galactose-induced aging model group. Therefore, the C. taii polysaccharides possessed potent antioxidant activity closely associated with immune function enhancement and free radical scavenging. These findings suggest that the polysaccharides are a promising source of natural antioxidants and antiaging drugs. Consequently, a preliminary chemical investigation was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and revealed that the polysaccharides studied were mainly composed of glucose, mannose, and galactose. Fourier-transform infrared spectra also showed characteristic polysaccharide absorption bands. PMID:22536281

  3. Remnant Woven Bone and Calcified Cartilage in Mouse Bone: Differences between Ages/Sex and Effects on Bone Strength

    PubMed Central

    Ip, Victoria; Toth, Zacharie; Chibnall, John; McBride-Gagyi, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Mouse models are used frequently to study effects of bone diseases and genetic determinates of bone strength. Murine bones have an intracortical band of woven bone that is not present in human bones. This band is not obvious under brightfield imaging and not typically analyzed. Due to the band’s morphology and location it has been theorized to be remnant bone from early in life. Furthermore, lamellar and woven bone are well known to have differing mechanical strengths. The purpose of this study was to determine (i) if the band is from early life and (ii) if the woven bone or calcified cartilage contained within the band affect whole bone strength. Woven Bone Origin Studies In twelve to fourteen week old mice, doxycycline was used to label bone formed prior to 3 weeks old. Doxycycline labeling and woven bone patterns on contralateral femora matched well and encompassed an almost identical cross-sectional area. Also, we highlight for the first time in mice the presence of calcified cartilage exclusively within the band. However, calcified cartilage could not be identified on high resolution cone-beam microCT scans when examined visually or by thresholding methods. Mechanical Strength Studies Subsequently, three-point bending was used to analyze the effects of woven bone and calcified cartilage on whole bone mechanics in a cohort of male and female six and 13 week old Balb/C mice. Three-point bending outcomes were correlated with structural and compositional measures using multivariate linear regression. Woven bone composed a higher percent of young bones than older bones. However, calcified cartilage in older bones was twice that of younger bones, which was similar when normalized by area. Area and/or tissue mineral density accounted for >75% of variation for most strength outcomes. Percent calcified cartilage added significant predictive power to maximal force and bending stress. Calcified cartilage and woven bone could have more influence in genetic

  4. The ranging behavior of Lemur catta in the region of Cap Sainte-Marie, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Large home ranges and extreme flexibility in ranging behaviors characterize most subarid dwelling haplorhines. However, the most comparable extant strepsirhine, Lemur catta, is characterized as having small home ranges with consistent boundaries. Since ranging studies on this species have been limited to gallery forest habitat, the author's goal is to identify ecological factors that affect range use of L. catta in one of the most resource-limited environments of its distribution. To conduct this study, ranging and behavioral data were collected on two nonoverlapping groups through all-day follows in the semidesert scrub environment of Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM), Madagascar. Data were collected from August 2007 through July 2008. Home range areas and day range lengths were generated using ArcGIS(®) 9.3. Other variables measured were habitat composition, diet richness, daily activity, and microclimate. Home range areas of CSM L. catta were very large relative to those of gallery forest L. catta, and there was great monthly variation. In contrast, day range lengths at CSM were either smaller than or approximated the size of comparative gallery forest groups. Temperature, sunning, and diet richness were associated with day range length for one but not for both groups and appear to be related to energy management needs. Based on these findings, the author suggests that L. catta is capable of extensive behavioral and ranging flexibility in the extremes of its environment. However, physiological constraints impose limitations that can interfere with its ability to adapt to even seemingly minor variations in microclimate and habitat structure within the same site.

  5. The impact of dental impairment on ring-tailed lemur food processing performance.

    PubMed

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Ness, Jenifer L

    2012-06-01

    During mastication, foods are reduced into particles suitable for swallowing and digestion. Smaller particles possess a greater surface area per unit of volume on which digestive enzymes and bacteria may work than relatively larger particles, and are thus more readily digested. As dental morphology facilitates the breakdown of diets with specific mechanical properties, extensive dental wear and/or tooth loss may impede an individual's ability to break down and exploit foods. We present data demonstrating a relationship between dental impairment and particle size in 43 fecal samples from 33 ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. All fecal samples were sifted through three sieves of decreasing size (11.2 mm, 4.75 mm, and 1.0 mm). The resulting fraction in each sieve was then weighed and assessed in relation to individual dental impairment status. With increasing wear, the percentage of each sample within the 1.0 mm sieve decreases, whereas that in the 11.2 mm sieve increases with increasing postcanine wear, although these effects are not present when limited to individuals without tooth loss. Individuals with tooth loss also demonstrate larger proportions of fecal material 1.0-4.75 mm in size. Dental impairment results in larger food particles and potentially less efficient utilization of foods. When fecal material was examined by leaf vs. fruit content, individuals with tooth loss demonstrated reduced proportions of fruit in the 1.0 mm and 11.2 mm sieves. These data suggest individuals with tooth loss consume less fruit than those without loss, potentially reflecting a reduced ability to process tamarind fruit, a key fallback resource at BMSR.

  6. The effect of supplementation with vitamin A on serum and liver concentrations in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur) and its lack of impact on brown skin disease.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Christopher; Lentini, Andrew; Berkvens, Charlene; Crawshaw, Graham

    2014-01-01

    "Brown skin disease" (BSD) is a clinical syndrome of dysecdysis, chronic weight loss and death, previously reported in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur). Although vitamin A deficiency has been suggested, its cause remains unknown and multiple treatments have failed to prevent or reverse the condition. This study compared the efficacy of vitamin A supplementation, administered in different forms and by different routes, in 48 captive born Puerto Rican crested toads fed from metamorphosis on gut-loaded, dusted, commercially raised crickets. Forty-five toads started to show clinical signs of BSD at 9 months of age; all toads were treated orally with an oil-based vitamin A formulation twice weekly for 2 months but continued to deteriorate. Two treatment groups were then compared: Animals in one group (n=19) received 2 IU injectable vitamin A (Aquasol-A) per gram bodyweight subcutaneously twice weekly for 3 months with no change in diet. Toads in the other group (n=22) received a single oral dose of vitamins A, D3 , and E, and were fed on earthworms and crickets gut-loaded with produce and a finely-ground alfalfa-based pellet, dusted with the same vitamin/mineral supplement. All affected animals developed severe BSD equally and died during, or were euthanized at the end of, the treatment regimen, with no clinical improvement. Animals supplemented with Aquasol-A had significantly higher liver vitamin A concentrations compared with the other treatment group, whereas serum retinol concentrations showed no significant difference. Vitamin A supplementation does not appear a successful treatment once BSD symptoms have developed.

  7. Life history profiles for 27 strepsirrhine primate taxa generated using captive data from the Duke Lemur Center

    PubMed Central

    Zehr, Sarah M; Roach, Richard G; Haring, David; Taylor, Julie; Cameron, Freda H; Yoder, Anne D

    2014-01-01

    Since its establishment in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) has accumulated detailed records for nearly 4,200 individuals from over 40 strepsirrhine primate taxa—the lemurs, lorises, and galagos. Here we present verified data for 3,627 individuals of 27 taxa in the form of a life history table containing summarized species values for variables relating to ancestry, reproduction, longevity, and body mass, as well as the two raw data files containing direct and calculated variables from which this summary table is built. Large sample sizes, longitudinal data that in many cases span an animal’s entire life, exact dates of events, and large numbers of individuals from closely related yet biologically diverse primate taxa make these datasets unique. This single source for verified raw data and systematically compiled species values, particularly in combination with the availability of associated biological samples and the current live colony for research, will support future studies from an enormous spectrum of disciplines. PMID:25977776

  8. Patterns of Dental Macrowear in Subfossil Lemur catta from Ankilitelo Cave, Madagascar: Indications of Ecology and Habitat Use over Time.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    The Ankilitelo cave site, Madagascar, contains a large collection of extant and recently extinct subfossil lemurs including the extant taxa Lemur catta and Eulemur rufifrons, which today are rarely found in sympatry. Dates for this assemblage range from 300 to 13,000 BP, though known dates for extinct primate specimens range between ∼500 and ∼600 BP. Data from Ankilitelo L. catta and E. rufifrons were compared to assess tooth wear in sympatric, related forms. Wear was scored using an ordinal scale from 0 to 5. For P4, M1 and M2, E. rufifrons displays significantly more wear than L. catta. Ankilitelo represents one of the most southerly samples of E. rufifrons, and wear data suggest that in the recent (i.e. Holocene) past, their diet near the edges of their geographic range included mechanically challenging foods. In contrast, sympatric L. catta was using foods in this transitional humid-dry forest with succulent woodlands that were not significantly impacted by recent human actions, and for which they were dentally adapted. Results also suggest that this non-gallery forest habitat may be the 'adaptive home' of L. catta, given the lack of notable tooth wear when compared to populations currently living in tamarind-dominated riverine gallery forests.

  9. 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

  10. Age-related changes of brain iron load changes in the frontal cortex in APPswe/PS1ΔE9 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Xian-hui, Dong; Wei-juan, Gao; Tie-mei, Shao; Hong-lin, Xie; Jiang-tao, Bai; Jing-yi, Zhao; Xi-qing, Chai

    2015-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) as a neurodegenerative brain disorder is a devastating pathology leading to disastrous cognitive impairments and dementia, associated with major social and economic costs to society. Iron can catalyze damaging free radical reactions. With age, iron accumulates in brain frontal cortex regions and may contribute to the risk of AD. In this communication, we investigated the age-related brain iron load changes in the frontal cortex of 6- and 12-month-old C57BL/6J (C57) and APPswe/PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) double transgenic mouse by using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) and Perls' reaction. In the present study, we also evaluated the age-related changes of DMT1 and FPN1 by using Western blot and qPCR. We found that compared with 6-month-old APP/PS1 mice and the 12-month-old C57 mice, the 12-month-old APP/PS1 mice had increased iron load in the frontal cortex. The levels of DMT1 were significantly increased and the FPN1 were significantly reduced in the frontal cortex of the 12-month-old APP/PS1 mice than that in the 6-month-old APP/PS1 mice and 12-month-old C57 mice. We conclude that in AD damage occurs in conjunction with iron accumulation, and the brain iron load associated with loss control of the brain iron metabolism related protein DMT1 and FPN1 expressions.

  11. 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.

  12. Mössbauer Spectra of Mouse Hearts reveal age-dependent changes in mitochondrial and ferritin iron levels.

    PubMed

    Wofford, Joshua D; Chakrabarti, Mrinmoy; Lindahl, Paul Alan

    2017-02-15

    Cardiac function requires continuous high levels of energy, and so iron, a critical player in mitochondrial respiration, is an important component of the heart. Hearts from (57)Fe-enriched mice were evaluated by Mossbauer spectroscopy. Spectra consisted of a sextet and two quadrupole doublets. One doublet was due to residual blood while the other was due to [Fe4S4](2+) clusters and Fe(II) hemes, most of which were associated with mitochondrial respiration. The sextet was due to ferritin; there was no evidence of hemosiderin, a ferritin decomposition product. Iron from ferritin was nearly absent in young hearts, but increased steadily with age. EPR spectra exhibited signals similar to those of brain, liver, and human cells. No age-dependent EPR trends were apparent. Hearts from HFE(-/-) mice with hemochromatosis contained slightly more iron overall than controls, including more ferritin and less mitochondrial iron; these differences typify slightly older hearts, perhaps reflecting the burden due to this disease. HFE(-/-) livers were overloaded with ferritin but had low mitochondrial iron levels. IRP2(-/-) hearts contained less ferritin than controls but normal levels of mitochondrial iron. Hearts of young mice born to an iron-deficient mother contained normal levels of mitochondrial iron and no ferritin; the mothers heart contained low ferritin and normal levels of mitochondrial iron. High-spin Fe(II) ions were nearly undetectable in heart samples; these were evident in brains, livers, and human cells. Previous Mossbauer spectra of unenriched diseased human hearts lacked mitochondrial and blood doublets, and included hemosiderin features. This suggests degradation of iron-containing species during sample preparation.

  13. High-fat diet and age-dependent effects on enteric glial cell populations of mouse small intestine.

    PubMed

    Stenkamp-Strahm, Chloe; Patterson, Savannah; Boren, Jennifer; Gericke, Martin; Balemba, Onesmo

    2013-10-01

    Diabetes and obesity are increasing in prevalence at an alarming rate throughout the world. Autonomic diabetic neuropathy is evident in individuals that experience a long-standing diabetic disease state, and gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility is thought to be the outcome of neuropathies within the enteric nervous system (ENS) of these patients. To date, an analysis of enteric glial cell population changes during diabetic symptoms has not been performed, and may bring insight into disease pathology and neuropathy, given glial cell implications in gastrointestinal and neuronal homeostasis. Diabetes and obesity were monitored in C57Bl/6J mice fed a 72% high-fat diet, and duodenal glial expression patterns were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR for S100β, Sox10 and GFAP proteins and transcripts, as well as transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The high-fat diet caused obesity, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance after 4 weeks. These changes were associated with a significant decline in the area density indices of mucosa-associated glial cell networks, evidenced by S100β staining at 8 and 20 weeks. All three markers and TEM showed that myenteric glial cells were unaffected by early and late disease periods. However, analysis of Sox10 transcript expression and immunoreactivity showed a diet independent, age-associated decline in glial cell populations. This is the first study showing that mucosal glia cell damage occurs during diabetic symptoms, suggesting that mucosal enteric glia injury may have a pathophysiological significance during this disease. Our results also provide support for age-associated changes in longitudinal studies of enteric glial cells.

  14. Vaccination with DKK1-derived peptides promotes bone formation and bone mass in an aged mouse osteoporosis model.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qiong; Li, Rui-Shu; Zhao, Yue; Wang, Zhi-Xia; Tang, Yan-Chun; Zhang, Jing; Liu, Jian-Ning; Tan, Xiang-Yang

    2014-08-01

    The investigation of agents for the treatment of osteoporosis has been a long-standing effort. The Wnt pathway plays an important role in bone formation and regeneration, and expression of Wnt pathway inhibitors, Dickkopf-1 (DKK1), appears to be associated with changes in bone mass. Inactivation of DKK1 leads to substantially increased bone mass in genetically manipulated animals. DKK1-derived peptides (DDPs) were added to BMP2-stimulated MC3T3-E1 preosteoblastic cells in vitro to evaluate inhibitory activity of DDPs in MC3T3-E1 cell differentiation. Study was extended in vivo on old female mice to show whether or not inhibition of endogenous DKK1 biological activity using DDPs vaccination approach leads to increase of bone formation, bone density, and improvement of bone microstructure. We reported that synthetic DDPs were able to reduce alkaline phosphatase activity, prevent mineralization and inhibit the differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells in vitro. Furthermore, vaccination with these DDPs in aged female mice 4 times for a total period of 22 weeks promoted bone mass and bone microstructure. 3D microCT and histomorphometric analysis showed that there were significant increase in bone mineral densities, improvement of bone microstructure and promotion of bone formation in the vaccinated mice, especially in the mice vaccinated with DDP-A and DDP-C. Histological and scanning electron microscopy image analysis also indicated that vaccination increased trabecular bone mass and significantly decreased fragmentation of bone fibers. Taken together, these preclinical results suggest that vaccination with DDPs represents a promising new therapeutic approach for the treatment of bone-related disorders, such as osteoporosis.

  15. T cells and macrophages responding to oxidative damage cooperate in pathogenesis of a mouse model of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Guilloty, Fernando; Saeed, Ali M; Duffort, Stephanie; Cano, Marisol; Ebrahimi, Katayoon B; Ballmick, Asha; Tan, Yaohong; Wang, Hua; Laird, James M; Salomon, Robert G; Handa, James T; Perez, Victor L

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major disease affecting central vision, but the pathogenic mechanisms are not fully understood. Using a mouse model, we examined the relationship of two factors implicated in AMD development: oxidative stress and the immune system. Carboxyethylpyrrole (CEP) is a lipid peroxidation product associated with AMD in humans and AMD-like pathology in mice. Previously, we demonstrated that CEP immunization leads to retinal infiltration of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages before overt retinal degeneration. Here, we provide direct and indirect mechanisms for the effect of CEP on macrophages, and show for the first time that antigen-specific T cells play a leading role in AMD pathogenesis. In vitro, CEP directly induced M1 macrophage polarization and production of M1-related factors by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. In vivo, CEP eye injections in mice induced acute pro-inflammatory gene expression in the retina and human AMD eyes showed distinctively diffuse CEP immunolabeling within RPE cells. Importantly, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin-17 (IL-17)-producing CEP-specific T cells were identified ex vivo after CEP immunization and promoted M1 polarization in co-culture experiments. Finally, T cell immunosuppressive therapy inhibited CEP-mediated pathology. These data indicate that T cells and M1 macrophages activated by oxidative damage cooperate in AMD pathogenesis.

  16. Heart fatty acid unsaturation and lipid peroxidation, and aging rate, are lower in the canary and the parakeet than in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Pamplona, R; Portero-Otín, M; Riba, D; Ledo, F; Gredilla, R; Herrero, A; Barja, G

    1999-02-01

    Despite their high metabolic rates, birds have a much higher maximum longevity (MLSP) than mammals of similar body size, and thus represent ideal models for identifying longevity characteristics not linked to low metabolic rates. This study shows that the fatty acid double bond content of both canary (MLSP = 24 years) and parakeet (MLSP = 21 years) hearts is intrinsically lower than in mouse (MLSP = 3.5 years) heart. This is caused by a redistribution between types of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly due to a lower content of the most highly unsaturated docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) in the two birds in relation to the mammal. The lower double bond content leads to a lower sensitivity to lipid peroxidation, and to a lower level of in vivo lipid peroxidation in the heart of parakeets and canaries than in that of mice. Similar results have been previously found comparing liver mitochondria of rats and pigeons and tissues of different mammalian species. All these results taken together suggest that a low degree of fatty acid unsaturation is a general characteristic of longevous homeothermic vertebrate animals, both when they have low metabolic rates (mammals of large body size) or high metabolic rates (the studied birds); this constitutive trait protects their tissues and organelles against free radical mediated lipid peroxidation, and can contribute to their slow aging rate.

  17. LEMUR (Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research): a VUV imaging spectrograph for the JAXA Solar-C Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korendyke, Clarence M.; Teriaca, Luca; Doschek, George A.; Harra, Louise K.; Schühle, Udo H.; Shimizu, Toshifumi

    2011-10-01

    LEMUR is a VUV imaging spectrograph with 0.28" resolution. Incident solar radiation is imaged onto the spectrograph slit by a single mirror telescope consisting of a 30-cm steerable f/12 off-axis paraboloid mirror. The spectrograph slit is imaged and dispersed by a highly corrected grating that focuses the solar spectrum over the detectors. The mirror is coated with a suitable multilayer with B4C top-coating providing a reflectance peak around 18.5 nm besides the usual B4C range above 500Å. The grating is formed by two halves, one optimized for performances around 185Å and the other above 500Å. Three intensified CCD cameras will record spectra above 50 nm while a large format CCD array with an aluminum filter will be used around 185Å.

  18. Primate genotyping via high resolution melt analysis: rapid and reliable identification of color vision status in wild lemurs.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Rachel L; Spriggs, Amanda N; MacFie, Tammie S; Baden, Andrea L; Irwin, Mitchell T; Wright, Patricia C; Louis, Edward E; Lawler, Richard R; Mundy, Nicholas I; Bradley, Brenda J

    2016-10-01

    Analyses of genetic polymorphisms can aid our understanding of intra- and interspecific variation in primate sociality, ecology, and behavior. Studies of primate opsin genes are prime examples of this, as single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in the X-linked opsin gene underlie variation in color vision. For primate species with polymorphic trichromacy, genotyping opsin SNVs can generally indicate whether individual primates are red-green color-blind (denoted homozygous M or homozygous L) or have full trichromatic color vision (heterozygous ML). Given the potential influence of color vision on behavior and fitness, characterizing the color vision status of study subjects is becoming commonplace for many primate field projects. Such studies traditionally involve a multi-step sequencing-based method that can be costly and time-consuming. Here we present a new reliable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive method for characterizing color vision in primate populations using high resolution melt analysis (HRMA). Using lemurs as a case study, we characterized variation at exons 3 and/or 5 of the X-linked opsin gene for 87 individuals representing nine species. We scored opsin genotypes and color vision status using both traditional sequencing-based methods as well as our novel melting-curve based HRMA protocol. For each species, the melting curves of varying genotypes (homozygous M, homozygous L, heterozygous ML) differed in melting temperature and/or shape. Melting curves for each sample were consistent across replicates, and genotype-specific melting curves were consistent across DNA sources (blood vs. feces). We show that opsin genotypes can be quickly and reliably scored using HRMA once lab-specific reference curves have been developed based on known genotypes. Although the protocol presented here focuses on genotyping lemur opsin loci, we also consider the larger potential for applying this approach to various types of genetic studies of primate populations.

  19. Advanced maternal age causes adverse programming of mouse blastocysts leading to altered growth and impaired cardiometabolic health in post-natal life

    PubMed Central

    Velazquez, M.A.; Smith, C.G.C.; Smyth, N.R.; Osmond, C.; Fleming, T.P.

    2016-01-01

    aged mice was decreased (P < 0.05) relative to young mice due to a lower number of cells in the trophectoderm (mean ± SEM: 34.5 ± 2.1 versus 29.6 ± 1.0). Weekly body weight did not differ in male offspring, but an increase in body weight from Week 13 onwards was observed in Old-ET females (final body weight at post-natal Week 30: 38.5 ± 0.8 versus 33.4 ± 0.8 g, P < 0.05). Blood pressure was increased in Old-ET offspring at Weeks 9–15 in males (Week 9: 108.5 ± 3.13 versus 100.8 ± 1.5 mmHg, Week 15: 112.9 ± 3.2 versus 103.4 ± 2.1 mmHg) and Week 15 in females (115.9 ± 3.7 versus 102.8 ± 0.7 mmHg; all P < 0.05 versus Young-ET). The GTT results and organ allometry were not affected in male offspring. In contrast, Old-ET females displayed a greater (P < 0.05) peak glucose concentration at 30 min during the GTT (21.1 ± 0.4 versus 17.8 ± 1.16 mmol/l) and their spleen weight (88.2 ± 2.6 ± 105.1 ± 4.6 mg) and several organ:body weight ratios (g/g × 103) were decreased (P < 0.05 versus Young-ET), including the heart (3.7 ± 0.06 versus 4.4 ± 0.08), lungs (4.4 ± 0.1 versus 5.0 ± 0.1), spleen (2.4 ± 0.06 versus 3.2 ± 0.1) and liver (36.4 ± 0.6 versus 39.1 ± 0.9). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Results from experimental animal models cannot be extrapolated to humans. Nevertheless, they are valuable to develop conceptual models that can produce hypotheses for eventual testing in the target species (i.e. humans). WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS Our data show that offspring from mouse embryos from aged mothers can develop altered phenotypes during post-natal development compared with embryos from young mothers. Because all embryos were transferred into young mothers for the duration of pregnancy to normalize the maternal in vivo environment, our findings indicate that adverse programming via AMA is already established at the blastocyst stage. Whilst human embryos display increased aneuploidy compared with mouse, we believe our data have implications for

  20. Advanced glycation end product 3 (AGE3) suppresses the mineralization of mouse stromal ST2 cells and human mesenchymal stem cells by increasing TGF-β expression and secretion.

    PubMed

    Notsu, Masakazu; Yamaguchi, Toru; Okazaki, Kyoko; Tanaka, Ken-ichiro; Ogawa, Noriko; Kanazawa, Ippei; Sugimoto, Toshitsugu

    2014-07-01

    In diabetic patients, advanced glycation end products (AGEs) cause bone fragility because of deterioration of bone quality. We previously showed that AGEs suppressed the mineralization of mouse stromal ST2 cells. TGF-β is abundant in bone, and enhancement of its signal causes bone quality deterioration. However, whether TGF-β signaling is involved in the AGE-induced suppression of mineralization during the osteoblast lineage remains unknown. We therefore examined the roles of TGF-β in the AGE-induced suppression of mineralization of ST2 cells and human mesenchymal stem cells. AGE3 significantly (P < .001) inhibited mineralization in both cell types, whereas transfection with small interfering RNA for the receptor for AGEs (RAGEs) significantly (P < .05) recovered this process in ST2 cells. AGE3 increased (P < .001) the expression of TGF-β mRNA and protein, which was partially antagonized by transfection with RAGE small interfering RNA. Treatment with a TGF-β type I receptor kinase inhibitor, SD208, recovered AGE3-induced decreases in osterix (P < .001) and osteocalcin (P < .05) and antagonized the AGE3-induced increase in Runx2 mRNA expression in ST2 cells (P < .001). Moreover, SD208 completely and dose dependently rescued AGE3-induced suppression of mineralization in both cell types. In contrast, SD208 intensified AGE3-induced suppression of cell proliferation as well as AGE3-induced apoptosis in proliferating ST2 cells. These findings indicate that, after cells become confluent, AGE3 partially inhibits the differentiation and mineralization of osteoblastic cells by binding to RAGE and increasing TGF-β expression and secretion. They also suggest that TGF-β adversely affects bone quality not only in primary osteoporosis but also in diabetes-related bone disorder.

  1. Feeding outside the forest: the importance of crop raiding and an invasive weed in the diet of gallery forest ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) following a cyclone at the Beza Mahafaly special reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, M; Gould, L

    2009-01-01

    In January 2005, a cyclone hit southern Madagascar, including the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, disrupting the flowering/fruiting cycle of Tamarindus indica, leaving Lemur catta without its major food resource during reproductive periods. We studied two adjacent groups of L. catta during the late gestation period, and both groups ventured outside the reserve to feed. The Red group (RG) fed daily on cultivated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves in a nearby field, and both groups consumed leaves and stems of the invasive terrestrial flowering herb Mexican prickly poppy (Argemone mexicana), growing outside the reserve. The Green group (GG) spent significantly more time feeding than did RG, and more time feeding inside the forest compared to outside. The members of RG spent half of their time feeding in the crops, and nearly half of their diet consisted of easy-to-process sweet potato leaves. Additionally, RG defended and restricted GG's access to the crop territory. Of the two non-forest foods, A. mexicana leaves were higher in protein and most minerals (P, Mg, K and Na, but not Ca) and lower in fiber than sweet potato leaves, but sweet potato leaves were preferred by RG. L. catta is a markedly flexible primate with respect to diet, and switches to fallback foods from outside the forest during periods of low food availability. In the highly seasonal and unpredictable climate of southern Madagascar, such behavioral adaptations are important to the survival of this species.

  2. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), but not high glucose, inhibit the osteoblastic differentiation of mouse stromal ST2 cells through the suppression of osterix expression, and inhibit cell growth and increasing cell apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Kyoko; Yamaguchi, Toru; Tanaka, Ken-Ichiro; Notsu, Masakazu; Ogawa, Noriko; Yano, Shozo; Sugimoto, Toshitsugu

    2012-10-01

    Diabetes mellitus is known to be associated with osteoporotic fractures through a decrease in osteoblastic bone formation rather than an increase in osteoclastic bone resorption. However, its precise mechanism is unknown, and we examined whether or not high glucose or advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which play key roles in the pathogenesis and complications of diabetes, would affect the osteoblastic differentiation, growth, and apoptosis of mouse stromal ST2 cells. Ten to 200 μg/mL AGE2 or AGE3 alone dose-dependently inhibited the mineralization. AGE2 or AGE3 alone (200 μg/mL) significantly inhibited alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities as well as the mineralization of the cells (p < 0.01). In contrast, 22 mM glucose alone or in combination with 200 μg/mL AGE2 or AGE3 did not affect these cellular phenotypes. Real-time PCR showed that AGE2 or AGE3 alone (200 μg/mL) significantly decreased mRNA expressions of osteocalcin as well as osterix on day 14 (p < 0.01). Western blot analysis showed that AGE2 or AGE3 alone (200 μg/mL) also decreased the levels of Runx2 and osterix protein expressions on days 7 and 14. AGE2 or AGE3 significantly suppressed cell growth and increased apoptotic cell death in time- and dose-dependent manners (p < 0.01). Moreover, AGE3 alone (200 μg/mL) significantly increased mRNA expression of the receptor for AGEs (RAGE) on days 2 and 3 (p < 0.01). These results suggest that AGE2 and AGE3, but not high glucose, may inhibit the osteoblastic differentiation of stromal cells by decreasing osterix expression and partly by increasing RAGE expression, as well as inhibiting cell growth and increasing cell apoptosis.

  3. Biomedical evaluation of two sympatric lemur species (Propithecus verreauxi deckeni and Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Tsiombokibo Classified Forest, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Junge, Randall E; Louis, Edward E

    2005-12-01

    Complete medical examinations were performed on 20 wild Decken's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi deckeni) and 20 wild red-fronted brown lemurs (Eulemurfulvus rufus) from western Madagascar. Each animal received a complete physical examination, and weight, body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded and ectoparasites collected. Blood samples were collected for complete blood cell count, differential white blood cell count, hemoparasite examination, serum biochemical profile, fat-soluble vitamin analysis, trace mineral analysis, and toxoplasmosis and viral serology. Fecal samples were collected for bacterial culture and endoparasite examination. Significant differences exist between the species for serum chemistry values for creatine phosphokinase, glucose, total protein, albumin, globulin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, phosphorus, potassium, and chloride; for fat-soluble vitamins 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, retinol, retinyl palmitate, gamma-tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol, and lutein + zeaxanthin; and serum copper. Parasites detected include Lemurostrongylus spp., Lemuricola spp., Trichurus spp., and ectoparasites Haemaphysalis lemuris, Psoroptes, and mites identified to the family Laelapidae. Enteric bacterial flora included Escherichia coli, Citrobacter ssp., Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus cereus, Klebsiella ozaenae, Acinetobacter lwofii, and Enterobacter amnigenus.

  4. Clinal variation in a brown lemur (Eulemur spp.) hybrid zone: combining morphological, genetic and climatic data to examine stability.

    PubMed

    Delmore, K E; Brenneman, R A; Lei, R; Bailey, C A; Brelsford, A; Louis, E E; Johnson, S E

    2013-08-01

    Studies of hybrid zones can inform our understanding of reproductive isolation and speciation. Two species of brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons and E. cinereiceps) form an apparently stable hybrid zone in the Andringitra region of southeastern Madagascar. The aim of this study was to identify factors that contribute to this stability. We sampled animals at 11 sites along a 90-km transect through the hybrid zone and examined variation in 26 microsatellites, the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA, six pelage and nine morphological traits; we also included samples collected in more distant allopatric sites. Clines in these traits were noncoincident, and there was no increase in either inbreeding coefficients or linkage disequilibrium at the centre of the zone. These results could suggest that the hybrid zone is maintained by weak selection against hybrids, conforming to either the tension zone or geographical selection-gradient model. However, a closer examination of clines in pelage and microsatellites indicates that these clines are not sigmoid or stepped in shape but instead plateau at their centre. Sites within the hybrid zone also occur in a distinct habitat, characterized by greater seasonality in precipitation and lower seasonality in temperature. Together, these findings suggest that the hybrid zone may follow the bounded superiority model, with exogenous selection favouring hybrids within the transitional zone. These findings are noteworthy, as examples supporting the bounded superiority model are rare and may indicate a process of ecologically driven speciation without geographical isolation.

  5. Cdk5/p35 phosphorylates lemur tyrosine kinase-2 to regulate protein phosphatase-1C phosphorylation and activity.

    PubMed

    Manser, Catherine; Vagnoni, Alessio; Guillot, Florence; Davies, Jennifer; Miller, Christopher C J

    2012-05-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5)/p35 and protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) are two major enzymes that control a variety of physiological processes within the nervous system including neuronal differentiation, synaptic plasticity and axonal transport. Defective cdk5/p35 and PP1 function are also implicated in several major human neurodegenerative diseases. Cdk5/p35 and the catalytic subunit of PP1 (PP1C) both bind to the brain-enriched, serine-threonine kinase lemur tyrosine kinase-2 (LMTK2). Moreover, LMTK2 phosphorylates PP1C on threonine-320 (PP1Cthr³²⁰) to inhibit its activity. Here, we demonstrate that LMTK2 is phosphorylated on serine-1418 (LMTK2ser¹⁴¹⁸) by cdk5/p35 and present evidence that this regulates its ability to phosphorylate PP1Cthr³²⁰. We thus describe a new signalling pathway within the nervous system that links cdk5/p35 with PP1C and which has implications for a number of neuronal functions and neuronal dysfunction.

  6. Mechanisms of PD-L1/PD-1-mediated CD8 T-cell dysfunction in the context of aging-related immune defects in the Eµ-TCL1 CLL mouse model.

    PubMed

    McClanahan, Fabienne; Riches, John C; Miller, Shaun; Day, William P; Kotsiou, Eleni; Neuberg, Donna; Croce, Carlo M; Capasso, Melania; Gribben, John G

    2015-07-09

    T-cell defects, immune suppression, and poor antitumor immune responses are hallmarks of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitory signaling has emerged as a major immunosuppressive mechanism. However, the effect of different microenvironments and the confounding influence of aging are poorly understood. The current study uses the Eμ-TCL1 mouse model, which replicates human T-cell defects, as a preclinical platform to longitudinally examine patterns of T-cell dysfunction alongside developing CLL and in different microenvironments, with a focus on PD-1/PD-L1 interactions. The development of CLL was significantly associated with changes in T-cell phenotype across all organs and function. Although partly mirrored in aging wild-type mice, CLL-specific T-cell changes were identified. Murine CLL cells highly expressed PD-L1 and PD-L2 in all organs, with high PD-L1 expression in the spleen. CD3(+)CD8(+) T cells from leukemic and aging healthy mice highly expressed PD-1, identifying aging as a confounder, but adoptive transfer experiments demonstrated CLL-specific PD-1 induction. Direct comparisons of PD-1 expression and function between aging CLL mice and controls identified PD-1(+) T cells in CLL as a heterogeneous population with variable effector function. This is highly relevant for therapeutic targeting of CD8(+) T cells, showing the potential of reprogramming and selective subset expansion to restore antitumor immunity.

  7. Development- and age-related alterations in the expression of AMPA receptor subunit GluR2 and its trafficking proteins in the hippocampus of male mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Surya P; Rai, Rakesh; Gaur, Pankaj; Prasad, S

    2015-06-01

    AMPA type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) on the post synaptic membrane plays important role in the process of synaptic plasticity involving various scaffolding and trafficking proteins. However, their alterations during development- and aging are not well understood. Here, we report that the expression of AMPAR-GluR2 subunit is gradually up regulated in the hippocampus from 0 day to adult (20 week) and down regulated thereafter in 70 week old male mice. This pattern of GluR2 during development (0-, 7- and 15 day), maturation (45 day) and adult age resembles with similar expression pattern of the scaffolding protein PSD95. Expression pattern of Stargazin (TARPγ-2) largely follows almost similar pattern up to adult age but is up regulated in old age. Pattern of PICK1 expression, however, is opposite to our GluR2 data till adult age but its expression is significantly down regulated in old age. Our data on alterations in the expression of GluR2 in the hippocampus during development and aging indicates a high- and low positive correlations with PSD95 and Stargazin, respectively whereas negative correlation with PICK1 except in old age where expression of Stargazin is higher and that of PICK1 is lower. Our findings suggest that increasing expression pattern of GluR2 during developmental periods and at adult age may be associated with achieving cognitive abilities whereas its low expression in old age may be linked with cognitive decline and proteins like PSD95, Stargazin and PICK1 might be differentially associated with development- and age-dependent alterations in AMPAR-dependent synaptic plasticity and hence learning and memory.

  8. Aging and chronic alcohol consumption are determinants of p16 gene expression, genomic DNA methylation and p16 promoter methylation in the mouse colon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elder age and chronic alcohol consumption are important risk factors for the development of colon cancer. Each factor can alter genomic and gene-specific DNA methylation. This study examined the effects of aging and chronic alcohol consumption on genomic and p16-specific methylation, and p16 express...

  9. Ageing, chronic alcohol consumption and folate are determinants of genomic DNA methylation, p16 promoter methylation and the expression of p16 in the mouse colon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elder age and chronic alcohol consumption are important risk factors for the development of colon cancer. Each factor can alter genomic and gene-specific DNA methylation. This study examined the effects of aging and chronic alcohol consumption on genomic and p16-specific methylation, and p16 express...

  10. Dietary melatonin attenuates age-related changes in morphology and in levels of key proteins in globus pallidus of mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jun; Yang, Fengzhen; Zhou, Li; Wang, Jiang-gang; Wen, Puyuan; Luo, Hao; Li, Wenwen; Song, Zhi; Sharman, E H; Bondy, S C

    2014-02-10

    The ability of melatonin treatment of aged animals to partially restore the pattern of gene expression characterizing the younger animal has been frequently reported. The current study examines the effect of melatonin upon age-related changes of some key proteins relevant to the aging process. Male B6C3F1 mice, aged 5.5 months and 23.4 months were used as a model for aging and half of each group received a diet supplemented with 40-ppm (w/w) melatonin for 9.3 weeks. Protein components of the globus pallidus were studied including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), NF-κB, protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), and Nissl staining. Some age-related changes were in an upward direction (GFAP and NF-κB), while others were depressed with age (PDI and intensity of Nissl staining). However, in either case, melatonin treatment of aged mice generally altered these parameters so that they came to more closely resemble the levels found in younger animals. The extent of this reversal to a more youthful profile, ranged from complete (for NF-κB) to very minor (for Nissl staining and PDI). Overall, these findings are in accord with prior data on the effect of melatonin on cortical gene expression and confirm the value of melatonin as a means of retarding events associated with senescence.

  11. Age-related changes in the gene expression profile of antigen-specific mouse CD8+ T cells can be partially reversed by blockade of the BTLA/CD160 pathways during vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Dawany, Noor; Parzych, Elizabeth M; Showe, Louise C; Ertl, Hildegund CJ

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed gene expression profiles of young and aged mouse CD8+ T cells specific for the nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza A/PR8/34 virus. CD8+ T cells were stimulated either by the NP antigen expressed in its native form or fused into the herpes virus (HSV)-1 glycoprotein D (gD) protein, which blocks signaling through the immunoinhibitory B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) and CD160 pathways. We show that NP-specific CD8+ T cells from aged mice exhibit numerous differences in gene expression compared to NP-specific CD8+ T cells from young mice, including a significant reduction of expression in genes involved in T cell receptor (TcR) and CD28 signaling. We also show that these changes can be reversed in a sub-population (∼50%) of the aged mice by a BTLA/CD160 checkpoint blockade. These results suggest that BTLA/CD160 checkpoint blockade has potential value as a vaccine additive to induce better CD8+ T cell responses in the aged. PMID:27922818

  12. The effect of habitat disturbance on the abundance of nocturnal lemur species on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Rachel Mary; Fenosoa, Zo Samuel Ella; Andrianarimisa, Aristide; Donati, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The island's past and current rates of deforestation and habitat disturbance threaten its plethora of endemic biodiversity. On Madagascar, tavy (slash and burn agriculture), land conversion for rice cultivation, illegal hardwood logging and bushmeat hunting are the major contributors to habitat disturbance. Understanding species-specific responses to habitat disturbance across different habitat types is crucial when designing conservation strategies. We surveyed three nocturnal lemur species in four forest types of varying habitat disturbance on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar. We present here updated abundance and density estimates for the Endangered Avahi mooreorum and Lepilemur scottorum, and Microcebus sp. Distance sampling surveys were conducted on 11 transects, covering a total of 33 km after repeated transect walks. We collected data on tree height, bole height, diameter at breast height, canopy cover and tree density using point-quarter sampling to characterise the four forest types (primary lowland, primary littoral, selectively logged and agricultural mosaic). Median encounter rates by forest type ranged from 1 to 1.5 individuals (ind.)/km (Microcebus sp.), 0-1 ind./km (A. mooreorum) and 0-1 ind./km (L. scottorum). Species density estimates were calculated at 232.31 ind./km(2) (Microcebus sp.) and 121.21 ind./km(2) (A. mooreorum), while no density estimate is provided for L. scottorum due to a small sample size. Microcebus sp. was most tolerant to habitat disturbance, exhibiting no significant effect of forest type on abundance. Its small body size, omnivorous diet and generalised locomotion appear to allow it to tolerate a variety of habitat disturbance. Both A. mooreorum and L. scottorum showed significant effects of forest type on their respective abundance. This study suggests that the specialist locomotion and diet of A. mooreorum and L. scottorum make them susceptible to the

  13. Dominance rank reversals and rank instability among male Lemur catta: the effects of female behavior and ejaculation.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2009-03-01

    In this study, dominance rank instability among male Lemur catta during mating was investigated. Also, data on agonism and sexual behavior across five consecutive mating seasons in a population of L. catta on St. Catherines Island, USA, were collected. Instances of male rank instability were categorized into three types. Type 1 consisted of a temporary switch in the dominance ranks of two males, which lasted for a period of minutes or hours. Type 2 dyadic male agonistic interactions showed highly variable outcomes for a period of time during which wins and losses were neither predictable nor consistent. Type 3 interactions consisted of a single agonistic win by a lower-ranked male over a more dominant male. More Type 2 interactions (indicating greater dominance instability) occurred when males had not spent the previous mating season in the same group, but this trend was not statistically significant. The majority of periods of male rank instability were preceded by female proceptivity or receptivity directed to a lower-ranked male. As such, exhibition of female mate choice for a lower-ranking male appeared to incite male-male competition. Following receipt of female proceptivity or receptivity, males who were lower-ranking took significantly longer to achieve their first agonistic win over a more dominant male than did males who were higher-ranked. Ejaculation frequently preceded loss of dominance. In conclusion, temporary rank reversals and overall dominance rank instability commonly occur among male L. catta in mating contexts, and these temporary increases in dominance status appear to positively affect male mating success.

  14. Phylogeographic analysis of the true lemurs (genus Eulemur) underlines the role of river catchments for the evolution of micro-endemism in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Due to its remarkable species diversity and micro-endemism, Madagascar has recently been suggested to serve as a biogeographic model region. However, hypothesis-based tests of various diversification mechanisms that have been proposed for the evolution of the island’s micro-endemic lineages are still limited. Here, we test the fit of several diversification hypotheses with new data on the broadly distributed genus Eulemur using coalescent-based phylogeographic analyses. Results Time-calibrated species tree analyses and population genetic clustering resolved the previously polytomic species relationships among eulemurs. The most recent common ancestor of eulemurs was estimated to have lived about 4.45 million years ago (mya). Divergence date estimates furthermore suggested a very recent diversification among the members of the “brown lemur complex”, i.e. former subspecies of E. fulvus, during the Pleistocene (0.33-1.43 mya). Phylogeographic model comparisons of past migration rates showed significant levels of gene flow between lineages of neighboring river catchments as well as between eastern and western populations of the redfronted lemur (E. rufifrons). Conclusions Together, our results are concordant with the centers of endemism hypothesis (Wilmé et al. 2006, Science 312:1063–1065), highlight the importance of river catchments for the evolution of Madagascar’s micro-endemic biota, and they underline the usefulness of testing diversification mechanisms using coalescent-based phylogeographic methods. PMID:24228694

  15. Semi-Automated Curation Allows Causal Network Model Building for the Quantification of Age-Dependent Plaque Progression in ApoE−/− Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Szostak, Justyna; Martin, Florian; Talikka, Marja; Peitsch, Manuel C.; Hoeng, Julia

    2016-01-01

    The cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the process of atherosclerotic plaque destabilization are complex, and molecular data from aortic plaques are difficult to interpret. Biological network models may overcome these difficulties and precisely quantify the molecular mechanisms impacted during disease progression. The atherosclerosis plaque destabilization biological network model was constructed with the semiautomated curation pipeline, BELIEF. Cellular and molecular mechanisms promoting plaque destabilization or rupture were captured in the network model. Public transcriptomic data sets were used to demonstrate the specificity of the network model and to capture the different mechanisms that were impacted in ApoE−/− mouse aorta at 6 and 32 weeks. We concluded that network models combined with the network perturbation amplitude algorithm provide a sensitive, quantitative method to follow disease progression at the molecular level. This approach can be used to investigate and quantify molecular mechanisms during plaque progression. PMID:27840576

  16. Semi-Automated Curation Allows Causal Network Model Building for the Quantification of Age-Dependent Plaque Progression in ApoE(-/-) Mouse.

    PubMed

    Szostak, Justyna; Martin, Florian; Talikka, Marja; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2016-01-01

    The cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the process of atherosclerotic plaque destabilization are complex, and molecular data from aortic plaques are difficult to interpret. Biological network models may overcome these difficulties and precisely quantify the molecular mechanisms impacted during disease progression. The atherosclerosis plaque destabilization biological network model was constructed with the semiautomated curation pipeline, BELIEF. Cellular and molecular mechanisms promoting plaque destabilization or rupture were captured in the network model. Public transcriptomic data sets were used to demonstrate the specificity of the network model and to capture the different mechanisms that were impacted in ApoE(-/-) mouse aorta at 6 and 32 weeks. We concluded that network models combined with the network perturbation amplitude algorithm provide a sensitive, quantitative method to follow disease progression at the molecular level. This approach can be used to investigate and quantify molecular mechanisms during plaque progression.

  17. Tandem-base mutations occur in mouse liver and adipose tissue preferentially as G:C to T:A transversions and accumulate with age.

    PubMed

    Buettner, V L; Hill, K A; Halangoda, A; Sommer, S S

    1999-01-01

    Tandem-base mutations (TBM) are associated with ultraviolet light and other mutagens. Herein, we report an age- and tissue-specific difference in the frequency of spontaneous TBM in Big Blue transgenic mice. A total of 390 mutants from liver and adipose tissue contained 17 and 4 TBM, respectively, while no TBM were detected in 683 mutants from six other tissues. There was a proportional increase in the frequency of TBM in liver with age (29 days postconception to 25 months of age). Nine TBM (43%) were GG to TT transversions that preferentially occurred at specific sites. The remaining 12 mutants contained at least one transversion mutation each. We speculate that the increase of TBM in liver and adipose tissue with age is due to chronic mutagen exposure, perhaps derived from fat in the diet.

  18. Fibroblast growth factor 21 protects mouse brain against D-galactose induced aging via suppression of oxidative stress response and advanced glycation end products formation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yinhang; Bai, Fuliang; Wang, Wenfei; Liu, Yaonan; Yuan, Qingyan; Qu, Susu; Zhang, Tong; Tian, Guiyou; Li, Siming; Li, Deshan; Ren, Guiping

    2015-06-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a hormone secreted predominantly in the liver, pancreas and adipose tissue. Recently, it has been reported that FGF21-Transgenic mice can extend their lifespan compared with wild type counterparts. Thus, we hypothesize that FGF21 may play some roles in aging of organisms. In this study d-galactose (d-gal)-induced aging mice were used to study the mechanism that FGF21 protects mice from aging. The three-month-old Kunming mice were subcutaneously injected with d-gal (180mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) for 8weeks and administered simultaneously with FGF21 (1, 2 or 5mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)). Our results showed that administration of FGF21 significantly improved behavioral performance of d-gal-treated mice in water maze task and step-down test, reduced brain cell damage in the hippocampus, and attenuated the d-gal-induced production of MDA, ROS and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). At the same time, FGF21 also markedly renewed the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and total anti-oxidation capability (T-AOC), and decreased the enhanced total cholinesterase (TChE) activity in the brain of d-gal-treated mice. The expression of aldose reductase (AR), sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) and member-anchored receptor for AGEs (RAGE) declined significantly after FGF21 treatment. Furthermore, FGF21 suppressed inflamm-aging by inhibiting IκBα degradation and NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation. The expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α and IL-6, decreased significantly. In conclusion, these results suggest that FGF21 protects the aging mice brain from d-gal-induced injury by attenuating oxidative stress damage and decreasing AGE formation.

  19. Age-related decline in Kv3.1b expression in the mouse auditory brainstem correlates with functional deficits in the medial olivocochlear efferent system.

    PubMed

    Zettel, Martha L; Zhu, Xiaoxia; O'Neill, William E; Frisina, Robert D

    2007-06-01

    Kv3.1b channel protein is widely distributed in the mammalian auditory brainstem, but studies have focused mainly on regions critical for temporal processing, including the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) and anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN). Because temporal processing declines with age, this study was undertaken to determine if the expression of Kv3.1b likewise declines, and if changes are specific to these nuclei. Immunocytochemistry using an anti-Kv3.1b antibody was performed, and the relative optical density of cells and neuropil was determined from CBA/CaJ mice of four age groups. Declines in expression in AVCN, MNTB, and lateral superior olive (35, 26, and 23%) were found, but changes were limited to neuropil. Interestingly, cellular optical density declines were found in superior paraolivary nucleus, ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body, and lateral nucleus of the trapezoid body (24, 29, and 26%), which comprise the medial olivocochlear (MOC) feedback system. All declines occurred by middle age (15 months old). No age-related changes were found in the remaining regions of cochlear nucleus or in the inferior colliculus. Contralateral suppression of distortion-product otoacoustic emission amplitudes of age-matched littermates also declined by middle age, suggesting a correlation between Kv3.1 expression and MOC function. In search of more direct evidence for such a correlation, Kv3.1b knockout mice were examined. Knockouts show poor MOC function as compared to +/+ and +/- genotypes. Thus, Kv3.1b expression declines in MOC neurons by middle age, and these changes appear to correlate with functional declines in efferent activity in both middle-aged CBA mice and Kv3.1b knockout mice.

  20. Age-associated increase of spontaneous mutant frequency and molecular nature of mutation in newborn and old lacZ-transgenic mouse.

    PubMed

    Ono, T; Ikehata, H; Nakamura, S; Saito, Y; Hosoi, Y; Takai, Y; Yamada, S; Onodera, J; Yamamoto, K

    2000-02-14

    Accumulation of mutation has long been hypothesized to be a cause of aging and contribute to many of the degenerative diseases, which appear in the senescent phase of life. To test this hypothesis, age-associated changes in spontaneous mutation in different tissues of the body as well as the molecular nature of such changes should be examined. This kind of approach has become feasible only lately with a development of new transgenic mice suitable for mutation assay. Here, using one of these transgenic mice harboring lacZ gene, we have shown that the age-associated increase in spontaneous mutant frequency is common to all tissues examined; spleen, liver, heart, brain, skin and testis, while the rates of increase in mutant frequency differed among the tissues. DNA sequencing of the 496 lacZ mutants recovered from the tissues of newborn and old mice has revealed that spectra of mutations are similar at the two age points with G:C to A:T transition at CpG site being a predominant type of mutation. Furthermore, some mutations in old tissues are complex type and not found in tissues of newborn mice. These results suggest that similar mechanisms may be operating for mutation induction in fetal and postnatal aging process. In addition, the appearance of complex types of mutations in the old tissues suggests a unique cause for these mutations in aging tissues.

  1. Age-related changes in memory and in acetylcholine functions in the hippocampus in the Ts65Dn mouse, a model of Down syndrome1

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Qing; Gold, Paul E.

    2008-01-01

    Spatial working memory and the ability of a cholinesterase inhibitor to enhance memory were assessed at 4, 10, and 16 months of ages in control and Ts65Dn mice, a partial trisomy model of Down syndrome, with possibly significant relationships to Alzheimer’s Disease as well. In addition, ACh release during memory testing was measured in samples collected from the hippocampus using in vivo microdialysis at 4, 10, and 22–25 months of age. When tested on a four-arm spontaneous alternation task, the Ts65Dn mice exhibited impaired memory scores at both 4 and 10 months. At 16 months, control performance had declined toward that of the Ts65Dn mice and the difference in scores across genotypes was not significant. Physostigmine (50 μg/kg) fully reversed memory deficits in the Ts65Dn mice in the 4-month-old group but not in older mice. Ts65Dn and control mice exhibited comparable baseline levels of ACh release at all ages tested; these levels did not decline significantly across age in either genotype. ACh release increased significantly during alternation testing only in the young Ts65Dn and control mice. However, the increase in ACh release during alternation testing was significantly greater in control than Ts65Dn mice at this age. The controls exhibited a significant age-related decline in the testing-related increase in ACh release. With only a small increase during testing in young Ts65Dn mice, the age-related decline in responsiveness of ACh release to testing was not significant in these mice. Overall, these results suggest that diminished responsiveness of ACh release in the hippocampus to behavioral testing may contribute memory impairments in Ts65Dn mice. PMID:17644430

  2. Dynamic alteration of neprilysin and endothelin-converting enzyme in age-dependent APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Li; Liu, Jianxu; Dong, Dong; Wei, Chunsheng; Wang, Rui

    2017-01-01

    Imbalance of Aβ production and Aβ removal leads to Aβ accumulation. Aβ degrading enzyme (including neprilysin-NEP, endothelin converting enzyme-ECE) as a therapeutic strategy for lowering brain Aβ deposition has attracted increasing attention. In this study, we investigated alteration of age and region-dependent in APP/PS1 double transgenic mice (3, 6, 9, 12 months) and their age-matched wild type mice including the ability of spatial memory, Aβ deposits, the protein expression, location and activity of NEP and ECE. Our data demonstrated that, as compared with wild type mice, APP/PS1 mice displayed significant cognitive deficit at 9 month revealed by obviously longer in the latency and distance to find the platform and shorter in time spent and swimming distance in the target quadrant. Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels exhibited a significant increase with age in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice after 6 month, compared with their age-matched wild type mice. And Aβ42 levels were significantly higher than Aβ40 levels in the same age of APP/PS1 mice. Furthermore, NEP protein and activity displayed a marked decrease with age in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice older than 6 month. Slightly different from NEP, ECE protein was up-regulated with age, while ECE activity showed a significantly decrease with age in cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice older than 6 month. Double immunofluorescence staining also demonstrated that ECE and NEP highly colocalized in cytoplasmic and membrane, and ECE immunoreactivity tended to increase with age in APP/PS1 mice, especially 12 month APP/PS1 mice. Correlation analysis showed the negative correlation between enzyme (NEP or ECE) activity and Aβ levels in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice, which was correlated with Aβ accumulation. These results indicate NEP rather than ECE plays more important role in resisting Aβ accumulation. The compensatory upregulation of NEP and ECE could

  3. Initial Application of EPIC – µCT to Assess Mouse Articular Cartilage Morphology and Composition: Effects of Aging and Treadmill Running

    PubMed Central

    Kotwal, Naomi; Li, Jun; Sandy, John; Plaas, Anna; Sumner, D. Rick

    2013-01-01

    Objective The current study was undertaken to adapt Equilibrium Partitioning of an Ionic Contrast agent via microcomputed tomography (EPIC-µCT) to mouse articular cartilage, which presents a particular challenge because it is thin (~30 µm) and has a small volume (0.2 – 0.4 mm3), meaning there is only approximately 2 – 4 µg of chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycan per joint surface cartilage. Design Using 6 µm isotropic voxels and the negatively charged contrast agent ioxaglate (Hexabrix), we optimized contrast agent concentration and incubation time, assessed two methods of tissue preservation (formalin fixation and freezing), examined the effect of ex vivo chondroitinase ABC digestion on x-ray attenuation, assessed accuracy and precision, compared young and skeletally mature cartilage, and determined patterns of degradation in a murine cartilage damage model induced by treadmill running. Results The optimal concentration of the contrast agent was 15%, formalin fixation was preferred to freezing, and 2 hours of incubation was needed to reach contrast agent equilibrium with formalin fixed specimens. There was good agreement with histologic measurements of cartilage thickness, although µCT overestimated thickness by 13% (~5 µm) in 6 week old mice. Enzymatic release of 0.8 µg of choindrotin sulfate (about 40% of the total) increased x-ray attenuation by ~17%. There was a 15% increase in x-ray attenuation in 14 week old mice compared to 6 week old mice (p < 0.001) and this corresponded to ~65% decrease in chondroitin sulfate content at 14 weeks. The older mice also had reductions of 33% in cartilage thickness and 44% in cartilage volume (p < 0.001). Treadmill running induced a 16% decrease in cartilage thickness (p = 0.012) and a 12% increase in x-ray attenuation (p = 0.006) in 14 week old mice. Conclusion This technique enables non-destructive visualization and quantification of murine femoral articular cartilage in three dimensions with anatomic

  4. Early decline in glucose transport and metabolism precedes shift to ketogenic system in female aging and Alzheimer's mouse brain: implication for bioenergetic intervention.

    PubMed

    Ding, Fan; Yao, Jia; Rettberg, Jamaica R; Chen, Shuhua; Brinton, Roberta Diaz

    2013-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that mitochondrial bioenergetic deficits in the female brain accompanied reproductive senescence and was accompanied by a shift from an aerobic glycolytic to a ketogenic phenotype. Herein, we investigated the relationship between systems of fuel supply, transport and mitochondrial metabolic enzyme expression/activity during aging (3-15 months) in the hippocampus of nontransgenic (nonTg) background and 3xTgAD female mice. Results indicate that during female brain aging, both nonTg and 3xTgAD brains undergo significant decline in glucose transport, as detected by FDG-microPET, between 6-9 months of age just prior to the transition into reproductive senescence. The deficit in brain metabolism was sustained thereafter. Decline in glucose transport coincided with significant decline in neuronal glucose transporter expression and hexokinase activity with a concomitant rise in phosphorylated/inactivated pyruvate dehydrogenase. Lactate utilization declined in parallel to the decline in glucose transport suggesting lactate did not serve as an alternative fuel. An adaptive response in the nonTg hippocampus was a shift to transport and utilization of ketone bodies as an alternative fuel. In the 3xTgAD brain, utilization of ketone bodies as an alternative fuel was evident at the earliest age investigated and declined thereafter. The 3xTgAD adaptive response was to substantially increase monocarboxylate transporters in neurons while decreasing their expression at the BBB and in astrocytes. Collectively, these data indicate that the earliest change in the metabolic system of the aging female brain is the decline in neuronal glucose transport and metabolism followed by decline in mitochondrial function. The adaptive shift to the ketogenic system as an alternative fuel coincided with decline in mitochondrial function. Translationally, these data provide insights into the earliest events in bioenergetic aging of the female brain and provide potential

  5. Expression of Phenotypic Astrocyte Marker Is Increased in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease versus Age-Matched Controls: A Presymptomatic Stage Study

    PubMed Central

    Doméné, Aurélie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Page, Guylène; Bodard, Sylvie; Klein, Christophe; Delarasse, Cécile; Chalon, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Recent mouse studies of the presymptomatic stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have suggested that proinflammatory changes, such as glial activation and cytokine induction, may occur already at this early stage through unknown mechanisms. Because TNFα contributes to increased Aβ production from the Aβ precursor protein (APP), we assessed a putative correlation between APP/Aβ and TNFα during the presymptomatic stage as well as early astrocyte activation in the hippocampus of 3-month-old APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. While Western blots revealed significant APP expression, Aβ was not detectable by Western blot or ELISA attesting that 3-month-old, APPswe/PS1dE9