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Sample records for agouti dasyprocta leporina

  1. Comparison among different cryoprotectants for cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti (Dasyprocta leporina).

    PubMed

    Castelo, T S; Silva, A M; Bezerra, L G P; Costa, C Y M; Lago, A E A; Bezerra, J A B; Campos, L B; Praxedes, E C G; Silva, A R

    2015-12-01

    We verify the effects of different cryoprotectants on the cryopreservation of agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) epididymal sperm. We used 16 pairs of testes-epididymis complexes of sexually mature animals. We immediately evaluated epididymal sperm obtained by retrograde flushing for concentration, motility, vigor, viability, osmotic response, and morphology. Samples were extended in a coconut water extender plus 20% egg yolk, containing glycerol, ethylene glycol, dimethylsulfoxide - DMSO, or dimethylformamide. Finally, samples were stored in 0.25 mL straws, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and thawed after one week, being reevaluated and assessed for membrane integrity using fluorescent probes. The higher values for postthawing sperm motility, vigor, and membrane integrity were achieved by the usage of glycerol, when compared to ethylene glycol and dimethylformamide (P < 0.05); however, no differences were found between glycerol and DMSO (P > 0.05). All cryoprotectants provided a similar effect on the preservation of sperm morphology, osmotic response, and viability (P > 0.05). Therefore, here onwards, there was testing of glycerol and DMSO at 3 and 6% concentrations using the same freezing-thawing protocol reported previously. As the main result, DMSO at 6% concentration provided a decrease in sperm parameters, as well as in the chromatin integrity and in the binding capability of sperm. In conclusion, glycerol 3 or 6% and DMSO 3% can be used as alternative cryoprotectants for agouti epididymal sperm cryopreservation.

  2. The morphology of the pineal gland of the yellow-toothed cavy (Galea Spixii Wagler, 1831) and red-rumped agouti (Dasyprocta leporina linnaeus, 1758).

    PubMed

    Câmara, Felipe Venceslau; Lopes, Igor Renno Guimarães; de Oliveira, Gleidson Benevides; Bezerra, Ferdinando Vinicius Fernandes; de Oliveira, Radan Elvis Matias; Oliveira Júnior, Carlos Magno; Silva, Alexandre Rodrigues; de Oliveira, Moacir Franco

    2015-08-01

    The pineal gland is an endocrine gland found in all mammals. This article describes the morphology of this important gland in two species of Caviideae, namely the yellow-toothed cavy and the red-rumped agouti. Ten adult animals of the two species used in current analysis were retrieved from the Center for the Multiplication of Wild Animals (CEMAS/UFERSA) and euthanized. The glands were removed and photographed in situ and ex situ. They were fixed in a paraformaldehyde solution 4% or glutaraldehyde 2.5% solution and submitted to routine histological techniques respectively for light and scanning electron microscopy. Macroscopically, the pineal gland with its elongated structure may be found between the cerebral hemispheres facing the rostral colliculi. Microscopically, pinealocytes and some glia cells were predominant. Contrastingly, to the cavy's pineal gland, a capsule covered the organ in the agouti, with the emission of incomplete septa to the interior, which divided it into two lobules. Light and scanning electron microscopes failed to show calcareous concretions in the pineal gland. Based on the topography of the cavy's and agouti's pineal gland, it may be classified as supra-callosum and ABC type.

  3. The gross anatomy of the male reproductive system of a neotropical rodent: the agouti (Dasyprota leporina).

    PubMed

    Mollineau, W; Adogwa, A; Jasper, N; Young, K; Garcia, G

    2006-02-01

    The literature available on the agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) is very limited. The agouti is a Neotropical rodent found in Trinidad and Tobago, Central and South America. This study focuses on one of the many unexplored areas relating to the species, the male reproductive system. The results showed that the mean testicular length, diameter and weight was 3.67 +/- 0.12 cm, 1.67 +/- 0.04 cm and 5.03 +/- 0.52 g respectively. The paired testes and epididymis were found in contact with the abdominal muscles within scrotal pouches, which are evaginations of the caudoventral abdominal wall. The caput epididymis is enclosed by a fat body. The ductus deferens has a mean length and diameter of 10.98 +/- 0.40 cm and 0.14 +/- 0.01 cm respectively. At the urethral end of the ductus deferens the diameter of each duct expends to form the ampulla. The mean diameter of each of the ampulla was 0.25 cm. The accessory sex organs of the male agouti (D. leporina) include the vesicular glands, the coagulating glands, the prostate glands and the bulbourethral glands. The penis of the agouti is U-shaped with a mean length of 9.90 +/- 0.43 cm. The glans penis contains an os penis, a pair of lateral penile cartilages and paired ventral keratinaceous styles.

  4. Determinants for the diet of captive agoutis (Dasyprocta spp.).

    PubMed

    McWilliams, Deborah A

    2009-05-01

    A critical factor affecting the dietary requirements of captive Dasyprocta species is their previous classification as a frugivore when there is evidence that supports classification as an omnivore. Other factors relevant to feeding captive Dasyprocta include the gastrointestinal tract anatomy, endogenous ascorbic acid, scatter-hoarding behavior, metabolic rate, apparent dietary requirements, life stage nutrition, diabetes, and dental caries and pathology. This article presents information currently available in the literature relevant to the dietary needs of captive Dasyprocta species.

  5. Placentation in the capybara (Hydrochaerus hydrochaeris), Agouti (Dasyprocta aguti) and paca (Agouti paca).

    PubMed

    Miglino, M A; Carter, A M; dos Santos Ferraz, R H; Fernandes Machado, M R

    2002-05-01

    Placentae of three hystricimorph rodents--capybara, agouti and paca--were examined by conventional histology, immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin and vimentin, and TUNEL staining. The placentae were divided into lobules of labyrinthine syncytium separated by interlobular and marginal trophoblast. The subplacenta comprised cytotrophoblasts, supported on lamellae of allantoic mesoderm, and syncytiotrophoblast. The central excavation was still apparent in the definitive placenta of capybara. In agouti and paca, the decidua of the junctional zone formed a mesoplacenta comprising a capsule and a pedicle. Towards term the pedicle formed a tenuous attachment between placenta and uterine wall comprising a few maternal vessels surrounded by degraded tissue. In paca placenta, it was shown by TUNEL staining that breakdown of this tissue occurred by apoptosis. The visceral yolk sac was highly villous and, in agouti, the yolk sac villi were extremely long. Lateral to its attachment to the placenta, the fetal surface was covered with non-vascular yolk sac endoderm. A layer of spongiotrophoblast cells was interposed between the endoderm and the marginal trophoblast.

  6. Arterial supply of the penis in agoutis (Dasyprocta prymnolpha, Wagler, 1831).

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, M A M; Machado Junior, A A N; Bezerra E Silva, R A; Menezes, D J A; Conde Júnior, A M; Righi, D A

    2008-02-01

    The arterial vascularization of agoutis' penis (Dasyprocta prymnolopha) were analysed using ten male adults from 'Núcleo de Estudos e Preservação de Animais Silvestres da Universidade Federal do Piauí' (FUFPI/IBAMA n degrees 02/99). Among the total number of specimens, six animals had natural death and were members of the research collection of the Laboratory of Anatomy, and four were killed after anaesthesia. Stained bi-centrifugated-Cis-I-4 latex was injected in arterial vessels responsible for penis vascularization throughout the abdominal portion of aorta. The samples were fixed in 10% formaldehyde solution and arteries were dissected. The penile artery is originated as a branch of internal pudendal artery. At the level of ischiatic arch, the penile artery project two branches, the penile dorsal and the deep arteries; those arteries irrigates the penile dorsal surface and the corpus cavernosum penis. The penile dorsal arteries have an independent course up to the glans penis. Based on the conditions of this work a remarkable similarity regarding the distribution of vessels destined to the agouti penis when compared to other domestic, wild and lagomorph rodents as rabbits.

  7. Structural and ultrastructural features of the agouti tongue (Dasyprocta aguti Linnaeus, 1766).

    PubMed

    Ciena, Adriano Polican; de Sousa Bolina, Cristina; de Almeida, Sonia Regina Yokomizo; Rici, Rose Eli Grassi; de Oliveira, Moacir Franco; da Silva, Marcelo Cavenaghi Pereira; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Watanabe, Ii-sei

    2013-08-01

    The agouti (Dasyprocta aguti Linnaeus, 1766) is a wild rodent belonging to the family Dasyproctidae that is found throughout Brazil and feeds on fruits and seeds. The aim of the present study was to describe the following features of the tongue of agouti: its morphological structures, the three-dimensional characteristics of the lingual papillae surface, the connective tissue cores (CTCs) and the epithelial cell ultrastructure. Four types of papillae were observed on the dorsal surface of the tongue with a triangular shape: filiform, fungiform, foliate and vallate. Filiform papillae were distributed throughout the tongue surface, and removal of the epithelial surface revealed conical CTCs and multifilaments. Fungiform papillae were observed in the rostral and middle regions, whereas foliate papillae developed in pairs on the lateral margin of the caudal region. Removal of the epithelium in these regions revealed CTCs with parallel laminar conformation. Vallate papillae were arranged in a V-shape in the caudal region, and their CTCs ranged in shape from elongate to ovoid. The ultrastructural components of the dorsal epithelium were the basal, spinous, granular and keratinised layers. A broad area with cytoplasmic projections was identified in the interface region between the lamina propria and the basal layer. Flattened cells with intermediate filaments were observed in the transitional region between spinous and granular layers. The keratinised layer was composed of superimposed epithelial cells where desmosomes and cell-surface microridges were observed. These structural features, including the three-dimensional aspects of the lingual papillae, the CTCs and the epithelial ultrastructure, indicate that when compared with other animals, particularly other rodent species, the morphological features of the tongue of agouti are relatively well developed, especially regarding foliate and vallate papillae.

  8. Structural and ultrastructural features of the agouti tongue (Dasyprocta aguti Linnaeus, 1766)

    PubMed Central

    Ciena, Adriano Polican; Bolina, Cristina de Sousa; de Almeida, Sonia Regina Yokomizo; Rici, Rose Eli Grassi; de Oliveira, Moacir Franco; da da Silva, Marcelo Cavenaghi Pereira; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Watanabe, Ii-sei

    2013-01-01

    The agouti (Dasyprocta aguti Linnaeus, 1766) is a wild rodent belonging to the family Dasyproctidae that is found throughout Brazil and feeds on fruits and seeds. The aim of the present study was to describe the following features of the tongue of agouti: its morphological structures, the three-dimensional characteristics of the lingual papillae surface, the connective tissue cores (CTCs) and the epithelial cell ultrastructure. Four types of papillae were observed on the dorsal surface of the tongue with a triangular shape: filiform, fungiform, foliate and vallate. Filiform papillae were distributed throughout the tongue surface, and removal of the epithelial surface revealed conical CTCs and multifilaments. Fungiform papillae were observed in the rostral and middle regions, whereas foliate papillae developed in pairs on the lateral margin of the caudal region. Removal of the epithelium in these regions revealed CTCs with parallel laminar conformation. Vallate papillae were arranged in a V-shape in the caudal region, and their CTCs ranged in shape from elongate to ovoid. The ultrastructural components of the dorsal epithelium were the basal, spinous, granular and keratinised layers. A broad area with cytoplasmic projections was identified in the interface region between the lamina propria and the basal layer. Flattened cells with intermediate filaments were observed in the transitional region between spinous and granular layers. The keratinised layer was composed of superimposed epithelial cells where desmosomes and cell-surface microridges were observed. These structural features, including the three-dimensional aspects of the lingual papillae, the CTCs and the epithelial ultrastructure, indicate that when compared with other animals, particularly other rodent species, the morphological features of the tongue of agouti are relatively well developed, especially regarding foliate and vallate papillae. PMID:23701183

  9. Callosal axon arbors in the limb representations of the somatosensory cortex (SI) in the agouti (Dasyprocta primnolopha).

    PubMed

    Rocha, E G; Santiago, L F; Freire, M A M; Gomes-Leal, W; Dias, I A; Lent, R; Houzel, J C; Franca, J G; Pereira, A; Picanço-Diniz, C W

    2007-01-10

    The present report compares the morphology of callosal axon arbors projecting from and to the hind- or forelimb representations in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the agouti (Dasyprocta primnolopha), a large, lisencephlic Brazilian rodent that uses forelimb coordination for feeding. Callosal axons were labeled after single pressure (n = 6) or iontophoretic injections (n = 2) of the neuronal tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA, 10 kD), either into the hind- (n = 4) or forelimb (n = 4) representations of SI, as identified by electrophysiological recording. Sixty-nine labeled axon fragments located across all layers of contralateral SI representations of the hindlimb (n = 35) and forelimb (n = 34) were analyzed. Quantitative morphometric features such as densities of branching points and boutons, segments length, branching angles, and terminal field areas were measured. Cluster analysis of these values revealed the existence of two types of axon terminals: Type I (46.4%), less branched and more widespread, and Type II (53.6%), more branched and compact. Both axon types were asymmetrically distributed; Type I axonal fragments being more frequent in hindlimb (71.9%) vs. forelimb (28.13%) representation, while most of Type II axonal arbors were found in the forelimb representation (67.56%). We concluded that the sets of callosal axon connecting fore- and hindlimb regions in SI are morphometrically distinct from each other. As callosal projections in somatosensory and motor cortices seem to be essential for bimanual interaction, we suggest that the morphological specialization of callosal axons in SI of the agouti may be correlated with this particular function. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. The organization of the brainstem nuclei associated with the vagus nerve in the Agouti (Dasyprocta leporina). A neurohistological study.

    PubMed

    Phillips, C M; Odekunle, A

    2011-01-01

    A total of six adult animals were used for the study. Following anaesthesia via intraperitoneal injection of a mixture of ketamin and bombazine in ratio 2:1, thoracotomy was performed to exteriorize the heart for intracardial perfusion. The perfusion canular was inserted into the left ventricle and animal perfused sequentially with normal saline and 10% formal saline. Following perfusion, craniotomy was performed to remove the entire brain along with the upper segments of the spinal cord. The brain specimen was then dehydrated, cleared and infiltrated with paraffin wax. The specimen was then cut in 15 micron thick serial sections. The sections were then processed for neurohistological analyses using a Nikon microscope to which was attached Nikon camera. Analyses of the sections revealed bilateral representation of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve in the medulla oblongata. The nucleus ambiguus, nucleus of the tractus solitarius, hypoglossal nucleus and the area postrema were also identified in the medulla oblongata. The implications of our findings are discussed in the text of the article.

  11. Interactions between straw size and thawing rates on the cryopreservation of agouti (Dasyprocta aguti) epididymal sperm.

    PubMed

    Silva, M A; Peixoto, G C X; Sousa, P C; Bezerra, F S B; Bezerra, A C D S; Silva, A R

    2012-02-01

    This study verifies the interactions between straw size and thawing rates and their impact on the epididymal sperm from this species. Caudae epididymidum from 10 agoutis were subjected to retrograde washing using a coconut water extender (ACP-109c(®) ). Epididymal sperm were evaluated and extended in ACP-109c(®) plus egg yolk (20%) and glycerol (6%). The samples were packaged in 0.25- or 0.50-ml straws, frozen in liquid nitrogen and thawed at 37°C/1 min or 70°C/8 s, followed by a re-evaluation. The use of 0.25-ml straws thawed at 37°C/1 min provided a value of 26.6% for sperm motility. No interactions between straw size and thawing rates were verified on agouti sperm (p > 0.05), but when 0.5-ml straws were thawed at 70°C/8 s, sperm vigour decreased significantly (p < 0.05). It is recommended that the agouti epididymal sperm cryopreserved in ACP-109c(®) extender should be packaged in 0.25- or 0.50-ml straws and thawed at 37°C/60 s.

  12. Prenatal development of the agouti (Dasyprocta prymnolopha Wagler, 1831): External features and growth curves.

    PubMed

    Fortes, Eunice Anita de Moura; Ferraz, Maíra Soares; Bezerra, Dayseanny Oliveira; Júnior, Aírton Mendes Conde; Cabral, Rosa Maria; Sousa, Francisco das Chagas Araújo; Almeida, Hatawa Melo; Pessoa, Gerson Tavares; Menezes, Danilo José Ayres de; Guerra, Sérgio Paulo Lima; Sampaio, Ivan Barbosa Machado; Assis Neto, Antônio Chaves; Carvalho, Maria Acelina Martins de

    2013-08-01

    The gestation period in agoutis can range from 104 to 120 days. Knowledge regarding the morphological characteristics of embryos and fetuses is important as a base for studies in reproduction biotechnology, such as in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer and helps in determining congenital anomalies during the development phase. Thus, given the importance and lack of information about agouti embryology, the objective of this study was to characterize the external morphology and define the biometry of embryos and fetuses, at different days of development. Nine females were submitted to daily colpocytology to identify the estrus, confirm mating and identify day zero of the gestation. When the mating was confirmed they were weighed, underwent abdominal ultrasonography and surgery was conducted on the females at the gestational ages of 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 75 and 100 days. Sixteen embryos/fetuses were weighed and measured. Agouti embryos at 25 days after mating are "C" shaped, with primitive structures, 0.4±0.01cm crown-rump and weighed 0.06±0.01g; at 30 days after mating the crown-rump was 0.95±0.07cm and weighed 0.28±0.00g; at 35 days after mating the crown-rump was 155±0.07cm and weighed 0.38±0.01g; at 40 days after mating the crown-rump was 2.25±0.21cm and weighed 1.25±0.07g; at 45 days after mating the crown-rump was 3.45±0.35cm and weighed 2.75±0.64g; at 50 days after mating the crown-rump was 5.0±0.3cm and weighed 7.01±2.6g; at 75 days after mating, the skin was dark, the crown-rump was 10.0±0.14cm and weighed 55.2±0.07g. At 100 days after mating, the crown-rump was 13.8±0.49cm and fetuses weighed 136.7±9.40g. Based on the morphological data assessed the embryo and fetus age could be assessed and the size and average weight of agouti embryos was established. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC FINDINGS OF BIDIMENSIONAL MODE, M-MODE, AND DOPPLER OF CLINICALLY NORMAL BLACK-RUMPED AGOUTI (DASYPROCTA PRYMNOLOPHA, WAGLER 1831).

    PubMed

    Diniz, Anaemilia das Neves; Pessoa, Gerson Tavares; da Silva Moura, Laecio; de Sousa, André Braga; Sousa, Francisco das Chagas Araújo; de Sá Rodrigues, Renan Paraguassu; da Silva Barbosa, Maria Angélica Parente; de Almeida, Hatawa Melo; Freire, Larisse Danielle Silva; Sanches, Marina Pinto; Júnior, Antônio Augusto Nascimento Machado; Guerra, Porfírio Candanedo; Neves, Willams Costa; de Sousa, João Macedo; Bolfer, Luiz; Giglio, Robson Fortes; Alves, Flávio Ribeiro

    2017-06-01

    The black-rumped agouti ( Dasyprocta prymnolopha , Wagler 1831) is currently under intense ecologic pressure, which has resulted in its disappearance from some regions of Brazil. Echocardiography is widely used in veterinary medicine but it is not yet part of the clinical routine for wild animals. The objective of the present study was to assess the applicability of the echocardiographic exam in nonanesthetized agouti and to establish normal reference values for echocardiographic measurements in bidimensional mode (2D), M-mode, and Doppler for this species, and a lead II electrocardiogram was simultaneously recorded. Twenty agouti were used in this study. All the echocardiographic measurements were positively correlated with weight (P < 0.05), and there were no significant differences between sexes (P > 0.05). Blood flow velocities in the pulmonary and aortic artery ranged from 67.32-71.28 cm/sec and 79.22-101.84 cm/sec, respectively. The isovolumic relaxation time was assessed in all the animals and ranged from 38.5 to 56.6 ms. The maximum value for the nonfused E and A waves and the Et and At waves was 158 beats/min for both. The results obtained for the morphologic and heart hemodynamic measurements can guide future studies and help in the clinical management of these animals in captivity.

  14. The quantification of testicular cells during the postnatal development in two Caviomorph rodents: the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) and the cutia (Dasyprocta agouti).

    PubMed

    Simões, Luciana S; Sasahara, Tais H C; Favaron, Phelipe O; Marques, Ricardo; Oliveira, Moacir F DE; Machado, Márcia R F; Miglino, Maria Angelica

    2017-01-01

    The germinative, Sertoli and Leydig cells of two caviomorph rodents (Cavia porcellus and Dasyprocta agouti) were counted as well as the estimation of the total volume of the testis and the total volume of seminiferous tubules and interstitium in prepubertal, pubertal and adult animals. The number of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids cells increased during the pubertal phase in both rodents, notably the spermatid cells. The spermatocyte and spermatid slightly decreased in the adult of both rodents, but the increment in spermatogonia cells number was seen, mainly in cutias. The number of Sertoli cells increased in pubertal rodents, but in the adult the number reduced. Substantial number of Leydig cells was counted in pubertal and adult guinea pigs. In cutias, the number of Leydig cells increased in pubertal phase and decline in adults. The design-based stereological method has proven to be unbiased and reliable to be applied in reproduction studies.

  15. Organogenesis and foetal haemodynamics during the normal gestation of healthy black-rumped agoutis (Dasyprocta prymnolopha, Wagler, 1831) bred in captivity.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Fca; Pessoa, G T; Moura, L S; Araújo, J R; Rodrigues, Rps; Barbosa, Maps; Diniz, A N; Souza, A B; Silva, E G; Lucena, L U; Sanches, M P; Silva-Filho, O F; Guerra, P C; Sousa, J M; Neves, W C; Alves, F R

    2017-02-01

    The objective of this study was to define the patterns of organogenesis and foetal haemodynamics during the normal gestation of healthy agoutis (Dasyprocta prymnolopha) kept in captivity. Thirty pregnant agoutis that ranged in size from small to medium and weighed between 2.5 and 3 kg underwent B-mode and Doppler ultrasonography for the biometric evaluation of the foetal organs. The foetal aortic blood flow proved to be predominantly systolic, and the measured flow velocity was 78.89 ± 2.95 cm/s, with a maximum pressure gradient of 2.12 ± 0.27 mmHg. The liver was characterized by its large volume, occupying the entire cranial aspect of the abdominal cavity, and it was associated cranially with the diaphragm and caudally with the stomach. The flow velocity in the portal vein was estimated to equal 12.17 ± 2.37 cm/s, with a resistivity index of 0.82 ± 0.05. The gallbladder was centrally located and protruded cranially towards the diaphragm. The spleen was visualized as an elongated structure with tapered cranial and caudal extremities, and the foetal kidneys were visualized bilaterally in the retroperitoneal region, with the right kidney positioned slightly more cranially than the left. The morphological characterization and hemodynamic analysis of the foetal organs of black-rumped agoutis via B-mode and Doppler ultrasonography allow determination of the vascular network and of reference values for the blood flow required for perfusing the anatomical elements essential for maintaining the viability of foetuses at different gestational ages. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Functional anatomy of the female genital organs of the wild black agouti (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) female in the Peruvian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Mayor, P; Bodmer, R E; Lopez-Bejar, M

    2011-02-01

    This study examined anatomical and histological characteristics of genital organs of 38 black agouti females in the wild in different reproductive stages, collected by rural hunters in the North-eastern Peruvian Amazon. Females in the follicular phase of the estrous cycle had greater antral follicle sizes than other females, the largest antral follicle measuring 2.34mm. Antral follicles in pregnant females and females in luteal phase of the estrous cycle had an average maximum diameter smaller than 1mm. In black agouti females in follicular phase, some antral follicles are selected to continue to growth, reaching a pre-ovulatory diameter of 2mm. Mean ovulation rate was 2.5 follicles and litter size was 2.1 embryos or fetuses per pregnant female, resulting in a rate of ovum mortality of 20.8%. Many follicles from which ovulation did not occur of 1-mm maximum diameter luteinize forming accessory CL. The constituent active luteal tissues of the ovary are functional and accessory CL. Although all females had accessory CL, transformation of follicles into accessory CL occurred especially in pregnant females, resulting in a contribution from 9% to 23% of the total luteal volume as pregnancy advances. The persistence of functional CL throughout pregnancy might reflect the importance for the maintenance of gestation and may be essential for the continuous hormonal production. The duplex uterus of the agouti female is composed by two completely independent uterine horns with correspondent separate cervices opening into the vagina. In pregnant females, most remarkable observed uterine adaptations were induced by the progressive enlargement caused by the normal pregnancy evolution. The wild black agouti showed different vaginal epithelium features in accordance with the reproductive state of the female. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Pregnancy in Hystricomorpha: gestational age and embryonic-fetal development of agouti (Dasyprocta prymnolopha, Wagler 1831) estimated by ultrasonography.

    PubMed

    Sousa, F C A; Alves, F R; Fortes, E A M; Ferraz, M S; Machado Júnior, A A N; de Menezes, D J A; de Carvalho, M A M

    2012-10-01

    Thirty-one pregnant agoutis, between Days 9 and 103 of gestation (Day 1 = day of detection of sperm in the vaginal smear), underwent B-mode ultrasonography; gestational sac diameter (GSD), crown-rump length (CRL), embryonic-fetal diameter (EFD), and placenta diameter (PD) were measured. There were positive correlations (P < 0.05) between GSD and CRL (r = 0.98), GSD and PD (r = 0.88), CRL and PD (r = 0.86), days of gestation (DG) and CRL (r = 0.85), and DG and PD (r = 0.73). The gestational sac was first observed on Day 14. The embryo was first seen on Day 18 in 9/31 of pregnant agoutis and on Day 22 in 20/31 of pregnant agoutis. Heartbeats were detected from the Day 25 and placentas were observed in 100% of the animals from Day 25. Early limb bud and ossification of the fetal skull were identified on Days 27 (15/31) and 45 (24/31), respectively. Fetal orientation (head and body) was evident from Day 40, the stomach, liver and lungs were identified on Day 50, the kidneys were reliably seen only on Day 55, and the aorta and vena cava were seen on Day 70. The fetal bowel and the urinary bladder were the last structures to be observed (Day 85). Ultrasonography was effective for early pregnancy diagnosis in agouti and for obtaining information on embryonic and fetal structures that could be used to predict gestational age and birth, thereby contributing to their reproductive management in captivity.

  18. Agouti regulates adipocyte transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Mynatt, R L; Stephens, J M

    2001-04-01

    Agouti is a secreted paracrine factor that regulates pigmentation in hair follicle melanocytes. Several dominant mutations cause ectopic expression of agouti, resulting in a phenotype characterized by yellow fur, adult-onset obesity and diabetes, increased linear growth and skeletal mass, and increased susceptibility to tumors. Humans also produce agouti protein, but the highest levels of agouti in humans are found in adipose tissue. To mimic the human agouti expression pattern in mice, transgenic mice (aP2-agouti) that express agouti in adipose tissue were generated. The transgenic mice develop a mild form of obesity, and they are sensitized to the action of insulin. We correlated the levels of specific regulators of insulin signaling and adipocyte differentiation with these phenotypic changes in adipose tissue. Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)1, STAT3, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma protein levels were elevated in the transgenic mice. Treatment of mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes recapitulated these effects. These data demonstrate that agouti has potent effects on adipose tissue. We hypothesize that agouti increases adiposity and promotes insulin sensitivity by acting directly on adipocytes via PPAR-gamma.

  19. Morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) (Diptera: Hypodermatinae) from wild plateau pikas(Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yong; Li, Wei; Duo, Hong; Guo, Zhihong; Dang, Zhisheng; Shen, Xiuying; Peng, Mao; Zhang, Yanming

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this article was to investigate the morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) from wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China. The third-stage larvae of O. leporina were examined by scanning electron microscopy revealing morphology characteristics of the spines on the cephalic, the thoracic segments, the abdominal segments and the spiracular plates. The coding regions of 25 cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes of O. leporina were investigated. Eighty-one variable sites and 21 haplotypes were identified and the nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.04456 and 0.9767, respectively, indicating a rich genetic diversity in O. leporina. Phylogenetic analysis utilizing sequences of COI revealed two distinct lineages. These findings revealed ultrastructure and molecular characterization among the O. leporina from plateau pikas in Qinghai province, China and had implications for studying morphological identification, molecular epidemiology and population genetics of O. leporina. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Molecular characterization of the mouse agouti locus.

    PubMed

    Bultman, S J; Michaud, E J; Woychik, R P

    1992-12-24

    The agouti (a) locus acts within the microenvironment of the hair follicle to regulate coat color pigmentation in the mouse. We have characterized a gene encoding a novel 131 amino acid protein that we propose is the one gene associated with the agouti locus. This gene is normally expressed in a manner consistent with a locus function, and, more importantly, its structure and expression are affected by a number of representative alleles in the agouti dominance hierarchy. In addition, we found that the pleiotropic effects associated with the lethal yellow (Ay) mutation, which include pronounced obesity, diabetes, and the development of neoplasms, are accompanied by deregulated overexpression of the agouti gene in numerous tissues of the adult animal.

  1. Peptoid mimics of agouti related protein.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Darren A; Chai, Biao-Xin; Rood, Hilary L E; Siani, Michael A; Douglas, Nicholai R; Gantz, Ira; Millhauser, Glenn L

    2003-04-17

    The Agouti Related Protein (AGRP) is an endogenous antagonist of melanocortin-3 and -4 receptors, each of which plays a key role in body weight homeostasis. We designed a peptoid trimer based on AGRP 111-113 in which a single chiral atom is used to partially restrain the backbone structure. Peptoid 5 displaced both radiolabeled Nle4-alpha-MSH (IC(50)=3.1 microM) and AGRP (86-132) (IC(50)=1.9 microM) from the human melanocortin-4 receptor and functioned as an antagonist of alpha-MSH stimulated cAMP generation, thus providing an important lead in the development of AGRP mimetics.

  2. Structural and Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of Agouti and Agouti-Related Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Pilgrim J.; Douglas, Nick R.; Chai, Biaoxin; Binkley, Jonathan; Sidow, Arend; Barsh, Gregory S.; Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Agouti (ASIP) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP) are endogenous antagonists of melanocortin receptors that play critical roles in the regulation of pigmentation and energy balance, respectively, and which arose from a common ancestral gene early in vertebrate evolution. The N-terminal domain of ASIP facilitates antagonism by binding to an accessory receptor, but here we show that the N-terminal domain of AgRP has the opposite effect and acts as a prodomain that negatively regulates antagonist function. Computational analysis reveals similar patterns of evolutionary constraint in the ASIP and AgRP C-terminal domains, but fundamental differences between the N-terminal domains. These studies shed light on the relationships between regulation of pigmentation and body weight, and they illustrate how evolutionary structure function analysis can reveal both unique and common mechanisms of action for paralogous gene products. PMID:17185225

  3. Dendritic structure varies as a function of eccentricity in V1: a quantitative study of NADPH diaphorase neurons in the diurnal South American rodent agouti, Dasyprocta prymnolopha.

    PubMed

    da Rocha, E G; Freire, M A M; Bahia, C P; Pereira, A; Sosthenes, M C K; Silveira, L C L; Elston, G N; Picanço-Diniz, C W

    2012-08-02

    The cerebral cortex is often described as a composite of repeated units or columns, integrating the same basic circuit. The 'ice-cube' model of cortical organization, and 'canonical' circuit, born from insights into functional architecture, still require systematic comparative data. Here we probed the anatomy of an individual neuronal type within V1 to determine whether or not its dendritic trees are consistent with the 'ice-cube' model and theories of canonical circuits. In a previous report we studied the morphometric variability of NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d) neurons in the rat auditory, visual and somatosensory primary cortical areas. Our results suggested that the nitrergic cortical circuitry of primary sensory areas are differentially specialized, probably reflecting peculiarities of both habit and behavior of the species. In the present report we specifically quantified the dendritic trees of NADPH-d type I neurons as a function of eccentricity within V1. Individual neurons were reconstructed in 3D, and the size, branching and space-filling of their dendritic trees were correlated with their location within the visuotopic map. We found that NADPH-d neurons became progressively smaller and less branched with progression from the central visual representation to the intermediate and peripheral visual representation. This finding suggests that aspects of cortical circuitry may vary across the cortical mantle to a greater extent that envisaged as natural variation among columns in the 'ice-cube' model. The systematic variation in neuronal structure as a function of eccentricity warrants further investigation to probe the general applicability of columnar models of cortical organization and canonical circuits.

  4. Agouti expression in human adipose tissue: functional consequences and increased expression in type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Steven R; Gawronska-Kozak, Barbara; Janderová, Lenka; Nguyen, Taylor; Murrell, Angela; Stephens, Jacqueline M; Mynatt, Randall L

    2003-12-01

    It is well recognized that the agouti/melanocortin system is an important regulator of body weight homeostasis. Given that agouti is expressed in human adipose tissue and that the ectopic expression of agouti in adipose tissue results in moderately obese mice, the link between agouti expression in human adipose tissue and obesity/type 2 diabetes was investigated. Although there was no apparent relationship between agouti mRNA levels and BMI, agouti mRNA levels were significantly elevated in subjects with type 2 diabetes. The regulation of agouti in cultured human adipocytes revealed that insulin did not regulate agouti mRNA, whereas dexamethasone treatment potently increased the levels of agouti mRNA. Experiments with cultured human preadipocytes and with cells obtained from transgenic mice that overexpress agouti demonstrated that melanocortin receptor (MCR) signaling in adipose tissue can regulate both preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation. Taken together, these results reveal that agouti can regulate adipogenesis at several levels and suggest that there are functional consequences of elevated agouti levels in human adipose tissue. The influence of MCR signaling on adipogenesis combined with the well-established role of MCR signaling in the hypothalamus suggest that adipogenesis is coordinately regulated with food intake and energy expenditure.

  5. Analysis of the function of the agouti gene in obesity and diabetes

    SciTech Connect

    Mynatt, R.L.; Miltenberger, R.J.; Klebig, M.L.

    1996-09-01

    This chapter discusses the agouti gene and dominant mutations in that gene that lead to agouti-induced obesity, and recent work with transgenic mice to elucidate the role of agouti in obesity. Agouti was cloned in 1992 by the lab of Rick Woychik at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, making it the first of many recently cloned mouse obesity genes. Sequence analysis predicted that mouse agouti is a secreted protein of 131 amino acids. The mature protein has a basic central region (lys57-arg85), a proline-rich domain (pro86-pro91) and a C-terminal region (cys 92-cys 13 1) containing 10 cysteine residues which form 5 disulfide bonds. The human homologue of agouti has also been cloned by the Woychik lab and maps to human chromosome 20q 11.2. Human agouti is 132 amino acids long and is 85% similar to the mouse agouti protein and is normally expressed in adipose tissue. The researchers have been able to recapitulate obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperglycemia with the ubiquitous expression of agouti. Agouti expression in either liver and adipose tissue alone does not cause obesity, and there`s a dose-dependent effect of agouti on body weight, food efficiency, body temperature, and insulin and glucose levels.

  6. Melanism in Peromyscus Is Caused by Independent Mutations in Agouti

    PubMed Central

    Kingsley, Evan P.; Manceau, Marie; Wiley, Christopher D.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2009-01-01

    Identifying the molecular basis of phenotypes that have evolved independently can provide insight into the ways genetic and developmental constraints influence the maintenance of phenotypic diversity. Melanic (darkly pigmented) phenotypes in mammals provide a potent system in which to study the genetic basis of naturally occurring mutant phenotypes because melanism occurs in many mammals, and the mammalian pigmentation pathway is well understood. Spontaneous alleles of a few key pigmentation loci are known to cause melanism in domestic or laboratory populations of mammals, but in natural populations, mutations at one gene, the melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r), have been implicated in the vast majority of cases, possibly due to its minimal pleiotropic effects. To investigate whether mutations in this or other genes cause melanism in the wild, we investigated the genetic basis of melanism in the rodent genus Peromyscus, in which melanic mice have been reported in several populations. We focused on two genes known to cause melanism in other taxa, Mc1r and its antagonist, the agouti signaling protein (Agouti). While variation in the Mc1r coding region does not correlate with melanism in any population, in a New Hampshire population, we find that a 125-kb deletion, which includes the upstream regulatory region and exons 1 and 2 of Agouti, results in a loss of Agouti expression and is perfectly associated with melanic color. In a second population from Alaska, we find that a premature stop codon in exon 3 of Agouti is associated with a similar melanic phenotype. These results show that melanism has evolved independently in these populations through mutations in the same gene, and suggest that melanism produced by mutations in genes other than Mc1r may be more common than previously thought. PMID:19649329

  7. Isolation and characterization of Agouti: a diabetes/obesity related gene

    DOEpatents

    Woychik, Richard P.

    1998-01-01

    The present invention relates to the cloning and expression of the Agouti gene and analogous genes in transformed, transfected and transgenic mice. The present invention provides an animal model for the study of diabetes, obesity and tumors for the testing of potential therapeutic agents. The present invention provides oligonucleotide probes for the detection of the Agouti gene and mutations in the gene. The present invention also relates to the isolation and recombinant production of the Agouti gene product, production of antibodies to the Agouti gene product and their use as diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

  8. Isolation and characterization of Agouti: a diabetes/obesity related gene

    DOEpatents

    Woychik, Richard P.

    2000-06-27

    The present invention relates to the cloning and expression of the Agouti gene and analogous genes in transformed, transfected and transgenic mice. The present invention provides an animal model for the study of diabetes, obesity and tumors for the testing of potential therapeutic agents. The present invention provides oligonucleotide probes for the detection of the Agouti gene and mutations in the gene. The present invention also relates to the isolation and recombinant production of the Agouti gene product, production of antibodies to the Agouti gene product and their use as diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

  9. Agouti signaling protein stimulates cell division in "viable yellow" (A vy/a) mouse liver

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Enhanced linear growth, hyperplasia, and tumorigenesis are well-known characteristics of "viable yellow" agouti Avy/- mice (1); however, the functional basis for this aspect of the phenotype is unknown. In the present study, we ascertained whether agouti signaling protein (ASIP) levels in Avy/a or a...

  10. Combined effects of insulin treatment and adipose tissue-specific agouti expression on the development of obesity.

    PubMed

    Mynatt, R L; Miltenberger, R J; Klebig, M L; Zemel, M B; Wilkinson, J E; Wilkinson, W O; Woychik, R P

    1997-02-04

    The agouti gene product is a secreted protein that acts in a paracrine manner to regulate coat color in mammals. Several dominant mutations at the agouti locus in mice cause the ectopic, ubiquitous expression of agouti, resulting in a condition similar to adult-onset obesity and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The human agouti protein is 85% homologous to mouse agouti; however, unlike the mouse agouti gene, human agouti is normally expressed in adipose tissue. To address whether expression of agouti in human adipose tissue is physiologically relevant, transgenic mice were generated that express agouti in adipose tissue. Similar to most humans, these mice do not become obese or diabetic. However, we found that daily insulin injections significantly increased weight gain in the transgenic lines expressing agouti in adipose tissue, but not in nontransgenic mice. These results suggest that insulin triggers the onset of obesity and that agouti expression in adipose tissue potentiates this effect. Accordingly, the investigation of agouti's role in obesity and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in mice holds significant promise for understanding the pathophysiology of human obesity.

  11. Molecular analysis of the mouse agouti gene and the role of dominant agouti-locus mutations in obesity and insulin resistance

    SciTech Connect

    Klebig, M.L.; Woychik, R.P.; Wilkinson, J.E.

    1994-09-01

    The lethal yellow (A{sup y/-}) and viable yellow (A{sup vy/-}) mouse agouti mutants have a predominantly yellow pelage and display a complex syndrome that includes obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance, hallmark features of obesity-associated noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in humans. A new dominant agouti allele, A{sup iapy}, has recently been identified; like the A{sup vy} allele, it is homozygous viable and confers obesity and yellow fur in heterozygotes. The agouti gene was cloned and characterized at the molecular level. The gene is expressed in the skin during hair growth and is predicted to encode a 131 amino acid protein, that is likely to be a secreted factor. In both Ay/- and A{sup iapy}/- mice, the obesity and other dominant pleiotropic effects are associated with an ectopic expression of agouti in many tissues where the gene product is normally not produced. In Ay, a 170-kb deletion has occurred that causes an upstream promoter to drive the ectopic expression of the wild-type agouti coding exons. In A{sup iapy}, the coding region of the gene is expressed from a cryptic promoter within the LTR of an intracisternal A-particle (IAP), which has integrated within the region just upstream of the first agouti coding exon. Transgenic mice ubiquitously expressing the cloned agouti gene under the influence of the beta-actin and phosphoglycerate kinase promoters display obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and yellow coat color. This demonstrates unequivocally that ectopic expression of agouti is responsible for the yellow obese syndrome.

  12. Comparative study on the forefoot and hindfoot intrinsic muscles of some cavioidea rodents (Mammalia, Rodentia).

    PubMed

    Rocha-Barbosa, Oscar; Loguercio, Mariana F C; Renous, Sabine; Gasc, Jean-Pierre

    2007-01-01

    The present study compares the forefoot and hindfoot musculature of five representative species of Cavioidea rodents. In all species, the musculature of both forefeet and hindfeet have the same array regardless of the absence of digit I in the manus of Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris and Cavia porcellus. Our results suggest a tendency in these species towards a three-digit system, with a functional loss of digit V and a predominance of digit III in their forefeet. In the same way, the muscular reduction of digit I in the other rodents analyzed indicates a four-digit system with predominance of digit II in Myoprocta acouchy and Dasyprocta leporina and of digit V in Agouti paca. There seems to be an association between the muscular arrangement and functional axis of the foot, raising the general question why this axis runs between the third and forth digit, or along the third digit.

  13. Leptin responsiveness in mice that ectopically express agouti protein.

    PubMed

    Harris, Ruth B S; Mitchell, Tiffany D; Mynatt, Randall L

    Agouti protein is an endogenous antagonist of melanocortin receptors (MCR), including MCR3 and MCR4, which have been implicated as part of the hypothalamic mechanism that mediates leptin-induced hypophagia. In this experiment we examined the effects of peripheral and central leptin administration in male and female beta-actin promoter (BAPa) mice that express agouti protein ectopically and have a phenotype that includes obesity and diabetes which is exaggerated in males compared with females. Intraperitoneal infusion of 10 microg leptin/day for 13 days caused weight loss and a transient inhibition of food intake in wild-type mice, with a greater effect in males than females. Male BAPa mice were resistant to leptin infusion whereas female mice lost weight. All of the mice lost body weight following a single intracerebroventricular injection of leptin but the effect was greater in female BAPa mice than any other group. There also was a delayed suppression of food intake that was the same for wild-type and BAPa female mice, whereas food intake recovered faster in BAPa than wild-type males. The dissociation between food intake and body weight loss implies a significant effect of leptin on energy expenditure in BAPa mice. These results demonstrate that the effect of leptin on energy balance is not entirely dependent upon the melanocortin system.

  14. Regulation of PPARgamma and obesity by agouti/melanocortin signaling in adipocytes.

    PubMed

    Mynatt, Randall L; Stephens, Jacquelins M

    2003-06-01

    To study the potential biological role of agouti/melanocortin signaling in human adipose tissue, we engineered transgenic mice to overexpress agouti in adipose tissue. The aP2-agouti transgenic mice become significantly heavier than littermates. The increased body weight is maintained at approximately 15% above nontransgenic mice through 20 weeks and is caused by increased fat mass. The obesity is increased by a high-fat diet. There is no change in food intake in the aP2-agouti mice suggesting changes in energy utilization. A possible mechanism is that the agouti/melanocortin signaling regulates levels of PPARgamma. PPARgamma functions as a major regulator of adipocyte differentiation and as a receptor for the antidiabetic thiazolidinediones. Agouti increases PPARgamma protein levels in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and PPARgamma expression is elevated in the fat pads of the aP2-agouti transgenic mice. The modest weight gain observed in the transgenic mice suggests that hypothalamic pathways regulating food intake are intact and the observed adiposity is within ranges that can be achieved by a paracrine mechanism at the adipocyte level.

  15. Mahogany (mg) stimulates feeding and increases basal metabolic rate independent of its suppression of agouti.

    PubMed

    Dinulescu, D M; Fan, W; Boston, B A; McCall, K; Lamoreux, M L; Moore, K J; Montagno, J; Cone, R D

    1998-10-13

    The mahogany (mg) locus originally was identified as a recessive suppressor of agouti, a locus encoding a skin peptide that modifies coat color by antagonizing the melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor or MC1-R. Certain dominant alleles of agouti cause an obesity syndrome when ectopic expression of the peptide aberrantly antagonizes the MC4-R, a related melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor expressed in hypothalamic circuitry and involved in the regulation of feeding behavior and metabolism. Recent work has demonstrated that mg, when homozygous, blocks not only the ability of agouti to induce a yellow coat color when expressed in the skin of the lethal yellow mouse (AY), but also the obesity resulting from ectopic expression of agouti in the brain. Detailed analysis of mg/mg AY/a animals, presented here, demonstrates that mg/mg blocks the obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and increased linear growth induced by ectopic expression of the agouti peptide. Remarkably, however, mg/mg did not reduce hyperphagia in the AY/a mouse. Furthermore, mg/mg induced hyperphagia and an increase in basal metabolic rate in the C57BL/6J mouse in the absence of AY. Consequently, although mahogany is broadly required for agouti peptide action, it also appears to be involved in the control of metabolic rate and feeding behavior independent of its suppression of agouti.

  16. Mahogany (mg) stimulates feeding and increases basal metabolic rate independent of its suppression of agouti

    PubMed Central

    Dinulescu, Daniela M.; Fan, Wei; Boston, Bruce A.; McCall, Kathleen; Lamoreux, M. Lynn; Moore, Karen J.; Montagno, Jill; Cone, Roger D.

    1998-01-01

    The mahogany (mg) locus originally was identified as a recessive suppressor of agouti, a locus encoding a skin peptide that modifies coat color by antagonizing the melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor or MC1-R. Certain dominant alleles of agouti cause an obesity syndrome when ectopic expression of the peptide aberrantly antagonizes the MC4-R, a related melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor expressed in hypothalamic circuitry and involved in the regulation of feeding behavior and metabolism. Recent work has demonstrated that mg, when homozygous, blocks not only the ability of agouti to induce a yellow coat color when expressed in the skin of the lethal yellow mouse (AY), but also the obesity resulting from ectopic expression of agouti in the brain. Detailed analysis of mg/mg AY/a animals, presented here, demonstrates that mg/mg blocks the obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and increased linear growth induced by ectopic expression of the agouti peptide. Remarkably, however, mg/mg did not reduce hyperphagia in the AY/a mouse. Furthermore, mg/mg induced hyperphagia and an increase in basal metabolic rate in the C57BL/6J mouse in the absence of AY. Consequently, although mahogany is broadly required for agouti peptide action, it also appears to be involved in the control of metabolic rate and feeding behavior independent of its suppression of agouti. PMID:9770550

  17. Molecular structure and chromosomal mapping of the human homolog of the agouti gene

    SciTech Connect

    Kwon, H.Y.; Woychik, R.P.; Bultman, S.J. |; Loeffler, C.; Hansmann, I.; Chen, W.J.; Furdon, P.J.; Wilkison, W.; Powell, J.G.; Usala, A.L.

    1994-10-11

    The agouti (a) locus in mouse chromosome 2 normally regulates coat color pigmentation. The mouse agouti gene was recently cloned and shown to encode a distinctive 131-amino acid protein with a consensus signal peptide. Here the authors describe the cloning of the human homolog of the mouse agouti gene using an interspecies DNA-hybridization approach. Sequence analysis revealed that the coding region of the human agouti gene is 85% identical to the mouse gene and has the potential to encode a protein of 132 amino acids with a consensus signal peptide. Chromosomal assignment using somatic-cell-hybrid mapping panels and fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated that the human agouti gene maps to chromosome band 20q11.2. This result revealed that the human agouti gene is closely linked to several traits, including a locus called MODY (for maturity onset diabetes of the young) and another region that is associated with the development of myeloid leukemia. Initial expression studies with RNA from several adult human tissues showed that the human agouti gene is expressed in adipose tissue and testis.

  18. Diet-induced hypermethylation at agouti viable yellow is not inherited transgenerationally through the female

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The effects of nonmutagenic environmental exposures can sometimes be transmitted for several generations, suggesting transgenerational inheritance of induced epigenetic variation. Methyl donor supplementation of female mice during pregnancy induces CpG hypermethylation at the agouti viable yellow (A...

  19. Agouti regulation of intracellular calcium: role in the insulin resistance of viable yellow mice.

    PubMed Central

    Zemel, M B; Kim, J H; Woychik, R P; Michaud, E J; Kadwell, S H; Patel, I R; Wilkison, W O

    1995-01-01

    Several dominant mutations at the agouti locus in the mouse cause a syndrome of marked obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance. Although it is known that the agouti gene is expressed in an ectopic manner in these mutants, the precise mechanism by which the agouti gene product mediates these effects is unclear. Since intracellular Ca2+ is believed to play a role in mediating insulin action and dysregulation of Ca2+ flux is observed in diabetic animals and humans, we examined the status of intracellular Ca2+ in mice carrying the dominant agouti allele, viable yellow (Avy). We show here that in mice carrying this mutation, the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) is elevated in skeletal muscle, and the degree of elevation is closely correlated with the degree to which the mutant traits are expressed in individual animals. Moreover, we demonstrate that the agouti gene product is capable of inducing increased [Ca2+]i in cultured and freshly isolated skeletal muscle myocytes from wild-type mice. Based on these findings, we present a model in which we propose that the agouti polypeptide promotes insulin resistance in mutant animals through its ability to increase [Ca2+]i. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 PMID:7761392

  20. Agouti regulation of intracellular calcium: Role in the insulin resistance of viable yellow mice

    SciTech Connect

    Zemel, M.B.; Kim, J.H.; Woychik, R.P.; Michaud, E.J.; Hadwell, S.H.; Patel, I.R.; Wilkison, W.O.

    1995-05-23

    Several dominant mutations at the agouti locus in the mouse cause a syndrome of marked obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance. Although it is known that the agouti gene is expressed in an ectopic manner in these mutants, the precise mechanism by which the agouti gene product mediates these effects is unclear. Since intracellular Ca{sup 2+} is believed to play a role in mediating insulin action and dysregulation of Ca{sup 2+} flux is observed in diabetic animals and humans, we examined the status of intracellular Ca{sup 2+} in mice carrying the dominant agouti allele, viable yellow (A{sup vy}). We show here that in mice carrying this mutation, the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) is elevated in skeletal muscle, and the degree of elevation is closely correlated with the degree to which the mutant traits are expressed in individual animals. Moreover, we demonstrate that the agouti gene product is capable of inducing increased [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} in cultured and freshly isolated skeletal muscle myocytes from wild-type mice. Based on these findings, we present a model in which we propose that the agouti polypeptide promotes insulin resistance in mutant animals through its ability to increase [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}. 36 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. [Ovarian activity of Agouti paca (Rodentia: Agoutidae) under captivity].

    PubMed

    Montes Pérez, Rubén C; Cabrera Baz, Elsy A

    2006-09-01

    The ovarian activity of Agouti paca was characterized by hormonal profiles and ovarian structures. Samples of blood were taken from eight females (seven adults and one juvenile) at the breeding grounds of the Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia in Yucatśn, Mexico. Sampling lasted approximately two months and was done every three and six days. Blood was collected from anesthetized animals, and the levels of progesterone (P4) and 17 beta estradiol (E2) were analized by radioimmunoassay technique. Macroscopic and microscopic analyses were carried out in ovaries of dead animals. The estrous cycle lasted 29+/-8.4 days, levels of 1.61+/-0.65 ng/ml for P4 and 39+/-24 pg/ml for E2 were observed for a follicular phase, 6.18+/-3.70 ng/ml and 29+/-16 pg/ml for P4 and E2 respectively in the luteal phase. Statistically significant differences were found between phases for P4 but not for E2. The presence of extragonadal steroids with levels of P4 of 1.9+/-0.77 ng/ml and E2 of 22+/-17 pg/ml were observed, which are not produced by the effects of managing stress. The changes in the levels of P4 during the cycle are indicators of luteal activity, with the intersticial tissue acting probably as active steroids-producing gland. Follicular growth was observed during the entire cycle.

  2. Agouti sequence polymorphisms in coyotes, wolves and dogs suggest hybridization.

    PubMed

    Schmutz, Sheila M; Berryere, Thomas G; Barta, Jodi L; Reddick, Kimberley D; Schmutz, Josef K

    2007-01-01

    Domestic dogs have been shown to have multiple alleles of the Agouti Signal Peptide (ASIP) in exon 4 and we wished to determine the level of polymorphism in the common wild canids of Canada, wolves and coyotes, in comparison. All Canadian coyotes and most wolves have banded hairs. The ASIP coding sequence of the wolf did not vary from the domestic dog but one variant was detected in exon 4 of coyotes that did not alter the arginine at this position. Two other differences were found in the sequence flanking exon 4 of coyotes compared with the 45 dogs and 1 wolf. The coyotes also demonstrated a relatively common polymorphism in the 3' UTR sequence that could be used for population studies. One of the ASIP alleles (R96C) in domestic dogs causes a solid black coat color in homozygotes. Although some wolves are melanistic, this phenotype does not appear to be caused by this same mutation. However, one wolf, potentially a dog-wolf hybrid or descendant thereof, was heterozygous for this allele. Likewise 2 coyotes, potentially dog-coyote or wolf-coyote hybrid descendants, were heterozygous for the several polymorphisms in and flanking exon 4. We could conclude that these were coyote-dog hybrids because both were heterozygous for 2 mutations causing fawn coat color in dogs.

  3. Disruption of the RIIβ subunit of PKA reverses the obesity syndrome of agouti lethal yellow mice

    PubMed Central

    Czyzyk, Traci A.; Sikorski, Maria A.; Yang, Linghai; McKnight, G. Stanley

    2008-01-01

    Agouti lethal yellow (Ay) mice express agouti ectopically because of a genetic rearrangement at the agouti locus. The agouti peptide is a potent antagonist of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) expressed in neurons, and this leads to hyperphagia, hypoactivity, and increased fat mass. The MC4R signals through Gs and is thought to stimulate the production of cAMP and activation of downstream cAMP effector molecules such as PKA. Disruption of the RIIβ regulatory subunit gene of PKA results in release of the active catalytic subunit and an increase in basal PKA activity in cells where RIIβ is highly expressed. Because RIIβ is expressed in neurons including those in the hypothalamic nuclei where MC4R is prominent we tested the possibility that the RIIβ knockout might rescue the body weight phenotypes of the Ay mice. Disruption of the RIIβ PKA regulatory subunit gene in mice leads to a 50% reduction in white adipose tissue and resistance to diet-induced obesity and hyperglycemia. The RIIβ mutation rescued the elevated body weight, hyperphagia, and obesity of Ay mice. Partial rescue of the Ay phenotypes was even observed on an RIIβ heterozygote background. These results suggest that the RIIβ gene mutation alters adiposity and locomotor activity by modifying PKA signaling pathways downstream of the agouti antagonism of MC4R in the hypothalamus. PMID:18172198

  4. Ectopic expression of the agouti gene in transgenic mice causes obesity, features of type II diabetes, and yellow fur.

    PubMed

    Klebig, M L; Wilkinson, J E; Geisler, J G; Woychik, R P

    1995-05-23

    Mice that carry the lethal yellow (Ay) or viable yellow (Avy) mutation, two dominant mutations of the agouti (a) gene in mouse chromosome 2, exhibit a phenotype that includes yellow fur, marked obesity, a form of type II diabetes associated with insulin resistance, and an increased susceptibility to tumor development. Molecular analyses of these and several other dominant "obese yellow" a-locus mutations suggested that ectopic expression of the normal agouti protein gives rise to this complex pleiotropic phenotype. We have now tested this hypothesis directly by generating transgenic mice that ectopically express an agouti cDNA clone encoding the normal agouti protein in all tissues examined. Transgenic mice of both sexes have yellow fur, become obese, and develop hyperinsulinemia. In addition, male transgenic mice develop hyperglycemia by 12-20 weeks of age. These results demonstrate conclusively that the ectopic agouti expression is responsible for most, if not all, of the phenotypic traits of the dominant, obese yellow mutants.

  5. The early origin of melanocortin receptors, agouti-related peptide, agouti signalling peptide, and melanocortin receptor-accessory proteins, with emphasis on pufferfishes, elephant shark, lampreys, and amphioxus.

    PubMed

    Västermark, Ake; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2011-06-11

    There are conflicting theories about the evolution of melanocortin MC receptors while only few studies have addressed the evolution of agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and agouti signalling peptide (ASIP), which are antagonists at the melanocortin receptors (MCRs), or the melanocortin MC(2) receptor accessory proteins (MRAP1 and MRAP2). Previously we have cloned melanocortin MC receptors (MC(a) and MC(b)) genes in river lamprey and here we identify orthologues to these melanocortin MC receptor sequences in the sea lamprey. We investigate the putative presence of the melanocortin MC receptor genes in lancelet (amphioxus; Branchiostoma floridae) but we find it unlikely that such gene exists, due to a sharp drop in sequence similarity beyond sequence clusters of known receptors. We show the presence of AgRP and ASIP in elephant shark, a cartilaginous fish belonging to the subclass of Elasmobranchii. However, we do not find any of these genes in lamprey or lancelet after detailed analysis of both targeted and whole proteome regular expression scans. We found MRAP2, but not MRAP1, to be present in elephant shark and sea lamprey while Fugu (T. rubripes) has both genes. This study shows that the most ancient presence of these melanocortin-related sequences is found in elephant shark and lampreys considering the current available sequence data.

  6. Characterization of the dog agouti gene and a nonagouti mutation in german shepherd dogs

    SciTech Connect

    Kerns, Julie A.; Newton, J.; Berryere, Tom G.; Rubin, Edward M.; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Schmutz, Sheila M.; Barsh, Gregory S.

    2004-07-08

    The interaction between two genes, Agouti and Melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r), produces diverse pigment patterns in mammals by regulating the type, amount, and distribution pattern of the two pigment types found in mammalian hair: eumelanin (brown/black) and pheomelanin (yellow/red). In domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), there is a tremendous variation in coat color patterns between and within breeds; however, previous studies suggest that the molecular genetics of pigment-type switching in dogs may differ from that of other mammals. Here we report the identification and characterization of the Agouti gene from domestic dogs, predicted to encode a 131-amino-acid secreted protein 98 percent identical to the fox homolog, and which maps to chromosome CFA24 in a region of conserved linkage. Comparative analysis of the Doberman Pinscher Agouti cDNA, the fox cDNA, and 180 kb of Doberman Pinscher genomic DNA suggests that, as with laboratory mice, different pigment-type-switching patterns in the canine family are controlled by alternative usage of different promoters and untranslated first exons. A small survey of Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, Australian Shepherds, and German Shepherd Dogs did not uncover any polymorphisms, but we identified a single nucleotide variant in black German Shepherd Dogs predicted to cause an Arg-to-Cys substitution at codon 96, which is likely to account for recessive inheritance of a uniform black coat.

  7. Characterization of the dog Agouti gene and a nonagoutimutation in German Shepherd Dogs.

    PubMed

    Kerns, Julie A; Newton, J; Berryere, Tom G; Rubin, Edward M; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Schmutz, Sheila M; Barsh, Gregory S

    2004-10-01

    The interaction between two genes, Agouti and Melanocortin-1 receptor ( Mc1r), produces diverse pigment patterns in mammals by regulating the type, amount, and distribution pattern of the two pigment types found in mammalian hair: eumelanin (brown/black) and pheomelanin (yellow/red). In domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris), there is a tremendous variation in coat color patterns between and within breeds; however, previous studies suggest that the molecular genetics of pigment-type switching in dogs may differ from that of other mammals. Here we report the identification and characterization of the Agouti gene from domestic dogs, predicted to encode a 131-amino-acid secreted protein 98% identical to the fox homolog, and which maps to chromosome CFA24 in a region of conserved linkage. Comparative analysis of the Doberman Pinscher Agouti cDNA, the fox cDNA, and 180 kb of Doberman Pinscher genomic DNA suggests that, as with laboratory mice, different pigment-type-switching patterns in the canine family are controlled by alternative usage of different promoters and untranslated first exons. A small survey of Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, Australian Shepherds, and German Shepherd Dogs did not uncover any polymorphisms, but we identified a single nucleotide variant in black German Shepherd Dogs predicted to cause an Arg-to-Cys substitution at codon 96, which is likely to account for recessive inheritance of a uniform black coat.

  8. Maternal epigenetics and methyl supplements affect agouti gene expression in A{sup vy}/a mice

    SciTech Connect

    Wolff, G.L.

    1998-08-01

    Viable yellow (A{sup vy}/a) mice are larger, obese, hyperinsulinemic, more susceptible to cancer, and, on average, shorter lived than their non-yellow siblings. They are epigenetic mosaics ranging from a yellow phenotype with maximum ectopic agouti overexpression, through a continuum of mottled agouti/yellow phenotypes with partial agouti overexpression, to a pseudoagouti phenotype with minimal ectopic expression. Pseudoagouti A{sup vy}/a mice are lean, healthy, and longer lived than their yellow siblings. Here the authors report that feeding pregnant black a/a dams methyl-supplemented diets alters epigenetic regulation of agouti expression in their offspring, as indicated by increased agouti/black mottling in the direction of the pseudoagouti phenotype. They also present confirmatory evidence that epigenetic phenotypes are maternally heritable. Thus A{sup vy} expression, already known to be modulated by imprinting, strain-specific modification, and maternal epigenetic inheritance, is also modulated by maternal diet. These observations suggest, at least in this special case, that maternal dietary supplementation may positively affect health and longevity of the offspring. Therefore, this experimental system should be useful for identifying maternal factors that modulate epigenetic mechanisms, especially DNA methylation, in developing embryos.

  9. Allelic Variation within the Emv-15 Locus Defines Genomic Sequences Closely Linked to the agouti Locus on Mouse Chromosome 2

    PubMed Central

    Siracusa, Linda D.; Russell, Liane B.; Jenkins, Nancy A.; Copeland, Neal G.

    1987-01-01

    Gene(s) at the agouti locus act within the microenvironment of the hair follicle to switch pigment synthesis in the melanocyte between eumelanin (black or brown pigment) and phaeomelanin (yellow pigment). Many phenotypic variants of this locus have been described. The mechanism(s) of gene action causing such variation in coat-color phenotype is not known. The close linkage of an endogenous ecotropic murine leukemia provirus, Emv-15 , to the lethal yellow mutation of the agouti locus provides a means to molecularly access genes at or near the agouti locus. We have identified and used a unique mouse sequence flanking the Emv-15 provirus to define three alleles of the Emv-15 locus. We found a correlation between the presence of specific Emv-15 alleles and the origins of specific agouti locus mutations, confirming close linkage. However, we found some exceptions which suggest that the Emv-15 locus is closely linked to, but genetically separable from, the agouti locus. PMID:2822532

  10. Ectopic expression of the agouti gene in transgenic mice causes obesity, features of type II diabetes, and yellow fur

    SciTech Connect

    Klebig, M.L.; Woychik, R.P.; Wilkinson, J.E.; Geisler, J.G. |

    1995-05-23

    Mice that carry the lethal yellow (A{sup y}) or viable yellow (A{sup vy}) mutation, two dominant mutations of the agouti (a) gene in mouse chromosome 2, exhibit a phenotype that includes yellow fur, marked obesity, a form of type II diabetes associated with insulin resistance, and an increased susceptibility to tumor development. Molecular analyses of these and several other dominant {open_quotes}obese yellow{close_quotes} a-locus mutations suggested that ectopic expression of the normal agouti protein gives rise to this complex pleiotropic phenotype. We have now tested this hypothesis directly by generating transgenic mice that ectopically express an agouti cDNA clone encoding the normal agouti protein in all tissues examined. Transgenic mice of both sexes have yellow fur, become obese, and develop hyperinsulinemia. In addition, male transgenic mice develop hyperglycemia by 12-20 weeks of age. These results demonstrate conclusively that the ectopic agouti expression is responsible for most, if not all, of the phenotypic traits of the dominant, obese yellow mutants. 42 refs., 5 figs.

  11. Molecular basis of the pleiotropic phenotype of mice carrying the hypervariable yellow (A{sup hvy}) mutation at the agouti locus

    SciTech Connect

    Argeson, A.C.; Nelson, K.K.; Siracusa, L.D.

    1996-02-01

    The murine agouti locus regulates a switch in pigment synthesis between eumelanin (black/brown pigment) and phaeomelanin (yellow/red pigment) by hair bulb melanocytes. We recently described a spontaneous mutation, hypervariable yellow (A{sup hvy}) and demonstrated that A{sup hvy} is responsible for the largest range of phenotypes yet identified at the agouti locus, producing mice that are obese with yellow coats to mice that are of normal weight with black coats. Here, we show that agouti expression is altered both temporally and spatially in A{sup hvy} mutants. Agouti expression levels are positively correlated with the degree of yellow pigmentation in individual A{sup hvy} mice, consistent with results from other dominant yellow agouti mutations. Sequencing of 5{prime} RACE and genomic PCR products revealed that A{sup hvy} resulted from the integration of an intracisternal A particle (IAP) in an antisense orientation within the 5{prime} untranslated agouti exon 1C. This retrovirus-like element is responsible for deregulating agouti expression in A{sup hvy} mice; agouti expression is correlated with the methylation state of CpG residues in the IAP long terminal repeat as well as in host genomic DNA. In addition, the data suggest that the variable phenotype of A{sup hvy} offspring is influenced in part by the phenotype of their A{sup hvy} female parent. 42 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  12. An obesity-dependent lactation defect in the viable yellow agouti mouse is associated with mammary inflammation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Maternal obesity is known to delay lactogenesis in breast-feeding women, as well as negatively impact lactation in other species. Obesity is also understood to be associated with inflammation. Work with the viable yellow agouti (Avy) mouse in our laboratory has documented a lactation defect in obese...

  13. Characterization, tissue distribution and regulation by fasting of the agouti family of peptides in the sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

    PubMed

    Agulleiro, Maria Josep; Cortés, Raúl; Leal, Esther; Ríos, Diana; Sánchez, Elisa; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel

    2014-09-01

    The melanocortin system is one of the most complex hormonal systems in vertebrates. Atypically, the signaling of melanocortin receptors is regulated by the binding of endogenous antagonists, named agouti-signaling protein (ASIP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP). Teleost specific genome duplication (TSGD) rendered new gene copies in teleost fish and up to four different genes of the agouti family of peptides have been characterized. In this paper, molecular cloning was used to characterize mRNA of the agouti family of peptides in sea bass. Four different genes were identified: AGRP1, ASIP1, AGRP2 and ASIP2. The AGRP1 gene is mainly expressed in the brain whereas ASIP1 is mainly expressed in the ventral skin. Both ASIP2 and AGRP2 are expressed in the brain and the pineal gland but also in some peripheral tissues. Immunocytochemical studies demonstrated that AGRP1 is exclusively expressed within the lateral tuberal nucleus, the homologue of the mammalian arcuate nucleus in fish. Long-term fasting (8-29 days) increased the hypothalamic expression of AGRP1 but depressed AGRP2 expression (15-29 days). In contrast, the hypothalamic expression of ASIP2 was upregulated during short-term fasting suggesting that this peptide could be involved in the short term regulation of food intake in the sea bass.

  14. Liver-specific expression of the agouti gene in transgenic mice promotes liver carcinogenesis in the absence of obesity and diabetes

    SciTech Connect

    Kuklin, Alexander; Mynatt, Randall; Klebig, Mitch; Kiefer, Laura; Wilkison, William O; Woychik, Richard P; Michaud III, Edward J

    2004-01-01

    Background: The agouti protein is a paracrine factor that is normally present in the skin of many species of mammals. Agouti regulates the switch between black and yellow hair pigmentation by signalling through the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) on melanocytes. Lethal yellow (Ay) and viable yellow (Avy) are dominant regulatory mutations in the mouse agouti gene that cause the wild- ype protein to be produced at abnormally high levels throughout the body. Mice harboring these mutations exhibit a pleiotropic syndrome characterized by yellow coat color, obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and increased susceptibility to hyperplasia and carcinogenesis in numerous tissues, including the liver. The goal of this research was to determine if ectopic expression of the agouti gene in the liver alone is sufficient to recapitulate any aspect of this syndrome. For this purpose, we generated lines of transgenic mice expressing high levels of agouti in the liver under the regulatory control of the albumin promoter. Expression levels of the agouti transgene in the liver were quantified by Northern blot analysis. Functional agouti protein in the liver of transgenic mice was assayed by its ability to inhibit binding of the -melanocyte stimulating hormone ( MSH) to the Mc1r. Body weight, plasma insulin and blood glucose levels were analyzed in control and transgenic mice. Control and transgenic male mice were given a single intraperitoneal injection (10 mg/kg) of the hepatocellular carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine (DEN), at 15 days of age. Mice were euthanized at 36 or 40 weeks after DEN injection and the number of tumors per liver and total liver weights were recorded. Results: The albumin-agouti transgene was expressed at high levels in the livers of mice and produced a functional agouti protein. Albumin-agouti transgenic mice had normal body weights and normal levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin, but responded to chemical initiation of the liver with an increased number

  15. Dark Agouti rat model of chemotherapy-induced mucositis: Establishment and current state of the art

    PubMed Central

    Vanhoecke, Barbara; Bateman, Emma; Mayo, Bronwen; Vanlancker, Eline; Thorpe, Daniel; Keefe, Dorothy

    2015-01-01

    Mucositis is a major oncological problem. The entire gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract and also other mucosal surfaces can be affected in recipients of radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy. Major progress has been made in recent years in understanding the mechanisms of oral and small intestinal mucositis, which appears to be more prominent than colonic damage. This progress is largely due to the development of representative laboratory animal models of mucositis. This review focuses on the development and establishment of the Dark Agouti rat mammary adenocarcinoma model by the Mucositis Research Group of the University of Adelaide over the past 20 years to characterize the mechanisms underlying methotrexate-, 5-fluorouracil-, and irinotecan-induced mucositis. It also aims to summarize the results from studies using different animal model systems to identify new molecular and cellular markers of mucositis. PMID:25966981

  16. [Participation of Agouti related peptide in machanisms of wakefulness-sleep cycle regulation].

    PubMed

    Romanova, I V; Mikhrina, A L

    2013-01-01

    Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is expresses in hypothalamic neurons in human and animals. Immunohistochemical study in rats Wistar rats demonstrates significant changes AGRP optical density in the neurons of arcuate hypothalamic nucleus as well as in processes in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens after the 6 hours of sleep deprivation (increase) and after 2 hours of post-deprivative sleep (decrease). Comparison of these results with earlier obtained shows the opposite trend changes in AGRP optical density and speed limiting enzyme of dopamine synthesis-tyrosine hydroxylase in the hypothalamus and in striatonigral system. The increase of AGRP was accompanied by a decrease of tyrosine hydroxylase and the decrease of AGRP, apposite, it increases. The obtained data demonstrate the role ofAGRP as a modulator of the functional activity of the dopaminergic brain neurons. The problem of the relationship of various functions of organism (food behavior, sleep, stress) is discusses by their participation in the regulation of the same neurotransmitter systems.

  17. Dark Agouti rat model of chemotherapy-induced mucositis: establishment and current state of the art.

    PubMed

    Vanhoecke, Barbara; Bateman, Emma; Mayo, Bronwen; Vanlancker, Eline; Stringer, Andrea; Thorpe, Daniel; Keefe, Dorothy

    2015-06-01

    Mucositis is a major oncological problem. The entire gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract and also other mucosal surfaces can be affected in recipients of radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy. Major progress has been made in recent years in understanding the mechanisms of oral and small intestinal mucositis, which appears to be more prominent than colonic damage. This progress is largely due to the development of representative laboratory animal models of mucositis. This review focuses on the development and establishment of the Dark Agouti rat mammary adenocarcinoma model by the Mucositis Research Group of the University of Adelaide over the past 20 years to characterize the mechanisms underlying methotrexate-, 5-fluorouracil-, and irinotecan-induced mucositis. It also aims to summarize the results from studies using different animal model systems to identify new molecular and cellular markers of mucositis.

  18. Recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti (Dasiprocta aguti) using powdered coconut water (ACP-109c) and Tris extenders.

    PubMed

    Silva, M A; Peixoto, G C X; Santos, E A A; Castelo, T S; Oliveira, M F; Silva, A R

    2011-10-01

    The objective was to compare the use of powdered coconut water (ACP-109c; ACP Biotecnologia, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil) and Tris extenders for recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti. The caudae epididymus and proximal ductus deferens from 10 sexually mature agoutis were subjected to retrograde washing using ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) or Tris. Epididymal sperm were evaluated for motility, vigor, sperm viability, membrane integrity, and morphology. Samples were centrifuged, and extended in the same diluents plus egg yolk (20%) and glycerol (6%), frozen in liquid nitrogen, and subsequently thawed at 37°C for 1 min, followed by re-evaluation of sperm characteristics. The two extenders were similarly efficient for epididymal recovery, with regard to the number and quality of sperm recovered. However, for both extenders, sperm quality decreased (P < 0.05) after centrifugation and dilution. After sperm cryopreservation and thawing, there were (mean ± SEM) 26.5 ± 2.6% motile sperm with 2.6 ± 0.2 vigor in the ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) group, which was significantly better than 9.7 ± 2.6% motile sperm with 1.2 ± 0.3 vigor in Tris. In conclusion, agouti epididymal sperm were successfully recovered using either ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) or Tris extenders; however, ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) was a significantly better extender for processing and cryopreserving these sperm. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Deletion of eIF2beta suppresses testicular cancer incidence and causes recessive lethality in agouti-yellow mice.

    PubMed

    Heaney, Jason D; Michelson, Megan V; Youngren, Kirsten K; Lam, Man-Yee J; Nadeau, Joseph H

    2009-04-15

    The agouti-yellow (A(y)) deletion is the only genetic modifier known to suppress testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) susceptibility in mice or humans. The A(y) mutation deletes Raly and Eif2s2, and induces the ectopic expression of agouti, all of which are potential TGCT-modifying mutations. Here we report that the reduced TGCT incidence of heterozygous A(y) males and the recessive embryonic lethality of A(y) are caused by the deletion of Eif2s2, the beta subunit of translation initiation factor eIF2. We found that the incidence of affected males was reduced 2-fold in mice that were partially deficient for Eif2s2 and that embryonic lethality occurred near the time of implantation in mice that were fully deficient for Eif2s2. In contrast, neither reduced expression of Raly in gene-trap mice nor ectopic expression of agouti in transgenic or viable-yellow (A(vy)) mutants affected TGCT incidence or embryonic viability. In addition, we provide evidence that partial deficiency of Eif2s2 attenuated germ cell proliferation and differentiation, both of which are important to TGCT formation. These results show that germ cell development and TGCT pathogenesis are sensitive to the availability of the eIF2 translation initiation complex and to changes in the rate of translation.

  20. Design, pharmacology, and NMR structure of a minimized cystine knot with agouti-related protein activity.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Pilgrim J; McNulty, Joseph C; Yang, Ying-Kui; Thompson, Darren A; Chai, Biaoxin; Gantz, Ira; Barsh, Gregory S; Millhauser, Glenn L

    2002-06-18

    The agouti-related protein (AGRP) is an endogenous antagonist of the melanocortin receptors MC3R and MC4R found in the hypothalamus and exhibits potent orexigenic activity. The cysteine-rich C-terminal domain of this protein, corresponding to AGRP(87-132), exhibits receptor binding affinity and antagonism equivalent to that of the full-length protein. The NMR structure of this active domain was recently determined and suggested that melanocortin receptor contacts were made primarily by two loops presented by a well-structured cystine knot domain within AGRP(87-132) [McNulty et al. (2001) Biochemistry 40, 15520-15527]. This hypothesis is tested here with NMR structure and activity studies of a 34-residue AGRP analogue designed to contain only the cystine knot domain. The designed miniprotein folds to a homogeneous product, retains the desired cystine knot architecture, functions as an antagonist, and maintains the melanocortin receptor pharmacological profile of AGRP(87-132). The AGRP-like activity of this molecule supports the hypothesis that indeed the cystine knot region possesses the melanocortin receptor contact points. Moreover, this potent AGRP analogue is synthetically accessible, may serve in the development of therapeutics for the treatment of diseases related to energy balance. and may also find use as a new reagent for probing melanocortin receptor structure and function.

  1. Agouti signalling protein (ASIP) gene: molecular cloning, sequence characterisation and tissue distribution in domestic goose.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Wang, C; Liu, Y; Liu, J; Wang, H Y; Liu, A F; He, D Q

    2016-06-01

    Agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is an endogenous antagonist of melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) and is involved in the regulation of pigmentation in mammals. The objective of this study was to identify and characterise the ASIP gene in domestic goose. The goose ASIP cDNA consisted of a 44-nucleotide 5'-terminal untranslated region (UTR), a 390-nucleotide open-reading frame (ORF) and a 45-nucleotide 3'-UTR. The length of goose ASIP genomic DNA was 6176 bp, including three coding exons and two introns. Bioinformatic analysis indicated that the ORF encodes a protein of 130 amino-acid residues with a molecular weight of 14.88 kDa and an isoelectric point of 9.73. Multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic analysis showed that the amino-acid sequence of ASIP was conserved in vertebrates, especially in the avian species. RT-qPCR showed that the goose ASIP mRNA was differentially expressed in the pigment deposition tissues, including eye, foot, feather follicle, skin of the back, as well as in skin of the abdomen. The expression level of the ASIP gene in skin of the abdomen was higher than that in skin of the back. Those findings will contribute to further understanding the functions of the ASIP gene in geese plumage colouring.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms for Activation of the Agouti-Related Protein and Stimulation of Appetite

    PubMed Central

    Ilnytska, Olha; Stütz, Adrian M.; Park-York, MieJung; York, David A.; Ribnicky, David M.; Zuberi, Aamir; Cefalu, William T.; Argyropoulos, George

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The agouti-related protein (Agrp) is a powerful orexigenic peptide, but little is known about its transcriptional regulation. The objective of this study was to determine molecular mechanisms for the activation of hypothalamic Agrp and identify compounds that stimulate appetite. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We used promoter analyses methods, hypothalamic cell culture and transfection, immunohistochemistry, luciferase-expressing transgenic mice, in vivo bioluminescence, anitisense RNA, mouse feeding studies, indirect calorimetry, real-time PCR, and Western blots. RESULTS We found that the Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) is a potent activator of Agrp by binding to a specific CACCC-box in its minimal promoter. We also found that an extract of tarragon, termed PMI-5011, activated hypothalamic Klf4 and Agrp. In vivo, PMI-5011 increased Agrp promoter activity in luciferase-expressing transgenic mice, increased hypothalamic Klf4 and Agrp expression, increased hypothalamic Orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone, increased food intake, reduced circulating insulin and leptin levels, attenuated energy expenditure, and enhanced body weight but only when using a high-fat diet. CONCLUSIONS These data show that Klf4 augmented hypothalamic Agrp by binding to a specific CACCC-box onto its minimal promoter. In addition, the tarragon extract PMI-5011 activated Klf4 and orexigenic neuropeptides and reduced peripheral insulin and leptin levels leading to positive energy balance. PMID:20980461

  3. Mechanisms of modulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by chronic Trichinella spiralis infection in Dark Agouti rats.

    PubMed

    Gruden-Movsesijan, A; Ilic, N; Mostarica-Stojkovic, M; Stosic-Grujicic, S; Milic, M; Sofronic-Milosavljevic, L

    2010-06-01

    Trichinella spiralis is a helminth that provokes Th2 and anti-inflammatory type responses in an infected host. Our previous studies using Dark Agouti (DA) rats indicated that T. spiralis infection reduced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) severity in rats. The aim of this study was to analyse the mechanisms underlying EAE suppression driven by T. spiralis infection. Reduced clinical and histological manifestations of the disease were accompanied by increased IL-4 and IL-10 production and decreased IFN-gamma and IL-17 production in draining lymph node cells. This indicates that T. spiralis infection successfully maintains a Th2 cytokine bias regardless of EAE induction. High IL-10 signifies parasite-induced anti-inflammatory and/or regulatory cell responses. Transfer of splenic T cell-enriched population of cells from T. spiralis-infected rats into EAE immunized rats caused amelioration of EAE and in some cases protection from disease development. This population of cells contained higher proportion of CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) regulatory cells and produced high level of IL-10 when compared with uninfected rats.

  4. Molecular mechanisms for activation of the agouti-related protein and stimulation of appetite.

    PubMed

    Ilnytska, Olha; Stütz, Adrian M; Park-York, MieJung; York, David A; Ribnicky, David M; Zuberi, Aamir; Cefalu, William T; Argyropoulos, George

    2011-01-01

    The agouti-related protein (Agrp) is a powerful orexigenic peptide, but little is known about its transcriptional regulation. The objective of this study was to determine molecular mechanisms for the activation of hypothalamic Agrp and identify compounds that stimulate appetite. We used promoter analyses methods, hypothalamic cell culture and transfection, immunohistochemistry, luciferase-expressing transgenic mice, in vivo bioluminescence, anitisense RNA, mouse feeding studies, indirect calorimetry, real-time PCR, and Western blots. We found that the Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) is a potent activator of Agrp by binding to a specific CACCC-box in its minimal promoter. We also found that an extract of tarragon, termed PMI-5011, activated hypothalamic Klf4 and Agrp. In vivo, PMI-5011 increased Agrp promoter activity in luciferase-expressing transgenic mice, increased hypothalamic Klf4 and Agrp expression, increased hypothalamic Orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone, increased food intake, reduced circulating insulin and leptin levels, attenuated energy expenditure, and enhanced body weight but only when using a high-fat diet. These data show that Klf4 augmented hypothalamic Agrp by binding to a specific CACCC-box onto its minimal promoter. In addition, the tarragon extract PMI-5011 activated Klf4 and orexigenic neuropeptides and reduced peripheral insulin and leptin levels leading to positive energy balance.

  5. The insertion of a full-length Bos taurus LINE element is responsible for a transcriptional deregulation of the Normande Agouti gene.

    PubMed

    Girardot, Michael; Guibert, Sylvain; Laforet, Marie-Pierre; Gallard, Yves; Larroque, Hélène; Oulmouden, Ahmad

    2006-08-01

    Mammalian pigmentation is controlled by the concerted action of Tyr, Tyrp1 and Dct producing eumelanin and/or pheomelanin in melanocytes. The ratio of these two pigments is determined by the agonist alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone and the antagonist Agouti protein acting on the Mc1r. Here we show that the Agouti gene is over-expressed in Normande breed compared with Prim'Holstein breed. The Normande cattle have a characteristic coat color phenotype with a variable presence of black (eumelanin) hair over a red/brown background. We have found a previously undescribed full-length L1-BT element inserted in the 5'-genomic sequence of the Agouti gene in Normande cattle which promotes the over-expression of alternative transcripts. The variable expression of the alternative transcript directed by the long interspersed nuclear element promoter may be the origin of the brindle coat color pattern of the Normande breed. This new bovine Agouti allele isolated in Normande breed has been named Abr. Finally, as ectopic over-expression of Agouti in Ay mice is responsible for the obesity syndrome, we discuss the possible consequences of Abr for meat and milk production in cattle.

  6. Agouti-related protein increases food hoarding more than food intake in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Day, Diane E; Bartness, Timothy J

    2004-01-01

    Agouti-related protein (AgRP), an endogenous melanocortin 3/4 receptor antagonist, appears to play an important role in the control of food intake and energy balance because exogenous administration in rats and overexpression in mice result in hyperphagia and body mass gain. Furthermore, arcuate nucleus AgRP mRNA is increased with fasting in laboratory rats and mice and is decreased with refeeding. In Siberian hamsters, fasting also increases arcuate nucleus AgRP mRNA, but these animals increase food hoarding, rather than food intake with refeeding. Therefore, we tested whether exogenous AgRP increased food hoarding in this species. Hamsters were trained in a hoarding/foraging apparatus to run a programmed number of wheel revolutions to earn food pellets. Four doses of AgRP-(83-132) or vehicle were injected into the third ventricle at the beginning of the dark phase, and food hoarding, food intake, and foraging were measured at various time points subsequently. Overall, food hoarding was stimulated as much as 10 times more than food intake, and both responses occurred as early as 1 h after injection. Food hoarding was increased the greatest at the lowest dose (0.1 nmol), whereas food intake was increased the greatest at the second lowest dose (1 nmol). Food intake and especially food hoarding were increased up to seven days after the AgRP injections. Foraging was increased at all AgRP doses except the highest dose (100 nmol). These results suggest that AgRP triggers the search for food in this species, and once they find it, hoarding predominates over eating.

  7. Effect of dietary carbohydrate source on the development of obesity in agouti transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Morris, Kristin L; Zemel, Michael B

    2005-01-01

    Our objective was to evaluate the effects of a qualitative change in dietary carbohydrate source on body weight and adiposity in a rodent model of diet-induced obesity. We evaluated the effects of high-fat diets (basal) varying in carbohydrate source in aP2-agouti transgenic mice. In the ad libitum study, animals were given free access to the basal diet or one of four test diets for 6 weeks. In two of the diets, dietary carbohydrate was derived from a single source: mung bean noodles (MUNG) or rolled oats (ROLL). The remaining diets were designed to mimic commercially available instant oatmeal with added sugar (IO-S) or flavored instant oatmeal (IO-F). In the energy-restricted study, animals were given ad libitum access to the basal diet for 6 weeks. Subsequently, animals were assigned to one of six treatment groups for 6 weeks. One group was continued on the basal diet ad libitum. The remaining groups were maintained with energy restriction (70% ad libitum) on either the basal, MUNG, ROLL, IO-S, or IO-F diet. Subcutaneous fat pad mass was significantly higher (p<0.05) in the energy-restricted basal and IO-S groups compared with the energy-restricted ROLL diet. Similarly, visceral fat pad mass was significantly lower with ROLL and MUNG diets (p<0.05 for both) compared with basal and IO-S diets, and the insulin:glucose ratio was reduced (by 23% to 34%, p<0.05) in these two diets compared with all others. In ad libitum-fed animals, liver fatty acid synthase expression was 43% to 62% lower (p<0.05) with ROLL and MUNG diets compared with all others. These data suggest that a qualitative change in dietary carbohydrate source modulates body weight and adiposity.

  8. Plasma agouti-related protein levels in women with anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Moriya, Junko; Takimoto, Yoshiyuki; Yoshiuchi, Kazuhiro; Shimosawa, Tatsuo; Akabayashi, Akira

    2006-10-01

    Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is the competitive antagonist of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) located at melanocortin receptors 3 and 4 (MC3R and MC4R), and also acts as an MC4R inverse agonist. Hypothalamic AGRP controls food intake and body weight in rodents. It has also been found in human plasma. To study the possibility of disturbances in melanocortin receptor-related peptides in eating disorders, plasma AGRP, alpha-MSH, and leptin levels were measured in 18 female patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) (age, 23.5+/-7.1 yr; body mass index (BMI) 14.5+/-1.8 kg/m(2)) and 17 age-matched female controls (age, 25.8+/-3.9 yr; BMI 20.2+/-1.6 kg/m(2)). Blood samples were collected after overnight fasting, and plasma peptides levels were measured using ELISA. Plasma AGRP levels increased significantly in AN patients when compared with controls (P<0.01) while plasma alpha-MSH levels were not significantly different. Plasma leptin levels decreased significantly in AN patients when compared with controls (P<0.001). In addition, plasma AGRP levels were negatively correlated with leptin (r=-0.41, P<0.01) and BMI (r=-0.40, P<0.05) in all subjects. In conclusion, plasma AGRP elevation may be related to energy homeostasis disturbance in AN, and in addition to leptin, peripheral AGRP levels could be used as a nutritional marker in AN patients.

  9. Transient ectopic overexpression of agouti-signalling protein 1 (asip1) induces pigment anomalies in flatfish.

    PubMed

    Guillot, Raúl; Ceinos, Rosa Maria; Cal, Rosa; Rotllant, Josep; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel

    2012-01-01

    While flatfish in the wild exhibit a pronounced countershading of the dorso-ventral pigment pattern, malpigmentation is commonly observed in reared animals. In fish, the dorso-ventral pigment polarity is achieved because a melanization inhibition factor (MIF) inhibits melanoblast differentiation and encourages iridophore proliferation in the ventrum. A previous work of our group suggested that asip1 is the uncharacterized MIF concerned. In order to further support this hypothesis, we have characterized asip1 mRNAs in both turbot and sole and used deduced peptide alignments to analyze the evolutionary history of the agouti-family of peptides. The putative asip precursors have the characteristics of a secreted protein, displaying a putative hydrophobic signal. Processing of the potential signal peptide produces mature proteins that include an N-terminal region, a basic central domain with a high proportion of lysine residues as well as a proline-rich region that immediately precedes the C-terminal poly-cysteine domain. The expression of asip1 mRNA in the ventral area was significantly higher than in the dorsal region. Similarly, the expression of asip1 within the unpigmented patches in the dorsal skin of pseudoalbino fish was higher than in the pigmented dorsal regions but similar to those levels observed in the ventral skin. In addition, the injection/electroporation of asip1 capped mRNA in both species induced long term dorsal skin paling, suggesting the inhibition of the melanogenic pathways. The data suggest that fish asip1 is involved in the dorsal-ventral pigment patterning in adult fish, where it induces the regulatory asymmetry involved in precursor differentiation into mature chromatophore. Adult dorsal pseudoalbinism seems to be the consequence of the expression of normal developmental pathways in an inaccurate position that results in unbalanced asip1 production levels. This, in turn, generates a ventral-like differentiation environment in dorsal regions.

  10. Transient Ectopic Overexpression of Agouti-Signalling Protein 1 (Asip1) Induces Pigment Anomalies in Flatfish

    PubMed Central

    Cal, Rosa; Rotllant, Josep; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel

    2012-01-01

    While flatfish in the wild exhibit a pronounced countershading of the dorso-ventral pigment pattern, malpigmentation is commonly observed in reared animals. In fish, the dorso-ventral pigment polarity is achieved because a melanization inhibition factor (MIF) inhibits melanoblast differentiation and encourages iridophore proliferation in the ventrum. A previous work of our group suggested that asip1 is the uncharacterized MIF concerned. In order to further support this hypothesis, we have characterized asip1 mRNAs in both turbot and sole and used deduced peptide alignments to analyze the evolutionary history of the agouti-family of peptides. The putative asip precursors have the characteristics of a secreted protein, displaying a putative hydrophobic signal. Processing of the potential signal peptide produces mature proteins that include an N-terminal region, a basic central domain with a high proportion of lysine residues as well as a proline-rich region that immediately precedes the C-terminal poly-cysteine domain. The expression of asip1 mRNA in the ventral area was significantly higher than in the dorsal region. Similarly, the expression of asip1 within the unpigmented patches in the dorsal skin of pseudoalbino fish was higher than in the pigmented dorsal regions but similar to those levels observed in the ventral skin. In addition, the injection/electroporation of asip1 capped mRNA in both species induced long term dorsal skin paling, suggesting the inhibition of the melanogenic pathways. The data suggest that fish asip1 is involved in the dorsal-ventral pigment patterning in adult fish, where it induces the regulatory asymmetry involved in precursor differentiation into mature chromatophore. Adult dorsal pseudoalbinism seems to be the consequence of the expression of normal developmental pathways in an inaccurate position that results in unbalanced asip1 production levels. This, in turn, generates a ventral-like differentiation environment in dorsal regions

  11. Molecular characterization of a region of DNA associated with mutations at the agouti locus in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Bultman, S J; Russell, L B; Gutierrez-Espeleta, G A; Woychik, R P

    1991-09-15

    Molecular characterization of a radiation-induced agouti (a)-locus mutation has resulted in the isolation of a segment of DNA that maps at or near the a locus on chromosome 2 in the mouse. This region of DNA is deleted in several radiation- or chemical-induced homozygous-lethal a-locus mutations and is associated with specific DNA structural alterations in two viable a-locus mutations. We propose that DNA probes from this region of chromosome 2 will be useful for ultimately characterizing the individual gene or genes associated with a-locus function.

  12. Structure-Activity Relationship Studies on a Macrocyclic Agouti-Related Protein (AGRP) Scaffold Reveal Agouti Signaling Protein (ASP) Residue Substitutions Maintain Melanocortin-4 Receptor Antagonist Potency and Result in Inverse Agonist Pharmacology at the Melanocortin-5 Receptor.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mark D; Freeman, Katie T; Schnell, Sathya M; Fleming, Katlyn A; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie

    2017-10-04

    The melanocortin system consists of five reported receptors, agonists from the proopiomelanocortin gene transcript, and two antagonists, agouti-signaling protein (ASP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP). For both ASP and AGRP, the hypothesized Arg-Phe-Phe pharmacophores are on exposed β-hairpin loops. In this study, the Asn and Ala positions of a reported AGRP macrocyclic scaffold (c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe-DPro]) were explored with 14-compound and 8-compound libraries, respectively, to generate more potent, selective melanocortin receptor antagonists. Substituting diaminopropionic acid (Dap), DDap, and His at the Asn position yielded potent MC4R ligands, while replacing Ala with Ser maintained MC4R potency. Since these substitutions correlate to ASP loop residues, an additional Phe to Ala substitution was synthesized and observed to maintain MC4R potency. Seventeen compounds also possessed inverse agonist activity at the MC5R, the first report of this pharmacology. These findings are useful in developing molecular probes to study negative energy balance conditions and unidentified functions of the MC5R.

  13. Histochemical Characterization, Distribution and Morphometric Analysis of NADPH Diaphorase Neurons in the Spinal Cord of the Agouti

    PubMed Central

    Freire, Marco Aurélio M.; Tourinho, Suzane C.; Guimarães, Joanilson S.; Oliveira, Jorge Luiz F.; Picanço-Diniz, Cristovam W.; Gomes-Leal, Walace; Pereira, Antonio

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the neuropil distribution of the enzymes NADPH diaphorase (NADPH-d) and cytochrome oxidase (CO) in the spinal cord of the agouti, a medium-sized diurnal rodent, together with the distribution pattern and morphometrical characteristics of NADPH-d reactive neurons across different spinal segments. Neuropil labeling pattern was remarkably similar for both enzymes in coronal sections: reactivity was higher in regions involved with pain processing. We found two distinct types of NADPH-d reactive neurons in the agouti's spinal cord: type I neurons had large, heavily stained cell bodies while type II neurons displayed relatively small and poorly stained somata. We concentrated our analysis on type I neurons. These were found mainly in the dorsal horn and around the central canal of every spinal segment, with a few scattered neurons located in the ventral horn of both cervical and lumbar regions. Overall, type I neurons were more numerous in the cervical region. Type I neurons were also found in the white matter, particularly in the ventral funiculum. Morphometrical analysis revealed that type I neurons located in the cervical region have dendritic trees that are more complex than those located in both lumbar and thoracic regions. In addition, NADPH-d cells located in the ventral horn had a larger cell body, especially in lumbar segments. The resulting pattern of cell body and neuropil distribution is in accordance with proposed schemes of segregation of function in the mammalian spinal cord. PMID:18958200

  14. Who's behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat's Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed.

    PubMed

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-12-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (A(P) (be) ) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats. © 2014 The Authors. Animal Genetics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  15. Coat colours in the Massese sheep breed are associated with mutations in the agouti signalling protein (ASIP) and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) genes.

    PubMed

    Fontanesi, L; Dall'Olio, S; Beretti, F; Portolano, B; Russo, V

    2011-01-01

    Massese is an Italian dairy sheep breed characterized by animals with black skin and horns and black or apparent grey hairs. Owing to the presence of these two coat colour types, this breed can be considered an interesting model to evaluate the effects of coat colour gene polymorphisms on this phenotypic trait. Two main loci have been already shown to affect coat colour in sheep: Agouti and Extension coding for the agouti signalling protein (ASIP) and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) genes, respectively. The Agouti locus is affected by a large duplication including the ASIP gene that may determine the Agouti white and tan allele (A(Wt)). Other disrupting or partially inactivating mutations have been identified in exon 2 (a deletion of 5 bp, D(5); and a deletion of 9 bp, D(9)) and in exon 4 (g.5172T>A, p.C126S) of the ASIP gene. Three missense mutations in the sheep MC1R gene cause the dominant black E(D) allele (p.M73K and p.D121N) and the putative recessive e allele (p.R67C). Here, we analysed these ASIP and MC1R mutations in 161 Massese sheep collected from four flocks. The presence of one duplicated copy allele including the ASIP gene was associated with grey coat colour (P = 9.4E-30). Almost all animals with a duplicated copy allele (37 out of 41) showed uniform apparent grey hair and almost all animals without a duplicated allele (117 out of 120) were completely black. Different forms of duplicated alleles were identified in Massese sheep including, in almost all cases, copies with exon 2 disrupting or partially inactivating mutations making these alleles different from the A(Wt) allele. A few exceptions were observed in the association between ASIP polymorphisms and coat colour: three grey sheep did not carry any duplicated copy allele and four black animals carried a duplicated copy allele. Of the latter four sheep, two carried the E(D) allele of the MC1R gene that may be the cause of their black coat colour. The coat colour of all other black animals may be

  16. Agouti Related Peptide Secreted Via Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Upregulates Proteasome Activity in an Alzheimer’s Disease Model

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Na Kyung; Park, Sang Eon; Kwon, Soo Jin; Shim, Sangmi; Byeon, Yeji; Kim, Jong-Hwa; Na, Duk L.; Chang, Jong Wook

    2017-01-01

    The activity of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is downregulated in aggregation diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of the Agouti-related peptide (AgRP), which is secreted by human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in terms of its effect on the regulation of proteasome activity in AD. When SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells were co-cultured with MSCs isolated from human Wharton’s Jelly (WJ-MSC), their proteasome activity was significantly upregulated. Further analysis of the conditioned media after co-culture allowed us to identify significant concentrations of a neuropeptide, called AgRP. The stereotactic delivery of either WJ-MSCs or AgRP into the hippocampi of C57BL6/J and 5XFAD mice induced a significant increase of proteasome activity and suppressed the accumulation of ubiquitin-conjugated proteins. Collectively, these findings suggest strong therapeutic potential for WJ-MSCs and AgRP to enhance proteasome activity, thereby potentially reducing abnormal protein aggregation and delaying the clinical progression of various neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28051110

  17. Neuropeptide Y and agouti-related peptide mediate complementary functions of hyperphagia and reduced energy expenditure in leptin receptor deficiency.

    PubMed

    Luo, Na; Marcelin, Genevieve; Liu, Shun Mei; Schwartz, Gary; Chua, Streamson

    2011-03-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AGRP) can produce hyperphagia, reduce energy expenditure, and promote triglyceride deposition in adipose depots. As these two neuropeptides are coexpressed within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and mediate a major portion of the obesity caused by leptin signaling deficiency, we sought to determine whether the two neuropeptides mediated identical or complementary actions. Because of separate neuropeptide receptors and signal transduction mechanisms, there is a possibility of distinct encoding systems for the feeding and energy expenditure aspects of leptin-regulated metabolism. We have genetically added NPY deficiency and/or AGRP deficiency to LEPR deficiency isolated to AGRP cells. Our results indicate that the obesity of LEPR deficiency in AGRP/NPY neurons can produce obesity with either AGRP or NPY alone with AGRP producing hyperphagia while NPY promotes reduced energy expenditure. The absence of both NPY and AGRP prevents the development of obesity attributable to isolated LEPR deficiency in AGRP/NPY neurons. Operant behavioral testing indicated that there were no alterations in the reward for a food pellet from the AGRP-specific LEPR deficiency.

  18. PDK1-Foxo1 in Agouti-Related Peptide Neurons Regulates Energy Homeostasis by Modulating Food Intake and Energy Expenditure

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Yongheng; Nakata, Masanori; Okamoto, Shiki; Takano, Eisuke; Yada, Toshihiko; Minokoshi, Yasuhiko; Hirata, Yukio; Nakajima, Kazunori; Iskandar, Kristy; Hayashi, Yoshitake; Ogawa, Wataru; Barsh, Gregory S.; Hosoda, Hiroshi; Kangawa, Kenji; Itoh, Hiroshi; Noda, Tetsuo; Kasuga, Masato; Nakae, Jun

    2011-01-01

    Insulin and leptin intracellular signaling pathways converge and act synergistically on the hypothalamic phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase/3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1). However, little is known about whether PDK1 in agouti-related peptide (AGRP) neurons contributes to energy homeostasis. We generated AGRP neuron-specific PDK1 knockout (AGRPPdk1−/−) mice and mice with selective expression of transactivation-defective Foxo1 (Δ256Foxo1AGRPPdk1−/−). The AGRPPdk1−/− mice showed reductions in food intake, body length, and body weight. The Δ256Foxo1AGRPPdk1−/− mice showed increased body weight, food intake, and reduced locomotor activity. After four weeks of calorie-restricted feeding, oxygen consumption and locomotor activity were elevated in AGRPPdk1−/− mice and reduced in Δ256Foxo1AGRPPdk1−/− mice. In vitro, ghrelin-induced changes in [Ca2+]i and inhibition of ghrelin by leptin were significantly attenuated in AGRPPdk1−/− neurons compared to control neurons. However, ghrelin-induced [Ca2+]i changes and leptin inhibition were restored in Δ256Foxo1AGRPPdk1−/− mice. These results suggested that PDK1 and Foxo1 signaling pathways play important roles in the control of energy homeostasis through AGRP-independent mechanisms. PMID:21694754

  19. Characterization, tissue distribution and regulation of agouti-related protein (AgRP) in a cyprinid fish (Schizothorax prenanti).

    PubMed

    Wei, RongBin; Yuan, DengYue; Wang, Tao; Zhou, ChaoWei; Lin, FangJun; Chen, Hu; Wu, HongWei; Yang, ShiYong; Wang, Yan; Liu, Ju; Gao, YunDi; Li, ZhiQiong

    2013-09-15

    Agouti-related protein (AgRP) is an important neuropeptide involved in the regulation of feeding in both mammals and fish. In this study, we have cloned the full-length cDNA sequence for AgRP in a cyprinid fish (Schizothorax prenanti). The AgRP gene, encoding 126-amino acids, was strongly expressed in the brain. The AgRP gene was detected in embryos at developmental stages. Further, its mRNA was detectable in unfertilized eggs. An experiment was conducted to determine the expression profile of AgRP during short-term and long-term fasting of the hypothalamus. The expression level of AgRP in unfed fish was significantly increased at 3 and 4h post-fasting than in fed fish but did not affect AgRP mRNA expression after 14 days fasting. Overall, our results suggest that AgRP is a conserved peptide that might be involved in the regulation of short-term feeding and other physiological function in Schizothorax prenanti. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Divergent Regulation of Energy Expenditure and Hepatic Glucose Production by Insulin Receptor in Agouti-Related Protein and POMC Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hua V.; Plum, Leona; Ono, Hiraku; Gutiérrez-Juárez, Roger; Shanabrough, Marya; Borok, Erzsebet; Horvath, Tamas L.; Rossetti, Luciano; Accili, Domenico

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The sites of insulin action in the central nervous system that regulate glucose metabolism and energy expenditure are incompletely characterized. We have shown that mice with hypothalamic deficiency (L1) of insulin receptors (InsRs) fail to regulate hepatic glucose production (HGP) in response to insulin. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS To distinguish neurons that mediate insulin's effects on HGP from those that regulate energy homeostasis, we used targeted knock-ins to express InsRs in agouti-related protein (AgRP) or proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons of L1 mice. RESULTS Restoration of insulin action in AgRP neurons normalized insulin suppression of HGP. Surprisingly, POMC-specific InsR knock-in increased energy expenditure and locomotor activity, exacerbated insulin resistance and increased HGP, associated with decreased expression of the ATP-sensitive K+ channel (KATP channel) sulfonylurea receptor 1 subunit, and decreased inhibitory synaptic contacts on POMC neurons. CONCLUSIONS The contrasting phenotypes of InsR knock-ins in POMC and AgRP neurons suggest a branched-pathway model of hypothalamic insulin signaling in which InsR signaling in AgRP neurons decreases HGP, whereas InsR activation in POMC neurons promotes HGP and activates the melanocortinergic energy expenditure program. PMID:19933998

  1. [The influence of hyperleptinemia during pregnancy on fetal weight and obesity development in progeny mice with agouti yellow mutation].

    PubMed

    Makarova, E N; Syracheva, M S; Bazhan, N M

    2014-03-01

    Maternal obesity increases the risk of obesity in the offspring, and obesity is accompanied by an increase in blood leptin levels. Leptin can influence the progeny metabolism via its influence on fetal growth and, possibly, via its action on AgRP expression in placenta. The "yellow" mutation at the mouse agouti locus (A(y)) evokes obesity and increases blood leptin levels in pregnant mice. The aim was to examine the influence of A(y) mutation in pregnant mice on fetal weight, placental expression of AgRP gene and food intake and obesity development in progeny. A(y) pregnant females as compared to control ones had increased circulating leptin levels on days 13 and 18 of pregnancy. Both fetal weight and placental expression of AgRP gene were increased on day 13 of pregnancy and decreased on day 18 of pregnancy in A(y) females as compared to control ones. Both control (a/a) and obesity prone (A(y)/a) male young born to A(y) mothers had lowered body weight and enhanced food intake between 5 and 11 weeks of age as compared to male progeny of control mothers. The enhanced leptin levels during pregnancy in mice are associated with retardation of obesity development in obesity prone male offspring and with changes in fetal weight and AgRP gene expression in placenta.

  2. Analysis of agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene polymorphisms and association with coat color in Tibetan sheep (Ovis aries).

    PubMed

    Han, J L; Yang, M; Yue, Y J; Guo, T T; Liu, J B; Niu, C E; Yang, B H

    2015-02-06

    Tibetan sheep, an indigenous breed, have a wide variety of phenotypes and a colorful coat, which make this breed an interesting model for evaluating the effects of coat-color gene mutations on this phenotypic trait. The agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene is a positional candidate gene, as was inferred based on previous study. In our research, ASIP gene copy numbers in genomic DNA were detected using a novel approach, and the exon 2 g.100-104 mutation and copy number variation (CNV) of ASIP were associated with coat color in 256 sheep collected from eight populations with different coat colors by high-resolution melting curve assay. We found that the relative copy numbers of ASIP ranged from one to eight in Tibetan sheep. All of the g.100-104 genotypes in the populations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and there was no relationship between the g.100-104 genotype and coat color (P > 0.05). The single ASIP CNV allele was found to be almost entirely associated with solid-black coat color; however, not all solid-black sheep displayed the putative single ASIP CNV genotype. From our study, we speculate that the ASIP CNV is under great selective pressure and the single ASIP CNV allows selection for black coat color in Tibetan sheep, but this does not explain all black phenotypes in Tibetan sheep.

  3. Polymorphism of the goat agouti signaling protein gene and its relationship with coat color in Italian and Spanish breeds.

    PubMed

    Badaoui, B; D'Andrea, M; Pilla, F; Capote, J; Zidi, A; Jordana, J; Ferrando, A; Delgado, J V; Martínez, A; Vidal, O; Amills, M

    2011-08-01

    Agouti signaling protein (ASIP) is one of the key players in the modulation of hair pigmentation in mammals. Binding to the melanocortin 1 receptor, ASIP induces the synthesis of phaeomelanin, associated with reddish brown, red, tan, and yellow coats. We have sequenced 2.8 kb of the goat ASIP gene in 48 individuals and identified two missense (Cys126Gly and Val128Gly) and two intronic polymorphisms. In silico analysis revealed that the Cys126Gly substitution may cause a structural change by disrupting a highly conserved disulfide bond. We studied its segregation in 12 Spanish and Italian goat breeds (N = 360) with different pigmentation patterns and found striking differences in the frequency of the putative loss-of-function Gly(126) allele (Italian 0.43, Spanish Peninsular 0.08), but we did not observe a clear association with coat color. This suggests that the frequency of this putative loss-of-function allele has evolved under the influence of demographic rather than selection factors in goats from these two geographical areas.

  4. Epistatic Interaction of the Melanocortin 1 Receptor and Agouti Signaling Protein Genes Modulates Wool Color in the Brazilian Creole Sheep.

    PubMed

    Hepp, Diego; Gonçalves, Gislene Lopes; Moreira, Gilson Rudinei Pires; de Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena

    2016-11-01

    Different pigmentation genes have been associated with color diversity in domestic animal species. The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), agouti signaling protein (ASIP), tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1), and v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT) genes are candidate genes responsible for variation in wool color among breeds of sheep. Although the influence of these genes has been described in some breeds, in many others the effect of interactions among genes underlying wool color has not been investigated. The Brazilian Creole sheep is a local breed with a wide variety of wool color, ranging from black to white with several intermediate hues. We analyzed in this study the influence of the genes MC1R, ASIP, TYRP1, and KIT on the control of wool color in this breed. A total of 410 samples were analyzed, including 148 white and 262 colored individuals. The MC1R and ASIP polymorphisms were significantly associated with the segregation of either white or colored wool. The dominant MC1R allele (E(D) p.M73K and p.D121N) was present only in colored animals. All white individuals were homozygous for the MC1R recessive allele (E(+)) and carriers of the duplicated copy of ASIP A gene expression assay showed that only the carrier of the duplicated copy of ASIP produces increased levels in skin, not detectable in the single homozygous copy. These results demonstrate that the epistatic interaction of the genotypes in the MC1R and ASIP gene is responsible for the striking color variation in the Creole breed.

  5. Copy number variation and missense mutations of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene in goat breeds with different coat colors.

    PubMed

    Fontanesi, L; Beretti, F; Riggio, V; Gómez González, E; Dall'Olio, S; Davoli, R; Russo, V; Portolano, B

    2009-01-01

    In goats, classical genetic studies reported a large number of alleles at the Agouti locus with effects on coat color and pattern distribution. From these early studies, the dominant A(Wt) (white/tan) allele was suggested to cause the white color of the Saanen breed. Here, we sequenced the coding region of the goat ASIP gene in 6 goat breeds (Girgentana, Maltese, Derivata di Siria, Murciano-Granadina, Camosciata delle Alpi, and Saanen), with different coat colors and patterns. Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified, 3 of which caused missense mutations in conserved positions of the cysteine-rich carboxy-terminal domain of the protein (p.Ala96Gly, p.Cys126Gly, and p.Val128Gly). Allele and genotype frequencies suggested that these mutations are not associated or not completely associated with coat color in the investigated goat breeds. Moreover, genotyping and sequencing results, deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, as well as allele copy number evaluation from semiquantitative fluorescent multiplex PCR, indicated the presence of copy number variation (CNV) in all investigated breeds. To confirm the presence of CNV and evaluate its extension, we applied a bovine-goat cross-species array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) experiment using a custom tiling array based on bovine chromosome 13. aCGH results obtained for 8 goat DNA samples confirmed the presence of CNV affecting a region of less that 100 kb including the ASIP and AHCY genes. In Girgentana and Saanen breeds, this CNV might cause the A(Wt) allele, as already suggested for a similar structural mutation in sheep affecting the ASIP and AHCY genes, providing evidence for a recurrent interspecies CNV. However, other mechanisms may also be involved in determining coat color in these 2 breeds.

  6. Agouti revisited: transcript quantification of the ASIP gene in bovine tissues related to protein expression and localization.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Elke; Komolka, Katrin; Kuzinski, Judith; Maak, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    Beside its role in melanogenesis, the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) has been related to obesity. The potentially crucial role in adipocyte development makes it a tempting candidate for economic relevant, fat related traits in farm animals. The objective of our study was to characterize the mRNA expression of different ASIP transcripts and of putative targets in different bovine tissues, as well as to study consequences on protein abundance and localization. ASIP mRNA abundance was determined by RT-qPCR in adipose and further tissues of cattle representing different breeds and crosses. ASIP mRNA was up-regulated more than 9-fold in intramuscular fat of Japanese Black cattle compared to Holstein (p<0.001). Further analyses revealed that a transposon-derived transcript was solely responsible for the increased ASIP mRNA abundance. This transcript was observed in single individuals of different breeds indicating a wide spread occurrence of this insertion at the ASIP locus in cattle. The protein was detected in different adipose tissues, skin, lung and liver, but not in skeletal muscle by Western blot with a bovine-specific ASIP antibody. However, the protein abundance was not related to the observed ASIP mRNA over-expression. Immuno-histochemical analyses revealed a putative nuclear localization of ASIP additionally to the expected cytosolic signal in different cell types. The expression of melanocortin receptors (MCR) 1 to 5 as potential targets for ASIP was analyzed by RT-PCR in subcutaneous fat. Only MC1R and MC4R were detected indicating a similar receptor expression like in human adipose tissue. Our results provide evidence for a widespread expression of ASIP in bovine tissues at mRNA and, for the first time, at protein level. ASIP protein is detectable in adipocytes as well as in further cells of adipose tissue. We generated a basis for a more detailed investigation of ASIP function in peripheral tissues of various mammalian species.

  7. Long-Term Effects of (-)-Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) on Pristane-Induced Arthritis (PIA) in Female Dark Agouti Rats.

    PubMed

    Leichsenring, Anna; Bäcker, Ingo; Furtmüller, Paul G; Obinger, Christian; Lange, Franziska; Flemmig, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)--a widespread chronic inflammatory disease in industrialized countries--is characterized by a persistent and progressive joint destruction. The chronic pro-inflammatory state results from a mutual activation of the innate and the adaptive immune system, while the exact pathogenesis mechanism is still under discussion. New data suggest a role of the innate immune system and especially polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMNs, neutrophils) not only during onset and the destructive phase of RA but also at the chronification of the disease. Thereby the enzymatic activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO), a peroxidase strongly abundant in neutrophils, may be important: While its peroxidase activity is known to contribute to cartilage destruction at later stages of RA the almost MPO-specific oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is also discussed for certain anti-inflammatory effects. In this study we used pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) in Dark Agouti rats as a model for the chronic course of RA in man. We were able to shown that a specific detection of the HOCl-producing MPO activity provides a sensitive new marker to evaluate the actual systemic inflammatory status which is only partially detectable by the evaluation of clinical symptoms (joint swelling and redness measurements). Moreover, we evaluated the long-term pharmacological effect of the well-known anti-inflammatory flavonoid epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Thereby only upon early and continuous oral application of this polyphenol the arthritic symptoms were considerably diminished both in the acute and in the chronic phase of the disease. The obtained results were comparable to the treatment control (application of methotrexate, MTX). As revealed by stopped-flow kinetic measurements, EGCG may regenerate the HOCl-production of MPO which is known to be impaired at chronic inflammatory diseases like RA. It can be speculated that this MPO activity-promoting effect of EGCG may contribute to the

  8. Acute and long-term effects of a single dose of MDMA on aggression in Dark Agouti rats.

    PubMed

    Kirilly, Eszter; Benko, Anita; Ferrington, Linda; Ando, Romeo D; Kelly, Paul A T; Bagdy, Gyorgy

    2006-02-01

    MDMA causes selective depletion of serotonergic terminals in experimental animals and the consequent decrease in synaptic 5-HT may, inter alia, increase impulsivity. To study the effects of MDMA upon brain function, the behaviour of male Dark Agouti rats exposed to MDMA (15 mg/kg i.p.), two 5-HT1B agonists (CGS-12066A and CP-94,253, both 5 mg/kg i.p.) or saline were investigated in the resident-intruder test. Studies were performed in drug-naive rats and also in rats exposed to MDMA (15 mg/kg i.p.) 21 d earlier. In parallel experiments the functional neuroanatomy of MDMA effects were assessed using 2-deoxyglucose imaging of local cerebral metabolic rate of glucose utilization (LCMRGlu) and neurotoxicity was assessed by measuring [3H]paroxetine binding. There was no significant difference in aggressive behaviour (biting, boxing, wrestling and their latencies) between drug-naive rats and rats previously exposed to MDMA 21 d earlier, despite reduced social behaviour, decreased LCMRGlu in several brain areas involved in aggression, and reductions in paroxetine binding by 30-60% in the forebrain. CGS-12066A, CP-94,253 and acute MDMA produced marked decreases in aggressive behaviours, especially in biting, boxing and kicking found in drug-naive rats. In animals previously exposed to the drug, acute anti-aggressive effects of MDMA were, in general, preserved as were MDMA-induced increases in LCMRGlu. Our studies provide evidence that in the resident-intruder test, where social isolation is a requirement, aggressive behaviour and acute anti-aggressive effects of MDMA and 5-HT1B receptor agonists remain intact 3 wk after a single dose of the drug despite significant damage to the serotonergic system.

  9. Proopiomelanocortin, agouti-related protein, and leptin in human cerebrospinal fluid: correlations with body weight and adiposity

    PubMed Central

    Page-Wilson, Gabrielle; Meece, Kana; White, Anne; Rosenbaum, Michael; Leibel, Rudolph L.; Smiley, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Leptin and its neuronal targets, which produce proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP), regulate energy balance. This study characterized leptin, POMC, and AgRP in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 47 healthy human subjects, 23 lean and 24 overweight/obese (OW/OB), as related to BMI, adiposity, plasma leptin, soluble leptin receptor (s-OB-R), and insulin. POMC was measured since the POMC prohormone is the predominant POMC peptide in CSF and correlates with hypothalamic POMC in rodents. Plasma AgRP was similarly characterized. CSF leptin was 83-fold lower than in plasma and correlated strongly with BMI, body fat, and insulin. The relative amount of leptin transported into CSF declined with increasing BMI, ranging from 4.5 to 0.52%, consistent with a saturable transport mechanism. CSF sOB-R was 78-fold lower than in plasma and correlated negatively with plasma and CSF leptin. CSF POMC was higher in lean vs. OW/OB subjects (P < 0.001) and correlated negatively with CSF leptin (r = −0.60, P < 0.001) and with plasma leptin, insulin, BMI, and adiposity. CSF AgRP was not different in lean vs. OW/OB; however, plasma AgRP was higher in lean subjects (P = 0.001) and correlated negatively with BMI, adiposity, leptin, insulin, and HOMA (P < 0.005). Thus, CSF measurements may provide useful biomarkers for brain leptin and POMC activity. The striking negative correlation between CSF leptin and POMC could be secondary to leptin resistance and/or neuronal changes associated with obesity but may also indicate that POMC plays a primary role in regulating body weight and adiposity. The role of plasma AgRP as a neuroendocrine biomarker deserves further study. PMID:26152765

  10. Function of neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein at weaning: relation to corticosterone, dietary carbohydrate and body weight.

    PubMed

    Leibowitz, Sarah F; Sepiashvili, Kate; Akabayashi, Akira; Karatayev, Olga; Davydova, Zoya; Alexander, Jesline T; Wang, Jian; Chang, Guo-Qing

    2005-03-02

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP), potent stimulants of feeding, have been linked in adult rats to both corticosterone (CORT) and dietary carbohydrate. To understand the significance of this relationship early in life, measurements were taken of these parameters at different ages around weaning, in rats given a choice of macronutrient diets or maintained on a carbohydrate-rich diet. The results demonstrate that, in both male and female rat pups, the expression and production of NPY and AgRP in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) peak on postnatal day 21 (P21), compared to P15 before weaning and P27 after weaning. These elevated levels of peptide were associated with peak levels of CORT and glucose and also a strong, natural preference for carbohydrate at weaning, which accounted for 55-65% of the pups' total diet. In subgroups defined by their body weight at these stages, rats with as little as 4% lower body weight (compared to higher weight pups) had 30-60% greater expression of NPY and AgRP in the ARC and elevated levels of CORT, with no difference in leptin or insulin. This response was significantly more pronounced at P21 than at P15 or P27. The importance of carbohydrate during this stage was suggested by additional results showing elevated NPY expression, CORT levels, body weight and inguinal fat pad weights in P27 pups raised on a 65% carbohydrate diet vs. 45% carbohydrate. These results suggest that hypothalamic NPY and AgRP, together with CORT, have glucoregulatory as well as feeding stimulatory functions that help mediate the transition from suckling of a fat-rich diet to independent feeding of a carbohydrate-rich diet. During this critical period, the carbohydrate together with the peptides and CORT provide the important signals, including elevated glucose, that promote de novo lipogenesis and enable weanling animals to survive periods of food deprivation.

  11. Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Peptide mRNA is Elevated During Natural and Stress-Induced Anorexia.

    PubMed

    Dunn, I C; Wilson, P W; D'Eath, R B; Boswell, T

    2015-09-01

    As part of their natural lives, animals can undergo periods of voluntarily reduced food intake and body weight (i.e. animal anorexias) that are beneficial for survival or breeding, such as during territorial behaviour, hibernation, migration and incubation of eggs. For incubation, a change in the defended level of body weight or 'sliding set point' appears to be involved, although the neural mechanisms reponsible for this are unknown. We investigated how neuropeptide gene expression in the arcuate nucleus of the domestic chicken responded to a 60-70% voluntary reduction in food intake measured both after incubation and after an environmental stressor involving transfer to unfamiliar housing. We hypothesised that gene expression would not change in these circumstances because the reduced food intake and body weight represented a defended level in birds with free access to food. Unexpectedly, we observed increased gene expression of the orexigenic peptide agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in both incubating and transferred animals compared to controls. Also pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA was higher in incubating hens and significantly increased 6 days after exposure to the stressor. Conversely expression of neuropeptide Y and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript gene was unchanged in both experimental situations. We conclude that AgRP expression remains sensitive to the level of energy stores during natural anorexias, which is of adaptive advantage, although its normal orexigenic effects are over-ridden by inhibitory signals. In the case of stress-induced anorexia, increased POMC may contribute to this inhibitory role, whereas, for incubation, reduced feeding may also be associated with increased expression in the hypothalamus of the anorexigenic peptide vasoactive intestinal peptide.

  12. Rapid development of semistarvation-induced hyperactivity in Dark Agouti rats. Excessive wheel running and effect of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

    PubMed

    Vidal, Pedro; Pérez-Padilla, Ángeles; Pellón, Ricardo

    2013-02-01

    Clinical studies have found that patients with anorexia develop high activity levels. These data suggest a possible implication of activity in the aetiology of anorexia and are in line with findings obtained in animals during experimental procedures to model interactions between activity and weight loss. Activity-based anorexia (ABA) and semistarvation-induced hyperactivity (SIH) develop when laboratory rats have food access restricted to a single period in the day and are given free access to an activity wheel. This experiment sought to show the effect on weight loss of the excessive activity normally seen in Dark Agouti rats and of hyperactivity induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). To this end, 32 female rats of the Dark Agouti strain were selected and divided into four groups in accordance with a 2 × 2 factorial design, in which one factor was treatment (saline or MDMA) and the other was access or lack of access to an activity wheel. Animals with wheel running access displayed a marked increase in running combined with accelerated weight loss. Although pharmacological treatment resulted in no observable effect on weight loss, rats treated with 12.5mg/kg MDMA generally registered more wheel running than did those treated with saline. Analysis of data on the temporal distribution of wheel running revealed an alteration in circadian activity patterns as a consequence of MDMA. These results, by showing a general high level of wheel running in Dark Agouti rats, once again emphasise the close relationship between activity and weight loss in the development of SIH and related phenomena such as ABA.

  13. A missense mutation in the agouti signaling protein gene (ASIP) is associated with the no light points coat phenotype in donkeys.

    PubMed

    Abitbol, Marie; Legrand, Romain; Tiret, Laurent

    2015-04-08

    Seven donkey breeds are recognized by the French studbook and are characterized by a black, bay or grey coat colour including light cream-to-white points (LP). Occasionally, Normand bay donkeys give birth to dark foals that lack LP and display the no light points (NLP) pattern. This pattern is more frequent and officially recognized in American miniature donkeys. The LP (or pangare) phenotype resembles that of the light bellied agouti pattern in mouse, while the NLP pattern resembles that of the mammalian recessive black phenotype; both phenotypes are associated with the agouti signaling protein gene (ASIP). We used a panel of 127 donkeys to identify a recessive missense c.349 T > C variant in ASIP that was shown to be in complete association with the NLP phenotype. This variant results in a cysteine to arginine substitution at position 117 in the ASIP protein. This cysteine is highly-conserved among vertebrate ASIP proteins and was previously shown by mutagenesis experiments to lie within a functional site. Altogether, our results strongly support that the identified mutation is causative of the NLP phenotype. Thus, we propose to name the c.[349 T > C] allele in donkeys, the a(nlp) allele, which enlarges the panel of coat colour alleles in donkeys and ASIP recessive loss-of-function alleles in animals.

  14. Electroacupuncture Improves Insulin Resistance by Reducing Neuroprotein Y/Agouti-Related Protein Levels and Inhibiting Expression of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B in Diet-induced Obese Rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xia; He, Jun-Feng; Qu, Ya-Ting; Liu, Zhi-Jun; Pu, Qing-Yang; Guo, Sheng-Tong; Du, Jia; Jiang, Peng-Fei

    2016-04-01

    Electroacupuncture (EA) has been shown to exert beneficial effects on obesity, but the mechanism is unclear. This study investigated the effects of EA on diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into low-fat diet (LFD, 10 rats) and high-fat diet (HFD, 40 rats) groups. After the DIO models had been established, successful model rats were randomly divided into HFD, EA, and orlistat (OLST) groups. The EA group received EA at Zusanli (ST36) and Quchi (LI11) for 20 minutes once per day for 28 days. The OLST group was treated with orlistat by gavage. The body weight, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index, adipocyte diameters, and neuroprotein Y/agouti-related protein and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B levels were significantly lower in the EA group than in the HFD group. The rats of the OLST group showed watery stools and yellow hairs whereas those of the EA group had regular stools and sleek coats. The effect of EA on weight loss may be related to improved insulin resistance caused by changes in the adipocyte size and by reductions in the expressions of neuroprotein Y/agouti-related protein and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B. This study indicates that EA may be a better method of alternative therapy for treating obesity and other metabolic diseases.

  15. Agouti Revisited: Transcript Quantification of the ASIP Gene in Bovine Tissues Related to Protein Expression and Localization

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Elke; Komolka, Katrin; Kuzinski, Judith; Maak, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    Beside its role in melanogenesis, the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) has been related to obesity. The potentially crucial role in adipocyte development makes it a tempting candidate for economic relevant, fat related traits in farm animals. The objective of our study was to characterize the mRNA expression of different ASIP transcripts and of putative targets in different bovine tissues, as well as to study consequences on protein abundance and localization. ASIP mRNA abundance was determined by RT-qPCR in adipose and further tissues of cattle representing different breeds and crosses. ASIP mRNA was up-regulated more than 9-fold in intramuscular fat of Japanese Black cattle compared to Holstein (p<0.001). Further analyses revealed that a transposon-derived transcript was solely responsible for the increased ASIP mRNA abundance. This transcript was observed in single individuals of different breeds indicating a wide spread occurrence of this insertion at the ASIP locus in cattle. The protein was detected in different adipose tissues, skin, lung and liver, but not in skeletal muscle by Western blot with a bovine-specific ASIP antibody. However, the protein abundance was not related to the observed ASIP mRNA over-expression. Immuno-histochemical analyses revealed a putative nuclear localization of ASIP additionally to the expected cytosolic signal in different cell types. The expression of melanocortin receptors (MCR) 1 to 5 as potential targets for ASIP was analyzed by RT-PCR in subcutaneous fat. Only MC1R and MC4R were detected indicating a similar receptor expression like in human adipose tissue. Our results provide evidence for a widespread expression of ASIP in bovine tissues at mRNA and, for the first time, at protein level. ASIP protein is detectable in adipocytes as well as in further cells of adipose tissue. We generated a basis for a more detailed investigation of ASIP function in peripheral tissues of various mammalian species. PMID:22530003

  16. Regulation of Agouti-Related Protein and Pro-Opiomelanocortin Gene Expression in the Avian Arcuate Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Boswell, Timothy; Dunn, Ian C.

    2017-01-01

    The arcuate nucleus is generally conserved across vertebrate taxa in its neuroanatomy and neuropeptide expression. Gene expression of agouti-related protein (AGRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) has been established in the arcuate nucleus of several bird species and co-localization demonstrated for AGRP and NPY. The proteins encoded by these genes exert comparable effects on food intake in birds after central administration to those seen in other vertebrates, with AGRP and NPY being orexigenic and CART and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone anorexigenic. We have focused on the measurement of arcuate nucleus AGRP and POMC expression in several avian models in relation to the regulation of energy balance, incubation, stress, and growth. AGRP mRNA and POMC mRNA are, respectively, up- and downregulated after energy deprivation and restriction. This suggests that coordinated changes in the activity of AGRP and POMC neurons help to drive the homeostatic response to replace depleted energy stores in birds as in other vertebrates. While AGRP and POMC expression are generally positively and negatively correlated with food intake, respectively, we review here situations in some avian models in which AGRP gene expression is dissociated from the level of food intake and may have an influence on growth independent of changes in appetite. This suggests the possibility that the central melanocortin system exerts more pleiotropic functions in birds. While the neuroanatomical arrangement of AGRP and POMC neurons and the sensitivity of their activity to nutritional state appear generally conserved with other vertebrates, detailed knowledge is lacking of the key nutritional feedback signals acting on the avian arcuate nucleus and there appear to be significant differences between birds and mammals. In particular, recently identified avian leptin genes show differences between bird species in their tissue

  17. Cerebrospinal Fluid Levels of Leptin, Proopiomelanocortin, and Agouti-Related Protein in Human Pregnancy: Evidence for Leptin Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Page-Wilson, Gabrielle; Reitman-Ivashkov, Elena; Meece, Kana; White, Anne; Rosenbaum, Michael; Smiley, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    Context: Leptin suppresses appetite by modulating the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides including proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP). Yet during pregnancy, caloric consumption increases despite elevated plasma leptin levels. Design and Participants: To investigate this paradox, we measured leptin and soluble leptin receptor in plasma and leptin, POMC, and AgRP in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 21 fasting pregnant women before delivery by cesarean section at a university hospital and from 14 fasting nonpregnant women. Results: Prepregnancy body mass index was 24.6 ± 1.1 (se) vs. 31.3 ± 1.3 at term vs. 26.5 ± 1.6 kg/m2 in controls. Plasma leptin (32.9 ± 4.6 vs. 16.7 ± 3.0 ng/ml) and soluble leptin receptor (30.9 ± 2.3 vs. 22.1 ± 1.4 ng/ml) levels were significantly higher in pregnant women. However, mean CSF leptin did not differ between the two groups (283 ± 34 vs. 311 ± 32 pg/ml), consistent with a relative decrease in leptin transport into CSF during pregnancy. Accordingly, the CSF/plasma leptin percentage was 1.0 ± 0.01% in pregnant subjects vs. 2.1 ± 0.2% in controls (P < 0.0001). Mean CSF AgRP was significantly higher in pregnant subjects (32.3 ± 2.7 vs. 23.5 ± 2.5 pg/ml; P = 0.03). Mean CSF POMC was not significantly different in pregnant subjects (200 ± 13.6 vs. 229 ± 17.3 fmol/ml; P = 0.190). However, the mean AgRP/POMC ratio was significantly higher among pregnant women (P = 0.003), consistent with an overall decrease in melanocortin tone favoring increased food intake during pregnancy. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that despite peripheral hyperleptinemia, positive energy balance is achieved during pregnancy by a relative decrease in central leptin concentrations and resistance to leptin's effects on target neuropeptides that regulate energy balance. PMID:23118421

  18. The high glycemic index diet was an independent predictor to explain changes in agouti-related protein in obese adolescents.

    PubMed

    Dal Molin Netto, Bárbara; Landi Masquio, Deborah Cristina; Da Silveira Campos, Raquel Munhoz; De Lima Sanches, Priscila; Campos Corgosinho, Flavia; Tock, Lian; Missae Oyama, Lila; Túlio de Mello, Marco; Tufik, Sergio; Dâmaso, Ana Raimunda

    2014-02-01

    La Dieta de alto índice glucémico es un predictor independiente para explicar los cambios en la proteína relacionada al agouti en adolescentes obesos. Introducción y objetivos: El papel de la dieta de índice glucémico (GI) en el control de los factores orexigénicos y anorexígenos del balance de energía todavía no está claro. El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo evaluar si la dieta habitual, de acuerdo con diferentes alimentos con IG, ejerce influencia sobre la regulación de los marcadores del balance de energía y los efectos de la intervención interdisciplinaria en adolescentes obesos. Métodos: Un total de 55 adolescentes obesos, con edades de 14 a 19 años, han sido sometidos a un año de tratamiento interdisciplinario y se dividieron en dos grupos, de acuerdo al patrón de dieta predominante de la ingesta de alimentos: el grupo IG alto (H-GI; n = 29) y GI moderada/bajo grupo (M/L-GI, n = 26). Resultados: La concentración de orexigenic factor de AgRP (p < 0,01), la grasa visceral (p = 0,04) y la relación visceral/ subcutánea (p = 0,03) fueron mayores en el grupo de HGI en comparación con el grupo M/L-GI. Por otra parte, el consumo habitual de alimentos H-GI fue un predictor independiente para explicar los cambios en las concentraciones de AgRP. Después de un año de tratamiento interdisciplinario, los adolescentes presentan una reducción significativa en el peso corporal, la grasa corporal total (%), visceral y la grasa subcutánea y el HOMA-IR, así como un aumento significativo de la masa libre de grasa (%). Conclusiones: Nuestros resultados pueden sugerir que la dieta H-GI habitual podría upregulate vías orexigénicos, contribuyendo al círculo vicioso entre las dietas indeseables, desregula el equilibrio energético y predisponen a la obesidad. Uno por otro lado, un año de tratamiento interdisciplinario puede perfil metabólico mejora significativa y la obesidad central en los adolescentes.

  19. Agouti signalling protein is an inverse agonist to the wildtype and agonist to the melanic variant of the melanocortin-1 receptor in the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).

    PubMed

    McRobie, Helen R; King, Linda M; Fanutti, Cristina; Symmons, Martyn F; Coussons, Peter J

    2014-06-27

    The melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) is a key regulator of mammalian pigmentation. Melanism in the grey squirrel is associated with an eight amino acid deletion in the mutant melanocortin-1 receptor with 24 base pair deletion (MC1RΔ24) variant. We demonstrate that the MC1RΔ24 exhibits a higher basal activity than the wildtype MC1R (MC1R-wt). We demonstrate that agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is an inverse agonist to the MC1R-wt but is an agonist to the MC1RΔ24. We conclude that the deletion in the MC1RΔ24 leads to a receptor with a high basal activity which is further activated by ASIP. This is the first report of ASIP acting as an agonist to MC1R. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Description of a new species of Ixodes Latreille, 1795 (Acari: Ixodidae) and redescription of I. lasallei Méndez & Ortiz, 1958, parasites of agoutis and pacas (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae, Cuniculidae) in Central and South America.

    PubMed

    Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Bermúdez, Sergio E

    2017-05-01

    Ixodes bocatorensis n. sp. (Acari: Ixodidae), is described based on adults ex agoutis (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae), pacas (Rodentia: Cuniculidae) and "tapir and sloth" (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae and Pilosa) from Colombia, Panama and Venezuela. Adults of I. bocatorensis n. sp. are similar to those of I. lasallei Méndez & Ortiz, 1958 but can be distinguished by the scutum dimensions, punctation pattern, gnathosoma and palpi measurements and their ratios, basis capituli anterior angle and shape of the spur of palpal segment I ventrally. For comparative purposes the female of I. lasallei is redescribed and the true male of this species is described for the first time. Studied adults of I. lasallei were found on agoutis, pacas and ocelot (Carnivora: Felidae) in Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

  1. Solid-phase peptide head-to-side chain cyclodimerization: discovery of C(2)-symmetric cyclic lactam hybrid α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH)/agouti-signaling protein (ASIP) analogues with potent activities at the human melanocortin receptors.

    PubMed

    Mayorov, Alexander V; Cai, Minying; Palmer, Erin S; Liu, Zhihua; Cain, James P; Vagner, Josef; Trivedi, Dev; Hruby, Victor J

    2010-10-01

    A novel hybrid melanocortin pharmacophore was designed based on the pharmacophores of the agouti-signaling protein (ASIP), an endogenous melanocortin antagonist, and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), an endogenous melanocortin agonist. The designed hybrid ASIP/MSH pharmacophore was explored in monomeric cyclic, and cyclodimeric templates. The monomeric cyclic disulfide series yielded peptides with hMC3R-selective non-competitive binding affinities. The direct on-resin peptide lactam cyclodimerization yielded nanomolar range (25-120 nM) hMC1R-selective full and partial agonists in the cyclodimeric lactam series which demonstrates an improvement over the previous attempts at hybridization of MSH and agouti protein sequences. The secondary structure-oriented pharmacophore hybridization strategy will prove useful in development of unique allosteric and orthosteric melanocortin receptor modulators. This report also illustrates the utility of peptide cyclodimerization for the development of novel GPCR peptide ligands.

  2. Cytochrome P450 dependent metabolism of the new designer drug 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP). In vivo studies in Wistar and Dark Agouti rats as well as in vitro studies in human liver microsomes.

    PubMed

    Staack, Roland F; Paul, Liane D; Springer, Dietmar; Kraemer, Thomas; Maurer, Hans H

    2004-01-15

    1-(3-Trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP) is a designer drug with serotonergic properties. Previous studies with male Wistar rats (WI) had shown, that TFMPP was metabolized mainly by aromatic hydroxylation. In the current study, it was examined whether this reaction may be catalyzed by cytochrome P450 (CYP)2D6 by comparing TFMPP vs. hydroxy TFMPP ratios in urine from female Dark Agouti rats, a model of the human CYP2D6 poor metabolizer phenotype (PM), male Dark Agouti rats, an intermediate model, and WI, a model of the human CYP2D6 extensive metabolizer phenotype. Furthermore, the human hepatic CYPs involved in TFMPP hydroxylation were identified using cDNA-expressed CYPs and human liver microsomes. Finally, TFMPP plasma levels in the above mentioned rats were compared. The urine studies suggested that TFMPP hydroxylation might be catalyzed by CYP2D6 in humans. Studies using human CYPs showed that CYP1A2, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 catalyzed TFMPP hydroxylation, with CYP2D6 being the most important enzyme accounting for about 81% of the net intrinsic clearance, calculated using the relative activity factor approach. The hydroxylation was significantly inhibited by quinidine (77%) and metabolite formation in poor metabolizer genotype human liver microsomes was significantly lower (63%) compared to pooled human liver microsomes. Analysis of the plasma samples showed that female Dark Agouti rats exhibited significantly higher TFMPP plasma levels compared to those of male Dark Agouti rats and WI. Furthermore, pretreatment of WI with the CYP2D inhibitor quinine resulted in significantly higher TFMPP plasma levels. In conclusion, the presented data give hints for possible differences in pharmacokinetics in human PM and human CYP2D6 extensive metabolizer phenotype subjects relevant for risk assessment.

  3. Black agouti (ACI) rats show greater drug- and cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behavior than Fischer 344 and Lewis rats.

    PubMed

    Xi, Jinlei; Kruzich, Paul J

    2007-05-01

    Fischer 344 (F344) and Lewis (LEW) rats differ in methamphetamine self-administration (SA) and methamphetamine-induced reinstatement of previously extinguished behavior. We sought to determine whether genetic background also influences methamphetamine reinforcement efficacy, conditioned reinstatement, and methamphetamine-primed reinstatement of responding in F344, LEW, and Black Agouti (ACI) rats. We implanted rats with jugular catheters and trained them to self-administer methamphetamine (0.06 mg/kg/infusion) under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement during daily 2-h SA sessions. A compound stimulus (light+tone; LT) was paired with each infusion. Dose-dependent intake was determined for each rat. Rats then entered the extinction phase of the experiment where responding resulted in no programmed consequences. Following extinction sessions, rats underwent conditioned reinstatement testing. For conditioned reinstatement, rats received response-contingent presentations of the LT and no methamphetamine. Last, methamphetamine-primed reinstatement test sessions where conducted where subjects received experimenter delivered infusions of methamphetamine (0.06, 0.12, or 0.24 mg/kg). The strains did not differ in PR responding across the doses tested. The ACI rats demonstrated the highest behavioral output during extinction training, conditioned- and methamphetamine-primed reinstatement of previously extinguished behavior compared to the other strains. These data suggest that genetic background differentially influences extinction, conditioned reinstatement and methamphetamine-primed reinstatement in rats.

  4. A Macrocyclic Agouti-Related Protein/[Nle(4),DPhe(7)]α-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Chimeric Scaffold Produces Subnanomolar Melanocortin Receptor Ligands.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mark D; Freeman, Katie T; Schnell, Sathya M; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie

    2017-01-26

    The melanocortin system consists of five receptor subtypes, endogenous agonists, and naturally occurring antagonists. These receptors and ligands have been implicated in numerous biological pathways including processes linked to obesity and food intake. Herein, a truncation structure-activity relationship study of chimeric agouti-related protein (AGRP)/[Nle4,DPhe7]α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (NDP-MSH) ligands is reported. The tetrapeptide His-DPhe-Arg-Trp or tripeptide DPhe-Arg-Trp replaced the Arg-Phe-Phe sequence in the AGRP active loop derivative c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Xxx-Ala-Phe-DPro], where Xxx was the native Asn of AGRP or a diaminopropionic (Dap) acid residue previously shown to increase antagonist potency at the mMC4R. The Phe, Ala, and Dap/Asn residues were successively removed to generate a 14-member library that was assayed for agonist activity at the mouse MC1R, MC3R, MC4R, and MC5R. Two compounds possessed nanomolar agonist potency at the mMC4R, c[Pro-His-DPhe-Arg-Trp-Asn-Ala-Phe-DPro] and c[Pro-His-DPhe-Arg-Trp-Dap-Ala-DPro], and may be further developed to generate novel melanocortin probes and ligands for understanding and treating obesity.

  5. Defining MC1R regulation in human melanocytes by its agonist α-melanocortin and antagonists agouti signaling protein and β-defensin 3.

    PubMed

    Swope, Viki B; Jameson, Joshua A; McFarland, Kevin L; Supp, Dorothy M; Miller, William E; McGraw, Dennis W; Patel, Mira A; Nix, Matthew A; Millhauser, Glenn L; Babcock, George F; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A

    2012-09-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a G(s) protein-coupled receptor, has an important role in human pigmentation. We investigated the regulation of expression and activity of the MC1R in primary human melanocyte cultures. Human β-defensin 3 (HBD3) acted as an antagonist for MC1R, inhibiting the α-melanocortin (α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH))-induced increase in the activities of adenylate cyclase and tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme for melanogenesis. α-Melanocortin and forskolin, which activate adenylate cyclase, and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, which activates protein kinase C, increased, whereas exposure to UV radiation reduced, MC1R gene and membrane protein expression. Brief treatment with α-MSH resulted in MC1R desensitization, whereas continuous treatment up to 3 hours caused a steady rise in cAMP, suggesting receptor recycling. Pretreatment with agouti signaling protein or HBD3 prohibited responsiveness to α-MSH, but not forskolin, suggesting receptor desensitization by these antagonists. Melanocytes from different donors expressed different levels of the G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) 2, 3, 5, and 6, as well as β-arrestin 1. Therefore, in addition to the MC1R genotype, regulation of MC1R expression and activity is expected to affect human pigmentation and the responses to UV.

  6. Molecular and genetic characterization of a radiation-induced structural rearrangement in mouse chromosome 2 causing mutations at the limb deformity and agouti loci.

    PubMed

    Woychik, R P; Generoso, W M; Russell, L B; Cain, K T; Cacheiro, N L; Bultman, S J; Selby, P B; Dickinson, M E; Hogan, B L; Rutledge, J C

    1990-04-01

    Molecular characterization of mutations in the mouse, particularly those involving agent-induced major structural alterations, is proving to be useful for correlating the structure and expression of individual genes with their function in the whole organism. Here we present the characterization of a radiation-induced mutation that simultaneously generated distinct alleles of both the limb deformity (ld) and agouti (a) loci, two developmentally important regions of chromosome 2 normally separated by 20 centimorgans. Cytogenetic analysis revealed that an interstitial segment of chromosome 17 (17B- 17C; or, possibly, 17A2-17B) had been translocated into the distal end of chromosome 2, resulting in a smaller-than-normal chromosome 17 (designated 17del) and a larger form of chromosome 2 (designated 2(17). Additionally, a large interstitial segment of the 2(17) chromosome, immediately adjacent and proximal to the insertion site, did not match bands 2E4-2H1 at corresponding positions on a normal chromosome 2. Molecular analysis detected a DNA rearrangement in which a portion of the ld locus was joined to sequences normally tightly linked to the a locus. This result, along with the genetic and cytogenetic data, suggests that the alleles of ld and a in this radiation-induced mutation, designated ldIn2 and ajIn2, were associated with DNA breaks caused by an inversion of an interstitial segment in the 2(17) chromosome.

  7. The influence of pharmacogenetics on opioid analgesia: studies with codeine and oxycodone in the Sprague-Dawley/Dark Agouti rat model.

    PubMed

    Cleary, J; Mikus, G; Somogyi, A; Bochner, F

    1994-12-01

    In the Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat, the O-demethylation of codeine to morphine is catalyzed by cytochrome P4502D1 (CYP2D1), which is absent in the female Dark Agouti (DA) rat. Oxycodone is similar in structure to codeine but, in contrast, has an analgesic potency in humans similar to morphine. The aim of the study was to test whether the DA rat and the SD rat pretreated with the CYP2D1 inhibitor quinine showed attenuation in analgesia to codeine and oxycodone. With the use of the tail flick model, dose-response curves were constructed to codeine, morphine, oxycodone and oxymorphone (the O-demethylated metabolite of oxycodone) in both rat strains. Codeine did not induce analgesia in the DA rat and there was a 60% reduction in codeine analgesia in the SD rat pretreated with quinine in comparison to the untreated SD rat. In the DA rat, the ED50 to oxycodone was increased 10-fold but there was a significant (P = .0001) prolongation in the duration of analgesia in comparison to that in the untreated SD rat. In the quinine-pretreated SD rat, there was no reduction in oxycodone analgesia but the duration of analgesia was also prolonged. It was concluded that 1) codeine-mediated analgesia requires the formation of morphine through the functional activity of CYP2D1 and 2) oxycodone-mediated analgesia may only be partly dependent on CYP2D1.

  8. Signal transducer and activator of transcription (stat) binding sites but not stat3 are required for fasting-induced transcription of agouti-related protein messenger ribonucleic acid.

    PubMed

    Kaelin, Christopher B; Gong, Lijie; Xu, Allison Wanting; Yao, Fayi; Hockman, Kristin; Morton, Gregory J; Schwartz, Michael W; Barsh, Gregory S; MacKenzie, Robert G

    2006-10-01

    Energy homeostasis depends on the regulation of hypothalamic neurons by leptin, an adipocyte hormone whose circulating levels communicate body energy stores. Leptin activates the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) in hypothalamic neurons, including neuronal subtypes producing Agouti-related protein (Agrp), a neuropeptide that stimulates feeding. Previous studies have suggested a model in which high levels of Agrp transcription during fasting represent a default state that is actively repressed by phospho-Stat3 induced by leptin signaling in the fed state. We identify putative Stat3 binding elements in the Agrp promoter that have been highly conserved during vertebrate evolution. Using a reporter assay in transgenic mice that faithfully recapitulates normal regulation of Agrp, we show that these sites are required, but in a way opposite to that predicted by the existing model: mutation of the sites leads to a default state characterized by a low level of Agrp transcription and insensitivity to fasting. We also find that removing activatable Stat3 from Agrp neurons has no detectable effect on steady-state levels of Agrp mRNA in the fed or fasted state. These results suggest a new model for transcriptional regulation of orexigenic neuropeptides in which the default level of expression is low in the fed state, and transcriptional activation in response to fasting is mediated by factors other than Stat3.

  9. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Controls Ingestive Behavior, Agouti-Related Protein, and Neuropeptide Y mRNA in the Arcuate Hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Garretson, John T.; Teubner, Brett J.W.; Grove, Kevin L.; Vazdarjanova, Almira; Ryu, Vitaly

    2015-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is clinically targeted for type II diabetes treatment; however, rosiglitazone (ROSI), a PPARγ agonist, increases food intake and body/fat mass as side-effects. Mechanisms for these effects and the role of PPARγ in feeding are not understood. Therefore, we tested this role in Siberian hamsters, a model of human energy balance, and C57BL/6 mice. We tested the following: (1) how ROSI and/or GW9662 (2-chloro-5-nitro-N-phenylbenzamide; PPARγ antagonist) injected intraperitoneally or into the third ventricle (3V) affected Siberian hamster feeding behaviors; (2) whether food deprivation (FD) co-increases agouti-related protein (AgRP) and PPARγ mRNA expression in Siberian hamsters and mice; (3) whether intraperitoneally administered ROSI increases AgRP and NPY in ad libitum-fed animals; (4) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ antagonism blocks FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY; and finally, (5) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ modulation affects plasma ghrelin. Third ventricular and intraperitoneally administered ROSI increased food hoarding and intake for 7 d, an effect attenuated by 3V GW9662, and also prevented (intraperitoneal) FD-induced feeding. FD hamsters and mice increased AgRP within the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus with concomitant increases in PPARγ exclusively within AgRP/NPY neurons. ROSI increased AgRP and NPY similarly to FD, and GW9662 prevented FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY in both species. Neither ROSI nor GW9662 affected plasma ghrelin. Thus, we demonstrated that PPARγ activation is sufficient to trigger food hoarding/intake, increase AgRP/NPY, and possibly is necessary for FD-induced increases in feeding and AgRP/NPY. These findings provide initial evidence that FD-induced increases in AgRP/NPY may be a direct PPARγ-dependent process that controls ingestive behaviors. PMID:25788674

  10. Calcium and dairy products inhibit weight and fat regain during ad libitum consumption following energy restriction in Ap2-agouti transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaocun; Zemel, Michael B

    2004-11-01

    We demonstrated previously that dietary calcium suppression of calcitriol reduces adipocyte Ca(2+), suppresses lipogenesis, and increases lipid utilization during energy restriction. Notably, dairy calcium sources exert markedly greater effects. To determine the effects of dietary calcium and dairy products on energy partitioning during subsequent refeeding, we induced obesity in aP2-agouti transgenic mice with a high-fat/high-sucrose diet, then restricted energy intake from a high-calcium (1.3%) diet for 6 wk to induce fat loss, and then provided free access to a low-calcium (0.4%) diet or to high-calcium (1.3%) diets that utilized either calcium-fortified foods or dairy products (milk or yogurt) for 6 wk. Refeeding the low-calcium diet caused the regain of all weight and fat, whereas all high-calcium diets reduced fat gain by 55% (P < 0.01). All high-calcium diets stimulated adipose tissue uncoupling protein (UCP)2 and skeletal muscle UCP3 expression (P < 0.001) and slightly increased core temperature (P = 0.136), but only the dairy-based diets elicited a marked (>10-fold, P < 0.001) increase in skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha expression. All 3 high-calcium diets produced significant increases in lipolysis, decreases in fatty acid synthase expression and activity, and reduced fat regain (P < 0.03), but the 2 dairy-containing high-calcium diets exerted significantly greater effects on regain (P < 0.01). Thus, high-Ca diets elicit a shift in energy partitioning and reduction of weight gain during refeeding, with dairy Ca sources exerting markedly greater effects.

  11. Ghrelin receptors mediate ghrelin-induced excitation of agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y but not pro-opiomelanocortin neurons.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shao-Rui; Chen, Hong; Zhou, Jing-Jing; Pradhan, Geetali; Sun, Yuxiang; Pan, Hui-Lin; Li, De-Pei

    2017-08-01

    Ghrelin increases food intake and body weight by stimulating orexigenic agouti-related protein (AgRP)/neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons and inhibiting anorexic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the hypothalamus. Growth hormone secretagogue receptor (Ghsr) mediates the effect of ghrelin on feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. However, the role of Ghsr in the ghrelin effect on these two populations of neurons is unclear. We hypothesized that Ghsr mediates the effect of ghrelin on AgRP and POMC neurons. In this study, we determined whether Ghsr similarly mediates the effects of ghrelin on AgRP/NPY and POMC neurons using cell type-specific Ghsr-knockout mice. Perforated whole-cell recordings were performed on green fluorescent protein-tagged AgRP/NPY and POMC neurons in the arcuate nucleus in hypothalamic slices. In Ghsr(+/+) mice, ghrelin (100 nM) significantly increased the firing activity of AgRP/NPY neurons but inhibited the firing activity of POMC neurons. In Ghsr(-/-) mice, the excitatory effect of ghrelin on AgRP/NPY neurons was abolished. Ablation of Ghsr also eliminated ghrelin-induced increases in the frequency of GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents of POMC neurons. Strikingly, ablation of Ghsr converted the ghrelin effect on POMC neurons from inhibition to excitation. Des-acylated ghrelin had no such effect on POMC neurons in Ghsr(-/-) mice. In both Ghsr(+/+) and Ghsr(-/-) mice, blocking GABAA receptors with gabazine increased the basal firing activity of POMC neurons, and ghrelin further increased the firing activity of POMC neurons in the presence of gabazine. Our findings provide unequivocal evidence that Ghsr is essential for ghrelin-induced excitation of AgRP/NPY neurons. However, ghrelin excites POMC neurons through an unidentified mechanism that is distinct from conventional Ghsr. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  12. Strain differences in cytochrome P450 mRNA and protein expression, and enzymatic activity among Sprague Dawley, Wistar, Brown Norway and Dark Agouti rats.

    PubMed

    Nishiyama, Yoshihiro; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Watanabe, Kensuke P; Kawai, Yusuke K; Ohno, Marumi; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2016-05-03

    Rat cytochrome P450 (CYP) exhibits inter-strain differences, but their analysis has been scattered across studies under different conditions. To identify these strain differences in CYP more comprehensively, mRNA expression, protein expression and metabolic activity among Wistar (WI), Sprague Dawley (SD), Dark Agouti (DA) and Brown Norway (BN) rats were compared. The mRNA level and enzymatic activity of CYP1A1 were highest in SD rats. The rank order of Cyp3a2 mRNA expression mirrored its protein expression, i.e., DA>BN>SD>WI, and was similar to the CYP3A2-dependent warfarin metabolic activity, i.e., DA>SD>BN>WI. These results suggest that the strain differences in CYP3A2 enzymatic activity are caused by differences in mRNA expression. Cyp2b1 mRNA levels, which were higher in DA rats, did not correlate with its protein expression or enzymatic activity. This suggests that the strain differences in enzymatic activity are not related to Cyp2b1 mRNA expression. In conclusion, WI rats tended to have the lowest CYP1A1, 2B1 and 3A2 mRNA expression, protein expression and enzymatic activity among the strains. In addition, SD rats had the highest CYP1A1 mRNA expression and activity, while DA rats had higher CYP2B1 and CYP3A2 mRNA and protein expression. These inter-strain differences in CYP could influence pharmacokinetic considerations in preclinical toxicological studies.

  13. Maternal exposure to bisphenol A and genistein has minimal effect on Avy/a offspring coat color but favors birth of agouti over nonagouti mice

    PubMed Central

    Rosenfeld, Cheryl S.; Sieli, Paizlee T.; Warzak, Denise A.; Ellersieck, Mark R.; Pennington, Kathleen A.; Roberts, R. Michael

    2013-01-01

    Reports that maternal diet influences coat color in mouse offspring carrying the agouti Avy allele have received considerable attention because the range, from pseudoagouti (brown) to yellow, predicts adult health outcomes, especially disposition toward obesity and diabetes, in yellower mice. Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting compound with estrogenic properties, fed to a/a dams harboring Avy/a conceptuses has been reported to induce a significant shift toward yellower mice, whereas consumption of either genistein (G) alone or in combination with BPA led to greater numbers of healthy, brown offspring. Groups of C57/B6 a/a females, which are nonagouti, were fed either a phytoestrogen-free control diet or one of six experimental diets: diets 1–3 contained BPA (50 mg, 5 mg, and 50 μg BPA/kg food, respectively); diet 4 contained G (250 mg/kg food); diet 5 contained G plus BPA (250 and 50 mg/kg food, respectively); and diet 6 contained 0.1 μg of ethinyl estradiol (EE)/kg food. Mice were bred to Avy/a males over multiple parities. In all, 2,824 pups from 426 litters were born. None of the diets provided any significant differences in relative numbers of brown, yellow, or intermediate coat color Avy/a offspring. However, BPA plus G (P < 0.0001) and EE diets (P = 0.005), but not the four others, decreased the percentage of black (a/a) to Avy/a offspring from the expected Mendelian ratio of 1:1. Data suggest that Avy/a conceptuses, which may possess a so-called “thrifty genotype,” are at a competitive advantage over a/a conceptuses in certain uterine environments. PMID:23267115

  14. The 8818G allele of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene is ancestral and is associated with darker skin color in African Americans.

    PubMed

    Bonilla, Carolina; Boxill, Lesley-Anne; Donald, Stacey Ann Mc; Williams, Tyisha; Sylvester, Nadeje; Parra, Esteban J; Dios, Sonia; Norton, Heather L; Shriver, Mark D; Kittles, Rick A

    2005-04-01

    Skin color, a predictor of social interactions and risk factor for several types of cancer, is due to two contrasting forms of melanin, the darker eumelanin and lighter phaeomelanin. The lighter pigment phaeomelanin is the product of the antagonistic function of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) on the alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor (MC1R). Studies have shown that a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the 3'UTR of the ASIP gene is associated with dark hair and eyes; however, little is known about its role in inter-individual variation in skin color. Here we examine the relationship between the ASIP g.8818A>G SNP and skin color (M index) as assessed by reflectometry in 234 African Americans. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) were performed to evaluate the effects of ASIP genotypes, age, individual ancestry, and sex on skin color variation. Significant effects on M index variation were observed for ASIP genotypes (F(2,236)=4.37, P=0.01), ancestry (F(1,243)=37.2, P<0.001), and sex (F(1,244)=4.08, P=0.05). Subsequent analyses revealed a strong effect on M index from ASIP genotypes in African American females (P<0.001). Our study suggests that the ASIP G>A polymorphism exhibits a dominant effect leading to lighter skin color and that variation in the ASIP gene may have been one of several factors contributing to reductions in pigmentation in some populations. Further study is needed to reveal how interactions between ASIP and several other genes, such as MC1R and P, predict human pigmentation.

  15. Divergent regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein by photoperiod in F344 rats with differential food intake and growth.

    PubMed

    Ross, A W; Johnson, C E; Bell, L M; Reilly, L; Duncan, J S; Barrett, P; Heideman, P D; Morgan, P J

    2009-07-01

    Hypothalamic genes involved in food intake and growth regulation were studied in F344 rats in response to photoperiod. Two sub-strains were identified: F344/NHsd (F344/N) and F344/NCrHsd (F344/NCr); sensitive and relatively insensitive to photoperiod respectively. In F344/N rats, marked, but opposite, changes in the genes for neuropeptide Y (NPY) (+97.5%) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) (-39.3%) expression in the arcuate nucleus were observed in response to short (8 : 16 h light/dark cycle, SD) relative to long (16 : 8 h light/dark cycle, LD) day photoperiods. Changes were associated with both reduced food intake and growth. Expression of the genes for cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the arcuate nucleus was unchanged by photoperiod. POMC in the ependymal layer around the third ventricle was markedly inhibited by SD. Parallel decreases in the genes for growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (Somatostatin) mRNA in the arcuate nucleus and Somatostatin in the periventricular nucleus were observed in SD. Serum levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and insulin were lower in F344/N rats in SD, whereas neither leptin nor corticosterone levels were affected. By contrast, F344/NCr rats that show only minor food intake and growth rate changes showed minimal responses in these genes and hormones. Thus, NPY/AgRP neurones may be pivotal to the photoperiodic regulation of food intake and growth. Potentially, the SD increase in NPY expression may inhibit growth by decreasing GHRH and Somatostatin expression, whereas the decrease in AgRP expression probably leads to reduced food intake. The present study reveals an atypical and divergent regulation of NPY and AgRP, which may relate to their separate roles with respect to growth and food intake, respectively.

  16. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ controls ingestive behavior, agouti-related protein, and neuropeptide Y mRNA in the arcuate hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Garretson, John T; Teubner, Brett J W; Grove, Kevin L; Vazdarjanova, Almira; Ryu, Vitaly; Bartness, Timothy J

    2015-03-18

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is clinically targeted for type II diabetes treatment; however, rosiglitazone (ROSI), a PPARγ agonist, increases food intake and body/fat mass as side-effects. Mechanisms for these effects and the role of PPARγ in feeding are not understood. Therefore, we tested this role in Siberian hamsters, a model of human energy balance, and C57BL/6 mice. We tested the following: (1) how ROSI and/or GW9662 (2-chloro-5-nitro-N-phenylbenzamide; PPARγ antagonist) injected intraperitoneally or into the third ventricle (3V) affected Siberian hamster feeding behaviors; (2) whether food deprivation (FD) co-increases agouti-related protein (AgRP) and PPARγ mRNA expression in Siberian hamsters and mice; (3) whether intraperitoneally administered ROSI increases AgRP and NPY in ad libitum-fed animals; (4) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ antagonism blocks FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY; and finally, (5) whether intraperitoneally administered PPARγ modulation affects plasma ghrelin. Third ventricular and intraperitoneally administered ROSI increased food hoarding and intake for 7 d, an effect attenuated by 3V GW9662, and also prevented (intraperitoneal) FD-induced feeding. FD hamsters and mice increased AgRP within the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus with concomitant increases in PPARγ exclusively within AgRP/NPY neurons. ROSI increased AgRP and NPY similarly to FD, and GW9662 prevented FD-induced increases in AgRP and NPY in both species. Neither ROSI nor GW9662 affected plasma ghrelin. Thus, we demonstrated that PPARγ activation is sufficient to trigger food hoarding/intake, increase AgRP/NPY, and possibly is necessary for FD-induced increases in feeding and AgRP/NPY. These findings provide initial evidence that FD-induced increases in AgRP/NPY may be a direct PPARγ-dependent process that controls ingestive behaviors. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/354571-11$15.00/0.

  17. Effects of hypoglycaemia on neurotransmitter and hormone receptor gene expression in laser-dissected arcuate neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide neurones.

    PubMed

    Briski, K P; Nedungadi, T P; Koshy Cherian, A

    2010-06-01

    Arcuate neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related pepide (AgRP) neurones regulate energy homeostasis, and express the putative glucosensor, glucokinase (GCK). The present study performed multi-transcriptional profiling of these neurones to characterise NPY, AgRP and GCK gene expression during intermediate insulin-induced hypoglycaemia, and to determine whether these transcriptional responses acclimate to repeated insulin dosing. We also examined whether these neurones express insulin, glucocorticoid and oestrogen receptor gene transcripts, and whether the levels of these receptor mRNAs are modified by insulin-induced hypoglycaemia. Individual NPY-immunoreactive neurones were laser-microdissected from the caudal arcuate nucleus after single or serial dosing with neutral protamine Hagedorn insulin (NPH), and evaluated by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction for the assessment of neurotransmitter and receptor gene expression. Mean NPY and AgRP mRNA in harvested NPY neurones was unchanged or augmented, respectively, by one NPH dose, although repeated NPH administration up-regulated NPY, whereas AgRP gene transcripts were down-regulated. NPH elicited divergent modifications in the ERalpha and ERbeta mRNA content of sampled neurones. ERalpha transcripts were amplified by both acute and chronic NPH-induced hypoglycaemia, whereas ERbeta gene expression was unaltered during a single bout, but suppressed during recurring hypoglycaemia. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA levels were increased by a single insulin dose, but unaffected by serial NPH dosing. Insulin receptor-beta chain (InsRb) gene transcripts were insensitive to acute NPH-induced hypoglycaemia, but repeated NPH inhibited this gene transcript. Neither acute nor recurring hypoglycaemia modified GCK mRNA levels in caudal hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARH) NPY/AgRP neurones, but baseline GCK transcription was suppressed by the latter. This evidence for the habituation of hypoglycaemic

  18. Nicotine withdrawal increases body weight, neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein expression in the hypothalamus and decreases uncoupling protein-3 expression in the brown adipose tissue in high-fat fed mice.

    PubMed

    Fornari, Alice; Pedrazzi, Patrizia; Lippi, Giordano; Picciotto, Marina R; Zoli, Michele; Zini, Isabella

    2007-01-03

    Nicotine is known to decrease body weight in normal rodents and human smokers, whereas nicotine withdrawal or smoking cessation can increase body weight. We have found that mice fed a high fat diet do not show the anorectic effect of chronic nicotine treatment, but do increase their body weight following nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal is accompanied by increased expression of the orexigenic peptides neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein in the hypothalamus, and decreased expression of the metabolic protein uncoupling protein-3 in brown adipose tissue. These data suggest that diet can influence the ability of nicotine to modulate body weight regulation and demonstrate that chronic nicotine exposure results in adaptive changes in central and peripheral molecules which regulate feeding behavior and energy metabolism.

  19. Characterization, tissue distribution, and regulation of agouti-related protein (AgRP), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Murashita, Koji; Kurokawa, Tadahide; Ebbesson, Lars O E; Stefansson, Sigurd O; Rønnestad, Ivar

    2009-06-01

    Key peptide hormones involved in the control of appetite in vertebrates were identified, their genes characterized and their regulation studied in Atlantic salmon: two agouti-related proteins (AgRP), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and neuropeptide Y (NPY). The AgRP-1 and AgRP-2 genes encode prepro-proteins of 142- and 117-amino acids, respectively. The deduced AgRP-2 protein has 10 cysteine residues in the C-terminal polycysteine domain, while the AgRP-1 lacks the 6th and 7th cysteine residues observed in other species. AgRP-1 was principally expressed in the pituitary and skin, while AgRP-2 was highly expressed in the mid-gut, red muscle and gonads. The CART gene, encoding 118-amino acids, was strongly expressed in the brain and eye. In addition to salmon CART, we identified three to six variants of the CART gene in lower vertebrates by mining available databases. The salmon NPY gene, encoding 100-amino acids, was mainly expressed in the brain and eye. AgRP-1 and CART mRNA levels in the brain decreased after 6 days of fasting while AgRP-2 and NPY showed no significant change, suggesting that AgRP-1 and CART are involved in feeding regulation in Atlantic salmon. The identification of multiple variants of these appetite-regulating genes emphasizes the importance to further investigate the complex regulation of these genes.

  20. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) blunt the response of Neuropeptide Y/Agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) glucose inhibited (GI) neurons to decreased glucose

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Lihong; Sheng, Zhenyu; Potian, Joseph; Deak, Adam; Rohowsky-Kochan, Christine; Routh, Vanessa H.

    2016-01-01

    A population of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons which co-express Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) are inhibited at physiological levels of brain glucose and activated when glucose levels decline (e.g. glucose-inhibited or GI neurons). Fasting enhances the activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by low glucose. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) inhibits the enhanced activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by low glucose following a fast. Mice which express green fluorescent protein (GFP) on their NPY promoter were used to identify NPY/AgRP neurons. Fasting for 24 hours and LPS injection decreased blood glucose levels. As we have found previously, fasting increased c-fos expression in NPY/AgRP neurons and increased the activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by decreased glucose. As we predicted, LPS blunted these effects of fasting at the 24 hour time point. Moreover, the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) blocked the activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by decreased glucose. These data suggest that LPS and TNFα may alter glucose and energy homeostasis, in part, due to changes in the glucose sensitivity of NPY/AgRP neurons. Interestingly, our findings also suggest that NPY/AgRP-GI neurons use a distinct mechanism to sense changes in extracellular glucose as compared to our previous studies of GI neurons in the adjacent ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. PMID:27473896

  1. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) blunt the response of Neuropeptide Y/Agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) glucose inhibited (GI) neurons to decreased glucose.

    PubMed

    Hao, Lihong; Sheng, Zhenyu; Potian, Joseph; Deak, Adam; Rohowsky-Kochan, Christine; Routh, Vanessa H

    2016-10-01

    A population of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons which co-express Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) are inhibited at physiological levels of brain glucose and activated when glucose levels decline (e.g. glucose-inhibited or GI neurons). Fasting enhances the activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by low glucose. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) inhibits the enhanced activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by low glucose following a fast. Mice which express green fluorescent protein (GFP) on their NPY promoter were used to identify NPY/AgRP neurons. Fasting for 24h and LPS injection decreased blood glucose levels. As we have found previously, fasting increased c-fos expression in NPY/AgRP neurons and increased the activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by decreased glucose. As we predicted, LPS blunted these effects of fasting at the 24h time point. Moreover, the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) blocked the activation of NPY/AgRP-GI neurons by decreased glucose. These data suggest that LPS and TNFα may alter glucose and energy homeostasis, in part, due to changes in the glucose sensitivity of NPY/AgRP neurons. Interestingly, our findings also suggest that NPY/AgRP-GI neurons use a distinct mechanism to sense changes in extracellular glucose as compared to our previous studies of GI neurons in the adjacent ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. A combination of probiotics and whey proteins enhances anti-obesity effects of calcium and dairy products during nutritional energy restriction in aP2-agouti transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Yoda, Kazutoyo; Sun, Xiaocum; Kawase, Manabu; Kubota, Akira; Miyazawa, Kenji; Harata, Gaku; Hosoda, Masataka; Hiramatsu, Masaru; He, Fang; Zemel, Michael B

    2015-06-14

    Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus paracasei TMC0409, Streptococcus thermophilus TMC1543 and whey proteins were used to prepare fermented milk. For the experiment aP2- agouti transgenic mice were pre-treated with a high-sucrose/high-fat diet for 6 weeks to induce obesity. The obese mice were fed a diet containing 1·2% Ca and either non-fat dried milk (NFDM) or probiotic-fermented milk (PFM) with nutritional energy restriction for 6 weeks. The animals were examined after the treatment for changes in body weight, fat pad weight, fatty acid synthase (FAS) activity, lypolysis, the expression levels of genes related to lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity in adipocytes and skeletal muscle and the presence of biomarkers for oxidative and inflammatory stress in plasma. It was found that the PFM diet significantly reduced body weight, fat accumulation, and adipocyte FAS activity, and increased adipocyte lipolysis as compared with the effects of the NFDM diet (P<0·05). The adipose tissue gene expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (11β-HSD1) was significantly suppressed in mice that were fed PFM as compared with those that were fed NFDM (P<0·05). PFM caused a greater up-regulation of skeletal muscle PPARα, PPARδ, uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) and GLUT4 expression and a significant decrease in the plasma concentration of insulin, malondialdehyde, TNF-α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and C-reactive protein as compared with the effects of NFDM (P<0·05). Fermentation of milk with selected probiotics and supplementation of milk with whey proteins may thus enhance anti-obesity effects of Ca and dairy products by the suppression of adipose tissue lipogenesis, activation of fat oxidation in skeletal muscle and reduction of oxidative and inflammatory stress.

  3. Elevated BDNF protein level in cortex but not in hippocampus of MDMA-treated Dark Agouti rats: a potential link to the long-term recovery of serotonergic axons.

    PubMed

    Adori, Csaba; Andó, Rómeó D; Ferrington, Linda; Szekeres, Mária; Vas, Szilvia; Kelly, Paul A T; Hunyady, László; Bagdy, György

    2010-07-05

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a widely used recreational drug known to cause selective long-term serotonergic damage. In this study, we examined the pattern of BDNF protein expression 1 day, 3, 8, 12 and 24 weeks after a single 15mg/kg i.p. dose of MDMA to adolescent Dark Agouti rats. In parallel, we measured either tryptophan-hydroxylase immunoreactive (TpH IR) axon density, or [(3)H]-paroxetine-binding in parietal cortex and hippocampus, two brain areas known to have different recovery capacity after MDMA, to test whether BDNF-levels were associated with the long-term recovery of serotonergic fibers after a neurotoxic dose of MDMA. Both TpH IR axon density and [(3)H]-paroxetine-binding were significantly decreased 3 weeks after the treatment in both brain areas but while normalization in both parameters was found in parietal cortex 24 weeks after treatment, significant decreases remained evident in the hippocampus. In the parietal cortex, a significant reduction in BDNF protein levels was found in the acute phase after treatment (1 day), which was followed by a robust increase 8 weeks later and a return to control levels by 12 weeks. In contrast, no significant alteration of BDNF protein level was found in the hippocampus at any time points. This absence of any significant increase in BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus, and the persistence in this region of decreases in TpH IR axon density and [(3)H]-paroxetine-binding, raises the possibility that BDNF has an important role in the long-term recovery of serotonergic axons after MDMA treatment.

  4. Administration of IL-1β to the 4th ventricle causes anorexia that is blocked by agouti-related peptide and that coincides with activation of tyrosine-hydroxylase neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract

    PubMed Central

    DeBoer, Mark D.; Scarlett, Jarrad M.; Levasseur, Peter R.; Grant, Wilmon F.; Marks, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Inflammation-associated cachexia is associated with multiple chronic diseases and involves activation of appetite regulating centers in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH). The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) in the brainstem has also been implicated as an important nucleus involved in appetite regulation. We set out to determine whether the NTS may be involved in inflammation-associated anorexia by injecting IL-1β into the 4th ventricle and assessing food intake and NTS neuronal activation. Injection of IL-1β produced a decrease in food intake at 3 and 12 h after injection which was ameliorated at the 12 h time point by a sub-threshold dose of agouti-related peptide (AgRP). Investigation into neuron types in the NTS revealed that IL-1β injection was associated with an increase in c-Fos activity in NTS neurons expressing tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Additionally, injection of IL-1β into the 4th ventricle did not produce c-Fos activation of neurons expressing pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the ARH, cells known to be involved in producing anorexia in response to systemic inflammation. Double-label in situ hybridization revealed that TH neurons did not express IL-1 receptor I (IL1-RI) transcript, demonstrating that c-Fos activation of TH neurons in this setting was not via direct stimulation of IL-1β on TH neurons themselves. We conclude that IL-1β injection into the 4th ventricle produces anorexia and is accompanied by an increase in activation in TH neurons in the NTS. This provides evidence that the brainstem may be an important mediator of anorexia in the setting of inflammation. PMID:19028534

  5. Gene expression analysis indicates CB1 receptor upregulation in the hippocampus and neurotoxic effects in the frontal cortex 3 weeks after single-dose MDMA administration in Dark Agouti rats

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a widely used recreational drug known to impair cognitive functions on the long-run. Both hippocampal and frontal cortical regions have well established roles in behavior, memory formation and other cognitive tasks and damage of these regions is associated with altered behavior and cognitive functions, impairments frequently described in heavy MDMA users. The aim of this study was to examine the hippocampus, frontal cortex and dorsal raphe of Dark Agouti rats with gene expression arrays (Illumina RatRef bead arrays) looking for possible mechanisms and new candidates contributing to the effects of a single dose of MDMA (15 mg/kg) 3 weeks earlier. Results The number of differentially expressed genes in the hippocampus, frontal cortex and the dorsal raphe were 481, 155, and 15, respectively. Gene set enrichment analysis of the microarray data revealed reduced expression of 'memory’ and 'cognition’, 'dendrite development’ and 'regulation of synaptic plasticity’ gene sets in the hippocampus, parallel to the upregulation of the CB1 cannabinoid- and Epha4, Epha5, Epha6 ephrin receptors. Downregulated gene sets in the frontal cortex were related to protein synthesis, chromatin organization, transmembrane transport processes, while 'dendrite development’, 'regulation of synaptic plasticity’ and 'positive regulation of synapse assembly’ gene sets were upregulated. Changes in the dorsal raphe region were mild and in most cases not significant. Conclusion The present data raise the possibility of new synapse formation/synaptic reorganization in the frontal cortex three weeks after a single neurotoxic dose of MDMA. In contrast, a prolonged depression of new neurite formation in the hippocampus is suggested by the data, which underlines the particular vulnerability of this brain region after the drug treatment. Finally, our results also suggest the substantial contribution of CB1 receptor and

  6. Studies on the role of dopamine in the degeneration of 5-HT nerve endings in the brain of Dark Agouti rats following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘ecstasy') administration

    PubMed Central

    Colado, M I; O'Shea, E; Granados, R; Esteban, B; Martín, A B; Green, A R

    1999-01-01

    We investigated whether dopamine plays a role in the neurodegeneration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) nerve endings occurring in Dark Agouti rat brain after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘ecstasy') administration. Haloperidol (2 mg kg−1 i.p.) injected 5 min prior and 55 min post MDMA (15 mg kg−1 i.p.) abolished the acute MDMA-induced hyperthermia and attenuated the neurotoxic loss of 5-HT 7 days later. When the rectal temperature of MDMA+haloperidol treated rats was kept elevated, this protective effect was marginal. MDMA (15 mg kg−1) increased the dopamine concentration in the dialysate from a striatal microdialysis probe by 800%. L-DOPA (25 mg kg−1 i.p., plus benserazide, 6.25 mg kg−1 i.p.) injected 2 h after MDMA (15 mg kg−1) enhanced the increase in dopamine in the dialysate, but subsequent neurodegeneration was unaltered. L-DOPA (25 mg kg−1) injected before a sub-toxic dose of MDMA (5 mg kg−1) failed to induce neurodegeneration. The MDMA-induced increase in free radical formation in the hippocampus (indicated by increased 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid in a microdialysis probe perfused with salicylic acid) was unaltered by L-DOPA. The neuroprotective drug clomethiazole (50 mg kg−1 i.p.) did not influence the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular dopamine. These data suggest that previous observations on the protective effect of haloperidol and potentiating effect of L-DOPA on MDMA-induced neurodegeneration may have resulted from effects on MDMA-induced hyperthermia. The increased extracellular dopamine concentration following MDMA may result from effects of MDMA on dopamine re-uptake, monoamine oxidase and 5-HT release rather than an ‘amphetamine-like' action on dopamine release, thus explaining why the drug does not induce degeneration of dopamine nerve endings. PMID:10193771

  7. Genetic background (DDD/Sgn versus C57BL/6J) strongly influences postnatal growth of male mice carrying the A(y) allele at the agouti locus: identification of quantitative trait loci associated with diabetes and body weight loss.

    PubMed

    Suto, Jun-ichi; Satou, Kunio

    2013-05-04

    Mice carrying the A(y) allele at the agouti locus become obese and are heavier than their non-A(y) littermates. However, this does not hold true for the genetic background of the DDD mouse strain. At 22 weeks of age, DDD.Cg-A(y) females are heavier than DDD females, whereas DDD.Cg-A(y) males are lighter than DDD males. This study aimed to determine the possible cause and identify the genes responsible for the lower body weight of DDD.Cg-A(y) males. Growth curves of DDD.Cg-A(y) mice were analyzed and compared with those of B6.Cg-A(y) mice from 5 to 25 weeks. In DDD.Cg-A(y) males, body weight gain stopped between 16 and 17 weeks and the body weight gradually decreased; thus, the lower body weight was a consequence of body weight loss. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was performed in backcrossed (BC) males of DDD × (B6 × DDD.Cg-A(y)) F(1)-A(y) mice. For the body weight at 25 weeks, significant QTLs were identified on chromosomes 1 and 4. The DDD allele was associated with a lower body weight at both loci. In particular, the QTL on chromosome 4 interacted with the A(y) allele. Furthermore, suggestive QTLs for plasma glucose and high molecular weight adiponectin levels were coincidentally mapped to chromosome 4. The DDD allele was associated with increased glucose and decreased adiponectin levels. When the body weight at 25 weeks and plasma glucose levels were considered as dependent and independent variables, respectively, BC A(y) males were classified into two groups according to statistical analysis using the partition method. Mice of one group had significantly higher glucose and lower adiponectin levels than those of the other group and exhibited body weight loss as observed with DDD-A(y) males. The lower body weight of DDD.Cg-A(y) male mice was a consequence of body weight loss. Diabetes mellitus has been suggested to be a possible contributory factor causing body weight loss. The QTL on distal chromosome 4 contained the major responsible genes. This QTL

  8. Genetic background (DDD/Sgn versus C57BL/6J) strongly influences postnatal growth of male mice carrying the Ay allele at the agouti locus: identification of quantitative trait loci associated with diabetes and body weight loss

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mice carrying the Ay allele at the agouti locus become obese and are heavier than their non-Ay littermates. However, this does not hold true for the genetic background of the DDD mouse strain. At 22 weeks of age, DDD.Cg-Ay females are heavier than DDD females, whereas DDD.Cg-Ay males are lighter than DDD males. This study aimed to determine the possible cause and identify the genes responsible for the lower body weight of DDD.Cg-Ay males. Results Growth curves of DDD.Cg-Ay mice were analyzed and compared with those of B6.Cg-Ay mice from 5 to 25 weeks. In DDD.Cg-Ay males, body weight gain stopped between 16 and 17 weeks and the body weight gradually decreased; thus, the lower body weight was a consequence of body weight loss. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was performed in backcrossed (BC) males of DDD × (B6 × DDD.Cg-Ay) F1-Ay mice. For the body weight at 25 weeks, significant QTLs were identified on chromosomes 1 and 4. The DDD allele was associated with a lower body weight at both loci. In particular, the QTL on chromosome 4 interacted with the Ay allele. Furthermore, suggestive QTLs for plasma glucose and high molecular weight adiponectin levels were coincidentally mapped to chromosome 4. The DDD allele was associated with increased glucose and decreased adiponectin levels. When the body weight at 25 weeks and plasma glucose levels were considered as dependent and independent variables, respectively, BC Ay males were classified into two groups according to statistical analysis using the partition method. Mice of one group had significantly higher glucose and lower adiponectin levels than those of the other group and exhibited body weight loss as observed with DDD-Ay males. Conclusions The lower body weight of DDD.Cg-Ay male mice was a consequence of body weight loss. Diabetes mellitus has been suggested to be a possible contributory factor causing body weight loss. The QTL on distal chromosome 4 contained the major responsible genes

  9. Ethanol-Induced Increase of Agouti-Related Protein (AgRP) Immunoreactivity in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus of C57BL/6J, but not 129/SvJ, Inbred Mice

    PubMed Central

    Cubero, Inmaculada; Navarro, Montserrat; Carvajal, Francisca; Lerma-Cabrera, Jose Manuel; Thiele, Todd E.

    2011-01-01

    Background The melanocortin (MC) system is composed of peptides that are cleaved from the polypeptide precursor, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). Previous research has shown that MC receptor (MCR) agonists reduce, and MCR antagonists increase, ethanol consumption in rats and mice. Consistently, genetic deletion of the endogenous MCR antagonist, agouti-related protein (AgRP), causes reductions of ethanol-reinforced lever pressing and binge-like ethanol drinking in C57BL/6J mice. Ethanol also has direct effects on the central MC system, as chronic exposure to an ethanol-containing diet causes significant reductions of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) immunoreactivity in specific brain regions of Sprague-Dawley rats. Together, these observations suggest that the central MC system modulates neurobiological responses to ethanol. To further characterize the role of the MC system in responses to ethanol, here we compared AgRP and α-MSH immunoreactivity in response to an acute injection of saline or ethanol between high ethanol drinking C57BL/6J mice and moderate ethanol drinking 129/SvJ mice. Methods Mice received an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of ethanol (1.5 g/kg or 3.5 g/kg; mixed in 0.9% saline) or an equivolume of 0.9% saline. Two hours after injection, animals were sacrificed and their brains were processed for AgRP and α-MSH immunoreactivity. Results Results indicated that acute ethanol administration triggered a dose-dependent increase in AgRP immunoreactivity in the arcuate (ARC) of C57BL/6J mice, an effect that was not evident in the 129/SvJ strain. Although acute administration of ethanol did not influence α-MSH immunoreactivity, C57BL/6J mice had significantly greater overall α-MSH immunoreactivity in the ARC, dorsomedial, and lateral regions of the hypothalamus relative to the 129/SvJ strain. In contrast, C57BL/6J mice displayed significantly lower α-MSH immunoreactivity in the medial amygdala. Conclusions The results show that acute ethanol

  10. Seed dispersal and spatial distribution of Attalea geraensis (Arecaceae) in two remnants of Cerrado in Southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonjorne de Almeida, Lilian; Galetti, Mauro

    2007-09-01

    The seed dispersal system of Attalea geraensis (Arecaceae), an acaulescent palm, was investigated during one year in two Cerrado fragments in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. A. geraensis had inflorescences and infrutescences throughout the year. Two scatter-hoarding rodents (the spiny rat, Clyomys bishopi and agoutis, Dasyprocta azarae) were identified as seed predators/dispersers, able to move seeds up to 30 m from the palms, although most of the fruits (57.5%) were dispersed less than 2 m. The removal rates were high and after 20 days, 97.2% of the fruits were removed. Fruit fate was not related to fruit mass, length and diameter. The application of Morisita's index showed a more clumped distribution of adults in the smaller fragment, probably because of the absence of agoutis. Higher seed removal by rodents in the large Cerrado remnant may decrease seed predation by beetles.

  11. Ecological Relationships of Meso-Scale Distribution in 25 Neotropical Vertebrate Species

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  12. Ecological relationships of meso-scale distribution in 25 neotropical vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  13. Light microscope observations on the epididymis of paca (Agouti paca).

    PubMed

    Schimming, Bruno Cesar; Machado, Márcia Rita Fernandes; Simões, Karina; da Cruz, Claudinei; Domeniconi, Raquel Fantin

    2013-01-01

    The features of paca epididymis, based on its appearance in light microscope, is described in this paper. The cellular population of the epithelial lining comprises principal cells, basal cells, apical cells, narrows cells, and hallo cells. The epididymis is divided in five distinct and continuous regions, Zone I, or initial segment, and zone II, are both localized into the head. Zone III comprises the distal head and all the body. Zones IV and V are restricted to the tail, in the proximal and distal cauda epididymis respectively. Each zone can be readily distinguished on the basis of morphological characteristics. The height of epididymal epithelium is greater in zone I. There is a progressive increase in the diameter of the tubular lumen through the different areas, with the maximum in the zone V. The presence of a high epithelium, and the virtual absence of sperm in zone I suggest fast transit of spermatozoa in this region. Zone V comprises the distal tail, has smaller epithelial lining, greater luminal diameter, shorter stereocilia than the other zones, and contains spermatozoa packed inside the lumen, that characterizes this zone as a place of sperm storage. The findings are compared with other reports in rodents and other domestic animals, to contribute to the understanding of epididymal morphophysiology.

  14. Zygomycetes From Herbivore Dung in the Ecological Reserve of Dois IrmÃOs, Northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Azevedo Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro; Botelho Trufem, Sandra Farto; Malosso, Elaine; Dos Santos, Paulo Jorge Parreira; de Queiroz Cavalcanti, Maria Auxiliadora

    2011-01-01

    Thirty-eight taxa of Zygomycetes distributed in 15 genera were recorded from tapir (Tapirus terrestris), camel (Camelus bactrianus), horse (Equus caballus), deer (Cervus elaphus), agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), donkey (Equus asinus), llama (Llama glama) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) dung collected at the Reserva Ecológica de Dois Irmãos located in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. The samples were collected on a monthly basis from June 2005 to May 2006, taken to the laboratory and incubated in moist chambers. Higher number of taxa was observed in the excrements of tapir, followed by deer and donkey. The highest number of species was detected for Mucor, followed by Pilobolus. Statistical analyses showed significant differences in richness of Zygomycetes taxa between the herbivore dung types. Differences of species composition, however, were weak. Seasonality influenced the Zygomycetes species composition but not its richness. Variations in taxa composition between ruminants and non-ruminants dung were non significant.

  15. Zygomycetes From Herbivore Dung in the Ecological Reserve of Dois IrmÃOs, Northeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    de Azevedo Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro; Botelho Trufem, Sandra Farto; Malosso, Elaine; dos Santos, Paulo Jorge Parreira; de Queiroz Cavalcanti, Maria Auxiliadora

    2011-01-01

    Thirty-eight taxa of Zygomycetes distributed in 15 genera were recorded from tapir (Tapirus terrestris), camel (Camelus bactrianus), horse (Equus caballus), deer (Cervus elaphus), agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), donkey (Equus asinus), llama (Llama glama) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) dung collected at the Reserva Ecológica de Dois Irmãos located in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. The samples were collected on a monthly basis from June 2005 to May 2006, taken to the laboratory and incubated in moist chambers. Higher number of taxa was observed in the excrements of tapir, followed by deer and donkey. The highest number of species was detected for Mucor, followed by Pilobolus. Statistical analyses showed significant differences in richness of Zygomycetes taxa between the herbivore dung types. Differences of species composition, however, were weak. Seasonality influenced the Zygomycetes species composition but not its richness. Variations in taxa composition between ruminants and non-ruminants dung were non significant. PMID:24031609

  16. Serologic evidence of natural togavirus infections in Panamanian sloths and other vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Seymour, C; Peralta, P H; Montgomery, G G

    1983-07-01

    Plasmas of sloths and other Central Panamanian wild vertebrates were tested for plaque-reduction neutralizing (PRN) antibodies against four flaviviruses and one alpha-virus. Forty percent of 97 two-toed sloths, Choloepus hoffmanni, and 8% of 168 three-toed sloths, Bradypus variegatus, were specifically positive against St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus. The prevalence of antibody against SLE virus was considerably higher in sloths than in any other group of wild vertebrates tested, including birds, and was found mainly in adult sloths. Specific PRN antibody against yellow fever (YF) virus was found only in monkeys. A high prevalence of PRN antibody against Ilheus and Mayaro viruses was detected in agoutis, Dasyprocta punctata, and against Mayaro virus in howler monkeys, Alouatta villosa. No plasma was specifically positive against Bussuquara virus. The results are interpreted as evidence that sloths are probably not important hosts in jungle YF cycles, but may be significant amplifying hosts in tropical SLE virus cycles.

  17. Seed dispersal, plant recruitment and spatial distribution of Bactris acanthocarpa Martius (Arecaceae) in a remnant of Atlantic forest in northeast Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Maria G.; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2001-12-01

    Seed dispersal ecology of Bactris acanthocarpa Mart. (Arecaceae), an Atlantic forest understory palm, was investigated during two years as an attempt to test the following predictions: (i) seeds of Bactris are dispersed by mammals and large-gaped birds; (ii) Bactris benefits from seed dispersal in terms of seed predation avoidance, improvement of seed germination and seedling survival; and (iii) spatial distribution of adults is related to patterns of seed dispersal. The study was conducted at Dois Irmãos Reserve, a 387.4-ha reserve of Atlantic forest in northeastern Brazil (8º S-35º W). Black-rumped agoutis ( Dasyprocta prymnolopha) and Guianan squirrels ( Sciurus aestuans) were identified as the seed dispersers/predators, moving seeds short distances (< 4 m from parents) and at low rates (0.04-0.05 diaspore/palm/day). Pyrene burial prevented seed predation by vertebrates and reduced by half seed infestation by Scolytidae beetles. Only buried pyrenes germinated. Pyrene predation was not correlated with distance from conspecific adults. In contrast, early seedling mortality was higher near conspecific adults. Most adults (64%) had their nearest conspecific adult neighbour > 4 m away in contrast to 96% of seedlings that occurred concentrated within 4 m from adults (77% under the palm crowns). Here, we present evidence that spatial distribution of B. acanthocarpa is partly due to low rates of seed removal, short-distance seed dispersal by agoutis and squirrels, and early seedling mortality associated with presence of seedlings under palm crowns.

  18. Agouti-related peptide plays a critical role in leptin's effects on female puberty and reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Sheffer-Babila, Sharone; Sun, Yan; Israel, Davelene D.; Liu, Shun-Mei; Neal-Perry, Genevieve

    2013-01-01

    Deficient leptin signaling causes infertility via reduced activity of GnRH neurons, causing a hypogonadal state in both rodents and humans. Because GnRH neurons do not express leptin receptors, leptin's effect on GnRH neurons must be indirect. Neurons within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus that coexpress AGRP and NPY are considered to be important intermediate neurons involved in leptin regulation of GnRH neurons. Previously, we reported that the absence of AGRP and haploinsufficiency of MC4R in leptin receptor mutant (Leprdb/db) females result in restoration of fertility and lactation despite the persistence of obesity and insulin resistance. The overarching hypothesis in the present study is that the absence or reduction of leptin's inhibition of AGRP/NPY neurons leads to suppression of GnRH release in cases of leptin signaling deficiency. Since TAC2 (NKB)-TAC3R signaling plays a role in puberty maturation and is modulated by metabolic status, the other aim of this study is to test whether TAC2/NKB neurons in ARC regulated by melanocortinergic signals herein affect leptin's action on puberty and reproduction. Our data showed that AGRP deficiency in Leprdb/db females restores normal timing of vaginal opening and estrous cycling, although uterine weight gain and mammary gland development are morphologically delayed. Nonetheless, Agrp−/− Leprdb/db females are fertile and sustain adequate nutrition of pups with lactation to weaning age. AGRP deficiency results in advanced vaginal opening in wild-type female mice. The postpubertal increase in hypothalamic TAC2 mRNA was not observed in Leprdb/db females, whereas AGRP deficiency restored it in Leprdb/db females. Additionally, MC4R activation with MTII induced FOS expression in TAC2 neurons, supporting the concept of melanocortinergic regulation of TAC2 neurons. These studies suggest that AGRP imposes an inhibitory effect on puberty and that TAC2 neurons may transmit melanocortinergic inhibition of GnRH neurons. PMID:24169048

  19. Morphology of accessory genital glands of spotted paca (Agouti paca Linnaeus, 1766).

    PubMed

    Borges, Edson Moreira; Branco, Érika; de Lima, Ana Rita; Leal, Leonardo Martins; Martins, Leandro Luiz; Reis, Ana Carolina Gonçalves; Cruz, Claudinei; Machado, Márcia Rita Fernandes; Miglino, Maria Angelica

    2014-02-01

    The spotted paca is the second largest rodent in Brazil, where it is of great economic interest in impoverished regions in view of its prominence as a low-cost source of protein. Little is known about the morphology of the accessory genital glands of this species. Thus, we studied the position and morphology of the genitals in ten adult male spotted pacas. The animals were divided into two groups, five animals were used for fixing of samples in 10% aqueous formaldehyde for macroscopic studies and the other five animals were designated for microscopic analysis. These were arranged in pairs and had the vesicular, prostate, coagulating and bulbourethral glands identified, being structured as mucous glands, which lead into the pelvic urethra. It was concluded that the accessory genital glands found in the paca are the same as those found in most rodents, showing similar histological aspects.

  20. Scatter hoarding of seeds confers survival advantages and disadvantages to large-seeded tropical plants at different life stages.

    PubMed

    Kuprewicz, Erin K

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  1. Scatter Hoarding of Seeds Confers Survival Advantages and Disadvantages to Large-Seeded Tropical Plants at Different Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Kuprewicz, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  2. A survey of hemoparasite infections in free-ranging mammals and reptiles in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    de Thoisy, B; Michel, J C; Vogel, I; Vié, J C

    2000-10-01

    Blood smears of 1,353 free-ranging mammals (35 species) and 112 reptiles (31 species) from French Guiana were examined for hemoparasites. Parasites from 3 major groups were recorded: Apicomplexa (including hemogregarines, piroplasms, and Plasmodium spp.), Trypanosomatidae, and Filaroidea. Fifty percent of the individuals (86% of the species) were infected by parasites from at least 1 group. Hemogregarines, identified as Hepatozoon sp., infected numerous snakes with high prevalences (30-100%); infection is reported for the first time in 5 host genera of snakes: Clelia, Oxybelis, Pseustes, Rhinobotryum, and Bothriopsis. Infections were also observed in 4 marsupial species and 1 rodent. Hepatozoon spp. recorded in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia) and Coendou prehensilis (Rodentia) may be new species. Plasmodium sp. were observed in 2 snake species, Dipsas indica (Colubridae) and Bothrops atrox (Viperidae). Plasmodium brasilianum was recorded in all 5 primate species examined. Piroplasms were observed in all mammal orders except primates. Large terrestrial rodents were the main hosts of members of the Babesidae; 42% of Myoprocta acouchy, 36% of Dasyprocta agouti, and 44% of Agouti paca were infected. Trypanosomes were common in mammals and were recorded in 70% of the examined genera. Trypanosoma cruzi-like infections were reported in 21 mammal species, including sloths, rodents, carnivores, and primates. Microfilariae were also widespread, with higher prevalences in sloths, anteaters, and porcupines (>40% of the individuals infected) and in tamarins (95% infected). This survey highlights some potential anthropozoonotic risks due to the recent further evidence of Plasmodium brasilianum and P. malariae as a single species and to the increased diversity of hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi.

  3. Systematic, Cross-Cortex Variation in Neuron Numbers in Rodents and Primates

    PubMed Central

    Charvet, Christine J.; Cahalane, Diarmuid J.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2015-01-01

    Uniformity, local variability, and systematic variation in neuron numbers per unit of cortical surface area across species and cortical areas have been claimed to characterize the isocortex. Resolving these claims has been difficult, because species, techniques, and cortical areas vary across studies. We present a stereological assessment of neuron numbers in layers II–IV and V–VI per unit of cortical surface area across the isocortex in rodents (hamster, Mesocricetus auratus; agouti, Dasyprocta azarae; paca, Cuniculus paca) and primates (owl monkey, Aotus trivigratus; tamarin, Saguinus midas; capuchin, Cebus apella); these chosen to vary systematically in cortical size. The contributions of species, cortical areas, and techniques (stereology, “isotropic fractionator”) to neuron estimates were assessed. Neurons per unit of cortical surface area increase across the rostro-caudal (RC) axis in primates (varying by a factor of 1.64–2.13 across the rostral and caudal poles) but less in rodents (varying by a factor of 1.15–1.54). Layer II–IV neurons account for most of this variation. When integrated into the context of species variation, and this RC gradient in neuron numbers, conflicts between studies can be accounted for. The RC variation in isocortical neurons in adulthood mirrors the gradients in neurogenesis duration in development. PMID:23960207

  4. Molecular identification of trypanosomatids in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Tenório, M S; Oliveira e Sousa, L; Alves-Martin, M F; Paixão, M S; Rodrigues, M V; Starke-Buzetti, W A; Araújo Junior, J P; Lucheis, S B

    2014-06-16

    Diverse wild animal species can be reservoirs of zoonotic flagellate parasites, which can cause pathologic Chagas disease. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of flagellate parasites through direct microscopic examination of the parasites in blood samples and through PCR of whole blood and blood culture (haemoculture) samples from 38 captive and 65 free-living wild animals in the Centre for Conservation of Wild Fauna (CCWF), an area endemic for leishmaniasis. For this study, PCR was accomplished using primers for the ribosomal region (ITS-1) of the flagellate parasites. The amplified fragments were cloned and sequenced to identify DNA of the Trypanosomatid parasite species, observed in blood cultures from 3.9% (04/103) of the animals. Through these techniques, Trypanosoma cruzi was identified in haemoculture samples of the following three free-living species: common agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), and nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). Furthermore, Trypanosoma minasense was identified in whole blood samples from 01 (0.9%) captive animal (black howler monkey-Alouatta caraya). These results demonstrated the first report of T. cruzi isolation in wild species from the CCWF using blood culture, which can be applied in addition to molecular tools for epidemiological studies and to identify trypanosomatids in wild animals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. On the mammals collected by Friedrich Sellow in Brazil and Uruguay (1814-1831), with special reference to the types and their provenance.

    PubMed

    Garbino, Guilherme S T; Nogueira, Marcelo R

    2017-01-17

    From 1814 to 1831, the Prussian naturalist Friedrich Sellow collected 263 mammals in Brazil and Uruguay. Upon receiving the specimens, the curator of the Berlin Zoological Museum, Martin Lichtenstein, removed the original labels and replaced with ones containing more generalized locations. As a consequence, several type specimens have now dubious type localities. We examined these types as well as geographically restricted mammals collected by Sellow. In some cases, there are inconsistencies between the specimen label and the collection catalog regarding the collecting locality. We conclude that the locality information on the lectotype of the tent-making bat Uroderma bilobatum is mistakenly identified, and therefore, we restrict it to "eastern Brazil". We designate a lectoype for Azara's agouti, Dasyprocta azarae, and restrict its type locality to the region travelled by Sellow in São Paulo. Although there are no recent records of the woolly giant rat, Kunsia tomentosus, from its type locality, the species may have been recently extirpated from the area. Two primate specimens supposedly collected by Sellow, a silvery marmoset, Mico argentatus, and a black tamarin, Saguinus niger, occur only in the Amazonia of northern Brazil, outside the route travelled by the naturalist, and are more likely to have been collected by Sieber. Our investigations stress the importance of collecting vouchers for verifying species occurrence records and establishing a solid taxonomy.

  6. Water availability not fruitfall modulates the dry season distribution of frugivorous terrestrial vertebrates in a lowland Amazon forest

    PubMed Central

    Paredes, Omar Stalin Landázuri; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes

    2017-01-01

    Terrestrial vertebrate frugivores constitute one of the major guilds in tropical forests. Previous studies show that the meso-scale distribution of this group is only weakly explained by variables such as altitude and tree basal area in lowland Amazon forests. For the first time we test whether seasonally limiting resources (water and fallen fruit) affect the dry season distribution in 25 species of terrestrial vertebrates. To examine the effects of the spatial availability of fruit and water on terrestrial vertebrates we used a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera-traps within 25km2 of lowland Amazon forest. Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of four variables (altitude, distance to large rivers, distance to nearest water, and presence vs absence of fruits) on the number of photos on five functional groups (all frugivores, small, medium, large and very large frugivores) and on seven of the most abundant frugivore species (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina, Mazama americana, Mazama nemorivaga, Myoprocta acouchy, Pecari tajacu and Psophia crepitans). A total of 279 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 900 camera-trap days. For most species and three functional groups, the variation in the number of photos per camera was significantly but weakly explained by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 6.2 to 48.8%). Generally, we found that the presence of water availability was more important than the presence of fallen fruit for the groups and species studied. Medium frugivores, large-bodied frugivores, and two of the more abundant species (C. paca and P. crepitans) were recorded more frequently closer to water bodies; while none of the functional groups nor the most abundant species showed any significant relationship with the presence of fallen fruit. Two functional groups and two of the seven most common frugivore species assessed in the GLMs showed significant results with species

  7. Water availability not fruitfall modulates the dry season distribution of frugivorous terrestrial vertebrates in a lowland Amazon forest.

    PubMed

    Paredes, Omar Stalin Landázuri; Norris, Darren; Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes de; Michalski, Fernanda

    2017-01-01

    Terrestrial vertebrate frugivores constitute one of the major guilds in tropical forests. Previous studies show that the meso-scale distribution of this group is only weakly explained by variables such as altitude and tree basal area in lowland Amazon forests. For the first time we test whether seasonally limiting resources (water and fallen fruit) affect the dry season distribution in 25 species of terrestrial vertebrates. To examine the effects of the spatial availability of fruit and water on terrestrial vertebrates we used a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera-traps within 25km2 of lowland Amazon forest. Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of four variables (altitude, distance to large rivers, distance to nearest water, and presence vs absence of fruits) on the number of photos on five functional groups (all frugivores, small, medium, large and very large frugivores) and on seven of the most abundant frugivore species (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina, Mazama americana, Mazama nemorivaga, Myoprocta acouchy, Pecari tajacu and Psophia crepitans). A total of 279 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 900 camera-trap days. For most species and three functional groups, the variation in the number of photos per camera was significantly but weakly explained by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 6.2 to 48.8%). Generally, we found that the presence of water availability was more important than the presence of fallen fruit for the groups and species studied. Medium frugivores, large-bodied frugivores, and two of the more abundant species (C. paca and P. crepitans) were recorded more frequently closer to water bodies; while none of the functional groups nor the most abundant species showed any significant relationship with the presence of fallen fruit. Two functional groups and two of the seven most common frugivore species assessed in the GLMs showed significant results with species

  8. Rhizobium grahamii sp. nov., from nodules of Dalea leporina, Leucaena leucocephala and Clitoria ternatea, and Rhizobium mesoamericanum sp. nov., from nodules of Phaseolus vulgaris, siratro, cowpea and Mimosa pudica.

    PubMed

    López-López, Aline; Rogel-Hernández, Marco A; Barois, Isabelle; Ortiz Ceballos, Angel I; Martínez, Julio; Ormeño-Orrillo, Ernesto; Martínez-Romero, Esperanza

    2012-09-01

    Two novel related Rhizobium species, Rhizobium grahamii sp. nov. and Rhizobium mesoamericanum sp. nov., were identified by a polyphasic approach using DNA-DNA hybridization, whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic and phenotypic characterization including nodulation of Leucaena leucocephala and Phaseolus vulgaris (bean). As similar bacteria were found in the Los Tuxtlas rainforest in Mexico and in Central America, we suggest the existence of a Mesoamerican microbiological corridor. The type strain of Rhizobium grahamii sp. nov. is CCGE 502(T) (= ATCC BAA-2124(T) = CFN 242(T) = Dal4(T) = HAMBI 3152(T)) and that of Rhizobium mesoamericanum sp. nov. is CCGE 501(T) (= ATCC BAA-2123(T) = HAMBI 3151(T) = CIP 110148(T) = 1847(T)).

  9. Vascular organization of the hystricomorph placenta: a comparative study in the agouti, capybara, guinea pig, paca and rock cavy.

    PubMed

    Miglino, M A; Carter, A M; Ambrosio, C E; Bonatelli, M; De Oliveira, M F; Dos Santos Ferraz, R H; Rodrigues, R F; Santos, T C

    2004-05-01

    The placental vasculature of five hystricomorph rodents was examined by latex injection of the blood vessels, immunohistochemistry and scanning electron microscopy of vessel casts. The pattern of branching of the vessels is described at the level of fine structure. The placenta is divided into lobes separated by interlobular trophoblast. Fetal arteries course through the interlobular areas and give rise to capillaries from which blood drains into veins at the centre of the lobes. Maternal blood reaches the placenta through spiral arteries that pass around the perimeter of the subplacenta. They supply large maternal blood sinuses, lined by trophoblast, which run through the interlobular areas and into the centre of the lobes. Here they supply fine channels that run parallel to the fetal capillaries, so that maternal blood flows from the centre of the lobe to the periphery. This arrangement provides the morphological basis for countercurrent exchange. The maternal channels of the labyrinth drain into spaces formed by the latticework of the interlobular trophoblast and thence through venous lacunae to a basal venous lacunar ring. The subplacenta is supplied by a single fetal artery. The vessels within the subplacenta pursue a tortuous course with dilatations and constrictions as in an endocrine gland.

  10. Characterization of Japanese Quail yellow as a Genomic Deletion Upstream of the Avian Homolog of the Mammalian ASIP (agouti) Gene

    PubMed Central

    Nadeau, Nicola J.; Minvielle, Francis; Ito, Shin'ichi; Inoue-Murayama, Miho; Gourichon, David; Follett, Sarah A.; Burke, Terry; Mundy, Nicholas I.

    2008-01-01

    ASIP is an important pigmentation gene responsible for dorsoventral and hair-cycle-specific melanin-based color patterning in mammals. We report some of the first evidence that the avian ASIP gene has a role in pigmentation. We have characterized the genetic basis of the homozygous lethal Japanese quail yellow mutation as a >90-kb deletion upstream of ASIP. This deletion encompasses almost the entire coding sequence of two upstream loci, RALY and EIF2B, and places ASIP expression under control of the RALY promoter, leading to the presence of a novel transcript. ASIP mRNA expression was upregulated in many tissues in yellow compared to wild type but was not universal, and consistent differences were not observed among skins of yellow and wild-type quail. In a microarray analysis on developing feather buds, the locus with the largest downregulation in yellow quail was SLC24A5, implying that it is regulated by ASIP. Finally, we document the presence of ventral skin-specific isoforms of ASIP mRNA in both wild-type quails and chickens. Overall, there are remarkable similarities between yellow in quail and lethal yellow in mouse, which involve a deletion in a similar genomic position. The presence of ventral-specific ASIP expression in birds shows that this feature is conserved across vertebrates. PMID:18287407

  11. Assessment of mammal reproduction for hunting sustainability through community-based sampling of species in the wild.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Pedro; El Bizri, Hani; Bodmer, Richard E; Bowler, Mark

    2016-12-05

    Wildlife subsistence hunting is a major source of protein for tropical rural populations and a prominent conservation issue. The intrinsic rate of natural increase. (rmax ) of populations is a key reproductive parameter in the most used assessments of hunting sustainability. However, researchers face severe difficulties in obtaining reproductive data in the wild, so these assessments often rely on classic reproductive rates calculated mostly from studies of captive animals conducted 30 years ago. The result is a flaw in almost 50% of studies, which hampers management decision making. We conducted a 15-year study in the Amazon in which we used reproductive data from the genitalia of 950 hunted female mammals. Genitalia were collected by local hunters. We examined tissue from these samples to estimate birthrates for wild populations of the 10 most hunted mammals. We compared our estimates with classic measures and considered the utility of the use of rmax in sustainability assessments. For woolly monkey (Lagothrix poeppigii) and tapir (Tapirus terrestris), wild birthrates were similar to those from captive populations, whereas birthrates for other ungulates and lowland-paca (Cuniculus paca) were significantly lower than previous estimates. Conversely, for capuchin monkeys (Sapajus macrocephalus), agoutis (Dasyprocta sp.), and coatis (Nasua nasua), our calculated reproductive rates greatly exceeded often-used values. Researchers could keep applying classic measures compatible with our estimates, but for other species previous estimates of rmax may not be appropriate. We suggest that data from local studies be used to set hunting quotas. Our maximum rates of population growth in the wild correlated with body weight, which suggests that our method is consistent and reliable. Integration of this method into community-based wildlife management and the training of local hunters to record pregnancies in hunted animals could efficiently generate useful information of life

  12. [Seasonal evaluation of mammal species richness and abundance in the "Mário Viana" municipal reserve, Mato Grosso, Brasil].

    PubMed

    Rocha, Ednaldo Cândido; Silva, Elias; Martins, Sebastião Venâncio; Barreto, Francisco Cândido Cardoso

    2006-09-01

    We evaluated seasonal species presence and richness, and abundance of medium and large sized mammalian terrestrial fauna in the "Mário Viana" Municipal Biological Reserve, Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil. During 2001, two monthly visits were made to an established transect, 2,820 m in length. Records of 22 mammal species were obtained and individual footprint sequences quantified for seasonal calculation of species richness and relative abundance index (x footprints/km traveled). All 22 species occurred during the rainy season, but only 18 during the dry season. Pseudalopex vetulus (Lund, 1842) (hoary fox), Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758) (tayra), Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771) (cougar) and Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1766) (capybara) were only registered during the rainy season. The species diversity estimated using the Jackknife procedure in the dry season (19.83, CI = 2.73) was smaller than in the rainy season (25.67, CI = 3.43). Among the 18 species common in the two seasons, only four presented significantly different abundance indexes: Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 (nine-banded armadillo), Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) (six-banded armadillo), Dasyprocta azarae Lichtenstein, 1823 (Azara's Agouti) and Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) (tapir). On the other hand, Priodontes maximus (Kerr, 1792) (giant armadillo) and Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) (ocelot) had identical abundance index over the two seasons. Distribution of species abundance in the sampled area followed the expected pattern for communities in equilibrium, especially in the rainy season, suggesting that the environment still maintains good characteristics for mammal conservation. The present study shows that the reserve, although only 470 ha in size, plays an important role for conservation of mastofauna of the area as a refuge in an environment full of anthropic influence (mainly cattle breeding in exotic pasture).

  13. Echinococcus oligarthrus in the subtropical region of Argentina: First integration of morphological and molecular analyses determines two distinct populations.

    PubMed

    Arrabal, Juan Pablo; Avila, Hector Gabriel; Rivero, Maria Romina; Camicia, Federico; Salas, Martin Miguel; Costa, Sebastián A; Nocera, Carlos G; Rosenzvit, Mara C; Kamenetzky, Laura

    2017-06-15

    Echinococcosis is a parasitic zoonosis that is considered as a neglected disease by the World Health Organization. The species Echinococcus oligarthrus is one of the causative agents of Neotropical echinococcosis, which is a poorly understood disease that requires a complex medical examination, may threaten human life, and is frequently associated with a low socioeconomic status. Morphological and genetic diversity in E. oligarthrus remains unknown. The aim of this work is to identify and characterize E. oligarthrus infections in sylvatic animals from the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest in the province of Misiones, Argentina, by following an integrative approach that links morphological, genetic and ecological aspects. This study demonstrates, for the first time, one of the complete life cycles of E. oligarthrus in an important ecoregion. The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest constitutes the largest remnant continuous forest of the Atlantic Forest, representing 7% of the world's biodiversity. This is the first molecular determination of E. oligarthrus in Argentina. In addition, the agouti (Dasyprocta azarae), the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and the puma (Puma concolor) were identified as sylvatic hosts of Neotropical echinococcosis caused by E. oligarthrus. Mitochondrial and nuclear molecular marker analyses showed a high genetic diversity in E. oligarthrus. Moreover, the genetic distance found among E. oligarthrus isolates is higher than the one observed among Echinococcus granulosus genotypes, which clearly indicates that there are at least two different E. oligarthrus populations in Argentina. This study provides valuable information to understand the underlying conditions that favour the maintenance of E. oligarthrus in sylvatic cycles and to evaluate its zoonotic significance for devising preventive measures for human and animal wellbeing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Increased food intake in growth hormone-transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) may be mediated by upregulating Agouti-related protein (AgRP).

    PubMed

    Zhong, Chengrong; Song, Yanlong; Wang, Yaping; Zhang, Tanglin; Duan, Ming; Li, Yongming; Liao, Lanjie; Zhu, Zuoyan; Hu, Wei

    2013-10-01

    In fish, food intake and feeding behavior are crucial for survival, competition, growth and reproduction. Growth hormone (GH)-transgenic common carp exhibit an enhanced growth rate, increased food intake and higher feed conversion rate. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of feeding regulation in GH-transgenic (TG) fish are not clear. In this study, we observed feeding behavior of TG and non-transgenic (NT) common carp, and analyzed the mRNA expression levels of NPY, AgRP I, orexin, POMC, CCK, and CART I in the hypothalamus and telencephalon after behavioral observation. We detected similar gene expression levels in the hypothalamus of TG and NT common carp, which had been cultured in the field at the same age. Furthermore, we tested the effects of GH on hypothalamus fragments in vitro to confirm our findings. We demonstrated that TG common carp displayed increased food intake and reduced food consumption time, which were associated with a marked increase in hypothalamic AgRP I mRNA expression. Our results suggest that elevated GH levels may influence food intake and feeding behavior by upregulating the hypothalamic orexigenic factor AgRP I in GH-transgenic common carp.

  15. Maternal obesity in the agouti viable yellow (Avy) mouse produces defective secretory activation that is associated with mammary inflammation and activation of adrenocorticosteroid-dependent gene expression

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Maternal obesity is known to interfere with normal lactation in women, rodents, and dairy animals. Obesity is also correlated with profound changes in an array of endocrine factors and is causally linked with inflammation and insulin resistance. Recent work suggests that elevated aldosterone actin...

  16. In Utero exposure to soy protein isolate does not produce epigenetic changes in heterozygous viable yellow agouti (Avy/a) mice offspring, but does alter body composition and prevents hepatosteatosis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Millions of pregnant women, fetuses and neonates have been exposed to soy foods containing phytoestrogen isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein for generations in Asia and for decades in the USA. Despite this long history, there are concerns about potential adverse developmental effects of soy ...

  17. Exposure to Soy Protein Isolate From Conception Fails to Induce Epigenetic Changes in Viable Yellow Agouti (Avy/a) Mice, But Partially Blocks Hepatosteatosis and Altered Body Composition in Mice and Rats

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Both beneficial and adverse health effects have been attributed to soy food consumption. Epigenetic programming through hypermethlylation of CpG sites on promoter regions may be a potential mechanism. Virgin a/a female and Avy/a male mice were fed AIN-93G diets made with either casein or soy protein...

  18. A molecular model for the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of the mouse lethal yellow (Ay) mutation.

    PubMed

    Michaud, E J; Bultman, S J; Klebig, M L; van Vugt, M J; Stubbs, L J; Russell, L B; Woychik, R P

    1994-03-29

    Lethal yellow (Ay) is a mutation at the mouse agouti locus in chromosome 2 that causes a number of dominant pleiotropic effects, including a completely yellow coat color, obesity, an insulin-resistant type II diabetic condition, and an increased propensity to develop a variety of spontaneous and induced tumors. Additionally, homozygosity for Ay results in preimplantation lethality, which terminates development by the blastocyst stage. The Ay mutation is the result of a 170-kb deletion that removes all but the promoter and noncoding first exon of another gene called Raly, which lies in the same transcriptional orientation as agouti and maps 280 kb proximal to the 3' end of the agouti gene. We present a model for the structure of the Ay allele that can explain the dominant pleiotropic effects associated with this mutation, as well as the recessive lethality, which is unrelated to the agouti gene.

  19. A molecular model for the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of the mouse lethal yellow (A{sup y}) mutation

    SciTech Connect

    Michaud, E.J.; Klebig, M.L.; Stubbs, L.J.; Russell, L.B.; Woychik, R.P.; Bultman, S.J. |; Vugt, M.J. van |

    1994-03-29

    Lethal yellow (A{sup y}) is a mutation at the mouse agouti locus in chromosome 2 that causes a number of dominant pleiotropic effects, including a completely yellow coat color, obesity, an insulin-resistant type II diabetic condition, and an increased propensity to develop a variety of spontaneous and induced tumors. Additionally, homozygosity for A{sup y} results in preimplantation lethality, which terminates development by the blastocyst stage. The A{sup y} mutation is the result of a 170-kb deletion that removes all but the promoter and noncoding first exon of another gene called Raly, which lies in the same transcriptional orientation as agouti and maps 280 kb proximal to the 3{prime} end of the agouti gene. The authors present a model for the structure of the A{sub y} allele that can explain the dominant pleiotropic effects associated with this mutation, as well as the recessive lethality, which is unrelated to the agouti gene.

  20. The importance of pollen chemistry in evolutionary host shifts of bees.

    PubMed

    Vanderplanck, Maryse; Vereecken, Nicolas J; Grumiau, Laurent; Esposito, Fabiana; Lognay, Georges; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2017-02-20

    Although bee-plant associations are generally maintained through speciation processes, host shifts have occurred during evolution. Understanding shifts between both phylogenetically and morphologically unrelated plants (i.e., host-saltation) is especially important since they could have been key processes in the origin and radiation of bees. Probably far from being a random process, such host-saltation might be driven by hidden constraints associated with plant traits. We selected two clades of oligolectic bees (i.e., Colletes succinctus group and Melitta leporina group) foraging on co-flowering but unrelated host-plants to test this hypothesis. We analyzed floral scent, floral color and chemical composition of pollen from host and non-host plants of these two clades. We did not find evidence for host-plant evolution in the Melitta leporina group driven by one of the assayed floral traits. On the contrary, hosts of the C. succinctus group display similar primary nutritive content of pollen (i.e., amino acids and sterols) but not similar floral scent or color, suggesting that shared pollen chemistry probably mediates saltation in this clade. Our study revealed that constraints shaping floral associations are diverse and clearly depend on species life-history traits, but evidence suggests that pollen chemistry may act as a major floral filter and guide evolutionary host-shifts.

  1. The importance of pollen chemistry in evolutionary host shifts of bees

    PubMed Central

    Vanderplanck, Maryse; Vereecken, Nicolas J.; Grumiau, Laurent; Esposito, Fabiana; Lognay, Georges; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2017-01-01

    Although bee-plant associations are generally maintained through speciation processes, host shifts have occurred during evolution. Understanding shifts between both phylogenetically and morphologically unrelated plants (i.e., host-saltation) is especially important since they could have been key processes in the origin and radiation of bees. Probably far from being a random process, such host-saltation might be driven by hidden constraints associated with plant traits. We selected two clades of oligolectic bees (i.e., Colletes succinctus group and Melitta leporina group) foraging on co-flowering but unrelated host-plants to test this hypothesis. We analyzed floral scent, floral color and chemical composition of pollen from host and non-host plants of these two clades. We did not find evidence for host-plant evolution in the Melitta leporina group driven by one of the assayed floral traits. On the contrary, hosts of the C. succinctus group display similar primary nutritive content of pollen (i.e., amino acids and sterols) but not similar floral scent or color, suggesting that shared pollen chemistry probably mediates saltation in this clade. Our study revealed that constraints shaping floral associations are diverse and clearly depend on species life-history traits, but evidence suggests that pollen chemistry may act as a major floral filter and guide evolutionary host-shifts. PMID:28216663

  2. The mouse pink-eyed dilution allele of the P-gene greatly inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Hirobe, Tomohisa; Ito, Shosuke; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2011-02-01

    The mouse pink-eyed dilution (p) locus is known to control eumelanin synthesis, melanosome morphology, and tyrosinase activity in melanocytes. However, it has not been fully determined whether the mutant allele, p affects pheomelanin synthesis. Effects of the p allele on eumelanin and phemelanin synthesis were investigated by chemical analysis of dorsal hairs of 5-week-old mice obtained from the F(2) generations (black, pink-eyed black, recessive yellow, pink-eyed recessive yellow, agouti, and pink-eyed agouti) between C57BL/10JHir (B10)-congenic pink-eyed black mice (B10-p/p) and recessive yellow (B10-Mc1r(e)/Mc1r(e)) or agouti (B10-A/A) mice. The eumelanin content was dramatically (>20-fold) decreased in pink-eyed black and pink-eyed agouti mice, whereas the pheomelanin content did not decrease in pink-eyed black, pink-eyed recessive yellow, or pink-eyed agouti mice compared to the corresponding P/- mice. These results suggest that the pink-eyed dilution allele greatly inhibits eumelanin synthesis, but not pheomelanin synthesis.

  3. On The Origin and Spread Of an Adaptive Allele In Deer Mice*

    PubMed Central

    Linnen, Catherine R.; Kingsley, Evan P.; Jensen, Jeffrey D.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2009-01-01

    Adaptation is a central focus of biology, although it can be difficult to identify both the strength and agent of selection and the underlying molecular mechanisms causing change. We studied cryptically colored deer mice living on the Nebraska Sand Hills and show that their light coloration stems from a novel banding pattern on individual hairs produced by an increase in Agouti expression caused by cis-acting mutation(s), which either is, or is closely linked to, a single amino acid deletion in Agouti that appears to be under selection. Furthermore, our data suggest that this derived Agouti allele arose de novo after the formation of the Sand Hills. These findings reveal one means by which genetic, developmental, and evolutionary mechanisms can drive rapid adaptation under ecological pressure. PMID:19713521

  4. Directed seed dispersal towards areas with low conspecific tree density by a scatter-hoarding rodent.

    PubMed

    Hirsch, Ben T; Kays, Roland; Pereira, Verónica E; Jansen, Patrick A; Rejmanek, Marcel

    2012-12-01

    Scatter-hoarding animals spread out cached seeds to reduce density-dependent theft of their food reserves. This behaviour could lead to directed dispersal into areas with lower densities of conspecific trees, where seed and seedling survival are higher, and could profoundly affect the spatial structure of plant communities. We tested this hypothesis with Central American agoutis and Astrocaryum standleyanum palm seeds on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. We radio-tracked seeds as they were cached and re-cached by agoutis, calculated the density of adult Astrocaryum trees surrounding each cache, and tested whether the observed number of trees around seed caches declined more than expected under random dispersal. Seedling establishment success was negatively dependent on seed density, and agoutis carried seeds towards locations with lower conspecific tree densities, thus facilitating the escape of seeds from natural enemies. This behaviour may be a widespread mechanism leading to highly effective seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding animals.

  5. Thieving rodents as substitute dispersers of megafaunal seeds.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Patrick A; Hirsch, Ben T; Emsens, Willem-Jan; Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica; Wikelski, Martin; Kays, Roland

    2012-07-31

    The Neotropics have many plant species that seem to be adapted for seed dispersal by megafauna that went extinct in the late Pleistocene. Given the crucial importance of seed dispersal for plant persistence, it remains a mystery how these plants have survived more than 10,000 y without their mutualist dispersers. Here we present support for the hypothesis that secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents has facilitated the persistence of these large-seeded species. We used miniature radio transmitters to track the dispersal of reputedly megafaunal seeds by Central American agoutis, which scatter-hoard seeds in shallow caches in the soil throughout the forest. We found that seeds were initially cached at mostly short distances and then quickly dug up again. However, rather than eating the recovered seeds, agoutis continued to move and recache the seeds, up to 36 times. Agoutis dispersed an estimated 35% of seeds for >100 m. An estimated 14% of the cached seeds survived to the next year, when a new fruit crop became available to the rodents. Serial video-monitoring of cached seeds revealed that the stepwise dispersal was caused by agoutis repeatedly stealing and recaching each other's buried seeds. Although previous studies suggest that rodents are poor dispersers, we demonstrate that communities of rodents can in fact provide highly effective long-distance seed dispersal. Our findings suggest that thieving scatter-hoarding rodents could substitute for extinct megafaunal seed dispersers of tropical large-seeded trees.

  6. The mouse ruby-eye 2(d) (ru2(d) /Hps5(ru2-d) ) allele inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Hirobe, Tomohisa; Ito, Shosuke; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-09-01

    The novel mutation named ru2(d) /Hps5(ru2-d) , characterized by light-colored coats and ruby-eyes, prohibits differentiation of melanocytes by inhibiting tyrosinase (Tyr) activity, expression of Tyr, Tyr-related protein 1 (Tyrp1), Tyrp2, and Kit. However, it is not known whether the ru2(d) allele affects pheomelanin synthesis in recessive yellow (e/Mc1r(e) ) or in pheomelanic stage in agouti (A) mice. In this study, effects of the ru2(d) allele on pheomelanin synthesis were investigated by chemical analysis of melanin present in dorsal hairs of 5-week-old mice from F2 generation between C57BL/10JHir (B10)-co-isogenic ruby-eye 2(d) and B10-congenic recessive yellow or agouti. Eumelanin content was decreased in ruby-eye 2(d) and ruby-eye 2(d) agouti mice, whereas pheomelanin content in ruby-eye 2(d) recessive yellow and ruby-eye 2(d) agouti mice did not differ from the corresponding Ru2(d) /- mice, suggesting that the ru2(d) allele inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Thieving rodents as substitute dispersers of megafaunal seeds

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Patrick A.; Hirsch, Ben T.; Emsens, Willem-Jan; Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica; Wikelski, Martin; Kays, Roland

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropics have many plant species that seem to be adapted for seed dispersal by megafauna that went extinct in the late Pleistocene. Given the crucial importance of seed dispersal for plant persistence, it remains a mystery how these plants have survived more than 10,000 y without their mutualist dispersers. Here we present support for the hypothesis that secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents has facilitated the persistence of these large-seeded species. We used miniature radio transmitters to track the dispersal of reputedly megafaunal seeds by Central American agoutis, which scatter-hoard seeds in shallow caches in the soil throughout the forest. We found that seeds were initially cached at mostly short distances and then quickly dug up again. However, rather than eating the recovered seeds, agoutis continued to move and recache the seeds, up to 36 times. Agoutis dispersed an estimated 35% of seeds for >100 m. An estimated 14% of the cached seeds survived to the next year, when a new fruit crop became available to the rodents. Serial video-monitoring of cached seeds revealed that the stepwise dispersal was caused by agoutis repeatedly stealing and recaching each other’s buried seeds. Although previous studies suggest that rodents are poor dispersers, we demonstrate that communities of rodents can in fact provide highly effective long-distance seed dispersal. Our findings suggest that thieving scatter-hoarding rodents could substitute for extinct megafaunal seed dispersers of tropical large-seeded trees. PMID:22802644

  8. Simultaneous gene editing by injection of mRNAs encoding transcription activator-like effector nucleases into mouse zygotes.

    PubMed

    Li, Chunliang; Qi, Rong; Singleterry, Rebecca; Hyle, Judith; Balch, Amanda; Li, Xiuling; Sublett, Jack; Berns, Hartmut; Valentine, Marcus; Valentine, Virginia; Sherr, Charles J

    2014-05-01

    Injection of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) mRNAs into mouse zygotes transferred into foster mothers efficiently generated founder mice with heritable mutations in targeted genes. Immunofluorescence visualization of phosphorylated histone 2A (γH2AX) combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that TALEN pairs targeting the Agouti locus induced site-directed DNA breaks in zygotes within 6 h of injection, an activity that continued at reduced efficiency in two-cell embryos. TALEN-Agouti mRNAs injected into zygotes of brown FvB × C57BL/6 hybrid mice generated completely black pups, confirming that mutations were induced prior to, and/or early after, cell division. Founder mice, many of which were mosaic, transmitted altered Agouti alleles to F1 pups to yield an allelic series of mutant strains. Although mutations were targeted to "spacer" sequences flanked by TALEN binding sites, larger deletions that extended beyond the TALEN-binding sequences were also detected and were similarly inherited through the germ line. Zygotic coinjection of TALEN mRNAs directed to the Agouti, miR-205, and the Arf tumor suppressor loci yielded pups containing frequent and heritable mutations of two or three genes. Simultaneous gene editing in zygotes affords an efficient approach for producing mice with compound mutant phenotypes, bypassing constraints of conventional mouse knockout technology in embryonic stem cells.

  9. Echinococcus infections in Colombian animals.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, A; Rausch, R L; Morales, G A; Collet, S; Angel, D

    1981-11-01

    The results of a survey involving more than 4,000 Colombian mammals, carried out to detect Echinococcus infections, are presented. Adult worms were found in 5 of 121 carnivores: E. oligarthrus in 1 of 11 ocelots, 2 of 9 jaguarundi cats and single puma; and E. vogeli in 1 of 15 domestic dogs. Although bush dogs were present, none could be examined. Polycystic larvae were found in 96 of 325 pacas (29.5%) and in 6 of 1,168 (0.5%) spiny rats, Proechimys spp. None of the 118 agouti showed hydatids but an infected heart was provided by hunters. The paca's infection rate increased with age but was not related to sex or geographic region. In 73 of 96 pacas the infection was due to E. vogeli, and the cysts were located in the liver. In 3 it was due to E. oligarthrus and the hydatids were extrahepatic, mainly attached to muscles. In the remaining 20, the species involved could not be determined. The parasites in two of the spiny rats, and in the agouti heart were E. oligarthrus. Although most of the infected animals were collected in the eastern plains, other records and verbal information indicate that, at least in Colombia where man has not exterminated pacas, agoutis, wild canids and felids, one still can find enzootic neotropical Echinococcus infection. The cycle of E. vogeli involves the bush dog and paca as hosts, and that of E. oligarthrus, the paca, agouti, spiny rat, and several species of wild felids.

  10. Pleiotropic Effects of a Methyl Donor Diet in a Novel Animal Model

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, Kimberly R.; Anderson, Vanessa; Cakora, Patricia; Owen, Amy; Lo, Keswick; Crossland, Janet; South, April C. H.; Felder, Michael R.; Vrana, Paul B.

    2014-01-01

    Folate and other methyl-donor pathway components are widely supplemented due to their ability to prevent prenatal neural tube defects. Several lines of evidence suggest that these supplements act through epigenetic mechanisms (e.g. altering DNA methylation). Primary among these are the experiments on the mouse viable yellow allele of the agouti locus (Avy). In the Avy allele, an Intracisternal A-particle retroelement has inserted into the genome adjacent to the agouti gene and is preferentially methylated. To further test these effects, we tested the same diet used in the Avy studies on wild-derived Peromyscus maniculatus, a native North American rodent. We collected tissues from neonatal offspring whose parents were fed the high-methyl donor diet as well as controls. In addition, we assayed coat-color of a natural variant (wide-band agouti = ANb) that overexpresses agouti as a phenotypic biomarker. Our data indicate that these dietary components affected agouti protein production, despite the lack of a retroelement at this locus. Surprisingly, the methyl-donor diet was associated with defects (e.g. ovarian cysts, cataracts) and increased mortality. We also assessed the effects of the diet on behavior: We scored animals in open field and social interaction tests. We observed significant increases in female repetitive behaviors. Thus these data add to a growing number of studies that suggest that these ubiquitously added nutrients may be a human health concern. PMID:25121505

  11. Apolipoprotein A-IV inhibits AgRP/NPY neurons and activates POMC neurons in the arcuate nucleus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV) in the brain potently suppresses food intake. However the mechanisms underlying its anorexigenic effects remain to be identified. We first examined the effects of apoA-IV on cellular activities in hypothalamic neurons that co-express agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and ne...

  12. Soy protein isolate reduces hepatosteatosis in yellow Avy/a mice without altering coat color phenotype

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Agouti (Avy/a) mice fed an AIN-93G diet containing the soy isoflavone genistein (GEN) prior to and during pregnancy were reported to shift coat color and body composition phenotypes from obese-yellow towards lean pseudoagouti, suggesting epigenetic programming. Human consumption of purified GEN is r...

  13. A small potassium current in AgRP/NPY neurons regulates feeding behavior and enery metabolism

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Neurons that co-express agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) are indispensable for normal feeding behavior. Firing activities of AgRP/NPY neurons are dynamically regulated by energy status and coordinate appropriate feeding behavior to meet nutritional demands. However, intrinsic m...

  14. Arborescent palm seed morphology and seedling distribution.

    PubMed

    Salm, Rodolfo

    2005-11-01

    This study examines how the seed morphology of two large arborescent palms, Attalea maripa (Aubl.) Mart. and Astrocaryum aculeatum G. Mey, may affect their seed shadow in a seasonally dry Amazonian forest. In addition to being smaller and produced in larger numbers than those of A. aculeatum, A. maripa seeds also presented a substantially lower amount of nutritional reserves available for the embryo. However, A. maripa seedlings were found in much higher numbers than those of A. aculeatum. The results suggest that, within the spatial scale considered, the seed rain of A. maripa is more restricted to the area surrounding around reproductive conspecifics than that of A. aculeatum. Furthermore, in comparison with those of A. aculeatum, the smaller seeds of A. maripa might be less attractive to scatterhoarding rodents (e.g. Dasyprocta aguti). The pattern observed emphasizes the importance of scatterhoarding rodents as dispersers of large-seeded plant species in Neotropical forests.

  15. [Presence of IgM antibodies for Leptospira interrogans in wild animals from Tocantins State, 2002].

    PubMed

    de Souza Júnior, Milton Formiga; Lobato, Zélia Inês Portela; Lobato, Francisco Carlos Faria; Moreira, Elvio Carlos; de Oliveira, Rogério Rodrigues; Leite, Geysa Goulart; Freitas, Theonys Diógenes; de Assis, Ronnie Antunes

    2006-01-01

    Four hundred and twenty-seven serum samples of wild animals were tested against 18 serovars of Leptospira interrogans. Of 286 samples of Cebus apella, 46 (16.1%) were positive for the serovars pomona, brasiliensis, mini, swajizak, grippotyphosa, sarmin, fluminense, autumnalis, hebdomadis, guaratuba, javanica and icterohaemorrhagiae. Of 82 samples of Alouatta caraya, 2 (2.4%) were positive for the serovars mangus and fluminense. Of 31 samples of Nasua nasua, 4 (12.9%) were positive for the serovars fluminense and javanica, and of 10 samples of Cerdocyon thous, 2 (20 %) were positive for the serovars fluminense and brasiliensis. Seven samples of Dasyprocta sp, 6 of Tamandua tetradactyla and 5 of Euphractus sexcintus did not present reactivity.

  16. Effects of Leptin and Melanocortin Signaling Interactions on Pubertal Development and Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Israel, Davelene D.; Sheffer-Babila, Sharone; de Luca, Carl; Jo, Young-Hwan; Liu, Shun Mei; Xia, Qiu; Spergel, Daniel J.; Dun, Siok L.; Dun, Nae J.

    2012-01-01

    Leptin and melanocortin signaling control ingestive behavior, energy balance, and substrate utilization, but only leptin signaling defects cause hypothalamic hypogonadism and infertility. Although GnRH neurons do not express leptin receptors, leptin influences GnRH neuron activity via regulation of immediate downstream mediators including the neuropeptides neuropeptide Y and the melanocortin agonist and antagonist, α-MSH, agouti-related peptide, respectively. Here we show that modulation of melanocortin signaling in female db/db mice through ablation of agouti-related peptide, or heterozygosity of melanocortin 4 receptor, restores the timing of pubertal onset, fertility, and lactation. Additionally, melanocortin 4 receptor activation increases action potential firing and induces c-Fos expression in GnRH neurons, providing further evidence that melanocortin signaling influences GnRH neuron activity. These studies thus establish melanocortin signaling as an important component in the leptin-mediated regulation of GnRH neuron activity, initiation of puberty and fertility. PMID:22408174

  17. Tail suspension increases energy expenditure independently of the melanocortin system in mice.

    PubMed

    Lew, Pei San; Wong, Davie; Yamaguchi, Takafumi; Leckstrom, Arnold; Schwartz, Jacquie; Dodd, Janice G; Mizuno, Tooru M

    2009-10-01

    Space travelers experience anorexia and body weight loss in a microgravity environment, and microgravity-like situations cause changes in hypothalamic activity. Hypothalamic melanocortins play a critical role in the regulation of metabolism. Therefore, we hypothesized that microgravity affects metabolism through alterations in specific hypothalamic signaling pathways, including melanocortin signaling. To address this hypothesis, the microgravity-like situation was produced by an antiorthostatic tail suspension in wild-type and agouti mice, and the effect of tail suspension on energy expenditure and hypothalamic gene expression was examined. Energy expenditure was measured using indirect calorimetry before and during the tail suspension protocol. Hypothalamic tissues were collected for gene expression analysis at the end of the 3 h tail suspension period. Tail suspension significantly increased oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and heat production in wild-type mice. Tail suspension-induced increases in energy expenditure were not attenuated in agouti mice. Although tail suspension did not alter hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) mRNA levels, it significantly increased hypothalamic interleukin 6 (Il-6) mRNA levels. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that microgravity increases energy expenditure and suggest that these effects are mediated through hypothalamic signaling pathways that are independent of melanocortins, but possibly used by Il-6.

  18. Linkage and segregation analysis of black and brindle coat color in domestic dogs.

    PubMed

    Kerns, Julie A; Cargill, Edward J; Clark, Leigh Anne; Candille, Sophie I; Berryere, Tom G; Olivier, Michael; Lust, George; Todhunter, Rory J; Schmutz, Sheila M; Murphy, Keith E; Barsh, Gregory S

    2007-07-01

    Mutations of pigment type switching have provided basic insight into melanocortin physiology and evolutionary adaptation. In all vertebrates that have been studied to date, two key genes, Agouti and Melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r), encode a ligand-receptor system that controls the switch between synthesis of red-yellow pheomelanin vs. black-brown eumelanin. However, in domestic dogs, historical studies based on pedigree and segregation analysis have suggested that the pigment type-switching system is more complicated and fundamentally different from other mammals. Using a genomewide linkage scan on a Labrador x greyhound cross segregating for black, yellow, and brindle coat colors, we demonstrate that pigment type switching is controlled by an additional gene, the K locus. Our results reveal three alleles with a dominance order of black (K(B)) > brindle (k(br)) > yellow (k(y)), whose genetic map position on dog chromosome 16 is distinct from the predicted location of other pigmentation genes. Interaction studies reveal that Mc1r is epistatic to variation at Agouti or K and that the epistatic relationship between Agouti and K depends on the alleles being tested. These findings suggest a molecular model for a new component of the melanocortin signaling pathway and reveal how coat-color patterns and pigmentary diversity have been shaped by recent selection.

  19. DNA methylation of Sleeping Beauty with transposition into the mouse genome.

    PubMed

    Park, Chang Won; Kren, Betsy T; Largaespada, David A; Steer, Clifford J

    2005-08-01

    The Sleeping Beauty transposon is a recently developed non-viral vector that can mediate insertion of transgenes into the mammalian genome. Foreign DNA elements that are introduced tend to invoke a host-defense mechanism resulting in epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, which may induce transcriptional inactivation of mammalian genes. To assess potential epigenetic modifications associated with Sleeping Beauty transposition, we investigated the DNA methylation pattern of transgenes inserted into the mouse genome as well as genomic regions flanking the insertion sites with bisulfite-mediated genomic sequencing. Transgenic mouse lines were created with two different Sleeping Beauty transposons carrying either the Agouti or eGFP transgene. Our results showed that DNA methylation in the keratin-14 promoter and Agouti transgene were negligible. In addition, two different genomic loci flanking the Agouti insertion site exhibited patterns of DNA methylation similar to wild-type mice. In contrast, high levels of DNA methylation were observed in the eGFP transgene and its ROSA26 promoter. These results indicate that transposition via Sleeping Beauty into the mouse genome may result in a significant level of de novo DNA methylation. This may depend on a number of different factors including the cargo DNA sequence, chromosomal context of the insertion site, and/or host genetic background.

  20. [The pleiotropic effect of selection for behavior on coat color in grey rats (Rattus norvegicus)].

    PubMed

    Prasolova, L A; Os'kina, I N; Pliusnina, I Z

    2013-02-01

    The effects of selection for a type of behavior relative to humans (tame and aggressive) on the intensity of coat color in agouti rats with the AAHH genotype were studied. Animals that were not under selection for behavior (wild animals) were used as the control. Morphometric analysis of the hair parameters that influence the intensity of coat color demonstrated that, on the one hand, polymorphism in the main coat color exists in the population of wild agouti rats, that is, both light and dark agouti animals exist. On the other hand, it was demonstrated that selection for a type of behavior in rats is accompanied by selection of animals that differ in the intensity of the main genetically identical coat color. Dark-colored animals are more prevelent among the aggressive animals, while light-colored animals prevail among tame animals. The association of the effects of selection for behavior with the modification of coat color is probably caused by the presence of common neurohormonal mechanisms for the regulation of these processes.

  1. Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone on obesity and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in the lethal yellow mouse (strain 129/Sv-Ay/Aw).

    PubMed

    Granholm, N H; Staber, L D; Wilkin, P J

    1987-04-01

    We investigated the anti-obesity effects of the adrenal androgen, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), on genetically predisposed obese lethal yellow mice (Ay/Aw). Secondly, we tested the hypothesis that DHEA promotes its anti-obesity effects by decreasing the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH). We subjected four genotype-sex combinations of yellow and agouti (control) mice to four dietary treatments and determined weight changes, food consumption, and G6PDH activity. Although G6PDH activities of yellow mice were considerably decreased in the 0.4% DHEA treatment group, they were elevated in the 0.0 and 0.1% DHEA treatment groups. In contrast, G6PDH activities of DHEA-treated control agouti mice remained relatively constant. These studies confirm that DHEA prevents the Ay gene from promoting excess fat deposition via some mechanism(s) other than reduced dietary intake. However, the overall absence of agreement between weight change (gain or loss) and G6PDH activity suggests that the anti-obesity activity of DHEA is not mediated via G6PDH. Since yellow obese (Ay/Aw) mice were found to be more susceptible to DHEA's effects than their agouti (Aw/Aw) littermates, Ay appears to induce an altered metabolism in Ay/Aw mice which is more susceptible to the effects of DHEA than the normal metabolism of Aw/Aw mice.

  2. [The effect of methyl-containing supplements during pregnancy on the phenotypic modification of offspring hair color in rats].

    PubMed

    Prasolova, L A; Trut, L N; Os'kina, I N; Gulevich, R G; Pliusnina, I Z; Vsevolodov, E B; Latypov, I F

    2006-01-01

    The effect of methyl supplements to the diet of pregnant homozygous (AAHH) female rats with agouti coat color mated with homozygous (aahh) males on the phenotypic modification of the coat color of their heterozygous offspring (AaHh) has been studied. Comparative morphological analysis of the main parameters of hair that determine coat color, including the total length of hairs of different types and the length of the upper black (eumelanin) and light (pheomelanin) parts of awn hairs has been performed. The pattern of pigment granule distribution among hair layers has been analyzed. The melanin content of the hair has been determined using electron spin resonance (ESR). Although all offspring have a typical agouti coat color (alternating black and light portions of hair), 39% of them have a darker coat color than control and other experimental rats have. The main differences between the offspring with darkened and standard coat colors are accounted for by the ratio between the eumelanin and pheomelanin portions of awn hairs. In darkened offspring, this ratio is significantly higher than in control rats. The possible mechanisms of the phenotypic modification of agouti coat color in experimental animals are discussed.

  3. Functional variation of MC1R alleles from red-haired individuals.

    PubMed

    Healy, E; Jordan, S A; Budd, P S; Suffolk, R; Rees, J L; Jackson, I J

    2001-10-01

    Red hair in humans is associated with variant alleles of the alphaMSH receptor gene, MC1R. Loss of MC1R function in other mammals results in red or yellow hair pigmentation. We show that a mouse bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) which contains Mc1r will efficiently rescue loss of Mc1r in transgenic mice, and that overexpression of the receptor suppresses the effect of the endogenous antagonist, agouti protein. We engineered the BAC to replace the mouse coding region with the human MC1R sequence and used this in the transgenic assay. The human receptor also efficiently rescued Mc1r deficiency, and in addition, appeared to be completely resistant to the effects of agouti, suggesting agouti protein may not play a role in human pigmentary variation. Three human variant alleles account for 60% of all cases of red hair. We engineered each of these in turn into the BAC and find that they have reduced, but not completely absent, function in transgenic mice. Comparison of the phenotypes of alphaMSH-deficient mice and humans in conjunction with this data suggests that red hair may not be the null phenotype of MC1R.

  4. Agent-based modeling for the landuse change of hunter-gather societies and the impacts on biodiversity in Guyana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamura, T.; Fragoso, J.; Lambin, E.

    2012-12-01

    The interactions with animals are vital to the Amerindian, indigenous people, of Rupunini savannah-forest in Guyana. Their connections extend from basic energy and protein resource to spiritual bonding through "paring" to a certain animal in the forest. We collected extensive dataset of 23 indigenous communities for 3.5 years, consisting 9900 individuals from 1307 households, as well as animal observation data in 8 transects per communities (47,000 data entries). In this presentation, our research interest is to model the driver of land use change of the indigenous communities and its impacts on the ecosystem in the Rupunini area under global change. Overarching question we would like to answer with this program is to find how and why "tipping-point" from hunting gathering society to the agricultural society occurs in the future. Secondary question is what is the implication of the change to agricultural society in terms of biodiversity and carbon stock in the area, and eventually the well-being of Rupunini people. To answer the questions regarding the society shift in agriculture activities, we built as simulation with Agent-Based Modeling (Multi Agents Simulation). We developed this simulation by using Netlogo, the programming environment specialized for spatially explicit agent-based modeling (ABM). This simulation consists of four different process in the Rupunini landscape; forest succession, animal population growth, hunting of animals, and land clearing for agriculture. All of these processes are carried out by a set of computational unit, called "agents". In this program, there are four types of agents - patches, villages, households, and animals. Here, we describe the impacts of hunting on the biodiversity based on actual demographic data from one village named Crush Water. Animal population within the hunting territory of the village stabilized but Agouti/Paca dominates the landscape with little population of armadillos and peccaries. White-tailed deers

  5. A monograph of Otidea (Pyronemataceae, Pezizomycetes).

    PubMed

    Olariaga, I; Van Vooren, N; Carbone, M; Hansen, K

    2015-12-01

    The easily recognised genus Otidea is subjected to numerous problems in species identification. A number of old names have undergone various interpretations, materials from different continents have not been compared and misidentifications occur commonly. In this context, Otidea is monographed, based on our multiple gene phylogenies assessing species boundaries and comparative morphological characters (see Hansen & Olariaga 2015). All names combined in or synonymised with Otidea are dealt with. Thirty-three species are treated, with full descriptions and colour illustrations provided for 25 of these. Five new species are described, viz. O. borealis, O. brunneoparva, O. oregonensis, O. pseudoleporina and O. subformicarum. Otidea cantharella var. minor and O. onotica var. brevispora are elevated to species rank. Otideopsis kaushalii is combined in the genus Otidea. A key to the species of Otidea is given. An LSU dataset containing 167 sequences (with 44 newly generated in this study) is analysed to place collections and determine whether the named Otidea sequences in GenBank were identified correctly. Fourty-nine new ITS sequences were generated in this study. The ITS region is too variable to align across Otidea, but had low intraspecific variation and it aided in species identifications. Thirty type collections were studied, and ITS and LSU sequences are provided for 12 of these. A neotype is designated for O. cantharella and epitypes for O. concinna, O. leporina and O. onotica, along with several lectotypifications. The apothecial colour and shape, and spore characters are important for species identification. We conclude that to distinguish closely related or morphologically similar species, a combination of additional features are needed, i.e. the shape of the paraphyses, ectal excipulum structure, types of ectal excipulum resinous exudates and their reactions in Melzer's reagent and KOH, tomentum and basal mycelium colours and exudates. The KOH reaction of

  6. Characterization of Rhizobium grahamii extrachromosomal replicons and their transfer among rhizobia.

    PubMed

    Althabegoiti, María Julia; Ormeño-Orrillo, Ernesto; Lozano, Luis; Torres Tejerizo, Gonzalo; Rogel, Marco Antonio; Mora, Jaime; Martínez-Romero, Esperanza

    2014-01-08

    Rhizobium grahamii belongs to a new phylogenetic group of rhizobia together with Rhizobium mesoamericanum and other species. R. grahamii has a broad-host-range that includes Leucaena leucocephala and Phaseolus vulgaris, although it is a poor competitor for P. vulgaris nodulation in the presence of Rhizobium etli or Rhizobium phaseoli strains. This work analyzed the genome sequence and transfer properties of R. grahamii plasmids. Genome sequence was obtained from R. grahamii CCGE502 type strain isolated from Dalea leporina in Mexico. The CCGE502 genome comprises one chromosome and two extrachromosomal replicons (ERs), pRgrCCGE502a and pRgrCCGE502b. Additionally, a plasmid integrated in the CCGE502 chromosome was found. The genomic comparison of ERs from this group showed that gene content is more variable than average nucleotide identity (ANI). Well conserved nod and nif genes were found in R. grahamii and R. mesoamericanum with some differences. R. phaseoli Ch24-10 genes expressed in bacterial cells in roots were found to be conserved in pRgrCCGE502b. Regarding conjugative transfer we were unable to transfer the R. grahamii CCGE502 symbiotic plasmid and its megaplasmid to other rhizobial hosts but we could transfer the symbiotic plasmid to Agrobacterium tumefaciens with transfer dependent on homoserine lactones. Variable degrees of nucleotide identity and gene content conservation were found among the different R. grahamii CCGE502 replicons in comparison to R. mesoamericanum genomes. The extrachromosomal replicons from R. grahamii were more similar to those found in phylogenetically related Rhizobium species. However, limited similarities of R. grahamii CCGE502 symbiotic plasmid and megaplasmid were observed in other more distant Rhizobium species. The set of conserved genes in R. grahamii comprises some of those that are highly expressed in R. phaseoli on plant roots, suggesting that they play an important role in root colonization.

  7. Characterization of Rhizobium grahamii extrachromosomal replicons and their transfer among rhizobia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Rhizobium grahamii belongs to a new phylogenetic group of rhizobia together with Rhizobium mesoamericanum and other species. R. grahamii has a broad-host-range that includes Leucaena leucocephala and Phaseolus vulgaris, although it is a poor competitor for P. vulgaris nodulation in the presence of Rhizobium etli or Rhizobium phaseoli strains. This work analyzed the genome sequence and transfer properties of R. grahamii plasmids. Results Genome sequence was obtained from R. grahamii CCGE502 type strain isolated from Dalea leporina in Mexico. The CCGE502 genome comprises one chromosome and two extrachromosomal replicons (ERs), pRgrCCGE502a and pRgrCCGE502b. Additionally, a plasmid integrated in the CCGE502 chromosome was found. The genomic comparison of ERs from this group showed that gene content is more variable than average nucleotide identity (ANI). Well conserved nod and nif genes were found in R. grahamii and R. mesoamericanum with some differences. R. phaseoli Ch24-10 genes expressed in bacterial cells in roots were found to be conserved in pRgrCCGE502b. Regarding conjugative transfer we were unable to transfer the R. grahamii CCGE502 symbiotic plasmid and its megaplasmid to other rhizobial hosts but we could transfer the symbiotic plasmid to Agrobacterium tumefaciens with transfer dependent on homoserine lactones. Conclusion Variable degrees of nucleotide identity and gene content conservation were found among the different R. grahamii CCGE502 replicons in comparison to R. mesoamericanum genomes. The extrachromosomal replicons from R. grahamii were more similar to those found in phylogenetically related Rhizobium species. However, limited similarities of R. grahamii CCGE502 symbiotic plasmid and megaplasmid were observed in other more distant Rhizobium species. The set of conserved genes in R. grahamii comprises some of those that are highly expressed in R. phaseoli on plant roots, suggesting that they play an important role in root colonization

  8. Voluntary exercise augments acute effects of CB1-receptor inverse agonist on body weight loss in obese and lean mice.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Dan; Shearman, Lauren P

    2004-01-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) inverse agonists reduce appetite and body weight (BW) gain in various species. Exercise is thought to be a natural reward process and the cannabinoid system is also believed to influence reward. We tested the hypothesis that voluntary exercise would augment the effects of AM251, a CB1R inverse agonist, on food intake (FI) and BW loss in murine genetic models of obesity. ob/ob, agouti yellow (A(y)), and lean C57BL/6J mice were treated via oral gavage with vehicle or AM251 (1, 3, or 10 mg/kg) 1 h before the dark cycle. The suppressive effects of 3 and 10 mg/kg AM251 on overnight FI, BW gain, and water intake (WI) were significant in ob/ob mice. In contrast, in A(y) mice, 10 mg/kg AM251 decreased FI and BW gain while it did not influence WI. Food consumption of ob/ob and A(y) mice, as evidenced by feeding frequency (FF) and feeding duration (FD), was reduced by AM251 for 4-6 h. AM251 at these doses had no impact on the appetitive behavior or BW gain of lean mice. After a 1-week wash-out period, mice were given running wheels in their home cages. With running wheel exercise, lean and obese mice exhibited increased sensitivity to AM251. Low voluntary wheel running activity of ob/ob mice precluded detection of combined effects of AM251 and exercise in this genetic model of obesity. Lean and agouti mice given AM251 combined with exercise lost a greater amount of BW than with AM251 alone. Our data suggest that voluntary exercise can enhance CB1R inverse agonist effects on appetite and BW loss in both lean and agouti obese mice.

  9. A novel animal model to investigate fractionated radiotherapy-induced alimentary mucositis: the role of apoptosis, p53, nuclear factor-kappaB, COX-1, and COX-2.

    PubMed

    Yeoh, Ann S J; Gibson, Rachel J; Yeoh, Eric E K; Bowen, Joanne M; Stringer, Andrea M; Giam, Kar A; Keefe, Dorothy M K

    2007-08-01

    Radiation-induced mucositis is a common and serious side effect of radiotherapy. Molecular mechanisms of mucosal injury, however, are still poorly understood and extremely difficult to study in humans. A novel Dark Agouti rat model using fractionated radiotherapy to induce mucositis has been developed to investigate the occurrence of alimentary mucosal injury. Twenty-four Dark Agouti rats were randomly assigned to receive either fractionated radiotherapy or no radiotherapy. The irradiated rats received a fractionated course of abdominal radiotherapy at 45 Gy/18 fractions/6 weeks treating thrice weekly (i.e., at a radiation dose of 2.5 Gy per fraction). After each week of radiation, a group of irradiated rats was killed. Histomorphology and mucin distribution in the alimentary tract was investigated. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay was used to examine apoptosis in the colon and jejunum, and intestinal morphometry was used to assess villus length, crypt length, and mitotic crypt count. Immunohistochemistry of p53, nuclear factor-kappaB, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, and COX-2 was also done. The fractionated radiotherapy course induced alimentary mucositis from week 1, with more severe injury seen in the small intestine. The hallmark appearance of apoptosis was present in the crypts of the small and large intestine. In the jejunum and colon, goblet cell disorganization and degeneration was obvious and crypt mitotic counts were severely depleted throughout the treatment. Expression of p53, nuclear factor-kappaB, COX-1, and COX-2 was increased in the irradiated intestinal sections. Fractionated radiation-induced alimentary mucositis has been effectively documented in the Dark Agouti rat for the first time. Further studies investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying radiation-induced mucositis are planned to ultimately achieve anti-mucotoxic-targeted therapies.

  10. The embryonic lethality of homozygous lethal yellow mice (Ay/Ay) is associated with the disruption of a novel RNA-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Michaud, E J; Bultman, S J; Stubbs, L J; Woychik, R P

    1993-07-01

    Lethal yellow (Ay) is a mutation at the mouse agouti (a) locus that is associated with an all-yellow coat color, obesity, diabetes, tumors in heterozygotes, and preimplantation embryonic lethality in homozygotes. Previously, we cloned and characterized the wild-type agouti gene and demonstrated that it expresses a 0.8-kb mRNA in neonatal skin. In contrast, Ay expresses a 1.1-kb transcript that is ectopically overexpressed in all tissues examined. The Ay mRNA is identical to the wild-type a transcript for the entire coding region, but the 5'-untranslated sequence of the a gene has been replaced by novel sequence. Here, we demonstrate that the novel 5' sequence in the Ay mRNA corresponds to the 5'-untranslated sequence of another gene that is normally tightly linked to a in mouse chromosome 2. This other gene (Raly) has the potential to encode a novel RNA-binding protein that is normally expressed in the preimplantation embryo, throughout development, and in all adult tissues examined. Importantly, the Ay mutation disrupts the structure and expression of the Raly gene. The data suggest that the Ay mutation arose from a DNA structural alteration that affects the expression of both agouti and Raly. We propose that the dominant pleiotropic effects associated with Ay may result from the ectopic overexpression of the wild-type a gene product under the control of the Raly promoter and that the recessive embryonic lethality may be the result of the lack of Raly gene expression in the early embryo.

  11. Comprehensive Assessment of Oxidatively Induced Modifications of DNA in a Rat Model of Human Wilson's Disease*

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yang; Guerrero, Candace R.; Liu, Shuo; Amato, Nicholas J.; Sharma, Yogeshwar; Gupta, Sanjeev; Wang, Yinsheng

    2016-01-01

    Defective copper excretion from hepatocytes in Wilson's disease causes accumulation of copper ions with increased generation of reactive oxygen species via the Fenton-type reaction. Here we developed a nanoflow liquid chromatography-nanoelectrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry coupled with the isotope-dilution method for the simultaneous quantification of oxidatively induced DNA modifications. This method enabled measurement, in microgram quantities of DNA, of four oxidative stress-induced lesions, including direct ROS-induced purine cyclonucleosides (cPus) and two exocyclic adducts induced by byproducts of lipid peroxidation, i.e. 1,N6-etheno-2′-deoxyadenosine (εdA) and 1,N2-etheno-2′-deoxyguanosine (εdG). Analysis of liver tissues of Long-Evans Cinnamon rats, which constitute an animal model of human Wilson's disease, and their healthy counterparts [i.e. Long-Evans Agouti rats] showed significantly higher levels of all four DNA lesions in Long-Evans Cinnamon than Long-Evans Agouti rats. Moreover, cPus were present at much higher levels than εdA and εdG lesions. In contrast, the level of 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxycytidine (5-HmdC), an oxidation product of 5-methyl-2′-deoxycytidine (5-mdC), was markedly lower in the liver tissues of Long-Evans Cinnamon than Long-Evans Agouti rats, though no differences were observed for the levels of 5-mdC. In vitro biochemical assay showed that Cu2+ ions could directly inhibit the activity of Tet enzymes. Together, these results suggest that aberrant copper accumulation may perturb genomic stability by elevating oxidatively induced DNA lesions, and by altering epigenetic pathways of gene regulation. PMID:26362317

  12. Anorexia in rats caused by a valine-deficient diet is not ameliorated by systemic ghrelin treatment.

    PubMed

    Goto, S; Nagao, K; Bannai, M; Takahashi, M; Nakahara, K; Kangawa, K; Murakami, N

    2010-03-10

    Rodents exhibit aversive behavior toward a diet that lacks at least one of the essential amino acids. We sought to determine whether the particular form of anorexia caused by such diets could be ameliorated by the administration of orexigenic peptides while simultaneously analyzing the neural mechanisms underlying anorexia. Rats were fed a valine-deficient diet, which induced severe anorexia (reducing food consumption by 80%). The severe anorexia was associated with a significant decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid valine concentration and hyper-ghrelinemia. Between 6 and 12 days after initiation of the valine-deficient diet, we injected rats twice daily with valine and/or an orexigenic peptide (ghrelin, neuropeptide Y, or agouti-related protein) either i.p. or i.c.v.. We then measured dietary intake. An i.c.v. valine injection allowed earlier food intake compared with an i.p valine injection and increased the density of c-Fos-positive ependymal cells lining the third ventricle. Whereas an i.c.v. injection of ghrelin or neuropeptide Y increased consumption of the valine-deficient diet, i.p injection of ghrelin or i.c.v. injection of agouti-related protein did not. Following i.c.v. administration of either valine or ghrelin, we did not observe complete recovery of consumption of the valine-deficient diet. This may be due to the ineffectiveness of peripheral ghrelin and central agouti-related protein and/or to conditioned aversion to the valine-deficient diet. Since ghrelin is known to be involved in food anticipatory activities, whether the hyper-ghrelinemia observed in valine-deficient rats play role in foraging behavior other than food intake is the future study to be investigated. Copyright 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Comprehensive Assessment of Oxidatively Induced Modifications of DNA in a Rat Model of Human Wilson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yang; Guerrero, Candace R; Liu, Shuo; Amato, Nicholas J; Sharma, Yogeshwar; Gupta, Sanjeev; Wang, Yinsheng

    2016-03-01

    Defective copper excretion from hepatocytes in Wilson's disease causes accumulation of copper ions with increased generation of reactive oxygen species via the Fenton-type reaction. Here we developed a nanoflow liquid chromatography-nanoelectrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry coupled with the isotope-dilution method for the simultaneous quantification of oxidatively induced DNA modifications. This method enabled measurement, in microgram quantities of DNA, of four oxidative stress-induced lesions, including direct ROS-induced purine cyclonucleosides (cPus) and two exocyclic adducts induced by byproducts of lipid peroxidation, i.e. 1,N(6)-etheno-2'-deoxyadenosine (εdA) and 1,N(2)-etheno-2'-deoxyguanosine (εdG). Analysis of liver tissues of Long-Evans Cinnamon rats, which constitute an animal model of human Wilson's disease, and their healthy counterparts [i.e. Long-Evans Agouti rats] showed significantly higher levels of all four DNA lesions in Long-Evans Cinnamon than Long-Evans Agouti rats. Moreover, cPus were present at much higher levels than εdA and εdG lesions. In contrast, the level of 5-hydroxymethyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5-HmdC), an oxidation product of 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5-mdC), was markedly lower in the liver tissues of Long-Evans Cinnamon than Long-Evans Agouti rats, though no differences were observed for the levels of 5-mdC. In vitro biochemical assay showed that Cu(2+) ions could directly inhibit the activity of Tet enzymes. Together, these results suggest that aberrant copper accumulation may perturb genomic stability by elevating oxidatively induced DNA lesions, and by altering epigenetic pathways of gene regulation.

  14. Wild terrestrial rainforest mammals as potential reservoirs for flaviviruses (yellow fever, dengue 2 and St Louis encephalitis viruses) in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    de Thoisy, B; Dussart, P; Kazanji, M

    2004-07-01

    A serological survey for yellow fever virus (YFV), dengue 2 virus (DENV-2), and St Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) was undertaken using a seroneutralization technique in 27 wild forest mammal species (574 individuals) in French Guiana. Evidence of yellow fever infection was observed in 10 species, with high prevalence recorded in howler monkey (18%) and agouti (20%). Antibodies against DENV-2 and SLEV were found sporadically in various species. This potential host diversity and the range of potential vectors might explain the behaviour of the viruses in epidemic outbreaks and the emergence of periurban loci.

  15. Quantitative trait locus mapping of genes associated with vacuolation in the adrenal X-zone of the DDD/Sgn inbred mouse

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Adrenal gland of mice contains a transient zone between the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla: the X-zone. There are clear strain differences in terms of X-zone morphology. Nulliparous females of the inbred mouse DDD strain develop adrenal X-zones containing exclusively vacuolated cells, whereas females of the inbred mouse B6 strain develop X-zones containing only non-vacuolated cells. The X-zone vacuolation is a physiologic process associated with the X-zone degeneration and is tightly regulated by genetic factors. Identification of the genetic factors controlling such strain differences should help analyze the X-zone function. In this study, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for the extent of X-zone vacuolation was performed for two types of F2 female mice: F2Ay mice (F2 mice with the Ay allele) and F2 non-Ay mice (F2 mice without the Ay allele). These were produced by crossing B6 females and DDD.Cg-Ay males. DDD.Cg-Ay is a congenic mouse strain for the Ay allele at the agouti locus and is used for this study because a close association between the X-zone morphology and the agouti locus genotype has been suggested. The Ay allele is dominant and homozygous lethal; therefore, living Ay mice are invariably heterozygotes. Results Single QTL scans identified significant QTLs on chromosomes 1, 2, 6, and X for F2 non-Ay mice, and on chromosomes 2, 6, and 12 for F2Ay mice. The QTL on chromosome 2 was considered to be because of the agouti locus, which has been suggested to be associated with X-zone vacuolation. A significant QTL that interacted with the agouti locus was identified on chromosome 8. Conclusions The extent of X-zone vacuolation in DDD females was controlled by multiple genes with complex interactions. The murine X-zone is considered analogous structure to the human fetal zone. Therefore, the results of this study will aid in understanding function of not only of the X-zone but also of the human fetal zone. Identifying the genes

  16. Quantitative trait locus mapping of genes associated with vacuolation in the adrenal X-zone of the DDD/Sgn inbred mouse.

    PubMed

    Suto, Jun-Ichi

    2012-11-06

    Adrenal gland of mice contains a transient zone between the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla: the X-zone. There are clear strain differences in terms of X-zone morphology. Nulliparous females of the inbred mouse DDD strain develop adrenal X-zones containing exclusively vacuolated cells, whereas females of the inbred mouse B6 strain develop X-zones containing only non-vacuolated cells. The X-zone vacuolation is a physiologic process associated with the X-zone degeneration and is tightly regulated by genetic factors. Identification of the genetic factors controlling such strain differences should help analyze the X-zone function. In this study, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for the extent of X-zone vacuolation was performed for two types of F2 female mice: F2Ay mice (F2 mice with the Ay allele) and F2 non-Ay mice (F2 mice without the Ay allele). These were produced by crossing B6 females and DDD.Cg-Ay males. DDD.Cg-Ay is a congenic mouse strain for the Ay allele at the agouti locus and is used for this study because a close association between the X-zone morphology and the agouti locus genotype has been suggested. The Ay allele is dominant and homozygous lethal; therefore, living Ay mice are invariably heterozygotes. Single QTL scans identified significant QTLs on chromosomes 1, 2, 6, and X for F2 non-Ay mice, and on chromosomes 2, 6, and 12 for F2Ay mice. The QTL on chromosome 2 was considered to be because of the agouti locus, which has been suggested to be associated with X-zone vacuolation. A significant QTL that interacted with the agouti locus was identified on chromosome 8. The extent of X-zone vacuolation in DDD females was controlled by multiple genes with complex interactions. The murine X-zone is considered analogous structure to the human fetal zone. Therefore, the results of this study will aid in understanding function of not only of the X-zone but also of the human fetal zone. Identifying the genes responsible for the QTLs will be

  17. Platinum coat color locus in the deer mouse.

    PubMed

    Dodson, K M; Dawson, W D; Van Ooteghem, S O; Cushing, B S; Haigh, G R

    1987-01-01

    Platinum coat color in the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, is an autosomal recessive trait marking a locus, pt, distinct from silver (si), albino (c), blonde (bl), brown (b), and agouti (a). Platinum deer mice are conspicuously pale, with light ears and tail stripe. The pewter trait is allelic with and phenotypically identical to platinum, and represents an independent recurrence of this mutant. The rate of recoveries of coat color mutations from wild deer mice is consistent with available data for recurring mutation rates balanced by strong selection against the recessive phenotype.

  18. Inheritance of a Parotid Secretory Protein in Mice and Its Use in Determining Salivary Amylase Quantitative Variants

    PubMed Central

    Owerbach, David; Hjorth, J. Peter

    1980-01-01

    Among inbred strains of mice, a major protein, PSP, produced and secreted by the parotid glands, shows variation in electrophoretic mobility and in the peptides produced by cyanogen bromide treatment. This variation is inherited as a single Mendelian factor with two alleles showing co-dominant expression. In genetic crosses, it segregates independently from the amylase complex and is closely linked to the agouti locus on chromosome 2. The protein ratios between amylase and PSP in saliva, obtained by scanning of electrophoretic gel separations, were found to reflect genetic differences in salivary amylase production in strains YBR/Cv and C3H/As. PMID:6159249

  19. The Use of Mouse Models to Study Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Blewitt, Marnie; Whitelaw, Emma

    2013-01-01

    Much of what we know about the role of epigenetics in the determination of phenotype has come from studies of inbred mice. Some unusual expression patterns arising from endogenous and transgenic murine alleles, such as the Agouti coat color alleles, have allowed the study of variegation, variable expressivity, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, parent-of-origin effects, and position effects. These phenomena have taught us much about gene silencing and the probabilistic nature of epigenetic processes. Based on some of these alleles, large-scale mutagenesis screens have broadened our knowledge of epigenetic control by identifying and characterizing novel genes involved in these processes. PMID:24186070

  20. Hunting and use of terrestrial fauna used by Caiçaras from the Atlantic Forest coast (Brazil)

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is considered one of the hotspots for conservation, comprising remnants of rain forest along the eastern Brazilian coast. Its native inhabitants in the Southeastern coast include the Caiçaras (descendants from Amerindians and European colonizers), with a deep knowledge on the natural resources used for their livelihood. Methods We studied the use of the terrestrial fauna in three Caiçara communities, through open-ended interviews with 116 native residents. Data were checked through systematic observations and collection of zoological material. Results The dependence on the terrestrial fauna by Caiçaras is especially for food and medicine. The main species used are Didelphis spp., Dasyprocta azarae, Dasypus novemcinctus, and small birds (several species of Turdidae). Contrasting with a high dependency on terrestrial fauna resources by native Amazonians, the Caiçaras do not show a constant dependency on these resources. Nevertheless, the occasional hunting of native animals represents a complimentary source of animal protein. Conclusion Indigenous or local knowledge on native resources is important in order to promote local development in a sustainable way, and can help to conserve biodiversity, particularly if the resource is sporadically used and not commercially exploited. PMID:19930595

  1. [Wildlife damage mitigation in agricultural crops in a Bolivian montane forest].

    PubMed

    Perez, Eddy; Pacheco, Luis F

    2014-12-01

    Wildlife is often blamed for causing damage to human activities, including agricultural practices and the result may be a conflict between human interests and species conservation. A formal assessment of the magnitude of damage is necessary to adequately conduct management practices and an assessment of the efficiency of different management practices is necessary to enable managers to mitigate the conflict with rural people. This study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural management practices and controlled hunting in reducing damage to subsistence annual crops at the Cotapata National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management. The design included seven fields with modified agricultural practices, four fields subjected to control hunting, and five fields held as controls. We registered cultivar type, density, frequency of visiting species to the field, crops lost to wildlife, species responsible for damage, and crop biomass. Most frequent species in the fields were Dasyprocta punctata and Dasypus novemcinctus. Hunted plots were visited 1.6 times more frequently than agriculturally managed plots. Crop lost to wildlife averaged 7.28% at agriculturally managed plots, 4.59% in plots subjected to hunting, and 27.61% in control plots. Species mainly responsible for damage were Pecari tajacu, D. punctata, and Sapajus apella. We concluded that both management strategies were effective to reduce damage by >50% as compared to unmanaged crop plots.

  2. Long-term effect of maternal obesity on pancreatic beta cells of offspring: reduced beta cell adaptation to high glucose and high-fat diet challenges in adult female mouse offspring.

    PubMed

    Han, J; Xu, J; Epstein, P N; Liu, Y Qi

    2005-09-01

    Obesity is a global problem with high risks of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes. It is well known that maternal obesity affects offspring by inducing malformation, functional abnormalities in many organs and cells, and by increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, little is known about abnormalities induced by maternal obesity in pancreatic beta cells of offspring. We used mouse mothers with the Agouti yellow modification on a C57BL/6 background as a maternal model of normoglycaemic obesity, and produced Agouti-negative offspring. Half of the offspring were fed a high-fat diet. Offspring glucose tolerance was tested at different ages, and animals were killed at 50 weeks of age for islet function analysis. Maternal obesity impaired glucose tolerance in female offspring fed a high-fat diet, and significantly reduced insulin secretion at 50 weeks of age in female offspring that had been fed a normal diet and high-fat diet. Insulin secretion and glucose potentiation from these islets were significantly reduced. Islet protein, DNA and insulin contents were increased while glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and transketolase activities were reduced in female offspring. Our results indicate that maternal obesity has a long-term effect on the beta cells of female, but not of male, offspring, and leads to increased risk of gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes in the offspring's later lives.

  3. Mutations in dopachrome tautomerase (Dct) affect eumelanin/pheomelanin synthesis, but do not affect intracellular trafficking of the mutant protein

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Dopachrome tautomerase (Dct) is a type I membrane protein and an important regulatory enzyme that plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of melanin and in the rapid metabolism of its toxic intermediates. Dct-mutant melanocytes carrying the slaty or slaty light mutations were derived from the skin of newborn congenic C57BL/6J non-agouti black mice and were used to study the effect(s) of these mutations on the intracellular trafficking of Dct and on the pigmentation of the cells. Dct activity is 3-fold lower in slaty cells compared with non-agouti black melanocytes, whereas slaty light melanocytes have a surprisingly 28-fold lower Dct activity. Homology modelling of the active site of Dct suggests that the slaty mutation [R194Q (Arg194→Gln)] is located in the active site and may alter the ability of the enzyme to transform the substrate. Transmembrane prediction methods indicate that the slaty light mutation [G486R (Gly486→Arg)] may result in the sliding of the transmembrane domain towards the N-terminus, thus interfering with Dct function. Chemical analysis showed that both Dct mutations increase pheomelanin and reduce eumelanin produced by melanocytes in culture. Thus the enzymatic activity of Dct may play a role in determining whether the eumelanin or pheomelanin pathway is preferred for pigment biosynthesis. PMID:15960609

  4. Development of an Assay for High-Throughput Energy Expenditure Monitoring in the Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chao; Williams, Savannah Y.; Cone, Roger D.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Energy homeostasis is maintained by balancing energy intake and expenditure. Many signals regulating energy intake are conserved between the human and teleost. However, before this work, there was no sensitive high-throughput system to monitor energy expenditure in the teleost. We exploit the nonfluorescent and fluorescent properties of resazurin and its reduced form resorufin (alamarBlue®) to monitor energy expenditure responses to drug application and genetic manipulation. We show that leptin, insulin, and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) increase energy expenditure dose dependently in the larval zebrafish. As previously established in the mouse, etomoxir, a carnitine palmitoyl transferase I inhibitor, blocks leptin-induced energy expenditure in the zebrafish. Metformin, the most commonly prescribed insulin sensitizer, increases the insulin-induced metabolic rate. Using genetic knockdown, we observed that α-MSH treatment increases the metabolic rate, as does knockdown of the melanocortin antagonist, agouti-related protein. The agouti-related protein and multiple melanocortin receptors are shown to be involved in these effects. These studies confirm that aspects of hormonal regulation of energy expenditure are conserved in the teleost, and suggest that this assay may provide a unique tool to perform in vivo screens for drugs or genes that affect the metabolic rate, including insulin or leptin sensitizers. PMID:23705823

  5. A Method to Quantify Mouse Coat-Color Proportions

    PubMed Central

    Ounpraseuth, Songthip; Rafferty, Tonya M.; McDonald-Phillips, Rachel E.; Gammill, Whitney M.; Siegel, Eric R.; Wheeler, Kristin L.; Nilsson, Erik A.; Cooney, Craig A.

    2009-01-01

    Coat-color proportions and patterns in mice are used as assays for many processes such as transgene expression, chimerism, and epigenetics. In many studies, coat-color readouts are estimated from subjective scoring of individual mice. Here we show a method by which mouse coat color is quantified as the proportion of coat shown in one or more digital images. We use the yellow-agouti mouse model of epigenetic variegation to demonstrate this method. We apply this method to live mice using a conventional digital camera for data collection. We use a raster graphics editing program to convert agouti regions of the coat to a standard, uniform, brown color and the yellow regions of the coat to a standard, uniform, yellow color. We use a second program to quantify the proportions of these standard colors. This method provides quantification that relates directly to the visual appearance of the live animal. It also provides an objective analysis with a traceable record, and it should allow for precise comparisons of mouse coats and mouse cohorts within and between studies. PMID:19404391

  6. Capillary blood transit time in muscles in relation to body size and aerobic capacity.

    PubMed

    Kayar, S R; Hoppeler, H; Jones, J H; Longworth, K; Armstrong, R B; Laughlin, M H; Lindstedt, S L; Bicudo, J E; Groebe, K; Taylor, C R

    1994-09-01

    The mean minimal transit time for blood in muscle capillaries (tc) was estimated in six species, spanning two orders of magnitude in body mass and aerobic capacity: horse, steer, dog, goat, fox and agouti. Arterial (CaO2) and mixed venous (CvO2) blood O2 concentrations, blood hemoglobin concentrations ([Hb]) and oxygen uptake rates were measured while the animals ran on a treadmill at a speed that elicited the maximal oxygen consumption rate (VO2max) from each animal. Blood flow to the muscles (Qm) was assumed to be 85% of cardiac output, which was calculated using the Fick relationship. Total muscle capillary blood volume (Vc) and total muscle mitochondrial volume were estimated by morphometry, using a whole-body muscle sampling scheme. The tc was computed as Vc/Qm. The tc was 0.3-0.5 s in the 4 kg foxes and agoutis, 0.7-0.8 s in the 25 kg dogs and goats, and 0.8-1.0 s in the 400 kg horses and steers. The tc was positively correlated with body mass and negatively correlated with transcapillary O2 release rate per unit capillary length. Mitochondrial content was positively correlated with VO2max and with the product of Qm and [Hb]. These data suggested that Qm, Vc, maximal hemoglobin flux, and consequently tc, are co-adjusted to result in muscle O2 supply conditions that are matched to the O2 demands of the muscles at VO2max.

  7. Melanocortin receptor accessory protein 2 (MRAP2) interplays with the zebrafish melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) but has no effect on its pharmacological profile.

    PubMed

    Cortés, Raúl; Agulleiro, Maria Josep; Navarro, Sandra; Guillot, Raúl; Sánchez, Elisa; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel

    2014-05-15

    The melanocortin system is probably one of the most complex hormonal systems since it integrates agonist, encoded in the proopiomelanocortin precursor, endogenous antagonist, agouti signaling protein and agouti-related protein, five different G-protein coupled receptors and two accessory proteins. These accessory proteins interact with melanocortin receptors to allow traffic to the plasma membrane or to regulate the pharmacological profile. The MC1R fill the extension locus, which is primarily responsible for the regulation of pigmentation. In zebrafish, both MC1R and MRAP2 system are expressed in the skin. We demonstrate that zebrafish MC1R physically, or closely, interacts with the MRAP2 system, although this interaction did not result in modification of the studied pharmacological profile. However, progressive fasting induced skin darkening but also an upregulation of the MRAP2 expression in the skin, suggesting an unknown role for MRAP2a that could involve receptor desensitization processes. We also demonstrate that crowding stress induces skin darkening and a downregulation of MC1R expression in the skin.

  8. Monitoring the Status and Trends of Tropical Forest Terrestrial Vertebrate Communities from Camera Trap Data: A Tool for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Ahumada, Jorge A.; Hurtado, Johanna; Lizcano, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the loss of biodiversity is key to ensure the future well being of the planet. Indicators to measure the state of biodiversity should come from primary data that are collected using consistent field methods across several sites, longitudinal, and derived using sound statistical methods that correct for observation/detection bias. In this paper we analyze camera trap data collected between 2008 and 2012 at a site in Costa Rica (Volcan Barva transect) as part of an ongoing tropical forest global monitoring network (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network). We estimated occupancy dynamics for 13 species of mammals, using a hierarchical modeling approach. We calculated detection-corrected species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index, a promising new indicator derived from camera trap data that measures changes in biodiversity from the occupancy estimates of individual species. Our results show that 3 out of 13 species showed significant declines in occupancy over 5 years (lowland paca, Central American agouti, nine-banded armadillo). We hypothesize that hunting, competition and/or increased predation for paca and agouti might explain these patterns. Species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index are relatively stable at the site, but small herbivores that are hunted showed a decline in diversity of about 25%. We demonstrate the usefulness of longitudinal camera trap deployments coupled with modern statistical methods and advocate for the use of this approach in monitoring and developing global and national indicators for biodiversity change. PMID:24023898

  9. Whole-Genome Sequences of DA and F344 Rats with Different Susceptibilities to Arthritis, Autoimmunity, Inflammation and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiaosen; Brenner, Max; Zhang, Xuemei; Laragione, Teresina; Tai, Shuaishuai; Li, Yanhong; Bu, Junjie; Yin, Ye; Shah, Anish A.; Kwan, Kevin; Li, Yingrui; Jun, Wang; Gulko, Pércio S.

    2013-01-01

    DA (D-blood group of Palm and Agouti, also known as Dark Agouti) and F344 (Fischer) are two inbred rat strains with differences in several phenotypes, including susceptibility to autoimmune disease models and inflammatory responses. While these strains have been extensively studied, little information is available about the DA and F344 genomes, as only the Brown Norway (BN) and spontaneously hypertensive rat strains have been sequenced to date. Here we report the sequencing of the DA and F344 genomes using next-generation Illumina paired-end read technology and the first de novo assembly of a rat genome. DA and F344 were sequenced with an average depth of 32-fold, covered 98.9% of the BN reference genome, and included 97.97% of known rat ESTs. New sequences could be assigned to 59 million positions with previously unknown data in the BN reference genome. Differences between DA, F344, and BN included 19 million positions in novel scaffolds, 4.09 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (including 1.37 million new SNPs), 458,224 short insertions and deletions, and 58,174 structural variants. Genetic differences between DA, F344, and BN, including high-impact SNPs and short insertions and deletions affecting >2500 genes, are likely to account for most of the phenotypic variation between these strains. The new DA and F344 genome sequencing data should facilitate gene discovery efforts in rat models of human disease. PMID:23695301

  10. Recessive black is allelic to the yellow plumage locus in Japanese quail and associated with a frameshift deletion in the ASIP gene.

    PubMed

    Hiragaki, Takahiro; Inoue-Murayama, Miho; Miwa, Mitsuru; Fujiwara, Akira; Mizutani, Makoto; Minvielle, Francis; Ito, Shin'ichi

    2008-02-01

    The recessive black plumage mutation in the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) is controlled by an autosomal recessive gene (rb) and displays a blackish-brown phenotype in the recessive homozygous state (rb/rb). A similar black coat color phenotype in nonagouti mice is caused by an autosomal recessive mutation at the agouti locus. An allelism test showed that wild type and mutations for yellow, fawn-2, and recessive black in Japanese quail were multiple alleles (*N, *Y, *F2, and *RB) at the same locus Y and that the dominance relationship was Y*F2 > Y*Y > Y*N > Y*RB. A deletion of 8 bases was found in the ASIP gene in the Y*RB allele, causing a frameshift that changed the last six amino acids, including a cysteine residue, and removed the normal stop codon. Since the cysteine residues at the C terminus are important for disulphide bond formation and tertiary structure of the agouti signaling protein, the deletion is expected to cause a dysfunction of ASIP as an antagonist of alpha-MSH in the Y*RB allele. This is the first evidence that the ASIP gene, known to be involved in coat color variation in mammals, is functional and has a similar effect on plumage color in birds.

  11. The prediction role of indexes of circulating adipokines for common anthropometric and nutritional characteristics of obesity in the obese Central European population.

    PubMed

    Bienertová-Vašků, Julie; Novák, Jan; Zlámal, Filip; Forejt, Martin; Havlenová, Soňa; Jackowská, Aneta; Tomandl, Josef; Tomandlová, Marie; Šplíchal, Zbyněk; Vašků, Anna

    2014-04-01

    This study was designed to investigate the relationship between 8 selected adipokines (leptin, leptin receptor, adiponectin, agouti-related peptide, omentin, visfatin, adipsin and resistin), dietary composition and anthropometric parameters found in the Central European obese population. A total of 65 unrelated obese Central European Caucasian individuals were recruited for the study. Phenotypic measurements included weight, height, BMI, lean body mass, fat mass, body fat, waist and hip circumference, waist-hip ratio (WHR) and skinfold thickness. Participants completed standardized self-reported 7-day food records. Plasma levels of leptin, leptin receptor, adiponectin, agouti-related peptide (AgRP), resistin, adipsin, omentin and visfatin were examined using ELISA. Multiple associations (weight, height, percentage of body fat, waist circumference, hip circumference, WHR and sum of skinfold thickness) with the circulation levels of the investigated adipokines were identified. Leptin-Leptin receptor (L-LR) levels were found to correlate with total energy intake and macronutrients while adipsin was found to strongly correlate with multiple adipokines. Furthermore, the L-LR index was found to constitute a more accurate description of the relationship between BMI and body weight than individual measurements and the Ag-LR index was found to strongly correlate with both anthropometric and dietary characteristics. Following confirmation on larger population samples and on samples of different ethnicities, the reported adipokine indexes could become a useful tool for estimating nutritional status and predicting the body composition of specific patient groups. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 9-cis Retinal increased in retina of RPE65 knockout mice with decrease in coat pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Fan, Jie; Wu, Bill X; Sarna, Tadeusz; Rohrer, Baerbel; Redmond, T Michael; Crouch, Rosalie K

    2006-01-01

    The protein RPE65 is essential for the generation of the native chromophore, 11-cis retinal, of visual pigments. However, the Rpe65 knockout (Rpe65-/-) mouse shows a minimal visual response due to the presence of a pigment, isorhodopsin, formed with 9-cis retinal. Isorhodopsin accumulates linearly with prolonged dark-rearing of the animals. The majority of Rpe65-/- mice have an agouti coat color. A tan coat color subset of Rpe65-/- mice was found to have an enhanced visual response as measured by electroretinograms. The enhanced response was found to be due to increased levels of 9-cis retinal and isorhodopsin pigment levels. Animals of both coat colors reared in cyclic light have minimal levels of regenerated pigment and show photoreceptor degeneration. On dark-rearing, pigment accumulates and photoreceptor degeneration is decreased. In the tan Rpe65-/- mice, the level of photoreceptor degeneration is less than in the agouti animals, which have an increased pigment and decreased free opsin level. Therefore, photoreceptor damage correlates with the amount of the apoprotein present, supporting findings that the activity from unregenerated opsin can lead to photoreceptor degeneration.

  13. Molecular and Functional Analysis of Human β-Defensin 3 Action at Melanocortin Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Matthew A.; Kaelin, Christopher B.; Ta, Tina; Weis, Allison; Morton, Gregory J.; Barsh, Gregory S.; Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The β-defensins are a class of small, cationic proteins first recognized as antimicrobial components of the innate and adaptive immune system. More recently, one of the major β-defensins produced in skin, β-defensin 3, has been discovered to function as a melanocortin receptor ligand in vivo and in vitro, but its biophysical and pharmacological basis of action has been enigmatic. Here we report functional and biochemical studies focused on human β-defensin 3 (HBD3) and melanocortin receptors 1 and 4. Genetic and pharmacologic studies indicate that HBD3 acts as a neutral melanocortin receptor antagonist, capable of blocking the action of either stimulatory agonists, such as α-melanocyte stimulating hormone, or inhibitory inverse agonists such as Agouti signaling protein (Asip) and Agouti-related protein (Agrp). A comprehensive structure-function analysis demonstrates that two patches of positively charged residues, located on opposite poles of HBD3 and spatially organized by the compact β-defensin fold, are primarily responsible for high affinity binding to melanocortin receptors. These findings identify a distinct mode of melanocortin receptor-ligand interactions based primarily on electrostatic complementarity, with implications for designing ligands that target melanocortin and potentially other seven transmembrane receptors. PMID:23790489

  14. Whole-genome sequences of DA and F344 rats with different susceptibilities to arthritis, autoimmunity, inflammation and cancer.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaosen; Brenner, Max; Zhang, Xuemei; Laragione, Teresina; Tai, Shuaishuai; Li, Yanhong; Bu, Junjie; Yin, Ye; Shah, Anish A; Kwan, Kevin; Li, Yingrui; Jun, Wang; Gulko, Pércio S

    2013-08-01

    DA (D-blood group of Palm and Agouti, also known as Dark Agouti) and F344 (Fischer) are two inbred rat strains with differences in several phenotypes, including susceptibility to autoimmune disease models and inflammatory responses. While these strains have been extensively studied, little information is available about the DA and F344 genomes, as only the Brown Norway (BN) and spontaneously hypertensive rat strains have been sequenced to date. Here we report the sequencing of the DA and F344 genomes using next-generation Illumina paired-end read technology and the first de novo assembly of a rat genome. DA and F344 were sequenced with an average depth of 32-fold, covered 98.9% of the BN reference genome, and included 97.97% of known rat ESTs. New sequences could be assigned to 59 million positions with previously unknown data in the BN reference genome. Differences between DA, F344, and BN included 19 million positions in novel scaffolds, 4.09 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (including 1.37 million new SNPs), 458,224 short insertions and deletions, and 58,174 structural variants. Genetic differences between DA, F344, and BN, including high-impact SNPs and short insertions and deletions affecting >2500 genes, are likely to account for most of the phenotypic variation between these strains. The new DA and F344 genome sequencing data should facilitate gene discovery efforts in rat models of human disease.

  15. Natural Genetic Variation Underlying Differences in Peromyscus Repetitive & Social/Aggressive Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, Kimberly R.; Owen, Amy; Anderson, Vanessa; Hall-South, April C.; Hayford, Samantha; Cakora, Patricia; Crossland, Janet P.; Georgi, Velina R. M.; Perkins, Amy; Kelly, Sandra J.; Felder, Michael R.; Vrana, Paul B.

    2014-01-01

    Peromyscus maniculatus (BW) and P. polionotus (PO) are interfertile North American species that differ in many characteristics. For example, PO exhibit monogamy and BW animals are susceptible to repetitive behaviors and thus a model for neurobehavioral disorders such as Autism. We analyzed these two stocks as well as their hybrids, a BW YPO consomic line (previously shown to alter glucose homeostasis) and a natural P. maniculatus agouti variant (ANb = wide band agouti). We show that PO animals engage in far less repetitive behavior than BW animals, that this trait is dominant, and that trait distribution in both species is bi-modal. The ANb allele also reduces such behaviors, particularly in females. PO, F1, and ANb animals all dig significantly more than BW. Increased self-grooming is also a PO dominant trait, and there is a bimodal trait distribution in all groups except BW. The inter-stock differences in self-grooming are greater between males, and the consomic data suggest the Y chromosome plays a role. The monogamous PO animals engage in more social behavior than BW; hybrid animals exhibit intermediate levels. Surprisingly, ANb animals are also more social than BW animals, although ANb interactions led to aggressive interactions at higher levels than any other group. PO animals exhibited the lowest incidence of aggressive behaviors, while the hybrids exhibited BW levels. Thus this group exhibits natural, genetically tractable variation in several biomedically relevant traits. PMID:24407381

  16. Increased alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) levels and melanocortin receptors expression associated with pigmentation in an NC/Nga mouse model of atopic dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Hiramoto, Keiichi; Kobayashi, Hiromi; Ishii, Masamitsu; Sato, Eisuke; Inoue, Masayasu

    2010-02-01

    Patients with a specific subtype of atopic dermatitis (AD) display particular patterns of pigmentation, such as ripple pattern pigmentation on the neck, pigmented macules on the lip and diffuse pigmentation. However, the mechanism underlying these patterns has not been determined. The purpose of our research is to investigate the factors influencing this type of pigmentation in AD. We observed that AD model mice (NC/Nga mice) displayed an increase in the number of 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (Dopa)-positive melanocytes in the epidermis and intestine (jejunum and colon) while in the inflammatory state. The plasma levels of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) and adrenocoticotropin (ACTH) also increased in NC/Nga mice with dermatitis. Furthermore, the expression of melanocortin receptor 5 and melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) increased in the skin, and melanocortin receptor 3 (MC3R) expression increased in the intestine. However, the changes in the Dopa-positive cells of conventional NC/Nga mice were not induced by treatment with either agouti (an MC1R antagonist) or agouti-related protein (an MC3R antagonist). These results indicate that the pigmentation of AD is related to increased levels of alpha-MSH, MC1R (in the skin) and MC3R (in the intestines).

  17. A gene duplication affecting expression of the ovine ASIP gene is responsible for white and black sheep

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Belinda J.; Whan, Vicki A.

    2008-01-01

    Agouti signaling protein (ASIP) functions to regulate pigmentation in mice, while its role in many other animals and in humans has not been fully determined. In this study, we identify a 190-kb tandem duplication encompassing the ovine ASIP and AHCY coding regions and the ITCH promoter region as the genetic cause of white coat color of dominant white/tan (AWt) agouti sheep. The duplication 5′ breakpoint is located upstream of the ASIP coding sequence. Ubiquitous expression of a second copy of the ASIP coding sequence regulated by a duplicated copy of the nearby ITCH promoter causes the white sheep phenotype. A single copy ASIP gene with a silenced ASIP promoter occurs in recessive black sheep. In contrast, a single copy functional wild-type (A+) ASIP is responsible for the ancient Barbary sheep coat color phenotype. The gene duplication was facilitated by homologous recombination between two non-LTR SINE sequences flanking the duplicated segment. This is the first sheep trait attributable to gene duplication and shows nonallelic homologous recombination and gene conversion events at the ovine ASIP locus could have an important role in the evolution of sheep pigmentation. PMID:18493018

  18. Behind melanocortin antagonist overexpression in the zebrafish brain: A behavioral and transcriptomic approach.

    PubMed

    Guillot, Raúl; Cortés, Raúl; Navarro, Sandra; Mischitelli, Morena; García-Herranz, Víctor; Sánchez, Elisa; Cal, Laura; Navarro, Juan Carlos; Míguez, Jesús M; Afanasyev, Sergey; Krasnov, Aleksei; Cone, Roger D; Rotllant, Josep; Cerdá-Reverter, Jose Miguel

    2016-06-01

    Melanocortin signaling is regulated by the binding of naturally occurring antagonists, agouti-signaling protein (ASIP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) that compete with melanocortin peptides by binding to melanocortin receptors to regulate energy balance and growth. Using a transgenic model overexpressing ASIP, we studied the involvement of melanocortin system in the feeding behaviour, growth and stress response of zebrafish. Our data demonstrate that ASIP overexpression results in enhanced growth but not obesity. The differential growth is explained by increased food intake and feeding efficiency mediated by a differential sensitivity of the satiety system that seems to involve the cocaine- and amphetamine- related transcript (CART). Stress response was similar in both genotypes. Brain transcriptome of transgenic (ASIP) vs wild type (WT) fish was compared using microarrays. WT females and males exhibited 255 genes differentially expressed (DEG) but this difference was reduced to 31 after ASIP overexpression. Statistical analysis revealed 1122 DEG when considering only fish genotype but 1066 and 981 DEG when comparing ASIP males or females with their WT counterparts, respectively. Interaction between genotype and sex significantly affected the expression of 97 genes. Several neuronal systems involved in the control of food intake were identified which displayed a differential expression according to the genotype of the fish that unravelling the flow of melanocortinergic information through the central pathways that controls the energy balance. The information provided herein will help to elucidate new central systems involved in control of obesity and should be of invaluable use for sustaining fish production systems.

  19. Polyspecific associations between squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and other primates in eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Tatyana; Ferrari, Stephen F; Lopes, Maria Aparecida

    2011-11-01

    One of the most common types of polyspecific association observed in Neotropical primate communities is that between squirrel monkeys (Saimiri) and capuchins (Cebus). The present study focused on association patterns in two Saimiri sciureus groups in eastern Brazilian Amazonia, between March and October, 2009. The associations were analyzed in terms of the species involved, the degree of association, and niche breadth and overlap. The study involved two S. sciureus groups (B4 and GI) on the right and left bank of the Tocantins River, respectively, within the area of the Tucuruí reservoir in southeastern Pará. Relations between species were classified as associations (individuals within 50 m and moving in the same direction), and encounters (individuals within 50 m and no coordinated movement). Group B4 was in association with Cebus apella during 100% of monitoring, and with Chiropotes satanas in 20.2%. By contrast, Group GI associated with Cebus 54.8% of the time, and with Chiropotes utahickae 2.5%. Encounters with Alouatta belzebul and Saguinus niger were recorded at both sites, with Aotus azarae and Dasyprocta prymnolopha at B4, and with Callicebus moloch, Dasyproct aleporina, Mazama gouazoubira, and Nasua nasua at GI. Overall, Saimiri had a broader niche than Cebus in terms of vertical spacing and diet, but not for substrate use. This pattern did not appear to be affected by association. While group GI spent significantly (P < 0.05) more time in association with Cebus during the wet season, group B4 associated with Chiropotes more during the dry season. Despite the higher association rates, niche overlap was greater for all variables at B4. This may reflect differences in the ranging and foraging patterns at the two sites, and the varying potential benefits of association for Saimiri. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. The hypothalamus and the regulation of energy homeostasis: lifting the lid on a black box.

    PubMed

    Williams, G; Harrold, J A; Cutler, D J

    2000-08-01

    The hypothalamus is the focus of many peripheral signals and neural pathways that control energy homeostasis and body weight. Emphasis has moved away from anatomical concepts of 'feeding' and 'satiety' centres to the specific neurotransmitters that modulate feeding behaviour and energy expenditure. We have chosen three examples to illustrate the physiological roles of hypothalamic neurotransmitters and their potential as targets for the development of new drugs to treat obesity and other nutritional disorders. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is expressed by neurones of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) that project to important appetite-regulating nuclei, including the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). NPY injected into the PVN is the most potent central appetite stimulant known, and also inhibits thermogenesis; repeated administration rapidly induces obesity. The ARC NPY neurones are stimulated by starvation, probably mediated by falls in circulating leptin and insulin (which both inhibit these neurones), and contribute to the increased hunger in this and other conditions of energy deficit. They therefore act homeostatically to correct negative energy balance. ARC NPY neurones also mediate hyperphagia and obesity in the ob/ob and db/db mice and fa/fa rat, in which leptin inhibition is lost through mutations affecting leptin or its receptor. Antagonists of the Y5 receptor (currently thought to be the NPY 'feeding' receptor) have anti-obesity effects. Melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4-R) are expressed in various hypothalamic regions, including the ventromedial nucleus and ARC. Activation of MC4-R by agonists such as alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (a cleavage product of pro-opiomelanocortin which is expressed in ARC neurones) inhibits feeding and causes weight loss. Conversely, MC4-R antagonists such as 'agouti' protein and agouti gene-related peptide (AGRP) stimulate feeding and cause obesity. Ectopic expression of agouti in the hypothalamus leads to obesity in the AVY

  1. Effect of long-term culturing on the potential of mouse embryonic stem cells for in vitro and in vivo development

    SciTech Connect

    Mitalipov, Sh.M.; Mitalipova, M.M.; Ivanov, V.I.

    1994-11-01

    We performed comparative analysis of in vitro and in vivo pluripotency for two clones of ES-D3 cells subjected to different number of passages after the beginning of subcloning. Both clones of ES cells produced characteristically shaped colonies and embryoid bodies during culturing in suspension. High activity of alkaline phosphatase was demonstrated in ES cells by cytochemical staining. The proportion of aneuploid ES cells increased with the increase in the number of passages, as shown by karyotyping. Experiments on producing chimeric mice using ES cells have shown that clone D3W (passage 17) exceeds clone D3M (passage 42) both in terms of chimera proportion among the offspring and in terms of the extent of coat chimerism (proportion of agouti coat color (ES component) in the coat of chimeras). 26 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  2. Rho-kinase regulates energy balance by targeting hypothalamic leptin receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hu; Kong, Dong; Byun, Kyung Hee; Ye, Chianping; Koda, Shuichi; Lee, Dae Ho; Oh, Byung-Chul; Lee, Sam W; Lee, Bonghee; Zabolotny, Janice M; Kim, Min Seon; Bjørbæk, Christian; Lowell, Bradford B; Kim, Young-Bum

    2012-10-01

    Leptin regulates energy balance. However, knowledge of the critical intracellular transducers of leptin signaling remains incomplete. We found that Rho-kinase 1 (ROCK1) regulates leptin action on body weight homeostasis by activating JAK2, an initial trigger of leptin receptor signaling. Leptin promoted the physical interaction of JAK2 and ROCK1, thereby increasing phosphorylation of JAK2 and downstream activation of Stat3 and FOXO1. Mice lacking ROCK1 in either pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) or agouti-related protein neurons, mediators of leptin action, displayed obesity and impaired leptin sensitivity. In addition, deletion of ROCK1 in the arcuate nucleus markedly enhanced food intake, resulting in severe obesity. Notably, ROCK1 was a specific mediator of leptin, but not insulin, regulation of POMC neuronal activity. Our data identify ROCK1 as a key regulator of leptin action on energy homeostasis.

  3. Induction of aldose reductase gene expression in LEC rats during the development of the hereditary hepatitis and hepatoma.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, M; Hoshi, A; Fujii, J; Miyoshi, E; Kasahara, T; Suzuki, K; Aozasa, K; Taniguchi, N

    1996-04-01

    We examined age-related changes in the protein and the mRNA expression of aldose reductase in livers of Long-Evans with a cinnamon-like color (LEC) rats, which develop hereditary hepatitis and hepatoma with aging, using Long-Evans with an agouti color rats as controls. The levels of the protein and mRNA of aldose reductase increased after 20 weeks, at the stage of acute hepatitis, and were maintained at 60 weeks of age, while those of aldehyde reductase seemed to be constant at all ages. The expression of aldose reductase was marked in cancerous lesions in hepatoma-bearing LEC rat liver compared to uninvolved surrounding tissues. These results indicated that elevation of aldose reductase accompanied hepatocarcinogenesis and may be related to the acquisition of immortality of the cancer cells through detoxifying cytotoxic aldehyde compounds.

  4. Insights into obesity and diabetes at the intersection of mouse and human genetics.

    PubMed

    Kebede, Melkam A; Attie, Alan D

    2014-10-01

    Many of our insights into obesity and diabetes come from studies in mice carrying natural or induced mutations. In parallel, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in humans have identified numerous genes that are causally associated with obesity and diabetes, but discovering the underlying mechanisms required in-depth studies in mice. We discuss the advantages of studying natural variation in mice and summarize several examples where the combination of human and mouse genetics opened windows into fundamental physiological pathways. A noteworthy example is the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) and its role in energy balance. The pathway was delineated by discovering the gene responsible for the Agouti mutation in mice. With more targeted phenotyping, we predict that additional pathways relevant to human pathophysiology will be discovered. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Technical note: a novel method for routine genotyping of horse coat color gene polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Royo, L J; Fernández, I; Azor, P J; Alvarez, I; Pérez-Pardal, L; Goyache, F

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this note is to describe a reliable, fast, and cost-effective real-time PCR method for routine genotyping of mutations responsible for most coat color variation in horses. The melanocortin-1 receptor, Agouti-signaling peptide, and membrane-associated transporter protein alleles were simultaneously determined using 2 PCR protocols. The assay described here is an alternative method for routine genotyping of a defined number of polymorphisms. Allelic variants are detected in real time and no post-PCR manipulations are required, therefore limiting costs and possible carryover contamination. Data can be copied to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for semiautomatic determination of the genotype using a macro freely available at http://www.igijon.com/personales/fgoyache/software_i.htm (last accessed February 26, 2007). The performance of the method is demonstrated on 156 Spanish Purebred horses.

  6. Network of hypothalamic neurons that control appetite.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Jong-Woo

    2015-04-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) controls food intake and energy expenditure via tight coordinations between multiple neuronal populations. Specifically, two distinct neuronal populations exist in the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus (ARH): the anorexigenic (appetite-suppressing) pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and the orexigenic (appetite-increasing) neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons. The coordinated regulation of neuronal circuit involving these neurons is essential in properly maintaining energy balance, and any disturbance therein may result in hyperphagia/obesity or hypophagia/starvation. Thus, adequate knowledge of the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuron physiology is mandatory to understand the pathophysiology of obesity and related metabolic diseases. This review will discuss the history and recent updates on the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuronal circuits, as well as the general anorexigenic and orexigenic circuits in the CNS.

  7. Peromyscus as a Mammalian Epigenetic Model

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, Kimberly R.; Crossland, Janet P.; Webb, Denessia; Szalai, Gabor; Felder, Michael R.; Vrana, Paul B.

    2012-01-01

    Deer mice (Peromyscus) offer an opportunity for studying the effects of natural genetic/epigenetic variation with several advantages over other mammalian models. These advantages include the ability to study natural genetic variation and behaviors not present in other models. Moreover, their life histories in diverse habitats are well studied. Peromyscus resources include genome sequencing in progress, a nascent genetic map, and >90,000 ESTs. Here we review epigenetic studies and relevant areas of research involving Peromyscus models. These include differences in epigenetic control between species and substance effects on behavior. We also present new data on the epigenetic effects of diet on coat-color using a Peromyscus model of agouti overexpression. We suggest that in terms of tying natural genetic variants with environmental effects in producing specific epigenetic effects, Peromyscus models have a great potential. PMID:22567379

  8. Oxidative metabolism of cinnarizine in rat liver microsomes.

    PubMed

    Kariya, S; Isozaki, S; Narimatsu, S; Suzuki, T

    1992-10-06

    The oxidative metabolism of cinnarizine (CZ) [1-(diphenylmethyl)-4-(3-phenyl-2-propenyl)-piperazine] to 1-(diphenylmethyl)piperazine (M-1), 1-(diphenylmethyl)-4-[3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-2-propenyl]piperazine (M-2), benzophenone (M-3) and 1-[4'-hydroxyphenyl)-phenylmethyl]-4-(3- phenyl-2-propenyl)piperazine (M-4) has been studied in rat liver microsomes. In Wistar rats, kinetic analysis revealed sex differences (male > female) in the Km values for formation of all the metabolites and the Vmax values for the formation of M-1, M-3 and M-4. The reactions required NADPH, and were inhibited by carbon monoxide and SKF 525-A. Only M-2 formation was suppressed by sparteine or metoprolol, and was significantly lower in female Dark Agouti rats than in Wistar rats of both sexes. The results suggest that CZ is oxidized by cytochrome P450, and M-2 formation is related to debrisoquine/sparteine-type polymorphic drug oxidation.

  9. Intraventricular administration of Tenebrio molitor larvae extract regulates food intake and body weight in mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity.

    PubMed

    Seo, Minchul; Kim, Jongwan; Moon, Seong-Su; Hwang, Jae-Sam; Kim, Mi-Ae

    2017-08-01

    We recently reported the in vitro and in vivo antiobesity effects of Tenebrio molitor larvae, a traditional food in many countries, but it remains unknown how the larvae affect appetite regulation in mice with diet-induced obesity. We hypothesized that the extract of T molitor larvae mediates appetite by regulating neuropeptide expression. We investigated T molitor larvae extract's (TME's) effects on anorexigenesis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced orexigenic neuropeptide expression in the hypothalami of obese mice. Intracerebroventricular TME administration suppressed feeding by down-regulating the expression of the orexigenic neuropeptides neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein. T molitor larvae extract significantly reduced the expression of ER stress response genes. These results suggest that TME and its bioactive components are potential therapeutics for obesity and ER stress-driven disease states. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Itch: a HECT-type E3 ligase regulating immunity, skin and cancer.

    PubMed

    Melino, G; Gallagher, E; Aqeilan, R I; Knight, R; Peschiaroli, A; Rossi, M; Scialpi, F; Malatesta, M; Zocchi, L; Browne, G; Ciechanover, A; Bernassola, F

    2008-07-01

    The HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase (E3) Itch is absent in the non-agouti-lethal 18H or Itchy mice, which develop a severe immunological disease, including lung and stomach inflammation and hyperplasia of lymphoid and hematopoietic cells. The involvement of Itch in multiple signaling pathways and pathological conditions is presently an area of extensive scientific interest. This review aims to bring together a growing body of work exploring Itch-regulated biological processes, and to highlight recent discoveries on the regulatory mechanisms modulating its catalytic activity and substrate recognition capability. Our contribution is also an endeavor to correlate Itch substrate specificity with the pathological defects manifested by the mutant Itchy mice.

  11. Epigenomic Adaptation to Low Dose Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Gould, Michael N.

    2015-06-30

    The overall hypothesis of this grant application is that the adaptive responses elicited by low dose ionizing radiation (LDIR) result in part from heritable DNA methylation changes in the epigenome. In the final budget period at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we will specifically address this hypothesis by determining if the epigenetically labile, differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that regulate parental-specific expression of imprinted genes are deregulated in agouti mice by low dose radiation exposure during gestation. This information is particularly important to ascertain given the 1) increased human exposure to medical sources of radiation; 2) increased number of people predicted to live and work in space; and 3) enhanced citizen concern about radiation exposure from nuclear power plant accidents and terrorist ‘dirty bombs.’

  12. Hypothalamic KLF4 mediates leptin's effects on food intake via AgRP

    PubMed Central

    Imbernon, Monica; Sanchez-Rebordelo, Estrella; Gallego, Rosalia; Gandara, Marina; Lear, Pamela; Lopez, Miguel; Dieguez, Carlos; Nogueiras, Ruben

    2014-01-01

    Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc-finger-type transcription factor expressed in a range of tissues that plays multiple functions. We report that hypothalamic KLF4 represents a new transcription factor specifically modulating agouti-related protein (AgRP) expression in vivo. Hypothalamic KLF4 colocalizes with AgRP neurons and is modulated by nutritional status and leptin. Over-expression of KLF4 in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) induces food intake and increases body weight through the specific stimulation of AgRP, as well as blunting leptin sensitivity in lean rats independent of forkhead box protein 01 (FoxO1). Down-regulation of KLF4 in the ARC inhibits fasting-induced food intake in both lean and diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Silencing KLF4, however, does not, on its own, enhance peripheral leptin sensitivity in DIO rats. PMID:24944903

  13. GPR17 gene disruption does not alter food intake or glucose homeostasis in mice

    PubMed Central

    Mastaitis, Jason; Min, Soo; Elvert, Ralf; Kannt, Aimo; Xin, Yurong; Ochoa, Francisca; Gale, Nicholas W.; Valenzuela, David M.; Murphy, Andrew J.; Yancopoulos, George D.; Gromada, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptor 17 (GPR17) was recently reported to be a Foxo1 target in agouti-related peptide (AGRP) neurons. Intracerebroventricular injection of GPR17 agonists induced food intake, whereas administration of an antagonist to the receptor reduced feeding. These data lead to the conclusion that pharmacological modulation of GPR17 has therapeutic potential to treat obesity. Here we report that mice deficient in Gpr17 (Gpr17−/−) have similar food intake and body weight compared with their wild-type littermates. Gpr17−/− mice have normal hypothalamic Agrp mRNA expression, AGRP plasma levels, and metabolic rate. GPR17 deficiency in mice did not affect glucose homeostasis or prevent fat-induced insulin resistance. These data do not support a role for GPR17 in the control of food intake, body weight, or glycemic control. PMID:25624481

  14. STUDIES ON THE MECHANISM OF TUMOR INHIBITION BY L-ASPARAGINASE

    PubMed Central

    Broome, J. D.

    1968-01-01

    L-asparaginases of agouti serum and Escherichia coli cause a profound lowering in the level of free asparagine in the blood of treated mice and also in the tissues. During treatment, normal tissues and resistant 6C3HED lymphomas survive unharmed with intracellular asparagine levels which are critically low for sensitive lymphomas. An explanation for this contrast between the two types of lymphoma is provided by the finding that resistant cells have not only a higher asparagine synthetic capacity than sensitive cells but appear able to utilize endogenous asparagine preferentially for protein synthesis. Cell-free extracts of resistant cells contain an asparaginase synthetase, but this is not found in preparations from sensitive cells. PMID:4871211

  15. Hypothalamic Integration of Metabolic, Endocrine, and Circadian Signals in Fish: Involvement in the Control of Food Intake

    PubMed Central

    Delgado, María J.; Cerdá-Reverter, José M.; Soengas, José L.

    2017-01-01

    The regulation of food intake in fish is a complex process carried out through several different mechanisms in the central nervous system (CNS) with hypothalamus being the main regulatory center. As in mammals, a complex hypothalamic circuit including two populations of neurons: one co-expressing neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and the second one population co-expressing pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) is involved in the integration of information relating to food intake control. The production and release of these peptides control food intake, and the production results from the integration of information of different nature such as levels of nutrients and hormones as well as circadian signals. The present review summarizes the knowledge and recent findings about the presence and functioning of these mechanisms in fish and their differences vs. the known mammalian model. PMID:28694769

  16. Hypothalamic KLF4 mediates leptin's effects on food intake via AgRP.

    PubMed

    Imbernon, Monica; Sanchez-Rebordelo, Estrella; Gallego, Rosalia; Gandara, Marina; Lear, Pamela; Lopez, Miguel; Dieguez, Carlos; Nogueiras, Ruben

    2014-07-01

    Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc-finger-type transcription factor expressed in a range of tissues that plays multiple functions. We report that hypothalamic KLF4 represents a new transcription factor specifically modulating agouti-related protein (AgRP) expression in vivo. Hypothalamic KLF4 colocalizes with AgRP neurons and is modulated by nutritional status and leptin. Over-expression of KLF4 in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) induces food intake and increases body weight through the specific stimulation of AgRP, as well as blunting leptin sensitivity in lean rats independent of forkhead box protein 01 (FoxO1). Down-regulation of KLF4 in the ARC inhibits fasting-induced food intake in both lean and diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Silencing KLF4, however, does not, on its own, enhance peripheral leptin sensitivity in DIO rats.

  17. Kinetics of tissue iron in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in rats.

    PubMed

    Tota, Marin; Jakovac, Hrvoje; Grebić, Damir; Marinić, Jelena; Broznić, Dalibor; Čanadi-Jurešić, Gordana; Milin, Cedomila; Radošević-Stašić, Biserka

    2011-10-01

    To elucidate the role of iron in the pathomechanisms of autoimmune CNS disorders, we estimated the tissue concentrations of Fe(2+) in the brain, spinal cord, and liver in the chronic relapsing form of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The disease was induced in Dark Agouti (DA) strain of rats, by subcutaneous injection of bovine brain homogenate in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Control rats consisted of unsensitized rats and of rats treated with CFA or saline. The data obtained by clinical assessment and by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry have shown that the attacks of disease (on the 12th and 22nd post-immunization day) were followed by high accumulation of iron in the liver. Additionally, during the second attack of disease, the decreased concentration of Fe(2+) was found in cervical spinal cord. The data point to regulatory effects of iron and hepatic trace elements regulating mechanisms in the pathogenesis of EAE.

  18. Trichinella spiralis: modulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in DA rats.

    PubMed

    Gruden-Movsesijan, A; Ilic, N; Mostarica-Stojkovic, M; Stosic-Grujicic, S; Milic, M; Sofronic-Milosavljevic, Lj

    2008-04-01

    Helminth infection has a potent systemic immunomodulatory effect on the host immune response, which also affects the development of autoimmune diseases. We investigated the dose-dependent influence of Trichinella spiralis infection on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Our model of concomitant T. spiralis infection and EAE demonstrates that established infection of Dark Agouti (DA) rats with the parasite causes amelioration of the clinical course of induced EAE in a dose-dependent way. Infection with T. spiralis L1 stage muscle larvae (TSL1) reduced the severity of the autoimmune disease as judged by lower maximal clinical score, cumulative index, duration of illness and degree of mononuclear cell infiltration in T. spiralis infected animals compared to control, EAE-induced group. This study provides a valuable model of worm infection to investigate helminth-induced regulatory mechanisms for optimal benefit to the host.

  19. [A little-known new components of the appetite control].

    PubMed

    Nylec, Marcin; Olszanecka-Glinianowicz, Magdalena

    2010-06-11

    Appetite control is a complex process regulated by both neurotransmitters, such as: appetite- increasing neuropeptide Y (NPY), Agouti related peptide (AgRP), orexins A and B, as well as appetite-suppressing propiomelanocortin (POMC) and a peptide (CART) which transcription is regulated by cocaine and amphetamine. In addition, other factors are involved such as hormones of the alimentary tract (appetite-stimulating ghrelin and appetite-decreasing cholecystokinin, peptide YY, glucagon like peptide-1, oxyntomodulin, pancreatic peptide, enterostatin and amylin). In this process participates also leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone produced by adipocytes. The authors focus on other, little-known neurotransmitters involved in the control of appetite: RFamide Peptide (QRFP43) and VGF-Derived Peptide, TLQP-21, as well as xenin, another hunger-decreasing hormone of the alimentary tract.

  20. Topology of feather melanocyte progenitor niche allows complex pigment patterns to emerge.

    PubMed

    Lin, S J; Foley, J; Jiang, T X; Yeh, C Y; Wu, P; Foley, A; Yen, C M; Huang, Y C; Cheng, H C; Chen, C F; Reeder, B; Jee, S H; Widelitz, R B; Chuong, C M

    2013-06-21

    Color patterns of bird plumage affect animal behavior and speciation. Diverse patterns are present in different species and within the individual. Here, we study the cellular and molecular basis of feather pigment pattern formation. Melanocyte progenitors are distributed as a horizontal ring in the proximal follicle, sending melanocytes vertically up into the epithelial cylinder, which gradually emerges as feathers grow. Different pigment patterns form by modulating the presence, arrangement, or differentiation of melanocytes. A layer of peripheral pulp further regulates pigmentation via patterned agouti expression. Lifetime feather cyclic regeneration resets pigment patterns for physiological needs. Thus, the evolution of stem cell niche topology allows complex pigment patterning through combinatorial co-option of simple regulatory mechanisms.

  1. Pigment patterns in adult fish result from superimposition of two largely independent pigmentation mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ceinos, Rosa M; Guillot, Raúl; Kelsh, Robert N; Cerdá-Reverter, José M; Rotllant, Josep

    2015-03-01

    Dorso-ventral pigment pattern differences are the most widespread pigmentary adaptations in vertebrates. In mammals, this pattern is controlled by regulating melanin chemistry in melanocytes using a protein, agouti-signalling peptide (ASIP). In fish, studies of pigment patterning have focused on stripe formation, identifying a core striping mechanism dependent upon interactions between different pigment cell types. In contrast, mechanisms driving the dorso-ventral countershading pattern have been overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that, in fact, zebrafish utilize two distinct adult pigment patterning mechanisms - an ancient dorso-ventral patterning mechanism, and a more recent striping mechanism based on cell-cell interactions; remarkably, the dorso-ventral patterning mechanism also utilizes ASIP. These two mechanisms function largely independently, with resultant patterns superimposed to give the full pattern.

  2. Leptin signaling in GFAP-expressing adult glia cells regulates hypothalamic neuronal circuits and feeding

    PubMed Central

    Kim1, Jae Geun; Suyama, Shigetomo; Koch, Marco; Jin, Sungho; Argente-Arizon, Pilar; Argente, Jesus; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Zimmer, Marcelo R.; Jeong, Jin Kwon; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Gao, Yuanqing; Garcia-Caceres, Cristina; Yi, Chun-Xia; Salmaso, Natalina; Vaccarino, Flora M.; Chowen, Julie; Diano, Sabrina; Dietrich, Marcelo O; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Horvath, Tamas L.

    2014-01-01

    We have shown that synaptic re-organization of hypothalamic feeding circuits in response to metabolic shifts involves astrocytes, cells that can directly respond to the metabolic hormone, leptin, in vitro. It is not known whether the role of glia cells in hypothalamic synaptic adaptions is active or passive. Here we show that leptin receptors are expressed in hypothalamic astrocytes and that conditional, adult deletion of leptin receptors in astrocytes leads to altered glial morphology, decreased glial coverage and elevated synaptic inputs onto pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)- and Agouti-related protein (AgRP)-producing neurons. Leptin-induced suppression of feeding was diminished, while rebound feeding after fasting or ghrelin administration was elevated in mice with astrocyte-specific leptin receptor deficiency. These data unmask an active role of glial cells in the initiation of hypothalamic synaptic plasticity and neuroendocrine control of feeding by leptin. PMID:24880214

  3. In vivo autofluorescence in the biological windows: the role of pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Del Rosal, Blanca; Villa, Irene; Jaque, Daniel; Sanz-Rodríguez, Francisco

    2016-10-01

    Small animal deep-tissue fluorescence imaging in the second Biological Window (II-BW, 1000-1350 nm) is limited by the presence of undesirable infrared-excited, infrared-emitted (900-1700 nm) autofluorescence whose origin, spectral properties and dependence on strains is still unknown. In this work, the infrared autofluorescence and laser-induced whole body heating of five different mouse strains with distinct coat colors (black, grey, agouti, white and nude) has been systematically investigated. While neither the spectral properties nor the magnitude of organ autofluorescence vary significantly between mouse strains, the coat color has been found to strongly determine both the autofluorescence intensity as well as the laser-induced whole body heating. Results included in this work reveal mouse strain as a critical parameter that has to be seriously considered in the design and performance of small animal imaging experiments based on infrared-emitting fluorescent markers.

  4. Synthesis and structure-active relationship of 1-aryl-6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline anticonvulsants.

    PubMed

    Gitto, Rosaria; De Luca, Laura; Ferro, Stefania; Agnello, Stefano; Russo, Emilio; De Sarro, Giovanbattista; Chimirri, Alba

    2010-12-01

    We have previously disclosed that some 6,7-dimethoxyisoquinoline derivatives are able to produce anticonvulsant effects in different animal models of epilepsy. Following these studies this paper describes the synthesis of a small series of new 1-aryl-6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolines strictly related to previously reported analogues. This novel series of isoquinolines was designed on the basis of well defined structure-active relationship (SAR) information already acquired for this class of anticonvulsant agents. The pharmacological effects of the new synthesized compounds were evaluated against audiogenic seizures in Dilute Brown non-Agouti (DBA/2) mice. The preliminary pharmacological screening led to the identification of a new active molecule the 2-acetyl-1-(4'-methylphenyl)-6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (6d) that displayed significant anticonvulsant activity. Computational studies helped to rationalize these obtained pharmacological results.

  5. Taxonomic revision and cladistic analysis of Avicularia Lamarck, 1818 (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae) with description of three new aviculariine genera

    PubMed Central

    Fukushima, Caroline Sayuri; Bertani, Rogério

    2017-01-01

    to accommodate former Avicularia species: Caribena gen. n., composed of Caribena laeta (C. L. Koch, 1842), comb. n. and Caribena versicolor (Walckenaer, 1837), comb. n.; Antillena gen. n., with a single species, Antillena rickwesti (Bertani & Huff, 2013), comb. n., both from the Caribbean; and Ybyrapora gen. n., composed of Ybyrapora sooretama (Bertani & Fukushima, 2009), comb. n., Ybyrapora gamba (Bertani & Fukushima, 2009), comb. n. and Ybyrapora diversipes (C. L. Koch, 1842), comb. n. from Brazilian rainforest. The subspecies Avicularia avicularia variegata F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1896 is elevated to species status, resulting in the combination Avicularia variegata (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1896) stat. n.. The following new synonymies are established: Avicularia velutina Simon 1889, Avicularia exilis Strand, 1907, Avicularia ancylochyra Mello-Leitão, 1923, Avicularia cuminami Mello-Leitão, 1930, and Avicularia nigrotaeniata Mello-Leitão, 1940 are junior synonyms of Avicularia avicularia; Avicularia bicegoi Mello-Leitão, 1923 is a junior synonym of Avicularia variegata stat. n., and Avicularia urticans Schmidt, 1994 is a junior synonym of Avicularia juruensis Mello-Leitão, 1923. Species transferred to other genera: Avicularia affinis (Nicolet, 1849) is transferred to Euathlus Ausserer, 1875, making the new combination Euathlus affinis (Nicolet, 1849), comb. n.; Avicularia subvulpina Strand, 1906 is transferred to Grammostola Simon, 1892, making the new combination Grammostola subvulpina (Strand, 1906), comb. n.; Avicularia aymara (Chamberlin, 1916) is transferred to Thrixopelma Schmidt, 1994, making the new combination Thrixopelma aymara (Chamberlin, 1916), comb. n.; Avicularia leporina (C. L. Koch, 1841) and Avicularia plantaris (C. L. Koch, 1842) are transferred to Iridopelma Pocock, 1901, making the new combinations Iridopelma leporina (C. L. Koch, 1841), comb. n. and Iridopelma plantaris (C. L. Koch, 1842), comb. n.; the two last species are considered

  6. Taxonomic revision and cladistic analysis of Avicularia Lamarck, 1818 (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae) with description of three new aviculariine genera.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Caroline Sayuri; Bertani, Rogério

    2017-01-01

    former Avicularia species: Caribenagen. n., composed of Caribena laeta (C. L. Koch, 1842), comb. n. and Caribena versicolor (Walckenaer, 1837), comb. n.; Antillenagen. n., with a single species, Antillena rickwesti (Bertani & Huff, 2013), comb. n., both from the Caribbean; and Ybyraporagen. n., composed of Ybyrapora sooretama (Bertani & Fukushima, 2009), comb. n., Ybyrapora gamba (Bertani & Fukushima, 2009), comb. n. and Ybyrapora diversipes (C. L. Koch, 1842), comb. n. from Brazilian rainforest. The subspecies Avicularia avicularia variegata F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1896 is elevated to species status, resulting in the combination Avicularia variegata (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1896) stat. n.. The following new synonymies are established: Avicularia velutina Simon 1889, Avicularia exilis Strand, 1907, Avicularia ancylochyra Mello-Leitão, 1923, Avicularia cuminami Mello-Leitão, 1930, and Avicularia nigrotaeniata Mello-Leitão, 1940 are junior synonyms of Avicularia avicularia; Avicularia bicegoi Mello-Leitão, 1923 is a junior synonym of Avicularia variegatastat. n., and Avicularia urticans Schmidt, 1994 is a junior synonym of Avicularia juruensis Mello-Leitão, 1923. Species transferred to other genera: Avicularia affinis (Nicolet, 1849) is transferred to Euathlus Ausserer, 1875, making the new combination Euathlus affinis (Nicolet, 1849), comb. n.; Avicularia subvulpina Strand, 1906 is transferred to Grammostola Simon, 1892, making the new combination Grammostola subvulpina (Strand, 1906), comb. n.; Avicularia aymara (Chamberlin, 1916) is transferred to Thrixopelma Schmidt, 1994, making the new combination Thrixopelma aymara (Chamberlin, 1916), comb. n.; Avicularia leporina (C. L. Koch, 1841) and Avicularia plantaris (C. L. Koch, 1842) are transferred to Iridopelma Pocock, 1901, making the new combinations Iridopelma leporina (C. L. Koch, 1841), comb. n. and Iridopelma plantaris (C. L. Koch, 1842), comb. n.; the two last species are considered nomina dubia. The

  7. Species limits and relationships within Otidea inferred from multiple gene phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Hansen, K; Olariaga, I

    2015-12-01

    The genus Otidea is one of the more conspicuous members of the Pyronemataceae, with high species diversity in hemiboreal and boreal forests. The genus is morphologically coherent and in previous higher-level multi-gene analyses it formed a highly supported monophyletic group. Species delimitation within Otidea is controversial and much confusion has prevailed in the naming of taxa. To provide a phylogenetic hypothesis of Otidea, elucidate species diversity and limits we compiled a four-gene dataset including the nuclear LSU rDNA and three nuclear protein-coding genes (RPB1, RPB2 and EF-1α) for 89 specimens (total 4 877 nucleotides). These were selected from a larger sample of material studied using morphology and 146 ITS (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) and 168 LSU rDNA sequences to represent the full genetic diversity. Using genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR), Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses of the individual datasets resolved 25 species of Otidea. An additional eight singletons are considered to be distinct species, because they were genetically divergent from their sisters. Sequences of multiple genes were included from 13 holotypes, one neotype and three epitypes. Otidea angusta, O. myosotis and O. papillata f. pallidefurfuracea are nested within O. nannfeldtii, O. leporina and O. tuomikoskii, respectively and are considered synonyms. Otidea cantharella var. minor is shown to be a distinct species. Five new species were discovered: O. oregonensis and O. pseudoleporina for North America; and O. borealis, O. brunneoparva and O. subformicarum for Europe. The analyses of the individual four gene datasets yielded phylogenies that were highly concordant topologically, except for the RPB1 that showed supported conflict for some nodes in Bayesian analysis. Excluding the RPB1 from the combined analyses produced an identical topology to the four-gene phylogeny, but with higher support for several basal nodes and lower support for several shallow

  8. Maternal and postnatal high-fat diet consumption programs energy balance and hypothalamic melanocortin signaling in nonhuman primate offspring.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Elinor L; Rivera, Heidi M; True, Cadence A; Franco, Juliana G; Baquero, Karalee; Dean, Tyler A; Valleau, Jeanette C; Takahashi, Diana L; Frazee, Tim; Hanna, Genevieve; Kirigiti, Melissa A; Bauman, Leigh A; Grove, Kevin L; Kievit, Paul

    2017-08-01

    Maternal high-fat-diet (HFD) consumption during pregnancy decreased fetal body weight and impacted development of hypothalamic melanocortin neural circuitry in nonhuman primate offspring. We investigated whether these impairments during gestation persisted in juvenile offspring and examined the interaction between maternal and early postnatal HFD consumption. Adult dams consumed either a control diet (CTR; 15% calories from fat) or a high-saturated-fat diet (HFD; 37% calories from fat) during pregnancy. Offspring were weaned onto a CTR or HFD at ~8 mo of age. Offspring from HFD-fed dams displayed early catch-up growth and elevated body weight at 6 and 13 mo of age. Maternal and postnatal HFD exposure reduced the amount of agouti-related peptide fibers in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Postnatal HFD consumption also decreased the amount of agouti-related peptide fibers in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Postnatal HFD was associated with decreased food intake and increased activity. These results support and extend our previous findings of maternal diet effects on fetal development and reveal, for the first time in a nonhuman primate model, that maternal HFD-induced disturbances in offspring body weight regulation extended past gestation into the juvenile period. Maternal HFD consumption increases the risk for offspring developing obesity, with the developmental timing of HFD exposure differentially impacting the melanocortin system and energy balance regulation. The present findings provide translational insight into human clinical populations, suggesting that profound health consequences may await individuals later in life following intrauterine and postnatal HFD exposure. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  9. Long term exendin-4 treatment reduces food intake and body weight and alters expression of brain homeostatic and reward markers.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yan; Moghadam, Alexander A; Cordner, Zachary A; Liang, Nu-Chu; Moran, Timothy H

    2014-09-01

    Repeated administration of the long-acting glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist exendin-4 (EX-4) has been shown to reduce food intake and body weight and do so without a rebound increase in food intake after treatment termination. The current study examines the neural mechanisms underlying these actions. After 6 weeks of maintenance on a standard chow or a high-fat (HF) diet, male Sprague Dawley rats were treated with EX-4 (3.2 μg/kg, i.p., twice a day) or vehicle for 9 consecutive days. Food intake and body weight (BW) were monitored daily. Expression of the genes for the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) peptides proopiomelanocortin (POMC), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and agouti gene-related protein was determined. Expression of the dopamine precursor tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene in the ventral tegmental area and genes for dopamine receptors 1 (D1R) and dopamine receptor 2 in the nucleus accumbens were also determined. Pair-fed groups were included to control for the effects of reduced food intake and BW. Treatment with EX-4 significantly decreased food intake and BW over the 9-day period in both the standard chow and HF groups. HF feeding decreased POMC without changing NPY/agouti gene-related protein gene expression in the ARC. Treatment with EX-4 increased POMC and decreased NPY expression independent of the reduction of food intake and BW. Mesolimbic TH and D1R gene expression were decreased significantly in chronic HF diet-fed rats, and these changes were reversed in both EX-4 and pair-fed conditions. These results suggest a role for increased POMC and decreased NPY expression in the ARC in the effects of EX-4 on food intake and BW. Our findings also suggest that EX-4 induced the recovery of mesolimbic TH and D1R expression in HF diet-fed rats may be secondary to HF intake reduction and/or weight loss.

  10. Influence of abnormally high leptin levels during pregnancy on metabolic phenotypes in progeny mice.

    PubMed

    Makarova, Elena N; Chepeleva, Elena V; Panchenko, Polina E; Bazhan, Nadezhda M

    2013-12-01

    Maternal obesity increases the risk of obesity in offspring, and obesity is accompanied by an increase in blood leptin levels. The "yellow" mutation at the mouse agouti locus (A(y)) increases blood leptin levels in C57BL preobese pregnant mice without affecting other metabolic characteristics. We investigated the influence of the A(y) mutation or leptin injection at the end of pregnancy in C57BL mice on metabolic phenotypes and the susceptibility to diet-induced obesity (DIO) in offspring. In both C57BL-A(y) and leptin-treated mice, the maternal effect was more pronounced in male offspring. Compared with males born to control mothers, males born to A(y) mothers displayed equal food intake (FI) but decreased body weight (BW) gain after weaning, equal glucose tolerance, and enhanced FI-to-BW ratios on the standard diet but the same FI and BW on the high-fat diet. Males born to A(y) mothers were less responsive to the anorectic effect of exogenous leptin and less resistant to fasting (were not hyperphagic and gained less weight during refeeding after food deprivation) compared with males born to control mothers. However, all progeny displayed equal hypothalamic expression of Agouti gene-related protein (AgRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and equal plasma leptin and glucose levels after food deprivation. Leptin injections in C57BL mice on day 17 of pregnancy decreased BW in both male and female offspring but inhibited FI and DIO only in male offspring. Our results show that hyperleptinemia during pregnancy has sex-specific long-term effects on energy balance regulation in progeny and does not predispose offspring to developing obesity.

  11. Candidate Gene Analysis Suggests Untapped Genetic Complexity in Melanin-Based Pigmentation in Birds.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Yann X C; Bertrand, Joris A M; Delahaie, Boris; Cornuault, Josselin; Duval, Thomas; Milá, Borja; Thébaud, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    Studies on melanin-based color variation in a context of natural selection have provided a wealth of information on the link between phenotypic and genetic variation. Here, we evaluated associations between melanic plumage patterns and genetic polymorphism in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a species in which mutations on MC1R do not seem to play any role in explaining melanic variation. This species exhibits 5 plumage color variants that can be grouped into 3 color forms which occupy discrete geographic regions in the lowlands of Réunion, and a fourth high-elevation form which comprises 2 color morphs (grey and brown) and represents a true color polymorphism. We conducted a comprehensive survey of sequence variation in 96 individuals at a series of 7 candidate genes other than MC1R that have been previously shown to influence melanin-based color patterns in vertebrates, including genes that have rarely been studied in a wild bird species before: POMC, Agouti, TYR, TYRP1, DCT, Corin, and SLC24A5 Of these 7 genes, 2 (Corin and TYRP1) displayed an interesting shift in allele frequencies between lowland and highland forms and a departure from mutation-drift equilibrium consistent with balancing selection in the polymorphic highland form only. Sequence variation at Agouti, a gene frequently involved in melanin-based pigmentation patterning, was not associated with color forms or morphs. Thus, we suggest that functionally important changes in loci other than those classically studied are involved in the color polymorphism exhibited by the Réunion grey white-eye and possibly many other nonmodel species. © The American Genetic Association. 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Glutamate ameliorates experimental vincristine neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Boyle, F M; Wheeler, H R; Shenfield, G M

    1996-10-01

    The dose-limiting toxicity of the chemotherapeutic agent vincristine is peripheral neuropathy, for which there is no established therapy. The amino acid glutamate has been proposed as a neuroprotectant for vincristine, but a full preclinical evaluation of its efficacy, safety and mechanism of action has been hampered by a lack of suitable animal models. We report the development of a Dark Agouti rat model of sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, to investigate the neurotoxicity of cytotoxic drugs. Neuropathy was manifested as gait disturbance in 100% of vincristine-treated animals (n = 12), significant elevation of the tail-flick threshold (5.1 +/- 2 sec) and significantly impaired mean Rotarod times (55 +/- 41 sec) developing after administration of 1.5 mg/kg vincristine over 2 weeks. Among vincristine-treated animals supplemented p.o. with sodium glutamate (500 mg/kg/day in drinking water) from 24 hr before vincristine treatment, only one (8%, P = .01) developed gait disturbance, the tall-flick threshold was not significantly different from controls and the mean Rotarod score was 188 +/- 18 sec (P = .004). Glutamate thus significantly protected against both sensory and motor neuropathy. We observed no intrinsic neurotoxicity with glutamate and no interference with the cytotoxic efficacy of vincristine against a transplantable rat mammary adenocarcinoma grown s.c. in Dark Agouti rats. Our findings suggest that glutamate is likely to be a safe and effective neuroprotectant for patients receiving vincristine, and it warrants further clinical evaluation. The mechanism of this selective neuroprotection by glutamate remains to be elucidated. Our rat model may be of use in determining whether glutamate offers protection from other neurotoxic drugs.

  13. Complex regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 in the basomedial hypothalamus by leptin and nutritional status.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, Eneida C; Münzberg, Heike; Cota, Daniela; Leshan, Rebecca L; Kopp, Keely; Ishida-Takahashi, Ryoko; Jones, Justin C; Fingar, Diane C; Seeley, Randy J; Myers, Martin G

    2009-10-01

    The medial basal hypothalamus, including the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH), integrates signals of energy status to modulate metabolism and energy balance. Leptin and feeding regulate the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) in the hypothalamus, and hypothalamic mTORC1 contributes to the control of feeding and energy balance. To determine the mechanisms by which leptin modulates mTORC1 in specific hypothalamic neurons, we immunohistochemically assessed the mTORC1-dependent phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (pS6). In addition to confirming the modulation of ARC mTORC1 activity by acute leptin treatment, this analysis revealed the robust activation of mTORC1-dependent ARC pS6 in response to fasting and leptin deficiency in leptin receptor-expressing Agouti-related protein neurons. In contrast, fasting and leptin deficiency suppress VMH mTORC1 signaling. The appropriate regulation of ARC mTORC1 by mutant leptin receptor isoforms correlated with their ability to suppress the activity of Agouti-related protein neurons, suggesting the potential stimulation of mTORC1 by the neuronal activity. Indeed, fasting- and leptin deficiency-induced pS6-immunoreactivity (IR) extensively colocalized with c-Fos-IR in ARC and VMH neurons. Furthermore, ghrelin, which activates orexigenic ARC neurons, increased ARC mTORC1 activity and induced colocalized pS6- and c-Fos-IR. Thus, neuronal activity promotes mTORC1/pS6 in response to signals of energy deficit. In contrast, insulin, which activates mTORC1 via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway, increased ARC and VMH pS6-IR in the absence of neuronal activation. The regulation of mTORC1 in the basomedial hypothalamus thus varies by cell and stimulus type, as opposed to responding in a uniform manner to nutritional and hormonal perturbations.

  14. Cellular insulin resistance disrupts leptin-mediated control of neuronal signaling and transcription.

    PubMed

    Nazarians-Armavil, Anaies; Menchella, Jonathan A; Belsham, Denise D

    2013-06-01

    Central resistance to the actions of insulin and leptin is associated with the onset of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, whereas leptin and insulin signaling is essential for both glucose and energy homeostasis. Although it is known that leptin resistance can lead to attenuated insulin signaling, whether insulin resistance can lead to or exacerbate leptin resistance is unknown. To investigate the molecular events underlying crosstalk between these signaling pathways, immortalized hypothalamic neuronal models, rHypoE-19 and mHypoA-2/10, were used. Prolonged insulin exposure was used to induce cellular insulin resistance, and thereafter leptin-mediated regulation of signal transduction and gene expression was assessed. Leptin directly repressed agouti-related peptide mRNA levels but induced urocortin-2, insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, IRS2, and IR transcription, through leptin-mediated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt activation. Neuronal insulin resistance, as assessed by attenuated Akt phosphorylation, blocked leptin-mediated signal transduction and agouti-related peptide, urocortin-2, IRS1, IRS2, and insulin receptor synthesis. Insulin resistance caused a substantial decrease in insulin receptor protein levels, forkhead box protein 1 phosphorylation, and an increase in suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 protein levels. Cellular insulin resistance may cause or exacerbate neuronal leptin resistance and, by extension, obesity. It is essential to unravel the effects of neuronal insulin resistance given that both peripheral, as well as the less widely studied central insulin resistance, may contribute to the development of metabolic, reproductive, and cardiovascular disorders. This study provides improved understanding of the complex cellular crosstalk between insulin-leptin signal transduction that is disrupted during neuronal insulin resistance.

  15. The differential expression of MC1R regulators in dorsal and ventral quail plumages during embryogenesis: Implications for plumage pattern formation

    PubMed Central

    Gluckman, Thanh-Lan; Mundy, Nicholas I.

    2017-01-01

    Melanin pigmentation patterns are ubiquitous in animals and function in crypsis, physical protection, thermoregulation and signalling. In vertebrates, pigmentation patterns formed over large body regions as well as within appendages (hair/feathers) may be due to the differential distribution of pigment producing cells (melanocytes) and/or regulation of the melanin synthesis pathway. We took advantage of the pigmentation patterns of Japanese quail embryos (pale ventrum and patterned feathers dorsally) to explore the role of genes and their transcripts in regulating the function of the melanocortin-1-receptor (MC1R) via 1. activation: pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), endoproteases prohormone convertase 1 (PC1) and 2 (PC2), and 2. inhibition—agouti signaling and agouti-related protein (ASIP and AGRP, respectively). Melanocytes are present in all feather follicles at both 8 and 12 days post-fertilisation (E8/E12), so differential deposition of melanocytes is not responsible for pigmentation patterns in embryonic quail. POMC transcripts expressed were a subset of those found in chicken and POMC expression within feather follicles was strong. PC1 was not expressed in feather follicles. PC2 was strongly expressed in all feather follicles at E12. ASIP transcript expression was variable and we report four novel ASIP transcripts. ASIP is strongly expressed in ventral feather follicles, but not dorsally. AGRP expression within feather follicles was weak. These results demonstrate that the pale-bellied quail phenotype probably involves inhibition of MC1R, as found previously. However, quail may require MC1R activation for eumelanogenesis in dorsal feathers which may have important implications for an understanding of colour pattern formation in vertebrates. PMID:28355309

  16. Kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the ewe express both dynorphin A and neurokinin B.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Robert L; Lehman, Michael N; Smith, Jeremy T; Coolen, Lique M; de Oliveira, Cleusa V R; Jafarzadehshirazi, Mohammad R; Pereira, Alda; Iqbal, Javed; Caraty, Alain; Ciofi, Philippe; Clarke, Iain J

    2007-12-01

    Kisspeptin is a potent stimulator of GnRH secretion that has been implicated in the feedback actions of ovarian steroids. In ewes, the majority of hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons are found in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), with a smaller population located in the preoptic area. Most arcuate kisspeptin neurons express estrogen receptor-alpha, as do a set of arcuate neurons that contain both dynorphin and neurokinin B (NKB), suggesting that all three neuropeptides are colocalized in the same cells. In this study we tested this hypothesis using dual immunocytochemistry and also determined if kisspeptin neurons contain MSH or agouti-related peptide. To assess colocalization of kisspeptin and dynorphin, we used paraformaldehyde-fixed tissue from estrogen-treated ovariectomized ewes in the breeding season (n = 5). Almost all ARC, but no preoptic area, kisspeptin neurons contained dynorphin. Similarly, almost all ARC dynorphin neurons contained kisspeptin. In experiment 2 we examined colocalization of kisspeptin and NKB in picric-acid fixed tissue collected from ovary intact ewes (n = 9). Over three quarters of ARC kisspeptin neurons also expressed NKB, and a similar percentage of NKB neurons contained kisspeptin. In contrast, no kisspeptin neurons stained for MSH or agouti-related peptide. These data demonstrate that, in the ewe, a high percentage of ARC kisspeptin neurons also produce dynorphin and NKB, and we propose that a single subpopulation of ARC neurons contains all three neuropeptides. Because virtually all of these neurons express estrogen and progesterone re-ceptors, they are likely to relay the feedback effects of these steroids to GnRH neurons to regulate reproductive function.

  17. Detection of Mycobacterium ulcerans DNA in the Environment, Ivory Coast

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Roger Bi Diangoné; Niamké, Sébastian; Tissot-Dupont, Hervé; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Background Ivory Coast is a West African country with the highest reported cases of Buruli ulcer, a disabling subcutaneous infection due to Mycobacterium ulcerans. However, the prevalence of environmental M. ulcerans is poorly known in this country. Methods We collected 496 environmental specimens consisting of soil (n = 100), stagnant water (n = 200), plants (n = 100) and animal feces (n = 96) in Ivory Coast over five months in the dry and wet seasons in regions which are free of Buruli ulcer (control group A; 250 specimens) and in regions where the Buruli ulcer is endemic (group B; 246 specimens). After appropriate total DNA extraction incorporating an internal control, the M. ulcerans IS2404 and KR-B gene were amplified by real-time PCR in samples. In parallel, a calibration curve was done for M. ulcerans Agy99 IS2404 and KR-B gene. Results Of 460 samples free of PCR inhibition, a positive real-time PCR detection of insertion sequence IS2404 and KR-B gene was observed in 1/230 specimens in control group A versus 9/230 specimens in group B (P = 0.02; Fisher exact test). Positive specimens comprised seven stagnant water specimens, two feces specimens confirmed to be of Thryonomys swinderianus (agouti) origin by real-time PCR of the cytb gene; and one soil specimen. Extrapolation from the calibration curves indicated low inoculums ranging from 1 to 102 mycobacteria/mL. Conclusion This study confirms the presence of M. ulcerans in the watery environment surrounding patients with Buruli ulcer in Ivory Coast. It suggests that the agouti, which is in close contacts with populations, could play a role in the environmental cycle of M. ulcerans, as previously suggested for the closely related possums in Australia. PMID:26982581

  18. Detection of Mycobacterium ulcerans DNA in the Environment, Ivory Coast.

    PubMed

    Tian, Roger Bi Diangoné; Niamké, Sébastian; Tissot-Dupont, Hervé; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Ivory Coast is a West African country with the highest reported cases of Buruli ulcer, a disabling subcutaneous infection due to Mycobacterium ulcerans. However, the prevalence of environmental M. ulcerans is poorly known in this country. We collected 496 environmental specimens consisting of soil (n = 100), stagnant water (n = 200), plants (n = 100) and animal feces (n = 96) in Ivory Coast over five months in the dry and wet seasons in regions which are free of Buruli ulcer (control group A; 250 specimens) and in regions where the Buruli ulcer is endemic (group B; 246 specimens). After appropriate total DNA extraction incorporating an internal control, the M. ulcerans IS2404 and KR-B gene were amplified by real-time PCR in samples. In parallel, a calibration curve was done for M. ulcerans Agy99 IS2404 and KR-B gene. Of 460 samples free of PCR inhibition, a positive real-time PCR detection of insertion sequence IS2404 and KR-B gene was observed in 1/230 specimens in control group A versus 9/230 specimens in group B (P = 0.02; Fisher exact test). Positive specimens comprised seven stagnant water specimens, two feces specimens confirmed to be of Thryonomys swinderianus (agouti) origin by real-time PCR of the cytb gene; and one soil specimen. Extrapolation from the calibration curves indicated low inoculums ranging from 1 to 102 mycobacteria/mL. This study confirms the presence of M. ulcerans in the watery environment surrounding patients with Buruli ulcer in Ivory Coast. It suggests that the agouti, which is in close contacts with populations, could play a role in the environmental cycle of M. ulcerans, as previously suggested for the closely related possums in Australia.

  19. Plumage Genes and Little Else Distinguish the Genomes of Hybridizing Warblers.

    PubMed

    Toews, David P L; Taylor, Scott A; Vallender, Rachel; Brelsford, Alan; Butcher, Bronwyn G; Messer, Philipp W; Lovette, Irby J

    2016-09-12

    When related taxa hybridize extensively, their genomes may become increasingly homogenized over time. This mixing via hybridization creates conservation challenges when it reduces genetic or phenotypic diversity and when it endangers previously distinct species via genetic swamping [1]. However, hybridization also facilitates admixture mapping of traits that distinguish each species and the associated genes that maintain distinctiveness despite ongoing gene flow [2]. We address these dual aspects of hybridization in the golden-winged/blue-winged warbler complex, two phenotypically divergent warblers that are indistinguishable using traditional molecular markers and that draw substantial conservation attention [3-5]. Whole-genome comparisons show that differentiation is extremely low: only six small genomic regions exhibit strong differences. Four of these divergence peaks occur in proximity to genes known to be involved in feather development or pigmentation: agouti signaling protein (ASIP), follistatin (FST), ecodysplasin (EDA), wingless-related integration site (Wnt), and beta-carotene oxygenase 2 (BCO2). Throat coloration-the most striking plumage difference between these warblers-is perfectly associated with the promoter region of agouti, and genotypes at this locus obey simple Mendelian recessive inheritance of the black-throated phenotype characteristic of golden-winged warblers. The more general pattern of genomic similarity between these warblers likely results from a protracted period of hybridization, contradicting the broadly accepted hypothesis that admixture results from solely anthropogenic habitat change in the past two centuries [4]. Considered in concert, these results are relevant to both the genetic architecture of avian feather pigmentation and the evolutionary history and conservation challenges associated with these declining songbirds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists have direct access to and effects on pro-opiomelanocortin/cocaine- and amphetamine-stimulated transcript neurons in the mouse hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Lotte Bjerre; Secher, Anna; Hecksher-Sørensen, Jacob; Pyke, Charles

    2016-04-01

    Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist marketed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Besides lowering blood glucose, liraglutide reduces bodyweight, and has recently also been approved for the obesity indication. Acutely, GLP-1 markedly reduces gastric emptying, and this effect was previously believed to at least partly explain the effect on bodyweight loss. However, recent studies in both humans and animals have shown that GLP-1R agonists, such as liraglutide, that lead to pharmacological concentrations for 24 h/day only have a minor effect on gastric emptying; such an effect is unlikely to have lasting effects on appetite reduction. Liraglutide has been shown to have direct effects in the arcuate nucleus of the rodent brain, activating pro-opiomelanocortin neurons and increasing levels of the cocaine- and amphetamine-stimulated transcript neuropeptide messenger ribonucleic acid, which correlate nicely to clinical studies where liraglutide was shown to increase feelings of satiety. However, despite the lack of a GLP-1R on agouti-related peptide/neuropeptide Y neurons, liraglutide also was able to prevent a hunger associated increase in agouti-related peptide and neuropeptide Y neuropeptide messenger ribonucleic acid, again with a strong correlation to clinical studies that document reduced hunger feelings in patients while taking liraglutide. Studies using fluorescent labeled liraglutide, as well as other GLP-1R agonists, and analysis using single-plane illumination microscopy show that such medium-sized peptide-based compounds can directly access not only circumventricular organs of the brain, but also directly access discrete regions in the hypothalamus. The direct effects of long-acting GLP-1R agonists in the hypothalamus are likely to be an important new pathway in understanding GLP-1R agonist mediated weight loss.

  1. Melanocortin 4 receptor constitutive activity inhibits L-type voltage-gated calcium channels in neurons.

    PubMed

    Agosti, F; Cordisco Gonzalez, S; Martinez Damonte, V; Tolosa, M J; Di Siervi, N; Schioth, H B; Davio, C; Perello, M; Raingo, J

    2017-03-27

    The melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is expressed in several brain nuclei playing a crucial role in the regulation of energy balance controlling the homeostasis of the organism. It displays both agonist-evoked and constitutive activity, and moreover, it can couple to different G proteins. Most of the research on MC4R has been focused on agonist-induced activity, while the molecular and cellular basis of MC4R constitutive activity remains scarcely studied. We have previously shown that neuronal N-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV2.2) are inhibited by MC4R agonist-dependent activation, while the CaV subtypes that carry L- and P/Q-type current are not. Here, we tested the hypothesis that MC4R constitutive activity can affect CaV, with focus on the channel subtypes that can control transcriptional activity coupled to depolarization (L-type, CaV1.2/1.3) and neurotransmitter release (N- and P/Q-type, CaV2.2 and CaV2.1). We found that MC4R constitutive activity inhibits specifically CaV1.2/1.3 and CaV2.1 subtypes of CaV. We also explored the signaling pathways mediating this inhibition, and thus propose that agonist-dependent and basal MC4R activation modes signal differentially through Gs and Gi/o pathways to impact on different CaV subtypes. In addition, we found that chronic incubation with MC4R endogenous inverse agonist, agouti and agouti-related peptide (AgRP), occludes CaV inhibition in a cell line and in amygdaloid complex cultured neurons as well. Thus, we define new mechanisms of control of the main mediators of depolarization-induced calcium entry into neurons by a GPCR that displays constitutive activity.

  2. Central role of the melanocortin-4 receptors in appetite regulation after endotoxin.

    PubMed

    Sartin, J L; Marks, D L; McMahon, C D; Daniel, J A; Levasseur, P; Wagner, C G; Whitlock, B K; Steele, B P

    2008-10-01

    Melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) are key factors in the depression of appetite during disease. This study was designed to determine the role of agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the effect of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) on appetite. Sheep received an intracerebroventricular injection of either saline or AgRP (0.5 nmol/kg of BW) 1 h before intravenous injection of either saline or LPS (0.6 microg/kg of BW) at time 0 and again at 4 h. Agouti-related protein prevented the reduction in feed intake due to LPS (P < 0.05). In a second experiment, AgRP gene expression was unaffected at 3 h and increased (P < 0.01) at 6 h after LPS. Immunohistochemical evidence indicated that there was an increase in the percentage of AgRP neurons with c-Fos immunoreactive nuclei 6 h after sheep were injected with LPS (P < 0.04) and a corresponding decrease in a-melanocyte-stimulating hormone neurons coexpressing c-Fos (P < 0.001). In situ hybridization provided evidence for an increase in AgRP gene expression and a decrease in proopiomelanocortin gene expression 6 h after LPS (P < 0.05). In a final experiment, physiological elevation of orexigenic agents by short-term fasting kept feed intake at the same level as controls, in spite of the presence of LPS, similar to the effects of AgRP in Exp. 1. The AgRP inhibition of the MC4R prevents appetite inhibition in response to LPS and well after LPS inhibition of feed intake, both AgRP and a-melanocyte-stimulating hormone may change in a pattern that favors appetite increases. These studies support the notion of the MC4R as a critical component of the mechanism for appetite suppression due to endotoxin.

  3. CD36/fatty acid translocase in rats: distribution, isolation from hepatocytes, and comparison with the scavenger receptor SR-B1.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xingqi; Fitzsimmons, Rebecca L; Cleland, Leslie G; Ey, Peter L; Zannettino, Andrew C W; Farmer, Elizabeth-Anne; Sincock, Paul; Mayrhofer, Graham

    2003-03-01

    The new mAb UA009 recognizes an antigen expressed by microvascular endothelium, by lymphatic endothelium, and by some epithelia in a number of organs, including the small intestine, lactating mammary gland, kidney, lung, sebaceous glands, and circumvallate papillae of the tongue. This antigen is also expressed abundantly in the splenic red pulp and marginal zone and by monocytes, macrophages, and erythrocytes (but not by platelets). Among tissues that store or metabolize fatty acids, the antigen is expressed by adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, and red skeletal muscle. Importantly, it is expressed by steroidogenic cells in the adrenal gland, testis, and ovary, whereas in the liver it is expressed by hepatocytes in a pattern that is dependent on gender and genetic background. mAb UA009 immunoprecipitated a mol wt 85-kDa surface protein from detergent extracts of hepatocytes from Dark Agouti female rats. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of this protein was identical to fatty acid translocase (FAT), the rat cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) ortholog. The mAb also reacted with COS-7 cells transfected with cDNA encoding FAT. cDNAs encoding a CD36/FAT-like polypeptide were prepared from both liver and heart RNA by RT-PCR. The nucleotide sequences obtained from these cDNAs (Dark Agouti rats) revealed identity and 99% similarity, respectively, with the published sequences of Cd36/Fat in rats of the Wistar and Sprague-Dawley strains. The absence of the UA009 antigen in CD36/FAT-deficient SHR/N rats confirmed the identity of the UA009 antigen and CD36/FAT. We suggest that CD36/FAT might function in the liver as a sex-regulated accessory molecule, either in reverse cholesterol transport and/or in fatty acid uptake.

  4. [Frugivory and seed dispersal Oenocarpus bataua palm (Arecaceae) in a forest from the Colombian Andes].

    PubMed

    Rojas-Robles, Rosario; Stiles, F Gary; Muñoz-Saba, Yaneth

    2012-12-01

    Seed dispersal is a key process that determines the spatial structure and dynamics of populations of plants, establishes the potential area of recruitment and in this way, the basis for subsequent processes such as predation, germination, competition and growth. The purpose of this research was to identify the guild of frugivores of the Oenocapus bataua palm in fragments of Andean forest, determine the effective dispersers and relate the spatial distribution of palm populations with the dispersion of seeds. To this end, between August 2005-June 2006, observations of the removal of fruits from eight clusters were done, and counting of consumption of fruits beneath 78 palms with mature fruits was undertaken; focal observations of 13 individuals during 90 hours; registration of frugivory with photographic traps during 165 days/nights for a total of 195 photographs and 144 consumption events; experiments with dispersion using 751 perforated fruits/seeds attached to strings and finally, plots to determine spatial distribution all were carried out. In the study area at least five species of mammals ate, dispersed, buried (Sciurus granatensis, Microsciurus mimulus, Dasyprocta punctata y Proechimys sp.), cover (Marmosa robinsoni) and carried the fruits of O. bataua off to caves (Marmosa robinsoni y Proechimys sp.) without damaging the seed. A 21.7% of the fruits were dispersed, 13.2 gnawed or peeled, 5.6% covered, buried and carried to caves. The average distance of removal of seeds and fruits was 3.1m although in a lesser proportion, dispersion events of >50m were recorded. The abundant production of fruits, their size and weight, their intense removal by frugivores, the short dispersion distances, the absence of large size frugivores (reduced by hunting and fragmentation), that might perform long-distance dispersion, and the increase of rodents, especially squirrels, that strongly pressure the fruit resource, generate a spatially restricted seed rain of seeds responsible

  5. [Role of mammals on seed dispersal and predation processes of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) in the Colombian Amazon].

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Quintero, Juan Fernando; Zamora-Abrego, Joan Gastón

    2016-03-01

    Mammals and palms are important elements of fauna and flora in the Neotropics, and their interactions, such as fruit consumption and seed dispersal, are one of the most important ecological relationships in these ecosystems. The main objective of this study was to identify the relative importance of mammals in the dispersal and predation of Mauritia flexuosa palm fruits. We installed camera-traps in front of palm fallen seeds and clusters with fruits. A catalog of species was prepared with the recorded videos and the foraging behaviors exhibited were classified and identified. In addition, two exclusion treatments with three repetitions each were used. In the semi-open treatment, a plot was fenced with metal mesh leaving four open- ings in order to allow access only to small and medium sized mammals, while in the open treatment, the small, medium and large sized mammals had free access. In both cases, seed removal was evaluated. We recorded a total of 19 species of mammals, nine of which fed on palm fruits and the other five were seed dispersers. We reported for the first time the consumption of Mauritia flexuosa fruits by Atelocynus microtis. The species with the highest relative importance was Dasyprocta fuliginosa, which showed the highest percentage of seed dispersal (63.5%) compared to the other species. Tayassu peccary was identified as an in situ consumer, eating 45.3% of seeds without dispersing them. The number of seeds consumed in situ in the open treatment showed significant differences regarding the semi-open treatment, suggesting greater involvement of large mammals in this process. In conclusion, the fruits of M. flexuosa are an important food source for the local mammal com- munity. Additionally, the consumption of seeds under the canopy of the mother palm is proportionally greater than their dispersion. Generally, the pressure of frugivorous species over seeds may determine the reproductive strategies of plants. However, research on effective

  6. Repopulation of vascularized bone allotransplants with recipient-derived cells: Detection by laser capture microdissection and real-time PCR

    PubMed Central

    Pelzer, Michael; Larsen, Mikko; Friedrich, Patricia F.; Aleff, Ross A.; Bishop, Allen T.

    2010-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying successful composite tissue transplantation must include an analysis of transplant chimerism, which is little studied, particularly in calcified tissue. We have developed a new method enabling determination of lineage of selected cells in our model of vascularized bone allotransplantation. Vascularized femoral allotransplantation was performed from female Dark Agouti (DA) donor rats to male Piebald Virol Glaxo (PVG) recipients, representing a major histocompatibility mismatch. 4 groups differed in use of immunosuppression (+/- 2 weeks Tacrolimus) and surgical revascularization, by implantation of either a patent or a ligated saphenous arteriovenous (AV) bundle. Results were assessed at 18 weeks. Bone blood flow was measured by the hydrogen washout technique and transverse specimens were prepared for histology. Real-time PCR was performed on DNA from laser capture microdissected cortical bone regions to determine the extent of chimerism. To do so, we analyzed the relative expression ratio of the sex-determining region Y (Sry) gene, specific only for recipient male rat DNA, to the cyclophilin housekeeper gene. Substantial transplant chimerism was seen in cortical bone of all groups (range 77-97%). Rats without immunosuppression and with a patent AV bundle revealed significantly higher chimerism than those with immunosuppression and a ligated AV bundle, which maintained transplant cell viability. We describe a new method to study the extent of chimerism in rat vascularized bone allotransplants, including a sex-mismatched transplantation model, laser capture microdissection of selected bone regions, and calculation of the relative expression ratio. PMID:19437510

  7. A novel role for pigment genes in the stress response in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Uniza Wahid; Øverli, Øyvind; Hinkle, Patricia M.; Pasha, Farhan Ahmad; Johansen, Ida Beitnes; Berget, Ingunn; Silva, Patricia I. M.; Kittilsen, Silje; Höglund, Erik; Omholt, Stig W.; Våge, Dag Inge

    2016-01-01

    In many vertebrate species visible melanin-based pigmentation patterns correlate with high stress- and disease-resistance, but proximate mechanisms for this trait association remain enigmatic. Here we show that a missense mutation in a classical pigmentation gene, melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor (MC1R), is strongly associated with distinct differences in steroidogenic melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) mRNA expression between high- (HR) and low-responsive (LR) rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). We also show experimentally that cortisol implants increase the expression of agouti signaling protein (ASIP) mRNA in skin, likely explaining the association between HR-traits and reduced skin melanin patterning. Molecular dynamics simulations predict that melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein (MRAP), needed for MC2R function, binds differently to the two MC1R variants. Considering that mRNA for MC2R and the MC1R variants are present in head kidney cells, we hypothesized that MC2R activity is modulated in part by different binding affinities of the MC1R variants for MRAP. Experiments in mammalian cells confirmed that trout MRAP interacts with the two trout MC1R variants and MC2R, but failed to detect regulation of MC2R signaling, possibly due to high constitutive MC1R activity. PMID:27373344

  8. Hunger and Satiety Gauge Reward Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Cassidy, Ryan Michael; Tong, Qingchun

    2017-01-01

    Many of the neurocircuits and hormones known to underlie the sensations of hunger and satiety also substantially alter the activity of the dopaminergic reward system. Much interest lies in the ways that hunger, satiety, and reward tie together, as the epidemic of obesity seems tied to the recent development and mass availability of highly palatable foods. In this review, we will first discuss the basic neurocircuitry of the midbrain and basal forebrain reward system. We will elaborate how several important mediators of hunger—the agouti-related protein neurons of the arcuate nucleus, the lateral hypothalamic nucleus, and ghrelin—enhance the sensitivity of the dopaminergic reward system. Then, we will elaborate how mediators of satiety—the nucleus tractus solitarius, pro-opiomelanocortin neurons of the arcuate nucleus, and its peripheral hormonal influences such as leptin—reduce the reward system sensitivity. We hope to provide a template by which future research may identify the ways in which highly rewarding foods bypass this balanced system to produce excessive food consumption. PMID:28572791

  9. Female mice and rats exhibit species-specific metabolic and behavioral responses to ovariectomy

    PubMed Central

    Witte, Michelina Messina; Resuehr, David; Chandler, Ashley R.; Mehle, Ashlee K.; Overton, J. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Ovariectomy (OVX) leads to hyperphagia and weight gain in rats, which can be prevented by estradiol (E2) replacement; however, the role of endogenous E2 on feeding and energy homeostasis in female mice has not been well characterized. The primary goal of this study was to assess the relative contribution of increased energy intake and decreased energy expenditure to OVX-induced weight gain in female rats and mice. OVX led to hyperphagia in rats, but did not produce daily, nor cumulative, hyperphagia in mice. OVX decreased mass-specific metabolic rate in mice, but not in rats. OVX decreased home cage locomotor activity in both species. Pair-feeding attenuated OVX-induced weight gain in rats and produced both short- and long-term changes in expression of key hypothalamic genes involved in food intake and energy homeostasis, i.e., the anorexigenic neuropeptide pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and the orexigenic neuropeptides: melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP). No differences in hypothalamic gene expression were observed between OVX’d and sham mice. The results suggest that OVX-induced weight gain is mediated by hyperphagia and reduced locomotor activity in rats, but that in mice, it is primarily mediated by reduced locomotor activity and metabolic rate. PMID:20067798

  10. AgRP Neurons Control Systemic Insulin Sensitivity via Myostatin Expression in Brown Adipose Tissue.

    PubMed

    Steculorum, Sophie M; Ruud, Johan; Karakasilioti, Ismene; Backes, Heiko; Engström Ruud, Linda; Timper, Katharina; Hess, Martin E; Tsaousidou, Eva; Mauer, Jan; Vogt, Merly C; Paeger, Lars; Bremser, Stephan; Klein, Andreas C; Morgan, Donald A; Frommolt, Peter; Brinkkötter, Paul T; Hammerschmidt, Philipp; Benzing, Thomas; Rahmouni, Kamal; Wunderlich, F Thomas; Kloppenburg, Peter; Brüning, Jens C

    2016-03-24

    Activation of Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons potently promotes feeding, and chronically altering their activity also affects peripheral glucose homeostasis. We demonstrate that acute activation of AgRP neurons causes insulin resistance through impairment of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake into brown adipose tissue (BAT). AgRP neuron activation acutely reprograms gene expression in BAT toward a myogenic signature, including increased expression of myostatin. Interference with myostatin activity improves insulin sensitivity that was impaired by AgRP neurons activation. Optogenetic circuitry mapping reveals that feeding and insulin sensitivity are controlled by both distinct and overlapping projections. Stimulation of AgRP → LHA projections impairs insulin sensitivity and promotes feeding while activation of AgRP → anterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (aBNST)vl projections, distinct from AgRP → aBNSTdm projections controlling feeding, mediate the effect of AgRP neuron activation on BAT-myostatin expression and insulin sensitivity. Collectively, our results suggest that AgRP neurons in mice induce not only eating, but also insulin resistance by stimulating expression of muscle-related genes in BAT, revealing a mechanism by which these neurons rapidly coordinate hunger states with glucose homeostasis.

  11. Mice that are resistant to diet-induced weight loss have greater food anticipatory activity and altered melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R) and dopamine receptor 2 (D2) gene expression.

    PubMed

    Vaanholt, Lobke M; Mitchell, Sharon E; Sinclair, Rachel E; Speakman, John R

    2015-07-01

    Diet-induced weight loss varies considerably between individuals, but the mechanisms driving these individual differences remain largely unknown. Here we investigated whether key neuropeptides involved in the regulation of energy balance or reward systems were differentially expressed in mice that were prone or resistant to caloric restriction (CR) induced weight loss. Mice (n=30 males and n=34 females) were fed 70% of their own baseline ad libitum intake for 25days, after which their brains were collected and expression of various neuropeptides were investigated and compared between the 10 male and 10 female mice that showed the greatest (high weight loss, HWL) or lowest weight loss (LWL) (n=40 in total). HWL mice showed a differential neuropeptide profile to LWL in both sexes, characterised by increased expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AgRP), leptin receptor (ObRb), and melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3R) in the arcuate nucleus. No changes in the expression of fat mass and obesity related gene (FTO) or suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (Socs3) were observed. Levels of dopamine D2 receptor were decreased in the nucleus accumbens in HWL compared to LWL mice. HWL mice showed a stronger increase in food anticipatory activity (FAA) in response to CR than LWL mice. These results indicate that the mice prone to diet-induced weight loss experienced greater hunger, potentially driving their elevated FAA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Tachykinin-1 in the central nervous system regulates adiposity in rodents.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Chitrang; Shan, Xiaoye; Tung, Yi-Chun Loraine; Kabra, Dhiraj; Holland, Jenna; Amburgy, Sarah; Heppner, Kristy; Kirchner, Henriette; Yeo, Giles S H; Perez-Tilve, Diego

    2015-05-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating hormone that targets the central nervous system to regulate feeding and adiposity. The best-characterized neural system that mediates the effects of ghrelin on energy balance involves the activation of neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide neurons, expressed exclusively in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. However, ghrelin receptors are expressed in other neuronal populations involved in the control of energy balance. We combined laser capture microdissection of several nuclei of the central nervous system expressing the ghrelin receptor (GH secretagoge receptor) with microarray gene expression analysis to identify additional neuronal systems involved in the control of central nervous system-ghrelin action. We identified tachykinin-1 (Tac1) as a gene negatively regulated by ghrelin in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, we identified neuropeptide k as the TAC1-derived peptide with more prominent activity, inducing negative energy balance when delivered directly into the brain. Conversely, loss of Tac1 expression enhances the effectiveness of ghrelin promoting fat mass gain both in male and in female mice and increases the susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in ovariectomized mice. Taken together, our data demonstrate a role TAC1 in the control energy balance by regulating the levels of adiposity in response to ghrelin administration and to changes in the status of the gonadal function.

  13. Regulatory Alterations of Energy Homeostasis in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR).

    PubMed

    Furedi, Nora; Miko, Alexandra; Aubrecht, Bianka; Gaszner, Balazs; Feller, Diana; Rostas, Ildiko; Tenk, Judit; Soos, Szilvia; Balasko, Marta; Balogh, Andras; Pap, Marianna; Petervari, Erika

    2016-08-01

    Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have high sympathetic tone and progressive hypertension. Chronic calorie-restriction prevents hypertension. Their food intake (FI) and body weight are lower than in normotensive (NT) controls, even on a high-fat diet, suggesting a dysregulation of energy homeostasis. We assumed enhanced activity of hypothalamic anorexigenic melanocortins and diminished tone of orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the background. FI of male SHR and NT Wistar rats was recorded in a FeedScale system upon intracerebroventricular injection of NPY, melanocortin ligands alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) or during a 7-day intracerebroventricular infusion of melanocortin antagonist HS024. Alpha-MSH, NPY, and AgRP immunoreactivities were semi-quantified in the arcuate (ARC) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei of the hypothalamus in NT vs. SHR. Proopiomelanocortin gene expression was also assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in the ARC. Melanocortin-induced anorexia was stronger, FI induced by NPY or HS024 was smaller and delayed in SHR. Cellular alpha-MSH-specific signal density was higher in the ARC of SHR as evaluated by immunofluerescence, which was supported by PCR data. In the PVN, no differences in alpha-MSH-, NPY-, or AgRP-immunosignal were observed. Our results suggest that a higher melanocortin production/responsiveness and lower NPY responsiveness may contribute to the body weight dysregulation of SHR.

  14. Arcuate neuropeptide Y inhibits sympathetic nerve activity via multiple neuropathways.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhigang; Madden, Christopher J; Brooks, Virginia L

    2017-06-30

    Obesity increases sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) via activation of proopiomelanocortin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ArcN), and this action requires simultaneous withdrawal of tonic neuropeptide Y (NPY) sympathoinhibition. However, the sites and neurocircuitry by which NPY decreases SNA are unclear. Here, using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) to selectively activate or inhibit ArcN NPY neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in mice, we have demonstrated that this neuronal population tonically suppresses splanchnic SNA (SSNA), arterial pressure, and heart rate via projections to the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). First, we found that ArcN NPY/AgRP fibers closely appose PVN and DMH presympathetic neurons. Second, nanoinjections of NPY or an NPY receptor Y1 (NPY1R) antagonist into PVN or DMH decreased or increased SSNA, respectively. Third, blockade of DMH NPY1R reversed the sympathoinhibition elicited by selective, DREADD-mediated activation of ArcN NPY/AgRP neurons. Finally, stimulation of ArcN NPY/AgRP terminal fields in the PVN and DMH decreased SSNA. Considering that chronic obesity decreases ArcN NPY content, we propose that the ArcN NPY neuropathway to the PVN and DMH is pivotal in obesity-induced elevations in SNA.

  15. Selective expression and induction of cytochrome P450PB and P450MC during the development of hereditary hepatitis and hepatoma of LEC rats.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, T; Suzuki, K; Ookawara, T; Kurosawa, T; Taniguchi, N

    1989-11-01

    The Long-Evans rat with a cinnamon-like coat color (LEC rat) is a mutant strain displaying hereditary hepatitis with severe jaundice. The age related difference in microsomal dealkylation of pentoxyresorufin and ethoxyresorufin was examined. The enzyme activity levels of pentoxyresorufin O-depentylase in LEC rats were decreased to 25% of the levels in control [Long-Evans rats with an agouti coat color (LEA rats)]. In contrast, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase exhibited a much less marked difference between the strains. In parallel with these strain differences in enzyme activities, a decrease in phenobarbital (PB) inducible P450 isozymes, mainly P450b and P450e, was observed by Western blot analysis. The level of P450PB in LEC rats was more markedly depressed than in the LEA strain. On the other hand, microsomes from uninduced LEC rat liver had more 3-methylcholanthrene (MC) inducible P450MC, mainly P450c and P450d, than microsomes from LEA rat liver and these isozymes in the LEC were markedly induced by 3-methylcholanthrene treatment. The great difference in cytochrome P450PB content of the liver microsomes between LEC and LEA rats and the maintained constitutive levels of hepatic cytochrome P450MC in the LEC rats suggest a possible role of these cytochrome isozymes in the onset of spontaneous hepatitis and hepatoma.

  16. Functional parameters before and after parathyroidectomy: a prospective, randomized long-term trial on different rat strains.

    PubMed

    Hasse, C; Brune, M; Lorenz, W; Barth, P; Metzler, W; Breves, G; Sitter, H

    2004-07-01

    For clinical controls before and after parathyroidectomy and for evaluation of the function of transplants of parathyroid tissue, it is necessary to establish standard values of relevant laboratory parameters for donor and recipient animals as well as for different types of nutrition. Since no such data are yet available, it was the purpose to define such standards. In a prospective randomized trial on 400 rats of the Dark Agouti (DA) and Lewis strain, different functional laboratory parameters such as total calcium, intact parathyroid hormone, phosphate, 1.25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and alkaline phosphatase were measured under a standard and low calcium diet over a period of 40 weeks. Two hundred of these animals underwent a parathyroidectomy four weeks after the beginning of the study and specimens were evaluated histologically. For all eight different study groups normal values could be defined within tight limits for parameters which describe the function of the parathyroid gland or elements of calcium metabolism under different conditions. The optimal conditions for a transplantation model of parathyroid glands were established. Lewis-rats were identified as the ideal donor and DA rats as the better recipient animals. These data can serve as reference values for future studies on transplantation of the parathyroid without immunosuppression.

  17. Neuroendocrine control of satiation.

    PubMed

    Asarian, Lori; Bächler, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    Abstract Eating is a simple behavior with complex functions. The unconscious neuroendocrine process that stops eating and brings a meal to its end is called satiation. Energy homeostasis is mediated accomplished through the control of meal size via satiation. It involves neural integrations of phasic negative-feedback signals related to ingested food and tonic signals, such as those related to adipose tissue mass. Energy homeostasis is accomplished through adjustments in meal size brought about by changes in these satiation signals. The best understood meal-derived satiation signals arise from gastrointestinal nutrient sensing. Gastrointestinal hormones secreted during the meal, including cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and PYY, mediate most of these. Other physiological signals arise from activation of metabolic-sensing neurons, mainly in the hypothalamus and caudal brainstem. We review both classes of satiation signal and their integration in the brain, including their processing by melanocortin, neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide, serotonin, noradrenaline, and oxytocin neurons. Our review is not comprehensive; rather, we discuss only what we consider the best-understood mechanisms of satiation, with a special focus on normally operating physiological mechanisms.

  18. Gpr17 in AgRP Neurons Regulates Feeding and Sensitivity to Insulin and Leptin

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Joshua R.; Kon, Ning

    2015-01-01

    Hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) regulate eating and glucose metabolism. Ablation of FOXO1 in AgRP neurons of mice results in reduced food intake, leanness, improved glucose homeostasis, and increased sensitivity to insulin and leptin. We tentatively identified G-protein–coupled receptor Gpr17 as an effector of FOXO1 orexigenic signals in AgRP neurons. In this study, we generated and characterized AgRP neuron–specific Gpr17 knockout mice (Agrp-Gpr17−/−) to test the hypothesis that Gpr17 regulates appetite, energy expenditure, and metabolism. Agrp-Gpr17−/− mice show reduced food intake, increased relative energy expenditure, and increased satiety, resulting in leanness and reduced body fat. They also show increased central nervous system sensitivity to insulin and leptin and reduced plasma glucose excursions following the administration of glucose or pyruvate. In summary, AgRP neuron–specific Gpr17 knockouts phenocopy FOXO1 knockouts in the same cell type, thus supporting our original hypothesis and providing further impetus to develop Gpr17 antagonists for the treatment of obesity. PMID:26180086

  19. Anorexia and Impaired Glucose Metabolism in Mice With Hypothalamic Ablation of Glut4 Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y.; McGraw, Timothy E.

    2015-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin–mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 neurons and investigate the resulting phenotypes. After Glut4 neuron ablation, mice demonstrate altered hormone and nutrient signaling in the CNS. Accordingly, they exhibit negative energy balance phenotype characterized by reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, without locomotor deficits or gross neuronal abnormalities. Glut4 neuron ablation affects orexigenic melanin-concentrating hormone neurons but has limited effect on neuropeptide Y/agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin neurons. The food intake phenotype can be partially normalized by GABA administration, suggesting that it arises from defective GABAergic transmission. Glut4 neuron–ablated mice show peripheral metabolic defects, including fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, decreased insulin levels, and elevated hepatic gluconeogenic genes. We conclude that Glut4 neurons integrate hormonal and nutritional cues and mediate CNS actions of insulin on energy balance and peripheral metabolism. PMID:25187366

  20. Melanocortin-3 receptors expressed in Nkx2.1(+ve) neurons are sufficient for controlling appetitive responses to hypocaloric conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Girardet, Clémence; Mavrikaki, Maria M.; Stevens, Joseph R.; Miller, Courtney A.; Marks, Daniel L.; Butler, Andrew A.

    2017-01-01

    Melanocortin-3 receptors (MC3R) have a contextual role in appetite control that is amplified with hypocaloric conditioning. C57BL/6J (B6) mice subjected to hypocaloric feeding schedules (HFS) exhibit compulsive behavioral responses involving food anticipatory activity (FAA) and caloric loading following food access. These homeostatic responses to calorie-poor environs are attenuated in B6 mice in which Mc3r transcription is suppressed by a lox-stop-lox sequence in the 5’UTR (Mc3rTB/TB). Here, we report that optimization of caloric loading in B6 mice subject to HFS, characterized by increased meal size and duration, is not observed in Mc3rTB/TB mice. Analysis of hypothalamic and neuroendocrine responses to HFS throughout the light-dark cycle suggests uncoupling of hypothalamic responses involving appetite-stimulating fasting-responsive hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (Npy). Rescuing Mc3rs expression in Nkx2.1(+ve) neurons is sufficient to restore normal hypothalamic responses to negative energy balance. In addition, Mc3rs expressed in Nkx2.1(+ve) neurons are also sufficient to restore FAA and caloric loading of B6 mice subjected to HFS. In summary, MC3Rs expressed in Nkx2.1(+ve) neurons are sufficient to coordinate hypothalamic response and expression of compulsive behavioral responses involving meal anticipation and consumption of large meals during situations of prolonged negative energy balance. PMID:28294152

  1. Induction of immunoglobulin G1, interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 by Taenia crassiceps metacestode carbohydrates

    PubMed Central

    Dissanayake, Senarath; Khan, Nasir; Shahin, Allen; Wijesinghe, Shanaka; Lukic, Miodrag

    2002-01-01

    T helper type 2 (Th2) -polarized immune responses are characteristically dominant in helminth infections. Two murine models that show a Th1 to Th2 polarization with infection progression are those of Schistosoma mansoni and Taenia crassiceps. In both, an early Th1 response is replaced by a late Th2 response. We report that the nucleic acid-, protein- and lipid-free carbohydrate fraction of T. crassiceps metacestodes (denoted T-CHO) possesses Th2-like immunomodulatory activity. Immunization of two strains of rats (Dark Agouti and Albino Oxford) and BALB/c mice with chicken albumin in the presence of T-CHO resulted in selective enhancement of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies, considered to be associated with Th2 responses in both rats and mice. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) followed by IL-10 were the dominant cytokines detected in in vitro cultures of mouse spleen cells stimulated with T-CHO. IL-4 and IL-5 were not detected in these culture supernates. Furthermore, Taenia carbohydrates were mitogenic to spleen cells, activated serine phosphorylation of proteins and up-regulated the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2. When mouse spleen cells were cultured in the presence of Taenia carbohydrates, a concentration-dependent down-regulation of IL-2 and an overlapping up-regulation of IL-6 secretion were seen. PMID:12460185

  2. A High-Throughput Fluorescence-Based Assay System for Appetite-Regulating Gene and Drug Screening

    PubMed Central

    Shimada, Yasuhito; Hirano, Minoru; Nishimura, Yuhei; Tanaka, Toshio

    2012-01-01

    The increasing number of people suffering from metabolic syndrome and obesity is becoming a serious problem not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries. However, there are few agents currently approved for the treatment of obesity. Those that are available are mainly appetite suppressants and gastrointestinal fat blockers. We have developed a simple and rapid method for the measurement of the feeding volume of Danio rerio (zebrafish). This assay can be used to screen appetite suppressants and enhancers. In this study, zebrafish were fed viable paramecia that were fluorescently-labeled, and feeding volume was measured using a 96-well microplate reader. Gene expression analysis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf), knockdown of appetite-regulating genes (neuropeptide Y, preproinsulin, melanocortin 4 receptor, agouti related protein, and cannabinoid receptor 1), and the administration of clinical appetite suppressants (fluoxetine, sibutramine, mazindol, phentermine, and rimonabant) revealed the similarity among mechanisms regulating appetite in zebrafish and mammals. In combination with behavioral analysis, we were able to evaluate adverse effects on locomotor activities from gene knockdown and chemical treatments. In conclusion, we have developed an assay that uses zebrafish, which can be applied to high-throughput screening and target gene discovery for appetite suppressants and enhancers. PMID:23300705

  3. Brain-Specific Homeobox Factor as a Target Selector for Glucocorticoid Receptor in Energy Balance

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Bora; Kim, Sun-Gyun; Kim, Juhee; Choi, Kwan Yong; Lee, Soo-Kyung

    2013-01-01

    The molecular basis underlying the physiologically well-defined orexigenic function of glucocorticoid (Gc) is unclear. Brain-specific homeobox factor (Bsx) is a positive regulator of the orexigenic neuropeptide, agouti-related peptide (AgRP), in AgRP neurons of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. Here, we show that in response to fasting-elevated Gc levels, Gc receptor (GR) and Bsx synergize to direct activation of AgRP transcription. This synergy is dictated by unique sequence features in a novel Gc response element in AgRP (AgRP-GRE). In contrast to AgRP-GRE, Bsx suppresses transactivation directed by many conventional GREs, functioning as a gene context-dependent modulator of GR actions or a target selector for GR. Consistent with this finding, AgRP-GRE drives fasting-dependent activation of a target gene specifically in GR+ Bsx+ AgRP neurons. These results define AgRP as a common orexigenic target gene of GR and Bsx and provide an opportunity to identify their additional common targets, facilitating our understanding of the molecular basis underlying the orexigenic activity of Gc and Bsx. PMID:23671185

  4. Common commercial cosmetic products induce arthritis in the DA rat.

    PubMed Central

    Sverdrup, B; Klareskog, L; Kleinau, S

    1998-01-01

    Many different agents, including mineral oil and silicone, have the capacity to act as immunological adjuvants, i.e., they can contribute to the activation of the immune system. Some adjuvants, including mineral oil, are known to induce arthritis in certain strains of rats after intradermal injection or percutaneous application. The aim of this study was to determine if common commercial cosmetic products containing mineral oil could induce arthritis in the highly susceptible DA (Dark Agouti) rat. Intradermal injection of five out of eight assayed cosmetic products without further additives resulted in arthritis with synovitis. One of the products induced a very aggressive arthritis, which had declined after 5-9 weeks. When this product was also assayed for arthritogenicity upon percutaneous administration, it induced a mild and transient arthritis in 5 out of 10 DA rats, whereas control animals showed no clinical signs of joint involvement. No arthritic reaction was seen in rats after peroral feeding with the most arthritogenic product or by intravaginal application of Freund's adjuvants. Silicone gel implants in DA rats did not cause arthritis. We conclude that mineral oils included in common commercially available products retain their adjuvant properties and are arthritogenic in the presently investigated arthritis-prone rat strain. There is yet no evidence that mineral oils present in cosmetics may contribute to arthritis in humans, but we suggest that this question should be subject to further investigation. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:9417771

  5. Effects of fluoxetine administration on hypothalamic melanocortin system in obese Zucker rats.

    PubMed

    Churruca, I; Portillo, M P; Casis, L; Gutiérrez, A; Macarulla, M T; Echevarría, E

    2008-06-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the potential involvement of melanocortin system in the anorectic mechanism of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, in obese Zucker rats. Male obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats were administered fluoxetine (10 mg/kg; i.p.) daily for two weeks. The control group was given 0.9% NaCl solution. RT-PCR for pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), Agouti gene related peptide (AgRP) and melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4-R) in the hypothalamus, as well as regional immunostaining for alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) and MC4-R were carried out. Fluoxetine administration increased POMC expression and reduced MC4-R expression in the hypothalamus, without changes in AgRP mRNA levels. Moreover, an increase in the numbers of alpha-MSH positively immunostained neural cells in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), as well as a significant decrease in the numbers of neural cells positively immunostained for MC4-R in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), without changes in lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), were observed. These results suggest the involvement of alpha-MSH in central fluoxetine anorectic action.

  6. Dynamic GABAergic afferent modulation of AgRP neurons

    PubMed Central

    Garfield, Alastair S; Shah, Bhavik P; Burgess, Christian R; Li, Monica M; Li, Chia; Steger, Jennifer S; Madara, Joseph C; Campbell, John N; Kroeger, Daniel; Scammell, Thomas E; Tannous, Bakhos A; Myers, Martin G; Andermann, Mark L; Krashes, Michael J; Lowell, Bradford B

    2017-01-01

    Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons of the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) promote homeostatic feeding at times of caloric insufficiency, yet they are rapidly suppressed by food-related sensory cues prior to ingestion. Here we identify a highly selective inhibitory afferent to AgRP neurons that serves as a neural determinant of this rapid modulation. Specifically, GABAergic projections arising from the ventral compartment of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (vDMH) contribute to the pre-consummatory modulation of ARCAgRP neurons. In a manner reciprocal to ARCAgRP neurons, ARC-projecting leptin receptor (LepR)-expressing GABAergic DMH neurons exhibit rapid activation upon availability of food that additionally reflects the relative value of the food. Thus, DMHLepR neurons form part of the sensory network that relays real-time information about the nature and availability of food to dynamically modulate ARCAgRP neuron activity and feeding behavior. PMID:27643429

  7. Tachykinin-1 in the Central Nervous System Regulates Adiposity in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Chitrang; Shan, Xiaoye; Tung, Yi-Chun Loraine; Kabra, Dhiraj; Holland, Jenna; Amburgy, Sarah; Heppner, Kristy; Kirchner, Henriette; Yeo, Giles S. H.

    2015-01-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating hormone that targets the central nervous system to regulate feeding and adiposity. The best-characterized neural system that mediates the effects of ghrelin on energy balance involves the activation of neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide neurons, expressed exclusively in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. However, ghrelin receptors are expressed in other neuronal populations involved in the control of energy balance. We combined laser capture microdissection of several nuclei of the central nervous system expressing the ghrelin receptor (GH secretagoge receptor) with microarray gene expression analysis to identify additional neuronal systems involved in the control of central nervous system-ghrelin action. We identified tachykinin-1 (Tac1) as a gene negatively regulated by ghrelin in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, we identified neuropeptide k as the TAC1-derived peptide with more prominent activity, inducing negative energy balance when delivered directly into the brain. Conversely, loss of Tac1 expression enhances the effectiveness of ghrelin promoting fat mass gain both in male and in female mice and increases the susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in ovariectomized mice. Taken together, our data demonstrate a role TAC1 in the control energy balance by regulating the levels of adiposity in response to ghrelin administration and to changes in the status of the gonadal function. PMID:25751638

  8. Control of energy balance by hypothalamic gene circuitry involving two nuclear receptors, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 and glucocorticoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sun-Gyun; Lee, Bora; Kim, Dae-Hwan; Kim, Juhee; Lee, Seunghee; Lee, Soo-Kyung; Lee, Jae W

    2013-10-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) regulate diverse physiological processes, including the central nervous system control of energy balance. However, the molecular mechanisms for the central actions of NRs in energy balance remain relatively poorly defined. Here we report a hypothalamic gene network involving two NRs, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NOR1) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which directs the regulated expression of orexigenic neuropeptides agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in response to peripheral signals. Our results suggest that the anorexigenic signal leptin induces NOR1 expression likely via the transcription factor cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), while the orexigenic signal glucocorticoid mobilizes GR to inhibit NOR1 expression by antagonizing the action of CREB. Also, NOR1 suppresses glucocorticoid-dependent expression of AgRP and NPY. Consistently, relative to wild-type mice, NOR1-null mice showed significantly higher levels of AgRP and NPY and were less responsive to leptin in decreasing the expression of AgRP and NPY. These results identify mutual antagonism between NOR1 and GR to be a key rheostat for peripheral metabolic signals to centrally control energy balance.

  9. Novel hypophysiotropic AgRP2 neurons and pineal cells revealed by BAC transgenesis in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Shainer, Inbal; Buchshtab, Adi; Hawkins, Thomas A.; Wilson, Stephen W.; Cone, Roger D.; Gothilf, Yoav

    2017-01-01

    The neuropeptide agouti-related protein (AgRP) is expressed in the arcuate nucleus of the mammalian hypothalamus and plays a key role in regulating food consumption and energy homeostasis. Fish express two agrp genes in the brain: agrp1, considered functionally homologous with the mammalian AgRP, and agrp2. The role of agrp2 and its relationship to agrp1 are not fully understood. Utilizing BAC transgenesis, we generated transgenic zebrafish in which agrp1- and agrp2-expressing cells can be visualized and manipulated. By characterizing these transgenic lines, we showed that agrp1-expressing neurons are located in the ventral periventricular hypothalamus (the equivalent of the mammalian arcuate nucleus), projecting throughout the hypothalamus and towards the preoptic area. The agrp2 gene was expressed in the pineal gland in a previously uncharacterized subgroup of cells. Additionally, agrp2 was expressed in a small group of neurons in the preoptic area that project directly towards the pituitary and form an interface with the pituitary vasculature, suggesting that preoptic AgRP2 neurons are hypophysiotropic. We showed that direct synaptic connection can exist between AgRP1 and AgRP2 neurons in the hypothalamus, suggesting communication and coordination between AgRP1 and AgRP2 neurons and, therefore, probably also between the processes they regulate. PMID:28317906

  10. Sympathetic Neurotransmitters Modulate Osteoclastogenesis and Osteoclast Activity in the Context of Collagen-Induced Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Muschter, Dominique; Schäfer, Nicole; Stangl, Hubert; Straub, Rainer H.; Grässel, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Excessive synovial osteoclastogenesis is a hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Concomitantly, local synovial changes comprise neuronal components of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. Here, we wanted to analyze if collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) alters bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMM) osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast activity, and how sympathetic neurotransmitters participate in this process. Therefore, BMMs from Dark Agouti rats at different CIA stages were differentiated into osteoclasts in vitro and osteoclast number, cathepsin K activity, matrix resorption and apoptosis were analyzed in the presence of acetylcholine (ACh), noradrenaline (NA) vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and assay-dependent, adenylyl cyclase activator NKH477. We observed modulation of neurotransmitter receptor mRNA expression in CIA osteoclasts without affecting protein level. CIA stage-dependently altered marker gene expression associated with osteoclast differentiation and activity without affecting osteoclast number or activity. Neurotransmitter stimulation modulated osteoclast differentiation, apoptosis and activity. VIP, NA and adenylyl cyclase activator NKH477 inhibited cathepsin K activity and osteoclastogenesis (NKH477, 10-6M NA) whereas ACh mostly acted pro-osteoclastogenic. We conclude that CIA alone does not affect metabolism of in vitro generated osteoclasts whereas stimulation with NA, VIP plus specific activation of adenylyl cyclase induced anti-resorptive effects probably mediated via cAMP signaling. Contrary, we suggest pro-osteoclastogenic and pro-resorptive properties of ACh mediated via muscarinic receptors. PMID:26431344

  11. Energy Balance Regulating Neuropeptides Are Expressed through Pregnancy and Regulated by Interleukin-6 Deficiency in Mouse Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Pazos, Patricia; Lima, Luis; Diéguez, Carlos; García, María C.

    2014-01-01

    The placenta produces a number of signaling molecules including metabolic and reproductive hormones as well as several inflammatory mediators. Among them, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a well-known immune and metabolic regulator, acts peripherally modulating metabolic function and centrally increasing energy expenditure and reducing body fat. IL-6 interacts with key hypothalamic neuropeptidergic systems controlling energy homeostasis such as those producing the orexigenic/anabolic: neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and anorectic/catabolic neuropeptides: proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART). Human and rat placenta have been identified as source of these neuropeptides, but their expression and regulation in murine placental tissues remain unknown. Therefore, placental mRNA levels of IL-6, NPY, AgRP, POMC, and CART at different pregnancy stages (gestational days 13, 15, and 18) were analyzed by real time PCR, as were the effect of IL-6 deficiency (IL-6 knockout mice) on their placental expression. Our results showed that placenta-derived neuropeptides were regulated by gestational age and IL-6 throughout the second half of mouse pregnancy. These data suggest that IL-6 may participate in the fine tune control of energy balance during pregnancy by extending its action as a metabolic signal to the main organ at the fetomaternal interface: the placenta. PMID:24744782

  12. Defining and mapping mammalian coat pattern genes: multiple genomic regions implicated in domestic cat stripes and spots.

    PubMed

    Eizirik, Eduardo; David, Victor A; Buckley-Beason, Valerie; Roelke, Melody E; Schäffer, Alejandro A; Hannah, Steven S; Narfström, Kristina; O'Brien, Stephen J; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn

    2010-01-01

    Mammalian coat patterns (e.g., spots, stripes) are hypothesized to play important roles in camouflage and other relevant processes, yet the genetic and developmental bases for these phenotypes are completely unknown. The domestic cat, with its diversity of coat patterns, is an excellent model organism to investigate these phenomena. We have established three independent pedigrees to map the four recognized pattern variants classically considered to be specified by a single locus, Tabby; in order of dominance, these are the unpatterned agouti form called "Abyssinian" or "ticked" (T(a)), followed by Spotted (T(s)), Mackerel (T(M)), and Blotched (t(b)). We demonstrate that at least three different loci control the coat markings of the domestic cat. One locus, responsible for the Abyssinian form (herein termed the Ticked locus), maps to an approximately 3.8-Mb region on cat chromosome B1. A second locus controls the Tabby alleles T(M) and t(b), and maps to an approximately 5-Mb genomic region on cat chromosome A1. One or more additional loci act as modifiers and create a spotted coat by altering mackerel stripes. On the basis of our results and associated observations, we hypothesize that mammalian patterned coats are formed by two distinct processes: a spatially oriented developmental mechanism that lays down a species-specific pattern of skin cell differentiation and a pigmentation-oriented mechanism that uses information from the preestablished pattern to regulate the synthesis of melanin profiles.

  13. NR2B subunit of the NMDA glutamate receptor regulates appetite in the parabrachial nucleus.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qi; Zheng, Ruimao; Srisai, Dollada; McKnight, G Stanley; Palmiter, Richard D

    2013-09-03

    Diphtheria toxin-mediated, acute ablation of hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related protein (AgRP) in adult mice leads to anorexia and starvation within 7 d that is caused by hyperactivity of neurons within the parabrachial nucleus (PBN). Because NMDA glutamate receptors are involved in various synaptic plasticity-based behavioral modifications, we hypothesized that modulation of the NR2A and NR2B subunits of the NMDA receptor in PBN neurons could contribute to the anorexia phenotype. We observed by Western blot analyses that ablation of AgRP neurons results in enhanced expression of NR2B along with a modest suppression of NR2A. Interestingly, systemic administration of LiCl in a critical time window before AgRP neuron ablation abolished the anorectic response. LiCl treatment suppressed NR2B levels in the PBN and ameliorated the local Fos induction that is associated with anorexia. This protective role of LiCl on feeding was blunted in vagotomized mice. Chronic infusion of RO25-6981, a selective NR2B inhibitor, into the PBN recapitulated the role of LiCl in maintaining feeding after AgRP neuron ablation. We suggest that the accumulation of NR2B subunits in the PBN contributes to aphagia in response to AgRP neuron ablation and may be involved in other forms of anorexia.

  14. Emergence of ghrelin as a treatment for cachexia syndromes.

    PubMed

    DeBoer, Mark Daniel

    2008-09-01

    Cachexia is a constellation of symptoms that amount to body wasting in the setting of a variety of chronic illnesses, including cancer, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Cachexia is particularly worrisome clinically because it is associated with a worsened prognosis of the underlying disease. Despite a large amount of study in this area, no single agent has been shown to have consistent efficacy in human trials. One promising class in this setting is ghrelin receptor agonists. Ghrelin binds to the growth hormone secretagogue-1a receptor in appetite-regulating centers in the brain, increasing expression of neuropeptide Y and agouti-related peptide during short-term treatment. Ghrelin has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which is significant, given that cachexia is thought to be produced at least partly by inflammation induced by the underlying disease. Animal studies have demonstrated efficacy using growth hormone secretagogue receptor agonists to treat cachexia caused by cancer, chemotherapy, and chronic kidney disease. Limited human trials using ghrelin or ghrelin receptor agonists in cancer and heart disease have shown improved appetite and body mass during treatment, although longer-term trials are needed to confirm sustained effects. Also uncertain--but an intriguing possibility--is whether the improved weight gain with ghrelin treatment might also lessen the severity of the underlying disease and improve outcomes.

  15. Increased fractal complexity of the epithelial-connective tissue interface in the tongue of 4NQO-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Landini, G; Hirayama, Y; Li, T J; Kitano, M

    2000-01-01

    The effect of the carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (0.001% in drinking water) on the irregularity of the epithelial connective tissue interface (ECTI) of the ventral surface of the tongue was quantified in Dark Agouti and Wistar Furth rats. Histological tongue sections stained with the Azan-Mallory method were digitised (111 images, resolution 1 pixel = 3.1 microns), and the limit between epithelium and stroma of the ventral surface was extracted and analysed using a fractal geometry technique (local connected dimension). The results showed that although none of the images included carcinomas on the ventral surface of the tongue (all cases had other oral carcinomas), the epithelial profiles of the treated cases showed a statistically significant increase in irregularity when compared to controls. Canonical discriminant analysis of the parameters describing the irregularity of the ECTI classified 81.1% of the images in the original groups (treated or control). Fractal analysis is capable of detecting subtle architectural changes in the oral epithelium of the rat occurring after exposure to the carcinogen, even when full malignant transformation has not yet taken place. Fractal analysis, which may prove useful for monitoring the progression of carcinogenesis in this animal model, is a morphometrical parameter in the diagnosis of oral epithelial dysplasia.

  16. Seed predation by mammals and forest dominance by Quercus oleoides, a tropical lowland oak.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Douglas H

    1981-07-01

    Quercus oleoides Cham. and Schlecht is an unusual tree in several respects: it is an oak found in neotropical lowland forests, its distribution is not continuous but ratherdivided into many patches of various sizes, and it is a dominant in all the forests in which it occurs, attaining densities far higher than most species of tropical trees. This density pattern is related to the vulnerability of Q. oleoides acorns to predation by mammals. Observations of agoutis, deer, peccaries, squirrels, pocket mice and other seed consumers in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, showed that these mammals act only as predators, not dispersers, of Q. oleoides acorns. Experiments which involved placing acorns in deciduous forest where Q. oleoides does not occur, demonstrated that, due to high predation rates, the number of acorns produced by an isolated tree is far too low for adults to replace themselves.In oak forest, on the other hand, where the combined acorn crops of many oaks satiate the seed predators, acorn survivorship until germination is high enough to maintain the population. Furthermore, acorn survivorship in oak forest areas is inversely proportional to the apparent mammal density in those areas. Thus the pattern of forest dominance and patchy distribution is related to positively density-dependent acorn survivorship: where Q. oleoides is the forest dominant, it will survive, but if its density falls to the level typical of tropical trees, it will go locally extinct.

  17. Hunger-Driven Motivational State Competition.

    PubMed

    Burnett, C Joseph; Li, Chia; Webber, Emily; Tsaousidou, Eva; Xue, Stephen Y; Brüning, Jens C; Krashes, Michael J

    2016-10-05

    Behavioral choice is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom and is central to goal-oriented behavior. Hypothalamic Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons are critical regulators of appetite. Hungry animals, bombarded by multiple sensory stimuli, are known to modify their behavior during times of caloric need, rapidly adapting to a consistently changing environment. Utilizing ARC(AgRP) neurons as an entry point, we analyzed the hierarchical position of hunger related to rival drive states. Employing a battery of behavioral assays, we found that hunger significantly increases its capacity to suppress competing motivational systems, such as thirst, anxiety-related behavior, innate fear, and social interactions, often only when food is accessible. Furthermore, real-time monitoring of ARC(AgRP) activity revealed time-locked responses to conspecific investigation in addition to food presentation, further establishing that, even at the level of ARC(AgRP) neurons, choices are remarkably flexible computations, integrating internal state, external factors, and anticipated yield. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  18. Acute heat stress up-regulates neuropeptide Y precursor mRNA expression and alters brain and plasma concentrations of free amino acids in chicks.

    PubMed

    Ito, Kentaro; Bahry, Mohammad A; Hui, Yang; Furuse, Mitsuhiro; Chowdhury, Vishwajit S

    2015-09-01

    Heat stress causes an increase in body temperature and reduced food intake in chickens. Several neuropeptides and amino acids play a vital role in the regulation of food intake. However, the responses of neuropeptides and amino acids to heat-stress-induced food-intake regulation are poorly understood. In the current study, the hypothalamic mRNA expression of some neuropeptides related to food intake and the content of free amino acids in the brain and plasma was examined in 14-day-old chicks exposed to a high ambient temperature (HT; 40±1 °C for 2 or 5 h) or to a control thermoneutral temperature (CT; 30±1 °C). HT significantly increased rectal temperature and plasma corticosterone level and suppressed food intake. HT also increased the expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-signaling protein (ASIP) precursor mRNA, while no change was observed in pro-opiomelanocortin, cholecystokinin, ghrelin, or corticotropin-releasing hormone precursor mRNA. It was further found that the diencephalic content of free amino acids - namely, tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, valine and serine - was significantly higher in HT chicks with some alterations in their plasma amino acids in comparison with CT chicks. The induction of NPY and ASIP expression and the alteration of some free amino acids during HT suggest that these changes can be the results or causes the suppression of food intake.

  19. Developmental Changes in Synaptic Distribution in Arcuate Nucleus Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kirigiti, Melissa A.; Baquero, Karalee C.; Lee, Shin J.; Smith, M. Susan; Grove, Kevin L.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons coexpressing neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, and GABA (NAG) play an important role in ingestive behavior and are located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. NAG neurons receive both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic inputs, however, the developmental time course of synaptic input organization of NAG neurons in mice is unknown. In this study, we show that these neurons have low numbers of GABAergic synapses and that GABA is inhibitory to NAG neurons during early postnatal period. In contrast, glutamatergic inputs onto NAG neurons are relatively abundant by P13 and are comparatively similar to the levels observed in the adult. As mice reach adulthood (9–10 weeks), GABAergic tone onto NAG neurons increases. At this age, NAG neurons received similar numbers of inhibitory and EPSCs. To further differentiate age-associated changes in synaptic distribution, 17- to 18-week-old lean and diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice were studied. Surprisingly, NAG neurons from lean adult mice exhibit a reduction in the GABAergic synapses compared with younger adults. Conversely, DIO mice display reductions in the number of GABAergic and glutamatergic inputs onto NAG neurons. Based on these experiments, we propose that synaptic distribution in NAG neurons is continuously restructuring throughout development to accommodate the animals' energy requirements. PMID:26041922

  20. mTORC1 signaling in Agrp neurons mediates circadian expression of Agrp and NPY but is dispensable for regulation of feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Albert, Verena; Cornu, Marion; Hall, Michael N

    2015-08-21

    Orexigenic agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y (Agrp/NPY) neurons and an orexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons of the hypothalamus regulate feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. An understanding of the molecular signaling pathways that regulate Agrp/NPY and POMC function could lead to novel treatments for metabolic disorders. Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (TORC1) is a nutrient-activated protein kinase and central controller of growth and metabolism. We therefore investigated the role of mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1) in Agrp neurons. We generated and characterized Agrp neuron-specific raptor knockout (Agrp-raptor KO) mice. Agrp-raptor KO mice displayed reduced, non-circadian expression of Agrp and NPY but normal feeding behavior and energy homeostasis on both normal and high fat diet. Thus, mTORC1 in Agrp neurons controls circadian expression of orexigenic neuropeptides but is dispensable for the regulation of feeding behavior and energy metabolism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Identification of a small-molecule ligand that activates the neuropeptide receptor GPR171 and increases food intake

    PubMed Central

    Wardman, Jonathan H.; Gomes, Ivone; Bobeck, Erin N.; Stockert, Jennifer A.; Kapoor, Abhijeet; Bisignano, Paola; Gupta, Achla; Mezei, Mihaly; Kumar, Sanjai; Filizola, Marta; Devi, Lakshmi A.

    2016-01-01

    Several neuropeptide systems in the hypothalamus, including neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (AgRP), control food intake. Peptides derived from proSAAS, a precursor implicated in the regulation of body weight, also control food intake. GPR171 is a heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding protein (G protein)– coupled receptor (GPCR) for BigLEN (b-LEN), a peptide derived from proSAAS. To facilitate studies exploring the physiological role of GPR171, we sought to identify small-molecule ligands for this receptor by performing a virtual screen of a compound library for interaction with a homology model of GPR171. We identified MS0015203 as an agonist of GPR171 and demonstrated the selectivity of MS0015203 for GPR171 by testing the binding of this compound to 80 other membrane proteins, including family A GPCRs. Reducing the expression of GPR171 by shRNA (short hairpin RNA)–mediated knockdown blunted the cellular and tissue response to MS0015203. Peripheral injection of MS0015203 into mice increased food intake and body weight, and these responses were significantly attenuated in mice with decreased expression of GPR171 in the hypothalamus. Together, these results suggest that MS0015203 is a useful tool to probe the pharmacological and functional properties of GPR171 and that ligands targeting GPR171 may eventually lead to therapeutics for food-related disorders. PMID:27245612

  2. Long-term anti-arthritic and anti-osteoporotic effects of raloxifene in established experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Jochems, C; Lagerquist, M; Håkansson, C; Ohlsson, C; Carlsten, H

    2008-01-01

    Both oestrogen deficiency and the inflammatory disease contribute to the generalized bone loss seen in postmenopausal rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Oestradiol and the selective oestrogen receptor modulator raloxifene have been shown to ameliorate the disease in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a well-established animal model for human RA. The aim of this study was to investigate whether raloxifene-treatment would be beneficial in long-term treatment of established CIA, both regarding anti-arthritic and anti-osteoporotic properties. Female dilute brown agouti mice were ovariectomized and CIA was induced. Raloxifene or vehicle treatment was administered 5 days per week, and the clinical arthritis score was evaluated continuously. At termination, bone mineral density was analysed, paws were collected for histological examination and sera were analysed for markers of bone and cartilage turnover, as well as antibodies to type II collagen and levels of interleukin (IL)-6. Treatment with raloxifene is beneficial in long-term treatment of established CIA. It hampers the disease severity and frequency, protects the joints from destruction and protects against the development of osteoporosis. The proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 was down-regulated in raloxifene-treated mice compared with controls. The serum levels of antibodies to collagen were not affected by raloxifene-treatment. Long-term treatment with raloxifene has both anti-arthritic and anti-osteoporotic effects in established experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis. PMID:18435803

  3. Central resistin regulates hypothalamic and peripheral lipid metabolism in a nutritional-dependent fashion.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, María J; González, C Ruth; Varela, Luis; Lage, Ricardo; Tovar, Sulay; Sangiao-Alvarellos, Susana; Williams, Lynda M; Vidal-Puig, Antonio; Nogueiras, Rubén; López, Miguel; Diéguez, Carlos

    2008-09-01

    Evidence suggests that the adipocyte-derived hormone resistin (RSTN) directly regulates both feeding and peripheral metabolism through, so far, undefined hypothalamic-mediated mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that the anorectic effect of RSTN is associated with inappropriately decreased mRNA expression of orexigenic (agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y) and increased mRNA expression of anorexigenic (cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript) neuropeptides in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Of interest, RSTN also exerts a profound nutrition-dependent inhibitory effect on hypothalamic fatty acid metabolism, as indicated by increased phosphorylation levels of both AMP-activated protein kinase and its downstream target acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase, associated with decreased expression of fatty acid synthase in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. In addition, we also demonstrate that chronic central RSTN infusion results in decreased body weight and major changes in peripheral expression of lipogenic enzymes, in a tissue-specific and nutrition-dependent manner. Thus, in the fed state central RSTN is associated with induced expression of fatty acid synthesis enzymes and proinflammatory cytokines in liver, whereas its administration in the fasted state does so in white adipose tissue. Overall, our results indicate that RSTN controls feeding and peripheral lipid metabolism and suggest that hepatic RSTN-induced insulin resistance may be mediated by central activation of de novo lipogenesis in liver.

  4. Selected hormonal and neurotransmitter mechanisms regulating feed intake in sheep.

    PubMed

    Sartin, J L; Daniel, J A; Whitlock, B K; Wilborn, R R

    2010-11-01

    Appetite control is a major issue in normal growth and in suboptimal growth performance settings. A number of hormones, in particular leptin, activate or inhibit orexigenic or anorexigenic neurotransmitters within the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, where feed intake regulation is integrated. Examples of appetite regulatory neurotransmitters are the stimulatory neurotransmitters neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related protein (AgRP), orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone and the inhibitory neurotransmitter, melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). Examination of messenger RNA (using in situ hybridization and real-time PCR) and proteins (using immunohistochemistry) for these neurotransmitters in ruminants has indicated that physiological regulation occurs in response to fasting for several of these critical genes and proteins, especially AgRP and NPY. Moreover, intracerebroventricular injection of each of the four stimulatory neurotransmitters can increase feed intake in sheep and may also regulate either growth hormone, luteinizing hormone, cortisol or other hormones. In contrast, both leptin and MSH are inhibitory to feed intake in ruminants. Interestingly, the natural melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) antagonist, AgRP, as well as NPY can prevent the inhibition of feed intake after injection of endotoxin (to model disease suppression of appetite). Thus, knowledge of the mechanisms regulating feed intake in the hypothalamus may lead to mechanisms to increase feed intake in normal growing animals and prevent the wasting effects of severe disease in animals.

  5. Triennial Growth Symposium: neural regulation of feed intake: modification by hormones, fasting, and disease.

    PubMed

    Sartin, J L; Whitlock, B K; Daniel, J A

    2011-07-01

    Appetite is a complex process that results from the integration of multiple signals at the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus receives neural signals; hormonal signals such as leptin, cholecystokinin, and ghrelin; and nutrient signals such as glucose, FFA, AA, and VFA. This effect is processed by a specific sequence of neurotransmitters beginning with the arcuate nucleus and orexigenic cells containing neuropeptide Y or agouti-related protein and anorexigenic cells containing proopiomelanocortin (yielding the neurotransmitter α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone) or cells expressing cocaine amphetamine-related transcript. These so-called first-order neurons act on second-order orexigenic neurons (containing either melanin-concentrating hormone or orexin) or act on anorexigenic neurons (e.g., expressing corticotropin-releasing hormone) to alter feed intake. In addition, satiety signals from the liver and gastrointestinal tract signal through the vagus nerve to the nucleus tractus solitarius to cause meal termination, and in combination with the hypothalamus, integrate the various signals to determine the feeding response. The activities of these neuronal pathways are also influenced by numerous factors such as nutrients, fasting, and disease to modify appetite and hence affect growth and reproduction. This review will begin with the central nervous system pathways and then discuss the ways in which hormones and metabolites may alter the process to affect feed intake with emphasis on farm animals.

  6. Central inhibitory effects on feeding induced by the adipo-myokine irisin.

    PubMed

    Ferrante, Claudio; Orlando, Giustino; Recinella, Lucia; Leone, Sheila; Chiavaroli, Annalisa; Di Nisio, Chiara; Shohreh, Rugia; Manippa, Fabio; Ricciuti, Adriana; Vacca, Michele; Brunetti, Luigi

    2016-11-15

    Irisin, the soluble secreted form of fibronectin type III domain containing 5 (FNDC5)-cleaved product, is a recently identified adipo-myokine that has been indicated as a possible link between physical exercise and energetic homeostasis. The co-localization of irisin with neuropeptide Y in hypothalamic sections of paraventricular nucleus, which receives NPY/AgRP projections from the arcuate nucleus, suggests a possible role of irisin in the central regulation of energy balance. In this context, in the present work we studied the effects of intra-hypothalamic irisin (1μl, 50-200nmol/l) administration on feeding and orexigenic [agouti-related peptide (AgRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and orexin-A] and anorexigenic [cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC)] peptides in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of irisin on hypothalamic dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) concentrations and plasma NE levels. Compared to vehicle, irisin injected rats showed decreased food intake, possibly mediated by stimulated CART and POMC and inhibited DA, NE and orexin-A, in the hypothalamus. We also found increased plasma NE levels, supporting a role for sympathetic nervous system stimulation in mediating increased oxygen consumption by irisin.

  7. Signature of balancing selection at the MC1R gene in Kunming dog populations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guo-dong; Cheng, Lu-guang; Fan, Ruo-xi; Irwin, David M; Tang, Shu-sheng; Peng, Jian-guo; Zhang, Ya-ping

    2013-01-01

    Coat color in dog breeds is an excellent character for revealing the power of artificial selection, as it is extremely diverse and likely the result of recent domestication. Coat color is generated by melanocytes, which synthesize pheomelanin (a red or yellow pigment) or eumelanin (a black or brown pigment) through the pigment type-switching pathway, and is regulated by three genes in dogs: MC1R (melanocortin receptor 1), CBD103 (β-defensin 103), and ASIP (agouti-signaling protein precursor). The genotypes of these three gene loci in dog breeds are associated with coat color pattern. Here, we resequenced these three gene loci in two Kunming dog populations and analyzed these sequences using population genetic approaches to identify evolutionary patterns that have occurred at these loci during the recent domestication and breeding of the Kunming dog. The analysis showed that MC1R undergoes balancing selection in both Kunming dog populations, and that the Fst value for MC1R indicates significant genetic differentiation across the two populations. In contrast, similar results were not observed for CBD103 or ASIP. These results suggest that high heterozygosity and allelic differences at the MC1R locus may explain both the mixed color coat, of yellow and black, and the difference in coat colors in both Kunming dog populations.

  8. A SINE insertion causes the black-and-tan and saddle tan phenotypes in domestic dogs.

    PubMed

    Dreger, Dayna L; Schmutz, Sheila M

    2011-01-01

    Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) controls the localized expression of red and black pigment in the domestic dog through interaction with other genes, such as Melanocortin 1 Receptor and Beta-Defensin 103. Specific ASIP alleles are necessary for many of the coat color patterns, such as black-and-tan and saddle tan. Mutations in 2 ASIP alleles, a(y) and a, have previously been identified. Here, we characterize a mutation consisting of a short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) insertion in intron 1 of ASIP that allows for the differentiation of the a(w) wolf sable and a(t) black-and-tan alleles. The SINE insertion is present in dogs with the a(t) and a alleles but absent from dogs with the a(w) and a(y) alleles. Dogs with the saddle tan phenotype were all a(t)/a(t). Schnauzers were all a(w)/a(w). Genotypes of 201 dogs of 35 breeds suggest that there are only 4 ASIP alleles, as opposed to the 5 or 6 predicted in previous literature. These data demonstrate that the dominance hierarchy of ASIP is a(y) > a(w) > a(t) > a.

  9. Identification of a mutation that is associated with the saddle tan and black-and-tan phenotypes in Basset Hounds and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

    PubMed

    Dreger, Dayna L; Parker, Heidi G; Ostrander, Elaine A; Schmutz, Sheila M

    2013-01-01

    The causative mutation for the black-and-tan (a (t) ) phenotype in dogs was previously shown to be a SINE insertion in the 5' region of Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP). Dogs with the black-and-tan phenotype, as well as dogs with the saddle tan phenotype, genotype as a (t) /_ at this locus. We have identified a 16-bp duplication (g.1875_1890dupCCCCAGGTCAGAGTTT) in an intron of hnRNP associated with lethal yellow (RALY), which segregates with the black-and-tan phenotype in a group of 99 saddle tan and black-and-tan Basset Hounds and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. In these breeds, all dogs with the saddle tan phenotype had RALY genotypes of +/+ or +/dup, whereas dogs with the black-and-tan phenotype were homozygous for the duplication. The presence of an a (y) /_ fawn or e/e red genotype is epistatic to the +/_ saddle tan genotype. Genotypes from 10 wolves and 1 coyote indicated that the saddle tan (+) allele is the ancestral allele, suggesting that black-and-tan is a modification of saddle tan. An additional 95 dogs from breeds that never have the saddle tan phenotype have all three of the possible RALY genotypes. We suggest that a multi-gene interaction involving ASIP, RALY, MC1R, DEFB103, and a yet-unidentified modifier gene is required for expression of saddle tan.

  10. Neuroendorine and Epigentic Mechanisms Subserving Autonomic Imbalance and HPA Dysfunction in the Metabolic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Lemche, Erwin; Chaban, Oleg S.; Lemche, Alexandra V.

    2016-01-01

    Impact of environmental stress upon pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been substantiated by epidemiological, psychophysiological, and endocrinological studies. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of causative roles of nutritional factors, sympathomedullo-adrenal (SMA) and hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axes, and adipose tissue chronic low-grade inflammation processes in MetS. Disturbances in the neuroendocrine systems for leptin, melanocortin, and neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related protein systems have been found resulting directly in MetS-like conditions. The review identifies candidate risk genes from factors shown critical for the functioning of each of these neuroendocrine signaling cascades. In its meta-analytic part, recent studies in epigenetic modification (histone methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination) and posttranscriptional gene regulation by microRNAs are evaluated. Several studies suggest modification mechanisms of early life stress (ELS) and diet-induced obesity (DIO) programming in the hypothalamic regions with populations of POMC-expressing neurons. Epigenetic modifications were found in cortisol (here HSD11B1 expression), melanocortin, leptin, NPY, and adiponectin genes. With respect to adiposity genes, epigenetic modifications were documented for fat mass gene cluster APOA1/C3/A4/A5, and the lipolysis gene LIPE. With regard to inflammatory, immune and subcellular metabolism, PPARG, NKBF1, TNFA, TCF7C2, and those genes expressing cytochrome P450 family enzymes involved in steroidogenesis and in hepatic lipoproteins were documented for epigenetic modifications. PMID:27147943

  11. Anabolic androgenic steroid nandrolone decanoate reduces hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin mRNA levels.

    PubMed

    Lindblom, Jonas; Kindlundh, Anna M S; Nyberg, Fred; Bergström, Lena; Wikberg, Jarl E S

    2003-10-03

    Supratherapeutical doses of anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) have dramatic effects on metabolism in humans, and also inhibit feeding and reduce the rate of body weight gain in rats. In order to test the hypothesis that the AAS metabolic syndrome is accompanied by alterations in the central melanocortin system, we evaluated body weight, food intake and hypothalamic agouti-related protein (AgRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA levels following administration of different doses of the anabolic androgenic steroid nandrolone decanoate. In order to distinguish changes induced by the steroid treatment per se from those resulting from the reduced food intake and growth rate, we also compared the effect of nandrolone decanoate on AgRP and POMC mRNA expression with both normally fed, and food restricted control groups. We here report that administration of nandrolone specifically reduces arcuate nucleus POMC mRNA levels while not affecting the expression level of AgRP. The effect on POMC expression was not observed in the food restricted controls, excluding the possibility that the observed effect was a mere response to the reduced food intake and body weight. These results raise the possibility that some of the metabolic and behavioural consequences of AAS abuse may be the result of alterations in the melanocortin system.

  12. Germline transmission of a novel rat embryonic stem cell line derived from transgenic rats.

    PubMed

    Men, Hongsheng; Bauer, Beth A; Bryda, Elizabeth C

    2012-09-20

    Germline-competent rat embryonic stem (ES) cell lines are important resources for the creation of mutant rat models using ES-cell-based gene targeting technology. The ability to isolate germline-competent ES cell lines from any rat strain, including genetically modified strains, would allow for more sophisticated genetic manipulations without extensive breeding. Sprague Dawley (SD) males carrying an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgene were used as the founder animals for the derivation of ES cell lines. A number of ES cell lines were established and subjected to rigorous quality control testing that included assessment of pluripotency factor expression, karyotype analysis, and pathogen/sterility testing. Two male ES cell lines, SD-Tg.EC1/Rrrc and SD-Tg.EC8/Rrrc, were injected into blastocysts recovered from a cross of Dark Agouti (DA) males with SD females. Resulting chimeric animals were bred with wild-type SD mates to verify the germline transmissibility of the ES cell lines by identifying pups carrying the ES cell line-derived EGFP transgene. While both ES cell lines gave rise to chimeric animals, only SD-Tg.EC1 was germline competent. This confirms the feasibility of deriving germline-competent ES cell lines from transgenic rat strains and provides a novel ES cell line with a stable green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter for future genetic manipulations to create new rat models.

  13. New inducible genetic method reveals critical roles of GABA in the control of feeding and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fantao; Han, Yong; Srisai, Dollada; Belakhov, Valery; Farias, Monica; Xu, Yong; Palmiter, Richard D; Baasov, Timor; Wu, Qi

    2016-03-29

    Currently available inducible Cre/loxP systems, despite their considerable utility in gene manipulation, have pitfalls in certain scenarios, such as unsatisfactory recombination rates and deleterious effects on physiology and behavior. To overcome these limitations, we designed a new, inducible gene-targeting system by introducing an in-frame nonsense mutation into the coding sequence of Cre recombinase (nsCre). Mutant mRNAs transcribed from nsCre transgene can be efficiently translated into full-length, functional Cre recombinase in the presence of nonsense suppressors such as aminoglycosides. In a proof-of-concept model, GABA signaling from hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) was genetically inactivated within 4 d after treatment with a synthetic aminoglycoside. Disruption of GABA synthesis in AgRP neurons in young adult mice led to a dramatic loss of body weight due to reduced food intake and elevated energy expenditure; they also manifested glucose intolerance. In contrast, older mice with genetic inactivation of GABA signaling by AgRP neurons had only transient reduction of feeding and body weight; their energy expenditure and glucose tolerance were unaffected. These results indicate that GABAergic signaling from AgRP neurons plays a key role in the control of feeding and metabolism through an age-dependent mechanism. This new genetic technique will augment current tools used to elucidate mechanisms underlying many physiological and neurological processes.

  14. Oral Nucleotides Only Minimally Improve 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Mucositis in Rats.

    PubMed

    Mashtoub, Suzanne; Feo, Benjamin; Whittaker, Alexandra L; Lymn, Kerry A; Martinez-Puig, Daniel; Howarth, Gordon S

    2015-01-01

    Chemotherapy-induced mucositis is characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the intestinal mucosa, compromising intestinal function. Exogenous nucleotides have been reported to repair the mucosa. The nucleotide preparation, Nucleoforce F0328 (Nucleoforce), was investigated for its potential to ameliorate intestinal mucositis in rats. Female Dark Agouti rats (n = 8/group) were gavaged once daily with Nucleoforce (175 mg/kg) or water from Days 0 to 8 and injected (i.p.) with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU; 150 mg/kg) or saline on Day 5. Histological parameters (disease severity, crypt depth, and villus height measurements) and myeloperoxidase activity were quantified. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Jejunal and ileal histological disease severity scores were significantly increased by 5-FU, compared to normal controls (P < 0.05). Nucleoforce treatment in 5-FU-injected rats significantly reduced jejunal and ileal disease severity compared to 5-FU controls (P < 0.05). In 5-FU-injected rats, jejunal and ileal villus heights and crypt depths were significantly decreased compared to 5-FU controls, with no additional Nucleoforce effect (P > 0.05). Intestinal myeloperoxidase activity was significantly elevated by 5-FU (8.8-fold), compared to normal controls (P < 0.05), which was not normalized by Nucleoforce treatment (P > 0.05). Nucleoforce only partially improved parameters associated with experimentally-induced mucositis. Future studies could investigate increased concentrations, more frequent administration, or protective microencapsulation delivery methods, to increase bioavailability.

  15. Ribosomal S6K1 in POMC and AgRP Neurons Regulates Glucose Homeostasis but Not Feeding Behavior in Mice.

    PubMed

    Smith, Mark A; Katsouri, Loukia; Irvine, Elaine E; Hankir, Mohammed K; Pedroni, Silvia M A; Voshol, Peter J; Gordon, Matthew W; Choudhury, Agharul I; Woods, Angela; Vidal-Puig, Antonio; Carling, David; Withers, Dominic J

    2015-04-21

    Hypothalamic ribosomal S6K1 has been suggested as a point of convergence for hormonal and nutrient signals in the regulation of feeding behavior, bodyweight, and glucose metabolism. However, the long-term effects of manipulating hypothalamic S6K1 signaling on energy homeostasis and the cellular mechanisms underlying these roles are unclear. We therefore inactivated S6K1 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons, key regulators of energy homeostasis, but in contrast to the current view, we found no evidence that S6K1 regulates food intake and bodyweight. In contrast, S6K1 signaling in POMC neurons regulated hepatic glucose production and peripheral lipid metabolism and modulated neuronal excitability. S6K1 signaling in AgRP neurons regulated skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and was required for glucose sensing by these neurons. Our findings suggest that S6K1 signaling is not a general integrator of energy homeostasis in the mediobasal hypothalamus but has distinct roles in the regulation of glucose homeostasis by POMC and AgRP neurons. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Entire litters developed from transferred eggs in whole body x-irradiated female mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, T.P.

    1980-07-01

    The sensitivity of mouse eggs to sublethal x-irradiation was determined in vitro and in vivo with regard to the development of donor litters in foster mothers. One thousand seven hundred fifty-eight unfertilized eggs of agouti dark-eyed donor mice were transferred into 293 unirradiated or x-irradiated, mated female pink-eyed mice. Two hundred thirty-nine recipients became pregnant; of these 35 produced litters containing solely dark-eyed fetuses. Sublethal doses of x-radiation administered to donor eggs in vitro before transferring into unirradiated recipients did not influence significantly the number of litters of exclusively dark-eyed fetuses produced. However, recipients irradiated by 250 roentgens (r) produced more solely dark-eyed litters than did those irradiated with 100 r. In 21 pregnant females irradiated by 100 r, only 3 (14%) developed solely dark-eyed fetuses as compared to 22 pregnant females irradiated by 250 r, of which 13 (59%) developed solely dark-eyed fetuses, all from unirradiated, transferred eggs. Of another group of 22 pregnant females which received 250 r body irradiation and subsequently received eggs also irradiated by 250 r, only 7 (32%) produced litters of dark-eyed fetuses. No one female of these three groups carried native fetuses. Such radiation-induced infertility resulting from damage of native eggs rather than loss of mother's ability to carry a pregnancy, is frequently remedied by egg transfer.

  17. Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1RAs) in the Brain-Adipocyte Axis.

    PubMed

    Geloneze, Bruno; de Lima-Júnior, José Carlos; Velloso, Lício A

    2017-02-23

    The complexity of neural circuits that control food intake and energy balance in the hypothalamic nuclei explains some of the constraints involved in the prevention and treatment of obesity. Two major neuronal populations present in the arcuate nucleus control caloric intake and energy expenditure: one population co-expresses orexigenic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y and the other expresses the anorexigenic anorectic neuropeptides proopiomelanocortin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (POMC/CART). In addition to integrating signals from neurotransmitters and hormones, the hypothalamic systems that regulate energy homeostasis are affected by nutrients. Fat-rich diets, for instance, elicit hypothalamic inflammation (reactive activation and proliferation of microglia, a condition named gliosis). This process generates resistance to the anorexigenic hormones leptin and insulin, contributing to the genesis of obesity. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) have increasingly been used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. One compound (liraglutide) was recently approved for the treatment of obesity. Although most studies suggest that GLP-1RAs promote weight loss mainly due to their inhibitory effect on food intake, other central effects that have been described for native GLP-1 and some GLP-1RAs in rodents and humans encourage future clinical trials to explore additional mechanisms that potentially underlie the beneficial effects observed with this drug class. In this article we review the most relevant data exploring the mechanisms involved in the effects of GLP-1RAs in the brain-adipocyte axis.

  18. Antagonistic modulation of NPY/AgRP and POMC neurons in the arcuate nucleus by noradrenalin

    PubMed Central

    Paeger, Lars; Karakasilioti, Ismene; Altmüller, Janine; Frommolt, Peter; Brüning, Jens; Kloppenburg, Peter

    2017-01-01

    In the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) satiety signaling (anorexigenic) pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing and hunger signaling (orexigenic) agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons are key components of the neuronal circuits that control food intake and energy homeostasis. Here, we assessed whether the catecholamine noradrenalin directly modulates the activity of these neurons in mice. Perforated patch clamp recordings showed that noradrenalin changes the activity of these functionally antagonistic neurons in opposite ways, increasing the activity of the orexigenic NPY/AgRP neurons and decreasing the activity of the anorexigenic POMC neurons. Cell type-specific transcriptomics and pharmacological experiments revealed that the opposing effect on these neurons is mediated by the activation of excitatory α1A - and β- adrenergic receptors in NPY/AgRP neurons, while POMC neurons are inhibited via α2A – adrenergic receptors. Thus, the coordinated differential modulation of the key hypothalamic neurons in control of energy homeostasis assigns noradrenalin an important role to promote feeding. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25770.001 PMID:28632132

  19. Insulin directly regulates NPY and AgRP gene expression via the MAPK MEK/ERK signal transduction pathway in mHypoE-46 hypothalamic neurons.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Christopher M; Belsham, Denise D

    2009-08-13

    Insulin plays a key role in the maintenance of nutrient homeostasis through central regulation of neuropeptides. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) are vital orexigenic peptides that are regulated by insulin, although the processes utilized are unknown. Using a hypothalamic, clonal cell line, mHypoE-46, which endogenously expresses NPY, AgRP and the insulin receptor, we studied the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the NPY/AgRP neuron by insulin. We determined that insulin has direct actions on the neurons and acts to repress NPY/AgRP gene expression through a MAPK MEK/ERK-dependent pathway. Transient transfection analysis determined that human NPY and AgRP 5' flanking gene regions were not regulated by insulin in the mouse cell line, while sequence comparison analysis indicated only a 50% sequence similarity between human and mouse NPY and AgRP 5' flanking regions. These experiments indicate that insulin acts directly on specific hypothalamic neurons to regulate neuropeptide transcription.

  20. Targeted disruption of the mouse adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (aprt) gene and the production of APRT-deficient mice

    SciTech Connect

    Engle, S.J.; Chen, J.; Tischfield, J.A.

    1994-09-01

    Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT: EC 2.4.2.7), a ubiquitously expressed purine salvage enzyme, catalyzes the synthesis of AMP and inorganic pyrophosphate from existing adenine and 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate. Deficiency of this enzyme in humans results in the accumulation of 2,8-dihydroxyadenine leading to crystalluria and nephrolithiasis. In order to facilitate our study of this rare, autosomal recessive disorder, we applied the advances in gene targeting technology and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell culture to the production of APRT-deficient mice. A positive-negative targeting strategy was used. The tageting vector contain 5.6 kb of the mouse APRT gene, a neomycin resistance gene in exon 3 as a positive selection marker, and a HSV thymidine kinase gene at the 3{prime} end of the homology as a negative selection marker. The vector was introduced into D3 ES cells by electroporation and the cells were selected for G418 and ganciclovir (GANC) resistance. G418-GANC resistant clones were screened by Southern blot. One of several correctly targeted clones was expanded and used for blastocyst microinjection to produce chimeric mice. Chimeric animals were bred and agouti progeny heterozygous for the targeted allele were obtained. Heterozygous animals have been bred to produce APRT-deficient animals. Matings are currently underway to determine the phenotype of APRT/HPRT-deficient animals.

  1. The functional requirements of mammalian hair: a compromise between crypsis and thermoregulation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wacker, Chris B.; McAllan, Bronwyn M.; Körtner, Gerhard; Geiser, Fritz

    2016-08-01

    Mammalian fur often shows agouti banding with a proximal dark band near the skin and a lighter distal band. We examined the function of both bands in relation to camouflage, thermal properties of pelts, and thermal energetics of dunnarts ( Sminthopsis crassicaudata), which are known to use torpor and basking. Although the distal band of dunnart fur darkened with increasing latitude, which is important for camouflage, it did not affect the thermal properties and the length of the dark band and total hair length were not correlated. In contrast, the length of the proximal dark band of preserved pelts exposed to sunlight was positively correlated ( r 2 = 0.59) with the temperature underneath the pelt ( T pelt). All dunnarts offered radiant heat basked by exposing the dark band of the hair during both rest and torpor. Basking dunnarts with longer dark bands had lower resting metabolism ( r 2 = 0.69), warmed faster from torpor ( r 2 = 0.77), required less energy to do so ( r 2 = 0.32), and reached a higher subcutaneous temperature ( T sub) at the end of rewarming ( r 2 = 0.75). We provide the first experimental evidence on the possible dual function of the color banding of mammalian fur. The distal colored band appears to be important for camouflage, whereas the length of the dark proximal hair band facilitates heat gain for energy conservation and allows animals to rewarm quickly and economically from torpor.

  2. Effect of γ-tocotrienol in counteracting oxidative stress and joint damage in collagen-induced arthritis in rats.

    PubMed

    Radhakrishnan, Ammu; Tudawe, Dulanthi; Chakravarthi, Srikumar; Chiew, Gan Seng; Haleagrahara, Nagaraja

    2014-05-01

    Tocotrienols exhibit a significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect in numerous human diseases. However, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of tocotrienols in arthritic conditions are not well documented. Therefore, the effect of γ-tocotrienol supplementation against oxidative stress and joint pathology in collagen-induced arthritis in rats was investigated in the present study. Adult female Dark Agouti rats were randomly divided into groups: Control, γ-tocotrienol alone, arthritis alone and arthritis with γ-tocotrienol. Arthritis was induced using 4 mg/kg body weight collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant. The rats were treated orally with 5 mg/kg body weight of γ-tocotrienol between day 21 and day 45. After 45 days, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and total glutathione (GSH) assays were conducted. γ-tocotrienol significantly reduced the arthritis-induced changes in body weight, CRP, TNF-α, SOD and the total GSH levels. There was a significant reduction in the arthritis-induced histopathological changes in the γ-tocotrienol treatment group. The data indicated that administration of γ-tocotrienol resulted in a significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on collagen-induced arthritis; therefore, γ-tocotrienol may have therapeutic potential as a long-term anti-arthritic agent in rheumatoid arthritis therapy.

  3. Effect of γ-tocotrienol in counteracting oxidative stress and joint damage in collagen-induced arthritis in rats

    PubMed Central

    RADHAKRISHNAN, AMMU; TUDAWE, DULANTHI; CHAKRAVARTHI, SRIKUMAR; CHIEW, GAN SENG; HALEAGRAHARA, NAGARAJA

    2014-01-01

    Tocotrienols exhibit a significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect in numerous human diseases. However, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of tocotrienols in arthritic conditions are not well documented. Therefore, the effect of γ-tocotrienol supplementation against oxidative stress and joint pathology in collagen-induced arthritis in rats was investigated in the present study. Adult female Dark Agouti rats were randomly divided into groups: Control, γ-tocotrienol alone, arthritis alone and arthritis with γ-tocotrienol. Arthritis was induced using 4 mg/kg body weight collagen in complete Freund’s adjuvant. The rats were treated orally with 5 mg/kg body weight of γ-tocotrienol between day 21 and day 45. After 45 days, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and total glutathione (GSH) assays were conducted. γ-tocotrienol significantly reduced the arthritis-induced changes in body weight, CRP, TNF-α, SOD and the total GSH levels. There was a significant reduction in the arthritis-induced histopathological changes in the γ-tocotrienol treatment group. The data indicated that administration of γ-tocotrienol resulted in a significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on collagen-induced arthritis; therefore, γ-tocotrienol may have therapeutic potential as a long-term anti-arthritic agent in rheumatoid arthritis therapy. PMID:24940448

  4. Hypothalamic Ceramide Levels Regulated by CPT1C Mediate the Orexigenic Effect of Ghrelin

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Sara; Martins, Luís; Jacas, Jordi; Carrasco, Patricia; Pozo, Macarena; Clotet, Josep; Serra, Dolors; Hegardt, Fausto G.; Diéguez, Carlos; López, Miguel; Casals, Núria

    2013-01-01

    Recent data suggest that ghrelin exerts its orexigenic action through regulation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase pathway, leading to a decline in malonyl-CoA levels and desinhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), which increases mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and ultimately enhances the expression of the orexigenic neuropeptides agouti-related protein (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY). However, it is unclear whether the brain-specific isoform CPT1C, which is located in the endoplasmic reticulum of neurons, may play a role in this action. Here, we demonstrate that the orexigenic action of ghrelin is totally blunted in CPT1C knockout (KO) mice, despite having the canonical ghrelin signaling pathway activated. We also demonstrate that ghrelin elicits a marked upregulation of hypothalamic C18:0 ceramide levels mediated by CPT1C. Notably, central inhibition of ceramide synthesis with myriocin negated the orexigenic action of ghrelin and normalized the levels of AgRP and NPY, as well as their key transcription factors phosphorylated cAMP-response element–binding protein and forkhead box O1. Finally, central treatment with ceramide induced food intake and orexigenic neuropeptides expression in CPT1C KO mice. Overall, these data indicate that, in addition to formerly reported mechanisms, ghrelin also induces food intake through regulation of hypothalamic CPT1C and ceramide metabolism, a finding of potential importance for the understanding and treatment of obesity. PMID:23493572

  5. Alteration of sheep coat color pattern by disruption of ASIP gene via CRISPR Cas9.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuemei; Li, Wenrong; Liu, Chenxi; Peng, Xinrong; Lin, Jiapeng; He, Sangang; Li, Xuejiao; Han, Bing; Zhang, Ning; Wu, Yangsheng; Chen, Lei; Wang, Liqin; MaYila; Huang, Juncheng; Liu, Mingjun

    2017-08-15

    Coat color is an important characteristic and economic trait in domestic sheep. Aiming at alteration of Chinese merino sheep coat color by genome manipulation, we disrupted sheep agouti signaling protein gene by CRISPR/Cas9. A total of seven indels were identified in 5 of 6 born lambs. Each targeted lamb happened at least two kinds of modifications, and targeted lambs with multiple modifications displayed variety of coat color patterns. Three lambs with 4 bp deletion showed badgerface with black body coat color in two lambs, and brown coat color with light ventral pigmentation in another one. The black-white spotted color was observed in two lambs with 2 bp deletion. Further analysis unraveled that modifications happened in one or more than two copies of ASIP gene, and moreover, the additional spontaneous mutations of D9 and/or D5 preceding the targeting modification could also involve the formation of coat color patterns. Taken together, the entanglement of ASIP modifications by CRISPR/Cas9, spontaneous D9/D5 mutations, and ASIP gene duplications contributed to the variety of coat color patterns in targeted lambs.

  6. Frequencies of genes for coat colour and horns in Nordic cattle breeds

    PubMed Central

    Kantanen, Juha; Olsaker, Ingrid; Brusgaard, Klaus; Eythorsdottir, Emma; Holm, Lars-Erik; Lien, Sigbjørn; Danell, Birgitta; Adalsteinsson, Stefan

    2000-01-01

    Gene frequencies of coat colour and horn types were assessed in 22 Nordic cattle breeds in a project aimed at establishing genetic profiles of the breeds under study. The coat colour loci yielding information on genetic variation were: extension, agouti, spotting, brindle, dun dilution and colour sided. The polled locus was assessed for two alleles. A profound variation between breeds was observed in the frequencies of both colour and horn alleles, with the older breeds generally showing greater variation in observed colour, horn types and segregating alleles than the modern breeds. The correspondence between the present genetic distance matrix and previous molecular marker distance matrices was low (r = 0.08 – 0.12). The branching pattern of a neighbour-joining tree disagreed to some extent with the molecular data structure. The current data indicates that 70% of the total genetic variation could be explained by differences between the breeds, suggesting a much greater breed differentiation than typically found at protein and microsatellite loci. The marked differentiation of the cattle breeds and observed disagreements with the results from the previous molecular data in the topology of the phylogenetic trees are most likely a result of selection on phenotypic characters analysed in this study. PMID:14736370

  7. Diversity of sandflies (Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) captured in sandstone caves from Central Amazonia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alves, Veracilda Ribeiro; Freitas, Rui Alves de; Santos, Francisco Lima; Barrett, Toby Vincent

    2011-05-01

    In the present paper we describe the diversity of phlebotomine sandflies collected in three sandstone caves in the municipality of Presidente Figueiredo, state of Amazonas, Brazil. The phlebotomines were captured during 2006 with CDC light traps. Guano samples from inside the Gruta Refúgio do Maruaga were collected to investigate the presence of immature specimens. A total of 2,160 adult phlebotomines representing 15 species were captured. Pintomyia pacae was the dominant species in Gruta dos Animais (1,723 specimens) and Gruta dos Lages (50 specimens) and Deanemyia maruaga new comb (280 specimens) was the dominant species in Gruta Refúgio do Maruaga. A total of 18 guano samples were collected and seven of these samples included immature specimens. A total of 507 immature specimens were captured; 495 of these specimens were larvae and 12 were pupae. The presence of paca (Agouti paca) footprints near Gruta dos Animais and Gruta dos Lages suggests the association of Pi. pacae with this rodent. This finding may explain the abundance of Pi. pacae in these locations, while the species is relatively rare in the forest. Deanemyia maruaga is a cave species that uses guano to breed during its immature stages. Adult specimens of this species are apparently parthenogenetic and autogenous and represent the second record of parthenogenesis for the subfamily Phlebotominae.

  8. Insulin Receptor Signaling in POMC, but Not AgRP, Neurons Controls Adipose Tissue Insulin Action.

    PubMed

    Shin, Andrew C; Filatova, Nika; Lindtner, Claudia; Chi, Tiffany; Degann, Seta; Oberlin, Douglas; Buettner, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Insulin is a key regulator of adipose tissue lipolysis, and impaired adipose tissue insulin action results in unrestrained lipolysis and lipotoxicity, which are hallmarks of the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Insulin regulates adipose tissue metabolism through direct effects on adipocytes and through signaling in the central nervous system by dampening sympathetic outflow to the adipose tissue. Here we examined the role of insulin signaling in agouti-related protein (AgRP) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in regulating hepatic and adipose tissue insulin action. Mice lacking the insulin receptor in AgRP neurons (AgRP IR KO) exhibited impaired hepatic insulin action because the ability of insulin to suppress hepatic glucose production (hGP) was reduced, but the ability of insulin to suppress lipolysis was unaltered. To the contrary, in POMC IR KO mice, insulin lowered hGP but failed to suppress adipose tissue lipolysis. High-fat diet equally worsened glucose tolerance in AgRP and POMC IR KO mice and their respective controls but increased hepatic triglyceride levels only in POMC IR KO mice, consistent with impaired lipolytic regulation resulting in fatty liver. These data suggest that although insulin signaling in AgRP neurons is important in regulating glucose metabolism, insulin signaling in POMC neurons controls adipose tissue lipolysis and prevents high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis. © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

  9. Ghrelin activates hypophysiotropic corticotropin-releasing factor neurons independently of the arcuate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Cabral, Agustina; Portiansky, Enrique; Sánchez-Jaramillo, Edith; Zigman, Jeffrey M; Perello, Mario

    2016-05-01

    Previous work has established that the hormone ghrelin engages the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal neuroendocrine axis via activation of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). The neuronal circuitry that mediates this effect of ghrelin is currently unknown. Here, we show that ghrelin-induced activation of PVN CRF neurons involved inhibition of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inputs, likely via ghrelin binding sites that were localized at GABAergic terminals within the PVN. While ghrelin activated PVN CRF neurons in the presence of neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptor antagonists or in arcuate nucleus (ARC)-ablated mice, it failed to do it so in mice with ghrelin receptor expression limited to ARC agouti gene related protein (AgRP)/NPY neurons. These data support the notion that ghrelin activates PVN CRF neurons via inhibition of local GABAergic tone, in an ARC-independent manner. Furthermore, these data suggest that the neuronal circuits mediating ghrelin's orexigenic action vs. its role as a stress signal are anatomically dissociated.

  10. Cell type-specific transcriptomics of hypothalamic energy-sensing neuron responses to weight-loss.

    PubMed

    Henry, Fredrick E; Sugino, Ken; Tozer, Adam; Branco, Tiago; Sternson, Scott M

    2015-09-02

    Molecular and cellular processes in neurons are critical for sensing and responding to energy deficit states, such as during weight-loss. Agouti related protein (AGRP)-expressing neurons are a key hypothalamic population that is activated during energy deficit and increases appetite and weight-gain. Cell type-specific transcriptomics can be used to identify pathways that counteract weight-loss, and here we report high-quality gene expression profiles of AGRP neurons from well-fed and food-deprived young adult mice. For comparison, we also analyzed Proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons, an intermingled population that suppresses appetite and body weight. We find that AGRP neurons are considerably more sensitive to energy deficit than POMC neurons. Furthermore, we identify cell type-specific pathways involving endoplasmic reticulum-stress, circadian signaling, ion channels, neuropeptides, and receptors. Combined with methods to validate and manipulate these pathways, this resource greatly expands molecular insight into neuronal regulation of body weight, and may be useful for devising therapeutic strategies for obesity and eating disorders.

  11. Involvement of stomach ghrelin and hypothalamic neuropeptides in tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced hypophagia in mice.

    PubMed

    Endo, Mizuki; Masaki, Takayuki; Seike, Masataka; Yoshimatsu, Hironobu

    2007-04-05

    This study aimed to clarify the interaction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), an anorexigenic cytokine, with ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide secreted by the stomach lining, and hypothalamic neuropeptides in the regulation of food intake in mice. The peripheral administration of TNF-alpha dose-dependently decreased the 24-h cumulative food intake compared with the administration of saline. Reduced food intake was observed at 6 h and 24 h. The same TNF-alpha treatment significantly decreased the plasma level of ghrelin at 6 h and 24 h after treatment compared with the control levels. These changes were accompanied by a significant reduction in the expression of ghrelin mRNA in the stomach at 24 h after treatment. TNF-alpha treatment also resulted in a significant increase in expression of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA and a significant decrease in expression of agouti-related protein (AGRP) mRNA in the hypothalamus at 6 h after treatment. Finally, the pre-administration of ghrelin, reversed the TNF-alpha-induced hypophagia in mice at 6 and 24 h. Taken together, these findings suggest that hypothalamic POMC and AGRP and stomach ghrelin may be involved in TNF-alpha-induced hypophagia in mice.

  12. Probiotic effects on 5-fluorouracil-induced mucositis assessed by the sucrose breath test in rats.

    PubMed

    Mauger, Chad A; Butler, Ross N; Geier, Mark S; Tooley, Katie L; Howarth, Gordon S

    2007-03-01

    The sucrose breath test (SBT) was employed to noninvasively assess the efficacy of probiotics in 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced intestinal mucositis. Dark Agouti rats were allocated to 5 groups (n = 10): 5-FU + L. fermentum BR 11, 5-FU + L. rhamnosus GG, 5-FU + B. lactis BB 12, 5-FU + skim milk (SM), and saline + SM. Probiotics were administered by oral gavage for 10 days. Mucositis was induced on day 7 by intraperitoneal injection of 5-FU (150 mg/kg) or vehicle (saline). Rats were sacrificed 72 h after 5-FU injection. The SBT measured breath 13CO2 (expressed as percentage cumulative dose at 90 min; %CD90) on days 0, 7, and 10. %CD90 was significantly lower in 5-FU-treated controls compared with that in saline-treated controls on day 10. 5-FU caused an 83% reduction in sucrase and a 510% increase in MPO activity. The SBT detected damage induced by 5-FU and is a simple, noninvasive indicator of small bowel injury. The probiotics assessed offered no protection from mucositis at the dose tested.

  13. Effects of Supernatants from Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii on Intestinal Epithelial Cells and a Rat Model of 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Mucositis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hanru; Jatmiko, Yoga D; Bastian, Susan E P; Mashtoub, Suzanne; Howarth, Gordon S

    2017-01-01

    Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (Fp) and Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) are probiotics, which have been reported to ameliorate certain gastrointestinal disorders. We evaluated the effects of supernatants (SN) derived from Fp and EcN on 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-treated intestinal cells and in a rat model of mucositis. In vitro: IEC-6, Caco-2, and T-84 cells were analyzed for viability and monolayer permeability. In vivo: Female dark agouti rats were gavaged with Fp or EcN SN and injected intraperitoneally with saline (control) or 5-FU to induce mucositis. Rats were euthanized and intestinal tissues collected for myeloperoxidase assay and histological analyses. In vitro: Caco-2 cell viability was further reduced when treated with Fp SN + 5-FU compared to 5-FU controls. In both Caco-2 and T-84 cells, Fp SN partially prevented the decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) caused by 5-FU administration. In vivo: 5-FU-injected rats administered Fp SN or EcN SN partly prevented body weight loss and normalized water intake compared to 5-FU controls. These results suggest a growth inhibitory mechanism of Fp SN action on transformed epithelial cells that could be mediated by effects on tight junctions. Factors derived from Fp SN and EcN SN could have a role in reducing the severity of intestinal mucositis.

  14. Development of a method for simultaneously genotyping multiple horse coat colour loci and genetic investigation of basic colour variation in Thoroughbred and Misaki horses in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kakoi, H; Tozaki, T; Nagata, S; Gawahara, H; Kijima-Suda, I

    2009-12-01

    In order to develop a genotyping method that can be used in the registration procedure for Thoroughbreds, we developed a method for simultaneously genotyping multiple coat colour genes on the basis of single nucleotide polymorphism typing by using the SNaPshot(TM) technique. This method enabled precise and reasonable detection of causal mutations; it was effective for genotyping of MC1R, ASIP, and SLC45A2 at the Extension (E), Agouti (A), Cream dilution (C) loci, and the possibility of identification of rare variants of MC1R, EDNRB and KIT at the E, Overo (O) and Sabino 1 (SB1) loci, respectively, was also indicated. It was considered that this genotyping method would provide information not only for the registration of Thoroughbreds but also for the preservation of phenotypic characters, such as coat colour, of endangered Misaki native horses in Japan. Therefore, genetic variations at the five coat colour loci were investigated in 1111 Thoroughbred and 99 Misaki native horses. Allele frequencies at the polymorphic E and A loci were estimated, and the proportions of basic coat colours that could be expected in the Thoroughbred population were bay, 0.662; black, 0.070; chestnut, 0.268. In the Misaki population, they were bay, 0.792; black, 0.129; chestnut, 0.080. The data presented were the first of its kind on genetic coat colour variation, and will be important with regard to the registration of Thoroughbreds and the management of Misaki horses.

  15. Modification of an existing chromosomal inversion to engineer a balancer for mouse chromosome 15.

    PubMed

    Chick, Wallace S H; Mentzer, Sarah E; Carpenter, Donald A; Rinchik, Eugene M; You, Yun

    2004-06-01

    Chromosomal inversions are valuable genetic tools for mutagenesis screens, where appropriately marked inversions can be used as balancer chromosomes to recover and maintain mutations in the corresponding chromosomal region. For any inversion to be effective as a balancer, it should exhibit both dominant and recessive visible traits; ideally the recessive trait should be a fully penetrant lethality in which inversion homozygotes die before birth. Unfortunately, most inversions recovered by classical radiation or chemical mutagenesis techniques do not have an overt phenotype in either the heterozygous or the homozygous state. However, they can be modified by relatively simple procedures to make them suitable as an appropriately marked balancer. We have used homologous recombination to modify, in embryonic stem cells, the recessive-lethal In(15)21Rk inversion to endow it with a dominant-visible phenotype. Several ES cell lines were derived from inversion heterozygotes, and a keratin-14 (K14) promoter-driven agouti minigene was introduced onto the inverted chromosome 15 in the ES cells by gene targeting. Mice derived from the targeted ES cells carry the inverted chromosome 15 and, at the same time, exhibit lighter coat color on their ears and tails, making this modified In(15)21Rk useful as a balancer for proximal mouse chromosome 15.

  16. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in wild-derived mice: generation of tamed wild-derived strains by mutation of the a (nonagouti) gene.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Michiko; Hasegawa, Ayumi; Mochida, Keiji; Matoba, Shogo; Hatanaka, Yuki; Inoue, Kimiko; Goto, Tatsuhiko; Kaneda, Hideki; Yamada, Ikuko; Furuse, Tamio; Abe, Kuniya; Uenoyama, Yoshihisa; Tsukamura, Hiroko; Wakana, Shigeharu; Honda, Arata; Ogura, Atsuo

    2017-02-14

    Wild-derived mice have contributed to experimental mouse genetics by virtue of their genetic diversity, which may help increase the chance of identifying novel modifier genes responsible for specific phenotypes and diseases. However, gene targeting using wild-derived mice has been unsuccessful because of the unavailability of stable embryonic stem cells. Here, we report that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene targeting can be applied to the Japanese wild-derived MSM/Ms strain (Mus musculus molossinus). We targeted the nonagouti (a) gene encoding the agouti protein that is localized in hair and the brain. We obtained three homozygous knockout mice as founders, all showing black coat colour. While homozygous knockout offspring were physiologically indistinguishable from wild-type litter-mates, they showed specific domesticated behaviours: hypoactivity in the dark phase and a decline in the avoidance of a human hand. These phenotypes were consistent over subsequent generations. Our findings support the empirical hypothesis that nonagouti is a domestication-linked gene, the loss of which might repress aggressive behaviour.

  17. Cell type-specific transcriptomics of hypothalamic energy-sensing neuron responses to weight-loss

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Fredrick E; Sugino, Ken; Tozer, Adam; Branco, Tiago; Sternson, Scott M

    2015-01-01

    Molecular and cellular processes in neurons are critical for sensing and responding to energy deficit states, such as during weight-loss. Agouti related protein (AGRP)-expressing neurons are a key hypothalamic population that is activated during energy deficit and increases appetite and weight-gain. Cell type-specific transcriptomics can be used to identify pathways that counteract weight-loss, and here we report high-quality gene expression profiles of AGRP neurons from well-fed and food-deprived young adult mice. For comparison, we also analyzed Proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons, an intermingled population that suppresses appetite and body weight. We find that AGRP neurons are considerably more sensitive to energy deficit than POMC neurons. Furthermore, we identify cell type-specific pathways involving endoplasmic reticulum-stress, circadian signaling, ion channels, neuropeptides, and receptors. Combined with methods to validate and manipulate these pathways, this resource greatly expands molecular insight into neuronal regulation of body weight, and may be useful for devising therapeutic strategies for obesity and eating disorders. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09800.001 PMID:26329458

  18. DNA methylation, an epigenetic mechanism connecting folate to healthy embryonic development and aging

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyong-chol; Friso, Simonetta; Choi, Sang-Woon

    2009-01-01

    Experimental studies demonstrated that maternal exposure to certain environmental and dietary factors during early embryonic development can influence the phenotype of offspring as well as the risk of disease development at the later life. DNA methylation, an epigenetic phenomenon, has been suggested as a mechanism by which maternal nutrients affect the phenotype of their offspring in both honeybee and agouti mouse models. Phenotypic changes through DNA methylation can be linked to folate metabolism by the knowledge that folate, a coenzyme of one-carbon metabolism, is directly involved in methyl group transfer for DNA methylation. During the fetal period, organ-specific DNA methylation patterns are established through epigenetic reprogramming. However, established DNA methylation patterns are not immutable and can be modified during our life time by the environment. Aberrant changes in DNA methylation with diet may lead to the development of age-associated diseases including cancer. It is also known that the aging process by itself is accompanied by alterations in DNA methylation. Diminished activity of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) can be a potential mechanism for the decreased genomic DNA methylation during aging, along with reduced folate intake and altered folate metabolism. Progressive hypermethylation in promoter regions of certain genes is observed throughout aging and repression of tumor suppressors induced by this epigenetic mechanism appears to be associated with cancer development. In this review we address the effect of folate on early development and aging through an epigenetic mechanism, DNA methylation. PMID:19733471

  19. Molecular genetics and evolution of melanism in the cat family.

    PubMed

    Eizirik, Eduardo; Yuhki, Naoya; Johnson, Warren E; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Hannah, Steven S; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2003-03-04

    Melanistic coat coloration occurs as a common polymorphism in 11 of 37 felid species and reaches high population frequency in some cases but never achieves complete fixation. To investigate the genetic basis, adaptive significance, and evolutionary history of melanistic variants in the Felidae, we mapped, cloned, and sequenced the cat homologs of two putative candidate genes for melanism (ASIP [agouti] and MC1R) and identified three independent deletions associated with dark coloration in three different felid species. Association and transmission analyses revealed that a 2 bp deletion in the ASIP gene specifies black coloration in domestic cats, and two different "in-frame" deletions in the MC1R gene are implicated in melanism in jaguars and jaguarundis. Melanistic individuals from five other felid species did not carry any of these mutations, implying that there are at least four independent genetic origins for melanism in the cat family. The inferred multiple origins and independent historical elevation in population frequency of felid melanistic mutations suggest the occurrence of adaptive evolution of this visible phenotype in a group of related free-ranging species.

  20. Dynamics of Early Synovial Cytokine Expression in Rodent Collagen-Induced Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Palmblad, Karin; Erlandsson-Harris, Helena; Tracey, Kevin J.; Andersson, Ulf

    2001-01-01

    This study was performed to elucidate pathophysiological events before and during the course of collagen-induced arthritis in Dark Agouti rats, a model for rheumatoid arthritis. Kinetic studies of local cytokine responses were determined using immunohistochemical techniques, quantified by computer-assisted image analysis. We recently reported that the macrophage-pacifying agent CNI-1493 successfully ameliorated collagen-induced arthritis. In the present trial, we investigated the potential of CNI-1493 to down-regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines. Synovial cryosections were analyzed at various time points for the presence of interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. Unexpectedly, an early simultaneous TNF and IL-1β expression was detected in resident cells in the lining layer, preceding disease onset and inflammatory cell infiltration by >1 week. The predominant cytokine synthesis by synovial (ED1+) macrophages coincided with clinical disease. TNF production greatly exceeded that of IL-1β. CNI-1493 treatment did not affect the early disease-preceding TNF and IL-1β synthesis in the lining layer. However, after disease onset, CNI-1493 intervention resulted in a pronounced reduced IL-1β and in particular TNF expression. Furthermore, CNI-1493 significantly up-regulated synthesis of the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-β and thereby shifted the balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the arthritic joint in a beneficial way. PMID:11159186

  1. Eumelanin- and pheomelanin-based colour advertise resistance to oxidative stress in opposite ways.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Almasi, B; Meichtry-Stier, K S; Jenni, L

    2011-10-01

    The control mechanisms and information content of melanin-based colourations are still debated among evolutionary biologists. Recent hypotheses contend that molecules involved in melanogenesis alter other physiological processes, thereby generating covariation between melanin-based colouration and other phenotypic attributes. Interestingly, several molecules such as agouti and glutathione that trigger the production of reddish-brown pheomelanin have an inhibitory effect on the production of black/grey eumelanin, whereas other hormones, such as melanocortins, have the opposite effect. We therefore propose the hypothesis that phenotypic traits positively correlated with the degree of eumelanin-based colouration may be negatively correlated with the degree of pheomelanin-based colouration, or vice versa. Given the role played by the melanocortin system and glutathione on melanogenesis and resistance to oxidative stress, we examined the prediction that resistance to oxidative stress is positively correlated with the degree of black colouration but negatively with the degree of reddish colouration. Using the barn owl (Tyto alba) as a model organism, we swapped eggs between randomly chosen nests to allocate genotypes randomly among environments and then we measured resistance to oxidative stress using the KRL assay in nestlings raised by foster parents. As predicted, the degree of black and reddish pigmentations was positively and negatively correlated, respectively, with resistance to oxidative stress. Our results reveal that eumelanin- and pheomelanin-based colourations can be redundant signals of resistance to oxidative stress. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. The role of transcriptional regulators in central control of appetite and body weight.

    PubMed

    Coppari, Roberto; Ramadori, Giorgio; Elmquist, Joel K

    2009-03-01

    Individuals who live in industrialized countries often eat a calorie-rich diet and perform little physical activity. These habits are thought to be critical contributors to the rapidly rising incidence of obesity, a condition that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. High-calorie intake alters metabolic-sensing pathways in central nervous system neurons, and these changes have pathogenic roles in the development of obesity. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge about the neuronal populations (the central melanocortin system in particular) and transcriptional regulators, including STAT3 and FOXO1, that are involved in the maintenance of normal body weight. We describe the interactions between these transcriptional factors and their target genes, which encode the main appetite-regulating neuropeptides (agouti-related peptide and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone). We discuss the transcriptional co-activator PGC-1-alpha and the supposed metabolic-sensor protein SIRT1, and their potential roles as targets for novel antiobesity medications.

  3. The liver: Key in regulating appetite and body weight.

    PubMed

    Fam, Barbara C; Joannides, Christos N; Andrikopoulos, Sofianos

    2012-10-01

    Liver fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) is a regulatory enzyme in gluconeogenesis that is elevated by obesity and dietary fat intake. Whether FBPase functions only in glucose metabolism or has other metabolic roles is currently unclear. In our recently published study, we examined the importance of liver FBPase in body weight regulation by performing a series of comprehensive physiological and biochemical assessments of energy balance and specific intervention studies in our transgenic mouse line that overexpresses FBPase specifically in the liver. Compared with negative littermates, these FBPase transgenic mice weighed 10% less, had 50% less adiposity, ate 15% less food but did not have altered energy expenditure. Increased circulating leptin and cholecystokinin levels, elevated fatty acid oxidation and reduced appetite stimulating neuropeptides, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AGRP), underpinned this phenotype. Blocking the action of FBPase returned food intake and body weight to those of the negative littermates. Our study is the first to identify liver FBPase as a previously unknown regulator of appetite and adiposity. Importantly, this work recognizes the liver as an important organ in appetite and body weight regulation. This commentary will provide further insight and expand on this novel concept that the liver does in fact play an important role in adiposity.

  4. [Folates and fetal programming: role of epigenetics and epigenomics].

    PubMed

    Guéant, Jean-Louis; Daval, Jean-Luc; Vert, Paul; Nicolas, Jean-Pierre

    2012-12-01

    Folates are needed for synthesis of methionine, the precursor of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM). They play therefore a key role in nutrition and epigenomics by fluxing monocarbons towards synthesis or methylation of DNA and RNA, and methylation of gene transregulators, respectively. The deficiency produces intrauterine growth retardation and birth dejects. Folate deficiency deregulates epigenomic mechanisms related to fetal programming through decreased cellular availability of SAM. Epigenetic mechanisms of folate deficiency are illustrated by inheritance of coat colour of agouti mice model and altered expression of Igf2/H19 imprinting genes. Dietary exposure to fumonisin FB1 acts synergistically with folate deficiency on alterations of heterochromatin assembly. Deficiency in folate and vitamin B12 produces impaired fatty acid oxidation in liver and heart through imbalanced methylation and acetylation of PGC1-alpha and decreased expression of SIRT1, and long-lasting cognitive disabilities through impaired hippocampal cell proliferation, differentiation and plasticity and atrophy of hippocampal CA1. Deciphering these mechanisms will help understand the discordances between experimental models and population studies on folate supplementation.

  5. DNA methylation, an epigenetic mechanism connecting folate to healthy embryonic development and aging.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyong-chol; Friso, Simonetta; Choi, Sang-Woon

    2009-12-01

    Experimental studies demonstrated that maternal exposure to certain environmental and dietary factors during early embryonic development can influence the phenotype of offspring as well as the risk of disease development at the later life. DNA methylation, an epigenetic phenomenon, has been suggested as a mechanism by which maternal nutrients affect the phenotype of their offspring in both honeybee and agouti mouse models. Phenotypic changes through DNA methylation can be linked to folate metabolism by the knowledge that folate, a coenzyme of one-carbon metabolism, is directly involved in methyl group transfer for DNA methylation. During the fetal period, organ-specific DNA methylation patterns are established through epigenetic reprogramming. However, established DNA methylation patterns are not immutable and can be modified during our lifetime by the environment. Aberrant changes in DNA methylation with diet may lead to the development of age-associated diseases including cancer. It is also known that the aging process by itself is accompanied by alterations in DNA methylation. Diminished activity of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) can be a potential mechanism for the decreased genomic DNA methylation during aging, along with reduced folate intake and altered folate metabolism. Progressive hypermethylation in promoter regions of certain genes is observed throughout aging, and repression of tumor suppressors induced by this epigenetic mechanism appears to be associated with cancer development. In this review, we address the effect of folate on early development and aging through an epigenetic mechanism, DNA methylation.

  6. Maternal nicotine exposure during lactation alters hypothalamic neuropeptides expression in the adult rat progeny.

    PubMed

    Younes-Rapozo, Viviane; Moura, Egberto G; Manhães, Alex C; Pinheiro, Cintia R; Santos-Silva, Ana Paula; de Oliveira, Elaine; Lisboa, Patricia C

    2013-08-01

    Maternal exposure to nicotine during lactation causes hyperleptinemia in the pups and, at adulthood, these animals are overweight and hyperleptinemic, while, in their hypothalamus, the leptin signaling pathway is reduced, evidencing a central leptin resistance. Then, we evaluated the expression of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH), cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and others in different hypothalamic nuclei in order to better understand the mechanisms underlying the obese phenotype observed in these animals at adulthood. On the 2nd postnatal day (P2), dams were subcutaneously implanted with osmotic minipumps releasing nicotine (NIC-6 mg/kg/day) or saline for 14 days. Offspring were killed in P180 and immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis were carried out. Significance data had p<0.05. Adult NIC offspring showed more intense NPY staining in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) (+21%) and increased number of POMC-positive cells in the: arcuate nucleus (+33%), as an increase in fiber density of α-MSH in PVN (+85%). However, the number of CART-positive cells was reduced in the PVN (-25%). CRH staining was more intense in NIC offspring (+136%). Orexins and AgRP were not altered. Thus, maternal nicotine exposure changes hypothalamic neuropeptides in the adult progeny that is partially compatible with leptin resistance.

  7. Expression profile of hypothalamic neuropeptides in chicken lines selected for high or low residual feed intake.

    PubMed

    Sintubin, P; Greene, E; Collin, A; Bordas, A; Zerjal, T; Tesseraud, S; Buyse, J; Dridi, S

    2014-08-01

    The R(+) and R(-) chicken lines have been divergently selected for high (R(+)) or low (R(-)) residual feed intake. For the same body weight and egg production, the R(+) chickens consume 40% more food than their counterparts R(-) lines. In the present study we sought to determine the hypothalamic expression profile of feeding-related neuropeptides in these lines maintained under fed or food-deprived conditions. In the fed condition, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) was 17-fold lower (P<0.05) and the ghrelin receptor was 7-fold higher (P<0.05) in R(+) compared to R(-) chicken lines. The hypothalamic expression of the other studied genes remained unchanged between the two lines. In the fasted state, orexigenic neuropeptide Y and agouti-related peptide were more responsive, with higher significant levels in the R(+) compared to R(-) chickens, while no significant differences were seen for the anorexigenic neuropeptides pro-opiomelanocortin and corticotropin releasing hormone. Interestingly, C-reactive protein, adiponectin receptor 1 and ghrelin receptor gene expression were significantly higher (12-, 2- and 3-folds, respectively), however ghrelin and melanocortin 5 receptor mRNA levels were lower (4- and 2-folds, P=0.05 and P=0.03, respectively) in R(+) compared to R(-) animals. We identified several key feeding-related genes that are differently expressed in the hypothalamus of R(+) and R(-) chickens and that might explain the difference in feed intake observed between the two lines. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Obesity in MENX Rats Is Accompanied by High Circulating Levels of Ghrelin and Improved Insulin Sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Wiedemann, Tobias; Bielohuby, Maximilian; Müller, Timo D; Bidlingmaier, Martin; Pellegata, Natalia S

    2016-02-01

    Ghrelin, the natural ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1a (GHS-R1a), is mainly secreted from the stomach and regulates food intake and energy homeostasis. p27 regulates cell cycle progression in many cell types. Here, we report that rats affected by the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome MENX, caused by a p27 mutation, develop pancreatic islet hyperplasia containing elevated numbers of ghrelin-producing ε-cells. The metabolic phenotype of MENX-affected rats featured high endogenous acylated and unacylated plasma ghrelin levels. Supporting increased ghrelin action, MENX rats show increased food intake, enhanced body fat mass, and elevated plasma levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Ghrelin effect on food intake was confirmed by treating MENX rats with a GHS-R1a antagonist. At 7.5 months, MENX-affected rats show decreased mRNA levels of hypothalamic GHS-R1a, neuropeptide Y (NPY), and agouti-related protein (AgRP), suggesting that prolonged hyperghrelinemia may lead to decreased ghrelin efficacy. In line with ghrelin's proposed role in glucose metabolism, we find decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in MENX rats, while insulin sensitivity is improved. In summary, we provide a novel nontransgenic rat model with high endogenous ghrelin plasma levels and, interestingly, improved glucose tolerance. This model might aid in identifying new therapeutic approaches for obesity and obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

  9. Central ghrelin signaling mediates the metabolic response of C57BL/6 male mice to chronic social defeat stress.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Z R; Khazall, R; Mackay, H; Anisman, H; Abizaid, A

    2013-03-01

    Chronic stressors promote metabolic disturbances, including obesity and metabolic syndrome. Ghrelin, a peptide that promotes appetite and the accumulation of adipose tissue, is also secreted in response to stressors to protect the brain and peripheral tissues from the effects of these stressors. Here we demonstrate that elevated ghrelin levels produced by chronic exposure to social stress are associated with increased caloric intake and body weight gain in male C57BL mice. In contrast, stressed mice lacking ghrelin receptors (GHSR KO mice) or C57BL mice receiving chronic intracerebroventricular delivery of the ghrelin receptor antagonist [d-Lys(3)]-GHRP-6 show attenuated weight gain and feeding responses under the same social stress paradigm. Interestingly, stressed GHSR KO mice showed depleted sc and intrascapular brown fat depots, whereas stressed young wild-type mice did not. In old wild-type mice, chronic social defeat increased visceral and intrascapular brown fat depots in association with increases in obesity markers like hyperleptinemia and hyperinsulinemia along with increased hypothalamic expression of neuropeptide Y and Agouti related peptide. Importantly, the elevated expression of these peptides persisted least for 2 weeks after cessation of the stressor regimen. In contrast, old GHSR KO mice did not show these alterations after chronic social defeat. These results suggest that ghrelin plays an important role in the metabolic adaptations necessary to meet the energetic demands posed by stressors, but chronic exposure to stress-induced ghrelin elevations ultimately could lead to long lasting metabolic dysfunctions.

  10. How the leopard hides its spots: ASIP mutations and melanism in wild cats.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Barsh, Gregory S; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the 'black panther' and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism.

  11. New inducible genetic method reveals critical roles of GABA in the control of feeding and metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Fantao; Han, Yong; Srisai, Dollada; Belakhov, Valery; Farias, Monica; Xu, Yong; Palmiter, Richard D.; Baasov, Timor; Wu, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Currently available inducible Cre/loxP systems, despite their considerable utility in gene manipulation, have pitfalls in certain scenarios, such as unsatisfactory recombination rates and deleterious effects on physiology and behavior. To overcome these limitations, we designed a new, inducible gene-targeting system by introducing an in-frame nonsense mutation into the coding sequence of Cre recombinase (nsCre). Mutant mRNAs transcribed from nsCre transgene can be efficiently translated into full-length, functional Cre recombinase in the presence of nonsense suppressors such as aminoglycosides. In a proof-of-concept model, GABA signaling from hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) was genetically inactivated within 4 d after treatment with a synthetic aminoglycoside. Disruption of GABA synthesis in AgRP neurons in young adult mice led to a dramatic loss of body weight due to reduced food intake and elevated energy expenditure; they also manifested glucose intolerance. In contrast, older mice with genetic inactivation of GABA signaling by AgRP neurons had only transient reduction of feeding and body weight; their energy expenditure and glucose tolerance were unaffected. These results indicate that GABAergic signaling from AgRP neurons plays a key role in the control of feeding and metabolism through an age-dependent mechanism. This new genetic technique will augment current tools used to elucidate mechanisms underlying many physiological and neurological processes. PMID:26976589

  12. Energy Expenditure and Aging

    PubMed Central

    Manini, Todd M.

    2009-01-01

    The study of energy expenditure (EE) has deep roots in understanding aging and lifespan in all species. In humans, total EE decreases substantially in advanced age resulting from parallel changes in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and activity EE. For RMR, this reduction appears to be due to a reduction in organ mass and specific metabolic rates of individual tissues. However, these anatomical changes explain very little regarding the decline in activity EE, which is governed by both genetic and environmental sources. The biological control centers for activity EE are closely coupled with body mass fluctuations and seem to originate in the brain. Several candidate neuromodulators may be involved in the age-related reduction of activity EE that include: orexin, agouti-related proteins and dopaminergic pathways. Unfortunately, the existing body of research has primarily focused on how neuromodulators influence weight gain and only a few studies have been performed in aging models. Recent evidence suggests that activity EE has an important role in dictating lifespan and thus places emphasis on future research to uncover the underlying biological mechanisms. The study of EE continues to unlock clues to aging. PMID:19698803

  13. Probiotic factors partially improve parameters of 5-fluorouracil-induced intestinal mucositis in rats.

    PubMed

    Prisciandaro, Luca D; Geier, Mark S; Butler, Ross N; Cummins, Adrian G; Howarth, Gordon S

    2011-04-01

    Certain live bacteria have demonstrated preliminary indications of efficacy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis. However, probiotic derived supernatants (SN) have yet to be investigated in the mucositis setting. We evaluated SN from Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) and Lactobacillus fermentum BR11 (BR11) for their capacity to decrease 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced damage in vivo. Female Dark Agouti rats were gavaged with 1 mL of either SN or vehicle daily (days 0-8) and intraperitoneally injected with 5-FU (150 mg/kg) on day 5 to induce mucositis. On day 9, animals were culled and intestinal tissues collected. Significantly lower histological damage scores were apparent in the jejunum of 5-FU treated rats receiving SN compared to 5-FU controls. Myeloperoxidase levels in the jejunum of 5-FU treated rats were increased in vehicle and BR11 SN treatments compared to untreated controls, whereas no significant increase was observed after EcN SN treatment. 5-FU treatment significantly reduced villus height and crypt depth in the jejunum compared to normal controls; however no significant reduction in these parameters was observed in 5-FU treated rats receiving either SN. We conclude that bacterial SN, especially EcN, partially protect the intestine from 5-FU mucositis. Further studies are required to define specific mechanisms by which SN exert their beneficial effects.

  14. Interactions of Circadian Rhythmicity, Stress and Orexigenic Neuropeptide Systems: Implications for Food Intake Control

    PubMed Central

    Blasiak, Anna; Gundlach, Andrew L.; Hess, Grzegorz; Lewandowski, Marian H.

    2017-01-01

    Many physiological processes fluctuate throughout the day/night and daily fluctuations are observed in brain and peripheral levels of several hormones, neuropeptides and transmitters. In turn, mediators under the “control” of the “master biological clock” reciprocally influence its function. Dysregulation in the rhythmicity of hormone release as well as hormone receptor sensitivity and availability in different tissues, is a common risk-factor for multiple clinical conditions, including psychiatric and metabolic disorders. At the same time circadian rhythms remain in a strong, reciprocal interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Recent findings point to a role of circadian disturbances and excessive stress in the development of obesity and related food consumption and metabolism abnormalities, which constitute a major health problem worldwide. Appetite, food intake and energy balance are under the influence of several brain neuropeptides, including the orexigenic agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone and relaxin-3. Importantly, orexigenic neuropeptide neurons remain under the control of the circadian timing system and are highly sensitive to various stressors, therefore the potential neuronal mechanisms through which disturbances in the daily rhythmicity and stress-related mediator levels contribute to food intake abnormalities rely on reciprocal interactions between these elements. PMID:28373831

  15. An excitatory paraventricular nucleus to AgRP neuron circuit that drives hunger.

    PubMed

    Krashes, Michael J; Shah, Bhavik P; Madara, Joseph C; Olson, David P; Strochlic, David E; Garfield, Alastair S; Vong, Linh; Pei, Hongjuan; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko; Uchida, Naoshige; Liberles, Stephen D; Lowell, Bradford B

    2014-03-13

    Hunger is a hard-wired motivational state essential for survival. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) at the base of the hypothalamus are crucial to the control of hunger. They are activated by caloric deficiency and, when naturally or artificially stimulated, they potently induce intense hunger and subsequent food intake. Consistent with their obligatory role in regulating appetite, genetic ablation or chemogenetic inhibition of AgRP neurons decreases feeding. Excitatory input to AgRP neurons is important in caloric-deficiency-induced activation, and is notable for its remarkable degree of caloric-state-dependent synaptic plasticity. Despite the important role of excitatory input, its source(s) has been unknown. Here, through the use of Cre-recombinase-enabled, cell-specific neuron mapping techniques in mice, we have discovered strong excitatory drive that, unexpectedly, emanates from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, specifically from subsets of neurons expressing thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP, also known as ADCYAP1). Chemogenetic stimulation of these afferent neurons in sated mice markedly activates AgRP neurons and induces intense feeding. Conversely, acute inhibition in mice with caloric-deficiency-induced hunger decreases feeding. Discovery of these afferent neurons capable of triggering hunger advances understanding of how this intense motivational state is regulated.

  16. Antigen dose and strain variation as factors in the genetic control of the immune response to sperm whale myoglobin.

    PubMed Central

    Young, C R; Ebringer, A; Archer, J R

    1978-01-01

    The primary and secondary immune response to the antigen sperm whale myoglobin was investigated in DBA/2, 129 and B10.BR mice over a dose range of immunization from 10 to 2000 microgram. Using an antigen excess technique, the quantity of antibody produced after secondary immunization followed a sigmoidal dose-response curve and the maximal plateau level was found to be different for each strain of mice. Furthermore, the genetic control of the immune response was investigated in twelve different inbred strains of mice following secondary immunization with 500 microgram of myoglobin. A continuous distribution for the mean antibody responses was obtained for the twelve different strains of mice. High responsiveness was associated with H-2 haplotypes d, f and k located on chromosome 17, the non-agouti gene 'a' located on chromosome 2 and the chinchilla gene 'c(ch)' located on chromosome 7. It is concluded that either a large number of IR-genes to myoglobin are present in many loci located on different chromosomes or the antibody differences could be explained by a cross-tolerance mechanism requiring no IR-genes at all. PMID:417022

  17. Necdin controls Foxo1 acetylation in hypothalamic arcuate neurons to modulate the thyroid axis.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Koichi; Kawahara, Tomohiro; Fujiwara, Kazushiro; Shimpuku, Mayumi; Sasaki, Tsutomu; Kitamura, Tadahiro; Yoshikawa, Kazuaki

    2012-04-18

    The forkhead transcription factor Foxo1 regulates energy homeostasis by modulating gene expression in the hypothalamus. Foxo1 undergoes post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and acetylation, which modulate its functional activities. Sirtuin1 (Sirt1), a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent protein deacetylase, regulates the acetylation status of Foxo1 in mammalian cells. Necdin, a pleiotropic protein required for neuronal development and survival, interacts with both Sirt1 and p53 to facilitate p53 deacetylation. The necdin gene (Ndn), an imprinted gene transcribed only from the paternal allele, is strongly expressed in hypothalamic neurons. Here, we demonstrate that necdin controls the acetylation status of Foxo1 in vivo in hypothalamic arcuate neurons to modulate the thyroid function. Necdin forms a stable ternary complex with Sirt1 and Foxo1, diminishes Foxo1 acetylation, and suppresses the transcriptional activity of Foxo1 in vitro. Paternal Ndn mutant mice express high levels of acetylated Foxo1 and mRNAs encoding agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y in the hypothalamus in vivo during the juvenile period. The mutant mice exhibit endocrine dysfunction characteristic of hypothalamic hypothyroidism. Chemically induced hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism lead to hypothalamic responses similar to those under necdin-deficient and excessive conditions, respectively, suggesting that thyroid hormone serves as a negative regulator of this system. These results suggest that necdin regulates Foxo1 acetylation and neuropeptide gene expression in the arcuate neurons to modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis during development.

  18. Deletion of ATF4 in AgRP Neurons Promotes Fat Loss Mainly via Increasing Energy Expenditure.

    PubMed

    Deng, Jiali; Yuan, Feixiang; Guo, Yajie; Xiao, Yuzhong; Niu, Yuguo; Deng, Yalan; Han, Xiao; Guan, Youfei; Chen, Shanghai; Guo, Feifan

    2017-03-01

    Although many functions of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) are identified, a role of ATF4 in the hypothalamus in regulating energy homeostasis is unknown. Here, we generated adult-onset agouti-related peptide neuron-specific ATF4 knockout (AgRP-ATF4 KO) mice and found that these mice were lean, with improved insulin and leptin sensitivity and decreased hepatic lipid accumulation. Furthermore, AgRP-ATF4 KO mice showed reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, mainly because of enhanced thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue. Moreover, AgRP-ATF4 KO mice were resistant to high-fat diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and liver steatosis and maintained at a higher body temperature under cold stress. Interestingly, the expression of FOXO1 was directly regulated by ATF4 via binding to the cAMP-responsive element site on its promoter in hypothalamic GT1-7 cells. Finally, Foxo1 expression was reduced in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus of AgRP-ATF4 KO mice, and adenovirus-mediated overexpression of FOXO1 in ARC increased the fat mass in AgRP-ATF4 KO mice. Collectively, our data demonstrate a novel function of ATF4 in AgRP neurons of the hypothalamus in energy balance and lipid metabolism and suggest hypothalamic ATF4 as a potential drug target for treating obesity and its related metabolic disorders. © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

  19. Targeting Forkhead box O1 from the concept to metabolic diseases: lessons from mouse models.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Zhiyong; White, Morris F

    2011-02-15

    Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors have been implicated in regulating the metabolism, cellular proliferation, stress resistance, apoptosis, and longevity. Through the insulin receptor substrate → phosphoinositide 3-kinase → Akt signal cascade, FOXO integrates insulin action with the systemic nutrient and energy homeostasis. Activation of FOXO1 in liver induces gluconeogenesis via phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK)/glucose 6-phosphate pathway, and disrupts mitochondrial metabolism and lipid metabolism via heme oxygenase 1/sirtuin 1/Ppargc1α pathway. In skeletal muscle, FOXO1 activation underpins the carbohydrate/lipid switch during fasting state. Inhibition of FOXO1 under physiological conditions accounts for maintenance of skeletal muscle mass/function and adipose differentiation. In pancreatic β-cells, nuclear translocation of FOXO1 antagonizes pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 and attenuates β-cells proliferation and insulin secretion. Regardless, FOXO1 promotes the proliferation of β-cells through induction of Cyclin D1 in low nutrition, and elicits antioxidant mechanism to protect against β-cell failure during oxidative insults. In the brain, FOXO1 controls food intake through transcriptional regulation of the orexigenic neuropeptide Y, agouti-related protein, and carboxypeptidase E. In this article, we review the role of FOXO1 in the regulation of metabolism and energy expenditure based on recent findings from mouse models, and discuss the therapeutic value of targeting FOXO1 in metabolic diseases.

  20. Inhibition of hypothalamic Foxo1 expression reduced food intake in diet-induced obesity rats.

    PubMed

    Ropelle, Eduardo R; Pauli, José R; Prada, Patrícia; Cintra, Dennys E; Rocha, Guilherme Z; Moraes, Juliana C; Frederico, Marisa J S; da Luz, Gabrielle; Pinho, Ricardo A; Carvalheira, José B C; Velloso, Licio A; Saad, Mario A; De Souza, Cláudio T

    2009-05-15

    Insulin signalling in the hypothalamus plays a role in maintaining body weight. The forkhead transcription factor Foxo1 is an important mediator of insulin signalling in the hypothalamus. Foxo1 stimulates the transcription of the orexigenic neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signalling pathway, but the role of hypothalamic Foxo1 in insulin resistance and obesity remains unclear. Here, we identify that a high-fat diet impaired insulin-induced hypothalamic Foxo1 phosphorylation and degradation, increasing the nuclear Foxo1 activity and hyperphagic response in rats. Thus, we investigated the effects of the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) microinfusion of Foxo1-antisense oligonucleotide (Foxo1-ASO) and evaluated the food consumption and weight gain in normal and diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Three days of Foxo1-ASO microinfusion reduced the hypothalamic Foxo1 expression by about 85%. i.c.v. infusion of Foxo1-ASO reduced the cumulative food intake (21%), body weight change (28%), epididymal fat pad weight (22%) and fasting serum insulin levels (19%) and increased the insulin sensitivity (34%) in DIO but not in control animals. Collectively, these data showed that the Foxo1-ASO treatment blocked the orexigenic effects of Foxo1 and prevented the hyperphagic response in obese rats. Thus, pharmacological manipulation of Foxo1 may be used to prevent or treat obesity.

  1. Targeting Forkhead Box O1 from the Concept to Metabolic Diseases: Lessons from Mouse Models

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Zhiyong

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors have been implicated in regulating the metabolism, cellular proliferation, stress resistance, apoptosis, and longevity. Through the insulin receptor substrate → phosphoinositide 3-kinase → Akt signal cascade, FOXO integrates insulin action with the systemic nutrient and energy homeostasis. Activation of FOXO1 in liver induces gluconeogenesis via phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK)/glucose 6-phosphate pathway, and disrupts mitochondrial metabolism and lipid metabolism via heme oxygenase 1/sirtuin 1/Ppargc1α pathway. In skeletal muscle, FOXO1 activation underpins the carbohydrate/lipid switch during fasting state. Inhibition of FOXO1 under physiological conditions accounts for maintenance of skeletal muscle mass/function and adipose differentiation. In pancreatic β-cells, nuclear translocation of FOXO1 antagonizes pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 and attenuates β-cells proliferation and insulin secretion. Regardless, FOXO1 promotes the proliferation of β-cells through induction of Cyclin D1 in low nutrition, and elicits antioxidant mechanism to protect against β-cell failure during oxidative insults. In the brain, FOXO1 controls food intake through transcriptional regulation of the orexigenic neuropeptide Y, agouti-related protein, and carboxypeptidase E. In this article, we review the role of FOXO1 in the regulation of metabolism and energy expenditure based on recent findings from mouse models, and discuss the therapeutic value of targeting FOXO1 in metabolic diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 649–661. PMID:20615072

  2. FoxO1 target Gpr17 activates AgRP neurons to regulate food intake.

    PubMed

    Ren, Hongxia; Orozco, Ian J; Su, Ya; Suyama, Shigetomo; Gutiérrez-Juárez, Roger; Horvath, Tamas L; Wardlaw, Sharon L; Plum, Leona; Arancio, Ottavio; Accili, Domenico

    2012-06-08

    Hypothalamic neurons expressing Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) are critical for initiating food intake, but druggable biochemical pathways that control this response remain elusive. Thus, genetic ablation of insulin or leptin signaling in AgRP neurons is predicted to reduce satiety but fails to do so. FoxO1 is a shared mediator of both pathways, and its inhibition is required to induce satiety. Accordingly, FoxO1 ablation in AgRP neurons of mice results in reduced food intake, leanness, improved glucose homeostasis, and increased sensitivity to insulin and leptin. Expression profiling of flow-sorted FoxO1-deficient AgRP neurons identifies G-protein-coupled receptor Gpr17 as a FoxO1 target whose expression is regulated by nutritional status. Intracerebroventricular injection of Gpr17 agonists induces food intake, whereas Gpr17 antagonist cangrelor curtails it. These effects are absent in Agrp-Foxo1 knockouts, suggesting that pharmacological modulation of this pathway has therapeutic potential to treat obesity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Role of hypothalamic Foxo1 in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Seon; Pak, Youngmi K; Jang, Pil-Geum; Namkoong, Cherl; Choi, Yon-Sik; Won, Jong-Chul; Kim, Kyung-Sup; Kim, Seung-Whan; Kim, Hyo-Soo; Park, Joong-Yeol; Kim, Young-Bum; Lee, Ki-Up

    2006-07-01

    Insulin signaling in the hypothalamus plays a role in maintaining body weight. Studies suggest that the forkhead transcription factor Foxo1 is an important mediator of insulin signaling in peripheral tissues. Here we demonstrate that in normal mice, hypothalamic Foxo1 expression is reduced by the anorexigenic hormones insulin and leptin. These hormones' effects on feeding are inhibited when hypothalamic Foxo1 is activated, establishing a new signaling pathway through which insulin and leptin regulate food intake in hypothalamic neurons. Moreover, activation of Foxo1 in the hypothalamus increases food intake and body weight, whereas inhibition of Foxo1 decreases both. Foxo1 stimulates the transcription of the orexigenic neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway, but suppresses the transcription of anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin by antagonizing the activity of signal transducer-activated transcript-3 (STAT3). Our data suggest that hypothalamic Foxo1 is an important regulator of food intake and energy balance.

  4. G protein-coupled purinergic receptor GPR17 mediates orexigenic effects of FoxO1 in AgRP neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Hongxia; Orozco, Ian J.; Su, Ya; Suyama, Shigetomo; Gutiérrez-Juárez, Roger; Horvath, Tamas L.; Wardlaw, Sharon L.; Plum, Leona; Arancio, Ottavio; Accili, Domenico

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Hypothalamic neurons expressing Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) are critical for initiating food intake. But druggable biochemical pathways that control this response remain elusive. Thus, genetic ablation of anorexigenic signaling by insulin or leptin in AgRP neurons fails to affect food intake. FoxO1 is a shared mediator of both pathways, and its inhibition is required for their anorexigenic effects. We postulated that FoxO1 effectors include pathways regulating food intake. Accordingly, FoxO1 ablation in AgRP neurons of mice results in reduced food intake, leanness, improved glucose homeostasis, and increased sensitivity to insulin and leptin. Expression profiling of flow-sorted FoxO1-deficient AgRP neurons identifies G protein-coupled receptor Gpr17 as a FoxO1 target whose expression is regulated by nutritional status. Intracerebroventricular injection of Gpr17 agonists induces food intake, while Gpr17 antagonist cangrelor curtails it. These effects are absent in Agrp-Foxo1 knockouts, suggesting that pharmacological modulation of this pathway has therapeutic potential to treat obesity. PMID:22682251

  5. [Morphology of hair pigmentation in wild red foxes, silver foxes, and their hybrids].

    PubMed

    Prasolova, L A; Trut, L N; Vsevolodov, E B; Latypov, I F

    2002-04-01

    The effects of dominant allele Ar of locus Agouti on the morphology of hair pigmentation were described in foxes. The Ar allele was shown to determine the type of melanin and its content in hair with no effect on the morphology of pigment granules and their distribution throughout a hair. Using the method of electron spin resonance (ESR), the types of melanin (eumelanin and pheomelanin) and their content in the hair of red (ArArEE) and silver (aaEE) foxes and their hybrids (AraEE) were determined. In silver foxes, only one type of melanin (eumelanin) was found. In red foxes and their hybrids (which are phenotypically similar but darker than red foxes), both types of melanin (eu- and pheomelanin) were found. The highest melanin content was detected in the coat of silver foxes. In the hybrids, the total melanin content was lower than in silver foxes, but significantly higher than in red foxes. In red foxes, the contribution of pheomelanin to the total hair melanin content was twice as large as in the hybrids.

  6. The melanocortin-1 receptor: red hair and beyond.

    PubMed

    Schaffer, J V; Bolognia, J L

    2001-11-01

    Although human pigmentation is genetically complex, to date polymorphism at only 1 locus, the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1-R), has been associated with physiologic variation in hair and skin color. The MC1-R, a G protein-coupled receptor with 7 transmembrane-spanning domains, plays a key role in determining the type of melanin (eumelanin vs pheomelanin) that is produced within melanocytes. This article begins with an overview of melanocortin receptors, proopiomelanocortin-derived ligands, and the agouti antagonist, with particular focus on their functions in regulating eumelanin and pheomelanin synthesis, including UV-induced melanogenesis. A brief description of mouse-coat-color genetics is then followed by a discussion of human MC1-R variants, which are present in approximately 50% of white populations. We review the increasing evidence that loss-of-function MC1-R mutations largely account for the red hair phenotype in humans (which approximates an autosomal recessive trait) and also have a strong association with fair skin and a decreased ability to tan, with a significant heterozygote effect in individuals without red hair. Finally, we examine recent work showing that loss-of-function MC1-R variants may increase the risk of developing melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer beyond their effects on pigmentation phenotype.

  7. Ceramides are involved in the regulation of food intake in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    PubMed

    Velasco, Cristina; Librán-Pérez, Marta; Otero-Rodiño, Cristina; López-Patiño, Marcos A; Míguez, Jesús M; Soengas, José L

    2016-10-01

    We hypothesize that ceramides are involved in the regulation of food intake in fish. Therefore, we assessed in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) the effects of intracerebroventricular treatment with C6:0 ceramide on food intake. In a second experiment, we assessed the effects in brain areas of ceramide treatment on neuropeptide expression, fatty acid-sensing systems, and cellular signaling pathways. Ceramide treatment induced a decrease in food intake, a response opposed to the orexigenic effect described in mammals, which can be related to enhanced mRNA abundance of cocaine and amphetamine-related transcript and proopiomelanocortin and decreased mRNA abundance of Agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y. Fatty acid-sensing systems appear to be inactivated by ceramide treatment. The mRNA abundance of integrative sensors AMPK and sirtuin 1, and the phosphorylation status of cellular signaling pathways dependent on protein kinase B, AMPK, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1) are generally activated by ceramide treatment. However, there are differences between hypothalamus and hindbrain in the phosphorylation status of AMPK (decreased in hypothalamus and increased in hindbrain), mTOR (decreased in hypothalamus and increased in hindbrain), and FoxO1 (increased in hypothalamus and decreased in hindbrain) to ceramide treatment. The results suggest that ceramides are involved in the regulation of food intake in rainbow trout through mechanisms comparable to those characterized previously in mammals in some cases.

  8. Interactions of Circadian Rhythmicity, Stress and Orexigenic Neuropeptide Systems: Implications for Food Intake Control.

    PubMed

    Blasiak, Anna; Gundlach, Andrew L; Hess, Grzegorz; Lewandowski, Marian H

    2017-01-01

    Many physiological processes fluctuate throughout the day/night and daily fluctuations are observed in brain and peripheral levels of several hormones, neuropeptides and transmitters. In turn, mediators under the "control" of the "master biological clock" reciprocally influence its function. Dysregulation in the rhythmicity of hormone release as well as hormone receptor sensitivity and availability in different tissues, is a common risk-factor for multiple clinical conditions, including psychiatric and metabolic disorders. At the same time circadian rhythms remain in a strong, reciprocal interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Recent findings point to a role of circadian disturbances and excessive stress in the development of obesity and related food consumption and metabolism abnormalities, which constitute a major health problem worldwide. Appetite, food intake and energy balance are under the influence of several brain neuropeptides, including the orexigenic agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone and relaxin-3. Importantly, orexigenic neuropeptide neurons remain under the control of the circadian timing system and are highly sensitive to various stressors, therefore the potential neuronal mechanisms through which disturbances in the daily rhythmicity and stress-related mediator levels contribute to food intake abnormalities rely on reciprocal interactions between these elements.

  9. Genetic variation within coat color genes of MC1R and ASIP in Chinese brownish red Tibetan pigs.

    PubMed

    Mao, Huirong; Ren, Jun; Ding, Nengshui; Xiao, Shijun; Huang, Lusheng

    2010-12-01

    Melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) and agouti signaling protein (ASIP) are two major genes affecting coat color phenotypes in mammals, and inactivation mutations in the MC1R gene are responsible for red coat color in European pig breeds. Conversely, the gain-of-function ASIP mutations block MC1R signaling and lead to the production of red pheomelanin. Chinese Tibetan pigs have three types of coat color phenotypes, including brownish red, solid black and black with patches of brownish red and white. Herein, we investigated variations of the MC1R and ASIP genes in Tibetan pigs. The results showed that the brownish red Tibet pig had the dominant black MC1R allele (E(D1)). No loss-of-function mutation in MC1R responsible for red coat color in European breeds was observed in this breed. No causal mutation for the red coat color phenotype was found in the coding sequence of the ASIP gene. A novel missense mutation c.157G > A was firstly identified in exon 2 of ASIP, which was further genotyped in 285 pigs from five Chinese breeds and three Western breeds having different coat color phenotypes. Nearly all pigs were GG homozygotes. In conclusion, no functional variant responsible for brownish red coloration was found in the coding region of MC1R and ASIP in Tibetan pigs.

  10. Arcuate hypothalamic AgRP and putative POMC neurons show opposite changes in spiking across multiple timescales

    PubMed Central

    Mandelblat-Cerf, Yael; Ramesh, Rohan N; Burgess, Christian R; Patella, Paola; Yang, Zongfang; Lowell, Bradford B; Andermann, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    Agouti-related-peptide (AgRP) neurons—interoceptive neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC)—are both necessary and sufficient for driving feeding behavior. To better understand the functional roles of AgRP neurons, we performed optetrode electrophysiological recordings from AgRP neurons in awake, behaving AgRP-IRES-Cre mice. In free-feeding mice, we observed a fivefold increase in AgRP neuron firing with mounting caloric deficit in afternoon vs morning recordings. In food-restricted mice, as food became available, AgRP neuron firing dropped, yet remained elevated as compared to firing in sated mice. The rapid drop in spiking activity of AgRP neurons at meal onset may reflect a termination of the drive to find food, while residual, persistent spiking may reflect a sustained drive to consume food. Moreover, nearby neurons inhibited by AgRP neuron photostimulation, likely including satiety-promoting pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, demonstrated opposite changes in spiking. Finally, firing of ARC neurons was also rapidly modulated within seconds of individual licks for liquid food. These findings suggest novel roles for antagonistic AgRP and POMC neurons in the regulation of feeding behaviors across multiple timescales. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07122.001 PMID:26159614

  11. Gs-coupled GPCR signalling in AgRP neurons triggers sustained increase in food intake

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Ken-ichiro; Cui, Zhenzhong; Li, Chia; Meister, Jaroslawna; Cui, Yinghong; Fu, Ou; Smith, Adam S.; Jain, Shalini; Lowell, Bradford B.; Krashes, Michael J.; Wess, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons of the hypothalamus play a key role in regulating food intake and body weight, by releasing three different orexigenic molecules: AgRP; GABA; and neuropeptide Y. AgRP neurons express various G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with different coupling properties, including Gs-linked GPCRs. At present, the potential role of Gs-coupled GPCRs in regulating the activity of AgRP neurons remains unknown. Here we show that the activation of Gs-coupled receptors expressed by AgRP neurons leads to a robust and sustained increase in food intake. We also provide detailed mechanistic data linking the stimulation of this class of receptors to the observed feeding phenotype. Moreover, we show that this pathway is clearly distinct from other GPCR signalling cascades that are operative in AgRP neurons. Our data suggest that drugs able to inhibit this signalling pathway may become useful for the treatment of obesity. PMID:26743492

  12. Post-embryonic ablation of AgRP neurons in mice leads to a lean, hypophagic phenotype.

    PubMed

    Bewick, Gavin A; Gardiner, James V; Dhillo, Waljit S; Kent, Aysha S; White, Nicholas E; Webster, Zoe; Ghatei, Mohammad A; Bloom, Stephen R

    2005-10-01

    Agouti-related protein (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) are colocalized in arcuate nucleus (arcuate) neurons implicated in the regulation of energy balance. Both AgRP and NPY stimulate food intake when administered into the third ventricle and are up-regulated in states of negative energy balance. However, mice with targeted deletion of either NPY or AgRP or both do not have major alterations in energy homeostasis. Using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis we have targeted expression of a neurotoxic CAG expanded form of ataxin-3 to AgRP-expressing neurons in the arcuate. This resulted in a 47% loss of AgRP neurons by 16 weeks of age, a significantly reduced body weight, (wild-type mice (WT) 34.7+/-0.7 g vs. transgenic mice (Tg) 28.6+/-0.6 g, P<0.001), and reduced food intake (WT 5.0+/-0.2 vs. Tg 3.6+/-0.1 g per day, P<0.001). Transgenic mice had significantly reduced total body fat, plasma insulin, and increased brown adipose tissue UCP1 expression. Transgenic mice failed to respond to peripherally administered ghrelin but retained sensitivity to PYY 3-36. These data suggest that postembryonic partial loss of AgRP/NPY neurons leads to a lean, hypophagic phenotype.

  13. A Small Potassium Current in AgRP/NPY Neurons Regulates Feeding Behavior and Energy Metabolism.

    PubMed

    He, Yanlin; Shu, Gang; Yang, Yongjie; Xu, Pingwen; Xia, Yan; Wang, Chunmei; Saito, Kenji; Hinton, Antentor; Yan, Xiaofeng; Liu, Chen; Wu, Qi; Tong, Qingchun; Xu, Yong

    2016-11-08

    Neurons that co-express agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) are indispensable for normal feeding behavior. Firing activities of AgRP/NPY neurons are dynamically regulated by energy status and coordinate appropriate feeding behavior to meet nutritional demands. However, intrinsic mechanisms that regulate AgRP/NPY neural activities during the fed-to-fasted transition are not fully understood. We found that AgRP/NPY neurons in satiated mice express high levels of the small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel 3 (SK3) and are inhibited by SK3-mediated potassium currents; on the other hand, food deprivation suppresses SK3 expression in AgRP/NPY neurons, and the decreased SK3-mediated currents contribute to fasting-induced activation of these neurons. Genetic mutation of SK3 specifically in AgRP/NPY neurons leads to increased sensitivity to diet-induced obesity, associated with chronic hyperphagia and decreased energy expenditure. Our results identify SK3 as a key intrinsic mediator that coordinates nutritional status with AgRP/NPY neural activities and animals' feeding behavior and energy metabolism.

  14. Role of the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine regulation of body weight and composition during energy deficit.

    PubMed

    Sainsbury, A; Zhang, L

    2012-03-01

    Energy deficit in lean or obese animals or humans stimulates appetite, reduces energy expenditure and possibly also decreases physical activity, thereby contributing to weight regain. Often overlooked in weight loss trials for obesity, however, is the effect of energy restriction on neuroendocrine status. Negative energy balance in lean animals and humans consistently inhibits activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid, -gonadotropic and -somatotropic axes (or reduces circulating insulin-like growth factor-1 levels), while concomitantly activating the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, with emerging evidence of similar changes in overweight and obese people during lifestyle interventions for weight loss. These neuroendocrine changes, which animal studies show may result in part from hypothalamic actions of orexigenic (e.g. neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide) and anorexigenic peptides (e.g. alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, and cocaine and amphetamine-related transcript), can adversely affect body composition by promoting the accumulation of adipose tissue (particularly central adiposity) and stimulating the loss of lean body mass and bone. As such, current efforts to maximize loss of excess body fat in obese people may inadvertently be promoting long-term complications such as central obesity and associated health risks, as well as sarcopenia and osteoporosis. Future weight loss trials would benefit from assessment of the effects on body composition and key hormonal regulators of body composition using sensitive techniques.

  15. Local gene therapy with indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase protects against development of transplant vasculopathy in chronic kidney transplant dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Vavrincova-Yaghi, D; Deelman, L E; van Goor, H; Seelen, M A; Vavrinec, P; Kema, I P; Gomolcak, P; Benigni, A; Henning, R H; Sandovici, M

    2016-11-01

    Chronic transplant dysfunction (CTD) is the primary cause of late allograft loss in kidney transplantation. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is involved in fetomaternal tolerance and IDO gene therapy inhibits acute rejection following kidney transplantation. The aim of this study is to investigate whether gene therapy with IDO is able to attenuate CTD. Transplantation was performed in a rat Dark-Agouti to Wistar-Furth CTD model. Donor kidneys were incubated either with an adenovirus carrying IDO gene, a control adenovirus or saline. During the first 10 days recipients received low-dose cyclosporine. Body weight, blood pressure, serum creatinine and proteinuria were measured every 2 weeks. Rats were killed after 12 weeks. IDO had a striking beneficial effect on transplant vasculopathy at week 12. It also significantly improved body weight gain; it reduced blood pressure and decreased proteinuria during the follow-up. However, it did not affect the kidney function. In addition, IDO therapy significantly decreased the number of graft-infiltrating macrophages at week 12. The messenger RNA levels of forkhead box p3 and transforming grow factor-β were elevated in the IDO treated group at week 12. Here we show for first time a clear beneficial effect of local IDO gene therapy especially on transplant vasculopathy in a rat model of renal CTD.

  16. Olanzapine-Induced Hyperphagia and Weight Gain Associate with Orexigenic Hypothalamic Neuropeptide Signaling without Concomitant AMPK Phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Fernø, Johan; Vázquez, María Jesús; Nogueiras, Rubén; Diéguez, Carlos; Vidal-Puig, Antonio; Steen, Vidar M.; López, Miguel

    2011-01-01

    The success of antipsychotic drug treatment in patients with schizophrenia is limited by the propensity of these drugs to induce hyperphagia, weight gain and other metabolic disturbances, particularly evident for olanzapine and clozapine. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in antipsychotic-induced hyperphagia remain unclear. Here, we investigate the effect of olanzapine administration on the regulation of hypothalamic mechanisms controlling food intake, namely neuropeptide expression and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in rats. Our results show that subchronic exposure to olanzapine upregulates neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti related protein (AgRP) and downregulates proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC). This effect was evident both in rats fed ad libitum and in pair-fed rats. Of note, despite weight gain and increased expression of orexigenic neuropeptides, subchronic administration of olanzapine decreased AMPK phosphorylation levels. This reduction in AMPK was not observed after acute administration of either olanzapine or clozapine. Overall, our data suggest that olanzapine-induced hyperphagia is mediated through appropriate changes in hypothalamic neuropeptides, and that this effect does not require concomitant AMPK activation. Our data shed new light on the hypothalamic mechanism underlying antipsychotic-induced hyperphagia and weight gain, and provide the basis for alternative targets to control energy balance. PMID:21695181

  17. Effects of food deprivation on the hypothalamic feeding-regulating peptides gene expressions in serotonin depleted rats.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Mitsuhiro; Hagimoto, Marina; Matsuura, Takanori; Ohkubo, Junichi; Ohno, Motoko; Maruyama, Takashi; Ishikura, Toru; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Kakuma, Tetsuya; Yoshimatsu, Hironobu; Terawaki, Kiyoshi; Uezono, Yasuhito; Toyohira, Yumiko; Yanagihara, Nobuyuki; Ueta, Yoichi

    2014-03-01

    We examined the effects of serotonin (5-HT) depletion induced by peripheral injection of 5-HT synthesis inhibitor p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) on the expression of feeding-regulating peptides expressions by using in situ hybridization histochemistry in adult male Wistar rats. PCPA pretreatment had no significant effect on basal levels of oxytocin, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), neuropeptide-Y (NPY), agouti-related protein (AgRP), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) or orexin in the hypothalamus. Food deprivation for 48 h caused a significant decrease in CRH, TRH, POMC, and CART, and a significant increase in NPY, AgRP and MCH. After PCPA treatment, POMC and CART did not decrease despite food deprivation. NPY was significantly increased by food deprivation with PCPA, but was attenuated compared to food deprivation without PCPA. These results suggest that the serotonergic system in the hypothalamus may be involved in the gene expression of POMC, CART, and NPY related to feeding behavior.

  18. Effects of Pregnane Glycosides on Food Intake Depend on Stimulation of the Melanocortin Pathway and BDNF in an Animal Model

    PubMed Central

    Komarnytsky, Slavko; Esposito, Debora; Rathinasabapathy, Thirumurugan; Poulev, Alexander; Raskin, Ilya

    2013-01-01

    Pregnane glycosides appear to modulate food intake by possibly affecting the hypothalamic feeding circuits; however, the mechanisms of the appetite-regulating effect of pregnane glycosides remain obscure. Here, we show that pregnane glycoside-enriched extracts from swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata at 25–100 mg/kg daily attenuated food intake (up to 47.1 ± 8.5% less than controls) and body weight gain in rats (10% for males and 9% for females, respectively) by activating melanocortin signaling and inhibiting gastric emptying. The major milkweed pregnane glycoside, ikemagenin, exerted its appetite-regulating effect by decreasing levels of agouti-related protein (0.6-fold) but not NPY satiety peptides. Ikemagenin treatment also increased secretion of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) downstream of melanocortin receptors in the hypothalamus (1.4-fold) and in the C6 rat glioma cell culture in vitro (up to 6-fold). These results support the multimodal effects of pregnane glycosides on feeding regulation, which depends on the activity of the melanocortin signaling pathway and BDNF. PMID:23308358

  19. Lack of Apoptosis of Infiltrating Cells as the Mechanism of High Susceptibility to EAE in DA Rats

    PubMed Central

    Mensah-Brown, Eric; Galadari, Sehamuddin; Shahin, Allen

    2001-01-01

    Dark Agouti (DA) rats are highly susceptible to induction of Th-l-mediated autoimmunity disease, including experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). In contrast to other susceptible rat strains in which disease is induced only with encephalitogen emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvants (CFA), in DA rats EAE develops after injection of encephalitogen in incomplete Freund's adjuvants (IFA) or Titermax, putative Th-2 directed adjuvant. Lymph node cells derived from immunized DA rats and stimulated in vitro produce significantly more Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) than resistant Albino Oxford (AO) rats. However, cells derived from both strains produce large amounts of IL-10 but not IL-4. Immunized lymph node cells derived from EAE susceptible (AO × DA) F1rats induce clinical signs of disease in sublethally irradiated parental DA but not AO rats. The pathohistology of the target tissue in these recipients clearly demonstrated infiltration of mononuclear cells in both parental strains. However, the number of CD4+ cells was significantly higher and number of apoptotic cells significantly lower in DA rats sacrificed 8 days after passive transfer. We postulate that in addition to higher IFN-γ and TNF-α production, resistance to early apoptosis of the invading cells in the target tissue possibly due to lack of downregulation by TGF-β leads to exceptional susceptibility to EAE in DA rats. PMID:11785669

  20. Regulation of eumelanin / pheomelanin synthesis and visible pigmentation in melanocytes by ligands of the melanocortin 1 receptor

    PubMed Central

    Le Pape, Elodie; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wolber, Rainer; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2008-01-01

    The production of melanin in the hair and skin is tightly regulated by the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) whose activation is controlled by 2 secreted ligands, α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH) and agouti signal protein (ASP). Since melanin is extremely stable, lasting years in biological tissues, the mechanism underlying the relatively rapid decrease in visible pigmentation elicited by ASP is of obvious interest. In this study, the effects of ASP and αMSH on the regulation of melanin synthesis and on visible pigmentation were assessed in normal murine melanocytes and were compared with the quick depigmenting effect of the tyrosinase inhibitor, phenylthiourea (PTU). αMSH increased pheomelanin levels prior to increasing eumelanin content over 4 days of treatment. Conversely, ASP switched off the pigment synthesis pathway, reducing eu- and pheo- melanin synthesis within 1 day of treatment that was proportional to the decrease in tyrosinase protein level and activity. These results demonstrate that the visible depigmentation of melanocytes induced by ASP does not require the degradation of existing melanin but rather is due to the dilution of existing melanin by melanocyte turnover, which emphasizes the importance of pigment distribution to visible color. PMID:18627531

  1. Hypothalamic POMC Deficiency Improves Glucose Tolerance Despite Insulin Resistance by Increasing Glycosuria

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jessica M.; Fagel, Brian; Lam, Daniel D.; Qi, Nathan; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is essential for the physiological regulation of energy balance; however, its role in glucose homeostasis remains less clear. We show that hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (Arc)POMC-deficient mice, which develop severe obesity and insulin resistance, unexpectedly exhibit improved glucose tolerance and remain protected from hyperglycemia. To explain these paradoxical phenotypes, we hypothesized that an insulin-independent pathway is responsible for the enhanced glucose tolerance. Indeed, the mutant mice demonstrated increased glucose effectiveness and exaggerated glycosuria relative to wild-type littermate controls at comparable blood glucose concentrations. Central administration of the melanocortin receptor agonist melanotan II in mutant mice reversed alterations in glucose tolerance and glycosuria, whereas, conversely, administration of the antagonist Agouti-related peptide (Agrp) to wild-type mice enhanced glucose tolerance. The glycosuria of ArcPOMC-deficient mice was due to decreased levels of renal GLUT 2 (rGLUT2) but not sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 and was associated with reduced renal catecholamine content. Epinephrine treatment abolished the genotype differences in glucose tolerance and rGLUT2 levels, suggesting that reduced renal sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity is the underlying mechanism for the observed glycosuria and improved glucose tolerance in ArcPOMC-deficient mice. Therefore, the ArcPOMC-SNS-rGLUT2 axis is potentially an insulin-independent therapeutic target to control diabetes. PMID:26467632

  2. Direct modulation of GFAP-expressing glia in the arcuate nucleus bi-directionally regulates feeding

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Naiyan; Barak, Boaz; Sur, Mriganka

    2016-01-01

    Multiple hypothalamic neuronal populations that regulate energy balance have been identified. Although hypothalamic glia exist in abundance and form intimate structural connections with neurons, their roles in energy homeostasis are less known. Here we show that selective Ca2+ activation of glia in the mouse arcuate nucleus (ARC) reversibly induces increased food intake while disruption of Ca2+ signaling pathway in ARC glia reduces food intake. The specific activation of ARC glia enhances the activity of agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y (AgRP/NPY)-expressing neurons but induces no net response in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons. ARC glial activation non-specifically depolarizes both AgRP/NPY and POMC neurons but a strong inhibitory input to POMC neurons balances the excitation. When AgRP/NPY neurons are inactivated, ARC glial activation fails to evoke any significant changes in food intake. Collectively, these results reveal an important role of ARC glia in the regulation of energy homeostasis through its interaction with distinct neuronal subtype-specific pathways. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18716.001 PMID:27751234

  3. Plasticity of the Melanocortin System: Determinants and Possible Consequences on Food Intake.

    PubMed

    Nuzzaci, Danaé; Laderrière, Amélie; Lemoine, Aleth; Nédélec, Emmanuelle; Pénicaud, Luc; Rigault, Caroline; Benani, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    The melanocortin system is one of the most important neuronal pathways involved in the regulation of food intake and is probably the best characterized. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) expressing neurons located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus are the key elements of this system. These two neuronal populations are sensitive to circulating molecules and receive many excitatory and inhibitory inputs from various brain areas. According to sensory and metabolic information they integrate, these neurons control different aspects of feeding behavior and orchestrate autonomic responses aimed at maintaining energy homeostasis. Interestingly, composition and abundance of pre-synaptic inputs onto arcuate AgRP and POMC neurons vary in the adult hypothalamus in response to changes in the metabolic state, a phenomenon that can be recapitulated by treatment with hormones, such as leptin or ghrelin. As described in other neuroendrocrine systems, glia might be determinant to shift the synaptic configuration of AgRP and POMC neurons. Here, we discuss the physiological outcome of the synaptic plasticity of the melanocortin system, and more particularly its contribution to the control of energy balance. The discovery of this attribute has changed how we view obesity and related disorders, and opens new perspectives for their management.

  4. Plasticity of the Melanocortin System: Determinants and Possible Consequences on Food Intake

    PubMed Central

    Nuzzaci, Danaé; Laderrière, Amélie; Lemoine, Aleth; Nédélec, Emmanuelle; Pénicaud, Luc; Rigault, Caroline; Benani, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    The melanocortin system is one of the most important neuronal pathways involved in the regulation of food intake and is probably the best characterized. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) expressing neurons located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus are the key elements of this system. These two neuronal populations are sensitive to circulating molecules and receive many excitatory and inhibitory inputs from various brain areas. According to sensory and metabolic information they integrate, these neurons control different aspects of feeding behavior and orchestrate autonomic responses aimed at maintaining energy homeostasis. Interestingly, composition and abundance of pre-synaptic inputs onto arcuate AgRP and POMC neurons vary in the adult hypothalamus in response to changes in the metabolic state, a phenomenon that can be recapitulated by treatment with hormones, such as leptin or ghrelin. As described in other neuroendrocrine systems, glia might be determinant to shift the synaptic configuration of AgRP and POMC neurons. Here, we discuss the physiological outcome of the synaptic plasticity of the melanocortin system, and more particularly its contribution to the control of energy balance. The discovery of this attribute has changed how we view obesity and related disorders, and opens new perspectives for their management. PMID:26441833

  5. Mechanism of N-terminal modulation of activity at the melanocortin-4 receptor GPCR

    PubMed Central

    Ersoy, Baran A; Pardo, Leonardo; Zhang, Sumei; Thompson, Darren A; Millhauser, Glenn; Govaerts, Cedric; Vaisse, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Most of our understanding of G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) activation has been focused on the direct interaction between diffusible ligands and their seven-transmembrane domains. However, a number of these receptors depend on their extracellular N-terminal domain for ligand recognition and activation. To dissect the molecular interactions underlying both modes of activation at a single receptor, we used the unique properties of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R), a GPCR that shows constitutive activity maintained by its N-terminal domain and is physiologically activated by the peptide α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH). We find that activation by the N-terminal domain and αMSH relies on different key residues in the transmembrane region. We also demonstrate that agouti-related protein, a physiological antagonist of MC4R, acts as an inverse agonist by inhibiting N terminus–mediated activation, leading to the speculation that a number of constitutively active orphan GPCRs could have physiological inverse agonists as sole regulators. PMID:22729149

  6. Molecular mechanism of agonism and inverse agonism in the melanocortin receptors: Zn(2+) as a structural and functional probe.

    PubMed

    Holst, Birgitte; Schwartz, Thue W

    2003-06-01

    Among the rhodopsin-like 7TM receptors, the MC receptors are functionally unique because their high constitutive signaling activity is regulated not only by endogenous peptide agonists-MSH peptides-but also by endogenous inverse agonists, namely, the proteins agouti and AGRP. Moreover, the metal-ion Zn(2+) increases the signaling activity of at least the MC1 and MC4 receptors in three distinct ways: (1). by directly functioning as an agonist; (2). by potentiating the action of the endogenous agonist; and (3). by inhibiting the binding of the endogenous inverse agonist. Structurally the MC receptors are part of a small subset of 7TM receptors in which the main ligand-binding crevice, and especially extracellular loops 2 and 3, appear to be specially designed for easy ligand access and bias towards an active state of the receptor-i.e., constitutive activity. Thus, in the MC receptors extracellular loop 2 is ultrashort because TM-IV basically connects directly into TM-V, whereas extracellular loop 3 appears to be held in a particular, constrained conformation by a putative, internal disulfide bridge. The interaction mode for the small and well-defined zinc-ion between a third, free Cys residue in extracellular loop 3 and conceivably an Asp residue located at the inner face of TM-III gives important information concerning the activation mechanism for the MC receptors.

  7. Genetic polymorphism of the sixth component of complement (C6) in mice.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, J I; Nikaido, H; Koizumi, T

    1984-01-01

    Immunofixation after isoelectric focusing revealed two forms of mouse C6, C6A and C6M, both of which consist of two major protein bands and one or more acidic minor bands. They were distinguishable by their different isoelectric point (pI) ranges: C6M has more acidic pI ranges (pH less than 6.2) than C6A (pH less than 6.3). C6A was found in common inbred mice of Mus musculus domesticus, while C6M was found in inbred and wild mice of M. m. molossinus (Japanese wild mice, an Asian subspecies). Breeding experiments showed that these two forms of C6 were controlled by a single codominant autosomal locus. We propose the designation C-6 for this locus with two alleles, C-6a and C-6m, which encode for C6A and C6M, respectively. Linkage analysis indicated that the locus is not closely linked to the following loci: Idh-1, agouti, Amy-1, brown, Gpd-1, Mup-1, Pgm-2, Pgm-1, albino, Hbb, Es-1, Mod-1, Sep-1, Es-3, Igh-1, beige, Es-10, Sod-1, and C-3.

  8. Progressive Obesity Alters Ovarian Folliculogenesis with Impacts on Pro-Inflammatory and Steroidogenic Signaling in Female Mice1

    PubMed Central

    Nteeba, Jackson; Ganesan, Shanthi; Keating, Aileen F.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Diet-induced obesity induces immune cell infiltration and inflammation in peri-ovarian adipose tissue and mRNA expression of inflammatory markers in ovarian tissue. Whether these changes are associated with obesity-related ovarian dysfunction remains unknown. In the present study, qRT-PCR and Western blotting techniques were used to compare mRNA and protein abundance of ovarian immune cell and inflammation markers, along with NF-kappaB and steroidogenic pathway members in normal wild-type non-agouti (a/a; lean) and lethal yellow mice (KK.CG-Ay/J; obese) at 6, 12, 18, or 24 wk of age. Our data revealed that, beginning at 12 wk of age, NF-kappaB inflammatory signaling members were elevated (P < 0.05) in obese females. Interestingly obesity had opposing and temporal effects on the steroidogenic enzyme pathway. Obesity decreased (P < 0.05) STAR protein at 12, 18, and 24 wk of age. CYP11A1 and CYP19A1 proteins were increased (P < 0.05) at 12 wk but were decreased (P < 0.05) at 18 and 24 wk. Interestingly, CYP19A1 was increased in lethal yellow mouse ovaries at 6 wk of age, potentially indicating early puberty onset. These data demonstrate that obesity alters expression of ovarian inflammatory and steroidogenic pathway genes in ways which could adversely affect ovarian function. PMID:25143355

  9. Understanding how discrete populations of hypothalamic neurons orchestrate complicated behavioral states

    PubMed Central

    Graebner, Allison K.; Iyer, Manasi; Carter, Matthew E.

    2015-01-01

    A major question in systems neuroscience is how a single population of neurons can interact with the rest of the brain to orchestrate complex behavioral states. The hypothalamus contains many such discrete neuronal populations that individually regulate arousal, feeding, and drinking. For example, hypothalamic neurons that express hypocretin (Hcrt) neuropeptides can sense homeostatic and metabolic factors affecting wakefulness and orchestrate organismal arousal. Neurons that express agouti-related protein (AgRP) can sense the metabolic needs of the body and orchestrate a state of hunger. The organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) can detect the hypertonicity of blood and orchestrate a state of thirst. Each hypothalamic population is sufficient to generate complicated behavioral states through the combined efforts of distinct efferent projections. The principal challenge to understanding these brain systems is therefore to determine the individual roles of each downstream projection for each behavioral state. In recent years, the development and application of temporally precise, genetically encoded tools has greatly improved our understanding of the structure and function of these neural systems. This review will survey recent advances in our understanding of how these individual hypothalamic populations can orchestrate complicated behavioral states due to the combined efforts of individual downstream projections. PMID:26300745

  10. Non-invasive detection of a palifermin-mediated adaptive response following chemotherapy-induced damage to the distal small intestine of rats.

    PubMed

    Yazbeck, Roger; Howarth, Gordon S; Borges, Luis; Geier, Mark S; Smith, Cassie L; Davidson, Geoffrey P; Butler, Ross N

    2011-09-01

    Pre-clinical studies have indicated that palifermin may be an effective treatment modality for intestinal mucositis, a debilitating complication of cancer chemotherapy. We determined whether palifermin was protective in rats with experimentally induced intestinal mucositis and the applicability of the sucrose breath test (SBT) to monitor palifermin for its efficacy as an anti-mucositis agent. SBT values and sucrase activity were reduced in all 5-FU-treated groups compared with untreated controls (p < 0.05). At 72 h post 5-FU, sucrase activity was higher in rats treated with palifermin compared with 5-FU controls (p < 0.05). Jejunal and ileal villus heights were lower in all 5-FU groups compared with saline controls. Dark agouti rats (n = 10) were subcutaneously injected with palifermin or vehicle for 3 d after which they were injected with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and sacrificed after 72 h. The in vivo SBT and in vitro sucrase assay were used to evaluate small intestinal function and damage. Intestinal disease severity was determined by histological assessment of villus height and crypt depth. The SBT can monitor the ability of palifermin to modify the functional capacity of the small intestine in rats with intestinal mucositis. Further studies are indicated to investigate the prophylactic potential of palifermin against intestinal mucositis.

  11. Central and peripheral effects of chronic food restriction and weight restoration in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kinzig, Kimberly P; Hargrave, Sara L; Tao, Erin E

    2009-02-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that some endocrine consequences of long-term caloric restriction persist after weight restoration in human subjects. Here we evaluate effects of chronic food restriction in rats that were restricted to 70% of control kcal for 4 wk and subsequently weight restored. Measures were taken from rats at 80% (chronically restricted; CR), 90% (partially weight restored; PR), 100% (fully weight restored; FR), and after 4 wk at 100% body weight of controls (extended weight restored; ER). Plasma insulin and leptin were decreased, and ghrelin was increased in CR compared with controls. Leptin and ghrelin normalized with weight restoration at PR, FR, and ER; however, baseline insulin was not normalized until the ER state. Hypothalamic mRNA expression levels for proopiomelanocortin (POMC), agouti-related protein (AgRP), and neuropeptide Y (NPY) revealed significantly less POMC mRNA expression in CR and PR rats, and significantly less arcuate NPY mRNA in PR and FR. In the dorsomedial hypothalamus, CR, PR, and FR rats had significantly increased NPY expression that was not normalized until the ER state. In response to a test meal, insulin and ghrelin release patterns were altered through the FR stage, and ghrelin remained affected at ER. Collectively, these data demonstrate that mere weight restoration is not sufficient to normalize hypothalamic gene expression levels and endocrine responses to a meal, and that meal-related ghrelin responses persist despite weight restoration for up to 4 wk.

  12. Ribosomal S6K1 in POMC and AgRP Neurons Regulates Glucose Homeostasis but Not Feeding Behavior in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Mark A.; Katsouri, Loukia; Irvine, Elaine E.; Hankir, Mohammed K.; Pedroni, Silvia M.A.; Voshol, Peter J.; Gordon, Matthew W.; Choudhury, Agharul I.; Woods, Angela; Vidal-Puig, Antonio; Carling, David; Withers, Dominic J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Hypothalamic ribosomal S6K1 has been suggested as a point of convergence for hormonal and nutrient signals in the regulation of feeding behavior, bodyweight, and glucose metabolism. However, the long-term effects of manipulating hypothalamic S6K1 signaling on energy homeostasis and the cellular mechanisms underlying these roles are unclear. We therefore inactivated S6K1 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons, key regulators of energy homeostasis, but in contrast to the current view, we found no evidence that S6K1 regulates food intake and bodyweight. In contrast, S6K1 signaling in POMC neurons regulated hepatic glucose production and peripheral lipid metabolism and modulated neuronal excitability. S6K1 signaling in AgRP neurons regulated skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and was required for glucose sensing by these neurons. Our findings suggest that S6K1 signaling is not a general integrator of energy homeostasis in the mediobasal hypothalamus but has distinct roles in the regulation of glucose homeostasis by POMC and AgRP neurons. PMID:25865886

  13. Juvenile-onset loss of lipid-raft domains in attractin-deficient mice

    SciTech Connect

    Azouz, Abdallah; Gunn, Teresa M.; Duke-Cohan, Jonathan S. . E-mail: Jonathan_Duke-Cohan@dfci.harvard.edu

    2007-02-15

    Mutations at the attractin (Atrn) locus in mice result in altered pigmentation on an agouti background, higher basal metabolic rate and juvenile-onset hypomyelination leading to neurodegeneration, while studies on human immune cells indicate a chemotaxis regulatory function. The underlying biochemical defect remains elusive. In this report we identify a role for attractin in plasma membrane maintenance. In attractin's absence there is a decline in plasma membrane glycolipid-enriched rafts from normal levels at 8 weeks to a complete absence by 24 weeks. The structural integrity of lipid rafts depends upon cholesterol and sphingomyelin, and can be identified by partitioning within of ganglioside GM{sub 1}. Despite a significant fall in cellular cholesterol with maturity, and a lesser fall in both membrane and total cellular GM{sub 1}, these parameters lag behind raft loss, and are normal when hypomyelination/neurodegeneration has already begun thus supporting consequence rather than cause. These findings can be recapitulated in Atrn-deficient cell lines propagated in vitro. Further, signal transduction through complex membrane receptor assemblies is not grossly disturbed despite the complete absence of lipid rafts. We find these results compatible with a role for attractin in plasma membrane maintenance and consistent with the proposal that the juvenile-onset hypomyelination and neurodegeneration represent a defect in attractin-mediated raft-dependent myelin biogenesis.

  14. Gene expression profiling of melanocortin system in neuropathic rats supports a role in nociception.

    PubMed

    Beltramo, Massimiliano; Campanella, Marilena; Tarozzo, Glauco; Fredduzzi, Silva; Corradini, Laura; Forlani, Angelo; Bertorelli, Rosalia; Reggiani, Angelo

    2003-10-21

    The melanocortin (MC) system is involved in several biological functions. Its possible role in nociception has recently attracted attention in the field. Published data suggest that melanocortin antagonists are analgesic and agonists are hyperalgesic. Gene expression information about the MC system components (receptor, agonist and antagonist) in pain relevant areas is at present limited. To deepen our knowledge, we studied the expression of MC system components in nai;ve, sham and neuropathic rat spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) by PCR and quantitative real-time PCR. MC4 receptor, proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) transcripts were detected in both spinal cord and DRG, whereas MC3 receptor was detected only in the spinal cord. To study the relationship between the MC system and chronic pain, we used the chronic constriction injury model and gene expression analysis was performed in rats showing both tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. MC4 and POMC transcript were upregulated in the spinal cord of neuropathic rats, whereas MC3 and AgRP expression were unaffected. Thus, this study demonstrates for the first time the presence of AgRP in the spinal cord and DRG, suggesting that it could play a role in the regulation of MC system activity. In addition, the upregulation of POMC and MC4, in parallel with the presence of tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, further supports the idea of MC system involvement in nociception.

  15. Port-site metastases after CO(2) laparoscopy. Is aerosolization of tumor cells a pivotal factor?

    PubMed

    Wittich, P; Marquet, R L; Kazemier, G; Bonjer, H J

    2000-02-01

    Animal experiments have shown that carbon dioxide (CO(2)) laparoscopy results in more port-site recurrences than gasless laparoscopy. Possible transport of aerosolized tumor cells by CO(2) was investigated in rats. Abdominal cavities of 15 pairs of Wistar Agouti (WAG) rats were connected and 2 x 10(6) or 16 x 10(6) CC 531 cells were injected in the first (donor) rat of each pair. Then 10 l of CO(2) were allowed to flow from the first (donor) to the second (recipient) rat. No tumor was found in the recipients after injection of 2 x 10(6) cells in the donors. Injection of 16 x 10(6) cells in the donors resulted in very limited tumor growth in the recipients. Aerosolization of tumor cells occurs, but the number of intraperitoneal tumor cells required for metastases to occur by this mechanism is extremely high. Therefore, aerosolization of tumor cells appears not to be of major relevance in the pathogenesis of port-site metastases.

  16. Generation of transgenic rats through induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ming-Gui; Li, Tianda; Feng, Chunjing; Fu, Rui; Yuan, Yan; Zhou, Quan; Li, Xin; Wan, Haifeng; Wang, Liu; Li, Wei; Xiao, Yamei; Zhao, Xiao-Yang; Zhou, Qi

    2013-09-20

    The rat is an important animal model for human disease research. Using inhibitors of glycogen synthase kinase 3 and MAPK signaling pathways, rat embryonic stem cells and rat induced pluripotent stem cells (riPSCs) have been derived. However, unlike rat embryonic stem cells, germ line competent riPSCs have only been derived from Wistar rats at low efficiency. Here, we found that an optimized induction medium containing knock-out serum replacement and vitamin C improved the rate and efficiency of riPSCs generation from Dark Agouti rat fibroblasts and Sertoli cells. riPSCs maintained an undifferentiated status for >30 passages and could differentiate into various cells types including germ cells when injected into rat blastocysts. Moreover, transgenic riPSCs could be generated through the PiggyBac transposon, which could be used to generate transgenic rats through germ line transmission. riPSCs can be used as a novel tool in genetic and genomic studies of the rat.

  17. Neuroendorine and Epigentic Mechanisms Subserving Autonomic Imbalance and HPA Dysfunction in the Metabolic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lemche, Erwin; Chaban, Oleg S; Lemche, Alexandra V

    2016-01-01

    Impact of environmental stress upon pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been substantiated by epidemiological, psychophysiological, and endocrinological studies. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of causative roles of nutritional factors, sympathomedullo-adrenal (SMA) and hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axes, and adipose tissue chronic low-grade inflammation processes in MetS. Disturbances in the neuroendocrine systems for leptin, melanocortin, and neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related protein systems have been found resulting directly in MetS-like conditions. The review identifies candidate risk genes from factors shown critical for the functioning of each of these neuroendocrine signaling cascades. In its meta-analytic part, recent studies in epigenetic modification (histone methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination) and posttranscriptional gene regulation by microRNAs are evaluated. Several studies suggest modification mechanisms of early life stress (ELS) and diet-induced obesity (DIO) programming in the hypothalamic regions with populations of POMC-expressing neurons. Epigenetic modifications were found in cortisol (here HSD11B1 expression), melanocortin, leptin, NPY, and adiponectin genes. With respect to adiposity genes, epigenetic modifications were documented for fat mass gene cluster APOA1/C3/A4/A5, and the lipolysis gene LIPE. With regard to inflammatory, immune and subcellular metabolism, PPARG, NKBF1, TNFA, TCF7C2, and those genes expressing cytochrome P450 family enzymes involved in steroidogenesis and in hepatic lipoproteins were documented for epigenetic modifications.

  18. The arcuate nucleus mediates GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide-dependent weight loss.

    PubMed

    Secher, Anna; Jelsing, Jacob; Baquero, Arian F; Hecksher-Sørensen, Jacob; Cowley, Michael A; Dalbøge, Louise S; Hansen, Gitte; Grove, Kevin L; Pyke, Charles; Raun, Kirsten; Schäffer, Lauge; Tang-Christensen, Mads; Verma, Saurabh; Witgen, Brent M; Vrang, Niels; Bjerre Knudsen, Lotte

    2014-10-01

    Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog marketed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Besides lowering blood glucose, liraglutide also reduces body weight. It is not fully understood how liraglutide induces weight loss or to what degree liraglutide acts directly in the brain. Here, we determined that liraglutide does not activate GLP-1-producing neurons in the hindbrain, and liraglutide-dependent body weight reduction in rats was independent of GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1Rs) in the vagus nerve, area postrema, and paraventricular nucleus. Peripheral injection of fluorescently labeled liraglutide in mice revealed the presence of the drug in the circumventricular organs. Moreover, labeled liraglutide bound neurons within the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and other discrete sites in the hypothalamus. GLP-1R was necessary for liraglutide uptake in the brain, as liraglutide binding was not seen in Glp1r(-/-) mice. In the ARC, liraglutide was internalized in neurons expressing proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). Electrophysiological measurements of murine brain slices revealed that GLP-1 directly stimulates POMC/CART neurons and indirectly inhibits neurotransmission in neurons expressing neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) via GABA-dependent signaling. Collectively, our findings indicate that the GLP-1R on POMC/CART-expressing ARC neurons likely mediates liraglutide-induced weight loss.

  19. Melanin pigmentation in mammalian skin and its hormonal regulation.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej; Tobin, Desmond J; Shibahara, Shigeki; Wortsman, Jacobo

    2004-10-01

    Cutaneous melanin pigment plays a critical role in camouflage, mimicry, social communication, and protection against harmful effects of solar radiation. Melanogenesis is under complex regulatory control by multiple agents interacting via pathways activated by receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms, in hormonal, auto-, para-, or intracrine fashion. Because of the multidirectional nature and heterogeneous character of the melanogenesis modifying agents, its controlling factors are not organized into simple linear sequences, but they interphase instead in a multidimensional network, with extensive functional overlapping with connections arranged both in series and in parallel. The most important positive regulator of melanogenesis is the MC1 receptor with its ligands melanocortins and ACTH, whereas among the negative regulators agouti protein stands out, determining intensity of melanogenesis and also the type of melanin synthesized. Within the context of the skin as a stress organ, melanogenic activity serves as a unique molecular sensor and transducer of noxious signals and as regulator of local homeostasis. In keeping with these multiple roles, melanogenesis is controlled by a highly structured system, active since early embryogenesis and capable of superselective functional regulation that may reach down to the cellular level represented by single melanocytes. Indeed, the significance of melanogenesis extends beyond the mere assignment of a color trait.

  20. Chronic central serotonin depletion attenuates ventilation and body temperature in young but not adult Tph2 knockout rats.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Kara; Echert, Ashley E; Massat, Ben; Puissant, Madeleine M; Palygin, Oleg; Geurts, Aron M; Hodges, Matthew R

    2016-05-01

    Genetic deletion of brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in mice leads to ventilatory deficits and increased neonatal mortality during development. However, it is unclear if the loss of the 5-HT neurons or the loss of the neurochemical 5-HT led to the observed physiologic deficits. Herein, we generated a mutant rat model with constitutive central nervous system (CNS) 5-HT depletion by mutation of the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) gene in dark agouti (DA(Tph2-/-)) rats. DA(Tph2-/-) rats lacked TPH immunoreactivity and brain 5-HT but retain dopa decarboxylase-expressing raphe neurons. Mutant rats were also smaller, had relatively high mortality (∼50%), and compared with controls had reduced room air ventilation and body temperatures at specific postnatal ages. In adult rats, breathing at rest and hypoxic and hypercapnic chemoreflexes were unaltered in adult male and female DA(Tph2-/-) rats. Body temperature was also maintained in adult DA(Tph2-/-) rats exposed to 4°C, indicating unaltered ventilatory and/or thermoregulatory control mechanisms. Finally, DA(Tph2-/-) rats treated with the 5-HT precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) partially restored CNS 5-HT and showed increased ventilation (P < 0.05) at a developmental age when it was otherwise attenuated in the mutants. We conclude that constitutive CNS production of 5-HT is critically important to fundamental homeostatic control systems for breathing and temperature during postnatal development in the rat. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Increased hypothalamic 5-HT2A receptor gene expression and effects of pharmacologic 5-HT2A receptor inactivation in obese A{sup y} mice

    SciTech Connect

    Nonogaki, Katsunori . E-mail: knonogaki-tky@umin.ac.jp; Nozue, Kana; Oka, Yoshitomo

    2006-12-29

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) 2A receptors contribute to the effects of 5-HT on platelet aggregation and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, and are reportedly involved in decreases in plasma levels of adiponectin, an adipokine, in diabetic subjects. Here, we report that systemic administration of sarpogrelate, a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, suppressed appetite and increased hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, corticotropin releasing hormone, 5-HT2C, and 5-HT1B receptor gene expression. A{sup y} mice, which have ectopic expression of the agouti protein, significantly increased hypothalamic 5-HT2A receptor gene expression in association with obesity compared with wild-type mice matched for age. Systemic administration of sarpogrelate suppressed overfeeding, body weight gain, and hyperglycemia in obese A{sup y} mice, whereas it did not increase plasma adiponectin levels. These results suggest that obesity increases hypothalamic 5-HT2A receptor gene expression, and pharmacologic inactivation of 5-HT2A receptors inhibits overfeeding and obesity in A{sup y} mice, but did not increase plasma adiponectin levels.

  2. Anorexia and impaired glucose metabolism in mice with hypothalamic ablation of Glut4 neurons.

    PubMed

    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y; McGraw, Timothy E; Accili, Domenico

    2015-02-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 neurons and investigate the resulting phenotypes. After Glut4 neuron ablation, mice demonstrate altered hormone and nutrient signaling in the CNS. Accordingly, they exhibit negative energy balance phenotype characterized by reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, without locomotor deficits or gross neuronal abnormalities. Glut4 neuron ablation affects orexigenic melanin-concentrating hormone neurons but has limited effect on neuropeptide Y/agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin neurons. The food intake phenotype can be partially normalized by GABA administration, suggesting that it arises from defective GABAergic transmission. Glut4 neuron-ablated mice show peripheral metabolic defects, including fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, decreased insulin levels, and elevated hepatic gluconeogenic genes. We conclude that Glut4 neurons integrate hormonal and nutritional cues and mediate CNS actions of insulin on energy balance and peripheral metabolism.

  3. The anti-inflammatory effect of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in rats is dependent on dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DP4) activity and age.

    PubMed

    Dimitrijević, Mirjana; Stanojević, Stanislava; Mitić, Katarina; Kustrimović, Natasa; Vujić, Vesna; Miletić, Tatjana; Kovacević-Jovanović, Vesna

    2008-12-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-induced modulation of the immune and inflammatory responses is regulated by tissue-specific expression of different receptor subtypes (Y1-Y6) and the activity of the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DP4, CD26) which terminates the action of NPY on Y1 receptor subtype. The present study investigated the age-dependent effect of NPY on inflammatory paw edema and macrophage nitric oxide production in Dark Agouti rats exhibiting a high-plasma DP4 activity, as acknowledged earlier. The results showed that NPY suppressed paw edema in adult and aged, but not in young rats. Furthermore, plasma DP4 activity decreased, while macrophage DP4 activity, as well as macrophage CD26 expression increased with aging. The use of NPY-related peptides and Y receptor-specific antagonists revealed that anti-inflammatory effect of NPY is mediated via Y1 and Y5 receptors. NPY-induced suppression of paw edema in young rats following inhibition of DP4 additionally emphasized the role for Y1 receptor in the anti-inflammatory action of NPY. In contrast to the in vivo situation, NPY stimulated macrophage nitric oxide production in vitro only in young rats, and this effect was mediated via Y1 and Y2 receptors. It can be concluded that age-dependant modulation of inflammatory reactions by NPY is determined by plasma, but not macrophage DP4 activity at different ages.

  4. Ex vivo intracoronary gene transfer of adeno-associated virus 2 leads to superior transduction over serotypes 8 and 9 in rat heart transplants.

    PubMed

    Raissadati, Alireza; Jokinen, Janne J; Syrjälä, Simo O; Keränen, Mikko A I; Krebs, Rainer; Tuuminen, Raimo; Arnaudova, Ralica; Rouvinen, Eeva; Anisimov, Andrey; Soronen, Jarkko; Pajusola, Katri; Alitalo, Kari; Nykänen, Antti I; Lemström, Karl

    2013-11-01

    Heart transplant gene therapy requires vectors with long-lasting gene expression, high cardiotropism, and minimal pathological effects. Here, we examined transduction properties of ex vivo intracoronary delivery of adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 2, 8, and 9 in rat syngenic and allogenic heart transplants. Adult Dark Agouti (DA) rat hearts were intracoronarily perfused ex vivo with AAV2, AAV8, or AAV9 encoding firefly luciferase and transplanted heterotopically into the abdomen of syngenic DA or allogenic Wistar-Furth (WF) recipients. Serial in vivo bioluminescent imaging of syngraft and allograft recipients was performed for 6 months and 4 weeks, respectively. Grafts were removed for PCR-, RT-PCR, and luminometer analysis. In vivo bioluminescent imaging of recipients showed that AAV9 induced a prominent and stable luciferase activity in the abdomen, when compared with AAV2 and AAV8. However, ex vivo analyses revealed that intracoronary perfusion with AAV2 resulted in the highest heart transplant transduction levels in syngrafts and allografts. Ex vivo intracoronary delivery of AAV2 resulted in efficient transgene expression in heart transplants, whereas intracoronary AAV9 escapes into adjacent tissues. In terms of cardiac transduction, these results suggest AAV2 as a potential vector for gene therapy in preclinical heart transplants studies, and highlight the importance of delivery route in gene transfer studies.

  5. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in wild-derived mice: generation of tamed wild-derived strains by mutation of the a (nonagouti) gene

    PubMed Central

    Hirose, Michiko; Hasegawa, Ayumi; Mochida, Keiji; Matoba, Shogo; Hatanaka, Yuki; Inoue, Kimiko; Goto, Tatsuhiko; Kaneda, Hideki; Yamada, Ikuko; Furuse, Tamio; Abe, Kuniya; Uenoyama, Yoshihisa; Tsukamura, Hiroko; Wakana, Shigeharu; Honda, Arata; Ogura, Atsuo

    2017-01-01

    Wild-derived mice have contributed to experimental mouse genetics by virtue of their genetic diversity, which may help increase the chance of identifying novel modifier genes responsible for specific phenotypes and diseases. However, gene targeting using wild-derived mice has been unsuccessful because of the unavailability of stable embryonic stem cells. Here, we report that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene targeting can be applied to the Japanese wild-derived MSM/Ms strain (Mus musculus molossinus). We targeted the nonagouti (a) gene encoding the agouti protein that is localized in hair and the brain. We obtained three homozygous knockout mice as founders, all showing black coat colour. While homozygous knockout offspring were physiologically indistinguishable from wild-type litter-mates, they showed specific domesticated behaviours: hypoactivity in the dark phase and a decline in the avoidance of a human hand. These phenotypes were consistent over subsequent generations. Our findings support the empirical hypothesis that nonagouti is a domestication-linked gene, the loss of which might repress aggressive behaviour. PMID:28195201

  6. Overexpression of neuropeptide Y in the dorsomedial hypothalamus causes hyperphagia and obesity in rats.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Fenping; Kim, Yonwook J; Chao, Pei-Ting; Bi, Sheng

    2013-06-01

    We sought to determine a role for NPY overexpression in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) in obesity etiology using the rat model of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated expression of NPY (AAVNPY) in the DMH. Rats received bilateral DMH injections of AAVNPY or control vector and were fed on regular chow. Five-week postviral injection, half the rats from each group were switched to access to a high-fat diet for another 11 weeks. We examined variables including body weight, food intake, energy efficiency, meal patterns, glucose tolerance, fat mass, plasma insulin, plasma leptin, and hypothalamic gene expression. Rats with DMH NPY overexpression had increased food intake and body weight and lowered metabolic efficiency. The hyperphagia was mediated through increased meal size during the dark. Although these rats had normal blood glucose, their plasma insulin levels were increased in both basal and glucose challenge conditions. While high-fat diet induced hyperphagia, obesity, and hyperinsulinemia, these effects were amplified in rats with DMH NPY overexpression. Arcuate Npy, agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin expression was appropriately regulated in response to positive energy balance. These results indicate that DMH NPY overexpression can cause hyperphagia and obesity and DMH NPY may have actions in glucose homeostasis.

  7. Postprandial effects on appetite-related neuropeptide expression in the brain of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar.

    PubMed

    Valen, R; Jordal, A-E O; Murashita, K; Rønnestad, I

    2011-05-01

    Following feeding of a single meal to Atlantic salmon, the temporal changes in the brain mRNA expression of neuropeptide y (npy), cocaine-amphetamine regulated transcript (cart), peptide yy (pyy), two isoforms of agouti-related protein (agrp), two isoforms of cholecystokinin (cck), and four isoforms of proopiomelanocortin (pomc) were assessed by q-PCR. In the course of 24h post-feeding (hpf), several of the brain neuropeptides displayed changes in mRNA expression compared to an unfed control group, indicating that food intake and processing affect the regulation of expression of these genes in Atlantic salmon. Expression of cart, cck-l, pomc-a1 and pomc-b all increased within 3h of feeding, while most of the feed was still in the stomach, suggesting that these neuropeptides play central anorexigenic roles similar to those described in higher vertebrates, including determining meal intervals. On the other hand, the npy and agrp isoforms which have been described as playing orexigenic roles in mammals, showed an opposite response in salmon and both were elevated in the first 3h after feeding. The different isoforms of cck, agrp and pomc had different mRNA expression patterns, which indicate specific roles related to feeding regulation. The minimal effect of feeding and digestion on pyy expression in the brain indicates that PYY plays a minor role in the central control of short-term food intake in Atlantic salmon. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Effect of nociceptin/orphanin FQ on feeding behavior and hypothalamic neuropeptide expression in layer-type chicks.

    PubMed

    Bungo, Takashi; Shiraishi, Jun-ichi; Yanagita, Kouichi; Ohta, Yoshiyuki; Fujita, Masanori

    2009-09-01

    Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) was identified in 1995 as the endogenous ligand for the orphan G(i)/G(o)-coupled opioid receptor-like 1 receptor (NOP(1)). Exogenous N/OFQ increases food intake in mammals, but its effect and mode of action in chicks are not fully known. We report herein that N/OFQ (5.0 nmol) has a stimulatory effect on food intake in layer-type chicks over a 2-h period after intracerebroventricular (icv) injection. Thirty minutes after central injection of N/OFQ (5.0 nmol) the concentration of agouti-related protein (AGRP) mRNA in the diencephalon increased, while cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA decreased. However, concentrations of neuropeptide Y, proopiomelanocortin and glutamate decarboxylase mRNAs, and of catecholamines and excitatory amino acids were not affected. Simultaneous administration of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH: 1.0 pmol), a competitor of AGRP, completely blocked the orexigenic effect of N/OFQ (5.0 nmol). These data suggest that N/OFQ functions in layer chicks as an orexigenic peptide in the central nervous system, and that the AGRP and the CART neurons may mediate this function, as in mammals.

  9. Immune response to gut Escherichia coli and susceptibility to adjuvant arthritis in the rats.

    PubMed

    Kovačević-Jovanović, Vesna; Miletić, Tatjana; Stanojević, Stanislava; Mitić, Katarina; Dimitrijević, Mirjana

    2015-03-01

    We have investigated the humoral immune response to antigens of predominant gut aerobic bacterial strains (i.e. Escherichia coli) over the course of adjuvant arthritis and oil-induced arthritis in two inbred rat strains: Dark Agouti (DA) and Albino Oxford (AO). We report the presence of antibodies specific to proteins of E. coli in molecular weight range between 20-30 kDa in sera of diseased DA rats, and the absence of these antibodies in the sera of AO rats. In DA rats, CFA and IFA provoked a stronger antibody response to E. coli, especially of the IgG2b antibody class. Intramuscular administration of E. coli preceding the adjuvant arthritis induction had no effect on the development and course of disease, as well as on the activation of T cells in the draining inguinal lymph nodes. Higher serum levels of natural and induced IgA antibodies, combined with a higher CD3+CD26+ cell percentage were found in AO rats. The observed correlation between the serologic response to commensal flora and rats' genetic background as a defining factor for arthritis susceptibility may contribute to the process of creating a favorable (or less favorable) milieu for arthritis development.

  10. Inputs to the ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jung-Won; Geerling, Joel C.; Loewy, Arthur D.

    2009-01-01

    The ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTvl) receives direct input from two specific subpopulations of neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). It is heavily innervated by aldosterone-sensitive NTS neurons, which are selectively activated by sodium depletion, and by the A2 noradrenergic neurons, which are activated by visceral, immune- and stress-related stimuli. Here, we used a retrograde neuronal tracer to identify other brain sites that innervate the BSTvl. Five general brain regions contained retrogradely labeled neurons: cerebral cortex (infralimbic and insular regions), rostral forebrain structures (subfornical organ, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, taenia tecta, nucleus accumbens, lateral septum, endopiriform nucleus, dorsal BST, substantia innominata, and most prominently the amygdala – primarily its basomedial and central subnuclei), thalamus (central medial, intermediodorsal, reuniens, and most prominently the paraventricular thalamic nucleus), hypothalamus (medial preoptic area, perifornical, arcuate, dorsomedial, parasubthalamic, and posterior hypothalamic nuclei), and brainstem (periaqueductal gray matter, dorsal and central superior raphe nuclei, parabrachial nucleus, pre-locus coeruleus region, NTS, and A1 noradrenergic neurons in the caudal ventrolateral medulla). In the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus, some retrogradely-labeled neurons contained either agouti-related peptide or cocaine-amphetamine regulated transcript. Of the numerous retrogradely labeled neurons in the perifornical hypothalamic area, few contained melanin concentrating hormone or orexin. In the brainstem, many retrogradely labeled neurons were either serotoninergic or catecholaminergic. In summary, the BSTvl receives inputs from a variety of brain sites implicated in hunger, salt and water intake, stress, arousal, and reward. PMID:18853414

  11. Hypothalamic ceramide levels regulated by CPT1C mediate the orexigenic effect of ghrelin.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Sara; Martins, Luís; Jacas, Jordi; Carrasco, Patricia; Pozo, Macarena; Clotet, Josep; Serra, Dolors; Hegardt, Fausto G; Diéguez, Carlos; López, Miguel; Casals, Núria

    2013-07-01

    Recent data suggest that ghrelin exerts its orexigenic action through regulation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase pathway, leading to a decline in malonyl-CoA levels and desinhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), which increases mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and ultimately enhances the expression of the orexigenic neuropeptides agouti-related protein (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY). However, it is unclear whether the brain-specific isoform CPT1C, which is located in the endoplasmic reticulum of neurons, may play a role in this action. Here, we demonstrate that the orexigenic action of ghrelin is totally blunted in CPT1C knockout (KO) mice, despite having the canonical ghrelin signaling pathway activated. We also demonstrate that ghrelin elicits a marked upregulation of hypothalamic C18:0 ceramide levels mediated by CPT1C. Notably, central inhibition of ceramide synthesis with myriocin negated the orexigenic action of ghrelin and normalized the levels of AgRP and NPY, as well as their key transcription factors phosphorylated cAMP-response element-binding protein and forkhead box O1. Finally, central treatment with ceramide induced food intake and orexigenic neuropeptides expression in CPT1C KO mice. Overall, these data indicate that, in addition to formerly reported mechanisms, ghrelin also induces food intake through regulation of hypothalamic CPT1C and ceramide metabolism, a finding of potential importance for the understanding and treatment of obesity.

  12. The challenges and importance of structural variation detection in livestock

    PubMed Central

    Bickhart, Derek M.; Liu, George E.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in humans and other model organisms have demonstrated that structural variants (SVs) comprise a substantial proportion of variation among individuals of each species. Many of these variants have been linked to debilitating diseases in humans, thereby cementing the importance of refining methods for their detection. Despite progress in the field, reliable detection of SVs still remains a problem even for human subjects. Many of the underlying problems that make SVs difficult to detect in humans are amplified in livestock species, whose lower quality genome assemblies and incomplete gene annotation can often give rise to false positive SV discoveries. Regardless of the challenges, SV detection is just as important for livestock researchers as it is for human researchers, given that several productive traits and diseases have been linked to copy number variations (CNVs) in cattle, sheep, and pig. Already, there is evidence that many beneficial SVs have been artificially selected in livestock such as a duplication of the agouti signaling protein gene that causes white coat color in sheep. In this review, we will list current SV and CNV discoveries in livestock and discuss the problems that hinder routine discovery and tracking of these polymorphisms. We will also discuss the impacts of selective breeding on CNV and SV frequencies and mention how SV genotyping could be used in the future to improve genetic selection. PMID:24600474

  13. Modification of an existing chromosomal inversion to engineer a balancer for mouse chromosome 15.

    PubMed Central

    Chick, Wallace S H; Mentzer, Sarah E; Carpenter, Donald A; Rinchik, Eugene M; You, Yun

    2004-01-01

    Chromosomal inversions are valuable genetic tools for mutagenesis screens, where appropriately marked inversions can be used as balancer chromosomes to recover and maintain mutations in the corresponding chromosomal region. For any inversion to be effective as a balancer, it should exhibit both dominant and recessive visible traits; ideally the recessive trait should be a fully penetrant lethality in which inversion homozygotes die before birth. Unfortunately, most inversions recovered by classical radiation or chemical mutagenesis techniques do not have an overt phenotype in either the heterozygous or the homozygous state. However, they can be modified by relatively simple procedures to make them suitable as an appropriately marked balancer. We have used homologous recombination to modify, in embryonic stem cells, the recessive-lethal In(15)21Rk inversion to endow it with a dominant-visible phenotype. Several ES cell lines were derived from inversion heterozygotes, and a keratin-14 (K14) promoter-driven agouti minigene was introduced onto the inverted chromosome 15 in the ES cells by gene targeting. Mice derived from the targeted ES cells carry the inverted chromosome 15 and, at the same time, exhibit lighter coat color on their ears and tails, making this modified In(15)21Rk useful as a balancer for proximal mouse chromosome 15. PMID:15238537

  14. UCP2 mediates ghrelin's action on NPY/AgRP neurons by lowering free radicals

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Zane B.; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Walllingford, Nicholas; Erion, Derek M.; Borok, Erzsebet; Friedman, Jeffery M.; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Shanabrough, Marya; Cline, Gary; Shulman, Gerald I.; Coppola, Anna; Gao, Xiao-Bing; Horvath, Tamas L.; Diano, Sabrina

    2014-01-01

    The gut-derived hormone ghrelin exerts its effect on the brain by regulating neuronal activity. Ghrelin-induced feeding behaviour is controlled by arcuate nucleus neurons that co-express neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (NPY/AgRP neurons). However, the intracellular mechanisms triggered by ghrelin to alter NPY/AgRP neuronal activity are poorly understood. Here we show that ghrelin initiates robust changes in hypothalamic mitochondrial respiration in mice that are dependent on uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2). Activation of this mitochondrial mechanism is critical for ghrelin-induced mitochondrial proliferation and electric activation of NPY/AgRP neurons, for ghrelin-triggered synaptic plasticity of pro-opiomelanocortin-expressing neurons, and for ghrelin-induced food intake. The UCP2-dependent action of ghrelin on NPY/AgRP neurons is driven by a hypothalamic fatty acid oxidation pathway involving AMPK, CPT1 and free radicals that are scavenged by UCP2. These results reveal a signalling modality connecting mitochondria-mediated effects of G-protein-coupled receptors on neuronal function and associated behaviour. PMID:18668043

  15. A Central Role for C1q/TNF-Related Protein 13 (CTRP13) in Modulating Food Intake and Body Weight

    PubMed Central

    Byerly, Mardi S.; Swanson, Roy; Wei, Zhikui; Seldin, Marcus M.; McCulloh, Patrick S.; Wong, G. William

    2013-01-01

    C1q/TNF-related protein 13 (CTRP13), a hormone secreted by adipose tissue (adipokines), helps regulate glucose metabolism in peripheral tissues. We previously reported that CTRP13 expression is increased in obese and hyperphagic leptin-deficient mice, suggesting that it may modulate food intake and body weight. CTRP13 is also expressed in the brain, although its role in modulating whole-body energy balance remains unknown. Here, we show that CTRP13 is a novel anorexigenic factor in the mouse brain. Quantitative PCR demonstrated that food restriction downregulates Ctrp13 expression in mouse hypothalamus, while high-fat feeding upregulates expression. Central administration of recombinant CTRP13 suppressed food intake and reduced body weight in mice. Further, CTRP13 and the orexigenic neuropeptide agouti-related protein (AgRP) reciprocally regulate each other’s expression in the hypothalamus: central delivery of CTRP13 suppressed Agrp expression, while delivery of AgRP increased Ctrp13 expression. Food restriction alone reduced Ctrp13 and increased orexigenic neuropeptide gene (Npy and Agrp) expression in the hypothalamus; in contrast, when food restriction was coupled to enhanced physical activity in an activity-based anorexia (ABA) mouse model, hypothalamic expression of both Ctrp13 and Agrp were upregulated. Taken together, these results suggest that CTRP13 and AgRP form a hypothalamic feedback loop to modulate food intake and that this neural circuit may be disrupted in an anorexic-like condition. PMID:23638159

  16. Fish pigmentation and the melanocortin system.

    PubMed

    Cal, Laura; Suarez-Bregua, Paula; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Braasch, Ingo; Rotllant, Josep

    2017-09-01

    The melanocortin system is a complex neuroendocrine signaling mechanism involved in numerous physiological processes in vertebrates, including pigmentation, steroidogenesis and metabolic control. This review focuses at one of its most fascinating function in fish, its regulatory role in the control of pigmentation, in which the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r), its agonist α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-Msh), and the endogenous antagonist agouti signaling protein (Asip1) are the main players. Functional control of Mc1r, which is highly expressed in fish skin and whose activation stimulates melanin production and melanosome dispersion in fish melanophores, is considered a key mechanism for vertebrate pigment phenotypes. The α-Msh peptide, the most documented Mc1r agonist involved in pigmentation, is produced in the pituitary gland, activating melanin synthesis by binding to Mc1r in fish melanophores. Finally, Asip1 is the putative factor for establishing the evolutionarily conserved dorso-ventral pigment pattern found across vertebrates. However, we are just starting to understand how other melanocortin system components are acting in this complex regulatory network. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The neuroendocrine circuitry controlled by POMC, MSH, and AGRP.

    PubMed

    Biebermann, Heike; Kühnen, Peter; Kleinau, Gunnar; Krude, Heiko

    2012-01-01

    Obesity is one of the most challenging health problems worldwide. Over the past few decades, our knowledge concerning mechanisms of weight regulation has increased tremendously leading to the identification of the leptin-melanocortin pathway. The filling level of energy stores is signaled to the brain, and the information is integrated by hypothalamic nuclei, resulting in a well-orchestrated response to food intake and energy expenditure to ensure constant body weight. One of the key players in this system is proopiomelanocortin (POMC), a precursor of a variety of neuropeptides. POMC-derived alpha- and beta-MSH play an important role in energy homeostasis by activating melanocortin receptors expressed in the arcuate nucleus (MC3R) and in the nucleus paraventricularis (MC4R). Activation of these two G protein-coupled receptors is antagonized by agouti-related peptide (AgRP). Naturally occurring mutations in this system were identified in patients suffering from common obesity as well as in patients demonstrating a phenotype of severe early-onset obesity, adrenal insufficiency, red hair, and pale skin. Detailed understanding of the complex system of POMC-AgRP-MC3R-MC4R and their interaction with other hypothalamic as well as peripheral signals is a prerequisite to combat the obesity epidemic.

  18. Fractionated abdominal irradiation induces intestinal microvascular changes in an in vivo model of radiotherapy-induced gut toxicity.

    PubMed

    Stansborough, Romany L; Bateman, Emma H; Al-Dasooqi, Noor; Bowen, Joanne M; Keefe, Dorothy M K; Yeoh, Ann S J; Logan, Richard M; Yeoh, Eric E K; Stringer, Andrea M; Gibson, Rachel J

    2017-06-01

    Radiotherapy-induced gut toxicity (RIGT) is associated with diarrhoea, pain and rectal bleeding and can occur as an acute or chronic toxicity. The microvasculature has been shown to be altered in the development of RIGT; however, the features are not yet characterized. We hypothesized that apoptosis of microvascular cells would occur early in the gastrointestinal tract following fractionated irradiation, followed by late microvascular changes, including sclerosis and telangiectasis. Female Dark Agouti rats were treated with a 6-week fractionated radiation schedule of 3 × 2.5 Gy doses per week localized to the abdomen. At 3, 6 and 15 weeks, the intestines were assessed for markers of acute and chronic injury including morphological changes, collagen deposition, apoptosis and proliferation. Apoptosis of microvascular cells significantly increased at 6 and 15 weeks in the jejunum (p = 0.0026 and p = 0.0062, respectively) and at 6 and 15 weeks in the colon (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0005, respectively) in rats receiving fractionated radiation to the abdomen. Histopathological changes of the colon microvasculature were also seen from week 3, including thickening of the lamina propria and dilated, thickened, telangiectatic vessels. Findings of this study provide evidence of regional and timing-specific changes in the intestinal microvasculature in response to fractionated radiotherapy which may play a role in development of both acute and chronic RIGT.

  19. Interleukin-7, a new cytokine targeting the mouse hypothalamic arcuate nucleus: role in body weight and food intake regulation.

    PubMed

    Macia, Laurence; Viltart, Odile; Delacre, Myriam; Sachot, Christelle; Héliot, Laurent; Di Santo, James P; Wolowczuk, Isabelle

    2010-04-01

    Body weight is controlled through peripheral (white adipose tissue) and central (mainly hypothalamus) mechanisms. We have recently obtained evidence that overexpression of interleukin (IL)-7, a critical cytokine involved in lymphopoiesis, can protect against the development of diet-induced obesity in mice. Here we assessed whether IL-7 mediated its effects by modulating hypothalamic function. Acute subcutaneous injection of IL-7 prevented monosodium glutamate-induced obesity, this being correlated with partial protection against cell death in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). Moreover, we showed that IL-7 activated hypothalamic areas involved in regulation of feeding behavior, as indicated by induction of the activation marker c-Fos in neural cells located in the ventromedial part of the ARC and by inhibition of food intake after fasting. Both chains of the IL-7 receptor (IL-7Ralpha and gamma(c)) were expressed in the ARC and IL-7 injection induced STAT-3 phosphorylation in this area. Finally, we established that IL-7 modulated the expression of neuropeptides that tune food intake, with a stimulatory effect on the expression of pro-opiomelanocortin and an inhibitory effect on agouti-related peptide expression in accordance with IL-7 promoting anorectic effects. These results suggest that the immunomodulatory cytokine IL-7 plays an important and unappreciated role in hypothalamic body weight regulation.

  20. Goldfish Leptin-AI and Leptin-AII: Function and Central Mechanism in Feeding Control.

    PubMed

    Yan, Ai-Fen; Chen, Ting; Chen, Shuang; Ren, Chun-Hua; Hu, Chao-Qun; Cai, Yi-Ming; Liu, Fang; Tang, Dong-Sheng

    2016-05-30

    In mammals, leptin is a peripheral satiety factor that inhibits feeding by regulating a variety of appetite-related hormones in the brain. However, most of the previous studies examining leptin in fish feeding were performed with mammalian leptins, which share very low sequence homologies with fish leptins. To elucidate the function and mechanism of endogenous fish leptins in feeding regulation, recombinant goldfish leptin-AI and leptin-AII were expressed in methylotrophic yeast and purified by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). By intraperitoneal (IP) injection, both leptin-AI and leptin-AII were shown to inhibit the feeding behavior and to reduce the food consumption of goldfish in 2 h. In addition, co-treatment of leptin-AI or leptin-AII could block the feeding behavior and reduce the food consumption induced by neuropeptide Y (NPY) injection. High levels of leptin receptor (lepR) mRNA were detected in the hypothalamus, telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of the goldfish brain. The appetite inhibitory effects of leptins were mediated by downregulating the mRNA levels of orexigenic NPY, agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and orexin and upregulating the mRNA levels of anorexigenic cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), cholecystokinin (CCK), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in different areas of the goldfish brain. Our study, as a whole, provides new insights into the functions and mechanisms of leptins in appetite control in a fish model.

  1. Appetite regulation: an overview.

    PubMed

    Dhillo, Waljit S

    2007-05-01

    Obesity is a major public health problem associated with morbidity and mortality and continues to increase worldwide. This review focuses on the regions of the brain that are important in appetite regulation and the circulating factors implicated in the control of food intake. The hypothalamus is critical in the regulation of food intake containing neural circuits, which produce a number of peptides that influence food intake. The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus produces both orexigenic peptides (agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y) and anorectic peptides (alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and cocaine- and amphetamine-related transcript). The lateral hypothalamus produces the orexigenic peptides (melanin-concentrating hormone and orexins). Other hypothalamic factors recently implicated in appetite regulation include the endocannabinoids, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nesfatin-1, AMP-activated protein kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin protein, and protein tyrosine phosphatase. Circulating factors that affect food intake mediate their effects by signaling to the hypothalamus and/or brainstem. A number of circulating factors are produced by peripheral organs, for example, leptin by adipose tissue, insulin and pancreatic polypeptide by the pancreas, gut hormones (e.g., ghrelin, obestatin, glucagon-like peptide-1, oxyntomodulin, peptide YY), and triiodothyronine by the thyroid gland. Circulating carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids also affect appetite regulation. Knowledge regarding appetite regulation has vastly expanded in recent years providing targets for antiobesity drug design.

  2. [Peptides are opening the door for novel treatments of obesity and loss of appetite].

    PubMed

    Broberger, Christian; Hökfelt, Tomas

    2002-12-05

    A wide spectrum of diseases, as well as states of attenuated ability to heal and recover, can be traced to over- or underweight. Patients at the extremes of the energy balance spectrum are becoming more and more common. In order to provide adequate care for such patients an understanding of the mechanisms governing feeding behaviour is required. In the last decade, important advances have been made in this direction, as several factors mediating signals of hunger and satiety to and within the brain have been identified. These factors include hormonal signals (such as leptin and insulin) from the energy stores as well as neuronal influences (via the vagus nerve) from the digestive tract. The information encoded therein is routed to specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and brain stem, respectively, leading to activation of complex neuronal networks spanning the most rostral regions of the brain all the way to the effector neurones of the autonomic nervous system located in the spinal cord. Several recently characterized neuropeptides showing potent stimulation of appetite (neuropeptide Y, agouti gene-related peptide, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone) and satiety (melanocortins, cholecystokinin, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) have been localized to these pathways. These peptides, and the mechanisms through which they operate, offer promise for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of obesity and anorexia.

  3. Appetite regulatory neuropeptides are expressed in the sheep hypothalamus before birth.

    PubMed

    Mühlhäusler, B S; McMillen, I C; Rouzaud, G; Findlay, P A; Marrocco, E M; Rhind, S M; Adam, C L

    2004-06-01

    In the adult, a hypothalamic neural network acts to maintain energy balance in response to nutritional feedback from the periphery. Although there is an immediate requirement for this system to be functional at birth, it is unknown whether the components of this central neural network are expressed in the developing brain before birth. We therefore examined in the fetal sheep hypothalamus during late gestation gene expression for leptin receptor (OB-Rb) and neuropeptides that regulate energy balance in the adult. Brains were collected from fetal sheep at 110 days (n = 12) and 140 days of gestation (n = 5) (term = 150 days) and gene expression was detected in all hypothalami using in situ hybridization with radiolabelled riboprobes for OB-Rb, neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide, pro-opiomelanocortin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). All mRNAs were expressed in the arcuate nucleus of fetuses at both time points. Additional sites of mRNA expression were the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) for NPY, the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) and lateral hypothalamic area for CART, and the DMH, PVN and VMH for OB-Rb. We have therefore demonstrated that adult-like localization of gene expression for OB-Rb and key appetite regulatory neuropeptides is established in the ovine hypothalamus before birth. Thus, the fetus possesses a central appetite regulatory neural network with the potential to respond to changes in nutrient supply, which could impact on energy balance regulation both before and after birth.

  4. Feeding behavior and gene expression of appetite-related neuropeptides in mice lacking for neuropeptide Y Y5 receptor subclass.

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Hiroshi; Niki, Takeshi; Shiiya, Tomohiro

    2008-11-07

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a potent neurotransmitter for feeding. Besides NPY, orexigenic neuropeptides such as agouti-related protein (AgRP), and anorexigenic neuropeptides such as alpha-melatonin stimulating hormone (MSH) and cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) are also involved in central feeding regulation. During fasting, NPY and AgRP gene expressions are up-regulated and POMC and CART gene expressions are down-regulated in hypothalamus. Based on the network of peptidergic neurons, the former are involved in positive feeding regulation, and the latter are involved in negative feeding, which exert these feeding-regulated peptides especially in paraventricular nucleus (PVN). To clarify the compensatory mechanism of knock-out of NPY system on feeding, change in gene expressions of appetite-related neuropeptides and the feeding behavior was studied in NPY Y5-KO mice. Food intake was increased in Y5-KO mice. Fasting increased the amounts of food and water intake in the KO mice more profoundly. These data indicated the compensatory phenomenon of feeding behavior in Y5-KO mice. RT-PCR and ISH suggested that the compensation of feeding is due to change in gene expressions of AgRP, CART and POMC in hypothalamus. Thus, these findings indicated that the compensatory mechanism involves change in POMC/CART gene expression in arcuate nucleus (ARC). The POMC/CART gene expression is important for central compensatory regulation in feeding behavior.

  5. Hypothalamic neuropeptides and the regulation of appetite.

    PubMed

    Parker, Jennifer A; Bloom, Stephen R

    2012-07-01

    Neuropeptides released by hypothalamic neurons play a major role in the regulation of feeding, acting both within the hypothalamus, and at other appetite regulating centres throughout the brain. Where classical neurotransmitters signal only within synapses, neuropeptides diffuse over greater distances affecting both nearby and distant neurons expressing the relevant receptors, which are often extrasynaptic. As well as triggering a behavioural output, neuropeptides also act as neuromodulators: altering the response of neurons to both neurotransmitters and circulating signals of nutrient status. The mechanisms of action of hypothalamic neuropeptides with established roles in feeding, including melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), the orexins, α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH), agouti-gene related protein (AgRP), neuropeptide Y, and oxytocin, are reviewed in this article, with emphasis laid on both their effects on appetite regulating centres throughout the brain, and on examining the evidence for their physiological roles. In addition, evidence for the involvement of several putative appetite regulating hypothalamic neuropeptides is assessed including, ghrelin, cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), neuropeptide W and the galanin-like peptides. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Central control of Food Intake'.

  6. An intrinsic gut leptin-melanocortin pathway modulates intestinal microsomal triglyceride transfer protein and lipid absorption.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Jahangir; Li, Xiaosong; Chang, Benny Hung-Junn; Chan, Lawrence; Schwartz, Gary J; Chua, Streamson C; Hussain, M Mahmood

    2010-07-01

    Fat is delivered to tissues by apoB-containing lipoproteins synthesized in the liver and intestine with the help of an intracellular chaperone, microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). Leptin, a hormone secreted by adipose tissue, acts in the brain and on peripheral tissues to regulate fat storage and metabolism. Our aim was to identify the role of leptin signaling in MTP regulation and lipid absorption using several mouse models deficient in leptin receptor (LEPR) signaling and downstream effectors. Mice with spontaneous LEPR B mutations or targeted ablation of LEPR B in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) or agouti gene related peptide (AGRP) expressing cells had increased triglyceride in plasma, liver, and intestine. Furthermore, melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) knockout mice expressed a similar triglyceride phenotype, suggesting that leptin might regulate intestinal MTP expression through the melanocortin pathway. Mechanistic studies revealed that the accumulation of triglyceride in the intestine might be secondary to decreased expression of MTP and lipid absorption in these mice. Surgical and chemical blockade of vagal efferent outflow to the intestine in wild-type mice failed to alter the triglyceride phenotype, demonstrating that central neural control mechanisms were likely not involved in the observed regulation of intestinal MTP. Instead, we found that enterocytes express LEPR, POMC, AGRP, and MC4R. We propose that a peripheral, local gut signaling mechanism involving LEPR B and MC4R regulates intestinal MTP and controls intestinal lipid absorption.

  7. Chronic central serotonin depletion attenuates ventilation and body temperature in young but not adult Tph2 knockout rats

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Kara; Echert, Ashley E.; Massat, Ben; Puissant, Madeleine M.; Palygin, Oleg; Geurts, Aron M.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic deletion of brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in mice leads to ventilatory deficits and increased neonatal mortality during development. However, it is unclear if the loss of the 5-HT neurons or the loss of the neurochemical 5-HT led to the observed physiologic deficits. Herein, we generated a mutant rat model with constitutive central nervous system (CNS) 5-HT depletion by mutation of the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) gene in dark agouti (DATph2−/−) rats. DATph2−/− rats lacked TPH immunoreactivity and brain 5-HT but retain dopa decarboxylase-expressing raphe neurons. Mutant rats were also smaller, had relatively high mortality (∼50%), and compared with controls had reduced room air ventilation and body temperatures at specific postnatal ages. In adult rats, breathing at rest and hypoxic and hypercapnic chemoreflexes were unaltered in adult male and female DATph2−/− rats. Body temperature was also maintained in adult DATph2−/− rats exposed to 4°C, indicating unaltered ventilatory and/or thermoregulatory control mechanisms. Finally, DATph2−/− rats treated with the 5-HT precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) partially restored CNS 5-HT and showed increased ventilation (P < 0.05) at a developmental age when it was otherwise attenuated in the mutants. We conclude that constitutive CNS production of 5-HT is critically important to fundamental homeostatic control systems for breathing and temperature during postnatal development in the rat. PMID:26869713

  8. AgRP and NPY expression in the human hypothalamic infundibular nucleus correlate with body mass index, whereas changes in αMSH are related to type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Alkemade, Anneke; Yi, Chun-Xia; Pei, Lei; Harakalova, Magdalena; Swaab, Dick F; la Fleur, Susanne E; Fliers, Eric; Kalsbeek, Andries

    2012-06-01

    Rodent data show that altered hypothalamic signaling contributes to the development of obesity and insulin resistance. To determine differences in hypothalamic expression levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AgRP), and αMSH in the infundibular nucleus, the human equivalent of the arcuate nucleus, in relation to body mass index (BMI). In addition, the expression in the infundibular nucleus of eight subjects diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was measured to determine possible interference of type 2 diabetes with the association observed between neuropeptides and BMI. We studied AgRP, NPY, and αMSH expression by means of quantitative immunocytochemistry in postmortem hypothalami of 30 subjects with known BMI. In separate experiments, we compared neuropeptide expression in eight subjects with type 2 diabetes with eight matched controls. We found that AgRP immunoreactivity showed a U-shaped correlation with BMI. No evidence was found for possible influences of corticosteroid treatment. NPY immunoreactivity was significantly lower in overweight and obese subjects. αMSH did not correlate with BMI but was significantly lower in subjects with type 2 diabetes compared with controls. By contrast, NPY and AgRP expression was not affected in type 2 diabetes. Our results indicate that the expression of AgRP and NPY are correlated with body weight changes, rather than the presence of type 2 diabetes, whereas changes in αMSH immunoreactivity are related to the presence of type 2 diabetes, indicating separate hypothalamic mechanisms.

  9. Dietary macronutrient composition affects hypothalamic appetite regulation in chicks.

    PubMed

    McConn, Betty R; Matias, Justin; Wang, Guoqing; Cline, Mark A; Gilbert, Elizabeth R

    2016-08-16

    The objective was to determine the effects of high-protein and high-fat diets, and fasting and refeeding, on appetite regulation in chicks. Day of hatch chicks were fed one of four diets: basal, high protein (25% crude protein), and 15 and 30% high fat (15 and 30% metabolizable energy derived from soybean oil, respectively), and assigned to one of three treatments at 4 days: (1) access to feed, (2) 3 hours of fasting, or (3) fasting followed by 1 hour of refeeding. The hypothalamus was collected, total RNA isolated, and mRNA abundance measured. Food intake was reduced in chicks fed the high-protein and high-fat diets. Agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y (NPY), NPY receptors 1, 2, and 5, melanocortin receptors 3 and 4 (MC3R and 4R, respectively), mesotocin, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and CRF receptor sub-type 2 (CRFR2) mRNAs were greatest in chicks that consumed the basal diet. Refeeding was associated with increased MC3R mRNA in the high-protein diet group. CRFR2 mRNA was increased by fasting and refeeding in chicks that consumed the high-protein diet. Food intake and hypothalamic gene expression of some important appetite-associated factors were reduced in chicks fed the high-protein or high-fat diets. Fasting and refeeding accentuated several differences and results suggest that the CRF and melanocortin pathways are involved.

  10. The melanocortin system regulates body pigmentation and social behaviour in a colour polymorphic cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Dijkstra, Peter D; Maguire, Sean M; Harris, Rayna M; Rodriguez, Agosto A; DeAngelis, Ross S; Flores, Stephanie A; Hofmann, Hans A

    2017-03-29

    The melanocortin system is a neuroendocrine system that regulates a range of physiological and behavioural processes. We examined the extent to which the melanocortin system simultaneously regulates colour and behaviour in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni We found that yellow males are more aggressive than blue males, in line with previous studies. We then found that exogenous α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) increases yellowness of the body and dispersal of xanthophore pigments in both morphs. However, α-MSH had a morph-specific effect on aggression, with only blue males showing an increase in the rate of aggression. Exogenous agouti signalling peptide (ASIP), a melanocortin antagonist, did not affect coloration but reduced the rate of aggression in both colour morphs. Blue males had higher cortisol levels than yellow males. Neural gene expression of melanocortin receptors (mcr) and ligands was not differentially regulated between colour morphs. In the skin, however, mc1r and pro-opiomelanocortin (pomc) β were upregulated in blue males, while asip 1 was upregulated in yellow males. The effects of α-MSH on behaviour and body coloration, combined with morph-specific regulation of the stress response and the melanocortin system, suggest that the melanocortin system contributes to the polymorphism in behaviour and coloration in A. burtoni.

  11. Autophagy in hypothalamic AgRP neurons regulates food intake and energy balance

    PubMed Central

    Kaushik, Susmita; Rodriguez-Navarro, Jose Antonio; Arias, Esperanza; Kiffin, Roberta; Sahu, Srabani; Schwartz, Gary J.; Cuervo, Ana Maria; Singh, Rajat

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Macroautophagy is a lysosomal degradative pathway that maintains cellular homeostasis by turning over cellular components. Here, we demonstrate a role for autophagy in hypothalamic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons in the regulation of food intake and energy balance. We show that starvation-induced hypothalamic autophagy mobilizes neuron-intrinsic lipids to generate endogenous free fatty acids, which in turn regulate AgRP levels. The functional consequences of inhibiting autophagy are the failure to upregulate AgRP in response to starvation, and constitutive increases in hypothalamic levels of pro-opiomelanocortin and its cleavage product α-melanocyte stimulating hormone that typically contribute to a lean phenotype. We propose a new conceptual framework for considering how autophagy-regulated lipid metabolism within hypothalamic neurons may modulate neuropeptide levels to have immediate effects on food intake, as well as long-term effects on energy homeostasis. Regulation of hypothalamic autophagy could become an effective intervention in conditions such as obesity and the metabolic syndrome. PMID:21803288

  12. Goldfish Leptin-AI and Leptin-AII: Function and Central Mechanism in Feeding Control

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Ai-Fen; Chen, Ting; Chen, Shuang; Ren, Chun-Hua; Hu, Chao-Qun; Cai, Yi-Ming; Liu, Fang; Tang, Dong-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, leptin is a peripheral satiety factor that inhibits feeding by regulating a variety of appetite-related hormones in the brain. However, most of the previous studies examining leptin in fish feeding were performed with mammalian leptins, which share very low sequence homologies with fish leptins. To elucidate the function and mechanism of endogenous fish leptins in feeding regulation, recombinant goldfish leptin-AI and leptin-AII were expressed in methylotrophic yeast and purified by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). By intraperitoneal (IP) injection, both leptin-AI and leptin-AII were shown to inhibit the feeding behavior and to reduce the food consumption of goldfish in 2 h. In addition, co-treatment of leptin-AI or leptin-AII could block the feeding behavior and reduce the food consumption induced by neuropeptide Y (NPY) injection. High levels of leptin receptor (lepR) mRNA were detected in the hypothalamus, telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of the goldfish brain. The appetite inhibitory effects of leptins were mediated by downregulating the mRNA levels of orexigenic NPY, agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and orexin and upregulating the mRNA levels of anorexigenic cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), cholecystokinin (CCK), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in different areas of the goldfish brain. Our study, as a whole, provides new insights into the functions and mechanisms of leptins in appetite control in a fish model. PMID:27249000

  13. Fibroblast growth factor-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor mediated augmentation of angiogenesis and bone formation in vascularized bone allotransplants.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Mikko; Willems, Wouter F; Pelzer, Michael; Friedrich, Patricia F; Dadsetan, Mahrokh; Bishop, Allen T

    2014-05-01

    We previously demonstrated recipient-derived neoangiogenesis to maintain viability of living bone allogeneic transplants without long-term immunosuppression. The effect of cytokine delivery to enhance this process is studied. Vascularized femur transplantation was performed from Dark Agouti to Piebald Virol Glaxo rats. Poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres loaded with buffer (N = 11), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) (N = 10), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (N = 11), or both (N = 11) were inserted intramedullarly alongside a recipient-derived arteriovenous bundle. FK-506 was administered for 2 weeks. At 18 weeks, bone blood flow, microangiography, histologic, histomorphometric, and alkaline phosphatase measurements were performed. Bone blood flow was greater in the combined group than control and VEGF groups (P = 0.04). Capillary density was greater in the FGF2 group than in the VEGF and combined groups (P < 0.05). Bone viability, growth, and alkaline phosphatase activity did not vary significantly between groups. Neoangiogenesis in vascularized bone allotransplants is enhanced by angiogenic cytokine delivery, with results using FGF2 that are comparable to isotransplant from previous studies. Further studies are needed to achieve bone formation similar to isotransplants. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. DEFECTS IN HEMATOPOIETIC DIFFERENTIATION IN NZB AND NZC MICE

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Noel L.; Moore, Malcolm A. S.

    1971-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell activity in inbred NZB and NZC mice has been determined by transplantation and endogenous spleen colony assays. Whereas NZB mice show normal colony-forming unit (CFU) activity in the transplantation assay, they show markedly elevated endogenous CFU. NZC mice also show this markedly elevated endogenous CFU activity, but in the transplantation assay show only about 5–10% of normal CFU counts. When NZC stem cells are tested for CFU activity in irradiated recipients of the H-2d type, almost normal colony numbers occur. NZB stem cells however also cannot form colonies in NZC mice. These results suggest that NZC mice have a defect in the micro-environment of the spleen which renders them incapable of allowing transplanted CFU to form colonies. Genetic analysis of both the NZC defect as a CFU recipient, and the elevated endogenous count in NZB and NZC, shows that both are controlled by single recessive genes which are not linked to either coat color, agouti, H-2 or Ig loci. Of even more relevance is the finding that these hematopoietic abnormalities are not linked to the genes involved in controlling autoantibody formation to red cells in the NZB mice. These mice therefore appear to show two distinct hematopoietic abnormalities, the analysis of which may be of considerable value in understanding the detailed events of hematopoietic stem cell differentiation. PMID:4934499

  15. Regenerative metamorphosis in hairs and feathers: follicle as a programmable biological printer

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Ji Won; Lin, Sung-Jan; Plikus, Maksim V.

    2015-01-01

    Present-day hairs and feathers are marvels of biological engineering perfected over 200 million years of convergent evolution. Prominently, both follicle types coevolved regenerative cycling, wherein active filament making (anagen) is intermitted by a phase of relative quiescence (telogen). Such regenerative cycling enables follicles to “reload” their morphogenetic program and make qualitatively different filaments in the consecutive cycles. Indeed, many species of mammals and birds undergo regenerative metamorphosis, prominently changing their integument between juvenile and adult forms. This phenomenon is inconspicuous in mice, which led to the conventional perception that hair type is hardwired during follicle morphogenesis and cannot switch. A series of recent works by Chi and Morgan change this perception, and show that many mouse follicles naturally switch hair morphologies, for instance from “wavy” zigzag to straight awl, in the second growth cycle. A series of observations and genetic experiments show that back and forth hair type switching depends on the number of cells in the follicle's dermal papilla, with the critical threshold being around 40-50 cells. Pigmentation is another parameter that hair and feather follicles can reload between cycles, and even midway through anagen. Recent works show that hair and feather pigmentation “printing” programs coevolved to rely on pulsed expression of Agouti, a melanocortin receptor-1 antagonist, in the follicular mesenchyme. Here, we discuss broader implications of hair and feather regenerative plasticity. PMID:25557541

  16. How the Leopard Hides Its Spots: ASIP Mutations and Melanism in Wild Cats

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A.; Johnson, Warren E.; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Barsh, Gregory S.; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the ‘black panther’ and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism. PMID:23251368

  17. Energy Balance Regulating Neuropeptides Are Expressed through Pregnancy and Regulated by Interleukin-6 Deficiency in Mouse Placenta.

    PubMed

    Pazos, Patricia; Lima, Luis; Diéguez, Carlos; García, María C

    2014-01-01

    The placenta produces a number of signaling molecules including metabolic and reproductive hormones as well as several inflammatory mediators. Among them, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a well-known immune and metabolic regulator, acts peripherally modulating metabolic function and centrally increasing energy expenditure and reducing body fat. IL-6 interacts with key hypothalamic neuropeptidergic systems controlling energy homeostasis such as those producing the orexigenic/anabolic: neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and anorectic/catabolic neuropeptides: proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART). Human and rat placenta have been identified as source of these neuropeptides, but their expression and regulation in murine placental tissues remain unknown. Therefore, placental mRNA levels of IL-6, NPY, AgRP, POMC, and CART at different pregnancy stages (gestational days 13, 15, and 18) were analyzed by real time PCR, as were the effect of IL-6 deficiency (IL-6 knockout mice) on their placental expression. Our results showed that placenta-derived neuropeptides were regulated by gestational age and IL-6 throughout the second half of mouse pregnancy. These data suggest that IL-6 may participate in the fine tune control of energy balance during pregnancy by extending its action as a metabolic signal to the main organ at the fetomaternal interface: the placenta.

  18. Fto colocalizes with a satiety mediator oxytocin in the brain and upregulates oxytocin gene expression

    SciTech Connect

    Olszewski, Pawel K.; Fredriksson, Robert; Eriksson, Jenny D.; Mitra, Anaya; Radomska, Katarzyna J.; Gosnell, Blake A.; Solvang, Maria N.; Levine, Allen S.; Schioeth, Helgi B.

    2011-05-13

    Highlights: {yields} The majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto. {yields} The level of colocalization is similar in the male and female brain. {yields} Fto overexpression in hypothalamic neurons increases oxytocin mRNA levels by 50%. {yields} Oxytocin does not affect Fto expression through negative feedback mechanisms. -- Abstract: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with obesity in humans. Alterations in Fto expression in transgenic animals affect body weight, energy expenditure and food intake. Fto, a nuclear protein and proposed transcription co-factor, has been speculated to affect energy balance through a functional relationship with specific genes encoding feeding-related peptides. Herein, we employed double immunohistochemistry and showed that the majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto in the brain of male and female mice. We then overexpressed Fto in a murine hypothalamic cell line and, using qPCR, detected a 50% increase in the level of oxytocin mRNA. Expression levels of several other feeding-related genes, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP), were unaffected by the FTO transfection. Addition of 10 and 100 nmol oxytocin to the cell culture medium did not affect Fto expression in hypothalamic cells. We conclude that Fto, a proposed transcription co-factor, influences expression of the gene encoding a satiety mediator, oxytocin.

  19. The arcuate nucleus mediates GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide-dependent weight loss

    PubMed Central

    Secher, Anna; Jelsing, Jacob; Baquero, Arian F.; Hecksher-Sørensen, Jacob; Cowley, Michael A.; Dalbøge, Louise S.; Hansen, Gitte; Grove, Kevin L.; Pyke, Charles; Raun, Kirsten; Schäffer, Lauge; Tang-Christensen, Mads; Verma, Saurabh; Witgen, Brent M.; Vrang, Niels; Bjerre Knudsen, Lotte

    2014-01-01

    Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog marketed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Besides lowering blood glucose, liraglutide also reduces body weight. It is not fully understood how liraglutide induces weight loss or to what degree liraglutide acts directly in the brain. Here, we determined that liraglutide does not activate GLP-1–producing neurons in the hindbrain, and liraglutide-dependent body weight reduction in rats was independent of GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1Rs) in the vagus nerve, area postrema, and paraventricular nucleus. Peripheral injection of fluorescently labeled liraglutide in mice revealed the presence of the drug in the circumventricular organs. Moreover, labeled liraglutide bound neurons within the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and other discrete sites in the hypothalamus. GLP-1R was necessary for liraglutide uptake in the brain, as liraglutide binding was not seen in Glp1r–/– mice. In the ARC, liraglutide was internalized in neurons expressing proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). Electrophysiological measurements of murine brain slices revealed that GLP-1 directly stimulates POMC/CART neurons and indirectly inhibits neurotransmission in neurons expressing neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) via GABA-dependent signaling. Collectively, our findings indicate that the GLP-1R on POMC/CART-expressing ARC neurons likely mediates liraglutide-induced weight loss. PMID:25202980

  20. Combination of N-(3'4'-dimethoxycinnamoyl) anthranilic acid with cyclosporin A treatment preserves immunosuppressive effect and reduces the side effect of cyclosporin A in rat.

    PubMed

    Yong-Gang, Xu; Ming-Zhe, Weng; Jin-Yan, Zhang; Zhi-Hai, Peng; Jun-Ming, Xu

    2014-04-05

    Cyclosporin A (CsA), one of the most fundamental immunosuppressive drugs, is routinely used in clinics for the treatment of liver and other organ rejections. However, one of the major challenges of the application of CsA is the occurrence of the serious adverse effects, namely, acute and chronic nephrotoxicity, severe hypertension and neurotoxicity. Although N-(3'4'-dimethoxycinnamoyl) anthranilic acid (3,4-DAA) plays an important role in apoptosis of activated T cells, and is therapeutically used as an orally active anti-allergic drug for the treatment of allergy, it has not been tested for use in the treatment of organ rejection. In this study, we used the dark agouti (DA)-Lewis rat orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) model to investigate whether the combination of 3,4-DAA with CsA is a promising and useful strategy to lower CsA dosage for reducing CsA side effect and preserve therapeutic effect of CsA. Here, we document that the combination treatment effectively inhibits acute liver rejection in OLT model with only half the normally suggested dosage of CsA that has much less side effect in rats than that of the full dosage. These results indicate that 3,4-DAA may serve as an effective adjunct for a CsA-based immunosuppressive regimen to treat transplant recipients for reducing CsA side effect. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Gene expression profiling following short-term and long-term morphine exposure in mice uncovers genes involved in food intake.

    PubMed

    Anghel, A; Jamieson, C A M; Ren, X; Young, J; Porche, R; Ozigbo, E; Ghods, D E; Lee, M L; Liu, Y; Lutfy, K; Friedman, T C

    2010-05-05

    Addictive drugs including opioids activate signal transduction pathways that regulate gene expression in the brain. However, changes in CNS gene expression following morphine exposure are poorly understood. We determined changes in gene expression following short- and long-term morphine treatment in the hypothalamus and pituitary using genome-wide DNA microarray analysis and confirmed those alterations in gene expression by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. In the hypothalamus, short-term morphine administration up-regulated (at least twofold) 39 genes and down-regulated six genes. Long-term morphine treatment up-regulated 35 genes and down-regulated 51 genes. In the pituitary, short-term morphine administration up-regulated 110 genes and down-regulated 29 genes. Long-term morphine treatment up-regulated 85 genes and down-regulated 37 pituitary genes. Microarray analysis uncovered several genes involved in food intake (neuropeptide Y, agouti-related protein, and cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript) whose expression was strongly altered by morphine exposure in either the hypothalamus or pituitary. Subsequent RT-PCR analysis confirmed similar regulation in expression of these genes in the hypothalamus and pituitary. Finally, we found functional correlation between morphine-induced alterations in food intake and regulation of genes involved in this process. Changes in genes related to food intake may uncover new pathways related to some of the physiological effects of opioids. (c) 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Phenotypic Characterization of LEA Rat: A New Rat Model of Nonobese Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Okamura, Tadashi; Pei, Xiang Yuan; Miyoshi, Ichiro; Shimizu, Yukiko; Takanashi-Yanobu, Rieko; Mototani, Yasumasa; Kanai, Takao; Satoh, Jo; Kimura, Noriko; Kasai, Noriyuki

    2013-01-01

    Animal models have provided important information for the genetics and pathophysiology of diabetes. Here we have established a novel, nonobese rat strain with spontaneous diabetes, Long-Evans Agouti (LEA) rat derived from Long-Evans (LE) strain. The incidence of diabetes in the males was 10% at 6 months of age and 86% at 14 months, while none of the females developed diabetes. The blood glucose level in LEA male rats was between 200 and 300 mg/dl at 120 min according to OGTT. The glucose intolerance in correspondence with the impairment of insulin secretion was observed in male rats, which was the main cause of diabetes in LEA rats. Histological examination revealed that the reduction of β-cell mass was caused by progressive fibrosis in pancreatic islets in age-dependent manner. The intracytoplasmic hyaline droplet accumulation and the disappearance of tubular epithelial cell layer associated with thickening of basement membrane were evident in renal proximal tubules. The body mass index and glycaemic response to exogenous insulin were comparable to those of control rats. The unique characteristics of LEA rat are a great advantage not only to analyze the progression of diabetes, but also to disclose the genes involved in type 2 diabetes mellitus. PMID:23691528

  3. A neural basis for melanocortin-4 receptor regulated appetite

    PubMed Central

    Garfield, Alastair S.; Li, Chia; Madara, Joseph C.; Shah, Bhavik P.; Webber, Emily; Steger, Jennifer S.; Campbell, John N.; Gavrilova, Oksana; Lee, Charlotte E.; Olson, David P.; Elmquist, Joel K.; Tannous, Bakhos A.; Krashes, Michael J.; Lowell, Bradford B.

    2015-01-01

    Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)- and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons are oppositely regulated by caloric depletion and co-ordinately stimulate and inhibit homeostatic satiety, respectively. This bimodality is principally underscored by the antagonistic actions of these ligands at downstream melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Although this population is critical to energy balance the underlying neural circuitry remains unknown. Enabled by mice expressing Cre-recombinase in MC4R neurons, we demonstrate bidirectional control of feeding following real-time activation and inhibition of PVHMC4R neurons and further identify these cells as a functional exponent of ARCAgRP neuron-driven hunger. Moreover, we reveal this function to be mediated by a PVHMC4R→lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN) pathway. Activation of this circuit encodes positive valence, but only in calorically depleted mice. Thus, the satiating and appetitive nature of PVHMC4R→LPBN neurons supports the principles of drive reduction and highlights this circuit as a promising target for anti-obesity drug development. PMID:25915476

  4. Development of a linkage map and mapping of phenotypic polymorphisms in a free-living population of Soay sheep (Ovis aries).

    PubMed

    Beraldi, Dario; McRae, Allan F; Gratten, Jacob; Slate, Jon; Visscher, Peter M; Pemberton, Josephine M

    2006-07-01

    An understanding of the determinants of trait variation and the selective forces acting on it in natural populations would give insights into the process of evolution. The combination of long-term studies of individuals living in the wild and better genomic resources for nonmodel organisms makes achieving this goal feasible. This article reports the development of a complete linkage map in a pedigree of free-living Soay sheep on St. Kilda and its application to mapping the loci responsible for three morphological polymorphisms for which the maintenance of variation demands explanation. The map was derived from 251 microsatellite and four allozyme markers and covers 3350 cM (approximately 90% of the sheep genome) at approximately 15-cM intervals. Marker order was consistent with the published sheep map with the exception of one region on chromosome 1 and one on chromosome 12. Coat color maps to chromosome 2 where a strong candidate gene, tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1), has also been mapped. Coat pattern maps to chromosome 13, close to the candidate locus Agouti. Horn type maps to chromosome 10, a location similar to that previously identified in domestic sheep. These findings represent an advance in the dissection of the genetic diversity in the wild and provide the foundation for QTL analyses in the study population.

  5. Expression of nestin after renal transplantation in the rat.

    PubMed

    Skwirba, Michael; Zakrzewicz, Anna; Atanasova, Srebrena; Wilker, Sigrid; Fuchs-Moll, Gabriele; Müller, Dieter; Padberg, Winfried; Grau, Veronika

    2014-10-01

    Chronic allograft injury (CAI) limits the long-term success of renal transplantation. Nestin is a marker of progenitor cells, which probably contribute to its pathogenesis. We hypothesize that nestin is induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury and acute rejection, main risk factors for CAI. Syngeneic renal transplantation was performed in Lewis rats and allogeneic transplantation in the Fischer 344 to Lewis strain combination, which results in reversible acute rejection and in CAI in the long-run. The Dark Agouti to Lewis rat strain combination was used to study fatal acute rejection. In untreated kidneys, nestin immunoreactivity was detected in glomeruli and in very few interstitial or microvascular cells. Syngeneic transplantation induced nestin expression within 4 days, which decreased until day 9 and returned to control levels on day 42. Nestin expression was strong during acute rejection and still detected during the pathogenesis of CAI on day 42. Nestin-positive cells were identified as endothelial cells and interstitial fibroblast-like cells co-expressing alpha-smooth muscle actin. A sub-population of them expressed proliferating cell nuclear antigen. In conclusion, nestin is induced in renal grafts by ischemia/reperfusion injury and acute rejection. It is expressed by proliferating myofibroblasts and endothelial cells and probably contributes to the pathogenesis of CAI.

  6. Strain differences in toxicity of oral cadmium intake in rats.

    PubMed

    Ninkov, Marina; Popov Aleksandrov, Aleksandra; Mirkov, Ivana; Demenesku, Jelena; Mileusnic, Dina; Jovanovic Stojanov, Sofija; Golic, Natasa; Tolinacki, Maja; Zolotarevski, Lidija; Kataranovski, Dragan; Brceski, Ilija; Kataranovski, Milena

    2016-10-01

    Influence of genetic background on toxicity of oral cadmium (Cd) administration (30 days, in drinking water; 5 ppm and 50 ppm of cadmium) was examined in Albino Oxford (AO) and Dark Agouti (DA) rats. Similar cadmium deposition was noted in gut and draining mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) of both strains but intensity and/or the pattern of responses to cadmium in these tissues differ. Less intense intestinal damage and leukocyte infiltration was observed in gut of cadmium-exposed AO rats. While gut-associated lymph node cells of DA rats responded to cadmium with an increase of cell proliferation, oxidative activity, IFN-γ, IL-17 production and expression, no changes of these activities of MLN cells of cadmium-treated AO rats were observed. Spleen, which accumulated cadmium comparable to MLN, responded to metal by drop in cell viability and by reduced responsiveness of proliferation and cytokine production to stimulation in DA rats solely, which suggest tissue dependence of cadmium effects. More pronounced cadmium effects on MLN and spleen cells of DA rats (which accumulated similar cadmium doses as AO rats), showed greater susceptibility of this strain to cadmium. The results presented, for the first time, depict the influence of genetic background to effects of oral cadmium administration.

  7. The rat pink-eyed dilution (p) mutation: an identical intragenic deletion in pink-eye dilute-coat strains and several Wistar-derived albino strains.

    PubMed

    Kuramoto, Takashi; Gohma, Hiroshi; Kimura, Kunio; Wedekind, Dirk; Hedrich, Hans J; Serikawa, Tadao

    2005-09-01

    We identified the rat pink-eyed dilution (p) and pink eye Mishima (p(m)) mutations. The p(m) mutation, which was isolated from a wild rat caught in Mishima Japan in 1961 and is carried in the NIG-III strain, is a splice donor site mutation in intron 5. The p mutation, which was first described in 1914 and is carried in several p/p rats including the RCS and BDV strains, is an intragenic deletion including exons 17 and 18. In addition to RCS and BDV strains, several albino strains, KHR, KMI and WNA, all descendants of albino stock of the Wistar Institute, are homozygous for the p allele. Analyses revealed that the colored p strains and the Wistar-derived albino p strains had the same marker haplotype spanning approximately 4 Mb around the P locus. This indicates that these p strains share a common ancestor and the p allele did not arise independently via recurrent mutations. The historical relationship among the p strains suggests that the p deletion had been maintained in stock heterogeneous for the C and P loci and then was inherited independently by the ancestor of the Wistar albino stock and the ancestor of the pink-eyed agouti rats in Europe.

  8. The genetics of colour in fat-tailed sheep: a review.

    PubMed

    Lundie, Roger S

    2011-10-01

    Fat-tailed sheep come in various colours-most are either brown (tan) or black. In some, most of the body is white with the tan or black colour restricted to the front portion of the body or to just around the eyes, muzzle and parts of the legs. The Karakul breed is important for the production of lamb skins of various colours for the fashion industry. As well as the black and tan colours there are Karakuls bred for grey or roan shades, a white colour or one of the numerous Sur shades. In the Sur shades, the base of the birthcoat fibre is one of a number of dark shades and the tip a lighter or white shade. All these colours and many others are the result of the interaction of various genes that determine the specifics of the coat colour of the sheep. A number of sets of nomenclature and symbols have been used to represent the various loci and their alleles that are involved. In the 1980s and 1990s, a standardised set, based closely on those of the mouse and other species was developed. Using this as the framework, the alleles of the Extension, Agouti, Brown, Spotting, Pigmented Head and Roan loci are described using fat-tailed sheep (mainly Damara, Karakul and Persian) as examples. Further discussion includes other types of "white markings," the Ticking locus and the Sur loci.

  9. The elegance of energy balance: Insight from circuit-level manipulations.

    PubMed

    Webber, Emily S; Bonci, Antonello; Krashes, Michael J

    2015-09-01

    Mechanisms of energy balance were first examined using very powerful neuroscience techniques such as lesions and electrical stimulation. This early work identified the hypothalamus as a key structure involved in hunger and feeding; however, neural resolution of cell-defined populations contributing to appetite regulation remained elusive. Recent innovations in neuroscience have produced constructs that allow for a high degree of specificity in loss- and gain-of-function manipulations in molecularly circumscribed neural subsets as well as monosynaptic circuit mapping and in vivo neurophysiology. These complimentary techniques have provided researchers an unprecedented amount of empirical agility. As a result, cell populations in two subregions of the hypothalamus have emerged as key players in the physiological control of feeding behavior. The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus contain neural populations that have a direct role in the promotion of hunger and satiety. These include neurons that express agouti-related peptide, pro-opiomelanocortin, single-minded homolog 1 protein, and the melanocortin-4 receptor. This review focuses on how these neural subsets communicate with one another, link up to build elaborate networks, and ultimately contribute to alterations in food intake. The continuing advancement of neuroscience tools, as well as a multimodal integration of findings, will be critical in illuminating an exhaustive and clinically relevant hunger circuit.

  10. A high-throughput fluorescence-based assay system for appetite-regulating gene and drug screening.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Yasuhito; Hirano, Minoru; Nishimura, Yuhei; Tanaka, Toshio

    2012-01-01

    The increasing number of people suffering from metabolic syndrome and obesity is becoming a serious problem not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries. However, there are few agents currently approved for the treatment of obesity. Those that are available are mainly appetite suppressants and gastrointestinal fat blockers. We have developed a simple and rapid method for the measurement of the feeding volume of Danio rerio (zebrafish). This assay can be used to screen appetite suppressants and enhancers. In this study, zebrafish were fed viable paramecia that were fluorescently-labeled, and feeding volume was measured using a 96-well microplate reader. Gene expression analysis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf), knockdown of appetite-regulating genes (neuropeptide Y, preproinsulin, melanocortin 4 receptor, agouti related protein, and cannabinoid receptor 1), and the administration of clinical appetite suppressants (fluoxetine, sibutramine, mazindol, phentermine, and rimonabant) revealed the similarity among mechanisms regulating appetite in zebrafish and mammals. In combination with behavioral analysis, we were able to evaluate adverse effects on locomotor activities from gene knockdown and chemical treatments. In conclusion, we have developed an assay that uses zebrafish, which can be applied to high-throughput screening and target gene discovery for appetite suppressants and enhancers.

  11. The odor of Osmanthus fragrans attenuates food intake

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Takashi; Inui, Tadashi; Tsuji, Tadataka

    2013-01-01

    Odors have been shown to exert an influence on various physiological and behavioral activities. However, little is known whether or not odor stimulation directly affects the levels of feeding-related neuropeptides. Here we show that the neural transmission by Osmanthus fragrans (OSM) decreased the mRNA expression of orexigenic neuropeptides, such as agouti-related protein, neuropeptide Y, melanin-concentrating hormone and prepro-orexin, while increased anorexigenic neuropeptides, such as cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and proopiomelanocortin in rats. The decreased number of orexin-immunoreactive neurons in the hypothalamus coincided well with the OSM-induced decreases in the expression of prepro-orexin mRNA. This study demonstrates that the OSM odor, which is known to have a mild sedative effect, decreases the motivation to eat, food intake and body weight, accompanied by sluggish masticatory movements. The data suggest that these effects are due to suppression of orexigenic neuropeptides and activation of anorexigenic neuropeptides in the hypothalamus. PMID:23519146

  12. Effect of Brand's glucosamine with essence of chicken on collagen-induced arthritis in rats.

    PubMed

    Tsi, Daniel; Khow, Agatha; Iino, Taeko; Kiso, Yoshinobu; Ono, Hiroyuki

    2003-10-24

    The anti-arthritic effects of glucosamine incorporated in a chicken-meat extract known as Brand's Glucosamine with Essence of Chicken versus glucosamine or Essence of Chicken (EOC) alone were investigated on collagen induced arthritis (CIA) in dark agouti (DA) rats. Four groups of rats received basic food (control), 1.2% glucosamine (GLU), 0.8% EOC and 1.2% GLU + 0.8% EOC (GLU + EOC) admixed with basic food for 25 days following CIA. Foot pads were isolated on day 25 for histopathological evaluation. Clinical assessment of hind paw swelling as measured by foot pad volumes and histopathological scoring based on the degree of edema, periosteal new bone formation, periostitis and inflammatory cell infiltration of the isolated foot pad were performed. Arthritic rats given GLU + EOC showed significant reduction in left hind paw swelling following onset of arthritis. Correspondingly, a lesser degree of edema, periosteal new bone formation, periostitis and inflammatory cell infiltration was seen in histological sections of the left hind foot pads of these rats. A similar trend of reduced hind paw swelling was observed in the right hind paws of the same rats and those fed with EOC. Rats fed with GLU alone did not demonstrate these beneficial effects. The present findings demonstrate that a combination of glucosamine and EOC is effective in reducing the histopathological severity of arthritis, probably due to its ability to reduce the inflammatory conditions in CIA.

  13. Failure to upregulate Agrp and Orexin in response to activity based anorexia in weight loss vulnerable rats characterized by passive stress coping and prenatal stress experience.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Gretha J; Liang, Nu-Chu; Lee, Richard S; Albertz, Jennifer D; Kastelein, Anneke; Moody, Laura A; Aryal, Shivani; Moran, Timothy H; Tamashiro, Kellie L

    2016-05-01

    We hypothesize that anorexia nervosa (AN) poses a physiological stress. Therefore, the way an individual copes with stress may affect AN vulnerability. Since prenatal stress (PNS) exposure alters stress responsivity in offspring this may increase their risk of developing AN. We tested this hypothesis using the activity based anorexia (ABA) rat model in control and PNS rats that were characterized by either proactive or passive stress-coping behavior. We found that PNS passively coping rats ate less and lost more weight during the ABA paradigm. Exposure to ABA resulted in higher baseline corticosterone and lower insulin levels in all groups. However, leptin levels were only decreased in rats with a proactive stress-coping style. Similarly, ghrelin levels were increased only in proactively coping ABA rats. Neuropeptide Y (Npy) expression was increased and proopiomelanocortin (Pomc) expression was decreased in all rats exposed to ABA. In contrast, agouti-related peptide (Agrp) and orexin (Hctr) expression were increased in all but the PNS passively coping ABA rats. Furthermore, DNA methylation of the orexin gene was increased after ABA in proactive coping rats and not in passive coping rats. Overall our study suggests that passive PNS rats have innate impairments in leptin and ghrelin in responses to starvation combined with prenatal stress associated impairments in Agrp and orexin expression in response to starvation. These impairments may underlie decreased food intake and associated heightened body weight loss during ABA in the passively coping PNS rats. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Low susceptibility to N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-induced transplacental carcinogenesis in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats.

    PubMed

    Tsuchigauchi, Takeshi; Takahashi, Tetsuyuki; Ohnishi, Takamasa; Ogawa, Hirohisa; Bando, Yoshimi; Uehara, Hisanori; Takizawa, Tamotsu; Kaneda, Shinya; Nakai, Tokiko; Shiota, Hiroshi; Izumi, Keisuke

    2009-08-01

    The Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rat, an animal model of Wilson's disease, is resistant to a variety of chemical carcinogenesis except liver and colon. In the present study, N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced transplacental carcinogenesis was examined in male and female LEC, Long-Evans Agouti (LEA), a sibling line of the LEC rat, and F344 rats (n=21). ENU was administered to pregnant rats as a single s.c. injection at a dose of 60 mg/kg body weight on the 17th day after conception. Cerebral/spinal gliomas and trigeminal/spinal nerve schwannomas developed in both LEA and F344 rats at 30 weeks of age, but no nervous system tumors developed in LEC rats, the difference being statistically significant. Lung adenomas also developed in LEA and F344 rats, but not in LEC rats. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that metallothionein (MT)1a, MT2 and O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) mRNA levels in the liver of LEC rats were higher than those in F344 and LEA rats. In addition, Western blot analysis showed that MT (MT1 plus MT2) in the liver of LEC rats was also higher than that in other strains. Present results suggest that high levels of MT and/or MGMT contribute to the resistance to nitrosamine-induced carcinogenesis in LEC rats.

  15. Glutathione conjugates of ochratoxin A as biomarkers of exposure.

    PubMed

    Tozlovanu, Mariana; Canadas, Delphine; Pfohl-Leszkowicz, Annie; Frenette, Christine; Paugh, Robert J; Manderville, Richard A

    2012-12-01

    In the present study the photoreactivity of the fungal carcinogen ochratoxin A (OTA) has been utilised to generate authentic samples of reduced glutathione (GSH) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) conjugates of the parent toxin. These conjugates, along with the nontoxic OTα, which is generated through hydrolysis of the amide bond of OTA by carboxypeptidase A, were utilised as biomarkers to study the metabolism of OTA in the liver and kidney of male and female Dark Agouti rats. Male rats are more susceptible than female rats to OTA carcinogenesis with the kidney being the target organ. Our studies show that the distribution of OTA in male and female rat kidney is not significantly different. However, the extent of OTA metabolism was greater in male than female rats. Much higher levels of OTα were detected in the liver compared to the kidney, and formation of OTα is a detoxification pathway for OTA. These findings suggest that differences in metabolism between male and female rats could provide an explanation for the higher sensitivity of male rats to OTA toxicity.

  16. Development of injury in a rat model of chronic renal allograft rejection: effect of dietary protein restriction.

    PubMed

    Bombas, A; Stein-Oakley, A N; Baxter, K; Thomson, N M; Jablonski, P

    1999-01-01

    Non-allogeneic factors such as increased nephron "workload" may contribute to chronic renal allograft rejection. Reducing dietary protein from 20% to 8% was tested in a model of chronic rejection: Dark Agouti kidney to Albino Surgery recipient, "tolerised" by previous donor blood transfusions. Survival, weight gain, serum creatinine concentration and creatinine clearance were similar for both groups at all times. Urinary protein was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the low-protein (LP) group 1 month after transplantation. After 3 and 6 months, both groups demonstrated mild chronic rejection. After 6 months, tubular atrophy was significantly (P < 0.05) less in the LP group and interstitial fibrosis was marginally reduced. Glomerular hypertrophy, glomerular sclerosis, tubular dilatation, leucocyte infiltration, adhesion molecule expression and TGF-beta1 mRNA expression were similarly increased in both groups. Thus, reducing dietary protein to 8% lowered urinary protein, but did not significantly affect the development of chronic rejection in renal allografts beyond affording a degree of protection from tubulointerstitial damage.

  17. Effects of starvation on the expression of feeding related neuropeptides in the larval zebrafish hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Shanshan, Liu; Cuizhen, Zhang; Gang, Peng

    2016-09-01

    Vertebrate feeding behavior is regulated by neuropeptide Y (NPY), GALANIN and GMAP prepropeptide (GAL), agouti related neuropeptide (AGRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the hypothalamus. However, there are few studies on the relationship between these neuropeptides and feeding in zebrafish larvae. In the present study, real-time quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization were applied to examine the expression levels of npy, galanin, agrp and pomca in the hypothalamus of zebrafish larvae after starvation and re-feeding. The results showed the expression of agrp and galanin increased significantly after starvation compared to the control group, whilst the expression of pomca decreased significantly compared to control. If the animals were re-fed for two days after starvation, the expression of pomca, agrp and galanin showed no significant difference from the control. Expression of npy did not alter in either condition. These results indicate that starvation increases expression levels of agrp and galanin, and reduces the pomca expression. In addition, these starvation-induced changes can be reversed by re-feeding.

  18. Expression of energy balance regulatory genes in the developing ovine fetal hypothalamus at midgestation and the influence of hyperglycemia.

    PubMed

    Adam, Clare L; Findlay, Patricia A; Chanet, Audrey; Aitken, Raymond P; Milne, John S; Wallace, Jacqueline M

    2008-06-01

    Evidence suggests that the prenatal nutritional environment influences the risk of developing obesity, a major health problem worldwide. It is hypothesized that fetal nutrition influences the developing neuroendocrine hypothalamus, the integrative control center for postnatal energy balance regulation. The present aim was to determine whether relevant hypothalamic genes are expressed in midgestation and whether they are nutritionally (glucose) sensitive at this time. Hypothalami from a cohort of 81-day singleton sheep fetuses, with varying glycemia by virtue of maternal dietary and/or growth hormone treatment, were subject to in situ hybridization analysis for primary orexigenic, anorexigenic, and related receptor genes (term = 147 days, n = 24). Neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, proopiomelanocortin (POMC), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), and insulin receptor mRNAs were all localized in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) of all fetuses, whereas leptin receptor mRNA was expressed more abundantly in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. ARC expression levels of POMC and CART genes, but none of the other genes, were positively correlated with fetal plasma glucose concentrations. Therefore, key central components of adult energy balance regulation were already present as early as midgestation (equivalent to 22 wk in humans), and two anorexigenic components were upregulated by elevated glycemia. Such changes provide a potential mechanism for the prenatal origins of postnatal energy balance dysregulation and obesity.

  19. Brain-specific homeobox factor as a target selector for glucocorticoid receptor in energy balance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bora; Kim, Sun-Gyun; Kim, Juhee; Choi, Kwan Yong; Lee, Seunghee; Lee, Soo-Kyung; Lee, Jae W

    2013-07-01

    The molecular basis underlying the physiologically well-defined orexigenic function of glucocorticoid (Gc) is unclear. Brain-specific homeobox factor (Bsx) is a positive regulator of the orexigenic neuropeptide, agouti-related peptide (AgRP), in AgRP neurons of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. Here, we show that in response to fasting-elevated Gc levels, Gc receptor (GR) and Bsx synergize to direct activation of AgRP transcription. This synergy is dictated by unique sequence features in a novel Gc response element in AgRP (AgRP-GRE). In contrast to AgRP-GRE, Bsx suppresses transactivation directed by many conventional GREs, functioning as a gene context-dependent modulator of GR actions or a target selector for GR. Consistent with this finding, AgRP-GRE drives fasting-dependent activation of a target gene specifically in GR(+) Bsx(+) AgRP neurons. These results define AgRP as a common orexigenic target gene of GR and Bsx and provide an opportunity to identify their additional common targets, facilitating our understanding of the molecular basis underlying the orexigenic activity of Gc and Bsx.

  20. Effects of central fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) in energy balance.

    PubMed

    Recinella, L; Leone, S; Ferrante, C; Chiavaroli, A; Di Nisio, C; Martinotti, S; Vacca, M; Brunetti, L; Orlando, G

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is known as a major metabolic regulator of glucose and lipid homeostasis. Continuous intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of FGF21 was found to modulate feeding and energy expenditure in rats with diet-induced obesity, suggesting a central effect by the peptide. In this context, in the present work, we studied the effects of a single central FGF21 administration (0.5-5 µg) on feeding and energy expenditure by evaluating locomotor activity, interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT) weight, gene expression of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) in BAT and plasma norepinephrine (NE) levels in Sprague-Dawley fed rats. In addition, we evaluated the effects of FGF21 on orexigenic [agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY)] and anorexigenic [cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC)] peptides, in the hypothalamus, and dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine, 5-HT) levels in nucleus accumbens (NAc). We confirmed that central FGF21 administration induced a significant increase in food intake, possibly mediated by increased NPY and AgRP, and decreased POMC and CART gene expression. Moreover, FGF21 could modulate the motivational aspects of feeding, possibly through stimulated NAc DA levels. On the other hand, our findings of decreased locomotor activity, BAT weight, UCP-1 gene expression and plasma NE levels support a role for FGF21 in decreasing energy expenditure.

  1. Role of homeobox genes in the hypothalamic development and energy balance.

    PubMed

    Kaji, Takao; Nonogaki, Katsunori

    2013-01-01

    Homeobox genes contribute to the regionalization, patterning and cell differentiation during embryogenesis and organ development. During mammalian embryonic development, homeobox genes, including orthopedia (Otp), a brain-specific homeobox transcription factor (Bsx) and a thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), are expressed in the hypothalamus. The genetic ablation of these genes indicated that Otp and TTF-1 are essential for the normal morphological development of the hypothalamus, including the arcuate nucleus (ARC), whereas Bsx is not required. In the adult stage, Bsx and TTF-1 continue to be expressed in the hypothalamus, including the ARC, and serve as transcription factors of neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein. The expression of hypothalamic Bsx and TTF-1 can be altered by the feeding state and appetite regulatory hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. Although Bsx and TTF-1 are essential for normal feeding behavior in adult mice, they exert different effects on the expression of hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and body weight homeostasis. Thus, the hypothalamic homeobox genes may contribute to the dissociation of food intake and body weight via AgRP-POMC neurons.

  2. High-fat diet-induced met-hemoglobin formation in rats prone (WOKW) or resistant (DA) to the metabolic syndrome: effect of CoQ10 supplementation.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Patrick; Silvestri, Sonia; Brugè, Francesca; Tiano, Luca; Kloting, Ingrid; Falcioni, Giancarlo; Polidori, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) on oxidative indexes in WistarOttawaKarlsburg W (WOKW) rats used as a model of metabolic syndrome in comparison with Dark Agouti (DA) rats used as a control strain. This syndrome is defined by the occurrence of two or more risk factors including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. Forty rats were used in the study and the effect of HFD was evaluated in terms of body weight and both hemoglobin and CoQ oxidative status. Moreover, 16 rats (8 of each strain) were supplemented with 3 mg/100 g b.w. of CoQ10 for 1 month in view of its beneficial properties in cardiovascular disease due to its antioxidant activity in the lipid environment. HFD promoted an increase in body weight, in particular in WOKW males, and in the methemoglobin (met-Hb) index in both strains. Moreover, HFD promoted endogenous CoQ10 oxidation. CoQ10 supplementation was able to efficiently counteract the HFD pro-oxidant effects, preventing met-Hb formation and CoQ oxidation.

  3. Changes in mRNA expression of arcuate nucleus appetite-regulating peptides during lactation in rats.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Yoshihiro; Nakahara, Keiko; Maruyama, Keisuke; Okame, Rieko; Ensho, Takuya; Inoue, Yoshiyuki; Murakami, Noboru

    2014-04-01

    The contribution of hypothalamic appetite-regulating peptides to further hyperphagia accompanying the course of lactation in rats was investigated by using PCR array and real-time PCR. Furthermore, changes in the mRNA expression for appetite-regulating peptides in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) were analyzed at all stages of pregnancy and lactation, and also after weaning. Food intake was significantly higher during pregnancy, lactation, and after weaning than during non-lactation periods. During lactation, ARC expression of mRNAs for agouti-related protein (AgRP) and peptide YY was increased, whereas that of mRNAs for proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cholecystokinin (CCK) was decreased, in comparison with non-lactation periods. The increase in AgRP mRNA expression during lactation was especially marked. The plasma level of leptin was significantly decreased during the course of lactation, whereas that of acyl-ghrelin was unchanged. In addition, food intake was negatively correlated with the plasma leptin level during lactation. This study has clarified synchronous changes in the expression of many appetite-regulating peptides in ARC of rats during lactation. Our results suggest that hyperphagia during lactation in rats is caused by decreases in POMC and CCK expression and increases in AgRP expression in ARC, the latter being most notable. Together with the decrease in the blood leptin level, such changes in mRNA expression may explain the further hyperphagia accompanying the course of lactation.

  4. Absence of linkage of obesity and energy metabolism to markers flanking homologues of rodent obesity genes in Pima Indians.

    PubMed

    Norman, R A; Leibel, R L; Chung, W K; Power-Kehoe, L; Chua, S C; Knowler, W C; Thompson, D B; Bogardus, C; Ravussin, E

    1996-09-01

    The homologues of single genes that cause obesity in rodents are suggested as candidate genes for modulation of body composition in humans. Among these genes are the four mouse mutations-diabetes (db), obesity (ob), tubby (tub), and yellow agouti (Ay). Variation in the human counterparts to these genes (OB, DB, TUB, and ASP, respectively) may contribute to human obesity, which is thought to have a substantial genetic component. To initially assess the potential contribution of these genes to human obesity, we examined polymorphic DNA markers that, by virtue of syntenic relationships to appropriate regions of the mouse genome, should be closely linked to the human counterparts of these genes. Using combined data from 716 Pima Indians comprising 217 nuclear families, we have tested a number of polymorphic microsatellite markers (three at DB, two at OB, five at TUB, and three at ASP) for sib-pair linkage to BMI, percentage body fat, resting metabolic rate, 24-h energy expenditure, and 24-h respiratory quotient. No significant linkages were found in an analysis of all sibships or in an analysis restricted to discordant sib pairs.

  5. CST, an Herbal Formula, Exerts Anti-Obesity Effects through Brain-Gut-Adipose Tissue Axis Modulation in High-Fat Diet Fed Mice.

    PubMed

    Ansari, AbuZar; Bose, Shambhunath; Yadav, Mukesh Kumar; Wang, Jing-Hua; Song, Yun-Kyung; Ko, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Hojun

    2016-11-11

    The brain, gut, and adipose tissue interact to control metabolic pathways, and impairment in the brain-gut-adipose axis can lead to metabolic disorders, including obesity. Chowiseungcheng-tang (CST), a herbal formulation, is frequently used to treat metabolic disorders. Here, we investigated the anti-obesity effect of CST and its link with brain-gut-adipose axis using C57BL/6J mice as a model. The animals were provided with a normal research diet (NRD) or high-fat diet (HFD) in absence or presence of CST or orlistat (ORL) for 12 weeks. CST had a significant anti-obesity effect on a number of vital metabolic and obesity-related parameters in HFD-fed mice. CST significantly decreased the expression levels of genes encoding obesity-promoting neuropeptides (agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y), and increased the mRNA levels of obesity-suppressing neuropeptides (proopiomelanocortin, cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript) in the hypothalamus. CST also effectively decreased the expression level of gene encoding obesity-promoting adipokine (retinol-binding protein-4) and increased the mRNA level of obesity-suppressing adipokine (adiponectin) in visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Additionally, CST altered the gut microbial composition in HFD groups, a phenomenon strongly associated with key metabolic parameters, neuropeptides, and adipokines. Our findings reveal that the anti-obesity impact of CST is mediated through modulation of metabolism-related neuropeptides, adipokines, and gut microbial composition.

  6. Melanocortin 1 Receptor: Structure, Function, and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wolf Horrell, Erin M.; Boulanger, Mary C.; D’Orazio, John A.

    2016-01-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is a melanocytic Gs protein coupled receptor that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk. It is a highly polymorphic gene, and loss of function correlates with a fair, UV-sensitive, and melanoma-prone phenotype due to defective epidermal melanization and sub-optimal DNA repair. MC1R signaling, achieved through adenylyl cyclase activation and generation of the second messenger cAMP, is hormonally controlled by the positive agonist melanocortin, the negative agonist agouti signaling protein, and the neutral antagonist β-defensin 3. Activation of cAMP signaling up-regulates melanin production and deposition in the epidermis which functions to limit UV penetration into the skin and enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER), the genomic stability pathway responsible for clearing UV photolesions from DNA to avoid mutagenesis. Herein we review MC1R structure and function and summarize our laboratory’s findings on the molecular mechanisms by which MC1R signaling impacts NER. PMID:27303435

  7. Melanocortin receptor 4 deficiency affects body weight regulation, grooming behavior, and substrate preference in the rat.

    PubMed

    Mul, Joram D; van Boxtel, Ruben; Bergen, Dylan J M; Brans, Maike A D; Brakkee, Jan H; Toonen, Pim W; Garner, Keith M; Adan, Roger A H; Cuppen, Edwin

    2012-03-01

    Obesity is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure and has become a major health-care problem in western society. The central melanocortin system plays a crucial role in the regulation of feeding and energy expenditure, and functional loss of melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) is the most common genetic cause of human obesity. In this study, we present the first functional Mc4r knockout model in the rat, resulting from an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis-induced point mutation. In vitro observations revealed impaired membrane-binding and subsequent nonfunctionality of the receptor, whereas in vivo observations showed that functional loss of MC4R increased body weight, food intake, white adipose mass, and changed substrate preference. In addition, intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of Agouti-Related Protein(79-129) (AgRP(79-129)), an MC4R inverse agonist, or Melanotan-II (MTII), an MC4R agonist, did affect feeding behavior in wild-type rats but not in homozygous mutant rats, confirming complete loss of MC4R function in vivo. Finally, ICV administration of MTII induced excessive grooming behavior in wild-type rats, whereas this effect was absent in homozygous mutant rats, indicating that MTII-induced grooming behavior is exclusively regulated via MC4R pathways. Taken together, we expect that the MC4R rat model described here will be a valuable tool for studying monogenic obesity in humans. More specifically, the relative big size and increased cognitive capacity of rats as compared to mice will facilitate complex behavioral studies and detailed mechanistic studies regarding central function of MC4R, both of which ultimately may help to further understand the specific mechanisms that induce obesity during loss of MC4R function.

  8. Increased migration of antigen presenting cells to newly-formed lymphatic vessels in transplanted kidneys by glycol-split heparin.

    PubMed

    Talsma, Ditmer T; Katta, Kirankumar; Boersema, Miriam; Adepu, Saritha; Naggi, Annamaria; Torri, Giangiacomo; Stegeman, Coen; Navis, Gerjan; van Goor, Harry; Hillebrands, Jan-Luuk; Yazdani, Saleh; van den Born, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Chronic renal transplant dysfunction is characterized by loss of renal function and tissue remodeling, including chronic inflammation and lymph vessel formation. Proteoglycans are known for their chemokine presenting capacity. We hypothesize that interruption of the lymphatic chemokine-proteoglycan interaction interferes with the lymphatic outflow of leukocytes from the renal graft and might decrease the anti-graft allo-immune response. In a rat renal chronic transplant dysfunction model (female Dark-Agouti to male Wistar Furth), chemokines were profiled by qRT-PCR in microdissected tubulo-interstitial tissue. Disruption of lymphatic chemokine-proteoglycan interaction was studied by (non-anticoagulant) heparin-derived polysaccharides in vitro and in renal allografts. The renal allograft function was assessed by rise in plasma creatinine and urea. Within newly-formed lymph vessels of transplanted kidneys, numerous CD45+ leukocytes were found, mainly MHCII+, ED-1-, IDO-, HIS14-, CD103- antigen presenting cells, most likely representing a subset of dendritic cells. Treatment of transplanted rats with regular heparin and two different (non-)anticoagulant heparin derivatives revealed worsening of kidney function only in the glycol-split heparin treated group despite a two-fold reduction of tubulo-interstitial leukocytes (p<0.02). Quantitative digital image analysis however revealed increased numbers of intra-lymphatic antigen-presenting cells only in the glycol-split heparin group (p<0.01). The number of intra-lymphatic leukocytes significantly correlates with plasma creatinine and urea, and inversely with creatinine clearance. Treatment of transplanted rats with glycol-split heparin significantly increases the number of intra-lymphatic antigen presenting cells, by increased renal diffusion of lymphatic chemokines, thereby increasing the activation and recruitment of antigen presenting cells towards the lymph vessel. This effect is unwanted in the transplantation

  9. Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract ameliorates murine autoimmune arthritis through regulation of TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang-Hyon; Bang, Jihye; Son, Chang-Nam; Baek, Won-Ki; Kim, Ji-Min

    2016-06-03

    Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) has been reported to have a beneficial effect on regulating inf lammation. However, the anti-inflammatory mechanism of GSPE remains unclear. The aim of this study was to verify the influence of GSPE on the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated signaling pathway in the regulation of murine autoimmune arthritis. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was induced in dilute brown non-agouti (DBA)/1J mice. The mice were treated with GSPE (0 or 100 mg/kg) intraperitoneally. The severity of arthritis was assessed clinically, biochemically, and histologically. Immunostaining for TLR4 was performed. The expressions of TLR4 and downstream signaling molecules were analyzed by Western blot. The effect of GSPE on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced TLR4 activation was also evaluated using RAW264.7 cells and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and from those with osteoarthritis. GSPE attenuated the clinical severity of arthritis and decreased histological damage. GSPE treatment reduced the number of TLR4-stained cells in the synovium of mice with CIA. GSPE also downregulated the expression of TLR4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) and phosphorylated IκBα synovial protein in CIA mice. Concurrently, GSPE inhibited the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) subunits (p65 and p50). LPS-induced TLR4 activation was suppressed by GSPE in human FLS as well as in murine macrophages in vitro. Our results demonstrated that GSPE ameliorated CIA by regulating the TLR4-MyD88-NF-κB signaling pathway.

  10. Lateral Hypothalamic Melanocortin Receptor Signaling Modulates Binge-Like Ethanol Drinking in C57BL/6J Mice

    PubMed Central

    Sprow, Gretchen M.; Rinker, Jennifer A.; Lowery-Gionta, Emily; Sparrow, Angela; Navarro, Montserrat; Thiele, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Binge ethanol drinking is a highly pervasive and destructive behavior yet the underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent work suggests that overlapping neurobiological mechanisms modulate feeding disorders and excessive ethanol intake, and converging evidence indicates that the melanocortin (MC) system may be a promising candidate. The aims of the present work were to examine how repeated binge-like ethanol drinking, using the “drinking in the dark” (DID) protocol, impacts key peptides within the MC system and if site-specific manipulation of MC receptor (MCR) signaling modulates binge-like ethanol drinking. Male C57BL/6J mice were exposed to 1, 3 or 6 cycles of binge-like ethanol, sucrose, or water drinking, after which brain tissue was processed via immunohistochemistry (IHC) for analysis of key MC peptides, including alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and agouti-related protein (AgRP). Results indicated that α-MSH expression was selectively decreased, while AgRP expression was selectively increased, within specific hypothalamic subregions following repeated binge-like ethanol drinking. To further explore this relationship, we used site-directed drug delivery techniques to agonize or antagonize MCRs within the lateral hypothalamus (LH). We found that the non-selective MCR agonist melanotan-II (MTII) blunted, while the non-selective MCR antagonist AgRP augmented, binge-like ethanol consumption when delivered into the LH. As these effects were region-specific, the present results suggest that a more thorough understanding of the MC neurocircuitry within the hypothalamus will help provide novel insight into the mechanisms that modulate excessive binge-like ethanol intake and may help uncover new therapeutic targets aimed at treating alcohol abuse disorders. PMID:25975524

  11. Leptin modulates the intrinsic excitability of Ag